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Why are Australians angry and scared out of their minds? Ask Tony Abbott

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Monday, 10 October 2011 10:49 by Ad astra
Melbourne is rated as the 2011 ‘most livable city in the world’, Sydney is sixth, and Perth and Adelaide are equal eighth. We have almost half of the most livable cities in the top ten in the world. And we have the most awe-inspiring country in which to live, ‘the lucky country’. We have untold natural resources: mountains of iron ore, enormous reserves of uranium, and enough coal and natural gas to last us a century. Yet, if you believe the polls, as a nation we are angry, scared, and dissatisfied. Why?

Of all the developed nations, we have come through the global financial crisis with flying colours, better than any other. Unemployment never became as disastrous as it still is in the US, UK and Europe, and now sits at around 5% compared with 9% in the US where 14 million are out of a job. We have a so-called patchwork economy where finding labour is difficult in some places while unemployment, especially among youth, is too high in others. Finding workers is still more difficult than workers finding a job. But we still feel unhappy.

We were fortunate to have a proactive Government in power during the GFC, one that injected stimulus into the economy in three well-timed tranches – cash, short-term construction, and longer-term infrastructure projects, now almost phased out. It was well-planned Keynesian pump priming that saved our economic bacon, lauded internationally as ‘the best targeted in the world’.

The result was that retail sales were sustained, and then, via the HIP, a million ceilings were insulated, with savings to the occupants in energy costs, and reduced greenhouse emissions. Next, there was the $16.2 billion Building the Education Revolution comprising 10 475 projects in 7920 schools for new libraries, multipurpose halls, classrooms and the refurbishment of existing facilities; almost a billion dollars for 537 schools to refurbish or construct new science laboratories or language learning centres; and just over a billion dollars for 12 639 projects in 9462 schools for the refurbishment of buildings and construction or upgrade of fixed shade structures, covered outdoor learning areas, sporting grounds and facilities and green upgrades. And in the process countless jobs were saved, unemployment controlled, and thousands of businesses kept alive in the regions as well as in our cities. Yet, the people were still not satisfied.

We also had a Reserve Bank that collaborated with Government during the GFC by providing monetary support with lower interest rates, down to a cash rate of 3%. These rates are now nearer ‘normal’ levels, and have been static for almost a year at 4.75%, with the promise of even lower rates should the economy decline. Yet, there are still those who bemoan the modest interest rates we enjoy, which they say are imposing an intolerable mortgage burden upon them.

The Government is investing $36 billion in the National Broadband Network that will give most Australians the fastest and best broadband in the world. Yet there is not much exaltation, except among the experts. We seem not to realize how lucky we are to have a government with the foresight to plan for a facility that will bring untold benefits to health, education, business, and agriculture, benefits that will place our nation at the forefront of telecommunications around the world. The cost savings in health care alone are estimated to be greater than the cost of construction of the network. But what joy rises from the masses at this exciting infrastructure advance, the greatest in our nation’s history? Precious little.

There are many other important reforms in train. Since the Henry Tax Review, thirty-two separate tax reforms are underway. One is the introduction of a price on carbon to precede an emissions trading scheme that will place Australia in the forefront in the emerging carbon trading market which almost every economist, almost every informed expert in the economics of climate change, believes is not just necessary, but inevitable. At the same time the Government is fostering the development of a green economy that presages what is now termed the ‘green industrial revolution’ that will sweep away old polluting industries. But the fact that our Government is leading us down this path is not just unappreciated; it is seen as a negative. The public opposes it strongly.

Another vital tax reform is the MMRT, the so-called minerals tax, which will enable enhanced superannuation, simpler personal tax returns, and a reduction in company tax. But are companies rejoicing? No, many are actively fighting against having such a tax. The public is largely against it.

In the health field a major reform to funding has been initiated, local control of health services enabled, mental health funding boosted, and a national disability insurance scheme begun.

The Government is tackling head on addiction to tobacco and to pokies. Plain packaging of cigarettes is being legislated and legislation to bring in mandatory pre-commitment for high input poker machines is shortly to be introduced. Note that this is for pokie addiction, not gambling addiction, which is different.

Why, in the face of all this good news, in the face of a proactive Government that is preparing this nation for a productive and prosperous future, is the public so disenchanted? Ask Tony Abbott – ask the Coalition.

Overseas commentators look at this country with envy, and surprise. They see Australia almost as utopia, with a strong economy, very low debt – the lowest by far in the developed world – low inflation, low unemployment, ample superannuation for retirement, paid parental leave, burgeoning resources income, a solid tax and welfare system, a health system that other countries admire, and an environment and lifestyle that others covet. They are gobsmacked that with all this so many Australians complain and whinge about their situation. They wonder why we feel hardly done by, and why we are disillusioned and disappointed with government and what it is doing.

Many Australians have lost faith in our institutions of governance and in politicians. They look upon their elected representatives with disdain, and use pejorative language to describe them. They accuse them of self-interest and loss of contact with the community, and often regard them as incompetent. In surveys that assess trust, politicians rank near the bottom, along with journalists and car salesmen.

Why is this so? This piece argues that this state of affairs is largely due to the Coalition’s, and especially Tony Abbott’s relentless campaign of FUD+ML: fear, uncertainty, doubt, plus misinformation and lies, one he has waged unremittingly since his election as leader.

But at the outset let us acknowledge that the Government has brought upon itself some of the ignominy that has enveloped it. Its record, like every other government in history, is not perfect. It has made mistakes. It has changed tack, and indeed its leader. But any objective analysis of its performance would not, could not, rate this Government as the hopeless, incompetent, never-get-anything-right government that Tony Abbott paints it every day, insisting as he does that the Gillard Government is the most incompetent in Australian political history, ‘a bad government getting worse’, something he asserts repeatedly despite it having passed almost 200 pieces of legislation in its first year, with no failures.

Let me document the Coalition’s and Abbott’s FUD+ML campaign. They know, as do conservatives in other places that ‘doubt is their product’. An article on the blogsite The American Prospect revealed how science is being challenged by those who seek to pervert it for commercial or political gain. The catchphrases they espouse: ‘doubt is our product’, ‘manufacturing uncertainty’, ‘establishing a controversy’ are put into action by ‘buying’ scientific opinion that creates doubt, uncertainty and controversy from those willing to prostitute their professional standards for money. This is nowhere more overt than in the climate change debate.  
Using the same strategy, Abbott has deliberately and maliciously sown the seeds of fear, uncertainty and doubt through misinformation and lies with great success in pursuit of his campaign of denigration of PM Gillard and her Government.

Take the GFC. The Government was brilliantly successful in negotiating this country through the most severe financial downturn since the Great Depression over seventy years ago. The repercussions are still affecting the global economy. But what did we hear from the Coalition? Debt and deficit! Far from applauding the Government’s actions, Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce insisted that the stimulus was too big and went on for too long. Remember Turnbull’s ‘debt truck’ with ‘Labor’s debt bombshell’ and ‘$315 billion’ painted on the side, which was launched in Perth and paraded around other cities. The nation was rescued from recession, but all the public heard about from the Opposition was debt and deficit and how many millions per day were being paid to service the debt. Success was reduced to failure, and the people believed the latter – debt and deficit remains embedded in the electorate’s mind as a legacy of having elected a Labor Government, which as everyone knows is ‘addicted to spending and running up massive public debt’. Ask the Coalition. Misinformation and downright lies won the day.

Consumer and business confidence waned in the wake of the GFC. No doubt many realized that they had overcommitted themselves financially, especially those who had bought their MacMansions while interest rates were low, foolishly believing they would stay low instead of returning to usual levels. People saved more and spent less, and retail sales suffered. Gerry Harvey bemoaned the fall in sales although he was one of those who had encouraged reckless spending through his irresistible ‘buy now, pay years later’ offers. The Government copped the blame, yet a myriad of other factors were the cause. Abbott, Hockey, Joyce and Andrew Robb were out there, and still are, talking down the economy time and again, eroding confidence, making people fearful and scared out of their minds. Misinformation is winning.

Even when Wayne Swan was awarded ‘Finance Minister of the Year’, or as the media portrayed it, ‘World’s Best Treasurer’, from Euromoney magazine for his work during the GFC, Joe Hockey demeaned it in a most unbecoming and xenophobic way, diminishing Swan’s efforts with spiteful rhetoric. What did the public think? Who knows? But Hockey was determined to negate Swan’s award.

Look at the HIP. How often do we hear about the benefits of insulating a million ceilings, and the employment and boost to business that engendered? Seldom ever! All we still hear about is ‘pink batts’, a phrase that still evokes cynical smiles from those who hear it, and the ceiling fires and the four tragic deaths of installers, which the Opposition tried at every opportunity to level at the Government and Minister Garrett. The government was guilty of maladministration of this massive program, but not the tragedies, yet that is what sticks in people’s minds, thanks to Opposition misinformation and lies. The MSM, and particularly The Australian, was culpable for collaborating with the Coalition in this deception.

Take the BER. The Australian took up the cudgels from the outset, running a continuous campaign of denigration, highlighting every complaint, no matter how valid it was, no matter how trivial, headlining every rort or fraud among contractors, always contending that the program was unnecessary and wasteful; indeed the slogan ‘waste and mismanagement’ was coined during the BER and used repeatedly by the Opposition and the MSM. The enormous positive benefits of this massive program of upgrading our schools was hardly mentioned until three Orgill Reports showed 97% satisfaction and documented the vast extent of the improvements. Yet even then The Australian played down the success of the scheme and trumpeted only the downside, which was never ever more than minimal. Negativity triumphed; the good works were hidden.

Interest rates have been the focus for the Opposition throughout the Labor Government’s existence. How many times have you heard Joe Hockey bellow, and I use that word advisedly, that the Government is ‘putting upward pressure on interest rates’, which he insists is the result of excess Government spending and the inflation he asserts it creates. He was unworried about the fact that there had been ten successive rises in interest rates in the latter years of the Howard Government, and that interest rates under this Labor Government have been consistently lower than under the Coalition, have been static at a modest level for eleven months, and may actually fall before the end of this year. So what is all this disparaging talk about interest rates putting intolerable pressure on homeowners that Hockey propagates over and again? Again, misinformation and lies! Expect him to still insist that ‘interest rates will always be lower under the Coalition’, despite all the recent evidence to the contrary.

Is it any wonder that the public still rates the Coalition as better managers of the economy in opinion polls when all the rhetoric from the Coalition and much of the MSM denies the splendid track record of the Government, disseminates only negativity and misinformation, and repeatedly makes the prediction that ‘this Government will never bring in a surplus budget’?

Reflect on the NBN. Remember Tony Abbott’s instruction to Malcolm Turnbull to ‘demolish the NBN’? Turnbull then represented it as a massive ‘white elephant’, and ‘a gross misuse of taxpayers’ money’. He insisted that the Coalition could give Australians all they need in telecommunications at a fraction of the cost. Since then, we have seen a parade of misinformation, mainly from Turnbull, because Abbott is not a ‘tech head’, which has become more comical and ridiculous month after month. Yet the fact that Turnbull’s ideas have been steadily demolished by the experts is not what has been embedded in people’s minds – it is the ‘wasteful white elephant’ that they remember. Perhaps we can be reassured that the Coalition’s negativity and misinformation has had less impact in the NBN debate, as many people can see, better than the Opposition does, its enormous benefits.

It is with the ‘carbon tax’ though that Tony Abbott has most effectively used his FUD+ML strategy. He has scared people out their minds with his talk that we’ll all be ‘rooned’ by this ‘toxic tax’ pushing up the cost of living precipitously and perpetually, massively increasing electricity prices, wiping out whole industries – steel manufacturing and coal mining – creating crippling unemployment and ghost towns, disadvantaging local industries and ‘sending jobs offshore’ and all ‘for no environmental gain’. He has so grossly misrepresented the situation that nearly three out of four are against the tax in opinion polls. Barnaby Joyce has given him loudmouthed support and the MSM has been complicit in allowing Abbott’s misinformation and lies and his campaign of creating fear, uncertainty and doubt to fester in the community.

Almost no emphasis has been given to the compensation to be given to households. The ‘carbon tax’ has been portrayed as the reason electricity prices are going up, although it won’t begin until July of next year, while the real reason, the long overdue upgrading of electrical infrastructure, has scarcely been mentioned. The reason the price of petrol is rising is that this is governed by the market price for Singapore’s benchmark – Tapis Crude. It is not due to the Government or its proposed tax on pollution. But one would not know that from reading the papers. As David Horton poignantly points out on his Watermelon Blog in a piece You may say I’m a dreamer, if the MSM were to have given honest and accurate publicity to the ‘carbon tax’ and many other Government initiatives, how different public perceptions might have been. Do read it.

Abbott the scaremonger has used fear, uncertainty and doubt to undermine the Government’s price on carbon and its ETS initiative, one so essential for Australia’s future economically, and the globe environmentally. His malignant approach not only counters the Government’s plans, it places in jeopardy our country’s future and particularly that of future generations of Australians, all to gain a self-serving yet temporary political advantage. And it is not as if he has a plausible alternative plan to counter climate change. The Coalition’s plan pays the polluters, does not compensate households, is impractical, and has virtually no support from climate scientists and economists. It is a ‘Clayton’s’ plan for those who really do not believe in the reality of global warming.

Abbott’s intimidation that he will rescind the tax in Government has popular appeal because the public is not aware of the incredible difficulty of turning off the plan after it has begun, one incidentally that business and industry wants finalized to give them the certainty they need.

The MMRT is in a similar category. While reasonable people, and even the three biggest miners, believe that a tax on minerals dug up by miners ought to benefit the Australian public that owns them, there is still heavy opposition to the tax among voters. This is entirely attributable to Abbott’s relentless campaign of denigration of the tax and his guarantee he will rescind it, aided and abetted by minerals industry bodies with their public campaigning and the MSM’s endorsement of it. It’s a crazy story more suitable for fictional literature, saturated as it is with fear, uncertainty, doubt, and intimidation, than a reflection of present day reality.

Look at the Government’s health initiatives. State Coalition governments resisted the reform of health funding until they were persuaded by its merit to comply. Remember the boost to mental health funding the Government announced in its last Budget? Remember Abbott’s response – ‘we shamed them into it’. Even a positive initiative with which the Coalition was in accord, brought forth a disparaging response, which no doubt many in the public swallowed unthinkingly.

Similarly, only last week when the Tax Forum and the Future Jobs Forum were is progress, initiatives welcomed by the business community and the unions, Abbott, who declined an invitation to participate, condemned such events as a ‘pointless talkfest’, and Hockey insisted that the several hundred participants, the brightest and the best in their fields, had been ‘conned’ by the Government into participation in a ‘gabfest’. What an insult, but I suppose Hockey would see that as a small price to pay for the further denigration of the Gillard Government, which after all was the intent of his and Abbott’s remarks.

I could go on and on, talking about Abbott’s unhelpful and often biting comments about plain packaging of cigarettes and mandatory pre-commitment pokies legislation, but what I have documented so far ought to suffice to make the case that Abbott has used a continuous malicious and at times venomous strategy of FUD+ML with grievous effects for the Government.

And he could not have achieved what he has without the complicity of the much of the media. Abbott has set about systematically poisoning the mind of the electorate, yet no matter how damaging to the public psyche this has been, much of the MSM, and particularly News Limited, has not passed judgment on his destructive and reprehensible behaviour, but instead has justified his actions, applauded his success, and lauded his climb in the polls. Even senior journalists such as Paul Kelly have joined in the ovation.

At a personal level, Abbott has denigrated Julia Gillard in a most despicable way. His labeling of her as a liar, reinforced by his acolyte shock jock Alan Jones with his ‘Ju-liar’ tag, has so permeated the psyche of the community that at a primary school PM Gillard visited recently, even a small schoolboy parroted the ‘Julia Gillard is a liar’ mantra, no doubt reflecting his parents’ views. Abbott repeatedly bawls her out for ‘breaking promises’, sarcastically uses ‘this Prime Minister’ to refer to her as if she was a leper, and attacks her personally in Question Time with a level of vehemence and anger that is unbecoming of a national leader. He regularly accuses her of backstabbing Kevin Rudd or ‘assassinating’ him.

We know that these very personal attacks have imprinted in the public’s mind an adverse opinion of Julia Gillard the politician, yet on a personal level she is seen as charming, personable, and courageous in the face of a mountain of opposition, adverse publicity and poor opinion polls. She is seen as getting on with the job of governing despite all the brickbats and rude questions directed at her every day. Sadly, it is the unfavorable view of her that predominates in opinion polls. Abbott and his sycophants have triumphed.

On last week’s Insight on SBS, a group of largely younger people expressed their disappointment and disillusionment with the Government, and indeed the Opposition too. Clearly, although they were obviously intelligent, many had swallowed hook, line and sinker the Coalition’s rhetoric faithfully echoed by much, if not all of the MSM.

So effective has been the negative rhetoric from Abbott and his Coalition colleagues, and from the media, that these young people seemed confused and uncertain what to think. Some even said they couldn’t see the difference between Government policies and those of the Opposition, prompting Bob Carr to point out that there could scarcely be more contrast between their policies about the carbon tax and the minerals tax, and to that could be added the NBN and financial management. I can’t for the life of me understand how bright young people could see the policies of the two parties as the same, when the contrasts are so stark.

I believe that this quandary can be attributed to the brainwashing that has arisen largely from the media, with commentary that diminishes the Government and politicians in general – ‘they’re all the same aren’t they?’ It’s what Lindsay Tanner calls the dumbing down of democracy in his book: Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy. The media has been instrumental in reducing politicians and political discourse to a heap of rubbish to be despised and thrown into the shoddy dustbin of indistinctness. And the ‘what does she stand for’ lament is part of the confusion that has been perpetuated over and again by the media.

These young people repeated what we have heard ad nauseam: that the Government can’t get its message across. While we all recognize that the Government has contributed to this situation, it is inescapable that the media must take major responsibility for it. It has seldom given proper prominence to Government good news stories – after all, it’s bad news stories that the people want. It’s bad news that sells. It’s mess-ups and scandal that their audiences crave.

What I am arguing here is that the state of mind of the electorate is largely a product of the relentless FUD+ML campaign that Tony Abbott has waged from the moment he became leader, as predicted in my first piece about him: The pugilistic politician, written ten days after his election as leader, and amplified by a compliant media, of which a major sector, News Limited, is actively campaigning for ‘regime change’ in the Federal Government.

Abbott has effectively eroded confidence in the state of the economy, the capacity of the Government to get anything right, the propriety of almost every Government measure to buttress our economy and prepare it for the next half-century, and the Prime Minister herself. Knowing the validity of the Goebbels dictum: ‘Tell a lie often enough and people will believe it’, Abbott has pursued a campaign of lies and misinformation, and has generated an exceptional degree of fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of the electorate, and anger in their hearts, as reflected in the opinion polls.

Disgraceful though it is, corrosive of confidence in Government and how it is managing the nation that it is, it has achieved Abbott’s purpose of creating fear to the extent that much of the electorate is scared out of its mind, angry, and ready to throw out a Government that has done and is doing so much to improve our nation. He has maliciously damaged the psyche of nation. That his actions are destructive to our country is of no consequence to him, so long as they advance his quest for ultimate power.

What do you think?

Comments (286) -

October 10. 2011 11:04 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

Expanding on your theme of why are Australians angry and scared perhaps we should examine the role of the ALP’s Horror Department. Back in mid-July the ALP sent one of its perpetual adolescents to the NSW Central Coast. As the Disorient Express wended its way from Sydney to Gosford the beleaguered residents of the hamlet of Gosford, already suffering from apocalypse fatigue, must have been wondering what ALP MP Tanya Plibersek was going to say. Employing her usual overweening apercus style Tanya warned that the Central Coast would be inundated if nothing was done about AGW. A press release from Tanya Plibersek confirming that horror scenario also bore the name of Deborah O’Neill* (federal ALP MP). Adding further weight to Tanya’s Delphic utterances was Gosford Mayor, Laurie Maher who is connected to #Biofiba©™® (a company that will do well out of the AGW industry). We certainly know what TPS thinks of unhealthy business associations. So there you have it; the NSW Central Coast will act as the canary in the mine shaft. Any Central Coast resident who resides at or near the littoral had better learn to swim and had better get used to soiled underpants according to ALP baboonery delivered by Tanya Plibersek and Deborah O’Neill. As a matter of fact the Gosford residents at that meeting wondered whether they might have to swim home.

Tanya Plibersek delivered more chicanery when she appeared on Q and A. She said: “We will lose the Barrier Reef. We will lose Kakadu.  We won’t be able to feed ourselves.  We won’t be able to grow fruit and vegetables to feed ourselves”.
*The baboonery continues. Argus-eyed Central Coast residents report that Deborah O’Neill (federal ALP MP) has sold her bijou Copacabana home and has moved to a waterfront home at Bensville. Could her new address be Kallaroo Road by the water’s edge? Gosh, has she got enough sandbags? Deborah, why put yourself and your family in harm’s way? Can all your children swim Deborah? Is Australia ready for human sacrifice mandated by Gaia? Will human sacrifice persuade Gaia to recall her forces?

Perhaps TPS’s own Central Coast resident might give us an insight into Deborah O’Neill’s turbid mind. What makes Deborah descend into a dark mood of boanthropy? Is boanthropy widespread in the ALP’s ranks? Was Deborah a willing participant in the taping of the Gruen Planet? Have Deborah and TPS’s Central Coast resident fallen under the influence of Viktor David Grünbaum and his well developed skill of confusing the mind? Gosh.

The ALP Pantomime was taken to a new high when the local Gosford newspaper featured a photo of Gosford Mayor Laurie Maher, and Federal member for Robertson Deb O'Neill nodding approvingly at the model of Gosford Landing. Gosford Landing will be a precinct with a mix of a performing arts and conference centre, a four to five star hotel, residential piers, wharves, marinas, retail and office space and apartment blocks. Will the precinct be built on a hilltop? Will the precinct be built on pontoons? No to both questions. The precinct will be built on the Gosford LITTORAL. Did Deborah O’Neill advise against such foolhardiness? Did Deborah say that the guests at the four star hotel might find it uncomfortable with water lapping around their ankles as they dine on their Roast Chump of Lamb rolled in herbs with petit ratatouille, gratin potatoes? Not on your life.

The people I feel sorry for are Deborah and Tanya. Ad Astra will be ruthless in his attack on these two airheads. Ad Astra thinks that scaring people is vile behaviour and has no place in Australian politics so Deb and Tanya can expect a withering attack from Ad Astra, our fearless and unbiased champion of truth and democracy.

Go get ‘em tiger.


#Biofiba mission statement: we are not allergic to taxpayers’ dollars.

Sir Ian Crisp

October 10. 2011 11:42 AM



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October 10. 2011 12:14 PM

D Mick Weir

Good Afternoon TT
you wrote on the previous post (and earlier):
DMW I really do object to this brush-tarring attitude. I think it is worse than puerile and simplistic, it's bloody stupid unfair and you wouldn't want it to happen to you.

Some quotes from a tar brushing expert (on the previous post):
October 9. 2011 09:50 AM
Prick male Phil (Someone) commenter ...
Female commenter's contribution so far is fairy floss.

October 9. 2011 01:22 PM
... the devilishly shit-eating-grinning Abbort ...

October 9. 2011 06:34 PM
Annabelle the Slyly-sidling Crabbe ...
Crassidy is affecting a tough exterior, self-satisfied in his sinecure, not accountable for anything, snide comments on the spot'll do ...

October 10. 2011 08:16 AM
That George Megalogenis, (whom I described in The Lass at Yarralumla as having been as wimpish as a teensy flaccid penis, and he's proving me right daily imo) ...

May I most humbly suggest that I have been learning tar brushing from an expert and that I only get to use the tar brush in those rare moments the aforesaid expert lets the tar brush go?

D Mick Weir

October 10. 2011 01:20 PM


I'm re-posting this here because it offers a clear complementary take on AA's piece.


An article for everyone who laments that there is not one mainstream media journalist/commentator who can't see right to the cankerous heart of what is wrong with Australian politics and society.

The Abbott-stirred maelstrom has been aided and abetted by just the people indicated in the Gittins article, the same people who may well find a government of the Coalition of Dunderheads will reduce this country to dust.


October 10. 2011 01:24 PM


Ad astra, great thought provoking post as usual.

My view may seem a bit simplistic, but i think we can lay all of the fear and loathing in the electorate at the feet of the msm.

Why? Because not once have they reported the actions of thos government honestly and with integrity. They have given credence to and accepted as fact, every lie, innuendo and distortion that the Liars Party has brayed from the rooftops.

Not once have they shone the spotlight on the Liars Party and their cheerleaders' glaring and obvious lies.

In fact, they have sought, successfully I might add, to trivialise and denigrate anyone who has dared to defend or praise this government's performance. They have connived with the Liars Party to insinuate that Brad Orgill has reported on the BER dishonestly.

They have connived with possibly the most incompetent pretender to the position of Treasurer this country has ever known, to rubbish an international award given to the treasurer of this country.

they have connived with the Liars Party and big mining to deprive this country of its rightful income from minerals and ores that we own!

At every step along the way, the msm has actively connived to create fear and anger in the electorate with the sole aim of delivering power to what would arguably be the most ignorant, incompetent, unprincipled, corrupt, dishonest and malevolent government in the history of any government on the planet!


October 10. 2011 03:04 PM

Ad astra

Apologies for the temporary interruption to TPS.  Web Monkey has upgraded the blog engine to the latest version.  Hopefully, there will now be less error messages and ReCaptcha will work better.

I will repost my comments, and could you please repost yours FS as we posted ours after the back-up process had started.

Ad astra

October 10. 2011 03:05 PM

Ad astra

Sir Ian
You’ve been quick off the mark this morning, with your prepared comment.

From all that I have seen, with all the denialist propaganda around, which many people seem only to willing to embrace as it’s the easy option, if the rest of the population can be persuaded, and if necessary scared into the realization that the future of the planet is threatened by global warming, then let’s ring the alarm bells and have some action.  

You and I will never see the ultimate dividend of escalating global warming, and you know as well as I do that sea levels will not surge like a tsunami, but do think about future generations who will have us to blame if we default, but only our moldering bones in our graves to curse.

Only today a group of scientists warned that without action on climate change by 2050 global warming and land degradation will have reduced to zero snow on the high plains thereby changing the ecology radically and decimating the snow tourism industry.  But I suppose you would berate them for warning us of this probability because they are scaring us.

Sir Ian, it’s not scaring people that is the problem, it is scaring them when the scare is fictitious that I’m complaining about.  That’s what Abbott does every day.  I’m all for scaring people when danger lurks, especially when fools are telling them there’s nothing to be scared about.  Perhaps you’re not scared about global warming.

Ad astra

October 10. 2011 03:07 PM

Ad astra

What a great article by Ross Gittins.  If only we had more of his calibre informing us and the public at large.

Thank you for your kind remarks.  I agree with your assessment of the media.  Were it not for the MSM slavishly echoing Abbott’s and the Coalition’s every utterance, the rubbish perpetrated by them would go nowhere.  Not only do they fail to call them to account for their misinformation and lies, they create their own misinformation and lies to keep the news cycle going; the latest round of leadership speculation is a classic example.  

The media is dangerously culpable, but when condemnatory remarks about its pernicious influence are made, the sarcastic response from its defenders is: “So it’s all the media’s fault is it?”  Well, with few exceptions, the answer is “YES”.

Ad astra

October 10. 2011 03:15 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for reposting today’s links.

D Mick Weir
Welcome back.

Ad astra

October 10. 2011 03:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

Feral Skeleton

    Have you ever thought that Deb's purchase of a house on the Kincumber Broadwater might show her faith in the fact that, as this federal government takes the necessary action wrt Climate Change and Global Warming, she can reside where she does with confidence that the worst predictions about Sea Level rise will not therfore come to pass?

   Also, I must say, you get the Troll Gold Star on the end of your warty nose today for being so quick out of the blocks in your, failed, attempt to derail Ad Astra's discussion about the obvious malfeasance of Tony Abbott & the Coalition & the Murdoch mud-raking media.

   Sir Ian O'Crisp, you wouldn't be Tony O'Leary, let out of the bowels of Tony Abbott's office, in order to, pathetically, attempt to dump crap on us, would you?

Feral Skeleton

October 10. 2011 05:01 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Ad Astra, I had to be quick off the mark just in case you had a senior moment and lashed Tanya and Deborah. We wouldn’t like that now would we. Don’t hitch your wagon to the AGW theory so quickly because within the space of a week two scientists and Nobel recipients Dan Shechtman and Brian Schmidt have forced scientists to rethink various theories.

It would be tragic if you go around scaring people based on a mere bedtime story.

FS, thank you for that most eloquent reply. You might remind Deb that according to AGW guru Tim Foolery any action on AGW will have a latent period of 100 years (or was it 1000 years?). Don’t tell me Deb doesn’t believe him. Just what does she believe?

No, I’m not Tony O’Leary.

Sir Ian Crisp

October 10. 2011 05:17 PM


Michael, thanks for the link to the Gittins article. A shining light in the dark maelstrom of politics and business in this country.

When you look at the varied contributions to the public policy debate made by business people and their lobby groups, one attitude unites them: the politicians owe them a living.

Oh, if only the government would exhibit some Leadership, they cried. Come again? This government is already knee-deep in unfinished tax reform, all with no active support from business (the deeply divided Business Council) and much active opposition (the business coalition running TV ads against the carbon tax).

Says it all, don't you think?

Ad astra, you are absolutely right when you say people believe the Liars Party propaganda because it's the easy option. Rather than get off their backsides and do what they can now, they prefer to leave the mess to their descendents. It's I'm alright Jack writ large.

The most obvious mistake they make is not getting in on the ground floor to put in place the measures to make a difference and do something positive for the planet and invest in the future well being of our home. It will be too late in 2050.

My other argument is that even in the unlikely event that climate change is not as bad as climatologists have predicted, by putting green technologies and other climate friendly policies in place, we will avoid doing more damage to the only home we have and our descendents will thank us not curse us.

IMO, deniers are possibly the most dangerous and uncaring people on the planet. They seem to think that a healthy and well maintained Earth is unimportant to our well being. Well unless they have a bolt hole to go to, they'll be in as deep doo doo as everyone else.

FS, SIC isn't slick enough to dump crap on us. I felt happy to ignore his pathetic attempt to derail discusion on Ad Astra's fantastic post.

I think there are enough billy goats gruff here to bunt even a gold plated troll into the nearest deep lakeA


October 10. 2011 05:20 PM


It would be tragic if you go around scaring people based on a mere bedtime story.

Doesn't seem to worry you and your fellow dingbats a bit, SIC.

No, I’m not Tony O’Leary.

But you have the same mitochondrial DNA, methinks.


October 10. 2011 05:44 PM

Ad astra

Sir Ian
Please read this article – all of it – and tell us that informing people about the dire effects of global warming is unwarranted and just scaremongering: Climate change and the end of Australia by Jeff Goodell on Rolling Stone Politics.


I don’t know what age you are.  But you seem to be having ‘senior moments’ already.

Ad astra

October 10. 2011 05:58 PM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
                'A spoon does not know the taste of soup,
                 Nor a learned fool the taste of Wisdom.'

   Another confection of half-truths and personal, misogynistic villification from you, which contributes nothing to the debate, except to prove Ad Astra's thesis. Now, there's a good boy, go away and read this and get back to me(you'll notice neither Deb, Tanya nor myself are mentioned within it's pages-evidence to counter your misleading assertions is):


   Btw, Laurie Maher began supping with the Devil, ie the Liberal Party, years ago. That's how he got the votes to become Mayor after Chris Holstein, Liberal, vacated the Chair once elected to State Government; and where the largesse from the Taxpayer over many years of the Howard Government came from. Though, I imagine, with your warped sense of logic, you would be able to justify that in some mealy-mouthed way. A technique that you appear to be expert at from my observations.

Feral Skeleton

October 10. 2011 06:06 PM

Ad astra

I agree that “… deniers are possibly the most dangerous and uncaring people on the planet” by dissuading unthinking people from doing anything.  The most selfish aspect of their behaviour is that those who will suffer most are not yet born, which makes their ‘I’m alright Jack’ approach so reprehensible.  Sir Ian seems to belong to that group when he hints that global warming narrative is after all, “.. a mere bedtime story”.

Ad astra

October 10. 2011 06:08 PM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
               OooooooooKkkkkkkkkkk. So what you're trying to get us to swallow now is that because Dan Schectman, the Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry for his work on quasicrystals, and Brian Schmidt, the Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, for his work on the expansion of the Universe, because their theory disproved previous scientific beliefs, therefore, ipso facto, the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming is a crock?

  Righto then.

   I think you've been staring at the Sun Spots too long. Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 10. 2011 06:23 PM


Another excellent analysis. Abbott uses mistruths to achieve his objective of saturating the community with fear. But there's is no way he could have succeeded as he has without the complicity of 99% of the MSM.

Just as Abbott's tool of trade is dishonesty, the MSM's tool of trade is laziness. Witness the abomination described on Mediawatch last week when virtually all the MSM cut and pasted an AAP report made up by the AAP author based on some rumours and speculation by herself.(Lisa Maher??????).

So for 72 hours all over the country the MSM boasted that the AFL and NRL had joined with Clubbing Australia to swamp both grandfinals with anti-pokies reform commercials ....a total fabrication. Even quick, outright repudiations by Messrs Gallop and Demetriou failed to stop the presses.

Witness Greg Sheridan on QandA last week arguing that GWBush had not invoked his God as his motivator to attack Iraq ....total lies. In about 2 minutes I collected and sent him 12 references for this fact. He has so far been too busy to send me the requested acknowledgement.

In contrast the not lazy Lenore Taylor followed up Abbott's Coffs Harbour (???) butcher who was to incur a carbon tax electricity bill increase of a squillion dollars according to Abbott's lies. She researched the butcher's existing turnover and costs and found that his increase in energy costs would add about 4 cents to the price of a kilo of rump.

Needless to say the MSM for some reason did not cut and paste and report Ms Taylor's findings all over their products, as they were happy to do in the Mediawatch story. Exposing Abbott lies appears to be a task left to only 3 or 4 national journos, for some strange reason. Funny, that!

Mr Ian Crisp
You are certainly a creative spirit, gifted in confabulation. But to bring the discussion down to reality, could you please comment on Abbott's long term and continual claims that the carbon tax will decimate the coal industry.

Could you especially explain the apparent abberrance of Peabody in trying to buy McArthur Coal for $500 billion and the impulsiveness of Nathan Tinkler in announcing recently that he will treble the planned size of the third Newcastle coal loader he is building.

And in regards to your loving defence of the MSM, could you explain why the ABC today ran this grab as the intro to several news bulletins today: "the Opposition leader Mr Abbott has urged the Indonesian government to deal with the Australian boy with decency".

What qualities in the proposition demanded major headline status? That it was said by Abbott? That it was so insightful? That Abbott is really concerned? That Abbott was given a free kick by the MSM?

I know that you've previously stated that it's a waste of time to proffer actual logical argument on TPS, but could you please make an exception with my request. Thanks.


October 10. 2011 06:28 PM


I see a troll is back.  In words even the troll can understand because of the simplicity - until you can prove argument with peer reviewed research from those with credentials in the Climate Change field - your post is bollocks.

At worst a reduction in Carbon into the atmosphere caused by a reduction in the consumption of mineral oil and coal will mean there is some left for my grandkids if I ever have the honour of having any.  It's about time the entire cost of using carbon based fuel was calculated so there is an equal market.  I thought a "free market" was LNP policy - obviously some are more equal than others.

AA - you post lists some of the reasons the Australian public should be happy the "red tribe" was in power in 2008.  The current combined "red and green" tribe coalition obviously hasn't lost the momentum.  As there isn't a media ombudsman (yet), I wonder if this post can be altered to become a submission to the proposed media enquiry?


October 10. 2011 06:55 PM


Thank you for your kind assessment as to my level of accomplishment in the matter of the studied insult, one in which as you might suppose I take considerable pride. However I also take some care as to the targeting of those whom I wish to tar, with specific and apt pet names for many of our favourite personalities. I am sick of the age-old cry Bloody Politicians, they're all the bloody same,
Well Mate, they're NOT, some are the salt of the Earth and how I know is, I know! And Julia Gillard is a very different person from the Shit-Eating Grinner to whom you refer.

I shouldn't need to point this out to you,
and I don't mean to sound condescending but,
a, I'm not the point here,
b, your comment re groining the PM along with Abbortt is. It concerned the asylum issue if you remember.
cI challenged you to come up with your suggestion as to what to do. Fair ask? Or you got a problem with that?

If you can't respond respectably and respectfully to that challenge then I declare this dialogue closed.


October 10. 2011 07:10 PM


Channel 9 here this evening doing its best to merit the accusations leveled above. Previewing the coming week in Canberra, the Carbon Tax is almost certain to pass so lets not talk about that much (apart from a standard scripted pseudo informal freebie for Abbott). No folks lets get down to the FAILURE!!!!!! of the asylum seeker legislation. The funereal Lane Calcutt intoning obscure facts about this being the first Government to lose a lower house vote since whenever, no mention as usual about all the legislation successfully passed despite Dr No, no real positivity at all. Business as usual.
How do you fight that?

Talk Turkey
Your intuition is correct, I don't like Abbott much. Always been scared of him. Clarifying what I said a day or so ago, it's the utter destruction he's prepared to tolerate that worries me.


October 10. 2011 07:34 PM


Yes BSA Bob, me too!
Ad astra said it unbetterably in the conclusion of the article just above:
"He has maliciously damaged the psyche of nation. That his actions are destructive to our country is of no consequence to him, so long as they advance his quest for ultimate power.

What do you think?"
Ad astra you know what I think!

On a more serious note:

We know a Troll writer named sic
Who thought "Sir Ian Crisp" sounded slick
But he ain't writ so perky
Since Intrepid TalkTurkey
Pecked off the point of his bic!

   Smile *FUN*WITH*TROLLS* Smile


October 10. 2011 07:47 PM

Feral Skeleton

BSA Bob,
         Why didn't I think of that? Of course Lane Calcutt should remind us of a Funeral Director. Right down to the stupidly-parted hair which he doesn't seem to know looks A Grade putzy because he must not get out much. Otherwise someone with a gutful of truth serum would've told him so long ago. Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 10. 2011 07:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

        The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister ARE dealing with the boy with decency and encouraging the Indonesian Government to do likewise I am sure. Yet what do they get for their troubles from the professional political sneerers on The Drum? Derision.

   At least they let a Tweet through which said wtte: Julia Gillard is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. She can't win.

   Yet, if Tony Abbott says it, that is, talks the talk(after the PM has done likewise) but doesn't walk the walk(unlike the PM & FM), then, all of a sudden he's the bleedin' Second Coming of Jesus Christ on a stick for everyone to lick.

Feral Skeleton

October 10. 2011 07:55 PM

Feral Skeleton

   No doubt I'm missing Chris Uhlmann on 7.30 solemnly intoning his snide put-downs of Julia Gillard, as if it's some fresh new insight into Australian politics, when it's just the same old, same old Groupthink and rehashing of the latest media meme and outline of the box they are trying to put the PM in.


Feral Skeleton

October 10. 2011 08:23 PM


Yes, that's about what you missed.


October 10. 2011 08:27 PM

Feral Skeleton

BSA Bob,
        You'd never think that Chris Uhlmann's wife, Gai Brodtmann, is running for National President of the Labor Party. Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 10. 2011 08:33 PM


Talk Turkey
Ad Astra did indeed make the point very well. There was Abbott again tonight in shadow cabinet in a scenario about as convincing as a 40 year old Dr Who set, reciting a prepared line dutifully disseminated by the MSM. They criticise Gillard for a wooden delivery but it's the complete unreality of the Abbott show that mystifies me.


October 10. 2011 08:41 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Thanks Ad Astra. Jeff Goodell is a journalist with no scientific qualifications that I can find. All he does is assemble opinions, scientific papers and the like. I’ll bet I could do a hatchet job on any industry/profession you care to nominate. Let me have a go at the broad medical industry as an example.

(I open with this) We feel sick so we reach for medicine to ease the symptoms. Do we stop to think about how that medicine got to the market place? How many primates died or suffered in the testing of that medicine? How many dogs were subjected to vivisection?

(I include a video to shock and dismay) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUFYzY-ZdZg

(I add some numbers) Around 50–100 million vertebrate animals are used in experiments annually.

(I support it with opinions) Animals Used for Experimentation

Right now, millions of mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside cold, barren cages in laboratories across the country. They languish in pain, ache with loneliness, and long to roam free and use their minds. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next terrifying and painful procedure that will be performed on them.


That’s how I can cast the medical industry in a bad light but I hold no qualifications in that industry. That’s how easy it is. Jeff Goodell is a journalist with an opinion and nothing more.

FS, your link ain’t working. I hope you haven’t been getting all your info by visiting that non-functioning link. I do hope you Central Coast residents haven’t got water on the brain.

Do you remember that time not so long ago when one negative result or experimental counterexample was enough to bring into question a theory?

Sir Ian Crisp

October 10. 2011 08:50 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your kind comment.  I agree that Abbott could not have succeeded without the MSM parroting his every disingenuous utterance.
You are right about Greg Sheridan.  He is using the old, old technique of denying what everyone knows to be true in the belief people will prefer to believe him.  Lenore Taylor is a good journalist - honest, fair, and accurate.

That is a good suggestion about referring the piece to the Media Enquiry.

The passage of the most important piece of legislation in decades through parliament is but of minor interest to the MSM; what they need to satiate their audience is drama, conflict, defeat, ignominy, and perhaps an early election.  Lots of excitement and entertainment, like some reality show, is what they have brought up their audiences to expect, and so they must satisfy the beast they have created.

I’m calling it a day and retiring to watch my favourite TV viewing.

Ad astra

October 10. 2011 09:03 PM

Ad astra

Sir Ian
Try Googling ‘Jeff Goodell’ and you will get more than enough information about him.  He is not a scientist, but presumably can read, analyse and write.  

Wikipedia begins:
Jeff Goodell is an American author and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine. Goodell's recent writings focus on energy and environmental issues. In 2006 he published his most popular book to date Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future. In spring 2010 he published How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth’s Climate about geoengineering, global warming, and climate change mitigation. The book discusses ideas by Ken Caldeira, James Lovelock, David Keith, Raymond Pierrehumbert, Stephen Salter, and Lowell Wood among others. In 2011, How to Cool the Planet won the Grantham Prize (Award of Special Merit).

There’s lots more you can find about him on Google, but I expect you will discount all this since Goodell says things with which you disagree.

Ad astra

October 10. 2011 09:04 PM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
              Try the link now:


  A technical glitch earlier may have inactivated it. Wouldn't want to mislead you. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 10. 2011 11:23 PM

D Mick Weir

TT @ 6:55 PM
I feel honoured

a,  I'm (TT) not the point here,
b,  your comment re groining the PM along with Abbortt is ...

I am impressed that you recognise that you are not the point.

I am humbled that you find my comments so important that they must be addresssed poste haste. I feel as though I have been elevated to the exulted status of A legend in his own little lunch time

I do recall that my comment was related to to the appalling behaviour of the leader of the governing parties and the leader of the opposition parties around the subject of Asylum Seekers. I still hold the view that the level of debate on Asylum Seekers between these two so called leaders has been appalling, childish and greatly demeaning of the nation and its people.

I also recall your challenge and chose to ignore it, as, in my humble opinion, it was/is a pointless challenge. However given that there is a possibility that ammendments to the Immigration Act(s) proposed by the governing parties may be debated in the parliament this week I will cast my eyes and ears over the words hurled across the floor of the house by the respective leaders and consider wether either of them have lifted their game and gotten over their childish spats and are prepared to debate the issues with a degree of civilty and in a more adult way.

Depending on my  assessment of the attitudes and behaviours of the so called leaders of the respective parties I will come to a considered view on wether further applications of leather to the nethers of either or both of the so called leaders is still requiered.

D Mick Weir

October 10. 2011 11:47 PM

D Mick Weir

after my comment (finally) posted @ 12:14 PM and racing off to check the traps something gnawed away at the back of my mind around 'the teachings of the turkey' The thought just would not go away it was troubling.

The light has come on though.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his highly entertaining and informative tome The Black Swan has a chapter (four) One Thousand and One Days or How Not To Be A Sucker. Depending on which imprint you find at around p40 there is a section: How To Learn From The Turkey

If you have a moment nip down to your local bookshop/library and sneak a read. Very informative and enlightening.

D Mick Weir

October 10. 2011 11:55 PM



#16 Viewing a News Corporation world from outer space
admin   Uthers Say

So the favourable view of Australia either from outer space or Europe, the quality of life in Australia and the comparative strength of the Australian economy and acknowledgement of the successes of the government could only be possible if the observers were making the observations free of the filter of the News Ltd press. Unfortunately the citizens of Australia did not have that luxury and pounded by the most negative oppositions in harmony with the vast array of assets and personnel controlled or strongly influenced by the News Corporation believed they had possibly the worst government in the world and that they lived in a country where so much was “so awful”.

Do Governments have to Resign if Defeated on Legislation?
Antony Green's Election Blog

This week the Gillard faces a critical vote in the House of Representatives in its attempt to circumvent the recent High Court decision banning the government's so-called 'Malaysian solution'.
So would a defeat on the Migration legislation mean the Gillard government would have to call an election? Not necessarily, it might depend on Coalition tactics, and when you look at the detail of the Bruce government's defeat in 1929, there are critical differences in the debate over the current Migration legislation.

Privacy cause of action labelled "fanciful" but that's a media opinion.
Peter Timmins   Open and Shut

Richard Ackland's opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday "Muffle the sound and fury over privacy law" was mostly sound and fury of sorts, with Ackland and some like minded (or selectively quoted) experts listing one expected problem after another in moving ahead with a statutory cause of action for serious and unwarranted invasion of privacy.

Sure and certain knowledge
David Horton   The Watermelon Blog

It’s an odd little misunderstanding, just a minor difference in the way of looking at the world, but it has played a disproportionately huge part in making seven billion people content to allow a few energy companies turn off the world’s support systems and let them all die.
...... it is just a different use of words like certainty and probability – a scientific use and a common use.

Occupy Movement has the 1 per cent scared
William Rivers Pitt   Independent Australia

Know how I know? I know because a friend in San Francisco took the time to transcribe a document he was given by the major bank he works for. The document, titled “Protest Safety Handbook,” explains what a bank employee should do when confronted with the horror and terror of an OWS protest.

Where are we headed?
angry   AngryAnderson

I ask you – why does our government stand by while these giant conglomerates plot to monopolise the market place?
Why put fellow Australians out of work or make it so hard to work, to build a business, or to maintain a working property?
Our current federal government is so desperate to belong to this ‘New World Order’ that they are prepared to betray their own people, their own country!

Paul Sheehan, and news flash - rogue Syrian sowing wild seeds starts gigantic computer company with his entrepreneurial sexual activities ...
Dorothy Parker   Loon Pond

Whatever happens next, short term or long, is likely to be more affected by accident and by invention - and by new ideas - than by any trend now in sight. The philosopher Karl Popper once offered an important proof against "historicism": what we know next will change what happens next, and we can't know what we'll know next, since if we could we'd know it now.

Blow-ups aplenty At Home With The Bolts
Stephen Mayne   Crikey

Jonathan Green, editor of The Drum, last week carried this extract from the 6700-word Summers profile on Aunty’s opinion and commentary site. The most contentious point related to the publication of some appallingly homophobic comments about David Marr on Bolt’s blog the morning after Marr famously turned his back and started reading the paper whilst Bolt launched into one of his many climate change rants on Insiders.

Malcolm Fraser: ‘we have lost our way’
Robyn Eckersley   The Conversation

To many, Fraser has undergone a Damascene political conversion in recent years. To others, he’s sold out the Liberal party and its core values.
Reviled by the left for replacing Whitlam and for some of his policy decisions as prime minister, Fraser has resigned his membership of the Liberal party and become and outspoken critic of many of the party’s policies, notably on refugees and indigenous affairs.

Feminists desert female Aussie PM
Frank O'Shea   Independent Australia

The most upsetting thing about the current campaign against Julia Gillard is that it is embraced so enthusiastically by women. At demonstrations and rallies, the crudest banners, those that refer specifically to her gender and her lifestyle, seem to be carried by women.

Let's talk about tax
Michael Janda   The Drum

The popular narrative that emerged out of the tax forum was that it was an expensive, useless talk fest that sent even the politicians to sleep.
However, a lot more came out of it than the recital of scripted policy positions from self-interested lobby groups - although there was plenty of that going on.

Rann comes out of the closet on marriage debate
Paul Barry   The Power Index

Mike Rann has finally said what he's believed for years and backed same-sex couples' right to get married.
Rann has never dared to speak out in favour of same-sex marriage before because he was put into the job (and kept in power) by the ultra-conservative Catholic shopworkers union, the SDA.

Getting closure on dirty power
Mark Wakeham   Climate Spectator

The Coalition is in wrecking mode on climate policy and therefore a key test of the contract for closure program will be the extent to which closure schedules are locked in by the June 30 2012 deadline. So far the Gillard government is passing this test with encouraging progress in rolling out the program design. If contracts are signed and generators are given a clear schedule to provide replacement capacity it should prove difficult to roll-back the program, though the program needs to be designed with a robust Abbott-proof fence.

Essential: independents are on the nose — led by Katter
William Bowe   Crikey

One suspects it’s a different story in their own electorates, but the latest Essential Research survey has turned up the intriguing finding that by far the least popular House of Representatives independent is the one who declined to support the Labor minority government.

wmmbb   DuckPond

Could it be that those who have crashed the world’s financial system, drawn on the public purse, and being paid bonuses are not simply caught up in a system imbued by materialism and self (greed) like the rest of us but psychologically damaged?

A smorgasboard of legislation hits the hill this week
Andrew Crook   Crikey

Crikey is bracing for one of the biggest weeks in federal politics in years as the government faces crucial votes on the offshore processing of asylum seekers and the carbon tax.

Harm, problem gambling and the pro-pokie lobby
Charles Livingstone   The Drum

The pro-pokies lobby headed by Clubs NSW has so far argued that the Gillard Government's proposed poker machine harm minimisation reforms, notably pre-commitment (i.e., allowing people to decide in advance how much they wish to spend on gambling), won't work and are unproven.


Don't be fooled – it's still zealot Tony underneath
Leslie Cannold   SMH

Leopards don't change their spots. However low-profile Abbott has sought to keep his conservative views, they will be nailed proudly to the mast of any ship he captains once the Liberals take the helm.

Rudd revival twisted pub talk
Andrew Probyn   The West Australian

Of Mr Griffin, Mr Richardson said: "He's doing a lot of the telephoning, a lot of the ringing around. He's a very clever operator this bloke, no fool."
This was exciting for political junkies but unfortunately for the conspiracists, the truth is more benign.
Here's what really happened.


October 11. 2011 12:14 AM


Thanks NormanK.  Out of curiosity I read the Angry Anderson Blog.  I wanted to know if he was actually smarter than he appeared when ranting for Alan Jones.  Must say, I was surprised. He is a moronic dip stick that also battles to keep on topic.  He has manged to Barnaby Joyce look coherent, no mean feat!

Do the Nats think they will be well served by selecting people like this to represent them?  (I think he is trying for Nats pre selection but am happy to be corrected).


October 11. 2011 12:16 AM


Malaysia 'better for refugees'
by Kirsty Needham and Michelle Grattan

[quote]JULIA Gillard has received a rare boost ahead of this week's parliamentary vote on the Malaysia people swap plan, with the United Nations refugee agency saying asylum seekers would get better protection in Malaysia under her proposal than if held in indefinite mandatory detention in Australia.


The UNHCR has scrutinised Australia's own treatment of asylum seekers, saying mandatory detention does not allow asylum seekers to work or live in the community - whereas Malaysia would. Australia also denies asylum seekers the right to lawful stay, and is punitive to people arriving by boat.

''In the context of the Malaysian arrangements, the assurances of legal stay and community-based reception for all transferees can be seen as a more positive protection environment than protracted - and in some cases indefinite - detention that many face here in Australia, provided the assurances are carefully monitored,'' wrote the UNHCR regional representative, Richard Towle.


The UNHCR has also dismissed what it said was a ''misperception'' that asylum seekers could be caned, saying the document to be issued to transferees to prove their legal status would have been ''a significant safeguard''.

Mr Towle said Malaysia also planned to extend legal work rights to all refugees, not just those sent from Australia.

When asked why the UNHCR hadn't endorsed or signed the Malaysia deal, Mr Towle replied that it was never envisaged the UNHCR sign or endorse it. ''No inference can reasonably be drawn from this,'' he wrote.


October 11. 2011 12:18 AM

D Mick Weir

Media and politics today are less a contest of ideas and more a continuing conflict of opinion. “Bolt’s genius is that he’s always finding the fault lines and finding an argument,” Lachlan Harris, press secretary to Kevin Rudd when he was prime minister, told me. The resultant toxicity of our politics is only going to get worse. “In 2004, we estimated that people were getting 70% of political information from news outlets, television or papers,” says Harris. “Now it is flipped: most people get most of their political information from opinion, from a medium that is dependent upon division of opinion.”

The Bolt Factor: Andrew Bolt and the Making of an Opportunist  Anne Summers @ The Monthly

D Mick Weir

October 11. 2011 12:28 AM


Yes he is entertaining running for the Nats. I have another link (tomorrow perhaps) of the fun and games involved in Angry 'shopping around' for a suitable seat for him to contest.
In Barnaby's favour (and it's not saying much) at least you can reconcile yourself to the belief that most of the nonsense he comes out with is rhetoric which is designed to mislead or misinform. Angry, it would appear, is just a complete nutter full of conspiracy theories and romanticised notions of rural idylls and past utopias - which of course he will do his level best to re-instate.

The more that I watch and listen to the LNP 'Back to the Future' mob, the more desperate I am to force them to read some good science fiction so that they get a better understanding of the reality of the fact that the future will never be the same as the past. Everything evolves and you can either join in and reap the benefits (not to mention debunk some of the mystery and quell a few fears) or you can rail against it (with all of the angst and anxiety that that entails).


October 11. 2011 01:02 AM


Dipping into Angry's writings as suggested above, I can recommend "Safety" posted on July 24 as a rant of the first quality. I'm not at all sure how some of his ramblings would go with his new mate Tony, don't suppose anyone will ask.


October 11. 2011 03:35 AM



I've read your replies. You haven't in the slightest attempted to respond to what I asked of you, namely What would you do about asylum seekers[?/i] (if you were in a government with the barest majority, and with an Opposition like Abbortt's). After what you said about bilateral groinings, I had hoped you might've had some useful suggestions to improve the situation, which had you done so would have been as far from pointless as an Echidna. Seems not, oh well.

Anyway I'll leave it there, but I've writ you a limerick which is sincerely not meant to insult you too deeply but merely to rib you a little, the mention of the d-ification of your name came, you will recall, from your own good self some time back.  

The original non-limerick verse which, ahem, my true limerick so contemptuously surpasses, mentions its author's name, so I won't have to:

How delightful to meet Mr Lear!
Who has written such volumes of stuff!
Some think him (er-something?)and queer
But most find him pleasant enough . . .

but yours goes

How delightful to read D Mick Weir!
A Guru to fans far and near!
He claims that his name
Is the key to his fame:
Add a 'd' to the end, it means queer! Smile

[Erm . . . I only mean queer in the sense of 'strange'!

Like, loco, not gay!

But don't forget . . . [i]You
said it . . . ]


October 11. 2011 08:33 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 08:47 AM

Feral Skeleton

        I have a new theory as to why there are so many people in the Australian electorate, and generally in '1st World' countries around the globe, who are increasingly favouring 'Back to the Future' political parties and candidates.

   My theory is that with an increasingly aging demographic, there is an increasing tendency towards becoming set in your ways, romanticising the past as a Golden Age when everything was done properly and a sanguine Conservatism was about the land(forgetting, of course, after decades of imbibing booze and drugs that they may have been part of society's revolutions at the time Smile ), and so, a collective Senility has descended upon the great demographic bulge of Baby Boomers and their parents who are still alive, and thus, both Conservative political principles and loopy rhetoric, that doesn't make much sense to the thoughtful but does to those maintaining only a casual connection to empirical data and reality, has become a resurgent political force to be dealt with to your advantage if you are a Conservative political party seeking relevance in the 21st Century, where, actually, there is so much technological change and scientific discovery occurring around us, that it is scaring the pants off those who can't cope very well with it, and so are seeking a political party as security blanket to vote for. As well as, as I have said, a few of their sandwiches in the mental bread box are getting crusty and stale and their powers of reasoning and argument ain't what they used to be anymore.

   I was just reminded of this concept recently when I was watching an excellent report from Japan by Mark Willacy, home of the oldest average population on the planet, where he was taken to the Nuclear Exclusiion Zone around Fukushima to visit residents who refuse to evacuate their homes, despite the high radiation levels around them. The invisible but deadly killers.

   A much younger man than those he went to visit and drive in with in the car, he took all the science about radiation poisoning seriously, put on a jumpsuit and mask to protect himself from dangerously high levels of radiation and went in, to interview people, mostly late middle-age to old, who just wouldn't take the whole situation seriously and preferred to carry on living (?) their lives as if nothing had happened.

   The whole thing reminded me of nothing so much as the people in the world who are repudiating the necessity to take action on Global Warming, "Because it's cold today", and because the CPRS is 'Just another Tax', and for some cockamamie reason we don't need another tax should be the supervening message over the fact that we do need to take action to reverse Global Warming, and a pricing mechanism is the best way to go about it.

   It's just completely clueless and witless stuff, stoked by the Misinformation Master, Tony Abbott. And it's sucking the increasingly senile and mentally atherosclerotic electorate in big time.

   Young Conservatives, on the other hand, just think it's all a big game and a lark, to succeed in misleading the gullible old fools.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 08:49 AM


As if we needed further proof about the 'style' of The Australian newspaper.

The online version has the home page headline for a story - "CROOK: Voters Oppose Migration Changes", which promises to be about the WA politician Tony Crook and how his voters are approaching the issue of asylum seekers.

And also implies that the "migration changes" in question must be the Government's, as his vote is vital to get through the House of Representatives the only changes being put to it - by the Government.

Except the link


displays, once you get there, this on-page headline:

"My electorate opposes Abbott's migration changes, says Crook".

Only a 'slight' difference, wouldn't you say?


October 11. 2011 08:59 AM

Feral Skeleton

BSA Bob,
        I've thought of a new name for candidates for political office, such as Gary 'Angry' Anderson, and Pat 'The Marathon Man' Farmer before him:

           'Clown Candidates'

   In the political circus, they are the equivalent of the guys who drive around the ring in the funny cars distracting the audience. A bit like the silly individuals going round and round Tony the Ringmaster was cheering on at the Bathurst 1000 last weekend. Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 09:01 AM

Feral Skeleton

        Rilly? Such blatant and crass misrepresentation in The Austrollian? Well I never! You know you're not supposed to compare and contrast like that. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 09:10 AM


NormanK, You look so gorgeous this morning Laughing:  

Ad astra, as usual an excellent piece.
When Australians have suffered a couple of years of a manic LOTO propped up by the line-up of lazy, scandal mongering and biased msn journalists, it is no wonder they are angry and scared.

We have a strong, stable government with a long list of achievements under its belt despite the malicious attempts to bring it down in favour of the wrecking mob with no concern for the national interest.  Yet we are told, day in day out, it is an incompetent government led by a witch and the sky is about to fall in next week.

Really, the problem is not the manic LOTO and his line up of mediochre potential power-wielders, but the large bunch of journalists who lack the ability to rise above the gossip/scandal meme of tabloid journalism, yet who think of themselves as credible journalists.  90% of them are ignorant of the issues about which they wax lyrical and therefore use group think to cover that ignorance.  They are too ignorant to ask the pertinent questions to which their readers/viewers need answers and so we get the inane stuff that scandal columns thrive on.

So, IMO it wouldn't matter much that the LOTO is a deceitful, power hungry, self promoting wrecker provided we had a media endowed with integrity, honesty and intelligence, with the will and diligence to work at their craft to produce real news stories that present both sides of an argument.  Then, armed with true information, there would be no need for people to be angry and confused.


October 11. 2011 09:15 AM


That's a bullseye to Janice!


October 11. 2011 10:03 AM


Tony Abbott is loathed & not trusted by many in this country.

Over the school holidays I spent some valuable time w/ my QLD father-in-law. He's a small farmer & also mows lawns & cleans for a living...but on the verge of retirement coming up to 75. He luvs lawn bowls...and is yer typical "six oclock swill" cow cocky type. Down-to-earth, bit rough around the edges, do anythin' for a neighbour or family member in need...and a heart of gold...w/ views on issues that have slowly evolved over the past few decades...more tolerant than he once was...somewhat knee-jerk patriarchal on the odd issue...but has worked hard to provide his family w/ opportunities which includes ensuring his wife & daughter have strong, somewhat independent lives.

The other day he saw Tony Abbott on TV & said: "I hate that fella...just don't trust him...somethin' about him".

My father-in-law voted for Howard/his local coalition member thruout the Howard years...until 2007. He went back to the Coalition in 2010.

I doubt he'll vote for Abbott tho. He's in two minds about PM Gillard. Reckons there hasn't been enuff "action". "Too much talk". He's not sold on the carbon price.

As for the carbon price, I reckon it's too high. Should be lower to start. Considerin' we don't know its real effects. It's experimental...and therefore should be brought in more cautiously.

Certainly China has the latitude to deal w/ its structural problems...but there is no guarantee that they won't hit a rough time over the next couple of years...we heard so many positives about the American & EU economies in the mid 2000s...only to see the bulls run for the exits once the big CON was revealed.

The Chinese workers & savers are oft abused...to benefit corrupt investors & real estate magnates in their own country...and to provide us w/ goods we oft don't need...an irrational addiction to high-tech goods. Workers, children even, worked to the bone in huge factories...so Dickensian...so pathetic in the 21st century.

China is not as stable as some might have you believe.
I'm concerned for small business in Australia during these economically wobbly times. Too much uncertainty affectin' confidence. Small business also needs the "unfair dismissal laws" eased. Watchin' my Dad's business over the years in the UK & Canada I noticed a number of workers started well but slacked off over time...got too cocky. Small business people do need a certain amount of flexibility in these highly competitive times.

I reckon the mining tax could be stronger. It seems piss weak to many I've spoken to.



October 11. 2011 10:11 AM

Bring Back Maxine


Another insightful analysis. I would add "S" for smear into Abbott's  modus operandi political formula. Remember the shameful treatment of Craig Thompson. Never let the presumption of innocence stand in the way of political point scoring.

Abbott's FUDS+ML is a direct import from the US Tea Party Republicans. Mark Colvin's "The rise of negativity in politics" where he interviews Shanto Iyengar, Professor of communication and political science at Stanford University who has been following this trend in America since his 1995 book Going Negative. That book analysed the 1992 US presidential election. He asks Iyengar to compare then & now. Iyengar responds that "The main shift I would say has been in the subject matter of the attacks. Today the subject matter is focusing mainly on personal character related attributes of candidates. This candidate is a womaniser. This candidate is a chronic liar. In the 1990s it was mainly at the level of policy and performance - things that people might consider substantively relevant."  Events here in Australia since Abbott became LOTO are eerily similar to what has been happening in the US. It is all about polarisation.


PJ Keating's insightful assessment of Abbott wanting the job of PM or he will wreck the place and why Abbott is making Australians scared & angry is neatly portrayed in today's Alan Moir cartoon:


Bring Back Maxine

October 11. 2011 10:16 AM

Bring Back Maxine

Try this SMH link


Bring Back Maxine

October 11. 2011 11:03 AM


Thanks BBM That second link worked just fine - certainly very apt


October 11. 2011 11:23 AM

Feral Skeleton


       Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 11:23 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Bring Back Maxine!!!!!!!!!!!!!

   Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 11:25 AM

Feral Skeleton

   janice Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 11:26 AM

Feral Skeleton

   D Mick Weir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 11:34 AM

Feral Skeleton

    You might also like to come back and read my next post. It is along a similar thematic line to that which you have touched on today in your comment.

   It will most likely be early next week because I'm up to Pussy's Bow with Dr's appointments, Orthodentist's appointments, School Certificate and Higher School Certificate Exam preparations with my kids.

   Also, a week of parliament to reflect upon wrt my chosen theme will probably be apt. Smile

   So, how's John Alexander working out for you as your new Local Member? As clueless as he seems to me from afar?

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 11:44 AM


Last nights 7:30 Report I think may have been the last for me.  The whole tone of the show was "who cares about policy/issues look at the exciting noise machine".  The uncritical acceptance of Dick Warburton's utterances is a pointer on how a political campaign is now conducted.  For some reason the ABC seems to think if the spokesperson is a respected business person then fawning acceptance is the order of the day.  Never mind that this person is the paid representative for an industry lobby group which is trying to influence policy in it's favor.  I don't have a problem with industry forming lobby groups but they should be recognised as such, they are not acting in the interests of the country, by definition they are self interest groups.

Then dont get me started on the Kevin Rudd push and "there is media speculation that enables us to speculate about speculation." When this is pointed out the justification for the speculation is that someone else has speculated so why cant we comment on their speculation as if it was real.  Coz if it was real wouldn't it be great big story, better not miss the boat just in case.  

Honestly, after 1/2 an hour of this drivel I feel like sticking my head in a blender.

I am currently reading a book of essays by Richard Flanagan.  In one of the essays he uses a quote from Napoleon that I liked. I am para phrasing as I don't have the text to hand but it went like this.

"There are only two forces in the world, The sword and the mind.  In any contest between these two, the mind will always prevail"

While I hold this to be true, I am becoming weary of the blows from the sword.  Forums where ideas can be tested without resort to belligerence are available but they get very little attention.  

I have said it before but it worth repeating.  John Howard's greatest legacy to the Liberal party was the nobbling of the ABC.  This is now a cowed organisation that seems to accept that if is not in step with News Ltd it will get bashed.  


October 11. 2011 11:46 AM

Feral Skeleton

    I'm glad your father-in-law can see through the fog of political war, created by the smoke and mirrors of tOny Abbott and the Coalition. I'd be interested to hear his opinion about Barnaby 'Barnyard Animal' Joyce, Australia's Best Retail Politician, according to Tony Abbott. Like it's important in some way.

   As for your opinion about a Price on Carbon. Well, if the ALP had had it's way and hadn't had to conform to a start-up Fixed Price on CO2 Pollution, they could have started with an ETS which would have had a free-floating Price, set by Market movements and probably coming down around the $17/tonne CO2 that is the European bemchmark atm due to the ongoing economic wobbliness in the global economy. Which is a much more reasonable figure to start at and under the present conditions. However, on the other hand, I think that it is good that we are aiming high because the valid argument put by the PM is that the earlier we get underway with action to remedy Climate Change, the cheaper it will be in the long run. Or, conversely, if we put the bar too low innitially, we will have to ramp it up aggressively later on when we have no alternative but to do something drastic.

   As far as your father-in-laws well-founded belief that it was his duty to provide opportunities in life for his kids, well, it might help to remind him which party wants to do that for all our kids, whether they can afford to pay for those opportunities to earn and learn skills, or not. Also, which politicians want to make $70 Billion worth of Budget Cuts to those programmes.

   I also agree that the MRRT is too piss-weak. However, that is an object lesson in why the federal government should just ignore the ad-fuelled lobbying campaigns and just get on with the job of making and implementing good policy. And then being judged on that at the Ballot Box in 2013.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 11:47 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi FS,
re your (vg) comment @ 8:47 AM

there are some parallels in what you wrote and this:
The Bolt Factor: Andrew Bolt and the Making of an Opportunist  Anne Summers @ The Monthly

... how readily readers of the blog can be revved up without Bolt explicitly directing them. “He was influenced by Howard’s nod and a wink,” says Jonathan Green, editor of the ABC online journal The Drum and a colleague of Bolt’s at the Herald in the late 1980s. “That’s why the blogosphere works so well. You don’t have to say much; you keep your hands clean but it comes out in the comments. You are setting up the discussion.”

D Mick Weir

October 11. 2011 11:56 AM

Feral Skeleton

       I predicted what 7.30 would be like before it even went to air last night. I watched probably my last episode last week when they regurgitated an obviously Liberal Party-sourced Anti 'Carbon Tax' story that had more holes in it's logic than Swiss Cheese. A more self-serving piece of propaganda for the 'Anti Carbon Tax' forces, complete with arresting and disarming visuals of beautiful flowers and nuggety, salts of the earth, Italian-Australian flower growers, straight out of Propaganda 101, I have not seen for a long time. There was no balancing pov, no or interview with an expert who could have answered the concerns of the negatively-charged family of flower growers. Just their perspective put across as fact. Bloody pathetic.

   And this from the supposedly impartial National Broadcaster, which appears to be infected with so many Liberal-sympathisers and those with connections to the Liberal Party, that it has become, like you say, Howard's biggest media success story.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 12:03 PM

Feral Skeleton

    Yes, Howard was an expert at keeping his own reputation unsullied by his Dirt Unit. Tony Abbott, with the mission that Howard gave him to destroy Pauline Hanson and One Nation, learnt at the Master's feet well. You just have to look at the role that 3rd Party's like Dick Warburton's 'Australian Manufacturing' are playing, and will play, in the Price on CO2 debate. That would be Climate Change Sceptic and Tony Abbott's Chief Advisor and liason with the Business Community Dick Warburton.

   Talk about 'Something rotten in the State of the Liberal Party'. Which I always used to allude to during Howard's 'reign' as well.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 12:29 PM


Whatever we say about the dishonesty lack of principles, integrity and policies of the Liars Party, until the msm stops acting as their publicity agent and does its job properly, things won't improve.

We'll continue to have unadulterated bullshit dished up to us as serious political discourse by the likes of Eyes Bishop and that airhead Caroline Overington on QandA last night.

And we'll continue to have airheads like the young woman posing a question informed  by Liars party bullshit, who said that she didn't like Gillard because *blah, *blah, *blah and some more bullshit about the Liars Party leadership meme, fed by Eyes, Overington and Jones.

Once again, the dishonesty of the msm was well and truly on display.

*insert Liars Party talking point of your choice


October 11. 2011 12:40 PM



I also saw that story on the poor beleaguered flower growers.  The question that kept going through my mind was.  Perhaps trying to artificially recreate the climate of another country here in order to sell cut price flowers is not a good idea.   As it would be trying to grow Sturt's desert pea in Iceland.  

Surely someone could have asked these people, how much energy does it take to recreate these conditions in your nursery?  Then calculate how much it would cost to freight similar flowers from somewhere where conditions are favourable to them.

Its like the view that we should be able to buy any fruit / vegetable no matter what the season.  Get over it, just buy what is fresh an in season, then look forward to the season changing and having different fruit and vegies.

As I say though.  Do I subject myself to this drivel and then have to avoid the kitchen because of the danger of doing myself harm with all those sharp instruments.  Or retreat?  I am now on the side of ignoring the noise which the ABC is now amplifying and putting on some music instead.  If I had a ABC membership badge I would be sending it back.


October 11. 2011 01:04 PM


I'd be interested to hear his opinion about Barnaby 'Barnyard Animal' Joyce, Australia's Best Retail Politician, according to Tony Abbott.

Hi Feral! Thnx for the feedback. I'm not sure how my father-in-law views Barnaby...but I do know that many up here are becomin' uncomfortable w/ the unhealthy connection between the Libs & the Nats and this drift to over-the-top, bigoted Tea Party/One Nation-like approaches. It confuses them and looks far too American & Murdochian in style.

The attacks on state opposition leader Campbell Newman via the Murdoch papers comes across less as worrying about his finances & connections...and more about a desire to dispose of the independent-thinking intellectuals in the party in order to create a more redneck, pro-rampant mining, bigoted group that would suit the narrow agenda of the Murdoch empire. I reckon Newman is too smart & too maverick for the ever-cautious & stumbling Murdoch top echelon (might add, had my first trip into Brissie in years & was shocked by the amount of buildings, bridges & bike paths built...pretty crowded now...useful...but could use much more COLOUR...far too much grey & dreary, fascist/commie paints used...like visitin' a boring UK industrial town).

The Liberal party in this country is a joke. And a worry. It caters far too much to religious bigots & xenophobes, the loopier of libertarians, mean-spirited corporate suckholes who hope to pull a UK style "austerity" package on our workers & the disadvantaged in order to benefit the chosen FEW, Luddites having little vision, fear-mongers caterin' to the worst of talkback current affairs Murdoch empire manipulation of our democracies, and patriarchal ockers who can't wait to see many a woman put back into their "baby machine" box.

They are not inspiring. Should be stripped of the title "liberals".

The "Tea Party" style push by the Coalition as it snuggles up ever closer to basket case opportunists like Barnaby Joyce is a huge mistake on their part and does this country no favours...it destabilises the economy, affects public confidence negatively...and turns many people away from politics...but will also see a surge in anti-rampant capitalist movements as we've seen in America that will see Coalition politicians suffer electorally in the future...and if they do take government, be scrutinised beyond anything they've ever experienced before.

The people are growing sick & tired of so called "people's revolts" that are really an excuse for big polluters & religious/cult wankers to continue to profit at their expense & their childrens...who protect the interests of mining & media & other corporate aristocrats whilst pretending they give a sh*t about small farmers, small business & workers.

In America the people are waking up to the BS behind the Tea Party...and some of those who support them & manipulate pollies for their own grotesque self-interest:

Über-Vultures: The Billionaires Who Would Pick Our President

The untold story of the sources of the loot controlled by Paul "The Vulture" Singer, Ken Langone and the Kochs—and why they need to buy the White House

by Greg Palast for TruthOut/Buzzflash

Greg Palast's investigative reports are broadcast by BBC Television's Newsnight. His new book, Vultures' Picnic: a Tale of Oil, Sex, Radiation and Investigative Reporting will be released by Penguin USA on November 14.

[October 5, 2011] Paul Singer likes to breakfast on decayed carcasses. What he chews down is sickening, but just as nausea-inducing are his new table mates: Ken Langone and the Koch Brothers, Charles and David.

Singer has called together the billionaire boys club for the purpose of picking our next president for us. The old fashioned way of choosing presidents—democracy and counting ballots and all that—has never been a favorite of this pack. I can tell you that from my investigations of each of these gentlemen for The Guardian. When the Statue of Liberty has nightmares, she dreams that these guys will combine to seize America via a cash-and-carry coup d'état.

Welcome to the nightmare. Singer, Langone and the Kochs last month decided to elect Chris Christie for us. The Jersey Governor's pseudo-campaign went belly-up before it began. But that's besides the point. Now that the Supreme Court has effectively ended campaign finance limits and allowed secretive contributions through "corporations", this new combine of the ultra-wealthy should not be viewed as just a political threat to the Democrats, but a threat to democracy.

Let me give you a run-down from my sulphur-scented files on these men who would be king-makers.

BILLIONAIRE 1: Ken Langone

Langone likes to be known as the founder of Home Depot, just your local tool guy in a blue apron with a little bag of screws.

But he was also the man, with his right-wing partners, behind DBT, Database Technologies. It was in my first investigation of Langone in 2000 that I discovered that DBT had created a list of several thousand "felons"—most of them Black, all of them innocent, all of them purged from Florida's voter rolls by DBT's client, Katherine Harris. And Langone's company knew exactly what was going on.

What qualifies Langone to pick our president? In his own words: "I'm nuts, I'm rich."

BILLIONAIRES 2&3: David and Charles Koch

You think you've read all about the billionaire brothers. Well, there's more:

In 1996, an FBI agent, Richard Elroy, told my team that oil had been pilfered from the Osage Indian reservation in Oklahoma. He and other G-men filmed the filch—theft, say witnesses, personally ordered by Charles Koch. A few barrels here, a few barrels there.

It all added up: to about a billion and a half dollars in looted petroleum, says one expert, a third of the Koch fortune at the time. David and Charles shared in the booty via their private company, Koch Industries.

BILLIONAIRE 4: Paul Singer

Now we get to the carrion king, Paul Singer, known as Singer The Vulture. I didn't give him the moniker. The name Vulture was tagged on him and his speculator colleagues by the Prime Minister of Britain and the World Bank. Recently, former Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Winston Tubman suggested I ask Singer or his business associates, "Do you know you're causing babies to die?"

What does this guy do—put poison in kiddies' milk? Worse: he takes away the milk.

Singer's modus operandi is to find some forgotten tiny debt owed by a very poor nation (Peru and Congo were on his menu). He waits for the US and European taxpayers to forgive the poor nations' debts; then waits at bit longer for offers of food aid, medicine and investment loans. Then Singer pounces: legally grabbing at every resource and all the money going to the desperate country. Trade stops, funds freeze and an entire economy is effectively held hostage.

Singer then demands aid-giving nations pay monstrous ransoms to let trade resume. At BBC TV's Newsnight, we learned that Singer demanded $400 million dollars from the Congo for a debt he picked up for less than $10 million. If he doesn't get his 4,000% profit, he can effectively starve the nation. I don't mean that figuratively—I mean starve as in no food. In Congo-Brazzaville last year, one-fourth of all deaths of children under five were caused by malnutrition.

For BBC, I tried to ask Vulture Singer the diplomat's question about the baby killing, but I couldn't get past George Gershwin. (In the New York office tower housing the billionaires' roost, a George Gershwin look-alike in top hat and tails plays show tunes on a grand piano for Singer's grand entrance.)

And it's not just poor African carcasses that tempt Singer. Indeed, during my investigation for my new book Vultures' Picnic, I discovered that Singer's first big vulture attack was on American asbestos victims.

Background: The executives of a few asbestos companies, WR Grace, USG and Owens-Corning, knew that their asbestos factories were killing their workers. When caught and sued, the companies filed for bankruptcy, agreeing to pay almost all their earnings to those dying and injured by their asbestos.

But Singer had a better idea. These companies, as you can imagine, were worth next to nothing; and Singer bought Owens-Corning for a song.

If he could cut the amount paid to the victims, Singer could boost Corning's value big time. So, a PR campaign was begun attacking the dying workers, saying they were all faking it.

One attacker was a guy named George W. Bush.

In January 2005, President Dubya held a televised meeting to promote an "expert" who pronounced that over half a million workers suing Singer's industry were liars. If workers couldn't breathe, he said to the grinning President, it wasn't the fault of asbestos.

The "expert" was not a doctor, but notably, his "research" was partly funded by ...Paul Singer. And so was Bush. Since the death of Enron's Ken Lay, Singer and his vulture flock at Elliott International had become the top contributors to the Republican National Committee. It's hard to measure his largesse exactly because some of that help comes in through the side door. For example, Singer put money behind the "Swift Boat" smear on Bush's opponent, John Kerry.

The legal, political and PR attacks on the dying workers chiseled away the compensation expected to be paid by the asbestos companies, boosting their net worth. Singer then flipped Corning, selling it for a neat billion-dollar profit.

It's legal, it's brilliant, it's sick, it's Singer.

One of my favorite Singer scores was his successful scheme to legally loot the Treasury of Peru. The nation's US lawyer told me, aghast, how Singer let Peru's rogue President, Alberto Fujimori, flee his nation to avoid murder charges. Singer had seized Fujimori's get-away plane. The Vulture named his price: One of Fujimori's last acts as president before he fled was to order his dirt-poor nation to pay Singer $58 million.

Why the Billionaires Need to Buy the White House

A Koch Industries executive (not knowing he was being taped) said he had asked Charles Koch, who already had a billion from an inheritance, why Koch was pocketing a few bucks a week from poor Indians. Koch told him, "I want my fair share, and that's all of it."

And "all of it", of course, includes the White House.

Putting Bush in the White House was worth his weight in gold to these gents—more, in fact. And now, the Kochs, Singer and Langone have teamed to pick a candidate they pray can take back their real estate at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The gimme for Langone.

Langone's firm DBT's "felon" scrub list included only innocent people, so you certainly wouldn't find the name "Langone" on it. In 2004, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer charged Langone with conspiracy, accusing the billionaire with subverting a stock exchange regulator's investigation into monkey business by Langone's investment bank.

A technicality ended the civil action on the conspiracy charge.

But now, Obama's new banking and securities reforms, albeit weak, give regulators new enforcement powers and provide an extra independent eye on stock-market shenanigans. For Langone, picking the President means closing the regulatory eye.

The gimme for The Kochs.

The Koch Brothers, from "The Joker's Wild" deck of cards by Greg Palast and Bob Grossman. Click here for all cards.FBI man Elroy told our investigators that the Justice Department was going to let the FBI cuff Charles Koch on criminal charges for the theft of the Osage Indian oil. But then, fumes Elroy, Koch's well-funded buddies, Senators Bob Dole and Don Nickles, stepped in—and Koch walked. No charges.

US Senator Dennis DeConcini wanted to know why criminal or civil charges were never brought against the Kochs. That was not a wise question to ask. The Senator told me that the Kochs threatened his political destruction if the Congressional Committee he chaired continued with its investigations of the theft of Native oil. He continued, but his political career did not.

During the Clinton Administration, Koch Industries was charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. Under President Bush, the charges, but not the water, were cleaned up.

In other words, crime pays—if you get to pick the sheriff.

The gimme for Paul Singer.

Paul Singer had placed a big bet on the asbestos industry; then, set out to fix the casino, helping install Bush in the White House. That is, he had a President willing to beat up on asbestos workers and push for so-called "tort reform" that undermined these victims' claims. What the victims lost, Singer gained.

But there's trouble on the horizon for Singer. In 2007, Britain outlawed Singer and all other Vulture speculators in Third World debt from collecting their pound of flesh in the United Kingdom. Other European nations are following suit.

Several US Congressmen are pushing a UK-style prohibition on Singer's activities. (Even Chevron Corporation is complaining about the Vulture attacks. When Chevron calls bankers unscrupulous, they've got to be really unscrupulous.) Without a veto pen over Congress, Singer stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

Singer plays defense, but is best at offense: To collect on some of his claims against Argentina, his lobbyists have pushed a bill in Congress to put an economic choke-hold on trade with the South American nation. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blocked this crazy attack on our ally. As a result, Singer is not a happy gaucho. There will be blood. Obama will have to pay.

The gimme for them all.

There's one thing that every billionaire wants: another billion. And that's threatened by Obama's plan to tax the "carried interest" tax deferment.

Guys like Singer and Langone don't pay taxes like you and I do. While we pay taxes on income, the profits from vulture speculation and arbitrage are often recorded as "carried interest," effectively not taxed. It's a billion-dollar benefit for the billionaires, and every Republican candidate has sworn to keep this loophole open and make sure you and I pay Singers' taxes for him.

Unfortunately for Singer, the Kochs and Langone, the GOP candidates currently kissing the billionaires' behinds don't seem electable.

So the Billionaire Boys Club prodded Gov. Christie, a bully-boy from Jersey, to muscle his way into the Oval Office. Christie didn't fly, no surprise. But whether they pick the GOP candidate or retreat to their old tactics of smear-from-the-rear, the fragile thing called democracy stands little chance against the tsunamic powers of the quartet's combined checkbooks.

It's time the vultures felt the hand of the people's justice.

We don't need superheroes...just gutsy, honest pollies, investigative journos & crime fighters...drawn from THE MANY.



October 11. 2011 01:27 PM


Ad Astra

Thanks for another great topic.  I loved reading all the achievements and what will happen in the future by this Labor Government.  Also at the same time I feel sad that the Australian people can't see beyond the propaganda and the dreadful reporting, or is that lack of reporting, only gossip mongering.

As usual being late to the commenting on this piece I see Jane has said all that I was thinking.  Thanks Jane.

Acerbic Conehead

Went away for the weekend so read your excellent piece first (sorry Ad) and had a great laugh.  Glad that TV show didn't last eh!

Please don't let a certain poster derail this thread.  The cause for our anger and feeling scared is Abbott and the MSM, and we need to tease it out to try and find a permanent way of turning things around, and getting everyone backing Labor.


October 11. 2011 01:46 PM


Is it any wonder that the public still rates the Coalition as better managers of the economy in opinion polls when all the rhetoric from the Coalition and much of the MSM denies the splendid track record of the Government, disseminates only negativity and misinformation, and repeatedly makes the prediction that ‘this Government will never bring in a surplus budget’?

Useful post Ad astra. Well done!

I have spent much of the last month watching & reading American & foreign news. It has exploded in diversity of opinion & hosts/talking heads.

Some of the ABC & SBS stuff here has also been illuminating...but this only seems to last for a week or so...then the publicly funded media seems to fall back into the same old boring formula. I have turned off many a show w/ a yawn...particularly SKY NEWS (once they treated Swan like sh*t related to his award I thought "fck this!"...we don't need Fox News/Faux News showdown type crap here...it's not what I pay for)...the same old arguments...Labor, sometimes Greens vs Coalition on "carbon price", "asylum seekers"...sycophantic agreement on Afghan War...blaaah blaah blaaah. Lazy stuff.

Apart from the occasional SBS & ABC show, I reckon the media here are as dull as dishwater...there are so many interesting issues to deal w/...let's here more about them.

Recently there was a BBC Horizon episode on "waste management in Denmark"...got one thinking.

CNN has been doin' alot of shows about "Going Green" and sustainable energy...my wife & I have found them thought provokin'.

And it's great to see Four Corners dealin' w/ sex slavery...as CNN has been doin'...includin' child slavery.

We live in a globally connected world...there's no goin' back...we must deal w/ the problems that cross borders...and w/in supposed alien borders...each problem will infect every country unless we cure & heal together...deal w/ these toxic problems. Backward thinkin' anti-immigration policies etc. will not work...rather they will only cause more distrust & corruption.

I'd like to see some in-depth docos, investigations into Chinese, Indian, European & Gulf States' banks & work practices.

We should not avoid hard truths in order to opportunistically take advantage of corrupt & grotesque exploitive investment, profiteering & labour practices that we oft would not tolerate here.

We should not ignore the suffering of those in Bahrain, Syria & Yemen for Real Politiks reasons. The grasping for democracy is intense...let's stand on the right side of history & reach out our hands to those searching for rational freedom...where compassion & empathy are bred in an atmosphere of secularism.



October 11. 2011 02:01 PM


BTW, thnx to the federal government.

My wife recently got a bulk-billed genetic test (apparently the state government does not have the revenue to fund this essential test to find Lynch Syndrome)...it revealed that like her mother she has a big chance of getting colon, bowel, ovary & other forms of cancer. We have been offered much support & help by the staff of the genetic centre.

S' will now be able to use preventative health methods/procedures, such as regular colonoscopies, to help her avoid cancer...or deal w/ an outbreak (as happened to her Mum who survived...& grandfather who passed in his 50s). In tandem w/ healthy eating & regular exercise.

It's been a worrying/scary time, awaiting the test & initial procedures...but we face the future in our stride...relying partially on government funding...and good SCIENCE.

Prayer just won't do it I'm afraid.



October 11. 2011 02:23 PM


Nasking, great to see you back in feisty form. This Singer character sounds like he needs a jab with a Bulgarian umbrella, though. What a dreadful person.

Hope everything continues to go well for S' and you.

A positive report on the tax forum by Ben Eltham. Although most of the commenters were head-up-their-bum dingbats, there were a few positive comments.



October 11. 2011 02:49 PM


Space Kidette
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

SpaceKidette Space Kidette
The LNP should make Anna Nicole Mirabella Shadowy Minister for Aging and the LNP would have their funding problems fixed forever. #qt


October 11. 2011 02:56 PM


Abbott 'energy' on tax lagging-protester

The organiser of anti-carbon tax rallies across the nation says Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is not putting enough effort into fighting the federal government's plans.

The criticism comes as parliament continues to debate the package of clean energy bills, which is expected to pass the lower house on Wednesday before going to the Senate.

Consumers and Taxpayers Association president Chris Johnson told Macquarie Radio on Tuesday the politics of the issue was being 'corrupted'.

'Unfortunately, some of the members of our organisation are telling me they're a little disenchanted with the amount of energy that Tony Abbott is not putting into this debate,' he said.

'We feel that if Tony was to get up there and really make an attack on the independents and the government on this issue, that it would enhance his ability to get elected as the new government in the future.'

Comment is being sought from Mr Abbott.

Debate on the legislation is scheduled to finish at 5pm (AEDT) on Tuesday. Proposed amendments will then be considered and a vote held on Wednesday.

Opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt will move an amendment to make the start of the carbon tax contingent on the result of the next election, due in 2013.

'A simple thing to do is to defeat the carbon tax but if the prime minister won't do that, then support the opportunity to give the Australian people a say at the next election,' Mr Hunt said.

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese says the laws need to be passed before the year's end and are crucial to tackle climate change.

'The science is in - it's now time to get this critical reform in place,' Mr Albanese told parliament on Tuesday.

'We cannot say this is someone else's problem.

'We all share the one planet, we are all citizens of the world.'

Nationals MP John Forrest told parliament some of his constituents now used the recorded words of Ms Gillard's pre-election promise - that there would be no carbon tax under her government - as their mobile phone ring tone.

Fellow Nationals MP Ken O'Dowd, who hails from Queensland's mining belt, says his seat is 'ground zero' for the carbon tax.

'There's only one person I know in my electorate who is in favour of a carbon tax,' he said.

Former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, who supported Kevin Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme before he and the former prime minister were dumped as leaders by their respective parties, is yet to decide whether he will speak on the bills.

But he told reporters on Monday he would vote with the coalition against the legislation, saying direct investment in clean energy technology was a better approach


October 11. 2011 04:03 PM


Is Christopher Pyne one 'point of order' away from a heart attack.

His face was so brightly pink in Question Time today I was certain he was about to keel over any second.

Abbott, on the other hand, seems to be drinking furniture polish. His face is looking more and more like a teak statuette from somewhere in the Pacific. Nauru, perhaps?


October 11. 2011 04:12 PM


Just caught up on QT today and I must say I am totally mystified by the oppositions tactics.  They moved a motion to suspend standing orders for QT to have a debate on Carbon Tax then as soon as Albo, the first speaker for the gov got to his feet they moved to gag debate.  Each of these motions needed a division and was always going to go with the gov so just a lot of time wasting. I understand they have now moved to suspend again to have an MPI which is more pointless time wasting.

For a party which is crying that there is not enough debate about the CEF they appear to be doing their utmost to avoid actually having a debate.

I guess this is consistent with the tactics of Mr Abbott though.  He would much rather get a message out unchallenged through Alan Jones.  That way he doesn't need to be bothered with facts or exposed to his contradictions and flip flops.


October 11. 2011 05:09 PM


jason @2.49pm, Anna Nicole Mirabella, Shadowy Minister for Aging.
Gold! I love it.

Fellow Nationals MP Ken O'Dowd, who hails from Queensland's mining belt, says his seat is 'ground zero' for the carbon tax.

'There's only one person I know in my electorate who is in favour of a carbon tax,' he said.

He can't know too many people.

Trevor, more proof they are complete w@nkers.


October 11. 2011 05:20 PM

Ad astra

I’ve been busy today rearranging my office and yesterday Web Monkey installed the latest version of BlogEngine.NET, which occurred painlessly.  My impression is that the site is working faster, and hopefully it will throw less errors and ReCaptcha will work more smoothly.  Please keep me posted with any problems.  Each version seems to work a little better, but off-the-shelf programs do tend to have bugs.

So I’m just now catching up with your many comments.

First, welcome back Nasking.  It’s pleasing to see that the health system is treating your family well.  That’s what it’s supposed to do, and prevention is what we are aiming for, not just in family medicine, but across the specialist disciplines too.  Genetic testing holds great promise.

Thank you for another great set of links and for the additional one to the story about refugees in The Age, which was informative reading, exposing as it did more of the misinformation Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison have been propagating about this matter.

D Mick Weir
Thank you for the link to The Bolt Factor in The Monthly. which I have set aside for later reading.

You might be right about the elderly resisting change more than the youthful, and therefore willing to cling to the ‘good old ways’.  But my experience reminds me that even the young can be resistant to change.  I can remember when introducing doctors to the concept of computers in their practices back in the seventies, it was the younger ones who were the most resistant.  I could never work out why; perhaps we older doctors were too enthusiastic about the new technology, which of course is ‘old hat’ now.

Of course when the natural resistance to change is reinforced by a deceitful campaign of Coalition misinformation that leads older people to believe that global warming is a myth and that nothing needs to be done, what we see now is the result.

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 05:43 PM


This Singer character sounds like he needs a jab with a Bulgarian umbrella, though. What a dreadful person.

jane, glad to see yer still rolling out the punches w/ vivid imagery. He certainly does sound like a slimebag. As do the others mentioned in Palast's piece.

I think we can safely say that Australia has a few too...one only needs to dig below the surface of our media, mining, real estate/property development, retail, aviation, meat, sports clubs, gambling & finance companies to see the trails of slime and to whom they lead.

They think they're untouchable.
They think they can continue to pay for distractions.
They think they can blackmail others into helping them avoid scrutiny & justice.
They think they can sleep well.

They're wrong.

BTW, sick of the idolisation of Steve Jobs. Visionary yes...but many ruthless dictators are:

The Foxconn Technology Group (traditional Chinese: 富士康科技集團; simplified Chinese: 富士康科技集团) is a multinational business group anchored by the Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (Chinese: 鴻海精密工業股份有限公司; LSE: HHPD), a Republic of China-registered corporation headquartered in Tucheng, Taiwan. Foxconn is the world's largest maker of electronic components including printed circuit boards.

A large, secretive contract manufacturer popular with European and American companies wishing to outsource manufacturing operations to China, some of the most renowned products Foxconn makes include the iPhone and the iPad. It is the largest exporter in Greater China and the second largest exporter in the Czech Republic.

Foxconn has been involved in several controversies–most relating to how it manages employees in China, where it is the largest private employer.

Foxconn City
A Foxconn factory in the Czech RepublicHon Hai's first manufacturing plant in Mainland China opened in Longhua, Shenzhen in 1988. Now the company's largest operation, 300,000 to 450,000 workers are employed in Shenzhen at the Longhua Science & Technology Park, a cramped, walled campus sometimes referred to as "Foxconn City" or "iPod City". Covering about 1.16 square miles (3 square km), it includes 15 factories, worker dormitories, a swimming pool, a fire brigade, and a downtown complete with a grocery store, bank, restaurants, bookstore, and hospital. While some workers live in surrounding towns and villages, others live and work inside the complex, which broadcasts its own television network, Foxconn TV.

ClientsFoxconn makes consumer electronics for a number of well-known companies, including:

Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
Amazon.com (United States)
Apple Inc. (United States)
ASRock (Taiwan)
Intel (United States)
Cisco (United States)
Hewlett-Packard (United States)
Dell (United States)
Nintendo (Japan)
Nokia (Finland)
Microsoft (United States)
MSI (Taiwan)
Motorola (United States)
Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden)
Vizio (United States)


Allegations of employee mistreatment

Allegations of employee mistreatment have been made on a number of occasions. News reports highlight the long working hours, discrimination of mainland Chinese workers by their Taiwanese co-workers, and lack of working relationships at the company.

In 2006 the Daily Mail accused it of abusive employment practices. Although Foxconn was found to be compliant in the majority of areas when Apple audited the maker of its iPods and iPhones, the audit did substantiate a few of the allegations.

Suicides: Foxconn suicides
Sun Danyong, a 25-year-old male, committed suicide in July 2009 after reporting the loss of an iPhone 4 prototype in his possession.

In reaction to a spate of worker suicides where fourteen died in 2010, a report by 20 Chinese universities described Foxconn factories as labour camps and detailed widespread worker abuse and illegal overtime. In response to the suicides, Foxconn installed suicide-prevention netting at some facilities, and it promised to offer substantially higher wages at its Shenzhen production bases. Workers were also forced to sign a legally binding document guaranteeing that they would not kill themselves.

Sacred burial ground

About 200 to 300 years ago, an area where the current Shenzhen factory resides was the home of an estimated 4,000 Hakka families. The land at the time was undeveloped. Peiziyuan (皮仔园) and Ghosthead lake (鬼头潭) is situated in the area. Peiziyuan in particular was a burial ground of more than 1,000 babies. This area continued to be a burial site well into the 1970s after the one-child policy was promoted. Massive numbers of girls were killed in favor of boys, and baby corpses were collected at the site.

Accidents: iPad assembly line explosion

2011 Chengdu Foxconn explosion incident
On 20 May 2011 an explosion and fire broke out at a factory in Chengdu. The incident affected the iPad 2 assembly line and caused three deaths and injured 15 workers.

So who is really payin' the high price for cheap electronics?




I never did bite from the Apple.



October 11. 2011 05:55 PM

Ad astra

It will be fascinating to see how Tony Crook plays his cards on the asylum issue after all the pressure he has been under.

Thank you for your kind words.  As you say”… it wouldn't matter much that the LOTO is a deceitful, power hungry, self promoting wrecker provided we had a media endowed with integrity, honesty and intelligence, with the will and diligence to work at their craft to produce real news stories that present both sides of an argument.  Then, armed with true information, there would be no need for people to be angry and confused.” Precisely.

Bring Back Maxine
Thank you for your complimentary remarks, and for the link to the Lyengar interview, which shows how entrenched the politics of the personality has become.  Today again we saw Tony Abbott in full attack mode against Julia Gillard, and last night on Lateline the always arrogant Christpoher Pyne saying: “There's every possibility if Julia Gillard loses this vote on Thursday that she might well decide herself that she'd rather get a judgment from the Australian people than be eaten out like a fly-blown sheep by Kevin Rudd and his supporters over the next fortnight.

Keating was right about Abbott, and the Moir cartoon says it all.

Knowing that Christopher Pyne was coming on last night, I turned Lateline off.  I find him repulsive, and hearing this morning what he had to say about Julia Gillard makes me glad I did.  

You are right about the ABC. As another example of either ineptitude or bias, this morning on the main 7.45 am news the only aspect of Newspoll that was mentioned was the fall in support over the last year for the Government regarding its management of the economy and the asylum issue, hardly a surprising result given all the adverse publicity from the Coalition and the media.  There was no mention of the improvement in Labor’s primary vote.  

The ABC seems to have a policy: - suppress anything positive and accentuate anything negative about the Gillard Government, which by the way is ‘embattled’ according to the media and so distracted by leadership tension that it is unable to govern!!!!!  If that is so, how much more legislation would it have passed if it were unfettered?

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 06:18 PM


Ad astra, I rarely watch the ABC Brown Nose Liealot Show in the morning, but for some reason I turned on the telly and got an earful of the Newspoll results and as if the two sycophants weren't sickening enough, they lived down to my expectations by regurgitating Liars Party talking points on the phony leader ship fable.

Then it was gleeful speculation that if the Malaysia processing bill didn't pass in the lower house, the PM would have to call an election and surely be annihilated. But if it did pass in the lower house, the Greens would cut off their noses to spite their faces and vote against it.


October 11. 2011 06:27 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Well, there goes Malcolm Turnbull's credibility forevermore:

    But he(MT), told reporters on Monday he would vote with the coalition against the legislation, saying direct investment in clean energy technology was a better approach.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 06:28 PM

Feral Skeleton

       Tony Abbott avoids scrutiny like a Vampire avoids the light.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 06:33 PM

Feral Skeleton

       That move to gag debate when the Government speaker gets to his/her feet is a purely cynical ploy to only get the Opposition's talking points out to the media but not the government's, it seems to me. Even though, at one and the same time, it is utterly ineffectual in the long run because the government eventually gets to have their say after the Division is won by them.

   However, I would be interested to know, as I was out for QT today, whether that Gag Division took the coverage of  Question Time, and so the government's ability to reply within the timeframe that ABC24 affords the coverage of QT, out of the frame.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 06:37 PM


Saw an article on "The Drum" today - link below.  Repeats the BER waste money mantra etc etc etc.  Left an appropriate comment and I'm thinking of complaining to ABC about it for bias.  Have a look at the CV & the number of articles written:

Dr Kevin Donnelly is Director of Education Standards Institute and author of the recently released Australia's Education Revolution: How Kevin Rudd Won and Lost the Education Wars (Connor Court Publishing).

Donnelly taught for 18 years in government and non-government schools and was a branch president of the Victorian Secondary Teachers Association.

In 2004 he was chief-of-staff to Liberal Party Minister Kevin Andrews.
Stories by Kevin Donnelly

    11 October 2011: An outdated approach to school accountability
    14 September 2011: A brief glance at education funding
    1 September 2011: Hostile research against independent schools
    19 August 2011: OECD concerns on education revolution
    4 August 2011: School funding and the politics of envy
    4 July 2011: School funding myths
    23 June 2011: The PM and the Peter Principle
    24 May 2011: The private vs public school equation
    16 May 2011: All cultures and religions are not created equal
    11 May 2011: Time to revolt against Gillard's education revolution
    2 May 2011: The left has lost the culture war
    14 April 2011: You know about NAPLAN. Standby for NAPMAD
    4 April 2011: School funding equation doesn't add up
    22 March 2011: Social conservative Julia: which is the real one now?
    17 March 2011: Only the demise of independent schools will please Gillard's educrats
    4 March 2011: MySchool 2.0 shows us the money but not the balance
    17 February 2011: Values, freedoms and multiculturalism: you can't have it all
    2 February 2011: The failed education revolution
    26 January 2011: Australia, it's Western, Christian and proud
    16 December 2010: School choice the real revolution
    8 December 2010: A test for educational assessment
    26 November 2010: Independents schools a ladder of opportunity for all
    11 November 2010: Supporting education choices
    14 September 2010: Deferring the education revolution
    17 August 2010: Educated decisions on school funding
    15 July 2010: What's happening to school funding?
    18 June 2010: Pragmatic about political convictions
    31 May 2010: History channelled: left-wing bias in teaching
    21 May 2010: Can Labor be trusted to support non-government schools?
    10 May 2010: NAPLAN denies kids an education revolution
    3 May 2010: ALP has failed the curriculum test
    19 April 2010: Under examination: the education revolution
    28 January 2010: Education revolution: ill-conceived and incomplete
    21 January 2010: National test will fail to deliver
    16 December 2009: Learning costs

His "Institute" website seems to only be a vehicle for selling his books - if they were balanced you'd wonder why he had to sell them in this fashion.

Anyone else want to complain as well?


October 11. 2011 06:40 PM

Feral Skeleton

      I'm nicking 'Anna Nicole Mirabella' and posting it on Twitter. It's too good not to expose it to a wider audience. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 06:44 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your kind words.

The Gillard has many accomplishments and are on the verge of passing its most important piece of legislation – the Clean Energy Bill – despite last ditch efforts from the Coalition to thwart it.  All strength to her arm.

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 06:51 PM


Labor can pull back from the brink
by Bruce Hawker

FEDERAL Labor's present troubles have encouraged a spate of articles predicting the Gillard government's almost certain demise.

What is most galling about them, particularly those from former Labor powerbrokers, is that there is barely a word of advice about how the government can improve its position.



October 11. 2011 06:51 PM



I am not that familiar with normal parliamentary proceedings so it may have worked.  The gov won the division to permit Albo to continue his reply but he only got a couple of words out and time was called.  

So you may be right.  A cynical ploy to let Tony have a long rant about how important it is to have a debate. Then cut it off so his hypocrisy is not exposed on the tele.  



October 11. 2011 06:52 PM

Ad astra

Tony Abbott and his cronies have learned that they can say anything they like, provoke any way they wish, and the MSM will let them get away with it.  It’s arrant nonsense but they don’t worry about that at all.  It shows what rubbish you can spread around if you have the media on side.

Do you have the link to the Drum article to which you refer?

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 06:54 PM

Feral Skeleton

        The Dorian Greys of the Coalition, Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop, both look to have had a refreshing of their fizzogs over the Winter break from parliament. Looking at the Death Stare last night on Q&A I was amazed at how much previously saggy, wrinkly skin appears to have disappeared from around her eyes, her neck and her cheeks and mouth. The epicanthic fold appears to have disappeared altogether! No wonder she has to stare at people, I don't know how easy it would be to close her eyes anymore. Smile

  As for the Master Manipulator of Misinformation, I must have a look at him tomorrow in Question Time.

   As we all know, he and Bishop are both Exercise Junkies who spend way too much time exercising outside in the elements, and would have plenty of sun damage by now. Well they did have, I've seen it previously in photos. However, there are many, many treatments available that can deal with that. I mean, I saw a photo of Joan Collins the other day where she, a woman banging on the door of 80, looked exactly the same as she did over a decade ago when I last saw a photo of her. Weird or what?

   Anyway, it goes without saying that both the Abbott and the Bishop are vain enough to have had work done in order to not present their true visages to the nation. Sad, pathetic, vainglorious individuals that they are. And it says everything you need to know about the Coalition they lead too. Which now includes the unscrupulous Malcolm Turnbull.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 07:01 PM

Feral Skeleton

      That's just an example of The Drum's 'balance'.

   Actually, I remember Kevin Donnelly, who seems to have left out the bit in his CV about being the President of the Toorak Branch of the Liberal Party, from Howard's day. He was his chief Headkicker in the media so as to effect the changes that Howard wanted introduced by distorting the debate. Google him and you'll see.

   Amazing, isn't it, now that the Coalition have a sniff of victory in their nostrils, how all the biggest grubs from the Howard era, like Donnelly and Reith, are crawling out of the woodwork again. As it's pretty obvious that Abbott's government would truly just take up where Howard left off.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 07:55 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your link to the Sky News piece.  Perhaps Tiny Abbott is almost spent!

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 07:56 PM

D Mick Weir

Speaking of death stares


put on your sunnies before following the link Smile

D Mick Weir

October 11. 2011 07:58 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Ad
the website bit in the add comment sign in has disappeared Frown

D Mick Weir

October 11. 2011 08:05 PM


AT the start of QT today Tony followed JG making a speech congratulating  Prof Schmidt on winning the nobel in physics.  Tony gave convoluted praise but I think he was struggling with the concept of congratulating a scientist.  Not sure if he may have seen this theconversation.edu.au/climate-debate-diminished-standing-of-science-in-some-quarters-nobel-prize-winner-3709 piece by the prof.

Dont know why the MSM has not picked up on the obvious linkage of Nobel winning physicist who knows a bit about how science and how the universe works and the current debate about science.  


October 11. 2011 08:08 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for the Hawker article.  If he’s still advising Labor, he’s not doing much of a job.

That is one scary stare.

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 08:09 PM

Ad astra

I'm calling it a day to watch ABC TV.

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 08:18 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Who's 'playing politics' with the Australian boy in Indonesia's drug possession case? The Opposition, of course. However, they are playing the game of politics true to form and following their modus operandi of, get in first and accuse the government of what you are doing yourself.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 08:19 PM

Ad astra

The simple truth is that in science nothing can be proved absolutely, as Karl Popper told us eons ago.  This truth is exploited by the non-scientists to push their fallacious, and just as unprovable notions.  They don’t follow the rules but exploit those who do.

Ad astra

October 11. 2011 08:31 PM


Guess who keeps saying in so many words, "There will be no carbon tax under any government I lead" with the full knowledge he is lying?

The fellow who goes on and on about rescinding the so-called Carbon Tax should he be (hint, hint) the next Coalition PM.

Yes, folks, Old TeakFace Tony Abbott himself, if he wins the next election, will lead a government as the Clean Energy legislation continues its operation flushing out the economy's worst polluters.

And he's very unlikely, because "circumstances change" to actually rescind the legislation.

So, don't you forget to remember, whether it's Shouldabeen himself or any member of his shadow government that says they will 'rescind the carbon tax' in government, that what they are saying, in the full knowledge that they are lying, is that there WILL be a carbon tax under any government Tiny leads.


October 11. 2011 08:33 PM

Feral Skeleton

       You know, I think it must really get Tony's goat to have to acknowledge anything about the Enlightenment at all. As Paul Keating so deliciously characterised him, and others like him in the Coalition, he is a 'Pre-Copernican Obscurantist'.

   I also imagine that, as this particular Physicist discovered that the Universe is not a finite entity about 6000 years old with some old, white guy with a beard floating on top of it, but instead is an expanding grouping of galaxies and Dark Matter, many, many billions of years old, Tony Abbott would be loathe to praise him in any sort of fulsome way.

   Look, I'm just hoping that, like America woke up and smelt the coffee and dodged the bullet with Sarah Palin's name on it as it tried to blast it's way into the Presidential race and into the most powerful job in the nation, so might Australians decide to give Tony Abbott a swerve as well, for the sake of the nation's sanity.

Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 08:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

   I don't know if anyone else is interested but if you want real time transcripts of ABC programs, or to access old ones, here's the place to go:


Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 09:04 PM

D Mick Weir

TT @ 3:35 AM
you wrote:
You haven't in the slightest attempted to respond to what I asked of you, namely What would you do about asylum seekers?

Maybe you were travelling when I posted this. I believe it answers most of your question

and thankyou for the delightful limmerick and (with permission) I may 'hang it on the wall' in my 'umble little home away from home.

D Mick Weir

October 11. 2011 09:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

        This guy sounds familiar and they are calling him a 'Weathervane' and an 'opportunistic parasite' too:


Feral Skeleton

October 11. 2011 09:26 PM


Yews, Nas. The KGB does give one certain ideas......

2353, not only do I want to complain, I want to nuke the buggers.

FS, I cannot claim ownership of Anna Nicole Mirabella, Shadowy Minister for Aging Lawyers, much as I would like to. She is the love child of Jason's imagination. It's a fabulous name, though isn't it? And conjures up some disturbing mental images.

Bloody hell, DMW! That photo would freeze the Devil's goolies! You should have warned us that holy water and a crucifix were mandatory!


October 11. 2011 10:25 PM

el gordo

'...there WILL be a carbon tax under any government Tiny leads.'

At the next election Yabbott will have to explain how he will dismantle the tax on carbon dioxide, otherwise he won't be elected.

el gordo

October 11. 2011 11:10 PM


I like the way you think el gordo.  I have thought for the past few weeks that Tony had peaked, his increasingly desperate attempts to derail the govt with assistance of a compliant media was to stop the CEF passing.  He maybe smart enough to know that it gets harder from then.  Not straight away mind, it wont be a sudden turn around.  But.. From here on in he cant just say he will repeal with no explanation as to how.  What will it be replaced with? How will he fund changes to the taxation system?  Where will the money for industry assistance come from?

All these questions he has batted away "don't you worry about that".  Once the legislation is passed however there is a peg in the sand.  

The only fear I have though is our sycophant media.  Every time I think they cant get any worse the prove me wrong and set a new low.  


October 11. 2011 11:58 PM



How far we’ve come
Jeremy Sear   An Onymous Lefty

In our present context, too, it’s worth considering that most of those still opposed to marriage equality grew up at a time when this was considered rational. When Jim Wallace was forming his pig-ignorant views about other people’s sexuality, this was being presented as “science”.

The cost of not implementing a carbon tax
JJ Fiasson   Independent Australia

Aside from a swathe of overwhelmingly negative effects to our way of life and the environment if we do not make a global effort to fight climate change, there are significant risks to the Australian economy if we do not take steps towards pricing carbon.

Occupy Wall Street
David Havyatt   Anything Goes

These aren't people protesting about democracy or about capitalism - but about the way democracy and capitalism are practised today. She is right they don't know what they want - but they do know they don't want "more of the same."

Shorter QandA
Bill   Billablog

If you’re worried about missing Q and A this week, here’s a quick summary of what will inevitably happen this week (or any other)

Sophie Mirabella and that sanitation in the streets problem ...
Dorothy Parker   Loon Pond

(Above: Sophie Mirabella's the short one in the middle, part of the unholy trinity, so to speak, a kind of triptych cryptic ecliptic apocalyptic vision of hell on earth, with the holy kerosene ghost on the left, and on the right the king of the antipodean tea party).

Financial Giants Put New York City Cops On Their Payroll
Pam Martens   CounterPunch

Videos are springing up across the internet showing uniformed members of the New York Police Department in white shirts (as opposed to the typical NYPD blue uniforms) pepper spraying and brutalizing peaceful, nonthreatening protestors attempting to take part in the Occupy Wall Street marches.  Corporate media are reporting that these white shirts are police supervisors as opposed to rank and file.  Recently discovered documents suggest something else may be at work.

Quoting the Economist belies Turnbull’s intelligence
Renai LeMay   Delimiter

In these days where our political leaders seem locked into a cycle of pointless debate on issues few people care about, Turnbull’s approach often feels like a breath of fresh air. That’s why I was so disappointed to see the Member for Wentworth yesterday drawing from yet another spurious grab-bag of flawed statistics from an already discredited source — the Economist Intelligence Unit — to criticise the government on broadband.

Turnbull’s NBN twilight zone — give the man a cigar (Cuban of course)
Stilgherrian   Crikey

“Cuba”? What the heck do any of us know about broadband policy in Cuba, Mr Turnbull? Oh wait. I get it. Communism. Well played, sir.

TRIPLE TROUBLE: Suddenly, Angry Anderson doesn’t seem like such a good idea
Nick Mack   Vexnews

Anderson let his youth audience know that he was not interested in challenging Labor for the seat of Page, which includes includes God’s own country of Lismore, Ballina, Yamba and Grafton. He told the yoof:
The thing about is, Page was never in contention, and besides, I understand they have a wonderfully functional Labor candidate there doing a great job,

The great big subsidy myth
Giles Parkinson   Climate Spectator

You see it everywhere: in the political debate both here and overseas, particularly in the US, in the press, in “research” reports, and in comments on websites, here included: "We’re paying too much for renewable subsidies!"
Really? Subsidies for energy supplies have been a constant of the industry since the first lightbulb was switched on more than a century ago.

Green day: the real architects behind the carbon tax bill
Andrew Cook   Crikey

On a reliably frigid Canberra morning holed up in a ramshackle hotel bereft of anything resembling heating, the sound of Anthony Albanese seeping out of the clock radio to claim total credit for the passage of the carbon tax seemed too much to bear.

Finally! Labor Governs Like It's Their Job
Ben Eltham   New Matilda

The Tax Forum, which had been widely written off by many commentators (including me) turned out to be surprisingly constructive. On the back of the tax event, the Government also hosted a one-day jobs summit, which focussed on Australia’s troubled manufacturing sector.

Clash of the Rudd and Abbott visions
Rob Burgess   Business Spectator

We are living through days that will, in time, offer rich pickings for historians. They will rake over every scrap of evidence to determine what finally decided Australia's direction at a historic crossroads.

Poll Finds Broad Support for Australian Poker Machine Reform
Susan Arnold   Internet-Poker.co.uk

While the debate over the proposed poker machine reforms in Australia has been both heated and controversial, new polling shows that support for such measures is still strong – if fading somewhat in recent months.
A new pool by Essential Research showed that 61% of Australians were in favor of requiring pre-commitment technology on pokies, while 30% were opposed to the measure.


Labor must scrap building watchdog: CFMEU
Andrea Hayward   SMH

The Labor government must abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and remove its coercive powers, the nation's powerful construction union says.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard told caucus on Tuesday legislation to abolish the watchdog would be introduced to parliament by the end of the year.


October 12. 2011 12:39 AM


Ad astra

A late addition to Today's Links if you wouldn't mind including it.

Sophie's Choice
Ash Ghebranious   Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery

Sophie chucked a tantrum and got herself named. The vote was 71 – 57 against her.
Here is a list of those that voted. I include two divisions: one from earlier that day with more coalition names so you can work out the ones that did not attend.


October 12. 2011 05:59 AM

paul walter

This makes remember why I'm so releived at the popping of the Milne/Bolt boil, along with Murdoch's scandals in other countries.
Adastra's key comment was "doubt". No matter how destructive or distressing this sort of authoritarian template is to human people, it is laid down and inscribed in the vicious language of tabloidism and authoritarianism; cynicism, anxiety and ignorance and emotionality providing a smokescreen for the REAL crimes committed, by people in suits behind closed doors.

paul walter

October 12. 2011 07:05 AM

Feral Skeleton

   'Fascist and Nationalistic Extremist Groups are active in Australia right now.'

   Who woulda thunk it? Wink

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 07:10 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Ye4s,Trevor, the media have lowered their colours even more wrt 'the Carbon Tax'. Channel 9 this morning has found a new way of referring to the Price on CO2 Pollution, as they sneer into the camera whilst saying, "Well, it looks like we will have the fixed Carbon Tax." No mention of it only being temporarily 'fixed', just a completely misleadinig statement attempting to infer it is a fixed and static and perpetual TAX.

   Australian media, when you think there is no lower they can go, they surprise you on the downside.

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 07:13 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Interesting punting of Anna Nicole Mirabella last night from the Lower House for 24 big ones. Wonder if the go0vernment will bring on the vote on the Malaysian Arrangement now? Still depends on Tony Crook because I don't think they would want to upset him with sleazy, Opposition-like tactics. Maybe they'll ask him nicely if he'll agree to make up his mind today though and vote later? Smile

  Lol, ReCaptcha gives us Tony's word of the day: 'Surrendered'.

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 08:19 AM


Glad you like the limerick but I regret not having written the last line,
"Shift the D to the end, it means queer!"
which I think was how the story got told in the first place, like on your briefcase Weir D M

So if you want to hang it proudly on your wall you may cut and paste it as below:

How delightful to read D Mick Weir!
A Guru to fans far and near!
He claims that his name
Is the key to his fame:
Shift the D to the end, it means queer!

And you also said
"Maybe you were travelling when I posted this. I believe it answers most of your question
ausnitpicks.blogspot.com/.../...u-are-going-i.html "

I am reminded hilariously of the scenario early in "Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" where the Vogons are about to destroy Planet Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass, and when Mankind protests, the Vogons chief tells him the plans have been available for yonks:

Arthur quick over here!

But what the hell is it?

It’s A fleet of flying saucers what do you think it is?! Quick you’ve got to get hold of this rock!

What do you mean flying saucers?

Just that. It’s a Vogon constructor fleet.

A what?

A Vogon constructor fleet. I picked up news of their arrival a few hours ago on my sub-ether radio.

Ford, I don’t think I can cope with anymore of this. I think I’ll just go and have a little lie down somewhere…

No just stay here, keep calm, and just take hold of this -

[On Speakers] People of Earth your attention please. This is Prostectic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planet Council. As you no doubt will be aware, the plans for the development of the outlying regions of the western spiral arm of the galaxy require the building of a hyperspace express route through your star system and, regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes thank you very much.

[Yells of protest]

There’s no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaints and its far too late to start making a fuss about it now.

[Louder yells of protest]

What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh for heaven sake mankind it’s only four light years away you know! I’m sorry but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that’s your own regard. Energise the demolition beams! God I don’t know…apathetic bloody planet, I’ve no sympathy at all…

Scene 7: Ext. Space.
The Earth is destroyed in a huge explosion.

Scene 8: Int. Vogon Spaceship.

I bought some peanuts.



DMW Perhaps you would be so kind as to precis your suggestions, and then emplace them on this blog where Earthlings might find them? This was after all where you recommended bilateral pedicures for LOTO and PM alike . . .


October 12. 2011 08:28 AM


FS (7.01pm last night)

Don't knock Reith on the Drum FS. He's doing a great job... so far about 5 articles in support of the return of Work Choices.

I thank him every time, and urge him to continue. When he writes about some other topic, I plead with him to return to his forte, the IR scene.

His wedging of Abbott has been very strategic .... revenge is so sweet and not unpleasant to watch.

With any luck he and Sloan will together ensure that WCs is an issue in 2013, and that's good! They need to be encouraged.


October 12. 2011 08:34 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 08:44 AM

Ad astra

D Mick Weir
You may care to update The Political Sword entry in the right panel of Picking Nits which was last updated during the upgrading of the TPS blog engine a couple of days ago, which is why the curious text is there on your site.

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 08:45 AM


So now it's ironclad official - Sophie Mirabella is titanium-clad stupid.

Abbott would have wanted every Coalition vote on the record as opposing the "toxic tax" for Hansard to list for posterity, for precisely the same reason PM Julia Gillard wants every name and vote on record regarding the changes to the Migration Act.

To show exactly where the 'line in the sand' was drawn, and exactly which side of it every MP stood.

And then, along came Sophie, the Dinky-di Member for Indi, who has managed to not only erase herself from history and the roll-call of Conservative 'heroes' in opposing Australia having breathable air, she's given the Government a further lead over its opponents in the vote count.

It may be symbolic to win a vote by two votes and not just one, but Shouldabeen knows better than anyone how important a single vote can be.

So, Grandstanding Sophie is back in the Changing Shed, where we can be certain she will not change one iota, and has missed her chance to stand shoulder to shoulder 'at Thermopylae' with her fellow Spartans of negativity.

As someone of Greek extraction, she really should have known better about the significance of narrow passageways. On the other hand, there aren't too many narrow passages or doorways she's been able to negotiate the last few years.

In relation to Feral Skeleton's report on Channel Nine News labeling of the Clean Energy legislation, I sent off a complaint to ABC news division yesterday (I know, I know, go whistle) about how as Greg Combet was speaking on the second reading of the bills the live coverage had subtitles displaying the 'information' that he was addressing the "carbon tax", and another titled "Climate Tax".

Respouting Coalition claptrap.


October 12. 2011 08:58 AM


My e-mail to ABC AM after today's "interview" of the PM. Note JG standing up for herself and SL sounding like a goose.

Please pass this feedback on to Sabra.

Please note the following in regard to your interview of the PM today, purportedly about the carbon emission legislation:

Q1 ... poor polls
Q2 ... carbon tax to cost PM leadership
Q3 ... carbon tax will turf the government out
Q4 ... more polls "has it been worth it?"

At this point the PM rightly questioned you. "this is all a bit negative Sabra. Where are the questions about millions of dollars of green investment, millions of new green jobs, related lowering of the tax threshold and pension increases?"

And then Q5 ... When will we see emissions falling?

The PM's suggestions to you had fallen on your deaf ears and you continued with more negative, unproductive and uninformative questions.

This was an inept interview by you, sadly broadcast across the nation.

In the interview the Pm said that the Migration Act vote is planned still for tomorrow. I really think that if voted down, they think that Abbott's no-vote will be a valuable second prize.

Also on ABC news has been the grab of Prissy Pyne loudly squealing that "it would be most unethical for the government to bring forward the Migration Act vote" and win it in Mirabella's absence.

His (their) hypocrisy is boundless ....he's just refused a pair and government and opposition MPs OS on parliamentary business have had to come home (then go back) at taxpayer's expense to vote on the carbon bills while making zero mathematical difference to the result.

Petulant, arrogant, manipulative, hypocrites, charlatans, opportunists, sophists, wankers.....what's the right word to combine all these sentiments?

Not to forget three cheers for Peter Slipper .... Mirabella unexpectedly found that he is one she can't walk over. What a joyous occurrence.


October 12. 2011 09:00 AM


AA - sorry I forgot the link.  As requested -> http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3318128.html.

I suspect Mirabella's 24 hours in the sin bin is due to the pressure all the pollies are under in respect to CPRS gameplaying.  Funny thing is that Abbott applied the pressure in the hope that Gillard or one of her front bench would fall over.

Today should be a very good day politically.  The ALP should take the opportunity to vote on the "Malaysia (non)solution" as well - as much as I still believe that on-shore processing is the better option (along with the depoliticalisation of the refugee issue.


October 12. 2011 09:11 AM


Has Paul Kelly lost the plot? Or merely joined it?


I responded at that site with this:

I for one will never support a political party that maintains restricting open slather "to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" is a "grotesque limitation on ordinary political discourse".

If "ordinary political discourse" requires recourse to any of those options, then "ordinary political discourse" has entered an arena that I believe everyday Australians will consider is leagues away from any loungeroom or even front-bar definition of 'free speech'.


October 12. 2011 09:33 AM


Bad Abbott redux.

Don't you just love..?

No, wrong start.

The gall of Shouldabeen. The very next morning after calling a Parliamentary suspension of standing orders to initiate a debate which he followed up after he'd had his uninterrupted go by trying to have the Government's response gagged, he had this to say:

'Mr Abbott said he expected the government to “do what they said they would” on the migration vote.

“The government made a clear commitment that the people swap vote would be on Thursday,” he told ABC Radio.

“If this is a government with any respect for the parliament then that's the procedure they should follow.”'



Words fail me... almost.

The man is daily manifestingly neurotic. Actions do not mirror words; words have no correlation to behaviour; behaviour bears no relation to expressions of steadfast position. The man needs treatment.

And exposure.


October 12. 2011 09:47 AM


Psyclaw said (of Abbortt et al)

"Petulant, arrogant, manipulative, hypocrites, charlatans, opportunists, sophists, wankers.....what's the right word to combine all these sentiments?"

Psyclaw we both know it, the word is TRAITORS!

They subvert the usages of Parliament, they talk down the economy, they use any and all foul means at their disposal to bring down the Government.

The word is [b]TRAITORS[/b]


October 12. 2011 09:56 AM

Ad astra

The Clean Energy Bill has passed – a historic day for Australia.

Tony Abbott has consigned himself to the nihilistic dustbin of history by taking a blood oath that he will repeal it.

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 09:58 AM


I'm not sure that traitors encapsulates my last descriptor.
Perhaps wanking traitors but that's a bit cumbersome.
Keep brainstorming!


October 12. 2011 10:02 AM

Feral Skeleton

        How about, Tony Abbott is as crazy as a cut snake?
Or, even better, Tony Abbott is as crazy as Mark Latham? Wink

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 10:05 AM


CPRS legislation passed 74 - 72.  It coulda been 74 - 73 if Mirabella was there. Bwahahahaha!


October 12. 2011 10:10 AM

Feral Skeleton

        Not only do we have The Austrollian trolling for Tony, but this morning on ABC 702 Sydney, Deb Cameron made the quite logical link between Abbott's florid and incendiary Anti Carbon Price legislation rhetoric and the death threat that Anna Burke spoke about in parliament yesterday which had come her way from a constituent who (arrogantly or stupidly, you decide), named himself in the e-mail he sent to her office. Also, considering Abbott's 'Boy's Own' pledge in BLOOD! Alison Carabine speaking to Deb from Canberra actually flatly refused to acknowledge any connection of one with the other. Talk about 5th Columnists for the Opposition at the ABC.

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 10:22 AM


What I find most humorous about Anna Nicole being binned is that her side could only get 51 votes to keep her.  After all the tough talk about every vote counting where were the other 22?  

Perhaps having a sleep after a long dinner just like Tony has been known to do.


October 12. 2011 10:29 AM

D Mick Weir

Hot Tip
buy up big on skyhooks manufacturers

Sky is about to fall in and will need squillions of them to hold it up.

D Mick Weir

October 12. 2011 11:02 AM


It's times like this that I am glad we live in a stable democracy.  I think Tony is that nutty that if he thought he could get away with it he would be talking to some military officers about parking a couple of tanks on the lawns of parliament.

A "Blood oath"  give me strength..  Really?  Does that also mean you have to spit on your palm?  It did when I was five.  How infantile.   How did this guy ever get to be a Rhodes Scholar?    


October 12. 2011 11:44 AM


DMW said Hot Tip
buy up big on skyhooks manufacturers

Sky is about to fall in and will need squillions of them to hold it up.

Post of the year Smile


October 12. 2011 12:02 PM


I hope everyone realises that the Carbon Dioxide Tax is just the beginning. We have commenced down a slippery slope where Communist governments are going to interfere with every aspect of our lives with regulations and penalties.

Next off the production line will be a Speeding Tax. Motor vehicles will be fitted with a 'Black Box' that records all of the actions taken by the vehicle over its entire life and data that indicates that it has been speeding will attract a tax for the driver (who will have to log in before commencing an excursion in order to not unfairly penalise the owner).

The NBN is another huge step in the Cunning Master Plan. All traffic lights will be digitally hooked into the Black Box so that running an amber or red light will attract a fine, pre-empting the change from red to green and pulling away prematurely will be provable under the new scheme. GPS tracking and the Black Box will allow authorities to take note of undue use of the accelerator and catch hoons red-handed. Offending cars will be crushed on the spot with a mobile crusher and their owners charged a fee for the privilege.

In the pipeline for the future will be a new:

☛ Chocolate Tax which will be enforceable when our refrigerators and shopping trolleys are linked into the database.

☛ Crap TV Tax - watching too much commercial television and/or under-utilising our public broadcasters will bring the goons a-knocking.

☛ Sporting Tax - events involving the national team will become mandatory viewing (yes, DMW including synchronised swimming) and written application will need to be made to the relevant department if exemption is to be granted (for a modest fee).

☛ Gambling Tax - win or lose the government gets 50% of the wager or the winnings (whichever is the greater).

☛ Comfort Tax - air-conditioners and heaters allowed to run when the ambient temperature is within tolerable ranges (as defined by departmental regulations) will attract a tax.

☛ UnAustralian Tax - internet usage will be monitored so that excessive traffic to right-wing sites can be reduced through a punitive taxing regime.

☛ Porn Tax - State-run porn sites will become significant revenue raisers when all other such sites are hit with tariffs.

So for all of those of you who think that today was historic with its passing of the CEF Bills, you may wish to wonder what kind of future we are leaving for our children and grandchildren. The 'Red Queen' really is the Red Queen.
There will come a time when we will be asking ourselves "why didn't we listen to Tony?"


October 12. 2011 12:25 PM

D Mick Weir

... and a Hoof Hearted Tax

D Mick Weir

October 12. 2011 12:42 PM

D Mick Weir

thx Smile

also note that the price of electricity is about to go thru the roof so it would be wise to start hoarding it now Tong

D Mick Weir

October 12. 2011 12:45 PM

Feral Skeleton

   I was so excited about the passing of the CPRS Bills that I sat through the whole of the Wayne Swan/Greg Combet Press Conference, in the sun, without falling asleep! Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 12:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Speaking of which, did anyone else notice the hard-bitten journalists of the Press Gallery, such as Michelle Grattan, basing all their questions on the pre-emptive presupposition that Tony Abbott WILL win the next election and, when so, surely The Greens and the ALP must then wave through his CPRS Repeal?

   Over my dead body, lady, and that's a Blood Oath! Laughing

   Btw, do you remember who was the last politician to insert the word, 'Blood' into the political conversation? The female equivalent of Tony Abbott in the USA of course, Sarah Palin! And didn't her support evaporate once the scales fell from the eyes of the electorate and they realised she was all piss and wind and mad,bad and dangerous to know after the gunsights over Arizona faux pas.

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 12:54 PM


I am very definite about this.
Any adjectives or alternatives are superfluous, and distract from the seriousness of my charge, viz.,
Abbortt and his like are TRAITORS to the Commonwealth of Australia.
They seek to divide the People for their own political ends, and to overthrow the government by all means at their disposal.

That constitutes TREASON. Those who practise treason are TRAITORS.

Treason used to be a capital offence. An offence which in earlier times in Britain would have seen those found guilty beheaded. The reptilian Abbortt and the arch-bigot Pell would be accused and convicted of a popish plot against the Government, using the spreading of lies and disinformation by all means at their disposal, with the connivance of international criminal organisation News Limited, under the control of arch-criminal Rupert Murdoch.

Even in a modern society that should see the plotters gaoled for many years.  

At issue are the People's rights in Australia, Australia's place in the world, and the world's last chance at a serious attempt at saving Life on Earth.

My hands trembled as I wrote those words. Tears come to my eyes, the hair on my neck prickles.

That is so much to have at stake!

Australia is small but I think it was almost critical to Bush's being able to claim multinational support for his invasion of Iraq (providing a third little leg to US-UK alliance). Now, contrariwise, the Australian belated lead isolates the US on pollution as never before, and in the end could be the deciding factor in making it bite the pollution bullet too. That would be the most important about-turn of all.

Abbortt and his like seek to divide Australians, for entirely cynical reasons. They are TRAITORS, that's the word.


As I write the Coalons are going spare in the Senate.


October 12. 2011 01:48 PM


Paul Kelly wrote piece in the Oz today which is a bit of a hysterical rant about the new trojan horse for Tony that is "Free Speech".  PK reckons the opposition should go to the barricades over the Bolt judgment and overturn the RDA laws.  A bit funny really as he doesn't really address the issues that bought the matter to court.

I posted a comment pointing out some of this but it is yet to appear so I may have been moderated out. (Help I am being repressed).  When I went back check if my comment had got through I noticed this one.

CRISP Posted at 7:34 AM Today

    Add this to the censoring by the ALP and left-wing commentators of discussion on global warming by scientists in the CSIRO, BOM, and universities etc; of Gillard's association with people ripping of union member funds (with Smith, Milne and others being silenced; of any alternative opinion on the pokies (Warren and Gould); of any criticism of the government by the media (hence the 'inquiry' into media behaviour; and you have what is inherent in the left-wing mindset - an authoritarian doctrinaire intolerance of anything that challenges their ideologically hidebound view of the world. This comes from their absolute belief that they and only they are right and everyone but be wrong or evil or both. And, because of this belief, any action can be justified. The 20th century bears witness to where this leads.

Comment 21 of 21

Sound familiar? I thought perhaps a salutation has been dropped.


October 12. 2011 01:49 PM

Patricia WA

After all that fuss over pairs Sophie Mirabella made them almost irrelevant after all!  Never mind, I had a lot of fun up-dating this, even this morning after Abbott's AM radio interview!  He's pledged in blood to repeal the Clean Energy Act!   When will he have the ceremony?

Pairing Ps & Qs For Members When In Parliamentary Chambers.

Our lovely lady PM, Jules,
Has introduced some thoughtful rules
To help other ladies in the House
Necessitated by that louse,
Abbott, and his policy on pairs.
“And for the men?” you ask. Who cares!

It is easier, remember,
When you are, and have, a member!
If you’re male and want to pee
You can stand and handle it, but we,
Even without occasion to excrete,
Will always need a cubicle with seat.

You men will never have to queue
And then have someone hassle you
To hurry up, as they start to yell,
“They’re ringing the Division Bell!”
So now there’s an arrangement for
Lots of ‘Ladies’ near the Chamber door.

Sensitive to a need for clemency
In cases of late pregnancy,
After lobbying by Rob Oakeshott,
There’s provision too for a ‘Chamber pot.’
And even for another when it
Is needed sometimes in the Senate.

For that there is a bottom line.
It’s kept hidden from Christopher Pyne.
He’s always getting up to make a POO
So he’s been assigned a special loo.
The PM's also promised to clear the air,
In his case, by always granting him a pair.

PS!  Who’d have thought that foul mouthed Sophie
Would hand government its finest trophy
With greater ease and no need of a pair.
But harder still for Abbott to bear
Would be that embrace of Gillard with Rudd.
Which probably had him spitting blood.

Never mind, Tony, that will put you sooner on the cutting edge
On plans for repeal, as promised, with your blood signed pledge.

Patricia WA

October 12. 2011 01:56 PM

D Mick Weir

Lots of Tweets about carbon bills passing. This one deserves special mention

On_theBandwagon Join the Trevolution
Now the government has passed a #carbonprice, my tweets cost 0.23c each. Luckily I'm offsetting them by not farting on Thursdays from 1-4pm

appeals to my warpedness  Smile

D Mick Weir

October 12. 2011 02:00 PM

Feral Skeleton


Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 02:21 PM

Ad astra

Michael has drawn our attention to a unusual article by Paul Kelly, Editor-at Large of The Australian titled Tony Abbott should seize free speech as election issue

He writes as if he has unearthed a lodestone of untold value, of telling potential for Tony Abbott to exploit.

His first paragraph portrays breathless anticipation: Tony Abbott has been gifted a new election issue that he should seize: a Labor Party ready to restrict political debate and valid expressions of view by the Australian people.  ‘Gifted’ is the key word.  The reader becomes intrigued.  How come Labor has gifted anything to its sworn enemy – Tony Abbott?  What is this ‘gift’?  The next paragraph gives a clue:

Labor's response to the Andrew Bolt case has been a wall of silence.

So it’s about that case – and ‘silence’ is the ‘gift’.  The reader might have wondered whether it was about Sophie Mirabella’s ejection from the House last night when she was attempting to exercise freedom of speech on behalf of the signatories to her petition on the carbon tax, and disobeyed the Deputy Speaker’s order to desist.  No, it’s about the case Andrew Bolt lost at the end of September in the Federal Court.  Why has Paul Kelly just now, two weeks after the judgement, conjured up a strategy for Abbott to pursue?  Why has he bothered at all?

Kelly explains: “There is no doubt, however, this is a Labor law and the judge's decision that further represses political debate is seen as a Labor value.””  It is a law introduced by the Whitlam Government as the Racial Discrimination Act and extended by the Keating Government with the addition in 1995 of the Racial Hatred Act (RHA) which extends the coverage of the Racial Discrimination Act “…to prohibit offensive behaviour based on racial hatred (racial vilification). The RHA covers public acts which are done, in whole or in part, because of the race, colour, or national or ethnic origin of a person or group AND reasonably likely in all the circumstances to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate that person or group.”  

So Kelly is right that it is a law introduced by Labor, and I suppose that gives him the right to call it a ‘Labor law’.  And I expect that entitles him to extrapolate his argument that it represents Labor values; otherwise why would Labor have introduced and amended it.  But it is a bold conceptual leap for him to conclude: “…the judge's decision that further represses political debate is seen as a Labor value.”  It is his interpretation that the judgement ‘further represses political debate’ and he assigns to Labor that ‘value’ – repressing political debate.  That assertion alone should caution the reader to take with a grain of salt what further he writes in his piece.  He might ‘see’ repressing political debate as a Labor value, and assumes his readers will also ‘see’ this.  It is preposterous that he should make this the base on which he rests his case.  This is a senior and very experienced journalist with many fine works to his credit.  Does he believe his reputation will carry this spurious argument?  Where is his evidence that shows his assertion to be true?

He doesn’t advance any, but Abbott–like reinforces his initial assertion: ”Unless overturned on appeal (if there is an appeal) this law will haunt Labor and constitute another chapter in the degeneration of its culture, a process now dangerously advanced.  Indeed, it is hard to find a more perfect example of the trap of political correctness and the legal-human rights culture of legislating for good behaviour than this application of the Racial Discrimination Act. It plays into Abbott's favourite political crusade: Labor's capture by elite special interests that patronise the Australia people and insist on laws that restrict debate in a way most Australians will not accept.”

Note the language: ’haunt’, ‘degeneration of its culture’, ‘now dangerously advanced’.  This is no balanced assessment – it is a partisan political statement, one that might be expected from Abbott, but not from a senior journalist, who might be expected to show some semblance of balance.

Kelly is steamed up: “There is one certainty. Labor will pay a political price. This has yet to dawn on caucus because of the range of more serious problems that Labor faces. But Abbott and shadow attorney-general George Brandis have taken the decision that counts. They intend to punish Labor on free speech and punish it hard. In Abbott's hands, however, this assumes a lethal import.”

He amplifies the threat: “In his oped on this page on September 30, Brandis said: "If the Bolt decision is not overturned on appeal, the provision in its present form should be repealed."

He does not mention that the Coalition had eleven and a half years in power to repeal any part of the Act that Brandis, Abbott or for that matter Kelly finds so offensive, and they did nothing.  Now, with chest puffed out in righteous indignation they are calling foul and accusing Labor of restricting political debate.

Kelly must have been talking to Brandis, who used the same words of condemnation this morning of Labor’s intention to restrict debate on some issues now before the Senate, despite the Howard Government having used the ‘gag’ over a hundred times during its dominance of the Senate.

Kelly clearly has spoken with Brandis when he reveals: “There is no shadow cabinet decision to this effect. But Abbott and Brandis have consulted and, in effect, have decided. It signals a new cultural attack on Labor on grounds of political correctness.”  So to hell with the party room – Abbott and Brandis have decided!

Kelly goes on: “This penetrates to values and Abbott loves a clash over values. Imagine his message: Labor wants to gag ordinary Australians (yes, the outsiders) who speak out against the values prescribed by the insiders.

“The split between Labor and the Coalition seems to be wide. Brandis told The Australian yesterday:
"If I was to become attorney-general in an Abbott government I would make defence of freedom of speech one of my most important priorities."

“Only a fool could mistake such signals.  If the decision by Justice Mordecai Bromberg stands, then Julia Gillard as PM should commission a review of the 1995 amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act that were relevant in the Bolt case.

“Such a review would signal Labor's willingness to rethink the act.  But it is improbable because these were Labor amendments and for many the Bromberg decision is exactly what the law was designed to achieve. Labor, in effect, is trapped. The defeat of Bolt, one of its hate figures, is seen as a victory for Labor values, for human rights and against hate speech and racial intolerance.”

So Kelly sees Labor as ‘trapped’.  Is this some fantasy born of wishful thing by this Abbott admirer?  Does Labor feel ‘trapped’?

Kelly goes on: “There would be uproar if Gillard signalled she was unhappy with the law or its implications. Would there be, and why would she express unhappiness anyway?  Kelly sets up a straw man so he can knock it down.

Kelly then goes onto explain what he’s on about: “The issue here is not Bolt. His articles contained many mistakes. Indeed, there is a persuasive argument on journalistic grounds that they should not have been published and former editor of The Age Michael Gawenda has said he would not have published them.

“Nor does the notion of Bolt as free-speech martyr have the slightest traction, given that few other people have enjoyed the benefits of free speech for so long.

“If the law were merely limited to race hate there would be no issue. But it isn't. The heading on Part 11 A of the act refers to "racial hatred" but, as Justice Bromberg said, its provisions are not restricted to racial hatred or racial violence.

“Any argument this law is necessary to protect Jewish, Aboriginal or Muslim communities from racial hatred is false because the law extends far beyond such purposes. It makes behaviour unlawful in a racial context when it is likely "to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate". This is a conspicuously low threshold. Brandis describes it as a "grotesque limitation on ordinary political discourse".”

Here Kelly is making Brandis’ point, again.

To save you having to go to the article itself, here is the rest of what Kelly wrote: “Judge Bromberg sees the purpose of the act as being to promote tolerance in a multicultural society and he makes findings within this framework. In short, it is about respect in a multicultural society, a threshold lower than the defamation test. The certainty is that Australia's robust political discourse will sometimes fail this test.

“Should Pauline Hanson have been subject to legal action for her comments about Aborigines? Or would this have only been counterproductive? How far should the state go as political censor?

“The act has a series of exemptions on free-speech grounds including "fair comment" in the public interest. But Bromberg found Bolt failed to qualify because his articles were inaccurate (a completely valid call) and written in inflammatory language that used mockery, derision and cynicism.

“This showed that Bolt "failed to honour the values asserted by the RDA" and that his articles reinforced "racially prejudiced views".

“The core message is apparent. "Insufficient care and diligence" was displayed by Bolt in upholding the values of the act and, as a result, he was not entitled to exemption on free-speech grounds.

“Prominent lions from the cultural industry are now cheering a finding that you can have free speech provided you meet the required standard of politeness.  Yes, they are a farce.

Again, Kelly sets up a straw man – ‘politeness’ – and knocks it down as a ‘farce’.

“Nobody pretends free speech is unfettered. Yet the limitations revealed by this judgment are significant. So is the reaction. What counts in Australia today is politics and ideology: the wider debate increasingly reflects the view that "provided I agree with you I will support your free speech, but if I don't then I will oppose it".

“This strange mood is driven, above all, by the failure of the progressive forces to carry the nation with public hostility to carbon pricing the prime exhibit. This was the policy enshrined by the progressive forces, yet it is the policy that has ruined Gillard. The upshot is a tide of anger and resentment that rises and falls within Labor and its cultural backers.”

Here is where Kelly morphs the free speech argument into the carbon tax debate. So is this what it’s about?  Now that the Clean Energy legislation has passed through the House, something Kelly would have anticipated when he wrote his piece, he is urging Abbott to continue the fight under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’.  Neither he nor Abbott will let go of the carbon tax story, defeated though the Coalition is on this matter.

He then, somewhat illogically, he wanders into the media inquiry:

Labor has stumbled into a print media inquiry that may be toothless, constructive or hostile to print media operations. Who knows?

“Frankly, not Labor.  Meanwhile many of its cultural backers are irrational about Abbott and fan hostility to shock jocks, the so-called Murdoch media, while betraying their resentment of an Australian public that still backs Abbott.  it would be a disaster for Labor to become party to the new political correctness.

I suppose Kelly just had to have a tilt at the enquiry, one that News Limited in particular resents.

“Doesn't Labor see this is not about Bolt?  Doesn't Labor grasp that this issue plays directly into Abbott's entire political narrative?  Doesn't Labor grasp that stifling debate is a sure loser with the voters?

Clearly Kelly sees the issue of ‘stifling debate’ a clear winner for Abbott, a way he can continue his attack on Labor now that the ‘carbon tax’ issue is settled and promises to become a non-issue for the public when nothing will happen on this front until the middle of next year, after which people will begin receiving compensation and all the doomsday predictions will come to nothing.  Talk about flogging a dead horse!  And what leads him to believe the public will embrace the ‘Labor is stifling debate’ story?

Kelly concludes: “And when will Labor get some mainstream common sense into its values? If it doesn't, it faces greater electoral erosion.  In other words they had better listen to what he, the great Paul Kelly, has to say.  Yet he nowhere says what this ‘mainstream common sense’ comprises.  The only advice he gives to Labor is to revisit the Racial Discrimination Act, but immediately dismisses this when he says there would be an uproar if Julia Gillard suggested revisiting the Act, presumably from people in her party.

Via his piece Kelly had ‘gifted’ Abbott a new strategy to supplant his toxic tax strategy, or perhaps he is echoing what Brandis and maybe Abbott has already signaled.  Whatever it is, this piece is blatantly partisan political in support of Abbott and the Coalition.  Kelly has declared his hand.  Perhaps we should reflect his questioning style – ‘Doesn’t he realize he’s giving important intelligence to the enemy?’ Or does he not care, because this strategy will be such a winner.

This is an extraordinary piece from an influential journalist.  It smacks of desperation, but from Kelly’s view point it probably looks like another in his long list of prescient articles, steeped in the wisdom of his long years observing politics.  Time will tell.

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 02:38 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Andrew Bolt profile FREE to read for the next 24 hours in The Monthly:


Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 02:43 PM


Well, that explains a lot.

Abbott's Army protesters disrupting Question Time today by yelling out "we don't have a date".

Explains (in Aussie vernacular) why they are full of shit.


October 12. 2011 02:44 PM

Feral Skeleton

   LNP leader Campbell Newman won't sack 2 party officials who hired a former Labor staffer to investigate MPs, including their sexual habits.

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 02:54 PM


TT, I'm with you. I believe the punishment for that sort of thing was hanging, drawing and quartering and then behaeaded andthe heads stuck on a pike at the city gates. A very civilised punishment for traitors, imo.

And let's not overlook their facilitators, TT. A little light racking before the traitors death, mayhap?

Now where can we find some pikes?

Trevor, sounds a bit LIMP to me.

Tee hee, DMW. I just happen to have ordered a fresh supply of sky hooks for a sky falling in scenario. My family will shotgun Wednesday wrt increased cost of tweeting etc.

How brilliantly ironic that Slagabella was absent for the Clean Energy vote because she is a grade A, triple distilled, twin overhead cam moron, who is even more moronic than The Three Wankers! (Liealot, Sloppy and Barnyard, if translation is required).

WRT Liealot's blood oath, I will be more than happy to pierce his jugular for the required 8 pints.

Ad astra, surely Mr Kelly means that he can have his precious free speech so long as we meet the standards of truth, honesty and integrity? Or is he unaware of these qualities?


October 12. 2011 03:16 PM


    How do you plan to get this blood out of a stone lol?


October 12. 2011 03:19 PM


Well, now we know what Sophie Mirabella was up to this morning...  Was it the Alan Jones Rent-a-Derp bus tour again?


October 12. 2011 03:32 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Thanks for another great analysis.  That Tony Abbott is a real misery guts isn’t he, rending his budgie smugglers as we speak.

And I see he has “pledged in blood” to overturn the toxic Carbon Tax when he gets into office.  So, he’s started his messianic martyrdom already by setting himself up in Sophie Mirabella’s shed, trying to summon up the courage to draw the necessary blood.  With the loyal Sophie (Mary Magdalene) by his side, he is trying to summon up courage by singing his version of the Cat Steven’s classic, “The first cut is the deepest”.  The following video is the version by that old crooner, Rod Stewart.
:- (
:- (
I wanna give all the blood in my heart
Then, with my pledge I can make a start
To roll back that toxic Carbon Tax
But if you help me by holding my hand
Sophie, I'll try to relax, but I know...
:- (
The first cut is the deepest
Sophie, I know, the first cut is the deepest
But when it comes to pledging my blood, I’m a wuss
When it comes to wimping out, I’m the worst
:- (
I still want you by my side
Just to help me dry the tears that I'll cry
But It’ll be worth it to give it a try
So that Weet-Bix you’ll still be able to buy
And my wallet won’t be drained dry, cos I know...
:- (
The first cut is the deepest
Sophie, I know, the first cut is the deepest
But when it comes to pledging my blood, I’m a ciss
When it comes to wimping out, weak as piss
:- (
So, please stay here by my side
To staunch the blood from my cut open wide
Cos us poor petals are fond of a cry
From a pin-prick, we think we’re gonna die
I’d love an epidural in my spine, cos...
:- (
The first cut is the deepest
Sophie, I know, the first cut is the deepest
But when it comes to pledging my blood, I’ve no guts
Would rather make excuses with my but...but...buts...

Acerbic Conehead

October 12. 2011 03:48 PM


Jane at 2.54
As for Sophie, you forgot to mention her turbocharger. Like you I'm taken with the fitness of this, all that bullshit about pairing so lovingly fanned by the MSM, all the talk about Gillard being a banana skin away from oblivion & when the rubber hits the road Sophie's blown all her air. It's a metaphor for an Abbott government.

Ad Astra
Liked your piece above. Having lost, at least in the short term, today another fabricated issue is being prepared. At the moment it's a bit twisty to follow but will probably be refined into a three worder soon.


October 12. 2011 03:59 PM


Some say what the disgraceful yobs in the Gallery were shouting was,
"Democracy is Dead!" which
Is pretty bloody rich
Coming from the mob that screeched
Burn the Lying Bitch!

Bloody disgrace. Harry's way of handling it was - not the way Turkeys would do it! - but it was pretty effective in one way, he let them shout themselves to a shamefaced silence.

But the Parliament will never be the same after today's Gallery demonstrations, which will by the way suck oxygen from the great triumph on pricing carbon. It is the real issue of course, not those bloody traitorous protesters and those who mischievously invited them there.

Protest is OK outside the Parliament, I've done it several times myself (so it must be OK iyswim).

Inside the House it is insurrection . . . I think that's the word.  

This will have repercussions. The more from our side at theirs, the better. Democracy will be dead if that mob ever gets power.  

As I go to post this the House has divided to vote on Abbortt's motion to censure *J*U*L*I*A*.
Recaptcha is

iesuce division,

And we won again! Just then! Smile

End of QT.

Your comment at 2.43 is a gem Smile

Jane I only had to see 'drawn and quartered' and I thought instantly That's Jane! Smile

For pikes, could we use Pyne? (Weakest joke I ever made . . . )

PatriciaWA You tell 'em Girl! Smile

See how many smiles I get from this site? Well no, I get lots more than that. Thanks to all.

I especially like the more cutting comments, that's what The Political Sword is for, and there seems to be a mind-toughening going on amongst us, paralleled by comments now being made by our parliamentary warriors. No more Nice Guys, chivalry on the Coalons' part is dead, not democracy.

Turkey's prediction now is that the standard of media will subtly improve. Not subtly on their part, they mostly aren't subtle, but the ground has changed subtly around them and they can't smarm and sneer quite so much ever again.

Combet jsut told Lyndall Curtis that TA's behaviour today was 'bizarre'. and, "Tony Abbortt's foing to look increasingly strange."  Go Greg.


October 12. 2011 04:04 PM


Jason @3.16pm, we may have to settle for sh!t, as it appears the Liars Party doesn't have a date. (Thank you Michael for the research. lol)

AC, couldn't Vampirella just sink her fangs into his neck? All she'd get would be a sh!t sandwich, but that should more than satisfy her, particularly if it's wrapped in a will and an enduring Power of Attorney.

BSA Bob, blown like a surfacing whale and looks remarkably similar.


October 12. 2011 04:19 PM


Jason inadvertently reminded me that today is the anniversary of my publishing the big pome which I have reproduced below, though without Ad astra's permission, but I hope it's OK with him. I admit to being a bit proud of it especially my appraisals of the various personalities I mention there, there's hardly one I'd change.

But today is the greatest win *J*U*L*I*A* and the Government has had in that year, so I celebrate this win by recounting that one.  

[First little note I wrote then. Since then I went there again this year. Where one hill was covered in Sturt Peas last year, this time it's covered with #*cking GOATS which will turn the whole place into a desert.]

HiHo Swordsfolk,
I been away in the Flinders, looking at my State Floral Emblems, the fantastickest flower of all, Sturt Desert Peas, BRILLIANT! No Optus Wireless of course, so I spent some time recording in feelgood verse the drama of the election. I really did it for you jj, hope you love it. heh heh.

The Maid Of Yarralumla

[A Parody on A.B. (Banjo) Paterson’s “The Man From Snowy River”]

There was panic in the parties as the poll results came down,
For Left and Right dead-heated on that day;
The Government’s survival stood on very slippery ground
And the hacks and experts all had heaps to say.
All the journalists and politicians came from near and far
To add their sound and fury to the fight,
And all you heard on ABC was Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
While the Murdoch Press screamed Right is Right is Right!  

There were Liberals like Joe Hockey, a fat and lazy blob,
Who had fallen at the first jump when he’d tried,
Malcolm Turnbull, once-and-wanna-be, and poor old Andrew Robb
While Phony Tony Abbott ran and lied.
There was an effete mincing poodle, known as Whining Chrissie Pyne,
Creepy Kevin Andrews, washed-out Warren Entsch;
Token female Julie Bishop, who thinks plagiarism fine;
That about exhausts the Liberals’ front bench.

They were confident of victory, and hubris they suffused,
And they claimed that they’d won power by a nose;
They squealed that they weren’t guilty of what Treasury accused:
Multi-Billion Dollar Holes, and things like those.
They claimed they had the better of the pan-Australian vote;
They called themselves the Government-in-Waiting;
They said they’d stop invasion of Australia by boat,
While the Media pitched in with Labor-baiting.

And on the Left was Kevin Rudd, who’d won the last time ’round,
But fallen at a hurdle months before,
With Wayne Swan on Economy, a stayer well-renowned,
And of Labor fancied runners, many more.
Stephen Smith, Nicola Roxon, Combet, Albanese, Crean,
The list was long of talents deep and broad:
They were clever and committed, and experienced and keen:
A well-matched team compared with Abbott’s horde.

And one was there, Our Ranga Lass, of feisty fighting breed,
Like a Queen Boadicea, well-advised,
Flashing wit and Gaelic glamour, with Crow-Eater in her creed,    
And Makybe Diva fire in her eyes.
She had led the charge for Labor, but she’d very nearly failed,
(Though equally, she’d very nearly won),
But Julia Gillard held her nerve while lesser beings quailed,
And stayed the course while Abbott made his run.

There was one Sandgroper National, a new bloke, Tony Crook,
And no-one really knew which way he’d vote,
But he seems so undetermined, even bookies won’t make book,
Though he’s travelling in the Coalition’s float.

Andrew Wilkie, (Independent), and young Adam Bandt, (a Green)
Pledged on certain terms to join with Gillard’s crew,
And not bring down the Government, for both of them were keen
Not to support a Coalition coup.
And the way that Gillard wooed them was a credit to them both,
From decent forthright dealings to a mutual binding oath;
So though Abbott now claimed 73, Gillard had 74 -
But she really needed 76 – She had to score two more!  

There were three more Independents, no-one knew how they might jump;  
Robert Oakeshott, Tony Windsor, and Bob Katter:
And the way the hurdles tumbled, all the Force was with that rump,
And the Fourth Estate was full of Twitter twatter.
Those three were ex-Nat mavericks, from effin’ FNQ,
Where brumbies weird as unicorns abound:
Would they jump together? - Left or Right? - Split 2-1? Or, 1-2?
This whole race was on entirely unknown ground!

Then from the Murdoch stables all the hustlers made their run:
They were breathing fire and brimstone every breath:
That Labor’s illegitimate, that Abbott’s mob had won,
And that any tryst with Brown and Greens was Death.

Bloated with his self-importance was conniving Laurie Oakes,
And Piers Ackermann, most bigoted of all,
And the first one to throw stones, that loathsome, hateful Alan Jones:
They’re three key bricks in the Murdochratic Wall.
There was Andrew “Anal” Bolt , and that Glenn Milne, the drunken thug,
Grabbing sleazily at any sleazy grab,
And that ABC lickspittle, Chris Uhlmann, smooth and smug,
And Annabel, the slyly-sidling Crabb.

There was sour Red Kez O’Brien, seemingly forever trying
To skewer Julia with some cunning stab;
And Tony “Look-Me” Jones, interrupting her in tones
That show he thinks he holds sole Royal Right of Gab.
There was Fran "Ms Jelly” Kelly, Michelle Grattan lacking teeth,
And Miss Trivia, Virginia Trioli,
And that smartarse Barrie Cassidy, with snide asides and acidy,
In ABC alliances unholy.

So Our Ranga Lass was targeted by jibes and sexist jokes:
Her Titian locks were tweaked, her finely-chiselled nose took pokes
From those of the moral wee-ness of a teensy flaccid penis –
And unkindest cut of all came from that wimp-out by Megalogenis!
Thus was Julia besieged: just Laura Tingle stood her friend,
And challenged Abbott on her comments page;    
In chivalry and courage she was loyal to the end:
The one fair Australian journo of The Age.

But still the Fascist minions, led by Phony Tony Abbott,
Went a-raging and a-fulminating on:
How they’d really won the Government, and they were gonna grab it,
Until many in the Left feared we were gone.

But while Abbott fumed and fretted, bumbling bully through and through,
Trying bribery and histrionic threats,
In attempts to win the Indies (and he needed at least two),
Julia Gillard was as subtle as it gets.
She was thoughtful, diplomatic, in conciliatory tone,
And the Indies saw that what she says she means,
Until even weird Bob Katter, mad as Alice’s mad Hatter,
Said he’d found some common values with the Greens!

So we waited, hopeful, fearful, as the weights were counted in:
Were we losers, were we winners? Would we wince, or would we grin?
We were hanging on the numbers, on the comments, on the hints -
If not a gleeful grin, then an excruciating wince!
But throughout 16 long days, while all us Aussies held our breath,
Our Ranga Lass ne’er wilted from the hate:
She fought to win the issue as if it were life or death:
It was grand to see that Lass negotiate!

But still, no-one knew the outcome, until on Day Seventeen,
When Bob Katter called a conference at one:
And when he did, he voted (as some said they had foreseen),
With Abbott – Just one more seat, we’d be done!
For the parties now were neck-and-neck, three-score-and-14 all:
The margin must be minimally thin;
If those last two Independents split, the Government must fall,
For Labor needed both of them to win.

Now all the weight of government was held in two men’s hands,
And never had the balance been so fine;
Would they take a national view, or yield to parish-pump demands?
We held our breath, and waited for a sign.
And at last just two hours later, those two last men made their move:
Our hearts in trepidation wildly throbbed:
One party would be jubilant, as winners they would prove,
While the losers all would scream that they was robbed!

First to speak was Tony Windsor, and he gave his solemn word
He’d faithfully support the Labor side;
Effectively he said that Tony Abbott was absurd -
The Coalition cause was now denied!
But that still left Robert Oakeshott: if he went the other way,
The parties would be deadlocked, which would mean
There would have to be a new election, and without delay,
The likes of which this land had never seen.

So still we waited, heart in mouth, while Oakeshott took his time
To explain in full his reasons for his vote;
Though the media was furious, as if it were a crime
They had to listen first before they wrote.
And seventeen minutes later, as the almanac will show
He gave Julia the seat she sorely craved;
And after all the arguments, at long last now we know: -
HOORAY! The Labor Government is SAVED!

Now up at Yarralumla, where the diplomats may raise
Their glasses of Chateau Lafitte on high,
Where the chandeliers of crystal through the frosty evenings blaze,
And the VIP jets streak the azure sky,
And where around the Parliament the votes of aye or nay
Decide the laws by which we must abide,
The Maid of Yarralumla holds the Vandal hordes at bay,
And we Lefties hail Our Ranga Lass with pride.



October 12. 2011 04:28 PM


The delightful Mrs Mirabella at her charming best just prior to expulsion.



October 12. 2011 04:47 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Has everyone else seen this:


   Up there with Steve Jobs, Ai Wei Wei and Barack Obama!

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 04:52 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

CRISP Posted at 7:34 AM Today

    Add this to the... .

Comment 21 of 21

Sound familiar? I thought perhaps a salutation has been dropped.


Not guilty Trev Dahhling.

Sir Ian Crisp

October 12. 2011 04:58 PM


Bob Katter's New Paradigm: Wagging Parliament
This article at The power Index  has a hyperlink to a Hawker Britten analysis of Voting Records in HofR 29/(/10 to 25/8/11, including nice pie-charts for the Greens, and the five independents.



October 12. 2011 05:03 PM


Good to see your paying attention SIC.

Were you also appalled by the behavior of loons in the galleries today.  I don't know.  Where are standards going?


October 12. 2011 05:14 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Here's the article about the latest Campbell Newman/LNP fiasco:


Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 05:15 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Nice Parliamentary Library analysis of the first year of the Hung Parliament:


Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 05:24 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for the link to The Atlantic.  What would Tony Abbott say about Julia Gillard being listed among the 21 Brave Thinkers 2011.  With a rating scale of one star for not taking much risk and five stars for 'risking it all' Julia Gillard tops the list at present with a rating for ‘risk taking’ of 4.3, just ahead of Chinese activist, dissident and artist Ai Weiwei.

Our PM is one gutsy lady.

Read all about it at www.theatlantic.com/.../

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 05:31 PM


A minor correction. The Parliamentary hecklers were calling out "No mandate", a later on the spot Twitterer in the Press Gallery was able to 'hear' in the rabbles' untuneful chanting, not "we have no date".

I shall not return to a vernacular re-reading based on the gender of the date in question.

That way lies darkness.


October 12. 2011 05:39 PM



Thnx for the link to the Parliamentary Library analysis.

Anthony Albanese on last night's Lateline (Tuesday 11/10) said that today the Government will have passed 200 Bills. Not bad for a dis-functional government that cannot focus on policy or administration and is wracked by leadership plots.

reCAPTURA: is Torychou


October 12. 2011 05:46 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your splendid verse, written from your heart and embraced by our hearts.

And suitably rhymed to Banjo Paterson's The Man from Snowy River, the strong and resolute stockman.  We have our own gutsy rider - her name is Julia Gillard.

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 06:00 PM

Ad astra

BSA Bob and Folks
Thank you BSA Bob for your kind remarks about my comment today about the Paul Kelly piece.  I wrote it to see how difficult, or easy, and time consuming it would be to write a critique of an MSM article.  It took about a couple of hours, and was not too arduous.  I note other blog sites do this; Andrew Elder does this particularly well.

The reason I’m interested is that the new version of the blog engine installed a couple of days ago allows secondary sites on the one platform.  I wondered whether a related site devoted to forensically dissecting MSM pieces might be of interest to visitors.  There are plenty to dissect, many appalling.

I could write some, maybe FS could be interested, and I’m trying to excite BB to contribute too – that is where his genius resides.

But before proceeding I would need feedback about whether this additional string to the TPS bow would be worthwhile.  I await your comment.

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 06:23 PM


Ad astra

The reason I’m interested is that the new version of the blog engine installed a couple of days ago allows secondary sites on the one platform.

Could you elaborate on that for me please?

Congratulations on your dissection of Paul Kelly's article. It is a very worthwhile exercise when performed by someone with the requisite skills. I often feel that what I am reading is 'wrong' but lack the understanding required to point to what is at fault. Andrew Elder is marvellous because he has a wealth of experience from which to draw.


October 12. 2011 06:47 PM

Patricia WA

AC, I had a lot of fun singing along with your 'first cut'parody.   Just fits Abbott's purple prose, doesn't it?   I thought my own 'spitting blood' analogy was pretty good until I read that!   But I think we've got to hand it to TT for his "Lass of Yarralumla!" every line and every verse, particularly this one:-

And one was there, Our Ranga Lass, of feisty fighting breed,
Like a Queen Boadicea, well-advised,
Flashing wit and Gaelic glamour, with Crow-Eater in her creed,    
And Makybe Diva fire in her eyes.
She had led the charge for Labor, but she’d very nearly failed,
(Though equally, she’d very nearly won),
But Julia Gillard held her nerve while lesser beings quailed,
And stayed the course while Abbott made his run.

Patricia WA

October 12. 2011 06:49 PM

Ad astra

The blog engine allows another blogsite, or more than one, to be added to the existing one.  So for example Political Sword Media or some such name, could be added to TPS without having to create a new domain and use a different server.  Visitors could be referred from TPS to the subsidiary site or approach it directly, as it would have its own URL.

Some of our regular visitors may wish to contribute to this site; the contributions need not be long; all that is required is that the MSM piece be carefully and fairly dissected and reviewed.  It is a way that our excellent commenters, who often contribute long comments, can become original authors.

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 06:55 PM

Patricia WA

I've so wanted to find a way to praise Julia Gillard for her fortitude in the face of almost overwhelming criticism from all quarters outside her own party.   How many of us could have held firm as she has done?  

Amazingly Labor has stayed with her.  No one has broken ranks, for all the suggestions of commentators claiming to be in the know about dissension within the party.  Doesn't that say something about her and the esteem in which she's held on a personal level?

I have no doubt that her embrace of Rudd after the vote was as sincere as any she offered her other ministers and that his response was as spontaneous as he knew how.

Patricia WA

October 12. 2011 07:20 PM


AA - a critical dissection of media articles could be a great resource.  Your dissection of Paul Kelly was spot on (I notice that like another poster here my comment on the article didn't get published either!).  I'm sure that given time a rebuttal could be written to the ABC article I posted yesterday that would clearly demonstrate the inherent bias.

While a worthy idea - you would want to ensure that you, FS & maybe BB didn't get burnt out.  Would it be possible to list some articles and call for submissions for possible publication?


October 12. 2011 08:39 PM


Norman K

Many thanks for the Anna Nicole expulsion link. I've watched it over and over ..... I enjoyed it greatly.

Like so many of Abbott's mob it's so hard to imagine that Vampirella or any of the front bench from him down would be capable of successfully managing the nation. Especially Vampirella.

I spent a fair bit of time travelling today and ABC news Radio had the senate on most of the day. There was extraordinary and hysterical raves of anger, frustration, threats and disbelief by the likes of Abetz, Cormann and Boyce. Quite enjoyable really.

Abetz as is usual for him spent much time rewriting history .... what an arrogant and superior bit of goods he is.

I hope JG has a few celebratory glasses of her choice tonight. Against all odds and almost insurmountable villification, opposition, criticism and aggression she has brought the bacon home.

Great work JG (and GC).


October 12. 2011 09:00 PM

Acerbic Conehead


I am so excited by your "Political Sword Media" idea that I actually sent an email to the Prime Minister to inform he rof the plan.  This is what she wrote back:

"Dear AC,

Thank for appraising me of the mooted plans of AA to establish a bloggy thingy that critiques political articles written by such luminaries of the MSM, such as Dennis Shanahan, etc.

Can I take this liberty of proffering my services as a member of his intrepid team of hard-hitting scribblers?

Deadlines will not be a problem for me, as I can, indeed, send you all of my future contributions at this moment in time.  

So, please, when it is my turn to analyse some tripe penned by some unofficial member of the Liberal Party, masquerading as a bona fide journalist, please insert, “Don’t write crap”, after each of their paragraphs.

Moreover, I am willing to have any remuneration sent to any worthwhile causes of your choice.  However, at the moment, Sophie Mirabella’s Fighting Fund to cover her civil case costs, or to help Tony Abbott pay his huge mortgage, would appear to me to be a priority.



Whaddya reckon, AA?

Acerbic Conehead

October 12. 2011 09:04 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Trev dahhling, no one condones behaviour like that. It seemed to resemble a CFMEU stop work meeting.

Sir Ian Crisp

October 12. 2011 09:06 PM


Gee Karen Middleton drags SBS News down. They had almost made it through a report on the CEF Bills vote today without paying too much undue attention to the more sensational distractions of the day and then they crossed live to her and she couldn't resist adding in the 'Judas Kiss' and Rudd's ambition. Of course it was accompanied by her usual supercilious smirk - Jay Rosen's 'savvy journalist' on full display.

I wonder if her producer manages to keep her under control with her voice-overs but has no control over her live 'unscripted' reports? It always seems to be her live crosses that contain the snark.
SBS does such a good job of doing what the ABC used to do by reporting objectively but she just drags everything into the hothouse world of gossip and cynicism that the Press Gallery has become. I wish media houses would rotate their representatives out of that environment on a regular basis so that the individual journalists could get a bit of perspective i.e. they are not the story and they don't have a hotline to what's "really" happening.

My pleasure. We hunter gathers are here to serve. Smile


October 12. 2011 09:09 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your comment and your suggestion that others commenting here might contribute to the 'media dissection' blog.  You are right - the few authors we have need to be careful not to get 'burnt out'.  I would welcome other contributors, either responding to a designated article, or finding one themselves and critiquing it.

it is great to see our courageous PM have a sweet victory, and we know how sweet it was from the over-the-top reaction from the Coalition and its supporters.  They are furious and stung by her success, and by definition their failure.  But they are stuck in the same mould that they believe has served them well so far - bellow, bellow, below - singing the same derogatory song.  But they may find the public tires of it now that the carbon tax is passed and ready to be made law by passage through the Senate.

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 09:10 PM

Ad astra

I'm calling it a day.

Ad astra

October 12. 2011 09:15 PM


Annabel Crabb... yes, I know, I know.

But here


she actually praises the achievements and fortitude of PM Julia Gillard.

And the majority of posters to the site are right on Julia Gillard's side, too.

Makes for a very pleasant change from all the bile splattered around by Abbott's Army of vicious and small-minded horrors.


October 12. 2011 09:31 PM


master ian crisp
       " It seemed to resemble a CFMEU stop work meeting."
I don't know how! we will at least see two things today's protesters wont!!! Christmas and the introduction of the tax!


October 12. 2011 09:55 PM


2353 said
"(I notice that like another poster here my comment on the article didn't get published either!)"

Do you mean that when you hit Save comment it didn't go?

Because it was #*cking around with me too I think, though where I am in Adelaide isn't Yes Optus at all, it's a black *hole though only yards away there's a good bit better, anyway I'd press Save comment and de liddle wheel go roun en roun, but happens nothing. Several times, maybe alla same longa you?

Bit of a psof but not so bad as long as you don't lose the post.
Yeah yeah I know do it in Word first. But in the flush of inspiration I do what I'm doing now, jumping straight in, like sex at twenty when you can't wait . . . Oops.
Only in the latter case you get a lot more than you meant to, in the former you get #*ck all.

Speaking of inspiration . . . Isn't it just the Best feeling!
When I wrote that big pome above, I really was in that sort of clear state, I could almost make the rhymes and the images behave for me like yo-yos and puppets on strings. I felt that the events prior and pursuant to the 2010 election were so dramatic, so critical to our nation's future, and it would so important that people understand those events in future times, that the story needed to be carved almost like a totem pole as it were, in sort of 3D language, but straight and in all important aspects complete.  

The Man from Snowy River always was thrilling and inspirational,
And it's true this is a different game
But the thrill and the tempo are the same.

Today I felt vindicated for my faith then and ever since in *J*U*L*I*A*, and in my other-side-of-the-coin dire predictions about how nasty this could get. (Someone on PB today said Time to start stocking up on soup!)

But the behaviour in the gallery today was inexcusable and intolerable. If it doesn't frighten you well I think you're not listening.

But the good side is, the bad side has still got its face firmly pressed into the tar of its own splattering, and today it has lost a lot of its marketability altogether.

Well done *J*U*L*I*A*! We couldna done it without you.

You know why it is, that They affect contempt and scorn for you, don't you PM?! It's because they know you are The Best, our champion, firm of purpose and set of jaw, they affect scorn because they fear you so, they always do it with our true champions of whom you are the latest. We saw it last with Rudd, who really is brilliant as we must acknowledge, but more so with Paul Keating, a dazzlingly insightful leader, and *Gough Whitlam*, and closer to me personally and most especially, our wonderful society-changing Don Dunstan, the most brilliant of all - and the most vilified and persecuted, well I think unto a too-early grave. But in a way I think you are much stronger than our dearly beloved Don. (Tears.)

PM you have never wavered for an instant, you have upheld the best principles of this society and of our Parliament, you are the undoubted leading point of the Government's thrust. You cut through the crap as no-one else can, never minding the polls, because you have come to get a job done and you are doing it, little titanium fists to Abbortt's big lead ones, he thinks he's a pugilist, heh. All he can do now is flail about. Your one perfect punch today has closed one of his eyes. He's kinda . . . #*cked!

I speak simply as one who has unwavering in support of you as our leader, as you have been in pursuit of your great mission.

Dunno about these myxomametaphors but.  


October 12. 2011 10:13 PM

Acerbic Conehead

Loved your poem on the Parliament House loos.  After that “embrace of Gillard with Rudd”, it was definitely a case of “shit happens” on the Opposition benches.

Jane, I’m not sure if even Vampirella’s fangs are strong enough to penetrate Tones’ neck.  After all, it is made of brass...heh...heh...

Thank you for “The Maid of Yarralumla”.  It is an epic and unique contribution to modern Australian political commentary and deserves to be spread far and near.

Acerbic Conehead

October 12. 2011 10:43 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Back again after a meeting and watching a couple of programs on the ABC. Does anyone else think that The Chaser is becoming a tad predictable in the type of commentary they are making about the government? It seems  these days that it is all too easy to be derogatory towards the government, even when they are doing good things. I would appreciate it much more if programmes such as 'The Hamster Wheel' tempered their derision with a few bouquets, although, these days, any TV show which holds Tony Abbott up to the light for scrutiny, as they did tonight with their montage of Tony here, there and everywhere moaning about the 'Toxic Tax', has to be applauded.

   As for Ad Astra's suggestion of  a TPS Mini Me blog where AA, moi and others could do a bit of comparing and contrasting of the fantasy that News Ltd and other journos write, compared with the reality of the situation, well, that would be a great idea because I do that in my head all the time. I just thought it wasn't erudite enough for TPS. Embarassed

Feral Skeleton

October 12. 2011 11:23 PM


TT, brilliant pome. It should be sent to every member of the Liars Party and painted onto every wall of their party room. I bet they wouldn't throw too many parties with the Lass from Yarralumla emblazoned on every wall.

@9.55pm, great sentiments on our courageous PM, PJK, Gough and Donnie Dunstan. And who have the Liars Party got? *crickets* *tumbleweed rolling by*

FS, thanks for theatlantic link. My stupid internet wouldn't download it, but if it's in my emails, I might be able to read it.

Ad astra @5.24pm, Liealot is probably at home gnawing his own leg and thinking of a punishment for Vampirella. I hope someone has drawn his attention to the atlantic award for our PM.

I like the idea of TPS Forensic Media Examination. Do you think live dissection of the offending journos could be included?

I have some hobby scalpels and no idea what I'm doing, which would make me eminently qualified. Perhaps we could start with Dolt. lol

AC, I'm not so sure. Vampirella has most likely had titanium fangs, with Get Smart drills, implanted. I reckon she'd be able to drill straight through Bronze Age Man's disgusting neck. Eeewwww!


October 13. 2011 12:29 AM



Shareholders urged to purge Murdoch & sons from News Corp
Paul Barry   The Power Index

Shock waves from the News of the World phone hacking scandal continue to batter the defences of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
Yet another leading advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) is urging News Corp's big shareholders to purge Rupert and 12 of his 14 fellow directors from the family-dominated company at its annual meeting in Los Angeles in nine days time.

The Gag Reflex
Mr Denmore   The Failed Estate

Journalists are a curious bunch. Priding themselves as professional sceptics and reflexively cynical about those who pursue grubby advantage under the borrowed banner of universal morality, they nevertheless are incurably romantic about their own craft.

What is the opposite of Godwin's Law?
David Havyatt   Anything Goes

 Let's start with some simple facts. There has been a national telecommunications monopoly for fixed line access in Australia since before Federation. The introduction of competition reforms and encouraging competitive investment did not fundamentally change that.

Conservation groups, others welcome bills
AAP   Business Spectator

Conservation and climate groups have welcomed the passage of the federal government's carbon tax bills through the lower house and urged their speedy progress through the Senate and into law.
The Climate Institute CEO John Connor said the legislation will create a potential "win-win" for a cleaner and more competitive economy and support international efforts to tackle climate change.

Carbon price a certainty, but the campaign rolls on
Marian Dalton   The Conscience Vote

Well, it’s happened.
Despite a frantic, near-hysterical campaign of fear mixed liberally with lies …
Despite hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of dollars spent on saturation advertising …

Democracy is Dead. Long Live the Death of Democracy.
Disinterested   In the Public Disinterest

The world has ended. Quite clearly the walls of our reality have collapsed and we are left floating in void of nothingness enclosed in the air tight sphere of taxes and environmental fascism. Democracy; long dead after a majority of elected representatives decided to form government, cannot save us now. They've defeated freedom, they took our jobs and we're rooned. They've passed the carbon tax.

LOSING IT: Sophie Mirabella gets a much-needed holiday

Senior Coalition figures have expressed concerns about the health and stability of Liberal heavyweight Sophie Mirabella after extraordinary scenes in the House of Representatives late last night that saw her expelled from the House for 24 hours by Liberal deputy Speaker Peter Slipper.

The Passion of Sophie Mirabella
Andrew Elder   Politically homeless

I met Sophie Panopoulos at a Liberal students' conference in the late 1980s and at the time, as I've tweeted earlier, thought she was a great sucking hole of need. If she was a bloke she'd have a chip on her shoulder, but let's not be sexist. We all wanted to be MPs at that age, but I underestimated how much sheer need would count toward that end.

Look Within to Pick Up Productivity
Ross Gittins

One of the tricks to success - in business, or in life - is to focus on the things that matter, not the things people (and hence, the media) are getting excited about this week. Of late we seem to be doing a lot of worrying about the wrong things.

God and gambling: the cardinal goes missing
Paul Barry   The Power Index

Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen has used his moral authority as a church leader to condemn sports clubs that benefit from the losses of pokie addicts.
But where does the archbishop's Catholic counterpart sit in this debate? And why has he not joined the fight?

Who are the ‘one percent’?
John Passant   En Passant

There are two main classes under capitalism – the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the ruling class and the working class, the bosses and the workers.
Workers sell their labour power to survive and have little or no control over their work. Bosses buy our labour and have control over us as a consequence.

The Australian and by golly you can see the great wall of China and the hubris and the venting spleen from the moon ...
Dorothy Parker   Loon Pond

Not being able to muster the strength and the courage to watch Q&A, and wondering whether Caroline Overington managed to make a goose of herself, as a reader predicted, we sat down to skim through the transcript, only to discover novelist Richard Flanagan came away with the line of the week, perhaps the month:
RICHARD FLANAGAN: Well, I think if you stood on the moon, two things would be visible, the Great Wall of China and the self pity of Andrew Bolt.

Tax policy as magic pudding
Matt Cowgill   We are all dead.

Janet Albrechtsen has thrown her support behind the idea that a cut in tax rates will lead to an increase in tax revenue.
The problem is that there is little empirical support for claims that cuts in tax rates from the rates that currently prevail in countries like the US and Australia will result in increased revenue. Even conservative Republican economists dispute the notion that tax cuts pay for themselves.

Elizabeth Warren brings it....
Tim Dunlop   B Sides

If you're a fan of US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's recent comments about taxation, you'll probably enjoy this.  If you're not, you might enjoy it anyway.

CEF: What the academics say
Sophie Vorrath   Climate Spectator

As the news sinks in that the Gillard government's Clean Energy Future Package – having been voted through by the House of Reps Wednesday morning – will almost certainly be passed into law and come into effect on July 1 2012, here are some comments from Australia's academic and scientific community on what it all means:

Great big new tax debate: the quotes
Giles Parkinson and Sophie Vorrath   Climate Spectator

A "f***ing great day for the country", as one pro-carbon pricing advocate said this morning, or the end of democracy, and many of our industries, as one of the Coalition MPs described it?


LNP paid for sex, scandal files on Labor MPs including Anna Bligh
Patrick Lion   The Courier Mail

LNP Leader Campbell Newman has ordered his party to shred the "sleazy" ALP dirt file it paid thousands of dollars for after revelations it details the sex lives and personal information of Labor MPs.
Mr Newman said the dirt file revelation was embarrassing. He apologised to Premier Anna Bligh and Labor MPs, saying the dossier was “entirely inappropriate’’.

Tony Abbott will have to stomach more carbon in his political diet
John Beveridge   Herald Sun

For political reasons Tony Abbott must continue to oppose the carbon tax to the grim death but in practical terms and for good or ill, the carbon genie is now out of the bottle and getting it back inside will be more difficult the longer it is free.
Terry McCrann is on leave.

Pensioners protested, steel workers too, and no one got hurt
Richard Willingham and Tom Arup   The Age

SUNSHINE Coast nurse Lyn Bishop took her teenage son to Canberra to find democracy but says she could not find it after the Gillard government passed its carbon pricing legislation.
Steel worker Matt Wilton said the carbon tax issue had been overblown. Mr Wilton is one of the workers to lose his job from the Hastings plant, with his last shift next Wednesday.

The man in the hot seat
Shane Green   The Age

As parliamentary secretary for climate change, Mark Dreyfus was on the front line selling Labor's carbon tax legislation, and he can claim some of the credit for its success yesterday. He spoke to Shane Green.


October 13. 2011 02:24 AM


Another link

More complaints but much love for ABC
Tim Dick

  COMPLAINTS of political bias against the ABC have
  increased 80 per cent in a year, while the amount of praise
  it receives has been decimated.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...-for-abc-20111012-1ll2p.html

Please note: claims of political bias rose from 1266 to 2280. It seems, however, that those asserting right-wing bias are the most active.


October 13. 2011 03:50 AM

Patricia WA

Well,  scaring people and making them angry only works for a while and with particular demographics. Australians are winners at heart.   These people backing Abbott are so obviously now losers.   The ugliness of the anti-reform group in the gallery and on the Opposition benches spoke for itself today in Parliament.   So does Tony Abbott plan to carry on like this indefinitely?   Or, more importantly, is the Liberal Party going to let him?


Patricia WA

October 13. 2011 06:45 AM

Feral Skeleton

            One Trick Tony, and his sidekick, Greg 'Cunning Verbal Stunt' Hunt, "Will not be deterred!!" They, like Kim 'Rollback' Beazley before them, will keep running their fool's errand, every day, in every way they can think of, along with their lay political mates, the Ugly Australians of No Consequence, up until the next election.

   I mean, you didn't expect them to act rationally, did you? Or, replace the rhetoric with policies?

Feral Skeleton

October 13. 2011 08:02 AM

Feral Skeleton

            I found this paragraph in the ABC smh story telling:

   The ABC director of corporate affairs, Michael Millett, said the rise was due to the year covering three elections, federal, NSW and Victorian, especially over the federal campaign, and interviews on 7.30 in particular.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...-for-abc-20111012-1ll2p.html

  Seems like others have noticed that 7.30's interviews have become a bit lopsided in their handling of MPs from one side as compared with the other.

Feral Skeleton

October 13. 2011 08:27 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

October 13. 2011 08:42 AM


FS 6.45 am

I think Abbott is well capable of wedging himself. He says today he's going to continue to pursue the carbon legislation "relentlessly".

At least 50% of his team are only nominally "onside". Ditto for a large component of coalition voters. The more obvious the latter becomes, the more nervous the former will become.

He might well send himself to political oblivion by his relentless dummy spit. Ah, the price of narcissism!

Here's hoping.


October 13. 2011 08:55 AM


You never miss the water till the well runs dry.
My Dad used to say that. And ain't it the truth.

NormanK has kicked in splendidly as Temporary Lyn's~Linker, saving us from the grief that Lyn's absence would otherwise have caused. We'd be lost in cyberspace without either of you, I couldn't do it, but it's very important, and I don't mean just for this blogsite.

But it is really Feral Skeleton I want to pay a tribute to today, because I think the rest of us are more prone to take Professor Hillbilly Feral Skeleton for granted, Why? - because You FS are ALWAYS there, and that's like water always on tap. The water is the most important input of all, but of course it's *invisible*, the same way CO2 is *weightless*. Smile

Feral you would probably have input a third of all the words, and of all the posts, in the time I have been writing on The Political Sword. That is truly awesome! Much of it is the result of research entirely down to you, and although I have not quite always agreed with all your opinions or conclusions, I want to acknowledge what a huge contribution you make here, and just anytime you might think no-one notices you, it's because you are as a Tank Stream to the Sword and to the whole Blogosphere.

Don't ever dry up!



October 13. 2011 09:25 AM


In like of Abbott's "blood promise" to repeal the CPRS, is now the time to remind people of the 7.30 Report interview between Abbott and Kerry O'Brien where Abbott admitted to exaggerating in the heat of battle?

If you want to find the transcript - try this www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2010/s2901996.htm

P.S. Recaptcha bingo - dyvisi consequence


October 13. 2011 10:21 AM

Ad astra

I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about Feral Skeleton.  She is there day after day with comments and links to feed us with information.  She has a well-organized approach to research that includes overseas and official sources.  And on top of that, informed by her background in politics, she writes excellent original pieces that attract much intelligent comment.  We are looking forward to her next piece next week.

FS, you are a great asset to TPS. Thank you so much.

Ad astra

October 13. 2011 11:24 AM

Ad astra

Patricia WA, FS, psyclaw, 2353
Tony Abbott’s ‘blood oath’ uttered in anger and frustration yesterday might turn out to be the beginning of his decline.  Recall Gough Whitlam’s call to his astonished supporters to  ‘Maintain the Rage’ after ‘The Dismissal’.  That proved to be impossible even over the short six-week election period, and he was swept away. How will Abbott ‘maintain the rage’ for the next two years?

How will he sustain even a modicum of interest in his ‘toxic carbon tax’ when the news bulletins find no value in publicizing it in the quiet periods after the legislation is bedded down and the activity is mainly behind the scenes in establishing the operating mechanisms for its implementation?  The media will show little interest in this mundane activity as it will provide it with no sensational grabs, no entertainment, and little conflict.

I imagine the only occasions when Abbott might find an outlet for his ‘we will repeal this toxic tax’ will be when Julia Gillard and Greg Combet are out and about informing the public about how the scheme will work in practice, something the pundits are urging them to do, of course based on the proposition that the Government has so failed to ‘sell’ the scheme, so it must do this now.

If I were advising Government, I would recommend that it defer further publicity for some months, specifically to deprive Abbott the oxygen of currency.  

When the excitement of the Clean Energy Future bills has died down, as it will in a few days, how will Abbott resurrect interest?  Will he continue to visit factories, mines, butchers, and fishmongers where he can fillet and kiss fish and scare everyone about the looming price hikes in everything?  How long will the media be prepared to deploy its resources to continue with this political theatre?  Will the media judge the people still have interest in more of the same old Abbott stunts?  Even the most bizarre becomes boring when repeated endlessly.

Let’s monitor how Abbott ‘maintains his rage’.  It should be an interesting study in political dynamics.

Ad astra

October 13. 2011 11:28 AM


This could get ugly.

Ombudsman's independence questioned after Greens link
by Phillip Coorey
THE Gillard government has taken issue with the supposed independence of the Commonwealth Ombudsman after it was revealed he conspired politically with the Greens to embarrass the government over immigration and other sensitive policy issues.


October 13. 2011 11:28 AM


The selective (and self-serving) memory of Sloppy Joe.

"Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said just as the Coalition had accepted Kevin Rudd's mandate to repeal Work Choices, an election loss would force Labor to reconsider the merits of the carbon tax."


Kicking and screaming must be Joe's idea of "accepting" a mandate, because as I remember things, the Coalition has never accepted a Labor government mandate, either for Rudd or Gillard.

Didn't Shouldabeen describe the Australian electorate as "sleepwalking" when Labor won in 2007?

The Coalition talking of mandates as the go-ahead to repeal anything and pass any legislation is like the Mafia asserting that having a gun in hand is an ipso facto licence to murder.

Legislation in a democracy is meant to be the result of political philosophy applied to daily reality. If the only reality for the Coalition is to rescind and undo Labor laws, then their 'philosophy' stands exposed as nothing more than reactionary reversalism.

And their 'philosophers'? Barren.


October 13. 2011 11:43 AM

Ad astra reply

I'm now getting on the road back to the south coast.  I'll be back later in the day.

Ad astra reply

October 13. 2011 11:47 AM


PatriciaWA, I think the Desperate Dans like those in the gallery yesterday will hold on to the idea that Liealot has a white treadly and a suit of lycra stashed away somewhere.

And he'll treadle in brandishing a written undertaking to lie, cheat, deceive, manipulate them and distort the truth in every way he can until the wake up to him.

Like that nurse from MormanK's link, who bleated that democracy had died because the Clean /energy bills were passed by a majority vote in the lower House yesterday. Wait till you see more undemocratic majority voting in the Upper House, Cretin of the Year!

I was totally gobsmacked at what an eskimo piehead she is, and no doubt will continue to be ad infinitum etc. What the dumb bitch witnessed WAS democracy in action!

But she is such a brainwashed cretin that she believes a majority vote is undemocratic! Might as well finish the lobotomy, imo.

However, FS is right on the money as to the continued crazed actions of Liealot and the Liars Party. He will keep bashing his already hideous head against the biggest, hardest brick wall he can find in an effort to prove that he is the legitimate heir to the throne.

To anyone even marginally normal, this is not the action of a sane and rational person. Generally, when you know there's nothing more you can do about a particular hobby horse or problem, you move on.

But not Liealot. He's coming apart at the seams but still thinks that if he just keeps bashing away at the brick wall, the legislation will go away and he'll wake up with a slight headache and in possession of the crown and sceptre.

I'd love to be there when he does wake up and realises that he's just chalked up another big fat FAIL! Bwwaahahahaha!

But while he's relentlessly pursuing that pesky windmill, his nemesis, the bloodnut will have slipped in another couple of hundred pieces of legislation.

Poor old Liealot, they'll find him, dazed and confused, blood pouring from his extensive self-inflicted head wounds, slumped at the base of the wall, muttering about windmills and attempting to write an incoherent message in his own blood on the wall.

A cretin disguised as a nurse will crouch nearby, gibbering about the death of democracy and trying to help Liealot write on the wall.

The ambos team leader is a female bloodnut with fleshy earlobes, a noble nose, a very distinctive Aussie accent and a copy of The Atlantic in her pocket.

Another member of the team has floppy blonde hair and glasses and does a lot of traveling o/s attending conferences.

Despite their best efforts to get him into the ambulance, Liealot takes one look at the team leader, springs to his feet like a hyena, and with an anguished cry leaps onto the white treadly lying nearby and pedals off into the distance, screaming like a madman.

Too late, Team Rescue from the Liars Party led by Greg 'Cunning Verbal Stunt' Hunt, arrives with a white van, a bandage and a strait jacket.

They are followed by a landcruiser streaming water driven by Barnyard with Sloppy, Eyes, Little Mincy Whynne and Vampirella Slagabella clutching in a vice-like grip, what seems to be an elderly Alzheimer's sufferer, as passengers.

The ambos, one of whom has a medal on a lanyard bearing the legend "World's Best Treasurer", shake their heads and report to Ambo HQ on laptops connected to the fantastic new broadband network provided by the feds.

NormanK, I'll add my appreciation to TT's to you for picking up the reins while Lyn has her well deserved break.

In fact the whole TPS team should pat themselves on the back for the fantastic work they do keeping information up to lurkers like me.


October 13. 2011 11:49 AM


Err, I meant Normank. Blush.


October 13. 2011 12:10 PM


Obviously there is nothing wrong with the condition of public discourse in this country and we still give holders of public office the respect due to them for the roles that they play.
Or not.

'Vile' spitting forces Schwarten to quit
by Paul Robinson
The Member for Rockhampton, in central Queensland, says a spitting incident earlier this year was one of the key reasons behind his decision to quit politics.
A magistrate jailed a man for three months yesterday for spitting in Robert Schwarten's face in a Rockhampton street in January.


Mr Schwarten is a member of the Queensland ALP but I would suggest that disrespect knows no party affiliation.


October 13. 2011 01:22 PM


To Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and all the Labor team, the Independents and Greens.

A huge congratulations and well done, against all odds, we now have an emissions trading scheme almost in place.  Thank you.

Ad Astra

Although I have emailed our PM, I needed to write it here too, hope you don't mind.  I was too busy to write yesterday, and a bit too excited after all these years it is like a weight has been lifted.

And you wrote on 11th at 6.52pm

Tony Abbott and his cronies have learned that they can say anything they like, provoke any way they wish, and the MSM will let them get away with it.  It’s arrant nonsense but they don’t worry about that at all.  It shows what rubbish you can spread around if you have the media on side.

I have been thinking and saying exactly the same thing.  It is so frustrating.  

Having just read everyone's comments from the 11th through to now, I agree with most of what has been said.  I do like the way Ad Astra made Paul Kelly's argument look stupid.  I also like reading Andrew Elder's pieces, and would love to read more.  Unfortunately I can't do that sort of thing, but I think most of you here could.  

Talk Turkey

Your pome about Julia gets more beautiful every time I read it.  Maybe you could repost it every three months or so.


I too love the way you express yourself, you would be good at dissecting the 'journalist's' articles.

Feral Skeleton

Looking forward to your next piece, as usual you will outdo yourself.


Keep those links coming, I'm sure I'll get through them by the time next Mondays lot arrive.


October 13. 2011 02:32 PM


Ad astra @11.24am, wise words. It would certainly behove the government to deprive Liealot of carbon pricing oxygen over the next few months until it comes into force on 1 July next year.

He can't maintain the rage to stop the legislation being passed. That's done and dusted, but I'm sure he'll find some other tosh to fuel his rage and that of the desperates who cling to the simplistic reality of the Liars Party and their cheerleaders.

However, maintaining adrenalin fuelled rage over a long period of time must have a damaging effect on one's health, both mental and physical.

It's been suggested that he will renew his attacks on Craig Thomson, but his flanks are now exposed by the Slagabella scandal. And her increasingly erratic behaviour won't help his cause.

He may have to confine her to the potting shed and only let her out briefly to say Yea or Nay. I suppose he could give her a well heeled elderly lawyer to play with.

And I suppose he and his desperados will keep shrilly demanding an election with increasing ferocity until 1 July 2012 has passed.

I suspect they will also look increasingly desperate and unhinged as the next couple of years passes. And I also suspect the PM may have her PJK handbook open at the Doing The LOTO Slowly chapter.


October 13. 2011 03:48 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I'm just keeping my end of the TPS tent up. Smile

  Anyway, Ad Astra was kind enough to provide this refugee from Jack the Insider's blog a home, and, like the song goes, 'Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home.' Ergo, my hat will forever be found on the hatstand at The Political Sword, or until such time as AA Red cards me for getting too shouty. Smile

   Thank you for your words of support as well. I was going to say, and I will now, that 'The Las From Yarralumla' was up there with Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson.

   No wonder the National Library wants TPS archived. Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 13. 2011 03:49 PM

Feral Skeleton

     Here's the missing 's'. Embarassed

Feral Skeleton

October 13. 2011 03:54 PM

Feral Skeleton

        What a horrifying thought, politics populated by the likes of Sophie Mirabella and other LNP clones of a similar ilk, supported by the ignorant bigotry of the scumbucket who spat on Mr Schwarten. Up there with the nurse who called our Brave Prime Minister, "A lying scrag" yesterday. Thank goodness I will never be nursed by that woman, I don't know what I'd end up catching from her, as she seems to dwell in the sewers.

Feral Skeleton

October 13. 2011 03:55 PM

Feral Skeleton

     I think TPS has unearthed a diamond in the rough. However, with every day that goes by you are becoming more polished. I will be looking forward to your takes on articles from The Austrollian. Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 13. 2011 03:56 PM


This is an amazing game being played out in Parliament as I write. Abbortt has just interrupted QT with an MPI and he's having his rant, *J*U*L*I*A* has walked out, do you blame her!

Abbortt on about a THREE POINT PLAN !

Dog he's hard on the ars (sic! - my keyboard done that!) er ears is what I meant!

But it's like a Chess game. What will the Government do?

It needs verr-rry careful handling. It is more a political problem than a physical one, of course. But I think that Cabinet will be able to Queen-trap the Coalons on their utter hypocrisy in this asylum seeker situation, and the Greens need to look out too, they are likely to become the fulcrum when the levering starts in earnest. Come on Mr Bandt, you have a lot of responsibility for the way things stand, watcha gunna suggest eh?

Or have you left your suggestion at our local planning office in Alpha Centauri, as some other apologists for Greenishness appear to have done?  Smile


Did anybody watch the very end of QT where Lyndal Currgghhhtis interrupted the PM speaking on indulgence with a soft-toy mascot? It was so urrrggghhhh you can see where she got her name.  


October 13. 2011 04:00 PM

Feral Skeleton

        You know Joe Hockey and the Opposition are simply manipulating and distorting into an unrecognisable form, the precepts of the Westminster Tradition of Parliament, morphed into the Reactionary Right of American politics. Not a pretty sight and not where I want 'our' democracy in Australia to go to. It's all downside and no upside.

   Which is why we must keep the fires burning that light the torches that we carry for that which is right and good about politics.

Feral Skeleton

October 13. 2011 04:28 PM


It's a funny old site over here:


Every article seems to attract hundreds of posts in response. Well, sort of "response".

I reckon by the second or third, certainly no later than the fourth of fifth comment, the original article's thesis is hijacked by yea-ers or nay-ers who take the whole responding thread into their own little battlefields of snarky personal attacks, far less than veiled observations about another respondent's sexuality/intelligence/claim upon being a human of any description, and just generally get into head-kicking big time.

It's like, roll a ball, any ball, and up come the rampant keyboard whackers.

End result? Sound and fury, signifying as it ever has...

Nada, for all the yada yada yada.

PS reCaptcha code - bilessem any (true dinks!0


October 13. 2011 04:30 PM


On Poll Bludger, Space Kidette said
"Has anyone noticed that the way Sophie moves is a tad odd?"

Could someone who writes on PB please inform SK that it's called 'slunting', because of the kind of creature that moves that way!


October 13. 2011 05:02 PM


Feral Skeleton

Although the story of Mr Schwarten being spat on is an unsavoury one, my larger concern is that the overall lack of respect that has infested all forms of public interaction is dragging us down. It is not sufficient to just say "oh, look at them!" As we saw some time ago when discussing the circumstances surrounding the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War, when we adopt the tactic of fighting fire with fire there are no winners - we all lose. If it is not already the case that anecdotal evidence points to all sides of political debate having crossed the line of decency then I predict that we are not very far off.
The only way that we can avoid such a circumstance is for one side to say "that's not for us."
Although I rarely visit The Punch I have no trouble imaging that this is the sort of thing that Michael is referring to above. Getting down in the gutter with 'the enemy' might feel good in the short-term but it does our society no favours for the long-term health of public discourse.

On an altogether different note, this seems to have slipped in under the radar but might be worth monitoring.

Howard aides investigated over Habib kidnap, torture
by Christopher Knaus

Members within former prime minister John Howard's own department are being investigated over their involvement in the overseas kidnapping, rendition and alleged torture of cleared terror suspect Mamdouh Habib.


Late last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security was ordered to find out what Australian intelligence agencies, the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade knew about Mr Habib's torture.

The intelligence watchdog's annual report, tabled in Parliament yesterday, reveals that Inspector-General Vivienne Thom wrote to Prime Minister Julia Gillard mid-way through the investigation, claiming to have evidence that the Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet had been directly involved in the case. Dr Thom claimed that officers from both departments were ''directly involved in decision making at the time'' of Mr Habib's detention and torture.
She requested that Ms Gillard give her permission to pursue investigations against those departments, a request that was granted on February 26.



October 13. 2011 05:58 PM


FS @3.54pm, must be the same moron who intoned democracy was dead because a piece of legislation was passed by a majority vote. Apparently in her corner of the prison yard, a majority vote doesn't carry the day.

Weird, huh?

NormanK, this is dynamite! Oh what fun when this grenade is lobbed into centre court!

But so far it seems to give direct support to Mr Habib's claims that the Rodentochracy was involved up to its beady eyes in his maltreatment.

I'd lay odds that slime ball Reith was in it up to his eyeballs and I wouldn't discount Dolly and our (un)beloved LOTO as well as the Lying Rodent himself. Ruddock would have to be a lay down misere, I would have thought. There are rat droppings all over this.

Wouldn't that be a lovely fish to fry? Crispy batter, a wedge or two of lemon, some perfectly cooked chips, meltingly soft on the inside and crisp and deliciously crunchy on the outside and a green salad. A lovely crisp Wangolina Station white to top it off.

What a Christmas present for the PM!

Who knows, perhaps time to revisit AWB for desert?


October 13. 2011 08:06 PM

Ad astra reply

I've enjoyed reading your comments and links.  Wasn't Mega's article about the GST interesting?

But wasn't Chris Uhlmann's performance awful tonight!  He's such a smart Aleck he ought to be an adviser to the PM so that she can get things right, Uhlmann fashion.  He is arrogance writ large.

Tomorrow will be less hectic so I hope to catch up with all that occurred today.

I'm retiring now for a good night of TV

Ad astra reply

October 13. 2011 08:52 PM


Great article. Should be on the Drum, abc.

When Kevin Rudd was the Opposition Leader, the perceived wisdom was that John Howard was to be treated with courtesy and respect as otherwise the electorate would be all over him.

Now, however, Tony Abbott is abusive, rude ,says out right lies, shows no respect to Julia Gillard as a person or to the office of Prime Minister and is not held to account by either the MSM or the radi or anybody. In fact, it is encouraging all the right wing loonies to say and post extreme comments.

There is no civility shown by Tony Abbott and he wants to be the Prime Minister?


October 13. 2011 10:04 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Hello Monica! Welcome to The Political Sword. Smile
  We are all refugees here from the insanity that passes itself off as politics, and observors of it's incestuous relationship with the Press Gallery.

Feral Skeleton

October 13. 2011 10:15 PM


NormanK - the Habib thing is a brilliant find.  Assuming the investigation delivers some ammunition, I wonder when it will be fired.  Would the strategy be to give it to say 10 News (who have surprised recently on occasion) and watch News stew over it?


October 14. 2011 12:20 AM



Carbon tax in Australia
John Quiggin   Crooked Timber

While the proposal is far from perfect, there’s a lot to like about it. The price of $A23/tonne is comparable to that in the EU, and should be enough to promote a wide range of reductions in CO2 emissions. Importantly in the Australian context, it should (with the support of some addition funds to allow the closure of existing power stations) end the use of brown coal (lignite) as a fuel.

Carbon tax: We'll wonder what all the fuss was about
Peter Martin

It is a measure of how little those public companies who forecast doom believed their forecasts that most didn't pass them on to the ASX.

Abbott’s gory pledge would be a legal bloodbath
Fergus Green   Crikey

Abbott’s hyperbole has certainly attracted the headlines, but it betrays a curious tactic. By using such uncompromising rhetoric, Abbott has left himself no room to move if repealing the nascent scheme becomes legally impossible or popularly unpalatable.

The loaded hot dog
David Horton   The Watermelon Blog

Did you see where Denmark has placed an extra tax on fatty foods to try to begin reducing obesity problems in their society? Don’t know why the Scandinavians are so much better at this kind of thing than we are. Yes I do.
Immediate outrage from the food and grocery council, and you could sense a media campaign coming on, politicians being lobbied, small children weeping in tv interviews, legal cases underway.

Former Sun editor: arse-kissing pollies to blame for UK media woes
Paul Barry   The Power Index

Ex-London Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie was always Rupert Murdoch's favourite. Cheeky, funny and outrageous, he propelled the tabloid's circulation to 4 million at its peak. And yesterday, at the Leveson inquiry into the "culture and ethics" of Britain's media, he did his master proud.

Who's on Tony Abbott's mailing list?
Peter Timmins   Open and Shut

Not sure how widespread this was across the country but yesterday here, an out of the blue email from Tony Abbott, to which this reply this morning-will post any response:

NBN critics: Can’t you do better than this?
Renai LeMay   Delimiter

Attention, NBN critics: If you’re going to engage in the popular Australian pastime of sledging the National Broadband Network, at least get your basic facts right before doing so. Otherwise, you’ll end up with egg all over your face.

From bad things good things grow
Lynne Blundell   The Fifth Estate

We are on the cusp of a wave of progress and innovation that will transform the way we live and the types of dwellings we choose to live in .....
“Each wave started with innovative, disruptive new technologies and with a global depression – they have transformed societies, our industries and economies almost beyond recognition,” Nathan said.

The generosity of Sophie Mirabella
Barry Everingham   Independent Australia

I’ll wager it would have been wise to have avoided Sophie Mirabella after her unseemly – some would say common – behaviour had her unceremoniously thrown out of the House of Representatives on Tuesday night.
And it was a Liberal deputy Speaker who had the guts to do the deed.
Good old Peter Slipper.

Bloody oath, there’ll be blood on the tracks by bedtime
Jennifer Wilson   No Place For Sheep

Now Budgie-butt has taken to swearing blood oaths. Which you probably have to do if you want to restore a smidgen of credibility after telling everybody not to believe anything you’ve said unless it’s written down. He keeps raising the stakes, while others would rather see him impaled on one. Through the heart then add plenty of garlic.

the ALP's core problem
Gary Sauer-Thompson   Public opinion

There are debates about why the Gillard Govt is sinking in the polls and is so very unpopular. Various explanations have been put forward: the ALP's inability to communicate to the public; its ongoing internal leadership conflicts; the faceless factional leaders running the show; the series of unpopular reforms; a woman PM; Abbott's effective no big tax attacks; etc etc etc.

'Fundamentalist' Albrechtsen's Malaysia misfire
Max Atkinson   Eureka Street

If our ideals are the values we wish to live by, then ideologies are interpretations set in concrete. They are judgments held with such conviction that appeals to reason, empathy or coherence — even to the same values — are pointless. 'Fundamentalism', in its common pejorative sense, describes this kind of irrational commitment, now widespread in our public debates, although still condemned as fanaticism when it is used to justify violence.

Blood Pledge Now Or Burn Up, Baby
Ben Pobjie   New Matilda

And so now we have a carbon tax. That’s right, the woman who promised to never, ever, over her dead body cross her heart and hope to die nevereverever introduce a carbon tax has gone right ahead and introduced a carbon tax. Her sly Machiavellian plan has almost come to fruition. Stage 1: Lie to the Australian people while snidely giggling on the inside. Stage 2: Reveal that you are a liar. Stage 3: Become incredibly unpopular. Stage 4: Kill everyone.

The web of vested interests behind the anti-wind farm lobby
Simon Chapman   Crikey

The network diagram shows connections between some of the principal individuals who have been vocal in opposing wind farm development in Australia, several organisations that are at the forefront of the opposition, the Institute of Public Affairs and its love-child the Australian Environment Foundation and the Victorian Liberal Party.

Adviser wants onshore processing in the spotlight
702 ABC Sydney

"There are a number of parts of that agreement that were very good policy in terms of engaging with the region.
"The challenge with locations like Nauru and Manus Island or PNG is that those countries are not transit countries.
"Any investment you make in those countries does not effect the overall regional movement of asylum seekers.


Touch of Twilight Zone as hecklers pipe up
Judith Ireland   The Canberra Times

Several rows in the gallery behind the Prime Minister were now on their feet, hands on hearts, Amazing Grace-style. ''No man-date! Democracy is dead!'' Over and over again, like an angry zombie choir.
Gillard hardly registered a reaction. She sat down and stared off into the middle distance, while the guards struggled to remove the (predominantly) elderly agitators.
If democracy was dead, why did she have to put up with this?


October 14. 2011 01:42 AM


Thanks to a reference by someone at LP here is a link to TODAY'S LIBERAL PARTY: AMNESIA AND QUARRY VISION an extract from 'High & Dry' by Guy Pearse


Writing during the Howard years Guy Pearse said,

  “Today the bipartisanship on greenhouse policy is gone
  and 99 per cent of Liberal MPs, members and supporters have
  no knowledge that it ever existed."

  "The Liberal Party commits to reducing greenhouse gas
  emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2000.

  Although it's long forgotten, the Coalition – led by John
  Howard's arch-rival Andrew Peacock – took this policy to the
  1990 federal election. As early as 1988, the Coalition was
  moving ahead of the Labor Party in their commitment to
  absolute cuts in Australia's greenhouse emissions. The
  environment was fast becoming an important political
  battleground, and responding to climate change was one area
  in which my party acted early, decisively and in the national


See also responses to the CEF Bills at the Australian Science Media Centre:



October 14. 2011 07:41 AM


Some thoughts:

Why does CNN promote Piers Morgan so much? (good way to lose my attention):


Piers is yet another ex-News of the World Murdoch Empire lackey. He's currently saying positive things about the ultimate stumbling idiot leader GW Bush in an interview w/ his brother Jeb...yes, all we need is another of the Bush crims in the White House.

Not surprising when you consider this latest attack on teachers & their unions by the corporate crims in a simplistic, reductionist approach...in tandem w/ the political, journalistic & corporate hawks biting at the champ to attack Iran to appease their Saudi oil mates & Israel lobby allies w/ the big money in politics...all part of an ongoing grotesque & sycophantic election process & push to continue the rampant capitalism that has seen the many fall prey to the corporate aristocratic predators that manipulate markets & media to enslave the 99%.

Is Obama bein' railroaded into an attack on Iran? Notice how the Republicans have moved up the Florida primary...announced around the time of the Ed Koch-influenced NY election?...

How dumb would the Americans be to fall into another expensive quagmire? Do they really believe that many middle-ages style Saudis wouldn't enjoy seeing them fall further into an economic blackhole...as much as the Iranians would?

The “Very Scary” Iranian Terror Plot

By Glenn Greenwald


Would the Saudis new friends the Chinese be applauding America's descent into the maelstrom? I'm positive many a  Russian oligarch & military leader left bitter by the Afghan experience would have a good laugh & clap.  

And wouldn't an attack on Iran do wonders for the Arab revolution?...one that could turn out secular enuff in the reach for democracy to even please the likes of Thomas Jefferson if he were alive. Another Iraq-like invasion would certainly help derail that...that great opportunity for freedom for all Arabs. Chance of a lifetime...courtesy of technology...social networking...still valuable.

This is not to say the Iranian regime & the Quds force/Republican army are not a serious problem...and are helping to destabilise countries in the region, including Israel, a democracy far more functional than many in that area.

And certainly human rights seem to get scant attention in Iran:

Lifting the Veil on Iran's Barbaric Human Rights Abuses
Saba Farzan


But...is it not better to support uprisings in Iran...help out by way of alternative methods those who seek to overthrow their morally bankrupt regime?...rather than go all Bush or Maddison on them. This would only serve to drive many a democracy seeker into the hands of the religious extremists & the regime w/ its propaganda machine. As occurred in the early 2000s due to the spurning of Iranian help to deal w/ Afghanistan at a time the Iranian Reformists were gradually transforming the country.

It is quite understandable that Israelis have become increasingly worried & paranoid regarding Iranian influence...and the possibility of them building nuclear weaponry...going by the problems w/ Pakistan...and the Persian affect on Hezbollah & Hamas...but Israel has not benefitted from the approach of the American hawks...in fact there security has diminished partially due to the aggressivity, corruption & ill-thought-out approach of the Neo-Cons & their allies.

A "hot" conflict w/ Iran would only serve to create more energy, economic & military instability for Israel...and America...its allies...and much of the globe that requires America to remain stable.

It would be another trap. Like Afghanistan...and Iraq.

More rational thinking is required...rather than yet another  pre-meditated attack, muscular approach.

Lastly, imagine the mass of refugees that would be created by a war w/ Iran?  

In regard to asylum seekers & Australia. I prefer onshore detention...that is swift in processing claims.

But some might recommend the government do a deal w/ Abbott and try the Nauru solution...just to prove it won't work.
As for The Lodge repairs...I reckon the government would be better off building a clean green house...made from products drawn from each Australian state & territory. I noted ABC America has been promoting a house built from American products.
As for the Courier Mail's use of the LNP "dirt files"...a sneaky way to denigrate the QLD ALP ministers...if they thought the files disgraceful they should've refrained from using them. No wonder many a LNP pollie has a smile on their face.

The Murdoch empire's influence in this country must be diminished ASAP.

The same goes for the shock jocks & free-to-air current affairs usual suspects.

Many of those those talking heads & reporters demonstrate the same immaturity & mentally unstable approach as the Coalition frontbench has shown in recent months...as evidenced by their grade nine-like schoolyard behaviour on the day the carbon bill was passed in the lower house. Embarrassing stuff.

Congrats to this brave government on their achievement.

Remember the 99%. And Reason.

Even those who lost the plot in the gallery & outside of parliament deserve consideration...a superb & well-funded health, scientific research, alternative energy & education system will help them to see the light. If not them, their children.



October 14. 2011 07:42 AM


Mein Ttog!

Virginia Trivioli actually putting Abbortt on the spot!

Virtually accusing him of the hypocrite that he is over the cruelling of the whole regional AS arrangements.

She even INTERRUPTED him once!

Now she has given the lie to his BS re damage by carbon tax!



October 14. 2011 07:47 AM


...in fact there security

Make that "their". Grrr. Smile



October 14. 2011 08:02 AM


If anyone truly believed Tony Abbott's contention that 'Workchoices is dead, buried, cremated", then they would have had that belief shattered by the interview on ABC News Breakfast he waffled and lisped his way through this morning.

Asked about the strikes affecting Qantas, he maintained that the most important factor is the "profitability" of the airline. And if that profitability above all else could only be achieved by Qantas being run under "comparable conditions to its competitors", then that would be the answer.

Since all airlines pay the same for their aircraft. Since all airlines pay the same for their fuel. Since all airlines pay the same costs and fees associated with airport access... then what's left?

The wages and salaries of airline employees.

We've already seen with JetStar how the Qantas/Alan Joyce philosophy of running an airline profitably begins with hitting the working conditions and wages of airline staff, so we can only assume that the alternative Prime Minister of Australia will support any actions against the terms and conditions of employees that aid in a company's profitability.

The philosophy, the concept, the rank underpinning of WorkChoices is 'alive, walking upon the face of the Earth, and operating at its normal temperature of cold calculation'. Forget "dead, buried, cremated".

Tony Abbott certainly has.

PS Virginia Trioli exposed Tony Abbott, who appeared to be on Mogadon, for the empty parrot-phrasing shell he is. And he did not like it one little bit.


October 14. 2011 08:28 AM

Feral Skeleton

  This is a copy of an ABC News24 Breakfast facebook page comment I left subsequent to Virginia Trioli's facile attempt at an interrogation of Tony Abbott just now:

     Victoria Collins: I'm sorry, but I seem to have missed the part of your interview with Tony Abbott, Ms Trioli, where you pointed out to him the facts that what may have worked wrt Asylum Seekers taken to Nauru by the Howard government, and even that 'fact' is questionable, would not work anymore in the wake of the High Court decision. According to that decision only New Zealand satisfies the High Court criteria for Offshore Processing UNLESS a new law is passed by the parliament. Not only that but most Asylum Seekers sent to Nauru,after suffering extreme mental anguish, ended up in Australia anyway. So how is that a superior solution from Mr Abbott, except if you take into account the more draconian aspects of the Opposition's policy, of towing boats back out to sea and placing Asylum Seekers on Orwellian 'Temporary' 'Protection" Visas, which offer neither protection, nor can be temporary if conflict continues in their country of origin, like Iran or Afghanistan? Nor did you explore his glib reference to 'Voluntary Return', which if I remember correctly involved extreme forms of coercian, so, hardly voluntary. So, instead, all that 'interview' seems to me to have achieved is for the ABC to get a 'grab' for their next bulletin and Tony Abbott got out his spurious and misleading lines out for the media. Good work, Ms Trioli. Not.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 09:02 AM


This is the text from the live feed transcript site for ABC News Breakfast http://www.tveeder.com/ for the VT (Virginia Trioli) interview with TA (Tony Abbott) in which the BS (do I need to?) freely flowed from TA.

(As it is a live transcription service, 'mishearings' do sneak into the text. I hope I picked up on all of them, but anything odd in the following might be explained by that.)

Incidentally, re Feral Skeleton's post above on VT not going hard enough at TA on the legal status of Nauru for off-shore processing post the High Court decision, I agree...

But seeing her go after him at all within the time restrictions allowed was literally amazing in itself. She, or any MSM journalist actually doing his/her job would need a week, 24/7, of interviewing him and his crooked coven to break down the maze of internal contradictions and plain impossibility that forms Coalition policy across the board.

VT: Tony Abbott, good morning.

TA: Good to talk to you again. Good morning.

VT: Many community groups and NGOs such as the Red Cross and asylum seeker supporters and the left of the Labor Party will be quite happy and relieved today that Australia now has onshore processing. Are you comfortable with the irony that this situation is at least in part, it's the opposition that's brought it about?

TA: A number of points. The first is that this week we have seen the Gillard Government adopt green policy twice. First they've got the carbon tax, now onshore processing. Both Bob Brown's policies. If they are serious about offshore process and they should be they could have it tomorrow. All they have to do is accept the opposition's amendment that it should be at countries which have signed the Refugee Convention. Now, it's interesting that before the election this was in fact Julia Gillard's position herself. She said that processing would not take place in countries that haven't signed the Refugee Convention.

VT: I will return to my question. Are you comfortable that at least in part this is a situation that's been brought about because of what the opposition has decided to do or not do?

TA:This has been brought about because the government has lost control of our borders, it's lost control of the Parliament. This is the government's responsibility. This matter is entirely of the government's own making.

VT: It doesn't stack up, Tony Abbott. Your policy objectives are almost identical to the government.

TA: Our policy objectives have been clear for a decade. If you want to stop the boats in the future as you have in the past, we need offshore processing at Nauru. We need temporary protection visas. And we need the option of turning boats around where it's safe to do so. Now, Julia Gillard can have her legislation through the Parliament tomorrow if she accepts our amendment.

VT: But Nauru, which is what your amendment pins on, is only a possible destination for some asylum seekers. It's simply not big enough to deal with the tens of thousands of people movements through the region that we're looking at now. Don't you have to concede that? That's a place where some people can go but it's not a regional solution, is it?

TA: If Nauru Stops the boats or helps to stop the boat, well then, we won't be getting the tens of thousands of people that you're talking about. But you can't say that Nauru would stop the boats to use your phrase.

VT: You can't assume that with any factual basis.

TA: Well, it did before.

VT: But it was a different situation five years ago, Tony Abbott. You can't say that now with Sri Lanka, with Burma, with Sri Lanka, with Burma, with Pakistan and with Afghanistan, you've got the same situation as you had when the Howard Government was in charge?

TA: Well, I'm not sure that the international situation has deteriorated that much.

VT: There are far more people movements.

TA: Well, I'm not sure that you are in fact correct this. But the point I make is that the policy worked in the past. It should be given a chance to work again. The only reason the government has no policy is because of the Prime Minister's stubbornness. She should've known weeks ago that the Malaysia people swap was dead but she has never had a Plan B. This is the Prime Minister's problem. She stubbornly and arrogantly insisted that it had to be her way or no way. It was never going to be her way. And she had no Plan B. But I say again, if she wants offshore processing, she can have her legislation through the Parliament tomorrow. Provided she accepts the opposition's amendment.

VT: But this is sounding very much like a case of the pot calling the kettle black. You could be accused of stubbornly and arrogantly insisting of only on you way and seeing the entire situation of international movements of asylum seekers through one prism, Nauru. Aren't you being just as stubborn and arrogant?

TA: It's not the opposition's job to support bad policy.

VT: I will have to jump in there. It's the opposition's job, if the policy opposition's job, if the policy

TA: You're doing a bit of jumping in.

VT: It's the way to move it along. If the policy objectives of the two parties are identical, and they are, isn't it your job then to support that policy?

TA: No, it's my job to support good policy. Malaysia is bad policy. The Malaysia (deal) is bad policy. The Malaysia people swap is a cruel deal for boat people. It's a dud deal for Australia. And the interesting thing is that the Labor Party itself was going to have significant abstentions if the Prime Minister had insisted on putting her legislation to the vote in the Parliament. The truth is it's not just the coalition which is opposed to the government's policy. There are quite a number of government backbenchers that were proposing to abstain. So she has lost control of the Parliament. She has lost control of her policy and she has lost control of her party.

VT: You've mentioned there the damaging nature of some elements of what can happen if you send people to the wrong place. John Howard ended up removing people from Nauru because of severe mental health damage there. How do you insist that wouldn't happen again?

TA: Nauru is a much better option than Malaysia. Because in Nauru the camps would be run by Australians in accordance with Australians in accordance with Australian standards . In Malaysia, people would essentially subjected to very different standards, including I regret to say, the possibility of caning. So I'm not saying for a second that Nauru was one great big holiday camp, but it was a much more humane solution than what the government is now proposing and it's interesting that Father Frank Brennan, the Jesuit moral theologian has said it the coalition's policy is the more ethical one.

VT: What's your policy on the issue of returns? How would you handle that more successfully than the Howard Government did or indeed than this government does now, particularly in relation to Iranians and others?

TA: We'd handle it in the same way that the former government handled it. Of the people that went to Nauru, some 30% went back to their country of origin. It was something that was done before. It can be done again.

VT: Do you have a policy though on Iran?

TA: As I said, it's been done in the past. It can be done again. 30% of the people from Nauru went back to their country of origin. There is no reason why if Nauru was reopened in conjunction with the other elements of our policy that people couldn't be returned to their countries of origin.

VT: We have no arrangement with Iran. I'm wondering if you become Prime Minister, how you turn that situation around.

TA: Well, as I said, it was managed by the former government, it's not being managed by the current government. I think it can be managed again better by a future government.

VT: The government is now threatening to intervene in the Qantas dispute. What do you think is the solution there?

TA: I think the solution there... I think the important thing to remember is that Qantas has got to be profitable to survive. I hope that the management and the staff can sit back down together and come to an arrangement that allows Qantas to remain profitable. Obviously this action is damaging public confidence. We've had a union official publicly call on people not to fly on Qantas. If there was any serious damage to Qantas that would be very bad for our country.

VT: Putting yourself in the position of the government, what would be your specific intervention?

TA: Well, the first thing I would want to get absolutely crystal clear is that Qantas has got to make a profit. And that means that it's got to have the sorts of conditions and standards which are comparable to those of its competitors. Now, if it can't make a profit, it can't survive and the death of Qantas would be an absolute disaster for Australia, and I think it's very, very important that we give our national airline the support it needs.

VT: Just returning to the issue of the carbon tax, I have just returned from some time in the west where major miners such as Rio Tinto for example are investing half a billion dollars in low emission power stations. They say climate change is real and they're making serious investment in order to deal with it. Do you agree with miners like Rio Tinto when they do things like that?

TA: The interesting thing is that sensible Australian businesses are already taking big steps to reduce their emissions. And they're doing all of that without a carbon tax. Lots of businesses will find their existing reductions activity much harder with a carbon tax. It will eat into their profitability. It will eat into their reserves. They won't be able to go ahead with the kind of measures they're doing now.

VT: It doesn't seem to be the view over there where there is a carbon tax in place or not, they've identified that there is an issue they need to deal with and they don't seem to think, at least in the conversation I had with Sam Walsh, that this new carbon tax is going to take them down?

TA: The fact is that the carbon tax is going to make it much harder for Australian businesses particularly manufacturing businesses to compete overseas. This is a cost which our companies will now face which their competitors overseas won't face. If you eat into companies' profitability, into their margins, it will be much harder for them to invest in the clean green technology which we were doing anyway. The interesting thing is that Australia has cut its emissions intensity by almost 50% over the last 15 years. We've done that without a carbon tax. So the coalition's position, unlike the government's, is to take sensible steps to encourage businesses to do what they're already doing. Reducing their fuel, reducing their power, converting where they can to more efficient forms of power.

VT: I know you're going to Cape York some time very soon, to work in Indigenous communities there. What are you planing to do exactly?

TA: Basically, I'm going up to Hopevale to assist with some of the work that Noel Pearson is doing. I think I'm basically going to be helping with home-building and my daughter is coming up with me. She will be helping in one of the local schools.

VT: As Prime Minister what would your solution be to the Indigenous housing crisis which is not just specific to this Federal Government but has dogged governments before it all the way pack in time. What's your solution?

TA: We need to get away from this idea that there's any magic wand that we can wave to fix the problem in the next six months, 12 months or even necessarily in the next few years. It is going to take a long time to address the entrenched problems of welfare dependency which have afflicted particularly remote Aboriginal communities for so long. We have to break the welfare culture. As Noel Pearson has so often said, welfare is the poison which is killing our people. That is where it starts. And part of improving the housing problem is to finally give Indigenous people the capacity to buy their own homes. That's a very important part of a solution here.

VT: How long are you planning to spend in Cape York?

TA: Well, unfortunately, it's only about four days. I was going to go in July, but the Prime Minister as you might remember announced the carbon tax. So my first trip to Cape York had to be postponed.

VT: Let's try to catch up when you get back. Tony Abbott thanks for joining us.

TA: Thanks, Virginia.


October 14. 2011 09:26 AM


When does a fox acting like a hawk end up looking like a Saudi poodle?:

Ed Henry Clashes With Obama At White House Press Conference


Fox News...no.1 at war-mongering & over-the-top, cheer squad patriotic claptrap...whilst caterin' to anti-war independents in that tricky dick way only they & CNN could pull off...24hrs a day.

What would the build-up to war and actual conflict be w/out them?



October 14. 2011 09:30 AM

Feral Skeleton

        The Saudis have the biggest share in News Corp(=Fox News), after the Murdoch clan, don't they? Wink

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 09:34 AM

Feral Skeleton

   AAARRRGGGHHH!!! It's NOT the 'Carbon Tax' that's going to make it harder for Australian businesses to compete overseas, it's the FACT that the Resources Boom is driving up the dollar and making our Manufactured product more expensive cf overseas goods of a comparable type. Another fact not picked up by Ms Trioli.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 09:35 AM

Feral Skeleton

  'Mein ttog!' Big lulz, TT. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 09:42 AM


TA: This has been brought about because the government has lost control of our borders, it's lost control of the Parliament.

No Tony. This has been brought about because you've lost yer mind...and integrity...in yer OCD approach to grabbing power & the limelight. You try to sound sensible...but yer really just a missionary and zealot stranded on an island struck by storms and waves of yer own doin'. What nightmares go on in that fevered brain of yers?

Thnx to Feral & Michael for the heads up & transcript re: Abbott/Trioli interview.

Abbott is freakin' loopier by the day. Yet scarily sounds rational sometimes.

Embarrassing for the Coalition.
Bein' led over a cliff by a man who should really be wearin' black robes.

The meltdown over the next few mths will be shockin' to observe.



October 14. 2011 09:45 AM

Feral Skeleton

        Wouldn't an attack on Iran be disastrous for the American Budget, already in hock up to it's eyeballs paying for the Misadventure in Iraq and the Afghanistan War?
  Ireckon, if the Saudis want Iran attacked they should do so themselves and pay for it out of their own oily pockets. They certainly moved into Bahrain quickly and 'effectively' *cough* enough when it behoved them to from their perspective.

   Also, don't forget which family it was who set up the Bedouin Saudis' comfy little business model which has allowed them to dominate the Middle East for decades. That would be the Bush family.

   Not that I want to see the theocracy in Iran dominate the area, either. As I wouldn't be surprised that there was some degree of accuracy to the Assassination plot. I just remember my old Arabian Nights book, which basically portrayed them all as a cut above in the Crazy Brave department.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 09:49 AM


memories Smile

Stewart: FOX Failed To Mention Co-Owner Is One They Accuse Of 'Terror Funding' (VIDEO)


I recall this Saudi fella also owns heaps of Apple shares...and Citigroup.



October 14. 2011 09:52 AM

Feral Skeleton

         You should have a look at this:


Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 10:01 AM


TA: Basically, I'm going up to Hopevale to assist with some of the work that Noel Pearson is doing. I think I'm basically going to be helping with home-building and my daughter is coming up with me. She will be helping in one of the local schools.


Earlier this year, The Australian described how Noel Pearson's Cape York Institute, Macquarie University and Boston Consulting Group were working on plans to introduce Teach for Australia, a home-grown version of the British and US programs. Their aim is to revive the idea of public service among young people by encouraging the brightest Australian graduates to spend two years teaching disadvantaged students in urban and remote areas.


The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm with offices in 42 countries. It is recognized as one of the most prestigious management consulting firms in the world...

Notable current and former employees
Politics and public service

Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister of Israel (1996–1999, 2009–Present)

Mitt Romney – Governor of Massachusetts (2003–2007), CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, co-founder of Bain Capital, former CEO of Bain and Company

Margaret Spellings – Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush

Small world.

Propaganda & social engineering all wrapped up in a "saviours" package.

Missionaries by the backdoor.



October 14. 2011 10:14 AM


Interesting article backing the Rudd and Gillard governments' economic good sense.


Except for this last sentence's internal fallacy:

"Tony Abbott has made it abundantly clear that the arguments set out in economists' textbooks do not impress or interest him."

I suggest Tony Abbott has made it abundantly clear that he does not understand basic economic theory, and what he does understand he repudiates if it stands in the way of his achieving populist political points.

In short, dumb works, so he makes himself the 'Standardbearer of Dumb'.

Long term problem - dumb may get you elected, dumb doesn't run a country... except down, and then under.

Is this really what Australians want 'Down Under' to mean?


October 14. 2011 10:21 AM

Ad astra reply

Welcome to The Political Sword family.  Do come again.  

You are right about Tony Abbott’s abusive behaviour towards PM Gillard, which encourages his colleagues Joe Hockey, Scott Morrison, Barnaby Joyce and others to replicate his abuse, and it also gives ‘permission’ to shock jocks to use even worse language.  Even the ABC’s Jon Faine on 774 Melbourne radio this morning opened his session by saying that he was going to interview the two prime ministers, Julia Gillard and Bob Brown, a sign of disrespect that brought forth a torrent of complaints from talkback callers.  I sense the people are tiring of the disrespect shown to our nation’s leader and the abuse heaped upon her.  Abbott has set a pattern of abusive and disrespectful behaviour that others feel they too can emulate.  It’s appalling, but may backfire on the perpetrators.

One positive for me was that Julia Gillard was not prepared to go along with Faine’s sometimes untenable statements, and pulled him up, on one occasion labeling his statement as ‘silly’, and repeating that when Faine pressed on regardless.

Ad astra reply

October 14. 2011 10:53 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Wow! That Wind Turbine debate you linked to this morning, NK, certainly got hot and heavy. Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 11:12 AM


TPS Members. I seek leave to table a post which is slightly off topic and concerns our national broadcaster.

Is leave granted?

Leave is granted.  (carried on the voices where I am anyway)

Good old Fran Kelly was showing her stripes this morning with a fawning interview with Alan Joyce of 71 percent pay rise claim.

During the interview when she was flailing him with a piece of well boiled tagliatelle I kept saying why doesn't she ask about his outrageous pay rise.   After this had gone on for a few minutes, Joyce was clearly being allowed to have airtime for a wrap up.  He went on uninterrupted for quite a while about how the union is all to blame for the current unrest, During this I mouthed the words "thank for your time Alan Joyce".  Well guess what?  He finished and Fran said "thanks for your time Alan Joyce"

She had let him get through the whole interview and had not put to him. Why is he owed a 71 percent pay rise taking him to $5M PA when he wont negotiate conditions with the unions for much more modest increases.  From what I understand on Ben Sandilands blog Qantas management are paid 4 times as much as Cathay Pacific. So if productivity is the big concern why don't management bench mark themselves to competitors?  Only the workforce is bench marked.  

Considering that the APA are getting the management remuneration issue into the media and have said they will vote against it Fran would have to be aware of this.

Just reaffirms in my view the swooning by the RN presenter when the big end of town come on her show.    


October 14. 2011 11:19 AM


Sorry should be ASA (Australian Shareholders Association)


October 14. 2011 11:19 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Re Jon Faine,
                I listened to that Jon Faine interview too, AA, via the joys of Twitter notification when it was getting underway, and I was appalled at the smart aleckry masquerading as a serious interview of the most important person in this nation. I was especially outraged that Jon Faine could suggest that it might be more important for the Prime Minister to abandon her principles on dealing with Problem Poker Machine Gamblers, and capitulate to the Clubs, Casinos and Hotels about to spend $40 Million (!!!) on a new campaign aimed at bringing her government down.

   Well, may I just say that I spoke to someone who has been a Director of one of the biggest Clubs on the Central Coast of NSW for over a decade the other night, and he outlined in detail the facts behind the Clubs' spurious claim about the millions of dollars they donate to the local community every year.

    In NSW, we have a system where, in lieu of tax paid to the State Treasury, up to a certain amount, Clubs are allowed to donate money directly to charitable and community causes in their local communities, via a pot they put the money into. He stated that they only ever put in "about $100,000 per year" for the local community and sports groups. Not one dollar more, and sometimes less. Also, if a community or sporting group rang up directly and asked for a contribution, they were told to naff off. This was off a regular profit from the Poker Machines of about $60 million/year.

   This just exposes the complete hypocrisy of the Clubs' arguments, as it is more than likely a practice replicated across at least the State of NSW, if not everywhere there are Poker Machines. The so-called 'massive community support' by the Clubs is just a fig-leaf to hide their massive profits behind.

   Might I also add that I was told by someone else that the Beer Coaster campaign, whereby disgruntled punters are encouraged by the Clubs to fill out a protest beer coaster and send it to their Local MP, has been pretty much a fizzer. There does not appear to be the anger in the community, even from avid Club-goers, that the Clubs are trying to make out. Still, they are planning to waste another $40 million fighting to protect their obscene profits. An obscenity when you consider how much money actually goes to communities, as I have outlined above.

   Which only goes to show how tawdry was Jon Faine's encouragement of the PM to abandon her principles when it comes to fighting the Mental Health disease that is Problem Gambling. He should be ashamed of himself. but it appears that journalists have lost the ability to be ashamed or have a guilty conscience that might pull them up when it comes to advocating such an amoral stance. And frankly, I think the PM and her MPs will gain more votes than they will lose when it comes to fighting the vile blood-sucking Vampires of the Clubs Industry.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 11:29 AM


The PM's interview with Jon Faine this morning:



October 14. 2011 11:40 AM


Ad astra

At the risk of appearing impertinent, may I remind you to update Lyn's Links for today?


October 14. 2011 11:48 AM

Feral Skeleton

       When the ABC gets 'Corporatised' under Abbott's hand of 'Guided Democracy', in order to 'pay for' his $70 Billion of 'Savings'= cuts to worthwhile programmes(spelling nod to NK Smile ), I imagine Ms Kelly realises that her behaviour atm is being 'noted', and so she doesn't get restructured out of her comfy chair in the ABC studios, she is doing all the right kissing up now.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 11:50 AM

Feral Skeleton

  I wonder if everyone else has heard that Chris Uhlmann is taking over the hosting of 'Inciters' this week? He will be 'interviewing', in the very loosest sense of the word, Julie Bishop.

   I think I will have something else more worthwhile than that to attend to, at about that time.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 11:55 AM

Feral Skeleton

   I also found it interesting this morning to read on the Simon Chapman Wind Turbine article comments stream, a description of the story about the Merino Sheep that are supposedly being affected by those same turbines which was on 7.30 last night.

   Yet again, it seems as though 7.30 has been cynically co-opted( or is that willingly co-opted? I don't know anymore), by the Anti Price on Carbon/Anti Renewable Energy Alternatives cabal, in order to promulgate a fallacy about the Sheep being made 'nervous' by the turbines. Which was exposed as a complete fabrication by the commenters.

   You just can't trust the ABC any more.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 11:59 AM


I reckon, if the Saudis want Iran attacked they should do so themselves and pay for it out of their own oily pockets. They certainly moved into Bahrain quickly and 'effectively' *cough* enough when it behoved them to from their perspective.

the arrest of those brave doctors in Bahrain was a bloody disgrace. Another nail in the coffin of that regime.

The Americans unfortunately are so dependent on the Gulf States they permit war crimes to be permitted under their gaze time & time again...and it oft comes back to bite them.



October 14. 2011 12:09 PM



"I wonder if everyone else has heard that Chris Uhlmann is taking over the hosting of 'Inciters' this week? He will be 'interviewing', in the very loosest sense of the word, Julie Bishop."

Barf bag would be a required item to watch this I think.

We go back to Lisa Simpson for an example of his grilling.

"So Mr Burns can you tell us why your campaign seems to have all the momentum of a run away train?"


October 14. 2011 12:23 PM


During the interview when she was flailing him with a piece of well boiled tagliatelle I kept saying why doesn't she ask about his outrageous pay rise.

CEO/executive pay rises and earnings by way of shares etc. is an issue that many in our complicit ever-corporatised media are loathe to bring up in more than a token way...unless it's an individual or corporation they've been told to attack by their media moguls.

It eats at the heart of a "fair-go" democracy.

Demeans the efforts of average workers...particularly when these execs go out of their way to dismiss complaints by workers...ignore important work condition issues...put safety & environmental/social responsibility as lesser priorities over profiteering to please major shareholders...undermine consumer rights...even act occasionally like socialists expecting handouts when they fail to manage their businesses appropriately.

It's about time governments put an end to the CON...the SHAM...legislated to ensure that any company they contribute taxpayers money too must not pay any executive more than, say, 10x the average worker's pay.

This new breed of aristocracy are as corrosive to our society & rights as tho blue-blooded leaches of yore.

As are the many lobbyists & advisors & politicians who purport to do the "people's work" yet manage to sell our interests to the highest bidder of choice...and oft find their way later onto the boards of these mega corporations.

Including war & energy & finance corporations.

TRUST has been lost.

The 99% rise.

thnx for the Koch link...

and Perry one above.

Perry comes across as a corpse reanimated. Too long in the viper teeth...too long in the BUSINESS of politics.

Playing "brutalised" victim now just looks pathetic...and insincere...considerin' his vicious approach to past opponents.

Someone get out a hanky for the dude...so he doesn't stain his precious boots w/ tears of black gold.



October 14. 2011 12:26 PM


legislated to ensure that any company they contribute taxpayers money too must not pay any executive more than, say, 10x the average worker's pay.

Make that:

...legislate to ensure that any company they contribute taxpayers' money to must not pay any executive more than, say, 10x the average worker's pay.



October 14. 2011 12:28 PM


How dumb would the Americans be to fall into another expensive quagmire?

Pretty bloody dumb, Nas. They've fallen hook, line, sinker and copy of Angling Times for Tea party propaganda. They fell ditto for the smear campaign by a bunch of gutless wonders against John Kerry, a genuine decorated Vietnam hero.

No Tony. This has been brought about because you've lost yer mind...and integrity...

Nas, I dispute that Liealot has lost his integrity on the grounds that he never had any. lol

He also said that the CEF and onshore processing were Bob Brown's policies and implied that the Gillard government had adopted them to get the Greens on board.

Yet another lie to add to the litany of lies, Liealot. He seems to have serious memory problems wrt to carbon pricing. The PM is certainly not going to get Bob Brown's support for offshore processing in Malaysia. Lie upon lie, Fail upon fail.

TA: Basically, I'm going up to Hopevale to assist with some of the work that Noel Pearson is doing.

Well, basically that'll set them back basically six months, wouldn't it, basically?

Does anyone else find it revealing that he suddenly has no faith in magic wands and flying carpets wrt The Indigenous Problem?

For starters, how about treating Indigenous people as you would other members of the Australian community? You know as fellow citizens, not as a recalcitrant problem to be solved.

Despite what seems to me to be the prevailing attitude to Indigenous people as helpless, hopeless, petrol sniffing welfare dependents, I think that is so wrong.

Certainly some people are in a mess, but no more so than any other people. I think that in the main, they have jobs, buy cars and houses, have holidays, money and family worries just like everyone does.

The problem is no one wants to acknowledge it. We like to focus on the problems, because it suits certain people to keep infantilising and stereotyping them. And I'm fed up with it!

Of course the problems are severe and have to be addressed, but let's not pretend that that is all there is to Indigenous people.

They did a damn fine job for 60,000+ years and they're still doing a damn fine job, despite the appalling difficulties that have been put in their way!

It would behove all the smug bastards who patronise them to think about how well they would have coped in the same situation.

A fairly suspect-looking group of graduates from the BCG, you'd have to admit, Nas.

Michael @10.14am, hear! hear! Pity his brainwaswhed minions are incapable of understanding that electing an ignoramus as PM is a retrograde step.

Ad astra, I too am appalled at the vicious abuse and utter disrespect being hurled at our PM by the Liars Party and their cheerleaders like the creature Jones.

The complicity of the msm hasn't helped. If they had called the abusers, particularly the Liars Party, to account for the abuse and for their appalling behaviour in the Parliament, I feel pretty sure it would have been stopped in its tracks.

That they treated as a joke the threat by Alan Jones against both the PM and Bob Brown, was a nadir in their collective irresponsibility. And, I'd suggest, a spur to the escalating personal viciousness of the abuse and degeneration of opposition behaviour in the Parliament.

However, it seems that the PM has reached her limit of tolerance of this childish and ill mannered behaviour. I say "Go get 'em, Prime Minister!"


October 14. 2011 01:43 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn’s Links were updated at the usual time this morning, but I slipped up on posting a comment that they had been updated, so I’ll make up for that now.

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

Ad astra reply

October 14. 2011 02:03 PM


Trevor, @11.12am, odd that our illustrious LOTO didn't think to mention slashing the obscene pay packets of the bloated management staff to maintain airlines' profitability.

Just think how many sh!t kickers that such a small sacrifice by executives would keep employed. It's astonishing, that this never seems to occur to the likes of Liealot and the well heeled and voracious management types.


October 14. 2011 02:16 PM


      Not only is Uhlmann filling in for poor old "Bazz"! on the couch we get the just as useless Fran Kelly and for reasons best known to the ABC Piers Akerman with David Marr to keep all three of them in line.

October 13, 2011 Sunday morning TV - October 16 #auspol Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda
On Sky News Australian Agenda ... awaiting confirmation on program line up.
Joining host Peter Van Onselen on the Panel, The Australian's Paul Kelly and ....

8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary
This week on the Riley Diary, Mark Riley looks at carbon, kisses and boats in a big week of Federal politics.  But was that kiss between Julia and Kevin the kiss of life, or the kiss of death?

8:40am Ch9 - Today on Sunday - The Laurie Oakes Interview
The weekly Laurie Oakes interview is in hibernation until further notice.

9:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 - Insiders
On Insiders this Sunday, Chris Uhlmann interviews the Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop.
On the panel, Radio National's Fran Kelly, the SMH's David Marr and the Daily Telegraph's Piers Akerman.
And Mike Bowers talks pictures with Ginger Meggs cartoonist Jason Chatfield.

10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 repeated @ 5.30pm - Inside Business

This week on Inside Business ... awaiting confirmation on program line up.
As well there’s the regular update of the latest news from the markets & Alan Kohler’s incisive commentary.

10.00am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.30pm - The Bolt Report - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day
... awaiting confirmation on program line up.

10.30am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.00pm - Meet the Press - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day.
Hugh Riminton is joined by panelists; Michell Grattan from The Age and Simon Benson from The Daily Telegraph.
Together they interview Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, and National Convenor for Australians for Constitutional Monarchy Professor David Flint.


October 14. 2011 02:23 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your replication of the Trioli – Abbott interview, and thank you TT and FS for your comments about it and FS for your additions to the Jon Faine interview of the PM.  

It is clear that Abbott’s technique is to rehearse a few well worn slogans and repeat them whenever he can, even if they don’t answer the question asked.  Julia Gillard’s answers at least reflect policy positions; Abbott’s portray a policy vacuum.  His only reference to positive policy was the ‘Nauru solution’, which ‘worked last time and will work again’, notwithstanding the fact that it didn’t work as a deterrent last time, around seven out of ten ended up here or in NZ, and in the process countless asylum seekers systematically went mad.  Moreover, the changed circumstances this time around make it even less likely to be a deterrent or a satisfactory processing mechanism.  But that is too complex for Abbott to address, let alone talk about.

As I see this issue evolving, the Government has ended up doing what a substantial proportion of the population (who knows what it is) wanted it to do, which ought to give it kudos Those who favoured a harsher policy cannot now say that the Government did not try to introduce one, and some of those will see the Coalition as preventing it from doing so, while others of course will still insist that the Nauru option should have been adopted.  So which side has ‘won’?  Abbott thinks he has, but I suspect it might be the Government that will benefit more electorally.  It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

Ad astra reply

October 14. 2011 02:26 PM

Ad astra reply

Back at the south coast, the grass has grown high and needs mowing.  I'll be back later.

Ad astra reply

October 14. 2011 02:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

Qantas Fun Fact, as relayed by The Australian Shareholders Association:

   Qantas has not paid it's shareholders any dividends on their shares for the last 2 years! Ergo, the 'Not Happy Alan' shareholders will most likely vote against the Remuneration Package for the Executive management.

   Also, Qantas' share price has fallen off a cliff in recent years, with it going down by 70% at one stage(but coming up a little again this year), almost mirroring the 71% increase in salry Alan Joyce thinks he is worth.


Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 02:41 PM


Feral Skeleton

In your post at 11.48am, I really like your thinking there.  I too heard Jon Faine interview, and boy was I angry.  Julia held her own and took no nonsense as usual.  I was so angry I sent and email to him. Listening to a lot of the callers I was glad to hear I wasn't alone.  Maybe he is doing the same as Fran Kelly, trying to cement his job in our future 'guided democracy'.


October 14. 2011 04:07 PM


Pick a poll - any poll.

The latest Morgan face-to-face poll, covering a sample of 930 from last weekend only (so before the passage of the carbon tax and the government’s new policy on asylum seekers), records a sharp move to Labor: the Coalition’s lead on the respondent-allocated two-party preferred measure is down to 52.5-47.5 from 57-43 at the last poll, which covered the weekends of September 24-25 and October 1-2. Labor has actually drawn level on the two-party measure that allocates preferences according to the result of the previous election after trailing 53.5-46.5 last time. Labor’s primary vote is up three point to 38.5 per cent and the Coalition is down three to 43.5 per cent with the Greens up a point to 11 per cent, which are all very similar to the results at last year’s election.

On all measures this is Labor’s best result since March. Labor’s share of minor party and preferences on the respondent-allocated measure is 50 per cent compared with 42 per cent last time, but still very different from the 65.7 per cent at the election, hence the ongoing difference between the two Morgan two-party preferred measures. Since the poll was conducted at the same time as the most recent Newspoll and Essential Research polls, neither of which showed any change, a considerable measure of caution is advised.


In other words, how long is a piece of string.
I wonder, if Newspoll had Labor at 38.5% on the primary vote and Morgan had Labor at 29% (a reversal of current circumstances), which poll would our erstwhile friends in the press clutch closer to their hearts? Polls are almost meaningless and yet almost all of the political commentary is based on them - what a waste of time and effort, not to mention my brain space. There goes another childhood memory, deleted in order to make room for more pointless speculation.

I've only just listened to the Jon Faine interview. It was appalling and served no useful purpose apart from showing that Faine has regressed to primary school banter. Two prime ministers indeed.


October 14. 2011 04:23 PM

Feral Skeleton

       Actually, what I believe  is wrong with the Fran Kelly's and Jon Faines of this world, is that they have become too comfortable in their bourgeoise lives and it has clouded their thinking. Not only that but being around manipulative types who are always spinning their position in an almost sociopathic way, *cough* Tony Abbott, after a while they start thinking like them.

   You know what I think is the saddest example of this though? By which I mean it makes me sad to see it, is, well, I think Grog is being infected by the equivocation and government disrespect viruses. He is no longer as up-front in his support of the government, well, at least as far as the evidence I have from his appearances on The Drum and what must be his work in there somewhere on 'The Hamster Wheel', and he has started to engage in those snide little Julia put-downs that the hosts engage in with their Right Wing spokespeople. I thought he had more personal integrity than that.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 04:37 PM


A good point re Grog.  I miss his regular demolition of the libs parliamentary tactics and policy dreaming.  When he appeared on the Drum I thought this would open his writing to a wider audience but alas he appears to have been duchessed by the machine.
Perhaps he now has to "balance" his previous writing and ABC management have told him how many negative articles he has to write before he can write a positive one.


October 14. 2011 04:37 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Synchronicity! Here's a story that says exactly the same thing as I was told the other day by my friend from the local Club's Board:


Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 04:38 PM


I dispute that Liealot has lost his integrity on the grounds that he never had any.

He he...jane,
good point.

They did a damn fine job for 60,000+ years and they're still doing a damn fine job, despite the appalling difficulties that have been put in their way!

Ain't that a fact.

I wonder how many of The Elders feel about us turning this country into a big quarry?

Massive trucks rushing down the roads & highways like a stream of giant cockroaches...one after the other...kickin' up dirt...scarin' the pants off other drivers and wildlife...hungry for another feed...constant roaring & rattling noise that makes windpower sound like a sweet symphony. Stirring up prostitution & gambling & big boozing from town to town...just in time for missionary Abbott to come and save the day...preaching like there was no tomorrow when it comes to the carbon price & rivers of grog & the poison that is welfare...pockets filled with the coins of gratitude served on the mining boom platter.

Still, at least emerging from the toxic dust will be one or two super rich Aborigines...bred on American ubercapitalist pellets in boarding schools chock-a-block with superior beings...

and those Aborigines can survey their struggling land...pockmarked by old mines and gas monstrosities...and send out the trackers to search for their own Rosebuds...hidden amongst the toxic communities...the raped & pillaged land...that has little left to give up.

And they travel to America & China & India to see the grand monuments built from their land...and pretend it's HOME...as they, dressed for success, walk the corridors of power in posh slaughtered croc boots...the distinct sound of KERCHING emanating from their mouths...and the words:

"It's the Pearson, Rinehart & Abbott Consulting Group dreamtime folks...Cecil Rhodes was merely an amateur".



October 14. 2011 04:42 PM


There once were two cats of Kilkenny:
Each thought that was one cat too many,
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit,
Till except for their nails
And the tips of their tails
Instead of two cats, there weren't any!

(Don't know who wrote it, not I)

That's the way it has ended up with the AS processing, we are told that neither wanted it onshore but they've thoroughly achieved that outcome. The Greens are like the nails and tails, the only bits to survive!

But now it can be revealed:
This is what *J*U*L*I*A* wanted all along! Wink

There was no other way to achieve the acceptance by the Coalons of onshore processing. This is the cleverest deception since the Trojan Horse, that's my story anyway.

But anyway I'm with Ad on this (as usual, yes) where he says:
" So which side has ‘won’?  Abbott thinks he has, but I suspect it might be the Government that will benefit more electorally.  It will be interesting to see how it pans out."

Abbortt will rabbit on about Carbon Tax and Nauru (Nowruined eh!) and so on but he's losing territory all the time, he offers nothing new, it's all about WAHHHH look what the nasty Gummint done to me Uncle Rupert, it's all about past losses now, and we will bury him soon. Aussies will just have to accept that neither side is going to give them offshore processing now, and forever, because it's so set in as-we-speak setting concrete that by the time it could ever be undone it could never be undoable. the infrastructure will all be here the services and the practice will just have to become accepted.
I do fear though that circumstances will inevitably arise in diverse places and times which will create "push factors", so that *gouts* of people will attempt to flee their homelands; some will certainly make for Australia, in boats of dubious seaworthiness. It will not be their fault that the dynamics of Australian politics have resulted in processing onshore which both major parties claimed not to want, and I can only hope that we might as a nation find enough kindness to take to our hearts the frightened and unwanted and dispossessed who come here by this desperate means.

recaptcha: alsollob shamefully


October 14. 2011 04:57 PM


Funny, whenever Virginia Trioli's name comes up, my keyboard insists on typing Virginia Troll.

Gravel, my internet has been slowed down to dial up and it makes it impossible to even listen to radio.

The comments were obviously from Liealot's deluded fan base, and frankly I felt like ramming their heads up Liealot's fetid @rse, particularly when they trotted out the "other prime minister" shite.

I hope Faine's and Kelly's futures involve sitting propped up against a wall on a windy street with their begging bowls in front of them. I for one would love to walk past, pinch their meagre takings and give them to someone deserving.


October 14. 2011 04:58 PM


Not only is Uhlmann filling in for poor old "Bazz"! on the couch

Wow! that should make a difference. (sarcasm...oodles of it).

we get the just as useless Fran Kelly and for reasons best known to the ABC Piers Akerman with David Marr to keep all three of them in line.

I don't mind Fran. She's an equal opportunity critic when it comes to the major parties...and occasionally she comes up w/ a "hit the nail on the head" comment. Not unlike Trioli.

Lookin' forward to a few Marr truth-tellin' moments...wrapped up in a parcel of passion & bonhomme.

Will the stubborn & oft grumpy Piers attempt to steal the good humour atmosphere and stick it where the sun don't shine...in the Coalition policy vault?

...or will he transform into a cheery troll...lighting sparklers for the anti-carbon batty brigade...twitching w/ mirth as he pokes fun at The Greens & our PM...like a Grinch drunk on naughty, observing his self-satisfied self in the mirror...body swathed in Lederhosen?

Thnx for the Sunday list.



October 14. 2011 05:05 PM

Ad astra reply

Nasking, FS, NormanK, Gravel. jane
There is now a strong consensus among visitors here and the majority if talkback callers that Jon Faine was way over the top this morning in his political interviews, particularly with the PM.  One lady ticked him off in no uncertain terms, telling him that if he wanted to be a shock jock he should go elsewhere.  Others chastised him for his abruptness and particularly in calling Julia Gillard and Bob Brown our two PMs.  For her part Julia was not prepared to take his rudeness unchallenged.  We can only applaud her.

My assessment is that the media has become so dominant, so aggressive, so rude towards politicians that they believe it is their right, indeed responsibility, to harass and demean politicians, and demand that they answer the interviewer’s questions, no matter how assertively put, and to answer them in the way the interviewer wants.  How many times have we heard them insist that the interviewee answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, when such an answer would be inappropriate; the context and caveats are often needed to precede the answer?  How many times have we heard the interviewer insist on the interviewee ‘rule in’ or ‘rule out’ a proposition?  These are ‘gotcha’ set-ups where the interviewer insists on a black or white answer when the issue is a shade of grey.

I’m delighted that Julia Gillard is now willing to call a question ‘silly’ when it is, as she did this morning with Jon Faine.  She is also now prepared to correct inaccurate statements emanating from interviewers.  Why should any politician have to respond to a question that contains errors of fact?

For his part, Jon Faine can be hard on Coalition politicians too; the other day he became very impatient with his subject when discussing the setting up by the Baillieu Government of the new Independent Commission Against Corruption, which Faine deemed to be too slow.  Failing to get the direct answer about timing that he wanted, Faine became testy and rude, and even a day later was still fuming and recounting the episode.  Shock jocks, and Faine is morphing into one, seem to feel they have a divine right to get the answers they seek, and berate anyone who does not oblige.  It was surprising to hear him attack a State Coalition minister; he seldom does that to a Federal Coalition member.

On TV Chris Uhlmann is trying to come across as a ‘tough’ interviewer, but seems unaware that his ‘toughness’ on Coalition members is very much a ‘slap with a wet lettuce’.  I thought his recital of why Julia Gillard should not have brought the bill on the Malaysia arrangement to the House was a display of arrogance that was unbecoming of a commentator, especially such a junior one.  Here is the précis of what he said:

CHRIS UHLMANN: There were five good reasons why bringing this bill to the house was a bad idea. First, it never for a moment bothered anyone in the Coalition that the pages of history would record them as having opposed this bill.

“Second, it really does bother a good chunk of Labor's Caucus that their names would be in history's page alongside a policy they hate.

“Third, the bill was always doomed to be defeated in the Senate.

“Fourth, getting it through the Lower House hung on the vote of a Western Australian National MP who sits on the crossbench.

“Finally, if the bill failed to win the support of the Lower House, it would be the first time in 80 years it happened - and in 1929 the Bruce Government resigned. There would be no need for the Gillard Government to follow suit, but the Coalition was always going to play a lost vote as a de facto no-confidence motion.”

If only the PM had had Uhlmann to advise her!

Ad astra reply

October 14. 2011 05:09 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for the Sunday morning list.  Chris Uhlmann's performance will be worth watching.

Ad astra reply

October 14. 2011 05:45 PM


Maybe Faine is aiming for a move to Brisbane to take over from Madonna King!  


October 14. 2011 05:47 PM


but seems unaware that his ‘toughness’ on Coalition members is very much a ‘slap with a wet lettuce’.

I couldn't agree more. And a limp lettuce leaf at that.

At least Virginia knows how to wield a cricket bat now & then. Abbott seemed somewhat uncomfortable this morning...like he'd stumbled across an old time leper colony.

I don't always agree w/ Trioli, fair enuff, but she keeps me watchin'. To be honest, I had a wee tele crush on her awhile back. Smile

I'm even startin' to chuckle at Michael Rowland's puns. Gawd help me. Smile Better than watchin' all those dreadful infotainment, ongoin' ad addiction corporate mornin' shows.



October 14. 2011 06:02 PM


       Fran Kelly once said on insiders wtte of "it's not up to the media to sell the governments policies" of which I agree with her on that!
However usually when she gets a minister in her studio she likes to talk about everything else! polls, leadership, the opposition says .....! and yet she wonders why the government message isn't getting across.


October 14. 2011 06:16 PM


Tonight: The Friday night political forum with Craig Emerson and Greg Hunt ABC1 1035pm
Share · 3 minutes ago ·


October 14. 2011 06:24 PM


  From the OZ!

TONY Abbott has warned businesses not to buy future-dated emissions permits under the Gillard government's carbon tax scheme, in a threat branded "reckless" by Labor.
Adding to the uncertainty surrounding the tax, the Opposition Leader said firms purchasing emissions permits should do so in the knowledge the scheme would be shut down if the Coalition won the next election.

“We will repeal this legislation. We will dismantle the bureaucracies it has spawned,” Mr Abbott told a Menzies Research Centre tax roundtable in Sydney.

“And we give businesses fair warning not buy forward permits under a tax regime that will be closed down.”

Mr Abbott challenged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to say whether Labor would stand by the scheme if it lost government,

Treasurer Wayne Swan said Labor would “absolutely” stand by its carbon tax scheme if it lost government, refusing to recognise any Coalition mandate to rescind it.
But Mr Abbott said he believed a defeated Labor Party would be forced to rethink its position.

“It's almost inconceivable that the Labor party would want to commit suicide twice,” he said.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the Coalition would trample on firms' property rights.

“Business needs certainty over carbon pricing to underpin investments in the clean energy sources of the future,” his spokesman said.

“No one cares if Mr Abbott trashes what's left of his reputation. But it is totally reckless to trash the Australian economy and Australian businesses know that.”

It's understood the Coalition believes companies that lost permits without compensation would still be better off because they would no longer face a carbon liability.

About 500 Australian businesses - those emitting more than 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year - will have to obtain emissions permits, initially valued at $23 a tonne.

Emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries will receive the majority of their permits for free, while firms not exposed to international market will have to buy their own.

The scheme is expected to pass through the Senate in November, with the tax to start in July next year.



October 14. 2011 06:43 PM


I said in an earlier post.  If he thought he could get away with it Tony would be talking to the military about storming Parliament.  The guy has lost the plot. He will be encouraging companies to break the law with the promise that he will forgive them when he wins.  

While it is tragic I think we are going to be in for some interesting theater as Tony becomes increasingly unhinged.  The more it seeps in that he cant just wish the CEF bills away the more extreme his rhetoric is getting.  

Surely there must be some in his party that are beginning to back away and look for the tranquliser darts.  


October 14. 2011 07:13 PM



Problem at the heart of the demise of journalism is that an overwhelming number of journalists seem to think that it is their role to sell the policies (such as they are) of the Coalition.  They also, as you point out, obstruct the exposition and examination of policy by concentrating on trivia - polls, leadership, and a whole suite of time-wasting gotchas.  


October 14. 2011 07:34 PM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey,   I'm with you on thinking that Gillard is having her cake and eating it too.   She's seen to be standing firm on her genuine 'principles' re people smuggling, dangerous sea voyages and strong border protection.  But she no longer has to fight people in her own party on off-shore processing.  Those new processing rules released today seem a bit too ready to roll, as if they were there just waiting for the legislation to be knocked back in the Senate, as she knew it would be.

I think she thought it was worth a go at pushing it through the House of Reps and having every one in the Coalition record their vote against it.  Not to be.....yet.    The game has now changed dramatically and lots of new initiatives are possible.  Meanwhile  she can continue to work constructively with others in the region for agreed procedures, even for more than one processing centre and a genuine 'waiting list' can be developed.  Those using people smugglers will meet disincentives of one kind or another.

Patricia WA

October 14. 2011 08:35 PM


and yet she wonders why the government message isn't getting across.

good point. The government does deserve a fair-go.

I just heard the Jon Faine comment about the "two PMs". That's not on.

Durin' the weeks I was away I was amazed at how many media pundits and others treat Julia Gillard w/ disdain...I've never seen such disrespect on an ongoin' basis. Many in our media deserve a kick up the butt. They create the "cynicism" when it comes to politicians & useful policies.

I see it as verbal woman bashing & bullying on a huge scale in an ocker country that should know better.

There's criticism...and then just plain abuse. It took me years to build up my disdain for John Howard. This disgusting treatment of PM Gillard started almost from the first day.

Give the lady a break ya mongrels!

BTW, I reckon Mark Simkin is a sh*t stirrin' pompous twat...suit tory UK more than here.



October 14. 2011 08:41 PM


Tomorrow's links will go up early tonight because the western sky is full of sparklers and your North Queensland correspondent is likely to go off the air.


October 14. 2011 08:46 PM


Here is a new item on ebay!



October 14. 2011 08:48 PM


Have you noticed how many tricky dicks these days purport to care about gay marriage but constantly attack The Greens, the party that supports their cause thru thick & thin?

Frankly, if The Greens are sensible on an issue I support it. This fear of the ALP bein' aligned occasionally w/ The Greens is irrational & media/mining mogul/big business pushed.

Seems to be less concern about the Liberals spooning it w/ the luddite Nats. And suckin' up to oft trade destructive, community dividin' One Nation politics.

The media in this country generally suck big time.

Durin' times of serious climate change & widespread economic corruption it only makes sense that Green politics should play a part.

Grow up Australia!

Look for the boogeymen where they really reside...in the corporations & big rich dynasties.



October 14. 2011 09:03 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Fun Fact:
            My grandfather was an Organiser in the Seamans Union in 1929, whose strike for better pay and conditions for Merchant Seamen ultimately led to Stanley Bruce losing that vote on the floor of the Lower House of Parliament, and his position as Prime Minister of Australia. Smile

   The person my grandfather most hated in life, when I knew him as a little girl, was Bob Santamaria. An Irish Australian Catholic hating an Italian Australian Catholic, and one whom he could never forgive for splitting the ALP. Still, he never missed an episode of Bob Santamaria's weekly rant on the telly.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 09:04 PM

Feral Skeleton

     I even made the effort to track down the ABC Melbourne email address so that I could send Jon Faine a rocket up the Khyber Pass.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 09:32 PM


FS - well done (and I have "fond" memories of my Father and Grandfather yelling at Santamaria's "Point of View" on the black and white TV every weekend).

I also have memories of one of my Grandfather's going to the TAB on a Saturday morning to "have a go" at Jim Killen who apparently liked a punt.  It wasn't for the gee gees (although he "had" to place a few bets "while he was there")!


October 14. 2011 09:33 PM

Feral Skeleton

         I'm glad I wasn't just imagining that about Grog. I said it with all the best will in the world towards the man, he survived everything that the MSM threw at him before the election but they appear to have won in the end.

   Anyway, he has so much talent and integrity that I'm sure he'll wake up to himself before he unravels too far. Well, I hope so.

Feral Skeleton

October 14. 2011 09:39 PM


Feral Skeleton

Still, he never missed an episode of Bob Santamaria's weekly rant on the telly.

That's because it was on before Disneyland. Smile That explains why I was such an avid viewer of the bobbling turkey head - we used to turn the volume down and watch his head wobble like a dashboard dog.


October 14. 2011 09:41 PM

Ad astra reply

I have just posted Acerbic Conehead's latest piece of telling satire: Cross-breed Purposes. Enjoy.


Ad astra reply

October 14. 2011 09:43 PM



EWE NOT EWW: ABC dines out on Christopher Pyne’s clean mind

Flamboyant federal front-bencher Christopher Pyne has a clean mind in contrast to more racy ABC listeners as this transcript from an interview Thursday morning on ABC Radio Melbourne illustrates:

No Refuge II: Pressure on
Andrew Elder   Politically homeless

It isn't having it both ways to honour the deal with Malaysia. I still think that the regional dialogue I went on about here is important and it would have been impossible had the Malaysians disgraced themselves by agreeing to drop it. Also impossible would have been articles like this without the focus on refugees in Malaysia. This is the start of something big and important in regional engagement, hopefully not limited to refugees.

Govt proposes “streamlined” piracy controls
Renai LeMay   Delimiter

The Federal Government has proposed to modify federal regulations to make it easier for anti-piracy organisations to request details of alleged Internet pirates from ISPs, in a modified process which would make it easier for organisations such as Movie Rights Group and AFACT to pursue individuals allegedly illegally downloading content online.

Tax talk-fests and the importance of being dismal
Bruce Bradbury   Club Troppo

Why is tax reform so hard? Reviews such as the Henry Review often point to ‘low-hanging fruit’ where efficiency gains can be made without any significant equity costs. One oft-noted example is property stamp duty, where the Henry Review recommended its replacement by land taxes. Taxes such as stamp duties, it is argued, discourage residential mobility and the most efficient use of the housing stock.

The Jobs-lot politician: where inspiration meets capacity
Greg Jericho   The Drum

Last week when news of the death of Steve Jobs broke, the reaction online was overwhelming and effusive.
This was not altogether surprising given those with a tendency to congregate in the online suburbs of Facebook and Twitter are going to contain proportionally higher owners of Apple devices than those who live offline.

On-shore processing rules so suck it up and play nice
Jennifer Wilson   No Place for Sheep

It was a grim-faced PM who held a press conference yesterday evening to announce her decision to withdraw proposed amendments to the Migration Act that would enable the government to send asylum seekers to Malaysia.

A Crikey whistle-blower bites the dust?
Petering   North Coast Voices

Crikey was mentioned almost in the same breath as “potential breaches of the Australian Public Service (APS) Code of Conduct”. It seems Now with extra source has a dangerous ring to it if you want to walk those departmental corridors.

And now for a flock of memories and Friday layabouts ...
Dorothy Parker   Loon Pond

The idea of balance in the media takes a battering on a daily basis.
Take Phillip Adams, please someone take him. Adams is routinely held up as the the pivot around which leftism swings at Radio National, and the shining star of lefties in The Australian, which is bit like saying a pompous bore like Paul Kelly is a shining star for sensible conservatism.

What’s a bridging visa?
Amber Jamieson

As part of the government’s new onshore processing system for asylum seekers arriving by boat, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced an increase in the amount of bridging visas to clear out the crowded detention centres.

Thinking out loud
David Havyatt   Anything Goes

No wonder after Turnbull used the EIU report the EIU analyst pointed out that their report favoured the Australian solution over New Zealand (behind AFR paywall).
The difference is that Turnbull consistently ignores 25% of the people. I continue to ask where Fiona Nash and Barnaby Joyce are on this?

Too Much Green…
Wixxy   Wixxy's Blog

I am aware that this post will no doubt become a magnet for abuse, so I will start out by saying that I agree with some of the Greens policies. Equal marriage rights for all, I’m with you 100%.
Every time Bob Brown or Sarah Hanson -Young open their mouths, I can almost hear the trampling of swinging voters feet as they move over to the Coalitions side.

Abbott and Costello meet Catholic Social Teaching
Brian Lawrence   Eureka Street

There has been a high degree of consensus among Catholics about Catholic Social Teaching on work, workplace rights and economic relations since the seminal articulation of modern Catholic social teaching by Rerum Novarum in 1891.  It underpins the thinking of many Catholics from the left to the right of the political spectrum.  Social justice is at the heart of that teaching and remains part of the Catholic DNA.

Surprised by Joy. How Treasury underestimated China
Peter Martin

Treasury now releases reports of the Joint Economic Forecasting Group (JEFG) Committee after a period of 2½ years.

Today it released the JEFG report of March 2009 mid-crisis, when things looked particularly murky.

CLEANTECH BUZZ: All-Energy 2011
Sophie Vorrath   Climate Spectator

Wandering around the exhibitors' stalls at the 2011 All-Energy Australia conference in Melbourne this week, it was, once again, a notably solar-dominated affair. Solar players big and small were showing off their wares, including a good amount of the latest inverter technology, with local solar players coming up against outfits from Korea, China, Canada and the US, to name but a few.


Carbon tax will not increase grocery shopping bills, says industry group
Lenore Taylor   SMH

THE food processing industry says shoppers will not suffer any price rises under the proposed carbon tax because the impact will be borne by manufacturers.
The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has repeatedly used the Australian Food and Grocery Council's earlier estimate of a 3 to 5 per cent price hike on food due to the carbon tax during his anti-carbon tax campaign warning of imminent price increases.

In spin-free zone, NBN sparks navel-gazing
David Braue   ZDNet
There was a palpable sense of anticipation as attendees sat down to this week's CommsDay Summit in Melbourne, where Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was scheduled to set the agenda with what one assumes would be the usual anti-NBN spray ..... When it was announced to waiting attendees that he was a no-show ........ the gathering took on a markedly different tenor. Rather than the usual political spin that has dominated NBN-related discourse in the past, the industry got a chance to simply stand up and tell how the project is affecting their businesses.

Mamdouh Habib report ready by year's end

Ms Thom said the work of the inquiry had been "substantial".

"By the end of the reporting period a small team of four had examined many thousands of pages of documents and I had formally interviewed 25 witnesses," she said.

PM to announce conscience vote
Andrew M Potts   StarOnline

A senior federal ALP source has told the Star Observer that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is planning to announce she will allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in an effort to short-circuit debate at the ALP National Conference in Sydney in December.


October 14. 2011 09:54 PM


Jason, Liealot is extremely dangerous, imo. By telling businesses not to buy future-dated emissions permits, he is trying to destabilise the economy. Which I think is an act of treason.

The government must act quickly to reassure business that they will be in no danger even if The Liars Party does win government at the next election.

Trevor, I'm absolutely certain Liealot is insane enough to storm Parliament if he could persuade the military to do so.

The passage of the CEF bills this week seems to have unhinged him altogether, as you say.

I don't think the Liars will move on him until the polls start to show that they're losing ground. However, their problem will be who to promote as they cart him off in a strait jacket.

Turnbull has been mooted as the go to man, but imo, he's not much better than Liealot and he's obviously prepared to compromise his principles as evidenced by the way he's fallen in lockstep with Liealot.

He also has very suspect political nous afaic. The Grech affair and the so-called utegate is proof of that. Rudd and Swan baited the hook and reeled him in.

And he has the same sort of loony arrogance and lack of judgement as Liealot. That leaves who? Sloppy? Barnyard? Eyes? Morrison? The list just gets less talented and more gaga. There is just a complete absence of talent, thanks to the Rodent and his progeny, Liealot.

PatriciaWA, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Gillard knew the offshore bill wouldn't pass in the Lower House and that it was certain to fail in the Upper House.

And she was more than sure Liealot wouldn't have the wit to collaborate on the legislation and start to look like a contender rather than a nutter.

So now, thanks to that moron Liealot, we've got onshore processing. lol


October 14. 2011 11:50 PM


I too saw Greg Jericho last night (Thursday) and I too was disappointed, it's like those Stepford Wives what happens to guests or whatever the word is for eggspurts on ABC shows like the Drum. I've seen it several times before but I thought Greg would be immune! Another illusion shattered! It was like he was on soma, WT#?!


October 15. 2011 08:49 AM


I do so agree with you re Turdball, he is a serious disappointment in every way. I offered to call him Turnbull if he started to behave ethically, but he turned me down. Mug. He has continued to act as Abbortt's clown, in a role he doesn't believe in, when he could have taken a principled stand and gone to the backbenches, from which he could have quietly awaited Abbortt's unravelling, and he really is the only one of the whole Coalons with any ability. But he seems to have little political nous, and of principles no more than his master, and of courage, not enough to declare himself.

There is no-one in the Opposition who will be able to suture the gash in their ranks that Abbortt will leave when he has finally been excised. I think they are in the wilderness from now on. They don't have any ethos at all except greed for power. And the Dark Lord Merdeoch is not only faltering from within his tower, he will also have about lost faith in Abbortt's ability to deliver *J*U*L*I*A*s head.  

Turdy is in a position from which he could act as a statesman, he doesn't even need the job, he could unload on Abbortt and do Australia a favour by taking a principled line, instead he is cowering in ignominy, and he's left his declaration too late now imo. Pity really. He could have been somebody.  


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