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The enigma of the ‘overarching narrative’

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Wednesday, 26 October 2011 18:03 by Ad astra
Here we are again – looking for the elusive overarching narrative, or as Paul Keating describes it in his latest book After Words: ‘an overarching and compelling story’. What is it about this concept that for so many defies description? Is it simply blindness among commentators who seem unable or unwilling to see what is obvious to others? Is it colour blindness that insists the Government must have an overarching narrative, but seldom asks what it is for the alternative government, which we are regularly told is just a heartbeat away from election? Is it media short sightedness with its focus on the here and now, the immediate dramatic story, the entertaining twist, the contemporary conflict, which blurs the distant scene and dims its vision of a changing and different future?

Is the overarching narrative a rainbow? There in its vivid colour after a spring shower, one foot so close to the water’s edge that one could almost touch it, with its exquisitely symmetric arch stretching across the water to the distant shore. It is at first vibrantly visible, yet in an instant it is gone, no longer visible, a transient image. It seems to me that while so many ask the ‘narrative’ question, few look for an answer. Commentators continue to ask: “What does Labor (or he/she) stand for”, which is code for “What is the narrative?” Yet for those who look, it is there, and has been ever since Labor took office.

It is not an evanescent rainbow. It is real and permanent. Kevin Rudd spelt it out and Julia Gillard has done so over and again. Some may not like the narrative, or find it confusing or incomplete, but it is there. Richo, who has sold his Labor soul for ten pieces of silver, once more asked ‘the question’ on Monday’s Q&A, but he is so blind to the answer that his question has become a mantra rather than a serious quest. Paul Kelly too enjoys the ‘where’s the narrative’ entreaty, and returns to it again and again.

When someone as erudite and articulate as Paul Keating asks the question though, we need to sit up and take notice. I have not yet acquired a copy of his book, but look forward to reading it from cover to cover. Keating is man of broad vision. He sees the whole picture, the distant view. His quest for ‘an overarching and compelling story’ seems to be a search for creativity. The 22-23 October issue of The Weekend Australian published the introduction to his book. Here is some of it – enough to give a taste of his ideas.

“Friedrich Schiller, the German philosopher, said: "If man is ever to solve the problems of politics in practice he will have to approach it through the problem of the aesthetic, because it is only through beauty that man makes his way to freedom."

“Romantic and idealistic as that view may seem to some, the thought is revelatory of the fact that the greater part of human aspiration has been informed by individual intuition and privately generated passions, more than it has through logic or scientific revelation. The moral basis of our public life, our social organisation, has come from within us - by aspiration and by light, not by some process of logical deduction.

“Immanuel Kant referred to our inner impulses as "the higher self", an unconscious search for truth, going deeply into ourselves to establish who we are and what we should be.

“Beauty is about the quest for perfection or an ideal, and that quest has to begin with aesthetic imagination - something informed by conscience, carved by duty. Kant called it "the inner command", the ethical construct one creates to guide one from within.

“But we need tools to mine good intentions: inspirations, ones which await the creative spark, the source of all enlargement. Creativity is central to our progress and to all human endeavour.”

Keating then reveals his source of inspiration:

“Music provides the clue: unlike other forms of art, music is not representational. Unlike the outcome of the sciences, it was never discoverable or awaiting discovery. A Mahler symphony did not exist before Mahler created it.”

But Keating does not eschew reason:

“This is not to turn our back on reason. Or to argue that modernism, with all its secular progress through education, industrialisation, communications, transport and the centralised state, has not spectacularly endowed the world as no other movement before it. But a void exists between the drum-roll of mechanisation with its cumulative power of science and the haphazard, explosive power of creativity and passion. Science is forever trying to undress nature while the artistic impulse is to be wrapped in it.

“While these approaches are different - perhaps often diametrically opposite - they inform related strands of thinking in ways that promote energy and vision. This is what I have found when these forces are contemplated in tandem. When passion and reason vie with each other, the emerging inspiration is invariably deeper and of an altogether higher form. One is able to knit between them, bringing into existence an overarching unity - a coherence - which fidelity to the individual strands cannot provide.

“In the world I have lived in, the world of politics, political economy and internationalism, the literature exists in abundance. But what is far from abundant are the frameworks for the intuitive resolution of complex problems that require multi-dimensional solutions.

“But from where do we glean this extra dimensionality?

“For me, it has always been from two sources: policy ambition in its own right and from imagination - the dreaming. Policy ambition arising from Kant's higher self, and imagination promoted by those reliable wellsprings - music, poetry, art and architecture - blending the whole into a creative flux.”

With Keating’s words resonating through our consciousness, let’s look back a little before searching again for that elusive narrative. A recurrent theme on The Political Sword has been the search for ‘the narrative’ that delineates the Government, that describes its intent, and that sets down the criteria by which it wishes to be judged. The first article on this subject was posted on September 14, 2008, the day after The Political Sword began: In search of the political Holy Grail – the Rudd Government narrative.  See, even way back then ‘the narrative’ was obsessing commentators, even if the general public didn’t give a tinker’s curse. That piece attempted to define ‘narrative’. I enjoyed re-reading it. It reminded me that nothing has changed during these last three years – ‘narrative’ is still the journalist’s hobbyhorse. Here is one quote from that piece: “The vogue word in journalism for groupthink is ‘narrative’. A bunch of reporters and editors read one another's dispatches, talk at events and on planes, and come to a rough consensus about where things stand and what's important…” That becomes ‘the narrative’ or the lack of it.

The piece quotes an article by Nick Dyrenfurth, a political historian at Monash University, in The Weekend Australian back in 2008 on September 6-7: Telling it like we’d prefer it. Dyrenfurth gives as good an account of the concept of political narrative as I have read. He says: “The narrative is a political buzzword. In the past month, former Prime Minister Paul Keating and commentator Paul Kelly have each taken Kevin Rudd’s Government to task for its lack of ‘an overarching narrative’, a coherent story of its policy direction that explains its imperatives. During the 2007 election, John Howard was routinely accused of possessing no narrative or agenda for his government’s fifth term. The politically youthful Rudd by contrast, was machine-like in conveying his dual campaign narrative of working families under threat from rising costs of living and Work Choices and a more optimistic vision by which he came to symbolize the nation’s future.” Has anything changed since then? We seem to be on a merry-go-round. An attempt was made in that piece to describe the Rudd Government narrative – it warrants re-reading.

Subsequently, at regular intervals there have been TPS pieces on ‘the narrative’ or its alter ego, ‘what does he/she stand for’. In August 2010 there was The enigma of leadership; then in November What does Julia Gillard stand for?; and in June 2011 What Julia Gillard DOES stand for.  Again, In August there was What is political leadership? Do you know? that addressed the issue of vision, an important attribute for a leader, and of course the old chestnut – ‘narrative’. Then as recently as this September there was: Is Julia Gillard entitled to a fair go? that again addressed vision and narrative. 

Why this recurrent theme? Is there really no narrative at all, or no coherent ’overarching’ narrative? Or are journalists simply dismally failing to see, or refusing to see, the actual narrative that drives the Gillard Government? Perhaps it is too complex for them to understand and analyse; maybe its elements are so scattered across a multiplicity of announcements and speeches that journalists find them too arduous to dissect and synthesize into a coherent whole. So why don’t they go to the ALP website and read Making a Difference.  It’s all there. There is a well-constructed attachment anyone can download that spells out in detail the Government’s vision, its plans, its actions and its achievements. Even a high school student could understand it. Why can’t or won’t journalists? Do glance through it and ask yourself why journalists don’t or won’t.  

In my opinion, many, maybe most MSM journalists, prefer their own ‘narrative’ or should I say their much-repeated mantras: ‘What is the Government’s narrative’? or ‘The Government needs an overarching narrative’ or ‘What does the Government stand for?’ That is easier than informing the public about what the narrative actually is. They have ample explanatory resources at their disposal. It leads me to conclude that these journalists, many of whom work for News Limited, are either lazy, incompetent or malevolent – determined not to describe this Government’s vision, and all it has planned, or has in train, or has already completed. That would paint it as a reforming government, already with many accomplishments. The picture they prefer to portray is a bumbling, error-prone, incompetent, directionless outfit, devoid of vision, with no narrative, and unfit to govern.

So expect to hear more of ‘What is the Government’s overarching narrative?’ But don’t ever expect journalists to spell out what narrative they are seeking, or one that might be acceptable to them. After all, that’s not their job, and we know they are incapable of doing it anyway.

Let’s continue by returning to Paul Keating’s words. At least they make sense and point to another dimension to the ’overarching narrative’. As we have only a snippet of his book, this appraisal must of necessity be somewhat superficial, but even a glimpse of what he’s driving at gives worthwhile insight. When I have my hands on his book, a more detailed account of his ideas will be prepared for you.

Harking back to the halcyon days of the Hawke/Keating reforms, there was a sense of transition. This quote from Wikipedia portrays those transitions: “Keating was one of the driving forces behind the various microeconomic reforms of the Hawke government. The Hawke/Keating governments of 1983–1996 pursued economic policies and restructuring such as floating the Australian dollar in 1983, reducing tariffs on imports, taxation reforms, moving from centralised wage-fixing to enterprise bargaining, privatisation of publicly-owned companies such as Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank, and deregulation of the banking system. Keating was instrumental in the introduction of the Prices and Incomes Accord, an agreement between the ACTU and the government to negotiate wages.”

Keating wants to see more of the vision of transition in the Labor Government’s ‘compelling overarching story’. Here is what he said to Paul Kelly: "I'm happy that Labor took us through this dreadful financial crisis so competently. But they are not in the business of teaching. And governments, to succeed with change, must be in the business of educating the community.

"Our Labor governments have failed to conceptualise the changes. We need a framework.

"What is the framework? It is 'Australia in Transition' strategically and economically. That's the story we have to present.

"I think the Australian people are very conscientious. During the 1980s and 1990s we proved they will respond conscientiously to necessary reforms. They mightn't like them but they'll accept them. But reforms have to be presented in a digestible format.

"I know that in the age of the Internet, opinion and perpetual static it is difficult to get the message over. I accept that. But the big messages have their own momentum. If we get the story of transition right then other things will find their place.

"Our problem is what I call shooting-star policies. We have a policy on carbon pricing, on minerals, on boatpeople, but they are not connected up to the big picture about Australia's direction and its transition."…

"Labor must recognise what it has created," he says, invoking the Hawke-Keating era. "It has a created a new society and it has to be the party of the new society.

"It can't be the party of part of the old society. Labor must be the party of those people who gained from the pro-market growth economy that we created. Labor must be open to the influences of this middle class, to people on higher incomes. And I don't think it is."

What Keating says makes sense, but has he overlooked some of the transitory statements that Labor has already made?

Has Julia Gillard not repeatedly talked about the transition of this nation from a fossil fuel dependent economy to a green energy one that uses solar, wind, wave and geothermal resources? Have you not heard her speak of the transition from dependence on coal to the use of natural gas, now being explored in massive projects in WA? Have you heard her talk about the transition from traditional manufacturing dependent on coal-based cheap energy to the manufacturing of energy-saving green products to feed the renewables industry? She has regularly warned industry that it must transition to meet contemporary conditions and future needs and that Government will assist in the transition from the patchwork economy to a more sustainable one of high productivity where all have jobs. The ALP website says: “Our economy in 2011 is in transition and we want to make sure the opportunities of the mining boom are shared by all Australians.”

How many have not heard her talk of the urgent need for transition from a society indifferent to increasing carbon pollution, its consequence global warming and its dire affects on our planet, to one where emissions are capped and penalised, and thereby driven down by a price on carbon and an ETS?

Have you heard her speaking about the transition of our trading pattern from one traditionally with Europe and the US to one more focused on our region and particularly with China and India? I have.

Has anyone missed the transition that PM Gillard has in mind for a regional solution for managing irregular arrivals to replace the existing arrangement where each nation does its own thing in isolation?

Have you heard her talk of the transition from a health system bedeviled by buck passing to a more collaborative arrangement with the Federal Government assuming more fiscal responsibility, the transition from centralized control of hospitals to control by local bodies, and the transition from a hospital centered system to one built upon primary care, prevention and better mental health services? I have.

Have we not heard her talk about the need for transition in the school system from the relatively closed system dominated by teacher unions to one of greater transparency where parents can gain information about the schools their children attend through the MySchool website, and about their children’s performance in the National Curriculum via NAPLAN, and about the additional funding for disadvantaged schools and teacher training?

Who has missed her promise to transform telecommunication infrastructure, which needs to transition from the slow speeds currently endured to efficiency-transforming high speed broadband?

Who has not heard about the Government’s plan for transition in the regions from the threat of slow decay to a prosperous future via the NBN, better water management, $10 billion of additional resources, and more regional infrastructure and health services?

Who has not heard her talk of the transition in the mining industry from one where inadequate rent is charged for minerals to one where a proper rent via the MRRT can extend superannuation, lower company tax and simplify taxation?

Who has missed the reforms proposed to transform the tax and transfer system?

How could anyone have been unaware of the transition from the restrictive IR arrangements of the Howard Government to the more liberal worker-friendly Fair Work Australia? 

One could go on and on but instead I invite you again to read the whole of the attachment to Making a Difference.  It beats me how anyone with any degree of fairness could label the Gillard Government as ‘do nothing’ when it is doing so much, and how Paul Keating can complain about the lack of an overarching narrative that bespeaks the transition that is taking place in so many parts of our national endeavour. The actual word ‘transition’ does not appear much in Making a Difference, but the whole document portrays transition, transition, transition.

I hope that in his book Keating spells out just how he believes the Gillard Government should ‘teach’ the electorate how it is preparing this nation for, and managing the transition in which it is immersed right now. I want to read more about how creativity and the arts, how beauty can be brought to bear on the process of transition, how ‘policy ambition arising from Kant's higher self, and imagination promoted by those reliable wellsprings - music, poetry, art and architecture – can blend the whole into a creative flux.’

The Gillard Government does have a clearly articulated ‘overarching and compelling story’. Many of us can see its narrative, but according to Keating many can’t, and of course many won’t because they don’t want to.

So it’s up to us to tell the world. ‘The Finnigans’ do this regularly on Poll Bludger. Take a look. I defy the skeptics to say this Government is doing nothing.  

What can we do on The Political Sword? Why don’t we keep a similar running tab on this Government’s progress and accomplishments, and publicize loudly every good move it makes? In this way we may quieten the recurrent call for the elusive ‘overarching narrative’, which to so many seems like a rainbow – here one moment, gone the next.

What do you think?

Comments (101) -

October 26. 2011 06:43 PM


"Paul Kelly too enjoys the ‘where’s the narrative’ entreaty, and returns to it again and again".

Thanks again Ad for a thoughtful article.

Your comment above reminds me that I saw a hard-copy of The Austrollian on Monday and it had a large format photo of our PM on the front page. It was a stunning photo of her taken in the garden of the Lodge. I was doubly surprised that the accompanying article by Paul Kelly was largely a recitation of informative facts without the usual snippy opinion.

Maybe because The Austrollian went behind the paywall they could risk a non-toxic article about our PM.


October 26. 2011 07:12 PM


One of your better ones AA.  I suspect the "lack" of narrative is partly due to the lack of trumpeting the "triumphs" from the roof in expensive advertising campaigns as Howard used to do.  I also suspect there is a lack of one page press releases for the "Journalists" to paraphrase and claim as original work.  As my Grandfather used to say; "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink".  Perhaps the modern equivalent is "you can give a Journalist a story but unless it is in the right format it will be ignored".

Maybe more people than suspected read Pollbludger.  I saw Bushfire Bill suggest that every time Abbott said no, Gillard reply with well he would say that.  There was a news report today where Abbott said no, and Gillard apparently laughed and asked what else did they expected him to say.


October 26. 2011 08:26 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         You have created your own rainbow here with the many colours of Labor's Technicolour Dreamcoat.It's just such a pity that the media are so intent on turning it, and Julia Gillard who wears it so well, into the picture of an Emperor without any clothes on.

   I think that the answer may well be found in part from within the words that you quoted Paul Keating saying about the 'lack of narrative' issue. That is, he says:

"Our problem is what I call shooting-star policies. We have a policy on carbon pricing, on minerals, on boatpeople, but they are not connected up to the big picture about Australia's direction and its transition."…

   So, maybe it is not necessarily a bad thing for Labor to have 'shooting stars' if you think of those policies as fireworks lighting up the sky for the electorate.  We all know how much the people love to come along to the New Year and Australia Day free fireworks shows.  Well, if we see those policies as the big bangs that they are, all Labor really needs to do to make those 'shooting stars' go off with a bang in the electorate, is choreograph them effectively with the right soundtrack.

    By this I mean that they have to overcome the Opposition and the media playing them off a break about advertising what they have done to the electorate.  It fits right into the 'narrative' about, 'What if they gave a party and no one came because they didn't tell anyone about it?' So, to continue with the 'party' metaphor, the Labor Party have to start telling the electorate about the good times to be had at their party.  And get a killer Party Mix of music together to make the party go off with a 'Bang!' Smile

   Might I suggest they start off with 'Damn the Torpedoes' by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Bugger the Mahler! Wink

Feral Skeleton

October 26. 2011 09:09 PM


The overarching narrative, the 'tale' of Julia Gillard as the leader of this nation is, and has been through all her speeches and comments, one word.


And that word, at the base of Left political thinking anywhere in the world, is the exact reverse of conservative thinking, which is also summed up in one word - claim.

Ad Astra's exposition above of the Gillard Labor government's policies and intentions can all be distilled down to "share".

The challenges and demands threaded through and driving Tony Abbott's behaviour as leader of the Coalition all scream "claim".

Two words, one huge choice. About how you wish to live your life. About how you believe a nation exists to the benefit of all its citizens.


October 26. 2011 09:26 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your comments.  I too saw that photo and wondered why The Oz had chosen it over one from their collection of unflattering ones they trot out so often.  Maybe, just maybe there is a slight softening of the hard attitude News Limited has towards our PM.  Wouldn’t that be a pleasant change!

Thank you for the nice compliment.  I think you are right. – Julia ought to adopt the Abbott approach of having a short one liner to hit back at him.  Today, in response to yet another NO about the pokies legislation, she said: "Heaven's above, Tony Abbott's saying no to something, who'd of thought?”  That will be more effective than arguing the case logically.

Thank you for your comment: “ You have created your own rainbow here with the many colours of Labor's Technicolour Dreamcoat.  It's just such a pity that the media are so intent on turning it, and Julia Gillard who wears it so well, into the picture of an Emperor without any clothes on.

You are so right.  I attribute much of the so-called inability of the Government to ‘get its message across’ to a disinterested and antagonistic media that does not want to spread good news stories about the Government.  So there may be some value in Paul Keating’s ‘shooting-stars’, if for no other reason that to attract the media’s attention.  I know Mahler, but not 'Damn the Torpedoes' by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  Please educate me with a YouTube link!

Ad astra reply

October 26. 2011 09:38 PM

Ad astra reply

What a splendid summation.  On Monday’s Q&A Tanya Plibersek said just that – Labor wants the prosperity of the minerals boom to be shared across the nation.  With those words, I thought she captured Labor ideology beautifully.  There really is such a fundamental difference between the two ideologies – Labor is into fairness for all; the Coalition is into victory for the powerful.

Ad astra reply

October 26. 2011 10:22 PM


Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink
New South Wales’ attorney thinks Crikey’s a gossip site:

NSW Attorney General Greg Smith has dismissed popular online news and opinion provider Crikey as "largely gossip" as he defended the exclusion of bloggers from shield laws for journalists.

During budget estimates hearings in Sydney Mr Smith was asked by Greens MP David Shoebridge why the shield laws passed by the NSW parliament in June didn't cover bloggers.

Mr Smith said bloggers weren't subject to the same sanctions and responsibilities as journalists, who could be sacked for publishing "something that is inappropriate".

Bloggers, or those "who just want to have an opinion" didn't deserve the same protections, he said.

"I'm not going to cover bloggers who may represent terrorist organisations, or criminal organisation, or just be ratbags," Mr Smith said.

"It's not right that a fair publication of the news should be inhibited by fears of being sent to jail.

"But people that don't have that responsibility, who just want to have an opinion out there, to attract 200 or 300, or even two or three others, who'd like to read their blogs, I don't see why they're entitled to that sort of protection."

Defending the new media, Mr Shoebridge questioned why contributors to Crikey weren't also entitled to the shield law protection.

"On your analysis ... it would be okay for a contributor to Crikey to be carried off to jail to have their sources disclosed?" Mr Shoebridge asked.

"I'm not aware of Crikey publications being of the nature where anybody would bother asking who was the source of that information," Mr Smith replied.

"I had a subscription to Crikey for a while and I didn't continue it. There was some useful stuff in it, but it's largely gossip."

- Source: ninemsn


October 26. 2011 10:54 PM

Catching up

Maybe we have a PM that is too busy doing, to have time to talk.

Maybe the public has decided it will not listen.

Who knows but the truth is that this and the previous government is productive.

We should ne asking why Mr. Abbott is so ineffective, considering there is a minority government.  

He was no better when he had the benefit of a Senate more to his likong.

Catching up

October 26. 2011 11:10 PM

Feral Skeleton

       I've been racking my brains, but I can't think of one journalist who's been sacked in Australia recently.  I know of plenty who deserve to be though.  Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 26. 2011 11:39 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         Actually, I was referring to the Tom Petty album 'Damn the Torpedoes' because it was an apt title suggesting what Julia Gillard should do.  Also because it contains a song titled, 'I Won't Back Down' whose lyrics and a You Tube video I have included below:


   I think the lyrics suggest the same sort of defiant mentality that the PM has. Thankfully.  Smile

Feral Skeleton

October 27. 2011 12:31 AM


Thanks again for your excellent thought provocation. I have never seen the narrative deficit, which is now just a mantra by non-thinkers.

JG clearly has a vision of the nation as a fairer, more just society (MRRT and it's expenditure targets; her constant talking up of education; National Disability Insurance; Fair Work Act; National Broadband;) in the context of a good modern economy (ETS and renewable industries; NBN;) and on a cleaner planet (ETS). I have only noted 6 or 7 indicators here, but each represents a very major reform plank in attaining the vision.

By her actions and words and courage,she defines herself to me as a determined agent of reform. She well understands the truism that if an entity ceases to develop, it thereby begins to die. In nature, there is no going back. Going back is the cornerstone of the Coalition.

I think the Abbott mob well recognise JG's underlying narrative and are scared sh/witless about it. So they refuse to acknowledge it, and deny its existence. Their DNA contains an immune system to repel forward thinking. Yesteryear is always better. So to with the conservo journos.

On another matter, I guess many of you watched Lateline. Andrew Wilkie spoke intelligently and with common sense and calm. He did not appear to be at all strident about his May 1 deadline and appears flexible in regards to further negotiations/modifications of the pokies reform.

Jones twice asked/suggested that it was all a waste of time because it will only have a very short life before Abbott will rescind it. Rick (spelled with a silent"p") Jones is obviously one of the many premature speculators who has given the 2013 verdict not only to the coalition, but to an Abbott led coalition.

I am tantalised by the prospect of these premature speculators cleaning up their mess as JG's and the government's stocks steadily increase in the next 22 months.

BTW did anyone see tonight's The Hamster Wheel skit "political cats". It features in all episodes. All characters and events are depicted by snippets of many cat videos with appropriate sound-over. It is a MUST to catch the cat video snippet which represents G Richardson. It cat(ches) him to a Tee .... a fat, gormandising, treble chinned feline looking so so smug and looking totally undesirable.


October 27. 2011 12:37 AM



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October 27. 2011 01:16 AM


How's this for an overarching narrative?:

I wandered poor & lonely as a cyber cloud
stood atop Lofty Mountain
and observed a rich toff feeling sorry for himself
I decided to give him a penny for his thoughts
my last I might add
and he proceeded to whine about his human condition
informing me he felt like an empty vessel
I heard the strains of Mahler coming from his JobsPod
saw the tears as he reached towards the rumbling sky for answers

and promptly kicked his lame sorry arse all the way down the mountain

I then proceeded to do the same to every self-piteous dude in my way
and then picked up a megaphone and bashed it over the head of every protestor who spoke sweet nothings and fluttered fingers
having forgotten that Cuba wasn't won by dressing up in loopy feral costumes and sitting & sh*tting in parks...

then using my imagination I decided the best way to revolt was to ripoff the ideas of everyone else and call it my STEVE JOBS PLAN...

then start a war that would flatten towns & infrastructure...and then ride in like the saviour himself and provide cheap jobs for the struggling loser population based an old Tibetan printing house's work practice...

then referring to my self as Uberdude I'd meditate in K-street...and heal the sick by way of charity...and reap the benefits of high administration costs and tax deductions and books & speakfests that permitted me to combine "Arbeit machts frei trade" theory w/ "It's cool to be Liberal & hip" mentality...

and then having liberated the Asian workers...and pointed them in the direction far from the madding unions...I'd buy a few banks and kick a few homeless suckers outa their corners...put on some rags and beg for handouts...from the politicians I bought yesterday...

we'd all smile & chuckle as I wiped the dirt from my smug face and once again climbed Lofty Mountain...

high-fiving all the others like me celebrated in Forbes Magazine...

and then jumping off the edge wearing my golden parachute...

I'd larf like there was no tomorrow to the tune somewhere over the rainbow...and scream out so it echoes thru the valley of the many:

There's a sucker born every minute

The end. For some. Me, I'm now a God. An idol. A cult leader.
Stamped on the Human condition.



October 27. 2011 01:47 AM


Thought provoking post as usual, Ad astra.

I think that the msm doesn't even bother looking for the government's "narrative", because with a few exceptions, they are firmly attached to the Liars Party drip feed.  

Pertinent to this post is an email from Ed Coper of NewsStand that I received today, urging me to make a submission to the Media Inquiry, the deadline for which is 31 October.

The link is to their site where Swordians can write and send submissions by email, if they haven't already done so. This is our chance to hopefully make the Inquiry aware of the level of concern about the msm and media ownership in this country.



October 27. 2011 05:50 AM


Over the Rainbow
Floats a Bear
He don't need no Golden Parachute
Not with what he's on up there!

One day the Bear went up the hill and found a pot of magic Fairy Honey . . .
Twas made by bees from magic flowers
With wondrous psychedelic powers
That made him

Over the Rainbow
Bears may fly . . .
If nasking shared his pot with me
Maybe so could I!


Someone on PB observes that Gina Rindlard is part of the 1%.

I think we can do better than that!

Specifically, she represents .00000005% of the population to the nearest significant figure I think, I could be a few 00's out but it wouldn't matter!


October 27. 2011 06:45 AM


This Media Enquiry . . .

It seems to me that if the Enquirers need telling what's the Complainers are on about, they are the wrong Enquirers.

What the Complainers are on about is at the core of The Political Sword. It is implicit in every line Ad astra writes, either in condemnation of the crap, or in praise of the pearls, or in examination of issues involving the relationship of the MSM to politicians and the society. And whatever my peripatic peregrinations, it is also central to my motivation to write hereon, the frippery being a mere mask over my fell purpose, seriously, to help to bring fairness and professional rigour to reportage of matters of importance.

The concentration of media in private hands is obviously extreme and obscene, but there's not a lot to be done about that except by the once-in-decades semi-successful prosecution of haters as with Bolt. They can only be controlled at all by prosecution when they actually break laws.

Let's leave themn aside for now.

It's the bigotry and laziness and triviality in the ABC I'm after.  

WHY are voices of hate on the extreme Right given such airplay and exposure on the ABC?

Do I really need to write a submission about the quality of ABC reportage, from Trivioli in the dawn, through various unmentionables on The Drum, to Wormtongue Tony on Lateline?

IT IS CRAP! ABC TV journalists NEVER ask hard questions of the Opposition, (or insist on a straight answer, more exactly), I defy anybody to provide a single convincing refutational example. If it's up to submissions from such as I to set the Enquirers straight, if they don't already recognize the causes for complaint, then they're the wrong Enquirers, and as far as doing something about it all, well that's a further remove altogether.

I do hope though that they are cognizant of the horrid state of media concentration and quality in this country, and that they move firmly to bring the ABC back to respectability.    



October 27. 2011 08:30 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 09:24 AM


One day the Bear went up the hill and found a pot of magic Fairy Honey . . .
Twas made by bees from magic flowers
With wondrous psychedelic powers
That made him *fun~ny*

LOL Talk Turkey. That pot of honey would come in real handy right now. I haven't even had a drink the past few weeks...too worried about dealing w/ my wife's medical procedures, awaiting anxiously the biopsy results. My old Dad's heart op over in Canada...and we have a very ill cat. It's been a bloody nightmare...

thought a bit of satire & irony might help bring a smile...put the anxiety to bed for a wee moment or two.

Someone on PB observes that Gina Rindlard is part of the 1%

If that fat cat is part of the 1% then I'm a gobbling boar.

I agree TT that some on the ABC need to take the negabore, tricky dick Coalition members to task more often by way of hard questions...but I have seen improvements over time...incremental...

and whether we like it or not, it is a public broadcaster...not a left-wing propaganda machine...

unlike the Murdoch empire news outlets that tend to be right-wing, corporate fascist, conveniently libertarian propganda machines...

the privately-owned media will always have, it seems, that bent because they rely on big fascist-like corporations including advertising to survive.

Exactly why alternative media needs to avoid relying on big advertisers. And we need alternative funding for alternative media outlets.

As for the likes of that dill on Ch.10 who seems to think he's a superhero for the mean-spirited at heart...I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of court cases...greedy for the limelight freaks like him crave that kind of attention...they feed on it.

It wouldn't surprise me if a certain character in the caught case known for greed was paid off to push the others into that misadventure in order to give Murdoch empire/Ch.10 creep a chance to promote his dopey "free speech" stuff & act like a self-piteous victim (little comes "free" when it comes to his mouthy pontificatin' lot...he's paid well for his BS).

BTW, is it just me...or is the WA premier startin' to sound more like Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini by the day?

He's a one-man propaganda outfit & defendor of the destructives.



October 27. 2011 09:37 AM


Subsequently, at regular intervals there have been TPS pieces on ‘the narrative’ or its alter ego, ‘what does he/she stand for’. In August 2010 there was The enigma of leadership; then in November What does Julia Gillard stand for?; and in June 2011 What Julia Gillard DOES stand for.  Again, In August there was What is political leadership? Do you know? that addressed the issue of vision, an important attribute for a leader, and of course the old chestnut – ‘narrative’. Then as recently as this September there was: Is Julia Gillard entitled to a fair go? that again addressed vision and narrative.

Yep, you've worked yer butt off Ad...just as ya have w/ this very useful & timely post. Not that any of the suits out there appreciate it...apart from nickin' the odd imaginative idea...as they are known to do...and turnin' it on its head.

Durin' those days away from the refreshing blogs I've watched a great deal of mainstream news...and it never fails to surprise me how the too oft lazy sods keep repeatin' the same crap...over and over and over and over and over again.

They've decided to screw over this government...feed into the cynical claptrap...bash for the sake of gettin' attention and not havin' to get outa their journo hammocks.

They got spoilt and were taught patterns of behaviour by a Howard government that was cynical, mean-spirited & big on layin' back in the hammock. Most who tried a bit of effort were gagged & put in the "naughty" corner.

Worried that Howard via Abbott is comin' back the gutless sods are afraid to go after the misery makers & con-artists.

Not all of them...some I give credit...but too many are complacent & fearful...in a wobbly world.

Once...journos/reporters had guts...and a modicum of integrity & eccentricity...w/ the nose of a blood hound.

Too oft now we get suited entertainers...dancing under the corporate moon.

It's no wonder our planet is so fcked right now.



October 27. 2011 09:54 AM


Ahhh, California uber alles...it's back:

Oakland Police Critically Injure Iraq War Vet During Occupy March

WASHINGTON -- The Oakland Police Department fired tear gas on Occupy Oakland demonstrators Tuesday night as they marched through downtown, determined to reclaim the camp that officers destroyed that morning. As the marchers zigged and zagged in search of safe ground, authorities bombarded and barricaded the activists into a drawn-out stalemate that resulted in further arrests.

The local police's use of force seriously injured an Occupy activist and Iraq War veteran.

Scott Olsen, 24, remains sedated on a respirator, in stable but critical condition at Oakland’s Highland Hospital after being hit in the head with a police projectile.


Don't ya luv the cops? They sometimes march w/ the unionists & Left when they need a pay rise...

but in the long run they can't help but put aside their "Defenders of the people" badges...

to transform into "Defendors of the fascist corporate state".

Ohhh police states...how much we've missed you.

BTW, anyone else notice how the police in the UK conveniently seemed unable to stop the riots that helped the Tories push their "law & order" "jail at random" & "austerity at all costs apart from the chosen rich" campaigns...

but seemed highly efficient in surrounding & hoverin' over the "We are the 99% crowds"...

and penning in the "anti-Iraq war" protestors back in Blair's day?

Interestin' inconsistencies.

I wonder if the lot who bullied Albanese were treated the same way as "We are the 99%" protestors in Coalition-held Sydney, NSW & Melbourne, Vic?

Who next for the roundup?...the homeless?...like cattle? Gotta keep the suits rushin' towards their investment bank jobs happy...and those delicate ladies in their high heels & designer dresses...can't be havin' their day spoilt by seein' such ugly realities.

Gawd forbid!



October 27. 2011 09:57 AM


As for the Europeans...them Germans don't wanna piss off the Greeks & other Medi types...where else are they gonna go and park there big fleshy arses in the sun & live off cheap products & treat the locals like servants?



October 27. 2011 09:58 AM

Feral Skeleton

        I do not seek to cut thine lunch, Smile , however I believe this Lachlan Harris story from Mumbrella is a goodie:


Feral Skeleton

October 27. 2011 10:50 AM


Feral Skeleton,
Go for it! I especially liked this quote from Harris:

The most underestimated change in the last five years is that the opinion cycle is now more important than the news cycle. In Australia in the last five years, news has been eclipsed by opinion.

Although I haven't seen a transcript of his speech I part ways with Harris when he points the finger at social media and comments sections of news stories as the biggest exemplars of what he is referring to. I didn't have to look far in the MSM to come up with an example of the mish-mash of news and opinion that now abounds in our papers and on our broadcast media.

PM Julia Gillard's character crisis before CHOGM
by Steven Scott   Courier Mail

But, when her negotiating skills are most in demand in the current hung Parliament, Gillard is often left looking hamstrung by the tough environment she finds herself in.
She has hit hurdles in the Parliament over key policies such as the carbon tax, border protection and the mining tax.


Blather and gossip dressed up as opinion based on facts.


October 27. 2011 11:25 AM


TT, I know the members of the Inquiry are probably well aware of how we feel, but they need it in writing from us with a couple of examples.

Aavaaz sent me an email today also asking for more submissions to be sent to the inquiry. It outlines why we need to be proactive or the Inquiry could be sunk due to the machinations of the Evil Empire.



October 27. 2011 11:30 AM


Although I haven't seen a transcript of his speech I part ways with Harris when he points the finger at social media and comments sections of news stories as the biggest exemplars of what he is referring to.

I don't trust Harris...he was all over Sky News business promoting himself.

Alot of these ex-gov't Laborites are turnin' out to be sell-outs...all about makin' a big buck for themselves. Prepared to screwover their party...and the alternative media scene for a buck.

Look at Richo.



October 27. 2011 11:42 AM


Aavaaz sent me an email today also asking for more submissions to be sent to the inquiry. It outlines why we need to be proactive or the Inquiry could be sunk due to the machinations of the Evil Empire.

Good stuff jane,
I was about to put it up myself. It's important everyone sends off this petition. The media inquiry is essential...there must be penalties for bad & deceitful journalism...and a look into cross-media ownership.

There is no way that the Murdoch empire should have any influence over SKY NEWS. They have enuff influence via papers, paytv/cable...sports, movies, TV...now Ch.10 by way of Lachlan...as it is.

BTW, Faux News' Bill O'Reilly is pissin' all over the American protest movement...he's tryin' to paint them as anti-semitic based on the ramblings of some old fool. Wouldn't surprise me if he was planted there to fit Fox's agenda.

It's the Neo-Cons that the Jewish people/Israel should be terrified of...look at the state of insecurity they've left Israel in due to their crappy misadventures in Iraq & pushing them to bomb Lebanon. Not to mention Bush admin's incompetence w/ the economy.



October 27. 2011 11:45 AM


Blather and gossip dressed up as opinion based on facts.

So why link to them Norman? Why read their garbage? It just helps them get more advertisers & dollars due to the hits.



October 27. 2011 12:03 PM


Ad Astra

I know the MSM doesn't WANT to see how good this government is.  They all got so tied up in the "Abbott is wonderful" meme that they can't see what is in front of their noses.  Just like when little Johnny was in charge.  The just couldn't see what a lot of us could, and where he was taking Australia.  I think that is why many of us were relieved to see the back of him, but are now dumbfounded that abbott has managed to take up where he left off, with the 'humbleness' that Howard used to exude.

My greatest thrill when I first found Brian's blog, (the forerunner to Poll Bludger), was to see so many other thinking and saying what I was.  I found out that I was no longer alone in Australia, that others were seeing what I was.

Nas and Talk Turkey

Reading through the comments, I read both of yours and was surprised as I got you both mixed up.  Nas, hope all your worries and trouble are sorted with positive results for all.


October 27. 2011 12:10 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your kind comment.  You have nicely summarized the Labor narrative in ”JG clearly has a vision of the nation as a fairer, more just society (MRRT and it's expenditure targets; her constant talking up of education; National Disability Insurance; Fair Work Act; National Broadband;) in the context of a good modern economy (ETS and renewable industries; NBN;) and on a cleaner planet (ETS). I have only noted 6 or 7 indicators here, but each represents a very major reform plank in attaining the vision. 

By her actions and words and courage, she defines herself to me as a determined agent of reform. She well understands the truism that if an entity ceases to develop, it thereby begins to die. In nature, there is no going back. Going back is the cornerstone of the Coalition.  Why do journalists have so much trouble seeing it?  

I think Paul Keating is suggesting Labor needs a superordinate concept – one of a society in transition on several fronts – and believes its policies should be anchored in that concept.  He also believes that it should use creativity as an operational strategy.  That has a ring of authenticity to it, but I wonder how easy it would be to encapsulate those concepts into a few memorable words, which seems to be a requirement of the media these days.  Abbott has mastered the short slogan which the unthinking in electorate swallow readily because it’s the easiest thing to do and requires no action on their part, and because it is never challenged by a complaint media it seems plausible to them.

I too thought Andrew Wilkie was the epitome of commonsense in his interview with Tony Jones as well as in earlier interviews on ABC24.

The Hamster Wheel is a great show.  I missed the bit about the cats.  I must watch it on iView.  Any satire that brings Richo down a peg or two would be good viewing.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 12:11 PM


Nuthin' like decades of rampant capitalism due to a combination of Reaganomics, neo-lib & neo-con policies to screw over the little people, maul their pensions, shove them out of protected jobs, make them indebted to banks for life or be forced to sell homes & businesses' cheap...and help the rich get super rich:

Income Inequality Reaches Gilded Age Levels, Congressional Report Finds

WASHINGTON -- America's 99 percent are not just imagining it. The gap between the incomes of the rich and poor in this new Gilded Age is strikingly broad and deep, according to an October report from Congress' data crunchers.

The study by the Congressional Budget Office, released this week, found that income has become dramatically concentrated, shifting heavily toward the top earners between 1979 and 2007.

And although incomes at all levels have risen some, they've skyrocketed for the very wealthiest of earners.

At the other end of the scale, Americans in the bottom fifth of earners saw their incomes increase by less than 20 percent across the nearly three decades. Incomes for those in the middle 60 percent climbed by less than 40 percent over the same span.

Things start to look especially good for the top fifth of earners, who saw their cash flow jump by 65 percent.

But it's among the top 1 percent where the growth was breathtaking. That contingent saw their incomes spike by 275 percent.

"It is really stunning the degree to which rewards have been concentrated at the top," said Josh Bivens, an economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. "We have now returned to Gilded Age levels of inequality."

The CBO report revealed some other stark facts. While incomes did rise up and down the ladder, the explosive growth for the top 1 percent so vastly outweighed the expansion further down that the top 1 percent's share of the nation's total income more than doubled to just over 20 percent.

The hoarding at the top was so great that even after accounting for taxes, the "income received by the 20 percent of the population with the highest income exceeded the aftertax income of the remaining 80 percent," the CBO found.

This week's report is far from the first to point out rising income equality in the United States. Numerous studies have shown that America's very highest earners have been steadily pulling away from the rest of the population for a generation.

Wages for the lower and middle classes have hardly moved for the last three decades -- a phenomenon that roughly coincides with the decline in union participation, as Think Progress noted. Paul Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist and left-leaning New York Times columnist, describes this phenomenon as the "Great Divergence."

Today, the 400 richest people in the country control more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of households, and the U.S. ranks roughly alongside countries like Uganda, Cameroon, Ecuador and Rwanda in terms of the gap between its richest and poorest citizens.

For Bivens, they're the result of 30 years of conservative-leaning policies that have undermined unions, left the minimum wage lower (adjusted for inflation) than it was in the '60s, and favored financiers and corporations over laborers.

A big culprit is the deregulation of the finance industry, said Bivens, noting that the CBO identified finance as a sector that saw some of the largest jumps in income. "That sector has just taken a larger and larger share of the economy, while producing a, shall we say, dubious return," Bivens said.

The year 2007 has a lot in common with another notable year: 1929. Besides the similar spikes in glaring income inequality, both years marked the beginning of one of the worst economic downturns in United States history.


and the economic downturn has just increased the mauling...and moolah & assets & influence for many of the super rich...w/ the help of overseas-based shareholders & corporate media...and morally bankrupt, bought & hog-tied pollies.

Australia has been in their sights for a good long time. The people are already voting & polling against their own interests. We've already got the same symptoms. We're already sweating. Starting to shiver.

Certain media have their fingers crossed. Them & their political mates are talkin' down the economy day after day. Talkin' down the government & its policies.  

Injecting the illness. And waiting. Fingers crossed.



October 27. 2011 12:13 PM


The Hamster Wheel is a great show.  I missed the bit about the cats.  I must watch it on iView.  Any satire that brings Richo down a peg or two would be good viewing.

My partner & I have enjoyed it too...some good larfs. Witty, intelligent stuff.

cheers. I hope so to.



October 27. 2011 12:28 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your generous comment.  You are right – for the media it is easier to dress up Coalition press releases than it is to analyse and write up the Government’s policies, plans and achievements.  Coalition policies are much easier because they scarcely exist and what we know about are as flimsy as fairy floss.

Thank you for the compliment – TPS has waged a long campaign to have the Government’s narrative publicized, but deaf ears will never hear.  Most of the MSM want no counter to its mantra of an incompetent, do-nothing, directionless outfit.  They can’t run that line and at the same time publicize the Government’s accomplishments, so they omit or play down the latter.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 12:33 PM

Ad astra reply

TT, jane, nasking
Thank you for your reminders about the media enquiry and the links.  We all must contribute.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 12:39 PM

Ad astra reply

You are right – most of the MSM do not want to publicize Government achievements.  That is contrary to their agenda.  

That is an appalling article by Steven Scott, of whom I have not heard.  But since he is “The Courier-Mail's national political correspondent”, he must be important and master of his craft.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 01:49 PM


This seems pretty tenuous, even by MSM standards:


Or did they mean that Rudd was challenging Abbott for the leadership?  Seems more likely to me.


October 27. 2011 01:58 PM

Ad astra reply

Why is Phil Coorey writing such stupid speculative tripe?

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 02:19 PM


Maybe it was his turn, AA?  We haven't had a leadership challenge story for a few days, and somebody has to do it...


October 27. 2011 02:30 PM


Why is Phil Coorey writing such stupid speculative tripe?

Ad & Jaeger,
It's sad...Phil has the ability to do better. Unfortunately the media are falling all over themselves related to this leadership rumour-mongering...partially so as not to be caught out flat-footed. They're all goin' Boltish..."I think I'm turnin' Boltish...I really think so".

The press gang are just a rumour mill these days...adding little to the rational conversation...and in many ways their pushing is sabotaging democracy rather than contributing to it.

BTW, why didn't this surprise me?:

Mr Packer also called on the federal government to do more to support Australia's gambling industry. In particular it should help attract Asian tourists to the region through tourism campaigns, more direct flights, easier access to travel visas and quicker customs processes for VIP gamblers.

He said Macau's government supported its booming gambling industry through significant infrastructure investments such as light rail, bridged to the Chinese mainland and an airport expansion.

Mr Packer said analysts expected Chinese tourism would be worth $800 billion by 2020 and that massive growth in visits to casinos in Singapore and Macau demonstrated that Chinese tourists were lured by gambling. Macau's gaming revenues would reach $US43 billion by 2014, he said.


Yep, it's time to fleece the pockets of them darn Chinese...we need our money back.

I remember a Taiwanese fella whose kids we tutored...nice bloke, happy family...until a gambling addiction destroyed everything.

Silly him eh? The maw of the casinoes & pokies is always open wide...how silly of him to be swallowed whole eh? Ya can't blame the peddlers of gamblin' addiction for that...they didn't prey on him...lure him in...make him blinded by the sick light.

And poor James Packer obviously needs help to keep his rich & famous lifestyle goin'...I mean, these are wobbly days...especially when yer in up to yer neck w/ bigtime types in Macau & Las Vegas...they keep ya sweatin' for more more more...

On 18 January 2009, The Sunday Telegraph reported that due to ongoing financial problems, Packer's wealth dropped to under A$3 billion; also reporting that Packer listed for sale his Mangusta yacht and delayed the purchase of a Boeing Business jet.

Yet by mid-2010, it was reported that Packer owned a number of assets including Ellerston Z (a superyacht), Arctic P (a luxury cruise ship and former ice-breaker), a private jet, a 12-seater Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, and a variety of cars including an Aston Martin DB9 coupe.

In 2011, Forbes magazine estimated that Packer's wealth had increased to US$4.40 billion. Meanwhile, the Business Review Weekly estimated his wealth at A$4.16 billion a few months later.

Sheeesh...he's doin' it tough.

How selfish of the likes of me to worry about payin' medical bills for my wife & pet when it's obvious that inheritor James has so much more stress...

how dare Mr. Wilkie & Mr. Xenephon & the government put our super rich under a wee bit of pressure...

it's not as tho they can buy their way outa trouble...or pay for better health & peace of mind...

those cruises must be exhaustin'.

Anyway, at least we can rely on Phil Coorey to keep us entertained w/ gossip...whilst the big bruisers keep on influencing....pushin' democracy around.



October 27. 2011 02:59 PM


How sad to read the Phillip Coorey is going down that path.  Now is the time to put the idea that either jane or psyclaw put up about writing to journalists and express our disgust.

I will be away for a bit under a week, hope all you TPSers stay well and look forward to reading back all that you have written to catch up with the political news.  One thing about going away, I don't get to read or hear much political stuff so I don't get too despondent.


October 27. 2011 03:16 PM


In 2000 Republican voted for the wealthy born again village idiot...

now they can't decide:

Perry Campaign Plans to Bypass Some Debates

By John McCormick - Oct 27, 2011, Bloomberg

Perry, 61, was leading national polls of the Republican primary race a month ago. Since then, his standing in surveys has dropped by as much as 20 percentage points, after debate performances he acknowledged were mediocre and as Cain, a former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, gained ground to join Romney as the party’s front-runners...

Romney, 64, has questioned Perry’s ability to lead, most recently in an online video that mocked his challenger’s debate performances. It displayed unflattering close-ups that showed Perry appearing to be irate, uncomfortable and confused.


It's certainly confusing...but that's not surprising considering the influence of Fox News & Rush Limbaugh & the Tea Party creators...

perhaps I could make a recommendation:






'cause the Republican party sure comes across like it has multiple personalities these days.

Sadly, the moderate, caring, rational personality barely gets a look-in...compared to the greedy sh*t-arsed grin corporate suit...the yeehaa redneck...the extreme patriot/nationalist w/ a gun on the border...the petty argumentative weathervane... the faux libertarian...the snake oil baron...the prosperity evangelist...and the war-mongerin' thug cum homophobe.

And how long before they start babblin' in a corner & droolin'?

They make Obama look very very sane.



October 27. 2011 03:20 PM


Have a safe journey. Enjoy your time away from the political nonsense.
Look forward to hearing from you on your return.


October 27. 2011 03:31 PM


Have a good, safe journey Gravel.

An article on why the people came out to protest in Oakland...and how they were treated:

October 26, 2011
23A Military-Style Eradication Mission
The Fight for Autonomy in Oakland

by DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM @ Counterpunch

In a pre-dawn raid Tuesday involving hundreds of officers drafted from seventeen departments across northern California, the notoriously aggressive Oakland Police violently raided
and wiped out that city’s Occupy encampment. By sunrise most of the protesters had fled beyond a cordon that stretched for several blocks back of Frank Ogawa Plaza, so far back that reportedly no media or bystanders could watch the scene unfold within. A communique from Occupy Oakland described the military-style eradication mission:

“Tear gas and flash bangs were fired into the camp where children were sleeping, people were beaten and shot with rubber bullets. The assault was also levied against our property in the camp, and the cops tried their best to completely destroy everything we had there. Almost every tent has been destroyed, many slashed with boxcutters, structures smashed, basically this was not an eviction, they came in to destroy everything we had.”

Upwards of 85 persons were arrested and dragged away with their arms zip-tied behind their backs, and charged with unlawful assembly and illegal lodging. Many Oaklanders close to those arrested report that the charges also include failure to disperse and crossing a police line, and that bail is set at $10,000. A smaller satellite camp just blocks away at Snow Park was also raided and torn asunder. Numerous first hand accounts circulating on the Internet tell of rampant acts of police violence during the blitz against mostly slumbering occupiers.

“Police used sound weapons and tear gas on the people there,” says one Oaklander.

“They kept the media and legal observers out, surrounded the camp and destroyed everything, including the kitchen, a free school/library, a childcare center, an arts center, and diverse cultural monuments to peace. People were brutalized and injured and many will spend the day in jail for attempting to envision a different society.”...

Over the last year Oakland has grappled with a budget deficit of $58 million (quite large in a city of just under half a million with a half-billion annual budget). Compounding the pain of budget gaps in prior years, Oakland’s most recent spending plan has required deep cuts to city services, including public safety and sanitation. Schools, parks, libraries, and nearly all other branches of government have been starved since 2008, and all this came atop several decades of post-Civil Rights Movement divestment by capital and the middle class from the inner city.

The twisted irony then is that the same public officials who pulverized the Occupy encampment over concerns for public safety and health haven’t been able to provide these rights to Oaklanders for lack of resources on the one hand, and an unprecedented, several decades long build-up of the police and prisons on the other. In one moment the nakedness of the emperor has been revealed for all by a spontaneous commune of tent dwellers whose brilliant weapon was to claim their own right of autonomous self-government and self-care in the absence of a welfare state.

Oakland’s immediate fiscal pains are primarily due to a collapse in property tax revenues and flattened sales tax receipts resulting from the economic depression beginning in 2007. Unable or unwilling to turn against the masters of local and state government —among them some of the same uber-wealth elites and corporate monsters who have colonized politics so thoroughly at the national level— city leaders like those in Oakland have been forced to watch neighborhoods literally fall to pieces. They wring their hands while families suffer the further deprivations of impoverishment, and bicker among one another about how to allocate increasingly dwindling funds and workers, while the city endures the desperate and hopeless violence of alienated and criminalized young men who see no future for themselves.

Few cities in California have been struck harder by foreclosures than Oakland. The predatory sortie of home seizures led by banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America have included 28,000 Oakland residences in just three years. Most of these stolen homes are concentrated in the city’s vast eastern neighborhoods populated by Black and immigrant communities. Many of these displaced families have been pushed into slummed rental housing, while some have become homeless. Their plight is the Oakland’s for the decline in real estate values which has accompanied foreclosures, and in many ways caused the dispossession of the masses, has erased $12 billion in real estate values across the city, 1% of which previously filled municipal coffers.
Much more here:


I doubt you'd hear about this on Fox News. Hmmm...

Fox News, fairly unbalanced.



October 27. 2011 04:44 PM

Ad astra reply

Enjoy your break.  Let us know when you're back.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 04:49 PM

Ad astra reply

I’ve just now played Tom Petty’s “I won’t back down”.  How suitable a theme song for Julia Gillard!  It’s that doggedness that’s making Tony Abbott explosively livid.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 05:02 PM


Found this useful from Greg Jericho, formerly Grog (thnx Norman for the link):

No republic on a dead planet: Abbott's real carbon plan Greg Jericho   The Drum

Tony Abbott has also nicely used the "wait til the Queen dies" gambit that is now frequently mentioned by those in the republic movement – including Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull. This is the view that we should wait till Queen Elizabeth dies and then move to a republic. The argument is bollocks and won't work – when it happens her death will result in an outpouring of emotion for the monarchy followed by talk that Charles is not so bad and anyway look it's Will, it's Kate. They're good!

In the Carbon Tax debate this argument has become it's not a good time to introduce a price on carbon – look at Europe, look at America, their economies are in danger.  We should wait.

What this means is we should wait until that perfect moment when the world economy is in balance and the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars and THEN we can introduce a carbon price.

Won't ever happen.

Still, maybe some celebrities in favour of a price on carbon will sway opinion? It worked in 1999 didn't it?

All of this keeps attention away from the direct action plan in exactly the same way anti-republicans didn't want you to actually think too much about what a monarchy actually meant – i.e. that some people are better than you just because they are related to the bloke who won the battle of Hastings.

Ask yourself this – how much do you know about the Liberal Party's "direct action" plan?

The Liberal Party aren't at great pains to tell you. Joe Hockey, for example, in a speech on the carbon price legislation that is now on the Liberal Party's website, titles "Carbon Tax - There is a better way" spent only 93 of his 1,975 words actually talking about "the better way".

When Tony Abbott addressed the Australian Steel Convention, he didn't go anywhere near talking about his policy.

Greg Hunt said in a speech earlier this year:

Most importantly, under direct action there will be:
NO cost to families;
NO new taxes; and
NO rise in electricity prices as a consequence of our direct action policy.

If you pause a little, you might start to understand why they don't want you to look too closely. The policy is pure carbon snake oil.

Climate change has been the scourge of governments for over a decade. Both sides of politics have struggled because everyone knows that the cut in greenhouse gasses means burning less cheap coal to generate electricity and when you generate electricity with something more expensive it is going to cost more. Yet here Abbott and Hunt and Hockey have stumbled upon a way to achieve a cut in emissions with no pain! None!


Well now, I stopped believing in something for nothing around the same time I realised Santa Claus couldn't possibly deliver all those presents in just one night.

The price of this genius comes in at $3.2 billion over four years – or an average of $800 million a year.

The biggest policy challenge of our generation, and the Liberals have solved it for around the same amount we provide each year in assistance to East Africa. The Liberal Party likes to mention the $3.2 billion figure. Less used is the $10.5 billion over 10 years (still an incredibly cheap spend) that it will cost.

Greg Hunt and Tony Abbott would tell us "the Coalition's direct action plan is costed, capped and fully funded– reducing emissions without a tax on everything".

The problem of course though is while it is easy to cap a scheme, it is less easy to prove you will get the result you're after for the money spent.

The early reports on them achieving it are not good.

The big ticket of the Liberal's plan is soil carbon – or as Tony Abbott likes to put it "better soils". The problem (apart from the technology being still unproven) is the Liberal's plan involves pricing of this soil carbon at $8-$10 a tonne. Farmers are already saying there's a lot of manure about that price.

In Senate estimates last week the secretary of the Department of Climate Change, Mr Blair Comley, noted that to improve the soil, and thus sequester the soil carbon, farmers will often have to stop or drastically reduce activities such as grazing which was being conducted on that land. Given that, as Mr Comley says, the gross profitability of running cattle on a property comes in around $85 per hectare on average and that if you stop grazing you'll only be able to store about a third of a tonne of carbon, it becomes pretty clear that paying $8-$10 a tonne is not going to cut it.

The problem as well for Tony Abbott is that the republic referendum strategy is based on arguing for the status quo and in July next year, the carbon price will be the status quo. He will then be the one arguing for change. This will likely mean he will need to subject his policy to more scrutiny. He will resist this, because in the end he does not care about the 5 per cent reduction.

He cares about winning the election.


Abbott comes across as a coal & nuclear man to me.

And we know how keen some at News Ltd are to persuade the government to sell India uranium.

Why shouldn't we allow BHP Billiton to contribute to further proliferation of nukes? Our companies contribute to every other kind of sh*t overseas...why stop now...??? Eh Mr. Rann?

it's not as tho we'd be seen as opportunistic, hypocritical, greedy feeders of every destructive industry possible...

I mean this is good old ethical Australia.

We don't make a buck from helping to create massive war machines...we're the PEACE pursuers...

It's not as tho we contribute to global warming by way of massive coal exports...

nor provide millions of cattle to be slaughtered in overseas markets...


We have an overarching narrative that's clean green & pursuing world peace...cough cough...

Us good old Aussies. Ever to be relied upon for shovellin' the BS.



October 27. 2011 05:11 PM


Nas' 11.30am, agree wholeheartedly. Social media and other commenters generally do the research and find the truth before putting finger to keyboard.

However, there is a qualifier wrt cheerleaders. Their only contribution seems to be blindly regurgitating Liars Party crapaganda and swallowing whole the shite from creatures like Dolt and Jones.

And what the hell is Steven Scott on? Gillard is a cool customer, who thinks well on her feet and has looked the complete opposite of hamstrung in parliament! What a wanker!

Ad astra, here's hoping our submissions reach the ceiling and the inquiry produces positive results on media concentration and better, enforceable regulations wrt ownership, shock jocks, opinion writers, bias and spin in private and public media.

I trust we get a well funded independent regulator with fangs like a T Rex and an attitude to match! It's time the Alan Joneses, Andrew Dolts and Nikki Savas got a love bite from a T Rex!

Gravel @12.03pm 27/10, perfect assessment of the msm. There's none so blind as he who doesn't wish to see. If any of them actually allowed the thought to intrude, they'd be marking Liealot with a big fat fail.

Without their connivance he wouldn't have been able to lay a glove on Gillard. He would have been rightly castigated for his vicious, spiteful smears on her.

Also his complete failure to tempt the Independents, who should be his natural allies, to back him into the top job should have led to serious questions about his fitness for the job of PM, rather than the praise which has been heaped on him for being such a failure.

That coupled with the glaring failure to develop policies that would even get the nod at the local Mafia GM, failure to make a single dent on the government in Parliament, continued failure to get the Independents to jump ship, behaviour in the House which would make a serial killer give pause and general incompetence on a massive scale, should have the electorate deserting him in droves.

But his mates in the msm have spun these egregious negatives into positives and have spun all the positives of the government into negatives.

Philip Coorey-what the? But since you mention it, Jaeger, your take is more believable. Obviously, Liealot is fresh out of ideas (who knew) and has to dredge up the leadership tosh to get his mug in the paper.

Nas' spot on about James Packer.

Hope all goes well with the family health. Fingers crossed all the tests are a cause for celebration.


October 27. 2011 05:14 PM


Rudd's pokies silence fuels further leadership talk.

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...-talk-20111027-1ml9a.html

I like to think that Phillip Coorey has not gone willingly to the dark side though this article is not the first bit of incriminating evidence from him this year. As someone has pointed out already, it is possibly his rostered turn to stoke the Rudd leadership fires. Swordians will recall the Brian Loughnane talking points from last week. Item 2 is “CHOGM: AIM: Destroy CHOGM as meaningful forum by humiliating PMJG……………

One part of the Loughnane strategy is to knock CHOGM off the front page by beating up other stories. Positive utterances by or about T. Abbott are about to flood the MSM.

Coorey's puerile article is followed by a survey ‘Do you think Kevin Rudd is manoeuvring for a leadership bid?’

The Liberal ranters have not yet stacked the survey though they may think that they have already ‘won’ this one because 49% say ‘Yes’.  However, with 6753 votes recorded those who say ‘No’, Maybe’ or ‘Don’t care’ add up to 51%

Brace yourselves for more 'leadership challenges' particularly if Rudd says 'It's not on' or if he fails to discuss a few domestic policies while hosting Commonwealth Foreign Ministers. I mean, Rudd is just so transparent and is signalling his punches writ large. Anyone can see that!!


October 27. 2011 05:31 PM


Hope all goes well with the family health. Fingers crossed all the tests are a cause for celebration.

Many thnx jane.
Unfortunately, just learnt that neither my Dad's nor our cat Midnight's results  look good...but we're gonna do all we can.

Stace gets her results tomorrow.

Tryin' to keep my spirits up...for them.

That's it for me today.
Keep up the good postings jane et al.


October 27. 2011 05:40 PM

Ad astra reply

Political Sword Media Mash

It really is sad when a decent bloke like Phillip Coorey writes, or is required to write, such tosh.  It lends itself to a Media Mash analysis.

Rudd's pokies silence fuels further leadership talk, Brisbane Times by Phillip Coorey October 27, 2011


With whom does it ‘fuel’ leadership talk?  Tony Abbott?  Who would have thought it!  Even the title should alert readers that ‘there’s nothing to see here’.

Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd has again refused to buy into the poker machine debate, a move that will further push opposition claims that he is manoeuvring for the leadership.”

When did he first ‘refuse’ to buy into the poker machine debate, Phil?  Any reference, or just guesswork?

Asked this morning for his view on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's pledge to repeal mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines should it be introduced, Mr Rudd said he was too busy with the affairs of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to engage.

"It may be of surprise to you but I haven't followed every detail of what Mr Abbott has said, or read his transcripts, nor do I choose to engage in that debate here and now," Mr Rudd said in Perth.”

"I've got plenty of other things on my mind as the Foreign Minister of Australia. That debate can be had elsewhere."

Now isn’t it extraordinary Phil that Kevin Rudd, in the midst of a meeting of foreign ministers at CHOGM which he happens to be chairing, hasn’t got time to think about, let alone comment on Abbott’s latest ravings.  In fact Phil are you sure he’s even fully aware what Abbott had to say about the pokies legislation?  It doesn’t sound like it.

”Yesterday, the morning after Mr Abbott made his pledge, Mr Rudd declined to comment, prompting Mr Abbott to claim it was part of Mr Rudd's leadership ambitions.

"It's very significant that when Kevin Rudd was asked about this today he refused to comment because the word around the traps is he's using this as part of his pitch to his caucus colleagues in his bid to get the numbers," Mr Abbott said yesterday.

"It's obvious that Labor members of Parliament, including Labor cabinet ministers, hate it."

So Phil, you’re into ‘he says, she says’.  Really!  But that’s the easy way to write isn’t it, just repeat what Abbott said, knowing he’s always pushing this line, usually without one shred of evidence to support his contention.  That’s really lazy.

”Prompted with this, Mr Rudd still refused to buy in, saying the CHOGM was dealing with great challenges of food and energy security, democracy and human rights and "here we have Mr Abbott, the alternative prime minister of Australia engaging in this sort of discussion this week".

"I mean, give us a break."

So you had to prompt Rudd with Abbott’s words, which I suspect he may not have heard in full until you enlightened him.  And despite his acerbic rebuttal, which makes you look like a goose, you print it as if it has some news value.  If I were a senior journalist like you, I would have regarded Rudd’s rejoinder so embarrassing a reply that I would have omitted it and trashed the whole piece.

What were you thinking when you handed in such a trivial piece of flim flam? And how long did it take you to write such a profoundly perceptive political commentary? 10 minutes?  You are actively participating in the trivialization of politics, which so debases public discourse in this country. You are better than that.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 06:27 PM


Nas, so sorry the test results for your Dad and your cat are not good. Everything crossed that the results for S' are good.

Ad astra, I have to say I was surprised that Coorey wrote such a rubbish article. It's only redeeming feature was that it was mercifully short, most likely because poor old Phil felt like a complete arse having to churn out even those few hundred words of Liars Party promo.

His editor must have his children held in some hell hole as hostages to force him into writing this half-hearted crapaganda. It's the only thing I can think of that would prompt him to sink so low.

I suppose we should be grateful he's managed to hold out this long.


October 27. 2011 06:50 PM


Coorey has been non-inspirational for a while.  However it seems to be lowering the already pitiful standards of commentary in this Country.  Really, why ask Rudd anyway unless it's to take a cheap shot - he's the Foreign Minister.  Abbott's latest "no" on poker machines really isn't his problem.  I do wonder if Rudd's real response was another "let me tell you about what a failure Abbott would be" or if it was a more accurate and blunt "sod off".

Maybe someone should email Coorey and ask him what possible insight was to come from asking Rudd something that has no relationship to his portfolio.  


October 27. 2011 07:21 PM


The not-quite-spoken-out-loud theory is that Rudd is courting those backbenchers who are having kittens about the pokie reforms. Ostensibly he is promising to drop the legislation if they give him his old job back although just quite how that benefits the new Rudd Labor government when Wilkie immediately pulls the pin is not exactly clear.


October 27. 2011 07:43 PM


Well mashed, AA.  What I found particularly exasperating is this kind of nonsense reporting about nothing was Hamstered only a couple of weeks ago; how quickly they forget!


October 27. 2011 09:10 PM


Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd has again refused to buy into the poker machine debate, a move that will further push opposition claims that he is manoeuvring for the leadership.

He has also consistently failed to deny that he is plotting to blow up Parliament when it meets next, fuelling speculation that he is actually a member of Al Qaeda, and has never admitted to having abducted the Beaumont children in Adelaide in 1966, causing some authorities to suspect him of kidnap and possible murder.

Mr Rudd has declined to comment on suggestions that his wife Therese Rein has on several occasions "thrashed him within an inch of his life" as one close family friend has told our correspondent.

Nor has he denied being the Australian Connection in a major people-smuggling racket believed to have been responsible for the illegal entry and subsequent forced labour and prostitution of thousands of young women in brothels and sweatshops across Australia.
Experts agree that this antidenialism is typical psychopathic behaviour, causing some members of the Shadow Cabinet to express grave misgivings about Mr Rudd's suitability for high office . . .

. . . and so on.  


I'd never noticed Phillip Coorey until recently, then when I did I mentioned him disparagingly here as Phillip somebody,  so I have thought him sleazy from the first. The article in question is one of the silliest wettest nonsense you'd ever not want to see. What a mug. Correction, creep.    

Read more: www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0111027-1ml9a.html


October 27. 2011 09:32 PM

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I hope tomorrow brings better news.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 09:33 PM

Ad astra reply

I'm calling it a day.

Ad astra reply

October 27. 2011 11:18 PM


NormanK, well Tony hasn't thought that through obviously. That swine Coorey caught him unawares. We'd just started rehearsing the reason why Rudd would put that jerk Wilkie offside and  Coorey pounced, the sleazy git!

Poor Tone got that deer in the headlights look and started nodding. I thought he was going to launch himself at Coorey, but he suddenly recovered and blurted out the leadership thing.

Luckily, Coorey's editor has got the drop on him, so he didn't ask the obvious question.

We know that those idiots Bolt, Jones, Shanahan et al are too dumb to work out that if Rudd were to topple that bitch Gillard and pull the pin on the pokies shit, Wilkie would withdraw his support, we'd have our election and government.

But even though that bastard Rudd was preoccupied with CHOGM, he was too slippery to commit himself to anything and basically told Coorey to f*ck off, the foul mouthed pr!ck!

I don't mind saying we're starting to get a bit concerned what with this f*cking media inquiry and Coorey writing that p*ss poor article. It's bound not to stir up a decent amount of angst in the press.

The trouble is Gillard just laughs about leadership speculation, now. Tells those clowns in the media to ask Tony about it as he knows more about it than she does. Now all the backbenchers are starting to fall in line with her story.

The bitch must have twigged that we're at the bottom of all the rumours-it would account for her attitude and that bastard Rudd. The swine couldn't even be bothered reacting to Coorey's question!

I bet the pair of them had the cabinet and backbenchers sh!tting themselves when they were looking for the leaker, though.

Next thing he'll be wanting to babble on endlessly about what a success CHOGM is and bore us all sh!tless with that, the smug prick.

Tone'll be frothing at the mouth; he was hoping he could stampede Gillard into an early election by now.

He thought he had it made with the Denture Set in the Gallery and him on the floor acting like he had rabies-well I suppose we all went a little mad.

We were lucky that mongrel Slipper wasn't in the Speaker's chair. He'd have chucked us out wholesale and a penny to a pound, Gillard would have taken advantage and had that bloody Malaysia Solution through the House at the speed of light.

Oh well, better slip out and see what Tone's up to. He's been out in the street baying at the moon for the last three hours and the neighbours are starting to complain.


October 27. 2011 11:18 PM


Best wishes for good outcomes all round Cobber

Gravel been sent flying? Smile  (sorta attempt at pun see)
Have a top week away.

We are hanging out the bunting over the weekend . . .

Oh and for those interested, I have just found out from the ABC that the CHOGM in Perth is actually an elaborate photo opportunity staged for the Leader of the Opposition.


October 27. 2011 11:23 PM


Ad astra

I only just got around to reading your piece this morning and despite all of the indicators of a narrative that you have pointed out, I still have a sense that something is missing from Labor's strategy. It's difficult to pin down just what it is so I set the gerbils running while I mowed the lawn this afternoon. They haven't been a great deal of help but the impression that keeps surfacing is that there isn't enough poetry or romance in the way that the PM and senior ministers converse with the electorate. It is as though they are not relaxed enough to wax lyrical about their dreams of where they would like to take Australia.

We see a little glimpse of it sometimes on Q&A and some of the other informal programmes. Tanya Plibersek is the best example that comes to mind. In her answers she often alludes to an overarching philosophy that guides her and the government without making direct reference to it. Lindsay Tanner was another one.

There are a number of factors that might be in play here. Modern MPs have been schooled to within an inch of their lives to be careful in what they say and so they mostly conform to the established responses, carefully couched to avoid misrepresentation. As a result their personality is hidden and along with it any hint of what they might desire as individuals. It's all about economics, political strategy, party lines and media 'savviness'. What chance is there of an MP getting all teary as they recall the dreams and ideals that brought them into politics in the first place and how excited they are that some of their aspirations are coming to fruition?

I sometimes get the impression that we in the electorate are meant to intuitively know why a course of action is being pursued and that it would be stating the obvious to expand on the reasons. A case of MPs being too close to their own work and not understanding that the public don't eat, sleep and breath, say, health care. I would have thought that one of the tasks that should be performed by journalists is to tease out the meaning behind a particular policy stance and to show how it may or may not fit in to the Party's overall philosophy but at present the only meaning the press are looking for involves political machinations and polls.

MPs are coached to answer the questions put to them or employ obfuscatory skills to get out the talking point of the day or avoid the question all together. I can't recall an MP drifting off into a detailed description of 'why' a particular policy direction is being pursued and how it is justified through its adherence to Labor philosophy. Yes, we've heard those words used (especially by the PM) but they are usually in a context that turns them into rhetoric rather than heartfelt convictions. They no longer have any meaning - it's just blah blah blah. They need to find opportunities where they can just be themselves and use their own lexicon - for all of his faults, this is why Barnaby Joyce is so popular, he doesn't talk like a robot.

In the same vein, how often do we hear interviewers ask open-ended questions that might allow a politician to wax lyrical, give up a bit of their personality? I'll keep my eye out but no instance springs immediately to mind. Imagine if Stephen Conroy were allowed to ramble for ten minutes on why he thinks the NBN is a great idea. No gotcha questions, no 'just to clarify' Tony Jones interruptions. I'm sure each of the ministers could speak passionately about their portfolio if they were given the chance in the right environment and the Party trusted them to fly solo.

Another aspect is the prevalence of PR merchants. The document that you provided the link to certainly does spell out what Labor has done and is planning to do but it is completely lacking in personality. These sorts of documents have a place and you are correct in suggesting that journalists should be consulting them if they want to know what Labor's 'narrative' is but there is also room for a more wide-ranging aspirational document that barely touches on policy areas as such but sketches out an idea, a dream of where we might be in five years' time, in ten years' time, in twenty years' time.

If it were up to me I would employ an author who has nothing to do with politics, never worked in the public service and certainly has no connections to PR. A sympathy for progressive politics would be obligatory but beyond that they would be engaged for their writing skills, preferably in the field of fiction. Give them access to senior ministers and the PM for relaxed chats about the future, what they hope to achieve in this term of government and what long-term changes they hope will flow from these achievements. The end result could be a series of opinion pieces or a key-note speech for the PM in a suitably relaxed environment.

Australians need to be encouraged to dream of better things, a wonderful future. We seem to have reached a peak where the vast majority have got most of what they aspire to and can see no end to it and their dreams are of acquiring more of the same. Their nightmares are of someone disrupting this idyllic life (this is Abbott's stock-in-trade). It needs to be spelled out that tomorrow can't be the same as yesterday despite how much conservatives assure them that it can but that there is no reason why the change can't be for the better. Labor needs a poet, a wordsmith to paint this exciting prospect of a tomorrow that is even better than today.

I hope this is not too disjointed - it was dashed off in a bit of a rush.


October 27. 2011 11:29 PM


Talk Turkey at 9.10
My friend Elvis (currently liasing with senior Liberals such as Bob Menzies, Harold Holt & Billy McMahon) tells me they now have proof that Kevin Rudd is in fact Jack the Ripper & is heavily implicated in the Marie Celeste affair. His silence on these & other matters can only be proof of his single minded determination to wrest the Prime Ministership from Julia Gillard.
It's as good as anything Phil Bloody Coorey wrote.


October 27. 2011 11:30 PM


Hey guys - been very busy I haven't checked in for a while.

"Rudd's pokies silence fuels further leadership talk". Oh geez,this is the same game as the f*cking curtsy. Either way Gillard would have been viewed as wrong. Same here - say anything or nothing, it's a leadership challenge.

The bile, it rises.


October 28. 2011 12:24 AM


Did anyone see Gina Rindlard on the stage yesterday, get up out of her chair and totter over to the microphone?
Her gait was exactly like the Pigs in Animal Farm where they had just taught themselves to walk upright! Smile
(and their propaganda pig Snowball changed the maxim:
Four legs good, two legs better!)

BSA Bob,
Yeah you notice he hasn't denied any of it!


October 28. 2011 12:36 AM



Turning Off The Noise
Mr Denmore   The Failed Estate

Anyway, you only realise how cacophonous and mentally and spiritually draining this noise is when you turn it off and when you walk around with real people in the open air outside the world of blogs and twitter and newspaper trollumnists. That's what I've been doing the past few weeks and I recommend it to you all. Just turn it off for a while.

Crazy Bob Katter and his moronic gunfreak mates
Tory Shepherd   The Punch

Federal MP Bob Katter is a throw-back nutjob bunker-mentality troglodyte. Well, we’ve known that for a while. But this just in: His close associates and financial backers are gun-toting redneck heartless bastards with a slimy influence on politics.

Capital Hill 25 October with Andrew Leigh and Kelly O’Dwyer
Interview   ABC24


Paul Sheehan, and relax, it's just bait to generate a frenzy amongst the bitten ...
Dorothy Parker   Loon Pond

Another relapse today, with the sickening realisation that Graham "Swiss Bank Account" Richardson, formerly a Labor party head kicker and balls cruncher, will no longer be accessible to the pond, thanks to The Australian's paywall .....

Labor finds strange MRRT bedfellows
Rob Burgess   Business Spectator

Behind-the-scenes lobbying over the final shape of the government's mineral resources rent tax is intensifying, with the government feeling the squeeze from competing forces on the crossbenches.

Welcome to the Nanny State
Bill   Billablog

Much as we’d like to, it’s impossible to legislate common sense.  That’s the main reason we need other laws.  Since most of us understand that “rational self-interest” is a contradiction in terms, you’d think that requiring gamblers to nominate how much they are prepared to lose before feeding their money into a poker machine would be a fairly benign, uncontroversial requirement because it’s… well, common sense.

Lachlan Harris: Rise of the opinion cycle makes Andrew Bolt the most influential man in media

The news cycle has been replaced by the opinion cycle, with Andrew Bolt now the most significant media voice, Kevin Rudd’s former press secretary Lachlan Harris has argued.

Exetel may balk Movie Rights Group’s demands
Renai LeMay   Delimiter

National broadband provider Exetel has signalled it may modify its core business systems to make it more difficult for anti-piracy organisations such as Movie Rights Group to target its customers for allegedly illegally downloading content through platforms like BitTorrent.

Green roofs now mandatory in Toronto
The Fifth Estate

And there are still other benefits: opportunities for parks and recreational areas. Birds and bees do well with these changes. To get an idea of what these roofs can look like, here’s a collection of still images of green roofs around the world.

Abbott's ascendancy puts women's choice at risk
Jennifer Wilson   On Line Opinion

If an election were held in Australia today it would be won by the Coalition, headed by Tony Abbott. Mr Abbott is a Catholic. In 2004 when he was Federal Health Minister, Mr Abbott stated in an interview with ABC Radio's AM program that he was concerned about the "abortion epidemic" apparently raging in Australia.

Sharks And Pot Smokers v Colin Barnett
Aaron Fernandes   New Matilda

The WA premier has a reputation for being tough on issues of public safety. After three fatal shark attacks in the state, he's found bigger fish to fry .....

Rate Cut Tuesday: Why the Bank will move
Peter Martin

The Reserve Bank will deliver interest rate cuts worth $49 per month to typical mortgagee households at its board meeting next Tuesday.

What is this mandate that politicians and their supporters spruik with great certainty.
Catching Up   Café Whispers

It seems such a simple word, that one would think looking in the dictionary would soon give one the answer. 
Maybe we need to look in a political dictionary, still no simple answer.
I looked in the Constitution that did not throw much light on the meaning.
For a word that everyone appears to use with ease, it is hard to pin down.

Local politics threaten to overwhelm CHOGM
Tom Iggulden   Lateline


NBN Co's long last mile
Supratim Adhilkari   Technology Spectator

Meanwhile, ACCC’s deputy chief executive regulatory Mark Pearson turned his attention to the prospect of a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), or kerb, network and said quite categorically that the exercise would be a waste of funds.


October 28. 2011 02:18 AM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey says he has <i>"just found out from the ABC that the CHOGM in Perth is actually an elaborate photo opportunity staged for the Leader of the Opposition."</i>

So you twigged when you saw the simian swinging stride of the Leader of the Opposition towards the camera - almost in slow motion - on the ABC news this evening as he came to the microphone with a comment sure to contribute to the goodwill amongst Commonwealth leaders and with our immediate regional neighbours.

What a contrast to the current Prime Minister!   I am sure it filled those watching with new hope for our  country to think that he might soon replace her and become Australia's face to the world!  

Patricia WA

October 28. 2011 08:03 AM


I was disgusted to see the fool Abbott swaggering around your capital city on TV last night, as though he owned it and the world. As though he was PM.

I can't recall any Opposition Leader blatantly gatecrashing an international forum hosted by an Australian PM before.

I can't recall Mr Rudd swaggering around Sydney in 2007 when Lying Johnnie was hosting the Asia Pacific forum, trying to wreck the event. That role was quite rightly left to Howard's ministers who were plotting to overthrow him at the time, but who didn't actually have the ticker to do so, and to the Chasers.

At the risk of seeeeeeeeeeeerious repetition, Abbott is a wrecker. But he also shows day by day the thickness of his hide, his total lack of class, his total lack of ethics, and the huge and uncontrollable intensity of his aberrant need to be PM at all and any cost.

He is a loser.


October 28. 2011 08:27 AM


Loved your Gina Rindlard post.

With literary skills like that I expect you'll be head hunted by News today. Bolt, Akerman, Sava et al will undoubtedly be very nervous that news reporting skills have been so seriously trumped.
Look out for the news headline "News Appoints BSA Bob as Editor in Chief, True-Real-Factual Reporting Section"

Thanks for the great laugh!

Apropos my recent comment to Patricia.
JG presented very professionally in all the CHOGM media grabs. When Abbott was swaggering about I looked deeply into his eyes.

Internally he is seething. His guts are on fire with rage. His eyes cast around continuously, searching for someone/something whose lights he can punch out. His needs for a cathartic brawl overwhelm him. The adrenalin floods his body and mind, lifts him six inches off the ground and inhibits all rationality in favour of his animalistic, driven need to bite.

"It should be me at that microphone" plays in his mind, over and over and over and over and..........


October 28. 2011 08:36 AM

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

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October 28. 2011 08:58 AM

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Many thanks for your comments about the Coorey article, which have added to the disgust we feel at such unprofessional ‘journalism’.

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October 28. 2011 08:59 AM

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Welcome back to TPS.  We have been following your media perambulations with great interest.  We wish you well in your new role.  It is heartening that quality bloggers are being recognized as sought-after contributors in the MSM.

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October 28. 2011 08:59 AM

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Thank you for your thoughtful contribution to the discourse about the ‘overarching narrative’.  There is much truth in what you say.  Tanya Plibersek’s comment on Q&A was a vignette of what you are suggesting.  Perhaps Paul Keating is seeking more of this ‘dreaming’ to be exposed – his aesthetic ‘light on the hill’, his quest for beauty and creativity.  It is a hard-to-achieve aspiration; your suggestion that a wordsmith, an author or a poet be engaged is a good one.  I wonder how our blinkered MSM would cope with that!

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October 28. 2011 09:01 AM


Can somebody just let Abbott know that he lost the last election. The poor bugger thinks that he is the most important person on the planet.

Brian Loughnane needs to up Tony's daily dose of Ritalin.

Is Australia ready for its first ADHD Prime Minister?


October 28. 2011 09:11 AM


Brian Loughnane needs to up Tony's daily dose of Ritalin.

Is Australia ready for its first ADHD Prime Minister?
Well said.  That would explain the "energiser bunny" behaviour.


October 28. 2011 09:56 AM


Barking Abbott

It would be sad if it wasn't so pathetic that Shouldabeen PM Tony Abbott sees the need to hang around outside the 'tents' where the big boys and girls are meeting in Perth to discuss matters of importance for a large part of the world's population, the nations that make up the Commonwealth.

Meanwhile, skulking around outside, barking at the tents, the scrawny Tiny A. Accepting gristly titbits from Colin Barnett while he does, and never figuring out how THAT looks for an alternative PM.


October 28. 2011 10:02 AM


Good morning Swordsfolks
The Poll Bludger (well Crikey) had a shutdownswitchoverupgrade convulsion last night and there's no numbers on PB now. Just as a matter of interest. A while back there was some conjecture of numbers on TPS but I don't see it as essential. (Time and date are.)

Anyway Bushfire Bill made 3 posts in quick succession since the convulse, (8.12, 82.1, 8.26 AM) better get 'em while they're hot if you're a BB freak.


Grog, great to hear from you here, your sometime presence on The Drum these days gives me reason to check it once in a while. You're a wonderful writer and thinker, we dips our lids, and I presume not to lecture you on matters of principle or clarity . . .
                 bu-u-u-ut . . .

I admit to wondering aloud on this blog whether, before you appeared on that show a couple of weeks ago, you had been given the Stepford Wives treatment. (?!) (Now you'll think I'm awful.) I allowed that perhaps TV was not your medium, or at least not yet maybe, but I don't want that to be so, au contraire I want you to be a Lion amongst the Sheep, never mind the Turkeys, on the ABC. There's so many of them! We need one real RAAARRRRR! amongst all the baa-aa-aas (never mind the gobbles). There's gotta be room in the Wide Brown land for ONE fearless, outspoken, intellectual, informed political commentator . . . (surely? . . .)

Thoughtful to the point of diffidence you may be, 'fact I'd be disappointed any other way, but what we are hanging out for is not polite deprecation of Rotten-Right Whingers' nonsense, but aggressive ridicule and strident criticism, no more Mr Nice Guy, it doesn't work AT ALL with these humanoids.

Next time you're on the Drum, Dearest Grog, how's about you really *beat* it eh!


October 28. 2011 10:24 AM


Did anyone else notice Colin Barnett being steered by someone in a grey suit when he accompanied the Queen yesterday.  Even I know you don't walk in front of her Colin.  Surely this is a greater breach of protocol than Gillard's bow instead of curtesy?


October 28. 2011 10:42 AM


In Australia, Can Renewable Energy Get Over the Tea Party Blues?
By Dan Cass   Renewable Energy World

Australia’s government is trying to initiate a new era of clean energy and facing such powerful opposition that some renewables companies that will benefit from the policy are scared to proactively campaign for it.

The debate around Australia’s new Clean Energy Future legislation has seen conservative parties here — as in the USA — take a stance that is not just oppositional, but dangerously radical. They now oppose traditional conservative measures such as carbon trading and corrections to market failure and a substantial minority are vocally anti-science.



October 28. 2011 11:22 AM

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What an interesting article is the one from Renewable Energy World.  Even on the other side of the world the ludicrous stand taken by Australian conservatives on climate change is lampooned.  They exhibit the triumph of self-interest over the national interest.

I thought the opening quote was apt: ”It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things."

Niccolò Machiavelli

Julia Gillard would be of the same mind.

Your links are superb.  I enjoyed particularly the ones related to the NBN, both today and yesterday, which show how superior is the NBN with its FTTP to any el cheapo options the Opposition has suggested.

Thank you - you have done an outstanding job while Lyn has taken a break.

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October 28. 2011 12:38 PM


Ad astra
I'm glad that you've enjoyed the links. A trend that has emerged recently is that the further away from Australia that you go for sources of commentary, the more positive they become for most of the reforms and policy calls made by Labor.

Go to the Asian press to find positive endorsement of the deal with Malaysia and a better understanding that it could be the first step in a region-wide solution to irregular travellers, A solution that might stand the region in good stead for the rest of this century and possibly be adopted by the Northern Hemisphere. Not to say everyone is in favour of such an agreement but at least the topic is discussed in a rational and reasonable way.

Go to European sources and find how they are bemused by our domestic antics over climate change and read of their general endorsement of the CEF Bills. There was a time when Australia was viewed as a front-runner on instigating policies that would show the rest of the world the way forward. No longer on this topic, anyway.

Go overseas to read glowing endorsements of the NBN and how many governments and municipalities are envious of the foresight and good economic sense of building such a far-reaching and reforming piece of infrastructure.

Go abroad to hear just how many resource-rich countries are following developments here with regard to the MRRT.

Our public health system in the envy of the world yet all we hear about is how 'broken' it is.

Our banking system is strong, stable and largely independent but we are fed with stories of impending disasters as catastrophic as those threatening the EU.

All of these issues are why I have nothing but disdain for our current media. If they chose to they could turn the Australian mood around within a couple of months if they would just remind everyone of how good we have it here and that the prospects for the future are extremely optimistic.

Did you follow the link embedded in the green roofs story? This is one of my pets. For as long as I can remember I have been telling anyone who would listen that we need to be exploiting all of this wasted space. Hydroponic set-ups under lights in the basements of buildings.
Seafood farms to take the pressure off natural systems, built on land not suitable for crops. Self-contained buildings that provide all of their own energy needs, catch water, grow crops and give back in more ways than just providing office space.

Desalination plants that can service these new industries as well as putting fresh water into depleted systems during periods of drought. NBN-driven businesses like those above and innovative manufacturing enterprises that will revitalise the regions, bringing towns such as mine back to life and relieving them of the tyranny of being hostage to only one main source of income. Geo-thermal and solar electricity generating plants that are housed in structures so visually stunning that they become tourist attractions and an object of pride for the whole nation. Reclaiming borderline arable land and turning it into native wildlife parks that people will want to visit from all over the world.

This is all part of what I was trying to refer to last night when I suggested that our public discussions don't include enough input from dreamers.  I have no doubt that some of our representatives harbour such hopes for the middle of the century but they seem to be so trapped in the language of politics that they can't get the message across. As I suggested earlier, I reckon Labor would benefit from going outside the normal circles for the occasional speech or opinion piece. Set free the artists and dreamers.


October 28. 2011 12:55 PM


Australian larrikinism is a royal myth
Ellena Savage October 27, 2011


   We are not a nation of provocateurs, but one of conformists.

   India is a republic in the Commonwealth. Gay marriage is legal
   in South Africa and Mexico City. We enjoy great liberties, but
   our 'larrikin streak' seems reserved for ridiculing and
   silencing the progressive politics that bring about such

   Occupy Melbourne activists might come close to the real,
   anti-establishment larrikin, though I doubt many participants
   care for indulging a national mythology.

   Is it that we are too lazy, or just too dull to imagine a
   collective future that is different to our present? I hope it
   is the former, but the latter is evidenced by our selection of
   political representatives and by our ambivalence towards
   participatory politics.


October 28. 2011 01:08 PM


The Governor-General has arrived for the CHOGM opening. She must be there to head off any manoeuvre or non-manoeuvre by Kevin Rudd to challenge Julia Gillard at the end of the opening ceremony. Quentin, of course, is backing her son-in-law, Bill.

Stand-by for a comment by the Leader of the Opposition.


October 28. 2011 01:12 PM


Rudd leadership challenge delayed by unusually long version of 'Advance Australia Fair'


October 28. 2011 01:19 PM



I'm glad you brought that Eureka Street article to our attention after I'd written my comment above. Along with the sections you quoted, I was heartened by this sentence:

Dullness sounds innocuous, but from it blossoms contempt for imagination.

We do suffer from a contemptuous attitude to imagination. The Greens, for all of their flaws, are our dreamers of what might be possible and yet they are supported by about 10% of us and ridiculed by the remainder. I don't support them because they are in no position to bring about fundamental change in a rational way but their voice needs to be heard.


October 28. 2011 01:26 PM


psyclaw at 8.27
I probably shouldn't say this but I had been approached by Ltd News & negotiations were in hand.
But, quicker than you can say "News of the World" I've been dropped as they now approach Casablanca after the posts above.


October 28. 2011 01:33 PM



I read your comment only after I posted the link and, 'Yes' I recognised that Ellena Savage was singing from the same songbook. It was a refreshing article from a young writer.

Also, I followed the link embedded in the green roofs story. I admit to laughing at a friend when he suggested having lawn on his roof. In 1980 that seemed ludicrous when we had so much space in our backyards. Then, later in that decade we built a major public edifice here in Canberra which has a huge expanse of grass as part of its roof.


October 28. 2011 02:41 PM


Not sure if this has been posted so Sorry.

Laura Tingle



October 28. 2011 04:22 PM


  There is half decent line up on "insiders" this week, Laura,Mega George and the "undertaker" Gerard Henderson.

Sunday morning TV - October 30 #auspol Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda
On Sky News Australian Agenda host Peter Van Onselen and The Australian's Paul Kelly interview Health Minister Nicola Roxon.
Former AMA President Dr Kerryn Phelps and The Australian's Health editor Adam Creswell talk health issues.
Also former Rudd speechwriter and author of Looking for the Light on the Hill: modern Labor's challenges.
And in a pre-record interview The Weekend Australian Editor Nick Cater talks to Professor Geoffrey Blainey.

8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary
This week on the Riley Diary, more of the Red Queen and the other Queen.  And the Commonwealth produces an uncommon wealth of characters at CHOGM, as Tony Abbott gets some political advice, straight from the horse's mouth.

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, Barrie Cassidy interviews the Trade Minister Craig Emerson.
On the panel: the Financial Review’s Laura Tingle, the Australian’s George Megalogenis and the Sydney Institute’s Gerard Henderson.
And Mike Bowers talks pictures with West Australian cartoonist Dean Alston.

10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 repeated @ 5.30pm - Inside Business
This week on Inside Business a feature interview with NAB CEO, Cameron Clyne
Also Citi’s London based Head of Global Equity Strategy, Robert Buckland
And they take a look at the wash-up of the News Corporation AGM & why both the company and the activist fund managers are claiming victory
First Person piece looks at the tough times in the tourism trade
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
This week on The Bolt Report Labor campaign advisor Bruce Hawker talks to Andrew.
On the panel, former Federal Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello and Dr Richard Denniss from The Australia Institute.
Also, Donna Laframboise author of 'The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert'.

10.30am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.00pm - Meet the Press - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day.
Paul Bongiorno is joined by panelists; Claire Harvey from The Sunday Telegraph and Tim Lester from the Fairfax National Bureau
Together they interview the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and Government Leader in the Senate Senator Chris Evans.


October 28. 2011 04:50 PM



'Negative Abbott to get a positive result?'

The article is mostly regurgitated blather, but if nothing else, wide open to place a comment at the site, and set the neo-con hounds a running.


October 28. 2011 04:58 PM

Patricia WA

Inspired by Casablanca, TT, Michael, Psyclaw, 2353 and jane - well all of you really, I had fun on my walk earlier and thought I'd get it in before the real thing happened!  Still needs work - TT, should I use Flush or Blush in the title?

Royal Blush!

Could Tony Abbott have predicted
A time he’d ever be conflicted
Twixt loyalties rightly his Queen’s
And a vast empire of gaming machines?

Asked that question about a year ago
He would for sure have answered, “No!”
But then hurt pride and thwarted ambition
Hadn’t goaded him into near sedition.

Thinking he could please James Packer,
He dreamed up what he thought a cracker
Of a stunt in which he’d promote strip poker,
As well be hailed as Oz champion joker!

Front page pictures of Tony Abbott’s arrest
Revealed much more than his hairy chest.
Notorious now as the CHOGM gate crasher,
He's certified; the world’s most famous flasher.

Mad for power and media attention,
He broke every constitutional convention.
His defence?  He was irrational, confused,
Unaware Her Majesty was not amused.


Patricia WA

October 28. 2011 05:23 PM


Did anyone else watch Stephen Fry's QI last night?

The show was mainly about horses. One question was about a common technique to make old nags present as a vibrant steed, to impress potential buyers. All that's required is to gently slip a slither of raw ginger into the horse's rear end.

It dawned on me on my 200Klm drive today that someone may have secretly done this to Abbott. He is certainly a hack pretending to be a viable, vibrant, effective alternate PM. Maybe he genuinely needs medical attention.

Calling all proctologists!


October 28. 2011 05:45 PM


Wow, Jason great link. Laura Tingle telling it like it is and laying the blame where it belongs.

Then we have Julian Assange defending Dolt because his freedom of speech has been compromised. Never mind that the article was a pack of lies from start to finish, or that Dolt defamed every one of the people who were the subject of is muck raking.

Mr Assange has a very short very selective, memory, it seems. He wasn't too keen to defend the right to freedom of speech when he was accused of rape in Sweden.

But lying about a few darkies in the national press is inconsequential, because it interferes with Mr Dolt's "freedom of speech" and of course they are too stupid to understand how important it is to the nation for Mr Dolt to publish lies as the truth under the banner of free speech!



October 28. 2011 06:00 PM


The Laura Tingle article is pretty good, I think. The Ben Eltham reply mentioned here somewhat less so. But in the comments an "Honest Johnnie" makes a good point I'd not considered. With all Abbott's ranting about the Independents ignoring the wishes of their electorates, he ignores the fact that his own voted for both a Republic & for legalising same sex marriage. It's OK for him, of course...

I've never been the Assange fan that lefties are supposed to be. With Wikileaks there's a sort of romantic notion that all facts are available & we can sift through them ourselves. This is of course a nonsense as the usual constraints of availability, preparedness to release everything & dissemination apply. I recall some idealism along the lines of "Won't it be interesting to see all the Howard Government stuff come out?" We're still waiting. These cables either aren't available or are not being released.


October 28. 2011 06:07 PM

Patricia WA

I've always thought Julian Assange far too suspect a character to trust with the with the whole world's 'right to know.'

Patricia WA

October 28. 2011 07:49 PM


I've always wondered about Julian Assange.  For someone who is apparently so keen on freedom, he certainly seems be "private".


October 28. 2011 08:25 PM

Feral Skeleton

Jayzus! A person goes away to have one of the biggest days in her family's life...going around town to get Work Experience for #2 Son, AND fretting my way through #1 Son's Year 12 Exam(well, it may not be as big as CHOGM, but it was big for me Smile ), and what do I find when I get back? Grog's ears have been burning and he slipped in when I was away to try and catch me dissing him. Wink And well, it seems everyone else has been having a jolly old time without me all day. Frown

   So, I had better get cracking and read up on all that I have missed and see if I can't add something perpicacious(or, pointless, you be the judge Smile ), of my own before the train has totally left the station.

Feral Skeleton

October 28. 2011 08:33 PM

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You are right.  Those looking in from the outside see Australia as a prosperous and ‘lucky’ country that is doing very well.  They cannot understand what all the complaining is about.  We can.  We know the ‘ain’t it awful’ attitude has been generated by Abbott’s fear, uncertainty, doubt, misinformation and lies, to which the MSM gives both credence and prominence.

Just about everything the Government is doing attracts commendation from overseas, while at home Abbott pushes the ‘worst government in Australian political history’ line.  It is a sad reflection on how lies and media collusion can pervert truth and deceive the people.

I did enjoy the slide show of green roofs.

BTW, isn’t it great to see Julia Gillard performing so well on the world stage, with the swaggering Tiny Abbott nowhere in sight.

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October 28. 2011 08:42 PM

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Thank you for the Laura Tingle link.  Her article was spot on.  I thought Ben Eltham’s was reasonable too.

Thank you Sunday’s programs; the Insiders panel looks reasonably balanced.  It will be interesting to see what angle might be taken to knock the PM, in the face of a very good week for her.  No doubt they will find something to criticize.

Patricia WA
Thank you for the poem.  So apt!

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October 28. 2011 08:48 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Fun Fact about Phil Coorey:
                              He got his taste for politics from a very young age. He used to spend a lot of his time coming into contact with NSW State politicians who would come into his father's tailor's shop in George Street in Sydney(which for those of you not in the know is just a couple of blocks away from NSW State Parliament in Macquarie Streeet, Sydney), for their bags of fruit.

   Politicians, and other men I presume, treat their tailors like women treat their hairdressers, and spill their guts out to them while they are having their inside leg measurements taken. Phil obviously enjoyed the gossip but didn't want to match it with tailoring. I think the shop was called 'Coorey and Sons', so there must have been other Cooreys who followed in dad's tailoring footsteps where Phil did not.

   I remember the shop well, as it was next door to one of Sydney's first Health Food stores, which used to give away free samples of honey, in order to try and get Sydneysiders to buy something other than the sub par crap Capilano sold in the supermarkets. I used to go there after school, as school was just near the Harbour Bridge and my friends and I would often go to the recently-built Centrepoint and Australia Square to look cool and shop. Smile

   To tell you the truth, I couldn't understand why men would want to get their suits from this dingy little shop. This was because I was an elitist(or,just another White Australian), and thought that everyone got their suits made in Hong Kong by Chinese tailors, like my dad did. I guess the suits turned out by Coorey and Sons came with that added extra: political gossip. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

October 28. 2011 09:25 PM

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I've just posted another delightful piece of satire from Acerbic Conehead: Don't Barney with Batwoman.  Enjoy.


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October 28. 2011 09:54 PM

Feral Skeleton

   I guess you may not remember this, however, I was suss on Julian Assange right from the get-go. I smelt a rat and his rodentatious nature was confirmed when I, too, sat back and waited and waited and waited, for him to realease the sort of material which any good seaker of 'the truth' would want to finds out from an organisation such as Wikileaks.

  It appears we were titillated with the vision of the American's attack on innocents on the ground, from up on high in a helicopter gunship, however, after that something seemed to go awry. I remember there was a mass defection from Wikileaks of those members of the team who said wtte that Wikileaks was no longer what they had originally signed up for. Basically, it had become a vehicle for Julian Assange's ego.

   Following that, a number of disturbing things occurred. Firstly, Wikileaks began releasing a welter of material that was essentially just warmed-over political gossip, of the type we have been decrying here forever and a day. You know, such as, which diplomat farts in polite company. Yawn. However, for an organisation who had received data from Private Bradley Manning, I would have thought that there would have been juicier info than that to come our way. Maybe even knowledge of a few war crimes comitted by the Americans in their theatres of war, maybe Condoleeza Rice speaking to Colin Powell via e-mail and saying that there never have been any, 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'. That sort of thing. Crickets.

   Which aroused my suspicions. Was there no covertly-obtained information about any conservative government anywhere in the world that had been passed on to Julian Assange? Strange.

   Not to mention the fact that, once notoriety had been achieved by Mr Assange, he used his newly-created global platform to start criticising Progressive Centre Left governments. One may say that he had a right to do this because of the ham-fisted attempts by Robert McClelland to put a cork in Wikileaks, legalistically. However, had it not occurred to Mr Assange that if there had been a Right Wing government in power federally in Australia at this time, heaven forbid, that they would have ruthlessly and clinically have conspired to have Mr Assange rendered unto, at the very least, the Swedish authorities who want him over the sexual assault charges, by conspiring with the Tory government of David Cameron to effect his silence. Not to mention that injunctions would have been slapped, under some very didgy laws, on all the media outlets who had supplies of Wikileaks information; Wikileaks Servers would have been confiscated for 'National Security' reasons, and Mr Assange would have been thrown into the same sort of hell-hole jail as Bradley Manning, most likely on trumped-up Treason charges.

   But no, Mr Assange has to go after the political parties that are actually for transparency when it comes to exposing things like Bush's Rendition of political prisoners like Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks from Australia. Among many, many others things that I thought we might finally find out about.

   Now, I don't know if Mr Assange realises this, but I wonder how he feels about having been co-opted and virtually neutralised by Britain's Establishment? The comfortable lifestyle that his supporters in Britain's demi monde have laid out for him certainly appears to have compromised his independant judgement, right down to sounding like a pompous ass and referring to himself as, "One" (pity there's not a finger down the throat emoticon for that), and falling for the Conservative's Cultural Warrior creed of 'Hate Speech=Free Speech', and you must defend it and us to the death. I would have expected a greater degree of intellectual discernment from 'One' who styles himself as one of the world's pre-eminent cultural iconoclasts.

   Instead, what we appear to have ended up with is just another Andrew Bolt. Someone who has seen a chance and taken it and betrayed whatever ethics they may have originally had in the process just so they could become what they originally despised. A member of a corrupt, amoral Conservative elite.

Feral Skeleton

October 28. 2011 11:53 PM


I was never enamoured of wiki-leaks and certainly not of Assange. I think he's just another cheerleader and this latest stunt confirmed it for me.

<quote>Not to mention the fact that, once notoriety had been achieved by Mr Assange, he used his newly-created global platform to start criticising Progressive Centre Left governments</quote>

Me too, FS. I kept waiting for the dirt on the Rodentochracy and there must be mount Everests of the stuff, but all we got was the usual anti Labor shite.

However, I don't believe he ever had any ethics to betray.


October 28. 2011 11:55 PM


Aaaggghhh, sorry about the [quotes]!


Comments are closed