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Julia Gillard's Vision for the Asian Century

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Sunday, 27 November 2011 19:23 by Ad astra
The search for the Gillard ‘narrative’ goes on. It seems that journalists, almost as a matter of course, need to include in their pieces some reference to the ‘narrative’, or the lack of it, or feel they must ask yet again: ‘What does she stand for?’ After all the statements that PM Gillard has made in the last few weeks that would enable even the least gifted journalist to discern the answer, the habitual quest persists.

The last piece I wrote was titled: Julia Gillard’s Light on the Hill. Many responded positively, some even felt moved. Yet others felt that a more forward-looking statement, rather than one that reiterated past achievements, might give a more stirring picture of where Julia Gillard and her Government are headed, what their vision might be.

So here is an attempt to do just that. This piece is dedicated to you NormanK.

I have drawn inspiration and some of the content from speeches given by PM Julia Gillard and President Barack Obama during his visit to Australia this month. This is what our PM might say about her vision for the Asian Century.


I have a vision for this country as we move into the Asian Century. A vision that can become reality if we seize our opportunities, make the most of our resources, strengthen our relationships, and make the transitions we must.

We are a nation in transition - transition on many fronts. We are in the midst of change - exciting yet challenging change. Yet there are some things that never change - values that are close to our heart, values Labor is committed to preserve for always.

Above all else we value freedom - freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and insecurity, freedom to choose our leaders.

We value opportunity - opportunity to have a great education, an education that will equip all our citizens to attain their highest aspirations, to make the most of their talents, to enjoy work that is satisfying and rewarding.

We value fairness - fairness in our society that enables those with the least to gain as much as those with the most, those who have missed out to realize their full potential, those less well endowed to live with dignity, and all to share the prosperity this country offers.

We value equality - an equitable society where no one is left behind. We encourage multiculturalism and harmony in our richly varied society drawn from many parts of the world.

We value justice - a society free from corruption, free from unfair practices, where every citizen can depend on receiving justice when wronged.

With these fundamental values of freedom, opportunity, fairness, equality and justice to support our society, we can look with confidence at the decades, ahead, at the century ahead.

My vision is of an Australia that takes its place confidently within our region, the Asian region. While traditional allegiances to the economies in Europe, the US and Japan will be maintained and advanced, the newer alliances with our Asian neighbors and trading partners will be strengthened in the time ahead.

I have a vision of rapid development in the world's most populous nations, China and India. Already their economies are burgeoning. Already our trade with them is increasing by the year. Already China is the largest importer of our mineral resources. India too needs our resources and will soon be an importer of our uranium.

These developments will enable these nations to lift their citizens out of the poverty and deprivation too many still endure, and enable them to enjoy the benefits of prosperity that we have enjoyed for so long.

I have a vision of similar rapid development with similar benefits among our nearer neighbors, in the teeming millions in the ASEAN countries, in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and their close neighbours.

With the addition of China, Japan and Korea in 1999, ASEAN extended it influence and reach, and this was expanded into an associated forum, the East Asia Summit with the inclusion of Australia, New Zealand and India in 2005, and then this year, the US and Russia.

The Summit has become a forum for discussing trade, the removal of tariff barriers, economic development, energy, the environment, climate change, disaster relief, and nation building. Meeting at the time of ASEAN meetings, I envision it will become a powerhouse for regional development. This is the fastest growing region in the world. History will be written here during this century, the Asian Century, as it drives growth around the world. Trade promotes growth, which in turn creates jobs.  We have very favourable terms of trade; we must make the most of this advantageous situation.

I have a vision of a strong Trans Pacific Partnership among the nine Pacific Rim countries that have a combined GDP of around 17 trillion US dollars. At the recent APEC meeting in Honolulu leaders agreed on the broad outlines of the TPP, a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that eliminates tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment, which will open up countless opportunities for trade and increase economic growth.

I’m very proud of this ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. It is the most comprehensive trade deal ASEAN has negotiated – a gold standard for trade deals. By opening up our markets to each other, we will create a trading group with a combined population of 620 million people involving some of the fastest growing economies on earth. The Trans Pacific Partnership stands to become a free trade zone bigger than the European Union.

This nation is already contributing strongly to international dialogue through the G20 Forum, APEC and CHOGM, and now through the Trans Pacific Partnership.

President Obama reminded us: “History teaches us the greatest force the world has ever known for creating wealth and opportunity is free markets. So we seek economies that are open and transparent. We seek trade that is free and fair. And we seek an open international economic system, where rules are clear and every nation plays by them. In Australia and America, we understand these principles. We're among the most open economies on earth. History is on the side of the free - free societies, free governments, free economies, free people. And the future belongs to those who stand firm for these ideals, in this region and around the world.”

The Asian region is the fastest growing, and is home to more than half the global economy. It is my intention to ensure that this nation derives benefit from being part of the region’s expanding economy through trade, export of our resources, and generating jobs for our people. At the same time we seek to increase the prosperity and well being of all the people in our region.

How can we, as a peaceful and prosperous nation, contribute to our region and benefit from our association with it?

First, we must ensure that there are jobs for all who can work. Unemployment is a curse that deprives those without a job the dignity, the satisfaction and the rewards of work. Unemployment affects all those who depend on the worker. It demeans. Chronic unemployment often demeans whole generations where no one in a family has employment. We are committed to creating economic conditions that create jobs, jobs and opportunity all around the nation as well as in the turbocharged resources sector.

We are committed to a strong economy, an economy that grows without growing carbon pollution, without damaging our environment. We recognize the potency of free markets to create wealth in economies with a robust financial system, with sensibly regulated financial institutions and an independent central bank – we have our Reserve Bank. We value free enterprise and seek to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

We foster investment in the technologies of the future – green renewable energy to give us a clean energy future, up-to-the-minute telecommunications, fast broadband, and the latest infrastructure to support industry, commerce, agriculture, the resources sector, the service and education economy, and tourism. We have legislated to place a price on carbon and a tax on minerals to support infrastructure, boost superannuation, assist small businesses and companies, and simplify tax returns.

We will bring our budget into surplus in 2012/13 in the belief that this is what is needed now so that we can avoid the burden of indebtedness that is crippling economies in Europe. Our national debt is the lowest in the developed world, but we need to repay what was borrowed to support our economy and to avoid recession during the Global Financial Crisis.

While a strong economy is essential for full employment, an education and training system that prepares young people for work is similarly essential. Labor always places great emphasis on education and training. We believe every child is entitled to a great education, and that every apprentice, every person out of work, is entitled to training to fit them for satisfying work. Much of our budget is dedicated to providing those opportunities to all who can benefit.

We know too that good health enables workers to gain the most from their employment. So we continue to develop a health system that caters for all, workers and their families, the young, the aged, the chronically ill and the disabled.

We are giving special emphasis to mental health, especially among the young afflicted with depression and substance abuse as well as to older folk suffering from dementia, and to those with chronic disability. We support medical research and fund scientists seeking breakthroughs in heath care.

Our health system, one of the finest in the world, is in transition to one more strongly supported by Federal funds and with more local control. Reduction of waiting lists, and more focus on community care to take some of the burden from our hospitals, is our objective.

Whatever our internal state of affairs, we seek safety from external threat. Peace and security is the desire of all people. This is why we continue our commitment in Afghanistan. As President Obama pointed out, because most of the world's nuclear powers and around half of humanity are in Asia, this region will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation.

This is why he has made a deliberate and strategic decision that “…as a Pacific nation, the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future, by upholding core principles and in close partnership with allies and friends.” Australia is central to this decision. As the wars of today draw towards a conclusion, the United States intends to redeploy its resources to the Asia region. Australia will be one of the beneficiaries.

I have a vision of even stronger ties with the United States of America following the visit of President Barack Obama and our joint intent to host American military personnel in the Northern Territory for training purposes. This will strengthen the alliance with our long-time partner, and achieve greater security for our nation and our region.

This is what President Obama had to say in our parliament: “…we seek security, which is the foundation of peace and prosperity. We stand for an international order in which the rights and responsibilities of all nations and people are upheld. Where international law and norms are enforced. Where commerce and freedom of navigation are not impeded. Where emerging powers contribute to regional security, and where disagreements are resolved peacefully.” He has also expressed the hope that market forces be allowed to regulate the money market, and that large developing countries float their currencies.

Australia concurs. We know we must strike a sensible balance between facilitating trade within the region and ensuring security for all by containing threats and promoting harmony.

President Obama concluded: “This is the story of the alliance we celebrate today. This is the essence of America's new leadership; it is the essence of our partnership. And this is the work we will carry on together, for the security, the prosperity, and the dignity of all people.”

We concur. We have the same vision. Our alliance with America is rooted in the values and freedoms we share. The solidarity that began with the ANZUS treaty 60 years ago continues stronger than ever. Australia shares his vision of America’s ‘new leadership’ in the Asia region.

Australia must seize the opportunity to transition our economy from that of past years to the economies of the future, the green economy we need to reverse the dire effects of global warming, the economies that create new industries, that manage non-renewable resources better, that use water more efficiently and equitably, that ensures food security, that lifts every child, every family out of poverty and despair wherever it exists.

This is my vision for our nation in the Asian Century – a vision brimming with excitement, bright prospects and challenge as we transition from the ways of the past to the opportunities of the future. This is my 'Light on the Hill' for the Asian Century.

We need your encouragement, your support and your collaboration.

So there it is, a ‘speech’ that would take a little over 15 minutes to deliver.

Is it sufficiently forward-looking? Does it better address journalists’ seemingly unquenchable thirst for a Gillard narrative, one they seem quite unable to discern on their own initiative? I’m not all that hopeful it will. One can only but try!

What do you think?

Comments (573) -

November 27. 2011 09:01 PM


Is the hunter now the hunted? MICHAEL INMAN
Canberra Times. 27 Nov, 2011 01:00 AM

After a year in which the polls have favoured the Coalition, Tony Abbott's position is looking less secure

TONY Abbott started last week by telling the final Coalition party room meeting of 2011 that it had been a ''tough year but a good year'' for the Opposition.

What a difference a week in politics can make.

After a year of hard slog, it was Prime Minister Julia Gillard who finished the parliamentary calendar with the smile.

A red-faced Abbott was forced to slink into the shadows to wonder what went wrong.

A succession of blunders, including a policy shift to support lifting the superannuation contribution rate, party room dissent and the spectacular defection of the member for Fisher, Peter Slipper, has bruised Abbott's credibility and possibly his leadership.

All eyes will now turn to the coming polls, the first due out next week, to see the electorate's reaction.

A recent Newspoll, from last Monday, gave some hope to Labor supporters, with Gillard surpassing Abbott as preferred prime minister for the first time in six months.

But it wasn't all one way traffic, with Labor's primary vote trailing the Coalition 30-48. The two-party preferred result also had the Coalition in the lead, 57-43.

While the numbers still favour Abbott, a further slip in the next poll could prove interesting Christmas lunch fodder for wagging coalition tongues.

With speculation of a Labor leadership challenge put to bed, all eyes will now turn to simmering tensions within the Coalition.

Some political experts are reading the return of Malcolm Turnbull in their tea leaves, others a dark horse, while some foresee the status quo continuing.

Australian National University political marketing lecturer Andrew Hughes predicts a Turnbull challenge before July next year.

Hughes says the fear campaigns that gained Abbott so much ground on the Government initially are finally grinding to a halt, leaving only the perception of negativity.

Hughes says Abbott must emerge from the holiday break with a new strategy or risk becoming the victim of polls.

''Abbott's numbers have never been that strong in the preferred prime minister stakes, so, internally, that may mean a leadership challenge isn't out of the question,'' Hughes says.

''The Turnbull forces will give Abbott about three months to turn around the numbers and the strategy.''

Hughes says if Labor reaches 35 per cent of the primary vote, Abbott's leadership will hit dire straits.

''If Labor gets to 35 per cent on primary numbers they have a very good chance of retaining power because they pick up preferences from the Greens.

''If the numbers change, it will become a matter of timing because every month that goes by is one less month for Turnbull to acclimatise to the market and the market to get that connection with Turnbull.

''If they leave it too late, like they did with Howard, and go to the election with someone who is unpopular, they'll get smashed.

''They lost that opportunity with Howard, which might be in the back of their minds.''

But elections expert Malcolm Mackerras disputes the numbers, saying Abbott's position as leader is virtually unassailable.

Mackerras predicts Abbott and Gillard will fight out the next election.

He dismisses talk of a Turnbull resurgence as nonsense, citing the carbon tax as the member for Wentworth's political Achilles heel.

''It will have to get down to 50-50 consistently in all the polls before there'd be any serious possibility of Abbott being replaced,'' Mackerras says.

''But Turnbull won't challenge, because it will fail, because he cannot promise in blood to repeal the carbon pricing scheme.

''The only plus for Abbott is the carbon-pricing scheme - everything else is a negative, including boat people.

''The legislation might have passed both houses of parliament and be in place, but the Coalition intends to repeal it.''

Australian Catholic University public policy institute director Scott Prasser agrees.

But that's not to say the former Rhodes Scholar doesn't have serious problems.

Prasser says Abbott must overcome stylistic problems and a ''policy deficit disorder''.

Despite his obvious deficiencies, the former pugilist's safety stems from a lack of talent within Coalition ranks, according to Prasser.

''Who else is there in opposition [to lead the party]? There's not a lot of options,'' Prasser says.

''Turnbull has no chance of ever leading the Liberal Party, because he's a political fool.

''His leadership over the Godwin Grech issue showed a complete lack of judgment, he supports the republic, and he's a small ''l'' Liberal.

''Had [Turnbull] led the Liberal Party to the last election against Kevin Rudd, it would've been one of the greatest political defeats in history because he would've supported the emissions trading scheme.''

Nor is Joe Hockey an alternative, Prasser says.

''He hasn't been a success story in the alternative treasury position as he doesn't appear to do his homework properly and is sloppy.''

But Monash University political expert Dr Nick Economou says the Coalition will not sit idle if brand Abbott sours.

Economou believes the second half of 2012 will be a dangerous time for Abbott, unless he can make a speedy recovery.

Economou says whoever leads the Coalition at the next election will become prime minister, a powerful reason to undermine and then challenge Abbott.

But he doesn't see Turnbull wielding the knife.

''I'd be looking at compromise candidates and I do note [journalist and former senior Coalition staffer] Niki Savva has made mention of [opposition immigration spokesman] Scott Morrison as just such a candidate, so I'd watch him closely,'' Economou says.

Economou's advice to Abbott is to simply keep his head down and survive.

''Abbott's been resisting the temptation to respond to press demands to come up with fleshed-out policy positions, and I would advise him against doing so.

''He simply needs to look at the way Liberal leaders in some states behaved when Labor governments were falling apart.

''They say nothing, just harp on about the government's failing and the voters do the rest.

''As long as he hangs on to the leadership, he'll be prime minister.

''My advice to him would be just make sure you don't lose the support of the majority of your colleagues in the party room.''



November 27. 2011 10:21 PM


Ad astra

This is really superb. Well done. Every new leader, whether of the opposition or government, should give a speech along these lines within the first six months of taking over the leadership. For Ms Gillard I reckon it should have been around February this year before parliament returned and after what I assume was a refreshing, soul-searching break over the Christmas period. By delivering a speech such as this it should be possible for everyone (commentators, voters, experts in their field) to measure whether each new policy initiative fits in with this sketch of the Big Picture. If for some reason there is a straying from the narrative (e.g. uranium sales) the leader should feel obliged to explain the shift in position as part of the larger scheme of things as well as the normal discussion of the day-to-day reasoning.

Your speech is not in the "Yes we can!" inspirational mould but then nor was it meant to be. There are plenty of other opportunities for that type of speech, as well as all of the other types currently employed by modern politicians. You have written exactly the sort of thing that I wanted to hear. You have covered all of the main ambitions that a national leader should address but without getting bogged down in the detail of what might be promised to each individual Australian and without referring to what 'the other guy' has had to say on these subjects.

The Treasurer could just as easily give a wide-ranging forward-looking speech somewhere around budget time as well. I know that they traditionally do give a speech but from memory they are rather dry affairs bogged down in the language and mind-set of economics rather than having the courage to spell out their long-term ambitions for the budget, the economy and therefore the nation.

This is a fine piece to finish your year on, Ad astra. Congratulations.

Thanks for the dedication. Embarassed


November 27. 2011 10:30 PM

Ad astra reply

I am so pleased, and relieved, that what I have written is what you had in mind.  Thank you.

I will go to sleep contentedly tonight.

Ad astra reply

November 27. 2011 11:10 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Ad
NormanK has summed it pretty well. Oh, ok NK, pretty damned good.

A possible answer to this:
Does it better address journalists’ seemingly unquenchable thirst for a Gillard narrative, one they seem quite unable to discern on their own initiative?

might be gleaned from this paragraph from the Glyn Davis excerpt I linked to on the previous post:
Because the task of political leadership shifts constantly with circumstances, there can be no single prescription for power and influence. Leaders must create their own accommodation with the times. The experience of others, no matter how successful, offers little guide for aspiring leaders. There are few reliable laws or formulas. We might learn from, but will never repeat, history. For politicians, leadership turns out to be an unpredictable negotiation between people and conditions. Such leadership cannot be reduced to a 10-point plan mastered on the flight to Canberra.

Equally the 'vision thing' or 'narrative' is not something that can be conjured up during a brief visit to the contemplation room though it is apparent, according to the commentariat, that all aspiring leaders are required to have worked it out before they get to the top of the slippery pole.

It is likely the case that the majority of journalists/commentators are living in the unreal world of expecting the PM to have mastered the mythical 10-point plan (and the vision thing) within hours of assuming the leadership and all of them likely wish to have gotten the exclusive leak of, if not the full plan, one of the early drafts of it.

As I mentioned when linking to the Davis piece I got a bit of an understanding of why some (most?) journos don't get what it is to be the leader of a political party.

Having done a late night impulse purchase of the Davis e-book I am now looking forward to finding some time to fire up the kindle-reader to learn more.

D Mick Weir

November 28. 2011 12:20 AM


Lyn, NormanK

Sorry not to have responded earlier, mea culpa.

Lyn said

"Talk Turkey did you read what NormanK told me: -  

'TalkTurkey no doubt has strong views on these incidents and would be able to provide a more in-depth analysis.

From what I recall and have recently read, comparing Slipper to Colston is a bit like comparing a flying fox with a parrot (because they both fly and eat fruit) while conveniently ignoring their manifest differences.'

love this bit:

comparing a flying fox with a parrot "

Lyn the Wiki account NK has provided is substantially the story in a nutshell. His own comments are also correct. What the two of these men have done are superficially more-or-less mirror-images afa the mechanics are concerned, certainly quite enough to make this defection by Slipper both precedented, and, beyond merely legal,and legitimate within the sense of the Westminster tradition, fully justified, and almost de rigeur to set matters to rights after all this time.

If there were anything I would alter in your answer to Lyn, NK, it would be to nuance your choice of critters to whom you compare them. I think I'd liken Colston to one of those forcefed fat gooses from whose gross livers they make pate de fois gras- so fat and so pampered they are virtually unable to walk, Colston was a sluggard Senator for 21 years! - while for Slipper, I reckon he'd be one of those sad urbanised *Sacred* Ibises which frequent the garbage around inner Sydney: grubby, purely opportunistic, embarrassing for their lack of dignity in a species from which we'd expect better. But many species are opportunists, not just Ibises.

Neither bird is a flattering image for the persons concerned, but let that not disguise the chasm of difference between the two from a moral pov. Colston was an ingrate and traitor to those who had been his allies for all those years, he took a few pieces of silver and sold out the Labor Party, and it's about as simple as that. Slipper's case is much more convoluted, and much more of the responsibility for his defection rests with his own erstwhile Parties' (yes plural! Smile ) stupid treatment of him.    

But beyond that, the way this has happened is almost excruciatingly exquisitely delicious as a matter of payback, it is an archetypical example of the term poetic justice, it goes far towards satisfying our lust for vengeance for all those abuses by the Noalition and its forbears, (I mentioned yesty), even though it actually *changes* nothing, it just sets in snapfrozen concrete what was achieved already but was still in the uncertain sands of a hung parliament, with Abbortt threatening to destroy the core of thsoe achievements.

The Parliament, let me actually mention, is no longer hung.
There is almost complete assurance that it will go full term, the hype can just dissipate now because of that, so Tony's one trick has failed in spectacular fashion. He is outwitted, hoist with his own petard, confounded, so in a different sense it's a HUGE change.

Heh heh. Parliament no longer hung. Guess who is hung instead.

And I don't mean well-hung neither,
pretty badly-hung if you ask me.
Heh heh heh. Guess who hunged 'im. Smile Himself!

Heh heh heh heh. Guess who gave him enough rope.

Heh heh heh heh heh. All his pretty friends in the media giving him free kicks and adoration and Get Out Free passes!

Funny thing, though, this event had the preselection of Mal Brough instead of Peter Slipper for his seat. If Brough got up at the next election he'd be a challenger to Abbortt (who won't be anywhere in sight anyway after 2013 imo)  

Brough eh. Well the next election should give us a chance to familiarise the electorate with the real Mal eh. Not nice.    


November 28. 2011 03:04 AM

Patricia WA

Ad Astra, You have excelled yourself!  You should be writing speeches for our PM!   Yes, it is optimistic, as have been Julia Gillard's speeches from which you have drawn inspiration and content.  So often commentators are catastrophising about what might happen, or could happen it feels as if they are determined that the worst possible outcome will happen. It doesn't have to be that way!   Thank you.

Yes, TT, I too was wondering why Abbott was encouraging Mal Brough to come back into politics when it was pretty obvious that Mal Brough would be after his job if he got in, and Abbott was still LOTO.......highly unlikely now that an election is no longer looming.   But back in July it looked imminent to many.


Still we know that Abbott's not really that astute a political game player.  After all, he's only a prawn in Gillard's game!polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../

Patricia WA

November 28. 2011 08:34 AM

Feral Skeleton

  I did not notice that the caravan had moved on. Embarassed So, on indulgence, I'll repost my contributions, for what they are worth, here now.
   I will get back to the subject at hand ASAP. Smile

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 08:36 AM



Abbott A Prawn In Gillard’s Game?, Patricia WA,
http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/ Café Whispers

Why Did John Howard, supposedly a man of some political nous give such a glowing endorsement of Mal Brough, contender for Slipper’s seat of Fisher while in Nambour less than a week before the Slipper finally jumped ship on the Liberals? Even Abbott himself had earlier encouraged Brough

Australia's worst political machine, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
To go after Slipper's associates, donors, fundraisers, enablers and old muckers generally, you are going to incur a lot of collateral damage on people who are pretty central to the operations of the LNP itself.

Legitimacy, mandates and the Australian Government, Troutish Net
from my understanding the ‘legitimacy’ of the Australian government comes from it’s ability to survive votes of no confidence in the lower-house and to pass supply bills through parliament in accordance with the constitution. So how can Tony Abbott continually claim the current government is illegitimate?

Next week - a big one for data , Stephen Koukoulas
Next week will be a big one for local economic news - it will help to settle the RBA's thinking on what to do with interest rates when it meets on 6 December. At the moment, it looks most likely that it will opt for a 25bp cut, with some risk that a 50bp cut will be delivered

Publishing best regulation for papers, Crispin Hull
It’s a wide power. Watch out newspapers. The law could take the form: A corporation shall not publish a newspaper unless it conforms with all sorts of conditions.In effect, the newfound corporations power brings the Commonwealth much the same power over newspapers as it has always had over broadcast media (and internet) through the “post and telegraph” power.

DELUSION- Libs kidding themselves about Craig Thomson departure, Vex News
It could take a year or two to be resolved and that would be making good time. Even if there were charges, which we doubt, we think it’s safe to assume they would be vigorously defended and that process obviously also takes a long time. The prospect of it being resolved in time to bring a forward a federal election is close to zero.

Nay saying , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion
If Abbott has done a powerfully effective job of highlighting Gillard as the problem, then the passage of the carbon pricing and mining tax highlight the policy limits of Abbott's strategy of nay saying in the form of conservative populism.that Increasingly this involves ever more huffing and puffing and angry bluster--eg.,the 34 attempts to bring a censure motion against the Gillard Government.

Abbott Reacts to Slipper Defection – Downfall Parody, Jennifer Wilson, No place for Sheep
As someone noted on Twitter, it’s just as well Mr Rabbit failed to sell his arse, because then he’d have nothing to talk out of, and nowhere to put his head. My God, you have to love Twitter.

The Sunday Sandwich (That's a Wrap)
Also set to cause some anger will be the release tomorrow of the new Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) report into water allocations for farmersanirrigator's in the Murray Darling Basin. Whilst it is likely a better result for farmers it is still likely to cause much ire and debate.

Do the Rabble believe their own spin-, Frank, A Frank View
Bullshit that has only one reason for its excretion, keeping Tony Abbott on the LOTO salary.They thought the election imminent stuff was true, Abbott had Wilkie in his pocket just waiting to pull the trigger. In the Lodge by May, Sept, Xmas or whenever oh yes Tones.

Hartsuyker forgets his history in headlong rush for media attention in the wake of HoR Speaker J, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices
He went on to add that Mr Jenkins had been "a fine Speaker" and had the full support of the Coalition. This is the same Hartsuyker who so disrespected the Office of Speaker that he refused a lawful direction from the chair to remove himself from the House of Representatives – causing the sitting day to be suspended:

Federal Labor's Year Just Got Better, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
all must bow to her unquestionable record of passing important legislation. More than 250 bills have been passed, including of course the carbon tax, and the Minerals Resource Rent Tax this week. On coming to office as Prime Minister, Gillard nominated carbon, the mining tax and asylum seekers as her three top priorities. Asylum seeker policy has been a catastrophic debacle, but on the mining tax and the carbon price, she has indeed delivered.

Former PMs still costing taxpayers, Sky News
He may have been booted out of office four years ago this week but John Howard is still costing the taxpayer a fair whack of cash.The former prime minister was paid more than $130,000 in entitlements in the six months from January 1 to June 30 this year, a new report shows.Mr Howard spent more than $118,000 on his office facilities, $7000 on office administration costs, $7400 on car costs, almost $5000 on domestic airfares and close to $1000 on family travel.

Time To Apply The Trade Practices Act To Political Parties? , Alex Schlotzer
They’re selling us ideas. They’re selling us ‘solutions’ to problems. They’re trading in security, stability and a future of prosperity.
They offer representation services by offering up candidates for elections. We get to decide who gets the gig of representing us when we cast our votes. In essence the politician is the political party’s sales person.

Three examples of disaster capitalism in action, Antony Loewenstein
American so-called “vulture investors,” including a top funder of the Republican Party, have demanded African nations pay over half a billion dollars for old debts, for which investors paid only a few million. These so-called “vulture investors” attack desperately poor nations.

Extraordinary. The boom is spreading job prospects more evenly, Peter Martin
Treasury's David Gruen at the forecasting conference yesterday.
The fastest growing sector of the economy is "mining related" - including construction and services provided to the mining industry, but not mining itself:

The RBA is releasing price-sensitive information in a non-public, discriminatory way , Christopher Joye, Aussie Macro Moments
This is a serious market integrity problem. It means that anyone sitting in the audience--often economists reporting back to their trading desks--has access to highly price sensitive information ahead of the rest of the market.

Global Warming and Carbon Dioxide: New Model Predicts a Smaller Effect, Peter, Aussie Views News
So should we be less concerned? The answer is no of course. Other scientists will challenge whether including data from a period of low surface temperature into the model is really valid. And come what may an increase in CO2 levels will increase global surface temperature.www.aussieviewsnews.com/.../

The coal seam gas rush, ABC
The scale and speed of its growth has been nothing short of astonishing: billions of dollars have poured into regional areas; new jobs have been created; state and national coffers have swelled; export contracts have been signed and sealed; massive liquefied natural gas facilities have been approved for construction at regional ports.

Coonroy Launches NBN Truck,Technology Spectator
According to NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley, the public was hungry for more information with over 1,000 queries every week with regards to the status of the rollout and the schedule.The NBN Co truck is set to start its tour next week in the seven construction sites in Tasmania and will then proceed to areas where the rollout is currently underway.

The NBN tipping point ,Charis Palmer, Technology Spectator
Engage” is an understatement – NBN Co is hoping to connect 500,000 homes to the NBN next year, which roughly equates to 2,000 per working day, and that’s just as the project gathers steam. At its peak NBN Co is hoping to hit 6,000 homes per day. That’s a lot of pavements to dig up.

Murdoch plus bits of World News:-

James Murdoch faces growing list of rebels, Simon Bowers, The Guardian
One of the City's biggest institutional investors, Legal & General, has joined a growing band of shareholders prepared to oppose James Murdoch's re-election as chairman of BSkyB at the satellite broadcaster's annual meeting on Tuesday

Lachlan Murdoch Investigated Over Involvement In News Corp. Bribery Of Australian Politicians , Huffington Post
The Australian Federal Police are investigating former Sen. Bill O'Chee's allegations about Murdoch's media empire, which has been shaken for months by a separate British scandal over hacked cellphone messages.O'Chee told The Associated Press on Friday that Lachlan Murdoch, then a senior News Corp. executive, was at the table

Australia former senator welcomes News Corp. probe, ROD McGUIRK, Dayton Daily News
O'Chee alleges that Colless offered him inducements during a lunch on June 13, 1998, to vote against his conservative government's legislation on the creation of digital TV in Australia. News Corp. stood to profit from the legislation failing.

Australian senator who accused NewsCorp of trying to bribe him with positive newspaper coverage now claims Lachlan Murdoch was at the meeting, Richard Hartley-parkinson, Daily Mail, UK
Rupert Murdoch's eldest son, Lachlan, has been accused of being present when a former senator was offered favourable coverage in return for votes.Bill O'Chee alleged that Murdoch was there when

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry accused of blatant untruths about Barack Obama, Chris McGreal, The Guardian
Romney's campaigners are delighted at the attention the controversial ad has drawn, giving it a wider audience than it would otherwise have had. They appear to have calculated that hitting Obama on the economy outweighs whatever damage may be done by charges of untruths

Tax avoidance costs UK economy £69.9 billion a year, Mark Jenner, New Statesman
If only more had been done to tackle rampant tax evasion, Europe would not be facing a crisis today." Adding that to compel both business and the tax havens themselves to be transparent in their dealings would "shatter the secrecy of tax havens for good." Nothing, he goes on, "could make a bigger contribution than this to solving the world's financial crisis".

Who's To Blame For Greek Debt? Don't Forget Tax Evaders' 60 Billion Euro Bill, Worldcrunch
Greece has lost huge sums to tax evaders. The current amount outstanding is estimated at 60 billion euros. Most of that money will have to be written off. There are 165,000 on-going court cases that together represent about 30 billion euros worth of unpaid taxes. Some of the cases are more than 10 years old.

26 bodies found in abandoned vehicles in Mexico, The Guardian
Security officials have said they feared that the chaos could provide an opening for the Zetas drug cartel, which has been using paramilitary-style tactics and headline-grabbing atrocities in a national push to seize territory from older organized crime groups.

Political Video’s

Insiders, Australian Politics TV
This week’s Insiders saw the panel making plenty of commentary around the last week in Parliament. The ABC1 team have uploaded the different parts of the show, which we’ve collated into this one post.

Meet the Press 27/11/2011 Part 1 , Channel 10, You Tube
Discussion with former Prime Minister Paul Keating on events in Parliament

ABC: Coalition pushes for Malaysia swap deal vote, Australian Politics TV

ABC: Conroy denies NBN rollout mainly in Labor seats, Australian Politics TV
Well it looks like the usual claim-and-counter-claim schtick to us. Each side of politics is guilty of pork barrelling, no doubt about that


Slipper warned the night before: quit preselection , Michelle Grattan, The Age
Former prime minister Paul Keating said yesterday that installing Mr Slipper, which put Labor in a more solid position, had been a "bull point for stability and, therefore, for the nation, regardless of who said what to whom

The Labor Party is broken. Here's how to start fixing it, Kevin Rudd, SMH
Civil doesn't mean that if Tony Abbott is being a niff nuff that we won't point it out. But it does mean that we conduct the affairs of politics and government with greater respect. We are fools if we do not understand that the public has had a gutful of what currently passes for much of our national political debate



November 28. 2011 08:44 AM

Feral Skeleton

Feral Skeleton

           Many thanks for bringing to our ever-hungry eyes the Editorials and articles that we would otherwise miss in the maelstrom of words and images that fly past us each day. I am grateful for the effort that you make on our behalf.

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 08:45 AM

Feral Skeleton

    It should go without saying that I am in awe of your efforts with the links on our behalf at The Political Sword. You are even becoming better at witty repartee, something I don't do very well myself. It has a lightness of touch and whimsicality that I find hard to manifest myself. My words have always worn boots for kicking, while yours wear shoes for dancing. Smile

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 08:46 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Might I also just add that I have just finished watching the Walkley Awards on TV. They have served to reinforce the clubbiness of journalists and the fact that they like nothing more than wilfilly misrepresenting the nature of realpolitik and diplomacy. My reason for saying that is that they decided to give the Walkley for Investigative Journalism to Julian Assange and Wikileaks.
   Yet again they sprung a fairly dishevelled-looking Assange, via videolink, on the viewing public, who prompmtly used the platform given to him to issue forth with a tirade of personal abuse directed at Julia Gillard and the government she leads, for persecuting the leader of the Right Wing 'Free Speech' Revolution, Julian Assange. A Revolution which, curiously, only ever seems to be interested in the machinations of Centre Left governments around the world. Such that this man, and his Australian doppelganger, Andrew Bolt, have seen to it that they arrogate unto themselves the roles of Crusaders for this thing they have misnomered, 'Free Speech', but which seems starkly to me to be more like the 'Right' to 'Free Reign', or 'Free Range', against the governments of their despicable choice.

   Anyone would think, the way they, and others who have seen fit to conveniently assume the mantle of Crusaders for 'Free Speech', go on, that the governments they rail against vituperatively, have committed crimes against humanity. One of which appears to me to be that they wish to be able to conduct government business in confidentiality and behind closed doors, when necessary. Which, of course, equates to High Treason to journalists.

   And didn't the Mini Potentate of revealed pointless political prattle(with the odd informative piece of information, like a diamond amid the crap), spit chips that his God-given authority to usurp governments was being questioned by our national government, even in the ever-so-slightest way?

   So, basically, the whole thing just reinforced my suspicion that Julian Assange is an egomaniacal & arrogant prig(modesty prevented me from saying anything more salacious Wink ).

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 08:59 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

November 28. 2011 09:14 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
What a great collection of links – you are finishing the year with a flourish! I counted 35 – that IS a record.  They will keep us going all day.  Thank you again.

Thank you for posting the piece from the Canberra Times, which is an informative analysis of Tony Abbott’s position.  This would not have been written even three months ago.  Time and events change the political scene profoundly, and quickly.

Thank your for your comments; I will respond fully during the morning.

Ad astra

November 28. 2011 09:52 AM


Good Morning Everybody

It's Congratulations to Laura Tingle this morning:

A few tweets , sharing the conversation with you:-

Financial Review triumphs at Walkleys, PUBLISHED: 1 hour 3 MINUTES AGO , AFR
At the awards ceremony in Brisbane last night Ms Tingle won the commentary, analysis and opinion category for her piece “Liars, clunkheads, rent seekers and gamblers: federal politics 2010-11”.

#Insiders favourite @latingle won at the #Walkleys for her Sept 2010 piece, "Liars and clunkheads fail budget test" http://is.gd/EO2nNW

MrDenmoreMr Denmore
Congratulations to @latingle for her Walkley award in the commentary, analysis and opinion category for this gem http://tiny.cc/4o1xn

LNP -Abbott-Hockey-Turnbull-Robb-Pyne etc R ALL Liars and clunkheads fail budget test

MisdaMagooMr. Magoo
Growing divisions in Coalition over Murray Darling scheme. #auspol Abbott cant control renegade Barnaby. #amagenda#LibSpill

alexanderwhiteAlexander White

RT @robcorr Newspoll's trending up for Labor, so The Australian puts "private Liberal polling" on the front page.



November 28. 2011 09:56 AM

Patricia WA

Thanks again, Lyn, for giving us so much to chew over!   I began at the bottom today because I'd seen reference to KR's article elsewhere and was glad of your link so I could comment, hoping that egocentric that he is he might get to read what some of us think of his ideas.

I expressed the view that I much preferred the push and pull of factional or 'sectarian' influences in a broad church to the autocratic control of a populist egotistical careerist.  As well that I strongly believed that Labor and working people need the trade union movement as much as, if not more than,  ever today.   And that I thank God our courageous and very capable Prime Minister cut her professional and political teeth in it.

Patricia WA

November 28. 2011 11:04 AM


Leroy said on Poll Bludger at 9.51 AM

LYN'S DAILY LINKS are to posts of interest to the contemporary political debate. They are updated daily.
For past months of LYN'S DAILY LINKS go to the Page List in the left panel.
28 November 2011


Well said Leroy. I applaud your liaising back to The Sword. After all Lyn liaises to every other worthwhile site in sight. Lyn's~Links are a precious part of our culture, the more-commonly-accessed the more the precious. She always gives a little spiel about each thoughtfully-selected piece, she makes all the rest of us her Research Fellows, well research followers but I and many like me are 'way better informed because of her than we would be.

I applaud generally any cross-posting if the intention is good (and that is usually starkly obvious, except sometimes someone like Bushfire Bill pulls our leg for a minute.) (And BB is as welcome as a Cuckoo in spring!)  

I guess it would pall if people made a welter of cross-posting (as opposed to linking) it, but communication is what this is all about. Lyn puts out for other sites all the time, we do get mentions on friendly sites sometimes but Lyn mentions other sites 1000x as often as they mention TPS.

PatriciaWA Please Please Please always post your pomes here, wherever else I care not but always here, OHHHHHH KAYYYYYYY?!!!  


November 28. 2011 11:07 AM


Hi Patricia

Congratulations on your latest Pome, your work is admired by all.

I was very proud to list you first today on "Today's Links".

Yes that Kevin Rudd egocentric, gets out of hand and a lot of people get very disappointed.  Shame isn't it.

Feral did mention she would like to read this article, I didn't need the dozer to get in the wall , Malcolm Farnsworth did it for me:

Of course PVO knows everything about the labor party, inside and out, thinks he does anyway:

mfarnsworthMalcolm Farnsworth

Did I say that? Kevin Rudd fumbles the party line. http://auspol.info/tDtt3s - Peter van Onselen on Rudd's Agenda interview and party reform



November 28. 2011 11:21 AM

Ad astra

NormanK, DMW, Patricia WA
Thank you for your kind comments.  I thought you and other folk here may be interested in how this piece evolved.

In pursuit of NormanK’s request for a forward looking approach, it seemed to me that the ‘Asian Century’, about which Julia Gillard had spoken recently, would be a relevant theme for a ‘speech’ about the direction her Government is taking.

But it seemed useful to continue the main theme of the previous piece: Julia Gillard’s Light on the Hill’, namely a nation in transition, coping with change on many fronts.  

So this is where I began, but I followed quickly with a reiteration of the unchanging values Labor holds, which reflect much of Chifley’s ‘Light on the Hill’ message.  Only then did it seem appropriate to launch into the Asian Century theme, which has received so much impetus from the visit of Barack Obama and his renewed commitment of the US to this region, and from the meetings of APEC in Honolulu and ASEAN in Bali, and the Trans Pacific Partnership.  There were many statements that the President and our PM made on this subject that fed into the ‘speech’.

Then I wove into that Asian theme the many facets of the Government’s actions and plans, along with the concepts of prosperity, economic growth, security and peace, and lifting the peoples of the region out of poverty and disadvantage.

The ‘speech’ concluded with a return to the concept of a nation in transition, where it began.

There was a plan behind it; hopefully it read as a coherent and logical statement.

But I can assure you it was not an easy task.  Speechwriters have to manage the urge to be all-inclusive, which makes speeches too long, as much as the desire to be succinct, which renders them incomplete.  What to leave in and what to omit is always a dilemma.  There are always critics ready to pounce if their favourite topic is left out or treated superficially.

What would be easier would be speech writing on a specific subject where the limits to what was to be covered were set at the beginning, and were manageable.  Trying to cover a broad canvass is the most difficult challenge.

D Mick Weir’s quote from a recent book by Glyn Davis highlights starkly the dilemma of politicians – the world around them is in a state of flux, ever changing, always in transition.  Davis says: “Because the task of political leadership shifts constantly with circumstances, there can be no single prescription for power and influence. Leaders must create their own accommodation with the times. The experience of others, no matter how successful, offers little guide for aspiring leaders. There are few reliable laws or formulas. We might learn from, but will never repeat, history. For politicians, leadership turns out to be an unpredictable negotiation between people and conditions. Such leadership cannot be reduced to a 10-point plan mastered on the flight to Canberra.”  

How true.  Yet journalists keep pressing politicians for their ‘narrative’, their ‘vision’, even their ’10-point plan’, as if they could be reduced to some unchanging formulaic expression that could be trotted out on cue whenever the need.  They seem not to grasp that today’s vision, today’s plan, may not be tomorrow’s.  In fact, I doubt if journalists really know what they are after; their insistence on a narrative, a vision, seems more like groupthink at work than a thoughtful quest.  The real proof of journalists’ understanding of what they are seeking would be if they attempted to write a narrative themselves, so we could all see what they are after!  But that will never happen – they would likely find it too difficult; and what is more, the critic would not wish to be critiqued.

Ad astra

November 28. 2011 12:12 PM

Leone Britt

I can hear Julia's dulcet tones giving this speech, have you sent it to her? brilliant

Leone Britt

November 28. 2011 12:24 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

Thankyou so much for your comments, they are all fantastic, but I adore this one this morning at  11:04 AM.

I always get great pleasure when "The Political Sword" gets any recognition, no matter how small.

I mentioned yesterday about comments getting missed and waiting for replies.

Who cares about replies anyway, when after all our opinions being posted here on "The Political Sword" is more important.  The other
occurence is, most people don't have time to go back over previous comments.  So you see I would rather see an answer to me, missed, than a comment by one of our readers missing out on being posted, because of time involved, in going back over previous comments.

I also said, it's a funny medium, somebody told me.  True, but we
are all trying to concentrate on sharing information, knowledge and opinions, to strenthen our blog "The Political Sword.

Ad Astra said the other night doesn't matter that three of us posted the same article, just proof of how efficient and reliable we are in sharing our information.

Well done to all our contributors we are all hero's.

Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink comment 2162
LYN'S DAILY LINKS are to posts of interest to the contemporary political debate. They are updated daily.
For past months of LYN'S DAILY LINKS go to the Page List in the left panel.
28 November 2011




November 28. 2011 01:37 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Ya gotta love the Liberal Party and the Liberal Daily Messenger, aka The Australian, for when the chips are down, the Editors and Tony Abbott get their heads together, without pausing for breath, and confect some strategic new angle to go after the federal government over.
  Today it's the 'secret' but not so secret that it couldn't find it's way to the front page of The Australian, Liberal Party polling which suggests in the best self-serving manner possible, that Victorians, who elected their first Green MP to the Lower House last year, just want to all hop on board Tony's train.
   And I always thought Victorians were savvier than the rest of us. Has The Age lost all legitimacy, and the Herald Sun gained it? Are Victorians handing out a sympathy vote to the Coalition to salve Andrew Bolt's hurt feelings? Wouldn't you think that the Coalition would have wanted to share this absolutely fantastic polling around to the Fairfax media too? Wink

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 02:00 PM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey, since it's you that's asking.....OHHHHHH KAYYYYYYY?!!!   But I really wanted you to have Mark Knight's cartoon as a visual illustrating it.  It's inspiring, I'm sure you'd agree! www.heraldsun.com.au/.../gallery-e6frfhqf-1226185610653

Abbott, Only A Prawn In Gillard's Game.  

Julia Gillard, no boxer, runner or athlete,
Is winning now, not just staying on her feet.
And it’s ‘ironman’ Tony Abbott , who’s a
Poor sport, on the ropes, a bad loser.

Crying “Foul!” he shouts out a portrayal
Of her latest ‘win’ as cheating, a betrayal
Of a parliamentary principle and rule,
Refusing to admit he’s been taken for a fool.

A self-promoting ‘star’ and champion,
Busy with his bike, stunts and triathalon,
He forgot his team and leader’s role,
Kicking, by Aussie rules, a spectacular own goal.

Yet he accuses Julia Gillard of poaching,
But won’t acknowledge his own poor coaching.
This year’s scores make clear his lack of skill;
Her two fifty goals to his side’s nil.

His pride and careless tactics caused it all
And pushed a weak team member to the wall.
No need for Gillard to plot or to conspire.
Outsider Slipper grabbed the chance to be umpire.

Now they’ve seen her bulldog perseverance,
Do selectors really need more clearance
Of her credentials, a further demonstration
Of this woman’s capacity to lead our nation?

If so, here’s proof she’s good at indoor games,
Like chess, where she can use her brains!
Look how she’s played the endgame of a Queen versus Pawn
And wiped out Tony Abbott, for all his brawn!

Patricia WA

November 28. 2011 02:25 PM

Patricia WA

Yes, Lyn, I was pleased to see Leroy's recognition of your work at PB.   Then I got frozen for about the fourth time today as I went to add my own two bits worth to his comment.  They are having problems over there, even if I keep their screen open and only move within their site.  I trust Crikey and William will sort it out eventually, because that's a great blog.   Much faster moving than commentary elsewhere, but not at all shallow,  though very similar in leftie sentiment and majority views here at TPS.

I'm sure you have more of a sense of the different sites than most, but I wonder if you'd agree that TPS has the edge in depth, PB in currency, and CW in informally affectionate exchange.  Mind you that last quality of affection is shared by all three sites, as well as respect for different points of view.  Though all are,  in the main, strong supporters of the current government.  Occasionally we let our enthusiasm for the PM off the leash and ferociously(fairly?)attack raiders from the right!

There are lots of other writers I always read, but I rely on you to alert me to their new posts, like Mr. Denmore, Andrew Elder and Peter Martin.   My only 'media' subscription is to Crikey, out of respect for trees, so I rely on you to guide me to whatever the MSM might come up with that's worth reading.

So thanks a million for that, and also for the compliment of giving my pomes a promo!  Much prized on our Oz blogosphere!

Patricia WA

November 28. 2011 02:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

     Thank you for going where no linker wants to go. Smile

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 02:49 PM

Ad astra

DMW’s quote from Glyn Davis’ book highlights another aspect of contemporary politics, indeed contemporary life – it is complex, and becoming increasingly so.  As it does, fewer people are able to encompass the complexity, and thereby less able to analyze and manage it.  There is a desire to select the simpler bits, the easy-to-understand bits, or simply the aspects with which they are more familiar and expert, and deal with them to the exclusion of other aspects.  We see this in medicine where those working within narrow spheres of endeavour find it difficult to take a holistic view of the patient and his or her problems.  This is why the generalist, the family doctor, who does this as a matter of course, is so essential for good patient care.

The complexity of politics increases with the complexity of the issues being considered.  Take the just-released Murray Darling Plan.  Very few understand the issues holistically.  Instead, we have interest groups looking at the plan through their own optics, pursuing their self-interests, with little thought for others.  The combination of inability or unwillingness to see the whole picture and self-interest ensures that almost no agreement will result, no matter how much the Government tries to satisfy all the stakeholders.

The incapacity of so many people to understand complexity results in them falling prey to naive solutions and plausible but simplistic slogans.  We have seen the intoxicating effect of such slogans with Tony Abbott’s three word solutions to complex problems; ‘stop the waste’, ‘repay the debt’ and ‘stop the boats’ still come immediately to mind.  It is easier for folk to accept those quasi ‘solutions’ than think through the problem.

There was scientific confirmation of this tendency on late night radio a few nights ago.  Several studies show that faced with complex problems, the majority of people declined to think them through, and pushed them out of consciousness.  This was found to be even more so if the problem required acceptance of the need for radical revision of commonly held views, especially if that required a substantial change of thinking and behaviour.  Global warming is a case in point – few understand it in all its complexity, and many want to deny its existence because it causes them too much anxiety, and too much adjustment of their behaviour is required.  So they pretend it doesn’t exist, as many deniers tell them, pretend they therefore don’t have to do anything, and as Barnaby Joyce keeps telling them, doing anything won’t make any difference anyway.  So it’s easy for them to discard any thought of it and take the Coalition’s easy way out of it.

These studies show why it is so difficult for the Government to institute reform that requires the acceptance of uncomfortable truths and the taking of uncomfortable actions.  Most people just want life to go on as before notwithstanding the need to change.

So making statements about complex issues and equally complex solutions is fraught.  No wonder journalists and political commentators repeatedly accuse the Government of poor communication of its policies.  It is inherently difficult, few people are willing to take the time to understand, and most are happy to reject anything Government ministers say if it runs contrary to cherished beliefs, especially if it requires them to change established thinking and behaviour.  I for one would enjoy seeing the critics do a better job of communication that those they criticize with such relish.

Ad astra

November 28. 2011 02:54 PM

Ad astra

Leone Britt
I think this is your first visit to TPS, so welcome to the family. Please come again, and thank you for your complimentary comment.  I suspect Government staff scan blogsites regularly and will have already seen this piece.

Ad astra

November 28. 2011 02:57 PM


FS's comments about your comments wearing dancing shoes, that's *Poetry* right there, the image is so true. But, I still miss, the odd errant, comma (not, as Limpy once called it your 'box of apostrophes', demonstrating at once his unpleasantness, his own semi-literacy, and his hypocrisy! Wink ) Not bad for one little box of ,,,s not '''s.


Now, about *Laura Tingle*, to whom heartfelt congratulations:

Didn' I tole yous all so on October 12 2010!

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

I might have been wrong about The Age . . ? . .
but I wasn't wrong about *Laura Tingle*!

And if Ad and I and all of us can pick that LT is the only really full-on topflight journo writing insightfully and courageously - only as insightfully, be it noted, as many on this and other sites, but Oh Yeah The Girl Can Write Alright! - how come she's such an orphan? Where are the Grogs and Mr Denmores and Bilbos and Bushfire Bills and of course Ad astras to be found among so many hack journalists in the MSM? This can only be down to a fine-grinding/sifting culture to exclude or co-opt and neutralise anybody with any real fire in the belly to do some good, and a sting in the pen to match. Because otherwise there'd be heaps, if there was a living in writing noncrap. I'm sure a lot of young people would like to be around and learn from and eventually take over from journalists who write noncrap, but in the ABC the best ones -  Ginny Stein, Sally Sara eg - are always overseas. So what happens to the rest? Somehow they get burnt off.

Murdochracy Rules.

We are on a mission here to see that it doesn't forever.

Power to the Media Enquiry!


November 28. 2011 02:59 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Congratulations on the recognition of Lyn’s Daily Links on PB, a thoroughly deserved accolade.  You keep people coming back day after day to use your links.  Your tweets during the day have added another valuable dimension to TPS.  No wonder the traffic is so high!

Ad astra

November 28. 2011 03:03 PM

Patricia WA

I for one would enjoy seeing the critics do a better job of communication tha(n) those they criticize with such relish.

(Forgive the schoolmarm correction of a typo there if I got it wrong, AA!)   I heartily agree with your sentiment!  I would also enjoy seeing evidence that critics and commentators in general had read the documents detailing and explaining policies they are so quick to attack.

I don't have the time or the patience for that sort of painstaking thoroughness we have a right to expect from professional journos, so I certainly won't be commenting on the pros and cons of the MDB report.  A friend and I talked about it over coffee this morning.   As a long ago founding editor of one of our local papers I find his take on things is very sound!

His view is that since none of the stakeholders are happy that suggests the committee had got their assessment of what needs to happen about right!  

Patricia WA

November 28. 2011 03:06 PM


FS, for your delectation and for anyone else who doesn't want to get shit on their blogging shoes and go bankrupt buying disinfectant, I have copied & pasted Van Onselen's piece from my comment @ Soldier of Ill Fortune:

YESTERDAY on Australian Agenda Kevin Rudd (perhaps) unwittingly delivered a simultaneous message about party reform and the parliamentary leadership of the Labor Party.

In mounting his case for party reform to empower the lay membership to elect party officials across the spectrum of the organisation, Rudd let slip that such reform may also be part of his argument for a change of parliamentary leadership.

Only he is prepared to deliver control of the Labor Party to the members who have historically been shut out by the unions, the factional warlords, indeed the parliamentary executive of which he is a part. Rudd would go further to get members participating in the Labor Party than any other senior figure in the party. That was his message.

While Julia Gillard focuses on a conscience vote on gay marriage and opening up uranium exports to India ahead of the ALP national conference, Rudd wants members to use the week leading up to the conference to consider party reform because "unless we undertake some serious organisational surgery we (will) end up being a third party in Australian politics".

It's a big statement.

Asked would he implement his ideas if given the chance, Rudd was categorical: "Absolutely." But it was what followed that will have profound implications for federal politics: "My recommendation, if elected . . ." He paused mid-sentence. "If I was in a position in the future . . ." Paul Kelly quickly asked the question viewers must have been thinking: "You mean if elected prime minister again?"

Rudd began the necessary hosing down: "No, no, no, I'm going to your question, that you said if you're ever in a position to do something about this."

The cat was out of the bag.

The exchange with Kelly was brief, but the message was clear: Rudd views party reform as both Labor's strategy for political survival and his ticket to political revival.

This has implications beyond the influence of powerbrokers or even what it means for a return of Rudd to the leadership.

If reforms such as Rudd is proposing were to be enacted, the power and influence of the Labor Right would risk being replaced by the party's Left. The unions are powerful in the factional Right, however the lay membership always elects a left-winger as party president. It would likely do the same across other leadership positions if given the chance.

Empowering the members and disempowering the unions would change the Labor Party's fundamentals. A power shift inside the Labor organisation would inevitably lead to a policy shift as well, moving the party leftwards over time.

Following yesterday's interview, cabinet ministers were quick to privately condemn what Rudd had to say as little more than rabble-rousing, and by someone with a less-than-stellar track record when PM of seeking the input of others along the lines he now wants implemented.

But that doesn't make the reforms Rudd proposes any less real. And there is always the possibility that he has seen the error of his ways and hopes to now get the opportunity to do things differently a second time around.

Either way, Rudd's reformist zeal is sure to be an unwanted distraction for the Prime Minister in the lead-up to the conference, if not the parliamentary year ahead.


November 28. 2011 03:52 PM


The complexity of politics increases with the complexity of the issues being considered.  Take the just-released Murray Darling Plan.  Very few understand the issues holistically.  Instead, we have interest groups looking at the plan through their own optics, pursuing their self-interests, with little thought for others.  The combination of inability or unwillingness to see the whole picture and self-interest ensures that almost no agreement will result, no matter how much the Government tries to satisfy all the stakeholders.

Ad astra, are you noticing that this is increasingly the case. Small groups all pushing their own barrow within a larger garden plot as it were, each with their eyes firmly focused on their own bed, steadfastly ignoring all the other gardeners planting the same things.

It would be very refreshing if they all lifted their gaze occasionally and looked at the garden as a whole and organised the plantings to benefit everyone.

Of course, as you so rightly say wrt to highly complex issues like global warming, people opt to take the simple three word slogan rather than educate themselves as well as possible.

I think they don't understand that they don't have to understand all the science behind it, but they can gain a good working knowledge by using reputable sites on the net and, most importantly, ignore the flim flam artists like Monckton, Dolt and the other undistinguished mobs of deniers.


November 28. 2011 03:55 PM


FS @1.37pm, I noticed the "secret" Liars Party front page. Obviously less and less people are reading the OO. Laughing


November 28. 2011 04:43 PM

Feral Skeleton

     The problem with the 'secret polling' palaver is that it has been exposed for what it truly is, a self-aggrandising plant, by more than one retired apparatchik and former party 'powerbroker' who has written a book.

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 04:45 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Lol, 'Soldier of Ill-Fortune'. Almost as good as a band my late husband used to play in, 'The Self-Righteous Brothers'. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 04:58 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         You said:

      These studies show why it is so difficult for the Government to institute reform that requires the acceptance of uncomfortable truths and the taking of uncomfortable actions.  Most people just want life to go on as before notwithstanding the need to change.

   Now, while that is undoubtedly true, I have also just recently read about a study that ascertained that, in general, electorates are quite disapproving of 'do nothing' governments who try to just go along to get along in government. Also, that they respect a government that is truly courageous and reforming and reward them with their vote.

   So I can only conclude that the government just needs to find a way of letting the electorate know 'why' they have been making the reforms they have, instead of them hoping the voters will just figure it out for themselves and be approving. I also read that this was a real problem for them. People hardly know what they have been doing or why. And they have severely constrained themselves with respect to advertising. And most especially when the Oxygen Thief-In-Chief, Tony Abbott, makes it his business to create a distracting hubub on a daily basis, it becomes a crippling problem for the government and their vote suffers as a result. Kevin Rudd isn't helping either. Wink

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 06:01 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Barnaby contradicting Jamie Briggs

MisdaMagooMr. Magoo
Tony..............it's happening again: www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6px-
24 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply
Coalition divisions emerge on Murray-Darling Basin water plan ,

Ben Packham and James Massola , The Australian ,
SOUTH Australian Liberal MP Jamie Briggs has endorsed the focus on the Murray River's lower lakes in the latest Murray-Darling Basin plan, as Coalition water

spokesman Barnaby Joyce attacked the blueprint

Mr Briggs, whose electorate of Mayo takes in the Murray's lower lakes, said the plan's stated aim of keeping the Murray River's mouth open for nine years in ten would help flush away salt and keep the system healthy.

“I think that is a very important commitment to ensure that the salt is discharged out of the system each year and that the river is flowing,” he said.

“We've obviously regulated the river for a very long time now and we've taken too much water out for a very long time, and there is a need for reform, there is a need for reducing the amount of water that is being taken out of the system.”

But Senator Joyce criticised the plan, saying it failed to focus sufficiently on individual river communities.




November 28. 2011 07:08 PM


Positive speech Ad. Some cynics might describe it as utopic... and contradictory in places...but I dig yer optimistic outlook.

I have a vision of rapid development in the world's most populous nations, China and India. Already their economies are burgeoning. Already our trade with them is increasing by the year. Already China is the largest importer of our mineral resources. India too needs our resources and will soon be an importer of our uranium. These developments will enable these nations to lift their citizens out of the poverty and deprivation too many still endure, and enable them to enjoy the benefits of prosperity that we have enjoyed for so long.

Provided they take part 110% in the war on climate change...or should we say sustainable future revolution?

I've been listenin' to commentators from country after country discussin' & pontificatin' on ways they can solve their debt problems, create jobs, cut waste, improve schools etc. etc. etc...

oft w/in the confines of the present economic system...and dealing w/ climate change seems to take a back seat to creating innovative products Steve Jobs style. Not that innovation & solving climate change problems are mutually exclusive...

but it seems that some commentators believe that becoming highly competitive nations attempting to vaguely out educate, out "customer friendly" innovate, out space race, out manufacture, out "cut corporate taxes", out militarise &  strategise each other will provide the panacea for many of their problems...

forgettin', perhaps intentionally dismissin', the inherent flaws in the enviro-socio-economic system:

...increasing reliance on busts & booms...addiction to casino markets...endemic corruption in political & financial circles...exponential growth in population, and defense & healthcare costs...mass intransigent food consumption patterns...limitations due to longevity...lack of focus/funding to study & improve interspecies communication (including human-nonhuman communication)...and so on...

it seems to me that we need to move beyond the parameters set down by post WW2 economics such as free markets/reaganomics/Thatcherism VS Keynsian economics w/ a touch of third way etc...

but rather transform our vision into one that respects the fact we are part of a complex interconnected biological system, able to adapt to changeable climatic conditions w/in the confines of previously experienced variation...

and due to the fact that we are using resources & producing toxins, some pollutants, carbon...consuming untold beasts...undermining the evolution of other species...and transferrin' weight (building mega-cities) at unprecedented "man-made" levels...based on the increasing demands of developing populations...

the impact on our planet's future and prospects for maintaining the conditions for life are far from certain...but common-sense & experience tells us that if you foul your house, poison your garden, suck your fields dry of nutrients & create water scarcity...your existence will be miserable...in peril.

We foster investment in the technologies of the future – green renewable energy to give us a clean energy future


Rather than countries/nations competing separately...or creating trade-based, militarily-allied regions competing w/ one another...we need to ACT TOGETHER...


Rather than American president Obama doin' a Franklin D. Roosevelt impersonation prior to WW2 & takin' us into a protracted hot sometimes, cold occasional war w/ China, possibly Russia & allies (LIVE on happy & hyped Fox News & other cable/paytv channels & war-connected network sites) - we're already in a cold war people, believe it or not...

some, like sci-fi geeks, might say it would be better to find an alien species to fight...

then we could find an excuse to up manufacturing world-wide, forgive debts, buy into global bonds, enhance the United Nations (call it somethin' like Earth Federation) increase funding of innovative projects, science, engineering, medical science etc...focus on building mass infrastructure & maintaining such...much to be used magnificently & efficiently for a consumer, home & family building society post-war/victory...

And help rebuild the alien civilisation...

by way of somethin' similar to a Marshall Plan.

Well, we have our alien enemy...

it's US.

And the deleterious effects we are havin' on this planet. And the climate change occurring due to our habits of too many lifetimes.

We don't need a war against each other to solve our resource & economic problems...we have evolved enuff to recognise such...but just like durin' the period of the Pentagon Papers...what we know...does not necessarily determine our actions...

because we are conned, conveniently look the other way, are distracted by bread & circuses...we are addicted...partially asleep.

It truly is TIME FOR A CHANGE...

to avoid the possible consequences examined here:

Simulated U.S. and Chinese
Nuclear Strikes


and deal w/:

Increased risk of heat-related mortality

Deaths, injuries, infectious diseases, allergies and dermatitis from floods and landslides

Increased risk of food and water shortage and wild fires; increased risk of water- and food-borne diseases

Increase in deaths by drowning in floods; increase in stress-related disease

as outlined here:

Climate Change - Health and Environmental Effects


I know what war I prefer. As a grown-up.




November 28. 2011 07:13 PM


I guess the above comment could've been a post. Smile



November 28. 2011 07:20 PM

Ad astra reply

I've had diabolical trouble connecting to the Internet here in central Melbourne, so I'm using the iPad.

Patricia WA
Thank you for posting your delightful pome on TPS.  Thank you too for your comments about journos writing a 'narrative'.  That would make interesting reading.

The public does not even have to understand climate science - it could simply accept the word of thousands of competent climate scientists and ignore the Abbott's, the Joyce's and the Monctons.

While it is true that the public want governments that do things, that is not incompatible with the very same people rejecting those very things when they make them uncomfortable or threaten their cosy existence.

People like governments to do the things they want them to do, so long as they are not threatened or inconvenienced.  Otherwise they reject those things and blame the government if they pander to public opinion and do nothing.

Ad astra reply

November 28. 2011 07:21 PM

Patricia WA

I was amazed listening on RN to rice farmers and others who have commercial interests in what happens to the MDB telling regulators to leave them alone, to get out of the way and let the river look after itself, or let nature look after it, as it has in the past and will do again!

Well in the past there were no irrigators drawing vast quantities of water from it, no farmers or towns either.   In fact, not many humans at all except some few who fished in it for food and trod lightly on the earth along its banks!  As well, had it occurred to these rice farmers and others that yes indeed, the Murray Darling is taking care of itself, or is perhaps being looked after by nature. It has dried itself up. The river and its tributaries are telling humans they can't live there any more.  They should go away, find something else to do; leave it alone for a few hundred years, or maybe a few thousand.  Then it and the land through which it runs can recover to welcome back its original flora and fauna.  Why aren't these irrigators and others hearing them?

Patricia WA

November 28. 2011 07:48 PM

Patricia WA

TT, yes you are quite right about Laura Tingle, and wrong to associate her in any way with the Age and that dreadful dragon, MG.

You are such a natural with rhyme and rhythm that I hesitate to make a suggestion to finish your delightful tribute to La Tingle.  I have changed two words only at the end.

So Our Ranga Lass was targeted by jibes and sexist jokes:
Her Titian locks were tweaked, her finely-chiselled nose took pokes
From those of the moral wee-ness of a teensy flaccid penis –
And unkindest cut of all came from that wimp-out by Megalogenis!

Thus was *J*u*l*i*a* besieged: just *Laura Tingle* stood her friend,
As she challenged Abbott on her comments page
In chivalry and courage she was loyal to the end:
The one fair Australian journo on our national stage.

PS  My presumption has only the excuse of two lattes this morning and a currently over active brain!

Patricia WA

November 28. 2011 08:13 PM

Feral Skeleton

     Thank you for those Tweets which put the focus on the inconsistencies in the Opposition's response to the release of the MDBP #2.
   Tony Bourke has got the correct focus on these guys too, when he challenges Barnaby Joyce to come to SA and confront the SA Farmers,fishers and citizens, with the same message he is barnstorming around the Qld/Vic/NSW countryside with. Instead of leaving it up to the SA MPs, like Senator Simon Birmingham and Jamie Briggs, to convey a completely different message.

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 08:15 PM

Feral Skeleton

   I thought it was funny that the person chosen as the spokesman for the Irrigators, Stuart Ellis, is someone whose business is buying and selling water to and from Irrigators. Of course he doesn't want to see the federal government take any more of his asset away from him and give it, 'for free', to the environment. That's the bottom line he's interested in. Smile

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 08:24 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your thoughtful contribution.  It seems as if the global economy is locked into an imperative for continual and substantial growth.  Without it, industry, commerce and agriculture falter and unemployment rises.  It seems like a vicious circle as unremitting growth creates its own problems.  Is the human race capable of resolving this contradiction?  Maybe not.  Maybe we will rush headlong into chaos and disaster.

Ad astra reply

November 28. 2011 08:34 PM

Ad astra reply

Your link to the EPA report on the frequency of adverse weather events  is revealing.  The scenarios painted are frightening.  Yet so many want to dismiss the threat of global warming!  Do the likes of Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce ever read such reports?

Ad astra reply

November 28. 2011 08:38 PM

Ad astra reply

I enjoyed your poem about our Ranga Lass.  I endorse your remarks about LT.  She is the best and the most balanced.

Ad astra reply

November 28. 2011 09:42 PM

Feral Skeleton

  This is completely off-topic, but I just thought I'd share it with you. You may have heard in passing of an 18 year old boy who was electrocuted and died in Bali last week:


   He was one of my eldest's son's Year 12 classmates. We were only at the Formal to wish them well on their way through life, just last week. It is really sad. Frown

Feral Skeleton

November 28. 2011 09:52 PM

Ad astra reply

That is very sad.

Ad astra reply

November 28. 2011 10:11 PM


Maybe we will rush headlong into chaos and disaster.

thnx for the supportive comment...

I'm sure there are many who make mega-bucks from war, includin' private contractors, oil providers, huge caterin' companies, armament's manufacturers, usual suspect media, security companies and so on who are eggin' on administrations to take a more aggressive posture...

and those who cater to extreme nationalism & fear-mongerin' to benefit politically & religiously...

let's hope we have enuff independent-minded, principled, history relective, progressive thinkin' leaders & wide thinkin' media & corporate allies in existence to offset such irrational thinkin' and destructive pathways.

Strong anti-war, pro-clean energy movement protests supported by social network sites and other alternative media helps.

As for Abbott & Joyce...a couple of negabore opportunists who will say & do anythin' to gain power...

they will sink like the US segregationists did, unless they reform. Politics of low expectations & moral bankruptcy. No vision...for the blind by choice.

List of segregationists during the American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968)


I sure did like the positive tenor of yer post. So tired of negative coverage of news.

Some useful, positive, problem solving segments/shows on ABC 24, CNN, BBC World News, PBS Newshour (shown on SBS)...and a good dose of realism but w/ answers on how to be pro-active & change things.

I reckon 2012 can be a darn site better than some are predictin'.

If we all pull together. Open our eyes.

Have a good nite all.



November 28. 2011 10:15 PM


He was one of my eldest's son's Year 12 classmates.

Sorry to hear that Feral.



November 29. 2011 07:27 AM

Feral Skeleton

Nasking & Ad Astra,
                   Thank you for the kind wishes. Smile
It's all very weird for my son, as he is repeating Year 12 due to having had his own problems coming to grips with the death of his father, so he is back at school after the festivities of last week and the only one at the school therefore who knew Jake. So a lot of focus on him too. But he's coping OK. The rest of the school is taking it pretty badly. So badly they have put off end of year exams! It's just such a waste of all that great potential.
   Frankly, I don't know what Aussies see in Bali.

Feral Skeleton

November 29. 2011 07:43 AM



Slipper's style: Abbott should have seen it coming, Mungo MacCallum, The Drum
Hughes famously replied: "Oh, you've got to draw the line somewhere." Someone should ask Peter Slipper if he has plans to join the Greens next. After all, Hughes was 90 when he died in office. Slipper, at 61, still has plenty of time.

What a hollowing out looks like, The Piping Shrike
the fault line will remain with the former Prime Minister whose relative popularity has been revived by his dumping on the back of the widespread recognition that the ALP v Coalition ding-dong has had its day. His speech on the weekend has at least removed the pretence that any return to the leadership would simply be a poll-driven matter, but is around the same political issue that saw him dumped last year.

Callous Abbott hypocrisy installs Slipper as Speaker, David Donovan, Independent Australia
It should be noted that Peter Slipper resigned from the LNP, not just to become Speaker, but because he had absolutely no future in the LNP; indeed, the Libs had moved to install Mal Brough in his seat. In fact, just over a week ago they had gone to the lengths of putting on an event to introduce Brough to Slipper’s Sunshine Coast electorate — even bringing up John Howard to launch Brough’s unofficial campaign

Cost of Living pressures? Get real!, Stephen Koukoulas
But I might hazard a guess that for many in such a position, they may well have borrowed too much for a too big a house, they may well consider discretionary items as essential (wrongly of course) and it might simply be that attitudes and behaviour towards consumption may be the problem.

Don’t send more workers into the mine when the canaries start dying, Bill, Billy Blog
The second development was the news over the weekend that the Euro crisis has wiped $A7 billion off the capital gains tax estimates that the Australian Federal government expected to receive. The lost revenue has arisen as a result of the Australian sharemarket being down about 15 per cent since the May 2011 Budget delivered its forward estimates.

Billion-dollar blues: how fortunes have changed since the GFC, James Thomson, The Power Index
Back in early 2007, James Packer looked like a man at the top of his game – his fortune had risen $1.25 billion in the year since the death of his father,thanks to a smart plan to separate Publishing & Broadcasting Limited into a media business and gaming business.

   Murray Darling Basin Plan draft released: expert reactions, Matthew Thompson, The Conversation
The Commonwealth-appointed Murray Darling Basin Authority has today released a draft Basin Plan for 20 weeks of consulation.Expert responses will be published below as they arrive

Mixed response to Murray-Darling plan,ABC
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has released its long-awaited draft plan to save the ailing river system.The plan proposes to cut water use by 2,750 gigalitres a year, short of the 3,000 to 4,000 gigalitres originally suggested.The authority admits the plan will have an impact on local communities and is proposing to phase it in over seven years,

Murray-Darling plan: not a fix, an abject policy failure, Ben Eltham, ABC
Rivers are complex systems, but some aspects are easy to understand. As respected water scientist Mike Young writes today, "rivers die from the bottom up". The pressures facing the Murray-Darling are understood instantly and viscerally by South Australians, who have watched their state's lifeline slowly shrivel up after decades of upstream neglect.  

Kevin Rudd: Both His Party Reform Plan and Chance of Becoming PM Rejected,Peter, Aussie Views News
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd recently came up with a new plan to reorganise the way the Labor party in Australia elects the delegates to its national conference.The details of his plan hardly matter.It has been rejected firmly by both the left and the right sections of the party. Julia Gillard took a back seat and allowed others to comment

New draft of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan leaves all parties unhappy, Amber Jamieson, Rooted
After a turbulent year, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority today released the draft of the $10 billion Murray-Darling Basin Plan which is aimed at restoring the health of Australia’s most important river system. And it seems neither irrigators nor scientists are happy with the latest inclination of the Plan.

NBN may cost $50bn: report, Technology Spectator
according to The Australian.The newspaper said it had obtained a confidential report from the federal government's corporate advisers, Greenhill Caliburn, which showed that slower development of digital video and other new services could weigh on the take-up rate and revenue from the NBN.

NBN operation and demonstration facilities, Paul Budde, Budde Blog
The mobile demonstration has a physical mock-up of the NBN equipment being installed in homes to provide visitors a hands-on experience. The centre will tour the country as the rollout progresses, visiting as many towns and communities as possible to inform Australians about the importance of the NBN.

Political Video’s:-

ABC: Analysis of Rudd’s comments on ALP, Australian Politics TV
commentary, interview, Kevin Rudd, Lachlan Harris, leadership spill

Briggs: Sky News AM Agenda – Monday 28 November 2011,Australian Politics TV
AM Agenda, interview, Jamie Briggs, Member of Parliament, Murray-Darling Basin, Sky News

ABC: Interview with Barnaby Joyce, Australian Politics TV

November 28, 2011. Walsh on Murray-Darling Basin Plan, AAOne
Farming communities in Victoria's north will be hit hard by the plan to revitalise the ailing Murray-Darling Basin river system, the state's water minister says. The draft plan, released on Monday, proposes to cut water use by 2750 gigalitres a year, short of the 3000 to 4000 gigalitres originally suggested.

The Sweet Spot. Peter Hartcher in Conversation, Peter Hartcher, Slow TV, The Monthly
In his new book The Sweet Spot, Peter Hartcher argues that Australia's prosperity was not built on dumb luck. In a time when the authoritarian success story of China is strong, Australia offers a better model: a democratic success story

NBN - A network for all Australians , Video You tube

This is the real story - A paid extra , Video, Murray River


RATS! Now Peter Slipper's serjeant-at-arms is trying to ban the Tele, Joe Hildebrand, The Telegraph
Ms McClelland said she would refer the matter to parliament's "media review" to "clarify restrictions" and threatened "sanctions" to be taken against the newspaper "such as suspension of parliament house passes or withdrawal of access to the press gallery in the chamber".

Keep kids in school, just the right ones - Abbott , Malcolm Farr, News Com
ONLY "the right kids'' should be encouraged to finish high school while other 16-year-olds should leave at year 10 to take up apprenticeships, Tony Abbott said today.



November 29. 2011 07:59 AM


Bad Abbott by proxy

'Really, really, if you knew Tony, you'd know he's such a GOOD guy'. Yeah, right.

Read this:


and gag, or guffaw, or wonder just why the Coalition is led by a man who seems to need so many people to come to his rescue so often???


November 29. 2011 08:15 AM


Gareth Evans named among top 100 global thinkers by: Jill Rowbotham From: The Australian November 29, 2011 12:00AM

GARETH Evans has been declared one of Foreign Policy magazine's Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011.
"I would be honoured to be included in the top 100 thinkers in my postcode," Professor Evans quipped as the December issue of the monthly was published.

The former foreign minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor governments and former president and chief executive of the influential International Crisis Group is listed 52nd in the line-up led by a coterie of Arab revolutionaries. US President Barack Obama is at No 11.

Professor Evans, now ICG president emeritus, shares equal billing with UN secretary-general special adviser Sudanese Francis Deng, for his humanitarian contributions. "The idea of a 'responsibility to protect' has gone from an airy theory held by a small cadre of human rights advocates to a guiding principle of the world's strongest military alliance," the citation says.
"Francis Deng and Gareth Evans played a prominent role in developing the intellectual scaffolding . . . and it received its first practical application this year in Libya."

Professor Evans's book, The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All, is devoted to the principle



November 29. 2011 08:38 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

November 29. 2011 09:07 AM



There was a young man of Japan,
Whose poetry never would scan:
"The reason," said he,
"Is as plain as can be -
I always try to fit as many words into the last line as I possibly can!"

Erm, er, sorry Patricia but you can't replace

The one fair Australian journo of The Age.
The one fair Australian journo on our national stage.

- because it just don't fit! It got 2 more syllables.

I sort of cut my rhyming teeth on Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism – written as a demonstration of his primacy as a ‘poet’ in the English court of the 18th century.  

This show-off bit in particular -

But most by Numbers judge a Poet's Song,
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong;
In the bright Muse tho' thousand Charms conspire,
Her Voice is all these tuneful Fools admire,
Who haunt Parnassus but to please their Ear,
Not mend their Minds; as some to Church repair,
Not for the Doctrine, but the Musick there.
These Equal Syllables alone require,
Tho' oft the Ear the open Vowels tire, [see, 5 pairs of o.v's]
While Expletives their feeble Aid do join, ['do' is an expletive]
And ten low Words oft creep in one dull Line, [count 'em!]
While they ring round the same unvary'd Chimes,
With sure Returns of still expected Rhymes. [Chimes/Rhymes, yawn.]
Where-e'er you find the cooling Western Breeze,
In the next Line, it whispers thro' the Trees;
If Chrystal Streams with pleasing Murmurs creep,
The Reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with Sleep. [Alright already!]
Then, at the last, and only Couplet fraught
With some unmeaning Thing they call a Thought, [droll alliteration]
A needless Alexandrine ends the Song,
That like a wounded Snake, drags its slow length along.

Alexandrines have six stresses and sound interminable - a stretch too far compared with the crispness of the (5-stressed) pentameters, and I think they're mostly used only as a single line to close a poem. They sound very final, homespun-philosophical. A bit too self-satisfied somehow.

Note that for good measure Pope throws into that last line an execrable series of unnatural stresses, just to show all the people of the Court that he was #1 and could write worse than anybody if he wanted to!

Anyway I'm a slave to strict rhyme and meter, and natural emphasis too . . . just as in graphic art I try to get proportion fairly correct . . .  and it is slavishness too I'm afraid, I'm not really creative or brave enough to break the bonds of orthodoxy. Truth.

So, re the Age line, (no pun intended), well for a start I'm not sure it's wrong! (And I hope not.) I had the idea she wrote for The Age at least at some stage, could be wrong, but I liked it for the pun of 'The Age' with 'the age' iyswim. If it be not so, I could de-capitalise it and it's just a weaker line, or make a different line with ‘age’ not trying for a pun, or use a different rhyme like:

The sole journo with some colour 'midst the beige.
[Discard that one, just a frinstance. But that's just down to the B's ! . . . there's cage . . . gauge + dis/en/gage . . .  (words ending –lage eg persiflage are usually sounded –large) . . . likewise nage as in badinage . . . page is the word we’re trying to rhyme . . . out/rage is good . . . sage, as in Aa or herb . . . stage, very usable . . . no tage or trage! . . . wage and that’s about all. But that’s plenty for most needs.]

But I could use a completely different pair of rhyming lines, there's a virtual infinity!

I am hardly ever boxed by the shortage of a useful rhyme, but some are more useful than others. But there is always an alternative way to go.

(Or else I could not fret about it at all. Smile)

and Patricia you said
You are such a natural with rhyme and rhythm . . .
Well Pope also said, just to rub it into his contemporaries, whom he pretty much despised, . . .

True ease of writing comes from Art, not Chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.

(Pope himself was a partial cripple so the last bit was cocking a snoot at able-bodied people,
Yeah OK you can dance but I whip everyone at writing!” )

Rhyme, meter and stressing, onomatopoeia and alliteration and all wordplay, they're really only mechanical. But so are motors, and they work too.

Oh and who is "that dreadful dragon MG?" Me thought it sports car!  


November 29. 2011 09:16 AM


I missed the last underline!

A needless Alexandrine ends the Song,
(5 stresses = pentameter)
That like a wounded Snake, drags its slow length along.
(6 stresses = hexameter aka 'Alexandrine')


November 29. 2011 09:38 AM


Lyn - your excelling yourself Smile
'Im now @ the computer to midnight thanks to you, lol.

Ad - I think your speech is great, right on the mark.


November 29. 2011 09:57 AM


It's all very weird for my son, as he is repeating Year 12 due to having had his own problems coming to grips with the death of his father, so he is back at school after the festivities of last week and the only one at the school therefore who knew Jake. So a lot of focus on him too.

Good yer son has such a supportive parent & school. Best to keep an eye on him. Durin' my year 12 I was involved in a tragic bus accident, had to attend a number of funerals & lost a girlfriend over it. Traumatisin'. Led to less interest in studies due to confusion...and self-medication by way of dope & drink. Add my Dad & step-mum's failing marriage & eventual break-up...me gettin' in w/ a bad lot for a few mths...and it wasn't long before I was turged out, on my own, financially strugglin'...and losin' trust in authority figures & higher education (affordability etc.).

Took me eight long, stressful years to find my way back to university...by way of mature age entry at Griffith uni.

Parental support makes a big difference (my family was broken...and caught up in too many problematic relationships to be concerned much about me...lotta judgementalism & rumour-mongerin' didn't help). And access to decent, affordable, long-term counselling (took decades to work out why my moods kept fluctuating to such an extreme level...partly due to cover-up/denial in family related to inherited illnesses). And work/training opportunities (unfortunately, I hit the early 80s recession w/ less qualifications than many required...even tho I'd completed grades 12/13 in Canada...had much to do w/ the fact I travelled extensively in search of self...so wasn't considered local & stable enuff here & in UK/Europe). Consistency of relationships and a good stable home life helps heaps...as it has done for me this past decade.

Best to yer son.


November 29. 2011 09:58 AM


I was turged out

make that turfed out



November 29. 2011 10:08 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi Ad
your comment @ November 28. 2011 02:49 PM illuminates the discussion further - and I am NOT surprised btw Smile

The incapacity of so many people to understand complexity results in them falling prey to naive solutions and plausible but simplistic slogans.

To that comment could be added conspiracy theories

On yesterday's Counterpoint Paul Comrie-Thomson and David Burchell had a discussion on the subject and Burchell's hypothesis conspiracy theories as the ‘new normal’ in political debate.

JFK: the 'mother' of all conspiracies
(Link to summary and audio download, haven't found a transcript yet)

A lot of the discussion is around the JFK conspiracies but they do tie it into contemporary politics/life.

When people do not understand something, e.g. climate change, a simple and possibly comforting answer is that THEY  be it the scientists, the government or anyone you disagree with are conspiring against US

Also they concluded by saying the truth or the real answer is often boring.

I suggest that for a journalist, in paricular, but often us as well, that the truth being boring is no good so there must be a conspiracy, a late night secret deal or some other plot against us.

Some intriguing stuff in the discussion.

D Mick Weir

November 29. 2011 10:15 AM


and gag, or guffaw, or wonder just why the Coalition is led by a man who seems to need so many people to come to his rescue so often???

Indeed Michael.

Frankly, I can't bear listenin' to the man anymore...his voice grates. I see his face, that leerin' mug...and it irritates the heck outa me.

Abbott has managed to sicken me the way Howard did. I can't stand watchin' or listenin' to either. Same goes for Alan Jones. And Barnaby Joyce. And Chris Pyne.

Talk about preachin', negabore overdose.

Turnbull does not have that effect on me.

My father-in-law, a small farmer & lawnmower stayed w/ us last nite...he feels same. Said so in no uncertain terms.

He's gotten used to Gillard as PM...

and reckons Anna Bligh is better than the LNP option, Campbell Newman. I was shocked to hear him say that considerin' he's voted Nat more than ALP. He reckons Anna Bligh did a great job durin' the floods. And he takes Murdoch's Courier Mail w/ a pinch of salt. Disgusted by phone hackin' scandal.



November 29. 2011 10:22 AM


Michael at 7.59
I got some way into your link, thought "who the hell is Terry Barnes?" went to the end of the article to find out & saved myself the bother of reading further.
You're right, Abbott needs so many people to look after him.


November 29. 2011 10:25 AM


Re the Changing of the Chair:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I'm not about to attempt an Elizabeth Barratt Browning,
I'm just thinking of all the ways this is so-o-o-o very purrrrr-fect.

On top of all the other implications, Abbortt is being full-on blamed by everybody (well, cheered by Us!Smile for failing to 'wrap Slipper in cotton wool'! And he has earnt it all!

It also will earn a lot of popularity among the Coalons for Mal 'Fraudy' Brough that he has precipitated this by his haste in getting himself preselected over Slipper . . .    
. . . NOT!

The picture-perfect Peta Credlin's lost her Cred as well!
So now she's Peta ----lin!
She should have WARNED her paramour cuddlepie Tony!

(This last is a vicious rumour. I hope it works!
But if I was Testosteroney Tony . . .
oops . . . hee hee hee . . .
Remember . . .
? Jimmy Cairns and Junie Morosi . . ? . . .
? John Gorton and Ainslie Gotto . . ? . . .
                              hee hee hee hee hee . . . )

[And how smart of Abbortt anyway, to be shoe-horning in a bloke who wants nothing so much as to be LOTO > > > *PM!*]

*J*U*L*I*A* is being acknowledged, almost salaamed to in fact, for her ability to NEGOTIATE (remember that Chaser song about her pronunciation of that word? - I'll try to find it later maybe - but however she says it she's the BEST at it!)

Come the ALP National Conference, it will be lively, and she won't have it all her way, but she will not be treated as anything but a triumphant Boadicea, mark my words. She will emerge even more powerful and respected.

Harry Jenkins gave us a gift that keeps giving in so many ways, I hope it also gives him a sense of wellbeing. His action will be writ large into Labor's noble history.  


November 29. 2011 10:38 AM

D Mick Weir

As parliament has risen and the silly season is bearing down upon us with amazing alacrity something completely different as a kick starter to the season:

5 Terrible Ideas That Solved Huge Global Problems  Eddie Rodriguez @ Cracked.com
(Hat Tip: Tim Harford tweet)

Some amazing stuff in this - have fun with it.

D Mick Weir

November 29. 2011 11:02 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

I found  this blog the other day, Talk Turkey just brought it back to my mind, when the particular name was mentioned,  I wanted to know what you all think????????????

Peta Credlin: "swirling rumours" and clumsy dirty laundry metaphors
sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy

think it's time to acknowledge the rumour swirling around the Canberra insider club aka beltway. The rumour, even if false, is that the leader of the opposition is having an affair with his chief of staff. I've heard this rumour exists, from two independent sources now in the last 4 weeks, the latest political in Canberra. Even if it is not true it is swirling. Abbott's family values platform may be up for review in an election. Wednesday at 2:31pm

Is this indeed the infamous News Ltd turning of the rack on Abbott's DLP economics and a warning of corporate big brother to get back on script re the IMF funding etc? One does wonder. If so, it highlights the danger for Ms Expendable in a much bigger game of real politik thuggery internal to the Coalition over 'pure' free market economics after the GFC made it look like the mumbo jumbo it really is, and of course, IR ideology etc.




November 29. 2011 11:13 AM

D Mick Weir

You heard it here first (unless you are on Twitter and follow a certain wayward & warped person)

KRudd has tweeted 'Alas, this foreign minister is no longer a happy little Vegemite.'

and some 'twit' has tweeted:
KR's move against PM now confirmed. @KRuddMP Alas, this foreign minister is no longer a happy little Vegemite.

I always wanted to start a rumour

D Mick Weir

November 29. 2011 11:34 AM


HI DM Weir

Kevin Rudd's tweets this morning,

The Happy little vegemite tweet was in a different context.

Below are Kevin Rudd's tweets this morning,

KRuddMPKevin Rudd
The kind gesture was aborted when it was confiscated by security. Alas, this foreign minister is no longer a happy little Vegemite. KRudd
1 hour ago FavoriteRetweetReply

KRuddMPKevin Rudd
At Tokyo airport this morning, our embassy thoughtfully attempted to bring a jar of Vegemite. KRudd
1 hour ago

KRuddMPKevin Rudd

Answer: neither of them have a full appreciation of the importance of Vegemite. KRudd

1 hour ago

KRuddMPKevin Rudd

What does Mexican airport security have in common with Japanese airport security? KRudd



November 29. 2011 11:46 AM


Govt slashes spending by $6.5bn
Laura Tingle Political editor

The baby bonus will be cut from $5400 to $5000 from September 1, 2012, and indexation will be paused for three years from July 1.

The Government’s paid parental leave scheme – which has largely superseded the baby bonus – is unaffected.

Charges for some visas for non-residents coming to Australia will be increased. The government says Australian taxpayers are subsidising visa applications – saving $613 million over the forward estimates.

The return to surplus comes despite a $20 billion slump in revenue over four years as a result of slowing economic activity here and abroad and comes after the OECD on Monday night warned of a deep recession in Europe and downgraded its forecasts for advanced economies substantially.

The return to surplus comes on top of the decision on Monday morning of ratings agency Fitch to upgrade Australia’s credit rating to AAA (from AA+).

This comes on the same day that Fitch has put the US on a negative watch. This endorsement marks the first time in Australia’s history it has had a AAA rating from all three ratings agencies (Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s



November 29. 2011 11:52 AM


Hi Ad

Hockey and Abbott, should be interesting gaffing today:-

Read this yet Tony?Can't wait for your spin on it. RT Fitch notes low Australian debt in rating upgrade

www.smh.com.au/.../...-upgrade-20111129-1o41j.html @TonyAbbottMHR




November 29. 2011 12:09 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
You are a super sleuth!  Even if the Tony Abbott Peta Credlin liaison is only a rumour, many will enjoy spreading it.

I'm back on the iPad as once again I can't get on the Internet on my computer.  So my responses will be brief.  Also I'll be busy for the rest of the day and picking up friends from the US at the airport later preparatory to a week-long tour with them.

Thank you for your complimentary remark about the 'speech'.

You have been very active with the poetry - great stuff!   Let's have more.

Thank you for your additional comments, always interesting

Thank you for your reference to conspiracy theories, and the 'cracked' link.  I shall read them later.

Good news about Gareth Evans - he is very highly regarded.

Ad astra reply

November 29. 2011 12:18 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Lyn
@ 11:34 AM
you are persactly right

yep I took KR out of context

but, but, but I mean, umm, if journo's can take a slip of the tongue out of context and distort why can't I?

and in a way I was pointing out how easy it is to take a few words and put a different meaning on them and distort them to show it proves KR is still plotting. I don't think we will see stories referencing that line as proof KR is 'on the move' but nothing would surprise me.

(besides that I don't know how to put a tongue in cheek smiley on twitter Tong )

D Mick Weir

November 29. 2011 12:25 PM


Hi Lyn,

You are a treasure!
Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing


November 29. 2011 12:28 PM

D Mick Weir

Time to put on the skates and head off around the traps

Before I go a litle bit of Mega writing sensible stuff (again) this time about water/MDB

Doesn't he realise common sense is uncommon and well if you write too much common sense people might think you are weird or sumfink.

Doing nothing won't save jobs

IT is raining again, but agriculture has shed more than 60,000 jobs during the past 12 months.

For the first time on record, less than 3 per cent of all employment in the economy is in farming, forestry and fishing.


Historically, our farming succeeded in international markets because it was exposed to foreign competition. But within the local economy there has been little competition for our most scare resource - water.

Yet South Australia offers the best security for its farmers. The sooner irrigators upstream realise this the quicker they can let go of the idea their future can be guaranteed by doing nothing.

D Mick Weir

November 29. 2011 12:40 PM

D Mick Weir

... and something that I have just twigged to (after a twitter comment I can't locate)

Isn't Aus a weird and wonderful place?

Some of our best writers and thinkers on economics are of Greek heritage.

D Mick Weir

November 29. 2011 12:49 PM


There would be delicious irony if Tony Muppet is hoist by his own Peta-rd.

I'm not sure about the affair rumours, though; what may appear to the media as a compromising position may just be the puppet master providing Tony with a "spine" and working the mouth.  (S/he only say "No" and "Shandy" because it's less obvious than asking for a "Gottle o' geer.")

I'm sure Peta will be the first to "withdraw her support" for the Muppet as soon as the party turns on him; a sock is no protection against the gnashing teeth of the dogs of war.


November 29. 2011 03:25 PM


Hi Everybody

Stephen Koukoulas is on  abc24 now:-


TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
I'm on ABC24 at 3pm....

2 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReplyhttp://www.stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/

SpaceKidetteSpace Kidette
@TheKouk says the impact of the Carbon Price & the MRRT is fairly neutral making Abbott's it's the Carbon Price & Mining Tax fault bullshit.
3 minutes ago FavoriteRetweetReply

SpaceKidetteSpace Kidette
@TheKouk Talking sense on the #MYEFO and the impact of the global economic conditions on Oz economy. On @ABCNews24.

9 minutes ago FavoriteRetweetReply



November 29. 2011 03:27 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
I wil have to leave reading links until I return to the south coast this evening.  The Internet is hopelessly unreliable here in central Melbourne.

Thank you for the Mega link - I can't open it here in central Melbourne, but will take a look when I return to the south coast this evening where connection to the Internet is reliable.

I'm closing down now to pick up friends from the airport.  I'll be back this evening.

Ad astra

November 29. 2011 03:44 PM

Feral Skeleton



Feral Skeleton

November 29. 2011 04:13 PM


Hi NormanK

Thankyou so much for your beautiful comment, :angel:

Your comments and others, provide me with a constant supply of motivation, energy and enthusiasm.

I have been collecting budget tweets for everyone, you might like to read what the public say about the Abbott, Hockey, Robb presser,
reply to the budget.

Positive tweets to Wayne Swanes announcement first:-

Investment in mining soars to record levels

madwixxyPeter Wicks
Geez, that new mining tax sure killed the industry eh? www.abc.net.au/.../3701936 #auspol
5 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply

BrigadierSlogBrigadier Slog
RT @abcnews Mr Swan says the tax exemption for living away from home is being rorted by "highly-paid executives and foreign workers" #auspol

TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
Australia has never simultaneously had AAA ratings from all 3 rating agencies - Pretty amazinghttp://www.stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/

ALP's fiscal management - Australia given highest fiscal rating:http://bit.ly/u4nEb9 RT @4350water: Wayne Swan competence

MrDenmoreMr Denmore
Eleven nations have 3 x AAA ratings: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK & Australia #myefo

Honest, genuine tweets in regards to Abbott, Hockey, Robb Press conference:-

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
Abbott trying to explain how the economy is actually bad because of Swan, but also actually good because of the Howard Govt.
16 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply

mishaschubertMisha Schubert
Toby Abbott: this is a government that is imperiling the nation at a time of global instability #myefo
43 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply

GeeksrulzGeek Powered
No #drinks. Today's triple AAA rating did not get a mention in the LNP #myefo presser. Frown
27 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply

@BrigadierSlog @TonyAbbottMHR I don't think he realises how utterly and incredibly ridiculous and stupid he sounds1 minute agoFavoriteRetweetReply

conceravotaConcera Vota
Now the govt has told it's good story -- lets play the game called: How many people can we find to trash the govt's plans
2 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply

Snow_CrashMeta Starostin
Why do you smack your lips like that Tony Abbott? Is that a psychopathic twitch #auspol #liar
4 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply

Tony you're shovelling shit uphill making up arguments against the cut in the baby bonus @TonyAbbottMHR
15 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply

The prestige of a Rhodes Scholarship diminishes with every day that Tony Abbott continues in public life.
18 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply

ResidentOZKerry Seebohm@
@bow_and_arrow @abcnews Just how much more bad news can the leader of the #NoAlition take? Australia AAA Rating and tops OECD growth table.
5 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply



November 29. 2011 04:24 PM

Feral Skeleton

  My head is spinning from the cognitive dissonance of the Nopposition's self-serving economic arguments. So, the economy's going gangbusters due to the residual effects, 4 years on, of the genius of John Howard & Peter Costello, but is in a hole after 4 years of an ALP federal government? Hmmm.

Feral Skeleton

November 29. 2011 04:35 PM


Hi Debbie P

Thankyou for your lovely comment too, I did an angel for NormanK,
it didn't work, so guess I better not try again for you.

'Im now @ the computer to midnight thanks to you, lol.

Glad you enjoy, I have to tell you it's hard for me to shut down at night, so much happening.



November 29. 2011 04:54 PM


Ad Astra

I agree with our new poster Leone, it was almost like reading something that Julia had actually said. Thank you for all your time and effort.


You certainly have been busy, and now I have two days of links in my bookmarks, thank you.  I'll  be a little while getting to them, too much happening at the moment.

Gosh, the baby bonus is being cut down from $5400 to $5000, how will they cope!!!  

I am pleased that they haven't taken anything from Health Education and Welfare.  Slowly they are making cuts and limits to a lot of the middle class welfare which I can only applaud them for.  Have managed to avoid listing to the Nopposition's take on it all, thank heavens.

I have just realised we will be away from Thursday till at least Monday and will miss watching the happenings at the ALP conference.  Can I implore some of you wonderful TPSers to do a bit of a commentary that I will be able to read when I get home?  


November 29. 2011 05:50 PM


Ad astra said
You have been very active with the poetry - great stuff!   Let's have more."

Ad it's nearly all been recycled, or someone else's, or anonymous!

But since you order me, Sire:

We know this old pollie named Tony
Who is terribly testosteroney -
And They Say he's been meddlin'
With that hot Peta Credlin -
Seems she makes his li'l Budgie go bony!

But I reckon this same Peta Credlin
Will find the next session unsettlin'-
And when Tony's stopped gettin'
Her hot with his pettin'
You can bet she'll set records backpedd'lin'!

I would not be forgiven for using the rude but better (and alliterative) alternative 3-letter word to 'hot'* . . . Would I?

Besides it's only scuttlebutt . . . It might not even be true! Wink
Fortunately I have pometic licence!

* If experiencing difficulties wrt solution, check out why she hadn't wanted to get into heavy petting . . .  


The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast
Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me Lyrics  

I was feeling done in, couldn't win
I'd only ever kissed before.
I thought there's no use getting into heavy petting
It only leads to trouble and seat wetting...

Now all I want to know is how to go
I've tasted blood and I want more
I'll put up no resistance, I want to stay the distance
I've got an itch to scratch, I need assistance:

Toucha toucha toucha touch me, I wanna be dirty
Thrill me chill me fulfil me
Creature of the night.

Then if anything grows while you pose
I'll oil you up and rub you down
And that's just one small fraction of the main attraction
You need a friendly hand and I need action...

Toucha toucha toucha touch me, I wanna be dirty
Thrill me chill me fulfil me
Creature of the night.

Dirty Turkey!


November 29. 2011 06:05 PM


       Has there been much fallout over this?

THE LNP has been denounced as Australia’s laziest Opposition after only one member was this afternoon present in State Parliament as laws were passed.
Premier Anna Bligh said the Opposition had failed their constituents during one of the most "embarrassing parliamentary performances" in Westminster history.

"They are not fit to sit on the opposing bench let alone fit to sit on the government bench," she said.

Ms Bligh said the LNP were "too lazy" to debate the Bills, adding: "The question is, where were they? What was more important?"

The House erupted as she moved a motion to censure the Opposition for failing the parliament.

It came after the passing of a criminal organisation amendment Bill, Commonwealth Games legislation and laws to change public holidays in Queensland.
Leader of the House Judy Spence said in her 22 years in parliament, she had never seen the Opposition absent during debate on three pieces of legislation.

There are 31 MPs in the Opposition. Most were present in the House earlier in the day for question time, but were missing for this session of Government business.

The LNP's Ted Sorenson was the sole Opposition member present in the House as the three laws were passed.

Several others were understood to file in later but no LNP member offered any debate during the proceedings.

Opposition leader Jeff Seeney accused the Government of indulging in deliberate trickery to "try and score some stupid political points".

He said the Government had told the Opposition that the Bills would only be introduced, not debated, and accused Ms Bligh of reverting to student union tricks.

"What we have is a trashing of this parliament for cheap political point scoring," he said



November 29. 2011 06:15 PM

Patricia WA

Hi Talk Turkey, I've now recovered from my hangover - from three lattes yesterday! - and have carefully read your critique of my gratuitous amendment to your tribute to 'La Tingle' and I accept your rationale for rejection of same!  (You must know that the 'dreadful dragon MG' is ghastly Grattan of the Age!)

Reading your response I have a better understanding of why I've always thought of you as a poet in the fullest sense of the word and by comparison seen myself as a rhymester. Once an event or issue has stirred me up my first concern is with what I'm going to say, i.e the content, then encapsulating that in words with enough 'twist' or double entendreto amuse and then finding the punch line which drives home my message.  Versifying that with a rhyme and rhythm which works well enough comes second.  Form just seems to follow naturally.

I have very little acquaintance with poetry  proper except from being a reasonably educated Pom.  Recently I decided that writing satire in verse was more enjoyable and rewarding than spending time over cryptics and I did try to find about how to write poetry, but gave up in despair. That's when I knew I could never pretend to being a poet, nor call my verses poems;  'pome' though silly in some contexts better described my creations to me and to my family.  

It seemed to work even better when I coined the name of 'polliepomes' for the site which Miglo from Cafe Whispers helped me to set up early this year.  There I gathered my growing collection of posts from around the blogosphere and appreciative comments from friends about the follies of our politicians, not so much as a blogsite inviting discussion but more a sort of album for reminiscence over in my fading years.  Who knows when they might descend upon me?!

Your own comments all of which I've transferred there, I am particularly proud of, coming as they do from a real poet!  Though it's our shared political passion for the left, and Julia Gillard in particular, which has me looking for your approval before others.  Our mutual friend, Lyn, has been as important as yourself in that.  She has encouraged me to write explanatory notes about each pome.  Writing those in prose I find as enjoyable and challenging as the versifying.  I've also learned about linking to other websites and also how to import appropriate images which is enormous fun and as absorbing as crafting the pomes.

Thanks for your entertaining and enlightening response to my intrusion yesterday.

PS What did you decide yourself to do about that last misleading line?


Patricia WA

November 29. 2011 06:16 PM


My wife just bought me a Xmas subscription gift w/ Crikey.

I do believe it's time that people on-line moved away from the freebies obsession & started supportin' jobs.

I know a number of people on here already do. Thumbs up to them.

That's why I've had a music download subscription since 2002.

We're in a transition to a different future...new new normal. It's time more started puttin' their money where their mouth is.

Today we also donated to GetUps gay marriage ad:


and we donated to:

The 99% speak out

Now, it's make or break time! Let's help the movement win by funding a major global opinion poll in dozens of countries that clearly shows this is not a fringe movement that can be crushed, but a political project with massive public support.

The poll will supercharge the movement and offer both a united vision and the mass-based public legitimacy it needs to take on and take down the system that feeds the 1%. The need is urgent -- 10,000 of us donated in the first 24 hours! If another 10,000 donate now we will be able to run the poll across the world next week and run a huge media campaign to take this battle to the next level!


we bought on-line a number of Christmas gifts, cards & wrapping paper from:

Save the Children:


and the RSPCA World for Pets:


We purchase most of our two nephews' & friends' children's b'day & Christmas gifts from the CSIRO Education Shop


next stop for Christmas is Biome Eco Stores


We also bought Xmas cards from Make a Wish Foundation.



November 29. 2011 07:14 PM

Patricia WA

Thanks 'N - that's good advice and those addresses are useful.  I don't buy cards or give gifts any more that don't come from organisations like the RSPCA or Save The Children.

In fact I try to buy things from them like tea towels and other items for the house.  Not sure if I approve of their gambling trick, i.e. selling lucky numbers.  I'd rather make a donation, though a friend pointed out that if I won I'd have more cash to give away!

Patricia WA

November 29. 2011 07:41 PM


Ruby Murray - Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry

► 3:05► 3:05


His name is Peter Slipper,
So they call him Slippery Pete;
Ever since he was a nipper
Folks made jokes about his feet!
They wuz gunna zip his zipper
Now his vengeance is complete
He'll just have to flip his flipper
To wipe the Poodle's sheet!

Let ’em squeal!
Let ’em scream!
Let ’em shriek let ’em holler let ’em rage!
We have scored ourselves one more vote,
They've scored themselves one less!
We’ve ended on a high note
And they’ve ended in a mess! Smile

Ruby Murray - Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry

► 3:05► 3:05


[I think I might have to write a verse for Harry as well.]


November 29. 2011 07:46 PM


A more fun version I think

Jean Simmons - Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry

► 1:29► 1:29



November 29. 2011 08:32 PM

Feral Skeleton

   I donate all my spare plastic shopping bags to the local St Vincents De Paul Charity Shop, and they are very appreciative. Plus I am doing my bit for Recycling. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

November 29. 2011 08:56 PM


FS - look after you son, he needs it at the moment (of course I know you will).  My wife  & I were watching some early news this morning and when the item came up agreed that Bali was not on our Bucket List.

Nas - you need to read "Merchants of Doom".  Apart from baiting JJ  on the NSW Government's corruption or lack thereof; it touches on the greed of corporate America causing decisions such as supporting campaigns endorsing smoking etc to be seen as justifiable in the normal course of business to retain increasing profit margins.


November 29. 2011 09:54 PM

D Mick Weir

A different way to 'visualise' the so called problem of 'irregular maritime arrivals' and refugees.


At Curve Tomorrow we believe that visuals can often say more and speak louder than words. Visualising a complex situation with numerous data points is quite a challenge and the engineers at Curve Tomorrow can help you see the image through all the paperwork.

Below is an example of a visualisation for the Boat People problem in Australia using reports and data obtained for 2009/2010.

As I scrolled through the various bits there no great surprises BUT when I got to the last visualisation iwas, quite frankly, absolutely disgusted.

D Mick Weir

November 29. 2011 09:57 PM


A triple-decker broadside from 7.30 tonight, three  pieces highly critical of the Government over its economic planning, the Murray-Darling plan & asylum seekers.
The piece on budgetary planning & surpluses cries out for a Media Mash from a better analyst than me.
So much criticism, so few suggestions (none) from the assembled critics on what should actually be done.


November 29. 2011 09:57 PM

D Mick Weir

So much so that I lost the plot,

As I scrolled through the various bits there (were)  no great surprises BUT when I got to the last visualisation iwas  (I was), quite frankly, absolutely disgusted.

D Mick Weir

November 29. 2011 10:34 PM

Ad astra reply

I'm back on the south coast where although signal strength is only medium, Internet access is fast and reliable, unlike in central Melbourne.

I've enjoyed reading your comments.  I'm glad I didn't see 7.30; I'm hoping Lateline will be more balanced.

I'll be back in the morning.

Ad astra reply

November 29. 2011 10:49 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         With Andrew Robb on Lateline, attempting to create the latest Opposition fiction, I doubt your hope will be realised.
   He is trying to now create the illusion that the government spent $87 Billion on Stimulus that it never needed to, and that if it hadn't then the Budget would not now be in Deficit as badly as it is. Of course, that completely denies the existence of the GFC and the real need for the government to "Go early & go households', in order to prop the Budget up through the crisis. Which they did, magnificently. This is ignored in the Opposition critique, whereby they try to maintain the fiction that this Labor government are just profligate spenders.Totally without rhyme or reason to their spending.
  As someone commented elsewhere, it is almost a crime that this Opposition has perpetrated as they have perpetuated so many lies about the economic performance of this government, and what they have done and why, just to score cheap political points against them, and in order to mislead the economically illiterate in the electorate.

Feral Skeleton

November 29. 2011 11:30 PM

Ad astra reply

Having just watched the confused and incompetent Andrew Robb on Lateline, I agree entirely with your assessment.  Tony Abbott is manifestly illiterate in economics and Joe Hockey is full of bluster which he uses to hide his illiteracy, but Andrew Robb, who is supposed to be the brains trust of the Coalition on economics, showed tonight not just how incompetent and disingenuous he is, but how his gobbledegook surpasses that of both Abbott and Hockey.  Although Ali Moore tried to nail him several times, he skirted around the issues she asked him to address, talked nonsense and showed frightening ineptitude and at times stupidity.  

The thought of an Abbott, Hockey, Robb team, with Mathias Cormann in the wings, managing the Australian economy is terrifying.

Ad astra reply

November 30. 2011 01:12 AM


On Poll Bludger Bushfire Bill just minutes ago said

Robb just disintegrated on live TV.
The man’s an idiot.
Finance Spokesman?
He can hardly speak two words together.

I was thinking exactly the same thing, except the term I had was 'fell apart', snap BB!

Robb cannot now be considered a potential Minister, he's not even mentally fit let alone mentally competent. I don't mean to be mean but he is like a turtle that has gone far inland by mistake and is nearing its last flounderings. The Gulls of the Media will now attack him without mercy and the Jaegers Wink of the blogosphere will help finish him off. I called him 'poor old Andrew Robb' in The Lass From Yarralumla over a year ago, (right again TT! Smile) and he is older now and falling to bits. More tragically :'(  Abbortt will be ridiculed for keeping him if he doesn't get rid of him, and will seen to be ridiculous and, so sadly, heartless too (if possible please Dog!), when he finally does.

I'm not so hard a man that I enjoy seeing another human about to collapse mentally, but that's the way Robb is, everybody saw it, there is no saving him now. He is merely collateral damage. Abbortt's the target, until he is dead buried and cremated, then we can get on with destroying his even more hopeless successor - whoever that might be. They are like weak crumbly concrete under stress, disintegrating, there were at least 3 others interested in the Speakership according to Party sources Smile and now the whole Noalition is falling apart.

He hasn't a clue, and the rest of Them are just as worse. Robbanomics Smile is not even laughable, it's gobbledegook as Ad says, it would be downright *DANGEROUS!* if ever the Noalition got into power.  Something I want never to happen again in my lifetime.  

One Robb gem: "If you take away China . . . " and he goes on to build on that his reasoning about how the sky is about to fall!  
I wonder how he thinks China might be taken away!
I wonder where he thinks it might get put!
Tough about the coupla billion Chinese . . .      


November 30. 2011 07:20 AM


Talk Turkey

Thanks for the review of Robb's interview last night, it was a good laugh to read it first thing this morning.  

The ABC aren't reporting any of it, surprise surprise surprise.

Now, back to sorting and packing and stuff.


November 30. 2011 07:41 AM

Feral Skeleton

Good Morning All!
                 Happy packing, Gravel! Hope it's not too hot for you. Smile
   Just thought I'd put in my 2 cents-worth on who the other 3 Nopposition MPs were who may have jumped at the chance to be Speaker.:
1. Alex Somylay. Proven by not being denied by him last week,
2. Mal Washer. Constantly speaks out about Crossing the Floor.
3. Judy Moylan. Liberal Moderate, and rare bird (Wink ), in the Liberal Party, who stood up to Abbott when he was Health Minister over RU486. Not standing for pre-selection again, so with nothing to lose either.

Feral Skeleton

November 30. 2011 08:04 AM



The Finnigans Beautiful Set of Numbers – 29th November 2011 Edition, Frank Calabrese, A Frank View
Latest: “OECD said Australia will grow by 4% in 2012 Vs almost recession in Europe & USA” and AAA Sovereign Rating from all Rating Agencies(S&P, Moody’s and Fitch), including Aussie Bonds issued in foreign currencies. Massive confidence in the strength of Australian economy

Labor budget outlook a 'hoax', Lateline Andrew Robb
Federal Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb says the Government's mid-year budget outlook employs shameless trickery.p

Fascinating Fiscal Facts - Who's addicted to spending and taxing?, Stephen Koukoulas
The MYEFO presented some wonderful historical tables on various aspects of the Budget and fiscal policy. The highlights, to me at least are probably

The Golden Road To Surplus, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
They’re not quite "a beautiful set of numbers" in and of themselves — they show that Australian growth will be moderate, rather than booming — but in comparison to our northern hemisphere trading partners, they’re almost utopian. Take a look, for instance, at Britain’s latest economic data. British numbers tell a tale on unalloyed misery.  

Opposition Divided On Impact Of Global Uncertainty, Penny Wong
Andrew Robb and Joe Hockey appear to understand the seriousness of the global situation, and the impact it will have on budget revenues – unlike their leader who continues to show he does not understand Australia’s economy.It is entirely misleading and irresponsible to try to pretend that Europe is not having an impact on Government revenues,

Wall Street Banks received secret fed loans worth 7-7 trillion before GFC, Independent Australia
Had Congress had such information, members of both parties would have changed their votes to favor Wall Street reform, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said. Former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), meanwhile, said knowledge of the loans could have led to a push to reinstate the

Hockey tired of doing budget 'heavy lifting', Saba Lane,ABC
Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says the Government steals its policies and the Coalition is tired of doing the "heavy lifting".He says the Government's decision to make cuts to the public service to help make savings is stolen from the Opposition's policy play book.

Investment in mining soars to record levels, ABC
A new report from the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics has found committed investment in major mining projects now sits at almost $232 billion.Most of the capital is in the oil and gas, iron ore and coal industries.

Swan swings the axe as revenue falls, Jeremy thompson, ABC
Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says the budget update figures are not credible."They are expecting us to believe they are going to have a $38 billion turnaround in the budget in the face of 12 months of slower economic growth in Europe, slower economic growth in China and an anaemic United States economy," he said

Australia has a new AAA rating – As rock solid as AIG’s “we need $100 billion by Monday” AAA rating, Oz House Org
The bid for a surplus was backed by a new AAA rating from a financial agency, meaning that for the first time even Australia has been given top marks by all three major rating agencies.The Government forecasts a $1.5 billion surplus in 2012-13 — to be contained in next May’s Budget — despite a giant deficit of $37 billion for 2011-12, up from a projected $22.6 billion.

A tale of two offices: Inside GetUp! and the Minerals Council, Matthew Knott, The Power Index
Sheikh is no big fan of the Murdoch press, which he accuses of getting into bed all too readily with the Liberal Party.The Getup! office, located in a dingy apartment building in the inner-city suburb of Surry Hills, is a bustling hub of activity. Cardboard boxes and old campaign posters are strewn around; young volunteers, high on caffeine and the thrill of political engagement, flit in and out; the air is thick with chatter and the sound of fingers tapping on MacBooks

Keeping kids incarcerated: Why the school leaving age shouldn’t be universal, Susan Groundwater-Smith, The Conversation
Dockery’s findings are symptomatic of the difficulties and challenges that dog the literature on returns from schooling and the presumption that if every student stays until they are 17 then it will loose its positional good.Policies that suggest international and global solutions for everyone are unrealistic.

The sweet spot, Ben Harper, OnLine Opinion
So the times we live in are good – perhaps the best we've ever known. With more and more Australians travelling abroad, egged on in recent times by the high value of the $A, and saturation media coverage of economic hardship in Europe and the USA, it's probably safe to say (pace Hartcher) that most Australians do have some idea of how well we live here relative to other parts of the world.

Economic outlook dangerous, unless you're in Australia – OECD, Peter Martin
New OECD forecasts released overnight give Australia the fastest growth in the developed world in 2012: a year-on-year rate of 4 per cent, equaled only by Chile and approached only by Korea at 3.8 per cent.

Labor Party Reform and Australian Democracy, Bruce Hawker
The simple fact is the Australian Labor Party must be reformed as an organisation that is genuinely membership based and turns its back on the old, broken, discredited model of entrenched union and factional dominance. If it does not reform, then the party will be in terminal decline

What’s a senior Murdoch editor to do apart from slam Muslims, Antony Loewenstein
Another week and another column by a Melbourne Herald Sun editor Alan Howe on just how dysfunctional is the Middle East, Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians, Islamists etc. The man has form.

Charlotte Church: Murdoch offered good press for singing at his wedding, Paul Barry, The Power Index
Finally, she told the inquiry, "I feel extremely strongly, having experienced what I have ... that people need to be protected from the exploitative, unethical, and financially driven practices of the soulless corporations who control the tabloid industry."

The Corporation, David havyatt, Anything Goes
As such I was pleased to see a short item by Lynn Stout in today's SMH. The piece says that it is time to recognise shareholder value as an ideology, not as a legal requirement. She notes that focussing on shareholder value often translates into share price and how focussing on share price may not really be in the interests of "shareholders" once they as a class are properly understood

Civil Unions vote in Queensland tomorrow night, Kim, larvatus Prodeo
If it comes to a tied vote, Speaker John Mickel may vote against. I’d urge all Queenslanders concerned about this important reform, which also recognises civil unions between couples of the opposite gender and makes access to legal rights easier for committed partners, to:

No crap app- 2011 Walkleys edition, No Crap Com
LaTingle for commentary, analysis, opinion and critique for three pieces collectively titled Liars, clunkheads, rent seekers and gamblers: federal politics 2010-11Liars and clunkheads fail budget test , Labor at the mercy of rent seekers , The Gillard gamble: Labor’s winter of discontent

GerryFlintstone,Miglo, Café Whispers
Have you ever tried living without an internet connection? You know, that regrettable little invention that allows us to communicate with people in some sort of way? Gerry’s problem is that it allows us to communicate with a wide range sellers. He doesn’t like them. He said:

Time to Adopt Reform, Body Politic – Australia
When UNICEF estimates that there are 13 million orphaned children around the world – why is it that, in Australia, it is so difficult for loving families to provide homes for them? Of course, there is red tape and bureaucracy in everything that we do in this modern world – but Australian adoption legislation is not doing

How Gillard Sees the World: Australia’s foreign policy,  Dennis Altman ,  The Monthly
In the last two months we have seen Gillard as gracious host to the Queen, President Obama and 50 heads of government from across the Commonwealth. She has been at summits in Bali, Cannes and Honolulu, and engaged in an exhausting series of bilateral discussions with some grace and panache. Media coverage is poor, so how this may have changed her perception of the world, which leaders she may have struck up new links with (as Rudd was reported to have with former President Lula from Brazil) and how it might affect her views of Australia’s place in the world have been basically unreported.

Video’s Political

November 29, 2011. Swan delivers the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook
Treasurer Wayne Swan has delivered the government's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. (AAP/Samuel Cardwell)

November 29, 2011. Abbott Press Conference , AAP One Video
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott predicted Treasurer Wayne Swan would not deliver even the wafer-thin budget surplus of $1.5 billion forecast for 2012/13. (AAP/Mark Tadic)

November 29, 2011. Hockey Doubtful Of Budget Surplus , AAPOne, Video
Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said it was difficult to believe the government could achieve a $38 billion turnaround in the bottom line in one year in the face of slowing growth in Europe and China and an anaemic United States economy. (AAP/Mark Tadic)



November 30. 2011 08:16 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

November 30. 2011 08:27 AM

Ad astra reply

If you think FS, TT or I am being hard on Andrew Robb after his appearance on Lateline last night, take a look yourself at the video and the transcript here.  


Ad astra reply

November 30. 2011 08:54 AM


Bushfire Bill again @ 7.30 on PB:

"[Transcript from last night’s Lateline interview with Andrew Robb:


Fair dinkum, you would have left Lateline’s interview with Robb last night with three things in mind:

1. The Liberals have few policies.

2. What few policies they have contradict each other.

3. Andrew Robb should be retired at the earliest opportunity.

On 3., I am not kidding. The man is a mess."

[Yes on 3. As we agree.
He should resign and retire. He is not a well man. I do not rejoice in that. But that he is their economic expert, Sacre Bleu!]

But actually the points 1 and 2, along with 3 and everything else one may talk about wrt the NOalition, any rational wonderments one might have, you might as well write them on poo paper and flush them because they are not worth even considering. They are just too silly for words, and it wastes so much time arguing with drongoes. We could be, like, watching the washingoround or something.

In the affairs of mice and men, creatures specialise, and in so doing must always turn their backs on other options. Penguins are fantastic swimmers and divers but on land they're awkward and in the air, not at all. My hi-top camper van you can stand up in but she's no speedster.

Dodos had no predators on Mauritus, no need to worry at all, they lost all caution and flight, they were just big fat yums when people arrived.

So with this essentially crazy Opposition, they have so concentrated on their attack mode, - not just since The Election, but for years - as Sparta once did - ignoring the need for facts-based policy, expertise in shadow portfolio areas, and good IR. They are utterly confounded by the Change of Chair, it means their whole narrow strategy is in ruins.

Andrew Robb knows it, he's not that stupid. He knows that his disaster last night marks the beginning of a huge pecking party by the MSM - HOW will you pay to keep the economy afloat?  And gobbledegook is all you'll get. It's all they have.

It has not yet been even a week since the Changing of the Chair. Faced with the real questions that are to snowball into an avalanche on them they must collapse. There's nothing there, now, to save their erstwhile protected species. DOOOOOMMMMMM!

Jason Obelix often says things to me about Them that start, "I just can't understand why . . . " Well the reason is that They view the world through a tiny $-shaped crack in their horrible hateful greedy selfish little brains, not like real people at all.

The Noalition is about to sproinggggg its spring!
Watch out for flying cogs and bearings!


Foot note:
TT is often seen to flaunt his Political Prescience Plumage around here. Well he didn't have any more clue that about the Change of Chair than anyone else, and it changes a lot else. Abbortt must fall faster and the Coalons will have to react earlier than TT's Eye of Time predicted.

Harry's action was, as they say, right out of left field.
Now Slipper's left the Right field, hee hee, oh stfu Turkey.

But isn't it *nice!* (as Frankenfurter would say!)  


November 30. 2011 09:08 AM


Gravel said of Robb's chaotic performance last night
"The ABC aren't reporting any of it, surprise surprise surprise."

YES!!! I didn't see/hear that too! Not a peep!
Ali Moore will be pleased! - NOT!

FS A belated Sorry for your lad and his mate's mourners.  

Cheers to all btw.

Oh Ad, WebMonkey, you're not even thinking about sheathing the Sword over Crispmess R U ? 'Cos DON'T! (please.)


November 30. 2011 09:19 AM


Bushfire Bill got it dead right about Robb. Ali Moore actually asked him several questions about their NOpolicies and he blustered on with irrelevancies and extreme hyperbowl. She actually asked many follow-up questions(ie repeated the same question several times) and got the same incoherent responses. He is an embarrassment.

You two too observed the transparent ineptitude of Robb. He would be as big an embarrassment as a Finance minister as Abbott would be as PM. Hopefully Abbott's replacement will pick a new finance team but Dog alone knows who .... the cupboard is so bare.

BTW wasn't the Abbott/Hockey show in response to Wayne Swan just pathetic. I don't know why they don't just lip sync ....their lyrics never change and are so well practised and trotted out whenever there's a mike/camera around regardless of the topic at hand.

It reflects  so poorly on the state of affairs that a team such as Abbott's, so manifestly bereft of talent, can actually register in the polls let alone exceed 50% at any point in time in the electoral cycle.


November 30. 2011 09:20 AM


Good Morning Ad Astra

If I was a Pollster, my twitter polling would reveal, Labor our Government would win the next election in a Landslide.

You, FS, TT have made a sound judgement with your opinions on Andrew Robb's appearance on Lateline last night:-

Tweetie's Twitter Polling this morning:-
AgnessMackAgnes Mack

#lateline Don't know how Ali Moore kep a straight face when Andrew Robb tried to link AAA Australia with Ireland & Iceland


@BreakfastNews Andrew Robb last night on #lateline was out of his depth ranting and raving deriding the business council the euro zone #fail


Start your day with a laugh: Andrew Robb on #lateline last night www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3379598.htm Caution: contains nuts


Robb's performance on #lateline is woeful. Expect to see the depressed one on the backbenches and dancing the time warp #auspol

LittleLoudGuyLittle Loud Guy

Joe might - he does have tuck shop arms RT @jot_au: Andrew Robb..proves beyond doubt DOH!pposition r unfit to run a tuck shop #auspol

AgnessMackAgnes Mack

#lateline Andrew Robb was scarcely coherent in response to some,admittedly good, questions from Ali Moore..
8 hours agoFavoriteRetweetReply

mrumensMarian Rumens

CEO's who approve of Wayne Swann's review haven't understood the detail according to Andrew Robb #libfail


Andrew Robb calls the Major OECD countries 'basketcases'. What a total basketcase he is LOL #auspol #lateline

matchtrickMat Larkin

@tomitem @caritamanas Did you see Andrew Robb on Lateline last night? It was embarrassing. These guys may be our next government.

Andrew Robb told to STFU by staffer at PRESS CLUB
May 20, 2010

This is the proof that the Liberals went to the National press club with the




November 30. 2011 09:57 AM


those addresses are useful.  I don't buy cards or give gifts any more that don't come from organisations like the RSPCA or Save The Children.

yer welcome.

We're the same.

Unless we recycle cards, which we do sometimes w/ a few of our mates. Send them back & forth adding a note. One particular friend in Sydney luvs doin' this...he writes: A recycled card is a caring card. He, like us, can't stand waste.

Glad the links came in useful.

I donate all my spare plastic shopping bags to the local St Vincents De Paul Charity Shop, and they are very appreciative. Plus I am doing my bit for Recycling.

good stuff. We give them back to the shop...or to the school cleaners. Also use those blue & green bags ya can use over & over again. We try not to throw away plastic bags thinkin' about all that plastic in the ocean strangling animals & bein' eaten by them. And how many bags end up strewn across Aussie bush & other areas.

you need to read "Merchants of Doom".  Apart from baiting JJ  on the NSW Government's corruption or lack thereof; it touches on the greed of corporate America causing decisions such as supporting campaigns endorsing smoking etc to be seen as justifiable in the normal course of business to retain increasing profit margins.

I will check it out. Thnx for the heads up.
Who is/are the author(s)?



November 30. 2011 10:00 AM

Feral Skeleton

    I imagine you are at this very moment collecting the Tweets about Joe Hockey's woeful follow-up performance on Breakfast News on ABC24, where he was interviewed, or 'sliced and diced', by Virginia Trioli this morning. Smile

   She managed to actually get some commitments about 'Savings to the Budget' out of him. And pretty drastic they seem too.
* No more GP Super Clinics.
* No more NBN.
* No more Renewable Energy Fund of $10 Billion.
* A merged Department of Climate Change AND the Environment. And we all know that in the LNP's Doublespeak hands, 'the Environment' becomes that which can be exploited for financial gain.
* Forcing kids out of Public Schools at Year 10 to get Apprenticeships, or so Tony says. However they will probably end up being those glorified Training positions to provide fodder for the employers who give what are loosely-termed jobs to the unskilled, at meagre rates of pay & with naff all conditions.


   As one wag noted, the 'Right' kids will be allowed to finish school and get a Tertiary Educatiion, just not the Left's kids.

Feral Skeleton

November 30. 2011 10:09 AM


Don't know how Ali Moore kep a straight face when Andrew Robb tried to link AAA Australia with Ireland & Iceland

you certainly have been busy of late, well done.

As for Robb, there was alot of hyperbole...but I do believe it's important this government tighten up as much as possible...

that includes ensurin' the tax office rides the top-end-of-town shirkers hard...

improving the mining tax intake...

making the carbon price flexible ASAP...

cuttin' back on subsidies to oil companies...

reducin' the revenue take by wealthy private schools...

ending the private & public health care rorts & reducin' the rebate...and means-testin'...

keepin' on top of infrastructure rorts...

reducin' the baby bonus further...

changin' the politicians' gold card scheme...

and many more reforms that others here are aware of.

Times are gonna get very tuff on the economic front soon enuff.



November 30. 2011 10:20 AM

Mr Denmore

If Lynn's there, she may also be interested in my piece today over at The Failed Estate.

It's called 'A Show About Nothing'



Mr D

Mr Denmore

November 30. 2011 10:23 AM


BTW, in regard to total DEBT...this country is nowhere near out of the woods yet.

Fortunate we have strong banks. And a high interest rate that can be used as an easing lever...

but that won't help self-funded retirees who better make sure their savings is in the right place. Not too sure about some Super companies.

If my wife & I could access some of our Super we'd put it on the mortgage or in Westpac. Hope it doesn't get smashed about in QSuper.

I know retailers are hopin' for a good time this hols...but people would be silly to accumulate too much debt on their plastic...w/ China beginnin' to wobble & all...and Europe is extremely problematic because it's thinkin' less like ONE BIG COUNTRY and more like selfish (Merkel) seperate states...

and America w/ it's TOO LOW interest rates.

Too few are willin' to bite the necessary bullets.

Tightenin', reformin' middle class welfare is essential...as is tightenin' criteria on sickness benefit.

Must bring on company tax cuts.

And alot more product repair & 2nd hand sales stores.

The party is OVER.
Well & truly.  



November 30. 2011 10:23 AM

D Mick Weir

Ross Gittin's Monday column has me thinking about pollsters.

Econocrats get smarter on dodgy forecasts

You've heard the joke that economic forecasters are there to make weather forecasters look good. What you haven't heard is that the nation's top economic forecaster, Glenn Stevens, the governor of the Reserve Bank, thinks the joke "has something going for it".

There's an even older joke: everybody complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it.

... political pollsters are there to make weather forecasters look good?

In light of the many thousands of words of doom and gloom from some quarters around MYEFO a read of Gittins would better inform us on the future than anything in the commentary by certain (in the words of the Walkley Award winning @latingle) 'clunkheads'.

D Mick Weir

November 30. 2011 10:42 AM


Hi Mr denmore

Thankyou very much for alerting us personally, we all enjoy your

articles, we would feel deprived of essential knowledge should we

miss any one of them.

Brilliant work Mr Denmore.



November 30. 2011 10:48 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Another Twitter conversation for you, you were right Feral, topic

Joe Hockey:-

Latrioli points out 2 Hockey 'you must b thinking about how U will get 2 surplus'.Virginia nailed him.Hockey better get back 2 @sunriseon7

mrumensMarian Rumens
Joe Hockey doesn't want to give numbers to their policies because they don't want to help government #libfail

judyvw2judy woodman
HillbillySkill @BreakfastNews disgusting, behaviour from Joe Hockey and Libs

judyvw2judy woodman
carlajd1Hockey just can't handle the jobno alternatives other than sacking 12000 people give it up Joe

mrumensMarian Rumens
Joe Hockey doesn't want to give numbers to their policies because they don't want to help government #libfail

judyvw2judy woodman
@HillbillySkill @BreakfastNews disgusting, behaviour from Joe Hockey and Libs
2 hours agoFavoriteRetweetReply

iheartmyfoodtanja binggeli
@LaTrioli spotted at #newbestplaceonsouthbankformorningcoffee - great work with Joe Hockey this morning

paddster16Paddy O
@latrioli great discussion Virginia Trioli with Joe Hockey!! ABC Journo's are wild & free ! Unlike domesticated circus goons at ch. 7,9&10

mrumensMarian Rumens
Joe Hockey doesn't want to give numbers to their policies because they don't want to help government #libfail

Hockey on Sky News:-

Labor's debt to be generational – Hockey , David Speers, Sky News, Video


Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey tempting economic armageddon with petty politicking , Join our live chat at noon, Qld time, Courier Mail ,  
Late last week, the Opposition was vowing that as part of its pledge to rescind the mining tax, it would also scrap Labor's phased increase in the compulsory superannuation contribution from 9 to 12 per cent.

By Sunday, they appeared to have backed away from killing the super increase, realising that the more Australians who can fund their own retirement the better, but were still vowing to abolish the mining tax.

The catch is the mining tax was (in part) going to be used to fund the retirement income reform which will cost an estimated $12 billion by 2020.

Black hole is an overly used term, but the funding gap here is looking damnably dark.

There is similarly questionable logic at work with the Opposition's stance on the package of tax cuts and other assistance that form part of Labor's carbon pricing scheme.

The Abbott-Hockey position at this point is to scrap the carbon pricing scheme (and thus forgo the associated revenue), but to press ahead with the tax cuts.

As with the superannuation position, there is no suggestion beyond a vague promise of spending cuts elsewhere as to how this will be funded.




November 30. 2011 11:17 AM


What an uncoordinated RABBLE the LNP in QLD are...bloody disgraceful.

The thought of that lot runnin' this state durin' floods, other severe climate disturbances...economic wobbles...a transition to cleaner greener energy...it's enuff to give ya the chills.

I can just imagine how many toll booths & rego fees & water charges & PAY AS YOU GO pressures will be put on us by Campbell Newman.

And fancy threatenin' educators by sayin' they'll give more power to Principals & parents' groups. Code for introducin' that dreadful TRANSFER system again that shoves many wide thinkin' city folk into some bigoted areas where many get discriminated against & are oppressed (some do fit in tho)...and if people refuse to move (regardless of where their HOME & family are) they'll be sacked or put in a holding pool and thrown around like rag dolls.

And I can imagine that many principals will be replaced over the years by ocker, sexist, bigoted commerce, religious & country types (obviously not all country & religious folk are bigoted, sexist & ocker...but more in this state than I've ever experienced before) who will put huge pressure on their staff to conform to their views...and many who are Green or union supportin' will be shafted.

It'll end up like some McCarthy witchhunt...I've seen it happen here before.

Smart state becomes the ocker dumbed down walkin' on glass oppressed state...for many.

I was in two minds because of the coal seam gas push by the ALP govt here in QLD...

but there's NO WAY I'm votin' for the LNP now...

particularly as it is OBVIOUS they are bein' supported by & bein' given ideas by the Murdoch empire...who HATE wide thinkin, rounded educators...and public servants in general.

We don't need another Murdochracy...like NSW & Victoria.

Not when Anna Bligh can deal so effectively w/ the federal govt durin' these climate & economic wobbles.

BTW, anyone else see Abbott & the man who abandoned his city durin' the flood cleanup Campbell on ABC 24?

Couldn't hear a bloody thing they were sayin' due to background noise. Dickheads.

RABBLE I tell ya.



November 30. 2011 11:33 AM


The MSM is turning . . . turning . . . like the QE2 but turning . . . the heat is gradually being turned up on Abbortt . . . Sloppy . . . Robb Bassett  . . . Not yet on Morriscum, h'mmmm!
And, where's Turdball and Mesma and Vampirella? Wink
Heads down . . !

Everybody political I've seen on ABC 24 is a Coalon or apologist for.

But Can'tDo Nuffin (Campbell Neumann, may it go viral!) got insistently asked about yesterday's hilarious debacle in Qld Parlt, well about half of it anyway, the journo never demanded at all that he should substantiate his allegation, repeated ad nauseam, that *Anna* Kiss *Bligh*  had lied to him about the pending proceedings. Too hard to ask that.

But it is a fascinating power play now, - and we're still only 14/37ths (approx) of our way to the end game!

If it were an Aussie Rules game,(we gotta count half-time too) we're not yet at the end of the second quarter - so we still got all half time to catch a big breath, plus the full two last quarters. We are looking very competent and determined. We* will not fail.

I know it sounds presumptuous, this *We*, but it does feel as if we are all part of the process, so we'll just have to wear our self-inclusiveness with humility, always giving *J*U*L*I*A* and our champions on the field the full credit wherever it is due. and a lot is due right now.

Thanks Harry Jenkins.

Congratulations and thanks and best wishes Peter Slipper.

Between your individual essentially-independent and voluntary actions, you have made it possible for Australian Politics to return to some kind of decency. It is a great outcome with major implications for good governance. I feel we can all relax just a little now.
[But we will never let up, FS, DYWAT! ]    


November 30. 2011 11:35 AM


It's important not to become just a cheerleadin' squad & non-stop critical of the Opposition...even tho they are a pretty dopey & BSin bunch in many ways.

The government has done a good job...but there are plenty of areas they still need to tighten up on...and no government benefits from 100% backslappin'...they all need advice & make mistakes. All of them. Only human...

and it is problematic that many people cannot get access to a percentage of their savings (Super) when they have mortgages to pay as the economy wobbles. Think of how many have lost their HOMES due to the crashes in the USA & UK/Europe.

It doesn't have to happen.

It's not good enuff to allow people to fall out of their HOMES if they have other savings...and permit cashed up foreigners & rich folk to buy that HOME as an investment/rental property.

Always be prepared.

So far we've been fortunate...due to our resources...and some useful policies put in place by all governments in the modern era.

That includes the stimulus...even the roof insulation scheme had many benefits, in the end has saved many lives & homes...helped many a householder durin' summer...ignored by the propaganda machine on the Right.

The BER was tops...regardless of a few problems. Was a school building scheme desperately required...SHAME on Howard for lettin' schools get rundown.

Thumbs up to the amount of infrastructure projects & funding.

Let's keep it real...both Left & Right.  



November 30. 2011 11:49 AM


So to sum up - our deficit is insignificant

Mr. Denmore,
I disagree.

All debt is significant...particularly if you are relyin' on huge revenue from resource companies that could be put in peril by a contraction in China and elsewhere.

The debt both personal & business is also high.

Durin' contractions this can make growth problematic...particularly if govt has less ability to stimulate the economy...redirect funds...and redistribute income.

Certainly I'd rather be here than in America or Europe & some Asian countries due to POTENTIAL...includin' uranium sales in the future...and our food bowls.

But we need to be vigilant.

The problem w/ the Opposition is they are blinkered on climate change...

and have little respect for those in public service.

And they lack imagination. Led by a confused weathervane.



November 30. 2011 12:03 PM


the polls should be favouring the government over this Coalition rabble.

Obviously too many people in this country read the Murdoch claptrap...and listen to those angry talkback money hungry mongrels.

The Coalition need to DUMP this Abbott jerk and his frontbench losers and get on board the "workin' together" train...they have FAILED & HINDERED big time.

Not appropriate in wobbly times. Puttin' national interest last for naked power grab attempt...that hasn't worked.

Shame on BSKYb board for keepin' James Murdoch. He's incompetent...looks the other way...has a toxic touch. And a LIAR.

My stepdad told my Mum to tell me on the phone yesterday that he now believes the Murdoch empire is ROTTEN...full of ASSHOLES.

Murdoch's lot are the worst thing that's happened since Hitler & Stalin & those Cambodian & Romanian pricks' propaganda machines.



November 30. 2011 12:09 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thanks for another set of links and tweets.

There seems unanimity that Andrew Robb’s performance last night was incompetent, incoherent and embarrassing.  It should be embarrassing for the Coalition, but with whom can they replace Robb?  None of the economics team is fit for office.  

I’ve just watched Joe Hockey’s interview by David Spears, and what I saw was more arrogant bluster, replete with pejorative slogans about Labor, but when Spears ever so mildly tried to pressure him for answers about Coalition policies, all we got was: “We’ll announce X, Y or Z before the next election” and “We guarantee we will bring in a surplus budget”; yet there will be tax cuts and pension increases despite rescinding revenue raising through the carbon and minerals taxes.  It’s Joe’s magic pudding all over again.

The level of incompetence exhibited by the Coalition team is matched by the mountain of derision they heap upon Labor’s team, which ironically applies most accurately to the Coalition team.  Hockey would not concede one iota of credit to Labor despite all the accolades that overseas bodies have given Labor for its management of the economy.  This further diminishes his credibility.

The Coalition economics team is hopeless; how its supporters can embrace it is beyond me.

Ad astra reply

November 30. 2011 12:10 PM



S&P Downgrades Goldman Sachs, Bank Of America, Wells Fargo And Citigroup

NEW YORK — Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its credit ratings for many of the world's largest financial institutions, including the biggest banks in the U.S.

Bank of America Corp. and its main subsidiaries are among the institutions whose ratings fell at least one notch Tuesday, along with Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co.

S&P said the changes in 37 financial companies' ratings reflect the firm's new criteria for banks, and they incorporate shifts in the industry and the role of governments and central banks worldwide. The agency did not release its evaluation of each company but said it plans to discuss the changes during a conference call early Wednesday.

Bank of America's issuer credit rating was cut to "A" from "A+," while its Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. units and a series of related subsidiaries were cut to "A-" from "A."

Ratings downgrades are never seen as positive, but this round may be particularly damaging for Bank of America.

Concern already was growing Tuesday about whether B of A has enough capital to withstand another downturn in the U.S. economy or further trouble in Europe, and the bank's stock fell to a two-year low before the ratings announcement.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said in a recent regulatory filing that downgrades from S&P or Fitch Ratings, which also is reevaluating its ratings, "could likely have a material adverse effect on our liquidity" and cut off its access to credit markets.

It typically costs companies more to borrow when their credit ratings are cut, the same way a decline in a person's credit scores drives up the interest rates that banks and credit cards will offer him.

Downgrades could hurt parts of the bank's businesses where creditworthiness is critical, Bank of America said in a filing Nov. 3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A downgrade also could trigger provisions in derivative contracts that require B of A to put up more collateral, and it could terminate the contracts, resulting in losses and hurting the bank's liquidity. The bank posted a $6.2 billion profit for the third quarter, mostly the result of accounting gains and the sale of a stake in a Chinese bank, but it was still moving toward a loss for the year as of Sept. 30.

Bank of America shares fell 17 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close Tuesday at $5.08 and lost another penny after hours.

S&P cut its rating on Citigroup Inc.'s credit to "A-" from "A"; a series of its subsidiaries also saw changes. Citigroup shares closed up 19 cents, at $25.24, and lost 7 cents aftermarket.

Goldman Sachs also was cut to "A-" from "A," which triggered some downgrades for subsidiaries. The investment bank's shares closed regular trading down $1.62, at 488.81, and lost another 12 cents in late trading.

JPMorgan Chase's rating also dropped to "A" from "A+," but its Chase Bank unit was upgraded to "A+" from "AA-" and other subsidiaries also saw upticks. The bank's stock lost 6 cents aftermarket after closing the regular session down 60 cents, or 2 percent, at 428.56.

Morgan Stanley's rating slipped to "A-" from "A" and several of its units also got cut one notch. Shares slipped 9 cents in late trading from their close down 49 cents, or 3.6 percent, at $13.31.

Wells Fargo fell to "A+" from "AA-" which likewise triggered downgrades for several subsidiaries. Shares closed down 7 cents at $24.08, then lost 18 cents aftermarket.

Top U.K. downgrades include Barclays PLC, HSBC Holdings PLC, Lloyds Banking Group PLC and The Royal Bank of Scotland.


Always be prepared.



November 30. 2011 12:47 PM


From the Ross Gittins' link:

A lot of the work of forecasting boils down to weighing up the net effect of the conflicting big forces at the time. We'd be better off debating and understanding the effects of those forces than arguing about point estimates.

I agree.

I have a broker mate who spent years watchin' numbers go up & down...had little understanding of the companies he dealt w/...just an abstract idea...he rarely looked beyond Australia...ignorin' the impact that external forces had, bar war...was war/apocalypse obsessed.

Didn't examine enuff the complexities of other countries, the demands & needs of different sectors, climate effects, horizontal integration, franchises, monopolisation, conglomerates, collusion, insider trading, value of other currencies (exchange rates)...impact on oil prices & manufacturin' (specialisation), the culture of corporate boards & governments and implemented policies as opposed to possible policies...the media effect...polls...protest movement effects...trade relations/agreements...piracy effects...legal battles includin' land rights & intellectual property rights...corruption...treaties...research funding...costs of disaster relief & organisations involved...ratings downgrades & upgrades effects...funding of transport projects and effectiveness of hubs...food shortages & gluts...dumping of products...waste/recycling...black market/underworld effects...reserve bank decisions...differences in the way interest rates are imposed/decided on...scarcity & availability of clean water...resources & relationship to infrastructure...various pension & savings systems...migrant intake...job sector demands...flexibility of workforce...volunteerism...lack of diversity related to energy needs...diversity of safety nets...impact & strength of unions...funding for innovators & higher education...higher education & hospital place availability...public/private education/defense/healthcare/childcare/aged care demands...preparation for disasters (climate & virus-related)...psychology of politicians, corporate execs, those workin' in finance/markets...outsourcin'...pollution-related policy...

the list goes on & on...

complex biological organisms creatin' more complexity in a complex world.

Those in the finance/share market areas need to be more educated...need more experience...if they are gonna play w/ our lives.

Hopefully those Reserve Bank DECIDERS are ROUND enuff.



November 30. 2011 01:02 PM


An example of the complexity...why it's difficult to forecast accurately...think role of protestors & certain political groups & treaties & media & possible future disasters & past experiences (Japan, Chernobyl) location & transport & waste & funding & water availability & demand for jobs & availability of investors & level of terrorism & cost effectiveness...on decisions that need to be made re: nuclear energy in India:

Growth in nuclear power generation despite Fukushima: AEC Chairman

“In many OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, the growth in nuclear energy generation is significant,” he said while speaking at a debate organised by Prabodhan publication on ‘Jaitapur Project: Why Yes and Why No?'

The residents of Madban and other places to be affected by the Jaitapur nuclear power project tried to stall the debate. Despite repeated appeals by the organisers, including Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, the mob shouted slogans against Dr. Banerjee, renowned scientist Dr. Anil Kakodkar, officials of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and others who put forth their side in support of the project.

Concerns raised

Serious concerns were raised about the project such as the safe disposal of nuclear waste, nuclear accidents and their consequences, cost-effectiveness and impact on biodiversity.


Democracies are complex...but also need to have the courage to make essential decisions after useful debate...not be hijacked by extremists & a media that uses CHAOS & CONFLICT to earn moolah...nor by politicians or unions who put their own power needs above the national/global interest.



November 30. 2011 01:12 PM


Somethin' I've been meanin' to put up for awhile:


ArcelorMittal S.A. is a global steel company headquartered in Avenue de la Liberté, Luxembourg, Luxembourg. It is the largest steel producing company in the world and is the market leader in steel for use in automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging. It holds sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and operates extensive distribution networks. The company was formed in 2006 by the takeover of Arcelor by Mittal Steel. It ranks 99th on the 2010 Fortune Global 500 list.

Its industrial presence in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America gives the Group exposure to all the key steel markets, from emerging to mature. ArcelorMittal is looking to develop positions in the high-growth Indian and Chinese markets.

ArcelorMittal key financials for 2007 show revenues of US$105.2 billion, with a crude steel production of 116 million tonnes, representing around 10% of the world steel output.

ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia.

As of 4 November 2008, the market capitalisation of ArcelorMittal was $35.37B.

In December 2008, ArcelorMittal announced several plant closings, including the former Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, NY and LTV Steel in Hennepin, IL.

On 30 June 2010, the European Commission fined 17 steel producers a total of €518M for running a price-fixing cartel, with ArcelorMittal being hit the hardest.

On 26 January 2011, the Stainless steel division split off as a new company, Aperam.

Organizational structureLakshmi Mittal (owner of Mittal Steel), is the Chairman and CEO and owns 40% the shares and voting shares in the company.

The composition of ArcelorMittal's Group Management Board is as follows: Lakshmi N. Mittal (Chairman and CEO), Aditya Mittal (CFO), Michel Wurth, Gonzalo Urquijo, Sudhir Maheshwari, Lou Schorsch, Davinder Chugh and Peter Kukielski.

ArcelorMittal's 11-member Board of Directors is responsible for the overall supervision of the company. The composition of the Board of Directors reflects the principles agreed in the memorandum of understanding dated 25 June 2006.

ArcelorMittal is also Luxembourg's largest employer. As of 1 January 2011, it had 6,070 employees in the Grand Duchy followed by the BGL BNP Paribas bank (4,110) and the Cactus retailing business (3,900).





November 30. 2011 01:37 PM


Hmmm...try forecastin' for this steel corporation...and the impact on Australian, American exports/manufacturin':

ArcelorMittal, Lakeland team on training program
Steelmaker anticipating big needs as current work force continues to age
4:30 am, November 28, 2011

With many of its existing steelworkers nearing retirement, ArcelorMittal knows it will need new ones in Cleveland soon. So the steelmaker intends to forge them itself from the local population with the help of Lakeland Community College and possibly other schools.



29 Nov, 2011, 03.26PM IST, PTI

ArcelorMittal serious to set up steel mills in India

The world's leading integrated steel and mining company, ArcelorMittal has been serious to set up steel mills in India, Dalip Singh, Joint Secretary in Steel ministry said.

"ArcelorMittal group is serious to set up their unit in India and so is the government," Singh, who was here to take part in a seminar on "Dissemination Seminar for India-Japan Model Project for Coke Dry Quenching ( CDQ)" here.

In fact, they have already applied for allocation of iron-ore mines in Karnataka, Orissa and Jharkhand, he said when asked whether any progress was made in regard ArcelorMittal's proposed steel plant in the country.


Africa: Natural Resources - Pathway to Development or Fragility?
Paul Roberts
29 November 2011


In September 2011, iron ore mining officially recommenced in Liberia for the first time in over twenty years, with the opening of ArcelorMittal's mine at Yekepa. The mine is expected to produce some 4 million tons of ore a year and provide vital income for a country that is gradually recovering from years of civil war.

Liberia may be one of the poorest countries in the world with a GDP per capita of just $396 , but it holds vast mineral riches, with significant deposits of precious metals, coal and oil as well as iron ore – and the multinationals are arriving at speed. As well as ArcelorMittal, Chevron and BHP Billiton are establishing operations in the country and others certain to follow. The challenge facing the Liberian government is how to capitalise on this influx of investment, and avoid the infamous 'resource curse.'


ArcelorMittal Should Double In Two Years
9 comments | by: Kraken November 27, 2011


ArcelorMittal May Form Venture With Kazakhstan Railway
November 25, 2011

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- ArcelorMittal’s Kazakh unit, the biggest steelmaker in the central Asian country, agreed to consider a joint venture creation with the national railway to produce rails and long products.

State-owned Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and ArcelorMittal Temirtau will make a decision on a joint venture in the middle of next year based on the results of a feasibility study, the Astana-based railway monopoly said in a statement on its website.

Kazakhstan Temir Zholy would provide 50 percent of the investment, with the venture based at ArcelorMittal Temirtau’s facilities, the railway monopoly said. No financial details were disclosed.

The venture, if approved, would start operating by the end of 2013



ArcelorMittal Says Europe Strike ‘Unacceptable’ as Demand Falls
QBy Thomas Biesheuvel - Nov 22, 2011

ArcelorMittal (MT), the world’s biggest steelmaker, said plans by labor unions in Europe to strike next month in protest against plant closings and job cuts are “unacceptable” given regional economic turmoil.

“It would be far more damaging to the long-term viability of ArcelorMittal in Europe to ignore this economic reality and to continue to produce steel that we know we cannot sell,” it said in an e-mailed statement. “It is unacceptable to consider disrupting production in the current uncertain market.”

The European Metalworkers’ Federation has called for all ArcelorMittal workers in Europe to strike on Dec. 7 to protest against the company’s plan to close plants and cut jobs.

How will a global contraction, European contraction, impact on it?

Think about all the corporations/companies/public servants that will be impacted.

The impact on shares/investors...impact on competin' steel makers...impact on trade...on transport...on jobs...

impact on govt budgets & competin' job sectors if projects go ahead...

impact on land owners & environment if they continue to be a rampant capitalist corporation...


Interconnected global system...

butterfly effect?...

Should those in the markets be so cocky?

Testosterone effect?

Lack of round education.


Lots of corruption.

Busts & booms.




November 30. 2011 01:46 PM

Ad astra reply

We're now off on a tour of the Gippsland Lakes with our American friends.  We may not always be in areas where 3G works well, so we may be out of contact for periods.

We'll be back in our home in a few days.

Ad astra reply

November 30. 2011 01:56 PM



how I could impact public, market PERCEPTION if I owned, had shares in, influence on all this:

News Corporation

It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009

The company's chairman and chief executive is Rupert Murdoch.

HoldingsA recent deal was made between Ad Systems Inc in which Murdoch is to pay Ad Systems (ADSYQ.PK) $4 billion for a majority share of 80% totaling at 320 million shares. The new share price of Ad Systems(ADSYQ.PK) is to be $5 per share on Wednesday 23rd of November when the NYSE opens.The deal went through on 22nd of November 2011. This is the biggest take over of news inc till now.

BooksHarperCollins book publishing company
HarperCollins India (40%)[clarification needed] joint venture with India Today Group
Zondervan Christian book publisher
Inspirio – religious gift production.
[edit] NewspapersAustralia published by News Limited.
The Australian (Nationwide)
Community Media Group (16 QLD & NSW suburban/regional titles)
Cumberland-Courier Newspapers (23 suburban/commuter titles)
The Courier-Mail (Queensland)
The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
The Cairns Post (Cairns, Queensland)
The Gold Coast Bulletin (Gold Coast, Queensland)
The Townsville Bulletin (Townsville, Queensland)
The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales)
The Sunday Telegraph (New South Wales)
Herald Sun (Victoria)
Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria)
The Weekly Times (Victoria)
Leader Newspapers (33 suburban Melbourne, VIC titles)
MX (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane CBD)
The Geelong Advertiser (Geelong, Victoria)
The Advertiser (South Australia)
The Sunday Mail (South Australia)
Messenger Newspapers (11 suburban Adelaide, SA titles)
The Sunday Times (Western Australia)
The Mercury (Tasmania)
Quest Newspapers (19 suburban Brisbane, QLD titles)
The Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania)
Northern Territory News (Northern Territory)
The Sunday Territorian (Northern Territory)
The Tablelands Advertiser (Atherton Tablelands and the Far North, Queensland)
Fiji Times (National) (10%)
Nai Lalakai (10%)
Shanti Dut (10%)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Post-Courier (National) (62.5%)
UK and Ireland newspapers, published by subsidiaries of News International Ltd.
News Group Newspapers Ltd.
The Sun (published in Scotland as The Scottish Sun and in Ireland as The Irish Sun)
News of the World (ended publication 10 July 2011)
Times Newspapers Ltd.
The Sunday Times
The Times
The Times Literary Supplement
US newspapers and magazines
The New York Post
Community Newspaper Group
The Brooklyn Paper
Bronx Times-Reporter
Brooklyn Courier-Life
TimesLedger Newspapers
Dow Jones & Company
Consumer Media Group
The Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal Europe
Wall Street Journal Asia
Barron's – weekly financial markets magazine.
Marketwatch – Financial news and information website.
Far Eastern Economic Review
Enterprise Media Group
Dow Jones Newswires – global, real-time news and information provider.
Factiva – provides business news and information together with content delivery tools and services.
Dow Jones Indexes – stock market indexes and indicators, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Dow Jones Financial Information Services – produces databases, electronic media, newsletters, conferences, directories, and other information services on specialised markets and industry sectors.
Betten Financial News – leading Dutch language financial and economic news service.
Local Media Group
Ottaway Community Newspapers – 8 daily and 15 weekly regional newspapers.
STOXX (33%)- joint venture with Deutsche Boerse and SWG Group for the development and distribution of Dow Jones STOXX indices.
Vedomosti (33%) – Russia's leading financial newspaper (joint venture with Financial Times and Independent Media).
The Timesledger Newspapers of Queens, New York:
Bayside Times, Whitestone Times, Flushing Times, Little Neck Ledger, Jamaica Times, Astoria Times, Forest Hills Ledger
The Courier-Life Newspapers in Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Paper
Caribbean Life
Times-Herald Record (Middletown, New York)
The Leader - Corning, NY
[edit] MagazinesU.S.A
SmartSource Magazine (weekly Sunday newspaper coupon insert)
Alpha Magazine
Australian Country Style
Australian Golf Digest
Australian Good Taste
Big League
Donna Hay
Fast Fours
GQ (Australia)
Gardening Australia
InsideOut (Aust)
Lifestyle Pools
Live to Ride
Overlander 4WD
Modern Boating
Modern Fishing
Pure Health
Super Food Ideas
Truck Australia
Truckin' Life
twowheels scooter
Vogue (Australia)
Vogue Entertaining & Travel
Vogue Living
Inside Out (UK Based Magazine)
[edit] Music and radioFox Film Music Group
Nashe (50%)
Best FM (50%)
Fox News Radio
[edit] Sport50% of the National Rugby League (Australia and New Zealand)
Majority ownership of the Brisbane Broncos (68.9%) and full ownership of the Melbourne Storm rugby league team.
Colorado Rockies (15%)
[edit] StudiosFox Filmed Entertainment: 20th Century Fox's parent company
20th Century Fox: a film production/distribution company
Fox Searchlight Pictures – specialized films.
Fox 2000 Pictures – general audience feature films.
20th Century Fox Television – primetime television programming.
20th Television – television distribution (syndication).
Fox 21 – low scripted/budgeted television production company.
Fox Television Studios (productions)- market specific programming e.g. COPS and network television company.
Fox Television Studios International
Fox World Productions
Fox World Australia
Fox TV Studios France
Fox TV Studios India
Natural History New Zealand – natural world documentaries, non-fiction programming.
Fox Faith – Promotion and distribution of Christian and related "family friendly" movies on DVD and some theatrical release.
Fox Studios Australia, Sydney, New South Wales
Blue Sky Studios – production of CGI films e.g. Ice Age.
Fox Entertainment Group
New Regency Productions (20%) – general audience feature films.
Regency Enterprises (20%) – parent company of New Regency Productions (50%).
BSkyB Studios London, England
FOX Star Studios New Delhi, India
[edit] TVNews Corp agreed to sell eight of its television stations to Oak Hill Capital Partners for approximately $1.1 billion as of 22 December 2007. The stations are US Fox affiliates.[42] These stations, along with those already acquired by Oak Hill that were formerly owned by The New York Times Company, formed the nucleus of Oak Hill's Local TV LLC division.

[edit] BroadcastFox Broadcasting Company (Fox), a US broadcast television network
MyNetworkTV, a US broadcast television network
Fox Television Stations Group, a group of owned and operated Fox television stations
Saeta TV Channel 10, channel of Uruguay
ITV plc (7.5%), a British broadcast television network and the UK's largest advertising revenue based broadcaster
News Corp Europe
bTV, a broadcast television network in Bulgaria. They sold this to CME in February 2010.
B1 TV (12,5%), a broadcast television network in Romania, in partnership with Ismar International NVkkkk
Fox Televizija, a broadcast television network in Serbia (49%). They sold this to Antenna Group in January 2010
Fox Turkey, a Turkish terrestrial channel (56,5%) (formerly TGRT)
Imedi Media Holding (100%), a Georgian radio and TV broadcaster.
Imedi Television
Radio Imedi
Israel 10 (9%), a terrestrial channel in Israel.
LNT (100%), a terrestrial channel in Latvia
TV5 Riga (100%), a terrestrial channel in Latvia
Cielo (100%), a free channel in Italy
ANTV (20%), a private television station in Indonesia, under the administration and label of STAR TV
Prime Television New Zealand – commercial TV station, interest held through stake in SKY Network Television
[edit] Satellite televisionBritish Sky Broadcasting, United Kingdom & Ireland (39.1% holding). In practice, a controlling interest.
Sky Network Television, New Zealand (44%)
Sky Italia (100%), Italy's largest pay TV service
Sky Deutschland (49.90%), Germany's largest pay TV provider
Tata Sky (20%), an Indian DTH HDTV service (in partnership with Tata Group)
Foxtel (25%), Australia, a joint venture with Telstra (50%) and Consolidated Media Holdings (25%)
FOX Italy, Italian Broadcast and Production Company (with 2 HDTV)
STAR TV, an Asian satellite TV service having 300 million viewers in 53 countries (it acquired STAR Vijay and Asianet, two prominent south Indian networks)
Phoenix Television (17.6%), satellite TV network with landing rights in Hong Kong, and select provinces on Mainland China.
[edit] CableCable TV channels owned (in whole or part) and operated by News Corporation include:

Fox Business Network, a business news channel.
Fox Classics, a channel airing classic TV shows & movies
Fox Movie Channel, an all-movie channel that airs commercial-free movies from 20th Century Fox's film library
Fox News Channel, a 24-hour news & opinion channel
Fox Sports Net, a chain of US regional cable news television networks broadcasting local sporting events linked together by national sports news programming. Local channels include "Fox Sports Southwest", "Fox Sports Detroit", etc. (some affiliates are owned by Cablevision).
SportSouth, a regional sports network in the United States, with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and affiliate of Fox Sports Net.
Sun Sports a regional sports network in the United States, with its headquarters in Miami, Florida, and affiliate of Fox Sports Net.
Fox College Sports, a college sports network consisting of three regionally aligned channels, mostly with archived Fox Sports Net programs but also some live and original content.
Fox Sports International
Fox Soccer Channel, a United States digital cable and satellite network specializing mainly in soccer.
Fox Soccer Plus, a sister network to FSC, but including coverage of other sports, most notably rugby. Launched in 2010 after News Corporation picked up many of the broadcast rights abandoned by Setanta Sports when it stopped broadcasting in the U.S.
Fox Sports Middle East – English language sports network airing in Middle East countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE & Yemen.
Fox Pan American Sports (37.9%) – joint venture with Hicks, Muse, and Tate & Furst.
Fox Sports en Español (50%), a Spanish-language North American cable sports network; its sports lineup is tailored to appeal to a Latin American audience.
Fox Sports en Latinoamérica, a Latin American satellite and cable sports network.
FX Networks, a cable network broadcasting reruns of programming previously shown on other channels, but recently creating its own programming, including the Emmy Award-winning programs The Shield and Damages.
Speed Channel
Big Ten Network, cable and satellite channel dedicated to The Big Ten Conference, launched Aug 2007 (49%)
National Geographic Channel (joint venture with National Geographic Society) 67%
National Geographic Channel International 75%
Nat Geo Mundo (joint venture with National Geographic Society)
Nat Geo WILD (joint venture with National Geographic Society)
Fox International Channels, domestic cable channels offering different formats of Fox programming in over thirty countries worldwide.
Fox Life
Fox Life HD
Fox Crime
Fox Horror
Fox Movies
Fox Sports
Speed Channel
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel HD
National Geographic Wild
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Music
National Geographic Junior
Real Estate TV
Fox Toma 1 – Spanish language television production.
Fox Telecolombia – Spanish language television production. (51%)
Utarget.Fox – European and Latin American online ad company, plus now handles TV ad sales.
Middle & South America
Fox Latin American Channels – channels available in over 17 countries in Latin America
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel HD
National Geographic Wild
Nat Geo Music
Universal Channel
Universal HD
Fox Channel
Fox HD
Fox Life
Fox Sports
Speed Channel
Baby TV
Fox One-Stop Media – advertising sales for company owned and third party channels in Latin America
LAPTV (60%) (Latin American Pay Television) operates 8 cable movie channels throughout South America excluding Brazil.
Telecine(12.5%) operates 5 cable movie channels in Brazil.
Premier Media Group (50%)
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
Fox Sports 3
Fuel TV Australia
Premium Movie Partnership (20%) – movie channels, a joint venture between 20th Century Fox, Sony, NBC Universal, Viacom and Liberty Media

Hathway Cable & Datacom (22.2%), India's 2nd largest cable network through 7 cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai & Pune
Total TV (20%), Pay TV platform with JV partner KOO's Group majority owner (80%). News Corp also has a 20% interest in the KOO's Group directly
[edit] InternetFox Interactive Media
Foxsports.com – website with sports news, scores, statistics, video and fantasy sports
Hulu (27%) – online video streaming site in partnership with NBC Universal and The Walt Disney Company.
Flektor – provides Web-based tools for photo and video editing and mashups.
IGN Entertainment – Internet entertainment portal (Includes the sites IGN, GameSpy, TeamXbox, 1up.com, and Askmen.com)
Slingshot Labs – web development incubator (Includes the sites DailyFill).
Strategic Data Corp – interactive advertising company which develops technology to deliver targeted internet advertising.
WhatIfSports.com – sports simulation and prediction website. Also provides fantasy-style sports games to play.
Indya.com – 'India's no. 1 Entertainment Portal'
ROO Group Inc (5% increasing to 10% with performance targets)
News Digital Media
News.com.au – Australian-oriented news website
News Lab
CareerOne.com.au (50%) – recruitment advertisement website in partnership with Monster Worldwide.
Moshtix.com.au – a ticket retailer
Learning Seat
Wego News owns minority stake in Wego.com
Netus (75%) – investment co. in online properties.
REA Group (60.7%)
Casa.it (69.4%), Sky Italia also holds a 30.6% share
atHome group, operator of leading realestate websites in Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany.
Altowin (51%),provider of office management tools for realestate agents in Belgium.
Propertyfinder.com (50%), News International holds the remaining 50%
Sherlock Publications, owner of hotproperty.co.uk portal and magazine titles 'Hot Property', 'Renting' and 'Overseas'
ukpropertyshop.co.uk, most comprehensive UK estate agent directory.
PropertyLook, property websites in Australia and New Zealand.
HomeSite.com.au, home renovation and improvement website.
Square Foot Limited, Hong Kong's largest English Language property magazine and website
Primedia – Holding co. of Inside DB, a Hong Kong lifestyle magazine.
TadpoleNet Media (10%) Hosts of ArmySailor.com
New Zealand
Fatso – leading online DVD subscription service (ownership through stake in Sky Network Television).
Fox Networks – one of the largest international ad networks.
Expedient InfoMedia blog network.
[edit] Other assetsNDS Group – Conditional access technology and personal digital video recorders (PVRs) (49%)
Broadsystem Ltd (UK) – Telephony provider for media companies, bought in 1991
Broadsystem Australia (Australia)
Broadsystem Ventures (UK) – provider of cheap-rate telephone calls, particularly for customers of Sky Television. Bought outright in 1999.
Jamba! – Mobile Entertainment/Mobile Handsets Personalisation/Games.
News Outdoor Group – Largest outdoor advertising company in Eastern Europe with over 70,000 ads including billboards and bus shelters, operating in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Israel, Poland, Romania, Russia (96 cities), Turkey & Ukraine.
Maximedia Israel (67%)
Mosgorreklama (50%) – Russia sign and marketing material manufacturer
Kamera Acikhava Reklamclik (?) – leading outdoor advertising company in Turkey
Australian Associated Press (45%) – real time news service.
STATS, Inc. (50%) – worlds leading provider of sporting information and statistical analysis (a JV with Associated Press)
Fox Sports Grill (50%) – Upscale sports bar and restaurant with 7 locations – Scottsdale, Arizona; Irvine, California; Seattle, Washington (U.S. state)|Washington; Plano, Texas; Houston, Texas; San Diego, California; and Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia.
Fox Sports Skybox (70%) – Sports fan's Bar & Grill at Staples Center and 6 airport restaurants.
News America Marketing (US) – (100%) – nation’s leading marketing services company, products include a portfolio of in-store, home-delivered and online media under the SmartSource brand.
Rotana (9%) – Largest Arab entertainment company owned by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
The Daily – iPad only newspaper delivered daily.
Making Fun – social game developer for making games for social networking sites, smartphones, tablets and other devices.





November 30. 2011 02:07 PM


Have a safe trip Ad.

The above was a lesson. A hard one to learn for many.

Our democracies could be far more democratic.

Our media more diverse.

Our markets run by more rounded, experienced, educated people.

Our politicians freer of lobbyists.

Our education systems wider, more diverse. More empowering.

Our opposition parties less myopic. Less hindering. More honest.

Our labour power across the globe less exploited.

Our trade fairer.

Our environment provided more respect.

Our race workin' together to heal this planet & human, other species sufferin'.

Our present...and future more responsible...sustainable.

Time for a REAL CHANGE.

I'm off.



November 30. 2011 02:13 PM

Feral Skeleton

     You'll love this:


Feral Skeleton

November 30. 2011 02:51 PM


Patricia posted this on PB so I'm re-housing it here.

Patricia Why not post your pomes on both sites, everyone will applaud!

TELL HER Swordsfolks!

"Why Such Limited News Of Our Prime Minister?

Some people find it odd, mysterious,
There’s very little news, no serious
Comment, on achievements of this woman
In a man they’d say were superhuman.

Abroad, she was acknowledged everywhere
As statesman-like. Here, no one seemed to care.
Journos meanwhile with camera and mike
Trail a fitness freak on a racing bike.

Reports headline his stunts as smart.
No suggestion that he’s a media tart.
How come our press is so beguiled
That news limited to him is all that’s filed?"

Recaptcha   Pelled, ptchare


November 30. 2011 03:26 PM

Feral Skeleton

         You'll love this Tweet re the GOP:

      ChicoDelainky: Christian Conservatives Should Be Proud: Every Kind Of Woman Problem Cain , Multi-wife Cheating Gingrich, Multi-Wife believing Mormon Romney

Feral Skeleton

November 30. 2011 04:46 PM


Great info there nasking.


November 30. 2011 05:05 PM


Ad Astra

We will be in same area while your there.  I'll keep an eye out for you. Smile

Catch you all next week, go safe and relax.


November 30. 2011 06:19 PM


Hi Everybody

Here is tweeter tweeting the tweets again:

The bad news is:-

LatelineLateline ABC

Tonight: The Federal Opposition Leader,Tony Abbott ABC1 1035pm
HarryJ_MPNot Harry Jenkins
@KJBar: This is the first time Tony Abbott has accepted #lateline's request for an interview since March 2010.”

SamWells_Sam Wells
He's gettin desperate then! Normal hates live interviews! RT @kjob85 Tony Abbott on @Lateline tonight. First appearance in 2011? #auspol

MayneReportStephen Mayne
Have given some grabs to Lateline for a story going to air tonight about Channel Nine's precarious finances.

SkyNewsAustSky News Australia

VIDEO: Sky News chief political reporter @Kieran_Gilbert talks with Treasurer Wayne Swan http://ow.ly/7JeSO #auspol

Tony Abbott "I don't always tell the gospell truth" is a confessed liar & Campbell Newman is the same http://bit.ly/stiRMv Trust them NOPE

Why would you trust Campbell Newman about LNP MPs never again will miss sitting he joked about it when asked questions http://bit.ly/stiRMv

sprocket___sp rocket
@MayneReport @KJBar @Lateline Is Abbott's interview pre-recorded? Uhlmann does this so bloopers can be editted out, what about tonight?



November 30. 2011 07:01 PM


Nas - Not only is there a book, there is also a website http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/.


November 30. 2011 07:44 PM

Patricia WA

TT!   That's an abbreviated version of a longer pome I posted here at TPS mid April this year!  Re Abbott's Budget Speech that wasn't there!

Who else finds it odd, mysterious,
There’s very little news, no serious
Comment, on achievements of this woman
In a man they’d say were superhuman.
Abroad, she was acknowledged everywhere
As statesman-like. Here, no one seems to care.
Journos meanwhile with camera and mike
Trail a fitness freak on a racing bike.
Budget Day our Prime Minister is seen,
As PMs should be, on the TV screen.
For two days, featured on front page,
The nation’s leader was centre stage,
Praised by bankers and economists,
Businessmen, even some agronomists.
Then a 'story' breaks. Will she, or won't she, wed?
Consensus is, politically, she’s dead.
Meanwhile focus turns, with great fanfare,
To a Budget Reply that wasn't there!
It was his election speech! Some say, "Smart!"
I say, "Rubbish! Re-cycled by a media tart
Who seems to have press so beguiled
That news limited to him is all that's being filed."

It was a minute's work to carve it up as a topical comment on the media's treatment of the left. Don't worry, TT.  I haven't deserted TPS.  I explained to AA yesterday how I find the movement over there fast and furious and fun to follow, for ffffff...'s sake! Am I fffffforgiven?

Patricia WA

November 30. 2011 08:05 PM


Hi Patricia

I forgive you, pretty sure Talk Turkey will too, he thinks a lot of you, you know.

Patricia your comment on the difference between the blogs you mentioned, was a well thoughtout analysis, I totally agree with you.

Funny how they each have their own tone, well their own character
really, yet similar in so many ways, same goals and purpose.

Nice work Patricia, brilliant pome above, thankyou.



November 30. 2011 08:45 PM

Ad astra reply

We are at Metung.  I'm looking forward to  the Abbott performance on Lateline.

Ad astra reply

November 30. 2011 09:14 PM


Interesting isn't it that Abbott now appears on the 7.30 Report and Lateline, for the first time in more than a year.

He's desperate because:

(1) he finished the Parliamentary year on a downer and he knows it
(2) he's trying to keep the action going in the quiet Christmas period and he knows this will not be easy, and may be impossible.
(3) he knows that he's going downhill fast.

I'm not sure who the Lateline host is on Wednesdays, but here's hoping for a few searching follow-up questions.

I'm sure most Swordsters will be watching closely.


November 30. 2011 09:40 PM

D Mick Weir

Ever since I read Tim Harford's Adapt I have been cogitating and attempting to find the time to write something like this:

If you examine the political landscape, one thing is clear: there is no discourse anymore. As Brene Brown says, it is now a game of "you're wrong, shut up." This, Tim Harford eruditely says, comes from a deeply seated "God complex," whereby we - all of us - tend to reject outside views on issues we hold close to our hearts. Tim Harford captured this in his TED talk recently when he said he wanted to see politicians run and win on a platform along the lines of "I know what the problems are, but I don't have all the answers. I have a few ideas. Let's try them. Some will work, others won't. We'll get there." I suspect much of the vitriol that gets in the way of true political progress would be dissipated if we were to start running our political system in this way.

Well that's not totally true 'cos until now I'd never heard of Brene Brown nor have I seen Harford's TED talk.

Anyway something to cogitate over the silly season may be What would politics be like if we were prepared to forgive our pollies for making mistakes?

I am not suggesting forgiving outright stupidity but more along the lines of when a genuine attempt is made to fix a problem and the unexpected happens instead of 'hanging, drawing and quartering'  the offender there was a process of learning from the 'mistake'. Think 'pink batts' maybe?

The above quote comes from an interesting article:
The Future Starts With an "F" Kyra Choucroun @ The Huffington Post

Some good 'silly season' thought starters are contained within.

D Mick Weir

November 30. 2011 10:32 PM

D Mick Weir

I am not totally up with the state of economy in 'the old dart' and who is who and who is paying the rent but I found some parallels to to our economic discourse in Aus in this article:

When the Christmas stocking shrank in the wash Tim Harford @ The Undercover Economist
In an act of last-minute desperation, the prime minister decides to replace his chancellor George Osborne with a figure judged to have broader political appeal: Santa Claus.

D Mick Weir

November 30. 2011 11:33 PM


Well Abbott's Lateline performance was bland in the extreme. Being as cunning as rat up a rafter, I think his sole purpose was to get free publicity for a new "benign" Tony Abbott.

Despite a fair amount of persistence by Tony Jones, Abbott's performance can only be described by one word.....evasive.

The interview was dominated by "you just wait and see".

"You just wait and see how Slipper is now JG's problem" he repeatedly said to several questions specifically asking what these supposed (future) misdeeds by Slipper he expects to occur.

"You just wait and see what amount of $s we'll have to find in the budget" he repeatedly said to repeated questions about the $70billion "order of magnitude" admitted by Robb.  (Here he also claimed Robb didn't admit that figure and that Robb was being verballed ....Jones read from notes of what Robb said, and denied verballing Robb ..... Abbott just shrugged it off.)

"You just wait and see what we'll do in IR reform" he repeatedly said to questions about individual work place contracts.

Evasive, evasive, evasive!

It'll be interesting to see how frequently he now appears on such programs. I expect an obvious increase. IMO he has now begun a concerted con job of trying to show a cool, calm, and and benign image.

He may fool some, but not us here. No matter how he clothes himself, Abbott the negativist-pugilist is the real him, and it will continue to show itself to anyone watching with half a brain and a half keen eye.


November 30. 2011 11:39 PM


Watching Abbott, I didn't notice him actually answer a single question. Does anyone else think he did?


December 1. 2011 12:22 AM


On Lateline on 24 November, 2011, ABC interviewer, Tony Jones, admonished Mr Anthony  Albanese for using the word ‘Noalition’ claiming that he had heard him use it earlier in the day. Mr Jones made it clear that he would not countenance further use of the term.

On Lateline on 30 November 2011, Tony Jones permitted Tony Abbott to use many of his oft repeated pithy criticisms of the government, its policies and the Prime Minister.

DISCUSS whether restricting a Government Minister and Leader of Government Business to one negative reference in comparison to allowing countless negative references by The Leader of the Opposition is fair and balanced journalism.

In your answer you should take into account both the ABC Charter and the rules of commercial journalism as well as ACMA regulations.


December 1. 2011 01:14 AM



You provided a couple of tweets that point out that it is a very long time since LOTO appeared on Lateline:

    @KJBar: This is the first time Tony Abbott has accepted  
    #lateline's request for an interview since March 2010.

    SamWells_Sam Wells
    He's gettin desperate then! Normal hates live interviews! RT
    @kjob85 Tony Abbott on @Lateline tonight. First appearance in
    2011? #auspol

LOTO gets an A+ for Brazenness again. At the conclusion of Lateline, after Tony Jones said 'Thank you. It's been a long time between interviews.'

Tony Abbort replied: 'I hope the PM comes on tomorrow because she's been hiding for the last fortnight.'

Well we all know that a week can be a long time in politics but I wonder if it's some hidden fondness for the PM that makes the 6 days since Parliament rose seem like a fortnight to LOTO. Perhaps, he is stretching the truth? He probably only goes to confession once a week so another porky won't matter in the interim. When you are so 'capable and accomplished' (cf Lateline Transcript), conciliatory, are possessed of 'sympathetic intelligence' and people skills you sometimes have to tell little porkies to have something to confess to Cardinal Georgie Porgie.


December 1. 2011 07:45 AM


Hi Casablanca

Thankyou for posting the tweets, excellent:-

Brazen, says the PM in hiding, lastweek she was stalking.

Couple more tweets :-

geeksrulzGeek Powered
Last week Abbott said PM was stalking people, now she has been hiding apparently. #abbottisms#lateline #auspol

Steph_PhilbrickStephanie Philbrick

CameronBurgeCameron Burge
Haha. Abbott, after not appearing in #lateline for a year, has a chop at the PM for not being around the past two weeks. Such hubris



December 1. 2011 07:54 AM



Carbon pricing policy in the media, Wendy Bacon, The Conversation
Many Australians did not receive fair, accurate and impartial reporting in the public interest in relation to the carbon policy in 2011.Our second report, which deals with the reporting of climate science, will provide more evidence that while the carbon policy was the focus of intense attention, climate science reporting slipped down the news agenda. Meanwhile, newspaper readers in Australia received their usual dose of climate scepticism

A Show About Nothing , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
To be sure, this surplus fetish - the notion that we will be eternally damned in the fires of fiscal hell unless government revenues exceed spending by even a dollar - is partly of the current administration's own making. But why is it so hard for the media to admit to the public that it is all a cruel (accrual?) joke?

Status quo journalism can't deal with change, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
Malcolm Farnsworth is emulating the style of Michelle Grattan, who is a fan of politics rather than any one party or individual. This is someone who likes the sizzle rather than the sausage, and who needs the memory of a goldfish to find drama and tension in the most lame of set-pieces. In this piece, she lets Warren Entsch confuse himself with Jesus Christ.

Government debt - the US vs the Eurozone , Stephen Koukoulas
In all of the kerfuffle over sovereign debt issues in Europe, it has been largely overlooked that the level of net government debt is higher in the US than in the Eurozone as a whole and it is forecast to increase sharply over the next 5 years, unlike in the Eurozone where is it forecast to stabilize.

the media: a freedom to lie ,Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion
Reporters rewrite press releases, churn the publicity industry's spin and are compliant to authority to ensure continued access. Their conception of press freedom is a freedom to lie and conception of the public interest is little no more than the sheer number of copies they can sell.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, Australia can’t just dig its way out, Shahar Hameirim On Line Opinion
Australia is a Lucky Country. However, now is not the moment to bask in the solace largely derived of geographical, geological and historical fortune. Australians need to reengage politically in fostering a new path for the coming decades. To do otherwise will leave us and subsequent generations to grapple with an unfortunate legacy that could have been avoided

Optus secures NBN guarantee from govt: report ,Supratim Adhikari , Technology Spectator
Optus has reportedly received guarantees from the federal government that will ensure the telco will be financially protected should its $800 million NBN deal fall through

Bruised and battered: James Murdoch survives at BSkyB, Paul Barry, The Power Index
Inside the meeting, Murdoch vehemently denied the charges, saying, "I just don't see anything to them", and BSkyB director Andrew Higginson said there was "absolutely no evidence" of hacking at Sky.

What happens when there’s no water? How the Murray-Darling plan might affect communities, Jonathan Sobels, The Conversation
When a conspiracy theory was widely publicised it created uncertainty and inaction in others when in some cases decisive action was probably a better idea. This again contributed to the

Murdoch Hackers May Have Breached Government Computers, Alan Cowell, Truth Out
latest reports suggest that the scandal may be widening if it is established that classified material was also hacked from computers. British news reports on Tuesday said that Mr. Hain’s computer may have contained information about informers within Northern Ireland’s factions. Mr. Hain oversaw delicate negotiations that led to the restoration of local government for the province and the creation of a joint administration grouping its historic adversaries.

Tiny budget surplus causes big fuss, Amber Jamieson, Crikey
The Australian’s Dennis Shanahan says by clinging to a promised surplus, Labor has lost its chance to be open with the voting public: “Rather than taking the people fully into its confidence and admitting changing circumstances may prevent a surplus — indeed may dictate keeping a responsible deficit —

Herald Sun’s fair and balanced coverage of the “mini budget”, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
Terry McCrann. Here he is on yesterday’s “mini-budget”:THE best and worst thing that can be said about Wayne Swan’s mini-Budget is that it is completely irrelevant. OH yeah, Terry? The “worst thing that can be said”, Terry? You have no imagination, cried the Herald Sun subeditors, promptly contradicting him with this front page screamline

Memo Reserve Bank. Read Twitter, it's underrated, Peter Martin
Not Australia’s Reserve Bank, at least not yet. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is putting up money for firms to provide a “sentiment analysis and social media monitoring solution” that will allow it to read the mood of the economy through Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and blogs.

Kevin Rudd and the Right on the ALP, David Havyatt,Anything Goes
True reform of the ALP can only begin by removing affiliated unions from having any formal role in the governance of the party. True reform of the ALP needs to start by developing a better narrative of what it stands for. True reform of the ALP needs to embrace a return to the struggle to balance electoral success and long term goals, and to embrace the role of the party to educate not just respond

The Great Southern Warming, Min, Café Whispers
Today the annual catch of krill is around 400,000 tons annually with over half of it for non-human consumption usually ending up as fish-meal or animal feed. With human consumption it is usually either minced, turned into a paste.


NBN a lifeline for our future, Illawarra Mercury
If you’re a National Party MP, the perplexing answer is no because it seems the party of Black Jack McEwen and Doug Anthony no longer believes in nation building. It opposes the National Broadband Network (NBN). Indeed, it will help Tony Abbott turn his back on the future if he wins office at the next election.

New Speaker Peter Slipper proves a slippery character, Kristin Shorten, Courier Mail
LIKE a rat up a drainpipe, besieged Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper scurried inside his electorate office and refused to come out. A futile game of cat and mouse played out in Peter Slipper's Sunshine Coast electorate yesterday as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives repeatedly dodged his constituents and the waiting media.

Political video’s

Tony Abbott talks defections and poll numbers, Lateline
Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott joins Lateline to discuss his approval rating, Peter Slipper's defection and the Opposition's plans for an alternate budget

ABC: Interview with Joe Hockey, ABC Breakfast, Australian Politics TV

ABC: Qld Opposition missing in the House, Video, Australian Politics TV

ABC: Budget tap dance

Morrison: ABC News Breakfast 30/11/11

Showdown with Peter van Onselen , Sky Video
Peter van Onselen speaks with Labor Senator Doug Cameron and Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi



December 1. 2011 08:10 AM

Ad astra reply

Before I read your comment this morning, I asked myself what word I would use to describe Tony Abbott's performance on Lateline if I were permitted just one.  The word was the same as yours: EVASIVE.

If I were permitted another, it would be SLIMY.  SNAKEY would do almost as well.  Add to that DISINGENUOUS, and you have it in a nutshell.  Tony Jones seemed either unable or unwilling to challenge Abbott's evasiveness, or curb Abbott's boring repetition of his favourite pejorative slogans.

And true to form, he ended with an advice to Jones to get Julia Gillard.on the program, as she 'had been hiding for two weeks' .  Pity Jones didn't offer the retort - how long have you been hiding from Lateline?

I notice that on ABC1 this morning the only mention so far of the Lateline interview was Abbott's endorsement of the discontinuance of te Gold Pass - about the only positive thing he said.  As you Hinted BSA Bob, he scarcely answered a single question.

Ad astra reply

December 1. 2011 08:15 AM

Ad astra reply

I like your descriptor for Abbott's performance - BRAZENNESS.  He is the most brazen politician we have.

Ad astra reply

December 1. 2011 08:18 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I'm working on my iPad at present - I'll update your links when I get my computer fired up here at Metung.

Ad astra reply

December 1. 2011 08:21 AM


Good Morning Ad

Look at this report:-

Lib policy costings exposed by ruling Peter Martin, The Age

tribunal found that two accountants who costed its 2010 election policies had breached professional standards




December 1. 2011 08:41 AM


Lyn,  your link from the Illawarra Mercury is interesting - not only for its content but this is the paper Stuart Littlemore used to tear strips off in Mediawatch for inane reporting.  If this is the current standard of the paper - how times have changed.

Your link to the outcome of the Accountancy investigation (wouldn't that be fun to watch Laughing) into the Noaltition's 2010 costings is strange.  The two accountants were more of less found "guity" of not complying with professional standards - and the person who made the complaint (an Uni Professoe) claims it wasn't far enough.  I suspect we haven't heard the last of this one.


December 1. 2011 08:45 AM


AA, Casablanca
I'm very happy to go with "brazen and evasive".

I agree with your other observations AA, that Abbott continually resorted to irrelevant, very old and tired, perjorative arguments when under pressure (Wrong! Whether under pressure or not). While listening to his answers I asked SWMBO if I'd missed something in his history ...... he is merely a (poor) reciter of nonsense "poems".

And it is true, despite asking several follow-up questions, Jones did not get down and dirty with him (a la K O'B) and therefore in his CV Jones can't put that one down as a strong performance by himself. At the time though, I was happy that at least Jones had made some minimal attempt to get the fool to spill some beans.

BTW, AA, I've read implications/suggestions/reports here over time that the Pollies' serfs do peruse such sites as TPS. I'm interested to know more about this sil vous plait.

Other Swordsters..... A Request Please.
In Fran Kelly's I/V of M Grattan this morning the discussion of the Colonition's financials being "privately" audited!!!!!???? at the end of the 2010 election campaign came up. You will all recall that Abbott refused a Treasury overview ("there might be a leak"). Of course his (and Sloppy's) deceit came asunder when the Indies demanded a Treasury overview to aid their decision as to which side they'd support.

Does anyone know the name of the accounting mob (maybe from WA???) which they used. I'd like to revisit this a bit more deeply and any pointer would be welcome.

BTW Grattan commented that in 2013 both sides will have the option of having their promises financials vetted by the Parliamentary Budget Office, and she indicated that this decision might put Abbott the fool firmly between a rock and a hard place. So sad!111


December 1. 2011 08:48 AM


Abbott in one word:  LIAR.  LOONY was a close second.

BSA Bob:  I couldn't watch more than a few minutes, but it wouldn't surprise me - I'm not even sure he knows what the answers are.  His spin on the Slipper saga didn't just weave a tangled web, it knitted a Gordian knot.  I think that goes beyond BRAZEN and deep into DELUSIONAL territory.


December 1. 2011 08:50 AM


2353 and Lyn
Who's been reading my mind as I wrote my last post!!! I sent it off to TPS then clicked "refresh" and there pops up mention by U2 of the shonk audit of the Colonition in 2010, which I want to revisit.

I haven't checked the link yet Lyn, but thanks again ..... you are invaluable to the TPS and to the many casual visitors who come here just to get direction from you for each day's key issues.


December 1. 2011 08:55 AM



       Geoffrey Phillip Kid and Cyrus Patell, both of the Perth office of WHK Horwath produced a one-page report for the Coalition two days before the election which Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey tendered as an audit, saying the pair had certified “in law that our numbers are accurate".



December 1. 2011 08:58 AM



His spin on the Slipper saga didn't just weave a tangled web, it knitted a Gordian knot.  I think that goes beyond BRAZEN and deep into DELUSIONAL territory.

So so true. Delusional is the word. It reminded me of that great delusionist Joh ("don't you worry abour that" to any tough question").

For Abbott, the cryptic "just you wait and see" (how Slipper will bring down JG).

Jones should've asked here "but if they lose Slipper, that still won't give you the Lodge will it?" OR "that'll just restore the status quo and the House numbers will be the same as prior to last week won't it?")


December 1. 2011 09:01 AM



Muchas gracias.

And so quick!


December 1. 2011 09:32 AM


I pinched this from Poll Bludger, I applaud the sentiments.


Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink
Health Minister Geoff Wilson, who initially said he would support the bill, was one of the Labor MPs who voted against the bill.
"The more I have thought about it, about what I personally believe according to my faith, unfortunately I can't support the bill," he said.

Personally gay union is an issue around which I have a low care factor other than on the basis of Government staying out of citizens private lives, however..
It annoys the crap out of me when politicians use their “faith” as an excuse. Just because you believe in a particular fairy shouldn’t be a factor in other peoples lives. If you can’t separate your religious beliefs from rational law making decisions put on a friggin frock, reverse your collar and start preaching to weak willed people"


As a general observation, I reckon it's a good thing to do to take cuttings of very-carefully-selected other people's posts ans transplant them not just elsewhere-to-here but anywhere to anywhere. Again it could be abused, but on PB, one flash and it's ash, well not ash exactly no, you can still find it but you usually won't. Whole great thoughts just go fwtt, mixed in with lesser posts, Bushfire Bill's posts and ones like this deserve more consideration. Not real articles I'm talking about, (a la Lyn's~Links), just the odd very-well-put / perspicacious / delicious posts.


and this too, this is what I've wanted to hear!

"Danny Lewis
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 7:16 am | Permalink

Good morning, fellow Bludgers!
I am more and more of the opinion that Labor will win the next election."

As Catweazle says:
'The Eye of Time', my friends,'Look with the Eye of Time!'

I don't know if Ms Grattan is really stuck in an eternal present where what is also always will be, but she'd be in heaps of company if so. It is exactly the one certainty, that it will not be like that!

Abbortt was always going to pall,
*J*U*L*I*A*s Government was NEVER going to fall, bar the most unlikely senarios - that is the objective reality, the rest was hype.

Dog Albitey, if Aa and TT and me mate Jason Obelix the Pastrycook knew all that from Day One what's the matter with the Media? But they're coming up to speed at last . . . nearly at a crawling pace now! . . . Wait till Abbortt has a few debilitating wounds, Ooohhh how fast they'll rush him then! Like a pack of ravenous Dogs, Go Dogs! And Oh How noble, and how prescient they will be then in retrospect, Oh I knew all along, oh yeah . . .  

There is nothing cut-and-dried about the next election, as always it is likely to be a nail-biter, with one or t'other skidding in to home base by a millimetre . . . But if Abbortt is still there Labor will win hands down. He's got political leprosy, bits gradually going gangrenous, but it's a fairly slow onset disease usually, it hopefully will take some time.

Because he puts the Coalons on the horns of a pretty dilemma eh!

I love it.  

A little chant for the Coalons. Enjoy.

What shall we do with the punch-drunk Tony?
Bumbling stumbling none-trick pony!
Everyone knows he's just a phony!
New lie every morning!

Woo-Hoo! What a failure!
Dumbest liar in Australia!
Each Bad Abbott gonna nail yer!
New lie every morning!

I fear we're destroying him too fast . . .
      but it's just such fun!
I can't resist.


December 1. 2011 09:51 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

December 1. 2011 09:56 AM


You'll love this:


isn't it grotesque?

The corporation doin' the best job at present is Time Warner as far as I'm concerned, tryin' to link the world & provide some positive answers via CNN. HBO is quality too. However, I'm annoyed that CNN has just cut lots of staff.

I'm enjoyin' readin' thru Crikey now I have the subscription...it reminds me of the days I used to read thru The Australian (in more balanced days), The NY Times, The Times, Washington Post & various mags includin' Mad Magazine & a bunch of sci-fi & science, nature & vege-related ones...

sometimes w/ Walkman playin' away.

I used to love quality time sittin' at railroad stations, in parks or in libraries readin'.

I'm gettin' all nostalgic. Smile



December 1. 2011 10:00 AM


What a song you sing every morning!
And that 'shonky audit' link pays in Platinum eh! With Diamonds!

Coalons "better at handling money"? HA!

That evidence is a mighty missile in Labor's armory eh!



December 1. 2011 10:01 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Your links are posted to your special page; the Internet works well here - much better than in central Melbourne!

I suspect you are right - that some in the MSM peruse blogs; in fact they would be well advised to do so, to see how a large section of the populace thinks.

I think we could add Jaeger's word LIAR to our list - it goes almost without saying.

I'l be out and about most of the day exploring the Gippsland Lakes.  I'll be back this evening.

Ad astra

December 1. 2011 10:04 AM


Christian Conservatives Should Be Proud: Every Kind Of Woman Problem Cain , Multi-wife Cheating Gingrich, Multi-Wife believing Mormon Romney

The Daily Show & Colbert Report have been HILARIOUS satirisin' this stuff. S' & I sit back & have a good larf every arvo...eases the stress.

The Republicans are a rabble. I'm sure another candidate will rush in 'cause this bunch of jerks will be demolished durin' the year.

I do hope that Obama takes more responsibility & shows leadership...he needs to go Patton for awhile...lead from the front. He looks weak now tryin' to distance himself from Congresses' failures.

The Democratic party needs to clean house too. Barney Frank is goin...good...far too many concessions made to corporate swine...and his relationship to Freddie & Fannie.

Plenty of other Senators need to GO too.

That party needs renewal.



December 1. 2011 10:07 AM


debbiep & 2353
thnx to you both.

the support...and link are useful.


December 1. 2011 10:09 AM


Sorry Cobber, Liar doesn't cut it.
Liars don't necessarily stop at nothing.*

Abbortt is a CREEP. All-embracing see.

Lies are only the beginning!

*(Triple negative! sort of . Smile)


December 1. 2011 10:12 AM


Credit where it's due;
On 7.30 last night Heather Ewart* chaired a piece informing us that the gay marriage issue might conceivably hold problems for the liberals as well.
Of course it bloody does, & big ones too, but I think this is the first time I've seen it mentioned. The usual impression is that it's all been sorted out over a cuppa & some Iced VoVos. What's the policy? Like every other it'll be revealed "before the next election."
* I think that's the right spelling of your surname Heather, apologies if it 'aint.


December 1. 2011 10:28 AM


Casablanca @12.22 AM

With regard to your complaint about Jones displaying double standards over 'Noalition' and Abbott's negative remarks, I have to defend Jones on this occasion. Although, as you'll see, perhaps 'defend' is too strong a word.

Jones is of the opinion that journalism is a noble, distinguished profession (witness his reaction to criticism by Jay Rosen - Jones has a very high horse on to which he can climb when it comes to criticism of journalistic standards). Jones believes politicians deliberately make his job more difficult by not answering questions or not being forthcoming with information (witness his chastisement of Chris Bowen for conducting sensitive negotiations with Malaysia 'in secret'). He believes that the ABC is the home of the finest that Australia has to offer when it comes to political coverage (witness the pride whenever he has the honour of announcing 'exclusive access to a leaked document'). Jones also believes that Lateline is the jewel in the crown of ABC News and Current Affairs. By default this makes Jones Chief Jewel Polisher. There is no shortage of evidence of Jones polishing his jewels at every opportunity which he no doubt believes he is entitled to do since he is now top dog after Kerry O'Brien retired from The 7.30 Report.

All of that preamble is to put into context the observation that Jones chastised Albanese for using 'Noalition' because he thinks it brings down the tone of the programme. Objectively, he has a point - it is a bit childish for a senior Minister to use made-up names for his opponents when appearing on the national broadcaster. Jones allows negative remarks from both sides but got a bit prim and proper when he felt Albo was dragging Jones' precious programme down to tabloid level.
If Abbott had used 'Juliar' or something equally silly, I'm sure Jones would have been equally indignant. I don't think he is guilty of hypocrisy in this case.

Having said all of that, I am barely able to watch Jones in action because he is a pompous git, constantly on a quest for a 'gotcha' or a scoop and his interviewing technique drives me crazy.


December 1. 2011 10:29 AM

Patricia WA

TT, Thanks!   Nice little sea shanty to take out with me on my walk with Tacker early in the morning.  

Patricia WA

December 1. 2011 10:43 AM


psyclaw - You're right, Abbott's "let's wait and see" is just like Joh's "Don't you worry about that."

TT - Yes, "liar" is being generous for Abbott - but it's the term they choose to throw at Julia as has resonance.


December 1. 2011 10:48 AM


Bankers throw Gillard a lifeline
by Rob Burgess   Business Spectator

The announcement overnight of a coordinated move by the central banks of the US, the eurozone, UK, Japan, Canada and Switzerland to provide cheap funds to keep the interbank lending market liquid could have a profound effect on the fortunes of the Gillard government.


Taken together, the MRRT and carbon tax are a prudent set of reforms if introduced during a period of modest global economic growth. But they are easily cast as the height of recklessness during a global downturn.

Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan will grasp the lifeline they've been thrown and continue to sell the reforms as if the waterfall was never there in the first place. But it was, and it is – and there's still no guarantee the lifeline won't break.


December 1. 2011 11:21 AM

Bring Back Maxine


Jones had plenty of missed opportunities to really press Abbott last night on LL. The fact that he didn't / was unable exposes his poor interviewing skills. I doubt that K O'Brien would have let so many go through to the keeper. He is no better than C Uhlmann. I've given up on 7:30, Q&A and now LL, at least when Jones hosts it.

You defend Jones, as is your right. However, remember how Jones treated Nicole Cornes on the night of the 2007 Election as someone who had lost their seat. As Jones would know, as she was not the sitting Member, she certainly didn't lose it - she just didn't win it. A cheap shot aimed solely at scoring cheap points.

NormanK, I suggest there are many others more worthy of being defended than bully boy Jones.

Bring Back Maxine

December 1. 2011 11:28 AM


Hi all,

Just reading grogs blog, not sure if you are aware, or  have it in links lyn as I have just come online...cheers


Thursday, December 1, 2011
Australian Political Blog Roll – a Call for Help

As some of you would know, I am writing a book for Scribe publishers on social media and politics, policy and journalism. As part of the project I thought it worthwhile trying to come up with a list of all Australian political blogs. Such a thing is actually rather difficult to accomplish. The fleeting and fluid nature of the blogosphere means that many blogs come and go, some will will about politics but then drop it as a topic.


December 1. 2011 11:32 AM


@ patricia

grog  has your polliepoem site in the list, sweet uh? as well as cafe whispers and etc....

Polliepomes L Single F


December 1. 2011 11:32 AM


@ patricia

grog  has your polliepoem site in the list, sweet uh? as well as cafe whispers and etc....

Polliepomes L Single F


December 1. 2011 11:36 AM


Hi Talk Turkey

Thankyou for posting Bushfire Bill for us all this week.
Other comments from there too, very valuable information.

Would I be presumptuous in asking, if you would post them for us each day.

This post is gold:-

10:00 AM
What a song you sing every morning!
And that 'shonky audit' link pays in Platinum eh! With Diamonds!

Coalons "better at handling money"? HA!

That evidence is a mighty missile in Labor's armory eh

This comment made me be presumptuous:-
Talk Turkey at 09:32 AM

As a general observation, I reckon it's a good thing to do to take cuttings of very-carefully-selected other people's posts and transplant them not just elsewhere-to-here but anywhere to anywhere. Again it could be abused, but on PB, one flash and it's ash, well not ash exactly no, you can still find it but you usually won't. Whole great thoughts just go fwtt, mixed in with lesser posts, Bushfire Bill's posts and ones like this deserve more consideration. Not real articles I'm talking about, (a la Lyn's~Links), just the odd very-well-put / perspicacious / delicious posts.

Here is Bushfire Bill this morning:

Posted By Mark again on Twitter

markjs1Mark Shove

The DailyTerror brings Murdoch's 'shit rag' approach 2 Aussie readers..more from Bushfire Bill: http://bit.ly/tgNnYo #Mediafail #auspol #NBN

Bushfire Bill
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink Comment 2423

The harder they go on Slipper, the harder he will go on them from the Speaker’s chair. He has nothing at all to lose anymore.

And even if he resigns do they expect him to vote with the Opposition?


Bigger than the Parliament, bigger than the defamation laws, bigger than the Prime Minister, but morally smaller than the pubes on a gnat’s gonads, with a mindset to match.




December 1. 2011 11:47 AM

D Mick Weir

NormanK @ 12.22 AM
... this makes Jones Chief Jewel Polisher. There is no shortage of evidence of Jones polishing his jewels at every opportunity ...

NK most fortunate that you made that comment after all the kiddlywinks had gone to bed. The horror images that comment could create in young minds would not be appropriate for Prime Time Blogging

Jones polishing his ...

hee, heee, snigger

... Stop it you'll go blind

D Mick Weir

December 1. 2011 12:22 PM


Hi Psyclaw

Thankyou for another as usual valuable comment .  

Your compliment is very much appreciated.

You know , the whole shonky, and as Casablanca said “Brazen” episode of the Liberal’s costings  is shameful, but why aren’t the media reporting, apart from the one article from Peter Martin, there is nothing else.

08:50 AM
2353 and Lyn
Who's been reading my mind as I wrote my last post!!! I sent it off to TPS then clicked "refresh" and there pops up mention by U2 of the shonk audit of the Colonition in 2010, which I want to revisit. I haven't checked the link yet Lyn, but thanks again ..... you are invaluable to the TPS and to the many casual visitors who come here just to get direction from you for each day's key issues.

Here are some tweets regarding the Lies told by Abbott, Hockey and Robb.

I think I just heard Bob Brown on ABC 24 saying something like: “The Liberals Big Lie’

PollyticsPossum Comitatus
Hockey's response about his flat out lies over election costings audit: "I'm not getting into it, mate.". No wonder

@latingle @LaurieOakes @lenoretaylor @michellegrattan @BushfireBill @farrm51
I await media NOW taking Hockey/Robb 2 task over costing LIES

ChrisOgilvieSnrChris Ogilvie
Why won't @melissad
Doyle and @kochie_online tell viewers how Joe Hockey cooked the books and lied to voters via the Age www.theage.com.au/.../...uling-20111130-1o773.html

senatormilneChristine Milne
Hockey said it would be a brave person to say Coalition election costings were accounting tricks but professional conduct hearing just did.

mrumensMarian Rumens
Nothing in msm about Joe Hockey's lie about having audited costings. The agreement said 'not of an audit nature' Joe Hockey lied to voters

Why isn't the media all over the fact that the coalition's costings are out by 70 billion dollars? Because it is corrupt.

AgnessMackAgnes Mack
Dodgy dealings on dodgy costings RT "@1petermartin : Lib costings debacle - Hockey's "auditors" fined: http://bit.ly/ruDUIy #auspol"

mrumensMarian Rumens
@sortius Joe Hockey and
Andrew Robb both told the electorate lies about the costings.
Why didn't msm take this up #libfail

@abcnews @australian @PhillipCoorey @PaulBongiorno @BernardKeane @David_Speers
I await media NOW taking Hockey/Robb 2 task over costing LIES



December 1. 2011 12:33 PM


Bring Back Maxine

I did try to strike a balance. The only defence I offered was of Jones' right to regard 'Noalition' as a bit juvenile for a serious current affairs programme. Beyond that he is an arrogant fool with a far too high opinion of his own interviewing skills. As you say, a half-way decent interviewer would have taken Abbott to task for the nonsense he was offering in lieu of answers.

7.30 seems to have settled down a bit now but I agree that I can no longer watch Q&A simply because of Jones' presence.


December 1. 2011 12:51 PM


Various & apt descriptions of characteristics displayed & approach to interview by Tony Abbott on Lateline last nite:

bland in the extreme. Being as cunning as rat up a rafter

Evasive, evasive, evasive!

No matter how he clothes himself, Abbott the negativist-   pugilist is the real him

Abbott continually resorted to irrelevant, very old and tired, perjorative arguments


(Ad astra)

LOTO gets an A+ for Brazenness again


I would have to agree. I would add DEFENSIVE...HOSTILE EYES...INSINCERE...INTENTIONALLY VAGUE but occasionally sounds not across the portfolios...SEMI-AUTOCRATIC...NASTY...PETULANT...PRONE TO EXAGGERATION...

not leadership material...more of an offensive wrecker...attempts to wedge, hinder, slowdown his opposition & create public confusion & doubts...kamikaze-like...put there to create opening for another leader.

Not sure he knows it tho.

As Psyclaw observed:

He's desperate because:

(1) he finished the Parliamentary year on a downer and he knows it
(2) he's trying to keep the action going in the quiet Christmas period and he knows this will not be easy, and may be impossible.
(3) he knows that he's going downhill fast.

The downward spiral can be horrible to observe...yet fascinating when it comes to a leader who has been relentlessly negative, annoying, aggressive, ranting, obstructionist, fear-mongering, inconsistent & BSing.



December 1. 2011 12:54 PM


thnx for the link to Grog's blogroll...useful indeed.



December 1. 2011 01:08 PM


Abbortt is a CREEP. All-embracing see.

Lies are only the beginning!

I reckon that's how my father-in-law feels...and many others.

There is somethin' creepy about the way he shifts...the anger that lies beneath...the strange popping up of religious language now & then...the obsession he has w/ Julia...the INTENSITY that comes w/ his political & fitness approach.

I got the feelin' last nite he would be FEROCIOUS when it came to dealin' w/ China & Indonesia...

a diplomat he's not.

Perhaps he'd be better leadin' a crusade somewhere?

Time machine anyone?

He'd probably suit present day UK rather than Australia.

Can we send him, Minchin, Browyn Bishop, Bernardi, Joyce & Pyne to the UK?

They could participate w/ the airforce crews in trainin' to bomb Iran.

Or perhaps Israel would be better?

Paint 'em up & send them as THE FEROCIOUS FEW against the Persian military.

"We are FEROCIOUS!!!"



December 1. 2011 01:17 PM


Worth readin':

Can Durban deliver?

This two weeks might turn out to be more interesting than expected, writes Michael Jacobs. The stakes are certainly high enough

Current affairs and culture from Australia and beyond

29 November 2011

Both the European Union and Australia – along with other developed country allies such as New Zealand and Norway – are now committed to such a “Kyoto + negotiations” deal. More interestingly – though there remain disagreements on detail and timing, with the 2020 commencement widely regarded as too late – so are an increasingly large number of developing countries. They include the least-developed bloc (including Bangladesh and many African countries), the influential small-island states such as the Maldives and Caribbean islands, and a number of middle-income countries such as Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Costa Rica. This is a powerful coalition, and it says much about the changing nature of international climate politics that the differences of position within the developing world are now so open.

For of course the key countries not in this coalition are the big four developing nations. China, India, Brazil and South Africa want Kyoto to continue beyond 2012: it is, a recent BASIC meeting declared, their number one priority for Durban. But they have rejected the idea that this should be achieved by simultaneously starting negotiations towards a new treaty in which they too would be required to take on international obligations. There is particular disquiet at the proposed agreement date of 2015: having barely started their own serious emissions reduction programs, Brazil and India have spoken of the next few years being a “reflection phase” or “technical/scientific period,” not a negotiating one.

But just how fixed are these positions? Under its new environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, India seems to have reverted to a traditional hard line. But South Africa, not surprisingly, is looking to conclude a deal from the conference: as host of the Durban meeting, President Jacob Zuma will not wish to see the death of Kyoto pronounced on African soil. Brazil, too, is under its own global spotlight as host of the Rio+20 Summit next June, marking twenty years since the original Earth Summit established the UN climate regime. Having committed to ambitious plans to cut deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, it prides itself on being a progressive influence in climate negotiations. Meanwhile, there are signs that China may be in a surprisingly flexible mood. Domestically it has embarked on a concerted program to slow emissions growth, including a trial of emissions trading. And though Beijing has been firmly opposed to any suggestion that it should take on international legal obligations, its relentless global expansion in search of commodities over recent years has left it highly sensitive to its relations with the rest of the developing world: it knows it is now widely seen as an economic superpower which by 2020 will have to take on responsibilities to match.

And then, of course, there is the United States. Its position is straightforward: it wishes this whole subject would go away. In a pre-election year, facing a Republican Party in which climate scepticism has become an article (literally in some cases) of faith, the last thing President Obama wants is to drag global warming back into the domestic debate. So American negotiators are happy to hide behind the BASIC position, insisting on a series of tough conditions before they can agree to a new round of legal negotiations – effectively forming an unlikely alliance with India. But they have not altogether closed the door: and as several observers have slyly pointed out, four years ago, at the equivalent conference negotiating point in Bali, even the Bush administration caved in when it found itself the last country holding out.

So the next two weeks on the South African coast could yet prove more interesting than originally anticipated. The odds remain stacked against a deal: climate negotiators have a special way of breeding mistrust among themselves and forcing their ministers into last-minute dramas, and any number of grenades can still be thrown into the process. But nevertheless, it’s a space worth watching. The prize at stake is a big one.

Michael Jacobs is a Visiting Professor in the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

More here:


I linked to this useful post by way of CRIKEY.

Off to watch cricket...shame that bloody Betfair has to be advertised on the grounds.

I'm hopin' our Vodaphone team does well. Smile



December 1. 2011 01:36 PM

D Mick Weir

Doing the right thing can end boats hysteria Editorial @TheAge

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...teria-20111130-1o6xr.html

Anonymous editorial in todays Age.

D Mick Weir

December 1. 2011 02:23 PM

Patricia WA

DMW. re that Age editorial, it's good to see MSM printing that sort of information and expressing that sort of opinion re asylum seekers more and more often these days

Patricia WA

December 1. 2011 02:41 PM

D Mick Weir

cheers Patricia WA

D Mick Weir

December 1. 2011 03:44 PM

Patricia WA

Many thanks, debbiep! That's interesting! As I explained to TT, I see myself as a blogger who comments on a few significant sites, often in verse.  I developed  http://polliepomes.wordpress.com more as somewhere to collect my 'pomes' and some of the comments on them from the various posts which first inspired them.  I like to participate in the give and take amongst bloggers at those more frequented sites rather than encourage traffic to my own.

Even now, after after a couple of years when I've begun writing fuller articles or notes enlarging on the verses, even illustrating them, I usually prefer to cross post them at those other sites which first pushed me into the pome, like TPS or CW.   As Grog says the blogosphere is "fleeting and fluid"and sometimes within a few days they may be old hat, not topical or relevant to the current thread.  Even so, I will have enjoyed the catharsis of creating the comment and can keep it in cold storage, as it were, to use or to adapt later.

The importance of what I'd call 'real' blogsites like William Bowe's Poll Bludger, Miglo's Cafe Whispers, Ad Astra's Political Sword and with it Lyn's Links just can't be under-estimated in their importance to the development of the political debate in our democracy.  I've become a much better informed citizen thanks to them.  Print media, I think,  wants our exclusive attention as part of a captive readership and their websites aren't much better.  Here we are encouraged to read more widely and inform ourselves better about issues at home and abroad (Thanks 'N!).

It'll be interesting to read what Grog makes of us all here in the Downunder region of the blogosphere in his book for Scribe!  Knowing him I imagine we won't be left waiting too long before publication.  He has an amazing facility for absorbing data and producing very readable and accurate appraisals of their relevance.    

Patricia WA

December 1. 2011 04:16 PM


I found this comment after a Grattan article on Pay increases for Pollies.Interestingly, the photo of our PM, judging by the hair colour, is from earlier this year. The comment hopefully is another indicator of a more rational assessment of the PM & Labor.

Is it just me, is is the PM looking pretty hot these days ...?
kp | Sydney - December 01, 2011, 7:54AM

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...-way-out-20111130-1o7d9.html


December 1. 2011 05:09 PM

Patricia WA

Casablanca - that was one of the few remotely friendly comments on that article, despite Michelle Grattan for once giving a very fair appraisal of the wage increase for MPs.  Obviously few of the commenters bothered to read her article or listen to her comments there before launching into abuse of the PM and her government.  A few well informed people did point out that politicians' salaries are awarded by an independent tribunal, but otherwise it was wall to wall (or is it fence to fence?)astro turfing.

Comments are now closed, but I don't think my opinion would have had much impact. MG had pointed out on the site that MPs are poorly paid compared with most professionals, and that the new rates of pay were now more transparent after travel perks, gold card etc. were done away with.  By the way I voted four or five times in their poll!   I didn't get a peep/beep? of protest.

Yes, Casablanca, the PM did look great in that pic, didn't she?
But then she's always been photogenic.   So perhaps 'kp' has only recently become a fan, as you surmised.

Patricia WA

December 1. 2011 05:51 PM

Patricia WA

Casablanca re www.theage.com.au/.../...cians-20111201-1o7qu.html  

Correction! The more than fair article was written by Phil Coorey and an unusually but equally fair video commentary given by Michelle Grattan, neither of whom were heeded by most of the people commenting and voting in the opinion poll which followed.

Patricia WA

December 1. 2011 06:26 PM


TONY ABBOTT: And I hope the Prime Minister comes on tomorrow night because she's been hiding for the last fortnight.

TONY JONES: We shall see.

The more incisive answer is along the following lines:

TONY JONES: Well the PM is actually engaged in running the country - 254 of her bills have been passed in 12 months. We in the media don't always report the PMs statements or appearances, in part, because we need to be there when you do your Iron Man escapades and your clever and captivating channelling of Bob the Builder.

But in the interests of balance (lol) I should as a balanced ABC interviewer mention that in the 6 days since Parliament rose the PM has appeared and spoken and/or chaired the following events:

THU 01 DECEMBER 2011: Poets and Historians to be Honoured in Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

  Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Simon Crean today
  announced $100,000 in prize money for a new poetry award to be
  included in the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. ...

WED 30 NOVEMBER 2011: Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing Communiqué

  The Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing held its first
  meeting in Canberra today.  Leaders from the manufacturing
  sector, unions and the research sector joined the Prime
  Minister, the Treasurer, the Minister for Innovation, Industry,
  Science and Research and the...

WED 30 NOVEMBER 2011: Remarks made at the Inaugural Meeting of the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce

  PM: Well can I welcome everybody to this first meeting of the
  Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce, I know for some it
  hasn’t been an easy journey to Canberra today, I understand that
  there was some flight delays so I thank people for getting here.
  Our job here today is to...

WED 30 NOVEMBER 2011: Climate Change Authority Based in Melbourne.

  Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced that the Climate
  Change Authority, one of the key governance bodies established
  under the Government’s clean energy legislation, will be based
  in Melbourne. The CCA will be an independent body which will
  provide expert advice on the...

MON 28 NOVEMBER 2011: President Karzai's Transition Statement

  Prime Minister Julia Gillard today welcomed President Karzai’s
  announcement of the second tranche of provinces, cities and
  districts set to transition to the responsibility of Afghan-lead
  security forces. When the transition of this second tranche is
  completed, Afghan national...

SAT 26 NOVEMBER 2011:Speech at the Opening of the Visy Clean Energy Plant, Melbourne

  Ten years ago last Tuesday, my friend Bob Carr opened the Visy
  plant at Tumut. It was Visy’s first big venture into clean
  energy based on the sustainable re-use of manufacturing
  by-products. ...

SAT 26 NOVEMBER 2011: Speech to the Alannah and Madeline Foundation Luncheon, Melbourne

  We would not be here but for the events of 28 April 1996 –
  events that will remain in our nation’s memory always. On that
  day, we saw unmitigated evil from one man. ...

TONY ABBOTT: Well Tony, again the PM is undoubtedly lying at each of these engagements. She is a serial liar. The other thing is that she puts these things on her official web-site http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office  which as everyone knows is a union sponsored site. We, as the political wing of the AUSTROLLIAN deliver the media talking points to you via SMS, just another example Tony of this bad government using bad media tactics. If you can't manage the media Tony, you can't manage the country.

TONY JONES: Well said Tony. My sentiments exactly.

reCAPTCHA: mouth. (yep, that's Abbort)


December 1. 2011 06:27 PM


Here we are encouraged to read more widely and inform ourselves better about issues at home and abroad

Well said Patricia.

I luv the informal aspect of our smaller blogs...it's like travelling w/ a number of people on a long train journey...you meet up in the dining carriage, have a chat about yerself, friends & family experiences...pick up a paper at each station and walk thru the carriages readin' stuff out to people...one is able to get passionate about somethin' they saw outa the window...new passengers join up...some leave for awhile and join up further down the line w/ plenty to tell.


Each day you awake from slumber eager to hear the day's news.

In the morn Lyn rushes up w/ the latest local papers & more...everyone thnx her & dives in...

Patricia & Talk Turkey have poetry reading sessions in a carriage...people luv droppin' by...

AC does great satire at the end of the week as we all sup & giggle, chuckle...

Train driver Ad astra posts up the latest DESTINATION...w/ the help of Hillbilly/Feral...who enjoys goin' from carriage to carriage handin' out passionate newsletters and parts of the ALP manifesto...or holds meetings thrillin' everyone w/ news from America or the zany side of life stories...

Ad takes long strolls down the corridors seein' how people are goin'...makin' sure they are comfortable...sometimes joined by the chirpy & informed Lyn...both providin' wise advice...and makin' recommendations...

Jason passes by carriages and calls out the lineup for weekend news...

many other passengers swap papers & stories...a bit of gossip...a touch of conspiracy (some tut tut & wave fingers)...some whisper amongst each other...others dive off the train as it stops & peruse the platforms & areas outside the station...pickin' up strange, unfamiliar papers & pamphlets from unfamiliar lands...bringin' them back later as an offerin' havin' digested what they can...

and as the train continues its long journey across the transition zone...passengers look out of the windows...observin' the changes across the landscape...knowin' that somethin' they said or wrote long before may have contributed...that someone they know might be out there protestin'...or creatin' a new media organ...or puttin' up money for a clean energy project...or donatin' to a cause such as gay marriage rights...or stoppin' abuse of animals...or anti-workchoices campaign...or the occupy movement...or protectin' the great barrier reef & creatin' natural heritage areas...or extendin' the dates for voting in elections...or pushing the Republic...or protectin' women from abuse and invasion of their ovaries...or challengin' cults & patriarchal geedy hypocritical religious organisations...or callin' for a media inquiry & senate investigation...or protections & funding for vital manufacturing...protectin' food bowls...the list goes on & on...

people chattin', informin', swappin' ideas & papers, makin' recommendations re: food, music, movies/TV, clothes, gardens, books...recitin', bein' passionate, occasionally ragin', whisperin', enthused, outraged, criticisin'...problem solvin'...bein' naughty...observin'...analysin'...in-depth discussion, shallow moments...laughin' (LOL, ROFL), suggestin'...offerin'...absorbin'...evaluatin'...applaudin'...
booin'...cheerin'...rapt listenin'...

it's all happenin'...

on smaller, less formal blogs...



December 1. 2011 06:57 PM



Your post is magnificent, fabulous, fantastic,  you devil you
have insurmountable talent.

Thankyou Nasking for a delightful piece of reading, with all the
depressing news today,

"you have made my day".

`I luv the informal aspect of our smaller blogs...it's like travelling w/ a number of people on a long train journey...you meet up in the dining carriage, have a chat about yerself, friends & family experiences...pick up a paper at each station and walk thru the carriages readin' stuff out to people...one is able to get passionate about somethin' they saw outa the window...new passengers join up...some leave for awhile and join up further down the line w/ plenty to tell.



December 1. 2011 07:47 PM

Patricia WA

Sounds delightful, 'N!   And there's no ticket collector!

I like the thought of a slow train with carriages and a connecting corridor throughout.  As long as the diner serves decent food! TT and I understand that it's a dog friendly chu-chu, of course.

Patricia WA

December 1. 2011 07:50 PM


Wow, Nasking,
What a rush you have given me! Ad astra did it to me last week, now you, and you're bloody well right Mate!

Lyn as usual said it lovely.

All Aboard the Train!



December 1. 2011 08:42 PM


Hey Talk Turkey

I was talking to you on a post this morning, in fact I asked a  special favour.

Will you go back and have a look for me please.



December 1. 2011 09:08 PM


"you have made my day".

As you always do ours Lyn. My pleasure. Gracias for yer amazing work. Cheers.

And there's no ticket collector!

only a ghost who walks past w/ a smile at nite, nods & mysteriously appears in our hands tickets to freedom. Smile

As long as the diner serves decent food! TT and I understand that it's a dog friendly chu-chu, of course.

Absolutely. All varieties of food served...and all animal friends accepted. We often bring our feline friends aboard too...Apollo sits in the smoking section w/ his organic Sth American cigars & Chilean wine...amongst other things. Smile

All Aboard the Train!

Wonderful choice TT!!!

And...who will be the corporate rich evil figure who doesn't make it to the end of the journey? Smile

Train-departing Shot from Murder on the Orient Express




December 1. 2011 09:28 PM


Ad astra, Patricia WA, Lyn,
I owe you all replies. Sorry, I just get so involved with other reading (blame Lyn) and other writing when so much is happening.

Lyn first, because you're the least difficult to answer in this case.
You said:
"Hi Talk Turkey
Thank you for posting Bushfire Bill for us all this week.
Other comments from there too, very valuable information.

Would I be presumptuous in asking, if you would post them for us each day."

Well Lyn you know I'm a peripatetic, and PB sets of 50 fly by so fast, and I'm not really a very fast reader, so I will certainly miss many more BB's and other brilliant posts than I ever spot.
But! IF: -
1. Ad astra thinks it's cool, and a few others say so too;
2. Bushfire Bill in particular doesn't come here and object!
3. I am not the only one doing it . . . (Mark?)  
4. Whatever other IFs I think of in future . . .

Then I'm happy to post BB's when I see him plus the odd othery, probly mostly from PB, it's more than I can keep up with anyway.
But I want other people to do likewise, being very discerning and only picking posts with special charm, I don't want to be an orphan. Ohhhh . . . Kayyyyy?

Ad astra: Your article is deserving of a reply. I have been thinking about that, and you're on a promise.

Patricia, I was going to reply now but I just noticed that Lyn has pecked me savagely Wink for not replying earlier so I'll post this now and get back to you later.


December 1. 2011 09:52 PM


PatriciaWA said I like the thought of a slow train with carriages and a connecting corridor throughout.  As long as the diner serves decent food! TT and I understand that it's a dog friendly chu-chu, of course.  and the train is air conditioned with a club car that serves decent coffee!


December 1. 2011 11:06 PM


  And anyone else who maybe interested

"Former prime minister Paul Keating in an intimate conversation about politics, policy and on a personal level, what inspires his imagination."



December 1. 2011 11:17 PM

D Mick Weir

An absolute must read

Mega on Keating (and that perennial problem - leadership)

The Book of Paul: Lessons in Leadership and Paul Keating

Read it before it disappears.

Mega nails it in this one.

D Mick Weir

December 1. 2011 11:39 PM


A not-very-funny thing happened to me on Tuesday.

Like this:

From my letterbox I took an ordinary greeting-card envelope,
VERY clearly addressed to me in 3mm black felt-tip pen,
Postcode right, sender's Address on the back,
60c stamp, all exemplary proper.

BUT it had been neatly slit open all along one end,
with a nearly sharp object that just left a little bit of tearing, but neatly done withal,
the greeting card and event ticket inside sticking outa few millimetres,
AND, on top of this,
the stamp is unfranked!

I know who sent it, a friend of mine just across Adelaide town, I rang him and asked about it. He put it in his local post box along with several to other people on Sunday night.

The only possible explanation that fits
is that it was

I went to my local P.O. and talked with the most experienced bloke there, (I've known him by name for years), he umm'd and ahh'd, 'It might have got into the wrong letterbox and been opened by mistake', well that's BS,
a)It's so VERY clearly boldly addressed,
b)I'm to believe that it was -
*opened 'in error'
*reposted in my letterbox
*(with contents poking out the opened end,
can you imagine a postman leaving it like that?!)

It feels VERY much that I am under SURVEILLANCE. By person/s who can dip into and remove mail from the stream BEFORE it goes through the postal process. THAT IS SCARY!!!!!

So today after thinking it over I went back to the P.O. and there I spoke to a different person, a sincere and pleasant woman whom I have known by name for even longer, and with whom I have often had cordial dealings in the past. Unlike the man, she was wide-eyed when I showed the letter and explained the circs. She has been in the PO for many years, she's never heard of such a case, she is of exactly the same opinion as I.

I obtained from her a 'PM 26' "Customer Service Complaint" Form, which is to register complaints about missing/tampered-with etc. mail. I do not expect to find out what has happened, but I am feeling not a little paranoid, not afraid so much, but livid, and very very interested in this curious affair.

What I want to know from Swordsfolks and other friends is, anybody else? Any suggestions?  

WHAT DO YOU THINK? I really would like some replies please!



December 1. 2011 11:39 PM

D Mick Weir

thanks for that link Jason

hmm recaptcha IOU

D Mick Weir

December 2. 2011 12:07 AM

Patricia WA

Sorry, DMW, can't agree with you on this.  GM always seems reluctant to to give credit to Julia Gillard.  Keating has had his time.   He lost to Howard and is now part of history, a great part it's true.  But nostalgia for him or someone of his gib is as pointless as the nostalgia for Howard.

The current government is doing a fine job and there is plenty of talent there.  George Megalogenis knows it, he has acknowledged our international economic star status himself.  He knows what dills the Opposition are, but he's a limited news man and can't give credit to Julia Gillard and Wayne Swann.  Also I suspect he's a good Greek boy and something of a misogynist.

Patricia WA

December 2. 2011 12:44 AM


It's good to see that the two blogs I prefer to read, TPS and CW are two of the most prolifically commented sites on Grog's list.


December 2. 2011 01:24 AM

Patricia WA

Sorry, Roswell, how did you reach that conclusion?  I'm sure you're right, but I can't quite see how.

Patricia WA

December 2. 2011 01:34 AM

D Mick Weir

Patricia WA
I suspect you may have mis-taken something/s

For mine the articles point was not a nostalgia for Keating and for him to return.

The last paragraph makes some excellent points on where we were at the end of the Howard Horror Years and and Megalogenis' thoughts on what he sees is needed as a result.

If you think that government is about a scorecard of the number of pieces of legislation that have been passed then, yes, this government is doing a great job.

For those, such as I, that think it is about more than that then Megalogenis' piece has some very interesting fodder.

D Mick Weir

December 2. 2011 07:43 AM


Morning Swordsfolks
I'm still hoping for comments on my post at 11.39 tampered-with snail-mail.

Wishing Lefties a happy and constructive ALP National Conference this weekend.  


December 2. 2011 08:06 AM


Patricia, it was simple. I visited a lot of the sites and couldn't help but notice.


December 2. 2011 08:09 AM



A Position of Power , Mr Tiedt, A State of Mind
Before the last election Labor practically tore itself apart deciding what to do with the electricity network. In the end, thanks to the Coalition opposing the deal, Labor was not able to secure the sale. Iemma's quote summed up the situation quite neatly: "The leader of the Opposition [O'Farrell] knows that the Government's approach is right. Yet for five minutes of political advantage he has displayed all the principles of an economic vandal

Deficit bad, surplus good in political Narnia narrative, Tim Dunlop, The Drum
Of all the mind-bendingly stupid things that have been written this week about the Government's Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), this comment from Dennis Shanahan wins the Wankley:

The welfare state is not to blame for the Euro crisis, Matt Cowgill, We Are All Dead
Bob Carr wrote a strange post advancing the conservative canard that the Euro crisis is a crisis of the welfare state, caused by high taxes and/or welfare spending as a proportion of GDP. He’s wrong

Interest Rate Betting - An Update for December, Stephen Koukoulas
The market reaction to the central bank liquidity and banking measures saw the money market scale back the chances for a December interest rate cut but a 25bp cut is still fully priced in after the disappointing retail sales and building approvals numbers this morning

News Ltd starts smear campaign against slipper, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia
The Liberal Party’s Melbourne newspaper, published under the banner of “Herald Sun”, is already in full flight denigrating the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper.In today’s edition, the Herald Sun uses unnamed Coalition MPs to demonise Speaker Slipper as being a drunk, or having been “warned” in the past of reeking of liquor and the not too subtle implication is that he’s northing more than an out of control alcoholic.

The Murdoch Cesspool,,,,,  Eric Boehlert, Media Matters
The new, first-person accusations now tumbling out against Murdoch and his minions (on two different continents) are astonishing considering Murdoch is supposed to be overseeing a news organization, not a criminal enterprise. What's been emerging in recent days has been an ugly portrait of a larger corporate culture where rules don't apply

Ridout: fix the carbon price, don't repeal it, The Power Index
Industry leader Heather Ridout is no fan of Julia Gillard's carbon tax, but she says Tony Abbott's plan to repeal it would do more harm than good."We don't need uncertainty on top of uncertainty," the Australian Industry Group chief executive told The Power Index. "Our members really want to get moving on this issue.""The whole repealing issue is a very complicated one."

So she is scrapping the thing we said she wouldn’t scrap. Quick, attack her for something else, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
Trumpeted the Herald Sun on Wednesday, “PM hits families but won’t stop MP rorts“, exposing the darn gold pass scheme they were certain was going to stay

Miners invest, Minerals Council sledges socioeconomic policy agenda, Peter Martin
The government has hailed new mining investment figures as a “resounding vote of confidence” as the industry itself complains about an “increasingly regressive shift in Australia's socioeconomic policy agenda”.

Sausages, legislation and the Draft Basin Plan, John Quiggin
Thanks to the Water for the Future program, something like 1700 GL of average flow has already been (re)purchased from irrigators who have been happy to sell. If the government pursues this path, they could declare victory in a few years time and abandon the costly boondoggles involved in subsidising supposedly water-saving engineering projects.

Inquiry Bursts The Gas Bubble, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
the focus of a recent Senate inquiry, chaired by New South Wales Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan, on "the impact of mining coal seam gas on the management of the Murray Darling Basin". The inquiry was launched earlier this year, in response to growing community alarm, particularly in rural and farming communities, that has led to the prominent Lock the Gate protest movement

Senate Report recommends tighter controls on coal seam gas, Independent Australia
Senator Bill Heffernan, the Chairman of the Senate Standing References Committee on Rural Affairs & Transport yesterday released the Committee’s report on the Impact of Coal Seam Gas Extraction on the Murray-Darling Basin. The report considers the potential impact of the industry on Basin groundwater resources, agricultural land and regional communities.

Regulating the mining of coal seam gas , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion
It is going to be interesting to see how the state and federal governments will respond to this report, especially with respect to the Great Artesian Basin and the revision of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to include the ground water that forms part of the Great Artesian Basin.

What A Fool Believes, Wixxy, Café Whispers
According to some, there is an Islamification of the nation going on right under our noses. We are being brainwashed without our knowledge by these evildoers who are determined to convert the lot of us to Islam.Some would say that this means the shock jocks were right after all.

The BSA Bob Award for the Best and Worst of 2011, Miglo, Café Whispers
prize will be awarded to the blogger who comes up with the most outstanding nomination (as determined by an independent and unbiased panel of judges). The winner can choose between the last remaining unused WorkChoices mouse pad in existence, or nothing.

ALP National Conference: Talking about the issues that really matter,Troy Whitford, The Conversation
But in some respects Labor is much more democratic than the other parties in that what is voted on at conference has to become party policy. That doesn’t happen with the the Liberal or National parties. So it’s not so much the actual organisational structure that needs reform, rather the party needs to weed out factionalism and start generating policy ideas from the grassroots

The ALP needs to split to save its core values., Klaas Woldring, On Line Opinion
The continuous shift to the right by the ALP and the tragic opportunism of some ALP MPs are not the only considerations that may well prompt progressive ALP politicians to break away from the Party and form a new parliamentary party. The ALP Right has become a deeply conservative Party of the Centre that is out of touch with a growing number of Australian voters

Self-absorbed and deluded – Conference special, The Piping Shrike
in contrast to every other leader in Labor’s history, who wanted to contain opposition to its policy from Conference, Gillard is taking such an odd path of talking them up. But then it’s not the policies that matter, it’s all about form and internal power plays. And you can’t get more hollow than that.

'The Critical Decade'- enough to give arch-denialists Bolt, Hadley & Jones apoplexy, Petering Time, North Coast Voices
The atmosphere is warming, the ocean is warming, ice is being lost from glaciers and ice caps and sea levels are rising. The biological world is changing in response to a warming world. Global surface temperature is rising fast; the last decade was the hottest on record.

How much is a good politician worth?, Stephen Bartos, Crikey
It seems though that some well-sourced backgrounding has been going on. Steve Lewis reports the prime minister may get a $90,000 pay rise to $470,000 and ordinary backbenchers an increase from $140,000 to $180,000.


Newspapers defend carbon coverage , Nick Leys, The Australian
"I cannot take anything that Wendy Bacon does seriously."Bacon found that The Australian "gave far more space to the coverage of climate change than any other
newspaper" and sumised that 47 per cent of articles were negative, 44 per cent were neutral and 9 per cent were positive

StephenLongABCStephen Long
Murdoch press reporting on climate change biased and misleading:

Julia Gillard plans to slash controversial Gold Pass scheme , Phillip Hudson, Perth Now
And a "severance traveller" scheme introduced by John Howard to extend the free travel to ex-MPs who failed to qualify for the Life Gold Pass will be immediately abolished.
It comes after a series of reports by the Herald Sun revealing taxpayers have been sent the bill for ex-MPs to travel to holiday hot spots such as Cairns, Broome and Hamilton Island

Video’s Political:-

Barr 'confident' of changing gay platform, Sky News
ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr says he has the numbers to change the ALP's platform on gay marriage this weekend.




December 2. 2011 08:38 AM


TT - haven't noticed anything with my mail.  My only comment is I suspect that if you were being monitored by "someone in authority", they would be using a slightly higher tech solution than a cut up the side to open and reseal the mail so it wasn't observed.

Didn't they used to teach spys in WW2 how to open envelopes without detection?  I'm sure the method has advanced somewhat over the past 60 years.


December 2. 2011 08:40 AM

Patricia WA

Hi TT!   Apologies.   I somehow missed seeing your very latest entry re. tampered mail last night.  

My thoughts on that?  

1.  Very occasionally I get a letter with an unfranked stamp - they somehow slip through the machine.

2.  But unfranked and tampered with is unusual.

3.  Your card envelope was obviously sealed by your friend because it contained an events ticket too.

4.  A sealed card envelope would be inviting to a petty thief since it suggests an enclosure like a cash note.

5.  So, how trustworthy is your post person? Have the post office taken on casual or new staff recently?

6.  Have you asked who delivered it?   Did it arrive along with other mail?

So........I would be inclined to go for the simplest explanation  i.e. Unusually an enclosed, almost packet-like envelope slips past the franking machine.  A casual/seasonal employee in the sorting room thinks it has possibilities and pockets it.   Or the delivery person does so.  The item is then replaced for delivery in the usual way.

Your vigilance and the chance in a thousand that a stamp was unfranked on a sealed envelope which might contain more than a card might bring about the undoing of a light fingered postie.  If that's the answer probably one or two other complaints will surface in time, particularly if they've actually found and taken cash from someone else's mail.  Kind rellies do sometimes enclose cash notes in cards for kids, don't they?

Good luck with your sleuthing!


Patricia WA

December 2. 2011 08:48 AM

Patricia WA

PS - Another thought.   Your card contained an events ticket which would not go un-missed. So this theft is likely to be detected, thinks thief.   Hence its replacement with card in envelope to be deposited a.s.a.p. in your mail box.

I can imagine cards lots of cards going missing and unnoticed over Christmas, can't you?  

Patricia WA

December 2. 2011 09:13 AM

Per Ardua

Good morning Swordpeople, the following link indicates how much Tony Windsor is on the nose within his electorate, NOT! Note that most of the comments are positive. So much for all the pundits writing him off should he decide to run again. He has more integrity in his little finger than all of the opposition front and back benchers - remember his run in with John Anderson way back when...

Per Ardua

December 2. 2011 09:39 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

December 2. 2011 09:48 AM


Hi Talk Turkey

I have never noticed any unfranked stamps, but a funny thing happened to me once.

Waiting and waiting for a box of crochet cotton, Coates I won on Ebay.   The lady seller had found it in her attic in Melbourne, treasure find for me.    

A long time went by, the seller did not have any postage details, she was distraught.  
I ended up having to lodge a dispute resolution with Paypal, in an attempt for compensation.  My money was refunded and of course they recover from the seller.  You can imagine the seller going into agony.

The parcel contractor to the Post Office, delivered the parcel one day months later.  He said his employee had been taking any undelivered parcels at the end of the day, storing them in his garage.

I was told the employee did not have time in the day to deliver all the parcels so he hid them, each day the situation got worse, the parcels kept piling up.  Consequently so did the complaints.

Poor employee he was stupid, I know, but he got into a lot of trouble.

I posted the money back to the seller, without telling her the full story, so she ended up happy.

Patricia has a theory for you, they were looking for cash money in your envelope.

There is no customer service with Australia Post anymore, the same as Telstra, think Howard deregulation.

Talk Turkey, sorry I really didn't mean to peck you yesterday, only meant a kiss peck.

Some Twitter Chats for you:-

JuliaGillardJulia Gillard

ALP National Conference kicks off this morning! Watch it live here - http://www.alp.org.au/conferencelive/#ALPnc #AusPol TeamJG

annabelcrabbAnnabel Crabb

Good morning! This is your ALP conference wakeup call. Some thoughts on factions, to get us started: http://bit.ly/uqnkX0
DavisMktngDianne Davis

@latingle - One of the few journos who bothers to do any real analysis “@AgnessMack: Get your Friday treat here, http://bit.ly/tbd6oK


PaulBongiornoPaul Bongiorno
Nothing like a Labor conference with 2 years till the election to generate some of that ole' time feeling.

aus_mediaAustralian Media
Karina Carvalho to fill in for @LaTrioli next year while the ABC national co-host is on maternity leave - http://bit.ly/tVpvWM

Keeping the Age noisy | Inside Story: http://bit.ly/uJWqB3 Good piece by Sybil Nolan. Places recent claims re The Age in context


Thought4rceThink Big
Media hyperventilating over politician's pay-rises was a little premature it seems http://bit.ly/tvhuAa #auspol

SkyNewsAustSky News Australia
Pollie pay rises never popular- Abbott http://ow.ly/1fWl06

Steph_PhilbrickStephanie Philbrick

Hockey on @3AW693: the coalition will not hold a conscience vote on gay marriage. He believes marriage is between a man & a woman.

therevmountainThe Rev. Mountain
From yesterday: At last! A bipartisan negotiation in Australian politics dickheadfrenzy.blogspot.com/.../...n-decision.html



December 2. 2011 09:55 AM

Ad astra

Today is the last set of links that Lyn will post for 2011.  As occurred last year, she will take a break until late January.  It is expected that after the ALP Conference the political momentum will abate and give us all a break from the frenetic activity of 2011.

This is time for us to once again thank you Lyn for the vitally important service you provide for us all, day after day.  Your contribution to TPS, and all who visit here, is magnificent.

Until you resume posting your links, I’m sure those who visit here regularly will continue to post news and links on an ad hoc basis as interesting issues arise.

We hope Lyn you have a restful break and a Happy Festive Season.

Ad astra

December 2. 2011 10:00 AM


*J*U*L*I*A*s Keynote address cut!



December 2. 2011 10:26 AM


Hi Talk Turkey

You can watch live stream here:-

National Conference Live




December 2. 2011 10:47 AM


I'm still hoping for comments on my post at 11.39 tampered-with snail-mail.

sounds like someone at the PO was lookin' for some pocket money. It's good you went to see them...they'll keep an eye out now.

We're fortunate to have not had that happen to us the past few years.

Generally the PO does a very good job...but like Patricia we have had a couple of unfranked letters come thru the past decade...not opened tho.

The only opened letter was a few years back when a shady character lived near us & used to stop next to our postbox on their noisy wee bike. I'd find a few letters on the ground too. Fortunately, that fella is long gone.



December 2. 2011 11:00 AM


and the train is air conditioned with a club car that serves decent coffee!

for sure!

Plenty of varieties includin' fair trade.

And I must have a strong Turkish coffee now & then.

And iced coffee in the morn. I luv Nippys...and also Malaysian style.

Tho, I do enjoy a tea now & then...Dilmah or Twinings English Breakfast.

And I MUST have my Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger, Tangerine Orange Zinger or Lemon Zinger in the arvo. Smile

Perhaps some fresh fruit & vege juices. Freshly squeezed lemon in soda water. Freshly squeezed orange juice. Or Apple, beetroot, carrot & celery chilled...another fave of ours to clean the system out after a big weekend.

Nothin' like a good beverage to refresh .



December 2. 2011 11:02 AM


TT - my guess it that it may have been delivered to a neighbour in error; they opened it without checking the delivery address, realised their mistake, and then put it in your mailbox.

I've had unfranked stamps before; the fluorescent ink the machines use these days can be hard to see, so it pays to check before reusing them.  Wink

The post office/customs reseal items with special tape indicating that it was inspected; customs inserted an information sheet too explaining the quarantine process.

I've also had items torn open in transit; fortunately the contents were still present.  The state of the padded bag indicated it was wear and tear; the paper wasn't as sturdy as Australia Post's bags.

I once sent a relative a birthday card with a cheque; the card never arrived.  (The cheque was never cashed; I always mark them "not negotiable" and never, ever send cash.)  I now send cards inside a regular envelope so they aren't as conspicuous.


December 2. 2011 11:19 AM


thnx for the useful links.

This from North Coast Voices:

'The Critical Decade'- enough to give arch-denialists Bolt, Hadley & Jones apoplexy, Petering Time, North Coast Voices

1. There is no doubt that the climate is changing. The evidence is overwhelming and clear.

The atmosphere is warming, the ocean is warming, ice is being lost from glaciers and ice caps and sea levels are rising. The biological world is changing in response to a warming world.
Global surface temperature is rising fast; the last decade was the hottest on record.

2. We are already seeing the social, economic and environmental impacts of a changing climate.
With less than 1 degree of warming globally the impacts are already being felt in Australia.

In the last 50 years the number of record hot days in Australia has more than doubled. This has increased the risk of heatwaves and associated deaths, as well as extreme bush fire weather in South Eastern and South Western Australia.
Sea level has risen by 20 cm globally since the late 1800s, impacting many coastal communities. Another 20 cm increase by 2050, which is feasible at current projections, would more than double the risk of coastal flooding.

The Great Barrier Reef has suffered from nine bleaching events in the past 31 years. This iconic natural ecosystem, and the economy that depends upon it, face serious risks from climate change.

3. It is beyond reasonable doubt that human activities – the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation – are triggering the changes we are witnessing in the global climate.

A very large body of observations, experiments, analyses, and physical theory points to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – with carbon dioxide being the most important – as the primary cause of the observed warming.

Increasing carbon dioxide emissions are primarily produced by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, as well as deforestation.

Natural factors, like changes in the Earth’s orbit or solar activity, cannot explain the world-wide warming trend.

4. This is the critical decade. Decisions we make from now to 2020 will determine the severity of climate change our children and grandchildren experience.

Without strong and rapid action there is a significant risk that climate change will undermine our society’s prosperity, health, stability and way of life.

To minimise this risk, we must decarbonise our economy and move to clean energy sources by 2050. That means carbon emissions must peak within the next few years and then strongly decline.

The longer we wait to start reducing carbon emissions, the more difficult and costly those reductions become.

This decade is critical. Unless effective action is taken, the global climate may be so irreversibly altered we will struggle to maintain our present way of life. The choices we make this decade will shape the long-

How many times have people leave things to the last moment & then have to hysterically spend heaps of money & effort solvin' a problem?

Too many.

Better to move now before we end up in a situation where we have to spend so much repairin' & tryin' to prevent climate-related disasters that we have little left for healthcare, education, childcare, new infrastructure/transport & defense.

I wanna live in a country that's leading the way to the light...not draggin' its arse behind due to greed, cynicism, religious myopia, negative politicians & media...and a dumbed down part of the public.

Science helps us everday save lives & make them less pain-ridden...

let's not throw science out of the window now...not when our planet & existence depend on it.

I'm not gonna take that risk.

I'm also onboard w/ SAFE nuclear reactors...provided they are newer generations, parked in secure places, built by experts...and not run by greedy profiteers...need to be highly regulated.

Countries as large as China & India will need them.

Windpower too.

A suite of energy measures.



December 2. 2011 11:20 AM


How many times have people leave things to the last moment

Make that: How many times have people left things to the last moment...



December 2. 2011 11:26 AM


Surprise surprise:

Study: climate tax coverage has been biased

Lucy Clark
Thursday, 01 December 2011

An extensive study examining coverage of the carbon tax debate has found that News Limited papers crossed the line from reporting to campaigning.

Sydney's highest-selling paper, The Daily Telegraph, was most hostile to the policy, with 89% of articles expressing negativity and only 11% being positive about the tax.

"Both The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun were so biased in their coverage it is fair to say they campaigned against the policy, rather than covered it," writes report author Wendy Bacon, a professor of journalism at the Australian Centre of Independent Journalism.

"Many Australians did not receive fair, accurate and impartial reporting in the public interest in relation to the carbon policy in 2011."

The quantitative study, A Sceptical Climate: Media coverage of climate change in Australia 2011, looked at articles, features, editorials and opinion pieces published in 10 Australian newspapers. The publications included News Ltd's The Australian, The Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph; Fairfax's The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald; and Seven West Media's The West Australian.

Overall, News Ltd's coverage was 84% negative, while 44% of Fairfax articles expressed negativity towards carbon tax.

The Age was the only newspaper whose coverage was more positive than negative.

News Limited economics journalist Terry McCrann was the most published commentator on climate change while well-known sceptic Andrew Bolt was the second most published.


The usual suspects tryin' to keep us in the dark...behind.



December 2. 2011 11:43 AM



He died in a noted and time-honoured way!


A man lay down by the sewer,
And by the sewer he died,
And at the coroner's inquest
They called it . . . ? -

There was a young fellow from Ryde,
Who fell down a sewer, and died.
His silly twin brother
Then fell down another,
And now they're interred side by side!

One of the most delightful puns in the greatest language!
A story goes with that limerick. I'm not going to tell you unless 3 people ask me to. Smile (I didn't write it, no.)
Limericks are NOT usually credited to their naughty authors. It's part of Limericks' loveliness I think.

(And a couple I've written I really wouldn't want my name attached to! Embarassed )

But I kind of belaboured that limerick, I extended the story a little . . . It's got a kind of li'l hidden twist . . . See if you pick it up on your very first reading.

Taking it from the top -

There was a young fellow from Ryde,
Who fell down a sewer, and died.
His silly twin brother
Then fell down another,
And now they're interred side by side!

Council hired a frogman, a Kurd,
and a Frenchman, to pull twins from merde . . .
So they shoved their thin Pole
Down the 'swallowed-twins' hole -
(Although under-equipped, undeterred!)

From the hole, screams and gurgles are heard!
Pole's head reappears, badly ...Bluhhhrrred!
He's completely disgusted -
His frog-suit has busted!
"Get dis - dis - and dis - disinterred!"

[See, the thin Pole in fact was the Frogman,
While the Frenchman and Kurd were both bog-men.
Those two have quit bogging
And taken up logging
And the Pole's a "Dis is da life!" Dog-man!]

I don't know if it really quite comes off . . . There is a deliberate deceptive pun on thin pole and thin Pole, you're supposed think Pole is a typo but it's not . . . and you're supposed to think there's only two people but the wording is thoroughly ambivalent. Anyway I'm glad for the latter he's out of the merde and in clear air now!

As I underlined merde Dougie Kiss Cameron says the word MAIR'R'DOR'RK! (Murdoch)
whom I call Merdeoch!


December 2. 2011 11:54 AM


Hi Talk Turkey and Everybody

Mark has tweeted Bushfire again this morning:-

This post by Bushfire Bill is absolutely superb.

markjs1Mark Shove
RT @lynlinking: @markjs1 Hi Mark my friend. is there a link. cheers lyn> Try this one http://bit.ly/uX5Ftr#auspol

Bushfire Bill
Posted Friday, December 2, 2011 at 9:33 Comment 3259

Everyone sets Gillard “tests”. Hartcher, La Stupenda, Shanahan, St. Paul Kelly and all the rest are always telling us what new “test” she needs to face. Hartcher recently (and famously, around here at least) set a test for Gillard and failed her in the one article, on the Qantas dispute.

It was a “test” for the government to still be in power by Christmas 2010. Then by Easter. Then by the Festival of Rudd in June. Then (Bolt) by October, and (the Daily Telegraph) by end-November… with all the other deadlines in-between.

the ungrateful bastards should be down on their knees thanking Rudd, Gillard and Swan for doing such a great job under such desperate circumstances, or in any circumstances, for that matter.

So there is hope. We’ll only know for sure when the Opposition starts setting its own tests, with the invigilators keeping an eye on them turn just as nasty and vicious on their new victims as they have so far been on the government




December 2. 2011 11:57 AM


The song of Solomon

The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.

The Wail of the SwordsFolks

Lyn's~Links disappear from the site,
The time of singing is gone
And the voice of the Tweety-bird
Is heard no more in our blog.

Lyn have a good rest now, but keep posting please please please
and so say ALL of Us!


December 2. 2011 11:59 AM


Have a great hols Lyn!!!

Well deserved.

We put up our Christmas tree last nite.

Took 3 hours...plenty of lights, beads & about 100 other decorations we've collected over the decades.

Many have good memories...given to us by my Mum (one or two each year) or friends...or bought/made for each other.

We found our big Christmas tree at Myers 21 years ago and it still looks great. Sturdy.

It was made in SWEDEN.

We were able to afford a quality one even tho we were at uni. because we had little debt, just available a $500 limit credit card we got access to on uni grounds (I'd hate to think if our credit limit had been much larger or/and if we'd had mobile phone debts).

Handy there was HECS too...and my first uni year was FREE.

We worked p/t tutorin' & w/ the disabled, Catholic Social Welfare. Got a wee bit of Austudy.

Lived on residence but then moved into a rental house & shared the cost w/ two boarders...a fella who was in a band, played live at nite...and money from S's parents to look after her brother so he could go to a small private school, Trinity College, in our area...they come from Beaudesert.

Ironic that my wife went there too...did very well...and now is a HOD in a public school.


The Christmas/Xmas tree looks beaut lit up at night. Multi-colured.



December 2. 2011 12:03 PM


Nasking said

How many times have people leave things to the last moment

Make that: How many times have people left things to the last moment...


Nas one thing blogging has taught me, as an old chalkie who used to hate all incorrect English, is,
Typos is OK!


December 2. 2011 12:14 PM


Mark Shove
who has again reposted BB from PB to here:

Goodonyer Cobber, I'll certainly help sometimes when I spot BB first e.g., but dam', how to get BB to post here himself as well as on PB? He's welcome, and it's not like poaching from them, they are Allies and Comrades, (mostly), nobody gets paid, we're into communication, BB's right up there with the very best commenters I've ever read, he ORTA double-post here. That's what I think anyway.

What do you think Mark?


Ad? FS? NK? Nas? Patricia? Jason? Others?  


December 2. 2011 01:26 PM



Check out the link . . . Am I just cynical or does the OO delight in republishing and thus republicising the objectionable and the untrue references to *J*U*L*I*A* and Tim respectively? And thus mischievously compounding the insults?


December 2. 2011 02:21 PM


Leroy posted on Poll Bludger:
Posted Friday, December 2, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

Labor says yes: Gillard's address
From: The Australian December 02, 2011 10:14AM

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's address to the 2011 ALP national conference was centered around the theme - Labor says yes. The full text of the speech can be read here.

I haven't looked yet but it can't be worse than the ABC's coverage of her address! I am so angry at their incompetence, let alone their skindeepness!
The Queensland floods should have been diverted
through the Liberal-licking corridors of the ABC, and something MUST MUST MUST be done about it!

Come on Government, it's supposed to be OUR ABC!  


December 2. 2011 02:27 PM


Sorry Leroy, (and thanks)
I didn't differentiate in that last post between your words and mine which followed.

There should be a division between
                                    '. . . can be read here.'
I haven't looked yet . . .


December 2. 2011 03:23 PM


Abbortt is a failure!
The Liberals are a mess!

The Government says YES!

LABOR FOR AUSTRALIA! - The Government says YES!

This is basically what *J*U*L*I*A* has said, and it's the best possible line. Labor for Australia, now that's a 3-word slogan. YES.


December 2. 2011 04:34 PM


Typos is OK!


Thnx for takin' the pressure off...I can be a real grammar/syntax/spelling slob sometimes. I should write a draft on Word & use spellcheck etc...as I did for a couple of years...but my computer is so old & touchy these days, I get fed up w/ it freezin' or goin' full bore slow the moment I leave the PS page...and the comments written in a rush...it's just not very convenient these days. So the odd mistake will happen.

Strangely, even tho I read thru the comment before postin' there manages to pop up a mistake or two far too many times. Fatigue perhaps? Need for new glasses? Lack of booze/grog?



December 2. 2011 04:38 PM


As for the usual suspect criticism of the PMs speech, I didn't feel there was much of a problem...she got useful points across & probably didn't want to dominate the convention & debates.

I thought it appropriate & brill that Julia gave a sympathetic speech about the Norway massacre...

and I dug the Climate Change vid that was shown...moved me.

Greg Combet performed well (could be a leader oneday)...as did Dougie Cameron (spirited, funny)...Chris Evans (moving, down-to-earth re: education...and re: workers)...Tony Burke (good reminder of ALP green history, same as Combet)...Amanda Rishworth (best yet, passionate)...Kate Lundy (Luv her sincerity)...Peter Garrett (he had me on all but for "Chaplains")...Wayne Swan (can see why he's Treasurer)...Kim Carr (useful science & Uni connection)...David Bradbury (I like his ability to bring accountancy & economics to the masses)...Andrew Leigh (nice dig at Abbott/Coalition)...

I missed a few speakers...but dug most on education (particularly a couple of young ladies who spoke about higher education...and a blondish-shoulder length-haired young woman who spoke directly from the stage...impressive)...and some red-headed fella...and a passionate climate change promotin' fella from Victoria who was disappointed his state ALP didn't allow him to stand by side w/ the ministers on this policy).

Wish I'd caught their names but was caught up w/ domestic jobs & chattin' to my Mum.

Today's speakers reminded me why I still vote for ALP in the House of Reps.

Some might not be as posh & polished speakers as the Lib types...but I can feel the sincerity...the desire to give all Aussies a fair-go...and they sound saner and more caring to me. And economically juggling, managing things in a wider way than the hammock Liberals...let the markets rip Coalition.



December 2. 2011 04:50 PM


Sick of this idiot gettin' so much attention...and tired of some of his shows' supporters tearin' thru our neighborhood like maniacs on steroids unaware of kids & pets:

'It's an incitement to hatred': Jeremy Clarkson says sorry over strike comments

SMH.com December 2, 2011

One of Britain's biggest unions has called for the BBC to sack popular TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson after he said public sector workers on strike should be shot in front of their families.

The Unison trade union said it was taking legal advice after the presenter of the Top Gear motoring show - a worldwide hit - made the comments on a chat show after more than a million workers went on strike on Wednesday.

The BBC said it had received about 4700 complaints about Clarkson's comments on The One Show, despite the broadcaster issuing an on-air apology.

After the controversy spiralled throughout the day, Clarkson himself apologised, saying his comments were not intended to be taken seriously.

When asked on the show on Wednesday what he thought of the mass strike in protest at changes to public sector pensions, Clarkson said, to laughter from the studio audience: "I would have them all shot."

The presenters grimaced as he went on: "I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.

"How dare they go on strike when they've got these gilt-edged pensions while the rest of us have to work for a living?"

Karen Jennings, Unison's assistant general secretary, said Clarkson had spoken "almost like [late Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi would have spoken about demonstrators".

"It's an incitement to hatred and we are seeking legal advice," she added.

Clarkson previously caused outrage when he described former prime minister Gordon Brown, who lost his sight in one eye in an accident suffered while playing rugby as a teenager, as a "one-eyed Scottish idiot".

In February, the BBC apologised to the Mexican ambassador in London after the Top Gear presenters described Mexicans as "lazy", "feckless" and "flatulent".

The BBC said Clarkson's latest comments were a misguided attempt at humour.


He's a serial fckwit.

And a bad role model.

I'm sure the educators will contribute more to their pensions...but expect that the mega-rich & those who helped screw over the system...finance & real estate & political & mainstream media types...pay their FAIR SHARE.

Face justice.

The Tory/Lib Dem government need to stop pointin' fingers at the poor & public servants and get to the heart of THE ROT.

Some bein' their mates.



December 2. 2011 04:59 PM


The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.

I like it TT.

I'm off.

Havin' Okra curry, lentil/spit pea dhal, poppadums, naan, hot mango chutney tonite. And a chilled beer I bought from Boston.

Rice puddin', strawberry jam & QLD organic bananas for dessert.

Have a good nite all. Great week. Thnx to all participants...I learnt heaps.

And to Ad & Lyn for their brill runnin' of this blog.

Missed passionate Feral the last coupla days. Hope she's well.

Great poetry TT & Patricia. I must come up w/ some this hols.



December 2. 2011 06:23 PM


TT said I haven't looked yet but it can't be worse than the ABC's coverage of her address! I am so angry at their incompetence, let alone their skindeepness!
The Queensland floods should have been diverted
through the Liberal-licking corridors of the ABC, and something MUST MUST MUST be done about it!

Come on Government, it's supposed to be OUR ABC!  

Actually TT the flood waters did go through the corridors of the ABC (sort of(.  ABC Brisbane is at Toowong - right by the Brisbane River.  ABCTV moved out a few years ago on confirmation of a cancer cluster in the Newsroom.  Something like 13 ladies who worked there were affected by breast cancer - from memory two died as a result.  ABCTV is in a number of buildings around Brisbane, I think they have even rented space in one of the commercial TV stations studios on Mt Cootha (where all the TV antennas are in Brisbane).  ABC Radio is still at Coronation Drive, Toowong and must have gone somewhere during the flood or they were in a building on the higher part of the land - but memory escapes me.  Tenders for the sale of the Toowong site were advertised a few months ago.

ABC is building a new Brisbane facility at Southbank (which also went under water).  From memory again - because I haven't been in there for a while - carparking and non-essential equipment is housed in the area that is deemed likely to flood which is a fairly common concept in Brisvegas (understandable really!).  Sorry to shoot your theory of a good clean out down in flames - but there you go.


December 2. 2011 06:26 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Here is Bushfire Bill again:-

markjs1Mark Shove

Bushfire Bill on the shameful cover-up of Coalition's fraudulent costings: http://bit.ly/uNwcbV #auspol #Mediafail #Abbottfail @chriskkenny

Bushfire Bill
Posted Friday, December 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm  Comment 3551
The Coalition’s costings from the last election have been found – contrary to their explicit claims – to have been a crock of shit, putting shame on everyone involved, and so it’s “disappeared”… the story never happened.



December 2. 2011 06:57 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
We're back home again.  There has been great reading today.

BB's comments are spot on.  Tonight I hear Abbott saying he 'stands by the costings', no matter that they have been fraudulently reported.  These guys are liars beyond imagination.  They say whatever they like, and know that no matter how deceptive, no matter what lies are buried in what they say, knowing the MSM will faithfully report what they say, and decline to chastise them - that would never do would it?

Ad astra reply

December 2. 2011 07:16 PM

Patricia WA

Abbortt is a failure!
The Liberals are a mess!
The Government says YES!

Brilliant, TT!  Now we flood the blogosphere with it.  Come on, Cheer Squad!  Get cracking!

Patricia WA

December 2. 2011 07:27 PM


Hi Ad

Welcome home

I hope you had a lovely day.

There was some discussion today about Bushfire Bill's very enjoyable comments at PB.

It seems to me there should be no problem, admiring BB comments here, after all they are are coming from twitter, posted by Mark, with a link to the Poll Bludger.

It's only kinda pinching.

I think we could perhaps ask Bushfire Bill if he would double post,
to TPS.

In the event BB has not got the time or the inclination to double post.
Guess it would be etiquette to ask permission from Bushfire Bill,
to keep copying and pasting on a regular basis???

Keep in mind it's quite hard to find BB's comments, as you will note the last one is number 3500 or something

Talk Turkey has asked what do we think?

12:14 PM

BB's right up there with the very best commenters I've ever read, he ORTA double-post here. That's what I think anyway.

What do you think Mark?

Ad? FS? NK? Nas? Patricia? Jason? Others?

What do you think Ad?????



December 2. 2011 07:51 PM


December 1, 2011 Sunday morning TV - December 4 #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 Defence Minister Stephen Smith.

8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary
This week on the Riley Diary a surplus of deficit talk and Labor's fair dinkum conference...yet another fair dinkum phony...

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 the final Insiders program for 2011, Barrie Cassidy’s guest is the Human Services and Social Inclusion Minister, Tanya Plibersek, live from the Labor Party’s National Conference in Sydney.
And analysis of the conference from 7.30 Political Editor, Chris Uhlmann.
On the panel: ABC Online’s Annabel Crabb, the Sydney Morning Herald’s David Marr and news.com.au’s Malcolm Farr.
Mike Bowers talks pictures with Sun-Herald cartoonist, Reg Lynch.
And they’ll announce the winner of the Matt Price moment for 2011.
Insiders returns for 2012 on Sunday, February 5.

10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 repeated @ 5.30pm - Inside Business
On the final Inside Business for 2011, an interview with Rio Tinto CEO, Tom Albanese.
Plus a crystal ball look at some of the big investing themes of next year.
And the First Person feature looks at a dairy exporter who’s succeeding despite the punishing high Australian dollar
As well there’s the regular update of the latest news from the markets and Alan Kohler’s incisive commentary.
Back in 2012 on Sunday, Febuary 5.

10.00am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.30pm - The Bolt Report - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day
On the final Bolt Report for 2011 Nationals Leader in the Senate Senator Barnaby Joyce.
Panelists: Former Liberal Minister Mal Brough and ALP Campaign adviser Bruce Hawker.
Andrew Bolt returns for 2012 on Sunday, February 5.

10.30am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.00pm - Meet the Press - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day
On the final Meet the Press for 2011 Paul Bongiorno is joined by panelists; Lenore Taylor from The Sydney Morning Herald, and Simon Benson from The Daily Telegraph.
Together they interview Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown, and ALP National President Jennifer McAllister.
Meet the Press will be back for 2012 on Sunday, February 5.


December 2. 2011 08:09 PM


Good evening all.
Love your rhyming slogan, Talk Turkey.  

Tweety Bird Lyn.
Enjoy a well-deserved break and I wish you a relaxing, enjoyable Christmas and a very happy 2012.

And, may I also wish all Swordians a merry Christmas and a happy New Year with special thanks to Ad Astra, FS and Ascerbic for the array of excellent articles throughout the year.


December 2. 2011 08:34 PM

Feral Skeleton

       Thank you Smile
However, that's all you'll be getting out of me atm, I'm getting up at 4.30am to make the train trip every day down to Sydney to go Volunteer at the Conference. Embarassed

Feral Skeleton

December 2. 2011 09:00 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Re Bushfire Bill,
                    I'm in two minds about whether we should pay fealty to him and his work here when he buggered off and left Ad Astra in the lurch, without a bye nor leave, and kept fobbing him off with petty excuses and half-promises to return for most of the year. But kept posting merrily away on Poll Bludger anyway, without even paying us the courtesy here of cross-posting himself, at the very least.
   As one of the, at the time, only 2 contributors of original material to The Political Sword, along with Ad Astra, I had to shoulder the burden of making up for the hole he created, and do the heavy lifting with Ad in order to keep things going on the original material front. Thank goodness Acerbic Conehead stepped into the breach, amazingly and prolifically, and lyn kept her end of the table up with her comprehensive links, which are still expanding into new territory, because if we hadn't collectively pulled togather in this way, then TPS could have suffered an obvious heamorrage and died on the vine, instead of surviving and prospering as it has done.

   So, yes, it's nice to marvel at how perspicacious and loquacious and insightful and witty Bushfire Bill's political commentary is, but as one of the number who he left in his wake, coughing and spluttering on his exhaust fumes as he hot-footed it over to Poll Bludger, without even so much as a goodbye or an explanatory note to us, I can't say I'm fussed to have his work reproduced here slavishly. We can read it at Poll Bludger if we want to. We know where it is.

   The Political Sword should be for those who make the effort and take the time to make unique commentary here. Which in my case is 3/5 of 8/10 of not much at all(or wtte as NormanK says it Smile ), but which in the case of Acerbic Conehead and Ad Astra, is substantial.

   We all know that Markjs will reproduce whatever Bushfire Bill does and says, on Twitter. Do we have to have our own work here overshadowed by him? Especially after the way he treated the other writers here. Anyway I know, most of the people, who come here also, and who want to read his stuff already are doing it at Poll Bludger.

   But that's just my opinion, for what it's worth.

Feral Skeleton

December 2. 2011 09:20 PM


Geez - I must have been "here" for a while - I can remember Bushfire Bill's posts here.  I'm also with FS, if I want to read his commentary I know where to go to do it.  Could I be bothered going through 3000+ comments to do it - probably not.

Hopefully AA, Minglo or Willam Bowe don't get burnt out and close up shop because they all have a different "flavour" to their work as Bryan Palmer found he had to do with his OzPolitics blog.


December 2. 2011 09:20 PM


I'm JUST starting to write this and the bloke on TV says, Right now everybody's thinking about The Turkey!

Oh he doesn't mean me at all!

They're showing all these pretty little Tweety-yellow fluffy babies . . . Oh now they're showing big Turkeys  . . .
OH NO! Not Turkey Mince ! I can't bear to watch . . .


What I was gonta say, Patricia, thank you for posting my little war-chant on PB, I don't post there myself, but I read it a lot. Why don't I post there? Well I write longish posts mostly, it seems a waste to post it where it's there-and-gone, even if a lot of people see it. . . That's why I'd like more cross-posting of BB-quality stuff, only in the interests of communication. His and some hand-picked other posters' comments can help to win the next election! But only if they're seen.

I liked it that several people picked up on that little chant, but in particular ' my say ' whose. Funny. insightful. comments I love. to read. often. on PB. She. is. a Brick.

TPS is very public spirited, thanks especially to Lyn, but everybody here helps linking eh. It was a novel treat to be able to follow your link Patricia back to TPS, it's almost always the other way!

Boerwar on PB said it was 'doggerel' . . .
Well, Webster says that's
"a loose, irregular kind of poetry; rime trivial and poor in execution."


Oxford doesn't help much:
"Trivial, mean, halting or irreglar verse."


We'll see who's halting when millions are chanting en masse, with one mighty voice,

               Abbortt is a failure!
               The Liberals are a mess!

               LABOR FOR AUSTRALIA!
               The Government says YES!

The last two lines are what's important.
I'll have to change the Abbortt anyway before the election. Smile


"Vampirella is a failure . . . !
"Turdball "   "   "  

or who?


December 2. 2011 09:24 PM


That last paragraph reads funny - it should read:

Hopefully AA Minglo or William Bowe don't get burnt out like Bryan Palmer did when running OzPolitics ( forcing its closure) as TPS, CW & PB all have a different "flavor" to their work - all of wi=hich has value.


December 2. 2011 09:52 PM


FS, 2353,
Yes I understand all that. . .I don't mean we should be cap-in-hand to BB, (anyway gee I wrote a siren song to him to lure him back here, and he never replied, he could've at least nodded my way eh!)

But there is more joy in Hades when one sheep is lost, than for all the bloody sheep that weren't ours in the first place . . . (Well the inverse of that of course) . . . So I'm not about to put offside BB or any other really committed sincere articulate poster, but if he wants to come back well it would be a good time to do it now. TPS has after all been nothing but complimentary to him, he could at least say Hi.

But it's up to him, yeah.

As for cross-posting other people's posts generally, perhaps we best do it on an ad hoc but unashamed and quite frequent basis as a matter of ordinary procedure, - we don't mind linking to them, they love being linked to, TPS is the best-liaising political blogsite anyway thanks to Lyn especially, so I reckon we got the bloody right to do what we like wrt to what we lift and transplant. Let others link to us 1000x more!  

I am happy, hoping even, to get some argument about this.
All in the interests of an ever-more-powerful political blogosphere.


December 2. 2011 10:21 PM

Ad astra reply

I'll get back to you tomorrow in response to your comments - it's been a long day.

Ad astra reply

December 2. 2011 10:31 PM


For what it is worth on the subject of Bushfire Bill, I reckon the current situation is by far the best for all concerned. Putting pressure on him to crosspost here is disrespectful of BB's choice of 'home'. If he did put his comments here, he would then have to monitor another site in order to respond to reactions or, over time, appear to be aloof because he doesn't respond to comments directed towards him. As it stands if someone wishes to respond to something he has written then they should do so over at his place.
It is well worth remembering that this is a voluntary activity.

For as long as someone is willing to monitor PB or Twitter and then provide a link whenever the comment in question is worthy of a wider audience, surely that is sufficient.


December 2. 2011 10:32 PM


Hi Feral

I think we should consider Public Relations on TPS  just like we do in real life.

The discussion today was about copying and pasting anothers comment, not personal at all.  As I said maybe it would be polite to ask, maybe not.

I appreciate all good writing, I definately appreciate Bushfire Bill's opinion along with many, many others.


December 2. 2011 10:38 PM


Hi Lyn,

Thank you ever-so-much for your sterling efforts throughout 2011. No-one else can do what you do and TPS is very fortunate indeed to be the place where you have chosen to nest.

Have a great festive season and I hope Santa brings you everything that you wish for. Next year will no doubt be very exciting and I look forward to your reports on what the rest of the blogs are up to.

Have a good rest - you've earned it. Laughing Laughing Laughing


December 2. 2011 11:10 PM

Bring Back Maxine

Hey TT

Abbortt is a failure!
The Liberals are a mess!
The Government says YES!

is absolutely brilliant. I think it should be made into a bumper sticker. What do Swordians (especially TT)think? Though I think Abbortt should be plain old Abbott (to avoid the defamation laws).

Bring Back Maxine

December 2. 2011 11:14 PM


Hi NormanK

Thankyou so much for your kind words, I appreciate them very much.

This year has been very busy.  

TPS has been a constant source of enjoyment for me throughout the year.  All the bloggs and comments continue to be delightful.

As Patricia and Janice said, we must be all better informed than we would be otherwise, without TPS.

I hope you have a nice Christmas NormanK along with a nice holiday.



December 2. 2011 11:29 PM

Bring Back Maxine

Hi Lyn

I too wish to add my thanks to the Herculean effort you've put into your Daily Links. I can't imagine TPS without them.

RE: Bushfire Bill. I don't care where he posts, as long as he carries on the good fight. So what if he is in a different Regiment, he still is in the same army fighting the NOalition.

Bring Back Maxine

December 3. 2011 12:16 AM

Patricia WA

Re. Bushfire Bill. From what I've observed I have a hunch BB doesn't want to be tied to an 'arrangement' with anyone.   He writes what he writes when he wants to.   And he does it brilliantly.  

I think the flow and pace of PB suits him.  Somehow it seems to complement his style, with some of his comments having the substance of a full post and attracting lots of discussion.  He's not the only one like that, but he is quite special when he decides to have his say.

I can't imagine that he would object to his more memorable PB contributions being 'copied' to here at TPS by someone who likes what he has to say on a particular issue.  We do it all the time on the web don't we, with appropriate acknowledgements?  

Patricia WA

December 3. 2011 12:23 AM


Dog Albitey that's a great gravatar, Maxine never looked better, what a stunning photo. It was her campaign poster shot, oui?

Have you ever personally been in touch with her? Do tell.

As for a bumper sticker, I'd be thrilled to see,

LABOR FOR AUSTRALIA! The Government says YES!

but the bit about ABBORTT doesn't need a guernsey at all.

It's a nice little chant with all 4 bits tho' eh.
OR just the two +ve lines by themselves. Good either way.

And I just realized, the useless neutral definite article
should be instead the warmly-inclusive
personal possessive pronoun

Because oddly it subtly changes not only the sense,
OUR Government,  
it also changes the emphasis even more subtly,
you lean on the 'OUR'
whereas the 'The' was nuthin'.

Say it to yourselves Troops!

  OUR Government says YES![/b

Stop Press:
Just as I am ready to post,
*J*U*L*I*A* is saying on late Lateline,
     [b]LABOR Says YES!



December 3. 2011 08:23 AM


Good Morning Swordsfolks,
How's life on the Moon this morning? Wink


December 3. 2011 09:52 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

I might be on holidays from collecting "Today's Links" but
I am not on holidays from my favourite place to be TPS.

The twitterverse is raging this morning, my duty of care  is to share :

So here is some links and chat from Twitter, enjoy:-

Watch live. ALP National Conference http://bit.ly/vKxDuR #auspol

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
Good news RT @cjoye: US unemployment rate falls to 8.6% (from 9%); payrolls strong http://goo.gl/fb/fVIMR

PaulBongiornoPaul Bongiorno
you've gotta laugh: Labor capitulating to the Greens on asylum seekers.It's the Coalition and the Greens sinking Malaysia.

mattdasilvaMatthew da Silva
Journos self-censor to get ahead at News Ltd. http://bit.ly/uvEGkz New on my blog. #mediainquiry

geeksrulzGeek Powered
#auspol RT @Antibolt http://www.theage.com.au/national/-1o75k.html. This is a corker...Vic Libs now love the carbon tax.

AgnessMackAgnes Mack
Fiscal & social history of Australia through the baby bonus .George Megalogenis http://bit.ly/tvLoWy

RT @GrogsGamut: RT @andrewjcrook: TEXT: Labor's gay marriage debate. Amendments from Left and Right. http://bit.ly/urxYWs #alpnc

Inquiry into NSW labor shutting down science www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../the-code-of-climate-silence-more-interference-by-nsw-labor-
bureaucrats/story-e6freuzr-1226212734074 Another whitewash or will Flanneries sea level lies be exposed

TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
Gittens explains it well. One for those who need to learn about the importance of fiscal policy; and how it works www.smh.com.au/business/theres-always-a-few-


http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/-1obis.html Got to love the way the Australian media is so blind to the fact that it is corrupt.

thepunchcomauThe Punch
The Labor party is in desperate need of reform, says Laurie Oakes. Only problem is nobody is willing to risk... http://fb.me/1lX62xbUr

thepunchcomauThe Punch
Our PM's whopping big salary needs some perspective, says Joe Hildebrand. http://fb.me/R3CF4isv

NationalTimesAUNational Times
Labor might have managed to maintain the good times for most but there hasn't been a vote in it, writes Shaun Carney

NationalTimesAUNational Times
The ghost of Howard hovers over Gillard's marriage vow, writes Katharine Murphy @murpharoo www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../the-ghost-of-

jayrosen_nyuJay Rosen
A three and a half minute video explains why you might want to study innovation in journalism at @studio20nyu. Watch:

Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey tempting economic armageddon with petty politicking #ausbiz #auspol risk trashing credibility

John_HannaJohn Hanna
Gillard reasserts control Phillip Coorey http://goo.gl/ihyhg Gillard loses on same-sex marriage Dennis Shanahan http://goo.gl/Ae7Ae

SkyNewsAustSky News Australia
Gay marriage to dominate ALP conference http://ow.ly/1fXruA



December 3. 2011 10:39 AM


Well nobody else about, I might as well hog the space.

my say (sic) is a full-on addicted-like-me blogger on Poll Bludger.
To read her posts at first you think she must be barely literate, then you find out that she is very perspicacious, and staunch. Today I found out more about her by far that I have known before, thanks to her own post, which I have pasted down below.

[Several nice points converging here, let me explain],

ONE of them is that Jenny Macklin and Bill Shorten have just finished speaking inspirationally about a national insurance scheme to help fund disability. Wow. The Right not only would not do that, it bloody could not, it hasn't the brains.

TWO is, today is wtte International Disability Day. Serendipitous.

THREE is we're currently talking, (I think usefully, and hopefully creatively), about cross-posting.

FOUR is, Patricia WA graciously posted my little campaign chant on Poll Bludger:

Abbott is a failure!
The Liberals are a mess!
OUR Government says YES!

of which I'm getting fonder as more people say nice things about it!

FIVE is, my say came back with

[ my say
Posted Friday, December 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
Gosh tweeters what a great rhyme

Thanks. Patricia ]

SIX is, I told Nasking yesterday not to worry about typos. It was my say I was thinking of! having long ago realised her acuteness I now take delight. t fun to join. the dots  she always has. Somerthing. to say. ,

SEVEN, is, that my say turns out to have a certain amount of disability herself, but O my I do like her little proud claim about the wedding dress!

I say my say the way you say what you say is ohhh kayyy by me.
Here's her post. Emphases my own.

[my say
Posted Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink
Well i had better stop listing then lizzie

I usually have has on my mind f what i should be doing
Instead of being here

Have a very full life
Especially this time of year,, have made 6. Christmas cakes for presents,
‘Made the girls 4 cushions a dress each plus helping with new baby

English perfection. Is NOT one of my things
But ask me to make a wedding dress and it would be perfect

I also have Ra*, have had surgery on my hands to straighten my thumbs
6 weeks in plaster, few years ago, my middle index fingers look like banarnas ,

My toes are all crossed over my feet, but i bless every day, with out a sewing needle in my hand
And that day may come, I could not imagine the boredom I would face

So english expression is not my thing, did a writers course 15 years ago though at taffe
And did quite well,
But not me i prefer to make things, I am a visual person ]

and then lizzie said

34 lizzie
Posted Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink
"my say

Your industry does you proud. Considering you have RA*, you do an amazing amount of work. You put me to shame as the only thing I’m good at it is cooking and writing (I have RA too).
Do take good care of your eyes. I would hate the day to come when you can’t use your sewing needle."

So this story has disability, blogging, Patricia, pomes, TalkTurkey, my say, Nasking, English, communication, Left politics, cross-posting, human dignity, all converging, and it's been a lesson to me, going a little beyond the skindeep Englsh to see the true depth of others, aw stop it TT.

Poor Turkey, I am bound by perfect English, she's like a leather-clad whip-wielding mistress to me. my say is free of her strictures, the reader has to actually think about what she's saying!

my say I know that someone will draw your attention to this; I would be over the Moon (where all the Swordsfolks were last time I looked) if you were to visit us here.

And Lyn, do my say's skills with threads remind you of anyone?

*Rheumatoid Arthritis



December 3. 2011 11:13 AM

Ad astra reply

I read the comments you made while I was returning from East Gippsland yesterday; it was too late to respond last night, so I’m doing so this morning.

I want to focus on the issue of Bushfire Bill posting on TPS.  FS feels that as a previous contributor of original material to this blogsite, he has ‘left us in the lurch’ by now posting on Poll Bludger, and questioned whether we should continue to draw attention to his PB posts here. I have a different view from that of FS.  First, let me set the record straight about BB.

I know Bushfire Bill, have met him, and have had extensive email correspondence with him.  I regard him as a friend. I have a high regard for his writings on politics. As I have invited him several times this year to resume writing for TPS, he knows he is welcome to contribute here in any way at any time.  But it is up to him to decide when and to which site he contributes.  Clearly, at present he feels that, given his other commitments, making comments on PB is the most suitable way he can contribute to the political debate, and he often does so in quick response to contemporary issues.  We so appreciate his offerings that many are replicated here by other bloggers.  Rather than feel neglected or let down by BB, I am pleased he continues to give us his incisive analysis via PB.

While it would be easier on the three contributors to TPS, FS, AC and myself, if BB were to join us again, we have managed throughout the year to keep the site humming along.  I still hope he may find time to contribute here in 2012, either as an original author or as a commenter, but that is entirely up to him.

So turning to the question of whether we should bring to our visitors BB’s postings on PB, I’m with TT and NormanK, namely that we continue with the ad hoc arrangement that has arisen recently, that any blogger here can post a comment BB has made on PB, with suitable acknowledgement to him as author, PB as the source, along with the link to the comment, and perhaps an abstract of some of the text to give us the flavour the subject.  Rather than websites objecting to such linkages, they welcome them.  Common courtesy and adherence to web protocol will enable us to avoid criticism.

So let’s leave it at that.  

Ad astra reply

December 3. 2011 11:17 AM


Hi Everybody

.Talk Turkey I posted your brilliant piece of work all over Twitter, last night, copy below:

lynlinkingLyn Linking
Abbortt is a failure The Liberals are a mess LABOR FOR AUSTRALIA! The Government says YES! by Talk Turkey www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...sian-Century.aspx
10 hours ago FavoriteReplyDelete

What a lovely person My say is,thankyou for posting the story Talk Turkey, the *Rheumatoid Arthritis makes me sad though.
Lucky for me I don't have RA at all. My Daughter does though in her knees.

Ashleigh Gillon from Sky news has posted a nice comment about the conference:

@ash_gillonAshleigh Gillon
Getting goosebumps - witnessing some great speeches here at #alpnc. The vibe in the room is electric! Live #skynewsaust

This really is a good debate. Only shows ALP in good light. Abbott must be shitting himself #auspol #abcnews24 #ALPnc
21 minutes ago FavoriteRetweetReply

Tony Abbott blasts Gillard for stupidly recommending a Liberal for something: http://wp.me/p1ltlD-bz #auspol #peterslipper #miningtax
28 minutes ago FavoriteRetweetReply

mrbenjaminlawBenjamin Law
Some ball-tearingly good speeches supporting equal marriage. Faulkner's fury just then was beautiful to behold. http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/ #ALPnc
36 minutes ago FavoriteRetweetReply

WELL SAID: "Gillard’s ... repeated expressions of wonder at the magic of the free market..." (by @mumbletwits) http://bit.ly/vAnWlv #auspol
1 minute ago FavoriteRetweetReply

Sorry, just checked , three of my twitter links posted broken

Here are the repaired links:

Inquiry into NSW labor shutting down science
The code of climate silence - more interference by NSW Labor bureaucrats

TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
Gittens explains it well. One for those who need to learn about the importance of fiscal policy; and how it works
There's always a few twists on road to surplus , Ross Gittins

NationalTimesAUNational Times
The ghost of Howard hovers over Gillard's marriage vow, writes Katharine Murphy



December 3. 2011 12:13 PM

D Mick Weir

Interesting watching the comments come up on Twitter re Marriage Equality

Here is a random sample:

@MaximillianSaga Jim
Slow clap, ALP. Remind me again why anyone even remotely progressive should have anything to do with you? #ALPnc #votegreen #auspol

@swearycat Sweary Cat
#alpnc can you hear this? Its the sound of thousands of ALP voters heading off to the Greens.

@timwattsau timwattsau
Did we have a conscience vote when racial discrimination under White Australia policy ended? #ALPnc #DiscriminationIsNotAMatterOfConscience

@annabelcrabb Annabel Crabb
Wong says it was a Labor govt that removed the White Australia Policy. (@latingle mutters that it was also a Labor Govt that introduced it)

@alisonrehn Alison Rehn
One observer in favour of marriage equality at #ALPnc said to another: "Still a win. It's not over yet. Next time." #marriageequality

@vanOnselenP Peter van Onselen
I'd like to see the Liberal Party have the guts to openly debate gay marriage... They keep telling us they are a broad church

Some interesting points of view.

and to finish a cynical point of view:
@dmickweir D Mick Weir
@JuliaGillard often accused of being poll driven is #MarriageEquality the exception that proves the rule? Or did I read wrong poll?

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 12:28 PM

D Mick Weir

... and I will let this be the last word:

@AndrewCatsaras Andrew Catsaras
Open, free and frank debates within political parties & beyond are the hallmark of a healthy & mature party & democracy. Cynics be damned.

... amd damned I am.

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 12:51 PM


I love it how you all have just applauded Gillard's speech as being good, as it did not over awe or overcrowd the rest of the conference... as if she is some dominating figure that does not need the help of producing a good and clear speech that highlights what she and the Labor Party now stand for!? The speech was the same old drool with the most absurd motherhood statements i have ever heard: "Labor says yes to the future"... what the hell! I dont know anyone that does not stand for the future; "Labor stands for growth and prosperity"... who doesnt Julia? etc etc

They say she actually wrote the thing, and that she has been planning it for weeks! Let us all hope that she gives her well paid speech writers the pen and paper next time; we might actually get past the copy cat statements taken from Obama: "yes we will", "Labor stands for saying yes".

I see Gillard got a win today, in a way, by gaining a conscience vote for the gay marriage issue, but i really dont understand why those that support gay marriage and today amended the party platform then went and voted in favour of a conscience vote when they know it is almost certain to be defeated on the floor of parliament. Once again Labor is caught looking too smart by half. Some on the left of the party may believe that by changing the party platform to being in support of same sex marriage will see some votes leak to them from the greens, but the greens are willing to vote for it where it counts, in the parliament, whereas the Labor Party looks like it is just playing symbolic politics, but that it does not really have the moral guts to go through with what they 'believe'. I suppose you could call today a win for Gillard but another blow to the Labor Party.


December 3. 2011 01:04 PM


Great debate!!! So many heartfelt speeches...a superb display of democracy in action. How refreshin'...this would never have happened under a Howard leadership. Thank gawd the Coalition are gone.

Puts real pressure on Abbott now. No conscience vote will demonstrate what an autocratic leader he is. It's not good enuff to just have a couple of people cross the floor...it looks FIXED.

Applause for PM Gillard for bein' INCLUSIVE...and settin' the conditions for a conscience vote on gay marriage...and the ALP for bein' progressive, human rights' promotin' to make it part of the platform.

Was so excitin' to watch...I felt like we were watchin' the US Democratic party debates over segregation and other important issues.  

TWO THUMBS UP for a national disability scheme too. ESSENTIAL.

Let's hope the government can oneday convince the people to pay more into Medicare and add Denticare to it.

BTW, brilliant speeches by Albanese, Faulkner, Wong, Plibersek, Barr, the lady w/ the gay son...really moved my wife & I.

I've gotta head off to my Mum's now for lunch.



December 3. 2011 01:16 PM


As one of the, at the time, only 2 contributors of original material to The Political Sword, along with Ad Astra, I had to shoulder the burden of making up for the hole he created, and do the heavy lifting with Ad in order to keep things going on the original material front. Thank goodness Acerbic Conehead stepped into the breach, amazingly and prolifically, and lyn kept her end of the table up with her comprehensive links,

you've all done well...I didn't realise you were under such pressure. I've written about 100 posts on various blogs...quite willin' to do some now & then...you only have to ask. Smile

I got the feelin' some weren't interested...so I said nothin'.

Don't mind BB cross-postin'. More the merrier.

Back later.



December 3. 2011 01:21 PM


Oh yea:

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
Good news RT @cjoye: US unemployment rate falls to 8.6% (from 9%); payrolls strong http://goo.gl/fb/fVIMR


Stimulus worked. Saved many jobs...provided foundations to build on.



December 3. 2011 01:32 PM

D Mick Weir

A thought (or two) for the day

Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate. - Hubert Humphrey

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle

G'day jj - thanks for your thoughts - umm and thanks for including me in the all even though I don't recall applauding JG's speech.

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 01:40 PM

D Mick Weir

will the Nats debate 'gay' marriage at their conference or is it they don't have to because there are no gays in rural and regional Australia?

Will the Libs debate the issue in the open?

It takes courage to debate issues such as this in open forums. It is something which the conservative parties often hide from.

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 02:03 PM


You said:

what the hell! I dont know anyone that does not stand for the future

As I have written in numerous posts, scaredy cat conservos are scared (sh)witless about the future, can scarcely tolerate the present, and lust after the past.

They're regressives; we're progressives.

Apparently you don't know any conservos ("I don't know anyone .....") which surprises me given the nature of your comments.

And "The Government Says Yes" is destined to be another nail in Abbott the fool's coffin. I think it will catch on in a big way and will make people smile when they hear Abbott saying "No, No, No!"


December 3. 2011 03:20 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody,

Mark has posted Bushfire Bill on twitter again, lucky for me that
I found the link because it was posted 2 hours ago,  
hundreds and hundreds of tweets in between.

Bushfire's entries are like finding a needle in a haystack, that makes the find more valuable.


markjs1Mark Shove
Here's another pearler from Australia's best blogger, Bushfire Bill: bit.ly/vlX0My #auspol #Mediafail

2 hours ago FavoriteRetweetReply

Bushfire Bill
Posted Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm |comment 223

having survived GFC-1 they started listening to professional doomsayers in the media and from the Coalition who told us we were doing it tougher than we ought to be doing. No-one read the various reports that backed up the government’s claims that the program had been a success. They just wanted to whinge. Having convinced themselves that they’d survived GFC-1 by dint of their own efforts, they mocked the government for helping bludgers, pokie addicts and greedy project management companies while they themselves did it tough, pulling themselves through by their own bootlaces.

Read more:

Bushfire Bill
Posted Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Comment 224
Catherine Deveny

If Gillard changes her mind on #marriageequality she will win more hearts than if she was pro #samesame marriage in the first place #alpnc

That occurred to me, too. An epiphany, talked around by the strength of debate during the bill’s passage would look good, especially as the Coalition votes “Nay” as a block.

Will some from the Opposition cross the floor?



December 3. 2011 03:38 PM

D Mick Weir

Tomorrow on Insiders we will get to see the cartoon of the year.

If this one doesn't get up the winner will have to beyond outstanding


The comments on it are informative and the second one has an eerily familiar sad ring to it.

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 03:51 PM


  Forget about what the PM was saying today! I want to hear your very very "belated " spin on slipper!
Remember the good old days when a poll was released or Thomson was in trouble or Rudd was mounting a comeback,straight away you were here telling us the end was nigh!
But since the carbon tax and the mining tax were passed and now Slipper has defected we hardly hear from you these days ,and when we do it's the same old drool you accuse others of doing!


December 3. 2011 04:03 PM

Ad astra reply

Say Yes for the future


Say No for the future.

Take your pick.

Ad astra reply

December 3. 2011 04:10 PM


Hi Nasking

Thankyou for your interesting comment above, at 1.16pm
yes the comments coming into Twitter from all the Political Journalists are exciting too.

The newspaper reports are  favourable as well.

Abbott is wedged again, he talks about hiding, wonder where he is hiding now.

you've all done well...I didn't realise you were under such pressure. I've written about 100 posts on various blogs...quite willin' to do some now & then...you only have to ask.

I got the feelin' some weren't interested...so I said nothin'.

Don't mind BB cross-postin'. More the merrier

Nasking that's nice of you to offer assistance to Ad Astra , he will be pleased.  

The more contributions we have the stronger TPS becomes

I have collected some more links on this, another historical day for our Government:-

ALP: Australian Labor creating the National Disability Insurance Scheme, VIDEO
Julia Gillard, Our Prime Minister

ALP National Conference, VIDEO
With the ALP’s National Conference in full swing there’s a swag of videos. Thankfully ABC News 24 has been covering a lot of the conference live and it’s very pleasing to see that the ALP is live streaming the conference as well.
Instead of posting the various videos individually we collated them into this one post. We’ll update this post throughout the weekend as more videos are uploaded.

The amendment, moved by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, was carried by 208 votes to 184.

labor backs gay marriage , Malcolm Farr
The key question now is what the Opposition will do. Three weeks ago Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the would be no conscience vote but yesterday was equivocal.

ALP National Conference backs Gillard on gay marriage
crikey_newsCrikey.com.au blogs.crikey.com.au/.../text-labors-gay-marriage-stoush
/“This is about dignity” – Labor moves in favour of a conscience vote on gay marriage http://bit.ly/urxYWs #ALP

Labor changes policy to support same sex marriage, however Gillard restricts parliamentary party to conscience vote

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
Excellent speech by Bill Shorten on disability insurance #alpnc

Bill Shorten on Sky on ALP National Conference #ALPnc #auspol bit.ly/sEKcGY

Speech to ALP National Conference- Why Labor must introduce an NDIS, Bill Shorten
Listen to or read my speech to the ALP National Conference about why Labor is the party of reform and why the ALP and the labour movement must bring in a National Disability Insurance Scheme


December 3. 2011 04:25 PM


I hadn't really twigged that the voluntary vote would so exquisitely wedge the Coalons. Has anyone any idea how many Labor Reps Members are likely to vote against SS marriage? It really turns a blowtorch on the Budgies! Free to vote whatever way they like eh!
I despise the influence of religion in politics - that's what this objection to ss marriage stuff is all about - but obviously we're not going to keep religion out of politics, so then a thing like ss marriage must be a matter of conscience, otherwise some fundamentalists are going to vote against it, and vote it down, and destroy the Government's solidarity into the deal. It NEEDS some on the Right to cross the floor our way, and if they don't well the Gay community will need to target Them not Us. Hopefully the Gays'll get their way first up but if not it's the Opposition who are the ones in the way.  


December 3. 2011 04:28 PM


Hi Ad

The link to Bill Shorten speaking to David Speers is broken above.

David Speers is trying to give Bill Shorten a hard time, it is not working for Speers:

Bill Shorten on Sky on ALP National Conference #ALPnc #auspol bit.ly/sEKcGY
Sky News political editor David Speers speaks with Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten at the ALP National Conference.




December 3. 2011 04:38 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
As usual BB’s comments are germane.  He is very adept at analyzing journalists’ columns, and Shaun Carney is one of his favourites for analysis.

After reading Shaun’s long column all he seemed to be saying was that Australians had less to whinge about than they think they have.  It’s a pity he didn’t spell out why they are so well off, why whingeing is inappropriate, and how this attitude has largely come about – Tony Abbott and Co. continually telling them how badly off they are, how things are going to get worse, and that it’s the Government’s fault.  

Carney hasn’t got the guts or the will to call out the Coalition for its destructively negative behaviour month after month.  If everything is going so swimmingly economically, why are people miserable and whining?  Answer: Tiny Abbott told them to think and feel that way.  This is society-damaging politics at its very worse, yet journalists like Carney let Abbott off the hook again and again.  As BB would say, ‘Such a pity!’

Ad astra reply

December 3. 2011 06:55 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Abig thankyou to Ad Astra, Nasking, Talk Turkey, Bring Back Maxine, Janice and NormanK.

Thankyou everybody for your beautiful wishes to me and your appreciation of my work.  

We are not going away over Christmas, so even though I am on holidays from "Today's Links" not holidays from TPS.

It was Norman K that said I have a nest here, well what a lovely cozy nest it is with all my friends.

TPS is very fortunate indeed to be the place where you have chosen to nest.
I hope Santa brings you everything that you wish for

Well Norman K, my husband is buying me an  IPAD  how about that.

Can anyone tell me which is the best Ipad to buy. I need to use it for reading so looking at the battery life, print size, light to see, weight,

Also need the web browser and email box.

The most important I need to know, do they work of my existing bigpond plan the same as the laptop?????



December 3. 2011 07:53 PM


Hi Lyn,

Someone else will probably give you a more detailed answer but if your husband has not already committed to buying an iPad you might want to look at some of the alternatives. iPad runs on the MacIntosh system which means you are going to have to learn a whole new language and way of performing functions. Your Mail will look different and behave differently. If you are accustomed to using Internet Explorer as your browser you are going to have to learn to use Safari or FireFox.
The iPad will run off your current broadband connection but you are going to be tied down to your desk unless you buy some more toys that will allow you to go walkabout or purchase a 3G subscription (if you don't already have one).
I strongly recommend shopping around for something that is Windows-based so that you have a system with which you are familiar.


December 3. 2011 08:16 PM

Feral Skeleton

   I'm back! *cough* from the ALP National Conference, where I was allowed out of the Photocopying Room to sit in the Conference Hall to listen to all the amazing speeches(I nearly cried), and to see 'THE VOTE'.

   I was also chosen to be one of the 'Conference Carers' for our Disabled Guests of Honour in the morning session when the PM announced the $10 Million seed-funding for a Steering Committee to establish the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

   What a day!

   Not to mention that I might be there in 2 years time as a Delegate because the PM wants people like me to be. Laughing

   It's all good! And it's making me forget all about the toothache I've got. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 08:22 PM

Feral Skeleton

    I agree with NormanK. I would advise your husband to purchase a Samsung Galaxy Tab instead of an iPad. It is because they are superior to the iPad that Apple are trying to hinder their release around the world via legal injunction. Also, as NormanK said, it will be able to easily accomodate all your familiar applications and programs. Plus, it is an Android Operating System, which is fast surpassing the Apple OS.

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 08:24 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Isn't jj just typical of the mean-spiritdness of supporters of the Coalition? All bile, put-downs and derision of his fellow human beings. Us!

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 09:07 PM




Slipper will be discredited over time and will probably not be speaker by the end of next year, and Thompson will be charged and convicted in the not too distant future (before the next election in 2013).

Slipper is a rat and Gillard and co are just as ratty for forcing Harry Jenkins to depart the position he was born to hold.

There you have it... by this time next year the parliament will either be in the exact same situation it was before the defection of Slipper, or see an election called for early 2013, with Abbott gaining the numbers he needs to move a no confidence motion. Oh, and by the way, Julia will not be around to see much of this happen either.


December 3. 2011 09:11 PM

Feral Skeleton

   That's called 'wishful thinking'.

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 09:12 PM


..... Android Operating System, which is fast surpassing the Apple OS.

Ho ho ho.

ReCaptcha lottery: grand aptalk

Even ReCaptcha recognises the superiority of the Apple OS.


December 3. 2011 09:15 PM

Feral Skeleton

      Funny how 'Rats' and political parties are only 'ratty', in jj's eyes, when they are of the Liberal defector to Labor Party's advantage type? Ah, the selective amnesia of the Coalition fanboy who casually forgets the names of Albert Field, Mal Colston and Billy Hughes. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 09:19 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Re marriage equality.

John Fawkner today noted that the ALP does not provide a conscience vote on matters of life and death. In his outstanding contribution he said that the ALP send youth to war without the option of a conscience vote for pacifists and “a conscience vote on human rights is not conscionable”.

No doubt others will suggest that Julia has successfully dealt with this issue, and that it is now a matter to use to wedge the opposition.

Julia has successfully ensured that the issue is neglected for half a decade. Great work for a party of reform, that is supposed to support the marginalised.

In other news, the ALP now supports outsourcing our human rights obligations. Amazing, breathtaking.

Tom of Melbourne

December 3. 2011 09:22 PM

D Mick Weir

.. and as the government increases the badly named "efficiency dividend" I really hope someone gets Wayne Swan to read this:

You’re wrong – we are all wealth creators Tim Harford - The Undercover Economist

“Look, communism didn’t collapse because there wasn’t any private sector to pay for the public sector. It collapsed because the incentives were thoroughly screwed up. There’s no logical reason why an economy couldn’t be 100 per cent public sector. You’re making it sound like that’s impossible as a matter of simple arithmetic.”

“Still, communism is hardly an advertisement for the public sector, is it? The private sector creates wealth.”

“No, individual technologists, managers, scientists and entrepreneurs create wealth. Their natural home might well be the private sector but there’s no logical reason why they can’t be employed in the public sector. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web while he was working in the public sector.”

Now does anybody know where I can find a straight talking piece that shoots down the canard of our government will create many '000's of jobs

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 09:25 PM

D Mick Weir

a pat on the back for being a volunteer. Those that volunteer are a wonder to behold. Well done lots of Smile

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 09:55 PM


We are not going away over Christmas, so even though I am on holidays from "Today's Links" not holidays from TPS.

glad to hear it. I'm sure between us there will be enuff links considerin' it will mostly be school holidays...you then get a well-earned rest regardin' Lyn's links...it can get exhaustin' I imagine.

I intend to go back thru yer links when I get the chance. Hasn't it been a busy year? As Lateline viewers woulda noticed in their summin' up of the year last nite.

Sad to see Ali Moore go...she's off to Asia...wonder which media company she'll join? I thought she did a pretty decent job this year. I liked her interview style.

I'll comment a few times in the next mth...always somethin' to bring up around the world. Probably not be around as much tho 'cause of family obligations.

I'm afraid I can't recommend a pad 'cause I haven't got one yet...but I was considerin' gettin' the Samsung one that Feral mentioned.

I'm glad you had a useful & happy time at the convention. Well done!

Any news on the reforms? It would be good if people could join up w/ the party & communicate w/ ministers on-line. Goin' to meetings in halls doesn't suit some who aren't big on crowds etc.

Tom of Melbourne,
I think you are one of the government's most avid & persistent critics...I think there is a news organisation who would luv for you to write for them.

The ALP today has provided a voice for gay marriage supporters far beyond anything I've seen by mainstream parties in this country before.

I hear a former Rudd advisor bein' critical & advisin' his butt off on SKY NEWS at least once a week...but I don't remember Rudd settin' the environment for a change to the platform.

At least Julia Gillard has gone that far.

It seems to me you'd rather look at her from a glass half empty perspective each time...rather than glass half full. But then, I doubt anythin' an ALP leader does would please you in the long run...

you bein' a registered Aus Democrat. Conveniently. Smile

It will be the ALP that eventually sells & mainly passes gay marriage...not the stubborn, backward Coalition...or a defunct Oz Democrats' party...ya can count on that.



December 3. 2011 09:59 PM


I strongly recommend shopping around for something that is Windows-based so that you have a system with which you are familiar.

that's what I intend to do. I'm so familiar w/ Windows I reckon I'd find a change irritatin' & time wastin'. Thnx for the useful info.



December 3. 2011 10:07 PM


Tom of Melbourne

Julia has successfully ensured that the issue is neglected for half a decade.

For your sake I hope that you don't believe the nonsense you have written and are a mere sophist putting down the words without belief in them.

If you believe your words you are so severely deluded. Nothing
can ever occur without the first step, and the conference decisions on SS marriage were the first step. As other MSM writers have said elsewhere, this has well wedged Abbott. He is now in the impossible situation of having to have the last say on SS marriages ....everything depends on whether he gives his mob a conscience vote.

If he does not do so, the bill will fail on his decision, reinforcing his No No No character, which as is widely suggested is now becoming quite tedious.

Where is he going to turn in the New Year when "the Government Says Yes" starts picking up steam .... that he is a clown will become obvious even to those gullibles he has so far conned.

As has gone historically for all of our nation's major past reforms from creating the pension to medicare to floating the dollar to doing away with tariffs to the ETS to paid parental leave to national disability insurance to the MRRT, Labor invariably takes the first step.

The conservos are afraid of their own shadows, of the future, and of the whiff of change. And of course they are by nature unsympathetic to the plight of their wider brethren, regardless of the occasional platitude.


As FS said to you..... wishful thinkin. Sure, who knows how Slipper and Thompson "unfold' next year. But on your own concession that these unmentionable and unspecified associated with these two won't occur till the end of next year, can I suggest that this is very cold comfort to your conservo mob.

The issue for them is what events, legislation, national management, and further reforms by JG are effected in the meantime. Can I suggest that by the end of 2012 the government's continuing good work will result in Abbott the fool being a totally insignificant player, and so too for the whole Colonition if he is still boss of the oranges.

I'm pretty sure he won't be, so from late 2012 till the election will be a new ball game and a sad period for the conservos.


December 3. 2011 10:09 PM


"But on your own concession that these unmentionable and unspecified events associated with these two won't occur till the end of next year, can I suggest that this is very cold comfort to your conservo mob."

.....a missing word.


December 3. 2011 10:10 PM

Feral Skeleton

Nasking and D Mick Weir,
                        Thank you for the kudos, it makes it all worth while. Plus the free ticket to ride along on the coat-tails of momentous change for Australia which I was given by being accepted as a volunteer was appreciated by me. And despite what the curmudgeons say, today's vote to change the party platform, if not for a binding vote to compel MPs to vote for Same Sex Marriage(which, if it had passed would have led to another ALP/DLP split occurring,IMHO), was indeed a momentous change that the government have now authorised.

   Nas, you may be able to identify today's achievment with this line from a famous song:

   'You can't always get what you want,
    But if you try sometimes,
    You get what you need.'Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 10:12 PM

Feral Skeleton

        You like being a captive of the Totalitarian State of Apple, huh?
   As a free-spirit I prefer the Open Source World. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 10:16 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Oh yes, I forgot to add that the PM has designated next year, 'The Year of Design', following on from her 'Year of Decision and Delivery' Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 10:18 PM


Tom of Melbourne,has never been known to say anything but the current narrative of politics at the time he says it. Of course he has been educated well beyond his intelligence and can tell you in ten minutes what you already know. This is why he writes on the TPS as he can waffle endlessly while sounding knowledgeable.


December 3. 2011 10:27 PM


Lyn, a quote you put up:

Will some from the Opposition cross the floor?

I keep askin' myself how The Liberal Party of Australia can have the gall to call themselves that considerin' the history of Liberalism...

shouldn't they be pursuin' equal rights for all?

With the rise of the Enlightenment, the word acquired decisively more positive undertones, being defined as "free from narrow prejudice" in 1781 and "free from bigotry" in 1823.

The onset of the First World War and the Great Depression, however, accelerated the trends begun in late 19th century Britain towards a "new liberalism" (social liberalism) that emphasized a greater role for the state in ameliorating societal ills.

By the beginning of the 21st century, liberal democracies and their fundamental characteristics—support for constitutions, civil rights and individual liberties, pluralistic society, and the welfare state—were widespread in most regions around the world.


Liberal feminism, the dominant tradition in feminist history, hopes to eradicate all barriers to gender equality—claiming that the continued existence of such barriers eviscerates the individual rights and freedoms ostensibly guaranteed by a liberal social order.

British philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft is widely regarded as the pioneer of liberal feminism, with A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) expanding the boundaries of liberalism to include women in the political structure of liberal society


Should not then an individual woman have the right to marry another woman under some views of Liberalism in pursuance of individual rights...and the rights of a woman to choose her own path?

And shouldn't celebrants be permitted to marry gay & lesbian people for monetary purposes and be allowed to expand their enterprise in competition w/ others w/out state/political interference?

Seems to me that the Australian Liberal Party needs some REAL debate...and to not act like a bunch of spoil sport, conservative, non-progressive, business stiflin' fuddy duddies.



December 3. 2011 10:39 PM


you may be able to identify today's achievment with this line from a famous song:

   'You can't always get what you want,
    But if you try sometimes,
    You get what you need.

Ah yes Feral,
good old Stones.

I was also thinkin' this:

From Little Things Big Things Grow



December 3. 2011 10:41 PM


TOM said In other news, the ALP now supports outsourcing our human rights obligations. Amazing, breathtaking.
  At least the ALP recognises that we have human rights obligations.  Which political tribe is guilty of leaving refugees stranded on a cargo ship, changing the law to "fiddle" with the borders of this country and for the past ten years have preached a bigoted and racist policy?

Five you a hint - its not the ALP.

FS - while Apple's business practices are squeaky clean at least the hardware and software works together.  Microsoft has also been in trouble with a number of Government "Fair Trading" Departments around the world. Disclaimer - this is being typed on a Mac .  From memory Google have some "privacy" and "Fair Trading" issues as well - must be a computer thing.


December 3. 2011 10:42 PM


That should read "Give you a hint"


December 3. 2011 10:55 PM


a binding vote to compel MPs to vote for Same Sex Marriage(which, if it had passed would have led to another ALP/DLP split occurring,IMHO

I was thinkin' EXACTLY the same.

It's turned out the best.

The party survives...the leader was able to negotiate w/ all sides & compromise...not pleasin' everyone...but ensurin' views were aired democratically & the party she leads was given an opportunity to change the platform.

Change comes incrementally...and it takes time to sell an idea and take the majority w/ you.

It now gives the gay marriage issue real momentum...

and puts big time pressure on the Coalition to contribute and act like real Liberals.

Or reveal themselves to be old fashioned, too far right religiously-tied conservatives.

I applaud PM Julia Gillard for havin' the guts to let the issue be aired...and take the risk of losin' the vote.

I reckon she's a pretty gutsy lady when it comes to many issues...and history will show such...considerin' the history of patriarchy/boy's world & homophobia in this country...and the fact we came off almost 12 long years of Howard conservatism...and attack dog generally right-wing Murdoch empire dominatin' the past decade or so.

Once again Gillard has shown herself to be a competent & useful negotiator.

The tortoise and the hare...I say.


December 3. 2011 11:04 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi 2353
re part of your comment:
Which political tribe is guilty of ... changing the law to "fiddle" with the borders of this country ...

With sadness I ask ... and which political tribe has had four years to rescind those "border fiddles" and done sweet ferk all?

Still as others have said You can't always get what you want which is an unfortunate use of lyrics to a fine song to excuse the absolute hypocrisy of a supposedly progressive party/government.

Hmm! Recaptcha land healtus  

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 11:07 PM

Feral Skeleton

  The most definitive series of comments on today's Marriage Equality vote for mine came in a series of Tweets by 'People Skills' in response to a series of unreasonable outbursts by those peeps on the Far Left, or those who just want to continue to find reasons to misogynistically hate on Julia Gillard. Anyway, here are the Tweets:

     @citizen_cam bringing about sustainable change involves bringing along people who don't agree with you. That's the maturity thing. Ah well.

30 mins ago to citizen_cam
@citizen_cam you call it a failure. I don't. That's the maturity thing I referred to. Ah well.

33 mins ago to citizen_cam
@citizen_cam mature lefties know that sustainable change comes over time. Immature lefties want it all. Right now.

34 mins ago to citizen_cam
@citizen_cam I disagree. I'm a practical leftie. Today is good enough for me. You don't speak for me. And I'm an ex ALP member too.

35 mins ago to citizen_cam
@citizen_cam ie. the debate today. Heading in the right direction isn't enough. It's all or nothing. Not a mature position.

36 mins ago to citizen_cam
@citizen_cam people who say just because the ALP doesn't do exactly what you want when you want, they must be crap

37 mins ago to citizen_cam
@citizen_cam great. My point is, mature people don't expect political parties to be perfect. It's not about big words.

38 mins ago to citizen_cam
@citizen_cam ok. If that helps.

42 mins ago to citizen_cam
@citizen_cam yes, that would be the lack of maturity I referred to. Ah well.

44 mins ago to citizen_cam
Just because the ALP doesn't do exactly what you want exactly when you want doesn't meant they are shit. Show some maturity please.

  You probably need to read them from bottom to top. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 3. 2011 11:20 PM

D Mick Weir

I am sure there is a message for me in it

Why have I kept noticing tweets and links about cynicism?

The biggest enemy we face isn’t capitalism or Conservatism...
it’s the deadly lure of cynicism
  Billy Bragg @ The Yorkshire Post

I will have to sleep on this - but not just yet.

D Mick Weir

December 3. 2011 11:27 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Right. John Faulkner is entirely wrong then, and we will all have to all have to phone our political candidates and ask them their personal opinion.

That’s real change. That’s claytons reform.

Tom of Melbourne

December 3. 2011 11:50 PM


   I take it if you were there today a different result would have happend?
Faulkner said his bit as did others but you were absent Tom! Only now long after the debate you turn up as though you are somehow relevant! well you're not so f@ck off!


December 3. 2011 11:53 PM

D Mick Weir

Tom of Melbourne,
if the conscience vote had gone down at the conference would it have

  a) changed your opinion of the ALP,
  b) changed your opinion of the government,
  c) changed your opinion of the Prime Minister
  d) changed the way you intend to vote at the next election?

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 12:04 AM

D Mick Weir

In all the discussions and to and froing around the same sex marriage debate there are some things I still not understand.

The main one/s are around the 'sanctity' of marriage and the tradition of marriage being between a man and a woman.

I am more than happy to be corrected on this but it is my understanding that the law/s about marriage to include words to the effect that marriage can only be between a man and a woman were done by the Howard government.

If that is in fact true why the ferk is a Labor goverment being bound by some diehards wanting to uphold a tradition established by Howard?

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 12:30 AM


   Tom is a whinger and a professional one at that.
He likes to be outraged on behalf of "other" people.
Come to think of it same sex or not, Tom would complain about having to have sex on his wedding night!  


December 4. 2011 02:19 AM


Does anyone offer odds on the next election outcome? I'm serious. Gee I wish I'd backed myself a month and two days ago before QANTAS done its thing. I could've got just about anything back then. Ah well. I reckon I could still get amazing odds anyway, but every time we write something like this they shorten! Because as we start to tittery . . . the bookies start to get jittery . . . the odds don't look so glittery . . .

Anyway Dennis Atkins seems to have cottoned on to Abbortt's certain implosion and the Coalons' utter confounding, read this: Smile www.google.com.au/url


December 4. 2011 07:46 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Hello & Good Morning Everyone!
                                 I am at home and not at the Conference because I have an abscessed tooth. Frown
  I am on antibiotics so it will go down and then I can get it out. Frown
  However you will now have the pleasure of my company today. Smile or Frown ? Wink

Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 08:07 AM

D Mick Weir

and of complete indifference to some I posed the same questions to ToM at his other haunt

Tom of Melbourne permalink
December 4, 2011 12:19 am


a. If the ALP had committed to this change, I would have revised my jaded opinion of them, because it would have required them to roll the power brokers. But that was never going to happen.
b. b. If the government reflected overwhelming public opinion rather than pander to sectional interests, I would have been surprised but pleased. But the government is not going to do that.
c. If the Prime Minister reverses her expressed position, and now actively advocates the platform, I’ll be surprised. If she stakes her Prime Ministerial credibility on forcing the change through parliament, I’ll be surprised too. The Prime Minister isn’t interested in social reform.
d. I’ve voted informal since 2004, after many years of ALP activity. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to be disillusioned with the party. Only the naïve get any emotional charge out of supporting this government.

But thanks for asking.

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 08:10 AM

Feral Skeleton

D Mick Weir,
            A couple of points re the 'Sanctity of Marriage'.
1. Joe De Bruyn said at the Conference yesterday that only a man and a woman can make babies and therefore marriage should only be allowed for them. So I thought, "Yeah,right, what about IVF and Surrogacy?" In fact, I just read about Elton John and David Furnish's baby yesterday which was conceived via a sort of lottery, as their sperm was mixed up in the syringe before it was injected into the Surrogate.
   Now, how would Joe & Fred Nile unscramble that egg? You can't.

2. The signs at the Pro Heterosexual Marriage Rally said, 'Children Need a Mother and a Father'. Which personally confronted, confused and saddened me as I thought, "Well, what about me, a Widow, trying to bring up my two kids as best I can? Am I not worthy of the approval of the Christian set? Do they expect me to go out and find another father for them because that is the only situation they will ever approve of? Then 'God' answered my question for me as my son came in to ask me what he should do about the fact that he could hear the people in the house nearest us, a man and a woman, arguing loudly and a child crying? Wink

Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 08:45 AM

D Mick Weir

I take your point however I question the use of the word professional

Being 'professional' implies being paid and in the unlikely event that ToM is being paid whoever is paying is getting very poor value for their money.

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 08:52 AM

D Mick Weir

A wayward thought on the same sex marriage issue.

I doubt the PM intended it this way but what she has done is open up the opportunity for a bit of participatory democracy.

For those that have a firm view on the issue, no matter which way they swing, it is now up to them to establish the view of their representative/s and if it is opposite to their desires lobby hard and 'prove' that the majority of voters in that electorate want them vote the other way.

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 09:00 AM

D Mick Weir

your situation is indeed something that would confound quite a few of those 'Children Need a Mother and a Father' types but I am sure that Fred would have a glib answer to it.

Maybe we should put it to him

On second thoughts I don't know if I could handle trying to wade through the BS he would likely come up with.

Hope you have been applying some clove oil to that pesky tooth.

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 09:14 AM


DMW @ 11:04 - Agree completely.  That the ALP hasn't repealed that law is shameful.

FS - I feel you pain (not at the moment, but I have in the past).  I also agree with you about the claim that children need a mother and a father.  Religion is supposed to be based on compassion.  Apart from the obvious question about why two clearly intelligent people such as Penny Wong and her partner or even Elton John and his partner cannot bring a child up with love and care - why should people like yourself or a member of my family (who is in a similar position to yours) have their noses rubbed in their loss every time some dickhead from a lunatic conservative fringe opens their mouth about "a father and Mother".  How is that compassionate?  Surely caring for your kids is more important than you domestic circumstances.

I love your comparison between your "heathen" family and the next door neighbours with the "ideal" family.  You've also got to ask if children of a couple who are unmarried, married to others (they are bigamists - shock horror) or any other family grouping - if loved cherished and supported - are any worse that those from a more traditional family unit.


December 4. 2011 09:14 AM

D Mick Weir

Stuck for ideas for an Xmas gift for kids. Check this out

The 5 Best Toys of All Time  Geek Dad @ Wired

Great stuff
Hat Tip @TimHarford

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 09:19 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Bushfire Bill out and about early this morning.

Bushfire Bill
Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 8:41 am | comment 794
Sam Maiden wrote:

But what buggers me is this: basically, everything the Daily Telegraph and the other News Ltd papers have said in the past about Rudd coming back - the issues, the timing, the support - was true. How did ya bloody know all that? I thought I was the only one leaking. You're not gonna tell me there's been a few others are you?"




December 4. 2011 09:30 AM



Ask your dentist for laughing gas, for a transient dental experience . . .

That's not funny Turkey!

Well this is:-

There was a young lady from Nome
Who went to the dentist alone;
In a fit of depravity
He filled the wrong cavity!
Now she's nursing the filling at home . . .

You really have everybody's sympathy that ever had dental pain.

The Conference might have to staggger along without you, Good and Faithful Servant.

This event seems to be taking the pressure down generally, the Labor Party is resurgent and determined and essentially united against The Enemy, there seems to be an acceptance that getting 73% of a loaf is better than having bread ripped off you. That's very good. We need that firm acceptance of the political.

Plibersek on Lopsiders with Crassidy, Annabel the slyly- sidling Crabbe, Pinky Marr and Fatty Farr. Well at least  rabid, vapid instead rather. On reflection I'm not sure which is worse.

Robb! Thinking he might make LOTO and beyond!

Election odds on offer for the next election? Anybody? Smile


December 4. 2011 09:32 AM


Bum! 'At least NOT rabid . . . '


December 4. 2011 09:40 AM

D Mick Weir

Due to lack of control of the remote the TV is on Sunrise

There are prices to pay for being married Smile

But was very pleased to see a bebunking of a number of Asylum Seeker Myths around one of those chainmail things.

Missed the exact words but basically said email was 'absolute crap'

Good onya Sunday Sunrise (for that bit at least)

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 10:01 AM


*J*U*L*I*A* and POTUS kicking an Aussie Rules footy
around the Oval Office . . . .

Aussie Rules . . . Oval . . . Ca va.


December 4. 2011 10:35 AM

Tom of Melbourne

That’s interesting Jason. Typically you’ve chosen to duck the actual issue (again).

I have no idea what type of “professional” would be hanging around a couple of blogs. But certainly not the type of “professional’ that I am.

Tom of Melbourne

December 4. 2011 11:03 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi Ho
it's on the road I go ...

(so I can catch up with the radio version of Insiders - and maybe do some work in btwn)

have a fun day all

D Mick Weir

December 4. 2011 11:50 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I enjoyed BB’s comments, especially the one about Annabel Crabb: ”Crabb wants to be a political journalist. Well, girl, start acting like one and quit playing the preppy schoolgirl. Ring Laura Tingle for some tips on how to do journalism properly.  Or else get a job at Who Weekly. Gushy-crushy wannabee “color” writers like you are a dime a dozen down there… but you might get to work in the mail room.”

I’ll be on the road soon back to Melbourne, so you won’t see much of me until much later.

Ad astra reply

December 4. 2011 12:21 PM


    "That’s interesting Jason. Typically you’ve chosen to duck the actual issue (again)."

Says you! who in 2004 had a hissy fit and have voted infomal ever since!


December 4. 2011 12:30 PM


sspencer_63 | 2 minutes ago

Meanwhile, outside #ALPnc the No Carbon Tax Rally has attracted precisely 112 people. http://t.co/yGCF0Eii


December 4. 2011 02:44 PM


From BB:

But what buggers me is this: basically, everything the Daily Telegraph and the other News Ltd papers have said in the past about Rudd coming back - the issues, the timing, the support - was true.

I don't take seriously anythin' News Ltd has to say on leadership speculation these days...

how many years did we have to read about the Howard & Costello wars? Costello remained in his hammock. Full stop.

Ruddy is useful as FM...there may come a time that the Iranian situation will reach boiling point...our problems w/ Nth Korea & Pakistan provide us w/ good examples as to why the international community may have to act soon...it is a volatile & arrogant regime led by a combination of religious, bigoted fanatics & military gung-hoers. It demonstrates inconsistent & oft disregard for the rights of women...and certainly does not tolerate dissent well...at times cruel & inhumane in enforcing the powers of the privileged & the religiously intolerant...

Kevin Rudd as FM has a useful relationship w/ various hawks & doves & mavericks in & out of the American administration...has important contacts in the UN & across the globe on a diplomatic level...played a useful role in pushing for a no-fly zone in Libya...and therefore has cred & an ability to reach out, influence & get feedback in relation to the Iranian dilemma and current, ongoin' & future plans to deal w/ the situation...and to relay Australian admin's POVs...

Rudd is also an asset in QLD...supportin' members...and mobilisin' supporters...in his present position as FM.

Consequently, I see his role as foreign minister playin' an integral & essential role next year...

and the possibility of him challengin' for the leadership as quite low.

Some of the sh*t stirrers at News Ltd are desperate to grab attention, hook-in the reader, by way of lazy headlines...and bogus, vaguely sourced rumblings about leadership challenges.

And create another distraction from the positive moves & demonstration of democracy in action comin' outa the rivettin' ALP conference.  

This is the same lot who day after day bashed the government when it came to waste & the BER program....exaggeratin' the stuffups, distortin' truth by ignorin' facts...and conveniently ignorin' the benefits of such well-executed stimulus durin' an economically unstable period...and lookin' the other way when thousands upon thousands of beneficiaries of the BER schemes spoke up & applauded the outcomes.

News Ltd has a great deal of reform, repair work & reinventing to do before I believe one bloody thing that comes outa their papers these days.

Leadership challenge my arse/ass.

The lady is here to stay.



December 4. 2011 02:58 PM

Feral Skeleton

My son has disowned me. Frown He wanted to have a look into my mouth to observe the full carnage. So he got out the torch and had a squizz...and recoiled in horror! "Ew!", he cried, "It's got puss oozing out of it!" His 'perfect' mother has been graphically proven to be less than that and the delicate petal can't handle it. Smile
   Still, 5 minutes later he had conveniently forgotten about it and was imploring me to stagger out of bed and make him his breakfast and watch Insiders with him.
   Speaking of Insiders, it wasn't too bad as a summation of the political year that was. My son and I were certainly LOLing about on the couch, however, what became the Talking Point for us out of it all was a discussion of the point that was brought up about the PM's speeches and her delivery of them, which, naturally, led to a discussion about what it is about her that falls so flat with the voters. That is, the electorate is warming to her gradually but express no genuine warmth for her, ún certain regard' is how the French put it I think. I tried to say that she lacked charisma, but my son didn't seem to think that was the problem. He said that maybe it was because her delivery was flat, not forceful enough and lacking in humorous asides.
   Nevertheless, we agreed that she was essentially a good person, and a magnificent behind the scenes negotiator.

   Now, I have just listened to the speech Kevin Rudd gave to the National Conference on 'Australia's Place In A Changing World' (sounds like a Grade 2 composition subject Smile ). Now, I'm not saying Kevin Rudd should be re-instated to the position of Prime Minister simply because he can give a rousing speech, but for someone speaking to a hall full of jaded delegates on the last day of a conference, he certainly made them sit up and applaud. This is in comparison to the polite response the PM got this weekend when she spoke.

   So, essentially, all I could wish for for Xmas is a leader who had the organisational ability, negotiating skills and strategic smarts of Julia Gillard, combined with the warmth, vivacity and ability to deliver a rousing speech which inspires of Kevin Rudd. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 04:27 PM

Tom of Melbourne

“The lady is here to stay.”

With due respect Nasking, it’s fair to point out that your track record in predicting leadership stability in the ALP is not good. I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you may have  denied any challenge to Rudd, until about an hour after it actually happened.

Tom of Melbourne

December 4. 2011 04:30 PM

Feral Skeleton

Tom of Melbourne,
                 Could you keep your muck-raking about leadership challenges to the PM from Kevin Rudd, to The Gutter, where it belongs?

Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 04:43 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Are you joking? That’s “muck raking”!!!??? It was actually a fair reply, even though you might not endorse it.

Tom of Melbourne

December 4. 2011 05:04 PM

Feral Skeleton

     By your definition, it wasn't muck-raking. So, OK. What is unquestioned is that it was tedious and repetitive and virtually baseless in fact.

Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 05:07 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Bernard Keane would like us all to know about how low The Daily Telegraph can go:


Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 05:37 PM



For what it is worth, The Telegraph have put up a correction. According to them, a New Zealander was responsible for the headline - a mistake whereby the use of an NZ politician was used i.e. Pansy Wong.

thetelegraph.com.au apologies for mistake in a headline that appeared online today. The headline was not intended to be a play on words but was in fact a mix up by a web producer from New Zealand who confused Senator Wong with NZ MP Pansy Wong.

What caught my eye was the 'reluctant embrace' - by whose measure one wonders.


December 4. 2011 05:41 PM

Feral Skeleton

Here's a lovely exerpt from David Marr's new book, 'Panic':


Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 05:53 PM

Feral Skeleton

        Yeah right. A New Zealand worker does not know who Julia Gillard and the woman she is embracing are?

Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 05:57 PM


With due respect Nasking, it’s fair to point out that your track record in predicting leadership stability in the ALP is not good.

With due respect, it's fair to point out that your track record when it comes to pickin' election winners is not good. Unlike mine. Smile

I get the feelin' yer still bitter about Gillard bein' able to negotiate her way to a WIN.

And Tom of Melbourne is another unrelentin' critic of the BER...even tho he has bugger all experience when it comes to the impact of the BER...unlike some of us ex-educators who have spouses, family & friends in the education system providin' us w/ firsthand information/feedback on the benefits...and in my case, seein' such w/ my own eyes.

Like I said mate, there's a juicy job waitin' for ya in the morally bankrupt, hyperbole-obsessed Murdoch empire...grab w/ both thorny, sh*t stirrin' hands.



December 4. 2011 06:43 PM



In response to your ridiculous question as to whether i am for 'yes' to the future, or whether i am 'no' to the future, i have no bloody choice. The fact that you asked the question is just ridiculous, and shows how you buy every motherhood statement and focus group spin from the Labor Party as being fact. The truth is i have to deal with the future whether i say yes or no.

Anyway, by asking the question you are somehow saying that a non-progressive party is somehow not for waking up tomorrow morning!? As i said, the catchphrase is just a ridiculous piece of spin that has no meaning other than to try and, in some obscure way, highlight the fact that Tony Abbott opposes the carbon and mining taxes.

The Conservative side of politics is, of course, for the future, just a future based on organic change rather than change dictated by Government. There is no set out checklist that a party must tick in order to get the label for being 'yes to the future of Australia', both sides are obviously for the future of Australia, they just both see the future being somewhat different.

You can buy the focus grouped spin that has been tested and tested over the past ten weeks, but how about you use your head for once and actually consider the shallow nature of most of the stuff the PM said in what all commentators have labeled a pretty poor speech.


December 4. 2011 06:52 PM


On Gay Marriage,

I, you may be surprised, have no problem with the country moving to a point where same sex couples are able to get married under Australian law. What i dont understand, however, is why, if this issue is as important as the Labor Party likes to make out it is by having it as a central debate at the conference, and giving members the ability to vote according to their conscience, why the party is making sure such changes wont come about by allowing such a vote to occur. The whole issue to me just stinks of Labor once again placing politics over policy, being too cute by half. If the members that jumped on the bandwagon for gay marriage did so out of support rather than other political motives, than why wouldnt they have made sure the party stuck to the party platform to give gay marriage its best possible chance?
The answer is, like all of the party's policy problems, Julia Gillard.

The conference showed the party's gutlessness rather than its strength. If the Labor Party had of stood up to Gillard and showed, for once, that they put policy over politics than i think it would have been a major plus for the party, which, after all, is what the LABOR PARTY (not the Gillard party) is all about. Instead they have ended up with a bit of a non event, where Gillard's performance has done nothing to advance her standind, and the Labor Party looks as though it is half-smart by voting for something they believe in and then in the next hand movement voting for another motion that will make sure that thing you believe in does not get up in the place that counts, the Parliament.



December 4. 2011 07:05 PM


Bernard Keane would like us all to know about how low The Daily Telegraph can go

Murdoch empire tabloids can get beyond basement & gutter level..as we well know:

The News International phone-hacking scandal is an ongoing controversy involving mainly the News of the World but also other British tabloid newspapers published by News International, a subsidiary of News Corporation. Employees of the newspaper were accused of engaging in phone hacking, police bribery, and exercising improper influence in the pursuit of publishing stories.

Investigations conducted from 2005–2007 concluded that the paper's phone hacking activities were limited to celebrities, politicians and members of the British Royal Family. However, in July 2011, it was revealed that the phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers, and victims of the 7/7 London bombings were also accessed, resulting in a public outcry against News Corporation and owner Rupert Murdoch. Advertiser boycotts contributed to the closure of the News of the World on 10 July, ending 168 years of publication...

inquiries led to several high-profile resignations, including Dow Jones chief executive Les Hinton; News International legal manager Tom Crone; and chief executive Rebekah Brooks. The commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police Service, Sir Paul Stephenson, also resigned his post. Former News of the World managing editor Andy Coulson, former executive editor Neil Wallis, and Brooks were all arrested. Murdoch and his son, James, were summoned to give evidence before a parliamentary media committee.

The negative attention garnered by the scandal eventually reached the United States, where News Corporation is headquartered and operates multiple media outlets. The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a probe on 14 July 2011 to determine whether News Corporation accessed voicemails of victims of the 9/11 attacks. On 15 July, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced an additional investigation by the Department of Justice, looking into whether the company had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In 2005 U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after a small New Jersey marketing company called FLOORgraphics alleged that News America Marketing engaged in illegal computer espionage by breaking into password protected computer systems and obtaining confidential information...

In August 2006, Clive Goodman, royal editor at the News of the World, and his associate Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, were arrested over allegations of phone hacking made by the British Royal Family in 2005. Goodman and Mulcaire were subsequently charged; they pleaded guilty and were imprisoned on 26 January 2007, for four and six months, respectively. The paper's editor Andy Coulson resigned while insisting that he had no knowledge of any illegal activities...

After Goodman and Mulcaire pleaded guilty, a breach of privacy claim was started by Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers Association who was represented by his solicitor Mark Lewis. That claim settled for a payment of £700,000 including legal costs.

James Murdoch agreed with the settlement...

The Guardian journalist Nick Davies described commissions from the News of the World as the "golden source" of income for Rees' "empire of corruption" which involved a network of contacts with corrupt police officers and a pattern of illegal behaviour extending far beyond phone hacking.

Despite detailed evidence, the Metropolitan Police failed to pursue effective in-depth investigations into Rees' corrupt relationship with the News of the World over more than a decade.

On 12 July 2011, Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers told MPs and the Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz that police had contacted 170 of the 3,870 people named in Glenn Mulcaire's files to date.

There were 11,000 pages of the evidence with 5,000 landline phone numbers and 4,000 mobile phone numbers on them.

British soldiers' relatives

On 6 July 2011, The Daily Telegraph reported that the phones of some relatives of British soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan may have been accessed by the News of the World. It said that personal details and phone numbers belonging to relations of dead service personnel were found in the files of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

In response to the allegations, The Royal British Legion announced that it would suspend all ties with the News of the World, dropping the newspaper as its campaigning partner...

Sara Payne

On 28 July, The Guardian reported that the News of the World hacked into the voicemail of media campaigner Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter, Sarah Payne, was murdered by a paedophile in 2000. This news was arguably met with even more public outrage than the Dowler revelations, given the prominent role that Rebekah Brooks and the News of the World played in spearheading the passage of Sarah's Law, which strengthened sex offender laws in the UK after the child's murder. Brooks developed a long-standing friendship with Sara Payne in the years since her daughter's death; Payne wrote a column praising the News of the World's support for Sarah's Law in its final issue, writing that the paper's staff "supported me through some of the darkest, most difficult times of my life and became my trusted friends". Brooks used the Sarah's Law campaign to defend the News of the World when she was questioned by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Scotland Yard had reportedly found materials pertaining to Payne in Glenn Mulcaire's notes. They also discovered that Payne's voicemail was on a mobile phone given to her by Brooks, ostensibly to help her keep in touch with supporters. Brooks issued a statement denying that the News of the World was aware of Mulcaire's targeting of Payne, saying that such an idea was "unthinkable". Payne was said to be "absolutely devastated and deeply disappointed" at the disclosure, while a colleague close to her said that she was "in bits" over the affair.

Criticism of News International culture

The effect of the phone hacking scandal originating with the News of the World also raised wider questions about the ethics employed by companies under Murdoch's ownership, as well as the effects the scandal will have on the ethics employed specifically by print journalists and to some extent the wider world of journalism.

Murdoch had previously been criticised for building a media empire that lacked any ethical base and replacing responsible journalism with "gossip, sensationalism, and manufactured controversy."

Karl Grossman, a professor of journalism at State University of New York College at Old Westbury, accused Murdoch of building the most "dishonest, unprincipled and corrupt" media empire in history and of "making a travesty of what journalism is supposed to be about."

Grossman also claimed that News Corporation changes the culture of their newly-acquired news outlets, using them to promote Murdoch's political and financial interests. Once-acclaimed newspapers such as the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Times have been accused of becoming an "instrument" to aide politicians that Murdoch favours.

In an analysis of the culture of the Murdoch empire in Newsweek in July 2011, one of Murdoch's former top executives was quoted as saying:

"This scandal and all its implications could not have happened anywhere else. Only in Murdoch's orbit. The hacking at News of the World was done on an industrial scale. More than anyone, Murdoch invented and established this culture in the newsroom, where you do whatever it takes to get the story, take no prisoners, destroy the competition, and the end will justify the means."

This same executive went on to say, "In the end, what you sow is what you reap. Now Murdoch is a victim of the culture that he created. It is a logical conclusion, and it is his people at the top who encouraged lawbreaking and hacking phones and condoned it."

One of the two journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal has said that he was "struck by the parallels" between the News of the World phone-hacking affair and the saga that brought down Richard Nixon in the 1970s. Carl Bernstein said that the two events were "shattering cultural moments of huge consequence that are going to be with us for generations" and that both were "about corruption at the highest levels, about the corruption of the process of a free society". The American reporter, speaking at an event in London organised by the Guardian, specifically likened Rupert Murdoch, the NoW's proprietor, to the ousted US president in his relation to criminal acts and alleged criminal acts conducted by their respective employees and subordinates.

much more here:


So, if the Australian Murdoch papers, includin' tabloids, wanna get down low...we know how low they can get...it's a pattern of behaviour...w/ little cultural climate change in sight. Smile

Regardless of the excitement about Hartigan steppin' down...the bad beat goes on...

Rupert Murdoch has taken back the chairmanship of News Ltd.

The puppet master luvs his thrones.



December 4. 2011 07:18 PM


The Conservative side of politics is, of course, for the future, just a future based on organic change rather than change dictated by Government.

would that be ABC Learning type change?


Rural Rorts Scheme type change?


lookin' the other way as the AWB feeds Saddam change?


was it spendin' millions on mouse pads to spruik government policy on IR type change?

Did organic carrots come w/ the mouse pads?



December 4. 2011 07:22 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Nasking, I don’t think it would cheer up your friends here if I replied in detail regarding views on the BER.  I’d only ask how much you think the government should have spent on stuff like a “mini amphitheatre” for Scotch College, or the “performing arts centre” for Melbourne Grammar... etc?

Do you think the hundreds of millions (billion) for wealthy private schools could have been better spent?

Tom of Melbourne

December 4. 2011 07:28 PM



Did you hear well known leftie Malcolm Farr on Insiders. He said that despite the humongous evidence that the BER was a brilliant success there are still many morons around quoting the opposite, and it is crap.

If the cap fits.......


December 4. 2011 07:51 PM



why wouldnt they have made sure the party stuck to the party platform to give gay marriage its best possible chance?

Because SS marriage is an area of human behaviour about which for many reasons the involvement of government should be as minimal as possible.

We are a society which for a number of reasons do accept control by the government about some aspects of our propensity to enter long term dyadic emotional/sexual/friendship relationships. The basis of such controls are largely economic (eg whether the partners pay tax at a single or married rate, or whether one partner's income should impact on the other's vis a vis eligibility for government services). But other aspects such as childcare are also pertinent.

For many but not all, religious belief is a deeply emotional foundation of their understanding of marriage. And marriage/partnership per se is replete with strong emotions.....strong enough to inspire murder at times.

Now for the economic reasons, government rightly does have a say. But that's about the limit.

So against this background, what has transpired at our conference is that the Labor Party has (1) recognised that for its economic purposes the gender(s) of the partners is irrelevant and so it should be of no concern the government and (2) also recognised that the emotionality/values/opinions of members about such an emotional matter should not be dictated.

It remains to be seen how Abbott the fool reacts. Will he dictate to his mob what view they should hold about SS marriage.

It's a bit of a wedge for him and I look forward to enjoying the sight of him 'no'-ing, twisting, turning, and backflipping as he determines the direction of the wind in this matter.


December 4. 2011 08:58 PM


To be short and sweet - Building the Education Revolution was basically a response to provide infrastructure at schools for the first time in a decade - thanks to Howard and Costello's habit of increasing middle class welfare and cutting personal taxes to shore up their vote rather than investing in the future of Australia.

The local schools BER projects are wonderful, much needed and are well used.


December 4. 2011 09:02 PM

Feral Skeleton

        In answer to your question about whether Tony Abbott, the weathervane, will face the East(ern Suburbs), or West(ern Suburbs) of Sydeny on the Same Sex Marriage issue, all I can add to that conundrum is that today he was asked, when he finally put his head up in Brisbane, whether he would allow his MPs to have a Conscience Vote on the issue.
   The words that issued from his mouth were of the mealy-mouthed variety. He said, "Well, ah, every vote that the Liberal Party takes is a Conscience Vote." And well may it be in Tony's, tiny Guided Democracy mind. As in, you can vote whichever way you like, as long as you take my 'guidance' on it into consideration.

Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 09:05 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Do you know what I find the most amusing aspect of your commentary? The fact that you blithely ignore, time after time, what is common knowledge of the Coalition's practices and behaviour approximately similar to that which you criticise the Labor Party for doing.

Feral Skeleton

December 4. 2011 09:13 PM



But the point is that under Liberal Party rules you can cross the floor if you disagree with the party line. Under the Labor party you get expelled for voting with your conscience unless the leader needs such a vote to be sanctified in order for her to escape embarrassment.


Thanks for the response, however i must disagree. If this issue is about taking Government out of the equation, well then wouldnt the quickest way to achieve this be by passing legislation to amend the current act which does place Government at the heart of marriage. Sure it takes Government to reduce the levels of Government, but by changing the act you pretty well leave all matters to do with marriage to the human beings involved.

I know you are trying to support your leader but the conscience vote was just a means to prevent Gillard from embarrassment on the floor of the parliament, and the possible expulsion of a few Labor members when the vote eventually takes place. if people so strongly support the move then why would they vote for a motion that they know may see their beliefs fail in implementation where they otherwise could succeed?


December 4. 2011 10:17 PM


Wow! Mitt Romney is a real SQUARE:

The idealistic 1960s — inflamed by the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement — was a formative time for those in their student years, with San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury area the centre of radicalism.

Romney, a freshman at nearby Stanford University in that era of free love and long-haired hippies, was prominent in demonstrations, but in opposition to anti-war students. “SPEAK OUT, DON’T SIT IN” read Romney’s sign, as captured in a local paper’s front-page photo showing a clean-cut Romney, attired in a blazer, countering a student sit-in protesting the war draft.

Romney then interrupted his studies, as Mormons often do at age 19, for a stint as a missionary. But although the church sent him to find coverts in Paris, where anti-war sentiment was even higher than in the U.S., he maintained his pro-war sentiment, as he did upon his return to the U.S., when he resumed his studies at the conservative Brigham Young University.

Now Romney was no longer bucking the majority of his peers but, to his surprise, he was bucking his famous father, a former auto industry executive, governor of Michigan, and presidential candidate, and a hero to his son. To the young Romney’s consternation, his father had turned from pro-war to anti-war while running to be the Republican nominee for president.

The hawkish young Romney, known to his peers for his anti-Communism, pro-Americanism, and disdain for weak-kneed Frenchmen, had another attribute that would please social conservatives: He epitomized their cultural values.

Along with other missionaries in Paris, among whom he became a leader, his day began at 6 a.m. and ended at 10 p.m., with little time to indulge in the pleasures Paris had on offer (he did push the envelope in his teetotalling church by sampling coq au vin)...

This straight arrow’s commitment to family values extended into his work career. When Bain Capital — the leverage buyout firm that Romney co-founded, and that made him his fortune — decided in the late 1990s to buy Artisan Entertainment, a film studio that had produced R-rated films, Romney opted out of the deal.

Romney and Bain did acquire from Tom Monahan 93% of Domino’s Pizza, a chain identified before and after the acquisition with Monahan’s advocacy of anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage positions.


The man who thinks corporations are people doesn't dig R-rated films.

Aren't R-rated & X-rated films full of people too? Tryin' to make a buck in an economic crisis.

Have a HEART Mitt...have a heart. Not everyone has yer advantages.  



December 4. 2011 10:55 PM


Psyclaw said
"(SS marriage) is a bit of a wedge for (Abbortt) and I look forward to enjoying the sight of him 'no'-ing, twisting, turning, and backflipping as he determines the direction of the wind in this matter."

A bit of a wedge . . ? . . Yes, like Uluru is a bit of a rock. For this is a Rainbow-coloured gift that will keep giving to Labor, not that the Left has yet scored any actual home runs but it has shown a willingness to play ball on the issue, we got runners on all bases, any further attempts to convince Labor anti's will hardly be shrill, because any gay with nous will realise that those in Labor who are not yet on side will never be, (on religious grounds); conversely, they will indeed go ballistic at the Coalons if they look like being mandated to vote NO!

I am assuming that most Labors will vote YES*, therefore only a relative few Coalons need cross the floor, and on a conscience vote, enough would. That would take the heat from gays off Abbortt, but bring fury from Archbigot Pell, (yum yum), and from some of Abbortt's Rightwhingers and Happy Crappers, (yuk yuk); but it will be applauded by a lot of very straight parents of gays and a lot of gays too. WEDGY!

But the resulting eventual laws would (will) endear many gays and their sympathizers to Gillard, they will never forget who brought it about and it really will redound to Labor's credit: even though *J*U*L*I*A* 'opposed' ss marriage, it is she who created the conditions for it to become Labor policy. Had the voluntary vote not been carried, had all Members been mandated to support the necessary Bill, it would eventually have exploded in Labor's face, with Catholic Members point-blank refusing to vote with the Party . . . (such is the power of the myth about an ancient ghost) . . . which would have spelt disaster for the Labor Party, and disaster for the gays' cause too. In case the gays have yet to realise it, this was the door to success. It is our PM too who in the end will have been the conduit for its eventual passage of the laws they want. Gays are perspicacious, and politically aware enough, to realise it sooner or later, and that will create permanent loyalties.  

And if Abbortt does try to mandate all Coalons to vote NO, what will Turdball and Judi Moylen and their few ilk do? - Will they cross the floor in defiance, or will they, however resentfully, obey? Either way holds great danger for our Tony. His troops in seats like fancy seats like Wentworth and North Sydney and Bennelong will be thoroughly wedged individually, and Abbortt will be wedged every which way.

Why do I write *J*U*L*I*A* like this?
- Because, My Dog!, Dat gal is a Political Chess Grandmistress, just in case anybody is real slow on the uptake. Queentraps she sidesteps, forks she devises. Checkmate for Abbortt in 10 months I reckon, maybe less.


     Abbortt is a failure!
     The Liberals are a mess!
*OUR Government says YES!



December 4. 2011 11:12 PM



Get a life! Or at least stop subscribing to Comrade magazine. You are so, so predictable and really add nothing to any of the discussion that goes on.

You get up Abbott for using slogans and then you come up with one of your own that sounds like something (minus the politics) that i might have screamed at a year 2 swimming carnival.


December 4. 2011 11:20 PM


hee hee


December 5. 2011 12:53 AM



Our thilly widdle twoll said

But the point is that under Liberal Party rules you can cross the floor if you disagree with the party line. Under the Labor party you get expelled for voting with your conscience unless the leader needs such a vote to be sanctified in order for her to escape embarrassment."

FS Do you want to ask it if it can name the last time some Coalon did cross the floor - Oh not counting Turdball on, what was the issue? oh who cares, we don't, but he was only given the latitude because Abbortt didn't DARE do anything about it . . . Ain't dat the very scenario jj just says Labor allows? Heh.

So, ask it when was the last time a Coalon REALLY defied his leader, HA!

Oh yes FS, then you could ask it when was the last time a Labor MHR was expelled for anything . . . Oh could that have been the Quisling Quasimodo from Queensland maybe? And ask it whose glorious activity brought that ennobling event about perhaps . . . Smile

And would you please explain to it, if you can to such a primitive brain, how good the Coalons have made us feel by vouchsafing us The Honourable Mr. Slipper, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and with him utter security until 2013, hee hee, and a vastly improved outlook for the next election too? This gift of Mr Abbortt will be his greatest lasting legacy to democracy in Australia.

And FS would you tell jj how it makes my heart sing to feel its pain! Smile And that of all scaly sous-les-ponts.

What a hollow victory it would be, without the opportunity perenially to needle trolls and all rightwhingers!

Dog Allbitey jj makes me feel so-o-o-o good, I'm just grinning inside and out, MORE MORE MORE twollerwy pwease widdle twolls!

Trolls make me feel like I'm winning ALL the time. We must nurture and guard our own jealously, few come here and those that do are rather delicate. There are admittedly better ones around but these are the best we've got. Not much fun punching air, we need genuine nasty semimorons to chastise, to make us feel good. As you may realise, few are prepared to keep offering their heads as punchingbags, so I do thank them for their pain.

BTW Swordsfolks, my troll-training technique is never to feed them by addressing them directly, but rather to tease, by tossing their tucker to others, like Psyclaw or the esteemed Jason Obelix f'r'instance . . . Tee hee. . . .  I find it works a treat, the trolls get so frustrated and cross, so funny, ooohhh it's delishhhh!

Swordsfolks probably know about Heliogabalus, Roman Emperor, who had made a hollow iron bull into which the evening's entertainer could be accommodated . . . get locked in . . .
then a fire was kindled below the bull, and as the bull heated up, the star of the show would produce the most hilarious noises through the megaphonic mouth of the bull.

Unfortunately the disadvantage of this method of performance was that the most amusing impresarios could never be recalled for repeat perforamnces. This is where trolls like jj and ToM and Limpy Crisp are so precious, we can recycle them time and again as long as we don't really feed them, only tease. No bad smell of burnt hair, no messy cleaning in preparation for the next performance, just pure punching on our part, and pure pain on theirs.

And they come back for more of their own accord!
Get a life jj said, hee hee Dis IS Da Life, chadenfreude is The BEST!! Pollie-lolly!

I TT do some of my very worst writing for sous-les-ponts.


December 5. 2011 12:58 AM



But the point is that under Liberal Party rules you can cross the floor if you disagree with the party line.


If this was so then since December 2009, I would have expected that a good many of the 49.9% of the Colonitionists (ie those "moderates" who voted to retain MT) to have felt free to cross the floor many times. Fact is that they didn't (feel free to do so, nor acted in that way).

The proof of the pudding ..... so to speak.

Similarly, Peter Slipper's "conscience based" decision to cross the floor re the speakership would not have attracted the acrimony it did.

The fact is that despite not using the ultimate sanction of expulsion for floor crossers, there are equally strong subtle sanctions to make life permanently difficult for dissenting Colonitionists. There are so many of their colleagues who would cut their dissenting throats for sixpence if this is requires.

Who would want to cross the likes of Mirabella, Morrison, Benardi, Ciobo, Andrews(ask Haneef), Minchin, Ruddock, either Bishop, Reith, Credlin or the lying pug himself in a dark alley.

And jj, they have the gaul to slag off about "Sussex Street"!


December 5. 2011 01:01 AM


Last line....."gall".

Apologies to Europeans.


December 5. 2011 01:18 AM


This looks like very good news in the Oz just now. It's behind the paywall and I don't know how to hack it, but for Shanahan to write this headline brings a big smile to me.

Dennis Shanahan, Political editor:  TONY Abbott's personal voter support has dropped to its lowest level since he became Opposition Leader two years ago.


December 5. 2011 01:44 AM

Patricia WA

Thanks, psyclaw.  Great news to go to sleep on!

Just do a new Google search and paste this in to get full story.


Patricia WA

December 5. 2011 02:00 AM

Patricia WA

Sorry psyclaw that abbreviated link doesn't do it from here - takes you their Log in!

However I copied same link into Cafe Whispers which reproduced it in full!  That worked copied and pasted into a new google search!

Anyway not worth reading.  Shanahan does his best to build up Coalition position and downplay Labor, as usual.  Though he does suggest that Libs have things think about.

William Bowie, blogs.crikey.com.au/.../ has a more objective take on it. Therefore it really is good news for the Prime Minister!

Patricia WA

December 5. 2011 02:03 AM


Good news but Labor still trailing

Dennis Shanahan, Political editor. The Australian. December 05, 2011 12:00AM

JULIA Gillard will grab the last Newspoll survey of the political year with both hands and relief.

In recent weeks, the Prime Minister has been able to mask Labor's weakness in the polls, lift her personal support and prosecute the case of negativity against Tony Abbott.

In the past six months, Labor's primary vote has been in a narrow corridor between 26 and 32 per cent while the Coalition's has been in an election-winning space between 44 and 50 per cent. Sudden drops or rises for the Coalition have coincided with Greens jumps or falls, leaving Labor's primary vote in a losing space.

Added to the respite from the potential for a leadership challenge this year, the headline figures for Gillard from Newspoll will encourage Labor MPs going home for the Christmas break and put more pressure on the Opposition Leader.
Free trial

But the benefits for Labor and Gillard are largely drawing from negatives for the Coalition and Abbott rather than positives for the government.

For months, Labor's primary vote has remained locked in a narrow band between the record low of 26 per cent and about 30 per cent.

Abbott's personal satisfaction is at a record low, but it's only a difference of one percentage point and Gillard's own satisfaction rating remains in similar territory.

Gillard's renewed lead over Abbott as preferred prime minister after months of trailing Abbott remains slim and unconvincing for a Prime Minister against such a "negative" Opposition Leader.

Nor does the ALP seem capable of taking advantage of falls in the Coalition's primary vote, with a shuffle seeming to occur across the parties so that when the Coalition goes down the Greens go up.

The fundamentals remain a problem for Labor but after such a fraught year, Gillard isn't going to look a cheerful pre-Christmas Newspoll in the mouth.


December 5. 2011 02:34 AM


The Parliamentary Library in 2009 published a paper on conscience votes during the Howard Government. It also provides a bit of a history and analysis as the following extracts show:


Conscience votes have been allowed on:

•  ‘life and death’ issues, such as abortion, euthanasia and
    capital punishment
•  human reproductive and scientific research issues, such as
    in vitro fertilisation, stem cell research and therapeutic
•  social or moral issues, such as family law, homosexuality,
    drug reform, war crimes and gambling and
•  parliamentary procedure and privilege issues and standing

Conscience votes are not usually allowed on economic issues or issues that have a significant impact on the budget, although 'until 1936 tariff proposals were free votes in both Houses in the Australian Parliament'.


The reasons for calling for a conscience vote are varied and may include:

•  the need to accommodate a senator or member’s personal
    philosophy or beliefs
•  to prevent members crossing the floor
•  to embarrass or destabilise another party
•  to gain publicity or support for a particular stance on an
    issue and
•  to push an issue or defuse tensions within a party and
    perhaps avoid an embarrassing party split.


From 1950 to 2007, 32 bills/issues were decided by a conscience vote (see Appendix 3). Table 1 indicates the duration of each government during this period, the number of conscience vote bills/issues dealt with by each government and the average frequency with which they were dealt. The nine governments during this period, excluding the short-lived McEwen Government, each dealt with an average of 3.6 bills/issues by conscience vote. A conscience vote bill/issue was debated on average every 1.8 years. The highest number of conscience votes occurred during the three-year Whitlam Government (8), an average of one every 0.4 years, or about every five months.


During the Howard Government (1996–2007) five bills attracted a conscience vote at an average of one every 2.4 years. These bills, with a shorthand term for each bill in brackets, were:

•  Euthanasia Laws Bill 1996 [Euthanasia Bill]
•  Research Involving Embryos Bill 2002 [Stem Cell Bill]
•  Prohibition of Human Cloning Bill 2002 [Cloning Bill] [10]
•  Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Repeal of Ministerial
    Responsibility for Approval of RU486) Bill 2005 [RU486  
    Bill] and
•  Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the
    Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006
    [Therapeutic Cloning Bill].

Research Paper no. 20 2008–09
Conscience votes during the Howard Government 1996–2007
Deirdre McKeown and Rob Lundie
Politics and Public Administration Section
2 February 2009


December 5. 2011 02:47 AM


Grace under pressure
Chris Middendorp. December 5, 2011

As Labor PMs go, Gillard is unusual: she doesn't behave like an overwrought egomaniac. Her predecessors Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and Rudd were and are self-obsessed and supercharged, happiest when showing off. You won't find Gillard bragging about her knowledge of ancient Rome, her sporting prowess, her love of Mahler's symphonies, or her ability to speak Mandarin. And thank God for that.

Gillard is our first female PM and the first down-to-earth Labor PM in living memory. For many, Gillard's chief sin is her perceived ordinariness, her almost total lack of affectation. Surely this is something to celebrate and, by rights, these earthy qualities should appeal to rather than repel the electorate.

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...ssure-20111204-1oddl.html


December 5. 2011 08:33 AM


Good on you Casablanca
What a difference there is between fact-based logical argument like yours, and BS like jj.

Shanahan's article headed Good News but Labor still trailing is wet. The heading, ooooh, but the rest of the farticle is just that.

'Good news'? For Us, yes. For DS . . ? I don't think so!



We have not stopped existing because of the relative proximity of a festival of conspicuous consumption notionally focussing on the alleged mysterious birth of a child who grew up to perform astonishing feats of magic, all of which were recorded in precise true detail,(albeit somewhat differently by several witnesses.)

Keep posting lustily Swordies. We got 'em on the run.


December 5. 2011 08:40 AM


On today's TPSMythbusters - Psyclaw, TT & FS test the myth that the Liberal Party is a "broad church" that happily accepts it's members "crossing the floor".

remembering that NoNews owns Newspoll (as they frequently remind us mugs) it really must be hurting them to report the lastest polls.  A few of us here picked the turnaround a few months ago - pity we're not that good at picking the sharemarket or the Melbourne Cup :lol:


December 5. 2011 08:47 AM

Feral Skeleton

   The Liberals don't expel from the Party if an MP Crosses the Floor, they just disendorse. Same difference. Unless, of course, they realise you are a Moderate with a large personal following, like Malcolm Turnbull, who if disendorsed would leave the seat of Wentworth wide open for the Labor Party to take with a high profile candidate like Dr Kerryn Phelps, who almost ran against MT last time.
   Thus we have this time a few Liberal MPs who are retiring from federal parliament at the next election, such as Judy Moylan and Dr Mal Washer, and I'm not so sure about Russell Broadbent, but him too, who will more likely than not Cross the Floor to vote for Same Sex Unions. Russell Broadbent has already indicated that he will do so.
   Which will make the proof of the pudding about the much-vaunted 'Conscience Vote is every Vote' position stated by Tony Abbott over the weekend, very interesting to see play out in reality, and very tasty to savour. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 08:50 AM

Feral Skeleton

    I forgot to add the Chief Opposition Whip, Warren Entsch, to the list of likely floor-crossers. Which will make the vote a very interesting test of Tony Abbott's authority if the Shadow Whip's heart isn't in the Whipping. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 08:57 AM

Feral Skeleton

     Sorry to disappoint your characterisation of moi, but, *cough*, I picked the Winner, 3rd and 4th horses in the most recent Melbourne Cup. It was only the Bolter from Blighty who came 2nd, that tripped me up. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 09:51 AM


Good morning Ad and Everybody

Bushfire Bill this morning, angry with Michelle Grattan.

Talk Turkey at 12.53am

trolls like jj and ToM and Limpy Crisp are so precious, we can recycle them time and again as long as we don't really feed them, only tease.

Talk Turkey, I agree with your comments about the resident trolls, but they sure know how to generate a conversation.  Guess that is the reason they keep coming back.

Twitter talk this morning:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, December 5, 2011 at 8:30 am | comment number 114

Grattan has those thick Coke bottle specs. She needs them to cope with her myopic view on just about everything associated with “Ms. Gillard”. She has them araldited to her head to make sure she never misses an opportunity to condemn and deride the PM for yet another “failure”.

So today we have yet another “fail” in a long line of failures. Another test applied that was not conquered.

Which only leaves me one question:


(Supplementary, Mr. Speaker…



Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, December 5, 2011 at 8:49 am | comment 124

This morning Fran Kelly was again at it
[i]The government didn’t fall during the year… but it might have… there’s a good angle.

Miserable bastards. Thye’ll wreck this country yet with their negativity. They want us to talk ourselves into the grave.

Ironically, the only reason they can afford to be so miserable is that we’re actually doing so well.

Optimism is so boring.


John_HannaJohn Hanna
. @mfarnsworth "What is the political strategy behind these bizarre conference decisions?" @abcthedrum http://goo.gl/3QoLH

Laura Tingle:-

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
.@latingle "Gillard all talk, no substance" http://bit.ly/vCgYgC

kimmaree_tweetKimmaree Thompson

well done Chris Middendorp, @smh piece outing bias & tough standards worn by @JuliaGillardhttp://bit.ly/rCV4AD

PurePoison_BlogCrikey Pure Poison
Do I really need to explain to Andrew Bolt why the “slippery slope” is a logical fallacy? http://bit.ly/tdaKgB

RT @GrogsGamut: Cracker piece from Gittins: "Economists are playing politics over surplus" http://bit.ly/rBlEve >> doesn't everyone



December 5. 2011 09:54 AM


Hi Everybody

Sorry Bushfire's comment 114 has the link missing:-

Grattan has those thick Coke bottle specs



December 5. 2011 10:07 AM


This straight arrow’s commitment to family values extended into his work career. When Bain Capital — the leverage buyout firm that Romney co-founded, and that made him his fortune — decided in the late 1990s to buy Artisan Entertainment, a film studio that had produced R-rated films, Romney opted out of the deal.

I bet Senator Jim Webb of Virginia wouldn't be so touchy about R-rated films, as Romney is.

He writes realistic books...he's a damn site more ROUNDED than Romney...seen the world from a different perspective. Sacrificed when some didn't...those who promoted war from the conservative side of politics but didn't walk the walk...instead thought more about makin' mega-bucks.

I'd like to hear Jim Webb's views on Romney.

Shame Webb is retirin'. I'd like to see him serve in an essential position in the Obama administration.

Jim Webb


Webb recognises bogus, wasteful conflicts...but his voice might be handy in convincin' many that some regimes don't treat women as they should...as equals, w/ fairness.
If President Mitt Romney went to war...would R-rated documentaries showing casualties & coffins returnin' home be banned/censored?

Which movies would President Mitt Romney be forced to miss...that the public doesn't?

Highest grossing R-rated films (US only)


Surely Mitt goes to R-rated films now.



December 5. 2011 10:17 AM

Feral Skeleton

Seeing as how the Links have left the building for the forseeable, and as how I will again be mine host across the holiday period fast approaching us down the pike, I will therefore be putting up both links and commentary about the Issues de Jour, as I see fit. I will not be linking to Bushfire Bill, but as lyn continues to do so, then you will continue to have the benefit of his 'erudition' from the other place, without having to let your fingers do the walking there yourselves.

   Now, I have one more formal piece of work to put up before we go into active hibernation mode, and as I was derailed by the Conference and my abscessed tooth it is going to be going up later than I and Ad Astra had planned.. Such is Life. Though it will probably be in the next few days.

   So, let me just start with a link today that is well worth your time to peruse:


   Thank you, over and out, yours sincerely, your correspondent with the toothache on the Right side of her head...as are all faceaches. On the Right, that is. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 10:45 AM

D Mick Weir

Good Morning FS
...as are all faceaches. On the Right, that is.

Are they the ones that are to the right of the left, to the right of the centre, or the ones the are to the right of the right and would that make them very right?

D Mick Weir

December 5. 2011 11:07 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Here is some more twitter links for everyone's enjoyment:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, December 5, 2011 at 10:33 am Comment 199

The Asian tsunami was a disaster. Fukushima was a disaster. The Queensland floods were a disaster. 9/11 was a disaster. The GFC was a disaster. Opposition budget costings are a disaster. The ALP Conference was not a “disaster”.

I don’t think Tingle’s been got at, but I do think she needs to leave off on the Denmores a little.


Get_ShortenedGet Shortened
aka Eva Cox! RT @australian: Baby bonus cuts to hurt stay-home mums: LEFT wing feminists have lashed out at Julia ... http://bit.ly/tGpslm

CastanCentreCastan Centre
'The ALP's treatment of #asylumseeker policy has nothing to do with #humanrights and everything to do with politicking' http://bit.ly/sZCjof

wrb330Wayne Brooks
Blog; Our PM Labor & gay Marriage http://wp.me/p1NYKc-1g @Fionafroo @AlboMP @bionic_beer_gut @mrumens @MarionGroves @madwixxy @jot_au

wolfcatWolf Cocklin
a great read RT @GreenJ: If you haven't yet read Sally Sara's Afghan farewell... http://bit.ly/vBFJox ... a superb piece of work.

gordongrahamGordon Graham
Malcolm Mackerras's 2012/13 predictions http://bit.ly/sgQdeW #auspol

CastanCentreCastan Centre
Tony Abbott says it's "unlikely" that the Liberal Party will allow a conscience vote on #gaymarriage: http://bit.ly/rKP2oo #marriageequality

madwixxyPeter Wicks
Abbott's approval hits record low, Gillard still preferred PM www.abc.net.au/.../3712284 #asupol

antloewensteinAntony Loewenstein
Good piece on the empty moral "compass" of former #Murdoch hack Paul McMullan

aus_mediaAustralian Media
Mark Day: The British phone hacking inquiry will provide more answers than Finkelstein - http://bit.ly/tMwN8F

acursoryglanceMatt de Neef
Indy analysis of Aussie climate change efforts: "you've made a good start, but it's only a start":
http://bit.ly/sv22vH via @ConversationEDU

MrDenmoreMr Denmore
Europe faces two choices: One leads to prolonged recession, the other to economic annihilation, says Satyajit Das




December 5. 2011 11:10 AM

Feral Skeleton

D Mick Weir,
             Just the big ones on the far Right. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 11:16 AM


Now, I have one more formal piece of work to put up before we go into active hibernation mode,

Feral & Ad,

(1) This thread is almost up to 400 comments. I'm findin' it's takin' ages to come up for me now...havin' an older computer. Any chance you could put up a general post...anythin' goes type of thing?

(2) Why does the site need to go into hibernation? Won't that lose you regular visitors? Sure, I doubt many will be around from Xmas eve - New Years...but some might like to give feedback on their experience at that time, wish others well, put up poetry & provide links to important news.

(3) Goin' by the silence from you & Ad I take you won't need my help. Smile No problemo if not. I enjoy commentin'.

(4) I have enjoyed postin' here & i'm grateful for the opportunities provided. It's been a good year.

(5) I recommend readin':

The great Gingrich comeback gathers pace
by Charles Richardson


The rolling average of opinion polls at RealClearPolitics  has Gingrich six points clear of Mitt Romney, 26.6% to 20.4%, and eight points ahead in Iowa, the first state to vote in just over a month. The betting market still prices Romney ahead, but only narrowly; he is now less than even money where only a fortnight ago he was at 2/1 on.

Newt is comin'...the Patton of politics. Smile

BTW, the NO NO NO bit is hurtin' the Noalition here...

I bet it will start to really bite the American
Republican't say yes party soon...far more than it already has.



December 5. 2011 11:22 AM


your correspondent with the toothache on the Right side of her head

Sorry to hear it.

Another reason we need affordable DentiCare.

I get the blasted things too. Ya can't believe the pain I've put up w/ the last five years...

So can relate. Hope you've got some decent pain killers...or have they WAR ON DRUGSed them out of existence?...for the less than RICH & PRIVILEGED of us.



December 5. 2011 11:24 AM


Miss Tingle and others seem to confuse the Labor Party National Conference with an organ of government.

Simply because a political party (whatever its more or less mythological make-up, 'faceless men' or 'top end of town' shifters), decides to place something on the party policy platform does not make it legislated national policy.

There seems to have been a desire amongst 'those who know better and have a soapbox' for the Labor Party to have re-set the national course over this last weekend. To re-make the nation.

Imagine the howls if government policy was immediately and unilaterally shifted because the delegates at the ALP National Conference voted it so.

Prime Minister Gillard was not addressing the nation at the conference - she was present as a currently significant member of the ALP, but with a greater role outside the party than in it, if truth be weighed.

Commentators seem to perennially confuse (which was a Howard invention of self-escalation) every act of our politicians as always being a political act with immediate significance to every citizen of Australia.

The stakes aren't that day-in/day-out 24/7 high.

Senior, experienced, intelligent (???) political commentators seem to to expect our national leaders to 'save' us, to every day step forward with philosophical insights the equivalent of Plato, intellectual assessments at the level of evolutionary catharsis, economic solutions that enrich all at a cost to none, social panaceas that see us all at one great big neighbourhood barbecue with food left over but not one hangover, cultural enlivenings that lift Australia to the forefront of human expression.

Or so it seems.

Perhaps Tingle, Hartcher, Coorey, Taylor, et al, might like to get together, write a simple handbook of national governance, and then step back and allow us to live the remainder of our lives in a nation run in the beneficence of their perfect guidance?


December 5. 2011 11:32 AM

Feral Skeleton

        I has pain killers and an appointment with the government teeth puller next week. Smile (Lucky it's not a front tooth Laughing ).

   You know what I was thinking about your contribs here? I would really like it if you could become our Foreign Correspondent, in a more formalised way by having your own header and posts under your name, and especially in the run-up to the US Presidential Election. You could maybe summarise and extemporise on the ins and outs of the contest as you see them, and when the contest proper gets underway with Pres Obama. I can't think of anyone else who has the sort of insider perspective that you do and I, for one, would really appreciate your contributions on this front as I simply don't have the time to gather togather this subject under one TPS roof, however I think it is an important subject which needs to be canvassed as well as our own local scene, enmeshed as we are becoming with the US as we move into a state concerning the rise of the new Superpower, China.

   Anyway, it's up to you and something for you and Ad Astra to sort out between you. But you've got my vote! Smile

   As for the slow downloading, sorry. :0 I'll be getting my next piece typed up today and tomorrow. How about you just go and watch TV while the page loads? Just for today and tomorrow? Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 11:37 AM


This is classic:

But an indication of discomfort in some quarters over Gingrich's rise came Tuesday when a new attack on the former House speaker surfaced online from a group calling itself Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government.

The anonymous attack on the group's website said that Gingrich was "not an acceptable choice among Christians." It also stated that Gingrich had been "unfaithful to two of his previous spouses."

The attack was timed to coincide with an expected endorsement announcement by the Family Leader, a group headed by Bob Vander Plaats, an unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate who is popular with many religious conservatives.

Scheffler, who is neutral in the presidential race, said Gingrich may not have put his moral failings "completely behind him." But he said that many pastors in the state "have accepted the premise that he's asked God's forgiveness."

Gingrich's personal history isn't "near the problem it once was. He's explained it enough times," added Scheffler, who met privately with Gingrich about a year ago, along with about 20 pastors, for a detailed discussion of the matter.

Larry Morris, 61, an evangelical Christian from West Des Moines, said he recently decided to support Gingrich after concluding that he had "truly repented" and been forgiven. "We are told and we believe that when we repent God remembers our sins no more," he said.


Gingrich: The Lord forgave me, therefore I no longer impale outside of family hours.



December 5. 2011 11:41 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
I see you are still posting lots of interesting links – thank you.  Twitter is a rich source.

I enjoyed BB’s analyses this morning.  He seems to be able to put his finger on the bias that too many of our journalists exhibit when they report and express opinions, and is not unwilling to critique journalists for whom we have respect, such as Laura Tingle.

Mr Denmore’s piece Head Bangers spells out much of what is wrong with journalistic writing today, illustrated by the articles by Michelle Grattan, Laura Tingle and of course our very own Dennis Shanahan reporting unfavorably for Labor on a favourable poll for it. thefailedestate.blogspot.com/.../head-bangers.html

I have a busy day today so won’t be around much.

Ad astra

December 5. 2011 11:45 AM

Ad astra

I hope your abscessed tooth is now resolving well.

Take your time with your final piece for the year. It will be worth waiting for.

As an ALP Conference attender, could you please advise us on the mechanism for joining the Party.

Ad astra

December 5. 2011 11:53 AM


Anyway, it's up to you and something for you and Ad Astra to sort out between you. But you've got my vote!

Sounds good. Gracias. I'm up for it next year if Ad is.

How about you just go and watch TV while the page loads? Just for today and tomorrow?

Eh, I do have a life ya know. Smile If I watch TV it's news to catchup on. I also have a big garden to attend to...domestic duties...surveys I do for moolah (bloody bad pay)...occasional volunteer lawn mowin'...dealin' w/ my aged parents...preparin' lunch & dinner (mainly cuttin' up veges)...doin' fortnightly recipe & GROCERIES WE NEED TO BUY lists...answerin' emails...doin' online banking & fortnightly budget...orderin' online gifts for b'days & Xmas...doin' repair work in house & ringin' around if I can't DIY...addin' programs to be recorded on PAYTV system...downloadin' & recordin' music to add to our huge library...cleanin' up litter in area around our house thrown down by lazy litterbugs, mainly youth...feedin' cats & birds...exercise routine...research for contributin' to blogs...the list goes on...

bleedin' heck Feral...I only sleep 5-6 hours a day...and write my butt of...w/ news runnin' in the backround...

go off and watch TV...GRRRRRRR...




December 5. 2011 11:56 AM

Ad astra

Brilliantly said.  Journalists believe they have the right, indeed responsibility to tell us what’s right, and particularly what’s wrong, but seldom tell us what ought to have been done, how it should have been done, by whom, and when.  Why is this?  It is simply that most don’t know, and even those who think they know, usually don’t either.  Pulling or putting people and things down is their game, not building them up.

Ad astra

December 5. 2011 12:00 PM


Hi Nasking

I have a little tip for you, with regards to scrolling down the comments on TPS:

This worked for me on my old computer:

Norman K our resident IT specialist may have another tip for you.

Click on TPS

Scroll down to comments at bottom of the article of the moment:

Click on comments.

On the bottom of your screenyou will see your little arrow down

"RIGHT" CLICK ON ARROW DOWN, remember right click

up pops a menu that says:

                      Scroll here
                       page up
                       page down
                       scroll down

Click on "scroll here"

That will take you to the bottom of the page and the last comment.

You can then just go back up a bit to check the latest comments.

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


December 5. 2011 12:11 PM

Ad astra

The Republicans must be getting desperate when they have to recycle Newt Gingrich.

I'll email you about contributing to TPS later in the week.

Ad astra

December 5. 2011 12:13 PM


Cheers Lyn, thnx for the advice. Yer sweet. It's more tho that my computer is havin' trouble loadin' so many comments.

No worries, I'm gonna take a break.

Have a great hols. You deserve it.



December 5. 2011 12:27 PM


The Republicans must be getting desperate when they have to recycle Newt Gingrich.

indeed. However, Newt has been able to reach across the aisles. He & Bill Clinton worked together on welfare issues when Bill was in forced triangulation mode.

Gingrich is a deeply flawed politician tho...many critics & supporters alike refer to his grandiosity...and the likelihood he will implode.

It remains to be seen. It's an odd period...and the public might be more acceptin' of his idiosyncracies & occasionally full of himself, impetious attitude.

The fact he is a KNOWN, old guard factor helps...in times of insecurity & conflict.

He's certainly gonna give weathervane Romney a run for his money. Ironically bein' a bit of a weathervane himself.

I thought I'd take a break and read thru a few American history books I have...and an online book related to the technocrats & Roosevelt.

I'll email you about contributing to TPS later in the week.

Cool. No rush.



December 5. 2011 01:03 PM


Hi Ad

I so glad you enjoyed the links, compliments from the tweeters,
as you said Twitter is a rich source of information,

I enjoyed BB’s analyses this morning.  He seems to be able to put his finger on the bias that too many of our journalists exhibit when they report and express opinions, and is not unwilling to critique journalists for whom we have respect, such as Laura Tingle.

Bushfire Bill is a constant delight, I would love to mee him in real life.   Like you I love the way he puts his finger on the bias, and socks it right to them.

I think BB must be on holidays for Christmas because here is another 2 fantastice pieces of opinion:

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, December 5, 2011 at 11:32 am | comment 252

The media, proud to call themselves cynical and bored, full of sourness and vicious ennui, are trying their hardest to get the public to lose confidence in everything: the government, governance itself, the economy, hope and the future.

The accountancy firm involved in the costings was fined and reprimanded for professional misconduct thereto. So the Insiders spend a couple of minutes talking about it wondering why other journalists didn’t write it up. Wasn’t the Insiders’ job apparently. They were too busy practising their “I’m soooo bored” poses, giggling at their own jokes, patting themselves on the back, making idiotic predictions that if a quarter of them come true I’ll eat my hat… that and wafting rose water under their noses to keep the stench from the grubby tabloid streets out of their noses. The phoney costings went from scant attantion to no attention. Costings are so “2010″ after all. Much better to talk about first-time Mum’s losing $400. What’s a $70 billion Black Hole compared to $400?

Gillard is gone because Rudd will take over in February, March, April, June, July, October, November, next May, before the election this month, next month, this year, in 2012, when Craig Thomson gets convicted, after the film of Peter Slipper naked, swimming in a pool full of cheap champagne with Tiffanie, drunk and disorderly, feeling up the skirt of a Virgin hostie, doing something doing anything is leaked revealed.

The journalists feed this wowserism with bucketfulls of anguish. They invite their consumers to join in the national moaning and wailing. No matter that other countries are really doing it tough. We shouldn’t have to suffer from a global meltdown at all.

Put the two together – a tired, overpaid, bored, cynical and malignant media with a gullible population ready to indulge in plenary whingeing – and you have a perfect recipe for a real national disaster. It’s happening right now, in front of our eyes.

The punters aren’t shopping, they’re not eating out, they’re scrimping, they’re angry all the time, they snigger and smirk, they (at least claim to) refuse government benefits because of the political color of the government that issues them, they mock, they deride, they riot in parliament’s galleries, they whinge and wail.

You could say the media and their readers and viewers deserve each other. Perhaps they do, except that their communal circle jerk, their group depression, is affecting our lives and our livliehoods too.

And if I may be excused a tiny whinge of my own, that’s what really gives me the shits.

READ MORE superb piece thankyou Bushfire Bill


Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, December 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Comment 309

Horwarth Lib-bot today:

"The ICA did not make any findings that the professional work we carried out was not of a high standard or the conclusions that we reached on that work were not soundly based," Mr Kidd said yesterday.

"Nor did they find that the report that we issued was false and misleading. It was just that technically we did not include several paragraphs to comply with a standard; that was the full extent of their determination."

The inquiry found twice that the document was, thus, dodgy in that it did not contain the requisite disclaimers as to the status that was claimed of it by Joe Hockey as a properly audited legal document.

When you think of it, why would Horwarths appeal? The document not only was dodgy, but it was $11 billion out! If I’d been its author, I wouldn’t want to draw any more attention than was absolutely necessary to such a crock of shite.

Neither, I suspect, would Joe Hockey.


Legal Challenge by Perth Auditors:-

Peter Martin
Perth auditors consider legal challenge: http://t.co/1HNexuOn #coalitioncostings #auspol
4 minutes




December 5. 2011 01:42 PM


At the ALP's last national conference two years ago, the party reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining marriage as being only between a man and a woman. Even support for gay civil unions seemed a long way off.

This year, the party amended its official policy platform to advocate same-sex marriage. How did such a rapid change come about and who were the key players behind it?



December 5. 2011 02:30 PM


Never mind blaming Julia Gillard for the parlous state of polling, it is the men gathering at the sides of the conference; in suits and ties or rolled-up shirt sleeves, clutching fags, phones and manila folders of lists and names who need to be held to account.

11. Gender parity an electoral albatross around the ALP's neck Tanja Kovac, a research fellow and former national co-ordinator for EMILY’s List Australia, writes:



December 5. 2011 03:18 PM

Feral Skeleton

   This might help you:


   Also, you may be interested to know that I worked with a Doctor's wife(they don't all vote Liberal Smile ), over the weekend. She was a retired Teacher but her husband is still a practising Doctor in Townsville. Both very committed Labor supporters.

   As for the tooth, it's under control with antibiotics and I will be off to the Dentist next Tuesday to have it seen to. Nasking is right, we need Denticare!

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 03:20 PM

Feral Skeleton

           Thank you for continuing to keep us informed of commentary from elsewhere around the web. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 03:22 PM

Feral Skeleton

   You want to know a funny thing? Peter Reith is supposedly considering running for a spot in the Senate at the next election!

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 03:23 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         I owe it to Nasking to get my next piece of work finished ASAP! Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 04:12 PM


Speaking of desperate:

Abbott not quite the visitor they wanted
KINDY and pre-primary children at Bletchley Park primary school were excited when told a special visitor was coming to see them today.

To their disappointment, it was not Santa Claus but opposition leader Tony Abbott who attended their assembly this morning.

He apologised to the Southern River schoolchildren for not being Santa but said he did have presents.

He gave principal Chris Partington an Australian flag and a copy of his autobiography for the school library.
  (My emphasis.)

In Perth learning about WA's Independent Public Schools initiative, he saw one in action and returned a visit to its Year 7s who went to Parliament House last month on a school trip.



December 5. 2011 04:29 PM

Feral Skeleton

        Abbott's one of these people that would turn up to the opening of an envelope.

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 05:45 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Alister Drysdale's summary of the political year that was:


Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 05:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Here's The Daily Note from my local federal MP(ALP, Deborah O'Neill):



        FACT FOR THE DAY: Labor means jobs – 750,000 new jobs in four years. .    

·         Labor is delivering on skills and jobs.

·         We’ve created 750,000 jobs since November 2007, including many in mining, retail and healthcare.

·         Unemployment rates are down – to 5.2% today compared to an average 6.5% under the Liberals.

·         And more than 400,000 Australians are in training or apprenticeships, including for careers in construction, automotive, furnishing, tourism, plumbing and business.

·         We’ve cut taxes on families and businesses, abolished Workchoices and restored unfair dismissal protections for 2.8 million workers.

·         And we’re on track for a Budget surplus in 2012-13

WHAT’S ON: Monday 5 December 2011

PM: The PM is in Canberra and will officially open the new headquarters for Australia’s Office of National Assessments. The PM will also attend meetings of Cabinet and Cabinet subcommittees.

Foreign Affairs: Minister Rudd will attend the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn.

Innovation: Minister Carr will announce the latest round of funding under Labor’s Commercialisation Australia program, supporting innovative Australian technology. Recipients include a $1.7m grant to a Sydney company to assist in developing speech captioning systems for the hearing impaired.

Defence Housing: Minister Snowdon will turn the first sod on construction of 232 new defence housing units at HMAS Coonawara in Darwin today, followed by a visit to meet on-base staff at the Robertson Barracks.

Disability services: Parliamentary Secretary Jan McLucas is in Sydney today, and will meet with staff and clients of a service provider to people with disability, with western Sydney Labor MP Ed Husic.

Multicultural Affairs: Parliamentary Secretary Kate Lundy will address the AGM for Victoria’s South Eastern Region Migrant Resource Centre today.

Opposition: On Saturday, the Perth accountants who “audited” the Coalition’s election costings were fined $5000 each after their work was found to have breached professional standards. The Coalition’s pre-election budget deficit of $10.6 bn has since blown out to $70bn.

Tony Abbott himself has flown to Perth, where he has no media engagements. In his absence, endangered Liberal “wet” Senator Simon Birmingham, has broken ranks to endorse Labor on same-sex marriage. A tense conversation is expected between the rebel Senator and his far-right leader when Mr Abbott returns.

Julia Gillard and Labor – jobs, growth, fairness


Labor’s 2011-12 Skills and Participation package includes:

          -$3 billion for new skills and training programs over the next six years, targeting areas of shortage like plumbing, engineering, electrical, automotive, construction and design;

          - 130,000 more training places, to deal with skills shortages;

          - $101 million for mentoring for 10,000 apprentices to complete their studies;

          - $100 million for accelerated apprenticeship programs, so apprentices can finish faster if they have the right skills or learnt new skills while on the job;

          -Continued tax free income bonuses of up to $5,500 for apprentices in shortage areas like construction, metals, furnishing, and manufacturing;

          - More funding for language, literacy and numeracy for up to 100,000 job seekers over the next four years; and

          -Wage subsidies for long term unemployed– along with extending work experience and work for the dole to 11 out of 12 months of the year for those who haven’t worked for more than 2 years.



- Lower taxes - taxes on average wage earners down by more than $1000 a year.

- Lower unemployment - Created 750,000 jobs.

- Lower interest rates - Official rates are around two points lower than when Howard lost office.

- Lower national debt – at 7.2% of GDP, Australian Government debt among the lowest in the world.


- High taxes – ran the highest-taxing government in Australian history.

- High unemployment - average unemployment was 6.4% under Howard vs 5.2% under PM Gillard.

- High spending - John Howard left Australia with a $130bn trade deficit.

- High debt – leaked Coalition documents show a $70 bn Budget black hole: the gap between Liberal promises and Australian fiscal reality. Fillable only with massive cutbacks in Medicare and pensions.

          -“He [Abbott] never really understood the meaning of fiscal conservatism”        

- former Liberal Minister 10/4/10

          -“Tony is genuinely innumerate. He has no interest in economics and no feeling for it.”

- former Liberal leader John Hewson 24/5/10

- “I think we did start to believe in Magic Pudding economics.”

Tony Abbott, ABC Radio 5/5/09

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 05:53 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Wow! Heather Ridout's been appointed to The Board of the Reserve Bank!

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 05:56 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Here's the news announcement re the RBA:


Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 06:45 PM


Here's a pome for Abbott, based on the manner and metre of A. B. Paterson's "A Bush Christening":

At the end of 09
Minchin knew it was time
To bomb  Macca’s in-good-faith agreement      
Thought Abbott the fool
Was the very best tool
To shaft Turnbull’s climatic appeasement

In the Libs dark back rooms
Faceless men used new brooms
Deniers, “no-climate-change”, their mantra
They installed the mad monk
Just a pugilist, a punk
Their saviour from heaven, their Santa

Now Abbott had eyes
For the Lodge as his prize
In that shack he'd be so resplendent
“Just give me the keys”
He sank down on his knees
To beg help from the wise independents

Abbott fought for two years
Egged on by his peers
Mirabella and others less bold
But Gillard stood strong
The Lodge won’t belong
To Abbott .... a mirage, fools’ gold

Now he’s well on the slide
Abbott’s delusional self pride
Won’t allow him to see that he’s falling
But the voters now know
Even though they were slow
That his manner, his style is appalling

Have Abbott PM?
Make the world laugh at them!
No way, he’s a sham send him packing
Stay with Julia‘s allure
Her skill will ensure
The economy will stay in the black ink

Soon the moderates will hit
Their ex-leader …… dummy spit
Two long years No No No was his call
He’ll fade in to the ether
Not missed, no weeper
A blight on our history, a pall


December 5. 2011 07:16 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

A few comments on Heather Ridout's appointment to the RBA
Board, along with a few interesing links:-

australianThe Australian
Lowe is RBA Deputy Governor: WAYNE Swan today appointed Philip Lowe the next RBA deputy governor and named Heath... http://bit.ly/tLxDf8

TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
RBA Board Changes: All very sound appointments and further enhances its credibility as a world leader & fiercely independent institution.

TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
This is the stuff that makes me scared about many Coalition members understanding of economics

CorpGovResearchCorporate Governance
CEO Heather #Ridout, of business lobby group Australian Industry Group, appointed to Reserve Bank of Australia board. http://bit.ly/tSmkJa

Steph_PhilbrickStephanie Philbrick
Hahaha! Heather Ridout on the RBA board? Whatever shall Joe Hockey & Gerry Harvey complain about now after each interest rate announcement?



December 5. 2011 07:33 PM


Another black eye for the Murdocracy:

ABC handed permanent Australia Network deal


December 5. 2011 07:51 PM


Hi Jaeger

That's great news about the network tender, the mighty Sky News is a bit put out it seems, I say good.

Grog says News Limited will scream out loud

See what The Australian Newspaper is saying already:-

australianThe Australian

Aus Network goes permanently to ABC: THE government has bowed to Greens demands and awarded responsibility for t... http://bit.ly/vqS3je

Simon_CullenSimon Cullen

Sky News says it would expect to be "fully compensated" for tendering for the Australia Network contract

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho

The Australia Network stays with the ABC. Meanwhile over News.ltd - http://youtu.be/COvsCB2DfPc



December 5. 2011 08:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Re giving the rights to the ABC permanently to broadcast the Australia Network into Asia: It's just another poke in the eye for Kevin Rudd. He thought he could force the PM's hand when he leaked the deliberations and outcomes of the Tender process to News Ltd as he worked to build up momentum for a comeback to the PM's job. Well the PM soon saw that manouver off into the sunset when she handed the process over to Senator Conroy and took it away from the Foreign Affairs department. Now the tender has been abandoned and the job has been given to the ABC permanently, and no further correspondence can be entered into.

   Look, I think it's just sad the way that Kevin Rudd is behaving. After all the crap thrown at him by the News Ltd hacks when he was Prime Minister, he now goes crawling to them on his hands and knees with cap in hand for favourable coverage for a renewed push to topple the Prime Minister.
   Seemingly they oblige, but not because they have any renewed faith in him or his abilities, but simply because it suits their federal Labor government destabilisation agenda. Which Kevin Rudd appears to be too egotistical to care about, as he goes about his own destabilisation effort. Following to the letter the dictum, 'Mine enemy's enemy is my friend'. Sad, just sad, and pathetic.

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 09:36 PM


FS - either you really have good connections in the ALP or you post above is filled with the same sort of suppositions that you accuse others of making.

I'm not sticking up for Rudd or Conroy here - at the end of the day they are both politicians with all the self serving baggage that carries.  However linking a failed tender process (why the Country ever really thought about outsourcing it's "official" media provider into Asia escapes me anyway) with yet more rumours about Rudd trying to regain the ALP leadership is something I would expect to read on Menzies House - not TPS.


December 5. 2011 10:10 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Mr Denmore's latest post:


Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 10:12 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

An interesting blog post about the failed tender process:

2353, Nick Ford agrees with you regarding the network tender,
I do too, my first thoughts were, Stephen Conroy can't stand Murdoch.

Tender abandoned, Government picks winner, Nick Ford. Com

why the Country ever really thought about outsourcing it's "official" media provider into Asia escapes me anyway

A more likely reason for scrapping the tender is that some within the government — particularly Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who seized control of deciding the tender outcome from Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd — are averse to handing out a benefit to anything even remotely connected to Rupert Murdoch. (Sky News Australia is 33 per cent owned by Britain’s BSkyB, which is in turn partly owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation.) Personal animosity is hardly the best basis for deciding how to spend taxpayers’ money

For both the ABC and Sky News, the attraction of the Australia Network operation is to obtain an additional source of funds that could usefully bolster their existing offerings. This is particularly objectionable for commercial services, who should react to the market, rather than government handouts, to grow their businesses. But even for the ABC, which is already funded by taxpayers, trying to secure funds from multiple governments sources risks confusing its remit. Its role is exclusively to be a public service broadcaster, not a news and entertainment monolith. It is not the job of taxpayers to fund media empires.

READ More:




December 5. 2011 10:21 PM


I don't believe what's going on about Kevin Rudd. Is he really attempting a comeback? Is he really day by day deliberately white-anting *J*U*L*I*A*? Was he really the Leaker to Oakes?
Because there is a objective truth here. Either he is not times three, in which case where the hell is all this crap being generated, or he is times three, in which case he is a toxic traitor who deserves tarring and feathering, simple as that.

If it be so that he does indeed turn out to be the Leaker, who so breathlessly nearly cost us Government, what Dear Swordsfolks do you think should be his reward?

I must say that I have always thought that he could not possibly have been so treacherous to Labor and all of us, and either I'm absolutely right or equally absolutely wrong.

Either he is profoundly wronged, or he is utterly despicable. We must somehow find the truth, Dog help Rudd if he really is the Leaker and plotting daily to do *J*U*L*I*A* in the eye. It is not tolerable to remain in the dark, someone is lying and we need to find out who.


December 5. 2011 10:31 PM

D Mick Weir

A Fistful of Donuts Mr Denmore @ The Failed Estate

Which party is best at cutting red tape that stifles Aussie entrepreneurship, promotes small business initiative, checks lazy government waste and puts downward pressure on interest rates for working people? Me sir! Me sir! Just bend me over the desk for a moment and flash me your fiscal rectitude

D Mick Weir

December 5. 2011 10:33 PM

Feral Skeleton

     I'll check my sources. Smile
Anyway, one thing's for sure, Richard Farmer in Crikey said this today:

     Doing himself no favours. If there was one major achievement from the ALP national conference it was to remind members of the parliamentary caucus why they dumped Kevin Rudd as their leader. The man acts like a petulant small child. If he really does want to try for the top job again then silence would have been his best policy. Surely Labor could not be so silly as to restore him to the prime ministership

   Which is combined with the fact that one senior Labor MP overheard Kevin Rudd speaking phrases to Samantha Maiden which turned up verbatim in The Sunday Telegraph, ascribed to 'A Senior Labor source'. Also, I have not been able to come up with an explanation for who else would have had access to the documents about the Australia Network decision re Sky News, other than Kevin Rudd. Also for someone who has been beaten about the head with a verbal cricket bat while he was PM, I just thought it was sad that he could run to News Ltd now for support for his resurrected bid to again lead the federal Labor Party. Which now appears to have not been the media beat-up I thought it was.

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 10:46 PM


Re my post on 10.21
David Marr on The Drum saying Where's the evidence?

? .............?............ ?

. . .  crickets . . .


I guess that soon there will be same-sex marriages,
I guess that then there will be same-sex divorces.

Just seems funny is all. Smile Funny PQ anyway.


December 5. 2011 10:46 PM

Feral Skeleton

     You can prove anything with a selective quote or link. It's just the same as any other media outlet is guilty of when they include only one side of the story in their reporting of an issue, so as to bolster their case.

   I understand that Queenslanders are protective of Kevin Rudd. However, when you consider what he, and his office, attempted to do to Julia Gillard before the last election, now proven by the release of the considered views of Carr/Faulkner/Bracks, and what he is still doing, it seems, then you have to start calling him out on it, and not try to scratch around for evidence to the contrary, or try to find ways to shoot the messenger.

   I just think that he is a good Foreign Minister, and was a lousy Prime Minister, and seems to have learnt nothing from his past mistakes, and is doomed to repeat them it seems. If his current behaviour is anything to go by.

   I, as much as anyone, want the federal Labor government to succeed. It now appears, on the basis of all the evidence piling up against him, that Kevin Rudd does not, unless it is with him at the helm. Well, IMHO, he would be at the helm of a fast-sinking ship, as his people skills are still atrocious. That's what sunk him before, and that's what would sink him quickly again.

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 11:00 PM

Feral Skeleton

     This also helped me come to my conclusion:


Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 11:14 PM


Hi Feral

I don't believe Phillip Coorey anyway.

Where is the proof he has so called leaked documents, his story holds no more weight than anyone else's.

Steve Lewis had an email too, that was going to bring down the Government.

Andrew Bolt and Glenn Milne had information too, Julia Gillard was finished one Monday a long time ago.

ALP post-mortem damns Rudd , Phillip Coorey, SMH
Leaked report flares Labor tension

A SECRET Labor Party report
implies that the former prime minister or his supporters were behind the leaks that almost destroyed Julia Gillard's election campaign.
It says
so-called sealed section
Obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald
The report accuses the Rudd
One contributor to the review said ''
The report says the bungled home insulation
It criticises
The report points the finger
It notes that in the first week
It says the chaos


December 5. 2011 11:34 PM


FS - perhaps this will change your mind.

Pure Poison:  "No. of days since last ALP leadership speculation story ran:  0"  I don't think it's ever made it to "1", hence:



December 5. 2011 11:35 PM


Hi Feral,

I don’t believe the Farr story either, it’s full of holes.   The last paragraph says it all really.

RUDD v GILLARD: Supporter camps prepare for showdown, Malcolm Farr, News Com
THE internal Labor hostility towards former leader Kevin Rudd is at a new peak following criticism of his behaviour

Senior Labor figures have considered
perceived disloyalty to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
It is understood the proposal was ditched
Mr Rudd might
Opponents of Mr Rudd's
quoting an unnamed source.
A minister told news.com.au
Foreign Minister had been heard
was seen as a largely self promotion
a minister told news.com.au.
some MPs concerned
one unimpressed Labor figure
said a spokeswoman today
seen as a sharp jab at Mr Rudd,

The renewed animosity between Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard has come as the Prime Minister hoped to get an opinion poll kick from her own performance at the national conference.




December 5. 2011 11:48 PM

Feral Skeleton

I don't know what to believe any more! I think I will have to wait until the 14th to ask my sources at the Xmas Party. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 5. 2011 11:57 PM


Hi Feral

Hope your sources are more reliable than MSM loyal sources:

A good post on PB comment number 1168

Posted Monday, December 5, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

No surprises what “Australia’s worst and least trusted major newspaper” is running with tomorrow

ALP 'Rudd' leak is now a deluge - a new split in Labor emerges

A NEW and bitter split in the Gillard government has emerged over the battle for the Labor leadership with accusations that Julia Gillard sanctioned a "selective" leak from an internal Labor review critical of Kevin Rudd.

The leak was being viewed as "payback" for Mr Rudd's performance at the ALP national conference at the weekend, after he was deliberately airbrushed from Labor history during the PM's speech.

Sources who have read the final but unreleased chapter of the ALP's special report into the last election campaign and Labor's performance in government, claimed that the material was clearly used to discredit Mr Rudd by its "selective" release as it did not contain those parts that were also critical of Ms Gillard.

…..Supporters of Ms Gillard claimed Mr Rudd deserved to be "poked in the eye". One Labor backbencher, the left- wing powerbroker Laurie Ferguson, defended Ms Gillard's refusal to mention Mr Rudd in her conference speech, claiming: "She mentioned great prime ministers that led the Labor Party and I'm not sure Kevin necessarily fits into that category."





December 5. 2011 11:57 PM


FS at 10.33pm 5/12/11
I do so enjoy reading your fiesty, no nonense writing, but
What the heck is this?  
First of all who is Richard Farmer and how come he is the font of all truth and wisdom?
You say that it is a fact that one senior Labor MP  overheard Kevin Rudd speaking phrases to Samantha Maiden which turned up in The Sunday Telegraph. Give me a break!!!  
Who is the senior Labor MP??  And he just happened to be evesdropping on Kevin Rudd?? Talking to Samantha Maiden - such a upstanding talented journo?? AND it turned up in the paper?? Well it must be true!!! What Rubbish!!!
Has it ever occured to you people that the person/s doing the so called leaking could be the same person/s that leaked all that information from the Rudd cabinet and about Rudd himself?  As Kevin Rudd is the person most damaged I for one dont think that he would be doing it to himself.
I have seen Kevin Rudd swallow his pride and knuckle down and do a good job as FM and also publicly support and endorse Julia Gillard.  What more do you want??  I haven't heard Julia  returning the compliment. That doesn't make her look good!  
Why do the Labor people vilify their own??  No wonder they are losing members and votes.

recaptcha - agree;epointr


December 6. 2011 02:46 AM


To be frank,
I'm sick & tired of watchin' the ALP shoot itself in the foot each & everytime it's had a useful, positive few days.

The robust ALP conference reminded me of why I generally vote Labor for the Reps.

And Green, then Labor etc. for the Senate.

Pragmatic Labor Right w/ the help of the passionate Left keepin' it generally real...and motivatin'...headin' incrementally towards useful reforms...buildin' on solid foundations built by previous governments...and pursuin' the fair-go...the brighter society...

helpin' to leave behind the archaic industries & work practices...the bigotry, fear & xenophobia laid down by others...sometimes in tortoise fashion...occasionally more rapidly...

transforming our societies/communities for the better.

This soft conflict between the Gillard & Rudd camps is nothin' special...think Howard & Costello...Keating & Hawke...Blair & Brown...the list goes on...

and don't the media luv a feud, exaggeratin' differences, turnin' molehills into mountains...in order to hook-in an audience...

it's what they do.

Expect no less.

SO, try damn hard not to feed the beasts.

This is not the State of Origin...nor some overly-hyped US college football game...the season doesn't end w/ a few casualties and a trophy...and the distraction of other sports to put the rivalry at rest...for a time.

This is about governin' a complex, multicultural, resource-fortunate, strategically important country/nation that is still behind the times on some issues, communication technology-wise and still hasn't learnt to stand on its own feet and declare itself independent of the former Brit empire's homeland...

yet has firmly & expertly established itself as a proud member of the Asia-Pacific region...and ally of superpower America.

It's a land that requires thoughtful & consistent management...and vision from its leaders.

The games that some p/t adolescents in all political parties play undermines the seriousness of the job...and acts as hurdles to necessary progress & reform...the ongoin' Rudd vs Gillard saga contributin' to such...regardless of its democratic aspects...its free speech underbelly.

The ALP took a big risk displayin' their wares durin' the conference...

but many of us applaud them for it.

As we do the brave change to the party platform regardin' gay marriage.

Don't allow those bright messages to be undermined by unnecessary gossip, rumour, innuendo...the stuff of schoolyards, water cooler conversations & tabloid media.

This government is better than that...the ALP are better than that...

the legislation passed to date tells us so...the mining tax, the carbon price, the NBN, healthcare reform, the BER & computers in school schemes...

as does Medicare, HECS, Superannuation...ya know the list of achievements on the road to an affordable fair-go.


Get on w/ the job...full-time. As you have most of the time.

Don't feed the beasts...for power grab reasons...misplaced revenge reasons...for limelight addiction reasons...to earn a buck from the Murdoch empire...or those other usual suspects.

Let them spit out meat that turns to fairy floss, once the rest of the media & public scrutinise it.

No more feedin' the Noalition...

don't let that divided, incompetent, autocratically-led group off the hook...

rather, show them up for the tryhards & rabble they truly are.

Let the media find the time required to scrutinise them...perhaps even help them improve as opponents...

maybe some will oneday grow up & prove themselves to be courageous social Liberals who know when it's time to cross the floor on a vote for the good of the country/nation...and do so.

Personally, I am oft impressed by this government, its ability to negotiate its way across political divides...and its attempts to future-improve this place.

But I have no time for the odd feud eruption...for how I see it...TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.

And I would not like to reach a point where I vote Green 1 in the Reps...

and say/think:

A pox on both their feudin' houses, I'll support Greg Combet to be leader...and maybe then I can vote ALP 1 again, down the road.

It's up to YOU Labor.





December 6. 2011 07:42 AM


Nas - agreed.  I really don't care who is leaking to who - the way the ALP is carrying on at the moment they deserve to be out of power as they obviously can't govern themselves (not that the LNP is better).  The Greens are showing discipline and some ability at the moment - maybe it's their turn.

FS - While I was born and live in Queensland, my passport says Australia, the money in my wallet says Australia and when I'm away from home I come from Brisbane.  While Rudd comes from Brisbane (and in fact used to represent me) I really don't give a [insert expletive here] when he, Gillard or anyone else for that matter comes from - the ALP should put the best person for the job into the job and leave them alone to get on with it.  While the media likes to blow up the State vs State, Mate vs Mate thing - personally I think it's a load of cobblers.  In reality, I reckon states should be abolished but that's a discussion for another day.


December 6. 2011 07:58 AM


So Tony Abbott scores his worst ever numbers in the polls, and the MSM are quoting their mythical "senior sources" (who've been on an all-night gin and pokies bender) to distract the proles.
Quelle surprise!


December 6. 2011 08:01 AM


Other than "Rudd did this! Rudd did that!", what other bullets have the Nopposition and their friends got to fire right now?


We need to give this matter zero oxygen.

Just sit back and enjoy the likes of Hockey and Robb embarrassing themselves each day as they try to deal with the current real issue ...... matters economic.


December 6. 2011 08:13 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Look, I would just be massively disappointed if the rumours about Kevin Rudd working to destabilise his own leader and party were true. Just as I would be incredibly angry to find out that there were forces at work attempting to humiliate the Foreign Minister for no point other than to show him who's boss.
   Therefore I will be going to my one and truly honest source at the local Xmas Party next week and asking them for their take on it all, once the tumult and the shouting from the National Conference has died down.

   I guess that's why I was so upset. At the national Conference I spoke to Queenslanders who were still smarting from the method of Kevin's removal. I thought it was a bit rich that they could bear a grudge for this long when the natural reaction would tend to be to think, 'That's politics', and realise that the ALP at the time were just as desperate as any party could be to stem the momentum towards the Coalition which had been fed and stoked by the unholy alliance between the Coalition, the Murdoch media and the Rabid Right Radio Ravers. They could see the tsunami of defeat about to wash them away, and, despite what the polls, 52-48, were saying at the time, and which supporters of Kevin Rudd use now as some sort of justification for needing to keep him in the job of Prime Minister back then. However, in my absolutely irrelevant opinion, that support was evaporating by the day. As has been widely acknowledged, Tony Abbott had Kevin Rudd's measure, and it's only now that we can see that Tony Abbott is not all he waas cracked up by the media to be back then. Everything from the Coalition's so-called 'Costings', which were nothing more than a tissue of lies, to their absolute paucity of policy, have only subsequently been exposed by the determinatiion of a returned federal Labor government to expose the sham of an operation that the Opposition are running.
   Now, that is not to say that I believe that the blame lies solely with Kevin Rudd for continuing to background journalists about his complaints, at the very least, and this has been confirmed, and at worst attempting to drive a cold and calculated chisel through the heart of the party; in fact, I believe that there is blame to go around on all sides. As has also been said, and I agree, the 'Sealed Section' of the Carr/Bracks/Faulkner Report into last year's election and incidents around it, should be released in full to help clear the air, because there was blame found in all areas and on all sides of the party relating to it's almost loss of the election. Including catastrophic mistakes made by Julia Gillard and her campaign team, and the Prime Minister herself. And, if the forces behind the PM are wanting to exert some kind of retribution for the leaking occurring from Kevin Rudd's end, either his office or the man himself(and I believe that to be the case), during the election campaign, then let's have at it now, at the end of this tumultuous year in politics, clear the air, and be done with it. To use the analogy of my own abscessed tooth, the party needs to get rid of the source of the poison that is debilitating it's body(politic). Apply some soothing antibiotics to the wounds, heal the ulcers that have been fulminating all year since the leadership change, sing 'Auld Lang Syne', kiss and make up, start the New Year afresh, and join together to fight the real enemy. The bunch of shonks in the Coalition.

   Kevin Rudd knows this. Julia Gillard knows this. Like Hawke and Keating and Howard and Costello, they must both swallow their pride, put aside their petty vendettas, and start working together for the good of the country. As the good of the country can only be realised with a federal Labor government.

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 08:32 AM


2353 said
"Nas - agreed.  I really don't care who is leaking to who - the way the ALP is carrying on at the moment they deserve to be out of power as they obviously can't govern themselves (not that the LNP is better)."

I'm not sure that Nasking would agree that you are really at one with his thoughts; I certainly don't think "the way the ALP is carrying on" is fair or reasonable. The vast majority are not 'carrying on' at all, let alone disgracefully. Greens do their thing pretty secretively; if that's what you mean by 'showing discipline', well I'd rather have indiscipline if that's what it takes to get gutsy argument out in the open, it is the dynamic that makes Labor great. And it is the absence of it that makes the Liberals mean and stupid, and shrill when stymied. Which they are.  

Labor "deserves to be out of power", yeah? So who deserves to be IN?  Oh the Greens? Bwahaha. Or maybe just go with anarchy?

No offence meant 2353 but the ALP really is a broad demographic group, (who the hell said church, leave the bloody church out of this), and to characterize us as a monolithic rabble is either silly or mischievous. From placid to Feral, I want Labor the way it is.

Double the Fist!



December 6. 2011 08:43 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Here is this morning pickings for your enjoyment:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 7:58 am |comment number 1324

La Stupenda can’t resist leadership talk.

The anti-Rudd leak saw Ms Gillard avoiding journalists yesterday when she opened a building in Canberra (one questioner called out ''Are you at war with Kevin Rudd?''), and took the gloss off a Newspoll that had Labor improving its two-party vote from 43-57 per cent to 46-54 per cent.

Ms Gillard seems to be doing quite alright by herself, thanks Michelle, but I do understand your own point of view: we wouldn’t want the lady to get too uppity over the break, would we?



Twitters this morning, full of links and information:-
The future of corporate tax: Most companies pay none. Latest from the Swan-Gillard austerity machine. http://bit.ly/t0PXRl #auspol

PollyticsPossum Comitatus
What might become the most important and profound real world change in our tax for 50 years

ESSENTIAL: Preemptive critique of Wayne Swan's reactionary corporate tax proposal.
http://bit.ly/rMd6Md #auspol

Wholesale price freeze on #NBN budget packages | The Australian http://post.ly/4Aa33

jonathonioJonathon I O
'ABC handed TV contract forever' ah, that's too bad, News Ltd

wolfcatWolf Cocklin
RT @abcnews: Accusations fly over Australia Network decision http://bit.ly/uzp2pl ( shorter version is the right get in a tissy )

SkyNewsAustSky News Australia
VIDEO: Leaked Labor review is history - Smith | http://j.mp/tXgfIX #auspol

sophblacksophie black
"Supporters of Ms Gillard claimed Mr Rudd deserved to be "poked in the eye"." Nasty. http://bit.ly/trXxiD

mick_powerMick Power
Reducing cost of living, schmeducing schmost of schmiving. This sucks.
www.theage.com.au/.../...uters-20111205-1ofne.html #springst

markjs1Mark Shove
Thanx 2 Govt. Murdoch's propaganda factory won't get it's hands on Australia Network...EVER....a win 4 democracy!! #auspol #Mediafail

AWrightMMAndrew Wright
Volume of press items mentioning JGillard this morning, organised by outlet.
#auspol http://pic.twitter.com/IqskO5pU

Left Behind: Why the Right Keeps Winning, Peter Hartcher, The Monthly
In the US, the Republicans are using their majority in the lower house to frustrate Obama’s efforts. The Republicans dismiss the idea as ‘socialism’, even though progressive tax scales have always been at the centre of the income tax system in America and in almost every country on Earth



December 6. 2011 09:03 AM

Feral Skeleton

   I like this: someone commenting about the US Republican Party:

   'The Year of Lying Decadently'.

   Of course the similarities with our own Conservative Party is obvious. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 09:20 AM

Mr Denmore

Lyn, you may be also interested in today's Failed Estate:

SMH columnist Ross Gittins this week rightly called out the media's free pass to the Coalition as 'super economic manager' and business economists' gutless complicity in that myth. Now it's time to take down the Big One - the idea that the Daddy Party has defacto dibbs on the Prime Economic Levers.


Mr Denmore

December 6. 2011 09:28 AM

Feral Skeleton

        Don't forget this:


   Surely one to drop heavy hints for as a Xmas present? Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 09:29 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Do you miss 'Double the Fist'? Frown

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 09:33 AM


Good Morning Mr Denmore

Thankyou for your alert to your latest article, most enjoyable reading as always.



December 6. 2011 09:50 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

All the talk and gossip about Kevin Rudd, everytime there is a decent poll, is this Coalition conflict???

Mr Master of leaks:-

Malcolm Turnbull asks for free vote on gays , News Com
December 06, 2011

"My view is there should be a conscience vote," he told ABC Radio today.

Labor MPs will be allowed a free vote when a private member's bill, which aims to change the Marriage Act, is presented to Parliament early next year.

Mr Abbott has said the Coalition will make a decision when it sees the legislation, but hasn't ruled in or out allowing Liberal and Nationals MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

Read more: www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfku0-1226214774736

Gay marriage and the collapse of Europe, Mungo MacCallum, The Drum
the pompous pontificator Paul Kelly, the magisterial professor Peter van Onselen and the bumptious blow-in Troy Bramston - had spelled out in painstaking detail the tests she was expected to pass and the assignments to be completed if they were to give her a grudging B.

The Australian can be relied on to beat up this boutique issue into a national crisis. The voters, however, are hardly likely to regard it as a pressing issue. After all, The Australian kept telling us that they didn't - at least until they launched their own holy war.

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


December 6. 2011 09:54 AM


Here's a Bushfire Bill and he doesn't have anything much nice to say about Michelle Grattan.  Well I said in The Lass From Yarralumla, "Michelle Grattan lacking teeth", which BB doesn't, he's not exactly kind to her (check my emphases) but she's not real kind to *J*U*L*I*A* and Labor, so she'll just have to wear our getting personal. She never seems to find one little real plus for Labor, it's at best very faint praise, and it seems always to be followed with that ubiquitous BUT!
(So I join the peckin' party at the end of BB's rant.)

Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink
La Stupenda can’t resist leadership talk.

The anti-Rudd leak saw Ms Gillard avoiding journalists yesterday when she opened a building in Canberra (one questioner called out ''Are you at war with Kevin Rudd?''), and took the gloss off a Newspoll that had Labor improving its two-party vote from 43-57 per cent to 46-54 per cent.

One day after the Newspoll is printed, the Doyen announces the gloss is already gone. Well, that didn’t last long, did it?

All Gillard had to do was avoid a question – more a heckle than a question – from a rude, bogan reporter chancing his arm, and that wipes out the Conference, the MRRT and everything else that happened in the previous two weeks.

Wow, those reporters sure have an amazing ability to wreck things, don’t they? One shouted impertinence and it’s all over, says the Wrinkly Rover.

Apparently The Old Boiler is certain that the leak came from Gillard (how, is not explained) so I guess it’s all Gillard’s fault. She should just hand over to Rudd and be done with it.

But Newspoll also showed the ALP's primary vote on 31 per cent (previously 30 per cent), while an Essential Research poll on issues found Labor did not have a substantial lead over the Liberal Party on any of 15 items, and had slightly weakened its position since June. On management of the economy the Liberals lead 45-27 per cent; on political leadership 40-23 per cent; on climate change 25-19 per cent.

In true Pass-The-Rose-Water fashion, the ageing crone lists the category-based poll result without comment or even curiosity. Even Carney expresses curiosity before he takes a whiff of the scented infusion.

Curiosity doesn’t seem to be part of the working brief of political journalists. They report on the blather, not the basics. Ross Gittins can do the basics. It’s his job.

When Gittins worked out – before the Independents did, before the election too – that there was an $11 billion costings crevasse in Abbott and Hockey’s path, Grattan simply ignored it, preferring to write stories about how bored she was.

When the Independents, via Treasury, re-confirmed the gaping crater, La Stupenda seemed surprised, and annoyed. What’s $11 billion between pals? The answer: “government”. Anyway, Old Coke Bottles took her chance to excuse it all by reporting that Joe reckoned it was just a gentlemans’ disagreement. Michelle doesn’t do analysis, except if it involves Ruddstoration and/or Gillard bashing.

Preferably both.

Which is how she can start out to write a column on the Chrissy holidays and before she’s made it through half a dozen paragraphs, she’s back onto how dangerous and fraught it’s all going to be for “Ms Gillard”.

Ms Gillard seems to be doing quite alright by herself, thanks Michelle, but I do understand your own point of view: we wouldn’t want the lady to get too uppity over the break, would we?


Michelle Grattan's visage is a totem
Like a wrinkly old Elephant scrotum,
Or like last decade's prunes,
Etched with crow's feet, or runes -
Serves her right, cos' it's Michelle what wrote 'em!

And I'd not be so cruel to the silly old fool


December 6. 2011 09:57 AM


Sorry for the orphan line (above).


December 6. 2011 10:17 AM


Hi Talk Turkey

How good of you to post Bushfire Bill for us, thankyou so much.

Would you agree to keep monitoring BB each day for us please.
We would be very grateful.

  I fully realize how much work there is involved in catching BB in amongst the 3000 odd comments, so hats of to you.

BB doesn't have much time for the MSM does he and even less for Michelle.

Michelle Grattan's visage is a totem
Like a wrinkly old Elephant scrotum,
Or like last decade's prunes,
Etched with crow's feet, or runes -
Serves her right, cos' it's Michelle what wrote 'em

Well done .

Thanking you in anticipation Talk Turkey.

Australian Network Decision,Sky News is very upset, and of course the Coalition have jumped on the bandwagon:

Accusations fly over Australia Network decision, ABC
Updated December 06, 2011 09:45:56
Mr Turnbull says the divisions between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Mr Rudd have polluted the tender process.

"It's dysfunctional and right at the core of it is this extraordinary poison, this poisonous and bitter conflict between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd," he said



December 6. 2011 10:33 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Has this place become the Bushfire Bill Fan Club or something?

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 11:01 AM


My Peripatetics' Union membership makes it illegal for me to enter into ongoing firm arrangements, such as undertaking to find and pull out and post all or even a majority of BB's posts . . . But when I do see them, and if I feel they have sufficient relevance to what Swordsfolks are currently discussing, or if I think they are sufficiently apposite in their own right, then Yes Tweety I will put 'em up here.

Anybody else who spots any posts by BB that they think worthy (and they mostly are) or by anybody else who strikes a particular chord, being discerning I emphasise, might please also do likewise  . . ?

It takes just a few seconds and if it becomes a real norm for this site - it's halfway there already! - it must make TPS the focal point for quality comment on-site.

You of all people on the WWW Lyn are Liaison Central, you're unstoppable even when you've stopped, I am not of your mettle you know. But I will do my bits my best.

I guess I think that if BB wants every one of his posts on PB posted here it really is up to him, we've made it pretty clear he's welcome. I can't think it should be too much to ask, since he is so prolific on his keyboard, for him to drop us a note to let us know his thinking. If he doesn't want to post here - which as far as I know is where he started blogging - well that's up to him too, but he's never objected to our on-posting his bits from PB, I'm just a bit surprised he don't talk to us at all.

COO-EEE BB!?    


December 6. 2011 11:03 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Mumble writes about Labor's Light on the Hill, I thought you might be interested Ad Astra:-

Light on the hill and forgotten people, Mumble, The Australian

mumbletwitsPeter Brent
Me on the evolution of 2 bits of 1940s memorabilia: Labor's "light on the hill" and Libs' "forgotten people" blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/.../



December 6. 2011 11:04 AM

Ad astra

I’ve been preoccupied this last week with visitors from overseas and am returning to the south coast today.  I’ve read your comments but haven’t had time to respond.

I note this morning a number of comments around leadership speculation.  We ought not to be astonished.  Julia Gillard has ended the year on the up on several fronts – you know them.  So what reaction can be anticipated from the MSM, especially News Limited?   Stir up a distraction, and what better than leadership – again!

No doubt there is some veracity to the so-called leaks, but are they worth dwelling on?  Should they evoke wringing of hands about the state of the Labor Party?  Michelle Grattan thinks so.  That ought not surprise us, but neither should it encourage us to follow suit.  I for one am not intending to expend any emotional energy on this matter.

Those of us who support Labor, who feel that that PM Gillard and her Government has achieved an extraordinary amount this year in the most difficult circumstances, who have ended the year well ahead of this time last year, and who can look forward to another two years of reforming government, can approach the Festive Season with satisfaction and confidence, and certainly not go along with La Stupenda’s prediction that “Leaders can’t relax on holiday break”.  Julia Gillard will relish the break and look forward to 2012, and even Tony Abbott, despite his deteriorating personal polling, probably will also.

Leadership speculation is the bread and butter of journalists looking for a story, especially when they need something to counter the rising fortunes of the party they want to pull down.  It’s lazy, unimaginative journalism, but it brings joy to their editors who know such stories sell papers.  It’s been going on forever, and will never cease.  Let’s ignore it; certainly let’s not get exercised about it.  

We all want our preferred party to be ‘perfect’ in its conduct, to be focused on the important national issues, to be continually succeeding.  Leadership issues can create dissonance among supporters, but we need not allow them to upset our equilibrium.

Ad astra

December 6. 2011 11:23 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn, TT
BB’s comment shows he and I are in agreement about La Stupenda.  She could not possibly let PM Gillard finish the year on a high.  The PM must be wrenched back to earth where all sorts of threats will beset her; leadership always being at the top of the list until something more sensational comes along.  

Ad astra

December 6. 2011 11:35 AM


Has this place become the Bushfire Bill Fan Club or something?

It certainly would seem so, FS. All things in moderation,eh? Hopefully it is just a fad.

Sorry to hear about your sore fang. Frown

I have very little discipline when it comes to self-indulgence so Tom's new album is already ensconced in my iTunes folder. I suspect that you and I have vaguely different tastes - I don't like his discordant stuff (think Bone Machine) but love everything else, especially his ballads (I can listen to The Early Years 1 & 2 over and over again) and the new album has a good mix of all of his styles. Highly recommended.

I was curious to read that you had encountered Queenslanders who felt that their state pride had been besmirched in the Rudd affair last year. I'm with 2353 on this - I couldn't care less which state the PM comes from and certainly never felt any sense of ownership of Rudd. It may be that such sentiments can be elicited when talking about sports but even then it is more likely to be a media confection than a genuine sentiment in the community (except for state-of-origin of course). So if some of us from north of the border pour cold water on the endless speculation about him, it is not through state pride. At the moment it is a bit like rushing to bring the washing in off the line because there is a cloud on the distant horizon. There may be something in it but let's just wait to see whether it is just media fluff or more substantial. Ignorant soul that I am, I just can't see Rudd being guilty of all the actions of which he has been accused in terms of undermining his own party when he well recognises the threat that Abbott poses to the country he (Rudd) purports to love.

The new Swan tax initiative sounds exciting.


December 6. 2011 11:46 AM


FS I think it's more that he's in a bit of a unique category,
1 he started here at the start as you did (and long before me)
2 he hasn't got his own site like Mr D etc,
3 his longish posts seem wasted as they flash by on PB
4 Lyn sensibly links more to whole articles, not just posts,  
5 Of all ordinary posts, BB's are amongst the article-est.

That's all really. Just that he's a bit unique case.

But his are far from the only wonderful repeatable posts, but only the really best should be honoured by re-displaying on TPS. This site must never be O.D'd nor diluted, I know everyone would agree.

And always Ad astra rules rules, cela va sans dit.  

I think the discussion is interesting, it relates really to making the blogosphere as powerful as possible, and getting the unwritten rules sort of sorted. It's a pretty new area where copyright never went, here authors don't resent being quoted in part or whole elsewhere without their authority, on the contrary in most cases it's a headballooner when it happens.
My doyen graphic artist M.C.Escher once said wtte "Graphic artists love nothing so much as to broadcast their works 'like birds singing in the top of a tree', enjoyed by as many people as possible, and for free". Blogging is like that too  . . . Over-quoting other sources would be painful though, and of course Ad is anyway in charge top of that.

All in all I think this is a wonderful site. Complementary to PB as a dictionary and a thesaurus are complementary, and pretty much at the centre of the web, Lyn's~Links radiating and everyone interconnecting with other sites . . . I just want it to be the best we can make it. It's worth it.


December 6. 2011 11:52 AM


The comments I was going to make on these subjects this morning have already been done better by others.
I will say something that's been going around in the noggin for a fair while now.
Australia has semi- officially awarded itself a muckup period for the duration of this Government. Any activity will have a blind eye turned to it, so long as an anti Labor angle can be wrought from it.
Pretty much everything can be understood in that light.


December 6. 2011 12:23 PM

Patricia WA

Re latest BB blast at Michelle Grattan.   This is one article of his and TT's elaboration on it of which I strongly disapprove.  

I share their dislike of Grattan and her 'myopic' views on the Prime Minister.  She clearly has some personal axe to grind.  I'll mix my metaphors even further and say that as a journalist she is pretty well over the hill, biassed and bitter.   I would prefer, however, that BB and TT desist from personal abuse of MG. I thought we disapproved of that in so much nasty personal lampooning of the PM.   Besides which if Michelle Grattan's wearing of thick glasses, looking haggard while traipsing around after politicians day after day are features worth mentioning when critiquing her work perhaps her critics should reveal themselves to us, so we can see how young, straight limbed and fair of face they are themselves?

Focus on her bias, not her tired old body!   Rebut her arguments and demonstrate that it's time for her to retire since she is no longer capable of objective reporting.  

Patricia WA

December 6. 2011 12:29 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

In view of the obvious contention about Bushfire Bill's article comments..

Because Ad Astra is busy with International Visitors, I am re-posting Ad's sentiments with regard to Bushfire Bill.

December 6. 2011 10:33 AM
Has this place become the Bushfire Bill Fan Club or something?
Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 11:35 AM
Has this place become the Bushfire Bill Fan Club or something? It certainly would seem so, FS. All things in moderation,eh? Hopefully it is just a fad.

December 3. 2011 11:13 AMFolks

I read the comments you made while I was returning from East Gippsland yesterday; it was too late to respond last night, so I’m doing so this morning.

I want to focus on the issue of Bushfire Bill posting on TPS. FS feels that as a previous contributor of original material to this blogsite, he has ‘left us in the lurch’ by now posting on Poll Bludger, and questioned whether we should continue to draw attention to his PB posts here.

I have a different view from that of FS. First, let me set the record straight about BB.

I know Bushfire Bill, have met him, and have had extensive email correspondence with him. I regard him as a friend. I have a high regard for his writings on politics. As I have invited him several times this year to resume writing for TPS, he knows he is welcome to contribute here in any way at any time. But it is up to him to decide when and to which site he contributes. Clearly, at present he feels that, given his other commitments, making comments on PB is the most suitable way he can contribute to the political debate, and he often does so in quick response to contemporary issues. We so appreciate his offerings that many are replicated here by other bloggers.

Rather than feel neglected or let down by BB, I am pleased he continues to give us his incisive analysis via PB

While it would be easier on the three contributors to TPS, FS, AC and myself, if BB were to join us again, we have managed throughout the year to keep the site humming along. I still hope he may find time to contribute here in 2012, either as an original author or as a commenter, but that is entirely up to him.

So turning to the question of whether we should bring to our visitors BB’s postings on PB, I’m with TT and NormanK, namely that we continue with the ad hoc arrangement that has arisen recently, that any blogger here can post a comment BB has made on PB,

with suitable acknowledgement to him as author, PB as the source, along with the link to the comment, and perhaps an abstract of some of the text to give us the flavour the subject. Rather than websites objecting to such linkages, they welcome them. Common courtesy and adherence to web protocol will enable us to avoid criticism.

So let’s leave it at that.

Ad astra reply


December 6. 2011 12:31 PM

Feral Skeleton

         You are exactly right.
We go down the Tom Wait's road together, but part company over some of his work. I love the metallic jamgly sounds of 'Boneyard', as I do for many other performers who play music in a similar style, such as Captain Beefheart, PIL, XTC, John Cale, and Devo. Also, I was partial to the Classical Music of Stockhausen, Verese and Phillip Glass.
  I just find it makes me bop around crazily and it clears the head like musical eucalyptus. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 12:39 PM

Feral Skeleton

           I agree wholeheartedly with you about Michelle Grattan. It's the short-sightedness of her views, not the short-sightedness of her eyes that is the problem. We should not stoop to the levels the journalists have wrt the PM.

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 01:15 PM


Yes Patricia I apologise to Michelle Grattan, I know people can't help what they look like. For that, sincere sorry.

On the other hand they are sole pilots of their tongues and pens. It seems to me that she has been unrelentingly unspeakable to our PM.

I called Malcolm Farr Fatty a day or so ago, Sorry er Malcolm.

Snotty Joe(because he was) . . . Poo-Poo the Poodle (because he minces) . . .The Jones boys, wormtongue and Anagram, Oh all those people I've insulted . . . Well they are welcome to insult my appearance anytime, I promise not to take a fence.

Wrinklist, fattist, snottist, (I'm not generally sexist racist not ageist if that helps), I really don't mean to be too nasty but these people I do insult are, by their bigotry or ignorance, and through their positions of magnified influence, attempting, or are complicit in the attempt, to wrest the very Government from under our feet, and well if I do get out-of-line personal, well it's because that's actually more important.

Still, to Michelle if not the others, I do offer my sincere apology.  

On the other hand they are sole pilots of their tongue and pen.



December 6. 2011 01:18 PM


Bloody orphans! Sorry folks.


December 6. 2011 01:20 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey and lyn,
                    That's as may well be, except I happen to think that Andrew Elder's work is as good as, and in many cases superior to, that of Bushfire Bill. However, he is simply linked to, and definitely not gushed over repeatedly. Same went with Grog's blog until he went to The Drum.
   It's not that I object to any reference to Bushfire Bill's contributions to Poll Bludger, however I feel that we should simply link to his contributions on Poll Bludger, with a reference to the post number, and leave it at that. Just as we do with any other off-site blogger.
   Frankly I am finding it increasingly tedious, and not a little sycophantic to have everything he says regurgitated here, as if they are Sermons from the Mount.
   Yes, they are good, and it is a worthwhile task to pursue our efforts to analyse and critique the Coalition Opposition in as co-ordinated a fashion as possible. And, yes, I remember what Ad Astra had to say. However, it is just my opinion that 'The Complete Works of Bushfire Bill' should only be put up here if he again contributes them himself as original blog posts. Even if they are just copies of his work on Poll Bludger. Maybe a weekly annotation if needs must by an enthusiastic stenographer?

   Other than that, Poll Bludger is only a mouse click away, and, if alerted and given the numerical locatiion of same, if we haven't read them already, we can let our fingers do the walking over there to catch up on what he has to say.
   Also, as PatriciaWA correctly pointed out, Bushfire Bill's commentary can be a little distasteful at times when he is commenting on women journalists in particular, and I just think that by putting those comments up here at TPS, holus bolus, we implicitly sanction them, and I, for one, am not comfortable with that.

   Anyway, that's my opinion, and I am as entitled to have one as anyone else, even the blog administrator, and I guess, if no change occurs along the lines of compromise I have helpfully and hopefully suggested, then there are other blogs to go to where Bushfire Bill's pronouncements aren't as in your face as here. They are on Poll Bludger in their entirety, and that's where they should stay, via links from here to there. As is the case with every other off-site blogger and commentator. It's not behind a paywall, so I can't see the necessity of reproducing it in full here, when we can easily go there to read it once alerted to it.

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 01:42 PM


Lyn @10.17am,I think Malvolio would be better served looking at the poisonous relationship between himself and Liealot, than trying yet another Liars Party "Look over there!" tactic. It's a tactic which is becoming tiresome and predictable in the extreme.

Merchant banker, refinance thyself.

I've been preoccupied with other stuff for the last couple of weeks, so haven't had a chance to do more than fleeting lurks. It's good to have more than a few minutes to read the comments.

Lyn, TT, FS et al, lurve the links and reading the comments, but my time is up. Hopefully, my time will be less restricted shortly.


December 6. 2011 02:14 PM


'Rudd was all narrative and no action while Gillard is all action and no narrative.'

That's probably a fair enough summary and I know which type of leader I prefer. (The quote is from a commenter not from Nick Dyrenfurth). I'm beginning to agree that it is probably Rudd &/or his followers who are white anting the Government and this needs to stop..

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Kevin
Nick Dyrenfurth. December 6, 2011

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...ls-kevin-20111205-1ofd8.html


December 6. 2011 02:19 PM

Ad astra reply

I'm in central Melbourne and have  been trying to get onto the Internet via my computer for hours without success, so I'm resorting to the iPad.

Having read your comments about BB's contributions being reposted on TPS, my opinion is that this is a worthwhile exercise.  He is brilliant at dissecting the nonsense that emits from too many of our experienced journalists; what he writes makes absorbing reading.  Including large chunks of what he writes, or all of it, relieves us of the tedium of finding what he has written on PB via a link; I seem to have trouble locating the relevant piece among the thousands of other comments on PB.  Moreover, I do not feel including his writings on TPS diminishes any other contributions here.

I will again invite him to contribute directly to TPS in 2012, and hope he will.

In the meantime, let's absorb and appreciate what he has to say while he is writing such incisive material.  

I agree with Patricia WA that comments about journalists' personal appearances are unnecessary, and we out to avoid them here. But we cannot edit them out of BB's writing when we post it here.

It is a pity that as the Festive Season approaches we are engaging in terse discourse about whether or not to re-post BB's PB comments here. But  I see no valid reason to discontinue doing this.

So once again, let's leave it at that.

I have your email about your next piece, and have written a reply, but I can't get my computer to connect to the Internet to send it.  So it will have to wait until I get back later today to the south coast when connection is easy.

Ad astra reply

December 6. 2011 02:52 PM


the way the ALP is carrying on at the moment they deserve to be out of power as they obviously can't govern themselves (not that the LNP is better).

I think you've missed the main message in my comment. Tho, I appreciate yer contribution & give you credit for airing yer views & frustrations publicly...each contribution should be valued in its own right...even if we disagree...and noone should be corralled into a pen that represents limited POVs.  

It was carefully worded to get certain points across that I hope have been taken on board by a number of characters across the political & media landscape.

As far as I'm concerned this government is doin' a damn fine job much of the time...less distractions, own goals & feedin' of the beast would assist the sellin' of it.

As time goes on tho I'm seein' an incremental & positive march forwards.

For instance,
thumbs up on the Australia Network decision...the ABC does a useful job...representin' diverse views & culture/communities across Australia...bein' the people's broadcaster.

I also found the Prime Minister's Olympic & Paralympic Challenge launch to be highly professional...it came across as a positive in a time when far too many children are endangering their health by not participating in physical exercise...and are consuming far too many empty calories and fat-soaked, sugar-ridden fast & convenient foods & drinks.



December 6. 2011 02:58 PM


Hi Jane

Great that you have enjoyed the links, today. Thankyou for popping in during your busy day.

Malvolio would be better served looking at the poisonous relationship between himself and Liealot, than trying yet another Liars Party "Look over there!" tactic. It's a tactic which is becoming tiresome and predictable in the extreme.

I wish the MSM would get tired of the tactic.

This is good news:-

RBA cuts cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.25 per cent - update to come

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


December 6. 2011 03:05 PM


It's not that I object to any reference to Bushfire Bill's contributions to Poll Bludger, however I feel that we should simply link to his contributions on Poll Bludger, with a reference to the post number, and leave it at that. Just as we do with any other off-site blogger.

I'm really lookin' forward to yer next post...and find many of yer comments & links useful.

I have no problem reading Bushfire Bill's either...whether they be linked to, quoted...or originate here. If I agree or disagree w/ him on some issues I'll let him know if I feel the urge.

I don't see any problem. And I really dig Lyn's links & quotes.

Tho, I do understand how loyalty to a blog, particularly when regularly posting...add fatigue & anxiety from so much work, can lead to the rising up of certain emotions that probably shouldn't be aired. Don't I know it.

It usually means we need to reflect, take a deep breath...and chillax.

Particularly if we are dealin' w/ the type of acute pain that you are. Believe me, I can relate. And empathise. As you well know. Smile

Keep up the great work. You are APPRECIATED.



December 6. 2011 03:22 PM


We go down the Tom Wait's road together, but part company over some of his work. I love the metallic jamgly sounds of 'Boneyard', as I do for many other performers who play music in a similar style, such as Captain Beefheart, PIL, XTC, John Cale, and Devo. Also, I was partial to the Classical Music of Stockhausen, Verese and Phillip Glass.

Great taste Feral.

I think you'd enjoy much of our collection.

At present in the cd player...or on deck:

The Bats: Free All the Monsters
Tom Waits: Bad as Me
Pnau: Soft Universe
Widowspeak: S/T
David Sylvian: Died in the Wool
Robin Trower: Bridge of Sighs
Gillian Welch: The Harrow & the Harvest
Laura Marling: A Creature I don't Know
Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts
West Papua: Sound of the Morning Star (produced by David Bridie)
Radiohead: TKOL RMX
Bonnie Prince Billy: Wolfrey Goes to Town
Captain Beefheart: Safe as Milk
Belles Will Ring: Crystal Theatre
Iron & Wine: Kiss each other clean
Wooden Shjips: S/T
Johann Johannsson: The sun's gone dim & the sky's turned black



December 6. 2011 03:29 PM


I don't like his discordant stuff (think Bone Machine) but love everything else, especially his ballads (I can listen to The Early Years 1 & 2 over and over again) and the new album has a good mix of all of his styles.

Highly recommended.

I second that.

Tho, I do dig Bone Machine.

Great to come across two more Tom Waits appreciators.



December 6. 2011 03:34 PM


RBA cuts cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.25 per cent - update to come

that's GREAT news. Smile



December 6. 2011 03:47 PM


Hi Nasking

Probably good for our Gravel too. I hope so, she said they just bought a house.

australianThe Australian
RBA flags more support after cut: THE RBA has flagged it could cut interest rates further if the economy falters... http://bit.ly/tbAlMy

Stepphen Koukoulas says it's good for Mr Abbott too:-

TheKoukStephen KoukoulasMr Abbott must be thrilled with Labors low interest rates. If his mortgage is still $710k he's saving $580 a month / $7,000 a yr in interest



December 6. 2011 04:00 PM


Ad astra,
Having read your Julia Gillard's Vision, and done likewise for her own actual headland speech, Well they're different all right but they could both have been written by the same person nonetheless. They're about the same length, they are both wide-ranging, they espouse the same sorts of aspirations. They are both upbeat, positive, forward-looking. Neither placed as much emphasis as I would like on the future of the planet, of threats to biodiversity, (so unfortunately, whether deliberately or inadvertently, you got her pretty-well right wrt that!) though perhaps it were wiser for her to say nothing even slightly tinged with tree-huggery when the MSM would play fast and loose with such. Education itself is the best way we have to try to make a more rational future, and *J*U*L*I*A* always places it at the very top of her concerns. Health, social justice, opportunity, - future technologies, especially wrt NBN and alternative energy sources - responsible involvement in regional and global affairs. . .  Ad your priorities were always going to be very much of the same feather as our PM, and of our great Party.

There is though a deep sadness about your or anyone’s sincere, considered, and in-depth writings, and it is this, that the electronic age has progressively and extremely diminished people’s attention spans, and the length of time they are now prepared to give to reading and watching news and views. I’m personally guilty as charged. Poor Frank,* my TV remote control, I give a very hard time. Watch a program on the problems facing the Darling River, or Southpark? Skindeep rules. Facile explanations on TV, simplistic solutions by shock jocks, a relentless dumbing-down of the People , so no matter how well anyone speaks or writes about slightly complex matters, if it takes more than a minute and a quarter, well you know what I mean eh. Twitter is hyperviral. I find difficulty following threads with much length and depth, I don’t do depth myself much as you could hardly have helped but realize by now, FS got me right, I’m a *parapatetic*. But the whole society has been pushed in that direction, imo.

So Ad astra it is with a deal of melancholy that I have read your benign thoughts, I am in agreement (it almost goes without words) with just about everything you say, but I know that such heartfelt goodwill is out of its depth in dealing with bigotry and stupidity almost never allowing it a calm circumstance to bloom.

But be of good cheer Ad, your ideals and aspirations, bright as ever, true as ever, the distillation of political thinkers from Socrates through John Stuart Mill, are not the less important nor less relevant than in earlier, more innocent and more Utopian times; we will always need teaching and reminding of noble and simply decent behaviour, we are all heirs to the past, and if civilization today is less civilized than we would like it to be, imagine what it would be like if those noble and decent thoughts had never been in the world, or if, like the Tasmanian natives’ ability to make fire in the last few thousand years, those thoughts and aspirations had never been . . . But Labor strives to keep those noble traditions alive, and Dog willing they will live on as long as there are people . . . Especially, people like you.


Bet you can't keep a dry eye when you play that. Sure takes me back . . .

This is a rambling and rather shallow summation I’m afraid, but in conclusion let me say how civilized I find you Ad, and how glad I am that we always have, on our side of politics, people like Barry Jones . . . and Gough Whitlam . . . and *J*U*L*I*A* Gillard . . . and your own good self. Thank you always for indulging such as I to write here.

*Frank Zappa, see. I also have a meat cleaver named Eldridge, and a blender named Brenda. And more.

There was Zoo with a Rabbit named Transit . . . and a Donkey, Shane . . . And an Aardvark, named A Million Miles For One Of Your Smiles.


And if you play this one you'll probably be SICK! Smile


December 6. 2011 04:27 PM


I agree wholeheartedly w/ Mr. Denmore here:

I spoke in the previous post about the now ritualised surplus fetish (which as Ross Gittins points out is itself a reflection of the media's free pass to the Coalition as 'super economic manager' and of business economists' gutless complicity in that myth). Now it's time to take down the Big One - the idea that the Daddy Party has defacto dibbs on the Prime Economic Levers.

Gittins made an entirely reasonable and overdue point: How does the mainstream economic commentariat, employed largely by the nation's banks and its major media publishers, manage to keep up without realistic challenge the charade that the clown's circus of Abbott, Hockey, Robb and Joyce somehow reflects a better solution for what ails us?...

And now, they're doing it again. Peter Martin, one of the few real economic journalists out there, has revealed the dodgy, behind-the-bike-sheds arithmetic on which the Coalition costed its policy promises ahead of the federal election last year. Mind you, we knew this was the case. In fact, Laura Tingle, another rare, real journalist recently won a Walkley for speaking the truth on the issue. Nobody listened.

Unfortunately, few people read the AFR or The Age. They listen to talkback radio and take their cues from journalists (careerists?) at the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph and commercial television, who are excited by regime change and will not let the facts get in the way of their pursuit of their chosen narrative - of incompetent Labor government, botching policy over and over, waiting for its final execution at the hands of a brilliant and innovative Coalition front bench.

What is it going to take the Australian population to wake up to this con job? When are people going to realise that a plutocrat, US-based billionaire - playing his role as the common man railing against the 'elites' - is wilfuly distorting reality so as to eat their lunch and those of their children?


I also agree w/ Ross Gittins:

Under Abbott the Libs are at their most populist, protectionist and anti-rationalist in decades. They've been working overtime to exploit and frustrate any attempt by Labor to implement unpopular reforms. The notion of Abbott in government is frightening.

But do we hear a breath of criticism from the business lobbies or the business economists? Gosh no. The Libs might take offence.

But take a shot at a Labor government, especially one that's out of favour with big business and looks on the ropes? Sure, why not. How could the boss object to that?

Labor's problem is not that it's had bad economic policies - its response to the global financial crisis was almost too successful for its own good; its carbon price scheme was compromised more by the reneged-on deal with Malcolm Turnbull than by the subsequent deal with the Greens - but that it can't explain itself, can't educate the electorate.

Is it surprising politicians adopt less-than-pure policies when they know that, were they to be more courageous, the nation's economists - academic and business - would be missing in action when the guns were firing?

But this episode doesn't just reveal the business economists' partisanship and their dereliction in helping to educate a gullible electorate. It reveals that, even after our experience with the global financial crisis, they don't understand the central role of psychology - confidence - in any government's efforts to manage the economy through the business cycle.

The present low levels of consumer and business confidence are a consequence of various factors, not just forebodings about the turmoil in Europe. Other factors would be fears about the devastating effects of the carbon tax and, after years of propagandising by the opposition and the Murdoch press, a lack of confidence in the government's ability to manage the economy.

In such circumstances, would it really be of no consequence for the government to be seen to have broken its promise to return the budget to surplus? Can you imagine how the opposition would carry on? Do you really think that would have no effect on confidence?

There may even be some truth in the government's argument that, in view of the global financial markets' concerns about sovereign debt, this is no time for our government to renege on promises to stop adding to government debt.

So much for the naive belief the government's concern to protect its reputation as an economic manager is ''purely political''. But wait, there's more.

If there's one lesson to be learnt from the problems in the United States as well as Europe, it's the difficulty governments have in keeping the two sides of their budget within cooee. We, of course, are exemplary by comparison.

Why have we exercised so much fiscal discipline? Because of our tight ''framework'' of rules and targets to guide fiscal policy. Rules and targets governments of both colours have adhered to.

In an ideal world, governments would have no trouble exercising discipline over their spending and taxing. In the real world, governments have to give discipline a helping hand by drawing essentially arbitrary lines in the sand, then sticking to them.

Gillard's promise to achieve a surplus in 2012-13 is just such an arbitrary line. That line could be washed away by a tidal wave from Europe, of course. But sensible economists think twice before urging governments to cast aside their self-imposed pre-commitment devices.


I found this piece by Peter Martin enlightenin':

The two Perth accountants who costed the Coalition’s 2010 election policies breached professional standards and will be fined, a disciplinary tribunal has ruled.

The ruling is an embarrassment to the Coalition which claimed during the campaign the costing was “as good as you could get anywhere in the country, including in Treasury." In recent months it has threatened to use private accountants once again.

Geoffrey Phillip Kid and Cyrus Patell, both of the Perth office of WHK Horwath produced a one-page report for the Coalition two days before the election which Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey tendered as an audit, saying the pair had certified “in law that our numbers are accurate".

“If the fifth-biggest accounting firm in Australia signs off on our numbers it is a brave person to start saying there are accounting tricks,” he told ABC radio. “I tell you it is audited. This is an audited statement.’’

In fact the document was the result of a carefully-worded agreement between the accountants and the Coalition to produce work primarily "not of an audit nature".

An audit would examine the assumptions used by the Coalition and whether they were reasonable.

Kidd and Patell’s unpublished agreement with the Coalition explicity required them to make no inquires about “the reasonableness of otherwise of the assumptions used"...

A professional conduct tribunal established by the Institute of Chartered Accountants ruled in July that Kidd and Patel were liable to face disciplinary action because their one-page report failed to contain “a statement that the procedures performed do not constitute either an audit or a review” and so failed to properly describe the limited nature of the agreed upon procedures.

Kidd and Patel appealed. The November judgement upholds the original finding stating that in view of the nature of the assignment and public interest in the matter Kidd and Patell had “a professional obligation to understand” the type of service they were providing and to comply with the applicable standards.

The initial decision that they be “severely reprimanded” was downgraded on appeal to “reprimanded”. Each will be fined $5000 and will will have to make a contribution toward the cost of the hearing and the appeal.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said yesterday the judgement was “the final nail in the coffin for the Liberals’ economic credibility”.

“It has been laid to rest at the bottom of a $70 billion budget crater. It shows exactly why Mr Hockey is so desperate to avoid independent, professional scrutiny of his budget debacle by the Treasury and now by the newly legislated Parliamentary Budget Office,” he said.

Contacted by The Age last night Mr Hockey said it was a matter between the Institute and the two accountants.


and Laura Tingle is spot on here:

There are two possible
explanations for how an
opposition presenting itself as
an alternative government could end
up with an $11 billion hole in the
cost of its election commitments.
One is that they are liars, the other
is that they are clunkheads. Actually,
there is a third explanation: they are
liars and clunkheads.

But whatever the combination,
they are not fit to govern.


Yep, Laura came to the same conclusion in Sept 2010 that many of us on the blogs have known for a good long time...since Costello got in his hammock post-GST...Howard put his ego & Bush kowtowin' & fanatical ideas about IR ahead of the national interest & his party's...

and Tony Abbott, the scrooge of healthcare & general nutbag took the leadership...and posed as a crusadin' action man whilst his finance team fcked things up royally...

creatin' black holes to rival any dopey, deceitful & growth crushing austerity measures the CONServatives in the UK & Europe can come up w/ in an attempt to let their privileged mates & corporate masters off the hook...

the lady has it RIGHT

the Noalition ain't fit to govern.

I think we know what the media should be focusin' on this hols...

ignorin' Rupert Murdoch & Tony Abbott's influence is just the startin' point...

(thnx to Lyn & Mr. Denmore for links)



December 6. 2011 04:54 PM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey, that was a most gracious apology to Ms. Grattan.  Well done!  

Sticking to our deal about crossposting pomes here I've just updated an old one about the Greens which seemed relevant to a discussion at PB about their logic.

Bemused @ 1561 has difficulty with Green logic. Surely not? They’re quite straightforward, really.

We all know the Greens.
They’re so often seen
Wearing blue jeans
And eating their beans
In simple canteens
Camped in natural scenes
Where they ban nicotine
And its nitrosamines.

They hate submarines
And other machines
Which use gasoline.
They don’t like the Brits’ Queen.
By that they don’t mean
Their own kind of ‘queens’
Whom others demean
Because of their genes.

When their party convenes
With Bob and Christine
They go into routines
On how much it means
That their Mr. Cleans
Hold the balance between
Lib and Labor has-beens,
And how soon will be seen
The day when the Greens
Smash both to complete smithereens!

Patricia WA

December 6. 2011 06:19 PM

Feral Skeleton

    Listening to 'Sweet Honey Dripper' by The Neville Brothers from 'Fiyou On the Biyou', one of my favourite albums ever. Smile
Also a BIG fan of Dr John and Harry Nilsson.

  The short stack of CDs beside my computer on high rotation while I type up the last instalment of 'The Devil's Dictionary' are:
* The Best of the Mamas and Papas
* Augie March 'Moo You Bloody Choir'
* Salt 'N'Pepa 'The Greatest Hits
* 'Fossil Fuel' The XTC Singles
* Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble 'Greatest Hits'
* Happy Mondays 'Yes Please'
* Happy Mondays 'Hallelujah
* Blur 'Parklife'
* Ray Charles '20 Great Hits'
* Blur's Country House
* Classic Style Council 'The Universal Masters Collection'
* The Verve 'Urban Hymns'
* Scritti Politti 'White Bread, Black Beer'
* Underworld 'Born Slippy'
* Gangstarr 'Lovesick'
* 'Hottest Hits of the 70s'
* 'We Got the Funk' 20 Essential Funk Hits
* 'The No.1 70s Album'


Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 06:57 PM


Wasn't it the LNP that claimed that interest rates would always be lower when they were in power?  (Of course the claim is impossible to prove.)

It's a credit to all Governments since Hawke that the RBA has had sufficient room to move and attempt to mitigate the effects of the madness in the Northern Hemisphere.  If Hawke & Keating hadn't overhauled the financial system and Howard and Costello didn't have enough sense to leave it alone - in the words of Hanrahan "we'd all be ruined".  The flip side however is those that are living on their investments - some would be finding it hard about now.


December 6. 2011 06:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

           What do you think of the ALP picking Josh Byrne to run in Fremantle next State Election?

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 07:16 PM


Listening to 'Sweet Honey Dripper' by The Neville Brothers from 'Fiyou On the Biyou', one of my favourite albums ever.

S' introduced me to The Neville Brothers when we met 21 years ago...good stuff. I must check that album out.

Yes, good old Harry Nilsson..."Everybody's Talkin'" still one of my all-time fave songs:


The Verve 'Urban Hymns'

I luv The Verve...particularly the S/T EP...Storm in Heaven...and A Northern Soul.

The Verve - Feel



The Best of the Mamas and Papas
* Augie March 'Moo You Bloody Choir'
Underworld 'Born Slippy'
'We Got the Funk' 20 Essential Funk Hits

You might dig these:

Funkadelic - Maggot Brain



The Stone Roses - I Am The Resurrection




December 6. 2011 07:21 PM


These good too:

'Fossil Fuel' The XTC Singles
* Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble 'Greatest Hits'

SRVs original LPs are AWESOME!



December 6. 2011 07:25 PM


Channel 9 News tonight:
"Try as we might, we just can't seem to shake off the temptation to ask Julia Gillard cheap & easy questions about her & Kevin Rudd."
Sorry, I got that wrong. It was:
"Try as she might, Julia Gillard just can't seem to shake off questions about her & Kevin Rudd."


December 6. 2011 08:53 PM

Feral Skeleton

BSA Bob,
        I saw the Press Conference that the PM gave today, but only from the perspective of the camera being on her and the questions being asked by the 'Faceless Journalists'. One such was the impudent, "Do you and Kevin Rudd like each other?" The voice was female. The tone spiteful.
   Luckily, I was watching SBS News later on when I was preparing dinner. They also replayed the question being asked of the PM. However, they played it from the perspective of the camera being behind the PM's back, looking into the scrum of journalists. The camera recorded the q2uestion being asked and the questioner. Well, I nearly fell over backwards in surprise and wonderment. That question had been asked by what looked to me like a dumpy, snotty little 18 year old hackette, who seems to have been given her job because she has absolutely no respect whatsoever for whoever it is that she asks the grubbiest question of the day of. She was an utterly featureless individual. Mousey brown hair pulled back in a nondescript ponytail, one of those faces which screamed, "I am nasty and I'm proud of it!", 5'2", and clad in a not very flattering, grubby-grey coloured, belted trench coat. Truly the epitome of, 'The Ugly Australian Journalist'.

   Which is what journalism has descended to in this country, in a nutshell.

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 09:00 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Interesting couple of Tweets:

    timothydclark Re Bell Pottinger stuff, I was called a week ago by an ex colleague now working for a PR firm looking for freelance writers.
6 mins ago via HootSuite
Retweeted by NanoPunk

timothydclark The job was to create and seed negative blog posts designed to discredit the client's political opponents. I declined.
5 mins ago via HootSuite

Retweeted by NanoPunk

Feral Skeleton

December 6. 2011 10:24 PM

Ad astra reply

I'm back at the south coast.  I've enjoyed reading your comments.  I'll respond tomorrow.

Ad astra reply

December 6. 2011 11:04 PM

D Mick Weir

... and then for the more discerning music lover there is a Harry not known to many

Dog My Cat (2001) http://harrymanx.com/dog-my-cat/

Wise and Otherwise (2002) http://harrymanx.com/wise-and-otherwise/

Mantras for a Madman (2005) http://harrymanx.com/mantras-for-madmen/

In Good We Trust (2007) http://harrymanx.com/in-good-we-trust/

“Mysticssippi” blues man Harry Manx has been called an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that wed the tradition of the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas. He has created a unique sound that is hard to forget and deliciously addictive to listen to.

Absolutely brilliant on stage and his albums are a pleasure to the ear. So many great tracks that it makes hard to choose. Go to his site http://harrymanx.com (or album links above) and pick from the smorgasbord.

D Mick Weir

December 6. 2011 11:13 PM

D Mick Weir

... and then we shift gears and go for some other 'modern' maestro's






i.e. Zappa not Sinatra, Costello not Presley

and well Gurrumul Yunupingu is incomparable

D Mick Weir

December 6. 2011 11:29 PM

D Mick Weir

Just noticed Harry Manx will be in Aus March 2012


go listen if he turns up anywhere near you.

... when I grow up I want to be a publicity officer (and a grandad)  Smile

D Mick Weir

December 6. 2011 11:48 PM

D Mick Weir

With all the guff written about another Great Labor Party Failure - that is its' failure to embrace reform at the recent NationalConference it reminded me of a piece on political reform. (Written before aforementioned conference)

How often have you heard someone suggest a magic solution to all our political problems? If only we had fixed four-year federal terms! Why don’t we ban politicians from breaking election promises? Let’s have conscience votes on everything! Increase politicians’ salaries! Cut politicians’ salaries!

Such sentiments are understandable but misguided. The rules that govern how our political system works matter, but the development of policies and legislation tends to be driven by more fundamental forces. When governmental process delivers decisions we don’t like, our natural response is to reach for the rule book. Just as supporters of winning teams tend to whinge a lot less about umpires than the supporters of losing teams, people tend to get agitated about the rules governing politics when they disapprove of the results.

Window Dressing: The Mirage of Political Reform  Lindsay Tanner @TheMonthly

Great read

D Mick Weir

December 7. 2011 02:30 AM



I must object in the strongest possible terms: there is only one ‘La Stupenda’ – the late, great, Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE (7 November 1926 – 10 October 2010).


December 7. 2011 04:10 AM

Patricia WA

Following instructions from Talk Turkey, HWMBO, I am posting my latest pome here at TPS.  However for those who want to see the illustrated and annotated version it can be viewed at polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../

From whatever point of view one looks
The Liberal Party cooked its books,
Then tried to get the voters’ plaudit
Pretending there’d been a public audit.

Tony Abbott will not admit that’s fraud,
Claims he’s honest and above board.
But his team are crooks, number jugglers
Why else does he wear those budget smugglers?

Every day, even when he’s out for jogs,
He never goes without those togs,
He much prefers them to underwear,
Keeping a copy of his lies down there.

Because of Canberra’s wintry cold
There’s room for every one he’s told.
He shoves them in until he’s calmer
Or can climb into his body armor.

His lieutenants then repeat his lies;
Hockey sweating, with averted eyes,
Robb, who knows that lying’s bad,
Looks daily more depressed and sad.

But Abbott urges them both to fight.
Good Catholics all, they know what’s Right!
Forgiveness will come from Cardinal Pell.
Labor and the country can go to hell!


Patricia WA

December 7. 2011 07:47 AM

Feral Skeleton

D Mick Weir,
            Thank you for the Harry Manx links. Lord knows I need some soothing Eastern mysticism for my Blues atm. I will listen to the songs today as I keep my nose to the grindstone squeezing out the sparks necessary to finish my last piece for the year. I'm up to 'R' guys! But it's all downhill from there. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 7. 2011 08:13 AM


If you've ever wondered what the 'intellectual' equivalent of cod liver oil might do to The Australian newspaper's senior (very 'senior') journalist Paul Kelly's mind, paste the following link into Google, then search it, click on the link, and you should end up behind the paywall, where you can read "Clueless, leaderless and blind" by Monsignor Kelly.

"Vindictive, scattered, carpet-staining" might better describe his article.



December 7. 2011 08:22 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody,

Bushfire Bill this morning, to start of the Political conversation:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 7:17 am Comment no 2082, The PollBludger

In case youse were wondering, St. Paul Kelly’s dummy-spit today makes his position on Labor realtively clear. He thinks they’re

Clueless, leaderless and blind

* by: Paul Kelly, Editor-at-large
* From: The Australian
* December 07, 2011 12:00AM

“Hell hath no fury…” and all that. Kelly joins the ranks of the senior opinionistas in dropping the pretence of policy analysis (with appropriate rose water sniffing about how unlucky and sad it is Labor isn’t more popular) and shouts “Lookatthepolls! Lookatthepolls!”.

Imagine if, having lost BsykB, having been disgraced in public by the NOTW rulings, and say, several of its senior executive, plus some coppers, plus some reporters eating porridge for a few years, Australia gave them a gig running its national television “face” to the world.

Yet another Rudd aberration, a brain fart from an over-tired man obsessed with popularity, has been corrected. Cross it off the list. Sky, as a going concern using government money, is no more. This isn’t just a local thing. It’s global


Labor's national conference backed plan to give Australia Network to ABC
without a tender #auspol http://bit.ly/rZuO56

A couple of Video’s or those that missed the news yesterday:-

You will hear the first question, "Do You Like Kevin Rudd?

December 6, 2011. Prime Minister Julia Gillard on her relationship with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. (AAP/Peter O'Rourke)

December 06, 2011. Treasurer Wayne Swan says that banks should implement the cuts to Interest Rates as suggested by the Reserve Bank. (AAP/Peter O'Rourke)

December 6, 2011. Prime Minister Julia Gillard discusses the decision to hold a conscience vote on the issue of same-sex marriage. (AAP/Peter O'Rourke)



December 7. 2011 08:26 AM


Hi Ad

Sorry last link to Julia Gillard, re The conscience vote is not working:-

Here it is again



December 7. 2011 08:29 AM


Does this following statement, a lead-in for a story from Graham Lloyd, styled the "Environment Editor" at The Australian, sum up everything that is gone to seed with News Limited journalistic quality?

"If Durban ends in a train wreck, as is still possible, it could spell disaster"

"If", "still possible", "could spell"?????

Is Lloyd reporting or crystal ball gazing? Since he has no news, he spreads fear.

News Limited. Never has an information provider been better named.


December 7. 2011 09:02 AM


Psyclaw wrote

December 5. 2011 06:45 PM

Here's a pome for Abbott, based on the manner and metre of A. B. Paterson's "A Bush Christening":

[First line of the original:
"On the Outer Barcoo, where churches are few, and men of religion were scanty Smile]

Sorry Cobber not to have commented on your fine pome! I think I got distracted (snafu anyway.)

Not many of us write verse eh. Funny that. Maybe in my case it's the sign of an otherwise wasted brain. Oops.  

But it is sort of set in stone when you write in verse, that's if it's thoughtful and well-put.

Last night I went to a Poets' meeting in Adelaide. Eighty-odd people, each read for up to 3 minutes,!), I was one of just 2 rhyming-verse-readers, the other one was one of those where they strain the language for every last rhyme for that particular wound, more sorta rap and not to my taste, I like the bush ballady type of pome meself but best of all if it can be unstilted.

Anyway well said Psyclaw, do collect your pomes eh.

Meanwhile Patricia You're on a roll!

re your post December 6. 2011 04:54 PM

Very clever to use so many -eens so uncloyingly!
Usually I don't like the rappy sort of scene,  bean /keen /clean /dean /fien(d)/ green /

but you have managed it very well indeed.

I'm glad you accepted my Sorry on behalf of Michelle Grattan, (yes not La Stupenda!), but I should not have said that, I do know better, she and all the media pack are so infuriating me now that I've just about lost my determination to be decent. Polite doesn't matter much, decency does, and the fact that I find their unprofessionalism and bias and bigotry so offensive, and so threatening, because so magnified by their public exposure, is no excuse for personal insults. (Sorry again Michelle.)

my say on Poll Bludger's husband of 44 years retires today, but sadly she writes this:      

[my say
Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 7:01 am | Permalink]
" Well. Finns and bk. I stay away now, I have o ly read a little of the evening, but the atmosphere of pb
Has changed over the last 6 months, sha me, when most of us are on the same side,
The name calling,, ect sarcasm ect.
So if i comment at all its only with the happy morning shift, that i feel apart of
It use to be an up lifting place. now the morning s are the only time space I feel is safe.

Sigh, "

Two or more things here :-

1, my say, Happy Tomatoes!
2, Bludgers we love you, be nice to each other, if you're making my say sad you're doing something wrong.
Keep PB great.
3, Swordsfolks, same here.  

Dare I mention,
You can find a BB on PB today, re "Sir Paul Kelly": -
Bushfire Bill
Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 7:17 am | Permalink


December 7. 2011 09:04 AM

D Mick Weir

Morning All
from the overnight 'wires':

Policy Indifference  Paul Krugman @NYTimes

One crucial thing you need to understand about political journalists is that with some honorable exceptions, they don’t know or care about actual policy. In a way, that makes sense — the skills needed to cultivate contacts, to get the inside scoop on what’s going on in Congressional scheming or campaign war rooms, are very different from the skills needed to interpret CBO spreadsheets. The problem, however, is that all too often political journalists mistake the theater of policy for reality (or don’t care about the difference).

Gees, for a moment I thought he had turned his eye downunder. Did we import bad journalism from the US or they from us?

D Mick Weir

December 7. 2011 09:11 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Some links for you all to enjoy via the twittersphere:-

markjs1Mark Shove
I've created a #BBill hashtag 2 bring all Bushfire Bill's brilliant posts together from today: http://bit.ly/uHDHUV #auspol #NBN

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
Me: RT @ABCthedrum: Get out the popcorn, grab a bottle of Budweiser and enjoy the political madness to come from the US http://bit.ly/vCAKqB

misseagleMiss Eagle
Sky to be paid over TV tender fiasco http://ow.ly/7QPEB Looks like the Murdoch Empire to be paid going away money.

Malcolm Fraser will deliver the next Gough Whitlam oration http://bit.ly/trYcNF #auspol

Slipper: "Tony said to me he would back me for whatever seat I ran for.'' Echoes of Reith. http://is.gd/Wfx8yS#auspol

TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
My latest: Economists vs the Market stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/2011/12/econom

Ross Gittins wants end to "ruthless pursuit of profit at any cost". He also wanted NSW power sold to break the unions! http://bit.ly/vnR5zj

vanOnselenPPeter van Onselen
My business back page column: Australia has slipped from 60th to 65th rank as a place to do business
| The Australian http://bit.ly/uQPQnv

OnLineOpinionOn Line Opinion
Shine rubs off on Julia: Julia Gillard's rising approval proves that celebrity endorsements really do work. http://bit.ly/vG8mFB

jamesmassolaJames Massola
Cap circle is online: http://bit.ly/vjsj2P

abcnewsABC News
The big four banks are under pressure to cut interest rates after the Reserve Bank delivered
a 25-basis point cut http://bit.ly/ve3Sab

Despite big support in the community services industry, Father Chris Riley has come
out against #precommitment. http://bit.ly/tpeuDh #auspol

Campbell Newman doesn't think Cross River Rail will happen, despite supporting as
BCC Mayor. http://bit.ly/uN1DAh #qldpol

AWrightMMAndrew Wright
Volume of press items mentioning TAbbott this morning, organised by outlet. #auspol http://pic.twitter.com/HSIovcnc

AWrightMMAndrew Wright
Yesterday Media Monitors generated approx 360 broadcast items mentioning JGillard, 175 with TAbbott, and 55 with both. #auspol


PRESIDENT Barack Obama has ordered all government agencies, including those handing

out aid, to put gay, lesbian... http://tinyurl.com/7h9c6sy



December 7. 2011 09:29 AM

Feral Skeleton

        News Ltd have obviously gone feral. It is not a pretty sight, especially for an old man like Paul Kelly. Smile
   But, you know, who reads The Australian any more except those people who have already made up their minds and just want constant reinforcement? I don't think they are even having as much control over the agenda for the rest of the media like they were earlier in the year.
   Phil Coorey's latest piece in the smh is a case in point. It paints the office of Tony Abbott in a very poor light before the defection of Peter Slipper. Abbott promising, again, to metaphorically 'sell his arse' to stop Slipper slip slidin' away, but ending up totally ineffectual against the forces of the Queensland LNP, who want one of their boys, Mal Brough, to take his job off him ASAP.


Feral Skeleton

December 7. 2011 09:35 AM


1, re my post of 9.02 in the paragraph about the Poets'Meeting, wound = sound. Embarassed

2, I see that BB and Sir PK have already surfaced here grace a Lyn and Michael, whose parable of the Cod Liver Oil is somewhere between hilarious and classic.

Hereinafter to me he's Oily PaulKelly, Sir not likely, Cur more like.  Ta Michael.

3, "Virginia Trivioli", I got that one right eh!


December 7. 2011 09:43 AM


Hi Ad

Sorry , broken link above to Stephen Kouk:

TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
My latest: Economists vs the Market stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/.../...s-market.html


Can't waste a post, so here is a few more tweets with links for you all:-


ABC being investigated by Australian Federal Police over Australia Network scandal #auspol http://bit.ly/sj1tcS

technologyspecTechnology Spectator
Killing the NBN golden goose http://bit.ly/u5HHtl@PaulBudde says telcos need to stop seeing NBN Co as another version of Telstra

ThePowerIndexThe Power Index
Profile: Lachlan Murdoch would love to be a mogul, once he gets rid of those training wheels http://bit.ly/sPtGaF

formulistsWe Form Your Lists
Twitter develops special technology to transfer copies fo all tweets to US Library of Congress http://bit.ly/uNMhmy RT @TweetSmarter



December 7. 2011 09:45 AM

Feral Skeleton

  D Mick Weir,
              I've got that copy of The Monthly. Well, it's got Paul Keating on the cover. Embarassed
  I started Lindsay Tanner's piece & have almost finished it. Clear and concise and on the money as usual, thus far.
  Also, I implore you to read the article about Indigenous filmaker, Ivan Sen. He is the son of a friend of mine, Donella Sen. She gave me one of her dot paintings the other day. I feel privileged. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 7. 2011 09:48 AM


Lyn you are a constant source of amazement to us all, thank you so much for all your effort, on behalf always of this site and on behalf of good governace of this country.

And Mark Shove must live very close to Dog if he can do stuff like create hashtags of what I got no idea, but I can use his Dogliness to help me! Thank you Mark.

Do you talk too maybe . . ?  Smile

Riddle: What has 4 legs and a waggy tail and says, Mark Mark!

(Solution in next issue.)


December 7. 2011 10:24 AM

D Mick Weir

FS @ 9:45AM
thanks for that suggestion I had only read half the article and well other things happened.

Some great pics with the story.

This illuminating interview with Ivan Sen on Radio National's Awaye! may interest you

D Mick Weir

December 7. 2011 10:28 AM

D Mick Weir

FS @ 9:29 AM
I can't help myself so before I start Tong

News Ltd have obviously gone feral.

And now for the obvious question:

In the footsteps of a certain skeleton?

D Mick Weir

December 7. 2011 10:46 AM

Patricia WA

Hi Lyn!  Since you seem to be linking us all as well, or even better than usual, if that's possible,  I was going to write to you last night when I finally posted that pome at polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../for Talk Turkey.  But I hadn't quite decided on the title and I fell asleep!  I woke up this morning wondering if this better conveys my meaning.

Budget Smugglers Won't Hide A Dirty Big Black Hole

What do you think?  Is it a bit suggestive?

Patricia WA

December 7. 2011 10:52 AM

Ad astra reply

Good Morning Folks
What a ferment of activity this morning.

I have to go out for a while so I’ll catch up with all your links and tweets Lyn and all the other comments, as well as those from yesterday, and will get back to you this afternoon.

Ad astra reply

December 7. 2011 10:52 AM

Patricia WA

Sorry Lyn, still half asleep. Messed up the link.   When I posted my pome here at TPS for TT from budget-smugglers-wont-hide-a-black-hole I hadn't decided on the title.  Do you think I need to clean it up, as it were?

Patricia WA

December 7. 2011 10:54 AM

Patricia WA

Maybe I'm sleep walking!  That link is polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../

Patricia WA

December 7. 2011 11:20 AM


Hi Patricia

Your a sweetie, I don't think you messed anything up.

You have written a ripper of a pome this time, love it.

When someone's work is brilliant, it makes it hard for me to select  an excerpt.

Budget Smugglers Can’t Hide A Dirty Big Black Hole.By Patricia WA
I found Laura Tingle’s Walkley winning article written soon after the attemped the ‘sting’ just as telling long before this finding.  She and Peter Martin are among the few in the Canberra Press Gallery willing to call Abbott and the Coalition shadow ministers on their dishonest and manipulative tactics.  Tingle makes very clear her opinion of their behaviour as they tried to deceive the public about their budget black hole

Whatever the failings of main stream media in reporting or commenting on this attempt to win government by  fraud and other frequent and self confessed lying by  Tony Abbott the electorate at large seem wise to his general lack of principles and don’t trust or like him very much.  That’s pretty clear from the latest Newspoll as discussed by the Pollbludger.  The ALP are still well behind the Coalition in voter preference,  but Julia Gillard has drawn ahead as preferred Prime Minister.  Tony Abbott with his highest yet disapproval rating as Leader of the Opposition seems to be disliked (mistrusted?) by almost sixty per cent of respondents.  It seems that nothing, not his media stunts nor populist slogans, not even his budget smugglers can conceal his lies no matter how hard he tries.

From whatever point of view one looks
The Liberal Party cooked its books,
Then tried to get the voters’ plaudit
Pretending there’d been a public audit.

Tony Abbott will not admit that’s fraud,
Claims he’s honest and above board.
But his team are crooks, number jugglers.
Why else does he wear those budget smugglers?

Every day, even when he’s out for jogs,
He never goes without those togs,
He much prefers them to underwear,
Keeping a copy of his lies down there.

Because of Canberra’s wintry cold
There’s plenty of room.  As each one’s told,
He shoves them in until he’s calmer
Or can climb into his body armor.

His lieutenants then repeat his lies;
Hockey sweating, with averted eyes,
Robb, who knows that lying’s bad,
Looks daily more depressed and sad.

But Abbott urges them both to fight.
Good Catholics all, they know what’s Right!
Forgiveness will come from Cardinal Pell.
Labor and the country can go to hell!




December 7. 2011 11:26 AM

D Mick Weir

From the I wish I had thought of that dept.

Weekly Whimsy  TigTog @LP

I like the thougt

D Mick Weir

December 7. 2011 12:53 PM



The focus of the Budget Smugglers, the Big Black Hole, is the single biggest lie since Children Overboard. It should be a national scandal, and NUKE the Coalons until after all the front bench has been replaced. I reckon you're pretty game to get anywhere near Snotty Joe's big black hole though . . . (after all it is his that we're talking about.)

Reith has the hide to call Slipper a Rat, Reith is one of the biggest crooks of all and he is a traitor to his own LOTO, you know when Liberals betray Liberals they're really pure filth.

Reith is as bald-faced as he is bald headed.

Oh-oh, sorry Reith you filthy lying traitor I shouldn't insult your appearance, you can't help being bald can you you scabby creep! Wink

Toe-Rag Abbortt's a self-professed serial liar. Snotty Joe and Robb Bassett are proven multi-billion-dollar liars and frauds. Mesma repeatedly plagiarises others' work. Turdball connives with public servants to frame a Labor PM.

Nest of bumbling malevolent crooks. The Lying Rodent's evil spawn. Take your pick. Please dispose of thoughtfully.

What has four legs and a waggy tail and says Mark Mark! ?

A Dog with a cleft palate.


December 7. 2011 01:21 PM


Budget Smugglers Can’t Hide A Dirty Big Black Hole

LOL Patricia.

I can imagine seein' a film w/ this title in an early 70s Nth American independent cinema. Smile Add a funky soundtrack.

From whatever point of view one looks
The Liberal Party cooked its books,
Then tried to get the voters’ plaudit
Pretending there’d been a public audit.

Tony Abbott will not admit that’s fraud,
Claims he’s honest and above board.
But his team are crooks, number jugglers.
Why else does he wear those budget smugglers?

...His lieutenants then repeat his lies;
Hockey sweating, with averted eyes,
Robb, who knows that lying’s bad,
Looks daily more depressed and sad.

But Abbott urges them both to fight.
Good Catholics all, they know what’s Right!
Forgiveness will come from Cardinal Pell.
Labor and the country can go to hell!

Nice. Apt.

A useful & imaginative post, includin' poem, that tells it as it is.

Well done!



December 7. 2011 02:10 PM


In a comment above Ad astra made the observation:

The Republicans must be getting desperate when they have to recycle Newt Gingrich.

It seems that a number of astute US political analysts feel the same of late...I've noticed criticisms & apt reminders of Newt's less than glorious past episodes have been poppin' up on various outlets includin' CNN's Anderson-Cooper & The Daily Show/Colbert Report...

even Republican flag wavin' too oft steamin' pile of elephant dung Fox News.

Alexander Cockburn of CounterPunch provides some insight into why Gingrich is considered flawed at best, at worst extremely problematic, possibly a tickin' time bomb for the Republicans if he wins the nomination:

But can Gingrich survive any kind of resolute scrutiny? The answer is that in a world that didn’t contain Mitt Romney, probably not.

This former college history teacher entered Congress  in 1978. His peak moment came in 1994  when Time magazine made him Man of the Year, for being the architect of being the prime mover in the ending of Democratic majority rule in the US Congress after forty years.

At this moment of supreme triumph, when he became Speaker of the House, Gingrich went into a long slide. Bill Clinton outsmarted him in a face-off over Gingrich’s threat to shut down government.

Then he whined publicly about not getting a decent seat on Air Force One.

Then he plunged  ever deeper into the mire of scandal. In  1997, the House of Representatives voted to discipline him for ethical wrongdoing, misusing charitable donations. He had to pay a a $300,000 penalty as part of a settlement.

In 1998 he was reelected for an eleventh  term but resigned as speaker and as a member of Congress – in January 1999, suggesting that someone might have whispered in his ear that staying out of the slammer required immediate departure from the halls of Congress.

Or maybe he just needed more money and decided that one dose of “ethical wrongdoing” charges from House colleagues was enough. He became a lobbyist.


Good luck Newt...in a time of record CEO pay & bonuses, widespread public distaste for corrupt politicians & rorters & CONartists of all kinds...

oft internet-led scrutiny of the elites' financial arrangements & past slimy moves to exploit the system for personal gain...

and an atmosphere that sees both the Occupy & Tea Party movements loudly protesting misuse of public funds by those involved w/ the finance & housing industries...

and the dispossessed masses callin' for a cullin' of the political old guard that led America & the globe into this economic shambles and tit-for-tat political paralysis...

it's likely that Newt will hit one mine after another and be left on the sideline lickin' the self-imposed boils that finally erupted...

desperately seekin' solace from his gilded partner, some delusional family members...

and the likes of Herman Cain...yet another rotten-core offerin' by the pus-filled cyst that most certainly is the Granddaddy Old Party.



December 7. 2011 02:17 PM


This from Lindsay Tanner in The Monthly:

Even such an apparently unimpeachable concept as meritocracy is not quite as inherently worthy as it might appear. It has been championed historically by educated middle-class people; in truth, those who start the race of life with inbuilt advantages are less likely to favour social and economic handicapping.


The TRUTH is out there.



December 7. 2011 02:30 PM


A trump card indeed!

Clubs Australia hinted that it had a trump card up its sleeve, but we couldn't have predicted this one. The clubs have managed to get one of Sydney's most respected religious leaders to front their campaign against Andrew Wilkie's poker machine reforms.

Father Chris Riley, Youth off the Streets founder and NSW Australian of the Year, has put his name to a new Clubs Australia flyer in which he declares that mandatory pre-commitment technology for poker machines will not help problem gamblers and will strip money from charities.


reCAPTURA: 'retreat' Fr Riley has certainly retreated from the position held by other community & church leaders.


December 7. 2011 02:45 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Some more delightful, little tweets with links, for all of you to enjoy:-

Cracker of an article by Andrew catsaras. Must read for all PB tragics.

Mr Hockey, please tell us again how bad the economy is http://is.gd/28ccdn #auspol

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
All the GDP wonk goodness is here - http://bit.ly/sZof50

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
Good piece by @mumbletwits on the ALP review "Three wise men?" http://bit.ly/rXuJ9u

SwannyDPMWayne Swan
National Accounts press conference slide
s here http://twitdoc.com/NZB

The RBA has released the December 2011 issue of the Chart Pack – http://www.rba.gov.au/chart-pack/

MrDenmoreMr Denmore
To spare yourself having to rely on the ideological spin of News Corp, read the
World Bank report yourself. http://tiny.cc/497fd

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
According to @vanOnselenP "Australia has slipped from 60th to 65th rank as a place to do business". Actually it's 15th http://bit.ly/uOcC7t

#ausnews Slipper took Speaker job to escape bullies http://bit.ly/thc3lQ #newscomau

Abbott renews attack on Slipper http://fb.me/1az8icbmK

tom_cowieTom Cowie
I wrote this RT @ThePowerIndex: In 2011 we've been treated to a smorgasbord of power grabs, here's eight of the best: http://bit.ly/vxjEYL

TheRealPBarryPaul Barry
Let's punt Father Chris Riley. What was he thinking of? No wonder he's gone to ground today, @thepowerindexhttp://bit.ly/tVKd6C

CDUlawschoolCDU Law School
MT @alasnich Menadue: media missing the boat on asylum-seeker coverage - http://tiny.cc/64rx8 - brilliant analysis by knowledgeable insider

How did the sky falll in on Kevin Rudd? @beneltham on the Australia Network tender http://ow.ly/7R66i

BernardKeaneBernard Keane
Me on cyber surveillance: all for your own good, says industry: www.crikey.com.au/.../ #wikileaks #spyfiles

'The Book of Paul: Lessons in Leadership and Paul Keating' by George Megalogenis is now FREE online: http://bit.ly/w3jLfg

Next Sophie M?

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
RT @MinGarrettMedia: #auspol Two books share the spoils in 2010-11 Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History http://bit.ly/uUzUBg

  Wake me up before you vote no-no
Don’t leave me hanging on like a yo-yo
Wake me up before you vote no-no
I don’t want to miss it when you hit that low
Wake me up before you vote no-no
‘Cause I’m not plannin’ on going solo
Wake me up before you vote no-no
Take me boating on the river flow
I wanna hit that low (yeah, yeah)



December 7. 2011 03:26 PM

Patricia WA

FS. sorry about the delay in replying to your query yesterday about Josh Byrne and his pre-selection for Fremantle.  I'm very hopeful that he'll recover Freo for us as I said in my notes at polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../.

He is the right blend of red with green, after all! He surely should attract back errant ALP voters and also get Green preferences if they did decide to run another candidate to compete with the 'traitress' Carles.   But WA is hard to read sometimes.  Barnett is a very credible Premier, though not my cup of tea, and Freo has become a very 'desirable' address these days and is no longer the old working class port city it used to be.

Patricia WA

December 7. 2011 03:29 PM


Some interestin' things you might not know about the great Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia...and how he governs:

Following the Beslan school hostage crisis, in September 2004 Putin suggested the creation of the Public Chamber of Russia and launched an initiative to replace the direct election of the Governors and Presidents of the Federal subjects of Russia with a system whereby they would be proposed by the President and approved or disapproved by regional legislatures.

He also initiated the merger of a number of federal subjects of Russia into larger entities. Whilst some in Beslan blamed Putin personally for the massacre in which hundreds died, his overall popularity in Russia did not suffer...

Many of the initial privatizations, including that of Yukos, are widely believed to have been fraudulent– Yukos, valued at some $30 billion in 2004, had been privatized for $110 million– and like other oligarchic groups, the Yukos-Menatep name has been frequently tarred with accusations of links to criminal organizations.

Tim Osborne of GML, the majority owner of Yukos, said in February 2008:

"Despite claims by President Vladimir Putin that the Kremlin had no interest in bankrupting Yukos, the company's assets were auctioned at below-market value. In addition, new debts suddenly emerged out of nowhere, preventing the company from surviving. The main beneficiary of these tactics was Rosneft. The Yukos affair marked a turning point in Russia's commitment to domestic property rights and the rule of law."

The fate of Yukos was seen by western media as a sign of a broader shift toward a system normally described as state capitalism...

Against the backdrop of the Yukos saga, questions were raised about the actual destination of $13.1 billion remitted in October 2005 by the state-run Gazprom as payment for 75.7% stake in Sibneft to Millhouse-controlled offshore accounts, after a series of generous dividend payouts and another $3 billion received from Yukos in a failed merger in 2003.

In 1996, Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky had acquired the controlling interest in Sibneft for $100 million within the controversial loans-for-shares program.

Some prominent Yeltsin-era businessmen, such as Sergey Pugachyov, are reported to continue to enjoy close relationship with Putin's Kremlin.

Since February 2006, the political philosophy of Putin's administration has often been described as a "Sovereign democracy", the term being used both with positive and pejorative connotations...

as implied by expert of the Carnegie Endowment Masha Lipman, "Sovereign democracy is a Kremlin coinage that conveys two messages: first, that Russia's regime is democratic and, second, that this claim must be accepted, period. Any attempt at verification will be regarded as unfriendly and as meddling in Russia's domestic affairs."

In January 2008, Oleg Panfilov, head of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, claimed that a system of "judicial terrorism" had started against journalists under Putin and that more than 300 criminal cases had been opened against them over the past six years...

In June 2007, Putin organised a conference for history teachers to promote a high-school teachers manual called A Modern History of Russia: 1945–2006: A Manual for History Teachers which portrays Joseph Stalin as a cruel but successful leader. Putin said at the conference that the new manual will "help instill young people with a sense of pride in Russia", and he argued that Stalin's purges pale in comparison to the United States' atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At a memorial for Stalin's victims, Putin said that while Russians should "keep alive the memory of tragedies of the past, we should focus on all that is best in the country".

In a 2007 interview with newspaper journalists from G8 countries, Putin spoke out in favor of a longer presidential term in Russia, saying "a term of five, six or seven years in office would be entirely acceptable".

On 12 September 2007, Russian news agencies reported that Putin dissolved the government upon the request of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Fradkov commented that it was to give the President a "free hand" to make decisions in the run-up to the parliamentary election. Viktor Zubkov was appointed the new prime minister...

In December 2007, the Russian sociologist Igor Eidman (VCIOM) qualified the regime that had solidified under Putin as "the power of bureaucratic oligarchy" which had "the traits of extreme right-wing dictatorship — the dominance of state-monopoly capital in the economy, silovoki structures in governance, clericalism and statism in ideology"

In his last days in office (Presidency, 2nd term) Putin was reported to have taken a series of steps to re-align the regional bureaucracy to make the governors report to the prime minister rather than the president.

The presidential site explained that "the changes... bear a refining nature and do not affect the essential positions of the system. The key role in estimating the effectiveness of activity of regional authority still belongs to President of the Russian Federation."

On 24–25 July 2008, Putin accused the Mechel company of selling resources to Russia at higher prices than those charged to foreign countries and claimed that it had been avoiding taxes by using foreign subsidiaries to sell its products internationally. The Prime Minister's attack on Mechel resulted in sharp decline of its stock value and contributed to the 2008 Russian financial crisis.

In August 2008 Putin accused the US of provoking the 2008 South Ossetia war...

On 9 June 2009, after 16 years of slowly progressing accession talks with the World Trade Organization, which, according to the European Union, might be completed by the end of the year, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia withdrew from the negotiations and instead would make a new joint bid with Belarus and Kazakhstan.

At the United Russia Congress in Moscow on 24 September 2011, Medvedev proposed that Putin stand for the Presidency in 2012; an offer which Putin accepted.

In its January 2008 World Report, Human Rights Watch wrote in the section devoted to Russia:

"As parliamentary and presidential elections in late 2007 and early 2008 approached, the administration headed by President Vladimir Putin cracked down on civil society and freedom of assembly. Reconstruction in Chechnya did not mask grave human rights abuses including torture, abductions, and unlawful detentions. International criticism of Russia’s human rights record remains muted, with the European Union failing to challenge Russia on its human rights record in a consistent and sustained manner."

The organization called President Putin a "repressive" and "brutal" leader on par with the leaders of Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

On 28 January 2008, Mikhail Gorbachev in his interview to Interfax:

"sharply criticized the state of Russia’s electoral system and called for extensive reforms to a system that has secured power for President Vladimir V. Putin and the Kremlin’s inner circle"

In 2001, Putin, who has advocated liberal economic policies, introduced flat tax rate of 13%;

the corporate rate of tax was also reduced from 35 percent to 24 percent;

Small businesses also get better treatment. The old system with high tax rates has been replaced by a new system where companies can choose either a 6 percent tax on gross revenue or a 15 percent tax on profits.

Overall tax burden is lower in Russia than in most European countries.

A central concept in Putin's economic thinking was the creation of so-called National champions, vertically integrated companies in strategic sectors that are expected not only to seek profit, but also to "advance the interests of the nation". Examples of such companies include Gazprom, Rosneft and United Aircraft Corporation

Inflation remained a problem however, as the government failed to contain the growth of prices. Between 1999–2007 inflation was kept at the forecast ceiling only twice, and in 2007 the inflation exceeded that of 2006, continuing an upward trend at the beginning of 2008.

The Russian economy is still commodity-driven despite its growth. Payments from the fuel and energy sector in the form of customs duties and taxes accounted for nearly half of the federal budget's revenues. The large majority of Russia's exports are made up by raw materials and fertilizers...

In a similar fashion, Putin created the United Shipbuilding Corporation in 2007, which led to the recovery of shipbuilding in Russia.

Since 2006, much efforts were put into consolidation and development of the Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation, which led to the renewed construction of nuclear power plants in Russia as well as a vast activity of Rosatom abroad, buying huge shares in world's leading uranium production companies and building nuclear power plants in in many countries, including Iran, China, Vietnam and Belarus.

In 2007, the Russian Nanotechnology Corporation was established, aimed to boost the science and technology and high-tech industry in Russia.

During his service as President and Premier, Putin put much effort into development of sport in Russia, being a keen sportsman himself. The financing of sport in the country has greatly increased, many sporting schools and centers has been opened in the recent years. A large number of major sporting venues have been built or currently under construction in Russia, often as a part of preparations to the international events, many of which Russia is going to host for the first time in her history.

In February 2007, at the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, he criticized what he calls the United States' monopolistic dominance in global relations, and pointed out that the United States displayed an "almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations". He said the result of it is that "no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race."

Putin's relationship with former American President George W. Bush, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, former French President Jacques Chirac, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are reported to be personally friendly. According to leaked documents in 2010 reported in the New York Times, the connection between Putin and Berlusconi was "extraordinarily close" and marked by "lavish gifts", "lucrative energy contracts", and a "shadowy Russian-speaking Italian go-between."

Putin's relationship with Germany's new Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was reported to be "cooler" and "more business-like" than his partnership with Gerhard Schröder. This observation is often attributed to the fact that Merkel was raised in the former DDR, the country of station of Putin when he was a KGB agent.

Putin took an active personal part in promoting the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate signed 17 May 2007 that restored relations between the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia after the 80-year schism.

The resumption of long-distance flights of Russia's strategic bombers was followed by the announcement by Russian Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov during his meeting with Putin on 5 December 2007, that 11 ships, including the aircraft carrier Kuznetsov, would take part in the first major navy sortie into the Mediterranean since Soviet times.

The sortie was to be backed up by 47 aircraft, including strategic bombers. According to Serdyukov, this is an effort to resume regular Russian naval patrols on the world's oceans, the view that is also supported by Russian media.

In September 2007, Putin visited Indonesia and in doing so became the first Russian leader to visit the country in more than 50 years.

In the same month, Putin also attended the APEC meeting held in Sydney, Australia where he met with Australian Prime Minister John Howard and signed a uranium trade deal. This was the first visit by a Russian president to Australia.

On 16 October 2007 Putin visited Iran to participate in the Second Caspian Summit in Tehran, where he met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Other participants were leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan

This is the first visit of a Soviet or Russian leader to Iran since Joseph Stalin's participation in the Tehran Conference in 1943.

At a press conference after the summit Putin said that "all our (Caspian) states have the right to develop their peaceful nuclear programmes without any restrictions".

During the summit it was also agreed that its participants, under no circumstances, would let any third-party state use their territory as a base for aggression or military action against any other participant

Vladimir Putin strongly opposes the secession of Kosovo from Serbia. He called any support for this act "immoral" and "illegal".

He described Kosovo's declaration of independence a "terrible precedent" that will come back to hit the West "in the face".

Putin speaks fluent German. His family used to speak German at home as well. After becoming President he was reported to be taking English lessons and could be seen conversing directly with Bush and native speakers of English in informal situations, but he continues to use interpreters for formal talks.

Right before an official visit to Israel his mother gave him his baptismal cross telling him to get it blessed “I did as she said and then put the cross around my neck. I have never taken it off since.”

Putin repeated the story to George W. Bush in June 2001, which might have inspired Bush to make his remark that he had "got a sense of Putin's soul".

personal wealth

According to the data submitted during the legislative election of 2007, Putin's wealth was limited to approximately 3.7 million rubles (approximately $150,000) in bank accounts, a private 77.4-square-meter (833 sq ft) apartment in Saint Petersburg, 260 shares of Bank Saint Petersburg (with a December 2007 market price $5.36 per share[282]) and two 1960s Volga M21 cars that he inherited from his father and does not register for on-road use. Putin's 2006 income totalled 2 million rubles (approximately $80,000). According to the data Putin did not make it into the 100 wealthiest Duma candidates of his own United Russia party.

There have also been allegations that Putin secretly owns a large fortune.

According to former Chairman of the Russian State Duma Ivan Rybkin in 2004 and Russian political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky, Putin allegedly controlled a 4.5% stake (approx. $13 billion) in Gazprom, 37% (approx. $20 billion) in Surgutneftegaz and 50% in the oil-trading company Gunvor. Gunvor's turnover in 2007 was $40 billion. The aggregate estimated value of these holdings would easily make Putin Russia's richest person.

In December 2007, Belkovsky elaborated on his claims: "Putin's name doesn't appear on any shareholders' register, of course. There is a non-transparent scheme of successive ownership of offshore companies and funds. The final point is in Zug, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Vladimir Putin should be the beneficiary owner."

Good onya John Howard!
Sellin' uranium to a functioning, participatory democracy.

And wasn't GW Bush a great reader of men?

Makes ya wonder...if GW or John Howard had been born in Russia...would they have made President?

Would Tony Abbott be the head of the Orthodox church?

Will there be an Occupy movement protesting in Moscow & surroundin' cities & towns?

Will there be a Russian Spring? Or even Winter Revolution?



December 7. 2011 03:33 PM



The next Sophie doesn't tell half the story.

She first "came to notice" for undergoing an operation to add a few inches to her legs (apparently she wasn't a tall enough poppy - sorry).  Then the LNP disendorsed her from a Federal Seat before the last election, she's married to another Logan City Councillor and is alledged to have been thrown out of Council Meetings on a few occasions.

She's a really nice piece of work.


December 7. 2011 03:45 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive analysis of this piece, and for your complimentary remarks.

You put your finger on a problem speech writers have, especially when they are writing all-embracing, visionary addresses.  All who hear a speech are listening for what is dear to their hearts.  You would have liked more emphasis on ‘the future of the planet’, and ‘threats to biodiversity’.  Although there was mention of ‘an economy that grows without growing carbon pollution, without damaging our environment’ and 'green renewable energy to give us a clean energy future', you were looking for more.  I imagine others were looking for emphasis on other matters, and likewise found it inadequate.  Thus virtually any speech will be wanting in the eyes of those with special interests, and likely in the eyes many others.  To attempt to be all-inclusive leads to a speech that is too long and too tedious.  To abbreviate is to leave out what is important to some.  It is an insolvable problem.

Next you point out the eternal dilemma, the short attention span of the many of the consumers of the speech.  Those present on the occasion of its delivery are a captive audience and likely to listen throughout.  Others will be offered snippets on radio and TV, or the text, or an abbreviation of it, in the press or online.  Most will see or hear only the snippets; very few will absorb the whole speech, let alone analyse it.  With an audience that mostly has little interest, little time and a poor attention span, getting complex messages across, getting a comprehensive vision or narrative across, is almost impossible.  Yet journalists insist on ‘the narrative’, ‘the vision’, ‘what the party stands for’, although they are unreceptive when politicians give it to them, preferring instead to pick holes, or highlight the deficiencies and the omissions, featuring only the contentious parts.  The media is the biggest impediment by far to promulgation of a party’s vision, narrative, and basic beliefs – what it stands for.  The media has created this attention deficit disorder in the population by feeding it news as entertainment, news as sensational events, news as succinct opinion that ignores or glosses over complexity.  The media claims it gives the people what they want, without for a moment acknowledging that it has created this addiction to entertainment, sensation, and bite-sized bits of information, necessarily fragmented and incomplete.  

So how should speech-writers respond to this?  It is no good them saying that it was a great speech but nobody listened.  It seems as if they need to present what they want to transmit in digestible amounts that can be assimilated by an inattentive audience.  Such an audience renders the comprehensive speech almost useless, except for the historic record, and forces speech writers to focus on smaller specific issues that can be condensed into assimilable chunks.   For example about action on climate change, or bringing the budget back to surplus, or paid parental leave, or disability insurance, or plain packaging of cigarettes.  One of Paul Keating’s finest speeches, his Redfern speech, was specifically about aboriginal disadvantage.

Tony Abbott demonstrates the potency of short messages.  Although seemingly devoid of policy, of vision and a narrative, at least that we know about, he has managed to transmit what he wants via memorable three word slogans and monotonous repetition of a series of short pejorative phrases about the Gillard Government.  The media has not pressed him for his vision, his narrative, and what he stands for, and when a few bold journalists attempt to find out, he fobs them off with ‘you’ll be told all that before the next election’, or simply walks away.  And every staccato utterance he makes is faithfully, yet uncritically reported by most of the MSM.

So there it is – the sad conclusion is that quality speeches that attempt to give the people, and what journalists say they crave for – a inspiring vision, a meaningful narrative, a picture of what the party stands for, may be a thing of the past, a pointless exercise wherever attention deficit disorder is endemic among the people.

Does anyone have an solution?

Ad astra reply

December 7. 2011 03:47 PM

Feral Skeleton

  If anyone else wants to pen a strongly-worded e-mail to Father Chris Riley over his pathetic capitulation to the Clubs Industry over $300,000/year in finance for his operation(even though he says that's not what motivated him to be the new face of the Anti Problem Gambling action by the government), then you can do so via this e-mail address(I did):

Feral Skeleton

December 7. 2011 04:06 PM


Thankyou 2353

Juicy piece, sounds like not your average guy.

We must lead boring lives it seems.

See this:-


Quick link: Polls show ALP can win with Gillard http://fun.ly/17ae9

insidestorymagInside Story
The Labor conference exposed the party’s – and the government’s – weaknesses, writes Frank Bongiorno: http://bit.ly/sK564p



December 7. 2011 05:01 PM



Thanks for your encouragement.

I like to write in a humourous vein
Usually short, to provoke
And the Abbott matter's so serious it's plain  
That it's gone from gravitas to a joke


December 7. 2011 05:02 PM

Ad astra reply

D Mick Weir, nasking
Thank you for the link to the Tanner piece in The Monthly: Window Dressing: The Mirage of Political Reform.  As usual he is a good read.

Some sentences stood out:

Some opportunities for incremental improvement will emerge, but debate will quickly become mired in the quicksand of self-interest and political calculation. Active players worry primarily about whether reform will advance or impede their own interests.

How true. Self interest reigns supreme.

For those who desire for governments to be able to make tough but unpopular decisions, empowering a self-interested Opposition to force a premature election makes no sense. The mere threat of an unexpected election, however unlikely it may be, affects government behaviour.”

Haven’t we seen this over and again!  Hopefully the next two years will be freer of the imminent election threat.

Perhaps the biggest reform challenge is to reverse the growing dominance of the professional political class. Banning former staffers from standing for public office would be discriminatory and counterproductive, but indirect mechanisms to tilt the preselection playing field back towards people with diverse life experience could be useful. A cleverly designed mechanism built into public funding of political parties might help, but it would require a great deal of thought.”

The apparatchiks are problem to the major parties.

How much does all of this matter? Less than many of us think. Our political decisions are influenced by the processes through which they’re made, but ultimately they are driven by much more powerful forces. Political reform is worth pursuing but our system will still work pretty well without it.”

That is reassuring, and last year’s experience with a so-called hung parliament demonstrates this.

Others may wish to read the whole piece: www.themonthly.com.au/mirage-political-reform-window-dressing-lindsay-tanner-4157

Ad astra reply

December 7. 2011 05:07 PM

Feral Skeleton

        Without the sort of run-up start that Vladimir Putin has had in Russia, I think we can get a rough idea of what a 'Guided Democracy' from Tony Abbott might look like. A Resources Sector primed economy, with his mates, Big Gina, Little Twiggy and Clive the Colossus of Queensland, minding the house and making sure everything motors along just tickety boo for you. Of course, you'd keep your $700,000 mortgage so that 'the mob' could see it and think that you weren't personally profiting from any ill-gotten gains from your mates. However, the donations by high net worth individuals to your party would ensure that you could afford as much election propaganda, er, advertising, as you need. Of course, as Berlusconi and Murdoch realised, you have to have the media in your corner, pumping out the crap, day in, day out, to turn the minds of the masses to mush. And, only "the Right children" would be allowed a quality education. It's a waste on the proles. Just use the money saved instead to reduce the taxes on beer and cigs.
  Also, Howard's pet project of de-funding the ALP by strangling the donation pipeline from the Union movement would be revivified.
  I'm surprised that the Gulags haven't been brought back by Putin, though I imagine they aren't far away, when you hear that protesters of the election result got 15 days in the Russian slammer toot sweet, courtesy of some tame judges.
   And, yes, Mohamed Haneef and a shed-load of refugees and their children, would testify that Australia wasn't far behind on that score either. Vladimir, who Tony appears to be modelling himself on, would has no hesitation in using the penal system to send shivers up the spine of anyone who questions his authority. And neither would Tony. He had no hesitation in conniving to get Pauline Hanson banged away for long enough to do some quiet reflection on challenging the Coalition hegemoney.
   So that's why I'm keeping a close eye on Mr Putin. It's instructive. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 7. 2011 05:14