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What makes a good political speech? 'Light on the Hill' speeches

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Tuesday, 27 December 2011 09:19 by Ad astra
There seems to be tacit agreement among Labor people, and even among some journalists, that Ben Chifley’s ‘Light on the Hill’ address was a standard-setter for inspirational political speeches. Delivered in the aftermath of the Great Depression to an ALP Conference in 1949, it set out to reassure those whose memory of that awful event lingered still.

Although it was just 484 words, the ‘light on the hill’ phrase has resonated down the years as epitomising Labor philosophy.

Here it is for you to analyze and critique.

“The Light On The Hill” – 1949 Speech by Prime Minister Ben Chifley

I have had the privilege of leading the Labour Party for nearly four years. They have not been easy times and it has not been an easy job. It is a man-killing job and would be impossible if it were not for the help of my colleagues and members of the movement.

No Labour Minister or leader ever has an easy job. The urgency that rests behind the Labour movement, pushing it on to do things, to create new conditions, to reorganise the economy of the country, always means that the people who work within the Labour movement, people who lead, can never have an easy job. The job of the evangelist is never easy.

Because of the turn of fortune’s wheel your Premier (Mr McGirr) and I have gained some prominence in the Labour movement. But the strength of the movement cannot come from us. We may make plans and pass legislation to help and direct the economy of the country. But the job of getting the things the people of the country want comes from the roots of the Labour movement – the people who support it.

When I sat at a Labour meeting in the country with only ten or fifteen men there, I found a man sitting beside me who had been working in the Labour movement for fifty-four years. I have no doubt that many of you have been doing the same, not hoping for any advantage from the movement, not hoping for any personal gain, but because you believe in a movement that has been built up to bring better conditions to the people. Therefore, the success of the Labour Party at the next elections depends entirely, as it always has done, on the people who work.

I try to think of the Labour movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody’s pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective – the light on the hill – which we aim to reach by working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labour movement would not be worth fighting for.

If the movement can make someone more comfortable, give to some father or mother a greater feeling of security for their children, a feeling that if a depression comes there will be work, that the government is striving its hardest to do its best, then the Labour movement will be completely justified.

It does not matter about persons like me who have our limitations. I only hope that the generosity, kindliness and friendliness shown to me by thousands of my colleagues in the Labour movement will continue to be given to the movement and add zest to its work.

There is it in all its straightforwardness. How do you assess it? What makes it inspirational in the minds of many? If Julia Gillard were to have given that address this year, what do you expect the reaction would have been, from the public, and particularly from the media?

By way of comparison, you may care to now read Julia Gillard’s speech to honour Ben Chifley on September 18, 2010.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Light on the Hill address to honour Ben Chifley

We gather as members of the Labor family to honour the life and memory of one of Labor's greatest heroes, Ben Chifley.

For the men and women of the Labor Party, coming to Bathurst is more than a visit. It is a pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage to the beloved home town of a man who embodied the Labor faith - the “light on the hill” - our enduring belief that positive government endeavour can improve the life of every Australian.

In honouring the memory of Ben Chifley, I also honour you, the members and supporters of the Australian Labor Party, who have kept the faith in good years and in bad.

Thanks to your campaigning, the Labor story in government continues. 

The cliff-hanger result on August 21 underlines the importance of every Labor supporter in our return to office.

Every candidate, every booth, every supporter, frankly, every how-to-vote card.

If the result on August 21 was at first a disappointment, it has also yielded remarkable opportunity.

Let’s remember what emerged from the last minority circumstance in the House of Representatives in 1941, almost 70 years ago, the Curtin-Chifley Government - which became the greatest government in the history of our Commonwealth.

Perhaps no government will ever equal theirs.

We’d surely hope no government again faces the wartime dangers that confronted that government.

But though we may not equal the achievements of Curtin and Chifley, we can aspire to equal their vision and dedication.

And we can renew their Labor traditions for a new century.

We can lay the foundation for an era of sustained growth and prosperity ... just as Chifley laid the foundations of the long post-war boom with policies for full employment, uniform taxation, modern central banking and strengthening the place of Australia in the global economy through our role in the IMF, the World Bank and GATT.

We can build the National Broadband Network - as great a nation-building plan as the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme ... which like the NBN, in its time was also decried and attacked by the Liberal Party.

We can make better health care accessible for all Australians - just as Chifley introduced the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that made basic medicines accessible to all, and just as he sought the establishment of a national health service.

We can serve, as Chifley said in his General Election policy speech in 1949, “our fundamental objective, the betterment of the people”.

Friends, the Curtin/Chifley Government led Australia to not only win the war but also to win the peace.

To build a post-war era based on equity and opportunity, firmly grounded in sound economic management.

In his ninth and last Budget Speech in 1949, Chifley called out to the nation as it stood at the threshold of the second half of the twentieth century, urging:

“We should not be afraid to set our goals high”.

That is my appeal to our nation tonight, as we look ahead to the first sittings of our new Parliament just a few days from now.

Let’s not lower our ambitions.

Let’s not decide that because no party holds a majority, this cannot be a Parliament that makes progress and delivers lasting achievements.

As Prime Minister, I intend to go to the Parliament and do all we can to deliver policies and programs that Labor took to the election.

I intend to embrace the opportunities of this new Parliament - working together and getting things done.

The first Curtin and Chifley government - that relied on the support of two Independents from October 1941 to August 1943 - was immensely productive, not just in marshalling the nation’s economy and resources for war, but also preparing for the peace.

From the beginning, they looked to the future.

The work on reconstruction and postwar recovery began just months after Labor took office - three years before the war ended - and it was well advanced by the time of the 1943 election, which Curtin won in a landslide.

In his recent book Graham Freudenberg remarks that "in truth, the Australian Parliament of 1940-43 was the greatest in Australian history.”

Seven decades later, in vastly different circumstances, I believe this parliament can be equally purposeful and productive.

With restraint and civility, we can put aside the empty rancour of partisanship, and seek to work together.

To build consensus in the community, and majorities in the Parliament, for the “betterment of the people”.

The parliamentary reforms for the new Parliament will change our political processes and the way we conduct our democracy, bringing new levels of openness and accountability into our democratic processes, with the hope that each of us in parliament can be judged on the contribution we make, not the points that we score.

But the reforms we have announced are only a framework, and within that framework Parliament must deliver results.

This is not a time for inaction, for filibustering or obstructing progress.

As the members of the 43rd Parliament arrive in Canberra on Tuesday week, I believe Australians are expecting from them a sense of responsibility, and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and get work done. 

Unfortunately there are some early signs to the contrary. 

The Parliament has not yet even met - but Mr Abbott has already spoken of how he wants to bring the government down. 

In saying that, Mr Abbott implies that he does not intend a constructive engagement with the new Parliament - but instead, he wishes only to engineer a set of events leading to a vote of no confidence.

Friends, let me make this appeal to all members of the new parliament. 

It’s understandable that members on all sides may see political opportunity in that kind of approach. 

And I appreciate it’s a strong temptation for a Leader of the Opposition who came so closely to victory. 

But I think there’ll be a lot of disappointment in our community if that easy option is taken. 

Because it is the easy option.

 The harder path is the better path - where we set aside short term partisanship in pursuit of long-term progress.

Where each of us asks not, “is this in my party’s interest?” but “is this in my nation’s interest?” 

A path that leads us to finding common ground, forging compromises and doing the work that Australians expect us to do. 

The political landscape emerging from this year’s election is challenging.

For Labor, we recognise there are important lessons if we are to better define and deliver the overarching purpose of the Labor Party in this, the second century of our nation and our party. 

That purpose is to achieve progress for all Australians, to support them in improving their own lives and to deliver real opportunities through a stronger and broader economy.

 Of course, Chifley articulated this purpose - the betterment of all the people - in his own concise and compelling way. 

But he also knew that different moments in history demand different responses, to achieve the same enduring goal.

Labor governments have often confronted times of economic challenge.

And they have responded with reforms that have helped to secure our lasting prosperity.

 Our goal means that we must work to make prosperity sustainable and ensure that it benefits all Australians, whoever and wherever they are. 

When we achieve this, our communities can become stronger. 

That requires strong and disciplined economic management. 

And it requires us to deliver and implement changes that will underscore improvement in the lives of Australians for the years to come. 

Changes like the National Broadband Network. Changes like a new approach to regional development. 

Changes like national health reform. As well as superannuation, schools reform and making the transition to a low carbon economy. 

These changes are big and daunting. They will require determination and persistence. 

To succeed we will have both to consult and collaborate - to seek consensus and build new partnerships. 

And we will need to focus relentlessly on implementation - the delivery of better services and infrastructure in communities across the nation.

Combining these two approaches will deliver the progress that Australians rightly expect. 

Our first priority must be continued, sustainable economic growth - so that the hard work of Australians is rewarded and their future is made secure.

Australia has come through the global financial crisis in remarkably good shape, but nobody should underestimate the challenges that lie ahead. 

Our economy is being profoundly affected by the industrialisation and urbanisation of Asia.

 In China alone, some 300 to 400 million people are expected to move to cities in the next 20 years.

 That will require new apartments and new infrastructure. 

Indeed, a typical family apartment will require six tonnes of steel - or around ten tonnes of iron ore. 

Multiply those ten tonnes by the millions of apartments needing to be built every year, add to it all the steel needed for rail lines and infrastructure, and you can understand why Australia’s terms of trade are now approaching the highest level in our nation’s history. 

For Australia, there are many benefits from high commodity prices. 

But history shows us there are equally many risks. 

We need careful management, and long term policy work. 

Otherwise we won’t capitalise on the benefits that the high terms of trade offers and our growth won’t be sustainable. 

We must confront the risks of higher inflation, acute skill shortages and the risk of ‘Dutch disease’ - where the high value of the dollar jeopardises the competitiveness of some industries and regions.

This is not a new challenge. 

But this time - unlike in previous booms - we have better insights into how we can harness a surge of income to build sustainable growth right across the nation. 

As competitive pressures on non-resource sectors like services and manufacturing intensify, we need to move up the supply chain and develop more innovative, higher value-adding industries. 

That requires a better skilled workforce, high levels of workforce participation, innovation and advanced infrastructure.

 Investing in our people, from the earliest pre-school age through to schools, universities and the existing workforce is essential for our future. 

Because in the long term Australia’s greatest asset is not actually the minerals in our ground.

It’s in the skills of our people.

Success for our farmers, our manufacturers and our service industries depends on having high-level, up to date skills. 

And investing in our people will be part of driving a culture of opportunity and responsibility in which individuals, having had their skills and capacities nurtured, show the self reliance and endeavour necessary to build their futures. 

I believe in a high productivity, high participation economy because I believe in the benefits and dignity of work.

For our nation to achieve its potential, we need to enlist the talents of more and more people from every corner of Australia.

That means we'll create the sorts of opportunities that mean success is determined by how hard you work, not where you're from. 

 Labor will also drive the investments we need in advanced infrastructure for a more productive economy – broadband, rail, roads and ports. 

And we need to make the historic transition to a low carbon economy, breaking the nexus between growth and increased carbon emissions.

That means acknowledging the reality of global warming and putting a price on carbon – priorities for the new Parliament.

The second great challenge I want to discuss tonight is at the heart of Labor’s vision - ensuring that opportunity and prosperity extends to all parts of the nation.

This is a fundamental Labor priority.

 We are a party born as much from the regions as from the cities – from Barcaldine, as well as Balmain. 

That’s why the regional development we finalised with the Independents is not for us a break from our past. 

It consolidates a direction we’d already taken in our first term in office. 

And it builds on a strong history of standing up for regional Australia. 

Equity and opportunity for all is at the heart of the Labor faith. 

In today’s Australia, inequality of opportunity can be as much a product of region as it is a product of socio-economic background.

Labor’s commitment to regional Australia comes from our enduring belief in the principle of universality - quality services, a better life and a fair go for all our people and every region.

For us, universality is a core social value ...an article of faith as old as party itself - dating back to our very first manifesto back in 1891.

For more than a century, Labor has represented and delivered for regional communities like Bathurst, which Ben Chifley so proudly represented.

And so today, we will deliver for regional Australia in new ways. 

The NBN will deliver high speed broadband to every corner of the land.

And we will ensure that every region - city and country, coastal and inland - will pay the same uniform wholesale price.

High-speed broadband is crucial for every region in Australia to participate fully in the economic opportunities of the future and the productivity transformations of the digital age.

It means our children will grow up in an Australia where more people are contributing to, and benefiting from our national prosperity, whether they grow up in Bathurst or in Brisbane, in Cessnock or Sydney, etc.

 Ben Chifley always understood post-war reconstruction as being about the whole nation, not just some parts of it.

So too, broadband will be to the 21st century what the railways were to the 19th - not just an engine of growth, but a civic bond drawing our whole Commonwealth closer together.

Universality drives our educational reforms from pre-school to university.

We are not prepared to tolerate country kids falling behind city kids, indigenous kids falling behind non-indigenous kids and poorer children around the country being left behind.

Chifley went without a great education and longed for it all his days.

Our purpose is to right this kind of historic wrong, to ensure that every child in every school gets a great education and fair access to the opportunities for learning beyond school. 

If we succeed in that goal, we will have truly accomplished our ‘education revolution’.

Our historic health reforms and our GP Super Clinics also build fundamentally on the principle of universality of care, the same values that drove the creation of the Medicare system by the Hawke Government a quarter of a century ago.

It’s our commitment to universally high health standards that has inspired the creation of regional cancer centres. 

Because we simply can’t accept the current situation, where Australians living in our rural and regional areas are three times more likely to die of cancer within five years of diagnosis.

Nor can we accept Australians having to wait years for essential elective surgery in some areas. 

That’s why we’re implementing the national target for 95 per cent of Australians to receive their elective surgery in clinically recommended times.

This commitment to universality runs like a golden thread through Labor’s reform program.

It’s why we can lay claim to be a true Labor government – governing with modern Labor values, for the challenges of today. 

Friends tonight is a night for optimism.

I am confident Labor can deliver strong, stable and effective government in the unique circumstances of this new Parliament. 

In this term of office we will build on Australia’s strengths to deliver opportunities and benefits to all Australians. 

We should not be afraid of this moment.

We have a remarkable opportunity to remake our democracy and to remake our nation.

If we handle the economic challenges of the decade ahead as well as we handled the global recession, we can build lasting prosperity. 

The many historic buildings in Bathurst in 2010 still stand as a monument to the lasting prosperity built in the Gold Rush 150 years ago. 

Our challenge today is to also build an enduring legacy for the future: investments in physical infrastructure and superannuation savings that will bring strength to our nation long after we have gone.

But more than that, investing in our people - what economists describe as our ‘human capital’ - because those investments endure for a lifetime.

Remember that kids entering school today will still be in the workforce in the 2070s, just as a baby born when Chifley became prime minister in 1945 would be reaching retirement age in this year, 2010.

That is the scale of our ambitions.

We want change that will reach across eras and span generations.

As the kids being born and entering school today grow up and grow old, we want them to inhabit a nation vastly better than the one we know today.

Richer not just materially but socially as well – a nation rich in concern for the less well off, at home and abroad.

A nation that is closer to closing the gap and reconciling with its First Peoples.

A nation richer in the good things of culture and recreation that are the just reward for those who work hard and seek renewal.

Friends, we might be a minority administration but I want our government to deliver outcomes and vision for Australia as though we had won a landslide, just like Curtin and Chifley did between 1941 and 1943.

They did not sit fretting about the numbers on the floor of the House of Representatives.

But based on a respectful partnership with their parliamentary colleagues, they made the bold decisions demanded by the times, informed by Australia’s needs and inspired by Labor’s values.

With goodwill and cooperation, we can do the same.

We can strengthen opportunity for all Australians, and build an enduring legacy for future generations.

That is how we will honour Ben Chifley and keep the Light on the Hill burning bright.

There it is – PM Gillard’s September 2010 speech. How did you find it? How does it rate compared with Chifley’s? What were her take home messages? Were they clearly articulated? Were they lucidly stated? Were they memorable?

Let’s have your critique of both the Chifley and the Gillard speeches.

Comments (170) -

December 27. 2011 10:34 AM


Sorry Ad - Not on thread - posted last on last thread moments ago . . .
December 27. 2011 10:24 AM

Gravel said,
. . . some of us seem to be suffering from short term memory, as I don't remember that post at all.

Dam, I can hardly remember writing it, the more I write the less I remember, sometimes I come across old posts of mine or things I've written elsewhere and I'm thinking Did I write that? No joke.

I only came across it accidentally when I was looking up my And So This Is Crispmess pome and it surprised me, though I'm sure when I wrote it I wasn't expecting the issue still to be unresolved - with many more lost at sea.

I do think, now, (and despite PJK's trenchant criticism of it, and be it noted I usually agree with him), that there are compelling nay conclusive reasons for off-shore processing, and for reasons better than those of the Lying Rodent's, though some do remain the same. If it is done with humanity and diligence and vigilence in protecting the rights of those being 'processed' off-shore - that is surely the core concern, and I do not misdoubt that the Australian Government will be at extreme pains to make sure their treatment is anyway better than they have ever received here, and that should not be too hard I'm ashamed to acknowledge.

Not that I did anyone harm or treated them badly, no, but if I can be proud that other Australians won the Nobel Prize for Astronomy I am entitled to be ashamed of 'our' treatment of refugees.


I write heaps of verse and even I can't remember some of it, Dorothea McKellar writes one little poem about 'sweeping plains' (and I bet she never swept one in her life) and she's ever so famous forever, Where I ask you is the justice?

But you nailed something important here, sort of by inverse implication, that the notability and memorability of verse is such that you are surprised by the fact that this time you can't remember it . . . That's a lot of what I was trying to say yesterday, and I think that is probably what Patricia WA - [who you might recall is the *Ad astra Sword Award Winner of the Political Pometress for 2011*  - it's only been a week, so you might ] - meant when she famously said quite recently, *"Verse crystallizes history"*.


December 27. 2011 11:07 AM

Feral Skeleton

   I think the PM made the point about the essential quality of all good political speeches, when she said about Ben Chifley's 'Light On the Hill' speech:

     Of course, Chifley articulated this purpose - the betterment of all the people - in his own concise and compelling way.

   When I read Chifley's speech it had flow. It pulled you along by creating an atmosphere, almost immediately, which set your brain on a path determined by the speech maker, and made you feel positive about what was being said. You wanted him to go on making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

   Then he strategically pulled you up at certain points to make you think a little about what he was saying to you. For example, the sentence:

     The job of the evangelist is never easy.
   Here he uses a word which has religious overtones, but in a secular way. However, in doing so he weaves the two faiths together seamlessly and effortlessly. The zeal that drives the religious with the zeal that drives all good members of the Labor Party and the Labour Movement. We are as good as each other. Well, at least he succeeds in making us feel that way.

   Not only that, but, to state the bleeding obvious, the speech was short and punchy, as the PM recognised. And he confines himself to speaking in inspiring generalities. Which, as a leader, is all you really need to be able to do well. The big sell. With the emphasis on BIG! Because that is what will resonate down the years. We know this to be true.

   Therefore, if the PM realises this, why doesn't she try to do it herself with her own speeches?

   It's not a competition to see who can write the most words on a given topic. It's supposed to be an occasion to inspire. As simple as that. Profundity cannot be found in a Shopping List, and too many of the PM's speeches read like a long list of information that anyone of us, with the technological tools at our disposal, can now find at the click of a mouse on a website.

   To tell you the truth, with all the best will in the world, I gave up reading the above speech by the PM half way through because I found myself squirming in my seat and starting to drift off and think about other things. I really didn't need to be told 7 different ways from Sunday about the 'Nation-building' nature of the NBN. I can figure that out for myself.

   What I want to hear from a speech by my leader, and, ipso facto that means I don't want to be told things, is the sort of inspiring mindset that makes me proud to support this person and their aspirations for the country.

   Not their laundry list of achievments.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 11:08 AM

Patricia WA

I agree, TT, some of our old heroes like PJK and others seem not to understand how much 'boat people' these days are not the frightened asylum seekers of their era, ours too of cours.  'Boat people'  have become an industry to be exploited in recent years. Legal precedents and political debate here in the destination country are carefully monitored by both its clients and the businessmen running it. Leaky boats indicate not the desperation of those fleeing, but hard headed business decisions of their travel agents.  

Off-shore processing will be accepted and will necessarily be done in an humane and fair way, with rules and procedures agreed to by all regional countries affected and in consultation with UNHCR - consultation which has been on-going for quite some time now.  Some sort of 'queue' will develop from this regional processing.  More importantly, even without being signatories to the UN convention we should see other countries in the region willing to accept more regulation of conditions and laws pertaining to refugees settling, however temporarily, within their borders.

POST SCRIPT re memory, TT, I share your experience of its vagaries, and you are probably right and I did make that comment somewhere.  It is true that when I look back at a 'pome' for some reason or other the past jumps out at me and I am reminded of all the characters and circumstances surrounding those few lines, even if I can't remember writing them!  

Patricia WA

December 27. 2011 11:09 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I think we can go back and read what you wrote on the last thread. It just spoils the new thread to dredge it back up again.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 11:38 AM


Ad astra
et al,

I think it was after that speech that I started calling her *J*U*L*I*A*

She doesn't read it you know. she doesn't even seem to use notes. It's all there, in order, she got it right first time wrt Labor's philosophy of inclusiveness, she speaks for me, nobody alive could say it better anyway. It's long, a bit too long maybe you might say but she wanted to include everybody in her speech as well as in her thoughts. No hesitation, no, a ahm, ah, a la Abbortt, she has thought it through and got it right.
Ben Chifley was a wonderful workingclass hero with great empathy, his spirit is part of that glow up on the Hill. *J*U*L*I*A*s times and the complications that go with her task now are incomparably more complex than Good Old Ben's though, but she is across it all and she's got most everything right by me, and I would kiss her lotus ranga toes if ever I got the chance.Kiss


December 27. 2011 11:52 AM


SOL, Feral?

I have now already posted my not-very-deep but very positive assessment of those two speeches. Fair go on *J*U*L*I*A*, it was a live speech to an audience, she had presence and delivery, she didn't hand out computers with little screens and say Here read this!


December 27. 2011 11:56 AM


Yeah well why not go back and delete it then, OK by me. You got the Power!

Or delete something.

I could suggest some places you could start.


December 27. 2011 12:11 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Yes, I do have the power. But, no, I won't delete it. I'm just making the point that it spoils the thread from the get-go to re-post something immediately from the last thread.
   Maybe you could make your pertinent comments for the new thread first, then re-post a comment from the last thread if you must?

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 12:15 PM


Ad Astra

Maybe I'm a bit dim, but the 'Light on the Hill' speech seem to miss something. It was like when we had to write a short story.  You write the main points that you need to get across and then fill it out.  I felt that there could have been a bit more information.

I remember watching Julia giving her speech, the whole audience was spell bound, as was I, and I didn't think they would stop applauding, it went on so long.  

I think the difference in reading a speech and hearing it is huge.  I remember at the time, if only every Australian could have listen and watched that speech by Julia, they would have a whole different way of viewing her now.  Her courage and passion shone through.


December 27. 2011 12:26 PM


I have queried before whether there might not be ways of splicing comments on one thread with another. I had just written a decent serious post and few others were posting anyway. I have asked Ad on occasion if reposting as I just did was OK, he cleared it, one or two others did so too. I even said sorry Ad etc very first thing because I'd have rather not done it but most people would never have seen it and that's not fair!

As it is #1 you may stump-jump it readily anyway if you wish can't you?

And by the time I read your snippy billet doux I'd already given my quick answer to Ad anyway QED.

I'm not sure whether your tooth is still eating you or what, but please FS get off my case.  

Speaking of Snippy . . .
It's given me a Horror fantasy !
TT being chased nekkid as a Jay-Bird,
with Feral Skeleton in hot pursuit,
brandishing a big pair of pinking shears . . !  Smile . . .

Just lighten up yourself now please,
as on your behalf I requested of others not long ago.


December 27. 2011 12:45 PM

Patricia WA

FS "I don't want to be told things....."

Patricia WA

December 27. 2011 01:25 PM

D Mick Weir

Afternoon all,
I hope we are all recovering well from the ravages of the last couple of days of feasting or fasting whichever was your wont or way.

Altho' not quite the new year it may appear as tho' I have turned a new leaf ...

... I am (mostly) in agreeance with what Feral Skeleton wrote

An observation of comparison between the two speeches.

The first was given in the shadow of a massive war when the nation was rebuilding and I guess there was a readiness and a willingness to believe in our leaders guiding our way. There were external enemies on which to focus any threat to the countries wellbeing.

The second given at time when as a nation we have become complacent and instead of it being about what I can do for my country what is it my country (government) must do for me. The threats to our wellbeing are internal to us as individuals and us a nation.

While the audience was in both cases us 'ordinary' Australians since the time of the first speech we 'ordinary' Aussies have become somewhat more 'ornery'.

D Mick Weir

December 27. 2011 01:26 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Actually, I'm feeling a lot better now. Maybe that's it.
Anyway, I just felt that, although Ad has indeed graciously said that he doesn't mind people cross-posting, I just thought that as a matter of blog etiquette, we might 'Move Forward' into the New Year with a resolution to make our comments about the topic at hand first, then move on to reiterating previous discussions.
Lord knows I am as guilty of this as the next person, so it was just a suggestion.
   Now, what's wrong with that?

   And, no, I don't think it's actually, in the strict sense of the word, telling you what to do, it's just requesting you observe a courtesy. As will I from now on. As I think it will make for more robust discussion, on topic. Plus everything else that comes into the mix.

   And, yes, I have been on your tail, simply for the reason that you got on my case for suggesting NormanK deserved some sort of recognition for the superlative efforts he has made in contributing to The Political Sword, under extenuating circumstances, as I superficially understand it. So, as I have a right to do I said as much. If you want, I'll make up my own awards to differentiate them from yours. But that would be silly, don't you think? Better to just let a few balls like that go through to the keeper without making a big deal about it.

   Which is the last thing I'm going to say about it, because it's breaking up the flow of this post already. And I don't really want that. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 01:53 PM



Ah, now that is the difference.  A speech during war time would resonate much better, naturally.  A speech when a country has come through a GFC without virtually a scratch, when everyone is doing well and feeling self satisfied, well that can just be ignored by the populous.  In actual fact, Julia was talking to the converted, trying to get them past a bad election.  

Thanks for pointing out the difference DMW.  Smile


December 27. 2011 02:10 PM

Feral Skeleton

   And, of course, the beauty of blogging is in the fact that I can say all that, and you can do whatever the hell you want! Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 02:13 PM

Feral Skeleton

    Ornery V Ordinary. Love it!

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 02:34 PM

D Mick Weir

cheers during my delvings into 'learning from history' I am discovering more and more that the lessons of say 1961 need to be updated to the circumstances and attitudes of people fifty years on.

Updating is one of the lessons of history that I struggle with at times Smile

Smile comes from my love of misusing, mispelling or mis pronouncing words which is one of my little entertainmts that sometimes bears fruit just like that little retweet you did the other day Smile

D Mick Weir

December 27. 2011 02:43 PM

D Mick Weir

speaking of tweets, well I just did didn't I I liked this one:

@hdrebner H D Rebner
I sometimes ask myself, 'HD what has T Rabbitt between his ears' then it came to me as I saw the angle the ears were set. They're rear view

There is something of an art to being able to encapsulate something in 140 characters or less and when done well it is a treat.

Like this one from an unnamable source:
The christmas song line that best sums up the 2011 political year: "Deck the halls with bouts o' folly"

Tra la lalala lala

... reCapthcha wtf is a Devieed phyficians

D Mick Weir

December 27. 2011 03:21 PM

Ad astra reply

I’ve just read the many comments that have arrived since I posted this piece this morning.  I’ve been busy preparing for the arrival of the family tomorrow.

I was surprised to see the tetchiness of some of the remarks.

Christmas is over, but I hope the goodwill that surrounds it has not already evaporated.

Surely we can be considerate of each other.  After all, this is a friendly political blogsite.  We certainly don’t want to drive visitors away by becoming confrontational.

I trust that when I return later in the day, our usual caring behaviour will have been restored.

Ad astra reply

December 27. 2011 03:28 PM

D Mick Weir

If any of you note a subtle change to my atti-tood over the forthcoming you can thank SWMBO&LTI

The family have given her boxing gloves and a punching ball.

On one face of the ball is my picture

I think I have been told Smile

D Mick Weir

December 27. 2011 03:46 PM


The difference between the two speeches (apart from 50 odd years) is that Chifley's speech was given in one place without the ability to almost instantly feature it on TV, the internet, the radio  or the "benefit" of micro-analysing "journalists" looking for something to make a dubious point that the PM reneged on a commitment of some time ago not to wear a red lipstick with a orange jacket (or similar trite remarks).  It also has greater directness (if that's a word) and is considerably shorter than Gillards.

Gillard always seems to be more succinct and unfortunately verbose.  She does deliver speeches with little or no visible means of support - which is impressive.   She doesn't have to do the Laundry List of ALp achievements every time she gets up in front of a crowd.  I believe that Gillard is be much better doing a "fireside chat" type speech or being seen actually interacting with people rather than doing the "fire and brimstone" thing that Thatcher was brilliant at.  However Helen Clark (in NZ) and Mary Robinson (Ireland) also did much better when "gently explaining" rather than being wound up as well.

For the record in my opinion McMahon was just a hopeless speaker.  Fraser wasn't great,  Howard and Rudd not much better (with the exception of some well written - by others - speeches) with Hawke and Whitlam being the standouts in the field.  When presenting the right material, Gillard is better than Rudd or Howard - but she really doesn't do "fire and brimstone" well and really needs to find another way to publish the Laundry List rather that in "inspirational speeches".


December 27. 2011 04:10 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi 2353 I was just wondering where you were and 'hey presto' you pop up with some interesting thoughts/comments.

Umm dare I say you left out a fantastic orator from your comments.

I speak of the one that was voted by ABC listeners (from memory) second only to Jesus for his 'Sermon on the Mount' speech as the most unforgettable speech of all time.

Now comparisons can be odious and in no way would I compare any speech to the totally moving one given on 10th December 1992 in a little park in Redfern.

Yep the one and only PJK's Redfern Speech:
was THE standout speech of all speeches ever given in this country (except for a couple that I have given but were never recorded for posterity Smile )

D Mick Weir

December 27. 2011 04:19 PM


2353 said
Gillard always seems to be more succinct and unfortunately verbose.

I don't mean to be petty but that would appear to be a contradiction. succinct = sparing in words, verbose = wordy.

Just thought you'd like to know I pay attention. And actually, I don't know which you do mean.


December 27. 2011 04:23 PM

Patricia WA

I think 2353 has it.   Really with the decades of difference in time and style and media how can one compare the two?  Imagine if Chifley had to front the media day after day and give speech after speech to a range of  different audiences in towns all across the country!   Would he come up to scratch every time?

Julia Gillard is a miracle of level headedness and lucidity in the face of enormous pressures, not to say hostility from some audiences and unfair expectations from others.  

Patricia WA

December 27. 2011 05:15 PM

D Mick Weir

... another take on speeches from the archives ...

Unaccustomed as I am...  Margaret Simons @SMH March 15 2003

Many say the art of oratory is dead, killed off by the sound bite. But we still yearn for those great speeches, writes Margaret Simons - if only someone would deliver them.

Certainly we face a daily barrage of short, banal media grabs. But our appetite for genuine communication has been sharpened. ... We hunger for speeches and fine words.

We hunger for speeches in the same way as we hunger for music - because, at their best, speeches have the same ability as music to lift us out of the pedestrian and give meaning to everyday actions. Like good music, good speeches engage the mind and the emotions.

Worth the read IMHO

D Mick Weir

December 27. 2011 05:47 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Yet, still, no one has mentioned the elephant in the room when it comes to 'a way with words'. For, to be fair, if we are going to talk about the way the PM goes about her speech-making, we should also consider those that are given by the LOTO, Tony Abbott.

   Having had to endure way too many of them this year, I can only say, in summary, that he is better at making speeches, such as Censure Motions against the PM, in which invective plays a key role, than he is at congratulatory speeches. Such as the vomit-worthy efforts of fawnication which he delivered to Queen Elizabeth, and President Obama. Goodness knows how he could cope giving a speech to Ex Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, or George W.Bush, or, not that she would understand anymore, Margaret Thatcher.

   Also, I found it interesting to note that, true to his word, Tony Abbott, when speaking, is not overly concerned with getting the facts right. Such as the big mistake he made when speaking after the PM to Prince Frederik and Princess Mary. He appears to be more concerned with the vibe of the thing, and throwing in smart-arsk remarks that he probably believes make him seem like the brightest lightbulb in the room, as opposed to the cringeworthy guest. The one you know you have to invite along to these gatherings but wish you didn't have to.

   Of course, it goes without saying that when Tony Abbott scripts those remarks that are to be delivered for cutting effect, and in newspaper articles which are to serve the purpose of swaying an audience, he does quite well.

   On the other hand, he doesn't appear to be on target when it comes to attacking the PM. That always seems mean, petty and juvenile. Like any top flight schoolyard bully.

   He's good at rabble rousing though. So you'll find that speeches he gives to Liberal Party Conferences are always well-received, as he preaches to the converted.

   Still, I'm starting to detect the tricks of his trade more and more, as he doesn't appear to be able to extemporaneise as the political caravan moves on, unlike Malcolm Turnbull who does that sort of thing better. Tony Abbott tends to resort to well-furrowed tracks.

   So, if I were the PM and the government, I'd be taking a look at what Tony Abbott does well, and copying it to the extent that they don't have to mimic but they do have to learn what makes for successful communication. Also to be able to counter his obvious attempts at ridicule.

   As for his obvious attempts at obfuscation, well, I'm just hoping that the journalistic fraternity start putting him to the sword a bit more often and forcefully than they did this year.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 06:24 PM


DMW - bugger I knew I forgot someone (but I did remember the eminently forgettable McMahon!).  Keating is well up there with Hawke and Whitlam - and I think had a better turn of phrase sometimes (although "scumbag" and similar weren't the highlight).

TT - succinct is probably the wrong word.  What I meant was she leaves little for the imagination and spells everything (even the blindingly obvious) out.  Chifley by contrast didn't put into the record exactly what he had/would introduce - the "understanding" he generated in this speech was that he wouldn't support anything against the principles he outlined.

FS - Abbott isn't even in the same ballpark.  Witness his rattlegun delivery where words are spat out and his minute plus headshaking silence when confronted by Riley from Channel 7 this year where clearly the question was either not communicated in advanced or an answer was not wargamed (a more appropriate word than "rehearsed" in this case).  He also needs to learn from Howard when a domestic political speech is justified or acceptable.  I would suggest that welcoming the Queen or the US President is not the right time or place.  In short Abbott is a very angry man.  A discussions of the probable reasons why this is the case could probably be a TPS topic for 2012.


December 27. 2011 10:34 PM

D Mick Weir

... and now some food for thought

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” – Kurt Vonnegut

may your ponderings cause sweet dreams.

g'nite all

D Mick Weir

December 27. 2011 10:58 PM

Feral Skeleton

D Mick Weir,
            And, in complete contradiction to what I said earlier(because I'm an Aquarian and therefore a contrarian & because I make no sense, especially to myself, most of the time), I'll leave you with this line I found edifying(it was about those religious fruitloops, mostly men, who deign to tell women what they should do with their own bodies):

     'You have your own ideas, but you don't tell your neighbours what to do.'

   Which, of course, could be argued the other way that, as an example of extreme libertarian thought it is not correct to think that way because there are some things in a civilised world that we need to tell our neighbours to do, and not to do. Smile

   G'night all.

Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 11:09 PM

D Mick Weir


you just caught me on my last lap of the 'traps' and you reminded me I forgot about this link on libertarians

The liberty of local bullies @Noahpinion

... libertarianism - at least, its modern American manifestation - is not really about increasing liberty or freedom as an average person would define those terms. An ideal libertarian society would leave the vast majority of people feeling profoundly constrained in many ways.

... and thx for your quote ... further food for ponderous dreams Smile

D Mick Weir

December 27. 2011 11:41 PM

Feral Skeleton

D Mick Weir,
            Exactly. How could a Libertarian be truly free of constraints of thought when he has ill will towards homosexuals and people of colour?


Feral Skeleton

December 27. 2011 11:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Here's a nice little collection of newsreading tools and apps you may not have known about, plus some you already do know about:


Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2011 03:59 AM


Ad astra said
I was surprised to see the tetchiness of some of the remarks
> TT says And so was I!

FS said
Actually, I'm feeling a lot better now. Maybe that's it.
TT says . . .
So  . . the better you feel the snippier you get?  

FS said
(The foregoing) is the last thing I'm going to say about it, because it's breaking up the flow of this post already. And I don't really want that.

Then Less than an hour later, a gem :
   And, of course, the beauty of blogging is in the fact that I can say all that, and you can do whatever the hell you want!

But then Feral Skeleton said
(and it made everything crystal clear at last) -
I make no sense, especially to myself, most of the time

Well funny you should say that FS. I did wonder I must admit.


Oh Feral
Am I such a fool
That you must treat me
Like a kid at school?
You hurt me
And I tell no lie
Oh Feral!
You made Tweety cry!

Come on Feral let's not hurt each other
On Ad astra's site
Oh Feral
You are so uptight!
I am really trying to respect you
No matter what you do
But anyway Feral


December 28. 2011 08:03 AM

Ad astra reply

Now that TT has had the chance to make his response to FS’s remarks that began with a comment about off-thread contributions, can we PLEASE regard the matter as closed and desist from any further to-ing and fro-ing about it.  

Frankly, I am finding all this is distracting me from my prime purpose at this time, to enjoy the family over the Christmas/New Year period.

If the bickering does not stop forthwith, I will close the site down for comments to allow the situation to cool.

This is a political blogsite, not a forum for personal squabbling.

Ad astra reply

December 28. 2011 08:26 AM



In short Abbott is a very angry man.  A discussions of the probable reasons why this is the case could probably be a TPS topic for 2012.

What an interesting thought.  I'd love to have someone do that.  There has been a lot said and written about him, but I don't recall reading anything that solely relates his behaviour to anger.  The few times I have seen, with the mute button pressed, him ranting in Parliament his whole body seems to be wracked with anger.


Are you actually studying events in 1961?  You could get a good conversation going on people's memories of 1961.  I was 9 then and of course politics wasn't anywhere on my horizon.  In fact I really didn't take any notice of politics until Howard, and certainly won't repeat my impression of him on this lovely blog.


December 28. 2011 08:27 AM

Feral Skeleton

   OK. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2011 09:08 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Look! Someone has written an article in today's paper about the PM's speechmaking:


Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2011 09:32 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Media Matters for America have come up with a great byline for one of their e-mails, and it is so relevant to what Ad Astra does here I thought I'd share it with you:

     'They Distort, We Report'.

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2011 09:40 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi Gravel
in that particular comment I chose 1961 as it was 50 (almost 51) years ago and at the limits of my memory as I was but a whippersnapper. Most of what what I know of that year was what was told to me by my father tho' I still have some fleeting memories of sitting at the table and listening to the 'big people' discussing events.

I have been flipping back and forth across various years but mostly last twenty or so looking at various events looking for commomalities and the lessons of history.

I may head off to the library over the next weeks to get into some real archives in pursuit of eclectic learning.

D Mick Weir

December 28. 2011 01:49 PM


Rule, Ad astra!
Ad astra Rules the Blog!
Turkeys Never Never Never
Kick The Dog! Smile


December 28. 2011 08:51 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Wow! Nothing and no one for most of the day! I really must have peed people off!

Feral Skeleton

December 28. 2011 09:18 PM

D Mick Weir

Not me just bin waiting 4 sumfink meaty to get into

even recaptcha says it Nutelso joined

D Mick Weir

December 28. 2011 10:26 PM

D Mick Weir

... so anyway I have been meandering through articles and/or posts I missed looking for some 'diamonds in the rough' and well just poking around.

Found one written (or at least posted on) July 11 2011, the 95th anniversary of the birth of someone who is loved by his party and many in the community. Affection and loyalty walk arm in arm with him through the pages of history. He is a living lesson in political leadership.

In case you haven't figured it out the author was writing about one E.G. Whitlam.

The article is one persons recollections of the time when EGW came to office their awakening to politics and the effects that change had on the author.

As I read through the article I pondered what would happen if we hadn't had EGW then and if he were to turn up next Saturday fortnight. Would we 'get' his vision, would the ALP even bother think about moving him toward leadership of the party?

I suspect that in the current political climate we would not be able to cope with someone like EGW as a leader. As I said over the last couple of days comparisons are odious and this is not to compare one Paul J Keating to EGW but I suspect we wouldn't accept a visionary like PJK as leader either.

We, as in the 'royal' we, have become small minded in our thinking about the future for this great country.

Before I give you the link for the article I am wont to counsel some that you may be hesitant to go there because of the authors name however in this season of goodwill forget the authors name and just take in the ideas and sentiments of the words as written.

We Want Gough!  Malcolm Farnsworth @AustralianPolitics.com

D Mick Weir

December 28. 2011 10:39 PM

D Mick Weir

... being as it has been a slow news day around here just thought I'd fill in some blank space.

@TheMediaTweets The Media Blog
It's a miracle*: Jesus appears to woman ...in a sock! http://bit.ly/vyQh1U (*or maybe just a slow news day...via @MrNickClark)

@TheMediaTweets The Media Blog
"We think it is a bit of a sign" says woman who 'sees face of Jesus in a sock'. Yes, a sign that some newspapers will take any old rubbish.

@TheMediaTweets The Media Blog
Oh dear... The Telegraph has gone for Jesus and his miracle sock as well http://tgr.ph/sICl2b

D Mick Weir

December 28. 2011 11:18 PM

D Mick Weir

The first sign of madness is talking to yourself ...

... the second sign of madness is answering yourself.

that was a fantastic comment @ 10:39PM pity no one else noticed.

D Mick Weir

December 28. 2011 11:19 PM

D Mick Weir

I like what you wrote @ 10:26 PM

D Mick Weir

December 29. 2011 12:20 AM

Feral Skeleton

D Mick Weir,
            I have been playing MahJong on my computer actually.
Although I did see 'Jesus In a Sock'(well, not personally because I am an atheist Wink ). So now I'm just waiting to see how much some rube will pay for it on Ebay.
   Actually, it just says it all about the 21st century to me. The mix of religiion and commercialised capitalism that is as smelly as an old sock but which the spin doctors and the journalists combined can convince the idiots out there to take seriously. Sigh.

   And ReCaptcha has summed up today I think: Isookn Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 12:25 AM

Feral Skeleton

    You know, it just makes me wonder whether all the learned analysis in the world makes a hill o' beans worth of difference in the end, when the media/internet Saturation Tango has spun most people's headspaces out into places far beyond my comprehension, and their comprehension of what I am trying to say to them is minimal to non-existent.

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 12:29 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Yay! Aussie Climate Scientists(I bet it was Will Steffen):


Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 12:30 AM

Feral Skeleton

  Lol. 'truckwits'. (from the article) Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 01:13 AM


FS said
Wow! Nothing and no one for most of the day! I really must have peed people off!

> A very impressive solo effort, yes.

I have found a perfect Award Category for you!


Joke, Feral. I've moved on. Kissy Kissy, all better now.

D Mick Weir said
Not me just bin waiting 4 sumfink meaty to get into

> Not much on a Skeleton . . .
But funny thing, (this is true Smile ),
elsewhere today she tweeted
Does anyone want some Leg Ham on the Bone? I'm over it already. Smile

Sorry but I have looked at those two posts sadly for hours.

Deep breath.


Let's start a new year clean please. The Enemy is the enemy.
The Sword is our weapon. And the Government needs us to be the best we can. The blogosphere is critical and TPS is a coalmine canary in the blogosphere, one of your little rellies Tweety.
It is an experiment as all sites are indeed but TPS is unique in its focus and esprit. I don't want to see it looking sick, we do need to give it some New Year fresh air. And keep the blade sharp. Not too sure of my metaphors though.
Yes I am they're awful. Sorry. Suffer.

What do we want?

At the time this all got unpleasant I was feeling so sanguine, I had just started wondering about what people want with, from, for, and on this blogsite. I had written just 4 lines and things went feral. (Sorry, FS, it's the best word as it happens.) Since then I've have been . . .  distracted. I have hated being willy-nilly at the core of this strange event, someone once called a Flame War, in fact I was accused of actually trying to start one then. (I sure wasn't). A few ill-chosen words, some bruised egos and shegos, and look what happens. Dear me. Gobblesmacked.

It seems a long time, it's just a few days, and on the evidence today it is pure poison for our beloved blogsite. I'm not sure about that though, as long as we deal with it, I think there might be some folks out there looking on in fascination bemusement and maybe even horror, so, the very stuff of soapies. Well that seems to me good spin anyway.

What do others want of this website? I'd like to hear some non-motherhood projections. I think Ad and many others would be interested too . . . Interested enough to write?

Please don't sheathe the Sword even for a day Ad. TPS has been a continuous record since before it found me, and it would be horrid for it to have a gap. Keep the Sword singing say I.


December 29. 2011 02:39 AM

Patricia WA

Not sure what I want from this website, TT, but I know what I like!
I like starting my day with Lyn's Links, which was what brought me here to start with.  It was great to find here such a gathering of like minded lefties too.

I also like that there are lots of rationalists here poets, and a lot of dog lovers too.   I remember writing a pome for you here on that very subject, of which here are a couple of verses. I think you had asked us if we believed in God and the afterlife.

I don't believe in the conventional God.
Who's switched me off,  a punishing rod.
When my last day on this earth's trod,
I'll return content to its good sod.

Having seen how believers flog
The poor, the weak, the underdog,
It's good to find at this great blog
Another soul who swears 'By Dog!'

Patricia WA

December 29. 2011 06:29 AM


Talk Turkey

What I want from this blog is the same that we have been getting from the start.  Intelligent well thought out topics, great pome's, satire, general humour and intelligent debate.  

We all have good and bad days.  Nobody is perfect.  Keep bad thoughts to ourselves and spread good thoughts far and wide.

Feral Skeleton

Between packing and organizing things I also have been playing Mah Jong on my computer.  It certainly takes your mind off things.  It has been nice the last week or so without too much on politics, a break most of us need.  Even twitter has been quiet, except for the cricket, sorry just can't get into it.


December 29. 2011 09:38 AM

Bring Back Maxine

Ghost Who Votes has released the latest Quarterly Newspoll. Margin of error 1.3%

#Newspoll Oct-Dec Quarterly 2 Party Preferred: ALP 45 (+2) L/NP 55 (-2) #auspol

#Newspoll Oct-Dec Quarterly Primary Votes: ALP 31 (+4) L/NP 46 (-2) GRN 12 (-1) #auspol

#Newspoll Oct-Dec Quarterly Gillard: Approve 31 (+2) Disapprove 59 (-2) #auspol

#Newspoll Oct-Dec Quarterly Abbott: Approve 34 (-4) Disapprove 56 (+4) #auspol

#Newspoll Oct-Dec Quarterly Preferred PM: Gillard 39 (+2) Abbott 38 (-3) #auspol

I wonder what Abbott's response is to this positive trend for Labor in the polls?

"Oh No","Oh No","Oh No".

Bring Back Maxine

December 29. 2011 09:59 AM


Patricia WA, Gravel,  Good Morning,

Thanks to you two, and thanks to people who do answer my ask for thoughts on what you expect of and for Ad astra's site.
Because it is a lot like the Labor Party itself, it's only as good as the people who comprise it. It is in that way somewhat like any organisation where there are benefits to be gained, work to be done, expectations, rules written &/or un-, people with different skills and priorities, ambitions, egos, (never forgetting shegos too!) attitudes, in/tolerances, and all the complications that come with the exigencies of life; but like the difference between reading *J*U*L*I*A*s speech a long long year later, and being there in person to hear and see her on the day, there is a major difference between being with people in face to face situations, or even on the telling bone, and just reading them - no facial cues nor voiced nuances, just the words with, mercifully, *some* ability to emphasize. So the words we choose and the way we use them are critically important, if we are to understand one another and to contain ill-feeling, and to influence opinion as we wish.

Here's a couple of test tickles:  

What do you think about written rules for such as TPS?

Is there an optimum size for TPS?
(Is PB too big for its own good?)

How can we lighten Lyn's links load a little? (important)

Civility, sarcasm, name-calling, impugning, bullying individually or in tag teams, challenging on matters of fact (something I've done a couple of times and from the fury I have attracted, anybody would think I'd eaten the challengee's children!); scorning, cross-posting, referencing, acknowledging, linking, un/truthfulness, spin, rancor, re-directing; bad language likely to corrupt our morals; . . . all sorts of things, but the core is, How can the Sword be most effective in pursuing its stated aims of
"Putting Politicians and Commentators to the Verbal Sword", the Sword of Truth that would be. What is that light on the hill all about now and how should it be tended and powered? How politically aligned should we be, toe the ALP line right or wrong or what?  

But when there's not much happening would it be any bad thing to read a pungent past post of Janice's, or from Psyclaw about something fascinating s/he's involved in, or A Memorable Day in the Life of Bruce the Brush Turkey by Feral Skeleton,  . . .(now moved on to more Turkey-tolerant sites it seems). Or something, from someone, anyone: it will always come back to Politics anyway!

I don't think the Sword should ever be silent. I want it as an uninterrupted record. That's one thing I really hope for. Not to give in to soma. Any activity is better than none, comments spark ideas spark comments. I don't want people to drift away while we're incommunicado, many will never come back.

I think it will be good to go back to thinking about our basics, as well as forward to future considerations in these 'interesting' times.

This is just circumambulation. I will try to bring some order to what I think and to an amalgam of whatever people might say.

What I do say is, Dear Reader, if ever you posted here on TPS before, now's a good time to do it a or a good time to post for the first time for that matter, plenty of column inches and a Sylvester-size hole in the brick wall where Dat Bad Puddy Tat fled from Spike the Bulldog, and Tweety has taken the opportunity to fly out through it and take a summer vacation, leaving plenty of column inches . . . and so on.


December 29. 2011 10:11 AM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I'm well over it! Even my kids had a go at me for being too argumentative. I guess it was just the result of all the financial and other pressures I have been under, and TPS was the relief valve that let off the steam. So for that, I'm sorry.

   As for the Leg Ham on the bone, one of my friends bought it for us to have on Xmas Day. If only she knew that we aren't the biggest eaters of ham in the world. So we didn't end up having it on Xmas Day and I've had to negotiate it's use ever since. Hence I have this big,hulking mass in my fridge just staring back at me. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 10:13 AM

Feral Skeleton

   My thoughts go out to everyone West of the Great Dividing Range today who are experinecing what seems like a stinker of a day. Frown

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 10:15 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Here are a couple of articles by Thom Woodroofe that you might be interested in reading:



Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 10:20 AM

Feral Skeleton

       Good to see you get enjoyment out of Mah Jong on the computer too! The version I have: 'Ultimate Mahjongg' is probably the best $10 I ever spent in my life on a computer game. % years! after I bought it at the Post Office I am still only 48% of the way through the game(as it likes to keep reminding me Wink ), and it is still drawing me back to it day after day to try and outwit it because it seems to have a mind of it's own! Just when I think I'm on a roll it finds a way of putting a spoke in my wheels. Plus it's full of lovely Confucian advice.
   Oh well, only 5 years to go. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 10:24 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Here's an absolutely fascinating 'Background Note' on 'Boat Arrivals in Australia Since 1976' by the Australian Parliamentary Libray:


Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 10:29 AM


Welcome Home Feral!

Water under the bridge now, gracious apology accepted, tar (from that Same Brush I hate) mostly picked from my feathers, but you will never know how close I got to saying stuff I might, nay, would have regretted and which would have hurt The Political Sword, and Ad astra personally.(More so than already.)

Good for us all FS that you have taken a highly progressive conciliatory step back. Cool.

Con = with, cilia = hairs, conciliation, the process of straightening one's hair (after conflict presumably). I LOVE English!


December 29. 2011 10:36 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Another great article about Poker Machine harm and the reform needed, by Charles Livingstone:


Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 10:43 AM

D Mick Weir

Some links to some different things for your summer reading

I Love a Man in Uniform  by Maria @CrookedTimber
An interesting read on the dilemas of an army wife with some thoughts on the UK No 1 hit ‘Wherever You Are’, the lovely song sung by the Military Wives Choir led by Gareth Malone

Grierson: A Documentary About the Filmmaker Who Coined “Documentary”  by Maria Popova @brainpickings
Why reality is a better storytelling tool than fiction and how film can be a conduit of democracy.

Marginal Revolution’s Most Popular Posts from 2011  Alex Tabarrok @MarginalRevolution
Links to some very interesting posts that could keep you amused for hours including Common mistakes of right wing and market economists, a nice meaty post from Tyler, just a little bit more popular than Common mistakes of left-wing economists.

Iconic Playwright Harold Pinter on Truth in Drama (and in Life)  by Maria Popova @brainpickings
“The real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth.”

Year of living hypocritically  PeterBrent @MumbleBlog
2011 was the year of having your cake and eating it. Of being inconsistent and even, on occasion, hypocritical.
Brent takes a wander through some of the biggies from 2011 and casts a critical (cynical?) eye over them.

D Mick Weir

December 29. 2011 11:03 AM

Patricia WA

Bring Back Maxine, good to end the year knowing that the PM and Labor are at least holding their ground, even improving slightly in the polls.  Which is miraculous really, considering the uphill battle they have with the Murdoch media and their camp followers.

That's where I see us and her other supporters out here in the blogosphere playing a role, keeping up our end, making constructive comment and criticism where necessary, but pointing out blatant bias and correcting the record where we can.

And yes, Talk Turkey, we are part of all that.  I forgot to mention above how important I find the humor here, particularly things like AC's satire and your versifying.   By the way from Gravel's comment it looks like pomes has become part of the vernacular now, with no need for inverted commas! Can I take credit for coining that word?

I don't think written rules are necessary, although if Ad Astra does and introduces some I'll be happy to comply. I think he sets the tone with his lucid leading articles and the major posts by others like FS.   The commentary from us is really a conversation amongst friends and visitors and generally follows the usual courtesies of social intercourse.  It is the occasional lapses which create upsets, I guess.   Our intelligence and wit, even barbed insights,  should be used to put to the sword politicians and commentators out there not each other in here.

By the way for a moment I thought you had confused emphasize with empathize and when I'd finally thought it through I decided that maybe all we need is a bit more empathy.  Then all the emphasis and smileys would be superfluous.

Patricia WA

December 29. 2011 11:12 AM

Feral Skeleton

           Of course you should take credit for 'pomes'! I feel chagrinned that Tony Abbott and the Coalition nicked 'Forgotten Families', but I still take credit for it. If only the ALP had taken the cue before the Coalition. Sigh.

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 11:54 AM


Always a joy to see 'your' lovely face there, makes me sad though, is there any chance Maxine will ever make it back as an MHR?
Doggam, the Party owes her forever for routing the Rodent, surely one of the great moments in Labor history.

I'm goosing all over -

Must . . .

  . . . write  . . .

   . . . . song . . .

a la Spanish Lace . . . by Gene McDaniels . .  


How could Maxine dare
To be standing there
In Howard's space!
Our hearts touched the skies -
Could we believe our eyes?
She'd won the race!
Though she couldn't last
The Past
Is Glorious -
Notorious -
Can Never Be Erased!
O that Magic Night
When Labor Won the Fight
And Maxine's Face!

Not very long, could use a couple more verses, over to you BBM! Smile or Pometess Patricia. Or anyone else pometic. Let a hundred pomets boom.( See it could be cut at the *, and a half a verse and a verse and a half a verse inserted such that it cut and shut up Turkey.)

(a la Spanish Lace, lovely song really, Lyn you'd like that song for the image of the beautiful woman in beautiful lace eh, in fact I seem to have an image of Maxine with a crocheted white lacy collar. But this of BBM's is her campaign photo, if I'm not mistaken . . . BBM?

She is really stunning isn't she, truly you don't know what you've got till it's gone, Do you remember Rosemary Church that went to America anyone? Ohhhhhh . . . Kiss . . .

My O my O my, they sure can be beautiful those female people . . .

Yeah but now we got Trivioli, no we haven't!, I think someone philanthropic got her up the duff and I hope he keeps her that way!

Yeah but careful what you wish for, WhoTF we got now, Malicia! (?What's her surname? -
I forget, true. Wormholes. Sorry.
- I'd remember if she was anything like Rosemary.
      -  Or Maxine)

So go on Bring Back Maxine,


December 29. 2011 12:07 PM

Bring Back Maxine


Maxine McKew has moved to Melbourne with her husband, Bob Brown. She is involved in community work there I believe. I doubt she will come back as a MHR. I'm hoping that she will play a major role in public life in the future. Perhaps on the board of the ABC.

I use her as an avatar as my way of supporting women in public life.

Bring Back Maxine

December 29. 2011 12:08 PM

Bring Back Maxine

oops *Bob Hogg

Bring Back Maxine

December 29. 2011 12:15 PM

D Mick Weir

... and now for a cartoon


no comment Smile

D Mick Weir

December 29. 2011 12:46 PM


Explain yourself, Talk Turkey.

But when there's not much happening would it be any bad thing to read a pungent past post of Janice's

Pungent?  Am I guilty of pugent posts?  Laughing:    
Don't worry though, I have a thick hide so rarely take offense when criticism comes my way.  Besides, I'm busy watching the cricket as a restful respite from politics.


December 29. 2011 01:06 PM


While we are in a downtime sorta thing, can anyone tell me how I am going to watch question time without APAC on TV?  When we move, or actually now we haven't got pay TV anymore, hip hip hooray, keeping our money for ourselves.   Thanks in advance for your help.  I need to know for when Parliament returns in February.

Bring Back Maxine

Thanks for the poll update.......let's hope that is good omen with the polls for 2012 and 2013.


December 29. 2011 01:20 PM


      When parliament starts next year go to this page http://www.aph.gov.au/house/index.htm  and click watch proceedings!


December 29. 2011 01:51 PM

Patricia WA

Surely not guilty, Janice.  It's a lovely rich word! Among other meanings the OED cites - exciting keen interest; mentally stimulating; piquant.

So perhaps we'd better take TT on there.  Come on, TT, I think Janice is as curious as we are for you bring out a pungent past post of hers for our delectation.

Patricia WA

December 29. 2011 02:13 PM



Thank you very much.  Does it use much download as I will be on 5gb a month.  


December 29. 2011 02:25 PM


In a very encouraging and simpatico letter thank you
PWA said
By the way from Gravel's comment it looks like pomes has become part of the vernacular now, with no need for inverted commas! Can I take credit for coining that word?

>Indeed, there's possibly some elsewhere in the world that have used it tongue in cheek you'll find, a book title or so, but certainly in the specialized and localized sense here, political specifically,no question it is yours unless someone steals it! Now,I just happen to run a company that will PATENT your word, it will be your word Forever if you keep up the payments, just $14000 for the actual Patent Fee, oh that's after the initial search, we can do that for under $10000, that's very cheap of course but since you are an old friend

Dog you gobble on Turkey. Silly season yeah, who me?

No right now I have a big dazzling Scintillationg scotaoma, very disturbed vision, STOP

Scintillating scotoma
I can hardly see the keys, I would not drive like this I assure you.
and the funny thing, I see this possible precursor to fll=blown mograine, I gt really gasrrulous like im ena I rave if there;s anyone othe, I'm doing it to yous-all now and it is intersting in a way, anybody else see scotomas?
Zumding to do mit der serotonin ja?

I typed on blind there for a while, I came back but I left it because *my say* from Poll Bludger will relate to it.
(Kiss my say )

Moving on:
PWA also said
I don't think written rules are necessary, although if Ad Astra does and introduces some I'll be happy to comply. I think he sets the tone with his lucid leading articles and the major posts by others like FS.  

I will give you a hint what I reckon Patricia (and this is agreement, 100%, btw):
When and if written rules are ever considered necessary, we have already lost the plot.

That is what was precious about cricket - the best parts were its unwritten honour code sullied by the Poms and Bodyline but publicly rooted by the brothers Chappell (one of whom became a thrice-failed Liberal candidate as I understand it, and if I've got it wrong I'm happy to help magnify the meme anyway) when they bowled the Grubber against the Kiwis for which I shall NEVER forgive Australian cricket BECAUSE a majority of my noble country men, such good sports oh yeah, supported these expletives deleted!

That killed any notion of Fair Play in Big Cricket for me.

That is what was precious about the Australian Parliament, the unwritten usages and precedents and the suspiciously-titled but usually honourable 'Gentlemen's Agreements' by which the best traditions of Government and Opposition were upheld until November 11, 1975, of infamy and shameful inaction, when Labor was gazzumped on a stupid archaic technicality that was NEVER meant, nay, MEANT NEVER to be invoked, that of the constitutional right of treacherous traitorous scheming drunken lickspittle self-seeking oaf of an excuse for the nasty old English Queen unilaterally to dismiss (Whitlam's) Government!
That killed any notion of Fair Play in Australian Politics for me.

So that leaves us here, on TPS, where still the rare orchids of civility, quickened by passionate argument, may bloom and be defended and appreciated and promulgated, a bit like Bilbies and Bettongs at Warrawong Sanctuary of what I am a Member (Being a Member of Adelaide Zoo it's automatic free entry to most Zoos than in Oz, reciprocal agrrements with them mostly too. A great cause imo.)

Now I know that people, some people, are so stupefyingly stupid they'd take their bloody pair of Great Danes into the Zoo if you didn't have RULES!
But TPS is different. If you don't understand, you don't understand as some old hippy used to say.

We don't need written rules. We don't talk dirty only because it ain't civil. We don't usually comment too nastily on people's appearance even beyond the known limits of the blogistic community, though Laurie Oakes and that pruney faced woman tempt me beyond resistance because they're nasty! But those who are of this blog community, including other political sites, well except for obviously ill-willed ricardocephalics like juvenile jerk and Sir Crap, well we may tease others carefully, even sting, like, scorn, and ridicule, when challenging in matters of fact or logic - well that's my opinion anyway- but real hurtful insults, nastiness, Lemme outa here! Civility is Number 1 really, where it breaks down is a big Fail.

Well anyway since Feral Skeletons gracious apology this morning, Behold! The sun has come out, the Sword dazzles us with its wisdom, United We Stand! I'm very glad.

But it was bit hairy (ciliary) there for a minute.

But we on this Sword are beyond lucky. A very savvy bloke really is our Ruler - ruler as we measure ourselves and the society against, Rule-er, as in maker of any rules that do get made here, they don't need writing down, he is their repository; and RULER, in that his ruling, almost never if indeed ever called on in its full force, is more absolute here on this his own blog than that cur Kerr's was in Parliament: the beautiful part is that it is not written, it is understood, and that isn't hard to grasp, it is simply saying things you wouldn't mind being said about you that you didn't deserve; that's a shadow line maybe, well that's where having such a wisehead as Ad astra as our Blogmaster makes life pretty easy but I'd like to think that we could run on forever on autopilot if need be and not a thing would change. I'm sure Ad from his holiday bungalow hammock in Inner Shangri-La would be happy not to have to have to mediate between fractious friends.  

It puts it all on us you see. We have to be decent and respectful, not weak or compliant but to a degree flexible and tolerant, with our own principles, setting our own boundaries that we are prepared to defend staunchly if they are sufficiently important- and not all principles are equal, or anyway some may outequal others.

If we need written rules to stay civil, we've lost it already.

We have it firmly in view here on TPS today though, I'm chuffed.      

Btw this is all along lines of what I was going to write anyway, events of the last few days are nearly irrelevant, I would've said much the same stuff anyway. I certainly don't wish to appear hubristic. The Enemy is the enemy!

Recaptcha : Analysis howbothe  . . .!


December 29. 2011 02:42 PM


      Not sure how much it would use, more a question for Normank or someone who understands live streaming.


December 29. 2011 02:50 PM


Dearest Janice!

Your work - I haven't been there for yonks but I know, I remember, you have a writing hand as delicate and as colourful as a butterfly - that one that fell into the lake in Honduras and caused the earthquake in China!

No seriously you write lovely! I do know it, your work lilts.

But then there's this great word Pungent

Concise Oxford: (v.t. from Latin pungere, prick,) (verb see, so not the noun like Howard): sharp-pointed (of reproof, satire etc); biting, caustic, mentally stimulating, piquant, affecting organs of smell or taste or skin by pricking sensation . . .

Janice this here's the Political Sword, Pungent is POWF!

One of the things about Stradivarii, they can sound really loud too!


December 29. 2011 02:58 PM

D Mick Weir

Party Pooper Alert

Pome  @Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pome
In botany, a pome (after the Latin word for fruit: pōmum) is a type of fruit produced by flowering plants in the subfamily Maloideae of the family Rosaceae.
The best-known example of a pome is the apple.

Some random Google Search results

Pomes  www.fantasticpoems.com/pomes
Pomes collection by Adam Rulli-Gibbs, mostly humorous, with a smattering of pometry.

Pomes and Funnies  pomesandfunnies.blogspot.com/
21 Dec 2006 – As a child. I would often cross the road and catch grasshoppers by their little legs in the scrub patch opposite our house.

Pomes and Lyrical Things  www.angelfire.com/nd/danscorpio/pom.html
This page on novel language and sound pattern, presented nominally in the guise of 'poetry' or 'pomes', is perhaps about 'psycholinguistics' - language and ...

James Joyce's Pomes Penyeach  www.robotwisdom.com/jaj/pomes.html
Pomes Penyeach. by James Joyce. Tilly. He travels after a winter sun, Urging the cattle along a cold red road, Calling to them, a voice they know, He drives his ..

If you were to google 'polliepomes' you would get about 2,800 results which a random perusal of suggests they all are related to one particular website or references to that site.

So PWA sorry to say you can't have dibbs on pomes alone but the good news is that polliepomes appear to be yours alone.

Some more sad news despite TT's generous offer you are unable to patent a word. The good news is that if your were inclined you may be able to copyright it or if you wished to go through the lengthy process of making it a trademark or 'brand name'.

While you probably don't wish to bother with all the 'palaver' of it all you can gain some understanding of the differences between patents, trademarks, copyright and other intelectual property stuff here

There are lots of other good info on intelectual property @ http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/

All the above is written in the interests of expanding knowledge and should not be taken as advice in any form - particularly investment advice Smile

D Mick Weir

December 29. 2011 03:09 PM


Talk Turkey, you old Gobbler you!   What a lovely explanation Smile and of course, I am chuffed that I've written a post that could be so described.


December 29. 2011 03:45 PM


Feral does her Ham-bone Theng

English Country Garden


How many kinds
Of ways can you find
That you can use up that left-over Ham?
I'll tell you some of those that I know
And any still left you can use as Spam!
Ham-Anchovy sandwiches
Ham and chicken sandwiches
Sandwiches half full of celery and eggs
Onions radishes and beans
Tomatoes cheese and greens
And by now you're sick of Sandwiches!

All right, hold tight,
Let us take a fresh bite!
You still got a heap of hoggy Ham?
You can fry it, or hang it up and dry it
And then use it as a battering ram!

Grill it, baste it, you don't wanna waste it!
(If you did what would its Daddy say?)
Oil it and broil it, you don't wanna spoil it,
And you'll still have ham come Labor Day!

Or you can make Ham Croquettes,
Potted Ham, Ham Om-el-ettes
Minced Ham, Roasted Ham, Toasted Ham with Jam
Feed the rest your Dog -
But never never to a Hog-
Because it might be eating its poor old Mam!


December 29. 2011 04:02 PM


janice said
I've written a post that could be so described. [as pungent!]

> Well out with it then!


December 29. 2011 06:32 PM

Patricia WA

Thanks, DMW and TT.   I think I knew there was no copyright on new words any more than ideas!  It's nice to know one is in such distinguished company.  And thanks for that news on polliepomes!

Loved your ham pome, TT!  I'm a vegetarian myself, but there are some delicious rhymes there.

Patricia WA

December 29. 2011 07:55 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

There it is – PM Gillard’s September 2010 speech. How did you find it? How does it rate compared with Chifley’s? What were her take home messages? Were they clearly articulated? Were they lucidly stated? Were they memorable?

Let’s have your critique of both the Chifley and the Gillard speeches.

Ad Astra

My critique of the Bird of Paradox’s speech needs only a few words: her speech is pure merde.

To all at TPS I wish you good health and good fortune in 2012.

Sir Ian Crisp

December 29. 2011 08:16 PM


Hi folks, been a bit busy today (and I'm supposed to be on leave!).  That's the sole reason for my absence.  And well there really isn't much political news happening is there?

FS - know how you feel about the ham.  However it was a generous gift.  Here's a little true story that might make your day.  Two things you need to know first - 1) I do a bit of flying around the countryside for work and 2) I have a nut allergy.

One afternoon I was coming home from a trip and decided to not buy anything to eat as I would get a meal on the Qantas flight I was boarding around dinner time.  Thought my luck was in as I got an Exit Row, plane took off on time, Pilot announces there shouldn't be any delays getting to the other end - and Dinner would be served soon.  Attendants come down the aisle pushing trolleys with what smelt to be better than the normal Qantas meal and a nice young lady placed the steaming hot meal on the tray table (where due to the nut allergy I read the food container label!).  Curry Beef with rice - contains dairy and cashews.  Bugger I think - then I think I'm really hungry so I'll say something.

So, I get the attention of a passing Flight Attendant who seemed grateful that I wasn't going to create a medical emergency (!), then was somewhat apologetic that the meal (loaded somewhere earlier in the day) was a problem to me.  After a minute or so, she told me she'd go up to Business Class and see if there was anything there that I could eat - but just had to do something else first.  True to her word, she disappears down the back and then comes back on the way up to Business Class, drops a handful of Toblerone chocolates on the tray table (to keep me going) and walks off.  I didn't have the heart to tell here that Toblerone contains Almonds!

To finish the story I ended up with a Caesar Salad and sent Qantas an email suggesting that Nut allergies should be cause for a "special meal".  Despite the person I talked to at Qantas agreeing with me, I've noticed on more recent flights that it still isn't - but that's another story.  Oh and the family enjoyed the Toblerones!


December 29. 2011 08:19 PM


*Pungency* - That's what we need!

We are here (partly, probably mostly!) to sting and tantalize and worry the MSM and the Sultans of NO, being able to put pungent stuff on your Sword, that'd be the go. Truly pungent gases include fuming (highly concentrated) nitric acid, ditto fuming hydrochloric acid (‘spirits of salts’) and ammonia, and what they do is to attack the mucous linings of your nose and of course your eyes, one tiny sniff makes you instantly wrench your nose away, it’s not ‘a bad smell’ exactly, you simply can’t stand to breathe it at all. It is the active ingredient in Smelling Salts, it is so powerful it can bring people back from semi-consciousness, you see them in movies, she’s just had a fit of The Vapours and there she is, fainted, Quick where’s the smelling salts, EEK! She whips her head away, now she’s instantly back with us, especially if she was pretending! That’s the true meaning of pungent odours, not just very bad smells. I wish I could give Abbortt a blast of ammonia up his bugle every time he does a Bad, jeez he wouldn’t have much mucous lining left eh!

Pungency is the only quality in writing that would really impress that creep too. And Oh, it would all right. It’s beyond Poison Pen. With pungency you can control people, kill ’em yes you could with ammonia, quick too if you want, all the pungentrified person can do is get out of its way instantly, before the next breath, one lungful could kill, we wouldn't let Abbortt off so lightly eh. Just leeeetle sniffs at a time. It’s against the Geneva Convention of course but when did that ever stop Israel from using white phosphorus and antipersonnel bombs on civilians? Givin’ ol’ Bigears an occasional sniff to boot up his brain’s atrophied honesty centre would be pretty small beer compared with that eh! Just as strident is a powderpuff word compared with pungent. (Dig the onomatopoeia, PUNGE-nt, great word) Oh to be able to write pungently, just MAKE Abbortt tell the truth, ’fess up to all his crap, it would be good to force him to tell the Truth. Scratch a Turkey find a fascist? . . Smile Well hang on, it is Abbortt, I claim special torture exemption.
Ah, but Our Ranga Lass will give him a lot of grief very soon anyway, have I ever been wrong?
The Eye of Time, my friends, we all have one!

And btw I think Ad astra is using the same basic ET program  as I am, he’s got a bit earlier necktop but he keeps updating it, and mine’s got quite a few glitches, but anyway I know we seem to see very similar futures, I really love that. So do a very, astonishingly to me, few other people, why would anyone think else? It’s the best way to think! That isBut I can only think that way rationally if it’s not impossible, you can’t make a pearl out of a poo, and O Behold! Look, we got heaps of pearls! Damn, we got the most pearls per capita of anybody in the world practically, and it's all because of Labor!

Because of Labor's perfect policies and helmsmanship, Australia's Pearl supply has burgeoned where nearly everywhere else is deep in Poo! Oh nice image TT.  
Go, Tell it on the Blogsites,  Radio, TV, Everywhere!
Go, Tell it on the World Wide Web, Let Thy People Know!

Gettin’ a bit Avatarish there I think Turkey. J

So Jane – where’s this pungent post you promised us? We’re . . . agog!

Agog . . .







December 29. 2011 08:58 PM

Feral Skeleton

        Whilst I don't mean to be casting sideways glances at your personal finances, however I feel that I must make a suggestion to you about your internet data limit and plans which you may be able to access in order to improve the amount of your download limit per month for a reasonable amount of money.
   Now, I don't know how Regional is your new address in Victoria, however I live in a Regional part of coastal NSW, it's certainly never been classed as suburban Sydney as it's 1&1/2 hours by road away from Sydeny Central, and anyway, I have a download limit per month of half a Terrabyte, which is 500Gb, plus the landline phone thrown in, for $119/month. Plus extra for calls to Mobiles, Interstate & International calls. However, I and the rest of the crew can watch You Tube to our heart content, which includes SlowTV, plus ABC24 on my computer, and any number of overseas cable TV shows, such as Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Ed Schultz etc. Not to mention aph.gov and Question Time, as Jason has mentioned above.
   Anyway, it's just a suggestion, but if you can get ADSL1 or 2+, and you can afford about $30/week, then you too can catapult yourself into the InternetTV age via your computer. And I and the family still haven't been able to fill up our monthly quota yet, even though we've tried our darndest! Smile
   Even if you only want to bump up your download limit to 45-50GB/month, you should be able to do so for about $60/month. Which is more than enough for most tech savvy grandparents. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 09:00 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            I was THIS far away from making Green Eggs and Ham tonight(there is a dinky di recipe for it that doesn't involve Green food dye and does involve Basil Pesto). But I just couldn't come at it. Maybe in a few days time. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 29. 2011 09:47 PM


Not Jane

You are both ace people
But you're different yes.

Me so shame.

A few years ago I knew a Czech feller Pierre-Jean and a French bloke Jean-Pierre who were both frequent, nearly every day visitors to my place. Dog that was difficult, especially since Pierre-Jean was quite tetchy about being misaddressed and hated being called PJ which would have worked, Jean-Pierre didn't care in fact he was vastly amused to find that his name sounded a lot like the English 'jump here' which was, too, quite funny with his Froglisch accent.

While I saw them often I wrote a big piece of verse Klokan the Blue Kangaroo, about a Euro joey Klokan (pronounced Klok-unn, Czech for Kangaroo, rescued by a Czech tourist Pierre Jean and smuggled to Prague. At one stage in the poem the man is called Pierre-Jean, in another Jean-Pierre, (as happened in real life), and it made some rhymes much easier having the choice. But I had to explain it so I wrote:

Jean-Pierre's proper name is Pierre-Jean,
But so many folks get it wrong
Jean-Pierre doesn't care
If you say Jean-Pierre,
Or just Jean, or Pierre, or Pierre-Jean!

Which rhyming pleased me, amused Jean-Pierre a lot, and quite annoyed Pierre-Jean because he did care!

Now I have a handsome young friend named Jason the Younger, and a handsome kof kof mature age kof friend named Jason the Elder aka Obelix (the same!) as two of my closest friends, I've texted each of them wrongly of course, as you would.

All of which is a lame excuse for mixing the beautifuls Jane and Janice. I dig on both your writing, please do more.  

recaptcha    ooplew Lett.
See my subject head?
I tell you They're homing in on me. . . using fuzzy logic over-the horizon brain scanners . . . they haven't got them quite right yet . . .


December 30. 2011 04:06 AM


I do not like green eggs and ham . . .  


December 30. 2011 07:21 AM


Feral Skeleton

Thanks for your information.  I'll check out how much the next ?gb rate is.  Finances will be a bit tight, but not so bad that an extra few dollars will hurt.  I was hoping that ABC24 would broadcast it, but no one has informed me otherwise.  :-(


December 30. 2011 07:52 AM


Dam Dam Dam

If an election were held today,
ABC 24 says Labor would LOSE!

   Oh hang on . . .



December 30. 2011 08:04 AM


Talk Turkey,

where’s this pungent post you promised us? We’re . . . agog!

Perhaps you've been having too much Xmas cheer, TT.  I didn't promise you a "pungent post" -  I said I was a bit chuffed that you found post/posts of mine to be "pungent" so I am waiting for you to provide an example of a post/posts of mine that you consider pungent.   Tong:

This being the last day of yet another year I find myself steeped in the pain of my creaking bones - not a good omen for 2012.  Smile  What I need is a full spine transplant or a liver that will tolerate the magic pills that numb the nerves carrying the pain signals that restrict my mobility.  This is my last whinge for 2011 and even as I write I hear my  long departed mother, "You can either get over it, Girl, or go under it - make your choice and stick with it".

A happy 2012 to you all.


December 30. 2011 08:58 AM


You do know that QT is broadcast live on ABC24
and rebroadcast at weirdly different Graveyard times ?

They stagger the Reps and Senate day/night so you can be  almost certain you'll see the Senate and the Senate and the   Senate and if you're lucky the Reps once in a while, but you may be absolutely certain that you will be utterly at a loss as to know which will be which when and at what time.
ABC snips it as soon as the adjournment debate starts
so we can find out what it really all meant
from that woman who looks as if
she's got an evil-tasting
cockroach in her mouth


Did you know
That if
You write prose
In funny little

As long as it doesn't
Then it isn't.

Patricia WA I kid you not, I go to Friendly Street Poets once a month, 50-60 Poets [the Real McCoy not like us pomets and pometesses] will read for our glorious pathetic allotted max of 3 minutes, apart from the odd hippyhopper person I'll be the sole one that rhymes and meters!

They try to resist me but they can't help it,
They love rhyming verse anyway!
And Doggamit
their Poetry is mostly
florid bits of prose
Often not even florid

delivered with great gravity
and  v  e  r  y    s  l  o  w  l  y

written in funny
little lines
like this
which makes it

"True ease of writing comes from Art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance."
(Alexander Pope)
He was a partial cripple btw, this was a barb,
"Huh all these poncey "poets" can do
is prance around (poetry)like poltroons, ,
I spit pungent pomes at everyone I don't like
in the Royal Court!

(and he did, he was feared and loathed but obeyed
a lot like Merdeoch
because he had the ability
to destroy reputations!
And he did!
The Word of the moment is . . .




December 30. 2011 09:44 AM

Feral Skeleton

       Good news!
I, too have Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia, so have the same sort of pain issues as you seem to. However, having a couple of teenage livewires who keep me on my toes I am unwilling to take major painkillers to numb the pain, because they also numb the brain. So, as luck would have it, I came upon a Retweet on Twitter one day to a paper on pain relief for fibromyalgia(which, basically, is arthritis of the muscles Frown ), and it spoke highly of a medication called 'Cymbalta', which both reduced the anxiety related to feeling like you're old and getting older too fast, AND had a beneficial effect on the asc ending and descending pain pathways.Which, in layman's terms is both when you knock yourself and it hurts+++, plus the deep-seated pain. I thought, "Yeah, right." However, I took the screed, which I had printed out, to my GP, he took a read and said, "OK,let's give it a go." Which I did. Now, what it did do was slow me down until I got used to it, made me drowsy, but it had a miraculous effect on the everyday pain associated with my arthritis! I don't think it has an adverse effect on the liver either.
  So, anyway, maybe you can have a talk with your GP about it. I can't see any harm in trying it, and maybe a new dawn in the New Year, with less pain might be the happy outcome.
   I used to be a pharmacist, so I have checked it all out responsibly. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 30. 2011 10:01 AM

D Mick Weir

Morning all, not a lot happening around the traps but still some things of possible interest.

Age 2012 Economic Survey: We'll do okay, thanks to China Peter Martin
Interest rates are headed down, our stock market will climb, and we’ll survive whatever Europe throws at us.
That’s the consensus of the 20 economists polled for The Age end-of-year economic survey.

Top 12 Economic & Market Issues for 2012 @TheKouk
2012 will start and probably end with clear problems in the Eurozone economy and its markets. This will remain the major negative offshore risk to Australia.

Of course being (almost) the end of 2011, and aren't we glad about that, there are heaps of roundups, best ofs, worst ofs and other ways of summing up the year past

Technology market awards for 2011 Shane Greenstein @Digitopoly
What better way to mark the end of the year than to give out a dozen awards! This post contains a baker’s dozen. The awards go to firms and managers who took notable actions in technology markets in 2011.
The winners do not give acceptance speeches. The awards come with no prize other than a bit of dry sarcasm, which is dished out at the same time as the awards.

THe Conversation, which imho, has some of the best writings in Aus a broad range of topics has quite a few good ones in its' 2011, the year that was series

2011, the year that was: Politics & Society  Rory Cahill, Editor
It is a Chinese proverb repeated so often as to verge on cliché: “may you live in interesting times”. And 2011 was nothing if not interesting.
In Australian politics, the story of the year was ...

You can dip into other roundups from TheConversation @ http://theconversation.edu.au

And for something a bit different a story of one persons battle to overcome fear and the feelings of oppression.

Be fearless, be yourself, and protect your well being  @Drag0nista's Blog
I don’t remember exactly when I first realised I was fearless.

Perhaps it was that time ten years ago when I became aware that two dishevelled teenage girls were waiting to roll me for cash outside a public toilet. Instead of cowering in the cubicle, I thought “well, this should be interesting” ...

D Mick Weir

December 30. 2011 10:01 AM

Feral Skeleton

   An interesting article today about Hate-Blogging and what can or can't be done about it:


Feral Skeleton

December 30. 2011 10:25 AM

Patricia WA


Can't you see?

You are he!

The pun gent!

Patricia WA

December 30. 2011 11:22 AM


Now look here My Girl!
TT said,
But when there's not much happening would it be any bad thing to read a pungent past post of Janice's, or from Psyclaw about something fascinating s/he's involved in, or A Memorable Day in the Life of Bruce the Brush Turkey by Feral Skeleton . . .

Notions pulled from the endless void in my cranium!

You worried that this magnificent tribute
to Your Power with the Pen
was criticism!

Hell No!

So I explained that Political Posts are Pungency Preferred!

And your hardened heart melted anew for me and you said
". . . I am chuffed that I've written a post that could be so described."

So TT said Out with it then!

Don't you But but but me My Girl!

If you can't find anything sufficiently pungent to fend off Abbortt, get writing! Smile

Dam, and Patricia WA says it wasn't her that said (and I quote her exact words too) " Verse crystallizes history."
She's got those very words in writing at least twice,
she did say it!

TT never said she originated it.
           Just that she (famously) said it see.

Janice you do know I'm playing with you don't you. Very respectful games please be sure. I didn't really ever mean to refer to any particular passage you might ever have written, [as I don't know if Psyclaw has even been involved in anything remotely interesting, or Bruce the Brush Turkey ever generated any stories in the Skeleton household. (Naaahh you'd hardly notice a bird the size of your auntie chucking stuff around you backyard eh . . . Smile] They were all just possible examples pulled from an infinite cosmos of possibilities, but if you have never written anything pungent in Abbortt-polluted Wide Brown Land, with your writing talents, you yourself should be subjected to Pungent Political Persuasion!

On this site I must say I get mixed up between Pens and Swords, and Poison, and which is mightier and how to say
"The Sword is mightier than the sword"
              or like

          Turkey Brand Unguent!
           Caution:VERY PUNGENT!
       Apply Plenty on your Post
     [And for Dog's sake don't Smundge it!]

without facing consequent psychological investigation.

The Word of the Moment is

PatriciaWA and TT have both been Teachers. Most of all I loved getting kids enthused about writing, That's their THOUGHTS  there, the very stuff of consciusness itself! though that Rob/y/i/n/ne Williams, I doubt he ever taught English in his life except in Dead Poets. That's why I do enjoy BB's posts, because he's got flair! He's not alone, but he always delivers sparks, but he's wasted over there. Anyway we don't do badly here imo, we got a lot in fact. And we are almost a raggle-taggle tag team here, helping each other where we can with info and skills, and that can only get better, as long as we just write Folks, that's what I'm really saying, Don't let your Sword (or 'Pen')get rusty, just Write!

It is a scientific finding that people who write for a serious amount of time most days are less likely to be depressed than matched samples of people who don't, there may be problems with the practical measurement but it seems true for me, I get a kick out of Yous!

PUNGENCY. That's what we want!


December 30. 2011 11:37 AM


Oh very funny har har.

You with the flowers in Tacker's hair,

And saying that to a person of my psychedelic history,

makes you Hippie-Critical!

[ Pun Gent is really very droll.
Drollery is my fave rave form of funny.

Pun Gent is Probably Pun of the Year actually,
considering that
is the Word of the Moment!]

Use this knowledge Swordsfolks

Go for the Eyes Nose and Throat of the Coalons, they are vulnerable to Pungency there . . .

Ta PWA. Is Droll, is Good!


December 30. 2011 12:26 PM



"If an election were held today,
ABC 24 says Labor would LOSE!"

Does that mean the Coalition finishes the year where it started, in Opposition lol?


December 30. 2011 12:48 PM


janice and Feral Skeleton,

#1 Arthritis related ailments

(Go to Search for Arthritis)


#2 Dementia (Alzheimers)

[Far better, note, than any other agent Research and acceptance inhibited by US-enforced Singles Convention applied worldwide while TRILLIONS yes TRILLIONS (it's the most expensive medical condition in the Western and possibly the entire world) are being spent on lesser alternatives, far more expensive, less available and with far more side effects, and on the results of using these lesser agents such that there are 'way more, and younger, Alzheimersers, than if we all grew a pair and told the US to butt out of our sovereignty and LEGALIZED it!

There I've said it.  Don't tell anyone who told you FFS.

#3 Glaucoma [Probably by far the best agent. Inhibited research means science is still ignored.]


#4 Everything you can think of! :-
Go back to #1 Search, name your preferred condition!

These are scientific findings, not the skewed reports of the  lying bent Jonica Newby* on the pathetic BS ghost of the science program on ABC TV.

*Erm . . . Try googling 'Raw meaty bones' and 'Jonica Newby' and see if you find anything interesting about her and her Daddy and 'Ben's Pet Food' (the biggest PFCo in the world)  and 'ABC Science' and if you can't you'll just have to wonder why I'd say such a thing eh!

Don't say who told you any of this for Dog's sake!

2 things are never spoken of here, matters of grave ongoing social injustice and national and international crime and governmental inaction and lies. Nobody is game to address either and I feel at risk even hinting herer, how's that.

This is #1 of them.

#2 I did mention yesty, wrt how I'd justify Pungentrifying Abbortt.
See if you can work it out. It's a very serious matter, no one's got the budgies to address even here. Same as #1.

We all know it. We should all be 'shame.

PS FS I was never a pharmacist (I did a little Pharmacology at Sydney Uni) but I did check it out
irresponsibly . . . Smile


December 30. 2011 12:57 PM


Mr Obelix,
You have no tenderness in you.

How can you say that so hurtfully,
can you not see they're in PAIN?

And you just twist the knife! . . .

Twist . . . Twist . . .

H'mmm . . .

It does look like fun . . .

Ay Jason . . .

Lemme have a go, wi'ya?


December 30. 2011 01:22 PM


Talk Turkey

So you are saying the ABC24 broadcasts Parliament, but only the Senate mostly with a bit of Parliament thrown in.  Damn,  well I will have to follow Feral's suggestion and also Jason's, and when NormanK get's back I'll ask him how many GB's streaming uses.  Thanks for filling me in.  Smile


It is very strange that Labor are still in Government.  We were told for the last 18months that it wouldn't last.  Read something today and supposedly Julia will get dumped at Easter  (it didn't say which Easter.  Or maybe June, or maybe August or maybe next Christmas.........

recapture:  resistloss


December 30. 2011 01:45 PM

Patricia WA

TT - I have followed up those references but I'm not much the wiser because I can't be bothered with deciphering all those pharmacological terms.   So, can you give me some ideas on how to benefit from a para like this

Over the last two decades, the causes of Alzheimer's disease have been clarified through extensive biochemical and neurobiological studies, leading to an assortment of possible therapeutic strategies including interference with beta amyloid metabolism, the focus of the Scripps Research study.

Preferably without interference with beta amyloid metabolism with the thereapeutic strategies being some simple life style changes.   As one who eschews medical and pharmacological strategies wherever possible I am prepared to admit that so far I have been blessed, but old age changes many things.

So, with fear of alzheimers being the only cloud on life's horizon I'd be interested in where to go for information on possible prevention.   I would see therapy or cure in a condition like that rather difficult to achieve since self help is the major factor in any healing process.

Patricia WA

December 30. 2011 02:11 PM


      I think ABC24 broadcasts the "house of reps" question time each day,but ABC1 does the reps monday and thursday the senate tuesday and wednesday.
The "live streaming" will let you follow what the tv wont show unless you shell out for austar which has the apac channel that shows it day and night.  


December 30. 2011 03:04 PM

D Mick Weir

A feast of links for the masochistic

The Drum's 2011 Top 50 Countdown  www.abc.net.au/.../3744180

The Drum's selection of its' Top 50 is an interesting collection. Not sure I would have rated some of them anywhere in the Top 100 but there you go they didn't ask me to rate them and I wonder why.

Anyway having a browse through the list It was interesting to note how many of them 'put it up' LOTO.

D Mick Weir

December 30. 2011 03:19 PM

Ad astra reply

I’ve been absent for a while.  Two days ago we got our new chainsaw going and lopped countless low hanging branches from the ‘forest’ of eucalypts, casuarinas, tea tree and banksias that have grown up around the property.  Mowing around the trees will now be easier and a lot less hazardous.

Yesterday, a second family arrived; we now have four grandchildren gracing the home.  It was a big catering day, which was successfully accomplished while keeping an eye on the Aussies’ splendid win at the MCG.

Today it is warm and sunny, the sky is blue with fluffy clouds, the inlet is sparkling blue with many boats on the water, and we can see our son’s boat in the distance at the far side of the inlet, right in front of the house.  We will enjoy what he catches.

It is one of those days when all seems well with the world.  Yet we hear of the awful road toll and the accidents that bring sorrow to families, illness that disables so many, the natural disasters that destroy homes, property and infrastructure in a few minutes, and further away, the strife and bloodshed in places like Syria.  

We do live in the lucky country, and most of our people are living in a virtual paradise.  Yet if we believe what some of our politicians and our MSM tell us day after day, we are ‘doing it tough’.  While some undoubtedly are, wouldn’t it be a good way for the nation to start the New Year by counting its blessings and putting aside the whingeing that has characterized much of the political dialogue in 2011.  Compared with other countries, Australia is idyllic.  The mindset that asks ‘what’s in it for me’ is debilitating for our country.  To echo J F Kennedy’s words, we ought to “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

Ad astra reply

December 30. 2011 03:20 PM

Ad astra reply

I see that there has been timely dialogue here about the way TPS ought to run.   When I first began writing on political matters, it was on Possum Box in mid 2008, and the subject was: “Is the media in Australia suffering from groupthink”.  The answer then was ‘yes’, and it is more so now.  So right from the beginning, the focus of TPS has been on the media.  We ought to intensify that focus in 2012, because, in my opinion, the media is principally responsible for the jaundiced view that much of the public has of PM Gillard and her Government, as evidenced by the opinion polls.  Any objective appraisal of this minority government’s achievements ought to evoke praise, maybe not unequivocal, but substantial and continuing.  Yet almost all the commentary from the MSM is adverse, and often poisonous.  Accomplishments are buried in an avalanche of criticism, often screaming from tabloid headlines.  Much of the MSM demeans the Government in the hope that one that is more amicable to its objectives will replace it.  If one can believe what Robert Manne says in his Quarterly Essay: Bad News, namely that the editor of The Australian, arguably the most influential paper for the political class, regularly briefs his journalist henchmen on what outcomes he wants from their writings, you have there groupthink writ large.  No need for the conversations in corridors among the paper’s journalists, or the stories swapped at their favourite watering holes, groupthink has been institutionalized.

Think about how many journalists have had the courage to buck the groupthink that abounds.  Ross Gittins, Laura Tingle, Tim Dunlop, Mike Carlton, Peter Martin and sometimes George Megalogenis, are among just a handful that dare.  Most of the others meekly comply with what their editor wants, who in turn is obsessed with pleasing his master, whose objectives are well know.

This is not right in a democracy, where the people ought to decide who governs them, not the hierarchy in powerful media outlets, who consciously manipulate public opinion by feeding the electorate distortions of the truth, and sometimes downright lies. This, the Fifth Estate must continue to fight.

From that first piece on groupthink, to which our very own janice was one of the first respondents, TPS has evolved.  Always a forum for media criticism, it has also focused on the politicians themselves.  With the appalling Opposition that looms as an alternative government, led by arguably the most destructive leader in Australian political history, we have paid as much attention to them as to the media.  This will continue in 2012 – Tony Abbott is showing no signs of moderating his negativity.

International affairs have also featured, promoted by Feral Skeleton, Nasking and others.

Traffic through TPS was modest at first but gradually increased, and then got a big boost when Lyn started posting her links. Clearly, many visit here to read her links, thereby saving themselves much time by not having to look through the blogosphere themselves.

At first I was the sole author but was joined by Bushfire Bill for a while, and by Feral Skeleton (aka Hillbilly Skeleton), whose intimate knowledge of the political scene and ALP politics, and her capacity for incisive analysis, has brought an important new dimension to TPS.  More recently Acerbic Conehead has given us weekly doses of clever and delightful satire.  And next year, Nasking will submit original pieces as our ‘Foreign Correspondent’.

There has been much debate recently about how we conduct ourselves here.  There has been talk of rules and allusion to a code of behaviour.  Rather than trying to construct such a code, I prefer to leave it to the inherent courtesy of those who blog here to show respect for each other and for the other’s opinion, even when disagreeing with it.  When criticizing the media or politicians, avoidance of personal invective and criticizing physical attributes seems appropriate – we can leave that to the cartoonists.  But that should not inhibit us from criticizing the behaviour of politicians, political parties or journalists in as trenchant, or should I say as ‘pungent’ a way as is suitable.  After all, we see ourselves as a counter to the bad behaviour of all of them, knowing that the media will generally offer a biased view, more in line with its institutional objectives than holding politicians reasonably to account.

I have always asked that any political comment, no matter whether adverse or laudatory, be accompanied by cogent facts and reasoning that support the comments.  While that is often the case, sadly it does not always occur.  Sir Ian Crisp is a case in point.  While I am sure we would reciprocate his good wishes to us for 2012, his use of the offensive words ‘pure merde’ to describe Julia Gillard’s speech to honour Ben Chilfey, without offering a shred of evidence to support this pejorative assessment, is pointless, and serves only to evoke antagonism.  Let’s criticize by all means, but the least we can do is to say why.

As 2012 approaches let’s renew with vigour our objective of ‘holding the media to account’.  They believe it is their ‘duty’ to ‘hold governments and politicians to account’; unfortunately they hold some to account much more than others.  Let’s be even-handed and fair, but never hold back where political malfeasance raises its ugly head.

May 2012 be a productive and collegial political blogsite right through the year.

Ad astra reply

December 30. 2011 03:47 PM


Ad Astra

May I say ditto to your post.  Your calming and thoughtful posts are why I come here and the gentleness of this blog allows some (me) shy people to have some input.  Thank you, and keep enjoying your break, it sounds idyllic where you are.  Now back to cleaning the windows. Smile


Thanks for clarifying the TV conundrum for me.  We are lashing out and getting a LCD digital tele after we move, and I had hoped to be able to watch Parliament on it.  I know I'm slow, but it even has a DVD player and recording thingo in it.  Technology is taking over and getting smaller all the time, except the screens for viewing are getting bigger.  Ah well you win some and you lose some. Smile

Patricia WA

I have heard the best way of avoiding 'old timers' is through using your grey matter on challenges.  I thinks yours will be safe while you continue with your wonderful pomes.  Smile


December 30. 2011 04:22 PM



ABC24 is coming into my computer at about 60 KB/sec, so for 90 minutes of Question Time you would use up 324,000 KB or 316.4 MB or (more helpfully) about 0.3 GB per day. Four days a week = 1.2 GB. So a long sitting period of parliament might use up 4.8 GB per month. The website that Jason thoughtfully provided the link to would use up about the same amount if you decide you wish to watch the Senate live (for example). If money is tight, stick with 5GB per month until you exceed your limit and only then make a modest increase.

ABC24 on free-to-air TV broadcasts Question Time from the House in its entirety from 2.00pm EST or EDST whenever they are sitting - surely your best option because IT'S FREE. Your new television will have a built-in High Definition Digital Tuner so you should have no worries. Throw yourself into learning how to programme your new recorder because it is only scary and difficult until you learn how to do it and then it is a piece of cake. You could record QT and watch it at your leisure.
Or play one of Mr Abbott's arm-waving Suspension of Standing Orders Motions on fast-forward and see if you can get him to take off. Smile


December 30. 2011 04:25 PM


Patricia WA said
. . .  with fear of alzheimers being the only cloud on life's horizon I'd be interested in where to go for information on possible prevention.   I would see therapy or cure in a condition like that rather difficult to achieve since self help is the major factor in any healing process.

PWA Are you sitting comfortably? OK.

Alzheimers is the visible result of the excessive deposition of a material called amyloid plaque on the neurons (nerve cells) inhibiting and scrambling the chemico-electrical impulses they are designed to transmit.

There is no cure nor even partial recovery of loss of nerve function, lose it it's gone. Nor is there any way of preventing it once it starts, but its onset may be slowed by the use of drugs. At the time (2006) of the research I linked to at the Scripps Institute (la Jolla, California, arguably the most respected pharmacological research institution in the World!) the two most-commonly prescribed drugs for that purpose- in fact the only ones as far as I remember - were compared with various cannabinoids (marijuana derivatives), the latter administered in what were probably far sub-optimal methods. Notwithstanding the iffiness of the cannabinoid delivery methods, the uncertainty of which particular cannabinoids are most useful, (there are many, some antagonistic to others btw), smoking cannabis oddly is the best and surest method of administration, the other methods are less reliable in their effects, and research institutions are not about to let people smoke it, OOOH that would be unscientific, even though the science is known to be just what I said! - even with all these comparative disadvantages under which Cannabis was administered, the results ought to make you spit pungent stuff from here to the White House. One of the 2 legal pharmaceuticals came in at 23% as effective as cannabis in preventing the deposition of that nasty amyloid plaque on your nice shiny neurons, the other drug came in at just 7% as effective as good ol' dope!
(These findings have been largely substantiated elsewhere, Yet They - the Alzheimers foundations of the World really - go on spending FAN - TASTIC amounts of money half-pretending to try to find . . . some. . . Magic Bullet  . . .and in the meantime yr mother/brother/husband/even child AND YOU PWA can go on developing Alheimers at a galloping rate because
They Will Not LEGALIZE It!

Swordies I could fill many pages with what I know about ths subject, the injustices, harassment, the damage, home invasions, pain it could have relieved. The fight to legalize, or just to rationalize the laws. (The huge body of evidence is all there in IACM, the internationally respected and burgeoning International Association of Cannabis Medicine, double-blind studies, proper research blowing away shibbloeths about its association with psychiatric disease (persecution of users is a far larger and more definite cause!)

On the contrary, as usual, it turns out that cannabioids offer probably the most promising avenues into research for treatment of psychosis as well as, hell it seems like everything else, depression, degenerative nerve and muscle disorders, pain, both forms of diabetes (mostly anecdotal, because you can't get permissiion to research, nice circle that!)weight loss associated with cancer, cancer itself it is known to make go into remission ( research-based findings, but the same problem always, not enough research because it is inhibited always!); irritable bowel, appetite loss, cerebral palsy they won't let proper research happen, why because it's illegal why because Uncle Sam says so, and Keelty and Co worldwide feed on the corruption opportunities and the POWER it gives them to be able to bust around a third of the population if they want -the third they want to control.
And the pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, and the grog barons, and the suppliers of dead trees to paper mills, and the oil and oilseed companies, and the plastics companies like Du Pont, all fear cannabis because if it got out that it can undercut them and the damage they are doing to people's health by NOT legalizing, and the oilseed forests they own where were once oRANGAtans, and the paper and edible oils could be made from cheaper stonger quicker-growing more recyclable material, it makes the best oilpaint oils, resins, stock feed (the best), fabrics beautiful and soft and super-tough, you can bond the fibres and make aircraft it's so strong, and among these few facts about it I'll finish on this one, it contains in adequate measure every one of the seven amino acids known to be essential to human nutrition!
In which it is virtually unique! (and best, ie, better than any other seed in the proportions of those amino acids.)You could probably live out a normal lifespan on cannabis seeds alone, except you'd die of boredom.

Oh but could have Hempseeds with Ham!
and sometimes Ham with Hempseeds for a change.

You can say Well he would say all that, he's an old Hippie!I only say any of this because it's true. These are not anecdotes, (though on IACM there are many of them too), they're scientific findings. Does anyone seriously think I'd say this stuff, making it up, with Dr Ad astra there? For all I know he might be glaring at me in white-hot rage over his specs for saying this, hope not, Don Dunstan was MAGIC's declared Patron in I think 1979, I was there in the little room when he declared himself to the Media! John Gorton was NORML Patron!!! But Ad wouldn't let me get away with this stuff, shouldn't, couldn't let me get away with it, if he didn't know or couldn't guess that I know very well what I'm on about here, the science and the social effects both.

O btw PWA Don't let anyone know I told you this but what that paragraph, and all the other paragraphs, mean, in a nutshell is, if you have incipient Alzheimers, and you don't smoke marijuana (best) or otherwise absorb cannabinoids aka anandamides often, your downward trajectory is likely to be far far steeper than if you do.

Would I tell a lie to you PWA, no I would bloody not, this is very serious, and Truth is with me.. If your GP tries to tell you other than what I just have, either he's ignorant of the science (in particular about Alzheimers), or else he is lying.  

No addiction syndrome. No 'tolerance', i.e., you don't ever need to increase dosage (this is amazing: with virtually no other 'Drug', to my holey knowledge wrt this, is that so. And never, never ever, has there been a case of overdose, it cannot happen.

Oh yeah: The Tasmanian Country Womens' Association would support most everything I've just said, as far as I know; they call anyway for the legalization of medical cannabis, how about that!

That's all I'm going to say for now.

Has anyone else a pair of Budgies?


December 30. 2011 04:59 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
             I don't know if you were around Sydney University at the same time as I(and, grr, Tony Abbott), was, but if you were and you had some link to the Pharmacology Department, you may have been asked by Dr Greg Chesher to be a part of his Cannabinoid studies.
   I certainly took the opportunity to take it in tablet form, of varying dosages, and, as a blind study you didn't know which one you were getting. However, I think I got the strongest one because I have never laughed so much in my life! Nor had the desire to eat so many Peanut Butter and Honey sandwiches. Smile
   I don't know what came of the experiments because, as you know the substance has never been legalised in NSW, and maybe that's why, as you can't have a populace that's too happy. None of the politician's FUD would work any more. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 30. 2011 05:38 PM


No sorry, my bad, No, look now I'm confused anyway - talking to Jason as I write makes me think that on ABC24 they ALWAYS show the Reps QT live; on ABC1 in SA there's a halfhour delay.
It's replayed at weirdly different times late at night on ABC1, but the way they work it is a mystery they keep close to their chest, sometimes later than others,  and half the nights senate, half reps.

Anyway me dear, you can find it all on Google if the ABC hasn't managed to hide the details of their crappy broadcasts quite completely, Oh and don't forget Order in the House, sometime late on Sunday night(Monday small hours), a crappily random collage of crappy bits of crappy speeches by crappy speakers in the last week, with apparently no reference to the relative importance of the crap presented by some old crapper who seems to have no knowledge of nor interest in the crap he presents.    


December 30. 2011 05:58 PM


Thank you for offering a medication for me to try.  However, I won't be trying it because experience with my intolerant liver tells me it is not worth the risk.  I can't even take panadol or glucosamine so I'm really left with grin and bear it.  Without going into boring details, my spine is cactus and only supported by my still strong muscles which I keep strong by faithfully following the exercises given to me by the neurologist who did the operations that kept me out of a wheelchair back in the nineties.  I have taken up the knitting needles and knit squares to keep my hands flexible and I have a neck brace for nightwear.

How clever of you to come up with "The pun gent" Smile  As for Alzheimers, one can only keep the brain exercised I think.  Either no-one noticed or were too kind to point it out, but I had a bad senior moment this morning when it was obvious in my post that I thought today was Saturday (New Year's Eve) Laughing:   These senior moments are becoming more and more frequent now.

Ad astra,
I often think about your "group think" article when I hear and read what the media say and write.  In recent times, I began to wonder if group think comes about because most of the opinion writers are (a) not very intelligent   (b) ill informed themselves  (c) too disinterested to be serious about their job, and (d) too lazy to put in the hard yards to research, investigate and/or study the material they write about. Therefore they just feed off each other.


December 30. 2011 06:21 PM


Greg and Teri are some of my dearest people in the whole world, and have been since 1974 when Yes!  Smile I was in the right place at the right time. I was Senior Guineapig in one set of trials, I kid you not. He was Reader in Pharmacology and in charge of those experiments. 37 years ago. Dog.

Greg came to Adelaide as our guest and spoke to a meeting we arranged at Adelaide Town Hall re cannabis pharmacology, and also advised the three Commissioners of the SA royal commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs.

On that trip I was driving him from the airport past a head-shop (hippie shop), and there we were waiting a while for the traffic lights to change, Greg's looking in the shop window from the car, there's a poster there with a zonked-lookin' Furry Freak type fella on it, and the legend writ large, "Life - Be Out Of It!" (It was during the Life Be In it campaign, co-started by Philip Adams BTW.)

Well Greg's looking at it, he says, "Look at that! Some people just have to spoil every decent initiative!" and he looked really annoyed, I couldn't work out why he was so hostile to it, then it dawned, I said, "Er Greg" (Erm hadn't been invented then) "Er Greg" I said, "have you ever heard the expression "being out of it"? Like, *stoned*?" and a magical dawn came up on his face then, he grinned, he said Oh yes that's really quite funny isn't it!, he was tickled after all, he thought first it was just a spoiler's nasty line but it was Dopefreaks' Fun, cute.

I looked them both up on my recent trip through the Big Smoke.  Both well, they've moved from Paddo to a new place they are over the moon with. Same area, overlooking a beautiful big park, yum. Their lovely old house in Goodhope Street got worth so much they just sold it for I don't know but I know they'll've done good. I adore them both, years pass and we haven't seen each other, it's like hardly a week has passed each time.

Yes I know Greg!  


December 30. 2011 07:49 PM


            What is going on at the "Courier Mail"? not often you see an editorial like this!


AUSTRALIA'S economy has remained a rock of strength and stability in a year dominated by increasingly dismal headlines from the rest of the world.

As one of fewer than 10 AAA-rated nations with a stable credit rating outlook, healthy growth, comparatively low unemployment and a strong budget position, we are among a privileged few when it comes to both good fortune and relatively sound economic management.

Good fortune stems from our abundant natural resources at a time when the appetite for minerals and energy from emerging Asian economies continues to expand relentlessly.

This has sparked an investment boom of historically unprecedented proportions, in the process underwriting record balance of trade numbers, a high Australian dollar (which helps keep inflation in check) and enviably low unemployment.

At the same time, our central bank has managed to so far navigate a precarious path between balancing the potential for those booming sectors of the economy to fuel wage price pressures with the needs of sectors being strangled by the high currency and weak export markets.

Equally, the Federal Government has largely managed to pull back spending after the spike associated with the stimulus measures of 2009-10, with the fiscal contraction likely to serve as a real drag on GDP in the current year.

This is the right choice at this stage of an uncertain cycle.

In short, unlike so many other advanced nations, Australia maintains both the fiscal and monetary capacity to respond decisively to any global economic contagion.

The Reserve Bank is cautiously and gradually easing official rates against a backdrop of rising fear about Europe and emerging concerns about China's underlying strength, and with a very real recognition that Australia's economy remains patchy.

Likewise, the Australian dollar is doing its job as an automatic stabiliser and beginning to fall back from some of the record highs achieved earlier in the year.

With this in mind, and as 2012 dawns, there are two keys to Australia maximising control of its own destiny in a fragile world.

The first is that it is imperative we avoid complacency.

While the Gillard Government can congratulate itself on the passage of a carbon pricing scheme and a minerals tax designed to share the benefits of the mining boom across the wider economy, there is still vast need for reform.

It is encouraging to see a review of the Fair Work Act, and it would be hoped that this leads to a number of legislative adjustments aimed at improving not only labour flexibility and affordability, but also employer innovation and investment.

Measures that foster increased productivity and competitiveness across the entire economy are long overdue and sorely needed if Australia is to hold its own in an increasingly fraught and unstable world economy.

In the same way the nation cannot afford wasteful spending, neither can we afford reform fatigue in not only labour relations but areas such as national competition policy and trade.

Just as important, however, is confidence - that most fickle of economic qualities.

Without confidence we have shrinking business investment, housing construction and consumer spending, all of which will serve to drag the economy down.

It is here that our politicians and business chiefs must show some true leadership.

While rigorous debate about economic policy and regulation is to be encouraged, the respective vested interests in any debate must resist the temptation to use fear-mongering to try to further their own interests.

Australia is far from perfect, but we are basically in good economic shape - some would say enviable.

The debate this coming year needs to reflect that, and mature beyond self-interested and sometimes rent-seeking claims of economic Armageddon to focus more on how we can further lift our game.

There is nothing this country can't achieve if we work together for the common good.

And that belief is one of our great strengths.

Don't squander it.


December 30. 2011 07:57 PM


You only dreamed that article. It came from your id.


December 30. 2011 08:18 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your kind compliment. I trust TPS will remain a gentle blogsite.  You will always be welcome here.

We go back a long way – about three and a half years.  Thank you for sticking with TPS.  Your analysis of the possible reasons for groupthink is spot on.

That is a great editorial – so unexpected, and such an effective counterpoint to the ‘ain’t it awful’ whingeing, which is encouraged almost every day by the MSM.  We are indeed the ‘lucky country’, and we have a good government to boot.

Ad astra reply

December 30. 2011 08:20 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Reading that Courier Mail editorial made me think about this article that I read today:

Especially this sentence:

      He says that he rarely fires rank-and-file workers, because his goal is to grow revenue. But he does typically shake up top management.

   He seems like just the sort of guy who is busting the old stereotypes of Boss=exploiter & Worker=exploited.

Feral Skeleton

December 30. 2011 08:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Glenn Greenwald hit the nail on the head by articulating a feeloing of unease that I have had myself when I look at today's crop of journalists in the media. In the following clip he outlines the personal history of a number of journalists he knows and why they were unable to grasp the Occupy movement, except sceptcally and derisively. I suspect the same applies to many of our own:


Feral Skeleton

December 30. 2011 09:07 PM

Feral Skeleton

   In the absence of political satire from Acerbic Conehead, have a read of this, it will surely bring a smile to your face:


Feral Skeleton

December 30. 2011 10:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Some cartoons to tickle your funny bone:


Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 06:52 AM



Or play one of Mr Abbott's arm-waving Suspension of Standing Orders Motions on fast-forward and see if you can get him to take off. Smile

I laughed my head off nearly when I read that.  Thanks for your information.  I will sit down with the wo/manual and learn how to record just so I can try this.  ABC24 it is.  Now to get some sense out of Optus to see if we can stay with them or have to go with Telstra.

Talk Turkey

Your info on cannabis is interesting, my friend with MS uses it as a medication and I've seen how beneficial it is for her.  I will pass this on to her as she worries about forgetting stuff, can you imagine how much more she would have forgotten with out it.

Feral Skeleton

Thanks for the links.  The temperature is going to be in the 30's plus for the next three or four days so little work will be done, I've book marked them for reading.


I remember that group think article.  It is even more truer today than ever before.  


Wow, that was as good an article as we could expect.  To the point and TRUE.  Sorry for shouting the last word but it so unusual to be able to type it.  Thanks for that.  Smile


December 31. 2011 08:40 AM

Feral Skeleton

   This is the sort of line Julia Gillard and her speechwriters should be coming up with:

     "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 08:52 AM

D Mick Weir

Good Morning all I hope every one is well prepared to turn over a new leaf or at the very least put up the new calendar.

Some pickings from around the traps

Exaggerating the house price rise  @TheKouk
It's fascinating to see the reporting of the 0.1% rise in house prices in November, especially in the context of the 10 consecutive monthly falls that pre-dated this wafer thin increase.

Rudded: the knack of being all things to all people  David Burchell @TheOz (not paywalled when I clicked)
Looking back on the turmoil, anger and division that has characterised Australian politics over this period, historians will have little choice but to label ours as the Rudd Moment, a time when almost all the verities that have marked our political debates over the past half-century have been tossed into the air, to land again, holus-bolus, either disarranged or arranged in unfamiliar patterns.

For something (I think is) a bit whacky try this short take:
The Hanke-Henry calendar  by Tyler Cowen @MarginalRevolution
Not satisfied with conquering calendrical irrationality, Henry and Hanke take on timekeeping, too. “The time in Australia is the same as it is for us, but their clocks are set different,” Henry said. “We’re just saying, ...

You most likely have heard about it and it has already happened but as we are on calendars I couldn't let it slip past and thereby fail to keep you informed.

Samoa to cross date line, lose December 30 and jump forward in time to bolster trade links with Australia  Keni Lesa @PerthNow
THE tiny South Pacific nation of Samoa will jump forward in time this week - all in the name of trade.
At the stroke of midnight on December 29, time in Samoa will leap forward to December 31 - New Year's Eve.

Marshall McLuhan on New Forms and Old Assumptions (1960)  Maria Popova @BrainPickings
What the golden age of television has to do with human nature and today’s Internet intellectuals

Unprincipled politicians - and the press - shown the door by disillusioned public  George Megalogenis @TheOz (not paywalled when I clicked)
ONLY one organisation in Australia is viewed, statistically speaking, as totally untrustworthy: the media. The scoop in the 2010 Australian Election Survey, published this week, wasn't so much that the messenger finished last but that the gap between us and the political institutions we are supposed to hold to account was so wide.

Only 17 per cent of voters polled at the last election had confidence in the press, compared with 53 per cent for the Australian political system, 41 per cent for the public service and 31 per cent for the political parties.

There is probably more out there but this is the 'best?' of what I have come across so far today.

D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 09:21 AM

Feral Skeleton

   For another humorous take on politics(and it's what the ALP should be doing here, taking the mickey out of Tony Abbott, as humiliation is the best weapon. The Conservatives use it all the time):


Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 09:25 AM

Feral Skeleton

D Mick Weir,
            Thank you for your tireless efforts to keep us well-informed. Smile

   You know what? If you combine the media with a politician you should get the person that Australians trust the least-Tony Abbott, former journalist. Smile


Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 09:35 AM


That Courier Mail article - it reminds me of
The Emperor's New Clothesby Hans Andersen

Only in reverse!

MSM all saying all year en masse
Look She's nekkid!
She hasn't got a stitch on,
no credibility at all!

And just at the end of the whole year,
Somebody nobody even knows who it is
Named Edi Torial*
Comes along and says
What a beautiful suit she's wearing!!

Look at the fit!
Look at the style!
Must be gemstones by the mile! . . .

Australia's outlook's all together!
It's earnt its feather!
It's faced the weather!
It's altogether the healthiest Australia's ever been!


I could complete a decent take-off of Danny Kaye's lyrics I'm sure - he's really pretty good eh! But then I couldn't say an even early-ish good Morning Swordsfolks on this last day of an 'interesting' year.  Seems the dramas get dramaticker and the traumas get traumaticker exponentially. Natural and man-made.

Anyway PWA I bet you can guess the very last word of the next verse would be if I were to write that. Which I might. It ties up with the first. The first ties up with Danny Kaye's!

Gee tell you what, just thought,
it'd make a



(Paul Howes is somehow involved in productions like
The Abbortt Family)

See that'd be GREAT! Get the picture,
a Danny-Kaye scene . . . not just kids though, all walks of life . . . they stop work to listen and nod and grin, supply the odd agreeing rhymiing syllable as he invites them . . . He could sing the Government's great record and bright outlook in one swell foop, I really think it could be a very effective ad. Ad? Smile

I'm'a see what I can come up with eh. This better be good, don't hold your breath.

Just remember to thank Dog and your brilliant southern stars that you live in Australia, I'm not flag-waving, I'm saying like this, if you're sick and without the readies in most places they let you die in the gutter. Sword be staunch. Australia's governance is critical to improving public medical services, public education (albeit Dam the super-suck from private schools), but anyway there is virtually 100% literacy here . . . and so on.

Basically  . . . Live in Australia if you can!

We all wear good clothes here.

* Wasn't she in Absolutely Fabulous?


December 31. 2011 09:36 AM

Feral Skeleton

    The article by Big George was sound, except for this self-aggrandising sentence:

     Obviously, the fence-sitting professionals at The Australian, the ABC, Fairfax and elsewhere should not have to answer for the celebrity hecklers on commercial television and radio.

   To characterise, in the main, the journalists at The Australian, the ABC & Fairfax as 'fence sitting professionals' is to ignore the mote in one's own eye when criticising others in the next breath. Especially when you consider some of the clowns who write for The Australian. Why, just yesterday I read about the fact that Chris Mitchell, Editor of The Australian, demands that his journalists bring him stories that fit his cookie cutter view of politics and the issues he wishes to run with. Of course, journalists such as George Megalogenis wouldn't buckle under, because he'd just have to threaten to walk, but I can see that sort of behaviour manifest in too many other journalists at the paper.

Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 09:49 AM


Blah blah blah,
              Is the best summary I could come up with for Abbott's end of year speech!


On behalf of the Liberal and National Parties, I wish all Australians a happy New Year.

The New Year is a time to reflect, a time to be optimistic and a time to set goals. Many of us did it tough in 2011. The challenges of nature, economic uncertainty and cost of living all tested us but Australians are a strong, resourceful and resilient people. We came through last year. The challenge is to make 2012 a year of hope, reward and opportunity.

We need to build a stronger economy because that will make our nation stronger and the best way to do this is for government to live within its means. Ending the waste and repaying the debt means that we can take the pressure off inflation and interest rates. That means we can get taxes down – that will help small business to grow and create jobs and to make our country more prosperous.

As well, government needs to get the fundamentals right, of keeping commitments, protecting our borders and building a more productive society.

I hope that in 2012 all of us will be nearer to our best selves and I pledge the Coalition to help in this great task.


December 31. 2011 09:55 AM

D Mick Weir

This weeks NoCrapApp from Drag0nista @Drag0nista
Here's this week's #NoCrapApp with extra cartoonish goodness. Enjoy!

Has a couple extra bits to 'enjoy'

D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 10:12 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi FS,
pleasure to attempt (a very vain attempt) to fill the gap while TweetyPie Lyn takes a break.

I am pondering your take on the combining of media & politician. I get what you say about TA and I guess I am showing my years when I suggest that the likes of Ray Sherry, Peter Andren and more recently Maxine show a different light. Exceptions that prove the rule?

Re Mega's article. Yep I scratched the chin and the head over that sentence and still haven't figured out what he means.

At the risk of appearing to defend the indefensible, it has to be a tough gig being a straight shooting journo these days when there are so many more 'critics' and people able to express an opinion thru the interwebby thingo. It has to be a real pain in the armpit to put up with the abuse that they cop from the rabble that comment on their work. Ourselves as tough but fair observers excluded of course Tong

D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 10:17 AM


Gravel - here's a really good & frequently updated TV Guide to look at -> http://www.icetv.com.au/interactive/.  You should be able to find what times parliament is on the Teev closer to when it starts again - and the guide gets updated, unlike the newspaper or digital TV ones.

Jason - the Curious Snail does have occasional bouts of reason and there are still one or two balanced writers who will have a go at both tribes when necessary.  It's why we still get the weekend editions.  The Sunday version is more tabloid.

Which is a nice lead in to something I noticed in the Curious Snail this morning.  It being the last day of the year, the paper is doing the usual "look back" features - and where possible it's positive.  Lets face it - Queensland had a crap year from the natural disaster point of view.  When statements like the park was completely underwater in the floods and waterplay pool only reopened the week before Christmas are not out of the normal (on this occasion in relation to a park in western Brisbane), together with images of flooded areas across the state and major cyclone damage, there is the need to point out some positives - as a lot of people are still suffering.  The Queensland economy is beginning to "boom" again, the Australian economy is one of the best in the world at the time of writing - so I suspect the Snail is finding it nice to have something positive to report to offset the crappy year a lot of us up here have had.  

There is also a quarter page ACCC/Harvey Norman ad in the paper this morning publicising a ruling that all Harvey Norman catalogues for a two year period were misleading as they only promised the advertised prices in one store per state (or the Alburn NSW store on the net).  Is this why Gerry is aggressive at the moment - he's been caught out and trying to deflect attention?  As well as the ads, it's cost HN $750,000 in penalties.

I was re-watching some of The Hamster Wheel last night and maybe because I wasn't as tired as I normally am at 9.30 pm mid-week or some other reason but they were really giving the media a serve.  Maybe if they clean it up a bit, get an earlier timeslot and do the same ridicule - it might be an effective weapon.

Have a good day - off to do more painting.


December 31. 2011 10:19 AM


Oooh I forgot - Happy New Year everyone.  MAy 2012 bring all the good things you wish for.


December 31. 2011 10:35 AM

D Mick Weir

An interesting article about Twitter & Facebook and disaster management and the challenges organisations face in having social media accepted.

The use of social media makes for an arresting site  Nicholas Gruen @SMH Business Day
Web 2.0 massively scales up our capacity to communicate - with possibilities both trivial and earth-shaking. And it scales up simple improvisation. Whether you're organising a party or a working bee, just hop on to Facebook or Twitter and Bob's your uncle.

D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 11:15 AM

D Mick Weir

I didn't bother providing a link to an article by Josh Frydenberg in todays' Oz

As I tweeted to @ScottMorrisonMP when he tweeted a link to the article
Pity Frydenburg spoils a good article by distorting the facts and forgetting the history of non core promises

Well Stephen Koukoulas (@TheKouk) was quick off the mark to demolish the tosh in the article.
Josh Frydenberg hopeless wrong on some key budget and economic facts
Oh no – the Liberal Party is showing that the lack of understanding of the budget, the bond market and economics is broadly based, even among the new blood in its ranks. This time it is Josh Frydenberg, the Member for Kooyong who shows he cannot read the budget papers, nor understand economics and the bond market, with his Op Ed article in today’s The Australian.

Save the bother of reading the article just read TheKouk

I'm off on family business for a while and on my return I keep an eagle eye out for Andrew Elders take on it cause I am sure he will put it into perspective.

D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 11:18 AM


Of course, journalists such as George Megalogenis wouldn't buckle under

No, Minilowpenis would just shrink and slip away. I am very much critical of our George. He's spineless like what I call him.
Seems to be standing firm one minute, then he goes limp, hope for anything seminal coming from him HA!

As TT observed last year in The Lass from Yarralumla, after Mini was part of a vital interview alongside *Laura Tingle*,

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!

Why unkindest, he was supposed to be of the Left.

Left all right. Left and gone to the Right.


December 31. 2011 11:20 AM



Thank you for that link, I have book marked it.  I feel like I'll be entering a new world when we disconnect from pay TV.  Sadly it is not something I'm looking forward to.  Ah well, I'll spend more time on the computer while resting.  Did I just say resting at the computer?  You have to be joking, all that reading that is available, all the Solitaire and Mah Jongg.........Oh, and Happy New Year 2353.

D Mick Weir

Thank you for the links, I've finished window washing, it's getting very warm outside, time to get stuck into some reading.


December 31. 2011 11:57 AM

Feral Skeleton

       This is for you to take comfort in:   Smile


Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 12:07 PM

Feral Skeleton

    I have Tweeted Stephen Koukoulas that he should do the right thing and stand for an open ALP Primary before the next election. Smile
   Wow! What a killer combination, Dr Andrew Leigh as Finance Minister(he's not really extrovery enough for Treasurer), amd Stephen for Treasurer! Maybe that's why he left the PM's Office? Wink

Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 12:10 PM

Feral Skeleton

    That's the Nopposition for you; they never let the facts get in the way of a good Fractured Fairy Tale. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 12:14 PM

Feral Skeleton

     Interesting what you have posted about the Liberal shill Gerry Harvey. He must hate the new ACCC CEO. Which is good. However it brought to mind the uneasy feeling I have had about Gerry Harvey's latest venture into the wilds of capitalism, whereby he is studiously seeking to avoid paying the GST, and the 'T' stands for 'Tax', by having his internet business venture to sell computer games based in Ireland. I mean if it looks like Tax Avoidance, and quacks like Tax Avoidance, is it Tax Avoidance? I'd love to hear the ACCC give an opinion on it.

Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 01:09 PM


2353, DMW, NK, FS, Jason, others too,
Thanks for all your posts and links and helpful hints. Between you you are keeping the Sword's edge while Lyn's sleeping off the Crispmess Hampseed. I honour you for your efforts, I don't have your finding skills but I can follow a link if Maybe Optus lets me. Yeah so ta.  

But her aestivation makes us all appreciate Lyn's~Links each day even more keenly . . .  every day worth getting up early to catch up on the Polliegossip, all set out and so-o-o-o well selected and introduced with her little excerpts . . .

I'd love to have an Eye of Insight that I could look to see how many people just lurk here just to see Lyn's~Links, and who they might include! Some notables, some who get ideas from here as we get some from elsewhere, well that's what this Internet is all about, communication, but you folks all of you who put up links are the facilitators, liaison persons, and too Teachers (by your choice of what you think important); that makes the Sword what it is. Passionate, scholarly, civil . . . there are many good qualities in the thousands of pages in Ad astra's site. Sometimes our passions and frustrations explode like lava flows, hard to believe it can happen so easily, well re.con.cilia.tion is the thing to aim for if friends fall out. I am so very happy FS that we have come through that glitch so huggishly, a New Era awaits us and we can confidently face it staunchly you bet. Isn't it funny, our common link with the lovely Dr Greg Chesher makes us much more like old friends ourselves, we must try never to get snippy any more. Civility first to each other Swordsfolks, criticise and challenge and argue but we are Comrades here.

The best bit of all is we are taking a clean determined Sword to this new era. This year is very different from last now that Peter Slipper is Speaker and the Government is safe until late 2013, its security plus the fact that the Government (with the so-appreciated support of those Good People the IndependAnts Kiss) has already passed the main burden of its legislation. Oh how nice it will be to see PS smack PooPoo in the chops, snot Snotty Joe, and stare Mesma down! As for Vampirella - remember her? - I can't wait to see him give her the old Wolfsbane Suppository cure, right up the jacksie as she flounces waddlefully from the Chamber after he names and expels her.

This last year, as *J*U*L*I*A* promised, she has delivered the Year of Delivery. What will the next one be known as in a year's time? The year of fine tuning? Up for grabs I think, but obviously we can feel very positive. More than ever now, but I always have since 'we won'. If Ad astra didn't think likewise, I'd probably not be here. We will win.

Encouraging each other is worth whole percentiles in the only poll that counts. Criticism of Them I don'tcare mush how downputting it is, the worse the better Smile, but if people are going to put down, like, our PM or the Government's performance here, it better be constructive not like j jerk or Limpy Crisp. Otherwise I'm afraid we'll just have to give them the ol' PUNGENT suppository treatment . . . You know where . . .  

Give yourself a smile for free. Conjure from your Neck-Top the image of the unrelenting maelstrom in Tony Abbortt's head, the rage, the frustration, the hurt why-isn't-it-me Archbigot Pell? You should pity him for such pain surely?
Bwahahaha, yes. Smile

This will be what he is looking at
Are you ready to say it with me, Folks,
This is what he's looking at,
all together,
ev-ery sec-ond
of ev-ery min-ute
of ev-ery ho-ur
of ev-ery daaay
of ev-ery monthhhh

How good is THAT!

Except with my Eye of Time I see him under very intense pressure by August. Maybe mid-September he will come undone.

The Ides of September Tony! Beware the Ides of September!

They would gladly ditch him now if they had anyone worthwhile. As if. NO one, in the Party of NO.

The Coalons will be increasingly desperate and irrational and divided, what else can they be? A big third are crazy Tea Party clones like Abbortt himself, nearly all the rest are slobs and drones and low-grade hacks, and mugs, and one obvious one, Turdball, has a brain sort of and he is the general direction the Lieberals need to go in but Abbortt has so divided them they will have no idea of how to heal the great rift between Damps like Snotty, and Incendiary Maniacs of Abbortt's persuasion. And between those factions, as between Vampirealla's sussurrating thighs, is where to apply my Patent Potent Pungent Unguent

Or you can make your own. Itchy powder from those bird-shaped Currajong pods is good for a Vampirella situation. Red onion juice and proper hot Chilli of course . . . and Garlic will send her back to her crypt altogether. There is plenty of room for creativity here. But always aim for maximum pungency.

Altogether I'm looking forward to a fun year of taunting Them. I've always said, ridicule and other forms of humour are our best weapons, the pungenter the better!



December 31. 2011 02:32 PM

Patricia WA

Sorry, FS, can't agree with you that Big George's article was sound apart form that breathtaking description of (himself?) and other journalists as fence sitters!

For someone who who claims some authority in his field he has been a complete sell out.  Even in this article he did a very poor follow-up on the research he cited showing how little respect he and his media mates enjoy from the public these days. He still managed to blame the pollies and Julia Gillard in particular for being their victim.

When will he or any of them have the self respect to admit that they owe their souls to Murdoch and that’s why they’re doing such a lousy job these days. They don’t deserve a happy new year.  

I was interested to read Min's comment over at cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../#comment-52487 which almost parallels yours.  Great minds, obviously!
But she goes further than you as do others over at CW.   I think they'd be more of TT's and my persuasion.  

One gets the feeling that as soon as the polls pick up for the PM then editors come down with a heavy hand, even on the Laura Tingles and George Megas of our once 'quality' media.  God knows what they're threatened with.  But I guess they have families at home and bills to pay.   With 70% Murdoch ownership, conservative ABC management and the likes of Gina Hancock buying up media stock, what hope do we have of a disinterested and fearless press?      

Patricia WA

December 31. 2011 02:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

            You may well be right about my concessionary opinion of George Megalogenis' article today. However, I guess I tinge it with the knowledge that he is smart enough to know who provides the butter for his bread and who the demographic is for his outlet, and so dials his true intents back a notch or two. I think I say this because I went to that Australian Progressives Society Conference earlier this year at which he was a panellist, and he certainly wasn't as reticient in his criticism of the Abbott-led Conservatives then, although he was still critical of the PM.
   Actually, now that I think about it, he may be, in that sentence I exerpted, be simply projecting his own desired position as a fencesitter onto his compadres at The Austrollian. I know that's how he sees himself, as some sort of modern-day Aussie Greek Aristotelian. Maybe he is also smart enough to know that you don't diss your workmates, even if you really, really would like to. Smile

Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 03:11 PM

D Mick Weir

I guess most of us have been told at one time or another not discuss politics, religion or suks (that's for any Kiwiws reading Smile )

Well we have sure struck out on the first one and well I am about to break the second taboo.

It's all the fault of the carth licks you know.

If it wasn't for Pope Gregory (of some number I forget) and the carth lick church taking on the Gregorian Calendar today may well have been just another shirty day in paradise.

Instead it is the last day of a year and this his given an excuse for celebrations and never ending this is the year that was bulldust and prognostications on the year to come and lots of related dribble from experts and pundits.

Bleedin' carth licks messed it all up didn't they.

Oh well enough of the killjoy

In the bittersweet year that is to follow may each and every one of you enjoy appropriate amounts of bitter and sweet as is your desire or want. May some of your dreams turn to reality and some of your nightmares remain just figments of your imagination.

Either way whether it be your dreams or nightmares that come to pass remember that if you look there is always a friend somewhere around the corner who will be able to show the silver lining in many if not all clouds.

Happy New Year All

D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 03:12 PM

D Mick Weir



D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 03:36 PM

D Mick Weir

Interesting observations but I beg to differ.

From the standpoint of Not everything any government does or says is all good, or everything an opposition does or says is all bad  then I think Mega has given a better take on the year and the current state of politics in this country than a lot of others.

There are number of things where the government has done a 'fair to middling' job. There may be some that have been done well. There are some things that have stuff up and/or stupidity written all over them.

No matter which tribe you support when a step back is taken and it is viewed with a less biased eye we as a country are not being served well by our current political practitioners.

Equally our media is not serving us well either.

The challenge for journalists when there is so much absurdity and mediocrity in our politics to 'lift thier game' may be too much to ask if we do not also ask the pollies to lift thier game.

This is not a chicken and egg thing. In the end the main problem is with the pollies.

Just as the PM said Don't write Crap  (or whatever the exact words) equally it must be said to the pollies Don't keep feeding us the same old crap

The responsibility for better governance lays squarely at the feet (and in the hands and mouths) of The Government

D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 04:09 PM


   Whilst I see the point you're trying to make with "equally it must be said to the pollies Don't keep feeding us the same old crap"
I would say just about every press conference that is reported it's the journo's that ask about the "same old crap" you know the ones Rudd is going to to challenge any day week or month now, or why did you lie at the last election, or the opposition says (even though they can't cost it) But SFA on whatever the subject de jour is.
Now we have mega George acting like Barry Cassidy who likes to think he's a serious journo until the pollies appear on his sunday show.
I would also point out you only have to watch 730 report when sales and ulhmann are on to leave you in no doubt they would be better if they filled in for Kerry Ann Kenelly next year!
Journo's hmmp!


December 31. 2011 04:28 PM

D Mick Weir

take your point about the press conferences.

I don't know how to change it (if I did I would be on the PM's doorstep volunteering  to do a bit of media management) but in the end it is more in the hands of the pollies than some would care to admit.

Less doorstops, announcables and pressers may well be part of the answer. Less can sometimes be more.

It is not much different in ways when you have been to a really poor game of footy you know you saw a poor game but somehow the reporting of of it beats it up. It doesn't change the fact it was a poor game.

Unfortunately with all the leaks, backgrounders and ducks and drakes that are being played we have a poor game of politics being played and in this case a lot of poor reporting to go with it.

D Mick Weir

December 31. 2011 04:37 PM


Here's cheers to everyone for a Happy New Year, may all your dreams and wishes come true.  Smile

May all the media have a sudden insight into the way they are reporting things and that the New Year brings them all an award for excellent reporting as per the Editorial in the CM paper today.


December 31. 2011 04:57 PM


Jason at 9.49
Thanks for doing what I couldn't be bothered to & digging out Mr Abbott's new years "greetings". It was what I knew it would be, a straight political speech.
"Happy new year- will that do Peta?- and now I've got that out of the way I want to tell you all how badly Julia Gillard's doing....."


December 31. 2011 05:09 PM

Feral Skeleton

  If we read what Tony Abbott has to say below:


I can only conclude that, because Australia has one of the strongest economies in the world atm, therefore we must be, and by 'we' I mean the Gillard government, must be 'living within our means'. So nice to have an endorsement from Mr Abbott. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 05:10 PM

Feral Skeleton

  I'm not saying 'Happy New Year' until it's, well, New Year! Wink

Feral Skeleton

December 31. 2011 05:18 PM

Patricia WA

I think the word for what GM does is rationalisation not projection,  FS.   He is intelligent enough to know what is expected of him as an honest journalist.   He is also practical enough to know what will keep him in a job, earning a decent wage with News Ltd, and to understand that there's nowhere else for him to go here in Oz.  So he rationalisesor even prevaricates within himself.  He's also clever enough to fool some of the people some of the time while he's trying to fool himself.

Patricia WA

December 31. 2011 05:21 PM


Since Shouldabeen has temporarily vacated the boxing ring, it seems Coalition 'philosophy'-spreading has been handed over to the sandpit.

You COULD go to The Australian on-line and work your way behind their paywall, but rather than put you through it, please find below the risible efforts of the man Tiny described as being the Coalition's foreign affairs expert (unfortunately an accolade delivered within cooee of Julie Bisho,  which yet again summed up Shouldabeen's boys own yahoo stupidity).

Perhaps foreign affairs is the new boy's thing, because Junior Frydenberg manages some sand between the toes stupidity all of his own (well, actually, probably not all ON his own).

If you'd like to skip straight to Stephen Koukoulas' demolition of some of Joshy-boy's facts, here you go:


Coalition picks its path from Menzies' road map

    * by: Josh Frydenberg
    * From: The Australian
    * December 31, 2011 12:00AM

WE are all familiar with the saying: "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Nowhere is this more applicable than in the field of politics.

On August 29, 1946, at the Camberwell Town Hall in my electorate of Kooyong, Robert Menzies, the Liberal Party's founder, delivered a speech that launched the party's first federal election campaign.

With parliament having now risen for the year, one can see that, in so many ways, Menzies' words more than 65 years ago are a template for today's contest between Labor and the Coalition.

His statement, "We need to return to politics as a clash of principles and to get away from the notion that it is a clash only of warring personalities", is a battle cry relevant to the current debate.

Afraid to confront its poor record in government, Labor is shamelessly and relentlessly trying to paint Tony Abbott as "Mr No": as being against every government idea regardless of merit. But this is without foundation.

Why would we not oppose a carbon tax that was a blatant breach of the fundamental promise made just five days before the election last year? Why would we not oppose a mining tax that would cost jobs and send investment offshore, increasing as it did the sovereign risk profile of our resource-rich nation?

Why would we not oppose the Malaysia Solution when Malaysia's refusal to become a signatory to the refugee convention breached the Gillard government's own key criteria?

In each case, our position today is entirely consistent with what we said to the electorate before the election on August 21 last year -- a statement that, unfortunately, does not apply equally to our political opponents.

The test for the Coalition will always be what is good policy and what is in the national interest.

As Menzies said in his book The Measure of the Years, the duty of an opposition "is not just to oppose for opposition's sake but to oppose selectively; no government is always wrong on everything, whatever the critics may say". Menzies was right.

This is why we have offered bipartisan support for the national disability insurance scheme, better resourcing for mental health services and a 2014 exit date for Australia's military commitment to Afghanistan. These are important areas where the policy positions of government and the opposition have converged.

But as a party we will not and must not compromise on those fundamental issues that go to the heart of what the Liberal Party stands for: lower taxes, smaller and more efficient government, freedom in the workplace and an individual's freedom to choose.

In his speech, Menzies said of the Chifley government: "It has by way of outstanding example been most reluctant to grapple with the problem of tax reduction. This is partly because it seems to believe that the government departments can spend our earnings for us more wisely than we can (which is a common socialist delusion) and therefore that it is more important to maintain government expenditure than to reduce the taxes that maintain them."

In contrast, Menzies said of the Liberals, "we are a tax reduction party", understanding that "real tax reductions would be the best of all incentives to increase effort, earnings and production".

Tragically, the Rudd-Gillard governments have become addicted to spending, squandering the strong fiscal position bequeathed to them in 2007. In just four years they have taken government spending from 22.9 per cent of gross domestic product to 26.2 per cent. They have turned a $20 billion budget surplus, $50bn in the bank and record low inflation and unemployment into a $136bn debt, a $250bn debt ceiling and an interest bill of $20 million a day, which alone equates to five new teaching hospitals being built each and every year.

What is more, Labor has fostered a culture of expectation with its lavish handouts from pink batts to school halls, from computers in schools to set-top boxes. With the introduction of or increase in 19 separate taxes, Labor is penalising the taxpayer to fund its spending habits. It has got to a point where nobody can believe an economic promise from this government. We are told that Wayne Swan will deliver a budget surplus in 2012-13. First it was a rolled-gold guarantee. Now it is simply a pious objective. With accumulated deficits in the past four years of more than $150bn and no Labor surpluses for 22 years, how can it be believed?

In addition to expanding government debt, increasing taxes and bloating the bureaucracy with more than 20,000 new public-sector employees, Labor also has re-regulated our workplaces, causing a disconcerting rise in industrial disputation within our workplaces.

As Menzies said: "Strikes and other forms of direct action are the greatest facts now standing in the way of production, higher real wages and the restoration of civil freedom." He went on to point out that Labor's reluctance to see the industrial law enforced was encouraging "class war".

Listening to the rhetoric of the union bosses in the recent Qantas dispute, it has eerie parallels to Menzies' message.

Also interesting was Menzies' observation that the Chifley government would do its best to avoid legitimate scrutiny and accountability with its bills "frequently guillotined or gagged in the house" and with Labor frontbenchers more often than not dodging questions in the house, preferring to "retort to a perfectly proper inquiry by a volley of coarse personal abuse".

It is an accusation that any fair observer of Labor's tactics in question time or in the parliament with regard to its National Broadband Network or carbon tax legislation could legitimately make.

Menzies in his Camberwell speech did us all a big favour. He provided a road map that applied Liberal values to the practical issues of government while reminding us that politics must be about good policy, not the appeal of competing personalities.

From immigration to defence, regional development to family policy, and taxation to industrial relations, it is all there in this speech. Menzies may not have defeated Ben Chifley in 1946 but his time would soon come, as it will for an Abbott-led Coalition government.


December 31. 2011 05:26 PM

Patricia WA

Differ away, DMW.  The last thing I'd want is for you to agree with me!  I think Jason has dealt with your pretend Devil's Advocate opinions already.  

But I'd add that there is no way the government feeds the media crap.   Every major piece of legislation projected, planned, in committee stage or being debated in either House, has at every stage a media release around it.   Even when Lateline, 7.30 or news interviewers say they're going to address these they very quickly change the subject and try to corner their captive minister/spokesperson/pollie with a Gotcha! question.   If they don't like the response they get they change the subject or close the interview down.

Patricia WA

December 31. 2011 06:57 PM


Patricia WA,
           I asked the news director here in Adelaide on "shock Jock" radio station 5AA, How was Rudd going to make his way back to being PM again,As he didn't belong to a "faction" and where in the cacus were the numbers coming from?
Crickets was the only sound I heard, as the "so called" news director had no answer for that or any of the other questions that even TT has also heard me put to any of them.
In short the media in this country is a lazy beast, Perhaps the PM's office should hand out cards with questions already printed on it! as I think they are to lazy to think for themselves!


December 31. 2011 07:40 PM


      From mine and ours to you and yours! May you have a happy new year and a great 2012!!!!!!!!!!!


December 31. 2011 08:18 PM

Feral Skeleton

        In this era of 'Post Truth Politics', it's all about the vibe, man! Smile
   What we have as well are 'Fact Free Zone' politicians, who appear to me to mouth carefully-crafted scripts back at the voters based upon the sort of regurgitated pap that the voters feed to the focus groupies attached to parties. The assorted focus groupers, as Murdoch and Singleton have a stranglehold on most of the various media outlets, just cough up variations on the themes which are fed to them via the airwaves and the tabloids. It goes through the sausage machine in their heads and comes out as the sort of predigested pap that gets fed back to the, mainly Conservative, politicians to cram back down their throats and to make them, the voters, believe they, the politicians, have got their finger on their political pulses. This is especially reinforced by these politicians, such as Frydenburg, rabbiting on in the 'opinion' section of the supposedly serious newspaper of the land, about nothing more than the Soylent Blue of the Liberal Party. It says nothing at all really, and even attempts to mislead, as Stephen Koukoulas easily points out, but it's just preaching to the converted to keep them in line, stop them wavering or thinking for themselves, and making sure the silly circle jerk of Coalition propaganda remains unbroken.

   Of course, Joshua Frydenburg, who you may or may not remember, got his guernsey on the Coalition bench due to his crafting, in Howard's office, of, you guessed it, 'WorkChoices'. He is also the one who held a Coalition + fanboi sympathisers, IR brain-storming session in his electorate, whereupon what they applied their brains to, as I have reported previously, was how to sneak 'WorkChoices Not' back under the electorate's radar. The sum total of which session appears to have been enunciated by pet Coalition Capitalist Conservative Economist Warwick McKibbon, as, "We should really think up a new name for it." Whereupon, as you may have already have noticed, the new terminnology coined to bamboozle the low wattage punters, is going to be focussed around the word, 'Productivity'. Not that the Coalition will address the concrete and non-draconian measures to increase productivity, such as maintaining a happy workforce with fair pay and conditions, or, innovation encouraging the economy to expand into new areas, or the adoption of new methods and new machines to do business with. Nope, when the Coalition and Capitalism Inc. talk 'Productivity', and 'flexibility', they mean downward pressure on wages and conditions of the workforce, and the sort of flexibility which equates to bending over backwards and forwards for your boss. Or else you're out the door.

   Which is why I have kindly done Warwick and Josh's job for them, and have re-named 'WorkChoices", 'ProductivityChoices'. Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 1. 2012 12:00 AM

Patricia WA

Yes, to all at The Political Sword whatever time zone you're in.   It's just coming up to 9.00 pm here, but if you're in the Eastern States proper I guess you're about to celebrate as the New Year comes in.

May it be blessed for all of us, and particularly for our beloved leader, Ad Astra, and his right hand woman, Lyn, and our great writers like AC and FS, Nasking, Norman K, TT, Janice, Jason, Gravel and all the rest of us of whom of course there are many!

Cheers and with lots of love!

Patricia WA

January 1. 2012 10:44 AM


Happy New Year, one and all!


January 1. 2012 11:02 AM

Feral Skeleton

   2011 is sooo last year! Laughing

Feral Skeleton

January 1. 2012 11:11 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Sorry I didn't get back at Midnight everyone but I was totally mesmerised by the fireworks in Sydney. They were an advancement on last years' and they were on an absolutely clear night. Also I got to watch them on one of those HDTV thingys for the first time.
   I had to stay up till 2.30am because one of my sons was down the beach near where we live, with his mates. So I feel sort of jet-lagged today, as I went to sleep later and got up later. Ergo, you won't be getting too much in the way of scintillating conversation from me today. And, before he chimes in, the SIC that shall not speak it's name, I guess I should add that that probably won't be any different from normal. Wink

Feral Skeleton

January 1. 2012 11:23 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Melbourne, on the other hand, had a Towering Inferno!



Feral Skeleton

January 1. 2012 11:28 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Now, for a bit of politics. Today sees the release to the electorate of the 1983 Hawke/Keating government Cabinet Papers. Here's a question and answer sesssion with the Canberra Press Gallery conducted with Bob Hawke that the National Library have put up:


   And here's a short story about Paul Keating having a whinge about it:  Smile


Feral Skeleton

January 1. 2012 12:58 PM

Feral Skeleton

   The Great Negotiator: Laughing


Feral Skeleton

January 1. 2012 01:24 PM


  Did you know much about this man?

Rex Jackson, one of Australia's most controversial politicians, has died on the New South Wales south coast at the age of 83.

The former MP, who represented seats in the Illawarra beginning in 1955, held ministries in the NSW Labor government from the mid-70s until his spectacular fall from grace in 1983.


He was convicted of conspiracy as prisons minister for accepting bribes in exchange for letting prisoners out of jail early.

Tickets and buckets were the words with which he became associated; for the tickets of leave he corruptly sold and the nickname buckets because he threatened to tip the bucket on the ALP if he was dumped.

In the end, he never did dump on the ALP, and he served just over three years of his 10 year prison sentence before returning to Helensburgh and running a hotdog stand.


January 1. 2012 01:52 PM


Former prime minister John Howard has been appointed a member of the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth.

The Order of Merit is a special mark of honour for "exceptional distinction in the arts, learning, sciences and other areas such as public service".

Unlike the New Year's Honours List announced yesterday, which is chosen by government officials, appointments to the Order of Merit are given at the discretion of the monarch.

Mr Howard joins nine other Australians to receive the honour, including Sidney Nolan and Dame Joan Sutherland.

There are only 24 living individuals from Commonwealth countries in the order at any time, as well as additional foreign recipients admitted on an honorary basis.

Former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher are also on the list.

The only other living Australian on the list Lord May of Oxford, an Australian scientist who has advised the UK Government.

The Queen also appointed British artist David Hockney to the order today



January 1. 2012 05:22 PM

Feral Skeleton

   All the ins and outs of how to bypass The Australian's paywall in a clearly-outlined form, right here(if you really must): Wink


Feral Skeleton

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