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What makes a good political speech? PM Kevin Rudd’s Apology

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Tuesday, 3 January 2012 10:34 by Ad astra
This is the next in our change-of-year series of political speeches.

Only the most bigoted amongst us were not moved by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Apology to Australia’s indigenous peoples. It was widely regarded as an inspiring speech to parliament, one that brought the tears to countless eyes, in parliament and around the nation.

The text is reproduced here: where you will also find audio and video versions.

I move:

That today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.

There it is, around 400 words. For those of you who felt stirred and inspired by this speech, what was it that created those emotions. What made it a great speech?

Are there any lessons in it for political speechwriters?

Comments (223) -

January 3. 2012 10:59 AM

Feral Skeleton

   I reckon this speech changed the tenor of the times. Now we seem, or at least this is how I, from the urbanised area in Sydney's Northern Beaches environs perceives it, to take our Indigenous citizens at face value, rather than tarring them all with the one negative brush(unless their name is Noel Pearson Wink ).

   We are starting to see more Indigenous Australians coming out of their shells and proudly identifying themselves as worthy contributors to this nation's future, because they are starting to believe that their work will be valued and appreciated.

   The work of the Gillard government continues to bring their housing,health and education up to a standard equivalent to other Australians, and to provide training and jobs for them where possible.

  So, the effect of this speech, to me, was that it was a watershed moment in Australia's history.

   And it was short. Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 3. 2012 11:02 AM

Feral Skeleton

         To answer your question from the previous blog about the list of the Gillard government's achievments, you may want to go back through our archives because I think lyn or someone else once posted The Finnigans 'Beautifuul Set of Numbers', which is the catlogue, in concise form, of those achievments. Alternatively, you could search through Poll Bludger's archives, where they are located and re-posted often, as they are updated by The Finnigans. Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 3. 2012 11:10 AM

Ad astra reply

Here is what FS is referring to:

'The Finnigans' on Poll Bludger keeps a running account of Government achievements.  On 22 October the list read:

"The Queen endorsed my Beautiful Set of Numbers “And in the face of a global financial crisis, Australia’s robust economic record, underpinned by the strength of its institutions, has been widely acknowledged.”


0. Labor is still the Australian Govt – They are terrified of 2 years, 104 weeks, 730 days, 17520 hours, 1,051,200 minutes and 63,072,000 secs
1. Unemployment falls to 5.2% in Sept
2. Inflation 3.6%
3. Public Net Debts 6.1% GDP & Aust Govt deficit is 3.4% of GDP and compares to deficits of over 10 per cent of GDP in the US and UK. Best Fiscal consolidation & spending restraint in the last 20 years
4. RBA Interest rate 4.75%, compared to 6.75% when Howard was voted out.
5. For the whole of the 2010-2011 financial year, the economy grew 1.8 per cent, the ABS said. Despite all the natural disasters during the year
6. AUD Vs USD 1.02
7. Trade Surplus – $2B jun 2011- Australia’s $2 billion-plus trade surplus for June brought the tally for the last financial year to $22.4 billion – easily the biggest surplus in raw terms for the past 40 years of records compiled by the ABS
8. “ALP best manager of money, history shows” – George Megalogenis
9. Australian families depending on one breadwinner pay among the lowest amounts of tax in the world and have become better off under the Gillard Government – Natsem
10. Investment in the next year in mining and related infra-structure projects $140B
11. Labor’s Tax take 21.75% of GDP Vs 25% under Liberals
12. No interest rise for the 11th consecutive month Vs 10 consecutive rises under Howard/Costello. It is now expected no rises in the future with a prospect of 100/125 basis points cut by June 2012
13. The number of people filling for bankruptcy in Australia has fallen by 16%.
14. Australia safe from debt crisis: OECD
15. Credit Rating AAA
16. We are in Asia
17. business investment spending is expected to grow by 15 per cent this year and another 15 per cent next year. – Ross Gittin
18. Australia in good shape if another crisis hits, says IMF – 8/8/11
19. Australia Stock market has finally decoupled itself from US. On 8/8 ASX up 1.2% as DJ down 6%
20. Capex investment went gangbuster in July and retail up 0.7%
21. NEW Treasury analysis finds Mining played minor role during GFC, it says service industries such as retail – which received a hefty boost from Kevin Rudd’s stimulus package – were crucial in sustaining the economy during its darkest days.
22. Spending survey shows we are better off than we think – YOU would not believe it if you listened to our politicians, but household fuel and power bills eat up no more of our wallets than they did six years ago. And petrol eats up less. he only comprehensive survey of household spending – conducted once every six years by the Bureau of Statistics – finds domestic fuel and power accounted for 2.6 per cent of household spending in 2009-10, 2.6 per cent in 2003-04 and 2.6 per cent two decades earlier in 1988-89.
23. For the whole of the 2010-2011 financial year, the economy grew 1.8 per cent, the ABS said. Despite all the national disasters during the year. And the growth is not all attributed to the Mining sector. Households are not only spending, but saving
24. MASSIVE investment in resources and healthy household spending have delivered the best economic growth in four years and boosted the government’s chances of delivering its promised return to budget surplus.
25. Wayne Swan – Treasurer of the Year 2011
26. Global recovery stalled, says IMF, but Australia well-placed to weather economic turmoil. But the Australian economy has more scope to adjust than most countries, with the ability to slow its return to budget surplus if conditions get worse, and it will be buttressed by the continuing strength in Asia, the fund says.
27. iiNet predicts 27% cost drop on NBN
28. The Wobblebys won Bronze in Rugby WC
29. UNHCR has put its stamp of approval on the Malaysian Solution and dispel all the negative propaganda
30. BHP Billiton $80B Olympic Dam copper/uranium/gold mine in South Australia creating 6000 jobs during a decade-long construction phase, 4000 ongoing jobs at the mine and 15,000 indirect jobs.
31. “The Atlantic magazine named Gillard as one of its “2011 brave thinkers” for her resolute strength in pushing through a carbon tax. “Whether you see the move as politically expedient or as a principled course correction, there’s no denying the risk that it entails in a country where climate change is a wildly contentious issue,” writes Geoffrey Gagnon”
32. RBA again highlights unwinding of fiscal stimulus as an offset to strong private investment.A big tick for govt management of the budget – Stephen Koukoulas
33. The Inspector-General in Bankruptcies’ (IGIB) annual report for 2010/11 showed there were 23,102 new bankruptcies in the year, down 16 per cent from the previous year.It was the lowest number recorded since 2005/06.
34. The Credit Suisse 2011 Global Wealth report, which surveyed the world’s 4.5 billion adults, also revealed that Australia’s median wealth is the highest in the world at US $220,000.

BTW: URLs were taken out on the advice of Bilbo, so it wont be placed in moderation every time."


Ad astra reply

January 3. 2012 11:26 AM


Thanks both Feral Skeleton and Ad Astra for "The Beautiful Set of Numbers" link suggestions and comments.


January 3. 2012 11:38 AM


Re Chris Kenny, like most of the professional hard core Right & its corporate allies, I suspect he'll simply not credit any information that isn't suitable. All it takes is the requisite gall, exemplified, for example, by the tobacco lobby greeting any evidence no matter how damning with the usual "yes, yes, yes, but where's your PROOF?" Ask Chris his opinion of the speech above, for instance.
I wonder what his next job will be, it'll depend on the Right's electoral fortunes.

Best wishes, I like your writing.


January 3. 2012 11:41 AM


C.K's next job will also depend on the Left's electoral fortunes.
Let's hope they're good.


January 3. 2012 01:05 PM

D Mick Weir

The Midday - Qld Time edition of Summers Lazy Links With many repeats, some change in order and possibly a late entry or two.

If AM/TheWorldToday/PM can do it why can't we.

Even if you have never visited http://xkcd.com where there many great comic strips & cartoons you have probably come across Duty Calls http://xkcd.com/386/

I will let 2012 http://xkcd.com/998/  speak for itself.

2012 cometh: how to prepare for the apocalypse  Joseph Gelfer @TheConversation
If you believe the doomsayers, the human race is not long for this earth. By the end of this year, our number will be up: the four horseman of the apocalypse will be upon us, fire will rain from the skies, the poles will reverse and the end will be, as so many have predicted for so long, nigh.

While we are on the New Year and because we are all TwentyOne and just a little bit
20 New Year’s Resolutions For 20-Somethings  Jessie Rosen @ToughtCatalog

The morning after: is New Year the best time for resolutions?  Simon Crisp @TheConversation
For many of us, the start of a new year heralds a new beginning, and an important opportunity to commit to significant personal changes. But why does this single moment in the year hold almost superstitious significance as the optimal time for change?
As a psychologist who counsels people throughout the year, I believe there are several reasons.


The information you need  Andrew Elder @Politically homeless
The mainstream media isn't giving us the information we need. It is giving us what they think is good enough for people like us, gathered by people that mainstream media organisations regard as competent; ...

Automatic republic on retirement of QE2  Len Liddelow @IndependentAustralia
Australia must put in place a process that will automatically see it become a republic at the end of the Queens reign, because she will step down in her 90th year. There are a number of compelling reasons why this will happen.

Pope's View on the Republic @CanberraTimes
The 'toon speaks for itself.

How Latham was lucky  Peter Brent @MumbleBlog
In late 2003, Labor leader Mark Latham had the world at his feet. New leader, new goodwill, a vulnerable government, an election due within twelve months and his job secure until then.
Other opposition leaders in similar positions have included Kevin Rudd in late 2006, John Howard in early 1995 and Bob Hawke in early 1983. And to an extent Andrew Peacock in mid-1989.
Latham also had something else ...


Children killed by Operation Cast Lead Paul Barratt @Australian Observer
It is just over three years since the Israelis launched Operation Cast Lead, their punitive attack on Gaza, the one which then Acting Prime Minister Gillard characterised as Israel exercising its right to defend itself.
352 children were killed directly by Israeli action ...


Krugman weighs in on public debt misunderstanding Stephen Koukoulas
Coincidental to my recent concerns about the gross misunderstanding or even out-right dishonesty concerning the issue of public debt from senior Liberal politicians in Australia, Nobel prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, has stepped in with an Op Ed piece in The New York Times headed “Nobody Understands Debt”.

The Australian Editorial - Fiscal fact check fail Stephen Koukoulas
Whoops! Today's editorial in The Australian was a good read with some constructive suggestions and comments about the economic outlook confronting Australia in 2012.

Some wonkish stuff
Live books should be with us  Joshua Gans @Digitopoly
A euphemism for physical books these days is to call them ‘dead tree’ versions. Of course, that is just descriptive as they have always been that but perhaps a better term may be ‘dead’ versions.

A SlowTV Video
Good Ideas = Bad Politics. Festival of Dangerous Ideas
In a country where Question Time is a blood sport and a strong current of anti-intellectualism runs through public life, it can be dangerous to have ideas in politics. Although we blame politicians for their inability to translate ideas into policy, perhaps the difficulties are of a more fundamental nature. If good ideas make bad politics, how can we come to terms with the challenges of the 21st century?

From the Newspapers
Anti-Islam pamphlet concern  Larissa Nicholson @CanberraTimes
Leaders of Canberra's Muslim community were surprised and saddened by offensive anti-Islamic pamphlets distributed to homes throughout Queanbeyan over the Christmas holidays.
Householders in Queanbeyan received the material depicting a Muslim man physically abusing a woman and a child and an Islamic elder condoning the violence as acceptable to his faith.


An even keel for boat people  Neil James @CanberraTimes
By fixating on the recurrent symptoms, and not the causes and cures, most public argument on asylum-seeking continues ineffectively. Politicians are addicted to electoral point-scoring. Refugee advocates are prone to discuss factors selectively. Some community concerns about ''boat people'' and visa-overstayers are undoubtedly due to misunderstandings and even at times irrational fears.

All aboard bipartisanship ... one of these years  Stephanie Peatling @NationalTimes
IT IS too easy to guess what New Year's resolutions politicians are considering. They centre around power and how to keep it, particularly coming into a year in which it is not entirely inconceivable that an election will be held.
The relentless pursuit of government, driven by endless opinion polls and focus groups, is a dispiriting cycle.


ABC's leftish drift still needs to be corrected by its deeds  Gerard Nenderson @NationalTimes
The ABC managing director, Mark Scott, is a distinct improvement on his predecessor. However, as one of Australia's highest paid public sector employees, who earns significantly more than the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, his performance should be critically assessed.

A dirty bit of business  Charles Waterstreet @NationalTimes
WHEN I travel in the United States, I like to look for common cultural themes in both countries. Employees must wash hands in bathrooms in Australia and America. We are bound together, as Barack Obama said, ''in many ways'' but what is the origin of this demand in restrooms that employees, and no others, wash their hands?

Twitter gaffe lands holidaying Murdoch in warm water  Dylan Welch @TheAge
RUPERT Murdoch's foray into the world of social media - less than two days old - has provided its first car crash, with the global media mogul stating the British have too many holidays for what he termed a ''broke country''.
Mr Murdoch, who joined Twitter on December 31, quickly deleted the message, but not before it was read by many of his 40,000 followers, who helped spread it around the website.


Economics is forever  Peter Brent @MumbleBlog
Australian Prime Ministers boast about a lot of things they’ve done, across many policy areas, when they’re in the job. But afterwards, from retirement, there seems just one element of their legacy they truly care about: economics.
John Howard as Prime Minister used to regularly say one of his proudest achievements was that Australians were now more comfortable to speak their minds on delicate subjects.


Give the Coalition time and they’ll vote for gay marriage  Alan Greenwich @ThePunch
Marriage equality is too serious an issue to play political games with and too important an issue to be set up to fail. This is why supporters of the reform want calm heads to prevail and for the bill to be introduced at the right time.

A shared future will connect society  Mark Pesce @SMHAge
On a recent holiday to the northern rivers, I sat in a restaurant with some locals, extolling life in Sydney, and in particular the new freedom of using one of the car-sharing services popping up throughout the city. In my eight years here I've never owned a car; today there are three of them within 50 metres of my front door, for use as occasion demands - each with its own reserved parking space.
The eyes of one of the locals, a very successful retailer and entrepreneur, grew wide. "I had the idea to do that 30 years ago. But it was too hard."


Something from the Sports Desk
India hot and bothered  Chris Barrett @TheAge
INDIA captain M.S.Dhoni insists relations between rival players are better than ever but there is simmering tension before today's 100th SCG Test over the touring team's prolonged wait outside the gates of Kirribilli House before the official pre-match function.
In scenes bordering on the farcical, cricket luminaries such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were made to stand outside Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Sydney residence for 15 minutes on Sunday before finally being allowed inside.


And @ Lunch in the Test India is 4/72

D Mick Weir

January 3. 2012 01:53 PM


The Finny One's letters and numbers are all really beautiful aren't they!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Look! Actually On Thread now! Smile

Rudd is rightly a giant forever, for the smallest humblest most obvious thing ever, costing nothing, soothing so much:

Simply saying Sorry. It was only in token, like Gough's handful of Uluru soil back to its traditional owners, but it was the absolute must before anything honourable could proceed.

I think the subject of apology is deserving of more consideration, though you probably can't be taught how to say sorry, it must come from the heart. But you can be taught that it is not a sign of weakness, but quite the reverse. and you can be taught how easy it is with a humble heart.

But before Kevin Rudd was PM I wrote this:


The suffix o-l-o-g-y means ‘study of’ or ‘Science’
Objective Truth established by ear, nose, throat, hand or eye-sense;
There are two quite weird exceptions: “Scientology” and “Astrology”
But there’s a stranger stranger yet: the subject of Apology.

Apology’s no Science: you don’t need a clever brain;
You simply say you’re sorry that you caused your neighbour pain.
There is no need for artfulness, so neither is it Art,
For genuine Apology comes only from the Heart.

All you need for an Apology is true sincerity,
For one side it assuages guilt, for one, asperity,
It makes straight ways to Mateship’s gate, and lubricates its hinges,
Increases Love, erases Hate (and helps placate the Whingers!)

When I was young, my mother sometimes bade me say "I’m Sorrr-rrry!"
Like when I snotted some nasty kid down at the local quarry;
Hell NO! I wasn’t going to apologise, because
I was much too proud to say I’m sorry - unless I truly was.

So when you say you’re sorry, please be certain that it’s true -
Saying sorry when you’re not’s a Good Thing Not To Do!
Yet sometimes I say Sorry when I’m really not to blame,
When injured parties truly think they have a valid claim.

For sometimes certain circumstances get misunderstood,
And sometimes, trying to get things straight can prove to be no good.
Then rather than insist on Truth, despite futility,
One may truly say one’s ‘sorry’ out of true humility.

Blessed be the peacemakers: that’s what it’s all about:
Murmuring a penance when it doesn’t help to shout;
Pouring oil on troubled waters, taming what’s too wild,
Smoothing rough relationships, and getting reconciled.

But Apology’s two-sided: it’s like offering a gift:
Apologees may give apologisers zero shrift!
That’s justified if injured parties feel it’s insincere,
Then the only course of action left is, Walk away, I fear.

To say that one is sorry, one must swallow humble pie:
But one bloke I said sorry to just smacked me in the eye!
It wasn’t what I said I’m sorry for that caused his pique,
It turned out that he thought that sorry-sayers were ‘piss-weak’!*

Yet humble pie turns out to be essential for one’s growth!
John Howard is a Hawk for War, at Sorry he’s a Sloth,
So when it comes to Humble Pie, he chokes upon a crumb:
To me he’s Little John Lickspittle, Hypocrite and Scum!

We’re apologisers sometimes, and apologees at others,
Which underscores the fact that we’re all sisters and/or brothers;
If you can accept apology, with true humility,
Then everybody’s back on track, with sweet civility.

For those who can’t accept a Sorry, well and truly meant,
I’m sad to say I think so, but I fear they’re badly bent:
For that I can’t apologise, yet I can truly say,
“I’m truly very sorry that you’ve ended up this way!”

*True story. His body is reputed to be gracing a shallow grave,‘somewhere in the Murray Mallee’! Smile

(No I had nothing to do with that except do a little jig when I was told.)


January 3. 2012 03:21 PM


If you were to ask 'our' useless mainstream media what it considers the best political speech, it would be something like:

"Stop the ... uh, debt"

"Great big tax"

... and that classic of recent endless media regurgitation:

"Stop the boats"

The best political rhetoric for the Orwellian right-wing noise machine is:

Short (three words, no more than three syllables in total)
Appeals to the primal tendencies to fear and wowserism
Manipulates the majority into adopting as its own the politico-philosophical position of billionaires/multinationals/self-serving extremists.

The very worst form of political rhetoric (apparently according to the 'media') is that which informs, and dispels spin and ignorance.

That's why he hear so little of the good stuff, and are subjected to so much of the spin and dumbed-down sloganeering.

Happy New Year to all. Let's make this the year we really hold their media to account!


January 3. 2012 03:44 PM


Well said indeed. It's unfair that Gillard's mannerisms & delivery are subject to such ridicule & malicious interpretation while her opponents get away with the guff you highlight.
Does the name Rx have any connection to a steam locomotive, if it's not too personal a question?


January 3. 2012 03:59 PM


Hi BSA Bob,

No, nothing to do with the steam loco. I like to fancy it as a nostrum dispensed for bigotry and political backwardness!


January 3. 2012 04:52 PM


Ad Astra

That was the most wonderful heartfelt speech written.  It was also wonderfully spoken with truthfulness.  Like Feral Skeleton, I liked it because it was short and to the point.  I am glad I was able to witness the whole thing, after feeling for years that it was long overdue.  

Of course that was in the very early days, when the media were giving Labor a fair hearing, before they turned, and in turn allowed the right wing nutter have their heads.  Let us hope that some sanity remains with the  public and in the next two years allow themselves to start seeing the horrific future if the opposition gains power again.

I had the radio on for five minutes, and unfortunately heard Malcolm Turnbull spouting rubbish against the NBN.  Will they ever stop?


January 3. 2012 04:55 PM


  Not sure if you like musicals but I'd give this one a miss?

ONE of Australia's best known shock jocks playing one of America's most left-wing presidents?

Not exactly a natural fit.

But that's the challenge for radio legend Alan Jones as he prepares to make his musical theatre debut as US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a new local production of the musical Annie."



January 3. 2012 04:57 PM


It was great to consider Kevin Rudd's apology again.  I loved it because it was such a simple heartfelt apology for past injustices and mistakes.  It went into sufficient detail to spell out exactly what the government was apologising for, but without labouring the point.  Although this speech should have been made well before 2008 (I think it was then) it meant that, when it was delivered, the Australian people were well and truly ready for it and wanting it.

I reckon the brevity of the speech, the purity of its meaning and the willingness of the audience made it great.

I'd like to hear the PM give shorter, more passionate speeches dealing with where she wants to take the country, why and how.  In the past she has covered this stuff, but in a more wordy and convulated style than suits her.  It's almost as if organisers say "we'll allow 30 minutes for your speech".  Therefore the speech gets padded out to last that length of time.  The government does need to find ways to get out the detail of what has been achieved, but this needs to be separate to major speeches - no shopping lists in major speeches.

I think shorter speeches would do wonders for JG's delivery.  The best speech I have heard her deliver was in the hangar on the RAAF Base at Darwin when she farewelled President Obama.  This had nothing to do with the content, but ALL to do with the delivery.  She was natural, strong and dynamic and I'd love to see more of that.  We need inspirational speeches.


January 3. 2012 06:15 PM

D Mick Weir

The Lazy Summer Links PM (evening) update

Super system won’t change: PM  @AusFinReview (free)
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she won’t change government policy on tax breaks for superannuation contributions.
Unions and welfare groups have vowed to push the government to overhaul $16 billion in yearly tax breaks on super contributions, ...


How did I overlook you Mungo?
Unhappy new political year Mungo MacCallum @TheDrum
Julia Gillard's government is entering the new year with a kind of desperate optimism.
After all, what's the alternative? The Labor Party has to hope and believe that things can only get better.


Gillard rejects Hawke's call on unions @AusFinReview (free)
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she doesn't endorse Bob Hawke's call for union representation to be reduced in the ALP.
Mr Hawke, a former prime minister and ACTU leader, has told the Australian Financial Review that union influence is "suffocating" the party.


In recognition of a life that embraced the past  LettersToTheEdotor @SMH
Various comments on theliddlefellas' gong

Who'd of ever thunkit
Abbott again slams 'rip-off' NBN project  @SMH
... has again criticised the government's $36 billion national broadband network (NBN) project as a waste of money, after it was revealed only 4000 customers had signed up to the service so far.

And for the sports nuts (who most likely already know
In the Sydney Test India 191 Aus 3/116

D Mick Weir

January 3. 2012 06:19 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Jason
thx for saving me the embarrasment of including a link to that story.
I thought about it for about three seconds and threw up (my hands) in despair and said Noooooooooooooooo

D Mick Weir

January 3. 2012 06:46 PM


That report about Shock-Jock Jones playing Annie was wrong.

He actually plays himself, Anie.


January 3. 2012 06:58 PM


Compare and contrast the speeches AA has published over the last couple of weeks.  In general the reaction has been that Chifley's and Rudd's speeches are better than Gillard's - yet they all contain reasonable content.  While Chifley's speech was made before I was born, I suspect (as people are still referring to it) it was widely accepted to be a good speech at the time.  Rudd's speech was also well reported and from my memory while there was some complaint as regards the concept of the speech (mostly from conservatives in the Howard tradition), it was well accepted - and the sun still came up the next morning (surprise, surprise).

Yet I don't think the better acceptance of the male PM's speeches in this case is a discrimination issue.  I think its the brevity of getting the message across.  Gillard's speech was around 10 times as many words - yet I don't think there was 10 times the content.  I've said here before and I still believe Gillard's personality seems to be more in tune with one on one interaction and "fireside chats" (to borrow an Americanism).  She doesn't do set piece speeches well and needs to hone her delivery (and more importantly her speechwriters need to hone the length and tone of her speeches).

Proof of the concept is simple - Anna Bligh normally isn't a great speech giver but is improving.  I would suggest that even if she ends up as Premier longer than Bjelke-Petersen her best speech ever will be the one she gave as Brisbane was flooding - you know the "we are Queenslanders" one that has been replayed fairly consistently since (up here anyway).  It was direct, showed emotion, from the heart and, as the Queensland media had pleasure in reporting later on, hand written on a half sheet of A4 about 5 minutes before she said it.

I think Bligh has learnt to do more off the cuff and less on the script since - and she has benefited from it.  

Here's a link -> www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0110113-19oxt.html.  Most (maybe with the exception of the Herald Sun playing parish pump politicial games-> www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frfhqf-1225993346498) applauded it and at one stage it was going to be added tot he Queensland Educational Curriculum along with speeches from Winston Churchill, JFK, Martin Luther King.  Apparently the idea was vetoed by the Education Minister (could have been an interesting discussion!!!)


January 3. 2012 08:14 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Back again after spending a day not knowing the difference between a Router and a Modem and so trying to get a Router to behave like a Modem and wondering why the Router was not able to connect to the Internet! Embarassed

Feral Skeleton

January 3. 2012 08:17 PM


When I came to this blog several people got onto me about acquiring a gravatar, a sort of projected image of one's alter ego, well not really, just a picture which will differentiate your post and person from everybody else's. We are vouchsafed a stop-gap one automatically but only its mother could love it and it hasn't got one.

Well being gravatarationally illiterate I would never have managed had not NormanK come to my aid with a Tutorial he did himself, for which I am eternally grateful, and which could help anyone who would like to create their own gravatar.

That Tutorial may be found in the TPS Archives on October 28 2010 at 3.30 pm. It could work for YOU! Well if you haven't already got one.

Gravatars are great for finding your own posts in times past. My advice is, choose a very distinctive image and colour so that you can see yours as you scroll past fast.  

That thread was also notable, for me anyway, because earlier that day, at 6.31 am I think, I posted my pome Paul the Psychic Octopus, one of my better efforts I'd say, it took me all night long but it's funny and cute. And sad. Worth the trip if you haven't read it.

Anytime not much happening on the Sword, you're bored, go trawl the Archives, it's fascinating in there! History on the trot.  


January 3. 2012 08:27 PM

Feral Skeleton

  I saw that Malcolm Turnbull 'interview'(more like him just trying to angle the spot with the journo around to his lamo talking points). However, Deborah Rice, thankfully, was having none of it(not that you get to see that in the subsequently edited down version which gets played over and over and over and over...). I imagine the Coalition will go looking for a more sympathetic interviewer next time.
  Nevertheless, the most salient point which no interviewer ever runs with whenever the Coalitiohn trot out their, 'the NBN is such a waste of money because no one is taking it up', claptrap, is that the reason the take-up rates may be low in the initial phases of the rollout of the NBN to new areas, is simply because most people who have Broadband Internet ARE ON CONTRACTS which, unless you can afford the Break Fee PLUS the money it would cost to pay out the contract, then there's not a good reason to take up the NBN until such time as your contract expires.

   For example, I was on a 24 month contract with my ISP, which expired in September last year. Luckily, my ISP is good enough to let me go on a month by month deal now as I know the NBN is coming to my area sometime this year(although I'm not sure what sort of radius around a designated city applies & I am >20km away from my designated city). Anyway, if it comes my way, I will just jump onto the NBN, BECAUSE I CAN. Not everyone is in my position.

   So, the Coalition are being misleading and mischievous by magnifying with a megaphone in the media the number, or lack thereof, of connections to the NBN.

   Still, that's all they've got, I suppose. I just wish the MSM would call them on it.

Feral Skeleton

January 3. 2012 10:21 PM

Feral Skeleton

     "One on Australia, one on the EU, possibly another on the UK. There will be more to come."


Feral Skeleton

January 3. 2012 11:48 PM

D Mick Weir

presaged again Smile

interesting article that one already in LazyLinks Smile

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 08:46 AM


CQ CQ . . .

This here's the Cagey Bee, lookin' f'r'a copy y'all, 10-4?

Tombstone Territory . . . Smile


January 4. 2012 09:01 AM


Feral Skeleton

Now I understand the contract thing, but doesn't the NBN end up with Telstra's landline customers, or am I completely wrong.


January 4. 2012 09:25 AM

D Mick Weir

Morning All
I am trying the Google link shortening thingo to save a bit of space. Let me know if there are problems. They are the ones that start with goo.gl

Be a citizen not a subject  Dr Glenn Davies @IndependentAustralia
The cheerless teacup warriors from the Australian Monarchist League have been at it again. This time they have protested to Myer Stores regarding their promotion of the slogan in advertising for Republic Clothing Company products: ‘Be a Citizen. Not a Subject’. In fact, we are all Australian citizens and no longer British subjects, something monarchists can’t seem to come to terms with, ...

The audience is right  Hal Crawford @mumbrella
The audience knows the best stories. The audience can smell the thing that matters. The audience will not take it on trust, but can somehow collectively bypass the speculative and hit on the real. This is clearer in online news than in traditional media.

What is social inclusion?  Don Arthur @ClubTroppo
For the New Labour politicians who popularised the term social exclusion in the UK, the excluded are those whose behaviour makes them a burden on other citizens and the state. Social inclusion is about helping the excluded become contributing members of the community.
Early in his first term, Tony Blair began using the term as a synonym for underclass. Social inclusion policies aim to change behaviour rather than redistribute resources. This makes it possible for left-of-centre politicians to attack entrenched disadvantage while at the same time promising not to increase taxes.


Prime Minister To Get Personalised Government iPad App @TechWeekEurope  HatTip @mfarnsworth
Need help running a country? There will soon be an Apple iPad app for that, thanks to British Government programmers
Prime Minister David Cameron is to receive a personalised iPad app to help him stay on top of day-to-day operations of the government.


Have the Greens Peaked?  @Drag0nista @TheKingsTribune
... an equally fascinating, and rarely discussed political artefact from the year 2011 concerns not the major parties, but the party which seeks to differentiate itself from them. Despite notching up a number of policy successes in the parliament due to having the balance of power (either partly or entirely), the Greens have singularly been unable to convert this success into voter support. It begs the question whether the Greens have already peaked, and whether the 2013 election will return to being a contest only between the major parties.

2011 — A Year In Revulsion  Heath Callaway @TheKingsTribune
Sure, an emissions trading scheme and mining tax got through, but both are weaker than the versions the Greens voted against last time around. Think on that next time you’re tempted to quaff fermented tofu juice and break out the John Butler. No real change has taken place, and none is likely in the year to follow. There may be leadership changes, scandals, by-elections, or any of a number of distractions – all they will serve to do is make life easier for the media to report spectacle over substance.

I Have A Question And My Question Is This  Tim Dunlop @TheKingsTribune (The opening pars only - rest of article for subscribers)
Who the (heck) am I meant to vote for at the next Federal election? This is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know. Who is meant to get my vote? Who do I trust to do the right thing most of the time, and how do I minimise the inevitable disappointment of supporting people who will, with a high degree of predictability, do things I hate? Not just disagree with, or squirm a bit about, but actively hate. How?

Moving Forward  Anna Winter @LarvatusProdeo
Despite fears that the internet is alienating us from the world, it is actually giving us the means to re-create the ancient polis, but on a much larger scale. Aristotle argued that “it is necessary for the citizens to be of such a number that they knew each other’s personal qualities and thus can elect their officials and judge their fellows in a court of law sensibly”.

The health minister, the tobacco lobby, and a major campaign to derail a cigarette ban  @TheDaurdian HatTip @sspencer_63
Leaked emails reveal how a Tory peer canvassed lobbyists for Marlboro maker Philip Morris – and became a willing partner in its bid to thwart legislation that would have banned its products from display in shops

Something a bit different
A List of Don’ts for Women on Bicycles Circa 1895  Maria Popova @BrainPickings
The following list of 41 don’ts for female cyclists was published in 1895 in the newspaper New York World by an author of unknown gender. Equal parts amusing and appalling, ...

Top ten tech predictions for 2012 … and how to interpret them David Glance @TheConversation
Around this time of year you see plenty of articles (such as this one) reflecting on notable technologies and events of the year now gone. Such pieces will also attempt to predict the events of the year just started.
When reading these articles, it’s worth considering how the technologies being described are never taken in isolation.


Asylum seeker "debate" gets curiouser and curiouser  David Dalrymple @TheDrum
Curiouser and curiouser… the asylum seeker debate increasingly resembles a dialogue between characters in a parallel world beyond the looking glass.
The crucial issues are confidently mis-identified and then policy responses to resolve them are stridently asserted.


Libertarianism: a nice idea, but doomed  Darryl Adams @TheDRum
There is a lot of discussion regarding libertarianism, but it is being confused by Ron Paul saying stuff.
In a nutshell, libertarianism is like pure communism and pure capitalism. A nice thought experiment for ivory tower types. It is based on the assumption that every person is sane and sensible.


From the MSM
Age of the Amateur with reason in retreat  Erik Jensen  @NationalTimes
Patrick Parkinson ... (t)he University of Sydney law professor might be the most wildly misquoted academic of the past few months. His landmark report on the state of family has been used to damn gay marriage as a ''recipe for social collapse'' and a ''crazy [attempt] at social engineering and thought control''.

Abbott turns up heat over detainees  Ross Peake @CanberraTimes
Tony Abbott is using the year's first arrivals of asylum-seekers by boat to increase pressure on the Federal Government to capitulate on its Malaysia solution.
(he) said yesterday the only way to break the deadlock over the issue was for the Government to accept the Howard government's solution, including visas offering only temporary protection rather than the prospect of an indefinite stay.


Australia limits its whaling response  Don Rothwell @BrisbaneTimes
It has become something of a summer ritual that clashes occur in the Southern Ocean between the Japanese whaling fleet and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Wendi Murdoch Deng Twitter account exposed as a spoof  Stephanie Gardiner @BrisVegasTimes TechToday
With a coveted blue Twitter verification tick, many online were starting to enjoy Wendi Deng's flirtation with celebrities, dismissal of critics and rebukes of her husband Rupert Murdoch.
But Twitter has admitted it mistakenly verified an account claiming to be Mrs Murdoch Deng, which has now been revealed as a spoof.


From the Spoerts Desk
Apparently the Sydney Test is on again today - you will be able to find updates @ all the usual outlets.

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 09:37 AM


Another Hot Day . Another day  under the fan reading what looks like a great set of links- thank you  D Mick Weir. Smile


January 4. 2012 09:39 AM


OPPs mp is my hubby.
signing off ,debbiep


January 4. 2012 09:57 AM

D Mick Weir

Good Morning Gravel,
The NBN Co. will only supply the infrastructure and be wholesalers to retail service providers like Telstra, Optus, iiNet and others.

It is a bit like your electricity supply where you can choose any of the retail offers from service providers who buy the elecricity from the generators.

Hope that is as clear as mud.

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 10:38 AM


Ooooh just read this from twitter.  Oh if only we could get more of stuff like this.



January 4. 2012 10:51 AM


D Mick Weir

Your first paragraph is how I understand it, so then wouldn't it follow that if you have plan/contract with telstra that they would offer and updated plan that uses the fibre optic?  Thank for your bit of clarification.


January 4. 2012 10:56 AM

Feral Skeleton

       Also, landlines are a different feed to the Broadband feed. I think they both come down the Copper Wire atm, optical glass fibre later with the NBN, but they are different information packets. So, you can have a landline telephone line without having broadband, and vice versa. Which is known as 'Naked DSL' Broadband, for people not wanting a landline telephone anymore and who prefer just to use their Mobiles. Or, you can have landline phone, Broadband and Mobiles, like I do, for kids that would never get off the phone otherwise. Smile
Also, there are some great deals for mobiles atm. I have one for the kids where they can ring their friends from 6pm every night for free! Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 4. 2012 12:58 PM

D Mick Weir

The Midday (BrisVegas Time) Lazy Summer Links Update
ok folks yesterday was different the midday update was a repost & rehash for the new article by Ad - good choice btw Ad
Today something old, somethings new, all things borrowed but nothing blue*

A reminder of why many like reading Peter Martin
Greatest Hits. My most clicked-on twelve in 2011   www.petermartin.com.au/.../...11-most-clicked.html

Tony Abbott: A Message of Nope for 2012  TheGeekInstitute
As the Leader of the Coalition, it is my great honour and pleasure to speak to you in this inaugural end of year address to the nation.
This is not usually an occasion which excites the ball boys and ball girls at the upcoming Australian Open, but I plan to make this an annual event regardless.


Sydney Morning Herald shows the way on climate change Richard Farmer @TheStump
Australia was an exception to the downward trend in international media coverage of climate events during 2011.

show me the money! cyenne
It’s time Australia’s poker machine industry and state/territory governments stopped getting away with a fundamental lack of public accountability. We are the public that spends the billions of dollars each year that keeps this industry running, and pours taxation dollars into government coffers; they have a responsibility to tell us where that money’s going. How can an industry founded on gambling even pretend to be reputable if it does everything it can to hide the truth?

Lawyers backed new race power  @TheOz (Free)
A PANEL that recommended constitutional reform to recognise and protect Aboriginal people and culture had the strong backing of the Law Council of Australia.
A submission by the council recommended the key changes to the Constitution ultimately adopted by the panel in its report, which will be handed to Julia Gillard this month.


In a year of turmoil, Julia Gillard delivered at home and abroad  @TheOz (Free) linked by Gravel @ 10:38 AM
IN a year marked by intense political division and the uncertainties of minority government, Julia Gillard has held her nerve to shield the economy from international turmoil and deliver on key Labor reforms.
Proving she could succeed where Kevin Rudd faltered, the Prime Minister showed dogged leadership ...


Giant Headstone of Philip Ruddock Discovered on Easter Island! Reb @GutterTrash
The pic is worth a look

Gloom versus Boom versus The Middle  @TheKouk
In the last week or so, there have been some encouragingly solid data releases around important parts of the world. The US economy just might be responding to more than 3 years of zero interest rates, trillions of dollars of quantitative easing and fiscal stimulus and the effective nationalisation of the banking and insurance sectors.

'Cos sometimes stoushes can inform:
* Economists having a stoush (blue) - not too wonky
Tyler Cowen @MarginalRevolution has a bit of a pot shot in Krugman’s response to Alexmarginalrevolution.com/.../...esponse-to-alex.html
Krugman responds The Mendacity of Dopes  krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/.../

This afternoon on Radio National
@1:00PM 360documentaries - very informative
@2:00PM Book Reading - currently The Scarlett Letter
@2:20PM The Daily Planet - heaps of good world music
@3:00PM By Design - often learn something listening to this
@4:00PM Late Night Live
@5:00PM News & PM
@5:30PM Rear Vision - another learning experience

From the Spoerts (sic) Desk
Apparently the Sydney Cricket Test is programmed for five days - bets are being laid on whether it will finish on Day 3 or Day 4.
@Lunch Day 2 Australia 3/236 Clarke n/o 103 Ponting n/o 97

There is Tennis being played in BrisVegas & Qatar and some other sports are happening across the globe visit http://www.abc.net.au/news/sport/ for further details.

I can't be bothered providing a link to the oppositions bleat that Govt. is miserly on sports funding - or something like that SOSO (same old, same old)

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 01:41 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your great contribution.  The way you scan the news for us is most helpful.

Ad astra reply

January 4. 2012 01:41 PM

Ad astra reply

We are off to Melbourne now for a couple of weeks.  I’ll be back online tomorrow.  Hopefully 3G will be better than it has been there with many city workers on holidays.  It has been poor here on the couth coast; presumably the holiday- makers in this seaside town are jamming the network.

Ad astra reply

January 4. 2012 01:57 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Ad
... on the couth coast

A it must be a very specila place Smile

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 02:41 PM


D Mick Weir

Thanks for all of your hard work on Lazy Summer Links.
You're doing Lyn proud.


January 4. 2012 02:56 PM

Patricia WA

Can anyone advise me?   I have a little brown mouse out on the patio, nibbling away at the remains of Tacker's lamb shank bone.  Sheba is sprawled out on the settee here and has not noticed it through the glass.  Tacker seems uninterested, having had his fill.

Normally they would be after that mouse. I am amazed they haven't got its scent.   In the past I have rescued and then euthanased a mouse they were playing with.  I felt terrible, suffocating and then drowning that pulsating little body.

Am I being too squeamish?

PS  Been away for a few days.  Need to catch up on reading before commenting.

Patricia WA

January 4. 2012 02:57 PM

Feral Skeleton

     Big day today and tomorrow. Tomorrow Dentist for tooth extraction, today getting everything done that should have been done tomoz.
   I joked to the kids that I should change my avatar and name to 'Gummi Bear'(think about it). Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 4. 2012 03:27 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi NK,
great to see your rosie presence again.

It is a great pleasure (and I am having fun with it) to be holding the fort for Lyn. Hope you are enjoying the links and finding some 'enlightenment' amongst the fodder.

There is an opening on the spoerts desk tho'. Know any one who might be interested? Tong

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 03:33 PM


You softie, you.  Smile  I turn a blind eye to little mice outside but, like you I don't tolerate my cat torturing them.  I am not a softie, however, if the creatures are inside my domain.


January 4. 2012 03:54 PM


D Mick Weir,

I think you have found your niche!

Your fare is different from Lyn's . . . but it's fare enough too, e.g. as you say
*Something a bit different*
"A List of Don’ts for Women on Bicycles Circa 1895  Maria Popova @BrainPickings"
Different strokes yes, but fun.

I have a suggestion for a name for your *column*, which obviously many, self included, are hoping you will continue after Lyn's return. It is meant in the best of spirit, apropos something about your name you once said yourself (I said that in case anyone who didn't read your comment then and might think I'm having a go, no no no!), if you don't like it forget it, anyway with respect -

        or  WeirDMeanderings  
                 or  WeirDMix / WeirDMicks /WeirDMickX

But anyway WeirDM+, too good to waste I reckon.

Someone else suggested the idea, I think it's neat for you, instant fame.

I know that Lyn was hoping that someone might help with the Media side of things, good for her and you and TPS DMW if you keep doing this. "Many hands make light work", I take it everyone knows the story about the old Chinaman in the Opera House when the power failed that time . . ? . .

Only I'm'a need to take speed reading courses now.

BTW names are ten a penny, I won't feel slighted whatever you might choose. Just that your own handle comes with built-in fun pun.


January 4. 2012 04:14 PM




Wrap it in a pitcheri leaf (Tomato or any solanum will do)

At half-past midnight bury or hide it within a spearthrow of your enemy's sleeping place, with the nerve end pointing to him. Don't get that bit wrong.  

May I recommend an enemy, if you haven't any of your own?

Why yes Tony Abbortt, how did you guess?
A benefit is, if you can locate their lovenest, Peta's will all fall out as well!

Good luck Feral, gee I thought it was resolved weeks ago.
Beware of inadvertent levitation from pure relief though.


January 4. 2012 04:25 PM


Feral Skeleton

Good luck for tomorrow, let the kids and house look after themselves, put the feet up and read a good book.  Smile


January 4. 2012 04:37 PM



Tempting though a desk of my own might be (complete with by-line and carefully posed mugshot, I presume), I have a full-time commitment in front of the television. You know what these Aussie cricketers are like, slacking off as soon as I turn my back. My vigilance is paying off at the moment. I should confess I was on the computer when Ponting lost his wicket. See what happens when I'm not on their case?
Back to the grindstone. Frown


January 4. 2012 04:38 PM


Feral Skeleton

Good luck tomorrow. Laughing


January 4. 2012 04:41 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

I reckon this speech changed the tenor of the times. Now we seem, or at least this is how I, from the urbanised area in Sydney's Northern Beaches environs perceives it, to take our Indigenous citizens at face value, rather than tarring them all with the one negative brush(unless their name is Noel Pearson  ).

Does that make Noel Pearson a troll? According to some at TPS, anyone who has a different point of view is a troll so please label Mr Pearson as a troll.

TT, the TPS’s soap-box Cromwell, here’s a sample of your orotund utterances (there are others)

He was waiting for Rx to put his foot in something? Limpy put his foot into Skelly while she was ill, well he's put a foot seriously wrong as far as I'm concerned, he has no manners and he offers nothing. So I'm-a put my foot into him wherever and whenever I feel, even though he's a soft and stupid and self-inflated target.
Talk Turkey

So no TT you didn’t say you’d tear me apart you instead said you’d lay the boot in. How delicate of you. Pay up you poltroon.

Sir Ian Crisp

January 4. 2012 04:44 PM



You'll like this

Recitation on Youtube:


Original Words and 'Standard English translation" (reckon I could do better btw')


But ffs don't DROWN the poor little buggers, DONG 'em, drop a brick on 'em, use a golf club or machete or sledge hammer (golf club is best, don't forget to wear goggles and yell Fore!)

I am sort of serious, drowning is slow and poor thing's panicking, it's only because you are yes too squeamish to 'injure' it. Just whack it hard once and finish it is the humanest thing to do.

As for that Scottish git, "A daimen-icker in a thrave's a sma' request", (a single ear of wheat in a whole stook) yeah alright, I wonder if he ever saw a mouse plague? Smile

No wonder my ancestors quit Scotland. It was overrun with mouseloving gits. And bloody Mice.


January 4. 2012 05:24 PM


What Limpy proposes is
picking your nose is
the same as scratching your arse!
Just shows which end
of our "beknighted" friend
he gets his *Upper Class!*

Fun With Trolls!

BTW Limpy I'm a Member of Adelaide Zoo, I happily donate there and in view of your poor apology for an excuse for making up a lie about my words I will as undertaken by me front $20 dedicated as part of my next donation. This is truth.


January 4. 2012 05:40 PM

D Mick Weir

Just tweeted

Got my heavy combination licence over the break. Just taken a load of melons to Brisbane to show that the Lockyer Valley is back in business
5:35 PM Wed Jan 04 2012 · web

A load of ...

No I am going to resist the temptation and leave it to others to fill in the (obvious) blanks

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 05:59 PM


Baroness Ian
            Yes Noel Pearson is a troll!If he as a "leader" in his community can't get his young people to change their ways, and it's not the 1930's any more! What does he do except complain as though it is still the 1930's?
Lady Ian, Pearson was a commissioner with ATSIC at one stage why didn't he do more when he had the chance? Far easier now to blame the white man than blame yourself.

Wasn't the current opposition leader part of the government that wound ATSIC up?


January 4. 2012 05:59 PM


Abbott: Just taken a load of melons to Brisbane to show that the Lockyer Valley is back in business

Now, get back to your WorkChoices, peasants.


January 4. 2012 06:03 PM

D Mick Weir

The WeirDeeMix Evening Media Update

Oh dear some cranky old bu@@ers just can't helo themselves sometimes
Bob Hawke nearly destroyed economy, says Paul Keating  Mike Stekette  @TheOz (free)
"Bob's economic instincts were generally good ones," Mr Keating said in reply. "But we had the summit in 1983 fundamentally to continue the wage restraint arising from the wage explosion Bob presided over as ACTU president in 1979-80. This followed the wage explosion of 1974-75, when he was ACTU president under the Whitlam government.
"These two events nearly destroyed the economy twice. The summit in 1983 was about a sensible exit from those policies."

The five NBN misconceptions of Tony Abbott  Renai LeMay @delimiter
Yesterday Tony Abbott took to the airwaves on Sydney’s 2UE radio station to discuss Labor’s flagship National Broadband Network policy. But unfortunately, aided by a rather sympathetic host, the Opposition Leader got a few facts about the project wrong. So it’s up to us to correct them.
Before I begin this dissection of Abbott’s comments, let me state that I don’t see this article as being an opinionated one or one biased towards either side. ...

Clampdown on media is ominous  Jill Singer  @HeraldSun
THE Australian Communications and Media Authority's new guidelines have the stench of political interference attached.
The first consequences of the new "privacy" restrictions on broadcasters have become immediately clear ...

Human Rights Check for New Laws  Nicola Roxon, Attorney General @ALP.org
Australia has a proud human rights record that will be further strengthened by enshrining the consideration of human rights in the development of our nation’s laws.  http://goo.gl/6jfCL

For a bit of fun @skywake on Twitter has some interesting pics
Wireless Banana   http://goo.gl/2De2Z   and Tony Abbott demonstrating his #NBN alternative.   http://goo.gl/h3OFl

Abbott blames Labor for Indon visa changes  @AFR
... blaming federal government dysfunction for a change in Indonesian immigration policy that could boost the number of asylum seeker boats heading to Australia.   http://goo.gl/av1Xf

Abbott welcomes business IR push  viaAAP @TheWestAus
... has welcomed a decision by big business bosses to weigh more heavily into the industrial relations debate.  http://goo.gl/ZnSJ8

More economic jitters ahead by any guess  Shane Wright @TheWestAus
It's a good year for making economic predictions.
There is so much going on that if you make enough prognostications then there's a good chance of at least a couple coming true

Well so much for a quiet and peaceful New Year The Running, Jumping, Flying never Standing Stiil Stuntman is back in the Saddle.
Newly licensed Tony Abbott slips behind the wheel of a big rig during visit to Grantham region Robb Kidd @TheCuriousSnail
WHEN not jockeying to become Prime Minister, it appears that Tony Abbott feels at home behind the wheel of a big rig.
I apolgise if the pic upsets anyones dinner but I had to let you all know that it's GroundHog Day & deja vu all over again.  http://goo.gl/Cll6m

Oh, and the teaser headline @TheCuriouSnail front page?   Ten-four Tony, you got your ears on?     Hostie, can I have one of those bags please?

From the Spoerts Desk
Our own NormanK has helped put Australia in a commanding position in the Second Test. By sitting firmly in place as the Armchair Coach of the Aussies he has ensured a Captains Knock by Clarke, a return to form by Ponting and a brisk batting performance by Hussey
@Stumps Aus 4/482 Ponting 134, Capt Clarke 251 n/o, Hussey 55 n/o

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 06:04 PM


Pity I didn't know earlier - I would have made a special trip to the Markets to tell Abbott he's a pimple on the backside of Australian politics (or maybe something a bit stronger).


January 4. 2012 06:12 PM


    perhaps I should have posted earlier to ensure you went to the markets!
The man who said NO to the "flood Levey" Today says

Abbott pledges ongoing support for areas hit by Queensland floods

FEDERAL opposition leader Tony Abbott says Australians shouldn't assume Queensland has recovered from last summer's devastating floods.

Mr Abbott and the federal member for Wright, Scott Buchholz, have pledged to light a few fires under insurers and the Gillard Government to make sure recovery efforts continue.



January 4. 2012 06:16 PM

D Mick Weir

I have been reliably informed that ArmChair Coach extroadinaire NormanK has had some able Assistants in the arduous task of coaching the Aussis.

You know who you are and you can take the appropriate share of accolades.

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 06:30 PM

D Mick Weir

I have words with our Queensland spies and admonished them on not being on top of the game.

If things don't improve heads will roll

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 06:32 PM

D Mick Weir

there is also a vacancy on the Fashion Desk.

I will think about whether having a name like Nikki is an advantage or not.

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 06:39 PM


   jj was one who used to like to "follow " Nikki's lead on fashion!


January 4. 2012 06:44 PM

D Mick Weir

thanks Jason
I will keep shim in mind should s/he apply.

On the top of which pile the application will be placed of course be guided by the colour of the shoes of the applicant

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 06:54 PM

D Mick Weir

I couldn't have said it better:
Honest to god, what sort of character spends more time preparing for photo ops than he does preparing for government?

@Pollytics  Possum Comitatus

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 07:10 PM


FS, glad to hear that finally the fang will be tamed.

Patricia, show meeces no mercy. They are dirty, filthy mongrel things, which, if they gain access to your cupboards have no compunction about shitting and piddling over all the contents, ruining them and leaving their reek behind.

They are the one creature that I let the cat have his will with. Along with that other curse, ants, they are a menace to all right thinking beings and should be subject to a Dalek attack immediately.


January 4. 2012 07:18 PM

D Mick Weir

Did anyone else notice the disconnect in the pics @TheCuriousSnail

TruckinAbbott gets into truck with white shirt in other pic it shows TruckinAbbott beltedup with flouro safety vest on.

Posed? Surely not.

D Mick Weir

January 4. 2012 07:51 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Baroness Ian
            Yes Noel Pearson is a troll!If he as a "leader" in his community can't get his young people to change their ways, and it's not the 1930's any more! What does he do except complain as though it is still the 1930's?

Lady Ian, Pearson was a commissioner with ATSIC at one stage why didn't he do more when he had the chance? Far easier now to blame the white man than blame yourself.

Wasn't the current opposition leader part of the government that wound ATSIC up?


J the barfly, see what happens when you spend 6 hours each day in the public bar. If you can drag yourself into the 19th century (baby steps for the moment) you would know that Mr Pearson is against smothering the aboriginal community with welfare. He prefers to encourage them to take part in the modern economy.

I think you've had enough for today.

Sir Ian Crisp

January 4. 2012 08:11 PM


WeirDeeMix Media Updates

Cool. So be it. Smile

Jason said

The man who said NO to the "flood Levey" Today says

Abbott pledges ongoing support for areas hit by Queensland floods

Jason Obelix!
You're always doing that!
Spoiling really good lines by our Tony
with a few unkind facts!

You do well Bro.


January 4. 2012 08:23 PM


Sir Ian,
       Yes I've heard all the rhetoric that Pearson blurts out, and have come to one conclusion that if his methods were as great as he says they are, and as successful as he wished there would be no need to give welfare to anyone as the results would speak for themselves and his methods would be the center piece of any government whishing to move people from welfare to work!
Not even Abbott who likes bashing "dole bludgers" has mentioned it as a possible solution!

Sir Ian at the end of the day Pearson wants his own form of welfare to pay for his schemes that way he isn't out of pocket when they fail!  


January 4. 2012 09:18 PM

Feral Skeleton

     I see Tony 'Truck Drivin' Man' Abbott is planning on driving us all crazee this year, with stunts du truck becoming the stunt du jour.

Feral Skeleton

January 4. 2012 09:26 PM

Ad astra

There is nothing uncouth at the couth coast.

The 3G reception here in Melbourne is better than usual - maybe the city workers are on holidays and the network is less congested.  I'll wait though until tomorrow before reaching that conclusion.

Here's hoping for a successful dental outcome.

Ad astra

January 4. 2012 09:33 PM


The latest offering from Mr Denmore. Some very sensible advice that I will be taking for as long as our cricketers remain competitive.

News Anonymous: The 12-Step Program
by Mr Denmore    The Failed Estate

One of the joys of the silly season in Australian media is that the focus switches from being bored to death by Duelling Press Releases in backwoods Canberra to the relative excitement of watching five-day cricket tests on television.


So in the interest of sponsoring greater calm reflection and less needless flying off the handle, here is my 12-step program for junk media junkies in 2012:


6. Polls are for Trolls. It should be evident by now to the sane among us that media companies use opinion polls purely as content generators. It’s manufactured news. Keep an eye on Possum. If a trend is emerging, he’ll tell you.



January 4. 2012 09:42 PM


FS - hope the dental work happens this time.

Jason - I'm happy I'm not the only one that can remember who opposed the Flood Levy

DMW - Nothing short of hanging the Queensland spy will suffice Laughing.  Apparently it is important when selecting a fashion editor not to choose one that "Colourblocks" (whatever that is - but all the women at work have been trying to explain it to us mere blokes for a couple of weeks!) and I loved Possums' comment.  Keep up the good work - it is appreciated.


January 4. 2012 09:50 PM

Feral Skeleton

           Re small furry animal.
In my neck of the woods, pretty literally as I am surrounded by Temperate Rainforest being as I live across the road from a National Park and my housing block is zoned 'Environmental Living Smile , which basically means no one can mess with the native vegetation on it, anyway, we tend to have a slight problem with Antechinus, who are a gorgeous little Marsupial Mouse. I'm kinda the sort of person who walks around ants when I see them, I even go to the trouble of transmigrating spiders back outside if my arachnophobic son comes across one in his bedroom. Therefore, I was loathe to use a mousetrap or worse to keep them under control. Especially as one night we did use a mouse trap due to having had it with the little varmints who can squeeze under my back door and proceed to run rampant through my cupboards, and it was effective in catching one of them. However, it didn't kill it outright, and because I am lily-livered when it comes to walking up to the mousetrap and taking the half dead critter out and finishing the job, I left it to thrash about all night trying to get out of the darn thing. And I had to listen to it. Then, when my husband woke up in the morning I got him to do the dirty work(I didn't want to wake him up in the middle of the night, probably because he would have said that I should do it myself!)

   So, I resolved never to put myself, or the critter, through that ever again. As luck would have it, watching an episode of 'The Inventors' a few weeks later, someone came on with a 'Humane Mouse/Rat Trap'. Even luckier for us and the Antechinus, these items had already been pre-sold to Bunnings. So, we hot-footed it over there asap, and bought a shed load of the things. They are fantastic! All you have to do is place some Peanut Butter at one end of the contraption, which is like a long, square cylinder, and is closed, and then open the other end for a nocturnal visitor to be attracted inside. It's actually like a square cylinder see-saw, so when the varmint comes inside, the rocking motion causes the trap door to shut behind it and it can't get out! Then all you have to listen to is it rocking back and forth all night trying to get the trap door to open again. Smile
   Henceforth, in the morning, you just put an elastic band around it, pop your unwelcome visitor in the car, and take him/her for a little ride to your closest park and let them go and let fate take it's course. Which is a bit of a wimp-out I know but if you don't want to do that you can always figure out how to euthanise them safely with CO. Sometimes if you just leave them out in the heat they just dehydrate and die. Which I found out the hard way once. Embarassed  However, that may seem a bit harsh as well.

   I'm lucky because I can just let them go in the National Park, which is where they are supposed to be bleedin' living! Though I must admit, there's not the ready supply of food there. Smile

   ASnyway, I hope that helps you. I know there are Bunnings stores in WA, so you should be able to get one there. The rest is up to you and your imagination. Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 4. 2012 09:55 PM

Feral Skeleton

  May I just say a big THANK YOU! to everyone who passed on their best wishes for the morrow. What has taken so long is that I had to take a course of antibiotics to rid the affected/infected Molar before I could have the tooth out. So finally that day has come. I think I'll still be able to type though, afterwards. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

January 4. 2012 11:30 PM


No aspirin of course, and try try try not to dislodge the initial blood clot, 'dry sockets' are the pits. No pun intended. Voice of experience. All the best.  


January 5. 2012 12:30 AM


Well at least Tony will have a job when he's kicked out of politics - but most likely he wants to attempt a re-run of the "convoy of no consequence".  I hope he brushed up on his ten-codes:

10-1   Signal weak
10-3   Stop transmitting
10-7   Out of service
10-10  Negative
10-22  Disregard
10-30  Danger/caution



January 5. 2012 12:50 AM

D Mick Weir

that'd be 10-10 Tony you are talking about then?

D Mick Weir

January 5. 2012 07:57 AM


Ian Crisp,
         Perhaps Pearson could put his ideas to the NSW government!

A LANDMARK report commissioned by the state government has found that millions of dollars have been wasted on failed programs to help Aboriginal people find jobs and business opportunities.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...projects-20120104-1pl7p.html


January 5. 2012 08:41 AM


What we want is Tony going QRT eh!
Is that a big 10-4!


January 5. 2012 09:28 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

J guy, what a jolly good idea. Artificial jobs are not the way to go. As Pearson suggests, the real economy must create employment.

Sir Ian Crisp

January 5. 2012 09:33 AM

D Mick Weir

WeirDeeMicks Morning Media Meanderings

News Anonymous: The 12-Step Program  Mr Denmore @The Failed Estate
One of the joys of the silly season in Australian media is that the focus switches from being bored to death by Duelling Press Releases in backwoods Canberra to the relative excitement of watching five-day cricket tests on television.
Like a blowfly loose in the kitchen, you only notice the enervating influence of the drone from the nation’s capital when the Raid starts working.


Do you know your neighbour? Lending a hand and the Queensland floods  Lynda Chesire @TheConversation
Neighbours are a source of growing aggravation in Australia and we are lodging more official complaints about each other than ever before. Excessive noise or odour, inadequate levels of property maintenance, roaming animals and general forms of anti-social behaviour are all potentially cause for complaint.
Yet the overwhelming message that flowed from events like the floods in Queensland and Victoria last year was one of neighbours, friends and even strangers rallying to assist flooded residents in their hour of need.


Why is there uniform pricing for movie tickets?  Tyler Cowen @Marginal Revolution
So how come we’re still stuck with $12 tickets for both blockbusters and indie flicks? A few theories:

A good news year for climate campaigners  Simon Copland @TheDrum
Despite the negative stories over the past year, there have been a number of real climate wins that should provide hope to campaigners worldwide.

The Iron Lady - Verdict  David Havyatt @AnythingGoes
The Iron Lady is a disappointing film, but not for all the reasons outlined in John Huxley's column today.
It wasn't merely "revisionism", and the long-term effect of Thatcher on Britain is something on which rational intelligent informed people could disagree. Far from being toned down "Thatcherism" it demonstrated how her downfall within her own party was determined by th excesses to which she took that with the poll tax


Same old msm misogyny, all politicians are liars, and only if I’m water boarded  @NoPLaceForSheep
I don’t know if this is just an attack of ennui after the holiday festivities, but all I can find to say about the new year is blah blah blah.
Same old politics politicking on.  Same old fights between right and left. Same old controversies, increasingly bereft of impact due to over-exposure. Same old msm misogyny against the PM. Yes, it’s taken me a long time to come round to acknowledging that. I have my disagreements with Ms Gillard, and I didn’t want legitimate arguments against her to be obfuscated by allegations of misogyny. It was bad enough when the feminists went wild at her ascension, conveniently ignoring the context in which it took place.


Informing your readers  Dave Gaukroger @PurePoison
In late December the Australian Press Council found that a series of articles in The Daily Telegraph about the National Broadband Network “contained inaccurate or misleading assertions”  ...

Parties scoring political points on how to outscource human misery Claire Mallinson @National Times
BOTH major parties met ''in good faith'' to discuss the asylum seeker stalemate before Christmas. The result was another meeting to discuss the options in a few weeks' time. Both parties remain united in their support for the offshore processing of asylum seekers. But on the table we still have a pastiche of dehumanising policy ''solutions'' which will undermine Australia's track record as a regional human rights leader.

Labor MP seeks out gay marriage advocates for bill  Dan Harrison @TheAge
THE Labor MP who will introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage has promised to meet marriage equality advocates to formulate a strategy to give his proposal the greatest chance of success. Backbencher Stephen Jones' pledge, on Melbourne gay radio station Joy FM, follows accusations from gay marriage advocates that Labor was setting up the bill to fail.

From The Spoerts Desk
Elite sport should pay its own way  Simon Tatz @TheDrum
The Federal Government has just found a spare $50 million to fund the redevelopment of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
This is terrific news for all Australians who attend the one or two cricket matches held in Sydney each year. The SCG members will be chuffed.


Ponting went the distance - did his time, took his chances  @Blogatariat
I suspect I was not alone with my heart in my mouth yesterday when Ponting set off for a chancy run that gave him his ton. He would have been out by a metre if the ball had hit the stumps, but as the fates would have it, he made his ground. In doing so, Ponting not only answered his critics but settled a few yips.

D Mick Weir

January 5. 2012 09:44 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

Hey J guy, maybe we could bring to an end the federal 'closing the gap' initiative and redirect the funds to a national dental scheme. My advice to you is this: you and everyone back to sleep because nothing with change.


Sir Ian Crisp

January 5. 2012 09:56 AM


D Mick Weir (WeirDeeMick)

Thanks for the link to Mr Denmore, I haven't checked his blog for ages as Lyn usually links to him when he puts something up.  I fully agree with him, but he didn't mention blogs.  Now if we can come up with a solution for blog addicts then I might have a chance of not hearing all the political stuff.  Nah, I've decided that I can't do without The Political Sword, and all the great Swordsters.


January 5. 2012 09:57 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Morning All!
  I'll be with you this morning. Big date is this afternoon.So here we go. Smile

   I'd like to start off with a quote from the comments section of this lovely article, which I will link to because it takes apart, surgically, the sort of lie we are starting to see all too often nowadays from Conservative politicians who seek to denigrate the stellar performance on the economy that Progressive parties have/ are having as they deal with the fallout left behind by the failed policies of the NeoCon NeoLiberals:


   Now, just read this comment from Ron Byers, and substitute Abbott for Romney, and Gillard for Obama, and you'll see what I'm getting at:

     Ron Byers on January 03, 2012 2:03 PM:

Romney has to lie about it, because he has no choice. The main stream media will lie about it as well because if they don't Obama wins in a walk and their ratings won't be nearly as good as if there is a genuine horserace.

Will Romney be called on this big lie? Not by anybody from any of the main stream media outlets. This is entirley up to us and to the Obama campaign.

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 10:33 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Here's an absolutely fascinating article by Jack Shafer in the US, laying out in plain language what is the modus operandi of political reporting:


   I don't imagine it's that different here.

   Money quote:
     But the commercial demands on both kinds of news fill what should be dead air with speculation, minutiae, human interest, gossip, and commentary. One would think that readers and viewers would resent all the ephemera masquerading as news, but they actually seem to appreciate it!

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 10:37 AM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
              Pearson's definition of 'the real economy' is giving jobs to blackfellas to rip the guts out of their homelands in FNQ, so as to make Noel and his Uncle Tom mates rich from the Bauxite deposits that lay under the Wild Rivers.
  SIC, I know it is Conservative gospel, but jobs are not sancrosanct.

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 10:38 AM

Feral Skeleton

    I have managed to combine Sports and politics in one linked article today. Beat that! Laughing

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 10:55 AM

D Mick Weir

The Silly Season ummm The Summer Sports Siesta can do it to you Smile

I have to point out though the first article from the Spoerts Desk is well umm a plant to suck the sporties back into politics Tong

D Mick Weir

January 5. 2012 11:56 AM

Feral Skeleton

    You wascally wascal you! Laughing

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 12:03 PM

Feral Skeleton

    You'd have thought that Simon Tatz, from the Mental Health Council of Australia, who just received $2 Billion from the federal government in the last Budget, would have found it within himself to write an article in which he congratulates the federal government for making a contribution to the general health and well-being of the community, which has positive spin-offs wrt Mental Health, that sport and sport-watching provides. But no, he has to adopt the offensive crouch towards the government and attempt to spit bile at them instead.

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 12:16 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Bill Shorten starting off on the front foot this year:


Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 12:32 PM

D Mick Weir

It is about Midday Central Time so ...
WeirDeeMicks Midday Media Munchies

The Invisibility of Marriage  Kate Galloway @Curl
In the contemporary debate in both Australia and internationally over same-sex marriage, I have been torn between my antipathy towards the institution of marriage and my desire to see a more inclusive society. In this post I consider this tension in an attempt to articulate a consistent basis from which to understand ‘marriage’ in a way that respects all as individuals in their own right and likewise affords respect at law to the domestic partnerships they enter into.

A bit Geeky but should give you a laugh over lunch HT Tim Harford
How to make your Shopping Cart Suck Less  @TheOatmeal
It's a toon so go see the drawings   http://theoatmeal.com/comics/shopping_cart

Howard battlers are back, vying for jobs  John Black @AusFinReview (free)
The highest relative increase in unemployment since 2007 has been in middle-income suburbs, where the breadwinner typically graduated high school. The lowest unemployment increase has been in high-income suburbs.

Gingrich: Founding fathers would have ‘violent’ reaction to pot growers Eric W Dolan @Raw Story HatTip @HillbillySkill aka FS
Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that the founders of the United States would have dealt violently with marijuana growers, despite the fact that they grew the plant for commercial purposes themselves.

Something a Tropical umm topical maybe
Rare smelly flower likely to draw a crowd  Sam Davis @ABCFNQ
The titan arum, also known as the 'corpse flower' because its smell resembles rotting flesh rarely blossoms.
Of the less than 200 recorded bloomings none have lasted  ...


Interview with Naomi Woodley, ABC AM BillShorten @hisblog
I’m not going to micro-manage every negotiation that goes on. I know that the negotiations which have disputes attract more media attention than the far greater number of negotiations which go on without disputation.

Flash from the Traffic Desk
Northbourne Ave in Canberra will be closed so some cars can parade along it. Interstate travellers going to Canberra along the Hume or Barton Highways will have to divert or wait for long periods while the Summernats City Cruise takes place

If you are on your way to Canberra by car you probably won't be reading this alert but we did try.
Back to the News Desk

Tony the Truckie  Peter Brent @Mumble
In 2012 we can expect to see a bit of Tony the Truckie on the evening news—and not just participating in convoys of no confidence.
Whether you reckon this is good news probably depends on your attitude to Abbott generally.


Occupy shows that the personal really is political  Andee Jones @SMH/NationalTimes
I was born into Menzies-era complacency and its anxious underpinnings and, though my family was cash-strapped, we had chooks and a veggie garden and fruit trees and never went hungry. I'd never heard of famine, let alone been confronted with the unimaginable horror that the men who ran the world would knowingly let children die from it.

Consumer Alert
Beware: '$24 iPad' penny auction deals could leave you penniless  Asher Moses @SMH
Online auction websites advertising on TV in Australia are offering iPads for $24, 50-inch Samsung TVs for $85 and even a Honda Civic car for $1800, but be careful, you could end up spending way more than you bargained for.
These "penny auction" sites aren't your run-of-the-mill auction platforms like eBay, ...


Sorry folks the Spoerts Desk is out to lunch

D Mick Weir

January 5. 2012 01:33 PM


Very brief visit.   Having computer problems so I'm sharing with my family next door - on roster with two adults and two teenagers!

TT, many thanks for the Robbie Burns reminder!

FS, I gather you were traumatised by your mice encounters! I hope that writing about them has somehow helped exorcise all that!  I'm glad to say that my little mouse has finally disappeared, though he stuck around for several hours without being pounced on by cat or dog!   No dead body around as a proud trophy from Sheba so far!

A bientot!  


January 5. 2012 02:41 PM


There was a zoo a while back that had a Donkey named Shane.

Donkey-Shane see.

There was a Rabbit named Transit.

Rabbit transit get it?

There was an Aard-vark named A Million Miles for One of Your Smiles, I'm not explaining that.

And they had a Ewe Sheep, and her name was

Wait for it . . .



January 5. 2012 03:05 PM

D Mick Weir

From the Fascinating Facts File

PM Julia Gillard Has notched up another first. When Aussie Cricket Captain notched up his 300th run Julia Gillard became the first Labor PM to oversee see a 300+ score by an Australian Captain
HatTip @swearycat

D Mick Weir

January 5. 2012 03:38 PM

D Mick Weir

Guess the name Comp
Have a look at this pic tweeted by PM and see if you know the bloke in the middle is and why his wabbit ears is wilting


When I find the key to the prize cupboard I will see if there is anything worthwhile to present to the winner.

D Mick Weir

January 5. 2012 05:55 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Bleugh!! Frown Back from the Dentist. Can still type whilst swallowing copious amounts of blood. Laughing

   Now, have a look at this article about Renewable Energy storage, and then take a look on the lower right hand side of the article at all the Climate blogs and other sources of information. Smile


Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 06:00 PM

Feral Skeleton

    That link is not working!

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 06:29 PM


Feral Skeleton

As is so often the case with Twitter links that are put up, you have to copy and paste the bit of the link that is not underlined.


January 5. 2012 06:41 PM


       Thanks for that advice on "twitter" I had no idea up until now!


January 5. 2012 07:32 PM

D Mick Weir

WeirDeeMix The it's almost the end of another day roundup or
The 7pm Central Daylight Time Update

An Updated (shotened) link to JG's cake decorating pic  http://goo.gl/cRNiz

Shorten challenges coalition costings  @BigPondNews
Acting Treasurer Bill Shorten has challenged the federal coalition to cost its policies beyond the usual four-year period after a Liberal senator warned the government's carbon tax would create a budget black hole.
At issue is Treasury's response to a question asked during last year's Senate estimates hearings, taken on notice ...


It Matters   M Nash  @Technically Impartial  HatTip @mfarnsworth
... when a friend posted this status to his facebook wall, I needed a good stiff drink to head off the resulting explosion of rage;
      "The one thing more boring than politics is your opinion about it."
That moronic statement is what brings me before you today.


A thoughtful conservative perspective on climate  TomSperling @SkepticalScience
Peter Wehner has impeccable conservative credentials, ....
After a long look at the evidence, Wehner concluded that the scientific consensus on climate is correct.    He wrote two interesting posts titled "Conservatives and Climate Change," ...
....  importantly, Wehner explicitly separates the question "Is it happening?" from "What should we do?" -- in itself a major step forward -- and for the most part he accepts the science.


A Food for thought from Twitter Break
“after 20 years of Reagan trickle-down economics, it didn’t help me. My tin can is still empty.” - Chinese woman at Romney townhall  @GoBrooklyn via @HillBillySkill

Enough with the "too little" vs "too much" debate on regulation and the GFC. The real issue was how the regulations were designed, ie badly.  @Economeager via @Pollytics

This country needs more middle class, white males giving political commentary  @Pollytics (The Possum)
Privileged, egotistical navel gazers are an important minority group channeling the national zeitgeist from the gut  @Pollytics (The Possum)

Warning Possibly has words that may offend (other than words like politics)
The Hysteria Hysteria  Bill @Billablog
The story so far:
The latest issue of The King’s Tribune features some very interesting, if challenging articles from Justin Shaw and Ben Pobjie on the place of pornography in modern society.
This caused an almighty twitstorm, centred around the use in the articles of one particular word: “Hysterical.”


Consensus Reality  Miglo @Cafe(Shhhh)Whispers
I heard the phrase consensus reality while listening to a discussion the other day.  I liked it.  It stuck with me.  I also liked what it defined, when explained, that it is a shared, social construction of reality that we believe to be true.  It doesn’t have to be true; we just need to nod our heads in agreement that we believe it to be true.  A bit like herd mentality, really.

The End of the Nuclear Renaissance  Prof Q @TheNationalInterest (US)
The truly significant developments, however, were not driven by politics, although they will have profound political implications. In 2011, nuclear power ceased to be a serious option for meeting the world’s energy needs, and solar photovoltaics (PV) finally became an option worth noting.

The ANZ Interest Rate Decision Next Week @TheKouk
Tomorrow week, the ANZ will starts its new policy of announcing its retail interest rates independently of changes in the RBA cash rate. Most focus will probably be on whether there will be any changes brought about by funding cost pressures and / or new demand.

From the Spoerts Desk
Armchair coaches around the nation will be glued to their chairs with the second test will go to a fourth day. @stumps India 2/114

Baddeley ready for major assault  @ABCGrandStand
Finally at peace with his golf game, Aaron Baddeley believes he is ready to rectify his mediocrity in majors in 2012.

D Mick Weir

January 5. 2012 07:41 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Sir Ian Crisp,
              Pearson's definition of 'the real economy' is giving jobs to blackfellas to rip the guts out of their homelands in FNQ, so as to make Noel and his Uncle Tom mates rich from the Bauxite deposits that lay under the Wild Rivers.
  SIC, I know it is Conservative gospel, but jobs are not sancrosanct.

Feral Skeleton

A closet racist are we FS. That's not a good look for your projected image of the quintessential altruist.

Sir Ian Crisp

January 5. 2012 08:05 PM


Sir Ian,
       Yes pull the racist card! when all else is lost scream racist!
Do you have no shame?


January 5. 2012 08:32 PM

Acerbic Conehead

New Year Greetings to all Swordsters and I hope 2012 is a year for policy discussions in Australian politics and less of the stunts of driving trucks of melons to wherever.

I've recently communicated to Ad Astra my decision to retire the Acerbic Conehead character.  Work and domestic duties are making it impossible for me to put the time in any longer into writing for The Political Sword.

So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support, especially Ad Astra.  I know that with everyone's contributions, The Political Sword will continue to go from strength to strength in 2012.  

Acerbic Conehead

January 5. 2012 08:41 PM


Acerbic Conehead,
                I'm sorry to hear of your "early retirement" and will miss your posts! I do hope you drop in from time to time, and wish you all the best in the future.
Thanks Acerbic Conehead.


January 5. 2012 08:48 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Sir Ian,
       Yes pull the racist card! when all else is lost scream racist!
Do you have no shame?


J guy, I have no shame in 'outing' closet racists.

Sir Ian Crisp

January 5. 2012 08:54 PM

Feral Skeleton

Sir Ian Crisp,
              Predictable retort. Very predictable and the cheapest of cheap shots. Hey, Mr Know-It-All, guess who I had Christmas Lunch with? Better not tell my 'racist' mates it was with my Indigenous Artist friend and her daughter.

   Sorry, but it's exactly because of my respect for my Indigenous Brothers and Sisters that I abhor people like Noel Pearson, despite the colour of his skin, seeking to exploit his brethren. He's the Whitest Blackfella I have ever come across, which is why he gets on so well with Truckin' Tony.

   You know, not all Blackfellas are the same, just because they're Black, and it's patronising in the extreme to equate them in such a way. There are good and bad among them, just as there are good and bad among us Whiteys.

   Btw, I don't suppose you've asked any Blackfellas of your aquaintance(if there are any), what they think of Noel? I have, and if you think what I have had to say controversial, then you should get out into the Indigenous Community more and listen to what they have to say about him because he's not the most popular of personages.

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 09:34 PM


AC - don't be a stranger.  I'll miss the Friday Night Funnies.


January 5. 2012 09:36 PM


I have just done myself the disservice of trying to read the latest verbiage of Mungo McCallum.

Apparently the PM and her Govt. are going to spend the year running around like chooks with their heads cut off. Governing the country will come a poor second to " The Rudd Obsession" and polling numbers. And, of course, Europe is going to fall on its arse......and not one inspiring, soul enriching speech will come from a PM who speaks with an Australian accent, has red hair, is not married and has, without the shadow of any doubt, more intelligence, empathy, courage and foresight in her little toe than the entire collective of nitwits that are the national media.

Does anyone, given GFC mk1, think that treasury, under instruction from Govt., haven't got plans waiting? Plans that have been war gamed to the best available data, constantly updated and ready to go. Have the media drunk so much of their own kool aid that they are starting to believe their own lies? I concede that the average Australian journalist isn't all that bright.....but really,

There will be much made of the delivery of the PM's speeches, utterances, sideways glances and general demeanour. The Nikki Savvas' and others of that ilk will criticise,  insult, snigger up their overly pretentious sleeves and display all the bitter dismay they must feel when confronted by a woman whose contribution to this country is genuine, valued and will shape history....unlike theirs.

This will be the year of implementation and consolidation by the Govt. and the msm will be even more rabid in pursuit of their agenda. They will use their Liberal/National lackeys ruthlessly. So anyone who believes the pressure will only be on the Govt. needs to do some rethinking. What we will see this year is some seriously stressed opposition front bench mps'....as those that own them become more strident in their demands.

I think it is going to be a testing time for Lib/Nat party supporters and I hope they live in many interesting times.

It goes without saying that we, purer than the tears of a virgin Labor supporters, receive, share and acknowledge the bounty that the earth and heavens bestow upon us.



January 5. 2012 09:39 PM


D Mick Weir - It is now 9:32pm  I'm still reading. What is worse is that not only are the articles interesting, so to are all the comments....


January 5. 2012 09:49 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your enlightening comments and links.  I'll try to explore the links tomorrow with the iPad while out and about.

As I have a few very busy days ahead, you won't see much in the way of comments from me until after the weekend.

As they say avagoodweeken.

Ad astra

January 5. 2012 09:59 PM

Feral Skeleton

    And Mungo Maccallum's contribution to Public Life and the future of this country has been?

   As someone said the other day, wtte, 'I hate to admit it, but there is genuine misogyny towards our Prime Minister.'

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 10:39 PM

Feral Skeleton

          I'm shattered! You are virtually irreplacable! And by that I mean you ARE irreplacable in the virtual world of the Internet and blogs. You've had my back since the Jack the Insider days, and now you will be no more? I hope not. Frown

Feral Skeleton

January 5. 2012 10:47 PM


You're dead right.

As I lean more towards the pagan than the christian the concept of  strong women strengthens rather than weakens my own sense of my self.

I truly believe that this is where the punditry have it so wrong. It is impossible to recognise strength from a bedrock of weakness. Strength will, in the end, prevail.

What they don't understand is that power will always engender genuflection, blind obedience/love/hatred and be both friend and foe at the same time.

Strength, true strength, will be an honest companion for life. I have always believed that Julia Gillard has this true strength and this year it will not only surface, but be seen for what it is.


January 5. 2012 10:52 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Bizarre. Apparently the best representatives of indigenous people are those that conform with the ALP view of their interests.

Yes, the ALP has done a marvellous job in this area.

Tom of Melbourne

January 5. 2012 11:39 PM


Talk Turkey at Jan 3rd 8.17pm
My allocated gravatar looks like John Howard, I think. I might seek out the tutorial you mention.

Ian, F.S. et al
I've liked Mungo since Nation Review days but there's no doubt about it, he doesn't like Gillard. It seems to me to be something personal, not as visceral as I think Oakes is, but personal none the less. If we read the same piece, I was struck by Mungo's assertion that the Gillard camp is panicking over a nonexistent challenge. He might have mentioned the number of his colleagues obsessed with the same thing.


January 5. 2012 11:56 PM


D Mick Weir
We're all agog
With your WeirDeeMick's Mix!
Thanks for your services to this Blog,
And to our Ad astrafix!

Folks I wrote and insta-lost yet another longish post this morning, never mind, it wasn't so good anyway but I did say a few things about my take on our blog, with its regulars, and the semi-regulars, and the sometimesers, and the oncers, and the Lurkers too! And the most interesting within the whole blogosphere, those from other sites who visit this site, as we may visit, and if we wish post, on other sites. And of course even more to be wooed, the professional fence-sitters of the respectable side of the MSM, the ABC and the Australian.

I hope you caught my snide irony there folks, that was what Megalogenis styled himself and his circle-jerkers a few days ago, boy did Jason Obelix and I laugh. Huh, we out-predict them and why wouldn't we despise most of them, exceptions noted. They are personally despicable and their work contemptible for the most part. We all know bloggers who write better stuff on every count than the lying bigoted lazy agenda-driven crap we see on a daily basis on ABC 24 and most of all Megalogenis's precious Australian.

But we will influence them, and politicians themselves too, if we are to fulfil this site's mission - more, to force improvement in standards of reportage and political behaviour, to effect change in Australian society no less - that is what this site is really all about, and all other considerations are rightly subordinate to that aim, because encompassed by it as our shared overriding mission.

How best to work towards that, well I think we are set to do very well! It seems to me that to fulfil this site's destiny, we need to provide a focus for all politically-interested bloggers everywhere, whether or not they write here, whether or not they write at all indeed; we are here to inform as well as to be informed and to state our own views. And while our notable Blogmaster's germane and explicit AAA+ articles are the very core of what the site is about, there is no question but that Lyn's~Links are what keeps us, all the types I mentioned above, coming back on a hypnotised basis. There are many others who help too, pungent pithy pieces from Jason and others of course, but it is the regularity of Lyn's~Links that has made it so valuable. Now obviously with WeirDeeMick's, dare I say, quirky and peripatetic Mix, and it seems likely someone wrt international affairs, and even perhaps others wrt still other matters, there is likely to be plenty of reading all the time. I guess it goes without saying that with increased links and quotes we will need to be discerning in what we do post, more could be less if it lacked piquancy or pertinacity, but in all I think the signs are very exciting for TPS this year. Certainly there will be plenty to fight our sort of fight for.
And it seems to me that what the footsoldiers here are doing while we wait for the next parliamentary battles, we are honing our metaphorical blades, practising cut-and-thrust, taking up position and digging in, ready for action. This is a fighting blog, with a purpose, and that makes it a bit different from anything else around.  

One of the things that I do think we should do, and I'll try to do it once in a while myself, is to write brickbat-and-bouquet Open Letters to those we most abhor and admire, with  plenty of nectar for the latter, and pungency for the former, and make sure it gets to the target, reviled or lauded, and that it gets plenty of publicity on other blogs and wherever we can send it.

Jason Obelix rings shock jocks often here, he has made it a personal project and he delights in it, and he's pretty good at it too, boring it up Bob Francis or Leon Byner. He is a Guerrilla fighter, I love it. We all fight this war differently, but let us not forget that that is what we are here for, to fight. Other blogs can yak away, so can we, but  
the point of this one is explicit in the Motto at the top of this page. With dedicated linkers here to attract folks from other friendly sites, TPS is set to become a hub for people to turn their eyes to for the best in information and articles in every political blog and other media, and that is something worth trying for. And even if we cannot be the best there is - and I don't concede we can't - we can be the best we can.

In the meantime I do believe that Ad astra is really very happy with the shape we are in. Smile And I hope everybody is too except for Limpy and jj, who don't want to be.


January 6. 2012 12:14 AM


Tom of Melbourne,
                As a card carrying member of the Democrats, why don't you try and put life into the party of which you belong!Leave us the Fu@k alone!


January 6. 2012 12:23 AM


Acerbic Conehead
You will be sorely missed each weekend, but please come back at least sometimes . . . as Aromatic Conehead perhaps?

You cannot stay away  . . . You cannot stay away . . . You cannot stay away  . . . You cannot stay away . . . You cannot stay away  . . . You cannot stay away . . . You cannot stay away  . . . You cannot stay away . . . You cannot stay away  . . . You cannot stay away . . .


January 6. 2012 12:35 AM


You write well,
Come often please.

I hope you are coddling your little Blood Clot. If you can the hole will heal quickly, otherwise you can get nasty bone infections . . . Be careful.

BSA Bob said
My allocated gravatar looks like John Howard, I think.

Dog Albitey BSA, that would be nearly enough to put me off writing on the Sword I think! Quick! The tutorial, something pretty, a Bantam maybe? I used to ride one! No smutty Chookist comments please anyone. Smile


January 6. 2012 12:48 AM


Do you remember the D-Notices in Nation Review
(d'apres EGW's terminology for Departmental Notices btw)

and so on?

Guess who started what 4-letter D-notice listing?!
1972 . . .

Boy did that little word jump from the page. And it got two men Greg Adey and Peter Carey into gaol for starting a mail-order service in that column, not to make money but to proselytize It, after which we started CRAC, Campaign to Release Adey and Carey. In those days there was no such thing as Crack Cocaine!


January 6. 2012 12:51 AM


  'No smutty Chookist comments please anyone."what about the Pheasant pluckers ?????????????? "


January 6. 2012 06:24 AM

Ad astra

Acerbic Conehead
Although you had notified me privately that you would be making an announcement on TPS that you would be retiring the Acerbic Conehead character, I somehow missed your announcement when I quickly scanned yesterday’s comments last night.  Perhaps it was the absence of the easily recognized traffic cone that resulted in your new Gravatar not catching my attention.

Anyway, I this is a suitable time to again thank you, on behalf on the visitors to this site, for your succession of deliciously witty and clever pieces of satire that delighted us weekend after weekend.

Those of us who compose original pieces know the demands of constantly writing and understand why you feel you need to take a break.

We can only thank you for all the pleasure and good laughs you have given us for so long, express the hope that you will visit TPS from time to time and leave your comments, and wish you well for the future.  You know that should you wish to return to writing satirical pieces, even if only occasionally, you would always be welcomed back with open arms.

Ad astra

January 6. 2012 07:08 AM


Acerbic Conehead

I will miss you every weekend.  Thank you for all the laughs you have given me.  As Ad Astra has said, maybe an occasional contribution?  That would be great.  Hope everything goes well for you in the future.


Thanks for your very positive contribution. It gives me a sense of well being.  Are you serious that the Nopposition will get some heat from the media?  I would love to think so but will have to see it to believe it.

Talk Turkey

What a shame you lost your first post, but you certainly made up for it with your second.

Feral Skeleton

Glad you go through your ordeal safely.

D Mick Weir

You have come up with some interesting links, thank you.


January 6. 2012 09:03 AM

D Mick Weir

Micks Morning Media Mix
Not a lot happening around the blogs so a bit of this and that from a few different corners of the interwebby including a bit of Kultcha.

Australian media, US politics and the internet age  Andrew Elder @TheDrum
Australian coverage of US politics has two roles. First, it has to assess the political situation in that country and how the parties and candidates react to it. Second, it has to assess how US political developments affect Australia:

Loyalty counts - in cricket and in politics  Richard Walsh  @NationalTimes
Politics, as they say, is war without blood and these days it not only fuels our craving for a bit of biff but offers wonderful opportunities for the spectators (letter writers and tweeters and bloggers) to throw a few chairs into the ring.
But occasionally we appreciate a heart-warming diversion, particularly at this time of the year.


Get rid of the me-first attitude and serve our country instead
As we get into the rhythm of the new year, we should wish for improving circumstances for all. In order for that to occur we will of course have to change our practices, demands and habits.
A good place to start would be for all of us to embrace the words uttered by John F. Kennedy during his inauguration in 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country".


Global view can help tackle asylum woes  Daniel Flitton  @NationalTimes
Australia should look at putting resources into refugee trouble spots.
THE time warp seems inescapable. Australia is stuck with the same never-ending political debate about people arriving by boat to our shores seeking asylum, wedged between tough love and just plain tough. It's not only the past decade since Tampa. Look back at the newly released cabinet records from the first year of Bob Hawke's government.


From the Community Desk  - Government Announcement:
Australia's Humanitarian Program 2012–13 Consultations  Dept of Immigration & Citizenship
Each year, the Government seeks the views of the Australian public so that these can be taken into consideration in planning for and building future years' Humanitarian Programs.
All submissions should be received by 11.30pm Tuesday 31 January 2012.


From the International Desk
China to levy carbon tax before 2015 - report  Reuters
China's biggest energy-consuming companies are likely to face a direct tax on carbon dioxide emissions by 2015, the Xinhua-backed Economic Information Daily reported on Thursday, citing government sources.
It said proposals for a new environmental taxation system had already been submitted for review to the Ministry of Finance and were expected to be implemented before the end of the 2011-2015 five-year plan.


Do Silvio Berlusconi and Peter Garret have something in common?
Does being a pop star help win elections?  Tom Geoghegan  @BBCNewsMagazine
Musical star Youssou N'Dour could be the next president of Senegal. The singer and percussionist will run against incumbent Abdoulaye Wade in February's elections. So is it an advantage or hindrance to be a famous musician when running for office?

Israeli students to get $2,000 to spread state propaganda on Facebook  Ali Abunimah  @TheElectronicIntifada
The National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) has become a full-time partner in the Israeli government’s efforts to spread its propaganda online and on college campuses around the world.
NUIS has launched a program to pay Israeli university students $2,000 to spread pro-Israel propaganda online for 5 hours per week from the “comfort of home.”


Editors' Comment  This wouldn't happen in Aus would it?

The computer model that once explained the British economy  Larry Elliot @TheGaurdian  HatTip @TimHarford
It is 2 metres (7ft) tall, 1.5 metres wide and a metre deep. It runs on water  and most of the time it is screened off at the back of a lecture room in Cambridge. But when the nine members of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee announce their latest decision on interest rates today they will owe a debt of gratitude to the computer built in a garage in south Croydon by Bill Phillips

From the Arts & Society Desk
Three Classic Fairy Tales Examined Through the Lens of Architecture  Maria Popova  @BrainPickings
Houses in fairy tales are never just houses; they always contain secrets and dreams. This project presents a new path of inquiry, a new line of flight into architecture as a fantastic, literary realm of becoming. We welcome you to these fairy-tale places.” ~ Kate Bernheimer & Andrew Bernheimer

From prince of print to tsar of tweeting  Richard Ackland  @SMH
[i]Reality and fantasy, illusion and disillusion, frauds and bona fides are all holding hands and running riot through the open media - or as some call it, ''the social media''.
As we plough deeper into the 21st century it is more difficult to distinguish between fakers and truthers and, in truth, the distinctions are becoming more fantastic.[i]

D Mick Weir

January 6. 2012 09:40 AM


U n Me and the *Crickets* . . . Smile

Folks while we are in the Political Dolrums, I'd love to hear the story of your gravatars and maybe your noms de plume too. Every picture tells a story don't it.

Rod Stewart Live Performance -

Not sure if this is the lyrics or not, but I can't understand what they mean anyway!


My own gravatar is pretty boring, just an arrangement of the Australian National Floral Emblems such that each State is picked out in a display of its own flower.
It does come with verse though, singable to Click Go the Shears as usual:

Australian Floral Emblems

The Wildflowers of Australia grow glorious and free:
In each State people chose just one, their Emblem for to be;
So rich, so rare! But - Which go where?  Our picture illustrates:
If you rehearse our verse, you'll know which Flowers with which States!

The Cooktown Pink Orchid's from Queensland's Gold Coast:
Taswegians love Blue-Gums' fringed blossom's Gold the most.
Red-and-Green Kangaroo Paw is the Wonder of the West,
Whilst New South Welsh folk think big Crimson Waratahs the best.

Canberra's Right-Royal Blue-Bell is such a lovely sight!
Common Pink Heath's Victorian - so common, yet so bright!
For North- and South-Australians,(one surname, both of these!)
Sturt's Pink Desert Rose, and Red and Black Sturt Desert Peas!

There is a further verse which accompanies a version of the graphic including bracketing sprays of Golden Wattle:

Dusty old Acacia, Dull deep Green:
Plainest of plants on the bushland scene
But in early Spring the Wattle is a splendour to behold:
Australia's Emblem, radiant, in Emerald and Gold!

Swordsfolks I've told you mine . . .


January 6. 2012 10:01 AM


Good Morning to My Friends on TPS

I am missing you all.  Just flying past this morning looking in the TPS window, I noticed a particular Post.

Acerbic Conehead,  thankyou for your  contributions to TPS , your articles  have entertained us all with Laughter, Smiles & Giggles,
not to mention your exceptional writing skills and talented    intellectual wit.
The enjoyment you have generated on our TPS’s pages each weekend has been a delight to all our readers.
We will treasure your work, it is archived in the National Library .   Your Grandchildren can read your articles in
50 years time, or even 100,  “ Congratulations”.

   We will cherish your memorable work

Thankyou so much for your support of “Today’s Links” you have always shown your appreciation, not once but many
times not one of your compliments have gone unnoticed.  
AC you will be missed , by us all.  I know  Ad Astra , our TPS readers & Contributors  will be  sympathetic in
understanding  the demands of domestic duties and work.

All the Very Best Wishes to you AC in whatever you embark upon.

Special Cheers  for AC SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


January 6. 2012 10:39 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

I forgot, how could I forget to post Patricia, you have chosen a beautiful picture of Julia Patricia:-

No Stress or Strine at this Test for Julia!. Patriciawa, Polliepomes
How desperately this man was seeking fame
With a stunt to show him high behind wheel!
Then the PM attends a cricket game
Where fortune smiles on her and plants its seal.

Cheers SmileSmileSmile


January 6. 2012 12:26 PM


Acerbic Conehead

Sad days indeed for TPS! Still, a man's gotta do .....
Thank you very much for all of your hard work and dedication, especially through 2011 when you no doubt took the weight off Ad astra's and FS's shoulders.
All the best for your future endeavours. I hope you can still find time to regale us with the occasional song or perhaps even a serious comment from Acerbic Conehead 2.
Take care.


January 6. 2012 01:24 PM

Ad astra reply

I hope your dental condition is settling well.

Mungo Maccallum seems to run hot and cold on Julia Gillard and her Government.  I am no longer surprised at what he writes, and give it less and less credence.  He seems to be susceptible to groupthink, and, like Annabell Crabb, strains to make the cynical quasi- humorous remark.  I liked your assessment of his recent article.

I am enjoying Micks Media Mix.  I hope you will feel inclined to continue them when Lyn resumes her Links, as your links appear to cover areas somewhat different from Lyn's.  The more links the merrier!  I'm sure Lyn would agree.

Ad astra reply

January 6. 2012 02:44 PM

D Mick Weir

Afternoon all,
the media mix team has been slightly out to lunch Smile
so the midday mix is a mess and oh well I will see if I can tidy up something for an evening wrap up.

I am pleased that you and many others are enjoying the links.

One of the challenges over the last few days has been that many of the regular bloggers are AWOL, probably deservedly, so I have had to cast the net wider. Also as it is summer, a new year and there are some moments for relaxation I always reckon it is a good time to look at some things I haven't had time for during more hectic times.

As to the possibility of continuing I will ponder and figure something that fits in once the political year gets back into full swing.

debbie P,
apologies for keeping you, and it seems others, up late and linking you 'astray' Tong

D Mick Weir

January 6. 2012 02:53 PM

Patricia WA

Not sure that both Lyn's Links and Mick's Media Mix on the same days wouldn't be an overload, AA.   You're right, they do bring different perspectives.  They might benefit from alternation.  I certainly would find it difficulto cover so much reading in one day.  What do other people think?  More importantly what do Lyn and Mick think. I guess.

Magically my Captcha, and hopefully my commentary facility, has suddenly been restored.  I hope it works and lasts.

Meantime I am really grateful that Lyn linked TPS to my new pome which I would normally have posted here before anywhere else,  acting on TT's strict instructions!   As Lyn points out, however, the pictures are important, but here now for TT's benefit are the words.....

No Stress or Strine at this Test for Julia!

Last year they said that Julia was to blame;
If she’d been here we’d have won the Ashes.
Those commentators! They’re all the same,
Looking for bad news and headline splashes.

This year should be good for the PM’s name.
There she was,  smiling and in the pink,
When Clarke made history in our national game.
Has any journo paused to stop and think?

Where was Tony Abbott?   He’d want to claim
To be like Howard,  the cricket tragic,
Something obviously denied that dame.
He’d want the photo ops, to share the magic.

But he was out of state, out of the frame,
Far from his home town and the SCG,
Driving a giant rig to gain acclaim,
Well planned, he’d thought, for great publicity.

How desperately this man was seeking fame
With a stunt to show him high behind the wheel!
Then the PM attends a cricket game
Where fortune smiles on her - and plants its seal.

Patricia WA

January 6. 2012 03:03 PM

D Mick Weir

Like Ad I missed your announcement, some news hound eh?

I too will miss your wondrous warped wit.

Although not a 'link' it was news worthy of being lead item this morning I have wrapped myself across the knuckles for the oversight Smile

D Mick Weir

January 6. 2012 03:12 PM


~" I hope you will feel inclined to continue them when Lyn resumes her Links, as your links appear to cover areas somewhat different from Lyn's.  The more links the merrier!  I'm sure Lyn would agree. ~"


When will a person get time to eat , drink and zzzzzzz..


Great Idea  I was wondering myself , Imagine IF.....Lyn AND Mick posted links..lol

You are right though Ad the mixture of links by Lyn and Mick  are slightly different , yet very complementary.

Cheers to all


January 6. 2012 03:19 PM

Patricia WA

AC!  Please let it be Au Revoir!and not Adieu!

I'll miss those Friday smiles and often inspiration!  Let us know if you publish elsewhere.  We happy fans will follow you.

Patricia WA

January 6. 2012 04:33 PM


Acerbic Conehead, We thank you Dear Sir -
Pat* said it - one can't say it better than her -
As she said, (for we're all going to miss you, mon vieux)
Please let this be au revoir and not adieu!

*Patricia WA if the abbr horrifies you I'll just have to plead Pometic Licence!

Oh and as someone observed this morning *J*U*L*I*A* inspired our flannelled fools to the greatest feats of flannelled foolery the followers of flannelled foolery had ever seen . . . The first time an aussie PM has ever managed to spur an aussie Test Team player to 300+, Yea *J*U*L*I*A*! Funny that, I despise Aussie cricketers ever since The Grubber, and always barrack against them, true true-blue Aussie that I am, but I wouldn't want to cranp her style. . . If *J*U*L*I*A* finds it necesary to winning hearts and minds that she inspire the flannelled fools, even to the degree that the Aussies beat the rest of the world to a faecally eliminated state, due to her natural talents, in so doing eclipsing the multitudinally pathetic attempts of the Lying Rodent wrt the game he and his Liberal-candidate mate Chappell claimed to love so much . . . Some folks have just got it, Rodent just hadn't eh. Fail.  


January 6. 2012 07:00 PM

D Mick Weir

Micks Media Mix Late Lunch Early Evening Edition

Because it's Friday and to honour Acerbic Conehead and his excellent weekend wickedness I offer:
Wall Street  by The Cat in the Hat  (HatTip Mr Denmore)

Ok, not quite a challenger for AC but a little laugh.

Coalition to scrutinise farm buy-ups by foreigners  Jacqueline Maley  @SMH
Mr Hockey also unveiled the Coalition's three-point economic plan for the year and a ''strong, positive agenda'', ...
Mr Hockey vowed to increase accountability of the government's off-budget initiatives, including the broadband network, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the planned National Dental Scheme.


Beating the Drum   Cam @CAMaraderie
Sometimes, the Drum has provided the commentary we need – from experts, who can bring some well-needed facts into public policy. And indeed, before I deride everyone who’s written for it, I should point out that I have friends whose columns have appeared there. And these columns have of course been insightful and well-thought-out; if they didn’t write well and thoughtfully, they wouldn’t be my friends in the first place.

Judas Rising   David Donovan  @Independant Australia
Despite claims to the contrary, John Howard plotted, cajoled, manipulated and lied to bring down the Australian Republic in 1999 — and has now received his due reward from the Queen.

Australian Commodity Prices Are Edging Lower   @TheKouk
Commodity prices are falling, albeit from an extraordinarily high level. Since peaking in August, the RBA Index of Commodity Prices has fallen by around 6% in both Australian dollar and SDR terms. They have fallen by around 10% in US dollar terms over the same time.

No need to blush - public schooling can be first step on road to success  Jennifer Star @TheNationalTimes
As a well-rounded young Australian, there is one question I am often asked that never fails to kill a conversation. ''What school did you go to?''
But my answer, my local public school, elicits a shocked silence, followed by amazement and sometimes even embarrassment.


Intellectual honesty and an open mind  Tammi Jonas  @TheDrum
Academics are trained to research a topic until they know it inside and out. That doesn't mean there can't be new data at any time, that may shift the scholar's position once uncovered.
Newspapers are not authoritative. Research is, as carried out by academics and other knowledge workers across many sectors who read widely, ask questions, observe, and engage in constant discussion and debate on a topic.


Hacking consensus: How we can build better arguments online  Walter Frick  @Nieman Jounalism Lab
A modest proposal for a new way to structure and assess the claims we make — and the conclusions we draw — in the digital space

Folks with the weekend upon us tomorrow I will be doing some family stuff so at a time unkown I will post a weekend roundup

Sunday I have the nose back to the wheel so probably no post Sunday and next week will most likely see a Morning Mix and anoccaisional evening update

Enjoy the weekend

D Mick Weir

January 6. 2012 10:29 PM

Feral Skeleton

  Heh. Heh. Finally back on line! It must be the time of year for computer and internet snafus because last night, after one of the most hellishly thunderous storms to hit my house in years, accompanied by a light show to rival Ellis D.Fogg(that's a reference that TT will probably understand Wink ), even after I had pulled all the plugs out of thew wall, turned off the modem and computers but failed to pull the phone line out of the wall, that is all, my problematic modem finally bit the dust. Frown
   So, I could wait for my ISP to send a new one out and get it in the mail by Monday Frown  Frown, pre-set-up to go, or we could raid my son's money box of his Xmas money and go out and buy a new one today, and then bring it home and try to set it up for ourselves. Embarassed

   No problemo! we casually thought to ourselves. Let's go!

   Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh. Embarassed

   Well, instead of heading to our local Mega Mall Dick Smiths for a brand name product, we ended up at our local Jaycar outlet, on the fringes of the Mega Mall precinct.

   Now, if you are unfamiliar with Jaycar, they are an Electronics Spare Parts store that started life back in the 1970s for Electronic Hobby enthusiasts. The sort of place nerds would go to if they wanted the spare parts to make their own Van Der Graaf Generator, sort of thing.

    Anyway, back in the day of the good old Commodore 64 and Pentium 486, Jaycar was the only place in Sydney where you could access bits to fix them, instead of junking them when they broke down.

   As with all things electrical and electronic, I knew 3/5ths of bleedin' nothing about it, but my late husband was an original dabbler inside the boxes of these new contraptions, otherwise known as 'Personal Computers'. He had also been an amateur rocket builder, and explosives maker, before it became a pastime with a more sensorious cast. Smile  One day he even burnt half his face off when his Potassium Nitrate mixture got water on it(well, I think that's what he said).

   So, we always have had a soft spot in our hearts for Jaycar, and, when we noticed that they had an outlet up here on the Malibu Coast of NSW, today, when my son and I decided we did not want to put more money in the pocket of Woolworths, who own Dick Smith stores now, we decided to go and see if Jaycar could help us.

   Well, turns out they could. They had a twin antenna 4 port wireless 300mbps modem router for just a zac under $100. Perfect we thought! Cheaper than all the well-known brands, but, if Jaycar stocked it, that was a good enough imprimatur for us. So we paid our money and we came home well-satisfied.

   Until we got home. And tried to get it to work. Frown

   Turns out that Jaycar hadn't changed much in 30 years. They were still the place for electronics geeks who knew their stuff, and could navigate their way around any old/new bit of hardware and accompanying software.  Which my #1 son and I weren't really. We had high hopes, and low amounts of ability.

   Nevertheless, what could we do? All 3 of us were going through Internet withdrawals!!! So I dumped it all in my son's lap and went off to play Mah Jongg on my computer while he figured it out. Laughing

   Or, we could pack it up again tomorrow and take it back for a refund, with our tails between our legs, admitting defeat. Embarassed

   Which is not in my son's DNA, thankfully! He, in one long and painful day, transformed himself into his father. He would not take a backward step until he mastered the Chinglish User Guide which came with the Modem Router, along with a small amount of help from our friendly ISP Tech guys(which is why I pay a little extra for my smaller but Aussie Geek-staffed ISP, because they are simulacra of my late husband-electronics enthusiasts and very helpful to a fault).

   Lo! He got one computer connected to the Internet again. Laughing

   Next, it was my turn to give it a go. My wireless connection worked but it wouldn't let me download any data from the Internet! Frown

   I immediately vacated my seat to my son. He brought the laptop in(which had connected in a trice to the internet because it is much newer than my faithful old desktop 'puter), and got onto a tech forum he frequents, and hey presto! He fixed my connection problem! Just like a chip off the old block. Laughing

   I gave him the biggest hug I could muster. And Mr Woolworths got none of our hard-earned either. Wink

   So, now I am back, with a blisteringly fast internet of 300mbps download speed, and a sense of pride in my son that he stuck this all through to the bitter sweet end. Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 6. 2012 11:23 PM


Nice story FS and well done.

Now you have wireless you can expand your empire - your next printer can be wireless (so son with laptop can print from anywhere in the house) and if you feel like it you can get lots of other "wireless" gizmos.

Welcome back - and just remember that a large storm can still fry a wireless modem/router.  Have a good weekend.


January 6. 2012 11:41 PM


T.T. at 12.48 am
Bantams is nifty little critters it's true.Sorry, I don't remember the D notice thingy in Nation Review. Please explain?
I had a collection of Nation Reviews (I'm not so much a hoarder as an accumulator) but when I moved house I made the mistake of leaving them in the care of a Liberal voter & they disappeared.
One thing I do remember from the N.R. was John Hepworth's eulogy for Pig Iron Bob when he shuffled off. Not a clue as to how you'd get hold of it now unless you owned a copy, but it was ferocious stuff. I've got a book of his somewhere.


January 6. 2012 11:43 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Howard's little mate, Ian Plimer, up against a giant of Climate Change argument, George Monbiot:


Feral Skeleton

January 6. 2012 11:49 PM

Feral Skeleton

     Already have a printer wirelessly linked to my own desktop. And I installed it all on my own! Haven't linked the lappy to it yet, thanks for the tip! Laughing

Feral Skeleton

January 7. 2012 12:00 AM


Feral Skeleton

Feral Junior is to be commended for his perseverance. However, you may have to regrettably inform him that he voided the possibility of bonus points the moment he opened the manual.

REAL techies (especially, but not exclusively, male ones) do not use manuals.

REAL techies, when they acquire a new TV recorder, simply plug it in, grab the remote and MAKE IT WORK!

Many a long hour (and no small amount of hair) has been sacrificed in the quest for bonus points when learning how to operate a new computerised lighting console. In the end, it is not whether you win or lose - it is whether you weakened and opened the manual. Coward!

As for going on-line for advice - well!



January 7. 2012 12:04 AM


I must say I get a mite twitchy when esteemed regulars are awol for more than a few days . . .

So, Nasking, G'day Cobber, please set my mind at rest. I hope that all is well with you and Swmbo. And if not you know where you will always find empathy.

Speaking of which Feral your Skeleton will now not be as perfect as my brother's (other) skull, Beatrice, when he did Dentistry before going on to his other life. It was a genuine perfect skull, every tooth in place, parietus perfectly sawn off and fitted back nicely with little brass hooks so you could look in there . . . Everyone was so impressed, as I bet Ad astra is now, that she had perfect teeth. She wasn't bloody Aussie, 'specially back then, that's for sure!

I think maybe wherever she came from they bred people with perfect teeth specially for the trade. Smile

Turkey that's a terrible thing to say!

Yeah true, sorry.
Anyway FS it's over at last, that part anyway, may the healing be direct.

Don't forget what you must do with that tooth.

Root end towards the intended victim don't forget.
I want to see Abbortt with a mouthful of rotten teeth!

As for this Fogg of which you speak, I have as little idea as to your possible meaning as I have of this's:


DMW, I know I speak for everyone here, after a WeirDeeMedia Maelstrom, we are really so admiring of the way you have as they say stepped up to the plate, Mate. Thank you, these Doldrums times columns would have been scanty indeed, and bereft of further reading, without your effort.

Actually your doing this while Lyn is only flying past the windowpane once in a while, is a bit parallel with Labor having kept the Australian economy going so well during the GEC. We have not been subject even to the short-term shock of sudden failure of our system, let alone the never-ending winter of economic discontent much of the world is again, or is it still, facing. So we Aussies, and we Swordies, still haven't had the rude experience of the well running dry or even muddy.

Lucky us, but on the global scale, we're a protected species I fear. It is sobering to remember that nearly everybody in the world is less well off than we. Except for our least included people, those who most truly belong to it. And Yes, for all my race has done to theirs, I am truly very sorry. For what it is worth.  

This was really a rave to thank DMW. Yes, thank you, well done, much appreciated.  


January 7. 2012 01:40 AM


NormanK said

"REAL techies (especially, but not exclusively, male ones) do not use manuals.

REAL techies, when they acquire a new TV recorder, simply plug it in, grab the remote and MAKE IT WORK!"

Funny, this very day we bought a new TV, oh, big thing, 40 inch I think they said, big enough anyhow, we have joined the 21st century, and we plugged it in, used the sorry-looking old original rabbit ears aerial, turned it on, hit a button or two that seemed likely, WOW, it did it! Found all the stations, no plobrems!(made in China of course), absorutery clystal crear leception too! I do admit to failing the REAL techies test though, I opened the manual later on, I didn't know that Techies code, shows what happens when you send a non-Techie to do a Techies job I suppose.

Now BSA Bob, You said,
"T.T. at 12.48 am
Bantams is nifty little critters it's true. . ."  
(BSA Please explain your nom de plume?), Did you ever ride a BSA?
BTW there is probably a beautiful BSA Bantam bantam logo on BSA Super Bantam (175 cc) petrol tanks from memory, full colour, cocky and proud, it would make a superb gravatar 4 U I reckon if you could find it. I'll look anyway.  

Then you said
"Sorry, I don't remember the D notice thingy in Nation Review. Please explain?"
You'd have to be a dope not to work it out . . . Smile

"I had a collection of Nation Reviews (I'm not so much a hoarder as an accumulator) but when I moved house I made the mistake of leaving them in the care of a Liberal voter & they disappeared."
That would have been precious. Never trust a Liberal.

"One thing I do remember from the N.R. was John Hepworth's eulogy for Pig Iron Bob when he shuffled off. Not a clue as to how you'd get hold of it now unless you owned a copy, but it was ferocious stuff. I've got a book of his somewhere.
BSA Bob"

That book would be pure gold.

Hepworth was special. I remember his story How Aunt Mary Got Glass In Her Arse. It related to how when he was a twelve-y-o he started smoking, but he couldn't get tobacco, but he found that the cane of which one of the verandah armchairs was made would smoke very well when cut into appropriate lengths . . . For a while he was able to remove peieces of cane that were not essential to the chair's sructural integrity, but as his shameful addiction grew he began eating into the chair's very bones, carefully rearranging the wickerwork whipping to hide the damage . . .

One day fat Aunt Mary came to visit . . . Put her glass of bubbly down carefully on the floor beneath that chair before she sat down . . .

Later in the same article he relates how he and some other Diggers turned up to relieve some blokes who'd been at the front for months, run out of smokes, the veterans approached the newbies eagerly, Got a Bible about you Mate? Got a Gideon? and when some bloke produced one, one of the veterans carefully rips out a few pages and the fellers then spread Kolynos toothpaste thinly over the page, roll it up into sorta spliffs, wait till they dry a little, and smoke 'em with delight.

Hepworth was quite wistful that wartime army issue Kolynos was in very short supply by the time he was writing.

He was a great writer John Hepworth, and NR "The Ferret" was a great hopeful cheeky inquisitive little paper.

Yeah but where is Nation Review today? Where are the John Hepworths of yesteryear? ( Well those John Hepworths anyway)

Well I tell you Friends,

TPS and other political blogsites are Nation Review!

And WE are John Hepworth.

So let us be Hepworthy!


January 7. 2012 08:33 AM


Good morning Swordsfolk,

Getting serious,

I have a suggestion for one particular area for TPS to focus on until the matter is resolved. It is based on the answer to this apparently simple question which btw does have an equally simple and demonstrably-true answer.

The question is,  

Which of the political parties is really to blame for the failure of the Australian Government to have a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers?

Suggestions? Reasoning? Please?

More next post later this AM.


January 7. 2012 09:57 AM

Feral Skeleton

   Unsettling but necessary reading from George Soros in The Guardrian:


Feral Skeleton

January 7. 2012 10:30 AM

D Mick Weir

Micks Media Mix Weekend Wrap
Good Morning Swordsters there isn't a lot happening around the blogosphere at the moment so a couple of links to some 'news' of possible interest, some opinion good, bad or indifferent you choose, a techy thing  and a little bit of art for an oh wow  moment.

I will have another peek and poke around a bit later to see if I can ferret out some good stuff for the moment enjoy these pickings.

Spies eye green protesters   Pillip Dorling @TheAge
A FEDERAL government minister has pushed for increased police surveillance of environmental activists peacefully protesting at coal-fired power stations and coal export facilities.

The watchdog's kennel in clandestine Croydon  Philip Dorling  @TheAge
AN INCONSPICUOUS Melbourne apartment block is home to a monitoring service that keeps watch on environment groups at the request of the federal government.
The National Open Source Intelligence Centre, a private intelligence company, works under contract for the Australian Federal Police and Federal Attorney-General's Department to monitor activist websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter to provide warning and analysis of protest activity.


Whalers, activists unite in calls for patrol ship  Andrew Darby @TheAge
IT IS not often Japan's whalers agree with their bitter enemies, the anti-whaling activists of Sea Shepherd, but in this case they do.
With Australia's Southern Ocean patrol ship, Ocean Protector, languishing in Fremantle, both sides of the whaling argument have called for the big red ship to monitor the conflict, which broke out again in Antarctic waters this week.


Clubs claim Andrew Wilkie celebrating pokie victory too soon  Joe Kelly @TheOz (free)
THE clubs lobby has rebuked Andrew Wilkie's victory call on the introduction of controversial betting limits on poker machines, as worried Labor MPs urged Julia Gillard to negotiate a new gambling plan before legislation is finalised.

Primaries may hold key to our poll apathy  Andrew Tillet  @TheWest
The US system of primaries is democracy in the raw. Candidates spend a lot of time talking one-on-one with voters.
In Australia, the primaries will get some thinking about the lack of enthusiasm average punters have for our elected representatives.


For whom the poll tells depends on what you ask  Mark Textor  @NationalTimes
Competent political operatives worldwide do not ''follow'' published polls; they attempt (successfully or not) to create strategies and tactics to influence them in the long term. To do this, they need their own polls that are more frequent, bigger, deeper, more focused and complemented by other forms of research.

An indifference to privacy demeans our public culture  Stephanie Dowrick @NationalTimes
The very idea of a secret seems increasingly novel. Much like the idea of privacy itself. We've been taking off our clothes in public for years while also shedding inhibitions about what we are prepared to tell. More strikingly still, we've grown avid in our demands for what others should reveal. We want intimacies from virtually anyone who lives in what's tellingly called the ''public eye''. And we feel entitled to have them.

Novices make Wikipedia tick  Joshua Gans @Digitopoly
Wikipedia’s success and even existence is a mystery. Social scientists (not just economists) do not understand how it could be that a completely open access encyclopedia could have worked. The traditional theory was that contributors who invested to make Wikipedia good would be subject to free riding and that any rewards they received would be polluted by the possibly naive editing from any old person. That is, at the very least, it would have to be a club with restricted access in order to work.

This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids  @ThisIsColossal
The pictures tell the story so go have a bopeep

D Mick Weir

January 7. 2012 12:29 PM


DMW - thanks again for the links.  The last one is surely impressive - we might have to go in and add to the collection!


January 7. 2012 12:47 PM


China to tax carbon by 2015

by: Sid Maher and Michael Sainsbury
From:The Australian
January 07, 201212:00AM


CHINA is planning a carbon tax on big energy consumers by 2015 in a development that has been seized on by the Gillard government as further evidence the rest of the world is acting to cut global greenhouse emissions.

But the mooted starting carbon price of $1.55 (10 yuan) from the world's biggest carbon-emitting economy has reignited business concern that Australia's $23-a-tonne starting price from July 1 is too high and will damage business competitiveness.

State-run Chinese media reported that proposals for a new environmental taxation system had already been submitted for review to the Ministry of Finance and were expected to be implemented before the end of the 2011-15 five-year plan.

Australian Climate Change Action advocates expressed cautious optimism about the Chinese reports - arguing that it showed Australia's carbon tax was in front of other international efforts - while critics said the low starting price showed the Australian price was too high.
A spokesman for the Minerals Council of Australia said: "China's carbon price, if it materialises, will be an astonishing one-fourteenth of Australia's.

"It is now clear that Australians will be paying the biggest carbon tax in the world by a long stretch.

"This will exact a substantial cost on Australian industry and households without delivering any environmental dividend."

But Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said China was growing in confi- dence in its emissions reduction efforts: "China is continuing to strengthen its policy in both carbon emissions reductions, energy efficiency and renewable energy."

Mr Connor said while he would need to see the detail of the announcement, the $1.55 price would be in addition to a raft of other emissions-reduction policies already in place in China.

A spokesman for Climate Change Minister Greg Combet moved to play down fears about the high Australian carbon price compared with international schemes. He said the government's Jobs and Competitiveness Program would provide "substantial assistance" to Australian companies that were emissions-intensive and faced strong international competition.

Mr Combet's spokesman said widespread international action to tackle climate change was already under way in the world's major economies, including China.

At the UN climate change conference in Durban in South Africa last month, all major economies, including China and the US, had committed to take on legal obligations to reduce carbon pollution in a new international agreement to be negotiated by 2015.

China had adopted a target of reducing its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

"In addition to investing billions of dollars in renewable energy projects, the Chinese government has been working on plans to pilot emissions trading schemes in key provinces and cities," Mr Combet's spokesman said.

China's moves to tackle climate change and its focus on market mechanisms gave the lie to opposition claims that the rest of the world was not acting to cut emissions, he added.

But opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said the emerging details of the Chinese scheme revealed the extent of "Labor's con in suggesting that China is following Australia in having a carbon tax".

"As now detailed, the test market, which is extremely limited in size, has a price at $1.55 a tonne compared with Australians having to pay $23 and going higher.

"Quite clearly, the government is selling out Australian jobs to China as local companies are hit with one of, if not the most expensive, carbon taxes and which doesn't even reduce Australia's emissions," Mr Hunt said.

Su Ming, deputy director of Financial Science Research Institute, told the state-run Economic Information Daily that under the proposal, the tax rate would increase gradually.

Mr Su said the institute originally proposed the tax to take effect this year, but considering that economic growth may slow down due to the European crisis and government moves to deflate the country's property bubble, "2012 may not be good time".

"For the carbon tax, the energy industry might be given certain tax reductions at certain stages when their businesses are much affected," Mr Su said. "Companies which are actively adopting emissions reduction technology and recycling technology might be given preferential tax, too."

He said pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, COD (chemical oxygen demand) and nitrogen oxide would be the first to incur tax and, as conditions matured, other emissions would be included. The proposed tax would focus on big consumers of coal, crude oil and natural gas.

The Chinese deliberations follow the Gillard government's decision to impose a carbon tax of $23 a tonne from July 1 next year.

Most of China's major emitters are government-owned companies, which will make a carbon tax easy to collect, but it is likely to meet resistance from interest groups within the state-owned energy enterprise sector.

Additional reporting: Zhang Yufei


January 7. 2012 12:55 PM


Gee everybody's breaking a leg to write eh, not.

I'm seriously serious about my post at 8.33 a.m. I'd like to hear what a few people think is the answer because it is an unarguable truth and it is not even to do with humanity, it is to do with an overriding and obvious fact.

The asylum seeker issue is far and away the most vital unresolved area of Australian policy and concomitant legislation. It is a shameful thing to us all, in a way similar to our shared neglect of indigenous people, that we have not come to humanitarian and practical procedures in dealing with the problems associated with refugees of uncertain legitimacy. Of course it is up to The Politicians, OK, but they surf on waves of Us.

So I'm going to wait a little longer, see if anybody has anything to say about which of the political parties is really to blame for the failure of the Australian Government to have a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers?

Suggestions? Reasoning? Please?

Then I'll say what is such a self-evident truth when you come to focus on it, and what I reckon we can start to do about it.


January 7. 2012 01:03 PM


Talk Turkey at 1.40
Yes, I rode a BSA, an M20. Not their fastest product but their solidest. It's an old Digger, having been built for the Army in 1941. Like all English bikes it is a sentient being with opinions, & it's contentedly shared a garage with a VW & several BMW bikes but has been known to get quite uppity on December 7.
The Bantam logo is good.
The Hepworth book has been dug out & is to hand as I do this. It is in fact signed by the great man, though I never met him. He was too hung over to turn up for a book signing in Melbourne one morning, so the shop took orders & I went back next day & picked it up.

Buying the Oz this morning so the missus could read the supplements, I note that China's announced a plan to tax carbon. Any advance opinion as to how this will be spun in Abbott's favour?


January 7. 2012 02:08 PM

D Mick Weir

apropos your comment @ 8:33 AM

Before I jump in feet first some lateralism

There has been some things swirling around in my head after somebody said to me something along the lines of 'damn the past, the future is more important cos it is where we are going'

I tracked the quote I think that sentiment derives from:
More than the past, I am interested in the future, because in it I intend to live.  Albert Einstein

That's probably a good way to be, but, I think that needs to be tempered by George Santayanas' thinking
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

So I am not overly interested in whose fault it is nor in blaming one side or the other but what can be done to 'lance the boil' and (yuk) 'move the debate forward'.

Having said that if we look at the sorry history that has bought us to where we are now so that we can learn from the past it may well be that we will open Pandoras' box of worms.

To my mind the starting point would be the decision of the Hawke government in 83/84 to reduce our humanitarian intake from over to less than 20,000. (I need to search out the exact timing & numbers on this but it's close)

The decision by Gerry Hand during Keatings prime ministership to introduce mandatory detention I suspect was, in part, based on the 'sniffing out' of a rising community antipathy toward immigration and refugees of different ethnic and religous backgrounds than we were used to having.

Maybe some in the ALP were Hansonites avant la lettre*

There is no doubt that the Howard government plumbed the depths with its' pandering to Hansonism and used events to take the country to places where I certainly wish we hadn't gone.

The Rudd government possibly went too far, too fast in killing off Howards' policies.

I will note here there are big gaps in my knowledge and memory of what went on as I spent considerable time working OS during this time and when I returned Abbott had become opposition leader which left me stunned for some time.

The Oceanic Viking incident caused a crisis in confidence and since that time we have been on a race to the bottom which has left many bewidered.

Possibly the only party that has 'clean hands' on this issue is the Greens but only because they have been consistent in thier policies and responses. This is not to say they are good policies or that I agree with them.

Finger pointing and laying blame wont do us any good anymore.

I don't have the answers and the more reading I do the harder it becomes to justify some of my previous thinking while at the same time confirm a lot of what I have said about the topic.

It is perplexing but not unsolvable with the right mindset in place.

On that score I tweeted a plea to Gillard, Abbott, Bowen & Morrison that before their next meeting on the situation that they read this short article:

Firemen, donuts and meetings  Seth Godin

For the sake of a civil society and a country we can once again be proud of I hope our leaders take note of the despair of many on this issue and stop eating donuts and start making positive decisions.


D Mick Weir

January 7. 2012 02:09 PM


Talk Turkey at 1.40
Yes, I rode a BSA, an M20.
>That wasn't a side-valve was it?
Not their fastest product but their solidest. It's an old Digger, having been built for the Army in 1941. Like all English bikes it is a sentient being with opinions, & it's contentedly shared a garage with a VW & several BMW bikes but has been known to get quite uppity on December 7.
>Now I' the dope, I don't quite get the reference but I guess it's got something to do with the, er, unmentionable event involving Germany and Britain 1939-45?
The Bantam logo is good.
> Dam did you find it? I forgot to look though I would have. I'm'a go looking after this. If it's as nice as I remember, it would be a lovely Gravatar for someone named BSA Bob, although so would an M20 I guess.

The Hepworth book has been dug out & is to hand as I do this. It is in f act signed by the great man, though I never met him.
>Good shootin'!What nature of book is it? Novel? Collection of articles?

Re the Chinese carbon tax, it's already being spun!
Ours at $25/tonne is tooooooo MUCH!
We'll be rooooooooned!


January 7. 2012 02:33 PM


Talk Turkey
1) Yes, it is a side valve. Not too many these days would know what that is.
2) December 7 Pearl Harbor.
   Another time, I put a newspaper picture of Howard under the crankcase to absorb the drips. It leaked about three times as much oil as usual & wouldn't start next morning. It's true.
Good luck with finding the Bantam logo.
3) The Hepworth book's a collection of essays on a variety of topics, anything that took his fancy, as I recall.
4) Thanks, I should've forseen so obvious a tactic as simply saying "their price is OK but ours isn't". Abbott would easily rationalise a complete backflip on the issue with Rupert's support- "ah but Julia's plan was drafted in BLUE ink, that was the problem all along, I thought you knew that, whereas ours is in BLACK...a CPRS is longstanding Liberal policy doncha know? oh yes, John Howard had it all worked out..."
More likely though that they'll just continue to hammer Labor, manufacturing faults in their  plan. Plus Abbott can rely on our national exceptionalism which'll decree that the Chinese, everybody really, should cut their pollution but we shouldn't have to.


January 7. 2012 02:46 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your links to interesting pieces. You are prodigious.

I did enjoy particularly Tammi Jonas'.

"Intellectual honesty and an open mind  Tammi Jonas  @TheDrum
Academics are trained to research a topic until they know it inside and out. That doesn't mean there can't be new data at any time, that may shift the scholar's position once uncovered.
Newspapers are not authoritative. Research is, as carried out by academics and other knowledge workers across many sectors who read widely, ask questions, observe, and engage in constant discussion and debate on a topic.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3759920.html "

But as least as interesting and revealing are the comments that followed, some of which brilliantly illustrate the very points she is making, although they are written in contradiction of her thesis.

I am coming to the view that while some minds might prefer unsupported opinion, bias and even bigotry to facts and reasoned conclusions, other minds, even those that respect the scientific process and value facts and reasoning, have a part of their mind where opinions reside which not based on facts and reasoning, but instead on 'faith', unsupported by evidence.  It is a curious phenenomen that these two parts of the mind can seemingly be hermetically sealed from one another, and that thereby people can operate out of each side and reach conclusions on the same subject, even when they are contradictory. The mind is a wonderful thing, but dangerous when it allows contradictions to co-exist, apparently without causing dissonance.

Ad astra reply

January 7. 2012 03:09 PM

Ad astra reply

You ask a complex question at 8.33 am, one that is not amenable to an easy answer.  I won't attempt an answer until I have more time to think.  At present I'm visiting a hospital patient and have only the iPad, which makes responding more tedious.

We're not ignoring you, just reflecting thoughtfully.

Ad astra reply

January 7. 2012 03:27 PM


Hi!   I'm certainly not ignoring you, TT.    I particularly wanted to congratulate you on completing my French farewell to AC so appropriately.   Why didn't I think of that!

Have been reading everything and everybody, but have been unable to comment because my problem with Captcha not appearing came back almost immediately yesterday.

So, I don't get Captcha and any effort to comment gets rejected with a 'there was an error in the callback' message.  I had the same result when I tried to write to Ad Astra on the 'Help' menu.  It's a mystery to me that it righted itself so briefly and then reverted to mess again!

So I am writing this from next door's computer and hoping that someone has had a similar experience and can help.  Captcha are not responding to my emails!   Any suggestions will be welcome and followed up.

Cheers,   Patricia.  


January 7. 2012 03:50 PM

Ad astra reply

I'm inclined to agree with DMW.  More fruitful than assigning blame, which  is probably impossible amid the claims and counterclaims of the parties involved over the years, might be an attempt to examine the options now available and the likely consequences of adopting each one.  The different opinions expressed about how to ameliorate the problem are seldom accompanied by the consequences  - the proponents simply have blind faith that their approach is correct and will solve the problem, but they seldom explain how.

Ad astra reply

January 7. 2012 04:46 PM


Ad astra,
No, sometimes it is perfectly appropriate to apportion BLAME, B-L-A-M-E, and this is case in point, and there is very much a point in doing so too, and pointing the finger and doubling the (other) fist, and when I explain my pov I reckon you'll pretty much agree, Dog'd if I don't! And I will explain too.

Meanwhile BSA Bob, I hope this comes up OK:

I'll have a look for a better copy, but oh, heraldically, what's wrong with it in its original arrangement, first hand up?


January 7. 2012 04:47 PM


TT, the answer to the question "who is to blame" for the current pickle over asylum seekers, to me, doesn't matter.  The most important thing is to identify what the problems are and then resolve them.  This is not an issue for individual political parties.  Any solution or policy needs to be bi-partisan so we have continuity with changes of government and it needs to have the support of refugee advocates who will, otherwise, work against any proposed solution.  Any solution also needs to address the concerns of the general community and needs to be well-explained.

If we are going to continue dealing with a macro issue in a micro style, then I think the Coalition should support Labor on the Malaysia "solution".  If Tony Abbott continues to say no to this, believing he will be in power in 2013, how does he think he will get Nauru through the Senate?

Personally, I think there has been a giant copout by the UN on the issue of refugees.  There is a massive global problem and agreements made to suit the situation 60 years ago just don't work.  I am very sympathetic to the plight of the genuine refugee, but I think the UN needs to take a good hard realistic look at itself.


January 7. 2012 04:56 PM

D Mick Weir

Ad @ 2:46 PM
an interesting article indeed and caused me to think again some about how to frame my own comments and opinions. It is always a pleasure to find something like that actually teaches me something or throws the light on an aspect that I hadn't thought of or about.

There weren't many comments when I found the article but you have confirmed my suspicions that many would attack it from a standpoint of not having a clue and proving Tammis' points.

Your last paragraph is an interesting observation.

I know myself there are times when I hold contradictory views and opinions and the challenge is to recognise the contradictions admit them and then chip away and get to the core so that we can reconcile the contradictions.

Sometimes we have to accept the contradictions let them be and let them churn away in the back recesses of the mind and one day, hopefully, the aha moment comes along and we can marry the thoughts into a coherent whole. Tough game but it has it's joys as well.

D Mick Weir

January 7. 2012 06:21 PM


Which of the political parties is really to blame for the failure of the Australian Government to have a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers?>

I think all parties, supporters, media and Australian citizens are equally culpable.

The LNP;
for fostering racism
for using, as do the smugglers, the natural empathy and compassion of everyday people as signs of weakness to be exploited.

The msm;
for promoting the moral corruption of empty rhetoric and vacous debate.

The Labor party;
for not pursuing their agenda..( Malaysia)..with enough zeal.

The Greens;
for failing to understand that while moral outrage has its place. It is of no use to the pragmatic realities of desperate people and there really is a difference between those who can and those who cannot pay. A world of difference.

The Australian people;
who have used the age old maxim " they are only in it for themselves" to describe politicians. This gives the citizen the ideal excuse not to think about any other than themselves. A dangerous practise at the best of times.

If this to be the Asian century and should Europe and the USA  crash. The flow of humanity to this part of the planet will be unprecedented. There needs to be regional plans and treaties put in place.

The road to hell is paved with good intensions. The road out is constructed with pragmatic solutions.


January 7. 2012 06:35 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Catey
thanks for your comments

... there has been a giant copout by the UN on the issue of refugees.  There is a massive global problem and agreements made to suit the situation 60 years ago just don't work.

I am not so sure there is a copout by the UN or the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) if only because the UN is only as good as its' constituent members but it something worth considering and looking at further.

Certainly it does seem that the refugee conventions and protocols are in need of review and updating but that should not stop us (Aus) from working out solutions that suit our place in the region and our situation. Neither should we use it as an excuse to do nothing which I think is what some pollies are doing.

Somewhere recently I saw something that said refugees were one of top 5 things/issues affecting the worlds well-being (wish I could remember where!)

Australia could be taking the lead on this as we did we the refugee conventions were first put in place but first we need to put our on house in order.

D Mick Weir

January 7. 2012 06:38 PM

D Mick Weir

Ian @ 6:21 PM
well done
Summed it up pretty good methinks

D Mick Weir

January 7. 2012 06:40 PM

D Mick Weir

the moment I saw this I thought I have to show the Skeleton


I will understand if want to throw bricks at me and if you do please make them soft foam rubber ones Tong

D Mick Weir

January 7. 2012 06:49 PM


Hi Patricia

NormanK might come along in a moment and help you.

I guess you have tried taking your details out of the boxes, then right click and select refresh.  Re-enter your details, if still no good right click to refresh again.  Take out your details turn of your computer, turn on and re-enter details.

Otherwise look for restore in your search from the task bar. Click
restore and choose yesterday's date ,if as you say the sign in was working yesterday, to be safe with the times, choose 5th Jan.

Your system will then restore all your settings to that date.
This process does not remove any files from your system, but will get rid of spys and virus's that may have entered your computer

Hope this helps


January 7. 2012 06:50 PM

D Mick Weir

this pic sums up in one way where we could be coming from when we discuss the refugee / asylum seeker issue


HatTip: Jenny Doyle Mayor of Lismore NSW tweeting as @Mayorjd

D Mick Weir

January 7. 2012 06:53 PM


TT - No-one is exempt from blame .

The LNP for fostering the racist and bigoted policy
The ALP for not fighting tooth and nail for keeping Australia's previous bilateral assimilation policies
The media for supporting Howard & Beasley's rush to the gutter
The Australian people for swallowing the bilge water pumped out to them by those above.

The policy makes about as much sense as the current "heightened" security at Airports that have the misfortune to be sending planes to the USA because nobody has the guts to tell the US Government to shove the processes where the sun doesn't shine (but that's another subject where it can be proven that USA Airport Security Screening is only there to make the gullible feel safe.  The Israelis do the security heaps better and it is far less intrusive).


January 7. 2012 07:07 PM

Patricia WA

Thanks to my helper!    So simple when you know how!   If only all of life's problems were so easily solved!

Now I can comment, but I have to go out!

I'll be back!

Patricia WA

January 7. 2012 07:12 PM

Patricia WA

Just checked again before signing off and it was gone again, so I still have to 'refresh' each time I visit TPS to get Captcha and have my comments accepted, but at least I have that now.  Cheers.

Patricia WA

January 7. 2012 09:20 PM


DMW, Yes, agree with what you say re UN issues not stopping us from working out what we need to do for ourselves.  Just think there needs to be more international leadership, rather than just criticism and condemnation of the countries which do try and follow protocols.  Obviously, work is needed on many fronts.  We have no time to lose and can't sit back and wait for the UN, although I think they need to review their protocols and agreements.  

My ideal solution would be for the government to get some good thinking heads together, including the Coalition if they are willing, to address all of the issues associated with asylum seekers.  This would include addressing all of the fears of the Australian public.  Remember, we lurched from the multi-cultural perspective of Paul Keating to the Hansonite outlook of John Howard and I think that, in itself is part of the problem.  The public had no time to adjust and this fanned the fear of the unknown.  


January 7. 2012 10:25 PM


Hi Patricia WA

Sorry, I probably can't offer a great deal of help being so far removed from the problem.
Have you tried using a different browser? If you are on Internet Explorer try Firefox or Google Chrome and vice versa.

You could also try clearing your cache on your browser. It is recommended that you do this every couple of months anyway since it clears away a lot of junk that your browser is remembering for no good reason - your reload speed will probably improve.
If you are feeling a bit braver or you have someone to hold your hand you could also clear your cookies. See links for how to's.



It is worth pointing out that this might be a symptom of a larger problem that will require attention from a knowledgable technician.


January 7. 2012 10:38 PM

Feral Skeleton

    Thank you for the light relief! I really needed it after sitting through the replay, with my 2 teenage sons, of the 4 Corners episode on Ice Addiction. Searing, shocking, confronting stuff. However, we all agreed that we should watch it together, for the insight it would provide. I think that all romantic notions of the drug culture have been blasted out of their minds, as if with a virtual 44 Magnum, as a result.

   And this was after a day filled with fun and frivolous things, such as shopping for new Senior School Uniforms, and making a Rhubarb & Strawberry Pie. And, as per usual, as it is 2012, focussing intently on the 'Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb' coming out of the US, in the run-up to the Presidential Election. Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 7. 2012 10:43 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Now, if you want my opinion on the Asylum Seeker issue, you're not going to get it again. I have already explained it 9 different ways from Sunday. Nothing has changed, except to say that I hope the Government AND the Opposition just get on with it, act like the grown-ups in the room that we elect them to be, and come to the only rational conclusion under the present circumstances. Because it makes sense. Before anyone else much has to die(and I say that because there will always be some foolhardy chancers that take the risk, no matter what you try and do to stop them).

Feral Skeleton

January 7. 2012 10:46 PM


Can any of the computer literate out there tell me why, when I use full screen on you tube, the screen goes blank. Still get the sound but not the picture. Yet it works ok on normal. Also seems to take a long time to load and buffers/reloads continually.
The computer is an IBM R31 thinkpad, Windows XP and Mozilla firefox.



January 7. 2012 10:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

           They are weird things, computers. I remember the problem I had last year where my gravatar suddenly turned into a black box. Hence I had to morph from Hillbilly Skeleton to Feral Skeleton, just to get a gravatar back! Positively schizophrenic!

   Now, I have a new problem, so I can sympathise. It's not as dire as yours, but irritating nonetheless. I think I know why it started occurring. The other day I tried to download a new game I got for Xmas onto my old computer. It sent me a message, when the download was finished that I needed new Drivers for my old video/graphics card, to be able to play the new game. Which I duly downloaded too.

   Well, the game still wouldn't play(which I suspected all along, but I gave it my best shot), and since then, whenever I come to TPS to post a comment, the page goes black! I can fix it by scrolling down and back again, but boy it's becoming annoying! It also has to do with ReCaptcha because if I ever get loaded with some Cryllic to attempt to put down in the box and I therefore have to refresh, it sends the page black all over again! Laughing

Feral Skeleton

January 7. 2012 11:12 PM


Ian (macca?)

I can't help with your black screen but loading time and constant buffering on YouTube are to do with the speed of your internet connection. If you are wireless or WiFi, the more people using the system the slower it gets. To accommodate this, select your video, press pause and let the video download for a little while. You will notice the timeline at the bottom of the player filling up - it goes from black to grey. Once it gets a decent head start you should be able to press play and enjoy uninterrupted video.
Also, you would almost certainly benefit from emptying your cache regularly - see links above.


January 7. 2012 11:25 PM


Thanks, I am on wireless and I'll try giving the video a head start. I think that the screen may be a firefox problem, anyway I'll try ie and see what happens....and yes, macca it is. It just seemed a bit silly posting here as macca and elsewhere as Ian.


January 7. 2012 11:34 PM



I thought I recognised the dulcet tones. Laughing


January 8. 2012 03:14 AM


Good morning all, acknowledging replies to my c'mon as to which of the political parties is really to blame for the failure of the Australian Government to have a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers.

First, your responses are all somewhat individual, so I'll try a quick roundup of them.

DMW thinks our focus should be on the future, albeit with an eye in the rearview mirror, and not only do I agree, I will argue that in this case apportioning blame appropriately and vehemently is the way to the resolution of the situation, if the Blogosphere picks up on it.

Ad astra broadly agrees with DMW, and is a bit dubious of the very notion of blame I think, but he has more to say on the issue I believe, and of course it will be rational whatever.

Catey too is looking to the solutions rather than the history;

Ian says quite truly that given the history, everybody shares some blame. Yep.

2353 shares that pov quite strongly.

Feral says basically that she's ASed out. Fair enough i guess but the problem's still there.

And I think Patricia WA's got an opinion there somewhere, maybe today?

I hope I aven't missed anybody nor seriously misrepresented anyone either.

But let me draw your attention back to the Question.

The Question is,  

Which of the political parties is really to blame for the failure of the Australian Government to have a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers?

Notice that the 'is' implies a single party, and also the present tense. So blaming everybody doesn't really cut it.

Note too that to answer the question there is no need to posit solutions, (and in any case of course any notion that The Coalition and Government are going to meet civilly and nut out a rational humane solution is a wild fantasy that won't happen.)

As for the notion that as Papillon said to Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie, in absolving him from betraying him, Papillon says "Blame is for fools and little children", well it's a seductive notion but we do blame people as we do praise others, and appropriate apportionment of blame is a major part of the basis for reforms and improvements in procedures etc, any notion of revenge being a different issue. Blame is not necessarily hand-in-glove with retribution, it may very well be a matter of getting facts straight though.

So actually no one has really answered my question so far! Focus on the wording, it's no trick, really the answer can be expressed in one simple word! What is it?

I'll tell you my answer and my reasoning later in the morning. It has everything to do with getting the job done and winning the next election btw - It is not blame for blame's sake.

So anybody else?    


January 8. 2012 08:13 AM


Talk Turkey,

If you want to lay the blame on any one political party for the AS non-solution, then the finger must be pointed at the Greens because a) They have failed to put aside the idealistic approach and look for a possible long-term solution, b) They have failed to recognise, or even consider, the merit of the Government's regional solution and c) They are unwilling to compromise in order to achieve the best outcome for both this Nation and AS/refugees.


January 8. 2012 09:25 AM

Feral Skeleton

       Well said. Smile

    The Greens are just another political party, as bad as the Coalition, exploiting the Asylum Seeker issue for all they're worth. The thing I can't understand is how Bob Brown, a doctor, who has taken the Hippocratic Oath to 'Do No Harm', can turn around and turn a blind eye to the deaths of Asylum Seekers at sea? So that he can opportunistically turn on the compassion for the unthinking Bleeding Hearts when and if Asylum Seekers make it here? It's cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy of the first order.
   Yet all the media, The Greens supporters, and, of course, the Coalition, can do is rubbish and mock the Gillard government's attempts to resolve the issue positively and once and for all.
   The red herring of Caning in Malaysia is a fallacy. The Agreement signed with Australia and the blessing of the UNHCR specifically outlawed it. It also provided for the health, welfare,housing and education of the returnees. Just because Malaysia is not a signatotory to the Refugee Treaty is irrelevant as it was circumscribed in the deal.
   The Coalition would turn boats back to Indonesia, which is not a signatory. Also when they used Nauru it was not a signatory. So typical hypocrisy and simple advantage-seeking on this issue from them. So they are to blame as much as The Greens.
   And, of course, the media are as much to blame as anyone for seeking to distort the picture.

   There is only one solution. It is the Regional Solution, with appropriate safeguards, as stipulated and signed off on by the UNHCR. It will encompass this region in the absence of any guidance from the top of the UNHCR.

   And the Gillard government are not to blame for proposing it. They are to be congratulated.

   This country, this environment, cannot afford to be the dumping ground for all the worlds problems and their refugees.

   It needs to be controlled and we need to do our fair share.

   The open slather policy of The Greens is unrealistic, and by turns, cruel. The Coalition's Neo Colonial policy of internment on desert atolls, Orwellian 'Temporarary Protection Visas' of psychological torture, and turning boats back out to sea and having a border bristling with Gunboats, is just plain cruel.

   All else to be said is blather.

   If the system was orderly and controlled all the other harsh by-products of this issue that have grown up in this country since we have started dealing with the most recent wave of refugees, could be wound back.

  It's just as simple as that.

   And we should just let the government, in concert with other governments in our region, get on and do it, instead of seeking to point fingers of 'blame'.

Feral Skeleton

January 8. 2012 09:58 AM


As it seems to be a quiz.....Australian Democrats.

Had wanted neither onshore/offshore processing since their, the democrats, inception


January 8. 2012 10:17 AM

Patricia Lorimer

My thoughts entirely. See, I don't need to comment.
I might add at the time of the election I did make the comment on TPS that I didn't love the Greens. I feel I have been vindicated for having that view.

Patricia Lorimer

January 8. 2012 10:52 AM


It is unfortunate that The Greens are so inclined to take the dogmatic, take-it or leave-it stance when it comes to issues that can never be resolved by an uncompromising attitude.  They did the same thing when it came to Climate Change and were responsible for the demise of Labor's original defeat of the Rudd Govt's policy.  Now they stand sidelined over the AS policy because they have made it impossible for the Govt to negotiate with them and, as with the CC policy are now having to try to negotiate with the Coalition who, under the current LOTO, are unbending and irresponsible.

If The Greens do have the interests of this country at heart, then Bob Brown should put a sock in the mouth of SH-Y and go crawling to the Government to negotiate a solution that a) returns the power of the executive to control the borders and b) to work with the Government on a regional solution, building on the Malaysia agreement, for the betterment of both Australia and AS/refugees.

Of course the media must take their fair share of any blame being handed out because of their penchant for mischief, their anti-Labor propaganda and their lazy, sloppy, ignorant journalism.


January 8. 2012 11:04 AM


Oops - delete "the demise of" in the first para.


January 8. 2012 11:25 AM

D Mick Weir

just wondering

if the word responsible is used instead of blame would it change how we think about or respond to TTs' question?

D Mick Weir

January 8. 2012 11:28 AM

Patricia WA

Yes, TT, I do have an opinion about which of the political parties is really to blame for the failure of the Australian Government to have a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers.

It's obviously the nay saying Coalition and its leader, Tony Abbott, though the Greens aren't helping by refusing to even consider changing their unrealistically 'principled' approach on offshore processing.   The Coalition, however, could easily have come to the table on this since their own (successful?) policy using Nauru when in government involved offshoreprocessing, and their particular version of it would have been re-enabled under the proposed legislation if or when they come to government again.

As  FS has pointed out their so-called successful policy was with a government that was not then a signatory to the UN convention. As well isn't their determination to tow back boats to Indonesia entirely against some law of the seas, much less any recent UN convention?   It's certainly against our understanding of how decent humans should behave.  Asking our naval officers to order their crews to do this for us is appalling.

For me the great plus of the Malaysian solution is the effort by Julia Gillard to cut the Gordian knot here by accepting that there is an intractable moral dilemma for all parties.  Her proposal on how to do that is to signicantly increase our intake of duly processed asylum seekers from all registered camps in our region.   I say Julia Gillard because it has a familiar ring to it of her way of finding conciliated solutions.   I imagine she wears pantihose but,  to misquote Shakespeare,  one could say of her

Turn to (her) any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it (she) will unloose,
Familiar as (her) garter.

Patricia WA

January 8. 2012 11:58 AM

Feral Skeleton

           Being naughty here, but the PM MAY wear stockings & garter when around Mr T. Laughing

Feral Skeleton

January 8. 2012 12:46 PM

D Mick Weir

I overlooked linking this article yesterday - maybe because like a lot of people I'm a bit over more words on Asylum Seekers.

It is a pretty blunt and fairly accurate summary of the situation and imho worth the read as a reality check.

Come into my parlour, said spider to fly  Ross Peake @TheCanberraTimes
For an Opposition that believes it was unfairly robbed of victory at the last election, anything goes. In this case, pragmatism tops principle.

D Mick Weir

January 8. 2012 01:12 PM


Those with the internet problems may find it useful to try a different browser to Firefox.  Up until recently it was definately faster than most however the last few "updates" have slowed it in my experience.  More often that not currently we're getting better "service" from Safari (on a Mac) than Firefox.  There have been a few comments along the same lines on other forums I dive into at times.  While I did have Firefox loaded at work, I've now gone back tot he "standard" IE (since they upgraded to 8) and it seems to be ok as well.

I've never tried Chrome, IE 8 seems to be ok at work and as I've stated above Safari seems to be better than Firefox at present (once you get the security level correct).  It's my 2 cents, but maybe worth a go.


January 8. 2012 02:04 PM


Thanks to all who have replied to my Question,
Which of the political parties is really to blame for the failure of the Australian Government to have a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers?

Let me be clear, we are not talking rights or wrongs, humanity or inhumanity, best approach or otherwise - just a settled policy and practice - one that is consistent, explicit and manifest to all people everywhere before they make any plans to seek asylum here by whatever means. Because any consistent reasoned policy must be better than a haphazard response made on the run as with Tampa, provided it is done with regard to the dignity and safety of the asylum seekers concerned.

Well obviously, the Labor Government is point-blank not to blame. It is utterly obvious that Bowen and the Government have been desperately trying to negotiate a fair process with all nations in the region, and with the various forms of Opposition at home, to get a settled consistent policy and practice in place for years. So nobody need tell me they're all to blame as much as each other, Labor has never had the numbers to pass the necessary legislation, whatever that might be. But remember, Labor has a policy now: rightly or otherwise, like it or not, the Comrades have voted for off-shore processing, and that is a a solid concrete fact.

So it must be the Coalition, right?

Quite wrong.

A little parallel: I really hate Cats for what they do to wildlife, but I don't blame them for their horrible habits, they are bloody Cats! You know what they're like, they are hard-wired to kill, you can't blame them. Just exterminate them wherever possible.

To beLabor the point: The Rabid Right under its present leadership is always going to oppose everything, it truly is their 'Policy' to do everything they can to destroy the Government. I hate and despise them for that, but blame doesn't come into it. This is no trite point, but another solid, if despicable, concrete fact. They make no pretence of their malice nor thir callousness. They are Rabid Right, that's what they do. As Cats kill Numbats.

So, not Labor to blame. Nor the L/NP!

So then . . . ?

Oh of course! The bloody GREENS!.

janice is right. Well said Golden Girl.

It's the bloody GREENS.

They are putting themselves before everybody else, and most of all, those whose lives will be lost in attempting to reach Australian territory by boat. Off-shore processing might sound callous, well it's anyway less horrific than the loss of lives at sea, and it has long been my (and Bowen's) preference for that reason, to stop boats being an option altogether at source, plus of course that it does somewhat govern and systematize the intake of genuine refugees. Which must be better than Rafferty's Rules at sea.

Note that my comrade-in-arms Jason has been of the opposite opinion, well the vote could have gone either way, my preference won out, either way would have been better than no decided way, and Labor people do accept that, you can't always get exactly what you want but you stay with the Party on policy, unless forever one is going to disown it - as for example I would do if the Government proposed mandatory life sentences for possession of cannabis, or drowning illegitimate babies at birth. identified. Until such extremes it is a case of My Party right or wrong, and in this case, we will achieve off-shore processing or go down in the attempt, because it has been so decided by our Party. Liberals and  

So, let there not be dancing around the Everybody's To Blame maypole, that's not going to help. And it's not true any more of Labor anyway, we have a policy now, we have no choice but to attempt by every legal means to achieve it.

The Coalition will oppose any move that will settle the matter, whatever, they are like Cats playing with Numbats until they eventually finish them off and chew off their heads. At least that's what Abbortt thinks he is doing.

And it's no good saying Lock *J*U*L*I*A* and Abbortt in a cupboard and knock their heads together until they agree on a policy. Let us try to address the problems with some practical proposals, because we must get this deadly problem sorted.

For once TalkTurkey talking tough Turkey see.

It's the bloody Greens don't you see. They buggered the Rudd Government on Climate Change and have denied it ever since, picked up seats on the back of their perfidy, and then they came within a breath of costing the Left the election, What a victory for the Greens, Bob Brown in particular, that would have been!

Furthermore it doesn’t help to substitute the word Responsibility for the word Blame. The Greens have never needed to be responsible, they have no commitment to outcomes other than their perceived political gains, they are more cynical than Abbortt who at least makes no secret of his malice and his intention to spoil any government initiative. No, Blame is what I mean, hard-edged and unadorned. If we want to get the necessary legislation passed, we must recognize that only on the Greens will pressure achieve the change in the balance of power which the Government must have, and only the unrepresentative swill in the Senate, Hanson-Young and Milne and their mates stand in the way of closure, on their ad hoc basis deciding how they will strut their contemptuous, and even more contemptible, self-important and self-congratulatory ‘policy’ on asylum Seekers.

Yes jane, it is the Greens who are directly to blame for the parlous Asylum Seeker situation, and what we of the Labor Left should be doing, from now until we can force them to an ignominious and confused backdown, is to attack them vehemently on every possible occasion, meanwhile concomitantly sidelining and emasculating Abbortt which will infuriate him beautifully. It is useless fantasizing that he and his will ever come honestly to the table, and we can’t force that, but we can do a bloody good job of pressuring the Greens, in particular, as FS notes, Brown himself, who must be ashamed and dismayed at his party’s cynical and precious stance. And in the meantime Labor can make it perfectly clear to the electorate that we do not dance to the Green’s hymns of self-praise, we are the Government and we are responsible for the rule of law in this country, as the Greens show no signs of being.

Bob Brown! I beseech you for Australia’s sake, please put your foot down on the cockroaches who now seem to be running your Party. Lift your game Bob! I know you to have been decent, a fighter for the good, let not the lesser beings who surround you undo your overwhelmingly positive history.

Swordsfolks, know thine enemy! Go for the Greens’ throat, that is where they are vulnerable.

The purpose of this exercise will have only been a little fulfilled unless you go tell it on the blogsphere over and over until the Greens dare not continue their despicable cynical life-threatening game.

If we can do this successfully, Labor will claw a few voters back from the Right, and shame the Greens, and stiffen our own troops. Win win win! But it is up to us bloggers, if we can apply enough pressure to create a facts-based meme about the Greens that the MSM pick up on (they won’t think of it much less do it on their own) then we can be proud and labor will get a lot of goodwill for finally achieving the best that can be done in a circumstance where none will ever be completely happy, but at least few should die in the attempt to seek asylum in the Wide Brown land.

Sorry Swordsfolk this is rambling and repetitive, not as good writing as I meant it to be, but anyway repetition is the stuff of memes, Give the Greens the old cold steel Swordies, right up their aspidistra!  


January 8. 2012 02:05 PM


Here is some comedy!

RADIO king Alan Jones has let rip at Kyle Sandilands, telling his FM counterpart to grow up and "stop being so vulgar".

Jones said he was appalled by Sandilands' foul-mouthed tirade on a female journalist in November, which led to sponsors abandoning the 2DayFM breakfast show.

"I've told Kyle ... there's no need for that vulgarity," Jones told The Sunday Telegraph.

"You don't need that stuff to get people to listen to you. You've got to treat these people with respect - talk to the audience as if you were talking to your mother.

Kyle needs a producer or a station manager, or someone to say, 'Listen, you're not the kind of person you are presenting yourself to be, so you're doing yourself no favours'."

Jones has dominated the AM radio ratings for years but has also been criticised for his sharp tongue. Last year he told Prime Minister Julia Gillard on-air her nickname was 'Juliar', berated her for being late for an interview and suggested she should be "put in a chaff bag and dumped in the sea".

His friendly advice to Sandilands comes a week before the FM breakfast host returns to the air.

As Sandilands faces an ongoing advertiser boycott for the popular show, Jones said he had faith in his essential goodness. "I don't think deep down he is that kind of person, so you hope that he's learnt from it. It's just being silly.

"He has ability, his repartee, he has this sense of being able to find language to appropriately respond. His work on Idol and Australia's Got Talent was very good."

Sandilands and his co-host Jackie O were on holiday last week and unavailable to respond.

Sandilands' rant came after an online report about poor ratings for his TV special.

He called the reporter "a fat slag" and mocked her hair and breasts before warning, "Watch your mouth or I'll hunt you down".

Twenty-six sponsors withdrew their money from the show. But station bosses stuck by their highest-paid announcer, and he is due to return in a week.

Read more: www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfmqi-1226239179864


January 8. 2012 02:31 PM


<I've never tried Chrome, IE 8 seems to be ok at work and as I've stated above Safari seems to be better than Firefox at present (once you get the security level correct).  It's my 2 cents, but maybe worth a go.>

I've just downloaded Safari...must admit I have never heard of it!, seems ok...still no help with full screen on you tube though.

Gotta be in my settings I guess.


January 8. 2012 03:06 PM


D Mick Weir
The Canberra Times article is sobering, depressing reading.
It's to be hoped Gillard sees the dangers here, but as long as Abbott's allowed to get away unscrutinised it's difficult to see this going well. As the article implies, I think Abbott will always find a reason to reject others' proposals, & always be allowed to get away with it.

As for the T.T. inspired discussion going on, the only thing I ever thought Chris Kenny got right was his statement that the Greens are...a political party. As unscrutinised as Abbott, they go their way proposing unachievable ideals. And like Abbott, their proposals are so often directly contradictory. Would Bob mind installing a few thousand refugees along the Franklin?

I don't mind the term "blame" as everyone else is "blaming" left right & centre (not sure if that's an appropriate cliche under the circumctances), it's a blaming world at the moment.
The Liberals (pre Abbott, but he's pushed it hardest) deserve a lot of blame too, as the "boat people" become whatever spectre is most useful to them at the moment. If the latest drownings had happened on Howard's watch he'd have washed his hands of it- "Just off the Indonesian coast,a long way from Australia & uninvited. How is this my fault or problem? Please explain?"

The media desrves its share for its under analysis of the issues & for its letting the Liberals off the hook. I still marvel at the complete disinterest in the fact that a lot of this nasty Ruddish legislation was passed in Parliament thanks to Turnbull & the Liberals cutting & running on the day to avoid the embarassment of seeing their vaunted "right to cross the floor" actually happen.  

And I suppose we must consider the ALP, probably guilty of naivety & shortsightedness in its overall approach. It must've seemed pretty simple all those years ago, there aren't all that many, just lock 'em up. Following (at least they were'nt leading) Howard to the bottom. And a current inabilty to come to terms with the utter nastiness that is Abbott as exemplified by the Canberra Times article above.

Perhaps the last party we should blame is the ongoing party that is Australia, your current correspondent as much a participant as most. All we want is to keep our little private  at the end of the world party going without any interruptions & we'll happily vote for the mob who promise that the loudest.


January 8. 2012 03:49 PM

Feral Skeleton

Talk Turkey,
            Fine sentiments but trying to argue with Greens about Asylum Seeker policy, as I have exhaustively tried to do on Twitter, Crikey and Jeremy Sears blog, is like wrestling with spaghetti.

   Get this. Their solutiion to the problem of unseaworthy boats capsizing at sea etc., is for the Gillard government to provide safer boats for the paying Asylum Seekers in Indonesia so they get here safely and no longer die at sea! Fair bloody dinkum. So I said, somewhat sarcastically, well, why doesn't the government just tie up the P&O Sea Princess in the biggest dock in Jakarta and they can all pay their money for a luxury sea cruise to Australia while they're at it! They'll get here refreshed, fed and watered then. Lots and lots and lots and lots of them. And they can all stay at Jeremy and Bob Brown's place. Except that's where their fatuous argument breaks down, because they are the ultimate NIMBY Whinging brigade as well. You see Bob Brown lives an idyllic life in the Tasmanian countryside, with no one but his best mate and the Tasmanian Wilderness around them. No 'poor, tired, huddled masses' there. And that's just the way he likes it. As long as the refugees settle somewhere else he's happy to advocate on their behalf, like a latter-day Mother Theresa in drag(except that's what they used to say about her, so...oh,let's not go there Wink ).

   Let Sarah Hanson-Young billet the waves of Asylum Seekers coming in by 'Safe Boat' at her house in a trendy Adelaide suburb. I'm sure she won't mind. Except, of course she would, just like Bob Brown would, just like all the Green-voting trendies in my area wouldn't actually ever touch an Asylum Seeker with a barge pole, if push came to shove. Same as that bleedin' Ian Rintoul squawker. Bet he just uses the subject as a way of raising funds and raising his profile. As any right-thinking Australian should acknowledge, if they are being truthful, and not simplistically idealistic, that the sort of solutions that The Greens are advocating are every bit as inane and cruel in their own way as the Coalition's. That's why they have no hesitation jumping into bed with them when it suits them. 'Duplicitous hypocrites' all, as Dr Emerson so aptly put it.

   The only one of the Refugee Industry I have any time for is Pamela Curr. I have crossed paths with her on a number of occasions. She is one who would and does put the more unfortunate refugees up in her own house, and whose heart is in the right place, if somewhat misplaced. But the more cynical of the refugees and the refugee industry(amongst which I include Mr Litigation, David Manne), have even taken her for granted in their cynical manipulation of this area for their own personal gain and advancement.

   Might I just add a thank you to D Mick Weir for the Ross Peake yarn. It's pretty much as I expected, except he only told half of the 'cynical manipulation' story, as he left out The Greens, who would move crab-like away from the government in their efforts to hammer out a solution to the Asylum Seeker problem, just as much as the Coalition do.

   'Safe Boats' my backside. And, what's worse, if you disagree with their 'humane' solutions, they can't wait to label you a 'this' or a 'that', and sneer and peer down their noses at you, like old Aunt Sally does when you fart in her sanctimonious presence.

Feral Skeleton

January 8. 2012 04:03 PM


Well argued, Talk Turkey.  As you so aptly point out the Coalition are irrelevant in the scheme of things PROVIDED ALWAYS The Greens act responsibly in their alliance as part of the minority government.  The Greens have the power to ensure the Government re-gains it's Executive Power to have full control over our borders, and to ensure that people no longer are enticed to enrich smugglers pockets and risk their lives at sea.  

There are millions of displaced persons across the world - an endless market for people smugglers.  The problem will only grow in the future as CC takes hold and until economic conditions are resolved in Europe.  The need for a regional solution is paramount both for this Nation's well-being as well as those seeking refuge.


January 8. 2012 05:00 PM

Ad astra reply

I've been busy in other ways today, and will be so for the next few days.  I'm still trying to get a break from TPS to attend to family matters.

I've only now got round to reading your interesting responses to TT's question about the AS issue.  While I agree with many of the sentiments expressed, the solution seems to be eluding everyone in the face of the intransigence of Tony Abbott and The Greens.  When we resume normal activities, it might be worth attempting a more creative process of devising possible solutions.  The process is stalemated now.

Ad astra reply

January 8. 2012 05:52 PM

Feral Skeleton

Ad Astra,
         Or, 'Zugzwanged', as Ross Peake would have it. Smile

Feral Skeleton

January 8. 2012 10:02 PM


This is a heads-up for the return tomorrow of The Poll Bludger. Smile Welcome back William Bowe and your long-suffering regulars!  


January 9. 2012 12:55 AM

Patricia WA

Yes, Janice, well argued but Talk Turkey hasn't yet convinced me.

Sorry, TT.  You don't consider the Coalition blameworthy because it is in their nature to oppose, regardless of the morality of the issue involved?  Well, how can the Greens be considered to be blameworthy when it is in their nature to hold steadfastly to their principles?

I agree that this is a major failing in a group of people who will not even consider their immovable stance on this issue is a major stumbling block to the government's path to some semi-solution.  Their principles hold them to standards of pedantic perfection which prevent any pragmatic compromise.   Silly people!

All that pales into insignificance beside the deliberate veto by the Opposition of a piece of legislation entirely in the spirit of their own policy of off-shore processing.   Abbott and his Coalition are set on stymieing progress by this  government, even at the  risk of ultimately sabotaging their own solution. They really don't want a solution.   They are sinful!

Patricia WA

January 9. 2012 08:20 AM



The Coalition are an irrevelant rabble under its current leadership and therefore, IMO, they are all to blame for everything their leader says and does.  The coalition are not part of this minority government and its display of destructive opposition is, and has been, a despicable tactic to bludgeon its way into office.

The Greens, on the other hand, ARE part of this minority government and as such have the responsibility to Australia and its people, to put the Nation and its well being before the idealistic perfection to which they aspire.  As part of a minority government, The Greens' responsibility is the same as any governing party - to govern for all.  Therefore there is no room for idealistic principles but rather, compromise and persuasion, because a divided nation goes nowhere; it stagnates and falls prey to the sort of rabble we see looming in the guise of religious fundamentalists, tea-party nutters and bullies out to keep the masses at the bottom of the ladder.

As part of this minority government, The Greens must take the blame for the current situation where the government cannot control our borders.  When SH-Y challenged the government through the HC over sending AS to Malaysia, she and the Greens stood firm on principle.  However, when the HC decision was handed down and it was found that within the WIN for SH-Y the sting in the tail was that the Govt lost its executive power over border control, that was the time for the Greens to stand up for the government they're part of, and support the government's bill to regain that power.

So, IMO, the Greens are to blame because a) they WON their HC case  b) supporting the government to regain its executive powers would have been responsible and seen to be so.  By standing on their standards of pedantic perfection, The Greens have put themselves and their party before the interests of this country and its people.


January 9. 2012 08:55 AM


      The greens may support the government on things such as supply and confidence on the floor of the house but that's where it ends.
They have no ministers, don't sit in cabinet and we're not in coalition with them!

I'll expand later I'm off to work


January 9. 2012 09:00 AM


Or is it that The Greens are doing something that is almost unheard of for a political party - standing by their principles?

Regardless of what any individual thinks about their principles, their justification for not voting Rudd's CPRS was it didn't go far enough.  Thier justification for different treatment of refugees is the sale of fares on leaky boats is inhumane.  

I'm not a Greens member or necessarily a supporter however TT is right that Bob Brown does have a good reputation.  Most of the reputation is derived from standing by his principles and being ethical - which makes The Greens position on the CPRS version 1 and refugee processing logical - if not appealing to other sections of the community.


January 9. 2012 09:32 AM



I was under the impression that Rudd's CPRS went further than the current Clean Energy Package.  I may be wrong, but if I'm not, then the Greens standing on their principle lost them more than they gained.  


January 9. 2012 09:42 AM


Maybe it did Gravel - I'm not sure.  The difference with Rudd's and Gillard's CRPS is that Rudd froze The Greens out preferring to negotiate with Turnbull, while Gillard negotiated with The Greens after the Abbott led LNP froze itself out.

If the Gillard CRPS is "weaker" than the Rudd plan, there must be something that appeals to The Greens core beliefs.  What it is, I'm not sure but based on history - as discussed above there has to be something in the Gillard version that adheres to The Greens "core objectives".


January 9. 2012 10:15 AM


I know all that.  However, The Greens NEGOTIATED (together with the Indies) with the Labor to form this minority government.  So, Labor has had to make many compromises with the Greens for their continuing support and it is time the Greens got down off their high pedestal of principles, to do a bit of compromising as well.

And, while I'm somewhat riled up about the Greens, I would suggest that the reason the government is still struggling for recognition (in thepolls) is because there are so many out here in voterland who actually think Labor is being "run" by the greens.  If The Greens grew up as a political party and stopped being a group of purists who're more satisfied with nothing rather than accept something that will lead to more in time, then they don't deserve to hold power of any kind.


January 9. 2012 11:00 AM


In actual fact The Greens froze themselves out of negotiating with the Government's CPRS which forced the government to negotiate with Turnbull.

The Gillard Govt's negotiations included the Greens and Independents (Coalition refused to be in it) and it did result in a slightly weaker version than the Rudd CPRS.  The fact that the negotiations resulted in an agreement was, according to Tony Windsor, due to the PMs negotiation skills - apparently she had to intervene on a couple of occasions to prevent the whole thing falling apart.  I think, but am not sure, that the Greens were responsible for the 3-year carbon tax in lieu of the 1year CT in the Rudd CPRS.  


January 9. 2012 11:42 AM



Thanks, that's how I sort of remembered it.  


So let's allow that the Greens had some 'core' principle's that they stuck with, can you allow that Labor also stuck with some of their own core principles.  I just regret that there are far less large companies that are being 'taxed' now as a result of the Greens recalcitrance.

As for the asylum seeker issue, I know that Labor's core principle is to stop or prevent more drownings by using a regional approach which would let asylum seekers to Australia know where they stand.  That is, wait in line or you will be sent back to the end of the line.

Sorry about all that folks, it's just that I am so over both issues and we will have a CEP as of July.  As for the asylum issue, if the greens would come to the party, state that it is on humanitarian issues alone that they have agreed with the regional agreement, then we could all move on to something more positive in Australia.


January 9. 2012 12:23 PM


Gravel & others,

I'm playing "devil's advocate" here - just as I'm sure Abbott is convinced he's right, I'm sure Gillard and Brown do to.  I'm not convinced that holding on to your principles is clever as most of the leaders generally considered to be good or great - from all sides of politics and business both here and elsewhere will change their position based on new evidence.  I'm not sure The Greens will or can.  Absolutely the ALP and LNP have core principles as well - however I'd suggest that the principles have morphed somewhat since the establishment of the relevant parties and in the early 21st Century the longer established politcal parties are much more pragmatic than The Greens with a view to either holding or gaining "power" (not that it's necessarily a bad thing)!

As I said earlier, I'm not a member of The Greens (or any other political party for that matter) - however I do admire The Greens history of sticking to their convictions - regardless of what others in the population think of them.  Whether their history of sticking to their convictions is naive in the long term or not is yet to be seen.  

While the CPRS is in and hopefully will be well and truly bedded down before the ALP lose power again, I'm not sure that regional processing of refugees will achieve a deterrence value anywhere near that claimed by it's proponents.  Rather the regional governments should be stamping out the "smugglers" that get rich on the proceeds of human misery - and there is consderable work to do in that area before it is a reasonable option.  But that's another issue entirely that has already been done to death here and elsewhere.  


January 9. 2012 12:28 PM

D Mick Weir

Good afternoon Swordsfolk
Not Happy in fact p'd orf - but it's ok not with Swordsfolk

Drop everything call soon after dawn - major shyte fyte, grrrrr.

About to finally have breakfast and then some entertainment and happy making by delving into the wobblysphere to unchain some links.

Back to you in a lttle bit

good start recaptcha: dumn errorito  don't know what it means but somehow it describes my morning

D Mick Weir

January 9. 2012 01:37 PM

Feral Skeleton

Dumb Meetoo just about sums up my morning too, DMW.
We had an electrical storm late last night and #1 son disconnected the bibs and bobs so they wouldn't end up as fried plastic(living as we do on a lodestone ridge we tend to attract the lightning). So, good, as far as it goes, except I have just finished running around like a chook with my head cut off because the new modem wouldn't work, and I was beside myself trying to figure out why. Until 31 son came along and casually pointed out that I hadn't put the DSL cable back into the back of the modem. Embarassed

Feral Skeleton

January 9. 2012 01:45 PM

Feral Skeleton

     Nice to see those highly principled Greens joining with the Coalition to embarass the government unecessarily over the Whaling issue. Blurring the legal lines over government jurisdiction in the Australian Economic Zone, with the Australian Waters, which the government has legal jurisdiction over and thus would be able to intercede with when it came to the opportunistic idiots who trespassed intentionally on another country's property, whether you like what that country is doing with it's property or not.

   If The Greens were truly principled, they would be providing support to the Australian government which is taking it's case through the proper channels, and not the TV channels, in it's effort to end so-called 'Scientific Whaling' by Japan.

   It's not as sexy as galivanting about the high seas like big, hairy galoots, and it may take a couple more years of hard slog through the International Courts, but it will be effective, and it will have a finality to it that this Boys Own Sea Pirate adventuring will never be able to achieve.

Feral Skeleton

January 9. 2012 02:02 PM

D Mick Weir

The Monday Micks Media Mix

Late breaking news HatTip very special secret linking tweetie
Shark sighting at Manly ruins Tony Abbott's media antics @Mews.cm.au via AAP
Shark sighted at Manly after press conference
Abbott was in water just moments prior
Media event interuppted by predadtor


A real mixed bag today some from over the weekend and some today
It looks as though many pollies are getting back on deck today and I am guessing a few more bloggers will also return to the inerwobblt thingo over the coming week

Enjoy todays selection

Status quo on way out  Professor Q
At the peak of his power as Lord Protector of England, Oliver Cromwell marched north from London to fight the rebellious Scots. One of his lieutenants commented on the enthusiastic support they were given by the London crowd, to which Cromwell is said to have replied ‘Do not trust to the cheering, for those persons would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged.”
That anecdote can be interpreted in many ways, ...


If you don't step on my toes, I won't step on yours  Melody Ayres-Griffiths  @OnlineOpinion
... to address the most common concern straight-away, libertarians by definition cannot be racist in action because that would impact upon the liberty of those they discriminate against. They cannot be homophobic in action either, for the same reason. As much as libertarianism supports the right of the individual to act how they choose, it equally supports the rights of other individuals not to be negatively impacted by those actions.

Bringing Poetry Back Into Politics  Michael Silverstein @TheModerateVoice
Most media, at least the high profile print, broadcast and online media accessed by most people on a regular basis, no longer view poetry as an appropriate means of political analysis and commentary ...
There’s nothing natural about this situation, however. Indeed, from an historical perspective it’s a fluke.


Do we need the mainstream media?  @News with Nipples
... I’m gonna stamp my foot with indignation and say it matters because we shouldn’t have to go hunting for adequate reporting. If journalists can’t even do basic reporting – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How – then why the fuck are they wasting their time being journalists? Go and do something that pays better and has a more secure future.

From the Newspapers
Keeping asylum seekers in line  Kirsty Needham @TheAge
THE company that runs immigration detention is using a system of punishment and reward for misbehaving detainees, according to a document obtained by The Age.
The document conflicts with Immigration Department denials that such a system exists.


Bligh will stick with Barnett on GST  AusFinReview (free)
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has said any plan by the state's opposition to form a breakaway COAG bloc with NSW and Victoria beggars belief.
Australia's most populous eastern states could all have a conservative government within months, with opinion polls showing the Liberal National Party on course to win the next state election.
Queensland's acting opposition leader Tim Nicholls is considering joining an eastern states alliance that would dominate negotiations at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), The Australian reports.


Energy use sucking up a precious resource  Paul Sheehan @NationalTime
If you enjoyed a cup of coffee this morning, it might interest you to know it took 140 litres of water to produce that cup. Such a simple but profound equation.
It is strange, strange, strange that when it comes to the most important subject on the planet, the basis of all life - water - governments, international agencies, economists, scientists and businesses have consistently underestimated the growth in global demand, and the growing stress on supply.


What can we read into our pollies' habits?  Stephanie Peatling  @NationalTimes
WHILE taking a look at the SCG last week one commentator observed that it seemed like half of the Australian political community had popped in either for work or as part of their holidays.

Centenary of Mawson's Antarctic trip feted   Lloyd Jones, AAP  @TheWest
One hundred years ago on Sunday, Australian scientist and explorer Douglas Mawson and his fellow expeditioners made the first landfall on the Antarctic continent directly south of Australia.
On January 8, 1912, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition members came ashore from the steam yacht Aurora at Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay.


Economics & News thereupon
Retail Sales Falter in November  @TheKouk
The November retail trade news further confirms the feeling that consumers are continuing to scale back spending in the retail space, preferring it seems to spend on other services, paring back debt and even adding to saving. These are no bad things in moderation, but the concern is that this retail funk is coinciding with other data on weak employment, falling house prices and a sharp deceleration in inflation.

Sen, social inclusion & Treasury’s wellbeing framework  Don Arthur @ClubTroppo  A Bit Wonkish
Treasury’s mission is broad — to improve the wellbeing of the Australian people. And according to Peter Martin its wellbeing framework empowers it "to fight homelessness just as much as it empowers it to fight inflation". As Martin explained back in 2008 the framework goes well beyond purely monetary or material ideas of wellbeing.
If Treasury’s framework is broad enough to include issues like homelessness, perhaps it’s broad enough to absorb the idea of social inclusion. Integrating social inclusion into the wellbeing framework might give the idea a more definite meaning and a useful theoretical base.


Arts, Society and other interesting stuff that sets the cogs whirring and sometimes may have a political connection
I was wrong (an insanely valuable lesson)  Seth Godin
In 1993, I saw the web coming. I was hired to write the cover story for a now defunct computer magazine about the internet, and dismissed the new Mosaic* browser in a single paragraph.
* Mosaic is the web browser credited with popularizing the World Wide Web.

Tintin, politics and human rights: reflections of a fan  Sara Joseph @OnlineOpinion
So the new Tintin movie, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, opened in Australia on Boxing Day. As a die-hard fan of Tintin, the creation of Georges Remi known as Hergé (1907-1983), I will have to see it, though I have serious doubts that the movie can remotely match my expectations given it originates from books that are amongst the most favorite in my life. This Guardian review doesn't fill me with hope either, though David and Margaret are more positive.
Like most Tintinophiles, I have read all of the books over and over ...


Reviewing the top medical iPhone apps … what’s the diagnosis?  various experts @TheConversation
Want to quit smoking, lose weight, manage your diabetes or get a good night’s sleep? No worries. There’s an app for all of that.
But it’s not always clear which medical apps are based on solid evidence and which aren’t.
We asked the experts to review eight prominent medical apps. They considered whether the apps were useful and medically accurate, and whether they would recommend using them.


The Anti Tattoo League  Steve @ OpinionDominion
I am getting tired of waiting for fashion sense to turn against tattoos, particularly on women.  
Call me sexist, but young men generally are known to be silly risk takers in all  aspects of life.  Ask the insurance companies; and I noted last year the "accident hump" for young men, which apparently "exists in almost all societies and is statistically well documented."


The Only 12 (and a half) writing rules you will ever need  @Quotes4Writers Hatip @1PeterMartin

D Mick Weir

January 9. 2012 02:23 PM

D Mick Weir

An editorial comment from the team @ theMediaMix
... and a late link that just couldn't wait.

The AAP/News.com.au story linked above got the facts wrong. Although we have come to expect that from ScrewsItUp Ltd.it is unusual for AAP.

Media event interuppted  (sic) by predadtor

Surely that should of read:
Media event by predadtor interrupted

Monday’s medical myth: eating oysters makes you randy  Penny Wilson @TheConversation
The stuff of romance novels and girly magazines or a secret tool to give you a boost in the bedroom? We start the year by examining the truth about oysters.

Holly gazed around in awe. Rory had brought her to a tiny waterfront restaurant. From the table on the jetty she watched the setting sun sparkle across the bay and reflect off Rory’s chocolate brown eyes.
“I hope you like oysters, Holly. I took the liberty of ordering us three dozen with samples of the chef’s special toppings. This restaurant is famous for their delicious oysters.”


D Mick Weir

January 9. 2012 03:31 PM


Regardless of where the blame lies on the "boat people" Labor under Beasley couldn't be closer with howard on the issue,for fear of electoral backlash! Howard proposed something Labor said "me too"!
Now we want to rewrite the history that some of our past MP's prefered to live on their knees rather than die on their feet!

I blame the lot!! MP'S, Senators the media, shock jocks!
What I want to see is solutions not excuses!


January 9. 2012 04:37 PM


Good Morning Swordsfolks, (later : I started this morning!)

Thanks to all participants thus far in the discussion re the question,Which of the political parties is really to blame for the failure of the Australian Government to have a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers?

First, in response to most responses, I certainly don't think any political body, and indeed hardly anybody individually, from the time of little Nancy Prasad (under Menzies!) to the present day, has much to be proud of. Sure.

But that doesn't help us to solve the ongoing and pressing problems associated with asylum seekers today, and all our tomorrows.

All agreed, so let's proceed!

There are some comments I wish to address specifically.

Ian, I too think the "Australian Democrats" under Meg Lees were disastrous for Australian democracy.(!) I was heavily involved in the successful attempt to prevent Janine Haines winning the SA Reps marginal seat of Kingston in a 3-way fight, and while I know about the adage about not speaking ill of the dead, the twee and saccharine JH was probably the most unpleasant opponent personally of all the candidates in Kingston over several elections. But might I make the point that the Democrats are as dead as she, and blaming the defunct A.D's can't actually help us to develop a blogospherical campaign whose purpose, let me be clear, is to create a facts-based meme to shame the Greens into permitting the Government to develop a satisfactory policy and practice on asylum seekers. But you are right in some ways, no argument.
I do not regret the AD's passing.

BSA Bob, seems thee and me are singing pretty much from the same songsheet, about the execrable Chris Kenny, the Greens, and your last point, the ongoing 'party' Australians are having while the rest of world can go to hell for all most of us know or care. Well then, we who claim to care, we just better to be party poopers, as long as it takes to develop a humane, workable, sensible policy, because if we go on partying while people are being drowned at sea for lack of that policy, we ourselves are very blameworthy indeed.

Feral Skeleton said,
Talk Turkey,
            Fine sentiments but trying to argue with Greens about Asylum Seeker policy, as I have exhaustively tried to do on Twitter, Crikey and Jeremy Sears blog, is like wrestling with spaghetti.
FS you mistake my intention. It is pointless trying to argue with them, we must just condemn them out-of-hand for their insistence on having their way over the stated policy of the Labor Party and the (irrelevant-to-future-policy) policy of the Coalition. We point the finger, we double the fist and shake it at them, we accuse, we don't argue. We will make the Greens wear the contumely for the deaths at sea that will inevitably result from their cynical, never mind principled stand. We will force them to retreat. And we will prevail, however much skin and blood we must lose in doing so.  

2353 said, . . . is it that The Greens are doing something that is almost unheard of for a political party - standing by their principles?

Well, what are these principles that you wonder if the Greens are rare in standing up for? Are there specific ones, enunciated and defined? As far as I can see, their principal principle is We should process asylum seekers onshore, on the principle that We should process asylum seekers onshore, on the principle that We should process asylum seekers onshore . . .

Am I wrong?

If I'm right, that is no principle, that is an opinion, decided if I am right by the wiseheads (ha!) of the Green Parliamentary Swill Mob, never by a grassroots party vote argued exhaustively as by the party to which you know I am loyal. We Laborites have opinions too, the holders often bitterly opposed to each other, but we argue the issues through to exhaustion - and then there is a vote - and when that vote is taken, that's what we try to achieve whether that was our initial preference or not. What can the Greens say they do by comparison? A few populist attention seekers like S H-Y and Milne, sheltering under and sniping from the threadbare umbrella of the honourable but increasingly-compromised Brown, presuming to dictate to the 90% of Australians who did not vote for them on this life-and-death issue, a matter bringing Australia into international disgrace!

Look-you, the Labor National Convention has decided on the best information available that on balance off-shore processing is for a variety of reasons the better choice, the Greens have had no such ('principled') mass debate, all they have is their opinion, which will cost lives if they continue to enforce their 'principled' will about onshore processing.
2353 then you said
If the Gillard CRPS is "weaker" than the Rudd plan, there must be something that appeals to The Greens core beliefs. What it is, I'm not sure . . .

Well I'm not sure even of your meaning, let alone what might be these undefined core beliefs you're not sure about. If I might say so, for someone "not necessarily a supporter" of the Greens, you seem prepared to cut 'em a lot of slack on pretty uncertain premises. Nothing you'd criticise unequivocally?

Gravel, you are if not quite right that the CPRS deal was worse in the end than if the precious Greens hadn't denied the passage of the original Bill under Rudd - and I think you are, but it might have been the same figures - it was certainly no better for those of a proper Greenish tinge like me - and Dam! Look at what we lost! Years, for a start! Credibility in the eyes of the world at Copenhagen, where we could have been World Opinion leaders! #*CK the #*cking Bloody Greens! Hypocrites, cynical self-seekers claiming moral high ground, prepared to cut off all our noses for their oh-so-pure bloody principles, they make me sick![/i]

2353 you also said later,
. . . Rudd froze The Greens out preferring to negotiate with Turnbull, while Gillard negotiated with The Greens after the Abbott led LNP froze itself out.
Well if my memory serves, tell me if I'm wrong, the Greens' bloody principles led them to demand an absolutely egregious set of aims which really would indeed have made Australian goods uncompetitive, and seen the Government out at the earliest opportunity - an outcome they so nearly achieved by a contrary route! Turdball otoh was being thoroughly reasonable, we could have had the whole country together . . . Bastard GREENS!

Now, Patricia WA!
You said
Talk Turkey hasn't yet convinced me.

Well I'm hoping the foregoing will have you wavering . . .

Of course the Coalition are utterly unspeakable, but there's the very rub, there is no earthly point even considering them in the equation, they will do a Lucy to us every time. They are irrelevant, they have madethemselves that way. so be it, there is nothing we can do about that anyway. It's no good blaming nor appealing to them, they will always frustrate us with their illwill. I despise them as I said before, but to blame them is to dissipate the energy which we must focus on the bloody Greens to force their backdown. No coaxing, just full-on condemnation and challenge. And if there are more deaths, the Greens alone WILL be to blame, for they alone have the choice right now, never mind the history or who else has been to blame, the blame from now on is the Greens and the Greens alone! Make them wear it! We've given up on the Coalition, we have our own firm policy now, honourably, honestly, exhaustively thought through and argued and hammered out, from which for good reason we will not resile; so look at the reality please dear PatriciaWA, there is only one place where our pressure can force change, and that is on the Greens, however much I would like to drown Abbortt.
This blame campaign is not merely finger-pointing, it is a powerful stratagem which if we and other blogsites* pick it up will put a lot of pressure on all the right places.

So come on Swordsfolks, leave the equivocation behind, see the true culprit, the sole impediment to labor creating "a settled policy and practice on asylum seekers."  

One thing stands out in all the replies, perhaps excepting one, and that is that there is no love whatsoever for the Greens now, nor should there be. Brown yes, he still commands some respect from long ago, but don't cherry-pick me on that please 2353, or even if I say that Bandt seems reasonable: (it just goes to show how fair I am really, and do I mean that! Smile): the Greens team increasingly comprises self-righteous cynical populist self-seekers, entirely happy to pointscore off the Government, and apparently quite prepared to destroy it on the basis of their 'principles'.

Picture it, an Abbortt Government and a Greens-controlled Senate! [i]Let slip the Dogs of War!

Oh and Golden Girl janice, may I join you and Gravel in your trench when the time comes? I will be honoured to be your guerrilla comrade-in-arms!

*re that, I've got a nice little surprise for a near-future post Smile


January 9. 2012 05:03 PM

D Mick Weir

Jason @ 3:31 PM
you hit a hole in one with that comment

D Mick Weir

January 9. 2012 05:36 PM

Feral Skeleton

           "There's gold in them thar Hills!'       Laughing


Feral Skeleton

January 9. 2012 05:38 PM

Feral Skeleton

     'Shark sighted at Manly after press conference
      Abbott was in water just moments prior'

   Bugger! Wink

Feral Skeleton

January 9. 2012 05:41 PM

Feral Skeleton

   Interesting to note that News.com referred to what Tony Abbott was up to at Manly Beach today, with the young Surf Lifesavers, as his 'antics'. Do I suggest a tide turning(to use a watery metaphor)?

Feral Skeleton

January 9. 2012 05:42 PM

Feral Skeleton

  And, of course, that should have been, '...do I detect a tide turning?' Embarassed

Feral Skeleton

January 9. 2012 07:54 PM

Ad astra

I have just posted the next in the change-of-year political speeches: What makes a good political speech? PM Keating's Redfern speech


Ad astra

January 9. 2012 09:11 PM


   Not sure about "the hole in one" However if it's insisted deals were done with the "greens"! that would've been on the "East Timor solution" that was put up up at the last election.
To the best of my knowledge Malaysia whilst in part I agree with was an after thought, and thus was never part of the original negotiations


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