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What makes a good political speech? Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech

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Saturday, 14 January 2012 12:15 by Ad astra
Martin Luther King’s famous speech, delivered on 28 August 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. to a vast throng, is classed as one of the top ten speeches of all time; some would place it near the top.

Here it is. The source is here.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

There it is – around eighteen hundred words. Why is it so highly regarded? What makes is so inspirational? How readily can politicians talking on other subjects achieve the same impact? How does it compare with other speeches in this series?

There are two more to come.

Comments (162) -

January 14. 2012 12:27 PM

Ad astra

At least initially, please confine your comments to this historic speech.  There is plenty to write about there.  How does it compare with other speeches in the series?  Are there any pointers to a good speech that can be extracted from it?

When you return, you may wish to post your Mad Mick’s Media Mix Saturday Edition on this thread too, so it is not overlooked.

Ad astra

January 14. 2012 01:43 PM


I think the Martin Luther King Jr speech is remembered for three reasons.  Firstly it is undoubtedly a good speech, it has an overriding theme, the theme is stated, expanded and there is a aspirational conclusion.  (The "Light on the Hill" speech is similar.)  Secondly the timing of the speech is significant, it was delivered at a time when the physical segregation of US Citizens was coming to an end - where the segregation had not yet ended it seems there was a groundswell of political will to make it happen.  Thirdly, King's delivery is majestic (Rudd's "Sorry" speech was also delivered with an appropriate tone that picked the moment) the way he delivered "I have a dream" makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear it (in a similar way to this part of the Edward Kennedy speech at Robert Kennedy's funeral:-
"That is the way he lived. That is what he leaves us.

My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

"Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not."

The shame here is that while physical discrimination and segregation in the US has diminished considerably, there is a lot of economic discrimination remaining.  You would have hoped that King's speech had brought more change in the subsequent 50 years than this outsider has seen.


January 14. 2012 01:45 PM


P.S. DMW - thanks for your links - there are at least three I am crossposting on another forum in response to a climate change sceptic troll.


January 14. 2012 02:33 PM


Ad Astra

Did you say it was 1800 words?  If so I read it very quickly and was surprised at how much I got out of it.  I have never read it before, although I have heard excerpts of it read.   As 2353 said, a lot of what made it a success was the timing.

Thank you for posting this.


January 14. 2012 03:20 PM


Thank Dog Albitey, I feel free at last too! Smile


January 14. 2012 05:17 PM

Ad astra

Many thanks for your thoughtful comment, just what we needed to set the tone for this thread.

I’ve checked again, and yes, Martin Luther King’s speech is just short of 1,800 words.

You are right – timing was important, and the massive crowd of enthusiastic supporters gave atmosphere to the address, and emphasis to his words, which were greeted with enthusiasm and excitement.

Ad astra

January 14. 2012 08:51 PM


A speech like this I doubt would be possible in the US, Australia or the UK today. At the very least it would be met with horror by many quarters. All the talk of the urgency for change - for progress! - is antithetical to the establishment conservativism that, via its media extensions and mouthpieces, has gummed down discourse and social progress in the West, like treacle causes the gears of a fine-tuned machine to turn laboriously if at all.


January 14. 2012 09:04 PM

D Mick Weir

Mad Mick's Media Mix  
It's NOT the Nine O'Clock News Edition

Good Evening All,
A Saturday evening slightly rearranged repeat dose with some updates. If you missed my waffling this morning you can find it on the previous post

First up something from last year from a site I just stumbled across and I think might be worth keeping an eye on so we can tap into the 'political zeitgeist'. If you choose to follow the link have a poke around and see what you think.

Labor in deficit on surplus  Graham Young @WhatPeopleWant Thursday, 08 December 2011
On balance Wayne Swan's sliver of surplus spent far more political capital than it saved. Australians have a nuanced view of government spending, understand that times are difficult, and aren't too concerned whether the government achieves a surplus or not.

And second up a Top Ten Most Read Link.

The Conversation’s top ten articles
In case you missed them the first time, we’ve packaged up the Conversation’s ten best read articles for 2011…. Enjoy!

Midst of the silly season and the nonsense goes on John Huxley @NationalTimes
… ANYWAY, as I was saying, after going to the cricket and to the movie The Iron Lady, ...

Electricity versus Beer versus Mars Bars @TheKouk
One of the popular and certainly headline grabbing ways that opponents of the price on carbon try to demonise the issue is to create an impression that there will be a huge impact on electricity prices and therefore household budgets will be under increasing pressure.

Austerity & Equality  Chris Dillow @Stumbling and Mumbling
The 1945-51 (UK) government inherited a debt-GDP ratio three times today’s level and yet built the modern welfare state, created the NHS and increased income equality* whilst running a budget surplus.
Poor public finances, therefore, are no obstacle at all to egalitarian policies. So what are?


The Disability Support Pension's False Crisis  Peter Horbury @Ramp Up
The Gillard Government has now made a series of changes to the DSP; new impairment tables are now in place for all new DSP applicants and those subject to review. According to Centrelink modelling, 40 per cent of current DSP recipients will no longer be eligible under these new provisions.

The following is given as I found some of the comments to the article umm dare I say 'informative'.
Gambaro in Brisbane  Peter Brent @MumbleBlog
If you hadn’t heard of Teresa Gambaro before this week, you have now.

Decisions from the Coalition   Andrew Elder @Politically homeless
The Federal Coalition starts 2012 on the horns of a number of policy dilemmas. In each of these there are good reasons for going one way or another, but in each of these decisions will have to be made and defended in such a way that makes them look like a credible alternative government. The Coalition is ill-equipped to make those decisions, and to stand by them, ...

Tariff rhetoric driving a wedge in the Coalition  Lenore Taylor @NationalTimes
Kim Carr was the first politician I ever heard say the truth out loud. Without tariff walls or government subsidies, a country just can't make cars. Take away protection and payments, and car makers will go somewhere else they can get them.

# Update: #
Lenore has another angle on this story @The Canberra Times
Coalition rift deepens on industry subsidies  Lenore Taylor
THE Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce has hit back at his internal Coalition critics, saying car industry subsidies are essential for the entire Australian manufacturing sector and populist economic policies are a good thing for an opposition that wants to get elected.

Out of our league: the global auto affair  Annabel Crabb @TheDrum
The world loves cars. Cars are an object of desire; a status symbol for the wealthy, an aspiration for the poor.

Without car manufacturing, we are on the road to ruin  Ian Porter @NationalTimes
What the situation requires is not so much a job for ministers. This is a job for the World's Best Treasurer, Wayne Swan, who has to make some big decisions if Australia is to avoid becoming just another South Pacific quarry.

Writer asks for similar aid offered to carmakers  John Birmingham  @TheDrum
John Birmingham says his industry deserves the same support.
"JB directly employs at least one Australian right across the country and is a real economic driver of many pubs and cafes," he said.


The costs of unemployment – again  Bill Mitchell @billy blog  HT: VSTSLTweetie*
One of the strong empirical results that emerge from the Great Depression is that the job relief programs that the various governments implemented to try to attenuate the massive rise in unemployment were very beneficial. At that time, it was realised that having workers locked out of the production process because there were not enough private jobs being generated was not only irrational in terms of lost income but also caused society additional problems, such as rising crime rates.

Truth, truthiness and balance  Professor Q  @CrookedTimber
Arthur Brisbane, Public Opinion editor for the NY Times, has copped a well deserved shellacking for a column in which he asked whether reporters should act as ‘truth vigilantes’ in relation to statements made by public figures.
Having observed the silliness of asking whether newspapers should (aspire to) tell the truth, the obvious question is: How should they telll it. Here are a some suggestions


# Update: #
Prof Q has posted the above article on his local blog so you may wish to catch up with comments from some real Aussies

The Global Economy - On A Knife Edge  @TheKouk
While no real surprise, the credit rating downgrades meandering through Europe only go to reinforce the parlous nature of the global economy and its financial markets.  This is not just because the eurozone, as the world's largest economic entity is almost inevitably lurching into a recession, but because when the public finances of the US are considered, it too is likely to be downgraded further over the course of 2012.

Wealth Problems  Henry @CrookedTimber
John Sides posts some results suggesting that while voters mostly understand that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are rich, they are more likely to think that Mitt Romney doesn’t care about their interests because he is rich, than Barack Obama.

Safety ads not a sign of a nanny state, just one that cares  Brian Owler @NationalTimes
I wish I was not in the ad. Like me, the other participants also wished they were not in the Don't Rush advertisements conceived by the Australian Medical Association and the Roads and Maritime Services.

What Happened With The NBN This Week?  Nick Broughall @Gizmodo HT: VSTSLTweetie*
Tower troubles, tide troubles, Tony troubles… It’s been a tough week for NBN Co this week, as you’re about to discover in this week’s roundup…

Elevator Groupthink: A Psychology Experiment in Conformity, 1962  Maria Popova @BrainPickings
What vintage Candid Camera can teach us about the cultural role of the global Occupy movement.

Sacre bleu - is this world full of heathens with no culture?
Mahler, Interrupted  Bo Kim @AllThingsD

The Politics (and lies) of the Apostrophe  Michael Rosen @hisblog
... in the explosion of the written word with texting, blogging, forums, chat rooms and the like, people are making up their own rules, they're testing each other's tolerance of what's acceptable and what isn't. Hundreds of new abbreviations are coming in and, I notice, the apostrophe is losing out.

Umm some astute readers may have noticed a subtle change bought about by my reading the above  Embarassed

Howard's award: is there Merit in a Republic?  Bruce Haigh @TheDrum
What has John Howard in common with, Joseph Lister, Florence Nightingale, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Edward Elgar, John Galsworthy, ...
Nothing at all, except ...


Politics of race the real stink in Rexona row  George M @TheAus
IT took Teresa Gambaro, the Coalition's spokeswoman for citizenship, less than a day to say sorry for advising migrants to wear deodorant. John Howard, by contrast, waited two years before he condemned Pauline Hanson's more toxic brand of intolerance.
http://goo.gl/3Hfvy  You may have to do the Google search thing to read the full article)

Evening Extras
Government's stance on whaling looks weak  Ross Peake @Canberra Times
Every year at this time, the Japanese whaling fleet heads to Antarctica. Not far behind the fleet are the boats belonging to Sea Shepherd, ...
With Parliament in recess every January, this repeating row between political parties on the issue is played out in the media. But the Labor Government appears to be caught out each year, ending up looking as if it doesn't really care.


The myth of Australian parliamentary democracy Admin @Independant Australia
It is hard to escape the conclusion that in Australia Parliaments are now mainly of ritualistic significance and that the significance of the peculiarly parliamentary part of Australian democracy is quite slight. A political leader achieves leadership through his party and normally he then uses his position and power of patronage to dominate, or attempt to dominate his party machine, and rebels work through the party machine to try to affect the policies of the leaders. ln this power situation Parliaments are subsidiary, it is through the parties that political changes are effected— if they are effected at all.

If you agree with our editorial line, we’ll pretend you’re representative of “the public”  Jeremy Sear @PurePoison HT: VSTSLTweetie*
Gee, I wonder what the Sunday Telegraph‘s angle will be on this story? (about Sky Rocketing Electricity Prices)

Workers go begging as unemployment numbers don't add up  Crispin Hull @CanberraTimes
Jerome K. Jerome wrote in 1889: ''I love work. It fascinates me. I could sit and watch it for hours.'' Pollster Gary Morgan could have said the same thing. He has been watching work for decades. Every month he publishes the results of his polling about unemployment in Australia and invariably he comes up with a result quite different from that of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

# Big Prize on Offer #
I picked what I consider a real big boo-boo in Crispin's article a special prize for whomever spots it and rings ooops comments first.

Can the minimum wage create jobs? Tim Harford @TheUndercoverEconomist
If one cannot produce enough of value to justify being paid a living wage, nothing we do to the minimum wage will help

Eric Abetz employees by cutting their conditions   Shaun Newman @Independant Australia
The Australian economy is diverse and made up of many industries — with retail and hospitality industries being two of the lowest paid for working people. These industries are also poorly represented by weak unions, and as a result conditions continue to fall to comply with low wage rates.

Work stripped of its dignity  Ian Warden @CanberraTimes
One of my surviving socialist beliefs (as I never tire of reporting, I am The Only Socialist In Woden in the way that Matt Lucas of Little Britain is The Only Gay In The Village) that hard work of any kind confers dignity on those who do it is being put to the test at the moment by a television advertisement in which one of my working-class brothers is made to perform as a human liver.

On the topic of the Punch, the Drum and the shrill bleating of partisan sheep ...  Dorothy Parker @LoonPond
That's all anybody does these days, talk about Kevin, which must be a relief, because it means Kevin isn't the only one to keep on talking about Kevin.

* In case you wondered, HT (HatTip) VSTSLTweetie = Very Special Top Secret Linking Tweetie and no, I will not reveal the identity of the secret agent not for love nor money Tong

Thanks to the support crew here @ Mick's Media Monitoring Madhouse who provided a fantastic pizza and some beer so I could have enough nourishment to complete tonight's update

D Mick Weir

January 14. 2012 09:22 PM

D Mick Weir

It's honour to serve

I passed on your comment to the team and they are chuffed Smile

The fantastic team here MMMM spend considerable time slaving over piping hot pizza and ice cold beer in the evening and weetbix with ice cold milk and cups of piping hot tea in the mornings to scour the far corners of the interwobbly thingo to bring links to our esteemed readers and we love the challenge.

D Mick Weir

January 14. 2012 10:14 PM


Would you believe this speech never did anything for me?  I found it too cliche ridden. I do, however, appreciate its significance.


January 14. 2012 11:06 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Unlike the 60s when there were clear issues to identify the divide between the establishment and progressives, would someone care to comment on the “left/right” divide (as it exists these days?

Asylum seekers? I don’t think so.
Foreign affairs? No
Indigenous people? Hardly
Industrial relations? Not with the unions holding such a position of vested interest.
The economy? It’s only in “the vide”
Marriage equality? Try again

About the only issue that represents an real divergence is NBN, and that is hardly a mater of political complexion. That’s why there is a BIG difference between “ALP barrackers” and actual progressives.

Political discourse ahs been dumbed down, and largely it is because the ALP has sought to neutralise any hot buttons available to the Liberals.  

Tom of Melbourne

January 15. 2012 12:47 AM


Tom of Melbourne,
                Last time I heard you were still a card carrying member of the "Democrats"!
Tom ask Ad Astra for my email so I can organise a "phone box" to be sent for your next branch meeting!


January 15. 2012 01:13 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi ToM,
Political discourse ahs been dumbed down, and largely it is because the ALP has sought to neutralise any hot buttons available to the Liberals.

This a world wide 'trend' possibly the best described by the swinging pendulum. Societies tend to do that in a react/overreact way. Swing too far way one way then try to (over) compensate by swinging too far the other way.

Of the first six you mentioned I will pick on Industrial relations? Not with the unions holding such a position of vested interest.

Of course the union movement has a vested interest just as the employers have a vested interest.

Most protagonists in this field would do well to read up on a bit of game theory (possibly starting with The Prisoner's Dilemma en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma ) to realise that in disputes, just as in war, there are no real winners.

A (sometimes long & protracted) negotiation around the table, as workplace bargaining was intended in its' purer form, is better for all parties than dispute and arbitration.

One thing to keep in mind is that we all would probably be a lot worse off than if unions had never existed.

It is a big mistake to equate the 'power' of the unions within the Labor Party and its' consequent farcical factional infighting with a Labor Government's handling of Industrial Relations. Hawke, Keating and the governments they led are a testament to better industrial harmony.

Granted the current government isn't fantastic in the area but I posit a hell of a lot better than Howard was and probably better than any future Liberal government.

On the others some quick takes:
Asylum seekers - the pendulum has swung to far towards xenophobia and appeasing rednecks and both sides absolutely suck on this issue. The Greens live in some airy fairy lala land and I can't see a way out.

Foreign affairs - we let too many local dramas cloud our eyes in Foreign Affairs and still suffer due to our 'close relationship' with the US. But it we are doing 'fair to middling'. Personally I think it stinks that we are sucked in too much by the Jewish Lobby.

Indigenous people - shakes head, this one really has me lost.

The economy - it is in better shape than many would have us believe. I think current government is still a bit spooked by too many other 'problems' and is distracted but overall doing sortof ok. Indications are though the alternative government would make a bigger mess of things than the current administration.

Marriage equality - we have a long way to go to disentangle the 'church & state' on this one.

D Mick Weir

January 15. 2012 01:18 AM


Lovely to see Daffy. I miss the pesky little Martian though.

That is actually a wistful sort of . . . Please?

You are actually quite right about the cliches, and to an extent the way that most of the speech content didn't really touch me at the time (which yes I do remember.) But he had tremendous gravitas, did MLK, the words I have a dream are most certainly burnt into the minds of everybody who heard him say that. It was enough to get him assassinated, no trite point. Only those that threaten the vested interests are so honoured usually, and King's killing is a case in point. And those four syllables which embodied the whole speech were enough to make him an icon, and his killing helped galvanise the whole black movement in the US and probably everywhere else except Australia. It must have impinged on South Africa, it just took a while to sink in that racism is not acceptable anywhere any longer, except in Australia. Where the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal people is How many times that for 'whites'? And the life expectancy is How many years short of that of the non-Aboriginals?

Paul Robeson came to Australia and was shocked at the conditions in which our indigenes were living. And in many cases still are. It was worse than anything that he had seen in the Deep South, and in many cases it still is. He vowed to come back and fight for their rights, he of the richest basso profundo voice ever heard, but he died soon after returning to the States.

I have never done anything material to help change things for Aboriginal people, I taught in an Aboriginal college for a while without spectacular success, at least I have never been bigoted about them, and so sad for what people of my culture, if that be the word, have done to theirs. I have never been able not to feel ashamed about that, and never shall, cold comfort to them I know. Worse still I think is the fact that I have never been able to think of anything constructive to do which I would be sure was not being at best inverted racism.

"And so in the end he did nothing at all
But bask on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl
And I think it was shameful the way he behaved -
He did nothing but basking until he was saved."

A.A.Milne, The Old Sailor
An amazing poem this one, with which I cannot but help identifying . . .
Oh look I'll post the whole thing, you don't have to read it but do.
Thanks to whosever site I lifed this from.

By A. A. Milne
From Now We Are Six

(Sing to the jig: "The Irish Washerwoman")
Tune (2nd melody) available: http://ingeb.org/folksons.html
Tempo: Allegro con Molto, unbroken throughout
(Take a DEEEEEP breath!)

There was once an old sailor my grandfather knew
Who had so many things that he wanted to do
That, whenever he thought it was time to begin,
He couldn't because of the state he was in.

He was shipwrecked and lived on an island for weeks,
And he wanted a hat, and he wanted some breeks;
And he wanted some nets, or a line and some hooks
For the turtles and things which you read of in books.

And, thinking of this, he remembered a thing
Which he wanted (for water) and that was a spring;
And he thought that to talk to he'd look for, and keep
(If he found it) a goat, or some chickens and sheep.

Then, because of the weather, he wanted a hut
With a door (to come in by) which opened and shut
(With a jerk, which was useful if snakes were about),
And a very strong lock to keep savages out.

He began on the fish-hooks, and when he'd begun
He decided he couldn't because of the sun.
So he knew what he ought to begin with, and that
Was to find or to make, a large sun-stopping hat.

He was making the hat with the leaves from a tree,
When he thought, "I'm as hot as a body can be,
And I've nothing to take for my terrible thirst;
So I'll look for a spring, and I'll look for it FIRST."

Then he thought as he started, "Oh, dear and oh. dear!
I'll be lonely tomorrow with nobody here!"
So he made in his notebook a couple of notes:
"I must first find some chickens," and "No, I mean goats."

He had just seen a goat (which he knew by the shape)
When he thought, "But I must have a boat for escape.
But a boat means a sail, which means needles and thread;
So I'd better sit down and make needles instead."

He began on a needle, but thought as he worked,
That, if this were an island where savages lurked,
Sitting safe in his hut he'd have nothing to fear,
Whereas now they might suddenly breathe in his ear!

So he thought of his hut...and he thought of his boat,
And his hat and his breeks, and his chickens and goat,
And the hooks (for his food) and the spring (for his thirst)...
But he NEVER could think what he ought to do first.

And so in the end he did nothing at all,
But basked on the shingle wrapped up in the shawl.
And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved ---
He did nothing but basking until he was saved!


January 15. 2012 08:35 AM


TT, I don't know why the pesky little Martian isn't showing up here. He's on my current gravatar and shows up OK at Cafe Whispers but for some reason Daffy turns up at TPS.


January 15. 2012 11:02 AM


Ooh Daffy's gone now!
- Does that mean . . ? . . Dare I hope . . Smile


January 15. 2012 11:04 AM


Oops he's just come back. Took his time getting back to his base is all. Slack Daffy.


January 15. 2012 11:16 AM

Tom of Melbourne

That’s true MDW, and the point is that there is no discernable difference on issues that would traditionally characterise an “ ALP progressive vs Liberal conservative” divide.

On genuine progressive issues such as minority rights, civil liberties, the ALP is nowhere to be seen.

That’s why (what I call) ALP barrackers don’t discuss/debate anything other than the fine (IMO non existent) delineation between the policies where the ALP has become the reflection of the Liberals, but with ***NEW IMPORVED FOCUS GROUP INPUT****

Tom of Melbourne

January 15. 2012 11:44 AM

D Mick Weir

Good Morning ToM
OK fair call on both parties being almost carbon copies of each other on a lot of minority / social issues.

I am wondering why it might be that way

One possibility is that, once in government, the realities of governing overtake those issues and in a related way advice from the public service changes priorities.

As to why ALP supporters are hesitant to discuss this I can offer this:

The conservative (and reactionary) side/s of politics have become far better organised and attack with a vengeance that makes war look tame. Maybe with attack now coming from Left, Right & Centre many are wary and/or gun shy.

There is a general malaise and wariness within progressive politics worldwide and that may be because a lot has been achieved so many progressives may have become conservatives in the sense of maintaining the gains made at the expense of going further.

Hmm in the current environment it may just all be too hard.

I will have to ponder and think further cos the solutions delude me.

D Mick Weir

January 15. 2012 12:17 PM

Ad astra

You may be right – here and in the US and UK, conservatism would make such speeches unlikely, as you put it, like pouring treacle into a finely-tuned machine.

Thank you for your Mad Mick’s Media Mix, and what a splendid mix it is.  I look forward to leisurely perusing the links.  Thank you too for your sober and sensible response to ToM’s comment.

I have had similar trouble.  Try as I have, I cannot attach my usual Gravatar to a new email address, although on the Gravatar page where my ‘account’ lives, it says it is attached.  Instead, I get a generic Gravatar, always the same ugly one.

I did enjoy reading your comment this morning and the poem by A A Milne.  What a pointed commentary it was on procrastination, and attribute I abhor.

Ad astra

January 15. 2012 12:18 PM


DMW - I suspect that for better or worse, the world has become more "conservative".   Any sign of concern or care for others - or implementing a policy because it would make the disadvantaged in the community genuinely better off was seen as a sign of weakness.  The 80's was the Decade where "Greed was good", the 90's saw the winding back of regulation around the world (and I'll give Costello due credit for not dismantling our financial regulation to the extent where the GFC would have come to our doors) and the "noughties" saw "enhanced security measures" because the US decided to fight another oil war.  All of these "advances in civilisation" were sold to the public as helping them to get richer - where in fact the only ones that got richer were those at the top of the tree.  Remember the US "trickle down" effect that hasn't worked yet?  I s'pose Keating's "J" curve took a lot longer than he thought it would too!

The world had a couple of decades of conservative leadership (including Tony Blair in the UK who really wasn't very progressive from what we saw here) and for want of a better term they brainwashed the community.  Progressive groups have a problem when they represent the disadvantaged or propose something to benefit the greater good rather than select interest groups because they are seen as weak - after all if "greed is good" or "I'm making lots of money" - Why would I want to share it around?

I can recall lots of discussions here and elsewhere about why we should look after our fellow man.  In most of them those of us that are more conservative have asked the question why the disadvantaged can't look after themselves.  Until the progressives in politics can get the message across that general good is also individual good, it is easy for the conservatives to pick them off by claiming they will destroy what you have built up/its a security threat/it won't work and so on.  

There is also an issue of both major political tribes in Australia attempting to keep their existing supporters as well as engaging new supporters from their conservative side - which in someway adds to my theory.  But heading down this line of thought will get me into trouble againLaughing.


January 15. 2012 01:25 PM


Ad astra, are you suggesting Daffy is ugly. Smile


January 15. 2012 01:31 PM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix
The Lazy Sunday Arvo Edition

We are a weird mob and as many will testify I can be weider than most and it has nothing to with living up to my name.

One of my little Saturday pleasues  is to drop in on @Drag0nista's No Crap App to check out her pick of the previous week's quality Australin jounalism. There is no commentary or excerpts from the article just the author's name and a link to the article.

It is worth the 30 seconds of your time to drop in and check it out here http://nocrapapp.com

So to kick of today's links I have to HatTip Drag0nista @NoCrapApp for this one that I missed yesterday.

Intellectual substance abuse  Parnell McGuinness  @TheAge
Open-ended thinking is being undermined by the noisy demands of advocacy.

The other one I missed: Votes not logic drive car industry decision  Geoff Kitney @AFR is paywalled so no link

On with my Silly Summer Sunday Selections

What's worse on a Sunday? A hearty dose of Sydney Anglicans or a tablespoon of cod liver oil and the IPA's Chris Berg?  Dorothy Parker @LoonPond
For a treat the pond planned to spend a little Sunday time with the Sydney Anglicans, but it seems that the silly secularists are at it again, ruining things, ...

Towards a 21-hour working week?  Chris Bertram @Crooked Timber
Last Wednesday I attended an event ... exploring the idea of working-time reduction with an eventual goal of moving to a normal working week of 21 hours.

‘I Love Pho’: tough love, democracy and the Vietnamese journey  Andrew Jakubowicz @TheConversation
In a world of 24/7 news cycles and prejudice masquerading as insight, it is often very difficult to communicate the deeper analyses based on social science research.

This could be Pun
Punday  Miglo @CafeWhispers
Following his recent tearaway success as an author, rabbit has come up with the idea of a pun post. ...
Anyway, rabbit suggested that I start off with an innocent comment and people can find some puns to respond with.


Crackpots are out there abusing Katter's name  Ross Peake @CanberraTimes
WHAT WOULD you say if it was revealed to you in an email, very hush-hush of course, that Bob Katter lives in Kansas and his role in federal Parliament is actually played by an actor?

It is silly season after all so two articles by the same journo. We could play spot the connection or maybe just wonder is there a 'theme' developing?

Holiday's over and Labor's leadership showdown nears  Misha Schubert @TheAge
It's strangely compelling watching Kevin Rudd manoeuvre for the top job, admits Misha Schubert.
KEVIN Rudd posted a video on YouTube this week. It's awkward, quirky and hilarious ...


Labor needs 'time out' to rethink: Liberal director  Misha Schubert @TheAge
FEDERAL Liberal director Brian Loughnane has laid out the Coalition's battle lines heading into the next election, arguing Labor needs ''time out'' of office to consider who and what it is.

Labour pains: when 'working families' don't work  Rachel Buchanan @NationalTimes
LESS than six months ago, I was a member of the minority group most favoured by politicians.
It was great to be part of the in-crowd. The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader talked of little else.


... and to round off today's selection a Hat Tip to VSTSLTweetie for this one:
Airing of dirty linen to come in three weeks  Louise Hall  @SMH
THE allegations of serious misconduct at the heart of the family feud dividing the Rinehart family will become public in three weeks - unless Australia's richest person can convince the High Court to intervene.

D Mick Weir

January 15. 2012 01:40 PM


For my 16th birthday my girlfriend gave me a book by or about Martin Luther King.  Not the ideal gift for a young bloke just off the farm and I ended up throwing it away.

Gosh that was a silly thing to do. Frown


January 15. 2012 01:43 PM

D Mick Weir

Interesting thoughts and a good summary

The first 'old saw' that popped into my mind as I read your comment was:

You have to be cruel to be kind

Hmm, I will ponder further ...

D Mick Weir

January 15. 2012 01:45 PM


   I guess those that are disillusioned with the current system could of course start their own political party that would be free of all types of "party discipline" there would only members and candidates who's only vested interest was the good of the nation.
We would never hear complaints about minorities being held back, as this new party could be all thing to all people.

Failing that I guess a "revolution" could also be mounted to get rid of the imperfect system of government that we have! and insert a model as often talked about by do nothing armchair generals who have all the answers but never the courage to act.


January 15. 2012 02:14 PM


D Mick Weir

I'm having  lazy Sunday afternoon, so thank you for those links, which I might get around to reading after I catch up on some others that you have put up through the week.


January 15. 2012 02:18 PM

Ad astra

No, Daffy is attractive, I always loved him as a cartoon character - so innocent, but oh so nice a fellow.

I was referring to the ugly Gravatar that has been allotted to my new email address.

Ad astra

January 15. 2012 02:19 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Jason,
thanks for that 'curve ball' Smile

Reading it conjures thoughts of the Utopian Dream - wherever or whatever Utopia is.

To ask in a polite way - Is it better to be an outsider looking in or an insider looking out? I guess we need a mixture of both.

On a tangent, to use an example close at hand, the computer mouse was born out of a frustration with the system that was. It shows that harnessing and directing frustration can have benefits.

As to that 'perfect' party with members and candidates who's only vested interest was the good of the nation  surely an ideal to strive for, but, in the end reality bites and all parties are made up of people and there the problems begin.

D Mick Weir

January 15. 2012 02:19 PM

Ad astra

Now you can see what I mean!

Ad astra

January 15. 2012 02:21 PM

D Mick Weir

Hi Ad
beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that gravatar has certain quizzical charm to my eyes Smile

D Mick Weir

January 15. 2012 03:04 PM

D Mick Weir

In my haste to get the links to you today I overlooked an article that to me is important.

I guess I left it out because I wanted to make comments on it.

Without hope, without reason  Kirsty Needham  @SMH
Legitimate refugees, including toddlers, are imprisoned indefinitely. Only ASIO knows why and it will tell no one,

Just that first excerpt illustrates the frustration that people such as ToM, myself and many others have with a government that is made up of members of a party that is at heart supposed to be concerned with minority rights & civil liberties.

Needham follows the story of one refugee, Suvenran Kathirdamathambi who the same day he was granted refugee status was told ASIO had labelled him an ''adverse security risk'', for reasons the agency has refused to explain.

There may be 'good' reasons for ASIO's assessment but more than likely from my point of view it is about ASIO justifying its' existence and possibly worse bungling and stupidity.

Are we living in a police state? It is easy to say no, but

Subjects cannot challenge ASIO decisions or even be given an explanation. A standard letter outlines five broad possible grounds: suspicion of espionage, sabotage, threats to defence, promotion of communal violence and border integrity. Their lawyers have no idea what they are charged with, let alone the federal politicians now examining the issue. Only once has the Immigration Department asked ASIO to rethink a verdict, and ASIO upheld its decision.

When got the link to this story from Twitter and read the story I could only respond Hang heads in shame Aus we r heartless bastards

A sweeping generalisation for sure, but, to my mind, and for all appearances we are becoming more and more a nation if not made up of, led by, a bunch of heartless bastards.

Needham does end the article on a slightly brighter note with the story of Kasim who fled Burma after being bound and threatened with execution by soldiers. Living in Malaysia as an illegal immigrant, he established a school for Rohingya refugee children and became politically active. Harassed by Islamic religious extremists, he was again forced to run.

Kasim was finally cleared by ASIO, But he puzzles over why ASIO took so long. It was only after Kasim took the initiative to write to ASIO and invited them to visit him that officers interviewed him.

Is it any wonder that the government cops flak for its' policies and actions on refugees and asylum seekers and many think that they do not care?

In what way is it 'right' that ASIO had to be prodded to review Kasim's case?

Unless things change we are doomed to live in eternal shame as a country because of the hypocrisy and stupidity of many of our elected representatives.

D Mick Weir

January 15. 2012 05:02 PM


Ad Astra, you certainly have lost your distinguished looks, and in doing so, I have lost my only competitor in that department.


January 15. 2012 05:28 PM


Ad astra,
I really am dreadfully sorry to you and any and all people whom I may have offended unjustly, and while I cannot and do not resile from the things I said, I do hope that the fences can be mended with all concerned. Certainly from my side I wish this to be so. Fences were always going to be damaged when and if my dam burst, I really tried to hold it back but Dam it did. I do love The Political Sword and all who wield her, including those I railed at, may they be prepared now to accept my sincerely proffered olive branch.

I don't want to play a one-upsmanship game here, I just write the best I can to entertain and stimulate readers, and make political points where I think that would be helpful. I have no special skills to offer, I'm no researcher nor IT whiz, I'm not even a very good reader.  Feral sussed me long ago, peripatetic (in subject terms), pometry, mystory, from farm ecology through pharmacology, I'm nowhere deep but I'm a bit wide.
I do have an agenda, even beyond the stated aim of TPS at the top of this page - (btw FS and I'm not being petty, just pointing out that word isn't media, it's commentators, that does make a notable difference iyswim)- namely to add my featherweight to helping return a Labor Government in 2013, a fact of which I make no secret of course, and equally, if not even more yet, to see the defeat of the style of behaviour of such as Abbortt, Archbigot Pell and Jones & Jones, and a return to decency in public life.

I see that Bushfire Bill spent some of the Poll Bludger's grounding over Crispmess going over to Larvatus Prodeo, where it seems he was less than adored. larvatus prodeo means masked I come. I don't go there hardly ever btw, but I think it's an odd thing to sort of say as an introduction, after all we are all masked on blogs if we wish, Jason Obelix is the sole one of all of you whom I have ever met, and would you believe Obelix is not even his real name, I only gave it to him from his habit of carrying containerloads of Cooper's Sparkling Ale home on his back for an evening's light refreshment.

But if I might make the point, to ask a poster I only know as a number* or a nom where s/he stands politically - which of course the poster is still perfectly at liberty to keep to h/self anyway - is not akin to requesting a person the same info in person, let alone demanding it; sure, this is a Secret Ballot country, you may reveal your political allegiances as you wish or not. But it not as though to ask the question here is to unmask anyone in real life, I think you have failed to make that distinction. As has jason so far btw, we aren't as tag-team in opinions as you might imagine, and we are agreed that we are bloody glad of that too.

For folks who wonder, what I'm saying is an argument. it is not being nasty nor even personal except yhsat of course it realtes to a comment by 2353 - whom I wouldn't know if we met in the bath. At the risk of sounding supercilious or something, let me point out that argument such as this -and perhaps reasoned attempts at rebuttal - are the proper diet of blogs such as this, and this blog in special. Which it is.

You know Ad astra I tag myself a Goodwillian, well I don't mean that to be a hollow term, I mean it as hard as I know how, and even with trolls I figure there must be some decency there, some passion, perhaps most of all some need: they don't really live under bridges eating kids, perhaps even trolls are to be preferred to people who don't even care enough about a decent society to have an opinion. Dyed-in-the-wool illwillians are pretty hard to take it's true, but many of our dear readers will know that I encourage folks to treat them if at all as objects of light-hearted derision and fun, even Limpy and jj, dunno about ToM though, gotta draw the line somewhere. (Joking.)(Not!. Smile)

I do say sorry with full sincerity to those who feel righteously offended, but most of all yourself Dear Ad, it is an honour and a privilege to be given column space on this most thoughtful of blogs, long may it be wielded in great heart by all its troops in concert.

NormanK, Feral Skeleton, I have counted you Friends in the past, let us put the latter past behind us and look to our common interests, areas of overlap which surely dwarf our differences.


PS Ad astra said
. . . procrastination, an attribute I abhor.
Me too Ad I'm giving it up tomorrow.

haw haw.  

*2353, I know a man to this day, who for the purposes of running as an independent in an SA Sate Election changed his name to Sub Paragraph Three. So actually, I suppose 2353 could be your real name! Smile

Oliver Goldsmith, "An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog" (1766)

Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene'er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad and bit the man.

Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

I didn't write the following, it sounded intersting though.

The dog, as we know, is Friedrich Nietzsche*; as soon as we see this we are in a position to blame the "neighbours." Why are they liars, not dupes? This depends on what their mistake is.
Everything depends on the following lines: "And while they swore the dog was mad,/ They swore the man would die." They could be making either of two mistakes:
1) They think the man is as good as he seems; they don't suspect that he is (in his selfishness) circulating a more deadly poison than any mad dog could offer.
2) They know how corrupt the man is, since they are likewise corrupt, themselves. But they don't realize the power of their corruption, and how easily it is translated into wickedness, even murder.
In both cases the dog is a figure of sensibility, the mad philosopher/prophet/poet who either heals or infects the community. In the first case, the dog works in the service of the community by purging it of an isolated villain. Yet this is, on the outside, indistinguishable from the second case, where the community is attacked, and where the dog is an enemy. The real situation of sensibility is somewhere between the two: the community is at large corrupt, but the dog-bite is an act of martyrdom. The dog hasn't, as in the first case above, simply exposed the wicked man; it has exposed the whole community's belief in the harmlessness of corruption (here, selfishness).
The dog, as we know, is Clarissa Harlowe*.

*Don't ask me, I only cut-and-pasted it!


January 15. 2012 06:42 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your thoughtful comments at 5.28 pm, and the philosophical tone on which you ended.  You are a pensive man; your thoughts are profound and demand attention.

I hope that recent unhappy events on TPS are now behind us as we approach a new year, full of hope for better things from our politicians and our leaders.

You will see I have reverted to my familiar Gravatar, which I must soon update.

Ad astra

January 15. 2012 09:01 PM


TT - no hard feelings Laughing.  I wasn't trying to insult anyone, I hope you're not offended.

For the record 2353 isn't my name, part of my phone number or my rego number.  It is the number of an Queensland Rail English Electric loco I once drove for a few miles (the loco has long left QR as I assume has the person who was supposed to be driving it).  I think the loco went to Tasmania and it might still be in Tasmania for all I know.  I'm not and have never been a Railway employee although have had an interest in trains for decades.  The reason for using it is that the first internet forum I joined was Railpage Australia (www.railpage.com.au) where I'm certainly not the only person using a loco or train related number as a username.  As I like a reasonably simple life and sometimes don't have much imagination - the next time a forum asked me to select a name I was happy with 2353 so I used it again, and again, and again.  It certainly makes my life easier (although granted it doesn't have much relevance away from rail and transport based forums).

Funny thing is about the only internet things that have knocked back "2353" as a username is Tripadvisor and Gravatar!


January 15. 2012 09:02 PM


Oh - and TT, I too would prefer an ALP Government to an LNP one - which in reality are the only alternatives for 2013.


January 15. 2012 09:28 PM



Ya feet's too big!

I really hate ya 'cos ya feet's too big!


You have not just stepped up to the plate, you have obliterated it cos ya feet's too big!

I have been a tad distracted the last few days, haven't read many of the linked articles but the job you are doing is great, maintaining at least at idling level a warm Sword engine during the Political Doldrums, (maybe we better keep a closer eye on the coolant level in future), but you go on surprising and delighting us all, well done.

Ink Spots Ad! Smile



January 15. 2012 10:53 PM


I think that link going not where I wanted, Ink Spots did it but the link went somewhere else. Your feet´s too big!

Two, three, four!

Who's that walkin' around here?
Sounds like a baby patter elephant to me!
I don't know why ev'rybody's
I'm not gonna sit here!

Say up in harlem at a table for two,
There were four of us,
Me, your big feet and you.
From your ancles up you sure look sweet,
But from there down, there's just too much fuckin' feet!

Yeah, your feet´s too big,
I don't want you 'cause your feet´s too big,
I hate you, yeah, your feet´s too big,
yeah, I said baby, your feet´s are much too big.

(Da da doh da) - da doh da
(where'd you get 'em?) - I got them.

Your gal she loves you, she thinks you're nice,
Got what it takes to be in paradise.
Takes a look at your face, likes your rig, boy,
Man, oh man, those things are too big.

Your feet´s too big,
I don't want you 'cause your feet´s too big,
I hate you, your feet´s too big,
Yeh-yeh, i said your feet´s are much too big.

Yeah, your paddle extremities are colossal,
To me you look like a fossil.
Well, you got me walkin' talkin and squarkin'
'cause your feet´s are much too big.

Yes, your feet´s too big, I don't want you,
Your feet´s too big, I hate you
Your feet´s too big.
Yeah, I said your feet´s are much too big,
Well, your feet´s too big,
Ah! your feet´s too big,
Ow! your feet´s too big,
Baby, your feet´s are much too big

(Da da doh da) - da doh da
(Where'd you get 'em?) - I got them.
(Da da doh da) - da doh da

The Beatles apparently did a version too, I'll go back and see if I can find it.


Oooh yes 1962 HAMBURG! Very quiet though, I'll try a third dip into Youtube:




2353, your gracious little post noted, cool. And I do mean, splendid, thank you too. The locomotive story is great, every gravatar and nom has a story, I would love people to tell us theirs. DMW told us about his gravatar long ago, Miglo told me about his pesky little Martian in a territorial dispute over Planet X I think it was - I think he was Marvin, like the paranoid Android Marvin in Hitchhikers Guide? - Anyway seems the little ET feller has scuttled off home again, hope not, he was so cute.


January 15. 2012 11:56 PM


Esta Njeri

What was that about, s'il vous plait?


January 16. 2012 11:53 AM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix
The Lite Lunchtime Low Carb diet edition

Welcome to a new week. Mondays can be lean pickings for blogs and news and often there is not a lot of substance (ie very low carb) and today is not much different. But either way feast on this offering:

The who’s who of federal politics, Part 1: The Cabinet  James Higgins @ThePoliticsProject
Seeing as it’s January and everyone is still on holidays, I thought this might be an ideal time to have a brief overview of the parliamentarians, party officials and media who might be termed ‘big’ (or at least notable) players.

Capitalism is only harmful when bad people abuse it (and other conservative myths)  Don Arthur @ClubTroppo
In reality people who’ve worked hard and done everything that was expected of them can find themselves on the trash heap. If the factory you work for produces something consumers are no longer willing to pay for, you’re probably going to lose your job.

benchwarmers & waterboys .....  Gregor Stronach @SMH
I shouldn't have been all that surprised - as a political junkie myself - to realise that, like many addicts before me, I've lost the buzz. Gone are the intense highs, replaced with a deepening ennui and sense of awful emptiness.
Because our politicians - and, by extension, our politics - have become stultifyingly boring.


'We warn the Tzar': Gillard lectures Europe  Peter Martin
Prime Minister Gillard has rubbed salt into the wounds of European nations reeling from weekend credit downgrades, declaring they had it coming to them for avoiding tough decisions.
Speaking after Standard and Poor’s stripped France and Austria of their prized triple-A ratings ...


2012: the Australian Situation  Peter McMahon  @OnLineOpinion
Gillard and Abbott have been in many ways a double act, each making the other look better than they are. Despite their apparent mutual hostility, they both represent the bankruptcy of the two major parties and their rise to power signifies big problems for the Australian political system.

Castlemaine's Eloquent Message  PokieWatch  @PokiesAct
The Victorian Gambling Commission's hearing of the pokie application of the Maryborough Highland Society application to force 65 pokies into Castlemaine is now over. At the end of the evidence, the EPIC group (Enough Pokies In Castlemaine) presented a video that eloquently describes this beautiful community and how pokies would change Castlemaine, for the worse.

Pokie Pre-commitment Plan Peril!  Reb @GutterTrash
Andrew Wilkie’s war on the pokies is heating up with clubs industry declaring that it is prepared to fight a maximum $1 bet limit on poker machines just as fiercely as it’s resisting mandatory pre-commitment laws.

PM must assert herself this year  @CanberraTimes
The strength of the political marriage between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Greens leader Bob Brown will be keenly scrutinised as this year unfolds. How can the Prime Minister exert her influence without fatally damaging the union?

And now for a minimum wage and no penalty rates for members of the commentariat ...  Dorothy Parker  @LoonPond
If there's anything more repugnant than the sight of a celebrity chef, it's the sight of a celebrity chef putting the boot into workers and what they earn (it's not like they go to uni for 15 years, moaned George about his serfs. No, the poor sods likely work all night so they can go to uni so they can escape the restaurant rat race, ...

... if there's anything more repugnant than the sight of a celebrity chef putting the boot into workers it's a hihighly paid journo (opinionista) putting the boot in ...

Labor's big job-killing machine  Paul Sheehan @NationalTimes
Julia Gillard's sweeping Fair Work Act and its Fair Work Australia bureaucracy are proving to be an unfolding disaster for job security and job creation.
If you want to see why, go to the real world of small-business entrepreneurship, which is so alien to the culture of the federal government, ....


What is fair pay for hospitality workers? Tanel Jan Palgi @OnLineOpinion
Australians like to eat out. Australia's multicultural background and Italian influenced café culture has set food and coffee standards very high. We remain relatively immune to the worst impacts of the financial crisis overseas.

Keeping the riff-raff out of the professions  Nicholas Gruen a repost of last week's SMAge column standing in Ross Gittin's shoes!
Late last year I attended lengthy meetings with economic agencies that were looking at the broad sweep of economic reform – the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) and a visiting OECD delegation.
We’ve come a long way, with few sectors remaining untouched by reform. But somehow I was struck by what reformers left out of their vision as much as what they left in.

The VSTS Linking Tweetie has sent through a link to James Massola's Capital Circle

It sort of proves the point about the low carb diet and it is of interest to us link hounds that JM links to stuff we told you about last week/end Smile

Enjoy picking over the carcass

D Mick Weir

January 16. 2012 12:20 PM

D Mick Weir


This is the missing link for Nicholas Gruen's article:

D Mick Weir

January 16. 2012 12:38 PM

D Mick Weir

Whoa I walked right past this one

Give boat people a go: Baillieu  Farrah Tomazin  @TheAge
PREMIER Ted Baillieu says refugees are as Australian as the ANZAC legend of ''Simpson and his donkey'' and should be embraced with open arms.
In comments that put him at odds with some of his Coalition colleagues, Mr Baillieu has urged the community to be more welcoming to refugees, including boat arrivals.
Treating them decently was ''a hallmark of our humanity'', he said.


... and I got a good giggle out of Matt Golding's 'toon

D Mick Weir

January 16. 2012 12:59 PM


For a time of lean pickings you have provided a feast!
Thank you!


January 16. 2012 01:33 PM

D Mick Weir

Cheers TT,
I may be able to fit in an evening update

D Mick Weir

January 16. 2012 03:29 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your great list of links.  The assessment of Government ministers in The Politics Prospect makes interesting reading.  We don't know by what authority the assessor makes his/her judgement, but I'm in accord with most of them.

It will be interesting to read the assessment of Coalition shadow ministers.

Ad astra

January 16. 2012 07:05 PM


The Ratings chart for the ALP Federal Leadership is pretty right in my opinion as well DMW.  Well found.  I can't wait to read the LNP ratings.

My real problem with the links is that I don't have time to read them all.  Maybe one day . . .


January 16. 2012 09:28 PM

D Mick Weir

Evening All,
as it is past nine o'clock and I am just back from checking the traps, sad to say, but, there is no Evening Extra tonight.

I get what you say about not having the time to read em all.

There are some days I get so engrossed in reading the articles and following the links in some of them in search of those rare nuggets my weetbix go soggy and I forget why I am reading them.

James Higgins admits to be Only 19 (cue great Redgum? song) and an
... Arts/Law student at the University of Sydney, a passionate political observer and (in the interest of full disclosure) a member of the ALP.

I hold neither his age nor membership of the ALP against him as my quick browse through his early offerings shows a keen eye and a youthful passion that should be encouraged.

D Mick Weir

January 17. 2012 01:01 AM

Patricia WA

I've been tied up  for some time, still am, but I came back for just a quick glance at today's contributions.  Agree with you TT, DMW has provided a feast of links and even on a normal day I wouldn't know where to start.  But Ad Astra's comment intrigued me and yes, I too was impressed with The Politics Prospect article when I had  a look at it.   I've promised myself I'll go back there later when he's done the LOTO and his team.

Patricia WA

January 17. 2012 07:32 AM


Bad Abbott

Another lesson well-learned at the feet of trough-scourer John Howard.


Excerpt: "Serving and former parliamentarians are entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in allowances a year for domestic and overseas travel, office fit-outs and family travel expenses. For example, Mr Abbott was paid about $590,000 in entitlements for the first half of 2011, according to the department's report, and (serving minister) Ms Roxon claimed about $190,500 for the same period."

Just short of 600,000 dollars in six months! Think about that. On top of his wage. Does he even touch his wage with his grasping fist so deep in the trough of 'entitlements'???

If the public don't wake up to just how deeply Shouldabeen believes he 'should have been PM' with all THAT would mean in terms of freebies to a true disciple of John Howard (who still tops the rorting list as ex-PM), then what will it take?

Tiny has no shame. At least we now know why he has a daughter or two on so many of his fluoro-vest and fish-gutting appearances - "family travel expenses" means taxpayers payed for them to be there.

Wake up Australia.


January 17. 2012 08:19 AM


Wow, Michael, that's amazing!

$590 000 in 6 months!
(Aw come on, let's make it a nice round $600K)

= $100 000 per month

=   $3 000 Per DAY !!!

Fortunately we can rely on the ABC and the MSM pursuing him relentlessly and rigorously to explain, to make him it plain to all that he is the snout-in-the-trough pig that he is.

And they will be specific to Abbortt, they won't try to say All politicians are tarred with the same brush.

What a blessing, our free and fearless investigative media.


January 17. 2012 08:44 AM


Patricia WA, lovely to see little Tacker,

Gravel are you going to invite us to a Virtual House-Warming?
Not sure if there'll be sufficient space in the Blogosphere . . .


January 17. 2012 08:45 AM


DMW - if the author of "The Politics Project" is 19 his writing is even more impressive (he says humming a suitable Redgum song to himself).  His political party membership is neither here or there as he seems to be able to separate his beliefs from the matter at hand.  This was demonstrated by his ability to describe some who are there because of who they know rather than ability as "party Daleks" (great term by the way).  It will be interesting to read his take on the LNP talent pool.

TT - thanks for that.  Now I'll spend too much time today working out what I could do with $3k per day expenses + a large (by my standards) salary - and dreaming of an alternative lifestyle.


January 17. 2012 09:22 AM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix

To put us in the right sort of mood to start a new day (and for some another year) a cartoon

Fiona Katauskas  Fiona Katauskas  @NewMatilda

The who’s who of federal politics, Part 2: the Outer Ministry  James Higgins @ThePoliticsProject
We continue today by looking at the junior ministers and parliamentary secretaries who fill up the next row on the Treasury benches. The outer ministry is a mix of both up-and-coming politicians and those steady hands who are unlikely to rise any higher. Parliamentary secretaries are a rung below, assisting ministers with their portfolios. It’s the stepping stone to a ministry, though the positions tend to involve a lot of hard, behind-the-scenes work. Parliamentary secretaries do not speak in parliament and they rarely appear in the media. Still, they’re important because they give an indication of the future of the party.

Heroes and villains in the whaling debate  Mungo MacCallum  @TheDrum
Let's be clear about one thing from the start: Japanese Whaling is not only unnecessary and unpleasant; it is actually illegal.
This is not simply because of the whaling ships' blatant violation of declared marine sanctuaries and Australian territorial waters. It is illegal at its very core because it is based on a brazen lie.


Speaking of Heroes and Villians;
This link will take you to 'mugshots' of prominent Climate Misinformers  it is a real Rogues Gallery bought to you by the people @ Skeptical Science  big Hat Tip to tweeter @liberalmyass

... and speaking of Mungo @The Inc. Blot  HT: VSTSLinking Tweetie
We interview Mungo MacCallum about his new book The Good, the Bad and the Unlikely: Australia's Prime Ministers, which tells the tale of the many men and one woman who’ve had a crack at running the country.

Eleven influential Aussies keeping the IR reform debate alive   Matthew Knott  @ThePowerIndex
Tony Abbott, fearful of another Work Choices-dominated election campaign, would rather workplace relations disappear from the political agenda. Yet IR reform is shaping up as one of this year's biggest issues -- as Julia Gillard's decision to appoint rising star Bill Shorten to the IR portfolio shows.
So, in the Liberals' absence, who has kept the flame of workplace flexibility burning bright?


Gerard Henderson, and still the dinosaur scribbles on ...  Dorothy Parker @LoonPond
You can imagine the excitement at the pond.
The trembling hands, the heaving breasts, the sheer palpitating excitement of it all as the partner thrust a first edition of Gerard Henderson's 1993 masterpiece Gerard Henderson Scribbles On ... at the pond, saying 'well here's something you don't need to buy.'
And then - oh silence beating, pounding, tumultuous heart ...


That car won't start  Andrew Elder @PoliiticallyHomeless
Over the past week we have seen a much-needed debate on donations to the vehicle industry (and because there is no link to performance by the industry, and no penalties for sixty years of underperformance, let us call them for what they are: donations). Joe Hockey is against further donations; Sophie Mirabella, Eric Abetz and Barnaby Joyce are for more donations, as is the Gillard government.
This is a bizarre situation: usually Abetz and Mirabella bristle at any attempt at bipartisanship.


Why We Love The Car Industry  Ben Eltham @NewMatilda
The pivotal cultural importance of cars, particularly to Australian baby boomers, was recently documented in the ABC’s fine social history, Wide Open Road. For many older Australians, cars really were the freedom machines of suburban lore: the vehicles that enabled their escape from parental supervision, and the scene of their early sex lives.

A country that ‘makes things’? There’s more to Australia than manufacturing  Stephen Kirchner @TheConversation
Unfortunately, the political class the world over still associates manufacturing with economic development and progress. In the minds of many politicians, primary industries are associated with economic backwardness. Service industries and employment are often viewed as inferior to manufacturing, not least because they do not have the tangible outputs that politicians and others can readily understand. The intangible outputs of service industries also do not lend themselves to the photo opportunity with the politician in the hardhat and fluro-vest.

You Can't Handle the Truth!  Mr Denmore @TheFailedEstate
If the world of politics is now so dominated by spin and media management that 'reality' is whatever you choose it to be, what's the proper role of journalism?
It's to find the truth and report it, right? Journalists are employed to serve their readers and viewers by cutting through hype, digging out red herrings, challenging misleading statements and exposing what's really going on. You would think so, wouldn't you?


Lying scrags, female politicians and other whores   Min @CafeWhispers
Why is it that the media subjects female politicians to such a blatant double standard?
On one hand the media insists on conformity, and to standards set by the June Dally-Watkins School of Etiquette and Deportment combined with Elle magazine, and yet this same woman cannot be seen to be too attractive or run the risk of being accused of deviously using her sexuality. Additionally, it is not just one single set of stereotyping to which female politicians must conform, but all shades in between depending on the circumstances and the current theme which the media organisation chooses to promote.


Seven principles for arguing with economists  @Noahpinion
In the increasingly contentious world of pop economics, you - whether an educated layperson, an economist-in-training, or even a professional economist unused to the rough-and-tumble of the mediasphere - may find yourself in an argument with an economist. And when this happens, you should be prepared, because many of the arguments that may seem at first blush to be very powerful and devastating are, in fact, pretty weak tea.

The Australian declares victory in war on global warming science  
In last Wednesday’s The Australian newspaper, columnist Imre Salusinszky came out with the quite extraordinary claim that the world had “beaten global warming”.
He said we should congratulate ourselves; that the worst dangers no longer loom over us.


Environmental elephants  Greg Donoghue  @OnLineOpinion
Hardly a news bulletin or newspaper edition goes by without a story about the environment – be it some more depressing news about how bad the situation is, or news of a technology that might mitigate the risks. But we hear much less about two factors which by their very nature must contribute powerfully to our plight. The good news is that both of these factors are in fact totally within our control. The bad news though that it appears our scant attention to them indicates we almost certainly will not do anything about them – until it is too late.

Sometimes cricket is “just not cricket”  Sarah Joseph  @Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
Summer is here in Australia, which means many hours of cricket on radio and television, and, for those in capital cities, occasional opportunities to see the players in real life.  Given the subject matter of this blog, I think it an opportune time to reflect on some of the many intersections between cricket and social issues, including human rights.

Why you should support the Palestinians  John Passant @enPassant
To “never feel safe” is a way of life for the Palestinians. Whether it is the threat of air bombardments over Gaza, which continue almost daily, or the threat of having their home bulldozed by the Israeli state in East Jerusalem;  ...

Books I have known  Rafe Champion @OnLineOpinion
The weatherboard farmhouse sat in the bush surrounded by massive gum trees on the edge of a swamp where Copper Creek ran out of the hills, met Allan Creek and ran into the Duck River. This was ten km inland from Smithton on the far north west coast of Tasmania. The property was called "Allan Water" and I grew up thinking of myself as a bushman and a pioneer.

This has been around for a little while but is worth a reminder visit
Journalism Warning Labels  Tom Scott
It seems a bit strange to me that the media carefully warn about and label any content that involves sex, violence or strong language — but there's no similar labelling system for, say, sloppy journalism and other questionable content.
I figured it was time to fix that, so ....


The naughty list: MPs named and shamed for failure to verify expenses  Jacqueline Maley  @SMH
THE Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, and former prime ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating are among those who have claimed parliamentary expenses but not verified them, according to a list published by the Department of Finance.

Pathway to referendum success is now clear  George Williams @NationalTimes
The starting point for political parties is that the constitution should respect the place of indigenous people in society. It should recognise their long occupation of this continent and their continuing relationship with traditional lands and waters. The former prime minister John Howard first proposed such a change in 1999 and the panel will recommend that this now occur.

MPs in secret talks with hotel group over pokies  Richard Willingham  @SMH
SENIOR Labor MPs have held secret meetings with the Australian Hotels Association to thrash out alternative avenues for poker machine reforms, as questions continued to rise about the nature of the measures.

D Mick Weir

January 17. 2012 09:43 AM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix

Corrections & Apologies

Fiona Katauskas  Fiona Katauskas  @NewMatilda

should read:
2012: The Year Ahead  Fiona Katauskas  @NewMatilda

... and Apologies to all our Loyal & Lovely readers for spoiling you with choice and creating an extra long reading list Tong

Positions Vacant
Proof Reader, no exp nec, just a good eye and a keen sense of fun  Smile

PS Wot does reCaptcha know that I don't workcam

D Mick Weir

January 17. 2012 10:01 AM

D Mick Weir

... and now for another cartoon from:

True Tales of Policy Romance Pope's View @CanberraTimes

Hmm, time will reveal all.

D Mick Weir

January 17. 2012 10:59 AM


*J*U*L*I*A* with Kim Carr at Ford looking confident and wedging Abbortt beautifully on support for the car industry and manufacturing generally. This year we will destroy him and make the Coalons look like the fools they are. Baillieu is supporting us, the Federal Coalons are ‘still falling in behind Abbortt’, good.  This is an issue to bring them to grief.

Remember, Remember
The Ides of September
The Turdball-Robb-Snotty-Joe Plot!
By the end of November
You'll be just an ember
And by Christmastime you'll be forgot.

Tone Tone Tone
Albo point da bone!
On ya bike Abbortt,
Go and weep all alone.


January 17. 2012 12:29 PM


Now you are expecting us to follow you in your seven-league boots!

Recaptcha works in mysterious ways yes. Like a crazy eye in your brain sometimes! It's sort of a drag but overall it's fun. And it works, thanking you WebMonkey always.

What a great name, WebMonkey. There was one lass wih a site named Ink Monkey. I wrote to her, she told me the story, ink monkeys were allegedly tiny monkeys kept by rich Chinese artists and writers in mediaeval times to mix and hold inks for the artists! They were supposedly true, supposedly extinct, then a decade or so ago allegedly rediscovered, then I think the whole story might have fallen over but what a pretty but sad notion, little obedient monkeys to fit in a teacup, anxiously doing everything to please . . . Poor little things would've been kept chained . . . There is much I do not like about the way Chinese culture views animals, but at least they have tried to rein in people breeding, the only country in the world to have dons so.
I wish.

2353 Good morning but I only did the complicated maths to divide $600 000 by 6, and then $100 000 by 30-odd, and then i took a stab somewhere around right. At least I did better than Snotty Joe who doesn't really understand that b-illions are different from m-illions and that trr-illions are different again, it's all so confusing! Smile

It was Michael who turned up the info. He's good at that sort of thing. Especially as it relates to Mad Bad Abbortt.

Who we are going to have on toast this year. Mark my words. The Ides of September! The 15th and 16th are the weekend, and the 16th will be the New Moon, the darkest night for Tony Abbortt. Look with your Eye of Time, folks, we all have one, it's not exactly magic and it sure isn't Science, and  unforeseeable things can happen like floods and Slipper which change the predictions but with some things you may be sure,  like people running out of interest in Abbortt's stunts and negatives and no policy and no wins and stupid positions on everything, and Labor just settling into doing the stubborn but not sullen bullock-pulling which will break one-trick Tony's fractious heart. Labor has only to pass another couple of measures satisfactorily, asylum seekers and problem gambling, and then just squeeze down on getting it all concreted in. Abbortt will die of frustration. He will be rolled in September, and the whole coalition will be in deep ordure.    

Black Harry's Team

(Red *J*U*L*I*A*s team?)  

No soft-skinned Durham steers are they,

No Devons plump and red,

But brindled, black and iron-grey

That mark the mountain-bred;

For mountain-bred and mountain-broke,

With sullen eyes agleam,

No stranger's hand could put a yoke

On old Black Harry's team.


Pull out, pull out, at break of morn

The creeks are running white,

And Tiger, Spot and Snailey-horn

Must bend their bows by night;

And axles, wheels, and flooring boards

Are swept with flying spray

As shoulder-deep, through mountain fords

The leaders feel their way.


He needs no sign of cross or kirn

To guide him as he goes,

For every twist and every turn

That old black leader knows.

Up mountains  steep they heave and strain

Where never wheel has rolled,

And what the toiling leaders gain

The body-bullocks hold.


Where eagle-hawks their eyries make,

On sidlings steep and blind,

He rigs the good old-fashioned brake---

A tree tied on behind.

Up mountains, straining to the full,

Each poler plays his part---

The sullen, stubborn, bullock-pull

That breaks a horse's heart.


Beyond the farthest bridle track

His wheels have blazed the way;

The forest giants, burnt and black,

Are ear-marked by his dray.

Through belts of scrub, where messmates grow

His juggernaut has rolled,

For stumps and saplings have to go

When Harry's team takes hold.

        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

On easy grade and rubber tyre

The tourist car goes through,

They halt a moment to admire

The far-flung mountain view.

The tourist folk would be amazed

If they could get to know

They take the track Black Harry blazed

A Hundred Years Ago.

  A. B. Paterson Back to Paterson & Lawson index


January 17. 2012 01:59 PM

D Mick Weir

... Breaking from 'young' James - he with a keen eye Smile

ALP comes out swinging on manufacturing James Higgins @ThePoliticsProject
Woah! The ALP fight back begins!

Read more: thepoliticsproject.wordpress.com/.../

D Mick Weir

January 17. 2012 04:17 PM


Hi Ad Astra,

I have left a message for your attention using the contact form at





January 17. 2012 05:43 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for another fine set of links – great reading.  James Higgins is impressive.

Thank you for your verse.  I hope your Abbott predictions come true.

Tony Abbott will continue to feed your ‘Bad Abbott’ contributions.  In my opinion he is incapable of change – pugilism is what he knows and enjoys.

Ad astra

January 17. 2012 07:33 PM


TT - in relation to this mornings post about salary + $3k a day.  I decided it wouldn't be worth it as I like to be able to sleep straight in bed with a clear conscience.


January 17. 2012 07:43 PM


    Com'on the truth is you talk in your sleep and you don't want Mrs 2353 to hear you lol!


January 17. 2012 08:11 PM


Oh dear, do you think someone is somewhat cynical about politics?

LNP leader Campbell Newman made the jobs promise as he addressed a sold-out $60-a-head party fundraiser at Brisbane's Hilton Hotel this morning, ahead of the imminent state election.

He also vowed to “restore accountability in government” and ensure open and transparent decision making, but did not take questions from the audience or media before leaving immediately after the event.



January 17. 2012 08:12 PM


Jason - busted Laughing


January 17. 2012 08:24 PM

D Mick Weir

Evening All,
no evening extras tonight -it's not from lack of material but well you see the the Linking sub-committee has been having some little confabs and well hush , hush but there may be something different tomorrow ;)

D Mick Weir

January 17. 2012 08:54 PM


DMW (quoting young James I think) said

ALP comes out swinging on manufacturing James Higgins @ThePoliticsProject
*Woah! The ALP fight back begins!*

>That is certainly the way it appeared to me. Hurray.

But the Ford workers looked like they were frozen, dunno why they couldn't smile nod shake heads shuffle or anything, they looked mesmerised.

Ad do not fear. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. *J*U*L*I*A* is not afraid or if she is she doesn't show it, and anyway her opponents have much more to fear. Albo is licking his lips, Conroy is spoiling for a fight with Turdball, Swannee will bore quietly into Snotty, our women are the best in the world, and Slipper will not stand for nonsense, he is a martinet wrt stuff like Poo-Poo, it is going to be a year of whacking the Opposition, they can do nothing more important to Labor once we have the AS matter regionalised and problem gambling legislation in place, and already the Coalons are neutered on those issues, no longer will Stop the Boats help them, they're much more to be blamed in future than ever Labor was.

and 2353, I meant to reply to your -
"Oh - and TT, I too would prefer an ALP Government to an LNP one - which in reality are the only alternatives for 2013."

Yes indeed, and I sure have no argument with that, the only thing I would say is that from my point of view there has never been any alternative, (this is not to deny others their opinions, note!), in any year since I have been at all aware. The adage, wtte The worst Labor Government is always 'way preferable to the best Conservative Government, rings true to me, noting that the NSW labor Government by popular unpopularity being the closest ever to being the sole exception. The adage doesn't actually say anything good of Labor, so much as the sad bad truth about the Right. Who are universally despicable en masse, and nearly so individually.

It is because of this belief of mine Right always Bad, Left at least not quite so, that I always support Labor in the end, it's the big picture not the single issue that I have never lost sight of, I certainly don't always agree with Labor though. I think we have been pretty weak on conservation, putting it mildly, on private school funding outrageously lickspittle,(that's what comes of Religion intruding into affairs of State, and here the Catholics in the Labor Party have much to be put to the Sword for.) And on whacking the MSM and the Coalition, with few exceptions, (Albo, *J*U*L*I*A* herself particularly) are quite pathetic. I do wish Jason Obelix and I could have a go in Parliament!

Jason himself is staunch Labor too, yet he too finds much to fight with in the Party meetings, (well he finds plenty to fight with in the MSM and Coalons too) and despite our general agreement we find plenty to argue about too. The ALP is a broad non-church, it sure is far from perfect but it comprises at base great little modest sincere hard-working people, I know because like many who blog here I have worked with them and as one of them. Their houses and cars are usually a bit less posh than their Liberal neighbours, but their kids are usually pretty nice I must say, and they treat their Dogs well in my experience. And it isn't ALL about themselves.

Generalisations yep. But then if I were to strt generalising about the Coalons I know . . .

BTW on matters Green, Swordsfolks would probably be aware that I share, even agitate for much of the same agenda, my argument is only when anything they do threatens or sabotages the whole Left. Dam I'd still chain myself to an ancient tree if it were important ecologically or symbolically. The Green agenda is the most important to the future, but it can't be achieved with disunity, I wish they would all come back and green Labor, iyswim.

2353 I am sure we are pretty much on the same page. That's the main thing.


January 18. 2012 08:53 AM

D Mick Weir

Today's front pages
via James Massola @jamesmassola

The Australian http://twitpic.com/88hb0z
The Daily Telegraph http://twitpic.com/88ha6o
The Hobart Mercury http://twitpic.com/88h9ye
The NT News http://twitpic.com/88h9uc
The West Australian http://twitpic.com/88h9nt
The Age http://twitpic.com/88h9gw
The Sydney Morning Herald http://twitpic.com/88h9kq
The Herald Sun http://twitpic.com/88h9r0
The Canberra Times (pdf) covers.ruralpress.com/frontpages/2/63145.pdf

Let us know if you find this edumifacational, entertaining and/or useful

Media Mix will be along in an hour or so.

D Mick Weir

January 18. 2012 08:56 AM


Cant wait for the  M&M's Smile


January 18. 2012 08:58 AM


I say that excitedly


January 18. 2012 09:08 AM


A Little Riddle:
What's the difference between a Sennapod and a Xenophon?*

Answer at bottom, literally.

Politics it isn't, beautiful and fascinating it is, especially the Bat + baby, and the barrel-rolling Hummingbird.

Hope the link works OK.


* Not much, they both give you the s#*%s!


January 18. 2012 10:25 AM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix
The Poke in the eye with a burnt stick edition

The who’s who of federal politics, Part 3: the Shadow Cabinet  James Higgins  @The Politics Project
Tony Abbott’s frontbench remains largely unchanged from when he assumed the Liberal leadership in 2009. There were some minor alterations following the 2010 election, the most notable of which was former leader Malcolm Turnbull’s return to the shadow cabinet as communications spokesman.

Postpone pokie reform?  Peter Brent @Mumble
Today we read that some Cabinet Ministers are urging to “push Labor’s politically explosive poker machine deal with independent MP Andrew Wilkie beyond the next election”.
They have got to be joking.  Don’t they know how Australian politics works?


Gillard retreats on pokie reforms  Richard Willingham, Jacob Saulwick @SMH
JULIA GILLARD is understood to have backed away from her promise to introduce a mandatory pre-commitment scheme for using poker machines.

Andrew Wilkie folds on pokies threat to PM Julia Gillard  Gemma Jones @TheDailyTele
The meek backdown by the Tasmanian independent is in stark contrast to his promise last year when he said: "The only certainty is that if they don't pull off this reform I will withdraw my support. I will do it regrettably but I'm a man of my word and I will hold the government to the commitment they made to me."

Pokies bid hits a GST nerve  DavidKillick  @TheMercury
INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie sparked fears yesterday that he was selling Tasmania out in a single-minded pursuit of poker machine reforms.

Adman to counter pokies campaign by clubs  Christian Kerr @TheAus (Free)
TWO communications industry figures have joined forces to launch a campaign against poker machines, saying lobbying by the clubs has obscured the damage caused by problem gambling.

ALP is mature enough to let members elect leaders  Chris Bowen @TheAus (You'll need to crawl under the paywall)
THE ALP is Australia's oldest political party and one of the oldest progressive parties in the world. It would be easy to take comfort in this longevity, to reject the need to fundamentally rethink the way our party works to ensure the party survives and prospers. As well as being easy, it would also be foolish.

2012: Kevin Rudd's thoughts  Ian Harris @theblowfly
The Blowfly invites you to suppose, for a few brief minutes, that you have committed hideous crimes against humanity in a previous life and in order to purge your otherwise perfect soul you have reincarnated as none other than Kevin Rudd.

Rudd stirs pot with Twinings Australian Afternoon Tea  Sarah Vogler @The Courier-Mail
STRONG, full-bodied and lively. Newly crowned Twinings master tea brewer Kevin Rudd tried his best to embody the traits of his winning libation as he marked its arrival in stores during a launch at Woolloongabba in Brisbane yesterday.

Tony Abbott: The Million Dollar Man.  reb @GutterTrash (Another great graphic by reb)
The news is aghast with the startling revelations that our handsomely remunerated pollies are racking up millions in combined so-called “work-related expenses.”

Cars  Prof Q @hisblog
The news that the Minister for Manufacturing, Kim Carr, is about to use funds from the Automotive Transformation Scheme to save the local operations of General Motors through ‘co-investment’ has prompted predictable reactions.

Car industry help good for all: PM  Jessica Wright  @TheAge
It was important for Australia to remain one of only 13 countries with a car industry that could design and manufacture cars, Ms Gillard said.

Mortgages. Why we're fixing.  Peter Martin
Financial markets are banking on at least three more rate cuts over the next six months, but an increasing proportion of home borrowers appear not to care.

Mr Robb's Error  Stephen Koukoulas
Mr Robb's representation of the growth is debt is easily explained, which makes his alarmist "analysis" all the more contemptible.  The reporting of it, unquestioned, it just as extraordinary.

Goldilocks economy has a few tricks in case bears turn nasty Jessica Irvine @National Times
Rotting Christmas trees still line our streets, emitting a pungent reminder of festive days past, but a fresh season of economic doomsday-ism is already upon us.
By now you're probably familiar with the Armageddon scenario ...


Tell your TV who’s boss  John Davidson @AFR (public)
This year, you won't just be talking to your TV - your TV will actually pay attention when you do.

Smile  ashgebrainious @Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery
I know. This is going to sound like a silly reason for a blog. But I saw a baby smile today. They looked at me and smiled. And I smiled back and they smiled more.
For a millisecond of a millisecond, the child and I were at one. I could have understood them and they me. It’s a glorious feeling.


D Mick Weir

January 18. 2012 11:44 AM

D Mick Weir

Well blowed if I know ...

Where are we at with Pokie Reform?

If we are to believe all of this mornings papers and probably the electronic media (I haven't stopped long enough to watch/listen) the reforms have hit the wall, Wilkie has caved in, the PM is breaking another promise. At least this promise was only to the reviled and much pilloried Independent Member for Denison and not to all of us real Aussies, or was it?

Either way it is proof positive the PM is nothing but a sneaky, lying witch of a woman. (I won't go to far down the track of putting lying & and JG in the same sentence being an oxymoron, but for a lot of our media it is a given.)

While I am inclined to agree with Mumble: (Mentioned in this morning's MMM - blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/.../postponing_issue )

The “clubs lobby” is brilliant at getting journalists to write stories about how big and scary and deep-pocketed they are and how they will murder the Labor government at the election.
But whether they can do much more than huff and puff remains to be seen. Like “gay marriage will decimate the government”, pokies as an election decider is a beat up.

any 'cave in', 'backflip' or or however else it is painted it will be more than just a single straw on the camel's back.

Tom Cummings is very sceptical of reports though
i read the news today, oh boy…  @cyenne
That’s it. Poker machine reforms are dead. Kaput. Finito. Done and dusted. They have ceased to be. At least, so we’re being told.
But it’s not Julia Gillard breaking the bad news. Not Andrew Wilkie either. No, it’s the press that has the scoop; they’re the ones in the know.


In today's MMM I missed providing a link to this article by Tom

Labor is gambling on politics not principles  Tom Cummings  @TheAge
Sadly, the conclusion that I am coming to is that the government sees these reforms as a necessary evil; something to be pursued out of political necessity rather than a deeply held belief.

For mine pokie reform was (and in some ways still is) a second order issue that has become first order mostly due to the efforts of self interested lobby groups.

Now the government has put itself in the position where it must stare down the lobbyists and do the 'right thing' because it is the right thing to do as the PM often says of most government proposals.

D Mick Weir

January 18. 2012 12:44 PM


D Mick Weir

There is no link to the 'blowfly' blog?  Thanks for all the others, will try to wend my way through them at some stage.

As for the pokie stuff, what I heard on TV yesterday, and what is being reported (on abc) seem to be two different things.  I do hope that something can be sorted and announced soon, but I guess with all the manic reporting in the last 24 hours, people will be left with the impression that nothing is going to be done, sadly.


January 18. 2012 12:48 PM

D Mick Weir

thanks Gravel

here 'tis link for theblowfly

still searching for a proof reader Smile

D Mick Weir

January 18. 2012 12:49 PM


Oh dear, after glancing at the links to the morning papers headlines, does anyone know anything about what is happening about the Pokies?  

Thanks D Mick Weir, that is a good idea, shows that MSM doesn't have a clue in what is happening.  


January 18. 2012 02:58 PM

Ad astra

Thanks for another set of interesting links.  The James Higgins' assessment of the Shadow Ministry was good reading.

Ad astra

January 18. 2012 03:18 PM

D Mick Weir

Important Community Information Bulletin

Wikipedia  and other internet sources will go into blackout this evening in protest over SOPA & PIPA

For more info & background see:

Major turn-off: leading lights stage an internet blackout to fight SOPA  Srikumar Venugopal @TheConversation
SOPA and PIPA were being considered by the US Congress as a means of combating copyright infringement of movies, music and books. As argued in a previous article on The Conversation, those bills have the potential to damage the technical foundations of the internet and damage free-speech online.

D Mick Weir

January 18. 2012 03:59 PM


This is from Emma Ruby-Sachs, I didn't find AVAAZ, they found me: so many links near the end I thought best to send the whole message, it is about spiking Merdeoch's guns after all.

Dear friends across Australia,

A draft government proposal would wipe out almost all media ownership limits in Australia -- giving Murdoch free reign over what we read, see and hear! We have just two weeks to flood the government with comments rejecting this proposal -- before Murdoch's dream becomes a reality. Click below to send your message and forward to everyone:

Free reign to control every last newspaper, TV and radio station in Australia -- Rupert Murdoch’s fantasy could become a frightening reality unless we stand in his way right now.

A government review is recommending we eliminate ownership limits -- exactly what Murdoch asked for. But we have two weeks to flood the review with objections to their plan during the public comment period before they finalise the report. Unless thousands of us speak out, the recommendations could go forward unchallenged.

Nobody -- especially not Rupert Murdoch -- should be allowed to own all of our media. Let’s wake up the review with our call -- and prevent the Murdoch Mafia from growing even larger. Send your urgent message directly to the review by clicking below:


Last month, more than 12,000 of us sent comments to the Independent Media Inquiry and kept attention focused on the need for greater media diversity. But now, a lesser-known industry review process has tabled recommendations that would undo our hard work and undermine the major media inquiry we won just months ago. The industry review, not surprisingly, sides with Murdoch -- claiming that the digital age renders media ownership limits irrelevant, and asking for a weak ‘public interest test’ as the only safeguard against another media mafia -- this, even though Australia already has the most concentrated media ownership in the Western world.

The review will help shape the future of media in Australia, and Murdoch’s hoping for a big lobbying win. To make sure our voice is heard above his, we need to submit a wave of comments to the review in the next few days.

Let’s show that the public opposes media monopolies -- click below to submit a comment now:


Together, Avaaz members are turning the tide on Murdoch in Australia and around the world. We won the Media Inquiry he tried to kill, and then derailed his bid to snatch a $223 million contract away from ABC. Let’s come together again to end the Murdoch dream come true, defend our democracy from his lobbyists, and promote a more sane and independent media.

With hope,

Emma, Brant, Paul, Alice, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team

P.S. See below for the full submission to the major media review from Avaaz.


Australian Government Convergence Review:

Avaaz detailed submission to the Convergence Review:

Media ownership laws in firing line (Sydney Morning Herald):

Media ownership laws destined for the dustbin (The Power Index):

Review recommends axing cross-media laws (ABC):

Support the Avaaz Community!
We're entirely funded by donations and receive no money from governments or corporations. Our dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way.     


DMW You are really doing fraffly well with the Links, Thank You, remember to eat up all your Weetbix though!

Is it Weetbix's company that pays no tax because it's all in the holy name of Religion, is it Sanitarium?  What a rort.

How many people would it take to register the Church of Dog as a Religion and get 100% tax exemptions forever after?

Would 3 be enough?

Could we count little Muffin?

She could recruit Tacker . . .

NO CATS not even gay ones!


January 18. 2012 05:06 PM

Patricia WA

Sorry, TT, but Tacker would insist that Sheba comes too!  Next to me she is his best friend!  It's an odd friendship.  With him she is very playful, but aloof from all other animate life.  I think she'd happily join the Church of Dog.

As you can imagine I happily signed the petition.  I've tried to donate too but the computer keeps stalling at Donate Now!  I'll try again later.

Patricia WA

January 18. 2012 06:52 PM


You have a big choice if you like wheat biscuits for breakfast.  Apart from generic brands there is Sanatarium (owned by the Assembly of God Church) or Uncle Toby's which used to be independent but I think was bought out by a multinational some time ago.


January 18. 2012 07:30 PM

D Mick Weir

I can't recall with which church grouping Sanitarium is/was connected but the company long predates the formation of the Assemblies of Wot'sisname.

Curse those meeces to peeces the Wikipedia blackout is hampering 'well informed' research (but I agree with the cause that has inspired the blackout)

D Mick Weir

January 18. 2012 07:45 PM


Hi all,
just to let you know that unfortunately my health has been poor this past few weeks and due to doctor's advice I will not be able to contribute to TPS as planned. I'm very disappointed but both the doc & my wife feel it best I avoid the intensity of political blogging until my health radically improves.

Thanks to Ad astra for his offer...and the rest of you for your support. I will miss this blog.

Keep up the great work. My apologies for not being able to contribute. Hopefully oneday.



January 18. 2012 08:16 PM

Ad astra

We understand and accept your decision.   Health is our most important attribute.  We hope your health improves and that you soon feel well again.

You have made a major contribution to TPS for a very long time.  Thank you so much.  We will miss you, and look forward to you rejoining us when your health improves.

Ad astra

January 18. 2012 09:46 PM


Nas, get well (most important) ad come back here when you're able.


January 18. 2012 10:40 PM


2353 & D Mick Weir
The Sanitarium factories are owned by the Seventh Day Adventists. They've been around for many years & easily predate the current crop of Jesus Rock & the like holy rollers.


January 18. 2012 11:45 PM

D Mick Weir

BSA Bob,
thanks for the confirmation I was only half sure it was the Adventists.

If I recall the church some years ago divested control and put company on a commercial footing.

Anyway for me, no matter who owns the outfit I reckon the Multi-Grain Weet-Bix with chilled milk (and sometimes Greek yoghurt) is the bees knees for starting my day.

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 12:19 AM


BSA, 2353, DMW,
Yeah the Seventh Day Aventists. No tax at all on Sanitarium brand is that right?

Funny verb predate, it allows me to make the true pun that while the 7thDA's might pre-date most other Holy Rollers and Happy Clappers, all 3 Judaic religions predate their victims mercilessly. To fund their various forms of shamans' predatorial prejudice-promoting ignorance-perpetuating lifestyles.

At least Dog makes no pretence that s/he is not a predator. and s/he doesn't want you to pledge your house and soul, a decent feed and a pat and a daily walk (as much for your own good as for Dog) and you get your blessings right then, and you do too. Religion doesn't get any fundamentaller than that!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


We have already been missing you, only reason I didn't say anything sooner was I thought you were just on holiday.

You will be sorely missed, as you must know, and the big brown Bruin will always be a welcome visitor here of course.
Understood that health matters are an issue to you, (and Mother Bear too?), just you do everything you and she can to deliver two votes for the Party of your choice (how's that for democratic?!) in late 2013. That's a weird way of saying I wish you the best of health, but do come and touch base here sometimes. Please.

BTW here's a Turkey Tip, Ginger in all its many forms is very good for Bears and other people, especially if nausea or appetite loss is a problem. Glace ginger, ginger marmalade, ginger beer, dry ginger ale, ginger in savouries too, and Stone's Green Ginger Wine are good for just making you feel better.

And some of the world's finest is grown in Buderim, Queensland.

There are many species of Ginger, and beween them they have some of the most beautiful flowers of all, rivalling the finest orchids. Ginger is one of the most important foods vegetables in parts of Asia too.  

Nas this is just So long, not like Trujillo Adios, OK?  Best of health Cobber.


January 19. 2012 07:19 AM


Gillard is a disgrace for doing what she is doing on pokies. Why would anyone vote for her when she obviously cant stick by her word/show any sign of conviction on any issue. This woman is the ultimate ruthless political machine; nothing stands between her and keeping power...not even a promise to a member to gain that power in the first place.


January 19. 2012 08:41 AM


Presenting the lastest media beat up/LNP talking point:-

Gillard is a disgrace for doing what she is doing on pokies. Why would anyone vote for her when she obviously cant stick by her word/show any sign of conviction on any issue. This woman is the ultimate ruthless political machine; nothing stands between her and keeping power...not even a promise to a member to gain that power in the first place.

Since netiher Wilke or Gillard are taling about what they are discussing on Pokies - no one REALLY knows.  Pull your head in jj - you're typing crap until either Wilke or Gillard announce something.  

Its instructive to note that another politician claimed last night they haven't seen the legislation.  My understanding is that the legislation is drafted (inconsultation with stakeholders), it is brought to Parliament where it may be amended, then it is eventually passed and then becomes law.  Either the media or the LNP have brilliant powers of being able to see into the future or they are reporting rumour (at best).  I'll then enjoy watching the media spin its way out of the hole its dug for itself as London to a brick that the reality will be different to the current reports.

TT - The Ginger Factory tourist attraction at Yandina isn't bad either!


January 19. 2012 09:02 AM


  Scurry off to uni will you and learn something! So now you say the "PM" is a disgrace for what she's doing on pokies! as opposed to what? the NOalition are of the opinion  it's alright for people to lose all they have, so the pokie venues can put on cheap meals and fund kids sport.

jj, also if you remember Wilkie said to anyone who would listen that he would withdraw HIS support if the government didn't make good on his reforms (of which the government is trying to put something together that pleases everyone)Then along came "Slipper" and as Wilkie has now found out his threats to bring down the government are gone! Wilkie will just have to put up with whatever deal the Parliament is prepared to pass, unless he can convince the others on the cross benches to switch to Abbott and Abbott comes out and says that he'll do it! the only disgrace I see is your ill thought out rant above.


January 19. 2012 09:04 AM

Feral Skeleton

To Whom It May Concern,
                       I have been asked by Ad Astra to make this announcement myself. So I am.

   It is therefore after much deep consideration, and in light of the prevailing circumstances, that I have made the decision not to participate in 'The Political Sword' any more.

   I'm sorry, but the thrill is gone, it doesn't fill me with pleasurable anticipation to come here and comment, nor the required enthusiasm necessary to prepare regular posts for TPS anymore.

   Comes a time when even a revisionist apology is just not going to be enough to make me forgive and forget the hurt caused by an over the top tirade.  Sorry, not one over the top tirade, but two.

   As they say, 'Once bitten, twice shy', and, being a shy girl myself, like the PM, but unlike the PM not strong enough to rise above it, I have instead decided to give the whole show a miss.

   It just keeps getting tougher every day to get knocked down publically, and then get up again to face another day.  No matter whether I have deserved the opprobrium or not, and that's always a subjective thing anyway, I just can't take it any more.  I didn't start blogging to become a public punching bag, even though I realise that a bit of that comes with the territory, or to have other posters keep a catalogue of imagined slights, however real they may think they are, to tot up and then throw at me when they saw fit.  I can no longer cope with the thought that another bollocking might be around the next corner.  Whether I may deserve it or not.

   It's funny, but that was going to be the subject of my first post of the year, 'The Rise of Brutalism in the Political Discourse'.  Oh well.

   As I also made clear to Ad Astra, with the number of other things I have on my plate this year, I could no longer guarantee a consistent, regular output of material to keep 'The Political Sword's fires stoked.  

   So best I go before the new political year, and the 'new' year of TPS, gets underway.

   As a seemingly provocative and divisive figure, it will probably be for the best for 'The Political Sword'. Uninterrupted appreciation of Ad Astra and his work can now be the order of the day. With lyn's links as a side dish.

   Thank You & Goodbye.

Feral Skeleton

January 19. 2012 09:15 AM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix

[b]Happy 130th Birthday, A. A. Milne: “Happiness” and the Origin of Winnie-the-Pooh[b]  Maria Popova  @Brain Pickings
One hundred and thirty years ago (yesterday), Alex Alexander Milne (1882-1956) took his first breath. Best known for authoring the Winnie-the-Pooh book series, among the most beloved children’s books with timeless philosophy for grown-ups, ...

... and folks that is all you need to know for the moment

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 09:56 AM


Seems to me Wilkie has probably recognised the practical problems of satisfying his own anti-gambling aims in the current climate, [exactly the way the Greens didn’t over the Rudd CPRS legislation], and relented sensibly over timing. (Labor sure wants gambling addiction reined in too.) The people most hatefully opposed to that are people who have their snouts deepest in the trough, they are knowingly eating the very substance of family and individual income, and of course we want to rein it in, it’s bloody crazy and oh btw IT DRIVES CRIME! When people fritter all their pay on these weird machines, they haven't even got enough for a feed, whaddya reckon they do?

Playing two-up is criminal in the lads’ shed, (where all the fellers know one another and there is a certain amount of restraint built-in to anybody getting too rash) but these palaces of glitz and cupidity have been countenanced, indulged, permitted to do such damage to so many for so little benefit, except to the very very few obscenely rich pigs like Packer. I've seen the outcomes for some of the people who do, is there anybody hasn't?

Sure Labor bears plenty of the blame, who would deny it, but by the living Dog, problem gambling is in our sights now, but we have to figure a way to do it without losing government, that’s what Wilkie understands and Xennapods doesn’t - Well the cynical bastard of course does understand but see, if pokies cease to be a problem, what happens to a No-Pokies MP who has no numerical feathers left in the Senate either? Nick the Prick doesn’t want Pokies scotched, he wants the government rolled, he’s a bloody Lieberal really. [He was in the Adelaide University Liberal Club long ago, where, never forget, he and Julian Glynn distinguished themselves by attempting to rig the Student Union elections by falsifying (badly) some hundreds of votes.]

Oh yeah, lovely man Xennapods. Run with the silly little hares, hunt alongside the slavering hounds, never get dirty, never achieve anything either in fact; and now the chips are down and he might lose his whole bank, he is at last revealing his true hand.

It isn’t Labor stopping the anti-problem-gambling legislation, it’s the Pigs, and by that I don’t mean the Constabulary.
I mean the Fat Pigs.

And the people the Fat Pigs feed. And all their stupid dupes.  

Oh and just to be clear, I may be a Turkey but gambling has never been the slightest problem to me personally, I just don't do it and never have.
Well that is, everybody takes proper gambles, but Pokies is not gambling, it's just losing. Losing. Losing.

Good on Wilkie, Good on all the Government-supporting Independents, and I haven't entirely abandoned hope for Adam Bandt, decent heart-and-mind, wrong Party though, if he really wants to help his country he ought to do a Curnow.

Wilkie knows he'll get nowhere if the Government gets ousted.

Xenophon knows he's going nowhere if the Pokies are reined in.

Knickerless Xenophon!
With this Sword I dub thee
Sultan of Smarm
Duchess of Duplicity.


January 19. 2012 10:34 AM


Feral Skeleton

I can completely sympathise with your decision. It is a great pity for you and for TPS who will be losing their finest contributor, aside from the owner.
Good luck with your future endeavours. It would be nice to think that you may find a new home somewhere.
Take care FS. Smile


January 19. 2012 10:43 AM

D Mick Weir

Hi FS,
hoping you drop by to at least see the comments in response to your choice to move on.

What NormanK said

... and I will miss sparring with you.

So long and thanks for the fish Smile

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 10:45 AM

Ad astra

I am sure that I speak for others who blog here that we will miss your participation on TPS, both as an author of original material and as a commenter.  I do understand your reasons for withdrawing and respect your decision to do so.  I have repeatedly requested those who blog here to address the issues and not attack the person.  Sadly, my request has not always been acceded to, and as a result, feelings have unnecessarily been hurt.  I regret that, and hope that 2012 might be a year where we can stick to the political issues and avoid personal comments about other bloggers.

As I have indicated to you in private emails, I am deeply appreciative of the magnificent contribution you have made to TPS for a long while, both as an author of interesting and challenging original pieces, and as an insightful commenter on a variety of issues.  Your deep knowledge of the ALP and your prior experience in Federal politics have brought a special dimension to the dialogue on TPS.  We have benefitted greatly through your contributions.

We shall miss your regular visits so easily identified by your splendid Gravatar, and your well-written original pieces.  It is my hope, and I am sure this hope is echoed by others who blog here, that at some time you will return, in whatever way suits you, so that once more we can admire your perspicacity and enjoy your incisive comments.

Thank you for all you have given to TPS for many years. Please know that you will be welcome to return at any time.

Ad astra

January 19. 2012 10:52 AM


D Mick Weir
WeetBix are good stuff it's true. My wife & I are the only people I know who admit to liking Sanitarium Nutmeat.

The business is on a commercial footing & I think there are tax benefits.

Good cross on the word "predate"? Though I couldn't find your meaning in a couple of dictionaries. A great many religious organisations are predatory.
I didn't realise you shared my feelings for Senator X. Some sort of ultimate populist. You want the pothole in front of your house fixed in the middle of the night? He's your man & all he asks is that there's lots of cameras around when he states your demands. You want to comlain about the outrageous sums of overtime paid & the noise created by workers doing jobs in the middle of the night that could easily be done in daylight hours? He's your man & all he asks is....
From my readings I suspect he has a trail of ex believers & allies behind him. I like the fixed election yarn too.


January 19. 2012 10:53 AM


Feral Skeleton
I'd like to see you stick around.


January 19. 2012 11:52 AM


BSA Bob said
Feral Skeleton
I'd like to see you stick around.

>Me too FS.

BSA Bob,
I can't find predate as a verb in my Pocket Oxford either, perhaps it only surfaces as predator and i]predatory[/i]?

I'm sure I've heard it used as in Leopard Seals predate Penguins, but it might be a Yank expression, h'mmm! Its root is Latin, praeditorius, looter more or less, maybe there never was a verb predate, though if there were it would have pre-dated pre-date, because though the Romans had pre = before and datum = scale more or less, putting them together is very obviously English.
No, surely, some animals predate upon others? (With or without the preposition?)

Now, wrt Xenophon [nee Xenophou], you should hear Jason Obelix on the subject! Smile

Now that he has been gazzumped by Slipper's defection, X is to be rebadged as the

   Automatic Feather Duster


Grasp legs of the XENOPHON firmly
and bind securely to the stick provided.

Insert stick into orifice 'A'.

With every small jerk of the stick
the XENOPHON will flap vigorously,
WHISKing your problems from view!

Note: If in confined spaces
the noise generated by your
XENOPHON Automatic Feather Duster
is found excessive,
apply the Gag.


January 19. 2012 12:25 PM


Feral Skeleton, I too will miss you.

I will certainly miss exploring the tantalisingly titled article you mentioned in your farewell post, 'The Rise of Brutalism in the Political Discourse'.

Might you find some time to compose and post said article here as a Parthian Shot, while still staying one step removed from the (yes, it is sadly observed) inevitable from some parties attacks on its author rather than lucid contesting of its content and reasoning?

The phenomenon your title encapsulates demands examination, discussion, and further exploration.


January 19. 2012 12:58 PM


You see folks. This is what happens when we, as a collective, don't do enough to rein in a serial bully prone to exaggeration and flights of fancy. Don't take my word for it - go to April 1. 2011 04:33 PM:


or May 26. 2011 @ 11.10 AM:


and find where I "supported them (the Greens) to the hilt, and attacked us, (me in particular), in such trenchant terms as I had never met!"

TPS has its own resident troll, a wolf in sheep's clothing who has appointed himself the gatekeeper whose job it is to keep out anyone expressing even a mildly dissenting view.
I wish The Political Sword all the best for the future but on its current evolutionary trajectory, it is destined for further in-breeding and the begetting of one-eyed off-spring.

I, too, will no longer be posting here while such bullying is allowed to occur.


January 19. 2012 01:03 PM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix
The It's a Blackout  Edition

Guess most have discovered by now various sites are in blackout in protest of the proposed PIPA & SOPA bills in the US.

I was going to have a blackout on the Media Mix in support of the protest. Then I broke my 'silence' with the very important news that yesterday was the anniversay of Pooh's dad's birth. Another very wise & wonderful AA Smile

The truth is though, I was in a total shambles and everything was going wrong and the phone kept ringing. And then I got distracted.

Anyway it is important to know some more about the ramifications for us here in Aus so let's kick of with stuff that is related

Forget pirates, the film industry has plundered itself  Greg Jericho  @TheDrum
This week Rupert Murdoch has decided to take to Twitter to let us know all about his views on movie piracy.
His tweets have provided some nice nuggets of amusement that have been akin to your father telling you he's heard about this thing called the information superhighway and wanting to know if you have heard of The Google.


Greg's 'brother' Grog has some extra stuff @ his blog

Drum Piece –Movies and Pirates – and the APSC’s new Guidelines for Being a Public Servant on Social Media
My Drum piece today is on how the film industry keeps making crap and treats consumers like crap and then wonders why box office revenue is falling… oh yeah “it’s the pirates”.

Say it with pictures:
A graphic explanation of SOPA @ graphjam
Here’s What You Need to Know About SOPA and PIPA, Seeing as You Can’t Look It Up on Wikipedia

Because Freedom isn’t Free: Why We* Blacked Out Crooked Timber Yesterday  Maria @CrookedTimber
Why should a global blog care about American legislation?
For all the talk of the unintended consequences of SOPA’s anti-piracy measures, it is no accident that Crooked Timber could one day end up as collateral damage of this legislation. SOPA/PIPA are the latest in a long line of laws that seek to externalize the enforcement costs of a beleaguered business model. We are just a cost of them doing business.


Learning leadership from Congress  Set Godin @seth'sblog
The most frustrating thing for me in the SOPA/PIPA debate now winding down is how unnecessary the whole thing should have been. It occurred to me that we learned a lot about what sort of behaviors make for great leaders and careers. The short version: do the opposite.

SOPA and PIPA  Joshua Gans @digitopoly
SOPA and PIPA — two pieces of legislation being considered by the US Congress. To read the commentary on this, to an outsider like myself, the whole exercise seems broadly insane.

Time to take a stand, or at least wash the paws Pontius Pilate style and shed a few crocodile tears ...  Dorothy Parker @LoonPond
Last night the Potus disconnected Sydney's inner west from the intertubes and from telephonic communications for several hours, and suddenly we felt at one with the world about SOPA. Let it all go dark, let the strike begin, teach 'em all a lesson ...
Who knows how long the outage lasted, ...


And sort of related
If you share suspect files can you be arrested and whisked off to the United States?  Peter Martin
Convicted NSW file sharer Hew Griffiths is watching events in the United Kingdom with a sense of foreboding.
A judge has ruled that a 23-year old British student who built an online site for sharing TV programs can be extradited to the United States to face trial and up to 10 years in jail, even though he never been there.


Now for some other stuff:

I’d lie awake, pokie music running through my head  Tom Cummings @ThePunch
Everyone’s talking about poker machines these days. Our politicians and our newspapers, our clubs and pubs; everyone has an opinion on what we should and shouldn’t do with regards to the pokies. But they’re talking about numbers and policies, votes and strategies and campaigns.

Wilkie stands by pokie threat  Richard Willingham and Jessica Wright @TheAge
... in a telling sign that his negotiations with the Prime Minister are on the brink of collapse, Mr Wilkie tried to set up a meeting with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott yesterday.
It is understood the Opposition Leader was unable to meet Mr Wilkie on his first day back from his summer break as his schedule was already full with a factory tour.


Call to end people smugglers' 5-year terms  Michael Gordon  @TheAge
... dozens of cases threaten to overwhelm the courts this year and the states are threatening a revolt over the mounting costs of drawn-out proceedings. It also follows criticism from 10 Australian judges and law and human rights bodies that the penalties target the wrong people, ...

Those Nasty Foreigners - Buying Our Farms!  @TheKouk
Perhaps most importantly, the true-blue, dinky-di Aussie farmers who sell their land presumably do so for financial reasons.  They receive an offer, presumably it's high or else they wouldn't sell.

Scientists reject plan to save Murray-Darling  TomArup @TheAge
SOME of Australia's leading scientists have rejected the proposed plan to save the Murray-Darling, saying basic information needed to have confidence it will deliver a healthy river is missing.

Gangster-nomics: the nasty business of criminalising drugs  Philip Soos @TheConversation
Policy making is supposedly influenced by scientific evidence, which in turn leads to better political, social and economic outcomes, depending on the issue at hand. One would like to think that in a moderately progressive Australia, policies are designed to ensure best practice.
If an outcome of a policy keeps on constantly producing substantial negative results, it stands to reason that policy should be revised according to what the evidence suggests.


... and now more on the economy
Employment troubles - weakest performance since early 1990s recession  @thekouk
For the first time since the recession in 1992, Australia has seen employment fall in a calendar year.  The fall in employment (100 people) in 2011 was confirmed with the uncomfortably large 29,300 drop in jobs in December which followed the 7,600 fall in November.

World Bank: We're on the edge of a new GFC  Peter Martin
Australian authorities are taking seriously a World Bank warning of new financial crisis so severe it would eclipse the chaos that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
World Bank lead economist Andrew Burns yesterday called on vulnerable nations to prepare for the worst ...


Budget deficits are part of “new” normal private sector behaviour  Bill Mitchell @BillyBlog  HT: VSTSLTweetie
The argument is that this behaviour which is now clearly evident in most economies marks an end to the credit-led spending binge that characterised the pre-crisis period of the neo-liberal era. But with that era coming to an end and more typical (“normal”) behaviour emerging, the way we think about the government (as the currency-issuer) will also have to change.

Leaderless Global Governance  Dani Rodrik @ProjecySyndicate
... global leadership and cooperation will remain in limited supply, requiring a carefully calibrated response in the world economy’s governance – specifically, a thinner set of rules that recognizes the diversity of national circumstances and demands for policy autonomy.

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 01:38 PM

D Mick Weir

via Mark Colvin on Twitter
My favourite of the anti-SOPA protests today http://bit.ly/wwF9PG

slightly r rated but funny & good

go there quick before it diappears

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 02:22 PM


Pleeeeeeeeese don't leave - you were here first!  You have had turkeys scratch up your patch before - what did you do then?  Bet you didn't move house.

Norman K & FS
I come here to read every day(thanks Ad). I have a scroll wheel on my mouse and I use it but I have never used it with  your writings.  I know that you both have something of worth to say which I find informative and/or interesting.  I hope that you both are able to reconsider and come back if at all possible. Perhaps if enough people ask???  


January 19. 2012 02:45 PM

Ad astra

What a pity it is when internecine quarrels escalate to the point where accusation and counter accusation complicate the discourse.  Anyone who has ever had to settle an argument knows that there are always a myriad of interacting claims and counterclaims that only the wisdom of Solomon could resolve.  I am not intending to attempt such a fruitless exercise.

No one is compelled to come here to comment; everyone is entitled to come and go as they please.  I regret though any decision to quit TPS because of what has gone on here.  We ought to be able to interact with each other with courtesy and consideration, and focus our annoyance at the political issues and the politicians that irritate, not other bloggers.  To me, one hallmark of a balanced person is that he/she can argue political points with vigour and conviction, yet avoid personal attacks on others.  Are we capable of doing that?  If not, and personal attacks continue, what is the purpose of conducting the site, which, to reiterate, is for ‘Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword’, NOT each other.

Those who enjoy what TPS has to offer are invited to state their views about how they want the site to run, and the standard of conduct they expect from bloggers.  As AC has taken a break, Nasking is currently unable to contribute, and this morning FS has announced her retirement from TPS, the site is back to where it started in 2008, with just one author, myself.  My intention is to contribute around one piece each week, as I did originally, and more if time allows.  What I do not have time to do amongst writing new pieces and personally responding to comments, is to monitor the site hour by hour looking for unpleasant or abusive comments, with a view to deleting them.  As a result, some do gain a life of their own and evoke retaliatory responses that exacerbate the situation before they are detected, and clearly that has caused anger and upset, and in some cases simmering resentment.

So folks, its up to you to indicate what you want from TPS, and how you want it to operate.  The easiest thing for me would be to close the site down and walk away.  I believe that to do that would disappoint a lot of you and let you down.  There are many things that attract people here: the nature and quality of the original pieces, the opportunity to express a view, the comments that so often are extensive and informative, the interaction between commenters, the friendship, and the comprehensive links that Lyn provides every weekday, and which D Mick Weir has been providing so ably while Lyn is currently taking a break.

So it’s up to you folks.  I am prepared to continue as in the past, but I draw the line at settling personal disputes among the group who comment regularly.  What is it to be?

I’ll be out for a while; I look forward to reading your responses, if any, when I return.

Ad astra

January 19. 2012 03:58 PM


Feral Skeleton, that is news that devastates me. The blogosphere can be a boxing ring at times and we take lots of punches. I've had my fair share of them and continue to do so. You have been one of the inspirations that has kept me going.


January 19. 2012 05:01 PM

D Mick Weir

My two cents worth

Hat Tip: Retweeted by Ben Harris-Roxas @ben_hr from Jennifer Bennett @Jen_Bennett
Thinking about having an argument on the internet?

So you're MAD about something on the Internet  Professor Internet
Comic Flowchart on How To Deal With Internet Arguments

There are times I need this tattooed to my forehead, or at least as my screen saver/desktop.

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 06:16 PM


I'm sorry Ad
You must be sad
But being bullied
Makes me mad

It's quite appalling
I'm close to bawling
All this nasty

But after all
No man should crawl
Just want to stand
Five-seven tall.

Before I say any more, will you please explain why, when I had said such <<fulsome>> things about you in the preamble to my awarding the 3 winners of the Ad astra Sword Awards - ending with the words 'Well done thou good and faithful servant!' that you berated me with wtte "Didn't I even rate you a passing mention", that was absolutely amazing to me, I don't know what a two-eyed person would have thought?!


January 19. 2012 06:35 PM

Ad astra

I doubt that extending the debate is wise.

You've asked your question; FS may not wish to respond. In my view it is best to let bygones be bygones.

Ad astra

January 19. 2012 06:55 PM

D Mick Weir

I'm off to eat a sandwich

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 07:09 PM


TPS has its own resident troll, a wolf in sheep's clothing who has appointed himself the gatekeeper whose job it is to keep out anyone expressing even a mildly dissenting view. as I found out recently too.  I find it incredibly hard to believe that TT genuinely asks a "what did I do wrong" question at 6:16pm today when NormanK had already provided an answer at 12:58pm.  Frankly I am disgusted that so soon after being politely asked by this sites owner to play by the rules and let bygones be bygones - you go and pull such a bloody stupid stunt as this one TT.

I would hope that FS and NormanK will come back very quickly despite your "regular" outpourings of what some may call connected thoughts - or AA finds an "Ignore Button" for FS, NormanK and myself to use.  Please note the following:
1. There are a number of political parties in Australia - they all have the right to be heard.
2. In my view, the ALP is far more conservative than it was 30 years ago.  It also has an ageing and decreasing numerically membership base (in short they are dying out).  The Greens are attacking from the left while the ALP heads to the right.  I have every right to say so without you claiming making accusations against me (or NormanK as demonstrated above).
3. If you don't like opinions that vary from your own - go talk to yourself because the number of people that will read your posts here is quickly declining.  In short - pull your head in.  There will be no consideration of an apology this time until there is a demonstrated change in behaviour.

AA - if this post is too inflammatory please feel free to delete it or delete and ask me to post a toned down version by email - you have the address.


January 19. 2012 07:24 PM

Ad astra

As I allowed TT's comment, I will allow yours.  

But can we all give up on this pointless debate.  Nobody is going to concede to anyone; there is no resolution possible.  The best we can do is to give the matter a rest.

If argumentative comments continue, I will close the site for comments until further notice.

Ad astra

January 19. 2012 07:40 PM


I'm off to eat a sandwich - ham and salad DMW?

Thanks for the latitude AA.


January 19. 2012 07:49 PM


Evening Bad Abbott
Abbott featuring in ABC News stories a couple of minutes apart-
"this is a government with no money to give..." & then "there is an abundance of money..."
Different subjects admittedly but still...
Plus shots on other channels- "I've dealt with that, other questions?"
He gets away with this...


January 19. 2012 07:57 PM

D Mick Weir

definitely not Turkey as the meat contains a soporific and it has been suggested can lead to a decline in acute mental gymnastics.

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 08:45 PM

D Mick Weir

Hey 2353,
It is not actually a sambo, but, if you have never tried this you just haven't lived.

A lightly toasted roll, easy on the butter, generous slabs of hot roast pork with lots of crackling.

Topped off with apple sauce and hot chilli sauce.

To die for Smile

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 08:48 PM

D Mick Weir

That Roast Pork Roll is almost as good as a peanut butter and lime marmalade sambo Smile

On very fresh bread of course.

D Mick Weir

January 19. 2012 09:16 PM


DMW - just dropped in after dinner (luckily).  While the Roast Pork Roll sounds divine and I also love the lime marmalade I think I'll pass on the peanut butter - I have a nut (including peanut) allergy Laughing


January 19. 2012 09:19 PM

D Mick Weir

damn those bleedin' allergies

Mine is crustaceans so whatever you do don't come the raw prawn with me Tong

D Mick Weir

January 20. 2012 01:15 AM

Patricia WA

I've recently had pre-occupations away from blogging and had little time to read, much less respond except superficially,  to discussions here. I feel, however, I should respond to Ad Astra's request for feedback on continuing with the site after the surprising developments and emotions expressed here today.

Of course you must continue.  Authors will come and go but the essential character of The Political Sword remains. It's a great site and still has lots to offer. That's quite clearly seen when Michael, 2353, BSA Bob, DMW, TT  et al  are obviously here to stay.   I can imagine your frustration, Ad Astra, when a site well known for its intelligent and civilized exchanges and courtesy even to outsiders of malicious intent, erupts into 'internecine conflict' amongst some of its leading contributors.

Of course emotions run high and passions explode, given the issues we discuss, and given the talents and temperaments of the people commenting  here.  There isn't one of us who hasn't at some time or another been offended by Talk Turkey's o.t.t. reaction to our refusal to agree with his wilder enthusiasms.  Nor have I noticed FS holding back from crossing swords with anyone whose views she didn't like.  

But isn't that part of who they are?  It seems to be a necessary feature of the style and brilliance they both bring to TPS.  Deep down they know that about themselves too.  Look at the names they've chosen!  Talk Turkey! and Feral Skeleton!  Just look at the gravatar with which FS introduces herself throughout the blogosphere!  Nor have those words, provocative and divisive, been used by anyone but herself.    

Dear FS.  Your resignation comes as no surprise to me.  I have had concerns for your health for some time now.  I was amazed at your capacity for brilliant and combative writing under pressure and astonished at how conscientiously you responded to comments on your work, as well as that of others.  At the same time you were clearly a devoted and diligent mother, managing on your own after a fairly recent bereavement.   Your family and financial circumstances aside, anyone used to dealing with workaholics would not be surprised by that septic tooth which brought you to a standstill for a while.  But not long enough.   You took up arms again too soon.   And now this.   Which if you can see it in the right light is a wise step.  I hope you won't rush off to some new site feeling aggrieved and defensive but take time out for yourself.  You deserve it.  You also deserve great financial rewards for your talent and energy.   Perhaps time out will give you a chance to see how they might come to you.


Patricia WA

January 20. 2012 08:46 AM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix
The Thank the Dieties It's Friday Edition
nup, just doesn't quite have 'that ring' to it so it is now:
The Thank Good It's Friday Edition

Today's links start of with a tweet from Greg Jericho @GrogsGamut
hmmm RT @Colgo: Good column and ripper comment thread about science and journalism  http://bit.ly/yLlReO

For such a damn fine writer you would think Grog/Greg would know about apostrophes
Dear Greg please amend to Grog'sGamut for the sake of the lost and misplaced apostrophe - please Tong ed DMW

Nine ways scientists demonstrate they don't understand journalism  
Have you heard of Futurity? How about The Conversation? In different ways, these sites and others are bypassing the traditional media model – cutting out the journalist middleman and letting researchers speak more directly to the public. In the case of Futurity, which is backed by a growing number of research-intensive universities, university press officers act as mediators with the site posting more-or-less edited "stories" (press releases) that are uncontaminated by any sordid contact with the grubby mitts of the reporting classes.
The Conversation, based in Melbourne, is a more interesting hybrid with hacks drafted in to commission and edit contributions from academics.


See from the Science Desk below for more on this.

Oh error function 1701  @ Grog's blog the name is Grog's Gamut  Apologies Mr Gamut errr Jericho, pretty please just a small bit of forgiveness?

... and blow me down with a feather Greg/Grog, whoever the heck he is, has posted two blogs in two days to his own site. Maybe 2012 will be a different political year after all.  Smile

Full-time up, part-time down: unemployment rate flat Greg Jericho @Grog'sGamut
Now Tony Abbott might suggest this is all the failure of the Government but his response that "This is a very disappointing result, and it demonstrates how important it is that the government urgently gets debt and deficit under control" is not exactly credible, ...

Ahh the pleasures of the interwobbly thingamajig when a dinky di Aussie bloke writes some fair dinkum, no holds barred stuff backed up with some facts and real data.

GO Grog err Greg, ohh dammit, I don't care what you call yourself just keep pumpimg them out.

Now just because the silly season is still with us and I am being led by the nose by Twitter and I have this thing about punctuation ... (mostly 'cos I am not so good at it myself)

Hat Tip: Lesley Dewar @LesleyDewar1 as Retweeted by Tim Soutphommasane #timsout
14 Punctuation Marks That You Never Knew Existed  Jack Shephard @ BuzzFeed
Where have you been all my life, the Interrobang. Less so, the Asterism, despite the awesome name. How many of these did you know already? Be honest.

OK now back to politics

I really don't know what to make of this op-ed article but I will share it with you anyway. It could be the comment by Mike (not me) that encourages me to share ...
You are what you choose to learn  Barnaby Joyce @CanberraTimes
Our future is determined to a large extent by who we are and where we live. When we are young we may have dreams of beauty, fame or wealth but mostly these are determined by genetics, the benevolence of our families and education.

Abbott’s stunts no substitute for policy grunt  Anthony Albanese (Opinion in The Australian) @HisWebSite
Tony Abbott declared at the 2010 Press Gallery end of year drinks that he would host the 2011 drinks in the Lodge.
Of course, we know that represented a triumph of ambition over reality.


Challenge for Gillard: to reignite the passion  Michael Gordon  @NationalTimes
NOW comes the hard part. Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have the chance to cast self-interest aside, right a historical wrong and nudge this country towards reconciliation. Will they grasp it? And if they do, will the nation respond?

Racism very much alive in Australia, says Dr Charles Teo   Stephen Drill, Henry Budd @Herald Sun
Dr Charles Teo, the son of Chinese immigrants, who prolonged the life of Jane McGrath and has saved the lives of hundreds of Australians, said it was wrong to deny there was racism.
At a launch of Australia Day Council celebrations yesterday, Dr Teo said that racism was still "very much alive in Australia".


Racism still shadows our history  Mark Leibler  @NationalTimes
The Australian constitution must abandon the 19th century idea that Aboriginal people's identity is based on race.
Racism turns your life into a lottery. It reduces your ability to control your destiny or make decisions for yourself. To stay or go becomes a matter of life or death.


Gay marriage: a step on the journey, not the destination  Tim Dunlop @TheDrum
Legalising same-sex marriage is an important thing for a decent society to do, but I doubt it is the most important aspect of gay acceptance that we have to come to terms with.

Dumbing-down our political leaders  Lauren Rosewarne  @TheDrum
... why is it so preposterous that we want a leader smart enough to tackle the enormously complicated job of running government? Why is a politician who is smarter than us, smarter than those around us, such a repellent idea?

Stop Rupert Murdoch owning every Australian newspaper and TV station  @IndependentAus
A government review is recommending the eliminate of ownership limits for Australian media — and the team at Avaaz are mobilising public outrage over this outrageous proposal. Find out how to make your voice heard here.

Gillard’s pokie rethink shows weakness while Wilkie wavers  Craig Mark @TheConversation
Gillard may propose a watered-down version of Wilkie’s original proposal, which will involve postponing legislation until 2016, and implementing a trial of Wilkie’s proposed pre-commitment technology in the ACT.

Pokie Reform On Life Support  Ben Eltham @NewMatilda
It’s not hard to discern the cause of the Government’s new-found caution when it comes to mandatory pre-commitment. The clubs lobby and its allies in the media and in the New South Wales Rugby League have waged a savage and dishonest campaign against the changes.

Research challenges cost of pokies reform  @ABCNews
Research commissioned by the anti-gambling lobby has challenged the clubs industry's claim that poker machine reform would cost it billions of dollars in set-up costs.

There's nothing voluntary about addiction  Simon Sheikh @TheDrum
In the case of voluntary pre-commitment - one of the options put to Andrew Wilkie and an option likely to be considered by Cabinet - three Australian studies have already shown it to be ineffective.

PM sidesteps her way back to control  Canberra Observed @AFR (Free)
Those who hope for the death of the doorstop should ponder on how much can be communicated by saying almost nothing.
That’s what it was like day after day this week as Julia Gillard made it clear she could not stick to the letter of her written agreement with Andrew Wilkie that helped her form government in September 2010.

As our economics correspondent has retired - it is only fair to ask:
Economists in government: what are they good for?  @notthetreasuryview   HatTip: @TimHarford
Since the financial crisis, economists as a profession have come in for considerable criticism, both for failing to predict the crisis and for disagreeing violently with each other about what to do about it. As far as macroeconomics and finance go,  it is difficult to dispute that there is a strong case to answer. But the criticism has often extended beyond these topics to a broader critique of what is sometimes described as “economic imperialism”,  ...

Numbers don't back business lobbying  Ben Spies-Butcher @SMH
January marks two years since the introduction of Fair Work Australia, the body established by Labor to replace the industrial relations system of WorkChoices. It is now up for review. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a growing chorus of business voices claiming problems, from mounting paperwork to falling productivity and rapidly rising wages.
In fact, there is little evidence of spiralling wages.


From the Science Desk
Not Exactly Rocket Science  Ed Yong  @DiscoverMagazine
Every scientists-versus-journalists debate ever, in one diagram

Correlation is not causation  Nathan Green @Notes&Theories/Gaurdian
"Correlation is not causation" means that just because two things correlate does not necessarily mean that one causes the other. As a seasonal example, just because people in the UK tend to spend more in the shops when it's cold and less when it's hot doesn't mean cold weather causes frenzied high-street spending. A more plausible explanation would be that cold weather tends to coincide with Christmas and the new year sales.

What would sophisticated use of social media actually look like?  Ben Harris-Roxas @HealthImpactAssessment
There is of course a hierarchy of participation in all social media. For everyone who generates content there's many more who comment, and there's many more than them who share online information in some way ...

The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption  Maria Popova @BrainPickings
“You are a mashup of what you let into your life,” artist Austin Kleon recently proclaimed.

The Internet is like a million-page a second photocopier (or is that a series of tubes)  John Quiggin @hisblog
Not long ago, I read Daniel Ellsberg’s[1] autobiography, Secrets, and also watched the film, The Most Dangerous Man in America. A striking feature of the book was that Ellsberg’s biggest problem in leaking the Pentagon Papers was the logistical difficulty of making 20 or so copies of a 7000 page cache of documents. It took him and a couple of helpers several months ...

What the Front Pages are Saying
via James Massola @jamesmassola

Daily telegraph http://twitpic.com/897uxf
Wiggles Exclusive & Wilkies Health Revenge

NT news http://twitpic.com/897usb
No Croc's - Bikie Bar instead

Hobart Mercury http://twitpic.com/897uq6
Life After Doomsday

The Age http://twitpic.com/897te8
Apparently there is some Tennis on in Melbourne
High Hopes for unity on Indigenous Reform

The Australian http://twitpic.com/897ta0
Historic Vote faces Hurdles

Guess the Age & The Aus see things differently

D Mick Weir

January 20. 2012 08:48 AM

Ad astra

Patricia WA
Thank you for making the initial response to my request for feedback on the future direction of TPS.  Like all your comments, it is balanced and helpful.  I hope others will read what you have written and give their own feedback.

Your final paragraph, directed to FS, is a poignant reminder that all our thoughts, feelings, and actions exist within a context, one that includes family and health issues, and past events in our life.  We ought to reflect on that reality as we compose comments for public consumption.  Thank you for your wise counsel.

You have set the ball rolling; I hope that others will now give all of us feedback about what they want from TPS in 2012, and the standard of conduct they expect of those who comment here.

Ad astra

January 20. 2012 08:52 AM


Oh dear!  I've been awol for a bit and just looked in to to keep tabs on you all.  I am stunned to find FS and NormanK have bowed out and the place is in a state of upheaval.  As my dear old dad used to say "people are queer cattle and impossible to round up".  I am deeply saddened that TPS is being used as a boxing ring for personality clashes among its contributors.

Ad astra, may I suggest that we go back to square one and, to make it easier and less time consuming for you, perhaps you might consider posting a short discussion piece a couple of times a week to keep the blog flowing.  I hate to be critical of others, but it seems to me that egos are getting in the way of rational discussion where opinions are just opinions and not directed at those who hold them.  After all, we do not know each other on a personal basis and therefore, the notion of personal abuse is a bit over the top in my opinion.  We are thinking people and we may, or may not, admire the writing skills and even the thought processes of Joe Blog or Annie Blog.  On the other hand, Maisie Blog may rub us up the wrong way, but because we do not personally know these people it is sheer stupidity to take any comment as a personal slight to our own intelligence.  

Fellow Swordians, how about we turn our attention to the politicians and the media.  How about giving each other the courtesy of allowing the right to hold different opinions and the right to argue the reason/s behind those opinions

Just my thoughts Smile  Feel free to ignore or call me a silly old goat Laughing:.


January 20. 2012 10:23 AM

Ad astra

Thank you for your thoughtful comment.  I like the idea of shorter discussion pieces.  Often I have set out to write such pieces, but they usually end up being quite long.  I shall try harder.  I have almost competed a rather lengthy piece that attempts to pull together the elements of political speech writing, with which I shall begin the 2012 year, but after that let’s see if shorter pieces work better.

I heartily endorse your plea: ” Fellow Swordians, how about we turn our attention to the politicians and the media.  How about giving each other the courtesy of allowing the right to hold different opinions and the right to argue the reason/s behind those opinions.”

janice, you will never be a ‘silly old goat’.  From the very first day I began my blogging ‘career’, you have made sane and sensible comments and have given wise counsel.  Thank you again today for your advice.

Ad astra

January 20. 2012 10:38 AM


I concur with Janice about "short discussion pieces a couple of times a week to keep the blog flowing".

The recent spate of great speeches as kick-off points for the site seems to have dissipated focus on events occurring here and now that call on us to zero in on putting "commentators and politicians to the verbal sword".

It's as if the energy that a direct and immediate and local political situation can inspire in our desire to address such things has been confusedly re-directed into ad hominem commentary on fellow participants here, with dredging of past archives to support increasingly 'angels on a pin-head' posts of 'you said/I said'.

Because, while great speeches are remarkable aids to exploring what has driven politics and social movements in the farther and more immediate past, they don't focus on the 'now'. And without that goad of turning the sword to the 'now out there', some group members seem to have shifted attention to the 'ongoing in here'. The site has become the issue, as it were.

I suspect we don't need long pieces at the head of each thread (although, contradicting myself, I would very much like to read Feral Skeleton's mooted piece "The Rise of Brutalism in the Political Discourse"), that such extended pieces could be quarterly 'special events', for example.

Keep it sharp, keep it pointed. Something like a... sword.


January 20. 2012 11:52 AM


I think there's more that unites those who post here than divides them, there is after all a greater common foe to address.
As a comparatively occasional poster of brief pieces I'm happy to leave discussions as to the broad format of the site to others.


January 20. 2012 12:46 PM


Ad Astra

I agree with both Patricia and Janice.  Also I think Michael's suggestion could work too.

I love The Political Sword, I would hate not having it in my life, and although I have been haphazard with reading it lately because of packing and stuff I don't know how I would cope without it.  It has been the only stable thing going for me at the moment.


January 20. 2012 01:10 PM


Ad astra,
There is no need to "try harder" - I am not suggesting you change your modus operandi but, in order to save your precious time, you might consider posting a "topic" for discussion i.e a one or two liner (or paragraph) just to keep the blog flowing.  For instance, why not post a link to an article and add your own comment to it just as Lyn does and put it up for others to comment on?   I'm damned sure each and every contributor to TPS will appreciate and be thankful for any pieces you care to write when time permits.


January 20. 2012 01:21 PM

D Mick Weir


PM sidesteps her way back to control  Canberra Observed @AFR (Free)
Those who hope for the death of the doorstop should ponder on how much can be communicated by saying almost nothing.
That’s what it was like day after day this week as Julia Gillard made it clear she could not stick to the letter of her written agreement with Andrew Wilkie that helped her form government in September 2010.


D Mick Weir

January 20. 2012 02:03 PM


Bad Abbott

As if we needed any more proof that this callous fool is in no way or by any measure a suitable candidate for the leadership of any nation on Earth.



January 20. 2012 02:17 PM

Ad astra

Michael, BSA Bob, Gravel, janice
Thank you all for your feedback, advice, and warm encouragement.

To some extent, it highlights the dilemma of what to do over the end-of-year break.  Because those heavily involved in TPS do need a break from the constancy of feeding the site, we have elected to make December/January ‘down months’.  In the past, no new pieces have been posted during this period, but comments allowed.  This year many regulars requested the thread be kept open, and to provide some ‘meat’, a series of political speeches were posted for comment.  They have attracted some, but not much attention.  The next one, which I will post soon, is Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech, which amounts to just 278 words.  So there’s not much reading there, but plenty to think about.

FS suggested at the beginning of the period that she would be willing to do a weekly summary of political events, but I felt she, as well as the rest of us, needed a refreshing break from the continual demands of TPS.  We will need to discuss how we handle this period at the end of 2012.

What some of you have suggested is to a significant extent being provided by DMW’s links, which make for interesting reading and do evoke comments.  It is a pity some found themselves in adversarial mode over the break; whether or not that was because of a paucity of political material to discuss, I do not know.

Anyway, I will take your suggestions into account when starting the 2012 program.  Writing very short pieces is harder than writing longer ones, or at least it is for me. I’ve noted your suggestion, janice.

I’ll leave this thread open for another day or so to garner all the feedback that may arrive, before posting the Gettysburg address.

Ad astra

January 20. 2012 03:56 PM


Ad astra, does the platform you use for TPS allow you to ban certain contributors?  The platform I use at CW avails me the option of putting certain posters in my Spam folder, from where I can either delete the comment or approve it for publication.

It is not an option I originally enjoyed doing, however, it has won overwhelming support from all at CW.

Only three bloggers are on the list. Two of them have never posted or tried to post a comment at CW.  The third is a well known serial pest who the blogosphere can do without. Trolls aren't welcome at CW but I see that some have the freedom to comment here.

It is very difficult to follow the recommended response, which is to ignore them. Sometimes we can't help but offer some engagement to them. The bingo, the topic is derailed. And off they go the brag of their feats elsewhere in an attempt to cause some damage to TPS.


January 20. 2012 04:16 PM


Teresa Gambaro has been taking the dog-whistle for a walk again:



January 20. 2012 04:31 PM

Tom of Melbourne

May I suggest less of the bland mutual reinforcement of the party line, you know less of the -
•  The PM is doing a fine job, but the media won’t give her a chance.
•  “It wasn’t a lie”
•  A conscience vote on marriage equality is a fine example of progress.
•  Overseas processing of asylum seekers makes sense these days, but it didn’t used to.

The tag – “Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword” is applied only in a very selective and partisan manner.
Perhaps some people should also avoid using this site to spread their inter blog rivalries too. There’s a clear culprit who does this repeatedly.

Tom of Melbourne

January 20. 2012 05:37 PM


Ad astra, 2353 & TT,
thnx for the kind & encouraging comments.

I luv ginger TT, so will take your advice.

I wish Feral & Norman the best in their retirement...they contributed well.

Ad & others,
keep the dream alive. Change can bring new life.


All the best,



January 20. 2012 06:59 PM


True Story

I went to Sky City Casino today,
To purchase a five-dollar meal.
(Well they've gone up now to six bucks,
But that used to be the deal.)
But while I was still on the pavement outside
This big bloke on the door
Looked my person over
From my flat cap to the floor.

And see, I was wearing slippers!
Neat, plain dark brown faux suede,
Not real leather, but nice fabric,
And this big bloke looked quite . . .  dismayed!

"Good Morning, may I help you?"
He asked, but I had spied
His frowning glance askance, so
I quickly stepped inside.

"Excuse me, are those slippers?"
He demanded, so I lied:
NO! I said defiantly:
(He'd pricked my slippered pride!)

He said "Well they look like slippers!"
We got rules, they don't comply!
We got stringent dress code standards
I'm not s'posed to let you by!
Are you sure that they're not slippers?"
I said, If they were, so what?
If they were real suede leather,
Would that be OK or not?

He looked a bit bewildered
He sort of said "Well . . . Yes!
I s'pose if they were leather
They would be OK I guess . . ."

So he looked at my suede slippers:
It all seemed a bit too much!
He wasn't very happy
He could look but couldn't touch.
There was nothing that he could do:
I'd already got inside,
So I grinned and kept on going,
Though I'm sure it hurt his pride.

But when I reached the second floor
There were wrinklies playing games,
Spending their kids' inheritance,
These dumb old dorks and dames;
But when I checked their footwear
The strangest thing I saw!
There were shoes and boots and sandals
Of all kinds and then some more!

Some were green, in moulded plastic,
Like ugly bilious clogs;
Some were cheap and grubby work boots
Like the kind that Rivers flogs
Some had high heels, some had low heels,
Lots were down-at-heel indeed -
Seems their need to feed the Pokies
Has outweighed their footwear need.

So I sat and wrote this poem
As I ate my chips'n'fish
Then went downstairs to read it to
That bloke - that was my wish.
But by then the guard had changed,
There was this Maori-looking bloke,
So I asked him quite politely
If he could take a joke
So I told him of my slippers,
And the Man Who Went Before,
And he said he'd give him curry
For letting me in the door,
But he was only joking -
"Cripes, your slippers are all right!
You'll find people here in #*cking thongs
On any #*cking night!"



January 20. 2012 07:18 PM


Ginger, Greens and Salmon Roe are nearly a balanced diet for Bears.

If you can't get fresh Salmon Roe you will have to make do with Red Caviare.


January 20. 2012 07:40 PM

Ad astra

Welcome back, even if only temporarily.  I hope your health improves steadily so you can join us fully again.  Best wishes to you.

Ad astra

January 20. 2012 07:42 PM

Patricia WA

Hi Nasking,    I wanted to keep my farewell to you separate from other issues.

But in a way I think you're a good example of how we should all be aware of our physical limitations and how they make themselves felt if we aren't!  

I had assumed that your health issues which you'd mentioned earlier kept you housebound and so made it possible for you to give time to all that research and writing which enriched us here, and promised more for us in 2012.

But that wasn't to be.  This then is another <i>Au revoir!</i> and not <i>Adieu!</i>    

Patricia WA

January 20. 2012 07:44 PM

Ad astra

What great verse - you really are clever at writing rhyme.  Thanks.

Ad astra

January 20. 2012 07:48 PM

Ad astra

Teresa Gambaro has a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease.  The signs are that she may not recover.

Ad astra

January 21. 2012 09:44 AM


Readers are cautioned that some may be offended
by TalkTurkey's u.t.b. attempts at humour. Smile

Abbortt's Boat Joke, audio

Oh Mickey! You're so yicky! These are amazing lyrics, very rude when you read thoughtfully with perversion aforethought . . . Can you work out what she's really saying?


Song + lyrics


All Chant:
Hey Tony What a wit
What a wit so full of shit!
Hey Tony!
Hey Tony!
Hey Tony What a wit!
What a wit so full of shit!
Hey Tony!
Hey Tony!

Hey Tony
You're so funny
What a clever quote!
Fair grabs me by the throat
When you say They stopped the boat!

Oh Tony you're so horny
Now I understand
When you tell Archbigot Pell
You can take it like a man!
Hey Tony!
Hey Tony!

All Chant:
Oh Tony you're so smart
You're so smart but don't you fart!
Hey Tony!
Hey Tony!

All Chant:
Hey Tony, What a bloke!
Someone's dead, you make a joke!
Hey Tony!
Hey Tony!

Hey Tony what a pity
Don't it make you cuss!
Shit happening to you
While it's happening to us!
It's guys like you Tony!
You're full of poo Tony!

(Girls chant)
Hey Tony Just your voice!
Just to hear you makes me moist!
Hey Tony!
Hey Tony!

(Boys chant)
Tony you are such a card!
Just to hear you makes me hard!
Hey Tony!
Hey Tony!

Hey Tony
You're so funny
What a clever quote
You choke me in my throat
When you say They stopped the boat!

And so on.


January 21. 2012 10:05 AM

D Mick Weir

Mick's Media Mix
The Where were you when the Ship Hit The Span Edition *

Saturday’s socialist speak out  John Passant @EnPassant
Remember, this is the Party that at its December conference specifically rejected a proposal from the Left to put job creation before a Budget surplus. Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

I'll turn back every boat, says Tony Abbott  Matt Johnston @Herald Sun
A COALITION government will order the navy to turn around asylum-seeker boats and return them to Indonesia in an assertion of Australian border protection, Tony Abbott revealed.
The Opposition Leader is determined to impose a new and tougher policy whereby Australia uses its navy to secure its borders.


The Statue of Liberal-ty or How Tony Abbott intends to stop the boats  Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery
I can’t help thinking that if we truly attempt to stop the boats and prevent people from achieving a better life for themselves, then we in return end up lost.
When people cry for help and we do nothing, then all we can expect is nothing when we ourselves need help.


Abbott wit needs cruise control on  Laurie Oakes @TheDailyTelegraph
TONY Abbott's quip in his Adelaide FM radio interview on Thursday had the hosts hooting with mirth. The Opposition Leader, greatly amused by his own wit, joined in the laughter.
But Liberal minders worthy of their jobs would have recoiled in horror, recognising it as one of those moments that raise the question: "Is Abbott fit to be prime minister?"


The Race is Over!  Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery
I first started blogging because I knew when Abbott said that he would only “turn back boats where safe to do so”, he was lying. I knew when he offered the Nauru solution, what he intended all along is forcibly eject boats on the high seas and in international waters.
Everytime he made the qualification in the 2010 election campaign, I knew he had no intentions of keeping it.


Tony Abbott and Tuff!  Min @theCafe
One has to wonder why Tony Abbott has had this sudden “look over there” moment when according to all the popular; or should I say the populist press, he has already placed his bets, and won on the poker machine issue.

rubbery figures and desperate spin  Tom Cummings @cyenne
What a week it’s been for the pokies. First we heard that poker machine reform was dying, that Julia Gillard was preparing to cut Andrew Wilkie and his demands loose. Then we heard the reforms were dead and buried. Then they weren’t. Then they were. There were backflips and betrayals, accusations and allegations, demands and denials. It’s been bedlam!

PM says she doesn't have the numbers for pokie reform  PM Transcript @ABC
Gambling is a numbers game and so too is the politics surrounding it. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard has today indicated that she doesn't think the Government has the votes to get poker machine reforms through Parliament.

Staying afloat despite the shipping news  Jessica Irvine @NationalTimes
People easily frightened or possessed of a delicate constitution may want to reach for the cottonwool and blindfolds this year. Economists and journalists have taken to foretelling the economic future with all the relish of a campside ghost story and dignity of a schlock horror movie.
For journalists, it's like being granted access to the colour crayons box. We're suddenly able to crack out words like ''tumbling'', ''slumping'' and ''plunging''.


On having one's arse handed to one by the internet   Andrew Elder @PoliticallyHomeless
Earlier this week I posted about the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists. Responses to that post on the blog and on Twitter have been instructive to say the least.

The Price of a Front Page  Mike Stutchbery @hisbog
You know, I make a lot of cracks about the Herald Sun.
Specifically, I joke about their never-ending list of enemies, malcontents and ne’er-do-wells that threaten the Australian way of life: the unemployed, asylum seekers, non-Christians, Greens voters, anyone living less than 5km from the Melbourne CBD.


Selling Votes   John Holbo  @Crooked Timber
Like a lot of people – most liberals and progressives – I think it would make most sense to ‘keep the money out of politics’ to a much greater degree than is the case. Obviously this is complicated, but ideally it shouldn’t be the case that people can buy so much influence, in effect.

How Kodak Squandered Every Single Digital Opportunity It Had  Peter Pachal @MashableTech
Kodak has finally formalized what had been expected for years — it’s gone bankrupt. In the past 15 years, digital technology changed photography dramatically, and Kodak, a former heavyweight in the analog film business, got left behind.

Steve Jobs and Friedrich Hayek, or Design: the column  Nicholas Gruen with his Ross Gittin's Hat On
Welcome to the new world of service design. If you haven’t heard, design is on the crest of a wave. Apple teeters on being the most valuable company in history because of its mastery over design – not technology, at which it is unremarkable. And the world’s largest business services firm, Deloitte, wants ”design thinking” at the centre of its operations – from consulting to audit.

... and it just wouldn't be right if I didn't leave you with something about punctuation. Or at least writing style

Space Invaders - Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period.  Farhad Manjoo @Slate
Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.

*On the 5th January 1975 the bulk carrier Lake Illawarra collided with the Tasman Bridge. That year The Uni of Tasmania's Uni Revue in full punnery presented Where Were You When The Ship Hit The Span?  to the disgust of many of the good burghers of Hobart.

One wonders if Mr Abbott will suffer anywhere near as much approbrium for his recent Ship Hitting The Span moment.

Enjoy your Satrday folks

D Mick Weir

January 21. 2012 10:43 AM

patricia lorimer

I am being thoroughly indulgent making a comment about TPS as I am not a contributor, just a reader.
IMHO, FS and NormanK are hugely undervalued. Their capacity, contribution and commitment will be so missed, I think TPS, as we know it, could fail.
I have wandered over to Poll Budger more regularly and I consider FS to be our Bushfire Bill. I know I am being audacious, but that is my considered, honest opinion.
There has been much adulation for Bushfire Bill's thoughts/writings (well deserved), but combined, FS and NormanK give TPS much of its depth and vigour.
I know these are different blogs, different styles but there has to be fast, concise comments that keep the mood and interest along with the longer, more thought provoking articles.
I can fully appreciate why FS and NormanK have withdrawn at this time. TPS will evolve, but for two contributors of this calibre to disappear under these circumstances, the tenor of this blog will be dramatically altered.
Because I have not mentioned the value of other contributors, this in no way diminishes their great input.
Thanks AA for the opportunity and hard work you have invested in this site.
2012 is shaping up to be a big political year. Your country needs you, FS and NormanK! I certainly do.

patricia lorimer

January 21. 2012 11:01 AM


"Where were you when the Ship Hit The Span?"

That's very droll DMW, thank you!
You are doing a terrific job.
Don't forget the Weetbix. With Crystallized Ginger would be good eh! Though I don't share your breakfast passion, sorry.

Now from Poll Bludger:
Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Posted Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink
The Liberal Party have to dump Abbott. He is down-right insane and not with a mental health issue nor medical condition; he is just batshit crazy.

Journos make many predictions
TalkTurkey makes just one:
Late September at the latest
Tony Abbortt will be gone.

Abbortt! Remember!
The Ides of September!
You will be brought down by *'friends'* plotting!
By early November
You'll just be an ember
And by Crispmesstime you'll be forgotting.

Folks do you remember in Lord of the Rings the fight with the Elefaunts? Huge, all armoured, monsters? And the Elf tells the Dwarf, wtte Aim for the throat, their armour has a chink there!

Abbortt IS their throat. They all know it now, they are trying to cover his throat so far but there's too many holes in the dyke* and they will be panicking deep in their personal water.
They are wedged by their own gutlessness stupidity talentlessness morallessness and general horribility. They don't know what to do, . . . .Stuck with Abbortt? Nyah Nyah. Tiger by the tail, pussy more like. Smile

What will be left of them when he goes? ??Gravel? Wink

Tell me is there anyone out there who remembers
The Katzenjammer Kids?
BSA Bob maybe? Anyone?
"He brought it on himself Miss Twiddle!"

The Liberals are a shabby outfit and they know it.

This year Labor will rub their noses in their own mess.
"And the Bloggers snuff the battle with delight!"

*(I hereby forswear worrying about mixed metaphors OK?)


January 21. 2012 11:24 AM


Bad Abbott


Brutal, stupid, and unworkable. Which sums up Coalition policy on just about everything, and defines the essential nature of Tony Abbott and all who support him.


January 21. 2012 11:37 AM


Sandy & patricia lorimer

It would be rude of me not to acknowledge your kind words. Thank-you.
I'm sure if Feral Skeleton is looking in occasionally, she will be warmed by your support.
Let's not carve anything in stone just yet. If TPS manages to recover its formally civil ways, I'm sure I will find it hard to resist making a comment now and again - I may grow fat on strawberry jam sandwiches though. Smile
It is especially difficult to remain silent now that Mr Abbott has declared that he really will turn back the boats. And declaring that (in effect) the sinking of the Costa Concordia was a good outcome. If only this was a politically satirical TV programme, it would be a real hoot. As a documentation of real life it is nothing short of scary.


January 21. 2012 12:07 PM


Come back and stay, Feral and NormanK. Please.


January 21. 2012 12:50 PM

D Mick Weir

patricia lorimer @ 10:43 AM
thank you for your great and timely comment. It is appreciated by me and I am sure many others.

TPS will evolve, but for two contributors of this calibre to disappear under these circumstances, the tenor of this blog will be dramatically altered.

Too true.

The other day shortly after NormanK's announcement I sat alone in the garden smelling the roses with more than one tear in my eye.

Damned silly really, as after all, as NormanK wisely pointed out around the time of one of my dummy spits, I don't know the people behind the gravatar's of he, Feral Skeleton nor any of the other gravatars that drop in.

Part of the reason for my sadness is that the gravatars that are NormanK and Feral in particular have taught me many things and, not the least, a heck of a lot about myself.

As the month draws to a close and I prepare to hand back to Lyn the reins of providing the daily links I will be spending more time reconsidering my participation here.

D Mick Weir

January 21. 2012 12:53 PM

D Mick Weir

say after me:

always do a refresh before you save a comment

always do a refresh before you save a comment

Hi Rosie Gravatar,
hope the person behind had some wonderful reflections during his quiet time Smile

D Mick Weir

January 21. 2012 02:00 PM


Cheers Patricia Lorimer
You are not a foreigmer!
First posting here, um, here you go
Getting on for a year ago?
Well please believe me, I applaud
Your wish for the welfare of Our Sword
And let me say, regards Those Two,
I do feel very much as you.

FS and NK pre-dated me
(Pre-dated, not pred-ated see)
With Norman our Foreman, and Skeleton our Peregrine,
With TT we three have shared just here and there a grin . . .

[Peregrine . . . here and there a grin . . . OMiDog . . give me strength . . . Smile ]

I always said Feral Skeleton
Led the Swordsfolks' Peleton!
And NK's our IT Avatar,
The only person I know who really understands how to help people post their personal
And lots more.

97% I've ever said
About NK and FS
As you have surely seen and read
Has been comradely, yes.
But sometimes just a nuance, and sometimes just one word
Can lead you to such rancor things go cranky and absurd.

One thing leads to another: seems it only takes a spark
(to mix another metaphor!), sometimes, to strike an arc;
Then suddenly it happens, why it happens I'm not sure:
Suddenly you're focal in a Total Flaming WAR!

I do admit, I'm sensitive to being called a bully,
And one or two more, well a few more, I won't detail them fully,
And you must know the feeling, of feeling you're being picked on,
Especially if there's a pack of 'em and you feel you've been sicced on?

I'm really not a bully - I proclaim it loud and clear -
See as I write (this is no shhh I'm dabbing at a tear!
  Well quite few actually but plural tears doesn't fit
At worst I am a pedant, and a stickler for the truth,
Which, true, has landed me in heaps of trouble since my youth.

Some things one can't forget, they're sort of branded in your memory,
And I think we're all abrasive - garnet, carborundum, emery -
But I think, like weary sandpaper, we're not so quite so now!Please, let's all keep the Sword sharp, but take turns to steer the Plough!

Though we can't erase our memories, (and I wouldn't want to neither),
I do hope soon to hear from both of you, or either/either
And just because a big dark cloud has passed above your head,
Dog, don't just roll up in a shroud and act like you was dead!

One can't erase one's memories, but I've a big forgivory,
For he who helped me post my own design as my Blog livery,
And our Feistiest Fistiest Female Fff!... Ffffff!... Fighter, Feral Skeleton!
Let's all get back upon our bikes
And Feral, lead our Peloton!  

Feral, this is not a revisionist apology. I don't do them. It is not an apology at all. It is 100% sincere though. Let me put it this way: I hope that we might meet sometime, and if we do I would hope that we meet as friends and comrades, and the same goes for NormanK. (I once told Calligula, I'd gladly have a beer with him, I meant it too. If there is basically goodwill there I feel the same for anyone.)  If we share 97% of our DNA with Chimps, that would probably be 98%+ with Pretty Polly Pantsdown, so it's gotta be 99% at least for actual Humans especially Socialists!  


January 21. 2012 02:03 PM

D Mick Weir

Press Release from PM's Office

Tackling Problem Gambling in Australia

Let the mop flop where it will

D Mick Weir

January 21. 2012 02:05 PM

D Mick Weir

Having bought you the latest I can find I am now off to buy bread

I feel in need of sandwiches

D Mick Weir

January 21. 2012 02:22 PM


Isn't it funny that despite Fraser issuing thousands of visas allowing permanent settlement in Australia to people displaced from the Vietnam War (without the requirement to join a non-existant queue) he was frequently described as a ultra conservative facist.  The ALP supported the immigration policy, as did both parties during the era of the 10 pound Poms and those from Southern Europe.

Now we have the ALP and the LNP both supporting a policy to not allow refugees into the country.  Shows how conservative Australia has gotten in the past 40 years.  As an aside is Abbott going to stand on the wharf at Christmas Island with his hand in the air Canute style - or use an F18 to bomb them into millions of pieces?

DMW - stay clear of turkey or prawn sammies!  In relation to your press release (good spotting by the way), watch out for the washing machines in the medial and LNP - they spin hard and fast.


January 21. 2012 02:38 PM


D Mick Weir

May I recommend home-made strawberry jam and Tasty cheese.

The roses have passed their best so it has fallen to a spot of Swedish lawn-mowing for contemplative activity. Guaranteed to clear the mind of all thoughts other than survival.

And you lose weight! Smile


January 21. 2012 05:08 PM


Come on Swordians, defend the 'compromise' Gillard has made!

I dont get the politics of this?
1. She will be labeled a liar again; but this time, more damagingly, by independent members of Parliament.
2. She will lose support from alot of those on the left for once again being unprincipled, and not even taking Wilkie's proposal to the floor of parliament.
3. Nothing will change with the current club situation as there is currently still plans for some reform...thus rendering the whole move pointless.
4. She builds on the whole 'ill do and say anything to stay in the lodge' image that started with the whole carbon tax issue and continued with the Slipper slip.

Who ever is advising Gillard ought to be sacked with the woman herself.


January 21. 2012 05:19 PM

Ad astra

It was pleasing to see you commenting again this morning and reflecting the sentiments expressed by patricia lorimer and Sandy.

Both you and FS have made valuable contributions, which we will miss if you stay away.  I hope that FS too will return.  I have indicated to her both privately and publically that she would always be welcome to rejoin TPS.  I hope the many nice things that have been said about her contributions, the earnest entreaties to her to come back, and the conciliatory remarks that have been made, will bear fruit.

You have provided an invaluable service by providing us with interesting links while Lyn took a break. Thank you so much. There is no reason why you should not continue.  You have given emphasis to news items; Lyn concentrates mainly on blog sites.  You and she complement each other, so please fell free to post your links after Lyn resumes her usually links on Monday 30 January.

Ad astra

January 21. 2012 05:33 PM

Ad astra

I have just posted: What makes a good political speech? Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com

Ad astra

January 21. 2012 05:37 PM


  Wilkie said today he was sure the numbers were there to support his bill,Well if that's true and he is a man "of his word" as told us today! There is NOTHING stopping him putting his bill up as a private members bill to test his theory that he did indeed have the numbers is there?


January 21. 2012 05:43 PM



..... the Slipper slip. ??

Remind me again which party leader it was who allowed one of his members to be harassed and harangued to the point where he felt his only recourse was to retreat to the cross-benches? There may have been a certain amount of carrot involved in that move but if you have followed the goings-on in his electorate you would be well aware that the Qld LNP was wielding a very big stick - wielding it often and forcefully. Abbott, despite his platitudes to Slipper, did nothing to stop the attack. You choose to believe that Labor tempted him away from his party. I believe they offered him a safe haven from an unremitting attack by his own party.

"Slipper slip" indeed!
"Abbott's blunder" more likely.


January 21. 2012 07:06 PM


Now for some good news albeit self indulgent!
Almost 3 months ago I posted that I was getting solar panels put on my roof! after getting another $1200.00 electricity bill.
Well $26,000 dollars later and 40 panels on my roof the first electricity bill arrived yesterday for the grand sum of $96.00!


Comments are closed