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Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats and contemporary politics

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Monday, 6 February 2012 11:27 by Ad astra
Most people will have heard of Edward de Bono’s concept of parallel thinking, but fewer will know about his Six Thinking Hats Method of discourse. This piece is to explain this method and to suggest how it might be engaged to improve the quality of political debate among politicians, or if that is not possible, among those in the media who report matters political.

It has become tacitly accepted that politicians have their own adversarial way of engaging in debate, an approach that is less concerned with the facts, the truth, than it is with gaining political advantage by stealing a march on the adversary, or putting the other side down. Truth is often relegated to an insignificant role, in favour of spin, disingenuousness, or sometimes, outright deception.

Much of what follows is drawn from De Bono’s 1994 Penguin book Parallel Thinking – From Socratic to de Bono Thinking.

De Bono traces the history of this adversarial approach back to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Plato believed that ‘uncontrolled democracy’ was the ruin of the State. He favoured restricting voting rights to a selected few because the views of the masses could be so easily swayed, in the same way many fear the media now sways the masses to its point of view. His views were reinforced by the existence of the Sophists, whose schools of rhetoric aimed at developing in its pupils skills of persuasion that could make weak arguments stronger. Today’s Sophists are known as professional lobbyists and spin-doctors. As de Bono puts it: “Faced with what he saw as a ‘rabble’ democracy, and the development of unscrupulous skilled persuaders, Plato opted for a government of competence based on rulers who had been bred and trained to rule.”

The ‘Socratic method’ is the endless search for the truth through asking questions. The Sophists believed there was no such thing as absolute truth that questioning could uncover, and that truth was only what someone had been persuaded to believe. To them, a person’s perception was ‘the truth’. Given the activities of the latter day professional persuaders, nothing much has changed since then!

De Bono believes that the adversarial, argumentative approach that the Socratic method encourages, while being suitable for some scientific endeavours, is insufficient and sometimes counterproductive in solving complex multi-facetted problems. He draws a parallel between the Socratic method and the type of argument seen in courts of law where each side is focused on winning rather than revealing the truth. Both prosecutor and defence lawyers place before the jury what they believe is advantageous to their case, and purposely omit facts that are disadvantageous. This is what happens in political discourse. Sadly, much of the media, which too often assumes a partisan position, engages in the same deception.

The Six Thinking Hats
de Bono developed the Six Thinking Hats Method as a way carrying out parallel thinking and avoiding the disadvantage of the argumentative, adversarial approach that bedevils so much debate in so many fields, not the least in the political field. Much of what follows is derived from his 1985 Penguin Book Six Thinking Hats.

He illustrates the notion of parallel thinking by painting a picture of four people looking at a building, one looking at the north aspect, one at the south aspect and the other two looking respectively at the east and west aspects. All are looking at the same building at the same time, but at different aspects. Not surprisingly what each sees and describes is different, although they are looking at the same building. If none were prepared to accept that the others were looking at different aspects, and all insisted that what they saw was ‘the truth’ about that building, and what the others was not, they would argue endlessly and fruitlessly about the nature of the building. On the other hand, if they moved as a group to first look together at the north aspect, then in turn the south, east and west, they would all see the same thing and, while one might take more note of the windows, another of the roof, another the wall and another the surrounds, they would all at least be looking at the same aspect and would therefore be less likely to engage in pointless argument.

With the Six Hats Thinking Method, all the participants ‘wear’ the same hat at the same time, so that all are looking at the same aspect simultaneously. Let me make sense of that by describing the ‘hats’.

First, they are not real hats which people actually wear, but figurative ones. They are categorized by colour: white, red, black, yellow, green and blue, each colour symbolizing the nature of the hats. The chairperson might say: let’s have some white hat thinking, or black hat, and everyone behaves in the manner specific to that hat.

Let’s look at the individual hats.

The White Hat
White is seen as a neutral colour and therefore the one that signifies the facts. de Bono subdivides facts into ‘checked facts’, those that have been verified, and ‘believed facts’ or ‘unchecked facts’, that have not been verified. The latter may take the form of, for example: “I believe I am right in saying that this new model is quieter than the previous one.” Although these are regarded as ‘second class facts’, they are allowed so long as they are qualified by stating the uncertainty that surrounds them. So long as they seem relevant, even unverified facts may have their use, if for no other reason that they invite further exploration of their validity.

Debate often starts with everyone wearing the white hat so as to gather the facts.

The Red Hat
As the colour suggests, the red hat invites the expression of emotions and feelings about the subject matter under discussion. It is important that people be given the opportunity to express their feelings, positive and negative, about the subject, as it is often unspoken feelings that distort the debate and get in the way of resolution. Wearing the Red Hat, it is quite legitimate for anyone who wishes to do so to express feelings freely without debate, and without having to explain why those feelings are present. In fact asking people to explain why they feel the way they do is prohibited when the red hat is being worn. It is enough that they feel the way they do and express those feelings; if they were required to explain why, many would repress their feelings, to the disadvantage of the debate. Some may have a feeling of uncertainty, discomfort, or fear; some may have a hunch, or their intuition may be speaking to them. That is sufficient for the vocalization of that feeling. It may be a valuable pointer, and is therefore given credence.

The Black Hat
The Black Hat is the one most often used, and is probably the most useful. When worn, it invites people to express caution and be careful. Wearing it, people point out what is wrong with an idea or plan, why it may not work, what does not fit. The problem with the Black Hat is that if it is worn continuously, if it is the only hat worn, all that emerges is negativity. We see that every day in contemporary politics. Yet without the Black Hat, hair-brained schemes may be adopted in ignorance of the pitfalls. Risks, dangers, obstacles, potential problems, and the downsides are considered when wearing the Black Hat.

The Black Hat is valuable if used only as one of the Six Hats, along with the others, and only if used by all involved in the debate at the one time. Again, de Bono insists that only one hat is worn at any time, and that it is worn by all participants at the same time. Sometimes people get labeled as, say, ‘a Black Hat person’. This is contrary to the method. Everyone gets a chance to wear the Black Hat, and the other hats as well. Black Hat discussion is not argument and must not be allowed to degenerate into argument.

The Yellow Hat
The bright Yellow Hat suggests sunshine and optimism. When everyone is wearing the Yellow Hat, the benefits of the idea, plan, or proposal are advanced. Everyone is encouraged to look for the good points, even if the individual has reservations or is opposed. The hat is useful because it forces people to seek out the value in what is under discussion, and not just that, but who will benefit, under what circumstances, and how its value might be realized.

Yellow Hat thinking requires positive constructive thinking, optimism, and a focus on benefits and making things happen.

It is the opposite of Black Hat thinking. It covers a spectrum from practical and logical suggestions to the more nebulous hopes, dreams, and visions.

The Green Hat
The Green Hat is worn where the exhibition of creative energy is required. Green signifies fertility and growth. Wearing the Green Hat offers the participants the opportunity to show their creativity. Sometimes even the quietest of people surprise themselves, and others, with their creative suggestions.

New ideas, new perceptions, new concepts, alternative ways of proceeding, and lateral thinking emerge and excite when all are wearing the Green Hat, often to everyone’s delight.

It is essential that creative ideas are marshalled, and even if they are somewhat nebulous, noted for further development. Sometimes it is Green Hat creativity that makes the day.

The Blue Hat
Blue, the colour of the sky, designates thinking about thinking. It is the administrative hat under which the process of the debate is determined. It is the control hat. A Blue Hat thinker acts like the conductor of an orchestra.

Often meetings begin with all wearing the Blue Hat, so as to agree upon how the discussion will begin and progress. What will be the order that the hats are worn? There is no set order, although many discussions begin with everyone wearing the White Hat, then proceeding to the Red, the Black, the Yellow and the Green Hats, often ending with the Blue to ascertain progress. But any order is acceptable.

The benefits of the Six Thinking Hats method
de Bono insists that the most striking thing about the method is that decisions seem to make themselves, and that by the end the decision is obvious to all, in stark contrast to how many discussions end. He quotes many instances where corporate boards, committees and groups that usually take a long time to reach resolution of the matters under discussion, do so in a small fraction of the usual time when they use the Six Hats Thinking Method.

It reduces argument, it gets people out of their entrenched and often unthinking position, enables all to see the facts, the way people feel, the downside, and the benefits, and gives them an opportunity to exhibit their creativity. Any method that levers people out of their entrenched positions, so often governed by adversarial behaviour and perverse motives, must be a useful tool in elevating the calibre of debate, particularly political debate, which in this country is so often characterized by bias, prejudice, bigotry, partisan positions, disingenuousness and often downright lying.

The key to the success of Six Hats Thinking is that at any one time all the participants are looking at the same aspect and all are thinking in parallel, instead of, as so often happens, being at loggerheads and at cross purposes because they are looking at different aspects, and arguing from different points of view.

The question of course is whether politicians would ever adopt the Six Hats Thinking Method. Within party structures that seems possible, although difficult because of factional divisions. Between parties, it looks impossible, set as they so often are on a course of destroying each other.

So why do I even bother describing it in a political context? Because it may help us as bloggers to develop and present better balanced arguments that take into account not just one element, but them all – the facts, the feelings, the drawbacks, and the benefits, all wrapped in a creative mantle. While the Six Thinking Hats Method is designed to operate in a setting where several people are debating issues of importance, it can be applied when writers are composing commentaries on these issues, because the same elements apply. We can adopt such an approach if we wish, and I hope some will, but my most fervent hope is that journalists who write in the MSM, and the other bloggers out there, might see the benefits and the contribution the Six Thinking Hats Method could make to informed discourse through the various media we access day by day, and adopt it in their writings.

Can these folk, who so influence public opinion, make a transition from their usual adversarial, combative and partisan approach, designed as it too often is to achieve a political outcome, and instead present to members of the public a balanced and fair appraisal of political issues for their consideration?

What do you think? Are they up to it? Do they want to change? Do we?

Comments (135) -

February 6. 2012 02:20 PM


Hi Ad

Thankyou so much for your article called Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats and Contemporary Politics

Your time is appreciated so much Ad Astra, your tireless efforts to keep TPS running smoothly are second to none.  Thankyou.

If no-one were prepared to accept that the others were looking at different aspects, and all insisted that what they saw was ‘the truth’ about that building, and what the others was not, they would argue endlessly and fruitlessly about the nature of the building.

This example of looking at a building is exquisite, a classic example of MS Journalists they insist what they write is the truth..
Trouble is they are all looking at fake sources, fake speculation,
vivid imaginations take over, fake becomes real.

Are they up to it? Do they want to change?

No not this lot we have now anyway.  They all need detoxing. Lined up and paid by each article they produce. No truth no pay. No facts no pay.

This para by Ad Astra should be inserted at the bottom of Ben Eltham's article as an antidote to the Media:-

Can these folk, who so influence public opinion, make a transition from their usual adversarial, combative and partisan approach, designed as it too often is to achieve a political outcome, and instead present to members of the public a balanced and fair appraisal of political issues for their consideration?

The article below by Ben Eltham highlights the problems
Ad Astra is talking about.

[i]After the fact: adventures in new journalism, Ben Eltham, Unleashed[/i]

A made-up story has passed for news in much of the nation's supposedly "quality" media for days now: the looming leadership challenge against Julia Gillard by Kevin Rudd.

a bunch of journalists who would probably fail a first-year journalism subject if they submitted the sort of articles that have been published in abundance in recent days.

Peter Hartcher has been devoting hundreds of words to Monkey Magic in a quixotic attempt to buttress his opinions. Michelle Grattan has had a go at some literary fiction, penning a letter from a disgruntled government backbencher. Just like many of The Age's supposedly factual articles on the topic, this backbencher didn't have a name either.

I could count 811 articles on Google News for the search term "leadership speculation". This morning it was 979. Most of the news articles I consulted were written almost identically to Griffiths' and Lane's: they asserted that Labor MPs are plotting against the Prime Minister, then carried a long series of quotes from senior Labor ministers saying there was no plotting, and that this was all a beat-up by the media.

Perhaps the most revealing moment of the entire weekend's media circus came on the ABC's Insiders program on Sunday.

"Is there a point," Barrie Cassidy asked, "at which journalists will say to Rudd supporters, who have been on the phone the whole time, 'You've been banging on about this for almost a year, it's time to put up or shut up, we'll just stop listening'?"

"No," replied Nikki Savva, "These stories are too intriguing."




February 6. 2012 02:43 PM



Your article has been tweeted by me to 297 followers and then retweeted by Loungfly to 165 followers and by Cuppa to 387 followers so that makes 849 people.  I hope they all come and comment on TPS
shortly.  Just when they have time will be soon enough.

Thankyou to Loungfly and Cuppa.

A reliable comment by a respeced and admired blogger, William Bowe:-

William Bowe
Posted Monday, February 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm
On respondent-allocated preferences, the Coalition’s lead in the Nielsen poll is only 52-48. This means Labor got a higher share of minor party/independent preferences from poll respondents than at the election, giving yet more reason to reject Morgan’s persisent findings that it’s gone from 66-34 to 50-50 since the election.



February 6. 2012 03:24 PM


Hi Ad & Everybody

Brigadier Slog makes a brilliant point by listing these questions:-

BrigadierSlogBrigadier Slog

a The Journalist (Hacks) Questions at todays PM press conference:- 1. Re Alp/LNP Nielsen polls (Leadership (cont) http://tl.gd/foi2md
The Journalist (Hacks) Questions at todays PM press conference:-

1. Re Alp/LNP Nielsen polls (Leadership not mentioned)
2. Sen Brown's sexism claims
3. Gov economic forecasts/management
4. Syria
5. Indigenous constitution clause for referendum
6. Should tax payers continue to "prop up" the car industry? (Leading much?)
7. RBA and Banks passing on interest rate custs
8. Malaysia & foreign trade
9. Private Health Insurance Rebate Legislation
10. Unemployment vs surplus / Comment re Murdoch calling Rudd "inept"
11. "Why did you feel the need to tell Mike Willesee you are the Prime Minister" (FFS!!!)
12. Something about Fair Work Australia
13. Why don't you sell your message better?" (LOL)
14. (Rumour) Some MPs say you have to do better. (More LOL)
15. Your message to indigenous unemployed?
16. Leadership tensions (She referred to her "dont write crap" suggestion)
17. "How do you deal with Rudd."

Not ONE question about the 3 topics she mentioned at the presser and enough leading questions, thinly veiled innuendo to fill the front pages. Again.



February 6. 2012 03:43 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your always-encouraging comments and your added references and links.  

Ben Eltham’s piece is right on the money.  The standard of MSM journalism is awful, and worst still, sinking fast.  Groupthink, which was the subject of my very first piece, on Possum Box, was about groupthink, and that was mid 2008.  Not only is groupthink still inflicted on us day after day, it is getting worse as the Canberra Press Gallery sits in its echo chamber listening to a screaming crescendo of anti-Gillard sentiment and ‘leadership speculation’, and then spews its musing across the media.  Experienced journalists such as Michelle Grattan and Peter Hartcher ought to know and do better, but they become steadily worse.  Having locked themselves into a position they then have to go through journalistic gymnastics to reinforce their position.  What will they write when all the speculation comes to nothing, as it will?  Wait for an opportunity, any opportunity, to stoke it up again in the knowledge that if you do so for long enough, even if it takes years, they will eventually be right and quick to say that they predicted it!  For how many years was there speculation about John Howard’s leadership, yet a challenge never came, even when it was needed, as indeed it was in his last year.

Then we have Barry Cassidy, who runs hot and cold on the Gillard Government, running the same groupthink, but asking why journalists didn’t insist that the so-called Rudd camp put up or shut up, and Niki Savva revealingly giving the real reason: “These stories are too intriguing”.  Intrique is what lesser journalists, and Niki qualifies for that appellation, thrive upon.  It makes for sensational but easy, lazy, fact-free journalism, in which editors revel.

Ad astra

February 6. 2012 06:45 PM


It seems to me, Ad astra, that the majority of journalists hitched their wagon to the dredger in the sewers, and are stuck there with no idea how to extricate themselves.  That is where Groupthink got them.  It always amazes me how so  many  people can be so easily influenced by so few pushing a barrow of shite. I wonder what it is that triggers the thinking brain to turn off.

It was heartening, I thought when I listened to the PMs presser today and she did not once mention the A word, lumping him in the collective Opposition or opponents.   And, it appears at least one journo noticed when she told Mike Willesee "I'm the Prime Minister" as it prompted her (Heather Ewart) to ask that inane question as to why she felt the need to say she's the PM.   About time our PM put these arrogant, disrespectful and obtuse journalists in their place...Go PM Julia.


February 6. 2012 06:50 PM


It would not take long for the vested interests to ensure that the

reasoning and sheer logic of six hat thinking would be bastardised into the contests we see now.

The Red Hat  would become the Alpha Dog

The White Hat.............religion

Black Hat...................any opposition

Yellow Hat................the deluded fools who niavely believe in the nobility of mankind

Green Hat......................who else?.the greenies

Blue hat........................academics and other thinkers.

They would ensure that reason and logic ( yellow, green blue hats) are pitted against self interest and the pursuit of control (red, white, black hats)

It is not in the interests of msm journalism to encourage people to think. In fact, the media players in this country cannot afford to have people thinking. People who think are extremely hard to manipulate. Moreso,  when an entity such as the NBN opens up a whole new spectrum for thought,  exploration and hopefully, six hat thinking.

Now that would be an extremely " intriguing story" and that's why they'll fight with every trick, beat up and lie that they can. They cannot afford for people to be intelligently informed.


February 6. 2012 06:54 PM


Blind Men and the Elephant
Filed Under: Poems Tagged With: John Godfrey Saxe
The “Blind Men and the Elephant” tale originated in India. It is widely thought the original story originated in Hindu lore. It was translated to the English language in the 19th century as a poem by the English writer John Godfrey Saxe.

A version of the story has been used in the Buddhist culture as well as the Jain and Sufi Muslim culture.

In modern times, the story has become widely used in philosophy and religion classes. It is used to illustrate the need for religious tolerance. The story illustrates how people form their reality and belief system on their limited experiences. In other words, perhaps each religious faith only holds truths that make up one part of God.

The story is also used to teach tolerance for other cultures. We only “see” the culture in which we are immersed.

The poem illustrates how perception is based on what a person is able to see or touch. In the story, six blind men touch an elephant. Although each man touches the same animal, his determination of the elephant is based only what he is able to perceive. The poem warns the reader that preconceived notions and perceptions can lead to misinterpretation.

Blind Men and the Elephant
poem by John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887)
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the ElephantIs very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
” ‘Tis clear enough the ElephantIs very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

I am not certain that the last verse is part of the original. TT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you Ad astra for your limpid explication of Edward De Bono's Six Thinking Hats method which until now I confess shamefully I did not understand. I do now.

No good to blind people though!

[I remember Eddie Murphy in a movie where he's blind, he's under arrest I think, anyway someone describes him as an African American, he shrieks, "You mean I'm not white?!" ]

I would imagine that a lot of time would get spent arguing which hat any given mob was wearing at the time . . .

Put your green hat back on this instant you black-hatted B*******!

-Well look in the mirror, your hat's gone all red, ya great D*******!
and so on?

Sorry, I don't mean to sound -ve. Only kidding. Probly right though a bit.

I wonder whether it isn't a bit like 'method acting' though, as in, Just act natural! And a bit like Esperanto too.

Got me thinking though. Call me Mister Blue.



February 6. 2012 07:18 PM


Ad astra wrote of
"Niki Savva revealingly giving the real reason: “These stories are too intriguing”.  Intrique is what lesser journalists, and Niki qualifies for that appellation, thrive upon."

Ad astra it is more than what they thrive upon, it is what they do. (To) intrigue is primarily a verb both transitive and intransitive, the noun is derivative when you think about it (i.e. if no intriguing, no intrigue) and to intrigue is according to Concise Oxford, to carry on underhand plot; to employ secret influence (with); have a liaison with. Intrigue n. is underhand plotting. It is used as a juicier term for interesting, but plotting is its real meaning, and it is what the MSM especially the Drum and those programs of which it is a genetically mismanaged clone do, produce, feed on, feed back into, recycle, embellish, retell, oh anyway they have egg all over their faces and they look real stupid today. They will be more dismayed this time tomorrow I predict. Don't miss QT!    


February 6. 2012 07:43 PM


Hi Everybody

How exciting, I just refreshed and what did I find, three
magnificent commments all at once. Janice our little sweetie, Ian
our intellect and our Talk Turkey's educational poem, thankyou very much you three how good of you all. Enjoyment Plus

I love the moral TT

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen

The poem warns the reader that preconceived notions and perceptions can lead to misinterpretationHow very true

and Ian People who think are extremely hard to manipulate.
brilliant and I love your allocated thinking hats.

Janice when she told Mike Willesee "I'm the Prime Minister"
when I watched the interview and saw and heard Julia say that,
it brought a sad tear to my eyes, thinking about how lonely and how hard her job must be, the cruel nasty things people say, and she is just a person trying to do her job.



February 6. 2012 08:04 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

I have to miss QT drats, because I have an appointment for a
Pedicure at 1.30pm, I can't cancel because you know how big my feet are they are hard to look after.

So you guys on TPS will have to tell me what happens, I am particularly interested in Mr Slipper, he has a lot of pay backs to do.  I really hope he stops Abbott, Pyne , Hockey, Bishop x 2 nonsense.



February 6. 2012 08:26 PM


Hi Ad

Bushfire Bill has measured Mungo Maccallum:-

Bushfire Bill,  Posted Monday, February 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm Comment 797

Mungo wrote this with which I disagree markedly
Labor is very lucky that they have a calm, gracious, clear-thinking woman in charge; a woman who knows that to give into the temptation all around her right now to just flail about would be exactly the wrong thing to do.I hope Gillard retains her composure and her determination to see beyond the daily freak show that our media have become, daring her, double-daring her to throw it all away in a risky move


Magic and miracles: Labor's 2012 hope, Mungo MacCallum, Unleashed
here is always the hope of a miracle. After all, Tony Abbott is campaigning for government on the promise that he can conjure $40 billion out of thin air, and provide pie in the sky thereafter. It's not only Labor that believes in magic.

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


February 6. 2012 09:23 PM


Hi Ad

The 7.30pm report was disappointing again, Heather Hewitt being sarcastic.  Chris Uhlmann trying to refuel the speculation stories.

Here are some comments from Facebook and twitter:-

The first one from Facebook:-

Tony Abbott will never be prime minister

‎7.30 Report feels the need to question why Gillard needs to comment on the fact that she is the PM, not a talk show host....in reference to the so-called leadership story. 7.30 (Ewart) is now doing another hatchet job on the topic....just DREADFUL....ring ABC to complain.


Just watched the 7:30 Report. I've never seen such a waste of time in my life. Not a single interesting segment.

7:30 report dedicated 50% of time to Rudd - will he or won't he? I'm so over the media making stories out of nothing

Chris Uhlmann spent more than half that interview trying to get Tony Windsor to dump on Julia Gillard.He failed

Uhlmann trying to beat up the leadership #spill again on #730report. Give over Chris, and do some real journalism whydontcha?

Chris Uhlmann: Desperate pathetic questions. Tony Windsor: Wonderful honest answers. #abc730



February 6. 2012 09:35 PM

Ad astra reply

You ask why a thinking brain turns off.  May I suggest it is laziness; it is easier to take the comfortable way out.  Also, knowing on which side their bread is buttered,  it is less hazardous to go along with the editor's or the proprietor's wishes.

You are likely right - our current bunch of journalists are capable of bastardizing any method that runs the risk of revealing the truth.

Your story of the elephant and the blind man illustrates so well the reason why we need the Six Thinking Hats Method.  I'm glad the explanation was clear.

Your analysis of 'intrigue' was stylish.  Thank you.

Hi Lyn
Thank you for the links to the  Mungo story; poor old Mungo is another victim of groupthink.  Sad.

7.30 was another pathetic attempt by Heather Ewart and Chris Uhlmann to flog the moribund 'speculation' horse.  It seems that is all they have.  Sad for our ABC.  The horse will die, but not before these cowboys beat it to death.

Ad astra reply

February 6. 2012 09:52 PM


It all feels bloody mad doesn't it!

The MSM is splattered.

*J*U*L*I*A* is like Uluru for stability (and colour)

Abbortt is starting to stink like a stinky old man.

It will be he, not she, who is gone by Christmas.

Wormtongue Jones with URGH Hildebrand and Snotty Joe and Penny Wong and Judith Sloan (Liberal urk) and Miriam Lyons. (?)

The first question is an OUTRAGE! Most of Yous will have seen/heard that poisonous woman ask her slimy question, what do you think?


February 7. 2012 12:50 AM


Just adding my voice to those who criticise 7.30 tonight. Tony Windsor's a class act, easily a match for C.U. who tried so very, very hard & got nowhere.


February 7. 2012 07:15 AM


Good morning all.

I have given up watching/listening to these muddled-headed wombats who call themselves journalists.  The question I ask is how did we manage to infest our nation with third-rate journalists making up the whole of our 4th estate.  Whatever happened to good standards and ethics in that industry and what does their training consist of.  Even the old hands who got their training when standards and ethics were an important component to their trade, have thrown it all away and joined the air heads that were once confined to the gutter press.  Why is it that Groupthink only works in the "down" direction and not effective when it comes to improving/instilling ethics and standards of excellence in their work.


February 7. 2012 07:47 AM


Hi Ad

No wonder Scott Morrison would not reveal who did their costings for opening up Nauru.

Nauru costings came from catering group , Kirsty Needham, The Age

THE Coalition's ''secret'' costings on reopening a cut-price asylum seeker village on Nauru were provided by a catering company, The Age has learnt.

We are not experts in that. We are experts in good, comfortable accommodation, not asylum seeker processing,'' the spokesman said.




February 7. 2012 08:05 AM



Adventures in new journalism Ben Eltham Unleashed
The leadership non-story that has developed over the last few days represents one of the worst collective failures of the Canberra press gallery in recent memory. In the pursuit of a juicy potential

Bob Brown Says Attacks on Gillard Sexist, Dain Sullivan, The left hack
She is getting a rough time and let me state this as others might not be quite so blatant. Quite a bit of the criticism is sexist and unfair and unrelenting and the Prime Minister needs a bit of a break

Selling a Dead Dog or Lobster-, Stephen Koukoulas
Mr Abbott is promising to unscramble an omelette even though it can't be done without causing economic and market upheaval. Company tax hikes, pension cuts, lower superannuation contributions are all

Farr on the selective memory required to believe Abbott’s revisionism about the Howard years, Jeremy Sear. Pure Poison
Here’s News Ltd’s Malcolm Farr, actually assessing Tony Abbott’s revisionism critically – employing his brain to consider the actual content of what a politician has said, and taking the time to dig up

Unethical journals tell academics to pad their papers with citations, Justin Norrie , The Conversation
Andrew Norton, who directs the higher education program at the Grattan Institute, said that “all metrics-based systems create opportunities for gaming or incentives for over-emphasising whatever

Murdoch nominates somebody other than Gillard and Rudd for leadership, The Power Index
Those following Murdoch's twitter stream over the weekend – and there are 170,000 people who do – would have seen a series of tweets referring to Australian politics.

Howzat!Tones gets caught out, Petering Time,North Coast Voices
TRANSCRIPT OF THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR DOORSTOP INTERVIEW SYDNEY: “TONY ABBOTT: This has been a truly shambolic start to the year by the Gillard government……We have the Anthony Albanese

Australia: generating electricity with near-zero emissions?, Gary Sauer Thomson, Public Opinion
its widely accepted that the federal government's emissions trading scheme will change the behaviour of Australian businesses, especially those in the energy sector. In the short-term,the scheme  

WILD WEST JUSTICE: Brian Burke cleared, WA Corruption and Crime Commission jeered,  Vex News
Legal experts familiar with the case tell VEXNEWS that the total cost of the CCC’s obsession with Brian Burke comes to around $35 million. You read that correctly. $35 million. Of course,

Reading Rinehart, The Distillery,
For the mega-wealthy, control of Australia's most influential newspaper group, Fairfax, is like an insurance policy against political decisions that run against their commercial interests.

Lachlan Murdoch tipped for return to News Limited, Mumbrella
Day adds: “The expected return of Lachlan Murdoch raises some eyebrows among Williams watchers. They say Williams would not be comfortable with someone looking over his shoulder,

A REAL BARBECUE , Tracey Spicer, The Hoopla
Like many women in politics, this one was given a poisoned chalice: Forever haunted by her role as Lady Macbeth. Her reward? Saddled with the impossible task of selling a carbon tax at a time of global

Stay Smart On Line Protect yourself
Start by making sure your computer is secure. If you are not sure about what steps you need to take, see the section Secure your computer. There are a number of smart practices you can follow

The Hidden Cost of Infinite Energy (Part 1), Ellen Fanning, The Global Mail
The main culprit driving up electricity bills is this: In the five years to 2015, $46 billion will be spent on upgrading and extending Australia’s electricity network to cope with our ever-growing power

Talking “The Global Mail” on Radio 2SER,  Stilgherrian Com
If you haven’t caught up with this yet, The Global Mail has no advertising and no subscription fees. It’s funded entirely by philanthropy — in this case $15 million over five years from Wotif

What does70 per cent of the print news marketlook like?Upstart
That’s a lot of newspapers and magazines. But what does that 70 per cent of the print media market look like? This map provides the perfect vantage point from which to view News’ dominance of the


Gillard Presses On As Brown Claims Criticism Is Sexist, Australian Politics Com
Brown’s comments came after several days of speculation about Gillard’s leadership, culminating in a Labor caucus meeting on Sunday and a BBQ at The Lodge, ahead of the return of Parliament

Julia Gillard held a press conference in Canberra to discuss the resumption of Parliament.

NBNCoLimitedNBNCo Limited
Really interesting video showing some futures use of high-speed broadband. Corning are supplying the fibre for the #NBN www.youtube.com/watch


February 7. 2012 08:25 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

February 7. 2012 09:57 AM


Hi Everybody

Here are links to political shows some of you may have missed.

Question time LIVE :-


Media Watch last night:-


The Drum , Lateline, Four Corners


Video of Q & A last night:-






February 7. 2012 10:04 AM


Mick's Mix

Wake Up Sheeple  @xkcd  http://xkcd.com/1013/

Journalist Jeff McMullen tells of Australia Day First-Hand @CAAMA Radio
Jeff McMullen… a seasoned and respected Journalist has spoken out against media coverage of the events on Australia Day….and says there was an over-dramatisation of what actually happened.

What the Front Pages are saying...
via Front Pages Today (FPT)

The Australian - via FPT - http://goo.gl/3bnTO
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl5ql
Bashing of banks 'could cost jobs'
Tide turns as officials admit dam strategy error

The Sydney Morning Herald - via FPT - http://goo.gl/1kOHj
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl52u
Casino bosses warned of staff drug culture
Afghan utopia becomes a much grimmer reality

The Daily Telegraph - via FPT - http://goo.gl/JXc7d
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl5oc
Who's the Big Cheese - Liberal 'rat' wants the pomp in parliament

The Age - via FPT - http://goo.gl/j6tKW
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl5is
Markets bet on rates cut

The Herald Sun - via FPT - http://goo.gl/0wNCf
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl5c6
Rates War - Bank vows cut-price home loans
The girl who forced a council to have a heart

The Courier Mail - via FPT - http://goo.gl/7NTLf
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl563
That sinking feeling again
Bank Wars - NAB fires first salvo

The Adelaide Advetiser - via FPT - http://goo.gl/ApkdY
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl5m7
Our childcare cheapest in the nation
Stand up and be counted
Home Help - Interest Rate win as NAB fires loan salvo

The NT Times - via FPT - http://goo.gl/7f7VB
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl5ep
Babies of 2011
Hero Dies in Ocean Tragedy

The West Australian
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl5yw
Baby Heartbreak - Angry mum hits out at 'inadequate' sentence

The Hobart Mercury
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gl59u
Suspended - Kicked out on day one because of their hair

The Canberra Times
via @jamesmassola  covers.ruralpress.com/frontpages/2/63996.pdf
Gillard turns talk to economy
First day back and the boss could do with a break

... and the stories ...

I'm going for SpongeBob  Nathan Mawby @Herald Sun
A TODDLER who refused to let anything stand between him and a new toy was trapped inside a vending machine for 10 minutes.

Town's historic gamble against pokies  Lawrence Money @TheAge
Five years ago today the Macedon Ranges Shire Council took the historic - and expensive - decision to fight the Romsey pokies, a successful campaign that has since inspired other communities.

Economic Hypochondria Dow Under  Mike Seacombe @TheGlobalMail
First the reality: This is now the richest country in the world. According to Credit Suisse Research Institute's most recent Global Wealth Report, the median wealth of Australians now is well over $200,000, just ahead of Switzerland and about four times that of the United States. Other statistics show we are building ourselves the largest new houses in the world, now about 10 per cent bigger than America's, twice the European average and almost three times bigger than Britain's. Our government debt is low, so is our unemployment rate, and our wages are high and growing, steadily and in a controlled way. We not only drip with material things, we are among the healthiest, longest-lived, least corrupt and best educated people in the world.

Liberal turncoat Peter Slipper's flipped his wig  Steve Lewis @HeraldSun/News.com
LIBERAL turncoat Peter Slipper plans to take the Parliament back to the future by wearing a plush Speaker's gown and other regalia as part of a new era of pomp and ceremony.
The man who struck a deal with Julia Gillard to give her minority Government valuable breathing space has privately mused to colleagues about wearing the Speaker's wig.


Federal parliament to resume on Tuesday  AAP via TheAge
Federal parliament resumes in Canberra on Tuesday with the nation's politicians meeting the day after Governor-General Quentin Bryce admonished them to be nice to each other.

Robb won't commit Coalition to budget surplus  @ABCNews
Federal Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb says he cannot say if the Coalition would be able to deliver a surplus in its first term of Government.
Before the last election both parties promised to return the budget to surplus by next year, but Mr Robb says he cannot be definitive about when there would be a surplus if Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wins government.


Did he or didn't he? Rudd denies asking powerbroker for help in hostile state  Phillip Coorey @SMH
KEVIN RUDD has been accused of meeting a factional powerbroker in South Australia to explore ways to win support from MPs in a state that has long been a weak spot for him.

Coalition's Nauru costings linked to caterer  Kirsty Needham @SMH
THE Coalition's ''secret'' costings on reopening a cut-price asylum seeker village on Nauru were provided by a logistics company, the Herald has learnt.
Eurest Support Services had the original contract to provide dining services at the Nauru centre run by the Howard government.


Psychology pops up as Brown decries PM critics as sexist  @TheAge
PESKY thing, the subconscious.
One minute you're looking at a Prime Minister for a hint of vision or leadership or whatever it is a Prime Minister is expected to exhibit and the next minute, uh oh, the subconscious has registered that the PM is a woman and you've lost all judgment.
You just drop into automatic sexist mode and you don't even know it. Before you can stop yourself, you'll be calling her a feckless sheila.


... and from the Opinion Pages ...

Oompa-Loompa leaders running fudge factories  Shane Wright @TheWestAus
Forget about Willy Wonka. A "fudge factory" has been established in politics with Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard number one and two Oompa Loompas. O-L Abbott and O-L Gillard, when faced with tough economic questions go to prepared lines that sound like answers but are simply not.
Both O-Ls gave major speeches on the economy last week and showed their shortcomings when it comes to being upfront with the Australian people.


First day back and the boss could do with a break  Judith Ireland @CanberraTimes
... goodness knows, the Prime Minister needs a break - and not just the kind that involves a long-haul flight, a hot-stone massage and a few litres of duty-free booze

It's time for Rudd to muscle up or go away  David Penberthy @The Daily Telegraph
THE joke when Peter Costello was trying in vain to cobble together a viable leadership push was that he had enough supporters to fill a Tarago van.
Kevin Rudd probably has around the same level of support - Kev's van might also be fitted with a trailer to carry a few extra bods up the back - but in numerical terms it is far from being an unstoppable juggernaut which will steamroll Julia Gillard out of the top job.


Warning to Rudd over leadership  Michelle Grattan @NationalTimes
Key independent Tony Windsor has fired a warning shot across Kevin Rudd's bows, saying there would and probably should be a quick election if Labor changes leaders.
Mr Windsor said last night that if Labor went into meltdown over its leadership, it might be time ''that the Australian people are asked to make a decision'', rather than the independents renegotiating with the new PM.


Gillard aims to time it right as voters back race equality  Phillip Coorey @SMH
ALMOST two-thirds of voters support changing the constitution to recognise indigenous people as the first inhabitants of the land but the Prime Minister has warned the proposed referendum on the issue should be delayed until there was ''overwhelming bipartisan support''.

Follow the leader - it's not a game  Lenore Taylor @NationalTimes
Is the Labor leadership issue a bizarre beat-up entirely confected by the news media? Certainly not. Is it an unstable and shifting situation, which may lead to a challenge, and which is notoriously difficult to report? Absolutely.

The Daily Tele, rats and big cheese provide ingredients for a lively parliamentary opening  Richard Farmer @ThePoliticalOwl
It's as if the editor of the Sydney Daily Telegraph Paul Whittaker wanted to send a message to the Speaker of the House of Representatives with his front page today- Come on, I dare you!

Would you like fries with your vote? The rise of political marketing  Andrew Hughes @TheConversation
In the past, a blitzkrieg approach was used by most political parties to target the market during their campaigns. With no real knowledge of the market itself, mass-market slogans were used to increase levels of awareness and positive attitudes to the political party and the leader.
The “It’s Time” campaign of Gough Whitlam in 1972 was a classic example of this, as was John Howard’s 1998 campaign where he used the slogan “Don’t Go Back to Labor— Australia Deserves Better” to help the voter recall negative experiences about the Labor brand.



February 7. 2012 10:33 AM


Good Parliamentary Morning Swordsfolks!

This might be the last moment you could get terrific odds on Labor winning the next election!

Get 'em while they're hot!

Within days the Government will have wrested the media initiative from Abbortt, he is nearly a spent force.

And the odds you can get on Labor will dive. O woe.

Abbortt and Robb and Hockey are set to become the Three Stooges. Not very funny except when they are hitting each other. Objects of ludicrosity.

Gee if I was a cartoonist I'd do them as the 3 Stooges.

Check 'em trying to fix the settings for the economy!


And Turdball?

Let's not kill off Abbortt *tooooo* quickly eh?

Lyn your links are lovely to peruse today, delicious, with good news and stuff we can laugh at, gee I'm looking forward to the Nouveau Regime today with Peter Slipper in the Chair. Abbortt will be in fear today, and his mob of morons with him. What a steaming heap of crap they are.  

Ruddstoration is dead.

The economy is Go.


February 7. 2012 11:00 AM


via Katherine Murphy @murpharoo

Politics live: February 7 2012  The Pulse @NationalTimes

9.45am: Want to know who sits where in the House of Representatives?

The Hose of Reps Seating Plan http://www.aph.gov.au/house/work/seating.pdf


February 7. 2012 11:37 AM


Bad Abbott

Tiny Abbott does cheap politics in a church!


Shameless, sanctimonious, Shouldabeen.


February 7. 2012 11:48 AM



Shouldabeen Abbortt-ed! Smile


February 7. 2012 11:55 AM

Ad astra

Thank you all for your links and comments - great reading.

I'm writing a piece on opinion polls for next week.

I'm getting on the road now back to the south coast.  I'll be back this evening.  

Ad astra

February 7. 2012 11:58 AM


Hi Everybody

Abbott shows his experience off.

Tony Abbott's warning of betrayal marks MPs' return to parliament,
Lanai Vasek , The Australian

  the devil and Judas's betrayal of Jesus Christ, caused a stir in the congregation this morning at a special ecumenical service in Canberra to mark the resumption of parliament.

A couple4 of comments from Twitter:-

farrm51Malcolm Farr
Talk of Judas by TAbbott brings politics to religion. http://tiny.cc/158dv

TheKoukStephen Koukoulas
farrm51 @bitterlion Very poor effort from Mr Abbott's minders. Will they be forced to resign?

SarahWiley8Sarah Wiley
Interesting choice of reading from Abbott in church this morning, about Judas "for he knew who was going to betray him"

Volvo_of_doomAdrian B
Don't know which Bible Tony Abbott reads, but I don't see Jesus having treated Judas like crap for a long period before the "betrayal"...



February 7. 2012 01:13 PM


Tony Abbortt is a shining example of why Christians are held in such esteem by people of all races and creeds everywhere.


February 7. 2012 01:47 PM


Yeah not all who call themselves Christians are like Abbortt but ain't it the way, only takes one bad apple in a barrel to spoil them all, or one Abbortt in 22 million people and we could have a bloody disaster.

We won't though. Mesma looking mesmerized, nodding and mouthing mechanically at Abbortt's rant. Abbortt mouthing crap. A few in the Media, two years on, are starting to realise what many of us we on the political blogs have known all that time, he is a fool and a fraud and a failure.

I must admit I thought they'd have made him the star attraction at a Feeding Frenzy before this, I vastly underestimated their desipience. But when they finally get there . . .

But remember, Abbortt is our secret weapon for winning the next election.
Let's not jump the shark . . . yet.
Softly softly . . .  

Strenuously resist religion in politics.
It is evil. Look at Senator Ficking Fuelding.

Anybody seen Turdball lately? I mean, performing?  


February 7. 2012 04:07 PM


So apparently it's OK for Abbott to tell Gillard to "make my day" and use quotes from movies when speaking, but Albense (sp?) can't quote from a movie in a speech.


February 7. 2012 11:12 PM


Every time I see pressers with in particular *J*U*L*I*A* on ABC I am absolutely astounded that they can NEVER provide a microphone, let alone a camera, to let us hear the questions, let alone see the questioners. Am I the only one who thinks this utterly incomprehensible and intolerable?

And the subtitles are . . . indescribable!

Do yous think this is OK for the Government-funded media organisation with a budget of, how many trillion was it Joe?


February 7. 2012 11:23 PM


He must be a member of the Royal Society of Plagiarists, 2353. I understand they have carte blanche to rip off any and all dialogue with impunity. It must be a godsend for someone like Liealot who is so devoid of any original thought.


February 7. 2012 11:29 PM


"Like" isn't the word, but I'm intrigued by that bright eyed five year old "look at me as I dance around" attitude Abbott gets once in a while. On display today as he hopped about for the cameras in his partyroom meeting.
Is there anything more stage managed than a Coalition party room meeting? All that forced sincerity as they recite their lines is vomitous stuff.

I note that the media, must've been a bit stung by recent criticism, is defending its speculative "reporting" of the Rudd issue. But still trying to keep it going on a daily basis.
His refusal to give a categorical answer's starting to annoy me a lot, but insofar as this is designed to get media attention surely it could be reported as such? Something along the lines of "Rudd still thinking of challenging, hasn't a hope". Still not a good look but at least more accurate.
Mr Uhlmann tonight inferring  Julie Bishop leading Rudd on to talk, get noticed & make an exhibition of himself. If he's right then Julie's suicidal devotion to her cause is extraordinary, because Rudd's answer clobbered her good.


February 8. 2012 08:04 AM



Monday night on the ABC, James Higgins, The Politics Project
Wong is one of the government’s most impressive communicators. I’ve never once seen her get flustered. She’s logical and methodical, and last night, despite some very unfair questions from Jones

Groundhog Plays , Mr Denmore , The Failed Estate
This is exactly what we are seeing in Australia now. Major reforms that affect all of us are going under-reported or poorly reported, while the press gallery focuses all of its considerable attention on

Make My DayThe Exceptional Australian BISONs,Frank, A Frank View
We are not going to take it anymore. The constant negativity and continuous put down of Australia by the LOTO Tony Abbott, greatly assisted by the MSM. Australia is a very lucky and fortunate

Our banks: too big to fail, too few to be competitive, Christopher Joye & Mark Bouris, Unleashed
in Australia, the supposedly lowest risks banks with the highest credit ratings — the majors — are somehow able to yield the highest shareholder returns. In contrast, the smallest banks.

RBA- You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Stephen Koukoulas
A surprise also because as we have seen, the already over-valued Australian dollar is about 1 cent higher at 1.0790 at the time of writing, despite a clear fall in global commodity prices.

Gillard returns fire to Abbott's Dirty Harry jibe,Emma Griffiths,ABC
Ms Gillard brought Question Time to an end just after 3:30pm in accordance with the rules, but also after only eight questions and little more than 30 minutes. In the resulting outcry Liberal  

Deception is our product, Sandi Keane, Independent Australia
The mining industry is spending up big on political campaigning — most of it political donations to the Liberal and National parties. The Australian Electoral Commission revealed a spend of $8 million

Can technology save us? Reality-checking Andrew Charlton’s Quarterly Essay, Michael Peck, The Conversation
Economic output is directly linked to energy consumption. It has been calculated that global economic production consumes energy resources at a constant rate of almost 10 milliwatts per inflation

Carbon Free Will Be A Hard Slog, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
The advantage here is that cheaper and better solar PV across Australia’s vast suburban roof-scapes will obviate much of the need for new investment in poles and wires. And if electric cars ever  

Question Time Ahead of Time, Aussiepollies
he main question most in political circles will be asking in relation to Mr Slipper is how many Coalition MPs will be either warned or booted under the Standing Order we all should refer to as the “coffee break order”, the 94a.

The Hidden Cost Of Infinite Energy (Part 2), Ellen Fenning, The Global Mail
a hot afternoon that uses, say, eight kilowatt hours of power at say 20 cents - that's about [AUD]$1.60 cost to you. Say $2. Now if instead you paid the real cost of generating that power at peak times, it would increase to as much as $10, $12 per kilowatt hour. So that would take the cost of running that air conditioning over four hours to $100.

Queensland - Where Australia mines, The Newsport
She expressed her dismay that 42 per cent of Queensland's area is currently under mining leases, and added there are figures circulating that up to 70 per cent has been ear-marked for mining.


Labor cannot deliver on promises:HockeyEmma AlbericiLateline
Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey tells Lateline that Australia should be in a much better position despite good assessments from the IMF and World Bank.

Tony Abbott’s Speech to the Coalition Party Room, Australian Politics TV
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott made this address to the Coalition partyroom meeting in Parliament House this morning, ahead of the resumption of Parliament this afternoon.

First Day Of Australian Parliament Sitting 2012 Peter Slipper Updathttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMQK4ZlRKeU


February 8. 2012 08:21 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

February 8. 2012 08:27 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

I missed Grog out on Today's Links by mistake so here he is now:-

Rates, jobs and speedboats: the economy explained, Greg Jericho, The Drum
Let's hope we can keep our eyes on what matters and remember that while maybe 35 per cent of the population have a mortgage, 62 per cent have a job – there may be a link between the two, but it is hard to pay for the first if you don't have the latter.

Some of you may be interested in House of Representatives Daily Program:-

Wednesday 8th February, 2012



February 8. 2012 10:42 AM


*J*U*L*I*A*s Clown
(To Frank Hardy's Sydney Town, see below.)

The more they try to take us down
The better we’ll win when the Poll rolls round!
The more they try to take us down
The better we’ll win when the Poll rolls round!

They screamed when we were led by Rudd
All that Kevin O’Lemon crud,
So then our *J*U*L*I*A* took control,
And now there’s even more hyperbole!

They said she’d stabbed him in the back:
(The fact is that he got the sack.)
The Liberals are a Ship of Fools:
She plays by Labor Party rules!


She lacks a clear majority
And Abbortt screamed ME! ME! ME! ME!
But now she is our Head of State*
Because she can Negotiate!

Abbortt swore he’d knock her out:
He’s got such pugilistic clout!
Instead she’s punched him in the snout!
She’s tougher still with every bout!


They scream Juliar is a Witch!
They burn with hate, Let’s burn the bitch!
But Julia cries No surrender!
And just gets on with her agenda.

The MSM is full of lies
About this Gov’ment they despise
They hide the truth, we know the facts:
Triple A rating and a Carbon Tax! Smile


The polls all told us we can’t win
Can’t climb out of the hole we’re in
But now the polls show Labor’s bounce
And there’s just one Poll that really counts!

The NOpposition’s going down,
And Abbortt looks like *J*U*L*I*A*s Clown
And we’ll win in 20-13,
With *J*U*L*I*A* our Ranga Queen!

Chorus and begin again in an endless loop
(But we’ll have to change the last lines as the elections roll by Smile )


Here's the original lyrics but I can't find a tune to send yous, it sort of goes

Da-dah dah dumm
Da-dah dah dumm
Da da-da dah dah
Dah dah dah dumm

Oh wait up
That doesn't help you with the tune at all!
You'll just have to find a staunch old Commie or one of us what supported the Green Bans with a decent memory to sing it to you!

Sydney Town
A song by Frank Hardy©Frank Hardy 1964

The more they try to keep me down
The better I live in Sydney town,
The more they try to keep me down
The better I live in Sydney town.

Great grand-daddy walked along the street
With a ball and chain around his feet
And that's the way they'd like to see me walk
Just to give the toffs a chance to talk.

They rob me in the Parliament
They charge me half my pay for rent
They heard I was living on the Rocks
So they pulled it down for building blocks.

The beer's gone up in the public bar
And I can't afford a motor car
But I keep six bottles In the fridge,
And pay no toll on the harbour bridge

The jockies and the bookies cheat,
The odds-on favorites all get beat
So just to show them I'm no fool
I go to Tommo's a Two-up school

They all throw heads when I back tails:
I got no dough to 'bank on the Wales'
But I'll get a job, it'll suit fine
On the Eastern Suburbs railway line.

If I go on strike, I'll have good cause,
Then I'll get hit with a Penal Clause,
But I don't care, let the bosses rage,
I'll fight for a rise in the basic wage.

The monopolies can all arrange
To rig their shares on the Stock Exchange
Through lottery tickets with my spouse
I've got shares in the Opera House.

They won't let you win on poker machines
They show rubbish on the T.V. screens
So for entertainment I go for
Australian songs at the Troubador

Sydney Town was published in Australian Tradition, May 1964 with the note:
This is the original version of Sydney Town as written by me. Folk singers and others who add new verses and variations do so at their own risk.

Frank Hardy.

A great writer (Power without Glory, Outcasts of Foolgarah),
a great communist and humanist (strenuously supported the Wattie Creek strike). Inspirational.

I hope you like my verses Spirit-Frank!


February 8. 2012 11:27 AM


Mick's Mix

On This Day in 1996
Communications Bill Signed, and the Battles Begin Anew NewYorkTimes
Washington, Feb. 8 -- President Clinton today signed a sweeping bill to overhaul the telecommunications industry, starting a new round of warfare between the giant media and communications companies even before the ink was dry.

I am Leader  Lyndsay Foyle @NewMatilda http://newmatilda.com/2012/02/07/i-am-leader-0
New Flag  Lyndsay Foyle @NewMatilda http://newmatilda.com/2012/01/31/new-flag-0

What the Front Pages are saying...
via Front Pages Today (FPT)

The Australian - via FPT - http://goo.gl/3bnTO
via @jamesmassola no pic today
Optimistic RBA puts rates on ice
Shorten attacked in bank jobs row

The Sydney Morning Herald - via FPT - http://goo.gl/1kOHj
via @jamesmassola   http://twitpic.com/8gywdy
Threat of rate rise as reserve holds line
Why forecasters can be wrong when a cot feels so right

The Daily Telegraph - via FPT - http://goo.gl/JXc7d
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gywa2
Banks having a lend of us

The Age - via FPT - http://goo.gl/j6tKW
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gywbv
Child porn use out of control
Sports demand protection of broadcast rights

The Herald Sun - via FPT - http://goo.gl/0wNCf
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gyw4e
Don't You Dare - big banks face revolt if they raise rates
Maddona to rock Oz

The Courier Mail - via FPT - http://goo.gl/7NTLf
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gyvxb
Omission of enquiry - Why was the state's most senior public servant ignored?

The Adelaide Advetiser - via FPT - http://goo.gl/ApkdY
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gyw6x
Off the Rails - Department ordered to improve train safety

The NT Times - via FPT - http://goo.gl/7f7VB
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gywh2
The Times is Sixty today and celerbrates in FULL COLOUR

The West Australian
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gywvt
Failing our Kids - not ready for uni say academics

The Hobart Mercury
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8gyw1m
Operation Bounce Back - Leaders tell how to turn state around

... and the stories ...

The Murray Queen now a River Rat  Greg Kelton @The Advertiser
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard is no longer the River Queen, she is the River Rat, the Opposition says.
The Liberals have questioned Ms Gillard's stance on the future of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in the wake of SA Premier Jay Weatherill's threat to do everything possible to prevent a watered-down version of the plan being approved.
Concerns, however, are mounting inside the Coalition that Tony Abbott's full-steam-ahead attack on the Government has put at risk important matters of principle such as the protection of the River Murray and the car industry.


Coalition defends asylum centre costing  Kirsty Needham @SMH
THE opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, has defended his use of an international catering and logistics company to provide costings for an asylum seeker centre on Nauru.

NSW problem gamblers now can go online to ban themselves from clubs  AAP @TheAus (Free)
PROBLEM gamblers will now be able to go online to ban themselves from their local clubs in NSW.
The new technology is being launched by ClubsNSW on Wednesday and is the first of its kind in Australia.


... and from the Opinion Pages ...

Why forecasters can be wrong when a cut feels so right  Jessica Wright @SMH
To understand why so many economists - 24 out of 27 - got it wrong in tipping the Reserve Bank would cut interest rates yesterday, you need to know a bit more about the forecasting business.
All Australia's big banks and investment houses employ a team of economists to advise their clients - that is, investors - on the likely path for the economy. The more helpful the advice, the more likely it is that investors will use the services of that bank.


Daylight robery as grand new Speaker sinks the slipper  Tony Wright @SMH
The Honourable Peter Slipper seemed awfully keen to impress as he swept to the majesty of his new throne as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Once a country lawyer, he had donned for the first sitting of the year the robe and wings of no less than a Queen's counsel.


Strictly speaking, he's the robe and Slipper of tradition  Jaqueline Maley @SMH
Should change be incremental and cautious, or should it come in radical leaps of ear-flattening speed?
Therein lies the fundamental distinction between conservative and progressive politics and, in an unrelated matter, is an important point for people to consider when going for a new haircut.


Polls and Kama Sutra aside, air of exhaustion pervades Labor  Michelle Grattan @NationalTimes
In politics hype can quickly become reality. Or reality can fall short of the build-up, which is what happened on Parliament's first day of 2012. If it were a cricket match, you'd say that after the breathless anticipation, rain washed out much of the play.

Why health cover needs no subsidies  Ross Gittins @TheAge
Despite the untiring efforts of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to make themselves seem poles apart in their policies - he/she is hopeless, I'm really good - the ideological gap between the two sides has never been narrower. If you look carefully, that's true even in one of the few remaining points of ideological difference: the funding of healthcare, particularly private health insurance.

Tablets are cool but are they smart  Joanna Mather @AFR (Free)
Schools are ditching laptop computers for highly portable iPad-style tablets but experts are still puzzling over the educational benefits of such technology.

10 Tips on Writing from David Ogilvy  Maria Popova @BrainPickings
“Never write more than two pages on any subject.”


February 8. 2012 11:47 AM


... and some excellent commentary I missed earlier HatTip: @drag0nista

No mould, male or female  Jack Waterford @CanberraTimes
Julia Gillard has not herself been complaining of sexist treatment by the media, although a number have on her account. Publicly, she is philosophical and stoic about criticism and does not complain, even as she expresses some bemusement about the expectations people have about her.


February 8. 2012 12:32 PM


... and just in

Some words of truth from a couple of Labor 'wise men'

Defying party leaders gets nod from ex-speaker Judith Ireland & Jessica Wright @SMH
Former Speaker Harry Jenkins has endorsed backbench rebels in Canberra who defy their party's leadership.
It was not the "end of the earth" if party members had different views, particularly in the present minority government, he said.
The Special Minister of State, Gary Gray, said last night it was clear there were leadership issues within Labor and the purported ambitions of the former prime minister, Kevin Rudd.
The Junior Cabinet Minister also defended media speculation over Labor leadership tensions last night, berating his colleagues for claiming journalists were "making it up."



February 8. 2012 12:35 PM


Hi Ad

Here are the new Standing Orders:

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
The new standing orders have qt to finish "approx 3.10 pm" a change from the previous "3.30pm") (via @AboutTheHouse)

AboutTheHouseAbout the House
Manager of Oppn Business Christopher Pyne now speaking in House about changes to Standing Orders including shorter answers in Qstn time.

AboutTheHouseAbout the House
AlboMP outlining amendments to standing orders in House - for more detail see live minutes http://bit.ly/bqzDjH

Tony Abbott just held a Press Conference at a Primary School, he told the 6 graders how bad the Government is.  Everyday Abbott and Hockey say the government is borrowing 1 hundred million dollars a day and nobody not a sole asks where they get this information from.

Here is a few twitter comments about the Abbott presser, such as it was:-

And Abbott just walks away from the harder questions. He is playing the press gallery for fools and they seem to just lap it up

Abbott talks to 6 graders about LeaderShip challenge, what the!! What a disgrace!

Great call by reporter "mentioning to 6th graders about supposed Labor party leadership issues, is there any point?

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
Journos ask questions, Abbott ignores them and restates his stump speech a few times.

2FBSStephen C
FFS bcmarkscott you let ABCNews24 go to a live Abbott presser about cyber safety? Your Abbott love affair has reached the absurd.



February 8. 2012 12:45 PM


Boy don't Conroy and *J*U*L*I*A* look on top of it, raging, killing it, they are is whacking every ball over the pavilion and sheis giving journalists the stick one-after-another.
She is the BEST!

I turned Abbortt and the Kid off earlier but other bloggers reckon he cut and run when the questions got real, leaving the journos open mouthed, beaudie, how many times does he think he can do that to them? Tony - journos don't like that! They want to be fed! Why am I telling you? - Because your cupboard is bare isn't it! All you've been feeding them is a line, they want Meat and Potatoes! And if you haven't got any, ya fool, they is gonna eat YOU! That is happening as we speak. Too many holes in your dyke. Trickles turning to runnels. Runnels soon to gushes. Gushes to spills and spills to your total obliteration Abbortt.  

Labor is doing everything right and the journos know they will get short shrift from the Government now, the attention is turning to Abbortt's emptiness. We've got 'im. He's b*ggered on the car industry. That's huge in itself. As someone said this morning somewhere: 'a huge wedge in the bum-crack' of the NOpposition.

And he's stuffed on the NBN! He can't take a trick!
He'd do a fat lot with a basket of eggs and a stick! Smile

Vampirella Mirabella and Greg RhymingSlang on a presser looking on the backfoot and they know it. Ha hahahahahahhh. They are looking like losers. Sh*tting themselves trying to justify themselves. ABC lost the sound in the end. More joy.

Mirabella's mouth is lewd. Like the genitalia of a female baboon on oestrus. (Great image TT Smile) She should be made to wear a surgical mask or yashmak, or at least her lipslop should be confiscated and she should be under a court order never to use any more under pain of permanent exile to Nauru. Oh wtf just send the *itch there anyway.

Oh no DON'T! She has to face some family friends first about a little matter of a lxury house . . . and a half million bucks or so . . . !

OOH the lovely Penny Wong at the National Press Club - third time here but first as Finance Minsister.

This will be de luxe. She is terrific. Look out Abbortt!


February 8. 2012 12:56 PM



"Maxbrother", too!

The Labor women in our Government are superb.
Penny is flawless. And I don't just mean her complexion.

You can feeeeelllll she has the audience.
Try gotchas on Penny, slimeballs!

Do you think a positive poll has helped? Not much it hasn't! Nothing succeeds like success and nothing'll fail ya like failure, so how bloody important are these bloody polls?


February 8. 2012 01:21 PM



James Massola is a pr*ck!
He outed Grog, that made me s*ck!
He stinks worse than Gorgozola!
Rotten lowlife Masturbola!

Some things should not easily be forgiven.


February 8. 2012 01:24 PM


Why is it that our political journalists get locked into one way of thinking to the exclusion of all others?
No, I'm not referring to the endless nauseating leadership speculation which, even if it contains a grain of truth (as Lenore Taylor suggested yesterday) it is not the most pressing issue facing the country today. It's not even in the top ten given that pretty much everyone agrees that Rudd doesn't have the numbers.
I'm talking about Judith Ireland and Jessica Wright's determination in sticking with the theory (that's all it is) that Harry Jenkins was dumped.

Showing no sign of animosity towards his successor, Mr Jenkins gave his support to Mr Slipper's planned changes.

Why would Mr Jenkins display animosity? Perhaps he would if he felt that he had been undermined or outright ordered to vacate the Speaker's chair but that flies in the face of comments by friends of his who have stated that he was deeply troubled by the constraints placed on him in a minority government and was seriously considering stepping down in the months before he did so. It flies in the face of Mr Jenkins himself saying that he couldn't be happier since he got that monkey off his back. It flies in the face of the happy snaps of a smiling and obviously relaxed Mr Jenkins. It even contradicts the photograph accompanying Ireland and Wright's story - a smiling Harry Jenkins wandering down a hallway with Julia Gillard.

He even went so far as to congratulate Mr Slipper for managing to get some of the changes through.

Goodness me! A grown man behaving like a grown man and not a spoiled brat who has had his favourite toy confiscated.
How about explaining to us just why Harry Jenkins felt it was significant that the Main Committee has been renamed as Federation Chamber. How about fleshing out why he said this:

"If we look at the Federation Chamber, it took a long time, I congratulate you in getting that over the line," Mr Jenkins said.

Oh, I forgot. Australian readers want to know more about leadership speculation and Labor Party disunity and have no interest in events that have actually taken place.

I know this is only a small issue but it is so indicative of the paucity of even halfway decent commentry in this country at the moment.



February 8. 2012 01:27 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

I am so glad you are talking this morning on TPS. Were is our TPS support gone.

Michael might be along with Bad Abbott shortly, we love your report Michael.

Your post at 10.42 is fabulous, I love the chorus

The more they try to take us down
The better we’ll win when the Poll rolls round!
The more they try to take us down
The better we’ll win when the Poll rolls round

TT I agree with you, Penny Wong is flawless, the twitters agree with you too:-

Here is some of them:-

geeksrulzIntrepid Geek
paddybts: There are few pollies as impressive as Penny Wong in the current parliament. Pity there are not more of them

bionic_beer_gutPeak Oil Crash
conarelli I'm watching Wong #NPC absolutely flogging Abbott & Co. Brilliant dissection of a completely dysfunctional opposition

HyperBrendanBrendan Brooks
Penny Wong with a clear critique, using facts and evidence, pointing at the void in opposition commitment & economic nous

Penny Wong with a scathing attack on Abbott at NPC tearing him to shreds, particularly his and his 'economic teams' lack of policy & brain.

The Opposition is using a caterer company to do the Nauru costings - Penny Wong

bionic_beer_gutPeak Oil Crash
Penny Wong smashing Abbott at the #NPC smacksdown! #auspol

Penny Wong is Intelligent, level headed and inspiring. She makes me strive to be a better, more thoughtful & more intelligent thinker.

paddybtspaddy bts
Nice line from Wong. We don't believe poor working people should be subsidising the medical bills of millionaires



February 8. 2012 01:34 PM


Hi Ad

Bushfire measuring the Journalists again, Tony Wright this morning
he is taking them apart one by one:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 9:52 am  comment 2396

The real mystery is why Fairfax employs them and pays them money to write it. No wonder the company is tanking financially. They have distilled their once extensive journalistic echelons into a small coterie of mutually back-slapping, ageing opinion writers suffering from advanced Groupthink, whose opinions are neither amusing, interesting or worth the bandwidth and the butcher’s paper they are scribbled on.




February 8. 2012 01:58 PM


Hi NormanK

I refreshed after asking where everyone has gone and I find
the Rose.  Thankyou NormanK.  I hope your duties are giving you some more time for your computer.  We need you here.

My favourite topic too.  I'm talking about Judith Ireland and Jessica Wright's determination in sticking with the theory (that's all it is) that Harry Jenkins was dumped.

According to BB Jessica Wright is Tony Wright's daughter, see what BB said "giggling words".

NormanK you share the same disgust.

But why would his daughter even consider that writing 600 giggling words on whether Tony Abbott would mention Thomson|Pink Batts|BER|Boats|Albo’s “Gaffe”|



February 8. 2012 02:10 PM

Ad astra reply

Yesterday on 7.30. Wayne Swan was interviewed by Chris Uhlmann, and on Lateline Joe Hockey was interviewed by Emma Albereci.

You may wish to evaluate the credentials of Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey based on these interviews.  Who is most credible?  

You may also wish to comment on the interview strategy of Chris Uhlmann and Emma Alberici.

The 7.30 interview is here: www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3425282.htm.  If you missed it, you may care to take a look at the video.  The transcript is below:

CHRIS UHLMANN, PRESENTER: Economics is the Government's battleground of choice, so the man to speak to is the Treasurer. He joined me a short time ago.

Wayne Swan, welcome.

WAYNE SWAN, TREASURER: Good to be here, Chris.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Can you tell us at the outset - because you have signalled that the economy is going to be the battle ground for this year - what is the proper role for Government in the economy?

WAYNE SWAN: The proper role for the Government is to provide the climate for the investment to create the jobs, to create the prosperity, so we can spread the opportunities right around the country. And the central task of this Government, the central commitment of this Government is to create jobs - and not just any jobs, good quality jobs, decent pay and working conditions - and to make sure that people have the capacity to look after themselves so they can get access to affordable health, education and housing. So, the central commitment of any government is to provide the framework, to get the private investment, to create the prosperity which generates the jobs for the future and the opportunities for our kids and for our grandkids.

CHRIS UHLMANN: When you look at the way this Government acts in the economy - and let's look at two different thing, one on climate change, where you decide the market mechanism is the best way to go and the other, on the NBN where the Government solely should go it alone on delivering broadband - doesn't that send a confused message?

WAYNE SWAN: Not at all. These are two fundamental microeconomic reforms, and they're really big changes in our economy. They're up there with all the great changes that were made in the Hawke and Keating era. Just take pricing carbon - the most cost-effective, least cost way of dealing with dangerous climate change and carbon pollution is to put in place a market mechanism. Now, it's a tough reform politically but it's a fundamental reform because you can't be a first world, first class economy in the 21st century unless you're substantially powered by clean energy. That's why we've got for the market mechanism there.

Completely different when it comes to super-fast broadband. The fact it that we were advised by committees that a market-type provider wouldn't work in the first instance. We are investing the money to put the wholesale system in place, and that's really solved one of the big problems we've had in our economy, which has been the role of Telstra.

CHRIS UHLMANN: That program started out at $4.7 billion, and ended up being in excess of $42 billion.

WAYNE SWAN: That's not exactly the way it occurred at all. We had a series of reports...

CHRIS UHLMANN: In 2007 you went with a $4.7 billion plan, it inflated to $42 billion.

WAYNE SWAN: It was a completely different plan. We took the best advice from the Treasury and all our advisers, and their advice was very, very clear ; that we would have to make the investment if we want this to happen. This is the fundamental reform to lift productivity in our economy - particularly important to regional areas. This is some of the most essential productivity improvement that we can put in place to make sure that we maximise the opportunities for this economy in the 21st century.

CHRIS UHLMANN: When you intervene, why do you intervene, for example, in the car industry and not in the retail industry?

WAYNE SWAN: We are putting in place a variety of different measures. It's horses for courses, and up until now there's been a bipartisan commitment for co-investment in the car industry. Why do we think the car industry's important? Because we think it provides, in particular, vital skills and innovation for other sectors of our industry. I think it is absolutely essential for this country to make sure that we've got a very competitive and highly productive car industry. It brings many other benefits to our country. But we've got sectors in this country that are doing it tough, particularly with a higher dollar and a variety of other responses.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Why did you cut the green car innovation fund to meet your budget surplus if it's so important to invest in cars?

WAYNE SWAN: We've changed our spending over time, we've changed our priorities, but we have the fundamental commitment to auto, unlike the Liberals who are going to slash...

CHRIS UHLMANN: They're saying they're going to spend less, and what you would do is spend more, and we're still going to see job losses in that industry, aren't we?

WAYNE SWAN: What we have to do is take into account what's evolving globally, here. There's a global supply chain. The industry doesn't stay still and as we go about our co-investment with the industry and we're working with the industry, we want to make sure that we keep a highly productive and competitive car industry here, and it's good value for money. Our investment here in the car industry is modest compared to what happens in so many other developed economies.

CHRIS UHLMANN: With the surplus you're asking people to take you on trust that you will deliver a surplus - not this May when you announced it, but some time next year when it's finally accounted for. Why should people trust this Government on its word?

WAYNE SWAN: Because we've got a track record of getting the big economic decisions right. We got the response to the global recession right, and when we put in place that stimulus we announced an exit strategy. And our exit strategy was that we would apply fiscal restraint when growth returned to trend - and growth has returned to trend - and we're on track to deliver a surplus in 2012-13. And that's had the big tick from organisations like the IMF, the OECD and, of course, the World Bank. They understand what ends this Government is looking for here; that is, strict fiscal policy with a fiscal stance that matches the trends in the economy.

CHRIS UHLMANN: But isn't the Prime Minister's track record there would be no carbon tax, and circumstances changed and there was one. She said to Andrew Wilkie there would be mandatory pre-commitment, and circumstances changed and there wasn't that - so why should people take the Government at its word?

WAYNE SWAN: I don't accept any of the assumptions behind that question.

CHRIS UHLMANN: They're not assumptions, they're facts.

WAYNE SWAN: And the comparisons are completely skew-whiff. If fact is that we announced a fiscal strategy and we've been applying it for the last few years, and we've been doing it with rigour. And of course it has been very difficult - and at every step of the way that we've been doing it, we've been getting the big tick. And of course we've now got the big tick from the three major international credit rating agencies: the gold-plated AAA rating - not something Peter Costello and John Howard ever had - and that reflects the fact this Government has been handling fiscal policy very well.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Treasurer, why not tell Kevin Rudd to go out and have a press conference and say that he has no intention of ever challenging the Prime Minister?

WAYNE SWAN: Well because I talked about this at some length over the last couple of days, and I made this point that so much of the publicity, so much of the commentary is just a huge beat-up, and I don't intend to add to it.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Where there's smoke there's fire. His people and himself have been involved in feeding this particular story. He could have ended it today: he came out of church, people were asking about it, why can't he just stop and say "I'm not challenging"?

WAYNE SWAN: I've taken Kevin Rudd at his word. He said he's not interested in doing it, he said he's not involved, that's it.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Why can't he hold a press conference and say that?

WAYNE SWAN: I think the most important thing to do here is for us to get on with the job of maintaining a strong economy and putting in place these big, important, long-term reforms that are going to deliver prosperity in this country, and that's what I'm concerned with.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Do you fear though that people will make the assessment - if it appears that you can't run your own party - you shouldn't be running the Government?

WAYNE SWAN: I think what really matters at the end of the day is that we've got the policy settings in place which keep our economy strong and provide the opportunity in terms of jobs, educational opportunities, skill opportunities and so on for all of our people - that's what we're concerned with.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Wayne Swan, thank you.

WAYNE SWAN: Thank you.

Emma Alberici's interview of Joe Hockey is here: www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3425403.htm

Here is the transcript:

EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Now back to our top story and the preferred battle ground apparently for both sides of politics, the economy.

Tonight's guest is the Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey. He joins me from our Parliament House studio.

Joe Hockey, thanks for being with us.


EMMA ALBERICI: This morning addressing a joint party room meeting, Tony Abbott made an extraordinary claim stating that this Government is, quote, "hopeless" with the economy and it can't be trusted with money. How is that true?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, you've just got to look at the record of Labor promises and Labor delivery. For example, this year they promised to have a $22 billion deficit. It's turned out that it's $37 billion. They are now borrowing over $100 million a day. They promised a $4.7 billion national broadband network, it's now over $42 billion. So when it comes to actually delivering on their words, the Labor Party fails the test.

EMMA ALBERICI: What's wrong with borrowing money to fund essential public services?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, the problem is that the Labor Party is wasting money, and if you look at the history of what they've done over the last four years - from pink batts and school halls, to sending $900 cheques to dead people - it is just a conga line of waste, and that's exactly where you need to make the hard decisions to get rid of that waste to get the budget back to surplus, and I don't think they're capable of doing that.

EMMA ALBERICI: Well, you'd stand alone on the international stage in that opinion, because of course internationally recognised organisations and economists disagree with you. Of course, Australia now has a triple-A credit rating from the three international agencies - the first time in the country's history.

Unemployment is historically low, our debt and deficit levels are miniscule compared to the rest of the world, and our economy is still growing?

JOE HOCKEY: The Prime Minister is often keen to say this is the "Asian century", then the Prime Minister should be comparing us to Asian economies. The fact is, she keeps comparing us to some deteriorating economies in western Europe and comparing us to the United States, which is in what seems to be an extended period of anaemic growth.

EMMA ALBERICI: Let's have a look at Japan, Joe Hockey, let's have a look at Japan. The international comparison between Australia and Japan by the IMF in terms of net debt puts Japan at somewhere around 120, 130 per cent of GDP, and Australia at about 8 per cent.

JOE HOCKEY: The difference is that Japan can fund its debt domestically, because it's got a huge amount of domestic savings. In Australia, when the Government goes to borrow money to fund its deficits, 70 per cent of that money has to come from overseas.

When the Australian Government is in the markets borrowing in competition with our banks, it actually pushes up the interest rates that the banks have to pay, and therefore the banks pass it on to small business borrowers and home borrowers, and that's why under Labor interest rates on average are higher - about 0.25 per cent higher - for home borrowers than they were under the Coalition; and for small business, over 1.5 per cent higher under Labor than they were under the Coalition.

EMMA ALBERICI: But economic conditions at the moment in Australia, you would have to concede, are better than - if you agree with Euromoney and with the World Bank, and indeed the IMF - better than economic conditions virtually anywhere else in the world. So those small businesses and other businesses in Australia are actually benefitting from that.

JOE HOCKEY: Well, that's not necessarily the case.

EMMA ALBERICI: How is that not the case?

JOE HOCKEY: Because we are enjoying the best terms of trade in basically all of our history.

EMMA ALBERICI: And that's not down to the Government?

JOE HOCKEY: No, it's down to the good fortune of having iron ore and coal and natural gas that China in particular, but many other Asian nations that are developing, providing insatiable demand for.

Emma, there are businesses that are doing it tough. If you walk down a strip shopping centre in the middle of Sydney or in the middle of Coolangatta or the middle of Melbourne, you will see a vast number of "for lease" signs. I don't think many Australians in many sectors think that it's going OK.

There are 1,000 jobs laid off in an Australian bank today. BHP has even laid off workers, let alone Westpac, ANZ, Ernst and Young, and a range of others. We are seeing significant job losses - and last year, in the last 12 months, for the first time in 20 years, we saw no job growth in Australia. That's not a tick of approval for this Government.

EMMA ALBERICI: And are you going to air brush over the fact that there are international influences on Australia?

JOE HOCKEY: Not at all, not at all. But what we've said is that the Government hasn't been careful with taxpayers' money - and quite frankly if they had been more careful with taxpayers' money then we wouldn't be running the sorts of deficits that they're putting in place, and we would be better prepared, so far as you can be prepared for what will be a volatile - perhaps two decades - of economic activity around the world.

EMMA ALBERICI: Of course, international observers say it was the right thing to do - as it was all over the world during the global financial crisis - to pour money into the economy, and therefore borrow money to do so?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, what we've said is that the Reserve Bank had the capacity to do more of the heavy lifting during the financial crisis, but because the Government spent so much money and in fact wasted so much money, still providing stimulus into the economy three years after a single quarter of negative economic growth, what that did was it meant that the Reserve Bank, which could have gone further, didn't - and of course what we've seen is, we're left with a Labor Party debt that is going to take, on Wayne Swan's terms, it's probably going to take a generation to repay.

EMMA ALBERICI: But certainly nothing in the order of what we're seeing in the US, the UK, Japan, the Euro area.

JOE HOCKEY: But that's where they started, Emma. Look, they started with 60 per cent or 70 per cent of GDP in debt. Where the Australian Government started was with positive assets in the bank.

EMMA ALBERICI: Yes, but they were during the good times, but that was during the good times. We've had the global economic crisis, we've had natural disasters, floods and cyclones, I mean you can't discount those impacts on the Australian economy?

JOE HOCKEY: No, I don't discount them, but every government faces those sort of challenges. The question is how well the Government prepares the nation for the next set of challenges. And that's what this Government has been negligent in.

EMMA ALBERICI: In August last year, you told ABC radio that the Coalition in Government would need to find something in the order of $50, $60 or $70 billion in spending cuts to deliver the kind of surplus commitment your party has made. So which is it, is it $50, $60 or $70?

JOE HOCKEY: I can say to you, Emma, emphatically, there will be a complete release of all of our costings prior to the next election. So, before people go to the ballot box they will see our numbers and we will show, yet again, how we will get Australia's economy back on track.

We will not be short $1, not one zach, not one dime - we are going to make the numbers add up and we will do so, because if the Government gets its house in order then the Australian people will have more confidence, and get on with the job of improving productivity and growing the economy.

EMMA ALBERICI: Let's talk about confidence. Former Reserve Bank board member Warwick McKibbin says there's nothing really wrong with the underlying economy - that it's really a crisis of confidence, and there's been a lot of criticism of your side of politics for talking down the economy.

JOE HOCKEY: Well, Professor McKibbin agrees with us: that the Government has wasted too much money, it has let the deficit grow rather than contracting government expenditure.

He has been a strong supporter of our position that this Government's wasted money and that we have to get on with the job of paying down Government debt, not increasing it the way the Labor Party is.

EMMA ALBERICI: Warwick McKibbin says there is a, quote, "nonsensical obsession with delivering a surplus on both sides of the Parliament."

JOE HOCKEY: He has seen the waste; as a member of the Reserve Bank board, he has seen the waste. But I can say to you, he has been fully committed ...

EMMA ALBERICI: You're not answering my question. My question is about the obsession with the surplus. Warwick McKibbin says it's nonsensical?

JOE HOCKEY: It's nonsensical if you would take into account what the Labor Party has done. They've had absolute disregard for expenditure. But it is a very sensible goal, because from our perspective it's a handcuff on Labor's ability to waste money.

We want the Labor Party to run a surplus, we really do, and we want them to do so to stop them wasting money. It's easy for them to keep adding to the tab. For example, in the last 12 months, they've imposed a flood levy on Australians for about $1.8 billion. And they said, "Look, we've got to live within our means".

When they announced the carbon tax package, they increased the deficit by $2 billion and said, "Don't worry about it, we'll just increase the deficit." They are sending a confused message to the electorate about fiscal responsibility - that's the Labor Party way.

EMMA ALBERICI: Running deficits isn't necessarily bad economic policy, is it, if you're actually spending that money on essential services, and on delivering a better lifestyle for people: lower tax rates, increased pensions?

JOE HOCKEY: Emma, if you're not running a surplus when you have the best terms of trade in your history, if you're not running a surplus when even under Labor you have 5.2 per cent unemployment, if you're not running a surplus in those situations, when do you run a surplus?

EMMA ALBERICI: Well the Government says, just like you do, that it will run a surplus next year. They have mapped out how they intend to achieve that. You've said you want to introduce paid parental leave at a cost of $6.3 billion over two years, that you want to deliver dental help through Medicare at around $4 billion a year; you're happy to announce where you want to give people things, but you're not particularly inclined to tell everyone where you want to cut things.

JOE HOCKEY: Well, before the last election we provided extreme detail on $50 billion of cuts to pay for our spending commitments.

EMMA ALBERICI: But that was then, and this is now.

JOE HOCKEY: Well that was more detail than any Opposition has ever provided in the history of Australian politics. We will provide a similar level of detail before the next election. You will see how we will pay for our promises.

EMMA ALBERICI: But you still say you want to deliver these kinds of offers to the Australian public: paid parental leave and dental under Medicare and so on, so why are you on the one hand prepared to give away some of your intentions, and not those on the cutting side?

JOE HOCKEY: Well paid parental leave goes to productivity, and this is the debate that sadly Australia is not having at the moment. We need to find ways to improve our productivity, and the best way to do that - one of the ways to do that - is to increase participation in the workforce.

Now, one of the hidden figures in the current unemployment data is that the participation rate is falling. So, people are walking away from looking for a job. Our paid parental leave scheme is actually going to be an incentive for people to continue to work - particularly those people that have skills and have studied and had significant investment from the community in their skills development.

That is a productivity enhancing initiative - and where you improve productivity you improve economic growth, you lower the unemployment rate, and the cycle of prosperity begins.

EMMA ALBERICI: How do you increase participation in the automobile industry when your party wants to strip $500 billion from that sector?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, what we've said is that we are committed to the plan that was laid down by the Coalition Government in 2007. What is unsettling for the car manufacturing industry in Australia is the inconsistent policy from Government, and the inconsistency is on the Labor side.

They promised a green car fund - remember that, for about $1.3 billion - and then they cut $800 million out of it after the announcement. The Government cut the LPG conversion scheme, and of course we had the classic "cash for clunkers" which the Government promised at the last election and failed to deliver.

So what the car industry wants in Australia is stability and certainty. And, I might add, the worst thing you can do is introduce a carbon tax, because for a car manufactured in Australia that would cost $11,990, under Labor with a carbon tax it will cost $12,390, and certainly that's more expensive than competing imports.

EMMA ALBERICI: Joe Hockey, thank you very much.

JOE HOCKEY: Thanks, Emma.

EMMA ALBERICI: And a footnote there of course, I did mean to say $500 million was the proposal to be stripped from car industry subsidies not $500 billion.

Please let us have your assessment of these interviews.

Ad astra reply

February 8. 2012 02:11 PM

Patricia WA

Loved your song, TT.  Some brilliants line with such obvious truths there we don't hear often enough - like

They said she’d stabbed him in the back:
The fact is that he got the sack.

Agree with you about Penny Wong too.  She was brilliant, as always, on Q&A.  The audience loved her too. Not just for her logic and clarity, either.  She is transparently honest and self deprecating with it.   It was lovely to feel the warmth of that spontaneous applause for her when that picture came up of her with her new baby and its Mum.

Patricia WA

February 8. 2012 02:33 PM


WHSmileSmile HSmileSmile!

Yesty I called Snotty and Abbortt and Poor Old Robb the 3 Stooges, last night Jason Obelix told me someone elsewhere used the same metaphor, today Swanny called 'em that in QT!

And then Slipper made him withdraw! Smile


February 8. 2012 02:45 PM

Patricia WA

BSA Bob, I was too tired to comment on your 'bright eyed five year old "look at me as I dance around" attitude' description of Abbott late last night.   But it's spot.  And sometimes that five year old is too clever by half.

Has anyone at all picked him up on the huge and unforgivable mistake he made yesterday.  The PM announced the coming official visit of the Prince of Wales with the Duchess of Cornwall.  Abbott in his reply talks about how welcome Prince William will be.   Or did I mishear that?  

Patricia WA

February 8. 2012 06:34 PM

Patricia WA

TT, I know you're a great admirer of Bushfire Bill, so you've probably seen his comment at blogs.crikey.com.au/.../nielsen-53-47-to-coalition-2.   If you haven't then its worth going to his comment 2955 there in praise of the NBN and in which he quotes Banjo Patterson.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.

He incorporates that into the PM's and Labor's vision splendid for an Australian future which embraces the bush.  I always love reading him both for what he has to say, and how he says it.  He had to be a lover of poetry too, of course.

Patricia WA

February 8. 2012 06:43 PM

Ad astra reply

In the absence of any response to my post of the interviews of Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey, here is mine:

Wayne Swan talks good economics; he clearly knows what he's talking about.  Joe Hockey talks economic gobbledegook - otherwise know as Hockeynomics - simply rubbish.

Chris Uhlmann's strategy seemed to be to try to embarrass Swan whatever his response, by bringing up irrelevancies, such as the issue of trust.  I felt he was antagonistic.  In my view Emma Alberici was courteous but persistent in confronting Hockey with his nonsense statements.  Uhlmann seemed anti-Government,  Alberici was not.

Alberici tried to prise sensible answers out of Hockey, but all she got was confusing and disingenuous statements, about which Bernard Keane had this to say today on Crikey in a piece titled: Coalition's fog of fiscal confusion obscures rhetoric-reality gap:

So, what the hell is going on with the Coalition's internal costings process?
Last week there was the embarrassment of Tony Abbott claiming $4 billion in savings from repealing the carbon pricing package, when the savings will have nearly all disappeared by June 30 this year.

This week, courtesy of Fairfax journalist Kirsty Needham, Scott Morrison has been caught out on his bizarre, cheap-as-chips costing of re-establishing offshore processing facilities on Nauru. Morrison has resisted providing a costing for two years, and now we know why. That the parent company of the outfit that provided the costing was involved in a major UN bribery scandal is the sort of thing that again demonstrates one of our many political double standards: if a Labor opposition had made a similar blunder, it would dominate the media cycle for days.

Now there's the confusion over when the Coalition plans to return the budget to surplus. Andrew Robb initially declined to say when; Joe Hockey's effort to clarify the issue yesterday didn't help; David Speers gave him a going-over on the issue on Sky and elicited that a Coalition government would have a surplus next year, and it would be larger than the government's surplus courtesy of the Coalition's decision to cut 12,000 public servants.

This morning Abbott further confused things by seeming to say that Robb was right and there wouldn't necessarily be a Coalition surplus, only that they'd return to surplus "as quickly as possible".

And that $70 billion savings figure is off again, having been on and off and on again depending on who is talking; yesterday Hockey indicated the Coalition's savings target was lower than $70 billion, but he wouldn't say what it was.

And we still don't know when the Coalition's tax cuts, heralded by Abbott last week, are scheduled.

It's true that events in Europe make forecasting trickier than normal. The remarkable track record of Europe's leaders in making the wrong decision at the wrong time over the past 18 months could yet ensure another financial disaster. But that equally applies to government and opposition. That's not the Coalition's problem.

The core of its problem is that, despite all the fiscal hairychestedness coming from Abbott, like all politicians he's much keener on spending and handouts than savings. Abbott wants to give tax cuts similar to those on offer from Labor, but without a carbon price, depriving himself of revenue. He wants to keep the lift in compulsory superannuation without the mining tax (which Labor itself over-committed anyway). He wants to keep middle-class welfare because it's "aspirational". He boasts about how his paid parental leave scheme would be better than Labor's "glorified Baby Bonus". He wants to dump a "socialist" carbon pricing mechanism in favour of huge government grants programs controlled by Canberra.

The resulting maths is the painful end of populism: trying to accommodate big hits to revenue while maintaining spending. That's why it's not just dental schemes that are now "aspirational", but the Coalition's entire fiscal policy, brimful of good intentions and best endeavours but devoid of hard numbers that might prove inconvenient.

Abbott can get away with it because there's an embedded psychology in voters and journalists, that the Coalition are the fiscally disciplined ones. Forgotten is the profligacy of the Howard years, that saw taxes and spending surge, driving interest rates and inflation up. "Whitlamite" is still the by-word for big-taxing, big-spending governments, when the appropriate adjective should be rather more contemporary.

There are some in the Coalition who are conscious of the party's record on middle-class welfare. Most won't speak publicly. Jamie Briggs, who bravely defied the South Australian consensus and took aim at car manufacturing recently, wrote yesterday in The Australian Financial Review about "transfer payment dependency". Absent, for obvious reasons, was any reflection on the origins of the problem under Howard. But Briggs, whom Abbott has foolishly left on the backbench along with several other talents, outlined a strong case for why his frontbench colleagues should be bolder in explaining how their small government rhetoric will translate into reality.

Apart from anything else, it would also serve to dispel the fog of fiscal confusion about what exactly the Coalition would do once in office.

Thank goodness someone is as last calling the Coalition to account; if only the MSM would follow suit.

What do you think?

Ad astra reply

February 8. 2012 06:55 PM

Patricia WA

Ad Astra - Mea culpa!  Too lazy?  Or maybe too brain dead to get into the economics debate.  But I'm happy to see your opinion on both the Uhlmann and Alberici interviews agree with my own reactions.

You'd think Uhlman was an apologist for the Coalitiion.  And of course Hockey was happy to take advantage of Alberici's softer, though still searching approach, to waffle on his merry way.

Reassuring at last to see Bernard Keane do a reasonable critique of an interview.  But I guess Hockey's ramblings were so open to correction it wasn't that hard.  In fact it would have been shameful if he hadn't been.

Patricia WA

February 8. 2012 06:58 PM


Hi Ad

Mike Kelly is not happy with Mr Abbott.
Federal Labor member for Eden-Monaro

Mike Kelly MP
Feel like taking a shower after the gutter politics of the Coalition in QT. Seems 2 be no low bar 4 Tony Abbott. Aus deserves better

Tony Abbott will never be Prime Ministerby TAWNBPM

Pyne's shameful rant was one of the lowest points in Parliament I can remember, and a continuing abuse of taxpayer's money and Parliamentary question time. The opposition are so desperately out of their depth that all they can do is attack - disgusting behaviour (B1)
Australia Day protest revived to spearhead attack
I hope someone can explain something to me that I really still do not understand. How did the PM's staffer... http://fb.me/1qLZrR20F

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


February 8. 2012 10:54 PM


Lyn at 1.34
Thanks for the B.B. link. I may've said this before, but I finally gave up on Tony Wright the day Windsor & Oakshott declared for Labor. Railing at the length of Oakshott's speech, he complained that there were journalists with deadlines, that the whole thing should've been a lot shorter so they could file their pieces on time. So much for putting effort into getting a story, the business of government should now be conducted around print runs & TV news bulletins. In a way a small thing, but what better evidence do you need that the press in this country thinks it's all about itself?


February 8. 2012 11:02 PM


TT @ 1:21 PM

Your little ditty
Is just a little bit too sh*tty
Mr Massola is but a source
But you are to blind to see that of course


February 8. 2012 11:35 PM


Hi Patricia,

If you cut 'n' paste the link pointed to by "Permalink" on a comment, it'll take you directly to it - very handy for Poll Bludger's thousands of comments:



February 8. 2012 11:57 PM


NormanK @1:24 PM
Your silence over recent times has been deafening. Welcome back into the mix of mustard of armchair experts that we are.

I suggest that we armchair experts think we are so much more capable of over reading and over interpreting commentary by the 'experts' that inhabit the parliamentary press gallery than those 'experts' are of capable of reading, interpreting and the reporting on the shennanigans that go in inside Capital Circle ACT. maps.google.com.au/maps

The journalists reported:
He even went so far as to congratulate Mr Slipper for managing to get some of the changes through.

and the response offered is:
Goodness me! A grown man behaving like a grown man and not a spoiled brat who has had his favourite toy confiscated.

Is it at all possible that was the very point that the journalists were making?

Is it at all possible that we armchair experts now think that we are better at reading and interpreting the shennanigans that go on within Capital Circle than those that actually are captive within that circle?

There are some very important 'gems' of wisdom and words of import within the article that bear noting.

One way of 'reading between the lines' could suggest that Mr Jenkins was firing a shot across the bows of the executive and pointing out that government belongs on the floor of the house and NOT within the the executive wing of the building that sits within Capital Circle.

I know this is only a small issue but it is so indicative of the paucity of even halfway decent commentry in this country at the moment.

I will be blunt. The paucity of decent commentary has more to do with the paucity of good leadership and good governance of this country than it does with good journalism.

We have a very dysfunctional government and a more dysfunctional oppisition pretending to be something that neither are capable of at the moment.

I note that you did not make any comment on Mr Gray's words which was probably wise.

The bleating by various armchair experts that the leadership issue is all a media beatup is so far off the mark it is laughable.

There is an ongoing campaign of destabilisation by Mr Rudd and his very small band of supporters and the media is reporting and commenting on that. Often very poorly.

Like it or lump it the dross that we are being served up has more to do with the collective stupidity and childishness of the people who are pretending to be our leaders than it does with with the supposed group think of the parliametary press gallery.


February 9. 2012 12:20 AM


TT @2:33 PM

You and others may be be interested to another recent reference to The Three Stooges.

Three Stooges: you’ll have to choose one day  Rowan Dean @AusFinReview (Free)
Australia now in effect has three prime ministers: the populist, the pragmatist and the politician.
All three were hard at work during the week, beavering away in front of the TV cameras as they sought to lead the nation in their three unique ways. One wants to be loved, one wants to be listened to, and one craves respect and legitimacy.
In some ways, we should be grateful. Who says you need only one leader? Plenty of European countries have run on troikas, including the USSR, briefly, after Stalin croaked, and it didn’t do the Russians any harm (comparatively), so why should it bother us?

Yep, this countries government is in the hands of The Three Stooges

Stooge Number One: The one that is currently Prime Minister

Stooge Number Two: The one that thinks he was unfairly robbed of being Prime Minister

Stooge Number Three: The one that thinks he should still be Prime Minister


February 9. 2012 12:50 AM


while the transcripts of those interviews are all very interesting the plain and simple fact is that Wayne Swan could not sell sell a cold beer to a thirsty man on a hot day.

The current Labor government and its' predecessor were totally inept at pointing the abysmal failures of the Howard/Costello regime and they still are.

A recent article by Ian McAuley @ New matilda The Howard Years Were No Golden Age
various posts by Stephen Koukoulas at his blog and various other commentators and bloggers have done more to inform those that are slightly interested of the Liberals shortcomings in the area than the Labor Government has ever done.

The failings of the Rudd/Swan administration and now the Gillard/Swan administration to show up the extremely poor management of the economy by the Howard/Costello regime has come home to roost and it is entirely down to the stupidity of the politicians involved.

We mere armchair experts may well cheer when people such as McAuley, Koukoulas, Possum and others post articles pointing it out but the government only ever uses the ammunition to shoot itself in the foot.


February 9. 2012 12:57 AM

Patricia WA

DMW - are you reading between the lines and suggesting that you know what Mr. Jenkins was wanting to say?

I am totally confused by your last few paras above.  Are you quoting some media article which you have forgotten to attribute or is it really your opinion that

The paucity of decent commentary has more to do with the paucity of good leadership and good governance of this country than it does with good journalism.

We have a very dysfunctional government and a more dysfunctional oppisition pretending to be something that neither are capable of at the moment.  

Patricia WA

February 9. 2012 12:59 AM


Ad astra

I can hardly bear to watch Chris Uhlmann lately, but read the transcript above.  To me he seems to ask a few policy questions but can't wait to get stuck into his list of trivia, accusations and cynicism.

I did catch Emma Alberici on Lateline and thought Joe would have been glad when that one was over.  He actually looked a bit shocked that he was getting real questions.  The transcript obviously misses the tone of the interview.  I thought Alberici was absolutely professional, knowledgeable and asked tough appropriate policy questions.

I agree it is about time Bernard Keane wrote something sensible and this one was a ripper.  Should be required reading (and taking on board) by all msm wouldbe journos.


February 9. 2012 01:35 AM


I was referring to the comments made by NormanK on the article linked to in his comments @ February 8. 2012 01:24 PM also linked to by me @ February 8. 2012 12:32 PM


February 9. 2012 01:58 AM


I misread your question @ 12:57 AM

are you reading between the lines and suggesting that you know what Mr. Jenkins was wanting to say?


I am not suggesting I know what what Mr Jenkins was wanting to say. I am pointing out that I can interpret what was written in the article in a different way to the way that NormanK interpreted it and for that matter the myriad of different ways that each of us could interpret any article.

The paucity of decent commentary has more to do with the paucity of good leadership and good governance of this country than it does with good journalism.
We have a very dysfunctional government and a more dysfunctional oppisition pretending to be something that neither are capable of at the moment.

These are my words and mine alone.

Usually if I am quoting someone I will put the quote in italics and provide a reference or link to the source.

You have highlighted a dilemma I have at the moment in that recently having been mostly involved here by providing links and not commenting often it is difficult at times to differentiate between the hats I have on when I comment rather than providing links to news etc.


February 9. 2012 07:22 AM


Ad astra,
There is a stark difference between the Alberici and Uhlman interviews in that the former asks intelligent and probing questions whilst the latter frames his questions on coalition airy-fairy talking points.  Alberici probes below the paper-thin surface of coalition rhetoric to show the lack of substance and policy content.  Uhlman simply skates on the thin surface, completely ignoring the reality of the runs on the government's board and the poor bowling attack of an inept opposition.
Thank goodness someone is as last calling the Coalition to account; if only the MSM would follow suit.
I agree but where was Bernard Keane up until now?  I concluded some time ago that he's just like the rest of them - doesn't want to be seen to be the odd man out in acknowledging Labor's economic prowess and criticising the Opposition for it's economic ineptness and its penchant for gutter politics.


February 9. 2012 08:05 AM



The two-speed economy- why Gillard is set to zoom past Abbott, James Higgins, the Politics project
Abbott lacks Gillard’s ability to calmly articulate facts; he ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ a lot while he stutters for an answer, and his Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey sweats copiously and fumbles when asked

The Curious Incident of the Rat in the Daytime, Preston Towers, The Preston Institute
This seems to be what passes for political coverage in Australia – degrading images of humans depicted as animals. They not only degrade the person in question, they degrade us as a nation.  

Why Is Being Labor, So Hard-, Niall Cook, The Bannerman
During a discussion last weekend, I happened to make the following observations about the current media hype re: leadership spills, the state of politics in this country and Main Stream Media’s role

Tax the billionaires,Shaun Newman, Independent Australia
they seek to push Australian politics even further to the right, which would see this nation in a similar position to the USA where the leading Republican candidate multi-millionaire Mitt Romney

Tony Abbott Prime Minister?, Norman Abjorensen, Inside Story
One of the fascinating political issues of 2012 will be Abbott’s relationships with the electorate and his own party. While Tony Abbott took the party close in 2010, he still did not win

Explainer: motions of no confidence and the constitution, Anne Twomey, The Conversation
he would presumably want is an election. He woudn’t want the situation where there was just a change so that he became prime minister immediately without an election because presumably he would

Means testing private health insurance , Gary Sauer-Thomson, Public Opinion
Under Labor's proposed scheme, singles with health insurance earning more than $80,000 and couples earning more than $160,000 would receive a rebate of 10% to 20%. Singles earning $124,000 and couples

Interest Rates Since 1990, Malcolm  Farnsworth, Australian Politics Com
The table shows monetary policy decisions taken by the Reserve Bank of Australia.  Monetary policy decisions are expressed in terms of a target for the cash rate, which is the overnight money market
http://paper.li/senexx/farnsworth utm_source=subscription&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=paper_sub

The Coalition’s fog of fiscal confusion, Bernard Keane, Crikey’
The resulting maths is the painful end of populism: trying to accommodate big hits to revenue while maintaining spending. That’s why it’s not just dental schemes that are now “aspirational”,

Gillard turns up heat in debate over economy,Emma Griffiths,ABC
"What we will see if he is prime minister is the end of the car industry; what we will see if he's prime minister is the ripping of the fibre out of the ground and Australia falling behind

Bolt: Lachlan Murdoch, not Rinehart, put me on Channel 10, Angela Priestly, The Power Index
Fact: a super-rich boss with strong opinions from the political fringe now controls a media asset that's now pumping out the owner's world view," he blusters."But this time we don't hear a bat-squeak

Lord Monckton and the Future of Australian Media, Robert Manne, The Monthly
Rinehart’s bid to increase her Fairfax holding is not only entirely lawful. She is not even likely to face serious political opposition. Nor is there even, in contemporary Australia, any political

Joe Hockey: paper and scissors, Min, Café Whispers
Joe has to firstly contend with whatever is Tony Abbott’s latest “looks good, feels good and so it must be good” attitude towards responsible financial management, and then attempt to

Satellites to deliver high-speed broadband to the regions, Hon. Stephen Conroy
Using these satellites, people in remote communities will be able to consult with medical specialists anywhere in Australia by videolink. Students in the bush will be able to have a dramatically improved education experience by being able to draw upon the latest content-rich, high-bandwidth digital resources from anywhere in the world

NBN Co awards $620m satellite deal to US firm Loral: report , Supratim Adhikari , Technology Spectator
NBN Co has awarded a $620 million deal to California-based firm Space Systems/Loral to deploy two Ka-band broadband satellites, providing a 12 megabits per second (Mbps) download and one Mbps

Coalition missteps on NBN budget savings,  Renai LeMay, Delimeter
The NBN funding will not divert money from the Federal Budget, as it does not appear on the budget as an expense. And with the project expected to make money in the long term, cancelling it would mean

A graphic illustration of what our two #NBN Co satellites will look like http://pic.twitter.com/D7OkUa0N

NBN Co inks $620m satellite deal, Josh Taylor ZDNet
The satellite portion of the NBN will be up and running by 2015, and will cater to almost half of the final 7 per cent of Australia not covered by the fibre roll-out, as well as external territories of Nor


February 8, 2012. Gillard comments on Alcoa,
February 8, 2012. The Prime Minister comments on Alcoa's decision to review operations of their Victorian smelting operations.

Gillard says only Labor can guarantee surplus. ,
The Prime Minister says Labor will commit to budget surpluses over the economic cycle


NBN satellite animation
An animation provided by Space Systems Loral showing what the two new NBN Co satellites will look like


Turnbull says NBN satellites bad value.
Opposition communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull says satellite services to remote Australians could have been provided with existing craft.


Peter Slipper (Speaker of the House) 8 February 2012, Australian Politics TV

ABC: Treasurer discusses rates and what’s in store
federal government, interest rates, Treasurer, Wayne Swan


All about the economy as Parliament resumes

Andrew Leigh: Talking Productivity

Liberal Party: Australia Day Riot ,Pyne ,  censure motion Parliament today

HSU scandal prompts leadership response to whistleblower claims, 8/2/2012
When Kathy Jackson spoke about the Health Services Union on 7.30, it caused much talk, and now the leaders of the HSU reply to her claims.


February 9. 2012 08:17 AM


Bad Abbott

There's something sad, sick, and despairingly juvenile about a leader of the opposition who allows senior (sic) shadow ministers to continually hurl the words "stink", "stench", and "rotten" at Prime Minister Gillard.

It looks and sounds like some disturbingly misogynistic thrust at a woman that I find incredible is allowed to proceed by the women in the Coalition.

Both Christopher Pyne and Scott Morrison, in their foul (although Morrison's was far more disgusting in his repetition of the word "stench") speeches to the suspension of standing orders in Question Time yesterday, displayed such manifest loathing for the PM that I wonder what style of wife or partner could even consider allowing either of them into the same room, let alone bed.

And all the time Shouldabeen sat there, sanctimonious and stony as Savonarola on steroids, without the first sign of his oft-trumpeted respect for women.

If his wife and daughters countenance his allowing such behaviour on his team, they may well need to think a little harder about exactly what thoughts reside behind the sternly fixed brow of husband and father Tiny Abbott.


February 9. 2012 08:18 AM


Hi Ad

Sorry about the Malcolm Farnsworth link, the comments box decided to break it up on me.

Here is Laura Tingle back  to herself this morning:-

Abbott’s disappearing surplus, Laura Tingle, AFR
Even Coalition MPs seem confused – not to mention appalled – about how Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb could have got themselves entangled in such mixed messages over whether a Coalition government would achieve a surplus in its first term.



February 9. 2012 08:45 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

February 9. 2012 08:48 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I hope the adjustments to LYN'S DAILY LINKS are as you want them.

Ad astra reply

February 9. 2012 09:54 AM


Hi Ad

Thankyou for entering Laura Tingle for me.

I have noticed sometimes now with some of the newer blogs eg, Malcolm Farnsworth their links to articles take you to the  main page.  Wonder if the design is to make you read the other articles while you are there.

I see the Australian's Journalists are reading the blogs again or still:

Dr_TadDr_Tad Left flank  http://left-flank.blogspot.com.au/
LULZ. Here I am quoted in the latest Christian Kerr #Greens expose in The Australian. http://bit.ly/zKX9rA

Michael's Bad Abbott report is always fabulous but his words this morning in particular should be plastered all over the internet eg:-

Both Christopher Pyne and Scott Morrison, in their foul (although Morrison's was far more disgusting in his repetition of the word "stench") speeches to the suspension of standing orders in Question Time yesterday, displayed such manifest loathing for the PM that I wonder what style of wife or partner could even consider allowing either of them into the same room, let alone bed.

A big thankyou to Michael for his reports everyday.

Bushfire Bill, Katherine Murphy today:-

Bushfire Bill  comment 3449
Posted Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 9:42 am |

Look, it may be true that disgruntled back benchers keep on phoning them with Ruddstoration scuttlebutt. I’m prepared to concede that. But – let’s take another example to press home the point – if someone phones you every second day telling you the Earth is flat, do you print it? Or do you tell them to piss off and come back when they’ve got a bit more meat to offer than just their self-promoting obsessions?



February 9. 2012 09:58 AM


AA - the two interviews are interesting of for no other reason as demonstrating the various bias of the players.  

At best Wayne Swan is workmanlike - he doesn't have the panache of Keating or to a lesser extent Costello.  He has the message to sell but doesn't capitalise.

Chris Ullman is handicapped by his partner/wife.  He is still bending over backwards to "prove" his impartiality despite his wife obvious political allegances and failing miserably.  He seems to be too caught up in the rumour and gossip of Capital Hill.

Joe Hockey's image of someone that is easy to get along with and knowledgeable is quickly and easily disturbed.  He doesn't stand scruitiny well when prodded.

Emma Alberici needs to develop the killer instinct of "current affairs" interviewers of say 20 years ago.  She had Hockey so close to being in knots but let him off.  Even Kerry Anne Kennerley used to do it better - she was the one that asked Hewson about the Birthday Cake which killed his election race.

Sorry, I'm really not impressed by any of them.  They (and their respective organisations) should pull their heads out of whatever fundamental oriface thay are placed in, sack the PR and focus group people and return to the original reason for current affairs television - for the interviewer to ask questions to attempt to discover the reasons political parties are promoting particular policies - and the inherent flaws.  I suspect Gillard would work in that sort of questioning environment a lot more naturally than Abbott - but that's another discussion.


February 9. 2012 10:10 AM


Mick's Mix

What the Front Pages are saying...
via Front Pages Today (FPT)

The Australian - via FPT - http://goo.gl/3bnTO
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hc4cp
Gillard's appeal to factory floor
Carr hammers Get Up! ad campaign

The Sydney Morning Herald - via FPT - http://goo.gl/1kOHj
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hbzum
Australia's link to secret Iraq prisons

The Daily Telegraph - via FPT - http://goo.gl/JXc7d
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hbzel
Does not commute - Sydney MP claims $25,000 to dodge gridlock
Hooker grounded by fear of flying

The Age - via FPT - http://goo.gl/j6tKW
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hctto
OPI staff misconduct claims
600 jobs at risk as Alcoa battles soaring $

The Herald Sun - via FPT - http://goo.gl/0wNCf
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hctto
Save Our Jobs - Premier in crisis talks to rescue Alcoa workers

The Courier Mail - via FPT - http://goo.gl/7NTLf
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hbz7q
Abuse of Trust

The Adelaide Advetiser - via FPT - http://goo.gl/ApkdY
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hbyw9
Miner Digs In - Talks breakdown due to workplace laws, says BHP

The NT Times - via FPT - http://goo.gl/7f7VB
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hbzpi
Jail Break to visit Granny

The West Australian
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hc0hp
Action Replay - Angry WA land deal protest mirrors tent embassy fracas

The Hobart Mercury
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hbz31
White Knight
Kinder Surprise

The Canberra Times
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hchwf
Diggers linked to secret Iraqi jail

The Gold Coast Bulletin
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hc44w
'There's a Bomb under your seat'

... and the stories ...

Abbott backtracks on surplus Laura Tingle @AusFinReview (Free)
The federal Coalition’s political attack on Labor’s budget strategy was in ­disarray yesterday after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott declined to say whether a Coalition government would deliver a surplus in its first term.
After four years of attacking Labor for profligacy and promising a tougher budget approach, the Opposition’s position on spending cuts and tax cuts has become increasingly confused over the past week


NBN buys $620m satellites  Bianca Hall @Canberra Times
Two satellites costing $620 million - designed to deliver high-speed internet services to 3per cent of the population - will have an intended lifespan of 15 years.

Here's Ray Williams, the MP for rest in Sydney  Andrew Clennell @The Daily Telegraph
AS the people of northwest Sydney struggle on packed buses and clogged roads, Premier Barry O'Farrell's Parliamentary Secretary for Western Sydney Ray Williams is claiming a $259 a night "Sydney allowance" to stay in the city.
As the entire region waits for Mr O'Farrell's much-vaunted North West Rail Link, the member for the Hawkesbury claims his home of Rouse Hill is too far to go back to.


Activists mimic tent protest  Colleen Egan & Daniel Emerson @The West Australian
Premier Colin Barnett was trapped inside a Kings Park function centre and heckled by angry demonstrators yesterday in scenes uncannily similar to the Aboriginal tent embassy controversy in Canberra last month.
One of the main players in the Canberra fracas, Noongar activist Marianne Mackay, led about 30 protesters who pummelled windows and yelled abuse at Mr Barnett, two Cabinet Ministers and 150 delegates of the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.


The rise of South Australia's Godfather  Mark Kenny & Ken McGregor @The Advertiser
AN SA Labor powerbroker has taken the helm of the party's most powerful grouping, the Right faction.
Known as "The Godfather" of South Australian politics, Senator Don Farrell yesterday took over convening duties for the national Right.
This puts him in the box-seat during future policy and personnel discussions in the party and the government, including a likely showdown over the leadership.


... and from the Opinion Pages ...

Abbott's own test of character  John Warhurst @Canberra Times
...In my opinion Abbott has been far too negative in his interpretation of the role of Leader of the Opposition and in general he is one of the worst examples in Parliament of angry competitiveness.
He also has several other weaknesses, including unpredictability and policy positions, such as turn back the boats, with which I strongly disagree.


Decision to quarantine Katter cash angers ministers  Leonore Taylor @SMH
CABINET ministers scratching for savings to meet the government's pledge to return the budget to surplus have been angered by a decision to quarantine hundreds of millions of dollars for a pet project of the colourful Queensland independent Bob Katter that is not yet economically viable.

Abbott’s disappearing surplus  Laura Tingle @AusFinReview (Free)
It’s hard to work out just how the Coalition has got itself into such a terrible mess on fiscal policy over the past week.
Even Coalition MPs seem confused – not to mention appalled – about how Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb could have got themselves entangled in such mixed messages over whether a Coalition government would achieve a surplus in its first term.


It's all about the economy ...and Slipper's awesome robe  Judith Ireland @CanberraTimes
Time waits for no one. But if you've got an appointment with Julia Gillard, chances are, you've spent some time waiting for the Prime Minister.
Yesterday, in a textbook case of the phenomenon, Gillard was more than 30 minutes late for her own press conference. In real terms, that's more than half an episode of Q&A or an entire Press Club address!


Four Corners has Labor sides on edge  Phillip Coorey @SMH
Kevin Rudd is refusing to grant an interview to the ABC's Four Corners program as both sides of the leadership divide grow increasingly paranoid about an upcoming episode about Mr Rudd and Labor.
Supporters of the Prime Minster, Julia Gillard, worry the episode, due to be screened on Monday night, will serve as a launching pad for Mr Rudd's ambitions while the Rudd camp fears a hatchet job on the Foreign Affairs Minister.


Carbon levy booklet fails fact check  Peter Martin @TheAge
The 20-page colour booklet What a Carbon Price Means for You, which was mailed to 10 million households in August, may become something of a collectors item.
The Audit Office has found the Climate Change Department used it to make 99 claims about climate change and the carbon tax, 32 of which it was unable to fully back up in the accompanying documentation, including the claim ''nine in 10 households will receive some combination of tax cuts and increased payments to help them with the cost-of-living impact of the carbon price''.


The Global Mail - early observations and quick thoughts  Tim Dunlop @BSides
The new news website, The Global Mail, went live this week.  It is fully funded by a rich guy for the next five years and isn't taking any advertising and doesn't require users to pay anything for access.[/i]


February 9. 2012 10:20 AM

Patricia WA

DMW thanks for your prompt response to my late  night query which I've just seen.  My immediate reaction is to wonder if you haven't been doing such sterling work in reading and linking so much of the MSM headlines and articles for us that you've brainwashed yourself into an unduly negative view of the government.  I'd hardly describe it as dysfunctional, and coming from one of our own reading that gave me a jolt. I was convinced I'd misread it or you'd somehow forgotten to attribute.

I hope you haven't thrown TT into a turmoil similar to mine.  He's likely to come out fighting!  And I don't think I could cope with another TPS duel to the death at dawn or any time of the day!  Particularly not between our good friends!

By the way, your comment to TT about his Massola ditty was probably right, but you have to remember that TT is not just another armchair expert viewing the political scene, he is a satirist, an artist with words and paints as colorful a picure as his mind can conjures up.  That often means some o.t.t. language, but his brilliance and wit deserve poetic licence.

Yes, his language is scatalogical at times, but the form and context in which it is delivered is very different from what Michael is justifiably complaining of this morning with his Bad Abbott comment.  Satire is not the same as insult and calumny in public discourse.      

Patricia WA

February 9. 2012 11:44 AM


Just sometimes when I go to Lyn's~Links I see where she has left a message as on the Bannerman site this morning. It makes me realize that where we see the flowers and the fruits of her researches, she has aerials and subterranean roots that extend in every direction through multitudinous connections into the infinite . . .

If Lyn's~Links are metaphorical connections, like chains of neurons extending in all directions, what does that make Links~Lyn herself? Neuron Central!

You make my mouse a Magic Wand Lyn, I fly into people's sites and heads from here! Let's remember how specially blessed we are with the Internet that this can happen at all, but you pull it all together for politics in this country Lyn, making friends wherever you fly so early in the morning, not just digging up worms and picking fruits for us but also planting seeds and pollinating blossoms wherever you go.

The Political Sword is the most blessed and blesssome of blogs because of your daily reconnaissance flights, I'm only saying it because it's true.

And the fruits and worms and are particularly delicious this week, and the flowers so pretty especially *J*U*L*I*A*s smile, and the seeds are sprouting all over the place.    


February 9. 2012 12:23 PM


PWA @ 10:20 AM
I take note of your comments re TT perhaps I could amend my reply to read:

TT your Massola verse
Is a trifle terse
He is but a source of course
If you think he doth stink
don't follow the link.

I also note that I may have been better advised to go off and have a peanut butter with tomato and ginger jam sandwich.

Re: that you've brainwashed yourself into an unduly negative view of the government.

Understandable that it could be thought that spending so much time wading through the dross of MSM reporting could unduly influence my thinking.

My reasons for calling this (and the Rudd) government dysfunctional have been informed in part by the MSM of course.

My readings of veteran and well informed observers without an axe to grind such as Waterford, MacCallum, Warhurst, Abjorensen and Hull to name but a few, and listening to a wide range of observers, mostly on Radio National but also elsewhere and then reading bloggers such as Elder, Dunlop, Jericho, Passant and more gives a me broad view of the body politic.

The absolute failure to inform the world of the ineptitude of the Howard/Costello regime in managing the economy is only one example of the dysfunction.

The 'kitchen cabinet' of four that run the previous government and many ministers not talking to each other was an abomination. The over compensation of having an inner cabinet in the current government that could field two cricket teams is absolute stupidity. These are examples of how NOT to be a good government.

Without much work another umpty dozen examples of the dysfunctionality of this administration could be found.

Having said that I must add I do not believe a Liberal government with it's current team of also rans would be much better if at all.


February 9. 2012 01:48 PM


AlboMP | 20 minutes ago

RT @CUhlmann: On 730 tonight, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.


February 9. 2012 01:50 PM


I did note that comment on which you comment, I shall not comment on the comment myself, but I will most strenuously defend my own.

It is a given that when one writes for a blog one may volunteer or withhold one's own identity. Ad astra alone knows our contact points and he would be as reluctant to surrender such information to anybody as the most conscientious of RC priests would be to betray the sanctity of the confessional. Probably more, and more justifiably. (Because I think that for anybody to be able to confess, say, multiple rapes to a priest, then for the priest to salve his conscience and not report it is bloody criminal and crazy itself imo.)

Grog's Gamut chose to stay anonymous for his own very good reasons.  He never said anything outrageous, on the contrary he was careful, measured, responsible, as well as being the Best Bloody Blogger by here to Mars. What he said did not impinge on his day job ever, not at all.

I only just started to write on TPS when this James Massola outed him. How he found out who knows. But I immediately and vociferously condemned his action as did, well I would have thought 100% of bloggers. I didn't know the protocols, they aren't even really firmly in place afa I know, but I do know that if outing is an accepted practice on those who wish to remain anonymous, then there's probably an industry there for someone like Massola when he loses his Murdoch tit job. And goodbye to many fine bloggers forever.

"LARVATUS PRODEO" means "masked I come." there are reasons for that mask with many of us.  I don't care much personally, but some do very much.  

At the time the arguments were perfectly clear, virtually everybody condemned Massola and supported poor Greg, who shortly thereafter resigned from his responsible Government job in the Arts somehow.

The simple question is, Does the public have the right to know who a (any!) blogger is, regardless of whether he is saying anything e.g. libellous or outrageously racist - in which case btw the Blogmeister has the final filter on such sites as TPS, well Greg Jericho (he can use the fame now!) had his own site of course but he was always responsible anyway.

Anyway if you think Massola is just a source of information that was somehow in the interests of the world to know, rather than the snide creep I think him to be, gratuitously dumping a career-changing bomb on a man who outshines his own abilities as the sun outshines the moon, if you think it was OK for him to do that then beware Bloggers all, you all stand to be outed as soon as someone finds a way to use that knowledge against you.

I do have a retort or two for you though Patricia!

You said
your comment to TT about his Massola ditty was probably right,

well DMW made 3 comments actually, he said:

1, Your little ditty is just a little bit too sh*tty

2, Mr Massola is but a source

3, But you are to blind to see that of course

So I am respectfully wondering which of those 3  is/are 'probably right' iyo?
And given my earlier consideration of the proposition re 2, well could you please explain?

Oh and 'Tricia then you said,

. . . remember that TT . . . is a satirist, an artist with words and paints as colorful a picure as his mind can conjures up.  That often means some o.t.t. language, but his brilliance and wit deserve poetic licence.

Thank you Patricia for the kind words but even if I  deserved 'poetic licence' I would ask no more latitude in my pronouncements than anyone else . . . Oh well maybe just the Ranga Licence, did you know that redheads' body odour, where other people are lucky enough to get close enough to us to detect such little as we have, is held to be universally attractive? It's true.

and Patricia you said

   Yes, his language is scatalogical . . .

What I had said was:

James Massola is a pr*ck!
He outed Grog, that made me s*ck!
He stinks worse than Gorgozola!
Rotten lowlife Masturbola!

Gleaming with fresh polishing, no scats anywhere!

   Yes, his language is scatalogical . . . ?!


Now, Patricia!
Tell me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it *a certain well-known pometress* who, when we were discussing with -  wasn't it Janice? - the notion of online collections of political pomes, and I was saying wtte that mine were mostly only on TPS and would have to be pulled out for any collection, (and *this well-known pometress* must have assumed that I meant someone else would have to do the pulling), and she quite shocked me by telling me in so many words to do my own "sh*t work" (but it was unsanitized sh*t at the time, not my polished sh*t like here.)


BTW I am amused by your comment, a bit bemused by the earlier one but not irate OK?

My alleged lycanthropic persona is well in hand.
Steady diet of garlic and ginger . . . Smile

Sheep may safely graze.


February 9. 2012 01:58 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

Thankyou so much for you positive well thoughout comment at 11:44 AM

Your appreciation is treasured & an inspiration for all. You have a gifted talent for  creative writing, your enjoyment &   enthusiasm shines in all your posts.

We are very grateful to have your caring,  devoted,  undivided loyality to TPS.  Your work and time is very much appreciated, you add substance and delight to TPS.

Patricia wa who shares her own unique talent with us all on TPS,  thankyou also Patricia  for your loyality and time you are a gift to us on TPS.

  I agree wholeheartedly with Patirica wa she utters very wise words particularly in her comment @ 10.20am .

I do not agree one little tiny bit with DMW’s comment at 12:20 AM, @ 12:57 AM

At best Wayne Swan is workmanlike - he doesn't have the panache of Keating or to a lesser extent Costello. He has the message to sell but doesn't capitaliseThe paucity of decent commentary has more to do with the paucity of good leadership and good governance of this country than it does with good journalism.
We have a very dysfunctional government and a more dysfunctional oppisition pretending to be something that neither are capable of at the moment.
These are my words and mine alone.

Wayne Swan could not sell sell a cold beer to a thirsty man on a hot day. @ 12.50am

Without much work another umpty dozen examples of the dysfunctionality of this administration could be found.

TT @ 1:21 PM
Your little ditty
Is just a little bit too sh*tty
Mr Massola is but a source
But you are to blind to see that of course
As for James Massola he deserves every bit of dislike, judgement, and criticism anybody wants to aim at him.

I read all those writers Waterford, MacCallum, Warhurst, Abjorensen and Hull , Elder, Dunlop, Jericho, Passant , not one of them muck up my loyalities or my own opinion.

As for three stooges @ 12.20  sorry DMW but in my opinion the stooges are  Abbott, Hockey, Pyne, Morrison, Robb, Bishop, Mirabella, Bishop, Dutton, Truss, Andrew, Hunt, Joyce, Brandis,

Abetz, whoops that’s too many for three stooges, there are 57 more of them

TPS was my choice of blogs 3 years ago, because I thought we are in our small way fighting to keep the Labor Government in Government.  I vote Labor and I vote exactly how their "how to vote card tells me".  

peanut butter with tomato and ginger jam sandwich

Also judging by the frequent posts about sandwiches, buying jam , prawn sandwiches,  there seems to be a hidden meaning in sandwiches, spill it DMW what  do you mean?????



February 9. 2012 02:51 PM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA, Catey, janice
Thank you for your comments about the Uhlmann, Alberici interviews, with which I agree.  I hope Emma will toughen up and drill down harder when she meets the obfuscation she encountered from Joe Hockey, which by the way he repeated on ABC 774 Melbourne radio this morning.  He is all at sea with economics, trying as he is to reconcile Coalition policy, whatever it is, with his need to be populist, like his leader.  His problem is compounded by the inconsistency of utterances of The Three Stooges, as Labor likes to call Abbott, Hockey and Robb.  Trouble is, they are not funny as were their namesakes, just ludicrous.

In my view, the use by Opposition spokesmen of the nasty expressions you list, is a sign of their desperation.  They sense that the momentum is trending away from them to the Government.  Of course the next Newspoll may show the reverse, but they fear it may confirm the trend.  Once they lose momentum, they know it will be difficult to reverse, as they have no new tricks.  Once the public becomes bored with their slogans, they know the decline will accelerate.

Your categorization of Wayne Swan’s sales ability comes across to me as the sort of generalization we might expect from the tabloid media.  He is no Paul Keating.  Keating is one of the best brains in economics in the world and has a fine turn of phrase to match.  Swan cannot match that, and should not try.  He, with his three colleagues, made the right decisions at the time of the GFC, and he seems to be making sound decisions still.  While it would be to Labor’s advantage for Swan to be a stylish salesman like Keating, being a competent Treasurer, cited as the world’s best, will do me.

You style the Government as ‘dysfunctional’.  If we define that state in a social context as: “a breakdown of normal or beneficial relationships between members of the group”, to the extent that there appears to be dissatisfaction among some caucus members with Julia Gillard’s leadership, that generic definition might be applicable.  Barrie Cassidy sizes the dissatisfaction as being among less than twenty out of a caucus of over one hundred.  There are degrees of dysfunction, as we in medicine know, ranging from the minor, that results in mild discomfort, to the major, that results in death.  Whenever the word ‘dysfunctional’ is used, it needs to be qualified.  Otherwise it is open to the reader to interpret it in his or her own way from a minor disturbance to a fatal disruption.

In my view, all political parties are dysfunctional to some degree.  In the latest issue of The Monthly there is an article is about dysfunction in The Greens, that the author labels: ‘The Rift’.  So labeling a party ‘dysfunctional’ is unhelpful unless the way in which is not functioning well is spelt out, and how that affects its ability to carry out its role effectively.  In my opinion the Government under Julia Gillard is functioning soundly, especially so in the face of the drawbacks of a minority government, and the vicious opposition that emanates from Tony Abbott and his ministers, day after day.

My plea is to use words like ‘dysfunctional’ cautiously, backed with sound evidence of the validity of the word.  It is not a helpful ‘throw-away’ line.  If I were to say to a patient that he or she, or his or her family was dysfunctional without explanation, they would seek another doctor.

I see that in subsequent comments you have spelt out some of your reasons for using that word, which if they had accompanied your original use of the word might have made my commentary less necessary.  Unaccompanied, such words act like slogans that stick in the unthinking mind.  The Coalition knows that well.

Ad astra reply

February 9. 2012 02:59 PM

Patricia WA

Oh TT - I knew you'd trump me!  I had forgotten that it was Massola who outed Grog, which was indeed a shitty thing to do! But I've never forgotten our little 'exchange' and my scatalogica reproof to you until today!   It was late last night that I saw DMW's comments and reacted.   Then I woke up this morning worried that I might have been unfair to him, but also concerned that you might bite and respond to him too and go o.t.t. and we'd all be at war again!

Lyn probably understands my motives better than me!  I also think that Michael's excellent Bad Abbott comment required some sort of acknowledgement that we all use so-called 'bad language' and its legitimacy depends on the context and form within which it's used.

You a werewolf?  In sheep's clothing?   Never!

That last sentence reminds me that I once fleetingly described Rudd as a wolf in sheep's clothing after commenting on an interview in which Kerry O'Brien had savaged him on the 7.30 Report.  I found it worth revisiting just now, not because of KOB, but if all the rumors around Rudd are true, then maybe I'd unwittingly hit on an aspect of his character which would emerge later for another reason.  Off topic, I know, but here it is.
A Broadcasting Legend

I’m informally told by Mr. David Marr
There is nothing at all bizarre
In last night’s conduct of Kerry O’Brien
Which was typical of an aging lion.

It should be seen as a last and mighty roar
Before death arrives and he is heard no more.
Wrongly interpreted by some as hubris
He is suffering the ‘fading star’ neurosis.

Of late he feels the loss of former power
And seeks out easy game to torture and devour
Before his audience,  and doesn’t give a damn
Whether or not his victim really is a lamb.

So, as he ambles off, with mind and faculties grown dim,
Will he see, as friendly childhood ‘forests’ call to him,
The vengeful wolf who lopes behind with loathing,
In his mouth a bloodied skin, yesterday’s protective clothing?

Patricia WA

February 9. 2012 03:20 PM


Bad Abbott

As I type this, Shouldabeen is letting it happen again - Christopher Pyne blowing hot air across the chamber at Prime Minister Gillard (oddly enough, without needing to turn and bend over, but with the same effect, and undoubtedly measurable content, from his lips).

We wait with bated breath for his move to suspend standing orders to be backed up by yet another blowhard from the 'alternative government' (delusions of grandeur being collusionally shared at the left side of the Speaker's chair since they seem to believe this suspension tactic will actually achieve in 2012 what it repeatedly failed to do throughout 2011), and wonder whether foulmouth Scott Morrison will once again parade his puerile grasp on woman-hating invective.

This rabble, this cabal of collected incompetence, this mob of political nitwits, line up once again to expose themselves (don't look, or be forced to quote Kurtz, "the horror, the horror") as the serial fools and mindless wreckers of Australian politics.


February 9. 2012 03:21 PM



Swanny said it again! The Three Stooges! Smile

He said it BECAUSE he knew he'd be asked to withdraw!


They ARE The Three Stooges now!

Meanwhie Slipper is doing quite a good job. He understands the task, and the principles of keeping discipline.  
Labor is being Goodie-Two-Shoes of course, none of ours 94a'd so far this Parliament. One Coalon today so far, 2 or 3 in all I'm not sure.

That mob is taking a little while to come to terms with the nouveau regime, it's such fun because he knows and you know and they know and the Government knows that he has their measure. Poor Harry never got the respect in all the time he was there, Slipper is a different proposition with the change in numbers.

Albo just nailed the NOpposition with a quote from one of their own praising Labor and bagging 12 years of Lib rule in fixing the Bruce Highway. Albo loves it, Labor is laughing all over, the glum expressions on all the Stooges, Abbott, Hockey, Pyne, Morrison, Robb, Bishop, Mirabella, Bishop, Dutton, Truss, Andrew, Hunt, Joyce, Brandis, Abetz, and 57 more of them tells the state of play. Smile They've been scatologised!

Hope you placed your bets on Labor on Tuesday morning. If I were a bookie I'd have Labor at about evens, but I wouldn't be keen. I'd be thinking of making them even shorter than that.

And I TT would rate them much shorter than that. Even evens is pretty good if you can get it!    

Liberals are getting very discouraged.

Even more so than when I wrote that line a few minutes ago. They look like Hell!

Now here's *J*U*L*I*A* blowing Mesma apart on matters of fact.

With extra chili!

Slipper is gradually extending his control over the House. I dips me lid. The NOpposition are seeing that the game is up.

They are entering the Slough of Despond. Labor have them cold now.

PooPoo apoplectic now! Moving suspension, pathetic.
Labor members nearly all gone out of the Chamber, camera won't let us see, hee hee.

Coalons dispirited. Poor petals. Withering like Mesma herself . . .


February 9. 2012 03:23 PM


Bad Abbott's perfumed deputy.

Oh dear, not Morrison. It's Julie Bishop, who surely must know the undercurrent of gynicidal distaste that underpins the thinking of her male colleagues???


February 9. 2012 04:00 PM


Albo -(of POO POO Pyne) -

Quote of the week!

In your guts you know he's nuts! Smile

The power of RHYME see!

All Labor gleeful, tails up. Just about HUZZAAAAHHHHing!

Only reason they aren't, they don't want to show hubris.

Dog though I bet they raise a few tonight. Labor has creamed them this week. Whacked the MSM too. Winning on every front. Deny it who may.

Meanwhile the NOpposition look
(in Michael's words)
"sanctimonious and stony as Savonarola"
(Alla same longa James Masturbola! Smile )

I saw that rhyme earlier Michael,
(Didn't he burn a few warlocks? Oh, and witches?)
But I settled on Gorgonzola instead,
It sure stinks but it makes better sandwiches! Smile

Smelly verse too.


February 9. 2012 04:50 PM


Hi Michael

Another enjoyable report thankyou.  I mean reports.

This rabble, this cabal of collected incompetence, this mob of political nitwits, line up once again to expose themselves (don't look, or be forced to quote Kurtz, "the horror, the horror") as the serial fools and mindless wreckers of Australian politics.

Fabulous Michael.

I need To Quote James Higgins our up and coming star of the Blogospere:-

The fact that Abbott is not at all interested in having a position on issues. He doesn’t want to win government in his own right, he wants belt Labor so hard that they simply stumble out of it.

Talk Turkey Twitter have picked up what you have.

Twitter is trending in other words jammed with Albo slogan.

vanonselenP australian and PM_Live r u noting how much Twitter is currently trending AlboMP comment: "In your guts, you know he's nuts"?

MikeKellyMPMike Kelly MP
Albo on Abbott "in your guts you know he's nuts"

Tony Abbott will never be prime minister

A cracker in Parliament today.....
For me the prize went to the wonderful Albanese, for this description of Abbott:


We sure do, but we also know it in the brain! b2

HyperBrendanBrendan Brooks
spot on new slogan from @AlboMP to the coalition members about their leader TAbbott "In your guts, you know he's nuts

AlboMP you are priceless, TonyAbbott this will live forever, it will haunt you, ..."In your guts you know he's nuts". That sums up Abbott!

geeksrulzIntrepid Geek
Abbott is not just nuts, he's as mad as a cut snake

LeftyMatt Martin
And with one neat upper cut, AlboMP sends the entire tory front bench down spitting wild ivories

In your guts, you know he's nuts, Albo, which movie did that come from? ha ha ha ha qt

tv_faurepaul faure
Albo is just fantastic #qt

This is the 37th failed suspension:-Gillard HQ
Albanese: this is the 37th failed suspension from the Opposition in this parliament. qt

Tonight on 7.30pm report Chris Uhlmann has Julia Gillard, as Agness Mack says, last night to Turnbull respectful we expect the same to our Prime Minster:-

RT abc730: Tonight on abc730, Uhlmann interviews PM @juliagillard about the neweconomy and the year ahead

abc730 CUhlmann The tone of last night's questioning of Malcolm Turnbull was respectful and non aggressive. Expect same for PM tonight.



February 9. 2012 05:02 PM


Patricia WA said

Oh TT - I knew you'd trump me!

I had forgotten that it was Massola who outed Grog, which was indeed a shitty thing to do!

But I've never forgotten our little 'exchange' and my scatalogica reproof to you until today!

>Patricia . . . erm - Is it me ? - but those two lines seem a bit like a Moebius Strip that doesn't join up . . . I can't work it out . . . It makes some sense if you replace both 'forgotten's with 'remembered's . . . erm . . . I think . . . Please explain ???

You a werewolf?  In sheep's clothing?   Never!

>Didn't you see? I was outed a few weeks ago on this very site!

What my personal Professor van Helsing doesn't realize is that I'm a lamb in a wolf's clothing in a sheep's clothing . . .  


February 9. 2012 06:05 PM


Swanny repeating The Three Stooges, Abbortt Hockey and Robb!

Gotta love him for dat!



February 9. 2012 06:18 PM


From George on Poll Bludger
A very clever graphic artist you bet!



February 9. 2012 06:21 PM


From George on Poll Bludger
A very clever graphic artist!



February 9. 2012 06:37 PM

Patricia WA

Come on, TT, I am saying that I have always remembered it until today when I forgot.  Momentarily.  Oh Shit!   You know what I mean!

Three Stooges - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stoogelogo.png
shows their official logo with faces in order, l to r, Moe, Curley and Larry.   I take it that Abbott is Moe, but I'm not sure about the other two.  I'd love Hockey to be Curley and Robb to be Larry.  But is that how you and others see them?

It's important if it's going to be an on going fun theme for verse.

Patricia WA

February 9. 2012 07:40 PM


Folks, to the extent that the current and immediate past Prime Ministers of this country have not used to their benefit the advantages of office to sell their message - I'd have to agree with DMW's claim up there ^ somewhere.  Also in DMW's defence I was the one that claimed that Swan's performance was workmanlike without the panache of Keating or Costello.  For the record I didn't say he was doing a bad job - I did say he doesn't sell his story well.  Is he better at his real job (either understanding economics well enough to formulate policy or stand aside and let Treasury formulate policy) than Hockey - certainly.

TT - While Grog was outed as Greg Jericho by James Massola, there is some fault on both sides here.  While I can't find the link to support this (Jericho seems to have deleted the relevant posts), from memory Massola knew who "Grog" was for some time and regularly communicated with him via Twitter.  I would think that I am fairly anonymous on this and other blogs I frequent (only the moderators/administrators/owners would have access to my personal details & email address I would hope).  To be frank, that's the way i like it - if my writings on blogs had garnered enough interest to attract media attention (which will never happen) and the media made contact, if I responded it would be on the basis that they could "blow my cover" as they did to Grog.  Breach of trust certainly by Massola, but surely Jericho should have thought of the consequences before he outed himself to Massola some time previously.

Having said that Jericho writes very well and I always seem to enjoy his blog posts (which happily have recommenced) and his Drum articles - even if I rarely don't agree with the opinion.


February 9. 2012 08:07 PM

Ad astra reply

Just when I thought Chris Uhlmann could get no worse he’s proved me wrong.  His interview with our PM this evening was an example of how stuck in the past, how bereft of vision, Uhlmann is.  Try as she did to paint a positive picture of the future and how our Government is planning for it, Uhlmann kept reverting to his punitive form, trying to nail her about the Thomson inquiry, the issue of trust, dragging up the tired chestnut of broken promises, Kevin Rudd’s intentions, the cost of the NBN and couldn’t she do it cheaper.  

Asked if she will bring down a surplus, she said ‘Yes’, which evoked a Chris Uhlmann retort “That's not a guarantee”.  Really Chris. Listen and try to understand.  She had to repeat her ‘Yes’, as if Uhlmann was a simpleton.  Perhaps he is!

This man, who began with such promise, is showing us how pedestrian he is, subject to the same old tired punitive groupthink, so very ordinary.  He should get a job on commercial TV and not drag down our ABC.

Ad astra reply

February 9. 2012 08:15 PM


    Grog wrote this grogsgamut.blogspot.com.au/.../...cus-no-more.html

How his identity is in the public interest I don't know!the media of late say a "labor source" but name no one, and for all any of us here know you could be Campbell Newman, I suspect if you were Newman you would be treated in a different manner.
In my opinion Massola is summed up here because there is very little between the two! with thanks to Jack London.

After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, He had some awful substance left with which He made a scab. A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a waterlogged brain, and a combination backbone made of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles.
When a scab comes down the street, men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out. No man has a right to scab as long as there is a pool of water deep enough to drown his body in, or a rope long enough to hang his carcass with. Judas Iscariot was a gentleman compared with a scab. For betraying his Master, he had character enough to hang himself. A scab hasn’t.
Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Judas Iscariot sold his savior for thirty pieces of silver. Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of a commission in the British Army. The modern strikebreaker sells his birthright, his country, his wife, his children, and his fellow men for an unfulfilled promise from his employer, trust, or corporation.


February 9. 2012 09:21 PM


Hi Everybody

Here is the link to The Australian newspaper and James Massola's article where he outed Grog.  James Massola deserves every tiny piece of Criticism he gets, there are no doubts as to who was in the wrong it was James Massola:-

Controversial political blogger unmasked as a federal public servant , James Massola From: The Australian September 27, 2010 12:00AM

Media can reveal that high-profile blogger Grog's Gamut is actually Greg Jericho, a public servant who spends his days working in the film section of the former Department of Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts.

Mr Jericho, who was the subject of intrigue at the Media 140 conference in Canberra last Thursday as an "embedded" but anonymous blogger, wore a nametag that gave his first name but not his last.

At one point in the conference, several participants stood up and jokingly declared themselves to be "Grog's Gamut".

The prolific blogger shows a strong preference for the ALP, despite the Public Service code of conduct stating that "the APS is apolitical, performing its functions in an impartial and professional manner



February 9. 2012 10:10 PM


If this government is dysfunctional, DMW, then long live dysfunction!

You have completely ignored the inconvenient fact that this "dysfunctional" government managed to present and pass in excess of 200 pieces of legislation, including the carbon pricing legislation and mining profits tax, possibly two of the most important pieces of legislation this decade.

All while being constantly misrepresented and verballed by the most incompetent and destructive opposition in this country's history and their goon squad, the media.

How is it possible to have good commentary, if those charged with presenting it to we, the long suffering public, fail so consistently, willfully and abjectly to do so?

When the msm is more interested in obsessively discussing the size of the PM's earlobes than what she has to say about the government's legislative program for the year ahead, or in relentlessly pursuing the latest leadership challenge rumour manufactured by the Liars Party, or excavati8ng for gotcha moments, it is somewhat fantastical to lay the blame for their abrogation of responsibility at the feet of the government.

And what Ad astra said.

And proof positive of the paucity of decent, thoughtful informed commentary in the media in this country was provided in spades by the idiot Uhlmann on 7.30 tonight, surpassed only by Barrie Cassidy's woeful effort on Insiders.

I suggest that the charge of dysfunction should be levelled at the trivial airheads who infest what laughingly passes for political commentary in this country today.


February 9. 2012 11:43 PM


Lyn @ 1:58 PM
As for James Massola he deserves every bit of dislike, judgement, and criticism anybody wants to aim at him.

And by that logic the same is true for every journalist, opinion giver, letter to the editor writer, blogger and commenter on blogs.

The history of my use of the Twitpics provided by Mr Massola is, to my knowledge, known to me and only one other person. I am sure that other person would not criticise the use of the Twitpics to provide a service to the readers here of giving an overview of what the front pages are saying from day to day and would acknowledge it is a source of information and not an endorsement, criticism or any other reflection on the provider of that information.

Also judging by the frequent posts about sandwiches, buying jam , prawn sandwiches,  there seems to be a hidden meaning in sandwiches, spill it DMW what  do you mean?????

I am sure if you take more than a moment to think about it you know full well what the reference to sandwiches is about. In case you have forgotten that around Jan 19th you actually retweeted a link to the poster which refers to the inspiration for the consumption of sandwiches.

You may also wish to visit the comments here at The Sword in the afternoon of that day.


February 10. 2012 12:11 AM


    "And by that logic the same is true for every journalist, opinion giver, letter to the editor writer, blogger and commenter on blogs."

I hear you brother! Do you still beat your wife? The sad fact with grog was, he was a blogger like Ad Astra!
Should I find out your "ID" wich lines should I not cross outing you?


February 10. 2012 12:18 AM


Let us revisit something:

February 8. 2012 01:21 PM


James Massola is a pr*ck!
He outed Grog, that made me s*ck!
He stinks worse than Gorgozola!
Rotten lowlife Masturbola!

Some things should not easily be forgiven.


This comment was specifically directed toward me (or my Gravatar).

Why? The answer to that can only be provided by our resident Turkey.

I can only draw the conclusion that The Turkey objects to my use of a source of information that being the front page Twitpics provided by Mr Massola.

Let me be totally clear in providing links to those Twitpics I am not in any way endorsing or for that matter crticising Mr Massola just as I am not endorsing or criticising the front pages that are depicted in those Twitpics.

It is of complete of imbu@@erance to me what The Turkey or anybody else for that matter, thinks of Mr Massola. I provide those links as a service to the readers here in informing what is on the front pages and that is it.

That The Turkey chose to address the comment directly to me does make me wonder about the  motives particularly that The Turkey now chooses not to respond to my reply directly but chooses do so through comments to other Gravatars.

It may well be to my discredit that I chose to respond to the above comment rather than going off to make a sandwich. So be it.

Talk Turkey if you have a beef or a problem with the links I am providing show some guts and address me directly.


February 10. 2012 12:18 AM


Patricia, you said
Come on, TT, I am saying that I have always remembered it until today when I forgot.  Momentarily.  Oh Shit!   You know what I mean!

>I think I have the picture straight, I thought it was upside down! It still seems a bit . . . squrewed?

You said
I had forgotten that it was Massola who outed Grog, which was indeed a shitty thing to do!
>and see I thought, she can't have forgotten that surely? . . . She must mean I had remembered . . .etc . . . but seems you had indeed forgotten that truly momentous event, and 'twas as you say, I who reminded you. Oui?

and then,
But I've never forgotten our little 'exchange' and my scatalogica[l]) reproof to you until today!

>and see I thought, surely she means she'd never remembered that forgettably inconspicuous little comment until today, and I reminded her?
         - But no, it seems you had remembered it until now, but forgot it specially today just for the occasion!

There was a time in the affairs of men when I might have expostulated, (and with some warmth), Women!

Of course I'd never say such a thing today. Smile
(Or even think it.)

I want you to know I am not affronted or rancorous at all, just amused and bemused and quite gratified, plus a little gleeful, to be able to point out that maybe it takes one scatologist to call another scatologist a scatologist! Smile

As perhaps it takes one WISC (wolf in sheep's clothing) to call another WISC a WISC. Here's why I'm gratified: to see that my memory is indeed quite OK, when 'twas he who pinged me as a WISC who also accused me of using poorly remembered history in my self-defence.  My memory's fine after all. (I thought so.)

I really am just a lamb in wolf's clothing in sheep's clothing, but I can s*it pretty good!

[ * = p of course. No scats on me of course! ]

See sometimes when one gets accused of something and one knows it's unfair, but several people say it of you, you start to wonder whether there isn't maybe some truth in what they're saying, and it's so good to be vouchsafed independent confirmatory evidence, unbidden and unhoped-for and even unmeant in this case, of the fairness of one's own position after all,(even if it's only evidence in support, as you have just provided me.) Feels good. Like I've had a nice hot shower with Pear's Soap after a week in the bush. Or three days in Melbourne, worse still.

Oh, and of course if you were unaware of my having been accused here of being a Lycanthropic Lamb amongst other things* -

- "[You a werewolf?  In sheep's clothing?   Never!" ] -

(and yes the actual words were indeed, though more widely understood if less picturesquely, 'wolf in sheep's clothing')

* - then you might be open to the suggestion too that perhaps my own responses were less "o.t.t." than you had supposed?

See I didn't think I was a Lycanthrope before . . . but then how could one know? TT and LL must obviously occupy separate realities . . .

Anyway now I've been fatally bitten by one, (remember it takes one to know one, as with scatologists and Gingers, and with Lycanthropes it takes one to make one) so now LL is TT's altered ego!!! Smile) A

AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo . . . .


To You Patricia this is all said in comradely good humour, maybe with a dash of curry, and to all others who read this too, including fellow Lycanthropes and their daytime counterparts too if they can take a joke. Don't take it otherwise anyone please. This is just a fairly happy Turkey at play.

The Labor Party has had a great week, in line precisely with my prediction at the beginning of the week, just unbelievably better is all.

How could I be in a crook frame of mind?  


February 10. 2012 12:28 AM


Jason @ 12:11 AM
I welcome you back as Talk Turkey's Tag Team Partner.

I really could not care less if you choose to 'out' me as the only 'outing' you would be doing is revealing what the D part of my handle stands for and I have given The Turkey broad clues as what it may be in the past.

As I have stated above the use of links to the Twitpics provided by Mr Massola is not in any way an endorsement of him or otherwise.

That he outed Mr Jericho is of complete irrelevance to the use of the those pictures showing the front pages of Australi'a daily papers.

When you next chat privately to Talk Turkey you may probably be able determine the motives for his, to my mind, needless comment and offer him some wise counsel as I know you have done on other occasions.


February 10. 2012 12:39 AM


Me oh my.
I had not read DMW's comment above when I posted that last comment above.

Let me make clear that in no way was I commenting on DMW or his gravatar but on the despicable James Massola.

DMW yours was a complete misreading of my meaning, I only put DMW at the top because it was you who provided the link. It was my invariable hat tip to s/he who provides information.

The rest of what you say, predicated on a fallacy, has no validity whatsoever. Believe it or not.

If you choose to stay offended that's up to you.


February 10. 2012 12:46 AM


I will take this moment to ask that people go to comment @ January 19. 2012 09:04 AM on this page: http://goo.gl/oIbwr

and many of the comments that followed, and most particularly, one @ January 19. 2012 12:58 PM


February 10. 2012 01:15 AM


   Ah yes the old "tag team" bullshit again!
However I don't need a "tag team member" do you wish to try?


February 10. 2012 01:19 AM


'Put a Band-aid on it'  ((Losing you)) John Lennon


Here in some stranger's room
Late in the afternoon
What am I doing here at all?
Ain't no doubt about it
I'm losing you
I'm losing you

Somehow the wires got crossed
Communication's lost
Can't even get you on the telephone
Just got to shout about it
I'm losing you
I'm losing you

Well, here in the valley of indecision
I don't know what to do
I feel you slipping away
I feel you slipping away
I'm losing you
I'm losing you

Well now, you say you're not getting enough
But I remind you of all that bad, bad, bad stuff
So what the hell am I supposed to do?
Just put a bandaid on it?
And stop the bleeding now
Stop the bleeding now

I'm losing you
I'm losing you
Well, well, well

I know I hurt you then
But hell, that was way back when
Well, do you still have to carry that cross? (drop it)Don't want to hear about it
I'm losing you
I'm losing you
Don't want to lose you now
So long ago


February 10. 2012 01:43 AM


Jane @ February 9. 2012 10:10 PM,
I have not overlooked you comment just as I have not overlooked, or completely ignored the fact that many pieces of legislation have been passed.

A scorecard of the legislation passed is not in itself a measure of the effictiveness of a government. Some of the legislation passed may well, in the future, prove to be detrimental to the better interests of the country. We only have to look back prior to 2008 to see the effects of some 'bad' legislation.

How many pieces of legislation passed by either of the Rudd or Gillard administartions prove to be 'dogs' or unwise in hindsight we may not know for some time. That however has nothing to do with why I say that this government has problems.

I refer you to this article:
Defying party leaders gets nod from ex-speaker

and comments by Gary Gray regarding the leadership situation

The Special Minister of State, Gary Gray, said last night it was clear there were leadership issues within Labor and the purported ambitions of the former prime minister, Kevin Rudd.
The Junior Cabinet Minister also defended media speculation over Labor leadership tensions last night, berating his colleagues for claiming journalists were "making it up."
Mr Gray said speculation surrounding the Prime Minister Julia Gillard's grasp on her job was a serious matter because it went to the "good governance of the country."
"Therefore it's silly of politicians to suggest that somehow the media makes this up. People talk to journalists. I do think it's important to keep that fact in perspective," he told Sky News.

It is a measure of the dysfunction that some members of the government choose to deny there are leadership tensions and that it is all a media beatup.

I am not suggesting that the constant barrage of articles on the subject is appropriate or contain good reporting or for that matter anything that is new. Nor is it a defence of the media for its' constant fascination of the topic.

It is however totally ludicrous to be in a state of denial (at least denying publicly) that the tensions exist.

Denialism is a shortcut to ruin.

Equally the words of Harry Jenkins earlier in the article:

... said it was ridiculous that backbenchers should have to publicly agree with their leadership.
It was not the "end of the earth" if party members had different views, particularly in the present minority government, he said.
"That's got nothing to do with disunity," he said, adding that the parliament should be a place of proper policy development and dialogue.

Mr Jenkins is pointing to another dysfunction that afflicts many organisations in attempting to shut down dissent and/or stifle debate and discouraging the airing of different views.

As James Higgins @ThePoliticsProject points out in his article: Watching the pitch sail past  referring to the opposition that politcal parties need to have disagreements and debates to get a solid policy position.

What is the job of oppositions, if not to debate and develop a set of positions in accordance with their principles? If, in opposition, you’re not going to have the “fights” over subsidies for the manufacturing industry or a solution for the crisis that is the Murray-Darling river system, then when on earth are you going to have them?
An opposition seeking to present themselves as a viable alternative to the current government should be both developing and arguing for a complete set of policies. They should have a position on every issue (and by the way, it’s fine for that position to be the same as the government’s on some issues).

Dissent and disagreement can be signs of a more healthy party.

Blind adherence to the party line and sychophantic applause of the government simply because the party one prefers is the government does it no favours.

How is it possible to have good commentary, if those charged with presenting it to we, the long suffering public, fail so consistently, willfully and abjectly to do so?

There is plenty of good commentary out there and more often than some choose to admit possibly because of a tendency to view the commentary through a biased and partisan eye.

Another possible reason for the supposed lack of good commentary could have a lot to do with the way the government handles the feeding of information that provides the fodder for what you may view as good commentary.


February 10. 2012 01:47 AM


Jason @ 1:15 AM
Thanks for informing me that the tag team doesn't exist and it is my vivid imagination and poor memory that lead me astray into thinking that I had experienced such action in the past and was in error thinking that it was occurring again.


February 10. 2012 02:11 AM


   Put up or shut up!


February 10. 2012 02:21 AM


Here's the Only a Ginger song I meant to post.
Tim Minchin is somewhere between magical and a genius.


Tim Minchin - Prejudice lyrics

This is a song about prejudice
And the language of prejudice
And the power of... the language of... prejudice
It's called

In this modern freespoken society
There is a word that we still hold taboo
A word with a terrible history of being used to abuse oppress and subdue
Just six seemingly harmless letters arranged in a way will form a word
With more power than the pieces of metal that are forged to make swords
A couple of G's an R and an E an I and an N
Just six little letters all jumbled together have caused damage that we may never mend
And it's important that we all respect that if these people should happen to choose to reclaim the word as their own it doesn't mean the rest of you have a right to its use
So never underestimate
The power that language imparts
Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can break hearts
A couple of G's G's unless you've had to live it an R and an E Even I am careful with it
An I and an N, in the end it will only offend, don't want to have to spell it out again


Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger
Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger
So listen to me if you care for your health
You wont call me ginger less you're ginger yourself
Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger

When you are a ginger life is pretty hard
Years of ritual bullying in the school yard
Kids calling you ranga and fanta pants
No invitation to the high school dance
But you get up and learn to hold your head up
You try to keep your cool and not get head up
But until the feeling of Ill is truly let up
And the word is ours and ours alone don't you know

Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger
Only a ginga can call another ginga ginga
So if you call us ginge we just might come unhinged
If you don't have a fringe with at least a tinge of the ginge
Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger

Now listen to me when I am looking for sympathy
Just because we're sensitive to UV
Just because we're pathetically pale
We do alright with the females
Yeah I like to ask the ladies round for ginger beer
And soon their running their fingers through my ginger beard
And dunking my ginger nuts into their ginger tea
And asking if they can call me ginge
And I say "I don't think that's appropriate!"

Coz only a ginger can call another ginger ginger
Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger
And all the ladies agree it's a fact once you've gone ginge! you can't go back
Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger

Yeah go ginge go you funky motherfunkin ginge

Yeah you can call us bozo or fire truck
You can even call us carrot top or blood nut
Yeah you can call us match stick or tampon

But fucking with the G word is just not on
If you're a ginger-phobe and you don't like us
You gonna stand up to the fight if you want to fight us
But if you cut yourself you might catch gingavitis
So maybe you should shut your funky mouth

Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger
Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger

So if you call us ginge you can't winge if you're injured
If you don't have a tinge of the ginge in your minge

Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger yeah
And you know my kids will always be clothed and fed
Coz poppas going to be bringing home the ginger bread
And they be pretty smart because they'll be well read
And by read I mean read and the other kind of red, its a fucking homophone!

Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger yeah!
Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger
Just like only a ninja can sneak up on another ninja

Yeah only a ginger only a ginger only a ginger yeah
Are you listening up I'm not pointing the finga
I'm just having a sing up
I'm just reminding ya!

that only a ginger can call another ginger


February 10. 2012 03:21 AM


Some early morning news for those that need to while away the wee small hours

Joe Hockey fumbles attack on Wayne Swan's tax 'black hole'  Matthew Franklin & Lauren Wilson @TheAus
[i]JOE Hockey has fumbled an attempt to establish the existence of a black hole in Wayne Swan's calculations about the effect of Labor's new mining tax on the federal budget.
But after correcting an initial mistake in his figures, the opposition Treasury spokesman told The Australian last night the new tax would raise at least $3.7 billion less in its first four years than the government had committed in spending on superannuation, infrastructure and tax relief for business.[/b]

It is paywalled so you may need to Google search the link


February 10. 2012 03:23 AM


Thanks Jason,
I will put the links to more news later this morning


February 10. 2012 08:11 AM



Watching the pitch sail past,James Higgins,The Politics Project
Abbott is so bent on getting into government and becoming Prime Minister, that it appears he has given very little thought to what he will actually do in the job. Never before has Australia had an Opp

Jumping at shadows, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
Katharine Murphy acknowledges that the leadership story has been badly reported and then goes on to report it badly, as Bushfire Bill points out.There's no helping some people.It's like hearing a two-p

The Global Mail - early observations and quick thoughts, Tum Dunlop, BSides
The journalists themselves also need to be available to 'talk' to the readers. Transparency is the new objectivity, as they say, and the only way to achieve that is for readers to feel as if the

The 2012 State of Play, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics
First up, the two party preferred trend might surprise a few folks that take their media polling commentary too seriously – it reminds me of a line from Chicken Run, “the polling flashed before my eyes,

Make My Day–The Exceptional Australian BISONs, Frank,A Frank View
We are not going to take it anymore. The constant negativity and continuous put down of Australia by the LOTO Tony Abbott, greatly assisted.  by the MSM. Australia is a very lucky and fortunate country. It’s a good story needs to be told and told again

How The Economy Became This Year's Battleground, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
Emma Alberici tied Hockey in all sorts of knots as he tried to clear up the confusion about whether the Coalition plans $50 billion or $70 billion in spending cuts. Nor do Hockey’s posturings about job losses seem very consistent with his oft-repeated pledge

Seeing the Wood for the Rineharts: that's diversity, Jonathan Holmes, ABC
The Global Mail is not likely to appeal to Andrew Bolt's readers. It is more likely to appeal to tertiary-educated, professional people, with an appetite for long, considered and not especially up-to-the-minute stories from around the world.

Michael Manns new book is out, Anthony Watts,Wattsup with That
I just bought the Kindle version of Michael Mann’s “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars- Dispatches from the front lines

King Canute is alive and tweeting … and he works at Sky News, Alex Bruns, The Conversation
Australian journalists very actively cover their beats on Twitter without necessarily waiting until their employers' news desks have cleared the information. The ABC’s social media reporter Latika Bour

Murdochsface50 more hacking claims, Paul Barry,The Power Index
The latest batch of settlements brings to 58 the number of cases that News has now paid out. But there could be hundreds more. Earlier this week, police informed the Leveson Inquiry they have  

Politics, Ice-Cream, Gossip Girl: End of the Silly Season, Tharunka
Incredibly important issues that we need an intelligent, engaged and mature political media to help understand. Unfortunately, poor communication and a lack of legitimacy isn’t just a problem the

In your guts, you know he’s nuts, Frank, A Frank View
Comedy gold from Anthony Albanese in Question Time to day. Referring to “the human vuvuzela”, he made the attributed remark “In your guts you know he’s nuts”There’s no doubt that Albo is one of the stars of the Labor Party.

Loony tunes. The quickly-assembled carbon price guide, Peter Martin
The Audit Office has found the Climate Change Department used it to make 99 claims about the carbon tax, 32 of which it was unable to fully back up in the accompanying documentation.

Australia reacts to Lord Monckton's call for a 'Fox News' funded by 'super rich', Guardian UK
The reason why Rinehart's "media grab" is so feared in Australia is not just that she is yet another billionaire media owner with corporate interests to promote and protect, but that she is renowned www.guardian.co.uk/.../fox-news-lord-monckton-australia

ABC Nightlife- Explaining the National Broadband Network, Paul Wallbank
For the February 2012 spot we look at Australia’s National Broadband Network. What are the pros and cons of the project designed to connect regional Australia?

Fiddling while Rome burns, David horton, The Watermelon Blog
Picture the Romans entering Britain, Spaniards into Central America, British into Australia and India, Greeks into Middle East. Imagine what the French resistance could have done as the Germans occupied, w


Julia Gillard reflects on Australian economy and year ahead, Chris Uhlmann, 7.30pm report
At the end of Federal Parliament's first sitting week of the year, Prime Minister Julia Gillard joins us to discuss the economy and take a look at the year ahead

Bradbury: New Parliamentary Year 2012

Greens: Larissa Waters interview on Capital Hill

Where is the Member for Bass? ,  Sophie Mirabella
The Member for Bass has been missing in action. It's time for real representation and the excellent Liberal Candidate for Bass, Andrew Nikolic stands ready.

Is The Tea Party Dead?, The BULMKT Daily



February 10. 2012 08:31 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

February 10. 2012 08:33 AM


Jason can rest assured I'm not Campbell Newman.  I'm now wondering how the rant about "scabs" was vaguely relevent or on topic.  That is a rhetorical question that doesn't require another rant as an answer.


February 10. 2012 09:53 AM


Mick's Mix

Australian Manufacturing  Fiona Katauskas @NewMatilda  newmatilda.com/.../australian-manufacturing-0

What the Front Pages are saying...
via Front Pages Today (FPT)

The Australian - via FPT - http://goo.gl/3bnTO
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqcug
Alcoa seeks extra funds to offset carbon price hit
Hockey fumbles Swan's tax 'black hole'

The Sydney Morning Herald - via FPT - http://goo.gl/1kOHj
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqeba
End to medical rebate will cost $1300 a year

The Daily Telegraph - via FPT - http://goo.gl/JXc7d
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqe0v
Julia Slaps Gag Order on MPs

The Age - via FPT - http://goo.gl/j6tKW
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqdgx
Health costs toleap for wealthy
Strong dollar is local nightmare

The Herald Sun - via FPT - http://goo.gl/0wNCf
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqdml
Twisted Justice

The Courier Mail - via FPT - http://goo.gl/7NTLf
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqe36
Labor Knife Job on Health

The Adelaide Advetiser - via FPT - http://goo.gl/ApkdY
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqdqa
New Breed - Bikies relax rules to recruit young thugs

The NT Times - via FPT - http://goo.gl/7f7VB
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqdba
Croc Safari Snap Shot

The West Australian
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqcz9
Sticken Labor must try fresh tack, says Hawke

The Hobart Mercury
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqd7q
No Go - Minister insists Pontville to close

The Canberra Times
via @jamesmassola  http://twitpic.com/8hqe4z
US finds Australia responsible for dead Iranian prisoner
Liberal leader's staff lapses

... and the stories ...

Stricken Labor must try fresh tack, says Hawke  Steve Pennells @The West Australian
Former prime minister Bob Hawke has warned that the Labor Party in WA has lost the support of voters and must do more than trot out old policies and attitudes that no longer connect with an increasingly conservative electorate.

Pete Slippers into something more comfortable: a white bow tie!  Chris Paine @News.com.au
THE new Speaker was made for the spotlight. He quit the Liberals to take the chair, and entered this week in a formal robe. But that wasn't enough.
Peter Slipper has called for an official weekly procession, and now he's smartening up his suit-and-robe ensemble with a snazzy white bow tie. Yes. White bow tie.


Julia Gillard puts gag order on her MPs @DailyTelegraph via News.com.au
THE entire Labor Cabinet has been banned from talking to editors of the nation's major newspapers as Prime Minister Julia Gillard moves to stamp out leadership speculation.
Under the gagging order, ministers must seek express permission from her office before any meeting or private talks. The extraordinary move came as Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was yesterday accused of being a coward for failing to launch a formal challenge so the party could bury the issue once and for all.


Labor dials up $3 billion telco deal  David Crowe @AusFinReview (Free)
The Gillard government will get about $3 billion from the big mobile phone companies in an agreement that ends a bitter row over the renewal of their wireless spectrum licences and heads off a breach that would have ­endangered services to millions of ­consumers.
The agreement, to be announced today, clears the way for an auction later this year of additional wireless spectrum that could add another $4 billion to the federal budget bottom line and will allow the launch of 4G services for the next generation of iPhones, BlackBerrys and other devices.


Abbott's pay pain as he picks biggest losers to miss out  Phillip Hudson @Herald Sun
TWO of Tony Abbott's shadow ministers will miss out on a pay rise of up to $45,000 each - and the Opposition Leader has to choose the biggest losers.
For the first time, Opposition frontbenchers will get extra salary under a new pay deal for federal MPs.
But Mr Abbott has too many shadow ministers and can either have a reshuffle to dump two MPs, or keep them but without extra pay.


Same-sex marriage bid becomes menage a trois  Milanda Rout @TheAus (Free)
THE effort to legalise same-sex marriage has descended into political in-fighting, with Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent MP Andrew Wilkie trying to trump Labor's Stephen Jones by introducing their own bill to amend the Marriage Act.

... and from the Opinion Pages ...

Amnesty calls for more bridging visas as boats keep coming  Kirsty Needham @SMH
THE government has released 257 boat arrivals on bridging visas since its policy shift on detention, but in that time 1078 more asylum seekers have come ashore at Christmas Island.
Bridging visas, requiring asylum seekers to find accommodation and seek work to pay their way as they wait for the outcome of refugee claims, are seen as a way to relieve pressure on the detention network and lower costs in the wake of the collapse of the Malaysia agreement.


Do or die: Labor sets surplus in stone  Laura Tingle, Canberra Observed @AusFinReview (Free)
For most people, the most obvious impact that the parlous state of the world economy is having on Australia is the high value of the dollar, with its increasing consequences for local businesses.
But of course global conditions also exercise the mind of a federal treasurer for other reasons.


Slow to warm up to a woman in the Lodge  Barry Cassidy @TheDrum
Bob Katter's got a point on the issue of sexism and Julia Gillard.
If you look at it through the eyes of a Queenslander, women in power is no big deal. For them, the Governor General, Governor, Prime Minister and Premier are all women.
But are the rest of us, less accustomed to wall-to-wall female leadership, slow to embrace the concept?


The waiting game goes on Michelle Grattan @TheAge
Labor's leadership issue must be resolved - but no one knows when or how.
KEVIN Rudd was active on the Syrian crisis this week, reporting to Parliament and calling in that country's senior diplomat. But there was no press conference; nor did the Foreign Minister hit the airwaves.
Given Rudd's love of the limelight whenever there's a big story in his portfolio, this was pretty remarkable.


Slipper blows the whistle on sparring match  Tony Wright @TheAge
One of the more curious rituals in the sport of boxing is that the referee wears a bow tie. It is supposed to offer a certain gentility to what essentially is a blood sport; a bit like calling it ''the sweet science''.
Having swept to his high chair on the first day of Parliament this week in the robe of a Queen's counsel, new Speaker Peter Slipper added to the spectacle yesterday with a large white bow tie. It seemed apt, for political pugilism soon broke out as the opposition's Christopher Pyne, Julie Bishop and Bronwyn Bishop took to Prime Minister Julia Gillard with wild swings and sly jabs over the ''Craig Thomson affair''.


MPs: smuggler laws 'unjust'  Michael Gordon @TheAge
THREE prominent MPs from the major parties have supported a push to end mandatory five-year jail terms for Indonesian fishermen charged with people smuggling, branding the laws as unjust and counter-productive.
Government backbencher Melissa Parke said the laws had punished vulnerable people without addressing the issue of people smuggling. ''I've always thought that judges should have the discretion in sentencing - and I still think that,'' Ms Parke told The Age.


Slipper takes a bow dodging the door policy  Judith Ireland @CanberraTimes
Gatecrashers aren't typically associated with the political realm. After all, what's to crash?
There are no oversized pool parties, celebrity weddings or VIP lounge areas in Canberra. Not in huge supply, anyway.
And yet Parliament House is awash with unexpected visitors at the moment. Those who aren't on the invite list - but who rock up anyway, with an air of ''Yeah, I'm totally supposed to be here ... are you?''


Explainer: motions of no confidence and the constitution  Anne Twomey @TheConversation
After declaring the Gillard government was entering its “endgame”, opposition leader Tony Abbott is believed to be preparing to table a motion of no confidence.
The Conversation spoke to constitutional law expert Anne Twomey about the mechanics of a no confidence motion and the constitutional implications of such a vote passing in the lower house.


... and because it is Friday and we don't live on politics alone, from the Entertainment Pages ...

Old school and seriously dirty  Jo Roberts @TheAge
IN THE back streets of Brunswick, a 65-year-old man is in a dark band rehearsal room. He sits on a couch that's sunken deep by years of backsides, as he rests during a video shoot for a single off his new album. Yes, a new album - not something many 60-plus rock musicians can lay claim to. Nor a new record deal.
Jim Keays is enjoying a renaissance, more than 40 years after finding fame as the singer for the former doyens of Australian garage-psych rock, the Masters Apprentices. Today, he releases a new album, Dirty, Dirty, a collection of garage-punk and psych-pop songs that recall the power and sass of those early Masters recordings.



February 10. 2012 10:02 AM


Good Morning Ad

James Higgins who owns The Politics Project has given TPS a very nice compliment.

Thankyou James.


James Higgins
February 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Thanks a lot Lyn! I really appreciate the support.
I’ve been following your daily links on the Political Sword. It must take you AGES to put it all together! You always find such a great collection of articles/videos. And there are some really great discussions going on there – a very ‘happening’ blog! I shall keep reading!
Thanks again for your feedback!  



February 10. 2012 10:34 AM


This article has now snuck out from behind the paywall

Joe Hockey fumbles attack on Wayne Swan's tax 'black hole'  Matthew Franklin & Lauren Wilson @TheAus
JOE Hockey has fumbled an attempt to establish the existence of a black hole in Wayne Swan's calculations about the effect of Labor's new mining tax on the federal budget.
But after correcting an initial mistake in his figures, the opposition Treasury spokesman told The Australian last night the new tax would raise at least $3.7 billion less in its first four years than the government had committed in spending on superannuation, infrastructure and tax relief for business.



February 10. 2012 11:45 AM


[TT in bold interpolated comments through excerpt of 2353's post]

2353 said
TT - While Grog was outed as Greg Jericho by James Massola, there is some fault on both sides here.
What 'fault'?
While I can't find the link to support this (Jericho seems to have deleted the relevant posts), from memory Massola knew who "Grog" was for some time and regularly communicated with him via Twitter.
So what?
I would think that I am fairly anonymous
and only a little bit pregnant?
How many matches does it take to start a bushfire?
on this and other blogs I frequent (only the moderators/administrators/owners would have access to my personal details & email address I would hope).

To be frank, that's the way i like it -
if my writings on blogs had garnered enough interest to attract media attention (which will never happen) and the media made contact, if I responded it would be on the basis that they could "blow my cover" as they did to Grog.
Yeah and what about if Greg didn't want his public cover blown? Oh that's right, he's not you!
Breach of trust certainly by Massola,
Oh that's OK then, dismiss this huge act of bastardry in one phrase?
but surely Jericho should have thought of the consequences before he outed himself to Massola some time previously.

Massola asked him directly. What would you have done 2353? Lied? And opened yourself to further prying and snooping, then outing anyway and being accused of being a liar too? Or opened yourself instead on the basis that each understood the issues and assumed confidentiality?
Anyone can break confidentiality. People who do so are traitors.  

Massola asked him directly at a Twitter Conference. How Massola found out I do not know, of course Greg/Grog unwittingly left clues as to his ID but SuperSleuth Masturbola cracked the case and put him on the cover of Newsweek. BRAVO!

Having said that Jericho writes very well and I always seem to enjoy his blog posts (which happily have recommenced) and his Drum articles - even if I rarely don't agree with the opinion.

I'm sure Greg would be pleased to hear that 2353. He needs to live off his journalistic skills now thanks to Masturbola.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Grog, come back, we need you  Ad astra October 10 2010

We at The Political Sword understand how affronted you must have felt when News Limited’s hit-man James Massola ‘outed’ you as Greg Jericho, a public servant working in the film area of the Office for the Arts of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra. He knew that for over a year, and we too knew you were in the public service, that you worked at that job during the day and created your blog pieces after you had cleaned up after your evening meal. We admired your resilience and your capacity to write such incisive pieces late in the evening after a day’s work. Never did we perceive that you had written anything you had derived from your professional work.

So what was the big deal with Massola, or perhaps with News Limited that pulls his strings?

There has been a mountain of newspaper articles and blog pieces written about this unsavoury episode. Most in the Fifth Estate have been supportive of you personally and of your position. The consensus seems to be that you upset News Limited with your piece on Grog's Gamut of July 30: Election 2010: Day 14 (or waste and mismanagement – the media) that exposed the shallowness and incompetence of so much of the MSM’s coverage of the election campaign, and the preoccupation it had with trivia. The ABC’s Mark Scott was impressed sufficiently with what you said to discuss it with his senior executives and mention that fact at the Media 140 conference, but News Limited was sufficiently unimpressed with you that it set out to silence you by ‘outing’ you. The outcry from your many, many supporters must have given you solace, but as far as I can ascertain your last piece was on September 27: Spartacus no more in which you explained how the situation in which you found yourself had come about. Why no more?

Of course not all media coverage has been supportive of your position, or indeed of the position of bloggers in general, as we saw in the Townsville Bulletin, appropriately tagged ‘The Bully’, in its anonymous editorial Cowardly world of bloggers which labelled us “…increasingly puerile bloggers, self-appointed guardians of righteousness and all that is wrong about society and, in particular, newspapers.” And later in the article it asserted: “Bloggers, on the other hand, represent nothing. They whinge, carp and whine about our role in society, and yet they contribute nothing to it, other than satisfying their juvenile egos.” So there…

This short piece is not intended to go over the ground already trampled by many others. Our sentiments and assurance of support were posted in comments on The Political Sword at the time this story broke.

This piece is intended to reinforce our strong backing for what you have done in the blogosphere, to commend you for your forthrightness and the incisiveness of your comments, and to say that we are seriously missing your contributions to the political discourse. You have become one of the most respected bloggers in this country, followed assiduously by many who looked forward each day to your perceptive analysis of the day’s or week’s events. We are missing your penetrating, razor sharp appraisals of political events and political personalities, and hoping you will soon return.

We do not know if you are under any constraints that prevent you from continuing your blog, or are apprehensive that doing so might evoke another uncalled-for attack from News Limited. We earnestly hope that you have not been subject to intimidation. We do not presume to know your circumstances or feelings but I’m sure you will understand our motivation for saying:

Grog, do come back – we need you.

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

Ad's article was followed by many Swordsfolks' furious comments on his behalf. I was nowhere right then (out of range in Flinders Ranges), made up for it when I got back though. Hillbilly Skeleton and Lyn were two of those most properly outraged. Go there and check it out!

Later on that thread btw, on the 12th, is my long poem Lass at Yarralumala, of which I am really quite proud. Lotta people NK HS and everybody said great things about it, yous were the ones that made me proud, come on Folks, let's get some good feeling back here surely?

But I can't of course let matters of principle go through to the keeper any more, I declared myself and I shall not ever again leave things unsaid just for the sake of a quiet life. So I have to finish this matter re Grog.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, 2353, I must say you have a curious pair of standards.

When once I asked you (not you of course, but your anonymous gravatar!) whose side you were on, you reacted with righteous fury, basically, pull my head in, who was I to dare to ask etc, well I replied more calmly that after all you were just 2353 to me. It would become a genuine matter for indignation were I to ask you as a real entity. Much worse, if by some means I should suspect I knew your real political affiliations, and if I asked you to confirm my suspicions, and if you were to do so in a spirit of honesty and anticipated confidentiality (knowing that publication could compromise your job), and I then trumpeted your affiliation to the world, for no better reason than nastiness, to nobody's benefit and to many's loss, I'd be down with the lowest things on Dog's Earth. Agreed?

Yet you reckon it's half Greg's fault. So we are all vulnerable, give any clues away inadvertently and it's OK for you as a Super Sleuth to get on the job to follow them up and get some confirmation and OUT the person to satisfy your own envious bent nasty sole, (r-sole that is!)

Oh not you of course 2353, I meant James Massola.  

The ones to whom it doesn't matter it doesn't matter, but to this man Greg Jericho, as a blogger the unchallenged best of us, and doing a perfectly useful daytime job in the meantime, it has meant the loss of that job, casting himself adrift at the whim of the Media and the market, and you reckon that's pretty OK yeah?

Grog's Gamut went into a coma after that.
What a coup for truth and justice!

"Whose side are you on 2353 ?"
(I really don't care, and I mean, I really don't care!)
and it wouldn't matter anyway if I did know, because 2353 is a mere number to me and fairly nearly most other people too.
But if I did know your identity that would be as different as not pregnant and just a little bit.

But what good was served by this human arseworm Masturbola, destroying a man's career and his blogsite and his love of writing the Truth for the rest of us?

[Anyway there Patricia, you can relax, that ought to confirm my status as Bull Goose Scatologist.  Smile ]

I am still in a very good mood! We have our tails up.

Fie on doomsayers detractors belittlers naysayers lickspittles wormtongues sycophants curmudgeons Oh dear me what a lot of ways there are to describe Them!

recaptcha    tufaci obnoxious


February 10. 2012 12:09 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Congratulations on being acknowledged by James Higgins on The Politics Project.  Your links are a winner for TPS and all who visit here.

Ad astra

February 10. 2012 12:25 PM


Shame Lyn's Links could not be funded to do a National only version , based on the same style as,  The global mail Smile


February 10. 2012 12:35 PM


Hi Ad

Thankyou Ad for your congratulations your support is always a fantastic motivation tool for me.

James's comment to me makes me very proud of TPS and our commenters.

Isn't James a nice person, his blog articles are a must read.



February 10. 2012 12:40 PM


Good on you Lyn,
Good on you James,
Good on you Ad astra,
Dog bless us all, every one!

I put a little billet doux on James' blog too Lyn.
Good articles, good attitude. So different from a gotcha-led agenda.

Speaking of which - (I hardly like to sully the happy tone of this post with the unpleasant memory, but you can't help memory) - wasn't Uhlmann a bloody disgrace last night! Who does that slimeball think he is to talk to *J*U*L*I*A* like that! How does Gail Brodtmann MHR (ALP)sleep nights?! With HIM!


February 10. 2012 12:46 PM


I see someone on The Politics Project
has described you as a Living Treasure! Smile


February 10. 2012 12:49 PM


AA - I support your commendation of Lyn's links - it's good that others notice the research and physical work that go into them each day.  And then there is the rant above your post . . .


February 10. 2012 01:12 PM


LL da Fanta-Pants Ranter! Smile

Well it wasn't a rant, it was properly argued and 2353 if you can't do better than that why bother at all?

What do others think?


February 10. 2012 01:38 PM


Hi Debbie P

I love your comments, your support to TPS is greatly appreciated.

I love the way you appreciate TPS, your loyal little comments are a delight.  Thankyou Debbie P.

The Global Mail wouldn't that be just it, can't happen.  But I tell you what,   it would be grand if there was a blog site like the Global Mail ,or even the Global Mail,  that would put up all our wonderful Bloggs, bloggers, and commenters  each day,  all in a row.  The Journalists would have a frenzy attack.


Some of you may like to watch these few video clips, I watched Bob Carr and I didn't have any complaints to make, guess that's a tick:-

ABC: Carr, Hewson on the week that was,
Bob Carr, commentary, John Hewson

Channel 7: PM puts gag on ministers, Channel 7

A Strong Public Service
Andrew Leigh, Member of Parliament, Parliamentary Speech, public service


February 10. 2012 02:24 PM


Hi 2353
hope the the old steam train is chugging along well.

I had heard the rumour that you were Campbell Newman but I scotched that on two grounds.

First you look nothing like the young Campbell that I met when he was in short pants


I know you are really Thomas The Tank Engine  Smile


February 10. 2012 02:32 PM


DMW - Toot toot Smile


February 10. 2012 02:50 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

Thankyou so much for your happy complimentary post, your appreciation of my work is heart-warming.

The Treasure comment was just so nice, thankyou



February 10. 2012 02:56 PM


Hi DMW and 2353

Are you having a nice time??? you both sound like a pair of naughty boys in the school playground.


February 10. 2012 03:24 PM


Mick's Mix
An afternoon Update

We'll follow Labor on surplus: Tony Abbott  Ben Packham @TheAus (Free)
TONY Abbott has guaranteed the Coalition will post a surplus in its first year of government if Labor lays the groundwork by returning the budget to the black in 2012-13.
After a week of Coalition contortions over the surplus, the Opposition leader said today: “If Labor can deliver a surplus in the next financial year, we will certainly deliver a surplus in our first budget, because the budget position will always be better under the Coalition.”
But Mr Abbott immediately suggested he would not have to make good on the pledge, saying it would be a “miracle” if Labor was able to produce a surplus next year.


Anger at independent MPs on woodchips  David Wroe @TheAge
THE independent federal MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor have backed out of what the Greens say was a ''critical'' part of the carbon tax deal, moving to allow the forestry industry to continue burning native woodchips as renewable energy.
In a manoeuvre that will infuriate conservationists, the two independents have moved to strike down regulations that were to tighten the definition of renewable energy to exclude electricity created from burning waste woodchips from native forests.


Judith Sloan Misses Some Key Data  Stephen Koukoulas of MarketEconomics PtyLtd
The Australian’s Judith Sloan's article today looks at fiscal policy management in the last few years.   But for some reason that is not clear, her article today, http://tiny.cc/fa4a0 stops looking at the hard data on Government spending beyond 2008-09.
There are two full years of data available beyond 2008-09 plus the updated forward estimates out to 2014-15 in the MYEFO documents.  Sloan quite rightly picks up the massive increase in government spending associated with the textbook implementation of stimulus in the wake of the onset of the Lesser Depression or GFC in 2008-09 but then ignores the unwinding of the stimulus since 2009-10.


Murdoch named Ten Network chairman  via AAP @SMH
Lachlan Murdoch has been appointed chairman of the Ten Network.
Mr Murdoch, who joined the commercial broadcaster's board in late 2010 after becoming its largest shareholder, was elected to the role of chairman by the board on Friday.


Words like the apology not enough to achieve lasting reconciliation, says Kevin Rudd  Ben Packham @TheAustralian (Free)
On February 13, 2008, Mr Rudd apologised to all Aboriginal people and the Stolen Generations for their “profound grief, suffering and loss”.
The-then prime minister used the word “sorry” three times in his 360-word speech, which was delivered in parliament and reported worldwide.
Mr Rudd said changed attitudes and improved government programs were evidence of progress in reconciliation in the last four years.


Rudd says gagging is a matter for PM  via AAP @SMH
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has sidestepped questions about reports cabinet has been banned from talking to major newspapers, saying "those are matters for the prime minister".
In a bid to stamp out leadership speculation, ministers must now seek permission from the prime minister's office before any meeting or private talks, News Limited reported.
Mr Rudd on Friday said he had not read the report about the gagging order.


Govt is 'co-ordinating' message: PM  via AAP @TheAge
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she wants her Labor team to speak with one voice on the economy and government policy.
News Limited has reported Ms Gillard has ordered cabinet members to refrain from talking to the editors of major newspapers in a bid to stamp out leadership speculation.


Gillard wants to save her job: Abbott via AAP @TheAge
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says Prime Minister Julia Gillard is more interested in saving her own job than the jobs of ordinary Australians.
Mr Abbott said Australian workers were facing difficult times, with the prospect of 600 jobs losses at Alcoa in Victoria and 500 workers losing their jobs at Sydney building company Kell & Rigby.
"Unfortunately we have a divided and directionless and dysfunctional government," he told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.


Practice what you preach? Abbott says ... maybe Malcolm Farr @News.com.au
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has pledged to fight cuts to the private health insurance rebate but won't promise to overturn the reductions if elected to government.
The Opposition Leader today roused local electorate pressure on crossbench MPs to force them to vote against means testing in the House of Representatives.


Bald Archies poke fun at PM, Warne  @ABCNews
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Rupert Murdoch and Shane Warne are popular subjects in this year's satirical art prize, the Bald Archies.
The Bald Archies began 19 years ago as a counterpoint to the more salubrious Archibald Prize.
Rather than tackling their subjects with reverence, artists who enter the Bald Archies poke fun at their famous subjects.


Ten articles selected from the 193 candidates on offer.


February 10. 2012 03:27 PM

Ad astra reply

I have just posted How opinion polls poison politics:


I will close down discussion on this post so we can turn over a new leaf and get back to balanced and relevant political discourse.

Ad astra reply

February 10. 2012 03:29 PM


Lyn @ 2:56 PM
Thanks for asking

Yes, thanks for asking, I am having a wonderful time sifting through the news links to bring more news to all the wonderful readers that visit The Sword.

... you both sound like a pair of naughty boys in the school playground.

Guess it can be a bit like being in the school playground somedays.

Cool and good fun until the school bully buts its' head in.


Comments are closed