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We are being conned by the polls – the Tarot Cards of politics

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Thursday, 1 March 2012 16:08 by Ad astra
Imagine this – a world without opinion polls. Then ask yourself whether in such a world the leadership contest played out this week would have occurred at all. Consider on what it was based – a decline in the polls for the Government, in Julia Gillard’s popularity, and in her popularity compared with that of Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott. Over and again we were told how important the polls are in the fate of PM Gillard and her Government. If they slip any further, she approaches political death, or is irretrievably doomed; if they recover, resurrection might be possible, although in the view of many, that is out of the question.

In our culture numbers carry great weight. Descriptors such as ‘declining’ or ‘improving’, or the more dramatic terms journalists prefer to use, have nowhere near the potency of numbers, not just because they are imprecise, but because we assign so much more power to numbers. They are subject to calculation and comparison in a way words are not. More of this later.

I can hear you saying: ‘But there was more to the Gillard – Rudd contest than just polls numbers’, and of course you are right. From all the accounts we have now had the chance to read, there had been white-anting of Julia Gillard and the Government by Kevin Rudd for over a year, but this was not unambiguously reported in the media until the crisis was upon us. What was reported in the polls, week after week, month after month, was the Government’s score in the TPP stakes, PM Gillard’s standing in the popularity stakes, and most significantly her standing compared with Rudd in the ‘preferred Labor leader’ stakes and with Abbott in the ‘preferred PM stakes’, and to make sure we got the real message, her standing in the ‘who is most likely to lead Labor to victory’ stakes.

It was the numbers with which we were assailed, and every deviation from previous numbers was tediously analysed, and learned interpretation of the deviation offered. It was almost totally a numbers game, a poll numbers game.

In New Matilda on 27 February Ben Eltham, commenting on the outcome of the leadership ballot in a piece: Gillard won, Labor lost, had this to say: ”…in modern politics, winning elections is no longer enough. Staying ahead in the polls appears to be just as important. It’s a fortnightly test of political legitimacy that creates constant pressure on under-performing leaders and parties. Few leaders can survive a sustained run of bad polling without at least some rumblings within their own party. If Labor was leading the Coalition in primary vote polling, Julia Gillard’s position would never have been in doubt. For Gillard, it’s hard to see this as much of a victory. She has certainly proved the support of her colleagues. But while her polling figures remain dire, her position will always be in doubt.” and later ”…it seems almost impossible to imagine that Labor’s poll figures could recover to an election-winning position.” For Eltham, polling numbers seem to be crucial. He is not alone. For Dennis Shanahan, who regards himself as the supremo in poll interpretation, numbers are everything. Even small deviations, within the usually accepted margin of error of three percent, are given prominence, especially when they signal a decline in the PM Gillard’s or the Government’s position. While not psephologists, the likes of Michelle Grattan, Peter Hartcher, Matthew Franklin, even Andrew Bolt will try their hand at poll interpretation, and use the numbers to make their points. It’s always the numbers.

Obsession with the numbers would be reasonable if they were reliable and if they actually meant something. It is tacitly assumed by the public, and unfortunately by many of the poll ‘experts’, that they carry important meaning, significant pointers. Before accepting this with such touching faith, we need to ask how valid and reliable are they.

Last month I wrote about polls in How opinion polls poison politics The part of that piece relevant to this one reads: “Without going into tedious detail, polls are only as reliable as the quality of the sampling and the size of the sample…Getting a sample that is truly representative of the opinions of the entire Australian electorate is the greatest challenge to pollsters.

A sample size of around 1,000 carries a margin of error of around 3%; with smaller samples (some may sample as few as 600), the margin of error rises. To reduce the margin to 1%, around 10,000 would need to be sampled, but this is too expensive for the pollsters. While pollsters acknowledge these sampling drawbacks, usually in fine print, they usually do not feature prominently in any commentary, so that readers tend to regard the figures as ‘gospel’ and attribute more significance to them than the figures warrant. Even minor deviations, within the margin of error, are given credence.

The thrust of this piece is that the recent leadership battle was predicated on the polls more than any other factor, and that the reliability of some aspects of these polls was of such questionable validity and reliability that to use them to precipitate such a major upheaval was wrong.

What the interpreters of polls seldom tell us is that polls are not predictive, but the other day on ABC TV, Peter Lewis from Essential Poll said just that, followed quickly by a quip ‘that he would probably be thrown out of the pollsters league for saying that’. Yet every pollster and psephologist knows that to be so. But of course polling organizations don’t want this inconvenient truth exposed as their business and the revenue it generates depends of the results of their polling being accepted as valid, reliable, and able to predict. I have been asking how eighteen months out from the next scheduled election contemporary polls could possibly predict what will happen then. We hear the ridiculous statement, mainly on news bulletins, ‘if an election was held today, the Government would be ‘annihilated’, ‘reduced to a rump’, ‘be out of power for a decade’, or ‘lose X number of seats’; take your pick. They say that, despite the fact that an election is not being held today, and probably not for eighteen months, and knowing full well that all polls narrow before an election and that in recent times most election results have been close, with the vote often within the 51/49 percent range. In other words, polling organizations, and all who feed off them, are conning us deliberately. Why is this so?

It’s because polling organizations are lucrative, self-perpetuating businesses that have found they can rely on the public giving them credence, and because their owners, often media outlets, depend on them for easy, cheap copy that can be sensationalized into catchy headlines and startling stories. Imagine how bereft Dennis Shanahan would be without polls. What would he write about? Polls are mentioned in almost everything he pens.

So let’s not imagine that we will ever be told the truth about polls; they are too lucrative and too central to political reporting to admit that they are in reality not much better than Tarot Cards, used from the late 18th century until the present time by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination.

Who then are we to believe? I submit that we can believe only the best of our analysts, the brilliant statistician Possum Comitatus, and Andrew Catsaras, who will now have a regular slot on the ABC’s Insiders. They focus on trends, not individual polls. Possum’s Pollytrend is statistically sound and Andrew’s analysis will also give us trends, using a different statistical method.

Let’s accept then that polls on voting intentions are not predictive, but what about popularity polls? The psephologist Mumble has written an interesting article Rudd’s first demise in The Australian which is well worth reading. Amongst many other interesting observations, he says: ”I’m not a great believer in ‘satisfaction ratings are more important than voting intentions’ stories, but they do tell us something”, and referring to Rudd’s removal in 2010, “As I’ve said before, the idea of chopping down a PM because he has dipped behind in the polls doesn’t pass the laugh test. By that criterion Howard would have been gone after 18 months and Bob Hawke after three years.

Vex News didn’t think much of the polls either: ”Rudd wasn’t removed because of bad polls or mining taxes or flip-flops on carbon. We now know – in unvarnished truth – because of the carefully-considered yet brutal truth-telling of Rudd’s most senior colleagues – why he was removed.” Yet it was the numbers in the polls that were quoted over and again, and exactly the same was done as journalists and sundry ‘experts’ insisted that Julia Gillard must have ‘a spill’ to ‘clear the air’ that they insisted was continually overshadowed by the low clouds of unpopularity in the polls manifest by an adverse approval/disapproval ratio, ‘poor TPP polls’ and ‘Rudd is favoured (usually by twice as many) as favour Gillard to lead the party’. All these numerical measures were considered incontrovertible evidence, not to be denied.

When asked for approval/disapproval, how many based their opinion on previous polls, thereby succumbing to the bandwagon effect? How many have been influenced by the incessant disingenuous bagging of the PM by Tony Abbott and much of the media? When asked about preferred Labor leader, how many based their opinion on the Kevin Rudd they believed they knew, the Rudd they saw in public places in his ‘hail fellow well met’ mode, rather than the Rudd they saw exposed this week? How valid are the propositions that pollsters put to their subjects? How reliable are the responses? How predictive are their responses? Would even the most committed pollster assign the predictive potency to their polls that commentators do? Surely not! Yet the poll numbers were used as a powerful lever by politicians and journalists to insist that a leadership ballot must be held, eventually of course precipitated by Kevin Rudd’s resignation. It is not just the pollsters and the journalists that respond to the leverage of the polls, it is the politicians too. Although I suspect many of them are as skeptical about their value as I am, they have been bludgeoned by the pollsters and the press into taking notice of them. Despite their virtual uselessness in painting an accurate picture and their acknowledged incapacity to make reliable predictions, the pollsters have conned the politicians and most of the public into believing these Tarot Cards must be obeyed.

Our own Jason queried the validity of the polls when Rudd seemed to be saying: "…the polls say I'm popular so you must have me back.” Jason added “If Rudd was to be reinstated because he's popular in the polls, would he then be bound to legislate whatever else was popular because of those same polls? 

I may very well be wrong…but to be ‘governed’ by ‘polls’ is a slippery slope to get on I think.”

In response, Lyn collected a number of quotes about polls made in the Fifth Estate. Margaret Simons said: ”Is public opinion (i.e. polls) the same as public wisdom? 
Those watching the gaping hole that has opened up between the political class and the public over who should be prime minister might wonder whether there a difference between public opinion, as measured by the giant strainer of opinion polls, and public wisdom.” Jeremy Sear said: ”The polls are a poor approximation for ‘the public’. One poll counts and it's in 2013.

Others said: “"…the measure of a government is not by opinion polls or daily headlines" and ”Polls don't predict anything - they just tell us what happened recently …” And the much respected George Megalogenis has often commented on the slavish attention afforded opinion polls by the political community in this country. In Poll-driven parties put the individual first at electors' expense in The Australian on February 25 he began: The nuttiness in the Australian political system did not begin with Kevin Rudd's sacking in 2010. The main parties have been yielding to personality-based politics since at least 2003.” Later he refers to “…the hijack of public debate by opinion polling.” Read the rest of his article to see what he thinks about personality and opinion polls.

It seems many are now seriously questioning the validity of the very polls that are assigned so much potency, so much importance, so much predictive power, so much influence on crucial political events. It’s time we in the Fifth Estate called them for what they are - a confidence trick, a political Tarot Card.

How long should they be allowed to con an unsuspecting public?

What do you think?

Comments (143) -

March 1. 2012 04:24 PM

Wayne Brooks

Excellent article, polls are becoming so everyday boring I seldom acknowledge their existence relying instead on directly observing question time. Sadly the majority of Australians seem unaware what station its on let alone actually sit and watch to become accurately informed.
Polls for me are dangerous for one simple reason, they get conducted by self interest groups as you said, but generally and most disturbing the polls are targeting areas of support they wish to promote. Want a Liberal supporting poll then poll in their strongest seats.
Ever noticed they dont advise of the region polled?
Ever wondered why?

I know I have and thats why I ignore them.

Again, excellent article well done.

Wayne Brooks

March 1. 2012 04:36 PM


Ad Astra

Well done.  As you say, polls are only good when they are taken, not for the rest of the future, be it a week or a month or a year, etc.

I used to be interested in the polls, but have just tried to ignore them.  With all the negative media about Labor as a whole, let alone being in government at the moment, it is surprising that Labor is doing as well as it is.  

All the kerfuffle about Bob Carr and the senate spot, it is the biggest beat up and as I type this ABC24 is still saying Julia offered the spot to Mr Carr.  One wonders if anyone at the ABC actually listen to what the Prime Minister said at Question Time in answer to Nopposition.  

It is very clear that the agenda of the MSM is to get rid of this government no matter what, and are prepared to lie outright to do it.  If I hadn't watched the Independents at the NPC yesterday, I would wonder if there were in sanity in Australia at the moment.


March 1. 2012 04:45 PM

Ad astra reply

Wayne Brooks
Welcome to The Political Sword family.  Do come again. And thank you for your kind comments.

You make a good point about the selection of the sample to be asked for their opinion.  Pollsters will agree that selecting a representative sample is their greatest challenge.  If they select samples that are likely to be biased, the result will be suspect.  What most pollsters don’t tell us is how they have selected the target for each poll.  Essential Poll is more up-front in that it says it draws on a panel it has created and that the voting intention data comprise two-week averages derived from the first preference/leaning to voting questions.  But how does Newspoll and ACNielsen and Galaxy select?

As representative sampling is the most important first step, it is a pity pollsters make so little effort to explain their method.  In scientific studies involving numerical data gathering, a paper is worthless unless the sampling method is described and deemed to be valid.

Ad astra reply

March 1. 2012 04:47 PM

Catching up

I believe that polls should be suspended during election campaigns.  

They fulfil no role.  

They are not necessary.

Catching up

March 1. 2012 04:55 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your encouraging words.

You are right.  The Murdoch media seem determined to crucify the PM over the ‘Carr affair’, despite both she and Carr denying that he was ever offered the FM job by the PM.  What intrigues and infuriates me is that they concede this in their articles, but STILL insist that she DID offer the post to him.  It’s like a bowler, just hit out of the ground, saying to the batsman ‘You’ve been clean bowled’, in denial of the absurdity of the statement.

Ad astra reply

March 1. 2012 05:10 PM

Ad astra reply

Catching up
We would all be better off if polls that measured so-called voting intentions, approval/disapproval, and PPM were suspended altogether, at least this far out from an election.  As they are not predictive, they are misleading and too often used mischievously by journalists to further their covert, and often overt political objectives.  Dennis Shanahan does this all the time, and has been doing it for years.

I feel that there may value in asking people about policy issues, provided of course the questions are carefully worded so as not the lead respondents to a predetermined response.  It is possible to frame such questions, but pollsters, perhaps nudged by the papers that live off the polls, sometimes frame them inappropriately.

Ad astra reply

March 1. 2012 06:21 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

The political parties rise and fall in the polls depending on the issues. It’s worth noting that Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi enjoyed better approval figures than the bird of paradox before he was dispatched.

I see the ALP has had to circle the wagons yet again. After having the ALP caucus underscore her leadership and position, the beleaguered bird of paradox must have ALP MPs wondering why she can’t get the simple things right. Abbott gives her the opportunity to explain the impending appointment of a new Foreign Affairs minister and because she is pathologically incapable of dealing with the truth she ran out of the H of R. Are we seeing the Dunning-Kruger effect once again infiltrate the ALP?

Sir Ian Crisp

March 1. 2012 06:23 PM


Hi Wayne Brooks

How delightful to see you on TPS, thankyou very much for visiting.

Your comment is very much appreciated.  

We do enjoy your articles on your blog "Curiosity and Challenge",
your last article Truth and Common Sense was excellent:

Because it makes the front page of a sad greedy and vindictive old mans newspaper doesnt make it true, nor does seeing a “public commentator” spewing personal views or watching political journos mouthing off on television.


We need you Wayne, your opinion and your blog, keep up the good work.



March 1. 2012 06:26 PM

Ad astra reply

Sir Ian
It is Tony Abbott who is pathologically incapable of dealing with anything that is in the national interest - that is the problem.

Ad astra reply

March 1. 2012 06:48 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Breathtaking! Has anyone here actually had anything to do with political/opinion  polling, beyond answering a few questions?

“perhaps nudged by the papers that live off the polls, sometimes frame them inappropriately.

How about a specific example AA? Let’s get into the detail, rather than a  generalisation.

And this, which is unsurprising –” I believe that polls should be suspended during election campaigns.   

They fulfil no role.   

They are not necessary.”

Apparently we shouldn’t be able to understand the electoral sentiment and orientation during a campaign, or even ” at least this far out from an election.

Apparently, being able to provide information about the voting intentions and the analysis of overall political sentiment is so dangerous that it requires suspension!

Bizarre, undemocratic, a suppression of free speech, withholding of public information…. for what? ALP barrackers are finding it inconvenient.

Tom of Melbourne

March 1. 2012 06:51 PM


Hi Ad

Thankyou for your article "We are being Conned by the Polls". Your research and time spent to produce such quality writing is very much appreciated.

You asked Imagine this – a world without opinion polls. Well I can imagine there would be some con artists out of pocket. that would about cover the effects on me.

Coalition 52% ALP 48% 2PP Roy Morgan poll #auspol http://bit.ly/wKGCy0

lapuntadelDarryl Snow
Excellent read - We are being conned by the polls – the Tarot Cards of politics http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/



March 1. 2012 07:14 PM


Just one long comment:

Take the sick culture of the Murdoch papers over in the UK...and spoilt BSing little rich boy James Murdoch fleeing to takeover control of News International TV interests which looks totally run w/ yer tail between yer wobbling legs gutless...exemplifying b]one law for the rich and one for the rest of us[/b]...

but also in the long run strategically stupid, as to be expected from a family company run by brain addled, moral as a scorpion Rupert Murdoch...

one of the most ridiculous beat-ups & overreaches by the struggling Murdoch Australian...w/ the assistance of SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA (will this be one TV news group that James has now been put in charge of?)...

an over-the-top, desperate, hyperbolic attack on PM Julia Gillard that is only a wee bit effective due to her own previous slipups & perceptions across the public landscape that she is prone to tell porkies...unfortunately.

Any other present day political leader, apart from Tony Abbott, and this mountain out of a molehill story woulda gone nowhere.

take the UK phone hacking scandal & bribing of cops/bobbies & other officials sh*t...and this pap from the OZ & SKY NEWS...

and you've got yet ANOTHER reason for a media inquiry that recommends BITE...CHOMP...

and the Murdoch family and its sick culture being forced to divest themselves of the Australian papers and any relationship w/ SKY NEWS...


Tho, I guess it could all be handed to Lachlan...

going by his history, wouldn't be long before he screwed it up...and lost enuff to bankrupt News Corp. Smile
BTW, how idiotic to announce Arbib's departure before settling on someone who coulda been announced simultaneously. SHAMBLES.

Bob Carr woulda been EXCELLENT. Top foreign affairs dude.

Good post Ad,

polls...just like ads...for many, can't live w/ em...can't live w/out em.

As for pollsters connected to corporate manipulation machines...

throw em in the recycle bin...turn them into loo paper...to be delivered to parliament house.
My recommendation to the UK people as who should be their next PM:


As gutsy as Dr. WATSON. Smile

He may well have helped bring down the modern day Moriarty...Rupert Murdoch:




March 1. 2012 07:34 PM


I have in my possession a few old golf scorecards. They were originally filled out in pencil and are now faded and unreadable. I would like to donate them to the polling companies so they can re-interpret them in any way the client wishes.


March 1. 2012 07:51 PM


Off topic.


What you did for FS is truly commendable. Good on you.


March 1. 2012 07:52 PM


   "Breathtaking! Has anyone here actually had anything to do with political/opinion  polling, beyond answering a few questions?"

I don't know Tom! but let me Que the music you know "how great thou art" put up your resume! let us be the judge if we think you have the expertise you claim!


March 1. 2012 08:29 PM

Ad astra reply

If you haven't seen leading questions in polls, you haven't been looking.  I don't collect them, but when I next see one I'll alert you to it.

Ad astra reply

March 1. 2012 08:37 PM

Tom of Melbourne

AA, I noted your recent attempt to frame a question on the economy. You sought to summarise the economic policies of the parties in 2 brief sentences. It was an odd effort, and only represented your own view of economic policy, and therefore reflected your own prejudices.

You considered that the difference in policy settings was limited to agreeing with the government stimulus, or not.

On this basis, I’d pose the question (again) – how would you frame one of those types of questions about foreign affairs? Or defence? Or education?

A reasonable, unemotive and impartial question is simply – “which party do you have more confidence in regarding (insert policy area).

The proposition that opinion polls should be banned truly is bizarre, and I can only presume that you reacted to a proposition without engaging your brain.

Tom of Melbourne

March 1. 2012 09:20 PM


Oddly enough when you wrote in 2010 "how has it come to this" you seemed in no doubt that poor polling was the major factor in the betrayal of Rudd. However in the same article you described Gilallard as " always the loyal deputy" so I will easily accept that you were plagued by errors at the time.

Surely the developments this week surrounding the "Carr wreck" have put paid to any notions of competence or honesty from Gillard. OR any notion that the failings of this hopelessly inept government fall anywhere but the feet of Gillard.

As to the polls, well in 2007 they were not an issue, when used to remove Rudd they were not an issue, however now that they reflect the public's growing disdain for Gillards ineptitude they are an issue.  Please Ad I'm sure that if we wanted to read a meaningful article about polling we could all visit a certain Possum.

Tony Abbott, despite his many failings, seeks the removal of Gillard - an aim absolutely in keeping with the national interest.


March 1. 2012 09:24 PM


There is a distinct lack of transparency at the very least in polls.  The reporting of them in the media is crap.  As AA points out in his excellent opinion piece above, there is an inbuilt margin of error in polling.  So when Newspoll or Nielsen poll their 1000 people, it's accepted that the numbers produced could be out by 3% either way.

The reporting of the polls is done as absolutes, i.e. ALP 46, LNP 54 which indicates that the LNP would have a reasonable majority if an election was held in the survey period.  In reality the story should read that the ALP is somewhere between 43 and 49 and the LNP is somewhere between 57 and 51% approval - which points from anywhere between a close win (that a bit of advertising could change) and a walkover where the ALP might as well hand over the keys now.

The polling companies live or die on their accuracy with their private polling (do you prefer your Corn Flakes in a red or orange box) that they tack their political polling onto.  I've seen reporting in other countries where the margin of error and the sample size is disclosed up front - why can't we do it?  I'm sure that the polling companies include the margin of error in their reports, so why isn't it reported (preferably with an explanation why it is so important)?  

As to getting rid of the polls, as the political parties use them as well for internal research - I really can't see it happening despite the distortion they obviously apply to the political landscape worldwide.  Political Parties are being taken over by marketing professionals - look at Bruce Hawker's profile.  I'm sure somewhere in the backrooms of ALP and LNP headquarters tin the last week, Gillard, Rudd, Abbott, Turnbull and Hockey were all referred to as "the product" by some "marketing professional' that is still waiting to celebrate their 30th birthday.


March 1. 2012 09:35 PM


          "Surely the developments this week surrounding the "Carr wreck" have put paid to any notions of competence or honesty from Gillard."

I'm not sure if you've watched "parliament this week" but to the best of my "knowledge" no such motion of "no competence" or otherwise have been passed!
As to your competence???


March 1. 2012 09:51 PM

Ad astra reply

ToM, Gorfindel
If individual polls are not predictive, as pollster Peter Lewis concedes, what value is there in carrying them out, except to do what Possum does, to track trends?  Individual pools are being misused for political purposes.  Look and you will see.

Ad astra reply

March 1. 2012 10:12 PM

Ad astra reply

You are right.  Poll results should be reported giving a range of results that reflect the margin of error, but that would take the sharp edge off their potency.  It is the potency to predict that analysts incorrectly assign to individual polls.  That is the basis of their spurious stories.

I agree that there is no chance of getting rid of polls.  Despite the inability of individual polls to precict, they are too valuable as revenue generators and as political tools for those who use them to pursue their political agendas.  We are stuck with them, and they will continue to be used to deceive an unsuspecting public.

Ad astra reply

March 1. 2012 10:18 PM

Ad astra reply

Good to see you back.  I hope you are feeling better. Thank you for your comments and kind remarks.

Ad astra reply

March 1. 2012 10:33 PM


this may interest you

Next week's Sun on Sunday front cover leaked early

via @TimHarford & DMReporter (No relation Smile)


March 1. 2012 11:00 PM


Ad astra

The household that I grew up in had a Box Brownie camera.
For those too young to know (it's important), a Box Brownie was a very simple camera. Simple in design and therefore manufacture and affordable to the working class. It was a light-proof box with a lens in one side, a viewer on top, a winder and a shutter button. It took small black and white photos through a tiny fixed focal length lens using a fixed shutter speed through a fixed aperture. It really was a little black box that let light in one end to expose the film. To use it you were well-advised to place your subject in abundant sunshine and ensure that they stood perfectly still.

Opinion polls with sample sizes such as we see in Australia are like taking a photo with a Box Brownie, from high in the stands, of the horses as they line up in the final straight of the Melbourne Cup. A blurry slightly out of focus snapshot that contains foreshortening distortions and is reliant on sufficient levels of light and the steady hand of the photographer to give any sort of image at all. To hear and read our political pundits interpret these photos you could be forgiven for thinking that they were taken using the latest high-speed digital camera with sophisticated aperture and shutter-speed settings and a telephoto lens and that the shot was taken from a position adjacent to the finish line, barely seconds before the finish.

We hear about more than just the relative positions of the horses. We are regaled with analysis of the musculature of each individual horse (and what it means for the possible result), the body language of the horse (does s/he really want to win?), the body language of the jockey (does s/he think s/he can still win from here) and the relative positions are discussed in detail down to the millimetre. Subsequent shots are studied in equally great detail with much made of any variation or lack thereof from one photo to the next. Could the fact that horse #8 has improved its position from Snapshot #9 to Snapshot #10 be attributable to the jockey's use of the whip? Or did all of the other horses just lose ground? Still, if he keeps going on this way he is going to romp it in by a length or more!

What the pundits don't tell us is that there are still 400 metres left to run, the relative positions of the horses are distorted by foreshortening and lack of clarity and much of the analysis of body language relies on pre-conceived notions. What they also don't tell us is that the moment the photo is taken it is immediately out-of-date because the race has moved on. Yes it is a snapshot but it is a snapshot of a moment that has passed. A series of snapshots may be useful for looking back at how the race was run but there is no capacity within them to make meaningful predictions.

A lot can happen in the last 400 metres. An also-ran could stumble and take out the favourite - unlikely but possible. The trainer of the leading horse may have misjudged the horse's capabilities, given the jockey flawed instructions and now finds that by the last 200 metres it is running out of wind. Or, to be fair, the trainer of a stayer may find that the jockey has left the run too late and be left rueing not giving instructions to move out of the pack sooner.

There are a world of things that could happen. Most of them probably won't but the only sure thing that can be said before and during a race is that the horses will leave the starting gates and most of them will cross the finish line. What happens in between is subject to so many variables, controllable and uncontrollable, that to take a blurry snapshot halfway through the race and attempt to predict the outcome is a foolish and pointless endeavour even with a super duper camera, much less with a Box Brownie.

Thanks for another great article. The Tarot card comparison is an apt one, Ad astra. Perhaps next time I'm butchering a chicken I will give in to temptation and read the portents. I have little doubt that they will be as meaningful and reliable as any forecast based on an opinion poll.

As a postscript, I don't mean to malign the Box Brownie. In the right hands it can produce truly stunning photos and for sixty years or more it opened up the world of photography to those who might otherwise have not been able to afford it. A good many photos in family albums all around the world will have been taken on a Brownie.


March 1. 2012 11:09 PM


Hi Ad

See this, good PR for TPS by Topsy:-

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Showing the past day's top results for your saved search terms: the political sword

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We are being conned by the polls Tarot Card of Politics Imagine this a world without opinion polls Political Sword

— 11:35PM lynlinking see tweet



March 1. 2012 11:14 PM


I made a comment some time back that the consistency in the polls must be because Newspoll conduct their surveys in the same liberal electorate every time. It was a joke but sometimes when I hear about the governments actions and they are totally ignored in the media and there is no change in the numbers,I do get to wondering. Do the pollsters ever mention government initatives, like the tax threshold changes etc.  Does the OO define the questions and where they are to be asked.

And talking about questions every question asked by the noalition is prefixed with a smear or some such snide intro that I wished the Speaker and the Senate President would just intervened and ONLY they actual question, stupid as some of them are, be asked.


March 1. 2012 11:22 PM


I saw Bob ("The Hermit") Katter and Tony ("The Fool") Abbott at the airport tonight.

As I turned away from the departure board, Tony was walking past, smiling and saying something inaudible ("Stop the planes"?)  He looked me in the eye, and I managed a smile back to be polite.  Had I known "The Wheel of Fortune" had cancelled my flight, I might have given him the "Five of Wands" treatment - I'll save that for Alan Joyce.  (Tony will be "The Hanged Man" soon enough, if there's "Justice".)

Hopefully by the time "The Sun" arrives, I'll be on my way.
Have a good weekend, Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings of Swords!


March 1. 2012 11:47 PM


Anyone worried about 'margin of error' and other factors that may create inaccuracies in poll results can rest easy.

Those who think that there are too many polls too often should start worrying.

If you are concerned that polls don't reflect true public opinion due to small sample sizes don't worry.

Marketers and market researchers are salivating.

As more people use the interwebby thingo and and cluster on social media platforms the boffins are gathering more and more data that is revealing who we are and what we think.

The time will come when phone polling will be irrelevant because researchers will be able to tell how you will most likely vote by the 'friends' you have on Twitter, Facebook or similar and the web sites you visit.

We will have virtual real time polling that could be updated minute by minute.

But do you know the really scary thing about this?

There a lot of people who think I am making this up.


March 2. 2012 12:03 AM


The latest in the Late Night Gems of Wonder series:

Society changes when we change what we're embarrassed about.

In just fifty years, we've made it shameful to be publicly racist.

In just ten years, someone who professes to not know how to use the internet is seen as a fool.

The question, then, is how long before we will be ashamed at being uninformed, at spouting pseudoscience, at believing thin propaganda? How long before it's unacceptable to take something at face value? How long before you can do your job without understanding the state of the art?

Does access to information change the expectation that if you can know, you will know?

We can argue that this will never happen, that it's human nature to be easily led in the wrong direction and to be willfully ignorant. The thing is, there are lots of things that used to be human nature, but due to culture and technology, no longer are.

Ashamed to not know  Seth Godin


March 2. 2012 07:29 AM


good morning all,

The polls, the polls, just a snap of time passed - great post Norman K.

As you point out the future is almost upon us and the polls will be replaced by the technology of the future.  It may be more difficult to pull the wool over the eyes of voters in the vast world of cyber space when, in the blink of an eye, they have complete and real information to compare against the mis-information fed to them today.  By the time 2050 rolls around, I would expect that the push for the education of each and every child will have placed a dampener on those pushing propaganda and partisan rhetoric.  

Just this morning I turned on my radio in time to tune into a segment where the ABC presenter was talking to some economist who'd written a book, and callers were invited to ring in.  The presenter himself showed he knows little about economic matters and his callers even less.  They were critical of the govt being unable to 'sell' their policies and most were still of the opinion that the carbon tax will be placed on the whole population.  They are still waffling on about the pink batts and why money was 'wasted' on such a scheme when there is so much needed infrastructure (both economist and the presented agreed stridently the scheme was a fiasco) yet neither bothered (if they even get it themselves) to educate their listeners as to why an insulation scheme was chosen to support the economy during the GFC.

If I received just one dollar for each time I have had to explain to people why the govt went with the BER and Insulation, I'd be rich right now, and I must say that my explanations were received well and in the end, thoughtfully agreed with.  In which case I cannot see any reason whatever, unless it is just partisan propaganda, that the media and so-called economists cannot bring themselves to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

So, we are bombarded with polls that can be skewed to suit the agenda of the pollsters and are a set of questions put to people who have been bombarded with mis-information and propaganda.  How on earth can anyone in their right minds give any credence to the results?


March 2. 2012 07:58 AM


Hello all, and thanks for the excellent blogs which I have just discovered.

Question: You mention that polls are not predictive which I don't doubt. I wonder if there are some actualy studies that one can read showing relative predictive efficacy of polls over the past 20 years or so? As there is ample data it would be a simple study to carry out.
This is a serious issue in today's politics as discussed here, and ought to be blown out of the water. Someone, armed with the facts about polls' actual prediction efficacy could for example appear on Q&A and other popular programs.




March 2. 2012 08:23 AM



Slipper tally: 26 pollies ejected, Owen Jacques , Sunshine Coast Daily
In the 10 Question Times umpired by the member for Fisher this year, he has managed to eject 21 politicians from his former party - more than two a day.

A cabinet of compromises, James Higgins, The Politics Project
This is absolutely infuriating. Just days after securing the biggest win in Labor leadership history, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has

The Worst Opposition Ever, The Interpretor
What is difficult to explain is how the Liberals have escaped media scrutiny. This lack of scrutiny represents a massive failure across the media spectrum as Abbott has been a hairs breadth away

Frenzy- an eruption of Ruddmania in Australian media,Utherssay
Michael Skutchinbury a former News Ltd employee and now employed at Fairfax’s Australian financial review is as good a surrogate for the opposition as is available and he manages to get into his commentary at least twice “knifed” and “the world’s biggest carbon tax”.

Gillard's Solar Burn-Out, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
The micro-controversy is not unusual in the messy business of ALP politics, but it again demonstrates just how difficult this government finds it to keep sensitive internal information

Which idiot put Bob Carr's name forward-, Petering Time, North Coast Voices
The same man who - after talking a lot of guff about wanting to take time in retirement to enjoy the beauty of Sydney – parachuted straight into lucrative positions with major multinationals and placed himself on the corporate speakers circuit.

A civilised revolution, Northern Rivers Echo
Of course the press gallery and the commentariat love nothing more than the soap opera of a leadership challenge, and at the first sniff of blood they are like a pack of circling sharks going in

Mayne: James Murdoch’s resignation means nothing, Stephen Mayne, Crikey
If the company had any moral compass or sense of decency, both would completely resign as executive directors. But for that you’d need some independent directors with spine, which is still sadly

James Murdoch flees News International for the US, Paul Barry, The Power Index
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting again to remove the Murdoch heir as a director of News Corporation. At the company's last AGM in Los Angeles in October, 67% of the independent votes were cast

Soft Data Keeps The Door Open for Interest Rate Cuts, Stephen Koukoulas
A rate cut could be delivered at any meeting – a cut in February would not have been out of place given the run of recent data and the now bubble-ish Australian dollar. Whether the RBA cuts

Education is mainly about teachers, Ross Gittins
all the interest groups involved - the doctors, teachers, health funds and private schools, not to mention the premiers - have an obvious motive to push for a bigger slice. These contesting  

Why are all those shops turning into cafes-, Peter Martin
It seems the 0.50 point mortgage rate cut in late 2011 was celebrated by eating out,” said TD Securities economist Annette Beacher. “Consumers are spending, but increasingly on services, http://www.petermartin.com.au/

The Usual Murdoch Dirty Tricks (12): The Abbott Cover-Up,Bob Ellis
I am told by my Perth informant that Tony Abbott is no longer wearing his wedding ring during Question Time. Since I am on a train at present passing through Dimboola and Nhill and unable to check, I ask those interested in such things to turn on SkyNews

Floods, Droughts, Climate Change, and how to read a Bell Curve., Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery
What climate change will do though is shift the median of the bell curve. That is instead of the average being at 50% on the graph, it will shift. Either towards the 45% or towards the 55%. When

Media to blame for scripted, stage-managed politics, Malcolm Cole, On Line Opinion
We existing in an environment where breaking a glass draws as much media attention as breaking a promise, and where the views of the individual who crosses the floor of Parliament are reported

Julie Bishop tries to rewrite history on Twitter The Daily Derp
caught out on Twitter today trying to rewrite history and was and truly pawned for doing so.In what could be a follow up to my previous post about right wingers rewriting history to suit themselves, as well as playing on the “Gillard doesn’t have support of 1/3 of Caucus members

Keane: the $8 billion industry policy no one notices, Bernard Keane, Crikey
the industry criticised it, of course; the opposition criticised it for its effect on industry, the Greens criticised it for its impact on renewables investment, and conservative commentators

As solar hot water gets axed, what is the logic in industry subsidies?, Jonathan Pincus, The Conversation
subsidies can contribute to the general wellbeing of Australians. Subsidies to good school education help to create better citizens. Subsidies to “public good” research help create good ideas

ALP Hanging Itself Out To Dry, The Art Neuro Weblog
it gets worse than that. It turns out Stephen Smith wanted the Foreign Minister job he vacated for Kevin Rudd back and put the Kaibosh on the Bob Carr move. Bob Carr was already at the airport waiting for a plane when told there were objections and he wouldn’t get what he wanted – so he went home

Palmerball – Clive Palmer’s Football Revolution, Preston Towers, The Preston Institute
the FFA, has gone down a bizarre path, with Palmer objecting to how football is run by the FFA, the money paid to executives and the wasteful World Cup bid. He also interfered with the running of the Gold Coast club, by appointing a 17 year old as captain,

Has Speaker Slipper A Strategy For A Surfeit Of SSOs?, Patriciawa, Café Whispers
I think he’s fascinated by the idea of himself in the role of Speaker and determined to make a very good job of it. He seems to me more perfectionist, even vain, than vengeful. Be that as it may,

Independents: LibNats can’t unwind carbon price, NBN, David Twomey, Eco News
AAP says both Mr Windsor and Mr Oakeshott said the complexity of unwinding the two policies made it all the more likely progressive Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull would return to the leadership of the coalition in the future.

Turnbull again misleads public on NBN, Renai LeMay, Delimeter
Turnbull stated that he did not believe many Internet service providers providing retail services over the NBN would set the same price nationally for access. “Senator Stephen Conroy the Communications Minister today and I quote him: ‘Across Australia everyone gets the same price

Bushfire Bill
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 8:37 am comment number 3437
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 8:02 am  comment 3426
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 10:18 am | comment 3523
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |comment Number 3523

LP Commenting Guidelines, Larvatus Prodeo
The opinions expressed in comments threads are entirely the responsibility of the various contributors. While we will do everything within reason to ensure that they are not defamatory, we accept no liability for them or the content of links included in them

It's been raining fairly consistently for a couple of days here in Canberra and the already soaked ACT water catchments are overflowing. Water is topping the Googong Dam and I have heard the new dam wall at the Cotter will be overtaken by the swelling water levels.

The Big Wet, Ray Dixon, Ray Dixon , Alphine Opinion
Majestic Mt Buffalo has had about 400 mm so far this week. Those waterfalls are mainly coming off a plateau, which gives you some idea how wet it is up there


Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category
Senator for NSW Matt Thistlethwaite – ABC Capital Hill 29.02.2012
ABC: Rudd resignation haunting Labor
ABC: Government says live export rules are working
ABC: PM quiet on Cabinet reshuffle plan
ABC: Political life goes on in Canberra
ABC: Forced adoption victims recognised by inquiry

Josh Frydenberg MP: Appropriations Bill (No. 3) 2011-2012 and Appropriations Bill (No. 4) 2011-2012 (28 February 2012)
Kelvin Thomson MP: Live Animal Exports ABC 24 (29/2/12)
ALP: Julia Gillard launches ‘The Australian Moment’
Greens: Closing the Gap – 2012

Tony Abbott says Julia Gillard lied in parliament yesterday
Tony Abbott accuses Julia Gillard of being 'loose with the truth' in parliament yesterday when she was questioned about offering the foreign minister position to Bob Carr

March 1, 2012. Ministry Speculation , Julie Bishop
Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop and Liberal MP Greg Hunt say Prime Minister Julia Gillard is not being honest about speculation that former NSW Premier Bob Carr was offered a Ministry position.

Eric Abetz says Julia Gillard must tell the truth about Bob Carr
senate doors this morning Liberal Eric Abetz says Julia Gillard must tell the truth about whether she offered former NSW premier Bob Carr a senate seat and ministry position

Queensland Votes: Newman in strife, ALP’s Keep Kate and more
the ‘virals’ and whatever we come across from the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, the Greens, Bob Katter’s Australian Party and whoever else is uploading content; including the various mainstream media outlets. Each day we’ll post a new ‘Queensland Votes’ with that day’s contributions.

Clive Palmer plans action to keep Gold Coast soccer franchise
Audio: 'See you later - bye': Clive Palmer hangs up on reporter
mattwordsworth http://bit.ly/yFOwN8


March 2. 2012 08:27 AM



     Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 2 March 2012



March 2. 2012 08:30 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 08:34 AM


Hi Val

Welcome to The Political Sword, and thankyou for your comment,
we are very pleaed you found TPS and are looking forward to future comments. We appreciate you sharing your opinion.

This is a serious issue in today's politics as discussed here, and ought to be blown out of the water

I agree with you this is a very serious issue, which probably the general public do not realise.



March 2. 2012 08:36 AM

Ad astra reply

I'll respond later this morning to the insightful comments by NormanK, Bilko, DMW and janice, and I'll add some of my own.

What a fantastic collection of links Lyn.  It will take me much of the morning to digest this gourmet meal.  Thank you.

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 08:36 AM


Decided to have a look myself via Google, and found this:
gking.harvard.edu/files/abs/variable-abs.shtml which has the interesting observation that polls reflect something entirely different than votes.



March 2. 2012 08:41 AM

Ad astra reply

Welcome to The Political Sword family. Do come again.

I wish answers to your questions were easy to find.  George Megalogenis has had a lot to say about polls, and has just written a book which I must acquire.  And of course the most astute analyst of polls is the brilliant statistician Possum Comitatus who blogs at Crikey.  He makes comments that are always worth reading: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 08:44 AM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your additional comment, which arrived while I was posting my welcome to you.  I will read your link with interest.

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 08:54 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Can you please make that pleased, to Val instead of peased Please.

While I am here, Hello to Nasking.

Janice your comments are fantastic. As Ad Astra just said he has

some good stuff to read from you good guys.

This story from the Australian, reproduced by Ross:

From: The Australian
March 02, 2012 12:00AM

Julia Gillard 'accident prone' on the ropes again, Ross Parisi
It's open season on Julia Gillard's character, with the opposition trying to wound her credibility through repetition, regurgitation and alliteration.

Parliament has become the house of nasty, not nice, in the wake of the Carr wreck. Julie Bishop successfully showed yesterday she had mastered her seashells and seashore by reprising a cutting line by Laurie Oakes: the Prime Minister was "silly and slippery and slimy and shifty".


March 2. 2012 10:16 AM


Hi Ad

Must read for everybody:

Tweeted by Wayne Swan:

SwannyDPM Wayne Swan
Good to see the monthly essay is starting a conversation on the #fairgo. It’s up on web now at http://tinyurl.com/7mf3brd

The 0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia by Wayne Swan, The Monthly

The latest example of this is the foray by Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, into Fairfax Media, reportedly in an attempt to wield greater influence on public opinion and further her commercial interests at a time when the overwhelming economic consensus is that it’s critical to use the economic weight of the resources boom to strengthen the entire economy. Without a blush, her friend and fellow media owner John Singleton let the cat out of the bag when he told the Sydney Morning Herald that he and Rinehart had been “able to overtly and covertly attack governments … because we have people employed by us like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and Ray Hadley who agree with [our] thinking”.


March 2. 2012 10:27 AM


Totally off this topic - but look what's in the Brisbane Times today.  www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120301-1u62d.html

It actually argues a case against a popululist "crime getting worse" theme currently being promoted by the LNP in Queensland.


March 2. 2012 11:30 AM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your link to the Brisbane Times piece on crime in Queensland, which illustrates nicely how politicians can deliberately distort the statistical facts to suit their political purposes.  It serve as a stark example of how well researched data can be disingenuously massaged and perverted.  It is germane to this piece.  Over and again we see commentators similarly distort polling data.

Paraphrasing the piece in the interest of brevity, here are the first few paragraphs:

This week, Queensland's Liberal National Party promised to put 1100 extra police officers on the beat, arguing crime was “worse under long-term Labor”.
By contrast, the Labor state government has defended its policing record and says the crime rate has dropped over the past 10 years.

So which is true?

The claims

LNP leader Campbell Newman, when asked on Tuesday how much crime had increased: “Well I don't have those figures in my head but I can tell you now, if I talk to mums and dads, families across Queensland, people on the Gold Coast, people in Cairns particularly – mums and dads are worried about their kids going to nightspots in Fortitude Valley. They're worried about this.”

Note how, having no facts in his head, he uses anecdotal evidence, little better than the uniformed vox pop ‘evidence’ TV stations use to entertain.  Seemingly, facts don’t count as much as what some Mums and Dads have told him.

Police Minister Neil Roberts, in a media release on Tuesday: “Thanks to the investment in police by successive Labor Governments… the overall crime rate in Queensland has fallen by 30 per cent between 2000/01 and 2010/11.
The rate of offences against the person has decreased by 25 per cent since 2000/01 and the rate of property offences has decreased by 46 per cent.”

These are some of the established facts, which at substantial variance with Newman’s anecdotes.

LNP police spokesman John-Paul Langbroek, in subsequent media release headlined “Crime worse under long-term Labor”… The LNP statement outlined a list of “facts” about crime, including that drug trafficking offences across Queensland had tripled in the decade from 2000/01 – from 107 to 323 offences in 2010/11. Reported drug crime overall had also increased by 19 per cent, with 35,160 drug crimes in 2000/01 compared with 43,195 in 2010/11, the statement said, while reported assaults were 19,469 in 2010/11 compared with 18,734 in 2000/01.

It sound pretty convincing doesn’t it, but it happens to be a particularly flagrant example of cherry-picking the evidence to suit a political agenda.  It is grossly deceptive, as you will see if you read the whole article, particularly the table of crime statistics.

The whole piece is here:

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 11:39 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for the link to Wayne Swan's piece in The Monthly: The 0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia, which I have saved for reference.  It has already attracted a lot of attention and of course rebuttal from Christopher Pyne who dismisses it with the same phrase that he dismisses any attempt to re-examine schools funding - 'class warfare and the politics of envy'.  Sadly, that is about all we can expect from Pyne in the way of debate.

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 12:17 PM


Bob Carr to go into the senate as Foreign Minister!


March 2. 2012 12:20 PM


Sometimes I truly do love this Prime Minister!
Bob Carr as Foreign Minister - who picked that?
More complete incompetence from our leading luminaries in the press.


March 2. 2012 12:33 PM


Hi Ad

See what is being said now about Bob Carr:-

gordongrahamGordon Graham
take that Shanahan! #reshuffle

You got the feeling the MSMhacks are simply stunned & numbed with the Shock & Awe that PM Gillard has just unleashed on them

GeorgeBludgerGeorge Bludger
The press questions PM: why were we so wrong - you trolled us!!!!! #auspol

geeksrulzIntrepid Geek
Hoist with own petard RT @sprocket___: Media with their pants around ankles

sspencer_63Stephen Spencer
That shredding noise you can here is every Saturday newspaper column being pulped. #reshuffle

Lauren_DuboisLauren Dubois
PM: Not going to recount the many conversations I've had this week. I spoke to Bob yesterday and offered. Delighted he accepted #reshuffle

DarrenFerrariDarren Ferrari
Michelle Grattan starts her next piece: "Julia Gillard has damaged her credibility by appointing Bob Carr to be Foreign Minister

stephendeviceStephen Device
Bob Carr surprise. Wow. Well played, PM

So , quite plainly, the Australian story was, indeed, "completely false".

Phil Coorey becomes the second idiot to be tweaked by the PM

ShoebridgeMLCDavid Shoebridge
Julia Gillard is now officially Cartman from South Park - 'You will respect my authority!'

grumpyMichaelMichael Lee
Biggest loser in #reshuffle The Australian Media #theyfailagain

Seems JG has decided to treat the media with the same contempt they show her.


March 2. 2012 12:35 PM


Hi Norman K

One of our bloggers picked it but I can't remember which one:-



March 2. 2012 12:52 PM


Here they come :

dailytelegraphThe Daily Telegraph
Bob Carr takes Senate role, Foreign Affairs http://bit.ly/wpXBp9
7RESHUFFLE: Bob Carr takes on Mark Arbib vacancy and Foreign Affairs  seconds ago FavoriteRetweetReply

judyvw2judy woodman
well done Julia, Tony Abbott shaking in his boots

That's not Ms Gillard, Phil! It's the PM Julia Gillard. FFS


March 2. 2012 12:54 PM


       The PM was right when she said to "Julie Bishop" wtte "who ever I pick as Foreign Minister wont even raise a sweat to wipe the floor with her!"
Julie Bishop might need to get a better understanding of her job!


March 2. 2012 01:39 PM

Patricia WA

Agreed, Jason.   Her SSO speech yesterday was silly,  shrill and vacuous enough yesterday to demonstrate her total unsuitability for any ministerial role in any government.  It was that anyway even if it hadn't been based on hearsay around a confected 'scandal' over the Prime Minister's legitimate consultations and deliberations on an important appointment to her cabinet.

Amazing the fictions developed around this appointment by the Opposition and the media! If this is the only issue they can get into a lather about there can’t be much wrong with her government.

Patricia WA

March 2. 2012 01:42 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
As usual you and Jason were quick off the mark.  What a checkmate for PM Gillard!  I thought the most apt comment in the press conference came from Andrew Probyn of The West Australian when he said they she had given the press gallery 'a reverse wedgie'.

So much for all the blather from Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne about our PM being in the thrall of 'the faceless men' - I hope they replay that theatrical performance from Abbott on Wednesday when he sarcastically mocked our PM for being unable to make a decision without her faceless men's OK.  I can't wait to hear what he has to say now - my guess is that he will push the line that she had so little talent in her ministry she had to go outside to find a FM.  He can always conjure up a negative, even out of the most positive move the PM makes, and today was just such an example.

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 01:54 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for the brilliant parallel you have drawn between the much beloved Box Brownie camera whose images we older folk have in our albums, and contemporary political polling.  How could we not agree with one of your concluding remarks: …the only sure thing that can be said before and during a race is that the horses will leave the starting gates and most of them will cross the finish line. What happens in between is subject to so many variables, controllable and uncontrollable, that to take a blurry snapshot halfway through the race and attempt to predict the outcome is a foolish and pointless endeavour even with a super duper camera, much less with a Box Brownie.”

Your comments goes to the issue of representativeness of the sample polled.  Polling organizations seldom mention the demographic of their sample, except when polling individual electorates.  So we languish in the dark, suspecting though through their lack of illumination about the sample, that we are being conned.

What you describe is both true and frightening.  Marketing is now an integral part of politics, so we can expect to be manipulated more and more in the same cynical self-serving way as commercial organizations do with their advertising and advertorials.

How right you are -  great initiatives such as the BER, and as JohnL has shown, the HIP, have been grossly devalued not just by Labor’s political opponents, but by the media, particularly News Limited, which has run a prolonged vendetta against the Government.

This has been so effective that it is now the conventional wisdom among the electorate that these programs were a spectacular failure and an example of ‘waste and mismanagement’ for which the Government has been mercilessly pilliored.

I have looked at the abstract of your link, but couldn’t get to the full article.  I noted that it begins: ”… the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election can be predicted within a few percentage points (in the popular vote), based on information available months before the election.  It doesn’t say how many months, but we are a year and a half out from an election, too far out in my opinion to give reliable results.  

The article also talks about aggregate poll results (as well as individual polls).  To me these aggregates, which show trends, are more likely to be predictive than individual polls, which we all know are subject to contemporary events, the adverse ones of which are sometimes targeted by the media owners of polling organizations, (The Australian owns Newspoll) so as to influence the poll outcome.  How many times have we seen The Oz run a story adverse to the Government when Newspoll is in the field?

Polling is not a clean game, and technically has so many queries around it, especially sampling, that, in my view, it is not just of questionable value, but more likely deceptive, and with the commentary that follows, manipulative.

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 01:55 PM


Hi Ad

Everybody must read, Julie Bishop


That this House call on the Prime Minister to explain the circumstances surrounding the botched attempt to install Bob Carr as Foreign Minister, the role of the Defence Minister in vetoing it and how the Australian people can have any trust in a Prime Minister with a pattern of behaviour that calls into question her integrity and who lacks the authority to control the faceless men of the Labor Party.

so that the Prime Minister can explain how it is that she claims that the offer being withdrawn after the intervention of the factions was completely untrue. These matters require the Prime Minister's explanation. Legitimate questions are arising about the Prime Minister's respect for the truth. Even those who are desperate to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt admit that she has a passing acquaintance with the truth. I would say that the Prime Minister and the truth are total strangers. That fact is—

Standing orders must be suspended so the Prime Minister can explain the circumstances surrounding the role of the Minister for Defence in vetoing the Prime Minister's choice of Bob Carr for foreign minister. The Prime Minister says that allegation is completely untrue, but we will soon know

We have learned that the minister for regional Australia has also vetoed the Prime Minister's choice of Bob Carr, so both ministers want the job. The Prime Minister is faced with a choice between the member for Perth and the member for Hotham—a choice between a rooster and a feather duster, so wipe the floor with that one. Standing orders must be suspended so the Prime Minister can explain how she can claim a new assertiveness one day when the next day she is completely and comprehensively undermined by the factions


March 2. 2012 01:56 PM



If your memory is better than mine (not hard) can you recall the PM's throwaway line today re Ms Bishop and floor sweeping? It was delivered deadpan and I should have written it down.


March 2. 2012 02:41 PM

Patricia WA

Jason,  I think she said something like,  "Whoever, I choose, he won't find it hard to wipe the floor with her!"

It was that comment and the tone of it which made me conjecture over at the Cafe yesterday cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../#comment-63001

March 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm patriciawa

I am beginning to suspect entrapment here. This really makes the Opposition look insanely obsessed by a non-issue and quite unable to deal with real matters of policy. Possible?

I really wish my newly developing clairvoyant skills had enabled me to use Julie Bishop's description of the Prime Minister as 'silly and slippery and slimy and shifty'. in my alliterative title for my Speaker Slipper post, to somehow shovel her shit back on to this shameless shadow minister.   But I guess Julia Gillard has already done that for me.  

Patricia WA

March 2. 2012 02:45 PM

Patricia WA

Sorry - I should have addressed NormanK there.  

So how does our friend, James Higgins, come out of this NormanK?   I think I'll have a peep to see if he has gathered his thoughts together yet.

Patricia WA

March 2. 2012 02:57 PM


Hi Norman K
I did post to you further up above.

Wondering if you knew which blog article it was that said Julia should put Bob Carr in anyway or something like that.

Here is the statement about wiping the floor:

Gillard admits speaking to Carr over vacancies, ABC

Ms Bishop also turned Ms Gillard's taunt yesterday that whoever she chose to be foreign minister "won't break into a sweat wiping the floor with her".

Ms Bishop described the reported choice between Mr Smith and Mr Crean as a "choice between a rooster and a feather duster".

"So wipe the floor with that one," she said.



March 2. 2012 02:59 PM


Can't do Newman's getting rattled



March 2. 2012 03:05 PM


Ministry Changes


Changes - with pictures



March 2. 2012 03:07 PM


Hi Lyn and Patricia WA

I may have started a bit of a wild goose chase over a little joke from the PM. She made reference during her press conference today to her previous "sweep the floor" gibe in parliament. I'll keep looking - I hope it is as good as I remember it.

Patricia WA

James cleared up my reservations about his article. For my part, I may have had clouded glasses on when I first read his piece because I had just come from reading a whole swag of articles by our learned pundits in the press. The similarity of some of his language to that used by them may have set me off down a side-road. His response was measured and helpful. A site worth following.


March 2. 2012 03:10 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

The bird of paradox has been telling lies again regarding Bob the Builder. Can't this women live up to the high office of PM? Drug abuse seems to be rampant within ALP ranks because they all seem to be using performance enhancing drugs.

Sir Ian Crisp

March 2. 2012 03:16 PM

Ad astra reply

ToM and Glorfindel
You seem to have a view that my opinion of the polls is influenced by how they are running for the Government.  It doesn’t surprise me that you have this view, but let me give you an instance when the Rudd Government was 63/37 in one extraordinary poll at the height of Rudd’s popularity.  Do you imagine any Government supporter took that poll seriously?  If, as the media like to postulate, an election were to be held then, the Coalition would have been all but wiped out.  Do you think anyone seriously believed at the time that this would ever happen?

No, my concern about polls runs much deeper – to the validity, reliability and predictive value of them.  Poor ratings in these parameters render them not just useless, but dangerous.

You may be familiar with these concepts, but for the benefit of others who may nor be, here is what they mean:

The validity of a measurement tool (such as a poll) is the degree to which it measures what it purports to measure.  If, for example, a test that claims to measure mathematical ability, asks questions only about gardening, it is not valid – it is not measuring what it claims to be measuring.  In polls, my concern is that sometimes the questions asked actually measure something else other than what they were meant to.  

Another aspect of validity is the extent to which the test is applied to a representative sample.  If a poll purports to cover a representative sample of the whole electorate, it needs to do just that, and any deviation from that representativeness reduces its validity.  We are seldom told how a sample was selected, and so its representativeness is hidden.  The sample size also affects validity; tiny samples are given little credence by statisticians, and even with the usual sample of around one thousand, a three percent margin of error applies.  Polling organizations can’t afford the large sample sizes to reduce the margin of error to small proportions.

The reliability of a measurement tool refers to the extent that the result of a test, or poll, obtained on one occasion is reproducible on another with the same group and under the same circumstances.  If a test arranges a class of children into a certain order from ‘best’ to ‘worst’ on one occasion, yet arranges them quite differently when the same test is applied the next day, it is not reliable.  Reliability is a concern with polls.  How do we know that a particular poll, if repeated, will give the same result?  We sometimes see polls taken at the same time, albeit sometimes using slightly different methods, vary in their results, sometimes quite widely.  Which one is right, and if it were to be repeated, would it yield the same results?  Because of this variation, often reflecting less-than-satisfactory reliability, aggregate polls, such as Possum Comitatus and Andrew Catsaras use, seem to be more reliable.

If you go to Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_(statistics) you will see a good illustration of the interaction of validity and reliability in the bulls-eye illustrations.

The predictive value of a test is used widely in medicine.  It is a somewhat complex computation, but very valuable. You can read about it here on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_predictive_value  I have not seen this concept, or variations of it, applied to such test instruments as polls.  If any one has, please let us all know.   I did see an intriguing reference to predictive value in the context of the NFL in the US, which you can read at fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/.../

In any case, whatever statistical process is used, some pollsters lead us to believe they can predict the outcome of elections from their poll results, although at least one, Peter Lewis of Essential Poll, says he does not believe this.   Those who do believe in their ability to accurately predict election outcomes from polls owe it to us to explain the statistical method they use to do so, instead of tacitly leaving us to believe they can.

In summary, there are so many variables that plague political polling, and so little information offered by polling organizations about their methods, that we, the consumers, have a right to be skeptical about their validity, reliability and predictive value, and insist that pollsters enlighten us.

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 03:25 PM


Barry O'Farrell tweeted this soon after the PM made the announcement

"whatever else people might say about Bob Carr's appointment, no-one can deny his depth of knowledge of the portfolio"

Jon Kudelka probably spoke for all cartoonists in this tweet:

It is fantastic to have Bob Carr's head back on the caricature "active" list. Too good to waste.

I missed Tony Abborts tweet as it rolled across the ABC24 screen but it was typically negative - something along the lines of Labor has excelled itself by appointing the guy who as Premier invented the factions.

I like the continuing sound of News Corp week-end editions being pulped. Tee Hee


March 2. 2012 03:32 PM



You can hear Julia make that statement on the Ewart clip:

Move the slider to Jlia it's about 3/4 way through the report only takes a minute.

Reporter: Heather Ewart  Video clip from 7.30pm report 29/2/2012

JULIE BISHOP, SHADOW FOREIGN MINISTER: Given that Bob Carr has confirmed he was approached to be Foreign minister, will the Prime Minister inform the House why she believes Bob Carr would make a better Foreign minister than any of her colleagues?

JULIA GILLARD: Whoever I select won't break into a sweat wiping the floor with her.


Cheers SmileSmileSmile


March 2. 2012 03:45 PM

Patricia WA

Norman K, I can see that now!   Like our young friend James, and all of us, I too am excited by all this.  I agree he is well worth following at http://thepoliticsproject.wordpress.com/    He has already written two good articles today, but I still think he hasn't quite nailed it.   He hails this appointment as a master stroke.

I think it's more than that.  It's the final play in a brilliant strategy that goes back months. I think Mark Abib’s resignation was an important part of that,  moving the players towards the end game. As was the earlier encouragement of one K.Rudd to show his hand with that video and the forthright public criticism of him by senior ministers.

And yes, Julie Bishop, Abbott, all of the Opposition and their media mates were entrapped along with all the other players fighting her in our national drama.   That comment from Tony Windsor about his opinion on what Kevin Rudd would do next was prescient.  "He will probably retire hurt!"
  He knows the capacity of our Prime Minister very well!

Patricia WA

March 2. 2012 03:45 PM


Hi Lyn

Thanks for that. It was something she said today that I was after.
I'll just have to wait for the transcript. Frown
Unless you have a source for the video of today's press conference (he asked hopefully). Laughing
It's really not important - I just admired her delivery. A bit like Albo's "there goes the future of the Liberal Party" as the Beehive exited parliament yesterday.


March 2. 2012 03:46 PM


Hi Ad

You mentioned in your post at 11.39 am Wayne Swan's article has already attrated a olot of attention, so I have gathered the attention for you:-

Swan Slams Vested interests
Sky News Australia - ‎7 minutes ago‎
Swan slams vested interests Updated: 11:57, Friday March 2, 2012 Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in Australia, warning that they're a threat to Australia's ethos of a fair go. In an article in the latest ...

Mining Tycoons Threaten Australia's Democracy
Bloomberg - ‎19 minutes ago‎
Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said resource tycoons including Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest are threatening the nation's democratic process by using their wealth to shape policy to their interests. In an article in The Monthly ...

Richest 0.1 per cent are trying to 'poison' Australia, warns Federal Treasurer ...
NEWS.com.au - ‎1 hour ago‎
Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer - one of those who are trying to hijack public debate for their own interest, writes Wayne Swan. Picture: News Limited. Source: AFP AUSTRALIA'S economic prosperity is under siege from vested interests trying to ...

Swan says 'infamous billionaires' threatening economy
ABC Online - ‎1 hour ago‎
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at what he describes as the rising power of vested interests, arguing it is threatening Australia's economy and undermining democracy. In an opinion piece published in The Monthly magazine, Mr Swan argues a ...

'Poisonous' tycoons
Brisbane Times - ‎2 hours ago‎
"For every Andrew Forrest who wails about high company taxes and then admits to not paying any, there are hundreds of Australian business people who held on to their employees and working with the government during the GFC" ... Treasurer Wayne Swan
. www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120301-1u61s.html

Wayne Swan accused of 'politics of envy'
The Australian - ‎2 hours ago‎ Ben Packham
WAYNE Swan has been accused of waging class warfare after attacking Australia's richest citizens as a threat to democracy. Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne said the Treasurer was searching for a scapegoat for Labor's own failings.

Swan attack 'class warfare' - Pyne
The Australian - ‎2 hours ago‎
THE Opposition has dismissed Treasurer Wayne Swan's attack on vested interests as a form of class warfare. Mr Swan has taken aim at Australian mining magnates - Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest - as well as radio shock-jocks and
... www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn3dxity-1226286953722

Treasurer's attack class warfare - Pyne
Sky News Australia - ‎3 hours ago‎
Treasurer's attack class warfare - Pyne Updated: 09:21, Friday March 2, 2012 Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has dismissed an attack on some of Australia's super rich by the Treasurer Wayne Swan. Mr Swan has taken aim at Australian mining ..
. www.skynews.com.au/.../article.aspx

Politics live: March 2, 2012
Brisbane Times (blog) - ‎3 hours ago‎
Welcome to our live coverage of politics from the national capital. All times in AEDST. You can also follow me on Twitter @murpharoo A large pile of cardboard boxes in the corridor around the corner from Stephen Smith's ministerial office. #wonderwhy?

Australia's 'fair go' under threat: Swan
Ninemsn - ‎5 hours ago‎
Tax Time 2011Doing your tax doesn't need to be daunting! Check out ninemsn Finance's Tax Time for tips and advice on how to make your 2011/12 tax return work for you. Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in ...

Australia's 'fair go' under threat - Swan
The Australian - ‎10 hours ago‎
TREASURER Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in Australia, warning that they are a threat to Australia's ethos of a "fair go". In an article in the Monthly magazine published today, Mr Swan took aim at Australian mining ...

Wayne Swan attacks 'poison of vested interests'
The Australian - ‎12 hours ago‎   David Uren, Senior economics correspondent
WAYNE Swan has claimed the country's prosperity is under threat from Australia's richest people pursuing their own vested interests in league with the media. Describing the influence of the wealthy few as a "poison" that had "infected our politics and ...

Treasurer tears into rising influence of richest
The Age - ‎12 hours ago‎ Michelle Gratten
TREASURER Wayne Swan has launched a major assault on a minority of Australia's rich who ''are blind to the national interest'' and called for a ''pitched battle'' against them exerting excessive influence. In an extraordinarily strongly worded attack, ..
. www.theage.com.au/.../...chest-20120301-1u5yt.html

Treasurer lashes out at 'poison' of tycoons
Sydney Morning Herald - ‎12 hours ago‎ Lenore Taylor
Australia's economic success is at risk from a tiny minority of wealthy business people who are using their money and influence to ''poison'' the political and economic debate with arguments that benefit their self-interest but hurt the community, ...

Mining magnates all a bit rich for Wayne Swan
Herald Sun - ‎12 hours ago‎
MEGA-rich mining magnates are putting self-interest ahead of the national interest, Treasurer Wayne Swan says. In a blistering attack on some of the Government's biggest critics, Mr Swan said they were the 0.1 per cent who threatened democracy and ..
. www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-fn7x8me2-1226286696084

Swan's billionaire blast
SmartCompany.com.au - ‎43 minutes ago‎
Apparently being named as the World's Greatest Treasurer has had a transformative effect on Wayne Swan, who has gone from mild-mannered bean counter to edgy Labor enforcer with a poison pen in the space of a few months. A week or so ago Wayne's target

Wayne Swan in attack on super-wealthy activists Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest ...
Courier Mail - ‎54 minutes ago‎
TREASURER Wayne Swan has lashed out at the super wealthy such as Gina Rinehart. Source: The Australian TREASURER Wayne Swan says the super-wealthy are trying to assert too much influence over Australian politics. In an essay published in The Monthly .
.. www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-e6freooo-1226286823266

Treasurer Wayne Swan attacks mining magnates for using wealth to buy political ...
Perth Now - ‎1 hour ago‎
Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in Australia, warning that they're a threat to Australia's ethos of a fair go. Andrew "Tiwggy" Forrest at the rally protesting the Federal Government's resource super profits ..
. www.perthnow.com.au/.../story-e6frg2qc-1226287039110

Swan lashes out at vested interests
BigPond News - ‎1 hour ago‎
Treasurer Wayne Swan has warned Australia's ethos of a 'fair go' is under fire from vested interests. Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in Australia, warning that they're a threat to Australia's ethos of a fair ...

Don't whinge about the billionaires, Mr Swan. Do something
The Power Index - ‎1 hour ago‎
It's not often an Australian Treasurer goes into print to accuse one section of our society of damaging Australia and harming the national interest. It is even rarer when that attack names a handful of the super rich, like Wayne Swan has done in this

SWAN DIVE: The World's Greatest Treasurer indulges in some Chavez cha-cha-cha
VEXNEWS - ‎1 hour ago‎
By Andrew Landeryou ⋅ March 2, 2012 Treasurer Wayne Swan is a good bloke. We like him very much and rate him very highly. In Queensland, at least, and we've seen this at first-hand, he has a near cult-following of other good blokes who yell out to him .
.. www.vexnews.com/.../

Swan lashes billionaires' influence
WA Business News - ‎2 hours ago‎
Australia's notion of the “fair go” is under threat from an elite group of wealthy business people – including Andrew Forrest, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer – who are using their riches to undermine good public policy and “threaten our democracy”, ...

Australia's fair go under threat - Swan
BigPond News - ‎3 hours ago‎
Wayne Swan has lashed out at the "ferocious and highly misleading campaign" against the govt's mining tax. Treasurer Wayne Swan, in a magazine article, has lashed out at "vested interests" for a "ferocious and highly misleading campaign" against a ...

WA's magnates threatening 'fair go', says Swan
Perth Now - ‎3 hours ago‎
Treasurer Wayne Swan has attacked some of Austraila's mining magnates for using their wealth to oppose politicies that benefit the nation. Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Daily Telegraph TREASURER Wayne Swan has lashed out at WA wealthy mining magnates, ...

Wayne Swan lashes out at rising power
BigPond News - ‎5 hours ago‎
Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in Australia, warning they're a threat. Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in Australia, warning that they're a threat to Australia's ethos of a ...

Swan takes aim at mega rich
The West Australian - ‎5 hours ago‎
Treasurer Wayne Swan has launched an attack on some of Australia's richest people, accusing them of putting at risk millions of middle-class families for their selfish gains. Warning a "pitched battle" was needed to keep vested interests at bay, ..
. au.news.yahoo.com/.../

Mining magnates all a bit rich for Swan
Adelaide Now - ‎10 hours ago‎
Treasurer Wayne Swan attacked some of Austraila's mining magnates for using their wealth to oppose politicies that benefit the nation. Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Daily Telegraph MEGA-rich mining magnates are putting self-interest ahead of the ..
. www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../story-e6frea8c-1226286769769

Swan declares war on wealthy
Adelaide Now - ‎11 hours ago‎
TREASURER Wayne Swan has lashed out at Australia's wealthiest individuals branding them selfish, and calling for "a pitched battle" against vested interests. In an essay to be published in The Monthly magazine, Mr Swan unloads on mining magnates such ...

Our 'undermining' magnates
The Canberra Times - ‎12 hours ago‎
Treasurer Wayne Swan has taken his strongest swipe to date against the vested interests of some of Australia's richest business people. In a scathing opinion piece appearing today in The Monthly magazine, Mr Swan says rising vested interests of the ...


March 2. 2012 03:59 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
All I can say is 'wow'.  What a fantastic collection!  Swannie has certainly put the cat amongst the wealthy pigeons.

Just now Robert McClelland announced he would be staying on in parliament and hoped later to be able to serve again in the ministry.

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 04:00 PM


As soon as today’s great press conference was over I went to my bookshelf and extracted my copy of ‘My Reading Life’ by Bob Carr. Tucked away inside, as is my wont, were a couple of book reviews. The one of most interest is from Greg Sheridan – they were once journalist colleagues at the Bulletin. (Weekend Australian, June 28-29 2008).

Sheridan states that Bob Carr has ‘iron personal discipline in organising time’; a ‘brilliantly honed instinct for detecting and avoiding pomposity’; and ‘Carr’s book is full of wisdom, the wisdom that a highly literate man has learned from a lifetime of politics and reading..’

My Reading Life. Adventures in the World of Books. Bob Carr. Penguin Viking. 2008.

Senator-elect Carr is also the author of Thoughtlines: Reflections of a Public Man (2002) and What Australia Means to Me (2003).


March 2. 2012 04:05 PM


Normank &Patricia WA,

Ms JULIE BISHOP (Curtin—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:39): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister of her statement that, 'It is my intention as Prime Minister to lead a government that draws on the best efforts of my cabinet and ministerial colleagues.' Given that Bob Carr has confirmed he was approached to be foreign minister, will the Prime Minister inform the House why she believes Bob Carr would make a better foreign minister than any of her colleagues?

Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (14:40): In answer to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's question, let me restate: do not believe everything you read. And let me promise the following: whoever I select will not break into a sweat wiping the floor with her.



March 2. 2012 04:07 PM


Hi Norman K

Here is today's press conference:

Gillard's new-look ministry , You Tube
Former NSW premier Bob Carr will take the coveted job of Australian Foreign Minister in Prime Minister Julia Gillard's new-look frontbench.

March 2, 2012. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard responds to questions on her reshuffle of the ministry



March 2. 2012 04:14 PM


Oops! I inadvertently obliterated this comment following the para of quotes above from Greg Sheridan.

These are qualities that should feature on any job description for the post of Foreign Minister and qualities that no recent occupant has possessed to any sufficient degree. Things have changed with Bob Carr's elevation - he has a most impressive CV.

I hope that News Corp editorial policy will not require Sheridan to revise his positive appraisal.


March 2. 2012 04:16 PM


Ad & Lyn,
The Bob Carr pick gets TWO THUMBS UP from me.

Good to see Gillard put one into the back of the net...looked like she'd lost control of the ball for a moment...

but she spun around, put the legwork in, grabbed the ball of her opponents...outmanoeuvred them on the field...

sent that ball whistling past Abbott's big ear & ever-flapping gob...

and left the press club catching flies.



A real leader stamps her/his authority on the team...and doesn't fear bringing in powerhouses...in order to give the team advantage, more strength in specific positions, credibility, more talent, appeal, voices...

and that winning formula.

Carr makes Julie Bishop look like a Yugo GV to his BMW.

Bring on Steve Bracks...John Brumby...Geoff Gallop...Peter Beattie...  



March 2. 2012 04:32 PM



Your query has certainly caused a flurry of activity, in your words 'a wild goose chase over a little joke from the PM'. I heard the press conference and she did indeed make such a quip but I cannot recall her words neither do they crop up in the two videos which Lyn helpfully tracked down.

The other nice quip came at the beginning where the PM began the questions segment with a comment that Bob Carr had asked her to 'shield' him from the Press Gallery. She then talked about 'organising this dysfunctional family of journalists'.


March 2. 2012 04:39 PM


Great to see Julia Gillard go medieval on the mainstream media.

Of course, they just hate being wrong-footed by her, so we can expect the vitriol to flow over Bob Carr joining the Senate and taking over as Minister for Foreign Affairs.


March 2. 2012 05:05 PM


Hi Ad

Here is some more information, I see 2GB is being pretty nasty with Tony Abbott on interview, so I guess they all will be awful tomorrow:

Gillard blows a Carrs-berry at her critics, Malcolm Farr, The Punch
It was a massive raspberry to those critics and one for which she can’t be criticised. It’s not as if Mr Carr won’t do a good job.

“Cop that,” she effectively told grumblers.

Some other information I collected:

Tom Dusevic & Matthew Franlin's articles were written last night:

MarkRDuckettMark Duckett
LittleLoudGuy: Julie Bishop has just added an extra big dollop of stupid to the Slopposition. Lap-dog Grattan the fool's fool. #auspol

boeufblogginonJoan Evatt
Benson in shower removing egg "How suicidal ALP spurned a saviour | Daily Telegraph Simon Benson Blog: http://bit.ly/y7lWhu via

zacksterZac Spitzer
If you want to know what's going on, listen to the PM, not the gallery eh?

FunHoleNo_5Clinton McRobert
There'll b no recriminations of course on the shockingly shoddy, pitiful reportage of lies and piss peddling at australian and SkyNewsAust

GarthGodsmanGarth Godsman
So the report that Gillard said was 'completely untrue' was basically completely correct than? auspol

GrogsGamutGreg Jericho
Good to see the PM deciding to elevate a blogger to the Cabinet

I am sure Abbott will be very positive RT 2GB873: Tony Abbott shares his thoughts on Bob Carr foreign minister: http://tinyurl.com/88jc8et

March 02, 2012 12:00AM
Julia Gillard admits  talks to lure Bob Carr , Matthew Franklin, The Australian

The Australian's report, she declared it was "completely untrue" - despite the fact that Mr Carr had confirmed to The Australian in Sydney earlier that day that an offer of the foreign ministry had been made and withdrawn.www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226286721955

Julie Bishop checkmates Julia Gillard in credibility gap ,
Tom Dusevic, National chief reporter From: The Australian March 02, 2012 12:00AM

Julie Bishop successfully showed yesterday she had mastered her seashells and seashore by reprising a cutting line by Laurie Oakes: the Prime Minister was "silly and slippery and slimy and shifty".



March 2. 2012 05:18 PM


A comment following Michelle Grating's churlish article sums up exactly my thinking on this ministerial recruitment process.

    'oh my god i know. a small miracle reading even one
     positive thing about Gillard in the age.

    3 days to recruit people for roles. in every day life it
    takes weeks for a corporate recruitment process and
    sometimes months in the gov public service.

    i think she did a fantastic job making those decisions in
    the short amount of time she had.

Commenter: AgeEnough

Carr a good addition, but what a saga. Michelle Grattan.
March 2, 2012 - 2:17PM

Grating doesn't seem to recognise that the saga was the result of her (& fellow gallery hacks)beating up a non-story.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...t-a-saga-20120302-1u7gq.html


March 2. 2012 06:40 PM


Hi Jason

I know you will join me in sympathy for MTR, they were disconnected at 5pm today in the middle of broadcasting.  I listened to a piece of the broadcast they were just going to start on Julia Gillard telling lies.

Here are some tweets and information:

AhronYoungAhron Young
Listen to MTR's last, bizarre moments on air dannews.co.nz/.../

AhronYoungAhron Young
I'm told the 2GB newsreader who read the last moments on air for MTR is really upset. The panel operator she was talking to was crying

Andrew Bolt consoles the staff of #MTR; everything will be ok guys, I'll survive, my BFF owns Australia you know
tonytardioTony Tardio
Radio MTR has ended .. an administrator moved in at 5 oclock this afternoon .. i wonder what will happen to the 1377 frequency
Apology to MTR, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison

It’s not often that we get things wrong here at Pure Poison, but today we have an apology to make, to Melbourne far-right talk radio station, MTR.
Will its proudly capitalist stars continue to work for free? Will the brutal reality of the free market – if you can’t sell your product, you’ll go out of business – prevail? Would the collapse of MTR be the noblest proof of its commitment to the philosophy on which it was founded?

Again, apologies to MTR for predicting their collapse in November, a few months early


Radio silence looms for MTR Ben Butler

The station, helmed by breakfast announcer Steve Price, had hoped to take advertising dollars from market leader 3AW, owned by Fairfax Media.

Macquarie's action follows a very poor showing in the ratings last week, when MTR's share of the Melbourne market fell to 1.4 per cent, equating to about 8000 listeners. Weak reception across the metropolitan region also hurt the station.

Macquarie issues default notice to MTR

UPDATE, 3:15PM | The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has this afternoon agreed to a request from PSN to suspend trading of its shares until the commencement of normal trading on Monday 5 March, pending an announcement being released to the market.


Cheers SmileSmile


March 2. 2012 07:42 PM


Hi Lyn,
      I'm to grief stricken to continue! but my sadness such as it is will recover safe in the knowledge, that for all the ranting they done about "Polls" and how much they hated the "PM" and this government, yet their own "poll" numbers saw them sacked!  


March 2. 2012 07:57 PM


Fewer opinion polls, longer parliamentary terms
by Jim Middleton    ABC

Since the mid-1990s, at least, neither Labor nor the Coalition has tolerated a leader who loses popularity.

This is the iron law of modern Australian politics. But is it the consequence of the blizzard of opinion polls which have settled on the front pages of the nation's broadsheets with ever increasing frequency or of a structural fact embedded in the nation's democracy.



March 2. 2012 08:20 PM

Ad astra reply

Thanks for the ABC link.  Jim Middleton highlights the inappropriate emphasis given to opinion polls, and sees longer terms as a way to diminish their power.  His solution though will not come about.

It was amusing to watch tonight some of the commentators who do not like Julia Gillard choking on the story that she had got her way, seemingly against some resistance, in having Bob Carr as her FM.  Heather Ewart was one of them, who having conceded that Julia Gillard had gazumped almost everyone, especially the press gallery, concluded by lamenting what a pity it was that PM Gillard 'didn’t get it right first time'!  

The Canberra press gallery is spitting chips that it was left out of the loop until she announced her ministry.  There is nothing like a press gallery spurned.  They will try to wreak vengeance on this upstart who ignores what they write and declines to follow their dictates.

Heather reminded me of a sports commentator who has never had to face a fast rising ball, reprimanding our PM for not having dispatched the first ball into the crowd.

I’m off to watch TV and the cricket.  Goodnight.

Ad astra reply

March 2. 2012 08:33 PM


There's never a dull moment. Once again events have overtaken the conversation and shown us that there are many story tellers who don't know the real story at all.

Interesting how the PM seems to pull a cat out of the bag when least expected. My little gravatar is awaiting his turn and when it happens it will be an eye popper Tong

Today's events have proven that more than one necromancer* in need of some retraining.

* I chose the word necromancer as they are persons who supposedly communicate with the dead to forecast the future. As many of the political prognosticators have pronounced Ms Gillard 'as good as dead' and they are talking with her I think it is apt.


March 2. 2012 09:38 PM


Old saw: All politics is local

So we move to Mexico oops Victoria for this little gem:

Nurses may have struck a knockout blow with this one.


March 2. 2012 10:00 PM


apologies for dud link above try: http://goo.gl/HgaAI


March 2. 2012 10:49 PM


AA @1.42pm, I think it would be a jolly jape if all the men in the Parliamentary Labor Party showed up for QT with blank face masks, so the PM could ask if these are the faceless men the Liars are referring to.

Not possible, I know, but it's great to fantasise.

Well what a tragedy, MTR closes. I can hardly control my grief. Bwwaahahahaha!


March 3. 2012 07:34 AM


Oh congratulation Ad, you've discovered the outlier. Perhaps your search of wikipedia could have included that?

Tis not uncommon when polls are released to read in the comments section a comment along the lines of "I can't believe that result, nobody I know would be voting for X" I vividly recall during 2007 rusted on Tories telling me that the polls were wrong and that Howard would easily win the election.

You seem to have taken the same sentiment - I don't like the current polls so they must be wrong - and wrapped it in a much more verbose presentation.

My first degree included some comprehensive subjects on the collection, analysis and interpretation of statistics. Your lesson was neither new nor necessary thank you.

Polls have limitations, but not to the extent that they are the "tarot card"

Again in 2010 when polling was the reason for the betrayal of Rudd there was not the slightest indication from you that you had any reservations about a poll which the general public has never seen.

At least with say Newspoll I can go to their web-site and get some (limited) information on the size of the poll and the sampling methodolgy.

Odd that you took a secret internal poll as gospel when it suited but the publicly available polls are "tarot cards"

Lastly Jason
Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (14:40): In answer to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's question, let me restate: do not believe everything you read

Indeed or believe a single word as spoken by Ms Gillard. However as so few people would believe a word she speaks that's somewhat of a moot point.


March 3. 2012 07:58 AM


Good morning all,

Isn't it simply delightful to watch the press gallery busy scraping the thick layer of egg off their faces?  I've been looking back to the moment when Simon Crean took the first step to smoke out Rudd.  This was followed by Rudd resigning his FA portfolio from the USA, both actions stirring up a media frenzy of piranha proportions.  We saw a week of turmoil in the media and out in the populace yet the PM and her team remained panic free and I must admit I was somewhat stymied to observe, they all appeared to be hiding a sense of excitement and nervous impatience as a confident army does before a battle.

After the ballot and a decisive win, the PM took on her new "confident and authorative" face.  QT was the usual uproar as the noalition sought to bag the government and its leader at every turn whilst those on the Govt's benches used their dorothy dixers to show their policy achievements and put out what is on the policy agenda this year.  Meanwhile the press gallery and the noalition were consumed in dubiously sourced stories regarding the reshuffle.    At the heart of these stories was the 'shock' resignation of Mark Arbib leaving a Senate vacancy and the 'leaked' piece of information that Bob Carr had been approached and offered the Senate spot as well as the FA portfolio.  (Talk about a juicy fat worm on the fishing line).

Again, I watched the body language and faces on the government's front bench and could detect no sign of worry or drooped shoulders as the noalition attacks came thick and fast and the press gallery wrote miles of columns telling their readers that the PM had stuffed up again and her newfound authority was lost.

So sure were they all that PM had stuffed up that Bob Carr was lauded by all (even by the noalition) and sorrow expressed that he would have made a wonderful FM but the PM had failed to get the backing of her colleagues because she is weak and has no authority.  Besides, the PM lies.  She lied that she'd talked to Bob Carr and offered him FA.

So, it finally came the time when the PM would announce her reshuffle decision at a presser.  The gallery were huddled in wait with their cameras trained on the corridor to film the PM as she made her way to the podium.  She appeared and a couple of seconds behind her appeared the figure of Bob Carr and the gasp of the gallery was audible. They can hardly take back all the praise they've heaping on Carr's head and their stories of the PM's big stuff up came to nothing - so they're left with scraping egg off their faces and trying to salvage a crumb or two of their journalistic integrity out of the whole mess they made.

Game, set and match, Prime Minister.  


March 3. 2012 08:18 AM


Good Morning Janice

I came rushing out to my computer, and said to myself I hope Janice is here, there you were.

Thankyou Janice your comments are , delightful, well really delicious.

trying to salvage a crumb or two of their journalistic integrity out of the whole mess they made.

I am just trying to collect some of the Political Journalists this morning, to see what they say in  their wriggle out of this articles.  Just their Topic headings would tell us all we need to know.



March 3. 2012 08:37 AM

Ad astra reply

Great comment.  It's delectable to see the Canberra press gallery caught flat footed once more.  They we caught with the Rudd removal, and swore never to be caught again!  Yet....

I'm waiting keenly for Lyn's collection of journalists' how-do-I-explain-getting-caught-out-again'.

Ad astra reply

March 3. 2012 09:10 AM


Ad astra and Lyn,

I am revelling in watching the writhing and squirming that is going on in msn.  They were caught in the tangled web of lies and deceit and misinformation they've been indulging in since Labor came to power in 2007.  I notice the LOTO has brought in "NSW disease" as a defence but after he also went with his media mates to laud Carr and express his sorrow that the PM had 'botched' the appointment, he is left swinging in the breeeze as well.

IMO this was a carefully crafted tactical move by Labor from the smoking out of Rudd through to the reshuffle announcement.  It required extreme discipline in keeping to the script.  I can only applaud the architects of the plan.


March 3. 2012 09:19 AM


I wish I had the skill to write this fantastic story of political intrigue and bastardry.  It is a best seller in waiting for a skilful author.


March 3. 2012 09:32 AM


Good Morning Ad and Janice

Here is most of the  Journalists, I can't get past the paywall on The Australian though, so I guess the heading and the excerpts will tell how they are washing the egg off their faces.

Here is the Strappers:

Julia Gillard finds a spine, turns defeat into a breathtaking win
Laurie Oakes
Herald Sun - ‎
THAT'S one for the books. Julia Gillard unbotches something. Turns failure into success instead of the other way around. Bob Carr's appearance at her side as the new Foreign Affairs Minister - after the apparent collapse of the deal earlier in the week ...

Gillard's clean sweep puts Carr in Canberra
Lenore Taylor
Sydney Morning Herald

Not just messed it up, but mishandled it in a way that turbocharged Tony Abbott's two most potent lines of attack - that she is short on leadership authority and on honesty

Julia Gillard's great escape
Paul Kelly
The Australian

IN a surprise - almost comic - moment, Julia Gillard has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, securing Bob Carr as foreign minister after her leadership victory over Kevin Rudd. It has been a week of high farce in Labor politics

Gillard's flip-flop on Bob Carr merely reinforces doubts
The Australian

I AM sure that Labor spin doctors will be out in force in the next few days declaring the Prime Minister to be a political genius in securing the services of Bob Carr. But I suggest that this action by the PM merely reinforces voters' perception of her ...

Bob Carr right choice for foreign job
Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor
The Australian -

ALMOST all his adult life, Bob Carr has wanted to be foreign minister. After a detour of three or four decades, including 10 years as premier of NSW, as a young 64-year-old, Carr gets the chance to fulfil his destiny. Carr is an Australian original, ...

Surprise for all as Carr makes a smooth entrance
Brendan Nicholson
The Australian -

JOURNALISTS waiting for the reshuffle media conference in parliament's Blue Room expected Julia Gillard to arrive at the head of the usual line of elated, relieved, and disappointed ministers. But, after a frenzy of camera flashes in the corridor ...

Masterstroke or muddle: leader assertive at last
Dennis Shanahan
The Australian

JULIA Gillard arrived at the right decision to appoint Bob Carr as foreign minister after going about it the wrong way for the wrong reasons.
How it will all turn out is still unclear but the Prime Minister has undoubtedly regained lost ground and authority in the past 48 hours.

A Bob each way then Julia Gillard gets her man
Sid Maher
The Australian

JULIA Gillard has gambled her leadership on the appointment of former NSW premier Bob Carr as foreign minister, staring down the ambitions of Defence Minister Stephen Smith. And the Prime Minister has moved to assert her authority, dumping key Kevin ...

Choosing Bob Carr will build momentum for Julia Gillard
Peter van Onselen
The Australian

ONCE you get past the fact that our Prime Minister deliberately misled earlier this week with her "completely untrue" answer to questions about a report in this paper speculating on Bob Carr's appointment as foreign minister, Julia Gillard's ...

The hard Right man cometh
Imre Salusinszky
The Australian

WHEN The Weekend Australian somewhat presciently asked Bob Carr three weeks ago if a tilt at federal politics, and possibly the Labor leadership, was still a possibility, his response was typical: "If nominated, I will not serve; if elected, ...

Round two to faceless foes
Peter Hartcher
Sydney Morning Herald

Howes talked to many other Labor MPs and senators as they prepared to cast their votes in the leadership ballot, urging them to back Julia Gillard against Rudd. To some who planned to vote for Rudd, Howes wanted them to understand that they were ...

Critic Carr gets his chance at world diplomacy
Nicola Berkovic
The Australian

AS a scholar of US history with a clear appreciation for China's rising strategic importance, Bob Carr advocates treading a careful path between Australia's security ties with the US and trade relationship with China. Mr Carr may only have been ...

We don't need luck to prosper: Julia Gillard
James Massola
The Australian

JULIA Gillard says Australia is making its own luck and the nation shouldn't look nostalgically backwards as it strives to become a truly great country in the 21st century. Launching The Australian Moment, by The Australian's George Megalogenis, ...

False political narratives pervade our democracy
The Australian

AN extraordinarily complicated political week ended well for Julia Gillard with the appointment of former NSW premier Bob Carr to the Foreign Affairs portfolio, strengthening her ministerial team. But the Prime Minister is unlikely to get all the ...

THE Poseur Prince is back, alive and revived, to dodge and weave, slice and ...
Tom Dusevic, National Chief Reporter
The Australian
- ‎
THE Poseur Prince is back, alive and revived, to dodge and weave, slice and dice, razzle and dazzle for Australia. Robert John Carr's spectacular arrival in Canberra and the dumping of Robert Bruce McClelland tell us much about the dire state of ...

Bob Carr born again in PM's cabinet coup
Phillip Coorey
Sydney Morning Herald

Julia Gillard started the week with her leadership threatened but has ended it reasserting her authority by appointing Bob Carr as Foreign Minister. BOB CARR is headed to Canberra as the next minister for foreign affairs after Julia Gillard reasserted

How the PM engineered an impressive turnaround
Phillip Coorey
The Age
The next foreign minister ... Julia Gillard announces Bob Carr's appointment to the portfolio. Photo: Andrew Meares THE prospect of Bob Carr moving to Canberra to take up the post of minister for foreign affairs was as good as dead on Tuesday morning ...

Bob Carr accepts Julia Gillard's bungled invitation to become Foreign Minister
Simon Benson
The Telegraph

But the apparent victory for Ms Gillard came with a narrowly avoided crisis for the government when it was revealed that dumped Minister Robert McClelland had been considering resigning from parliament

Bold switch catches Julia Gillard's party by surprise
Phillip Hudson
Herald Sun
Video Image Video Carr joins cabinet Former NSW premier Bob Carr will join the Senate and become foreign affairs minister. Gillard pulls together team for 2013 It's taken three goes, but the PM looks like she's got a ministry she can take to the next ...

Coup a boost, but not magic
Michelle Grattan
Sydney Morning Herald
- ‎
IT HAS been an amazing coup, after a horrendous stuff-up. Julia Gillard was lucky that Bob Carr, hung out to dry on Tuesday - when the message was that, despite her enthusiasm, the PM didn't feel able to deliver him the foreign ministry - was still ...

The Carr coup
Michael Gordon
Sydney Morning Herald

Former NSW premier Bob Carr was in 'two minds' about accepting the offer. Photo: Andrew Meares SOON after Julia Gillard's decisive victory over Kevin Rudd on Monday, Bob Carr wrote a pithy analysis on his Thoughtlines with Bob Carr blog on what should

Bob Carr accepts Julia Gillard's bungled invitation to become Foreign Minister
Simon Benson
The Daily Telegraph

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announces the shock appointment of Bob Carr as Minister for Foreign Affairs / Pic: Kym Smith Source: The Daily Telegraph BOB Carr has become the first Foreign Minister to be recruited outside the parliament in a surprise US ...

PM delivers Carr promise in extra drive
Dennis Atkins

Courier Mail
should have sent a shudder through Tony Abbott's office. Using the practised voice of reasonableness Carr possesses, he listed the former foreign affairs ministers and prime ministers he would consult on the country's global agenda - including Alexander Downer and John Howard.
This bipartisanship as national interest is poison to Abbott's political game plan. The reason this announcement felt like a seismic shift is because it could well be one.

Talk about a sneaky late plot change
Tony Wright
WA Today
THE real story of this week, contrary to what you may have read, heard or seen around Australia, was the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars.


March 3. 2012 09:55 AM


Don't you just love the words they use i.e. bungled, botched, sneaky plot, Carr coup ?  They're gutted and hurting and it serves them right.  Of course, according to Shanahan, the PM arrived at the right decision by the wrong route and Phil Coorey swallowed the hook from his "source", found it'd been baited with poison and is looking for a way out by analysing how the PM made an "impressive" turnaround.

Naturally, Toadface Oakes is licking his wounds and the guru of journalism Paul Kelly looks down from his pedestal and reflects on surprise and comical moments when Gillard snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and waffles on about the big farce in Labor Politics.

Suck it up msn, you were beaten at your game and now you are scrabbling around in your own mess looking for shards of credibility.


March 3. 2012 10:08 AM


Janice what a brilliant summary, clever you.

Waiting now for what Ad Astra says, about these Journalists.

bungled, botched, sneaky plot, Carr coup ?  They're gutted and hurting and it serves them right.



March 3. 2012 10:12 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
What a fantastic collection!  It will take me all morning to work through them, and I've shopping to do as well.  So don't expect anything from me until this afternoon.  Thank you so much for getting these articles together so quickly.

Ad astra reply

March 3. 2012 10:43 AM


Hi Ad

That's Ok you have a nice time shopping, good fun if you are going to buy a present.


March 3. 2012 11:08 AM

Patricia WA

Janice says

[quote]IMO this was a carefully crafted tactical move by Labor from the smoking out of Rudd through to the reshuffle announcement.  It required extreme discipline in keeping to the script.  I can only applaud the architects of the plan.[/quote

Exactly.    Well put.

It's just as well the Canberra Press Gallery didn't get it though.  They provided the PM with the smoke screen she needed and also helped the Opposition make fools of themselves.

Patricia WA

March 3. 2012 11:27 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

The Media Review is shaping up to be the next outrage by the MSM, The Australian doesn't sound too happy to me:-

Get_ShortenedGet Shortened
The Weekend Fin Review makes me want to vomit http://pic.twitter.com/H62qzhcJ

Fin Review's Pamela Williams continues the relentless attack by the media on Julia Gillard. These phony female jurnos spit a vicious venem

niltiacCaitlin Fitzsimmons
Reading 'Yes, Minister!' on Bob Carr's career in The Global Mail www.theglobalmail.org/feature/yes-minister/101/ via TheGlobalMail www.theglobalmail.org/feature/yes-minister/101/


CastanCentreCastan Centre
The Finkelstein media review has been released: http://bit.ly/Arr9eq. Here's a report from the Oz: [gated] http://bit.ly/wWR1wc

[i]Australian Media Review Recommends New Council to Set Journalist Standards[/i]
The spectre of a government-funded overseer of a free press in an open and forward-looking democracy like ours cannot be justified,” News Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Kim Williams said in a statement issued after the report was released. News Ltd. is the Australian unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWSA)

Review calls for media watchdog, ABC, Lateline
An independent inquiry into Australia's media has recommended a new national watchdog to oversee journalism standards.

Finkelstein recommendation is a show-stopper
Sydney Morning Herald
- ‎
THE Finkelstein report into Australia's media industry has stirred howls of protest about over-regulation of the media with its push for a statutory body to oversee standards for all news media. It's a swww.smh.com.au/.../...120302-1u8ht.htmlhow-stopper recommendation, one that will provoke ...

Media, government clash looms on call for regulation
Sydney Morning Herald
- ‎
THE government seems set on a collision course with the media if it accepts proposals for a new regulatory body to oversee all news and current affairs media in Australia. Newspaper publishers have reacted with alarm at the prospect of a ...

Media fears for freedom as watchdog unleashed
The Australian

PRINT and online news will come under direct federal government oversight for the first time under proposals issued yesterday to create a statutory regulator with the power to prosecute media companies in the courts. The historic change to media law ...

Watchdog a threat to free press, claim news chiefs
The Australian -

A GOVERNMENT-FUNDED media authority had no place in a democracy, News Limited chief executive Kim Williams said yesterday. Mr Williams said the report of the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation was a substantial piece of work that ...

Watchdog a threat to free press, claim news chiefs
The Australian -

THE Finkelstein report into the media and media regulation does not take long to set out its stall. On page 7, it tells us, "a free press plays an essential role in a democratic society, and no regulation should endanger that role".
A GOVERNMENT-FUNDED media authority had no place in a democracy, News Limited chief executive Kim Williams said yesterday

Media fears for freedom as watchdog unleashed
The Australian

Media companies also warned that government funding for the new regulator would undercut the workings of a healthy democracy, with APN News & Media bluntly opposing any increase in regulation. But the Finkelstein review found flaws in the way ...
The council would scrutinise online news sites that get more than 15,000 hits a year, clearing the way for government-funded action against amateur website operators who comment on news and current affairs. Greg Jericho, a prominent Canberra blogger on national politics, said: "The level of 15,000 hits a year, or about 40 hits a day, is seriously dopey

News Limited trashes statutory regulation
The Australian -

“Certainly, though, in the future it (the News Media Council) will be open to review and if the Council is functioning well, it will be supported by future parliaments.” Senator Brown said he was happy the new regulator would seek to resolve complaints ...


March 3. 2012 12:14 PM


Lyn, Jane, Janice, Patricia and everyone else.

Thank you all for your great input on what has happened in the last 24 hours.  Lyn, you have worked above and beyond your wonderful duty with all the links you have supplied on request to everyone.


I always enjoy what you write and learn so much.

The media do hate being shown up for the idiots they are don't they.  The ABC is running with "the opposition says the Prime Minister has humiliated the Labor party....."  oh s**t I couldn't listen to anymore.

I know that Julia will always be my s/hero, she is just brilliant and I hope it is seeping through to the general public in some way.


March 3. 2012 12:15 PM


Lyn, the "dead tree" edition of the Curious Snail also has a "we can manage ourselves" article.  Don't know if it's online - but you could probably guess the concept and text.

It's been a good week for the progressives in Australia.  First the "no change" option in the leadership contest we really didn't have to have, the hopeful demise of MTR in Melbourne (when do the receivers move into 2GB?) and then the Government driving a Carr (sorry!!!! Laughing) through the conservatives and media with the announcement of the new foreign minister and the recommendation of the media enquiry - where every bit of "we don't interest" can be construed as "self interest" provided the Government can finally work out how to sell something.

Lets face it, they have done well in selling Rudd's demise and Bob Carr's elevation as the criticism seems pretty lack lustre - can they continue to sell well?


March 3. 2012 12:38 PM


I like this...and in the rational light of a new day...agree wholeheartedly...well put:

What the interpreters of polls seldom tell us is that polls are not predictive, but the other day on ABC TV, Peter Lewis from Essential Poll said just that, followed quickly by a quip ‘that he would probably be thrown out of the pollsters league for saying that’.

Yet every pollster and psephologist knows that to be so. But of course polling organizations don’t want this inconvenient truth exposed as their business and the revenue it generates depends of the results of their polling being accepted as valid, reliable, and able to predict. I have been asking how eighteen months out from the next scheduled election contemporary polls could possibly predict what will happen then. We hear the ridiculous statement, mainly on news bulletins, ‘if an election was held today, the Government would be ‘annihilated’, ‘reduced to a rump’, ‘be out of power for a decade’, or ‘lose X number of seats’; take your pick.

They say that, despite the fact that an election is not being held today, and probably not for eighteen months, and knowing full well that all polls narrow before an election and that in recent times most election results have been close, with the vote often within the 51/49 percent range. In other words, polling organizations, and all who feed off them, are conning us deliberately. Why is this so?

It’s because polling organizations are lucrative, self-perpetuating businesses that have found they can rely on the public giving them credence, and because their owners, often media outlets, depend on them for easy, cheap copy that can be sensationalized into catchy headlines and startling stories. Imagine how bereft Dennis Shanahan would be without polls. What would he write about? Polls are mentioned in almost everything he pens.

So let’s not imagine that we will ever be told the truth about polls; they are too lucrative and too central to political reporting to admit that they are in reality not much better than Tarot Cards, used from the late 18th century until the present time by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination.

Who then are we to believe? I submit that we can believe only the best of our analysts, the brilliant statistician Possum Comitatus, and Andrew Catsaras, who will now have a regular slot on the ABC’s Insiders. They focus on trends, not individual polls. Possum’s Pollytrend is statistically sound and Andrew’s analysis will also give us trends, using a different statistical method.




March 3. 2012 12:54 PM


Hi 2353

Thanks for telling me about the other article "we can manage ourselves"

Maybe they didn't put the article on line

I'll be blowed!if I can find it.



March 3. 2012 12:57 PM


I hate to swim against the tide here but I'm afraid subscribing to a 'cunning plan' scenario goes against the available evidence.
The best summary that I have read comes from Phil Coorey who first broke the story on Tuesday.
Have a read of his article so that I don't have to quote large chunks of it here:

How the PM engineered an impressive turnaround
by Phil Coorey   Brisbane Times

I am inclined to believe much of what he has placed on his timeline.
Informal discussions were had with Carr.
Smith, who had been promised a return to the portfolio raised objections.
Carr was put on ice while the PM sorted out internal matters.
Smith was put in his place, something that he has accepted with good grace (as he should).
Carr was formally offered the gig - he accepted.

The bad news:
Smith or someone on his behalf leaked against the government.
Someone in Swan's office, described by Coorey as "a source familiar with the negotiations" leaked quotes attributed to Swan in conversation with Carr.

The good news:
Gillard kept her cool, plugged the leaks - probably by making her circle of confidantes smaller - and kept Carr onside while dealing with domestic issues.
Through a remarkable bit of plumbing adroitness (especially for this government) Gillard prevented the formal offer to Carr from leaking and caught every man and his dog barking up the wrong tree.

If into this scenario you wish to insert the possibility that some of the actions taken early in the week were designed to flush out rats backgrounding the press, you may have a point but there is no evidence to date to substantiate it. Gossip of staffers or public servants 'moving on' over the coming weeks would be interesting if we could tap into it.

The fact that Smith was offered FA on the demise of Rudd means that Arbib's resignation was not part of a cunning plan but Gillard to her considerable credit made the most of the opportunity it presented.

That's not to say that the majority of the press and all of the Coalition did not cover themselves in inglorious omelette by pushing the story to its absolute limits and beyond.
They did.

It is also not to say that the PM didn't pull off one of the best political magic tricks of this decade to date.
She did.

I still find it deeply concerning that so many Labor figures haven't learned anything from Monday's events and continue to leak to journalists. They must now stop promoting their own interests and get together to rebuild the standing of the government in the electorate's eyes.


March 3. 2012 01:13 PM


Hi Lyn,

Thankyou for the excellent links today, what amuses me the most and really shows Abbott's true colours is this, yesterday morning Abbott was saying Bob Carr is decent and capable, now it is, he will bring the NSW disease to Federal Labor.

Clutching straws again I see.


March 3. 2012 01:14 PM


I so-o-o-o-o share your joy, and I love what you've written
It's Oh-So-Delicious to have such great gloats!
The best case I know of the foul biters bitten:
As the Grattans and Shanahans cut their own throats!

But in what you say, one correction I beg,
For those in the clique on the MSM bus:
Vomit into the wind - You will not get back egg -
But your own spleen and bile and venom and pus!

Now if this were Football, or Eightball, or Chess,
And you'd bet on the outcome your family jewels,
Who would you have bet on? As if I can't guess! -
Out of *J*U*L*I*A*s Team, or Abbort's ship of fools!

I can hardly contain my GLEEEEE!

I don't kid myself that a male PM could have pulled off *J*U*L*I*A*s series of brilliant coups


March 3. 2012 01:48 PM


How the PM engineered an impressive turnaround
Phillip Coorey

I would write:

How the PM got her mojo back.

Now that former PM Kevin Rudd's leadership ambitions are officially dead & buried...tho not a diplomatic role in the future methinks...

and Treasurer Wayne Swan has written a handy article in The Monthly justifiably pointing out the economically irresponsible approach of the greedmeisters such as Gina (media mogul wannabe) Rinehart, Clive (bumbling bully) Palmer, Andrew (pity me I'm newly rich) Forrest...and their puppet Tony (lyin' turd) Abbott...

and the PM has had a week beginning & ending w/ decisive victories...

I find it time to reflect on the effectiveness of Wayne Swan's role in supporting PM Gillard's win over Rudd...

and Julia Gillard's negotiating skills.

Regardless of the fact that Rudd supporters such as myself found Wayne Swan's criticisms of the former PM to be rather ruthless & over-the-top, there is no denying they were an effective broadside...

well timed...taking crucial momentum out of the Rudd campaign...

in fact, the Rudd ship started taking on water badly...the broadsides by Crean, Roxon, Burke & Conroy added to the damage...the assessment by John Mendoza & Hawke...and attacks on Bruce Hawker...ensured the Rudd ship was already listing frightfully to starboard before the leadership ballot.

Even tho this aggressive, win at all costs, approach may have annoyed me during the heat of battle...

upon reflection I can see the overall effectiveness of this political strategy...let's face it...sometimes in one's political life the mongrel has to emerge...it's about survival...and loyally supporting the leader you really believe can get the job done using the right policies...

and therefore begrudgingly I will have to admit that QLDer Wayne Swan has once again earnt my respect...

his useful article sealing the deal.

The same can be said for Crean, Roxon, Burke & Conroy...all effective ministers...past & present.

To beat the nutty, deceitful, BSing, ever-crusading, opportunistic weathervane Tony Abbott & his motley crew the ALP will need to bring forth the mongrel now & then...

in combination w/ the compassionate & future proofing aspects of their policies...and pragmatic approach to both employees & employers...savers & loan holders...

I see a good story evolving into a great story...

now Prime Minister Julia Gillard has both the confidence and room to MOVE...

supported by a strong, loyal team...

including the wise & learned Bob Carr.

It was the cathartic event that had to happen...that leadership ballot.

The great negotiator Gillard is now Captain, well & truly...

she who negotiated herself into minority government...

negotiated bravely a passing of a carbon price & mining tax during unprecedented attacks by opposition figures...

negotiated herself into a stronger leadership position by way of convincing the vast majority of the caucus to support her in the ballot...

and has now ensured a powerhouse such as former NSW Premier Bob Carr becomes her FM.

It's time for the ALP to unfurl the flag of the good ship GILLARD...run up that flag and fly it proudly...

set sail...


more determined than ever.



March 3. 2012 01:53 PM


NormanK@March 3. 2012 12:57 PM

Agree totally. Bernard Lagan at Global Mail and Michael Gordon in the SMH are also worth a read.



Thanks you for your wonderful links including the two that I mention above.

Michele Grattan has posted another article in which she has taken a more conciliatory line about the events of last week. Maybe Michelle is finally going to drop the knee-jerk vitriol that has characterised her pieces since Gillard became leader. Here's hoping as she once was a good journalist.  

PM's trump card defies critics as Carr revs up: Michelle Grattan

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...-revs-up-20120302-1u8l7.html


March 3. 2012 01:55 PM

Patricia WA

Thanks for all those links, Lyn!  Some of the Oz ones did link in directly, others didn't and needed the two step strategy.  I couldn't tell you what the difference was!  By the way the Oakes link didn't work for me at all.  Was it the same for others?

Well, this morning I made time to read through the rest.  I normally wouldn't have bothered to give some of them more than a glance, but I wanted to see how they ate their words.  All of them had to concede that getting Carr on board was an achievement, even a master stroke, and demonstrated the PM's leadership strength.   But they almost choked on having to do so and managed to find all sorts of ways season it and make it more palatable, to themselves at any rate, by describing the 'Carr coup'  as a <i>'bungled, botched, sneaky plot.'</i>   Thanks, Janice!

The Australian went overboard.  In the past when reporting good news for this government and our Prime Minister they would always try to damn her with faint praise.  This Weekend Australian did its best to drown her!  Julia Gillard's achievement was conceded in dozens of column inches of qualified praise.  Was there one staff or contracted News Ltd journo whose byline didn't appear in this edition to pour cold water on that brilliant ranga head?

Methinks News Ltd doth protest too much.

Patricia WA

March 3. 2012 02:07 PM

Patricia WA

PS   I've noticed that 'ranga' these days is no longer a slight pejorative.   Am I right?  Does that change have anything to do with our PM being a red head?

PS Janice, forgive me for botching my quotes and italics on your lines.   I forget where I am sometimes and unthinkingly revert to the Cafe Whispers codes rather than the easy highlighter here.

Patricia WA

March 3. 2012 02:40 PM


Hi Augustus

Thankyou for your appreciation, you guys are wonderful to work for.

Your observation is all over twitter, what annoys me is the downright hypocrisy they don't care, it's like Pyne on Lateline last night unbelievable.

Augustus said:-
yesterday morning Abbott was saying Bob Carr is decent and capable, now it is, he will bring the NSW disease to Federal Labor.

Correct link for Laurie Oakes, sorry about that looks like with my row of links, I have my excerpt correct but put the wrong link on the wrong story they sometimes get tangled up and intricate.

  Thankyou for telling me Patricia.

Julia Gillard finds a spine, turns defeat into a breathtaking win , Laurie Oakes
The ridicule the Coalition hurled at her in Parliament, devastatingly effective at the time, carries no weight now. She is in charge. And Carr's sparkling performance at their joint news conference yesterday left little doubt that he will be an asset

Thankyou Casablanca, Patricia, Gravel and Ad Astra for your appreciation as I said I am working for the TPS Good Guys.

Michelle is getting consumed with her dislike for Julia.
Casablanca said:
Michele Grattan has posted another article


I missed albericie taking Christopher Pyne to town on #Lateline last night. She reminds me of a young Kerry O'Brien... http://is.gd/kbQy8Z

sprocket___sp rocket
Watching Pyne being interviewed on #lateline - "One foul swoop" FFS about 12 min in www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/901526iview/#/view/9


Everybody must look at this picture of Dennis Shanahan confirming what janice said, this is fair dinkum proof:


Bushfire Bill sorting Dennis Shanahan:

Bushfire Bill
Posted Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 11:55 am  comment number 1771
Put aside for one moment the assertion on Tuesday morning by Shanahan that Gillard had “failed” – no “ifs” or “buts” – and that now he says she has succeeded, and Kelly’s use of the words {comic moment|defeat|high farce|roller-coaster week|embarrassment|humiliating consequences|collapse|Monty Python|Gillard brazenness|boasted|nervousness|betrayed|theatre-of-the-absurd|hammed it up|stood up by Gillard|nonsense|actor’s genius|political razor blades|second hit for the team|rescued|narrow escape|chaos|fragility of Gillard’s



March 3. 2012 03:06 PM


Norman K,
I prefer my interpretation to that of Phil Coorey Laughing:  Although his wriggle out from under is far more plausible than anything else written by our poor excuses for journalists.  If there is one thing I've learnt since 2007 it is that you have to dig very deep into any journos article to find the tiny bits of truth they've hidden within.

Having said that, I don't think the road ahead is going to be smooth for the PM and Labor but this is a win that will give them a bit of clean air and lifts a very heavy load off the shoulders of the PM.  What are the words of that Helen Reddy song ?: " You can bend but never break me,  Cause it serves to make me more determined to achieve my final goal.  And I come back even stronger, not a novice any longer, Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul.:"

Go Julia!

Patricia, there is nothing to forgive Smile  


March 3. 2012 03:42 PM



I prefer my interpretation to that of Phil Coorey

Ah now, that might be a different question. I too prefer your interpretation. Laughing

Something out of a John le Carré novel - moles exposed by deliberate misinformation; subtle ever-shifting allegiances; clever ploys to deceive the enemy so that they end up eating their own; players sacrificed like pawns on a chessboard; plots and sub-plots so that the reader never knows who the real baddies are until the end; narrative dead-ends that leave the opposition red-faced; a quiet thoughtful 'Smiley' Gillard calmly pulling strings from the solitude of her office; a twist in the tail so that (with hindsight) the whole tangled web, bathed in bright morning sunshine, is revealed in all of its majestic glory - not a web at all but a fantastic work of art worthy of any of the Great Masters.

I prefer that story but it doesn't stack up, unfortunately.


March 3. 2012 04:08 PM


Julie Bishop reckons Bob Carr will make up for Julia Gillard's "incompetence" in foreign affairs.

As to Ms Bishop's 'incompetence' in the role of Shadow Foreign Minister, two words from Tony Abbott's own lips - "Josh Frydenberg".


March 3. 2012 04:14 PM


Something out of a John le Carré novel - moles exposed by deliberate misinformation; subtle ever-shifting allegiances; clever ploys to deceive the enemy so that they end up eating their own; players sacrificed like pawns on a chessboard; plots and sub-plots so that the reader never knows who the real baddies are until the end

Shame more don't read le Carré.
One of my childhood faves.



March 3. 2012 04:19 PM

Patricia WA

NormanK - you're man, I guess.   You like things to stack up!

We women are more complicated.  Lyn, jane, sue, janice, Catching up, myself and I am sure many others, prefer our version.  We love the way it played out!  Not just in terms of a good ending to a stage play or drama, but in the game of politics

Julia Gillard is a world class player.  Remember?  polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../abbott-a-prawn-in-gillards-game-3

Let's see if Abbott can match her in the next round!

Patricia WA

March 3. 2012 04:22 PM



Arguably one of the most beautiful writers of English prose in the current era. If I could write half as well as he does then I would die a happy man.
And on top of that his plots are skilfully woven and his later books deal with import social issues in an accessible format.
One of my heroes.


March 3. 2012 04:23 PM


I also reckon there was no devilish plan in place.  All that happened is the ALP took advantage of a situation.  While I still reckon the Rudd/Gillard thing will hurt them in the future, getting Bob Carr as Foreign Minister turned the week from a disaster to a good week.

The variable here is did Arbib go voluntarily or was there some effort to "suggest a plan" as he is seen as a divisive figure from Sussex Street.  His story stacks up in that young families and time away from home are not an ideal combination - and in any event I'm sure he will be "rewarded" for his "sacrifice" in the future.


March 3. 2012 04:25 PM


one of my fave films:

Miller's Crossing (1990)


Shame the production company is now owned partially by a pr*ck.

Til later


March 3. 2012 04:33 PM


Looking forward to this:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy




March 3. 2012 04:33 PM

Patricia WA

And Gravel, how could I ommitted your name since I've been wracking my brains since I read your comment that
......that Julia will always be my s/hero, she is just brilliant and I hope it is seeping through to the general public in some way.

I've been trying to think of another way of referring to a woman who is acclaimed a Labor herosince the feminine heroinedoesn't seem to do the job.    Just as mistresslyis nothing like the word masterly which has been used so much in media headlines so recently.

Any ideas, anyone?

Patricia WA

March 3. 2012 04:35 PM


Two class acts having a Saturday morning chinwag:

Geraldine Doogue chats with Bob Carr on RN's Saturday Extra


March 3. 2012 04:53 PM


Patricia WA

.... you're man, I guess.   You like things to stack up!

We women are more complicated.

I hope there are some silent Smilies in there. Smile
If by implication men are simple, all I can say is that I'm glad that I've never had the urge to marry one. Too complicated by far.


March 3. 2012 05:35 PM


NormanK @ 12:57 PM
... many Labor figures haven't learned anything from Monday's events and continue to leak to journalists.

It was ever thus. Not even Bob Carr's call to Stop the Leaks could make a difference.

Just imagine The PM and/or the Treasurer not strategically 'leaking' budget goodies and baddies.

Good, bad or indifferent the whole system relies on 'leaking' and 'backgrounding'.

In the dim distant past when I worked alongside journalists there was a distinction between 'leakers' and 'plumbers' and the good journos knew the difference. A leaker was often a drip who was doing it for their own purposes. A plumber was one who knew where the real 'shit' and 'blockages' were.

I suspect that there are now too many journos don't know the difference between the two.


March 3. 2012 05:39 PM

Patricia WA

As I am sure you know, NormanK, my tongue was definitely in cheek as I made that comment.

Yes, marriage is complicated, more because of what biology and society's expectations have done with it than because of differences in male and female character.  

Leaving sex aside, something I am  finally able to do, I find friendship with men is as wonderfully straightforward and enjoyable as with women.

Nonetheless the fact of our Prime Minister's gender is doing all sorts of things to the political debate.  Many of them unexpected and others very understandable.  I think she has anticipated most of the problems relating to her sex and is taking them in her stride.  

The big problem for her and the left in general, and I include the Greens here, is the vested interests of big business which John Howard, and even his Labor predecessors,  allowed to have free rein in developing almost full control of our news media.

I think that Julia Gillard has long been aware of that problem and has been working through various strategies for dealing with it. How she gets to tell her own story and the others  about the achievements of her government will be interesting to watch and read about.   Her lifelong experience of dealing with gender stereotypes and equality issues will help her bring a different perspective and strategy to it all.  

Patricia WA

March 3. 2012 05:57 PM



Point taken. May I modify that to say: Stop the self-destructive leaks?

Patricia WA

It would seem cheeks are full of tongues this afternoon. Smile


March 3. 2012 06:36 PM


the small bit of cynic in me also has doubts about people learning from history whether ancient or recent.

Some examples.

Labor is still to 'unlearn' that the loss of the 2001 election was because they were soft on refugees. I have pointed out before that example of Peter Andren shows that to be a mythconception.

There are some on the Labor side who still believe that all they need to win an election is a popular and charismatic leader. John Howard proves that not to be the case.

Tony Abbott still has to 'unlearn' that the 2007 loss was down to Workchoices.

It seems that the tendency is, more often than not, for those few that do learn something from history they often learn the wrong lessons.


March 3. 2012 06:38 PM


Tony Abbott still has to 'unlearn' that the 2007 loss was down to Workchoices alone


March 3. 2012 06:42 PM


Patricia WA

What's wrong with *heroine* anyway?

Heroines are good enough for Shakespeare, who had no heroes only heroines, and *J*U*L*I*A* sure measures up afa I'm concerned too.

I'll take the *J*U*L*I*A* is brilliant explanation  of her wondrous outcomes every time.

How can people be begrudging of her accomplishments, to Our Ranga Lass?

Who convinced the essentially Conservative IndependAnts, our very saviours, to support Labor?
Could anyone else on the Left have done that?  I don't think so!

Who has kept the narrowest possible not-even-our-own majority in place and solid, with the Indies more convinced than ever of the rightness of their original choice? (because Wilkie will NOT vote to bring the Government down, whatever shanahanagenanagins he might try to pull.)
Who else could have done that?

Under whose leadership did Australia introduce a price on carbon, all those other reforms Rudd failed to manage with a big majority, don't they count much with you fellers?
Reckon anybody else in Labor could have done that? (and I'm a bloke!) Well she did it anyway.

Who but *J*U*L*I*A* could have seduced Smile Peter Slipper from Them to IT? (and that is no insult, PS really is IT in the best sense afa I'm concerned, imo he is the second-best performer in the Parliament!* )

And who commanded the greatest majority in Labor history in a 2-way leadership spill? - and in doing so, and only in doing so, was able to put to bed for good Rudd or anybody's possible  whiteanting of her authority. Keating never had more!

And who book-ended the week with the most brilliant jaw-dropping gobsmacker of a political mistresstroke - and that's what is was!!! - that any of us has ever seen?

Dog, you blokes that don't give a girl the credit for pulling all this stuff off, what's she have to do for you to say something outright humble and full-on congratulatory?

How come the master of multiple fanciful intrigues gets to be a Hero, but the mistress of multiple real-life intrigues gets gainsaid as a bumbler and fumbler who is just incredibly lucky that somehow things work out?

I wonder how many of us remember her parable of the roadblock, you don't just say Too bad I can't get there from here, you bloody go and find a different way. She always has done that. Just finds the way by wandering? Ha.

Everywhere I look on Lyn's~Links, there is almost no outright praise for *J*U*L*I*A*, (I exempt a few, eg AA, BB, TT) nearly all are parsimonious, grudging, but but but, she should have done it differently, she always snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, YOU gainsayers ARE the ones who are make their stupid BS memes "public opinion" as expressed in THE POLLS!

How about some outright eulogy for our Boadicea you blokes?

The women in the MSM, Coke Bottles and her ilk, are nearly as demeaning as the blokes, but I don't see any faint praise for *J*U*L*I*A* from any of the TPS girls. And you don't see much criticism from me neither, only in the matter of Julian Assange, and that's different.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As I am about to post:

SBS promotion for News in half an hour:

"Labor accused of having a lack of talent in Parliament, after ex-NSW Premier Bob Carr given the FA portfolio."

Et tu SBS!


March 3. 2012 06:44 PM


Stop the self-destructive leaks?

I imagine that someone in the old Gang of Four has thought deeply about less than guarded conversations w/ others whilst indulging in red wine, a tradition...loose lips sink both ships...almost did...almost allowing another martyr ship to come thru...miners & Murdoch empire approved I imagine.

Dreadful what ambition & promises of support & geld can do to a person. Or one of their close advisors/assistants.

The quiet, shy Australian. Not so quiet.

Quite possible. I've had my suspicions.

So much money & power thrown around in some states these days. Or promises of such. Not good. Rots. Even some of the good ones.



March 3. 2012 07:37 PM


Glorfindel @7.34am. Your bile filled drivel can be summed up in two simple words - sour grapes! Enjoy them, you will have to become accustomed to the taste. Bwwwwaahahahahaha!!!

Janice @7.58, brilliantly summed up and again @9.55am. You should put your two comments and a hefty slice of crow pie in a lovely box with rose thorns on the front, and a lavish red bow on top and SEND IT TO THE THE LOT OF THE CRAVEN SPINELESS LIARS!!!!!

.......helped the Opposition make fools of themselves.

Are you certain they need any help, Patricia?

Casablanca @1.53pm, I echo your hopes re Grattan. Maybe she's found the bucket she left her brain in.

Patricia, I have to say I prefer blood nut, being one myself and coming from a long line of blood nuts. I'm not sure whether it's Celt or Viking, maybe it's both? Hmmmm.

Lyn, Julia Gillard finds a spine? After what those mongrels have put her through for the last 18+ months? Finds a spine? Who does Laurie Oakes think he is? Don't they make your blood boil with their condescension and downright lies?

She's got more backbone than the entire mob of jelly backs in the msm and the Liars Party!!!! Grrrrrr!

Thanks for all your excellent work with the links. Even if Laurie Oakes gave me apoplexy! Laughing

As for the Prissy interview on Lateline, as soon as the words "one foul swoop" were out of that chook's bum in convulsions he laughingly calls a mouth, I had to change channels. He and that loon Liealot can't even get the quote right.

It's "one FELL swoop" you halfwits!!!! Aaaagggghhhhh!!!

Hmmm. Bishop, J accusing the PM of incompetence in Foreign Affairs. Does she know who has been her opposite number since 2007? Is this a new level of incompetence even for Bishop, J?

Gina (media mogul wannabe) Rinehart, Clive (bumbling bully) Palmer, Andrew (pity me I'm newly rich) Forrest...and their puppet Tony (lyin' turd) Abbott...

Gold, Nas'

Shame more don't read le Carré.
One of my childhood faves.

Too subtle, nuanced and low key for the explosion set, Nas'.

(when do the receivers move into 2GB?)

Not soon enough, 2353.


March 3. 2012 07:56 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I have worked through your comprehensive set of links, and through those supplied by others, and have used them to prepare The Canberra Press Gallery stumbles - yet again.  Thank you for them; I hope you enjoy the analysis.


Ad astra reply

March 3. 2012 08:00 PM

Patricia WA

As you know, TT, I've never been backwards in praising our heroine, your Ranga Lass.  I think we should start a group to get people to recognise that something special she has to offer this godless country.  

Welsh Strains.

Our PM states she has no religion;
None at all, no, not even a smidgen
Of faith in a God or some afterlife.
Perhaps because she has seen the strife
So often caused by strong belief
Which leads to warfare, deaths and grief.
Now she is the leader of our nation
She should consider Reincarnation
As the ideal Australian opiate.
That would strike and surely reverberate!.
Here she is recognised, praised and seen
To be much like the Tudor Virgin Queen.
They have in common ancestries in Wales,
Giving rise to wondrous and mystic tales,
Of another Celt, mighty Boadicea
Whose spirit surely once again lives – here!
Having left the climes of Borealis
Does she now dwell with us in Terra Australis?

Some images which lend themselves to this idea can be found at

Patricia WA

March 3. 2012 08:12 PM


Too subtle, nuanced and low key for the explosion set

ain't that the truth. Smile

Have a goodie...
she who KNOWS me.




March 3. 2012 08:18 PM


Hi Jane

You are amazing fantastic summary, love your word choices, they match my thoughts.

I did put the pesky Oakes link up again, I guess you saw. Yes and Oakes did infuriate me too most of those article topics I posted are blood boiling infuriating, you know making me feel furious with them on a daily basis.

Our bloggers are much better reading, and I am so glad not to have to read those strappers everyday.

BTW apt reply
Glorfindel @7.34am. Your bile filled drivel can be summed up in two simple words - sour grapes! Enjoy them, you will have to become accustomed to the taste. Bwwwwaahahahahaha!!!

the Prissy interview on Lateline

The Pyne segment was removed from the ABC video later reinstated after an uproar on twitter to Mark Scott.  The Liberal party must have requested they remove it in the first place, funny about that don't you think.

2 tweets re Pyne on Lateline last night;

congrats all who contacted the lib plant mark scott, didnt take long for him to get the lateline i/v bak up we need to do more combo efforts

geeksrulzIntrepid Geek
Lateline abcmarkscott Pyne said "one foul swoop" twice to amusement of many but record now corrected. What's your policy on transcripts?



March 3. 2012 08:30 PM


Jane & Lyn,
did you hear Julie Bishop quoting Madeleine Albright in order to score political points?...and in a feeble attempt to turn her gender group gainst Gillard.

Never heard such bloody nonsense in my life.

I reckon Julie can feel the hot breath of Josh Frydenberg on her shoulder.

Top work Lyn, per usual.



March 3. 2012 08:50 PM


Thankyou Nasking hope you are feeling better, keep posting.

I have to buzz of to Ads new thread, it's exciting

"The Canberra Press Gallery stumbles yet again".




March 3. 2012 10:36 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your comments, and Patricia WA for your delightful pome.  I'm just now catching up with your comments, having spent the afternoon working on the piece now extant, and just now having just watched Shine.  What an inspiration!

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 12:19 AM


Great piece by Antony Green titled 'Carr to Canberra - The Record of Premiers Who Have Gone Federal'



March 4. 2012 12:58 AM


Have a goodie...

Right back at ya, Nas'.

The Pyne segment was removed from the ABC video later reinstated after an uproar on twitter to Mark Scott.

Wow! Lyn. That would have to be a hilarious first, wouldn't it? Maybe the Finkelstein report has made a few people nervous.

Self regulation hopefully will be a thing of the past and we might get a regulatory body with a very good set of fangs. I don't know whose neck I'd like to see them sunk into first; there are so many candidates.

Of course Prissy was just slavishly copying his master with the misquote - Liealot uttered it during his reverse pike, triple backflip presser after the NSW-disease-bearing Bob Carr was given the nod.

Predictably, Turnbull has said he doesn't think a super regulator is in the best interests of freedom of the press (thanks to Min for the info). I think he forgot to add the following words - to lie, slander, misquote and misrepresent the government with impunity.


March 4. 2012 02:19 AM


Before the MSM trash and misquote Wayne Swan read his essay in the Monthly.

'Today, when a would-be US president, Mitt Romney, is wealthier than 99.9975% of his fellow Americans, and wealthier than the last eight presidents combined, there’s a global conversation raging about the rich, the poor, the gap between them, and the role of vested interests in the significant widening of that gap in advanced economies over the past three decades.'


The Treasurer will address the National Press Club on Monday. You can join in the Twitter conversation from 2pm on Monday by using the #fairgo hashtag.

Grattan has already responded to Swan's essay:

'Swan must know that he's on the downhill run as Treasurer. Barring a political miracle, he has about 18 months at the most in the job. So he's having a go. And what a go, with its ''class war'' touch and militant language.'

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...bit-rich-20120303-1u9bz.html


March 4. 2012 01:43 PM


Grattan's article is more than "a bit rich", Casablanca. She raises the same tired old meme that the government is full of poor communicators, when we know that's complete tosh, otherwise how would they have won the 2007 election so comprehensively?

That alone gives the lie to constant msm claims that they are poor communicators.

It's a bit hard to get the message out when their response to pressers on government policy either result in a bunch of lies, distortions and misinformation or a critique of the PM's earlobes, jackets and her body shape.

The msm has an agenda to topple this minority government and install what would undoubtably prove to be the most dangerously incompetent government in the history of our nation.

As an opposition, they are uniformly and appallingly terrible; protected, unchallenged, unscrutinised  and encouraged by a corrupt msm.


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