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The Canberra Press Gallery stumbles – yet again

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Saturday, 3 March 2012 19:52 by Ad astra
After filling so many column inches with stories about PM Gillard’s multiple ‘stumbles’, how embarrassing must it be for so many of the press pack to have themselves made such a monumental stumble this week. Still smarting from having stumbled almost two years ago, being caught flat footed when PM Rudd was replaced by PM Gillard, they found themselves caught yet again on Friday when Julia Gillard arrived at her press conference to announce her reshuffle with Bob Carr in tow. The collective sucking in of breath in astonishment could be heard down the corridors; and minutes later in the breathless and incredulous way they posed their questions.

Journalists hate being wrong, being wrong-footed. Political journalists regard themselves as the insiders, privy to the labyrinthine goings-on in the corridors of power. They yearn for the scoop, one that places them a cut above their colleagues. Being out of the loop is anathema to them. They foster contacts, their ‘sources’, from whom they suck whispers, or speculation, or information, which sometimes turns out to be misinformation, accidently purveyed or deliberately so by Machiavellian operators. Although at times it must be hard for them to know what to believe, that does not seem to inhibit most of them from rushing into print with their ‘exclusives’, so long as it makes for a good story, and trumps their fellow journalists in the process.

In the aftermath of one of the most tumultuous weeks ever in Federal politics, it is informative, and amusing, to read what they have to say this weekend as they scrape the egg from their faces after a week in which they made a host of confident assertions, dire predictions, and outrageous speculation, along with biting condemnation of the process and the players, particularly the ‘mistake-prone’ PM, ‘who never seems able to get anything right’, and who is unable to capitalize on any small bit of good luck that comes her way.

From the outset though, let us acknowledge that we shall never know the full story of all that transpired this past week. There were so many players in and out of parliament, so much back room discussion, so many ‘deals’, so many old scores to settle, so many egos needing to be fed, so many whispers and leaks to so many journalists, that it is impossible, and fruitless to boot, to attempt an unraveling. All we have is the statements we have heard on the record from the PM, her ministers and key players, and the stories we have had from the journalists from what they have discerned and what they have been told. No doubt they will seek to stick to their stories, and where they are manifestly wrong, to attribute their inaccuracy to others, who presumably have mislead them. Don’t expect a mea culpa though – that is a bridge too far.

In assessing the response of the press pack, let’s see if they can be categorized. To me they seem to fall roughly into three groups: the Julia Gillard is doomed group that believes no matter what the PM does, she is already beaten; the bob each way group that, determined not to be wrong, believe she won’t recover, but that miracles still happen and she might, and the there is plenty of time to prove herself group. We shall see where our erstwhile journalists fall.

Let’s start with what Brendan Nicholson had to say in The Weekend Australian in Surprise for all as Carr makes a smooth entrance because he seems to sum up the astonishment of the press gallery: ”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 outside, in walked the Prime Minister with the craggy-faced Bob Carr. After days of claims and denials, surprise was complete.” Indeed!

The lead story in The Weekend Australian, a more or less ‘factual account’ of the Carr appointment, came from Sid Maher in A Bob each way then Julia Gillard gets her man. It begins: “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. After fending off stories about aborted efforts to draft Mr Carr to the foreign minister's job for much of the week, Ms Gillard yesterday entered a news conference with the former NSW premier by her side, revealing she had offered him the job again on Thursday morning.

"I have put together the strongest possible team to do what the nation needs, to make us the nation we want to be in the future - a stronger and fairer country," Ms Gillard said.

The announcement defied expectations that the foreign affairs post would go to Mr Smith, who remains in Defence, and resistance in cabinet to the appointment of an outsider to a plum ministerial post.

And the Prime Minister has moved to assert her authority, dumping key Kevin Rudd supporter Robert McClelland to the backbench after telling him his advocacy for the former prime minister's leadership challenge had gone too far.”
That’s where the facts cease in The Australian and the learned opinion begins. More of that later.

Next let’s switch to the Herald Sun to see what the doyen, Laurie Oakes had too say. He opened his Julia Gillard finds a spine, turns defeat into a breathtaking win with ”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 - was a breathtaking political development.

For days the PM had been lambasted in Parliament and the media for weakness because she had allegedly allowed a few senior ministers - particularly Defence Minister Stephen Smith - to veto the recruitment of Carr. But suddenly on Thursday she discovered a spine - and a bit of political nous - and decided to revive Plan A despite the opposition from her colleagues. It was a show of strength. And not before time. If Gillard is to capitalise on her resounding defeat of Kevin Rudd in last Monday's leadership ballot, she has to show both courage and flair.”

Later he says:”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.”

He concludes: ”His [Carr’s] return to politics will help Gillard. And, by showing the toughness and determination to ignore those opposing his appointment, Gillard has helped herself.”

So the old man of political journalism has enough ‘humility’ to grudgingly give her a tick. I think he’s a bob each way man.

The other doyen, Paul Kelly, begins his: Julia Gillard's great escape with: ”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. Carr's appearance yesterday by the Prime Minister's side, three days after this exact event was abandoned, was the final stage in a farce redeemed only because of its satisfactory ending.

Kelly was not going to let go of the ‘farce’ meme; he even described the press conference as straight from Monty Python. To abandon that would have been too much – but at least he acknowledged she had a win in the end. If you can get behind the paywall, you will read an account of what Kelly believed happened, constructed to align with the story The Australian ran earlier in the week about the approach to Carr, one described by Julia Gillard as ‘completely untrue’, an assertion he mocks. Yet embedded in the middle of his account is this: “Carr said on Wednesday that Gillard “had definitely not made an offer about the foreign ministry, nor had anyone on her behalf.” No doubt, that was technically correct. The truth, however, is that Gillard wanted Carr.” I suppose that convoluted statement is intended to convince the reader that no matter what denials PM Gillard or Bob Carr made, they were only technically correct, certainly not correct by the stratospheric standards for correctness that characterizes effusions in The Australian.

He concluded: “Gillard must revitalize and change this Labor government in terms of image and content. Carr helps in this project. This is the reason her failure to realize her plan to make him foreign minister would have been such an embarrassment. This is the week Gillard got out of jail twice.”

We will never know how correct his version of events really is. Does he have impeccable ‘sources’? Does he have information denied to others? How much of his account is supposition, how much conjecture, and how much verifiable? But we can be sure his story will not change; there will be no mea culpa, even if warranted.

I cast him as a bob each way journalist. Age brings with it a sense of history and commonsense.

The editorial in The Australian: False political narratives pervade our democracy begins: “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 praise she deserves because of the failure to tell the real story of this appointment, and of much of the media to report it for her. The tortured process of Mr Carr's elevation reveals what is wrong with this government and the reporting of it. Today in Inquirer we analyse the false narratives that define this government, driven by spin and a press pack unable to see beyond it."

So a small bouquet is soon clobbered with a sizable brickbat about this awful Gillard Government and its ‘false narrative’. The writer takes a surprising tilt at the press pack, blind to the real story, the real insight, that only The Heart of the Nation has and enjoys. Arrogance writ large!

In the Letters section of The Australian, the first under the heading: Gillard's flip-flop on Bob Carr merely reinforces doubts wasn’t so generous:

 ”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, that she lacks integrity and habitually bends the truth.

“It is also time for the Canberra press gallery to stand up to her treatment of them at press conferences. For heavens sake, could one journalist just ask her a tough question on impulse and not be intimidated by that karate chop she uses all the time? The country deserves better."

Another tilt at the press gallery, shamefully intimidated by the PM’s karate chop! Poor dears.

The other two letters outside the paywall were in similar vein.

Promise you won’t gasp at what Dennis Shanahan wrote in: Masterstroke or muddle: leader assertive at last:

 ”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.”

He gives her a qualified tick. Referring to Carr’s appointment, he concludes: “But how this plays out will determine her fate and not some inexorable slouching towards another challenge. After fumbling from weakness, Gillard’s taken the chance on offer to reassert herself…” From this piece he looked to me like a bob each way man. But don’t be fooled.

In another piece: The myths of Labor's grand public deception Shanahan continues his vitriolic campaign against the Gillard Government. It begins: ”During most of the years of the Howard government, the Labor opposition ran a self-delusional narrative that John Howard was hated, hateful, unpopular, a liar, unelectable and against immigration and workers. It was a false narrative at odds with his electoral success but encouraged by an anti-Howard commentariat.

“The Labor Government is now in danger of doing what it did in opposition by believing a false narrative built on its own spin about policies, politics and personnel. Although problems have been obvious from the beginning, critics have been undermined and isolated, gross mistakes passed over and excused, policy and implementation failures blamed on others, and myths created to cover fundamental flaws as part of a great public deception.

“Worst of all, many members of the Rudd Gillard governments can’t see through their own deception or are so complicit in the errors they can’t afford to acknowledge the truth and deal with it rationally. These are deep seated problems that cannot be swept aside by the simple political circuit breaker of appointing Bob Carr as foreign minister”

So there are Shanahan’s real feelings. There he’s a PM Gillard is doomed man.

I’m incredulous that even one as biased as Shanahan could write such a tirade in the face of 269 bills already passed at last count, and a progressive reform agenda that pales into insignificance anything John Howard did in his latter terms. Where has Dennis been? It’s as if he exists in a dream world of his own, perhaps shared by some others at The Australian where reality is what they purport it to be, not what is happing in the real world of Federal politics. If anyone is delusional, could it be Dennis?

We ought not to let News Limited hog all the space. In the Sydney Morning Herald Michelle Grattan, who has been no supporter of the PM, wrote a mildly conciliatory piece PM's trump card defies critics as Carr revs up that began: “Julia Gillard has pulled out a sensational reshuffle trump card, recruiting former New South Wales premier Bob Carr to add lustre to her government as Australia's new foreign minister.” The rest is just ‘she said, he said’.

Shaun Carney in A tough road ahead for Gillard as the dust settles begins: ”The high praise for the Prime Minister as some sort of political genius, the declarations of certainty that she would lead Labor to a magnificent victory next year were fine in the context of last week but will come across as deluded, given the government's weak public support. The iron rule for all politicians is don't believe your own publicity.” Much of his account too is also ‘she said, he said’.

Phil Coorey writes a similar piece, but at least his headline is positive How the PM engineered an impressive turnaround

As you read them, you will see that bootstrapping is alive and well, as Bushfire Bill keeps reminding us.

Michelle, Shaun and Phillip may be edging towards the bob each way group, but don’t bank on it.

Michael Gordon, in the Sydney Morning Herald, in The Carr coup was more charitable in his conclusion: ”Gillard still faces a very tough road if Labor is to be competitive next year, but she showed this week that she might just have what it takes.” He looks like a member of there is plenty of time to prove herself group.

I could make this piece twice as long by giving an account of the hundreds of inches of column space devoted to this week in Federal politics, but this will have to do.

What is obvious is that while a few are prepared to give grudging acknowledgement of PM Gillard’s achievements this week, even her strength and resolve and by implication her triumph over those who so many insist control her like a puppet on a string, a balanced assessment of the commentary leads inexorably to the conclusion that some of the media, particularly News Limited and its flagship The Australian are prepared to give her no leeway. They want her gone, and in the light of this week’s success will redouble their efforts to put her down, stung as the are by being outflanked, outwitted and outmaneuvered by this awful, deluded, narrative-destitute PM who does nothing but make one stumble after another.

The fact that once again the Canberra Press Gallery has had another major stumble enrages them to the point of apoplexy. Hell has no fury like a journalist scorned.

What do you think?

Comments (123) -

March 3. 2012 09:06 PM


balanced assessment of the commentary leads inexorably to the conclusion that some of the media, particularly News Limited and its flagship The Australian are prepared to give her no leeway. They want her gone, and in the light of this week’s success will redouble their efforts to put her down,

now that we've observed the grotesque culture and devious methods of the Murdoch empire in the UK...and the public is now awakening to the extent this lot are willing to go in order to grab influence, readership, advertisers & moolah...perhaps we should be more cynical of News Ltd's approach to news gathering & manufacturing in this country...

and ask the tuff questions in relation to:

Who's been paid for information?

What sectors do they work in? Politics? Police?

Can the Murdoch media be trusted to report objectively?

Are the editors permitted independence?

Are certain shareholders fit and proper persons to be owning shares and having influence over papers that dominate the market in some regions...including a national broadsheet?

I'd also ask why the approach of a number of SKY NEWS hosts has been so obviously biased against the government, particularly the PM, the past week.

Who had control & influence over the hiring of these SKY NEWS hosts?

Peter van Onselen
hosting The Contrarians on Fridays
briefly worked on the staff of Tony Abbott when he was Minister for Workplace Relations in the Howard government ahead of the 2001 election.

Chris Kenny
Saturday Agenda
In 2002 he joined Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's office as media adviser and was prominent in the handling of issues such as the Iraq War, the Bali terrorism attacks and the AWB scandal. He eventually was appointed chief of staff to the Foreign Minister. Kenny also stood for Liberal Party preselection for the Adelaide seat of Unley

Australian Agenda
An in-depth look at the week in politics. Featuring leading political figures and commentators including Paul Kelly, Dennis Shanahan, Peter Van Onselen and David Speers; the program sets the agenda for national affairs.

One helluva Murdoch empire & Liberal weekend methinks.

Weekend after weekend. Fri arvo thru to Sunday.

That's for starters.
Very good post Ad.



March 3. 2012 09:30 PM


Hi Ad

Well! I was waiting today for your, what I thought would be a comment on today's display of what is called Political Reporting by the Political Reporting Journalist pack
But no instead you have "Wowed" us with your article. Fantastic Ad Astra.

Thankyou for your factual brilliantly written article.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your wise put together facts into an amazing enjoyable story.



March 3. 2012 09:54 PM


this weeks events may well be "peak media". the Rudd/mcLelland drip is gone, the Press Council will be replaced by a government regulator with more teeth, and the Carr hysteria is fading into analysis of his policy, passion and garvitas.

plus Murdoch, lost in the hack-gate blizzard, is about to cut of the gangrened frost-bitten finger which is his Newspapers from the otherwise healthy media body. What this means for the loss making the Australian can only be imagined


March 3. 2012 10:22 PM


Hi sprocket

Thankyou so much for taking time out to comment on "The Political Sword.  A big welcome to you, looking forward to seeing you here often.

Your comment is most enjoyable, I love your optimism :-

"peak media". the Rudd/mcLelland drip is gone, the Press Council will be replaced by a government regulator with more teeth, and the Carr hysteria is fading into analysis of his policy, passion and garvitas.

From what I have read so far the Newspapers are not happy with the the Press Council being replaced.  That's good because if they don't like it then it must be a good thing.  I see Stephen Conroy's statement is out but I haven't read it yet.

Anyway cheers and thanks again for your comment.  SmileSmileSmileSmile


March 3. 2012 10:26 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your kind remarks and your insights into some agents of the Murdoch Empire.  Of course PvO and Chris Kenny had their say today too.  I didn’t know their background.  Thank you for filling me in.  It looks like infiltration writ large.

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your complimentary remarks. It was you who furnished the raw material.  Thank you.  There was enough for two pieces, but I had to stop somewhere.

Welcome to The Political Sword family and for your comments.   Do come again.  I too look forward to better regulation of the media which seems to be running riot at the moment overseas, and who knows what is going on here, apart that is from what everyone with eyes can see.

Ad astra reply

March 3. 2012 10:35 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Speaking of the Media Review, that they are all so upset about, what do I find all ready for tomorrow:

David is quite annoyed, poor petal:-

Government's media probe hints at vested interest
by: David Penberthy From: Sunday Herald Sun March 04, 2012 12:00AM

The report, released on Friday, is critical of the existing safeguards against media errors and misrepresentations

The inquiry recommends that the Press Council be replaced with a turbo-charged entity called the News Media Council, its 20 members selected by a committee comprising people who are themselves members of the government or appointed by the government.

As a member of the mainstream media I might not agree with everything which comes from the mouths of lefty critics of News Corporation, such as independent blogger Grogs Gamut or Crikey rabble rouser Stephen Mayne.



March 3. 2012 10:44 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
It's noteworthy that for a change the MSM in on the defensive.  David Penberthy is just the beginning.  I wonder how it feels with the boot on the other foot?

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 02:09 AM


Hi Ad astra. Another meaty, thought provoking post on our unlovely msm, the Canberra Press Gallery in particular.

Thanks to Nas' ferreting around, we can see where certain of our "unbiased" commenters loyalties lie.

Pip on CW has put up a post on the Independent Media Inquiry.


Lyn, at least Penberthy has the decency to acknowledge that Grog is an independent blogger, but has reserved some spittle flecked invective for Stephen Mayne.

I must say Penberthy's faith in "the existing safeguards against media errors and misrepresentations" is very touching indeed, if it weren't such a self-serving, risible load of old codswallop.

Ever since the GFC reared its ugly head, he and the rest of the liars and spivs who infest the msm have done their level best to bring down the Labor government with their disgusting and egregious lies, distortions, fabrications and misrepresentations.

However, they saved their most vicious and vitriolic invective to spray over our PM in what must be one of the longest and most disgusting attacks by the press on one person that I can remember.

All while simultaneously giving what must be one of the longest, most undeserved free kicks to probably the most incompetent LOTO and Opposition in the history of the country!.

Well may they bleat at how cruelly they will be treated if a new regulator is appointed; it can't be cruel enough, imo.


March 4. 2012 08:24 AM


Ad Astra

As Lyn has said, you have 'WOWED' us with this brilliant piece.

My thoughts after reading the above:  How dare the Prime Minister act and behave like a prime minister:  Only Howard can do what Julia Gillard has done, how dare she better him:  and as others have said, they will continue to do belittle and damn her, no matter what.

I cannot judge how the non-political public will react to this.  After swearing off Polls, I have to admit that I will be awaiting the next round, to see how it has panned out in the public.  I will have to say though I think, with all the rain and floods everywhere, that no one is particularly interested.


March 4. 2012 09:01 AM


Good morning all.

Great article Ad astra.  My thoughts are running along the same lines as Sprocket, that we may be at "peak media" and are about to see a decline (albeit gradually) in the influence the media has enjoyed.
The rise of the 5th estate has taken its toll on the old gurus such as Shanahan and Oakes who were once never questioned as to the truthfulness of their writings.  With people now able to access a raft of differing opinions it has become obvious that these gurus are not in possession of the powers of the Oracle and in fact, are no more intelligent nor more informed than anyone else in the community.

Journalists are facing the absolute fact that if they are to stay revelant in a very different media, they have to remake themselves to provide a service to the community.  They will be forced to accept the need to report the news, political and otherwise, factually and without distortions of personal opinion. They will be forced to come to the realisation that they can no longer be 'king makers' or be so influential, or be involved in running campaigns to make or  break governments because the rise of the 5th estate has placed their opinions on the same level as opinions held by the general populace.

In the not too distant future I will be busy pushing up daisies but at least I have lived to see the beginning of the end of the destructive power the media has wielded in my lifetime and I will rest easy.


March 4. 2012 09:46 AM



I look forward to the days when "old buggas" like me mention NoNews and my descendants ask "whats the silly old fool talking about" - behind my back of course, after all where there is a will there is a relative Laughing.

Sometime soon someone will set up a video blog for the news - there are people already producing "shows" that get uploaded to Youtube and so on weekly.  That will spell the end of the electronic media unless it can demonstrate it is unbiased (something parts of it fall well short of at the moment).  The next twenty years could be really interesting.


March 4. 2012 09:55 AM


D'oh forget to mention this is another well written and thought out piece AA.  I'm firmly convinced the pack from NoNews really don't like being the story rather than writing it.  

The interesting thing to watch over the next little while will be to see if they objectively and factually argue their case or if they confect a PR campaign that makes the CPRS campaign look amateur.  I'm betting on the latter (which suggests there is nothing available to argue the former).


March 4. 2012 10:40 AM


I would like to say this next in verse, but it takes so much more time to write it all, (and sometimes worse), in terms of careful rhyme, but anyway what I want to say is what a great duet Ad astra and Lyn Tweetie make - Best Combo on the Net.


March 4. 2012 10:43 AM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your complimentary remarks.

This blog would come under the proposed new media regulations as it has many, many more page views per month than the threshold 1250.  I would welcome any attempt at self-regulation.  But would the MSM?

It was interesting to hear Dennis Atkins on Insiders this morning acknowledging the battle going on between the Government and The Australian, which is now obvious to anyone who takes the time to look.

I noticed that there was almost no acknowledgement on Insiders of the extent to which the Canberra Press Gallery was once more caught out when Bob Carr appeared with the PM on Friday.  It was almost as if they were in denial of the stark reality that this group of ‘insiders’ had no idea of what was coming.  Lenore Taylor made an unconvincing attempt to catalogue the events of the week, presumably to give credence to media reports earlier in the week, but had nothing to say about why the press pack were left flat footed.

I thought Insiders was pretty flat this morning, almost like a recovery session of footballers who had just had an unexpected thrashing.  The only bright spot was the excellent interview with Craig Emerson.  He is very impressive.

Thank you for your kind comment.  You are right – how dare our nation’s PM act like a PM, when the media pack want to shout her down. As Julia Gillard advised during the week, they had better ‘settle in’.  They can now expect to be put in their place if they overstep the mark.

Your wisdom shows through each time you comment here.  The MSM is steadily losing its previously monopolistic grip on the ‘news’ and certainly on political commentary.  As information becomes more readily available to us all via non-MSM channels, so will alternative opinions proliferate to dilute those of the so-called experts such as Dennis Shanahan, Paul Kelly and Laurie Oakes.  As they will be unwilling to relinquish the mantle of political gurus, we can anticipate they will put up a struggle to maintain their elevated position.  This might get ugly as they direct their attack at the Fifth Estate, as David Penberthy is already foreshadowing.

I appreciate your compliment.  You have outlined some of the mechanisms, such as YouTube, that will come into play increasingly as news transmitters.  

The MSM is bound to resist that, but in the face of falling sales and advertising revenue, and their online offerings still to be proven as a commercial substitute for print, change will be forced on them.  Perhaps if they returned to reporting facts accurately and completely, analyzing them logically, and abandoning their covert, and at times overt political agenda, they might find a more receptive audience.

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 10:46 AM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for the nice compliment you have extended to Lyn and me.

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 10:49 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Janice, Gravel, 2353 you are all superb, great comments early on a Sunday Morning:

Thankyou Talk Turkey for saying such a nice compliment, but TPS is only as good as you our wonderful inputters make it, thankyou to all of you.

Did anyone else hear Dennis Atkins on the Insiders say, The Government needs to do something about their relationship with News Ltd.  What a staggering comment, I wonder how Dennis proposes the Government do that, especially when News insists there is no problem with their reporting anyway.

Jeremy Sear has already written an article inviting comments on how the Government can repair their relationship with News Ltd:-

How the PM could mend bridges with News Ltd
March 4, 2012 – 10:17 am, by Jeremy Sear  

An amusing aside on this morning’s Insiders, the suggestion from some of the panel that the PM needs to fix the relationship between her office and News Ltd
I’ll ask again – what could this PM, or a future Labor leader, do to win back News Ltd’s, well, not support, but fair coverage? (If you can come up with something that wouldn’t be utterly appalling for Australia and leave us with essentially two Tory parties, I’ll be amazed and grateful.)



March 4. 2012 10:53 AM

Patricia WA

Spot on, Ad Astra.  As I read your post I kept thinking what a bunch of turkeys the Canberra gallery are, and how the PM had really ruffled their feathers this time.  Then 'ruffle' looked promising with 'shuffle' and off I went.  But I didn't use that rhyme after all - except in the title!

Turkey Feathers Ruffled?

Julia Gillard’s cabinet reshuffle,
Was one of the best media shows.
Like pigs, their snouts sniffing for truffles,
Journos found all sorts of things to expose.

Tony Abbott was flexing his muscles;
They were bulging near bursting his clothes.
Up his Deputy bitchily bustles
To put one more of their cursed SSOs.

So, with all that clamorous kerfuffle,
The name Gillard so much on the nose,
How did she manage that soft shoe shuffle
To emerge smelling sweet as a rose?

Patricia WA

March 4. 2012 11:22 AM


Apropos the MSM's 'hatred' of bloggers. The clue could be in this book: http://goo.gl/WY0dE


March 4. 2012 11:23 AM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA
Superbly delicious, or should I say aromatic?

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 11:28 AM

Ad astra reply

Good Morning Lyn
That was a good response by Jeremy Sear to Dennis Atkins’ comment this morning.  I like this paragraph: ”Unless you can come up with some ideas in the comments, I think News has played itself out of consideration. There’s nothing the PM can offer them, so there’s no point her even trying. And there’s only so long you can play one-sided partisan before everybody realises that’s what you are.

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 11:37 AM


Thank you for the analysis After nearly a liofetime in media related jobs it saddens me to say that I hardly read a newspaper any more and where I once religiously turned on the radio on the hour for ABC news i now hardly bother. It truly is a case of don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. I don't blame the journalists for evrything, they are a victim of the times. Once they were happy to be observers of the game, now they want to be players. How some of them keep their jobs after the shenanigans of the last few months amazes me Michelle Grattan will always be synonymous with "nine votes from victory" for as long as her career continues. Keep up the good work


March 4. 2012 11:54 AM


Hi Ad

I love that paragraph you highlighted as well.

play one-sided partisan before everybody realises that’s what you are

Umm this is interesting, Abbott and his faceless men:-

OH NOES IT’S THE FACELESS MEN: Patrick Secker MP dumped by Liberal faceless men, defying federal leader Tony Abbott

Secker was necked by 282 “faceless persons” in a secret behind-closed-doors preselection power meeting. Scandalously, in moves that would surely cause shock and awe in lefty media circles, the press were not allowed in to witness the mysterious misdeeds of the anono-preselectors.

defied the encouragement of their federal parliamentary leader Tony Abbott and Secker’s factional patron Christopher Pyne (who insists he has no friends on the Labor side of politics and is probably struggling to find that many in his party room too) to keep Secker on.
It appears, occasional lefty media target Senator Cory Bernardi, a Liberal Right factional boss, may have been involved in assisting Secker’s opponent. While officially retired, one-time power-broker Nick Minchin’s ominous presence was also detected


March 4. 2012 11:55 AM



As Ad astra said "superbly delicious" pome.   What a cache of brilliance you now have in your pome collection.


March 4. 2012 12:09 PM


Personally, I don't believe the PM or the Government should do anything to mend any bridges with the Murdoch Group.

After the events of this week, and the egg scrubbed,I use the word scrubbed deliberately because it was flung pretty hard,  off the various journalistic faces, the Canberra Press Gallery faces an extremely daunting task. They have to prove their relevance to any debate. I suspect that they realise that they have lost a lot of credibility over the last week. They know that they were set up by the PM just as they know that they can't reveal the sources of the leaks that mislead them in the first place.

To me, it looks as though the PM and her Government are going to take on the press gallery head to head. I think we can be sure that anything that the PM, her Ministers and Government in general, say will be watertight. Those populating the Canberra Press Gallery will spin, leap onto imaginary nuances, become body language experts until the hard harsh reality sets in;....the only way to report on, and analyse the policies of Govt is to read them, understand them and pass fair comment on your conclusions. Something that real journalists do. Much the same as those employed internationally by Mu....oh wait.

The Gillard Govt doesn't have to make amends to the Murdoch/Fairfax/Rinehart press or electronic media. Just as it doesn't have to beat Tony Abbott.

always remember;

Julia Gillard doesn't have to beat Tony Abbott. He has to beat her.



March 4. 2012 12:10 PM


Hello Rocco

Thankyou for visiting "The Political Sword" your opinion is appreciated very much, we are looking forward to many more.

After nearly a lifetime in media related jobs it saddens me to say that I hardly read a newspaper any more and where I once religiously turned on the radio on the hour for ABC news i now hardly bother

I agree with you it is sad, but would be sadder if we didn't have TPS
to share our opinion and grievances.  We really don't need the Newspapers here.

But there is another threat to democracy as well as the Murdoch empire:

Mining in a new vein , Clive Hamilton, Sydney Morning Herald.

Singleton bragging about their influence:
"We have 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 her thinking about the deployment of our resources, we act in concert in this way."



March 4. 2012 12:37 PM

Ad astra reply

Welcome to The Political Sword family.  Please do come again.  Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Your comment is apt.  Many of us lament the slow, but seemingly inexorable decline of a once proud profession and industry.  Some believe it is moribund.

It is particularly sad to see once renowned journalists like Michelle Grattan plumbing the depths of inferior journalism.  ‘He said, she said’ now seems her stock in trade.  Her incisive analyses seem to have evaporated.

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 12:50 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I’ll lay long odds that we will never hear about the Coalition’s ‘faceless men’ in the MSM.

Your comments are germane.  As I mentioned earlier, the Insiders panel reminded me of a recovery session after a hard game of football where the team had unexpectedly lost.  They said almost nothing about Julia Gillard’s ‘triumph’ or the fact that she had outmanoeuvered them comprehensively.  They were content to quietly lick their wounds.

I agree with you assessment: "To me, it looks as though the PM and her Government are going to take on the press gallery head to head. I think we can be sure that anything that the PM, her Ministers and Government in general, say will be watertight. Those populating the Canberra Press Gallery will spin, leap onto imaginary nuances, become body language experts until the hard harsh reality sets in;....the only way to report on, and analyse the policies of Govt is to read them, understand them and pass fair comment on your conclusions. Something that real journalists do."

I applaud your clever quip: 

Julia Gillard doesn't have to beat Tony Abbott. He has to beat her.

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 01:00 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
The Clive Hamilton article is important reading. That statement by John Singleton should alarm us all.  In case anyone missed it, here is what he said: Singleton, who owns the Sydney radio station that broadcasts right-wing ranters Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, has known Rinehart most of her life and is still close to her. In a recent Good Weekend profile of Rinehart, reporter Jane Cadzow quoted Singleton bragging about their influence: "We have 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 her thinking about the deployment of our resources, we act in concert in this way."  He is so brazen that he believes he can say that and go on doing his subterranean work uninterruptedly.  Let’s hope the media review pulls him up in his tracks.

Here is the link again:

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 01:04 PM

Ad astra reply

Freedom Is Blogging in Your Underwear by Hugh MacLeod looks like interesting reading.  It is due for release on Amazon on 26 April.

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 01:08 PM


Ad astra

Hopefully somewhere there is an academic or a student carefully compiling all of the news articles written and spoken in the period from last Monday night/Tuesday morning through to this Monday night. It will provide an illuminating snapshot of how the press operates in this country. You have pointed to how each of our 'senior' reporters chose to approach the topic of Carr's appointment, the events surrounding it and the subsequent outcome. This is only one facet of the complicated events of the last week.

Equally fascinating would be to follow a number of timelines as the story spread around the various media houses and individual journalists. Two observations to make my point.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we heard variously that:

Bob Carr was sitting in the airport waiting to catch a flight to Canberra for the announcement when Wayne Swan rang to tell him that the deal was off.

Bob Carr was in a taxi to the airport to catch a flight to Canberra for the announcement when Wayne Swan rang him .....

Bob Carr was packing his bags in anticipation of catching a taxi to the airport to board a flight to Canberra for the announcement when Wayne Swan rang him .....

Bob Carr had to cancel his reservation on a flight to Canberra because Wayne Swan rang him .....

They can't all be correct. Okay, it's not a big deal - just a minor detail but it shows quite clearly the willingness of some scribes to add 'colour' to their version of events. Almost certainly the last one is correct (cancelled a reservation) but that isn't dramatic enough so let's have him packing his bags. No wait - in a taxi. No no - better still - waiting at the airport. How eleventh hour is that ??

Of interest in those same sentences is that (from memory) every one of them talked of Carr coming to Canberra for an 'announcement'. Not discussions or a meeting but an announcement. This says quite explicitly that an offer was made and a deal was done. Julia Gillard then squibbed on the deal and had her Deputy ring Carr to say that it was off. How gutless is that?

My other observation is that the further one goes from the source of a story the more likely it is to be couched in terms that allow for no argument i.e. it has become fact. I followed Philip Coorey as the story unfolded. He broke the story and it was his source/s that provided the snippets upon which Coorey's contentions were made. In his original articles he spoke of 'a Labor source' confirming that Wayne Swan had rung Bob Carr to tell him not to bother coming to Canberra. The presence of 'a Labor source' in the article would have had the needle on our BS Meters swinging over to 'Normal Sceptical". Subsequent reports that followed established protocol will have said "this morning the Herald reports that Wayne Swan ....". Okay - 'Mildly Sceptical' with the capacity to backtrack to the original source to ascertain credibility.

As the day wears on and the cycle advances, reports no longer refer back to any source. It is presumed to be true. In the hands of someone like Grattan it becomes "the Tuesday morning online report came around the time Carr was told by Wayne Swan that it was game off". Not only would Grattan have us believe that it is incontrovertibly true that Swan rang Carr, she knows exactly when it occurred. No proof of this is ever provided. Presumably, because it is Michelle we should take it as gospel.

Does this mean then that we should accept award-winning journalist Simon Benson's blatherings* on Thursday where he seems to have had it on good authority that Carr had clearly been sent a message from the PM’s office that it wasn’t on?
If we take the next logical step to the comments made on blogs and at the bottom of news stories we find arguments ensuing about the 'facts' where what was once a whisper from an un-named source (properly accredited and given the scepticism it deserves) becomes incontrovertible and the foundation of a tirade of abuse against 'the enemy'. The further you get from the anonymous source the more likely something that someone is 'reported' to have said becomes fact.

Thanks for yet another telling article, Ad astra.

*I don't say that lightly. Here are some of Bensen's truly illuminating insights from Thursday morning before he became another recipient of a brilliant egging.

The fallout from this {inability to recruit Carr} could be deep and long-running and potentially fatal for Gillard.
The NSW right is 18 members strong. It is the single largest grouping within the Labor caucus and has historically been the most influential.
During the Keating years it provided the intellectual ballast to the government and almost always was responsible for protecting the leader.
For the past five years it has been divided. Its lack of unity and leadership has allowed the Victorian right - most notably Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy and their minions (the Shortcons) - to assert its authority.
Carr would have provided the figure in the NSW right to rally its troops and reassert its strength against an aggressive Victorian right.
Under Carr, it could have become again the potent unified force in the federal caucus. Perhaps this is what Gillard and the Victorians were really afraid of.
Because under a unified NSW right, Gillard would probably be finished.


If you decide to read the whole article, I won't call your attention to the contention in the early paragraphs that failing to recruit Bob Carr is a missed opportunity for Gillard to save herself. As you can see from the above quote Bensen reckons she might have dodged a bullet because she didn't recruit him thereby empowering the NSW Right.
Put him down as a bob each way man please Ad astra.


March 4. 2012 01:11 PM


Nas' @9.06pm 3/3, the Emperor has never brooked any independence in his editors. And I think this is all too obvious when you read his papers (a distasteful exercise I no longer undertake).

The Conversation provides a critique of News Ltd and the fate of independent journalism in the light of the ongoing scandals enveloping the Empire.


Although I deplore the appalling treatment of the government and the PM, I guess I have to temper it when you consider that if you want a job in journalism in this country, you're pretty much limited to the Murdochracy which owns 70% of print media in this country.

However, this doesn't excuse the rest of the media and in particular the ABC, which have played follow the Ltd News leader in their reporting.

AFAIC, the ABC is the most egregious offender in all this. Once you could rely on the ABC to provide fair, balanced and unbiased information. Now all they do is parrot Rupert's directives.

And i lay the blame for this wholely and solely at the feet of the Rodentochracy. They crossed the line when they loaded the board with their sycophants thus politicising the public broadcaster.

And Labor needs a good kick up the bum for allowing this to go on.

There should be much more stringent rules for across the board media ownership in this country and a fit and proper person test applied to all those who aspire to media ownership in this country.

It's time we had decent, unbiased, truthful, fair and unbiased reporting in this country. We have been duped, deluded, misinformed and lied to by the media.

It's time to fight back and reclaim our right to honest reporting of the facts not the biased opinion and downright lies, dressed up as fact from the opinionistas with an agenda to bring down the duly elected government of this country.

Rant over. Great comment highlighting the issues that need to be addressed, Nas'.

sprocket, I like the way you think.

Gravel @8.24am, spot on. The msm hates this newly invigorated and assertive PM, free of the confidence sapping, enervating leaking and back grounding of the last 18+ months.

Well they may hate it, but I lurve it and as she told them "settle in."

Had I been her, I would have been tempted to add Bette Davis's famous line from All About Eve,: "Buckle up. It's going to be a bumpy ride!" :lol:

janice, excellent analysis, as usual.

2353 @9.46am, looking forward to those days.

I noticed that there was almost no acknowledgement on Insiders of the extent to which the Canberra Press Gallery was once more caught out when Bob Carr appeared with the PM on Friday.

As you'd expect, I suppose Ad astra. They're still scraping the omlette from their faces and trying to spin it as another epic "Fail" to the PM and self congratulatory pats on the back at their astuteness.

I notice they're doing their best to present the PM in a bad light 'cos she "lied" to them about confidential government information.

Such is their inflated opinion of their importance that they demand that they be privy to information they have no business knowing. And they forget that the PM, and the government in general, is under no obligation to cooperate when they're on a fishing expedition.

Being truthful with them on policy matters is essential, and the government would be mad to lie about such things. But on sensitive or private negotiations, they can jump in the lake until they are completed!

Lyn, thank you for all your hard work keeping us up to speed with the latest links and tweets. You're a rare gem.

Patricia, bit harsh on turkeys, don't you think? lol


March 4. 2012 01:34 PM


Norman K at 1.08
Thanks for your analysis of the timeline & how things became "truths".
My more simplistic observation is that the press gallery were assuring us that they knew, they had the goods, they had it all down pat, right up until the time when THEY were completely blindsided. If they were so good, how come?


March 4. 2012 02:23 PM


Lyn, Secker is the MP in my electorate of Barker and universally recognised as a waste of space by the discerning voter aka me, she says modestly.

He is an avowed Liealot sycophant, so to read of his assassination by Liars party "faceless persons" gives me a frisson of pleasure.

And a glimmer of hope that the government will make as much capital out of this as possible!

I can almost feel Albo pawing at the ground. QT could be quite inneresting tomorrow, don't you think?

What is even more interesting, will be to observe the potential demise of the "faceless person" as a rod to beat the government over the head. Bwwwaahahahahaha!!!

As for Singo, his brazen statement is sure to bite him on the bum. If he thinks that the Media Inquiry will not note it with interest, he is even more consumed by hubris than his fellow travellers.

Another arrogant Icarus who will be shot down by his flapping gob! Oh tragedy. roflmao

Ian @12.09pm, I heartily agree with you. The msm is the party which needs to do all the fence mending.

They are obviously still smarting at being scammed by the "leaks" which to the conspiracy theory part of my brain is beginning to look more and more like a set up by the PM.

And I suspect that it has dawned on the msm big time. A beautiful double edged sword, imo. They won't be able to trust any leakers from government sauces any longer.

Oh the joy your third para gives me!!! The PM's revenge; swift and merciless! And of course your final sentence which we have been tricked by the msm into forgetting for so long.

Julia Gillard doesn't have to beat Tony Abbott. He has to beat her.

NormanK, great analysis.


March 4. 2012 02:45 PM


Parliamentary Sitting Days calendar is now on the PH web front page: http://www.aph.gov.au/

Only eight more sleeps until next Question Time


March 4. 2012 03:02 PM


   That's a first "Only eight more sleeps until next Question Time" psml!


March 4. 2012 03:17 PM


Hi Jane

Thanks a lot for your brilliant posts, most enjoyable goes heaps to
to the quality of TPS, you are an asset, thankyou Jane

I can almost feel Albo pawing at the ground. QT could be quite interesting tomorrow, don't you think?

Wasn't there 282 Liberal faceless men quoted in that article, that should keep Albo going all year.

But look at this the MSM have something else to Bootstrap, go chase your facts all you Political Journalists, Abbott said it so must be true:

Breaking News

Abbott says he will be the next prime minister to be voted into office , The Australian

'I will be PM': Tony Abbott , Brisbane Times

'I will be PM': Tony Abbott , SMH

'I will be PM': Tony Abbott , The Age

'I will be PM', says Abbott, Sky News

I will be PM, says Abbott, Channel 9
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has told Queenslanders he is confident he will be the next elected Prime Minister of Australia.

Addressing the Liberal National Party's 2012 Queensland state election campaign launch in Brisbane on Sunday

'I will be PM': Tony Abbott , The Age

'I will be PM', says Abbott , Bigpond News


March 4. 2012 03:18 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your incisive analysis of the statements that led up to the Carr announcement.  You cleverly show how initial ‘truths’ morph into manifest untruths.  The callous disregard for the truth and how distortions of it can harm, now characterizes much MSM journalism.  Simon Bensen’s ‘blatherings’ illustrate this starkly.  His whole thesis was based on an assumption that turned out to be incorrect.  

After a lot of trouble, I finally got to his article online.  It’s a bobby dazzler.  Everyone should read it, just for the laughs.


Here are a few edited extracts:  Reflect on how he will work his way out of this.
”The Gillard government has ended the week the same way it started it. In a shambles. The events of past days have exposed the Prime Minister as lacking any authority or political judgment.

Cabinet solidarity has become a national joke. And her caucus is now more fractured than it has ever been, with the dominant NSW right faction now officially at war with the Victorians.

How could he say such a thing? Wait for it!

”…How small it has become was on full display this week with Julia Gillard's calamitous attempt to recruit Bob Carr to her cabinet.

How she could botch this beggars belief. Carr could have been the injection of intellectual capital, statesmanship and political commonsense that the Gillard government needed to turn around its political misfortunes.

He would have provided a different narrative, defending the government and selling its message far beyond just the foreign policy agenda. Carr would have come with a well-prepared foreign policy plan. He would have restored diplomatic representation in our region and dropped the pursuit of a UN Security Council seat and the expensive vote-buying exercise in Africa.

Carr was also an honorary scholar of the US Australian American Leadership dialogue. There is probably not another Australian better suited to the job of foreign minister.

Carr is also a big name for Labor. He is the party's longest-serving NSW Labor premier. Whatever one may say about the government he led, Carr governed in a style and with a policy rigour that turned around the public perception that Labor government's were poor economic managers.

He was also considered highly enough by the party to conduct the official review of Labor's 2010 election campaign. Carr is on a long-standing offer from Labor to come to Canberra, as is former Queensland premier Peter Beattie and former Victorian premier Steve Bracks.
Carr has long made it known that the only way he would consider it would be as foreign minister.

What a build up!  Clearly Carr would be the saviour if only he could have been recurited, yet Julia Gillard muffed this golden opportunity.  Incompetence writ large.

…What happened next is a mystery which the PM has yet to explain.

You bet it is Simon.  Neither you or the rest of the pack had a clue.

In her handling of this, Gillard has demonstrated a complete lack of authority - a stark contradiction to her claims of a new assertiveness following Monday's defeat of Rudd in the leadership ballot.

She chose to embarrass one of the party's leading figures and deny her government someone who could have made the difference rather than argue her case against a couple of petty-minded ministers.

That’s right Simon, she’s a wimp, dangling like a limp puppet on strings being pulled by others.

Carr is rightly furious... It has been an incomprehensible stuff-up. It has also confirmed what Rudd's supporters knew; that Gillard would trip up.
They believed that it could take weeks or months but ultimately another political misjudgment would catch the PM out. They didn't expect a stuff up within hours.

Yes Simon, Bob Carr was blind with fury as he spoke alongside Julia Gillard on Friday, dragooned as he was out of retirement into the demeaning post of Minister for Foreign Affairs.  He looked apoplectic with rage.

…The fallout from this could be deep and long-running and potentially fatal for Gillard.

Yes her enlistment of Bob Carr does look bad for her, even as you say,
potentially fatal.

Bensen then goes into an expose of the NSW right and its need to fight the aggressive Victorian left, and concludes that: ”Under Carr, it could have become again the potent unified force in the federal caucus. Perhaps this is what Gillard and the Victorians were really afraid of. Because under a unified NSW right, Gillard would probably be finished.

Simon, let me make sure I’ve got this right – with Carr on board, Gillard would probably be finished, but you insisted earlier in your piece that Carr was necessary to save her bacon.  Looks like whatever she did you are adamant she is finished.  That’s how you nail her, as NormanK said, have a bob each way – you can’t miss.

Simon Benson is National Political Editor

If he goes on writing such unutterable, uniformed tosh, blithely unaware of what was going on, how long can her last as ‘National Political Editor’?  I wonder how his next article as National Political Editor will read?

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 03:34 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Here is a telling example of how the MSM bends the truth.  In the context of postulating that the next PM might be Stephen Smith, Bill Shorten or Bob Carr, presumably replacing Julia Gillard before the next election, Tony Abbott is reported in all the outlets you listed as saying: 'But I think I will be the next elected Prime Minister of Australia'  Yet in almost every case the headline is ‘I will be PM’, which is not what he said.

I’m not sure he will be all that pleased with the headlines; the people hate hubris.

Each piece is virtually a carbon copy of the others.  It not only shows how paltry is the journalism, but the way media outlets feed off each other.

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 03:47 PM


Take a bow all you Political Sworders.  I had a wonderful time with the grandkids at footy practice, came home, and read all your fantastic comments.  It has really topped off my great day.


March 4. 2012 04:11 PM


Ad astra, just read Benson's hilarious article. I wanted to post a comment, but wasn't able to do so.

I really wanted to ask him if he's allergic to eggs, how good his sauces are now, whether he'll be able to tell if they're genuine or not, whether he's enjoying the wedgie and does he appreciate the PM's sense of humour?

Of course he and the rest of the pundits will spend the next zillion inches of column space back pedalling and trying to convince themselves and everyone else that they weren't fooled at all.

To paraphrase a vulgar expression; they think their incompetence doesn't stink, but their stupidity gives them away.


March 4. 2012 04:58 PM


Ad astra said
Thank you for the nice compliment you have extended to Lyn and me.
and Lyn said
Thankyou Talk Turkey for saying such a nice compliment

Did you get the sorta joke? I'm betting you didn't!

"I would like to say this next in verse, but it takes so much more time
To write it all, (and sometimes worse), in terms of careful rhyme,
But anyway what I want to say is what a great duet
Ad astra and Lyn Tweetie make - Best Combo on the Net."

Now let me say, in genuine prose, how deeply I really feel those trite few lines. Lyn your list of journalists' comments on their rotten week will stand as a record of their stupidity, self-importance and bigotry: if you had not done it no-one would have, and a precious piece of journalistic history would not exist. But Oh Ad, what a delish dish you have turned Lyn's ingredients into, I hope the old Coke Bottles are clear enough for MG to read of our ridicule - hilarity - condemnation - hubris - contempt - all baked into bitter Humble Pie for journos, yet as some say Yuk and some say Yum, it is for the Leftish side of the 5th Estate the yummiest Chadenfreude en Roulade in history!

Labor is hitting form wonderfully, the boggled Media scrum is looking like complete fools, with fingers so burnt they don't know how to type their way out of the mess they have made.  

I think it only fair to acknowledge the part of Mark Arbib in Labor's coup on Friday. As he sadly acknowledges, he will always be the face of the 'Faceless Men', yet he is forever also an unsung Labor hero now. *J*U*L*I*A* has filled the space he created with one whose record in the exercise of media-savvy is akin to Achilles' record of combat. Sad for Arbib, but one feels he's glad to be ot of it, and it's certainly great for Labor.

Steven Smith is a Labor rock too, it might (or not?) be that he really wanted FA but I'm glad for us all that he is staying in Defence, he has a quiet firm presence that commands respect even among the notorious right-biased armed forces. He was taking no crap from journos, he said wtte Maybe you were listening or maybe you weren't but I've always said it's the PM's call, I am happy to serve . . . Dog how the journos hated being confronted with Smith's calm incontrovertible truth, after he had just given them all a slap in the moosh for their lousy yelling manners which shut them up completely. The Media will get little more leeway with Labor from now on, can't you just feel it!

You're right about Crassidy's show this morning Ad. Lame. Journos all hurt, can't admit their stupidity and repeated bungling but don't know which of their *dysfunctional family* (as *J*U*L*I*A* put it!) to believe so they can try to memeify it . . . Because they are all getting everything wrong!

Not quite everything. They knew the Spill was On before we did, but then, they'd been backgrounded all along by Rudd's minions, but of course they never told us, oh no, that would be breaking their oh-so-high journalistic principles of protecting their sources, oh yeah, including like Merdeoch's privacy invaders, har har. Journalistic principles that would rather betray a whole nation's Government than one leaking liar . . . For of course Rudd is a liar, as every spy and turncoat is a liar.  

And then there's the Media Enquiry Report . . . Smile    

There was a lovely little hand-drawn picture on someone's blog early last week, I think it was Casablanca provided the link and might please find it again for anyone who wants to look at it, it depicted a triumphant sword-brandishing *J*U*L*I*A* in shining armour, her Ruddista foes fleeing, scattered and dismayed, and Sir Kevin lying semi-conscious and defeated at her feet. I was so taken with the artwork I printed it out and stuck it on my wall.  Well, that picture is doubly apposite as from Friday morning, the Media Mob looks even more like *J*U*L*I*A*s scattered dismayed fleeing foes than the original Ruddistas did!

But back to Lyn and Ad astra: there is nothing so noble as helping to raise consciousness in others, and you two do it all the time. Thank you always on behalf of all of the rest of us, it is no ordinary thing you do.

And today's symbiotic partnership, Lyn's~Links >>> Ad's
Assessment, is extra-extraordinary, a treasure, better than you will find anywhere on the MSM.

We feel so good now, so confident, Don't We Comrades!!!

May the Government press its advantage! - So thrilling to see a righteously-vengeful Labor in attack, Coalons panicking in disarray and retreat, MSM suddenly respectful, Parliament under Slipper amazingly well-behaved (compared to Harry's reign anyway), all the main jobs done except rational legisaltion relating to asylum seekers - and on that matter, the Coalons can only wedge themselves tighter, Labor is in a position to deliver the stripes on that issue now. It is a horrible issue till to be resolved, but before the next election the Government will prevail, one way or another, on that issue too, and in doing so will also show the Coalons up for the cynical inhumane nihilistic lying swine* they really are. (Eye of Time).

*Sorry real Piggies, no offence. I see your point yes.

To call Pyne a swine doesn't just insult swine,
But much more, it's undeserved flattery to Pyne!  


March 4. 2012 05:13 PM


Cheers jane,

I must say Penberthy's faith in "the existing safeguards against media errors and misrepresentations" is very touching indeed, if it weren't such a self-serving, risible load of old codswallop.

LOL. Well said. It's codswallop served on a platter w/ the gullible reader's jello, a baloney sandwich and a bunch of porkies.

All while simultaneously giving what must be one of the longest, most undeserved free kicks to probably the most incompetent LOTO and Opposition in the history of the country!.

Abbott has certainly been a fortunate man so far...but I reckon his luck is about to run out.

The public have scrutinised him and found him wanting.

The press and other news media cannot ignore this w/out damaging their own diminishing credibility.

I believe prior to the next election he will be unceremoniously dumped.

He was always the wedgie guy...the stormtrooper...the bulldozer...the wrecker...the naysayer used to create doubts about the government & its policies...attempting to wedge them on issues...

and bring in the extremists that luv misogynistic  nudge nudge wink winks, guns, uber God, extreme sports, pickups and powerful trucks...hate/fear asylum seekers...

whilst catering to the odd libertarian conspiracy loop...

useful for awhile...

but far too kooky & unpredictable to be given more than one chance at the PMship.

Turnbull will be rubbing his hands w/ glee at this point in the game....

as old big ears w/ the slightly nutjob persona & weathervane attitude disintegrates incrementally just being himself.



March 4. 2012 05:28 PM

Ad astra reply

What a delightful a compliment you pay Lyn and me, so heartfelt, so sincere.  Thank you.

Your optimism is encouraging, and optimism is not unwarranted with the recent turn of events.  If only the media would give PM Gillard and her Government even half a chance to prove its worth; if only the media would desist from its constant negativity to the Government; if only it would turn its focus on the negativity and policy paucity of Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and her ministers could turn around the attitude of the electorate to a positive and supportive one.

I applaud your positive attitude too.  Once Abbott’s decline begins, it will likely be rapid.  But he will hang on for grim death because he knows Malcolm Turnbull is waiting in the wings.  Unfortunately for Turnbull, he has many in the party who would not have him as leader at any cost.  They see him as a traitor.  So when Abbott does eventually go, we may see Joe Hockey, or perhaps Scott Morrison, or even Christopher Pyne putting up their hands.  Imagine that!

Ad astra reply

March 4. 2012 05:41 PM


the Emperor has never brooked any independence in his editors. And I think this is all too obvious when you read his papers (a distasteful exercise I no longer undertake).

Indeed jane,
we are provided w/ this vomit from his employees playing the role of Rupert apologists...denying his interference...arguing they are independent...

yet we all know that the dark & threatening shadow of Murdoch hovers over the staff like some menacing wraith...lives inside the possessed editors...

a corporate convenient libertarian free market opportunistic hypocrite w/ Napoleonic-like grandiosity & the ethics of a nudie magazine publisher combined w/ that of a National Enquirer journo...

spreading a contagious disease known as Moral Bankruptcy...gradually infecting just about all who work for him...

creating a culture of fever reporting...chaotic mud slinging...delirious fingerpointing...and rollercoaster news rides that leave both the public and some staff fearful, insecure and retching.

Murdoch is the Merchant of Chaos...the profiteer using the public as his plaything.

It's gone on for decades.
Creating socio-economic instability.

We need a cure.



March 4. 2012 05:52 PM


Unfortunately for Turnbull, he has many in the party who would not have him as leader at any cost.

It will be interesting to see how they react when some of their major individual & business supporters tell them to axe Abbott, dispose of his body to the backbench...and replace him w/ Malcolm the Great.

Perhaps there will be offers they cannot refuse?

Or bloodied smugglers found under their bed covers?
(metaphorically of course)



March 4. 2012 06:18 PM


Nas' thanks for the thumbs up. Good comment and precis of what's been going on. Like you I believe that the msm is going to have to start doing their proper job, to salvage the smallest crumb of credibility.

And now the PM and the rest of the government forces have their measure, it'll be some time before their tails make it out from between their legs.

Ad astra, I reckon your assessment of the dilemma facing the Liars Party is spot on.

I also doubt that Turnbull will be given the nod when Liealot falls on his sword, because he botched the job so badly. But there is such a paucity of talent in the ranks of the Liars Party, God knows what they can replace Liealot with.

I hope he hangs on long enough so that his successor doesn't benefit from a honeymoon period.

Like Nasking, I think the msm, while not entirely vanquished and harbouring a store of bile and invective sufficient for the next 100 years, are now at a significant disadvantage.

Their dilemma; how to verify the veracity of any senior or other nameless source leaking or back grounding.

With her devastating master stroke, the PM has stamped her authority firmly on the government and has given the msm a lesson in tactics and strategy it won't soon forget.

Move over Alexander, Boadicea wants your pedestal!


March 4. 2012 06:34 PM

Patricia WA

Yes, N', following Abbott's logic last week, suggesting that one third of the ALP have made it clear they don't trust Julia Gillard, then some 49.40% of his party didn't trust him in 2009.

I wonder if they have changed their minds since then or are they underwhelmed by the number of Australians at large who don't like Tony Abbott?  And would they now like to have as leader the man they rejected then by one vote,   Malcolm Turnbull,  who is overwhelmingly popular with voters?  

What a dilemma for them!  Do they follow the example of the ALP and spill their guts, telling us all the truth about why they can't stand either of their political leaders and say to hell with polls and popularity ratings?

Anyway, is there a third man in the Liberal Party?

Patricia WA

March 4. 2012 07:00 PM


Patricia WA,
           "Anyway, is there a third man in the Liberal Party?"
In a word no! I doubt he/she is even in the parliament as yet!


March 4. 2012 07:06 PM


A CanDo Classic!

"We will spend $1 billion to upgrade the Bruce Highway."

"Hurray!!" Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

"All we need is for the federal government to pay for it."

"Oh ..." Frown Frown Frown Frown Frown


March 4. 2012 07:40 PM


       I watched the "LNP" launch today with "Abbott" trying to weave just about every "federal issue" into "CanDo's"  moment! as an outsider looking in is "Abbott's" utterances helpful to the LNP? or has "CanDo" got so very little to offer? He's more than happy for "Abbott" to divert attention away from himself?


March 4. 2012 08:11 PM



One day cricket final?
LNP Launch?
One day cricket final??
LNP launch??

No contest really.

CanDo strikes me as a loser - a rooster with a sense of entitlement.
Sound like any Iron Man that we know?


March 4. 2012 08:14 PM


       I agree the cricket final is better value than the LNP launch!


March 4. 2012 09:08 PM


Ad astra said
. . . Your optimism is encouraging, and optimism is not unwarranted with the recent turn of events.

> Ad You would know that I have never been anything but sanguine about Labor's prospects at the next election, and from my perspective my optimism has been both rational in foresight and justified in retrospect. My confidence has never ceased to grow, even in the face of the most sustained scurrilous withering attack from both the MSM and the no-good Coalons, simply because of the Government's achievements on the ground and equally because of the relative quality of the Government's and the NOposition's front benches, and especially because I have from the first compared our leader to theirs. Bluff and negativity don't last three years. Australians will want the MSM, for example, they will come to appreciate the benefits to themselves of an MRRT (How long, Dog of Mercy, tell us when!) Gradually our utter superiority is manifesting in support, I have never doubted it, I see the great advantage of expressing confidence right out loud anyway, imagine the effect if I was always expressing misdoubts!    

Ad said
If only the media would give PM Gillard and her Government even half a chance to prove its worth;

> *J*U*L*I*A* and the Government do not intend to wait for that to happen. They have already seized the new initiative.

and Ad again:
If only the media would desist from its constant negativity to the Government; if only it would turn its focus on the negativity and policy paucity of Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and her ministers could turn around the attitude of the electorate to a positive and supportive one.

> Never mind the if only's Ad, they'll either desist or they will get desisted! Plus, the Media Enquiry is uncompromising, the Media knows it is under scrutiny for good now and they don't like it one little bit, but WE do! It is as you have alwasy said Ad since you started this forum.

As I write Lenore Taylor is being pathetic on a rerun of Lopsiders claiming that Labor is rewriting history of the last week . . . Ha! Smile ET TU LENORE!
Watching the 4 of them a second time makes their squirming even more schadenfreudogenic.

You know what I think and have always said Ad astra,
           VENCEREMOS! Smile

PS You said
What a delightful compliment you pay Lyn and me, so heartfelt, so sincere.

Ad let me point out, you can't actually know that! Smile

I do assure you that yes it is, but we're talking turkey here . . .


March 4. 2012 09:12 PM


. . . "Australians will want the MSM . .  >"

major oops

Australians will want the [b]NBN[/b]


March 4. 2012 09:20 PM


Hear! Hear! Nas' @ 5.41pm.

......some 49.40% of his party didn't trust him in 2009.

A fact which the PM never fails to rub his nose in, Patricia. lol.

As for a third man, good luck finding any talent.

I notice Liealot stole Newman's thunder today with his prediction that he'll be the next elected PM. Couldn't help himself, obviously. What a complete wanker.


March 4. 2012 10:03 PM


Good onya Uncle Clive!
What a Treasure!

But moments after being crowned by the NSW branch of the National Trust, Mr Palmer took a swipe at Mr Swan, accusing him of not understanding the economy.

"He doesn't know how the economy works, really, he knows that," he told reporters in Sydney.

"He's got to rely on the faceless men in the ALP which all live in Melbourne, all send him faxes and texts, tell him what to do and if he doesn't know he can call his department."


Such a class act.
Who else is there in public life who doesn't know how to behave in a gracious manner during events that should not involve partisan politics?
Thinking ....... thinking.


March 4. 2012 11:38 PM


For anyone who might be a bit dismayed about the announcement of our latest National Living Treasure from Queensland (we all know it should have been Lyn) take some comfort from the fact that it is not a truly national award.

''This is not nationally endorsed at all, this is a NSW initiative,'' said Dr Graeme Blackman, chairman of the Australian Council of National Trusts, speaking from Singapore yesterday after learning of Mr Palmer's inclusion. ''I am telling you, as the chairman, it is not auspiced by the National Trust nationally.''


The chief executive of the trust's NSW branch, Brian Scarsbrick, said this year: ''The title National Living Treasure is a historic title, voted by the people, and one that only 100 living Australians can ever truly claim.''
Yesterday Dr Blackman said it was Mr Scarsbrick's NSW branch that should take responsibility for the inclusion of Mr Palmer and that the other seven branches of the National Trust had nothing to do with it.
A source close to the competition has revealed concerns were raised even when Mr Palmer's name was included on a list of 100 final nominees, with Woman's Day providing some celebrity names and the National Trust (NSW) insisting on others, including Mr Palmer.
''His name was definitely questioned, even before the football scandal,'' said the source.
Woman's Day editor Fiona Connolly said the magazine was simply ''a sponsor'' of the event, using its website clout to get responses from readers. She could not confirm whether the results of 10,000 public votes formed the basis of the final list.

(my emphasis)

Far be it from me to cast nasturtiums but .........
ultra-rich man ........ questionable nomination ..........
unlikely recipient of an award .........

C'mon investigative journalists, find a link between Uncle Clive and Mr Scarsbrick and/or the NSW branch of the National Trust and you will blow the Queensland election wide open.
Could be a Walkley in it for you.

Or a banana.


March 5. 2012 12:39 AM


Stephen Koukoulas had an opinion piece Focus on Labor’s economic wins  in Thursday's Aus Fin Review which opened with this paragraph:
The coyness is over. Driven by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Labor Party is having a coming-of-age moment with its long overdue acceptance that it is a very good manager of the economy and the nation’s finances.

TheKouk went on to lay out some facts about the level of tax and government spending.

As is usual for opinion pieces such as this the it ended with:
Stephen Koukoulas is the managing director of Market Economics and was economics adviser to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

On Friday, under the headline High-taxing Howard times felt better  was a letter to the editor by Dan Musson of Killarney Heights, NSW.

It is an 'interesting' critique of TheKouk's article. Mr Musson claims no asociation with any political party but does admit to being 'in an above-average position'.

It is also worth noting that he lives in the electorate of Warringah which has as its' esteemed member one Tony Abbott.

The cartoon that goes with letter sums it up really.

Oh and if you read both items you will understand why TheKoouk tweeted this
Not sure whether to laugh, give up or despair with this reply to my article in the AFR


March 5. 2012 12:46 AM


Over the last 40 mins or so the latest Newspoll results have been 'leaking' out.

Apropos the comment above:
Handling the economy: ALP 34 (+6) L/NP 46 (-1)


March 5. 2012 02:00 AM


An interesting editorial in The Age which I find it hard to disagree with:

Wayne Swan's fightin' words
IN HIS essay lashing out at the ''poison'' of rent-seeking vested interests, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has correctly diagnosed a key challenge confronting Australian democracy. But he has failed to acknowledge the government's role in encouraging it.

And also NK's 'mate' Uncle Clive gets a 'right of reply' opinion piece:

Wayne Swan knows nothing about me, or our democracy
ALL Australians have an inherent right to be treated equally under the law regardless of our race or means or where we live. We are one nation, with a diverse and rich background.
The heritage of all Australians, rich or poor, and that of our leaders, elected or not, is something we all must respect. It's the mark of an intellectual pygmy not to recognise that and to play the man, not the ball.


Mr Palmer certainly shows how well he plays the ball and not the man with his response.



March 5. 2012 05:42 AM

Patricia WA

Thanks for the nice comments on my little pome inspired by AA's post today.   I've just finished an extensive update, with a picture and notes at polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../

Patricia WA

March 5. 2012 08:18 AM



Turkey Feathers Ruffled? Patricia wa, Polliepomes
There followed a storm of criticism of her ineptness, questioning her honesty, her judgement and her leadership capacity. It all culminated in a shrill denunciation by the Opposition and yet another failed SSO

The reshuffle: what actually happened?, James Higgins, The Politics Project
But, as I said yesterday, the best way to resolve it was to do what she has done today, and appoint Carr. Julia, you beauty. Oh, and by the way, he definitely won’t break a sweat wiping the floor with Julie Bishop.

An absolute masterstroke!, James Higgins, The Politics Project
As NSW’s longest-serving Premier and a Labor statesman, he is exactly what Julia Gillard needs: someone with a fierce intellect and unrivalled political experience, who poses no threat to her leadership. Carr will do the job that John Faulkner, another Labor stalwart, would have done for Kevin Rudd.

The second day story…James Higgins. The Politics Project
The reshuffle has, on the whole, been a resounding success for the PM. Let’s hope we can now move on to some important policy issues.
The Gonski Review of school funding still needs serious thought, a national disability scheme is in the works (along

Carr to Canberra - The Record of Past Premiers Who Have Gone Federal, Antony Green, ABC
Carr becomes the 30th Premier (plus two Chief Ministers) to have made the transfer to Federal politics. Only six (plus two Chief Ministrers) have occurred since the Second World War, though several other shifts were mooted. Twelve took place at Federation, and another twelve between Federation and the Second World War.

Abbott – Leader or Lunatic? One Mans View, Wayne Brooks, Curiosity and Challenge
This clearly indicate the contempt he is generating for not only the PM but our Parliament. Daily slanderous remarks, unfounded and grossly exaggerated attacks on our highest office clearly display to me he has NO regard for the integrity of Parliament nor the dignity required in his position as a party leader

The Goldfish Bowl in full flight, Massivespray, Spray of the Day
Tony Abbott took out first prize in the massive hypocrite stakes for saying that Julia Gillard was loose with the truth…this from the man who has admitted that you can’t trust anything he says. Of course no-one mentioned this because that would require having a memory

Pundit Fatigue , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
As soon as the vote was known, the barking punditocracy were unleashed from their cages to opinionate and prognosticate and speculate all over our televisions. All no doubt

The Iron Lady wins twice: Hollywood imitates Australian politics, Evelyn Tsitas, On Line Opinion
Both Iron Ladies have suffered the usual slings and arrows of politics even harder because of their gender. In "The Gender Agenda: Gillard and the Politics of Sexism" (Feb 26) Anne Summers wrote that "there can be no doubting that Australia's first woman prime minister has had to endure levels of vitriol never before seen in federal politics. And it is extremely personal."

Don’t whinge about the billionaires, Mr Swan. Do something, Paul Barry, The Power Index
Tackle big bonuses, speak out against huge CEO salaries, give shareholders more power to control what company bosses get paid. Better still, raise the tax rate on the mega rich; publish how much tax they pay; or publish a list of those who pay most,

Fewer opinion polls, longer parliamentary terms, Jim Middleton, ABC
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.

Australia’s Beautiful Inspiring Set of Numbers (BISONs), Frank, A Frank View
The BISONs are still roaring and running free by The Finnigans. Latest Updates – 03/03/2012. New BISONs: Julia Gillard elected & confirmed as PM with the greatest thumping winning margin in history 71-31 with one supporter away on leave, otherwise it will be 72-31

Doublethink doubleplusungood, John Quiggin
First, the parallel universe created by Fox News, the rightwing thinktanks and so on has turned out to be unstable and uncontrollable. Once released, viruses like birtherism cannot easily be recalled, and can mutate into new forms

Not a Media Release from the RBA - 7 March 2012, Stephen Koukoulas
The outlook for business investment remains particularly robust and will act to counter sub-trend growth in consumer demand and housing construction. Labour market conditions are less tight than experienced in the first half of 2011, although the unemployment rate remains a little above 5 per cent.

All work creates wealth, Ross Gittins
So "wealth" is generated when people go to work and their employer provides them with the equipment and direction to do what they do. The workers receive income in return for their work. They pay

Tony Abbott Would Not Lie To God, Ærchies Archive – Digital Detritus
Here in Australia we all know that our Prime Minister is a liar. We are told so continuously by the media and by the Opposition, led by Tony Abbott.Just this week Tony Abbott spoke about three lies told by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Carbon Tax Lie, the Poker Machine Lie and now the Bob Carr Lie

Independent Media Inquiry, Feeding The Chooks
Stuart Littlemore QC—commanding, eloquent and, in the words of one senior journalist to me, overweeningly arrogant—took his seat at the Independent Media Inquiry. “The previous woman is wrong,” he opened,

Irrelevance and the media, Paul Wallbank
Terry’s article illustrates the problem of relying on incumbent mainstream media commentary; that it is Big Media talking about Big Business and Big Government Small”, “ordinary” or “average” has no place in their conversation, if you can call the pronouncement of mainstream media commentators a conversation at all.

What is ‘news media’? Independent Media , Event Mechanics
The issue is regarding whether or not ‘Banana Watch’ would be subject to any new regulatory body. This is a pertinent question as it raises the issue of a multitude of long tail bloggers (of which I have been one for 8 or so years) becoming part of the regulatory scheme. In both of the posts on mUmbrella,

Finkelstein inquiry report cause for ‘cautious optimism’, Andrea Carson, The Conversation
was hard to know what this Inquiry might deliver, given the political events leading up to its announcement. Its timing was in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that closed Britain’s News of the World. Closer to home Greens' Leader Bob Brown was sparring with News Limited journalists collectively

Politicians ‘running a jihad’ against News,  Andrew White and James Chessell , AFR
The former executive chairman of Australia’s biggest newspaper publisher News Ltd has accused politicians of running a “jihad’’ against the company.www.afr.com/.../politicians_running_jihad_against_dgPi7bOVhXN3hPeGlfdVoM

Reaction to the Finkelstein report as reported, or not, by the media, Open and Shut
You don't need more than the headline to get the gist from News publications:
"Media fears for freedom as watchdog unleashed" in The Australian
"Watchdog a 'threat to free press'" in The Australian
"Put simply, mooted muzzle would not work" in The Australian
"Bringing the media to heel" editorial in The Australian
"Media union to fight government control" in the Herald Sun

Independent Media Inquiry,Pip, Café Whispers’
There is much to read about the Media Inquiry so I’ve posted it to a separate page here without comment as it’s a very long read.

Report Recommends Regulating Big Aussie Blogs, Lifehacker
The government has said it is “considering” the report, but is holding off saying anything concrete until at least March 31, when its ongoing review into media convergence also concludes. There’s no guarantee it will implement any of the recommendations, but they’re bound to stir up lots of comment.

Mr Carr Goes to Washington… and Barnaby, Preston Towers, The Preston Institute
It’s also been interesting and instructive to see the press gallery’s egg on their prognosticating faces. There was Michelle Grattan, who first tool an opportunity to put her boot into Gillard about her failure to appoint Carr having to eat her words

One of Australia's most popular and respected political leaders, Bob Carr made his political reputation through public speaking., Saxton
Dominating the floor of the rough house New South Wales Parliament – known as the 'bear pit' – or giving a highly acclaimed speech of welcome to Margaret Thatcher in 1988, Bob Carr has spoken about far more than the narrow political agenda. His annual addresses at Australia Day lunches or at Anzac commemorations were widely appreciated

Christopher Pyne tries to slag off Bob Carr and kicks an own goal, 1petermc,
Emma Alberici has done her homework and not given young Christopher open slather. Pity more Journos don’t study their subject matter

HE’S THE MAN: Phil Coorey take a bow on Bob Carr crash turned crash-through yarn, Vex News
But the frenzied coverage in The Australian – which swiped Coorey’s yarn and ran all the way to the touchdown line with it in the manner of Aussie college football punter Brad Wing – suggesting an impotent PM was unable to get the Carr deal done was enough to provoke the PM into changing her mind

Bushfire Bill
Posted Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 9:46 am comment 1710
he got his gofer Matt Franklin to inaccurately reiterate his story, prior to adding some extra anecdotal waffle to an already shaky thesis, although by now the contact with Carr had turned into a “Labor offer”: Gillard was no longer part of it, just “Labor”. What smarmy weasel words
Bushfire Bill  Posted Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm Comment 1997
What is it about Australia – the birthplace of Murdochism – that’s so different from the other countries where we know corruption – paid off police, politicians and the employment of shady PIs – did occur?


Meet the Press
Hasn’t the start of the political year been an exciting one? Well here at Australian Politics TV we certainly think so. It’s an amazing start to a political year in fact. Meet the Press has been one of the shining lights for political junkies and here are today’s episode in three parts

This week on Insiders
On Insiders this week, Barrie Cassidy and the panel discuss the Labor leadership showdown and the surprise appearance of Bob Carr on the federal stage

I will be PM, says Abbott, Channel 7
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has told Queenslanders he is confident he will be the next elected Prime Minister of Australia.

LNP launches official election campaign
Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman has delivered his keynote speech at the party's official campaign launch in Brisbane on the weekend

Carr to reach out to opposition, Sky News
day after Prime Minister Julia Gillard appointed him to the coveted portfolio - and before being sworn in or officially taking up his Senate seat - Mr Carr has hit the ground running.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, Julian Assange’s Barrister
Should Australia help Assange


March 5. 2012 08:22 AM



     Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 5 March 2012



March 5. 2012 08:37 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

March 5. 2012 09:33 AM


Ex Poll Bludger
From Gorgeous Dunny (whose name derives from Don Kiss Dunstan btw)
Posted Monday, March 5, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink
from Dan Gulberry (who seems like a staunch friend too)
Posted Monday, March 5, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

Let’s look positively at the Newspoll figures:

65% of voters don't believe the LNP are the best to handle healthcare
67% of voters don't believe the LNP are the best to handle education
55% of voters don't believe the LNP are the best to handle the economy (My bolding TT)
62% of voters don't believe the LNP are the best to handle interest rates
55% of voters don't believe the LNP are the best to handle national security
53% of voters don't believe the LNP are the best to handle asylum seekers
66% of voters don't believe the LNP are the best to handle industrial relations
74% of voters don't believe the LNP are the best to handle climate change

None of these figures can be construed as positives for the Noalition.

On every issue, more than half of voters don’t think the LNP is up to the job.

Well spotted, Dan. I think we can take it a stage further. The repositioning of key ministers in the two recent reshuffles has been designed to exploit those weaknesses.

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

Those ones I've bolded are ripe for working on. Never mind the negative aspects, that just means that there is a great deal of low-hanging fruit to be garnered by strenuous refutation of the Coalons' credentials and credibility.


The Liberals haven't a blue clue as to how to budget.
They are telling LIES.
Their promises are crazy!

George are you listening? Here's something I'd love you to Photoshop! (Goes without saying I dig on your work, that's why I'm saying it!)

We need to re-brand the price on carbon, or carbon tax (whatever!) as the FAT TAX.

Picture it:

Rindlard and Palmhair naked on a see-saw OK?

In the immediate background huge piles of GOLD, one behind him, bigger one behind her, labelled MINE and MINE.
Laughing themselves sick, champagne flying,
Absolute rolls of blubber of course
See-saw bent almost to breaking
Gina's and Clive's arses labelled with personal wealth in $$S
(which some keen researcher will doubtless be able to find) . . .
Gina is heavier of course.
Richest person in the world!.
Or is she still second and closing?

It is disgusting. It is a failure of our society that anyone can be this filthy rich while many are chewing on Life's gristle. It is bloody outrageous.

Just the image of these two uber-obese hyper-rich arrogant slobs whooping it up ought to make the point.

TAX the FAT!


March 5. 2012 09:34 AM


Yes, N', following Abbott's logic last week, suggesting that one third of the ALP have made it clear they don't trust Julia Gillard, then some 49.40% of his party didn't trust him in 2009.

Indeed. Abbott will walk himself off a metaphorical cliff soon.

The man has no humility.

He reminds me sometimes of a cocksure old time preacher...standing like a gargoyle at the puplpit...lambasting the sinners and the competition...pushing both fear and carrots in equal measure...

between the rants come the self-depricating jokes...and the mean-spirited appraisals of the performance of others...delivered w/ accompanying guffaws and cheesy grins.

As the gullible & sh*t scared leave the church he provides back-slapping & handshakes...enticements and winks...assertions of his sincerity...

like a shonky real estate salesman hiding the truth of cracked pipes, mouldy walls, toxic carpets...and the thing in the attic.

As the church goers mill around the car park, barking in merry desperation...or speaking almost in whisper so as not to be overheard...the rumour evolves that not only is this not a man to be trusted...but he's unpredictable...someone who's been to the Oddside and back...

a suspicion that when he refers to GOD or HIM...or HE...he's really referring to himself.

An unsettling odour has fallen upon the crowd.

Of fear & trepidation.
And dishonesty.

The weathervane atop the steeple begins to SPIN. Madly.

A young woman reports that her mobile message reads:


there's alot of the public who don't trust this fella.
Can ya blame 'em?



March 5. 2012 09:36 AM


puplpit = pulpit.



March 5. 2012 10:10 AM


Good Morning Ad

Some bits of interest for you:

ABCNews24ABC News 24
Shortly, latest on #flood conditions in NSW and Victoria + @JuliaGillard's new ministry sworn in at 10:30 AEDT http://bit.ly/abcnews24

mansilloLuke Mansillo
Clive Palmer's opinion piece in the SMH - i quite like how everyone in the comments have said pay your taxes, and... http://fb.me/1w6wM1nkK

Some might like to watch, Wayne Swan is mentioned :-

Money_Minute from Friday March 2 http://bit.ly/x5X9Rc Australia's billionaires & Wayne Swan @ross_greenwood

Finance editor Ross Greenwood offers some valuable finance tips

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmile


March 5. 2012 10:13 AM


Thank You Lyn, for this clear link:
Folks, I beg you, please, rethink!
What's so hard to understand?
Assange is an Australian Man!

Geoffrey Robertson QC, Julian Assange’s Barrister
Should Australia help Assange?.


March 5. 2012 10:35 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Many thanks for the extra links.  I thought the Money Minute man's comment was quite balanced.  I'll read Clive Palmer's piece later.

I'm watching the Government House proceedings now.

Ad astra reply

March 5. 2012 11:15 AM

Ad astra reply

I thought you may be interested to read the Executive summary – conclusions and recommendations of the Independent Media Inquiry chaired by Mr Ray Finkelstein, QC, that was released on Friday.

The bolding is mine.

Executive summary—conclusions and recommendations
Media codes of ethics and accountability

1.  There is common ground among all those who think seriously about the role of the news media and about journalistic ethics that:
•  a free press plays an essential role in a democratic society, and no regulation should endanger that role
•  a free press has a responsibility to be fair and accurate in its reporting of the news
•  a free press is a powerful institution which can, and does, affect the political process, sometimes in quite dramatic ways
•  a free press can cause harm—sometimes unwarranted—to individuals and organisations
•  a free press should be publicly accountable for its performance
•  codes of ethics regarding accuracy, fairness, impartiality, integrity and independence should guide journalists and news organisations.

2.  There is less consensus on how this accountability should be enforced.

3.  In Australia for newspapers there are several existing mechanisms of self-regulation:
•  the adoption of ethical codes or standards which at a minimum impose obligations of fairness and accuracy
•  the appointment by some newspapers of an ombudsman or readers’ representative to handle complaints from the public
•  the establishment by the newspaper industry of the Australian Press Council (APC) to handle complaints from the public and monitor professional standards.

4.  Broadcasters (radio and television) have additional regulation. They are required to observe standards both approved and overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

5.  There is, however, external regulation which applies to all news media. They must operate within the laws of the land, most importantly for the media, the laws of defamation and contempt.

6.  I have come to the conclusion that these mechanisms are not sufficient to achieve the degree of accountability desirable in a democracy:
•  Of the existing self-regulation measures, only one or two newspapers have appointed an ombudsman or readers’ representative.
•  Online news publications are not covered.
•  The most important institution, the APC, suffers from serious structural constraints. It does not have the necessary powers or the required funds to carry out its designated functions. Publishers can withdraw when they wish and alter their funding as they see fit.
•  ACMA’s processes are cumbersome and slow.
•  If legal proceedings against the media are called for, they are protracted, expensive and adversarial, and offer redress only for legal wrongs, not for the more frequent complaints about inaccuracy or unfairness.

7.  The problems with both the external and self-regulatory mechanisms are inherent, and cannot be easily remedied by piecemeal measures.

8.  I therefore recommend that a new body, a News Media Council, be established to set journalistic standards for the news media in consultation with the industry, and handle complaints made by the public when those standards are breached. Those standards will likely be substantially the same as those that presently apply and which all profess to embrace.

9.  Moreover, I recommend that the News Media Council have those roles in respect of news and current affairs coverage on all platforms, that is, print, online, radio and television. It will thus explicitly cover online news for the first time, and will involve transferring ACMA functions for standards and complaints concerning news and current affairs. It will replace the voluntary APC with a statutory entity. In an era of media convergence, the mandate of regulatory agencies should be defined by function rather than by medium. Where many publishers transmit the same story on different platforms it is logical that there be one regulatory regime covering them all.

10.  The News Media Council should have secure funding from government and its decisions made binding, but beyond that government should have no role. The establishment of a council is not about increasing the power of government or about imposing some form of censorship. It is about making the news media more accountable to those covered in the news, and to the public generally.

11.  A guiding principle behind the design of the News Media Council is that it will provide redress in ways that are consistent with the nature of journalism and its democratic role. Like the APC, its members should be comprised of community, industry and professional representatives. It should adopt complaint-handling procedures which are timely, efficient and inexpensive. In the first instance it should seek to resolve a complaint by conciliation and do so within two or three days. If a complaint must go to adjudication it should be resolved within weeks, not months.

12.  An important change to the status quo is that, in appropriate cases, the News Media Council should have power to require a news media outlet to publish an apology, correction or retraction, or afford a person a right to reply. This is in line with the ideals contained in existing ethical codes but in practice often difficult to obtain.

13.  If these recommendations are adopted, both the public and news media organisations should be confident that the News Media Council will carry out its functions independently and effectively. There will be a single, properly-funded regulator with the power to enforce news standards across all news media outlets.

14.  Although I recommend that these steps be taken to make the news media properly accountable, there is another side to the media that ought to be acknowledged. Despite the volume of complaints and criticisms, what also became apparent to me during the course of the Inquiry is the news media’s many achievements, and just how strongly many people, both inside and outside the media, care about the health of news and journalism. Australia’s newspapers employ many dedicated professionals, performing their roles skilfully and diligently. The process of accountability proposed here recognises the realities and difficulties of journalism, emphasising immediate exchange and correction rather than financial or legal punitiveness. Equally it is consistent with the ideals guiding journalism by emphasising transparency and recognising the public interest in how a major institution of our democracy performs.

15.  These proposals are made at a time when polls consistently reveal low levels of trust in the media, when there is declining newspaper circulation, and when there are frequent controversies about media performance. Many of the criticisms are self-interested or expedient; much of the public cynicism is misdirected. Yet a news media visibly living up to its own standards and enforcing its own high ideals is likely to increase rather than undermine public confidence and acceptance.

Changing business models and quality journalism
16.  New technology, particularly the internet, has revolutionised access to the news. The result has been a reduction in the circulation of newspapers and a reduction in revenue from classified advertising. The advertising expenditure is now spread across platforms. Main news organisations are recovering only a small proportion of these revenues by moving to online publishing.

17.  These changes have been greeted with dramatic rhetoric: Who killed the newspaper? asked The Economist magazine in 2006 . In the United States, the crisis has been felt by the news media much more acutely, and there has been considerable pessimism about the news media being able to continue their traditional democratic roles.

18.  It is too early to reach such conclusions in Australia. We are in the midst of changes whose future direction can only dimly be discerned. Moreover there are many positive as well as negative changes with the increasing importance of the internet. Low barriers to entry will facilitate new ventures, and so may lead to more democratic diversity, given the concentrated ownership of Australian newspapers.

19.  I have reached the conclusion that at this stage there is not a case for government support.

20.  Nevertheless, the situation is changing rapidly, and requires careful and continuous monitoring. Therefore, I recommend that one function of a News Media Council should be to chart trends in the industry, and particularly to see whether there will be a serious decline in the production and delivery of quality journalism.

21.  In addition, I recommend that within the next two years or so the Productivity Commission be issued with a reference to conduct an inquiry into the health of the news industry and make recommendations on whether there is a need for government support to sustain that role. It should also consider the policy principles by which any government support should be given to ensure effectiveness, as well as eliminating any chance of political patronage or censorship.

22.  Apart from reviewing those issues on a national scale, one area that requires especially careful monitoring is the adequacy of news services in regional areas. There is some evidence that both regional radio and television stations and newspapers have cut back substantially on their news gathering, leaving some communities poorly served for local news. This may require particular support in the immediate future, and I recommend that this issue be investigated by the government as a matter of some urgency.

No wonder the media is concerned!

Ad astra reply

March 5. 2012 11:35 AM


I'm watching the Government House proceedings now.

good to see Kate Lundy & Jason Clare & Richard Marles & David Bradbury getting promotions.

I've been a fan of both Kate & Jason for a long time...Kate is a talented, articulate lady w/ a warming smile and the passion & cheer necessary to get the message across to the public.

Lucky here re: The Olympics. I'm sure she'll sell & support our team well...and motivate children to participate more in diverse sports...even those that don't oft get a big push...but are loved nevertheless by some.

Great for women's sport too...underestimated & under promoted as far as I'm concerned. My wife won trophies in swimming, tennis & netball...and she feels that women's sports gets only half the attention...and is not respected enuff.

I luv women's hockey...which probably has something to do w/ my luv for ice hockey due to the decade I lived in Canada.

We got to play field hockey at our high school in Weston, Ontario, nr Toronto...was great fun...the gals gave us boys a real run for our money. I have the leg bone dents to prove it. Smile

I'm also looking forward to the Olympics based in my birth city, jolly old London. Smile Some beaut places to eat & visit there. Including Madame Tussauds. And various amazing, enlightening museums:


As for Jason Clare,
he like Kate has a big future ahead of him I reckon. He seems at ease w/ the media. A natural.

Brendan O'Connor is also an asset...I find he gets the point across well when being interviewed...can be quite charming, jovial...has done a useful job on SKY NEWS.

David Bradbury is also highly articulate...good smile...knows his stuff...will be handy in the asst Treasury area due to his background. Polite. Unlike Abbott.

Richard Marles is a top bloke...I luv his shiny, warming demeanour...

the Gillard team is much stronger now for these additions...and promotions...

tho, I don't know a few of the people given more responsibility. Need more exposure.

Gillard looked beaut & on top of the world...was wondering whose goolies she was hangin' around her neck? Smile

Top job Lyn. Thnx for all the links.



March 5. 2012 11:47 AM


Hi Ad

Thankyou for your fabulous report above. Executive summary—conclusions and recommendations "Media codes of ethics and accountability"

Did you notice some are trying to stir up the bloggers, they are trying to say the regulations will seriously effect the bloggers.  The conveniently omit the bloggers report the truth, TPS and none of the blogs we follow will have anything to fear.

Jeremy Sear is having more to say about the Media
Weekly Open Thread 5-9 March 2012 – Schadenfreude, the Crikey server’s revenge, TOTALITARIAN CENSORSHIP,

the media won’t apologise for the Carr thing, and a lost podcast
last week at bullies being exposed and far-right radio stations collapsing because the market didn’t return their love

they spent much of the week calling her a “liar” because that’s what the Opposition’s talking points said she was


Treasurer SwannyDPM speaks to the National Press Club at 11:30a to discuss inequality & vested interests. Watch here: http://is.gd/HsXyQf
26 minutes ago FavoriteRetweetReply


March 5. 2012 12:21 PM


Hi Norman K

I found in brackets some lovely morale boosting words, providing me with more willingness to perform my self assigned tasks.

A sure way Mr K  

By the way  thankyou for your informative comment :  @  11:38 PM March 4. 2012
For anyone who might be a bit dismayed about the announcement of our latest National Living Treasure from Queensland (we all know it should have been Lyn) take some comfort from the fact that it is not a truly national award.

C'mon investigative journalists, find a link between Uncle Clive and Mr Scarsbrick and/or the NSW branch of the National Trust and you will blow the Queensland election wide open.
Could be a Walkley in it for you
Or a banana.

Us Have A Banana people are having very bad weather:

IDQ20032Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology Queensland
Damaging winds, with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h, are expected to developtoday about the coast and adjacent inland areas between Hervey Bay and Maroochydore, extending south to be north of Brisbane by Monday afternoon.Locations which may be affected include Maryborough, Gympie, the Sunshine Coastand the Moreton Bay Islands.
Heavy rain which may lead to flash flooding is expected about the SoutheastCoast and southeastern parts of the Wide Bay and Burnett districts today,particularly about the Fraser and Sunshine Coasts and adjacent inland areas.Localised 24 hour rainfall totals in excess of 200mm are likely, especiallyabout the Fraser and Sunshine Coasts and adjacent inland areas. Locations whichmay be affected include Fraser Island, Gympie, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Ipswich.



March 5. 2012 12:32 PM


Hi Lyn,

I meant to follow that passing remark with a more formal note of thanks for all of your hard work. You are excelling yourself with your dedication and tenacity.
Definitely a National Living Treasure! Laughing

Good luck with the weather that is threatening. Famous last words but all is quiet on the weather front up here. My heart goes out to all of those who are being subjected to this craziness down south.


March 5. 2012 12:33 PM


Lyn,  while it's a bit wet in Brivegas it seems like you are really copping it up there.  Stay safe.


March 5. 2012 01:31 PM


I'm loving it!

Fighting Swan! Good on yer mate!

The Fat-Fats have made a fat mistake with their hubris.

A game changer. On top of several others.


The whole Government is on the attack. It is wonderful to watch, a new aggressive militancy in press encounters is everywhere I look. Please, Brave Parliamentary Labor Members, keep your heel on these perfidious fools' throats until they come to heel - (is that a mixed metaphor or what?) - as Peter Slipper is doing in Parliament, be not afraid of their Freedom of the Press BS, it's never been freedom to make stuff up and to spin spin spin with a stated agenda of bringing down the Government and that's what they are up to, and Merdeoch owns most of the Media and he is a crook.

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

Get your blood up Swordsfolks. We are nearly half way (at latest)to the next election. I really believe that we are making a difference here, that is, the blogosphere in general, and TPS in special, because of Ad's Articles and Lyn's~Links especially. There is a strong synchronicitous buzz that is going around, and Lyn is right at the Nerve Centre of it all.  I've met the feeling before: Gough 1972, Bob Hawke 1983, Kevin Rudd 2007: it's as if we become a jaw set and one fist clenched and one Hand Smile ready to work in common righteous determined action, it is a wonderfully powerful feeling, and it is a boomerang too, Be In It and help it, It's Time again.

[Dam it's always time for all Goodwillians to speak on behalf of the Party!]

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

I psted this on March 20 last year, but now after *J*U*L*I*A*s best week ever I reckon it could use a fresh hearing.  

Tune: Men of Harlech

You may also find two better versions by googling
men of harlech youtube
and opening the same one I've linked to (with the Redcoats, not my favourites really) but go across to the Welsh Griffin (which is stirring) and the one above that too, the upper one will really surprise you I reckon!

Let yourselves be stirred now, so we don't get shaken later! Smile

Here we go!

Abbortt's people are revolting!
Mad and bad and so insulting!
This revolt will take some halting:
Swordsfolk! To your post!

You our Bloggers far out-braining
Abbortt’s henchmen wisdom feigning,
Use your brains and blogsite training!
Bloggers, here’s a toast! -

Friends, both far and ne-ar!
Here’s to Boad-i-ce-a!
Julia Gillard our PM
Is socking it to THEM
And shrivelling their scrotal sacs with fe-ar! Smile
Julia, Gaelic Lass of Harlech!
’Xterminate those Aliens like a DaDaDaDaDalek!
Exorcise their rotten lying souls with G-G-Garlic -
Go it, Julia G!

(Quick time syllables!). . .

We’ll dance on fading memories of Joneses and To-nys
Abbotts and Archbishops and their rotten lying cro-nies!
Julia Gillard is our Champion, where they’re just hollow pho-neys –
*J*U*L*I*A*, ’tis for Thee!

(slow and straight)

We The SwordsFolks tell you truly
We-are-right-behind-you, PM Juli-
Ahhh Gillard, you’ll win through surelyyyyy! –
Go it, Julia G!

Mister Swan doing VERY BLOODY WELL at his Press Club address!

Well done Cobber, you have grown greatly as an orator since ever you became Treasurer. Though of course it helps when the NOposition is not screeching as you as you speak!

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


March 5. 2012 02:00 PM


I notice Liealot stole Newman's thunder today with his prediction that he'll be the next elected PM. Couldn't help himself, obviously. What a complete wanker.

the entire thing was a snorefest...I found Abbott to be as preachy, delusional, egotistical & as motormouthed as we've come to expect...

and unfortunately Newman went on & on & on & on & on & on & on...one of the least inspiring speeches I've heard from him...or from any leader for that matter...

it felt like he was making it up as he went along...oft repeating the same stuff in various unimaginative ways.

The speech made me feel like it had been written by the likes of Jo Bjelke Peterson, John Howard, James Packer & Clive Palmer...

promoting tourism I imagine means:

pushing casinos to attract, exploit wealthy Asians

fishing our way to low stocks, and extinctions

putting more big boobed babes in bathers along the coast shopping strips to attract gullible troglodytes who sweat Visa, Mastercard & American Express...

subsidising racing cars to tear across both city and natural landscape keeping enthusiasts spending whilst scaring native animals & non-enthusiasts as they are left to eat the dust & cop the noise and the crashes...

and turning Brissie &, Townsville into mini-Hong Kongs cum Miami Florida w/ a touch of military grey & khaki...a cacophony of signs & sounds...and cheap goods.

Pushing resources possibly means Clive Palmer, national treasure, gets to dump more of his luv on us...and his bumbling bully wisdom...

and tons of sand gets moved to create more temporary sandy beaches oft washed away by global warming-related hungry tides that lap at the coastal homes of the carbon price doubters and their properties that arrogantly extend onto public beaches and walkways...

and water gets very very privatised...

Pushing agriculture probably means irrational exuberance when it comes to live exports and tickling the fancy of graziers...

Pushing teacher aids fullbore probably means diminishing F/T teacher places & holding back educators' pay rises so it once again almost becomes barely a living wage...and more power to parent's groups and principals so once again mature, professional teachers can be treated like children...

Regional royalties scheme probably meaning useful investment in country areas...

but leaving areas such as the one I live in, Logan, to once again deteriorate...and become divided...our area again identified as The wrong side of the freeway...as people in a so called classless society hold their nose...whizzing past in their aspirational cars.  


Such a visionary speech. NOT.  



March 5. 2012 02:21 PM

Ad astra reply

HI Lyn
Thanks for the extra links.  Jeremy Sear talks about how the media got the Carr story ‘completely’ wrong. Julia was right after all!  But I doubt if we will ever see any mea culpa from those responsible.  Egos are too big!

You are right.  Wayne Swan give a great address to the NPC and answered questions confidently, even the aggressive one from a journalist from The West Australian vigorously defending Twiggy Forrest.  It just shows how newspapers support the rich and powerful, which in turn use them to propagate their propaganda.

I thought as I heard him speak, both to his subject and in answering questions, how Joe Hockey could ever hold a candle to him.  The Coalition  economics team is truly frightening.

Ad astra reply

March 5. 2012 02:24 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Has the rain stopped?  I hope you are not in any danger.

Ad astra reply

March 5. 2012 02:28 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Apropos of the Media Review, regular blogs that seek to inform their readers have nothing to fear.  It is the media that has plenty to fear from the blogs.

Ad astra reply

March 5. 2012 02:56 PM


Hi Ad

Thankyou for your kind caring, no we are just having heavy consistant rain, no danger.

Thankyou 2353 and NormanK. You must be, one South, One North, me middle so either way this weather could go North or South. hope either one of you don't cop it too.

Thankyou Nasking, you really are showing us you are feeling better than before.

Talk Turkey you said :  strong synchronicitous buzz that is going around, and Lyn is right at the Nerve Centre of it all

Well I just came scrambling out of there, sure is a big frenzy going on in News Ltd and the Oz.

Ad I have just completed a list for you of the anti brigade,  to supplement your post @ 11.15am   the Executive summary – conclusions and recommendations of the Independent Media Inquiry chaired by Mr Ray Finkelstein, QC, that was released on Friday.

We all know who are the most anti, OBSTINATE & contradictory :-

Regional press rejects government support
The Australian - ‎Nick Leys

THE Finkelstein finding that regional media could benefit from government support has been dismissed as unnecessary and likely to damage the independence of media outside metropolitan areas. In his review, Ray Finkelstein notes "often the shortcomings ...
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg996-1226288789127Findings good in theory

The Australian - ‎‎Michael Gawenda
THE most depressing thing about the response to Ray Finkelstein's 470-page Independent Media Review is that across the board, the reactions to it have been so predictable. Bob Brown loved it. News Limited's Kim Williams hated it.

Public benefit must be upheld
The Australian – ‎Editorial
WITH media power comes responsibility. And that power and responsibility is wielded unevenly in Australia. Some do a good job, some less so. As is the case with London's papers. ANDREW JASPAN, EDITOR, THE CONVERSATION WEBSITE To suggest that the ...

inquiry upsets the networks
The Australian - ‎AMANDA MEADE
THE commercial television networks have been blindsided by a recommendation that their news services be lumped in with print and online media under the control of a new government-funded statutory body. The proposal, which came in the report of the ...

Fears sites will go offshore
The Australian - ‎Nic Christensen
AUSTRALIAN website providers could be penalised under new regulations proposed by the Finkelstein report that potentially establish a two-tiered media regime and benefit those operating offshore. Experts in digital media and media law yesterday ...

Greens to press for inquiry words to be put into action
The Australian - ‎Christian Kerr
GREENS leader Bob Brown has claimed credit for the recommendations of the media inquiry and says his party will push to see them put into law. The report, handed down on Friday, calls for the creation of a government super-regulator for print, ...

Media coverage reflects reality
The Australian - ‎‎Chris Kenny
DESPITE its many qualities and indispensable services, the media is clearly imperfect. But in free countries the truth usually triumphs. News media helps keep authorities accountable. The Finkelstein report is worrying because its recommendations could ...             So a government that is struggling has initiated a media inquiry because not all media is as generous towards it as are the ABC and the Fairfax newspapers.

Threat of the news police will chill debate
Herald Sun – ‎Andrew Bolt ‎
THE Gillard Government's media inquiry threatens not only our freedom to speak, but to hear and decide for ourselves. Its report last week, by retired judge Ray Finkelstein, proposes a super media-cop, funded by government, to police all that's said ...

Feeding frenzy of news
Brisbane Times - ‎‎Katharine Murphy
'The days when news could be packaged up perfectly, polished to a deep shine and handed to readers are gone.' Photo: Dyson Ray Finkelstein's reasoning says regulate. The former Federal Court justice has brought his considerable intellect to the task of ...
We are having a crack, he finds, but basically print journalism is arrogant. We get things wrong and won't apologise, we are too inclined to excuse our failings and we are contemptuous of the very idea of effective regulation lest it impinge on our precious ''right'' to freedom of expression.

Free press to be sacrificed for political retribution
Sydney Morning Herald - ‎Chris Berg

'It is not the role of the government to stand in judgement of public debate.' Photo: AP Freedom of the media is too important to be controlled by government. THE Independent Media Inquiry has proposed just what was expected: an outrageous attack on ...

Oz says 41 hits a day turn bloggers into publishers
The Register UK -

By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor • Get more from this author Bloggers whose online scrawling earns just 41 page impressions a day could be forced to apologise to those they wrong on their sites and issue corrections, under a proposed new model of media ...

Media inquiry: be careful what you wish for
ABC Online - ‎ Mark Pearson
The Finkelstein (and Ricketson) Independent Media Inquiry report released yesterday is a substantial and well researched document with a dangerously flawed core recommendation. An impressive distillation of legal, philosophical and media scholarship ...


March 5. 2012 03:06 PM


Hi Ad

Sorry Ad, I missed off the most important article, which I had prepared first, it actually set me off this morning, this article is one of  the biggest dummpy spits:

Freedom of press is not open to political meddling Mark Day
The Australian

The Finkelstein inquiry was set up as a political ploy by the Gillard government to fire a shot across the bows of the media generally and News Limited, publisher of this
newspaper, specifically. Born of political expediency, its future is inevitably political

Even if legislation were ready by the end of the year or early next year, what are the chances of a minority Gillard government putting a high priority on the passage of

legislation opposed by every major media outlet in the land? Given the current state of the polls that would be akin to turkeys voting for Christmas, and even if the polls changed - as they may - it's hardly likely Gillard would then want to buy a fight with the entire media sector. I cannot imagine a cabinet, which will now include the former   journalist and master political juggler Bob Carr, going hell for leather in an election year to introduce media laws that fundamentally erode our democratic foundations.

As The Daily Telegraph put it on Saturday: "As a student of Thomas Jefferson, Mr Carr might remind the government of the founding father's words: 'Our liberty depends
on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost'."



March 5. 2012 04:24 PM


sorry to read yer gettin' so much rain. Climate change is frightenin'. The floods we've had across Australia, three years running now...off the back of the great drought...the early twisters in America, again devestating...the likes of petty Bolt need to be ignored. This planet's climate is deteriorating.

Keep safe Lyn.

I just watched a recording of Wayne Swan's speech. Terrific!

And he held up magnificently during the post-speech Q&A. Oozed confidence the longer he spoke. And sincerity.

This is all about saving the fair-go society Australia...ensuring we don't go the way of America and other nations that have permitted rich, corporate, dynastic vested interests to control the public debate, sabotage useful reform, influence policy formation in order to keep the moolah flooding upwards...to protect them and their interests...at the expense of THE MANY.

Swanny did a superb, down-to-earth job of explaining where the government is heading...and why the media needs to stop being promoters and apologists for these FEW vested interests, such as Palmer & Rinehart...and I'd add Murdoch...who act like they own this country...act as tho they should be pitied...and provided w/ rewards & privileges tax-wise etc that the vast majority of hard working Aussies aren't.

I enjoyed his zinger aimed at Robb & Hockey, stating that his Monthly piece had done the impossible...unified the Coalition economic team. It was a cracker and got a round of larfs from the audience...and me.

My respect for Swan continues to build.
He needs to get out there more...sell the message like he has done the past week.
It's a winning approach I reckon.

As for former QLD Liberal Gary Hardgraves now shock jock. SPEW.

Mike Rann on SKY outclassed him. Top stuff by Rann.



March 5. 2012 04:48 PM


As The Daily Telegraph put it on Saturday: "As a student of Thomas Jefferson, Mr Carr might remind the government of the founding father's words: 'Our liberty depends
on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost'."

Thnx for the info Lyn.

I reckon the Aussie media got lost the moment that Murdoch & his pack of insincere wolves were let off the leash...and they set upon all & sundry that disagreed w/ their bosses greed for gain, union-hating, lowest common denominator view of the world...

and others copycatted their formula...

whilst radio personalities got too big for their boots...and became possessed by the venomous spirit of Rush Limbaugh...

who happened to have a HEAD EXPLOSION this week...splattering his own side w/ Rush blood & gore...and leaving the ever pathetic Mitt Romney wanting in his response:

Mary Magdalene to Rush Limbaugh: Your apology is too little, too late
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
Washington Post

After Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student and articulate spokeswoman for women’s reproductive health care, a “slut” and a “prostitute,” and then worse, a growing firestorm of social media driven protest pushed many of Limbaugh’s advertisers away; Limbaugh has been dropped by at least seven advertisers at last count. A Facebook page has been leading the boycott, and the Twitter hashtag, #StandwithSandra, is increasing in use.


Rush blew it. He's overreached...and made it harder for his party to be respected by all...trusted by women in particular.

The Republicans were crazy to let the extremist Tea Party & the likes of Rush Limbaugh & certain Fox News kooky loudmouths speak..no RAGE...for their them...their policies.

They were certain to hit a wall...be self-destructive...damage the party in the back seat. They almost took the country over the cliff w/ their insane debt ceiling stategies.

Obama looks more rational, more sincere, stronger, bolder, fairer, determined...on top of it...by the day.

Compared to this bunch of clowns.

Abbott here in Australia relies on Tea Party-like antics.
And shock jocks.
And national papers acting like sleazy tabloids & the National Enquirer.

He shall lie & die politically in the bed of his own making.
The one Barnaby Joyce peers & vomits out from under.



March 5. 2012 04:51 PM


Make that:

The Republicans were crazy to let the extremist Tea Party & the likes of Rush Limbaugh & certain Fox News kooky loudmouths speak..no RAGE...for them...promote, create their policies.



March 5. 2012 05:05 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your list of media responses to the Media Review, most of which are entirely predictable.  Their responses verify the need for having better oversight of the media than the media-funded Australian Press Council, that everyone, including the chair, Professor Disney, recognizes is ‘a toothless tiger’.  Of course that is just what the media wants.

What Ray Finkelstein QC, chair of the Media Inquiry recommends, is quite benign, despite the howls of protest.

I therefore recommend that a new body, a News Media Council, be established to set journalistic standards for the news media in consultation with the industry, and handle complaints made by the public when those standards are breached. Those standards will likely be substantially the same as those that presently apply and which all profess to embrace.

A guiding principle behind the design of the News Media Council is that it will provide redress in ways that are consistent with the nature of journalism and its democratic role. Like the APC, its members should be comprised of community, industry and professional representatives. It should adopt complaint-handling procedures which are timely, efficient and inexpensive. In the first instance it should seek to resolve a complaint by conciliation and do so within two or three days. If a complaint must go to adjudication it should be resolved within weeks, not months.

Who could object to that, except the media of course!


Ad astra reply

March 5. 2012 05:08 PM


Hockey on SKY...Abbott in yet another boring pit stop...accussing Swan of undermining middle Australia.

Seems to me that ruthlessly & callously threatening to axe the NBN and consequently its workers...and 10,000 public servant jobs...and those working to impliment a carbon price (all jobs)...is attacking middle class Australians...

undermining their jobs, their security, their superannuation...

but hey! At least Gina & Clive & Twiggy will be safe & secure eh?

BTW, still can't understand why QLD LNP leader Campbell Newman is stupidly allowing Abbott to act like his best chum & right-hand axeman...

talk about stinking up yer own campaign.

Whose next...bumbling bully Clive Palmer? Let me give ya a ride in my fat cat jet says/commands Clive.

I've got an offer ya can't refuse...BURP.



March 5. 2012 06:03 PM

Patricia WA

It's a pity TPS can only link to images, not copy them.   This one will surely bring joy to all our hearts.


Patricia WA

March 5. 2012 06:26 PM


Hi Patricia

What a beautiful picture. I watched them all together on TV, Julia looked radiant.  The blue outfit suited her. She looked stunning, sparkling smile.

She makes you feel proud of her doesn't she.



March 5. 2012 06:38 PM


Even 30 years ago, the photo linked to by Patricia would not have been possible in Australia.  It's a good photo that shows three confident and intelligent women celebrating an event of note.  We have come a long way - haven't we?


March 5. 2012 07:10 PM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey, loved your Men Of Harlech lines.  Particularly these

Friends, both far and ne-ar!
Here’s to Boad-i-ce-a!
Julia Gillard our PM
Is socking it to THEM
And shrivelling their scrotal sacs with fe-ar! Smile
Julia, Gaelic Lass of Harlech!
’Xterminate those Aliens like a DaDaDaDaDalek!
Exorcise their rotten lying souls with G-G-Garlic -
Go it, Julia G!  

I guess you haven't seen the picture of our heroine yet?  I had you in mind  particularly when I linked it!

Patricia WA

March 5. 2012 07:50 PM


Vandal (sorry, don't like childish tags usually - but this ine is funny) Newman is a tad worried it seems.

Queensland Labor's relationship with developers should be under scrutiny, Campbell Newman says, not his.
The Liberal National Party leader says journalists are only focusing on developer donations he received as Brisbane lord mayor, when developers had contributed "far more to the Labor party in the last 10 years than they ever have to this side of politics".


What he apparently doesn't understand is the ALP has been under scrutiny for years by the same media that is now looking at him.  You might remember a few days ago Newman was being quizzed about his relationship with a developer - the media showing vacant land a few km from the CBD with a LNP election ad on it.  Interestingly I drove past a development near home on the weekend.  The billboard that has been promoting the development for a couple of years has been changed to an LNP election ad.  Strange marketing since they are still trying to sell units in the development (something to do with 2011 flood heights, water ingress and structural problems as a result Laughing )


March 5. 2012 08:12 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Our weather report in middle Queensland. The rain has eased, but a big storm brewing again.

This is the tropical weather down near Gympie:

A deadly deluge has hit south east Queensland yet again and forecasters are saying this system could develop into a tropical cyclone. See more at tennews.com.au

Some pieces of twittersphere gossip for you all :-

LatelineTonight on Lateline Emma Alberici talks to Treasurer, Wayne Swan. At 10:30 on ABC1

More gossip, unnamed sources, and general BS from the Rudd personal mouthpiece

Hockey's weird idea of middle Australia RT@abcnews: Joe Hockey says Wayne Swan waging war on middle Australia http://bit.ly/Ag8JAe

Stephen Koukoulas
Having seen 730, Mr Hockey has set a new benchmark for the Coalition in economic management. Details as soon as I work them out

Malcolm FarrSwan again hits 'irresponsible billionaires' which ALP hopes will be seen as conviction politics 'of the Labor kind'. http://rs.gs/8r6

chrismurphyschris murphy
PressClub:SwanMP “Andrew Forrest who complains about high company taxes & then admits to not paying any" #auspol www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfkvr-1226289376455

The Libs rush out to defend Palmer in today's papers but never to defend #FairGo for workers, pensioners and small business – says it all.

Radio2UE2UE Sydney
Paul Murray's Daily Drive Skits www.2ue.com.au/.../20120201-1qssy.html Clive Palmer our National Living Treasure, and here's why... @PMOnAir #2UE

Interesting how CPalmer & AForrest WON'T pay tax but are willing to fork out cash 4 advertising campaign against @SwannyDPM

ResidentOZKerry Seebohm
http://yfrog.com/0ojwj3j Please give to a worthy cause. Particularly our National Treasure.

George has set up a fund to assist our struggling billionaires...U can contribute here: http://flic.kr/p/bAufxX #auspol

Some Tweets favouring The Political Sword Ad Astra’s articles

  AustNewsALP Political News
The Political Sword | Tony Abbott, we are sick of your lies http://fb.me/174aEZk2k

TonyAbbottAbbott, we are sick of your lies http://thepoliticalsword.com/post/2012/02/1…(tks to CuppaT)

Thought4rceThink Big
Whilst the PM gets called "Juliar", Tony Abbott gets away with his never ending stream of lies listed here

Time 4 Labor to tell the truth about the Lying Rabbott.
The Political Sword www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...of-your-lies.aspx

Tony Abbott, we are sick of your lies [The Political Sword] www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...of-your-lies.aspx

www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...of-your-lies.aspx Just let us remind ourselves how much tNOy Abbott lies


March 5. 2012 09:06 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thanks for your links and tweets.  Interesting reading and viewing!

It’s encouraging to see the referrals to TPS.

I hope the weather soon settles down in your region.  The video paints a stark picture of what is happening there.

I’m off now to watch Monday evening’s TV.

Ad astra reply

March 5. 2012 10:26 PM


It pains me to have to report that sometimes my poor little gerbils struggle to meet the demands that I place upon them.
Tonight they cleared another item from the to do list.

I just watched Chris Uhlmann interview Joe Hockey and cringed as he displayed his usual level of heavy-handedness, to no appreciable effect.
The gerbils informed me (with no small amount of relief) that the comparative image most applicable to Uhlmann's interviewing technique is that of a Scottish Highland warrior.

Imagine a scene from Braveheart. A warrior rushing down the hill brandishing his sword above his head while giving forth a bloodcurdling scream meant to terrify the enemy and bolster his own courage and that of his mates. It takes him an eternity to come into close quarters with his opponent and he hopes that this display of passion and violent intention will intimidate the enemy.
The problem is that the person on the other end of this assault is not some English serf drafted into the service of the king, naive in the ways of the world and thoroughly unaccustomed to this wild primaeval demonstration of raw courage and aggression.

Contemporary politicians can see Uhlmann coming a mile off. Each frantic swing of his sword, meant to be a killing blow, is deftly fended off with a casual raising of a shield or an effortless parry . Uhlmann swings and swipes, moans and groans, bellows and grunts while his opponent waits him out. There is no subtlety to Uhlmann's attacks - you would not describe him as having a rapier-like intellect, deftly fencing with his foe until such time as he can get under his defences for the coup de grâs. Perhaps this is an image that Mr Uhlmann has of himself. I would suggest that the next time he is watching a playback of one of his interviews that he conjure up an image of the Mel Gibson character rather than that of Jeremy Irons in The Man in The Iron Mask.

Someone has to break it gently to Mr Uhlmann that the ladies and gentlemen of Australia's federal parliament are not afraid of him. No amount of rapid fire questioning, blunt confrontation or rude interruption is going to unsettle a seasoned campaigner. There may be times when the sheer stupidity of the interviewee sees them bang themselves about the head with their own sword but young Chris can take no credit for this.


March 5. 2012 10:41 PM


Another one in the series I wish that I had thought of it:

tNOy Great!


March 5. 2012 11:00 PM


Stephen Koukoulas has done his homework:

Mr Hockey's Black Hole From a Different Perspective, and
Joe Hockey Just Made His Black Hole Bigger

‘…let’s have a look at the task he has set for a Coalition Government in terms of cuts in spending.  With one side of the equation set in concrete (the tax to GDP ratio), there are some great big cuts in spending that must be found if the Coalition is to deliver surpluses of the same size as those projected by the Government in the MYEFO with the tax to GDP ratio no higher.’



March 5. 2012 11:14 PM


Patricia WA that is indeed a great photo @


The PM looked superb today and I am sorry that I did not see the event live. That colour suits her very well and I like the cut of the outfit and the material. Talk Turkey may have to make a small amendment to his Aeroplane J*u*l*i*a song if the PM maintains this new style ie the line 'Her smile and her style and her odd taste in clothes!'  


March 6. 2012 12:59 AM


Quite frankly, I believe that everytime this government starts to bona-fidely get on the front foot it is shows like Q&A, Insiders & 7:30 that undermine their progress...in tandem w/ the Murdoch types & shock jocks.

There seems to be nowhere they get a break.

How many times have we seen the government members & Gillard, previously Rudd, ridiculed and made fun of during Q&A. That's what helps undermine their authority...puts them on the  defense.

We expect this kind of biased tabloid tripe from the Murdoch empire and shock jocks...occasionally SKY NEWS...but from the ABC? Unfortunately yes...too much the past few years.

The comment by Vanstone regarding the intellect of the government frontbench met w/ huge larfs from Jones and his gullible, stacked audience. Jones incites & feeds this kind of claptrap. No respect whatsoever.

He's another master of chaos & cynicism...like Murdoch & his crew.

Is it any wonder the government is trailing in the polls...when in fact their good story policies should see them leading.

I wish they had not given Mark Scott 5 more years. The ABC has generally been a bloody disaster for this government.

There's balance...and then there is outright bastadry & backdoor bias.

BTW, Mark Simkin's report on QLD news re: new govt appointments was also biased...focusing on Kim Carr...showing few of the recruits. SURPRISE SURPRISE.

The media are a fckn shocker in this country.

My wife can't stand Jones & Q&A. She reckons he's a secret Liberal. And egotistical sh*tstirrin' twit...who puts himself before the country.



March 6. 2012 01:33 AM


Nas' @2.00pm, it all sounds frightening, especially on the education front.

How ludicrous to reduce Teacher places and to attack teachers' salaries? But of course this will only affect the public education sector, I imagine. and who cares about that lot of snotty nosed cannon fodder?

As for the rest, sounds like he wants to reduce QLD to a service sector for wealthy overseas high rollers and to crawl as far as he can up Clive Palmer's @rse!

I just hope Queenslanders are a wake up to this insidious plan and give him the thumbs down.

I thought Swanny performed pretty well today, too. He seems pretty fired up and doesn't miss a beat.

Rann is a seasoned campaigner. He can see off RWDBs effortlessly.

Limbaugh must have had a meltdown; couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke, I suppose. What is ultra pleasing is that he is being punished by listeners for his disgusting behaviour.

I bet he didn't expect people power to react so swiftly and unfavourably. Perhaps public opinion in the US is starting to turn against Tea Party style abuse and invective. I hope so.

Patricia, great photo.

Lyn, the Finkelstein Report seems to have lit a fire under the msm. Lots of bleating about the freedom of the press (to print lies, more lies and damned lies) being endangered.

A ripple of fear must be wandering up and down their collective spines at the thought of a regulator with GREAT, BIG, NEW TEETH to paraphrase a tired old slogan well past its use by date.


March 6. 2012 01:56 AM


I bet he didn't expect people power to react so swiftly and unfavourably. Perhaps public opinion in the US is starting to turn against Tea Party style abuse and invective. I hope so.

I reckon it began w/ the tragic shooting of the Democratic congresswoman. Sarah Palin and her target crosses on the electoral map. The rot started to set in. Demonstrated how extreme they are...the Tea Party pushers.

Glenn Beck didn't help. Nor Limbaugh. The debt ceiling debate demonstrated how irresponsible they are.

Soon many of the Libertarians will see that they've been taken for a ride w/ the likes of Ron & Rand Paul. If Ron Paul remains a Republican candidate & doesn't become a Libertarian party candidate after all the pro-war stuff pushed by both the Romney camps & the CONservatives...and the over the top Christian values stuff...I'm positive that many Independents will opt out of voting or even move towards Obama...Paul will look like a con artist.


BTW, yes, Q&A oft moves towards more seemingly progressive views as the show hits the last 20 mins or so...

but this is after they've usually ridiculed, criticised the government and pissed on their policies...

and don't forget that many watchers who work will only get thru the first 5-30 minutes before falling asleep, hitting the sack...

and, those progressive issues can also be used effectively by a moderate Liberal such as Turnbull...as evidenced by some of Vanstone's more moderate responses to asylum seekers & gay marriage...

my view:

Tony Jones is a moderate Liberal...and Turnbull supporter.



March 6. 2012 07:54 AM



If We Don't Grow Together, We Grow Apart,  Press office , Wayne Swan

Inequality isn't just unfair – it's inefficient. It makes no moral sense for the battler to subsidise his boss's private health insurance. It makes no financial sense either. That's why

Freedom from the Press , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate,
BTW, it's the same thing that has happened in the attempts to reform resource taxes, the pokies industry and financial sales dressed up as advice). The industry wants you to believe

Sorry Clive Palmer, Wayne Swan’s vision is better for Australia, Jean-Paul Gagnon, The Conversation
Clive Palmer, and I address this to you, unless you place yourself on a salary cap, agree to sharing the wealth that your market-tactics have created with Australians, as well as offer

So it’s Carr(ion),  Jeff  Sparrow, Overland
The difficulty, however, is that, if the media has, by and large, embraced a neoliberal understanding of politics, the public often proves infuriatingly reluctant to play along.

Parallel Worlds,  Norman Abjorensen, Inside Story
Fortuitous turn of events or a carefully planned strategy? We can only speculate on the extent to which Kevin Rudd’s abrupt resignation and leadership challenge were brought on by

A dream fulfilled: Carr's Foreign Minister fantasy, Mungo Maccallum, ABC
It has taken him 64 years, but Robert John Carr has finally achieved his ambition - nay, his destiny, he would even say his birthright.

Simons: how the Fink nailed the media inquiry, Margaret Simons, Crikey
On Saturday and again today, the newspapers were full of opinion, mostly from the interested parties, but harder to find was a decent summary or report of the Fink’s substance and arguments.  

Media regulation? How dare elected representatives of the public question our media billionaires!, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
As if the better representatives of our interests are corporate media behemoths owned and run by billionaires, rather than the people we actually elect to represent us. As if

Five lessons from MTR's failure, Matthew Knott, The Power Index
Right-wing Melbourne talkback radio station MTR was put out of its misery on Friday after two years of disastrous ratings and financial results. The calamitous final broadcast – featuring an aborted news

Media inquiry ignores value of diversity, Jason Wilson, The Drum
small operations might just decided that it's easier, more sensible, to not publish risky, challenging material? Or accept the decisions of the regulator even where they disagreed with them in principle,

Bankers are not capitalists, Bruce Judson, Independent Australia
I would suggest that the success you so proudly proclaim reflects the loss of two of our nation’s most important values. The first is the failure of individuals and leaders to simply take responsibility

Joe Hockey Just Made His Black Hole Bigger ,  Stephen Koukoulas
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has made an astonishing commitment for a future Coalition Government with his “absolute guarantee” that the Coalition tax take will be less than under Labor.

Inflation in the groove; RBA can move, Stephen Koukoulas
With inflation looking to be very well contained, the RBA has plenty of potential downward flexibility with its handle on interest rate settings. While it clearly should have cut in February

It is the mark of an intellectual pygmy to play the man Palmer plays the man, Peter Martin
The separate attacks, both published today, follow Mr Swan’s article in The Monthly Friday that named Mr Palmer, Mr Forrest and mining magnate Gina Rinehart in a discussion of threats to democracy.

Wayne Swan and pygmies, Min, Café Whispers
Which goes to prove exactly Swan’s point about undue influence. Which other Australians have the money and the media clout to almost instantaneously be able to launch a national advertising campaign

Swan's inequality warning reflected in statistics,  774 ABC Melbourne
And I think somewhere along the line some people have said, 'look, this is ridiculous, all we're hearing is whingeing rich people who are complaining about not being rich enough, when in actual fact

Liberal-Nations slam Swan criticism of miners, David Twomey, Eco News
Australia’s conservative Liberal-National federal opposition has labelled as “appalling stuff” criticism of rich miners by the minority Labor government’s Treasurer Wayne Swan

Palmer launches fresh attack on Swan, Emma Griffiths, ABC
Mr Forrest's company, Fortescue Metals Group, has also taken out full-page advertisements in today's major newspapers condemning Mr Swan for an "irrational outburst" and "an act of cynical hypocrisy".

Libs reaction proves my point, says Swan, Sky News
Fortescue took out full page spreads in Monday's major newspapers rejecting his criticism, saying it would pay more than $1 billion

Swan accuses Abbott of 'singing for his supper', Emma Griffiths, ABC
"He is of course singing for his supper - we can see that in the donations from the likes of Clive Palmer that have flooded into the Coalition's coffers in recent years," Mr Swan said."In

Senator George Brandis wants you offended and insulted, You Said it
seems any idiot can get into the comments section of newspapers, onto talkback radio and into social media and parade their hatred and freely defame Indigenous people, ethnic and religious minorities, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as GLBTI people and women

Voters Don’t Like LNP On Any Of The Issues, The Daily Derp
According to Newspoll data (courtesy of Ghost Who Votes – @GhostWhoVotes on Twitter), more than half of voters don’t like the LNP as managers of every issue important to them. You can download a pdf of the data here: Newspoll 5/3/2012.

Bloomberg Billionaires Index
Today's ranking of the world's richest people

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, March 5, 2012 at 9:52 am The Poll Bludger  comment 2481
No, it was not “not happening”. It just hadn’t happened. There is a difference, one however that Murphy thinks is “spin, obfuscation, obstruction, half truth” or “outright lies”… perhaps all five


Gillard's new ministers sworn in, abc
Prime Minister Julia Gillard's new-look frontbench has been sworn in by Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House in Canberra

Opposition accuses Treasurer of class warfare, ABC Lateline
The Opposition has accused Wayne Swan of inciting class warfare with his claim that mining billionaires are using their wealth to undermine democracy.

Joe Hockey responds to Wayne Swan's assertions on influence, 7.30pm Report
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey reacts to Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan's belief that vested interests are having a greater influence on national affairs and politics

Queensland election gets serious , 7.30pm Report
Federal Labor hogged headlines over the last week or two but the party in Queensland is facing the loss of power, although it won't go without a fight and some suggest it's getting a little dirty

Q & A live from Adelaide,  Monday 5 March, 2012

Media Watch 5 March 2012 episode 5, Media Watch,  ABC

Swan 'waging war' on middle Australia, Joe Hockey

TEN reports on the PM Gillard’s new ministry following the Cabinet reshuffle, Channel 10 Video

Wayne Swan talks to the National Press Club
Abbott singing for his Supper

Robb casts doubt on parental leave plans, ABC Andrew Robb
Mr Robb says there is no guarantee the Coalition will implement the plan

Alan Jones - Carr aptment " triumph of common sense" full of praise
http://bit.ly/zEfMYk    Alan Jones:-   has hell frozen over? or sum1suing him

Queensland Election Campaign, Channel 10

Numurkah under water , Channel 7
Large areas of the state remain under water with Numurkah one of the hardest towns hit.


March 6. 2012 07:57 AM



     Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 6 March 2012



March 6. 2012 08:45 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

March 6. 2012 10:51 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for another great set of links.  For anyone interested in the Finkelstein Independent Media Inquiry, I strongly recommend Mr Denmore’s piece Freedom from the press on The Failed Estate thefailedestate.blogspot.com.au/.../...-press.html and Margaret Simons piece on Crikey: Simons: how the Fink nailed the media inquiry http://www.crikey.com.au/?p=278061

Ad astra reply

March 6. 2012 11:05 AM


Good Morning Ad

You are the best spotter.  Those 2 pieces were brilliant, they have both done their homework.  Especially Margret Simons, an excellent read.

We have covered the strappers on, Kevin Rudd, Bob Carr, Media Review,
there is one left Wayne Swan:

So because it's quiet today I may as well put together, the critical articles about Wayne Swan.



March 6. 2012 11:58 AM


Newman support failing.


Has the LNP shot themselves in the foot - again?


March 6. 2012 12:01 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I hope the rain has stopped and the Mary River is falling.

It will be interesting to read the response to Wayne Swan's essay and NPC address.  He has set the cat amongst the pigeons, and they are flapping their wings in anger and apprehension.

Later today I'll post a piece Pollies, the press pack and poison politics.

Ad astra reply

March 6. 2012 12:33 PM


Hi Ad

Here is the Swan story, you will notice 2 of the articles topics have been changed since I started the collection.  Michelle Grattan's   either the heading has been changed or the story removed.
I posted the blog "Daylife" to show you they have used those to headings and two links as well, both going to a different story.

Made my stomach churn' by Michelle Grattan
Swan labelled an 'intellectual pygmy' Unknown

Billionaires' backers lash Wayne Swan
The Australian - Annabel Hepworth and Damon Kitney
SOME of the nation's leading entrepreneurs have lashed Wayne Swan's extraordinary attack on mining billionaires, saying Australians had benefited from their investments and that "we are very lucky to have them". Hugh Morgan, the founder of WMC ...

Unions just ordinary lobbyists: Treasurer Wayne Swan
The Australian - ‎David Crowe

LABOR'S links to the union movement bore no relation to the vested interests of big business, Wayne Swan declared yesterday as he intensified his attack on the nation's top mining billionaires. The Treasurer sought to rally Labor's political base by ...

Swan engaging in class war - Hockey
The Australian – editorial  ‎
TREASURER Wayne Swan is engaging in a class war by criticising people such as mining magnate Clive Palmer, opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says. Mr Swan told the National Press Club in Canberra today it was more difficult now than 25 years ago ..

Swan ups ante in attack on mining moguls
The Australian – ‎Ben Pakman
Image Video Fortescue Metals launches anti-Labor ads WAYNE Swan has stepped up his attack on "irresponsible" resources billionaires while defending Labor's close relationship with the trade union movement. At the National Press Club today, ...

Swan's mining war
The Australian – James Massola
Wayne Swan's war of words with the mining industry continues, with the industry claiming it was ambushed by the Treasurer in May 2010. First off: The industry yesterday backed former prime minister Kevin Rudd's account of how the original tax took ...

Wayne Swan 'wrong on mining tax ambush' as miners stand firm on 'breach of faith'
The Australian, David Crowe
THE mining industry has contradicted Wayne Swan's claims about the $10.6 billion mining tax in new statements that inflame the wider row over the Treasurer's argument that vested interests are distorting public policy
. www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226289938772

Swan 'a complete and utter flake'
The Australian, Editorial
Kelly O'Dwyer was responding to Mr Swan's claim that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was defending billionaire miners instead of the national interest

Swan's rhetoric of envy occupies the cabinet room
The Australian (blog) – ‎Editorial

IT is hard to decide what is most disconcerting about Wayne Swan's foray into political commentary. Perhaps it is the paradox of the Treasurer launching personal attacks on some of the most successful entrepreneurs in our most crucial economic sector.

'Made my stomach churn'  Since removed
Brisbane Times - ‎36 minutes ago‎
There's little risk for the Treasurer in attacking some of the country's richest people, Phil Coorey tells Tim Lester. Wayne Swan was not taking a step back in his attack on the high-profile mining billionaires Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina ...

Treasurer fires a broadside at the wealth creators
Brisbane Times Michelle Grattan
Mr Swan was one of the spear carriers in the leadership battle. But yesterday's Essential poll suggests the result has not helped Labor: 47 per cent think Julia Gillard's re-election has made them less likely to support Labor and only 13 per cent said it made them more likely to do so. Among Labor voters, only 21 per cent said less likely and 33 per cent said more likely.

Outspoken Treasurer tries to make the most of a taxing situation
Brisbane Times, Lenore Taylor

The mining companies and Tony Abbott filled the void with a $22 million advertising campaign featuring workers outlining the damage the tax would allegedly do - not to profits - but to jobs and townships. To the little guy. It succeeded, the government retreated and the tax was redrawn.

Swan labelled an 'intellectual pygmy' Since removed
Brisbane Times - ‎20 hours ago‎
Mr Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group has taken out advertisements in today's newspapers calling the Treasurer cynical and hypocritical. "Andrew Forrest and his team created one of the great business success stories in Australian history," the deputy ...

Swan labelled an 'intellectual pygmy'
Mining barons Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest have taken on the Treasurer,
Wayne Swan, the first labelling him an "intellectual pygmy" who does not understand economics and the second launching a national advertising campaign against him. The separate... Full Article at Brisbane Times

True success lies in making a real contribution
Brisbane Times – ‎Editorial

Joe Hockey's story of his refugee family making good in postwar Australia is indeed inspiring (''Politics of division will kill ambition'', March 5). However, Mr Hockey fails to mention that during those years rates of taxation for companies and ..
. www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120305-1ueh7.html

Wayne Swan's fightin' words
WA Today Editorial
IN HIS essay lashing out at the ''poison'' of rent-seeking vested interests, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has correctly diagnosed a key challenge confronting ...

Read my essay, Swan says, as economic debate intensifies
Brisbane Times – ‎Judith Ireland

Billionaires are buying too much influence and Tony Abbott is singing their tune, says Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan. Tim Lester reports. Treasurer Wayne Swan has urged Australians to read his essay about ''vested interests'' in a television interview

Mining billionaires under attack by Treasurer Wayne Swan
Herald Sun – ‎Phillip Hudson

TREASURER Wayne Swan has stepped up his attack on mining billionaires, directly accusing them of greed. But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said it was a "phony class war" to hide the Government's real attack on middle Australia.

Treasurer tries to make the most of a taxing situation
Sydney Morning Herald – ‎Lenore Taylor

The treasurer goes after some of the country's most powerful figures, grocery suppliers complain to ACCC and the rest of today's political news. Wayne Swan seems to be trying to write Labor's ''narrative'' retrospectively. When the 40 per cent mining

Treasurer digs in against miners' attacks
Sydney Morning Herald – ‎Judith Ireland

Billionaires are buying too much influence and Tony Abbott is singing their tune, says Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan. Tim Lester reports. Treasurer Wayne Swan has shot back at Australia's mining magnates, repeating his argument that ''vested interests''

Swan admits mining tax blunder
Sydney Morning Herald – ‎Phillip Coorey
There's little risk for the Treasurer in attacking some of the country's richest people, Phil Coorey tells Tim Lester. The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has conceded the government could have avoided the grief caused by the first version of its mining tax had

Treasurer fires a broadside at the wealth creators
Sydney Morning Herald – ‎Michelle Grattan

There's little risk for the Treasurer in attacking some of the country's richest people, Phil Coorey tells Tim Lester. Wayne Swan was not taking a step back in his attack on the high-profile mining billionaires Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina

Outspoken Treasurer tries to make the most of a taxing situation
The Age – ‎Lenore Taylor

The treasurer goes after some of the country's most powerful figures, grocery suppliers complain to ACCC and the rest of today's political news. Wayne Swan seems to be trying to write Labor's ''narrative'' retrospectively. When the 40 per cent mining

Pit brawl gets dirty - Wayne Swan escalates stoush with militant mining magnates
The Daily Telegraph - ‎Alison McMeekin  
TREASURER Wayne Swan won't back down from the public verbal brawl with billionaire miners Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer - yesterday he welcomed their criticism and dished out more of his own. A war of words broke out between

Australian treasurer's billionaire battle heats up
AFP - ‎

SYDNEY — The war of words between Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan and the country's richest mining chiefs escalated Monday, with one billionaire's company taking out full-page advertisements to rebut his claims. Swan provoked a storm last week when he ...

Opposition accuses Treasurer of class warfare
ABC Online - ‎8 hours ago‎

The Opposition has accused Wayne Swan of inciting class warfare with his claim that mining billionaires are using their wealth to undermine democracy. EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The Opposition's accusing Wayne Swan of class warfare after the Treasurer ...

Swan defends attack on vested interests
ABC Online - ‎9 hours ago‎
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan discusses his attacks on top earners, and the resulting stoush with mining magnates Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart. EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Our top story is Wayne Swan's stoush with mining magnates Clive ...

Mining investors wary of Wayne Swan
ABC Online - ‎9 hours ago‎
Mining investors, who have lived through the mining tax debate, must now watch Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan attack the hard-lobbying, cashed-up mining moguls. The Treasurer today renewed his attack on the hard-lobbying, cashed-up miners who stridently ...

Swan launches second assault on biggest mining billionaires
ABC Online - ‎13 hours ago‎
BRENDAN TREMBATH: The Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has intensified his campaign against some of the biggest names in Australian mining. Last week in an essay he called for a pitched battle against the influence of vested interests.

Swan 'waging war' on middle Australia
ABC Online - ‎15 hours ago‎
By chief political correspondent Emma Griffiths The Opposition has rejected Wayne Swan's accusation that it has been bought by powerful vested interests as "insulting". They say the Treasurer is trying to distract attention from the increasing cost of ...

melbourne Miners defend companies from Swan
Sky News Australia - ‎16 hours ago‎
Miners defend companies from Swan Updated: 18:47, Monday March 5, 2012 Mining company Fortescue has taken out newspaper ads to defend itself from an attack by federal Treasurer Wayne Swan. Opposition finance spokesman Joe Hockey believes the mining ...

Swan critical of mining magnates
Sky News Australia - ‎4 hours ago‎
Swan critical of mining magnates Updated: 05:47, Tuesday March 6, 2012 Treasurer Wayne Swan says mining magnates are using their wealth to influence policy and it is undermining the democratic process. Treasurer Wayne Swan says resource tycoons ...

Emerson backs Swan against mining giants
Sky News Australia - ‎17 hours ago‎
Emerson backs Swan against mining giants Updated: 16:01, Monday March 5, 2012 Labor's planned mining tax is in the national interest despite what the mining magnates say, according to federal government frontbencher Craig Emerson.

Swan takes fresh shot at miners
Sky News Australia - ‎15 hours ago‎
Swan takes fresh shot at miners Updated: 18:33, Monday March 5, 2012 Treasurer Wayne Swan is keeping up the political pressure on a trio of Australian mining billionaires he has accused of mobilising their wealth against the Labor government's mining

Libs reaction proves my point, says Swan
Sky News Australia - ‎19 hours ago‎
Libs reaction proves my point, says Swan Updated: 14:21, Monday March 5, 2012 Treasurer Wayne Swan says the federal opposition has vindicated his argument that a small number of wealthy Australians are mobilising their wealth against policies in the ...

Treasurer Swan takes shot at Clive Palmer
Ninemsn - ‎19 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 says a small number of enormously wealthy Australians, ..

Robb defends Hockey from criticism

Mr Robb was responding to reports that big business is privately furious with Treasurer Wayne Swan for picking a fight with billionaire miners. But the counter was that Mr Hockey's reputation was poor amongst the business community, a businessman told ...

Fair go under threat: Swan
Ninemsn - ‎9 hours ago‎
Australia's notion of a fair go is under threat as billionaires try to sabotage public policy, the federal government says. Treasurer Wayne Swan says resource tycoons including Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest are using their wealth to ...

Attack by Palmer proves my point: Swan
Ninemsn - ‎17 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 says mining magnate Clive Palmer has proved the point he made in ...

Swan 'a complete and utter flake'- Lib MP
Ninemsn - ‎9 minutes ago‎
A federal Liberal backbencher has lashed out at Treasurer Wayne Swan, calling him "a complete and utter flake". Kelly O'Dwyer was responding to Mr Swan's claim that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was defending billionaire miners instead of the national ...


March 6. 2012 12:42 PM


Hi Ad

Yes the rain has stopped this morning, just hanging around now,
with a lot of cloud.



March 6. 2012 12:52 PM

paul walter

Adastra should have been comforted by last night's Media Watch", given the content of the post.
Of course msm are anything but happy at the moment.
The Murdoch wing, sitting guiltily on a pile of soiled linen from Britain and the US, is always glad to draw attention away from itself by bagging others and Kelly's slithering rubbish is the typical example.
Fairfax, faced with annexation from Jabba the Hutt, from Perth, with her weird Tea-Party rightist politics, is very careful, from top to bottom, not to publish anything to be even remotely construed as "balanced" on last week's Labor spill, lest others face the same fate as boned Hun columnist Jill Singer.
As for the ABC, how dare reality intrude on Auntie, when in her dotage, she is in the midst of an inglorious and comprehensive tabloidisation project of her own.
On top of this, at the most unwelcome of times, comes the Finklestein Report on the overdue reregulation of delinquent msm, to get some honesty back in and fantasy out of, reportage and comment.
All in all, pretty revolting, all of it.

paul walter

March 6. 2012 12:56 PM


On Q&A's bias. Don't watch it anymore but I often see promo trailers, usually with someone taking a swipe at the government with accompanying laughter.

Norman K,couldn't think of an apt comparison to a Highland warrior, but drawing on another conflict Jubilation T Cornpone's cowardly brother could've slaughtered Hockey last night.

Thought Media Watch was pretty good last night, except for the reflexive defence of the profession when threatened by any sort of real resposibilty.

Wealth & job creators be buggered. Any wealth created is wanted by those who already have billions & they create as few jobs as possible in order to minimise the financial leakage in that direction.


March 6. 2012 01:12 PM


Hi Ad

This article by Ben Eltham is excellent.  Ben points out the critics have failed to read Wayne Swan's essay:

It's Not Class War, It's Good Economics
By Ben Eltham

Swan’s essay — which most of his critics don’t seem to have bothered to read — is really about income inequality, and the perils of a shrinking middle class. In Australia, this debate has been largely absent, perhaps because here a rising tide really has lifted all boats. But in the northern hemisphere, particularly in the US, income inequality has accelerated so rapidly that the very rich have started to cannibalise the rest of the American economy.



March 6. 2012 01:20 PM


Talk about read what you want to read and hear what you want to hear!
Phil Coorey obviously heard something in Wayne Swan's tone of voice that escaped me. In response to a quesion during his NPC appearance yesterday Mr Swan said:

''If we could have sat down in greater detail with the mining industry following our announcement, and worked our way through those issues, then we might have had a less bloody and bruising experience,'' Mr Swan yesterday. All the information concerning pricing and volumes was available only once they sat down to negotiate the new tax.
''We were able to then, much better, go about what we wanted to do in the first place,'' he said.
   (my emphasis)

Now I heard that as a criticism of the miners for not coming to the table, making available 'all the information concerning pricing and volumes' and negotiating. Instead they went on the rampage, using advertising, opinion pieces and lobbyists to denigrate the whole idea of an RSPT and withheld vital information that might have made for a sensible discussion.

Mr Coorey heard a different tone. One that informed him that:
The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has conceded that the government could have avoided the grief caused by the first version of its mining tax had it sat down with the industry and worked through the detail.  (my emphasis)

No mention from Coorey of whether that sit down would have been before or after the announcement but the clear implication from Coorey is that Swan meant before. As Swan clearly said ''If we could have sat down ..... with the mining industry following our announcement then I have to assume that Coorey is bending the truth to suit his own needs.

Coorey also has the advantage of quoting from a transcript where tone of voice is completely absent. I most certainly did not hear any tone of 'concession' in Swan's remarks yesterday. This is yet another way that journalists can subtly shift the meaning contained in a statement. Commonly used in conjunction with selective omission/quotes and/or a deliberate lack of context they can make anyone say anything. You've just been marked down for playing silly buggers Mr Coorey.

Incidentally, this comment should in no way be construed as an endorsement of the way Rudd and Swan handled the RSPT. I have no concrete opinion on that but I'm confident that I didn't hear 'concession' in Swan's voice yesterday.

Thanks for all the extra homework Lyn. Laughing


March 6. 2012 01:46 PM


Lyn, "It's Not Class War, It's Good Economics
By Ben Eltham" is indeed a good read ( along with your other links) . I have No Doubt history will show Swan as being 'Right on the Money'. Interesting times.


March 6. 2012 02:13 PM


Bad Abbott

"We build good buildings. But we build much better buildings when people are working together, not fighting each other".

The most recent pearl of wisdom to dribble from the lips of Shouldabeen PM Tiny Abbott.

Apparently building sites all over the country come to potentially structural damage causing halts so that everyone onsite can go all world championship wrestling on each other.

If only they sold tickets, the TV rights might pay for the constructions costs.


March 6. 2012 02:55 PM



Thanks for all your great links on Swan's essay and the press club speech.  We watched it and just loved Swanny's confidence and ability and also the message he was sending out.  I don't care what it all ends up as, I am just enjoying Julia, Wayne and all the other ministers getting out there, on the front foot, fighting the good fight.  I do hope they keep this up.  It is not like they don't have the ammunition to keep it going for the next 18 months or so.  It will have to be a constant barrage to maybe have it sink in to some of the electorate's heads.   All I can say is "Go Swanny" and everyone else.


March 6. 2012 03:15 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thanks for your list of comments about Wayne Swan’s essay and address to the NPC.

What amazes me is that intelligent people make the statements they do. In The Australian Tony Hodgson, who is recorded as having co-founded one of Australia's ‘most successful corporate insolvency firms’, is quoted as saying: ”... it was frightening that the Treasurer would make the statements he did about Andrew Forrest, Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart. "We are bloody lucky to have them, it's so mind-bogglingly obvious."  Did Swan say that we ought not to have such entrepreneurs?  No.  He said that it was wrong for them to use their massive wealth to oppose public policy designed to bring about a sharing of the benefits from the mining boom across all Australians, to avoid paying their fair share of tax.  That is quite different.  Does Hodgson not see that, or is he just obfuscating?

In contrast, Janet Holmes a Court said:”… that an entrepreneurial culture was a good thing as long as the benefits went to many, not just a few. "If those few become incredibly wealthy then I think the American idea or the Myer family idea of sharing and distributing that wealth is to be applauded."  That is just what Wayne Swan is saying.  How come she can see that, but not Hodgson?


It is informative to examine the language of those who oppose Swan’s contention.  Clive Palmer called him ‘an intellectual pygmy’ who knows nothing of the real world of business, and was ‘just a puppet of the faceless men who give directions on what to do and say’.  Kelly O’Dwyer, Peter Costello’s replacement, labelled him as ‘a complete and utter flake" whatever that means!  If you can’t argue your case, try name calling.

In its ads on Monday, Fortescue said the treasurer had been 'unfair, untrue and divisive', and its deputy chairman Herb Elliott said in the ads:  'Andrew epitomises the spirit of what an Australian can do if given a fair go'.  It was pointed out that Forrest donated $50 million a year of his own money to charities.  Mr Swan responded pointedly by saying that although it was 'good' that Mr Forrest and his wife gave away their own money, it was no reason not to pay a mining tax. 'Charity is not a substitute for paying tax.’

Ben Eltham’s piece is balanced and well argued.

I am with you.  Phil Coorey either didn’t llisten to Swan, or decided to misrepresent what he said anyway for the sake of a good story.  Phil seems to be slipping.  He was the one who got the leaked leadership numbers wrong.  There is golden rule – if you are going to scoop all the others with a pre-arranged leak, get it right.  Otherwise you look a goose.

paul walter
Yes, Media Watch was enjoyable – a balanced account of the ‘Carr Affair’ that said it the way it was – the media had it all wrong and was again caught flatfooted.  In contrast it’s fascinating to read the post hoc accounts of what transpired over the preceding days in News Limited and Fairfax.  They write as if they were right all along regarding the sequence of events, and they repeat the same misconceptions that have now been shown to be incorrect.  It’s as if they are living in a world of fantasy that they have created, and can’t bear to accept that in the real world they were wrong.  If I thought Labor was that clever, I could perhaps be persuaded to believe that the media was deliberately set up with false leaks designed to confuse rather than inform – as Andrew Probyn said – ‘a reverse wedgie’ on the Canberra Press Gallery.

You are right – even the even-handed Jonathon Holmes could not bring himself to back the Finkelstein recommendation of a News Media Council.  Holmes punted that it would never eventuate.

I agree.

Ad astra reply

March 6. 2012 03:20 PM


It wouldna been so quiet if I weren't such an idjet:
I wrote another long post but I touched that Effing Widget!
I know, I know, you’ve told me so, I ought to write in Word
And I've lost so many posts now, it's absurd.

[This morning I addressed Lyn first, because I saw round Lyn's
Hometown there in Queensland, there were mighty swirling winds
I spoke of how in Adelaide we never have such strife:
Just two tiny Earth-wriggles in my whole lengthy life.]

Oh I can’t do it all in verse to make up.

Dam it was such an up-beat post I hate to have lost it.

I raved on a bit first, watching that weather swirling around coastal Queensland, I wish I could watch it continuously, it is beautiful and awesome. I spoke of how I would like to watch 365 days’ worth of satellite-based weather imagery film of the whole hemisphere, compressed into say 60 seconds per day, as an ongoing animated wallpaper for instance, showing the clouds and the day/nights and the winter/summer changes, but I said it lovely last time, not pigdestrian like here, and now I haven’t time. I wondered if anybody has done such a movie loop, just the world slowly spinning once per minute in space, from a fixed satellite? Anyone seen such maybe? I like the little weather loops but somewhere there is all the info needed to make the movie I mean.

I only talked about the weather at all because I was so happy with way the politics is happening. When I did start talking politics I eulogized Wayne Swan, who like a tadpole turning to a big strong Golden Bell-Frog has grown both a spine and a powerful voice: yesterday at the NPC luncheon he was a warrior! I never have thought of him as less than a strong performer btw, but he has always had such a bad time in Parliament, Mister Speaker, and under Harry he got little protection, things are different now. But he has the confidence of his own splendid achievements behind him now too, and he is being surprisingly powerful in attack on the Fat-Fats and the Coalons.

I TalkTurkey glorify in having introduced through this very site the Three Stooges association for Abbortt and Snotty Joe and Poor Old Robb, then it went viral enough Swan picked it up and used it about five or six times Smile  Now I reckon what he should do, (you listening Wayne?), is to say next QT, “. . . but Mister Speaker, the Three Stooges opposite,. . .  Oh sorry Mister Speaker I withdraw that, the GOON SHOW Members on the Noalition’s front bench  . . .”

Craig Emerson is formidable in all his interviews, this morning he turned to great advantage every silliness by that curly-headed bimbo who has replaced Trivioli (who having had a baby will need re-impregnating soon to save us from her return, the bimbo is less worse imo.)

Everyone on Labor’s front bench is a London-to-a-brick overmatch for his (or her)* NOposition counterpart.

I think Labor has all its oppositional ducks, including the Fat-Fats and the Ol' Coke Bottles, in a nice tight gaggle, and all our shooters are in position.

Abbortt is doomed. His backbenchers, even those with decent margins, are staring at the ceiling in their bedrooms every night . . .

Oohh there's gotta be a parody there somewhere  like . . .

Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight?

(Just the one verse so far but listen to the original, you'll realise it's a very EASY act to follow. Open ended.)

Do backbench Liberals stare up at the ceiling every night?
Does Tony Abbortt's leadership leave 'em stiff with fright?
Does it give them problems separating Decency from Right?
Do backbench Liberals stare up at the ceiling every night?

Do listen to this Folks, it gets funny, sort of.


*From now on I shall use only the masculine personal pronoun as my feminine parent tongue English considers correct usage. It is not a slight on the women on Labor's front bench, au contraire (that's French) I think Labor women are terrific.
No, actually, Labor women ARE terrific.    


March 6. 2012 03:28 PM


Another aspect of Wayne Swan's assault on the big three diggers is that it will draw Clive Palmer out into the spotlight and that can only do Anna Bligh good as the perception exists that the relationship between Palmer and the Qld LNP smacks of undue influence by one individual.
Palmer is no asset to CanDo and the more we see him pontificating on our screens the more harm he will do.


March 6. 2012 03:33 PM

Patricia WA

Do you remember this made by the CFMEU when the mining tax was first suggested by Labor?


Patricia WA

March 6. 2012 04:50 PM

Ad astra reply

I have just posted Pollies, the press pack, and poison politics to give you something to bite on for the rest of the week.


Ad astra reply

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