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Pollies, the press pack, and poison politics

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Tuesday, 6 March 2012 16:47 by Ad astra
How many of you have been dismayed at the increasingly unhealthy relationship that has developed between some politicians and some journalists that has led to leaks, false reports, internal party tension, party upheaval, and a level of disruption that can only be harmful to any political party, and, in turn the nation?

Before we begin gnashing our teeth, we ought to remember that politicians have had relationships with reporters for eons. Some are fruitful; some are subversive. Everyone is aware of the overt relationships. Reporters bail up politicians at so-called doorstops trying to extract a quotable quote. They are present at press conferences initiated by politicians. They are an eager audience at such events as National Press Club addresses, and at formal addresses to the party faithful, to institutions, to business, industry and community groups, and on those ad hoc occasions that call for a political statement and a response. They are rightly there to report what is being said and how questions are being answered. That is the reporter’s job. How well they are doing their job is another matter, one that has been the subject of intense and heated debate in recent times.

This piece is not about this legitimate media activity, overt as it is; it is about the covert relationships that have been in stark evidence in recent weeks.

Again we need to concede that these covert relationships between politicians and reporters are nothing new – they have probably gone on ever since politics became an entity. Lately though, they seem to have had a very damaging effect on political parties and on government.

The unholy alliance of leaking pollies and the press pack has given us poison politics.

Why does this subversive phenomenon exist?

It seems to be in the nature of politicians to seek power, some more than others. They enter politics, often with the altruistic aim of making a difference, but soon find that to do so requires the exercise of power. So they seek power to achieve their aim. Not every politician has the same aims; often those in the same party have different aims. So the struggle for power is not confined to a struggle between parties, but is manifest within parties. In Labor, those in the left factions have different views on some issues from those in the right factions. In the Coalition, the ‘liberals’ have different views from the ‘conservatives’ on some issues, and the Nationals different views again. Because ideas and actions arising from them are often strongly contested within parties, a fight for supremacy is inevitable. In the Labor party we see some who support selling uranium to India, while some vigorously oppose it; some support gay marriage, while others are trenchantly against it.

This struggle for supremacy is healthy while it is overt, but lately we have seen it become covert, and unhealthy. The struggle of one idea over another sometimes morphs into a struggle between people for supremacy, presumably in the belief that being in power enables the ideas espoused to be implemented. Sometimes this becomes as basic as who is to lead and control the party. We saw this played out when Nick Minchin initiated a push against Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull because of his support for an ETS. It resulted in his being replaced, by one vote, by Tony Abbott. An ideological and policy battle was waged and Abbott won. And of course we saw the battle for leadership of the parliamentary Labor party in full public glare last week.

Before probing deeper, let’s acknowledge that there have been mutually beneficial relationships between politicians and journalists for ages, even when they have been covert. Politicians have fed journalists with information they want promulgated, and in turn journalists have used that association to extract inside information from politicians. Being on the so-called ‘drip feed’ is a privilege for favoured journalists, who in turn aid the politician in achieving his or her aims. It is not always a fair exchange and journalists have been known to double cross their sources, a recipe for the drying up of the information flow. But the prospect of getting a scoop, an ‘exclusive’, a jump on other journalists, is always tempting in the competitive game of journalism.

In Labor we have seen something more deep-seated and sinister though than this mutually beneficial exchange. Ever since Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd it seems that Rudd has been working out how to regain the leadership, with the help of his supporters. Some who supported him at the recent ballot did so because they felt the 2010 coup was fundamentally the wrong way of going about managing a leader who was becoming increasingly difficult and dysfunctional. Anthony Albanese was one. Other supporters though, for whatever reasons, wanted him returned and were prepared to go to any ends to achieve this. Some believed he was the only leader that could lead Labor to victory at the next election. Sabotage was the weapon of some of them. It seems evident now that white-anting the PM was a conscious strategy. The white-anting was not confined though to party circles, the saboteurs went outside the party; they went to the media. And they found plenty in the media who were prepared to collude with them, opposed as they also were to PM Gillard and her Government, which their news outlets were actively undermining. It was grist to their mill.

So there were damaging leaks, the first of which was the leak to Laurie Oakes that derailed the 2010 election campaign. Julia Gillard has never fully recovered from that piece of sabotage. Now we know that there had been a series of leaks about policy, plans and people that have interrupted the PM’s attempts to initiate reforms, and just as importantly inform the public about them. Some journalists were complicit in spreading inside information, rumours, and malevolent talk about the PM and her ministers. Even although the veracity of the stories might have been questionable, that was not sufficient to dissuade them from circulating them.

It is not hard to imagine how those who support Labor felt about the subversive behaviour of some Labor parliamentarians and the apparatchiks that backed them. Talkback callers gave us a glimpse of the anger they felt at these saboteurs who were endangering the party to which they belonged. Some felt the term ‘treason’ was applicable. Whatever role journalists played in this sorry saga, we cannot escape the sad fact that it was people within the core of the party that fed them. Condemnation by their peers and supporters is their punishment.

But this behaviour does raise the question of the ethics of the journalistic profession, and of those who knowingly colluded with the saboteurs.

Journalists insist that they cannot and will not reveal the identity of their sources, and there is tacit acceptance of this position by much of the community. But does that privilege entitle them to receive and promulgate through their outlets scuttlebutt, rumour, unverified assertions, and at times outright lies? Sound and ethical journalism demands revelation of the facts, all of them, unembellished by the personal views of the journalist or his editor or proprietor, and a well-reasoned analysis of them. An opinion may be added, but it should clearly be just that – an opinion, separate from the facts, and it should be reasoned from the facts.

But what did we get during the protracted period of leaks? Unsubstantiated assertions, comments that eroded the leader's authority, those that contradicted Government intentions, those that cast doubt on the direction the Government was taking, and those that questioned PM Gillard’s integrity and whether she could win the next election. The journalists concerned knew full well what they were becoming entangled in – a concerted attempt to bring down a sitting PM, by a displaced one.

Did they question the veracity of the scuttlebutt and rumour? Did they do any checking of the ‘facts’ that were passed onto them? Did they query what the perpetrators were trying to do – unseat the nation’s PM? Did they question the ethics of the perpetrators in embarking on this reprehensible action? Did they in fact do any due diligence about the stories they were circulating? The answers seem to be no, no, no, no and no. They simply grabbed what they saw as an array of stories of intrigue and disloyalty – all great yarns – and published them, over and again. And they did it without qualms because in many instances the purpose of the sabotage was consistent with their outlets’ own agenda – the removal of PM Gillard, and of course the Labor Government. It matched their mantra about Julia Gillard being a back-stabber and untrustworthy, reinforced their ‘Ju-liar’ slogan, and coincided with their oft-promoted view that she is incompetent, unloved by the electorate, error-prone, lacking judgement, and incapable of winning the next election. It was a convenient merging of agendas, the politicians’ wish to replace PM Gillard with previous PM Rudd, and the journalists’ agenda of upending our PM.

This behaviour wasn’t some strange aberration. Just a few days later journalists were at it again over the ‘Carr affair’, peddling scuttlebutt, rumour, conjecture, speculation and false predictions, coupled with inaccurate, and in some instances wholly incorrect reporting, ending with the media embarrassment we saw at the PM’s announcement of Carr’s appointment, one that that left the press pack gobsmacked.

Just in case readers think this piece is only about the role of the media in Labor ructions, let me remind you that leaks to the media afflict the Coalition as well. Last week it was leaked to the media from someone who attended its caucus meeting that Tony Abbott had been challenged by Russell Broadbent about the funding for Abbott’s expensive PPL which he felt might be better applied to a disability scheme, to which Abbott was lukewarm. Broadbent is a highly principled person, who has taken a contrary stand from his party on other issues. He is not one who would leak to the media. Someone else must have done this to create mischief in Coalition ranks, and someone in the media was prepared to collaborate in this malfeasance. I question the ethics of this collusion between leakers and recipients, designed as it is to gain a personal advantage, or to disadvantage others.

In the Report of the Independent Media Inquiry released last week, the chair, Ray Finkelstein QC, said:
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.


The bolding is mine.

How can anyone disagree with …a free press is a powerful institution which can, and does, affect the political process, sometimes in quite dramatic ways, and a free press can cause harm – sometimes unwarranted – to individuals and organisations? Or with a free press has a responsibility to be fair and accurate in its reporting of the news and a free press should be publicly accountable for its performance.

That is what this piece is about – specifically, the irresponsible way in which the media and individual journalists actively colluded with the Labor saboteurs seemingly without consideration of the ethics of what they were doing, let alone the accuracy of what they were being fed, to bring down the nation’s PM. They hid behind the oft-quoted mantra that they must protect the identity of their sources, hid their collusion with the subversive behaviour of the conspirators and their malevolent agenda. Is that consistent with ‘a code of ethics regarding accuracy, fairness, impartiality, integrity and independence’ that the Media Inquiry advocates so insistently? You know the answer.

More generally this piece is about the propriety and ethics of leaking to the media by politicians, political parties, government bodies, inquiries, and indeed any source of inside information with the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage or deliberately disadvantaging others, and the ethics of journalists and the media in receiving these leaks and making hay out of them. You might think that is a naïve view of how the political world ought to behave, but to me it seems that the use of malicious leaks by the leakers, and the publicizing of them by a complicit media, is wrong. Over and again, we have seen what awful and quite unfair damage this behaviour has done to individuals and groups.

Let’s not have in response to this piece a clamour for ‘freedom of the press’ or ‘freedom of speech’, or ‘journalists must protect their sources’. We all agree with those principles. What this piece is about specifically is the subterranean collusion of some journalists in a subversive attack on our PM and our Government, seemingly without concern about the ethics of collaborating in this way, unworried about the veracity of what they were being fed, and unconcerned about the consequences of being party to a plot to bring down a sitting PM. Their hunger for a dazzling story, and in some instances their desire to see the saboteurs succeed, overrode their ethics, overwhelmed everything they learned about quality journalism. They got down in the gutter with their ‘sources’, and seemingly revelled in it.

More generally, it is about the wider problem of malicious leaking, and the media’s ready connivance with that malfeasance.

The unholy alliance of leaking pollies and the press pack has given us poison politics.

What do you think?

Comments (182) -

March 6. 2012 05:42 PM

Catching up

Not a truer word said. Yes we do need a need press, but it much also be an honest press.

It should also not be a game player but an observer.

The press should be there to serve democracy, not manipulate it.

Catching up

March 6. 2012 06:04 PM

Casablanca

Ad

I couldn't agree more. A well argued piece and as you say it is not about 'freedom of speech' or 'freedom of the press'. It should be about fairness and values.

Journalists hide behind a facade of professional ethics but increasingly fail to discharge their privileged role in an ethical manner.

Casablanca

March 6. 2012 06:18 PM

BSA Bob

The "protecting sources" ideal, while understandable, as it's usually applied is a bit of a one way street. For the principle to work properly we have to rely on the integrity of the journalist involved.

BSA Bob

March 6. 2012 06:37 PM

2353

There is clearly an issue if someone who has a fundamental need to change or discuss something with their peers has to go to the media instead.  Assuming that Rudd or his supports had a drip feed for the past year and some LNP members who oppose certain actions of theie leadership do actually "brief" the media on their gripes, is there a disconnect where they feel they will not get a hearing from their peers, or they must be seen to toe the party line to avoid retribution or is it they just want to destabilise the leadership?

Options 1 and 2 point to the poor standard of the current political system where everything seems to be "workshopped", "wargamed", or "focus grouped" prior to release and any sign of independent thought seems to be squashed.  I know it's not a fashionable viewpoint but politicians are elected to represent electorates - accordingly if the majority of people that contact a politician and express a view diametrically opposed to the view of particular "tribe" the politician belongs to - that politician should still be able to represent that view without fear or favour.  (There is a current BCC Councillor that did this and was booted out of the LNP by Newman - and it seems from reports there is one set of rules for the other Councillors and one for her, she has been ejected from the Council Chambers on a number of occasions since by the LNP dominated Council.)

If the choice is Option 3 -  it seems to be a similar position to those that are just fed up with their job, in which case they are the masters of their destiny.  Just like someone who turns up to work and does nothing - frustrating themselves and the rest of their peers.  They should resign themselves to doing what they are paid to do - supporting their electors and their peers - or just resign (here the argument could be made that some federal politicians from both "tribes" do not have the capability to hold down any other job than the one they have at the moment).

The other part of the problem here is that some media people I suspect believe they run the agenda rather than report on it.  This, as AA points out in his usual stylish post, is against the code of ethics of most if not all media organisations.  Here the media owners (that is the shareholders including those with funds in Superannuation funds) need to make it clear to the management they employ that the media report the agenda - not run it.

Unfortunately, I suspect there is a long way to go for the media.  It has been raised here on a number of occasions the suspicion that as Gillard has outguessed the media on a number of occasions there are some that want to "take her down".  I don't see much evidence to contradict this at present.

2353

March 6. 2012 07:29 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Thankyou for yet again another masterpiece, your words give us a true and genuine account of exactly what is happening with MSM.
There are so many paragraphs I would like to quote I gave up, will have to just quote the whole article.

Sadly we are seeing the same with the Media Review, and to a slightly lesser extent Wayne Swan's essay and Press Club speech. The review was 400 and something pages I think, already it is being pointed out, the critics are not even reading the suggested changes to non existant regulation and toothless Council. MSM are too busy to read the report,  as too busy in your words,  peddling scuttlebutt, rumour, conjecture, speculation and false predictions.
  
This behaviour wasn’t some strange aberration. Just a few days later journalists were at it again over the ‘Carr affair’, peddling scuttlebutt, rumour, conjecture, speculation and false predictions, coupled with inaccurate, and in some instances wholly incorrect reporting, ending with the media embarrassment we saw at the PM’s announcement of Carr’s appointment, one that that left the press pack gobsmacked

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

lyn

March 6. 2012 08:06 PM

Bilko

Hi AA another good piece, I made a comment the day after KR was elected questioning can we now expect a hostile media and Bushfire Bill responded and I quoth from memory which is a little hazy tese days "you better believe it" well of course the last four plus years has not changed the question or the response. The media no longer reports but creates the news right or wrong who cares. I would like to see a law passed here similar to what Canada has about truth etc and a SATISFACTORY OUTCOME would be the Murdoch media and Fairfax for that matter change their tact to just reporting the news or better still pack up their bats and balls and clear the hell out of our Galaxy(apologies to Babylon 5's John Sheridan). Julia please please please push to adopt some of the principles from Finkelstein's report as a matter of national urgency.

Bilko

March 6. 2012 08:21 PM

Ad astra reply

Catching up, Casablanca, BSA Bob
Thank you for you kind words and your comments.  The media is a long way from meeting minimal standards.

2353
Thank you for your kind words and additional comments and analysis.  I agree that the media does feel they are entitled to run the political agenda rather than simply report it.  Your conclusion is sound: “Unfortunately, I suspect there is a long way to go for the media.  It has been raised here on a number of occasions the suspicion that as Gillard has outguessed the media on a number of occasions there are some that want to "take her down".  I don't see much evidence to contradict this at present.

Ad astra reply

March 6. 2012 08:30 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your complimentary remarks.  It seems as if the media is not interested in really examining the report and attending to its recommendations.  It is too threatening for them, even although the recommendations are rather benign.  The media will make this a contest against the Government and will hope they can win.

Bilko
Thank you for your kind words.  I hope you are right and that Julia will “please please please push to adopt some of the principles from Finkelstein's report as a matter of national urgency.”

Ad astra reply

March 6. 2012 08:35 PM

Tom of Melbourne

So when the press reported that Rudd was leaking during the 2010 campaign, that was criticised as “speculation”.

When Thomson was under scrutiny for his use of union funds for prostitution, that was also “unproven”.

When the press reported that Gillard was about to back out of her written agreement with WIlkie (which delivered her the PM job), that was “groundless”

When the press reported that Rudd sought to become leader again that was “baseless speculation”, etc.

So now that all the press reporting has proven to be correct, it is now another blame the media article by AA! How unsurprising.

I wonder whether there should be a “we were wrong” standard for blogs?

Tom of Melbourne

March 6. 2012 08:58 PM

2353

When ToM claimed he wrote a balanced post - that was unproven.

Abbott has been opposition leader for something like 2 years.  I would dare to suggest that for most days during that period he has attempted to place some story in the media that in inconclusive, not factual or just plain misleading.

2353

March 6. 2012 09:20 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

7.30pm report tonight, Chris Uhlmann interruping so bad, that he and Bob Brown were both talking at the same time. Bob Brown said that's nonsense Chris when Uhlmann compared the whole page ad to Greenpeace advertising.

Comment below:

Tony Abbott will never be prime minister

Quote of the day:

"You sound like a Liberal Propagandist"
Bob Brown, to Chris Uhlmann, after yet another dreadful interview on 7.30 Report...

www.facebook.com/permalink.php

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

lyn

March 6. 2012 10:00 PM

Ad astra reply

ToM
You could get a job as a journalist.  Try News Limited.

Ad astra reply

March 6. 2012 10:15 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I thought Bob Brown pulled up Chris Uhlmann well, just as he deserved.  Bob does not suffer fools like Uhlmann kindly.  Uhlmann better watch that the tag 'Liberal propagandist' does not stick to him.

Goodnight.

Ad astra reply

March 6. 2012 10:23 PM

BSA Bob

I find it interesting that the big media organisations which hate sites like this & its contemporaries & would kill them if they could, are now seeking to sucker them into an alliance to fight the Finkelstein review. It's an alliance that'll last a millisecond longer than any actual campaign.

BSA Bob

March 6. 2012 10:44 PM

Miglo

Or as a right wing blogger, Ad astra.

Miglo

March 6. 2012 10:52 PM

Patricia WA

I wished that Bob Brown would really shut him up with some comment like,  "You seem to be asking the questions and answering them, Chris!   Make up your mind.  Are you an interviewer or a Liberal party propagandist?"

Patricia WA

March 6. 2012 11:19 PM

DMW

The unholy alliance of leaking pollies and the press pack has given us poison politics.

Bold words.

There is a long history of 'poison' in politics just as is there a long history of 'campaigning' journalism.

Some may recall the 'poison' that saw Billy McMahon vetoed as Prime Minister on the death of Harold Holt or the 'poison' that bought about the downfall of Gorton. On the other side there was the downfall of Jim Cairns and 'The Dismissal'. In all of these backgrounding and leaking were part of the arsenal of the reporting on the events.

From forty or so years ago four examples of 'poison' politics. If we wound the clock forward from there we could easily find more than a handful of examples of those sort of happenings.

It was about 100 years ago that Henry Nichols an editor at the Hobart Mercury penned editorials railing against the Arbitration system. Nicholls name lives on in the form of the H R Nicholls Society.

The long time Labor Party member, journalist and incorrectlty credited creator of the 'Faceless Men' epithet, Alan Reid was a campaigning jornalist who believed he was a key player in the politics of his day.

Throughout our history we have had campaiging newspaper proprieters and jounalists who have relied on cosy relationships and leaks.

To gain a different understanding of the relationsip between politics and jounalism I suggest a reading of the late Rob Chalmers e-book Inside the Canberra Press Gallery - Life inthe Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House. It is available for free reading on-line  or download here: http://goo.gl/EL7so

Next year is the 25th anniversary of the move to the new and permanent parliament house and in the mind of many a key point in the change in the nature of politics and how we are governed. It could also be seen as turning point in the apparent rise of poison politics.

Another marker for the rise could well be the way John Howard excercised his power over the selection of ministers and used it is a tool the keep the party in line and impose his view of the world on the party. Kevin Rudd by demanding the same right created another well of poison.

The rise of shout back radio is another place to look to find out why the poison has become more obvious.

The cosy relationship between journalists and politicians and the leaking of information is but a very small part of the problem.

DMW

March 6. 2012 11:23 PM

DMW

... and please feel free to rub my nose in it by pointing out my poor spelling and proof reading skills.

DMW

March 6. 2012 11:35 PM

lyn

Hi DMW

Thankyou DMW.   Brilliant post magnificent information, very enjoyable.

The e-book you have recommended sounds interesting , thankyou for the link.
Inside the Canberra Press Gallery - Life inthe Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House

I can hardly wait to download to my Xmas Kindle, exciting.

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

lyn

March 7. 2012 01:03 AM

NormanK

You've got to love the Herald Sun. And Professor Warrick McKibbin, former Reserve Bank director and stimulus opponent.

The RBA kept interest rates on hold on Tuesday because the fine tuning of engines that keep inflation, economic expansion, jobs growth and private credit levels within the desired comfort zone is going extremely well at the moment. Calm seas with the ship on course and a low probability of a storm on the horizon.

Most news sources that I have accessed via Google handled the announcement in a neutral way. Yes, you could manufacture a story about disappointed mortgage holders and small businesses who were hoping against hope for a rate cut but you would have to turn a blind eye to all of the positive data that has come out this year.

But the Herald Sun just couldn't bring itself to publish a neutral story, Heaven forbid a positive one on the economy so they dragged out 'glass half empty' Warrick.

RBA holds but all signs point up
by Stephen McMahon

THE rate-cutting cycle is all but over and pressure is mounting for interest rates to rise, a former Reserve Bank director has warned.
Prominent economist and academic Warwick McKibbin, who left the central bank last year, says the RBA may soon be forced to increase rates as Australia's economy again gathers steam.
Speaking to Business Daily after the central bank kept the official rate on hold yesterday, Professor McKibbin said a further economic shock in Europe was the "only danger" that could trigger cuts.
Most economists say the door is still ajar for at least one more cut in the coming months, but there is a growing concern that rates could soon have to rise to constrain growth in wages.
Professor McKibbin said the central bank might be moving into a "rate raising cycle" in the second half of the year.
"It is more likely rates will go up if you take into account what is happening in Australia -- the only danger is what is happening in Europe," he said.
"The US can continue to fumble along but Europe is about to face the crunch and that could produce a shock."

www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-fn7j19iv-1226291136142

I guess the assumption is that no-one will read the article with a critical eye but will instead digest the headline and opening couple of lines without the highly-recommended couple of grains of salt.
When the headline refers to 'all signs' what is it talking about? The signs of most interest to the RBA are:

Inflation
Growth trends in the domestic economy
Growth trends in the world economy
Growth trends in our major trading partners
Interest rates for borrowers
Unemployment
Wages growth
Housing prices

How does the RBA feel about these 'signs'.

Inflation: CPI inflation has declined as expected and will fall further over the next quarter or two. In underlying terms, inflation is around 2½ per cent. Over the coming one to two years, and abstracting from the effects of the carbon price, the Bank expects inflation to be in the 2–3 per cent range.  ..... inflation close to target .....

Growth trends in the domestic economy: Most information on the Australian economy continues to suggest growth close to trend overall

Growth trends in the world economy: Recent information is consistent with the expectation that the world economy will grow at a below-trend pace this year, but does not suggest that a deep downturn is occurring.

Growth trends in our major trading partners: Several European countries will record very weak outcomes, but the US economy is continuing a moderate expansion. Growth in China has moderated but on most indicators remains quite robust overall. Conditions around other parts of Asia softened in 2011, partly due to natural disasters, but are not showing signs of further deterioration. Commodity prices ..... have risen somewhat and remain at quite high levels.

Interest rates for borrowers: Interest rates for borrowers ..... remain close to their medium-term average. Credit growth remains modest.

Unemployment: Labour market conditions softened during 2011 and the unemployment rate increased slightly in mid year, though it has been steady over recent months.

Wages growth: No mention in this report so it is fair to assume it is not a looming crisis

Housing prices: Housing prices have shown some sign of stabilising recently, after having declined for most of 2011, but generally the housing market remains soft.
www.rba.gov.au/media-releases/2012/mr-12-04.html

What does this analysis translate to in terms of which way the 'signs' are pointing as indicators of rate movements.

Inflation - horizontal.
Growth trends in the domestic economy - horizontal
Growth trends in the world economy - horizontal, worst case down
Growth trends in our major trading partners - horizontal
Interest rates for borrowers - horizontal, worst case down
Unemployment - horizontal, worst case down
Wages growth - horizontal
Housing prices - horizontal, worst case down

Does that look like 'all signs point up' to you?
I probably shouldn't have a go at Professor McKibbin because he was just having a bob each way but Stephen McMahon must think that all of his readers are complete dills. Why do some people find it so hard to say "actually, all in all things are going along rather swimmingly"?

NormanK

March 7. 2012 01:09 AM

NormanK

DMW

... and please feel free to rub my nose in it by pointing out my poor spelling and proof reading skills.

Takes all the fun out of it.
Spoilsport. Frown




And I think you'll find 'proofread' is all one word in the OED. Laughing

NormanK

March 7. 2012 07:54 AM

lyn

TODAY’S LINKS


It's Not Class War,It's Good Economics,Ben Eltham, New Matilda
It’s a bold move, and not before time. 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.  
newmatilda.com/.../its-not-class-war-its-good-economics

Payback. I criticised The Australian. Now I must pay, Robert Manne, The Drum
time for fellow democrats in Australia to stand up to the bullying tactics of the Murdoch press in general and in particular to the bullying tactics of its most important general staff - Chris Mitchell's editorial team at the Australian.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3871300.html

Why don’t Australians ‘trust’ the media?, Jonathon Oake,  Graphic Material
The word ‘trust’ appears in the report a further 147 times.Section 4.9 of the report deals exclusively with the question of public trust and confidence in the media as a key problem, and reviews all the major longitudinal studies on the matter
graphicmaterial.org/.../

Gerard Fights The Good Fight For ‘Free Expression’, Bob Ellis
The Daily Telegraph and The Herald-Sun and The Courier Mail and Fox News and SkyNews must say what he wants them to say, every day of the
week, every hour of the day, in the exactly the same way
http://www.ellistabletalk.com/

Reporters Without Orders, Mike Seccombe, The Global Mail
Then there was the matter of political bias. The report noted there was a public, perception of persistent bias against the Labor Party, The chapter quotes the former chief executive of News Limited,
www.theglobalmail.org/.../

De-mutinified!, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison
If the government does whatever The Australian forces it to do, as Dennis seems to be suggesting, why hasn’t the PM scrapped carbon pricing, dropped the mining tax and resigned? Hasn’t she got the message
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../

In praise of Frank Lowy, Bronte Capital
Our new-era Australian billionaires - the ones Wayne Swan rails against - are all billionaires from resource extraction. They all get their money by digging up things that potentially belong to all Australians and selling them to foreigners.
brontecapital.blogspot.com.au/.../...ank-lowy.html

How government policy provides rich pickings for Australia’s billionaires, Philip Soos, The Conversation
The super profits that accrue to mining companies by selling sub-soil or natural resources, making their owners and managers fabulously wealthy in the process, are another form of rent, similar to land. There is no natural law that makes Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest billionaires from resources they have recovered through mining, but did not create.
theconversation.edu.au/how-government-policy-provides-rich-pickings-for-australias-billionaires-5686

Wayne Swan versus the lizard people,Bernard Keane, Crikey
Swan hasn’t needed anyone else to reinforce his message — his opponents have done it for him. Andrew Forrest — that’d be the Forrest found by the Victorian Supreme Court  
www.crikey.com.au/.../

The need for billionaire balance, Macro Business
A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own
www.macrobusiness.com.au/.../

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way From The Gfc … We Lost Bank Competition, Mike Seccombe The Global Mail
It largely rid them of the curse - from their point of view - of competition for home mortgages, which make up about 60 per cent of their loan business. It brought them ­government
www.theglobalmail.org/.../

The Carr that skittled Kevin, Richard Laidlaw, On Line Opinion
If Gillard does get her act together the focus will rightly turn onto Abbott and his credentials as alternative Australian prime minister.
www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13336

The SFA Election, Niall Cook, The Bannerman
Newman has played the cleanskin all along, what’s the betting he’ll continue to follow his development star while buddying up with Clive Palmer, et al to ensure he gets what he wants IF he wins Ashgrove & LNP take government.
http://waddayano.org/wp/?p=1364

Queensland Votes Live Commentary , Alex Schlotzer
With Queensland Labor fighting to keep the expected outcome respectable, and Can Do Campbell refusing to answer questions of policy costings and his so-called dealings while Mayor of Brisbane City Council, we can expect a thoroughly interesting state election campaign
http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/

Abbott to be sued over ‘home visits’ comments , Darin Sullivan, The Left Hack
Tony Abbott is to be sued for defamation for an ”outrageous smear” against a senior Victorian building union official. Abbott last month accused John Setka – assistant Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union – of turning up at the homes of builders uninvited
darinsullivan.wordpress.com/.../


Video


Gillard befriends business leaders, Lateline
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has launched an initiative with business leaders to help create a 'seamless national economy'.
www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3447300.htm

Bob Carr Press Conference
www.aapone.com.au/SearchPreviewVideo.aspx

Prime Minister Gillard on floods
www.aapone.com.au/SearchPreviewVideo.aspx

Swan vs Billionaires, Channel 9
March 06, 2012: Australia’s "Fair Go" culture is under threat from the greed of a few wildly irresponsible billionaires. That’s the claim of Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan. Swan joined TODAY
today.ninemsn.com.au/videoindex.aspx

The Drum Tuesday 6 March
Tim Palmer speaks to Jock Laurie from the National Farmers Federation, Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs, editor of The Punch Tory Maguire, author and blogger Antony Loewenstein and Strategic Studies Professor Hugh White from ANU.
www.abc.net.au/.../3872442

Gillard shows off her new Carr, Media Watch
Episode 05, 5 March 2012
www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3446223.htm

Who is Malcolm Turnbull?, Lenore talking on Video about Malcolm Turnbull
Lenore Taylor reflects on the highs and lows of Malcolm Turnbull's political life
media.smh.com.au/.../...colm-turnbull-3089926.html

Newman is slipping: poll , Channel 7
A new poll suggests Campbell Newman, who wants to be the next Queensland premier, is in danger of losing his seat at this month's state election.
www.youtube.com/watch

Robb casts doubt on parental leave plans  BEFORE
www.abc.net.au/.../3869806

Libs questioned over parental leave policy , You Tube,  AFTER
The Opposition's finance spokesman, Andrew Robb, has been forced to clear up any confusion over its paid parental leave scheme
www.youtube.com/watch

ABC: Liberals backpedal on paid parental leave, Andrew Robb
australianpoliticstv.org/.../

Channel 7: Libs questioned over parental leave policy
australianpoliticstv.org/.../

ABC: Opposition, Treasurer trade ‘class warfare’ blows, Joe Hockey
australianpoliticstv.org/.../

Rinehart loses latest bid for secrecy, Sky News
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has lost a court bid to have details of a family legal feud kept secret on the basis of fears for her safety
www.skynews.com.au/.../article.aspx

lyn

March 7. 2012 07:58 AM

lyn

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES


     AustraliaN Newspaper Front Pages for 7 March 2012
www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm

lyn

March 7. 2012 08:45 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

March 7. 2012 10:15 AM

2353

Lyn, slight correction to your links (please take it in good spirit).

Newman is slipping: poll , Channel 7
A new poll suggests Campbell Newman, who wants to be the next Queensland premier, is in danger of losing his seat at this month's state election.
www.youtube.com/watch


Doesn't he have to actually have a seat in State Parliament in order to lose it?

DMW - I wouldn't dare to pick your typing errors, you're worst is usually better than my best

2353

March 7. 2012 10:41 AM

lyn

Hi 2353

Love your correction.  Newman what a joke.

How about this though, too much information is too much:-

Poll Call: March 7 , Brisbane Times:

Campbell Newman has told a Townsville radio station there'll be more public displays of affection if he becomes Queensland’s next premier, AAP reports

‘I only have eyes for her. I think there will be plenty of pashing.

‘‘The fact that she likes to kiss me and I kiss her back, I don’t think that is the problem.

‘‘I think the problem has been that I’ve got a hand that tends to go below the waist and that has sort of attracted some interest, far too much interest.’’
www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120307-1uizo.html

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

lyn

March 7. 2012 11:08 AM

Ad astra reply

DMW
Thank you for your erudite account of poison in politics and ‘campaigning journalism’.  It has been around a long while and shows no sign of abating.  As I said, I may be naive to believe that it could change, but I feel very strongly that malicious leaking and publishing leaks is corrosive to balanced political debate.  One lives in hope, maybe vain, that better standards might be reached.

NormanK
Warwick McKibbin has long been opposed to many of the Government’s economic measures, which do not fit into his preferred economic model.  His piece is unsurprising, devoid though it is of factual evidence and logical reasoning, which ought to be part and parcel of any academic’s appraisal.

Ad astra reply

March 7. 2012 11:12 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I’ll be out and about most of the day, so I’ll try to catch up with your links via the iPad whenever I can.  I’ll be back at my main computer this evening.

Campbell Newman is certainly injecting some interest into the Queensland election.  I wonder what the outcome will be.  If he fails to win Ashgrove, where does that leave the LNP – leaderless as usual?

Ad astra reply

March 7. 2012 12:14 PM

Augustus

Ad Astra,


"If he fails to win Ashgrove, where does that leave the LNP – leaderless as usual?"

Yep they will bring back Springborg

Augustus

March 7. 2012 12:18 PM

TalkTurkey

A Twibute Smile to Tweetie

Lyn's~Links are never links alone:
They are links in magic chains
Embracing every place on Earth,
Worth more than ever Gold is worth -
Lyn’s~Links link Brains with Brains!

They link the present sideways,
They link with links gone by;
They will link into the future
In the twinkling of an eye!
They link the mighty and the meek
The lowest to the high,
And may they link me to the World
Until the day I die!


I have visualised an image
Like a doyley, so crocheted,
So super-complex-without-limit,
That each knot ties all others in it -
Most wondrous ever made!

Folks, if you too imagine that,
Do you know what you will find?
You will see, the way that Lyn’s-Links link
Is much the way our neurons think! -
A model of our Mind!

And what makes Lyn~Links so special
Is that in the blogosphere
No-one else provides such links,
With welcomings and nods and winks -
Gee I like the way she thinks!
So - Thank You, Tweetie Dear!

And every morning when I wake
Your Links are the very first stop I make;
I know I've told you this before -
Well may I tell you more times more!
Every blogger's cyber-neighbour,
Staunch red-blooded friend of Labor,
Though these words be small reward,
You are a Heroine of the Sword!

Your links link the present sideways,
They link with links gone by;
They will link into the future
In the twinkling of an eye!
They link the mighty and the meek
The lowest to the high,
And may they link me to the World
Until the day I die!


*Though these words be small reward,
You are a Heroine of the Sword!*

TalkTurkey

March 7. 2012 12:21 PM

DMW

Afternoon All,
some alternative history to exercise the gerbils, and, for those so disposed, the grey matter.

Imagine if you will that Wayne Swan's article had appeared say six weeks earlier and imagine the shite fight that would have been generated.

Do you think the leadership speculation may not have gained enough 'oxygen' to surface for more than a passing moment.

It's always tough to figure out whether the fact bred the rumour or vicky verka. A sort of chicken and egg question.

I suggest there was a fair bit of the government playing the chicken and laying a few eggs of its' own making. Some turned out to be very rotten and created a stink. Some were good enough to be spread over some faces.

Time will tell if some of the egg spread ends up on their own faces.

DMW

March 7. 2012 01:15 PM

lyn

Hi Talk Turkey,

"A Twibute  to Tweetie"

Admirable, award winning,   heartfelt honour you have  paid to me .   Your brilliance is shining .

Everyday you are more outstanding putting magic words together in  delightful sequence .

Thankyou very much Talk Turkey,  your work will be treasured

I wish we had a spare TPS wall to hang your "Twuibute" on

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

lyn

March 7. 2012 02:24 PM

Casablanca

Lyn & TT

What a wonderful 'Twibute' that displays the gracious contributions by you both to TPS.

I'm sure Lyn that you will have the Twibute framed on your wall at home even if it won't fit on the TPS Wall.

Well done!

Casablanca

March 7. 2012 03:01 PM

NormanK

Sometimes taking the mickey is the best way to draw attention to the falsehoods in an argument.
Now this is what I call an opinion piece.

Rich and white . . . and oppressed
by John Birmingham    SMH

As a rich, university-educated middle-class white guy, I do it tough. I am, dare I say it, oppressed. There, I said it, so I guess I do dare.

Oppressed by a horde of uppity little groups, and races and culture gangs who, having inconsiderately thrown off my rich, white forefathers' oppression of their poor, not-so-white forefathers and, er, foremothers, now seem intent on getting some payback.

But at least I'm not a super-rich white guy. Because then I'd be oppressed by Wayne Swan. Just for being all super-rich and awesome and not at all an officially oppressed minority.

www.smh.com.au/.../...ppressed-20120307-1uixk.html

NormanK

March 7. 2012 03:26 PM

Gravel

Ad Astra

Thank you for this timely topic.  I did have a twinge or two of guilt about my comments disparaging the media.  You have managed to help me get over my problem.  It is a vicious circle that doesn't seem like it is going to stop.  I am glad to say that this week I haven't heard any disparaging rubbish about the government, not that I take in much media anymore.  It seems very quiet on the political front, although Swanny has been keeping us entertained and is in a brilliant fighting mood.

Can I back up Talk Turkey's little ode to Lyn.  Again well done Lyn, we all love your links.

Gravel

March 7. 2012 03:32 PM

NormanK

This might slot into the debate that Wayne Swan has instigated.

Goddess of the new right continues to lay waste
by George Monbiot    The Canberra Times from the Guardian

It has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the postwar world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. It has already been tested, and has failed spectacularly and catastrophically. Yet the belief system constructed by Ayn Rand, who died 30 years ago yesterday, has never been more popular or influential.
**********************************
Saturated in her philosophy, the new right on both sides of the Atlantic continues to demand the rollback of the state, even as the wreckage of that policy lies all around. The poor go down, the ultra-rich survive and prosper. Ayn Rand would have approved.

www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...0120306-1uigo.html

NormanK

March 7. 2012 03:45 PM

lyn

Hi Gravel

Your a sweetie, thankyou very much.. TalkTurkey is a clever writer isn't he.

Gravel, you said it seems very quiet, yes it is because the MSM have literally saturated every announcement and are looking for more speculation.

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

lyn

March 7. 2012 04:59 PM

2353

Adding a little bit of honesty to the "crime" debate - courtesy of Ross Gittens

Wow. Did you see the latest figures for the falling crime rate? Pretty good, eh? What's that, you didn't see the figures? No one told you, eh.
It's true. Despite the best efforts of the federal Minister for Justice, Jason Clare, on Sunday, the Australian Institute of Criminology's latest compilation of statistics got remarkably little attention.
Why? One reason could be that it's old news. Levels of property crime have been falling for a decade. You've long known that, right? If you have, congratulations: you're much better informed than most.

www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120306-1ui95.html

2353

March 7. 2012 06:21 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I’m back home again.  Like you, I was enchanted by TT’s ode to you – our own Tweetie Bird.  Thank you TT.  Lyn, you deserve every word of commendation TT pens.

TT
Keep your stylish verse coming.  We do enjoy it.

NormanK
That article by George Monbiot is essential reading in the debate sparked by Wayne Swan’s essay.  It is his concern that this country may follow down the American track of Rand’s extreme views, evident among Tea Party members and Republicans, which prompted his essay and his amplification of it at the NPC.  This is no idle scare campaign by Swan.  This is real and happening before our eyes.

DMW
I did enjoy John Birmingham’s article.  Great satire!

We may never know how much of recent events was planned by the Government.  I suspect it was more than we think.

Gravel
I fear that the relative paucity of MSM attacks recently is but a brief pause.  Expect the attacks to resume.  The MSM, especially News Limited, has been embarrassed, challenged and stung by the Independent Media Inquiry report, and is bound to bite back viciously.  It is a life or death struggle for them.

2353
Good news for the Government is verboten.  Only bad news will do for our illustrious MSM, except of course for gutsy writers like Ross Gittins.

Ad astra reply

March 7. 2012 07:28 PM

Patricia WA

Brilliant ode to Lyn, Talk Turkey.  Perfect rhythm.  Every line a gem and full of meaning.   I was particularly impressed by that crotched and madematch a few lines down.  Well deserved compliment, too.

Lyn, re that quote of Campbell Newman's - sorry, I had to check if it was correct, I couldn't believe that a pollie could be that crass or prepared to exploit his wife so crudely to gain a bit of a headline when the pressure is on.  Even among closed friends a comment like that would be an invasion of her privacy

Patricia WA

March 7. 2012 07:51 PM

TalkTurkey

I am astonished at the silence on this and every leftish blog at the multitudinous Fails of the(ir)ABC

I would watch it too much if it were any good.
But I definitely watch it too much considering how poor it is.

The Drum is supposedly the flagship political show on the ABC.
Big blue bubbles flying perpetually around people's heads, how do they think that improves anything? And what about that electronic cacophony, I wonder if you asked a thousand people how many would give it a tick, I think not the young, not the old, not the middle, not kids, just some duckwit in a safe ABC desk job who wanted the program to shed people as fast as possible. And got that right.

I think the muzak for the program that follows The Drum, the weird amorphous bubblegum puffpiece they call the Quarters, is even worse, it sounds like someone repeatedly doing something deliberately annoying with a cartoon sound effect that anyone there present would tell him to STFU in quick time. Hands up if you agree.  

But the thing that is a bloody disgrace, that amazes and infuriates me day by day, is their sound production.

They lose the sound at nearly every press conference!

You can NEVER hear MOST of the QUESTIONS!

Let alone see the questioners' mouths, which would help a lot, considering that even the ones you can hear, you can't hear very well!

And the SUBTEXT!!!!! It is wall-to-wall GOBBLEDEGOOK! anyhope you might have had of working out what the question was from the subtext is nearly always - and that is no wxaggeration - with:  (inaudible)

How I wish I could drag by the ear those responsible for this parlous, unconscionable, disgraceful, antiprofessional failure . . .

- there goes the sound as I write! Steven Smith cut off at 18.38 CST!  -

. . . before a tribunal with the power to incarcerate them for years for taking money under false pretences, and interrogate them mercilessly to force them to explain their ineptitude.

Swordsfolks I know you watch OOman and Wormtongue Jones and Crassidy for bias and rudeness, how comes it that no-one ever has a tilt at them for their sheer mechanical bumbling?

TalkTurkey

March 7. 2012 08:00 PM

lyn

Hi Patricia

I just knew you would love Talk Turkey’s Twibute,

so very special.  I truly am honoured & enchanted.

  As you say perfect rhythm, every line a gem full of meaning.

Thankyou Ad Astra .

Lyn, re that quote of Campbell Newman's

  Patricia Campbell Newman  saying that about his  wife
(remind you of Abbott),
actually just shows how chauvinistic Newman is.

His wife ought to be sickenly disgusted.

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

lyn

March 7. 2012 08:35 PM

TalkTurkey

Patricia,

You thought you'd OKayed my crocheted,
But you actually botched your crotched! Smile

There's plenty of room for confusion! -
crochet/ed said 'Crowshay/ed', = "knitting" with a hooked needle
crotch/ed as it looks, = bifurcated, forky, esp.human form
crotchet = a musical symbol
crotchety = perverse, eccentric

But thanks to you and those others who said nice things, but of course it's all down to Lyn and Ad astra and Web Monkey without whom, well, you know.

  

TalkTurkey

March 7. 2012 08:57 PM

TalkTurkey


With my post at 7.51  I meant to include a quote from Hitchhikers Guide:

The Ultimate Answer

Some time ago a group of hyper-intelligent pan dimensional beings decided to finally answer the great question of Life, The Universe and Everything.
To this end they built an incredibly powerful computer, Deep Thought. After the great computer programme had run (a very quick seven and a half million years) the answer was announced.

The Ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is...

(You're not going to like it...)

Is...

42

Which suggests that what you really need to know is 'What was the Question?'.


The ABC should be turned inside out and a new organisation take its place. It is a disgrace and a betrayal.

TalkTurkey

March 7. 2012 09:43 PM

TalkTurkey

FFS someone make the ABC Board watch this through to the end . . ! . .


www.google.com.au/url

TalkTurkey

March 7. 2012 10:29 PM

Patricia WA

Careless, but not uncaring!   TT, I am sorry!   Still it gave you an apportunity for another virtuoso performance!  Botched my crotch indeed!

Patricia WA

March 8. 2012 07:58 AM

lyn


TODAY’S LINKS


Drum Piece- Seeing the wood for the GDP (10 Graphs), Greg Jericho, The Drum
Overall economic growth is strong, and people in other states do get benefits of the mining boom – not the least through the revenue that flows to the federal government that is spent on services
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3872646.html

Turning to custard, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
The press gallery cannot sleepwalk toward the 2013 election peddling the same non-stories caked onto the same tattered narrative like the lining of a long-neglected budgie cage.
http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/

Australian growth rate halves as obsession with budget surplus continues, Bill, Billablog
Today the ABS released the Australian National Accounts – for the December 2011 quarter which shows that the quarterly real GDP growth rate was 0.4 per cent, down from 0.8 per cent in the September
bilbo.economicoutlook.net/.../

Carr hits the ground running, International Organizations Desk
www.internationalorganizationsdesk.com/carr-hits-ground-running-g406151606-p10

Carr reporting a new low for Canberra press gallery, Alan Austin, Independent Australia
Despite being totally false, it spawned countless follow-ups — virtually all of them repeating the essential falsehood. About 190 stories are accessible here. Many of them labelled the PM
www.independentaustralia.net/.../

As I Please: The Return Of Slavery, Tony Abbott Style, Table Talk,  Bob Ellis
In the past it was kept hidden in the migrant detention centres and the privatised prisons and the illegal migrant workers on farms paid starvation wages, and the workers on John Howard’s
www.ellistabletalk.com/.../

FormerImmigration head savages Nauru option,Samantha Hawley, ABC
"Probably one of the most outrageous things I've heard from Scott Morrison recently - and it was last week - was when he drew attention to infectious diseases which asylum seekers were
www.abc.net.au/.../3873008

What’s behind Wayne Swan’s ‘fair go’ message?, James Mahoney, The Conversation
But nothing is guaranteed when journalists at all levels “mediate” messages before the intended audience reads, understands and accepts them and, hopefully, takes action. Journalists are rarely  
theconversation.edu.au/whats-behind-wayne-swans-fair-go-message-5731

What will "Can Do Newman" deliver on open and transparent government in Queensland? , Open and Shut
It would be nice to see something on integrity and open and transparent government from the "can do" team before 24 March. Advances in the direction of more may be out of the question.  
foi-privacy.blogspot.com.au/.../...er-on-open.html

The curious history of the Media Inquiry,Darren Ferrari,Hyde Park Heckler
My final point on this is that I find it curious that the report examines a number of justifications for press freedom, many of which — like the idea of the press as the fourth estate
hydeparkheckler.wordpress.com/.../

Should we believe the Opposition on Broadband, Michael Wyres
Should we believe an opposition front against the NBN – (members of whom have sold out their personal beliefs of just a few years ago) – who are just being deliberately and antagonistically negative
michaelwyres.com/.../

Telstra finalises $11bn NBN agreement , Supratim Adhikari , Technology Spectator
The agreements are expected to also contribute to free cashflow generated in the medium term, provide us with greater financial flexibility and a stronger balance sheet, and help to offset
technologyspectator.com.au/.../telstra-finalises-11bn-nbn-agreements

Definitive Agreements between NBN Co and Telstra come into force, Stephen Conroy
These arrangements pave the way for delivering the NBN to all Australians, a major step forward in the Gillard Government’s plans to strengthen our economy and secure Australia’s future
www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/.../026

When Lobbyists Cross The Line Norman Thompson, New Matilda
First, there needs to be an independent government body set up to report directly to federal parliament. This body would have auditing and investigative powers — and a mandate to enforce  
newmatilda.com/.../when-lobbyists-cross-line

Weak. Here's the quick take on the GDP, Peter Martin
Economic growth has failed to live up to expectations. Gross domestic product climbed just 0.4 per cent in the December quarter to give Australia annual growth of 2.3 per cent,
www.petermartin.com.au/.../...ick-take-on-gdp.html

Rinehart makes a play for a Fairfax board seat, Lucy Clark, Power Index
According to The Australian Financial Review, Rinehart, accompanied by Hungry Jack's founder and Ten Network shareholder Jack Cowin, met Fairfax chairman Roger Corbett and chief executive Greg Hywood
www.thepowerindex.com.au/.../201203071127

NBN:Facts vs Fiction, Storify,Pinterest,Tablets,Radio National
The NBN has become something worse than a political football, so this week we're separating NBN facts from fiction. Don't forget to have a say as well. Drop a comment below or visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/downloadthisshow) and tell us what YOU want to know about the supposed $50 billion project.
www.abc.net.au/.../3867350

Eventually reality will hit the opposition’s fiscal frolic, Bernard Keane, Crikey
Joe Hockey is giving an economic speech early this afternoon intended as The Australian Financial Review declared today, to be a “spine stiffener” for the opposition. The real job the Coalition’s economic team needs to do is start giving comfort it’s not totally at sea on its fiscal strategy. Sooner or later reality will hit.
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Blast from the past: Since when did journalists become the story?, Miglo, Café Whispers
Where it is more important to know what a journalist (or more correctly, an “opinion entertainer“) thinks about a subject than it is to know about the subject itself. When that occurs, you start getting people carrying placards to political rallies, not about the policies they object to or want to see enacted, but bearing the name of journalists and thanking the heavens for their opinion.
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

Video


2012. Prime Minister Announces Visit To Wagga Wagga
Prime Minister Julia Gillard will face calls to increase government aid as she tours flood-ravaged Wagga Wagga to assess damage in the southwestern NSW city
www.aapone.com.au/SearchPreviewVideo.aspx

Liberal Party:Carbon tax won’t work–just ask Bob Brown, Abbott
australianpoliticstv.org/.../

State campaign , Channel 10
Prime Minister Gillard will join Premier Bligh on Sunday at Labor's official campaign launch as the campaign reaches the half way mark.
www.youtube.com/watch

7.30pm report 7th March 2012
The findings of reviews in to Australian Defence Force culture have been announced, but what caused the reviews and what have they found?
www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3448168.htm

Capital Hill,  Andrew Robb ABC
The ABC's Lyndal Curtis talks to shadow finance minister Andrew Robb about the Coalition's plans to win the next election
www.abc.net.au/.../3816026

The Drum Wednesday 7 March
In this episode, Tim Palmer speaks to former NSW Liberal leader Kerry Chikarovski, Rear Window editor Joe Aston, and The Drum online editor Jonathan Green.Tim Palmer
www.abc.net.au/.../3875072

Towns face nervous wait as floodwater rises, Lateline
Residents in the New South Wales town of Forbes and the Victorian town of Nathalia face an anxious night as floodwater threatens to inundate homes.
www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3448259.htm

lyn

March 8. 2012 08:08 AM

TalkTurkey

Patricia

apposite opportunity = apportunity ?

apposite: Well put, appropriate

apposition: Placing side by side; (Gram.) placing of one word in syntactic parallelism with another, esp. addition of one noun to another. (Concise Oxford) [Isn't that a great little defn.!]

I discovered this one long ago:

surmising, appraising . . . surprising, amazing!

appraising surprising . . . surmising amazing!

and you can jumble them around more, and their opposition in apposition almost seems like one's internal responses in apprising (and appraising) an unexpected weird experience.


Gobblegobble . . .

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 08:17 AM

lyn

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES


       Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 8 March 2012

www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm

lyn

March 8. 2012 08:20 AM

TalkTurkey

Before Steven Smith comes on -
I hope he makes this point:

Personnel in the Armed Services are under compulsion.

They may not merely walk away from their position as civilians can.


This is an absolute difference and it demands absolutely different protocols.

If I were Minister Smith, brave and staunch man that he is, I would make it a DUTY on all personnel to report all inappropriate behaviour.  

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 08:26 AM

Gravel

The ABC are working hard trying to say Stephen Smith has done something wrong.  Nothing about the 5 or 6 reports that were presented, oh no, more important that Stephen Smith said something against some bloke.  I can remember when the incident happened.  The bloke was trying to blame the woman.  And now........ ah well as you said Ad Astra, they'd start again, and they haven't wasted any time either.

Lyn

Thanks again for your links, we have a quiet day today, so I can play on the computer a little bit more.

Gravel

March 8. 2012 08:30 AM

lyn

Good Morning Ad Ad Everybody

Wishing and hoping this is good news:

Former judge Jim Spigelman to be appointed ABC chairman
An announcement is expected to be made by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, today or tomorrow, sources say.

Mr Spigelman's long association with Labor - he was an adviser to Gough Whitlam and in 1975 was appointed secretary to the first department of the media - will inevitably attract some accusations that he is a political appointee,
Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...chairman-20120307-1ukns.html

lyn

March 8. 2012 08:32 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

March 8. 2012 08:43 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Do read Carr reporting a new low for Canberra press gallery,  by Alan Austin, Independent Australia in Lyn's LInks.  It is so relevant to this piece, providing as it does the gory details of the Canberra Press Gallery stumble, a reporting disaster about which it is still in denial.

www.independentaustralia.net/.../

Ad astra reply

March 8. 2012 09:06 AM

TalkTurkey

Gravel
You'd watching Stephen Smith as I am,

Fear Not,

The Government isn't going to take crap any more and the media is getting the message. *J*U*L*I*A* must've given them some ginger, she got heaps, she's let 'em off the leash with all our good story, this is not a drifting ship Matey, she is very much at the helm! Check her team! Old Lion Bob Brown and not-too-bad young Adam Bandt included (half because they dare not jeopardize Labor, half because they know Labor is doing a great job) and through ALL Labor Ministers now, to those True Heroes Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott,* they have the purposefully set jaws now that we have longed to see for so long, but here's hint, if you want to feel powerful, set your jaw and lower lip like *J*U*L*I*A*s! Smile

VENCEREMOS!


*Who knows about Mr Wilkie, but I am convinced that he will not vote to bring down the government, and hopefully he will never have that power anyway, he has no right and anyway he said he wouldn't unless  . . .  er . . . There's the rub with Mr Wilkie, unless he thinks (whatever) . . . So that means he thinks he should have the right to do that, only because of the circs of course, but I don't think he would do that anyway. Faith in Dog see.  

I am so glad Stephen Smith is still Defence Minister, that he has not resiled, for this is a fight he will not lose. 775 reports of inappropriate behaviour, and a deeply wronged barely-adult woman, the Brass is on a kicking to cheers on this issue, never mind the yellow ABC spin, no more spitlicking, we are on the offensive and the enire Right Fat-Fats and Coalons included are in disarray.

Oh the ABC just lost the line . . .  

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 09:41 AM

TalkTurkey

Lyn I hope Mr Spiegelman proves a good choice, the ABC has sunk to such a tinsel-and-fluff mob now, he has much to do.

Ad astra doesn't it do your heart good to read the rare article like Alan Austin's, thank you for the link. That one event alone has so shamed and confused the Media sleaze that it is a whole game-changer: never more on the back foot, Labor is aggressively pressing its advantage on every front, and the unity of the Right, the Super-Rich, the Media and the Coalons, is shattered.

Abbortt Remember
The Ides of September
By November an ember
Dead ash by December

Lyn re your Links . . . Gulp . . . How do you do it?

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 09:54 AM

TalkTurkey

I don't usually do this but it's inspiratonal from Sir David Attenborough, and we can all relax for 2 minutes now, can't wait for next sitting in each House now though! Smile

www.flixxy.com/...ful-world-David-attenborough.htm

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 10:09 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Dennis and the Australian are picking on Stephen Smith today. So what have we had so far,  Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Bob Carr, Wayne Swan. Media Review, there must be another one they have frenzied over.

Bernard Keane Tweeted:

glengyronGlengyron
BernardKeane: So today Dennis Shanahan demands that Stephen Smith resign. Read this: http://is.gd/ximBne.” #sackgarrett

Down Mexico way with Shanahan’s ADFA coverage, Bernard Keane

AAP was clear. The SMH was clear. The News Ltd tabloids were clear. Sky News was clear. Michelle Grattan was clear. The ABC was clear. The only outlet that wasn’t clear was The Australian. Ben Packham reported that Smith wanted the charges themselves dropped. That meshed neatly with the complaint of Neil James of the Australia Defence Association, given prominent coverage by The Australian, about Smith interfering in military justice. The coverage included a piece Packham and James Massola that repeated the error about dropping charges.

the further you go into Shanahan’s piece today, the weirder it gets. He again repeats the claim that Smith wants the charges dropped. Then, four paragraphs below that, he specifically quotes Smith saying he wants the young woman’s conviction quashed. Does anyone bother checking Shanahan’s work even for internal consistency?
www.crikey.com.au/.../

After these findings, Smith should resign , Dennis Shanahan

Smith has been shown to have acted in such a way as to betray faith with the defence force, and to have misled the public while attempting to exploit for political gain a case of alleged sexual abuse.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg75f-1226292593521

Lyn

March 8. 2012 10:12 AM

Lyn

What happened to my Gravatar, I thought I was someone else, but I see the post matches what I put together.

I will test this post.

Lyn

March 8. 2012 10:25 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Thank goodness for that, I really hate the look of that Green nasty thing.

Congratulations to Julia:

Nice Picture here too:

Gillard gets A-plus on report card
www.abc.net.au/.../3875502

ThefinnigansTheFinnigan
Dear PM JuliaGillard Congrat for getting an A+ from AGSM for getting things done & managing a hung Parliament - abc.net.au/news/2012-03-0…

Twitter is alive with Spigelman being the new ABC Chairman
here are some tweets with links for you:_

news_com_aunews.com.au
THE Federal Government is set to name former NSW chief justice Jim Spigelman as the next chairman of the ABC. http://tinyurl.com/7ff5t47

australianThe Australian
Spigelman set to be ABC chairman: THE Governor-General is today set to approve the appointment of James Spigelma... http://bit.ly/xeTpDU

ABC_NewsRadioABC NewsRadio
Malcolm Turnbull praises apparent choice of former judge and Labor advisor as #ABC Chairman...(audio) bit.ly/yfUbQD #auspol


Some are Ummming about Malcolm Turnbull's praise:

TurnbullMalcolmMalcolm Turnbull
Just spoke with Marius Benson and warmly welcomed the reported appointment of Jim Spigelman as Chairman of the ABC

amworldtodaypmABC Radio
Malcolm Turnbull: "I'm personally of the view that the ABC is more important than ever" Hear why he thinks so: bit.ly/atbKy0 #auspol

SeanNicSean Nicholls
Former NSW chief justice Jim Spigelman to be appointed ABC chairman. Exclusive by @Brandstand www.smh.com.au/.../...chairman-20120307-1ukns.html

Lyn

March 8. 2012 10:29 AM

TalkTurkey

At 9.54 AM I should have said Turn On SOUND OK?

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 10:41 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

I think this link will take you to the Shanahan Article on Stephen Smith, the link above is paywalled:

After these findings, Smith should resign
by: Dennis Shanahan, Political editor From: The Australian March 08, 2012 12:00A


www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg75f-1226292593521

Lyn

March 8. 2012 10:46 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Sorry Ad the link still doesn't work above, article paywalled.
If you want I will post the article here, it is not very long
so won't take up too much space.

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 8. 2012 10:56 AM

TalkTurkey

Tweetie
I tawt I taw a big gween TWOLL! Smile

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 11:36 AM

TalkTurkey

In breaking News on ABC 24

Prince Harry on holidays somewhere has suspended having fun for the arvo so he can grieve for the 6 deaders in wherever it was. Splendid footage of him looking good, and plentiful coverage.

Rule Brittannia. Bit of luck we'll have another war soon, a good one this time, Iran is armed to the teeth just not with nukes.
Israel's got heaps.

"When therefore ye see the Abomination that causeth desolation stand in the Holy Place . . . " WTF does that mean eh?

Does it mean we should stand in the holy place? Where is that? Or does it mean there's this abomination that's going to be standing there? How will we know . . .

If "the holy place" is Palestine . . . nukes are pretty abombinable and desolatory . . . and if any prophecies are going to be true . . . well don't forget the Mayans' fin du siecle one . . .  2012 ain't over yet . . . Smile  

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 11:36 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I agree that you usual Gravatar is much, much nicer than that ugly green one – I wonder how that one turned up.

It is good news that Jim Spigelman has been appointed ABC Board Chairman. We just might get better balance, but given the culture at the ABC, I’m not holding my breath.

Please paste the Shanahan piece so that we can all marvel at his continued assault on anyone associated with the Gillard Government given half a chance.

TT
Julia Gillard has had a gut-full of media abuse and is not going to take it any more.  On top of its stumble last week, at least some in the Canberra Press Gallery are so mad – Shanahan is one – that they will lash out in a frenzy of retribution.  They ought to watch though that the frenzy is not evidence of journalistic death throes.

It was good to read in the link Lyn provided that our PM has had a tick from The Australian Graduate School of Management, which ought to know what its talking about, in stark contrast to the Shanahans of the journalistic world.

I’ll be out for a few hours – back late afternoon.

Ad astra reply

March 8. 2012 11:39 AM

TalkTurkey

In breaking News on ABC 24

Prince Harry on holidays somewhere has suspended having fun for the arvo so he can grieve for the 6 deaders in wherever it was. Splendid footage of him looking good, and plentiful coverage.

Rule Brittannia. Bit of luck we'll have another war soon, a good one this time, Iran is armed to the teeth just not with nukes.
Israel's got heaps.

"When therefore ye see the Abomination that causeth desolation stand in the Holy Place . . . " WTF does that mean eh?

Does it mean we should "stand in the holy place"? Where is that? Or does it mean there's this abomination that's going to be standing there? How will we know . . ? . .

"Whoso readeth, let him understand . . ."

Yeah thanks a lot. Fat help.

If "the holy place" is Palestine . . . well nukes are pretty abombinable and desolational . . . and if any prophecies are going to be true . . . well don't forget the Mayans' fin du siecle one . . .  2012 ain't over yet . . . Smile  

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 11:43 AM

TalkTurkey

Sorry double post folks, I know why too, got to do with original not automatically erasing when I posted the first time, I didn't realise it had made the jump first time.

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 11:56 AM

TalkTurkey

Abbortt:

WTTE "On this, International Women's Day, may I say Thank you to the Ladies of Presentation College . . . "

TalkTurkey

March 8. 2012 12:07 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Here is the Shanahan article:

After these findings, Smith should resign
Dennis Shanahan, Political editor From: The Australian March 08, 2012 12:00AM 60 comments

THE findings of the inquiry into the sex scandal at the defence academy, even in their distilled version, lay the groundwork for credible demands that Stephen Smith resign as Defence Minister.

Smith has been shown to have acted in such a way as to betray faith with the defence force, and to have misled the public while attempting to exploit for political gain a case of alleged sexual abuse.

The outcome of the inquiry demonstrates that Smith acted erroneously and in haste, misled the public about what was happening last April after the allegations concerning seven male cadets at the Canberra military campus, continued to mislead the public yesterday and wrongly interfered in the military justice system.

Even in the face of the findings of Rod Kirkham QC, which exonerated Australian Defence Force Academy chief Bruce Kafer, Smith could not bring himself to admit he erred, or offer an apology to a senior military officer whose career has been publicly blighted and put on hold for almost a year.

ADFA Commodore to get old job back
From the moment Smith decided to go public in response to reports of the sex case, his actions were guided by political gain and media manipulation.

As Defence Minister, Smith co-ordinated his public appearance to field questions about the academy to blot out a press conference by then foreign minister Kevin Rudd. The timing of the press conference was about giving prominence to the sex scandal in the 24-hour news cycle over Rudd's remarks about the dumping of the emissions trading scheme in 2010.

While that was cynical enough, it was the substance of Smith's remarks at the press conference and subsequent media appearances that condemn his behaviour as a minister.

Last April, Smith endorsed "cadet Kate" going to the Ten Network to plead her case because she did not believe she was getting a fair hearing or a proper investigation, and then made a series of claims about Kafer and Defence that he said "coloured" the handling of the Skype sex scandal.

The decision to hear previous cases of discipline breaches by the female cadet were "inappropriate, insensitive and wrong" and "a serious error of judgment", Smith said. It was "not just unfortunate, it's deeply invidious" and "somewhere between being completely insensitive and completely stupid".

He said Kafer and Defence were responsible and, as a "lapsed lawyer", he offered the legal opinion that the other disciplinary actions were "faulty in law" and should be dealt with again.

In relation to allegations of vilification against Kate, Smith said his advice was that most were denied, but he confirmed there was "an instance of vilification, ie smearing her door" and that "I made it public her door had been sprayed with shaving cream".

Smith implied it was his legal expertise that had resulted in Defence returning to the Australian Federal Police for a second view on whether the filming of the sexual intercourse had broken commonwealth law.

In fact, the second referral to the AFP had already been ordered by Defence.

After receiving the Kirkham report in December, and a Defence recommendation to re-instate Kafer before the ADFA academic year began, Smith let the recommended schedule lapse.

Yesterday we found the report exonerated Kafer, did not find the parallel disciplinary action "coloured" the proceedings, found it was "reasonable" to proceed with the disciplinary hearings and that there was no "error of judgment". It said there was no vilification or plastering with shaving foam.

Yet Smith refused to resile from his attacks on Kafer, and said: "At the time these allegations were made, I said I had advice or strong advice to the contrary."

Kafer was stood aside last year as a compromise on Smith's demands to sack him. In the meantime, Kafer has sought independent legal advice, and Smith is refusing to release the Kirkham report for legal reasons.

If it hadn't been for the guts and integrity of the then chief of the defence force, Angus Houston, this whole episode could have been much worse for Defence.

As it is, it's a low point for Smith as Defence Minister, and offers voters a reasonable explanation as to why he wanted to go back to foreign affairs.

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 8. 2012 12:44 PM

DMW

Another side track that is worth thinking about.

An article about Social Networking and the media. While it is mostly about Twitter there is much that could equally be applied to commenting on blogs.

Couch commentary lacks quality  Daniel Burt @TheAge GreenGuide
MY UNEASE with social networking might have something to do with the fact that I'm not terribly social and I hate networking. Don't get me wrong - I love people. Some of my best friends are people. But I prefer to interact face-to-face, where my tone and body language can be misinterpreted along with my words.
www.theage.com.au/.../...ality-20120307-1uivj.html

DMW

March 8. 2012 12:55 PM

johnL1

An excellent piece which sets out the situation cogently.
My only quibble is that I cannot give unqualified agreement to the principle that “journalists must protect their sources”.  There have been occasions when the existence of this principle can lead to it being abused.
The most notable  is the case of  Janet Cooke.  A  Pulitzer Prize-winning story she wrote for The Washington Post about the life of an 8-year-old heroin addict was found to have been fabricated.   The award was later withdrawn.
Cooke resigned from the Post and returned the prize.  She subsequently told a television interviewer her sources had hinted about the existence of such a boy.  She was unable to find him and eventually created a story about him in order to satisfy her editors. From this, it is apparent that she must have told her editors that she had sources relating to the existence of an 8-year-old heroin addict.  I think this raises the issue about whether an editor should use a story without knowing there is an actual source.
Another issue is that given what we know has been occurring with  tabloids in England, how sure can readers be be that journalists will not invent stories and rely on “protecting their sources” when challenged about them.

johnL1

March 8. 2012 12:59 PM

BSA Bob

Today's Loon Pond addresses the curious case of the Australian's attitude to Robert Manne's right to freedom of speech.
I feel it's appropriate to the theme of this thread, & what I think has been the biggest single thing to come from recent days is the news media's combined insistence that it's always right & its utter disregard of its own inconsistencies. Answerable only to itself & its like minded masters.

BSA Bob

March 8. 2012 02:35 PM

Miglo

Oh I quite like the green gravatar of Lyn. It's how I imagine her to be in real life. Tong

Miglo

March 8. 2012 03:18 PM

Lyn


Your really a little rat Miglo.

Yes if it is like me, looks like I better go to the dentist, there is hundreds of gaps in my teeth.

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 8. 2012 04:25 PM

Jason

Aa,
  Although I was only 6 at the time in (1974) and Bob Hawke wanted to run "Frank Sinatra" out of town  for calling a couple of "journos" Hookers"!
It would seem "our" media hasn't changed since "Cranky Franky" was here, You would be run out of town for calling them "Journalists"!  

Jason

March 8. 2012 05:27 PM

Ad astra reply

JohnL
Thank you for your complimentary remarks.

While journalists might wish to hide their sources from the public, I would have thought that editors would have the right, if not the responsibility to insist that their journalists reveal their sources to them, especially when highly contentious claims are being made, if for no other reason than to protect the news outlet from legal action.  Do editors demand to know about sources, or do they just let their journalists write what they please?  It seems that might have happened at The Hun when Andrew Bolt wrote his piece about ‘fake’ aboriginals, and we know where that finished!

Jason
The term ‘hooker’ now seems applicable to some of our journalists.  Frankie was ahead of his time.

BSA Bob
That was a good article at Loon Pond. http://loonpond.blogspot.com.au/

Ad astra reply

March 8. 2012 05:28 PM

Patricia WA

SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE!

On International Women’s Day
Finally we’ve had someone say
Our Prime Minister is Okay!
She’s been assessed as triple A!

They’ve always known that Overseas,
Admired how she could shoot the breeze
With little folk and the big cheese.
At last in Oz she’s the bees' knees!

Our experts,  who ought to know,
Have told us that she’s all the go
With public servants.  They’re aglow,
Enjoying their new status quo.

Members of the Coalition,
Sharing Abbott’s premonition
That she’s done for his ambition
Are jostling for his position.

There's high praise too from Independents,
Not just her ALP attendants.
History will record for our descendants
How began the great Gillard ascendance!

www.abc.net.au/.../3875502

Patricia WA

March 8. 2012 06:58 PM

Lyn

Hi Patricia

Your Pome is a tribute to Julia, superb work, A tribute to you.     I see you used the picture of Julia from the ABC article. I really loved that picture as soon as I saw it.

You are never going to be able to give up writing, so you may as well accept that and keep on writing its your calling, your forte.

I thought this deserved to be celebrated in a post of its own, not just because of Ms. Howard’s comments to the The Australian Graduate School of Management, but because the ABC gave it such a good write-up! Is that a first?
www.abc.net.au/.../3875502

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 8. 2012 07:23 PM

Patricia WA

NormanK, we all appreciate proofreaders here like you to keep us tactfully up to the mark.  But I'm specially priveleged, I have my own prof reader, who is always available with an apposite correction, doesn't hold back, talks turkey! Smile

Patricia WA

March 8. 2012 08:09 PM

NormanK

Media Mash

Our journalists could never be found to be putting spin on their interpretation of data, could they?
Kirsty Needham had some statistics come across her desk recently and used them to compose the following article published yesterday.

Most asylum seeker rioters turned out to be refugees
by Kirsty Needham     Brisbane Times
www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120306-1uief.html

MOST asylum seekers detained during the Christmas Island and Villawood riots were later found to be refugees, new data shows, challenging an inquiry finding that blamed the unrest on increasing numbers of rejected detainees who would not accept the umpire's decision.
Department of Immigration data shows 88 per cent of asylum seekers who arrived by boat in 2009-10, including those who were initially rejected, have been found to be refugees and now have a visa. Sixty-eight per cent of those arriving in 2010-11, including those initially rejected, also have a visa.
The Hawke report into riots that broke out during March and April last year said 80 of 100 detainees involved in the Christmas Island riots had received initial rejections and blamed the disturbances, and self-harm, on detainees ''receiving the wrong outcome in their eyes''.


If you have no love of numbers this article might look convincing because your eyes glaze over after reading the first statistic but there is a leap of logic involved here that has no place in truthful reporting.
Needham would have us believe that of the 80 detainees who were involved in the riots and had previously had their claims rejected we can now deduce that somewhere between 88% and 68% of them have subsequently had their determinations overturned. The two sets of numbers have no such relationship.

Let me try to explain. If I survey my eating habits and find that 80% of my meals contain, for the most part, ingredients that are cooked at home and that 10% of my meals involve fresh bread and we then apply Needham's logic, it would be possible to conclude that 80% of the bread that I eat is cooked at home. This is clearly nonsense. It is possible that none (0%) of my bread is cooked at home. It is also possible that all (100%) of my bread is cooked at home. Both scenarios satisfy the available data. It is not possible, without a whole lot more information, to draw any sort of correlation between my home cooking and bread consumption.


The report's author, Allan Hawke, told a parliamentary committee last week: ''The conclusion we were coming to was that these were not genuine refugees and they were reacting to the fact that they had paid a people smuggler to come to Australia … [and] they were going to vent their anger on the system''.
The government has repeatedly blamed the riots on large numbers of detainees being on ''a negative pathway'', rather than detention conditions.


If we believe Needham's contention that most asylum seekers detained during the Christmas Island and Villawood riots were later found to be refugees then plainly the Hawke Report is at best dodgy and at worst outright wrong. If we don't believe Needham's contention then there is no story.

But the Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, has questioned Dr Hawke's findings. "These statistics prove that the government's rhetoric - that people who have been in detention long-term are not refugees and are on negative pathways - is simply not true. Most, in fact, are genuine refugees who have been unnecessarily detained for far too long while the government played politics with their lives,'' she said.
The rate at which initial rejections are overturned has soared in the past six months. In the December 2011 quarter, 72 per cent of refugees won a visa after review. This was up from 63 per cent in the September quarter, and 48 per cent in June. Senator Hanson-Young said: ''The figures show roughly nine in 10 claims for protection are validated.''


Sarah Hanson-Young is then dragged in to offer further proof that the Hawke Report is untrustworthy. To her credit she does not actually make the same illogical leap that Needham does but she is still guilty of gilding the lily since the statistics don't tell the whole story of why claims were initially rejected and later approved on appeal. But that's another story.

A spokesman for the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, said riot ringleaders still faced having refugee visas refused by the minister if they were sentenced.
Overall refugee approval data should not be linked to specific individuals involved in the riots, ''many of whom have been charged, remain on a negative pathway and are still subject to new tougher character requirements'', he said. The Hawke inquiry ''made clear the incidents were largely the result of the frustrations of a group of people on a 'negative pathway' not being regarded as refugees''.


That is my bolding in the above quote and I don't know why it is not directly attributed. Either the spokesman made that statement, in which case it should be in quotes, or Needham has to own it herself and explain how she justifies a direct contradiction of the basic thrust of her story.
Unless Needham follows each individual case of a rioter (who is also a rejected asylum seeker) through to the result of their appeals she has nothing on which to base her assertions. Even then the percentage of approvals may be skewed down as some of the rioters fail a character test. In other words we will probably never know if those rioters who were on a 'negative pathway' would have had their appeals upheld because they have compromised their prospects by rioting.


Only 9 per cent of Iranian asylum seekers and 26 per cent of Afghans were recognised as refugees at first interview in the three months before the riots. By last December, half of Iranians and 57 per cent of Afghans were winning protection at the first interview.

The implication is that the department is now awarding more visas after the riots than they were before in order to avoid a repeat of those disturbances. An implication is all that it can be because the raw data does not tell us anything concrete about the factors involved in the changed approval rate.

The director of the Centre for Policy Development, John Menadue, criticised the opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, for xenophobia, and said it was shameful Mr Morrison had suggested asylum seekers spread disease.
Mr Morrison responded today that Mr Menadue's "attempts to vilify and misrepresent my remarks and the Coalition’s policies have become increasingly intemperate and betray a strong political bias".


I have no idea why this information is tagged on to the end of this article. Balance, perhaps?

Is this just sloppy reporting? I don't think so. I would contend that Needham has invented a spurious correlation between two disparate pieces of information in order to generate a sensational story that discredits the federal government, the department of Immigration and the Hawke Report. It is entirely possible that none of the rioters with rejected claims have or would have had their appeals upheld. It is entirely possible that all of them may have had their appeals upheld if they had not rioted. When the possible outcome is in the range between 0 - 100% there is no story.

Let's not mince words. The contention upon which this story relies is a lie.

NormanK

March 8. 2012 09:18 PM

2353

NormaK you're completely correct.  And for the record how much of the bread you eat is home baked - Australia needs to know Laughing Laughing Laughing.

2353

March 8. 2012 09:50 PM

Lyn

Hi NormanK

Thankyou for your fabulous Media Mash.  Really is an added bonus when you bold the print makes it so much easier to read.

Below as you have said, just about sums them up.

  two disparate pieces of information in order to generate a sensational story that discredits the federal government,

Hasn't anyone got anything to say about the gobsmacking 7.30pm report tonight.  Honestly I couldn't believe my ears. Heather Ewart's report was actually questioning Abbott's so called policies.
And Rod Cameron, said Abbott is found to be creepy by women, staggering ABC let it go to air.  The two interviewee's detrimental comments towards the Coalition.

This is the first time I have heard or seen any report in the media questioning Tony Abbott in any way.

Some tweets following the 7.30pm report:-

TAWNBPM
Well, that was a first, 7.30 on lack of Lib policy, disunity, and Abbotts' failure to achieve personal popularity!! Anyone see it?

randlightMari R
davidbewart abc730report Speaking as a woman, yes I do find Tony Abbott creepy as do most of my female friends, even those who vote Libs.!

gordongraham
superb job by abc730 tonight on the division behind Abbott's PPL scheme and the hypocritical narrative behind their policies

AgnessMack
samsonjAbutler Gobsmacked at abc730 's audacity.Maybe some other brave souls will indulge in scrutiny, vital role of media in a democracy.

cybahoundMarie Ryan
Thought abc730 was really good tonight, some excellent reports. Been critical of it lately so should acknowledge when it's good.

ThefinnigansTheFinnigans
Who would have thunk that ABC730 did a story on the great Lib split and policy confusion Abbott Vs Hockey Vs Robb Vs Turnbull #auspol

JillFaveroJill Favero
What??? ABC730 doing a story not sympathetic to Tabbott ? Asking why Tony isn't going ahead in opinion polls. Is the tide turning?

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 8. 2012 10:59 PM

NormanK

2353

Not a skerrick! Not one crumb.


Lyn

I've been keeping schtum on 7.30 of late but I reckon it's been relatively fair all year (Uhlmann's appalling interviewing technique being the notable exception). Heather Ewart has drifted back closer to the centre with her reports even though I know some Labor devotees don't think so. You've got to take the rough with the smooth if you want objective reporting. She hasn't always been completely accurate but I can't recall a single report where she has been vindictive or outright nasty in the way that she was when Rudd was PM.
If they could just get rid of the Highland warrior they might become a halfway decent programme again.




Go the Aussies!!
Great win in the cricket. Laughing Laughing Laughing

NormanK

March 8. 2012 11:14 PM

NormanK

Hi Lyn

Now that the cricket's over I can say thank-you for the link to Bill Mitchell's blog. I wonder if Our ToM has read it. Not much mention there of an over-heating economy due to an over-sized prolonged stimulus. In fact, with hindsight, some aspects of it could have been allowed to continue right through until the end of this year.

It is interesting that Bill makes a strong case for further government spending to stimulate some sections of the economy. Another overt package is unlikely in the current political climate but we may see some quiet efforts in the May budget. Increased spending on social housing projects in the South Eastern states for example.

That was a very interesting read - one among many.

NormanK

March 8. 2012 11:21 PM

Lyn

Hi Everybody

This report sounds explosive, especially in view of all the people who have been calling for Stephen Snith to resign.  They are playing clips of what has been said about Stephen Smith including Abbott's outburst:-

SchtangSchtang
http://bit.ly/wHmdOX secret report leaked to Ten News about the Skpye scandel proves Smith was right in his criticism Exclusive report on Skype scandalA secret official report,

exclusively leaked to TEN news, reveals the Commandant in charge of the Australian Defence Force Academy did make an "unfortunate failing" in his handling of the case.
http://ten.com.au/news.htm

Lyn

March 8. 2012 11:24 PM

TalkTurkey

It was SIX DAYS AGO that *J*U*L*I*A* pulled her Carr coup!
Just TEN days since the end of Ruddstoration!

Talk about a week being a long time in Politics.

I told you all a fortnight ago, that by the end of last week the jeering would have turned to dismay, I said that was my Eye of Time in close-up mode remember? I didn't know it would turn out just as it did with Carr, (major bonus!), but as for Rudd v *J*U*L*I*A* my Eye was very clear about that all along and I knew that by the end of the week the Coalons would be thinking Oh-oh.

If I had been wrong on that you could have discounted TalkTurkey for good. I would have had no more credibility than Shanahan, i.e. zip. But I was right, and for all the reasons I was sure I was right. For all the same reasons I have always been so upbeat about  Labor's tilt at the next election. I said weeks ago, place your bets on Labor now, you'll never have such good odds again! (atm you can still get $3.65, not that I'm a betting man but Dog those are good odds, whaddya reckon-oh!)

All over the Blogosphere, as Lyn has shown, people are suddenly seeing a bright side to our chances. Taken yous a while!

What Turkey bin tellim you all along, no joke,

VENCEREMOS!    

TalkTurkey

March 9. 2012 12:12 AM

NormanK

I really hate an unsolved mystery so for any others like me out there, here is the result of last week's wild goose chase. I am nothing if not tenacious.
During the Bob Carr bombshell press conference:

Reporter: You promised that whoever you appointed as Foreign Minister would wipe the floor with Julie Bishop .....
Julia Gillard (deadpan): Well I don't think that's in contest now is it?
(continued deadpan for remainder of question. Not for Julia Gillard the self-satisfied smirk of Tony Abbott. That was a rapier through the heart of Ms Bishop)

Gillard & Carr (2/3) @ 4.00 minutes is well worth a look if you want to know what you are up against if you stir up Julia Gillard.

ten.com.au/video-player.htm?movideo_m=166860



Lyn

That Channel 10 report is going to apply more egg to the faces of the press gallery. I have just been reading a Greg Sheridan piece that poured scorn on Smith and the whole basis of the smear has now been shown to be false. It will be interesting to see how this plays out - I suspect we will see some more of "why weren't we told about this?" reporting.

NormanK

March 9. 2012 12:46 AM

Patricia WA

I've just been watching that through too, NormanK.  Makes you wonder what these journos are thinking of when they write about Gillard's stumbles and leadership weaknesses?  They must know who is in change in those press conferences!  They've been to plenty of them.

Patricia WA

March 9. 2012 08:26 AM

psyclaw

Goodmorning  Swordsfolk

My online activities have been curtailed since before Christmas but hopefully I will be making a few PS comments from now on.

My system had a huge shock last night when the 7.30 report aired a detailed criticism of Abbott's economics, in quite a lengthy segment. Even John Roskam from the (Lieberal's) IPA was critical. As far as I can recall, this is the first proper analysis of the colonitionists from a policy perspective I've seen. The segment put the colonitionists economics credentials in a poor light, and focussed heavily on the fact that there IS dissension in Abbott's mob.

Is there a worm turning ....will others now begin to put a true and substantive analytical spotlight on Abbott and his clowns.

Significantly it was a packaged piece not involving Uhllman, who meekly introduced it and then continued the show after it, without comment.

Lyn and NK
Thanks for the Ch 10 link. The "secret" ADF report certainly puts the sword into all the media crap against the Minister over the last few days.

And how untrustworthy is the public report.....viz "shaving cream was NOT spread on her room" (ie implying she lied about this). No....it was bloody well Jiff Cleaner.

If the minister was aware of this report, then he was being stoic and courageous in his ongoing defence of the girl's rights on the day in question, by not referring to this secret info but none the less continuing his consistent view in the face of the MSM and that creep from the Defence Forces Association calling for his resignation.

But it does beat me as to why this "secret" report was kept secret. The shaving cream/Jiff aspect shows some cover up or at least an attempt to mislead readers of the publicly released document.

Perhaps it shows that there is dissension in the ranks about the criticism of ADF culture and the need to come into the 21st century. As Hugh Riminnton???? pointed out in  the Ch 10 piece, its leaking shows that some in the ADF very much support Mr Smith...its leaking was very much to his advantage.

It remains to be seen why the leaked document and its contradictory (to the released model) findings were kept confidential.

psyclaw

March 9. 2012 08:26 AM

Lyn


TODAY’S LINKS


Smith Is Right To Stand By Assault Victims, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
shrill commentators in the media, such as Dennis Shanahan. As I argued when covering this issue last April, the real reason Smith is the target of so much criticism is that he has been willing to stand up the military establishment and demand some accountability for the multiple failures in the Defence Department and the ADF.
newmatilda.com/.../smith-right-stand-assault-victims

An (almost) classic Labor power play, The Piping Shrike
The spin on all the articles was the same, the Carr appointment was a major test for Gillard’s authority … Labor MPs wringing their hands … test of leadership … doubts return … hum-te-dum-te-dum.
http://www.pipingshrike.com/

Military ‘culture’: loyalty and inevitable malfeasance, Dr James Connor, Crikey
Militaries must change their training and cultural practices to account for and manage the risk fierce group loyalty poses — or inevitably more murder, r-pe and scandal will occur.
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Jim Spigelman will be no government lackey on ABC board, Paul Barry, The Power Index
But whether he is proactive or not, he will clearly be sympathetic to campaigning, investigative journalism, and he will be its powerful defender. The Power Index can't see Spigelman  
www.thepowerindex.com.au/.../201203081131

When a newspaper calls in its lawyers: the chilling effect of The Australian vs Robert Manne, Clive Hamilton, The Conversation
The newspaper’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell, who had previously said he would “never sue”, told Crikey yesterday that Manne’s
theconversation.edu.au/when-a-newspaper-calls-in-its-lawyers-the-chilling-effect-of-the-australian-vs-robert-manne-5730

A detailed review of Mann’s bookThe Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars as it relates to the Wegman report to Congress,Brandon Shollenberger, What’s Up With That
Mann and his co-authors created a temperature reconstruction of the past 1,000 years (of the northern hemisphere) which had the shape of a “hockey stick.” It showed relatively flat temperatures for
wattsupwiththat.com/.../

Oz editor marshals eagles to halt Manne attack, Andrew Cook, Crikey
Crikey understands the ABC was contacted on Tuesday by News Limited in-house counsel Jane Summerhayes demanding the post be pulled. A follow-up letter is believed to be on its way.
www.crikey.com.au/.../

News Limited: We’re talking to bloggers about paywalls because their influence matters, Mumbrella
“The reason why we decided to host dedicated briefing and discussion sessions with bloggers was simple – they are important, influential, voices. They attract large audiences who listen to what
mumbrella.com.au/news-limited-were-talking-to-bloggers-about-paywalls-because-their-influence-matters-78129

Economy is operating under par – Hockey, Sky News
Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says the latest jobs figures show that the Australian economy is operating below its potential He said it was 'nothing short of economic vandalism' for
www.skynews.com.au/.../article.aspx

Australia’s Future Fund, and its investments in nuclear weapons, Christina MacPherson, Antinuclear
Future Fund with a chequered past. news.com.au 8 March 12, IT is yet to celebrate its sixth birthday, but Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund, has long attracted criticism….. Last  antinuclear.net/.../

Boring is Good, John Quiggin, Inside Story
like fire, is both necessary and dangerous. A financial system that works to channel household savings into socially valuable investments, while minimising the associated risks,
http://inside.org.au/boring-is-good/

Something To Celebrate!, Patriciawa, Café Whispers
I thought this deserved to be celebrated in a post of its own, not just because of Ms. Howard’s comments to the The Australian Graduate School of Management, but because the ABC gave it such a good write-up! Is that a first?
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../#comments

Something To Celebrate!, Patriciawa, Polliepomes
journalists who a week ago sat in the National Press Club and listened to Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor give their report card on their exerience of Julia Gillard’s government. Both men
http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/

Spigelman confirmed as new ABC chairman, ABC
"He brings a wealth of experience in the arts and culture and will build on the work of the previous chair, Maurice Newman AC, to ensure that the ABC remains at the forefront of the media  
www.abc.net.au/.../3877968

Gillard backs Smith over ADFA row, Naomi Woodley, ABC
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister says Ms Gillard fully supports Mr Smith's attempt to improve the Defence Force culture, and has full confidence that the findings are being appropriately
www.abc.net.au/.../3877954

Put the matter to rest….and bury it., Throwing Stones from The Glass House
This appointment is Julia Gillard saying to her party ‘we are going to win the next election, and if we don’t, we will go down fighting.’ She knows Opposition Leader Tony
damob.wordpress.com/.../

Australian Labour Force data – an unambiguously bad result, Bill Mitchell, Billy Blog
Today’s release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) of the Labour Force data for February 2012 presents a very poor set of numbers. Yesterday, we learned that the Australian economy  
bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=18552#more-18552

Employment drops in February - C'mon RBA!, Stephen Koukoulas
The monthly volatility, plus revisions, make reading individual moves in the labour force very difficult. It doesn’t make it impossible, nonetheless, to make well informed judgments about the health of the labour market.
http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/

Solar rebate axing puts industry in hot water, David Twomey, Eco News
The conservative Liberal-National coalition opposition says the government is harming an $800 million-a-year green industry while spending $1 billion on coal power subsidies,.
econews.com.au/.../

EXCLUSIVE: NSW cuts Government support for business owners, Dynamic Business
Dynamic Business has learned that NSW Trade & Investment has today confirmed it is cutting all of its small business event programs. These include Small Business September, MicroBiz Week, the Young Entrepreneurs program and, ironically on International Women’s Day, the Women in Business mentoring program.
www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/.../...rs-08032012.html


Video


Attacks intensify on Stephen Smith over handling of Skype sex scandal, Sky Agenda
Defence Minister Stephen Smith insists he has the confidence of his military and civilian chiefs despite stinging criticism of the way he's handled the Skype scandal.
www.skynews.com.au/.../

Exclusive report on Skype scandal, Channel 10
A secret official report, exclusively leaked to TEN news, reveals the Commandant in charge of the Australian Defence Force Academy did make an "unfortunate failing" in
http://ten.com.au/news.htm

ABC: Liberal party unease enters spotlight
australianpoliticstv.org/.../

Tony Abbott's policies feels the heat , Heather Ewart’s report, YouTube
www.youtube.com/watch

Liberal party unease enters spotlight,  7.30pm Report
A paid parental leave scheme is the signature policy of the Federal Opposition but spending promises are sparking questions within the Liberal party.
www.abc.net.au/.../3878224

The Drum Thursday 8 March
In this episode, Tim Palmer speaks to 7.30 NSW host Quentin Dempster, psychiatrist and columnist Tanveer Ahmed, and Crikey editor Sophie Black.
www.abc.net.au/.../3878022

Queensland Votes- More LNP announcements, donations and Newman losing support in Ashgrove
australianpoliticstv.org/.../

International Women's Day Message 2012 - Prime Minister Julia Gillard , You Tube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuQlHPW_I4g

Lyn

March 9. 2012 08:30 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES


       Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 9 March 2012

www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm

Lyn

March 9. 2012 08:38 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 09:02 AM

Lyn

Good Morning Ad

Barrie Cassidy's piece tweeted by Mark Scott,  Barrie Cassidy Ummmm:-

IPA smackdown

glengyronGlengyron
Smackdown: “TurnbullMalcolm: IPA’s John Roskam misleads AFR readers http://shar.es/gRs2E

Media, pollies play 'the game'. Public loses out
The DrumBy ABC's Barrie Cassidy

Julia Gillard, unusually for a political leader, is one of those who don't participate in "the game."

She does not engage in off the record backgrounding, nor does she place selected journalists on some sort of unofficial government drip

www.abc.net.au/.../3877924

abcmarkscottMark Scott
Barrie Cassidy explains the game. http://bit.ly/wXoaXm
jamesadonisJames Adonis

Barrie Cassidy on the deterioration of quality journalism in this country: www.abc.net.au/.../3877924?WT.mc_id=newsmail

damiencassarDamien Cassar
Does the PM come off better? “ABCthedrum: Media, pollies play 'the game'. Public loses out, writes Barrie Cassidy http://bit.ly/wXoaXm


CheersSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 9. 2012 10:09 AM

TalkTurkey

As Patricia WA says -

SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE!

On International Women’s Day
Finally we’ve had someone say
Our Prime Minister is Okay!
She’s been assessed as triple A!


But,

Patricia, who cares about the Media's
Opinions anyway? Dumb and tedious!
I've thought of *J*U*L*I*A* ever since as
Boadicea, our Warrior Princess! Smile

No man could do the things she's done,
Nor win the wondrous wins she's won:
Firm, determined, smart, commanding,
Gender bias notwithstanding,
Julia Gillard, Hail to Thee!
Lead us on to Victory!



TalkTurkey

March 9. 2012 10:13 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I have to admit that I took off last night to watch the last international cricket match for our summer where Australia won the tri-nation limited overs final by defeating Sri Lanka in a great match in Adelaide, ending a great series.  Now I’m back at my computer catching up with the informative comments and links that arrived yesterday and this morning.

I have just read Barrie Cassidy’s piece.  It would be vain to even think that Barrie might have read Pollies, the press pack and poison politics, but what he writes is in accord with the main message of that piece – that an unhealthy relationship exists between some politicians and some journalists where lies are leaked by politicians and faithfully reproduced by journalists eager for an ‘exclusive’, a scoop, to please their sensation-driven editors.  It looks as if groupthink might be operating here, where several commentators are waking up to the ugliness and destructiveness of poison politics: Michael Gawenda, and now Barrie, as well as many commenting here.

These paragraphs of Barrie were salient: “To succeed according to such standards, political journalists need to build close contacts with politicians and staff, professionally and socially. They need to win their confidence and trust. Those with the clout to do so, reward the "sources," the "leakers," with favourable coverage and commentary. They marginalise or ignore those who don't play the game. It's called the reward and punishment system.

Julia Gillard, unusually for a political leader, is one of those who don't participate in "the game."

She does not engage in off the record backgrounding, nor does she place selected journalists on some sort of unofficial government drip.

Who apart from Julia Gillard could have played the extraordinary hand that she did at the height of the Rudd challenge when she offered to free all journalists of any ethical obligations if they could identify a time when she had criticised Rudd to them?


It is very comforting to read that our PM does not play ‘the game’.

I recommend that anyone interested in this issue read the Cassidy article: www.abc.net.au/.../3877924?WT.mc_id=newsmail

I missed 7.30 last night, but will replay it this morning, just to watch Heather Ewart of all people bagging Tony Abbott.  It looks as if there may be a change of attitude in the Cassidy/Ewart household.

I’ll make further comments during the morning.

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 10:34 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

I have put together these stories on Stephen Smith, you will note that I have added the time the articles where posted by the
Australian.  The Breaking News by channel 10 was at 5pm yesterday.
The articles below have 12am 9th March.

There are 2 articles in favour of Stephen Smith in the SMH:

Bushfire Bill on Dennis the menace:

Bushfire Bill
Posted Friday, March 9, 2012 at 9:16 am |Comment 320 The Poll Bludger
For Media Turf War aficianados, it appears there is a skirmish going on between Phil Coorey and Dennis The Menace
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-1190395

Smith a resolute example for Defence Force ,SMH
Your lead story yesterday makes me feel sick (''Minister in retreat over Skype sex scandal'', March 8). Men of firm principle and decency are rare in the political scene in this day and age, but the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, is one of the most admirable
www.smh.com.au/.../...ce-force-20120308-1uneb.html

Smith should be commended for dragging the ADF into the 21st century , SMH
Instead Smith is copping the same flack that is flung at any minister who dare questions the private and shadowy dealings of the military
www.smh.com.au/.../...-century-20120308-1ums6.html


The Australian :-

Rank and file lose trust, faith in Stephen Smith , Greg Sheridan, March 09, 2012 12:00AM  The Australian
STEPHEN Smith has lost the confidence of the uniformed soldiers of the Australian Defence Force.

His desire to scuttle out of Defence back to Foreign Affairs, which last week looked tawdry, is now explicable by the mess he has made of his relations with the uniformed soldiers who put their lives on the line for their country.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg76f-1226294054544

Stephen Smith must say sorry to academy chief over Skype scandal, says Tony Abbott , Lanai Vasek ,  March 08, 2012 4:56PM The Australian
TONY Abbott has demanded Julia Gillard apologise to Australian Defence Force Academy commandant Bruce Kafer if her defence minister continues to refuse to do so.
The Opposition Leader today said there was nothing fundamentally wrong with defence culture as he declared that Stephen Smith had “comprehensively mishandled” the Skype sex scandal
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg8yo-1226293386283

Government could be forced to apologise over claims of Defence abuse,  By Ian McPhedran and Patrick Lion : March 08, 2012 12:00AM, News Com
THE Federal Government could be forced to apologise and pay millions of dollars after at least 775 credible claims of sexual and other abuse emerged against the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).
: www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfkvr-1226292622969

Sorry performance from a minister on the defensive , March 09, 2012 12:00AM Editorial The Australian
IF Defence Minister Stephen Smith wants a more respectful, civilised culture in Australia's defence forces, he should start by apologising to Australian Defence Force Academy head Bruce Kafer, whom the minister stood down for almost a year over the commodore's handling of the Skype sex scandal.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg71x-1226294033649

After these findings, Smith should resign , Dennis Shanahan, Political editor From: The Australian March 08, 2012 12:00AM
THE findings of the inquiry into the sex scandal at the defence academy, even in their distilled version, lay the groundwork for credible demands that Stephen Smith resign as Defence Minister.Smith has been shown to have acted in such a way as to betray faith with the defence force, and to have misled the public while attempting to exploit for political gain a case of alleged sexual abuse.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg75f-1226292593521

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 9. 2012 10:45 AM

nasking

Lyn
Great work re: links. Must reads are Quiggin's Boring is Good (mentions the years when banks didn't contribute significantly to economic instability...but got on w/ the boring job of savings and loans)...and the Conversation's article on the persecution of Robert Manne by News Ltd...the free speech, libertarian ideals promoting hypocrites who far too often become the news rather than just reporting the news.

It wouldn't surprise me if investigations discovered that News Corp has been involved in manufacturing events in order to create headlines. Anything to make a buck, sell the brand.

N'


nasking

March 9. 2012 11:00 AM

nasking

Lyn,
I also found Ben Eltham's article It's Not Class War @New Matilda useful (link found top of the comments' section)...if Wayne Swan is truly concerned about the fair-go then there are a number of ways he and the govt. can ensure we have a better balanced and more equitable system, as pointed out by Eltham.

N'

nasking

March 9. 2012 11:20 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Your links regarding the so-called Skype controversy, demonstrates how The Oz lives in a parallel universe where Humpty-Dumpty-like: truth is whatever they want it to be.

I thought BB’s comment was germane: “The Australian likes to splash “EXCLUSIVE” stickers all over its front page. No matter that what is “exclusive” is also often wrong, or pure opinionation. When it comes to opinions and vitriol you’d have to admit that The OZ is in a league of its own, exclusively.

More to the point is its lack of self-confidence… yes, you heard me… lack of self-confidence. A paper that has been losing money for years, which is ostentatiously anti-government, to the point of manufacturing (bootstrapping) stories and crazed calls for resignations and the fall of governments over minor hiccups (and sometimes not even that) must be feeling the pinch by now: from both below, across and above.

Below… as its readership dwindles to the point where it has to be given away like some el Cheapo railway platform commuter rag.

Across… as its competitors have a giggle at its club-footed propensity for bluster and embarrassment of the profession. I bet Dennis is still miffed that Stephen Smith didn’t resign. Can someone explain things to him, for his own sake?”

Above… because, although it’s Rupert’s Special Baby, there is early talk in the air of hiving off the newspaper businesses at News, as the New York investors – who have no sentiment for antipodean, plaything broadsheets, and may even admire the Australian government for what its done to maintain the economy here – turn their attention to making profits instead of running agendas in Woop-Woop. Papers closing down is a real possibility as the Murdoch dynasty disintegrates around itself. So papers suddenly want to appear relevant. Let’s try making everything “EXCLUSIVE” to show what great journos we are, just like a proper newspaper.


Interesting!

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 12:14 PM

NormanK

I suspect this is the opening gambit for how the Coalition intend to talk their way around not being able to fund promises they have made to date. As many others have hypothesised, no doubt there will be a 'black hole' left behind by Labor that the incoming government (should Abbott be elected) can point to in order to justify inaction on undertakings that have come from Abbott and Hockey in recent months.

Just in case this is not a sufficiently good enough excuse Abbott is giving himself another huge out - an audit commission to review all government spending and report back to government in four months. Policy commitments will fall like autumnal leaves as the commission delivers the bad news that there are inefficiencies manifest right throughout government and that the best solution will be to revamp every initiative.

If this is still not enough leeway, Abbott is now suggesting that he won't make policy commitments before the next election because 'who knows what the commission may find and recommend'. He couches it in terms of 'not splashing money around' but given that there is already an acknowledged shortfall in revenue to the tune of $70 billion or more, what Abbott is saying is that he will not be detailing where he intends to make cuts. What's the opposite of a splash?

It's neat. It's tricky. It's very very risky.

TONY ABBOTT: This is looking at the administration of government in this country and asking the big questions - can it be done more effectively, more efficiently. 

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Won't it make it hard to keep election promises or will you make election promises that are broad enough, that leave you plenty of room to move?

TONY ABBOTT: Well we're not going to make a huge range of election promises. We are certainly not going to make a huge range of spending commitments Alex. 

So this is going to be one of the distinguishing features of the Coalition under my leadership. We aren't going to be splashing money around. 

Yes there will be some important signature policies, policies that over time will build a better Australia, will change the way we operate for the better. But there's not going to long shopping list of policies in every conceivable area. I think the day for that kind of profligacy is passed. 

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Won't that leave you open though to the claims of the government that you are a policy-free zone if you can't make substantial and detailed election promises?

TONY ABBOTT: There will be, we will have plenty to say. But what we won't be doing is splashing around money in every portfolio. 

There will be many portfolio areas where the pre-election commitments that we make will involve doing things better rather than spending more money. 
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3449285.htm


In the same interview Abbott discreetly retires to the shadows over his comments demanding an apology to Kafer from Steven Smith or the Prime Minister.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: There is one lingering issue still with the Skype affair. 

According to a leak of the Kirkham report obtained by Channel 10 the head of the Defence Force Academy Commodore Kafer was strongly criticised, saying that he could and should have foreseen that unrelated disciplinary charges would be served on the alleged Skype victim Kate, as she is known, when she was receiving medical treatment and cause her upset, saying that she suffered unnecessary distress because of the commodore's actions and he failed to ask if she wanted the disciplinary matter to be delayed. 

So he is not free of criticism. Did you go too far demanding the Defence Minister apologise to the commandant in order to criticise the Minister without knowing the full story?

TONY ABBOTT: Well I was operating on the basis that what the Minister had publicly released. Now if there is more information that should have been publicly released let the Minister do so.

NormanK

March 9. 2012 12:37 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

This is funny:-

But not really, you could slap Abbott really, he is so brazen.

geeksrulzIntrepid Geek
Dr NO from the NOalition says the Govt is too negative.Comedy Gold for FunnyFridayhttp://is.gd/Jvlnti

Government too negative, says the man it calls Dr No

www.theage.com.au/.../...dr-no-20120309-1uok7.html

Lyn

March 9. 2012 12:57 PM

DMW

In case you missed it suggest everybody reads (carefully) Laura Tingle's Canberra Observed column from The AusFinReview. (it is NOT paywalled)

How to win friends and bury hatchets
afr.com/.../how_to_win_friends_and_bury_hatchets_y7E3GPqIQ83D8WqF6jM3vK

Very interesting observation in the last paragraph. Interesting times indeed.

DMW

March 9. 2012 01:14 PM

Jason

DMW,
   I forgot to tell you Monday 12/03/2012 is Canberra day and is a public holiday  so you/we/I have "four more sleeps" till question time!

Jason

March 9. 2012 01:20 PM

nasking

Ad Astra,
I note that you assume the leak to Laurie Oakes during the 2010 election came from a Rudd supporter. Do you have inside information to prove this?

Isn't it possible the leak came from another Gillard competitor...perhaps the supporter of a potential third candidate who may have gained info from one of the loose-lipped Gang of Four during a casual drinking session or such?

How do you know that Rudd hasn't become the convenient scapegoat in order to coverup another's malicious attempts to take the leadership by undermining both Gillard and Rudd during that election campaign?

Unless Oakes and others reveal their sources aren't your accusations merely speculation?

Just sayin'

The fog of politics can lead any of us into narrow lanes.

N'

N'

nasking

March 9. 2012 01:51 PM

Ad astra reply

psyclaw
I’ve just now viewed the Heather Ewart piece from last night’s 7.30.  Is it the first sign of ‘the questioning of Abbott’?  Although it came across as rather mild criticism from Heather, I was surprised at the strength of the comments of John Roskam and Nick Minchin.  If Tony Abbott doesn’t take note of them he will be foolish.  There clearly is dissent, lack of cohesion and inconsistency on the policy front in the Coalition, which has been papered over in much of the media, hell bent as much of it has been to put down PM Gillard and her Government.  Times are a changing, slowly.

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 01:55 PM

Ad astra reply

Nasking
No, I don’t know it was a Rudd supporter who gave Laurie Oakes the infamous leak.  There are other possibilities.  There may be some who wanted to wound PM Gillard rather than support Rudd.  We will likely never know, so we are left dealing with probabilities.  Is a Rudd supporter the most probable culprit?  Different people will answer differently.

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 02:07 PM

Ad astra reply

DMW
What a revealing article by Laura Tingle.  I sense that 2012 might not be so easy a year for Tony Abbott, as has been previous years.

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 02:10 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Only someone with the effrontery of Tony Abbott could say: “''Can I say that people are tired of this relentless negativity from the Labor party and its principal political allies.''

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 02:17 PM

DMW

Thanks Jason
yes indeed on Monday Canberra does celebrate its' 99th anniversary.

To long ago to care but I did know that when I counted the sleeps last time I mentioned it and took the holiday into account.

BTW those take interest in such things know that it is usual that the Monday after a break in sittings is not a sitting day holiday or not.

Just another bit of trivia or ephemera that probably wouldn't be useful at most Charity Trivia nights. Smile

PS for those who reside in or near Canberra it is only eight more sleeps until one of Canberra's night of nights. Skyfire.

DMW

March 9. 2012 02:19 PM

nasking

I might add,
PM Gillard has scored valuable points w/ me recently by her willingness to permit journos the freedom to speak about anything she may have said off the record related to the Rudd PMship?...

Also, bringing  Carr into the team regardless of his potential to be a third candidate...she put the nation ahead of her own fears & ambition...

Backing Smith when she could've let him sink, demonstrating loyalty...

Allowing Swan to go after the mining greedsters and giving him the room to prosecute his case...

And by prioritizing small business interests even though this does not necessarily benefit the goals of large unions who have greater control over employee wages and conditions in large, dominant businesses. It demonstrates to me that Gillard, like Keating, is willing to promote competitiveness and innovation...not just a union puppet.

I like much of what I've seen/heard from the PM of late.

I'm not surprised Abbott and his supporters, including the ever-whining victim libertarians playing culture warriors whilst hiding travel brochures to Israel in their backpockets/purses, are panickIng.

Gillard is most definitely outplaying  Abbott and his increasingly confused and depressed team of losers.

Must be tuff for them watching all those bills pass. Watching their beloved/opportunistic policies/schemes turn to dust.

Abbott wants to scrutinize waste...perhaps he should talk to Cafe Whispers'  blogger Catching Up who made a list of Coalition waste during the Howard years w/ the help of a few other contributors...I don' t recall the hammock government having to deal w/ a GFC...

N'

nasking

March 9. 2012 02:21 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

He's got spunk our Mr Speaker:

Andrew Greene
PeterSlipperMP video here, it's not on his youtube channel yet .... www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/.../

A JOURNALIST at the Sunshine Coast Daily had his mobile phone taken off him and thrown by the policy advisor of Speaker of the House Peter Slipper MP.
www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/.../

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 9. 2012 02:23 PM

nasking

The question mark at the end of the first sentence above shouldn't be there...got an iPad2, still learning to navigate

nasking

March 9. 2012 02:30 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
I admire your intellectual ability in untangling the Kirsty Needham story about asylum seekers.  Most people would not attempt to do so, and if they did indeed finish reading her piece would either accept the veracity of her argument without analyzing it, or would reject it as too complicated to understand.  In any case, it is a dazzling example of poor journalism – illogical argument, probably contaminated with ulterior motives.

I looked again at the Gillard/Carr press conference and agree that the look on the PM’s face around the 4 minute mark bespeaks a message to the Canberra Press Gallery, which only Blind Freddy could miss.

Regarding Tony Abbott’s interview by Alexandra Kirk on AM, it points to his strategy to contain his extravagant promises:  ‘…we’re not going to make a huge range of election promises”  He won’t be able to, because the promises already made – repeal the carbon and minerals taxes, reduce personal taxes, his PPL scheme and so on is enough for him to manage, as commentators are now pointed out in public.

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 02:38 PM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA, TT
What an asset you are to TPS with your verse.  PM Gillard deserves our admiration and commendation.  The slagging of her by the media is looking more and more what it really is – unconscionable behaviour against a competent PM to unseat her with lies, distortions and disingenuous reporting.

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 02:46 PM

Lyn

Hi Pysclaw

Welcome home to TPS, it's good to see you, did you have a good
holiday?

My online activities have been curtailed since before Christmas but hopefully I will be making a few PS comments from now on.

We need thousands of your PS comments.

Thankyou for your interesting and informative post @ 8.26am

You said your system had a huge shock last night, well so did mine,
I couldn't get over it the first time we have heard anything detrimental to the Opposition since Abbott. The icing on the cake were the interviewees, Wow!

Cheers to you Psyclaw

Lyn

March 9. 2012 02:47 PM

nasking

Ad,
Good points. I guess I'm a wee bit worried that the ALP have been infiltrated by the supporters of big mining...those willing to sabotage both Gillard and Rudd in order to derail any kind of carbon price/tax and federal mining resource tax...someone(s) offered deals they can't refuse (blackmail included...think of the media outlets lining up with some mining moguls).

There is so much money and power at stake.

Vested interests.

The attacks on this and the previous ALP govt. are unprecedented...the leaks well-timed, constant, damaging both Rudd and Gillard. Seems odd to me.

Tho of course I am also speculating.

I guess I've seen too many wars ignited by resource companies...and propaganda machines pretending to be fact providing balanced news outlets.

N'

nasking

March 9. 2012 03:31 PM

NormanK

psyclaw

Welcome back. I hope all is well with your world.

NormanK

March 9. 2012 03:33 PM

Lyn

Hi Nasking

I am so pleased you found some good reading in Today's Links this morning.  Ben Elthams is a quality article, and of course John Quiggin.

Making media self-regulation work, Tim Dunlop, Unleashed

The problem with the negative reaction (overreaction) is that it encourages a status quo that itself is problematic. That is, the staus quo is weighted against ordinary people who might be personally wronged by media, and it is weighted against any sense that the media should be held accountable for its errors. In what other industry would we accept such low standards?
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3877840.html

They're our resources, and it's time miners paid more to dig them up
Mining companies will always argue against bearing a heavier burden of taxation. No business wants to pay more tax. But mining companies are not like any other industry. Ultimately, they are service providers to the owners of the minerals they extract - you and me.

Our mining magnates got rich because state governments sold rights to extract Australia's minerals and didn't, as it turns out, charge enough for them.
www.smh.com.au/.../...-them-up-20120308-1un6r.html

Lyn

March 9. 2012 03:55 PM

2353

Another "spin busting" article from Brisbane Times.  www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120308-1unol.html

Apparently this is part of a series.  Another "green shoot".

2353

March 9. 2012 04:20 PM

nasking

www.jpost.com/.../Article.aspx?ID=199409&R=R1

A reminder.

December 2010.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Ruddy sure pissed off some bigwigs...

Btw, I accept PM Gillard's win 100 percent...this is not about bringing back Ruddy...I accept he pissed off too many of his compatriots, made some mistakes that have caused serious problems for the government taking up valuable time and effort...rather, I'm interested in finding out who put so much pressure on his top colleagues...and pushed the buttons of some in the media to go after him in such a fevered and dramatic fashion.

There was something about the attacks on him...and now Gillard...that remind me of the feverish campaign to invade Iraq.

Israel lobby, Saudis via News corp ownership, big miners, msm....

Makes me wonder about how effective our democracy really is.

I'm seeing similar pressure applied to Obama. Add oil men...and investors/speculators pushing up oil prices...one way to derail a recovering economy and put a war-mongering Republican into the White House again.

Or force Obama into a conflict w/ Iran he'd prefer to avoid...being a rational man...pursuing a cleaner energy future.
N'

nasking

March 9. 2012 04:32 PM

NormanK

CanDo up to his neck yet again.

'Developer' advisers let me down: Newman

Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman says there must be an investigation into reports that two council advisers moonlighted as private developers during his time as Brisbane lord mayor.
www.news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8432358

I might be showing my age or my political bias but does "CanDo' sound like the nickname of a 'fixer' or a drug dealer to you?
Arthur 'CanDo' Daley.

I'm not casting aspersions (there are more than enough people doing that) Campbell's way but CanDo has to be the silliest bit of electioneering since ..... well certainly since "Moving Forward".

NormanK

March 9. 2012 04:34 PM

nasking

Lyn,
This in smh makes sense to me:

Instead, they've been taking us to the cleaners. In the past decade, the value of Australia's mineral wealth has increased many times over. The usual methods of recouping our share from the miners, state royalties, have failed to keep pace with massive increases in profits because they are applied on a volumes basis, not a profits basis.

But don't just take my word, take that Ken Henry's 2010 tax report: ''The community, through the Australian and state governments, owns rights to Australia's non-renewable resources and should seek an appropriate return from allowing private firms to exploit these resources.
''Current charging arrangements fail to collect a sufficient return for the community because they are unresponsive to changes in profits.''

You see, those same state governments we've entrusted to build properly functioning urban transport systems are also the same governments we entrusted to extract a proper return on our mineral assets.
And guess what, they haven't.

Australian Treasury estimates prepared for the Henry tax review found mineral taxes and royalties declined as a share of total mineral profits from about 40 per cent in 2001-02 to less than 15 per cent in 2008-09.
Henry proposed a new system of taxing mining companies based on the profits they produce, rather than just the volumes they dig up. It was something the industry was asking for, but the Rudd government botched it by failing to consult on the design of the tax.

The big miners spent $22 million on an advertising campaign against the tax and the government under Julia Gillard significantly watered it down. Updated budget estimates released in December show the new minerals resources rent tax will add just $3.7 billion to the budget bottom line next year. It's not enough.
Treasury is now warning of decades of ''razor thin'' budget surpluses. In a speech in Sydney this week, the Treasury secretary, Martin Parkinson, revealed that while mining companies generate about one fifth of profits in Australia, they contribute only one tenth of company tax, which currently reaps about $70 billion a year. Huge investments by the mining sector in infrastructure means they are able to claim large upfront deductions for the depreciating value of those assets.

And so the nation faces a declining tax base that, unless addressed, will increasingly be recouped through higher taxes on individuals.

It's time to recognise that the watered-down minerals resource rent tax fails to address the problem first identified by Henry - that we are not collecting enough of a return on our non-renewable resources. We only get to dig them up once, and at significant ongoing cost to the local environment. We deserve a fair share of the windfall prices being paid for our mineral wealth
.


Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...-them-up-20120308-1un6r.html

Useful link,
Cheers
N'

nasking

March 9. 2012 04:40 PM

nasking

Kudos to Jessica Irvine @ SMH for that useful article above.

Btw, wish we had a Tom Watson in this country.
N'

nasking

March 9. 2012 04:55 PM

Michael

Bad Abbott

Remember when Shouldabeen used to complain that all a Labor Government was good for was setting up inquiries and commissions?

Now he's promising the mother of all inquiries, a mega all-of-government audit, should he be elected next time.

Bet I can tell you right now what will be found to cost too much to sustain - anything that's ever been Labor policy.

Meanwhile, the Coalition Paid Parental Leave plan (which incidentally, is not for "parents", it's only for mothers - strange approach to act as if early contact between father and child is not valued) will sail right through any audit.

Putin Down Under, that's Mistuh A.

Michael

March 9. 2012 05:04 PM

Jason

Aa,
  The next quarterly essay "The Big Whinge: Politics, Affluence and an Angry Nation"

http://www.quarterlyessay.com/next-issue

When it becomes available I'll buy the online version and share it with the "political sword"

Jason

March 9. 2012 05:34 PM

Casablanca

Revealed: The best and worst places to be a woman

An Independent on Sunday investigation to mark International Women's Day unearths some surprising results...
Sarah Morrison Author Biography

Sunday 04 March 2012

Australia does not rate a mention in this article. I suppose we can be relieved that if we are not right up there, thankfully we don't rank in the category of worst achievers. Very poor given our potential.

www.independent.co.uk/.../...-a-woman-7534794.html

Casablanca

March 9. 2012 07:53 PM

Ad astra reply

Jason
Laura Tingle's Quarterly Essay should be great reading.

Ad astra reply

March 9. 2012 07:54 PM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey, loved and collected your response to my celebration pome, particularly

I've thought of *J*U*L*I*A* ever since as
Boadicea, our Warrior Princess!

No man could do the things she's done,
Nor win the wondrous wins she's won:
Firm, determined, smart, commanding,
Gender bias notwithstanding,


I know you say who cares about the media anyway, but I felt I had to express my rage at the mistreatment of our Prime Minister in my notes at http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/
Thanks for your input.  Sadly I can't get spontaneous thoughts into immediate verse like you! I guess that comes from a lifetime of living, writing and teaching verse.

Patricia WA

March 9. 2012 08:13 PM

2353

NormanK - Newman's not having an "incident free" campaign.  It's childish but I do like "Vandal" Newman (and as a resident of Brisbane I can see where it came from).

Nasking - an article in the SMH that seems to state the benefits of a Mining Tax, the same day as I found something in the Brisbane Times arguing that hospital waiting times in Queensland are not as bad as some claim.  Is Fairfax actually striving to do some real journalism?

2353

March 9. 2012 08:49 PM

Miglo

Jason, you didn't need to remind it's a public holiday here in Canberra on Monday.

I hate public holidays. They keep me away from my work an extra day.

Naturally I'd go to work if I could, but our building owners will be doing maintenance work in the basement car park. Damn them.

Miglo

March 9. 2012 09:01 PM

Jason

Miglo,
     Sorry about that! However I have a soft spot for Canberra as it's my place of birth!

The family home for four years was 31 blackman crescent Maquarie from 1968 to 1972!

Jason

March 9. 2012 09:08 PM

NormanK

Jason

We've been trying to keep that address under wraps.
We don't want it becoming a shrine. Laughing
Remember Abbottabad.

NormanK

March 9. 2012 09:20 PM

Miglo

I think it already has heritage listing.

Miglo

March 9. 2012 09:22 PM

Miglo

Most 72 room Georgian mansions have.

Miglo

March 9. 2012 09:48 PM

TalkTurkey

[This and a previous, and better-written version were not considered acceptable for Crassidy's comments after his "OOOOhhh those awful other journalists" article this morning.]

This is to see whether Barrie Cassidy's minions deliberately pulled my previous post at 10.21 AM in which I likened him to the Wide-Mouthed Frog who likes skiting about what a wide-mouth frog he is, until he meets the Snake who likes eating wide-mouthed frogs, suddenly Frog's mouth is all puckered, "OOOhh no, Mithter Thnake, there'th no wide-mouthed fwogth around here" . . . and  I called Crassidy the Vicar of Bray, now he can see that Labor is going to wipe the floor with the Coalons he's pretending he was never one of the idiotic MSM yappers who had *J*U*L*I*A* gone gone gone . . .
I hope Sam Spigelman enemates the whole ABC. Cassidy you are the worst of the lot, you've been doing it for ages, it's never YOU who are one of that awful lot of gobblers . . . Much it isn't!

Sleaze.

TalkTurkey

March 9. 2012 11:17 PM

nasking

2353,
One can only hope. Useful link btw...we might be a one paper town but at least that doesn't apply to online news' sites.
N'

nasking

March 10. 2012 09:56 AM

psyclaw

Good Morning Swordies

Thanks Lyn and NormanK for you comments above. Appreciated!

Do I lead a MSM sheltered life or am I just imagining that there has been a deathly silence about the Minister of Defence "needing" to resign. I have read few (none??) newspapers in the past 36 hours but in the car and throughout last night I have listened to all available stations including I/Vs, commentaries and news bulletins and not once did I hear anything about Mr Smith now not "needing" to resign.

Nor did I hear anything about "we got it wrong" or "the Minister does have the support of the higher eschelons of the ADF" or "the Minister's view about the poor judgement of Commandant Kaifer(?) was correct and supported by other ADF leaders".

Of course the good Commandant did nothing illegal, as the MSM vociferously pointed out. But there are many ways in which mere mortals can exercise legally correct but very poor judgement, and interviewing the girl about minor crap on the day she had been so powerfully vicitimised is an example. It showed an abysmal lack of empathy and wisdom by this male militia man ...... not completely surprising I guess.

Just as with the Carr appointment trumping of the MSM 8 days ago, there comes no admission that "we got it wrong" by the MS,especially the trenchant ones from Murdoch's.

One piece of great news yesterday was the HC telling Ms Rineheart that it is not a tool for her to privately settle her family squabbles. The finding "leave to appeal is not granted" is the highest form of rejection open to the HC ie "get outta here with your rubbish!!!".

Must've been a shock for her that there is at least one agency her money appears not to be able to buy.

Courts are public forums for justice to be publicly applied with extremely few exceptions eg kids cases and cases where witnesses lives may be directly under threat if their identity is revealed.

Whilst money can buy great advantage in running a court action, her it can't buy "public privacy", nor access to the HC. Great!

psyclaw

March 10. 2012 09:59 AM

psyclaw

There is an intruder in the 2nd last line....."her".

psyclaw

March 10. 2012 10:25 AM

Ad astra reply

psyclaw
The Skype affair once again shows the dilapidated state of much of the MSM, particularly News Limited.  There will be no mea culpa from the media, as there was none from it after stumbling over the Carr appointment.  The ego of editors and journalists at New Limited is so massive that they cannot even contemplate getting anything wrong, least of all admitting it.  Add to that the manifest truth that News Limited is running an aggressive agenda against the Government, which makes it unacceptable for it to correct a mistake or apologise for an unjustified slur.  It would simply say - we didn't get (insert name) this time but we will next time.

Ad astra reply

March 10. 2012 10:39 AM

TalkTurkey

Hi Psyclaw
Good to see you back

More power to Stephen Smith, may he never waver and may he get full support from the Government, and may the Kafers of this organisation have their careers blighted rather than the Kates.

As for Rindlard, your 'her' isn't actually ungrammatical, 'her it can't buy "private policy"' = 'it can't buy her "private policy"' even if it's a bit awkward it still means the same thing, Hallelujah ! r

TalkTurkey

March 10. 2012 10:49 AM

TalkTurkey

Ad astra, Bonjour!

Delapidated comes from Latin de- away from and lapida -ae (F) a stone, so buildings may be delapidated but not cars, clothing, newspapers etc. Just thought you'd like to know the derivation. (Lapidarists are stoners. Smile )

IMO News Ltd should be lapidated mercilessly!

TalkTurkey

March 10. 2012 12:09 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Psyclaw and Talk Turkey , Here is some news for you with a few tweets including links.

The Australian doesn't want to talk about Stephen Smith much today, I wonder why?

Laurie Oakes and Peter VanOnselen have a column , Lenore is talking about Tony Abbott.

PaulBongiornoPaul Bongiorno
LaurieOakes does it very well on Stephen Smith and the Skype scandal in the News Ltd tabloids

visivozvisivoz
Laurie Oakes - Stephen Smith was right on ADFA. Those calling for him to quit are left looking foolish. bit.ly/AnfigG

mumbletwitsPeter Brent
Ok, there's Piers, Ray, Andrew, Miranda, Andrew, Piers , Miranda ... but still looking for Laurie ... http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion

markjs1Mark
Abbott's plan to index military pensions in line with age pensions 2 cost 17 times more than he said: http://yhoo.it/wPPH0x #

jamesmassola
Double take: Chris Uhlmann or Chris Yuleman? - m.theage.com.au/.../...ced-abc-20120309-1upmm.html

The perfect choice for a fair and balanced ABC , Ross Cameron, The Age[/i
So it was natural, with the election of the Howard government, that the empire would strike back. Eminent conservative spear chuckers Michael Kroger, Keith Windschuttle and Janet Albrechtsen were installed on the ABC board and Christopher Pearson at SBS, to combat, in Howard's graphic phrase ''the black armband view of history''.
m.theage.com.au/.../...ced-abc-20120309-1upmm.html

Undiplomatic, but Smith's call on Kafer was right , Peter van Onselen, The Australian

Let's test Abbott's assertion of exemplary conduct, putting to one side that the Opposition Leader hasn't seen the report he relies on to form his judgment
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../

[i]Skype sex cadet's 'concern' at findings on defence academy incident , Joe Kelly The Australian

The minister has embarked on a very serious and stressful emotional rollercoaster for some 775 people with no plan to resolve their issues," Senator Johnston said. "This is probably one of the worst concepts in public policy administration I have seen."
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6nf-1226295475080

It depends who you talk to, Editorial, The Australian
THE critical flaw in Ray Finkelstein's case for curtailing press freedom is his failure to identify the problem he wishes to solve. Mr Finkelstein is unlikely to be troubled by criticism on these pages, just as he appeared to be unmoved by the cogent arguments put by media professionals to his inquiry. But as a friend of the ABC, he might be interested to learn that the host of Media Watch, Jonathan Holmes, is equally troubled by the paucity of evidence of media decay.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg71x-1226295399275

Toughened times in the United States of Tony , Lenore Taylor SMH
But without that detail, and with all the internal contradictions still outstanding, voters may well be still confused about which Tony they might be voting for.
www.smh.com.au/.../...-of-tony-20120309-1upmp.html

Poll: Campbell Newman could lose Ashgrove while LNP wins government
CAMPBELL Newman is set to lose in his bid to win the seat of Ashgrove - plunging Queensland politics into unprecedented territory.
www.news.com.au/national/campbell-newman-heading-

australianThe
Newman admits campaign damage: CAMPBELL Newman admitted that the controversy over his in-laws and anassociate ... bit.ly/wwc9gi

Abbott's audit sparks union angerTony Abbott indicated public servant job cuts under a coalition govt may be larger than previously targeted.
video.news.com.au/.../Abbotts-audit-sparks-union-anger


Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 10. 2012 12:19 PM

Lyn

Sorry Laurie Oakes link not working:-

vexnewsvexnews
Laurie Oakes says Stephen Smith was right on ADFA as those calling for him to quit are left looking foolish #auspol http://bit.ly/AnfigG
www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-fn56baaq-1226295462806

australianThe Australian
Newman admits campaign damage: CAMPBELL Newman admitted that the controversy over his in-laws and an associate ... http://bit.ly/wwc9gi
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226295647315

9NewsOnline9News
Newman can blame self for bad poll: Bligh http://bit.ly/wqeXnb

mrtonymartinTony Martin
Rinehart wants everything kept secret, yet her statement includes oddly specific detail 'jewellery and (or) watches'. www.theage.com.au/.../...rtune-20120309-1uq1d.html

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 10. 2012 12:52 PM

NormanK

Ad astra

One good thing to come out of the Skype revelations of recent days is that Greg Sheridan might now be able to go back to supporting Steven Smith. In an article that was reminiscent of the 'Carr for Canberra' stories that proliferated when it was 'clear' that he wasn't getting the job, on March 8th (prior to the Channel 10 leak becoming widely known) Sheridan said:

It is an unfortunate conclusion to reach, but it seems many commentators, myself included, may well have overrated Smith.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg76f-1226292589059

'An unfortunate conclusion'. I'm not sure which I dislike more - Grattan and Shanahan's open animosity or this 'regrettable' evaluation.
Hockey, with his down-turned mouth and sad-panda eyes has turned regrettable into an art-form. Hockey fronts the press pack like a reluctant surgeon who has to deliver bad news to family and loved ones. "We tried to save the economy but it is with great sadness that I have to inform you that it is not likely to make it through the night/week/year. Wayne Swan could have done more to instigate proactive measures that would probably mean that we would never have come to this point. The only suggestion that I can make is that you change practitioners and deliver the patient into my hands for exclusive treatment. This is not the time for anger but I do feel that you have been poorly served by Swan and Gillard and I implore you to be strong and insist that Abbott & Co be seconded in to administer to this patient."

Abbott employs the same tactic. With a reluctant click of his tongue, a smacking of his lips and a shake of his head he delivers the bad news that "this is the worst government evva. I know you were waiting and hoping for good news from me but try as I might I simply don't have any to give you."

At least with Piers Ackerman et al, you know where they are coming from but this drawing of 'unfortunate conclusions' is smarmy and disingenuous. I haven't seen Sheridan re-evaluate the evidence and come to the 'fortunate conclusion' that perhaps Smith isn't so bad after all.
Waiting ........... waiting ..........

NormanK

March 10. 2012 01:07 PM

NormanK

Lyn

From that Ross Cameron article that you generously provided the link to, I find that he has helped me to clearly define my political leanings.

The menu of ABC story options rotated like a scratched record through the greed of big corporations, the odium of social inequality, the awfulness of racism, the aggression of the United States, the plight of the indigenous and asylum seekers, the threat of global warming .....
m.theage.com.au/.../...ced-abc-20120309-1upmm.html

I would have thought that a public broadcaster was serving its constituents quite well by addressing each and every one of those subjects but Mr Cameron feels that it is like throwing a wet blanket of depression and grievance across the nation.
I guess this is as opposed to a never-ending stream of conjecture on interest rates; just when the economy is going to tank; how global warming is a myth; the appalling state of affairs within the Labor Party; the injustice of taking welfare off high income earners etc, etc, etc.

Perhaps he would prefer cheery stories about milder winters and longer summers; the beneficence of the US in the middle east; the latest yacht purchase by Twiggy or how good life is for indigenous people and asylum seekers.

At least I know where I stand now. Thanks Ross.

NormanK

March 10. 2012 01:15 PM

TalkTurkey

A few days ago I said wtte that every member of Labor's front bench outclasses his NOposition 'shadow'. Andrew Elder of Politically Homeless, who claims not to be aligned either way, has compared them one-on-one, I don't agree 100% with all of his assessments but mostly. My own comments in italics.


Treasury: Wayne Swan vs Joe Hockey. Swan wins that matchup.
As the sun outshines the moon.

Tertiary Education, Science, Research: Chris Evans vs Christopher Pyne. Evans, because he takes an interest in his portfolio.
And because of Pyne!

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy: Stephen Conroy vs Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull has had no success in overturning the dog's breakfast bequeathed to him by Tony Smith of all people, but perhaps he needs to prove to Libs that he's a team player. His needs, and those of the Liberal Party aren't the nation's problem, however, and however much of a prick Conroy is he gets the mail through. Conroy (through gritted teeth).
I don't know why AE so despises Conroy. He is certainly effective and across his portfolio. Turdball last night with Emma Alberici was feeble, not even a chance of Lib leadership ever imo.

Regional Australia, Regional Development, Local Government & Arts: Simon Crean vs Barnaby Joyce (Brandis in Arts). The old stager versus the populist yokel, and Barnaby too. Crean.
No contest in abilty. Joyce gets more attention though, drives $80K brand-new Govt cars into rivers, has puce face etc.

Defence: Stephen Smith vs David Johnston. Smith is a doer and Johnston a windbag. Smith.
Do I even know Johnston? Stephen Smith bids fair to be the Defence Minister this country has long needed, he will need a while to root out the cancerous Kaferesque creeps and their pernicious long-term legacy, but he is the best for the job and he can do it too .

Health: Tanya Plibersek vs Peter Dutton. Oh come on, Plibersek has achieved more than Dutton ever has or can, especially as the latter has gone to ground against the new minister. Plibersek for turning up. What juxtaposition!

Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs: Jenny Macklin versus Kevin Andrews. Equally useless. Neither.
Facile dismissal of JM imo. Kevin Andrews is horrid anyway.  

Infrastructure and Transport: Anthony Albanese vs Warren Truss. A tie, first one to do something about Sydney Airport and the Pacific Highway wins.
How will Trusszzzzz do that, he's not in power! Albanese is a dynamo.

Finance and Deregulation: Penny Wong vs Andrew Robb. Wong is slightly sharper on the minutiae. Wong it is.
Slightly sharper??? Robb is rubbish. Wong is one of our finest.

Schools, Early Childhood and Youth: Peter Garrett vs Christopher Pyne. Nope, still Garrett.
Wish I could get them into a schoolyard scrap!

Attorney-General: Nicola Roxon vs George Brandis. Roxon.
Thanks for the hint Andrew. Roxon is brilliant.  

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Joe Ludwig vs John Cobb. Indonesian cattle vs NZ apples. A tie.
Dunno Cobb. Ludwig's had a crook run.

Sustainable Population, Communities, Environment and Water: Tony Burke vs Greg Hunt. There's much to be done in the Murray-Darling but at least Burke isn't still coasting by on his Honours thesis. Burke. Burke is good, makes friends of foes by listening and being across the detail. Hunt just earns his title Rhyming Slang.

Resources, Energy and Tourism: Martin Ferguson vs Ian Macfarlane. A tie, but I'd lean toward Macfarlane because he may not be out of ideas like Ferguson is.
Not enough info on either. Ferguson always seems grumpy.

Immigration and Citizenship: Chris Bowen vs Scott Morrison. Incompetent vs a nasty little shit. Neither.
You wanna try to negotiate an AS deal with the Coalons do you Andrew?

Trade: Craig Emerson vs Julie Bishop. Substance vs the void. Emerson. Emerson is ace.

Mental Health and Ageing: Mark Butler vs Peter Dutton. Butler does his homework. Butler.
Butler Yea! Dutton urgh.

Minister for Innovation, Industry, Climate Change and Energy Efficiency: Greg Combet vs Sophie Mirabella and Greg Hunt. Oh please, Combet.
SM and GH are as nasty a pair as you'd find anywhere.

Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation: Bill Shorten vs Eric Abetz & Matthias Cormann. Shorten does his homework, the other two do half-witted scare campaigns. Shorten.
No need for comment.

Foreign Affairs: Bob Carr vs Julie Bishop. Carr, without having spent a day on the job, deserves the benefit of the doubt.
WHAT doubt Andrew?

Small Business, Housing and Whatever: Brendan O'Connor vs Bruce Billson. A tie. Billson is not the worst Coalon.

Health: Tanya Plibersek vs Peter Dutton. Oh come on, Plibersek has achieved more than Dutton ever has or can, especially as the latter has gone to ground against the new minister. Plibersek for turning up. Dutton huh.


Oh and then there's the pair Andrew Elder didn't mention. . . Smile

TalkTurkey

March 10. 2012 01:32 PM

2353

Curious Snail dead tree edition's editorial today is suggesting that three years ago it recommended the LNP for State Government and nothing they've seen changes their opinion.  However they aren't so sure about Newman and suggest that he needs to do significant work on his family's property dealings, the "small target strategy" and transparency in the next two weeks (as well as release a few "bold" policies)

2353

March 10. 2012 02:03 PM

NormanK

2353

It's curious to see that across the various media houses both sides have been accused of the 'small target strategy'.
Is there an election campaign happening?
Is either side trying to win or are they both waiting for the other guy to lose?
Or are our journalists so hackneyed that they all trot out the same tired lines?

NormanK

March 10. 2012 02:34 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn, NormanK
Thank you for the interesting links.  It looks like Laurie Oakes has set the record straight on the Skype affair, but all we can expect from most at News Limited is justification of their original position that Smith should resign.  Truth and facts are irrelevant.  It shows again that cherry-picking facts from a report is disingenuous when you use the bits that suit your case and omit those that don’t.  It is so fundamental to decent journalism that all the relevant facts are exposed, that to deliberately do otherwise is committing a fraud on consumers.  

TT
It looks as if we are both wrong. ‘Dilapidated’ does indeed refer in the main to buildings, but I see cars can also be dilapidated’, and ‘having fallen into a state of disrepair or deterioration, especially through neglect’ is a generic meaning.  I note too that the consensus is that the spelling is ‘dilapidated’, not ‘delapidated’.

This afternoon I’m working on the next piece, about Wayne Swan’s essay, so I won’t be around much.

Ad astra reply

March 10. 2012 04:01 PM

TalkTurkey

Ad
I don't think you were wrong at all after all. I knew that for non-pedants the word in question was used generically for anything falling to pieces, (I don't like it but nevertheless . . )  but the prefix is anyway indeed as you say, abbr. of dis-, apart, not as I have always thought de-, from.

DAM! Smile

TalkTurkey

March 10. 2012 04:26 PM

NormanK

I have to confess to having a great love of Dorothy Parker's work over at Loon Pond. Reading her work is a bit like walking on the beach picking up shells on a good-shell day.
"Ooh look, there's a beauty! There's another one! And there's ....."
I can't count the number of times that I have had to stop and hold up one of her little gems so that it can be shown to its best advantage in the sunlight. This particular one made me think of a certain TV current affairs presenter who is often the subject of conversation here.
Caution: coarse language (but it is a quote after all)

And then there was Des Ryan's offering "Smartarse journos leave democracy better, not worse", which seemed to be saying that being a dickhead smartarse journo was somehow a noble enterprise. As if being a smartarse dickhead is ever a noble enterprise. Ryan must be the sort of journo who feels it's a mark of style to sidle up to a woman in a bar, and say "feel like a root?" You know, the sort of incisive, probing question a dickhead asks when in quest of a gotcha scoop.

Constant interruption and a refusal to listen to an answer is of course the sign of a journalist who's run out of ideas. It's the oldest routine of all, the kind of "when did you stop beating your wife", "how can we trust you" sort of bullshit that's about as penetrating as a dunny door flapping in a gale.

loonpond.blogspot.com.au/.../...little-things.html

NormanK

March 10. 2012 06:13 PM

Lyn

Hi NormanK

I enjoyed your opinion on Ross Cameron's piece, but he is definately not a credible source of information do you think.  But at least as you said   helped me to clearly define my political leanings.

If this is the same Ross Cameron, he certainly has a checkered personal history:

Australian politician, was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1996 to October 2004, representing the Division of Parramatta

clubtroppo.com.au/2004/11/14/anarchy-in-the-uk/ wrote "He was probably.... unwise not to enquire of the “exotic solicitor”‘s flatmate what her occupation was – she turned out to be a member of the Canberra Press Gallery – hence his pre-emptive confession"

Fairfax publication The Sydney Morning Herald later noted that Cameron "realised he had been so indiscreet – his lover shared a house with a News Limited journalist – that it would come out anyway".[17][18]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Cameron

Lyn

March 10. 2012 07:24 PM

2353

NormanK - I agree, is there a Queensland election?  Locally I've seen a couple of corflutes in people's yards, a few occasions of some corflute tents at local shops (with the obligatory people not to far away looking *really* disinterested) and a couple of ads on TV.

Either both sides are broke, saving up for the Council Elections (which for the most part are not party political in Queensland so that is illogical), or no one could really give a stuff.  The best comment I've heard so far is from Mrs 2353 who when she saw the headline on this morning paper asked why we don't have a real choice (but was happy to see the headline that Newman wasn't looking too flash in Ashgrove).

2353

March 10. 2012 07:33 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad and Everybody

Campbell Newman is going to take his bat and ball home if he doesn't win Ashgrove, I think he will get sympathy or he thinks he will get sympathy, poor petal:-


Campbell Newman denies wrongdoing as his hopes fade in new poll
CAMPBELL Newman - who is set to lose in his bid to win the seat of Ashgrove - is expected to take to national television to explain his private expenses in the off chance he becomes Queensland premier.

With two weeks until the Queensland election, Mr Newman said he would be making a "significant announcement" on Channel 10's Meet the Press tomorrow to address questions about his personal financial dealings and family business interests.
www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfkvr-1226295613059

jessvanvonderenJessica van Vonderen
7pm abcnews Qld: ChrisOBrienABC reports on the poll results that put Campbell_Newman behind in Ashgrove #ABC1 #qldvotes

TAWNBPM
(B1) C'mon Newman ... Queenslanders have a right to know ... "Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the LNP is not... fb.me/1HFlD4ECr

SkyNewsAustSky News Australia
LNP's Newman to explain private finances ow.ly/1hW1FO

Leroy_LynchLeroy
Fed Treasurer Swan says the QLD #LNP has to say who would be leader if Newman fails to be elected #qldpol yhoo.it/w0cNwq via @Y7News

Dennis Atkins
Newman says today if he loses, it's out of here. Things get weird
bit.ly/xZG9qp #auspol #qldvotes

PaulBongiornoPaul Bongiorno
MeetThePress10 Sunday 10.30 am Immigration Minister Bowen and LNP leader Newman. 4.30pm Canberra & regionals

The Australian
Newman admits campaign damage: CAMPBELL Newman admitted that the controversy over his in-laws and anassociate ... bit.ly/wwc9gi

Lyn

March 10. 2012 07:47 PM

Lyn

Hi Everybody

the twitter links didn't enter up so here they are again:-

Leroy_LynchLeroy
Fed Treasurer Swan says the QLD #LNP has to say who would be leader if Newman fails to be elected
au.news.yahoo.com/.../?cmp=twitter

SkyNewsAustSky News Australia
LNP's Newman to explain private finances
www.skynews.com.au/.../article.aspx

Dennis Atkins
Newman says today if he loses, it's out of here. Things get weird
www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-fnbwr276-1226295609330

Financial management of State coffers after election debated, Ashgrove VIDEO
Treasurer Andrew Fraser and Opposition spokesman Tim Nicholls go face to face.
www.abc.net.au/.../3881014

Lyn

March 10. 2012 09:13 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn, NormanK, 2353
The Queensland election looks like being a bobby dazzler.

Channel 10's hosting of Campbell Newman tomorrow should make interesting viewing.

Goodnight all.

Ad astra reply

March 11. 2012 02:26 AM

Casablanca

Dennis Shanahan and other supporters of unacceptable male behavioural excesses take note:

ONE of Australia's most prestigious university colleges has suspended 30 male students after a wild Orientation Week drinking game left a young woman in hospital.

The unprecedented decision to suspend 30 students for ''inappropriate conduct'' was taken by the St John's College rector, Michael Bongers. Since his arrival at the college in 2009, Mr Bongers has adopted a zero-tolerance policy on excessive drinking and other anti-social behaviour which, over generations, has become ingrained in university culture.

St John's is considered the oldest and most distinguished Australian university Catholic College. Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are among its old boys, or Johnsmen.

But behind the sandstone walls of residential colleges at the University of Sydney, a culture of excessive drinking, sexism and violence has drawn criticism for years.


Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...students-20120310-1ur5h.html

Casablanca

March 11. 2012 02:36 AM

Casablanca

Ad Astra@March 9. 2012 02:10 PM said"

Only someone with the effrontery of Tony Abbott could say: “''Can I say that people are tired of this relentless negativity from the Labor party and its principal political allies.''

This reminds me of a response from Barnaby Joyce on a recent Q&A where he said something along the lines of 'We can't get our message out to the Australian people because we keep getting drowned out by Labor's policy stuff-ups'.

Give me strength!

Casablanca

March 11. 2012 08:40 AM

Ad astra reply

Casablanca
Your overnight comments should be read by Dennis Shanahan, Greg Sheridan and any others who demanded Stephen Smith’s resignation.  They need to realize that by attacking him and defending Commodore Bruce Kafer they are supporting a culture that disrespects women, not just in the Army, but also clearly manifest in the report on the Orientation Week at St John’s College.  The culture begins early.

On the subject of howlers, we should begin to collect them for the record.  Barnaby Joyce would be a rich source.

Ad astra reply

March 11. 2012 09:00 AM

Lyn

Good Morning Ad

Samantha Maiden has turned on Tony Abbott, it seems, but probably a
maybe, she thinks Abbott is cheeky what!  So it's cheeky to lie to the voters day in and day out.

Katter has huge support for his campaign, James Packer, Singleton & Jones.

Peter vanOnselen thinks the Coalition should change their front bench, it's not right Labor have more in finance than Abbott, Hockey needs help.

Maiden: Tony's great big tax
Samantha Maiden From: Sunday Mail (SA) HERE'S a surprising fact about Tony Abbott's paid parental leave plan that hasn't attracted much attention: the new levy to pay for the scheme would hit more companies than the carbon tax

As the Coalition policy documents show, it would cost taxpayers a whopping $4.5 billion a year to run Abbott's parental leave scheme

But if you think it's cheeky that Abbott wants to bang on and on about the impact of the carbon tax while introducing a $3 billion levy on business to pay for parental leave, you are not Robinson Crusoe.
www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../story-fn6br25t-1226295921746

Secrecy over Skype scandal findings raises doubts,  Hugh Riminton  March 11, 2012
These findings go directly to Defence Minister Stephen Smith's concerns when, last April, he said the pursuit of the separate disciplinary hearing at that time was ''insensitive'' and ''stupid''. Smith has refused to apologise.
www.smh.com.au/.../...s-doubts-20120310-1ur92.html

Time for Abbott to bring big guns into the front line,  Peter vanOnselen , The Telegraph
You don't even need to be critical of the jobs being done by Joe Hockey, Andrew Robb and Mathias Cormann to see reasons for Sinodinos joining the finance team on the front bench. These three names are fighting an uneven battle at the present, taking on no less than five ministers and parliamentary secretaries with finance duties in the government.

www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../story-e6frezz0-1226295906829

James Packer makes $250,000 donation to Katter's Australian Party , David Murray, The Courier Mail
Katter's Australian Party now has the support of three of Australia's most powerful men: Mr Packer, talkback king Alan Jones and advertising guru John Singleton.
www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-fnbt5t29-1226295954648

Lyn

March 11. 2012 09:45 AM

nasking

A disturbing picture:

www.theglobalmail.org/.../

N'

nasking

March 11. 2012 10:14 AM

Lyn

Hi Nasking

That is a sad picture.

I noticed this article in the Global Mail, but haven't had time to read yet.

Inside Australia's Nursing Homes: a new online tool, Global Mail
The Global Mail has created a new online tool for consumers to check the oversight records of hundreds of aged-care facilities
www.theglobalmail.org/.../

Lyn

March 11. 2012 10:19 AM

nasking

In relation to Global Mail article I posted above:

I'm one of those that can find extreme feminism as irritating as evangelism.

However,
I found this article eye opening and useful.  

Inequality is a pervasive problem in Australia...

in a rampant capitalist society where booms lead to overly-influential self-interested mega-rich characters and dynasties who spend an inordinate amount of time and money fighting to preserve their privileges, it is not surprising that many will be left behind as communities rush to emulate and feed these characters...

spurred on by a sycophantic media that is infiltrated and kowtowed by these moneybags.

What does it say about our capitalist democracy when it leaves so many mothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, wives, partners, guardians behind...neglected...alone in poverty amidst a crowd of poor neighbors?

Charity alone is not the answer...Mr. Abbott and his friend Gina can do the missionary thing...convert and feed...

but only so many.

And what choice is involved when a woman feels compelled to thank for freebies…and hide her shame? Disgusting she should have to do so…feel that way…in a country of enuff wealth for all to shine.

Give me government-led redistribution of wealth anyday over charity-led…

for there-in lies REAL CHOICE.

Any potential for pride and opportunities to climb into the light....education, including affordable mature-age tertiary study...access to language study/ESL and up to date communication & research technology...affordable & respected housing...free training...

enuff pension or other financial assistance to not only fulfill needs...but also contribute to the other purchasing of goods and services that keeps our capitalist systems going around...

then diverse businesses will prosper as ALL WOMEN use their wisdom, knowledge and purchasing power…

It will not only be the mega-corporations and second-hand shops...those who benefit most from INEQUALITY.

N'

nasking

March 11. 2012 10:27 AM

TalkTurkey

I will be interested to see how much of the Lopsiders is Geriatric Henderson cf. Annabel the slyly-sidling Crabbe cf. George Minilowpenis, whom I have never forgiven for his 'sweakness in the 2010 election campaign in an interview alongside Laura Tingle, when he obviously held his tongue for fear of losing his job. Pathetic. He is given too much credit by the Left imo, he knows plenty but he's more into flight than fight. But he's not as bad as Henderson, one of the most lickspittle of all the current commentators. He and Crabbe interrupted George I think every time in the earlier part of the show (where the Skype/Kafor/Smith Affair etc was the subject), with virtually nobody coming to grips with the real issue, the disgraceful misogynistic 'culture' (!!!) within the Armed Forces, which Stephen Smith is so staunchly opposing.  

Having watched it all it seems to me that new ACTU secretary Dave Oliver is a big plus, but overall the show has left me with one overwhelming D'urrrhhh.

Oh but Lyn your links save the day, Dog knows what time you got up to get them for the rest of us, have a nice day and thank you.

Patricia and any other Sandgropers around the SW corner, as a Crowie I feel for you, we've had a lovely cool summer, poor you. FORTY today, wow.    

TalkTurkey

March 11. 2012 10:28 AM

nasking

I noticed this article in the Global Mail, but haven't had time to read yet.

Hi Lyn,
it's a superb and informative site.

BTW,
absolutely superb job on yer part re: links & accompanying comments. I've been checking a number of articles out via my Ipad2. Good stuff. Highly informative. And many from independent media too. Big tick.

Yer a credit to this blog.

N'

nasking

March 11. 2012 11:07 AM

nasking

In Sinodinos we trust:

www.smh.com.au/.../1165081126240.html

Nothing like trading public service for a cosy investment bank job...then returning to influence.

We should be used to it now...fat cats and their puppets telling us how to live...why we should be content w/ the flooding upwards effect.

Some of us however have woken up to their cons and scams and undermining the fair-go propaganda...

More by the day...

Public service my ass/arse.

Mega-rich service more like it.

NO LONGER EYES WIDE SHUT

N'

nasking

March 11. 2012 11:12 AM

Lyn

Hi Everybody

Twitterverse conversation re The Insiders and Campbell Can Do.

So much for Campbell's promise to reveal his shonky business dealings, instead he says he will relinquish all if elected Premier, I think he said within 90 days.  To me he has admitted guilt, why hasn't he disclosed his dealings before this.

alexanderwhiteAlexander White
Very impressed with daveeoliver on insiders -- very considered, saying the right things. Good stuff.

GeeForce77Johnny Boy
Huum .. only now are journos saying the gov will last their full term. They weren't saying that even 2 weeks ago.#insiders #respill

alexanderwhiteAlexander White
This whole episode if insiders is showing that the conservative side of politics is riddled with corrupt big-money.

SpaceKidetteSpace Kidette
But Gerard you conveniently forget that the jobs Newman's wife is making money from are through Newmans govt connections.

Thefinnigans
It looks like Campbell Newman will try to "buy" a Premiership by "selling" his commercial assets and dealings

cosmic_history
yes AgnessMack #insiders George's rationality temporarily silences Gerard

4CThinking
NoCanDo says dirtiest campaign in Aust political history. What a pathetic, weak, snivelling, clueless little prick.

AshGhebraniousCarbon Price = 500 businesses. Paid Parental Leave = 3000 businesses.

Hughriminton
Campbell Newman will detail his private finances on @MeetThePress10 today with PaulBongiorno

OverTheHill4George
Maybe Newmans dodgy deals was the reason he hastily departed from BCC why leave a cushy job for a crazy plot with no guarantee of success

mrumensMarian Rumens
Just heard Campbell Newman says that he'll give up all business interests if he's elected. Maybe he should have just declared them before.

Campbell Newman says he will sell all business interests and those of his wife Lisa if elected premier , Courier Mail
BESIEGED Campbell Newman will give up all his and wife Lisa's business interests if elected, in a bid to end what he says is "the most vicious, untrue smear campaign in Australian political history".
www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-fnbt5t29-1226295970292

Treasured? Clive? I don't buy it Peter FitzSimons
March 11, 201

CLIVE PALMER? Clive PALMER? A National Living Treasure? What on earth can the National Trust have been thinking? And what has happened to that organisation, anyway? When I think of the National Trust, I think worthy, staid, genteel, old world, traditional, revered, trusted
www.smh.com.au/.../...t-buy-it-20120310-1uqy0.html

Lyn

March 11. 2012 11:39 AM

Lyn

Hi Nasking and Talk Turkey

Nasking thankyou to you and Talk Turkey you are always so appreciative.

The Global Mail is a wonderful site, but do you have trouble with the bottom line on the articles.  On my computer the options of sharing get in my reading way.

Talk Turkey you have a nice day too.
new ACTU secretary Dave Oliver is a big plus,
I agree Dave Oliver was very impressive, Barrie Cassidy was stumped a few times with no come back.

CheersSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

March 11. 2012 11:51 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for the additional links.  Hugh Riminton’s piece was fascinating, exposing as it did a fuller picture of QC Kirkham‘s findings.  The official press release gave only part of the findings.  As Riminton reports: “As for Kafer, the press release said he had made no errors of judgment and acted reasonably, but again Kirkham's actual findings are more nuanced. He found Kafer caused Kate ''unnecessary … upset'' by allowing a separate, minor disciplinary hearing to proceed just as she was learning about the Skype scandal. Kirkham said the commodore ''should have foreseen'' the danger and it would have been ''sensible and appropriate'' for him or his subordinates to ask Kate how she felt about having the separate hearing proceed. It was, he said, an ''unfortunate'' failing. Kirkham also said that ''another reasonable decision maker" might have acted differently. These findings go directly to Defence Minister Stephen Smith's concerns when, last April, he said the pursuit of the separate disciplinary hearing at that time was ''insensitive'' and ''stupid''. Smith has refused to apologise. ”.  The bits they didn’t release are the telling ones.

To take another example from Riminton’s article: ''[Her] room was not plastered with shaving foam,'' as I had reported last year. Kirkham discovered that it was not shaving foam but ''Jif cleaning liquid''. It was smeared on her door - or in his phrasing ''applied'' - in sufficient volume to stain the carpet. By publicly denying it was shaving foam but not revealing it was another similar agent, Defence exposes itself to questions over whether it is distorting or withholding information and misleading the public.”  

It looks like Defence’s preference was to whitewash Kafer in its press release, rather than endorsing what Stephen Smith has asserted from the beginning.  It’s easy to see where their loyalties lie.  Smith should give them no quarter from now on.

Ad astra reply

March 11. 2012 12:06 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
The piece by PvO was interesting in that he clearly sees the Coalition economics team as no match for the Government’s, but lets them off the hook by claiming that the Government has greater numbers and more resources.  What about the manifest incompetence exhibited again and again by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey on matters economic, and the inconsistency of their statements?  He squibbed saying it the way it was, no doubt for fear of upsetting his mates.  Arthur Sinodinos would be a good addition, bringing as it would some rationality to the Coalition team.

Samantha Maiden’s article was another example of a journalist lacking the courage to spell out in stark terms the reality of Abbott PPL scheme.  She gave the figures, but then softened their impact by describing Abbott’s ‘banging on’ about his scheme as ‘cheeky’.  Cheeky indeed!  Why not ‘stupid’, ‘deceitful’ or ‘economically irresponsible?

What’s wrong with these wimps, who style themselves as fearless journalists?

Ad astra reply

March 11. 2012 12:27 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I thought Insiders was again pretty tame.  Perhaps it was the absence of attacks on Julia Gillard and doomsday forecasts for her Government that made it seem that way.  What a relief, but we can expect resumption of hostilities next week.

The interview with Dave Oliver was evenhanded and showed him up in a good light.  Regarding the Skype affair, the panel seemed unwilling to call out those journalists insisting on Stephen Smith’s resignation, although Dennis Shanahan was mentioned.  Again it was a ‘go softly on the journalists’ approach, with the tetchy Gerard Henderson seemingly defending ‘the Army culture’ which after all has been around for so long, and also in universities, (and this morning we hear in Sydney’s St John’s College’ too).  He conceded that Smith should not resign, but said nothing about the Army’s failure to release the full findings of QC Kirkham, which supported Smith’s original statement and showed Kafer in the poor light his actions justified.

I thought Mega’s statement that ‘the Defence Budget could be halved’, was courageous.  Fancy taking money off Defence, who have been quarantined from budget cuts in the past.  A lot of money could be saved there, and the budget put into comfortable surplus, rather than the ‘wafer-thin’ one predicted.  I hope Wayne Swan does take the axe to this profligate, inefficient department that is always over budget, and spends as it pleases, like the proverbial ‘drunken sailor’.

Mike Bowers’ segment was, as usual, amusing.  

Ad astra reply

March 11. 2012 12:39 PM

Ad astra reply


Folks
Starting next week, we will be taking a break in South Australia for ten days with our daughter, Web Monkey and their small boy, so I will not be attending as closely as usual to TPS.  I will time the posting of new pieces so as to keep the pot boiling.  I’ll post a new piece soon: Swan’s song stings the affluent and powerful.  Then around mid week, I’ll post the first part of another well documented exposé by JohnL: Nonsense of $8bn BER ‘waste’ claims exposed’.  The second part will be posted the following week.

Ad astra reply

March 11. 2012 12:54 PM

Tom of Melbourne

After years of political inertia and neglect, there is finally some momentum for paid parental leave.

Australia has lagged almost all developed nations and very many less developed ones. The government scheme will place Australia near the bottom of a table of benefits, despite all the fanfare.

Rather than welcome a political race to improve benefits and encourage Australia’s entry into the ranks of “civilised” countries, Ad Astra, yet again, engages in partisan barracking on the issue.


So much for “putting politicians to the sword”
sydney.edu.au/.../PaidMaternityReport_090302.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave

Tom of Melbourne

March 11. 2012 12:59 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I’ve just posted: Swan’s song stings the affluent and powerful. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com

Ad astra reply

March 11. 2012 01:04 PM

TalkTurkey

Lyn ditto re GM's bottom line, they need to fix that fast!
I thought it was just me.

Our fight with the Right now seems to me a lot like the Vietnam War, the US had all the big weaponry but the North Vietnamese had the committed fighters and the underground intelligence networks.

The Coalons will fail.
Labor will prevail.

I see Geriatric Henderson, wtte, "always believed that the Government would go full term", bwaaaahahahahahahahahasnort.

He always believed that now!!! Smile

TalkTurkey

March 11. 2012 01:06 PM

Gravel

Insiders, apart from Henderson, was pretty bland.  I disagree with him when he said Howard et al didn't go after Therese Rein and her business.  It was a huge media and LNP hue and cry, then she sold her Australian part of the business, long before the 2007 election.  I was amazed that the other three didn't pick that up.  Ah but then, nothing surprises me with the journalists memories these days.  

Gravel

March 11. 2012 01:31 PM

nasking

The Global Mail is a wonderful site, but do you have trouble with the bottom line on the articles.  On my computer the options of sharing get in my reading way.

Hi Lyn,
yes, I had a similar problem.

BTW, Anna Bligh just gave a beaut, down-to-earth speech.

Just missed PM Gillard's contribution unfortunately.

N'

nasking

March 11. 2012 01:33 PM

nasking

Tom of Melbourne,
we have a paid parental leave scheme...

it's time to prioritise disability & dental health schemes.

And rapid transport to assist congested cities.

And an effective NBN that assists ALL Australians.

N'

nasking

March 11. 2012 01:41 PM

nasking

Samantha Maiden’s article was another example of a journalist lacking the courage to spell out in stark terms the reality of Abbott PPL scheme.  She gave the figures, but then softened their impact by describing Abbott’s ‘banging on’ about his scheme as ‘cheeky’.  Cheeky indeed!  Why not ‘stupid’, ‘deceitful’ or ‘economically irresponsible?

Maiden's yet another Murdoch empire hack who purports to be a journo but is in fact a spinner of BS, an apologist for slimy Abbott, and a puppet on a string.

I expect little truth...nor displays of integrity from her.

N'

nasking

March 11. 2012 02:30 PM

Ad astra reply

ToM
Thank you for the references about PPL.  But what's your point?

Ad astra reply

March 11. 2012 02:58 PM

2353

AA, you gotta be kidding - ToM have a point.  Have never seen one yet Laughing!

2353

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