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Nonsense of $8bn BER ‘waste’ claims exposed

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Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:27 by JohnL
Claims by Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne of $8 billion “waste” in the Building the Education Revolution (BER) program are nonsense. Independent cost estimates by quantity surveyors of 130 Government schools throughout Australia expose this lie.

The Building the Education Revolution Implementation Taskforce, formed to assess value for money (VFM) in individual BER projects, received 332 complaints, equating to 3.5 per cent of all schools involved in the program. The Taskforce conducted more than 460 school visits to both complainant and randomly selected non-complainant schools, and collected standardised cost data for more than 3700 of the primary schools for the Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21) projects from all 22 education authorities, which allowed it to undertake a variety of comparative assessments and data analysis. What follows about the cost estimates for 130 Government primary schools is extracted from that report.

In presenting the Taskforce’s final report to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Christopher Evans in July 2011, Taskforce chair Brad Orgill said: “Given the context in which the BER program was delivered, it is a testament to those involved that the Taskforce has still only received 332 complaints, over three per cent of BER schools across the nation and at an overall premium on pre-BER business as usual costs of five to six per cent.

“Over 9,000 of the 10,500 projects have been completed since the P21 program was conceived in February 2009. This is a significant achievement. It is clear that the program did in fact deliver substantial stimulus.”

The Taskforce noted in its final report that it had detailed VFM assessments for 137 schools, of which 130 were Government, 5 Catholic and 2 Independent. While there were some randomly selected non-complainant schools, it stressed that the overwhelming majority were selected as a result of complaints and subsequent visits to these schools. I excluded the 7 non-government schools from my analysis because they were too small a sample.

The following table for the 130 Government primary schools comes from information contained in the detailed VFM case studies in the second section of the December 2010 BER Implementation Taskforce (BERIT) report (pages 115-170) and from Appendix 8 (pages 154-233) of the BERIT final report of July 2011. The reports can be accessed at the BERIT website.

In the table, ‘Cost of projects’ refers to the total Education Authority costs for a particular State or Territory for the number of schools listed. ‘Above assessment’ is the net amount for a State or Territory by which all the surveyed schools exceed the cost estimates of the quantity surveyors. ‘Net figure’ is mentioned because with some schools the assessments of the quantity surveyors were more than the education authority costs.
Area Schools Cost of projects Above assessment  % variation
NSW 77 $99,230,405 $15,543,802 15.7
Vic 29 $64,801,594 $3,468,279 5.4
Qld 14 $21,428,603 $645,719 3
WA 5 $7,745,505 $192,028 2.5
SA 2 $2,531,532 -$345,765 – 13. 7
Tas 1 $269,584 -$40,051 – 14.9
ACT 1 $2,397,368 $225,769 9.4
NT 1 $1,784,840 $194,571 10.9
Totals 130 $200,189,431 $19,884,332*  9.9
*This total is a net figure in that it allows for the two States where the assessments are under the costs.

The BER Taskforce engaged independent quantity surveyors who were not informed of the costs for each school they reported on. These surveyors reached their conclusions from the measures of the drawings and specifications on the same basis as if they were advising a client on a project budget.

The State and Territory breakdown of the 95 complaints that applied to the 130 schools studied in the detailed VFM case studies is: NSW 77 (67 complaints, or 87.0 per cent of the 77 schools studied), Victoria 29 (17, or 58.6 per cent), Queensland 14 (8, or 57.1 per cent), Western Australia 5 (2, or 40 per cent), South Australia 3 (1, or 33.3 per cent) and Tasmania ACT and Northern Territory 1 each (with none involving a complaint).

Thus, of the 130 primary schools in the inquiry’s VFM case studies, 95 (73.1 per cent) were the subject of complaints. There were 5675 Government primary schools involved in P21. Of the 332 complaints received by the inquiry, 292 involved Government primary schools – a complaint rate of 5.1 per cent for Government schools. (Note: The Taskforce’s 3.5 percentage mentioned earlier for the total of 332 complaints relates to both primary and secondary schools as all were involved in the National Schools Pride (NSP) component of the overall BER program).

The net $19,884,332 by which the estimated costs of projects at 130 Government primary schools exceeds the estimates by quantity surveyors works out at an average of $152,956 for each school. (That average is probably high because of factors mentioned in the previous paragraph).

However, even using this average and projecting it to the 5675 Government primary schools involved throughout Australia in the P21 program gives a total of $868,025, 300, considerably short of a billion, let alone billions.

Pyne uses his own maths:
The only apparent basis I can find for the $8 billion ‘waste’ claim is the following statement by Pyne when moving for a Commission of Inquiry into the BER in the House of Representatives on October 18 2010 (page 389 of House of Representatives Hansard for that day). He said:
“The opposition have been supported in raising these issues by notable media identities and outlets such as Ray Hadley, The Australian, the Today show on Channel 9 as well as others. In spite of all this, the previous Minister for Education, now the Prime Minister, described those complaints as nitpicking about a $16 billion program - in spite of the fact that we have uncovered billions of dollars of waste and mismanagement. Outlets and organisations such as the New South Wales Teachers Federation, not usually aligned or associated with the coalition, have said that there is as much as 30 to 50 per cent waste in this program, leading people to assume that there is as much as $6 billion to $8 billion of wasted taxpayers’ money.”

Pyne apparently uses different mathematics to the rest of the world in managing to get 30 per cent of $16 billion to equal $6 billion.

However, Abbott never bothered attempting any explanation for the $8 billion ‘waste’ claim – he simply asserted it. An example is when he moved a motion on 18 November 2010 (3020 of House of Representatives Hansard on that day) to suspend standing and sessional orders in the House of Representatives.

“Another policy that was also too important to be delayed was the school halls program. We all know what happened there: $16 billion was spent on $8 billion worth of value, if we are lucky. ... Let me make this prediction to the House: the National Broadband Network will turn out to be the school halls program on steroids. The school hall program wasted $8 billion.”

Dubious sources cited:
But back to Pyne. His claim that “we (I presume he means the Opposition) have uncovered billions of dollars of waste and mismanagement” is in conflict with the quantity surveyor findings.

The media groups and identities he cites are not noted for their objectivity as was shown by their use of highly unreliable sources for exaggerated claims about the BER. More of that later.

The only named outlet or organisation that Pyne cites is the NSW Teachers Federation which on April 23 2010 made a submission to the inquiry into the Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21) by the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee. This can be accessed at the Federation website.

In its submission, the NSW Teachers Federation lists 27 case studies from individual (but not named) schools to say in its conclusion:
“We have estimated from the many examples provided that there will be less than $10 billion in actual value from the $16 billion allocated under BER.”

That estimate relies on 27 case studies of unidentified NSW Government primary schools, or 1.5 per cent of the 1784 NSW Government primary schools, being appropriate for the entire nation.

Another problem with this estimate is that the Teachers Federation is actually referring to the P21 program (that’s the subject of the Senate inquiry). The $14.06 billion P21 program involves $13.852 billion funding for actual school projects and $207.787 million allocated to the 22 education authorities (8 State or Territory education departments, 6 Catholic and 6 Independent Block Grant Authorities (BGAs) and two combined Catholic/Independent BGAs). So, what the Teachers Federation is really estimating is ‘less than $10 billion in actual value’ from the $13.852 billion allocated to schools under P21.

The NSW Teachers Federation covers teachers at NSW Government schools. It has no direct links to teachers at 6178 (77.6 per cent) of the 7962 primary schools involved in P21 projects throughout Australia (DEEWR figures). These 6178 represent other State and Territory primary schools and all Catholic and Independent primary schools.

Why bother with evidence?
In his October 18, 2010 speech in the House of Representatives calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the BER, Pyne let the cat out of the bag about how the Opposition was not waiting for any evidence before asserting waste and mismanagement in the BER.

Here is what Pyne said: “Unfortunately the waste continues unabated, in spite of the fact that since April 2009 the opposition have raised in this House and in the media example after example of waste and mismanagement.” It really is hard to see how there could have been much “waste and mismanagement” by April 2009, seeing as April 10, 2009 was the closing date for 20 per cent of eligible schools to submit lists to the Commonwealth for approval. Another 40 per cent was required by May 15 and the final 20 per cent by July 10.

Pyne wrote to the Auditor-General on June 12, 2009 requesting scrutiny of whether the delivery of the program represented appropriate use of taxpayers’ money. In fact, Pyne’s letter was sent about five weeks after the first round of P21 projects were due to start in May-June 2009.

On June 25 2009 – about seven weeks after the first of Round 1 of P21 projects were due to start – the Senate resolved to request the Auditor-General to undertake an urgent investigation of ‘waste and mismanagement of the BER program’.

Both of these moves came nearly two months before the first BER project was completed at Yandina State School in Queensland’s Maroochy Shire in late August 2009.

Much ado about nothing:
As promised, back to the unreliable claims from ‘sources’. On April 7, 2010, The Australian reported under the heading ‘Building rort claims face audit’, that State Education Minister Geoff Wilson and Education Queensland director-general Julie Grantham met Greg Applin, a civil engineer ‘who is alleging overpricing for an $850,000 library to be built at Hendra State School, where his wife recently quit as Parents' and Citizens Association president’.

The newspaper report continued: “Mr Applin produced a ‘budget cost plan summary’ from construction manager Abigroup, showing the 224sq m library would cost exactly the $850,000 of taxpayer funds allocated by the federal government.

“The actual building costs – including site works, landscaping and $130,000 for ‘site services’ such as electricity and water connections – total $628,284.

“But ‘other design and construction’ costs add up to $128,528 -- including a 6 per cent construction management fee of $51,000, another $63,149 for ‘professional design’ and $4922 for site surveying.

“A further $27,353 has been quoted for furniture and fittings, $4505 for a ‘principal's representative’, and $2805 for an ‘audit quantity surveyor”.

“An 8 per cent project contingency allowance, totalling $57,524, brings the cost to $850,000.

“Based on the 224sq m floor plan provided with the quote, the completed price is $3794 per sq m – 50 per cent more than the cost of building and fitting out a high-quality home.”

(I note that submissions to the Coalition-dominated Senate inquiry closed more than two weeks after the April 7, 2010 report in The Australian. It is interesting that when submissions closed there was none from any Queensland school and none from any Queensland P & C. Mr Applin apparently did not feel strongly enough to pursue the matter there).

Now for the facts:
The Taskforce VFM case study for Hendra State School on page 212 of its final report tells a different story.

The library, which is shown to have been completed on 22 February 2011, was rated Value for Money. The case study shows the Education Authority gave the floor area as 287 sq m while the quantity surveyor estimated it at 238 sq m.

The Education Authority building cost was $639,539, or $157,792 less than the surveyor’s estimate of $797,332. The education authority gave external works costs at $210,461,or $127,054 more than the quantity surveyor’s estimate of $83,407. The overall result was that the quantity surveyor calculated the total project cost at $880,739, or $30,739 more than the education authority.

One of the most unreliable sources used extensively by News Ltd publications, Ray Hadley, and the ABC, was Craig Mayne, who was routinely described as a ‘whistleblower’ and a ‘civil engineer’. Mayne also wrongly claimed experience as a project manager in the construction industry. I wrote a piece about this in July 2010, which can be accessed at Google by typing: Analyzing Craig Mayne’s full claims.

Mayne’s credentials to be called an expert analyst are shaky and his experience in the construction industry is minimal – in fact when appearing at the Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21) inquiry by the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee on May 19, 2010 he was finally forced to admit he had not been employed in that industry in any capacity since before 1986. He also admitted he was not a civil engineer, although he had left uncorrected repeated media mentions attributing this qualification to him.

His submission to the Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21) inquiry contains errors such as claiming Education Queensland would manage almost $5 billion worth of Federal funds (it was actually about $2.24 billion for all three components of the BER); taking out of context a quote from Queensland’s Department of Public Works; falsely claiming that more than $1.7 billion in work had been allocated in Queensland to builders without tender; and justifying an analysis of projected costs of $200,000 against projected costs of $850,000 library at Hendra State school by saying he contacted a Queensland home builder to find out how much it would cost for a building of the same size.

Yes, that is the same Hendra State School examined by the Orgill inquiry’s VFM case study quoted above. The school was also visited three times by the inquiry – in June 2010, in November 2010 and in June 2011.

Yet Mayne was praised by Anne Connolly, of the ABC News Online Investigative Unit, in an article ‘BER issues slip under the media radar’ on 31 May 2010. She wrote: “It’s worth pointing out that much of the financial analysis comparing standards with public school costs has been done by a dogged former P&C president and civil engineer from Queensland, Craig Mayne, who gathered publicly available data and pieced the puzzle together and all for The Australian’s benefit.”

Connolly, a former Walkley Award winner, wrote this article 12 days after Mayne’s appearance at the Senate inquiry where not only was the civil engineer claim shown to be false, but that under questioning Mayne admitted he had not been employed in the construction industry for just on 25 years.

In this article Connolly was very much “Anne of Queensland fables”.

In the second article of this series, I will discuss more of the fables that follow as a result of these claims of $8 billion BER ‘waste’.

Comments (310) -

March 14. 2012 08:43 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for another superbly documented piece that exposes the deception and the fabrications that were perpetuated about the BER program.  Because of the complicity of The Australian in disseminating misinformation, the myth of ‘waste and mismanagement’ was born and given life.  You have forensically dissected the myths, lies and deception for all to see.  We owe you our gratitude.

Ad astra

March 14. 2012 09:05 PM

Tom of Melbourne

What no mention of the $billion+++++ to the wealthiest private schools to build “mini amphitheatres” and “performing arts centres”.

I’m sure all the schools that charge around $20,000 a year really needed the $5 or $6 million each to build those facilities.

Tom of Melbourne

March 14. 2012 09:34 PM


Hi JohnL

Thankyou for your magnificent article, you are to be admired for the incredible amount of research you have put in to produce such valuable information.  TPS is really grateful to have you here, please stay for a long time.

Abbott and his gang have just been running free screaming waste for 2 years, has anyone ever heard just one journalist say where, which, how or what no everything is just waste.  Today he has the gall to say this negativity must stop, what a creep.

As you say just Abbott assertions.

Abbott never bothered attempting any explanation for the $8 billion ‘waste’ claim – he simply asserted it.



March 14. 2012 09:39 PM


Tom of Melbourne: I though 9.05 p.m was way past bedtime for trolls.  The lateness probably explains why your comment has no relevance to the post.  Do come again when you have something to say about the subject matter.


March 14. 2012 09:42 PM


You are always a delight in your enthusiasm and appreciation of people's efforts. Thank you.


March 14. 2012 10:02 PM

Tom of Melbourne

So spending a billion +++ on the BER program in private schools isn’t relevant to a thread on the BER!


Tom of Melbourne

March 14. 2012 10:25 PM


Excellent post John...it confirms what many of us suspected...the Libs and their allied media including much of the Murdoch empire are once again full of sh@t.

The media in this country should be ashamed of themselves. Sooner the Murdoch disease is cured the better. Too many copycats around too who don't spend the bucks nor put in the effort to do the appropriate research...as you have done. Well done!

My wife had significant input as HOD when it came to the BER refurb...staff, students and parents were impressed by the changes and additions in the science area...the mood of the school grew far more positive...the morale lifted...staff and students didn't feel anymore they were in a pov school.  

Good on the ALP for giving a damn about the struggling private schools...and science in high schools.

To hell with the cynics...and political point scoring naysayers and bullsh@tters.



March 14. 2012 10:29 PM


Good on the ALP for giving a damn about the struggling private schools...and science in high schools.

That should be public schools...darn IPad changed it on me.



March 14. 2012 10:54 PM



Thank-you for this forensic examination of the actual facts surrounding the more 'famous' building projects that have been unduly highlighted in the press. It must be of profound disappointment to each and every person who was involved in the BER scheme to see mountains being made out of molehills. School principals, teachers, parents, construction company owners, construction workers, supply companies, equipment high companies, the smoko vans that service construction sites - the list of those who know the true worth of the scheme would be long and almost inexhaustible. A Google Image search of 'BER' brings up wonderful photographs of new libraries, science blocks, classrooms, multi-purpose halls, covered play areas and much much more. The benefits of this scheme will continue to be reaped for decades to come and the companies that built them owe a profound debt of gratitude to the government which had the vision to choose this stimulus measure.

As for Pyne and Abbott's overblown rhetoric, I can't see how it would have ever got off the ground if we had objective assessors among our journalists who could have examined the validity of the more outrageous claims and debunked them. It seems that only in the small local and regional newspapers and TV news broadcasts is there a market for a good-news story about the scheme and the benefits it has brought to their communities. The larger publications want the sensational and the controversial. In the case of The Australian they wanted a bad-news story and went about creating one.

Even if there was some waste in the BER, it needs to be asked; "In these circumstances what is waste?" If I might indulge myself I would like to quote once again the very sensible words of Joseph Stiglitz (former chief economist of the World Bank and Nobel laureate) who, when asked by Kerry O'Brien about the so-called waste in the Australian stimulus packages, said:

If you hadn't spent the money, there would have been waste. The waste would have been the fact that the economy would have been weak, there would have been a gap between what the economy could have produced and what it actually produced - that's waste. You would have had high unemployment, you would have had capital assets not fully utilised - that's waste. So your choice was one form of waste verses another form of waste. And so it's a judgment of what is the way to minimise the waste. No perfection here. And what your government did was exactly right.


March 14. 2012 11:08 PM


I am sure you have a point it is just difficult to work out what your point is.

If you are trying to revive the ancient state aid debate I am sure you could find better fora than this to do that.

You raise the point that wealthy private schools may have benefited by building performing arts centres or other apparently educationally irrelevant buildings. Interesting.

From my front porch I can see three schools that benefited from the BER. Two government and one independent school. One has a new performing arts centre. Funnily enough it is NOT the independent school. Better facilities for education in performing arts and other cultural activities may indeed be a benefit for all of us.

I suspect like many you miss an important point about the BER which was as much about keeping the wheels turning as it was anything else.

Arguing the toss about whether that was wise at the time is a different issue to whether there was waste in the projects.

It may interest you to know that some people I have met, Liberal voters, who worked closely on some projects in both construction and administration were deeply hurt by the accusations of waste made by the paragons of virtue that are Her Majesties Loyal Opposition.


March 14. 2012 11:08 PM


Tom of Melbourne,

The purpose of the BER was two-fold:

1) To improve and add to school infrastructure
2) To quickly stimulate economic activity to head off the-then approaching GFC

The building and trades industries were targeted for stimulus as these sectors in particular tend to be the first to succumb to economic slowdown. Putting money into these industries ensures the money has a multiplier effect as it fans out from the building and trades sector to other parts of the economy.

To be at its most effective the stimulus had to be universally applied across the country.

Therefore all schools were eligible, regardless of ownership (public or private). This resulted in the timely delivery of economic stimulus to every postcode area in the country, from the outback to provincial centres, to innter metro areas.

The Labor government's package of stimulus measures (of which the BER was one component) has been recognised by experts worldwide as state-of-the-art. It played no small part in Australia being the only advanced economy on earth to avoid recession during the GFC, the most adverse economic conditions of a lifetime.

The conservatives' constant rubbishing of the stimulus, their campaign of lies and spin surrounding it, their voting against the second package - all indicate that if they had been in government at the time the GFC struck (and thank goodness they were not!), with their uncomprehension / unacceptance of Keynsian theory, Australia under them would have experienced a similar level of misery and economic wreckage as comparable economies.


March 14. 2012 11:49 PM

Patricia WA

John L, well done, glad to see this on the BER.  It's important!
Our local Steiner school, far from wealthy, now has a well- equipped performing arts centre which will enrich not only the lives of its pupils from K to 10 but also the local community. It had been struggling in its bush setting for over a decade without even an indoors assembly area.  I can tell you it is much appreciated and much used, not just for plays, concerts and the like.  Thank you, whoever dreamed up the BER!

Patricia WA

March 15. 2012 12:04 AM

Patricia WA

Talk Turkey, his silly stuff about guns and border control reminded me today of Tony Abbott's obsession with guns and the armed services.   Remember polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../?

George at A Frank View came up with a brilliant photoshop on that theme which I just had to use and do a re-write of the original.   I hope you like it as much as you did the first.

Stop The Guns!

His Coalition colleagues say
Their party boss is ‘toujours gai’ -
‘So happy’ – if he can portray
Himself armed for any affray
With words like guns, shoot, ricochet.

If Tony Abbott had his way
He’d mix with armed men every day.
Policemen in their blue and gray,
Khaki clad soldiers far away,
With lots of weapons on display.

So why the passion for gun play?
He wasn’t raised in the USA
Where being armed has such cachet.
No young, leftist hero held sway
With him like martyr soldier, Che.

But maybe he found Pinochet,
Rightist gunman who saved Chile.
Does he dream of his own ‘V’ day?
Aussies shouting,  “Tony!”  “Hooray!”
Cannons roaring,  a band to play,
Complete with fireworks display!

But how can he hope for victory?
He’s still in the 19th century
With his ‘gun/boat’ mentality!

It's now at polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../ with duly acknowledged illustration, and soon to be written notes!

Patricia WA

March 15. 2012 01:09 AM


Love the post JohnL.

ToM, private schools aren't schools, so they weren't entitled to funding under BER? Is that your argument? I assume you have evidence to support your claim?

And as the post is about facts vs lies, distortions and misrepresentation about the BER by the usual suspects, your comment seems to be off thread at the least.

NormanK, great comment and devastating rebuttal of the venal lying slogans of the Liars Party wrt the BER.

Stiglitz never spoke truer words than those you quoted. The real waste would have been to allow the building industry to collapse.

That would have cost the economy billions more than the fictitious $8bn Prissy and the Liars party are banging on about.

And we would still be suffering the consequences of such a calamity-one which the Liars party would have happily inflicted on the country!

What really gets on my goat, is the entrenched ingratitude of the building industry. A friend of ours, who incidentally did very well as a result of the BER, constantly bags the government and singles the PM out for particular invective.

When I hear this tosh, I have to bite my tongue, because the uncharitable thought springs to mind that the government should have left the bugger to swing in the wind.

And wot Nas', DMW and Cuppa said.


March 15. 2012 05:16 AM


JohnL in a properly-informed community your articles on roof insulation and the BER alone would be enough to smash the Opposition with their own outrageous lies. That your words will have as much effect on them as stones thrown by Palestinians at Israeli tanks is a measure of the evil that the Murdoch-dominated MSM has perpetrated on the world and on this nation in particular.

But the bastards gotta come out sometime . . . And we Bloggers need to throw all the stones we can whenever the opportunity arises. Your ammunition on the TPS ammo dump is very handy!

And Lyn distributes such ammo around the Wide Brown Land in a twink. That's why I cry VENCEREMOS!

And Patricia writes a War Chant!

To which I say

Coalons - LIARS! Yes, Okay!
But it don't matter what they say:
There's just one way to make them pay:
Knock them flat on Polling Day!

Patricia I think you should do a rap dance routine to your Pollie pome above btw, put it on video and post it on Polliepomes with links everywhere! Smile


March 15. 2012 07:47 AM



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The Government is accusing Tony Abbott of betraying business by going back on a promise to support company tax cuts to be paid for by the mining tax

National Living Treasure explains gripe with national Treasurer, 7.30pm Report
Billionaire Clive Palmer has a few tussles on the go and joins us live from Brisbane to explain where he stands on issues such as taxes on mining and carbon.

The Drum Wednesday 14 March
Tim Palmer speaks to ABC Radio National Breakfast host Fran Kelly, former Australian diplomat Bruce Haigh, former Howard government minister Peter Reith and author of Ferraris For All Daniel Ben-Ami

Ross Gittins: We need to pay more tax

Senate Doors - MRRT.
Senator's Bob Brown and Eric Abetz discusses the Minerals Resource Rent Tax legislation

Liberal Party: Illegal importation of weapons, Tony Abbott Censure motion, Question time
Opposition Leader, Parliamentary Speech, Tony Abbott, weapons

Channel 7: Question Time heats up, Pyne calls Wayne Swan Scum Bag

Sky News: Criticism of me wrong and unfair, says Defence Minister

Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category

Abbott refuses to recommit to tax cut promised at last election
The stoush came as Greens leader Bob Brown confirmed his party would oppose small business tax cuts unless Labor agreed to lift the definition of small businesses to those with a turnovers under $5 million - up from the current $2 million threshold.

Queensland State election , Campbell Newman
Campbell Newman tried to focus on public transport while still being dogged by dodgy donations allegations, which the CMC is now examining.


March 15. 2012 07:53 AM



     Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 15 March 2012



March 15. 2012 08:05 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

March 15. 2012 09:03 AM


Thnx for the useful links Lyn. Superb effort per usual.

This from Alex Schlotzer:

Though this may be an indication of the government’s preparedness to step up campaigns against the public sector unions. Like his NSW counterpart, Baillieu is looking at ways to make it easier to sack public servants that aren’t in permanent positions. But then there are no surprises given the same kind of approach was adopted by Colin Barnett, the Liberal Premier of Western Australia.

It’s not too much of a stretch to believe that the industrial warfare being waged by the States is a reflection of the kind of industrial policy the federal Coalition is working on.

Yep, it's in their DNA.

BTW, dya get the feeling that the Murdoch empire would prefer Lawrence Springborg takeover the leadership from Cambell Newman...they seem determined to ensure the LNP win...but Newman fall in the process.

Springborg seems to have a pretty good relationship with Clive Palmer, going by his past election activities.

Clive is going to war with the carbon price by way of the legal system...he reminds me of those Texan oil barons who will do anything to get their way...

We know that some in the Murdoch empire have led the way attacking the carbon price...Bolt included...they seem to prefer a nuclear option...

Makes ya wonder about what kind of cabal has been created here...

Certainly makes it more understandable that Allan Jones is having fits over gas exploration...

I wonder if Clive Palmer is interested in mining or investing in mining of uranium?

There's more than meets the eye here methinks.



March 15. 2012 09:29 AM


Here we go:

Mr Palmer says he supports the new industry, despite his own interests in other resources.

"We've also got to consider the ability of people to have a reasonable lifestyle and the cost and the damage done to our planet by fossil fuels - even though I'm mining coal I can say that," he said.

"In the long term, nuclear will be the way to go."

As ALP national president, Premier Anna Bligh says she is happy for a debate at next year's conference, but as Premier she will not overturn the ban on uranium mining in Queensland.

She says uranium will not be mined in Queensland regardless of the ALP's nuclear policy




March 15. 2012 09:38 AM



When Palmer was confronted with this he replied: "I've talked about the Galilee Basin generally with people, but you're talking about a one-to-one discussion . . . I hardly know Campbell Newman; I've only seen him three or four times in my life."

Palmer clearly had much closer relations with former Opposition and National Party leader, Lawrence Springborg, who admitted in 2009 to having used Clive's helicopter for political business nine times in a year. This revelation, and a $500,000 donation to the LNP made the big miner an easy target for Labor.


Curiouser and curiouser....



March 15. 2012 09:45 AM


From The Australian:

Nuclear power can save billions




March 15. 2012 09:50 AM


The Australian seems eager...this from today's articles:

Carr the elephant in Labor's anti-nuclear cabinet

BY: DENNIS JENSEN From: The Australian March 15, 2012

Sticking to an agreement with the Greens she never needed to sign, Julia Gillard continues in her pursuit of a hugely expensive and damaging carbon tax, affectionately referred to by Labor as a Clean Energy Future. The carbon tax is ignorant policy because the government failed to consider nuclear energy in the mix of policies to reduce emissions.



March 15. 2012 09:52 AM


Forgot the link:




March 15. 2012 10:04 AM



By Chris O'Brien, Melinda Howells, David Lewis and Paul Sutherland
Updated November 16, 2011

Mr Newman says the LNP has higher priorities than uranium.

Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman says his party has no plan to change its uranium policy.


Perhaps the Murdoch empire feels he cannot be trusted to deliver the goods?



March 15. 2012 10:10 AM

Ad astra

Thank you all for the large volume of informative comments that arrived overnight. They make great reading. And thanks Lyn for another great set of links.

This morning we embark on our vacation to the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.  I will take us two days to get there, after which we will be joined by our daughter, our-son-in-law Web Monkey, and their two year old son.  I anticipate we will be out and about much of the time exploring the region.  We are told that reception is patchy there so I may be absent from commenting for long periods.  Also I may not be able to upload Lyn’s Daily Links to her special page on time each morning, but I’ll do so as soon as I can.

I’ll check in as often as possible.

We will be getting on the road in the next hour.

Ad astra

March 15. 2012 10:21 AM


I noticed John Howard is here in QLD.


Interview with Paladin Resources CEO John Borshoff
Date : 09/09/2007
Reporter: Alan Kohler
ALAN KOHLER, PRESENTER: After struggling for a few months, the uranium sector was given a boost this week by two of the world's most powerful men, US President George W Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who were in town for the APEC meeting.

Mr Putin signed up to buy Australian uranium to help fuel 30 new power stations Russia plans to build, while Mr Bush opined that nuclear power is the key to combating climate change and he put his signature to a joint nuclear energy action plan with Prime Minister John Howard.
One beneficiary of all this is one of the handful of companies on the planet with some uranium to sell, Paladin Resources, although this week the company reported a net loss for the year of just over $37 million largely thanks to teething troubles at its Namibian mine.


Money and energy make the world go around...

Someone is giving Campbell Newman the wedgie of a lifetime...an offer he can't refuse. Smile



March 15. 2012 10:23 AM


Have a great trip Ad, keep well and safe.



March 15. 2012 10:48 AM


Jon Stewart Criticizes Fox News For Limbaugh Double Standard




March 15. 2012 11:02 AM


Humans sure know how to create wastelands...war, oil disasters, tearing down forests and precious jungles...now this:

Fukushima Roulette

It’s been a year since the reactor meltdowns and catastrophic radiation releases from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor complex, and news of their far-reaching consequences still makes headlines the world over. Radioactive hot spots are still being discovered far beyond the official 13-mile “exclusion” and 18-mile “cautionary” zones surrounding the 6-reactor compound.

Recalculated estimates of massive radiation releases are repeatedly doubled, tripled or quadrupled. The National Science Foundation has said, “The release of radioactivity from Fukushima — both as atmospheric fallout and direct discharges to the ocean — represents the largest accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history.”

The list of radioactively contaminated foods, waters, soils, vegetation and export goods continues to grow longer, and government-established allowable contamination rates appear wildly arbitrary. For example, Japan intends in April to lower its permissible level of cesium in milk to 50 becquerels per kilogram from the 200 Bq/Kg that is permitted now. Evidently, an amount of contamination deemed permissible for both robust and vulnerable populations for the past year, will become four times too dangerous to consume — on April Fool’s Day.

Unprecedented and seemingly chaotic efforts to limit the spread of radiation are announced every few days. Contaminated topsoil and detritus from the forest are to be placed in metal boxes which may be stored “temporarily” in wooded areas. A plasticized wind barrier may be placed like a giant tent over the entire Fukushima Daiichi complex to retard further release of radiation to the air. The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) began in March pouring tons of concrete from ships onto the seabed outside the destroyed reactors in an attempt to slow the spread of radionuclides that were dumped into the sea in the panicky early days of the crisis.

Broadly accepted but faulty government explanations for the meltdowns leave 400 reactors operating worldwide vulnerable to similar failures of emergency generators. Tepco is still dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water on the three uncontrolled reactors, and the waste fuel pool of reactor 4, all with extremely hot and ferociously radioactive fuel wreckage at the bottom of what used to be called “containments.” The unprecedented earthquake turned them into cracked and leaking sieves that are still vulnerable to Japan’s daily earthquakes.


Tragic stuff.



March 15. 2012 11:12 AM


Up Up and Away!

Go with care Ad astra

Remember to take photos

et al  


March 15. 2012 11:47 AM


Talk  Turkey,
Isn't it nice to know that not all rich folk want to chomp like crazy on our land in order to make obscene profits, feed countries that make far too many cheap low wage toxic goods,  cause housing prices to skyrocket in some areas, create a few jobs whilst sucking workers from many other local, small town businesses, putting lung-damaging toxins in the air, and helping to push the Aussie dollar so high it damages other exports...whilst sending plenty of bucks offshore...and uses lots of valuable infrastructure money that could go elsewhere?


I guess some people realise this land is for future generations and other species too...not just the present wasters.

Some just live in the now...and don't mind supporting parties that one convenient moment nudge nudge wink wink the xenophobes and protectionists who fear an Asian/Chinese invasion...the next kowtow to the Chinese mega businesses.

Frankly, I like sensible and respectful cultural interaction...and sharing in a moderate and sustainable way.

Never did like rampant capitalism...

Reminds me of dangerous things like unleashed investment banks:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said on Wednesday that Greg Smith, the former Goldman Sachs executive director who dramatically announced his resignation in a New York Times op-ed, is right that Goldman Sachs has changed for the worse over the past decade.

Volcker, who served as an economic adviser to President Obama, said at The Atlantic's Economy Summit in Washington, D.C., that when Goldman Sachs went public in 1999, it "became a trading operation," which hurt clients and the economy at large.

"That changed the mentality, I'm afraid," Volcker said about Goldman Sachs. "It's a business that leads to a lot of conflicts of interest."

Smith wrote in his op-ed on Wednesday that he is quitting because over the past 12 years, Goldman Sachs has become too concerned with maximizing profits often at the expense of its clients.

At the conference, Volcker said that Wall Street's general shift toward speculation in the early 2000s damaged the economy.

"These were brilliant years for Wall Street from one perspective," Volcker said. "Were they brilliant years for the economy? Well, there's no evidence of that."

Volcker pointed out that as banks profited, workers did not become more productive, and there was "virtually no increase" in average household income when adjusted for inflation. This led to an "imbalanced economy," he said.

The existence of $60 trillion in credit default swaps globally to insure $6 trillion of global debt during the financial crisis "suggests there was something going on here that didn’t have a connection to the real economy," Volcker said. It was "like a casino," and "when the system came under pressure, it collapsed," he said.

The languishing of the economy during the early 2000s as the financial industry profited is evidence supporting the Volcker rule, the controversial part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation that prohibits banks from trading with their own money, Volcker said.

"I hope reform will make a little progress and do a little rebalancing of incentives in the financial system," Volcker said. He hopes that financial reform will spur commercial banks to return to the "old-fashioned concerns" of taking care of customer deposits, he added.


Give me moderation and rational regulation any day...over loopy, destabilizing booms and rampant capitalism.

I don't want to live in a CASINO.



March 15. 2012 12:40 PM


I like Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Muliana Natalegawa:




March 15. 2012 12:47 PM


This is a tiny tiny thing but it is indicative of why Tony Abbott should never be prime minister of this country.

Abbott races to explain daughter's diversity
by Lanai Vasek    The Australian

TONY Abbott has urged Australians not to think of his youngest daughter, Bridget, as "one-dimensional" after the 19-year-old was appointed a Sydney Racing Carnival ambassador.

Do you actually think before you open your mouth Tony? The clear implication from this remark is that someone who makes part of their living from 'ambassadorial' appearances is 'one dimensional'. People like fashion models, pop stars, film stars, 'celebrity' celebrities and television personalities fill these ambassadorial positions and might take some offence at being described as one dimensional.

Imagine what this level of stupidity could achieve on the international stage. "Putin's alright you know. Not all men who shave their head are impotent."

He is a fool of the highest order.


March 15. 2012 12:57 PM


Barnaby (suss) Joyce is on Qld Sky News farting on per usual...about the carbon price...


Barnaby Joyce seeks nuclear power referendum
From: AAP August 23, 2009

AUSTRALIA should rethink its stance on nuclear power and then let the people decide via a referendum, Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce says.

Senator Joyce raised the issue during his speech on the final day of the Nationals' annual federal council in Canberra.

A staunch sceptic of the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme, Senator Joyce says the nuclear power option should be considered if Australia really wanted to reduce its carbon emissions.


It all makes sense to me now.

Barnaby doesn't give a stuff about the average voter...it's about supporting an industry...and the players who have/are invested...and destroying a carbon price scheme that offers alternative energy, competition...

Barnaby is a desperate puppet on a string.



March 15. 2012 01:04 PM


Another reminder:

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says nuclear power is the "only realistic way" for Australia to cut its carbon emissions but he will not take the policy to the next election.

Speaking at the Menzies Research Centre in Canberra, the opposition leader said nuclear power was the only proven way of generating the base load power Australia needed without producing carbon pollution.

rThe opposition leader was responding to comments by former defence force chief Peter Cosgrove, who said nuclear power was the only practical alternative to carbon-based energy resources such as coal.

Mr Abbott said that if "the most urgent task confronting humanity is to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions" the "only realistic way to do that in ways which maintain living standards" was to move to nuclear energy



Never trust weathervanes.



March 15. 2012 01:10 PM


Wouldn't Abbott's daughter make Allan Jones proud?...that horse racing buff.

And the Queen of course.

And those wonderful gambling companies.

And Vrebekah Brooks and family.



March 15. 2012 01:19 PM


He'll soon be on the Liberal frontbench:

Nuclear option our safest bet
BY: JOSH FRYDENBERG From: The Australian January 26, 2011 12:00AM


He has the Murdoch empire tick of approval obviously.



March 15. 2012 01:58 PM


From The Guardian today:

Carbon targets, renewables and atomic risks


The race is on.

The horses going nowhere.

Who will be riding the winning horse? Who will have the control?

Or will the horse find the solar rays and wind pressure too much?



March 15. 2012 02:06 PM


Seems to me these investment banks and dodgy financiers need another good spanking by the Occupy Wall St. Movement...I doubt the regulators and Congress will do much more to these banks too big to fail.


Perhaps Mitt Romney could go and have a stern talk to them? BWAHA HA HA...

Obviously golden parachutes and bailouts don't change the bad, greed is good culture...

Now, where did Obama put that big stick?



March 15. 2012 02:22 PM


Mr. Palmer obviously has too much money...he can chuck it into various top lawyers' pockets...play around with soccer teams...

Seems to me we could use a fairer mining tax...

Spread the wealth...

So Clive and Gina can get on with doing their normal job...rather than getting all distracted by other investments and silly legal actions.



March 15. 2012 02:53 PM


Another reminder:

'Nuclear should be in the mix'

BY: BRENDAN NICHOLSON From: The Australian April 11, 2011

NUCLEAR power should be "in the mix" of future power sources, Julie Bishop said yesterday, the clearest statement yet that a Coalition government would push ahead with plans for nuclear energy despite Japan's Fukushima power station crisis.

"I believe that if your priority is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, then nuclear power must be in the mix," the deputy Liberal leader told Sky TV's Australian Agenda program.

Australia did not need to embrace nuclear power at present because it was still reliant on coal, Ms Bishop said.

"I think it's fair to say that trying to suggest that renewables are going to replace baseload power is a nonsense. Our economy was built on cheap and plentiful electricity based on coal-fired power generation. And until such time as there is a baseload low-emissions alternative, we will continue to rely on coal as the basis of our economics.




March 15. 2012 02:59 PM


"This government always chooses good politics over good economics" said Tony Abbott standing on the edge of Bizarro World.


March 15. 2012 03:08 PM



Thanks for your great piece, you certainly put a lot of things in clear perspective.

Ad Astra

Have a great time away, hopefully you will have a good break.


March 15. 2012 03:20 PM


Gonski's a good choice for the Future Fund

Costello not so much...based on his past financial screwups:

Costello defends massive currency losses
Reporter: Alan Kohler


Costello was in government during the years billions were lost in currency exchanges...seems to me he failed to change the policy due to an inability to read markets and  economic shifts...

We also got 10 rate rises in a row under his guidance.

I wouldn't have chosen the man in the hammock.



March 15. 2012 03:34 PM


I nodded whilst reading this comment @ The Drum today, responding to Malcolm Turnbull's article:


Bighead1883 :
15 Mar 2012 2:24:31pm
After seeing Greg Smiths resignation letter in the New York Times today we need to make sure that any Sovereign Wealth Fund is kept far away from Goldman Sachs.

Actually the Sovereign Wealth Fund should re-buy all our sold off infrastructure.You worked for Goldman Sachs, did you not Malcolm? From what I read the job you have now is far more honest,if anyone in political life can be honest that is. At least politicians have moved to number three on the most despised jobs list,with journalists catapulting themselves into number one over used car salesman because of their UK dealings.

I noted this on Wikipedia::

Costello has been appointed as a director of the Australian Government Future Fund's Board of Guardians, and commenced this role in December 2009.

He is also a managing partner of BKK Partners, a boutique corporate advisory run by former Goldman Sachs JBWere managers. He also chairs the advisory board of specialist corporate advisory firm ECG Advisory Solutions.

Small world eh?



March 15. 2012 03:58 PM


Some info on Gonski:


The appointment to the Future Fund should please Mr. Lowy...not so much Mr. Palmer.

We little people can sit back and watch the fireworks.

Popcorn w/ Tabasco anyone? Smile

Have a good arvo.



March 15. 2012 04:27 PM


Future Fund not for Costello

Keating said in late 2009:

Mr Keating accused Mr Costello of presiding over the growth of Australian debt abroad from $129 billion in 1996, to $705 billion in 2007.

''The Future Fund is all about national savings, yet, during Costello's period as treasurer, national savings were so depleted,'' he said.

''Costello was a policy bum of the first order who squandered 11 years of economic opportunity.''
That may be a slight exaggeration, but the sentiment is spot on.


Fancy that ranting idiot Abbott wasting another Q&A session on this issue...it's like a bad Abbott and Costello flick.



March 15. 2012 04:36 PM


Hi Ad

Here is the Twitterverse' conversation during today's question time:-

George Roberts‏George_Roberts
The Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has interrupted Question time again ... in an attempt to censure the government.

An imaginary dog‏EnoTheWonderdog
TonyAbbott MHR uses question time to ask the PM why she didn't give his mate Pete the job he wanted.. what next? Blocking business tax cuts?

Zuvele Leschen‏ZuveleLeschen
Tony Smith's seat in Parliament is now occupied by a plant pot - far more stylish & probably more intelligent #qt

Stephen C‏@2FBS
Bishop punted. Maybe she can go and have a cuppa with her BFF Annabel Crabbe.

Greg Jericho‏GrogsGamut
Julie Bishop gone #qt

Sabra Lane‏ SabraLane
Ewen Jones is thrown out for an hour, for ignoring PSlipper's directive to be q

Gordon Graham‏
Peter Lindsay booted #94a #qt

how many #LNP out at last count? 4?

Not Harry Jenkins_MP
Wyatt Roy gone too. Slipper is a harsh task master #qt

Greg Jericho‏
Abbott with a supplementary that displays he didn't listen to any of Gillard's answer. #qt

Paul Bongiorno‏
Peter Costello the best Treasurer this country has ever had pity he did not get a Euro Money Magazine gong

Tony Abbott moves to suspend standing orders to explain why Peter Costello would be a better choice

Marian Dalton‏
Ah. Kelly O'Dwyer booted. Opposition benches thinning rapidly.

Is that 6 booted Lost count #qt

George Bludger‏
Mirabella says she finds "Liberal boys" offensive.. prefers "Liberal old men" LOL #qt #auspol

Lauren Dubois‏
Sophie Mirabella asks Roxon to withdraw the phrase "Liberal Boys". Slipper tells her she's stretching it #qt

Marian Dalton‏
Slipper is astonished by the idea that 'Liberal boys' is

Mike Kelly MP‏
Nice response on Future Fund question, "if you didn't want Costello why should we?"an offensive phrase ice of leader... for the Liberal Party

Possum Comitatus‏
If you won't appoint Costello......get out of the way and "let u govern" - said Hockey. No seriously - he just said that #qt

Paul Bongiorno‏
Hard to believe the outrage in the parliament over Peter Costello missing out on the Future Fund top job in favour of business lion Gonski

Zuvele Leschen‏
Yes, Tony Abbott wrote a media release saying how great Gonski is - before he realised that Costello was on the Future Fund board #qt

Possum Comitatus‏
Imagine an Abbott gov. Costello runs Future Fund, Howard as GG, Ergas on RBA board, Sloan as FWA head - taxpayer as slushfund for mates

Possum Comitatus‏
How about "Costello didn't get the job of Chairman because the Future Fund has performed like shit and he's part of the problem



March 15. 2012 04:45 PM


LyndsayFarlow | 9 minutes ago

RT @CUhlmann: On 730, former Treasurer Peter Costello unloads on the selection process for the chair of the Future Fund board. Don't mis ...


March 15. 2012 04:49 PM



I tried to leave this on your blog:

Patricia, I can't think of a bigger word than excellent, and that doesn't even come near to describing your wonderful pome's.

It won't let me change my email address.........I don't know what to do.


March 15. 2012 05:07 PM

Patricia WA

Thanks, Gravel.   I'll certainly make sure that gets recorded!

I had so many problems with some certain people when I started the blog I now moderate all comments, so they may not look as though they are recorded at first.

Anyway my system now works well because I only gather reactions I like, which is what I gather many blog owners do. Tho' that does include constructive criticism.   It means I can also gather up others like this one of yours too!     I hope you liked the illustration by George.  He is very clever!

I have your email address from a while back.   How long is it since you changed?   I will drop you a line to try to re-establish that connection for you, if you like.

Patricia WA

March 15. 2012 05:28 PM


From : Ivars Peterson's MathTrek

March 27, 2000

Abbott and Costello's Wacky Math

Fast-talking, inveterate con man Abbott had a sneaky way with numbers (aided by mangled logic), especially when they had dollar signs next to them. Here's another encounter from Buck Privates, one echoed in several later movies.

Abbott: Do me a favor. Loan me $50.
Costello: I can't lend you $50. All I've got is $40.
Abbott: That's okay. Give me the $40, and you'll owe me $10.
Costello: How come I owe you $10?
Abbott: What did I ask you for?
Costello: $50.
Abbott: What did you give me?
Costello; $40.
Abbott: So you owe me $10.
Costello: That's right. But you owe me $40. Give me my $40 back.
Abbott: There's your $40. Now give me the $10 you owe me. That's the last time I'll ever ask you for the loan of $50.
Costello: How can I loan you $50 now? All I have is $30.
Abbott: Give me the $30, and you’ll owe me $20.
Costello: This is getting worse all the time. First I owe you $10, and now I owe you $20!
Abbott: So you owe me $20. Twenty and 30 is 50.
Costello; Nope! Twenty-five and 25 is 50.
Abbott: Here's your $30. Give me back my $20.
Costello: All I've got now is $10!
Abbott then entices Costello into a silly, double-or-nothing number game.

Abbott: Take a number, any number at all from 1 to 10, and don't tell me.
Costello: I got it.
Abbott: Is the number odd or even?
Costello: Even.
Abbott: Is the number between 1 and 3?
Costello: No.
Abbott: Between 3 and 5?
Costello: No. I think I got him.
Abbott: Between 5 and 7?
Costello: Yes.
Abbott: Number six?
Costello: Right. . . . How did he do that?

Toward the end of the movie, during a boxing match, Costello is knocked to the canvas, and the biased referee gives a quick count: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10.

Costello: What's this? 2, 4, 6, 8, 10? What happened to 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9? Ref: I don't like them numbers. They're odd.
Such nuggets of mathematical fun turn up not only in Buck Privates but also in other Abbott and Costello movies. The 1941 film In the Navy, for example, features a hilarious episode in creative counting. Costello comes up with three different ways to prove that 7 times 13 equals 28.

If you look and listen closely, you'll find an amazing amount of number play in those old Abbott and Costello movies.

[And I didn't need to change a word! Smile TT ]

And Who's on first!?



March 15. 2012 05:50 PM


The World's Greatest Treasurer: www.news.com.au/.../story-fn7mjon9-1226142212095

The World's Greatest Leisurer: www.theage.com.au/.../1192941222977.html


March 15. 2012 06:08 PM


TT ,
So apt

SKY NEWS had political consultant, lobbyist and wife of Glenn Milne, Jannette Cotterell gushing over Peter Costello and accusing the government of yet more incompetence related to the Future Fund appointment..

."a chaotic episode of gross mishandling of a very simple issue by the government"...

apparently appointing Peter Costello would have been "a masterstroke" according to this sage.

I don't know much about her bar this Crikey article:

More Milne family values
This month we drew attention to News Ltd columnist Glenn Milne’s
nascent plans to combine journalism with punditry. Now it seems his
wife, lobbyist Jannette Cotterell, is blurring her own lines of

When is a journalist not a journalist? When she’s a lobbyist for a gambling monopoly while pretending to be a journalist.

the situation Jannette Cotterell – a former TV journalist turned
influence peddler for Liberal lobbyists Crosby Textor – found
herself in last Friday.

More here:




March 15. 2012 06:10 PM


World's greatest leisurer...luv it! Smile



March 15. 2012 06:20 PM


I wonder if Uhlmann will dig up this gem from poor old "tip" tonight?



March 15. 2012 06:26 PM


And while I'm at it . . .  


Run Abbortt Run Abbortt Run Run Run
You just beat Turdball by One! One! One!
Won't be long now till you come undone!
So Run Abbortt Run Abbortt Run Run Run!
Your mob screams,
"We'll oust *J*U*L*I*A*"
In your dreams! Smile
She'll always fool ya!
Doom! Doom! Doom! Doom!
Goes the big bass drum!
And you'll soon be out on your bum bum bum!
Bum Abbortt Bum Abbortt Bum Bum Bum!
You and your whole mob of scum scum scum!
You'll be gone,
And we will carry on!
So Bum Abbortt Bum Abbortt Bum Bum Bum!


March 15. 2012 08:11 PM

Tom of Melbourne

The point is that schools that charge $20,000++ per year were handed hundreds of millions …billion… to build facilities that are entirely surperfluous to their needs or the needs of the community.

While that’s fine for my children, there is actually better priorities for a billion.




Millions and millions on “performing arts centres”, fully equipped indoor gymnasiums, “mini amphitheatres for the junior school”.

So congratulate the government for saving the mothers clubs of these schools the need for a few black tie balls and raffles.

Tom of Melbourne

March 15. 2012 08:41 PM

Ad astra reply

We are in Ararat overnighting with a relative.  3G reception is good, but I can't get my modem to work here, so I may not be able to upload Lyn's Links in the morning. I'm sending this from the iPad.

From what I read today in your comments, it seems as if Tony Abbott is becoming more unhinged by the day.  His colleagues must be despairing.

Thank you for your good wishes - tomorrow will be a long day.

Ad astra reply

March 15. 2012 09:27 PM


Hi Ad

Glad to hear you have had a nice day.

It's not going to matter about Today's links not uploaded for a few days, so don't you worry, enjoy your family.

Seems Peter Costello has been eating heaps of sour grapes.  Chris Uhlmann is very friendly with Costello.  The papers are all going to run with the story the process was a shambles.

Kevin Rudd put Costello in that job, do you remember not too long later Costello was bagging the Government no gratitude there, just treated like it was his rightful given.  Maybe this is karma for Mr think himself smart born to rule.

Some comments so far:-

Margaret‏ Margy011
kimworldwide latingle on the ff board appointment Gonski appointment because infighting on board #abc730

Greg Jericho‏  GrogsGamut
Diddums RT CUhlmann: On 730, former Treasurer Peter Costello unloads on the selection process for the chair of the Future Fund board

Cameron Burge‏ CameronBurge
My God, Keating got Costello right 17 years ago, didn't he? #730 #abc730 www.youtube.com/watch

CUhlmann wow that dumby spit by Costello re #futurefund even puts Abbott's 24 month dumby spit to shame #abc730

Marian Dalton‏crazyjane13
'Surpluses that I delivered'. There you have it, folks - monumental ego and sour grapes from Costello. #abc730

Peter Costello says David Gonski should have ruled himself out of the Future Fund running
Ben Packham From: The Australian March 15, 2012 8:45PM

Peter Costello seems to have a sense of entitlement that he should have been the prime minister so he used to stamp his feet behind John Howard and now he's doing it again."
Former prime minister John Howardcriticisedthe "shambolic" appointment process.

"I don't criticise his qualifications for the job but gee, what a terrible process," Mr Howard said


March 15. 2012 10:39 PM


Today in QT the Coalons fired the last of their brie at us, and *J*U*L*I*A* sent it right back with the revelation that whatever-it-was they fired it had passed its use-by date by seven years . . . and it ended up all over their faces.

They have nothing but spit left now and it's gone all foamy and it's drying up. They are utterly confounded.

Watching Costello choking on his spleen was balm for that part of me that daily stings at Howard's stacking of the ABC.

The way snake venom is used to make anti-venene for snakebite.

One more week of poking holes in their rubber duckie . . .
Then five weeks of nothing for them, to deflate in . . .
Then the budget . . .

Abbortt and his followers are in a hole from which there is no crawling out. Like ants in an ant-lion's pit.


March 16. 2012 12:09 AM


Watched the entire Qld People's Forum...Anna Bligh held up well, knew her stuff, was calm and collected and very confident pretty well thru out .

Newman was defensive on occasion,  continually spun the "if you don't win Ashgrove who will be the leader?" question which came up time and time again...his vague and BS responses frustrated the audience...whereas Anna was straightforward and sounded sincere when it came to the asset sales questions.

Frankly, my wife and I thought it was a bad night for Newman who melted down somewhat during a head to head session...was told by audience members to "move on"...as in thou doth protest too much defending herself from accusations.

We were quite shocked then to discover the audience gave the night to Newman...72 to 56...now, either that vote was tampered with...or there were a helluva lot of Coalition voters in there rather than swing voters...

I think it's about time we got debates/forums held by non-msm related groups...this one was hosted by Murdoch empire's Courier Mail...

I will say tho I thought SKY NEWS moderator David Speers was pretty balanced, fair...

But that vote did not reflect what we saw and heard.



March 16. 2012 12:13 AM


herself was meant to be yerself...blasted iPad keeps changing words.


March 16. 2012 12:24 AM


Lyn, Jason and TT,

Costello looked like he was venting his spleen at the government by way of Uhlmann...whilst pretending he was talking to Howard...probably all that pent up rage and frustration related to being spurned by Howard and team...and Howard taking much of the credit for the GFC came out.

The bile cometh.

Surely he has enuff money and family support to ease his pain?

He should try writing for no money...see how that feels.

These ranting petty elites give me the shIts...they think the whole world owes them a living.

Hey Pete! ain't it yer side of politics that believes in competition and survival of the fittest?

Yer only as good as yer last gig matey.

Get over it.



March 16. 2012 12:26 AM


GFC should be GST.

Time for bed.



March 16. 2012 07:53 AM



Blue sky,Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery
a lot of that damage was done due to the details not being told to the public. In a way, the leadership challenge of 2012 helped bring details to issues muddied in speculation and innuendo  

Campbell Newmans whine over Annahs attacks, Wayne Brooks, Curiosity and Challenge
Newman Waiting for CMC Phone Call . CMC is examining $72,000 in donations to  Mr Newman’s  Brisbane Mayoral re-election fund for evidence of official misconduct.
The donations made under 7 different Company Names

Is Free Trade Worth It?, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. It’s currently being negotiated between the US, Australia and a number of Asia-Pacific nations including New Zealand, Peru, Chile and Vietnam. Mexico, Canada

You can’t make this stuff up, The Conscience Vote
Gillard, crushed by Hockey’s inescapable argument, suddenly stands up and says, ‘Whoops, Joe, you’re right there. We want our man in the Future Fund job, so I’ll just swap places with Tony here and off you go, Bob’s your uncle – Bob Menzies, of course, wouldn’t

Future Fund wanted Costello, Laura Tingle, Financial Review
The government believed it needed someone very senior, with a lot of weight in the business community, who was “untouchable”, and who had the people skills to harness the undoubted talents on the board

Gonski should have been ruled out: Costello, Financial Review
Peter Costello seems to have a sense of entitlement that he should have been the prime minister so he used to stamp his feet behind John Howard and now he’s doing it again.”It’s no surprise to see Peter Costello stamping his feet and leaking stories to newspapers

Coalition attacks handling of Gonski appointment, Alexande Kirk, ABC
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he can think of "no better person" to manage taxpayers' funds than Mr Costello.  "Peter Costello is the world champion at good and sound and frugal

Graeme Wood Greens donor, Global Mail bankroller and pulp mill buyer: Wood's trying to sway the debate his way , Paul Barry, The Power Index
It's no wonder the Right see Wood as a left-wing version of Andrew Forrest or Gina Rinehart, trying to buy influence in the political debate, especially since his latest venture is a new online newspaper, The Global Mail, which he has pledged to fund

Time to stop rewarding economists for bad behaviour, Phillip Soos, The Conversation
wealth-maximising economists will serve monied interests in order to enrich themselves, regardless of the effects upon others. Within modern economies, the wealthy are increasingly invested in the financial rather than industrial sectors. Accordingly,

Andrew Bolt Warns Us About Nazis – the #LOLBolt Quarantine Zone 15-22 March 2012, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
Andrew reveals for just how long he’s been giving first-rate advice that foolish people have been refusing to listen to:

FinkelsteinInquiry:Someone towatch over me,Gonzomeetsthepress.
Cameron Stewart stoked the fire in The Weekend Australian with an excellent piece (and photo: see above http://bit.ly/zAB4Qe), pointing out how the proposed new body divided the media between journalism schools (aka: j-schools) and newsrooms.

The art of the sub-editor, Stumbling on Melons
a body that is currently a corporation could escape the reach of the power by changing its status. Likewise, where online services did not operate as a corporation, “the scope of the Commonwealth’s

Questions and Answers 3, Bill Mitchell, Billy Blog
This is the third Q&A blog where I try to catch up on all the E-mails (and contact form enquiries) I receive from readers who want to know more about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) or challenge

A win all round?, John Quiggin
The news that both the Opposition and the Greens are to oppose the reduction in company tax proposed by the government (to be financed by the Minerals Resource Rent Tax) gives the Gillard government  http://johnquiggin.com/

Peter Costello’s Future not at the Fund ,  Stephen Koukoulas
There is a list as long as your arm to show why any sensible person would never consider Peter Costello as a candidate to head up the Future Fund. One important item on that list is his judgment

Things are getting worse, but the shoping's good - confidence survey, Peter Martin
But asked whether “now is a good time to buy a major household item” 50 per cent say it is; only 27 per cent disagree. Asked whether now is a good time to buy a car 44 per cent say yes and only

The Minerals Tax Package , Flag Post
Third, the MRRT was intended to replace royalties collected by state and territory governments by allowing a rebate against MRRT for royalties paid. There is no guarantee that all royalties will be

News Limited ceases Sunshine Coast titles Spy Report
"News will continue to have a strong presence in the region as The Courier Mail will strengthen its bureau to improve local coverage, and maintain its involvement with keynote Sunshine

Future Fund board tapped Costello as chairman,  ABC
Whilst Mr Costello has many qualities, he has not been asked by the Australian business community to chair any listed company, he's not been asked by the Australian business community to run a large

Legal experts rubbish Palmer's case, Sky News
Legal experts have suggested mining magnate Clive Palmer's promised High Court challenge against Labor's carbon tax may be nothing more thatn hot air that won't come to pass.Mr Palmer has vowed to

Bushfire Bill
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm Comment 2119, The Poll Bludger

Costello has gone on 7.30 and spat the dummy over not getting the job himself. There is NO WAY he can continue to serve on the Board. He has brought the Future Fund into disrepute, airing an egotistical position (with himself at the centre of it, naturally, again) to a TV interviewer.

Bushfire Bill
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 8:43 am  Comment 1808, The Poll Bludger

heard Brandis interviewed this morning on ABC Breakfast. For a legal smartarse, Brandis didn’t have much of an idea about what Clive Palmer’s lawyers might be arguing. You’d have thought he’d have argued the “s. 55″ case before this  


Costello slams Gonski's Future Fund appointment, Lateline
Former federal treasurer Peter Costello has attacked the appointment of businessman David Gonski as chairman of the Future Fund

Costello questions Future Fund appointment, 7.30pm report
Former Treasurer Peter Costello raises questions over the appointment of Head of the Stock Exchange David Gonski as Chair of the Government's Future Fund and also comments on the Federal Opposition's performance.

Howard and Liberals back Costello, Sky News

ABC: Abbott looking after the billionaires: PM

Palmer to challenge carbon tax in High CourtABC
Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer has indicated there will be a High Court challenge against the carbon tax because he has advice the legislation is unconstitutional

Posts by australianpoliticstv

Peoples Forum , QLD Election, Sky News


March 16. 2012 07:56 AM



          Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 16 March 2012



March 16. 2012 08:01 AM


Future Fund as currently managed = Wasteful response to the challenges of a post(?)-GFC world.

Future Fund if Costello had become Chairman of the Board = Preening ignorance of waste compounding the above.


March 16. 2012 08:21 AM


Costello says it's a shemozzle
That the Chair of the Future Fund of OZ'll
Be David not Pete . . .  
And he can't cop it sweet,
Cos poor bloke's got an out-of-joint schnozzle . . .

Sag rapes Petey? . . .Nahhhhh. . .

Iggulden reckons Peter wants that job "and he's not taking No for an answer!"
They're coming to take him away, ha ha hee hee ho ho
heheheh hehhehhehheh hehhehhehhehehhehhehheh
hehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehhehehhehhehheh Smile



March 16. 2012 08:25 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

March 16. 2012 08:30 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
The 3G connection and access to TPS is brilliant this morning so I've been able to update your links on your special page.

I missed Peter Costello's dummy spit last night - I hope I can catch up with it on the 7.30 website this evening.

We'll be getting on the road soon and will be traveling for most of the day.

Ad astra

March 16. 2012 08:35 AM


How will the Coalition pay for corporate tax cuts?

Put up the GST. And widen the base.

They can then wind back some of the extra money that this government has been putting into health and education and infrastructure.

Didn't their Tory brethren in NZ and the UK up the sales tax/VAT when they got in?

It's always the regular folk who get hit by Tory taxes and cuts...they think that offering families goodies and their supporting media propaganda machines will ease the pain...

a war or conflict somewhere...oodles of patriotism and war memorials...fear-mongering over refugees and pointing fingers at certain communities...

and goading unions into doing dopey things...

and they get away w/ scamming the average citizen again.

Not this time.  Too many out there now who have a voice.



March 16. 2012 08:38 AM


Costello sold
All our gold:
Now poor fellow
He's been rolled!


March 16. 2012 08:49 AM



Thanks, everything changed when we moved.  I will email Ad Astra with my new email address.   As he is on holidays I will wait till he gets back and do it next week sometime.  I must have deleted your emails because I can't find you in my address book other wise I would do it direct. The WordPress thingy won't let me comment because it doesn't recognise the new email address.  I would like to change it permanently.  


May I prevail on you for a bit of advice regarding the above?


March 16. 2012 08:55 AM


This mountain out of a molehill massive dummy spit over the Gonski appointment reminds me of the noxious fart over the Australia Network decision.

Tough bikkies.


Bring on the Olympics...then the MSM can do what they do best...hype, bluster, rampantly advertise, do the over-the-top patriotism/nationalism bit, blowoff at other nations and judges, blowup and then cutdown stars, gush, accuse, spit on, turn victory into godhood, loss into soap opera...blame government for not spending enuff and subsidising sports...whilst referring to waste (and the problems w/ big government on their other pages)...

Being their usual insincere, faux, manufactured stories, celebrity cultist, exaggerated, profiteering, arrogant, hyper-real selves.

Should be fun.

Just makes me wonder why we take them so seriously the rest of the year.



March 16. 2012 08:56 AM


Costello sold
All our gold:
Now poor fellow
He's been rolled!

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

Flossie on ABC 24 waves Age front page,
"Carr sparks diplomatic row"
and says,
"The new Foreign Affairs Minister has caused a diplomatic crisis . . . "

Australian Defence Forces deployed and on high alert . . .

Fuzzy Wuzzy Troops reported massing along PNG southern coast . . .

Invasion feared imminent . . .


March 16. 2012 09:06 AM


Talk Turkey

You are on fire this morning, I am giggling like a schoolgirl.


I love the way you pick up the little things.


Your links will keep me going all day, thanks.

We watched the Costello rant last night, it was unbelievable, and the ABC radio are treating it as serious news, I just shake my head, what else can one do.


March 16. 2012 09:17 AM


Good Morning Ad

I hope you have a nice day traveling today.

You should watch Costello on the 7.30pm report, in case you had forgotten the insolent smirking look, leaking he says, I know who leaked .

Bushfire Bill has a great blog this morning on Costello:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 at 5:31 am  comment 2371 The Poll Bludger

Costello has done it again. He’s put himself and his preening expectations at the centre of a divisive shit fight, spitting the dummy one more time over not getting a job he had decided was his by right

Everywhere this bloke goes he causes trouble with his colleagues due to his implacable belief that he should be the boss

Costello seems to believe you can write a column every week in the paper snarking off at the government which appointed you, white-anting and second-guessing their choices, going on national TV to deny you have an agenda (thereby setting out that agenda exactly) and still be eligible for whatever job you have decided you should have, as a matter of right.




March 16. 2012 09:36 AM


(Dummy spits must be in the conservos DNA)......sorry....got that wrong.

Coservos DO carry a constellation of dummy spit genes.....one allows easy stimulation of the spit, another allows endurance for the spit, one demands that the spit be as public as possible, one ensures "my spit is bigger than your's", one inhibits the feelings of embarrassment usually associated by blatantly childish conduct by adults, and yet another one enables the conservo virtuosos of the spit to keep a straight face throughout.

Under a microscope, this latter gene looks very similar to the ingenuousness gene, also characteristic of conservos, and it is also markedly similar to their abundant dishonesty genes.

Having explained this aspect of conservo biology, it was no surprise to see Costello's spit on Uhllman last night, rebroadcast on Lateline and now supplemented by Costello's written words in the AFR. Not to mention the fact that his parliamentary colleagues also spent the day seeking publicity about the matter.

This is a lot of "bad" publicity associated with the Future Fund, generated by the very one who insists that this affair will lessen the fund's reputation as a sovereign fund.

Costello needs to have a look at Stephen Smith's interviews around the time of Bob Carr's appointment. That is the mature, dignified and correct demeanor from someone in public life who is disappointed...... "it is the PM's right to appoint; no one in public life is 'entitled'".

Noted economist Dr Stephen Kirchner today provided some facts about this fund and it's board. In six years including 2 years pre GFC, the fund has achieved only an annual 2% growth .....lower than many super funds.

In addition, he explained that international rating agencies have rated this fund very low on the criteria of transparency and accountability ....15th in the world. The leader in this rating is the NZ fund, just to give a comparison about how poor 15th position is.

Dr K insists that the fund should be closed and the assets transferred forthwith to the Commonwealth PS Super trustees.

What he is saying is that the current FF board is a mob of geese with little investment skill, and worse, secretive.

Wonder how many of the board are true conservos ..... more than just Costello I suspect.


March 16. 2012 10:39 AM


It's gratifying to hear about Costello's discomfort at being passed over for the Chairmanship of the so-called Future Fund. A gutless and indolent slacker, except when it comes to whingeing and spinning, he's got an entitlement complex you could not jump over.

Penny Wong noted,

"he has not  been asked by the Australian business community to chair any listed company, {and} he has not been asked by the Australian business community to run a large financial institution"

{Australian Financial Review, 16 March 2012}

A bit sickening that the media have fallen over themselves (especially #TheirABC) to headline his grievances as though they are news. Since when was someone not being the best person for a job, "news"?

One the whole, though, all good. Love to see his type squirm.


March 16. 2012 10:54 AM


I apologise at the outset for the length of this comment but I decided some readers might be as interested as I was about the timeline of the shift in language used to describe the events surrounding the appointment of Gonski as the new chair of the Future Fund. I had questioned my own memory of events as they unfolded and embarked on an exercise to discover whether I was losing my marbles or if in fact the language had changed. I was also curious to see who may have been the source of the agitation and hat other issues were swirling around in the mix.
The following quotes should mostly speak for themselves.

6:09 AM, 9 Mar 2012
He [Gonski] had been hired by Finance Minister Penny Wong as a consultant to help in the search for a new Future Fund chairman. The role saw him report the views of the seven Future Fund guardians to the government.

10:09, Friday March 9, 2012
Mr Gonski was hired to advise the government on the views of the seven Future Fund guardians, which include Mr Costello, about who the new chair should be.
On Friday, the Australian Financial Review said while Mr Gonski made no recommendation on who should be appointed, he himself has emerged as a leading candidate.


Saturday March 10, 2012 12:00AM
DAVID Gonski is expected to give up his Australian Securities Exchange chairmanship if he is anointed by the government next week to chair the Future Fund after a selection process that has triggered disquiet in the $73 billion group.
Mr Gonski is believed to be the government's choice to take over from retiring chairman David Murray after being identified by current Future Fund board members on a shortlist of preferred external candidates for the role.
Mr Gonski was hired last year by Finance Minister Penny Wong to advise the government on the views of the board members on who should be the next chairman. The prospect of his taking the role himself drew criticism yesterday from some Future Fund insiders, who felt he had a conflict of interest. Mr Gonski declined to comment yesterday, but it is believed his inclusion on the shortlist of external candidates reflected the views of board members.
Former treasurer Peter Costello, who was appointed to the fund board by former prime minister Kevin Rudd in December 2009, is believed to have coveted the job.


March 13, 2012 12:00am
Rumours of infighting have been rife at the fund, with former general manager Paul Costello and high-profile director Trevor Rowe leaving in the past 18 months amid rumours of clashes with Mr Murray.
The boardroom maneuvering comes at a time when the role of the fund is under intense scrutiny.


March 13, 2012 11:49AM
Gonski was asked by the Government last year to seek the board’s view on who should be the next chair and his report went to the Government at the end of November.
Former Treasurer Peter Costello is highly capable but his appointment would have ensured the politicisation of a role which should be one million miles away from politics.
Those concerned that Gonski  was asked four months ago to seek the board’s views on who should be the chair should remember that the highly-regarded chief investment officer David Neal was, as a consultant for Towers Watson, asked to advise on the fund’s mandate by the previous Government and was then appointed as the fund’s chief investment officer.


March 14, 2012 12:00AM
Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said he understood Mr Gonski suggested Mr Costello.
''It appears that petty politics has stood in the way of Mr Costello's appointment,'' Mr Robb said.


13:28, Thursday March 15, 2012 (just prior to Question Time)
Senator Conroy said it was wrong to suggest Mr Gonski wanted Mr Costello to be the fund's head. Instead, he said, Mr Gonski reported on the views of some board members.

Presumably Conroy was either replying to a question that suggested that Gronski had recommended Costello or refuting Robb's assertion from the previous day that "Gonski suggested Costello".
Penny Wong also had to fend off questions that implied that Gonski had made a recommendation.

14.53, Thursday March 15, 2012
Tony Abbott moves his Suspension of Standing Orders motion.
"She owes the country an explanation as to why the person she has appointed to chair the Future Fund doesn't think he's the person for the job. That is the truth, Mr Speaker. That is why standing orders should be suspended. She has just appointed to chair the Future Fund someone who says, 'I'm not the best person for the job.' What a classic example of incompetence and dishonesty from this government.
Standing orders must be suspended, because David Gonski, a distinguished and respected businessman, advised that Peter Costello was the clear preference of the Future Fund Board of Guardians for the chairmanship. David Gonski told the government that Peter Costello should be appointed. That was his clear recommendation.
The coalition is not against David Gonski, but David Gonski himself thinks Peter Costello was a better candidate .....


Abbott's version of events is then faithfully and slavishly repeated on online sites and in the evening TV news.

"She owes the country an explanation as to why the person she has appointed to chair the Future Fund doesn't think he's the person for the job," he[/quote] [Abbott] [quote]said.

The Coalition sowed the seeds of "Gonski recommended Costello" at the same time as The Australian was embarking on a series of articles critical of the government's actions - based almost exclusively on out-going chair David Murray's complaints. The Coalition then played the game of semantics to make no distinction between Gonski reporting the views of the board and making his own personal recommendation. In this way they were able to conjure up the appearance of Penny Wong (and subsequently the PM) having lied when she said that Gonski made no 'recommendation'.

This type of semantic tomfoolery is vexing when it takes place in a private face-to-face conversation but at least in that circumstance it is possible to point out the fallacy of the argument and hopefully bring it to a head.
It is a common tactic in on-line disputes where one side decides to take a nuanced view of an expression used and run with it despite protestations to the contrary. It is very difficult to unravel such exchanges and almost invariably the conversation gets side-tracked to the extent that it actually becomes lost in a wasteland of claim and counter-claim. This can be very annoying indeed.

What to say then when the national discourse becomes side-tracked in an argument that is based on such semantic hair-splitting?
This is not the first time it has occurred in recent weeks. The PM's use of 'completely' untrue in reference to a newspaper article was perhaps ill-advised but history has shown that the story was 95% untrue and the headline was completely untrue. Then we had the hair-splitting distinction between a 'conversation' with Bob Carr and the 'offer' of a job. Based on this deliberate misinterpretation of nuance, we had a SSO motion in parliament and thousands of harsh words written and spoken in our national media.

What level of ridiculous have we reached when this becomes the predominant subject for debate in our national politics? I have no answer.

What I do know is that Tony Abbott is King of the Trolls.

For the best analysis of the events as they unfolded may I recommend the ever-reliable Laura Tingle (skilfully linked to by Lyn this morning). I could have quoted great swathes of her article to back up my assertions but then I would have been a hypocrite. Embarassed

Future Fund wanted Costello
by Laura Tingle   AFR


March 16. 2012 11:01 AM


Hi Cuppa

I agree sickening to say the least.  ABC24 Breakfast this morning
"Now to our top news"  Peter Costello this Peter Costello that.

A bit sickening that the media have fallen over themselves

Stephen Koukoulas is not impressed at all:-

Another Word on Peter Costello
hurt the reputation of the Future Fund, whatever that means.

Love to see his type squirm Me too



March 16. 2012 11:18 AM


Derivatives...you might ask WTF?:

MARCH 15, 2012

An Inside Glimpse Into the Nefarious Operations of Goldman Sachs
A Toxic System

Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith’s very public resignation, replete with a pointed letter published in the New York Times yesterday, has landed upon the investment bank like a bomb. Slamming a “toxic and destructive environment” within Goldman Sachs, Smith says the firm’s internal culture has devolved to the point where the entire staff not only tolerates, but expects workers at all levels, from senior partners to associates, to pursue nothing but ever-more sophisticated means of “ripping their clients off.”

There is much more to be said about Goldman Sachs’ derivatives operation, however, and Smith’s provocative resignation provides an opportunity because he was working in the belly of it.

At the center of Smith’s critique are derivatives, the arcane financial instruments that transformed the world’s splintered national economies and regional banking systems into a single, if complicated, global system.

Evangelists of derivatives claim they have made new heights of economic growth, trade, and prosperity possible. Critics have pointed out since the beginning of the derivatives boom in the 1980s how perfectly suited they are to fraud and systemic catastrophe via the greed of the few and the powerful.

Derivatives, many close observers have reminded us, were at the center the Enron meltdown, the demise of Long Term Capital Management, the Asian Financial Crisis, and most recently the Great Recession and its various flares, from the housing bubble that exploded from junked collateralized debt obligations, to the current Greek debt imbroglio and the credit default swaps haunting the background.

In each case, and many less-known fiascos, derivatives traders in Wall Street’s leading banks played key roles either as the major villains, or enabling partners in vast crimes of information, leverage, and risk. Time and again we find derivatives at the center of scandalous greed. Now we have a high-profile banker denouncing not just some bad apples in his firm, but the firm’s entire culture.

There’s a deeper and more disturbing truth still further below the surface though. To get there it’s instructive to know a little more about Goldman’s derivatives operation, and the wider industry of which Goldman is a small part.

Who are the clients on the receiving end of Goldman’s “toxic and destructive” tendencies? Many times the victims have been other corporations, industrial firms with less sophisticated and perhaps naive financial officers.

Quite often though
the victims of Goldman’s derivatives operation have been cities, counties, and local government agencies. A key client category for derivatives has been large local governments and agencies that issue hefty sums of long-term debt.

Goldman, and the handful of other global banks that dominate the derivatives industry, sold local governments on the idea that a particular set of derivative products could provide wondrous solutions to hedge against the risks inherent in issuing long term debt. The banks claimed that interest rate swaps could shield counties, cities, and agencies from possible spikes in floating interest rates attached to their bonds.

Thus many governments agreed to complex, multi-decade deals involving the swapping of payments on fictive amounts of money associated with real debt. In no time at all interest rate swaps became the single largest category of derivatives, dwarfing all others

Today interest rate swaps make up 82% of the total market in derivatives, measured by total notional amounts.

This is partly the result of governments all over the world entering into interest rate swaps, agreeing to tie cash flows to trillions of notional dollars. What’s key is that none of this has required duplicity or reckless greed on the part of bankers at Goldman Sachs or other firms.

Let’s be clear; this is a structural transformation of capitalism on a global scale, and it has sucked up all corporate and government entities into the new logic of hedging and efficiency. That a few powerful financial corporations have placed themselves in strategic positions to benefit from this structural shift should come as no surprise.

In California’s Bay Area multiple governments have come to find themselves on the paying end Goldman’s derivatives department where apparently traders referred to clients as “muppets.”

The most obvious example is the city of Oakland where a chronic budget crisis has led to the shuttering of schools and cuts to elder services, housing, and public safety. Oakland signed an interest rate swap with Goldman in 1997.

The terms of the deal, revised once in 2003, were typical of interest rate swaps except that Oakland’s financial officers, based on this author’s research and impressions, seem to have agreed to a somewhat higher fixed rate obligation than most other cities that signed swap deals for similar amounts of debt with comparable ratings.

Oakland partly did this, I am guessing, to receive upfront payments of roughly $5 and $10 million from Goldman Sachs, cash that the city wished to have on hand immediately. The bank seemed eager to do this because the original terms, and renegotiated terms in 2003, were much to its favor. It would earn the $15 million back, and then some over the twenty-four year life of the swap.

Much more here:


It's a complex and tricky financial system out there...

We need expert business minds on the frontline to help us navigate the storms and stress...cons and complexities...

Gonski fits the bill if ya ask me.

Costello got duped before on currency swaps. We can't afford him.



March 16. 2012 11:19 AM


Hi Psyclaw

Love your post @ 9.36am

(Dummy spits must be in the conservos DNA)

Dummy spits, they think everything is their god given right, could you just in your wildest dreams imagine what Howard would have said, nobody in the MSM or anywhere else would have dared question his selection on any appointment.

Well now if Nick Minchin agrees, MSM must think that is a wonderful endorsement:

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourkeReply
Nick Minchin has backed the Federal Government's decision to appoint David Gonski as Chair of the Future Fund over Peter Costello.

latingle has just exposed Costello lies big time www.afr.com/.../this_job_can_be_one_for_the_boys_eUuPkRGTHq3wFVBVpTza9L - the FF Board wants the job for themselves not just Costello

This job can’t be one for the boys, Laura Tingle
UPDATE: 6 hours 11 MINUTES AGO PUBLISHED: 16 Mar 2012 PRINT EDITION: 16 Mar 2012
The best skill that Gonski might bring to the Future Fund is some undoubted personnel skills. He may also consider a large roll of gaffer tape – useful for both bringing the board together and shutting it up.



March 16. 2012 11:32 AM


Costello needs to have a look at Stephen Smith's interviews around the time of Bob Carr's appointment. That is the mature, dignified and correct demeanor from someone in public life who is disappointed...... "it is the PM's right to appoint; no one in public life is 'entitled'".

Spot on psyclaw.

Out w/ the silver platters.

Useful timeline Norman.

Lara Tingle is quality.



March 16. 2012 11:41 AM


That is a very good post NormanK on the history of the appointment of David Gonski to the Future Fund.  Thank you.  


March 16. 2012 11:48 AM


You are on fire this morning, I am giggling like a schoolgirl.

TT has got me chuckling a few times this week.
Humor sure helps during these msm & Liberal manufactured storm in a teacup Days.

I love the way you pick up the little things.

Cheers...next week I start on the big things with a sledgehammer. ;)

Lyn,  Your links will keep me going all day, thanks.

Gravel...Lyn could work in the White House she has so much energy. An asset for all blog seasons.

Gracias for the links Lyn.

We watched the Costello rant last night, it was unbelievable...

Not quite as cocky now...no more running like an ecstatic loon escaped from the asylum...before he returned to read out yet another burger and milkshakes tax cut budget.

Aaahhh memories.



March 16. 2012 12:00 PM



I have more questions than answers. Frown
Have you actually changed your e-mail address? The reason I ask is that your Gravatar is still coming up here so unless you have gone to the Gravatar website and entered a new address, you address is still the same despite your move of physical abode.

If your address has changed you may have trouble logging in to WordPress sites using the name "Gravel'. Someone else (you Smile) has already claimed that name.

Try creating a new WordPress account using a variation on 'Gravel' - as I recall you used 'Gravel2' to set up your Gravatar so you might need to try something a bit different.


March 16. 2012 12:08 PM


Gravel said
Talk Turkey
You are on fire this morning, I am giggling like a schoolgirl.

Well Gravel, your tickling has me wriggling like a puppy!

"Everybody needs encouragement."

And Psyclaw, you do stimulate my satyric genes . . .

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

Has anyone seen anything on ABC about the FF's abysmal financial performance? I know poor Peter's disappointment's the first consideration, but there is a small matter of returns on, (?) , $70,000,000,000, am I right? 1% of which, oh, only $700,000,000 yeah?

So if they'd been getting 4% instead of 2% that would have been an extra, erm, $1,400,000,000 . . ? . . Marginally more than I've ever earnt in a decade!

'Course $70,000,000,000 would nicely fill their black hole and leave no trace! If only they'd got Petey in that Chair, they could've arranged it too, Dam!


March 16. 2012 12:36 PM


I'm not convinced that Labor will lose here in Qld...I thought so a few weeks back...but Campbell Newman has run a limp campaign, his leadership is in doubt...plenty of LNP candidates come across as equally limp, or complete misogynistic xenophobic dills...

Anna Bligh has grown in stature and confidence over her term as elected premier...she has amazing stamina...and campaigns steadily and generally attractively, pulling in people like a magnet. Her sincere and compassionate explanation of issues and flaws is compelling...and will melt some of the doubts in voters' minds...

This might come down to postal votes...quite a number of voters will have been sitting on their ballots waiting to see the Forum performances...and there is no doubt in my mind that Anna got across she was the superior leader by way of television...

Newman had his moments but on occasion became the butt of ridicule...he seems to invite it...
and the populace are growing increasingly concerned by his arrogant spin and lack of preparation in case of failing to win the Ashgrove seat.

If Anna can sell more the ALP achievements...and keep up that 'on the ground' energy I reckon she can pull this off...

I would let others now focus on the corruption allegations...

go positive positive positive...

Promote the benefits of sticking with someone determined, capable who cares...and has vision.

Who was there fulltime during the flood and reconstruction...who did not vacate their post for ambitious reasons...because as an ALP Queenslander looking out for all the people...that's what you do.

My wife and I did feel for Newman's wife last night...that was dopey stuff put on her by that prudish questioner...sure, the lovey dovey demonstration of love and affection is a bit reminiscent of Gore and Tipper at the Democratic convention...but at least they give a stuff about each other. Besides, his wife is from a warmer cultural environment. I do think tho that Campbell acted a bit like a dickwad by almost blaming her...and being clownish.

I can't work the guy out. Paranoid and defensive potential dictator behind protective glass...?

Or goofy governor easily distracted...eagerly seeking the people's adoration, respect...delegating to others whilst he plays drama queen figurehead?

Not sure he's ready for this gig yet.

I'm sure many in the rabble he leads aren't.

Why risk it.





March 16. 2012 01:00 PM


Further to the change of language around the FF chair appointment, Chris Uhlmann joined in the blurring of the lines last night. In his introduction to the interview with Peter Costello he said:

It's run by a board of guardians and for a year the Government's been looking to replace the retiring chair. So, it engaged the outgoing head of the Stock Exchange, David Gonski, to recommend a successor, and when he interviewed the future fund guardians, the majority said the best man for the job was fellow board member and former Treasurer Peter Costello.

It is a subtle but important difference. Gonski was asked to engage with the board to ascertain their sentiments regarding the appointment. He was not asked to 'recommend a successor'.
And nor did he do so. He faithfully passed on the feelings of the board who said an internal promotion would be preferable and a majority (4 of 7 - including Costello one would presume) said there was a prime candidate.

Costello managed to skate around the semantics for most of the interview but then he just couldn't help himself:

..... why did they ask him to get the confidence of the board and then ignore his recommendation?

Costello also made comments that fly in the face of reports from the AFR regarding who is responsible for leaks to the press.

I think the process under which the Government commissioned the report and leaked it - and leaked it to a selected journalist - has created problems for the governance of the fund and I'm interested in the fund and its international reputation.

The AFR broke the story of Gonski being shortlisted for the job and has had the running of events as they've unfolded. If the AFR are happy to say that the board itself was leaking like a sieve, I am inclined to believe their version of events rather than a disgruntled player.
From Laura Tingle:

If there had not been such a long media campaign of speculation about this particular appointment, fed from within the fund, and if there had been so much tut-tutting about whether the process was good or terrible, there may have been more attention given to this prudential question.
But all the delays in finding a new chairman have occurred against the backdrop of a board which has been engaged in the most extraordinary infighting, often on semi-public display through the regular behind-the-scenes briefing that has gone on, and not just about who should be the next chairman, but against the outgoing chairman.


An obvious question that needs to be asked is "what advantage would the government gain from leaking this report?" The only people with anything to gain from these leaks are the players on the board and the Coalition.
More evidence is required but this is shaping up to be a possible collaboration between The Australian (who ran fiercely condemnatory articles and editorials), members of the FF board (with a conservative agenda) and the Coalition. If one cared to produce a timeline for the use of the word 'shemozzle', I think it would reveal that it appeared first in news articles and has later been adopted (coincidentally) by Costello and Liberal commenters.
This stinks to high Heaven and if it becomes public knowledge that Costello or one of his supporters is responsible for the leaks and backgrounding it could get very ugly indeed.

It is also worth noting that Company Tax cuts have been 'overshadowed' by this controversy.


March 16. 2012 01:02 PM


From Annabel Crabb @ The Drum :

Company tax cuts thus become another of the Coalition's imponderables. But in the past week, Mr Abbott has finally completed his collection of positions on the issue, having now variously been both for and against rising taxes on mining companies, for and against raising the company tax rate, and for and against cutting it. Apart from qualifying the Coalition for Company Tax Yahtzee, the benefits are unclear.


Yep, Abbott's real intentions are as clear as mud...I reckon he even confuses his own caucus...he's another maverick like Rudd.

Unpredictable opportunistic weathervane with a No No No habit

...one moment chatting amiably, listening, smiling that sh@t-arse grin...offering up self-deprecating humour...

the next going off like a GW Bush pre-emptive missile strike...

And look where that got us.

They share a love for bikes...and crusading religions.



March 16. 2012 01:24 PM


Bob off on one of his hobbyhorses,
Not the most interesting or laughable portion of Peter The Self Professed Great's dummy spit last night,but I was outraged by his liberal(pun intended) use of the solid gold Get Out Of Gaol card awarded the Coalition by the media on the subject of their carbon pricing backflip. The deputy leader & self acknowledged financial brains behind a party that when in government advocated a carbon pricing scheme is now allowed to positvely jump up & down with glee as he ridicules what by definition he once thought was fiscally a good idea. And Uhlmann never looked like going there.
Really, I thought the whole interview just drifted around in shallow waters with the hammock dweller taking the opportunity to stir up a bit of mud.

Lyn at 9.17
Yes, that was a topper of a post from BB
Cuppa at 10.39
That first paragraph was a real good'un. It's nice to see some vitriol.
Norman K
Thanks for your interesting historical piece. A vast network of un & half truths is being spun around this government.
The Perpetual Present rules.


March 16. 2012 02:39 PM


Rick Perry is a damn fool...his bumbling and mean-spirited approach to both governing, and the recent Republican nomination debates, demonstrates how incredibly narrow and myopic the grand old party has become under pressure from the extremist Tea Party movement:

Texas Loses Entire Women's Health Program Over Planned Parenthood Law

Posted: 03/15/2012 5:39 pm Updated: 03/15/2012


Yet another political game that puts women's choice...and very lives at risk.

America dodged a bullet when this idiot Perry pulled out of the race.

Time for him to retire.



March 16. 2012 02:46 PM


Hi Norman K

Thankyou so much for Your amazing posts  @ 10.54am & again at 1pm  both are award winning superb.

Thankyou for putting all that information together.

Very  much to our benefit because you were curious, could you stay curious please, like everyday.  

I was also curious to see who may have been the source of the agitation and hat other issues were swirling around in the mix.
If one cared to produce a timeline for the use of the word 'shemozzle', I think it would reveal that it appeared first in news articles and has later been adopted (coincidentally) by Costello and Liberal commenters

I can’t do a timeline, but you prompted me to have a look at the word “Shemozzle” seems this is the latest word.  

Nearly on a par with the 3 most famous , “speculation, source or tipping.”

Here they all are, you will see if the word “SHEMOZZLE " is not in the headline it is sure to be found in the article.

James Higgins‏@politicsproject
Peter Costello's picture above a big 'Shemozzle' headline. Very appropriate. #auspol

Megan Townes‏
My goal for the day is to use the word "shemozzle" in a sentence without an eyebrow being raised.

John Hanna ☼‏@John_Hanna
The word of the day is "shemozzle" #ThanksPeter

Costello: it’s been ‘a shemozzle’
Australian Financial Review

I think . . . the process has been a shemozzle,” Mr Costello told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

Future Fund job search a shemozzle, says snubbed Costello
National Times

PETER COSTELLO has slammed the government's process for appointing the next head of the Future Fund as a ''shemozzle'', saying incoming chairman David Gonski should have disqualified himself from taking the job

Costello slams Future Fund 'shemozzle'
Sky News Australia

Costello slams Future Fund 'shemozzle' Updated: 12:02, Friday March 16, 2012 Peter Costello says the government's handling of the Future Fund chairmanship has been severely compromised. Labor this week appointed Mr Gonski to a five-year term as chair, ...

Labor in Future Fund 'shemozzle'
The Australian
... has launched a blistering attack on the Gillard government's appointment of highly regarded businessman David Gonski to chair the Future Fund, describing the selection process as a shemozzle that has harmed the reputation of the $73 billion fund.

Minchin backs Gonski over Future Fund 'shemozzle'
ABC Online

By chief political correspondent Emma Griffiths and staff Former senior Liberal Party figure Nick Minchin has weighed in to the Future Fund furore, saying appointing his former colleague Peter Costello to the chairman's job would have been "most ...

Future Fund job search a shemozzle, says snubbed Costello
Sydney Morning Herald

PETER COSTELLO has slammed the government's process for appointing the next head of the Future Fund as a ''shemozzle'', saying incoming chairman David Gonski should have disqualified himself from taking the job. Mr Costello, who set up the $73 billion ...

Costello savages Future Fund 'shemozzle'
ABC Online

By Chris Uhlmann Former treasurer Peter Costello says the international reputation of the $73 billion Future Fund has been damaged in the "shemozzle" over appointing the chair of its board of guardians. Speaking exclusively to ABC1's 7.30 on Thursday ...

Costello: 'it's been a shemozzle'
WA Business News

Former treasurer Peter Costello has launched a blistering attack on the Gillard government's appointment of highly-regarded businessman David Gonski to chair the Future Fund, describing the selection process as a shemozzle that has harmed the ...

Costello slams fund job as a 'shemozzle'
The Age

PETER Costello has slammed the government's process for appointing the next head of the Future Fund as a ''shemozzle'', saying incoming chairman David Gonski should have disqualified himself from taking the job. His comments came as Labor ministers ...

Costello slams Future Fund 'fiasco'

Peter Costello says the federal government has damaged the Future Fund's reputation with the "shemozzle" surrounding David Gonski's appointment as chairman. Labor this week appointed Mr Gonski to a five-year term as chair, even though the prominent ...

Abbott keeps up attack over Future Fund
On Thursday night, Mr Costello said the federal government had damaged the Future Fund's reputation with the "shemozzle" surrounding Mr Gonski's appointment as chairman. His Liberal colleagues have complained bitterly about the government's refusal to ...

Costello has tickets on himself, says Wayne Swan
The Australian

He told the ABC's 730 program last night that the appointment of David Gonski to the post had been a “shemozzle”. The former treasurer blasted the government for damaging the Future Fund's reputation by fumbling the process in appointing David Gonski ...

Costello's always had tickets on himself: Swan
The Australian Financial Review

Photo: James Davies Treasurer Wayne Swan has ridiculed Peter Costello for having “tickets on himself”, after the former treasurer described the handling of David Gonski's appointment to chair the $73 billion Future Fund as a shemozzle.afr.com/.../costello_always_had_tickets_on_himself_9EltPUFtgmPUeqs0HBJgfN

Overlooked Costello hits out
The West Australian

Mr Costello said the whole process had been a "shemozzle" and so severely compromised it had harmed the reputation of the Future Fund, which he set up when treasurer in 2006. "Mr Gonski, having taken the role of being the person to get the confidence ...

The unedifying spectacle of the Future Fund stoush
ABC Online

The effect of Mr Murray's measured comments and Peter Costello's suggestion that the succession process was a "shemozzle" have the effect of damning Mr Gonski with faint praise. The fallout from the poorly managed process also makes Mr Gonski's entry ...

Swan joins Labor attack on Costello
Sydney Morning Herald

''I think... that the process has been a shemozzle,'' Mr Costello said on ABC's 7.30 program. Mr Swan reacted angrily to Mr Costello's criticisms saying the former treasurer did not have the business experience to fulfil the job's requirements.

Costello questions Future Fund appointment
ABC Online

I think, Chris, that the process has been a shemozzle. The Government should have appointed somebody 12 months ago onto the board, given them time to adjust. It would have been ideal as a chairman. I think the process under which the Government ...

Abbott slams Gonski's nod
The Canberra Times

Appearing on the ABC's 7.30 program last night, Mr Costello described the process as a ''shemozzle''. ''Mr Gonski, having taken the role of being the person to get the confidence of each individual board member and report back to the government, ...


March 16. 2012 02:49 PM


More on the Grand Old Dickheads:

On Super Tuesday at a campaign stop in Kirkwood, Mo., Mitt Romney told a local reporter how he’d cut the deficit. That plan includes “getting rid of” Planned Parenthood:

“The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one. But there are others: Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrack, I’d eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, both excellent programs but we can’t afford to borrow money to pay for these things. PBS, likewise. It’s going to have to start advertising or collect more from subscribers.”

For Romney, whose anti-abortion impulses line up quite nicely with which way the wind is blowing, this was a master stroke. In less than five minutes he blew racially coded dog whistles (China…Obamacare), pledged his allegiance to the Republican war on poor and uninsured women’s health (Planned Parenthood), repudiated the Birkenstock bloc (PBS…The National Endowment for the Arts) and pretended that it was all just about trimming budgetary fat (Amtrack) to protect. Classic.

Although Texas Governor Rick “Niggerhead” Perry is no longer running for president, he’s doing his part as well. He’s using the New-Old Southern Strategy to attack Planned Parenthood, gutting poor women’s access to reproductive healthcare in the name of state’s rights.

First, some background: Last year, Texas’s Republican-stacked legislature cut two thirds of the state’s family planning budget—from $111.5 million to $37.9 million—denying some 180,000 lower-income women breast cancer and diabetes screenings, Pap smears, birth control and other basic needs. The move was widely read as an attack on Planned Parenthood, which provided 40 percent of Texas’s non-abortion family planning healthcare at 51 clinics throughout the state. Although, by law, centers that receive these funds don’t perform abortions and they’re each run independently, pro-lifers insist that all Planned Parenthood clinics promote abortions by (gasp) giving patients referrals for a legal procedure they have to pay for out of their own pockets. 

Now it’s Perry’s turn to get in on the act. As of this week, Texas lost $35 million in federal funds that underwrite the state’s Women’s Health Program (WHP) because he and his fellow conservative lawmakers insist that Planned Parenthood—which serves freaking 45 percent of women enrolled in WHP—can no longer be in the provider network. Just as it did with Indiana last summer, the Obama administration (rightfully) said that it won’t fund state programs that deny women access to qualified providers. 

Although Texas lawmakers including Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) are looking for new ways to fund WHP, some 130,000 poor and uninsured women, many of whom are Latina and black, stand to lose access to their Well Woman cancer screenings, contraceptives and STD testing and treatment.


I reckon these fellas are trying to create a new Deadwood...not a fair, egalitarian, visionary America.



March 16. 2012 03:05 PM


Apparently manipulating elections by way of changing electoral laws is not just a Floridian and John Winston Howard effort:

Voter ID becomes law in Pennsylvania, opponents vow legal fight

But some civil rights groups say such laws discriminate against the poor who may not be able to pay fees for copies of legal documents such as birth certificates, and that they could suppress minority votes.

Democrats say voter identification measures are aimed at squeezing out university students and senior citizens who tend to vote for Democrats.

Andy Hoover, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union's Pennsylvania branch, said there was no evidence of voter impersonation fraud in the state.

Other states have encountered setbacks trying to impose voter identification requirements. A judge issued an injunction earlier this week against Wisconsin's law, and the U.S. Justice Department blocked a new voter identification law in Texas.

The Justice Department, which also blocked a voter identification law in South Carolina from taking effect, said the Texas law could harm Hispanic voters who lack identification documents


That's one helluva lesson the Republicans are teaching those countries they hope will become participatory democracies...

Way to go guys!

Setting by example. How to diminish voter turnout.




March 16. 2012 04:13 PM


Lyn, perhaps we could devise a counter-slogan to Lielot's latest to be trumpeted from the roof tops. I think Stop The Bullshit! would be catchy and to the point.

I've also been trying to follow the tortured reasoning behind this latest slur on asylum seekers arriving by boat, and guns flooding SA bikie gangs, but I'm buggered if I can make the connection.  

Are they financing their luxury liner trip to Australia with a spot of gun running?

In any event, I can tell you that if there is general lawlessness and bikie gun violence running amok in the streets of Adelaide, I saw absolutely no evidence of it as my daughter, son #2 and I frequented the shopping precincts of the city on the weekend.

I can only conclude they called a truce and went to Womadelaide and the races, although my spies have so far not noticed a resumption of this gun-charged lawlessness. And there doesn't seem to be much msm interest in this crime wave.

Could it be a figment of little Prissy Whynne's fevered and florid imagination?

psyclaw @9.36am, how true. Compare Stephen Smith's dignified response to losing FM to Bob Carr and the appallingly childish heel drumming and squealing from Tip because the job wasn't tossed into his lap and it's not hard to see why he didn't get it.

No wonder the Rodent never felt threatened when Tip got sulky, he knew he didn't have the entrails to follow through.

Cuppa, you've summed Tip up in a nutshell. A spoiled toddler throwing a tantrum because mummy wouldn't buy him a lolly!

NormanK @2.01pm, the Liars and their barrackers are getting more desperate, it seems. The PM put them on the spot in QT, by accusing them of deliberately denying small business a tax cut, but handing the miners a big fat tax cut tied up with a pretty bow or wtte.

Liealot and the rest of them sat there like stunned mullets!

'Course $70,000,000,000 would nicely fill their black hole and leave no trace! If only they'd got Petey in that Chair, they could've arranged it too, Dam!

Hadn't thought of that, TT and I guess it could be categorised as unprecedented WASTE.

How come Prissy hasn't been thundering away about that little lot? It sure puts the puny $8bn allegedely wasted keeping ungrateful tradies in work, in the shade.

However, it would be a handy windfall for that record black hole the Liars are trying to fill and nobody would be any the wiser as of course the msm would never question where the money came from and the Liars wouldn't be spruiking it.

The government were obviously on top of that scheme and have snatched the "get out of jail free" card out of their grasp. No wonder the Liars are going apeshit.

Costello sold
All our gold:
Now poor fellow
He's been rolled

Now that's real gold, TT

Nas' pithy and straight to the jugular as usual.


March 16. 2012 04:24 PM


Hi Lyn,

Another shemozzle article. This time refuting the Oppositions use of the term 'recommended' and setting the record straight (for what good it will do).

The Future Fund's outgoing chairman. David Murray, says a secret report based on conversations between new chairman and board members' did not recommend a candidate.
''My advice to the government is that it is not appropriate for a memorandum of this nature to be publicly released, as it contains material provided in confidence, notwithstanding references already in the public domain,'' Mr Murray said in a statement.

''However, in light of recent comments, I think it is important to confirm that the memorandum contained no recommendations. It summarised the views of individual members of the Board but did not recommend a particular candidate based on these views.''



March 16. 2012 04:38 PM


Honestly, you have to chuckle sometimes, don't you?
From the same article above we have this pearler from Costello:

Mr Costello said he viewed the government's criticisms as a tactic to draw attention away from the government's perceived economic management troubles.

No Peter, I think you'll find it's the Coalition who are banging the drums and shouting "LOOK OVER THERE!" because they want to drive the Company Tax story off the front pages. It must be good for your self-esteem to know that your former colleagues are happy to use you as the bunny in all of this.


I hope you are fully prepared to decamp your home at short notice because with all of the spin, counter-spin and counter-counter-spin coming out of Canberra, there is a very real risk of a worm-hole opening and swallowing large parts of the city.


March 16. 2012 05:08 PM


DMW - hold on tight, it could be a shemozzle!

Gronski needs to hang in there.  Costello is a bully without the intestinal fortitude to follow through on his claims.  If the charter of the Future Fund is to grow a section of Government Assets (apparently not that well), the worst thing you could do is appoint a person to head the fund with obvious political ties.


March 16. 2012 05:08 PM


Hi NormanK

Thankyou for you addition to the Shemozzle  list.

Wonder how long it will be before the bootstappers report there was no particular candidate chosen.

Did Abbott say in his censure motion the board or half the board  had chosen Peter Costello, so does that mean now Abbott should resign.

I don't agree with Lenore's article but I haven't seen this name before Lenore says Coodabeen:-

He's the Coodabeen Champion of politics - coodabeen Prime Minister
And he believes he coodabeen the chairman of the Future Fund, except he didn't get the gig.


March 16. 2012 05:09 PM


No wonder the Rodent never felt threatened when Tip got sulky, he knew he didn't have the entrails to follow through.

Too true jane.

Howard obviously had Costello by the tip. Smile

I'm off for the weekend...tho I may pop in for a quick read & comment after Sunday's family BBQ.

Great job all.

Top post John...my wife agreed wholeheartedly.

hope the trip is relaxing.



March 16. 2012 05:27 PM


Howard obviously had Costello by the tip.


I imagine a lot of the hoo ha will die down when the mrrt and company tax bills get the nod in the Senate.

And when Gonski takes the reins, the Liars will have to find something else to snivel about.

Then there will be the budget and people will start getting their compensation payments, pensioners will find a few more bucks in the wallet and the Liars will have to go searching for some new slogans.

I'm predicting that we won't have to worry about stopping the guns shortly, but we'll still have to STOP THE BULLSHIT! every second of every minute etc.


March 16. 2012 05:39 PM


Hi Nasking

Sorry I didn't talk to you earlier, you will have to forgive me.
You see I have been in a "Shemozzle" all day, my ironing shemozzled, my cooking, my crocheting, everything has been in a shemozzle, most annoying the Costello shemozzle.

Thankyou for all your valuable information today you really have worked very hard.  I didn't miss anything you said either shemozle or not thankyou for your compliment Nasking.
Gravel...Lyn could work in the White House she has so much energy. An asset for all blog seasons  I can't apply there Nasking TPS is too important.

You have a nice weekend too



March 16. 2012 06:03 PM



Thanks for putting it all in order of events and how they were reported then misreported, distorted and all that rubbish.

Also thanks for trying to help with my problem on Patricia's site.  I haven't had any trouble posting here, that is why I'm confused as to why I can't post there.  I have changed my server and email with the move.  I will try your trick of doing something with my Gravel name, don't want to lose it though.


March 16. 2012 06:13 PM


After the latest media Release by the Future Fund If anyone should be , or is looking  'Shemozzled'  it's Costello, Abbott, and their Media pack. LOL Smile


March 16. 2012 06:41 PM


Have I been shemozzled now?

I should be right up there on the shemozzle list!

March 16. 2012 08:21 AM

Costello says it's a shemozzle
That the Chair of the Future Fund of OZ'll
Be David not Pete . . .  
And he can't cop it sweet,
Cos poor bloke's got an out-of-joint schnozzle . . .

What about Me!

Gotta be Yiddish surely? Only guessing, I'll look.

. . . there you go, Concise Oxford, . . .

shemozzle, n., (sl.). Rumpus, brawl, muddle. [Yiddish]

But we've all known that term all our lives n'est-ce pas?


March 16. 2012 07:09 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Andrew Leigh has posted a pic  on Twitter of David Murray’s statement re the Gonski appointment:-

https://twitter.com/#!/ALeighMP/status/180539445840322561/photo/1 Costello & Abbott caught lying again

Andrew Leigh
‏ALeigh MPOutgoing Future Fund chair David Murray confirms that David Gonski's memo to govt didn't make recommendations. #AusPol http://pic.twitter.com/KsB1fv9J

Blank Future Fund Template

Media Release:
16th March 2012
Statement by David Murray AO, Chair of the Future Fund Board of Guardians

I welcome the appointment of David Gonski AC as Chair of the Future Fund Board of Guardians and Steven Harker as a member of the Board.
Mr Gonski is very highly regarded as an experienced chairman with substantial experience in business, law and investment banking and an extensive background in corporate governance.
Given the considerable interest in the appointment process of recent days, I would like to put some matters on the public record.
I have received a copy of Mr Gonski’s memorandum to the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation, dated 28th November 2011.
My advice to the government is that it is not appropriate for a memorandum of this nature to be publicly released, as it contains material provided in confidence, notwithstanding references already in the public domain.
However, in light of recent comments, I think it is important to confirm that the memorandum contained no recommendations. It summarised the views of individual members of the Board but did not recommend a particular candidate based on these views.
The role of the Future Fund Board of Guardians is a serious one. We are entrusted to assist future Australian Governments to meet the costs of public sector superannuation liabilities by delivering investment returns on substantial contributions to the Fund.
With my term as Chair due to end on 2nd April 2012, I am confident all members of the Board will work together under the new Chair to achieve the objectives of the Fund.
Future Fund
03 8656 6400

Fund board didn't back Costello, Murray
Updated: 18:45, Friday March 16, 2012
Media reports had suggested that the board had wanted Mr Costello as chairman, sparking accusations from the opposition that the decision to overlook the former Howard government minister was based on politics.




March 16. 2012 07:30 PM



Thanks for that latest information.

Why oh why oh why is it so difficult for journalists to get their heads around this subject?
From the Sky News report:

Outgoing Future Fund chairman David Murray has confirmed that no recommendation was made by members of its board for his replacement, ending speculation that they had wanted former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello for the job.

Wrong again!
Yes the board did make a recommendation to Gonski - a slim majority of them said they wanted Costello (or one of two other candidates).
What didn't happen is Gonski making a recommendation to Finance because that wasn't his brief.
It's not that hard boys and girls.


March 16. 2012 07:48 PM


Campbell Newman
Barely human
O what a north-and-south!
When you go down
Get a job as a clown
In a sideshow, with a wide-open mouth!



Are you prepared to let the unreconstructed political spawn of Jo Bjelke-Petersen destroy the last wild places in that beautiful part of the world?

It will never come back . . . the Lumholtz's Tree-Kangaroos . . . Unique Frogs . . . Striped Possums . . .

Please Please Please Bananafolk!
DONT vote in a mob riddled with hateful greedy guzzlers to whom nothing is sacred . . .

Last chance to remind yourselves . . . The worst Labor government (which Anna Bligh's is very far from being) is always still out-of-sight better than the best possible conservative government . . .
And the LNP would be far, far short of 'best possible'!

Be very afraid Queenslanders, you our fellow Australians, the LNP is a profoundly dangerous gang of Right-wing anti-scientific crazinazis who would sell the Barrier Reef for fertilizer if they could.

Don't put yourselves in the position of turning around in a couple of months time with your heart in your mouths and Oh No what have we done? in your minds.

Last chance. For dog's sake, or whatever you hold sacred,
vote to keep Anna Bligh's government in power. Don't trust the LNP, they are crooked through and through. Anna's the goods.    


March 16. 2012 08:12 PM


Love your passion, TT.


March 16. 2012 08:39 PM


Lyn, isn't this just too perfect,

"Media reports had suggested that the board had wanted Mr Costello as chairman, sparking accusations from the opposition . . ."
So . . .
"Media" spin nothing into 'suggestion'
Opposition spin Media suggestion into accusation
Media accuse Government of Opposition's accusation
Government denies everything!
Media suggests denial = guilt
Opposition memes suggested guilt into established fact
Media . . . and so on.  

Media and Opposition . . . Double trouble . . .
What's this Sword for? Burst their bubble!

Lyn it is such info as this at 7.09 PM which you quote aand distribute which empowers us all, knowledge is power and you are a simply wonderful source, and unique at that. Andrew Leigh is a credit to Labor, that an intellectual of his standing is also so staunch for us sort of ennobles us all, but without Lyn's~Links I would simply not have found this lie-smacking article of his. Or so much else. Thank you Lyn.

Oh and everybody else who provides useful links, yes indeed.


March 16. 2012 08:41 PM


Hi Cuppa

Me too.

Not looking to good though Antony Green's calculation says 19 to 63 seats :-

Antony Green's Election Calculator

CMC clears Campbell Newman, Brisbane Times
March 16, 2012 - 5:38PM

In a statement issued this afternoon, the CMC said it not believe Mr Newman was guilty of official misconduct, although it will investigate the developer donations made to the LNP's Forward Brisbane Leadership fund the week before a controversial development was approved by the Brisbane City Council.



March 16. 2012 08:51 PM


Whew I've had a busy few days

Been helping out a mate who does unidentified flying object sightings reporting and research. Been inundated with calls.

In other news from Canberra ACT Roads has denied that the sudden appearance of many potholes in the roads has anything to do with unexpected landings of unidentified flying objects emanating from parliament house.

ACT Emergency Services is rumoured to have ordered extra supplies of hard hats to issue to residents to protect them from small sized unidentified flying objects randomly falling around the time Question Time starts in the House.

Weeds & Seeds (oops, that's local lingo for Parks and Gardens) is recruiting casual staff for parliamentary sitting weeks for a clean up program of small sized unidentified flying objects. Another mate who is working for them tells me that what they are collecting is a large number of dummies with the initials PC on them. He has been telling his co-workers that PC doesn't stand for Politically Correct.

Contacts in the Bureau of Meteorology have informed me that while we won't get cyclones in Canberra there have been several willy willies erupting around the southern shores of Lake Burley Griffin and up towards Capital Hill.

Crazy times for the real people who live in Canberra and have to suffer the fools that rest of Australia elect and send to Canberra to represent them while they gather in the House in the Hill and pretend to be our wise and all knowing law makers.


March 16. 2012 09:17 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

Thankyou for your inspirational words, you give me enthusiasm and encouragement, as you said before everyone needs encouragement,

TT your work is always delightful, clever word recipes you have up your sleeves.

knowledge is power and you are a simply wonderful source, and unique at that. Andrew Leigh is a credit to Labor, that an intellectual of his standing is also so staunch for us sort of ennobles us all, but without

Aren't we lucky to have TPS to spread the facts the best platform ever, thankyou to Ad Astra.



March 16. 2012 09:28 PM


I am not normally into 'fair trade' coffee and that sort of thing but I have a very big soft spot in my heart for Cambodian people because I have had the pleasure of learning from some wise and wonderful 'Cambos'.

So I am giving a plug for this:


March 16. 2012 09:44 PM


cheers Lyn,
You have a great weekend too.

BTW, I think the release of the Newspoll here in Qld the morning after that dodgy debate vote...and the closing of local coast newspaper announcement in order to draw more attention and control to The Courier Mail...are absolutely disgraceful attempts to once again manipulate public perception by the Murdoch empire in order to achieve a desired result.

Anna had momentum...now it's been disrupted...all thanks to News Ltd. It meant she dealt with the flood report today much flatter than she would've.

Qlders are stupid to fall for it. Hopefully some will be cynical and empowered enuff to see the Kingmaker is up to his old tricks...well, at least his minions.

And it's about time the ALP stopped catering to News Ltd and agreeing to these bloody debates...they should be hosted  by the public broadcaster for all to see.

Sadly, I think our democracy has been tampered with again due to the dominance in our state of one newspaper group.

Will things never change?



March 16. 2012 10:14 PM

Ad astra

While we have been making the tortuous journey from Ararat to Cape Jervis today, you have been busy posting many informative links on a variety of subjects, notably the FF appointment.  Having read your links and tweets Lyn, and your superbly erudite exposition NormanK, I feel I am now across this convoluted matter.

Once more fiction has been preferred to fact by the Opposition and most of the media, Laura Tingle excepted.  I like jane’s Stop the bulls**t slogan.  It seems eminently suitable as day after day Tony Abbott lies, exaggerates, misrepresents, cherry-picks and uses all this to disseminate his particular brand of hate and loathing, all directed at our PM.  If he can stop everything else (boats, spending, waste, taxes, and so on) surely he can stop this.

Ad astra

March 17. 2012 12:18 AM


Ad astra, if Liealot stopped the bullshit, that would be the end of him. He has nothing else.


March 17. 2012 09:04 AM


Margaret Whitlam R.I.P.

Condolences to Gough.

Two great Austalians.


March 17. 2012 10:04 AM


Jane at 12.18

Talk Turkey at 9.04
Very sad news.


March 17. 2012 10:14 AM


Very sad to hear of Margaret Whitlam's death.  My condolences to all her family and friends.


March 17. 2012 10:17 AM



Anna's momentum has been interrupted because the information she was relying on in order to build that momentum were found to be baseless. It has nothing to do with the media and all to do with Bligh's desperate attempts to hold onto power through smear that have got her into the dire situation that she is in.


March 17. 2012 10:23 AM


Good Morning Ad

Some Journalist’s article’s  for you.   I thought you might like to read on your IPAD as you are  driving along:-

Future Fund sees Peter Costello jilted againby: Laurie Oakes From: Herald Sun March 17, 2012  
But Abbott and his team - addicted to biff and bluster - could not resist attacking Julia Gillard for giving the plum post to highly respected business leader David Gonski, rather than Costello. In the process they made themselves look inconsistent and ridiculous

News media council could muzzle debate
Tony Abbott From: The Australian March 17,

Especially in the hands of the current government, any new watchdog could become a political correctness enforcement agency destined to hound from the media people whose opinions might rattle the average Q&A audience. It's easy to imagine the fate of Andrew Bolt or Alan Jones, for instance, at the hands of such thought police. Their demise, you understand, wouldn't be because the government didn't like them but because they'd persistently breached "standards".

The current government has an ingrained tendency to bully and intimidate critics. Witness this week's attack on Peter Costello for questioning the government's handling of the chairmanship of the Future Fund; this month's jihad against mining magnates for daring to question the

No gleam of souped-up , ideas among the lemons ,
March 17, 2012  Lenore Taylor

Abbott was struggling with his argument that the government's modest company tax cut is bad because it would be ''funded'' by the mining tax, but the modest company tax cut he will propose at the next election will be good, because it will be funded from ''savings''. Since it's all the same bucket of money, this is a little hard to fathom

Don't unleash thought police on media: Tony Abbott
by: David Crowe From: The Australian March 17
Pointing to last month's Labor leadership battle to prove his point, Mr Abbott writes in an exclusive opinion piece: "The current government has an ingrained tendency to bully and intimidate its critics", citing this week's attacks on Peter Costello and the "jihad" against mining magnates.
"This is not a government that argues its case. It merely attempts to howl down its critics using the megaphone of incumbency."

Abbott should prune frontbench dead wood
Peter van Onselen, Contributing Editor From: The Australian March 17,

Come to think of it, as Costello is a good judge of talent and has a reputation as a sound economic manager, it's a shame he isn't leading the Liberal Party. But there is little point lamenting his early departure from politics - no Bob Carr-style comeback seems likely for Australia's longest-serving treasurer.www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn53lw5p-1226301890283

Don't compound your miscalculations
by: Niki Savva From: The Australian

It's no good hoping the government will collapse under the weight of all those egoes and all that bile. Julia Gillard has shown she has nerves of steel. She did not wilt during the campaign when the Ruddites leaked and almost destroyed her, nor has she shown any signs of buckling in the aftermath. And while we are making reminder calls, it was not the media that was responsible for that campaign of terror against Gillard. It only reported it.

We can turn back boats if we want, says Tony Abbott
Lanai Vasek, Paul Maley and Brendan Nicholson From: The Australian March 16, 2012 11:18AM

“Let's not forget these are Indonesian flagged, Indonesian crewed, Indonesian home-ported vessels that are coming from Indonesia,” Mr Abbott told the Nine Network. “Of course they can go back to Indonesia. They've done it before, they can do it again.”

The Coalition is set for a showdown with Jakarta after the opposition vowed to press ahead with its controversial plan to tow back asylum boats, despite Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa describing the policy as "impossible

Lonely Labor dodges flak from unfriendly fire
Shaun Carney The AGE

Since leaving politics after the 2007 election, Costello has been a relentless and highly energetic critic of the government in his fortnightly columns in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He does not pass up an opportunity to ridicule the government's policies and personnel. As chairman of the Future Fund, he would have had a much bigger platform from which he could have offered a running critique of Labor's economic policies. Board members who touted Costello to Gonski were wasting their breath.


March 17. 2012 10:32 AM



Thanks for your lovely links this morning, I unfortunately won't be opening them as I fear for my computer if I do. Smile


I have tried several ways of trying to comment on your site and none have worked.  I followed NormanK's suggestion and everything.  As I have said I will email Ad Astra next week and pass on my new email address to you.


March 17. 2012 10:46 AM


The passing of Mrs Whitlam is a sad day for this nation. She is the benchmark for male PMs' spouses.

She was the first, first-lady to show overtly that she had a brain, independent of her husband's brain, and to proudly and competently use that brain.

Mrs Hawke well followed MW's example, to a lesser extent Mrs Keating, and Mrs Rudd.

The conservative spouses prior to MW were of course women of their era and knew their place ie don't be overt about possessing a brain; do be a spousal sycophant.

Mrs Howard obviously had good intellect, but not overtly. She preferred to be a covert spousal sycophant. There is an alternative view of course that it was JWH who was the spousal sycophant, managed covertly by Mrs Howard's brain. I suspect some truth in this.

But none of them, especially Mrs Howard, could match MW's intellect, insight and drive regarding social issues generally.

It's an outrage that Mrs Whitlam was not named last week in that now shonky list of National Living Treasures, in preference to Mr Palmer...... he of insignificant contribution to the betterment of our society.


March 17. 2012 10:51 AM



A Gough and Margaret Whitlam Story

Until Gough Whitlam first came to power in 1972, Australia officially did not recognise *Red China*, though the hypocritical Liberal Governments traded shamelessly with Beijing anyway.
Gough immediately set about establishing proper relations with the People's Republic, and as Foreign Minister as well as PM he made arrangements asap to visit China. First in the Western world to normalise relationships with the numerically-largest country in the world, and one which the Liberals and Yanks had always officially treated as potential enemies, rather than potential friends. But they traded with them just the same. "Liberals." Politics eh.

Gough is a huge man, never mind his exact measurements, huge.
But Margaret was a giantess in every wonderful way, a tremendous presence as well as her great physical size and athletic prowess. Legs like trees, really.

And there's Gough making plans for the both of them to go to China.

Both of them? "Ohhh the expense!"  "What justification can you possibly have for taking your wife on this, this, this junket?" The nasty Yellow Press is snapping at Gough's heels, (this is the cusp of the greatest diplomatic and trade initiative for not just Australia, but the World, since the Second World War, if not ever!) And obviously, it would have been the greatest possible insult for Margaret not to have accompanied Gough.

The nasty Yellow Press eh. Plus ca change . . .

So Gough Whitlam, he of the dazzling smile and wicked wit, or vice versa Smile, turns on them suddenly at a press conference on the eve of their departure -

- [and here Dear Reader I ask you to conjure in your mind that wonderful distinctive greenhide-suede husky voice of the Great Man]-

he says, (completely wtte only from memory you understand, this is just the gist, I'm sure his words are archived somewhere),

contrapuntally perfectly,

to total concentration from the open-mouthed
pencil-poised pack of reporters,
about to pounce any way they can -

". . . Well!. . ! . .", says Gough

wickedly straight-faced,

. . . "Where we are going,

Western civilization has barely penetrated,

and in case of an emergency,

I don't know another woman

who can kick-start a 727 !"

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

Made me cry now. Thank you Whitlams.

Working class heroes and heroines are something to be.


March 17. 2012 11:13 AM


We can #*cking turn back the #*cking boats if we #*cking want! says Tony Abbott
[and yous #*cking Indonesian #*ckers can all get #*cked!]

Abbortt remember
The Ides of September  


March 17. 2012 11:57 AM


Hi Gravel

No I wouldn't open them either, the excerpts will tell you enough, about their articles.
Never any credit for the Government, I am still wishing things will change.  At least you know never to buy the Newspapers.

Cheers to you GravelSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


March 17. 2012 12:28 PM


Thanks for that bit of Gough humour. "Kerr's cur" was another classic.

At a town hall meeting Gough was once harassed (but not troubled) by a young man who eventually demanded 'do you believe in abortion?'

Gough's off the cuff reply was "in your case, yes! Retrospectively1".

TT, they were the days when political cut and thrust involved lots of wit and humour, unlike the present climate of personalised pugilism introduced and mastered by Abbott the pug.

I remember one of many Fred Daly classics. He said of one conservo in QT "you aren't fit to swill milk to pigs". He was told by the Speaker to withdraw, and his reply was "I withdraw ..... in your case you are fit to swill milk to pigs".

The equally humorous Jim Killen also was a darling of those who appreciate political skirmishes based on good humour. On one occasion Billy McMahon was confessing that he was his own worst enemy. Killen called out "not while I'm alive!"

Killen and Daly were very close mates, although in competing parties. Daly was held highly by Whitlam who kept him in the Anthony Albanes position (Leader of the House) for the whole of the Whitlam period.


March 17. 2012 01:06 PM



This story was allegedly told, albeit possibly apocryphally, I think it was by one of those very two, Killen and Daly, at the funeral of the other . . .  
They've been driving in the outback together, up a steep, narrow mountain track. A woman comes driving down the same road, but the politician at the wheel isn't about to cut her any spare track, he nearly forces her right into the scrub, she screams *PIG!* as she squeaks by, and he yells back *BITCH!*

Next moment Tom and Bill crest the rise and total the car on the biggest boar in North Queensland.

But the pig it was that died in the incident in the story.
Tom or was it Bill died later.

Dam the last post when I spoke of the Whitlams had the word Memoires as one of the recaptcha words, I nearly said so at the time. This time it's dioDis Funeralls  . . !


March 17. 2012 01:08 PM


Hi Everybody

Abbott shows his true colours again:

The Australian‏@australian
Margaret Whitlam a great consort: Abbott: OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has described Margaret Whitlam as a woma... http://bit.ly/FOSdYS

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
Tony Abbott 'There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam government, but nevertheless it was a very significant episode in our history

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
Tony Abbott 'Margaret was a marvellous consort to a very significant Labor leader and an epochal Australian Prime Minister.'

I think TurnbullMalcolm showed why he should be leader, a true stateman, #Abbott is a lowlife grub

TonyAbbottMHR uses his media arm, @theaustralian, to denigrate Gough Whitlam at the hour of his wife's passing www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/margaret-

Mari R ‏randlight
You are joking Tony Abbott actually said "consort" Margaret W was very significant person in her own right shows TA mind warp

Marieke Hardy‏
'There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam government.' Once again Abbott proves to have all the sensitivity of a buboe. http://tinyurl.com/7w9zo6z

No it's sad that Abbott has no grace & is incapable of putting politics aside to honour such a great woman, I'm not a pollie

Future-Proof Geek‏
Abbott has form on making political points at non partisan issues/events & a fool of himself. His speeches at state visits have proven this.

Abbott is a spineless opportunistic sleazy politician first and human second. He will never be forgiven for this. What an asshole.

How low can he go? Abbott can not even deliver condolences without a political swipe. DISGUSTED. http://fb.me/1fMVwvXwo

Adam Liaw‏
'There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam government... and I bring that up today because, you know, his wife died.' #OhTony

Think Big‏
Abbott has shown once again by his partisan political comments over the death of a great Australian that he's not fit for office! #auspol

Matthew Ross
TheFacelessSpin This! Tony Abbott: "There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam government,..." then refers to Margaret as a "consort".


March 17. 2012 01:08 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your account of the Whitlam days, and for your tribute to Margaret Whitlam, with which I am in accord.  She was a great Australian and an eminent First Lady.  She is indeed a National Treasure.

Thanks for your newspaper links this morning.  I was surprised to read Niki Savva’s piece, which was somewhat in tune with what I could read of PvO’s piece, in that both feel Abbott needs to revitalize his front bench.  I wish I could have read Laurie Oakes’ piece in full, but The Hun is now behind a paywall.  Isn’t it interesting though that there is now a trickle of Anti-Abbott pieces, which ought to swell into a flood if only journalists could muster the courage to call him out.

Ad astra

March 17. 2012 01:13 PM


Hi Everybody

The difference between Abbott and Turnbull:-

Condolences on the death of Margaret Whitlam
Australians feel like they have known Margaret Whitlam forever – she led a very public life. But of all the images of Margaret we have seen, it is perhaps the picture of the young swimmer, the Bondi girl – optimistic, cheerful, athletic – that is most memorable and true to this much loved and now much missed Australian woman.


March 17. 2012 01:18 PM


Hi Ad

Sorry about that, I thought I had linked to the full story on them all, that is what I get for not testing.  

Here is the story for you:

Abbott listens to Costello only when it suits him
made themselves look inconsistent and ridiculous. Just 24 hours before jumping up in parliament to proclaim with Abbott that Costello should have got the nod, Hockey issued a statement warmly welcoming Gonski’s appointment and saying the businessman’s experience would enhance the Future Fund’s activities.


March 17. 2012 01:22 PM


Margaret Whitlam was an extraordinary woman...a credit to this country...a real national treasurer...her good works and courage shall inspire women...and Australians in general for generations to come.

Margaret and Gough were an amazing team...their partnership demonstrating to us that valuable bonds can last a lifetime if a relationship is based on mutual respect, compromise, intellectual rigour and treating each other as equals...

Love and friendship can overcome many hurdles, create many positive outcomes, regardless of how that bond is celebrated...the law can assist the sense of equality...but it cannot guarantee it...that is up to individuals ...but a sense of being treated fairly by society...being treated as equals by our laws and community is a good start.

Margaret, may your stimulating, charitable and enlightening presence be felt as your journey continues elsewhere...and hopefully you will meet your soul, game mate Gough again on another level...so your friendship shines bright light in that other place...

shines as bright as the light you have gifted our good country, and planet with...

Peace out.



March 17. 2012 02:15 PM


Tony always seems to find just the right words around death . . . Such a sense of occasion . . .

On Bernie Banton in his last days:
"just a stunt . . . "


On Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney R.I.P.
"Shit happens . . ."

On the death of Margaret Whitlam:
" . . . a lot wrong with the Whitlam Government . . . "

All true Liberals will again echo those sentiments . . . or will they?


March 17. 2012 02:22 PM


  Not sure how he'll from his cell in "gitmo" but!

WikiLeaks has announced that its founder and leader Julian Assange is planning to run for a seat in the Australian Senate.

Assange is being detained in England ahead of a possible extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women in 2010.

He is currently waiting for a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against the extradition.

But WikiLeaks says despite his legal predicament, Assange is eligible to run for the Australian Upper House.

In its announcement on Twitter, WikiLeaks said it would also be running a candidate against Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her Lower House Victorian seat of Lalor.



March 17. 2012 02:47 PM


No-one could accuse Tony Abbott of being one-dimensional. Smile
(sarcasm alert)
It behoves all of us who have a great love of the English language to admire the intellectual dexterity and fleetness of wit of Mr Abbott.

Who else but he could turn a Motion of Condolence in the House of Representatives into a partisan dig at the government?

What wit and merry humour there is in mentioning domestic politics when welcoming the President of the most powerful nation on Earth and our best ally.

Who else but the great modern day bard could find the means of denigrating the Labor government during a charity fund-raiser?

How skilfully does he twist a welcoming speech to a visiting member of foreign royalty so that the light shines on a self-depracating story about himself?

What a deft touch it was to focus on himself and domestic politics when enjoying a private audience with his own, much-loved monarch.

And today we see the nimbleness of tongue and mastery of language on full display.

The passing of Margaret Whitlam, a woman who deserves her own place in Australian history even if she had never married Gough Whitlam, would seem like a leap too great to make, a bar too high even for the verbally athletic Mr Abbott.
But the King of the Trolls is never one to shrink from a challenge (unless it comes from a journalist seeking answers to his policy decisions).

"Margaret was a marvellous consort to a very significant Labor leader and an epochal Australian prime minister," Mr Abbott told reporters in Brisbane.

"There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam government but nevertheless it was a very significant episode in our history and Margaret Whitlam was a very significant element in the political success of Gough Whitlam."

Personally, I have no problem with the term 'consort' if used in the right context but here it implies that Mrs Whitlam's greatest achievement was to marry Gough. It strikes me as being a typically patronising remark about wives and women more generally. Perhaps that's just me. Julia Gillard used the same expression but in an altogether different way.

"There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam government ....."

Does no-one in Abbott's office own a red pen? This condolence message was meant to be about Margaret not Gough and certainly not Gough's government.

Margaret Whitlam was a very significant element in the political success of Gough Whitlam

I apologise if I'm drawing a long bow here but knowing Abbott's glibness I can't help but see that as a back-hander. Given that Abbott relentlessly describes Whitlam's government as one of the worst in our history I view that statement as saying that Margaret must share some of the blame for what he sees as its failures.

Once again our greatest 21st Century wit has shown that there is no such thing as a sacred cow, no such thing as a circumstance that can't be turned into a political opportunity. It is a humbling experience just to be alive at the same time as this great statesman.


March 17. 2012 05:04 PM


"There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam government ...Margaret Whitlam was a very significant element in the political success of Gough Whitlam"

It might be a sensitive new age bloke thing.

I heard it much like you did but the wife didn't hear it as saying Margaret was a factor in Gough's failure. Maybe us sensitive guys need to toughen up?

Either way Mr Abbott seems to have mastered the micro messaging thing of tailoring what he says to target very specific groups of disaffected people and turning them toward his way of thinking.

He is one very smart operator being guided by some very clever back room people who are using among other things a divide and conquer strategy that for the moment is working well for them.


March 17. 2012 05:06 PM


If only Abbott's wife (what's her name again) was a quarter of the woman that Margaret Whitlam was - an that isn't a comment on their respective physical sizes.


March 17. 2012 05:38 PM


The wonderful Jess Irvine @ Fairfax is writing some good stuff and keeps going from good to even 'gooder'.

Jess asks Can we prove economic uncertainty causes greater climate scepticism?

Warming trend in sceptics' machinations


March 17. 2012 06:37 PM


.....our greatest 21st Century wit...

Well you're half right, NormanK. And your bow could probably be a lot longer. Laughing

I met the great lady at a restaurant in Adelaide after the Whitlam government lost power. She was gracious, witty and patient with those of us wishing her and Gough well and lamenting the end of our oh-so-brief Camelot.

A sad loss to all of us. She was a great and gracious woman. I add my condolences to the Whitlam family and to the ALP.


March 17. 2012 06:59 PM


Regardless of whether or not Abbott the fool was linking MW to Gough's "failure government" is irrelevant as far as Abbott's poor character is concerned .

The fact is that in any condolence statement there is no need to mention anything which even hints at partisanship. He has no sense of occasion. This reflects poorly on those who have influenced him or who still influence him, like Howard, Pell, and the Jesuit (forgot his name) who are Abbott's current mentors.

Clearly none of these has the gonads or sense to advise Abbott to man up for a change. But I think as a pug he enjoys being a member of genus slimeus, and moreover he feels proud to be an elder in the species humanus slimeus.

TT (at 2.15pm) and NK (at 2.47pm) have listed a number of examples of similar, inappropriate crass conduct by Abbott on occasions where partisanship should have been totally absent.

The man is a pug, a fool, and totally lacking in class.

Dog Albitey (thanks TT) only knows how gutless the true liberals in the colonition are, to continue putting up with this excuse for a man, as their leader. They are truly jellybacks and hypocrites.


March 17. 2012 07:22 PM


Good evening all.

We have lost a true National Treasure and Gough has lost the love of his life.  Such a sad time for the family.

I wish the scumbag LOTO receives his just desserts for his insensitivity, his mean and nasty nature in the tactless and disgusting way he is unable to offer condolences without making a political point or two.  He is as low as a snake's anus.  When he turns up at Margaret's funeral, I hope he trips over his bootlaces and breaks his useless neck.


March 17. 2012 09:33 PM

Patricia WA

Started my response way back and was called away, but will post it anyway.     NK, you're not drawing a low bow there.  Tony Abbott has the meanest of minds and is incapable of a non-partisan public comment.  Simple speeches of welcome, congratulation or, as here, of condolence, are beyond a man of poor spirit like that.   You are absolutely right.

DMW you may deem him one smart operator, but he and Costello must be such unhappy men!  Imagine Abbott needing to accuse the left of attacking Costello when his former Treasurer condemned himself - claiming to be the only one to have set aside those dollars in the Future Fund! One sensed Costello felt he contributed every one of those seventy odd billion dollars.   They were his to manage!   At the same time Abbott has no idea of how straight thinking Aussies would view Costello's behaviour, nor his own in defending him and twisting the logic of fair minded comment just to have the last word in an argument.  Poor souls.

Never mind, we have our heroes!  And our heroines!  Like Margaret Whitlam.   R.I.P.   What a wonderful life she lived and what great service she gave.

Patricia WA

March 17. 2012 10:02 PM



Well you're half right, NormanK.

What did you have in mind?

Or perhaps that famous crow impersonation?


The name that you are struggling to call to mind is "Mrs Abbott". Smile


March 17. 2012 10:09 PM


This video shows some of the many other gaffes of that towering intellectual, Anthony Abbott.



March 17. 2012 10:34 PM


psyclaw, janice, PatriciaWA
I do not disagree that Mr Abbott's behaviour and his comments are repugnant.

The point that many miss is that the message in what he says and does is not for us in more ways than one. He and his advisors know that none of you will vote for him in a pink fit let alone should a blue moon appear.

Mr Abbott is cleverly using a form of narrowcasting aimed particularly at those who feel slightly disaffected, those that are not sure if the current government is 'doing the right thing'. He plants little 'ear-worms' and drip feeds the worries and fears of those whose votes he needs to swing his way.

We can rant and rail all we want about his abhorrent (to us) words and behaviour but he doesn't give a twopenny whatsit the message is not for us.


March 18. 2012 12:18 AM


I would agree that Abbott and Credlin Inc are capable of any nefarious activity, but on the matter of human insensitivity I think you are reading far too much into his motives.

About 50 years ago the ethologist Nikolass Tinbergen wrote about the "drift to instinct". He was referring to how animals revert to type, especially when stressed or when vigilance (ie their guard) is down.

I would suggest that this is what we see in Abbott vis a vis his MW comments and the other occasions mentioned above by TT and NK.

The insensitive Abbott who behaves badly in deeply emotional circumstances is the real Abbott ..... in a sense he cannot be blamed for this ..... it pours forth from him as an act of nature.

A perusal of Susan Mitchell's biography of him shows how his life experiences as a developing youngster (orchestrated by his parents, the church and the key men who brought him up)created an entity devoid of any real empathy.

One life act by him, namely his arranging for his mother to take his wife to hospital to give birth to his firstborn whilst he attended a rugger match (30 years ago) attests to his lack of human sensitivities.

Because these behaviours are so natural for him, he fails to be at all embarrassed.

Of all his many faults I think it is this aspect of him that so powerfully disqualifies him as a candidate for the top office.

Political examples of his empathic insensitivity are his inabilities to understand that slagging off about the Malaysia solution was in fact slagging off at Malaysia (and would offend them) and that turning the boats back was an insult to Indonesia (and would offed them).

There are of course many other examples. The guy just doesn't (ie is incapable of)get it.


March 18. 2012 12:40 AM


thanks psyclaw,
interesting analysis and background info.

I will have to sleep on it to digest it all


March 18. 2012 01:55 AM


No, NormanK, I was referring to his wit.


March 18. 2012 09:04 AM


        All quiet on the Swordfront
     as we grip the edge of our seats
waiting for the next thrilling instalment

"You're makin' us all feel very excited about being here."
  (said in slouchy affected Yank voice)


March 18. 2012 09:55 AM


Opposition won't provide guest for Lopsiders!
Crassidy says the ABC's been trying for seven weeks to get anyone from them but no-one come.

Running scared. Avoiding the light.

Wong on. "Joe tell us where the savings are coming from."

Crassidy desperate for a Gonski Gotcha. Getting no change at all from PW. Never will.

(I TT don't know why the Government doesn't lean on the FF's lousy financial records. Sitting duck, never popped. Maybe because it'd be unwise to tell the People, they'd blame Labor not the FA Board!)

"A new high-taxing brand of Liberal . . ."

Oh now a cheap tabloidy graphic with sheila squealing something about Wild One having no apparent relevance to but total trivialising effect on the nonsensical disjointed series of instant takes that pretended to be a Bob Carr story line . . .

Dog Albitey how low dis show do go!  

I am temporarily distracted by salacious fantasies of Niki Savva . . . so fetching in Baby Pink, so sweetly spoken too . . .

I can see me now in a menage a trois with Niki and Old Coke Bottles . . . Mirrors on the ceiling . . . Pink champagne on ice . . . Hookahs . . .

Focus Turkey.

Mal Farrcom lack lustre expert, Lenore sincere

(interrupted by phone.)


March 18. 2012 10:10 AM


NormanK said 2353

The name that you are struggling to call to mind is "Mrs Abbott".

Of course you are right - despite the rumours that even I heard around Christmas time.

psyclaw - I think you have a point.  All that is important to the LNP via Abbott is the message.  

There is a groundswell of support (in Queensland anyway it seems) for the notion of considerably less "elected leader/opposition leader is a complete tosser" type marketing and considerably more "this is how we would address this problem" marketing.  Even the cartoon in the Sunday Mail this morning asks whats in it for us (the poor mugs paying these clowns).  After all - all Newman is offering is to "revitalise" various service delivery areas and that he's not the ALP.  Bligh is offering her record - and the question can easily be asked after 20 years in power "why haven't you done this already"?

The ALP's problem both within this State and nationally is they can't sell grass to cows.  An effective marketing campaign demonstrating all the good that a Federal ALP Government has done over the past few years should start now in preparation for the 2013 election - and it includes a narrative why the "failures" of the BER, Home Insulation etc was and continues to be a good idea.  If their current advertising agency can't or won't assist - sack them and get someone who will.


March 18. 2012 10:43 AM


Swordsfolks who don't know the significance of tomorrow's date
may check back on the archives hereon on the like date last year . . . Enough said. Smile


March 18. 2012 10:49 AM


Good Morning Everyone

Some tweets concerning the Insiders this morning.

There are a lot of people agreeing with you Talk Turkey and me and us:-

Latika Bourke ‏Insiders responds to complaints saying Tony Abbott's office has not allowed on the program this year any Opposition frontbencher or even MP.

Latika Bourke
Just quietly, a LOT of Opposition MPs privately express a lot of frustration with that level of control over their media appearances

Simon Frew‏
The Liberals don't need to send a guest to #Insiders because they usually have a NewsLtd 'Journalist' shilling for them

Adrian Mazzone‏
Ohhh.. Joe Hockey not available for insiders but look, he has just popped up on theboltreport #LOLBolt Libs & their soft interviews

Jonathan Brown‏@JB_AU
“latikambourke: Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey on Bolt Report.” The Shadow Ministers are so underrepresented on #Bolt

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
Close Open DetailsInsiders responds to complaints saying Tony Abbott's office has not allowed on the program this year any Opposition frontbencher or even MP.

latikambourke Funny how Hockey appears on coalition propaganda shows but not #insiders #gutless #HatesScrutiny

Abbott could eat kittens and stab puppies for fun in a hard hat and sluggoes...and the media apologists would rationalise it somehow #auspol

Sarah Joseph‏
"Tony, are you Clive Palmer's toy boy?" "He couldn't afford me Karl

Elliot Giakalis‏
AshGhebranious: Gee Tony. How much value to you put to your arse? insiders  toyboy” goes to the highest bidder it would seem

Close Open DetailsAbbott's inability to not drag politics into everything, including the death of a true national treasure, only highlights his incompetence


March 18. 2012 10:52 AM


Hi Talk Turkey

I know without checking, I remember.



March 18. 2012 11:00 AM


Morning 2353
The ALP's problem both within this State and nationally is they can't sell grass to cows.  An effective marketing campaign ... should start now in preparation for the 2013 election

While I agree that there should be an effective marketing campaign whoever took it on would be faced with a huge challenge.

One 'iron-clad' rule of marketing is to Under promise and over deliver. Looking back to the Kevin 07 campaign, in many minds, Labor got that backwards.

While Ms Gillard has spent valuable time correcting some of the problems of the 'over promise' it will be tough job overcoming the perception of 'full of promise but just can't deliver'.

Pointing to the opponents supposed weaknesses and unsuitability won't cut it either.


March 18. 2012 11:02 AM


Why do both Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey smirk so broadly when they tell reporters that all the details of Coalition election promises and longer-term Budget planning will be available just before the next election?

No. Really.


March 18. 2012 11:08 AM


The archives of the Political Sword are an ongoing composite recent political history of this country. Anytime when Folks have nothing else to do, just pick a date and start reading, the memories come back so clear! Imagine that such a record existed of the Interregnum in England, or the Pelopponesian Wars, or the 1930's in Europe . . . There is continuity on this site that makes it a fascinating and valuable document like no other, especially poignant in that the posts are forever fresh, and the memories they conjure in sharp focus.

Recaptcha: newshall Syndicate  Smile


March 18. 2012 11:15 AM


Good...it looks like News Ltd has backed off from the unrelenting attacks on Campbell Newman.

If Labor loses I'd prefer to have him in than Lawrence Springborg...Newman smarter, more moderate and a lot less ocker.

It seems sadly that last week's momentum for Anna has been lost...I guess we have to accept that Labor has been in a good long while...and democracy works better if we see political evolution (tho, some of those LNP candidates bring to mind devolution)....

Democracy would also work better if we had more than a one paper town...I find it interesting that the Left and centrist ALP have been in charge of this state for most of the past two decades, yet we still have the Courier Mail dominating...and an ABC biased towards the LNP and usually highly critical of the government...

Talk about a missed opportunity...but I guess the ALP are not as interested in stacking the ABC board as the Coalition are...nor do they seem to have any rich supporters who were willing to create newspaper competition.

I guess it's part of the reason Australia is oft such an ocker, somewhat misogynistic, xenophobic, cynical country where people have now become addicted to the cult of celebrity...and let the greedy rich root them....not dissimilar to America...

When you let the greed is good libertarians like Murdoch and his crew...and mega-profiting resource barons...and hate-filled BSing shock jocks dominate your country...yer not gonna see alot of fair-go redistribution of income...

but you will see time and time again eruptions of refugee bashing...nudge nudge wink wink catering by sicko opportunistic politicians to irrational xenophobes, women haters, outright racists, animal abusers and those who possess the least progressive and tolerant qualities...Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce are basically scumbag politicians catering too oft to scumbags...

It's lazy politics that would be condemned in a saner world...

but unfortunately war, ongoing economic fears...real or imagined/manufactured...and ongoing fear-mongering and fabrications and rich man bailouts and corporate lobbying...and this obsession with attacking government of any kind and referring to it as "broken" or "too big" or "too bureaucratic" has led to such widespread public cynicism and skepticism that the people cannot often see  thru the propaganda...

nor recognize the puppets of vested interests...

they sit in a confused and grumbling state...willing to believe any crap thrown at them by the consistent critics of government...and in their fatigued and frustrated state they revert back to type...

thinking there world will stop wobbling if they once again accept the old myths and cliches drilled into their once young vulnerable, malleable brains...

such as, women can't run governments unless they are tuff right-wing types...the Left are soft and create too much debt and let unions run wild...Greens are loopy hippies who don't have any ideas apart from living barefoot in the forest without shoes and taking business back to primeval days...men are strong leaders so if they pose in front of construction vehicles or have a beer with the boys or drive some big vehicle or run around doing sports or ride a horse like a cowboy then they must be ready for leadership...

Yep, we've hit a sad place...

When cliches we'd larf at or mock or accept as just that in television shows and movies...have once again become the way we judge our leaders, their policies, their messages...

it's not surprising that some people assess that our technology has progressed far more than we have ethically and cognitively as a race...

nor is it surprising we see so many zombie flicks and TV shows these days...

and apocalyptic stuff...predicting the end of humanity...or seeing it devolve into survivalist and vicious hordes...killing like predators...or being hiunted as prey...

and movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes...loved by a populace who disrespect themselves...

have a somewhat self-destructive outlook...

In some ways despise themselves...feel guilty...

knowing how they have looked the other way as animals, their fellow species are unnecessarily slaughtered in their billions...

looking the other way as leaders act like calm serial killers (think Syria, Iran)...

looking the other way as our environment is raped and pillaged... oceans poisoned, rivers and streams turned into toxic sludge, forests left mashed, huge holes in the ground created...all to be left to future generations to clean up...if they can...

looking the other way as the climate heats...making excuses for unprecedented droughts, flooding, twisters...

looking the other way as corporations transform into a law unto themselves...and bankers help bankrupt countries..and cities...and towns...and homes...and small businesses....stealing pensions and anything else they can get their hands on...that built by brave workers and unionists over centuries...

looking the other way...

confused, frustrated, gullible...very tired...

listening to BSers...

who hope that once again the suckers of the world...in this country...will return to voting against their own interests...

Is it any wonder there is so much self-hate and guilt. And greed to try and deal with it.


Time to cut off their food.



March 18. 2012 11:58 AM


"Can't sell grass to cows" is a good metaphor for the government's problems because cows don't understand the concept of buying & selling. The grass is either there or it's not & Australian cows are very used to lots of it & moo loudly if they think they're not getting more than their fair share.
Until a few years ago the farmer of the day was able to provide the appearance of limitless pasture, going on forever that only he could provide. The new farmer is mindlessly held to that standard.


March 18. 2012 12:33 PM


DMW & psyclaw

I was greatly interested in your comments overnight. I retired for the night thinking how much I agreed with DMW's observation that Abbott's antics and remarks are not even remotely aimed at people such as ourselves. He has his eye on the undecided voters who invariably win elections for you.

I found psyclaw's observations of Abbott very telling - devoid of empathy and a seemingly complete lack of self-awareness when it comes to the harm that he can cause others by his actions and utterances. It explains a great deal that I find puzzling about Abbott.

It occurred to me this morning that these two descriptions need not be contradictory. Indeed they might be seen as complementary.

There are two perspectives from which this complementary viewpoint could be expressed.

If your political strategy is to bombard the government with every criticism you can think of, regardless of who might be wounded by the shrapnel, who better to lead that attack than someone who is emotionally predisposed to indifference to the pain of others, including members of his own party?

The other perspective is, given a leader who lets criticism roll off him like water off a duck's back, what would be the best strategy for attacking the government? Answer: one where self-harm and collateral damage to 'innocents' can be ignored as a factor. A scorched earth policy even if it means that your own troops risk starving because insufficient thought has been given to the medium-term future.

Let me put it another way. If your village decides to launch an attack on a neighbouring village with the express aims of killing young men, capturing women of child-bearing age and stealing or slaughtering their livestock, would you put the village poet in charge of the raiding party? Far more likely you would choose the individual who has displayed the most bloodlust and indifference to the suffering of his fellow-man.
Alternatively, if the leader of the village is a borderline psychopath, is it likely that the collective would adopt a conciliatory line with its neighbours and seek to negotiate an outcome beneficial to all concerned or would they act on the perceived strengths of their head man and seek to increase their own store of wealth by obliterating the enemy in cold-blooded attacks?

Abbott is the right leader for the Coalition's current approach and the Coalition's approach is the one best-suited to its current leader's idiosyncrasies and emotional short-comings.


March 18. 2012 12:49 PM


Poll Bludger up again (sort of) with an interesting piece about Julian Assange. Comments are still off.


March 18. 2012 12:57 PM


Opposition won't provide guest for Lopsiders! Crassidy says the ABC's been trying for seven weeks to get anyone from them but no-one come.

It's been suggested that a contributing cause of Cassidy's firestorm against Kevin Rudd over the years was Rudd's refusal to appear on the program.

To be consistent Cassidy would now display a grudge of similar intensity against the Opposition.

Howver, one should not hold their breath waiting for that to happen.


March 18. 2012 01:20 PM


From Bolt's blog - I went looking for *J*U*L*I*A*s comment in Parliament "No spine there!" Smile on Costello on the eve of the publication of his memoirs, and found myself on Bolt's lovely site. Where whingers were whingeing whingefully.  

A couple of letters to give us a shot of chadenfreude:  

1 It was interesting that Julia Gillard used the dying moments of QT yesterday to attack Costello while he sat mute and unable to defend himself on the back bench.

Gillard’s attack was vicious and uncalled for. No wonder they call the place Coward’s Castle where the smears delivered from the despatch box against those unable to defend themselves rightly labels the smearer a “coward’.

It might be all the incentive Costello needs to remove himself from obscurity - if just to but the uppity chainsaw-voiced leering Leftie firmly in her place.

Alan of Sydney (Reply)
Fri 29 Aug 08 (09:44am)
ann replied to Alan of Sydney
Fri 29 Aug 08 (12:07pm)
Alan - I was flabbergasted by Gillard’s comments, below is a great example on the pure arrogance and confidence which Gillard displayed in the people’s house:

Remember we are talking about our children’s education - National Literacy and Numeracy Week:

Ms GILLARD ” ...website of Melbourne University Press, which of course is going to be publishing the memoirs of the member for Higgins. When I looked at the website I found that the motto of Melbourne University Press is "books with spine"™. Books with spine from a politician without one! We await this great entry into the literary world. Mr Speaker, you would be aware that some movies fail so badly that they go straight to DVD; well, I am betting this one goes straight to paperback! It will not be a very hard spine when that one is published. I am sure that this book with the very soft spine (or perhaps without a spine at all?) will be the subject of much discussion at tomorrow night's testimonial dinner
for the member for Higgins. Of course, on the question of reading there will be what's on the printed
menu? Prawns for entree? No spine there. Chicken for main course? A good thought. And, of course, jelly for dessert!-What else?

Labor Members are laughing themselves sick.

Nelson tries to hold Gillard accountable:

Dr NELSON (Bradfield, Leader of the Opposition)(3.24 pm)
"Mr Speaker, on indulgence, I rise in relation to the answer given by the Deputy Prime Minister to the last question. I regard the member for Higgins as a great Australian who made an enormous contribution to make this a great country.

The Deputy Prime Minister's response demeans both herself and the parliament by those remarks."

Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo

er I mean

Bwa haa haa haa haa haa.  Heh heh. Smile


March 18. 2012 01:49 PM

Ad astra

What an interesting set of comments you have made since last night.  This site really is a great repository for insightful comments, comments that make us think again.  The comments about Tony Abbott’s strategy assume that his actions and utterances are well planned and targeted.  On the other hand, it can be argued that his background and upbringing have conditioned him towards a certain type of unthinking, spontaneous behaviour and speech.  

Wouldn’t it be interesting to be a fly on the wall during a strategy meeting between Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin to hear how much of what he does and says is carefully planned, and thereby be able to discern how much is just impulsive warts-and-all Abbott.

The sun is shining so we’re off to further explore the region.  I’ll take another look at TPS this evening.  Thank you to all of you for maintaining the momentum while I take a break.

Ad astra

March 18. 2012 02:54 PM


Ad astra said
Wouldn’t it be interesting to be a fly on the wall during a strategy meeting between Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin to hear how much of what he does and says is carefully planned, and thereby be able to discern how much is just impulsive warts-and-all Abbott.

. . . A fly on the trousers might be more interesting still  . . ! . .

Oohhhh! . . . But . . .  NO!

No No No No NO!

Not with all those impulsive warts Tony . . ! . .

Bad Turkey . . . Should be 'shame . . .


March 18. 2012 03:03 PM


DMW - not necessarily.

The answer to building the ALP's creditability is not to make it overtly political.  Do ads like the Mining Ads which are beautifully shot, well edited (probably cost a bomb) and tell a story and, despite my suspicions why they are on TV, I'm sure the people used do actually benefit from their mining jobs and communities.  

Don't mention Costello and Howard spending like drunken sailors or how good the ALP believe themselves to be for (apparently regaining a surplus next F/Y - stupid idea but anyway. . . ).  Do a compare and contrast - price of house in say Geelong versus price of house in Detroit, Ireland or somewhere else.  "Ease" of getting a job here versus elsewhere even a ad "featuring one of the Pawn Shops that have TV series on one of the 7 digital stations (one in Detroit, one in LasVegas - and their "booming" business) versus the Cash Converters in some suburb of Sydney or Melbourne.  

Of course there would have to be a tag line - something like "The Rudd and Gillard Governments saved you from this (showing a scene of obvious desolation from somewhere in the US).  Later ads in the series would contain comparisons between Australia's response and the US or Euro response (possibly with Abbott talking up the US actions over Australia's.


March 18. 2012 03:56 PM


Hi Swords

I am a rusted on Labor voter, but I believe in a fair go for both sides.

Having just commented to my OH the absence of the Liberal Party’s representation on The Insiders again this morning.  When low and behold  Barrie Cassidy due to complaints from viewers   offers up a reason. The Liberals have been repeatedly invited Barrie says, we’ll  take anybody.  The Liberal Party Office will not offer anyone to appear on the show.

The Liberals do not want any scrutiny that they cannot answer with a three word slogan, but wait,    I hope channel 2 has a long memory  during the 2013 election campaign.

Kathleen Lazzari‏  says on twitter , The Opposition hasn't permitted any of their side to appear on ABC Insiders all year! I don't think it would be too hard to work out why

Paul Bongiorno‏ says on twitter  Joe Hockey who refuses to come on Meet The Press

Margaret‏   Oppos go on lightweight shows but not on insiders Cowards RT Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey on Bolt Report.

Tony Abbott is working on the majority of voters switched on to  2, 7, 9, and 10  perhaps walking past their TV’s . Half listening, hearing Tony Abbott said or a short video clip they all like to play and re-play..

So you see Abbott  is not interested much less cares if there is a correction later.  Abbott has achieved his aim to blast the Government any way he can,  true or false doesn’t matter to him.


March 18. 2012 05:14 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

This BER panegyric is symptomatic of a worrying trend which sees the airbrush applied to many government sponsored debacles.

The Senate inquiry into the BER raised concerns that it was not provided sufficient evidence by the government to enable it to achieve an objective report.  How do we know that the Orgill Taskforce was not treated with the same chicanery.
Even ALP love child Rob Oakeshott introduced a private member’s bill to strengthen the Auditor-General's powers to ‘follow the money’ which dovetailed with one of the recommendations of the Senate inquiry into the BER. The waste ran to billions. I wonder how many hospitals might have been able to upgrade their diagnostic machines with some of that wasted money.

Did NSW and Victoria receive value for money under the program? Not according to NSW  Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat. The NSW AG pointed out that taxpayers may have been clipped by about $188 million. Some parents were asking why they got a library when an assembly hall was needed. The parents at Hastings Public School were wondering how much the proposed COLA would be without the gold trimmings. The Reed Group said the structure would cost $950,000 (the same structure was costed at $78,000 in 2003). The school principal and parents requested two classrooms to be built to replace the demountables that were placed there in the 80’s (I thought Bob and then Paul were ALP champions of education back then during the Hawke-Keating locust years).

An out of control BER machine rolled into Evesham State School in Queensland ready to construct a new $250,000 library for the school’s one student. That about sums it up.

Not many government programs should receive praise. Do people think that programs, schemes and the like are implemented to create harm, waste and damage? It’s when the programs run amok that we should rightly reach for the big stick.

Please AA, no more agitprop.

Sir Ian Crisp

March 18. 2012 05:40 PM


Thanks to everyone for keeping me/us updated on here the last couple of days.  It is now a fact that there is nothing Abbott says or does that will get reported in a negative way. It either gets turned on its head or blanked out completely.  One rule for Labor and one rule for everyone else.  If it weren't for TPS and a few other good sites I would be in complete despair.  Will Australians wake up in the next 18 months or will we all have suffer under a 'guided democracy'?


March 18. 2012 05:45 PM


Problem is Tony Abbott feeds on criticism...he's spent much of his lifetime provoking others...acting like a boxer in the ring...attempting to psych out his opponent...encouraging them to hit him...getting in their faces...using fancy legwork and defining, taunting words and wee quick repetitive jabs to confuse the opposition...he knows how to get attention...give the angry mob audience what they want...

He's got stamina...he's slightly punch drunk...slips...hits the ground...but he's back up in a flash...grinning like a maniac...manically starting the process all over again...dance, taunt, jab jab jab...

Everyone once in a while he goes maverick...breaks the predictability...goes Southpaw (paid parental leave scheme) ....

then he moves in...tries for the knockout...hopes the media have rigged the game enuff, slipped the drug into the opponents water so they become tired, distracted, weakened...

so he can deliver the final big blow...claim the prize...mock, goad...dare them to bring on another so called champion...

little time for humility in this match...hubris, displays of arrogance are beneficial...

criticism and negative attacks...and bad polls...they drive him...pump him up...

'cause he knows there is always time for a comeback...this underdog loves the pain...it fires him up...the rejection makes him stronger...

more  determined...

because he knows...has always been told...

He, Tony Abbott, is the champion of the world.

He feeds on attention...like shock jocks and some actors and musicians...he must have the audiences attention...be in the spotlight...

the flashing of the cameras...like an honor guard...

this raging bull....

must feed...that ego...that fire...

But if you turn away...ignore him...focus on the other fighters on his team...

Little by little he diminishes...becomes desperate...makes mistakes...starts to doubt himself...overreaches in order to get the attention.

He craves the attention.
He needs an audience.
He feeds on criticism.

Shift the arena...shift the gaze...

And he won't be as effective.



March 18. 2012 05:52 PM


In reply to Tom of Melbourne...14/3/2012

I drive a concrete truck. The yard in which I am based  employs nine drivers, one batcher, one loader driver and contributes to a couple of sales reps, as well as two owner drivers.

When the GFC first hit and began to filter down we got very quiet. Not much was happening at all, despite the hard efforts of the salesmen. In essence, there was no building going on. Other than projects heading for completion and a few home renovations. When the BER projects started to filter through I noticed that a lot more renovation, small unit developments started to go as well. It was as if the fact that the Government was spending money gave confidence to private builders. Although I must say that things have gone quiet again. Though the management seem to think it's more cyclical than anything else.

I understand that this isn't a professional, political veiw of the GFC. But it is a veiw from the ground, or cab of a truck, up. The purpose of the BER was to keep people in work, give confidence and keep money circulating. It succeeded, in spades. Eleven men lost about three/four months worth of overtime, but not their jobs. Two, honest hardworking men kept their trucks. That is the results in one concrete yard. Expand it nationally and you may get an inkling of its importance. Then start going through the trades it takes to put a building up.

So, Tom of Melbourne, you can sneer at the Government. You may well think that the suppliers and tradesmen/women of this nation are of no importance. You may believe that to earn a living one doesn't have to sweat, tramp through gluey clay, get bruised, scraped, battered and tired. Well I do,everyday, and, like thousands upon thousands of other building industry workers, I take great pride in what I do and, condescending comments from toffee nosed nitwits such as yourself shouldn't offend and are best ignored. Much to my chagrin, you affect me like an itchy arsehole and I have to scratch you.

I apologise to AA, NormanK, Nasking, TT, Lyn and others if I have offended.    


March 18. 2012 06:04 PM


We are indeed being taught to fear anything this current Government does. I am now so very afraid I had to write about the source of that fear! archiearchive.wordpress.com/.../


March 18. 2012 06:21 PM


I like frank and honest views from those with experience on issues...no mincing of words...tell it as it is.

Good stuff.

My wife had intimate and positive experience with the BER rollout...as I mentioned above...as far as she's concerned it worked...achieved a great deal of its goals...

She and I are convinced much of the criticism was selective, hyped, and political in nature...exaggerating problems in order to tarnish the reputation of the scheme...score political points...force them to reduce spending so tax cuts and carrot rebates could be provided once the Coalition regained power...build on a think tank developed campaign to label the government as "wasteful and incompetent"...add a media empire that doesn't think it benefits enuff from modern Labor and focuses like a laser on everything the government does and usually spins it negatively...partially to sell papers and bring in ad money by hooking in an audience addicted to hype and disasters.

Tom of Melbourne comes across like a tricky paid hack...there can be no logical reason that he spends an inordinate amount of time, year after year, blog after blog, attacking Labor-led governments and unions...apart from him being either a loopy compulsive with nothing better to do....or a sh&t stirrer with a political goal he does not own up to.



March 18. 2012 07:00 PM


Why do both Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey smirk so broadly when they tell reporters that all the details of Coalition election promises and longer-term Budget planning will be available just before the next election

They must have found a new catering company to cost their "policies", Michael.

SIC, three words - STOP THE BULLSHIT! Prissy and Liealot are only authorities on lying.

There is plenty of evidence out there that gives the lie to your crap. The Liars Party Handbook is NOT a credible source of information on any government program.

Good grief, they don't even know the rules they formed governing appointments to the board and Chair of the FF!

Well said, Ian @5.52pm. ToM has plenty of negative things to say, but nothing constructive. He reads from the Liars Party handbook like an automaton and is careful never to stray from it.

Any evidence contrary to his prejudices is to be ignored or have scorn poured upon it, particularly if provided by people with the knowledge and expertise to challenge Liars crapaganda. To do otherwise would cause his carefully constructed Liars World to implode.  

They wind him up and off he goes, bitchy, snide and spiteful. You really wonder what has crawled up his nose and died.

Why don't you say what you mean, Nas' @6.21pm? lol Great comment.


March 18. 2012 07:09 PM


Hi Ian

Thankyou for sharing your honest on the ground true story, you
really are just the best, honest genuine hard working Aussie.

The Liberals are desperate not to give any credit to the Government for any tiny small anything.  I know a person that complained bitterly for not receiving the $900.00. I said oh but you should have why not, she said because I didn't pay any tax.  Another complaining he didn't qualify because he was earning 190,000 per year..  

There are some greedy ungrateful people around, but it is our pleasure to have so many appreciative members on TPS like yourself.

We are grateful to JohnL for his hard work in exposing the lies and deceit.   How many of the Liberals have written to Julia asking for BER money for their various electorates at the same time trashing the program.

You like our Jason and many others on TPS are really the National Treasures of Australia not the Rineharts, Sinclairs, Twiggies, Jones and Palmers.

Cheers Ian SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


March 18. 2012 07:37 PM



Let the inimitable velvet voice of Eartha Kitt raise the hair on your neck before you read the horrid parody of the song I have written for Limpy Crisp . . . because it'll spoil its innocence a bit . . . but it's Fun trolling you know.

I wouldn't have written it for Limpy but in doing so you see it allows me an excuse to link everybody to that fantastic voice.

First, the real words:

(Sous Les Ponts de Paris)

Sous les ponts de Paris, lorsque descend la nuit,
Tout's sort's de gueux se faufil'nt en cachette
Et sont heureux de trouver une couchette,
Hôtel du courant d'air, où l'on ne paie pas cher,
L'parfum et l'eau c'est pour rien mon marquis
Sous les ponts de Paris. 2x

Quel rendez-vous !

My darling why I sing this song
Is easy to explain.
It tells what happens all along
The bridges of the Seine.

The vagabonds go there at night
To sleep all their troubles away,
But when the moon is shining bright
My heart wants to sing it this way.

How would you like to be
Down by the Seine with me
Oh what I'd give for a moment or two
Under the bridges of Paris with you

Darling I'd hold you tight
Far from the eyes of night
Under the bridges of Paris with you
I'd make your dreams come true

Oh chérie, je veux apporter mes bras
Je veux apporter mon cœur
Je veux apporter all my love

Sous les ponts de Paris
Lorsque descends la nuit
Under the bridges of Paris with you
I'd make your dreams come true

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

Now the nasty Turkey version . . . Sing along please!

Under the Bridge with Sir Limpy de Poo

Ian's not really Crisp he's limp: seldom we get a glimpse,
But sometimes he slithers right out of his shell -
You don't need to look, you can tell by the smell -
Limpy's a self-dubbed Knight, Noble Sir Ian of Shyte,
Under a bridge in a dark dirty hole:
That's cos Sir Ian's a Troll. (2x)

Quel rendez-vous! (spoken)

Oh Limpy why I post this song
It's easy to explain,
You're such a poop with such a pong
And such an anal pain!

We know why you avoid the light,
From scrutiny you run away;
Like all your kind you're limp with fright
Exposed to the hard light of day . . .

Limpy you're such a Troll!
You hide where it's black as coal,
Under the bridge is the right place for you,
Lying in Poodle POO. Lying in Poodle POO.

Fun with Trolls


March 18. 2012 08:04 PM

Patricia WA

TT, for a minute you had me confused, thinking you were writing about our Ian!    But of course it's Sir Ian Crisp!

I love Eartha Kitt.   And that's a lovely song.   Does she deserve having Sir Ian superimposed on her with all that scatological language!  Great verses though they may be!

Patricia WA

March 18. 2012 08:16 PM


Ian Crusp at 5.14pm

As usual you talk rot, heavily spiced with mistruths.

When you rely on Abbott propaganda (ie lies) for your facts, you will always come a gutzer.

As a school with a student population <50, Evesham, as a then functioning school indeed appeared on the list for the $250K for this category.

But you see there was another checker list held by the Queensland Education Department ie schools likely to close, and Evesham was also on that list.

By routine overview, BER work did not go ahead at schools on that list until their future was assured.

As you well know, Evesham State School closed in 2010 and not one red cent of BER money was ever spent there.

So please, don't waste your time here with mistruths and half truths .....we are all on to you and know that you are an unreliable source of information.

John L's summary is accurate and truthful .......that is why you few trolls are trying to discredit it.

What would the Opposition's catcalls be if they did not have pink bats and BER to rant about. As unconscionable zealots, they are disinterested in the fact that their mantras have no substance.


March 18. 2012 08:28 PM

Patricia WA

Mind you, TT, as psyclaw says, they do go on about pink bats and BER!   So they deserve a dunking in the sewers of Paris.  Sorry!

<b><i>unconscionable zealots!</i></b> Isn't that a good description?    I saw that word 'zealot' this afternoon and almost threw away an old pome which I thought was a bit norty.  I think it has possibilities for a long Sunday arvo which is still too hot to go out for our evening stroll.

Patricia WA

March 18. 2012 08:34 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Speaking about Tony Abbott here is a comment posted by TAWNBPM!
I have put the link up but not sure if it will work for non members.

You will see Campbell Newman refused to shake hands with Kate Jones today, he wants her to apologise to his wife because he was investigated, unbelievable.

Tony Abbott will never be prime minister · 7,587 like this.
about an hour ago ·
Our new page description

"Tony Abbott represents regressive ideas, imparted by way of divisive scare tactics. - Deeply sexist, homophobic and socially conservative.

He dog-whistles to extreme right-wing nujobs, aided and abetted by toxic mouthpieces Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Rupert Murdoch and others. His cheap populism is happily
funded by billionaire mining magnates.

Tony Abbott seeks to be PM by destruction, in the abs...ence of any policy, reform agenda or vision. He is a genuine hollowman, reducing complex issues to inane slogans and negative rhetoric, lowering the national debate. He has dragged politics and community spirit to its lowest ebb in decades.

Tony Abbott does not have the character,
maturity or integrity to maintain his current position, let alone ascend further". TAWNBPM!

Campbell Newman delcines to shake Kate Jones' hand..stupid, petty little man..shows the same kind of mistep and ill-will as Tony Abbott


March 18. 2012 08:54 PM

Patricia WA


Remember when it almost came to pass
That Labor's fortunes turned on Abbott's arse?
Seems he said he’d be prepared to sell it!
Desperate words from a religious zealot.

I thought he had already sold his soul
Desperately  grasping for his life’s one goal.
So this coming from him was just a lie
He could later confess to, even deny.

Or he could shrug it off as leftie spin.
Anyway is it really a mortal sin?
I've heard lenient views from Cardinal Pell
And it seems that Abbott won't go  go to hell

That's really a pity, you know, because
We would rather that fate for him, than Oz!
What else could he have done to risk hell fires?
Dob him in!  First let's make sure that he retires!

Patricia WA

March 18. 2012 09:38 PM


SIC - bulls*-t.

The BER program received a 97%+ satisfaction rating from those who were involved.  After seeing the local effort, I can understand why.  It's brilliant and exactly what the school community needed and wanted.

It also had the benefit of keeping those in the building industry in Australia (from the Architects through to the apprentices) gainfully employed for three years with the obvious to most economic flow on to others.  While NSW didn't do well, I think you find the same NSW Auditor General's report laid the blame squarely at the NSW Education Department's implementation of the scheme.  Cost of materials has risen dramatically over the past 10 years - if it went up under 300% they were doing well.  In my experience copper (used in water pipes and electrical cable) went up 200% in the space of two months around 2008/9 sometime.

As an aside, in my professional life I am now getting weekly phone calls from those in the industry that no longer have BER work to do and are now concerned they will lose their business.  Ian (the concrete truck driver) above bears this out.  The biggest problem with the BER (NSW excepted) is that it isn't still going - there is a different skill set between those that design schools and those that design mines.


March 18. 2012 10:46 PM


    Well said! Clowns like "SIC" and "ToM" would be much happier to see people like "Ian" and those you get phone calls from be unemployed or to go out of business!
The "BER" was successful in every sense of the word, and I know even from my own friends in building & construction etc those that can had from earlier floods headed to flood areas to help with reconstruction and earth works while others still have enough short term work for the time being but will just see what happens!
Keep up the good work!


March 18. 2012 11:47 PM


Swordsfolks, Bludgers, Whisperers and all simpatico bloggers,
I would not write on this or any political blogsite if I did not believe that writings on blogsites made a difference - if I thought that politicians didn't read or take any notice of opinions or insights or metaphors. But I do think we are noticed and respected, more than often I think we give ourselves credit for, and indeed I think that individuals among us often lead political opinion in the wide Brown Land. In fact I know they do.  
Lyn is the vital central link in helping this to be so of course. The best comments go whizzing all over the place because of her. Everyone who looks here knows the latest goss in a twink, she's everywhere she's everywhere. And because of that I have faith that by tomorrow's Question Time, the Labor front bench will have taken on board my direction to them, viz.,
on the one hand,
answer the NOpposition's idiotic questions minimally, in one single sentence if possible, thus at once avoiding the ignominy of being peremptorily sat down by Slipper for irrelevance, and Poodle POOs, and giving no credibility to the idiot questioner;
and on the other hand,
have sensible useful Dorothy Dixers asked,(for the DD's can allow for broad contrasts to be drawn with the Coalons) and give them careful hard-hitting responses.

This is the week to wade into the Coalons, to roll out the cannon, get stuck into them on costings, on company tax, on asylum seekers, on Broadband, for Dog's sake now take the fight PAST them and never let up!
By the end of the week the enemy must be left in the doldrums with no issues against the Government, to moulder in confusion for the 5 weeks until the budget.

Have you got that Comrades?

DO IT THIS WEEK!            


March 19. 2012 12:00 AM


It's actually only 11.29 PM in Adelaide but anything I post will say 11.59 PM instead, so I'm just holding off for another minute so my post can be the very first to say



March 19. 2012 12:01 AM


It swallowed the words! HAPPY BIRTHDAY AD ASTRA!


March 19. 2012 12:29 AM


Lyn, I saw Campbell Newman the other morning for the first time. What a weedy twerp! How anyone could contemplate voting for him is beyond me.

2353, couldn't agree more. The likes of SIC & ToM simply parrot Liars Party talking points because they're incapable of independent analytical thought.


March 19. 2012 01:21 AM


Just finished watching Stephen Fry's Planet Word and as usual after watching anything Fry does, the gerbils are hyperactive.

I imagined that I was going to be treated to a lesson on language, its evolution and so on. There was that of course but the lingering feeling is that I was just given a greater insight into humanity - its pride; ingenuity; emotion; stubbornness; recalcitrance; inventiveness; fickleness and ignorance. Also, that although we shape our language, it in turn shapes us .

One of the many things that struck me was the linguist pointing out how, in Russian, a native speaker is more likely to describe a situation from a collective point of view rather than an individualistic one. This struck a chord because oftentimes when tapping away on a comment to post here I will find myself 'correcting' an entry that spoke of what 'we' might aspire to (or condemn) and modifying it to read what 'I' aspire to (or condemn).

Perhaps it is reluctance to appear opinionated on a subject where I have no expertise - I am not qualified to speak for the entire Australian population or all white people or all Westerners. Perhaps I feel that the audience here would be affronted by my audacity in choosing to speak for them when I can have no real way of knowing what their sentiments are on any particular subject.

And yet this is a political blog where progressives are more likely to speak about aspirations for improvement of the whole of society and not just our own tiny bubble. I might be barking up the wrong tree here but it seems that one side of the ideological divide in Australia has as its starting point the individual and the other the collective (what a shame that word now has pejorative connotations).

I might very well want what is good for me but I am willing to be convinced that some other course of action might be better for my town or my region, my state or the nation, my global region or the planet as a whole and therefore worthy of some sacrifice on my part. Pricing carbon is a particularly good example and many of those who attended rallies in favour of the initiative have expressed the view that they don't mind paying a bit more for things if it is going to benefit the planet and the future generations that have to live on it. And yet to 'sell' this to the wider population it has been necessary to bribe the individual with handouts, promises of future jobs and a new prosperity based on a new economy.

So, long story short, if it is fair to say the native speakers of Russian think in terms of collective initiatives and outcomes, is it fair to say that speakers of Australian English are more inclined to think in terms of individual initiatives and outcomes?

Are we, by virtue of our language, ideologically conservative and more concerned with the individual good rather than the societal good?

Could this explain, in part, why Abbott's fear campaign (and those of others before him) works so well? When he speaks of towns being wiped off the map or industries closed down, is there an immediate narrowing in our perspectives such that the impact on the individual is the single focus, to the exclusion of the impact on the whole?

Could it also explain, in part, why progressive politicians find it so difficult to rally us around a cause that will be for the good of the many at the expense of the few?

Is our language an inhibitor to progressive ideas coming to fruition?


March 19. 2012 07:49 AM



The Mega Perspective,  Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
This book is an antidote to the misleading and misinformed, short-termist political noise that comes stillborn out of Canberra every day through the media. By showing the historical arch

Fat Men, Fear and The Liberal Party, Archie, The Carmudgeon’s Magazine
Now we have the arch-bully Tony Abbott unashamedly using fear of everything with no hint of reality as a very successful vote-winning tactic. Should we be surprised? This is the tactic which

Why Peter Costello Should Get A Hobby,Ian McAuley,New Matilda
If he was unable to stand up to Howard, could he, as Chairman of the Future Fund, stand up to other prime ministers — Gillard, Abbott or whoever else may be drawn to unwise economic decisions?

Learning from Margaret Whitlam Andrew Elder,Politically Homeless
Abbott might think he's jamming it up Labor by having a go at Whitlam on he day his wife died, but he underestimates how positive it will be for him or his party. Liberals too overestimate how

The Coalition must up the anti, Andrew Elder, The Drum
When Peter Costello entered Parliament everyone said he'd be prime minister and he did nothing to dispel the suggestion. When he left Parliament everyone said he could name his price

Of Boredom, Urinary Streams & Strong Winds, Niall Cook, The Bannerman
FWA are searching through the belly-button lint of everyone even remotely associated with the union in order to categorically disclaim the accusations being made. Either way, speculation,

Finkelstein Scares, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
So many of us have tried to warn you of the impending apocalyptic hellscape that following the recommendations of the Finkelstein media inquiry will inevitably create in Australia:

David Gonski: a man for all seasons,Paul Barry,The Power Index
Gonski's job will be to bring peace to the warring factions on the Future Fund board, a task that was deemed to be beyond former Treasurer Peter Costello, who is one of the warriors.

Peter Costello slammed by his own over Future Fund appointment, Vex News
Peter Costello’s dummy-spitting about not being appointed Chair of the Future Fund was a big mistake in our view. He ought to have stayed above the fray but couldn’t help himself. Now the blowback commences, even from his own.

Julian versus Julia, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger
As far as I can tell, he has not unequivocally resided in Australia since 2007. I presume that a legal incapacity to enrol can be equated to a lack of qualification to be a voter,

Opposition's pre-Budget deficit , Penny Wong
We’ve done their numbers because it’s important Australians know just what Tony Abbott would do to the budget. The Opposition continues to confuse Australians by changing their  

Why the economy isn't splitting in two, Ross Gittins
The news from last week's national accounts seemed very clear and very worrying: the economy was splitting in two, with the mining-boom states of Queensland and Western Australia roaring

Get rid of middle-class welfare, Crispin Hull
The Howard Government handed out large amounts of welfare money to middle and high-income people in the form of the health insurance rebate; the Medicare safety net; generous and lightly
KBU John Quiggin
GMU has come down with a self-contradictory whitewash on the plagiarism case against climate delusionist Edward Wegman. One committee conceded plagiarism on a paper that had already been retracted by the journal in question, and recommended a reprimand, while another cleared Wegman of all charges,

Aussie government proposes unlimited speech regulation, names climate skeptics and Labor critics as targets, Alec rawls, Watts up with That
The report explicitly calls for opinion to be regulated along with news (§11.64, p. 294) , and while low-readership blogs would possibly be exempted, Bolt notes that the suggested threshold  

The Liberal National Party's ancestor: the Country and Progressive National Party, David Moore, On Line Opinion
It seems that the CPNO never had a solid branch or funding base. Given this poor precedent, it will be interesting to see

When we don’t even get “he said, she said” reporting, Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo
7:30 uncritically reports on a “six-month study by Ernst & Young” claiming that “33,000 jobs will vanish because the Federal Government won’t close a GST loophole for imported

Think, then speak, Miglo, Café Whispers
Communication is the transactional process of sending and receiving verbal and nonverbal messages. The messages are interpreted and meaning is assigned.

WillJeff Seeney be the Next Premier of Queensland,Antony Green
If Newman loses Ashgrove and does as he has promised, retire from politics, then the LNP would have to meet and elect a new leader to become Premier. That may not necessarily be Jeff Seeney,


Margaret Whitlam: 1919-2012

The Insiders, Sunday Papers
And before we go to the Sunday papers, we need to explain something.Letters are starting to appear in newspapers and we get scores of complaints here, because, this year, seven weeks in, we haven't yet had a program guest from the Opposition.That is because they haven't yet provided one - in seven weeks.We have even resorted to saying to Tony Abbott's office that we'll take anyone, anyone at all, but still we come up short.

This week on Insiders

Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category

Meet The Press 18th May 2012

Candidates for seat of Ashgrove face reader questions on local issues at YourVote forum

Bob Katter, Katter's Australian Party,Sunday Profile,  Radio National ABC

The Good, the Bad and the Unlikely. Mungo MacCallum with Kerry O'BrienIn this conversation with legendary Australian broadcaster Kerry O'Brien, he tells - with characteristic wit and expert knowledge - of the many men and one woman who've had a crack at running the country.


March 19. 2012 07:54 AM


Good Morning Ad

      "Happy Birthday to You"

     With Best Wishes from Lyn

Best Wishes for a lovely day Ad.


March 19. 2012 07:56 AM



    Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 19 March 2012



March 19. 2012 08:10 AM


Ad Astra

Have a great birthday day today.  What a great way to celebrate holidaying with some of your family on a holiday.

The analysis of Abbott's behavior here has been very thought provoking and also scary.  Thank you to those that are looking at him from all these different angles.  

Talk Turkey, when I   woke up this morning I was thinking that Labor should only answer 'yes' or 'no' to their questions, but I like your idea of only using one sentence answers.

Okay now for a question.  With the non-pairing for Craig Thompson, other than for today, and with Bob Katter electioneering in QLD, what happens if a No Confidence motion gets put up and passes?


March 19. 2012 09:09 AM


AA, someone I worked with one used this line on every card he ever wrote on.  In this case it is more than deserved.

Fondest congratulations on this auspicious occasion.

Have a wonderful day with your family.


March 19. 2012 09:15 AM



That is what is known as a * Very * Good * Question *.

I wonder what is the matter with CT. The Coalons haven't flapped and clucked (nice near-perfect Spoonerism eh!) about his hospitalisation, so something is, or is not, definitely afoot. IYSWIM.

Shake a leg, break a leg Labor today!
Short short answers to Them in QT, no kid gloves in interviews, we are coming up to the half-time break.
Three days, kick three goals.

Can't help Queensland, Dam.
May Dog smile on Anna on Saturday.

One thing to be salvaged is this, that from most of the States being under Rightist Governments there will be a major Left backwash by late next year.    


March 19. 2012 09:27 AM

Patricia WA

Happy Birthday, Ad Astra, and Many Happy Returns!

Patricia WA

March 19. 2012 09:32 AM


Happy Birthday Ad astra. I hope it is all that you could wish it to be.


March 19. 2012 10:09 AM

Ad astra reply

Talk Turkey, Lyn, Gravel, 2353, Patricia WA, NormanK
Thank you all for your warm birthday wishes.  The sun is shining, the day is predicted to be warm, so we will take off the whole day and enjoy ourselves.

I'm having trouble accessing the Internet via my computer Lyn, so I'm sending this from the iPad.  I'll post your links to your special page as soon as I can get my computer linked to the Internet.

Ad astra reply

March 19. 2012 10:43 AM



CT is suffering from adominal pain.

That virtuoso of the language and paragon of medical knowledge, Mr Entsch has been clearly saying so all over the media this morning.


March 19. 2012 11:16 AM

Ad astra

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

Hi Lyn
At last I managed to get a workable connection to the Internet to upload your links to your special page.

Ad astra

March 19. 2012 11:45 AM


Sounds like it's hurting him abombinabelly! Smile

GPs will be just loving the Coalons' call for a 'second opinion' on CT's condition. Bolstering community trust in shock jocks  . . . Doctors are all quacks and they're not to be trusted, and they are shonky and they take bribes to give medical certificates and they're always on the side of the employees who are nearly always putting it on of course . . .  and so on.

A very dangerous precedent this, even this apparently blind and ineffective stab. Because it's been made. It is deeply offensive to any properly professional medical practitioner, and must be viewed with alarm by all workers.

Seems to me, if willy-nilly they can feel free to call into question both the integrity and the competence of a random Medical Practitioner, they can feel free to attack anyone on no basis.

So hammer the Coalons on it Labor! Do It Now!  What better wedge to the Right than a properly-outraged community of Medical Practitioners?

Ad astra I'd like to hear your thoughts on the significance of this call by the Coalition. (I have already half-heard a spokesman for the medical profession, he was just spot-on afa  I'm concerned.)  



March 19. 2012 11:56 AM


Hi Gravel

Phillip Corey answers you question, what happens if there is a vote of no confidence by the Opposition:

Playing doctor sets a dangerous and bizarre precedent March 19, 2012 - 11:40AM

Bob Katter was not in Parliament at all last week.

He will miss all this week as well

Because he is too busy with the Queensland election campaign, trying to secure a handful of seats for his fledgling party, the Australian Party.

Perhaps the opposition is hoping that if the report is released, they can drum up enough confected outrage to shame enough independents into supporting a no-confidence motion against Julia Gillard.

To succeed, however, that would require Katter to be present.



March 19. 2012 12:22 PM

Ad astra

To protect the privacy of people who consult them, the diagnosis doctors write on a 'sick certificate' is suitably vague.  All the employer, or anyone else requiring a sick certificate needs to know is that a registered medical practitioner has certified that the individual is unfit for work.  Such certificates are legal documents - doctors can be prosecuted if they write false certificates.

Abbott, Pyne and Entsch are playing very dirty politics, but what's new?

We are off for the day now - I'll be back tomorrow.

Ad astra

March 19. 2012 12:32 PM


Happy birthday, Ad Astra. Party hard. Smile


March 19. 2012 01:02 PM


may the celebration of the anniversary of your birth bring much joy and happiness

may this day have many happy returns


March 19. 2012 01:09 PM


@ 1:21 AM
one quick thought. We live in the 'common wealth' of Australia.

@ March 18. 2012 12:33 PM
Thanks. I am still attempting to make some sense of it all your thinking on that helps round it out. I suspect there is a 'learned tome' or maybe at least a PhD thesis waiting to be written on the subject.


March 19. 2012 01:12 PM





Once again one has to be put in touch with t'other

bye again


March 19. 2012 02:10 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

AMA'S chair Dr Brian Morton tells listeners the same as Ad Astra  told us:-

Ad Astra @ 12.22pm
To protect the privacy of people who consult them, the diagnosis doctors write on a 'sick certificate' is suitably vague.  All the employer, or anyone else requiring a sick certificate needs to know is that a registered medical practitioner has certified that the individual is unfit for work.  Such certificates are legal documents - doctors can be prosecuted if they write false certificates.
Ad Astra @ 12.22pm

Greg Jericho‏
"Australian Medical Association's Brian Morton said medical certificates needed to be specifically vague to protect patient privacy."

ABC Radio‏ amworldtodaypm
Now on AM: AMA's chair Dr Brian Morton on the worth of medical certificates (& the Opp's refusal to accept one) http://abc.net.au/am #auspol

Greg Jericho‏@GrogsGamut
"Chief opposition whip Warren Entsch said the medical certificate provided by Mr Thomson was "very vague"." Much like the LNP's costings...

ABC News 24‏ ABCNews24Reply
Watch: AMA President Steve Hambleton discussing medical certificate for ill Labor MP Craig Thomson. http://bit.ly/abcnews24

TonyAbbottMHR and will you speak about your insult to the AMA today over questioning Thomsons certificate? Or is that ok under workchoices?


March 19. 2012 02:24 PM


Hi Everybody

Qld Bligh and Newman debate on ABC24 and ABC 1 @ 2pm has the Senate today:

ABC News
You can watch today's Question Time QT from the House of Representatives on the @abcnews website here: http://bit.ly/AfVnIV #auspol


March 19. 2012 03:21 PM


THIS is Malcolm Turnbull. No blinkers, no bullshit, tip to toe talcum Malcolm as he is.



March 19. 2012 03:55 PM


One thing to be salvaged is this, that from most of the States being under Rightist Governments there will be a major Left backwash by late next year.

I agree...the Australian people like balance.

The idea that they will tolerate Coalition governments in most of the states and then throw out a Labor federal government goes against the trend.

Besides, the people want an effective NBN, a nation disability insurance scheme, healthcare online, a fair-go in the workplace with appropriate protections, a government that doesn't impose huge burdens on the public school system in order to prop up the private system, improved Superannuation and affordable dental care, more funding for cancer centres and screening...and increased funding for healthcare in general that does not permit the plundering of public healthcare in order to allow millionaires cheap access to private healthcare privileges, trades training centres, leadership that does not send troops to wars based on lies and deceit...a mining tax that distributes the money earned from valuable, finite resources far more fairly, a fund that provides for more diverse, alternative energy projects ensuring we are more energy independent as a country...

and safeguards and appropriate funding for news and current affairs broadcasters that provide balanced reporting not as much dictated by the whims of wealthy moguls and advertisers...such as the ABC & SBS...

It's a no-brainer...

It would make no sense to dump a party that offers all of the above...a party, the ALP, that has listened to the public's demands time and time again and brought in Medicare, the Superannuation system, provided essential funding for schools of all types, built necessary infrastructure too oft delayed or neglected by the Coalition...helped reform our economy in the 80s and 90s so it can deal more effectively with global challenges...helped steer us through the GFC better than most other nations...wound back the extreme WorkChoices legislation....

I just can't see the Australian people kicking a gift horse in the mouth in order to vote in a ranting, raging bull and his black hole creating team...the puppets of mining robber barons...a Coalition who had plenty of opportunities to do the right thing by the people during Howard's almost 12 years in government...but instead preferred to buy votes with carefully targeted carrots and rely on, prop up, private business to do too much of the heavy lifting...

didn't that ABC child care experiment work out well?...

Why would the people take that risk?

when they are already taking it in a number of the states...possibly QLD too from this weekend on...sadly...

why would they trust an unpredictable weathervane who admits on public television his word can't be trusted unless it's written down?

No matter how much propaganda the Coalition and Murdoch empire throw at the public...no matter how many of the gullible and brainwashed vote against their own interests...I can't see the Australian public wanting to bring on Hockey's austerity measures...nor risk Robb's confusing economic outlook...nor give Pyne an opportunity to pillage our public schools...and see the mining tax wound back to bring big cocky smiles to the mining robber barons' faces...

I just don't see it happening.



March 19. 2012 03:56 PM


Happy b'day Ad astra.



March 19. 2012 04:06 PM


Many happy returns, Ad astra. Perhaps you could enlighten us all as to where the adomen resides. I'd ask Mr Entsch, but he's busy with his medical practice.


March 19. 2012 05:10 PM



Thanks for that link, now I know where we may stand.

While I have your attention, I went to this link and read Andrew's piece and then glance at the comments, but they won't come up and there is over 500 of them.  Am I doing something wrong?  Oh I don't want to read all the comments, just get a general gist of the reaction.


March 19. 2012 05:48 PM


Hi Gravel

I am not sure which article you mean of Andrew Elders. His article on Politically Homeless are there ok.  The article on the Drum have the comments closed of at 293.  Seems Ok.

Just have another look, maybe the moderator was doing something when you were there before.

I know what you mean, it is good to just glance and get the general theme of the commenters.

Cheers to you Gravel Smile


March 19. 2012 06:02 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

C’mon Jane, even Tarzan has more brains than you and he was educated by apes. Did you even attend school? Talking about liars who said:

Budget forecasts 500,000 new jobs: Swan
Updated May 01, 2011 15:20:00

"What I can say about the budget is that we will see the creation of an additional 500,000 jobs in the next couple of years with unemployment rate coming down to 4.5 per cent," he said.


Peter Martin tells us that at the current rate of 5300 new jobs created in one quarter of a year the Swan goal would be met by....2035!

I have more lies by the Australian Liars Party (formerly the Australian Labor Party) if you need them.

Jane, aren’t you lucky there are no mirrors in the tree-house. You don’t have to look at your reflection and think about how gullible you are.

Sir Ian Crisp

March 19. 2012 06:04 PM


thnx for the link to Elizabeth Humphrys' no nonsense article:

We have let the rich and powerful pursue their economic agenda effectively unchallenged. In the process we have failed to put the greatest ethical questions of this decade front and centre - those being the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth and power, and the failure of neoliberalism to deliver fair and sustainable outcomes locally or globally. As one Twitter user put it about Turnbull, we should not be 'swept away by his nice suits & crocodile smile on the idiotbox & forget he's part of the 1%'.

We need to be reminded sometimes...of the wolf under the disguise. Patricia did same last week. Timely reminders...the Coalition have an agenda...it serves the few at the expense of the many. They select these frontbenchers for a reason. A smiling, seemingly easy-going lawyer who sounds more rational than Abbott (not hard) can be appealing, disarming...

But they will still defend the privileged and screw over the average voter...with barely a twinge of guilt...that's what Liberals do...it's in their DNA.

An apt reminder...from a young woman who obviously has the fire of a truthseeker.


Many thnx to Lyn for another big effort.



March 19. 2012 06:22 PM


Happy Birthday Ad astra. Best wishes!


March 19. 2012 06:24 PM


Sir Ian
       I guess in a small way your parents should be congratulated for their lack of spend on education, as they saw early on sending you to school would be a total waste of time and money!


March 19. 2012 06:39 PM


Hello Nasking

Thankyou for your as always undivided support.  You work very hard for TPS too you know, your contributions are I am sure enjoyed by all our readers including the lurkers.

TPS is us, Conversation and Information.


March 19. 2012 07:05 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

C'mon J guy, you don't even know my mum and dad. Politeness, forbearance, respect, and other worthy traits were inculcated from the day I was born.  

Sir Ian Crisp

March 19. 2012 07:13 PM

Ad astra

Miglo, DMW, Nasking, jane, BSA Bob
Thank you all for your happy birthday greetings.  We have had a great day.

The ‘adomen’ resides in Mr Entsch’s imagination.

Ad astra

March 19. 2012 08:59 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Ian, what was the cost of each job “created”? Was it about $300,000? I don’t consider that to be particularly efficient “job creation”.
That’s nice Nasking.

Contrary to the view you seem to have, not all jobs involve turning up, putting in some hours, and appearance money.

But speculate away, you’ve been (pretty well) wrong about most of the issues we’ve exchanged views about.
That’s nice Jane. A typically cogent line of logic, just as I’d expect from you.

Tom of Melbourne

March 19. 2012 09:03 PM


Cheers Lyn,
Yer a lovely motivator.

Have a good night.

All that nonsense regarding Thomson's sick note should be a warning to all workers...the Coalition enjoy putting in place IR and workplace cultures that permit, even compel, bosses to give employees a hard time over sick days.

It's in their DNA.



March 19. 2012 09:29 PM


Tom of Melbourne,
                Whilst you're acting all tough and want to pick on Nasking,Ian and Jane! the offer is still open for to come and rip my membership out of my hand.
Put up or shut up!


March 19. 2012 10:07 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Jason, I’m afraid I don’t have much call to visit remote parts of the country, like Adelaide.

Rest assured, I’ll let you know when I’m next interested in that type of outback entertainment.

Tom of Melbourne

March 19. 2012 10:43 PM


Tom of Melbourne,
                "Jason, I’m afraid"  that pretty much sums up a bottom feeder like you! No spine no guts no nothing!


March 19. 2012 10:46 PM


That’s nice Jane. A typically cogent line of logic, just as I’d expect from you.

Why thank you ToM. I do my best to educate the likes of you, although as long as you keep reading the Liars Party Handbook, I'm afraid you're a lost cause.

Still, I figure if we keep exposing you to the truth, it may eventually take up residence in your brain cell.

Lol, recaptcha-toryvoc nature


March 19. 2012 10:48 PM


The MRRT passed the Senate a few minutes ago.

I will be monitoring Google Earth to see Whyalla disappear off the face of the earth Tong


March 19. 2012 10:49 PM


Happy Birthday Ad,
Hip Hip Smile


March 19. 2012 10:54 PM


HI Everybody

Mining Tax has passed the Senate:-

Matt Thistlethwaite

Motion "that the bills now be passed" succeeds 38-32. Mining tax becomes law. A boost for superannuation and small business

Wayne Swan‏@Swanny
This new site - http://www.moresuper.gov.au – lets you work out the extra super you’ll receive thanks to the Govt’s mining tax #FairGo.

Wayne Swan‏@Swanny
This is a link to today’s Economic Note where I discuss spreading the benefits of the mining boom #FairGo: ministers.treasury.gov.au/.../008.htm&pageID=012&min=wms&Year=&DocType=4

Australian Labor‏
The #MRRT has passed the Senate. See how you'll get your fair share from the resources boom here: http://bit.ly/FPyPgo #fairgo #auspol

Mining tax passes the Senate March 19, 2012 - 10:37PM



March 19. 2012 11:00 PM


Dog allbloodybitey
What a pathetic level of drivel is Q&A!

Bloody Germaine bloody Greer sounds like she might be the sole one there with a brain . . . Then she finishes up with a criticism of *J*U*L*I*A* because of the cut of her coats!

And that's what she gets applause for!

Then wtte 'she's got a such big arse', and that's hilarious!

What was it TT said back on the 28th Feb . . !

I've gone right off VEGEMITE!



Sing along! Follow the bouncing ball!

I like *J*U*L*I*A* *G*I*L*L*A*RD* !
*J*U*L*I*A* *G*I*L*L*A*RD* for Me!
I like her long earlobes!
I like her sharp nose!
Her smile and her style and her odd taste in clothes!
I like her big bum and her broad Aussie voice,
Hair colour like plum, that's why she's my first choice!
I like *J*U*L*I*A* *G*I*L*L*A*RD* !
*J*U*L*I*A* *G*I*L*L*A*RD* for Me!

It was meant as a joke . . .



March 19. 2012 11:16 PM


Don't think that link works

Get your Aeroplane Jelly here.


More substance than Q&A.

[Oh but they got pretty motivated talking dirty sex stuff eh!]


March 19. 2012 11:24 PM



"Ian, what was the cost of each job “created”? Was it about $300,000? I don’t consider that to be particularly efficient “job creation”."

Cost of everything. Value of nothing. Just about sums you up Tom. I have read your posts here and over at GT and the Cafe and, invariably I come away with a great sense of sadness. I don't know your story, and have no wish to....I think I would find it unutterably sorrowful, though, thankfully for me I don't have to live it....you do.

You seem to need to be  universally despised by all you communicate with. I feel you see yourself as a font of hard headed, harsh, yet realistic wisdom and you don't seem to be able to understand why the rest of us don't pay you the respect you are due. " You don't have to like me......but you had better respect me" appears to be the life philisophy you embrace. Once again, I feel great sadness. Not only for you but for a life that sees only wasted money in a playground of children, whereas the rest of us can see only a future that will benefit from a safe, secure and laughter filled schoolyard.

None here hate you Tom. None here despise you. Perhaps some, including myself are disdainful of you. But mostly we are sad, not just for you, but for the circumstances that have shaped you to that which you are.

I am so terribly sorry and just so bloody sad for you.  


March 20. 2012 12:32 AM



You do make me laugh out loud sometimes. Laughing
(I think we've been reading each other for long enough that I can rely on you to take that as the compliment that it is intended to be)
I can't count the number of times that I have sat here chuckling at something that you have written, whether it be what you have said or the way in which you have said it.
You don't sound much like a stereotypical truck-driver, especially when you get into lyrical mode. I've often thought that I should pipe up and say "job well done!' but for one reason or another I haven't so let me take this opportunity to say how much I enjoy your comments.

Tom of Melbourne

Prompted by what ian has said above, might I suggest that you try taking a different perspective on the BER - move around the building for a gander from another angle.

What about if the BER was a long-overdue round of serious capital-spending on our neglected education infrastructure, a huge shot in the arm for the teaching and emotional well-being of our future productive citizens? And as an added bonus, an after-thought really, it was instigated at a time when the construction industry was going through a rough patch so that it didn't cause a skills' shortage or overheat that part of the economy but instead fed some much-needed capital into the economy as a whole.

As ian suggests, look at the playgrounds, look at the libraries and science blocks and modern classrooms and computer centres and canteens and multi-purpose drama/sports centres and freshly-painted buildings. Rejoice in the pleasure they are bringing to hundreds of thousands of children, all over Australia not just in the cities and big towns but in the bush as well. The sense of optimism that all of this infrastructure will have instilled in our teachers and our young Australians will have been worth the price of admission all by itself.

This is a good and beautiful thing that has been done and I'm sure you would be able to see it if you stopped wringing your hands about the money. What price do you put on social cohesion? What price do you put on having a generation of healthy, well-educated optimistic kids?


March 20. 2012 08:28 AM



We Need More Voices In The National Debate, Wendy Harmer, New Matilda
The offerings at most newsagents — if the town still has one — are paltry. A copy of The Australian; an out-of date metro title like The Age or Daily Telegraph and a weekly local paper are usually what’s on offer.

It’s a political crisis, not a problem of media ethics, The Piping Shrike
Such uncritical passing on of dubious leaked information to pursue a political agenda would not be possible because this, of course, was Barrie Cassidy, and Barrie has told us that not only does he not  http://www.pipingshrike.com/

Paging Doctor Entsch – a new week of political shenanigans, The Conscience Vote
In fact, as Malcolm Farr pointed out today, no less than three Opposition MPs needed to take extended sick leave within the last year, and were readily granted pairs. None of them had medical certificates, nor were they asked to provide them.

Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger
Essential Research has Labor recovering a badly needed point on the two-party preferred vote, with the Coalition’s lead back to 56-44 after rising to 57-43 last week

Inquiry’s #Finkelstein was judge who fined company for contempt over comments by its Facebook fans, Mark Pearson, Journlaw
Independent Media Inquiry chair Ray Finkelstein had already broken new legal ground and fined an online publisher for contempt

Why Crikey is joining the Press Council, Sophie Black, Crikey
whether they be issues of financial sustainability, or the chance to offer a range of skills, advice, research and findings around issues ranging from right of reply to defamation,

What This American Life’s retraction can teach us about the Finkelstein report, Sean Rintel , The Conversation
This American Life’s retraction was made in the form of an entire program and released two days ahead of schedule. The retraction was made public via the show’s Facebook page and has received much

Power-seeking politicians walking the low road on fear, Andrew Leigh, The Drum
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott spoke of a 'reign of terror on the streets of Sydney'. For anyone who missed the first dog-whistle, Scott Morrison added, 'If you can't stop the boats,

TEXTOR GETS INKY ON VEXNEWS: We explore a Liberal strategist’s angst over the rise of Generation Vex, Andrew Landeryou, Vex News
Textor then takes the cake by appearing to attack VEXNEWS on the basis that we are not regulated (not yet anyway), our writers are “not trained” (many of our contributors are current or former

How both sides stuffed the federal tax base, Ross Gittins
There seems little doubt Abbott's term in office would either be marked by an orgy of broken promises or be consumed by agonising over what spending to cut, with eternal

A Quick Stock Take on the Economy, Stephen Koukoulas
The government is delivering cuts in outlays and the turn in the budget balance underway now is the most significant move delivered since at least the 1960s. This is entirely prudent

US inflation expected to average 1.3827935 per cent for the next ten years, Bill mitchell, Billy Blog
Yesterday (March 18, 2012), the Cleveland branch of the US Federal Reserve Bank released their latest estimates of US inflationary expectations. This data estimates what the “public

Monday reading - the tragedy of the Commonwealth public service, Peter Martin
“A politician speaking with warmth and wit; clarity and comfort.” Laura Tingle tweeted from the presser “I’ve worked out what feels so weird… a minister (almost) who isn’t talking in spin speak”.

Labor confident as senate votes on mining tax, David Twomey, Eco News
Increasing the tax would allow money to be channelled to school funding measures identified by the Gonski report, to setting up a dental scheme, to high-speed rail and to establishing a

The Double-Decker Election Campaign, Jane Goodall, Inside Story
Katter is, among other things, a walking paradox, an old school right-winger stumbling through an election campaign on two left feet, and his misjudgement here is a reminder of why minor parties tend to fail their most earnest supporters. T

High-definition videoconferencing to enhance service delivery, Senator Kim Carr
The pilot will give Australians access to specialist services that may not be readily available locally such as family, health, education, employment and financial services offered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) through Centrelink, Child Support and Medicare programs

The mining tax-what’s in it for you-, Alan Thornhill, Private Briefing
Cathy, who is 20, would see an see an estimated $110,000 jump in her retirement savings, as a result of a planned boost to superannuation, that would come as part of the Mineral Resource Rent Tax package.Or Bruce, a 29-year-old clerk, who could expect likely to gain an extra $78,000

Senate passes mining tax, AFR John Kerin
Revisit the Senate debate on Monday night leading up to the historic vote in favour of Labor’s $10.6 billion minerals resource rent tax.

Mining Tax Facts
Welcome to Mining-Tax.com.au! Hopefully we will help you understand what Labor’s mining tax, also known as the resource super profits tax or RSPT, means for Australia and for you.


Opposition searches for credit in Craig Thomson illness, 7.30pm Report

Online retailing threatens Australia: Harvey, Lateline

Politics and porn in a post-feminist world, Q and A

Episode 07, 19 March 2012 , Media Watch

The Drum Monday 19 March, ABC

Mining tax passes the Senate, Sky News

Crowd says Bligh lacked vigour in debate, Sky News

Members' doors - Craig Thomson illness. Christopher Pyne
The coalition is refusing to supply a pair for Labor MP Craig Thompson, who was in hospital last week, unless the government supplies further medical evidence that he is still too ill to work. In order of appearance: Christopher Pyne, Nick Champion

Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Categoryaustralianpoliticstv.org/category/daily-fix/

Fiery debate for Qld leaders, Sky NewsCampbell Newman has denied he's too prickly to be Queensland premier, after shunning a handshake with his political opponent


March 20. 2012 08:33 AM



Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 20 March 2012



March 20. 2012 08:44 AM


Good Morning Ad

I guess the MSM will be much more interested in Clive Palmer's court challenge than History being made last night.  Wonder will any of them report the benefits to the Australian people from the

This is my tweet for the day.

lynlinking Lyn Linking
History News Mining Tax passed. Breakfast reports top news of the day "There's a manhunt in France"
mining tax mentioned 4th?

Steve Georganas‏
Pension increases for more than 28,400 of my constituents today to help with cost of living pressures. Details here: www.jennymacklin.fahcsia.gov.au/.../...ch2012.aspx.

Australian Labor‏
The #MRRT has passed the Senate. See how you'll get your fair share from the resources boom here: http://bit.ly/FPyPgo #fairgo #auspol

Wayne Swan‏Tune into @SkyNews or @ABCNews24 at around 845am to watch my press conference with PM @JuliaGillard and Martin Ferguson on the MRRT #FairGo


March 20. 2012 10:21 AM


Congrats to the government and the PM Julia Gillard for negotiating successfully a mining tax...ensuring the Australian people receive more benefits from the mining boom than some of the mega-rich mining misers would prefer.

These mega-rich mining misers are morally underdeveloped...unable to recognise that we are all in this together...did they protest and threaten court cases over the GST?...

certainly many of the public were not in favour of it...Hewson lost an election over it...but it was eventually imposed on us by the Coalition...the people moaned but got on with their lives...paid the tax...

a tax brought to us by a Coalition that now resists taxing the few...when it had no problem then taxing the many...regardless of the problems it caused for small business...

the same small business sector that it is now going to deny a tax cut too when it votes in parliament...

Tony Abbott is a short-term gain...but long-term disaster for the Coalition...

they come across as confused weathervanes...wearing a black hole like a halo...and austerity measures like guns on a cowboy...

these apologists and defenders of the mega-rich miners are an embarrassment to their country...


Yesterday, I spoke to my Dad in Canada, a former businessman and investor. I told him about the MIneral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT)...
and the powerful vested interests who have relentlessly campaigned against it...

He replied:

Doesn't surprise me, these big resource companies think they own the world...you can have our Prime Minister Stephen Harper if you like...he's another one owned by these corporations....he'd fit into your Liberal party.

Don't let anyone tell you it's the politicians serving the people who run our world...it's these rich fckers and the multinationals...if you can wrest any money and power away from their greedy grasp you've done well.

A big two thumbs up for Julia Gillard it seems is required.



March 20. 2012 10:49 AM


Ian, I like the way you think. Your job seems to have given you time to cogitate and it's obvious from your comment, you do a lot of thinking. I hope to read more from you.

NormanK, you have to understand that ToM buys into the Liars Party crapaganda hook, line, sinker and copy of Angling Times.

If you create a job, ToM thinks there should be no financial investment in its creation. You just take your magic Liars wand and Hey Presto! A new job, just like that!

ToM never thinks of the ongoing benefit to the economy and the community as a whole, of making this investment.

He never considers the cost to us all of unemployment. That when you remove spending power from just one person, you are depriving the economy of revenue and adding to the line of unemployed.

He never considers that if one more person gains employment, other people keep their jobs and others may gain employment as a result.

And that's worth an investment of $300,000; an investment that will be more than repaid in the long term.

As you say, ToM knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing.


March 20. 2012 10:51 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

March 20. 2012 12:13 PM


Goodonyer Lyn

Not much gets by you!

But I saw *J*U*L*I*A* in a presser this morning, serious, humourless, overriding nonsense with whacking it straight back into the yellow presspack's teeth. I must say I find it beyond gratifying, all the way to delightful, to see her and Swannie so taking my directives to heart!

True I'm half-joking, but if the question is which half, well I said a day or so ago, I do think the Blogosphere is right out on the leading edge of opinion, everybody who wants to be informed need only go to Lyn's~Links anytime. And this course of action really is what I have been urging, not me alone you understand, we are on the cusp of a blogospheric buzz, a synchronous feeling and opportunity, says NOW hit 'em Labor, a bit like that moment when all the corals spawn at once, Today, tomorrow, Thursday, let 'em have it Brave Girls and Boys in Parliament Assembled, this Government has an amazing story, tell it loud and clear now, and pursue Abbortt to his political grave.

This moment isn't accidental, nor unpredicted, but worked for, and the result of tremendous effort by a talented and committed team with its back to the wall all the way. That is what Eye of Time has always shown me. Ad astra's always said it too, he's been looking a long time of course. But it's not mystical, it's logical is all. It's unavoidably been breathtakingly risky given the numbers, hard on the PM and her close lieutenants personally, but they've got the runs up now. The Coalons can give up now, they've lost everything important. They will never be able to undo the best of it.    

Well done Labor and its staunch Independent allies.  

*J*U*L*I*A* said this morning wtte that she has the right to "go to the scoreboard" and that at the moment she is doing a lot better than the MSM (and they knew it). She said that as she turned her back and walked away after what amounted to, like unto a proper Teacher who's had enough of a group of Year 11 students who still yet again haven't done their homework after she herself has done everything to teach them their subject and they know it and are burning with shame because her spray is so deserved. . . No smartarse so-called journalist ever gets past her, but especially now she's on her third century on the Legislation scoreboard, they're seeing the REAL Real *J*U*L*I*A* now whether they like it or not. She is now dictating the real debate, Abbortt has given her a wedge par excellence with flagged intention to oppose the 1% tax on small business, Dawg knows what his Party geniuses make of that! Tee Hee!

Run from the light Abbortt. Don't let any of your mob comment on any serious programs that might ask two hard questions in a row. (Or even the first one!) Make your MP's vote against their wishes on same sex relationships, and on Company Tax ffs, there's a good boy Tone. Make straight Labor's way to winning in late 2013. Though you will be a memory as a LOTO by then - for see, every time you stick your ugly nasty head up now you will get it smacked.

The Yellow Media Pack is getting no change out of HER by now, and Tony, I love to be able to tell you this, THEY BLAME YOU! and most of your sycophantic sucking followers Smile will too as they realise that you have terminal galloping cerebellar necrosis. (Those who don't, it's because they got the same disease Smile )

You are a toothless lame old lion who has failed all the jackals, now the best they can hope for is for a bit of old lion when you die, and sooner the better, You ain't gunna catch nothin now and they know it.  

The Ides Of September
Just 6 Months! Remember!
Burnt out by November,
Dead ash by December.

Eye of Time admits of a degree of blurriness as to the literal truth of this prediction btw. There is a problem: that being, the utter hopelessness of any possible successor! I have long wrestled with that singular problem, the thing is there they are these bloody fool Coalons, so far up Tony's for-sale-or-rent orifice, they have not the faintest idea how to back out. Turnbull . . . We will have him on toast over his spinelessness and all his record. Mesma? Snotty? Poor Old John? 'unt? Morriscum? Gee I don't like these people, dunno if it shows. Then there's Poo-Poo, OO.

They are on the horns of a splendid dilemma: to Abbott or to Abort?

Three more days, three more goals please before half time Labor.  


March 20. 2012 12:16 PM


Thank goodness for decent commentators like Rob Burgess.

Gillard's productivity machine gun
by Rob Burgess     Business Spectator

Most educated Australians will wake up this morning with one of those two options buried deep within their political psyche – left/liberal types believe Australia can afford to upgrade the nation's plant and equipment, and its skills base, to stay ahead of our ultra-competitive Asian neighbours. More conservative types believe that only breaking the stranglehold of unions can free up Australia's human capital to be 'flexible' enough to stay ahead of national economies that pay only a fraction of Australian wages, and that capital deepening must be done by the private sector, not the government.
Labor's plan is on the table for all to see and the three legs – skills, infrastructure and new revenue to fund both – form, at the very least, a coherent big-picture plan for the nation.

Could this be part of the much-vaunted 'vision thing' that most hacks insist is missing from Labor's conversation with the public?


March 20. 2012 12:55 PM


Some more of "George's" funny photo's!



March 20. 2012 12:59 PM


How long (years) will we have to wait to be given access to video on demand? For example, if I missed the PM's press conference this morning why can't I access it via ABC24? I'm sure the likes of Chris Uhlmann can call it up on his desktop within minutes of its having concluded. It's digital, it's on file and yet it's not available.
The new medium of the internet will only properly begin to fulfil its potential when we can seek out anything from any time. Roll on NBN and monster data bases that are updated in real time. Frown


March 20. 2012 01:02 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Julia Gillard in her Press Conference this morning put a few of the Journalists in their places, Matthew Franklin was one, she said and I hope to see that in The Australian.  Julia said she has had months and months of scoffing from the Journalists now it’s her turn:

Here are some Tweets with reference to the MRRT and Julia Press Conference:

PM hails mining tax victory, amid talk of a legal challenge, Jessica Wright, SMH
Ms Gillard said she had put up with ''months of scoffing'' that she would not be able to secure the carbon tax, ''months of scoffing'' that the mining tax would not pass and now she expected ''months of scoffing'' over her plans to reduce company tax.

States step up row over royalties as Julia Gillard scores MRRT victory, Matthew Franklin, The Australian
The NSW Minerals Council declared that implied federal threats to dock infrastructure funding tied to the new mining tax would damage mining communities that underpinned the economy, and said it was feared the government was trying to use threats of cuts to GST payments to force states to play ball on the terms of the MRRT.

Resources tax will be a stimulus

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
PM says she's put up with 'months and months of scoffing'
about not being able to get stuff through and says carbon and mining

PM scoffing at the reporters. She has had them scoff at her, now its their turn. #abcnews24 #auspol

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
PM - scoreboard - Gillard leads Journos.

Elliot Giakalis‏@ElliotG78
Next time anyone starts crying for miners, best have a read of this - Miners' virtual tax haven

Bill Shorten‏@billshortenmp
Not only does mining tax mean more superannuation for 8.3m workers, it means low income earners under $37K don’t pay any tax on super. MRRT

Despite all the hullabaloo, the passage of the MRRT confirms Australia as a great place for mining

latikambourke The PM is doing amazingly well considering the Australian media is about the most one-sided in the developed world. #auspol

National Times‏
PM hails mining tax victory, amid talk of a legal challenge from Andrew Forrest a-legal-challenge-20120320-1vgj9.html via @NationalTimesAU

Think Big‏Thought4rce
PM unloading on the stupidity of the press gallery questions so #ABC helpfully cuts away Smile

F Close Open Details  Live, up to the point where our PM was in full stride belting the press pack's questions & you cut away

Shayne Neumann‏@ShayneNeumannMP
Last night JuliaGillard delivered the MRRT through the Senate, find out how it benefits you here: http://www.mining-tax.com.au/

Michael Lee‏
Twiggy doing his best to join Palmer & Rinehart in becoming the Nations most obnoxious individuals http://goo.gl/5eqA7 #MRRT #justgetoverit

Latika Bourke ‏
RT @swrightwestoz: Wright/Probyn yarn on FMG's legal assault on MRRT ... http://latika.me/GzJf1t

George‏ OverTheHill4

couriermail TheQldPremier Wins the debate 76% to 24% your man Campbell Newman not as popular as you have been espousing #qldvotes


March 20. 2012 01:14 PM


Hi Ad

For those who missed Julia's press Conference this morning:-

Fiesty Julia:-

Julia Gillard Press Conference, 20th March 2012
March 20, 2012. MRRT passes into law.
March 20, 2012. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism comment on the passage of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax legislation. (AAP/Grace Keyworth)


Senate passes mining tax legislation
Updated March 20, 2012 12:38:07

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is celebrating the passing of her mining profits tax legislation through the Senate.


ABC News Video’s


March 20. 2012 02:06 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Thanks for the links and tweets about Julia Gillard’s press conference.  I caught a clip of it on The World Today, and swelled with pride as I heard her put the journalists in their place.  She needs to do this every time they ask loaded questions designed to demean her.  They deserve to be humiliated as they have tried to humiliate her time and again.

Ad astra

March 20. 2012 02:25 PM


Excellent work Lyn, excellent work.

I can feel a change coming...more and more people are waking up to the fact we have a lost and morally bankrupt Coalition led by a man who puts his own ambition before the public good.

And a government getting on with the job...doing the right thing for the many...rather than just the few.

My stepmom in America told me yesterday that the media is exaggerating the partisanship in America...she lives in Colorado and reckons most people are not extremists...and they want all levels of government to work together towards a better future.

She has no time for the Tea Party...those amateurs who don't compromise...put their country at risk economically.

As a retired nurse who worked for almost 40 years in both Canada and America in both public and private hospitals she recognises the power of extreme right-wing propaganda...she reckons the Obama healthcare reforms are so beneficial...including the changes to pre-existing condition rules related to insurance...and the fact children can stay on their parents' insurance for longer. She sees these changes as necessary for a system that sees too many fall through the gaps...initial steps towards a fairer system.

She told me about a fella who was on radio the other day who votes against his own interests...a trades person somewhere In the rust belt, she thinks, who has bad health and can't make enuff money so he relies on government healthcare...as does his disabled daughter...yet he raged against Obama as tho he were the Devil himself...and kept on about the "evils of big government".

I thought my step-mom would refer to him as "an idiot"...but she didn't...she actually felt sorry for this poor desperate man who felt compelled to blowoff on talk radio...

she thought it sad that so many like him couldn't see through the spin...that evangelism, corporations and other vested interests had hired guns out there convincing the weak, depressed, chronically ill, panicked, powerless, unstable and paranoid that what they benefitted from, affordable healthcare due to government programs, should be attacked.

I do believe over time though...as the facts and benefits are revealed...that many more of the people in America will change their view of ObamaCare...and see it as a couple of steps closer to a true fair-go system.

Just as more and more Australians are realising the benefits of the NBN...the Mineral Resources Rent Tax....and a national insurance disability scheme...

and the fears over the carbon price will begin to diminish as the business tax cuts & write-offs...and various compensation brightens the public mood.

Leaders who are nought but opportunistic, selfish, negative fear-mongers have a use-by-date.

That goes for their biased, profiteering, justifying the greedy rich, media supporters too.

Tick tock tick tock...



March 20. 2012 02:38 PM


Mr Abbott told the Coalition party room that the carbon and mining taxes were the “evil twins of tax” and would rip $45 billion out of the economy and place it “in Wayne Swan's pocket”.
(The Australian)

Sounds like a sad, paranoid, desperate man speaking to talk radio late at nite.




March 20. 2012 03:06 PM


Treasurer Joe Hockey demonstrating his ability to talk up the economy and help consumer confidence...providing the extent of his financial knowledge...a man across the details:

Mr Hockey said: “Whatever you hear on budget night will be crap.”

(The Australian)

Yet another valuable member of Tony Abbott's frontbencher.



March 20. 2012 03:24 PM


From Annabel Crabby:

But does it have to be this hard?


Perhaps Annabel should become an ALP candidate...get herself voted into government...takeover the leadership...come up with a policy that benefits many as opposed to rich corporates and dynasties...and see how she goes...

I'm sure the cash rich vested interests with their dominating media and wily wealthy advertising mates who oppose her policy will give her an easy time...make sure that the passing of the bill is not that hard.


Crabb reveals the bias that lies beneath.

Or is she just wanting to sound like one of the press gallery boys/cynics again...?
Nothing like conforming by speaking horse poo...not standing out.



March 20. 2012 03:45 PM


Hi Everybody

Some new for you:-

Mining shares gain after tax passes Senate
Stephen Jones‏
Mining shares rise in defiance of Tony Abbotts doom and gloom #saidhanrahanwww.abc.net.au/.../3901090

Francene Norton‏
Clive Palmer rules out legal challenge against mining tax.

Clive Palmer has pulled out of addressing an anti-carbon tax rally. news.ninemsn.com.au/.../palmer-pulls-out-of-carbon-tax-rally #auspol #betterthingstodo

Cameron Atfield‏
Buckle yourselves in... Clive Palmer media conference live on brisbanetimes media.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...tax-3148140.html

Stephen Spencer‏
Seriously disturbing Clive Palmer press conference. Arguing the Greenpeace plan to shut down the coal industry was funded by the CIA....

Mining tax sides with the many: Labor (01:20)
RAW VISION: Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan announce the passage of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax through the Senate.
PM hails mining tax victory, amid talk of a legal challenge


March 20. 2012 03:49 PM


Vale Jim Stynes  

Aussie Rules Legend
Hero of the Old Red and Blue


March 20. 2012 03:56 PM


Remember when some thought NY's Joel Klein was the be all and end all when it came to education reform?

Check out his connections to News Corporation here:


Joel has been busy:


and now is fear-mongering with Condoleezza Rice (you might remember her as the National Security Advisor who missed the 9/11 hijackers):



Plus ce change...



March 20. 2012 04:20 PM


Thanks for the video links Lyn. Embarassed


March 20. 2012 04:57 PM


Hi Everybody

More News,

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
Craig Thomson's wife - back off Christopher Pyne, my husband is sick. m.smh.com.au/.../...d-hes-sick-20120320-1vh84.html

He's my husband, he's human and he's sick SMH
Zoe Arnold is Craig Thomson's wife, and a freelance journalist
The Coalition is heading into dangerous territory by questioning the validity of a medical certificate. It's well known that the practise of "pairing" is a long standing agreement under the Westminster system and no one can remember the last time an MP or Senator was asked to "prove" their illness by the way of a certificate. Can you imagine the furore it would have caused if the government had refused a prominent Liberal MP sick leave when diagnosed with depression?www.smh.com.au/.../...hes-sick-20120320-1vh84.html

I bet TAbbotts really glad he backed Palmer now.

Barossa Observer
Just to remind you in case you'd forgotten: Clive FacePalmer is a NationalTreasure.

Palmer pulls out of carbon tax rally, Channel 9
Mr Palmer had been listed as keynote speaker at the rally outside Parliament House but a spokesman said he had to cancel because of "other commitments".

The lunchtime rally has the theme "Global Warming Hoax" and is being organised by the Consumers and Taxpayers Association.

Those attending have been urged to bring placards and "Aussie flags", the rally website says.


Palmer won't take MRRT to courts, Channel 9  16:01 AEDT Tue Mar 20 2012

Mining magnate Clive Palmer won't seek a High Court injunction to stop the federal government's mining profits tax.

Mr Palmer says the tax is bad for the national economy, but it won't affect him directly.

"It probably won't cost me anything because I'm not mining anything that comes under the classification of it," he told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday

Mr Forrest's company Fortescue Metals confirmed on Tuesday it had engaged senior counsel for a High Court challenge to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax

Twitter Tweets as it happened on Question Time Today:-

Hypocrisy has been banned in parliament by Slipper. That's it shut the place down boys

Gordon Graham‏
LOL Abbott ruled out of order for his wah! question #qt

Marian Dalton‏
Abbott, supplementary, same kind of question that was ruled out of order before. As is this one. #qt

Wayne Brooks‏
Slipper ruling #qt campaigning of Noalition out of order. Well done PeterSlipperMP So tired of pointless attacks no real policy debate

Justin Barbour‏
Peter Slipper ought to chuck Tony Abbott if he is doing to ask Qs that he knows are going to be ruled out of order. Disorderly. #qt

gordongraham They wont ask questions about the policy, but they will mention an opinion written in todays paper #qt

Marian Dalton‏
Own goal from the Coalition there: small business are scared, they say. Of course they are, says O'Connor. The Oppos have scared them. #qt

Greg Jericho‏  GrogsGamut
Wayne Swan kicked! #qt

SwannyDPM kicked out for calling Hockey "Curley" WTF

Paul Bongiorno‏
Swan booted for a return to his Three Stooges analogy, much resented by the Opposition.Only an independent Speaker could do it.

Bernard Keane‏
Hockey got turfed, for those keeping count #qt

Sabra Lane‏
AlboMP reminds @PeterSlipperMP that JHockey hasn't left the chamber PS "is he still here" ..... JH says 'larger than life" as he

Marian Dalton‏
Albo points out that Hockey hasn't gone. 'Oh, is he still here?' says Slipper. 'I was pleased to help,' says Albo, as Hockey exits. #qt #94A

Gordon Graham‏
ROTFL Slipper didn't notice Hockey returning to his seat after he booted him! Terrific! #qt


March 20. 2012 05:10 PM


Hi NormanK

That's a pleasure, but don't worry you are correct ABC 24 should have the video available right away.  They make it hard for people
on their web site, sending one on a wild goose chase most of the time.

I don't think any of those I posted were the full press conference, showing all questions by the Journalist's even the AAP1 clip.

I'm sure the likes of Chris Uhlmann can call it up on his desktop within minutes of its having concluded. It's digital, it's on file and yet it's not available.

I agree I bet Uhlmann can call them up in a flash. I have noticed Sky won't put up hardly any recent video's because they want people to pay for pay TV they won't give much away.  Probably the ABC want people on their channel as well keeps the ratings up.  Wonder are their ratings measured on the internet viewing rather than the TV????

Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile


March 20. 2012 05:16 PM


Sounds like I missed an interesting day in the political world-oh well, maybe next time.  

Off topic but this is being entered on an iPod using the free Internet at Townsville Airport - NormanK stay safe up here, tonight could be another nasty one.


March 20. 2012 05:40 PM



Last night felt like the edge of a cyclone and caught me by surprise a bit. I agree tonight could be as bad or worse. Keep your head down if you're in Townsville.


March 20. 2012 05:51 PM


A rather disturbing image of Clive Palmer!



March 20. 2012 06:12 PM


Mr Abbott told the Coalition party room that the carbon and mining taxes were the “evil twins of tax” and would rip $45 billion out of the economy and place it “in Wayne Swan's pocket.

Who will promptly haul it out and distribute it amongst the people, Nas'


March 20. 2012 06:54 PM


For anyone who may have missed the real highlight of QT today here is a link.
Swannie gets turfed, Hockey gets turfed and Slipper proves that he knows how to deliver a punch-line with masterful understatement.


Hat tip: Frank @ A Frank View


March 20. 2012 07:03 PM


Wouldn't it be nice if we could widen the base of the MRRT?:

BHP won’t pay a cent of Mineral Resources Rent Tax from Olympic Dam uranium mine profits
March 16, 2012 With copper, uranium, gold and silver not covered by the Mineral Resources Rent Tax, profits from biggest hole in the ground ever dug on the face of this planet, the Olympic Dam mine, will be excluded the Greens said.Greens Senator forSouth Australia, Senator Penny Wright, told the Senate last night, that while the tax was a first step towards more efficient taxation of the benefits of the mining boom, not a single cent derived from the Minerals Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) would come from the Olympic Dam mine.

“Olympic Dam is one of our largest mines and is expected to raise billions of dollars of profits from the copper, uranium, gold and silver mined there – yet not one of these minerals will be included in the MRRT,” Senator Wright said.

“The owners of this massive hole, BHP Billiton, are smiling all the way to the bank.   Their deal with the South Australian Government locks in pitifully low royalty rates for 45 years, with no guarantees of one extra job in the state, and the government footing the bill for infrastructure.  And Australians will not receive a cent from the mine under the MRRT.

“The net economic return toSouth Australiain years 10-20 of the project could be as low as $10m per year and that is even before millions are given back to BHP Billiton through federal subsidies like the diesel fuel rebate.

“But the real losers of this deal are our children and grandchildren – we are giving their resources away for a pittance while at the same time leaving them to deal with the enormous toxic legacy of managing the world’s largest radioactive waste dump.

“The Greens will ultimately support this tax, because in this case, something is better than nothing. But there is no doubt that this taxation regime needs to be strengthened so we can all get a fair return for our shared mineral wealth and invest it in things that will benefit all Australians like Denticare, the NDIS and quality public education.”

March 16, 2012 - Posted by   Christina MacPherson | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Olympic Dam, politics, uranium


Considering the ALP are far more pro-uranium mining these days (which I guess is understandable considering the energy needs of China & India)...why not spread the benefits far and wide...?

We sure could use those fast trains between major cities...would help the country prosper...assist business and tourism.

And that Denticare system would come in mighty handy.

If yer gonna use valuable resource exports to assist the growth in other nations...why not use a useful amount of the profits to assist further growth here?...and delivery of essential services such as dental care in order to prevent the costs of general healthcare rising due to dental disease.

The present MRRT is a start...but...this country and it's people require far more from it.



March 20. 2012 07:46 PM


It's a few days out yet, but in advance just advertising that Café Whispers will be running a live blog of the Queensland State Election.



March 20. 2012 08:43 PM



Thank you. Very kind words.


March 20. 2012 09:22 PM


NormanK - I was typing my last message in the Airport waiting for a plane out!  I'm back in Brisvegas tonight.

Thanks also for the footage of Swan & Hockey being removed.  Classic!


March 20. 2012 10:07 PM



I've had a quick word with the Weather Gods and they're sending the low your way for chickening out at the first sign of a tornado.

Shouldn't joke too much - pretty wild and wooly here tonight.

Wasn't Slipper priceless? I've yet to make my mind up about him but he has brought some discipline to H of R and displays a wonderful sense of humour.


March 21. 2012 12:07 AM

Patricia WA

Was no one appalled at the 7.30 story fittng up Craig Thomson for the failure of a jobs centre voted down by its local council?   Talk about kicking a man who is down.  Uhlmann knows he's unwell but simply reported Thomson as declining an interview.

No wonder Thomson is sick.  He'd need the hide of a rhino not to be affected by his situation, and the responsibility he has for hanging in there, regardless of anything he may or may not have done with that credit card.

Patricia WA

March 21. 2012 12:42 AM


Creepy Crazy Clive

Clive Palmer is an outrageous caricature of Clive Palmer. He is larger than larger than life, he is genuinely grosser than Les Patterson, as fact is stranger than fiction. He is genuinely deranged, I didn't know that until today. This is the bloke funding the LNP yeah? Crazy. Cash consorting with crooks. Scary. Not funny. Prepared to do anything he feels like. Beyond the reach of ordinary laws. Are we, is the Government to tolerate this state of affairs? What is to be done? It's like some 15th Century tale of wicked ruthless potentates ruling their powerless subjects with rods of iron. Only it's now, and it's true, and it's Us. These potentates buy State Governments, and they are dead set trying to buy Canberra.

We must never let this happen.

And this particular potentate is raving mad.    


March 21. 2012 08:07 AM



Just popping in a quick plug for a new site dedicated to monitoring the editorial performance of the ABC. EveryonesABC.com


If you've seen or heard something on ABC news or current affairs that's made you see red, tell us about it.

And if you could spread the word about this new effort to rehabilitate the ABC via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and however else you communicate online, that would be appreciated, too.



March 21. 2012 08:22 AM



Would you have the link for the 'Gillard's productivity machine gun' that you referred to?


I missed that presser too, so thanks for the link.  Unfortunately it didn't show the Q&A part where you are all saying Julia was fantastic.


March 21. 2012 08:31 AM



About Everyone’s ABC  The ABC Belongs To All Australians
So a few of us got together to set this blog up to record and discuss the news that is reported on the ABC to collate and record what we see happening everyday but seems to be now the status quo. Ultimately we hope we will gather enough evidence to put this bias

Is the ABC becoming Australias’ loudest voice in climate change denial, Turn Left 2013
15-minutes of Media Watch, highlights the complete laziness of Australian media, including Your ABC to take press releases at face value, rather than investigating the contents of those press release, they are not even investigating beyond the name of the group putting out the press releases.

Trend growth truths, Greg Jericho, The Drum
Twelve months ago it looked like the economy may return to that point, but things then turned for the worse as our foreign trading partners failed to recover from the GFC, the value of our dollar remained high, interest rates remained at levels associated

What Happens When The Media Attacks?, Wendy Bacon, New Matilda
My own involvement was to write a story for New Matilda outlining the findings of the Finkelstein report in an effort to overcome the misleading media hysteria that had enveloped it.

A Kinder, Gentler Mining Tax, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
It’s a funny thing, the Gillard Government. According to most of the opinion polls, and much of the commentary, this government can’t take a trick. You’ve all heard the criticisms before.

Queensland election – the battle of mediocrity, Massivespray, Spray of The Day
The other serious question of his character revolves around the leadership issue. Now it’s anything but a foregone conclusion that he will win Ashgrove, so any normal organisation would have

Labor’s mining tax finally gets through Senate, David Twomey, Echo News
Conservative Liberal-National opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to repeal the tax if he wins government. Coalition senators argued fiercely against the tax during the final hours of debate in the Senate yesterday.Queensland Liberal senator

Playing fiscal games when we no longer set the rules, Crikey
Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have been pretending that once they’re back in government, it’ll be like stepping into a time machine that will whisk Australia back to 2006, when John Howard was set
www.crikey.com.au/.../The IPA's Tim Wilson and his useless poll,

LNP SURPRISE: Campbell Newman says he won’t repeal Labor’s gay and lesbian surrogacy laws, Vex News
Newman, revealed yesterday at a doorstop “We won’t be making any changes to the laws on those matters” which we understand was news to be the powerful Australian Christian Lobby

How deep in doodoo is James Murdoch?, Paul Barry, The Power Index
At one extreme is Labour firebrand, Tom Watson, who has accused James jokingly of being "the only Mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise". Shoulder to shoulder with him (but not on the committee) is his fellow Labour MP, Chris Bryant, who has characterised hacking

The IPA's Tim Wilson and his useless poll, Stephen Koukouklas
The headline grabbing distortion from the IPA Press Release (and many others for that matter) focusing on electricity prices should be viewed in the context of the fact

It's come to this. Each pension increase is now twice each dole increase, Peter Martin
The pension is now one-third bigger than NewStart and is set to grow bigger still as it increases with average male wages each six months while NewStart climbs with the consumer price index

Inflexible governments undermine our standards of living, Bill Mitchell, Billy Blog
I am not advocating that just noting the capacity. This example highlights how poorly we are served by the financial press which reinforces the ideologically-motivated lies the government’s and the corporate elites use to maintain their hegemony. I

.Transcript of joint press conference, Canberra, TUE 20 MARCH 2012 Prime Minister
Last night the Parliament finished and passed the Minerals Resource Rent Tax. The Senate passed the mining tax. That means the mining tax will come into operation on the first of July this year

Queensland Votes Live Commentary, Alex Schlotzer, Café Whispers
Queenslanders will be heading to the polls on 24 March to elect a new government. The unicameral system of parliament adopted by Queensland makes for cut-throat campaigning as political parties

Queensland election minus four days, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger
The Courier-Mail reports that what appears to be Labor push-polling has been conducted to sow doubts in voters’ minds about the influence of “big business and developers”. What is particularly of interest is that it has been happening in Labor’s ninth-safest seat of Nudgee,

What Was She Thinking, The Hoopla
Has Germaine Greer delivered Prime Minister Julia Gillard an unkind boot in the backside?  You’ve got a big arse, Julia, just get on with it,” she said last night on ABC TV’s Q&A to loud laughter from fellow panelists and the audience. She also gave the PM some fashion advice about getting rid of those “bloody jackets”.

Rates Indexation March 2012 , Pension increases, Jenny Macklin
Summary of changes - Pensions - 20 March 2012  Summary of changes - Allowances - 20 March 2012 Summary of changes - Family - 20 March 2012 Summary of changes - Rent Assistance - 20 March 2012 Summary of changes - Miscellaneous Amounts - 20 March 2012

State Govt backs FMG in assault on mining tax, West Australian
"As Fortescue has previously advised, the company has engaged senior counsel and will commence legal proceedings after the legislation has been enacted and legal opinion has been finalised."


Swan removed after 'Curly' call, ABC
Wayne Swan has been removed from Question Time after referring to the opposition treasurer Joe Hockey, who was also removed, as 'Curly' from the Three Stooges.

Troubled Labor MP caught in jobs crisis, 7.30pm Report , Craig Thomson
Justin Barbour‏
cuhlmann perhaps Craig Thomson declined your interview request because he is... you know, sick. #abc730
[Stephen Spencer‏
that was quite possibly the most embarrassing story run by abc730 this year. A very sad excuse for news
Elliot Giakalis‏
Cuhlmann mentions that Craig Thomson declined an interview; doesn't mention that the man is ill. Kick a man when he's down hey? #abc730

Palmer accuses CIA of sabotaging mining, Lateline
Billionaire mine owner Clive Palmer has accused the CIA of funding environmental groups opposed to his latest coal venture, and accused the Greens of treason

Thomson in stoush over failed jobs project, By Hayden Cooper , ABC
Embattled MP Craig Thomson is at the centre of a bitter new fight in his electorate after the collapse of a $2.7 million jobs project promised by the Gillard Government.

The Drum Tuesday 20 March
In this episode, Steve Cannane speaks to actor and writer Rhys Muldoon, former Liberal MP Ross Cameron, Katharine Murphy from The Age and Shadow Assistant Treasurer Mathias Cormann.

Mining tax sides with the many: Labor (01:20) National Times
RAW VISION: Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan announce the passage of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax through the Senate.
20/03/12  PM hails mining tax victory, amid talk of a legal challenge

Australian Politics TV Daily Fixhttp://australianpoliticstv.org/

Legislation passes and passion runs high in Parliament,   Alexander Kirk reports on Question Time
The Federal Government has been rejoicing in the passage of its mining tax through the Senate. Emotions have been running high on both sides. In Question Time today the speaker Peter Slipper stretched himself, ejecting five MPs including the Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer. And he made it clear he wouldn't tolerate Wayne Swan's

Gillard celebrates Mining Tax -Mark Riley,   channel 7
(1-39)Julia Gillard has described the passing of the Mining Tax,   Mark Riley,   channel 7

March 20, 2012. Clive Palmer says Greens being manipulated by CIA.
Clive Palmer tell the media in Brisbane that the Greens are being manipulated by the CIA to campaign against Australian resource companies. Mr Palmer said this was an attack on the sovereignty of Australia and tantamount to treason

Fortescue Metals to challenge mining tax, ABC
Australia's third largest iron ore miner, Fortescue Metals Group, says it will push ahead with a legal challenge to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT).

March 20, 2012. Bob Brown responds to Clive Palmer.
Green's leader Bob Brown says Clive Palmer's accusation's the Greens are funded by the CIA are 'stupid'.

Campaign side-lined , Townsville
Both Anna Bligh and Campbell Newman inspected the devastation in Townsville with their final blitz for votes sidelined by the disaster

From Joh to Anna: How Queensland votes, ABC
On Saturday March 24 Queenslanders go to the polls to decide who governs for the next three years. Anna Bligh is trailing in the polls but Queenslanders don't change their political leaders lightly.

Whatcha gonna do when Katter comes for you? Crikey Video
A new video from Katter’s Australia party today showing Bob Katter on a bus with all his candidates before engaging in some kind of dance party with a bunch of young break dancers as Bad Boys plays. No we don’t quite understand what it means either.


March 21. 2012 08:37 AM



     Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 21 March 2012



March 21. 2012 08:52 AM


Hi Gravel

Some of the video's yesterday only had the clip of Julia's announcement, but I think this one  has the journalists recorded or at least Julia's remarks:-




March 21. 2012 10:03 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

March 21. 2012 10:11 AM


I reckon it was a bit of an overreach promoting us here in QLD as "The smart state"...but we have had our moments under the Beattie and Bligh governments...

at least they didn't close down parts of tertiary education to accommodate sporting events...

nor sack the electricity workers...

Those who hope Campbell Newman loses in Ashgrove might regret it if a National party conservative takes the  leadership....particularly those associated with Clive Palmer...someone as eccentric and paranoid it seems as Jo Bjelke Peterson...


In 1972 Sir Joh strengthened the system to favour his own party, which led to his opponents referring to it as the "Bjelkemander," a play on the term "gerrymander". Although Bjelke-Petersen's 1972 redistributions occasionally had elements of "gerrymandering" in the strict sense, their perceived unfairness was more because rural areas were granted more representation than their population would have dictated if electorates contained equal numbers of voters (or population).

The lack of a state upper house (which Queensland had abolished in 1922) allowed legislation to be passed without the need to negotiate with other political parties

Despite public protests, several Brisbane heritage sites such as the Bellevue Hotel were demolished. Thirteen Liberal backbenchers supported Labor in parliament, condemning the destruction of the state government owned Bellevue. Former Liberal Parliamentarian, Terry Gygar, described the early morning scene at the Bellevue demolition; "A large crowd had gathered around the building. There was a cordon of police. They had thrown up a barbed ... a mesh wire fence around it. And then the Deen Bros arrived, rolling through like an armoured division, straight through the crowd. People were knocked sideways. Police were dragging people out of the way. Parking meters were knocked over. Traffic signs were bent and twisted on the road. It looked like Stalingrad." Bjelke-Petersen congratulated the contractors, the Deen Brothers, "on a job well done"

Relations with the media

Bjelke-Petersen's government dominated Parliament, not allowing committees or impartial speech, and ran a very sophisticated media operation, sending press releases out right on deadline so journalists had very little chance to research news items. Journalists covering industrial disputes and picketing, were afraid of arrest. In 1985, the Australian Journalists Association withdrew from the system of police passes because of police refusal to accredit certain journalists. Some journalists experienced police harassment.

Bjelke-Petersen's manipulative approach to media at times became visible behind his tangled syntax, which frequently bemused interviewers. It was unknown whether he was joking, confused or saying what he really thought when he said: "The greatest thing that could happen to the state and nation is when we get rid of all the media... then we could live in peace and tranquility and no one would know anything."

Joh's catchphrase answer to unwelcome queries, "Don't you worry about that," was widely parodied. Peterson was known to refer to this process of patronising journalists as "feeding the chooks".

Bjelke-Petersen responded to unfavourable media coverage by using government resources to sue for defamation on numerous occasions. The Queensland historian Ross Fitzgerald was threatened with criminal libel when he sought to publish a critical history.

According to Lane, one of Bjelke-Petersen's closest ministerial allies, Bjelke-Petersen saw street marchers as a menace who clogged up traffic, caused distress to pedestrians, motorists and shop keepers, and were mainly made up of "grubby left wing students, Anarchists, professional agitators and trade union activists".

The government transferred 450 police from country areas to suppress anti-apartheid demonstrations. Future Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, then a student protestor, witnessed police violently attacking peaceful demonstrators, including women.

Brisbane aboriginal activist, Sam Watson claimed the police wanted to "smash and cripple and destroy". Bjelke-Petersen praised police conduct during the demonstrations and awarded them an extra day's leave.

Peter Beattie said that, "...if you went to a protest there was always photos being taken". "You know, you'd always pose to get your best side. (Laughs) And they had a dossier on everybody", Beattie said.

Bjelke-Petersen rejected recommendations by the police minister, Max Hodges, and the police commissioner, Ray Whitrod, who sought an inquiry into an incident in 1976 where a police officer struck a student with a baton during a demonstration.  Bjelke-Petersen told Whitrod that the cabinet, not the Commissioner, would decide if an investigation was warranted. The Queensland Police Union sent a letter of thanks to the Premier and offered support. Hodges was replaced as police minister soon after.

Secure in the knowledge that they had the Premier's backing, police officers continued to act provocatively, most notably in a raid on a commune at Cedar Bay later that year.

The police, who had been looking for marijuana, torched the residents' houses and destroyed their property. Whitrod sought an inquiry but the results were never revealed.

After seven years as police commissioner, Whitrod resigned, saying he could no longer tolerate political interference and the police commissioner had become a political puppet. He was replaced by Terry Lewis who had been previously promoted to Assistant Commissioner, against Whitrod's recommendation, over the heads of 122 officers of higher or equal rank. Whitrod had already told the new police Minister, "everybody in the police force knows that Lewis is corrupt. Now if he's appointed assistant commissioner, it will nullify all my efforts', and the new Minister said, 'I will talk to the Premier'. And about an hour or so later the Minister rung me up and said, 'The Premier does not want to see you, nor will he allow you to address cabinet'."  

Whitrod said that he hoped his resignation would send a message to the people of Queensland; "that something very seriously was going wrong with the Queensland police force and with their Premier".

In 1977, Bjelke-Petersen announced that "the day of street marches is over." He further added. "Don't bother applying for a march permit. You won't get one. That's government policy now!" Liberal parliamentarians crossed the floor defending the right of association and assembly.

Colin Lamont, one of the Liberals, told a meeting at the University of Queensland that the Premier was engineering confrontation for electoral purposes. "Two hours later, he (Bjelke-Petersen) lunged at me across the floor of Parliament, waving a tape recorder and spluttered, 'I've heard every word. You are a traitor to this Government'", Lamont wrote later. Lamont said he learned the Special Branch had been keeping files on Liberal rebels and reporting, not to their Commissioner, but directly to the Premier. "The police state had arrived", Lamont added.

[edit]Aboriginal people

In June 1976, Bjelke-Petersen blocked the proposed sale of a pastoral property on the Cape York Peninsula to a group of Aboriginal people, because according to cabinet policy, "The Queensland Government does not view favourably proposals to acquire large areas of additional freehold or leasehold land for development by Aborigines or Aboriginal groups in isolation."

This dispute resulted in the case of Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen, which was decided partly in the High Court in 1982, and partly in the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1988. The courts found that Bjelke-Petersen's policy had discriminated against Aboriginal people.

Also in 1976, Bjelke-Petersen evicted a team treating trachoma, led by Fred Hollows from state-controlled Aboriginal land. Bjelke-Petersen claimed that Hollows' team had been encouraging Aborigines to enrol to vote.

In his visits to northern communities, Fred Hollows was accompanied by two respected Aboriginal spokesmen and civil rights activists, Mick Miller and Clarrie Grogan. With an election looming, and keen to shut down this source of independent information, the Premier simply ejected Hollows' team. Electoral office data refuting his claims that there had been a rush of voter enrolments in the wake of the trachoma team, was not released for public consumption

In three years we could be transformed into the backward, loopy, undemocratic state...again.



March 21. 2012 10:16 AM


May I heartfeltedly applaud your initiative in setting up a site dedicated to watchdogging the People's ABC. I have long been a trenchant critic of the appalling journalistic standards and the shameless Right-leaning partisanship of our publicly funded broadcaster, and it is urgent and vital that it be reined in, since the great majority of the rest of the media is owned by Murdoch, and there is no genuine Left-leaning media whatsoever.

I see that your site is a joint effort in its initiation, that's good. We should all try to feed you. Of course you would know that if anything happens that's really outrageous such as OOman's attack on Craig Thompson last night, as referred to by Patricia WA above at 12.07 AM, it is certain to be noted and linked to in Lyn's~Links, which amounts a reliable and comprehensive record of fact and opinion about contemporary politics. If you want to go looking for detail on any past event re the ABC you could do no better than to go to TPS Archives and link out from Lyn's~Links each morning. Hardly anything gets past Lyn, and her work over time amounts to a unique huge continuous open-ended online library, it is not just current events, it is history.

Cuppa this is really supposed to be about http://everyonesabc.com/ , and so it is.
Just pointing out, if you need anecdotal contemporary comment, media events and so on on any issue, (in this case re the ABC), it's all there already linked to by Lyn.

Re that OOman interview last night Patricia, it made me feel so . . . GRRRNHHHH! (Is that what Cuppa means by 'seeing red'?) I couldn't even follow the gist of what's being poked at him this time, but that bit about Thompson refusing to be interviewed - !!!

I nominate that interview which so applled Patricia as TPS's first example of the ABC's lousy journalism.

Swordsfolks might remember that a year or so ago I tried to inveigle Ad astra into nominating for a post on the ABC Board, for all the same reasons as no doubt motivate your enterprise. He declined by reason of time constraints, pity imo, but he and this site have always stood for better journalistic standards anyway, it is TPS credo indeed. You are among comrades here Comrade.    


March 21. 2012 10:56 AM


A certain Turkey is preening that his influence resulted in the Treasurer being ejected under 94a yesterday . . .

First da Turkey gobbled on about the 3 Stooges here weeks ago . . . Then Swan regurgitated them once too often . . . Smile
I laughed till I cried!

Wayne! GOONS! Call them Goons! Neddy Seagoon . . . Major Bloodnoc . . . Bluebottle . . . Count Jim Moriarty . . .  Eccles . . . Little Jim . . . Grytpye-Thynne (sp???) Minnie and Henry Crunn . . So much more to work with . . . !

Joyce fallen in da warhhttaaa! (Little Jim)

Characters! All Goon Show freaks should see this page! Smilewww.google.com.au/url



March 21. 2012 11:09 AM


Another reminder…from January 2009:

7:30 Report, ABC

JOHN TAYLOR: Lawrence Springborg staked his political career on merging the Queensland Liberals and Nationals into one distinct party. It was a bitter struggle, but he won.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: That gives us a really sound base. It doesn’t put us in the box seat, but it gives us a sound base where we can absolutely focus on the interests of Queenslanders and the alternative in this state.

SCOTT PRASSER: I think it’s superficially united and it certainly has removed a lot of problems that the Coalition forces had in the past. The real test of this party is gonna be if they don’t get up.

JOHN TAYLOR: One keen backer of the merger was this man, Clive Palmer. He’s a billionaire, a mining magnate, developer and owner of a Gold Coast soccer team.

CLIVE PALMER, BUSINESSMAN: Well I’m just a Queenslander like you are and hoping we get good government in the next election and trying to contribute to the community that I live in

ANNA BLIGH: Well, I think there are some very serious and legitimate questions to be asked. Clive Palmer is Australia’s richest man. He has a long history with the National Party.

JOHN TAYLOR: Clive Palmer’s involvement in Queensland conservative politics goes back a long way to Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s Government, when the Liberals were often the enemy as much as Labor.

PRESENTER (archive footage, 1986, 7.30 Report): But you’re a crony, aren’t you?

CLIVE PALMER: Certainly not. I mean, what is a crony? Are you a crony? This is a lot of allegations that the Liberal Party throws about because they’re desperate.

JOHN TAYLOR: He’s been a National Party director and spokesman, he’s an honorary life member and now is a senior official in the new Liberal Party.

CLIVE PALMER: It’s a beat-up just to say that I’ve got a lot of influence in the party, which I don’t have, you know? That I’m making demands on the politicians, which I’m not. And if you talk to Lawrence or to the President of the party – anyone – they’ll tell you that we’ve never ever made a demand or a request for them to assist us in any way. You know, when you’re the wealthiest man in Australia, you don’t need to.

JOHN TAYLOR: Mr Palmer has helped out. Lawrence Springborg and his politicians have used the billionaire’s helicopters and had the opportunity to use his DC9 jet.

CLIVE PALMER: Politics is, you know, it can be an art of what you make it. And the Labor Party’s made a lot out of those things. Of course, they’re lacking in policy and other areas.

JOHN TAYLOR: In Brisbane’s northern suburbs, Clive Palmer’s teenage son is even running for office. The billboards are authorised by … dad.

CLIVE PALMER: I haven’t discussed it with my wife and if I put too much money in it, I’d be in a lot of trouble, to be honest with you, mate. I can only do what she agrees to, right? But I think, you know, for my son, for his campaign, I think we’ll probably contribute something like $50,000 or something of that sort of range. I wouldn’t think it’d be that much higher for the party, really.

JOHN TAYLOR: Last year, Queensland introduced new laws for greater and faster public disclosure of donations to political parties. The Government was keen to know how much Clive Palmer was giving the LNP. The donations register will be revealed next week, but already, it’s known that Clive Palmer has not donated more than $100,000 in the last financial year.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: But this is just the politics of personal character assassination of Labor. They’re very envious of people that have actually made it despite the best efforts of their Government to actually drag down the business community in Queensland.

ANNA BLIGH: It’s not unusual for very wealthy people to buy a football team, which Mr Palmer’s done. But in the Australian democracy, it’s pretty rare for someone to buy a political party. And I think the real question is: what does Mr Palmer expect in return?



Plus ce change…



March 21. 2012 11:20 AM



It's impossible to get decent help these days. Smile

Gillard's productivity machine gun
by Rob Burgess    Business Spectator

Labor's plan is on the table for all to see and the three legs – skills, infrastructure and new revenue to fund both – form, at the very least, a coherent big-picture plan for the nation.

We won't know the full extent of the Abbott opposition's response for some time. But when it appears, one of the great ideological battles of this decade will begin.



March 21. 2012 11:38 AM

Ad astra reply

The 3G reception here is awful today.  I can't get anything to upload from my computer, so I'm using the iPad to send this message.

We wil be out and about all day today.  I'll try to get back to you this evening.

Ad astra reply

March 21. 2012 11:41 AM


From victoria on Poll bludger minutes ago:

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink
CIA conspiracy undermines Clive Palmer’s credibility

By Mal Farrcolm Smile


TT: Do you really think so Mal? Is that your considered opinion? Smile


March 21. 2012 11:50 AM


As I wrote @ Cafe Whispers:

Ya know, even Newman has had chats with Palmer.

It’s worrying that such an unpredictable man with so much money and assets could have such influence on our politics.

Palmer has similar idiosyncratic and bumbling bully characteristics as Jo…

He really goes ape on occasion if he doesn’t get his way or if opposed…the battle with the Soccer Federation and Frank Lowy a case in point.

And his threat previously sue Anna Bligh and others.

Not to mention the silly threat to go to court over the MRRT.

And Tony Abbott reckons “he’s a character”.

Yep, just the type catered to by the opportunistic unpredictable weathervane using One Nation/Tea party style tactics in order to protect the privileged supporters.

Abbott’s a puppet on a string…or leash.



March 21. 2012 12:40 PM


The conservatives sure know how to pick ‘em:


Disendorsed back in 2010 …

There’s been a few…

and how many have left the LNP?


Anna’s looking better by the day to me.



March 21. 2012 01:16 PM




This note is for those
In the Land of the Crows
And where I am glad
To announce, so is Ad!

And if, as I do,
You would meet him, then you
Could come to a spot we know
In Sky City Casino!

At 1PM on Saturday
Upstairs on the Escalator:
Get there ONE PM NO LATER.

Get right there by ‘bus, or get right there by train,
Or drive and park underground, not too much pain,
It’s at Adelaide Station, our main transport centre,
So it’s the place we’ll meet Ad astra, our mentor.

And Ad will be there! Come alone, or au pair,
And I'll wear my cat flap, well yeah OK my flat cap,
The place isn't flash, but you don't need much cash:
Cheaper than you'd think: Eight bucks, lunch'n'drink.

[It's an adequate feed and a pretty good deal:
Roast of the day or a fish’n’chip meal
Because of the pokies, which of course subsidise
These crumbs for their victims: your house for french fries!
Here people give Packer the fruits of their yakka:
Those machines are addictive as Coke and tobacker!
But I got news for you, you, you Little Jim Packer,
From this here TalkTurkey you don't get a cracker.]

Staunch Swordsman Jason has answered the call
But I know of no other Crowies at all
But there's Adelaide Girl, and there's BSA Bob,
I think you're both part of Us Adelaide Mob?
And I'm sure there must be other ones too,
Well you Croweatin' Swordsfolks I'm talking to you,
And after all Comrades you've got just one op
To meet our Ad astra while he's on the hop!

Oh gee I'd better write this in ordinary, might take too long in verse. The thing is Ad has only a two-hour window 1PM-3PM, he'll be driving there, I will go by train because it’s easy and I’ll get there early. Yes I’ll have a flat tweedy checkerish cap on, and I’ll wear a pretty button over my heart. And whiskery facial stuff.

More info: Umm it appears to have no actual street number address, it is Railway Station Building, North Terrace Adelaide, 8212 2811.
It is adjacent to (west of) Old Parliament House and Parliament House, corner North Terrace and King William Street. Hard to miss.  

Parking available in several directions, down Station Road between RS and Old Parliament House is one.

To find your way easily (it’s a big honeycomb) I suggest you enter from the North Terrace entrance ( around the Station road corner past the ramp down to the trains)

I will have a man posted at the door there to inspect your shoes before you go in. Smile

Go straight in, only about 12 m.,  past the (?closed?) bar on your right and then, before you enter the main gambling dens, turn half-right up the escalator 1, up the escalator 2, U-turn , and head for the cheapo Junction Cafe!  

Any questions? I'd be glad of replies.


March 21. 2012 01:35 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

Wishing you a Happy Lunch together with Ad Astra, lucky you.

I wish I could come, you will be so happy to meet each other.

Lunch sounds delicious Roast of the day or a fish’n’chip meal .

Wonder how many of our readers Live in South Australia????

At 1PM on Saturday
Upstairs on the Escalator:
Get there ONE PM NO LATER.

Cheers SmileSmile


March 21. 2012 01:46 PM


Palmer is moving...backwards:




March 21. 2012 01:50 PM


Hi Everybody

Looking like they might all start sueing each other. Some Palmer News for you:-

Paul Bongiorno
What was Clive Palmer really up to with his conspiracy theory ? No one in the National Capital can fathom it.

LNP boss denies advance knowledge of Palmer case , Michael McKenna and Andrew Fraser From: The Australian

QUEENSLAND'S Liberal National Party president Bruce McIver works for Australia's biggest political donor, Clive Palmer, and until late 2009 was a director in one of the magnate's mining companies.

Mr Palmer -- who donated more than $600,000 to the LNP in the last financial year -- said he often spoke with Mr McIver but had not discussed the threatened lawsuit with the LNP party boss.


Miner accused of bankrolling anti-Labor campaign

A mining company has been accused of secretly funding a campaign against the ALP in the vital Brisbane electorate of Ashgrove.

Thousands of letters have been sent to homes in the electorate from a group called 'Straddie Mothers' arguing against Labor's plans to close down sand-mining operations on North Stradbroke Island, near Brisbane.

The letters say the closures will hurt the island community and make it harder for locals to get jobs.

Ms Jones says mining company Sibelco Australia has been bankrolling the campaign without lodging its interest with the Queensland Electoral Commission

Palmer backs away from CIA claims, The Age
I personally think Bob (Brown) is pretty sincere. I don't agree with him, but the point is I think he's Australian. I don't question his loyalty to Australia. I personally don't think Bob Brown would be associated with foreign groups.

"I think a lot of Greens want to do the best thing ... I disagree with them. Maybe I'm not 100 per cent right and I'm sure they're not 100 per cent right. I'm trying to broaden the debate."



March 21. 2012 02:04 PM


Hi lyn,
Thnx for the superb effort again.

I'm going thru yer links now...the article by Wendy Bacon was an interesting read.

I reckon QLD deserves better than just a bunch of big time mining companies and property developers controlling our politicians.

That’s why I voted for The Greens first…then Labor…on my postal vote.

Gotta keep the bastards honest.

I do dig Anna Bligh tho…her govt did a lot of good for my wife’s school…and motivated female science teachers and girls in that and other areas/subjects.

Their confidence must not be undermined by a conservative boys’ club again.

This is the 21st century. I hope the LNP remember that.



March 21. 2012 02:28 PM



Who would you prefer to take advice from?...Ross Gittins referring to a report called Environmental Outlook to 2050..

or Clive Palmer and allies when it comes to dealing with climate change and the problems we face?:




I bet I know who the opportunistic weathervanes at the top of the Coalition pile prefer.

Minus Turnbull of course.



March 21. 2012 02:38 PM


And so it begins…the ridicule…QLD once again the butt of jokes:

If you were to judge Queenslanders on the antics of Clive Palmer and Bob Katter, you would have to wonder whether there was something peculiar in the water up north.

Mr Palmer, the mining billionaire, called a press conference yesterday to deliver his reaction to the federal government’s new mining tax but, puffed up with indignation about a near-impenetrable CIA plot, all but forgot to do so.

Mr Katter and his hat, meanwhile, took to rap dancing

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...sland-20120320-1vi0e.html


Won’t all this be great for trade, business and tourism?

And the morale, confidence of our students.

Great role models eh?

Thnx for nothing you bankrupt extremist conservative dipsticks.



March 21. 2012 02:55 PM


Kezza 2 from Poll Bludger had the same take as I did on Germaine Greer's sneery stupid comment on *J*U*L*I*A* in Q&A on Monday Night but K2 has her actual words.

Kezza 2 said
From a woman who has spent the greater part of her life telling us that women shouldn’t be judged by the way she looks, it was an utter disgrace by Germaine Greer.

Here’s what she said, for those who missed it:

GERMAINe GREER: . . . "What I want her to do is get rid of those bloody jackets!"

TONY JONES: "She should go to him for political advice and you for fashion advice?"

GERMAINE GREER: "No, it's not even fashion. They don't fit. Every time she turns around, you've got that strange horizontal crease which means they're cut too narrow in the hips. You've got a big arse, Julia, just get on with it."

Who'd have ever thought the eunuching female would ever in all eternity make such a comment?

Et tu, Germaine?

Then stand, *J*U*L*I*A*!

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

Sheemsh to me Shnotty Jzhoe's pisshed in skwesshchum time.  


March 21. 2012 03:00 PM


I will be voting 1 ALP next federal election I've decided.

Can't take the risk of Tony Abbott gettin' the PMship...

Once again he's proven himself to be useless...fancy supporting the axing of the mining tax...and refusing to condemn Palmer's accusatory words. And he's gonna vote against tax cuts for small business.
Always the donors puppet eh?

He's a morally bankrupt opportunist catering to extremists. Too unpredictable in some ways...predictable in others. Either way, not appealing.

I'll be Go Gillard all the way.



March 21. 2012 03:53 PM


Hi Everybody

My report on Question Time today, 8 MP's at last count kicked out.

Latika Bourke ‏
Natasha Griggs 94aed

Michael Wyres‏
Two government members removed...guaranteed call for an

Not Harry Jenkins
Member for Soloman gone too!

Greg Jericho‏
Pyne gone

Pyne is refusing to leave? Naming time?

Lauren Dubois‏
Abbott jumping to Pyne's defence to try and stop him being thrown

Marian Dalton‏
Oh wait. Abbott pleads for Pyne to stay, even though he abused the POO process after being warned not to do so

Joe Hockey ordered from Question Time for defying the Speaker's instruction to remain silent. [Liberal, North Sydney]

Richard Davis‏ SBS
Parliament in exile! RT  Bronwyn Bishop gets the boot #qt” Almost time to reconvene qt outside the chamber!

CuppaT‏Bronwyn Bishop ejected from Question Time for unruly conduct.  [Liberal, McKellar]

Member for Higgins ejected from Question Time for unruly conduct. [Kelly O'Dwyer, Liberal]

Malcolm Farr‏
7 Coalition and I Labor punted by The Slip so far. This might mean a 50th suspension of standing orders by TAbbott won't happen today

Le Grace‏
Is that 8 Coalition members booted? Pathetic

Soccer Match ALP 2 LNP 6 so no SSO play today

Greg Jericho‏
Oooh Andrew Robb is angry.

This is hilarious. The coalition are now defending Clive Palmer


March 21. 2012 04:02 PM


Budgeting...or should we say austerity measures... the American conservative way:

Over the next decade, Ryan plans to spend about 16 percent less than the White House on “income security” programs for the poor — that’s everything from food stamps to housing assistance to the earned-income tax credit. (Ryan’s budget would authorize $4.8 trillion between 2013 and 2022; the White House’s would spend $5.7 trillion.) Compared with Obama, Ryan would spend 25 percent less on transportation and 13 percent less on veterans. He’d spend 6 percent less on “General science, space, and basic technology.” And, compared with the White House’s proposal, he’d shell out 33 percent less for “Education, training, employment, and social services.”

So how would this lower spending play out? Let’s take transportation as an example. Right now, the United States is facing a number of pressing infrastructure challenges. The National Highway System, first built in the 1950s, is reaching the end of its natural lifespan. Our air-traffic control system is outdated, causing airport delays around the country. About one-quarter of the country’s bridges are either “structurally deficient” or inadequate to today’s traffic needs, according to the GAO.

I guess the average Joe, Dick and Jane could always hitch a ride with the rich on their helicopters who have benefitted from Bush's tax cuts...to avoid them big ol potholes that swallow up the poor's cars...and bridges that collapse at the most inopportune times.


Alternatively, we can look at what specific cuts might ensue in the very near future. Third Way has tried to game out the impacts of Congress’s recent debt-ceiling deal on specific government programs. The cuts to domestic spending, if applied across the board, would lead to fewer food inspectors, fewer air-traffic controllers, and so forth. That would mean more delays and cases of food poisoning, and so forth. And Ryan’s budget, for its part, goes even deeper than the debt-ceiling deal.


Less food inspectors eh? Now that should do wonders for healthcare costs...even funeral directors and big pharma will probably benefit.

Hot diggity toxic dog!!!



March 21. 2012 04:23 PM


If Elizabeth Warren doesn't win a senate seat then there is somethin' mightily wrong in America:




You go girl!

Tell it as it is...speak to truth...far and wide.

Stuff the faux news naysayers and usual suspect supporters of the privileged few.
They have a use-by-date...it's expired.



March 21. 2012 04:31 PM




March 21. 2012 04:53 PM


America the free...to influence elections...if ya can afford it:

Builder who helped air 'Swift Boat' ads gives $3 million to pro-Romney super PAC

Texas homebuilder Bob Perry, who helped fund the "Swift Boat" ads targeting Sen. John Kerry in 2004, has joined an elite club of GOP fundraisers by giving $3 million to a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC.

By Michael Isikoff
NBC News national investigative correspondent

A reclusive Texas homebuilder who helped finance the “Swift Boat Veterans” attacks against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 contributed nearly half of the $6.4 million raised by a super PAC backing Mitt Romney last month. 

Bob Perry, owner of the Houston-area custom homebuilder Perry Homes and a longtime backer of conservative causes, gave $3 million last month to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, according to a report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. 

Perry has been a prolific donor to Republican candidates and causes this election cycle, having previously given $1 million to the same pro-Romney super PAC, as well as $100,000 to a super PAC that backed Texas Gov. Rick Perry and $2.5 million to American Crossroads, the Republican super PAC founded by Karl Rove.


Well I'll be damned!
There's that man Karl Rove again...Bush's brain.

Imagine ridin' shotgun in that vehicle.



March 21. 2012 04:58 PM


Even the rusted on Liberals at work today reckon that Palmer's lost it (if he ever had it).  The sad thing is the CIA have dignified his ranting by issuing a statement denying funding Greenpeace.  Which will give the conspiracy theorists the ammunition they need to "prove" the CIA is funding Greenpeace because they deny it..


March 21. 2012 05:15 PM


The OZ working overtime...with others in the Murdoch empire...per usual...to talk down the economy...and put the scares in people...and make the mining tax and carbon price seem like they are too heavy for business to cope with...

China inflation, tight fiscal policy may hurt Australian dollar

The price of corn has reached a record high and the prices of pork and poultry have risen sharply since the start of the year, according to Morgan Stanley.

A reduction in petrol subsidies, which will push prices about 7 per cent higher, will only add to inflation pressures.

This will make the People’s Bank of China much more reluctant to ease policy any further. The rise in food prices is a politically charged issue that the leadership in Beijing will be only too anxious to bring to an end.

For Australia and the Australian dollar, this could be bad news.

A soft landing for China might be that much more difficult to attain and the future of Chinese demand for Australian exports could be that much more in doubt.



Australian sharemarket falls as David Jones adds to China fears
From: AAP March 21, 2012

THE Australian sharemarket closed in the red today as a profit downgrade by David Jones added to renewed fears about China's economy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 20.7 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 4254.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 18.6 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 4347.

The June share price futures index contract was 19 points weaker at 4265 with 27,036 contracts traded.

In economic news today, a government agency said Australia's mineral and energy exports will rise at a slower pace of 4.6 per cent to $208.3 billion over the next financial year, weighing on the resource-rich nation's economic growth.


I was more worried about the Chinese economy last year...in fact, the past few years...but if I seen signs of a useful transition to a more stable economy and financial system...and increased effort to deal with corruption.

Certainly China still has major economic and bureaucratic flaws...and is not yet out of danger territory...

But I do wonder if the Murdoch empire would be so bearish if the Coalition and Republicans were running Australia and America?

Uranium anyone?



March 21. 2012 05:18 PM


Night all...sleep tight...don't let the Palmer conspiracies bite. Smile



March 21. 2012 05:23 PM


The following nonsense is being clumsily wrought over on Poll Bludger but I think Jason Obelix and I said it better first on the tellingbone: wtte thus:

The Treasurer: Thank you Mr Speaker, I am as happy as Larry to answer that very curly question from the honorable Member, Mr Speaker, but just hang on a mo, Mr Speaker  . . .

They're all very stirred up about the 3 Stooges suddenly, I thought they were over it. But Dam! They are stupid Stooges over there, maybe that's why it's sticking so well.

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

Carr giving maiden speech to absolute silence. Very sombre, telling it like it is at last on global climate change. Proper statesmanlike speech but very sad in its import.    


March 21. 2012 05:53 PM



I ask and you give, thank you so much for the link.


I was about to give you a couple of weeks notice to quit your job, but you have saved yourself by a hairs breath.  Sincerely, thank you for the link, I really appreciate it.

Talk Turkey

I love your invite, hope you all have a great time.


You keep dropping gems in here for us all to pick up.  Sadly it looks like the nutters are going to take over Queensland for a while.  Don't take peoples insults to heart, they are not aimed at you and yours personally.  And the wheel will turn and Labor/Greens will get back in and sort the place out, just like they are doing Federally.


March 21. 2012 07:22 PM

Ad astra

I’ve just posted More falsehoods of the $8bn BER ‘waste’ claims, the second part of JohnL’s BER analysis.  It provides yet more evidence that contradicts the claims of ‘waste and mismanagement’ made by the Opposition and the MSM.


Ad astra

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