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The three stooges play budget games

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Saturday, 14 April 2012 12:57 by Ad astra
Scene: A villa on the Gold Coast.

Mathias Cormann: This is nice Joe, how did you find this place – on the beach, rolling surf, blue skies, leggy blondes on the sand…

Joe Hockey: Thank Tony. He’s a good mate of Clive Palmer – it’s his pad. He thought we needed some peace and quiet to work out how to find $70 billion in savings to pay for all the stuff Tony’s promised.

Andrew Robb: It’s better than the inside view in our Canberra offices and a lot warmer. But we might have to pull the blinds – it’s pretty distracting out there.

Mathias: Where’s Tony?

Joe: Tony’s not that interested in money matters – he finds economics boring, and frankly I’d prefer to keep my hand on the till – you know Tony! He wants us to get the ball rolling and he’ll come later to look over what we’ve come up with.

Andrew: So how much savings does he expect from us? It seems to get bigger all the time; he keeps coming up with his expensive ideas.

Joe: Let’s start with $70 billion – that’s big enough.

Mathias: But that figure was before he came up with his nanny scheme!

Joe: I know, I know, but that was just an idea he floated to appeal to the female of the species. You know, he has hasn’t got much of an image with them and he thought a nanny scheme might get him a few brownie points. All he’s said is that he’ll ask the Productivity Commission to look at it. He knows he can easily knock it on the head if he gets into government if the PC reckons it would be too expensive. He says his idea is all gain but no pain. It’s the female vote he’s after; don’t you worry about how to pay for it. That’ll be on the never-never!

Andrew: So we don’t have to work out how to pay for it. Good.

Joe: So let’s start.

Andrew: Before we do, let’s all agree on what we have to pay for and what money’s coming in.

Joe: Well for starters, if Tony’s determined to knock over the carbon tax, there’ll be no carbon tax revenue, or at least none once Tony kills the scheme. Swan will have it on his bottom line though from July 1. We can hardly include it in ours as Tony’s going to kill it.

Mathias: I know we’re looking ahead a bit, but how would he kill it? When he gets into power, he might get a repeal motion through the House, but the Greens in the Senate say there’s no way they will vote it down. So he may be stuck with it. If that’s the case, will he use the revenue from the tax to fund his promises?

Joe: I don’t know. To do so would look a bit hypocritical wouldn’t it? You’d have to ask him, but I guess if it’s money in the bank, he’d use it – he can’t give it back. I suppose he’s thought about that!

Andrew: What if he can’t kill the tax – the Greens will still have a majority won’t they?

Joe: Well he’ll threaten them with a double dissolution that would wipe them out – they’ll come to heel don’t you worry.

Mathias: Don’t be too sure! I’m in the Senate and I can tell you the Greens are pretty stubborn – I reckon calling their bluff won’t work, and what if the people don’t like having to go to another election so soon and end up voting against us? Pretty risky stuff I reckon.

Joe: Well, Tony’s crazy brave as you know. He could do anything.

Andrew: So do we or don’t we count carbon tax as revenue in our costings for the 2012/13 budget, and do we or don’t we use it each year after that until Tony kills it, that is if he can?

Joe: I hadn’t thought of that. Sounds messy, but better not to count it, otherwise the media that aren’t in our pocket would be all over it. Let’s get on with finding these savings.

Mathias: What about the minerals tax? Doesn’t the same problem arise? How can we count minerals tax revenue in our budget calculations when Tony’s promised to repeal the tax? Swan would tear us limb from limb if we counted taxes that we’ve vowed to knock off, and so would the economics writers. Imagine what Gittins would say.

Joe: OK, lets work out how we can pay for all our promises without any money coming from the carbon tax or the minerals tax.

Mathias: Jees that’s going to be hard! Can we jot down the things Tony says he going to knock off and what he reckons he’ll still keep after he kills the two taxes.

Andrew: Well he’s said he’ll keep the super increases – he reckons knocking that would land him in big trouble with workers. But it’s a bit vague what will happen to the reduction in company tax; Tony’s got his own ideas about giving them a tax break.

Mathias: What about the pension increases, upping the tax-free threshold, family compensation and other benefits? Tony says they will have to go because if there’s no carbon tax, there’s no need for compensation. So do we leave those payments out of our alternative budget?

Andrew: That all very fine for Tony to say, but try taking money off pensioners that they’re already getting – all hell would break loose.

Joe: I guess we’d just have to wear it – after all it would be our first term and the old folk would have forgotten that come the next election. I just hope Tony has got his lines worked out before the proverbial hits the fan when he abolishes their pension increases.

Andrew: OK. Let’s accept then that while Swan will count the tax revenues as income, we can’t in our shadow budget. Let’s get on with savings – we’ve got to find around $70 billion.

Joe: But let’s tot up Tony’s promises first. His PPL is pretty pricey; some reckon it will cost over $3 billion a year, but he wants it funded by a 1.5% increase in company tax on the nation's big firms, although we still have to find a top up of $100 million from the budget. So let’s put that in and hope that the company tax hike won’t cause us too much grief. And don’t forget he said he’d reduce personal taxes and pay for this by reducing debt and save $6 billion a year now going on interest payments. Or so he says. I wish he were here to spell all this out.

Andrew: What about his Direct Action Plan? That will cost a packet. Labor keeps saying it will cost each family $1300 a year and Tony doesn’t deny that. How will we get them to wear that? And where do we get the money for his 15,000 Green Army people that he reckons will cost $50,000 per person per year? That’s $750 million a year we have to find. And what about the millions of trees he’s going to plant, and the land to plant them? What will that cost? How much will the soil carbon plan cost? Has anyone costed the DAP fully? How much do we have to find?

Joe: As far as I can make out the Green Army will start at $100 million in 1012/13 and edge up to $250 million the next year as the Army grows, and so on. I don’t know if anyone has costed the trees and the land; I don’t know if there’s enough land for the millions of trees he has in mind, and by the way they won’t absorb much carbon before they’re 5 years in the ground anyway. Tony Windsor reckons there’s not enough arable land to plant the millions of trees, but our Tony says he’ll use semi-arable land. Anyway let’s not worry about the details; let’s just find the savings.

Andrew: Remember that Tony said he’d retain the super increases, and he’d give companies a modest company tax break – does anyone know how much is modest? How much will that cost?

Mathias: We’re spending a lot of time on the extra costs; let’s get on with the savings.

Andrew: But surely we need to know how much Tony has committed us to before finding the savings to fund it.

Joe: Well let’s look at the savings and add in other costs as we come to them. This is not easy guys – we don’t know exactly how much savings we have to find, but at least let’s take a jab at it.

Mathias: Tony says that one of his big savings will be made by cutting public servants by 12,000, but we don’t know if he’ll do this by natural attrition or slash and burn. He’s vowed to abolish the Department of Climate Change completely and he intends to target the Health Department, the Education Department and the Defence Materiel Organisation.

Andrew: How will he administer his DAP and his Green Army without a climate change department. Who will recruit these Army people, and place and pay them? How will he house them – housing is pretty short and expensive. Should we allow for dongas like they use on mining sites? I reckon he’ll need quite a lot of public servants to run this. So he might not save much upending the climate change mob.

Joe: Well I suppose we’ll have to cut health and education staff pretty savagely. He’s got this nice line that none of the Canberra bureaucracy teach kids or attend the sick, so why do we need so many? The voters swallow that hook, line and sinker, but really we do need some administrative types – but how many, and how can we cut them without messing too much with education and health delivery?

Andrew: I don’t know how many we can cut without leaving a mess, so I suggest we just pick a figure that will give us a good chunk of savings, and let the departments sort it out. Don’t forget, this is just a shadow budget, so we can cut as hard as we like without the consequences hitting us, can’t we?

Joe: That’s true – the consequences are on the never-never; we can always pull back once we’re in power, and no one will even remember how savage the cuts were.

Mathias: What about the NBN – we can save a packet there.

Andrew: Yes we can if we use a bit of sleight of hand. The problem is that the total cost of the NBN isn’t even on Swan’s bottom line – it’s an investment that he claims will yield around 7% some time in the future, God know when. But as we’ve trumpeted the huge cost of the project, we might be able to slip it in as a saving, or at least a saving on interest on money borrowed, and the punters will swallow it unless someone like Gittins blows the whistle.

Joe: OK, how much do we put in as NBN savings? We’ve not got too much on the slate yet, so let’s be generous!

Mathias: How much does Tony reckon he can save by ditching it?

Joe: He has no idea. He doesn’t even know if he can ditch it. If it’s about a third rolled out, and contracts galore have been signed, and Telstra’s threatening that it will insist on compensation if the transition from copper to fibre is halted and their payments with it, how can he jam on the brakes, and if he did, how much would he save? What’s more, there are a lot of farmers and business people, and teachers and doctors who are clamoring for fast broadband, who are going to be hopping mad if they miss out and have to wear our el cheapo version. The regions that miss out and are stuck with slow Internet will be ropeable. Frankly, I think the NBN will be pretty hard to torpedo and we won’t get any bouquets if he tries. The punters are not interested in us saving money if they get stuffed around in the process. Anyway that’s Tony’s problem – all we have to do is find some NBN savings – let’s make a stab at it.

Mathias: What other savings have we got – can we use some we came up with last year?

Joe: Of course we can. We got done over a bit, and when those HK Howarth accountants that did the job for us got pulled up and fined, it took Tony and I some fast talking to fend off the press. ‘We stand by our costings’ was about all we could say, but I think we got away with it. Most of the journos didn’t hammer us too hard – it’s easier when they are onside.

Mathias: Can I bring up another curly one – Nauru. Tony says he’s going to open it up again. Do we have to allow for that in our budget or can we shelve that until Tony’s at the wheel? Swan reckons reopening Nauru would cost over $300 million rebuilding for 750 detainees, and $1.6 billion operating costs over four years, but Tony’s quote from the catering firm he enlisted was much less. How do we deal with that?

Joe: I suggest we forget Nauru – it’s complicating things for us now, and we can work out how to fund it when Tony gets in.

Andrew: Guys, were not making much headway here. We’d better get this right or Tony will be livid. Let’s go through last year’s savings and see what we can salvage.

The trio work through the reams of paper that cover the coffee table and spill onto the floor, and after several hours of poring over estimates they decide enough is enough and retire for a long restaurant dinner, with good wine to ease the pain of finding $70 billion of savings.

Next morning, after a hearty breakfast, they are surprised to find Tony Abbott at the door.


Tony: How’s it going fellas – are we there yet?

Joe: Well not quite Tony, this is tough going. $70 billion is a helluva lot of money. And what’s more we’re stuck with a lot of queries about what you’re going to do.

Andrew: We’ve put in $100 million a year for your PPL after the big companies have coughed up the tax, sorry levy, you’re laying on them. Is that enough?

Tony: I wouldn’t know – I’m not an accountant. If it sounds reasonable to you, that’ll do. Let’s not make it any higher though – it’s my signature policy so it’s going to happen, but I don’t want it to cost an arm and a leg.

Mathias: We wondered about how much we should allow for Nauru. Are your costings kosher? Maybe you don’t want to include Nauru on the expenditure side until you get your hands on the wheel, or should I say joy stick, as you’ll be flying high.

Andrew: Very funny Mathias. Let’s be serious here.

Tony: I reckon we can defer Nauru for a bit; if we dragooned the Government to refurbish it, that would let us off the hook.

Mathias: But wouldn’t you have to agree to the Malaysia agreement before they did that.

Tony: Don’t you worry about that! I have ideas about that, but only after we’ve milked the asylum seeker saga for as much as we can.

Mathias: What about the NBN Tony. How much do you reckon we can put in for savings?

Tony: Look, I’m not an economist, otherwise I’d have been here sweating it out with you. So don’t ask me. If I had a stab, I would do what we did last year and hope we could get away with it again.

Mathias: Sorry Tony to bring up all these problems, but what happens if you can’t quickly kill the carbon tax or the minerals tax, what if the pension increases and other goodies are so much a part of people’s income that taking them away would be political suicide?

Tony: Don’t you worry about that! The name of the game is to Softly, Softly Catchee Monkey, or if I can put it another way - don’t frighten the horses before the elections with too many policies or nasties. Be vague, get elected and then we can do what we like. We can always blame Labor for leaving the budget in an awful state – that always works, for a year or so anyway. The punters will have to wear whatever we do, and by the time we get to the next election, they will have forgotten any pain we laid on them, and we then soften them up with some nice juicy John Howard handouts, and they’ll eat out of our hands, just like they did with Johnny. One step at a time!

And as for our budget, it doesn’t have to be perfect, or even plausible; so long as we can talk our way through any bumps in it, we’ll be OK. We can rely on Murdoch’s mob not to be too tough on us; we certainly won’t see nasty headlines in the tabloids. And if we get a few nasty reviews in the broadsheets, who reads them anyway – only the latte-sipping, sandal-wearing lefty intellectuals!

Joe: Well, I wonder how worthwhile it is sweating over our shadow budget all this time, if it doesn’t matter how legitimate it is. We might as well have stayed home, or just relaxed and enjoyed the scene outside, which I must say is pretty attractive. Finding savings is such a messy business, too many twists and turns for me!

Tony: Joe, you should know by now that it’s not what you come up with that’s important, it’s that you look as if you’re taking the budget seriously. I’ll make sure your meeting here and all your sweat gets lots of good press. Leave the outcome to me; Peta and I have great ideas on how to sell our budget, warts and all. We’ve got a tame firm of accountants to give it a tick, and we’ve even got a couple of tame journos ready to give it a leg up. So don’t you worry about that!

Joe, Andrew, Mathias in chorus: If you say so Tony!

Joe: So long as you don’t leave me holding the baby like you did last year, Tony.

Andrew: Me too, Joe!

Comments (242) -

April 14. 2012 01:03 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
You will have noticed, at the top of the left panel on this blog site, the icon for the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition People’s Choice.

Someone nominated The Political Sword for this competition, and I agreed to enter it in the ‘Commentary’ category.  The winner of each category is to be selected by a panel at the Sydney Writers’ Centre.  

However, an opportunity has been afforded for anyone to select a blog for the People’s Choice award.  If you wish to enter your vote, click the icon and follow the instructions.  The Political Sword is to be found near the end of a long list of entries (there are over a thousand) amongst those starting with ‘T’.

Ad astra reply

April 14. 2012 01:53 PM

BSA Bob

I hope your fly on the wall gets this out to the MSM, but I doubt they'd want to take up these issues. They haven't yet.

BSA Bob

April 14. 2012 02:02 PM

Bilko

AA Larry Mo and Curly could well sit down and work something out but it is beyond comprehension to think these three clowns could put that number of questions together, what with Tones unknown knowns or known unknowns or know knows or even unknown unknowns jees I am sounding like a noalition member i better stop before I go insane. may the force stay with you

Bilko

April 14. 2012 02:25 PM

Ad astra reply

BSA Bob
I hope some MSM journalists might read it and get a sense of the ridiculous nature of the Coalition economic team's budget scribblings, but I doubt if they would be bothered analysing the Abbott budget in any detail or asking (and answering) the questions posed in the piece.  That would be too difficult and wouldn't pass the editor's 'entertainment' test.

Bilko
It is mind-bending, and probably not good for one's mental health, or theirs!

I'm off to mow for a few hours while we have a balmy warm day.

Ad astra reply

April 14. 2012 03:44 PM

NormanK

Ad astra

You've gone to the heart of the dilemma facing an incoming Coalition government, that of what to do during the transition from Rudd/Gillard initiatives to Abbott policies. Mining tax revenues still on the books and ear-marked for infra-structure projects which might very well have already begun. Carbon pricing compensation in people's pockets and businesses part way through rearranging their whole business plans to accommodate it and holding a drawerful of permits. Dragging the NBN back onto the books and the hit to the budget that will ensue. Trying to sell the NBN piecemeal or incomplete. What legislative constraints would the new owner/s be obliged to operate under i.e. will they be allowed to provide wholesale AND retail?

It is so much more than a budgetary mess. There will be areas where an Abbott government will be paralysed, unable to advance their own policies and unable to repeal old legislation.

Labor for one more term (at least) is the only viable solution. Smile

NormanK

April 14. 2012 04:51 PM

Michael

Cruel jest. Like William Tell hit the apple.

Michael

April 14. 2012 05:09 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
You’re so right.  It’s not just a budgetary mess the Coalition faces – the budget is just one facet of the dilemma it faces.  If he  wins government, unless Tony Abbott can get a compliant Senate, as Dennis Shanahan optimistically predicts/hopes for in The Weekend Australian, policy paralysis will be outcome.  It will be a ‘do nothing’ government not because it wants to be, but because most of the policies Abbott has announced are about repealing or stopping things he doesn’t like - bringing the country to a grinding halt.  It’s a frightening prospect.  Should this tragedy befall our nation, imagine his anger and frustration as he tries and tries and still fails.

Michael
I wish I had the William Tell touch.

Ad astra reply

April 14. 2012 05:43 PM

2353

It would be an interesting exercise if Abbott did get the keys in 2013.  He would have a hostile Senate and regardless of his undoubted argument that he has a "mandate" (whatever that is), it would take acts of Parliament to undo some/most of the current Government's program I would have thought.

So Abbott would have two choices - go for a double dissolution (and hope the "right" result eventuates against claims of him spitting the dummy), or wait until the "problem" Senators are due for re-election and go to a general election.

There is another option - Abbott is booted out by his own party prior to 2013.

P.S. - AA, I have voted appropriately using the link above (along with a vote for the Cafe and PB).  Hope it does some good.

2353

April 14. 2012 08:44 PM

Ad astra reply

2353
The third option for Abbott may be the reality if the polls begin to turn.

Thank you for your vote.

Ad astra reply

April 14. 2012 09:13 PM

NormanK

A bit of good sense in The Australian (not paywalled).

Risky climate for a retreat
by Mike Steketee     The Australian
A British Treasury document acknowledges this is likely to increase electricity prices but they "are likely to be even higher in the long term if we continue to rely on finite fossil fuels to power the UK".

That makes a point seldom heard in the Australian debate: that not taking action, delaying it or watering it down carries serious risks for business, consumers and the economy generally.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg7ax-1226326090157

NormanK

April 14. 2012 09:20 PM

Miglo

Roswell made a comment over at the Cafe that he was pleased to see his two favourite blog sites nominated for the blog of the year; CW and TPS.  I share those sentiments.

Miglo

April 14. 2012 11:17 PM

Patricia WA

That Oz story was paywalled, but never mind the piggy back trick worked.   Silly Can-Do and other Premiers cutting back on those alternative energy programs!  Even Premier Barnett here in WA knows better than that!

Watch this for the story of how one WA northern town, Carnarvon,  is now fully solar and residents don't pay for power, they get paid for supplying the community grid

www.abc.net.au/.../3949892  

Patricia WA

April 14. 2012 11:38 PM

Shirley

As someone who has only recently discovered this blog I am very happy to vote for it.

I have had a quite chuckle reading this entry then remembered it is really quite serious as this trio could be holding the purse strings soon. Tory Shephard over at the Punch has summerised some research which finds conservatives are linked "to low effort thinking". Apt. Could this explain  why slogans are so easily bought and progressive policies seen as a threat. Allowing the public assess to the  NBN must be very unsettling for our opposition leader. The original article can be read here.

psp.sagepub.com/.../0146167212439213.full.pdf+html

Shirley

April 15. 2012 06:46 AM

janice

Ad astra,
Once again you've written a brilliant piece.  Tweeters should tweet a link to it to every journo in the country.
Patricia,
I wonder how many Australians are aware of Carnarvon's solar achievement.  This sort of "news" isn't given much credence in our msm so maybe it is up to the 5th estate to report it widely.

janice

April 15. 2012 08:23 AM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
I hope there will be more of these stories (the Steketee one) along with the Carnarvon story Patricia WA drew our attention to, to highlight the stupidity of curtailing funding for renewable energy sources, such as ‘Can Do’, or is it ‘Can’t Do’ Newman is doing, and of course Can’t Do Abbott.

Miglo
Thank you for your support.

Patricia WA
I enjoyed the video clip on the Carnarvon story.  What a revelation.  Why has this not had nation-wide publicity?  I think I know – it’s a good news story for renewables, and for the Government that is supporting them.

janice
Thank you for your always-encouraging comment.  Lyn is our re-tweeter – I’m sure she will be on the job now that she is back home again.

Ad astra reply

April 15. 2012 09:20 AM

Bilko

Patricia WA
I installed Solar energy on my house and my next door neigbour followed suit and I look forward to my electricity bills $150 in credit for the last two quarters is fine considering all the appliances we have on the go. Mind you my neighbour a staunch lib supporter still has a winge about the amount of rebate he gets "why is it so much" and it being a labor initiative to boot you just cannot satisfy these old lib diehards. He is ex Aus military whilst I am just ex UK military, does make you wonder though keep up the poems we need a laugh during these dreadful times as the oz and the noalition keep telling us.

Bilko

April 15. 2012 09:26 AM

DMW

I guess that for most the Australian Financial Review  is not mainstream media.

On page 6 of the dead tree weekend edition:
Experts cast doubt on Hockey pledges  John Kehoe
Budget experts and economists have cast doubt on a future Coalition government's financial capacity to reduce personal income tax and company tax as shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has pledged to do if elected.

The stories are out there and the questions are being asked we just don't always see them.

DMW

April 15. 2012 10:16 AM

TalkTurkey

Happy Sunday Swordsfolks

I am sorry to have gone awol for a couple of days, my computer is being pensioned off and went away on Friday, and yesterday I wrote a long post unwisely again on J****'s puter on this program and Fwtt as I was about to send it.  To precis what I remember of it, I said first Ad astra that of all the articles I have ever read of yours I think this is the most brilliant of all.

It deserves to be posted to every other political and literary blogsite, Rightist ones included, because those questions the 3 Stooges (and all the rest of the Coalonic Goons, we may be sure!) are the ones which they must be forced to answer by unrelenting pressure on Them and the MSM.

Dam this is so pedestrian cf my lost post. I can never recreate the mood nor the flow, and I know, I know, I should write in Word etc, ah well.

[Geriatard Henderson looking desperate on Lopsiders trying to shore up the NOposition, he can see the hope drying up before him like the mirage it always was. Misha Schubert's OK, George Minilopenis seems to be getting a bit of bottle back but I think that's because of the same thing, he might not have to be a sqwormalist under Abbbortt after all and he has to hedge his bets.  I do not forget his performance alongside Laura Tingle during the late stages of the last election campaign, he hid under the bed and let her stand alone calling the Coalons out. Gutless I reckon.

Barrie Crassidy had plainly read Bushfire Bill's post this morning on Poll Bludger, re criticising *J*U*L*I*A*s not-going to the Olympics, because BB got in front of him, pointed out that neither The Lying Rodent nor any other PM since Fraser had gone to the Games either, and that if *J*U*L*I*A* had gone she would have been lambasted for that!` So Crassidy had to change tack from his expected course, and take BB's info into account, you'll know what I mean if you watched the show.]

Going to post this now before I touch the Fwtt spot. Not what I wanted to say nor so well but I want to post something on this unfamilar computer and not lose it.

I will make amends about giving real due tribute to this article of yours Ad astra, and also the matter of voting for favourite blogsite/s on the People's Choice Award as shown at the top of this thread. For now, all I will say re that is, VOTE FOR THE SWORD TODAY!  

TalkTurkey

April 15. 2012 10:53 AM

Ad astra reply

DMW
That sounds like an interesting article by John Kehoe.  Do you have a link that gets behind the paywall or is it possible to cut and paste the substance of it on TPS?

TT
Thank you for your most complimentary remarks.

I agree with you about Gerard Henderson on Insiders.  He is defensive of Tony Abbott, to whom he obviously speaks often.

I thought Barrie Cassidy defused the Olympics story pretty well.  Even Henderson agreed that Coates needed to fit in with the PM’s calendar, not the other way round.  What should any PM do – go to the G20 to represent our nation, or to an Olympic fundraiser?  It’s a no-brainer.

Do you have a link to BB’s comment on PB?

I have more grass to mow this morning.  Back this afternoon.

Ad astra reply

April 15. 2012 11:01 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Lyn has returned home and will resume her Daily Links tomorrow morning.  

A warm welcome back Lyn.

I’m sure all of you will join with me in thanking NormanK for stepping into Lyn’s shoes to provide us with daily sets of magnificent links.  They have been informative and timely and have kept going the TPS tradition of providing a conduit to a host of important pieces in other places, one that Lyn began so many years ago.

Thank you so much NormanK.

Ad astra reply

April 15. 2012 11:30 AM

NormanK

Bushfire's rants this morning based on this article:

Fury at PM's Games snub
by Samantha Lane     SMH
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has upset Australia's Olympic chief and been accused of disappointing athletes by turning down invitations to the London Olympics and the team's key fund-raising event.
www.smh.com.au/.../...mes-snub-20120414-1x04b.html

Jesus H. Christ… what an incredible beat-up!

Julia Gillard has had the temerity to upset John Coates. So the outsourced Sydney Sun-Herald sub-editor plays the “Fury” card:

Fury at PM's Games snub

Whenever I think about “fury” I think of a person kicking the dog, screaming, red in the face, shouting, spitting, out of control angry.

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-1217034


It’s with a heavy heart that I am anticipating Barrie Cassidy running with the stupid, beaten-up Sydney Sun-Herald story this morning telling us breathlessly that there is Fury at PM’s games snub.

Barrie, being a sports tragic himself won’t be able to easily resist a piece of anti-Gillard rubbish alleging that the world is up in arms over her declining to attend:

1 x dinner
1 x Olympics

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-1217048

NormanK

April 15. 2012 11:35 AM

DMW

Hi Ad,
I am not aware of a way to bypass the AFR paywall.

There are two options to get to the online version:
* if you have a friend who subscribes to the AFR, ask them to send you a “gift” link to that story
* Sign up for a free trial

Apart from that hope that some nice person scans the story and provides a link on the intertubes.

DMW

April 15. 2012 12:12 PM

BSA Bob

Been over at P.B. & looking at the comments re Gillard & the AOC. I must admit to having to think for a bit before realising what the AOC is. But the point to this post is that comments on here & P.B. indicate the beatup's gone the way of the Nth Korean rocket, so it'll be interesting to see whether any fragments of it can be recovered in time to make an impression on tonight's MSM notthenews.

BSA Bob

April 15. 2012 12:27 PM

Jaeger

Sports nut Howard didn't go to the Olympics either:

Mr Coates praised former prime minister Kevin Rudd for his decision to attend the Olympics in Beijing, the first prime minister to do so since Malcolm Fraser in 1976.

"Rudd got it," Mr Coates said.
(ABC News)

Coates doesn't get it.

Jaeger

April 15. 2012 12:28 PM

NormanK

Not sure if this story has been put up before - apologies if it has.
Given that it is centred on the contents of comments sections on news articles and blogs, the irony resides in the comments at the bottom of this article.

Who are these haters that poison the well of our discourse?
by Andrew Stafford    SMH
The key question for older mastheads in particular is how much immediate, non-considered, anonymous commentary enhances public debate - after they've spent valuable resources weeding out the spammers, trollers, and astroturfers that deliberately seek to distort and/or poison it.
*****
The sad truth is that controversy outrates reason every time. We live in an immoderate age. It's why Ray Hadley, Kyle Sandilands, Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt are among the best-paid and most powerful media personalities in the country.

www.smh.com.au/.../...iscourse-20120411-1ws5c.html

NormanK

April 15. 2012 12:34 PM

TalkTurkey

Ad astra here's the BB post from Poll Bludger, dam I didn't take the number nor the link after all, easy to find from the time though. Will supply link separately. There is a point in checking that page on PB, there are several other BB posts just before that, one details the Olympics matter before this one kicks in.

Bushfire Bill
Posted Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink
It’s with a heavy heart that I am anticipating Barrie Cassidy running with the stupid, beaten-up Sydney Sun-Herald story this morning telling us breathlessly that there is Fury at PM’s games snub.

Barrie, being a sports tragic himself won’t be able to easily resist a piece of anti-Gillard rubbish alleging that the world is up in arms over her declining to attend:

1 x dinner
1 x Olympics

when such trivial matters as a G20 meeting could easily be cancelled, and when not one Prime Minister between Fraser and Rudd has attended the Olympics except when they were at home in Sydney, 2000.

It’s prime fodder for his bogan’s guide to the news, set out in his “In The Papers” segment at the beginning of Insiders. As if what was in the Sunday papers meant anything serious.

The Sun-Herald’s hyperbole of using the word “FURY” to describe the preening, self-promoting John Coates’ annoyance at his pet project being ignored, and the hypocrisy of the paper suggesting that Gillard’s “predecessors” (plural) have “extracted political capital” from attending, when in fact (as the story itself admits) VIRTUALLY NONE HAVE, BECAUSE NONE EXCEPT RUDD HAVE GONE, is simply astonishingly bad journalism. “Predecessors” is a PLURAL word. With only ONE Prime Minister attending external Olympics Games you’d have to go back to Fraser in 1976 to make it two PMs. In case anyone missed it, that’s THIRTY-SIX YEARS in the past.

And then there’s the point needing to be made that IF Gillard HAD attended, then the articles would have been out saying how cynical she was, trying to “extract political capital” from the efforts of others, and that “nothing can save her”, especially trying to attach herself vicariously to the Olympic Dream.

Front page, too.

What a disgrace.

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

Remember there were several other BB posts in quick succession just before that.  

You know if BB were to post here EVERYBODY who reads him assiduously would come here with the several days they get here, whereas even his keen readers like me cannot possibly see all his posts on PB. It's a funny sort of inverted sort of fact.

PB gets so many many posts, mainly short, and mainly from its quite-a-few regulars; it's great for the latest news but BB's style is a standout. But Dog, he gets rolled over like dunny paper there. It has always seemed such a waste. When he comes here, aren't I right, everybody here reads him but he loses some of his regulars on PB of course. So he ought to post here but link to PB I reckon. At least they get a few days here, and the archives work so well, yes they have archives on PB too but who would ever go there? How would you find BB's past posts on PB unless you had precise details?

Oh well, it's BB's choice but it seems to me his brilliance only gets a flash before being disappeared. Today's are just a case in point.

Thanks to NormanK the Links have been kept continuous, the posts here are the spine of a real developing history of the last several years' political events, and the Links provide detail on every issue. Thanks Ad, Lyn and NormanK, TPS is a very special record.  

TalkTurkey

April 15. 2012 01:43 PM

Cuppa

Talk Turkey,

The way to get the URL from a comment on Poll Bludger (as well as other blogs powered by WordPress) is:

1) Locate the link marked "Permalink" attached to the message you're interested in.

2) Right-click on that link.

3) Choose "Copy link location" (or similar menu option according to your browser).

4) This copies to the Clipboard the URL for the individual message, which can then be pasted in where required in your own blog comments, Tweets, etc.

Cuppa

April 15. 2012 02:55 PM

Lyn

Dear Ad and all my friends on TPS,

Thankyou so much Ad Astra for your caring thoughtful welcome home.

Norman K thankyou for your much appreciated work in providing “Today’s Links” while I was away.  I see how  particular about details you are, eg presentation & careful thought .

I admire your daily selection of links.  You have provided information which has obviously been fastidiously researched to provide such a  high quality.  

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading  TPS comments   .  During my absence since 3rd April TPS has been honoured with 12 new commenters :-

Mark Hyde,Barry Kayde, Keith D, Mikey, Chris Blair, Andrew Catsaras, Bernadette Calliman, John Lawrence, Fiona, Laura, Shirley, Note Lite.  

The total of new commenters since the 1st Feb 2012 is  47.

Thankyou to all our new commenters this year, your posts are valuable to TPS and enjoyed by all.

Ad Astra you are delightful, thankyou for your recent articles, fantastically  superb.

The flurry of Tim Blair’s Coalition Huggers  on the 12th April was hilarious. Ad you said they were nervous, comments proved raw and exposed nerves.

Fear uncertainty and doubt grip the Coalition   www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...he-Coalition.aspx

Ad Astra your pleasant well mannered calm acceptance to the above mentioned  abusive, nasty posts  was admirable.  

Below I have copied the article by John Kehoe, from the link

provided by DMW.  Thankyou DMW  .

Experts cast doubt on Hockey pledges, John Kehoe , Financial Review

Budget experts and economists have cast doubt on a future Coalition government’s financial capacity to reduce personal income tax and company tax as shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has pledged to do if elected.

The Coalition would need to identify massive spending reductions even larger than those of the Howard government’s first budget in 1996, which was the last time there was vicious spending cuts, they said.

Mr Hockey said in a speech on Friday a Coalition government would deliver a personal income tax cut in its first term and a “modest” company tax cut. It would do this despite rescinding the carbon and mining taxes, which are forecast to collectively raise more than $30 billion over the next four years.

Stephen Anthony, director of budget policy at Macroeconomics, said the Coalition’s plan was very ambitious. “There is no easy way to achieve the objective they’re talking about, short of making significant offsetting savings, which doesn’t sound easy,” he said.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief economist Saul Eslake said Mr Hockey’s plan did not appear to be in line with his other policy objective of producing a larger budget surplus than that of the Labor government.

“It’s not consistent with running bigger surpluses than the Labor Party is proposing to run unless the Coalition is also contemplating larger cuts in government spending,” he said.

The Coalition has pledged to dump most of the spending programs tied to the carbon and mining taxes, including infrastructure investment, small business asset tax write-offs and household compensation.

However, it has retained some spending, including the tax forgone on the higher superannuation contributions, when the super guarantee rises gradually from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

“They committed to the super increase and somehow I find it hard to believe they will retract the compensation that is being paid to households for the impact of the carbon tax,” Mr Eslake said.

The carbon tax is forecast to raise $19 billion over the next four years and $8 billion of this is to go towards personal tax cuts.

Finance Minister Penny Wong claimed the opposition already had a $70 billion budget black hole and couldn’t explain how it would fund its promises.

Mr Hockey said the government needed to explain how it would fund $6 billion for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, $36 billion on submarines and $5 billion for the proposals in the Gonski education review. “What we promise we will deliver,” he said.

Complicating the task for both sides of politics, tax revenue growth has slowed considerably since the global financial crisis.

Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson recently revealed that the tax-to-GDP ratio had fallen 4 percentage points since 2008 and was not expected to rise much in the foreseeable future.

Department of Finance Figures published on Friday show the budget deficit to the end of February for the 2011-12 financial year, was $1.8 billion worse than forecast in December. The difference was due to lower tax receipts and higher personal benefit payments.

afr.com/.../experts_cast_doubt_on_hockey_pledges_r8eT2RaQ8bhdK6J2jkPlFM
SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 15. 2012 03:13 PM

Patricia WA

Hi Lyn!   Welcome back.  You've obviously been keeping a friendly watch on us here even in absentia as it were.  And very sharp eye on the MSM and the national scene.

NormanK has looked us very well during your break, for which many thanks,  Norman!

That ABC story about Carnarvon's solar success only appeared last Friday, is it the sort of thing which could somehow be linked to on Monday?

Sad, isn't it, that it appeared only on our WA 7.30 report, not national.   It should have made headlines across the country as news much less as a small local interest story here.

I guess all we as bloggers can do is keep passing on the good news making sure it gets around with tweets and within blog comments.   www.abc.net.au/.../3949892  

Patricia WA

April 15. 2012 03:20 PM

Patricia WA

That copied abbreviated link doesn't work!  Seems I have to revert to the fuller version and it will be neatly abbreviated here again.  Is that right?  

www.abc.net.au/.../3949892

PS thank you to Cuppa for that help on URLs and permalinks.   I found it very helpful, as I am sure did TT and others here who may be fairly new to IT and the wonders of the web.

Patricia WA

April 15. 2012 03:29 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
How good it is to see your delightful Gravatar back on TPS.  Thank you for your kind comments.

I see we have had 47 new commentors since February – what now is the total?

Thank you for pasting the AFR piece.  It asks the same questions as does this piece, but rather more politely.  When will the MSM call Hockey’s bluff and insist on some plausible figures to back their promises and claims?

Most of the MSM are pussycats when it comes to holding the Coalition to account.  We need more Ross Gittins' and Peter Martins'.

Ad astra reply

April 15. 2012 03:39 PM

NormanK

Hi Lyn

Welcome back! Laughing Laughing Laughing
I kept the chair warm for you but could never hope to emulate the sterling job that you do with links and Tweets.
TPS will now return to normal transmission.
I hope your break was reinvigorating even if it was tiring.

NormanK

April 15. 2012 03:57 PM

Patricia WA

A very happy making link from poroti over at PB which took me back to days of watching Fred Astaire and on through the Beatles.  Also made me very optimistic for the future.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgoapkOo4vg



Patricia WA

April 15. 2012 04:11 PM

NormanK

A Coup By Any Other Name: Kevin Rudd
by Rhys Muldoon     The Monthly

They’re putting you through the fire,” I remarked to the prime minister on the first day of winter, 2010.

“Is my arse alight?” he replied.

It turns out it was.

www.themonthly.com.au/kevin-rudd-coup-any-other-name-rhys-muldoon-4668

NormanK

April 15. 2012 08:09 PM

Cuppa

Hi Patricia WA,

I'm glad you found the instructions for copy-and-pasting Permalink individual commet URLs helpful. It took me a while to figure it out, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty straightforward.

Some blogs, instead of differentiating the individual comments by 'Permalinks', make a clickable link of the date/time stamp for each comment. (Larvatus Prodeo, for example, used this). These are effectively the same as 'Permalinks', and the same procedure applies for copy-and-pasting: Right-click, copy to Clipboard, paste into wherever-you-want-to-use-it.

Cuppa

April 15. 2012 08:17 PM

DMW

Hi Lyn
thanks for that AFR article thing. I was thinking about typing it out but with my 'hunt and peck' skills it would have taken up most of the night Smile

Did anyone see/link to this?
When the going gets tough, Gillard keeps on getting tougher  Misha Schubert @NationalTimes
Since Australia got its first female PM, there has been much fascination with the fripperies. The hair. The clothes. The voice. There's been some focus, too, on matters of greater import.
www.smh.com.au/.../...-tougher-20120414-1x0eh.html

Interesting

DMW

April 15. 2012 08:46 PM

Cuppa

DMW,

While on Misha Schubert's observation of the Prime Minister's phenomenal resilience, it's worth also noting a comment from Laura Tingle, Australian Financial Review, 17 February 2012:

... Whatever is said about the Prime Minister’s political management capabilities, it is doubtful we have ever seen quite such a tough operator in our lifetimes.

    She has grimly stood through relentless pressure for almost two years that would have left many of her colleagues blithering wrecks.

    Even now, besieged by the opposition, many in her own party, and her own capacity for disaster, she is still there and not planning on going anywhere.


afr.com/.../labor_leadership_wrangle_will_end_jxP7JL0ozRhj3XwihD5V1N

Cuppa

April 15. 2012 09:08 PM

Patricia WA

Ad Astra - I'm having fun with a pome on the Coalition's budget planning, using your brilliant dialogue above, to which I keep returning.    A small whinge from me - it would be a lot easier on the eye if we had each speaker distinguished by Bold or Underlined. or even capitalised.

Can it still be changed from your end - I was thinking too of judges or even just potential visitors giving us the once over pre-voting for the People's Choice.

PS   If you can still edit, there is a significant 'o' missing in your very last sentence!  


Patricia WA

April 15. 2012 09:14 PM

Ad astra reply

DMW, Cuppa
Thank you for the links to the Mischa Schubert and Laura Tingle articles that point to the resilience of Julia Gillard.  What shape do you think her counterpart would have been in if he had been subject to the abuse and vitriol that Julia has endured.  She is a big threat to Tony simply because of her resilience.  No matter what he, the journalists and the cartoonists throw at her, she carries on.  How frustrating that must be for him.  It is driving him crazy.

Ad astra reply

April 15. 2012 09:34 PM

NormanK

This is unbelievable. I was going to comment on Channel Ten's coverage of the compensation packages that will go out in April and May because it takes the same angle as some of the papers had done the day before i.e. pork barrelling.
If you pick and choose with sufficient discretion it is possible to show that for each different form of compensation there is a hot-spot in or near a marginal seat. People here are smart enough to know that this is just statistical cherry-picking but there are a number of other characteristics to this news story that are interesting.

Despite having known about the compensation for 12 months and the plan to roll out some payments beforehand for at least 6 months, there is a breathless air of this being a breaking story. OMG, OMG, OMG! Labor are trying to buy votes!

The only reason I'm calling attention to it now is because Frank over at A Frank View has put up a YouTube video of the news item and watching it at my leisure allowed me to see the closing shot.
Check it out:
www.youtube.com/watch

If I need to spell it out, Adam is a Green politician who may or may not be wearing sandals will he is ........ ......... at an inner-city cafe.
Could Ten be any more crass?

NormanK

April 15. 2012 09:55 PM

DMW

Cuppa,
Thanks for the reminder of the @latingle article.

Doing a little bit of different 'cherry picking' is there a trend developing? Female journos pointing out the obvious that despite all the mudslinging the PM still gets up every morning and gets on with the job that has chosen her?

NK,
dare I point out that crass is much easier to do than depth and class?

DMW

April 15. 2012 10:21 PM

NormanK

DMW

I bet the producer of that news article indulged in a bit of self-hugging at the subtle cleverness of that insert. And bought the cameraman a beer for his foresightedness in grabbing the shot.
I really am growing sick of this appalling news coverage. I don't much care whether it is bias, laziness, stupidity, sensationalism, under-staffing or a combination of them all - it is doing none of us any good to be fed incorrect information.

NormanK

April 15. 2012 11:32 PM

TalkTurkey

www.google.com/url


Well Hello Tweetie!
Well Hello Tweetie!
It's so great to have you back here on the Sword!
NK's done good Tweetie
Like you would Tweetie
NK's linkings and Ad's inking's kept our thinking broad,
But now I hear singing, Tweetie Bird's winging
Back to our beloved blogsite come the dawn,
So, take a break Norman, Thank you, you've been a great foreman,
And Tweetie Lyn comes back tomorrow morn!

www.google.com/url





TalkTurkey

April 16. 2012 12:55 AM

TalkTurkey

Bushfire Bill
Posted Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink
Sorry, but is football really that important? Not to run a cliche, but it IS only a game.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cuppa thank you, I just have a problem with no mouse on J****'s computer, I hate the fingerpad. Anyway BB's thought above was exactly what I was thinking at exactly the same instant about an extensive NRL/NFL conflab on PB this AM. It was a funny feeling reading exactly the very words I was thinking at the same time.

TalkTurkey

April 16. 2012 07:23 AM

Lyn

TODAY’S LINKS

Good job, Bob., James Higgins, The Politics Project
It’s nice to see a leader of such stature and longevity as Brown leave parliament at a time of his own choosing, when his party is strong (the strongest it has ever been).
thepoliticsproject.wordpress.com/.../

Stop the Carbon Price Lies, Dan Gulbery, The Daily Derp
On April 11th, 2012, The Courier Mail (a Newscorp fish wrapper), published not one, not two, but three articles claiming the Salvation Army would suffer under the upcoming Carbon Price
thedailyderp.net/.../

OCMTB 14 Pile of sheets debuts down under to raptures of a News limited media, Uthers Say
this Sunday’s panel which was one of the lesser pro “more corporate – no big fat taxes party” that Barry Cassidy convenes was so admiring of Tony Abbot, Campbell Newman and his large pile of paper,
http://utherssay.com/

The Opposition Says’ disease has mutated, now it is ‘Tony Abbott Says’, Turn Left 2013
It seems there is a strange disease infecting political journalists all across the country. From the ABC and Murdoch media (but, I repeat myself),to reporters and newsreaders & journalists everywhere.
turnleft2013.wordpress.com/.../

Productivity and Innovation, Alex Schlotzer
Why haven’t the various business pundits and commentators been asking the hard questions of CEOs and Boards about their investments in skills and knowledge, infrastructure, and programs to add
alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/.../

Aspirational Joe, Only the Depth Varies
It's fair to assume that Joe's perspective may be a little skewed by the fact that he represents the seat of North Sydney, which includes some of Sydney's most affluent Neutral Bay,Milsons Point,Hunters Hill
http://onlythedepthvaries.blogspot.com.au/

2012 Global Atheist Convention, @ndy , Slack Bastard  
Oh, and the episode of Q&A in which Pell battled Dawkins for ideological supremacy? Apart from displaying Dawkins’ ability to put the fear of God into those of us who find laughter refreshing,
http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=30136

Kelly O’Dwyer, Christians don’t own marriage, & goodbye Bob., Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep
Shortly after Bob Brown announced his retirement, Federal Member for Higgins and Abbott attack puppy in training Kelly O’Dwyer tweeted that we now had a female deputyPM as well as female PM.  noplaceforsheep.com/.../

Bob Brown resigns, Marian Dalton,The Conscience Vote
Abbott probably commands more of the media cycle than any other politician. Sky and ABC News24 don’t cut away from his media conferences the way they did with Brown’s. His words are repeated,  consciencevote.wordpress.com/.../

Don’t Look Back In Anger, Wixxy’s Blog
Labors public perception. Yes we are doing it tough, but I’m a little over the whole blame game thing…. It’s the media, it’s the Carbon Tax, it’s Julia Gillard, it’s The Greens, it’s the Unions, its
wixxy.wordpress.com/.../

Thank You, Dr Bob Brown, Archie, Archiearchives
at 67, you are retiring. Watching your resignation speech and your off the cuff answers to the assembled media, I have been struck by your good humour and humble thanks to all your colleagues,
archiearchive.wordpress.com/.../

Room for renewal- Bob Brown quits, Derek Barry, Woolly Days
In the end it wasn’t Murdoch’s papers that forced Brown out; it was his own sense of the need for party renewal. It is not quite generational change. New leader Christine Milne will be 59 next  
http://nebuchadnezzarwoollyd.blogspot.com.au/

Brown: our most successful third-party pollie, Bernard Keane, Crikey
The former medical practitioner has travelled the long journey from the United Tasmania Group, which won just under 4% of the vote in the 1972 state election, to leader of the party with the
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Greens in wilderness without Brown, Dylan Caporn, The Body Politic
Quite apart from the endless string of cartoons in which she has been depicted as Brown’s puppet, Gillard will welcome anything that weakens the Greens’ appeal in the 2013 election. She will bet on
bodypoliticaus.wordpress.com/.../

Greens will change without Brown, Independent Australia
It is not often in Australian politics that a major leadership change occurs without leaks, rumours or the  media somehow getting a sense of changing winds. Yet that is exactly what has happened today
www.independentaustralia.net/.../

The 'Green Tape' Furphy, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
Newman wasted no time in rolling out that old standard for the media stunt: a stacked copy of the various legislation surrounding the carbon tax. "That’s how much regulation this Prime Minister and this
http://newmatilda.com/2012/04/13/greentape-furphy

Scientists say carbon emissions spike a one-off,David Twomey,Eco News
Australia’s emissions from electric power production and industry fell slightly in the year to September 2011.The decrease is attributed to a drop in overall power demand and a fall in coal
econews.com.au/.../

A strange unsolicited email from Leon Bertrand, solicitor, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
Dear crank.Tell you what. I’ll agree to pay your share of the carbon price when you agree to pay my share of the GST, which I and a majority of other Australians voted against in 1998.
anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/.../

Stutchbury smacks down Paul Howes , Christopher Joye, Aussie Macro Moments
Mr Howes hit the airwaves yesterday with a silly attack on the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the nutty suggestion that it should control the dollar
.christopherjoye.blogspot.com.au/.../...-howes.html

Chart of the day: how much work is out there?, Matt Cowgill, We Are All Dead
This chart tells us that there isn’t as much work to go around as there was before the GFC, but we’re doing better than we were in early 2009. The number of hours per person flattened out in 2011,
mattcowgill.wordpress.com/.../

Changing rationality and atheism’s rise, Crispin Hull
Religion is just a human construct. And like most human constructs it can be deconstructed, even if it will take a very long time. It has taken 500 years for the vast majority of humans to accept the
www.crispinhull.com.au/.../

Religion wrap: Global Atheist Convention, ABC
People like Dawkins hold that there is a conflict between science and religion, or between evolution and theism.But the real conflict lies between science and naturalism,not between science & belief in
www.abc.net.au/.../3948928

Poor Pell, Godless Business
Lastly, Pell admitted Adam and Eve did not exist saying:“It’s certainly not a scientific truth and it’s a religious story told for religious purposes.” Does Pell recognise the implications of what he
http://www.godless.biz/

Labor Versus Coalition on Interest Rates, Stephen Koukoulas
For the Labor government, there is a difference as you get further away from the hangover of the Howard Government spending spree and reckless cash handouts. That difference is a markedly lower average
http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/

Video’s


This week on Insiders
Friday April 13 saw Greens leader Bob Brown surprise almost everybody with his resignation, while the COAG meeting heralded a period of uncooperative federalism
www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2012/s3477578.htm

Meet The Press, Channel 10
ten.com.au/video-player.htm

Abbott caused surplus urgency, Milne, Sky News
Greens leader Christine Milne says Abbott is to blame for Labor's pressure to deliver a budget surplus.
http://www.skynews.com.au/video/

Carbon Tax rebate on the way (01:41)
Federal Labor announce Carbon Tax rebates scheduled for May this year. 15/04/12
media.smh.com.au/.../...colm-turnbull-3089926.html

Lyn

April 16. 2012 07:33 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES

Newspaper Front Pages from Australia for Monday, 16 April 2012

www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/.../archive.cfm

Lyn

April 16. 2012 08:36 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 08:52 AM

Lyn

Good Morning Talk Turkey

Thankyou for your welcome back, in the Golden Box goes your treasured verse:-

(Well Hello Tweetie!
Well Hello Tweetie!
It's so great to have you back here on the Sword!)

Lyn

April 16. 2012 09:03 AM

Lyn



Good Morning Ad

I was unable to use biuquote at all this morning.

Therefore you will notice the italics missing on my headings.

Maybe it is my computer and not the blog engine, this is a sample of what is happening to me:

biuquote out of order, see all the options are entering together at the top of the comments box, even though I have highlighted the words "Biuquote out of order"  Most unusual.

I did install news running along my task bar all day with News alerts could be a problem, is anyone else having the same?.

Cheers Lyn

Lyn

April 16. 2012 09:05 AM

debbiep



Happy holiday Return Lyn.  I  see a Whole lot of Links there to keep me busy.

Ad ,  the 'three stooges' are playing games with the Budget but  what about ' Repealing the Carbon Tax'. After reading a few articles  it seems dismantle the carbon scheme would make riveting viewing , even suggested worthy of a feature length movie! Lol, comedy or drama- that is the question?

debbiep

April 16. 2012 09:07 AM

debbiep


* dismantling

debbiep

April 16. 2012 09:09 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I'm trying bold italics underline quote.  Let's see how they go.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 09:11 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I'll now try manually: bold, italics, underline, quote.  See how that goes.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 09:13 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
The bold, italics, underline, quote facilities seem to be working here.  The server must be OK.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 09:45 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Thankyou for checking for me.  Looks like I had better put my new so called brilliant News program in the Otto quick smart.

Thankyou DebbieP you are a cutie and always so appreciative.

Q and A tonight:-

Tonight's Panel
Nicola Roxon - Attorney-General
Christopher Pyne - Shadow Minister for education
A.C. Grayling - Philosopher
Geoffrey Robertson - International human rights lawyer
Lydia Khalil - Middle East analyst
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/


Cheers SmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 16. 2012 10:41 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I see a would-be stooge, Barnaby Joyce, has advocated a doubling of the baby bonus which he wants paid not as a lump sum but periodically to avoid it being spent on ‘alcohol and other items that are actually at odds to the welfare of the child’.  See his press release at: barnabyisright.com/.../  Look at the header!

Note that he makes no attempt to indicate how the baby bonus would be funded.  It’s just as well he wasn’t at the Gold Coast meeting of the three stooges – they may have had apoplexy.

Why does he make these statements about matters that require funding without even talking to his leader?  And this man wants to be Deputy PM!!!

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 11:05 AM

Lyn

Hi Ad

This is what the Twitterverse is saying about Barnaby:

Adrian B‏@Volvo_of_doom
Not that you can ever believe anything Barnaby Joyce says anyway: Joyce backflip on baby bonus |
www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../story-fn7q4q9f-7

Greg Jericho‏@GrogsGamut
So Barnaby is worried about the idiocy of the Lib's PPL scheme, so his solution is to add more idiocy

Greg Jericho‏@GrogsGamut
Barnaby does a pretty quick retreat on his baby bonus idiot bubble - us4.campaign-archive1.com/

Greg Jericho‏@GrogsGamut
Just a reminder - Abbott's 1st decision as leader was to make Barnaby Shadow Finance Spokesperson.

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
Barnaby Joyce says he's never lobbied Tony Abbott to double the baby bonus and says he doesn't believe in lump sum 'handouts

Leroy‏@Leroy_Lynch
Barnaby blunders on over baby bonus www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226327242490 #auspol
describing as "ludicrous" a family payment policy his own party supported

Why does he make these statements about matters that require funding without even talking to his leader?  And this man wants to be Deputy PM!!!

See if you are a would be three stooge then you just say:- I didn't say what I said.

CheersSmile

Lyn

April 16. 2012 11:16 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
If you think that this piece on the three stooges discussing finance is somewhat exaggerated, read the transcript of what Andrew Robb had to say on the ABC’s AM this morning: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3477815.htm

This is the shadow finance minister speaking!  If you can untangle his comments, let us all know.  

Note that he throws in the old Coalition chestnut that it is Government borrowings that are pushing up interest rates, when we know that these borrowings add a tiny fraction of one percent to the cost of money.  The banks tell us that they have to borrow a substantial proportion of their money (which the use for lending) from overseas markets, because the funds from their own depositors are insufficient.  They state that the cost of borrowing from overseas markets is higher than in Australia because overseas lenders, much of which are in Europe, are gloomy about the financial situation there and project that gloom onto this country, feeling Australia will follow Europe into a downturn or actual recession, and will therefore be risky to lend money to.  So high interest rates are charged to Australian banks borrowing money from European lenders to cover the risk they perceive in lending to our banks.  Sound crazy?  It is.  So that’s what local banks blame for the high cost of borrowing and therefore their need to increase interest rates to their borrowers.  They never mention the Coalition accusation that it is Government borrowings that are pushing up their interest rates.  This is just Coalition disingenuousness, again!

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 11:25 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I see you are onto the Twitterverse, and what a subject Barnaby Joyce is.  

When even The Australian bags him you know he's bungled once again - big time.  What an embarrassment this man is to the Coalition.  It's all very fine for Christopher Pyne to say he's entitled too his opinion, but when he spouts this sort of policy without bothering to consult with his leader and without costing, that is simply irresponsible, and stupid.  But then, what's new?

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 12:38 PM

NormanK

This could be the start of some big trouble for Abbott and his supporters (or not).

Lib demoted on Senate ticket
by John Ferguson     The Australian

The dumping of a high-profile MP from a safe position on the Victorian Liberal Party's Senate ticket is being seen as a dramatic and final shift away from the era of the once influential Kroger-Costello machine and the confirmation of an emerging new powerbase.

Tony Abbott's chief whip in the Senate, Helen Kroger, was yesterday demoted to No 3 on the branch's Senate ticket after a bitter brawl with former factional colleague senator Scott Ryan.

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226327259084


An interesting take on Abbott's front bench dilemmas.

How Abbott would craft his Cabinet as PM
by Phillip Hudson    Herald Sun

One of the first things Tony Abbott will have to do if he becomes Prime Minister is sack at least three members of his frontbench, perhaps more. Forget about a public service purge - unless he does it before the election Abbott will be spilling political blood in his own party room.

Part of the reason is Abbott's strategy not to stir the pot by refreshing his line-up now. And part of the reason is money.

http://tinyurl.com/78r7z8f

NormanK

April 16. 2012 12:52 PM

NormanK

Ad astra

From that Robb interview:

ANDREW ROBB: Well they've been saying that the Government should reduce the cash rate and then that would, the lower cash rate would feed through and it would help lower things such as the exchange rate.

The sleepwalking interviewer didn't even have the awareness to pull Robb up and point out that the RBA is independent of government. What hope then of this somnambulant journalist pointing out the falsehood of his assertion that government borrowings are driving up the cost of borrowing for private banks. These interviews could be conducted by a robot equipped with a TelePrompTer such is the inability of most of our journalists to respond to the actual answers given.

As a case in point:

ANDREW ROBB: What I'm saying is that the cost of money is not just about what the Reserve Bank sets as the base rate. Even that, the base rate of the Reserve Bank, the difference between our base rate, our cash rate, and that of overseas countries has widened since the global financial crisis quite significantly.

Did the interviewer actually hear him say that? Our cash rate is higher than those of most overseas Western economies because those other economies are still on the verge of tanking. Whoosh! Straight over Samantha Hawley's head.

NormanK

April 16. 2012 01:17 PM

Gravel

Ad Astra

Well done, three great posts while I was busy socialising.  Thank you for all your effort and for the great responses, especially to the commentors that could only name call without any backup. This latest one on the three stooges is very reminiscent of Acerbic Conehead's style and I have trouble reminding myself that it is satire because it is probably to factual to be wrong.

All our wonderful crew here have allowed me to catch up on all the political too-ing and fro-ing, thank you.

I actually was able to listen to the live broadcast of Robb this morning and my immediate comment was to say neither interviewer or interviewee had a clue about what they were saying.

I emailed Nikki Gemmell after her wonderful article about Julia and got a response which was saying that is the most response she has had for an article and 80% positive.

Patriciawa

Another great pome way back under "Why Julia Gillard will win in 2013.

Talk Turkey on the 5th

That was a heartfelt ode to Ad Astra which I fully endorse.

NormanK, thanks for all the links, I've got them in my bookmark and will read over the next week or so.

Lyn

Hope you had a great break, I hardly had time to miss you but am pleased you are back.

Gravel

April 16. 2012 01:39 PM

Lyn

Hi NormanK

Thankyou for your Welcome back and your so very kind words last night. You guys on TPS are a great incentive for enthusiasm & motivation.

Regards to Andrew Robb here is the Twitterverse for you, Tim Dunlop certainly shares your angst NormanK

timdunlop‏
Genuinely dreadful performance by Andrew Robb this morning. Worth a listen if you haven't heard it
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3477815.htm

Here is a Storify for you, posted on Twitter by AFR:

Financial Review‏
Andrew Robb sparked a Twitter trend on Monday morning after he backed ANZ Bank's interest rate rise http://sfy.co/o66 #auspol #RBA

storify.com/.../coalition-backs-anz-interest-rate-rise

ABC Radio
The Opposition's Andrew Robb says the ANZ wouldn’t have raised rates if its margins hadn't been hurting - more on AM

Steve Baker‏
Andrew Robb backs BOTH a hike in interest rates AND a cut. Dead set muppet...
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3477815.htm

scot mcphee‏
Andrew Robb admits LNP no idea what It's doing: "Debt to Blame", he says. www.abc.net.au/.../3952312 @abcnews WHY IS THIS NEWS?

www.abc.net.au/.../3952312

Kenny‏
Treasurer Wayne Swan accuses Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb of ...: TREASURER Wayne Swan has accused t...
www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-e6freooo-1226327477786

Latika Bourke ‏
Tony Abbott asked if he agrees with Andrew Robb's defence of ANZ's rate rise 'I'm not here to defend the banks, they can defend themselves.'

Joe O'Brien‏
Tony Abbott on #abcnews24 now - responding to Andrew Robb interest rate debate


There you go what do you think, madness isn't it.

CheersSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 16. 2012 01:45 PM

Patricia WA

Ad Astra, your exchange there with Lyn re bold and underline has me wondering if you've missed my earlier comment about this great dialogue on budget games reading and looking better if the speakers names were highlighted somehow, as in a play script.

If your server does let you correct once your pieces are posted and you do decide to re-visit this post, could you also make this old school marm happy and correct that 'to' to 'too' in your very last sentence?

Hope this isn't nit picking.  I want TPS to look its very best with all this judging and voting going on!

Patricia WA

April 16. 2012 02:07 PM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA
'to' changed to 'too' in the last sentence.  Thank you.

I thought about placing the names of the players in bold or italics, but that is a tedious process in HTML.  So I left them in regular type, believing readers would still be able to see them.  If I had an HTML editor like Dreamweaver, it would be easy, but I haven't, so I need to add emphasis manually.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 02:20 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Thank you for the links.  I don’t know how the Helen Kroger demotion will play out.  We’ll have to wait.

The article by Phillip Hudson on a Coalition frontbench reshuffle is germane to this piece, particularly these paragraphs:

There's a debate raging inside the Coalition on this question. Sinodinos unquestionably will become a Cabinet minister in an Abbott Government. It would be ridiculous if he was not. So why is he not in the A-team now?

Some Liberals are not at all confident about the existing economic line-up of shadow treasurer Joe Hockey and finance spokesman Andrew Robb. There has been tension between the two and undermining of both by others.

There is a whispering campaign in Coalition ranks against Robb by those unhappy with his performance, who highlight his public stumbles and ignore his significant contribution on policy reform behind the scenes.

As the Opposition faces greater scrutiny of its economic plan and how it will pay for its election promises amid questions about a $70 billion budget black hole, there is a push for Abbott to wear the pain of a reshuffle.”


Some consider Sinodinos should hold one of the finance jobs.  If Abbott could engineer it, whom would he replace?

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 02:25 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
You are right – it is not just the incompetence of the interviewee (in this case Andrew Robb), but the ignorance, incompetence or sheer laziness of the interviewer.  It happens over and again, and the result is that politicians are let off the hook, whereas they should be swinging from a well-baited hook, ready to be slipped into the net.  I’m writing something about this now.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 02:32 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Abbott is really getting desperate now as July the 1st draws closer:-

Abbott calls for revolt over carbon tax, Channel nine

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has urged workers to "rise up" against Labor in protest at the carbon tax, which will come into effect on July 1.

The carbon tax will go like a wrecking ball through the Australian economy," Mr Abbott told reporters in Deer Park.

news.ninemsn.com.au/.../abbott-call-for-revolt-over-carbon-tax

Tweet from George Megalogenis:-

George Megalogenis‏
New blog, with gratuitous references to boss and race:
blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/.../

Milquetoast‏
GMegalogenis Fantastic blog! Just wondering about your specific critique of The Drum?

George Megalogenis‏
m_mountebank  The comments section doesn't encourage debate. It is too easy for vested interests and the cap-locks crowd to hijack a thread.

Lyn

April 16. 2012 02:35 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
If Andrew Robb was seeking publicity, he certainly got it.  Pity almost all of it is critical of him, and rightly so.  He really is a dead weight on the Coalition.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 02:41 PM

Ad astra reply

Gravel
Thank you for your kind comments.  This piece is satire, but so close to the truth that it makes us really frightened at the thought of an Abbott Government  with the three stooges with their hands on the finance levers, and Barnaby shouting orders in the background.

It is gratifying that Vikki Gemmell got such a high proportion of positive responses to her ‘I adore Julia’ article.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 02:45 PM

grannie

i cannot for the life of me know why Robb would say that.
dont the liberals alwasy  say int. rates is lower under and liberals. Was it a slip of the tongue i wonder and had to run with it.   As i have decided to stay out of the loop for a while i am not sure if this had been widely spread on radio.  Twitter worries  me, as i think its talking to the converted and the IT  savvy  people i would love to know AD Astra what  do you think.
We can only hope twitter and is influence becomes more wide spread for the progressives.

trying to find where political sword is to vote  no  luck as yet.

grannie

April 16. 2012 02:52 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Abbott is scared that one the carbon tax is in and the sky does not fall in but the benefits flow, he will be shown up for the disingenuous scaremonger he is.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 02:54 PM

Ad astra reply

grannie
You have to scroll almost the end of a long list of blogs (over a thousand), where you will find The Political Sword under 'T'.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 03:15 PM

NormanK

Although it worries me that Abbott and his advisors might very well find a solution, I have to ask, rhetorically, how is he going to sustain his 'wrecking ball through the economy' fear campaign in 12 months time?
It would mean that every single calamity that befalls the economy over that period of time has to be ingeniously tied to the carbon price - very difficult to sustain I would have thought.
And if the economy does return to trend as expected? How will he explain that away?

NormanK

April 16. 2012 03:40 PM

TalkTurkey

I thought this high-watermark of utter economic cluelessness should be posted for future comparison with probably even more vapid comments as the Government bores in to the NOposition over the economy and and its "policies". I have just bolded a few places that show how incredibly ignorant and uncertain is Poor Old Robb.

Monday, April 16, 2012 08:12:00

EMILY BOURKE: The Federal Opposition's finance spokesman Andrew Robb has come out in support of the big banks raising rates outside of the Reserve Bank's recommendations.

Late last Friday the ANZ bank raised interest rates by six basis points, independently of the RBA.

The Treasurer Wayne Swan has condemned the move, saying ANZ customers should be upset given the bank's massive profits.

But Mr Robb says the bank wouldn't have raised rates if it weren't suffering a problem with its margins, and he blames government debt for the decision.

He's speaking here to our reporter in Canberra, Samantha Hawley.

ANDREW ROBB: It's all very well for Wayne Swan to bleat and carry on. He always seems to come out of the blocks, you know, after the horse has bolted and make some loud noises but the fact of the matter is it's his government that has put this pressure on interest rates which actually increases the cost of money.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: So is the ANZ bank justified?

ANDREW ROBB: Well I'd have to look at their books.

You know, they're not stupid and I don't think they would willy nilly put up their margin like this if they weren't- if they weren't suffering a problem with their margins.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: But the...

ANDREW ROBB: You know, they're not- They are responsible citizens. Their books in the end will be on the table, their profit margins and all the rest, so...

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The ANZ bank made a pretty decent profit didn't it, last year?

ANDREW ROBB: No, but
it's the return on capital and things. I mean look at banks that are heavily part of superannuation funds - millions of Australians depend on the banks performing.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: You seem to be saying that the ANZ bank is justified in what it has done. Do you think then that any other banks that might follow suit this week are also justified?

ANDREW ROBB: I don't know whether the ANZ is fully justified, you'd have to see their books. We don't- we haven't seen them.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The ANZ bank is making a profit.

ANDREW ROBB: Well that's not just- that is not- That is not solely the point. What, do you want them to have a loss before they can put up their margins?
SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The banks are now deciding to raise rates outside what the Reserve Bank is telling them to do and you seem to be saying that they might well be justified in doing that.

ANDREW ROBB: What I'm saying is that the cost of money is not just about what the Reserve Bank sets as the base rate. Even that, the base rate of the Reserve Bank, the difference between our base rate, our cash rate, and that of overseas countries has widened since the global financial crisis quite significantly.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Economists have been arguing though in recent times, as has Paul Howes, from the AWU, that the Reserve Bank has been getting it wrong and in fact, rates need to drop.

ANDREW ROBB: Well they've been saying that the Government should reduce the cash rate and then that would, the lower cash rate would feed through and it would help lower things such as the exchange rate.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Do you think that the Reserve Bank of Australia has made the right decisions this year not to drop interest rates?

ANDREW ROBB: Well again, you know, when you're not privy to all that the Reserve Bank sees... but I must say, I must stay, I have extensive contact with small and medium business - very extensive contact and wide contacts from past experience - and I have felt that for many parts of the economy, interest rates have been higher than they perhaps should be.


EMILY BOURKE: The Opposition's finance spokesman Andrew Robb speaking to Samantha Hawley.

Smile Tee, hee.

The Great Dismemberment begins, right on queue . . .



TalkTurkey

April 16. 2012 04:07 PM

adelaidegirl

I've voted for TPS and a couple of others.  Disappointed to see that Andrew Elder/Politically Homeless was not there.  Is it under another name?

adelaidegirl

April 16. 2012 04:20 PM

Patricia WA

Tell me, as an economics dumb bum, does this mean that no matter what the Reserve decides the rate should be the big banks can ignore that entirely.   In other words their profit margin is the only rule/measure that counts and that this is a seriously dangerous precedent that has been set if other banks follow ANZ's lead?

If so,  why have the Reserve Bank there setting rates at all?  

Patricia WA

April 16. 2012 04:31 PM

Ad astra reply

TT
Just when we thought Andrew Robb couldn't get any worse, he surprises us and does.  As I listened to that interview this morning, I thought - what is he talking about?  Among some statements that were almost incoherent was the usual line about the Government creating the problem by borrowing lots of money and 'pushing up the costs of borrowing for the banks'.  

His comment about Wayne Swan bleating and coming out of the blocks after the horse has bolted begs the question: 'If Swan had jumped on ANZ before it had raised interest rates, what would Robb have said?'   I suppose he would have said he was 'jumping the gun'.  Whatever Swan says or does, Robb has always got him nailed with some silly metaphor.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 04:40 PM

Ad astra reply

TT
Do you or anyone else have a link to an article or document that shows the exact effect of Government borrowings on the cost to Australian banks of borrowing?  I’ve read that the effect is miniscule, and I seem to remember reading it in one of Greg Jericho’s posts, but I can’t find it, even with Google.

adelaidegirl
If Politically Homeless is missing from the list, that is a pity, as Andrew Elder’s blog is one of the best.

Patricia WA
As far as I am aware, banks do not have to follow the RBA lead on interest rates, whether they go down or up, but when the latter applies it would be unusual for banks to not apply that to their rates.  When the RBA cash rate goes down, as we have seen recently the banks do not always follow to the same extent although their costs of local borrowing have reduced.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 04:58 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Markjs is one of our favourite promoters, thankyou to Mark.

Mark ‏
Who needs #MSM biased drivel when you can get quality political analysis from Ad Astra at The Political Sword?: http://bit.ly/HzfPaT

Twitter conversation/information on the NBN

GhostWhoVotes
Essential Poll The NBN: Support 57 (+1) Oppose 22 (-3) #auspol

Mark Whalan‏
kimmaree_tweet ghostwhovotes We have the NBN in Kiama, very impressed!

ABC News
Vodafone says the NBN will allow it to offer fixed-line services in Australia for the first time
www.abc.net.au/.../3952846

9News Finance‏
NBN Co CEO says rollout plan not political
finance.ninemsn.com.au/.../nbn-co-ceo-says-rollout-plan-not-political

NBN must be sold better: Thodey,Mark Ludlow,  AFR:-

Telstra chief executive David Thodey says the National Broadband Network will provide great opportunities for business and consumers, but Australians still need to be sold on the potential applications of the federal government’s plan to install high-speed broadband in every home.

With a federal election due next year, Mr Thodey also said it would be very difficult for any future government to dismantle the $40 billion NBN which is already being rolled out across the country.

The federal coalition has been a vocal opponent of the NBN but Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull has stopped short of saying a conservative government would scrap the scheme.

It has said it would re-jig the current system, using different technologies and timing to roll out the scheme.

Mr Thodey said he was confident Telstra’s deal with NBN - where it would be paid $11 billion over the next 30 years to sign up to the new scheme - would survive a change of government.

“The truth of it is it’s very hard to unpick,” Mr Thodey told a Queensland Media Club lunch in Brisbane.

“To turn the thing around would be a very complicated set of regulation and legislation [which would have to be] put through the Senate to go forward, and to get it through would be very difficult.

“Should there be a change of government, we think we’ve got enough safeguards there.’

Mr Thodey said while he was a great advocate of the NBN he believed its potential benefits needed to be sold better to Australians.

“It’s quite inspired – not all of it’s justified, but it’s inspired,” he said.

“I think the NBN provides opportunities but the question is what the hell do we do with it. We have to harness the technology.”

The Telstra boss was more coy about Thursday’s investor meeting, deflecting questions about whether the company would announce a rumoured $2 billion in shares or offer an increased dividend to shareholders.

On NBN pricing, Mr Thodey said he was watching closely about how NBN Co said it was committed to bring prices down for using the new high-speed broadband network.

“The big thing about pricing – like in any regulated asset – it’s the ACCC [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission]’s view on pricing,” he said.

“NBN has an intention to move that price down and so from a regulator’s perspective and as a re-seller, we’re keen to understand how that’s going to happen.

“I think the intent is there to try and move that price down. If it doesn’t then there will be a bigger issue.”
The Australian Financial Review
afr.com/.../nbn_must_be_sold_better_thodey_GyM63GzKAf0SM7blzCBYhO

Lyn

April 16. 2012 05:02 PM

NormanK

I may very well end up eating these words but I reckon Andrew Robb is up to something. There have been too many occasions of late when he has sought to differentiate himself from Abbott and Hockey. These are not accidental occurrences.
Does he feel that he has the backing of the young 'uns?
Might we see a challenge from a dark horse on the backbench with Robb as Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer or perhaps even at tilt at the leadership from Robb himself?
Something is afoot - now I just need someone who knows about the inner workings of the Liberal Party to spell out just what's going on.
The Kroger demotion is one part of the puzzle.

NormanK

April 16. 2012 05:15 PM

2353

A belated welcome back Lyn - hope your break was all you hoped for.

I'm with NormanK, there is something brewing in the LNP.  First Joyce is reported as saying the Maternity Leave Payment should be doubled and then Robb making statements that seem to contradict Abbott.  On top of the MSM seemingly starting to re-assess their position on Gillard - it could be an interesting few months.  Only I doubt if anyone really knows the inner workings of a political party Laughing

Travelling through NSW recently, I see Barry O'Farrell's Government is already in trouble and O'Farrell has lost one of his staff (and the support of significant business interests it seems as one of them released the "incriminating" phone record).  Anyone want to guess when the Newman Government starts to crack around the edges?

2353

April 16. 2012 05:40 PM

Lyn

Hi Adelaide Girl

Your comment at 04:07 PM, I did see a comment which I won't repeat, that indicated Andrew Elder's blog was not nominated for The Peoples Choice Awards.  Shame isn't it because like you I enjoy his blog very much, and love his writing.

Somebody nominated the Political Sword and we don't know who it was:-

Gravel thankyou for your welcome back, you are so nice.
Just TPS'S lovely little girl.

2353 thankyou for your welcome back, it's good to be back helping us all gather information from each other, great fun actually.  
BTW hope you had a nice break too.

Patricia thankyou for your welcome to me yesterday, your words are all in the Golden Box.

Lyn

April 16. 2012 06:01 PM

NormanK

Ad astra

Perhaps this is the article that you are half-remembering.

Budget deficits do not cause higher interest rates
by Billy     billy blog

The Australian Treasury released a paper last week – Reconsidering the Link between Fiscal Policy and Interest Rates in Australia – which “examines the empirical relationship between government debt and the real interest margin between Australian and US 10 year government bond yields”.

In English, that means they were seeking to examine whether increasing budget deficits pushed up interest rates which is one of the conservative claims to butress their case against the use of fiscal policy as a counter-stabilisation tool (that is, to correct aggregate demand failures).

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=11627


For a bob each way you might want to wade through this:

Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates
by Eric M. Engen & R. Glenn Hubbard

Does government debt affect interest rates? Despite a substantial body of empirical analysis, the answer based on the past two decades of research is mixed. While many studies suggest, at most, a single-digit rise in the interest rate when government debt increases by one percent of GDP, others estimate either much larger effects or find no effect.
http://www.nber.org/papers/w10681

NormanK

April 16. 2012 08:24 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thanks for the links regarding the NBN.  It is gathering such momentum that will make it almost impossible for Tony Abbott to ‘demolish’ it.  And with 57% supporting it in the Essential Polls and only 22% opposing it, he will be pushing against public opinion if he tries.  If Tony ever makes it to The Lodge, he’ll spend years trying to undo Labor initiatives.  If only he would be positive and embrace the good things Labor is doing for our nation.

NormanK
It will be intriguing to watch the machinations that seem to be afoot in the Coalition camp to which you and 2353 allude.  The fact that Andrew Robb seems to see himself in a leadership position, and as shadow treasurer, indicates to me how little insight he has into his inadequacies.

Thanks for the links to the articles about interest rates.  I’ve bookmarked them for analysis when my brain is fresh.

I'm off now for TV watching on my favourite political night.

Ad astra reply

April 16. 2012 08:51 PM

Michael

Over here: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3952776.html at the ABC's Unleashed site...

an article on Abbott and his gay sister's 'outing' being more about trying to re-draft the way people see him, with hardly anything in it about her, makes interesting reading.

Apparently my comment was considered by the moderators not to be 'interesting reading', so I'll put it here for anyone who wishes to read the Unleashed article to consider.

""Hypocrisy" covers it.

Part of a leading-up to the election series of electorate perception-shifting exercises to render Shouldabeen PM Tiny Abbott in much more favourable lights.

Thing is, he keeps opening his mouth."

Michael

April 16. 2012 09:18 PM

TalkTurkey

Ad I would not have been able to help re your query earlier, but it seems NK might have found what you wanted.  

As to the notion that Larry is deliberately distancing himself from Curly (and both from Moe), well you know the one about faced with Is it a conspiracy or is it a stuff-up, well I reckon it's London to a brick that this is a stuff-up, it is what I have been confidently anticipating, the time is nearly here when the Media can no longer not start boring in to the NOposition's hollowness, and to demand in hard and unrelenting terms to know:-

WHERE'S THE MONEY COMING FROM?

HOW WILL YOU UNDO THE NBN?

WHAT WILL YOU REALLY DO ABOUT THE BOATS?

and so on.

That is what I referred to earlier as the Great Dismemberment.
They will contradict each other time and again now, it isn't just Abbortt whose blood is starting to attract sharks now. A few weeks after the Budget is handed down, by the time the hoo-hah has died down, (and after our front benchers have turned the dumb questions to our own advantage), is when the MSM will finally turn their focus on the NOposition. Robb and Hockey and Abbortt and Turnbull and Pyne and Joyce, then there's the female creatures like Cash and Vampirella,(oh and Credlin, she'll be be itching Down There with frustration and delayed gratification that looks less and less likely every day) - How will they ever sew the bits together once their threadbare raiment begins to be ripped asunder?

They won't. They know it. And They are SCARED.      

TalkTurkey

April 16. 2012 09:21 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

i cannot for the life of me know why Robb would say that.
dont the liberals alwasy  say int. rates is lower under and liberals. Was it a slip of the tongue i wonder and had to run with it.   As i have decided to stay out of the loop for a while i am not sure if this had been widely spread on radio.  Twitter worries  me, as i think its talking to the converted and the IT  savvy  people i would love to know AD Astra what  do you think.
We can only hope twitter and is influence becomes more wide spread for the progressives.

trying to find where political sword is to vote  no  luck as yet.
grannie


Michael please phone your office. Calling Michael the Consistent. Would anyone knowing the whereabouts of Michael the Consistent please alert the grammar police.

Sir Ian Crisp

April 16. 2012 09:46 PM

DMW

2353,
in answer to your question:
Anyone want to guess when the Newman Government starts to crack around the edges?

via @MJCrutcher:
A glimpse at tomorrow's CM front page. http://pic.twitter.com/RVFRj3GM

DMW

April 16. 2012 09:51 PM

DMW

... and here is the story:

Campbell Newman dumps Police Minister David Gibson over driving allegation  Steven Wardill @TheCourier-Mail
POLICE Minister David Gibson has been forced to resign by Premier Campbell Newman over allegations he drove a motor vehicle while his licence was suspended.
The extraordinary decision to remove Mr Gibson, who also held the community safety portfolio, came after a brief meeting with Mr Newman in his Executive Building office.
It is alleged Mr Gibson drove a car on one occasion unlicensed but he has insisted that he had not received the paperwork at that time.

www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-e6freoof-1226328175581

DMW

April 16. 2012 10:51 PM

NormanK

DMW

That's a gem! Not for the usual partisan reasons (I'll confine my gloating to explaining the juicy details to my dog) but because of the sheer nonsense contained in the story. Ad astra, your blog on the shortcomings of our journalistic class can't come soon enough.

Let's get this straight.
Mr Gibson had his licence suspended on the 18th of November 2011.
Mr Gibson maintains he was unaware of the correspondence informing him of his license suspension. So, to the best of his knowledge he still has a driver's licence.
He says that he would never have driven the car if he'd known about the suspension. But of course he didn't know so therefore he believed it was perfectly legal for him to drive a car.
A speed camera captures him (allegedly) speeding on the 16th of February 2012. He would have us believe that this was the only occasion upon which he drove his car between the 18th of November 2011 and the 16th of February 2012 even though, for all of that time, he believed that he held a valid licence.

How unlucky is that??

In a thirteen week period that just happens to span Christmas, a traditional time for travel, Mr Gibson refrained from driving a car. Not once. Not even to pick up a bottle of milk and the newspapers on a Sunday morning.
On the one occasion when he did drive his car he was caught by a speed camera. Some people just can't take a trick, can they?


Damn! I can't resist it!
The Police Minister, the Police Minister had his licence suspended for not paying a speeding fine and then gets the chop from his job (which also entailed Community Safety - you know, like not killing pedestrians with your speeding car) because he was caught speeding. Honestly, you can't make this stuff up.

NormanK

April 16. 2012 11:13 PM

Fiona

I'm beginning to see a faint light in the east and can maybe sniff the dawn wind. What an evening it has been (even if I did miss Q&A - will catch up later): the idiot Mr Gibson's antic ('cos he only drove once so it can't be antics), and this luscious little number:

www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/.../index.blog

Talk Turkey, is there a close correlation between swirliness and itchiness?

Goodnight, all.

Fiona

April 17. 2012 06:43 AM

Capstan

Good morning all,

While you cavort over the sacking of Qld Police Minister David Gibson - following a decision of the new state premier who has demanded high standards of his ministers - I note that none of you have commented on what an enormous change for the better this is over the previous Labor government's policy of not demanding any standards whatsoever of its ministers. This is probably because Bligh's ALP government's ministers didn't have any standards, did they?

To quote from the Courier Mail article on this subject:

"The previous Labor administration did not remove office holders over their road records or even demand details of infringements.

Former Labor MP Karen Struthers retained her parliamentary secretary for health position after being caught drink-driving in a government vehicle with a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit.

While then premier Peter Beattie insisted Ms Struthers' rise through the ranks would be curtailed over the conviction, she was later promoted to the ministry by his successor, Anna Bligh.

Former deputy premier Paul Lucas was also involved in a controversy when he was transport minister, with his driver paying fines and losing points from his licence for offences that may have happened while the minister was behind the wheel.

Ministerial staff were sacked for similar offences, including a staff member of Ms Struthers found drink-driving."


And let us not forget how certain other Qld ALP governmental figures belonging to the previous ALP regime starred on Page One of the papers at fairly regular intervals:

Keith Wright - child sex offences - 8 years jail.

Bill D'Arcy - child sex offences - 11 years jail.

Merri Rose - extortion - 1.5 years jail.

Gordon Nuttall - corruption, receiving secret commissions, theft - 15 years jail.

Karen Struthers - drink driving - $1000 fine and loss of licence for 10 months - and she retained her parliamentary position of Secretary for Health!!!!

No wonder lesser miscreants like Struthers weren't sacked - if Bligh had to sack every one of her ministers who were found wanting - she would have had none left!

What a complete disgrace!

What do you lot have to say about the Qld ALP's appalling record and dismal standards? (sounds of crickets chirping).

Oh, by the way - you might have perhaps noticed the latest polls? How's the wonderful fat-arsed PM going? (that comment is apparently approved for use - Germaine Greer said it and all the lefty luvvies on Q&A laughed uproariously at it - so you lot of true believers can yuck it up as well - I mean, really, it is funny, isn't it?).

Any bets on the next Federal election? Easy money for rusted-ons, I would have thought!






Capstan

April 17. 2012 07:27 AM

Lyn

TODAY’S LINKS

Nowhere Man, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
a disappointment when a respected mainstream media journalist like George Megalogenis lazily opines -in his blog no less - that the biggest blight on current discourse is not the professional
http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com.au/

Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery
No one asks why he changes his mind on a whim. No one points out how he is prepared to stomp on his own principles in regards to judicial process if it means he can milk a vote out of it. No one points out
ashghebranious.wordpress.com/.../tony-abbott-

Exactly the same thing!!!, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery
When Tony Abbott and ministers of his front bench tell you that the government is leading this country in the wrong direction, he is lying to you. And he is lying to try and win an election
ashghebranious.wordpress.com/.../

Newman the latest convert to parochial populism, Mungo Maccallum, The Drum
No, Newman's state will do things his way, and if the Mexicans south of the Tweed don't like it, well tough.  There are echoes here of the dictum of his demented predecessor, Joh Bjelke–Petersen,  
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3952456.html

Tony Abbott, secret Socialist, Marian, The Conscience Vote
Maybe that’s why he’s been so quick to point the finger at Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He’s trying to deflect suspicion from the Commie pinko skeletons in his own closet! He’s not really
consciencevote.wordpress.com/.../

Doug Cameron takes on Liberal Ideological Nonsense Of Class War (video), Turn Left 2013
If it's Gina Rinehart, or Twiggy Forrest, or Clive Palmer against the general public, the Coalition are on the side of the mining magnates everyday, everyday
turnleft2013.wordpress.com/.../

Alan Jones' Senate power play falls flat, OneSteel's new made-up moniker, The Power Index
Alan Jones' Kroger power play falls flat. Sydney shock jock Alan Jones backed her. So did Barnaby Joyce. And her ex-husband, former Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger. But that didn't
www.thepowerindex.com.au/.../alan-jones-senate-power-play-falls-flat-onesteel-s-new-made-up-moniker

10 TOP FACTS ABOUT CHRISTINE MILNE, The Hoopla
She’s been to jail. It was when she was in her late 20s studying for an honours degree in Australian history at the University of Tasmania that she joined the Franklin River blockade.
thehoopla.com.au/.../utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Apr+16+The+Hoopla&utm_content

The Voice Of The Voiceless, Wixxy, Café Whispers
I would assume men like, Cory Bernadi, Michael Kroger, David Clarke, and Arthur Sinodinos would fit the bill. I mean they are the behind the scenes types, factional heavyweights, and they have faces
cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../

Me in the AFR today- Fiscal prudence is right policy for now, Stephen Koukoulas
The harsh reality of governing is that there is a limited supply of funds. This point is all the more problematic when constituents shy away from having to pay tax, or indeed the government tax take is  http://www.stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/

The coming boom in inherited wealth, John Quiggin
As everyone who has been paying attention knows, the news on inequality is nearly all bad. Not only has inequality increased dramatically in the US, but intergenerational economic mobility  
johnquiggin.com/.../#more-10559

Rethinking economics, Gary Sauer-Thomson, Public Opinion
Most of the commentary in the mainstream media around Bob Brown's resignation as leader of The Greens and his retirement from federal politics- doesn't critically address the philosophy behind
www.sauer-thompson.com/.../rethinking-econ.php

Kevin Rudd: Building An Asia-Literate Australia, Australian Politics. Com
Rudd said Australia needs to “do more work in understanding the minds..of Asia”. Despite a belief that English is now the universal language, Rudd said the truth is “the bulk of the intellectual
australianpolitics.com/.../...erate-australia.html

Strong NBN support amongst Coalition voters, Renai LeMay, Delimeter
More Coalition voters support the Labor Federal Government’s flagship National Broadband Network project than are against it, according to new research released today, as support for the
delimiter.com.au/.../

Parliamentary inquiry likely to take on big IT companies over pricing, Bernard Keane, Crikey
Microsoft, Adobe and Canon and games companies selling hardware and software in Australia at prices sometimes double those of the same products offshore. To take only the most obvious example,
blogs.crikey.com.au/.../

Vodafone sees challenges in NBN entry, Josh Taylor, ZNet
To be frank ... Australia has not been an attractive fixed-line market because of the dominance of Telstra," he said. The situation is better under the NBN, he said, with the network's uniform pricing, the structural separation of Telstra and other
www.zdnet.com.au/...ges-in-nbn-entry-339335994.htm

Primus Telecom sold to M2 Telecommunications for $192.4m , Perth Now
AUSTRALIA'S fifth-largest telco will be created and ready for a slice of the NBN pie when M2 Telecommunications completes a $192.4 million all-cash takeover of Primus Telecom, M2's chief  
www.perthnow.com.au/.../story-e6frg2rc-1226327697984

In space, no-one can hear you work, Matt Wordsworth , The World Today
KIM LANDERS: With the Government rolling out the National Broadband Network, researchers are working on the next generation of glass fibre that will not only ratchet up speed, but quality as well
www.abc.net.au/.../s3478072.htm

NBN to revolutionise care, industry told, InSite
The national broadband network will be a great boost to aged care, say technology experts, who advise operators to prepare now with existing devices. Beverley Head reports
www.agedcareinsite.com.au/.../article.php

VIDEO

Thankyou Cuppa
CuppaTCompare the Liberal climate change 'policy' with Labor's. VIDEO http://tinyurl.com/5urx22p #auspol
www.youtube.com/watch

2GB 873‏
Opposition Finance Spokesman Andrew Robb clarifies his vocal defence of big banks lifting rates:
www.2gb.com/index2.php


Myth-busting the National Broadband Network, You Tube
www.youtube.com/watch

Q and A
Here are the questions our panel faced this week. Tell us what your answer would be or what you think our panellists need to say.
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3473507.htm

Media Watch
Not so quiet on the western front At the beginning of March, the report by Ray Finkelstein QC on his Independent Media Inquiry was released.
www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3478634.htm

Lateline
New Greens Leader Christine Milne has called on the Government to abandon its promise of a surplus, which Tony Abbott has seized on as a sign relationships between the parties are fraying.
www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3478790.htm

Lyn

April 17. 2012 07:30 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES

Newspaper Front Pages from Australia for Tuesday, 17 April 2012

www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/.../archive.cfm

Lyn

April 17. 2012 07:44 AM

2353

Oooh look a new troll name.  As the post above may actually be someone who honestly doesn't know . . .

Bjelke Petersen's Government had to have a Commission of Enquiry to remove all the corruption and illegal activity.  For the record, Bjelke Petersen was never cleared of the crimes he was accused of.  A mis-trial (due to lack of the jury agreeing due to the presence of an admitted National Party Member) is not absolution.  Remember Don (Shady) Lane, Brian Austin and the Fitzgerald Enquiry?  It lead to the CJC/CMC who were in part responsible for the detection and prosecution of the Labor Ministers that crossed the line referred to above.

Newman as Lord Mayor is accused of deals with property developers, oversaw the downgrading of the Brisbane City Credit Rating to BBB+ - a long way below the State Government's current rating - and is responsible for almost half of the Brisbane City Council's $1.5BILLION debt level that could take Ratepayers 30 years to pay off - if Quirk doesn't add more to it through ill-defined brain farts.

At the time I wrote the post last night, I didn't know about the imminent demise of a Minister of the Crown.  I was actually surprised this moring and wish I had the same foresight in regard to Lotto and Keno Laughing.  From memory, I can't remember any other Queensland Minister that was sacked from their post for ignoring the law in such a short timeframe.  

2353

April 17. 2012 08:03 AM

Lyn

Hi 2353

Some links and comments for you, looks like the nick name Joh is sticking:

TAWNBPM‏
Joh Lite is off to a flyer ... is this a record?

www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-e6freoof-1226328175581

Toastman‏
Qld minister quits over alleged car licence bungle abcnews Seems with ultimate power in Qld comes ultimate corruption!
www.abc.net.au/.../3953832

Kevin
First minister to fall in Newman's cabinet #auspol
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226328168026

Lyn

April 17. 2012 08:25 AM

Ian

I think it's just marvellous that all these new people from the tea party are beginning to spend time here. Just to help save us from ourselves. Never, would I have thought, that their compassion and empathy would be directed to us poor, deluded lefties. I certainly hope that there is enough compassion left in the tank for Gina, Clive, Twiggy and all the other rentseekers.

I'm afraid you're wrong 2353, they are not trolls. They genuinely care for us on the left and wish only to soothe any hurt we may inflict upon ourselves.

They're good like that.  

Ian

April 17. 2012 08:30 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

April 17. 2012 09:10 AM

Capstan

Stick to the facts, 2353.

Joh was never found guilty of anything - that's certainly more than can be said of (let's list them once more):

Keith Wright - child sex offences - 8 years jail.

Bill D'Arcy - child sex offences - 11 years jail.

Merri Rose - extortion - 1.5 years jail.

Gordon Nuttall - corruption, receiving secret commissions, theft - 15 years jail.

Karen Struthers - drink driving - $1000 fine and loss of licence for 10 months.

The worst all criminals - child sex offenders - ROCK SPIDERS - and the last Qld state government had TWO of them! Never mind the others - mere extortioners, thieves, corrupters and drunken drivers! Where are your howls of outrage at THEIR rotten morals, behaviour and example?

Don't give me froth and bubble about people you hate - yes, hate - who were never found guilty of anything.

And how about a bit of consistency, you hypocrite? Here you are, uselessly banging on about Bjelke this and Bjelke that, on the basis of his non-conviction - what about your current brothel-creeper, Craig Thomson? If you are going to attack Joh about things of which he was alleged, where are your similar attacks on Craig Thomson?

I enjoy the inhabitants of this web-site - I do believe there is a Ph.D waiting for the first person who submits a theseis on the collective delusions all found right here.

And as to Fiona who apparently sees "... a faint light in the east and can maybe sniff the dawn wind" - well, I'm sorry to advise that's just Julia getting up in Canberra - you all reckon the sun shines out of her - what did Germaine call it? - "fat arse".

Bets, anyone? Anyone for a bet on the next Federal election?

Capstan

April 17. 2012 09:14 AM

2353

Once again for those with litercy problems . . .

Bjelke Petersen's Government had to have a Commission of Enquiry to remove all the corruption and illegal activity.  For the record, Bjelke Petersen was never cleared of the crimes he was accused of.  A mis-trial (due to lack of the jury agreeing due to the presence of an admitted National Party Member) is not absolution.  Remember Don (Shady) Lane, Brian Austin and the Fitzgerald Enquiry?  It lead to the CJC/CMC who were in part responsible for the detection and prosecution of the Labor Ministers that crossed the line referred to above.

2353

April 17. 2012 10:07 AM

nasking

Ahhh Lyn,
Yer back...good to see. You were missed. Hope all is well.

Just wrote elsewhere that there's something ironic about a Murdoch empire Newspoll polling on the PM's
"trustworthiness".

The games some media corporations play when they want to point the finger away from themselves...and attempt to manipulate public perception.

Good topic Ad.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 10:10 AM

TalkTurkey

2353
litercy problems, LOL! Smile

Fiona

Swirly is to Girly

       as

Itchy is to  . . . . . . ?


Capstan:
A simple tool whose sole function is to spin in either direction from a fixed position.

Ambition: Would like be a wheel and go places.
Assessment: Hopeless
Prognosis: Terminal.
Proposed action: Allow enough rope.

HAVE FUN
with
TROLLS! Smile


TalkTurkey

April 17. 2012 10:45 AM

Capstan

Have fun with Turkeys (and, boy, there are a few beaut stuffed gobblers on this website!):

Hey Turkey - how about a little bet on the outcome of the next Federal election?

Capstan

April 17. 2012 10:46 AM

nasking

Lyn,
I agree with Mr. Denmore regarding George Megalogenis' latest effort...and the commentor who mentions a "Faustian bargain".

George is one of the better journos out there...but he's lost the plot on this one...not surprising considering he's caged by the Dark Empire.

Mr. Denmore hits the nail on the head repeatedly:

In keeping with the now legendary "view from nowhere" espoused by so many legacy media journalists, George is careful to slate critics of both the right and left, and position himself in an imagined sensible  middle (the elusive "centre") that offends no-one.

Indeed, his blog entry reads as a rather desperate rearguard attempt to blame the disintegration of the mainstream media business model on a few "cyber bullies", as he calls them - crazed keyboard warriors of the extremes whose cap-locked SHOUTING is drowning out attempts by legitimate journalists to tapdance for a loving and largely passive readership.  Has there ever been a better example of an otherwise astute mainstream journalist completely missing the point about what interactive media means?
"Rupert is right about blogs," George writes. "Those who don’t like what we write should set up their own and see how they go."

That's right. If you feel aggrieved by an institution that owns 70 per cent of the metropolitan print media, half the national news agency, much of the nation's suburban press, a chunk of its monopoly pay television provider, magazine publishing, market  research, film and DVD distribution, you had better just shut up and start your own blog. Either that, or inherit a multi-billion dollar global media and entertainment empire.

Reading Megalogenis' espousal of a sort of bland neutrality and avoidance of the real issues in media echoes the frequently heard defences by the ABC, which seeks to defuse criticism of its own editorial performance by saying that because it is being criticised by both sides, it must be doing something right. The reality is that it is doing everything wrong, saying nothing, revealing nothing and hiding behind a worthless "objectivity".


Ohhh to have a rich media mogul (sugar) Daddy...so I could SHOUT AT THE CORPORATE ARISTOCRACY and be read by millions...

Alas for those that never get to opine to the great unwashed millions by way of tabloid muck, but die with all their know-it-allness in them!

(Oliver Wendell Holmes came in handy)

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 11:00 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
What a great collection of links.  I started with Mr Denmore’s, which will feed into what I’m writing now.  I’m part way through and enjoying myself.

Michael
Thank you for your link to the Croome article about Tony Abbott’s gay sister, which is helpful to me in another way – in writing my next piece.

TT
Your questions to Tony Abbott are germane, but seldom get asked.  Jon Faine hammered him on ABC 774 Melbourne radio with such questions this morning, particularly how he intended to fund the NDIS, which he supports, if he forfeits revenue from the mining and carbon taxes.  He was evasive, simply saying it would come out of the budget, as recommended by the Productivity Commission.  He’s relying on the long time frame recommended for the NDIS to push questions of funding onto the never-never.  He even said this morning that a few budgets down the line, by 2017, the budget is predicted to be in robust surplus, and so presumably all will be well for funding.  I was amazed that this hopeless, incompetent, spending-addicted, debt-obsessed Government could possibly reach such a rosy surplus.  I note that several hours later Faine is still commenting on Abbott’s cagey answer.  Are some sections of the media finally starting to pull him up?  

Have you noticed how Abbott is trying to sound positive, and doing so by piggybacking on Government initiatives?  The NDIS, and this morning withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Sir Ian
I thought you were superintendent of the grammar police.  Have you retired?

DMW, NormanK
The David Gibson affair is causing some amusement, even suggestions of a return to Joh, but that is asking too much of Campbell Newman – he’s no Joh.

Fiona
Maybe the direction of the wind is changing, but let’s wait.  It’s too early to anticipate the media will change course.  Like a massive ocean liner, it will take a long while to turn it around.

Capstan
Enjoy your latest fix from the opinion polls. Remember though, positive polls are addictive.  Have you an antidote should they turn sour for you?

Nasking
Mr Denmore’s article feeds into the next piece I’m writing nicely.

Ad astra reply

April 17. 2012 11:20 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

Ad Astra, I am not an arbiter of grammar. That is apparently Michael's forte.

Sir Ian Crisp

April 17. 2012 11:24 AM

DMW

Capstan
what odds are you offering on the bet?

DMW

April 17. 2012 11:27 AM

Capstan

Ad astra - thank you for your prudent advice - caution in relation to matters pertaining to polls is indeed most sensible.

The relevant points in our current situation are these:

1.  I believe polling is now highly accurate and has been since about half way through Howard's term. The accuracy of the polls then was quite astonishing and remains the same today. Just as it was foolish for Howard to dismiss the polls in the latter part of his term in office, so it is foolish of anyone in the ALP to dismiss them today. As I have said before: "If you want to know where you will end up, have a good look at the path you're on". The path the Gillard government is on is heading straight over a cliff. You would have to be truly blind if you cannot see that.

2.  The polls for NSW and Qld both predicted absolute disaster for Labor - those predictions were more than fully realised. The staggering losses suffered by the ALP in both those elections cannot be ignored - they are harbingers of what your party faces on a Federal level. Again, you would have to be truly blind if you could not see the Federal implications of those two state elections.

3.  The fundamental problems for Labor are the lies it has told - the changes in policy it has so glibly adopted - the rotten stench it embraces as it supports Craig Thomson - the foolishness of appearance it adopts when it becomes a puppet in the hands of the Greens - the sheer incompetence it has demonstrated in managing the affairs of the nation since coming to power (insulation batts, anyone?) - and the idiocy of the big-ticket policies it has adopted (do you REALLY believe all that crap about "carbon"?).

Mate - it's all there, in a complete package.

You're doomed.

And I repeat my offer that has been made on multiple occasions, but without a single response from anyone on this blog site: any takers for a bet on the outcome of the next Federal election?

(Sounds of crickets chirping).

PS – that was a nice pickup by Talk Turkey of 2353’s unfortunate stuff-up in relation to the spelling of the word “literacy”, right at the worst possible moment! Never mind, 2353. Demanding literassy standerds were nevver demandad by ALP-voting teechers.

Capstan

April 17. 2012 11:32 AM

DMW

Nasking,
I suspect both you and Mr Denmore took George a little too seriously with that blog.

I found it entertaining and now even more revealing for the comments it has drawn.

Have a look at the first comment on page 2 and GM's response and then tell me if GM is taking the piss  out of us all.

DMW

April 17. 2012 11:46 AM

DMW

David Gibson's resignation is a great big bit of nothing.

It is interesting how the Courier Mail presented it.

Those with very long memories might recall another Queenslander, the late Glen Shiel (spelling) didn't last 48 hours as a ministerial nominee in the Fraser government which is possibly a record. There was someone in Nathan Rees government who was gone in a similar time span but that was instantly forgettable.

Mr Newman is very fortunate to have a huge field of candidates from which to choose ministers what would have been interesting would have been if he had a slim majority how Newman would have responded but we will never know.

For another memory stretcher recall the early days of the Howard government when Mr Howard made similar claims of high standards and when he found he was losing ministers what seemed every other week week he soon changed his tune.

We can only wait and see if the similar things start happening in Queensland.

DMW

April 17. 2012 11:57 AM

Jason

Capstan,
       You'll have to make it more than money for me to bet with you?

Jason

April 17. 2012 12:14 PM

NormanK

DMW

You're right that the Gibson affair is no big deal. Personally, I would have had no particular problem with him staying in the job provided he behaved himself in future. The real hoot was that he was the Police Minister and responsible for Community Safety. What were the other traffic offences that caused him to have his licence suspended?
It's like having an Education Minister who can't read and write or a Health Minister who is a two pack a day smoker.

Newman has set the bar very high indeed which means the press and his enemies are going to be all over any minor misdemeanour like a rash.

I am far more concerned about his 'new broom' mentality that has not allowed him to spend a couple of months evaluating the pros and cons of how the system currently works and then judiciously setting about fixing it. The cynic in me says that he will replace many of the consultants and holders of government contracts over the coming months, following the normal practice of appointing 'friendly' businesses. Normal to all sides of politics, it should be emphasised.

NormanK

April 17. 2012 12:26 PM

nasking

DMW,
I disagree...George reads defensive to me.

He's dug his own hole by staying with the Dark Empire...I'm not inclined to offer him a hand up by making excuses for an overly-defensive, pontificating, Murdoch empire apologist, somewhat condescending post pretending to be witty and carefree.

That coming from a commentor on one of those "crappy blogs" that his master Murdoch refers to. Must be a desperate Dark Lord if he feels the need to demean the blogosphere. Silly old fool.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 12:29 PM

Capstan

Jason,

I appreciate your response to my offer in relation to a bet as to the outcome of the forthcoming Federal election. You, among all your big, brave, heroic Labor luvvy-buddies, are the first to do so.

However, I'm a little unsettled by what you could possibly be implying when you say that I will have to make it for "... more than money".  

No thanks, mate - I'll stick to hard cash - I am only keen to take your money, in addition to what few shreds will be left of your dignity.

If you are hoping for something else, forget it. Your picture, for starters, reveals that you are a very unattractive, probably balding man with a weight problem. You might have more luck trying to put the word on either Turkey or Ian - neither of them appear to have much in the way of standards.

Capstan

April 17. 2012 12:30 PM

nasking



Mr Denmore’s article feeds into the next piece I’m writing nicely

Cool Ad,
give it to them...right between the Dark Lord eyes.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 12:35 PM

Ad astra reply

Capstan
Show us your face instead of your non-committal Gravatar.  We promise won't make disparaging remarks about you.  Personal remarks about physical appearance are undignified.

Ad astra reply

April 17. 2012 12:57 PM

Capstan

Ad astra - I don't think I will, dear boy.

And I don't think you understand the rules of the game: when one makes a sexual advance towards another - as Jason just did above - it is certainly permissible for the other to add dismissive commentary vis-a-vis the physical characteristics of the proposer when declining the offer.

Judging by your photo, I'd say you'd be more than used to that, n'est-ce pas?

Capstan

April 17. 2012 01:15 PM

nasking


The fundamental problems for Labor are the lies it has told - the changes in policy it has so glibly adopted

Capstan,
Going by that criteria yer fella ain't gonna hold up too well when under the intense scrutiny of the electorate...and the media characters with integrity...during the election campaign:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS2V7S7Iv-Y

And

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=51BMjt_jp7E

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 01:18 PM

Capstan

Then now would appear to be the PERFECT time to put a wager on the electoral outcome - how about it ... mate?

Capstan

April 17. 2012 01:22 PM

DMW

Capstan
I have asked what odds you are offering

When you put up the odds I will give due consideration of whether it worth a wager with you.

DMW

April 17. 2012 01:26 PM

Jason

Capstan,
       I don't want your dole cheque or have you evicted from your squat! And I certianly don't want sex, As for my dignity the catholic church took that from me 38 odd years ago!
Fact is you aint got nothing of any value to me or anyone else.
You talk up a good game but that's it! All piss and wind.

Jason

April 17. 2012 01:31 PM

DMW

NK,
I too wondered if the alleged indiscretions were really 'hanging offences'.

It does raise the question to what standards should we set and expect of those who hold high office.

Much care and thought would be needed as setting the bar too high would preclude all but a few saints from ever holding office.

Another thought worth pondering is to whom should governments give advisory roles? To me giving the worlds laziest pussycat treasurer a role as economics adviser is a little suspect. Is it a case of jobs for the boys or does the man who could never be PM really have hidden talents to offer the Queensland administration?

DMW

April 17. 2012 01:53 PM

DMW

Nasking
each to his own when it comes to humour. I still think GM has done a good job of sucking people in with that post and some of the comments prove his point.

As to GM's employer to stretch it a bit how many Queensland public servants will resign because they don't agree with the policies of the newly elected government? Should they move interstate and hope for a job with a supposedly better administration?

There are not a lot of choices of employer for journalists and slinging off at them for holding down a job does not cut it for me.

It is very easy for us to sit in front of our screens and tap out derisive comments about certain people and we show our own hypocrisies when we claim we want engaging and thoughtful discussion of issues yet dismiss the likes of GM because he has chosen a regular wage paying position.

DMW

April 17. 2012 02:14 PM

Lyn

Hi DMW

This is some information from the Twitterverse about the
"(worlds laziest pussycat treasurer a role as economics adviser)"

What a choice by Joh Lite coupled with the Gibson affair not looking good for Joh Lite, so soon in his new job.

I will be trying hard to find a copy of the advice Julia Gillard received as reported below. DMW you may be able to find it for us.

Justin Barbour‏
Peter Costello to be paid $3300/day, his two Deputies $2500/day, with the total bill to be at least $350000. http://bit.ly/HMVGZw #qldpol
www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120416-1x3u6.html

Leroy‏
Peter Costello to earn $140,000 in #Queensland taxpayer-funded role www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120416-1x3u6.html via @brisbanetimes ##auspol #qldpol

vexnews‏
Ex-Treasurer Peter Costello is being paid $3300 a day by Queensland taxpayers in bid to save them money #qldpol
www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120416-1x3u6.html

Ryan Moore
Gillard Government releases advice used to decline appointing Peter Costello as chairman of the Future Fund http://j.mp/HL4C1z #auspol

Cheers SmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 17. 2012 02:22 PM

Ad astra reply

Capstan
I think you might be kidding yourself.

And now you are talking in riddles.  Get back to the subject of politics and drop the childish references you make to personal attributes.  Nobody is interested.

BTW, did you hear or watch the address today on Afghanistan by our PM, you know the lady whose personal attributes you like to mock?  If so, what did you think of it?

Ad astra reply

April 17. 2012 02:49 PM

Capstan

Ad astra,

Are you lecturing me like the former primary school teacher I assess you as having been? Stop that immediately and get back to your forlorn, hopeless task of defending the indefensible. Yes, I refer to that rabble alleged to constitute the Government of Australia - led by a woman who is mocked by her own side (Germaine Greer certainly does not belong over with us). I merely repeat Germain's germane utterance - don't be so petty as to shoot the messenger.

I have not yet read Gillard's announcement re Afghanistan so I'm not able to comment. I can tell you that the Defence Minister is despised and held in complete contempt by those in uniform - his treatment of the Commandant at ADFA was a low act as reprehensible as I've ever seen from a useless Labor politician. My Army sources keep me pretty closely informed on these matters and are all 100% in unison in their scathing opinion of Smith (the man not good enough to be Foreign Minister).

More soon, after I have read Gillard's statement.

Capstan

April 17. 2012 02:50 PM

nasking


Then now would appear to be the PERFECT time to put a wager on the electoral outcome - how about it ... mate?

As for me, I don't bet...I see it as a useless activity serving to excite the primordial part of the brain...perhaps I would be better throwing a spear at you from a specified distance if you lost...and gaining access to your shelter and food?

I could even cosh your partner over the head and drag them around by the hair as a victory lap.
(sarcasm alert)

Betting won't make yer wish come true...and if this is a habit it's likely you will lose at some point in an undetermined future...making a future boastful prediction, perhaps even this one, look pretty flacid.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 03:00 PM

nasking


My Army sources keep me pretty closely informed on these matters and are all 100% in unison in their scathing opinion of Smith (the man not good enough to be Foreign Minister).

My army sources informed me that they were not too impressed with the cheap-arse Howard government...being put in a situation where they were sometimes driven to purchase necessary combat gear because of the crappy standard of equipment they were issued.

The same happened in America under John Howard's mate Bush...and soldiers died due to sub-standard or lack of appropriate equpment.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 03:11 PM

nasking


It is very easy for us to sit in front of our screens and tap out derisive comments about certain people and we show our own hypocrisies when we claim we want engaging and thoughtful discussion of issues yet dismiss the likes of GM because he has chosen a regular wage paying position.

DMW,
"dismiss the likes of GM"?...bit of an exaggeration methinks...more like criticism of some views aired in a single post.

As for his boss...the world is waking up to the ruthlessness and "anything goes" approach of this megalomaniac...the more that is revealed of his and his corporations goings-on the more chance we have for media renewal in the not too distant future...some fresh air will do all of us...including George...alot of good.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 03:15 PM

NormanK

Not the released document but the gist of it.

Why Peter Costello didn't get fund job
by David Crowe     The Australian

THE Gillard government has released the advice it used to reject former treasurer Peter Costello as chairman of the $73 billion Future Fund, reviving a political brawl over Labor's handling of the issue.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226328206983

Why Costello missed Future Fund job
by Clancy Yeates     SMH

SIX of the Future Fund's seven board members last year wanted the government to appoint a future chairman from within their own ranks, a confidential report shows.
www.smh.com.au/.../...fund-job-20120416-1x44w.html

NormanK

April 17. 2012 03:29 PM

nasking


Ex-Treasurer Peter Costello is being paid $3300 a day by Queensland taxpayers in bid to save them money #qldpol

Liberals...full of it oneday...morally bankrupt hypocrites the next.

Does that pay come with a burger and milkshake?
Or will he have to wait for a Liberal tax cut?

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 04:11 PM

Michael

Not being able to locate Sir Ian Crisp's 'knighthood' in Debrett's really seems to have put his faux-aristo snoot out of joint, doesn't it.

(Yeah, I know, parfit gentil knyght, I dropped the ? on purpose to make your little pedantic heart leap at a chance to re-appoint me Punctuation Policeman of TPS, a merry little jape that appears to give you enduring opportunity to chuckle and wheeze.)

Michael

April 17. 2012 04:12 PM

Capstan

Nasking - I don't know who your Army sources are - but I do know that when I served in Afghanistan a few years back, all the gear was pretty good. I was there - I used the gear - I had no real complaints.

You should understand that most young soldiers find the gear belonging to other armies to be attractive - just as soldiers belonging to other armies find Australian gear to be attractive.

You can usually get a pretty good trade deal with one slouch hat, for instance, regardless of where you might be.

I can tell you this: the gear I used in Afghanistan was much better than the gear we had when I first joined up in the mid 1970s.

Capstan

April 17. 2012 04:22 PM

nasking

Capstan,
I heard this confirmed by a fella who served but now works at Good Guys...

www.militaryphotos.net/.../showthread.php

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 04:24 PM

Capstan

Oh, and by the way, Nasking - I understand that your educational competencies are somewhat modest, you being educated by Labor-voting teachers in state schools and all - but the correct spelling of the very last word you used in your blog of 2.50 pm is "flaccid", not "flacid" - sort of like the state of that alleged organ that lies dormantly between your ears.

And, as to your contribution of 3.11 pm - there is no such word as "alot".

Happy to help you tragic Labour types whenever you need it - no need to thank me.

Capstan

April 17. 2012 04:24 PM

Patricia WA

Tony Abbott Defends His Magic Pudding Budget Plan!

Tony Abbott has been brooding!
His budget plan’s been dissed! He can’t see why!
He’d billed it as a Magic Pudding!
Compared it to Labor’s flat square pie!

“I’ll safely manage Oz finances.
My team all Catholics, we're godly,  good!
With atheist Gillard you’re taking chances.
Where’s her faith in the magic pud?

Childless herself,  she’ll never learn,
Like we dads have,  as parents would,
When bedtime story pages turn,
About the Aussie magic pud.

How could a single woman know,
As married fathers surely would,
What pregnant professionals undergo
Without help from the magic pud?

That’s why I will pay for nannies
To nurse at home through babyhood
Infants whose ever-loving grannies
Will get to share in the magic pud.

The Liberal Party faces facts.
Business and miners never should
Have to pay Resource or Carbon Tax!
Why, they create our magic pud!

Gillard's been captive to the Greens
Who see only trees, not the wood!
Now Bob Brown's gone, they're just has-beens!
They can’t reject my magic pud!

Don't believe Julia's last big lie,
About all the good things she's putting
In each slice of her 'fair share' pie.
Trust me!  Have faith in my Magic Pudding!"


Comments and criticism welcome on this draft, TT and others while I find an illustration and to write up some notes before posting it.

Patricia WA

April 17. 2012 04:38 PM

Capstan

Nasking - if you heard that from a fella who now works at the Good Guys - I bet he wishes he was back in the Army.

Capstan

April 17. 2012 04:38 PM

Jason

Capstan,
       So your part of the spelling police now!
I see before while you were baying at the moon about Thomson, you seem to have forgotten about your Fu@ked out mates at Duntroon? Clean up your military before you lecture us on moral issues!
  

Jason

April 17. 2012 04:42 PM

nasking


Hey pedantic one...stick this in yer pipe and smoke it:

www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=flacid

As for the use of "alot" I prefer adapting a living language as opposed to resorting to just archaic pretences...

yer dismissive and condescending approach reveals a heart of darkness that obviously had its birth in the bowels of some toff school where arrogant displays of mean-spiritedness was all the rage and was rewarded as normal standard of behaviour.

Give me a down-to-earth public school any day over a private insitution that breeds twats with a superiority complex.

Enjoy yer smoke.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 04:49 PM

Casablanca

Capstan@April 17. 2012 04:24 PM

re spelling:You said

'Happy to help you tragic Labour types whenever you need it - no need to thank me'.

I take it that your insult was for Labor types. Pot calling the kettle black methinks!

Casablanca

April 17. 2012 04:59 PM

Capstan

No, Casablanca - you just fell for the oldest political bait trick in the book - a conservative getting a rise out of a dim-witted Labour type by spelling "Labour" correctly - as in the British Labour Party.

You see, Casa? The difference between the ALP and your British comrades is that they can spell.

Do keep trying old boy - you'll get there one day.

So I'm now entitled to use - what's the word? - Touché?

Capstan

April 17. 2012 05:08 PM

nasking



So I'm now entitled to use - what's the word? - Touché?

Capstan,
I reckon yer talkin' outa yer toosh.

N'



nasking

April 17. 2012 05:11 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I fear that if you go on responding to Capstan he will continue his childish remarks.  I’m surprised that one who has served our nation in our armed forces, who has seen the ravages of war and the consequences of hatred and loathing, should come on here and perpetrate just those attributes in such a nasty way.  

I suggest you ignore him until he deigns to say something relevant to contemporary politics, free of sarcasm and demeaning personal comment.

Ad astra reply

April 17. 2012 05:18 PM

Jason

capstan,
       Last week you were "mark" the fith generation "Labor" man! this week your "Gomer Pile".
I guess we wait to see who you are next week!

Jason

April 17. 2012 05:56 PM

NormanK

Ad astra

More than enough, don't you think?

NormanK

April 17. 2012 06:02 PM

Jason

Capstan,
       "I WILL lecture you on moral issues if I so choose, because the ALP has no morals whatsoever"
Care to back that claim up? I'll even collect you from the airport!

As if I care what you think! You can bother us day after day, you know such is life and all that!
I really couldn't care less after this post! A rock spider like you is nothing to fear anymore.

Jason

April 17. 2012 06:04 PM

Jason

Ad,
I agree with Normank snip me as well

Jason

April 17. 2012 06:07 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
I agree.  We have had more than enough of Capstan’s schoolyard provocation, curious behaviour from one who has served our country overseas.  

Please folks, let’s ignore him until he goes away or begins to act like an adult.

Jason, I don't want to snip anyone - I just wish for a return to sensible discourse.

Ad astra reply

April 17. 2012 06:14 PM

TalkTurkey

Cat's pan said

. . . put the word on either Turkey or Ian - neither of them [singular noun see] appear [plural verb see] to have much in the way of standards.


Well there you go you see, here's this fifth-generation liar puffing himself up on his grammatical acumen . . . Imputing that 2353 made a spelling error not a typo . . . (as if) . . . Insulting our truly erudite blogmaster at whose amazing life experience he could only wonder . . . Insulting primary schoolteachers of whose noble if humble calling I can proudly proudly claim deep experience . . . But where typos show nothing important at all, a single instance of the ignorance of rules of logic and grammar as exemplified in this Cat's Pan's use of a plural verb with a singular noun is like a little bit of litmus paper in an acid lake, you don't need any more evidence to tell you that his thinking is so limited, and so liable to flaws of logic, that he would never make a successful lawyer, nor a trustworthy medical practitioner, a safe airline pilot, nor even a humble primary teacher if you care about the quality of kids' education.  

TalkTurkey

April 17. 2012 06:23 PM

Lyn

Hi Nasking

Thankyou for your nice welcome back, I am glad you missed me.  Good to see and read your interesting posts, thankyou for your work.

Must say I had to plow though a fair bit of graffiti, to read all your informative posts today.

I don't know what to think of GM have always enjoyed his calm, measured articles.  I think the trouble has occurred with trying to please everybody all at once, won't happen.

CheersSmile

Lyn

April 17. 2012 06:36 PM

TalkTurkey

Cat's Pan said
So I'm now entitled to use - what's the word? - Touché?

For him? Nahh, the word is douche. Smile

TalkTurkey

April 17. 2012 06:36 PM

nasking


I think the trouble has occurred with trying to please everybody all at once, won't happen.

So true Lyn, so true.

I guess it comes down to paying the bills. Well paid jobs are hard to come by in that business...I guess George has to do the master's bidding now and then...a columnists' shoeshine...bit of boot polishing.

Thnx for the supportive words. Yer a gem. Nice to have yer sparkle back.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 07:36 PM

Ian

[ I agree.  We have had more than enough of Capstan’s schoolyard provocation, curious behaviour from one who has served our country overseas. ]

The name " capstan" didn't come up on the Australian Military Imposters  site. Doesn't mean to say it's not there....somewhere.

Ian

April 17. 2012 07:38 PM

DMW

Hmmmm,
My dearly beloved first best friend watches The Project (I sneak out to the shed and listen to Radio National)

I wandered in to hear the last parts of a report by Hamish McDonald on the case of an Indonesian fisherman (one of those damned people smugglers) detained in WA who claimed to be a minor. Apparently the Indonesian Consul presented the Immigration head there with a copy of the boy's birth certificate proving he was a minor.

The certificate got 'lost' and even though the authorities were 'aware' the boy is a minor they have proceeded as though he is an adult.

The system stinks and heads must roll including the minister's.

DMW

April 17. 2012 07:43 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Capstan,
       You'll have to make it more than money for me to bet with you?
Jason


J Guy, that’s rather tame. You usually start ripping your singlet (blue of course) off and offer to settle the matter behind the pub. Are things OK in Nuriootpa? I bet I know why you feel so relaxed. I’ll bet you figured out how to put your thongs on.

Sir Ian Crisp

April 17. 2012 08:12 PM

TalkTurkey

www.google.com/url

www.google.com/url


Ad astra
Please sing this verse aloud but do not smile!


Trolls come here to sp!t and h!ss
Why shouldn't I come back and take the p!ss?
Am I fair? Should I care?
They're just trolls!
Let's kick 'em in the bolls!

Smile

HAVE FUN
With
TROLLS



TalkTurkey

April 17. 2012 08:48 PM

Jason

Sir Ian,
       You know me to well! Yes I finally learnt how to walk upright and put thongs on!
But the only reason I'm relaxed is, if it wasn't for us "serfs" you'd have no kids to pass the family fourtune off too!




        

Jason

April 17. 2012 09:04 PM

2353

DMW,

I see some of the rerun of The Project early in the morning so I haven't seen tonight's show yet (I go to work early) - it's better than most of the other crap that is on at the time.  From last night's show the Hamish McDonald report was building a case that no one cared - including a West Australian Solicitor that was paid to defend this apparent minor who, when asked why he didn't produce the Birth Certificate in the Court case, claimed that the rules of evidence wouldn't allow it as the fax copy of the document didn't carry sufficient credence.  When the Solicitor was asked if he thought the boy was 18, the answer was "no".

While I agree the system stinks and Gillard should change it to remove mandatory detention once health checks have been carried out (with the added benefits of actually treating fellow humans humanely and establishing a point of differentiation from the LNP), in this particular case if the Solicitor got off his backside and actually did his job 2 years ago, we wouldn't be having this conversation.  So while The relevant Minister could change the decision with a flourish of a pen, I really don't think it is all the Government's fault.

2353

April 17. 2012 09:06 PM

nasking

Geez, what a shame:

Tea Party Support Stable, But Interest Is Waning

www.huffingtonpost.com/.../...port-_n_1428091.html

As I expected.

Give it a few more months...alot more scrutiny of Mr. Abbott and his friend Barnaby...and a few of their supporters, the not so faceless...and faceless...and by early next year we should be seeing a waning of support for the "dickhead" and his Coalition.

N'

nasking

April 17. 2012 09:09 PM

TalkTurkey

Folks,
It occurred to me that if e.g. Andrew Elder's blogsite Politically Homeless wasn't listed among the blogs from which the Sydney Writers' Centre presumes to judge the Best Australian Blogsite . . . then their choice is going to be dubious at best, and ludicrous at worst. So I rang the Adelaide Writers' Centre, and they had never heard of the competition. I pointed out that with one of the figures mentioned in the SWC's blurb at $7,500, it seemed to me incumbent on the SWC at least to inform the AWC and for the AWC then to inform their (paying) Members.

Well the AWC took that to heart and soon got back to me with the singularly fascinating info that unlike the NSW Writers' Centre and the AWC, The Sydney Writers' Centre is purely a commercial blogsite, with whom the AWC is not affiliated in any way and plainly doesn't want to be.  It therefore seems to me presumptuous for the SYC to pretend to the authority to judge "The Best Blogsite in Australia", and also pretty suss, if not actually reprehensible, for it not to make its commercial orientation crystal-clear. It does not.

    www.google.com/url

And as you will find, the above link, the top link on Google to the SWC, has been superseded since somewhere back in 2011. H'mmm. (You will be redirected but for a mob claiming such authority it's not such a flash look itself.) What do you think?

TalkTurkey

April 17. 2012 09:18 PM

NormanK

DMW

Have a read of this.

AN AGE OF UNCERTAINTY
by Hamish MacDonald     The Global Mail

www.theglobalmail.org/.../

If we trust MacDonald's report, the Indonesian authorities haven't exactly been pulling out all of the stops on this.

Some things are not necessarily at the Minister's discretion.
And which minister are you going to behead?
Immigration? It's probably well and truly out of his hands.
Foreign Affairs? He's been in the job for five minutes.
West Australian Attorney General?
Federal Attorney General? She's been in the job for ten minutes.

Don't get me wrong. If true, this stinks but beware of taking at face value the reportings of a journalist on a tabloid current affairs programme. I hope this gets a good airing and the means by which we check the age of these crew members is updated.

I also sincerely hope that we see sense and get rid of the mandatory five year sentence which ties the hands of judges and doesn't allow them to hand down a sentence that matches the crime and the circumstances under which it was committed.

I'm trying to access the broadcast but I'm guessing that it is being bombarded by requests because it keeps crashing.

NormanK

April 17. 2012 09:21 PM

TalkTurkey

Here's the email from Adelaide Writers Centre

Dear (TT),


I have followed up your inquiry with our Director. I mistakenly thought you were referring to the NSW Writers' Centre when you spoke about the Sydney WC. The Sydney WC is a fully commercial enterprise as is the blogging competition they run and, as such, we do not promote any of their events unless they pay for the promotion.


I hope this has in part answered your query.


Malcolm.





Malcolm Walker
2nd Floor, 187 Rundle Street
Adelaide, SA 5000
Communications Officer & Editor
Ph: 8223 7662
www.sawriters.org.au

TalkTurkey

April 17. 2012 10:50 PM

Fiona

Goodness, what an exciting day when I was busy doing my duty by the students.

Apart from the activity here, I'm not across the larger political scene, so I shall restrict myself to informing nasking that 'twas I who made the Faustian bargain comment on Mr Denmore's blog (not the similarity in the names?). Lifton has been an inspiration of mine for many a year.

Meanwhile, to all, goodnight. I shall probably resurface here on Friday.

Fiona

April 17. 2012 11:42 PM

Casablanca

Capstan @April 17. 2012 04:59 PM

No Capstan, you fell for my bait, hook, line and sinker!

The ALP officially changed the spelling of its name in 1912 to Australian Labor Party. English is a living and growing language and there are new words and spelling modifications happening all the time. The spelling "labor" had been acceptable in both British and Australian English in earlier periods.

The essential point is that if the ALP had registered its name with an upside down ‘u’ then that would be its legal name. ‘Labor’ is the legally correct spelling in respect of the ALP. ‘Labour’ is the legally correct spelling in respect of the British Party. Therefore, the dim-wittedness or plain ignorance is yours and not mine.

Capstan, it is clear that you do not understand a basic thing about grammar, namely, that it is the difference between KNOWING your shit and KNOWING you're shit.

This is my last word on the matter. Ad Astra is right in cautioning that we should not rise to such puerile schoolyard provocations.

Finally, don't presume to call me Casa. It'll be Dame Casa to you.

Casablanca

April 18. 2012 07:16 AM

Gary M

"Give it a few more months...alot more scrutiny of Mr. Abbott and his friend Barnaby...and a few of their supporters, the not so faceless...and faceless...and by early next year we should be seeing a waning of support for the "dickhead" and his Coalition."

I think you may be right Nas.However,for mine, and much to my displeasure, I think they will dump Gillard and return Rudd. This will give the coalition the opportunity to get rid of Abbott and install Turnbull who they should have like Rudd, been kept on as their party's respective leaders.

"Gung Ho"

I find it funny how all the left leaning blogs have their resident armchair General, usually coming from the rancid right. You'll find most of them have never fired a shot in anger in their lives. Take Capstan, he insists he served in Afghanistan on active service and joined the forces in the mid seventies. I can only presume from that, he was pushed out to the front line in a wheel chair.Or failing that, he obtained a very high rank in the Army or lied about his age..I would have thought the reading glasses and hearing aids would have been a dead give away.I guess watching to many repeats of Rambo movies can give one a bit of confusion about reality.  

Gary M

April 18. 2012 07:35 AM

Lyn

TODAY’S LINKS

The Politics of Distraction,  Only The Depth Varies
Like everyone else, I’ve been distracted by the spotlight that seems determined to stay focused on Premier Newman. So, back to the Council elections, and the ABC Brisbane Local News page. Guess what? No mention of the Council elections
http://onlythedepthvaries.blogspot.com.au/

Australian Troops Out Of Afghanistan… one day, Turn Left 2013
So,what does Tony Abbott say?,have not reason to think that it shouldn’t be possible to finish the job sooner rather than later, Tony Abbott said. Although, 10 years later,does anyone even know what that job was?
turnleft2013.wordpress.com/.../

NSWLC Government Whip Phelps parades his ignorance, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices
Ever since the Hon. Dr. Peter Phelps MLC came to the notice of the Twitterati I have been finding him a hitherto untapped source of amusement
http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/

Ex-ABC board member discovers TV is boring, David Satler, Crikey
There was no acknowledgment that she had been a Howard-appointed director and deputy chair of the ABC during the same period. Didn’t she ever bother to take a look at
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Abbott slams Ian Macdonald adviser over sexist email row, Andrew Cook, Crikey
On Monday, Dr Carole Ford penned an op-ed in the Courier-Mail headlined “Women Struggle for a Political Voice“ noting that the George Street benches had been “reduced to a virtual political boys’
www.crikey.com.au/.../

Investing in infrastructure , Gary -Sauer Thomson, Public Opinion
Australia is building infrastructure in the form of the national broadband network and renewable energy (wind and solar) But The Australian, and News Ltd in general, is deeply opposed and downright hostile to this form of infrastructure building  
www.sauer-thompson.com/.../investing-in-in.php

Self-regulation and a media we can trust?, Bruce Arnold, The Conversation
Australia’s Chief Justice commented in a decision on the Rinehart dispute, “the proper conduct of trustees is a matter which warrants close public scrutiny”. That scrutiny is appropriate and imperative
theconversation.edu.au/self-regulation-and-a-media-we-can-trust-6466

Abbott and Co out to emasculate the NSW Nationals-, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices
All is not well between the Liberal-Nationals Coalition in the lead up to the next Australian federal election and strong language is the order of the day in this letter (originally published by The Aust
northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/.../...e-nsw.html

Morning Report – Tuesday, 17 April 2012, Dylan Caphorn, The Body Politic
Prior to entering parliament in 2005, Joyce was an accountant. There are rumours circulating that Joyce may enter the House of Representatives at the next election via Maranoa or New England,
bodypoliticaus.wordpress.com/.../

Coal seam gas: GetUp!’s new map, earthquake links , The Fifth Estate
This is the coal seam story from GetUp!. The crowd sourced agitators have devised a detailed map that zooms in to show locations of wells, the underlying aquifers and homes in on individual stories
http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/33857

A Decade of Failed War, Adam Brereton, New Matilda
our political leaders should analyse their roles in a decade of cynical war that failed to achieve even its own aim of combating radical Islam. Instead Howard’s legacy, unencumbered even by false
http://newmatilda.com/2012/04/17/decade-failed-war

The house that Bob Brown built, Terry Flew, Online Opinion
So unless something changes dramatically, The Greens may retain their 2010 level of support under Christine Milne as their new leader. But it will almost certainly be in the context of being
www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13510

Citizenship for Beginners, Kerry Ryan , Inside Story
The revised Australian citizenship test was launched in October 2009. The new study booklet, Our Common Bond, was better organised and clearer about what would be tested, and most of the “useful” information from the original booklet was relegated to a
http://inside.org.au/citizenship-for-beginners/

Cherry Picking the RBA Minutes,  Stephen Koukoulas
cherry-picked comments from the RBA Board Minutes for April released this morning. Make up your own mind whether the RBA should have cut rates from current levels or not
http://www.stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/

The new era, John Quiggin
there has been the rise of Facebook and Twitter, both of which supply a lot of what attracted people to blogging in the first place. Twitter, in particular, can be quite close to the original form of blogging, based on short (very short in the case of Twitter) links to interesting material found on the web.
http://johnquiggin.com/

Deny the facts when they contradict the theory, Bill Mitchell, Billy Blog
to successfully grow during a period of fiscal consolidation are not present now in Europe or elsewhere and so fiscal austerity will only cause damage.Why are the conservatives so selective in their citations? No need to answer – we all know it.
bilbo.economicoutlook.net/.../

Interest rate cut tipped for May as Reserve Bank waits on inflation update , Peter Ryan, ABC
Financial markets are pricing in a 90 per cent chance that the RBA will cut interest rates by 25 basis points at its May 1 meeting, with some economists tipping a more aggressive move of 50 basis points.
mainstreetwiththeabcspeterryan.blogspot.com.au/.../interest-rate-cut-tipped-for-may-as.html

NBN takes political doorknocking to a whole new level, Peter Lewis and Jackie Woods, ABC
That's why for all the attempts to attack the NBN - who remembers The Australian's NBN Watch? – the reality is that if it fulfils half its promise of better connectivity, faster downloads, not to mention the advances in collaborative learning and e-health and the applications that have not even been invented http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3955002.html

Abbott faces down Tassie NBN supporters, Renai LeMay, Delimiter
The caveat, of course, is that the NBN is now in full ramp-up stage and will, from now, be rolled out in an accelerated manner. All of the planning has been done, all of the I’s have been dotted and the T’s crossed. Every state in Australia will receive a vast swathe of NBN infrastructure over the next three years, and the Coalition
delimiter.com.au/.../


VIDEO’S

Troop withdrawal criticised as electioneering, La teline
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been accused of playing politics with the announcement of a detailed timeframe for troop withdrawals from Afghanistan
www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3479762.htm

April 17, 2012. PM responds to questions on Afghanistan
The Prime Minister Julia Gillard responds to questions after her speech outlining Australia's timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan.
www.aapone.com.au/SearchPreviewVideo.aspx

Government will accept recommendations for CEFC: Swan
Treasurer Wayne Swan says the government will accept all the recommendations from the expert review into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
www.aapone.com.au/SearchPreviewVideo.aspx

Lyn

April 18. 2012 07:38 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES

Newspaper Front Pages from Australia for Wednesday, 18 April 2012

www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/.../archive.cfm

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 18. 2012 07:49 AM

2353

Gary M,

I suspect that the defence forces references are to gain some form of respect.  In the US )the current home of the majority of publicity generation for what you aptly call the rancid right) ex-service personnel are generally given greater levels of honour than would be accorded them in Australia.  For example, armed services personnel are usually invited to board aircraft with the frequent flyers, families etc rather than foin the general scrum that is the boarding process.  It is also a fairly common practice for service personnel to be specially "welcomed" at sporting events, theme parks and on TV shows across North America.

So I would image the "Tea Party's how to win friends and influence people" manual would attempt to play to this form of patriotism which for better or worse is not widespread in Australia - and the people who subscribe to such learned tomes don't have the intelligence to understand the cultural differences between Australia and North America - just as they don't understand the fundamental flaws in the "Tea Party movement".

I'm not saying here that bestowing greater recoqnition on service personnel is not a good idea - but that is a discussion for another day.

2353

April 18. 2012 07:52 AM

2353

D'oh.

* US) should be US (
* foin should be join.

I shall speak severely to my dyslexic fingers before the next post Laughing

2353

April 18. 2012 08:24 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

April 18. 2012 08:56 AM

Gary M

"So I would image the "Tea Party's how to win friends and influence people" manual would attempt to play to this form of patriotism which for better or worse is not widespread in Australia - and the people who subscribe to such learned tomes don't have the intelligence to understand the cultural differences between Australia and North America - just as they don't understand the fundamental flaws in the "Tea Party movement"."

Well it is certainly beginning to creep in to blogs of late. Of course it is easy(being an x digger my self) to pick out pure unadulterated B.S. when I see it.Most rancid right wingers just can't compute Yes, you can be an x serviceman and a progressive, the two can be inclusive. No doubt some war hero's have voted Labor/Labour, or heaven forbid, even belonged to the communist party. A topic as you say, for another time.

Gary M

April 18. 2012 09:12 AM

Michael

Malcolm Turnbull being disingenuous about the NBN again here.

www.smh.com.au/.../...turnbull-20120417-1x5nt.html

Fibre to the Node is 'zoom then plod'.

What's the bet 'nodes' will be located in parliaments and Liberal Party offices nationwide?

Definitely under Labor. Merely 'coincidental' under the Coalition.

Michael

April 18. 2012 09:15 AM

TalkTurkey

      Tweasure

Tweetie has a golden box
Of words that give her pleasure,
But words are commonplace as rocks:
It's Tweetie who's the treasure!

Lyn your links just get better.
A fresh breakfast smorgasbord for the brain every time.


Ad astra gives us The Political Sword but you give it its edge.

A double edge at that. Not only for Swordsfolks but for all those on other sites who know that this is the best place to come for the best commentaries on the day's issues.

                           *

Speaking of best commentaries, am I perhaps the only one who thinks it suspect if not quite reprehensible that the Sydney Writers Centre, an entirely commercial venture it seems, (as opposed to the NSW Writers Centre and the Adelaide Writers Centre) presumes to judge the Best Blogsite for 2012 from an incomplete list of sites?

Did I hear somewhere that Greg Jericho was to be one of the judges? Anyone know? If so that wouldn't be anything to do with presenting a commercially-induced patina of intellectual/aesthetic respectability would it?

Hanging out for replies to this. I don't mean to be curmudgeonly, just want the facts clear.      

TalkTurkey

April 18. 2012 09:28 AM

Lyn

Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Some snippets of what the Twitterverse is conversing about this morning:

Brigadier Slog‏
Comment Tony? @thewest_com_au IMF says Australia second fastest growing economy in developed world for next two years.
au.news.yahoo.com/.../

George Megalogenis‏
Being interviewed for TV doco on mining in Oz, from Eureka to Kevin. Will the miners run an ad campaign against if I don't take their side?

Melissa Clarke‏
TurnbullMalcolm says NBN is being rolled out "with the determination & velocity of an arthritic snail." #topsledge @BreakfastNews

Financial Review‏
Malcolm Turnbull set for another #NBN attack with Wednesday speech on potential for "disastrous" cost blow-outs [free]
www.afr.com/.../nbn_blow_out_could_be_disastrous_TcRbFAuAJXXJhuvjCd7Z3H

Mike Kelly MP‏
@TurnbullMalcolm , Clarke_Melissa also should factor in huge battle to achieve structural separation of Telstra, which Coalition failed 2 do

Greg Jericho‏
@TheKouk and here - www.liberal.org.au/.../Tony-Abbott-Doorstop.aspx @JohnPsaltis

vexnews‏
Rudd’s secret mining tax deal #auspol http://bit.ly/IVS8tH
afr.com/.../rudd_secret_mining_tax_deal_7mgH4bhOv5sGHJPScyS33J
www.liberal.org.au/.../Tony-Abbott-Doorstop.aspx

Bernard Keane‏
@swrightwestoz I am simply gobsmacked at today's Forrest stuff, which was reported widely and in great detail in 2010.

Greg Jericho‏
@Leroy_Lynch you wouldn't believe it but Rudd and Twiggy were doing a deal on the RSPT back in 2010 before he was rolled

Jason Wilson‏
@melgregg's paper on the NBN rollout is based on our trip to Willunga last year http://bit.ly/IVQBDV (1/2)
usyd.academia.edu/.../History_in_the_making_The_NBN_roll-out_in_Willunga_South_Australia

Matthew Ross ‏
RT @GrogsGamut: "Gillard takes swipe at Barnett" by @andrewprobyn http://yhoo.it/JB4VM6 #auspol
au.news.yahoo.com/.../

Adrian B‏
Despite Joe Hockey + Tony Abbott's carping, here's the real story: Our economy leads the world
www.smh.com.au/.../...he-world-20120418-1x6ac.html

Greg Jericho
good piece by @swrightwestoz on ageing workforce
au.news.yahoo.com/.../

Daniel Hurst‏
Timeline: How the QLD police minister's brief ministerial career unravelled: http://bit.ly/JBjCyJ #qldpol
www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120417-1x5ay.html

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 18. 2012 10:56 AM

NormanK

Aunty: Julia!!
Julia: Yes, Aunty Michelle.
Aunty: These vegetables taste funny.
Julia: Sorry Aunty. What's wrong?
Aunty: I don't know. Did you rinse them before you put them in the pot?
Julia: (sigh) Yes Aunty.
Aunty: Mm. Did you use bottled water not that awful stuff from the tap .....?
Julia: Yes Aunty.
Aunty: Did you put the salt in the pot before you added the vegetables?
Julia: Yes Aunty.
Aunty: How come the cauliflower is in between the beans and the mashed potatoes? You know I like to mix the beans and the mashed .....
Julia: Sorry Aunty. I had to take a call from President Obama just when I was dishing out the veggies. Syria looks like descending into .....
Aunty: Hmmph. What about my plate? Did you wash it first - you know I hate the idea of having (ugh) Tim's saliva all over my plate?
Julia: Yes Aunty. Your plate and cutlery get washed first before anything else goes in.
Aunty: You didn't use that awful Australian Fauna tea-towel to wipe it did you?
Julia: No Aunty. I used the lovely Australian Flora one that you gave me.
Aunty: Hmmph. Did you wipe it in a clockwise direction because you know .....
Julia: Yes Aunty.
Aunty: Did you wipe the front first or the back?
Julia: Well, I'm not sure. What difference .....
Aunty: AHA! And you wonder why I don't let you do my washing. You can't manage the most basic of tasks.
Julia: Sorry Aunty.
Aunty: Now, about this Afghanistan thing. Did it even occur to you that some ex-military types would spring up to question your judgement on this?
Julia: Yes Aunty.
Aunty: And did it cross your mind that antagonistic members of the opposition would paint this as a political decision not a strategic one?
Julia: Yes Aunty.
Aunty: Well, why didn't you do something about it?
Julia: Perhaps if I were the Prime Minister of Russia I could have had them all locked up for 48 hours.
Aunty: But ... but .... but .... freedom of speech must be respected!
Julia: Yes Aunty. If this were Fiji I could have shut down the media for a week.
Aunty: Errk! A free press is the cornerstone of our democracy. You can't just shut it down because it might report something that you don't like.
Julia: No Aunty. Perhaps if this were China I could have had all of the nay-sayers taken out and shot.
Aunty: WHAT?? You can't do that!
Julia: No Aunty.
Aunty: So you're going to let them wipe their feet on you like a doormat?
Julia: No Aunty, I'm going to treat the Australian public as adults, allow them to be exposed to a wide variety of opinions and let them make up their own minds.
Aunty: Hmmph. You really do need to take control of the media cycle Julia.
Julia: Yes Aunty? So that some journalist in The Age can write more crap about me being addicted to spin and chasing the polls? Thanks Aunty.
Aunty: These vegetables are cold!
Julia: Sorry Aunty.
Aunty: You can't even do the simplest of tasks without mismanaging it. No wonder no-one wants to marry you.
Julia: Yes Aunty. Sorry Aunty.

NormanK

April 18. 2012 11:19 AM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Delightful satire.  Do you have a link to the conversation/article that you are satirizing?

Ad astra reply

April 18. 2012 11:29 AM

NormanK


Sorry Ad astra. Smile  Here it is:

Gillard on back foot on timing
by Michelle Grattan    The Age

JULIA Gillard wanted to lay out a clear direction for Australia's Afghan exit strategy, and give a sense of momentum, conveying the message this was not a war without end.

Instead she sparked a debate about whether we will get out too soon, invited claims of political motives, and created considerable confusion in official circles.

www.theage.com.au/.../...iming-20120417-1x5p1.html

NormanK

April 18. 2012 11:51 AM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Thanks.  Your satire was deserved and appropriate.

Julia will never, I mean never, please Aunty Michelle.

Ad astra reply

April 18. 2012 01:17 PM

Casablanca

Ad Astra

Thank you for removing those two offensive rants posted by our blow-in Troll just after mid-night.

Casablanca

April 18. 2012 01:22 PM

NormanK

Ad astra

I imagine Lyn has this lined up as part of tomorrow's links but in light of the fact that you expressed an interest recently in the relationship between government debt and interest rates, here is Grog's latest offering.

Government debt and interest rates have no connection
by Greg Jericho     The Drum

To say blithely that Government debt is causing upward pressure on interest rates is just the type of thing you say if you know you can do it and not be held to account. And given Tony Abbott on Monday said it six times in the one doorstop, I'm guessing he doesn't feel under too much pressure to justify his line from those asking the questions.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3957366.html

NormanK

April 18. 2012 01:28 PM

Ad astra reply

Casablanca
Capstan got progressively more offensive, so when I woke this morning to read his latest nasty rant, I had no option but to delete them both.

NormanK
Thank you for the Greg Jericho link – that’s exactly what I wanted.  As usual Abbott is either misinformed, or more likely lying.

Ad astra reply

April 18. 2012 01:34 PM

Michael

Ms Grattan is channeling the Noalition again.

She must be up for a Damehood when Tiny restores Imperial Honours. Can there be any other explanation for her constant undermining of PM Gillard?

Michael

April 18. 2012 01:43 PM

2353

Capstan got progressively more offensive, so when I woke this morning to read his latest nasty rant, I had no option but to delete them both.

Damn - I always miss the good stuff.Laughing

2353

April 18. 2012 01:49 PM

NormanK

2353

I suspect I could knock up a pretty good right wing rant if that's what floats your boat. Let me know.

NormanK

April 18. 2012 02:24 PM

Lyn

NK Go NK Go

Don't worry about posting Greg Jericho the links go onto their own linked page so doesn't matter I will still post Greg anyway.

NK Thankyou for your enjoyable post @ 10:56 AM

this is what they said about Michelle

PB‏@youngapprentice
@theage @michellegrattan @juliagillard apparently Michelle grattan heads it up and @TonyAbbottMHR is her deputy

visivoz‏
gordongraham What's up with the unrelenting negativity towards the PM by Michelle Grattan? On a mission?

D.R.Davis
@SpudBenBean Michelle Grattan is 68..in most professions you would've retired (or be very close to being retired).

Leroy‏
BushfireBill on how La Stupenda (Michelle Grattan) does her bit in the war against governance itself http://tinyurl.com/bp3no4x #auspol #ausmedia

SmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 18. 2012 02:51 PM

jj

Can i ask, how is Michelle Grattan undermining the PM? i didnt know that Grattan was of a position within the Gillard team that would enable her to undermine the PM?

You guys start from the point that: Gillard is a perfect leader that should not be questioned; when, i believe, Australian journalists should always be skeptical in the way they approach their subject matter. I am sure that when Grattan writes something negative about Abbott you dont complain about her undermining him...so why the hypocrisy?

jj

April 18. 2012 03:09 PM

NormanK

jj

You really really must stop putting words in people's mouths.
No-one here has ever said that Gillard is a 'perfect leader'.
Did you read the Grattan article? How on earth can it be Gillard's fault (through mis-management) that ex-military officers and conservative talking heads decided to attack the new timetable as being too hasty and politically motivated, respectively.
Grattan now has a track record over several years of finding fault with Gillard over every single thing that she says and does.
The only time Grattan criticises Abbott is when she wants to paint both sides with the same brush.
Not once in recent memory has she written positively about Gillard or her government without slipping in a back-hander that undermines any possible praise she may have delivered.
Not once in recent memory has she written negatively about Abbott without getting a dig in on Gillard and anyway praising Abbott because he is ahead in the polls.
She is a grumpy old aunty whose niece will "never amount to anything".

NormanK

April 18. 2012 03:15 PM

Gravel

NormanK

That was so funny, thank you.  It is a real pity about Michelle Gratton, I used to admire her immensely but never read anything she writes anymore.

Lyn

Your links are so very good and so many, will catch up after I have caught up on NormanK's.  

Gravel

April 18. 2012 03:44 PM

Lyn

Hi Talk Turkey

Thankyou for you Treasure Trove of words you make me feel so proud of you and TPS.  

Your verse is delightful, delectable, delicious.

A bit of interesting stuff for everyone while I am here:-

Peak Oil Crash
Another Abbott Winner from the 7PM Project - Tony Abbott Visits a Hospital – YouTube \
www.youtube.com/watch

IndependentAustralia‏ Interesting that Chris Uhlmann's 2009 blog about being a climate sceptic has been removed from ABC Online. Here it is:
http://web.archive.org/web/20100519053355/http://blogs.abc.net.au/offair/2009/10/in-praise-of-the-sceptics.html

Webster Smoggule‏
Abbott in gay ambush http://bit.ly/IHFeJ7 #auspol #MyLiberal
www.smh.com.au/.../...r-ambush-20120418-1x6iu.html

Lyn

April 18. 2012 03:45 PM

2353

NormanK - I would know that your rant was confected!

2353

April 18. 2012 05:52 PM

NormanK

2353

It is reassuring to know that you like a bit of conviction in your diatribes.
Man cannot live by rant alone.

NormanK

April 18. 2012 06:51 PM

jane

Great post as always, Ad astra. I have put a tick alongside TPS.

Why does he make these statements about matters that require funding without even talking to his leader?  And this man wants to be Deputy PM!!!

Perhaps he's practicing having brain farts, Ad astra. He may have leadership ambitions.

He really is a dead weight on the Coalition.

Ad astra, is it possible to name at least one of these dead beats that isn't a millstone around the Noalition's neck? The heaviest being its leader, imo, who would have been slung out on his ear long ago if he wasn't under the Emperor's protection.

What amazes me is that the Emperor and his minions in Ltd News must realise what a complete idiot he is and still they think it's OK to inflict him and his economic and policy airheads on this country.

TT @3.16pm 16/4, Is Robb for real? What the hell is he actually saying? The ANZ has to raise its rates because it made a profit, or it didn't....but he'd have to look at their books, so he'd know if.....what???

Is it all the government's fault that they made a record profit?

Is a straight jacket in order? God help us if this mob of drongoes get voted in.

2353 @5.15pm 16/4, I can only hope that what is brewing at Noalition HQ is an unhinging of monumental proportions.

If Robb is trying to differentiate and distance himself from his fellow Liars, he's chosen a remarkably inept way to do so. That interview makes him look every bit as economically illiterate as the three halfwits.

Apparently Can Do's Laura Norder Minister has had to pull the pin after he confessed to a driving offence.

jane

April 18. 2012 08:00 PM

Tom of Melbourne

catallaxyfiles.com/.../...n-file-audit-report1.pdf

This appears to be part of the FWA report into Thomson.

Tom of Melbourne

April 18. 2012 08:28 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Your additional links and tweets add so much spice to TPS.  Thank you.

TT
I do enjoy you verse.  Lyn richly deserves your accolades.

jane
Thank you for your kind words.

Tomorrow I’ll post the next piece: Why does Julia Gillard have so much trouble getting her message across?  I hope you enjoy that too.

I’m calling it a day.

Ad astra reply

April 18. 2012 08:33 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Thankyou for your encouraging words, you our commenters & readers are a pleasure to work for.

Have a nice night and a nice rest.

cheers SmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 18. 2012 09:11 PM

BSA Bob

Jane at 6.51
You say that surely the Emperor & his minions must realise what a liability Abbott would be. I think they, Abbott & his party are hoping yet again to prove Donald Horne right when he spoke about second rate people running the lucky country & sharing its luck. The rest of the problem media are simply obeying orders too or going along for the ride. They'll have no trouble doing a U turn & telling us all how spiffing things are under P.M. Abbott.
Plus, Abbott will simply be nicer to Rupert, who in the days to come might find himself not all that popular in the countries he currently resides in.

BSA Bob

April 18. 2012 09:53 PM

TalkTurkey

NormanK
Your caricature of Old Coke Bottles is hilarious, but it's too close to the bone to be really very funny iyswim.*

It is astonishing that Ms Grattan is so unfailingly negative to *J*U*L*I*A*, what is her agenda? There is no fairness in her, she must know it, she must go out of her way to find something, anything, to say that is negative. Um, who does that remind me of?

One thing though, I don't see *J*U*L*I*A* Yes-Auntying Michelle Grattan or any other non-self-respecting journalista.

We enter a whole new era when the next sitting starts. The hard work of achieving the Gillard Government's legislative agenda is done. The hard work begins now of fighting the combined forces of the miners, the tobacco lobby, the NOposition and most of all the Media in the battle for hearts and minds.

In AFL analogy it is about exactly the beginning of the third quarter, after half-time, but Labor has been concerned with its program until now. The Government's long-term strategy will come to the fore in this quarter, and Abbortt will fall, either being rolled or just flattened.

I can't wait for Labor to start trumpeting its own successes and especially calling out Abbortt and his stupid stooges and dopey droogs.

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

Lyn said

Hi Talk Turkey

Thankyou for you Treasure Trove of words

Well that'd make the pome Tweasure Twove wouldn't it!

So I'll say it again with its new title, you've added so much since this morning that it deserves it.

  Tweasure Twove

Tweetie has a golden box
Of words that give her pleasure,
But words are commonplace as rocks:
It's Tweetie who's the treasure!

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

Jane said
TT @3.16pm 16/4, Is Robb for real? What the hell is he actually saying?

Search me Jane. We enter the realm of delusion, non-sequiturs and cut and come again economics.


* iyswim = if you see what I mean. I like it.

TalkTurkey

April 18. 2012 11:44 PM

Patricia WA

Hi AA, I posted a draft of my pome in response to your three stooges post here yesterday, but instead of Matthias Corman I saw Abbott as my third stooge and also trying to sell a magic pudding kind of budget plan.

I think it got swamped by all those ghastly trolling comments and went unnoticed.  I'd have loved feedback from TT in particular because I knew it still needed work, but he was busy doing a mighty job of fighting off invaders!   Now that we've returned to sanity I can tell you that I went ahead and published it anyway because, in spite of misgivings about some lines, my grandson Daniel had photoshopped a wonderful illustration for me.  It's here with my pome and notes and we'd welcome feedback.

polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../  

NormanK, I really loved your piece on La Grattan. You're right.  Aunty Michelle will never be pleased.  But you hit exactly the right note with Julia's response.  Stand your ground and be patiently polite.

Patricia WA

April 19. 2012 01:32 AM

Gary M

The budget that's not the half of it. Entitlements is what is rooooning Australia.

Anyone watching the Tony Jones interview with Joe bungler Hockey on Late Line last night, should be if they are indeed sane, be under no illusion of what is in store for the working class should Tony Abbott and his be elected P.M. Bungler Hockey has let the cat well and truly out of the bag.

The irony of all irony is, that the people who are carers, on the dole, pensions, disability support recipients and sickness benefits, are going to vote for these shysters, in droves.

It will be interesting if the carbon tax, pink batts saga or any of the other media beat ups that have made Julia Gillard out to be the devil incarnate, will mean a jot, when the chattering class are told their pensions are being cut to save Australia from the financial abyss, and to qoute Bungler (now dig this) we can compete with Hong Kong, and the rest of Asia.

Yep old Bungler, I bet he just longs for the days when his ilk were all sitting around the Raffles hotel in Singapore, quaffing down Gin Slings moaning about the cost of Coolie labour.

I bloody despair.  

Gary M

April 19. 2012 06:33 AM

Ad astra reply

Patricia WA
You are right.  The three stoges are Abbott, Hockey and Robb.  Mathias Cormann Is an assistant stooge.

Your poem is apt. After last night's Lateline, it seems as if Joe has woken up to the fact that if you serve out too much of the Magic Pudding, it runs out.

Gary M
That was an extraordinary interview of Joe Hockey by Tony Jones, of which we will hear a lot more.  I hope he has spoken to the other stooges about his desire to review all entitlements.  More of this later once the transcript is available.

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 07:42 AM

Lyn

TODAY’S LINKS

Golden BISONs – IMF says Australia has the strongest economy, Frank, A Frank View
GOLDEN BISONs – Australia has the strongest economy in the developed world and it is expected to outperform all comers for at least the next two years, according to the International Monetary Fund. The IMF also forecasts Australia’s unemployment rate to remain low at 5.2 per cent in both 2012 and 2013. READ MORE
afrankview.net/.../

Back in his paddock, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
Victorian Liberals assume that their people are going to form the core of any Coalition government, and that slap-in-the-face from Joyce only reminds them that the second-biggest source of Coalition MPs in Federal Parliament is not Victoria but Queensland. If someone like that is going to be in Federal Cabinet,
andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/.../...is-paddock.html

Queensland: beautiful one day, the 1970′s the next, Massivespray, Spray of the Day
we come to COAG, where in a breathtaking example of “small ma syndrome” he jumps out of his skin to get his face in the news and craps on about “competitive federalism” i.e. making life difficult by not streamlining regulations between states
sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/.../

Tony Abbott Defends His Magic Pudding Budget Plan, Patricia WA, Polliepomes
Abbott won’t accept that of course, and will do his best to attack Julia Gillard’s credibility and that of Wayne Swann, as he did today, decrying Australia’s economic record in the face of praise from the International Monetary Fund.
polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../

Government debt and interest rates have no connection, Greg Jericho, The Drum
The sense that the Government's borrowing is increasing the costs for banks to raise money on the international bond market is laughable. The line however contains enough "oh he's talking about finance stuff, he must know what's going on" to allow him to get away with it. And if he says it enough, well then people start to think it is truth, and it gets nary a challenge.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3957366.html

Taxes Higher Under Howard, Ian McAuley, New Matilda
The Howard-Costello government had an easy run with public revenue. They came to office in the recovery phase of Keating’s "recession we had to have" and lost office just before our longest recorded business growth cycle ended so spectacularly with the GFC.
newmatilda.com/.../tax-was-higher-under-howard

Joe Hockey, The Power Index
Hockey's progress was rapid, there remained questions over how much policy substance he could muster. He stumbled selling the GST in 2000 as Assistant Treasurer, and spent two years in the low-profile Human Services portfolio (where the ID card issue burnt him), but was then promoted by John Howard to Workplace Relations
www.thepowerindex.com.au/politicians/joe-hockey

Max Tomlinson, Sexist Dickbrain, You Said It
It is all too common to find immature knuckle-dragging misogynist creeps strutting their stuff on Facebook and Twitter, pushing their unwanted fear and hatred of women. We shouldn’t have to be dealing
theantibogan.wordpress.com/.../

Don't single out church over abuse: Abbott, ABC
Mr Abbott says child abuse is "a terrible blot on society" that has to be eliminated but the blame should not be solely directed at the church.There has been a lot of pretty gruesome behaviour in many  
m.abc.net.au/browse

So what Inflation rate is needed for the RBA to cut 50?, Stephen Koukouloas
Just about all the market commentary around now agrees that if the March quarter underlying inflation rate comes in at 0.8% or less, the RBA will cut rates by 25 basis points on 1 May. It is difficult to argue with the broad theme of that judgment
stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/.../...d-for.html

They are all in the same mindless club, Bill Mitchell, Billy Blog
The RBA Minutes tell us that the Treasurer’s depiction of causality is amiss. While the Treasurer keeps claiming that the pursuit of the budget surplus “provides maximum flexibility to the Reserve Bank to
bilbo.economicoutlook.net/.../

Labor in Western Australia: improving, but still a long way to go , William Bowe, The Conversation
After nearly four years in office, the government is less able than its counterparts in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland to blame its Labor predecessor for escalating electricity costs.Another difficulty, partly related to it, is that many perceive in Barnett
theconversation.edu.au/labor-in-western-australia-improving-but-still-a-long-way-to-go-6449

NBN satellite plans on track, says world satellite body, NBN Co
"As the ITU says, it's not uncommon to launch a satellite before it has received final assent from the agency. I remember on one occasion at Optus the approvals process was so drawn out that the satellite was entered into the ITU's Master Register several years
nbnco.com.au/.../satellite-plans-on-track.html

Turnbullʼs plan to slash NBN shows he still doesnʼt get it, WA Tech
“The CEPU urges Mr Turnbull to rethink his plan to deny fibre to schools, hospitals, businesses and homes. His current plan would truly be the most wasteful of all possible options.”
www.whatech.com.au/.../7864-turnbull-s-plan-to-slash-nbn-shows-he-still-doesn-t-get-it

You’re wrong, global satellite authority tells Turnbull,Renai LeMay, Delimeter
seemed obvious during the parliamentary hearings this week that Turnbull had no idea what he was talking about and that NBN Co was completely on top of the satellite situation, so I had initially decided not to report on the matter, as to do so would simply  
delimiter.com.au/.../

Three Years of NBN 2.0: What Have We , Malcolm Turnbull
Another significant factor in Australia will be that households do not watch most TV over fixed line connections, unlike the US or parts of Europe, and this is likely to continue to be the case.  www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/.../


VIDEO’S

We have bred entitlement: Hockey, Lateline
www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3480665.htm

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has indicated a coalition government would look at cutting welfare and other entitlements to offset lower personal income and business taxes.
au.news.yahoo.com/.../

Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category, Australian Politics TV
australianpoliticstv.org/category/daily-fix/

Australian Labor‏
Watch @JuliaGillard's speech from yesterday outlining Australia's national interest in Afghanistan here: http://www.alp.org.au/LaborTV/ #auspol
http://www.alp.org.au/labortv/

Lyn

April 19. 2012 07:47 AM

janice

TT,
Your caricature of Old Coke Bottles is hilarious, but it's too close to the bone to be really very funny iyswim.*

Love that handle for Grattan.  I have a wonderful outdoor mat that is made from old coke bottles so it amuses me no end when I walk on it to think that "Old Coke Bottles" might have a use after all.  Smile

And a big good morning to the Tweety bird who graces these pages once again after a short break that seemed to be a very long one.  NormanK did a wonderful job keeping your seat warm, Lyn but despite his beautiful rose gravatar, he's not as bright and cheerful as you.

janice

April 19. 2012 07:49 AM

Gary M

"That was an extraordinary interview of Joe Hockey by Tony Jones, of which we will hear a lot more."

Indeed. I can imagine and see Barnardi, Cormann, Barnyard et al standing in front of a mirror admiring their clothes as Hockey spoke.

It will be interesting to see what the Labor party makes and says about this latest revelation from the left over medieval bully boys. For mine the Labor party had better get their arse holes and brains wired together tight, or we are in for dark days ahead indeed. I thought this type of thinking died out with the Reich. Yea right sure it has.

Gary M

April 19. 2012 07:53 AM

Lyn

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES

Newspaper Front Pages from Australia for Thursday, 19 April 2012

www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/.../archive.cfm

Lyn

April 19. 2012 07:58 AM

Lyn

Good Morning Ad

What! was that you were saying about the Three Stooges?????

Ad Astra right again

I think Joe Hockey has put his foot in it this time.

Remember this statement by Hockey on the 12th April only last week
Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey 'I'm on a meagre income

Lateline last night, Joe Hockey.

Here are the Tweets:-

Mattie ‏@
Hockey excludes welfare for wealthy mums from proposed welfare cuts RT Joe Hockey flags welfare cuts
www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfkvr-1226332171883


TheFinnigans天地有道人无道‏@Thefinnigans
It looks like war between Abbott Vs Hockey Vs Robb. Hockey wants to cut entitlements, Abbott wants more & Robb just wants more for the Banks

Pamela‏@P_J_NN
Another Aspirational: Different ethos underpins Asian society Hockey blasts attitude of 'entitlement'
www.theage.com.au/.../...ement-20120418-1x7zs.html via theage

Chris Barrett‏
Oh I see, you mean cut payments to poor people but rich keep #Hockey calls for review of all welfare payments
www.abc.net.au/.../3959144 abcnews

TAWNBPM‏
Hockey follows his master in dogwhistling the rednecks. He
is
www.theage.com.au/.../...ement-20120418-1x7zs.html

TheFinnigans天地有道人无道‏@Thefinnigans
AshGhebranious Yes, I can. You rob the poor so the rich can have their entitlements preserve, easy.

CuppaT‏@CuppaT2
Sloppy Joe Hockey "unable to refute alleged double-counting of proposed opposition budget savings" www.theaustralian.com.au/.../joe-hockey-
fails-to-answer-claims-of-double-counting-of-proposed-budget-savings/story-fn8gf1nz-1226058351679[18May2011] #auspol

Yes, we did spend a lot in the Coalition. We did. There is no doubt about that,” he said.
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn8gf1nz-1226058351679

Brigadier Slog‏
Joe Hockey calls for review of welfare payments - and gives a speech overnight entitled "The End of the Age of Entitlement"
happy to cut already woefully inadequate...

Ian Gordicans‏@Gordicans
gjfitzgerald did you see Joe Hockey on lateline tonight? weirdSmileSmile

Lyn

April 19. 2012 08:03 AM

Lyn

Hi Gary M

Your comment @ 7.49am you said "It will be interesting to see what the Labor party makes and says about this latest revelation "  
I agree with you, they have been given a truck load of cannons to fire compliments Joe Hockey.

Thankyou Joe

CHEERSSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 19. 2012 08:18 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 08:33 AM

Gary M

"It will be interesting to see what the Labor party makes and says about this latest revelation "  

In a word probably nothing. The Treasurer will wax lyrical about the economy end of.

But hey lets face it, welfare is far to high. Giving money to people to buy luxuries like food and clothes is just too much. Smile

As an aside old Joe Bungler was well aware he had stuck his foot in it. The body language was palpable. If hey (The opposition) made this little well kept secret public, Well! You can well imagine what they're saying in the party room.

Something along the lines of...

Get those terminal cancer patients out of those hospital beds and get them back in the asbestos factories where they belong. If it wasn't so true eh.............

Gary M

April 19. 2012 09:13 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
For those of you who missed the extraordinary unterview of Joe Hockey by Tony Jones on Lateline last night, here is the link to the transcript: www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3480665.htm

It was an astonishing interview on several counts.  First, it unveiled Joe’s latest thoughts about fiscal responsibility and the effect on it of what he termed ‘a sense of entitlement’ that he elaborated upon in a speech in London titled: The End of the Age of Entitlement.  Next, it brought forth an admission that the Howard Government has fostered that sense of entitlement (with its middle class welfare pork barreling at election time), and finally, although Joe may not have realized it, it exposed his lamentable lack of preparedness for the inevitable questions from Tony Jones about how a Coalition government would reduce entitlements.

Hockey was well prepared with facts: “In Europe in particular and France in particular, nearly 30 per cent of GDP is going towards public welfare and health care and pension costs. That compares with other countries in Europe which are between 20 and 30 per cent. Australia is at 16 per cent, Korea at about 10 per cent. So, obviously the age of entitlement is coming to an end because governments are running out of money and the debt is now crippling governments.”  He went onto say that one party in France was promising even more welfare.

It seems clear that in Europe anyway, largesse in granting entitlements not balanced by commensurate revenue has brought some economies near to bankruptcy, so examination of the issue is warranted.  The fact that Australia’s commitment to entitlements as a proportion of GDP is around half that of France and some other European countries, suggests that we have not gone overboard in this regard, but Joe says we should compare ourselves with Asian countries as we enter the Asian Century, and he cited Hong Kong “… where the top rate of personal income tax is 17 per cent, the top corporate rate is 16.5 per cent - the trade off there being that there's no social safety net, so, instead, people take care of their own families.

While he added that he “…wouldn't go so far as what Hong Kong is doing, but Hong Kong is our competition…” the comparison would make many recipients of ‘entitlements’ shudder.  I wonder has Joe ever stood at the foot of D’Aguilar Street in Central Hong Kong waiting for his bus, and watched a frail little old lady pushing her trolley heaped with collapsed cardboard boxes up the steep incline to where she sells them for a few cents to sustain herself because there is no social safety net?  I’m sure he would not want that here, yet he tells us here is where our competition is.  What are the implications of his words?

He seems too to be connecting the low taxation rate in HK to the absence of a social safety net.  While it is a factor, has he considered that since a population a third the size of Australia’s is crowded onto a tiny island where the cost of infrastructure is but a fraction of the cost of providing, for example, roads, transport and ports in this vast country, the cost per head of population in HK is tiny, and taxes can therefore be lower.

Joe has always been inclined to go off half-cocked; last night’s interviews is a classic example.  Most striking was his apparent lack of anticipation of the questions he was bound to be asked, which led to yet another bumbling performance that must be an embarrassment to the Coalition and an irritant to the other two responsible for finance, Tony Abbott and Andrew Robb.

Finally, why was this matter not forensically dissected on AM this morning?  Jon Faine is onto it on ABC 774 Melbourne radio, so I’m hoping that The World Today will be.  If not, I shall suspect a whitewash.

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 09:37 AM

Lyn

Hi Gary M

"Well! You can well imagine what they're saying in the party room"

I would love to be a fly on the wall, if they are not in turmoil they
should be.

But as Ad Astra says in his brilliant summary above, Whitewash again by the MSM .  Watch the ABC 24's Drum this afteroon it will be treated as a serious joke, Ho, Ho, Ho funny funny funny Joe Hockey didn't mean what he said in fact he didn't say what he said.

Rory Cahill‏
Joe Hockey says we have too much welfare here and should be like Hong Kong. Where poor live in rabbit hutches. http://bit.ly/JJ0X48 #auspol

Denise ‏@SpudBen
Dear Pensioners, As treasurer, Joe Hockey will take away your pension - www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3480665.htm #auspol

Melissa Clarke‏
See Joe Hockey's full remarks on welfare here: http://bit.ly/IMVPLz and let us know what you think on @BreakfastNews

Crikey.com.au‏
If current poll numbers continue, Joe Hockey will be treasurer next year. But, @bernardkeane asks, is he up to the job?
www.crikey.com.au/.../

mishaketch‏
Interesting factoid in this yarn: Joe Hockey was named after Ben Chifley by Labor voting parents. theconversation.edu.au/never-mind-the-miners-heres-the-bankers-6513 via @ConversationEDU

Gary M Keep your comments coming, love them.

Cheers SmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 19. 2012 10:15 AM

NormanK

..... despite his beautiful rose gravatar, he's not as bright and cheerful as you.





*sob*

NormanK

April 19. 2012 10:23 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thanks for the extra links, tweets.  The Bernard Keane article was a disappointment - his headline asked if Joe Hockey was up to the job, and proceeded then not to answer it.

Rory Cahill is right.  Hong Kong has its 'cage men' whose poverty forces them to literally live in wire cages because there is no social safety net.  We too have our poor and dispossessed but nothing like exists in HK.  If Joe intends to use HK or other Asian countries as a template, while at the same time supports Tony Abbott's extravagant PPL that disproportionately advantages the wealthy, and repeal a tax on wealthy mining companies, we will becom a radically different country as the rich - poor divide widens.

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 10:29 AM

Lyn

Good Morning to you Janice

Thankyou for your cherished words, I love all my friends on TPS.

"And a big good morning to the Tweety bird who graces these pages once again after a short break that seemed to be a very long one.  NormanK did a wonderful job keeping your seat warm, Lyn but despite his beautiful rose gravatar, he's not as bright and cheerful as you"

Norman K he did a fab job do you think he needs hearts on his rose perhaps .

Hey Norman how about some pink hearts.

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Mark ‏@markjs1Repl

Whatever U do 2day....don't miss Bushfire's forensic analysis of Sloppy's latest mega brainfart on #LL: http://bit.ly/J1tTub #BBill #auspol

(the sound of laughter coming from loungerooms all over the nation as Joe laid out why we should get rid of entitlements, yet was unable to mention any – especially Coalition entitlement programs like subsidized nannies, full pay PPL, cheap private health care, and private school rorts – that he was prepared to say should go.)
All we need to do is get rid of the “Sense Of Entitlement” that seems to have crept into our day-to-day lives. While we keep the Baby Bonus, Subsidized Nannies, Full Pay PPL “Work Entitlements”, Grain Fed Private Schools, and Cheap Health Insurance for the well-off battlers paid for by those other, taxpaying battlers, we can get rid of the dole, pensions, Public Servants and all the rest of the bludgers clogging up the system, the “entitlement” rorts that are keeping our inner “China” from bursting forth, loud and proud.

And with spruikers like La Stupenda breaking the rule of a lifetime and doing straight reporting on it, you have to admit Kentucky Joe’s off to a roaring start.

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-1221025

SmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 19. 2012 10:36 AM

Michael

What 'tippy toes through the minefield I just laid' Joe Hockey doesn't seem to get about Asia is that the countries he's named are all aspiring (luvverly word, innit?) to be carbon copies of how Europe and the wider West were in their heyday.

They (the growing middle classes of Asia) want the three car garage and the six bathroom MacMansion just as Western consumers were sold as the only way to live.

Why shouldn't they? It's the American dream sold us by generations of (m)ad men. But with 43 million Americans confronting no evening meal every night of the week, and scant food through the daylight hours, that dream is as bogus and hollow now as ever it was. Read John Steinbeck for an historical perspective.

As for the 'filial piety' that Joe seems so enamoured of in Asian societies, that concept of familial concern for all generations of the clan is disappearing so rapidly it has long been lamented in contemporary Asian commentary. Decades of observation by sociologists and the spokespeople of charitable organisations in Asian countries record the falling away of the practice, the obligation, of supportive family ties.

Jolly Joe is living in some fantasy world of Asian familial support. When I was last in Hong Kong I saw many wonderful examples of the effectiveness of capitalism, but the image that stays strongest in my mind is, in a covered walkway linking the harbour's ferry service with the subway trains, a man lying face down on the floor, with the handless stumps of his arms waving towards the small piece of cardboard he was begging passersby to put coins in.

For a man on a "meagre income", Jowly Joe has very little idea of how tough life can be done... anywhere.

Michael

April 19. 2012 10:51 AM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I expect that we will hear more of the Lateline Hockey interview on Insiders as Barrie Cassidy was onto it this morning in his regular Thursday morning chat on politics with Jon Faine.  He saw Hockey as having positioned the Coalition awkwardly since is now obliged to support any Government move to curtail entitlements, as the Government is currently doing, rather than oppose them as in the past.  And as revenue is the other side of the equation, the Coalition would need to justify its intention to repeal a major revenue source, the minerals tax.  Asked if he thought Joe Hockey had consulted his leader beforehand or was off on a frolic of his own, Barrie thought it was probably the latter.

Jon Faine asks if Joe Hockey is ‘on a winner’ electorally, a notion that seems to run counter to the community attitude that it is entitled to all the goodies it gets and more.  I would have thought that while Joe’s idea might appeal to the well-off who need no support – his supporters anyway – his latest thought bubble might prove to be an electoral drawback.

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 11:09 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
The BB comment on PB is up to his usual brilliant standard.

Michael
You are right.  While care of family members remains a tradition on HK, it is falling away as its citizens aspire to more of the 'good' things in life that Western nations enjoy.  Isn't it curious that as Asian countries try to be more like Western countries, Joe Hockey is suggesting that we ought to be more like Asian countries.

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 11:40 AM

jane

Ad astra @8.28pm 18/4, I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully computers and internet will start cooperating again.

Bob @9.11 18/4, we'll all be buggered then. Rupert's mob of no hopers can barely run the economy when it's going full steam ahead, let alone when times are unpredictable as they are atm.

They've almost always had it easy as in the Rodentochracy when the recession was over and the economy was picking up. They've never navigated their way through a recession; that's always been left to Labor.

No doubt Rupert thinks he'll have absolute dominion if the government changes hands and his chosen wrecker really does ruin the country.

The old git is probably keen to skulk back to the country of his birth, because they might be knocking up the torches, the rope and the lynch mob in the UK & the US.

His spawn is lurking in the US, but the way things are shaping up there, he may have to scurry off to the nearest tax haven and cower in the cellar.

TT @9.53pm 18/4, maybe that was Robb's intention. To bamboozle us with doublespeak.

BTW, iyswim and "Old Coke Bottles" have now been added to my vocab. I love them.

Gary M @1.32am, I'm not quite as pessimistic as you about the voting intentions of carers etc.

I think that they may be a little suspicious; after all much has been promised in the past and nothing has happened.

However, this PM will plough ahead and even if there are things which will need adjusting, at least they might finally realise that they are not being shoved to one side and forgotten. I say that as a confirmed pessimist.

Certain elements will still be happy to be manipulated by the Liars, but they always will no matter what.

However, when Liealot & the Liars Party kicks them in the guts and tromps over their prostrate bodies, they'll still be pulling their forelocks and singing his praises.

Like you, I hope Labor has a loudspeaker attached to every roof top, in every shopping centre and every Centrelink office in theland, with Sloppy's attack on the low paid and welfare dependent, in a loop.

Just in case the sheeples don't understand that the Noalition intends ripping the benefits of the $18,000 tax free threshold from their grasp with draconian ruthlessness, while their favoured demographic, the rich and uber rich will be handed the cash they've ripped out of the wallets of the poor and disadvantaged.

Hi Lyn, I too hope that Labor takes advantage of the beautifully packaged gift sloppy has handed them. Even the most devoted sheeples should worry in the event some calamity (like the election of a Liars Party government) befalls them.

I wonder has Joe ever stood at the foot of D’Aguilar Street in Central Hong Kong waiting for his bus, and watched a frail little old lady pushing her trolley heaped with collapsed cardboard boxes up the steep incline to where she sells them for a few cents to sustain herself because there is no social safety net?

Unfortunately, Ad astra, Sloppy would never grubby himself getting that close to the poor. That old woman and her ilk are just Liars Party "collateral damage" to use the military euphimism.

No doubt it serves her right for not having enough super and outliving her reliies. All her own fault, I'm afraid. She shouldn't have bought that pair of shoes in 1950.  

jane

April 19. 2012 11:59 AM

Lyn

Hi Patricia

These are your tweets this morning, your pome has been delivered to  about  1032 followers have read your work so far.

Congratulations on your excellent work Patricia, you are our hero:-  

Kevin_Rennie‏
Tony Abbott Defends His Magic Pudding Budget Plan http://wp.me/pOosp-1Ws #auspol A pome no less!

Margaret‏
Really enjoyed Thanks RT @Kevin_Rennie: Tony Abbott Defends His Magic Pudding Budget Plan http://wp.me/pOosp-1Ws #auspol A pome no less!

TAWNBPM‏
More great stuff from Cafe Whispers ... http://fb.me/1lspEh3BE

Lyn Linking‏
Tony Abbott Defends His Magic Pudding Budget Plan, Patricia WA, Polliepomes polliepomes.wordpress.com/.../

Below as appeared on Twitter, click on drop down view:-

Tony Abbott Defends His Magic Pudding Budget PlanTony Abbott has been brooding! His budget plan’s been dissed! He can’t see why! He’d billed it as a Magic Pudding! Claims it’s better than Labor’s flat square pie! “I’ll safely manage Oz finances. My team Catholic,  church-going,  good! With atheist Gillard you’re taking chances. Where’s her faith in a magic pud? Childless herself, she’ll never learn, Like we dads have, as parents would, When bedtime story pages turn, To love our Aussie magic pud. How could a single woman know, As married fathers surely would, What pregnant professionals undergo Without a wage from the magic pud? That’s why too I’ll pay for nannies To nurse at home through babyhood Infants whose ever-loving grannies Will get to share in this magic pud.

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 19. 2012 12:08 PM

Michael

Conservative politicians seem to believe that simply because they say something it is both true and intellectually unassailable.

We see and hear this repeatedly from Shouldabeen PM Abbott and his ramshackle cabal of 'shadow ministers'. Private school 'boys and girls' are the primary offenders, with very little indication that they paid much discriminatory attention at secondary school (or any educational institution thereafter).

We have to put up "repeatedly" with this claim of font of wisdom veracity because no-one in the wider media either takes factual issue with the Right's wrong nonsense, or features the government's rebuttals of it.

That, of course, is old news. News coverage will continue to be inaccurate for so long as it remains not true but Right.

Michael

April 19. 2012 12:16 PM

NormanK

As much as I thought that I would never do this, I find myself agreeing with some of what Hockey had to say last night and in his speech to European policy-makers. I expect a lot of help from fellow Swordians to assist in correcting this mental aberration.

From what I can gather much of the strife that some European economies find themselves in has been brought about by an unwillingness to reform its welfare system to reflect the changing demographics e.g. a retirement age of 62 when people are living on average much longer. A worker could spend 40-45 years paying tax and these days spend 20-25 years collecting the age pension. The aging population problem that Australia faces in coming decades is presumably mirrored in other advanced economies as medical science, workplace safety rules and the like help us to live longer. There is an entitlement mentality that needs to be addressed, perhaps more urgently in Europe than in Australia. It strikes me that this is the message that Hockey was trying to convey in his speech.

Hockey is guilty of the same thing that Abbott did during his recent trip to the UK - talking up the Australian situation whilst overseas despite expending large amounts of energy bagging it when he is at home. Reading last night's transcript a couple of times shows that Hockey spends more time praising Australia's advancements than he does criticising its shortcomings.

Obviously we are spending far less than countries like France and Germany, even the United Kingdom and the United States [on welfare] .....
***
Over the years governments have worked to reduce the exposure of the government to our pension system with the compulsory superannuation contribution program which means that people are contributing to their own pension rather than everyone relying on the government for the pension.
So, there are examples that apply in Australia that are not being applied over here.
***
Australia hasn't got the enormous challenge that other countries have.
***
..... that just shows Australia's heading in one direction, that's a reduction of entitlements and it's empowerment of people, whilst Europe, which is asking for money, is now going the other way .....
***
..... my speech was mainly directed at countries that were spending between 20 and 30 per cent of GDP on welfare and entitlements.
I mean, Australia is 16 per cent of GDP.
***
Australia has moved a long way over the years .....


He is being held to account by seeking to apply advice that he was trying to give to Europe and extrapolating it to Australia. This is not altogether fair.

Having said that, just about everything else that he spoke about was extremely worrying.

Talk of comparing ourselves to emerging Asian economies and seeking to emulate them made me immediately think of the great harm done to our national psyche if/when our military decides to adopt the 'unfair' tactics of our enemies. We saw what happened with the Americans in Vietnam when some of their military adopted a 'take no prisoners' approach where all civilians could be considered as combatants. Just because on some objective measure the tactics (policies) of the enemy (competition) seem to work for them does not mean we should blindly adopt similar tactics (policies). We are not an Asian society - we are a melting pot of a score of different cultures. If it doesn't already exist there will one day be an Australian culture based on the ethics and norms of a wide variety of cultures. As others have suggested, Asia is seeking to emulate the West and abandoning much of its traditional 'filial' support system.

With regard to 'entitlements' in Australia, it is good to see that perhaps this speech and interview will force the Coalition to bring out into the light of day some of its plans for 'constraint'.
What chance though of an intelligent conversation when Hockey is allowed to get away with not naming a single aspect of our welfare system that he might examine much less cut?
What chance of an intelligent conversation when someone with Tony Jones' profile describes the Coalition's PPL scheme as "privately funded"?
..... here's a new entitlement you're introducing, but instead of it coming from the government coffers, it's coming from a tax on business. So I'm wondering if you're going to privatise any more entitlements?

In practical terms, how is a scheme funded by a tax on 3000 businesses (with the funds to go into consolidated revenue) different from any other scheme? How is it 'privatised'? If we wanted to ferret around in the budget I'm sure we could find a couple of single line items that resembled each other and make the argument, for example, that the aged pension is funded through Company Tax paid by businesses earning $2.5 million per year. NewStart is funded by interest accrued from government investments - how ridicuous. Will the revenue from the PPL tax be put to one side and any that isn't spent refunded to the businesses or credited to the following year? If there is a shortfall in income will the 3000 companies get an extra tax bill for that year? A truly privatised scheme would see each company get an invoice every month from the government seeking reparation for costs associated with the scheme. It's a complete nonsense - after a year or two the 'privatised' scheme will just blend in with the rest of consolidated revenue and expenditure.

And why oh why does no-one mention that the cost of the new tax will be automatically passed on to consumers? It's all the rage to point out how the carbon price imposed on 500 businesses will be passed on to consumers. What makes the PPL tax any different? Goodwill on the part of the 3000 businesses who can see what a great idea it is because it will lift productivity?

With the reality of the fact that the cost of the PPL tax will be passed on to consumers, what do we then make of this statement from Hockey:
So what we've got to do is be mindful, mindful of the pain associated with grand announcements about extending the welfare state, and that's the point I'm making.

Mindful? Perhaps. Do anything about it? Not in the new Abbott Nanny State.

NormanK

April 19. 2012 12:26 PM

BSA Bob

Have only read the comments on Sloppy Joe's effort last night, but from them I find the MSM's already assisting in some furious backtracking & redefinition. That the principal economic spokesman for the party that spent a decade convincing us all that entitlement was.. well..our entitlement to come out with this says a lot. First, that he's a dill, second that the mighty efforts of his support crew to get him out of it are reprehensible. Third, insofar as there was any real plan to it, it's a cynical reliance on the innocence (putting it politely) of the electorate, many of whom, as Bushfire Bill said in his piece, will simply assume that Hockey's comments don't apply to THEM.
I second the suggestion that everyone should pick up on the BB piece mentioned above.

Jane
Pleased to see you agree with me about the possibility of a forced relocation for Rupert. I've said before in a couple of places that Rupert may be forced to decide he still calls Australia home, & is preparing the ground for that eventuality. I don't see any paranoia in that idea as it would only involve doing what he's doing to the place anyway. But perhaps he's being a bit more thorough.

BSA Bob

April 19. 2012 01:35 PM

Ian

I posted this over at PB. I really think too many of us are losing our ability to see the big picture.

    Leadership requires the courage to make decisions that will benefit the next generation.
    Alan Autry

And this, precisely, is why the neo-cons, both here on this blog, in the mainstream media, providing lobbying services and contracting in a made up, non job for the
Qld government are scared of Julia Gillard, her Government and the future they are ensuring.

They will,have, and continue to bang on about the Prime Ministers speech, her inability to cut through, her, apparent political bumbling and the fact that both the Government and herself are not now, nor will they ever be …..flavour of the month. To that I say ” who the f$%k cares”. This Government and this Prime Minister are charged with one thing and one thing only. The fair and just governance of this country. I’ll repeat that…” the fair and just governance of this country.”

While all may whinge and bitch about this, that and t’other. In all reality what do we really have to bitch about? The present? The past? The future? Why? Without the present there is no appreciation of the past. The realities of the present sow the seeds of future dreams. Why do some want those dreams to be sullied? Why do they not want them dreamt? We are governed justly and fairly and our ability to dream of future challenges, rewards and setbacks is protected.

It is protected because we have a Prime Minister and Government who have the courage to make decisions that benefit, not only the next generation, but those in the present who understand the value of dreams, the realities of challenge and the wisdom of understanding setbacks.

Whinge, moan, bitch and grizzle all you want. It’s welcome. In fact, it’s needed.

Every picture, big or small, needs a shadow, the hint of malevolence, the wisp of the toxic. It is the only way the purity of the dream, the courage of decision and the light of the future can shine through.

Ian

April 19. 2012 01:46 PM

Gary M

"But as Ad Astra says in his brilliant summary above, Whitewash again by the MSM .  Watch the ABC 24's Drum this afternoon it will be treated as a serious joke, Ho, Ho, Ho funny funny funny Joe Hockey didn't mean what he said in fact he didn't say what he said."

Hello Lyn.

Indeed. The MSM gave Andrew (Our favourite RED neck uncle)Robb the same treatment when he was defending the bank for raising interest rates above the decision of the Reserve Bank.

You know it had me crying in my soup when I heard from Robb how the bank was down to its last gazillion dollars. Robb went on to say how terrible it was that the CEO would probably have to cut his usual lunch time caviar portion down to half, and spread the bottle of Dom Perignon over two lunch times. But not only that, the lunch time strippers who's navels they were eating their strawberries and ice cream out of, would have to go.

You know should I live to be a hundred and fifty years old I will never understand the conservative mentality. I mean, I expect it from these creatures at the top who have in most cases a life of entitlement with their snouts in the trough. They then have the unmitigated gall to criticise the poor. But some where out there is some poor schmuck working his guts out in a factory for fifteen bucks an hour, who take the likes of Hockey on his every word.

I despair.

Gary M

April 19. 2012 01:49 PM

Patricia WA

Lyn, many thanks for your linking and tweeting on my behalf.  I've been getting some great feedback at polliepomes and now at cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../ where it was posted this morning.

Ad Astra, like you and many others, my immediate thought when listening to Hockey on Lateline was of the billions of poor and homeless in Asia. Most are now living in, some perhaps just emerging from, the conditions of our western world of the 19th century when working people in desperation had started to unite in cooperatives and unions and later formed the Labour Party.  

Does Hockey intend that Australians should give away the hard won gains of the past century so that industry and business can pay less tax and make more profits while most of us suffer a lower standard of living?  What else can cutting back on entitlements mean?   The standard of living we have has been hard come by and we must make sure we pass it on, improved and more secure if possible, to our grandchildren and theirs.  Yes, for that we do need businesses to prosper and make profits, but not at the obscene levels many currently take for granted and others want to emulate.

Patricia WA

April 19. 2012 02:21 PM

janice

NormanK,
despite his beautiful rose gravatar, he's not as bright and cheerful as you.
*sob*

Don't cry.  Roses are so beautiful and denote a loving heart Smile  

janice

April 19. 2012 02:22 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Norman K @ 12:16 PM:-

”(I expect a lot of help from fellow Swordians to assist in correcting this mental aberration. )”  

Norman K my friend you have gone Banana’s.  No not really and truly just joking.

I have been busy collecting information for you in the hopes of assisting that mental aberration you mentioned. I hope you enjoy.

Marian Dalton‏  crazyjane13
We're 'entitled' to be outraged, Mr Hockey
We need to cut this runaway welfare spending while we still can, or we’ll end up like the US. He actually managed to convey the impression that the reason Europe and the US were plunged into the Global Financial Crisis was the fault of welfare spending, rather than under-regulation, irresponsibility and sheer criminal activity from banks and regulators alike.
consciencevote.wordpress.com/.../

Jen Redding‏@JenRedding64
www.abc.net.au/.../3960284shame hockey sshame

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott jumped to Mr Hockey's defence.
He says many European countries spend unsustainable amounts on welfare and Mr Hockey is right to say Government should live within its means.

"If you look at a country like France, they spend double on social programs as a percentage of GDP than Australia," he said.

"There's a danger that we ourselves could go down an unsustainable path.

"We haven't got there yet and it's the job of the Coalition that we never do."
www.abc.net.au/.../3960284

archiearchive‏@archiearchive
RT @MattCowgill: Huh. Looks to me like the Hong Kong unemployment benefit is actually more generous than Australia's http://goo.gl/zRyk5 Retweeted by debbiep
www.dailymail.co.uk/.../...2ft-rabbit-hutches.html

Zen Digital ‏@z3n_digital
This is @JoeHockey vision of Australia under the Libs http://bit.ly/xd7xJN But they will still give handout to the rich @LiberalAus #auspol

Cage dogs of Hong Kong: The tragedy of tens of thousands living in 6ft by 2ft rabbit hutches - in a city with more Louis Vuitton shops than Paris
www.dailymail.co.uk/.../...-2ft-rabbit-hutches.htm

The Australian‏@australian
Hockey welfare push 'disturbing': LABOR says Joe Hockey's call to curb entitlements is disturbing and smacks of ... ... ...
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226333013675

Financial Review‏@FinancialReview
Joe Hockey says the coalition will review all welfare benefits in its efforts to find savings
afr.com/.../hockey_calls_for_welfare_cuts_under_oVJIENKAgtW9a4ho2chVcJ #auspol
afr.com/.../hockey_calls_for_welfare_cuts_under_oVJIENKAgtW9a4ho2chVcJ

Greg Jericho‏@GrogsGamut
The ability for Abbott to always forget the GFC really should be reported in a medical journal

Greg Jericho‏@GrogsGamut
Joe Hockey wants to compare us with Hong Kong? Last year it was Saudia Arabia and Chile – HTEuHd

Greg Jericho‏

quick blog post: Tony Abbott, Paid Parental Leave and the Productivity Commission -
grogsgamut.blogspot.com.au/.../...l-leave-and.html

Gordon Graham‏
Andrew Robb tries to score a point and fails miserably http://bit.ly/HRE4vN

12:40 PM - 19 Apr 12via web · Details
www.andrewrobb.com.au/.../GILLARD-FINALLY-ADMITS

Government attacks Hockey welfare comments, Penny Wong,  ABC
The Federal Government has attacked shadow treasurer Joe Hockey's calls to wind back welfare, accusing him of unfairly targeting poorer Australians.

www.abc.net.au/.../3960284?WT.svl=news1

Equitist‏@OzEquitist
Hockeynomics = gift to @AustralianLabor Almost 1.5 m families at risk from Joe Hockey’s cuts to ‘entitlements’ http://bit.ly/J5lJPi #AusPol
http://www.alp.org.au:6020/blogs/alp-blog/april-2012/almost-1-5-million-families-at-risk-from-joe-hocke/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter



Geraldine‏Fluffula
Abbott we already pay for the tip, THAT'S THE BLOODY POINT U MORON #ABCNews24


SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 19. 2012 02:47 PM

nasking


Hmmm:


DECEMBER 28, 2011

How Mitt Romney defines "risk" and "entitlement"...

"In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others. And the only people who truly enjoy any real rewards are those who do the redistributing—the government. The truth is that everyone may get the same rewards, but virtually everyone will be worse off."

...Romney's statement also illustrates how distinctly differently he and I view the economic system in this country. His new stump speech has the typical conservative poor-bait: Poor people are stupid ("regardless of education"), lazy ("regardless of... effort") and want to take what you have worked so hard to build ("same or similar rewards").

I especially take issue with "willingness to take risk." Who do you think Romney considers "risk takers"? I'd bet $10,000 of his money that he means entrepreneurs, small (and large) businessmen, and investors. That's not an incorect description but it defines risk metaphorically -- perhaps the loss of money or position -- rather than literally -- loss of life or limb.

...Romney claims that the only people who would benefit from wealth redistribution is the government. Wealth redistribution already exists, as part of the rigged game in which the CEO of "Dangerous Construction Company Unlimited" makes millions while the people actually doing the work barely get by.

Romney rightly would fear government regulation because the average person has a direct stake in government. They can vote and steer policy so that the good of everyone is considered as opposed to the good of a few.

Why would the American aristocracy support that? Romney's policies, especially regarding the estate tax, would ensure that the current entitlement culture continues -- the one in which his children and grandchildren, who have a blind trust valued between $70 to $100 million, could choose to never work a day in their lives... "regardless of their education, effort, and willingness to take risk."


More here:

open.salon.com/.../how_mitt_romney_defines_risk_and_entitlement

It seems Australia becomes more American by the day...an America that has been screwed over by a corporate aristocracy enjoying tax cuts for the rich without any sacrifice during an expensive war on terror...

a bunch of robber barons who rely on a Republican party and its allied media, including Murdoch's Fox News and mega-wealthy shock jock Rush Limbaugh to convince the grumpy voter to vote against their own interests...

where the safety net is referred to as "entitlements"...and is full of holes...

where money to support struggling families...support to provide educational and health and eating and basic shelter opportunities is referred negatively to as "entitlements"...as though helping your fellow man and woman was tantamount to offering them the bubonic plague...

Yet propping up a destructive oil industry...and providing substantial tax cuts for the corporate aristocracy is considered "motivating the wealth creators"...

those who have no trouble in justifying cutting essential jobs, important manufacturing jobs...and shipping them offshore to Asia...

and then turning around and saying: "We must learn, adapt,  to compete with Asia".

As multinational corporate aristocrats use the world as their oyster...

It seems only they and their families are "entitled" to opportunities.

And many of them feel in a Social Darwinistic wet dream that they are "entitled" to use any means possible, including by way of government-led "austerity measures", to retain...even increase...their privileges...whilst screwing over THE MANY.

NO LONGER EYES WIDE SHUT

N'


nasking

April 19. 2012 03:00 PM

TalkTurkey

Jane said
TT

iyswim and "Old Coke Bottles" have now been added to my vocab. I love them.


Old Coke Bottles is the incomparable Bushfire Bill's term of endearment for Michele Grattan. BISONs (Beautiful Inspiring Set Of Numbers) I think is the Finnigans on Poll Bludger, I love it. (Today's BISONs are the best ever for the Government btw.)

But iyswim, DYWAT (Don't You Worry About That, Joh Bjelke-Petersen's famous line) Dog Albitey and the 3 Stooges thing, da Turkey start 'em all!
Goes to show that the blogosphere does get around.
I'm delighted so many people have faith in Dog,
and I'm very proud of my 3 Stooges,
who are thriving I'm glad to say. Smile

I like acronyms and all their ilk, and apposite insults give me delight in inverse proportion to the embarrassment they give to the target. Old Coke Bottles is a classic eh. Not nice as in pleasant, but nice as in a good fit. She is not nice at all to *J*U*L*I*A*.

The *Reds under the Bed* comment was attributed to Bob Hawke that really nailed the coffin lid down on the Fraser Government. I am reliably informed that the actual person who coined it was a young Labor lass, Bob picked it up and used it, that was great.
Hopefully the 3 Stooges will help us win the next election.
But I'd love to come up with a killer line that made it a cert.


TalkTurkey

April 19. 2012 03:23 PM

Lyn

Hi Talk Turkey

Thankyou for another Golden Box item for me @ 09:53 PM.

I am hoping your computer is operating at full speed today, or better still "fast forward".

(Old Coke Bottles is the incomparable Bushfire Bill's term of endearment for Michele Grattan)  

Yer! but Talk Turkey Janice has a coke bottle mat, how good is that.

Your Golden Words:-

Well that'd make the pome Tweasure Twove wouldn't it!

    Tweasure Twove

Tweetie has a golden box
Of words that give her pleasure,
But words are commonplace as rocks:
It's Tweetie who's the treasure!

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 19. 2012 03:29 PM

TalkTurkey

BSA Bob said
Jane
Pleased to see you agree with me about the possibility of a forced relocation for Rupert. I've said before in a couple of places that Rupert may be forced to decide he still calls Australia home, & is preparing the ground for that eventuality.

Murdoch is an American citizen, having renounced his Australian citizenship. The most despicable thing of all imo. He would never satisfy immigration criteria here now. AFA I'm concerned any ground prepared for him in Australia would be just big enough to bury him vertically, head down, facing the USA.

Patricia I'm sorry not to have suggested any changes to your Magic Pudding pome, but no I'm not, your pomes don't need any help from me. The Magic Pudding theme, cut-and-come-again-from-nothing, is a compelling image and a splendid taunt to the NOposition.

BTW Barnacle Bill's is a seafood chain, Bill Barnacle is the (human!) member of the Noble Society of Pudding Owners or wtte, the other two are ?Pete? the Penguin (I think) and Bunyip Bluegum the Koala. And your grandson done real good with the caricaturization in Pollipomes, well done young man.  

TalkTurkey

April 19. 2012 03:56 PM

nasking


You know it had me crying in my soup when I heard from Robb how the bank was down to its last gazillion dollars. Robb went on to say how terrible it was that the CEO would probably have to cut his usual lunch time caviar portion down to half, and spread the bottle of Dom Perignon over two lunch times. But not only that, the lunch time strippers who's navels they were eating their strawberries and ice cream out of, would have to go.

Gary,
Don't forget...it wouldn't be the modern Liberal party without hearting the corporate aristocracy who have taken the public for a ride the past few decades...

particularly those who distort the economy...like certain rich miners...media moguls...and financial organisations...all doing a great job keeping the local and overseas rich...rich.

Of his $10 million, Mr Smith received $3.15 million in fixed pay and a cash bonus of $1.75 million which with additional benefits of $105,000 took his total take-home salary to $5 million. The other $5 million was made up in shares and rights to stock that he may receive in full depending on the bank's future financial performance.

www.smh.com.au/.../...ive-deal-20111111-1nbso.html

ANZ bank CEO Smith is "entitled" to big money.

He works so much harder than YOU.

N'

nasking

April 19. 2012 04:02 PM

Ad astra reply

NormanK
Your analysis is sound.  But I wonder why you say: “He is being held to account by seeking to apply advice that he was trying to give to Europe and extrapolating it to Australia. This is not altogether fair.
”  It seems to me he is extrapolating from what has happened in Europe to what is happening, or might happen, in Australia.  That is not a cause for criticism.   The Government agrees that some entitlements need review so that they can be adjusted to benefit the most needy.  What is a cause for criticism is that while the Government has been doing this, it has met with opposition from the Coalition every step of the way, and is likely to meet similar opposition in the future.  

Hockey tries to represent the Government as recklessly going down the welfare track, and Abbott and Robb echo him, while the Government is doing just the opposite, trying to rein in entitlements/benefits that seem overly generous.  One example is means testing the private health insurance rebate, which the Coalition opposed and has promised to repeal if elected.  The Coalition has said it will do the exact opposite of what Joe Hockey is recommending in his London speech and subsequent interviews.

What this episode teaches us is that truth is irrelevant in Opposition politics.  The rule is: just say anything you like, no matter how preposterous, no matter how untrue, so long as you leave the impression that the Government is doing the wrong thing and the Coalition always does the right thing.  With a compliant media not prepared to call a lie a lie, deception, deception, and hypocrisy, hypocrisy, you can do and say anything you like and most of the media and the people will swallow it hook, line and sinker.

How did this episode come about?  Here are some hypotheses:

1. This is a carefully devised strategy prepared by Abbott, Hockey and Robb well in advance of Hockey’s London trip, designed to soften up the public for a reduction in entitlements, perhaps to enable the Coalition to find its $70 billion in savings.

2. This is the brainchild of Hockey alone who has gone on a frolic of his own in London without consulting with the others, which has left his colleagues scrambling to deal with it in the least damaging way once it got out.

3. This is Hockey’s attempt to upstage Robb, who would dearly love to be shadow treasurer.

4. This is a typical Hockey thought bubble that has failed to foresee the consequences of his idea, no matter how sound it might seem to be as an economic model, a thought bubble that failed to take into account that what he is advocating is already in train and that he has opposed it all the way, that failed to realize that it amounts to a repudiation of the Howard middle class largesse used as a bribe election after election, that failed to anticipate the pointed questions any decent journalist would ask, and that failed to conjure up answers to these inevitable questions.  

Even minimal foresight would have told Hockey that when he accepted an interview on Lateline Tony Jones was bound to ask him what entitlements he would cut.  He could have devised a non-committal answer along the lines: “Tony, I knew you would ask me that, but this is not the place for specifics. Let me say that we will examine all entitlements.  Some may be too low, many will be about right, some will be too generous, or targeted poorly.  Our aim will be to even out these disparities to ensure that benefits will be directed to those who need them most.  Equity and fairness will be our overriding aim.  We are working on this now, and instead of announcing any changes piecemeal, we will present a complete, balanced, fully costed and internally consistent set of amendments to existing entitlements at the time of the May budget.  I’d be happy to return then to answer any questions you have.”

Instead, he was unprepared, stumbled with his answers, hadn’t thought how to deal with the inconsistencies between his proposal and what the Coalition is actually doing, and was therefore forced to quarantine from review the ‘signature’ PPL policy, and try to argue that opposition to means testing of private health insurance was different and needed different treatment.  Within minutes he was entangled with hypocrisy.  On such items, he could have said that ALL entitlements would be reviewed, even if he never intended to change them, leaving himself time to work out a plausible explanation for his actions.

I will be interested to have your views about which hypothesis you favour, remembering that more than one might apply.

It not the economic model of reviewing entitlements that is mistaken, it is the way Joe Hockey inadequately prepared himself to handle the matter.

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 04:10 PM

Ad astra reply

Nasking
I wonder did Joe Hockey meet Mitt Romney.  They seem to be reading from the same script.

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 04:19 PM

nasking


Fiona,
"faustian bargain" indeed.

I would not like to wake in the middle of the night knowing I had done a deal with Murdoch and his cronies. No money...nor sense of security...could alleviate the sense that I was aiding and abetting the Dark Lord himself...helping to throw a shadow of dread and fear across the land...tearing asunder the very fabric of an already vulnerable democracy under constant attack by the corporate aristocracy...propping up a villian of the highest order...a man, Rupert Murdoch, provided with an opportunity by family and riches and contacts to help change the world for the better...who mutated into an unrecognisable creature obsessed with expanding his reach...and filling the family coffers...giving more than just a wink and a nudge to his servants as they unleashed upon the public an unprincipled and morally bankrupt set of journalistic tendencies, practices and strategies in order to grow a media empire like a malignant tumour...tentacles reaching out to every part of society...helping to create a sick and twisted world...confused...and lost to the ravages of this beastly, insatiable thing known as News Corporation...and subsidiaries.

To wake to that knowledge must be soul destroying.

N'

nasking

April 19. 2012 04:41 PM

nasking

Ad,
I imagine the 4th one:

This is a typical Hockey thought bubble that has failed to foresee the consequences of his idea, no matter how sound it might seem to be as an economic model, a thought bubble that failed to take into account that what he is advocating is already in train and that he has opposed it all the way, that failed to realize that it amounts to a repudiation of the Howard middle class largesse used as a bribe election after election, that failed to anticipate the pointed questions any decent journalist would ask, and that failed to conjure up answers to these inevitable questions.  

Abbott is not respected by many in his cabinet I imagine...a number of them are jostling for the prime position to takeover when he gets his arse kicked out before the next election...he's proven himself to be an overly negative and capricious dickhead...a too oft raging and ranting fear-monger that sounds like the worst of shock jocks and tabloid media...a weathervane who can't be trusted...particularly his spoken word, as he has confirmed previously in an interview with Kerry O'Brien.

It's obvious to me that Abbott is losing control of his frontbench...the more he stumbles by way of crude, impulsive, irresponsible remarks ("targets on the PMs forehead")...and unaffordable policy thought bubbles (the nanny state of things to come...rolls royce of paid parental leave...France anyone?)...the more the aspiring leaders of the Liberal party feel inclined to show him up...incrementally...and showoff their wares to the public.

Abbott is left looking like a dickhead...a total wanker...attempting to put gloss on their words...spin their betrayal...justify their damaging propositions.

It is the downward spiral...for our desperate Tony.

N'

nasking

April 19. 2012 04:42 PM

Gary M

Nas said.

"particularly those who distort the economy...like certain rich miners...media moguls...and financial organisations...all doing a great job keeping the local and overseas rich...rich."

Who could forget the 'Rolex rally's'? They will never have any trouble finding half the working class to beat up on the other half. Some of the people who attended those said rally's who are, possibly/probably living in state housing commission accommodation some where and possibly on the dole, were wetting themselves with glee and in raptures just being actually in the presence of such greatness. You know what they were thinking? Yep that's right, these Captains of industry are going to take me into Nirvana, out of the western suburbs of Sydney and into a mansion in Vaucluse just like them.In my own case I was getting an erection just thinking about it all.

Yep no more dirty nappies or washing up for me I'm gonna get me a Nanny just like Gina. At that moment the conservative drug called Gullibility Forte wears off, and it's back to the slums and factories.

Anyway for mine I am old, tooo old in fact to even give a shit anymore. The Liberal party and its enablers in the fourth estate, are leading the Australian people into the abyss. It will take fifty years to undo the damage an Abbott government could inflict on us. Like Bob Carr says, we are being hypnotised into the biggest con that will ever be foisted on the Australian people.This will be the first time in my sixty years on the planet I fear for my children's future.  

Gary M

April 19. 2012 04:51 PM

Lyn

Hi Ad

Plain and simple, I think your 4th scenario is absolutely spot on:

This is a typical Hockey thought bubble that has failed to foresee the consequences of his idea, no matter how sound it might seem to be as an economic model, a thought bubble that failed to take into account that what he is advocating is already in train and that he has opposed

SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

Lyn

April 19. 2012 05:31 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I have just posted: Why does Julia Gillard have so much trouble getting her message across.

www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...ssage-across.aspx

Ad astra reply

April 19. 2012 05:57 PM

Casablanca

ABC balance in operation on ABC24 at 5.30 with Julie Doyle.

Cue: Brief grab of Julia Gillard in Perth saying that 'a surplus is not a political imperative but a potent economic signal...' or WTTE.

Cross to Tony Abbott, 'Government failure, Government failure and Government failure and incompetence' ..or WTTE.

For extra balance, cross to Sydney for views of Lee Rhiannon (Greens, NSW), well known moderate. ' A surplus is stupid, lots of top economists disagree with surplus...' or WTTE.

Cross finally to Melbourne for objective assessment by Josh Frydenberg (Liberal, Vic). 'Gillard is wrong to try to interfere with the Reserve Bank, Labor opposed making the RBA independent and Paul Keating boasted about having the RBA in his back pocket; Tony is always right on the money....' or WTTE.

Gives a whole new meaning to the word balance: Julia Gillard with comment from 3 well known supporters of hers, Tony Abbott, Lee Rhiannon and Josh Freydenberg. Such objectivity from the ABC.

Casablanca

April 19. 2012 10:42 PM

NormanK

Ad astra

I wrote that this morning before I had read anyone else's commentary on the subject so that I could be confident that it really was my first impression. Having read thousands of words on it today I find very little change in my attitude. Hockey never actually said that welfare expenditure needed to be reduced in Australia.

One of the problems is that Jones never really pinned Hockey down on just what constitutes 'welfare'. The expression 'middle-class welfare' has entered the lexicon but is it really welfare? From Hockey's answers during that interview and previous statements I think it is fair to say that he believes*:

- that the PPL scheme is an economic measure meant to stimulate productivity and keep women in the workforce. It is not welfare.
- subsidising nannies is similarly an economic measure and not welfare.
- the private health-care rebate is an economic measure to take pressure off public hospitals.
- support for private schools is an economic measure meant to take pressure off public schools.
- diesel rebates are an economic measure meant to facilitate investment in agriculture and mining.

As such, every effort by Labor to rein in the spending on these items can be opposed because they are economic measures and not welfare entitlements. No hypocrisy involved from Hockey's point of view.

The best opportunity that Jones had to elicit a meaningful answer as to just what Hockey was intending to target came during this exchange:

TONY JONES: OK. A little bit of history then. You describe in the speech how the entitlement system grew in Western democracies. As you say, "Fuelled by short-term electoral cycles and the politics outbidding your opponent." Do you admit to being guilty yourself of this when last in government?

JOE HOCKEY: Yes.

TONY JONES: So this was bad, was it?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, we did it. I mean, there are times when we did it, of course.


Jones' next question should have been - "In what areas of welfare do you consider the Howard government was guilty of outbidding Labor? Are these areas that you would target?" Hockey might have obfuscated but we'll never know because the question was never asked.

Jones was presented with another opportunity to refine Hockey's response when he started with:

TONY JONES: Here's another piece of advice you offered up to these policy makers. "All government-funded pensions and other such payments must be means tested so that people who do not need them do not get them." So, can I ask you why you didn't apply that principle recently to the means testing of the Private Health Insurance Rebate?

Instead of going down the PHIR road why not ask Hockey if he favours means-testing the aged pension in Australia?


At no point did Hockey say that the Coalition would wind back welfare. It was all 'vigilance', 'mindful', a 'need to be ever-vigilant', looking at each area on a 'case by case basis'.
My objection this morning was based on the fact that Hockey is being criticised for something that he never actually said. To my mind it is similar to the headlines screaming "Gillard declares war on dole-bludgers" when in fact she had only spoken of mutual obligation. If I believe that it is unfair to target Gillard by putting words in her mouth then I am honour-bound to believe that it is unfair to target Hockey using the same method.

Hockey's speech was a huge dog-whistle to the faithful who can feel free to insert their own particular brand of 'welfare' as being deserving of scrutiny while at the same time excluding any welfare payments that they receive.

As to how did this episode come about - I am no political commentator so I won't venture a hypothesis.
A few observations that might be pertinent though.

Abbott describes his PPL scheme as a 'workplace entitlement not welfare' - a curious choice of words.
Hockey is no fool even when he behaves like one. As I say in my footnote, it would be unwise to judge the intellect and understanding of senior Liberal figures based solely on the things they say in public. They don't believe them and they don't mean them.
It could be part of an internal powerplay - out of my league.
It could be a softening up for:-
- means testing aged pensions
- a draconian new work for the dole regime
- conscripting the unemployed into Abbott's Green Army
- an indefinite postponement of the NDIS
- a redefining of 'disability' when it comes to eligibility for the Disability Pension
- freezing the indexation of aged pensions and things like Carer Payments
- a move to further privatisation of schools and hospitals
- distancing themselves from any aged care reforms that the government might announce in the near future

It could be the start of a new long-term campaign to paint Labor as a government addicted to welfare spending to buy votes - using the Rove principle of projecting your own weaknesses on to your opponent.

You would know by now that I in no way endorse Hockey's comments but I do take exception to the media running off with headlines where they 'cleverly' read between the lines of what was actually said and provide us with infallible insight into what the politician 'really meant'. It's no good objecting to that sort of behaviour only when it effects a cause for which you feel some sympathy. If you want the media to stop putting words in people's mouths then they have to stop doing it to everyone.


Perhaps I should have just closed my eyes and enjoyed the angst that has been generated.  Smile


*I am firmly of the opinion that Abbott and Hockey don't actually 'believe' anything that they say. They are all sound-bites and will be jettisoned once they win power. Abbott doesn't necessarily 'believe' that government debt drives up interest rates, for example. It is a serious mistake to think that Abbott & Co can be refuted by logic or simple presentation of the facts. What they say is not any measure of their intelligence or understanding of a subject - criticism is water off a duck's back. What they care about is the quote, the sound-bite and the headline - all else is expendable.

NormanK

April 20. 2012 02:51 PM

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NormanK
I’ve just now read your comment above, which I had missed.

I can’t dispute your logic, or your analysis of what Joe Hockey said.  As you point out, he did not identify either what he would define as ‘welfare’ although he did name some items that he deemed not to be welfare and why; nor did he identify to where any attack on entitlements ought to be directed – that would have been too specific, to easily attacked.

So what do we conclude about his interview with Tony Jones?  

Was it a typical bumbling Hockey performance replete with his usual obfuscation, or was it an extremely clever, well thought out presentation where he consciously avoided committing himself or the Coalition to any attack on this or that entitlement, but instead made generic noises that left the impression that he would address all entitlements with a view to avoiding their escalation or maybe scaling back some of them?

While agreeing with you that we ought not attack him, or anyone else for that matter, on what we thought he said, rather than what he did say, we are entitled, like our MSM journalists are doing today, to interpret what was behind his speech, and his Lateline interview.  Are we looking at bumble footedness or an astute stratagem?  I must admit I favour the former.

It was amusing to see Dennis Shanahan, courtesy of Michael, taking a pot shot at both Hockey and Robb for giving Labor a ‘free kick’, and leaving poor old Tony to ‘do too much of the heavy lifting for the Coalition’.  Dennis is annoyed because he wants nothing, nothing at all to get in the way of the heavy artillery barrage that he wants directed uninterruptedly at the Government.

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