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No Room in the Lifeboats

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Tuesday, 1 May 2012 20:08 by BushfireBill

In the last, few tumultuous weeks we have seen emerge an irresistible metaphor for all that is wrong in Australian politics.

In perfect harmony with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original RMS Titanic, events in modern Australia have taken on an uncanny resemblance to the disaster of so many years ago.

The unsinkable Labor government, once sitting so proudly high in an ocean of polls, has been holed and appears to be going down.

Maker and un-maker of Prime Ministers and governments, Rupert Murdoch, has seen his credibility mortally breached. Disaster awaits him, not immediately, just as the Titanic did not sink immediately, but surely, as his spin and lies to the Leveson inquiry attract rebuttal by an army of critics, ex-employees and eye witnesses who are queuing up to testify to his wicked lies and evasions. The legendary omertà of Murdoch's organization, the "watertight holds" of his own personal Titanic, have been breached. Is it now only a matter of time until the freezing waves start gushing over the Murdoch bow?

The ever-shrinking Australian press industry, beset by falling stock prices and dwindling sales, has compensated by turning a once robust tradition of objective reportage into a farce of cheap opinionation, amateur forensic analysis and wilful omission.

A bellowing rump of political commentators, the prima donna, preening elite of journalism write, without the slightest sense of the absurdity of their outpourings, increasingly bizarre, self-referential and nonsensical analysis. The pampered prognosticators, their feet still dry, waving their first class tickets, claim a right to seats in whatever lifeboats are left, even as they repel survivors still in the water, seeking rescue. In a tighter than ever market for their shallow skills, even the non-News Ltd journalists, those from the nearly bankrupt Fairfax and the cowering ABC, work effectively for Murdoch as when their own lifeboats go under, they believe there will always be a welcoming News Ltd there, ready to take them on-board.

And as if to cap off the farce with sheer, head-shaking insanity, Clive Palmer has declared he will build a new RMS Titanic, promising, as did the builders of the original ship - now at the bottom of the Atlantic - that it will be unsinkable, even with his bloated, morbidly obese frame aboard.

Murdoch's grand vision of profitable chaos is coming to fruition in front of our eyes. It is a race to see who will disappear first: yet another Labor government, the corrupt, criminal News Corporation empire, the incestuous group thinking press, or the entire nation of Australia, once a "lucky country", now one of the last remaining laboratories where the Murdoch family is still permitted to conduct its vain, stomach-churning political experiments.

A hundred or so years ago Murdoch's father, Sir Keith, fell victim to the then elite of British Imperial class system. Sir Keith was set upon by generals and politicians alike for his reporting from the front at Gallipoli and later on The Western Front. In one of the most revealing pieces of evidence given by his son, Rupert, at the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, Sir Keith's ghost was resurrected as the now white-haired and wizened son told the Committee of his lifelong quest to vindicate his father, by taking on the elites of whatever country in which he chose to do business, either as a citizen or (mostly) as an alien, and pulling them down to suit his business interests and victimhood simultaneously.

Murdoch has been on this self-imposed mission ever since, or at least that is what he would have us believe. Maybe he half-believes it himself. But in place of the old elites, he has positioned himself, his family, his companies, and those to whom he gives his political patronage, as the new elite. Murdoch works for no person. People work for Murdoch, whether those people be individual staffers, editors or entire political parties and governments. Shareholders and voters in those companies and countries respectively are the pawns in his game of megalomania and iron-fisted control. Godfather-like, he runs News as a private dynasty.

On Sunday Murdoch tweeted that it was time for an election in Australia "to make a fresh start", away from the sleaze and corruption of the Labor government. That the "sleaze" had been mostly promulgated through his own newspaper outlets Murdoch omitted to mention. Perhaps it was Twitter's 140-character limit that prevented him from doing so.

Dutifully, on Monday we saw bootstrapped calls for the resignation of the Prime Minister, even from the Fairfax papers.

Michelle Grattan, the doyen of the Canberra Press Gallery, made her now infamous call for Julia Gillard to "fall on her sword". By that afternoon a commentator on ABC TV's The Drum had told viewers that such a call, by someone no less than the "respected" Michelle Grattan, was a serious development indeed. Grattan's obvious hatred for Gillard (who is known to dismiss convoluted Grattan questions with the word "Next!") was not even mentioned.

Katharine Murphy, Grattan's groveling clone, and acolyte, acknowledged that her readers want policy discussion, not dissertations on political belly-fluff. She responded, exasperated, by telling them there is no other story than belly-fluff, and then proceeded straight onto leadership challenges that might be mounted against Gillard in the coming months.

Dennis Shanahan wrote in Murdoch's sentimentally favourite, but wholly unprofitable flagship, The Australian (po-faced, presumably, could Dennis be anything else?) that Gillard's reluctance to abandon her Prime Ministership was causing tangible damage to the Australian economy, as if the Opposition had not been callously talking down the economy - one of the most prosperous in the world - for the past 36 months.

Graeme Morris, a panel member with Sky news on that same day, suggested Gillard should be "kicked to death." This added to a suite of calls for her physical demise, made over the last year or so: being "drowned in a chaff bag" from Alan Jones; "burnt at the stake" as a witch by members of the astroturfed Consumers And Taxpayers Association (CATA), so beloved of the shock jocks on 2GB that they give it hours of free time every week; and for a target to be placed on her forehead (all the better for the people of Queensland to take aim), an assassination concept put out by Tony Abbott in the House of Representatives itself. This is a man who, without irony, constantly tells us that the dignity of the Parliament is being destroyed by the government.

The utterers of these close-to-seditious homicidal suggestions have mostly apologized for them afterwards - the Sydney Morning Herald called Morris' comment a "quip" - claiming to have temporarily taken leave of their judgement, in the heat of debate. But of course the damage is already done in the uttering, not the apologizing, and their corrections of the record were buried by a media obsessed with their own assigned mission: the demise of the Gillard government before any of its key legislation can kick in. In their wild enthusiasm to see the government fall they seem to believe that an election, or handover of power from Labor to the Coalition, on the eve of the Budget session, would be good for the country.

Ladies and gentlemen: I give you our responsible, professional media, "fair and balanced", non-judgemental and reporting only objective fact.

Speaking of facts, what is this "sleaze" everyone is talking about?

It seems that a Labor MP, Craig Thomson, allegedly had his hand in the till of the Health Services Union, abusing its credit cards on prostitutes and lavish expense account expenditure. But for this supposedly "criminal" activity, Thomson has not even been charged. Police investigations in two states and a series of inquiries have found he has no case to answer, and that is when his name has been mentioned at all. He is presumed innocent by the law, but clearly the media thinks the law is an ass and have convicted Thomson anyway. the Opposition calls for his standing down, but when he does finally resign from Caucus and the Labor Party, they say it's not enough. They say Gillard should "refuse his vote", whatever that means. The Opposition does not tells us, either.

Peter Slipper, in main composition a creature of the Queensland Liberal and National Parties, a "colorful character" by all accounts who has cut quite a swathe with his razor's edge use of parliamentary entitlements in the past, is up before the Federal Court on charges - actually at this moment mere assertions - of homosexual-based discrimination against a staff member James Ashby. Ashby alleges that homosexual advances were made to him by Slipper, and that when they were rebuffed Slipper said he was too fat and refused him access to a Harbour cruise he might normally have attended. It is claimed that these "spiteful" discriminations, made only because Ashby is homosexual have caused Ashby psychological harm and real career damage.

Ashby also asserts that Slipper "forced" him to witness a crime: the handing over of signed but otherwise blank Cabcharge dockets to a mysterious limousine driver on three occasions. This, alleges the apparently fragile Ashby, breached the Commonwealth's duty to him to provide a pleasant workplace, free of such shocking occurrences as the filling out of blank chits. The sensitive Ashby wants a lot of money to be paid as compensation for both affronts to his delicate mental constitution.

If this leaves you scratching your head, you are likely not alone.

Slipper has been charged with no crime. He has not been charged with "sexual harassment", (as many in the media have suggested), either. Sexual harassment charges involve compulsory mediation and conciliation, not something that Ashby's expensive "gun" lawyers, Harmers, are famous for. Ashby has set his case around establishing his undoubted homosexuality and then alleging Slipper treated him discriminately because of it. When you think about it, the charge involves closer to the opposite of sexual harassment. Ashby appears to be going for the main chance: a lucrative Federal Court damages award which could, if everything goes well, set him up for life, as similar awards have set up others.

Indeed there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for at least the Cabcharge incidents: they were and remain within Slipper's entitlement, plus the practice of using Cabcharge dockets for limo rental is ubiquitous among parliamentarians. The rest is administrative detail.

Slipper is reserving his case on the discrimination matter. Much has been made, by some who should know better and by some who are proud they couldn't care less, of a supposed "reversal of the onus of proof" in these matters by "Julia Gillard's Fair Work Act", but this does not detract from Ashby's duty to prove the asserted actions by Slipper occurred in the first place. Guilt must still be proved at law, and moral innocence should always be assumed. The concept of "innocent until proven guilty" forms the basis of our legal and jurisprudential system, another convention sought to be trashed by the media and the Coalition.

As to Ashby's state of mind, we know very little. Perhaps after today's revelations (referred to in Ashby's court documents, although without the "Pyne" context) that Christopher Pyne met with Ashby for drinks a month before Ashby dropped his bombshell, Pyne knows more. No wonder Ashby did not seem to want Pyne's name brought into his case - preferring to leave the identity of the person he met with as an "enemy" of Slipper's.

How Ashby turned from a dutiful employee, reportedly fiercely defending his boss's reputation against enemies everywhere (indeed right up to a couple of days before lodging his complaint to the Court), into a psychological wreck in hiding, too scared to front the media he has sent off looking for a moral "nigger" to lynch is a mystery.

James Ashby has disappeared from the face of the Earth, and no one is trying very hard to find him, at least not anyone from the ranks of the media. They are too busy vying with each other for the loudest, most clamoring negative connotation of Slipper's behaviour, thus, indirectly, condemning the Gillard government, to worry about checking out James Ashby's bona fides, much less his motivations, by interviewing him directly. They let his publicity manager act as a firewall between them and him. Maybe the commentators believe this satisfies their professional obligations. After all, they seem to adjudicate everything else among themselves, right down to handwriting analysis. Why not evaluate their own performance "in-house", as it were?

In the panicked rush to the lifeboats the last vestiges of decency, fairness, and justice in Australian political life have been swept aside. The presumption of innocence has been thrown overboard as so much unnecessary baggage.

The media lifeboat, full to the scuppers with by-lined opinion writers, tries to distance itself from the suction that will be generated by the sinking of the traditional medium of the printed page. In the meantime, any poor wretch who tries to climb aboard to have their side of the argument heard is mercilessly shoved off with the sharp end of an oar for their trouble.

In the Murdoch lifeboat the scene is similar. As his empire distils down from a world wide enterprise, a floating palace full of promise and profit to a grubby, fetid bilge in the bottom of a sinking rowboat, anyone not "family" is unceremoniously thrown overboard: staff members, managers, ministers and, in Australia, entire governments and political parties have become expendable. Australia was Murdoch's first and, now it seems, has become his last redoubt, a lifeboat of last resort where his final desperate battle against the marshalling forces of ethics and objective truth will be fought.

What of the government? Despite the challenges to its integrity and the vicissitudes of its existence, the government lifeboat continues to stay afloat. It went into the water launched in haste, upside down (film buffs will note that this has been a scene in most "Titanic" genre movies, but ominously not in Murdoch's recent version), and has had to be kept afloat by deft maneuvering of its crew, striving to keep a delicate balance between basic survival against political and policy achievement. There have been dissenters and challengers to the newly promoted Second Officer's authority (as the Captain has already drowned), and there may well be more challenges to come, perhaps even from the same source as the previous ones. Will the political body of Captain Kevin Rudd rise to the surface still breathing, as the opinionistas speculate? Or will it sink like a stone, as common sense dictates? Whatever, for the moment there is no option for the government lifeboat but to stay as shipshape as possible, ignore the weather and try to be above water in the morning and the one after that, if necessary.

So much is changing, so much is at risk. There are icebergs everywhere, for everyone. Any mistake means certain death. A poor choice of rowing companion can mean temporary dry feet, but no ultimate rescue. A failure to grasp an oar of opportunity can mean being left to drown. If you're already in the water, what do you choose to be under: the funnel as it topples from its gantry, or Clive Palmer jumping for his life? Decisions, decisions...

If you've read this far, then thank you for your perseverance, but you really do belong in a submersible.

I think I've done this metaphor to death, except to ask: when the unsinkable Titanic does finally hit the iceberg, who will end up on a life boat, who will be adrift in the water, and who will go down with the ship, never to be seen again?
UPDATE #1 May 1, 8.45pm
The UK's Guardian reports as follows:
Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to exercise stewardship of a major international company, a committee of MPs has concluded, in a report highly critical of the mogul and his son James’s role in the News of the World phone-hacking affair.



Comments (166) -

May 1. 2012 08:44 PM



What a great summary of these ongoing farces. Congratulations.

Do us all a favour please. Write an article about the saintly Kathy Jackson's role in the HSU farce, focussing especially on the fact that she was HSU East president for the period on which Mr Tenby QC focussed.

You might even give us some details about her long history as a political brawler.

Can a whistle blower blow the whistle about themself!!!!


May 1. 2012 08:44 PM


That's a truly magnificent rant BB.
Kudos and a gold koala stamp!


May 1. 2012 08:52 PM

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

UPDATE #1 May 1, 8.45pm
The UK's Guardian reports as follows:

    Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to exercise stewardship of a major international company, a committee of MPs has concluded, in a report highly critical of the mogul and his son James’s role in the News of the World phone-hacking affair.

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

May 1. 2012 09:32 PM


The first thing you do us jump to a conspiracy theory on this blog. Try the facts next time and people with half a brain might actually take you serious!


May 1. 2012 09:49 PM

Bring Back Maxine


You've surpassed your usual high standards of insightful analysis and so succinctly exposed the opportunism of the born-to-rule reactionary Coalition and their MSM accomplices in this country.
I'm now even more optimistic that Gillard Labor will win in 2013.
Thank you.

Bring Back Maxine

May 1. 2012 10:00 PM


Is it possible there is something Christopher Pyne needs to share with his wife... first?


May 1. 2012 10:03 PM

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

The first thing you do us jump to a conspiracy theory on this blog. Try the facts next time and people with half a brain might actually take you serious!

With Murdoch it's common sense to jump to the conspiracy option first and look at other possibilities after.

He has been unanimously found today to be officially a liar by a House Of commons Committee.

A majority wemt further and found he was unfit to run a large company like News Corp.

But even without the majority, we are left with the lies: Conservatives, LIb Dem and Labour members alike agreed on this.

Who's got scales covering their eyes, JJ?

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

May 1. 2012 10:07 PM


Bushfire Bill

Thanks for that - an apt metaphor that suits my current mood.
You have overlooked at least one aspect of the ALP lifeboat though. There are occupants who not only refuse to bail out the water sloshing around their ankles but instead are dipping their hair-shirts in the nearby journalists' boat and bringing their foul bilge water over to the Labor craft. It seems the rationale is that if they can get the boat sitting low enough in the water and under real risk of sinking, Captain Kev will be able to scramble over the gunwales and, with a careful readjustment of his spectacles, forthwith vanquish the enemy.

It doesn't seem to be uppermost in their minds that in order for Captain Kev to resume command they will have to make room for him by tossing overboard several senior ministers, an award-winning treasurer and, for the second time in as many years, a sitting Prime Minister. These outcasts will have lifelines attached to the boat and will provide even more drag on a vessel that is already struggling to make any headway. Presumably the new (old) leader will tuck one hand inside his jacket, prop a boot on the bow and point the way to salvation where a joyous crowd awaits to shower them with rose petals.

At last count the boat has at least 71 pairs of hands manning the oars and possibly as many as 31 trailing their jackets over the edge.
In the new (old) regime how many pairs of hands will take up the task of propelling this floundering boat toward a new horizon and how many will sit disconsolately staring back at the human jetsam in their wake? And the independents? There's no need to even talk about the independents because they are very much like the Indonesians - they just need to be told how to behave and they will promptly fall into line.

Just in case there are those with short memories who have forgotten what the last stewardship of Rudd was like or, if you are a fan, how he is likely to be treated by the Murdoch press, this lengthy article might be a timely reminder.

Rudd undone by the enemy within
by Helen Trinca and staff writers     The Australian   July 2, 2010
The opposition did not bring down Kevin Rudd, nor the Labor Party's factions. The answer lies within the man's complex personality

Hat tip to the mayne report:

Laughing ReCaptcha bingo: shipca hoift


May 1. 2012 10:25 PM

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

From Tom Watson's blog, regarding News and Murdoch:

These people corrupted our country. They brought shame on our police force and our Parliament. They lied and cheated, blackmailed and bullied. We should all be ashamed when we think how we cowered before them for so long.

But to really stop requires more than tokenistic retribution. It needs conclusive attribution. The very cornerstone of justice is that those really responsible are held to account – that the rich and the powerful are as low in the face of the law as the most humble and weak.

In the words of Bob Dylan, “that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom”.

And everybody in the world knows who is responsible for the wrongdoing of News Corp: Rupert Murdoch. More than any individual alive, he is to blame. Morally, the deeds are his. He paid the piper and he called the tune.

It is his company, his culture, his people, his business, his failures, his lies, his crimes. The price for his profits and his power.


Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

May 1. 2012 10:32 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for yet another superb analysis of a complex situation, so neatly portrayed through your lifeboat metaphor.  I suspect that there may be more updates needed if Christopher Pyne’s involvement is probed more deeply, that is if the MSM dares.  The ABC has run the initial story of Pyne drinking with Ashby, but who knows what more is to come out, just as it trickled out over the Grech affair.  We will see soon if the media is intending to run with it with gusto, or, as I suspect, gloss over it as it did with the Graeme Morris ‘quip’.

I am in tune with NormanK’s comment.  If there is one group whose behavior infuriates me more that that of the Coalition and the media, it is that of the fifth column within the Parliamentary Labor Party who leak to, or background the blood-thirsty media about leadership speculation.  In wartime, they would be taken out and shot.  Are they just Nervous Nellies, self-centeredly concerned about the security of their own seats, or simply stupid saboteurs?

Ad astra

May 1. 2012 10:48 PM


Mr Murdoch

We will decide who governs this country and the circumstances in which they come and go.


May 1. 2012 11:41 PM


......people with half a brain might actually take you serious!

Well that eliminates you, jj.

Bushfire Bill another great post. I've copied my last comment I posted on Ad astra's post Why do journalists have so much difficulty being objective? to this post, because I think it's relevant to this discussion. It was in answer to a comment by NormanK.

You may think I'm completely off the mark, but it seemed to be the only possible explanation of the PM's curious "abandonment" of Thomson and Slipper and her equally puzzling and lame reason for doing so.

NormanK, I wouldn't pay too much attention to the old "leadership speculation", "worried backbencher" flannel.

The msm always falls back on that old chestnut when all's quiet on the Western Front or the PM has pulled another swifty.

I think they may have finally twigged that she's done it again.

I had a light bulb moment when I was writing a comment about the PM asking Thomson to resign from the ALP and move to the cross benches.

That she'd finally asked him to step aside after refusing to do so for 2 years, seemed out of character to me as did the rather lame reason. Ditto Slipper.

Then it struck me. Thomson and Slipper have been neutralised. They are now both Independents sitting on the cross benches and are no longer the government's problem.

So when Parliament resumes, the Liars won't be able to use either MP as a stick to beat the government with, because they're part of the government. The government will be assured of their support, so it will still have its buffer.

Most importantly, the budget will be safe and so will Thomson, Slipper, the PM and the government.

In fact, I think this is the safest she and the government will have been since she took the challenge and stepped, uncertainly into the role she was born to take.

The other great result is that the msm are completely stuffed wrt beating up their own failure.

Coke Bottles and the rest of the idiots have been flambammed yet again by some fancy footwork and a fine acting performance. She must have been terrified she'd start guffawing at the presser.

But I reckon she and Tim would have been rofl for hours!

Thomson was possibly in on the scam but I'm not certain Slipper would have been. Who cares, she's f*cked the msm and the Liars over again and I love it!!!

Liealot probably knows she's out foxed him again, because there's been precious little baying from the Liars about Thomson or Slipper since they sashayed to the cross benches.

And it appears from 2353's comment upthread that Thomson may finally be OK and Slipper is also looking safer by the hour, dashing Liars hopes once more.

As for the peripheral noise from the ALP, perhaps they're just having a bit of fun at the expense of Rupert's Robots. It's about time.


May 2. 2012 12:23 AM


I don't see Murdoch as some sort of Capt Bligh, shepherding his crew on the long voyage to safety. Anyone who can't wield an oar on his behalf will be over the side quicksmart, perhaps until there's just him and James. And then..


May 2. 2012 12:32 AM


Bob, Bligh wasn't evil. a bit grumpy, perhaps....


May 2. 2012 07:19 AM



GoldenBison  1May2012. The Finnigans Blogspot
RBA - cuts cash rate by a whooping 0.5% to 3.75%. Record low RBA cash rate is 3% in April 2009 post GFC.This Cash Rate is lower than it was at any time under the Liberal government READ MORE

Tony Abbott Is A Hypocrite, A Coward And A Liar, Dan Gulbery, The Daily Derp
Abbott was just on ABC24 stating that the government now has to rely on the “tainted vote” of the “tainted MP” Craig Thomson. Well Mr Abbott, in the Senate the LNP has to rely on the “tainted vote” of the LNP Senator Mary Jo Fisher who was found guilty of assault. At any point has he ever demanded that she step aside or even resign? No, he hasn’t.

Policy comparison – the facts, Massivespray, Spray of The Day
We hear a lot these days about how the Government can’t get its message out. Of course if the media were actually prepared to cover Government policy with any degree of factual coverage instead of screeching slogans and cherry picking for anything

Another day, another violent threat against the Prime Minister, why have there been no arrests?, Turn Left 2013
The silence among mainstream media would suggest they see nothing wrong with those comments, they don’t appear newsworthy. They silence reinforces the idea that violence against women is acceptable.

RBA cuts cash rate to 3.75%, Greg Jericho, Grog’s Gamut
banks are crying poor and saying funding costs are killing them so it is likely they won’t drop them by the full amount, so the RBA obviously believes to get the banks to drop rates by the amount they really want, they needed to go 50 basis points rather than just 25.

Jokin’ Joe – Applying the McDonald’s Approach to Political Commentary, Preston Towers, The Preston Institute
I don’t think Joe is trying to destroy the ALP. I think he genuinely believes himself to be master of cut through, the purveyor of non-spin. He is nothing of the sort. He is spinning his own narrative from a set of logical leaps that wouldn’t look out of place in a Matthew Reilly novel. Making a complex set of political ingredients never seen in Australian politics before into a simple Maccas dinner bought from the drive thru.

RBA sees the light and goes 50, Stephen Koukoulas, Market Economics
The RBA Statement does nothing to cause alarm over the state of the economy. It was simply a matter where policy needed to move to a more accommodative
stance because: “economic conditions have been somewhat weaker than expected, while inflation has moderated.”

Is Disability A Private Matter?, Eleanore  Gibbs, New Matilda
As someone with a disability, I want to see service provision equally available for every Australian who needs it. But whether this model of the NDIS will deliver that, I’m yet to be convinced.  

Crumbling from within – an update, The Piping Shrike
Secondly, a Rudd return would require an even greater gutting out of the party’s structure as outlined in a piece by Hawker last week. With the first looking more likely, it looks increasingly as though the electorate will have its own “gutting out” of the party,

Not everyone wins when interest rates fall , Leam Lenten, The Conversation
As schadenfreudian as it may sound, I would personally love to see a rate rise this afternoon, followed by further hikes in the coming months, until defaults in credit markets clear out all the suckers who should not have outbid me in each of those auctions in the first instance. Then, property prices will return to levels consistent

An early Clive Palmer election campaign, Peter Martin
As a student he stood for the University of Queensland Senate in 1974.Here's his pitch:

Worst of the worst: Photos of Australia’s copper network, Renai LeMay, Delimeter
These photos were sent in by Delimiter readers following our request over a week ago for some of the worst photos of the copper network in real life. What we’re seeking to do with this article is provide a realistic view into what the infrastructure which the nation relies on day in day out really looks like

Simon Nasht tells me why he made that ABC climate documentar, Readfearn. Com
The night in question was the screening of his documentary – I Can Change Your Mind About… Climate” – to about 700,000 viewers on prime time ABC.The circuit which Nasht was aiming to break, is the one providing voltage to an increasingly toxic debate in the media and in the public about the root causes


Relief for borrowers as RBA slashes rates, Wayne Swan

Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category, Australian Politics TV

Tony Abbott endorses Peter Slipper - Part 1 The Project - April 23, 2012
TONY ABBOTT: In the end, they're both loyal members of the LNP here in Queensland. Peter is a good, strong member of the Coalition down in Canberra.

Interview Transcripts Tony Abbott endorsement of Peter Slipper   September 2011
Peter is a good, strong member of the Coalition down in Canberra.


May 2. 2012 07:22 AM



Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 2 May 2012



May 2. 2012 07:32 AM


jj, maybe if you don't agree with a post you might do one of two things:

1. Go away (I'm sure Menzies House would appreciate your contributions)
2. Engage in debate rather than taking pot shots.  If you have some evidence to back your position - use it.

Laughing Recaptcha bingo - endswel his


May 2. 2012 07:56 AM


Good Morning Bushfire Bill

Thankyou very much for most enjoyable article. You really are a Champion. Your writing is to be admired by all.

If you have time I recommend you read Preston Towers in "Today's Links". Preston deconstructs Joe Hildebrand:-

A Hildebrand guide: how Labor destroyed itself




May 2. 2012 07:57 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

May 2. 2012 08:31 AM



It doesnt matter if i use evidence or not, you can never be changed from you ridiculously blinkered positions. To say that Gillard's trouble is almost totally the fault of the Murdoch press is just ridiculous! Julia made the decision to promote Slipper with full knowledge if his past, not the Murdoch Press. Julia made the decision to say that she would not introduce a carbon tax before the election and then do the exact thing afterwards, without any help from The Australian. Julia made the decision to pursue the Malaysian solution without sound legal advice, which led to an embarrassing High Court strike down... this, once again, had nothing to do with the Murdoch press. CANT YOU SEE THAT THIS WOMAN HAS MADE MISTAKE AFTER MISTAKE! How can you be so biased to not see that there must be a little more going wrong than just a biased murdoch press for the ALP to have a primary vote of 27%?!?!?!?


May 2. 2012 08:52 AM


Bad Abbott's habit a cosy fit for Kristina.


Kristina Keneally recommends that Julia Gillard's government revoke or alter the details of carbon pricing to offer the PM a "game changer" to bring voters back to Labor.

Kristina participated at the top (for a time) of signally unsuccessful 'game changing' exercises with the serial attempts by the Labor Party in NSW to woo voters with a 'fresh new Premier' every year or two... all the way through till we got a real game changer, the do-nothing part-time fulminator Premier that is Barry O'Farrell.

What Kristina seems to have failed to grasp is that carbon pricing is about the nation and all our futures, not the Labor Party. Or any political game play.

What she also seems to have failed to grasp is that the price is set high because it is MEANT to be punitive on polluters, forcing them to spend more out of their potential profits than they want to, to make the environmentally positive changes they won't otherwise make off their own bat, that will bring them back to their preferred profit levels.

High enough that they can't simply pass the price on to consumers because consumers will then look elsewhere for the product. High enough so that new cleaner technology producers can provide a product that previously might have been that little bit too much more to pay. High enough that competition by the old producers to take on the challenge of the new producers forces them to improve their own production processes. To clean up their act.

If the carbon price is too low, it can be absorbed into operating costs and passed on to consumers, and still be within the 'horrendous but we did tell you' levels the public have been frightened with. But push the carbon price as high as the government has set it, and that little 'sorry, but what can we do, blame Canberra' veil is ripped away.

The major polluters in this country, electricity generators and other manufacturers and processors using fossil fuel for power, have never had to pay for polluting our air, water, and food-growing fields.

Carbon pricing addresses this. It addresses the great, filthy legacy of Western society - the cosy habit of waste.

Our daily lives exhibit and witness waste as the keynote behaviour of a culture based on consumption and comfort.

We are inured to and barely notice the ease with which we all accept and participate in unthinking disposal - how much waste every one of us generates.

But for all the waste individuals generate, nothing we do can compare with the wilfulness of the big polluters. Never asked or required to truly address the issues of their production processes' by-products, they have simply rolled along spreading waste into the environment we all have to survive in.

A cosy habit.

Well, carbon pricing set at a high price will go a long way to smashing the cosy habit of spewing filth into the world. It has to be hard to meet or it would be too easy to avoid, and if we know anything about people used to holding out their hands for the free pass, avoiding responsibility, avoiding accountability, avoiding meeting the everyday standards of care... avoiding is axiomatic behaviour, the method that underpins the pursuit of profit before all else. Ask the Tax Office.

Examine every Coalition policy (well, those that exist) and you will always find that their axiomatic base is the easy way out. Always.

Kristina Keneally's suggestion of 'game changer' is just another way of saying 'easy way out' which is just another way of spelling "avoid".

Way too cosy a habit.


May 2. 2012 09:17 AM


Good Morning Ad

More evidence against Pyne:

Just a chat and a beer: Pyne on his Slipper office visit Jessica Wright, The Age
Despite Mr Pyne saying yesterday that he could not remember asking for Mr Ashby's contact details after the meeting - which occurred a month before Mr Ashby lodged legal action against Mr Slipper - The Age has been shown an email and a text message sent by Mr Pyne minutes after the session ended, requesting the details.



May 2. 2012 09:36 AM


A wonderful rant, BB. That elusive Grahame Morris rant has finally surfaced and I have included it in my own, much shorter, rant today.



May 2. 2012 09:52 AM


Another brilliant piece of prose, I don't know how you keep it up but thanks from all of us bloggers keep it up. The Pyne Ashby link needs pursuing by the the Government maybe Nicole could do a Brandis and make a call. With the Budget next week hopefully free of distractions we may see some real analysis and the noalitions budget reply should be a doosy I can not wait to here what the passed down from TA,JH<AR to the parliament house cleaner (Abbott's source) has to say. May the force be with us all


May 2. 2012 09:58 AM


Excellent piece BushfireBill.

top vid that shows the extent of the madness, the rage demonstrated by the Coalition and its supporters directed at our PM...

including Abbott and Grahame Morris:


Well done!

Should be added to BB's post if possible.



May 2. 2012 10:10 AM



ANZ Bank has delivered another record profit the day after the board of the Reserve Bank announced it would slash 50 basis points from the cash rate.

Australia's third-largest bank posted a 10 per cent jump in first-half profit to a record of $2.9 billion.

But chief executive Mike Smith is refusing to say what if any of the rate cut the bank will pass on to borrowers.

Since December last year the bank has been reviewing its rates on the second Friday of each month, to separate its deliberation from the highly politicised moves by the Reserve Bank.

Despite that profit Mr Smith will not budge on that policy.

"Quite clearly we have a very clear policy with how we adjust our rates and we will be sticking with that," Mr Smith said.


Thus spake a corporate aristocrat...some might say "robber baron"...or at least a puppet of them.



May 2. 2012 10:18 AM


Thnx for the link to the Jessica Wright article at The Age.

Pyne is indeed looking slippery.

The request went to another staffer in Mr Slipper's office. According to a return email, Mr Pyne received Mr Ashby's email address at 11.02pm on March 19. This was one minute after he sent his request.

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...visit-20120501-1xx8q.html

Strange days indeed.


May 2. 2012 10:22 AM


A bellowing rump of political commentators, the prima donna, preening elite of journalism write, without the slightest sense of the absurdity of their outpourings, increasingly bizarre, self-referential and nonsensical analysis. The pampered prognosticators, their feet still dry, waving their first class tickets, claim a right to seats in whatever lifeboats are left, even as they repel survivors still in the water, seeking rescue. In a tighter than ever market for their shallow skills, even the non-News Ltd journalists, those from the nearly bankrupt Fairfax and the cowering ABC, work effectively for Murdoch as when their own lifeboats go under, they believe there will always be a welcoming News Ltd there, ready to take them on

Well said BB...well said.



May 2. 2012 10:38 AM


From the spot on BushfireBill:

Graeme Morris, a panel member with Sky news on that same day, suggested Gillard should be "kicked to death." This added to a suite of calls for her physical demise, made over the last year or so: being "drowned in a chaff bag" from Alan Jones; "burnt at the stake" as a witch by members of the astroturfed Consumers And Taxpayers Association (CATA), so beloved of the shock jocks on 2GB that they give it hours of free time every week; and for a target to be placed on her forehead (all the better for the people of Queensland to take aim), an assassination concept put out by Tony Abbott in the House of Representatives itself. This is a man who, without irony, constantly tells us that the dignity of the Parliament is being destroyed by the government.

The utterers of these close-to-seditious homicidal suggestions have mostly apologized for them afterwards - the Sydney Morning Herald called Morris' comment a "quip" - claiming to have temporarily taken leave of their judgement, in the heat of debate. But of course the damage is already done in the uttering, not the apologizing, and their corrections of the record were buried by a media obsessed with their own assigned mission: the demise of the Gillard government before any of its key legislation can kick in. In their wild enthusiasm to see the government fall they seem to believe that an election, or handover of power from Labor to the Coalition, on the eve of the Budget session, would be good for the country.

Ladies and gentlemen: I give you our responsible, professional media, "fair and balanced", non-judgemental and reporting only objective fact.

AND this from Archiearchive:

Political  discourse has always been robust in Australia.

We are proud of our free speech and ability to call an idiot politician a nong.

That “free Speech” has taken a right turn for the worse and now, in most countries in the world, what is happening in Australia would attract the attention of the security forces.  Although they all seem to be looking only at Left-Wing activities.

Not at the words appearing in print, on our TV’s and coming out of our radios.

Words which call for the death of, or physical harm to, our elected leaders.

In most countries, that is considered terrorism or incitement to terrorism.

Somehow, it is all just good fun in Australia. Robust has taken on a new meaning.


Expect mediocrity from the bulk of our media.

And too oft silence..

We remember the buildup to the Iraq War.



May 2. 2012 10:55 AM


Jane at 12.32 a.m.
My reference to Bligh was of course in relation to his lifeboat voyage after the Bounty mutiny. But thinking about it, he has a relevance to this thread. His was the first (European?) government in this country kicked out by vested commercial interests.


May 2. 2012 10:57 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Thanks again for your links and Front Pages.  I looked but couldn’t find any front page reference to what I would have thought was a story of great significance – Murdoch ‘not a fit and proper person’.  Amazing!

The Pyne affair has a way to run.  Might we say it sounds suspicious?

Ad astra

May 2. 2012 10:57 AM


Bushfire Bill
Thank you,
I am sore afraid that this Titanic would not be solely the Labor Party's nor the Abborttians' loss, but Australia's as a whole if ever those pirates were allowed to board her and seize control.

Last night I went, as is my wont on the first Tuesday of each month, -(note that date Bill Shorten!)- to the Friendly Street Poets meeting in central Adelaide. Seventy-something people all of whom wish to gauge the impact of their words of great moment on the rest, (mostly it's fairy floss with a bit of cinnamon now and again), well last night I chucked in some Ginger, reading an update of the few words I wrote here yesty about the calls by Anal Jones, Abbortt and now Morris to assassinate the Prime Minister in their various preferred ways.

But first I asked the assembly - whom one might assume to be rather better-read than the ambient masses -
Please raise your hand if you are aware of what Graeme Morris, long-time adviser to JWH and a leading Liberal apparatchik, said about J*U*L*I*A*.

[/i]TWO! [/i]

One of whom volunteered that he only knew about it because he read it on the www.

We must find a way to counter the MSM's absolute dominance of public information. It makes a very bad joke of the notion of democracy. I know it sounds like the Dodos saying Let's peck those murderous mariners to death tomorrow, but the metaphor is apposite, our failure would result in our extinction.

Mr Finkelstein! HELP!

Jane you quoted our #1 Troll:
" '......people with half a brain might actually take you serious!' "[sic]

and commented
"Well that eliminates you, jj."

I was thinking s/he/it would be well qualified!

Casablanca glad to have you on our side of the barricades.

Ad astra I am in tune with your comment
"I am in tune with NormanK’s comment.  If there is one group whose behavior infuriates me more that that of the Coalition and the media, it is that of the fifth column within the Parliamentary Labor Party who leak to, or background the blood-thirsty media about leadership speculation.  In wartime, they would be taken out and shot."

What part of Rudd NO, Gillard YES don't they understand?

What part of 'Australia's economy is the envy of the world' escapes them?

Julia Gillard is a top lawyer, apart from being PM. She does things by the Book, housed in an edifice that has been evolving for hundreds of years with concepts like Separation of Powers and Presumption of Innocence as its foundations and its strength. Her behaviour towards both Thomson and slipper has been impeccable.

Michael yer bloody well right.
Kristina Kenneally PYHI* please.  

*Hint: H = Head.  


May 2. 2012 11:12 AM


Bushfire Bill

Thank you for this wonderful summary of what is happening in Australia.  I am trying not to be too fearful of the future of Australia.  I know Labor are fighting inside and out, but without the media going full bore it wouldn't matter what they did.

I cannot believe that after all Labor has gone through to get the CEP up and running, that K Kenealy could come out with the rot she has.  Better to keep going with all the legislation that we can now, and see what happens in the future.

As for Whiney Piney, I am hoping he will be keelhauled over hot coals.  It is a complete set up, but again the media just lets Australia down by ignoring it or passing it off as nothing.


May 2. 2012 11:16 AM


It seems someone above is pineing for the days of "Man of Steel" Prime Ministerships.  Lets see - "never ever a GST", "core and non-core promises".

While it is easy to hold someone you don't agree with to account for some promise they have made in the past, in reality plans change as do the appropriate reactions to circumstances.  Large businesses do it all the time as would you with your household budget.

The Leader of the Opposition also changes his story to take into consideration subsequent events - as demonstrated when he changed Medicare eligibility guidelines after stating he wouldn't as Health Minister.  The current Prime Minister also can hold a rational discussion, unlike the Leader of the Opposition who freezes (as demonstrated by Mark Riley from Channel 7), so she is capable of explaining the reasons for changes should people and the media choose to listen.

Forgot to add above - good post BB.  just remember the theme song from "The Poseidon Adventure" (another nautical disaster movie), "There's got to be a Morning After"


May 2. 2012 12:29 PM


Interesting read @ CounterPunch:

Romney: Why It’s OK to Stick It to Him for Being a Mormon

Santorum got roughed up for actually espousing conservative Roman Catholic positions. For some reason Romney is being given a pass as a Mormon, as though his religion is of no consequence, as inconsequential a piece of  ideological baggage as Bill Clinton’s Baptist label. Columnists evidently feel it’s poor taste to suggest that a candidate’s religion might have some bearing on his conduct and that the candidate should be properly grilled on the matter.

No doubt in the upcoming campaign Romney will attack Obama for his associations with radicals, the lunatic idea —  most recently promoted by the late Andrew Breitbart — being that ex-Weatherfolk Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn imparted to the eager Obama the left’s secret plan to take over the United States and put everyone in slave labor camps, have abortions and engage in unmentionable sexual practices.

Alas, the left never did have a plan – secret or overt — to take over the United States. Abortions and unmentionable sexual practices were a different matter.  Ayers’ and Dohrn’s actual role was obviously to help hook up the eager Obama with big Democratic Jewish money in Chicago, directing the attention of the latter to this well-mannered Harvard-educated black politician as someone to watch and assist.

The left never had a secret plan or much discipline. But the Mormons really do have secrets and a lot of discipline. Does Romney espouse Mormon doctrines about gays or not? About obedience to the Prophet or not? If not, then isn’t he a fake Mormon, without a shred of principle. Why should be believe him about anything? If yes, then where does that put his loyalties and priorities as someone hoping to be President of the United States and supposed upholder of the Constitution? (Of course Obama has shredded substantial portions of the Constitution without even the excuse of being a Mormon.)

What about Romney’s associations? He is no ordinary Mormon. By lineage, upbringing and personal decision he’s about as dedicated a Mormon as you can be – which is very dedicated indeed.


I've often wondered if Romney's religious beliefs fit into his stance on Iran...the caring Mormons I've met detested GW Bush's pre-emptive strike (cough cough) on Iraq.

I noticed Romney is taking an aggressive approach to Iran.

I guess Romney is probably a corporate Mormon...

one who uses part of his wealth to help a religion spread like wildfire by acting like an all-consuming corporate empire...in the rampantly competitive parts of the world...and in the areas where starvation can mean anyone can look like a food bowl...

In order to spread the word that prosperity Morminism can be as thrilling and guilt reducing as prosperity evangelism...and all those other corporatised religions that fill the coffers for the few...whilst exploiting the many participants/serfs/members...

yet another opportunistic politician and profiteer who can fall back on his religion whenever he needs bailing out...or to con the public into believing he's virtuous...a man of God...

or to just justify his greed.

Ain't corporate religious institutions handy?

The greatest show on Earth continues...



May 2. 2012 12:48 PM


BB at Poll Bludger:

“All hands to the lifeboats! Women and Ruperts first!”

Dearest Bushfire Bill, if Rupert were to be in my lifeboat I don't think I could bear it.

Top article, by the way.


May 2. 2012 01:00 PM


From Lateline:

EMMA ALBERICI: There was a unanimous view by the committee formed about three particular individuals – that being Les Hinton, the former executive chairman of News International; Tom Crone the lawyer; and Colin Myler, the editor of the News of the World. Do you expect them now, having been accused of misleading the parliamentary committee, do you expect there, potentially, to be charges of misleading… contempt of the parliament?

JAMES HANNING: Well, we’re in uncharted waters here. We’re supposed to have the mother of Parliaments just over the road here, but actually our committee system is not that well-formed. They’ve only been beefed up in the last 20 years or so. So… and I don’t remember a report ever finding three people guilty of misleading it. So there is going to be, you know, there is going to be a motion put before the house. Now, nobody quite knows what that could lead to. People are saying, well, they could be thrown in the tower, I don’t think they will do that, but who knows where it could lead?

EMMA ALBERICI: Because at least one of those three gentlemen now doesn’t even live in the UK.

JAMES HANNING: That’s right. Well, I’m not sure where Les Hinton lives now, but certainly Colin Myler is working in New York – but I think what’s particularly damaging about this report is what it says about Les Hinton, because Les Hinton, as Lisa’s report says, he’s worked with Rupert Murdoch for 50 years. He’s been… this report has found that he misled parliament. That’s pretty bad, and are we to believe that he kept Rupert from all this? Maybe that was his job to keep Rupert from all this, but it doesn’t look very good, it really doesn’t.


UK parliament, police, journos…no longer eyes wide shut



May 2. 2012 01:02 PM


Bilko with Thomson and Slipper safely neutralised and the Liars own scandals for ammo, Budget week should be fairly free of distractions and relatively smooth sailing for the government.

It looks like Kathy Jackson may also be neutralised, now that her fiefdom has gone. I wonder how long the H R Nicholls mouth piece will stay around?


May 2. 2012 01:05 PM


Fiona, if Rupert were in my lifeboat, I'd push him overboard.


May 2. 2012 01:06 PM


And to think most of us are lucky if we get a generic email reply:

Politicians of all stripes beat a path to Murdoch's door
Tony Wright
July 16, 2011


At least Julia seems to have given the manipulating and demanding know-it-all the cold shoulder once in power.



May 2. 2012 01:18 PM


Nas' is it possible that Rupert could be a psychopath. He seems to meet the criteria; manipulative, outwardly charming, narcissistic, prepared to do anything to get his way, no empathy, and a compulsive liar.

I reckon we could chuck in Liealot as well.


May 2. 2012 01:37 PM



You might want to check your quotations. Although i dont agree with what Alan Jones said about the fate of the PM, i dont believe he directly said that she should be drowned.

Oh dear... accusing the media of distorting the truth, and yet here you are doing the exact same thing on this blog.


May 2. 2012 01:55 PM


Twiggy Forrest @ the sycophantic Press Club (I’m certain he woulda got supportive chuckles and applause even if he’d farted) has repeated his claims that Rudd as PM had negotiated a mining tax deal with him just before he got axed…that Swan had sold out the people.

I’m not sure what to believe…perhaps Rudd needs to speak to this…but I’ve rarely trusted the word of big resource company barons who spend an inordinate amount of time fighting taxes.

Here’s a view on Forrest’s claims from Crikey a couple of weeks ago:


and Monica Attard’s interview with Forrest back in Aug. 2010:




May 2. 2012 02:08 PM

Gary M

Alan Jones: It is absolutely laughable. The woman's off her tree and quite frankly they should shove her and Bob Brown in a chaff bag and take them as far out to sea as they can and tell them to swim home.

— 2GB, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 6th July, 2011

JJ he said it twice.

How does one swim in a Chaff bag enquiring minds want to know.

Gary M

May 2. 2012 02:11 PM


TT @1o.57am, I think you give jj far too much credit. He only gets to use the Tory brain cell for ½ a day a week.


May 2. 2012 02:26 PM


You are surely doing a lot of good research!

Culminating today in Gary M's decisive total destruction of poor li'l jj who should now put himself in a chaffbag and drop himself far out in the Southern Ocean.

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


Is anybody in the MSM looking for him?


May 2. 2012 02:28 PM


If I was in a lifeboat with Rupert I would ask him why he feels compelled to own shares in so much media...and why he feels the need to pontificate so much and bully governments if he doesn't get his own way...and ask him how he can consider himself a competent corporate governor considering the dreadful activities that have gone on in some of his most valuable news organisations...and why he has created a new elite and joined up with some old elite in opportunistic alliances over the years whilst he made and continues to make his disgust for elitists well known...and how does he feel about his son James being dragged into a reputation destroying situation because he Rupert not only didn't keep his eye on the ball but also permitted a wild frontier-like culture to exist in his some of his workplaces and put James smack in the midst of it having provided him with a "look the other way" and "I know nothing" type of role modeling...and why he Rupert thinks The Sun deserves more attention than some of his other valuable assets when it oft acts like a sleazebag tabloid with voter manipulating propaganda machine tendencies and does it reflect something about his core personality and ethical approach to communicating his views and earning dosh...and having so much reach and money why has he been so averse to giving to charitable causes unlike his mother...and why if he's so wise and knowledgeable has the world struggled so badly economiclly and seen dreadful wars and worrying politically divided countries during the time he's had to stamp his imprint, particularly the past couple of decades...and why he is so stubborn and control freakish that he can't stand down and let others takeover the running of News Corp...and doesn't he remember that John Howard also stayed in control for too long...and was he being opportunistic and grandiose becoming an American citizen and trying to climb the New York Times and dominate the world from New York?

just for starters...

I would not throw him overboard.

I'd rather make him reflect. And change.



May 2. 2012 02:33 PM


Nasking, speaking of Tony Wright (Wrong?), on radio this morning (and I can't remember whether it was Radio National or Radio Adelaide) he noted that HSU offices had been raided.  He did not mention that it was HSU East, nor that Thomson has never worked for HSU East.

Does anyone know if I have this wright?

Patricia, thanks for your response on the last thread.  Mine nuncle is a clever and witty man but, unfortunately, preserves most of his poetic efforts for taking the mickey out of his sister (my mother) and his lovely nieces and nephew.

Recaptcha bonus:  entstalk.  I wonder what they say about the current state of Oz politics.


May 2. 2012 02:39 PM


Cheers TT. Enjoying yer passionate comments.

jj wrote: Oh dear... accusing the media of distorting the truth, and yet here you are doing the exact same thing on this blog.

What Gary M. said. Smile


to indicate or suggest without being explicitly stated




May 2. 2012 02:57 PM



I noticed how some of the media (I think from radio) acted like concerned counsellors…or compassionate conservatives…so concerned about Jackson’s mental health whilst interviewing her during the HSU Sydney office's raid.

I didn’t realise Kathy Jackson was a victim.

Nothing like reporting objectively…from useful distance.

BTW, I not a Thomson apologist. This stuff does need to be investigated…no union should allow this type of corruption to fester like that.

The same goes for businesses.

But shall we fingerpoint at every government that has a member who worked in the past for a business or union that is being investigated and/or accused of corruption, misuse of funds etc?

Slippery slope.

This from Thomson recently:

Mr Thomson said he had looked at the report briefly, pointing out it did not make any reference to him.

"I left the HSU in 2007 and I have never been a part of an organisation named HSU East," he said in a statement.

"I have never engaged in the sorts of practices referred to in this report."


AND from wikipedia:

Thomson started his career representing hospital and ambulance workers in New South Wales as an Industrial Officer for the Health and Research Employee Association (HREA). He proved to be a talented advocate and became head of the HREA Industrial Department. He was subsequently elected to the position of Assistant Secretary.

In 2002, Thomson was elected as the National Secretary of the HSU, a trade union into which the HREA had merged.

During Thomson's term at the union it was re-branded as a united federal union and state branches adopted similar names and logos.

In a rush, not sure if that helps.



May 2. 2012 03:20 PM


re neutralizing the distractions, what about a bit of retaliation methinks, Slipper needs to put the boot into the poodle and thommo ditto into Jackson. Less than a week to the budget however never challenge worse.And Ashby needs to be interviewed by the AFP asap.


May 2. 2012 03:40 PM

Bushfire Bill&#39;s Alter Ego

Ashby has been strangely silent on the Pyne business. He was quick to deny he was being paid to fight the action, or was receiving financial support.

Someone must know where he is. Why are the media letting him make drive-by accusations and then disappear?

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

May 2. 2012 03:53 PM


Bushfire Bill

Stop and think for a minute. Do we really want Ashby subjected to trial by media? That's what you are asking for. He is not obliged to explain himself anywhere other than in a police interview or a court of law. That's not to say that journalists shouldn't be investigating the circumstances around his allegations, only that Ashby is not answerable to the media or the public.
Don't fall prey to the "Today Tonight" syndrome where anyone who chooses not to front the omniscient media is immediately deemed to be hiding something. The media are not our moral watchdogs if only because they can not be trusted to perform such a function. They are morally bankrupt and the least fit institution to sit in judgement of others.
No-one should be subjected to trial by media.


May 2. 2012 03:58 PM


Hi Fiona

You said you wouldn't like Murdoch in your Lifeboat, Jane said she would push him overboard.  Well so would I push him overboard. In a life boat, dark dark night, deep deep sea ideal opportunity for me.

cheers SmileSmileSmile


May 2. 2012 04:07 PM


Passing on quickly a tweet link

Thanks to Billy Clyde Puckett for this GEM. INCREDIBLE letter in today's The Age: "Media's double standards are... http://fb.me/23Z9k6q00

INCREDIBLE letter in today's The Age:

"Media's double standards are clear.

"WHEN John Howard was prime minister, he haemorrhaged seven ministers in his first term alone with scandal after scandal. He had to rip up his promised ministerial code of conduct because he couldn't afford to lose any more. He also reneged on almost all his election pledges (remember his 'non-core promises'?); he took us into one dubious war and one illegal one; he lied about asylum seekers throwing their children overboard to win an election; the list goes on. And yet the media didn't call for an election and nor did the opposition. The media instead judged him on the health of the economy.

Julia Gillard's government has had fewer ministerial scandals than any in living memory. Craig Thomson allegedly misused a union credit card before he was even in Parliament, and Peter Slipper isn't even an ALP member. Neither has been charged with anything. But still there are almost daily calls for an election from the Opposition Leader and a certain 70 per cent of the press.

Australia survived the global financial crisis better than any other country, and the IMF recently named our economy the best in the world. And yet, unlike under Mr Howard, these statistics are hardly mentioned. All we seem to read about is the incompetence of the government, constant opinion polls and calls for an early election".


May 2. 2012 04:36 PM


You said you wouldn't like Murdoch in your Lifeboat, Jane said she would push him overboard.  Well so would I push him overboard. In a life boat, dark dark night, deep deep sea ideal opportunity for me.

Lyn and Jane,
I digs ya both as ya know...but I think we should avoid acting like Alan Jones.



May 2. 2012 05:19 PM


Again I'm with NormanK.  Who cares where James Ashby is.  He is at worst a unwitting pawn in a bigger game or at best someone who feels wronged and has decided to to something about it.  Until the alternative is proven, he is innocent.

However in the mind of the Leader of the Opposition, the above standard is not absolute.  There is also a large double standard when one tribe of politics is being crucified over the indiscretions of some people associated with it, while the other side gets away scot free.  Congratulations to whoever got that letter posted above into The Age - it's a bottler.  


May 2. 2012 05:21 PM


Gracias for all the useful links.

This from The Daily Derp:

Tony Abbott – Hypocrite

Abbott was just on ABC24 stating that the government now has to rely on the “tainted vote” of the “tainted MP” Craig Thomson. Well Mr Abbott, in the Senate the LNP has to rely on the “tainted vote” of the LNP Senator Mary Jo Fisher who was found guilty of assault. At any point has he ever demanded that she step aside or even resign? No, he hasn’t.

That is on top of the “tainted vote” of the vile Member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella. Mirabella is accused of misappropriating funds from an elderly gentleman suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Has he ever asked her to step aside until her name is cleared? No, he hasn’t.

Abbott gained leadership of the Liberal Party by one vote from Malcolm Turnbull. That means Abbott is Leader of The Opposition because of the “tainted vote” of Peter Slipper*. Will he reject his vote and call for another Liberal Party leadership vote? Of course he won’t.

Like all Tories, hypocrisy runs through his veins.


It worries me deeply when a leader of a major party is so arrogant...and blind to his own hypocrisy.

Abbott with the assistance of the Murdoch empire and the shock jocks could end up spinning his way out of anything...anything.

Having watched the buildup to a war based on bogus evidence...and fear of asylum seekers built up based on grotesque accusations of children being "thrown overboard" and the Tampa being prevented from docking...and politicians looking the other way as the AWB bribed overseas officials and many millions found their way into the hands of Saddam's regime...

I do not feel comfortable about the prospect of an expert spinner...and overly-aggressive fingerpointer...and myopic hypocrite becoming PM of our country in these troubled times.



May 2. 2012 05:45 PM


Good evening Labour luvvies,

Pity poor old Michael Williamson wasn't a bit fitter and quicker - he might have actually got away out the back door with a bag of documents from the HSU offices as the police were coming in the front door, if only he was capable of running instead of waddling!

I guess that's what a life of cigars, cognac and three-course meals, paid by members' union fees, does to you in the end, eh?

Not a good day for old Mick, was it? Never mind the fact that he's General Secretary and National President of the HSU - a Vice President and Finance Committee Member of Unions NSW - a member of the ACTU executive - Senior Vice President of the NSW branch of the ALP - a member of the NSW ALP industrial committee - a member of the NSW ALP Advisory Council - and a Trustee of First State Super and a Director of SGE Credit Union.

Nope. None of that matters now.

Mick Williams will be remembered as the bloke who tried to scarper with the incriminating evidence - and failed!

To quote Detective Superintendent Col Dyson, Commander of the NSW Fraud and Cybercrime Squad: "Any interference may result in criminal charges".

Clang!! Watch your fingers, Mick!

Bets, anybody? Any bets on the outcome of the next Federal election?

How about a bet on when Gillard will be dumped?

Does anyone see her lasting beyond the end of May?


You can now get back to your furious internal agreeing on how wonderful Jools baby is, how much smarter she is than Tony Abbott, how it's all a plot by evil Murdoch and his many malevolent, maniacal minions (I suppose that includes me, eh?) and how you will still win the next Federal election.

Petri dish. This is, without doubt, a Petri dish.


May 2. 2012 05:51 PM


My limerick muse jumped the shark and committed the attached sin!


May 2. 2012 06:06 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Here is a few tweets from the Twitterverse:-

After a day that saw police search #HSU offices in #Sydney, we'll be joined by Kathy Jackson to discuss latest developments. #auspol

Sky News Australia‏@SkyNewsAust
via @pm_live: Tonight on #pmlive: HSU National National Secretary Kathy Jackson discusses the police raids on the union hq today. 9pm on

Latika Bourke ‏
Craig Thomson says the police raids are an issue for the union leadership Kathy Jackson and Michael Williamson. Says unrelated to him.

Latika Bourke ‏
Kathy Jackson says Craig Thomson if in 'fantasy land' thinking police raids don't relate to his time at #HSU.

z3n_digital The same mob that is supporting Kathy Jackson the Liberal Legal team same one`s Reith used in waterfront dispute

IT will be "game over" for Health Services Union (HSU) boss Michael Williamson if he's found to have interfered ... http://tinyurl.com/8yq2bu

What's dodgier? Pyne and Ashby having drinkies or a SECRET Clive Palmer, Joe Hockey meeting?

David Bradbury MP ‏
Hockey finally admits today he wouldn't have the power to force banks to pass on rate cuts: "no I can't, I’m not going to lie to you"

Fit and Proper
Tony Abbott says the PM cannot wash her hands of this 'stinking putrid mess,' of the HSU #tweetlikeajourno

Simon Cullen‏
latikambourke: Tony Abbott ends presser and walks away while journalist asks about Christopher Pyne's involvement with James Ashby.

Latika Bourke ‏
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott ends presser and walks away while journalist asks about Christopher Pyne's involvement with James Ashby.

Fit & Proper
awelder: Why would @tonyabbottmhr run away from a press conference? This is as good as it will get for him
Pyne changes his story; Abbott walks away from presser when asked about it. Is there a pattern emerging here?

David Horton‏
I may have missed it, but has the PM ever refused to answer a question at a presser? Tony? Any thoughts?

ha ha RT @latikambourke LOTO Abbott ends presser and walks away while journalist asks about Christopher Pyne's involvement with James Ashby.

Annabel Crabb‏
Christopher Pyne changes his story on contact with James Ashby:

Latika Bourke ‏
'Mr. Ashby has been formally interviewed as a witness by the AFP as part of their criminal investigation [into Speaker Peter #Slipper].'

SMH: Do you believe the LNP has assisted former Slipper staffer James Ashby? Poll has 73% of yes votes #auspol



May 2. 2012 06:11 PM


Hi Archie

You have been working hard good on you.

Thankyou for alerting us, saves me a lot of time looking for you.

Love your work.

cheers SmileSmileSmileSmile


May 2. 2012 06:15 PM


Hi Nasking

Thankyou for your hard work and all your information today, wonderful.

Lyn and Jane,
I digs ya both as ya know .... Thankyou Nasking (blush) & Smile



May 2. 2012 06:39 PM

Gary M

"Good evening Labour luvvies,"

Jesus it's Gomer Pyle again or is that Rambo? One soon forgets. Oh that's right it's good ol Catspan 'A legend in his own mind' Fired any shots in anger lately? In case you don't know you use a gun/rifle for that. If you go to Wiki there are some rather nice pictures of phallic symbols or should I say guns, don't salivate too much. What do they say about penis envy again? Don't be shy Cat a little wiener is no shame. Never mind another day mayhaps.

Well Catspan as much as I think you're a rancid right wing troll,  I have to agree with some of your  analysis. I also believe old Julia is doomed. A pity really, she has done a lot of work and the job is still not over. I see your hero and mentor John Winston (Children overboard) Howard, came out and said... If they left Rudd as P.M.  It was dollars to doughnuts the ALP was going to win the next election. Still  my money is still on Rudd making a fight of it when he returns.

As for Murduck, oh please Cat he is not a fit and proper person to run a company. The conservative government in the U/K has just said so. Oooo I bet that hurt?

OBTW Cat any spelling mistakes or bad Granma making u unhappy get on the Q.

Gary M

May 2. 2012 07:08 PM


This referenced article contained so many similarities with what is happening in Australian politics that I decided to extract the statements that resonate most:

Tea-leaf time

Does the tidal wave of polls help predict how Romney and Obama will fare in November, asks Lesley Russell,  Senior Fellow at the Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, Georgetown University.  http://inside.org.au/tea-leaf-time/

One American pollster estimated recently that there has been about one presidential election opinion poll per day over the past two months. RealClearPolitics lists twenty-nine such polls over the past two weeks, and between now and the election the numbers will mount into the hundreds. While political pollsters have clearly established a reliable income stream, have they provided us with any useful insights into the likely results in November?

Romney has been a weak candidate to date, but if he can capitalise on voters’ concerns about the economy and conservatives’ visceral dislike of Obama and his policies, and if he can get out the independent and reluctant voters, then the contest is likely to be close and competitive.

US presidential elections have often become personality contests. This means that Romney must turn the campaign into a contest of policies, not personality.

The economy will be the top issue for voters in the election, and polls show the battle over which candidate is better equipped to handle it is up for grabs.

Both candidates need to address the un-American air of pessimism that hangs over the nation

The fact is that neither candidate inspires confidence in potential voters.

More than three years of Washington’s polarised and uncompromising political environment has taken a toll on the image of the president who promised so much hope and change.

The Tea Party conservatives in the House have shown themselves willing to take the country to the brink, .... rather than negotiate

While most of his economic policies have worked, Obama is disadvantaged because their impact has not been large enough to make an obvious difference in many voters’ lives. He is left with the ineffectual argument that, without these policies, things would have been worse. That doesn’t play well in the swing states that are up for grabs.

The polls make for tough and focused campaigning and erudite but largely meaningless pontification on the Sunday talk shows. Read them with scepticism, even on 6 November.

reCAPTCHA: ssetses dispirit


May 2. 2012 07:15 PM


When we win the 2013 election it will have had a lot to do with the information being disseminated on the blogosphere . . .

. . . Which means it will have had a lot to do with a little yellow bird . . .

Your last contact Schtang is a case in point.
That statistic tells a lot.

Labor will get a lot of kudos if they can find the Poodle's  stinking poo and pawprints over Ashby.

Even his friends think he's a puffed-up ponce and most would be delighted to see him brought low.

No, that is, seen to be as low as he is.  

Notice that nobody is arguing with the Government's BISONS!
(Beautiful Inspiring Set Of Numbers, d'apres the Finnigans.)


May 2. 2012 07:35 PM



Another obvious rejoinder to Pyne's claims that he went to Slipper's office to speak with him is that he only had to check out the screen in his own office to see whether Mr Slipper was officiating in the House at that time.

Why would a busy Leader of Opposition Business just stroll around to the busy Speaker's office on the off-chance that he would be available?

I recall on one occasion, as he tossed Pyne out under Section 94A, the Speaker made a comment to the effect that Pyne spent a great amount of time visiting his office to argue over such things as points of order and the Speaker's rulings.


May 2. 2012 07:48 PM


2353 said

"Who cares where James Ashby is.  He is at worst a unwitting pawn in a bigger game or at best someone who feels wronged and has decided to to something about it.  Until the alternative is proven, he is innocent."

Taking those points one by one: -

I care where he is, to the degree that he should be available for questioning by the Media. His mere accusations are getting huge airplay and doing untold damage to the government, all the while he is under a rock. I could argue a lot more why I care where he is. (Oh Bushfire Bill cares a lot where he is too.) Never mind sub judice, that hasn't stopped the MSM hounding Thomson and Slipper.

"He is at worst a unwitting pawn in a bigger game or at best someone who feels wronged and has decided to to something about it."
No, I don't know what he might be at best (Poor petal? Pathetic prick?), but at worst he is a partisan lying conniving stooge of the Abborttian Rabid Right, a traitorous plotter who has sought to destroy a man's career, to pervert the course of justice, to be instrumental in bringing down the Government by creating a tissue of lies and innuendo and unfounded allegation, the criminal part of which has already been proven false, and the sexual part of which is fairy floss.
"Until the alternative is proven, he is innocent."

Yeah as the Media has treated Thomson eh.

Oh Pyne is innocent of any wrongdoing though, he says so.
He is actually quite offended that anyone could think even for a moment that he was involved in skulduggery. Not much!


May 2. 2012 08:15 PM


The Top 9 Countries With The Fastest Internet Speeds: Akamai


Don't expect too much...we had John ("Is that an Optus?") Howard in power for nigh on 12 years.



May 2. 2012 08:29 PM


SMH: Do you believe the LNP has assisted former Slipper staffer James Ashby? Poll has 73% of yes votes #auspol

Haven't the Howard & Abbott years provided a real shine to the Coalition?

Tho it seems when you dig deep the voters don't mind saying they can see the ugly rust bucket beneath.
yer a gem.

Thumbs up for yer brill work.



May 2. 2012 08:53 PM


Gary M
It is my preferred position, and that of many here, that the particular unquiet soul to whom you addressed your last over be simply sent to Coventry, rather than gratified by any response. Ad astra has expressed a similar preference.

Please, if you respect this site, desist from further personal comments to that person, who comes here with the sole intent of besmirching this fine forum.


May 2. 2012 09:19 PM

Gary M

"Please, if you respect this site, desist from further personal comments to that person, who comes here with the sole intent of besmirching this fine forum."

No worries message understood. Pity though, he screams out to have the piss taken out of him.

Gary M

May 2. 2012 10:21 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I'm in the middle of a very busy week with family matters, so I've just now read your tweets.  Most interesting.

Abbott squibs the hard questions, prefers slogans.  At last the MSM is beginning to notice.

I'll be away all day tomorrow on family matters but will have time to post your links in the morning.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2012 10:32 PM


Hi Ad

Thankyou, hope you have a nice day tomorrow.

Before you go just have a quick look at this video only 1 minute

it's Paul Bongiorno on Abbott only one second:


cheers SmileSmileSmileSmile


May 2. 2012 10:54 PM


Gary M
See we can have more fun tangentially than directly!
Check its squirming in pain! Smile
That's what I mean about
Have Fun With Trolls!

Referring to trolls only in the third person, I have found, induces a spluttering impotent expostulatory hilarious response of which the above example is a classic. Almost. If it were cleverer it would be gold!

One slap directly back at them the first time they rear their hideous heads is about fair, after that they know you have their number, then you can just play inoffs to other nice bloggers while the trolls squirm! They HATE it, more than any cutting remarks directly at them could ever do. And you don't bring down the tone of The Political Sword.

But Gary would you please also desist from your own nonsense about Rudd. It is silly and it is unhelpful, indeed it is close to disloyal to our great party.

*J*U*L*I*A* will be our leader into the 2013 election.
And she will be the biggest single factor in our win.  

The stories from now on will increasingly centre around the Stooges and the Goons and their Droogs falling over each other, being caught out time and again and again on matters of logic, policy (?!) economics and everything else until they are laughing stock.

The Labor Party now is about to change gear and approach. The Government's story is a fantastic one, that is the truth and the meme we must repeat at every opportunity.

As of today, a lower lending rate than any in the Howard years!  Howzat for a BISON!  


May 2. 2012 11:01 PM


TT @7.48pm obviously you don't know anything about the law. Let me explain.

If you are a Liar, you have the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If you are a Liars Senator found guilty of assault, you're still innocent and can resume your career raking in the cash.

If you are a Liars Senator facing charges for misleading and deceptive conduct, don't worry.

The Leader of the party will slap you on the back and tell you you are entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.

If you are a Labor MP in a minority government, the very same fellow will be thundering to anyone who will listen, that not only are you NOT entitled to the presumption of innocence, but you're guilty because he wants to be PM.

We should also be reminded that this high minded morally upright individual is himself subject to defamation charges, but it's OK.

Apparently, he also is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Not only that, he is allowed to vote on legislation and votes of no confidence.

However, if you are an ALP MP not charged with any crime, not only are you not entitled to the presumption of innocence, but the government must repudiate your vote, even if you resign from the party and sit on the cross benches.

it's blindingly obvious TT, Liealot MUST be PM because Mummy said he could have it and he'll keep changing the rules until he gets what he wants!  


May 2. 2012 11:30 PM


Jane @ 11:01 PM
this rather proves your point

Abbott backs Laming after raid
Health Minister Tony Abbott says Member for Bowman Andrew Laming is entitled to stay in Parliament while the police investigation into the use of his printing allowance continues.

via Fit & Proper Geek ‏ @geeksrulz on Twitter


May 2. 2012 11:37 PM


Bilko @3.20pm, couldn't agree more. Liealot's still trying to link Gillard to the HSU stoush, so I think it's time the government started pressing for answers wrt Prissy and Ashby.

Liealot did the usual head shake and fleeing the scene as soon as a journo asked about it. He can dish it out but he can't take it, because he is a gutless, lying, hypocritical prick! And those are his good points!

Nas' @5.41pm, don't forget that Liealot is also the subject of a defamation action. Under his rules, doesn't that mean he must repudiate not only Slagabella's tainted vote, but his own tainted vote? Or he'd look like a big fat hypocrite wouldn't he? Oh wait.....


May 2. 2012 11:54 PM

Gary M

"But Gary would you please also desist from your own nonsense about Rudd. It is silly and it is unhelpful, indeed it is close to disloyal to our great party."

TT I am a member of this great party. However that doesn't mean my opinion must be kept in check when I clearly believe a mistake has been made. That mistake was getting rid of Rudd.

BTW I don't like Rudd, I think he is an effeminate man and an intellectual snob. For mine Rudd, well he probably joined the wrong party.

But the point is, he is a winner. If he should be like the prodigal son and return to the family/job, I think we can win.

Julia Gillard is as I have said, on more than one occasion,  the best hing since slice bread. It is strange none one of my lefty friends like her and should I live to be a hundred yrs old for the life of me, I don't know why.

The thought of the current opposition gaining government fills me with horror, I kid you not. My father was wounded WW2 fighting the kind of fascism we if (the Gods are not with us)will see unleashed on Australia, the like of never before in our history. I am in my dotage now it wont unduly worry me, I fear for my children.

As for the troll, the poor man/women is delusional.He is probably one of those full on conservative types that thinks, making love to a pig is social climbing.

Gary M

May 3. 2012 12:36 AM


If you have never dropped in on Brain Pickings the extraordinary site curated by Maria Popova well I reckon you are really missing out on something special.

This offering has set the cogs whirring

A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell on the Ten Commandments of Teaching  http://goo.gl/1k3sm

Thinking a bit laterally politicians are teachers, journalists are teachers, people such as Ad, Bushfire Bill, Andrew Elder and many more writers of blogs are teachers. Many commenters are teachers. (I hope I don't embarrass NormanK too much by saying he is a teacher par excellence Smile )

It would help us all enormously if a few more journalists and politicians took notice of Russell's words and lived by some, if not all, these commandments.

Do your self a favour and pop over to Brain Pickings from time to time there is always something incredible to discover there.


May 3. 2012 07:26 AM



The Silent Voice of the Prime Minister, Ben Peek
The Australian Government has guided this nation unscathed through the global financial crisis — which has ruined much of the western world. For this alone, it should be held up by our media as at least partially effective. But this is never heard in our mainstream press, who portray the Gillard Government as ineffective and chaotic. There is no doubt at all that there is an agenda to bring down the Government by an organisation that owns about 70 per cent

Double standards: why we hate Gillard so much, Tim Dunlop, The Drum
A former Liberal staffer, a mainstay of media talkfests and panel shows, declared on national television that Julia Gillard should be "kicked to death", a comment that drew virtually zero condemnation in the mainstream media.

The Right and Polite Discourse, Archie, Archiearchives
That “free Speech” has taken a right turn for the worse and now, in most countries in the world, what is happening in Australia would attract the attention of the security forces. Although they all seem to be looking only at Left-Wing activities.Not at the words appearing in print, on our TV’s and coming out of our radios

Why Are People So Unkind-, Sal Piracha, Only the Depth Varies
I’m delighted that you spent your 2000 words trying to convince us that you’re really trying to save the ALP, against your better judgment.But I’m not buying it, Joe. We both know damn well that you just spent 2000 words pointing out to your readers – most of whom would choose root canal surgery over voting Labor

Poll shows more people now want Gillard Government to run full term, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices
48% think the Labor Government should run its full term until the 2013 election and 42% think an election should be held now.
10% don’t know.

The conspiracy of silence about Grahame ‘Kicker’ Morris, Independent Australia
My story yesterday about Liberal Party political insider Grahame Morris suggesting Julia Gillard should be kicked to death provoked a massive amount of interest. It has been read by over 6,000 different people, shared almost 700 times on Facebook and over 300 times on Twitter. For a young and relatively small independent news and opinion website such as Independent Australia, it was a big story.

Hope keeps people happy and healthy so dont always tell the truth, Paul Frijters, Club Troppo
Now, to classically trained economists, the fact that hope itself is a consumption good quite apart from realised consumption may be surprising, but in the reality of economic policy the big lesson from this kind of finding has been incorporated long ago: always

Tough sell: Swan's unenviable budget quandary, Greg Jericho, The Drum
This is where those treasurers who focus only on deficit/surplus miss the point. It is not just about whether or not the budget should be in surplus; it is about why they believe the budget needs to be in surplus and why the cuts made to various

Dissecting A Media Beat Up – The MP and the Channel 7 reporter, and the Ch 7 reporter admits making it up, Turn Left 2013
Latika Bourke, of ABC, (who gets credit for once, for going to the source, the subject of the , story, and not merely parroting Tony Abbotts interpretation) asked Joel Fitzgibbon, Chief Government Whip, if the story from Sarah Wiley, channel 7 reporter, was true

Can the media make a good fist of self-regulation, Open and Shut
"Media fears for freedom as watchdog unleashed" in The Australian"Watchdog a 'threat to free press'" in The Australian"Put simply, mooted muzzle would not work" in The Australian"Bringing the media to heel" editorial in The Australian"Media union to fight government control" in the Herald Sun

Hockey & Welfare, Feeding the Chooks, Hockey’s economic laziness works best if we let ourselves become distracted by the pathos. We need to first ask: do the numbers add up? If a party is sincere in its philosophy, then we should be testing that sincerity via the accuracy of the numbers, rather than getting drunk on economically ignorant outrage and thrashing about in the surf of the culture wars

Julia Gillard’s Ugly Top 10, Wendy Harmer, Hoopla
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has copped her fair share of insults. Is it No Big Deal? Game on, move on, nothing to see here? Or something else entirely?Here are the top 10 most-publicised barbs aimed at Ms Gillard who was sworn in as Australia’s first female Prime Minister on June 24, 2010

Slippery politics trumps conventions, James English, On Line Opinion
The allegations made against Peter Slipper have created an opportunity for those he damaged. The gloves have come off; Wilkie and Abbott are seeking to land a bare-knuckled punch and knock Slipper out of the chair entirely. Labor has been forced to relinquish its support for conventions in recognition

Vic budget – slashing services for the poor, building $500m private prison. Contrast ignored by media, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
W Ted Baillieu’s Liberals, Victorians were thrilled to learn of massive spending cuts (including letting basic utility discounts for very low income earners fall behind inflation) in order to pander to the right-wingers’ insane fixation on surpluses-at-all-costs.

OMG! The market will be spooked if the RBA cuts 50!, Stephen Koukoulas, Market Economics
Well, the RBA went 50 and guess what? Bond yields are around 5 to 10 basis points lower across the curve; the stock market is up a touch more than 1% and the Australian dollar is down marginally to be trading at 1.0350.

Private banks are infuriating the RBA. Why it went big, Peter Martin
The Age has learned that one of the reasons the Reserve Bank went for a big cut of 0.50 points yesterday rather than a more traditional 0.25 with the option of a followup was a concern that

It's Time, Rupert, Eric Ellis,The Global Mail
The latest episode of this compelling danse de la mort came yesterday, May 1, in what was the most humiliating public denunciation of Murdoch in his 60-year business career."Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company," concluded the House of Commons' Culture,

British MPs massacre the Murdochs, Paul Barry, The Power Index
Defending this headline verdict to the media, Labour MP Tom Watson claimed bluntly, "Everybody in the world knows who is responsible for the wrongdoing at News Corporation. Rupert Murdoch. More than any individual alive he is to blame. Morally the deeds are his;  

Parliament: Rupert Murdoch “Unfit” to Lead News Corp
News Corp., which has already paid out millions to settle lawsuits from celebrities, crime victims, and other public figures whose voice mails were hacked, has yet to respond fully. Hey, Rupert, don’t worry—that old media is moot anyway, now that your on Twitter.


Emerson says Pyne has been caught out, ABC
Trade Minister Craig Emerson says Christopher Pyne is seeking to conceal the truth over his meeting with Peter Slipper's former staffer James Ashby

The Drum Wednesday 2 May
Tim Palmer speaks to the editor of The Spectator Australia Tom Switzer, Michael Gleeson from Hawker Britton, and Drum columnist Greg Jericho.

Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category, 8 Video’s


May 3. 2012 07:29 AM



Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 3 May 2012




May 3. 2012 07:40 AM


Jane @ 11.01

Yur comment was much better and more focused than anything I would have written.  Thank you


May 3. 2012 08:04 AM


Damning with faint praise, but almost unbelievably from Paul Sheehan, who I recall saying some pretty hateful things in the past himself, perspective (perspective!, is that possible in today's poisonous politico/media 'environment'???) on Julia Gillard, and her right and the Labor Party's requirement to just let her get on with the job.



May 3. 2012 08:08 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

May 3. 2012 08:12 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
That was an interesting video clip of Tony Abbott walking away from questions at a presser.  His arrogance is breathtaking.  But the MSM is gradually waking up to this man who wants to be PM.

Ad astra

May 3. 2012 09:51 AM

Ad astra

I'll be out and about all day on family matters, and won't be back until this evening.

Ad astra

May 3. 2012 10:18 AM

Bushfire Bill&#39;s Alter Ego

My sister tells me that Annabell Crabb has chaged her tune re. Pyne's involvement in the Ashby Affair. From "How silly!" to "He's got some questions to answer." This took three days.

The Australian writes an editorial this morning softening up its readers about Pyne's involvemnt saying "the truth will out" (and excusing any involvement by Pyne in advance as just "doing his job").

What I certainly forgot (and perhaps others, too) is that the Commonwealth is the First Respondent in the Ashby case.

That means the Commonwealth has full discovery privileges and legal status in the case, as they are the ones he is claiming failed to provide a decent workplace for him and his purple polo shirt, and from whom he is seeking substantial damages.

The Commonwealth presumably can force Ashby to cough up the missing SMS texts, and perhaps all of them, to provide full context, or if collusion is suspected, including any texts (and emails) in Ashby's in out out boxes, to or from Pyne, in the period under adjudication (and before?).

So, yes, truth will out, one way or another, and the truth may hurt anyone involved, even obliquely, including Pyne and the LNP.

Christopher Pyne, better sharpen your pencil. The Commonwealth has all the money, and a lot of the running in this case. Ashby's suing them well might turn out to be a double-edged sword. Unless Ashby does "a Grech" and fails to turn up, otherwise falls ill, or is too traumatized to claim damages for... traumatization... then he will have to front the beak eventually, or be disgraced for bringing vexatious litigation.

This is about to get even more interesting.

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

May 3. 2012 10:26 AM


Good Morning Bushfire Bill, Ad and Everybody

Some Twitter links for you all, Bushfire you will be pleased to see you take the lead Bravo:-

Mark ‏
Bushfire explains how The Australian admits Pyne needs to tell truth about his involvement in Ashby affair: http://bit.ly/IVzFIL #auspol
The Australian’s editorial provides another, pompously-written (meaning more than one sentence per paragraph, and stentorianly-toned), confirmation that Pyne is in the Ashby Affair up to his neck, and he’s going to get caught for it.

Coalition diplomacy with our near neighbours is going very well: "An Indonesian official has accused Australia's... http://fb.me/1TIqvNj

Indonesia slams Bishop over asylum policy 'arrogance

The Age‏
Thomson not off the hook yet, says HSU chief. Latest. www.theage.com.au/.../...chief-20120503-1y06p.html via @theage

Possum Comitatus
Indonesia condemns Abbott's boat polices, makes them inoperable. http://bit.ly/ImXecO Calls Julie Bishop arrogant (HT @Thefinnigans)

Sid Maher
Christopher Pyne dodges questions over Peter Slipper #auspol http://bit.ly/ITAIZz

David Kirkpatrick‏
Did the Coalition willfully try to destroy Slipper? Assisted by NewsLtd? MT @vexnews Pyne alters Slipper story #auspol

Paul Sheehan
Who would hv thunk that a #MSMhack called Canberra press gallery as The vultures of flux in the treatment of PM Gillard

John Pratt‏@Jackthelad1947
Minister breaks ranks. Liberals too are disgusted with cuts to TAFE.

The Punch‏
Malcolm Farr
Wayne Swan has our PM in the palm of his hand, says Mal Farr: www.thepunch.com.au/.../

Richard Stanton‏
Matthew Franlin
Right behind PM declares Ludwig http://bit.ly/IVfQ4g As Sir Humphrey said you have to get behind them before you can stab them in the back

HSU boss calls for new union regulator: A HSU executive says Unions should be regulated by an independent body s... http://bit.ly/KQ9Det

(B1) Premier Lara Giddings said Mr Abbott's GST stance was a bid to win votes in states with Liberal premiers....

The Australian's editorial: Claims against Speaker Slipper must be tested on facts, not politics #auspol
Speaker claims must be tested on facts, not politics Editorial  
The Australian May 03, 2012 12:00AMquestions about Mr Pyne's contact with James Ashby -- who has made the claims of sexual harassment and abuse of entitlements -- are pertinent. For his sake and that of the Opposition Leader, we trust he has told the truth because the truth will out. And after ending up with egg on its face over the Godwin Grech forgery three years ago, the opposition can ill afford to be caught in chicanery nowwww.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg71x-1226345182819



May 3. 2012 10:57 AM


there is a lot explaining to do all round.

Unless Mr Abbott has undergone a miraculous Damascene conversion I am completely at a loss as to how he reconcile the contradiction of defending Andrew Laming (and others) in 2007 and now hounding both Slipper and Thompson.

Abbott and his dirt squad probably don't care that much as they seem to believe they are getting many notches on their belts.

The game of Aus politics just gets curiouser and curiouser by the hour.


May 3. 2012 11:09 AM


DMW @11.30pm 2/5, the rancid fat just keeps rising to the top!

Gary M @11.54pm 2/5, chortle!

2353 @7.40am, thanks for the heads up. Like everyone here I try to expose the breathtaking hypocrisy and grubby mendacity that calls itself HM's loyal opposition.

Ad astra @8.12am, do you think the msm's sudden awareness of Liealot's arrogance, mendacity and hypocrisy could be related to Rupert copping it from the British Commons?

BBAE, amazing how quickly a house of cards falls.

It's interesting that the OO etc are seeing fit to write editorials mildly criticising Prissy and exhorting him to tell the truth, hot on the heels of the Commons denouncing Murdoch as a liar and unfit to run a chook raffle, let alone a big business!

Seems there are significant cracks developing in the Empire's foundations. How long will it be before rats start leaving the building with their worthless resumes?

Ashby may be a tougher nut than Grech atm, but as the plan goes even more pear shaped, I think he'll save his own skin before he saves Prissy's and by association the LOTO's.

I'm considering buying a new armchair and some popcorn.


May 3. 2012 11:42 AM


Hi Jane

Go Jane Go,  you are our TPS Mascot Girl.



May 3. 2012 11:56 AM


The Punch is an Australian opinion and news website owned and run by News Limited, the Australian holding of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.


I was wondering why such a dopey and reductionist article would find its way onto that blog:

A bogan’s revenge: 10 signs you’re an inner-city tosser

4. You dress-up your love of TV as something intellectual or ironic

If you ticked “yes” to this, there’s a good chance you studied media or cultural studies at University.  In which case you can probably talk about whether or not Bart Simpson fits the Nietzschean ideal.

3. You use unnecessarily large words

A really good wanker will find a use for obtuse, dichotomy,  paradigmatic, Latin words, figurative and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in daily conversation


Seems to me these points reveal the poster has some bigtime hangups...and possibly an inferiority complex.

Language is there to be used...I guess we could all go back to grunting and pointing...but even Tony Abbott and John Howard would find that rather limiting...even though they seem to heart a media corporation that produces stereotyping, tribalistic claptrap like this article.

Still, we all see through the BS...they might act like they prefer to get down and dirty with the regular folk...but I'm sure News Ltd columnists love to be spoilt and pampered like any employee working for an elite organisation...one that props up the richest of the rich...run by one of the richest of the rich...Dear Leader Rupert.

And speaking of spoilt...how many of them get a free ride and handy spruiking courtesy of our public broadcaster? Nothing like valuable taxpayer dollars being used to promote the career of a Murdoch empire minion...or twelve:








Nice gig if ya can get it.

Still, I guess Rupert must be crying poor now thanks to all those phone hacking-related compensation payments...needs the ABC to help launch his hacks...let's get out the bagpipes and play a mournful song...whilst we scroll through Murdoch and News Corporations' meager assets:


Ironic ain't it that News Ltd accuse PM Gillard and the government of the politics of envy...yet in their ongoing propaganda effort to win over the so called "battlers" votes they don't mind throwing out the odd article that attempts to pit Australians against one another...providing shallow definitions of both suburban and city folk...and anyone else vs uni graduates...

and with Rupert and team attempting to park themselves in the "elite-free zone" they also sound like they have one almighty chip on their shoulder.

You'd think Rupert as he sits in his plush homes and offices visited by all kinds of influential people...being chauffeured around in his big black car...going to parties on super rich fckers yachts...playing golf like the best of toffs...and pontificating by tweets and newspapers from his high chair in New York would have brushed off the chips.

But I imagine the politics of division is worn as comfortably by our opportunistic Rupert as his sleazy tabloid cardigan..all keeping him nice and warm during the cold winter winds of the UK storms...

and those chips on his shoulder are merely manufactured stripes and bars...representing his achievements in the War on Unions...the War on Taxes...the War on Terror...the War on Secularism...the War on News Corporations' competition...the War on educational institutions that empower...the War on smartening up rather than dumbing down...the War on a secure, well-paid workforce...the War on cleaner energy bar nuclear energy.

Blow that funky bagpipe white boy:





May 3. 2012 12:27 PM


Bushfire Bill
It is a pleasure to see you here so often now. I am a relative newcomer to blogging on this site, less than two years, but I have always wished to read you here, there is no way of seeing all you write on the swiftly-flowing PB, not that I want to stop your posting there or anywhere, au contraire, I want to see your writings all over the place, but here most of all.

But as you bring attention to TPS with articles that last for up to several days on the current page, so the Sword, in the person most particularly of Lyn with her Daily Links, brings attention to your inspirational leads, as she does to every outstanding writer over time. And no really exceptional article, I warrant,  ever escapes Lyn's attention.

It's  all very heartening to see Ad's splendid Sword singing so swingeingly. Because I happen to think it is very important, TPS and the Fifth Estate as a whole.

Has anyone a link to *J*U*L*I*A* *next-questioning* La Stupida?

I would love to see it.
It must be iconic. The Best v the rest. Journalists beware. You are about to learn how it feels to be on the receiving end. And so are the Abbortians.  

The Government front benchers are set to take on their steely fighting personae. It is manifest today. Said so didn't I!  It can't be steely enough for me. No prisoners! We are all fed up with the MSM, they must be brought to heel now or never. Murdoch Dad and Lad have been very helpful to this cause lately you will have noticed.

. . . Joint strike fighters . . . said Stephen  Smith on TV as I wrote that last bit. Cosmic! Just the image I needed.

Only I won't play you the Apocalypse Now version of the helicopters blowing the Vietnamese village to hell, (it's horrible but we all know, it's true); instead I'll link the one I'm in, see my photo at 57 seconds for a few seconds. As Jason Obelix will confirm.  




May 3. 2012 12:42 PM


Bushfire Bill
It is a pleasure to see you here so often now. I am a relative newcomer to blogging on this site, less than two years, but I have always wished to read you here, there is no way of seeing all you write on the swiftly-flowing PB, not that I want to stop posting there or anywhere, au contraire, I want to see your writings all over the place, but here most of all.

But as you bring attention to TPS with articles that last for up to several days on the leading page, so the Sword, in the person most particularly of Lyn with her Daily Links, brings attention to your inspirational leads, as she does to every outstanding writer over time. And no really exceptional article, I warrant,  ever escapes Lyn's attention.

It's  all very heartening to see Ad's splendid Sword singing so swingeingly. Because I happen to think it is very important, TPS and the Fifth Estate as a whole.
Has anyone a link to *J*U*L*I*A* *next-questioning* La Stupida?

I would love to see it.
It must be iconic. The Best v the rest. Journalists beware. You are about to find out what it feels like to be on the receving end. As are the Abborttians.  

The Government front benchers are set to take on their steely fighting personae. It is manifest today in the pressers. Abbortt and Pthe Poodle shitting themselves as their collusion in the Ashby conspiracy emerges.

It can't be steely enough for me. No prisoners! We are all fed up with the MSM, they must be brought to heel now or never. Murdoch Dad and Lad have been very helpful to this cause lately you will have noticed.

. . . Joint strike fighters . . . said Stephen  Smith on TV just as I wrote that last bit.
Cosmic! Just the image I needed. Aux armes Camarades!


See my photograph at 58-65 seconds in. As Jason Oblelix will confirm. Smile

The Apocalypse Now version is a shocker:



May 3. 2012 12:52 PM


Sorry folks re double post, Thing that dwells in TPS took  a while to download the first one, I thought it had gone Fwwt. So now you got two.
In the first I withheld Apocalypse Now's horrorshow, second time included it. Suit self.  


May 3. 2012 01:14 PM



Thnx for the valuable links...this from Tim Dunlop:

Of course, none of this is to excuse the various problems of the Gillard Government. But there is a point to make about the level of aggressive hysteria that currently infects mainstream commentary about this government.

It cannot simply be explained by the performance of the government or the behaviour of the current prime minister. If economic issues are what matter, then this government is performing as well, arguably better, than the Howard Government, and in much more difficult circumstances.

It cannot simply be explained by the 'scandals' each government brought upon itself.

Maybe you can argue that Gillard's problems with Slipper and Thompson are more serious than Howard's with, say, Mal Colson and the plethora of ministers he had to sack for breaching the code of conduct.

But the differential doesn't explain why so many commentators were willing to excuse Howard's problems but portray Gillard's as some sort of existential crisis for Australian democracy itself.

And honestly, what is more serious than a government committing the nation to war on the basis of demonstrably false intelligence? Compared to that, shifting positions on a price on carbon is small potatoes.

So what's going on?

Stripped of all the self-justifying nonsense used to maintain the rage that currently fills our newspapers and airwaves, there are three pertinent distinctions between this government and the Howard Government: it is a Labor Government, it is a minority government, and the current prime minister is a woman.

Being a Labor government not only alienates the dominant right-wing media, it brings business into public discussion in a way that simply never happens with a Coalition government.

Bad behaviour by Howard was excused by a phalanx of media apologists. Policy disagreements that would have been discussed in backrooms with a Coalition government are now made the subject of multimillion dollar advertising campaigns.

The hung parliament forces the government into deal making that is nearly always interpreted as weakness by the media, and they also tend to preference stability (interpreted as 'strength') over achievement. The buzzword is 'authority'.

Gillard being a woman means she is judged by a different standard, and let's not pretend otherwise. It may not be a decisive matter, but it is one that shifts the balance of interpretation.

When she is tough, she is seen as treacherous and unbecoming. When she prefers compromise and negotiation, she is seen as weak. Oh yeah, and she doesn't have kids: how can she relate to 'normal' people?

The Gillard Government is far from perfect, and ultimately has no-one to blame for its poor standing but itself. All I'm trying to put my finger on is why their bad behaviour is deemed so much more unacceptable than the bad behaviour of the previous Coalition government. Those three reasons are key.


Tim is spot on, per usual.

If the voters think they're going to get a viable alternative with Tony Abbott and John Howard's old amigos they are kidding themselves bigtime.

I've lived and worked in a number of countries over the years and I've never seen leaders treated as disrespectfully and attacked so viciously & disrespectfully by the MSM as PM's Gillard and Rudd.

Low unemployment, reasonable interest rates, lowish inflation, school infrastructure and access to computer technology improved, affordable childcare after the ABC childcare centres disaster, roads improved, NBN rollouts, lots more money for healthcare, a paid parental leave scheme, a disability insurance scheme about to rollout, no new wars...

I'm beginning to wonder if too many of the Australian public are sleepwalking...

certainly this government has had problems...shot itself in the foot a few times...but it's minor stuff...

to think the Australian voters could be about to bring in again the old guard Liberals and Nats who spun and lied their way thru scandal and review over and over again...

a Coalition that neglected to do sooo much considering the mining boom and prosperity of that era...

it makes me despair.

They're willing to throw away the mining tax?
The national broadband scheme?
The trades training centres?
Greener more diverse energy opportunities?
Worker protections?
Extra funding for public schools?
And risk being shoved into another expensive, useless war?

I don't get it.

Maybe we really do live in a "dumbed down" country.

Thanks Australian media...you have done a great job in selling out your country.
You've earnt your blood money.



May 3. 2012 02:04 PM


Look at this from Malcolm Farr @ The Daily Telegraph in 2007:

Voters don't blame John Howard for interest rate rise

VOTERS aren't ready to blame John Howard should interest rates go up this week - despite Labor's best efforts.

Even among Labor voters, less than 20 per cent would blame the Prime Minister, an exclusive Galaxy opinion poll has found.

And almost half the electorate doesn't believe Mr Howard misled them on interest rates in the campaign for the 2004 election.

Winning the interest rate debate this week could be crucial, with more than 20 per cent of voters saying they would only make up their minds on election eve.


Attempting to manipulate public perception on the eve of an 07 election.

Howard misled the public on interest rate promises and economic management fullstop.
And the reasons for going to war.

And they knew it back then. They chucked him out.

And now the Coalition team who brought us such BS...and so many interest rate rises in a row...and economic, training, essential services & infrastructure neglect...and two expensive wars...

are acting like they are a fresh alternative...

look and tell me what you see:


I see old guard Howard government hammock lovers.




May 3. 2012 02:10 PM


Nasking 1:14PM  Darn good summation of the current situation.

I'm going to quote myself from an entry above, because... just because.

"Examine every Coalition policy (well, those that exist) and you will always find that their axiomatic base is the easy way out. Always."



May 3. 2012 02:42 PM

Bushfire Bill&#39;s Alter Ego

Thanks for the nice comments guys.

I look forward to the Commonwealth exercising its right as First Respondent to dig a little deeper into the inner workings and motivations of The Mysterious Mr. Ashby.

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

May 3. 2012 02:49 PM


Well said Michael.

Cheers BB.

James Packer is ready to sell his 25 per cent stake in Foxtel for a $1 billion with the likely buyer News Corp, the Herald Sun says.

Nothing like media diversity eh?

She said, hey babe, take a walk on the Rupert side
And the News Corp shills help it all go

Kerching kerching kerching kerching
Kerching kerching kerching kerching
Kerching kerching kerching kerching…

Rupert for awhile gave it away
But soon everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a phone hack there
New York City is the place where they said:
Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said hey suckers, take a walk on the Rupert side…



May 3. 2012 03:38 PM


This from Ben Peek blog:

The truth is, News Ltd run a constant daily campaign to bring down the Government and bring on an election. It is quite blatant and obvious. Just yesterday, they had online opinion poll in all their publications on whether Gillard should call an immediate election. Unsurprisingly, given no-one but a Liberal Party supporter (or a masochist) would read News Ltd’s now entirely one-sided propaganda, an overwhelming number of people said the Prime Minister should. Upwards of 90 per cent — which is rather reminiscent of the 99 per cent election wins by Saddam Hussein. Of course, a Galaxy poll taken concurrently put this figure at a more believable 52 per cent — barely a majority of voters.

I thought this comment from the Ben Peek blog expressed well how many of the public, ignored by the mainstream media (MSM), feel:

martinlivings wrote:

This morning, I saw Laurie Oakes talking about Wayne Swan's impassioned statements about the non-existent leadership challenge, where he pointed out that the only numbers he and the PM care about are the unemployment figures and the healthy economy, and Oakes said something like "well, they need a leader who can communicate this kind of good news, because all we hear about are the stuff-ups". I had to physically restrain myself from hurling a cup at the television. Of course all we hear about are the "stuff-ups", because THAT'S ALL *YOU* FUCKING TELL US ABOUT!


Thnx to Lyn for the useful link.



May 3. 2012 05:26 PM


Ya know, I was just thinking about that Gore VS Bush election…and the later one with Kerry…

Fox News spruiked Bush like he was the messiah himself…and the Democratic party was the Devil.

And even tho the Republicans took their eye off the economic ball, think GFC…and took us into two very expensive wars…

News Corp donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association in June 2010…

Around the same time, News Corp. also donated $1 million to the United States Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber aggressively supported the Republican effort to retake Congress in 2010

Fox News also pushed the Tea Party bigtime

they won mid-term elections…and went on to almost push the American…and consequently, the world economy…off a cliff over the debt ceiling issue.

Well I’ll tell ya somethin’...

I’m making a list of every journo and commentator who is in the Murdoch empire or joins News Ltd in its cause to get rid of this ALP government and replace it with an Abbott-led one…Abbott being a Murdoch puppet.

And if that Abbott-led government screws up like Howard in those last years…and the GW Bush administration…

and we end up in a recession…

I’m going to let the people know who they can blame…day in and day out by way of blogging.

The list begins with Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, David Speers, Alan Jones…

Two reminders from 2003:

Their master’s voice
Rupert Murdoch argued strongly for a war with Iraq in an interview this week. Which might explain why his 175 editors around the world are backing it too, writes Roy Greenslade

He believes that deposing the Iraqi leader would lead to cheaper oil. “The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy…would be $20 a barrel for oil. That’s bigger than any tax cut in any country.”


Fancy backing this old horse.



May 3. 2012 05:41 PM


So far Tim Dunlop's post @ The Drum has attracted




May 3. 2012 05:48 PM


Hi Bushfire Bill

This is news about Pyne:-

Pyne email surfaces as 'cover-up' claims persist
Jessica Wright

May 3, 2012 - 5:18PM

Mr Pyne's email was sent to an unnamed staffer in the Speaker's office at 11.01pm on March 19 - minutes after he left the late-night chat session in the Speaker's office - and asks: ''What's James' email address or mobile.''

The reply email is time-stamped as 10.02pm, the one-hour difference explained by the message having been sent from a Blackberry programmed to Queensland time - one hour behind the ACT - and synced with a computer in Mr Slipper's Sunshine Coast electorate office.

In fact, the reply was sent one minute after the original email from Mr Pyne was received.  All non-government staffers' emails end with the profile @aph.gov.au.

It is understood Mr Pyne has known the sender of the email for many years.

The email adds fuel to claims made by Labor that Mr Pyne and others in the Coalition had prior knowledge of Mr Ashby's sexual harassment claim lodged against Mr Slipper - an allegation that has forced Mr Slipper to stand down




May 3. 2012 06:34 PM



Make that 734 comments - mine has to be moderated and has not yet appeared. This is what I wrote:

Michelle Grattan should fall on her poison pen. If she survives that for any length of time then Grahame Morris should finish her off with his steel capped boots. Then she should be stuffed into a hessian bag along with Alan Jones and dropped out at sea off Bondi, near the sewerage outlet.

lol! Just a quip! Ha Ha. I have no specific memory of typing the above comment! Frankly, I'm offended by the implication that I did type it in response to Tim Dunlop's article.


May 3. 2012 06:43 PM


Maybe Pyne should stand down as he is obviously under some cloud.  He can join the other LNP members including the Leader of the Opposition.

Oh! Silly me, the Leader of the Opposition doesn't believe it's necessary for MP's accused of any misdeed to have to stand down, does he Andrew Laming?


May 3. 2012 07:24 PM

Bushfire Bill&#39;s Alter Ego

Re. Pyne... don't forget that because the Commonwealth is a co-respondent in this case, they have MANY rights to discovery and subpoena.

This could get interesting.

Bushfire Bill's Alter Ego

May 3. 2012 08:44 PM


Ross Gittins has gotten all deep and meaningless oops, sorry, philosophical discussing the intersection of economics, politics and what we believe is the best way to do it.

Truth is almost always in the middle
The sweet spot in the middle is so hard to find. We keep falling for the simplicity and false certainty of extreme solutions.

Some useful and interesting information.


May 3. 2012 09:07 PM


BB, Ad, Lyn, Casablanca, 2353, TT, Michael, jane and others,

some bedtime reading via Pip @ The Cafe:

Is Tom Crone Rupert Murdoch’s John Dean?
Comparisons with Watergate raise worrying prospects for News Corporation, writes Rodney Tiffen


WHEN Carl Bernstein, half of the investigative team whose work eventually led to US president Richard Nixon’s downfall, described this scandal as “Murdoch’s Watergate” last year in Newsweek, it was the first time he had invoked the Watergate parallel in the years since those events took place. In an era in which virtually any scandal acquires the “-gate” suffix, this might be written off as hyperbole, but in fact the comparison with the Watergate scandal is illuminating.

The similarities are considerable. Both involved illegal surveillance. In both cases the leaders – Nixon and Murdoch – didn’t know about the offences in advance but were implicated precisely because of the organisational culture and ethos they had fostered. Both scandals would have dissipated with little public impact if not for investigative reporting – by Woodward and Bernstein on Watergate, and by the Guardian’s Nick Davies on the phone hacking – and in both cases their newspapers (the Washington Post and the Guardian) showed considerable editorial courage while receiving little initial support from the rest of the news media. In both cases, it was the official proceedings that arose from the scandal that achieved the significant outcomes, and in both cases the revelations of cover-ups added considerably to the impact of the original offences.


A Descent into the Maelstrom




May 3. 2012 09:11 PM






May 3. 2012 09:25 PM


British MP abused over Murdoch decision
Updated: 20:42, Thursday May 3, 2012


Quite rightly an issue...

but interesting that SKY etc. jump to attention when it's a Tory who backs them is attacked...

yet our PM gets attacked by Grahame Morris on SKY NEWS and we hear stuff all.

Typical double standards.



May 3. 2012 09:42 PM

Ad astra reply

It's been a long day attending to family matters, with several hundred kilometers on the road .  I've just now caught up with your absorbing comments.  Thank you.  Tim Dunlop's piece was spot on.  The Pune affair gets more intriguiging by the hour. What next!

I'm calling it a day.

Ad astra reply

May 3. 2012 10:05 PM

Russell in Glendale

Hi TT and BB great comments as always.
Sometimes it feels like the place is going to the dogs, (bit unfair to the fourleggeds)the current govt is doing good things yet not getting any good press for it. Whilst Tony is mouthing his abuse and getting great coverage... However, the power will go to their heads with a large majority and its likely the pendulum will swing back the other way. Perhaps we may get some serious discussions regarding proportion voting. Oh!! wouldnt that drive the tory's to drink. Pandering to the lowest common denominator on the outskirts of the cities. Most of the marginal electorates are places like Penrith that think the boat people are coming to get them. All the abuse to curry favour with the disconnected, the uninterested and just plain nasty to help drive and form immigration policy. Maybe the seeds of something much better may come from this very shameful period of Australian political life.

Russell in Glendale

May 3. 2012 10:10 PM


nasking, thanks for your reply.  Sometimes it's hard to sort the wheat from the chaff, especially when there is a constant bombardment of chaff.  Blogs like this keep me sane Smile

Ad:  The Pune affair?  Sounds interesting, in a creepy way.


May 3. 2012 10:49 PM


Now that school holidays are over and visitors are back where they belong I can do some real reading to catch up with posts I've only had time to scan and sometimes comment on briefly late at night for a while now.

As I started to read this one through quickly when it first appeared and saw those early few words about our once unsinkable Labor government being holed and appearing to be going down, my heart began to sink too.  Was even Bushfire Bill giving up on our brave Captain Julia and writing an article about the sinking of her ship of state?

I had to put it to one side and then suffered needlessly for a few hours until I should have time to read it properly. Then in bed on late night news I heard the verdict on Rupert Murdoch by the Poms and rushed out to my desk wide awake to read what you all had to say about that!  And then still more wide awake I read B B's post properly and enjoyed every word he had written, as always.  I particularly liked this about the political commentators and

the preening elite of journalism who write, without the slightest sense of the absurdity of their outpourings, increasingly bizarre, self-referential and nonsensical analysis. The pampered prognosticators, their feet still dry, waving their first class tickets, claim a right to seats in whatever lifeboats are left, even as they repel survivors still in the water, seeking rescue. In a tighter than ever market for their shallow skills, even the non-News Ltd journalists, those from the nearly bankrupt Fairfax and the cowering ABC, work effectively for Murdoch as when their own lifeboats go under, they believe there will always be a welcoming News Ltd there, ready to take them on-board

Yes, I agreed, they had been far worse than their normal appalling in the days before this.  There was almost a palpable sense of urgency, even desperation, in their determination to bring Julia Gillard and her government down. With hindsight I can imagine that News Ltd management had been alerted to the fears of Murdoch and Son about that looming verdict from the Brits and the word had gone out of the need to preserve the Antipodean corner of their empire.  Gillard must go!  Now!

Well, we'll see about that,  won't we?  

PS  Was it my imagination or was this evening's ABC news almost acceptable?


May 3. 2012 10:58 PM


Casablanca said

Michelle Grattan should fall on her poison pen.

Smile !


May 3. 2012 11:26 PM


Pardon me Bushfire Bill's alter ego

Your alter alter ego on Poll Bludger said this (which everybody who despises Poo-Poo will want to read in breathless hope):

Posted [on Poll Bludger] Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

(quoting Rummel):
The civil claim relates to the actual sexual assault claim not who might have tipped off or helped Ashby. If its found by court to be false, Slipper could make a Vexatious claim against Ashby, including those that may have assisted him in being Vexatious.

It’s not sexual assault, or even sexual harassment, Rummel. It’s discrimination due to Ashby’s sexuality. But I’m sure this has been pointed out to you: there are no sexual harassment sections in the FW Act.

You forget that the Commonwealth is the First Respondent in this case. The Commonwealth has unlimited financial resources and many, many rights to demand better and more particular evidence from Ashby.

Ashby is sunk. He is gone before he even sets foot in the court room. It is such a transparently weak case, and a put up job that the Commonwealth will be well justified in going in as hard as possible in order to deter future pissweakery like this.

Otherwise every time someone tells someone else they look fat in a T-shirt, or they can’t come on a harbour cruise the Commonwealth will have to pay.

This is a winnable case. Legally it needs to be won to protect the Commonwealth in future, and politically it needs to be proved that Slipper has been either entrapped, set up or deliberately stitched up.

The fall out will involve not just Ashby, but anyone else in the LNP who has urged him on, plus News Ltd. As soon a News Ltd is implicated in yet another Grech-type incident, this will open the doors to an inquiry here similar to the one in the UK. It can only turn out badly for News Ltd. It could, by involving yet another country in their wickedness, ruin them and the Murdoch clan forever.

The government can win, and win big out of this, and I personally expect they will.

Ashby’s gambit was designed to garner a quick result. It did, of course, with polls plummeting and maniacal calls for resignation, Ruddstoration and “deadlines” being presented to Gillard… all of which she has ignored. She even has Wilkie back on side by now.

The time for a coup d’etat has passed. Poll results, even bad ones are not a substitute for a formal, constitutional election. This is what the Liberals and News Ltd haven’t worked out yet.

Looking forward, we just have the legal grind, the discovery of documents and the relentless exposure of the nastiness behind this scam with an unlimited budget to pursue this business as far as it can go.

It’s called blowback, Rummy.

Bushfire Bill's alter ego's alter ego



May 3. 2012 11:55 PM


Nasking@May 3. 2012 09:07 PM

Thanks for the bedtime reading.  

As Tiffen suggests, Perhaps the biggest risk Rupert Murdoch took last week was when he gambled that his lawyer (Tom Crone) will not end up playing a similar role...as Nixon’s lawyer, John Dean, (who)switched sides and played an important role in the president’s downfall.


May 4. 2012 12:40 AM


Good evening all!   Finally reading Bushfire Bill's great post and all your comments here as well as those on Wixxy's at cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../ got me wondering about the PM's line which had been crossed.  I had a few verses drafted and then I read TT's reference to Poo Poo Pyne!   I think this works, TT!   Anyway I'm posting it with a few notes for Miglo.

What Is This Line Which Has Been Crossed?

The PM said that a line had been crossed.
Respect for Parliament was in decline.
A dark cloud over it meant much was lost.
“I’ve made a judgement.  And that judgement’s mine.”

Journalists thought that without a doubt
The Prime Minister had drawn the line!
But where and what that line was all about
None of them seem able to define.

It’s all a bit of a mystery.
There are several threads or story lines,
Like Peter Slipper’s,  back in history,
To Queensland Nationals and Russ Hinze.*

With Craig Thomson there’s a union,
But no mention of a picket line.
Though he could have pinched gold bullion
With all the other crimes he’s been assigned.

But members Oakeshott and Windsor know
That Tony Abbott’s bottom line
Began the smell.  There they could not go.
His offer,  they felt,  they must decline.

Since then the Parliament’s been hung
And used like a dirty washing line.
Not one word of praise for her’s been sung
As the media  chorus,  “Gillard,  resign!”

But suddenly amid all the scandal
There’s something in the Coalition’s line,
Which like a faintly flickering candle
Has the PM’s chances begin to shine.

The Slipper story's just a fairy tale,
They shrug,  spun over a bottle of wine
After a few beers and maybe an ale.
The stench is the usual POO from Chrissie Pyne.

*Hinze pronounced here as in washing lines, not rubbish bins!


May 4. 2012 12:43 AM


Thinking on the Incredible Shrinking Ashby

Is there not some suggestion as to maybe Ashby's having, like, trailed his coat, or dropped a pretty little frilly hanky as he passed by Slipper once or twice . . . or a few times . . .

What is the pre-history eh? How many chance encounters?

Dam, Ashby was/is? an LNP member was'/is? he not?

I think I smell honey
Plus something unfunny

I have to say Slipper doesn't come out as all that ethical in all this, but he's entitled to his sexuality whatever that might be. And who am I to judge.

If all the blokes in daily life who hire assistants of either gender with half an eye to possible future sexual intimacy were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised.*

It might be seen as dirty but it's not illegal, and it could even be perfectly legit for that matter . . . Couldn't it?
Pleasure with business, is it necessarily evil?

Anyway who am I to prejudge Ashby! Smile

So short of having really hounded Ashby, a few mere suggestive texts are hardly harassment. Seems to me from Slipper's single text  Oh says a lot, he seems to have been surprised and what does that imply hey?

Where is Ashby? Where is Ashby? Where is Ashby? Eh?

*(n.b. that's d'apres Dorothy Parker, "If all the girls at this party were laid end to end I wouldn't be at all surprised."
One of The Funniest Hundred Things Ever Said Smile


May 4. 2012 01:18 AM


Russell in Glendale,
Greetings, thank you for your greeting, have we, erm, met before? Please' t' meetcha anyway.

Anyway Comrade we can't wait for the pendulum to take its time, it's a big pendulum to influence (or a Titanic to turn) and the we all have to do what we can.

But the Gov'ment got brains and brawn, the power and the drive,
And *J*U*L*I*A*'s set to roast those vile Abborttian thugs alive!*

Patriciawa Good to see you in good voice, this bit interests me,
PS  Was it my imagination or was this evening's ABC news almost acceptable?

I didn't see the news but I can sense the change! It's happening! The Great Dismemberment begins! I felt the political wind change this morning - with perfect timing by *J*U*L*I*A*  and her knights-at-arms in pressers and speeches.

The MSM starts to look really tawdry altogether, shame-faced, in denial but losing, losing, never mind the Polls, the Government is changing mode, It's Time to Fight Yea!

*Is that incitement? Oooohhh do you really think so?
Hope it works.



May 4. 2012 07:30 AM


TT @ 12.43am

Ashby was an LNP member apparently - he resigned when he joined Slipper's staff.  It's interesting that no one is defending Slipper's morals (even the Bishop of his Church - where he is an ordained Minister - has publically stated they have discussed his behaviour) as what he is alleged to have done is not illegal in a criminal sense.

Ashby is sueing Slipper under the Fair Work Act for the way he was treated by his "supervisor" after he (Ashby) refused an alleged advance.  I suspect the "Cabcharge" vouchers was thrown in to grab the media attention in case the "real" issue was left alone for being to sordid for the 6pm news.


May 4. 2012 07:44 AM



Did The Age Newspaper Accidentally Support a Julia Gillard ? Peter, Aussie Views News
And the overkill? Having read the article twice I am still not sure. It seems Michelle Grattan thinks Julia Gillard’s party should not ask why a Liberal frontbencher had been in contact with James Ashby. He you will remember is the person who has raised both the Cabcharge issue and the

A fit and proper halibut, Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep
Yesterday Philip Adams tweeted that Grahame Morris ought to be smacked about the head with a halibut for his comment that Julia Gillard “should be kicked to death.” There’s a great analysis of Morris’s comment and the media’s almost total silence about it here.

Privacy law reform on the agenda, again , Peter Timmi, Open and Shut
The Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee made 59 recommendations in its reports last year on the Exposure Draft of the Australian Privacy Principles. and the Exposure Draft on Credit Reporting and there were plenty of other suggestions raised in  

Will Gillard Keep The Faith On Carbon?, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
the compensation package attached to the carbon tax has yet to roll out. This will begin to happen in early June and will act like a mini stimulus package, putting cash into the wallets of ordinary householders. Labor is fervently hoping that this will begin to turn the tide of voter opposition to the idea of pricing carbon,

Megalogenis and the generation game, again, John Quiggin
When I started reading George Megalogenis’ new book The Australian Moment I was stopped on page 1 by a piece of generation-game nonsense so silly I could scarcely believe someone as smart as GM would write it. Several people commented that it was unfair to judge a book by its first page[1], which is true,

A comment left on this blog was a threat to shoot Specific people, the Police Ignore It: Well Done Australia, Turn Left 2013
Someone left a comment on this blog that was rather long and rambling, which concluded with 2 references to wanting to shoot a people belonging to a specific group. As someone who has been

@abcthedrum Never mind the politics, feel the policy , Kurt Rudder, Don’t Believe all those lies Critically Analyze
An election? Sure. But would a change of government actually alter the new rules of politically obsessed media engagement? Probably not. How then can we use what popular power we might have to insist

Tainted Love, Wixxy, Wixxy’s Blog
Abbott says that now Thomson sits on the cross bench, his vote is “tainted”. Now that the Prime Minister has done what the Coalition have been calling for, Mr Thomson’selectorate should not be represented in Parliament according to Abbott. It seems the Coalition thinks that we should discard the rules,

Wayne Swan, Bernard Keane, The Power Index
As Treasurer he has accumulated a record of economic management that is the envy of the world. And as Deputy Prime Minister and one of the most respected members of Caucus, he can determine the parliamentary party's immediate future. With growing speculation  

Is Tom Crone Rupert Murdoch’s John Dean? Rodney Tiffen, Inside Story
inquiry published 163 pages of emails News International had given them about interactions between the company and the office of the British culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Jay QC put it to James that Hunt had acted as a cheerleader, rather than impartial arbiter, of Murdoch’s bid to increase his shareholding in BSkyB from 39 per cent to 100 per cent.

Switch on power reform, Alan Mitchell, Australian Financial Review
An obvious strategy for both governments would be to sell old electricity assets which, Victoria has shown, can be run better by the private sector. The money raised could then be used to build the transport and other public infrastructure both states need.

KATHY JACKSON ADMITS CORRUPTION: HSU members’ money illegally used to prop up Jackson’s faction in union poll, Vex News
It now appears Jackson, in typically garbled language, has admitted receiving money from Williamson for union elections and is claiming that “it was authorised by committees of management”. That suggests she’s admitting receiving money from the HSU in New South Wales  

The HSU: anatomy of a Labor nightmare, ABC
The scandal surrounding the Health Services Union erupted again this week as fraud squad detectives raided the union's Sydney offices and current and former executives traded accusations.

Cooked books”: Abbott misleads on NBN, Renai LeMay, Delimeter
Abbott’s statement that consumers don’t necessarily want or need higher broadband speeds is also incorrect. The Coalition’s own Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has acknowledged the need for higher speed broadband in Australia,

Abbott backs away from GST changes, ABC
In Western Australia earlier this week, Mr Abbott said the Government should seriously consider distributing GST revenue on a per capita model as proposed by the bigger, Coalition-held states. On a visit to Tasmania, Mr Abbott denied he was in support of a per capita distribution

Demolition man: the cost of sledgehammer politics, Robert Simms, ABC
There is no question that Tony Abbott uses district language to sell his message. Subtle as a sledgehammer, he routinely derides Prime Minister Julia Gillard as a "liar". Any misstep or failure of the Prime Minister, however big or small, is "the worst ever" or further evidence of "the Government's incompetence".

Australia still waiting for in-store e-shopping, Paul Budde, The Budde Blog
If the shop had had a WiFi hotspot customers would have been able to download the app and the company would instantly have had an opportunity to communicate in an interactive way with its shopper. It could provide a shopping guide, assisting people to find products, offer alternatives, promote

Jump in Sam! The water’s fine, Dragonistas Blog
Conversations like these, and the many other conversations that they spawn, have created a strong network of political bloggers in Australia. Without Twitter most would never have known the others existed. Instead, some meet in real life for a tweetup, others read and comment on each other’s blogs, some even promote other bloggers to their own loyal readers.

What Is This Line Which Has Been Crossed?, Patricia WA, Polliepomes
the long running saga of Craig Thomson’s alleged crimes and the very recent and over-heated scandal of Speaker Slipper’s similarly alleged crimes of fraud and sexual discrimination in his treatment of a not so young staffer, James Ashby.


May 4. 2012 07:46 AM



Australian Newspaper Front Pages for 4 May 2012



May 4. 2012 08:48 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

May 4. 2012 09:34 AM


Lots to read ahead of us...gracias Lyn. Superb effort.

I have one to add from Peter Hartcher back in April 2004:

So what is the true reason for Bush’s war on Iraq?

The simplest to dispose of is the argument that it had something to do with September 11. We don’t need to listen to the rantings of Bush’s political enemies. We know from four published sources from within the Bush Administration itself that the President was planning to move on Baghdad from his earliest days in office.

The four? The first exhibit is the book by a former Bush speechwriter, David Frum, The Right Man, a glowing portrayal of the President. Frum relates a conversation in the Oval Office in February 2001, where he took notes, when Bush told his staff privately of his “determination to dig Saddam Hussein out of power in Iraq”. That was the month after his inauguration and seven months before the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

The second exhibit is the quasi-official history of the post-September 11 White House by journalist Bob Woodward. The White House gave Woodward access to official minutes of the meetings of the National Security Council. His book, Bush at War, tells us that the CIA immediately identified al-Qaeda as the culprit in the terrorist attacks on the US.

But the next day, when Bush convened the NSC to craft strategy, Rumsfeld raised the unrelated question of Iraq. Woodward quotes Rumsfeld asking, “Why shouldn’t we go against Iraq, not just al-Qaeda?”

“Before the attacks,” Woodward writes, “the Pentagon had been working for months on developing a military option for Iraq.”

Third is the new book based on the notes and papers of Bush’s first treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill. The Price of Loyalty describes the first meeting of Bush’s National Security Council. The President tasked its members with preparing military options for removing Saddam. Says O’Neill, who was at the meeting, “getting Hussein was now the Administration’s focus, that much was already clear”. The Bush Administration was 10 days old.

Fourth is the new book by Bush’s former top counter-terrorism official, Dick Clarke, who co-ordinated the White House crisis response to the September 11 attacks. The next day Bush grabbed him and some other aides and told them “See if Saddam did this.”

Clarke replied: “But, Mr President, al-Qaeda did this.”

Bush: “I know, I know, but … see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any shred.”

September 11 and the so-called war on terrorism was not the reason for the invasion of Iraq. It was a political marketing opportunity. And as the occupation continues yet the risk of terrorist attack does not abate, it has dawned on an increasing number of Americans that there was never any real connection.

So if Iraq was not about al-Qaeda, and it was not about terrorism, what was it about? The danger of weapons of mass destruction has been so discredited as to be a comic motif. A single line, from the CIA head, George Tenet, on February 5, will suffice. Speaking of the US intelligence community’s analysis of the danger of Saddam’s WMD, Tenet said: “They never said there was an ‘imminent’ threat.”

Now, by process of attrition, Bush’s real motive has been laid bare. Early in the march on Baghdad, he was reluctant to speak of it. But neither was it a secret. It was hiding in plain view. He spoke of it five times in one form or another in his press conference this week: “We’re changing the world.”

Since the end of the Cold War, a group of Republican ideologues has been developing a theory of and practice of hegemony. Labelled the neo-conservatives, or neo-cons for short, these people are the bearers of the doctrine of American exceptionalism, much as the author Herman Melville formulated it in 1850: “We are the peculiar chosen people – the Israel of our time. We bear the ark of the liberties of the world.”

As soon as Bush was elected, he tasked the Pentagon with the work of rewriting the National Security Strategy, which a professor of military history at Yale University, John Lewis Gaddis, describes as perhaps “the most important reformulation of US grand strategy in over half a century”.

The two key concepts it enshrines are pre-emption, and hegemony. The US will pre-empt threats to preserve hegemony. And hegemony is a nice way of saying preponderant and unchallengeable global domination. Iraq was destined to be the test bed for the new doctrine as the Bush Administration set out to recast the world in its own interests. Iraq was the ideal starting point for reasons that include its implications for oil supply and for the security of Israel. But they are details in the grand vision.

Bush’s National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, observes that this is a period of great danger for the US, but also “of enormous opportunity … a period akin to 1945 to 1947, when American leadership expanded the number of free and democratic states – Japan and Germany among the great powers – to create a new balance of power that favoured freedom”.

September 11 was the perfect political opportunity to win political support for the new doctrine. As the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, quickly grasped, that day created “the kind of opportunities that World War II offered, to refashion the world”.


And they did. They created an Anglophone echo chamber on three continents.

It was striking how much John Howard and Tony Blair sounded like Bush in the prelude to, and prosecution of, the war. It was no coincidence.

Because of the Iraq invasion, Australia’s alliance with the US is now an election issue. The Howard Government has actually made decisions with more powerful long-term consequences for the relationship with the US. Long after the Iraq invasion has faded from the front pages, two Howard decisions will bind Australia enduringly to the US. One is the proposed free trade agreement, which would entwine the two economies more closely for decades.

The other is Canberra’s decision to invest in the US Joint Strike Fighter project, which will enmesh Australia’s defence procurement with America’s for at least a generation.





May 4. 2012 10:28 AM


<blockquote>The Pune affair gets more intriguiging by the hour. What next! </blockquote>

Probably more leadership speculation from the media.  News of an alleged challenge to Julia Gillard is always a good way of deflecting public interest away from problems within the Opposition.


May 4. 2012 10:42 AM


Good Morning All

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." - Wilkins Micawber, David Copperfield, Charles Dickens.

According to my exhaustive computations the Budget will come to exactly 'twenty pounds'.

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

Well not exactly. There is an apparent discrepancy of $2.50 cents 'over'. It may be that Lucy, the janitor in the Treasury building, accidentally left her return bus ticket behind and Wayne picked it up and being prudent, used it himself on the bus that night thus saving Treasury that amount. There appears to be no record of this anywhere.

Due to the relatively small amount involved, and the absence of any money trail, Federal Police will probably not be interested in laying charges, although it is probable that the Opposition will call for a full criminal investigation into whether any misuse of funds is involved. Police will not deny the possibility that bribery could be involved, though no evidence so far points directly to the Treasurer himself.  

The windfall bonanza does pose problems for the embattled Gillard Government however. How should the $2.50 be divided?
Seven State and Territorial Government will all clamour for a share, and seven doesn't go into $2.50 exactly. The smaller States will ask for a disproportionate share on grounds of need, while their counterparts in the mining States will argue that they deserve a far greater share since they contribute so much to the economy and they expect to go out of business due to the Carbon Tax which is already driving many business to the wall.

And so on.

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

But getting back to the point:  A perfectly balanced Budget!(Remember Folks you heard it first right here on The Gobble Male.) It won't even have that $2.50 discrepancy actually, that was just a furphy to alarm you-all, it will be exact. Smile
What then? The Press Gallery will all gobble  Gobblegobblegobblegobblegobble What are we going to say about this? They've balanced the Budget! THEY CAN'T DO THAT! . . . ?????  . . . Ohhhh They must've fiddled the books! Then
"This tricky contrived Budget masks an underlying . . ." and so on and on . . .

But the thing is if it's in surplus at all, it will have been due to Labor's insane obsession with achieving that and so jeopardising our economy, and if it's in the red at all it will be the end of the world and Labor is all to blame and they said they would be in surplus and they are in debt!

So it must be exact!

A penny has 3 faces. Let's see Wayne Swan spin this one so it ends up on its edge.

Heh heh What will the Abborttians say then? Tee, hee!



May 4. 2012 10:53 AM


Miglo said
The Pune affair gets more intriguiging by the hour

[Love intriguiging, it's so intriguiguiging it's got me intriguiguigigigiggling . . .]  

But it's actually POOn

Dog Albitey SOOL 'IM!


May 4. 2012 11:41 AM


Your verse is inspirational, it reminds me I can do that too!

Here's a bit of an answer to your question,
What is this line which has been crossed?

I can't show exactly the line that's been crossed
But it's not some line *J*U*L*I*A* casually tossed:
It has to do with respect that mob's lost,
And She's The Boss, - Damned if she's going to be bossed,

Not by anyone - fat rich men, wrinkled old hags
Think they're Queen of the Quill . . . nor effete mincing fags,
Nor screeching misogynists, bumbling buffoons,
Nor radio shock jocks - nor violent goons.

I can't show it exactly, but that line is there:
It's a line you must read between lines just to see;
But it divides notions of Fair and Unfair,
And whichever side *J*U*L*I*A*s on, you'll find Me!


May 4. 2012 12:24 PM


Statistics, damned statistics and lies.

Someone who very kindly signs him/herself off as "climate sceptic" wrote the following reply to a reference of mine on another blogsite (http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3984392.html) -

climate sceptic :
02 May 2012 5:15:33pm

"The major polluters in this country, electricity generators"

Since when has 98% di hydrogen monoxide (Water vapour) and 2% C02 (which is expelled by our electricity generators)called pollution tThe joke is there will be a tax on water and the air we breathe out.

Just a short trip around the Net found this:

Burning fossil fuels such as coal or oil creates unwelcome by-products that pollute when released into our environment, changing the planet’s climate and harming ecosystems.
According to 2000 figures, the U.S. electricity production industry is responsible for

62.6% of U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions that contribute to acid rain.
21.1% of U.S. nitrous oxides emissions that contribute to urban smog.
40% of U.S. carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change.

Among the other major environmental issues linked to electricity are water impacts, generation of wastes and the disruption of land uses.

By-products of electricity production -

Nitrous oxides emissions contribute to ground-level ozone, particulate matter pollution, haze pollution in national parks and wilderness areas, brown clouds in major western cities, acid deposition in sensitive ecosystems across the country, and the eutrophication of coastal waters.

Elevated ozone levels persisting throughout the country have also led to the adverse health effects of smog and millions of dollars in agricultural damage.
A compelling body of scientific evidence links fine particle concentrations with illness and thousands of premature deaths each year. Children and the elderly are particularly at risk.


Seems like they must burn a whole different order of fossil fuel over there in the USA, since Aussie coal seems benign enough for you or I (and climate sceptic) to live and breathe at the top of any electricity generator's smokestack in this country.

Boy, that's a relief, huh? Breathing easier already.


May 4. 2012 12:43 PM


Nasking, TT

The ABC Drum moderator apparently did not approve of my comment (posted above @ May 3. 2012 06:34 PM) that [i]Michelle Grattan should fall on her poison pen.[i/]

They probably thought that it was incitement! Ah the double standards.


May 4. 2012 01:12 PM


That's a GONG! Congratulations! Smile

*J*U*L*I*A* giving presser on our ABC. First questioner hostile re defence. Second questioner dissed, 'I've answered that all before this week.' She just keeps being on top of the yellow media, they get no joy from her for their attempted gotchas.


May 4. 2012 01:33 PM



Thnx for the link to Bernard Keane's assessment of Wayne Swan's performance @ The Power Index:

It may be coincidental but it reflects a certain, almost boring, steadiness about Swan that he's brought to the Treasury portfolio.

Swan initially was an unlikely candidate for the gong he won last year, Euromoney's Finance Minister of the Year. His early period as Treasurer was nervous. There was constant chatter about whether Julia Gillard or Lindsay Tanner would handle the role better; stories circulated in the private sector that he wasn't across the basics. The Coalition peppered Swan with questions in Parliament, although in the political equivalent of "whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger", this hostile fire only served to harden him as a Parliamentary performer.

But he deserved the award, and deserved it more than Paul Keating when he won it in 1984 (Keating's best years were ahead of him at that point). Swan has endured a series of major economic challenges and so far handled them all. On his watch, we have an economy with low unemployment, low inflation, low interest rates, low debt, low bond rates and a triple-A credit rating from international agencies who specifically cite the government's stewardship, an economy so well-regarded internationally that it currency appears bulletproof, to the chagrin of our trade-exposed sectors like manufacturing. All that plus a range of substantial reforms on carbon pricing, a mining tax, superannuation and workforce participation.
As other western countries increasingly track growth paths similar to or worse than the 1930s, it's an achievement apparently unnoticed by angry voters but one envied by policymakers overseas.

And Swan has maintained fiscal discipline. The Australian political benchmark is 3 or 4 budgets of rectitude before spending starts to get out of control. He goes into his fifth budget hell-bent on delivering his commitment to a surplus. He's the only Treasurer in the modern era to be criticized by business for being too disciplined.


In 2009, the response of policymakers to the crisis worked. More than a 100,000 jobs were saved in Australia, while unemployment surged, sometimes to Depression-era levels, across western economies. Few of those workers are aware of what would have happened without the government's stimulus programs and the RBA's rapid intervention, but they will remain an enduring legacy of the Rudd government, and Swan's Treasurership.

How much of that was Swan's doing? His department, after all, has the best and the brightest in Canberra and the independent Reserve Bank played a key role. And Labor's critics insist the Chinese-driven mining boom was the sole reason we avoided recession, despite that sector shedding jobs at a furious rate in 2008 and 2009.

The government did indeed cling close to Ken Henry throughout 2008 and 2009, to the point where Henry himself began copping opposition flak for being a political shield. But Swan did more than follow the bureaucrats' lead. In a little-noticed account of the government's response to the financial crisis, Swan's former chief of staff  Chris Barrett recounts a key moment in the government's response to the financial crisis, when Swan travelled to the US in April 2008 and heard first hand from counterparts, officials and investors about the sheer scale of the crisis unfolding in the US. Together with what Treasury was hearing and seeing of the carnage unfolding offshore, it prompted Swan to abandon the substantial spending cuts the government planned for the budget just weeks away.

Swan wore the criticism at the time that he'd overpromised and underdelivered on the fiscal pain, but his judgment was vindicated as the world economy nosedived in the second half of 2008.

That set a pattern for Swan's budgets – they rarely draw rave reviews at the time, but in hindsight each of them looked appropriate given the economic conditions that subsequently developed – although some of that credit necessarily goes to Treasury forecasters.

more here:



OUR ship is still powering ahead having weathered some awful storms...passing many struggling vessels on the way...

I still shudder thinking about what mighta happened if we'd got a Coalition Cap'n and crew...nightmares of tax cut sails collapsing, GST storms...austerity measure reefs putting holes in us...we start taking on water...begin tilting...panic ensues...

gawd!...too scary by half.



May 4. 2012 01:42 PM



Another great pome, well done.  Hope you recover well from your visitors.

Talk Turkey

And your extra to Patricia's pome works in well.


Well tried, better luck next time, but don't put too much, or should that be any, truth in your response, they just can't handle it.


May 4. 2012 02:06 PM


I'd like to see Rupert and team sell The Australian to the Global Mail team.

Worth reading:

A Time of Heroes


Yet another woman overcomes torture and crimes against humanity to make a difference.



May 4. 2012 02:28 PM


Hi Ad, Bushfire Bill and Everybody:-

Twitterverse talking about everything and everyone, enjoy:-

Mark ‏markjs1
"Ashby has “expendable” and “mug” written all over his face." Read more of Bushfire's forensic analysis: http://bit.ly/II54Uz #auspol #BBill

The assumption would be that Lewis and the LNP were working together, with the LNP feeding Lewis “dirt” on Slipper. We have Lewis’ admission that he and Ashby jad been working together “for some time”. The clear indications are that this was a co-ordinated effort between News Ltd (Lewis) and the LNP to get Slipper. Pyne’s denials don’t ring true.

Phillip Coorey
MPs raise eyebrows at Abbott's GST call www.smh.com.au/.../...gst-call-20120502-1xzhh.html

Peter Hatcher will be forever in misery until Rudd is back as PM - Dear foes: Invade us in 2028. Sad bitterment

Libs happy to take $3.5M from Clive Palmer since 2004 but don't want him as a candidate  
The Lodge is Tony Abbott's for the taking, Phillip Hudson

Pyne's pretence that he, Manager of Opp Business in the HR, "forgot" Slipper was presiding in the House is farcical!
Jessica Wright

Stephen Ragell‏
I don't suppose the Libs will try to stop this. In their minds it's the rich, not the poor who need welfare Simon Benson

The Punch‏
We went to Craig Thomson's stomping ground and even managed to find people singing his praises.
And not. www.thepunch.com.au/.../ @drpiotrowski

Christopher Pyne sought details of Slipper accuser James Ashby, Tony Abbott admits
by: Ben Packham From:The Australian May 04, 2012 1:57PM

SBS News‏
Welfare payments for single parents expected to be tightened in next week's budget http://bit.ly/KxNZHn

"The pledge of Tony Abbott's Coalition to make relations with our largest neighbour Indonesia a centrepiece of... http://fb.me/1HyJ77uXZ

Marian Rumens‏
Julia Gillard's carbon price promise | The Australian http://bit.ly/tBdkh3

ABC The Drum ‏
No easy answers for Labor's leadership dilemma - a piece by Barrie Cassidy http://bit.ly/KhfWsu #auspol

National Times‏
We can be food bowl of Asia: PM www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...0120503-1y1w9.html via @NationalTimesAU

Kieran Fitzgerald‏
Sheridan would have been apoplectic after reading this solid piece by @danielflitton


May 4. 2012 02:38 PM


I am a new comer. Permission to come aboard? Loved the article and the comments.


May 4. 2012 02:55 PM


Welcome aboard LadyinRed.

Fair-go pies are presently being prepared in the galley for next week's budget announcent. Smile



May 4. 2012 03:05 PM



Crikey, you'd think I'd got stuck into the rum barrels.

Enlightening read:

Checking the docket on how expensive it is to do business in Oz
by Bernard Keane



The other media story that dwarfs the News fiasco
by Guy Rundle

Quietly this week, while the UK was in uproar about the activities of the last big media company in a dying industry, something of far greater import happened in the world of media and information. The UK government announced that it would be making all research papers generated within its public universities available openly, online, for free.

Currently, the hundreds of thousands of research papers thus generated are sequestered in thousands of privately produced journals, whose subscriptions — for university and public libraries — are exorbitant, often running into tens of thousands of dollars. Access to individual papers — often small notes, on piddling experimental findings — can run from 20 to 40 dollars a pop.

Often run by sleazy ex- or current academics, the commercialisation of academic research has been one of the most crooked rackets of the information era, with the public footing the bill, and the private sector reaping the profits. Indeed, in recent years the prices became so exorbitant that smaller universities had to make deep cuts in the number of journals they subscribed to, thus actually reversing the degree of access that academics had to research and interpretation.


In every area of our lives, from science to pharmaceuticals to culture, we would benefit from a major realignment of ownership, open sourcing and free exchange, with the bias towards the latter two. That doesn’t mean there can or should be open-slather — creators have to retain some sort of moral rights to control the form and use of what they create, payment for the labour of creation has to be factored in through charges, licenses, royalties, etc. But in the case of this academic work, payment had already been made — it was that freebie that proved so irresistible to BAP.

The UK government’s decision is one small victory; but it is up to the people who work in these fields, the doctors, scientists and academics, to en masse make the enclosure and sequestration of genuinely free thought — which is only free when it occurs outside the “free” market — impossible to enforce.

more here:


Or Rupert could hand The Australian over to the Crikey team.



May 4. 2012 03:13 PM


Reading thru this thread I reckon you can get an idea of where Australia's future journos, investigative reporters, commentators, columnists, editors and researchers will be coming from.

Read the post, check the links.

First Rays of the New Rising Sun.



May 4. 2012 03:18 PM


Hi Lady in Red

Did I see you say permission, well you don't need permission but we need you.

I second Nasking a big Welcome to you, pleased you have enjoyed Bushfire Bill's article and our commenters  now you can just stay here.



May 4. 2012 03:21 PM


Hi Everbody

More Liberals involved with Ashby, plot thickens:-

Brough met Slipper's accuser: claim Jessica Wright, SMH
May 4, 2012 - 2:51PM
ANOTHER prominent Liberal is said to have met with the staffer at the centre of sexual harassment allegations against Speaker Peter Slipper in the days before the explosive claims were made public.
Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...er-claim-20120504-1y3b6.html



May 4. 2012 03:35 PM


Thnx for the link Lyn:

ANOTHER prominent Liberal is said to have met with the staffer at the centre of sexual harassment allegations against Speaker Peter Slipper in the days before the explosive claims were made public.

A Sunshine Coast LNP member has told the National Times that James Ashby met with Mr Slipper’s long-time political rival and former Howard cabinet minister Mal Brough on the Sunshine Coast in early April when he was still working as Mr Slipper’s press secretary.

The meeting is said to have taken place on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast - Mr Brough and Mr Slipper’s home territory. It is not known whether it was Mr Ashby or Mr Brough that initiated the meeting.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...er-claim-20120504-1y3b6.html

I smells somethin' MALicious and fishy here.



May 4. 2012 03:50 PM


Thanks for the big welcome. I intend to stay. I'm a bit shy but I'll do my best.


May 4. 2012 04:08 PM

Ad astra

Welcome to The Political Sword family.  Do come again.

There's no need to be shy; your comments will be welcome.

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May 4. 2012 04:12 PM

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Hi Lyn
I've been busy today working on the next piece, and am now trying to catch up with the comments.  It looks as if the Ashby matter is becoming murkier by the day.

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May 4. 2012 04:13 PM


Well done, TT, I'll copy that over to my own site, if I may.

The Jessica Wright thing is promising because it's mainstream now.   But where would we be without Lyn linking us so quickly in to her and to others less mainstream like Clarence Girl who was initially urging journos to do some forensic research on this issue. Looks like we could see enough coming out to have an ongoing epic pome here.  Sue over at CW has suggested a whole script of Canterbury Tales proportions.  Should we adopt the persona of Aussie Chaucerean story tellers?  I rather fancy being the Wife of Bath here.   What about you?

The poetic form and turn of phrase doesn't come easily to me as it does to you, but it would certainly be fun jousting verbally with you as this story unfolds.  It looks like having a long way to go yet.  Unless the Murdoch Mafia standover merchants find their way into our remaining few free downunder editorial desks.


May 4. 2012 04:20 PM


Gets ya thinkin':

Hope after loss: returning to Afghanistan

I asked people why they thought the US and its allies were in their country. I was met by a range of responses. To extend the paradox, not one of the responses was that the forces were there to provide safety from the Taliban and to liberate the people – which we are so often reassured of by Western leaders.

According to the Afghan people, the foreign presence was there to capitalise on the country's untapped gas reserves, estimated by Washington officials to be worth $US1 trillion. They were there to smuggle out the stashes of priceless antiques buried deep in the historically rich soil of the region, dating back to the 4th century BC during the time of Alexander the Great. They were there to cash in on the multi-billion-dollar drug trade. They were there to ensure the region remained unstable, so that their presence and bastardisation of the country could continue.

And to me, no matter how outlandish some of these reasons may seem, they rang truer than the ridiculous rationales we have been fed by our Western leaders.

The idea that we are there to nation build and liberate women flew in the face of the cold hard evidence I was greeted by when stepping foot into the country.

The majority of the roads are unmade, sewerage flows onto the streets, buildings seem low and precarious, and after a few minutes of rain, homes are flooded.

Women continue to shroud themselves in burqas, something we are fixated on trying to eradicate in the West, but fail to understand that this is merely a symptom of the dangerous environment we have created – that we are, in fact, a large part of the cause. 

Despite all this, the civilians are unbroken. There is a quiet dignity etched into their faces. They are impoverished and assaulted, but their truth lies in their family units, their beauty lies in their humanity, and their courage lies in their resilience.


I still give credit to the brave soldiers, NGOs, civilians who put the peacekeeping, training, educational effort in...even tho I reckon Bush's war has in many ways been disastrous:

Education in Afghanistan


Seeds of change.



May 4. 2012 05:51 PM


Another one fresh from george.


May 4. 2012 06:55 PM


A Sunshine Coast LNP member has told the National Times that James Ashby met with Mr Slipper’s long-time political rival and former Howard cabinet minister Mal Brough on the Sunshine Coast in early April when he was still working as Mr Slipper’s press secretary.

On top of meeting with Pyne -  he was being groomed (yes I am using that sense of the word!  Gotya!

Jason - love the photoshop.

Welcome aboard LadyInRed, pull up a comfy seat, grab a cuppa of whatever you like and enjoy, no one here bites (much Laughing!)


May 4. 2012 07:04 PM


    I hope this works doctornonono but if not go back to the "shady bunch" and click doctornonono where is says "licence" and you will see his complete works.


May 4. 2012 07:11 PM


Madame en Rouge

At the risk of appearing obvious:


You are welcome to the Fellowship of the Sword
. . . and why be shy?


May 4. 2012 09:02 PM


The other media story that dwarfs the News fiasco

Nas', I'm afraid that that Guy Rundle is quite wrong about his silly little story.

The real story dwarfing the News fiasco was broken by Barrie Crassidy. Wait foe it! A government backbencher from NSW says that there is a leadership challenge in the wind.

Now we know for sure that the Liars are in deep doodoo.


May 4. 2012 10:49 PM


please explain?


May 5. 2012 12:00 AM


The Punch. The place to go when you need your flesh to creep.


May 5. 2012 12:45 AM


Where do I start with Nasking's blurb of 4.20 pm?

Firstly, as one of the "brave soldiers, NGOs, civilians who put the peacekeeping, training, educational effort in" to whom you so kindly give credit - thanks, mate - it was my pleasure to be there and do exactly that, on behalf of this nation - and yourself. I forgive you and all the other knuckle-dragging Neanderthals here for all the ignorant words that none of you would dare say to the face of a returned serviceman.

But I suspect you people on this site find it much easier to pay such compliments to distant, ethereal, almost imaginary and mythical "brave soldiers" than you do to actual soldiers, albeit retired. You prefer your returned soldiers to remain distant and quiet, don't you? Only to be taken out of storage when you deem fit and meet, eh? And on the strict proviso that they merely smile and nod at the inanities you mouth, while strictly saying nothing themselves.

When you lot are faced with people who have actually been there and served there - you act just like Talk Turkey did back in the 1970s and spit on them and dishonour them with your shameful, angry partisan words of ignorance and contempt.

Whoever wrote the article quoted by Nasking said as follows:

"The idea that we are there to nation build and liberate women flew in the face of the cold hard evidence I was greeted by when stepping foot into the country.

The majority of the roads are unmade, sewerage flows onto the streets, buildings seem low and precarious, and after a few minutes of rain, homes are flooded."

I have a couple of responses to the above half-baked comments.

Firstly, we are there for a number of reasons. Absolutely - one of them is to nation build - that is, provide for them the infrastructure that they simply do not have and cannot provide for themselves. We do that by either renovating existing structures such as schools and hospitals (that are in invariably woeful condition - beyond anything even remotely acceptable here in Australia)or by building from scratch that which they simply do not have - e.g. bridges and roads that are necessary to keep internal lines of communication open that otherwise simply collapse when the rains and/or snow-melt come.

Let me tell whoever the Wally was that wrote this trite piece of dross that so dismissively insults all who have spent years over there doing what they can to drag that pestilential country out of its medieval chains - mate, you could employ 10,000 engineers there for 10,000 years and still have done nothing more than barely scratch the surface.

Secondly - yes, the majority of the roads are unmade - yes, sewerage flows onto the streets - yes, building standards are absolute crap (it's interesting seeing a power point inside a shower, don't you think?) - and, yes, after a couple of hours of rain, homes are flooded (and people drown at 2 a.m. when all the rivers suddenly overflow after the first heavy rain in seven years - we did what we could with about 30 helicopters over the next 24 hours, pulling people off rooftops, out of trees etc - but about 30 men, women and children drowned in their home nonetheless).

But does the bozo who wrote this crap article really think he's in a position to sneer at all the work and effort that blokes like me made to help in the nation-building that we have engaged in since RTF 1 went into Oruzgan Province in 2006? Just because the work of 10,000 years has not been completed in six years?

What a tosser! What arrogance!

Whoever the author is then goes on to say: "Women continue to shroud themselves in burqas, something we are fixated on trying to eradicate in the West, but fail to understand that this is merely a symptom of the dangerous environment we have created – that we are, in fact, a large part of the cause."

Hang on - excuse me? Is this arsewipe saying that WE are responsible for the fact that women in Afghanistan wear burqas? Is he saying that the lunatic violence inherent in all aspects of Afghan society is due to US??

Mate - I can tolerate so much crap, but not this. Afghan women wear burqas because Afghan men COMPEL them to do so - beatings, acid sprays, noses / ears cut off and death await Afghan women who do not obey their husbands and mullahs. We have NOTHING to do with the heavy burden borne by Afghan women.

And we have NOTHING to do with the inherent violence within Afghan society. Violence has always been a part of Pashtun culture - it was there before we came - it is there while we are there - it will remain there after we leave - it is all of their own doing and making. Our input is absolutely irrelevant in respect of the appalling violence inherent within Pashtun society and culture.

Any attempt to blame our few short years there for all the violence that is endemic and integral to Afghan society is nothing but ignorance personified.

And pardon me when I throw up while reading his final putrid offering: "Despite all this, the civilians are unbroken. There is a quiet dignity etched into their faces. They are impoverished and assaulted, but their truth lies in their family units, their beauty lies in their humanity, and their courage lies in their resilience."

There is no "quiet dignity" in Afghan society - it is the rule of the strongest - the weak, sick and frail are tossed aside like useless dross and perish in squalor and misery while their few possessions are stolen from them in their final moments. There is pretty well nothing of beauty in Pashtun society - it is all rapine and grab and snatch and law of the strongest. Charity is in very short supply in Pashtun circles in Afghanistan.

And there is little courage - it is all expediency and "What's in it for me?" and naked ambition and complete disregard for anybody else and no morals whatsoever.

Over there, the weak perish - the slow go hungry - the late go cold. You either grab what you can get, when you need it, or you go without - completely.

And the author mistakes noble resilience for a just sheer, grinding endurance. There is an enormous difference between the two.

I can tell you that of all the Pashtun Afghans I worked with and got to know, only two drew admiration from me. Both were civil engineers and both were focussed in working with us in a range of nation-building projects that were absolutely for the benefit of the local Afghans, regardless of whatever the dickhead author of Nasking's article has to say. They were honourable men as they attended to their duties and executed the tasks of their office.

But every other bludger who held office was nothing more than a rogue and a thief and a corrupt parasite interested in one thing only - how to make as much money for himself in as short a time as possible, all from absolute corruption.

And the interpreters were all in on the game, let me tell you.

What a place. There is no hope for it. It is consumed with drugs, corruption, immorality, islam and tribalism. The taliban merely adds an element of interest - the new boys fresh from the madrassas in Pakistan die like flies because of their woeful military skills and overabundance of testosterone and koran.

It is May. The poppies throughout all the valleys in Oruzgan Province are now very ripe - mainly red, some white.

Harvesting time is nearly upon us.


May 5. 2012 12:55 AM


The Titanic was never going to be a ship of The People, it was to its sinking moment the European/American class divide made flesh.

But the kind of Titanic society Palmhair and the Abbortians have in mind is worse, and we can't just wait and hope for it to run into an iceberg. We have to sink it!

The only weapon we have is the Sword of Truth. It must be wielded with vigor and determination. We must wield it on the buses and on the Internet, in the hairdressers and on the school councils, giving the lie to liars and bigots wherever and whenever as Jason Obelix does with the shock jocks on the radio.

We gotta ramp up our language, our anger, our targeted responses, we are fighting for what sort of society we have for the rest of time here. We always are, at every election: Labor gets in and fixes things and takes us forward, then the Right gets power and takes us back, each interregnum by the Born-to-Rules we lose way and the society is ever more divided and fragmented fractally, and we have to fight our way back again and try to repair the damage and save what's left and try to move forward as *J*U*L*I*A* was so ridiculed for stating as her intent.

But this time it's so much worse - unthinkable - these Abbottian Goths are the most dishonest traitorous malevolent people ever, the lowest of the lot, Liberals of say Billy McMahon's era would have been shocked and disgusted had he and his party behaved as the Abborttians are doing now. These people are religious liars!
(Can you imagine, a Catholic Minister of Education? - Or Science for Dog's sake!)

So Swordsfolks, be staunch, gird your minds for the third-quarter fight we now face, do your best writing like what I say, it's because there are people like you who are reading this that I have such confidence in ourvictory in 2013. But the publicity fight must start now, so clench your jaws, hit those keys, ring local members (I rang POOn's office on Wednesday, oh what fun I had asking some popsy there how could she bear to work for him, he makes a mockery of Parliament, I don't like Mr Abbortt either he is a showpony, why can't we have that nice Mr Turnbull as the leader? and she just sort of had to suck it up, she said that Christopher had said there was no evidence, they couldn't prove anything! True! So of course I said But that's the Bart Simpson defence! and she got that. She sounded very shamefaced (?!) when I said that her boss's behaviour was bringing Parliament and Australia down. So I felt better after that.)

The real fight for the future begins with Parliament's sitting this week. It will not be a short fight and we look first and foremost to the fighting performances of our champions, *J*U*L*I*A* and her generals. But we are all a part of the army of Truth-spreaders, and we must be shrill, strident, rising to a shriek where need be, to make our truth heard.
We have to do better than we did when that murderous creep Grahame Morris made his seditious inciteful appeal for people (plural) to assassinate *J*U*L*I*A* by kicking her to death. That was the most totally buried outrageous story in all Australian history, I do not mean to exaggerate, and if I had to give one absolute example of the Media colluding to suppress an inconvenient truth, that would be it.

So we have to do better Comrades.

Shrill, strident, shriek!
No good talking weak!
Let your shrill get strident,
And when you're strident, SHRIEK!

So here's a clip to help us all practise getting up to speed.




May 5. 2012 04:22 AM

Gary M

"We have to do better than we did when that murderous creep Grahame Morris made his seditious inciteful appeal for people (plural) to assassinate *J*U*L*I*A* by kicking her to death. That was the most totally buried outrageous story in all Australian history,"

Indeed. But sussin out old Graham is easy. This misogynist arse wipe wouldn't get a root in a wood yard.Julia can only improve, poor old Graham is always gonna have a kisser only a mother could love. It must keep him awake at night knowing that Julia has the highest office in the land, instead of where he thinks she should be. That's with  bare feet and a belly full of arms and legs, behind a sink.

You can just imagine old  Morris and his conservative mates bemoaning the fact that our P.M. comes from working class roots. Absolutely mortified no doubt, the temerity of the women. I bet at the dinner parties Julia attends, the conservative arse holes that happen to be there must keep an eye out that Julia is using the cutlery in the  correct order. Pyne if he's there, probably sniffs the air in her company to check if she's farted. After all the born to rule don't fart do they? Well they tell anyone interested that their sh%t don't stink, just ask one.  

Gary M

May 5. 2012 06:52 AM


Would a Cat's Pan also be called a Litter Tray (as in that place where cats go to do their "business")?  Actually we should feel honoured that Litter Tray has decided to rejoin us - it shows LNP & Katter's HQ are concerned about this blog and obviously jj (S/eh who cannot be Capitalised) and SIC (who's TLA describes the attitude of the writer) aren't "cutting through".  Are jj & SIC going to be performance managed or does their Individual Agreement (signed under Workchoices of course) allow for a level of failure.  I wonder if they have to repay the cost of their electricity if they don't succeed in achieving their KPIs - one of which would have to "turning" one other regular poster on this blog in a specified time you would imagine.

Jason - the photoshops (plural) are very clever.


May 5. 2012 09:14 AM


Good Morning Ad, Bushfire Bill and Everybody

Twitterverse this morning;-

Financial Review‏@FinancialReview
Peter Slipper rival and former Liberal cabinet member Mal Brough confirms he urged James Ashby to sue [free] http://j.mp/J8xxAD

paddy bts‏@paddybts
Best piece for ages. Kudos! RT@BernardKeane.@murpharoo produces a ripper

Mal Brough admits meeting Slipper accuser
Michael Edwards reported this story on Saturday, May 5, 2012 08:02:00
Audio and transcript available shortly.

Andrew Greene‏@AndrewBGreene
Speaking to Mal Brough shortly on #weekendbreakfast over his involvement in the Slipper affair and plans for a return to politics #abcnews24

Andrew Greene‏@AndrewBGreene
Former Howard Government Minister Mal Brough tells @abcnews24 "I have done nothing wrong" on Peter Slipper affair

Joe O'Brien‏@joeobrien24
Brough: A yng man went with high hopes to wrk in Spkrs office - he had wrongdoing agnst him of heinous nature. He didn't know where to turn.

Fit & Proper SpaceK‏@SpaceKidette
aziazone Now I may not be a journo, but surely attempting to bring down a govt is FRONT PAGE NEWS at anytime. #LtdNews #mediafail #LNPLies

Mal hears about it on 23 march. But Pyne and Ashby had drinks on the 19th march #auspol #abcnews24

Dreyfus and Brandis debate politics, Lateline
Brough: I urged Ashby to go to court, Channel 7

ABC Radio‏@amworldtodaypm
Coming up on AM: Mal Brough has thrown his hat into the Lilley preselection ring. Find out more in our interview http://bit.ly/aKzaGo

The plot gets even more thicken, now it's Ashby/Pyne/Brough/Bradford wait there's more Lewis+Uhlmann partnership, so no mention on ABC, hmm

The dam is bursting first Prissy Pyne forced to admit he has contact with Ashby. Now Brough has been forced likewise -

Marian Rumens‏@mrumens
The fact that Ashby was actively working for Mal Brough's election in Peter Slipper's seat was just coincidence? #auspol #liars #gotcha

Fit 'n Proper rocket‏@sprocket___
Listening to the Brough interview om ABC newsradio, he is either naiive or the dumbest politician we have. Or he is not telling us all.

Wait there's even more ... Ashby, Pyne, Lewis, Brough, Bradford and now Ms. Simpson
www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...0120504-1y47p.html & throw in Uhlmann if you like

BerraBek: Slipper accuser Ashby was secretly helping rival.#SlipperGate http://www.theage.com.au/national/-1y4in.html” oh dear #noalition what can the matter be..

Rebekah Freeman‏
Slipper accuser Ashby was secretly helping rival.#SlipperGate

Slipper accuser Ashby was secretly helping rival http://fb.me/137xzFxb4

Possum Comitatus‏
Jesswrightstuff: I left 20 msgs Mal. Didn't you get em? RT Pollytics: Brough runs to sympahetic News Ltd http://bit.ly/K6Hazg

The Punch‏
Everyone is wrong: Gillard will lead Labor to the election: Here’s a novel thought. Julia Gillard might be right...Laurie Oakes

Slippergate Update – May 5 2012 Daily Derp



May 5. 2012 09:31 AM


Godwin Grech reloaded! Smile

No specific knowledge eh.

Not by Pyne. No specific knowledge.
Not by Abbortt. No specific knowledge.  
Oh and No not by Brough. It was pure altruism on his part.
What interest could Brough possibly have
in seeing Slipper done down?

Ashby nowhere to be seen.

A setup of the crassest most ham-fisted kind.

Bloody liars cheats and MUGS!

Dumber and dumbest yet.

They deserve gaol for this conspiracy to distort the truth and pervert the course of justice and to overthrow the Government. It is utterly disingenuous to pretend that this was all a disinterested act to help a poor distressed innocent lad  . . .

Need I even say it! . . . They are CROOKS!

The evidence against Slipper is a farce.

Sinodinos now in interview on ABC 24 . . . Not looking too confident faced with questions about Brough.

"As to Joe Hockey, I guess the point he was trying to make . . "

- ?You guess? . . . trying to make?
So you don't know? . . .  and he failed?

" . . . "That's for Tony  . . . We look to him for wisdom . . ."
Heh heh You be looking for a while eh.


May 5. 2012 09:40 AM

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I have just posted Julia Gillard can defeat Tony Abbott in 2013.  But how does she neutralize Rupert Murdoch?


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May 5. 2012 10:10 AM


Good Morning Ad

The Twitterverse takes quite some time to collect and present,
could it be carried over do you think?

Cheers SmileSmileSmile


May 5. 2012 11:15 AM


I forgive you and all the other knuckle-dragging Neanderthals here for all the ignorant words that none of you would dare say to the face of a returned serviceman.

Firstly Cat,
I reckon you did make some valid points in yer angry response. However, you undermine them by throwing out insults and making foolish assumptions.

I would have no trouble telling a returned serviceman the following:

I still give credit to the brave soldiers, NGOs, civilians who put the peacekeeping, training, educational effort in...even tho I reckon Bush's war has in many ways been disastrous

I put up that Afghan Australian ladies view as I have various views on the war...including strategists who believe we are succeeding in some aspects. And if you cared to notice, I disagreed with aspects of what she said.

Furthermore, in comments not long ago I gave my view of the Taliban in as blunt and negative way as you.

As for disrespecting soldiers...never would or did I "spit on" or throw tomatoes at returning soldiers...whether they be returning from Vietnam or any other conflict/peacekeeping zone...my grandfathers knew how much I respected them for their courage and efforts during WW1 and WW2...I have the same respect for those who have fought in our modern wars.

That does not mean that I'm not going to examine these conflicts from different perspectives...and voice my views on corporate influence on the military, torture, those who have possibly committed war crimes...etc etc...

and no threatening tone from the likes of you is going to change that.

This is a democracy...our ancestors fought to create, improve and preserve it...by various means...as soldiers, unionists, police, judges, lawyers, teachers, writers, reporters, investigators, care workers...the list goes on.

So please try to restrain yourself from being abusive and tarring all commentors with the same brush...and accept that difference of opinion and refreshing debates are part of what helped our ever-evolving, sometimes more fragile than other times democracies flourish.



Comments are closed