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Is the job of the Opposition to oppose? NO.

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Saturday, 14 July 2012 17:28 by Ad astra
How many times have you heard those who think they know, say this: ‘The job of the Opposition is to oppose’?

It might be the worker at the pub who says this as he raises his schooner of VB to his thirsty lips. It might be the young professional as she sips her Margaret River Chardonnay while she grabs a quick lunch with friends at the local café. It might be the well-heeled businessman as he relishes his Grange Hermitage over a long business lunch. But it might also be the political commentator who has assumed guru status, such as Richo, who utters these words, or the political columnists from the Canberra Press Gallery, the ‘insiders’ who know it all. No matter who insists that ‘The job of the Opposition is to oppose’, they do so with great confidence, as if it is holy writ, not to be challenged. There is no doubt at all in their minds that this is so.

This piece argues that it is NOT the job of Opposition to just oppose, but to engage in the process of governance so that the public can benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of all parliamentarians. They are all paid from the public purse. Why should all of them not contribute and be accountable?

Just to give you an idea of what Opposition leaders are now paid, Tony Abbott’s wage is $347,800. The PM gets $486,550. The average wage of parliamentarians is $190,550. Why should around half the parliament work to legislate for the nation while the other half attempts to frustrate their governance efforts? Why should we waste the talent of half the 226 elected parliamentarians that cost the taxpayer over $44 million annually for their salaries alone, apart from all the other costs of running a federal parliament? And this half IS wasted if all it does is oppose, frustrate, and obstruct the Government’s legislative efforts. It need not be like this, but the adversarial nature of our politics, exacerbated grossly since Abbott’s ascension to leadership, leaves parliament wallowing in this inefficient and wasteful state of affairs.

Take Question Time in the House as a shameful example of wasted time and talent. Most questions asked by the Opposition since Abbott has become leader have been directed NOT to seeking information from ministers about matters addressed by their portfolios, but have had the intention of seeking to embarrass the Government, or berate it, or demean our PM.

Repeatedly, questions have been related to the carbon tax, more by far than to any other subject. Because the Opposition has deemed this subject to be the most potent one for inflicting damage on the Government, the same old tired questions come up over and again, sometimes embellished with an anecdote from a business or a proprietor who feels hardly done by the carbon tax, with the byline – ‘a tax based on a lie’ – thrown in for good measure. But the question is always the same: ‘Why is the Prime Minister/Government imposing the world’s biggest carbon tax at the worse possible time’? And of course sending jobs offshore, destroying industries, decimating towns, making our industries uncompetitive, and so on the monotonous spiel goes. And to no environmental benefit at all, says Abbott! What a waste of time this talk is. Nothing ever eventuates, except of course the occasional grab for the evening TV news, which is why the questions are asked anyway. The questions never add a useful dimension to the debate, they don’t even probe relevant aspects of carbon pricing, and they never suggest a plausible alternative.

Reflect on how much time has been spent on ‘motions to suspend standing and sessional orders’ to rebuke or censure the Government or the PM, well over sixty so far in the first half of this Government’s term, an exercise that has had the effect of wasting vast amounts Question Time and preventing the asking of hundreds of questions. No doubt, this will be repeated in the second half. Think of the time wasted. Each motion takes around thirty minutes for the debate, plus the time for the inevitable and always unsuccessful division, about 40 minutes all told, a waste of around 100 man/woman hours every time, a waste of well over 6,000 woman/man hours in this parliamentary term alone, for which we pay. And nothing positive has ever eventuated. It’s all been pointless and unproductive opposition and obstruction of the proper working of the parliament.

Before any Coalition supporters become apoplectic at my assertion that the role of an opposition is not just to oppose, let me acknowledge that all oppositions do oppose, but have they opposed so unremittingly as has our current Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott? In his book Battlelines (doesn’t the title alone tell us a lot about this man), Abbott confirms his adherence to Randolph Churchill’s dictum: “Oppositions should oppose everything, suggest nothing, and turf the government out.” He has followed this to the letter. He would assert that he is doing only what all opposition leaders have done. That though would be another of his lies.

Remember the approach Kim Beasley took over the Tampa crisis. He supported the Howard Government. Recall the approach John Howard took over the major fiscal and regulatory reforms introduced during the Hawke/Keating era. He supported them, much to his credit, credit that still accrues to him. As these two examples show, and there are many others, oppositions don’t have to oppose everything. Why then does Abbott?

In my view it is because he knows nothing but pugilism, as I said in The pugilistic politician, written ten days after he became Opposition Leader. Among other things I said: “Abbott intends to criticize everything the Government does, to fight everything it attempts to do, to refuse to collaborate on anything…”, and later in the piece: “So to what can we look forward? If one can judge from Abbott’s demeanour and performance during the last week, from the look in his eyes, from his aggressive attitude, from his determination to fight in hand to hand combat, we are in for a ruthless, cruel, bare-knuckle fight with no holds barred. This week Abbott reminded me of the familiar scene before a prize fight when the combatants line up – hairy-chested, jaw-jutting, throwing punches in the air, loud-mouthed, asserting their prowess, and promising to knock their opponent out early in the bout.” It’s now eighteen months since those words were penned, and not one word I wrote then has proved to be an exaggeration.

But I hear some of you angrily protesting, surely oppositions MUST oppose, that’s what they’re there to do, to hold governments to account. Of course the latter is true, and of course oppositions need sometimes to oppose. But when they do, why do they do so?

In my view there is one cogent reason why oppositions oppose, and that is ideology.

Naturally, if a progressive party favours increasing regulation, a conservative one will likely oppose it. If a progressive party favours a Keynesian approach in times of recession, a conservative one will prefer a ‘markets know best’ approach, and oppose fiscal stimulus. If a progressive party favours fair play for workers in the workplace, a conservative party will favour the employers. We saw the latter ideological difference played out in WorkChoices and its replacement by Fair Work Australia. These are just a few ideological issues that have been in play since Labor came to office. They represent a fundamental difference in belief, in philosophy, over which parties will adopt different positions, and therefore oppose each other. But ideological differences are not the totality of politics. There are many, many areas where differences in ideology are not dominant. There are plenty of areas where agreement could and should take place, where collaboration in fashioning legislation should be the norm.

Take asylum seeker policy. Both Labor and the Coalition favour offshore processing. Let’s leave aside whether you believe that policy is right or wrong, and focus on why, when both parties believe in offshore processing, the Opposition opposes Labor’s version of it, the Malaysia arrangement, and insists that its own solution, the ‘Pacific Solution’, is the only way. Of course we’ve heard the disingenuous ‘it worked before and will work again’ mantra over and again despite all the expert advice that it will not, but this is not the point I’m making. Abbott won’t support the Government’s Malaysia arrangement purportedly because Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees, although he is threatening to turn boats back to Indonesia, a non-signatory, and return to the Howard Government ‘solution’ of Nauru, also a non-signatory all through the Pacific Solution. No, his denial of support for the Labor scheme, which would also enable his own scheme as well as Labor’s, is not ideological, or even humanitarian, it is just cussedness. It is simply a determination to oppose everything, to obstruct, to make governance difficult, and in this policy area, impossible. He won’t even join a parliamentary committee to sort out a solution. He doesn’t want one. He wants only to oppose, to obstruct, and benefit politically from the continuing arrival of boats on our shores.

Of course the Greens have not been immune from obstructive opposition. Take its opposition to Kevin Rudd’s ETS. Had not the Greens joined the Coalition to oppose it and give Labor nothing instead of something, we would have had an ETS already in operation for a couple of years, and none of the ‘toxic tax’ nonsense we have now, day after day. Had the Greens supported the Oakeshott bill a couple of weeks ago, both parties would have had the option of offshore processing of asylum seekers, whichever it chose. But no, the Greens preferred ideological purity although it produced an impasse. As a result we have more boats arriving, more getting into strife, more men, woman and children drowning. It is this style of trenchant ideological opposition that is detrimental to the proper governance of our nation, and both the Coalition and the Greens are culpable.

There is another, perhaps more important reason than ideological, that fuels Abbott’s opposition.

He opposes not just the legislation the Government proposes, but also the Government itself. He has never accepted the Gillard Government as legitimate. He has consistently maintained that it has no mandate for its legislation. So, much of his opposition has been to the very existence of a minority government led by Julia Gillard. He has attacked it, and PM Gillard herself, as much as he has attacked the Government’s legislation. He has set out to destroy the Government, not just its legislation. Most of his ‘motions to suspend standing and sessional orders’ are fashioned to achieve this.

What I’m saying is that he’s not just insisting: ‘Axe the Tax’, but just as loudly insisting: ‘Ditch the Witch’. This is why his approach is so vindictive, so vitriolic, so venomous, so vicious, so venal, so vituperative, so vandalistic, so vile – ‘the longest dummy-spit in Australian political history’ as Anthony Albanese likes to describe it.

Abbott thought that he could beat the Government in its first twelve months and take over The Lodge, and so he planned a quick knockout strategy, his preferred combative approach, to do that. But now that he finds that he is in a tiring fifteen round bout against a resilient opponent, who easily rides with his wild punches and counters with some well placed jabs of her own, all the time building up points as she successfully passes bill after bill, over three hundred to date. He is floundering and showing signs of fatigue as he continues to throw the same old punches – ‘toxic tax’, and ‘axe the tax’.

What this piece contends is that a collaborative approach by all parties is what a virile democracy needs, an approach where there is a coordinated approach to governance.

Let me give a medical analogy. There is a neurological condition where a significant part of the pathology results from the so-called agonist muscles being opposed by antagonist muscles. Normally, as the agonists contract, the antagonists relax. Muscle action and joint movement is thereby smooth and coordinated. But in this condition the antagonists fight the agonists, so that in extreme manifestations of it, no movement can occur as stiffness and rigidity prevent it. Medication can reverse this.

This is an analogy of what is happening in our federal parliament. Every movement by the Government, the agonists, is opposed by the Coalition and sometimes by the Greens, the antagonists. Movement is inhibited, at times stopped. Progress is limited. Too often nothing happens. We saw this with the asylum seeker impasse that has so disenchanted the electorate. ‘Medication’ was needed, but was unavailable.

It is to Julia Gillard’s eternal credit that she has managed to legislate so much since she became PM, to have so many reforms passed into law. But imagine how much better this nation could be governed were there even a modest amount of cooperation between the parties. Imagine if opposition was limited to major ideological differences. But it is not. Instead, we have opposition for opposition’s sake, not designed to improve or enhance the legislation, not designed to suggest amendments or acceptable alternatives, but simply to oppose, to obstruct, to block. What a waste, what a deplorable misuse of the talent of our parliamentarians, what a lost opportunity to extract the very best from the talent, knowledge and experience of all of our 226 parliamentarians.

Yet this is not possible while Tony Abbott leads the Coalition. He is hell bent on destruction, on demolition, on obliteration, on annihilation of Labor and all it stands for, of all it is attempting to do. He knows no other way.

In Tony Abbott we have the most vicious, damaging and destructive Opposition Leader in living memory, one who is interested only in knocking out our PM, one who is not remotely interested in contributing to good governance. While all opposition leaders have had their moments of obstruction or antagonistic rhetoric – Paul Keating had an acerbic turn of phrase - there has never been anyone to match Tony Abbott’s nastiness, his ferocity, his malevolence, his malice, his meanness and personal spite, his belligerence and pugilism, his dishonesty and deviousness, his disregard for the welfare of the nation, and his single-minded selfishness in pursuing his objective of seizing power at any price. With him at the Opposition helm there will be nothing but negativity, obstruction and opposition at every turn. It is a national disgrace and tragedy. Sadly he will NEVER understand that it is NOT the role of oppositions to oppose EVERYTHING.

It could be so different. Parliamentarians like to tell us that most of the time they do collaborate, that they do work together for the benefit of the nation. Yet we don’t believe the Coalition when they proclaim this, because all we see is obstruction and opposition, a determination to destroy the Gillard Government and all it is attempting to do, indeed all it stands for.

With most of our political journalists unwilling to call Abbott to account, indeed many applaud his obstructive opposition, he goes on his destructive way, untrammeled by a critical press.

It’s time you journalists woke up and exposed this man for his destructiveness, which is tearing apart the fabric of this nation. I know many of you are under instruction from Rupert Murdoch, but try showing some guts for a change and call this man for the destructive person he is.

It is NOT the job of the Opposition to oppose everything, but to oppose ONLY those measures that are ideologically anathema to it. For the rest, we ought to be able to expect collaboration between the parties in the national interest. What a calamity it is that this is not the case.

What do you think?

Comments (242) -

July 14. 2012 05:50 PM


Randolf Churchill..Didn't he die of syphulus?..truly a pox on their house!!
I have come to the conclusion, that there is a measure of consenses in the opposition corner, only the Abbott has bluffed them into his methodology of attaining governance. Surely, gaining power through bully and destructive tactics will not endear a party to the people, but a critical resentment, much like we see growing in all the Liberal east-coast state governments.
The false hopes promulgated by those leaders when in opposition have come home to bite them. Ballieu..: Stalled/inefficient..O'Farrell..:financially unable to deliver..Newman..: Ideologically driven to break promises.
All in conflict with huge sections of their electorate...how is this a successful way to govern?
There are worried members in the LNP. who have a measure of historical awareness and can see their party which they are long-serving members being taken over by the far-right fanatics who, if they ever do gain power will be driven through their own fanaticism to plunder and purge the entire fabric of our society and environment.


July 14. 2012 06:02 PM

42 long

Whether economies grow or don't is often a question of confidence. I wonder how much actual damage has been done to our economy by the oppositions unyielding negativity, lies and exaggerations. It has to be significant.
   The Murray Darling rivers redistribution/allocation looks like being put into place. An situation of over allocation crying out for solutions for years. The opposition tried to stir up anger and lawlessnes, on that occasion.
   They are OBSCESSED with getting rid of the government. Nothing else matters. That is why I believe they will prove to have gone too far with the Slipper Ashby Thomson affair. It's got their sticky fingers all over it,and if it proves to be the case, It should make headlines all around the world for the outrage it is, and the penalties that must exist for trying to overthrow a legally constituted Government MUST be severe, surely. I believe they have lost all objectivity and respect for due process both inside and outside the Parliament.

42 long

July 14. 2012 06:05 PM


Ad Astra

Another brilliant post, thank you.

Following on from the destruction Abbott is causing to all the parliamentary processes, will the public expect this behavior from now on.  

What will the political press report in the next parliament if we get a non belligerent opposition?

Abbott is not only belittling this Government, he is also promising, or at least inferring that everything will be a bed of roses if he is elected.

How will the public react when he does the opposite to what people think he is saying?


July 14. 2012 06:27 PM


Ad I just knowed this was gornta happen. So I've took the liberty again of reposting. I haven't read your post yet, but tis relates to others on last thread . . . sorry . . .


I'm still tipping the Ides of September as the time when Abbortt-aborting moves will first surface. The Liberals are too chickenshit to arssassinate him quick, they will in the vernacular fartarse about, hoping like penguins on an icefloe that someone else will take the plunge first because that's the way you find out that whether the ol' Leopard Seal still has what it takes to outdo 'em . . .

Oh now Patricia, Sorry I haven't answered much, I'm no sort of authority on anything. I just write rhyming verse the way it makes most sense to me. I have told you before, I am a slave to pedantry but also to naturalism in the sorts of constructions I use, but that's the English-Teacher's-English-Teacher-Son coming out in me you must see. Yes I write sort of perfect verse because that's what my Muse demands, old B*tch she is, but it doesn't make me a critic.

I think I divide "poetry" into several parts. The images . . . the sounds . . . the meanings . . . the craft . . . the  words . . . the universality . . . and there's an X-factor too. (Making this up as I go along.)

Right, you got DH Lawrence describing (wording from 50+ years ago memory!) how he realized suddenly that the swallows he had been watching in late dusk had
without warning
metamorphosed . . .
. . .  
". . . .Swallows?
Never Swallows!
Bats, that hang themselves disgustingly upside down,
like bits of black umbrella!"

Well it doesn't need rhyme nor meter to be Poetry does it? It just feels so pre-digestedly perfect, you just think Yeahhhhh because there's nothing else to think. So that's sort of poetry per sensation and metaphor and image.  

Bits of Black umBrella eh! Onomatopoeia and alliteration in one, the flapping of the bats, the horrid image of these 'disgusting' creatures (not to me!)  . . . His surprise and revulsion, all in a few words.

But he was DHLawrence after all.

I'm sort of perfectionist with the craft part, Pity Me, if it was any other language I couldn't be so, there just aren't enough word choices any other language. As it is I can almost always find a decent rhyme and way around a phrase to make it sound ordinary-speechy, so SWMBO - in this cse my Muse - demands I do it. I'm the same with my tessellating graphcs, nothing short of perfect will do. Sad case, me.

Now it is true imo that you are not so driven as I to achieve all of the mechanical workings as I. Popeye is a case in point I think.

Now if it was me doing it . . .

I would go to the exact source, viz.,

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!
I eat all my spinich
Right up to da finich! -
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!

So then I'd either go with that A1-A1-B1-B2-A1 form, it's a sort of weak limerick because of the repetitions, or rather I would try to apologise to Popeye for pinching his format, by improving on it, like

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
I eats Spinach when I can!
The sweet Olive Oyl's
My favourite Goyl,
Ad astra's my lifelong Fan!

So, A1-A2-B1-B2-A3 - the true Limerick form. With a bit of a whiplash ending, (because it's true ) and so deploys the form properly.

Or btw the last line could be a repeat of the first, that would work quite well too, to reiterate Popeye's self-intro, without belabouring it as in the original.  

But in any case they would be 5-liners, long-long-short-short-long. So I'm a bit surprised you departed from that exact form.

All right, you asked, I'll say what I would or wouldn't do, but that's me. In the meantime don't forget you have thousands of readers all over the Internet, I only write here.  

You said:
I'm Abbott,  a fighting man
Like Popeye the Sailor Man
I’ll fight to the finish
So watch me demolish.
Every last Labor plan.

>I wouldn't even mention Popeye. That is in Popeye's eye! Use the form openly, perfectly fine for parody, but it only adds injury to insult to actually name him here, unless to lionise him and to belittle Abbortt. Nothing personal to you btw Patricia, I'm always apologising to long-dead songsters for parodising their lovely works with rhymes about Pyne or Reith, so mea culpa most of all. And I'm'a keep doing it anyway, if it will help cause Them grief and Us merriment. Because it's part of our winning strategy, to out-wit them.

Oh, then there's demolish wanting to rhyme with finish. Well it won't, but nil desperandum, I'd do a *J*U*L*I*A* and find a different way round. With no Popeye, and no word spin(i)ch to rhyme, and since you want to use demolish as the operative verb, seems to me you could use polish to advantage, like, well,

I'm Tony the No-No Man!
Whatever you want, I'll ban!
I'm all spit-and-polish!
Just watch me demolish
Every last labor plan!

So that's the first verse if it was me. You did ask.

But then to my surprise you went to a sort of six-line format. I'm a little mystified by it though I can sing it - sort of - to Popeye. But why six lines? They're harder and unnatural. Look, the two hooky lines are the first two:  

I'm tougher than Julia
So don’t let her fool ya
That I aint on the square.
I’ll biff ‘er and buff 'er
And always out rough 'er
And make sure she gets nowhere.

I think they should be lines 3 & 4 in a true limerick. (DIY!) It can then have a whiplash too. Your baby.

The rest of that verse isn't all that flash anyway, so it's easy to think of something else. Look this is just Turkey way of thinking about rhyme, maybe it'll help you see the sort of open-ended shifting spanner sort of approach I take to rhyme, it's like English is this fantastic array of so-nuanced thought-tools, and I hate crossing a beautiful brass thread with rhymes and constructs that don't do Her justice iyswim. I am not above using a dead-tree Roget's Thesaurus!  

I'm not going into the rest except perhaps the last verse, where I don't think I can wear fisk instead of fist, especially knowing this limerick:

There was a young fencer named Fisk
Who at fencing was frightfully brisk:
So swift was his action
The Fitzgerald Contraction
Foreshortened his foil to a disc!

(There is a bawdy version, in which the word fencer is replaced with a shorter f-word, and the foil is replaced very alliteratively with a d-word instead! Have you got all that, Dear Reader?)

BTW the Fitzgerald Contraction is a now-proven relationship between matter and velocity that proposes that the faster matter moves the flatter it gets . . .The reasoning is perfectly simple . . . I just do't feel like explaining it right now.

Whatever the facts is
I can show how her taxes
All hurt the working man.
And I’ll win all their votes
By stopping the boats.
A real Popeye the Sailor man.

Watch out Indonesia
Or I’ll come and seize ya.
Yeah, that’s part of me plan.
Yer know I’m no coward
I’m just like John Howard.
I’m Abbott, the Popeye man!

If admirals want to risk
Feeling the strength of my fisk,
It's boff an' it's wham understand?
All of their scrutiny
I’ll treat as mutiny
When I run Downunderland.

I think I'd keep the mutiny and scrutiny, but you need a whiplash ending, a kicker kick iyswim, and that might take a bit longer! But you have to find the tools, the words and constructs and nuances and everything to suit yourself, to make it fully worthy of old Popeye, ( gee I once parodised English country Garden, I bled inside I tell you! )

That'll be enough of that.

Gee Sunday manana.

Patricia nil desperandum on the political front neither. Sportsbet has shortened their odds from 7's to6's  . . . Coulda been my stake what done it though!

We have one year to form a truly united front against Abbortt and against anyone or indeed anything that might take his place. We will do it because we must, and we will.



July 14. 2012 06:31 PM


Another good post.

If the job of an opposition was indeed to oppose, then the Tories under Abbott are surely the Gold Standard in that regard. The constant, repetitive and pointless  suspensions of standing orders alone would qualify them. Then there have been the petty and small-minded refusals to pair, so as to deny one Labor MP an opportunity to be present at the birth of his child and others the chance to attend the funerals of family and friends.

What a small minded bigot the man is, fair dinkum.

I have known this pratt since UNI days and he hasn't changed a bit. What a truly awful individual.


July 14. 2012 06:43 PM


Is the only job of an opposition to oppose?

Only if you don't believe in Karma

via Sarah Joseph ‏@profsarahj
this explanation of Karma could assist an opposition in answering the question:


July 14. 2012 06:44 PM

42 long

  Just a little aside, but with some friends you don't need enemies.
   The term "Boganville"(As the Lodge is referred to) that "death stare" Bishop announced at QT originated from K Rudd. Julie and Kev seem to get on so well. Haven't you noticed?
Kevin is such an assett to Party unity. Julia doesn't have a lot of luck. Anyone who thinks we need Kev should get real. A few thought bubbles and a lot of "weird".

42 long

July 14. 2012 07:04 PM


Ad astra,
Excellent piece as usual.  As Albo says "this is the longest dummy spit in history ".  'We was robbed' is the mindset and the cowardly one, having promised his party to topple the government and bring about an election has failed miserably, is still swinging his wrecking ball whilst furiously spitting out derogatory and spiteful remarks directed at the woman who stands strongly in his way.  

There is no way Abbott could admit that a Labor Government (especially with PM Julia Gillard at its helm) could formulate good policy and provide good governance, therefore to his warped and nasty mind it is a "bad" government getting worse and every single policy is "bad".  Abbott is a man with a seriously flawed character, as well has a couple of screws loose in the area between his ears.  

The majority of the media are uninformed, gossip mongers rather than journalists.  Very few of them do much more than a yapping dog does to make itself relevant to its family.  They yap and growl their uninformed opinions and put them forth as analysis when it soon becomes obvious they know nothing more, often less, than the uneducated/yet disinterested Joe Blow on the street.  They extol the virtues of Abbott, diss the Government and the Prime Minister without even bothering to listen and evaluate the policy they're downgrading, and then have the absolute gall to whinge and moan that the Government can't 'sell' their policy or get a message across.   A good example of this is when Fran Kelly admitted that she didn't know that the increase (from $6,000 to $18,000) of the tax threshold was part of the Carbon Price compensation package.  She didn't know because she was too busy dissing Labor and the PM to bother informing herself.

Apologies if the above is a bit messy to read - I post it without preview first so have no idea if it makes sense.


July 14. 2012 08:23 PM

Ad astra

jaycee, 42 long, Gravel, TT, Smithe, DMW, janice
You are very quick off the mark this evening.  Thank you for your complimentary remarks.

jaycee, Wikipedia records this about Randplh Churchill: ”Randolph Churchill's political career (like that of his son) was not as successful as that of Sir Winston or of his grandfather (Lord Randolph Churchill). In the 1935 general election he stood as an Independent Conservative, marking a temporary breach with his father's politics. ... He stood for parliament on many other occasions, and was defeated at each—including losing to future Labour leader Michael Foot at Plymouth Devonport in the 1951 general election.
“Randolph was often portrayed as the black sheep of the Churchill family—irascible, spoiled by his father, and with a serious drinking problem. Evelyn Waugh, who was a friend, captured the mood of many after Churchill had had a growth removed by surgery. On hearing that the growth was not malignant, Waugh said "How typical of doctors to find the one part of Randolph's body which is not malignant and to cut it out."…He died of a heart attack in 1968 aged 57.”

He does not seem a savory character for Abbott to emulate.


42 long, in my view Abbott has done a lot of damage to our economy with his continual talking it down.  I attribute much of the negative business and consumer sentiment to his negativism.  But of course our media experts never mention such a possibility.

Gravel, it is sad that Abbott has set a new low standard for parliamentary and public behaviour with his negativity, obstruction and demeaning talk.  People now seem to regard this as the norm, rather than deploring it. The media could reverse this in a few months, but won’t because it suits Uncle Rupert’s aims, and shores up their employment security.

TT, you are right: ”We have one year to form a truly united front against Abbortt and against anyone or indeed anything that might take his place. We will do it because we must, and we will.

Smithe, you are right in nailing Abbotts’ small-mindedness, one that would “…deny one Labor MP an opportunity to be present at the birth of his child and others the chance to attend the funerals of family and friends.

DMW, that is just the sort of karma Abbott deserves.

janice, You are in fine form.  Lots of commonsense in your insightful comment, with which I agree, and no typos!  You seem to be seeing very clearly.

Ad astra

July 14. 2012 08:25 PM

Ad astra

It seems to have been a long day.  I'm calling it quits.

Ad astra

July 14. 2012 08:34 PM


Janice, you always make sense to me!

Ad Astra, such a timely piece for me.  An old friend from running days years ago called and took me out to coffee this morning.  Politics has never been discussed between us before, so I was taken aback when he said to me, "But isn't it the Opposition's job to oppose?"  I've just emailed this post to him.  I had forgotten what a devout Catholic he is.

TT, am still digesting your comments.  Thank you for giving me so much time and attention.   The variation from five to six lines comes from trying to follow the shape of the Popeye lyrics at www.toontracker.com/lyrics/popeye%20lyrics.htm as do words like fisk etc.   I had strong reservations about this pome though, mainly because it dishonored Popeye, as AA said.   I loved your rhyming of goyl with Olive Oil!   I still badly want to use Alan Moir's cartoon somehow.  Sometimes we have to sleep on these things, don't we!


July 14. 2012 08:34 PM


Though a regular reader here who agrees and disagrees with many points discussed i thought i would write a comment.
Yes i do beleive the job of the opposition is to oppose when they do disagree with a policy, and being someone who does follow parliament regularly it is interesting that many fail to acknowledge that approx 87% of bills passed have also had the oppositions approval. In saying this i beleive our biggest issue for MPs of either major party is that for too long now MPs say what the public want to here during electioneering then once elected its all different. We need to get a system where MP are accountable for their actions and to do what they were elected to do, represent the wishes of their electorate. Though i do not see this happening. We need a system where during votes any party member should be allowed to cross the floor for issues that are what their electorate would wish them to do.
While i beleive the Malaysian solution sounds a policy in the right direction to stop the people smuggling problem the one thing i do aggre with the LNP is that the ALP refuse to answer to what happens when the 800 quota is used. You just cannot just throw all your eggs in one basket, even the LNP should state what would they do if their Nauru option does not work this time.
WIth journalist my biggest dissapointment has been that news is no longer reported as stating the facts but journalists writing or saying it in a way that supports their personal beleifs whether one way or the other. This is what has destroyed many peoples faith in reading the news.


July 14. 2012 08:50 PM

Ad astra

What a concidence!  ‘It is the job of the Opposition to oppose’ seems indeed to have become ‘holy writ’.  It just show that if, as Goebbels said, if you repeat something often enough, even if it’s ‘a big lie’, eventually people will believe it!

Welcome to The Political Sword family. Do come again.

I agree with you when you say you: ”… believe our biggest issue for MPs of either major party is that for too long now MPs say what the public want to here during electioneering then once elected its all different. We need to get a system where MP are accountable for their actions and to do what they were elected to do, represent the wishes of their electorate.”

I too regret that: “…news is no longer reported as stating the facts but journalists writing or saying it in a way that supports their personal beliefs whether one way or the other.” What purports to be news is too often opinion, but as Rupert Murdoch insists: “opinion is news”.

I’m off to watch a happy movie where good triumphs over evil – ‘The Sound of Music’.

Ad astra

July 14. 2012 09:17 PM

Catching up

Why are not the majority demanding better.  

Catching up

July 14. 2012 09:25 PM


yes, AA. I have to admit my error with ol'Randolf...I did cross-check...not that much faith in Wiki'...But on to LOTO.
Really, the man is a nobody..like most wannabe's who desire power. He is a good follower of his masters' instructions. Tony Abbott wants political cred', To get that he wants to be in The Lodge..that would show 'em! His masters want control, they want the real power, that sort of power that controls the finances of nations...they have no capacity for political power, so they have made a pact with the LNP.  Both have made a pact with the devil!
Trouble for the LNP. is : When these "real power" lunatics screw up a nation, they slip the tie-rope and sail away to try a new place...The LNP. are going nowhere...they will take the rap...Like Howard did over the last schmozzle.
Sure, like Howard, they will give Tony a gong...but he will have no friends save those he bought!
And the LNP?....they will lose all the trust of the Australian people.
Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of ba*tards!


July 14. 2012 10:06 PM


The job of the opposition is to oppose <i>where necessary</i>.  Those last two words are the important ones.  It isn't to engage in automatic nay-saying of everything the government does (for that, you want the Monty Python Argument Clinic sketch).  

I'm sick of the current Opposition, to be honest.  They'll neither fish nor cut bait, they'll just throw big rocks in the water and ruin the day for everyone else.  I keep looking for actual policies out of them, but all I've seen so far is "don't wanna"!  Don't wanna have a carbon tax!  Don't wanna have a Resources Rent tax!  Don't wanna deal sensibly with asylum seekers!  Don't wanna think about how we're going to pay for things!  Don't wanna come up with alternative ideas!  Don't wanna!  Don't wanna!!  DON'T WANNA!!!

Honestly, the Federal Opposition has pulled every trick in the childish tantrum repetoire except possibly holding their collective breath until they turn blue (bluer?), and throwing themselves on the floor kicking and screaming.  

Quite frankly, anyone who has a Liberal or National MP representing them in the House of Representatives in this parliament should be entitled to demand their money back.  Through Mr Abbott's lovely little "no, No, NOOOOO!!!" trick, they've essentially taken themselves out of the legislative running - the government is well aware they're not going to be able to negotiate with the Liberals or the Nationals, so they just go straight to the cross-benchers instead.  The end result is that the cross-bench MPs wield much more power than they ought, and the future of legislation rests on about three MPs who are doing more than their share of the legislative heavy lifting.

I'd love to see the mainstream media do more than just praise Tony Abbott's throwing arm as he tosses the toys out of the pram, or write paeans to his osculatory skill when he spits the dummy.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely.


July 14. 2012 11:10 PM


Ad astra, thanks for another great post. For me, the sentence from your post quoted below neatly summarises the essence of Abbott.

In Tony Abbott we have the most vicious, damaging and destructive Opposition Leader in living memory, one who is interested only in knocking out our PM, one who is not remotely interested in contributing to good governance.

Despite the lip service, he has no interest in governance, good or bad. All he cares about is getting his grubby grasping hands on the Lodge.

The worst thing is the disservice he and his vapid bad of yes men are doing to this country and to the people who elected them.

Not once have these clowns made any attempt to engage in honest debate on any subject. Not once have they taken the opportunities extended to them of contributing to the formation of vital and important legislation.

They could have offered thoughtful and potentially crucial input to the Clean Energy legislation; they had the chance. But they threw that opportunity into the government's face.

As a consequence they have completely failed to represent the people who voted for them and that is their most egregious sin, imo.

That's what all politicians get paid for, but because of the Liars insatiable desire for power, they've abandoned all pretence of responsible representation of their constituents and all pretence of interest in the welfare of our country.

That's why I never have and never could bring myself to vote for the Liars.


July 14. 2012 11:27 PM


Megpie71, hear! hear! The Nohopeosition has yet to articulate any sort of policy, bar simplistic slogans.

They're no better than spiteful greedy toddlers demanding everything and giving nothing at all.

As you say, anyone who lives in their electorates should demand their money back!


July 15. 2012 05:07 AM


Ad astra
How I look forward to the time after the next election, when Labor will no longer be under the constant threat of this terrible "opposition" and you Ad will be free to write with the unalloyed joy of pure positivity.

In the meantime you are without peer in telling as it really is the parlous state of this despicable gang of lickspittles of the ultra-rich.  

False modesty prevents me from saying Great minds think alike, Smile , but as I was reading this new thread I was already thinking of the nature of 'opposition' as it relates to our physiology, when I got to the part where you use it as a metaphor yourself. In particular I was thinking of the relationship between the two big muscles of the upper arm, the biceps and the triceps, which work in opposition each governing and mediating the operation of the other. If one of those muscles is paralyzed eg by injection of curare, the operation of the whole arm is stymied.  And Humans are blessed (or is it cursed?) by being unique in having 'opposed' thumbs, capable of forming a strong loop-alliance with any given finger, by the very action of 'opposing'. That opposed thumb has made it possible for us to fashion and use tools and to become the dominant large species on Earth.

So 'opposition' has positive, indeed vital aspects - but not the way Abbortt means it. He means paralysis, no-go, pure and simple.

On the other hand look at the way Neuman's Government is shaping in the Slushmine State. With no Upper House to provide a restraining influence, Neuman will sell off much of the State's assets to his mates - including, most sadly, some of the last bits of NQ wilderness. It was Labor that long ago got rid of the NQ Upper House - in exasperation against its RW obstructionism I imagine, though I don't know the story - a classic case of Careful what you wish for, or maybe Out of the frying pan . . .  

Abbortt is not alone to blame though. In fact given his mental condition he may be seen as a stooge of much bigger hidden interests, a sort of pre-programmed Duracell rabbit, manically and mindlessly mimicking the motions of a real live one, - and running down now at last, despite all the blurb about Duracell batteries. Chief of these big hidden interests are of course the Minions of Murdochracy, but deadliest to Labor are its cancerous tentacles in the ABC, a willing host to Murdoch's  evil empire.  

Half-past four here, five where Tweetie Lyn is stretching her wings for the morning's peregrinations. Oh that's right, she's fallen in love with bloody Donald Duck she says, well serve her right if she gets all muddy. A Duck! Cor'!

I'm going (back) to bed.  


July 15. 2012 08:50 AM


As many of you will have observed, the air seems less poisonous just lately...

Could be, just could be because Shouldabeen is out of the country, spending two weeks at (that famous) taxpayers' expense hitting the high spots in the USA and China.

Tough gig, huh, 'leader of the Opposition'?

Incidentally, since his parliamentary expenses usually reveal that his 'family travel' costs are amongst the highest in both Houses, it might be interesting to know who's traveling on this gravy train with him. The future 'first lady', or a 'first daughter' or two?

The most interesting aspect of the trip, however, is what will he say while overseas? He's on past record as talking Australia up when out of the country - "no" gets a rest, believe it or not.

Both he and Hockey, at international forums, praise the country's achievements since the global financial crisis hit, and generally come across as 'fair dinkum' Aussies supporting the strengths and viability of this nation.

It's a bit like Coalition members buying shares in coal mining companies while swearing that carbon pricing will kill coal.

So, will the government have lots of supportive snippets from the lips of Shouldabeen OS to draw ironic attention to?

I suspect so. Even Tiny is not so committedly stupid as to talk down while abroad the country he reckons he should lead in the company of men and women he expects to be rubbing shoulders with at the 'big tables' of world economic and political leadership just one election away.

Which will demonstrate once again his hypocrisy and gutter-level oppositionistic manner 'at home'.

Of course, the smirk for the domestic news programs will not be escapable, as I'm sure the Coalition media machine will crank out "and here's the next Prime Minister of Australia meeting" local luminaries in the US and China footage for Aussie acolyte approval down under.

Still, the first effects of carbon pricing and Abbott out of the country do seem to have combined to make the air just that little bit sweeter here.


July 15. 2012 09:51 AM


The opposition keeps the "NO-GO" momentum switched on because of the support such a policy gets from the MSM..and why not!?..if one listens to the supreme arrogance of the newslimedited ceo..one would believe THEY and not the govt' NOR the judicial authorities call the shots on govt' and civil law in this country.
I notice from one of Lyn's excellent links that the newslimedited journo ; Lewis, was requested to nominate if HE felt HE wanted to refuse to expose his sources!!!??
I didn't realise one had so much power to decide, in a matter of sedition, whether or not one should take a weekend or so to mull over a matter of national importance!
Hey!!..where's my laywers?...if ever I get into a jam, I'm gonna pull this doozy!..."Sorry, coppers!..I pull the 'non-disclosure-because-I-haven't-made-up-my-mind-whether-I-feel-guilty-or-not-clause'...call me next Tuesdee".
Where's the media outrage on this issue?...Oh!..that's right..Lewis IS the media!!
Back on to LOTO...How could ANYBODY have ANY respect in the man after that ludicrous scramble, in full view of the public, in discracful circumstances IN OUR NATIONAL PARLIAMENT, for all the world to see, running for the exits?....like a silly child?
Only such a fool with a compliant media could survive such an embarrassment.


July 15. 2012 10:21 AM

Ad astra

Welcome to The Political Sword family.  Do come again.

I enjoyed reading your comment and agree with your words: ”Quite frankly, anyone who has a Liberal or National MP representing them in the House of Representatives in this parliament should be entitled to demand their money back.”

It’s a sad commentary on our media that your conclusion is so spot on: ”I'd love to see the mainstream media do more than just praise Tony Abbott's throwing arm as he tosses the toys out of the pram, or write paeans to his osculatory skill when he spits the dummy.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely.

BTW, we use square brackets around tags on this website.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 10:22 AM


It is also the job of the opposition to present themselves as the alternative government. We see precious little of what we could expect from Abbott PM on the policy front. If he thinks he will be able to just trot from one photo op to another with an Alan Jones or Ray Hadley interview every now and then he may be in for a shock, He may actually have to do some work! The previous point about his travel expenses is well made He was in Wa last week for a WA Liberal fundraiser. Who paid the fares for that?


July 15. 2012 10:37 AM

Ad astra

You say about Abbott: ”He is a good follower of his masters' instructions.”  But who is his master?  George Pell, his acknowledged mentor; BA Santamaria, whom he admired greatly; or Rupert Murdoch, who is or has been ‘master’ to too many leaders around the world, (and if you have doubts about this assertion read David McKnight’s Rupert Murdoch An Investigation of Political Power.)

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 10:41 AM

Ad astra

Thank you for your kind words.  I agree with you: “Despite the lip service, he [Abbott] has no interest in governance, good or bad. All he cares about is getting his grubby grasping hands on the Lodge. and your conclusion: “That's what all politicians get paid for, but because of the Liars insatiable desire for power, they've abandoned all pretence of responsible representation of their constituents and all pretence of interest in the welfare of our country.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 10:48 AM


rocco, on any measure the Nohopeosition has shown itself to be completely unfit to run a chook raffle, let alone a country.

It astonishes me that the barrackers can possibly argue that this mob of mendacious, policy bereft, talentless no hopers is capable of governing this country.


July 15. 2012 10:50 AM

Ad astra

I see you were up late last night. But you were alert enough to paint this telling picture: “Abbortt is not alone to blame though. In fact given his mental condition he may be seen as a stooge of much bigger hidden interests, a sort of pre-programmed Duracell rabbit, manically and mindlessly mimicking the motions of a real live one, - and running down now at last, despite all the blurb about Duracell batteries.”  As I asked in my response to jaycee, who is supplying the Duracell batteries – George Pell, Rupert Murdoch, or is Abbott still recharging at the BA Santamaria fountain?  Or all of the above?  There doesn’t seem to be anyone actually in the Coalition that is supplying the batteries, although his chief of staff is credited with recharging them.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 10:57 AM

Ad astra

Abbott’s overseas trip is blessed relief.  His utterances will be interesting to follow, especially to hear if he talks up our country, instead of his form locally, talking it down.  

Won’t it be good to have the TV news sans Abbott in a fluoro vest, or stacking bananas or tomatoes, or kissing fish!

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 10:59 AM

Ad astra

Abbott may think it is just a cake walk to The Lodge, but hubris is a dangerous attitude.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 11:02 AM


I said to my friend J**** just before this thread was posted, Don't people just love conflict! (It was something not even political in the ordinary sense, I forget what.) But it doesn't matter, any conflict about anything is better than peace because peace = boredom.

When I was in primary school more than half my peers were the kids of ten-pound Poms, about 3:2 with the Aussies. Boy that was a tough school, though my 3 best friends, - all Davids as happened - were all nice Poms I kept as friends through high school. But at P/S there was always the chasm, Poms vs Aussies, (and Soccer vs Footy i.e. Aussie Rules) There were fights on most days, little me even got into a couple, very much against my will but I done all right for a little kid just the same, I got respect after nearly choking a good-bit-bigger kid, Bignell by surname, in a desperate headlock, I wonder if he remembers!  But whenever there was a fight there would be yells of Fight! Fight! and kids would race from everywhere for the fun.

To be continued . . .


July 15. 2012 11:02 AM


Good Morning Ad

Thankyou my forever friend for another magnificent article.

I watched closely Kim Beazley in Opposition, Simon Crean, Kevin Rudd, yes and Mark Latham.  I have never seen an Opposition Leader like Abbott. As for No to everything and anything just tells me he cares about nothing more than keys to the Lodge.  Tell me someone who can explain how Mr Abbott cares.

Ad you said even on Saturday Twitterverse is interesting, well they never stop, if you have time glance at "Pollies tweet-talk electors,by Misha Schubert"


Pollies tweet-talk electors, MISHA SCHUBERT
Twitter and certain webpages/blogs are where people are increasingly getting their news - whether it be links to stories on news websites or discussions. In the recent nanny subsidy debate both Kate Ellis and Tony Abbott used Mamamia to get their message across - knowing that that website is

20 minutes with Julia Gillard | www.themorningbulletin.com.au/.../Regional MSM better than cap city MSM

The New South Wales Labor Party conference goes into its final day today with Prime Minister Julia Gillard the main speaker late this morning.

Frank Calabrese‏
WRONG it's theGreens driving the low Primary Vote - the sooner we get rid of the murderous scum the better

Miss Eagle‏
This is the first significant recognition by anybody of the unofficial but widespread political party - Rusted-on... http://fb.me/OjWJfkgo

Miss Eagle‏
toastman51: Scientists reject LNP school move www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120713-221or.html Hitler did a very similar thing in WW2 - fascist government!

Solomon Les Hunter‏
Proof TonyAbbottMHR lnp & Murdoch press mislead Australian public 20/6/10 www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225907522983 & www.abc.net.au/.../3318364.htm @PBS @ABCMediaWatch

Mark Colvin‏
Titanic News? Clive Palmer considering launching online news service to be staffed by ex Fairfax journos http://bit.ly/MsqiBavia @SBSNews

Labor picking up ground on LNP in WA and Mark McGowan lifts his personal popularity. Steady as she goes team looks good au.news.yahoo.com/.../

Cheryl ‏
turnleft2013 & with Qld leading the charge.only hope by election those Lib states

Australian Labor‏@AustralianLabor
There's no GST paid on ‪#carbonprice‬ permits. Concerns about misleading pricing with the ACCC: http://assistant.treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.as


Agnes Mack‏
Phil Coorey: TAbbott o'seas & protocol says u don't bag country,govt, economy there. We'll see if he can last 10 days. Nice, Phil.
Mandy Kirsopp‏
And when Abbott lapses yet again & criticises our nation, who'll call him to account. Our media? Doubtful. #auspol
Agnes Mack‏
‪ Karen Middleton thinks should have been more scrutiny of Abbott's squibbing turn back boats talk with Indon Pres.....she's right
Agnes Mack‏
‪‬ "we will get him" Steve Lewis, Com car driver? Wld have thought "find him" "contact him"
ZannaKaysen Yeah, we are separate camps. #Insiders is trash tv for political junkies.
This Greens guy is far far far out of his depth #insiders
Ross Bowler‏
Tony Abbott is your best friend! #Insiders" The Devil is your "best friend" when he wants your soul.
Con Georgiou‏
Labor can't pander to the Greens: middle Australia will view them as unelectable. #auspol #AustralianAgenda #Insiders
Margaret Clark‏
Karen Middleton says the media should have had more scrutiny on Abbott failure to discuss towback policy. Huh!?
Mandy Kirsopp
#insiders The Greens take but they don't give ... Spot on Barrie, a Party that doesn't negotiate 4 a prac. outcome is pointless. #springst


July 15. 2012 11:04 AM


AA. Not being one for the conspiricy theory,but I have to remark on the coincidental similarity of opposing for opposings' sake by both the American republicans AND our opposition here.
In a world of shrinking resources and the inevitability of the "cournered market" because of such diminishing supplies, I would suspect it would be in the best interests for those who have financial and commodities production within a capitalist framework under conservative governmental control to maintain it as such.
So if one was to inquire as to whom someone like LOTO would answer to, the answer would have to be.."QUI BONO?".."for whose good?"....and in the light of the Euro "bailouts", if we "follow the money" it all seems to go to the financial houses!
To quote John Dos Passos.."USA..;Nineteen Nineteen".."Wars and panics on the stock exchange,
machinegun fire and arson, bankruptcies, warloans,
starvation, lice, cholera and typhus,good growing weather for the house of Morgan."



July 15. 2012 11:07 AM

Tom of Melbourne

” In Tony Abbott we have the most vicious, damaging and destructive Opposition Leader in living memory…

Obviously you don’t recall Malcolm Fraser.

” While all opposition leaders have had their moments of obstruction or antagonistic rhetoric – Paul Keating had an acerbic turn of phrase..”

Keating was Opposition Leader??

Convenient memory lapses and factual errors, all intended to put anyone but the ALP to the verbal sword.

Tom of Melbourne

July 15. 2012 11:14 AM

Ad astra

I had a happy evening watching two delightful classics: The Sound of Music and The African Queen, so I’m just now catching up.

Insiders this morning seemed preoccupied with the Labor/Greens dissonance, which detracted from other matters such as the asylum seeker issue and Abbott’s hairy-chested ‘we will turn the boats around’ policy, which, because no one seems to be taking it seriously, was quickly dismissed.  

The Lewis/Ashby matter too received little attention, except wry smiles from the panel at Justice Rares putting the onus on Lewis to say whether he had another ‘source’ that needed protection.  If it has come to this – that the media gets to decide what it will and will not reveal in a court of law – heaven help us.  Why anyone would give this privilege to Lewis, the man of Grech infamy, is a mystery.

It was a rather flat affair, which to me highlighted the impotence of the media when there is no red-hot issue for them to mull over.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 11:25 AM


Unforunately it appears to be working for the Lib's, but interesting to note it isn't working for him on a personal level. No amount of us pointing it out seems to make any difference. And in this day and age winning is everything. I think us willing for fairness, and puting your own interests to the back for the good of the nation are over. We have become more like the USA where we reward winners and punish losers, regardless. The more the media paints Julia as a loser the more she will be punished.

I think that the next 3 months are crucial. The tripling of the tax free threshhold will see more money being pumped into the economy. Pensioners and welfare recipients will have more money and they will spend it. I think the reserve bank will probably cut interest rates (well I hope they do), if petrol prices stay lower (based on the world outlook they should), and the sky hasn't fallen in but actually things look a bit brighter, also people will have the Olympics to focus on during which time Abbott's messages will not be getting front and centre stage, all these things together may mean a bit more positivity. His promenance is hypnotic, its relentless, while people are feeling negative its working, but it does rely on constant repetition (and he is constantly walking a fine line). He pulls back if he gets negative feedback, just look how he now lays off Thomson, remember when Thomson was the biggest issue facing pariliament, that it was abhorrant that he should stay? As soon as he got a bit of bad press, and the Slipper case started working against him he pulled back.

He is out of the country, will he stick with protocol and stop talking everything down? It will be hard for him, he wont get the same press coverage if he softens. And the political landscape changes when he isn't here.

So I think while the MSM paints Julia as a loser and if the outlook in the eye's of the electorate remains gloomy they will punish the government, if the economy improves in their eye's they may fear change, regardless of what the media say.


July 15. 2012 11:36 AM


Oh and to everyone that has contributed, and to Ad astra for his spot on analysis I say a big thanks, I have enjoyed reading all the comments. I hear and feel and share your frustrations.


July 15. 2012 11:41 AM


Unfortunately Phoney Tony and the NO Coalition have only one political strategy to gain government, that is to say NO and maintain a position of total negativity on government initiatives and policies.  Their other great failing is that their 'front bench' (if you can call it that) is made up of the detritus of the Howard years neo-cons.  The only person with any real intellect is Turnbull and he has (by one vote -- Slipper's) been relegated to inconsequentiality. And voters consider this bunch to be an alternative government?
The 'successful' ascendency of the NO Coalition to the Government benches at the next election will ultimately represent the further Americanisation of Australia and a descent into at least three terms of 'dark ages' in visionary policy in a period where the world is undergoing significant change.  All I can say is; 'poor bugger my country!'


July 15. 2012 11:57 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your kind remarks, and for your Sunday Twitterverse, so informative, as usual.  It prompted me to looks at ABC 24 to see Julia Gillard’s magnificent speech, which she seemed to give without autocue and without reading. She is a very intelligent woman, completely across all the many area of Government; articulate, strong, determined and feisty.  

She spelt out that Labor is not a brand, as so many commentators like to say, but a movement for all the people, not just a privileged few, a party that insists that strength and fairness can co-exist.  

She got the most applause when she recalled Tony Abbott’s ‘compliment’ that ‘she won’t lie down and die.’  

What a privilege to have her as PM, and what a contrast to the alternative, a slogan-driven automaton!

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 12:06 PM


GK @ July 14. 2012 08:34 PM
We need to get a system where MP are accountable for their actions and to do what they were elected to do, represent the wishes of their electorate.

There are several problems with a parliamenterian 'representing the wishes of their electorate'. How does a parliamenterian accurately determine the wishes of all of their electorate on any given issue? What happens if the the electorates wishes are equally divided between yeah and nay? What is the parliamenterian to do if the wishes of their electorate are opposite to the better interests of the commonwealth as a whole?

The mechanics of accurately determining the wishes of all of the electorate would bog down the system to a point that government would become totally impossible.

We wouldn't have to look to far to find some things that a government has done that, if they had been asked, would have been against the wishes of the electorate.

The Whitlam governments 25% across the board tarriff cuts are generally regarded, now, as the starting point of the modernising and opening up of our economy. How many electors would have been in favour if asked? How many would have favoured the floating of the dollar?

Edmund Burke http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke in his 1774 Speech to the Electors of Bristol  press-pubs.uchicago.edu/.../v1ch13s7.html  speaks forthrightly about whether a parliamentarian is a mere delegate of their electors i.e. the implementer of their wishes or representative elected to gaurd the better interests of the electorate and the nation as a whole.

To deliver an opinion, is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience,--these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our constitution.

Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.

The whole (short) speech is worthy of a thorough read. It would serve our democracy better if parliamentarins and electors alike understood what Burke was saying and we encoraged 'the system' to work toward those ideals.


July 15. 2012 12:28 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your complimentary remarks and your sound comments.

With Tony Abbott out of sight, and our PM highly visible and emphasizing fairness as she did today in her conference address with reference to workplace wages and equal pay for women, she will get better coverage than he, to the extent that our media permits it!

You compliment those who comment here for their contributions.  I agree.  What a pity it is we have a few who come here to contribute only dissonance.  ToM has caught me out – Paul Keating was an opposition frontbencher, not opposition leader when he made his many acerbic remarks.  It is a measure of ToM’s mind that of all the aspects of this piece he might have addressed, he chose to highlight that one, and embellish it with a pejorative, negative remark, Abbott-style.

Both you and jaycee have mentioned the Americanization of our politics with the Coalition looking more and more like the Republicans (and The Tea Party).  This is a dangerous trend.  Murdoch has promoted this approach through his Fox News in the US, and is pushing the same approach here.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 12:33 PM

42 long

  The question of carry out mandates/wishes of the electorate, etc are selectively used by pollies lacking a committment to think.
  The broad aims of all parties out there are pretty obvious to any serious observer of politics. No-one has done a full 180 in any case. Cutting short quotes and ignoring qualifications of statements is deceit in practical form.
   I would find the concept of dismissing a government in mid term to be an undesireable situation that would require rare and unusual extreme circumstances to justify. Blocking of supply was used once and I don't think anyone wants to go there again.
   Plenty of governments are not popular in mid term . If the are an active government as the Labour one has been things don't always look good at the  start. The  Fibre optic roll out gets little criticism these days. Highways are being built  despite lack of support in the NSW state gov't. The Murray Darling looks like being settled. The Labour gov't hasn't shied away from the big problems to give itself an easy ride.
   If Julia had said she wanted to have an ETS she might have lost less votes to the Greens.
   The Greens are not mature politically. They have to learn the art of the achievable. Would they ever see themselves getting anything through with the LNP?
   They take cheap shots at Labour who are the only people who will side with them. It is easy for a Party which will never in the foreseeable future have to behave like a Government. The can make bolshy ballsy purist statements because of that. and pat themselves on the back.  

42 long

July 15. 2012 12:51 PM


Julia Gillard ‏@JuliaGillard
PM: "In 2012, New South Wales Labor is leading the country in building a stronger Party" #NSWALP12

oh dear If NSW Labor is the leading light it is time to slit my wrists.


July 15. 2012 01:48 PM

42 long

Well they may have a job to do but BOF may help them.
   In fairness to anybody who tries to govern in NSW there has been a history of "Problematic" governments there going back to the times when rum was used for money. How many of you remeber Robert Askin  (liberal) and some of the serious goings on " Baldwin getting beat up".etc Labour factions Electrical infrastructure run down and unrealistically low domestic power prices by successive governments.
   The power stations sale thing was one of the big items there. and now even with  a scorched earth policy happening no sign of an end to deficit under BOF. One thing for sure though there will be a fair bit of unemployment not caused by the Carbon price but by direct sackings. There are no opportunities to twist the figures there. It's black and white but as the lack of cash by those who aren't working filters through the suburbs where those sacked used to spend, there will be significant flow on effects, houses  sold and new items not bought, so business activity will reduce.
   Tony will blame it all on the carbon "tax" not a "Toxic" state policy that makes job losses the recovery process. The newly self declared "workers friend" Tony won't lift a finger, or mutter a word.
    The rubbishing of the "labour brand" is the LNP policy now. More spin all copied from The USA. Hasn't anybody noticed that no-one talks of the magic lady from alaska Sarah Palin, today. That many past republicans are agast at the extreme behaviour ot the Tea Party/ new Republican "extreme" dogma.
   If you take a lesson from the USA LNP, and copy it, you should wait till you have read the book all the way through. The last chapters may not turn out the way you may think.
  "SCARY" people SCARE people.

42 long

July 15. 2012 01:59 PM


DMW - agreed

AA - good post, in brief the Opposition's role is to assess Government Policy (as Legislation is brought forward) and comment.  The comment could be anywhere from this is hopeless to this in brilliant (in my view no one has the trade mark on perfect decision making).  The thing being if the decision in the view of the opposition is lousy, there should be a suggestion on how to make it better - it goes without saying that "NO" is not a suggestion to make it better.


July 15. 2012 02:15 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your comment.  Yes, a comment on legislation could be anywhere on the good-bad spectrum.  With Abbott, it is at the bad end.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 02:24 PM


Another ridiculously biased and over the top piece by you, Ad Astra. Barely any of what you have stated is based on fact. The whole premise of your argument is that the Coalition DOES oppose everything. However, when you look at the facts you see that the Coalition has supported over 80% of the legislation that has passed the parliament, which is broadly inline with previous parliaments. So your piece starts off missing its key line of argument...

Tell me Ad Astra, if Abbott wins Government and introduces legislation to get rid of the carbon tax, get rid of the mining tax and to introduce the pacific solution, do you want the Labor Party to support the Coalition in the parliament? I think not. It is because the coalition actually believes in its stance against these measures that the public is receptive to its message. If the Labor Party actually believed in what it was trying to introduce, maybe they would have more success on the negotiating front? However, as we know, Gillard does not believe in a carbon tax/ETS, the mining tax, or offshore processing. The only reason the Labor Party has adopted those positions is because their policies have failed, and the public has responded to the oppositions alternatives.

When the Labor Party starts to believe in things again, maybe, just maybe, the public will begin to change its attitudes. Instead it looks like they have decided to blame the Greens for all of their troubles...


July 15. 2012 02:36 PM


  "Another ridiculously biased and over the top piece by you, Ad Astra. "

I'll ask again what is the name of your blog?


July 15. 2012 03:03 PM


Hi Ad

You said to me "It prompted me to looks at ABC 24 to see Julia Gillard’s magnificent speech, which she seemed to give without autocue and without reading. She is a very intelligent woman, completely across all the many area of Government; articulate, strong, determined and feisty".

Well Julia's speech has had some wonderful praise, here is a few for you:

Ben Cubby‏@bencubby   Environment Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Just read Julia Gillard's #alpnsw12 speech - that has got to be one of the great Labor speeches. Anyone know who wrote it?

Julia Gillard‏
mik_rosser Here's a copy of my speech for you - www.pm.gov.au/.../not-brand-cause-speech-nsw-alp-conference JG

david ewart
psynubs ALPByronBay great speech by the lady in charge of the country

Greg Jericho‏
Smart speech as well by JuliaGillard. Left the preferencing guff to the delegates. Instead spoke as a Prime Minister

Chris Johnson‏
Gillard makes Abbott and Julie Bishop look like a couple of hayseeds when it comes to conference addresses. #NSWALP

Elliot Giakalis‏
PM kept away from the petty stuff, talked big, like a leader should. Strong on vision, light on vitriol #alpnsw12

David J Woollams‏
JuliaGillard a great & motivational speech makes me proud to be Labor.

Marie Claire‏
Fantastic speech, @JuliaGillard. Absolutely remarkable.

James Fiander ‏
Just read The Prime Ministers speech for ‪#ALPNSW12‬. It was stirring. Certainly one that will be spoken of for a while.

JuliaGillard Great speech! She won't lie down and die and neither will this party! #ALPNSW12 #NSWALP12

Gillard says she recd biggest compliment of her life from the opposition when Abbott said "she won't lie down & die" JG, "too right

A great speech JuliaGillard Australian Labor you have a great leader!

Kasia Cichonska‏
she is brilliant and those who can't see are deaf dumb and blind. JuliaGillard  



July 15. 2012 03:17 PM


Ad astra. I must admit I glided over ToM's comment. I like to hear all points of view EXCEPT when it is being delivered in an ascerbic way or people resort to name calling. In my opinion you, Ad astra, come accross as a person who if someone pointed out a mistake you would take it in the spirit it was intended. I think ToM's intention was to ridicule and so you picked that up in the spirit it was intended.


the way you handle yourself on this site often is not nice and it's a turn off, and it says more about you than any political comment you make that might add to the debate.


July 15. 2012 03:22 PM

Wake Up

Just on the Ashby /Lewis saga, it is worth noting the blatant misrepresentation of the facts that News Ltd chose to publish with complete disregard for any sense on fair, balanced and objective reporting in their unrelenting effort to manipulate public opinion to suit their own agenda.

This article appeared in The Daily Telegraph (Online) on Friday July 13 at 1:42pm under the headline,

"Journalist: 'Text wasn't about Slipper'"

News Limited journalist Steve Lewis's 'We will get him' text not about Peter Slipper, court told | thetelegraph.com.au

and again in The Daily Telegraph (Online) on Saturday July 14 at 12:00am under the headline,

"Slipper not journo's text target"

Speaker Peter Slipper not journo's text target, court hears | thetelegraph.com.au

In both articles by Lauren Farrow it was reported that the text from Lewis was not referring to Mr Slipper……...

"News Limited journalist Steve Lewis's 'We will get him' text not about Peter Slipper, court told."

"In the Federal Court today Mr Lewis' barrister Alec Leopold SC said that the text message Mr Lewis sent was not referring to Mr Slipper but instead was referring to locating a professional driver to speak to him about Mr Slipper's alleged travel rorts"

The text message to Peter Slipper's former staffer James Ashby by a News Limited journalist saying "we will get him" was not about the House of Representatives Speaker, a court heard yesterday.

The April 4 text, sent by reporter Steve Lewis, was in fact talking about finding a commonwealth car driver to talk about Mr Slipper's alleged travel rorts.

It also appeared in The Australian (Online) on Friday July 13 12:06pm by Leo Shanahan under the headline,

"Text not about Slipper, court told"

Steve Lewis's 'we will get him' text message not about Peter Slipper, court told | The Australian

"A text message from a journalist to a staffer of Peter Slipper that read "we will get him" did not refer to the Speaker of the House, a Sydney court has been told."

"In the Federal Court this morning Alec Leopold, barrister for News Limited journalist Steve Lewis, said the message that had been claimed by the Slipper camp to show Mr Lewis wrote "we will get him" to staffer James Ashby was not about Mr Slipper."

Interesting to note that it wasn't reported that way anywhere else outside of News Ltd's publications, for example in The Sydney Morning Herald it was reported in three different articles

"Slipper subpoena: journalist 'seeks to protect source'"

"Slipper document would reveal confidential source: journalist"

"Reporter refuses to give up document in Slipper case"

"During the hearing, Mr Leopold said a text message allegedly sent by Lewis to Mr Ashby that read "we will get him" may not have referred to Mr Slipper."

"Mr Leopold said the two text messages sent before the "we will get him" text appeared to refer to locating a limousine driver to talk about Mr Slipper's alleged travel rorts."

"Mr Leopold said a text message allegedly sent by Lewis to Mr Ashby that read ''we will get him'' might not have referred to Mr Slipper."

"During the hearing, Mr Leopold said a text message allegedly sent by Lewis to Mr Ashby that read ''we will get him'' may not have referred to Mr Slipper."

There is a BIG difference between definitive words like was, wasn't, was not, was in fact, not and did not and more inconclusive words such as may not, appeared to and might not especially with regard to legal statements.

And the thrust of the legal argument…………. taking things out of context !!!

The irony is simply delicious.

Wake Up

July 15. 2012 03:24 PM


However, as we know, Gillard does not believe in a carbon tax/ETS, the mining tax, or offshore processing. The only reason the Labor Party has adopted those positions is because their policies have failed, and the public has responded to the oppositions alternatives.

Comedy gold, jj! When did you take up writing comedy scripts? Let us know when your first show will be screened, we can all rofl again.


July 15. 2012 03:36 PM


Wake Up, it seems that jj isn't the only RWDB who has taken up writing comedy.


July 15. 2012 03:45 PM

Ad astra

jj will never oblige us with the name of his blog, so that we can subject it to critical appraisal.  If he has one, he’s keeping it very quiet.

He quotes a figure of 80% agreement between the parties on legislation passed in the Federal Parliament.  I’ve heard that figure quoted before, but have never been able to find a documented reference that would confirm its veracity.  Perhaps jj can point us in the right direction, or maybe someone else can.  If it is so, I imagine the 80% includes the multitudinous machinery motions, and the motions on minor points, as well as the significant ones. We know that the Coalition HAS opposed all the significant legislation Labor initiated.  Anyway, it would be nice to know if this oft-heard assertion is correct or yet another myth.

He asks do I want Labor to support the repeal of the carbon tax, the mining tax, and the Pacific Solution should the Coalition win.  Why would Labor support the repeal of measures it has fought so hard to implement?  Regarding the Pacific Solution, Labor has already stated its preparedness to restore Nauru now, so long as the Coalition supports Malaysia.  

jj talks about ‘Labor believing things again’, whereas they have never stopped believing in the Labor cause.  He ought to read Julia Gillard’s stellar speech today if he missed it live.  That would fill in him on what Labor believes and has done for the last 120 years; but I suppose that would not interest him.


He talks about all Labor’s troubles, but it seems to me that a party that can pass 330 pieces of legislation in a half term against trenchant opposition is hardly in legislative trouble.  He’s referring to the polls of course, upon which Abbott and Co. pin all their hopes; they have nothing else.

Let’s hope jj can today provide some information of importance, in place of his usual empty rhetoric

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 03:50 PM


.....the Opposition Leader had one of those occasional moments when he accidentally tells the truth.

More gold!


July 15. 2012 03:53 PM


Hi Talk Turkey

I am sorry you are suffering incomprehensibility, please don’t worry about Ducks they are not as delicate as Turkeys  



July 15. 2012 03:55 PM


Ad astra, don't count on jj providing any proof for his ludicrous statements. He seems to think we'll believe it just because he says so.

After all, he never questions anything that falls from Liealot's lying lips.


July 15. 2012 04:00 PM

Ad astra

I’m not surprised you glided over ToM’s comment.  That’s what many here would do.  I would have had it not been for the fact that he pointed to a correction I should make.

Wake up
Lawyers and the media are playing with words.  Their intent is so transparent.  No one who knows how Lewis handled the Grech matter will give those statements any credence.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 04:01 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
What a pleasant turn of events – Julia Gillard’s speech being applauded!  I wonder what people like jj and ToM thought of it.  I hope they will read it and express a considered view.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 04:04 PM


2353, I think the role of the Opposition is not so much to offer comments on government legislation, but to offer constructive criticism and genuine suggestions/amendments to improve proposed legislation.

Their role is not to mindlessly say NO to any and all proposed legislation. eg the Malaysian solution to offshore asylum seeker processing.


July 15. 2012 04:20 PM



"the public has responded to the oppositions alternatives"

They have? Do tell!

What are the oppositions alternatives that the public have responded to? Everytime Abbott has been asked about his alternatives he has said he will disclose his policies closer to the election. Currently the only thing the public are responsive to is the word 'NO' - and 'NO' does not make a credible alternative government. And I believe that is what the article is about.

But hey jj - if you know something we don't about Abbott's alternatvie policies and how he intends to fulfill them please let us know and we can consider them. In fact perhaps you can tell the Libs they might like to know as well.

He's a sloganeer - nothing more. When it comes to substance the PM has him beat.


July 15. 2012 04:27 PM


Read the Prime Minister's speech (will not use the familiar :"Gillard", because she spoke like a real Prime Minister..a real leader of a great party)..Bravo for the workers' party, bravo! for labor...we delivered on the first female Prime Minister and she delivered the goods for the people of Australia!
Let us now open our hearts for the refugees of the world! A fair deal for ALL people.


July 15. 2012 05:00 PM



I dont have a blog.

Ad Astra,

1. It is a figure (or an around about figure) that is often quoted by all sides of politics when politicians either leave parliament and become commentators, or when the current politicians are in an apolitical mood.

2. There is nothing wrong with the Coalition opposing all of those major government initiatives if they dont believe that they are right for the country's future. You yourself said that the Labor Party should be able to oppose any attempts by a possible Abbott government to undo the initiatives, so why cant the Coalition exercise that same right?

3. You know as well as i do that the Pacific Solution was about more than just Naru. If the Gillard Government really wanted to implement the Pacific Solution + Naru then it would also put on the table temporary protection visas and turning back boats. The Labor Party doesn't support turning back boats - thats fine! But the Coalition doesn't support Malaysia either.
Oh, and your hypocrisy in now supporting elements of the Pacific Solution now is just AMAZING!!!!

4. I have read Gillard's speech. Apparently the Labor Party believes in the following things:
- workplace entitlements and fairness (well, so does the Coalition)
- a stronger and fairer economy (well, so does the Coalition)
- she seems to believe in class war (something to be proud of in a modern Australia!)
- That it is a party for all Australian's (well, so is the Coalition)
- it is a party for the helpless (just ask those asylum seekers whose human rights protections are being stripped by this Party)

That is it!
There is almost nothing in that speech that distinguishes the ALP from any other party.

5. Governments are not judged according to the amount of legislation passed, they are judged by their competency and trustworthiness. You can pass all of the legislation you want and still be totally hopeless, as this Government proves time and time again.

Gillard's speech today just proves how low the Labor Party has gotten. It is all about the rhetoric; all about the personalities and the politics in the ALP. It is a shame. The Party of Kim, Bob and Paul looks nothing like the party of today.


July 15. 2012 05:05 PM


Ditto jaycee. I just read the PM's speech, I have watched her so many times I could even hear her in my head as I read it.


She made a good point about Abbott attending the Tourism and Transport conference :

"he doesn’t talk about roads or rail, or a second Sydney airport or bringing life to the Harbour he talks about cutting wages for kids who work in cafes on weekends."

Yep - that about sums him up. Couldn't use one of his slogans, hasn't got any vision, unless "NO" is a vision? So he came up with........flexibility in the work force (aka, workchoices)?


July 15. 2012 05:30 PM



You obviously dont understand that labour costs make up quite a bit of any business' cost structure and time, in terms of organisation. So addressing the issue of reduced flexibility is probably just as important as a few infrastructure projects.

For Gillard to accuse Abbott of wanting to cut the wages of teenagers on weekends is also just ridiculous. He has never advocated any such thing! You guys accuse Abbott of deception, misrepresentation and sloganeering, well here is Gillard doing exactly the same thing. Yet you applaud it?


July 15. 2012 05:39 PM



Now you are just being silly - rhetoric is just useless and silly. I want you to back up this statement with something more than subjective mumbop jumbo.

Governments are not judged according to the amount of legislation passed, they are judged by their competency and trustworthiness. You can pass all of the legislation you want and still be totally hopeless, as this Government proves time and time again.

Just how does a totally incompetant and untrustworthy government fool a senate? Huh? How do they jj? And if they were that incompetant why doesn't Abbott simply use question time to block all that hopeless leglisation that was created by a totally incompetant government? You want to get real.

On another note jj - perhaps you might like to read what the AHHA has to say about one of Abbott's plans to cut spending on health care by guess what dismantling! He doesn't want the money from the MRRT or the Carbon price so he has to cut government spending. Maybe you can make a considered comment on that?

The AHHA calls on the Coalition to commit to the aims and objectives of the national health reform agenda - dismantling it altogether would be a seriously retrograde step for our health system and the health of all Australians.

Here is the link: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4128154.html


July 15. 2012 05:40 PM

Ad astra

Do read jj’s response to my queries.  He can’t provide a reference to his ‘80% of all legislation is passed by both parties’ assertion.  So maybe it’s some sort of folk law.

Read his endorsement of the Coalition’s opposition to major government initiatives.

Then read item 3 and understand that Labor does not believe in the Pacific Solution, but was prepared to compromise by reopening Nauru, and re-examining TPV’s.  The one thing it refuses to do is turn boats back.  Explain to jj the meaning of ‘compromise’, a word that does not exist in the Coalition lexicon.

Then read what jj believes the Coalition believes in and reflect on what evidence there is that it believes in workplace entitlements, fairness and governing for all Australians.  And I don’t mean just fine words – like Abbott’s ‘I am the worker’s best friend’, I mean actions.

Finally, note jj’s insistence that governments are not judged according to the amount of legislation passed, but by competency and trustworthiness, two attributes he believes Labor lacks.  Passing over 300 pieces of legislation is clearly a sign of incompetence, and passing promised legislation such as changing WorkChoices, is just as clearly a sign of untrustworthiness.

jj demonstrates what Labor is up against. No matter what Labor does it is never enough for jj, and its never right either.  Only what the Coalition says and does passes muster.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 05:41 PM


I just wrote a beautiful post,
And it vanished without a ghost!
Out for a duck!
It just went like Fwttt!
And it won't even rhyme with Lost!  


July 15. 2012 05:50 PM


  I know you don't have a blog!You just like to bitch and moan about things you wouldn't even attemt to do yourself, you're a parasite just like the party you support.

You said at 2.24pm "However, when you look at the facts you see that the Coalition has supported over 80% of the legislation"
at 5.00pm you then say " It is a figure (or an around about figure) that is often quoted"

So it was a fact until you were asked to produce evidence! and if there is one thing we know about you, it's you wouldn't know the truth if bit you on the arse!


July 15. 2012 06:11 PM


Ad Astra

I watched Insiders to see what the Victorian Labor person was like, I thought he was quite good, he seemed to stump the green person on a question.  I then tuned right out.

I also watched Julia.  It was a wonderful WOW feeling  I got listening to her.  She was so positive and enthusiastic with lots of great ideas.  What I wouldn't give to have her portrayed in the media as she actually is, the whole of Australia would power ahead if they could listen and see how good she is.

And a big welcome to the couple of new commentors today, it is great to have new input to give us more thoughts to chew on.


July 15. 2012 06:14 PM


It is a curious thing, this opposition harping on about "trust", when they, of all people trust no-one!!
I subbied as a carpenter for many years for a general builder..;a member of the liberal Party. As a business-man, he was astute, savvy and always paid the subbies on time and up to date......But I tell you this for free....none of us ever trusted him! And THAT is something the right-wingers will never understand, this thing on trust..because their only interpretation of "trust" is in fullfilling the agreed amount on the "bottom line"...and that's it!..."gimmee money, or gimmee death!"
I trust AA, here, because I can read honesty in his written word..I trust TT, here because ANYONE who wears his heart so visibly on his sleeve for all or anyone to ridicule (just dare they!!)shows a strength of character that can only be honest..and that goes for Lyn, Lady in red, 42 long..patriciawa and all the rest...one reaches an age where one can see honesty of intent so it shines out clearly, like a beacon to attract like minded folk...which is why, I suspect so many devious people sneak and slope around LOTO and Murdoch and co.
Sure, Julia Gillard has to "play the political game" sometimes...any leader of a nation who is at the beck and call of sooo many policies, sooo many needs and demands must juggle so many portfolios, AND keep them in the air, keep them working! Sooo many people demand she performs..and, being the first female Prime Minister, she is, surely, very conscious of laying a firm and sound foundation for many more young woman (incl' those in the Liberal Party)to set their example toward her and aspire for that office that was verboten to women for too many years!
DAMN IT ALL!...Good luck to her!


July 15. 2012 06:16 PM


Some more forward thinking from the party of bigots!I would also like to know how many "Aboriginal" members of the LNP voted for this or if there are any members in QLD?

  LNP state convention votes to scrap Abstudy system, despite warning from MP of being branded 'a mob of bigots'

ABSTUDY support payments for indigenous students should be abolished, Queensland's LNP has decided after a narrowly-won vote at the party's state convention.
The Young LNP asked for the financial assistance scheme to be scrapped to end "positive discrimination", saying indigenous students should instead be rolled into the wider scheme.



July 15. 2012 06:17 PM


Will you for god's sake stop frigging whining about evil law breaking refugee schemes?  The high courts all over the world have consistently ruled in the last 12 months that countries cannot push refugees off to other countries just because they feel like it, including ours.

A parliamentary debate about how to break the law and get around the rule of law is not a debate to be talked about except in shame and disgust.

You never tell my why you think Australia alone in the world is allowed to indulge itself over 0.0001% of the world's refugees and waste billions in the process, not to mention get people killed.

The Greens will oppose all the useless plans BECAUSE THEY ARE ILLEGAL.


July 15. 2012 06:55 PM

42 long

  Pretty good example of why the greens are never going to be a majority Government. There are NO complete blacks or whites, in complex decisions. Didn't you notice how the labour people agonised about compromise but offered one? LNP gave nothing their scheme is perfect so they say, but even if labour accepted it holus bolus they wouldn't agree to giving it to them. ( what a crock of excrement)
  The greens wept tesrs. Very impressive for some but not for me. Bob Brown I liked, but most of the like is gone with him.
   When the greens do the right thing , I will be one of the first to say so. meaning well is not enopugh though.
   If Abbott does the right thing on an issue I will say so too, but I won't hold my breath on that one. Leopards don't change their spots and "rusty" iron man's plan allows no deviation.
   Anyhow the arrangement between labour and the greens is an alliance. The one with what's the party? and the Libs is a Co-allition. But don't they have little tiffs and run candidates against each other?
   Don't they expel members who don't agree with them . aren't all the independents (except wilkie )ex LNP and Katter isn't he ex- the happy LNP?
  Tony rules them with an Iron fist. If he is so sure of his position would he like to run a secret ballot of his side of politics as to just how much support he has got for the way he is running things. It may work but it is sure risky. Do we want a PM with the manner of managing things that he displays?


42 long

July 15. 2012 07:34 PM


Marilyn, whether you like it or not, onshore processing won't be legislated with both major parties opposed to it.

It's futile for the Greens to keep saying no to offshore processing; they won't get exactly what they want because the other parties also hold very strong views on asylum seekers.

Whether you agree with those views is irrelevant, because those opposite are probably determined to get their way.

Negotiation and compromise is clearly the only way to go at this time. The trick is to squeeze the best possible deal you can out of the other party.

If the Greens played their cards right, they would most likely stand a very good chance of negotiating some very handy concessions like a substantial increase in annual intake.

It's disgraceful that these poor people were used as a cynical political tool to reelect a callous xenophobe and that they continue to be used as a result of the appalling scaremongering following 9/11.  

But what's been done can't be undone while you still have shameless manipulation of the sheeples for political advantage.

We need to apply constant pressure to get the players to the negotiating table. It's the only way in the current environment,


July 15. 2012 07:36 PM


Far be it from me to rush to jj's defence, but...

Quite a high proportion of this government's legislation, as with the previous Coalition government's, has been passed through both houses without controversy by both sides of the 'political divide'. Right back to Federation, as it happens.

I believe that the current (and far from unusual) percentage is closer to 70% than 80%, but before jj jumps in and says "I told you so!", that's because, believe it or not, most legislation IS non-contentious, sometimes merely matters of procedure or the updating of legislation required by the cancelation of out of date laws.

Even the Coalition can see the point in repealing laws still on the statute books that were passed decades ago and no longer have contemporary application. Or that require updating to handle the rush of our changing world, because as few as two years ago, for example, an "iPad" was somebody misspelling "iPod".

However, when the Coalition makes all blustery, as with last year's Budget that was a 'socialist attack on everyday Australians' on Budget night, and then was passed without a murmur a few weeks later, we see the true manner of Abbott's Opposition.

'In the news', kick the Government - but either dry as dust procedural legislation, or issues that the public's gone off giving a damn about, and you won't hear a word from Abbott and his deputised demonisers.

This may be the Coalition's most saddening attack on Australian democracy, that it 'opposes' on how much TV time, newsprint, or blog-biliousness it can accrue.

There's sound, there's 'fury' (at any given moment), but there's no foundation commitment to this nation other than its being Coalition-governed. Because then, of course, all will be set to right. 100%.

Yeah, in a pig's eye.


July 15. 2012 08:01 PM



If the Parliament changes the law, then that which was legal might become illegal, and that which was illegal might become legal.

The present discussion is about whether the Parliament can or should change the law.

That's what the Parliament is for.

So any argument should  be of the form "the law should / should not be changed for reason XYZ".

Whether that law is currently legal or illegal is beside the point.


July 15. 2012 08:20 PM

Ad astra

I too thought Daniel Andrews was OK, better than he once was.  He is growing into the job.

Thank you for your kind words.  Like you, I admire Julia Gillard, who presses on despite all the brickbats and abuse hurled at her.  Thankfully, she will never lie down and die.

Thank you for your clarification on the amount of legislation passed without opposition.  What you say makes sense.

I’m calling it a day.

Ad astra

July 15. 2012 08:22 PM


  Mad Wixxy looks at Helen Coonan.



July 15. 2012 08:31 PM


Since nobody else has tried to answer GK's question, I'll have a shot.

The Malaysia agreement, as GK has stated, is limited to 800 boat arrivals.  In return Australia will resettle 4000 UNHCR-determined refugees living in Malaysia.  If boat arrivals continue after 800 have been sent to Malaysia, then the Australian Government will negotiate another agreement, either with Malaysia or another country with many refugees, such as Thailand.  As Malaysia has more than 100,000 UNHCR-determined refugees, they will find the 4000 for 800 swap advantageous.

In reply, GK, will you tell me how many boat arrivals the LNP will send to Nauru?  Nauru is a small island, less than 25 square kilometres, with a large phosphate mine using a lot of the land.  Nauru has a population of less than 10,000, and limited fresh water, food, electricity and sewerage.  How many additional people (including  Australian officials) can Nauru sustainably manage, and how much additional money will Australia have to pay for desalination plants, electricity generators and new building materials?

Disclaimer - I have never been a member of any political party.


July 15. 2012 08:38 PM


Jane - "Constructive criticism" is a much better term than I used (now why didn't I think of it at the time?).

Michael - thank you for you reminder about the Federal Budget, I had forgotten that after the initial rage - the actual legislation sailed through with barely a wimper.

Jason - the state government has also been asked by the LNP convention to remove environmental propaganda from the school syllabus.  (Although the Education Minister was quoted in the media as saying he will look at it but it has to pass through a number of hoops before he would do it).


July 15. 2012 09:12 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Jane seems to miss the point – on shore processing needs no new legislation. Supporters of it have no reason to compromise – they’re not the ones seeking a change.

Tom of Melbourne

July 15. 2012 09:41 PM

Ad astra reply

The Helen Coonan story is astonishing.  She certainly is a Big Spender.

Ad astra reply

July 15. 2012 10:08 PM


I view Shane Warne in a different light

Warne forms great partnership with teenage refugee  Christine Sams @TheSunHerald
HE WAS an asylum seeker on a leaking boat intercepted near Christmas Island. But now 17-year-old Jaffar Ali counts Shane Warne among his high-profile supporters, after three years living in Australia.
Warne has entered the refugee debate by voicing his support for the teenage boy whose story of survival has inspired an episode of the ABC1 series, Australian Story.



July 15. 2012 10:09 PM

42 long

There are two different worlds out there. i admire some of the businessmeb who recently spent a night on the streets, that so many have to do every night. that is a small window of reality.
I have never been rich but if I was I would be embarrassed about it. Some live on a couple of dollars a day.
A days average wages in Thailand buys about 3 litres of petrol.
We have no idea of reality except to [preserve our position of privilege in the world. That is morally indefensible. People are not destitute because they are failures. They don't have the opportunity to get a better go in the environment they are in. At least the labour party tries to give people an opportunity to get an  education without which you are going nowhere, as an individual.. Society benefits from all capable people being given a go. Not those of privilege hanging on to the perks they have  at the expense of others. The choice between the Labour ideology and the LNP has never been more clear. In Tony's case it is continue rewarding the privileged, regardless of whether they do much for society, and labour believe in education for ALL, giving more participants the ability to help the nation proaper and advance their own welfare, at the same time. I don'thave a difficulty in making a decision here.  

42 long

July 15. 2012 11:03 PM


2353 @8.38pm, I suspect you didn't think of it for the same reason I do. The number of birthdays.

ToM, I haven't missed the point. The Greens demand onshore processing. They won't get it, because neither major party will countenance it.

So if they're as concerned about asylum seekers as they claim, sooner or later, they'll have to negotiate and make some compromises if they want to have any influence on any AS legislation.

SHY can make as many trips to Indonesia as she likes, she's p*ssing into the wind unless there is a quantum shift in attitude from the majors and the public.

In the (admittedly unlikely) event that the LNP & Labor can negotiate a position they're both happy with, the Greens will be cut out altogether, like an irrelevant rump and far too late to have any say.


July 16. 2012 07:27 AM



Anyone but Abbott disappoints, Victoria Rollison
Liberal supporters who seem to be outraged by Abbott think that Turnbull is a good solution to their ‘Anyone But Abbott’ campaign. But people like me, who are rusted onto their left wing beliefs, could never vote for Turnbull, even if it was the only way to rid ourselves of Abbott. Turnbull might not be as extreme as Abbott, but he’s still a free market warrior, he’d happily

Why everything you thought you knew about economics is probably wrong, Independent Australia
a welfare system such that our weakest and least able are protected to the best of our ability. Free market groups would happily to destroy our society by stripping this away — but by doing so, they sow the seeds of their own ultimate destruction, as markets always need stability to prosper. Therefore, they are idiots.

Australia approaches the Abbott abyss, Independent Australia
Abbott has already profoundly altered the Australian political landscape, probably forever, certainly for the worse. He has perfected the Howard art of dog-whistled approval for our most reprehensible national characteristics — think asylum seekers. He has conducted an unprincipled and mendacious blitzkrieg against a well-meaning and worthy

Dolt vs Murdoch – The Battle For Free Speech In Australia, Dan Gulbery, The Daily Derp
My fellow bogans patriots, Australia’s freedom of speech was taken away from us by the freedom hating, un-Australian, commie, socialist, fascist, totalitarian, heathen, childless, illegitimate, unelected, back-knifing, internet censoring, Collingwood supporting, arch-lesbian American citizen****, Rupert Murdoch.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's carbon price sums, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices
For millions of travellers each year, the cost impact of the carbon price on their ticket will be less than the cup of coffee they have at the airport.
At this point in time Abbott's relentless propaganda has begun to border on childish petulance.

It Is Time Tony Abbott Was Executed!, Archie, Archie Archives
Our political system has been turned into a nation-wide terror cell. Assassination, knifing in the back, thrown into the ocean in a chaff bag, shot, road-kill are all suggested descriptions for the end of our lawfully and democratically elected Prime Minister.

Hey Big Spender, Peter Wicks, Wixxy Leaks
The Liberals have argued that the money spent on schools by the Labor government as part of its stimulus, and Building The Education Revolution, BER, was waste. Who can argue with that? Things like school halls, libraries, and classrooms, are clearly a waste of taxpayer dollars. It is far better to spend the money on valuable

Should the tax system be progressive?, Matt Cowgill, We are all Dead
At the Tax Forum, Ken Henry suggested that fairness shouldn’t be a consideration for each and every component of the tax system. He did not suggest that equity should be ignored when you’re designing a tax system, and should instead be left to the welfare system.

Campbell's Tick And Flick Government, Adam Stone, New Matilda
Campbell Newman's approach to his new mandatory parole laws is straightforward: ignore any advice that says it's stupid policy, and abolish organisations that stand in its way. He'll be a busy man

Science Is Not Religion, Sal Piracha,Only The Depth Varies
LNP Member for Noosa Glen Elmes has absolutely no qualifications in science whatsoever, and neither does his influential party boss, LNP State President Bruce McIver. McIver, who lives on the Sunshine Coast (possibly in Elmes’ own Noosa electorate), is a former trucker and farmer, and rules over the LNP as if it was his creation.

Households are $28 billion richer since the carbon tax started, Stephen Koukoulas, Market Economics
While there is absolutely and utterly no correlation between house prices and the policy to impose a price on carbon, it is interesting to note that according to the RPData house price series, house prices have risen 0.7% since 30 June 2012.

NBN Versus 4G Cafe Speed Challenge: We Have A Clear Winner , Angus Kidman, Life Hacker
Yesterday saw the official launch of Australia’s first ‘NBN cafe’, Hungry Birds in Brunswick, Melbourne. With free Wi-Fi on offer for patrons, there was only one thing to do: get myself there for some speed testing (and a very yummy bacon and egg ciabatta). Just how fast can an NBN connection via Wi-Fi be, and how does that compare

The Fool on the Hill (part 2), Miglo, Cafe Whispers
Well, there’s your lesson, Mr Abbott. We have evolved into a society where women are now major players on the employment landscape. We need them there. Industries would collapse without them

Another foolish state Attorney-General making matters worse, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison
If anyone’s thinking that electing the Liberals in Canberra would be a harmless way to tell Julia you don’t like her, but that it’s not like they’d go mad and do a whole host of incredibly destructive things – have you been watching what’s happening in Queensland?

On Another Note #1: Hope, Reward, Opportunity? Or Is That Hope, Opportunity, Reward!, Deknarf
So I say ‘Happy Birthday Gough’ and thanks, for turning my Hopes for the future into reality by giving me an Opportunity that I would have never obtained under the Conservatives, to attain higher qualifications thereby Rewarding both myself, my family, Australia and your visionary thinking.And to Phoney Tony and his NO Coalition I say; ‘You know so little about Hope, http://deknarf.wordpress.com/

Clive Palmer offers hope to sacked Journos, SBS
One of the things we are thinking about very seriously is running an online news service across Australia and offering some hope to all the journalists that are being dismissed at The Age and Fairfax," he told reporters in Brisbane."We could have that online soon, so we can have more diversity in the media in Australia."

Crikey hacked but back up and 'safe' to visit again , It WireIf you had visited Crikey.com.au
this morning, not only would you have seen the front page replaced by a message indicating the site was hacked, but your computer might have been victim to a drive-by virus download

Contacting the ACCC, ACCC. Gov
You should contact the ACCC if you are concerned that the impact of the carbon price has been misrepresented or overstated in relation to goods or services. This may be a claim made to you as a consumer or, if you are a business, by one of your suppliers

Storage Suckers,
It’s not just Google. Charging a lot of money for extra storage on phones and tablets has become a significant source of the tech industry’s profits. There’s only one company to blame (or credit) for this trend: Apple, of course.The 16GB of storage available on the cheapest iPad, meanwhile, should be more than plenty

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 16 July 2012


July 16. 2012 08:09 AM

Tom of Melbourne

Jane – The Greens demand onshore processing. They won't get it, because neither major party will countenance it. 

No Jane, you still miss the point, they now have on shore processing. That’s what the ALP is seeking to change.

Tom of Melbourne

July 16. 2012 08:26 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

July 16. 2012 08:30 AM


ToM, you really do deserve the title of "troll"..to go through a post seeking out any one sentence to twist and invert toward YOUR, not the authors meaning is trully "trolling"...off you go; "pet".


July 16. 2012 08:45 AM

Tom of Melbourne

Jane addressed that point directly to me, you nong.

Tom of Melbourne

July 16. 2012 09:42 AM


Helen Coonan with her snout in the taxpayers' trough? Quelle surprise. (see Jason's post above,  Mad Wixxy looks at Helen Coonan.
http://wixxy.wordpress.com/  Jason)

Coalition members and ex-members repeatedly take Marie-Antoinette's cake (just keeping the French thing going for a paragraph or two), both hands digging in to the squelchiest, tastiest bits. 'Seconds on the icing, garcon.'

John Howard was the ultimate welfare bludger as PM, with free houses in both places of employment where he drank the wine cellars dry twice over his period 'at the top' while rummaging around under the house.

He continues to make major claims on taxpayers today, as was recently distilled here:


Ditto in this ignoble tradition the current leader of the Opposition, who routinely (that is, every period under examination) outcharges the Prime Minister of this country when hitting on the taxpayers for his extra expenses. Just who is traveling overseas with him at the moment who is not on the government payroll but will turn up on the taxpayers' ticket?

Helen Coonan was always an exaggerated example of the elevated bolshie bourgeois from the first time she scored her gig as a Senator. I well remember her ticking off a Labor senator in a Senate committee meeting just after Howard was elected PM, "we're the government now, you just pipe down", or words to that loftily dismissive effect. Hair shellacked to the last brittle millimetre as she did.

'Born to rule'? Bugger that! Born to rip off.


July 16. 2012 11:31 AM

Truth Seeker

Aa, another great article, well put together.
Opposition does not sit well for Abbot, as under his born to rule mentality, he doesn't understand the concept.
When his negotiations with the independents fell through, due to his lack of honesty, and obvious intent to take us back to an election ASAP, he effectively took his bat and ball and went home on his big fat salary.
As I and many others have pointed out, if he was in many other countries and carried on in this way, lying to the electorate, talking down the economy for his own political agenda etc, he would be charged with sedition or treason or both and taken out and shot.
he talks as if he is the repository of all wisdom knowledge and good policy, deluded on all counts.

Truth Seeker

July 16. 2012 12:36 PM


hi all
One thing we should never forget is that Randolph Churchill NEVER obtained the top job, a point Andrew Elder has maintained on his blog header and a notion I also succumb to. He is like a wind up puppet with a limited vocabulary and actions. My Liberal diehard neighbour ex RAN has in his own mind reclassified AS's from Indonesia as not bonefide travellers who should not be covered by the Law of the high seas. To him they are almost pirates and should be left to their just deserts. We agree to disagree, his health has taken a downturn but does not object to these forrineers treating him when he needs it. The propaganda war goes on.



July 16. 2012 12:42 PM


Ad Astra, following Lyn's links and further today I came across a Dr. Shin, a Korean and editor of http://matrixtimes.com/author/.   I wondered if you had heard of him or had any views on his idea that the internet is like a replica of the human nervous system, or vice versa, not sure which?  So that IT offers groundbreaking potential in the area of health and medicine for us all no matter how remote or isolated we are as individuals.

I must say the more I've used the internet the more astonished I've become about the potential human survival if we use this opportunity for interactivity and integration into a healthy human organism, rather than what we too often see, having humanity at war with itself.


July 16. 2012 12:48 PM


Thanks for the great links Lyn.

Happy birthday Gough! What a great article and what a legacy Gough has left to this nation. Truly inspirational. The PM too will leave a great legacy that she can be proud of. Hawke & Keating gave us great financial reforms that helped see us through the GFC.

I am trying to think what legacy can we honestly say that Howard can be proud of, did he do anything at all that warrants the term positive legacy? The GST, turned out not to be a bad thing, well it wasn't great for very low income earners, probably still isn't?

If Phoney Tony gets in to power (shudder) his main agenda will be to make sure that the PM's legacy is taken away - at the very least he has no right to do that.

The NBN article - great speeds! Another great legacy, provided it is allowed to be completed. Vote Labor to ensure it is!

Can-do tick and flick article is good reading and gives you an idea of how non-progressive thinking the LNP is. LNP's Mcgiver wanting to get rid of climate science from the curiculum or at the very least balance it with creationism - oooooh worry, worry....aaaah and he lives in my electorate! I'm right in the thick of LNP territory....shudder.

Take note of Queensland everyone. We are just starting to wake up, all those ALP supporters who wanted to punish Labor, now look what you have done - unleashed a Joh look-a-like in the 21st century for goodness sake. KRudd you have to take some of the blame for that, undermining the PM, doing untold damage, mounting a challenge, being made to look a fool....again, just before the QLD election. Sure Anna was always going to be turfed out but what you did helped to ensure that it was the worse possible outcome.

But trying to look for the positives, Can-do has to work with the PM for the good of Brisbane and the G20, and maybe people will come back to Labor as more and more Can-do talks down QLD with his osterity measures, and his rigid views, and his tick and flick approach to cutting services.


July 16. 2012 12:51 PM


Tee hee!..ToM called me a "nong"!...: a talking pet!...."Polly want a cracker?"


July 16. 2012 01:18 PM


Got a genuine LOL out of that jaycee. Love it.

a talking pet!...."Polly want a cracker?"


July 16. 2012 01:33 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody


The Gaffhook‏
BushfireBill exposes more crap that highly paid journos are incapable of. http://tinyurl.com/7hk3r9e @CraigEmersonMP @MikeKellyMP

Robert Oakeshott MP‏
is it ironic that Steve Lewis of Telegraph is now personally relying on shield laws passed by an Independent MP in power-sharing Parliament?

Graham Parks‏
Steve Lewis...more lies about carbon tax and skip binshttp://sydneyskipbins.com.au/

dailytelegraph article by Steve Lewis is total bollocks. Land fill tipping fees have not increased by this amount. www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../story-e6freuy9-1226426663448

Bushfire Bill
craigemersonMP Stupid Steve Lewis yarn on carbon pricing inflating skip costs, when O'Farrell hikes waste prices 640%! www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../story-e6freuy9-1226426663448

Latika Bourke ‏
FWA Official Terry Nassios is giving evidence to the Parliament's Electoral Committee about his investigation into HSU and MP Craig #Thomson

Nic Christensen‏@nicchristensen
News Limited to make a concerted push into social platforms reports larasinclair - http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/digital/

Stephen Koukoulas‏
Gittins makes some telling points: www.smh.com.au/.../...ng-labor-20120715-224cu.html

Voters believe the #carbontax will not be scrapped by a LNP government despite "pledge" www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfku9-1226426944194 & www.afr.com/.../voters_doubt_abbott_will_repeal_yivB7r3SVEMtg2VFAFXLiN #auspol

simonbenson How do you justify the untruths in your skip bin article? I made a series of simple phone calls to prove your claims incorrect

simon benson‏
@2FBS you obviously didnt call the skip bin companies in the article. Mate, landfills attract the carbon tax and the levy. It is a fact

Mr Denmore‏
Prejudices rule when judging Labor www.smh.com.au/.../...ng-labor-20120715-224cu.html via @smh

The Australian‏
Refugee pact at centre of new asylum row: SCOTT Morrison has undermined the Coalition's refusal to agree to Labo... http://bit.ly/NWAky5

Newspoll Best handle the asylum-seeker issue: ALP 17 (-4) L/NP 37 (-10) Other 13 (+1) None 12 (+5) #auspol

Paul Bongiorno‏
Interesting that Scott Morrison raises questions about the Refugee Convention. The Leader's office is playing down. So what's it all mean?

PaulBongiorno Is Scott Morrison laying the groundwork to abandon the refugeee convention in the future?

Jennifer Wilson‏
QLD LNP call for mainstream climate science to be cut from school curriculum cos *poisoning our kids' minds* m.theage.com.au/.../...ol-move-20120713-221or.html

Such a pity that the Greens can't figure out which side they should support - how will helping LNP help themm.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1226426695129

jenny eather‏
appalling -> LNP pushes to scrap Abstudy payments: www.abc.net.au/.../4131890, from ABC

Queensland Online‏
Try working for $27 an hour, Mr Newman http://bit.ly/Owsx6S #qld

ABC: Pyne slams Gillard’s address as ‘drivel’ http://goo.gl/fb/acaj1

National Times‏
Greens leader Milne claims the PM is shunning ALP 'brawlers' www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...0120716-2252c.html via @NationalTimesAU

Number hospital beds closed & funding cuts 4 elective surgery by Baillieu, responsible 4 longer waiting lists #springst www.anfvic.asn.au/.../42590.html

Financial Review‏
Sydney commuters get mobile phone reception in CBD train tunnels [free] www.afr.com/.../sydney_trains_get_underground_reception_JqtofFpvZz7WARJ7yPoVqJ

The Age‏
Malcolm: the middle says no. Interesting take on the Turnbull phenomenon www.theage.com.au/.../...ys-no-20120715-223z5.html via @theage

Cameron England‏
This Australia post plan to deliver fruit and vegies from farmers looks pretty cool www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../story-e6frede3-1226426537457


July 16. 2012 01:47 PM

Ad astra

Truth Seeker
Thank you for your complimentary remarks.  No, being in Opposition does not suit ‘born-to-rule’ Tony Abbott, and that awful Julia Gillard ‘won’t lie down and die’ to hand power to him.  So he goes on his destructive way, smashing anything that crosses his path, even if it is the nation’s economy.

I note that the Coalition attitude to boat people is steadily hardening.  Now Scott Morrison is saying that the UN Convention on Refugees needs updating, as it is being exploited, the very Convention to which he insists the Government must adhere.

Ad astra

July 16. 2012 02:01 PM



That link to farmhouse direct with Australia Post sounds really exciting.  It would be great for those of us that don't have a greengrocer around the corner.  I actually typed in Farmhouse Direct and had a look.   Like all your links, this is another excellent example.  Thanks Smile


July 16. 2012 02:12 PM

Ad astra

I read Dr Shin’s piece with interest.  I’m not sure what he’s seeking to establish.  It seems as if he has created an online consultative service, purportedly the largest in Korea.  I have no doubt that more and more of such services will be offered.  I recently took part in a video patient consultation with a neurologist, which was easy and successful.  As the NBN rolls out and connection speeds rise, this sort of consultation will become commonplace and save countless hours of travel and waiting time for both patients and doctors.  Add to that the vast amount of reliable medical information derivable from the Internet, and the value of Internet connectivity is even more obvious.  

In a sense the Internet with its ubiquitous connections is not dissimilar to our nervous system, but the analogy ought not to be pushed too far.

I see a great future for health care in the Internet with all its connections.  It’s value in remote consultations is just being exposed, its value in the monitoring of patients at home and in nursing homes is just beginning, and its value in remote surgery is close to discovery.  Of course much of this depends of super fast broadband speeds, something that might go by the board if Tony Abbott ever became PM.

Ad astra

July 16. 2012 02:24 PM

42 long

  Anyone seeing "how it can be Done" by the Sri Lankan Government who have rounded up some Tamils trying to leave Sri Lanka, wanting it to relate to the situation of T Abbort turning back the Boats to Indonesia would be wise not to see any similarity,as there is NONE.
   The Government of Sri Lanka don't want Tamils to escape from their country.
   Indonesia  in contrast has the refugees in THEIR country having fled from SOMEWHERE ELSE and does not want to be responsible for them. A TOTALLY different situation. There ARE BOATS involved though. ( The magic word that makes everything different for some simple people.) Fancy trying to use it as an example of support for Abbotts ill-conceived solution. You are being treated as fools.

42 long

July 16. 2012 02:33 PM

Ad astra

Your description of what is already happening in Queensland with Can-Do at the helm sounds like a grotesque marriage of Joh-Bjelke philosophy and Tea Party beliefs.  As I mentioned in an earlier piece, the performance of State Coalition Governments will soon convince voters that for all their promises they are no better than Labor, and in many ways so much worse.  It is to Labor’s advantage that there are so many Coalition governments in the States.

Ad astra

July 16. 2012 02:36 PM


I should've twigged Tony Abbott was away...all that silence from the Liberal members!...told them to keep their mouths shut while he was away or else!!..couldn't shut Pyne up though..come to think of it, even a 20,000lb self closing hydraulic/locking system couldnt shut the Pyne up!
Truly, what a bunch of "yes-men" those right-wingers are..gutless!


July 16. 2012 02:39 PM


So ToM is our Pet-Troll . . .
Anybody got a light?



July 16. 2012 02:48 PM


Q.How do you make a dog go MEEEEEOWWWWWWW?

A. Freeze it solid and pass it through a band saw . . .

Q. How do you make a cat go WOOF ?

A. Cover it with petrol and throw on a match . . .

Q. Where do we get the petrol?

A. ToM is our Pet Troll! Smile


July 16. 2012 02:48 PM

42 long

Don't inflame our ToM. He only like the Limelight.

42 long

July 16. 2012 02:49 PM


Q.How do you make a dog go MEEEEEOWWWWWWW?

A. Freeze it solid and pass it through a band saw . . .

Q. How do you make a cat go WOOF ?

A. Cover it with petrol and throw on a match . . .

Q. Where do we get the petrol?

A. ToM is our Pet Troll! Smile


July 16. 2012 02:57 PM


ToM, I do geddit. Anyone who makes it to these shores is processed onshore.

But anyone who can be headed off to Christmas Island or elsewhere is not processed onshore. And neither of the majors wants to change that situation.

So some sort of compromise has to be reached and the Greens need to accept that in the forseeable future, wholesale onshore processing won't happen.

The sooner consensus is reached, the sooner things will improve for ASs.

As a trade off, in any negotiation if I were in the Greens camp, I'd be holding out for an increase in intake to say 50,000/year.

I'd be interested in your views on that idea.

I'd also like you to articulate your ideas wrt handling the AS situation. What do you genuinely think would be a good solution?

The AS situation is so politically charged atm, I don't think we'll see sense from anyone. I hope I'm proved to be wrong. I fear that is not the case.


July 16. 2012 03:16 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Thanks Jane, as you may be aware I’ve been called a “troll” for expressing my support for on shore processing of asylum seekers! I’ve even been banned for expressing my support for them!

I agree with you, the debate is entirely politically charged at the moment, and both major parties have a grubby history in their politicisation of them.

I’ve said before, if the boats were full of Swedish backpackers our response would be entirely different, there would be a queue of naval vessels waiting just off the Indonesian coast to safely escort them to our shores. How long would they be held in detention?  Would there even be a system of detention?

But because they’re crowed with people of a different complexion, politicians get away with their outrageous policies. And heartless political apologists support them.

I’ve posted previously that people smugglers face lengthy gaol sentences, and education/information about this is the starting point. Tell them Australia has a harsh penal regime. Put a few hundred million into a proper program (incidentally I was advocating this position before it was announced by The Indonesian President and Gillard).

I also think there may be a place for a form of TPVs, if there is proof that the “business model” of people smugglers needs to be broken. They don’t have to be traditional TPVs either, they could include temporary visas for family members. They could have a character test after (say) 4 years residence (eg employment participation, community work or something like that), which would allow people to take permanent residence.

If there is a need to break the “business model” there are a range of policies that are within the existing regulatory power of the government. They should be applied before any consideration is given to the cruel approach of “send them to Malaysia/Nauru.

Thanks again for asking Jane.

Tom of Melbourne

July 16. 2012 03:16 PM


I know, I know..we shouldn't harp on the subject, but in light of the troll-baiting...further on the "cracker" thing..Take the cracker, ToM, place it on [the seventh planet from the sun] light the wick and WE'LL stand clear!

Sorry, sorry..pet..couldn't help it!


July 16. 2012 03:35 PM

42 long

  The LNP conference in Qld is an eye opener. The comments are more anti newman than many here are anti LNP. It hasn't taken queenslanders long to realise that the "looney Right" are much more scary than the greens. The conference and the premier are doing great work for the Labour party.
  " You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time."

42 long

July 16. 2012 04:08 PM


As much as I have had my moments with ToM and have been tempted to tell him to ferkorf I am not particularly encouraged that some choose to call him a troll.

In fact I find some of the comments toward ToM more troll like than many of ToM's comments.

Yes ToM can be dull, colourless and boring and can't we all? ToM can be worse than a broken record at times and so what there are many worse broken records playing in our polity.

Tom has shown by his comment @ 3:16 PM and other times that he can articulate a point of view. A perfectly valid and reasonable point of view.

We can choose to engage and discuss the point of view or we can choose the low road and play the petty schoolyard name calling game.

In my humble opinion those that choose to play the name calling game drag this place down and shows us up to be no better than those we wish to denigrate.


July 16. 2012 04:31 PM


Jane 50,000 asylum seekers might be too big an ask for the electorate remember it is the PM and Labor who ultimately have to sell it to the electorate, and Abbott would take that and ram it down our throats day in and day out. I think it would have to be a more realistic figure like 15,000 possibly 20,000 - that is actual boat people, and that would still be a big sell. Then if that went down it could be looked at again over time, provided Labor got back in. I know this would be abhorrant to someone like Marilyn but it has to be feasable to work and to get accepted. Not ideal but realistic - perhaps?


July 16. 2012 04:48 PM


DMW - you're right We can choose to engage and discuss the point of view or we can choose the low road and play the petty schoolyard name calling game.

In my humble opinion those that choose to play the name calling game drag this place down and shows us up to be no better than those we wish to denigrate.

Using "pet" names for political figures also drags this place down as well.  If you have a problem with a persons political stance, say so - you don't need to decent to name calling.


July 16. 2012 05:46 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Thanks for your Twitterverse, interesting, as always.  BB’s response to the Lewis/Benson story about the hike in the cost of pizza boxes, (a business-destroying 0.7 cents per box) is classic.  These journalists are either too stupid to get their story straight, or more likely are deliberately deceptive to make their story.  Both of them have form on the latter.

Ross Gittins piece is sound but rather disconcerting.  To think that the public will not give the Government due credit for its excellent fiscal management, and instead rate the Coalition as superior managers of the economy is disheartening.  It shows the power of negative rhetoric from Tony Abbott and the business community.  How can the people by so suckered?

I’m having trouble with my mouse, which needs replacement, so I’m going to give TPS away now to enjoy this evening’s TV.

Ad astra

July 16. 2012 06:05 PM


I’ve said before, if the boats were full of Swedish backpackers our response would be entirely different, there would be a queue of naval vessels waiting just off the Indonesian coast to safely escort them to our shores.

Unfortunately, ToM you're right on the money there.

ToM, thanks for your well thought out and considered comment, which, if all the warring parties declared a truce for 5 minutes could be an excellent starting point for a satisfactory resolution. Don't hold your breath though.

I agree that education should be a primary focus wrt people smugglers and chucking in a decent amount of cash to implement a proper program, would be a lot less costly for all involved.

Your idea of a modified form of TPVs to include family members could well work, together with assistance to settle into the community and ongoing support.

People settle in to new communities much better when they have their families around them. And removing the punitive aspect of TPVs would be all to the good.

Past experience definitely shows that people who come to our shores seeking asylum generally make excellent citizens whose contribution to this country make it a better place to live. And hopefully lead to a more tolerant society.

Thanks again, ToM. You've given me plenty to think about.

LIR @4.31pm, I did throw in that figure of 50,000 in haste. As you say, there would no doubt be a lot of opposition and the inevitable politisisation instead of sensible and fruitful discussion.

Unfortunately, in the current political climate, reasoned, sensible debate is a pipe dream, with all sides jockeying for political advantage, rather than seeing the AS situation as a continuing human tragedy.

I'm afraid that people of goodwill are being drowned out in this debate.  


July 16. 2012 06:24 PM


I stand head bent,humbled..Of course, of course...I have denigrated ToM by deminishing his rightful status. If there's one thing we of the left are proudly guilty of, it's being prepared to give voice to all those who would gladly crucify us and then sink the boot into the corpse after they drag it down from the cross with jagged hooks BUT! in all fairness, I agree; ToM did respond to Jane's request with candor and sensibility...I stand admonished. I should be reported to the RSPCT for my cruelty and in that light I relinquish further responsibility for ToM and deliver such a "pet" into the hands of more caring posters...But I caution..: watch him..he can scratch!..and when his owner returns from overseas he is liable to desert you for such preferred company!


July 16. 2012 06:39 PM


Patriciawa said

Ad Astra, following Lyn's links and further today I came across a Dr. Shin, a Korean and editor of http://matrixtimes.com/author/.   I wondered if you had heard of him or had any views on his idea that the internet is like a replica of the human nervous system, or vice versa, not sure which?

If I might say so I have actually myself used the metaphor afore afore!

And afa the Australian Politics lobe of the great cybermind is concerned, Lyn our own Tweetie is the very nerve centre!

It sounds like an exaggeration until you think about it. It's not. You can check her Links and know without doubt that you are up with all the important breaking news and views. She has only been Tweeting for a few months - less than 6 I think - and she is all over it, people telling her how marvellous her work is there and they're right too. The more the more and more, and the more effective too. Rupert Murdoch fears Tweetie, and so he should, she points us all to the future and ways to subvert his evil empire.

And Yes, Patricia, the Internet is very analogous to a nervous system, but without a centralising mind it would be a headless chook. You can't stretch the metaphor infinitely, but the words Brain, Ad astra, neurones, synapsing, Lyn, mind, Tweets, all those sorts of notions fit as well together as Michelle and Ma Belle!


Though Macartney is pretty sickly, which the Comradeship of the SSword is very not.


July 16. 2012 06:41 PM



Vas ist der SSword?



July 16. 2012 06:52 PM


"I've said before, if the boats were full of Swedish backpackers our response would be entirely different,"

Well they're not! and until it happens you can't say!
The last boat that came in our waters that were looking for asylum and were treated "differently" were the "Chinese" that were heading for New Zealand and the only reason they were treated "differently" was  due to the fact they had passports a
Nice try though ToM!


July 16. 2012 06:59 PM


Thanks Jane and ToM, and yes it is really awful to think that we as a society would probably welcome Swedish asylum seekers but fear muslim asylum seekers. However, to be fair it is probably an archetypal response that needs to be faced within oneself, we as a society can say we don't tolerate it and that's a good thing, but ultimately it is something that we have to be prepared to face in ourself and change. People/society/communties fear people who are different, and also we fear what we do not know or understand. That I think is the reason why Abbott is so succesful and why many fear the Greens, and consequently one of the reasons why labor voters fear an aliance....perhaps.

I would like to think that I can rise above it but it's something I have to vigilant about.


July 16. 2012 07:58 PM


one of the great challenges of life is to question ones own biases and prejudices and attempt to rise above them.

On a similar theme this question was posed on Twitter tonight:

Tim Harford ‏@TimHarford
Who are the people with whom you disagree strongly yet can't help but respect? (Could you earn the same respect yourself?)

What an interesting thought puzzle and as yet for mine no answers.


July 16. 2012 08:55 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Thank you Jane and DMW.

I think there are a range of options to “send them to Malaysia/Nauru”, and if any reasonable person was to spend half an hour actually thinking about it, they would realise the same thing, That’s one of the big problems I had with the previous post of Ad Astra. Rather than an (apparently) intelligent and (?)compassionate person critically examining the issue, he defaulted to endorsement of the inhumane and unreasonable punishment policy of the ALP.

The policy isn’t “left leaning”, nor “progressive” nor is it in accordance with any ALP values. It’s a political statement, intended as a short cut solution to a political problem that they assisted to create.

(I’d imagine DMW will object to the “dull, colourless and boring content of this one. Never mind, I’m simply inclined to point out laziness in political analysis)

Tom of Melbourne

July 16. 2012 10:10 PM


ToM claims:

I’ve been called a “troll” for expressing my support for on shore processing of asylum seekers! I’ve even been banned for expressing my support for them! [Emphases mine.]

I TalkTurkey flatly challenge the truth of this,
at least that it ever happened here and in the way for the reason he claims.

Let ToM prove it or forever be seen clearly for what I claim now that he really is, a liar. He must show an unquestionable causal relationship between any banning and the claimed reason. Otherwise he's just a crooked man.

DMW and 2353,

I've noted your objections, I'm sorry about your delicate sensibilities, well not really, I think you're pretty precious myself, but that's just me.

Or is it? Have you ever heard of Pig Iron Bob? Piggy Muldoon? Lying Rodent? (by one of his own) Whingein' StJohn pronounced Sinjon? The Work-Experience Kid? Thousands of examples, every parliament, every workplace, everywhere.

Oh and who was it called Pyne a Mincing Poodle? Onya *J*U*L*I*A*!  

Don't come the raw prawn you blokes. If you use those names or any names like them you're hypocrites isn't it! Without sin? Don't believe you!

This bloke ToM, and two I bracket with him, - just in my own mind, though many I reckon will agree - one I call juvenile jerk and one I call Limpy - are in my independently determined opinion, both disingenuous and malevolent. They fit my understanding of the term troll, whether they fit your idea of same or not, and that is what I will continue to call them and all I perceive to be similarly nasty. All have abused the host here, and that is to me obscene. You may choose to support their right to come here and do that, well not me. Ad has the right to inviolability, it is his space alone which we visit as much as we wish by his grace and largesse. This is not sucking-up to Ad, it is the simple situation and understood agreement. He is NEVER rude like that malicious harpy the other day - These people I call out, I do not call them Comrade. I never address them directly, but only obliquely and for fun, as I say often.

Name-Calling? Diddums!

Sticks and stones can break my bones
But names will psychologically hurt me!

The history of name calling and insulting probably predates the Greeks. It's a noble tradition, like rude drawings (cartoons or caricatures) bawdy songs and parodies and lewd limericks, and crude digital gestures. To me the wittiest insults and sweetest compliments, and the cleverest nicknames, pejorative or affectionate, are gems of history, though I guess you two would eradicate them and ban such from your brave new world where no-one called anyone Anal Jones no matter how appalling his behaviour, well count me out, you go your own polite way and nobody says you have to read me. Or if I say Ars*-Bigot P*ll does that cover it? Is it all OK then, like Pell's alleged hinted-at cover-ups of despicable dreadful sexcrimes against little kids?

Sorry about your bruised petals fellers. Whatever happened to HTFU?  . . . Was it The Greens?

Well here's something I found out from studying Psychology long ago: People were tested for their reactions to taste and associated sensations, sweet, sour, astringent, rancid, bitter, 'hot', salt etc, and do you know what was the taste experience people dislike most? - You'd never guess, but you should see what I mean now, it is insipidity!

Weak cordial. Weak saline solutions. Weak beef broth. People hate it worse than anything.

Fair-weather friends, pale people, lukewarm commitment - Verily, saith the Spirit unto the Church of (I forget) because thou art neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, I will spue thee out of my mouth . . . (Revelations!)

Well Comrades and others, I have no intention of abandoning my acerbic ways. I do have my own morality wrt whom and how I insult: I would not normally insult say Michele Grattan by reference to her thick glasses or to Niki Savva for her convoluted physiognomy. They are not direct enemies, though they go close to it I must say, and I have my scruples about making jeering references to aspects of disliked persons on the basis of physical quirks beyond their control. But neither Grattan nor Savva is any friend of the Left, and I don't feel too much pain if someone else calls them Ol' Coke Bottles or Prunella respectively.

Then there's people I have personally decided are downright malevolent to the Left, in particular those traitors on the public tit in the ABC. OOmann and Wormtongue Jones for examples. I despise them and wish them ill. If I could think of a name for them that would make them ill enough to retire I would. A bit like Ars*-Bigot P*ll hiding there behind his smoke and crucifix. They're bloody evil and their kind is costing the world the Earth by not telling the urgent truth.

See lads no more Mr Nice Guy. My weapon is my pen and whatever wit I can bring to bear, it's not always nasty but when I look at AbboRtt and his gang of stooges I'm proud that I was the one who called them that first, and Swannie picked it up in Parliament . . . because  the Abborttians hated it! Just as someone must be proud to have called Bishop Minor Mesma-(eyes), Clev~ver!

And when it comes to such as Reith, I wish I could think of something cutting and nasty enough to call him. It's not much, name-calling, but it's not insipid if it's apt. And I will desist from name calling when Labor does, or alternatively when Ad astra asks me to.        



July 16. 2012 10:28 PM

Tom of Melbourne

You seem to be a nong too.

I didn’t say I was banned here, it was Cafe Whispers that banned me, as Jane is aware. It was her I was having the discussion with!

So in response to your overplayed point, I was banned from Cafe Whispers for making the same point regarding asylum seekers that I’ve made here.

I do trust you’ll be able to comprehend.
Personally, I’ve decided that people use the term “troll” when they’re unable to mount a rational response.

Tom of Melbourne

July 16. 2012 10:33 PM


So what do you call a commenter here who uses lies and innuendo to smear our PM?

"Friend"....... Not me.


July 16. 2012 11:52 PM

Truth Seeker

Psyclaw. I empathise with your position, as although I do not as a rule like to resort to name calling, after reading many blogs it appears that the most abusive by far are those from the right, and the far left (greens), and out of sheer frustration it can be somewhat gratifying to pay a passing visit to the gutter, to deal with these people (?) at their own level.
It seems stock in trade for those radicals at both ends of the political spectrum, including LOTO and co to replace rational argument with sloganeering, personal denigration and name calling.
I have also witnessed the most rational and self-controlled commentators resort to name calling when repeated attempts to explain using facts, experts and rationale just does not get through, and after reading many of your comments I would place you like many others here in this category.
Keep up the good work guys, and don't get too bogged down by the occasional short excursion to the gutter to blow off some steam.

Truth Seeker

July 17. 2012 12:07 AM


I am having a bit of difficulty with the some sort of TPV thing probably mostly as just the mention of TPV's makes me shudder.

I do note that you offer modification for family reunion and other bits.

For the sake of it (without having back through the various type of visas currently available) we call them something less cumbersome than Humanitarian Applicant Visas (HAV's) I like the idea of refugees being HAV's rather than havenots Smile

I only half caught tonights news with Carr talking about discussions he had in Indonesia about the 'education program' but I will throw in a few thoughts.

Indonesia is made up of some 14,000 islands (no. ?) so it would be a huge task. Indonesia wants as many if not all refugees out of their country particularly those that they believe are using the country as a stopover point on the way to Australia. The 'transportation of refugees' (people smuggling) is not illegal in Indonesia and coupled with this is that there is reasonably good evidence that the military/police 'assist' by either turning a blind eye and/or actively assist in getting people onto boats.

Add in that in 2011 Aus took very few refugees (64 ?) from Indonesia and probably similar this year which doesn't send a positive message to Indonesia or to potential Asylum Seekers.

And not totally related but when I read stories such as this I really don't hold out a lot of hope that we as a country can ever come up with anything close a reasonable humantarian approach to the whole issue.

My Kids are growing up in detention  Yogachandran Rahavan @mamamia
When your son is born in a detention centre and has celebrated every birthday in detention since.
When your daughter asks you why you are locked up and treated like a criminal if you aren’t one.
When your day-to-day life is restricted in every humiliating way imaginable.
And with all of this, you are not given a single reason why and you are not told when the ordeal will end.


There are days I am definitely NOT proud to be an Australian.


July 17. 2012 07:22 AM



Sounding the Tom-Tom, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
Tony Abbott is a barrier to the prospect of a Coalition government next year, but he is the most consistent rightwinger (if Abbott fell under a bus they would have to swing behind Kevin Andrews, and nobody wants that). If Abbott were not leader, the Coalition could plan for government more securely than it can at the moment, and present a mature and confident agenda to the people at the next election. As it stands, all Coalition resources are consumed with organising the next stunt,

Labor bites the hand that's keeping it alive, Mungo MacCallum, Unleashed, ABC
even if breaking with the Greens brought some voters back, there would be a price to be paid, and it would be paid in the Senate. In the next election, six senators from each state and two from each territory will face the voters. The territories will break, as always, one each for Labor and the Coalition. But even if Labor recovers a bit - even quite a lot - it seems inevitable that the

The lifestyles of the rich and Liberal, Independent Australia
Next time you see her self-satisfied smirk on Q&A, bear that in mind. Next time you hear her criticise, well, anyone really, remember this is the person who is so full of her own self-importance, she thinks she is worth more than five prime ministers.  If this is how the Liberal Party deal with waste, we best brace ourselves for hard times

Welcome To The Jungle, Peter Wicks, Wixxy Leaks
This is development applications O’Farrell Government style, and it is nothing short of riding roughshod over local residents. Given this is also one of the safest Liberal seats in the state, it is fair to say that voters expected a bit more loyalty, a bit more respect, and a damn site more honesty than what is being delivered.

Stop using the public service as political tools, Eva Cox
This toxic change of direction in the briefing the Opposition leader designed is to show the 'dangers' of his rejection of the Malaysian option. Riots in the street are ridiculous as we have over 150,000 thousands of new migrants who arrive each year. Why would a few thousand more

Selling the carbon tax: individual versus collective self-interest , Emma Thomas, The Conversation
Foremost among these is that the tax will not pose a personal cost or imposition to the individual. The Government has distributed leaflets to Australian households; there are advertisements for the compensation scheme on the television and radio (advertisements which were criticised for not bearing any mention of the carbon tax); and media cover

Australian journalists doing it right on Twitter, Margaret Gees
So we asked “Journalists doing it right on Twitter. Tell us who they are and why.”Undoubtedly the most popular was the ABC’s Mark Colvin who got a thumbs up for RTing, giving context and engaging with his followers. Comments re some of the other nominations are highlighted below their bios.

FWA investigator defends length of Thomson inquiry, ABC
The Fair Work Australia investigator who led the three-year inquiry into former Labor MP Craig Thomson has rejected Opposition criticism about the length of time it took to complete his work.

“Not A Brand, A Cause” – Gillard Speech To NSW ALP Conference, Malcolm Farnsworth, Australian Politics
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has addressed the NSW ALP State Conference, declaring the ALP is a cause, not a brand

Welcome to Abbott’s Australia, Miglo, Café Whispers
He stands in from of them as they hold signs calling Julia Gillard a bitch or a slut. He rubs shoulders with them after they’ve said on air that Julia Gillard should be dumped at sea. He supports members of his party who suggest Julia Gillard should be kicked to death. He also fails to reprimand those in his party who say Julia Gillard she needs a bullet.

Quote of the day: It’s easier to generate outrage by “…by scaring the shit out of stupid people”,Mike,  Watching the Deniers
We’re seeing the exact same politics playing out down under: Tony Abbott, and that “Great Big Tax” scare campaign, News Limited and its unceasing war on climate science and “greens” and the spectacle of the LNP Party Conference attendees voting to ban the teaching of science and cutting funding to indigenous students.

The C Word, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog
So they had created “balance by saying something like “of course all major disasters can’t be ascribed to climate change”. Curiously though, they clearly hadn’t understood their own attempt at balance because they gave an example about flooding. I forget which major flood it was, Thailand perhaps, and the comment was that the damage there

Nationals Leader grossly inaccurate on NBN, Renai LeMay, Delimeter
What needs to be done to stop these politicians blatantly misleading the Australian public on the NBN? Legal action? Parliamentary censure? A report published by an independent adjudicator such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission? I don’t know. But something needs to be done. If you are a CEO or another major public figure such as a sportsperson, you can’t get away with blatantly misleading the Australian public. Why is it that these politicians can get away with it, with no consequences?

What is a carbon price and why do we need one?, Guardian UK
risk that polluting businesses flee to so-called "pollution havens"' – countries where a lack of environmental regulation enables them to continue to pollute unrestrained. At the moment, carbon pricing is far from uniform but a growing number of countries and regions have, or plan to have, carbon pricing schemes in place, whether through cap-and-trade or carbon taxes. These include the European Union, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, parts of China and California.

Power charges 20pc below cost: regulator, Yahoo, The West
The ERA found the gap was exacerbated by a Government policy that had customers on the interconnected grid in Perth and the South West subsidising power bills of Horizon Power customers in other parts of WA. The ERA said the subsidy should be scrapped because it was not a cost associated with producing electricity in the South West but a levy

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 17 July 2012


July 17. 2012 08:17 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

July 17. 2012 09:19 AM

Tom of Melbourne

DWM, I’d be quite willing to endorse “HAVs”.

Indonesia is obviously a very diverse country and sensible people admit that there is no silver bullet. In any event a silver bullet is only needed if you consider asylum seekers to be a problem that needs solving.

Even in such a diverse country, word of mouth is powerful. People watch TV and many read newspapers.
•  TV advertisements plainly saying that Australia has harsh gaol sentences for people smuggling.
•  Even minors get locked up for years.
•  Graphic newspaper advertisements with images of incarceration.
•  People on the ground promoting discussion about our harsh treatment of people smugglers, including minors.

Anyway, unless we own up and publicise our gaoling of these people, what’s the point of having lengthy gaol sentences? If they don’t know, it’s no deterrent.

Education is the starting point. “Send them to Malaysia/Nauru” is the option to be considered last, if at all.

Tom of Melbourne

July 17. 2012 09:30 AM


DMW, jane, others who feel the inclination...."When you sup with the devil, take a long spoon!"


July 17. 2012 09:40 AM


Truth Seeker

Wise words.



July 17. 2012 09:40 AM


Another demonstration of the morals of the LNP Government in Queensland.


Regardless of the drugs issue, this Minister employs the daughter of another Minister as a staffer - how does that work?


July 17. 2012 09:43 AM


Speaking of the asylum seeker debate...... how about Campbell Newman and the LNP. Looks like Queensland woke up and only months after voting Can-do in. 30,000 people prepare to walk off the job:


Looks Can't-do is ignoring all the advice and sticking to Costello's model of how Queensland should get back in the black. Sacking 20,000 people, puting them on welfare (now the federal Govs problem, and ultimately will help Abbott as the unemployment figure creeps up), shrinking the QLD economy, wrecking peoples lives, and how can we stop him - QLD gave him 78 seats! QLD said Can-do fix everything - QLD said we hate Labor so much we wont even give you enough seats to hold the LNP to account. QLD voted out anyone who could at least take it up to WONT-DO, Anna Palashay is trying but she isn't the best orator I have seen.

This is what might happen federally if we don't somehow turn around Labor's fortune. The only light I see is the Union here is going fight, fight, fight for months if need be. They are cashed up, and Will-do will not give an inch he has that determined "I use to be in the army" look about him. Slash and burn thats the Can-do way.

Oh dear I really feel for all those people who are scared out of their wits as to their survival without a job.


July 17. 2012 09:46 AM


From Foreign Minister Carr today:

(1) Since 2008 Indonesia has carried out 309 operations to prevent boats and these interventions have prevented 8,000+  ASs from making the trip.

(2) Indonesia, has 100s of thousands of ASs landing there in transit. Like Australia it is not that county's choice.

(3) Indonesia works tirelessly to manage the arrivals and departures, and it's about time the Australian media and Australians recognised this.


July 17. 2012 10:11 AM

42 long

  Hate the Q&A now. What a set-up with Fitzgibbon ( ambush).
  The old Kevin Rudd trot out again. Kevin by now is "spoiled goods". anyone aware of politics at all can see that he has too much baggage and arguably is not up to the job of leading Australia. Only people who want to damage labour run the line.
  Julia's poll as a leader is down with Tony's, but there is NO comparison at the party level. Labour has not got the poll figures, but Tony's side have the polling voter intention but HE is NOT popular.
   We are obscessed with Polling. At a time when something really significant was happening at the NP conference, that curiously got reported in Brisbane but not elsewhere, that the leaders of the NP have flat earth fundamentalist policies that could be lifted straight out of the radical republican tea  party's policy manual. Policies that worry prominent members of the republican party USA themselves, who are agast at the direction they are going in.
   Does the Murdoch line include this sort of stuff? What a crappy MSM we have.
  How does the song go." You don't know what you have got till it's GONE"  

42 long

July 17. 2012 10:22 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Anyone who watched QandA last night would agree with me, the questions on Leadership by Tony Jones to Joel Fitzgibbon's were disgraceful.

A couple of tweeples from twitchat for you:-

Paul Bongiorno‏
Sometimes Tony Jones smart arsery is cringe making

Tony Jones thinks @QandA is all about him, he is wrong he is wrecking what was once a great program. Bring @LaTrioli in permanantly!

Latika Bourke ‏
Christopher Pyne says Joel Fitzgibbon told Julia Gillard that it is time to go. He says PM should sack Fitzgibbon or he should resign.

Simon Cullen‏
Chris Pyne has held a press conference to helpfully interpret Joel Fitzgibbon's comments on leadership from Q&amp;A


July 17. 2012 10:34 AM


I like that response to troll-calling by Talk Turkey..Honest, forthright. Talk Turkey has a style much like that first breath of fresh, bracing air after a long bed-ridden convalescense...: sharp, brutal  but damn good healing stuff!!
I have studied Roman history for many years..Republican/Imperial/Byzantium..the primary sources and many, many translations, both at University and in"retirement".
There is a pattern in the style of betrayal of both social societies and people by those with cruel and devious intent..nine times out of ten..wait!..make that 9.5 times out of ten, the betrayal is preceeded by a soft, condecending,but very, very subtle flattery..such is the road to ingratiating corruption.
There is no accomodating those whose intense intent is to overthrow you or your beliefs. They have an objective and they will wriggle, worm, worry their way into the heart of the system to achieve their end.
I notice ToM's call for "Education" in his last post..Ah!, but who is to be "educated" and what are they to learn?..From where I sit, it appears the refugees and "people smugglers" must be "educated" on the harsh conditions that await them should they "DARE" to try to make it to our shores. Not much more sympathetic than "Stop the Boats" in my measure. And you will note that as soon as ToM had been given voice to openly and fairly comment, he spent little time before he attacked the Host of this site!...
No, no, no...TT is correct in giving no breath nor tolerate space for the right-wing provocateurs...and if there is one maxim I have learnt the hard way and keep close to my judgement process, is that ;"The road between Flattery and Mockery, is VERY short and VERY straight!"
Sure, let them speak.."and by their words will they be judged".


July 17. 2012 10:37 AM


I got a Nong Gong TOO!

I bothered to read ToM's reply to my challenge to him about his claim:

ToM: I’ve been called a “troll” for expressing my support for on shore processing of asylum seekers! I’ve even been banned for expressing my support for them! [Emphases mine.]

TT: I TalkTurkey flatly challenge the truth of this,
at least that it ever happened here and in the way for the reason he claims.

Let ToM prove it or forever be seen clearly for what I claim now that he really is, a liar. He must show an unquestionable causal relationship between any banning and the claimed reason. Otherwise he's just a crooked man.

Well funny that, wonder why a wise old Turkey would've said the (now)-underlined qualifier, would it have been because he suspected ToM was about as honest as his namesake-the-Piper's-son, with the Pig? Me was pretty sure he would have a funk-hole to slither into, so Surprise surprise, it was a different website (as he made perfectly clear in his original claim, not!) and in circs nothing to do with Ad astra or anyone here, well yeah, as if I have any interest in how others treat the poor misunderstood fellow, or why, though it ain't hard to imagine why, after the insults ToM has handed out here, to our host in particular. That he is not banned from here for such pure reasons as he claims is entirely due to Ad's forbearance in face of very nasty provocation.

But I got a Nong Gong, from ToM that's a compliment,  I treasure it!


July 17. 2012 10:42 AM


You can read the whole story concerning Acting Leader of the Opposition Warren Truss's misrepresentations when asked about the NBN by following the link that Lyn has provided above, but this quote alone stands as THE central question of what is wrong with Australian politics in the era of Abbott and just say "no".

And so deserves to be repeated here. My [] brackets inserted to expand the quote's applicability.

Nationals Leader grossly inaccurate on NBN, Renai LeMay, Delimeter

What needs to be done to stop these politicians blatantly misleading the Australian public [on the NBN]? Legal action? Parliamentary censure? A report published by an independent adjudicator such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission? I don’t know. But something needs to be done. If you are a CEO or another major public figure such as a sportsperson, you can’t get away with blatantly misleading the Australian public. Why is it that these politicians can get away with it, with no consequences?



July 17. 2012 10:45 AM

42 long

  Advice from Chrissy Pyne on WHO should be sacked from labour. Why in heavens name or DOG's name would one give him the opportunity. He should watch his own @rse, with his shennanegins and sticky fingers stray emails etc.
  Isn't it funny how the thomson matter that totally preoccupied the QTime is not heard of. Likewise Slipper.or is it the case that the game is damage and it has served it's purpose. Clive Palmer does that.too... Makes totally outlandish false statements and when exposed says" we'll it got the attention at the time" . We ARE being HAD.

42 long

July 17. 2012 11:37 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
I’ve just finished reading your informative links, a very interesting collection.  The Guardian article was very sound and well written, and Andrew Elder’s dissection of the Tom Switzer article delightfully acerbic.  Switzer gave us a picture of how many in the Coalition view Malcolm Turnbull – not a pretty picture.  If Switzer’s views are widespread among Coalition members, Turnbull has little hope of ever returning to leadership.

Re your Twitterverse, Tony Jones deliberately set up Joel Fitzgibbon and he was suckered into a silly answer.  Why did he not just say, ‘Julia Gillard will take us to the next election’, and when Jones responded, as we all know he would have, ‘Can you guarantee that’, Fitzgibbon could have answered: ‘Yes, and by the way, Tony, will you guarantee you will be in your position this time next year.’

Ad astra

July 17. 2012 03:05 PM


Thanks Lyn again....and Michael for the NBN/Truss lies link.

I live in Truss' seat. So I sent him an email asking why he lied, put in some of the detail from the article and gave him the link. Also sent it to 7:30 Report suggesting there might be a story here.

Since the 7:30 Report so often love to drag the PM in to dress her down on lying perhaps they might like to do the same for the Coalition.

Maybe put Truss on Q&A - send everyone to sleep.


July 17. 2012 03:53 PM



I like your sense of optimism that the 7.30 report or anyone on the ABC holding anyone in the Noposition to account.  Thanks for the giggle. Smile


July 17. 2012 04:39 PM

42 long

  Pissy Chryne and sloppy Joe walking behind and heckling J Gillard What a couple of hairy chested "brave men" YOU are. Would this be acceptable in a school playground and would it be treated as "workplace" harrassment in  some other "office".
  What a great example to schoolchildren who would be entreated by their teachers NOT to behave like this.
   YOU guys have dropped even further in my estimation. I would have thought that difficult, but you have achieved it.

42 long

July 17. 2012 05:02 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Twitterverse is a bit slower than normal today, comments coming in one very 3 to 4 seconds when usually every one second. I had to go shopping so I am slow today too.

Lady in Red I live in Warren Truss’s electorate too, Hi neighbor.

Tony Abbott overseas, so Christopher Pyne is on the loose.

Sydney Live‏ SydneyLive2GB
AUDIO: The other Rudd: @BenFordham speaks with Greg Rudd about his play for a seat in the Queensland senate: http://tinyurl.com/85nqxy2

David Walter‏
And in local news, the brother of ousted PM Kevin Rudd plans to boldly go where no Rudd has gone before: www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-e6freon6-1226427685042

Simon Cullen‏
Christopher Pyne: "Julia Gillard is about as popular as Anthrax

Judge 'n Jury ___
Simon_Cullen Christopher Pyne is an expert on upopularity www.abc.net.au/.../2281776
ABC News‏
Our Storify captures some of your responses to Christopher Pyne's plans to reform the teaching profession

On 730 tonight, hear a reaction to Christopher Pyne's idea of focusing #education on teaching quality, & join the conversation at #abc730

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate. » Warren Truss misleads Australians on the NBN again. Nationals Leader Warren Truss should apologise to the Australian people for continually misleading them about the National Broadband Network, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said today.

Bruce Highway‏
Warren Truss &amp; Ken O'Dowd on the Bruce Highway near GladstoneRT @GChristensenMP http://fb.me/16VF5Ich8

Simon Cullen‏
Chris Pyne has held a press conference to helpfully interpret Joel Fitzgibbon's comments on leadership from Q&A

Paul Bongiorno‏
Mr Pyne says Julia Gillard should sack Joel for openly putting her on political death row.

The Daily Telegraph‏
Greens leader takes swipe at Fitzgibbon http://bit.ly/PbgaBQ

Disappointed voters bite back: pollster #auspol http://bit.ly/Lu7fer

Neil Evans ‏
Fed:Chief Whip Joel Fitzgibbons refusal 2 back PM heaves Kevin Rudd back into $2.25 fav to lead ALP @nxt election!Gillard $2.45! @luxbet_com

ALP's big Greens gamble www.theage.com.au/.../...amble-20120715-2242x.html via @theage

Ken ‏
Melbourne byelection will be close http://bit.ly/Nxkvxr Labor tipped to win

Jeremy de Korte‏
Wave energy to power submarine base www.theage.com.au/.../...-base-20120716-226j9.html via @theage Good on the Defence Dept. for this initiative #AUSpol #wavepower

John Birmingham‏
15 Comments on my LNP/Abstudy horror blog? Hmmph! From now on I wrote only about #TheShire www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0120716-226en.html

Leaders need to be popular: Fitzgibbon, Channel 7
Federal government whip Joel Fitzgibbon says Kevin Rudd returning to the Labor leadership in 2012 is "unlikely" but he's refused to guarantee Julia Gillard will lead the party to the next poll.

Blogging is just not journalism , Alison Lee, News Com
Journalism is changing. No doubt about it. But can we trust bloggers to provide us with the news of the day? I don’t think so. Can we trust them to supply excellent commentary and great stories? Absolutely.
Blogging isn’t going to replace journalism any time soon. In the brave new digital world, there’s room for journalists and bloggers. Just don’t expect them to do the same thing or tell the same story.


July 17. 2012 05:19 PM


Well howdy neighbor Lyn. oooh Lyn Glen Elmes.....ooooh yuk.

Gravel glad to give you a laugh, gave my partner one as well.

But actually I am very serious about this, going around and misrepresenting stuff is worse than changing your mind because circumstances have changed....so its far worse.

I read loon ponds ridicule on Lee's article Journalism is changing.

Lee comes to the astonishing conclusion on a blog full of blogging journalists that blogging and journalism aren't the same thing, which the pond assumes means that when David Penberthy scribbles Labor's Green dalliance doomed from the start for The Punch, he's being a completely useless blogger, but when the very same piece turns up word for word on the Herald Sun under the header Labor should take the easy and instant decision to ditch the Greens (HUN paywall affected here), and free at the Daily Terror under the even more bizarre header Rot has set in as Labor plays gangrene politics, he's being a completely useless journalist.



July 17. 2012 05:21 PM


Remember when John Howard said al-Qaeda would be rooting for Obama to win and become President of the USA?

Remember when "anthrax" and "international terrorism" were routinely in the same sentence in the daily news?

Remember when Christopher Pyne said Julia Gillard is "as popular as anthrax"?

Remember when John Howard said he was 'the workers' best friend'?

Remember when Tony Abbott said he would be, as PM, 'the workers' best friend'?

Remember Conservative politicians never - never - change their tune.


July 17. 2012 05:34 PM


Hi Lady in Red

Thankyou for Dorothy Parker's link she is very talented and funny isn't she.

Let us know if you receive  reply from Warren Truss be interesting.

Wonder if Leigh Sales will remove her defiant look for Christopher Pyne, I will watch her mannerisms there will be a change you see.

Agree Yes Yuck to Glen Elmes

Glen joined the Liberal Party of Australia in 1973



July 17. 2012 05:44 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Apart from the Fitzgibbon affair, it’s been a pretty slow news day, which is why the ABC is squeezing as much out of Fitzgibbon’s words as it can.  Nothing will come of it.  We previously knew his attitude, as well as Chris Bowen’s, – nothing’s changed.  But as you say ‘Christopher Pyne is on the loose’ with his always loose lips.

I enjoyed reading Blogging is just not journalism by Alison Lee www.news.com.au/.../story-fnepjsb4-1226427997105

I was amused though by these words: “Journalists pride themselves on their neutrality presenting the pros and cons of a topic.”  If only this were so!

Her conclusion is more balanced: “Journalism is changing. No doubt about it. But can we trust bloggers to provide us with the news of the day? I don’t think so. Can we trust them to supply excellent commentary and great stories? Absolutely.

“Blogging isn’t going to replace journalism any time soon. In the brave new digital world, there’s room for journalists and bloggers. Just don’t expect them to do the same thing or tell the same story.”

Ad astra

July 17. 2012 08:01 PM


Hi Lyn, I didn't find LiR's reference to Dorothy Parker, if you mean the witty woman famous for pithy sayings, the one I know that I like best is,

"If all the girls at this party were laid end to end,
I wouldn't be at all surprised."

Stands abreast Mae West's

"Is that a gun in your pocket,
or are you just pleased to see me?"

Wit is the surely most delightful of all verbalisations.  


July 17. 2012 08:26 PM


Had a quick look at the Courier Mail at work today.  It was asking how a Minister's daughter could be working as an adviser for another Minister and questioning the ethics and proprietary of the appointment (given some interview the daughter apparently gave around Mothers Day).  The Courier Mail then went on to point out that while Newman started off well in sacking his first choice for Police Minster (who was caught driving while unlicensed), he has now let three Ministers who should know better off the hook.

It seems that the LNP/News Corp Love in at a Federal level doesn't necessarily devolve to the state issues.


July 17. 2012 08:40 PM


Michael @10.42am, a commenter on delimiter made a really pertinent point wrt Truss's lie.

S/he was perplexed at how a politician from a party supposedly representing the bush can be so opposed to infrastructure like the NBN which, on any measure, will be so beneficial to people in the bush.

This is one of my hobby horses. The relentless NO and mindless opposition to EVERYTHING that is current opposition policy infuriates me, because they are not representing the people in their electorates.

Their idiotic refusal to participate in any of the fora to thrash out certain big policy issues like tax reform, clean energy etc is a complete abrogation of their duty to their constituents.

Unfortunately, many of their constituents have been brainwashed into thinking that they're getting value for money with this shabby deal.


July 17. 2012 09:01 PM


    Was there something in the media today about "cando" thinking of relaxing the rule of "mp's" putting their shares into blind trusts?


July 17. 2012 09:03 PM

42 long

  We are in a period where the creation of confusion ( disinformation) is practiced deliberately as a method of manipulation) Tony says carbon dioxide is a "weightless gas". There is no such thing as the only thing that is weightless is NO-THING. ie a vacuum.
Carbon dioxide is a gas which at sea level on a standard day has a mass of just under 2 kg/ cubic meter which is about one and a half times the density of air.
   The atmosphere which supports life on the only planet we have is actually quite thin. Half of the molecules in the atmosphere are below a level of 3 miles up. This doesn't mean that there is nothing above 6 miles as the air gets thinner and thinner. The point I am making is that we don't have some infinite volume of gas to absorb the waste we put into it.
  CO2 is also called "carbonic acid gas" that acid being the one which it forms when dissolved in water. ( Like the ocean) and that increases acidity which affects life in the sea. Particularly affected are the plankton which has a thin shell which is dissolved by this acid.

42 long

July 17. 2012 09:22 PM


I note that the MSM didn't have much to say about Sen Carr's excellent interviews this morning, nor did TPS.

As well as pointing out that Indonesia is rightly or wrongly targetted by ASs in the same way Australia is, he pointed out their not insignificant attempts to manage the matter at their end. This is something we are never told, and which leads to a common view here that Indonesia is a slacker.

And after all, the Indonesian people smugglers are Indonesian (yes, really) and as they are bad, so too is Indonesia bad!!!!!

Senator Carr also well articulated the reality of Abbott's tow-back-the-boats:

(1) it is contra International Maritime Law (IML)

(2) it places ASs and our navy at risk of their safety

(3) it places Navy Officers in a position requiring them to defy IML

(4) it places Australia at risk of International crisis with Indonesia

(5) it places at risk many great economic benefits that lie ahead for Australia as Indonesia really hits its  economic straps in the next decade

I think we all need wide exposure to these important issues. It appears to me that Australia and many Ill informed Australians (the majority even) have a cock eyed and "superior" view about our most significant neighbour.

We think they are not in our league, when on any criteria of significance except the actual stage of development they are at at the moment, they do and will make us look like a minnow.


July 17. 2012 09:35 PM

42 long

  Well put psyclaw.
  If Tony comes across to many of us as a born to rule arrogant person who takes no prisoners or advice how much worse potentially may he "blow it" with our neighbours who have not long ago come out from domination by europeans.
  Not a lot of "diplomat" in Abbot. Indonesia is a democracy, with tremendous challenges and not a lot of resources, ( but changing) Don't forget we go back to the Magna carta, so what is our excuse for our present situation, and poor performance.

42 long

July 17. 2012 09:50 PM


ToM, psyclaw's comment @9.46am shows the magnitude of the problem confronting us all, particularly Indonesia. Certainly makes you understand why the Indonesians are less than enthusiastic about Abbott's chest beating for his audience.

If people would just stop having wars and forcing poor devils out of their homes and countries, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I'm afraid I don't feel very optimistic about a decent outcome for asylum seekers in all this, but I guess we all have to just keep plugging away putting the pressure on.

Sorry, it has made me as flat as a tack getting my head around it.

Since the 7:30 Report so often love to drag the PM in to dress her down on lying perhaps they might like to do the same for the Coalition.

Good luck with that, LiR.


July 17. 2012 11:24 PM


I guess under these guidelines:
The history of name calling and insulting probably predates the Greeks. It's a noble tradition, ...

saying that the PM is as popular as anthrax is actually quite ok


July 17. 2012 11:47 PM


Love the irony of Pyne telling teachers they'll have to shape up or be shipped out!

Lyn, I imagine you've already picked it that Bushfire Bill has decamped from the Poll Bludger?  I don't blame him.  Andrew Elder will be glad to have his comments there.  andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/.../...ng-tom-tom.html


July 18. 2012 07:28 AM


Today’s Links

Chest Beaters, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
Consider this: Of the nation's top 25 advertisers in 2010, Woolworths, Wesfarmers (owners of Coles) and Harvey Norman were the biggest spenders. So it seems that the media's pious defence of "freedom" of expression stops at the point their own revenues become threatened.

#74 Freedom of the press for media barons is not freedom of the press for you Part 1, Utherssay
News Limited papers has not had much to complain about the ABC because it is so in step with News Ltd narratives. One would hope that will not always be the case and Cohen’s reference to the ABC is a reminder of how operatives of the Fox News Channel and its political allies have worked tirelessly in United States of America to defund the public broadcaster there.

Thou CAN protest too much?, Margaret Gee’s Media Roundup
It’s no surprise then that the protesters – reportedly eleven of them – have also let it be known that they are anti-carbon tax. According to the SMH report the group maintains that Fairfax has a left-wing bias:

Mein Kampf’ and the Propaganda of Politics, ABWatson, Winds Light to Variant
The Coalition harps on their slogans – ‘Stop the Boats,’ ‘a toxic tax,’ ‘Election Now,’ until the last member of the public understands what they want him to understand by their slogan. The only problem for the Coalition and @TonyAbbottMHR is that the zombies who have been brainwashed by this propaganda are waking up to the fact that they’ve been duped by a bunch of liars with an Agenda far from being in Australia’s best interests.

Boat people dreaming, Independent Australia
the Abbott Opposition beguiles us with the vision of treating these victims with the justice Mr Abbott believes they deserve. Turn their illegal boats around, put them behind razor wire if they wash up on our beaches — just as the great John Howard once did. Let them stitch their lips, and their minds. They have no right to dream, and should be punished for their presumption.

A brief history of the Coalition’s hostile encounters with the UN, Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep
Now Scott Morrison seems to be getting himself in something of a twist, having declared the Refugee Convention to be out of date and needing an overhaul, while simultaneously demanding the government observe the fundamental protections it offers in ensuring asylum seekers are sent to a signatory country.

We Don't Have To Wreck The Reef, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
Given the importance of coral reefs to the living standards and economies of our near-neighbours, you’d think Australia would be playing a much greater role in trying to protect these areas. But our aid and conservation efforts in this area have been largely token Instead, politics being what it is, Australia is investing vast sums to try and stop asylum seekers.

Labor again warns on false carbon price claims, David Twomey, Eco News
The conservative Liberal-National state government’s waste levy has gone up about 15 per cent in metropolitan Sydney, the state capital.This rise is completely unrelated to the carbon price, but also began on 1 July 2012,” Labor’s Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said in a statement.“By contrast, the impact of the carbon price on domestic waste collection is as little as 13 cents a week if best practice methods are adopted.”

Pyne-ing for a good education, Min, Café Whispers
Pyne also intimated that the socio-economic status of school attendees is not relevant as a factor in the success of a student’s education, however then proceeds to argue that private schools are more effective at teaching because of..Why? Because of available resources, which of course relates almost entirely to socio-economic status.

The great News Ltd paywall experiment: are readers logging off? Matthew Knott, Crikey
If putting something behind a paywall means that less attractive demographics drop off then that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “The free riders aren’t people we want to engage with; if the core audience isn’t dropping off then it doesn’t really matter.”

The five trials of Gina Rinehart, James Thomson, The Power
IndexWith the exception of her relationship with her mother and perhaps her daughter Ginia, who is siding with Gina in her fight against John, Bianca and Hope, Ferguson’s books suggests Gina has damaged almost every family relationship by fighting over money or control. Many of these spats are eventually settled – Rose and Gina eventually agreed to a deal, and Ferguson reveals Gina has tried to stop her children suing her by offering financial settlements – but Rinehart’s blind determination to go to any length to protect

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 18 July 2012


July 18. 2012 07:35 AM


Lenore Taylor attempts raking her old vomit into a pretty new shape.



July 18. 2012 08:14 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

July 18. 2012 08:18 AM


DMW - if you're suggesting there is a double standard or two in evidence at times, I'd agree with you.  The rantings in recent days over this matter would seem to me to show that some are trying to justify their positions.

Namecalling is in the end bullying behaviour.


July 18. 2012 08:19 AM


And look, here's Michelle Grattan's little re-visited pool.

For godsake, these people get paid for this!!



July 18. 2012 08:26 AM


It’s time you journalists woke up and exposed this man for his.

Agree  but  do  they  want  to,

Hard to  fathom there  must  be a  market  for  middle of  the   road   comment
And gee we     would  like   some  facts  on labors  policy,   why  not  some  one  dare  to  be different.  They  may  make  a  profit,

Some  time  ago  i  wrote  to  you  regards  where  sre  the  comments,  ive  recently  realized
I have  to  click on  the  top heading,  i had  just  been  scrolling  down  Smile Smile


July 18. 2012 08:52 AM


Good morning all.
I can see a bit better this morning (for how long is the question!).
Joel Fitzgibbon was set up for a 'gotcha' and, unfortunately he is a bit slow in seeing this sort of thing coming so gets caught in the trap.  Tony Jones couldn't hide is absolute glee.
Ad astra.
Whilst Chris Bowen is a Rudd supporter, Joel Fitzgibbon is not - I know him well and he is steadfast in his loyalty to the PM.  The media target Joel because he belongs to the NSW Right faction but he is not one of the loopy, destructive lot.  Joel is well respected in his electorate and is always approachable and willing to help anyone regardless of their politics.


July 18. 2012 09:18 AM



Someone took his/her blinkers off and suddenly discovered the PM is "credible".


July 18. 2012 10:24 AM


DMW said
saying that the PM is as popular as anthrax is actually quite ok

and  I don't mean to pretend that that's what you meant Comrade but hey, I hate them saying that and you know what, I'd love to be able to come up with anything as good, well Arse-Bigot Pell while it may not bring up the tone of our beloved TPS it is my best thrust at a defender of the utmostly outrageous continuous behaviour, sexcrimes and physical and mental cruelty on children, over an infinite period, if I could put anyone in gaol alongside of Reith and Howard it would be Pell, and if I'd be prepared if I had the authority to sentence them to rest-of-life sentences, I'm sure prepared to call them the nastiest names I can think of. Morriscum was someone else's, I'm thankful for it. Snotty Joe from his running nose I named him. Annabelle the Slyly-Sidling Crabbe, for  several offences and puerilty too. Trivioli. Anal and Wormtongue, the two media Joneses. Mincing Poodle Pyne, you know who called him that, Ms Anthrax Herself! So I called the Poodle's name POO-POO, he's always calling BS Points Of Order, I like the punishment to fit the crime.

So DMW and 2353, ( and noting my equally outspoken support from Jaycee, TYVM! ) Yes it's Ok if They call her Ju-Liar, or Anne Thrax, she can give as good as she gets, Poodle is perfect and classic in line with the Ancients, the PJK's Souffle for Peacock, whyncha just take a fresh look, I said if you say any of those pejorative names yourselves that would make you hypocrites, never got no answer, does that mean you never do?

I remember one Headmaster I knew, all the kids called him Des, his name wasn't Desdemona, his nickname was short for Desert Head, he was as bald as Peter Garrett.

Oh yeah, and where do you want to draw the Nickname Line? North or south of calling fat kids Slim? Or redheads Blue? or Carrots? or Tampon? Nothin' much we can do about it, I do recommend the old remedy, HTFU!

Or get into a state of high dudgeon if you feel you must. Worse things happen at sea!  


July 18. 2012 10:32 AM


Ref previous billet doux:



July 18. 2012 10:40 AM


"the questions about leadership don't stop coming"
What self justifying tripe. Depending on an undeserved perception of trust in the media, trust that they are actually reporting responsibly. The more truthful statement would be; "we can't or won't stop asking questions about leadership because it's a guaranteed easy beatup that by now is self generating."


July 18. 2012 10:47 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Twitterverse :-

Frank Calabrese‏
Bullshit Bill is back at PB blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-1345174

Frank Calabrese‏
off with your stupid Ruddstoration and LEADERSHIT @thewest_com_au: Rudd camp warns time running out for PM. http://yhoo.it/ORs9AY

The Australian‏
Abbott backs US hawks on defence cuts: TONY Abbott has attacked Labor defence cuts in a speech in Washington, si... http://bit.ly/ORSQW1

TONY Abbott has attacked Labor defence cuts in front of a high-powered audience in Washington, siding with US hawks who say Australia is not pulling its weight in the bilateral defence relationship.
Speaking to the Heritage Foundation, a leading CONSERVATIVE  think tank, the Opposition Leader

As usual, @TonyAbbottMHR kowtows to his audience, this time US far right, for the sake of populism. It's code for 'love me'. @abcnews24

National News: Liberal senator founded group campaigning for Rinehart influence http://bit.ly/Obrixw #australia

A CONSERVATIVE activist group leading calls for Gina Rinehart to be appointed to the Fairfax board was created by the Liberal firebrand Cory Bernardi, a senator with ties to the mining billionaire

@HerrCoryBernard @smh Senator spins tangled web on tax www.smh.com.au/.../...b-on-tax-20111015-1lqfl.html #auspol

Should the carbon tax be lowered? #auspol http://bit.ly/NuUMEa

John Hanna‏
Count the number of times Peter Costello mentions @JuliaGillard in this Can Do #G20 article: http://goo.gl/lTTZY

Financial Review‏
Handouts under the Gillard govt’s carbon tax scheme lead to surge in pub and club gaming revenues [free] http://bit.ly/NTVPjn #auspol

Tony Abbott‏@TonyAbbottMHR
It was an honour to meet this morning with SenJohnMcCain - a great friend of Australia http://pic.twitter.com/736lHeSJ

We're family, Abbott tells US www.theage.com.au/.../...ls-us-20120718-22989.html via @theage....sickening he even dared to quote Chifley..."Abbott is no Ben Chifley"

Jason ‏
How sweet, David Flint delivering Alan's speech australianconservative.com/.../

Alan Jones joins CANdo call for constitutional change, direct democracy
“Australians should be entitled, if they’re fed up with a government, to sign a petition and if there are enough of them, to seek a new election,” broadcaster Alan Jones said in a speech for the Melbourne launch of the CANdo Campaign-Hub.

Gillard engaged and credible at last http://goo.gl/fb/4cRlQ

JulianBurnside:Law is too expensive; most can't afford it: result is injustice. http://bit.ly/SE9MDq”QCs could drop fees. Lol.

Murdoch Watch‏
News Corp Wins $2 Billion Tax Dispute With Australia http://bit.ly/Lqj6FN via @newspin

David Paul Jobling‏
Newman Government Minister Ros Bates calls police over media waiting outside her home | http://News.com.au: www.news.com.au/.../story-fndo4ckr-1226427864897

From Gold Coast Bulletin www.goldcoast.com.au/.../...5_gold-coast-news.html And the Gold Coast voted LNP,SUCKERS.....

ABC News Brisbane‏
Public transport jobs under threat: union http://bit.ly/PeH6ka

Col Smith
Ross Bowler‏
Being a State Government ministerial staffer is a family affair but Campbell Newman denies nepotism http://buff.ly/NGjIY7 CourierMail #QldPol

National Times‏
Ford cuts leave Prime Minister red faced www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...0120717-228mf.html via @NationalTimesAU

Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
‘Labor sources say Kevin Rudd’s support has grown significantly since he won only 31… votes in February’ http://latika.me/M7SvPp

Heath Aston‏
Libs have preselected Ed Mandla and 2.Christine Foster (Tony Abbott's sister) to contest City of Sydney elections #nswpol

For those who want to hear the Tony Abbott speech in the US, the site is here http://bit.ly/MGxoTB #auspol #myliberal

Report to HSU may stay secret
Jackson told The Australian: "The report is the right of every member of HSU East, and they need to know what it says before the elections."

The investigation was commissioned by the HSU East council in September, after pressure from Ms Jackson and her factional allies who claimed the union's then general secretary, Michael Williamson, was trying to cover up alleged wrong-doing.

ABC: Pyne under fire for class size comments http://goo.gl/fb/NQDyj #auspol

QLD: Damage control  

patriciawa on ABC: Pyne slams Gillard’…
David on ABC: Abbott promises ‘wo…
Pamela on Channel 7: Abbott refuses posi…
Ian on ABC: Politicians campaign as c…


VIC: Strikes continue at Coles warehouse http://goo.gl/fb/JUVHv #auspol



July 18. 2012 10:48 AM

Ad astra

Your words were exactly the ones that came to my mind.  I wonder how much Michelle Grattan and Lenore Taylor are paid to write such nondescript articles.  What have they added to what we already knew?  Nothing.  There was no worthwhile analysis, just secondhand speculation laid over a ‘he said she said’ piece.  How well do those articles align with Alison Lee’s assertion yesterday in News.com.au that “Journalists pride themselves on their neutrality presenting the pros and cons of a topic.”.  There were plenty of ‘cons’; the only ‘pro’ in the Grattan article was in the last paragraph.


There were no ‘pros’ in the Taylor piece, just a long recital of ‘cons’.  Oh dear!  She has become a disappointment, seemingly influenced by Grattan’s anti-Gillard poison.


It was good to read that your vision has improved.

Your comment about Joel Fitzgibbon is reassuring.  Tony Jones, whose infantile pursuit of ‘gotchas’ has become embarrassing, set him up.  I hope that in future Joel will workshop what tricks Jones is likely to play and have plausible responses ready, preferably with an acerbic edge, as Julia did when she was on Q&A.

Ad astra

July 18. 2012 11:19 AM


Ad astra,
I sent Joel an email about Show Pony Jones and his gotchas.  I've no doubt his colleagues have been giving him a bit of flak as well.  Joel is a nice bloke, very hard working but when it comes to gotchas, he's like a bunny in a spotlight.

I'm 'seeing' print a lot better, Ad astra so long as I don't attempt to read very long posts if there isn't enough white space breaks between the print.  Smile   Don't have much trouble typing though as I've always been a good touch typist.


July 18. 2012 11:27 AM


Meanwhile, back at the enviromental wars . . .



July 18. 2012 12:05 PM

42 long

Tony abbot ALWAYS varies his message depending on the audience. With U tube and blogging this inconsistency is easy to trace. Is this lying or just a "salesman's" poetic licence? I suggest the former.
   Who could trust this man?
  TRUTH is not subjest to interpretation. Belief and dogma maybe, but something either happens/happened or it does/did not. Sometimes the FACTS are not obvious or easily found but that should not stop us valuing and seeking them. You shouldn't base you actions on anything else.
  A RESPECT for the truth doesn't seem to matter in politics particularly with Abbott ( but that's just Tony. he's a nice bloke when you get to know him, so some say).
   Well I think he is becoming the most dangerous threat to australia's future on the scene at the moment, and I'm not alone.
   Most of his attitudes and beliefs are extreme. Under his stewardship we have seen the emergence of a platform well right of any previous potential government.
   If things keep going as they are, he WILL be the PM of our nation, next year Even the greens should put their obvious political ambitions behind them for a minute or two, and consider the impact of that and the damage to australia's hard won reputation for being a reliable  balanced commentator and mediator in world affairs, that will result.
  Even(some) LNP members are alarmed but their opinions won't be heard, the same as those businesses who favour a carbon price won't get their views throught the normal Business Council etc.

42 long

July 18. 2012 01:35 PM

Ad astra

It's good that you have emailed Joel.  He will be more circumspect next time he encounters Tony Jones.

Re your vision, The next piece: Lost: Tony’s Toxic Tax – Finder: Please Return to Owner will not take to long to read - TTT seems to have disappeared!

Ad astra

July 18. 2012 02:05 PM


Oh dear lets drag the Rudster back to fill the pages of tripe the MSM call news. Nothing to report....TAbbott out of the country the PM visiting regional areas, doing pretty well as noted in Perth. So what do the Camberra press do ......yank the Rudster out and huddle together and speculate (perhaps we can pull out the leadership crap again) and report it as news.....again.

Abbott "look there is an audience how can I make them love me" forgoing protocol and bagging the country while overseas - who would have thought.

Can-do and nepotism - more Joe like everyday. Let's cut entitlements to paramedics, axe thousand of jobs, and give our ministers children high profile jobs - the cheek!

Costello up in QLD being Can-do's right hand stooge.

Thanks Lyn - your links always save me lots of time.

Regards the carbon compo boosting clubs and pubs, while if true that's not good - what it also means is that there is more money out there, and no doubt the majority of people are not drunks and gamblers. We would never expect a balanced argument from the MSM when they can put down the government and at the same time stick it into welfare and low income earners!


July 18. 2012 03:53 PM

42 long

  " no doubt the majority of people are not drunks and gamblers" hell, there's more work to be done then!!. LiR.
   Could it not have been some tax return cheques also?
  let's not let other possibilities get into the way of a convenient assumption that suits the LIARS, because they insulted the lower classes who only know how to breed,( or perhaps they don't know what causes it) and find their way to the Clubs, and not fill in tax returns to claim all their entitlements. You really can't trust those non-rich state schooled lower socio-economoic groups, can you? In any case they don't vote for the LNP so let's bag them anyhow. Can't lose...

42 long

July 18. 2012 04:36 PM


hmmm nah 42 long - not tax return cheques - it started in May. No its just the people who got the carbon compo - though the article did 'hint' maybe it was just the no-hoper fifo miners as it was consentrated in Qld. But I have a better answer I think it was all the ALP defectors once they realised they had unleashed a bit of a monster in Can-do, my gosh I had an extra drink or two after I realised that Can-do won and like I say Palashay is OK from the mob of 6 they had to choose from - and she is doing her best - but not sure - she might improve. Let's hope. I'm giving her my support because its a mighty tough job she has in front of her.


July 18. 2012 04:44 PM


Qld pokie losses put into perspective

don't blame the carbon tax compo:this isn't a spike, it's a trend Tom Cummings @cyenne
The reality is even more frightening. Queensland’s poker machine spending has increased EVERY month, on a year-by-year basis, for the past two years. That’s 24 CONSECUTIVE months of increased poker machine expenditure.

Take a look at the graphs and look at how the 'winter' months increase. Could it be those damned Mexicans heading north for winter that help cause the 'spike'?

The AFR article (an other follow ups) may be a case of overworked journalists not having the time to get all the facts.

The again it might be interpreting the data to suit the story you want to tell. Nahhh; that just wouldn't happen would it?


July 18. 2012 04:45 PM


Bad Abbott (overseas, small blessings)


Apparently there are expert panels, and there are... expert panels.


July 18. 2012 04:53 PM



Glad to hear your eyes are a bit better.  Take care.


July 18. 2012 04:54 PM



Here is the truth of what we are paying  for in Indonesia and what we would be paying for in Malaysia.

We pay the Indonesians to jail refugees for us, we pay a group of mercenaries to sort of feed them, we pay and train the immigration officials who torture and kill and deport them and AA still whines about the Greens.

The Greens are right you morons.

This group of Afghans have been jailed by us, tormented by us, helped by one group of Indonesians to escape or be murdered, another group arrests them and we pay to jail or deport them again.

This is what the cretins are supporting.

Meanwhile the refugees themselves are used as unwitting ping pong balls in our corrupt and vicious game while the fucking media whine.  They will have all their small worldly goods stolen by another group of corrupt Indonesians and the men will be beaten and tortured as others have been.

And this has been going on under our noses since 2001 when Ruddock set it all up.


July 18. 2012 04:57 PM


    "July 17. 2012 08:26 PM
Had a quick look at the Courier Mail at work today.  It was asking how a Minister's daughter could be working as an adviser for another Minister"

Here's "cando's" latest tweet on the subject to channel 10 political editor!

".@theqldpremier "lets be grown up about this that's not nepotism that's just the way the world works." @tennewsqld"


July 18. 2012 05:09 PM

42 long

LiR you are allowed a glass of (good ) red.
Poor Queensland. years of Joh, Cyclones,Floods, and no upper house of review and the raving looney roxy Horror show just starting.
   We will see what you are capable of now. What a challenge.
  ( I mean it). How long will it take for the realisation to sink in? . It looks as though it is startingto already.
   Funny I recall Jocelyn? Newman as a reasonable person that I may have dealt with 20 odd years ago. The boy has been in the army hasn't he. I don't really know a lot about him but it really is strange to go from mayor to leader when he wasn't in the Party organisation. Surely the other hopefulls would have been a bit "miffed"
  The LNP considering "intelligent design" as a "science" WOW. Do they know what science is?
  It's the KNOWLEDGE that allows us to forgive GOD for a lot of the things we used to "blame " HIM HER IT  for and one would have thought that the human race, even in QLD would respond to knowledge and separate it from "Belief or Dogma". not confuse the two, at this point in time.
   Better not worry them with the fact that birds are related to dinasaurs and we to fish. That might spoil their fishnchips.

42 long

July 18. 2012 05:10 PM


Thanks Jason

ooooh dah we are just stupid. A man who holds 76 seats calls the shots, when he has an ego as big as yours, now that's the way the world works Can-do.


Of course Mexican's I forgot about them all riding up here with their wagons in tow for the winter. That'll be it and possibly explain the lower stats down south - you cannot look at stats without looking at the demographic. Still the steady increase might have more to do with the fifo miners.

Big W reported increased sales so that sounds like people spending money on their kids to me. Not many other reason to go to Big Dubya.

But I'm blaming the spike on Can-do - at least the drinking spike. The man now has an ego that is at least if not bigger that TAbbotts.


July 18. 2012 05:15 PM



Thanks for that link. TAbbott proving he is not fit to be PM. Does the man ever answer any questions with anything other than "the important thing is"? He did that on insiders - I sense even the MSM might get tired of that. Well  hope.

Asked if a coalition government would restore defence funding to two per cent of GDP, Mr Abbott said the important thing was not to compromise Australian defence capability.

'I don't want to put figures on it,' he said.


July 18. 2012 05:18 PM


      And jesus wept!


July 18. 2012 05:25 PM


42 long

just about to have a glas of the old vinroferous as I type this. Cheers to you.

Yep Can-do is an army man, and he will use that style when running Queensland.....yessir.

Anyone of the Lib's Langbrok, Springborg .....even Senior could have won the last election. Heck if you had Liberal on your teeshirt and a nonplussed look on your face you were at least a contender. Bringing in Can-do was a mistake, he has no experience, absolutley no experience in Parliament, and it shows. We will suffer because of his ignorance - just like Joe.


July 18. 2012 05:30 PM


Hi Jason
was wondering where you were.

John 11:32, the shortest verse in the bible, such appropriate quote some days Smile


July 18. 2012 05:50 PM


Hi Ad and Everybody


Mark Willacy

Mark Willacy‏
That's the big news...Kim Jong-un is the big banana, the head honcho, the supreme leader, and the head of the N Korean Olympic team

LOL On Abbott in the US RT@Boatie86 @latikambourke oh god… he's not answering questions. *cringes*

willy bach‏
Abbott tells US to welcome China's rise www.abc.net.au/.../4138202 @abcnews

Abbott 'new low' with defence cuts speech www.abc.net.au/.../4138202 @abcnews And we have Australians willing to vote for this man, unbelievable.

Abbott full of praise for Rudd
Tony Abbott demonstrates his psychopathic traits by praising Kevin Rudd in USA http://yhoo.it/O9aVjv WHERE'S THE MONEY

Latika Bourke ‏
Abbott says impression he gets is that the U.S is more anxious about China's behaviour in the South China Sea rather than economic growth.

Latika Bourke ‏
Tony Abbott asked if he thinks China plays by the rules in the Sth China Sea - 'on some occassions I'd say most probably not

Latika Bourke ‏
PM Gillard says it's a 'new low, even for Mr Abbott' for the Oppn leader to criticse our defence budget whilst overseas.

Latika Bourke ‏
Aust. Institute of Health and Welfare's report into our nutritional levels here: http://latika.me/Lxlmj3 (suprisingly easy to read online)

Latika Bourke ‏
It gets worse. We're wasting $600 food per household per year, altogether that's $5b worth of food that ends up at the tip.

Kathy Jackson appeals HSU administration

"All of us should not have been sacked when we haven't done the wrong thing."

Ms Jackson confirmed she was also seeking to take back her position, saying "I've done nothing wrong".

"What I want to get out of this appeal is to show people, particularly members of the HSU, that we haven't done the wrong thing," she said : www.watoday.com.au/.../...tion-20120718-229j2.html

Z☰N Digital ‏
The loopy one at it again Jackson appeals against HSU decision #auspol #qldpol Probably trying to cover up her scams

ABC gone to hell‏
The great Christopher Hitchens on polls and the journalists that heed them:
Christopher Hitchens speaks to the detriment of political polling on news reporting.

Abbott trashing Australia's credentials: Gilllard
Mr Abbott has reached a new low in negativity by going overseas and criticising this nation's national security credentials in front of an overseas audience," she told reporters, adding that he had voted in favour of the defence budget he was now attacking

Abbott's seeing stars and stripes all right
There is no explanation for it. It must have been a bump on the head, or drugs. How else to explain the speech the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott made to the Heritage Foundation in Washington?

Admittedly Abbott was speaking to the converted in his outpouring of conservative love – the Heritage Foundation is a leading thinktank of the right in America – but there are parts of his effusion that simply don't add up either in the sum total of Abbott the politician, or Abbott the interpreter of history and social affair

: www.smh.com.au/.../...ll-right-20120718-229y8.html


July 18. 2012 05:51 PM


another perspective on the Qld pokies thing

Some Hokey Pokey on Pokies @TheKouk
A quick look at a few facts suggests that the rise in poker machine revenue may have little to do with the carbon tax compensation.


July 18. 2012 06:01 PM

42 long

  The bad guys quote the bible, or their equiavalent too. Around the world, down through the ages the most despicable actions have been justified  often as the will of GOD, with rewards in another world.
  I would like a bit more caring attention to be given to this world and those who inhabit it.
  Whe i was a youhg fellow iwas informed  that I was a "Bastard". Being terribly clever I responded that I wasn't because my mum and dad WERE married.ha ha.
   NO ! They were not married in OUR church. This bull@hit is still happening. It's lost me. Took a while but now I feel better. I can use whats between my ears, but sometimes it's lonely.

42 long

July 18. 2012 06:03 PM


DMW - but wait for the opposing argument to be made (when it suits).


July 18. 2012 06:12 PM


Thanks DMW - I'm with TheKouk not enough information... cherry picking stuff to give weight to your argument - reprehensible.

I'm an atheist. Yep with you 42 long - more attention to this world is what's needed.


July 18. 2012 07:56 PM


DMW Thanks for that article.  If there's any correlation with anything re increased pokies' revenue wouldn't it have something to do with less retail spending?  Shouldn't Gerry Harvey be having a go at Packer?

TT please help me.  Reading Banjo Patterson this arvo.  What is "The Last Trump" all about?

You led the trump, the old man said
With fury in his eye.

What enraged him so much that he stopped his daughter from this guy?


July 18. 2012 08:37 PM


Hi Pwa,
the correlation between pokies spending and retail spending is complex.

In any spending there is necessary spending and discretionary spending.

Pokies would certainly be on the discretionary side whereas buying the weekly groceries would be on the necessary side.

Gerry Harvey would have some items on the necessary side, say a new washing machine, and some on the discretionary side, say a new home theatre system or new digital camera.

Where Packer and Harvey could have a fight is over whether the hoi poloi use their discretionary spending to buy a new digital camera or spend the money on a nosh up feed and chancing their arm against the machines and/or the table.

The lift in retail spending most likely reflects the lift in discretionary spending which is probably why the show similar percentage increases.

Having said all that I will bow to wiser heads should someone be able to give a better explanation. Smile


July 18. 2012 08:46 PM


Sorry, TT, that he stopped his daughter from marrying this guy!

Amazing links there, Lyn, for which many thanks, on Tony Abbott's jet setting dress rehearsal as PM the statesman!


July 18. 2012 09:04 PM


Patriciawa said

TT please help me.  Reading Banjo Patterson [Paterson, one 't']this arvo.  What is "The Last Trump" all about?

You led the trump, the old man said
With fury in his eye.

What enraged him so much that he stopped his daughter from this guy?


Well here's the pome:

The Last Trump
The Last Trump
by A B Paterson  
From book: Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses

‘YOU led the trump,’ the old man said
With fury in his eye,
‘And yet you hope my girl to wed!
‘Young man! your hopes of love are fled,
‘'Twere better she should die!

‘My sweet young daughter sitting there,
‘So innocent and plump!
‘You don't suppose that she would care
‘To wed an outlawed man who'd dare
‘To lead the thirteenth trump!

‘If you had drawn their leading spade
‘It meant a certain win!
‘But no! By Pembroke's mighty shade
‘The thirteenth trump you went and played
‘And let their diamonds in!

‘My girl! Return at my command
‘His presents in a lump!
‘Return his ring! For understand
‘No man is fit to hold your hand
‘Who leads a thirteenth trump!

‘But hold! Give every man his due
‘And every dog his day.
‘Speak up and say what made you do
‘This dreadful thing — that is, if you
‘Have anything to say!’

He spoke. ‘I meant at first,’ said he,
‘To give their spades a bump:
‘Or lead the hearts, but then you see
‘I thought against us there might be,
‘Perhaps, a fourteenth trump!’


They buried him at dawn of day
Beside a ruined stump:
And there he sleeps the hours away
And waits for Gabriel to play
The last — the fourteenth — trump.


Well they've been playing Contract Bridge, and plainly Clubs were Trumps (because not the named Diamonds Hearts or Spades.)

The young unfortunate fellow led a Trump he should not have, wasting it and allowing their opponents to win. The old man would have been his partner, and there are some things so unspeakable . . .

The Last Trump of Gabriel's is the Seventh( I think) Trumpet that will sound on the Great Day of Judgment. So of course the title is a sort of pun.

Let me say, Patricia, we can both do better than this pome!


July 18. 2012 09:27 PM

Ad astra reply

I've been on a mouse repair project today, trying to ascertain why it is eating batteries at an unsustainable rate.  Apple alone can resolve this diagnostic dilemma, so off to Dr Apple it must go.  And until a suitable treatment can be defined, I must use a mouse connected by a USB cable, sans the magic of wireless.  Anyway it does work.

I've read all your comments, and your Twitterati Lyn, and note that our would-be PM has disgraced himself by bagging Australia's Defence spending in front of America's ultra right wing Heritage Foundation, opportunistically ingratiating himself at our nation's expense, The Kouk has exposed the flaws in today's pokie beat up, and loopy Kathy is again taking the judiciary to task for not taking her advice right from the beginning, which makes me wonder what has happened to the Thomson case, you remember the most reprehensible case in Autralian political history, one that warranted an immediate change of government.

Isn't it a weird world!  

Ad astra reply

July 18. 2012 09:52 PM


I have no illusions that Malcolm Fraser has been reading my comments on refugees here BUT:

On PM tonight
ALEXANDRA KIRK: Now you say in your submission that the Government could do all this by negotiation with Indonesia and with the support of the UN refugee agency, and put in place immediately but that it requires appropriate political leadership, so that the Australian public will accept such a humanitarian policy. Do you believe that Julia Gillard is up to it?
MALCOLM FRASER: Well, if I was Julia Gillard I'd absolutely jump at it and for very obvious reasons.
And Australians want somebody to stand up and behave with decency; they are really sick and tired of the competition to be nastiest to vulnerable people and playing politics with people's lives.


Come on Prime Minister here is your opportunity to prove you are above the fray, that you are a woman of compassion and integrity, a real leader.


July 18. 2012 09:59 PM


I see the moronic Abbott has been speaking unscripted again, and, wouldn't you know it, he gaffed almost immediately.

He's a trainwreck just looking for a place to happen.


July 18. 2012 10:09 PM


Oh of course in 1902 Bridge was HUGE, there was no Internet nor even telephones radios etc! The pome would've had a lot more resonance then.  


July 18. 2012 10:10 PM

42 long

Nobody's perfect but Julia has proved she's OK. She's had everything thrown at her.
How good is it really that we have a female, an atheist and a woman not married at the Lodge, and as PM who has not once embarassed this country when she is overseas as our ambassador?
  I'm certainly not religeous but didnt the bible say a "prophet is never appreciated in his own country". We don't just NOT appreciate her we treat her like $hit. We actually demonise her. What does that make us? Pathetic.

42 long

July 18. 2012 10:54 PM


42 long
Well said Comrade!

Not all of us though.

I keep saying: *J*U*L*I*A*!

I don't do that with anyone else hardly. She's very special.

Don Dunstan was similarly reviled and jeered by the Right. Why, because he was The Best, and he represented (and delivered) gravely resented, gravely needed change in SA, Australia and indeed the World.

As did our beloved Gough Whitlam.

And now, as does our rare precious *J*U*L*I*A*.


July 19. 2012 06:50 AM



Amazingly I've finally caught up with all your links, now eagerly awaiting more today.  Thanks heaps.


Sounds like your working up one of your great pome's again, looking forward to it.  Hope the healing is going well.


July 19. 2012 06:56 AM

Truth Seeker

"Gillard engaged and credible at last"
The article was OK, the comments for the most part were complete stupidity, with a few notable exceptions.
Comments like "A stacked house", "No hard questions asked" and "A friendly town" show the bloody minded, one eyed approach that will, if not corrected, send this great country to the shit house, and Abbott will have his hand on the flush button.
Forget a media, enquiry, just legislate for truth in the media, so that a media outlet that promotes a story that is blatantly misleading or untruthful can be fined and forced to print, publish or broadcast a retraction and for repeat offenders licence suspension or cancelation.
I would like to hear the arguments against that, as they would show their collective hands as vested interests promoting lies and deception.

Truth Seeker

July 19. 2012 07:02 AM


Good morning all,
Must say I was quite amused PatriciaWA re your horror(?) or perhaps, lack of understanding, about the Banjo's poem The Last Trump.  No doubt you've never played bridge and suffered the woeful post mortems from a partner who plays to win and will not tolerate a mistake.  

Failing to count the cards of all four suits, especially the suit which is trumps, as they're played is a mortal sin and, if your partner is like the old man in the poem, is a mistake not to be forgiven.  I used to love playing bridge and was a reasonably good player but couldn't stand the recriminations after each hand was played whether it was me or one of the other players under fire.


July 19. 2012 07:18 AM


Good morning all.

Looks like Poll Bludger is down again with the digital lurgi.

There's a decent article in today's SMH about a local council pre-selection fight amongst the Tories that makes for interesting reading. Pity I can't seem to link it. Still, you can check it out for yourselves.

It's about some bloke from the Alex Hawke faction  being  caught with his hands in the till to the tune of three hundred thou or so, selling his house and cashing in his super to repay the nicked dosh, and still claiming a set-up. Pretty shameless, I would have thought.


July 19. 2012 07:28 AM



Numbers don’t Lie, Daniel McCartney, The Laziest Dad
The Opposition have moved for the suspension of standing orders 60 times, almost one for each and every day that the Parliament has sat, this puts the total cost of these frivolous motions at ($197,435.90 x 60) or $11,846,153.85Wait a minute… back up a sec, I’ve seen that number before! Go back up six paragraphs and you’ll see this is the exact same number as the value that I

IPA wins the battle of the think tanks, ABC Has Gone to Hell
I have analysed how many times a representative from a think tank has guested on ABC’s The Drum. Out of the 9 think tanks appearing in that period, the results showed an overwhelming representation of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). It took a staggering 42% of the media exposure. The next highest was the Centre for Independent

don’t blame carbon tax compo- this isn’t a spike, it’s a trend, Cyenne. Com
Finally, don’t fall into the trap of saying that carbon tax compo payments, or flood relief handouts, or the stimulus package, have failed because people spent them on poker machines. That’s a stupid, ridiculous argument. You don’t pump every cent you have into a poker machine, including extra cash as a result of any of these initiatives, unless you have a problem… and that problem is caused

US Presidential Election 2012- A matching pair of political liars-, Petering Time, North Coast Voices
If Tony Abbott and Mitt Romney are both leaders of their respective nations in 2013, will anyone be able to trust official foreign policy announcemnts about the Australian-US alliance for the next four years or more?

Some Hokey Pokey on Pokies, Stephen Koukoulas, Market Economics
In a wonderful case of correlation equals causation, the Federal Government’s compensation for the carbon tax is being cited as the reason for this lift, with people allegedly spending their “windfall” on pokies rather than using it for something else. I see the price of eggs in China rose in May and June – was that a result of the carbon tax compensation?

Pedophile priests make a mockery of confession, Jennifer Willson, No Place for Sheep
I can imagine suffering such self-inflicted spiritual torment, however my question is, why would anyone consider this punishment enough? Surely the offending priest must be made to face both his God and the wrath of the human world?

The fictitious industry created Aussie housing shortage, Philip Soos, Independent Australia
nothing changed. The NHSC had to find another pretext for the pre-supposed shortage, this time by creating a category called “underlying demand”, driven primarily by immigration and other demographic factors. This would appear to be a more sound methodology if not for the fact that the numbers were simply made up again.

Everybody Loves Ordinary Australians, Jeff Sparrow, New Matilda
And what of the Greens themselves? In the political unconscious of the Right, they loom as the embodiment of radical zealotry, a terrifying mash-up of Joe Stalin and the Manson Family. Back here on Earth, however, the Greens’ relationship with the union movement has traditionally been quite tentative, even equivocal.

Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, Gov.au
On 28 June 2012, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship announced that the Government had invited Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC (Ret’d), the former chief of Australia’s defence force, to lead an Expert panel (the panel) to provide a report on the best way forward for Australia to prevent asylum seekers risking their lives on dangerous boat journeys to Australia. The full transcript of the announcement is

How to measure influence: using Twitter to rate Australian news sites , Alex Burns, The Conversation
to generate an even more comprehensive picture – to begin with, perhaps, with the number of followers each sharing user has: a link shared by a users with a few dozen followers will necessarily have less impact than one shared by a leading account in the Australian Twittersphere.

Is the introduction of a carbon tax a ‘teachable moment’ to change habits?, Liam Smith, The Conversation
With the arrival of the carbon tax earlier this month, many people will be looking to see where they can make savings through their behaviour. Alan Pears’ article in The Conversation last month pointed out some ways in which simple changes to purchase choices and behaviour can result in energy and cost savings.

Tower Of Sun, Eric Ellis, The Global Mail
A futuristic solar power station in Andalucia aspires to be the model that can provide a cheap, clean and efficient solution to electrify the world. Abengoa claims this as the world's biggest commercial solar power station, situated 30 km to the west of Sevilla — and visible from almost as far away. Spain might be in dire economic crisis but this is a project its Spanish promoter

Labor and the gap between stated and revealed preference, Bernard Keane, The Power Index
Coalition voters can see little but economic disaster all around them, despite a constant stream of economic data that governments of the 1980s and 1990s would have sold their blackened political souls for. Labor and Greens voters, on the other hand, take a far more

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 19 July 2012

Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category
ABC: Gillard leadership questions resurface
ABC: Brown sets sail to stop Kimberley gas hub
VIC: Strikes continue at Coles warehouse
QLD: Damage control
ABC: Pyne under fire for class size comments

Australia-U.S. Alliance and Leadership in the Asia-Pacific, The Heritage Foundation.  Video
Tony Abbott, discusses America’s global role, the Australia-U.S. relationship, and the role of the Australia-U.S. security alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.


July 19. 2012 08:00 AM


I just tweeted latika Bourke:TalkTurkey‏@TalkyTurkey

@latikambourke ABC24 now openly, maliciously, deliberately, perpetually, michievously destabilising PM *J*U*L*I*A*! NEST OF TRAITORS!  

Crassidy is one of the worst.


July 19. 2012 08:29 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

July 19. 2012 08:37 AM


I have to sat a big thank you to Lyn for her links...I now go nomore to the ABC. for ANY news!...the links and the bloggers give me all the relevant subjects to explore.
As for Mr.Fraser..he is beginning to suspiciously more and more like a Labor "sleeper" the older and wiser he becomes!


July 19. 2012 10:39 AM


Thanks for the links Lyn.

This is what we are up against:

So, in summary, people think the government’s wretched, and claim not to believe the economy is going well, but act like the economy is going gangbusters and take advantage of the consequences of the government’s quality economic management, in turn putting pressure on the government to prop up industries that are missing out.

And really it can only be the media that causes this disparity. The right wing conservatives who want to ensure that Abbott gets in because you don't get much more right wing conservative than him - in fact he is Tea-Party material.


July 19. 2012 11:11 AM


There seems to be a significant and quick demise of the Tea Party in the US.  For example Mitt Rommey (de-facto Republican Presidental nominee) was the least favoured option of the rabid right wing and Tea Party.  As little as 6 months ago, comments were being made that Rommey didn't have a chance due to the influence of the Tea Party.  Remember also that a Socialist has recently become President of France, winning against a first term conservative.  Traditionally French Presidents serve two terms.

The world's view is changing again as more banking scandals are made public.  The question is if the world view will reach Australia by the end of the year and will the ALP show some disipline so that Gillard (who they put there) isn't fighting on the eastern and western fronts? In other words while she's trying to fight Abbott some clowns in the ALP aren't attacking her from behind with the latest Rudd versus Gillard p***ing competition.


July 19. 2012 11:20 AM


Is the Courier Mail/LNP love fest over?  The two current top stories on their website at present.




July 19. 2012 11:28 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody

Twitterverse for you:-

Myles Peterson‏
Astroturfers, Australian Taxpayer Alliance, https://www.taxpayers.org.au/ behind http://stopbigbrother.com.au/ campaign via @ChrisBerg

Matt Cowgill‏
"the only media outlet that is significantly slanted is ABC TV, which is... pro-Coalition" http://goo.gl/mjEBP

Josephine Tovey‏
bencubby Gina Rinehart's friend Jack Cowin is appointed to #fairfax board.(FREE) www.afr.com/.../cowin_joins_fairfax_board_LWgCor23GVWtpW9yC87a5H

Marcus Strom‏
Here is the #Fairfax statement to the ASX about appointment of Cowin as independent director www.asx.com.au/.../427h2jylzz6d94.pdf

Robert Corr‏
RT @joshgnosis: Wow, this is the most bizarre rant for the Quadrant to publish against the ABC... http://bit.ly/PjhnXZ

ABC The Drum ‏
Bolt's hugely successful blog has been cut off at the knees, writes GreenJ on the decision to slash comment moderation http://bit.ly/NPf6id

Number crunchers on both sides say there has been no big shift in support from PM Gillard to Rudd #auspol au.news.yahoo.com/.../ hence noise

Paul Howes‏
The story in the AFR is complete BS - in fact the opposite is the case all unions are united in supporting the PM #ausunions

Dave Gaukroger‏
Sad to see the AFR going for the “Making shit up” business model. Has no-one told them that The OZ isn’t actually profitable?

Andrew Elder‏
... And that in Fairfax, that lack of profitability can't just be written off. Not a good look for a specialist business paper anyway

Dave Gaukroger‏
awelder and it's not even like it makes a difference to their core audience, it's agenda setting, pure and simple. Crazy.

Paul Wiggins‏
Newspapers must pay for printing lies, says Max Mosley – BBC World News: bbc-worldnews.net/.../#.UAdCsWkzuKw.twitter

Malcolm Farnsworth‏
Geoff Kitney: "Desperate fear of an Abbott win" - http://auspol.info/Oa8htL - a watershed moment in the battle for Gillard's survival?

Rudd says definite no to PM challenge #auspol http://bit.ly/LsJ0IW

Graham Readfearn‏
Newman government to open queensland's national parks for logging and grazing, reports Courier-Mail m.couriermail.com.au/.../story-e6freoof-1226429460287

Brad A‏
'..are into what you would call fairly aggressive [tax] schemes..' www.theage.com.au/.../...offee-20120718-22aj5.html. Really, the rich are Tax Dodgers. #SpadeASpade

The Daily Telegraph‏
Union movement supports Gillard: ACTU http://bit.ly/OnoOfD

Currently reading www.northweststar.com.au/.../2629278.aspxWho is funding his lawyers bill?????


July 19. 2012 11:35 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
I enjoyed your links again this morning.  I was taken by the piece by Axel Bruns How to measure influence: using Twitter to rate Australian news sites on The Conversation theconversation.edu.au/how-to-measure-influence-using-twitter-to-rate-australian-news-sites-8123  I expect you were also.

The methodology was complex, but the results fascinating.

The author describes his ATNIX method thus: “… to generate a reliable, comparative index of the resonance for the major Australian online news and commentary sites, my colleagues and I at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation at Queensland University of Technology have developed a tool which tracks the circulation of links to these sites on the social media platform Twitter.

Day by day, we track all tweets which contain links to any of the country’s leading national and regional news sites, as well as to the various opinion and commentary sites such as Crikey and The Conversation; we capture those tweets even if the original link has been converted into a short URL (using bit.ly, t.co, or any other shortening service).”

Two weeks were surveyed; my commentary below is on the last week in June.

When sources were classified as ‘news’, The Fairfax online papers, the smh.com.au and theage.com.au captured 19% and 9% respectively of the tweets, with the news-related abc.net.au on 19%, news.com.au on 9% and theaustralian.com.au and heraldsun.com.au each on 7%.

When sources of ‘opinion’ were surveyed, the Fairfax papers, the smh.com.au and theage.com.au were way ahead of the rest, capturing well over a third of the tweet traffic, followed by theconversation.edu.au and crikey.com.au each on 14%, with the abc.net.au/unleashed on 7%.  Notable was theaustralian.com (/opinion) on 2% and the heraldsun.com.au/opinion on 1%!

In typical academic style the author is cautious in drawing conclusions and
adds the usual caveats: ”These first weeks of ATNIX data point to some interesting patterns, but to what extent they were overshadowed by the events surrounding Fairfax remains to be seen.

“Over the coming weeks and months, as we see a picture emerge of the Twitter link circulation marketshare for major Australian news sites, it will be worth it to further reflect on what these figures mean.

“Clearly, we cannot assume that these observations translate straightforwardly into an indication of hits on these sites – the Twitter userbase is too unrepresentative of the wider Australian population for this.”

My interpretation is that Twitter is powerful, and in this study, a new measure of interest and activity in news and opinion.  On the actual results, it is notable that Fairfax Media does much better than News Limited on news-related Twitters, with ABC news also doing well.  On ‘opinion’ Fairfax Media does well, but sites such as The Conversation and Crikey do well and the ABC moderately well, while News Limited outlets do poorly.

While in its infancy, the ATNIX measure will be watched by online news and opinion outlets.  Some, particularly News Limited, will need to lift its game.

Ad astra

July 19. 2012 11:38 AM


Good Morning Jaycee and Lady in Red, Patricia and Gravel

I get such a kick out of my work when I hear how much you enjoy the links.

Thankyou Gals and Guys.

Mr Abbott is heading for China poor China, we will see what happens next.

Ernest Malleyscrub‏
Quick, Tony Abbott is overseas. Change the locks

lynlinking  Truly a Barbarian at the Gate. The Mandarins in Beijing know how to deal with Barbarians, as they've done for ages

Maddie Charles‏
my fave line -US took Liberal literally "so I spent most of my fortnight in America being introduced to virtual communists" TA



July 19. 2012 11:53 AM


Ad Astra

I read that article too, it was very good and I could even follow the methodology they used.  It was interesting that 'the conversation' got a very high reading/click rating. As that is not what I would class as MSM, I am hopeful that people online are looking around and reading a wide range of stuff.


July 19. 2012 12:18 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
You have given us another interesting set of Twitterverse.  Apart from the spurious and inconsequential chatter about Julia Gillard’s leadership, there was the Quadrant piece accusing the ABC of Labor bias while others such as Matt Cowgill see the opposite.  The piece How Partisan is the Press? Multiple Measures of Media Slant by Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh gives a ‘scientific’ view. http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/MediaSlant.pdf  The tables are particularly interesting.

Here is the ‘Discussion and Conclusion’:
”Media slant is both important, and hard to precisely measure. This reflects not only differences in definition, but also the fact that news outlets can differ in the extent of their slant. For example, a television station’s slant might change over time, or a paper’s news pages might have a different slant from its editorial pages. To capture this, it is useful to employ multiple measures of media slant, and to separately look at slant in content and editorial. Using data from Australia, we employ several metrics for measuring media slant. In terms of content, we find that most media outlets are close to the center position. Coding media slant using mentions of left-wing and right-wing public intellectuals, we find that only one out of 27 outlets is significantly distinguishable from the center. We also conclude that there has been no systematic evolution in slant over time. Classifying the content of election articles, we find that only one of the nine newspapers is distinguishable from a centrist position.

“However, when we look at editorial stances, more dispersion is apparent. Although headline-coding only reveals one newspaper that is significantly slanted, the pattern of editorial election endorsements is strongly skewed, with 36 out of 44 endorsements favoring the Coalition in the period 1996-2007. Consistent with this, we also observe substantial differences in political donations by media proprietors towards political parties, with donation ratios as high as 3:1 in favor of the Coalition.

“To the extent that cross-country comparisons are possible, our results suggest that the Australian media – at least in terms of news content – are less partisan than their United States counterparts. While this could be due to differences in methodology (and structural differences prevent an exact replication of the United States methods), it is also plausible that it reflects the effect of a less competitive media market.”

Bias it seems is in the eye of the beholder, and is often related to a single program/episode/news item.   Bias in the particular, is often cancelled out by the general, as this study largely shows.

Ad astra

July 19. 2012 12:25 PM


Jonathan Green's piece over at the Drum is interesting if only to demonstrate it's better late than never!
There was a core of us posters telling the moderators at the Drum that they were going the wrong way by encouraging so many right-wing blatherers and morons by giving them equal posting space for their incomprehensible ranting against reasoned arguements...on the grounds of "equalising any bias", their only defense being that old chestnut of : "Oh..just because you don't agree with "us" that means we are not allowed to be heard".
Have you ever heard a more puerile whinge in your life!? Oh well, now the chooks have come home to roost and the Drum is stuck with them..AND with the winding down of "Bolts Jolts" they can expect more of the same..serve them right!


July 19. 2012 12:26 PM

Ad astra

Yes, it is discouraging to read the enmity that Julia attracts despite all she has done and is still doing. Ross Gittins had a similar lament a couple of days ago.  With well over a year to go we must continue to emphasize her strong progressive attributes and contrast them with the grotesque alternative of an Abbott government and trust the electorate to eventually see the stark difference.

You may also enjoy the Joshua Gans, Andrew Leigh study: http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/MediaSlant.pdf

Ad astra

July 19. 2012 12:35 PM


Hi Folks,

I am using Twitter to attack ABC bias which has never been so blatant as in the last few days and weeks. Do join in wherever you feel appropriate, here, on Twitter or anywhere useful.

I'll be away from my computer for two or three days,
Sheep may safely graze here in the meantime!


July 19. 2012 12:36 PM

42 long

  We can look forward to more propaganda from the coal and oil and gas industry, climate denial, rejection of acience distrust of experts, bible literalism/extremism. We appear to be rushing back to the dark ages where the church had power over your mind ( and your pocket). Australia is a relatively well educated country but we are falling for this propaganda.
   This is pretty serious stuff, but after all Brendon Nelson was a believer in "intelligent design". and he WAS leader of the Liberal party. so we were warned.
   Notice the tendency to denegrate any person with a smattering of concern about society in general with the title" Lefty". Once you are a LEFTY you are not worth listening too no matter what you say it is not credible
    The concept of "leave it to the market forces and everything will be just fine" is all we need. So THEY tell us.
  How much  more evidence do we need that there is more needed to get things right? than the destructive GFC? How much more time to have a structure to save what's left of the Planet. How will the market address the overpopulation issues? Social issues? The disparity of the rich to poor in all countries is getting wider. This is a force for social unrest. Do you fix the problem or do you keep the lower classes under by force? ( police state) and chuck them a few crumbs as is done in the middle east. The instability has yet to run it's course there and will probably end up as a war among islamic sects or a dictatorial theocracy, that will be voted in and after that (as in IRAN) there will be no real elections or opposition allowed. Iran was a country of well educated people who thought their revolution would bring them good things.
  Tony goes to China. POOR CHINA? NO!! POOR AUSTRALIA as he trashes our reputation.
   How would China face the prospect of Romney running the USA and Madmonk running Australia? I think Tony is FULL of Pestosterone

42 long

July 19. 2012 02:13 PM

Ad astra

42 long
What astonishes me is that conservatives can still have faith in free markets when we hear day after day that some of the world’s biggest banks are a front for crooks.  

JP Morgan Chase has made a $6 billion trading loss with its shonky traders who are again into CDOs, the instruments that contributed heavily to the GFC, and yesterday its CEO couldn’t explain to a US Senate Committee the Volcker Rule that restricts US banks from making these kinds of speculative investments that do not benefit their customers.  And he’s running one of the world’s biggest banks!  

Not long ago we had Barclays Bank, and now today Credit Agricole, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale under investigation over the Libor manipulation scandal that resulted in the resignation of the boss of Barclays, and his foregoing his $30 million bonus!  

And now HSBC has been accused of money laundering of funds from drug cartels amounting to many billions of dollars.

These guys are crooks, and yet we have conservatives insist that we must leave the markets in their hands, and all will be well.

It a case of ideology overwhelming facts, figures and commonsense.


Ad astra

July 19. 2012 02:22 PM


You can only hope Liealot gives the Chinese some reason to lock him up. I'd be in no great hurry to get him released.

Lyn, I like Mosley's suggestion wrt lies being printed in print media. I reckon the fines should be increased to 30% of their revenue.

And I think in this country, it should include radio and tv dissemination of lies broadcast as truth in news broadcasts and shock jock rants, with severe penalties, like losing their licences and shock jocks being suspended and made to admit their malfeasance on air in prime time.

Opinion pieces should have a clear disclaimer that it is opinion only and may not be accurate.

Breaches should be very heavily punished. We might be able to rely on what we see and hear as being accurate. Who knows, people may even start buying newspapers again.

I stopped because I knew I was being constantly lied to wrt the government and opposition.

It could even cause a flowering of decent journalism in this country.

OK, OK. Leaving Disneyland now.


July 19. 2012 03:14 PM

42 long

To get from DECEIT journalism to DECENT should be simple ( Just one letter)
  They want to keep the power. We let them use it by not being questioning enough.
But they are good at deceit. They call it "freedom of the press" free speach etc. All high sounding names to cloak their rotten behaviour. They are bigger prostitutes than any woman of the night.They don't disguise the product.
  They want respect. Well earn it. If something is worth having it is often hard to get.
  I give up on the ABC. What a disappointment you are.
  After the Fran Kelly/Michelle Grattan discourse this morning about the veracity of a Fin review article.
   Well It's out there. (That goes for the truth.) IT'S OUT THERE. Not good enough peeps. An awful word came to me this morning during the interview "mealymouthed". for Michelle.
   The ABC is trashed. Abbot will "fix" it though, because even though the ABC bends over backwards to "suck" to the NEXT government, by helping them. Abbotts MOB regard anybody left of GINA as Communists, so they are probably "GONE" anyway.

42 long

July 19. 2012 03:29 PM


Can-do sticking it to the band competition that is held once a year for kids who like music - now how much flipping money will that save? And the biennial scholarship program for "77 musically gifted kids" - A SCHOLARSHIP! They hold it once a year. How absolutely pathetic. Saving pennies.

This is what we can expect from TAbbott in order to get the extra 1 billion dollars he told the Americans it was going to cost the Aussie taxpayer to fund his Direct Action plan (

Yes I watched that insufferable video of his speech to the Heritage Society in the US and subsequent Q&A.

Wait for it.......

Look (he starts every other sentence with this word so I thought I would give it a try)

Look, TAbbott so wants to tell people what they want to hear he couldn't answer the question about whether or not he would backtrack on the Kyoto protocol so he sprouts off about his direct action plan instead.

And all the arm flapping - he's getting worse. It's like he thinks he is controlling trafic, or hoping to dumb down the response - its very off puting.

Arms flapping and look.....un....arms flap.....look um I...

I do hope I do a reasonable interpretation of what I see via the keyboard.


July 19. 2012 03:47 PM


Ben Eltham on TAbbott latest gaff



July 19. 2012 03:47 PM

42 long

  Maybe he feels confident that he will LOOK good compared to George "W"yuh Boosh.
   Can't we get him to wear a jacket with "Not returnable" on it.
   Don't forget one of our worst exports was Rupert. We've got form in this area.
  "LOOK I'm only flapping my arms to get this argument off the ground."
   Wasn't Tony nice and complimentary about Kev? American diplomacy might not be perfect but it wouldn't stoop THAT low.
THEY keep their politicking for internal audiences, and they do have some manners, and respect for protocol.
  Thanks AD for your comments.

42 long

July 19. 2012 04:05 PM


Here's Michelle Grattan having a go at Julia Gillard.

No, really, she is... And paid for the carbon paper she used too, apparently.



July 19. 2012 04:05 PM


42 long

Nice one....still laughing. And ditto on the comments Ad. That was a big document on media slant and I appreciate your trimming it down for us.

Perhaps we should really be spending/or redirecting our 1.5% GDP on keeping the big banks honest in the interest of defence?


July 19. 2012 04:08 PM


PS The Financial Review has been a Gillard-basher ever since Michael Stutchbury was given the reins as editor.

And he left The Australian for that gig, who'd have thunk it????


July 19. 2012 04:12 PM


Ad Astra, I rarely take issue with what you say, but.....Julia Gillard does not attract enmity!   Rather hostility is heaped upon her.

I know you share that view too, but I quibble here because one so often hears about how unpopular the Prime Minister is, or how distrusted and with that goes the suggestion that she must somehow be an unlikeable or untrustworthy person.  Which is very far from the truth.

She has been demonised by the Opposition, enthusiastically supported by the media.  I checked out the definition for <i>demonising</i> just now before writing this comment.  I found found here www.macmillandictionary.com/.../demonise probably the most comprehensive description of what has been happening to our wonderful Prime Minister, not what she is, or what she has done, but what has been done to her. We see and hear in one way or another all the time, don't we?

Demonise - discredit - to harm someone's reputation

Slander - to say something about someone that is not true and is likely to damage their reputation

Taint - to make someone seem less honest, morally pure etc

Bruise - to harm someone’s reputation or confidence

Stain - if something stains someone’s reputation, character etc, it spoils it

Smear - to try to damage someone’s reputation by telling lies about them

Disgrace - to harm the reputation of a person or group by doing something bad or immoral

Cast aspersions (on)- to say or write things about someone that attack their character, work etc

Blacken someone’s reputation/name/character - to do or say something that you know will harm someone’s reputation

Knock someone off their pedestal - to show that someone who is very successful or admired or loved very much has faults like everyone else.

I think that last is not the least of the injuries inflicted upon Julia Gillard who took over ALP leadership with a fine reputation, having been a much admired Deputy Prime Minister, parliamentarian and industrial relations advocate.  Team Abbott knew well the calibre of the woman he was now up against once Rudd had gone.  She has been their primary target for denigration and discredit every day since then. How many men could have taken this onslaught and come back smiling and constructively planning for this country's future?



July 19. 2012 04:45 PM

Ad astra

I can’t disagree with your analysis.  ‘Enmity’ is defined as ‘deep-seated, often mutual hatred’.  It would be a shame to attribute hatred to Julia at all, as she seems unbelievably tolerant.  Instead of ‘attracting’ enmity, a better word would have been ‘targeted’ with enmity.  I stand corrected.

Ad astra

July 19. 2012 04:49 PM

Ad astra

I have just posted Lost: Tony's Toxic Tax - Finder: Please Return to Owner.  Enjoy,


Ad astra

July 19. 2012 05:13 PM



Agree with your thoughts on demonising, heaping hostility on the PM, and appreciate all the work that went into your comment...Thanks.

I note that Grattan has been heaping more hostility on the PM today. Her poisenous pen is truly awful.


July 19. 2012 06:05 PM



What a great thought .....the Chinese locking up Abbott....wow!

The headlines would be "China: the Economic and Political Saviour of Australia".

And since our country is doing so bad, JG could save a few bob by declaring mandatory unpaid leave and return home for all the consular staff in China.

And just leave the p*ick there! ........... Forever!

If only.


Comments are closed