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More reasons why I admire PM Gillard

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Thursday, 13 September 2012 18:02 by Ad astra
The previous piece Why I admire Prime Minister Gillard spoke of PM Gillard’s courage, vision, and her focus on getting things done. This piece highlights her competence, her personality and her integrity.

I suspect even her sworn adversaries would concede, at least in private, that PM Gillard is highly competent. Indeed it is her competence, her capacity to understand issues and get things done, that gets up their nose.

Grounded in industrial relations, she brings around twenty years of experience to bear on this area. Her record as Deputy PM was outstanding in ridding this country of WorkChoices and introducing Fair Work Australia. It is not yet perfect; more work is being done to accommodate the concerns and needs of business. As Minister for Education she was instrumental in bringing about the changes to the education system we witnessed. She loves education and enjoys being with schoolchildren and their teachers and parents. No one would deny her competence in this area.

She worked with Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan and Lindsay Tanner, and the then Treasury Secretary Ken Henry, to fashion a plan to combat the global financial crisis. So successful was it in every way that we now have the best economy in the developed world, the envy of every other country, with its low unemployment, low inflation, low interest rates, low national debt, triple A ratings from all three ratings agencies, and a burgeoning mining boom with billions of dollars in the investment pipeline, an economy over which PM Gillard still competently presides.

Since becoming PM she has expanded into the myriad areas that the nation’s leader must encompass. Initially reserved about international affairs, she now embraces them with skill and charm. She is popular among the world’s leaders when she visits international forums such as the G20 and APEC. She contributes there through major speeches, involvement in the business of these forums, and in bilateral talks with leaders. That we don’t hear much about this on our news bulletins can be laid at the feet of journalists too often more interested in asking questions about leadership, or local issues, than coming to grips with complex international matters.

She has given numerous speeches to public forums, such as the National Press Club, conferences, and a clutch of private institutions. On these occasions she shows her strong grasp of the subject matter. While it is easy to read a prepared speech, it is not so easy to answer questions from the audience, sometimes a hostile one, that often asks questions about unrelated matters. Yet she does this with aplomb. Have you seen her caught short of a plausible answer? Have you seen her flustered and out of her depth? If you believe you have, tell us all about it.

Moreover, she has shown how capable she now is in handling a rowdy and sometimes rude media scrum, among which there are always those looking for a slip-up, a gotcha, a chink in her armour, a ‘scoop’ for the 6 pm TV news. She learned to dismiss stupid questions, adversarial questions designed to embarrass or trap, and questions irrelevant to the subject. She controls the pack, and gets a schoolmarmish tag for her trouble, but they do often behave like school kids don’t they!

She stays the distance until questions are exhausted or other commitments demand her attention. Her marathon press conference about the Slater & Gordon matter was classic Julia Gillard sticking in there until every question was exhausted.

She excels in community cabinet meetings where she answers questions or passes them onto her ministers, and stays until all questions are addressed. On these occasions her charm and friendliness is displayed for all to see.

When addressing business forums she is not unwilling to speak her mind, even if her audience doesn’t appreciate what she says, as was the case when she spoke to the miners in Perth last week about the importance of their support for education to give them the geologists and engineers they need. The media reported that they didn’t like her ‘lecture’. Too bad!

Have you been as impressed as I have been at her grasp of every topic she addresses or is asked about? She is particularly adept at answering the unexpected ‘off-the-cuff’ question. The only time I have seen her somewhat nonplussed was when Laurie Oakes hurled his question in 2010 at her pre-election NPC address about her conversation with Kevin Rudd the night before his replacement.

Whatever the topic, whether education, industrial relations, the economy, health, taxation, climate change, the NBN, agriculture, business or industry, she knows what she is talking about. No matter whether she is addressing questions in Question Time or in the many other forums she addresses, it needs a commanding intellect and memory to encompass this vast array of areas.

Her competence extends to finely honed negotiating skills born of her industrial relations experience. It was she who won the day when negotiating with the Independents to form minority government.

Of course her armchair critics, usually looking through their retrospectoscopes, delight in questioning her judgement – on, for example, a community group to achieve consensus on climate change, on asylum seeker policy, her East Timor idea and her Malaysia arrangement, on carbon pricing and the changes to the initially announced arrangements, and on several other moves PM Gillard has made. Being never in the position of having to make decisions on such complex matters, and with the benefit of hindsight, her critics can always be smarter than she was, always right! So be it. She wears the brickbats; pity it wasn’t more often balanced with the occasional bouquet.

I admire her competence, her intellect and her persistence.

I have never met our Prime Minister, but have seen her hundreds of times on TV and in video clips, in QT and on TV shows. To me she seems always to be self assured, calm, in control, charming when in public gatherings and particularly with school children. Our own Patriciawa met her recently at a community forum in Perth and had this to say: “I stayed on afterwards for the special invite for drinks with the PM…All were really happy to hear how popular the PM is out here in the big wide world and promised to pass on those sentiments to her from me, with all of them having something to say themselves about how sensational she is to work with! A staffer standing with us then suggested I should tell the PM myself how I felt! Which I was able to do! I had been reluctant to intrude on her time since she was being extraordinarily generous with the scores of people lining up to get autographs or photos with her. But I couldn’t l knock back the offer of a personal introduction, could I? Imagine being hugged by the PM herself! I found myself willingly hugging her back! What’s all this nonsense about her being cold and wooden?” Indeed, what is all this nonsense!

It seems to me that some dislike her way of speaking, and some believe her too stiff in her formal addresses, perhaps a manifestation of her innate shyness. How many times have we seen journalists write about her ‘wooden’ performances? She is who she is. She is articulate, but she does not have the soaring oratory of a Bill Clinton, or a Barack Obama, or even that of Michelle Obama; she is Julia Gillard, the shy girl from Unley High. Are we so superficial in our evaluation of people that these externals count for more than the inner strengths, the inner values, and the inner determination to endow our nation with fairness through sound legislation that enshrines equality, decency, fairness, and opportunity for all? Why can’t, why won’t journalists recognize and acknowledge those admirable attributes, preferring to highlight the things they don’t like, the things that irritate them? For many, we know the answer.

I admire her personality, her friendliness, and her warmth.

What about her integrity? This is where her adversaries leap to their feet and shout ‘liar’, or ‘Ju-liar’, or ‘untrustworthy’, or ‘not to be trusted’. We’ve heard this every day for two years from the Opposition Leader, his shadow ministers or from their sycophantic admirers and supporters in the media. Some use the words ‘deceitful’, even ‘treacherous’ or ‘back-stabber’, after her ‘involvement’ in Kevin Rudd’s downfall. The ‘liar’ tag was derived from her change of tack when she was unable to achieve an emissions trading scheme without an initial price on carbon because of the insistence of the Greens. She did mean it when she said: ‘there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead’, because she wanted an emissions trading scheme instead. The problem for her was that she was unable to lead any government at all that was intent on introducing an ETS without an initial price on carbon. She had to do this, or have no ETS. She chose to have what she always wanted by agreeing to an initial price on carbon. It would have been better if she had not uttered those words, because the Opposition Leader, who morphed them into incessantly repeated slogans that have heavily damaged the PM’s credibility, opportunistically seized upon them. But there it is. The problem is that this one statement, played over and again on TV programs, has served to impugn her as a habitual liar about everything her adversaries wish to pin on her. One slip up has become her bête noire, and the Opposition Leader’s most powerful weapon against her.

Given that fact of life, what untruths can her adversaries pin on her, or are they just content to call her a liar, specific misdemeanour unstated? Until someone can point out where and when she has lied, I for one discount that label as simply an unwarranted slur. I know some of you will smirk; just give us your evidence.

I admire her personality, her friendliness, and yes her integrity, albeit maligned every day by her adversaries. I admire her grit, her fighting spirit to carry on despite all the venom that is heaped upon her. I admire her decency and her honesty.

So I give her full marks for courage, vision, her focus on getting things done, her competence, her personality and her integrity. I believe we are fortunate to have a leader of her calibre to guide our nation to what looks like a glowing and prosperous future.

If only all Australians could see her that way instead of unthinkingly swallowing the condemnatory abuse that her adversaries heap upon her day after day, and value her for what she truly is.

How do you feel?

Comments (152) -

September 13. 2012 06:27 PM


Trading and trafficking humans, destroying the constitution to do it, ignoring a raft of international and Australian law and our courts is integrity?

You really have lost the plot old man.

Kicking aborigines and gays and single parents when they need help is integrity?

She can't spell integrity but I don't suppose you have ever spent one minute with the moronic woman have you?

Mr Towle told the forum the notion of queue jumping is false logic.

"It's a completely artificial construct; there is no queue.

"There never was a queue, it's a cruel deception on people to suggest like at a bank you wait patiently for your number and will be picked to go."

He said some nationalities, like Somalis, have no chance of being resettled because of security issues.

"If you want to come to Australia to claim asylum, the only way you can really do it is by boat because all other ways are simply impossible."

Let's have some more integrity.

1.  Julian Assange is a criminal.   He has never been charged with anything and wikileaks has broken no laws anywhere in the world.
2.   the Bali boy is worthy of a phone call to protect him from a Bali prison, destitute Bali children who crew boats arranged by SBY's bodyguard get 5 years in maximum security without any consular support at all.
3.  she tried to steal David Hicks money from his book and got kicked for it.
4.  she cut loose Slipper and Thomson without a single charge ever being laid against either of them thus condemning them to abuse of a kind never seen before.
5.  she kicked Wilkie loose over pokies reform.
6.   she kicked around some miners to make dirty deals with BHP, Rio and
Xstrata and lose taxpayers billions in tax.
7.  she is a single woman who lives in a defacto relationship, has had at least one affair with a married father who is a colleague but denies gays and lesbians the right to equality in marriage.
8.  she jerks her knees and shuts down an industry overnight regardless of the consequences to the farmers involved who lost millions in the process but keeps up the trade with the Middle East.
9.  she sacked Kim Carr just as he was making good deals for trade and training.
10.  she continues to favour rich schools over the poor _ she went to one of the richest state schools in Adelaide - while punishing the poorest of students in this country.

Jesus wept, with that much integrity she should be eligible for sainthood any day now.


September 13. 2012 06:43 PM

Catching up

Well, I believe we are lucky to have this PM. I hate to think where we would be if a few more voted the other way.

The PM has held the government together for over two years, at the same time addressing and putting in place everything she set out to do. Not a bad effort for any PM.

"You really have lost the plot old man."

One thing that being old over young, is that we have been here before. We are more able to see the things that count.

Maybe if the PM was allowed to put her asylum seekers plan into operation, the boats would have stopped long ago.

Yes, no PM is perfect.  No, I do not agree with much in the previous comments.

At the end of the day, we still have one of the best economies in the world.

Plans and infrastructure are

The alternative, Mr. Abbott scares the daylights out of me.

Catching up

September 13. 2012 06:57 PM


They let the bloody refugees drown, why would breaking all the laws have saved them when all we had to do was rescue them.

Why do we alone in the world get to trade and traffic refugees all over the world to suit ourselves?

Don't think we let them drown?  Go to sievx.com and read the frigging reports.

Parliaments are supposed to uphold laws and international laws and treaties they have ratified not junk them when it suits.

Parliament is supposed to uphold the courts, the separation of powers, the rule of law and the constitution.

Gillard junks the lot to win racist votes.

She is the most racist PM since Billy Hughes.


September 13. 2012 07:02 PM

Tom of Melbourne

[i]” putting in place everything she set out to do{/i]

Right, like -
•  “no carbon tax” and
•  her commitment to “build community consensus before introducing any carbon reform, and
•  her written commitment to Wilkie (that gave her the job) and
•  her Malaysian Solution, which followed her East Timor Solution, but none are as humanitarian as her Nauru Solution

Gillard certainly has set out to do so much… like create a generation of young political cynics.

Tom of Melbourne

September 13. 2012 07:43 PM


   You seem to be like Marilyn who's been told to give up the drink yet she still has a shot of white lightening "metho" before posting the same old rubbish day in day out as though it's something new!

You asked in the last thread "At 19 Abbott was a …what?" A scumbag father who took the easy way out and put his child up for adoption!
That's why you like him so much, you've made it a life objective of taking the easy way out


September 13. 2012 07:55 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Jason, I’m only pointing out that Gillard described herself as “young & naïve”, when she was in her mid 30s, a partner with Slater & Gordon, a political activist.

So if she can be “young & naïve’ at 34, Abbott’s life at 19 may not be particularly relevant to his career 35 years later.

The (double) standards among the barrackers are hilarious!

Tom of Melbourne

September 13. 2012 07:57 PM


So sad to read the garbage written by Marilyn and Tom of Melbourne. I've never seen either of you mention the very many good things achieved by Australia's first female Prime Minister. Conversely I've never seen you criticise the OL who has contributed so little to the future of Australia and who undermines our social fabric whenever he opens his mouth. you both paint a so clearly biased picture it makes me wonder what your real agenda is?

Get real, get honest and ask yourself "who faces up to the many questions asked on both policy and personal issues?" Then ask yourself "who is bereft of policy, can't explain the basics of running the country and repeatedly lies about most of the issues that face Australians today".

By default, you both support OL Abbott, a person who has repeatedly demonstrated his incapacity to hold and uphold high office in our great country!


September 13. 2012 08:28 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

Marilyn, as Molly would say "do yourself a favour" and read the refugee convention.

Sir Ian Crisp

September 13. 2012 08:35 PM


   What you fail to realise is Abbott's time at uni is only a problem for him! I don't care what he's done, but the "narrative" that he has a problem with women is there and if nothing else it makes for a good "dog whistle" which people like you try furiously to say oh look over there!

Even when the PM was being grilled over the Slater and Gordon stuff, Abbott was saying the PM had questions that need to be answered although he couldn't think of one!

ToM it seems when some of the coalitions grubby tactics have a bit of blow back, foot soldiers like you show those well known "glass jaws" and start blaming the victim and everyone else!


September 13. 2012 08:52 PM

Ad astra

Catching up, Ausdavo
Thank you for your comments.  You are right - the prospect of an Abbott led government is horrifying.  Let's hope his past will eventually catch up with him and the public becomes aware of the threat he poses to decency and fairness in this country.

Ad astra

September 13. 2012 10:34 PM

Bultaco Metrella

To my mind, her outstanding ability is negotiation. She negotiated her way to forming a Government when the OL couldn't.  He had the same opportunity and he blew it.  He was beaten by a better negotiator.  Great negotiation skills are a base requirement for a successful PM.

Bultaco Metrella

September 13. 2012 10:41 PM

Truth Seeker

Ad, another fine piece, and a great tribute to a great PM.

It's a shame about the trolls, but their gravatars give a heads up and I scroll straight past.

It would be good if they could contribute something, but alas they have no sense of humour, honesty or propriety, but only a misguided sense of their own importance, and a belief that someone  actually cares what they think.

Sad really.


Truth Seeker

September 13. 2012 10:59 PM


Another great post, Ad Astra.  You are absolutely right.  Aside from the 'big lie' about Julia Gillard's so called lie about the carbon tax the Opposition and their friends in the media have been unable to give any examples of dishonesty by the Prime Minister.  When her honesty and integrity still shine through all their efforts to demonise her and destroy her reputation with their own lies they resort to various tricks to diminish stature her and her very real achievements. They simply wipe her out of public awareness by not reporting events.   Even this evening the ABC national news bulletin showed nothing of the Prime Ministers's attendance at an all important military funeral.  Was the price of real estate in downtown  Perth really more important than that?  I shouldn't be surprised.   Our mainstream media have been playing that game with Julia Gillard's profile since she became Prime Minister while at the same time  trying to build up Tony Abbott in the public's awareness.  I thought things had improved lately, but no we seem to be back to this question I was asking very soon after she became PM.

Where Was Our PM?

Are you like me and wonder why
Images of our PM seem zero
While news media let not a chance go by
For a story picturing their ‘hero?’

Why, when he has an early morning dip,
Is there always someone from the press
On hand to get another photo clip
Of Tony Abbott in ‘undress?’

On Christmas Island he’s a pop star
Where he plays some pool and has a beer.
Chatting up a blond perched at a bar,

Slighting our PM to raise a cheer.

But, overseas on affairs of state,
Conferring with heads of government,
Partnered by a true Australian ‘mate,’
Her competence gets no acknowledgement.

Julia Gillard, in the desolation
Of Japan’s earthquake, sharing their distress,
Provides, it seems, just an illustration
Of how she needs to improve ‘her dress.’

In London amongst the royal wedding crowd,
Compared with any other famous guest,
Our PM really does Oz proud.
She’s poised, elegant and well dressed.

There we glimpse her once. That was when
Daft old Dame Edna Everidge makes a fuss
About her hat, mocks her origins, and then
Sneers at her because she talks like us.

On ‘Insiders’ today we get more spin,
Lots of footage of the Coalition’s ‘Action Man’
As if the Oppposition was already in
And our Prime Minister an ‘also ran.’

Did we hear from that banker whose opinion was,
After travelling with her on the China trip,
“She did sterling work as statesman representing Oz!"
Will no journalist commend her? Or was that just some media blip?


September 13. 2012 11:02 PM

Truth Seeker

Bultaco, you are right, she is a great negotiator and I have argued the same point many times, however Abbotts intrinsic dishonesty made her job that much easier, as the indies knew that he was not to be trusted to honour any agreements made.

Any negotiation is only as good as the honesty and integrity of those involved, and Abbott was the odd (and I do mean odd) man out.


Truth Seeker

September 13. 2012 11:13 PM


Bushfire Bill arcs up . . . From Poll Bludger


Bushfire Bill

Posted Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

Was listening to “The Journos Forum” (5.40-6pm Thursdays) on Sydney ABC 702.

Present were Greg Sheridan and Jennifer Byrne (plus one other whose name escaped me).

First question for discussion: Punchgate.

Holy Moly, did Sheridan give David Marr a serve or WHAT? Repeated everything he said about being Abbott’s best friend, then waded into Marr – anti-Catholic, smartarse, leftist, hater, inner-city latte-muncher, egg, pineapple, bacon, the Lot. Went on for 7 minutes, really angry, his voice shaking.

The new eye-witness report was put to him, and he dismissed the man as just another lefty student thug telling lies, despite the fact that the person is (so far) anonymous. It seems Gre’s view is that anyone inside the SRC building in those days was a Trotskyite basher-upperer and condemned by virtue of their presence in the building.

Who could remember back 35 years anyway, he asked rhetorically? (forgetting that this was EXACTLY what he was claiming to be doing himself, as he “was there” supposedly).

Finally Jennifer Byrne got jack of his bloviating and told him to stop trash-talking Marr.

It got quite fiery. They were both close to shouting at each other. Byrne at one point told him he’d said enough, it was her turn and to just shut up and listen.

Poor Richard Glover, the slow-thinking, somewhat naive host, got all bothered and called it off. Went onto another subject.

Fun to listen to, though.

Yes. Greg Sheridan is lowlife.


September 13. 2012 11:21 PM


Are things really changing that much in the media since I asked that question? Certainly the PM has more media exposure than earlier, but usually it is to question her policies or to criticise her decisions, but generally not when she is deserving praise.  And Tony Abbott a bit less, but only when the news about him is really bad. Several well documented examples of Tony Abbott's thuggery, two of which resulted in legal action, are counted as boyish excesses while Julia Gillard again and again has 'questions to answer' which she has more than addressed about one episode in a poorly chosen relationship in her earlier life.


September 14. 2012 05:31 AM


I have read the refugee convention Ian, what is your point?

Do you clowns think that Gillard is such a great negotiator?  Of what?

How to illegally trade humans who asked us for help?

Jesus christ I do not believe how frigging lazy and dumb you are.

What has Gillard achieved that was her own idea?

name one thing.


September 14. 2012 07:19 AM



Profoundly out of character, Andre Elder, Politically Homeless
With Shanahan still there, and Christopher Pearson and Sheridan and a few others, The Australian has more than its fair share of staff who look like being surplus to requirements once it becomes clear that there ain't gonna be an Abbott Government

Political Death by a 1000 Cuts- the slow eviscerating of Tony the Rabbit – the political assasin, Frank, A Frank View

Abbott Threatened Me Too, Lindsay Foyle, New Matilda
I was surprised when Sheridan strayed from commenting on foreign affairs in The Australian and wrote about his friendship with Abbott this week. He obviously felt compelled to defend Abbott from the assertion in the Quarterly Essay written by David Marr that he had gone up to Barbara Ramjan in 1977 and had come within an inch of her nose and punched the wall on both sides of h. I wish I could agree with him.

Tony Abbott: university bigot and bully — and still one today, David Donovan,  Independent Australia
FAIRFAX reports today that a Sydney barrister has confirmed claims Tony Abbott put his head within an inch of her and punched a wall on either side of Barbara Ramjan’s head, when she defeated him for the Sydney University student union presidency in 1975.

Tony Abbott: ‘A master of scorn’, Upstart
I wish I could tell you exactly what he told me when I asked him why he wants to be prime minister. I find it really odd that he wouldn’t go on record.‘I asked him, when the cards were on the table, which Abbott are we going to see? The principled, or the politician? I can’t tell you what he said,’ Marr emphasised carefully.
‘All I can tell you is that he gave me a most unsatisfactory answer.’

Born To Lose, Peter Wicks, Wixxy Leaks
You see Jackson is unelectable, nobody wants her. This is why many have strong suspicions that either Katrina, or her number 2 on the ticket Ted Hinge, will step down after 12 months and hand their job over to Jackson. Jackson has never faced an election, she has always stood unopposed

There will be no formal funeral for John Gillard (pictured right), who died on Saturday aged 83, but a private gathering, and anyone wishing to honour his memory is asked to make donations to his favourite charity, Medecins San Frontieres.

Anti-green activist James Delingpole runs appeal for IPA think-tank, Graham Readfearn
he is the perfect person to be appealing for people to donate their cash to the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs, a free market think tank which has been working for about 20 years on a campaign to mislead the public about climate science and the impact of carbon pricing.
In the appeal, Delingpole lauds the IPA’s campaign against climate science

RHIANNON EXPOSED: Greensparty extremist Senator’s “Truther” ties revealed by Arthur Sinodinos, Vex News
today I wish to focus on another of Senator Rhiannon’s political associations, this time with a curious, anti-Semitic fringe group which has infiltrated the Greens, namely the Truthers—those who deny that Islamic terrorists were responsible for the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. I note that yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the tragic 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Centre

Tony Abbott- no means no to women’s opinions, Women Against  Abbott
Abbott is no stranger to intimidation. From swearing at the female Shadow Health Minister at a televised debate, making creepy rape jokes to the Prime Minister, or sneaking up behind female students and “letting them know he was there” Abbott has never had a particularly respectful or subtle approach to women.

Ex-eds on newspaper campaigns: what are they good for?, Matthew Knott, The Power Index
As Crikey reported last week, only 1% of Australians rate Twitter as the social media or communications platform they use most.This helps explain the muted response to The Tele's campaign. Despite being plastered over the paper's website and front page, fewer than 600 people have signed the Stop the Trolls Twitition. Another 260 have signed up at change.org.

No future? End the Future Fund’s affair with Big Tobacco, Matthew Rimmer, The Conversation
Liberal Senator and Deputy Chair Scott Ryan has elsewhere made a weak and unconvincing case that the Future Fund should have the freedom and independence to make investments in tobacco. Such a position ignores international law and public health policy.

The Hilarity of Left-wing Twitter Trolls, Turn Left 2013
That same football player, the one who politicians want to remove our rights to free speech to protect from being called names on twitter, himself told the Prime Minister to get a “noose” for her birthday. Yep, another implied death threat to a female politician from a high-profile man. This is the man the nation has decided needs protecting

Robbie Farah statement, West Tigers
I have written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard today to apologise for any hurt caused by a tweet I posted in 2011.As you are aware I have been vocal in recent days about criticising those who say some pretty disgraceful things through social media and I have appreciated your support in relation to that cause

Bernie Sanders: Billionaires & corporations now buying elections, this should frighten every American, Anomaly, Freak out Nation
We have right now, and this should frighten every American, as a result of this disastrous Citizens United decision, we’re looking now at people like the Koch Brothers, putting in one family, $400 million. Adelson, worth $20 billion, putting in $100 million. We have over 23 billionaire families making large contributions, and I think that’s a conservative number.”

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 14 September 2012


September 14. 2012 08:01 AM


Slimy Tony Abbott must be ruing the day he decided to accept the every-Friday-morning appearance on Channel Nine's TODAY show.

This morning he was sanctimonious to the hilt, and, you will notice, not live in the studio, but beamed in from the distant remove of Canberra.

And talking with best-bud Karl rather than that '"destroying the joint" woman' Lisa.

Perhaps he didn't want the tawdry testosterone fear smelt on him this week?


September 14. 2012 08:22 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 08:35 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

Article 1
definition of the term “refugee”
As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to wellfounded
fear of being persecuted for reasons ...... [we know the rest].

D. This Convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving
from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees protection or assistance.

Article 2
general obligations
Every refugee has duties to the country in which he finds himself, which
require in particular that he conform to its laws and regulations as well as to
measures taken for the maintenance of public order.

If a person is receiving assistance in Pakistan he or she is not a refugee according to the convention and boarding a plane bound for Indonesia means the person is a country shopper not a refugee.

Our borders extend to about 20 sea miles from our coast and islands. A person planning to enter Australia should at the 20 mile limit apply for a visa to enter Australia (in order to comply with our laws and regulations) because the refugee convention does not subsume or make subservient our own Constitution and our Constitution empowers our gov’t to establish various classifications of visas.

Sir Ian Crisp

September 14. 2012 08:55 AM

Tom of Melbourne

“she has more than addressed about one episode in a poorly chosen relationship in her earlier life.”

Hilarious. The “episode wasn’t about her relationship, it was about her involvement in establishing a “slush fund” which she apparently knew would be used contrary to its stated objectives.

Gillard, as a mature, near middle aged woman, a partner in a law firm, gave legal advice to her boyfriend/client. It was professionally and ethically suspect, such that she was drummed out of her job.

The (double) standards on display are truly comical.

Tom of Melbourne

September 14. 2012 09:23 AM


   As I said last night "What you fail to realise is Abbott's time at uni is only a problem for him! I don't care what he's done, but the "narrative" that he has a problem with women is there and if nothing else it makes for a good "dog whistle" which people like you try furiously to say oh look over there!

So you can keep saying " (double) standards on display are truly comical." what you can't do is stop people from hearing the whistle,and Abbott's minders are so worried he's done one interview this week that was today! because it's sucking the air out of his stupid slogans.

Gee ToM for someone who portrays them self as some sort of political genius you're looking rather stupid!


September 14. 2012 09:45 AM

Tom of Melbourne

Fine Jason, he has a problem with women. That’s his problem, not mine - I don’t really care whether Abbott is popular or not.

What I observe is the cloying, puke inducing endorsement of everything Gillard does. All the sycophantic endorsement of every backflip, each policy bungle. The excuses for every lie, and each example of political duplicity.

As a (near) middle aged woman, Gillard was “young & naïve” and excused of very dubious behaviour. A 19 year old is condemned.

It is genuinely comical.

Tom of Melbourne

September 14. 2012 10:25 AM


Ad astra

I really admire the way you are pointing out the PM's strength's. I do feel sorry that this particular thread has degenerated by people who sadly have nothing to add. I won't go into my trade but I could recommend some good counsellors for a couple of people on this blog. Their problem is not really with the PM, my advice and I know it has been Ad's advice is to ignore, just scroll past. These are people who really wnat it to be 'all about them'.


September 14. 2012 10:30 AM


Good Morning Ad & Everybody

Twitterverse for you:

Bushfire Bill
Posted Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:00 am
So now Abbott has gone on a tame morning TV show and had his back scratched by a fanboi interviewer. Even in this situation he ummed and aahed his way through it, sounding for all the world like he was trying to remember his lines and making them up on the spot when he couldn’t.It was a far cry from Julia Gillard, alone and unscripted, answering the feral gotchas of an assembled press gallery out for rblood, for over an hour, until they were exhausted.

Tony Abbott on Today - Sept 14, 2012

Stephen Koukoulas‏
Not sure Mr Abbott would appreciate this intervention. mpegmedia.abc.net.au/.../20120914-sheridan.mp3

Whoa. Greg Sheridan goes nuts about the Abbott punch on NewsRadio this morning: http://latika.me/R0pW76 #AUSpol

In a most hypocritical & agro rant, partisan Greg Sheridan accused ABC of anti-Abbott bias on Radio this AM: http://latika.me/R0pW76 #AUSpol

George Bludger‏
Sheridan, the absolute dickhead that he is, loses the plot over Puncher-Abbott on ABC radio - listen and laugh: mpegmedia.abc.net.au/.../20120914-sheridan.mp3

HD Rebner
I note Sheridan the wonderful Friend of that other creep abbott is 'Trending"

Details Expand Collapse D
david ewart‏
the interview is completely over the top

Chris Johnson‏_
In a 5 minute presser Abbott got his recollection confused. Gillard was consistent for an hour long presser. I know who I trust more

Political Tragic‏
abcnews Abbotts just cooked his goose. Blatantly lying on #Ch9 about violent past will come back to haunt him.

The Australian‏
I was childish, but not violent: Abbott: TONY Abbott has admitted he is guilty of being rude, but not violent, t... http://bit.ly/PfHEoO

Turn Left‏ 2013
Bearpolitics Website about abuse http://bit.ly/oOPlb Section emotional abuse re Wall Punching next to a head. We have a duty of care

Wall punch never happened, says Abbott , Jessica Wright @ 8:24AM
The Liberal Party leader brushed off a further claim by an unnamed source in Fairfax papers who said he had witnessed the actual incident. "To remain anonymous does not give an enormous amount of credibility to his or her statement," Mr Abbott said.

He said the allegations were a product of the Labor party "dirt unit" and "a desperate Labor government doing desperate things to win an election they absolutely do not deserve to win".

Mike Ahern‏
An interwiew with @tonyabbottMHR from 1979 sourced by @katedoak. Listen to Tony's prejudices. @SwannyDPM @juliagillard media.une.edu.au/av//1979TonyAbbottInterview.mp3

1 Small Step For Dan‏
TonyAbbottMHR debunks Sheridan's article in one sentence. "People who weren't there don't make credible witnesses"

Anne Summers‏
No rest for JuliaGillard as she fights on two fronts Canberra's tale of two characters www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...0120913-25v0e.html via @NationalTimesAU

I was childish, but not violent: Abbott
He said the Labor Party was trying to destroy his character in an attempt to defeat the Coalition at the next federal election and attacked the credibility of witnesses coming forward to corroborate Ms Ramjan's account.

"I think there is no doubt that the Labor Party dirt unit is running a serious campaign here," Mr Abbott said.
"I've been saying to Margie and the kids that they can expect a lot more of this between now and polling day.

Hearts softened, then back to the fray, Laura Tingle

Stephen Koukoulas‏
My Business Spectator article today: This is Bernanke's QE3, 4,5 and 6 www.businessspectator.com.au/.../bernanke-fed-QE3-bond-buying-federal-reserve-US-re-pd20120914-Y4SM6 @businessspec

Once respected michellegrattan still beating dead horse with tabloid rubbish. Abbott gets let off, of course #auspol m.smh.com.au/.../...characters-20120913-25v0e.html

Grattan: Abbott Campaign Manager "Best advice would be: Tony, when asked about your youth, say: ''I've grown up''."www.theage.com.au/.../...cters-20120913-25v0e.html

Dave Gaukroger‏
"But it appears that the news coverage in The Australian could now become as unreliable as its opinion columns" www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/.../...amb_b_1870103.html

Victoria Rollison‏@Vic_Rollison
Radio shock jocks going after Twitter trolls is like the Wicked Witch from the West going after her flying monkeys. m.smh.com.au/.../...o-know-one-20120913-25v40.html


September 14. 2012 10:50 AM

Ad astra

Bultaco Metrella
Welcome to The Political Sword family, and thank you for your comment. Do come again.

Indeed, Julia Gillard’s negotiating skills are outstanding.

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 11:03 AM


Marr has done a lot of damage to TAbbott. His statement "I wish I could tell you what he said when asked why he wants to be PM" is very damaging, when coupled with his 'born to rule' attitude.

His 'I don't recollect' and 'it didn't happen' will also work in the same way coupled with his "I read the report" and "I didn't read it". His waiting a week to see if anyone else came out with a difinitive 'I saw it him punch' is telling. And waiting to give a soft interview. And what about not holding any door stop interviews? If I was a journo who he hauled around for the last two years playing into his hands I would be feeling a tad put out? Now when there is something to really ask him about he just dissappears?

No doubt this will do him great damage within his party, I doubt he will get the same coming together the PM got when Rudd came out in Feb. And suddenly ministers are allowed to ask questions other than the carbon tax (he is trying to win favour). I could be wrong but I think they might just dump him. It all depends on how he handles it, and thus far he hasn't handled it anything near as well as the PM handled the Slater & Gordon. Ducking and weaving won't work this time.

And, this goes back to your article Ad - the PM has character and traits that cannot be denied. You can pick on her voice, and call her wooden but you cannot call her weak, or a coward, or a person who lacks integrity, or someone who lacks emotional intelligence, because her team is behind her no matter what.


September 14. 2012 11:05 AM

Ad astra

Thank you for your kind remarks, and for your pome: Where Was Our PM?  How true.  There seems to be plenty of “the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, says…”, which often precedes the Government announcement. Incongruously, we hear first what Abbott thinks before we hear what the Government is doing.

Julia Gillard’s opponents like to label her a liar but all we hear is ‘a carbon tax built on a lie’.  Is that all?

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 11:17 AM

Ad astra

Greg Sheridan has proudly stated that he was a mate of Abbott at university and at The Bulletin.  So he’s going to defend him to the hilt, in anticipation of being on Abbott’s drip feed if he ever becomes PM.  He is seriously worried that this recent turn of events might imperil Abbott’s chances, so he comes out fighting, Abbott-style.

Thank you for your comments, so supportive of the PM we admire.  I strongly agree with your conclusion: “…the PM has character and traits that cannot be denied.  You can pick on her voice, and call her wooden but you cannot call her weak, or a coward, or a person who lacks integrity, or someone who lacks emotional intelligence, because her team is behind her no matter what.”

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 11:45 AM

Tom of Melbourne

” Is that all?

Of course not! There are plenty of examples

•  She committed not to introduce the carbon reform until she had built “community consensus.
•  Gillard said that without “community consensus the reform would fail”
•  She had a written agreement with Andrew Wilkie, which she was not in a position to make. Because she could not deliver it. This wasn’t clever negotiation, it was dishonest.
•  She committed not to introduce a carbon price until June 2013.
•  She committed to using this term to build the policy.
•  Gillard has held every possible position on asylum seekers, without any sense of humanity, appeasing only the redneck vote.

Thanks for asking the question.

Tom of Melbourne

September 14. 2012 11:56 AM


Greetings Comrades of the Sword!

It's the feisty Fighting Fifth Estate
Driving the direction of political debate!

Social media has sunk Abbortt. Won't it be fun to see the next poll figures relating his popularity to *J*U*L*I*A*S!

Like an Ant in the Ant-Lion's conical sand-trap,

Abbortt remember
The Ides* of September
My Eye of Time sees true!
You'll be Punch Drunk by November:
Our Crispmess Gift is YOU!

The most glorious part for Us is, they've got no-one to replace him with that has any credibility, or most particularly, anyone who could hope to command more than 50% of support from the LNP. Vunderbar! Right whack! Not forgetting that Abbortt only won against Turdball by 1 vote, and that was only because one woman was away!

Since then no-one has starred in LNP ranks, on the contrary they have all to the very last failed to impress. But all (except Turdy) jumped to support Abbortt (with whatever misgivings), they have gone so far out on the rotten Right they have really no credible retreat. No policies, no depth, no knowledge of their shadow portfolio, no energy, no brains.

*My Eye of Time sees truer than I knew! For see:

I have never really known whether IDES (which I still think literally means "equal days") meant the 21st of March and September, (i.e. the equinoxes) OR whether it was the 15th of March, as I had understood it before, from studying Shakespeare's Julius Caesar where the original quote "Beware the Ides of March! Caesar, beware!" came from, spoken by a Soothsayer (like Me! Smile) That was what I was taught but I sort of thought the equinoxes made more sense. I figured it must have meant the 21st of March and September, which are indeed "equal days", so I have figured that my Eye of Time meant that. A week from today.

But I just looked it up in my Concise Oxford, LO!

It's very specific! -

ides n. pl.(Rom. Ant) Eighth day after nones (15th of March, May, July, October, 13th of other months)[O.F., f.L Idus]
(But I still don't know what Idus means.) (Nor nones ftm!)

But plainly the Ides of September was YESTERDAY!
The Political Sword's fourth birthday!

Which is all pretty amazing most of all because yesterday I said in person per landline to Ad astra that really I thought Abbortt's ides had already happened yesterday!

So Abbortt:

Beware my Eye of Time
You rotten ball of slime!
By blog and tweep
You lying creep,
We'll punch you out - in rhyme!

Sooth, sooth.

I wonder what Sportsbet is offering on Labor now, I put a nice little wad on us at sevens, then it went to sixes, down to fours, and last time I looked it was back up to $4.50.

But even more, I wonder what they're offering on Abbortt leading his rabble to the election?

Which doesn't matter actually. Abbortt, Turdball or a Third Turd, they are all incapable of leading their mob of no-hopers to victory. Whichever way, Abbortt's done his dash, his ghosts have got him, just the way the Ghost rises and drags the murderous Punch down to the smoking depths. The image is almost too perfect. Punchy and *J*U*L*I*A*! Heh heh heh.


The Ides of September
You'll always remember!
It happened yesterday!
Your downfall's come true!
My Eye of Time knew!
And for you, there'll be Hell to pay!

(Maniacal cackles of malice and glee,
as from the 3 Weird Sisters in Macbeth!)        


September 14. 2012 12:07 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
What a collection of links and Twitterverse!  Thank you again.  The amount of material about Tony Abbott is astonishing and will be of great help as I write my next piece The Punch which I hope to have ready at the weekend.  The Greg Sheridan outburst on ABC News Radio was the most angry I’ve ever heard on radio.  Tony's supporters are scared stiff that their man may be on the way down.

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 12:15 PM

Ad astra

I'm glad that we have sorted out that the Ides of September is 13 September, the birthday of The Political Sword.  What a delicious coincidence.

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 12:21 PM


Lyn that link to the 1979 interview was very intersting. I can see why Marr said that TAbbott is always looking back, wanting to go back to the past e.g. Back to the Howard years. He has never been a forward thinker. It would seem this is a long lasting trait.

Here is an extract - its not perfect but this is what he said about all those courses back then which he thought were not suited to be taught in universities. As well as thinking that Punk Rock was not suitable learning for a person doing an Arts degree this is what he thought about feminism.

In the government dept for instance you have extensive courses on things like feminism and the political exploitation of women and what have and you and quite frankly I think that these courses are attempts at, and not only are they trivial, they are attempts by unscrupulous accademics to impose simplistic idealogical solutions upon students, as it were to make students the cannon fodder for  their own private versions of the revolution and I think that if there were further cuts to the education budget then I certainly think we would see universities cracking down on that sort of course. And the fact that they can offer that sort of course at the moment to me is  proof that there is room for further cuts.

Women and men are equal but different (that also hasn't changed no matter hw much he tries to distance himself from it).

1979? Who thought like that in 1979 (I know I didn't), most of us were trying to make the world a different and better place. Looking backwards was certainly not what I was doing.


September 14. 2012 12:33 PM

Truth Seeker

Ad, I wrote and posted this at 10pm yesterday and then realised that it was after you posted this article, so I thought I should post it here.

Ad, HAPPY 4th birthday to TPS and team.

The Political Sword... is just four years old
And Ad.. wields it.. with grace and precision
His cut, thrust and parry.. a sight to behold
As he extols the virtues.. of our PMs.. vision

Lyns links are the sustenance for news hungry souls
Who are tired... of the MSM... spin
with her excerpts and efforts applauded by all
You're a great part of... TPS.... Lyn

And with all of the contributors adding their parts
And the fifth estate growing each day
Exposing the lies and the Abbotts brain farts
And with TPS... leading.. the way

There'll be nowhere to hide for the Monk and his mob
As their lies, spin and slogans all fail
And Ad and his SWORD will continue the fight
For Australia... and the left.... WILL prevail

Happy birthday again AD


Truth Seeker

September 14. 2012 01:28 PM


Ad astra
I'm delighted about TPS's birthday being the Ides of September,
and that it really has seen the downfall into free fall of the horrible Abbortt, and the concomitant confounding of the Rotten Right's whole strategy.

And Comrades today is my own second birthday on The Political Sword, and Ad has graciously asked me to repost my first post from back then.

OK Ad Thank You, but first I am reposting your first thread. I must say I agree with every word!


Welcome to The Political Sword blog

Saturday, 13 September 2008 16:04 by Ad astra

This is the first posting of The Political Sword blog. Its focus is Australian politics. It is intended to give expression to those who have opinions about contemporary political events.  In particular it will provide a forum for exposing deception among politicians, bureaucrats and commentators.  

The people deserve to know the truth about political decisions, how and why they were made, and about those who made them.  They are entitled to know if political commentators are truthfully representing the situations they are reporting, and that they make clear what is fact, and what is opinion.  They owe it to their readers to validate the facts they report and reveal their source.  

By challenging politicians and commentators to stick to the truth and to justify their words and actions, it is possible that the quality of political discourse in this country might improve. The Internet provides ordinary citizens with the opportunity to influence political behaviour between elections, rather than only at election time.  

Politicians, journalists and academics read political blogs - they are bound to be influenced by them, at least to some extent.

Al Gore said that political blogs have become a significant new force in political debate and decision making in the US.  The same opportunity exists in this country to put politicians and commentators to the verbal political sword.


And here is my first post on TPS from 2 years ago today.
I must say I agree with every word!

September 14. 2010 08:34 PM

Congratulations Prime Minister Gillard to you and all the new Government. A great win for Australia, women in special, and in very particular, us Rangas(!) You have thrilled us with your instant grasp of relevance and your uncompromising responses to media sneers, though imho you are way too subtle for most of them even to realise the rises you take from them. There’s the rub, though: Abbott and his lot fight down and dirty, he’s not just a puncher, he kicks low too, and though (metaphorically speaking of course) he can’t kick you as he could kick a man, (which confuses him a lot), and though you could kick him that way but have never stooped so low, (which is completely incomprehensible to him) the simplistic and agenda-driven media ruck will score him high on points anyway. He and they just don’t realize how much better fighter you are than he, and that has to date given him the great strength and invulnerability which deliberate ignorance of the Bjelke-Petersen stamp bestows. But you have anyway won this bout by that one precious point, and now you have the opportunity to deal firmly with those voices of hate, we all know who I mean. But it won’t help just sweetly to pat their slings and arrows away, they must be smacked back in their teeth! Above all Labor has so far failed to take this action, you’ve all been so Marquess of Queensbury! That won't work on Them! It is excruciating to watch him and Them and their tactics getting away with lies and smears - fair-minded people are yearning for you to give him and Them a big fat lip time and again in the next little while. Julie Bishop would surely love to scratch your eyes out, metaphorically speaking of course,(?!) but again, you are a far better fighter than she. I wish you well, for much rides on your success.    



September 14. 2012 01:35 PM


How to win friends and influence people


Also I bet Palmer is happy he "bankrolled" the LNP



September 14. 2012 01:39 PM

Ad astra

Truth Seeker
Thank you for your kind words and birthday greetings and your delightful poem – so complimentary, so encouraging.

That excerpt is germane.  This is exactly what some Liberal governments are doing today.  They are deciding which courses are acceptable and deleting the unacceptable, and in Victoria deleting whole campuses.  The unacceptable subjects may not be those referred to by Abbott, but the principle is the same – decide what people ought to learn, and cross out those that are regarded as worthless, despite the fact that some students will not be able to get a job without such ‘worthless’ courses.  Learning how to be a personal trainer was cited as a useless course so presumably it will go.  Abbott’s 1979 attitude, namely that he or his government would decide what courses would be taught, and delete the unacceptable is alive and well today, and there is no evidence that Abbott’s attitude has changed.  It’s frightening.

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 01:42 PM


Oh Good One Truth Seeker!

THAT's the spirit!

Give 'em a taste of the old cold steel!

I love it.

I am chortling as is Jason Obelix
and I daresay the entire genuine Left.


September 14. 2012 01:48 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your kind words and for reposting the introduction to The Political Sword written four years ago, and your first post of two years ago.  You have been entirely consistent in your opinion, totally loyal to Julia Gillard, always optimistic, and ever supportive of TPS.  Thank you.

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 02:16 PM


Lynn, there is a book being released this weekend about the continual irrational attacks on the PM. I understand there will be articles in the Sunday Age. You should read it, I think you will find it interesting.


September 14. 2012 02:38 PM


Ad astra

Universities have to be places where ideas grow, and idea's don't grow where you stifle creative thinking and only allow courses that are designed to "get people jobs". Some of the best courses I ever took had nothing to do with getting a job (Peace Studies, Anthropology) however they taught me things that all went into the making of me, and ultimately it is 'me' who I bring to the job.

there is no evidence that Abbott’s attitude has changed.  It’s frightening.

I believe a lot of Marr's article was along the same vein fundamentally Abbott is the same man, deeply religious, looking back rather than forward, very conservative, very retro thinking. I think this has been lost in the MSM siezing on 'the punch', while I understand because it is a scandal and sells, it is however unfortunate because it takes the debate back to that 'he said' and 'she said' when what is more interesting (to me) is why would the electorate want to put a person who thinks like that in the highest office in the land? If you put the question to people 'would you rather a person who looks to the future or a person who tries to refit the past into the present, who would you vote for'?


September 14. 2012 02:49 PM



Newman.....No-one is being sacked? That would be hilarious if it were not such a sad state of afairs. When Labor had a redundancy package "its sacking according to Newman" but when Newman has a redundancy "package" its not sacking. Oh dear...he only ever opens his mouth lately to change feet. He just might get sacked yet - I hear rumblings....oh sorry be made redundant.


September 14. 2012 02:56 PM


Hi Ad

Ad Astra thankyou for your supreme piece of mastery . Happy Birthday to our cherised  & sophisticated  TPS

Ad the interview with Greg Sheridan shows how unhinged the Liberal supporters are becoming.  Greg Sheridan became hysterical, I would think accusing the ABC of Catholic secularism is a very unhealthy attitude to take.

I think David Marr must be the “Managing Director” of the Labor dirt Machine, the one Abbott made numerous references to in his Press Conference this morning.

Doesn’t Abbott know, “that we all know”, this latest Abbott scandal began by the release of David Marr’s Essay .

Steve1 thankyou for your information I will certainly watch out, yes you guessed I will be interested.

Lady in Red yes the 1979 interview is just more evidence of Abbott’s strange behaviour & extreme views.
Mike Ahern‏
An interwiew with @tonyabbottMHR from 1979 sourced by @katedoak. Listen to Tony's prejudices. @SwannyDPM @juliagillard media.une.edu.au/av//1979TonyAbbottInterview.mp3

Truth Seeker your contributions are delightful, you do have a gifted talent.  Thankyou for your special paragraph to me it’s lovely.

Talk Turkey love  this   “Maniacal cackles of malice and glee”,

Psyclaw I am hoping you are ok, we are missing you.

Abbott blames Labor dirt unit for wall-punch claims, ABC Video.
By chief political correspondent Simon Cullen, staff
Updated 17 minutes ago

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has accused a Labor "dirt unit" of being behind allegations he physically threatened a female student during his university days, and denies the incident ever happened.

Gillard abuse: political satire or sexual degradation? Anne Summers, ABC Drum
Bundaberg & Sunny Coast rescue helicopter defunded by Newman govt | Fraser Coast Chronicle www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/.../


September 14. 2012 03:06 PM

Möbius Ecko

LadyInRed. Apparently he's also redefined what a front line job is, none have gone when they clearly have, and he's increased spending on health.

Yep you heard that one right, increased spending in health. O'Farrell did he same yesterday when after cutting $1.7 billion from education he said he's increased spending in education.

Straight out of the John Howard political spin book of running government.

They make the claim by increasing spending by a couple of percent in the budget each year but ignore the massive one off cut. So even though they have increased spending what they won't say is that it will take more than a two decades for that increase to make up for the cut.

Möbius Ecko

September 14. 2012 03:22 PM


A great followup to your last piece Ad Astra.

More great verses & posts, even blasts from the past, TT you were in fine form all the way back to the start.

I can see that there are many here who like me feel the tide is really starting to turn & from the spray of things emitting from the right cheer squad so can they.

I think the fact that they are so panic-ed is the best part because it should start some internal hernias in the Lieberals front ditch [that's where most slugs are found], this will give Julia the clear air she has so far been denied by the MSM.

Naturally we will see the obligatory leadership crap emerge as  distraction in the next few days no doubt, well if Sheridan has any input we will after that brain snap on ABC, I have never heard anything like that before on radio in Australia.

Feels so good to have our favorite site accessible again, I was going into withdrawal too like Jason.

There is only one good thing about days without QT, we don't have to put up with the Ex minister for kerosine baths spruking parliamentary rules at us, now that really is one sour puss.


September 14. 2012 03:40 PM


Möbius Ecko

Too true, the only good news in this sorry turn of events for Qld is it will ensure Labor 19 years after this lot get turfed out.

Lyn the 'dirt machine' cry from TAbbott. The man has no scruples what-so-ever. Did the PM use the 'Liberal dirt machine' cry when the MSM came after her....NO she did not. She went out there and faced them down because there was no truth in the story.  Margie and the kids have been warned its going to get even more dirty.....why does he know of some more stuff that he is not telling anyone?


September 14. 2012 03:41 PM


LiR - have a look at the first comment on the Palmer article.  I made the a similar suggestion that Palmer would be given two weeks to "voluntarily" resign.

There seems to be a number of suggestions that all is not happy in the LNP.  Some I have seen on news sites suggest that the numbers are being counted and Newman won't last until this Christmas.


September 14. 2012 04:11 PM


Gillard's cowards lied to the tamils they flogged off to Nauru, they said they were being brought to the mainland then dumped them in a hot, stinking tent on Nauru in a situation the UNHCR told them on 5 September was illegal because Nauru has no legal situations set up to deal with it.

This is your woman of frigging honour.


September 14. 2012 04:30 PM


       For gods sake woman give up the drink! You're becomming as unhinged as Abbott!


September 14. 2012 04:35 PM



Good retort. Palmer being asked to leave the LNP for not towing the line and speaking out. That is a laugh.

I just saw the David Marr interview on Lateline. If Marr is part of the 'Labor dirt machine' he sure didn't show it in the interview with Alberici. It actually makes TAbbott look shrill, because I thought Marr was very considered and he certainly wasn't playing up 'the punch' (but then he didn't need to with the gutter press on to it). It was interesting that the only quote TAbbott would allow was the "I don't recollect".......dumb plain dumb.

The reason he entered politics - let's have a stab? I would have a guess and say that it was religious something like 'a calling from God to not enter the priesthood but that he could do more good working for the people in politics'.


September 14. 2012 04:40 PM

Sir Ian Crisp

...tamils they flogged off to Nauru, they said they were being brought to the mainland then dumped them in a hot, stinking tent on Nauru...


Sri Lanka has no marked seasons. A special feature is that the hot and humid lowlands and the salubrious hill country are separated by a few hours motoring.

Average mean temperature along the coast is 26.7 C (80 F) and 19.7 C (66.50 F) in the hill country. In Colombo, the commercial capital, situated on the west coast, the temperature varies from 26.4 C (79.5 F) to 27.8 C (82.12 F). Relative Humidity varies from 70% during the day to 90% at night. In the lowlands the climate is typically tropical with an average temperature of 27ºC in Colombo. In the higher elevations it can be quite cool with temperatures going down to 16ºC at an altitude of nearly 2,000 meters. Bright, sunny warm days are the rule and are common even during the height of the monsoon - climatically Sri Lanka has no off season. The south west monsoon brings rain mainly from May to July to the western, southern and central regions of the island, while the north-east monsoon rains occur in the northern and eastern regions in December and January.

Marilyn, somehow I think the Tamils (who are racists) would be used to hot and stinking weather. Next you'll be saying eskimos don't like cold weather.

Sir Ian Crisp

September 14. 2012 06:03 PM


I have not drunk alcohol since 1988 so fuck off you morons.

Gillard is trading and trafficking human beings to win bogan votes and wasting $5 billion in the process instead of simply 1.  saying out loud that it is legal to seek asylum and 2.  let people fly here.

Why do you morons think wasting $5 billion on a lie is competent?

Jesus wept, you reckon I am unhinged, you are completely cretinous.

While millions of children starve to death, while there are hundreds of thousands of people fleeing wars every month and other catastrophes how can anyone be so moronic to waste
$5 billion to break the law and punish just a few thousand innocent human beings?

She would send me broke in a second.

Think about that before you claim she is competent.


September 14. 2012 06:19 PM



Another great Gillard competence.

Her ministers are competent, her great claim to fame is MySchool website.


September 14. 2012 06:35 PM


       I'm sure the people you claim to represent whilst living in luxury here in "Adelaide" will sleep a hell of a lot easier knowing you give us at the political sword a serve of "you fucking morons" every second day!

So what exactly do you do for these people in Indonesia or Sri Lanka except abuse us? Do you put your hand in your pocket or raise money to try and stop them getting on un seaworthy boats knowing what the policy of this country is?

Does your network explain that despite un agreements they could end up in camps and if so they come knowing what could happen?
I think as well intentioned as you may be you can't or wont except the reality of the policy both sides of parliament agree on!
Sucks to be you I guess


September 14. 2012 06:38 PM


I see all the bully-boys have got their noses out of joint! What a laugh....they like to dish it out but they can't take it!
We have to remember that Tabbott is not just the LOTO..he is also the right-wings' "Great-White-Hope"....and it's through him that JWHoward wants to rule by association...vicariously.
He is their "ticket" into the lodge. Bring him down and all the dreams of the Bolts, Hendersons, Morriss' and those other will-o-the-wisps have lost their dream.....they are in a near panic now!
Show no mercy...because once in office, they won't!


September 14. 2012 06:42 PM


Always the lady Marilyn.  Only those who can't defend their arguments intelligently resort to bad language.  Now, go away and increase your intellect before coming back.


September 14. 2012 07:28 PM


Tiffany, you seem to have the brain of a 12 year old.

The Tamils might be used to living in such climates Ian, but why do we have the right to force them to do it again when they have fled to be safe.

There is something delusional about this country that thinks because we are nice and largely white we can do whatever we want.

Here is yet another example of Gillards  competence _


And here is Nauru's refugee law as described to Bowen on 5 September - and you imbeciles will be paying $1.4 billion for this.

Here is the fact tabled in Parliament on 5 September about Nauruan refugee laws.

protection needs.

UNHCR's advice on Nauru which has been tabled in the Australian Parliament notes:

[I]t is not clear from the information available to us that transfer of responsibilities for asylum-seekers to Nauru is fully appropriate. Whilst UNHCR welcomes steps taken by the Government of Nauru to accede to the 1951 Refugee Convention last year, at present, there is no domestic legal framework, nor is there any experience or expertise to undertake the tasks of processing and protecting refugees on the scale and complexity of the arrangements under consideration in Nauru. Barring receipt of information to the contrary, it is difficult to see how Nauru might meet the conditions set out in UNHCR's paper on maritime interception and the processing of international protection claims.

Even if the revised Pacific Solution does stop the boats, it can only be a stop-gap measure unless and until Nauru is equipped to discharge its obligations under the Refugees Convention."

  So people are being lied to about where they are going, the pretence is still that coming by sea is illegal and now they are going to do assessments under non-existent laws.

And you call me stupid.


September 14. 2012 07:42 PM


And Jason I don't live in luxury, I don't live in Adelaide and I too poor to do anything now other than advocate.

What is your frigging obsession with people getting onto boat, millions of people get on boats and even massive cruise liners can sink without the cry to stop cruise liners.

It might really shock you but refugees have the same legal rights as you do.

The cost of Gillards delusions will resonate for decades, we are still paying compensation and medical expenses for those we tortured on Nauru last time around and paying compensation for those tortured and jailed here without charge or cause.

It's all illegal to behave like this which is why no other country does it.

Last year we wasted $1.4 billion to jail the same refugees for years - that money could have built 5,600 2 bedroom units for homeless Australians.

Such competence, I am in awe.

And all you fools can do is abuse me.


September 14. 2012 08:01 PM


Marilyn, here's a tip for free. Why don't you and Tom of Melbourne and SIC start a blog of your own.  You're  a perfect  match.


September 14. 2012 08:05 PM


       The only thing that shocks me is to find out you're all talk!
Here you are day after day calling us "morons" only to find out you do nothing, but write the odd abusive post on a blogg!

Actions speak louder than your abusive words so start doing something for those you claim to care about!

As the old saying goes "Put up or Shut Up"


September 14. 2012 08:17 PM


LiR - apparently Palmer is re-considering his membership of the LNP.  ABC Queensland news suggested he might want to talk to Bob Katter!

There are a number of comments on news sites today suggesting that the numbers against Newman are being counted.  Who'll go first Newman or Abbott?


September 14. 2012 08:51 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your kind words about this piece and you additional tweets and links.  You have provided me with a lot of information for the next piece.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, which feed into the piece I am finishing now: The Punch.

Thank you too for your complimentary remarks.  I’m glad that you now have access to TPS.

I’m writing about the bully boys now.

I’ll look for the article you mention.

I’m off to watch the football now.

Ad astra

September 14. 2012 10:01 PM

Truth Seeker

Ad, happy to contribute and glad you liked my little birthday tribute.

TT, old cold steel...love it ... cheers

Lyn, you do a great job and deserve to be recognised for it.... cheers

Truth Seeker

September 14. 2012 10:07 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Tiffany 232 prefers to express her opinions in blissful isolation from any challenge.

There's plenty of likeminded types here and elsewhere.

Tom of Melbourne

September 15. 2012 12:38 AM


Sing this aloud

Teachers teach your kiddies to sing it in rounds! Smile

Old Coke Bottles writing 'bout the Wall~
Tony Abbortt trying not to bawl~
Cos when Old Coke Bottles starts talking 'bout his fall ... ~
There'll be no Tony Abbortt pretty soon at all!


September 15. 2012 12:49 AM


Jason Obelix!

Will you please stop giving alcoholics a bad name by attributing Marilyn's foul emissions to mere alcohol.

Can you not recognize in the stink of her brainfarts the OTT nastiness typical of long-term heavy use of amphetamines?


September 15. 2012 01:12 AM


@miglo I note you were off to the football. I will not talk about the football. Football is dead to me! Just watch out for a Docker resurrection in 2013!

I have listed all of Tony Abbott's misdemeanours in one place. It is a scary sight! I even propose a possible reason for Godwin Grech!


September 15. 2012 01:16 AM


The Islamic extremists with the help of their shock jock and Mullah stirrers...and the aid of the grotesque and sick individual & his funders who created the HATE film...are trying to suck America into another black hole like Afghanistan.

This will break their economy which suits those who want to destroy Medicare, Social Security, affordable higher education...and essential service jobs...hoping they can privatise everything and make lots of money in the long run and buy more power.

Some of their religious fanatical allies hope the apocalypse will deliver them Jerusalem...and these fundy Christian wackos will backstab Jews in the long run. Duping some of the Jewish people at present.

Of course the mainstream news including cable news such as Fox, sometimes CNN, will pump this tension up because they make lots of money from ratings based on LIVE CONFLICT...and some hope to push Obama into an Iranian attack to help their right-wing Israeli lobby and politician/corporate mates.

That war would be a disaster for Israel...as we can see by how many Muslims are hitting the streets now egged on by extremists and those with megaphones using the HATE VID to stir the pot.

Obama and others keeping calm, diplomatic, walking softly with a big stick and using moderates including religious leaders to bring down the heat is what will keep us safe.

The HATE MONGER who made the film should be shown up for the crazy fanatic he is and his funders.

Get Arab leaders to arrest key stirrers and perpetrators of crimes the other day. Hit a few key extremist camps to demonstrate toughness but don't take too many risks or kill innocents.

Use overseas aid as leverage. And tourism, trade.  Same with Russians who are playing games.



September 15. 2012 01:21 AM


John McCain and Fox News are doing the war dance. They're obsessed.

The Republicans ignored the Iranian reform movement in the 90s and threw any offer of Iranian help to deal with the Taliban because Cheney and corporate friends needed a war in Afghanistan after having reached out to the Taliban before.

This destroyed any hope for the Iranian reformist movement...and the ill-conceived Iraq War added to this...and created a mass movement of Islamic extremist recruitments around the world.

Republicans made the biggest strategic blunder in history and soldiers, Israel and Iran's neighbours should be pissed and wary of these knee-jerk impulsive actors.

Obama is far more thoughtful. Fox News are dangerous war-mongers inciting anger, xenophobia and hate.

Sick selfish bunch...irresponsible.

BTW, Netanyahu...Romney (crazier than Nixon) friend...is bad news.

His actions would create a disaster for Israel, Saudi, UAE and Middle East...possible apocalypse of hate.

We learnt from the bombing of Lebanon and the Israeli fiasco that the american right-wing in combination of impulsive Israeli aggression causes disasters...for the innocent, soldiers, peace, the global economy.




September 15. 2012 01:33 AM


The Islamic extremists want Obama to lose the election because he has hit them hard...and they benefit from a long war...holding on to power building up hate when Republican warmongers are in power...and some are crazy enuff to want apocalypse to fulfil religious myth beliefs. Simultaneously, Republicans want to beat Obama...including the fanatics in the Republican party and on Right...so it's in their interest to build up the fear and pump up the heat over the middle eastern riots at present. Makes you wonder about how much they care for their soldiers and economy.

Anything to win eh? So Murdoch. So Roger Ailes. So Fox News. So Rush Limbaugh. So Cheney. So Neo-Con.

So John Bolton.

The usual suspects.

Sabotaging America and the world.


September 15. 2012 01:37 AM


Fox News host just asked Bolton "do we need something fanatical as a response to extremists?"

These are psychos.

My other links and views @




September 15. 2012 01:44 AM


The Dems need to get Biden and Clinton out there to go after the irresponsible Ryan...they saved America from depression in their first term...saved car industry...remind public. Show him up as an exaggerator at best.

Show pics of Obama calmly dealing with this situation in Middle East.



September 15. 2012 01:54 AM


Ad the interview with Greg Sheridan shows how unhinged the Liberal supporters are becoming.  Greg Sheridan became hysterical, I would think accusing the ABC of Catholic secularism is a very unhealthy attitude to take

these fanatics - they keep it under masks - are so desperate to keep Abbott there so he can help push their long war against the Islamics.

And expand Murdoch's empire once the ALP are gone.

Expect some crazy stuff coming up from Murdoch empire, usual suspect shock jocks, certain religious Libs and Nats...and their few allies in ABC, Fairfax and free-to-airs.

Believe it or not these people are kooky about this long war concept...more believers in this end time crap than you know.

And of course, some are just lovers of tax cuts and industry they or family have shares in.

Some are just whipped by their media barons and editors. And job security is a motivation.

Strange allies. Hindering progress. No wonder they talk down economy...they benefit from chaos.

Disaster capitalism in a way.



September 15. 2012 01:59 AM


Top post Ad. Good links Lyn. Useful comments from most.

I linked this piece to Facebook when you put it up.

I'm looking forward to seeing the PM again.

As for Rudd...I reckon he should help build up the QLD vote...and then run for Premier next state election.



September 15. 2012 02:20 AM


Interesting info on Fox News host Jenna Lee who asked John Bolton if America needed "something fanatical in reponse":

Personal life

On July 3, 2011, Lee married B. Leif Babin, a Navy SEAL Officer, a 1994 graduate of Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School in Beaumont, Texas, and a 1998 graduate of the United States Naval Academy in a ceremony at the Old Glory Ranch in Wimberley, Texas.

Babin left active duty in mid-2011, and in early 2012 opined in the Wall Street Journal that President Obama, senior members of his administration, and former SEALs were revealing many damaging operational details of overseas SEAL operations for political gain.




September 15. 2012 05:41 AM


I have never taken speed in my life.  Why do cretins with nothing to say claim that I am on some sort of drug because they can't be bothered with the truth?


September 15. 2012 07:25 AM


Nas - re your comment on Rudd.

I had the same thought the other day - Rudd should have a go at Premier.  The problem with the idea was (in my opinion) is that with all the stories that came out about his "management style" during February when he challenged for the Federal Leadership would be the perfect ad campaign for the LNP.

On a side note - hopefully the ALP is getting plenty of footage for the next state election at the moment (regardless of who is Premier in 2 years time).


September 15. 2012 07:28 AM



You have been very busy! Your output is prodigious when you fire up. And your typing speed seems pretty impressive too!

Thank you for reminding us that the world doesn't end at our borders. I'm just crossing my bits that Obama gets his so-deserved second term and is given more power this time. I haven't a deep understanding of US politics but I know what I don't want. Tea-partiers, Creationists, well you know.

But I have my eye pretty solely on OZ politics, it is the only thing I can hope in even the tiniest of ways to help to move.

Your contributions have a different flavour, and it's like adding some other good stuff to a pretty limited diet.

Mr Griz is always a welcome sight.


Jason it would appear we are both wrong. It seems that Marilyn's vituperative verbal vomit is the result not of any form of psychoactive substance abuse but of some form of genuine mental derangement.

Puir wee lassie. Let us spray.


September 15. 2012 08:09 AM


   After two days of saying "what happened 35 years ago is hardly relevant"
the Herald Sun helpfully puts any outcry you may have to bed by saying "I am not asking the Australian people to take me on trust, but on the record of a lifetime," the Opposition Leader said.

"As student president, trainee priest, Rhodes Scholar, surf life saver and volunteer firefighter, as well as a member of parliament and as a minister in a government."



September 15. 2012 08:43 AM


But I have my eye pretty solely on OZ politics, it is the only thing I can hope in even the tiniest of ways to help to move.

with these Islamic extremist uprisings it was good forward thinking of Gillard & Bowen to reopen Nauru and go for offshore processing.

And for Nicola Roxon as Attorney-General to be out explaining calmly the details on the Victorian raids arresting possible extremists.

Abbott and Truss pushing this Pacific highway money looks irresponsible considering they already have a deep black hole in their budget.

It's obviously a way to try and distract from Abbott's problems and effect the weekend polling...and it shows the National Party fear of Independents in rural and regional centres.

And an attempt to show why two oft ideologically different parties are in a Coalition.

A Coalition that looks suss to some inner city liberal observers...and some country dwellers who see Liberals screw over their milk farms via deregulation, AWB decisions and the promotion of miners and housing developments encroaching on small farms etc.



September 15. 2012 08:57 AM


I had the same thought the other day - Rudd should have a go at Premier.  The problem with the idea was (in my opinion) is that with all the stories that came out about his "management style" during February when he challenged for the Federal Leadership would be the perfect ad campaign for the LNP.

Yes 2353,
and now with the backlash against the deep almost Kennett style public service cuts and the fear that's been created in the ranks of those delivering essential services (a Jo of QLD or US McCarthy era feel thnx to the right-wing state govts) the Australian people will be wary of Rudd at a national level.

Whereas, they know Gillard supports jobs.

Rudd has time tho in QLD to demonstrate he's a reformed man by supporting public servants in QLD...going after Abbott in some local QLD areas and supporting Gillard.

Once he wins his seat he can then shift to state politics and run for premier.

We need Wayne Swan as Treasurer...he's done a great job. Bringing back Rudd as PM makes no sense because the people down south would not want two QLDers again, so Swan would have to go. That's nuts.

Gimme Gillard and Swan anyday. More representative of the different states.



September 15. 2012 09:16 AM


Tony Abbott has been damaged badly. Avoiding scrutiny this week after the bad interviews with Sales and Wilkinson...and avoiding the spotlight during these accusations about his past looked like panic for a man who lives and breathes on media attention.

Missing parliament oneday didn't help...especially as he was shown to be inconsistent on the funeral attendance bit.

It looked like he was hiding from scrutiny.

His connections to apologists for him in News Ltd has damaged both him and that organs' credibility further (if that was possible)...

and Abbott's attempt to deal with the issues at a media conference backfired as it was late...he lacked confidence...looked stressed...it was weird his wife wasn't standing by his side (what has she copped over the years I bet some wondered)...he didn't answer questions effectively...and then walked off undet pressure.

It's the downward spiral...

even tho 35 years ago is irrelevant in many ways...it shows a pattern of behaviour...Abbott agro underneath, a bad loser, fanatical with a mask of sincerity and control on...holds grudges...is vindictive...impulsive at times...not physically abusive now but verbally negative and abusive and ranting in parliament.

And shows Abbott is a wrecker...and not a real Liberal.

No wonder he likes Barnaby Joyce...and Alan Jones...angry men with oddball extreme views that nudge nudge wink wink One Nation/Tea Party types. And those who have problems with women in power who resist them and their mask of charm and schoolboy humour.

Shows this man is not suitable for PMship.

And don't alot of Libs and voters know it now. And some in media.


September 15. 2012 09:18 AM


From an old friend, writing on Poll Bludger:


Posted Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

Good Morning Bludgers!

So, the Jesuit, Tony Abbott, for whom the motto is, ‘Give me the child before the age of 7, and I will give you the man’, and for whom the ancillary actions of the Prime Minister 17 years ago were of the utmost importance and had to be forensically analysed and parsed for meaning, believes his own actions at University and beyond are simply a case of, “Nothing to see here, move along!” That it can merely be seen as ‘childish’?

I. Don’t. Think. So.

That ‘child’ was a man. A Jesuitical zealot using intimidatory behaviour to prevail. It was wrong then, and will be forever.

These were the actions of a man as he had been crafted by the Jesuits, and as he has been ever since and continues to be.

As he, himself, said similarly about the PM, it goes to the character of the man who wants to lead our country. And it ain’t pretty.


September 15. 2012 09:33 AM


Ad Astra

I love the way you keep showing us the true light on the hill. Again you see Julia the same way as I do.  It was lovely footage of her on TV last night with the school kids, she is such a natural with kids.  Pity they had to have someone whinging that their child was banned from school because of the childs bad behaviour, trying to tie it into the visit by Julia.

Truth Seeker

Great little pome, I enjoy reading your stuff.

Talk Turkey

Yep, your crystal ball seemed to work, unfortunately not a word on radio or tv today, so looks like it's all being covered up again by the media.


Thank you for the information on what is going on overseas.  I didn't understand what was happening but you have helped me get a small grip on it.  Thank you again.


I just laughed and laughed at Greg Sherriden going off his rocker on News Radio.  It was the funniest thing I have heard in a long time.  If Abbott hadn't done what he is said to have done, why are they all going bonkers?  Like some of the posters here, I smell a sense of fear in the air for the Nopposition.


September 15. 2012 09:36 AM


Oh and by the way, there is supposed to be a Labor party thing happening in Queensland this weekend.  We have seen endless stuff on Liberal party things, but not a word about Labor in the media. Why is it so?


September 15. 2012 10:36 AM


       Well put! Keating once said of "Hewson" during a censure motion wich could be applied to Abbott

“What we saw today with this leader of the opposition, he’s just like any other leader of the opposition. After 12 months of a dream run, and the first bit of pressure what we saw here today was 15 minutes of a rattled man….”


September 15. 2012 10:55 AM


Hi Ad and Everybody


So Mr Abbott phones David Marr last night to apologise , Labor dirt unit is not to blame after all.  Was that 24 hours ? yes that’s right, I remember  Abbott’s  wild statements usually change within 24 hours.

Gravel I'm pleased you got a laugh out of Greg Sheridan's interview, it was funny, the other funny one was Barnaby, they are both stupid, but funny.

Vicki Ward‏
Tony gets it wrong theage "'dirt unit' not source, concedes Abbott" Again not using the 'gospel' truth?#auspol

John Pratt‏
'Dirt unit' not source, concedes Abbott Bad week for Tony. #auspolhttp://www.theage.com.au/opinion/-25xz6.html

It’s a matter of trust in Tony, Phillip Hudson, The Punch
Having failed in his desperate quest to force an early poll, there’s probably still another year until the moment of truth.
Abbott is now trying to convince voters to trust him.
The rise from a pathetic 23 per cent primary vote to a dismal 30 per cent suggests Brand Labor no longer faces the prospect of losing every seat in the crucial battleground state when the federal election rolls around.

And while it is early days and not at all clear the anger against state Liberals will be sustained, it has given the ALP heart that it can claw back its lost voters - and just maybe even win some.

'Dirt unit' not source, concedes Abbott, Michelle Grattan
Mr Abbott to contact Mr Marr. ''He said he wanted to make it clear that he wasn't accusing me of getting a story from a Labor dirt unit,'' Mr Marr said last night

Punch or not Tony's aggression a worry , Laurie Oakes
He virtually invited that scrutiny himself, in a speech a couple of months ago.
"I am not asking the Australian people to take me on trust, but on the record of a lifetime," the Opposition Leader said.
Patch, for one, has argued that it displays a gender-based lack of respect "similar to the disrespectful way that Abbott treats the Prime Minister and her office today".

Labor 'dirt unit' behind punch story – Abbott, Phillip Coorey
Ms Ramjan, who has been telling the story for years, told the Herald it was ''absolutely'' true and she rejected outright that Labor put her up to it. ''I have never been a member of a political party in my life,'' she said. ''He's a bully.''

Wanted: message in a battle, Peter Hartcher
The Labor Party didn't fare well in the local government elections held across NSW last weekend, especially in its traditional stronghold of western Sydney. Its poor showing sent a frisson of fear all the way to the Labor caucus room in Federal Parliament.

Selective Cold War memories , GREG SHERIDAN, FOREIGN EDITOR
David Marr's sloppy, frequently inaccurate and almost absurdly unfair little pamphlet on Tony Abbott, Political Animal, involves not only sloppy mistakes and ludicrous allegations. Much more than that, it involves a great act of historical forgetting, a kind of willed historical ignorance.

Propagandists like Marr, and a significant section of the ABC, are peddling an entirely false version of the Cold War, so false it often ends up reversing reality

Abbott needs to bring back his old candour, says Dennis Atkins
It's a serious matter because one of the central charges Abbott makes against Julia Gillard is that she does not tell the truth and can't be trusted.

Anyone who has read David Marr's entertaining and informative essay Political Animal - which sparked the "punch" affair - will know the Catholic Abbott is a big believer in absolution.

Perhaps this extends to those small - or not so small - untruths he lets slip now and then.
A little lie today can be dispensed with through confession

Political tweeters may troll too close to home, Lenore Taylor
Demonspofforth has tweeted 18,306 times, and is clearly a conservative of conviction.

Mr Spofforth's tweets show he follows every minute of the political day with the attention to detail of an obsessive insider - every announcement, press conference, policy issue and television interview. He's in Canberra, (he often comments about the weather, tweets photos and talks about going to the press club to hear Coalition politicians speak).

But perhaps politicians should double check what might lurk in their own backyard, as they start thinking about the - probably impossible - task of imposing new regulation on the general tweeting and social-media-using public.

Lenore Taylor ‏
good question “TickHogan: lenoretaylor Good article. I wonder how many of these accounts are run by one person?”

Qld power, port assets may be sold, AFR
The government has promised not to sell any assets without a mandate after witnessing how the electorate punished Labor for doing so.

Denise ‏
More insight into Tony Abbott circa 2004 www.theage.com.au/.../1079199224910.html … Would he push his religious values on us if he were PM


September 15. 2012 11:03 AM


Marilyn I understand how you feel about Gillard's responses to refugees.  I believe it is the one area her government has really fallen down on.  But your constant harping about it on this and other blogs, at the expense of other issues, will not achieve anything.  Sure the Govt is doing stuff that goes against Australian values, and certainly is contrary to our international obligations.  But look at the alternative.  I mean, really, do you think Abbott would be any better?

You anger is not balanced, and is solely directed at one aspect of the Gillard government.  IN doing so you risk alienating all the other good things they have done.  If people believe what you say, their natural instinct will be to favour Abbott.  Don't you see what you are doing?  Please get a bit of perspective in your argument.  Sure, go at Gillard for all the dumb things she's done with respect to asylum seekers, but please acknowledge when she does something right.  And there are plenty of examples of that!


September 15. 2012 11:09 AM

Tom of Melbourne

Marilyn makes exactly the same points about asylum seekers as ALP barrackers used to make, recently too.

The difference is that she hasn’t done the back flip for political expedience.

But rather than acknowledge the validity of her points, and acknowledge that you were either wrong in the past, or wrong now, several here resort of the most vile of insults.

The insults and avoiding the issues clearly demonstrate the lack of ethics and intelligence of a range of people who post here.

Tom of Melbourne

September 15. 2012 11:26 AM

Wake Up

You know, I love reading AA's excellent pieces and insights afforded by Lyn's Links, not to mention the intelligent and respectful comments. That is why I just scroll past anything submitted by Marilyn, kind of makes me wonder why she bothers !!!

Wake Up

September 15. 2012 11:38 AM


No Tom, I don't think you're right.  People are use pissed off that Marilyn brings the asylum seeker slant to EVERYTHING she posts.  That's what's frustrating others.   They can't conduct a rational debate with Marilyn about anything, because she reduces everything to the government's failure on asylum seekers.  She has a point, but we all know what it is by now, and we're a little tired of hearing her make it.


September 15. 2012 11:40 AM


And Wake up, Marilyn makes those points because she's passionate about the issue.  A little unbalanced, perhaps, but passionate nevertheless.


September 15. 2012 11:42 AM


   Marilyn is just like you! all talk and no action.
She has already admitted the only thing she does for refugees is come on here and calls us "fucking morons"!

When she starts doing something I might take her more seriously until the she and you can kiss my a....!


September 15. 2012 11:42 AM


If just half the effort was put into discouraging teenage promiscuity as into preventing teenage speeding, there might be fewer abortions," he said.

from that Age article...I can relate to Abbott's worries about the abortion levels...but it is his party that used a crass 500 dollar carrot , lump sum payment, to entice young people and those desperate for cash to have a babies...

how many of those pregnancies were lost? I know of two miscarriages. Sad and traumatising. The payment and push by the Howard govt for women to have three babies, combined with a campaign by certain TV networks and radio personalities and columnists put huge pressure on women who were at risk of miscarriage etc.

It was highly irresponsible.

And created a nightmare of thousands of young couples in poverty or not having completed qualifications or set up for a well paid carreer finding themselves with a brand new Harvey Norman flat screen but stuff all money for the baby/babies down the road...some drug addicted...putting huge pressure on childcare and the health system...and grandparents when these young people failed to cope and the older people were forced to step in and look after the babies/children.

A highly irresponsible and economically damaging policy by the Coalition that Abbott was a big part of...and did he speak out?

The ALP came in and partially rectified the problem by getting rid of the lump sum payment and by promoting kids to stay in school. And by pushing higher education more.

Howard as we remember urged young people to leave after grade 10...knowing they would only get low wage jobs and be exploited...and would be keen to take the lump sum payment.

This is social engineering to create a fast food reliant consumer society...no care about the young people's future prospects...hook them into homes they could not afford...debt up to their eyeballs...at the mercy of the banks...cheap corporate traders etc.


The modern era Coalition cannot be trusted.



September 15. 2012 11:44 AM


Sorry that was a 5000 lump sum payment.


September 15. 2012 11:48 AM


Hi Ad

Bushfire Bill with a lengthy post for you, he talks about the Journalists and the polls.

Bushfire Bill
Posted Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

The entire edifice of political commentary and analysis today is based on the poll advantage that the Coalition currently enjoys over the government

commentators are allowing polls to lead their analysis, rather than the other way around. They are allowing polls to drive events. It’s a pathetic substitute for work and rational thought

Jason Koutsoukis, back in 2007 was a junior Sunday Age writer, but he managed to do what no-one else had done. He blew the whistle on the Liberal Dirt Unit and, through one article, caused a full MPI to be debated on dirty tricks on the very day the election was called



September 15. 2012 11:54 AM


BTW, the Labor govts also put in place programs in childcare centres and schools from what I know to teach struggling parents how to cope with their children.

And increased education funding for primary schools and early education to help after the Howard govt's neglect.

It was the Howard govt that irresponsibly ENABLED ABC Learning Centres (private sector childcare) to grow at an unprecedented pace only to crash...and leave parents in the lurch:




September 15. 2012 11:58 AM


Controversy and criticisms

Critics of ABC Developmental Learning Centres said it is making considerable profits at the expense of Australian taxpayers whose money subsidised the use of childcare with means-tested tax rebates.

There was also controversy about the dramatic expansion of the company with claims that in some areas ABC - by acquisition - had achieved a monopoly in the provision of childcare services. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reviewed the company's acquisition of Peppercorn and permitted the deal to go ahead after imposing certain conditions including a requirement to close
centres in some areas and agreeing not to purchase in other areas.


September 15. 2012 12:04 PM


BTW, religious folk including politicians who push strict Catholic anti-contraception views and evangelical abstinance and chastity views are in fact contributing to the abortion rate...as young women get accidently pregnant and panic about money and career prospects etc leading to possible abortions.

This is more deceitful and irresponsible social engineering.

Abbott sounds like those Catholic and evangelical zealots.




September 15. 2012 12:07 PM

Wake Up

Mercurial, I completely get that Marilyn is passionate about the issue, but my point is that hurling abuse and hijacking every single topic only makes people ignore her.

If Marilyn is as passionate about refugees as she claims then getting her message out should be of paramount importance, as it stands she is only succeeding in doing the exact opposite which makes me wonder what her REAL agenda is.

Wake Up

September 15. 2012 12:12 PM


Didn't Abbott oppose the so called Morning After Pill?:

Emergency contraception
From Wikipedia,

Emergency contraception (EC), or emergency postcoital contraception, are birth control measures that, if taken after sexual intercourse, may prevent pregnancy.
Forms of EC include:

Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)—sometimes simply referred to as emergency contraceptives (ECs) or the "morning-after pill"—are drugs intended to disrupt ovulation or fertilization, which are steps necessary for pregnancy (contraceptives).

Hmmm...sounds to me this pill helps to prevent fertilisation...and consequently possible abortion.



September 15. 2012 12:44 PM


Moyers on 'Bush's brain' Karl Rove:

On Karl Rove: He’s brutal, he’s ruthless, he, it’s a scorched earth kind of partisanship,” Unger said. “If you’re not on his side 100 percent, he will destroy you. There are Republican, other strategists who were with him 95 percent and they found their careers destroyed.”

In an interview with journalist Craig Unger, who has just released a new book detailing Rove’s rise to power, Moyers examined how far Rove’s reach goes within the GOP. Not only is he currently a Fox News contributor, leader of superPACs, he was a force in Texas politics before that. And, Unger said, he is playing the long game.

“He’s building institutions that have enduring power and can have real consequence for the future,” Unger said. “I think if you look at some of his campaigns, like voter suppression, there are movements in dozens of states to require voters to have IDs and so forth that will suppress the vote among pop, among groups that are largely Democratic. That can have an effect for many elections to come.”


Rove is not a good man.

His role in the Romney Super Pacs is worrying.



September 15. 2012 01:00 PM

42 long

RU 482 as I recall. This attitude of abbott is reminiscent of a prevalent one around in the 50's and before, of the "snigger" BAD girl who got herself in the family way etc.
  My Mum used to say that BAD girls Knew how not to get "Pregnant".and only the GOOD ones got that way.  the man belongs to a past era. Would be intresting to know why he didn't go ahead with his priestly ambitionsmrvgec veffel

42 long

September 15. 2012 01:31 PM

Tom of Melbourne

It’s interesting that people here criticise a belief, when this place is full of blind believers and zealots. People who don’t even bother to make political points. Instead they provide obtuse and irrelevant rhymes or riddles.  

That’s because they are incapable of putting up their own views and subjecting them to scrutiny.

It’s the political equivalent of “speaking in tongues”.

Tom of Melbourne

September 15. 2012 01:41 PM


Amateur hour by Chris Kenny and News Ltd's Samantha Maiden on SLY NEWS today...

the smug host who tries to hide his frustrations and anger with Labor under a look that comes across like the King's tax collector, pushed the idea that Julia Gillard's early years have not been scrutinised enuff.

The equally smug and softly spoken you know what Samantha Maiden cried foul...acted as tho she was defending Gillard in one of the most insincere performances I've ever witnessed...Maiden managed to then go thru the list of insults and rumours put out on the PM including using the words "baron" and "lesbian" whilst all the time pretending this was not a tag team character assasination tactic.

So obvious it confirmed my view that much of what you see on SLY/SKY NEWS and FOX NEWS is scripted and planned ahead of time...the talking points part of ongoing political campaigns.

It looks awkward.  Little spontaneity.

And Chris Kenny is boring as...the once advisor to Alexander Downer.

In fact, I've noticed alot of former political aides on SLY NEWS. Including Rudd ones stirring the pot with their big wooden spoons.

Well, I guess Rudd did want to give the ABC run AUSTRALIA NETWORK to SLY NEWS.

They must have a mutual agreement.

SLY/SKY NEWS is basically run by the Murdoch empire...and is on FOXTEL owned partly by Murdoch/Packer and TELSTRA.

And people wonder why we worry about Murdoch empire dominance. And call for changes to media laws including cross-media ownership.

That tag team effort by Kenny and Maiden today tells you OBJECTIVITY is not part of SLY NEWS...but rather it is just another Liberal and Murdoch propaganda machine that occasionally opts for balance to attract viewers and push it's AGENDA.



September 15. 2012 01:52 PM


Albanese questions Nationals highway pledge

Speaking at the party's federal conference in Canberra, Nationals leader Warren Truss said the upgrade would be partly funded by cancelling the $2 billion Epping to Parramatta rail link.

"The New South Wales Government has asked that funding be transferred to the Pacific Highway," he said.

"We're agreeing to that request and that will make this project a reality."

But Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese says the Coalition's plan is an election ploy.

He says the party will not have access to the rail link funds for several years.

"There's just $67 million allocated to the Parramatta Rail link prior to 2016," he said.

But New South Wales Roads Minister Duncan Gay denies the Coalition is pork barrelling.

"This is about safety, it's about savings lives and it's about common sense," he said.

The highway cuts through seats held by federal independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.

Mr Truss says those electorates are in the Nationals' sights.

"We certainly regard those as key target seats," he said.

Looks to me this is another brain fart by the Coalition...unlikely to be realised.

More attempts to entice voters to go for them and chuck out Independents using a rotten smelly piece of meat found in the Howard barrel of pork.

Don't believe the hype.



September 15. 2012 01:54 PM

Wake Up

ToM, I hope you see the irony in your last post !!!

Wake Up

September 15. 2012 01:55 PM


BTW, the Coalition had twelve years to fix the Pacific Highway during the so called 'prosperity era'...so why didn't they?

Seems the Howard 'golden era' was 'fool's gold'.



September 15. 2012 01:58 PM


It’s the political equivalent of “speaking in tongues”.

Tom of Melbourne,
are you a Jesuit? Did you go to school with Abbott or any Libs?

Or did you just watch The Exorcist too many times?



September 15. 2012 02:04 PM


Hi Mercurial

Thankyou for your posts 2 11:38 AM/11.40

Welcome to you, we are very pleased to have you here on "The Political Sword"

Cheers SmileSmileSmile


September 15. 2012 02:33 PM


Far from being a “hands off” proprietor, News Ltd’s former Queensland general manager Rodney E. Lever reveals the manic control Rupert Murdoch exercises over News Ltd newspapers — even so far as allegedly using them to try to buy off Australian politicians.

The Australian was bleeding money from poor circulation and hardly any advertising. But it was still giving Joh Bjelke-Petersen a hard time about ambition to switch to the federal parliament. Joh was being ridiculed in every section of the paper, from the daily cartoons to the leading articles.

Ken May gave me explicit instructions to go and see Joh and tell him that Rupert had said that if Joh took all government advertising out of the Courier-Mail and transferred it to The Australian, then the paper would go easy on him in future.

Did that really come from Rupert? It was a bribe to a politician ― a state premier no less. I could go to gaol. Rupert, of course, well… he would not know anything about it. Ken May wouldn’t know anything about it. Only Rod Lever, the general manager of News Limited in Queensland, would be going to Boggo Road Gaol.

I rang Joh’s office and made an appointment. His press secretary was present and Joh, as always, poured me a cup of tea and launched into discourse about how The Australian was making him look ridiculous. I told him of Rupert Murdoch’s offer. Joh was no fool. He had the shrewd eye of a farmer doing a deal with a shyster. He had read my embarrassment. “No, no, no, no, no” he said. “I’m not going to do that.”

We all had a good laugh and the tension eased.

On my way back to the office I decided that I didn’t want to work for Rupert Murdoch any more.

...News Limited was a crazy house and I didn’t want to finish up crazy, too

Much more here:


This has been a wonderfully enlightening series of articles on Murdoch.

I reccomend you read all the articles.



September 15. 2012 02:36 PM




September 15. 2012 02:51 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Nasking, I’m surprised that you didn’t bother to condemn some of the insults directed to Marilyn, given the way you’ve workshopped some of your ailments across the blogosphere.

But no, I’m not a Jesuit.

The people who think that they make a political point by using this - http://www.rhymezone.com/ are senseless zealots, and several are incredibly narrow minded hypocrites.

Tom of Melbourne

September 15. 2012 03:28 PM


I have to admit having a hearty laugh at reading Greg Sherridan castigating the ABC.for allowing David Marr to be interviewed pushing his barrow on his Tony Abbott piece. That such abuse is directed toward our National Broadcaster is entirely their own fault.
The fact that the ABC. has given over so much opinion space to the right-wing commentariat and now these same have turned on their benefactor shows how little respect they have to any sychophants that promulgate their cause!
I trust the ABC. has learnt its' lesson and will think twice before next handing the bullhorn loudspeaker to such groups as the IPA and individuals like Reith and Henderson! If not, then let the axe of abuse fall on them and their management!


September 15. 2012 03:37 PM



Yes Palmer and Katter what a match.


You are so right about the baby bonus policy, it was always going to cause terrible problems. As in the old days before contraception and abortion children often children were born into incredible poverty and no future. I really don't think governments should be enticing people to have children by providing baby bonuses. I do concede that it is a help, but perhaps that help would be better if clothing and baby products were provided rather than cash. The dental scheme is the biggest and the best help for this nations children, far better than baby bonuses.

Karl Rove........scary dude.

I enjoyed seeing Michael Tomasky being interviewed by Alberici last night. Now he is a good political journalist....I think. Romney sounds a bit like Retro Rabbitt, he is actually a moderate but he has to pander to the Tea Party element in hs party. When you have to be something you are not it never works.

'The punch'

It was never going to end well for Retro Rabbit. Hasn't it gone pear shaped for him? How he handled it has actually reinforced the bad image. How many woman have heard the same old same old story, blaming everyone but yourself, that was then this is now, I have changed .....not. And quite frankly using the 'Margie and the kids' in his interview was quite crass. He has skirted around the issue, and yes that proverb....If at first you don't succeed lie lie again. He looks very undone.

I am still working on Marr's hint at what Retro Rabbitt told him as to what drives him to want to be PM. Firstly, it has to include God, he is deeply religious. Secondly, I think it has to have something to do with his believing the world has taken a wrong turn (hense I now call him Retro Rabbitt). Thirdly, it has to be about shaping the world and include his values, which oddly he places on hold, bracketing them away, because they are basically political poison.


September 15. 2012 03:43 PM


An as for Retro Rabbitt's stand on abortion. Because it is such a complex issue it should always be left to the woman to decide. Provide counselling before without prejudice, and after without prejudice is the very best that we can do, and the right thing to do. Retro will just have to accept that, and his waying into the argument does him no favours. Moralising is not what a women need or want to hear.


September 15. 2012 03:52 PM


Lady in Red....Like you, I am "moving the furniture" about on that Marr comment! I suspect, given the burning Abbott got from "confessing" to Windsor re; govt' aspirations, he would have been more cautious..surely? I suspect it would have been an attempt at a sort of "intellectual catholicism" to appeal to Marr's intellectulism.
Perhaps a hint of a "crusading blitzkrieg" to cleanse the nation of "impure" thoughts, actions and cultures! Then on to a policy of "eugenical economics" to weed out the weaker of the species...with Chrissy P.(Hi! I'm Mr.P.come insi-hide!)playing the role' of Torquemada.


September 15. 2012 04:05 PM


I really don't think governments should be enticing people to have children by providing baby bonuses. I do concede that it is a help, but perhaps that help would be better if clothing and baby products were provided rather than cash. The dental scheme is the biggest and the best help for this nations children, far better than baby bonuses.

agree wholeheartedly.

Essential that kids have their teeth examined, cleaned, fillings done.

Ensures that in their adult life they are not walking around with teeth like this:


This govt deserves alot of credit for that.



September 15. 2012 04:08 PM


RU 482 as I recall. This attitude of abbott is reminiscent of a prevalent one around in the 50's and before, of the "snigger" BAD girl who got herself in the family way etc.

42 long,
Abbott is 1950s decade man.




September 15. 2012 04:31 PM


A post of mine from Feb 2011:

Standing up to Oppressors…Peacefully

Hate breeds hate. The regime created a self-perpetuating monster.

Extremism & hate & radical, violent resistance bred in Egyptian prisons, torture camps…spread across the world…

bred in combination with an Iranian Islamic revolution of 1979 that was partially caused by the interference and deviousness of Western & Soviet/Russian figures…

extremism, hate, radicalism…bred by the CIA, Saudi & Pakistani’s training & funding of rebel figures, the Mujahideen (partly the origins of al-Qaeda) in reaction to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan…

bred by the many conflicts devised to ensure Muslim sects & other Arabs fought one another…became pre-occupied with civil war & conflict between neighbours rather than focusing on the dictators, ugly alliances, hereditary rule, corruption…

weapons fed like expensive candy to these groups & countries by opportunistic arms dealers…and nations playing at RealPolitiks…pragmatism that often backfired…think 9/11.

This included, the grotesque Iraq & Iran war that lasted a decade leading to the virtual annihilation of a generation in the 80s…

Lebanese civil wars that witnessed Christians & Muslims slaughtering & pounding one another – egged on & occasionally supported by Syria, Iran, Russia…and an Israeli army funded & armed predominantly by America…

the Iraq War…Sunni’s oft supported by an opportunistic Saudi Arabia…Shia by mobster militias & an autocratic Iranian regime attempting to spread their sick influence as they had & have done with Hamas in Palestine…and Hezbollah in Lebanon…

spreading a vile message in the guise of “Islamic revolution”…a message from a regime in its own death throes…the Iranian regime oppressors themselves…crushing those who desire the right to choose their own governments…to voice their opposing views…dissent from the tragic status quo.

The Iranian dictators are now trying to con the Egyptian people…and the oppressed in their own country…by calling out their support to the Egyptian protestors…pretending this secular uprising is another “Islamic Revolution”. Attempting to manufacture perception…and justify their own brutal existence.

They should be…will be…ignored.

It’s time for civilian rule in Egypt.

There are some political opportunists who'd say we were naive...they point to the latest riots as evidence.

But don't they recall the growing pains of the American republic?...they had a revolution...many years later it was followed by a civil war.

Know yer history.
Be realistic.

Don't shit stir for short-term political gain.

Rather, assist the transition...whatever way you can as responsible politicians, news organisations and companies.

Be rational. And forward thinking. Empathise. Assist the forces of moderation. And educate.

Then peace will be realised.



September 15. 2012 04:32 PM






September 15. 2012 04:33 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your Twitterverse that has fed in beautifully to the piece I’m now finishing: The Punch.  BB’s comment about polls is spot on. We are on the same page.

I need to now spend the afternoon getting the HTML right for posting it tomorrow.

Welcome to The Political Sword family, and thank you for your comments.  Do come again.  It is hard for some folk to acknowledge the good things that PM Gillard has done.  

Thank you for your lovely words – always so encouraging.

You really are on fire – keep the great posts coming!

Ad astra

September 15. 2012 05:27 PM


oooh Nasking those teeth picture needed to come with a warning. Yuk. Hard to get work and feel good about yourself when that is the first thing people see when you open your mouth. Shame, in this wealthy country no-one should be going around with teeth like that. But I am not surprised - bought a toothbrush lately? They are so expensive and if you have 4 kids and 2 adults there is a good $26 (I have electric at $10 a pop), if its a choice between new toothbrushes and food on the table - gosh its must be a hard one.


September 15. 2012 05:35 PM


Nasking, educate and asist people out of poverty, lift the economic and social position of women and of course teach and practice tolerance.



September 15. 2012 06:31 PM



I had to look up blitzkrieg and eugenical + economics(thank goodness for the internet, I learn everyday).....but you may be on to something there. I just can't put intellectual and Retro together - perhaps that is a failing on my part because I dislike him so much. He really showed gross ineptitude on his handling of 'the punch'. I look forward to Ad astra's latest article on this.


September 15. 2012 07:31 PM


Cheers Ad,
ironically, my pad ran out of steam the moment I read yer comment...recharged it to 80%.

This from Robert Fisk:

In many ways, it’s familiar territory. In fifteenth century Spain, Christian cartoonists drew illustrations of the Prophet committing unspeakable acts. And – just so we don’t think we have clean claws today – when a Paris cinema showed a film in which Christ made love to a woman, the picture-house was burned-down, one cinema-goer was killed, and the killer turned out to be a Christian.

With the help of our wonderful new technology, however, it only needs a couple of loonies to kick off a miniature war in the Muslim world within seconds. I doubt if poor Christopher Stevens – a man who really understood the Arabs as many of his colleagues do not – had ever heard of the ‘film’ that unleashed the storming of the US consulate in Benghazi and his own death. It’s one thing to witlessly claim that the US would go on a “crusade” against al-Qaeda – thank you, George W. Bush – but another to insult, quite deliberately, an entire people. Racism of this kind stirs many a crazed heart.

And has Al-Qaeda – defeated by the Arab revolutionaries who demanded dignity rather than a Bin Laden Caliphate across the Middle East – now decided to cash in on populist grievances to advance their Islamist cause? Libya’s largely impotent government blames the Americans themselves for Stevens’ killing – since the consulate should have been evacuated – and suggests that a Gaddafi clique was behind the attack. This is ridiculous. If the armed militia in Benghazi, calling itself the ‘Islamic Law Supporters’, are more than telephone-gunmen, then al-Qaida involvement has to be suspected.

Ironically, there is room for a serious discussion among Muslims about, for example, a re-interpretation of the Koran; but Western provocation – and western, alas, it is – closes down such a narrative. Meanwhile, we beat our chests in favour of a ‘free press’. A New Zealand editor once proudly told me how his own newspaper had re-published the cartoon of the Prophet with a bomb-filled turban. But when I asked him if he planned to publish a cartoon of a Rabbi with a bomb on his head next time Israel invaded Lebanon, he hastily agreed with me that this would be anti-Semitic.


Valid points from a man who knows the region.



September 15. 2012 07:43 PM


From Mark LeVine:

Blowback of the ugliest kind

Americans and Europeans are no doubt looking at the protests over the "film", recalling the even more violent protests during the Danish cartoon affair, and shaking their heads one more at the seeming irrationality and backwardness of Muslims, who would let a work of "art", particularly one as trivial as this, drive them to mass protests and violence.

Yet Muslims in Egypt, Libya and around the world equally look at American actions, from sanctions against and then an invasion of Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and sent the country back to the Stone Age, to unflinching support for Israel and all the Arab authoritarian regimes (secular and royal alike) and drone strikes that always seem to kill unintended civilians "by mistake", and wonder with equal bewilderment how "we" can be so barbaric and uncivilised.

Russia receives little better grades on this card, whether for its brutality in Afghanistan during the Soviet era, in Chechnya today, or its open support of Assad's murderous regime.

Meanwhile, the most jingoistic and hate-filled representatives of each society grow stronger with each attack, with little end in sight.

Let us assume that the attack was in fact not directly related to the protests in Benghazi but rather was the work of an al-Qaeda affiliated cell that either planned it in advance or took advantage of the opportunity to attack. If correct, we are forced to confront the very hard questions raised by the support for the violent insurgency against Gaddafi instead of following the much more difficult route of pressing for continued non-violent resistance against his murderous regime. 

Such a choice was extremely hard to make while Gaddafi was massacring Libyans by the thousands. But it's one the needs to be examined in great detail if the most recent deaths are to have any lasting meaning. As long as the jihadis were rampaging Mali or destroying Sufi shrines, Americans didn't have to think about the costs of supporting the violent removal of Gaddafi.

Now that the violence has been turned against their representatives, will Americans respond as expected, with prejudice and ignorance? Or, during this crucial election season, will they ask hard questions of their leaders about the wisdom of violent interventions in the context of a larger regional system which the United States administers that remains largely driven by violence? 

As I flew home yesterday from Europe, unaware of what had transpired in Libya, I read through the 2008 report by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, titled "From Exporting Terrorism to Exporting Oppression: Human Rights in the Arab Region".

The report described the often unbearable levels of abuse suffered by citizens across the region is one of the most depressing reads imaginable. Every single government, from Morocco to Iraq, was defined by the systematic abuse of its citizens, denial of their most basic rights, and rampant corruption and violence. And in every case, such abuses and violence have been enabled by Western, Russian and other foreign interests.

Simply put, each and all the policies and actions described in the report - and 2008 was no better or worse than the years that proceeded or followed it - are as much forms of terror as the destruction of the World Trade Centre, invasion of Iraq, or attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.

In fact, the Middle East and North Africa have for over half a century constituted one of the largest and most pernicious terror systems of the modern era. And the US, Europe, Russia, and now increasingly China have been accessories, co-conspirators, and often initiators of this terror throughout the period, working hand-in-hand with local governments to repress their peoples and ensure that wealth and power remain arrogated by a trusted few.

Who can lead?

If the combination of the report and the news of the Benghazi attack weren't enough, within 20 minutes of arriving home, and while I was getting up to speed on the Benghazi attacks to respond to the inevitable media queries that were coming my way (Why do Muslims react like this just to a stupid movie? was what everyone wanted to know), I received the following alert from some Moroccan activists:

"A young Moroccan, in his twenties, who was employed and active in Communications, PR and Event Planning, has just been sentenced to 10 months in prison following a peaceful protest in Casablanca to free political detainees in Morocco last month. Samir Bradley was tortured by the Moroccan security apparatus during his initial interrogation. Sexual abuse, plucking of the eyelashes and attempts to pull of his nails were part of the techniques used by Moroccan authorities to humiliate him into submission.

After a ridiculously unfair trial and ruling, Proud and Strong, Samir has now started a hunger strike and is refusing water. Samir is an innocent active patriotic young man. A peaceful activist who only used peaceful means to push for positive change in Morocco. He will die in three days. The next time anyone reads the Articles 20 to 29 of the new Moroccan Constitution, please refer to reality to understand Morocco is not an 'exception'. The regime is repressing peaceful protests and Morocco is far... FAR from reaching out for Rule of Law."

This abuse was perpetrated by a "moderate", "modern" regime whom Secretary of State Clinton recently praised as not merely a leader for peace in the region, but a "very good model for others who are also seeking to have their own democratic reforms". 

What do Americans really expect to be the result of such bald-faced lies and support for brutality by our leaders?

The Arab uprisings of the last two years have at least given the world hope that a rising generation, in the region and - with their inspiration - globally, is finally trying to challenge the international terror system that ensures that hundreds of millions (indeed, billions) of people live mired in poverty and hopelessness, with almost no chance to create a better future, all so that a global elite can enjoy unimaginable wealth and power.

As global warming increases with its attendant environmental crises, food and fuel become more scarce and expensive, and global inequality rends social fabrics everywhere, we all have a choice.

We can succumb to the hatred and anger and each do our own part to speed the trip to our collective Hell, or we can follow the lead of the heroes of Bourguiba Boulevard, Midan Tahrir, Madrid's Puerta del Sol, Wall Street and numerous other places where during the last two years, at least for a moment, ordinary people have come together to knock down the system that has oppressed them for as long as they can remember.

Choice number one is far easier, as it will happen merely by continuing to think and act, as we always have and letting inertia carry us over the cliff. Choice number two demands that people everywhere engage in serious soul searching, make profound changes in their most basic attitudes, beliefs, actions and policies, and then force our leaders to do the same.

Whichever choice we collectively make, events like the Benghazi attacks and all they signify remind us that at least we've been warned.

Mark LeVine is professor of Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine and distinguished visiting professor at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden and the author of the forthcoming book about the revolutions in the Arab world, The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh. His book, Heavy Metal Islam, which focused on 'rock and resistance and the struggle for soul' in the evolving music scene of the Middle East and North Africa, was published in 2008.


It's useful to hear diverse views.

Moves us away from the hype and narrow, reductionist analysis we've come to expect from much of the mainstream news programs.



September 15. 2012 08:06 PM


Shame, in this wealthy country no-one should be going around with teeth like that. But I am not surprised - bought a toothbrush lately? They are so expensive and if you have 4 kids and 2 adults there is a good $26 (I have electric at $10 a pop), if its a choice between new toothbrushes and food on the table - gosh its must be a hard one

so true.

Sadly, we require a DentiCare system...but we oft find that these wars and conflicts suck so much from each govt's purse...

whether it be for local police (these latest protests), to pay for armaments, military equipment, wages, satellites, complex security systems, airport scanners, lawyers, compensation to war victims, rebuilding and infrastructure, nation building elsewhere after we flatten a place, fridge magnets, cost of dealing with displaced people fleeing conflict zones...the list goes on and on...

it seems the more religious fanaticism and xenophobia and racial villification flourishes spurred on by corporate profiteering and resource wars...and ignorance and knee-jerk populist responses by politicians...the more we are forced to spend valuable taxpayers' money on creating and preventing and attempting to defend against conflict...

ensuring progress is hindered...

which is why I'm moving towards favouring greater support for a secular public-based education system and a strengthening of the laws in relation to the separation of church and state.

A divided populace constantly fighting at various levels and sabotaging economies and social harmony takes us exponentially closer to the abyss...particularly in a highly weaponised world with weapons that can inflict unprecedented damage.

We need to think carefully about the present makeup of our communities and funding priorities that potentially divide rather than unite in a common goal of positive progress.



September 15. 2012 08:41 PM

Truth Seeker

Gravel, thank you for your kind and gracious feedback on my musings, it is always greatly appreciated.


Truth Seeker

September 16. 2012 01:07 AM


This is Samantha Maiden's post in some News Ltd paper. Some parts of it seem . . . weird.  See if you can make sense of it.

TONY Abbott is as adept as any politician, perhaps more so, at laundering bad news.

Anything potentially embarrassing is gently massaged into the public record with a discreet paragraph in a longer profile.

It's good media management and standard operating procedure for Abbott, a former journalist.

When factional enemies whispered stories of the secret son he believed he'd fathered at uni, the task fell to his friend Christopher Pearson to get the story on the public record.

It was the story of Abbott's missing son that first led journalists to Barbara Ramjan, the woman who has accused him of punching the wall near her head while at university.

One of the chief attacks on Ramjan's credibility this week was why had she failed to tell journalists the story before?

It turns out she did. Ten years ago, she sat for more than hour in Sydney's Bar Italia, Leichardt, with the journalist Andrew West. She remembers telling West the story and him not even writing it down. West concedes he was far more interested at the time in chasing up Pearson's story of the mystery woman who had given birth to Abbott's child. Both also say the chat was off the record, with Ramjan reluctant to embarrass her husband Greg James QC, then a NSW Supreme Court judge. An entirely logical reason - perhaps in keen anticipation of being publicly decried on national TV as a liar or a standard bearer for what Julie Bishop described as a cavalcade of Trots.

[Is it just me, or is this written deliberately ambiguously to allow the interpolation that the alleged mother was Ramjan herself? TT]

Ramjan again crossed journalists' radar in 2004.

Journalists from Sydney's Sun-Herald, Kerry-Anne Walsh and Candace Sutton, spent weeks researching a piece into Abbott's uni days. But he beat them, approaching Michelle Grattan, of The Age, with his own version of indecent assault allegations, dismissed by a court in 1978. The old case was to be revived in a new book Latham & Abbott by Michael Duffy.

When I read the heavily edited Walsh-Sutton piece, I was convinced they hadn't spoken to Ramjan as the only quotes were from the student paper, Honi Soit. But I was wrong. Ramjan's quotes were cut from the published article.

The book dealt with the indecent assault charges in a few paragraphs. There was less detail than in Abbott's choreographed version.

This week, I spoke to original assault plaintiff Helen Wilson, now in her sixties, who has no urge to revisit the past. Unsurprising perhaps given the treatment of Ramjan.

[Read that underlined line over a few times, thoughtfully. Does it sound spectacularly convenient for Abbortt? At what price?



September 16. 2012 06:24 AM


If people think that trading and trafficking victims of war for political expediency is OK then fine.

But it could just as easily be you and then what?


September 16. 2012 07:25 AM


While Abbott's Student Union behaviour is indicative - I really don't think that on it's own it will change many people's opinion of him.  As an example, there are a number of anecdotes regarding plenty of politicians tempers (Rudd, Newman for two) that firstly didn't stop them being elected and once they were there was some disbelief when  the trait was "exposed".


September 16. 2012 08:36 AM


Good Morning Comrade Swordsfolks.

Each time I open this thread I see a line that I find deeply offensive. Until the "Thing" who wrote that apologises to Ad astra and all who honour him, she will be reviled. She has utterly destroyed her own credibility and her harpying has done only harm to her own cause.

She need expect no civility from me until she proffers that invited apology to Ad astra.  


I'm posting this whole article from The National Times because though it's a good bit of writing it has one point I want to address (in italics).
Democracy in distress

Date September 16, 2012

Mary Crooks

Bigots and a mob mentality have hijacked civil debate and it's time to do something about it.

Illustration: Matt Davidson. (Worth the trip TT)

DISCORD is created by a clashing of harsh sounds. Jarring and unpleasant, it jangles the nerves. Our reflex action is to shut our ears.

Our country has become mired in discordant voices of fury, sexism, hatred and disrespect - and many Australians are deeply uneasy. They know and understand intuitively that a destructive and violent political discourse squeezes out the possibilities of rational and civil disagreement. They recognise that strong traditions of respect, tolerance, fairness and democracy are under pressure.

In a frighteningly short space of time, a series of interrelated, negative forces have come into play and are taking their toll - triggered by people with a ''tear-down'' mentality towards a legitimate government which happens to be led by the first woman to occupy the country's powerful top job; and which also happens to have introduced the first national legislation to deal with greenhouse gas emissions.

Every call for a fresh election fails to respect Westminster principles that define and give stability to democracy. Abuse and threats hurled at the independent MPs who helped form this legitimate government from the hung parliament (delivered by the people in 2010), further erode the democratic ethos. The lack of interest by large sections of the media in the legislative program of the minority government borders on disdain for democracy at work.

The gendered attacks directed towards the Prime Minister are disrespectful - to her and women and girls generally. Levelling constructive criticism of government policies and decisions is one thing; relentless, gendered attack as has dogged the Prime Minister since her election is another. Different standards are applied to her. We are told that she lacks ''authority'', that her leadership is ''tainted'' and that she has ''breached the faith of the public'' even though this is not the first occasion that a leader's undertaking has altered.

Hate and vitriol directed at the Prime Minister are given undue airplay by radio presenters who deny complicity. In the absence of adequate constraints, social media is facilitating an unprecedented level of sexist, misogynistic and violent commentary about her. These attacks ignore basic civility. Cloaked in anonymity, they demand no accountability of their authors.

A great weight of scientific evidence warns that our planet is in peril. Yet sectional business interests, parts of the media and a politically expedient campaign against carbon pricing have sought to discredit this evidence. Even scientists and other professionals who spend their lives in the service of the community have become targets of violent abuse and threats. In eroding public confidence in climate science, these negative elements elevate self-interest at the expense of the common good - creating confusion, mistrust and a diminishing of the reservoir of community goodwill that previously existed regarding action on climate change.

The combined weight of these developments poses an immediate and real threat to our democratic culture. We can be better than this. We are better than this. Standing by, watching and worrying achieves little. Passivity allows matters to worsen.

We all have a key role to play in restoring respect to our politics - in contesting and changing the discordant tone, quality and focus of current political debate. And we need to do this now, before it's too late.

This is why the Victorian Women's Trust has taken the step of publishing A Switch in Time. It is said ''the public has stopped listening'' to government. We would put it differently. Vast sections of the public are standing back and uneasily watching a trashing of respect. They want no involvement in the unedifying behaviour or discourse which is ''owned'' and dominated by a privileged handful of media owners, radio presenters, sections of business and allied, oppositional commentators.

They are, however, hungry for opportunities to reclaim civility and respect in the way our politics is done; and to play a constructive part in redirecting negative, destructive undercurrents towards a more productive and civil political discourse.

For a start, we need to counter this destabilising of the minority government by challenging the idea that it has no legitimacy. It is a constitutionally based government and deserves to be allowed to govern in its own right, for a full term.

Just as importantly, the sexism swirling around the Prime Minister needs to cease. Sexist attitudes degrade the person in the nation's top job and the office that she holds. This is particularly galling when she is performing with skill and effective leadership in demanding political circumstances.

As a community, we also need to respect and heed the body of authoritative climate science and do our bit to assist in reducing greenhouse emissions. Climate science deniers and media commentators share the luxury of not having to subject their research and writing to the rigour and formal validation of the peer-review process that is fundamental in scientific work. The body of global climate science has demonstrated the need to act quickly on reducing emissions if we are to forge an environmental future that does the best for our children and generations beyond. Our international treaty obligations are in place, along with a sound body of public policy through such work as the Garnaut reviews. We now have carbon price legislation that can kick-start the productive move to a low-carbon economy.

Discord contributes nothing positive to democratic culture. A healthy democracy is founded on respect - respect for democratic principles, democratic institutions and political office; respect for the ethos of a fair go; respect for the next person; robust and respectful debate; respect for truth in reporting; respect for sound policy and legislation and, above all, respect for the common good.

■Mary Crooks is the executive director of the Victorian Women's Trust.

Download A Switch in Time from vwt.org.au or send an email to women@vwt.org.au

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...tress-20120915-25zbm.html

I just have to argue with that one italicised point - it's the MSM, not the 5th Estate, that is driving the hatred. The harpies and trolls are symptomatic, not the root cause. And we can deal with them ourselves.

"What do you think?"


September 16. 2012 10:01 AM



I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your efforts & assistance in sorting out the TPS access problem this week. Thanks to your work on lyns links it was both easy to get hold of you & easy to sort out where to problem may have been, thanks again. You were able to alleviate the feelings isolation & despair of being locked out of home Smile.


September 16. 2012 10:31 AM


While I understand the point of the article TT "reprinted" above, I suspect it and and a lot of other writings in support of Julia Gillard are coming about it from the wrong angle (and have done so for a while).

What is frequently written or implied is that Julia Gillard is a woman who is the first female Prime Minister and faces a hard time due to a minority Government and a lot of demeaning tactics from the opposition and media.

Those that support Gillard should, in my view, be discussing that support from the basis of she is a good Prime Minister working under probably more stress that most recent PM's due to the tactics of the opposition and the need to negotiate everything through Parliament as she leads a minority Government.  Oh, and by the way, yes Julia is a female name and she is a woman.

The difference is that the first could be construed as Gillard is a good PM for a woman while the second is that Gillard is a good PM who just happens to be a woman.  Its a subtle difference but important.  After all Margie Thatcher as a female leader in the 80's was *new* (and from a conservative political party no less), a female leader in the 2010's is not unique - Gillard is nowhere near the first.

If you take the gender aspect out of play - it comes down to a direct comparison between Gillard and Abbott on policy, behaviour or any other aspect of being the leader or potential leader of the country.  Most who contribute to this site would believe there is no comparison, which seems to be a view that is becoming more widely held.  Removal of the "woman" tag as a qualifier will also promote gender equality, meaning that Gillard and Abbott are judged on their merit - not on their glamour, athelic ability, size or cut of of jackets/swimming gear or some other frivolous criteria.


September 16. 2012 10:32 AM


Marilyn has surely been bitten by Julia Gillard's red setter 'Haymaker' and infected with rabies, however, back to Abbott and current affairs this article is worth the link ie:



September 16. 2012 10:40 AM

Tom of Melbourne

Surprising, as it may seem, there is a reasonably simple explanation…

People don’t like duplicitous, politically expedient politicians, regardless of the strength of the economy.

That’s why Gillard is unpopular and that’s why Howard got beaten.

So get over blaming the media, or blaming misogyny, just accept that the public know a liar when they see (and hear) one.

Tom of Melbourne

September 16. 2012 11:26 AM


Troll of Melbourne,
                  Abbott is even more unpopular than the PM,not that you would have noticed! I suppose it's just another inconvenient truth you like to ignore!


September 16. 2012 11:38 AM

Tom of Melbourne

Fine, the current crop of political leaders are unpopular and untrusted.

But Abbott’s low popularity should put paid to the “blame the media/blame the misogynists” nonsense.

How is it that people are able to see the true nature of Abbott despite all the alleged media support, but are persuaded by the same media about Gillard?

That's a genuine inconvenient truth!

Tom of Melbourne

September 16. 2012 11:38 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody,

Hi Ad, here is Twitterverse for you, not much on Insiders, Tweeples  didn’t  have much tweetgoss  this morning

Khtagh thankyou for your lovely post @ 10.01am. I really appreciate your kind words.  Yes it would feel like being locked out
of home to me too.  Gee I am glad we have you in our TPS home Khtagh .  We do value your contributions very much, besides I am fond of you.

Nasking you have been working in fast forward, thankyou so much for your informative posts.

Bushfire Bill
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink
Listening to Sheridan makes it utterly obvious that he is still fighting the campus wars of 35 years ago, lambasting Trots, totalitarians, Commies, anti-Catholics, “Leftists” and all the rest.

Bushfire Bill
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 9:39 am
Michelle Grattan must be talking about the other media, the one over there…

Bigots and a mob mentality have hijacked civil debate and it's time to do something about it, Mary Crooks
The gendered attacks directed towards the Prime Minister are disrespectful - to her and women and girls generally. Levelling constructive criticism of government policies and decisions is one thing; relentless, gendered attack as has dogged the Prime Minister since her election is another.

They keep banging on about what they saw, Peter FitzSimons
Honourable truths
A point of order, Mr Speaker. In the past week since David Marr's Quarterly Essay profile of Tony Abbott, the issue of the week has been whether the Leader of the Opposition did or did not, in a flight of anger, punch the wall on either side of the head of a female political opponent. Before publication, he said: ''I have no recollection of it.'' After publication, he said: ''It never happened.

Former journalist Tony Abbott is adept at laundering bad news, says Samantha Maiden


Kimmaree ‏
#insiders you are wrong alleged violence against women , DOES go to character.

#insiders Mega on Abbott: ''he's not too good on defence, is he?'' <<#TonyAbbottIsALiar & a bully - unfit 4 high office!

Agnes Mack‏
#insiders Tanya : Abbott should apply same test to himself as he applies to the PM


September 16. 2012 12:16 PM

42 long

Abbott goes AWOL to avoid examination. Tony dishes it out but can't take any similar inference/cross examination, when the situation is reversed.. Total inconsistency is his hallmark. Does he take us all for complete fools or is he possessed of some serious character defect. Like, is this person delusional?
   Tony had so far been let off lightly while by contrast Gillard has copped it ( by the MSM).
   Tony is being seen as a real liability by MOST observers.
   Labor supporters want him and campbell Newman to stay, because they are a gift to Labor. Facts as they unfold presently, tend to favour Labor. They ARE travelling better than the LNP  as far as everyday government is concerned.
  Also the Greens are losing quite a bit of support. ( That seemed predictable).
   Labor really don't have to gain that much ( especially if they do it at the expense of the LNP, which IS possible) to get in,in 12 months and that is the time-frame that is being considered now. (THAT is a considerable change), and even The LNP use the word "IF" relating to the election.
  Katter's Party and ructions between the LIBs and NP are there but unknown  as to the extent of the effect they will have. They are not the perfect match that they conveniently present themselves publicly as.

42 long

September 16. 2012 01:09 PM

Dan Gulberry

To Ad Astra and all other Swordsters,

Congratulations on your 4th anniversary, and thanks for providing those of on the progressive side with content that is worthy of reading, both in the main posts and comments.

Special thanks to Lyn for providing further reading matter to our attention, and especially for bring The Derp a whole new batch of readers, many of whom have become mutual followers on Twitter.

In the words of US presidential followers who want their guy to be re-elected:


Dan Gulberry

September 16. 2012 01:15 PM


2353 @ 10:31 AM,
... take the gender aspect out of play - it comes down to a direct comparison between Gillard and Abbott on policy, behaviour or any other aspect of being the leader or potential leader of the country.

Excellent point.

Another aspect that I don't know will be solved is the almost total focus on the leader with scant attention paid to the team behind the leader.

The most obvious disconnect is how can a person be a leader if there is no team to lead?

The 'topic of the week' of Mr Abbott's alleged behaviour at university raises something interesting that I haven't seen or heard much discussed that needs to be taken into account.

There are many involved in politics today that came through the 'heady' university political wars of 30 - 40 years ago and who are still fighting many of those battles.

It seems that there are still many scores to settle from those days that are affecting how many are operating today.

Mr Hockey and Mr Abbott may have gotten over their university days on field rugby war when Hockey kneed a prone Abbott in the kidneys (and groin?) and Abbott 'awoke from the dead' and landed a king hit on Hockey, though, sometimes, their demeanour suggests otherwise.

While Aboot and Gillard were at diffent universities I suspect that their mutual 'love' for each other is very much tempered by some of those long gone battles.

Oh well after a brief respite for Sunday brunch it is back on the road I must go which will give much time and space to ponder many of the comments of the day.


September 16. 2012 01:17 PM


Aboot  Freudian slip?


September 16. 2012 02:31 PM


The vicious behaviour by both sects of religion in this weeks' Sydney and international violence demonstrates why religion has to be contained to the home or registered places of worship..ie.: churches, mosques, temples etc. there is no need to take sectarian hatred to the theatre or the streets...Religion and its' fanatics have done untold damage and violence over the years...and considering that the main perpetrators believe in the one diety in the one place at the one time..one has to marvel at just WHAT all the fuss is about!!and if each sect is under direct instruction to eliminate the other, which has to this date involved mass slaughter, surely it would be better to worship the devil?
But as far as THIS athiest is concerned...if one hair on my head gets ruffled by a violent act of some dopey religeo, I will sue the soul out of the ba*tards' organisation!!


September 16. 2012 02:49 PM


The myth of Tony Abbott's "self control".

Michelle Grattan, Peter Hartcher, Phil Coorey, all trundled out articles this last week referring to Tony Abbott's supposed 'self control', an ability not to demonstrate the expected im/explosion people expected from him once he became Leader of the Opposition.

Anyone's who's been watching him ever since that single vote elevation has seen that his vaunted 'self control' is a complete myth.

Mark Riley exposed it publicly, Anna Burke demolished it from the Speaker's Chair, and Abbott himself displayed it walking away when a 'doorstop interview' (with second string journos, incidentally) just got too hard on Friday.

Just three examples which reached the wider Australian populace through a mainstream media that couldn't not present them beyond the cottonwool coddling the little man came to rely upon because they were too public to play down.

Certainly anyone who's a regular Shouldabeen watcher saw nothing unusual in any of those three performances.

The man has a glass jaw, a six-pack jelly-belly, a stripe of yellow down his back regularly on view as he rushes away from anything requiring truthfulness, rational explanation, or even the hint of statesmanship.

"self control"? In a pig's eye!


September 16. 2012 03:05 PM

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Dan Gulbeery
Thank you for your birthday wishes and your kind comments.  Together we must fight the good fight for progressive politics, otherwise we will regress to a bygone era where equality and fairness were not part of the political agenda, where it was ever man for himself.

42 long
Tony Abbott never expects of himself what he demands of his opponents.  He is increasingly becoming a liability for his party and by corollary an asset for Labor.

Samantha Maiden’s piece is somewhat cryptic.  Abbott has cunning in spades, and plenty of mates to get him off any hook that impales him, and of course the confessional where he can seek forgiveness for his misdemeanours, and absolution when necessary.  He is a ‘wipe the slate clean’ fellow AFTER he has carried out whatever damage and destruction he brings about.  It’s a convenient routine!

Tony Abbott’s self-control is a myth perpetrated by the media to make him sound like a disciplined man.

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September 16. 2012 03:12 PM


I first posted what follows below in early July, but in the context both of the 'admiring Julia Gillard' theme and the post above - September 16. 2012 10:31 AM - from 2353, I reckon it merits a contextual re-run.


In the last five years the Australian nation has had a unique opportunity to observe the workings of our national parliament in two diametrically opposite situations.

When John Howard's Coalition had control over both houses, which essentially rendered the then Opposition and all public opposition irrelevant, we saw what absolute legislative free rein could mean. Workchoices epitomised it, but the actions of a government with no constraints on it ranged from bribing the electorate every Budget, to denying ministerial responsibility for shenanigans under their department's purview. It was government by prime ministerial whim.

Directly following that both-Houses-controlled experience, post 2007's election, there was a hiatus of something closer to 'normal' Australian political shape in Canberra - a government with clear control of the House of Representatives, but needing to seek and secure the support of others to have legislation pass through the Senate and ultimately into law. Checks and balances placed back into the process.

Following the national election of 2010 we have had a minority government, a major parties parity of the number of votes on the floor of the House of Reps which might have gone either way immediately post-election, except that the leader of the Labor Party more convincingly negotiated for support from elected independent members than did the leader of the Coalition parties.

Resulting that within one five year period, Australia has had an example of untrammeled power in a Federal government, and but for 'business as usual' in the middle years, a second one of power that relies upon persuasion and political compromise.

The two 'extremes' could not be more different, and the behaviour of the two Prime Ministers involved more distinct.

One went for the ram-through approach that delivered Workchoices. The other seeks to achieve comprehensive collaboration in Parliament.

Which strikes you as the better definition for Parliament operating as the standard for our democracy?

There is absolutely no credence in anyone, politician, media commentator, the bloke (or his wife) leaning over the side fence, in comparing the performance of Julia Gillard with any other recent Prime Minister.

As Prime Minister of a minority government, she cannot be meaningfully assessed by any measure that might be comparatively applied to any other PM since John Curtin was in a similar situation reliant upon the votes of independents in 1940.

72 years since any other Prime Minister of Australia has had to negotiate being the nation's leader at the head of a minority government.

And yet still she is criticised that 'John Howard would never have done this/did do this', 'Bob Hawke took the people with him', 'Menzies knew how to run the country', etc etc.

Each of them had political logjams to face, but none of them had to continually rely on non-party members to get legislation through the House of Representatives.

Rely with the absolute certainty that she never has a chance in the Senate without negotiation, compromise, persuasion. And always, she must assure those who join with her that the interest of the nation is clear and measurable, which she regularly does, or how else has she achieved the legislative record that her government has?

It completely bemuses me that Julia Gillard is 'professionally' criticised by even the supposedly sober and seasoned mature-aged members of the media when it is clear that the job she is doing barely anyone in Australia has ever seen done before.

You'd have to be 90 years old to have been mature enough in 1940 to actually comprehend what 'minority government' was, (lets say, 18 years old), and by the time you got to vote, in August 1943 (being by then 21 years old), it was over.

Line them up, please, the people in Australia who have ANY experience of a Federal minority government.

Then introduce me to those of them with a Press card and job in media. Not even Laurie Oakes (sorry, Laurie) fills that bill - he was only seven days old when John Curtin's re-election on 21 August 1943 consigned national 'minority government' to history until 2010. (It had actually ceased in 1941, but that historical byway is one for the political tragics.)

Nobody whose opinions we have been regaled with since Julia Gillard became Prime Minister knows what they are talking about when they talk about what's required of her in handling the job, or how she's not meeting the standard set by other PMs.

Nobody has had to do the job the way she has to do it since World War Two.

Blather as they like, media or Opposition politicians, they are talking tosh. Compare her with any past resident of The Lodge they wish, they're "making shit up" (to quote a recent David Cup Captain).

And while they make ordure up, just cast your mind back over the last eighteen months, hypothetically put Tony Abbott in the position of a PM required to compromise, negotiate, persuade.

It would never have happened. He's incapable of it, wouldn't even bother trying - observe his behaviour on asylum seekers. We wouldn't have had a minority government dealing with other elected members of Parliament, we'd have had a rush back to the polls brought about by some manufactured legislative crisis.

And that's where we'd still be, in manufactured crisis, as Abbott knows no way of promoting himself as the 'steady pair of hands to guide a country' except by constantly telling the country that it needs a steady pair of hands, by constantly scaring the electors back to Daddy.

The next government will almost certainly have the luxury of a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, but will almost as certainly not have a majority in the Senate. It will be a return to business as usual.

At that time, Australia will have experienced both ends of the Federal electoral model - one side dominant in both Houses, and losing government because it couldn't handle that dominance without over-asserting it; and both sides in the lower House evenly balanced except for one leader's skills at building political links with independent members consistently superior enough to assure the passage of legislation. Through it, and the Senate.

Julia Gillard should be recognised as a politician of rare skill, as a person of remarkable forbearance, and as a woman who has earned the highest regard as a model for her gender.

History will do so, no matter how laggardly the shouters and snide-spitters are today.

She's on the job, she's getting things done, and she's Prime Minister of Australia. She deserves to be.


September 16. 2012 03:19 PM


Tanya P was excellent on insiders.  Panel okay, soft on Abbott as usual but did give it an airing.  Watched Julia at the ALP conference in QLD. She was just brilliant.  I think even with the distress of her dad's death, she actually had a bit of a rest, and looked really fit and well.  Very disappointed they didn't televise all of Swanny's intro or any of the other contributors.  The bits I am catching through twitter, sounds like they are all upbeat and ready to get back to governing in QLD in a couple of years.


September 16. 2012 03:41 PM

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I have just posted The Punch.  Enjoy.


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