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Ban Live Export! Is it the right thing to do?

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Thursday, 4 October 2012 20:05 by Ad astra
Last week, one of our daughters sent the following email to her local MP:

“Last Tuesday I took my 2 year old son to the Royal Melbourne Show. I thought it would be a fun day out and we especially wanted to visit all the animals. We spent considerable time admiring the sheep and the cattle. I showed my son how to gently pat the sheep and explained how the mother was protecting her babies. I stopped short at emphasizing that he shouldn't stab, club or bury the gentle animals alive. My 2 year old knows better than that, he is thoughtful and shows empathy even at his young age.

“So when I heard that 10,000 sheep have been so cruelly disposed of, and 21,000 more are penned in, unable to move or lie down whilst waiting for conscious slaughter, our contrasting encounter at The Show was not lost on me. I am used to feeling enraged and distressed by animal cruelty, but why are we proudly displaying our farm animals in all their freshly washed glory, and at this same time sending their equally worthy cousins on a fateful journey?

“Do we need to sit our Prime Minister down, the Principal of our country, with senior staff member Senator Joe Ludwig, for a pre-school lesson in how to treat animals? Maybe we could arrange an excursion to Edendale farm and they could gently pat the animals and tap into their inner 2 year old.

“On the same day at The Show, my son and I admired all the lovely cattle and watched a calf suckle from its mother. How long can I protect my son from the knowledge that these lovely worthy creatures are packed off on a nightmare ship with the barest conditions?

“That lactating mothers are left dehydrated and dying? That calves die a slow painful death?

Is it not a contradiction to expect our children to demonstrate care and respect for animals whilst the Government casts them aside? Maybe the Government could send us parents an education booklet, like the ones about saying no to drugs, so I know exactly how to explain this to my son.

“This is how the booklet should read:

“Fact: The Government is responsible for the tragedies unfolding due to live export. They are the Parent. Humane treatment off our shores can never be guaranteed.

“Fact: The Meat and Livestock Industry cannot be trusted. They had known about the cattle abuse in Indonesia over 12 long years ago.

“Fact: Australia is a wealthy nation. We can redirect money from improving abattoirs in Indonesia to reopening languished local ones.

“If you ban live export, you might lose some customers, you might upset some farmers. Oh dear, you might even lose some votes - but it's the right thing to do. Our friendly sheep rearing neighbour New Zealand can surely give us some tips on how to export meat in pieces rather than whole. Think of the carbon miles you'll save Julia!

“The arguments for live export don't stack up; it is unethical and unnecessary. Labor, we used to be friends but one of us has changed. I implore you to go back and find your inner 2 year old. It's the right thing to do.

“Reference: Animals Australia www.animalsaustralia.org “

Very strong feelings are generated among much of the community when animal cruelty is exposed. Whether it was a farmer or an animal owner who let his livestock starve or become diseased or debilitated, or whether it was the gross cruelty that we saw last year when Four Corners exposed the grotesque slaughter of cattle in Indonesian abattoirs, the people became enraged. Politicians all over Australia were inundated at that time with hostile emails insisting that action be taken to stop the cruelty immediately. Politicians commented that they had never before encountered such an avalanche, much greater than evoked by acts of cruelty to human beings in theatres of war or civil strife. So massive were the protests that the Government was compelled to act quickly, and chose to immediately ban the export of live animals to Indonesia until better conditions for animal slaughter were in place. Animals Australia was particularly active and vocal.

The ban lasted a month, much to the chagrin of some Coalition members and cattlemen, who thought it was an overreaction. ''The Indonesians won't like it,'' said Bruce Warren, who operates a state-of-the-art feedlot and abattoir in Java. ”If the trade stops, it will be hard to start again … The Indonesian government is already talking about this in terms of an opportunity for self-sufficiency.''

Once the Government was satisfied that conditions in Indonesia had improved to the extent that slaughter could be humane, although ‘stunning’ was still not mandatory but ‘encouraged’, the ban was lifted and trade resumed. The outrage subsided among the people, but some cattlemen and Coalition members still felt the ban was too hasty, quite unnecessary, and certainly had cost them a lot of money and probably loss of future trade with Indonesia. Though in a small online poll of just over 2,000, seven out of ten respondents thought it was not right for Australia to resume live exports to Indonesia.

The most recent episode of animal cruelty involved a shipment of 21,000 sheep to Bahrain last month. Rejected by that country because the sheep were said to be diseased with ‘scabby mouth’, they were sent to Pakistan, where there were suggestions that the sheep may also have anthrax. The outcome was that some of the sheep were clubbed to death, stabbed and even buried alive. The rest remain in a feedlot crammed together so tightly that they cannot lie down or gain easy access to food and water. There is still doubt about whether or not they are diseased. More outrage was evoked among the people, and protest rallies against live exports have been organized for the weekend.

Live cattle export is deemed necessary because in Islamic countries a particular mode of slaughter is required, one that these countries prefer to carry out themselves.

The basic Islamic guidelines are as follows:

“The sacrifice should be performed during the daytime, not at night. The knife to be used to cut the animal's throat should be very sharp, so much so that the least amount of force or pressure is needed to slice the animal's jugular vein, so it feels the least amount of pain when its skin is thus cut. The knife should not be shown to the animal, but the latter should be fed well and laid down facing the direction of the "Qiblah" (Muslim direction of prayer - the Ka'ba) in Makkah. The person who will perform the sacrifice should be well-versed in their job, and should not hurt the animal by clumsily jabbing away at the latter's throat with a blunt knife, causing pain and fear. The one performing the sacrifice should be swift and deft. He should say "Bismillah Allahu Akbar" before slicing the animal's throat. The owner of the animal should recite an invocation before the sacrifice.”

To meet these requirements, Australia has a long history of live exports, which is a very profitable enterprise. There have been examples of animal cruelty going back to before the Howard years. Some awful instances at that time occurred during transportation rather than in the recipient country. In her submission to the Independent Review of Australia’s Live Export Trade, animals activist Kathryn Woolfe wrote: “During the last three decades of Live Exports, one hundred and fifty million sheep and cattle have been tortured, and brutalized, before suffering agonizing deaths. Most of these animals were conscious when their throats were cut.”

As with all policy matters complexity confounds thinking. At one end of the spectrum of opinion sit the RSCPA, Animals Australia, the Greens, animal welfare groups, several Labor parliamentarians, Independents Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon and countless citizens who want an immediate and permanent ban on live exports. At the other end are cattlemen, Meat and Livestock Australia, The Cattle Council of Australia, the NT Cattlemen’s Association, and the National and Victorian Farmers Federation, who value the trade and view with apprehension a ban on live exports, which would seriously imperil their trade and destroy its profitability.

It should be emphasized that cattle producers and exporters are adamant that they do not condone animal cruelty and insist their trade must be humane. They claim they are very fond of the animals they breed. Some people though feel that despite their affirmations against cruelty, they cannot be trusted to put animal welfare ahead of profit. Islamic culture also deplores and opposes any form of animal cruelty, including during the slaughter process. So how is it that with both producers and overseas recipients of livestock opposed to cruelty, it still occurs?

In any endeavour, there are always the good guys and the rogues. Clearly, despite the best intentions of the producers and exporters, sometimes things go wrong. Animals are sometimes subjected to appalling conditions during transport. Cramped conditions, excessive heat or cold, inadequate access to food and water have characterized many live export journeys. How does this occur? The authorities that oversee live exports know that some operators are slack, careless and uncaring about animal welfare; their only concern is getting their cargo loaded, out of port, and to its destination with minimal casualties. The authorities know that strict regulations are needed, and that they have to be enforced rigidly. They know that despite their best efforts shonky operators will try to get round the regulations, and will do so unless they are policed strictly. Thus, from time to time, we have appalling episodes of obscene animal cruelty that evoke intense anger and outrage among those who loathe animal cruelty.

So is a total ban on live exports the right thing to do? Like in all political issues complexity abounds.

To simply ban live exports precipitously would ruin some farmers, businesses and industries, and result in the loss of many jobs and all that entails. Live trade would be lost overnight, and alternatives would take substantial time to establish. Would it be fair to those who have built up such businesses to be suddenly put out of business and perhaps rendered bankrupt? Most reasonable people would say that would not be fair.

On the other hand would it be reasonable to allow the trade to be continued without tightening of the regulations governing it and strengthening the monitoring of live exports? Many would approve continuance of the trade if they could be certain that animal cruelty could be totally prevented.

Others believe that because there will always be shonky operators, animal cruelty would still be bound to occur despite the strongest regulations and the most intense oversight. They would see a total and permanent ban as the only solution.

So where does the answer lie?

To accommodate competing claims, would it be reasonable to commence a planned phasing out of the live export trade over a period that enabled those who rely on it to adjust. Since New Zealand banned live exports in 2003, it would be possible to do it here, and according to NZ PM John Key, harmonization of live exports between our two countries would be of mutual benefit and reduce frustration occasioned by the two countries having different policies. How long the phasing out would need to be would need to be agreed by consensus – a year, two, perhaps longer? In place of live exports, animals destined for the Middle East would need to be slaughtered in Australia according to the customs required by the recipients, as in New Zealand. This would boost jobs and profit in the meat-processing sector, while reducing them in the live trade transport industry. Compensation and adjustment might be required. But it is possible.

Is it possible that the antagonists to, and the protagonists for the live export trade might negotiate a new arrangement that would satisfy those seeking a ban while securing the future of those engaged in the livestock industry?

Of course it is possible, but how probable would it be when vested interests fight to maintain the status quo even in the face of strong adverse public opinion, and political pressure to ban live exports?

It seems likely that only strong Government intervention could achieve that outcome. Federal legislation to this effect would likely pass even if the Coalition opposed, as the Greens and at least two independents would vote for it.

Would the Labor Government have the desire, the determination and the courage to carry this through? Many would hope so.

What do you think?

Comments (204) -

October 4. 2012 08:38 PM


I wrote this when Howard was still PM in response to a "poetry group" request that I write my thoughts on the refusal of that horrid man to say Sorry to indigenous Australians. Since then his disgusting immorality, coarsened and amplified by his Abborttian successors, has infected a great proportion of Australians - some of whom don't even know what a genuine apology sounds like.

I ad mitto holding over this effort  to be early in this thread, rather than late in the last.  


The suffix Oh-Ell-Oh Gee-Why means "Study of" or "Science":
Objective truth established by ear, nose, tongue, hand or eye-sense:
There are three quite weird exceptions: 'Scientology' and 'Astrology'
And a stranger stranger, stranger yet: I'm speaking of apology./i]

Apology's no science: you don't need a clever brain:
You simply say you're sorry that you caused your neighbour pain
There is no need for artfulness, so neither is it Art,
For genuine apology comes only from the heart.

Apology's main ingredient is true sincerity:
On one side to assuage guilt, on one asperity;
Make straight the way to Mateship's gate, and lubricate its hinges:
Increase the Love, erase the Hate - (perhaps, to placate  Whingers!)

When I was young my mother sometimes bade me say "I'm Sorrr-rrry!"
Like when I smacked my neighbour's nasty kid down at the quarry:
Hell NO! I wasn't going to apologise, because
I was much too proud to say that I was sorry unless I was.

So when I say I'm sorry, please be certain that it's true:
Saying sorry when I'm not is something I don't do:
Yet sometimes I say sorry when I'm really not to blame,
When injured parties truly think they have a valid claim.

For sometimes certain circumstances get misunderstood,
And sometimes trying to get things straight can prove to be no good.
Then rather to insist on Truth despite futility,
One may truly say one's sorry out of true humility.

Blessed be the pacemakers: that's what it's all about;
Murmuring a penance when it doesn't help to shout;
Pouring oil on troubled waters, taming what's too wild,
Smoothing rough relationships, and getting reconciled.

But apology's two-sided: it's like offering a gift:
Apologees may give apologisers zero shrift;
That's justified if injured parties feel it's insincere,
Then the only course of action left is to walk away, I fear.

To say that one is sorry, one must swallow humble pie;
One bloke I once said sorry to just samcked me in the eye!
It wasn't what I said I'm sorry for that caused his pique:
It turned out that he thought that sorry-sayers were just weak!

Yet humble pie turns out to be essential to one's growth!
John Howard is a Hawk at War: at Sorry he's a Sloth!
When it comes to apology, he chokes upon a crumb:
To me he's Little John Lickspittle, Hypocrite and Scum!

We're all apologisers sometimes, apologees at others ;
Which underscores the fact that we're all sisters and/or brothers,
For if you can accept apology, with pure humility,
Then there's a nice corollary - that's true civility.

Those who can't accept a Sorry (when it's well and truly meant),
I'm sorry to have to say so, but I fear they're badly bent:
For that I can't apologise, yet I can truly say,
[i]I'm very truly sorry
that they've ended up this way!


October 4. 2012 08:51 PM

Ad astra

Nice verse on apologies.  Thank you.

Sincere ones count; insincere ones heighten the insult.  Alan Jones knows this.

Ad astra

October 4. 2012 09:06 PM


AA - a very thought provoking article.  I wasn't aware that New Zealand pre-packs meat rather than allows live export and can see the benefits of doing this here as well (at least if the process occurs on our shores, we can control the process).  We wouldn't have the farcical situation where at least one boat per season is sent away from it's intended port for the reason that the animals have some contagious illness (real or imagined) and some effort is put into dumping the animals somewhere.

I don't know if there is a reason that on-shore process doesn't occur, the only downside I can see is the reduction in business that would flow on to the livestock carriers.  I also wonder how those that claim we are selling off the farm or exporting jobs would cope with the proposal.


October 4. 2012 09:42 PM

Ad astra

Thank you for your comment.

You are right.  There ought to be applause for creating meat-processing jobs here if a live export ban was put in place.  The only ones who would suffer would be the offshore livestock transporters.  There was a great hullabaloo from the livestock producers when the temporary ban was imposed; perhaps if it was permanent but the export of slaughtered meat was maintained at similar volumes to live export, the hue and cry would subside, as it has in New Zealand.

I’m now off to bed.

Ad astra

October 4. 2012 10:07 PM


These animals are held in feed lots. That feed has to be grown somewhere. That's a whole lot of land used to grow grain to feed to cattle that actually produce a lower nutritional yield than if we ate the grain ourselves.  This makes no sense.  Growing crops also uses far less water which is kind of important on a continent like Australia.

Sure, there are jobs in live export, but we have to ask where our self respect is if we have tolerate such abject cruelty for the sake of propping up a flawed industry.  Isn't it interesting how we can all suddenly become awfully sensitive to other cultures when there's a buck to be made?

There were jobs in film stock.  Did we stop to think about that before buying our digicams?  There were jobs in driving dunny carts.  Did we worry about that before putting the sewerage on? Industries evolve and sometimes they die.  

We are told by defenders of the industry that these are just a few bad apples and that the majority are perfectly decent.  Well, let's see the video of the places that are meant to be good.  We need to be reminded of the realities of the choices we make.  Linda McCartney once said if abattiors had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.  Well, maybe not everyone, but enough to change a lot of minds.


October 4. 2012 10:15 PM


Ad Astra
What you said!!!


October 4. 2012 10:23 PM


It's not just the live-animal transporters who will be affected.  For example, some companies exist to produce feed for the animals while they are on the transporter.

I'm not in favour of the live-animal export industry, just want to point out that more people will be affected (and some businesses will close) if it is stopped.  

NB: I'm still MWS, but I'm using another email address to link to my new gravatar.  At least the new email address explains why I sign as MWS (if an explanation is possible).


October 4. 2012 11:00 PM


my best wishes go out to you & your partner. I enjoy your posts immensely, oh what a web the lieberals have weaved over the yrs, so easy to see how the tea party was able to send its methods down here to Abbort & his lieberals

My Klingon friend, many thnx. All pass those wishes onto Stacey.

thnx also for the kind words.

I promised Stace I would take some quality time with her after the first American debate...she has been immensely patient with me and my politics obsession tho. Smile

I'm satisfied that the govt and the alternative media have made useful, incremental gains the past few mths...and have been highly impressed by PM Gillard and her team...The Independents...and the alternative media...particularly a number of bloggers and commentors and social networkers who have contributed a superb, informative, enlightening and passionate performance.


Keep up the great work Ad astra, Lyn, the new posters and all of our wonderful contributors on here.

The good fight is being won...mile by mile...kilometre by kilometre.

Until later.

BTW, I will drop in to read yer posts and comments...and LIKE with the odd short comment on Facebook if time permits.

My RESPECT for women had increased twofold since not only watching the strength of PM Gillard under emotional pain and the vitriolic attacks she has undergone...and the amount of issues on her plate...but also I now fully recognise how much many women juggle in their lives...and how well they cope even under the most extreme circumstances. And how oft we men can fall into taking them and their efforts for granted.




October 4. 2012 11:03 PM


That should be:

My RESPECT for women has increased twofold since not only watching the strength of PM Gillard under emotional pain and the vitriolic attacks she has undergone



October 4. 2012 11:51 PM


Ad astra

You do like to canvas the thorny issues, don't you? Well done, this is a complex and emotional issue as well as an economic conundrum.

Just for clarity, it should be pointed out that one of the reasons for exporting live cattle to near neighbours like Indonesia is so that they can be sent before they are fully grown or fattened up, thereby saving considerably on transport costs. They are then fattened at the other end in feed lots. This was one of the problems that was created during the recent ban, farmers were left with beasts that were too big to be suitable for the market in to which they were meant to go.

Some animals are sent as breeding stock. A recent 7.30 programme detailed how this system is sometimes abused with the animals being put into appalling situations despite prior assurances that they were going to a good home, as it were. Never-the-less, it is a valid argument for live shipment.

Another argument that I have heard in favour of live export is that the consumer on the other end who doesn't have refrigeration can buy a live animal and keep it until a convenient time of slaughter. I can't verify this contention but footage of sheep being dragged down the street by one leg and put into the boot of car is not a good look.

Which brings us to the much-debated question of whether we have the right to dictate to another society how they should treat animals. Just because we have an emotional attachment to some animals does not mean that all cultures do. We don't breed dogs and ship them live to those countries that still eat them. That would be way off the end of our emotional scale and yet I haven't seen a sustained hue and cry over the practice taking place in other countries. Does it matter more to us because they are (or were) our animals?

Again, as an indication of our hypocrisy on this subject where we try to dictate how other countries treat their livestock, do we campaign against the cruel treatment of chickens, for example? Travelling in asian countries, I was dismayed to see chickens cooped up in small bamboo cages in the sun or tied by their legs upside down on the handlebars of bicycles. Turtles kept live in small plastic containers, their destiny to be slaughtered in the gutter by the householder. Do we campaign for a more humane method of dispatching fish that we catch rather than letting them 'drown' in the air? Mud crabs have to be cooked while still alive and they are thrust into boiling water. Is that okay because they are not warm and cuddly mammals? The examples are almost endless.

If we are going to feel an emotional attachment to the livestock that we raise here in Australia and we can't harden ourselves to the fact that they might be treated inhumanely at their destination then we have to stop live exports. That's the choice - HTFU (as the language of the day would describe it) and accept that once they reach their destination they are no longer our responsibility or stop exporting them to places where their welfare is at risk. I guess another option would be to do what some Australian producers have done in Indonesia which is to build our own slaughterhouses where we supervise every step of the process but surely that must open up even more questions when the abattoir next door is locally owned and slaughtering cattle using methods of which we don't approve.

Again, we have to ask ourselves, is it only because they used to be our animals that we are so concerned or are we going to try to 'civilise' the whole world?

Personally, emotionally, I think we should stop the trade and send the product frozen but that isn't going to stop the mistreatment of animals in other countries. It is only going to stop the mistreatment of 'our' animals in another country.

By the way, your daughter writes exceptionally well. I hope I am never on the end of one of her pointed letters.


October 5. 2012 12:00 AM


Ad astra

Off-topic. You might find this article interesting with regard to yesterday's debate in the U.S.
Perhaps Obama was gobsmacked by Romney's audacity.

Top 7 Lies of the First Debate
by Jeff Fecke     Care2.com

Do facts matter? The early analysis of a debate is always superficial. Who was more aggressive? Who had the best zingers? Who sounded like they knew what they were talking about? It’s a lot easier to look at body language and mood and make a quick judgment than to actually dig into the facts.

Of course, facts matter. While a candidate may sound great telling a lie, if it’s a lie then…well…it’s a lie.

Tuesday’s debate featured no shortage of lies. Here are the top seven


And for the record:

'Casual approach' a factor in roof death: coroner
by Paul Bibby     SMH

The "casual approach to health and safety" by a Sydney insulation company contributed significantly to the death of a teenager who passed away after installing roof insulation in 40-plus degree temperatures, a coroner has found.


Mr Wilson had been working under the broad umbrella of the federal government's much maligned home insulation scheme. But the coroner attributed no blame to this program for the young man's death.



October 5. 2012 12:05 AM


meant to put up two comments I wrote for TPS but found the site was down:

There is a real herd mentality thing going on related to the American debate...to be expected off the back of immediate response to debates and flash polls..and of course the corporate media hypes and distorts because they MUST hook-in viewers and listeners for the next debate, it's one of their high ratings opportunities.

So making Obama look weaker than he was by using polls that probably have alot of frantic Republicans on them helps their cause.

And of course the public are desperate for a real competition...and are letting out some of their frustrations related to work, finances, the bailouts, GFC, race etc. on the president...

and showing their relief that he has some competition...and hoping he gets an arse-kicking...that shifts him into gear.

Americans are an impatient lot generally, they don't always get cautious, reflective thinking and policy that helps in the long run.

That's their weakness...too bold and brash...

that's what they saw in Romney tonite and many were attracted to it...related to it...BUT...that's exactly what got them into trouble in the first place...

unthinking, impatient, impetuous brashness and knee-jerk responses...leading to the Iraq War fiasco, unaffordable conflicts, a housing crash, bank ripoffs, accumulation of too much personal debt.

Obama was never going to win this debate...the need for a cathartic response by impatient, spoilt, racist or still not quite comfortable with a black president, short-term thinking Americans was too high...

and Obama as the incumbent was bound to cop the blowback.

Like a mini-Tea Party moment during the mid-term election.

The people will come to the second debate differently.

Once the actual debate has been analysed, broken down into focus pieces...once the public look beyond the shallow argument that it confirms Obama is too hesitant, leads from behind.

Once the public get to scrutinise what Romney actually said...and didn't say.

I also believe Obama took this approach on purpose...careful and deliberate with his responses...keeping alot up his sleeve.

And of course, his mind is occupied by serious issues at present that much of the public are not aware of...including foreign relations.

It's not surprising when hearing the BS Mitt comes out with...add the sleep deprivation aspects...and the annoyance with Republican and corporate sabotage and blocking of policy...and the entire world of foreign relations on his shoulder...and job creation during an economically globally unstable time...knowing how much shit was dumped on his doorstop...and worrying about his family and his safety...well, it's not surprising that Obama seemed at times distracted, quiet, occasionally impatient.

Considering, I think he did well.

And it won't hurt democracy to have a real competition...some intense debates on the issues.

It also tells Obama voters they can't be complacent...they must get out and VOTE...same for those Independents who fear a continuation of the "long war" pushed by Cheney...the war that is breaking their economic back...but profiting THE FEW.

Agree too with Ad's assessment on previous thread.



October 5. 2012 12:08 AM


A little respect: attracting top teachers is not rocket science

Jane Caro @ The Drum:

All over the English-speaking world there seems to be a concerted attack on teachers. They are to be measured, judged, tested, compared, blamed, named, shamed, casualised, forced into competition with one another and held accountable for their student's results.


But it demonstrates the priorities of a consumerist, money obsessed society brainwashed by a corporate self-interested media and their sycophantic Liberal supporters who have been taught to display bitterness and envy towards workers in sectors other than their own...

to create a faux battle in order to distract from the flood upwards of money, the lack of necessary taxes on the rich, the corruption and manipulation by some in our corporate aristocracy.

They'd rather see US fight amongst ourselves than see them for what they are...the real bringers of "class war" and theft and exploitation.

Educators deserve a damn site more respect...but ya can't tell the celebrity addicted...the Big Brother and Underbelly obsessed.

Have a goodie all. Sleep well.



October 5. 2012 12:19 AM


Oh for goodness sake! This really has got ridiculous now.
It would seem that Mr Abbott's image has not yet had enough PhotoShopping, now they've dragged in his better half.

So take a good look at my face
You'll see my smile looks out of place
If you look closer, it's easy to trace
The tracks of my tears..

Tears and Downton Abbey: Abbott's other side
by Gemma Jones     The Australian

THE woman closest to Tony Abbott has revealed intimate details of their private life together, including how he was a "wreck" when she suffered a miscarriage.
His wife of 24 years, Margie Abbott doesn't enjoy public attention or fit the mould of a political spouse.
But in response to claims her husband has a problem with women, she agreed to a wide-ranging interview with News Ltd about their family life with their three daughters.


If they watch a sad movie together he will get "teary," she said.
Mr Abbott said he was embarrassed he became "sooky" in The Year My Voice broke, one of the first movies the couple saw together



October 5. 2012 12:19 AM


In vitro meat

In vitro meat, also known as cultured meat or shmeat, is an animal flesh product that has never been part of a complete, living animal. Alternative names include hydroponic meat, test-tube meat, vat-grown meat, victimless meat and vitro meat.



Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger

So why use such high tech methods to produce meat when livestock production methods have done the job effectively for thousands of years?

It is because most food scientists believe that current methods of food production are unsustainable.

Some estimate that food production will have to double within the next 50 years to meet the requirements of a growing population. During this period, climate change, water shortages and greater urbanisation will make it more difficult to produce food.

Prof Sean Smukler from the University of British Columbia said keeping pace with demand for meat from Asia and Africa will be particularly hard as demand from these regions will shoot up as living standards rise. He thinks that lab grown meat could be a good solution.

Demand for meat will increase at a time when it will be harder than ever for farmers to boost production
"It will help reduce land pressures," he told BBC News. "Anything that stops more wild land being converted to agricultural land is a good thing. We're already reaching a critical point in availability of arable land," he said.

Lab-grown meat could eventually become more efficient than producing meat the old fashioned way, according to Prof Post. Currently, 100g of vegetable protein has to be fed to pigs or cows to produce 15g of animal protein, an efficiency of 15%. He believes that synthetic meat could be produced with an equivalent energy efficiency of 50%.

So what is the synthetic burger likely to taste like?

"In the beginning it will taste bland," says Prof Post. "I think we will need to work on the flavour separately by trying to figure out which components of the meat actually produce the taste and analyse what the composition of the strip is and whether we can change that."

Prof Post also said that if the technology took off, it would reduce the number of animals that were factory farmed and slaughtered.


Moving forward in our reality.

Change comes slowly...but it comes.


Humans as a race have the potential to be great via sacrifice and innovation.

We really are something.



October 5. 2012 12:27 AM


BTW, excellent post Ad.

And superb ideas from yer knowledgeable and wise daughter.

Like father like daughter, in this case. Smile

Must really go this time...Stace has a show on evolution she wants me to watch.



October 5. 2012 12:57 AM


My Facebook site:




October 5. 2012 06:01 AM


The sheep are food and wool, they are animals and not entitled to human rights.

You need to get over this nonsense while tens of thousands of human babies die of hunger every day.


October 5. 2012 06:09 AM


It's on the news this morning that Mrs Abbott will be giving a speech today and the notes have already been released.  So Mrs Abbott had a miscarriage and Mr Abbott got upset.  So bloody what - so he should have?  The couple can join the millions of other Australian couples who have suffered a similar fate (including my wife & I).

THis is desperation stuff - trying to pull on peoples heartstrings.  Words fail me.


October 5. 2012 07:16 AM



Improving on Federalism,Dr Klaas Woldring, Independent Australia
The answer is to search beyond federalism. In chapters three and four, Richard Murray’s approach to a “fiscal framework” and “federal financial relations” actually outlines that the dominant financial power of the national government makes a new federation of five cities and 19 regions basically impractical. It is plainly dangerous to resurrect such a new federal structure. Let us start afresh by calling a spade a spade.

Renewables Will Win At The Ballot Box, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
About a quarter of South Australian electricity customers will pay a lower rate for their power next year, with expected annual savings of around $160 for an average household, under a draft determination," the Commission announced. Bills are expected to drop around 8 per cent for those on so-called standing contracts.

Defending political staffers,  Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion
The Business Council of Australia is a part of the history of that bad policy. For all their talk of competition, light regulation, deregulated markets creating greater economic growth the BCA failed to defend actual competition in the telecommunications market or to facilitate the shift to a digital information economy. The BCA engaged in reactive short term policy making.

IS Freedom of Speech really free- Really-, Nancy Cato
The message is very clear: Take heed those of you who verbalise publicly, that any words of brutality, hatred or violence will no longer be tolerated. Say what you want by all means; but should you publicly go against the grain of ordinary, common, human decency be prepared to take full responsibility for your actions; and should this cause you loss of income, loss of power and certainly loss of any dignity you may have enjoyed… so be it.

MAN UP AND FACE , Corinne Grant, The Hoopla
The rule is pretty simple: if you think your comments are abhorrent or offensive, then either keep them to yourself or be prepared to cop the consequences if others find out. That goes for everybody on the planet, not just public figures.

Social media, bloggers, pollies and journos and The Rise of the Fifth Estate, The Burgerman, News Burger
Trying to make sense of all of this in the context of Australian media and politics is Greg Jericho. A former federal public servant who blogs and tweets under the name Grog’s Gamut, his anonymous critiques of Question Time, the Canberra Press Gallery and the 2010 election campaign trail garnered increasing media attention until he was finally unmasked in the pages of The Australian.

When media on the Right condemn Alan Jones, the Liberals get confused, Turn Left 2013
Peter van Onselen, Murdoch media bovver boy, has been one of the few in the media to say when it comes to Alan Jones, enough is finally enough. Here he is speaking with Michael Kroger, Liberal powerbroker about Alan Jones – and Kroger’s only response seems to be “it’s all Labor’s fault” and van Onselen is jealous.

Community Cabinet or Sports?, The ABC Has Gone To Hell
The ABC, in lockstep with the mainstream media, has been pushing the lazy narrative that the ‘public’s stopped listening’ and ‘the Government doesn’t know how to sell its message’. A cynical charge to make when the ABC is one of the few gatekeepers to our television screens, leading to the obvious point: no one is going to be hearing much from the Government and its message (outside of a 30 second grab) if the ABC’s priority is to give its viewers sports commentary

Advisers say Ashby seeking more money, ABC World Today
Good question, apparently there are no lawyers in town that will represent one Mr Slipper. He has at the moment called for an adjournment and been given one by the judge. He seems to be trying to persuade Julian Burnside QC who was representing the Commonwealth to, it appears, to represent him as well to draw the Commonwealth back as his legal representation.

The rules of outrage expose a weird set of priorities, Tim Dunlop, The Drum
There is something deeply unserious, then, about our response to the Jones' incident, including the willingness of the media to make it into a big story. It speaks to a weird set of priorities.Striking a blow against the incivility of a highly-paid media performer like Jones is no doubt a good thing to do, especially when he behaves like a pig.

Former HSU boss charged with fraud, ABC
Detective Superintendent Dyson did not rule out further arrests in relation to the investigation."I want to make it clear that the investigation has not cleared any persons of interest," he said."In fact, we have more persons of interest now than when the investigation started

Experts divided on impact of social in Alan Jones scandal, Amy Kellow, Ad News
Jones has also been the target of a Change.org petition encouraging sponsors to cut ties with the network, which has now amassed over 107,000 signatures. Several major brands including Woolworths, McDonald's, Coles and Big W have announced they have pulled their advertising.The shock jock, who said he regretted "repeating" the comments about Gillard's father, was also the subject of last night's Gruen Transfer and The Chaser's Hamster Wheel, which dissected his response.

Australia's 15 most powerful journalists and editors, Matthew Knott, The Power Index
The media is more fragmented than ever before, yet journalists and editors remain a powerful group in society. Journalists because they break news and help set the political, social and business agenda — exposing wrongdoing, holding governments to account or provoking discussion through the commentary and analysis. Editors because they determine which stories get pursue

Howard’s history repeating: curriculum complaints nothing new , Tony Taylor, The  Conversation
But former Prime Minister John Howard in his inaugural Hasluck lecture in Perth late last week has managed to hit the trifecta of historical misunderstanding. First, he referred to his school days in the 1950s. Second, on the face of it, he had neither read the curriculum document properly nor understood how it might work in the classroom. Third, he mistakenly grumbled

NBN could cost $100bn, claims Hockey, Renai Lemay, Delimeter
There’s not really much to analyse here. NBN Co and Conroy have provided clear financial estimates for the NBN based on actual contracts which have been signed and actual customer take-up. In comparison, the Coalition has declined to provide the working for its own financial estimates. There just isn’t any evidence right now that what Turnbull and Hockey are saying is correct.

Obama And Romney Meet In First Presidential Debate, Australian Politics Com
A lacklustre Obama faced a confident Romney who dominated most of the debate. Whilst neither man stumbled and neither produced a memorable moment, the Republican Party will be buoyed by Romney’s performance.

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 5 October 2012


October 5. 2012 08:01 AM


It seems mighty early in the cycle for Tony Abbott's wife to come out with the 'he's really just a big cuddly toy' pitch. That's an election campaign ploy.

A tired one.

"An angel abroad, a devil at home" is an expression my mother often used.

Perhaps Margie Abbott has 'an angel at home, who's a devil abroad'?

Because, surrounded by women at home and his office as he may be, Tony Abbott is manifestly rude, malicious and mocking towards women who aren't 'his women'.

And "his women" are, at core, within his orbit, to one degree or another controlled by their relationship to and with him, familial or commercial (employer/employee).

Look, drill right down. Nobody, wife, mother, closest friend, chief of staff, would even need to begin to draw breath to assert that Tony Abbott has no problem with women unless it appears that he does.

We don't know where he stands on striped socks (apart from in them, or not) because he has not acted in a manner that makes clear his opinion of striped socks.

The same cannot be said of his actions and responses to women who, either on an equal footing in a 'shared' ministerial responsibility, see Nicola Roxon in 2007 and "That's bullshit"; or in a suppliant position, as Leader of the Opposition always removed (neutered) from the real authority of the Prime Ministership, see his harrying of Julia Gillard.

He doesn't like being anything but top dog, and he expresses the distaste at being in this position by sexist behaviour. It targets women at this point in political history, but he also used to enact 'queenish panic' across the parliamentary floor at Kevin Rudd, fluttering his hands, and trilling "I want to be strong, I want to be strong", at the then Prime Minister.

It may be that Tony Abbott's real problem is not the gender of his opponents, but confidence in his own sexuality.


October 5. 2012 08:05 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

October 5. 2012 08:22 AM


Just saw a grab of the Channel Nine Margie and Tony Abbott interview.

Tony A looked like a very naughty boy sitting behind his Mum's shoulder at a 'please explain' meeting with the school principal.

Protected, cossetted, faux-contrite. Just what you need in a nation's leader.


October 5. 2012 08:56 AM


I've worked out what my issue with the Abbott family confessional (pun intended) this morning.  When on rare occasions it is relevant, I will tell people that my wife (and I) sufferd a number of miscarriages.  The usual reaction is usually an expression of sorrow - especially from women.

This seems to be a deliberate attempt by Abbott and his machine to control a portion of the female vote.  The fact is that it is estimated that one pregnancy in four goes to full term.  Most miscarriages occur at a stage before the woman knows they are pregnant.  Of those miscarriages that are treated mediacally, the reason for the miscarriage is worked out in about 80% of cases (unfortunately my wife's were in the "unexplained" 20%).  I could go on but AA could probably do it better with referencing.

The LNP obviously realise they (and Abbott in particular) have a problem with women voters.  This is an example of a group of politicians who will stoop to any level to grab a vote.  It has nothing to do with what sort of PM Abbott would make and should be condemned.


October 5. 2012 10:33 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
I have a very busy family day ahead starting soon, so I won’t have time to read your links now, but I’ll take the iPad with me and will take a look when I get a moment.

I haven't much time to respond to comments extensively, but will attempt to do so briefly below.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment.  The points you make are very sound.

Indeed, the issue is complex, and the ramifications of banning live export are greater than at first sight.  That is why any change would best be phased.

Thank you for your kind comments and encouraging words, and your continuing splendid multiple contributions.  I believe we are slowly turning opinion around.  The next year is critical.  

You are right about our daughter.

As you raise yesterday’s Denver debate, I’ll re-post the comment I made after watching it.

I hope Stacey continues to improve.

Thank you for yet another thoughtful and thought-provoking comment.  The points you raise, as usual, are pertinent.

You are right, our daughter does write well.

Michael, 2353, NormanK
Your comments about the attempts of the Abbott Family to make Tony look good, are amusing.  They must be worried about his image problem, and so they ought to be.

Ad astra

October 5. 2012 10:37 AM

Ad astra

Here is the comment I posted yesterday re the Denver debate:

I watched the first Barack Obama/Mitt Romney debate today [now yesterday].  No doubt there will be many analyses and there will be polls to assess who ‘won’ the debate.  

Perceptions of who ‘won’ will be coloured by political allegiances and the criteria observers used to pick the ‘winner’.

Judging by fluency and artful rhetoric, Mitt Romney might be judged the winner.  Judged by thoughtfulness and a convincing account of what was possible, Obama would be judged the winner.  

Romney was articulate, quick off the mark with his answers, and to his supporters convincing, while Obama gave his answers carefully, giving the impression of hesitancy as he thought through his responses.  He spoke from experience, acknowledging the difficulties that had impeded progress, and what would be needed to achieve his goals.  In contrast Romney exhibited confidence that his ‘plans’ were right and would work.

The contrast between one who had lived the reality of governing, often against trenchant opposition, and one who had not had that experience at a federal level, was stark.  Obama was able to speak from experience, often bitter experience of the difficulties occasioned in getting legislation through, while Romney was uninhibited in making high-sounding promises, not constrained by having had to implement them.

Romney came across as slick salesman, promising to lower taxes, curb spending, reduce deficits and debt, help to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and increase productivity and wealth – a ‘growing the pie’ exercise.  He also promised that at the same time he is repealing programs such as Obamacare, he will maintaining health services at their present level.  It sounded very much like the rhetoric of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey.  Obama, tempered in the fiercely hot fire of the legislative process, was more circumspect and less inclined to make wild promises, and in contrast to Romney was able to give facts and figures to back his case.

It was interesting that Obama referred to the ‘trickle-down’ affect that he said characterized the Romney approach, one that is built on the premise that taxing the wealthy is counterproductive as they are the ‘wealth creators’ who generate jobs that benefit the poorer in society.  It is exactly what the Coalition says, word for word.  Yet we know the trickle down theory of economics always benefits those at the top much more than those at the bottom, where the trickle slows to just a few drops.

Knowing that Obama would criticise the trickle down theory to his detriment, Romney turned the analogy onto Obama, accusing him of big government, the effects of which ‘trickled down’ to the people.  He went through the usual criticisms of Obamacare, highlighting the ‘board’ of healthcare experts that would advise on how to reduce healthcare costs, which Romney described as an unelected group who would tell citizens what healthcare they could have, a group once labelled ‘death squads’.

The debate could easily have been one between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.  The positions Obama and Romney took were almost identical to our own leaders.  

In summary, although Romney came across as the slicker of the two, the substance of what he said and promised was shallow and lacked detail.  Promises were large and confidently given; how he would achieve them was vague. Obama was solid, speaking as he was from experience.  While Romney might be scored the ‘winner’ by popular or partisan vote, it was Obama who came across as dependable and experienced, sober and sensible, and not extravagant in his claims and promises.  

I know who would get my vote.  It would not be the snake-oil salesman.

Ad astra

October 5. 2012 11:02 AM


I'm not sure if it was mentioned here that on the day that J. Bishop and C. Pyne came out with their 'the Tony I know' lines, Channels Ten and Nine in Queensland mocked their efforts. Both news broadcasts cut together vision of the two doorstops, highlighting the enormous similarity between the two sets of statements.

J. Bishop: The Tony I know …..
C. Pyne: The Tony I know …..
J. Bishop: … helped a blind man …..
C. Pyne: … helped a blind man …..
J. Bishop: … worked on a burn-off with …..
C. Pyne: … worked on a burn-off with …..
J. Bishop: That's the Tony I know.
C. Pyne: That's the Tony I know.

SBS News was a bit different, cutting the vision so that Bishop and Pyne looked like the Bobbsey Twins finishing each other's sentences. The point is that at least three of the FTA news broadcasts for that evening made them look foolish for their transparent attempts to recast Abbott as the most misunderstood member of parliament. I wonder if today's exercise will get the same treatment. It should.

Which makes me wonder why it is that Liberal minders believe that this technique will work. As I see it the audience will be left with three options from which to choose.

1. The preferred option of Liberal strategists. Tony Abbott is a warm human being who loves his family; selflessly volunteers for community work and is nothing like the perception some people have of him. This negative perception is promulgated by the Labor Party with their 'dirt unit, handbag hit squad' and left-wing media mates.

2. Tony Abbott is a warm and gentle man (if only you knew him as well as Katherine Murphy does) who projects an aggressive persona for political purposes. Murphy spoke of the 'real Tony' in a recent piece, thereby acknowledging that there is another 'fake Tony' walking the corridors who is not a very pleasant man. Should we condemn the fake Tony for bunging on an act or disbelieve Murphy's assertion that there is another Tony?

3. Tony Abbott is an aggressive bully who has no qualms about being misogynistic in his statements about women who are outside of his circle and will throw a verbal punch at any vulnerable part of his opponent's body - often below the belt. This is the real Tony and all attempts to paint him in another light are cynical spin-doctoring by Liberal strategists.

Two out of three options are damaging to Abbott's image. This is a huge roll of the dice by Credlin et al and smacks of sheer desperation.


October 5. 2012 11:11 AM


From Michelle Grattan's article on 18 September 2012:

Why doesn't he go out, just once in a while, without a staffer, perhaps taking his wife Margie — whom the public would really like, if they saw more of her — and look natural and normal? This is not the time to  appear with her in some confected interview that the minders negotiate with terms and conditions. Just to do a bit of ''stuff'' together, despite her dislike of the public forum. Possibly — no guarantees — it would help with the ''woman problem''.


So who is the "real Tony"?  The wonderful family man, or the thug who intimidates women by punching a wall next to their head?  Which one is the "act"?  Which one do we have more evidence for?


October 5. 2012 11:12 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Twitterverse for you:

Bushfire Bill
Posted Friday, October 5, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink
This is a major campaign, it’s pretty obvious. Front pages all over Australia, backed up with a television breakfast blitz (and no doubt a continuation throughout the day and over the weekend on news and current affairs).

“This is a man who wanted to be a priest, for goodness sake!” said the “He Can’t Be That Bad” lady. There must be some goodness in there somewhere. “We just don’t see it,” she went on.

Slipper texts reveal sexist gibes, Financial Review

Financial Review ‏
If Tony Abbott wins govt it's hard to think Labor won't engage in politics ofl retribution @latingle says[free] http://bit.ly/T499k6 #auspol

Politics Australia ‏
Lib wheat revolt widens - au.news.yahoo.com/.../ … via @thewest_com_au

PjN ‏
Gene pool quality comes from Mrs Abbott: Mr Abbott is weak. Reading My husband Tony does not have a problem with women www.thepunch.com.au/.../

Margie Abbott says husband Tony does not have a problem with women
Margie Abbott will make a public appearance in Western Sydney today with an Abbott's Angels-style line up, which will include their daughter Frances, his mother and two of his sisters.

The appearance of the Abbott family women and Mrs Abbott's attack on his critics marks the start of an aggressive bid by the Coalition to explode Labor's claims the Opposition Leader has a problem dealing with women.

Related Coverage
The secret, sensitive life of Tony Abbott
I know him best and it's not true
The secret, sensitive life of Tony Abbott The Daily Telegraph, 1 hour ago
Abbott girls rally around Herald Sun, 1 hour ago
Abbott saved children 'by force of will' The Daily Telegraph,  
Misogyny not on Abbott's agenda The Daily Telegraph

Tears and Downton Abbey: Abbott's other side Courier Mail

My husband Tony does not have a problem with women

Margie is also upset about this: Laurie Oakes - LET'S not beat about the bush. To my mind, Tony Abbott tells lies. - www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../tony-abbott-has-made-a-string-

ABC News‏
The wife of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has decided to speak out against claims her husband has a problem with women http://bit.ly/QLP4iw

tracey ‏@traceyr
sunriseon7 despite the attempt to humanise Abbott..his history and public record re: women speaks louder than hollow platitudes from Margie

I can only assume Margie doesnt know difference between Abbott has problems with women and Women are having problems with Abbott

Crag MaZ ‏
Is Margy pitching for a stay at The Lodge?? #auspol How does Margy feel about the ditch-the-bitch poster? alan jones? women's rights?

Mari R ‏
Methinks the polls must be dire for Tony Abbott for poor Margie to appear on a Newspoll weekend


October 5. 2012 11:30 AM


Yes, we could all be wrong about Tony Abbott, couldn't we?  Just as we could all have taken Alan Jones the wrong way!

Maybe Alan Jones really is ashamed!

Maybe Alan Jones really is ashamed,
Not unrepentant as some have claimed.
Is he guilty of sedition
As thousands say in that petition?

There are some things which are not clear.
Was it his or Tony Abbott’s idea
To cut that film so it implied
They had footage which showed she lied?

Traduce a Prime Minister?
That is a crime, very sinister!
Yes he broadcast that lie on air
And Abbott told it everywhere.

Jones ignored all we Lefties’ ire
When he called our leader, “Ju-liar!”
Or more cruel still, "Bob Brown's Bitch!"
Urging crowds to, “Burn the witch!”

He even said, "Put her in a bag,
Drop her in the sea, drown the hag!"

As his old Dad would say, “Like chaff!”
Anyway it had raised a laugh.

But, looking back, I’m sure he’d rather
Not have joked about her father.
For that, I hear, he’s happy to be blamed.
It was thoughtless and he’s ashamed.

And so he will apologise
For that mistake. He won’t be telling lies
When he says, “I am truly sorry!”
To fellow shareholders at Macquarie


October 5. 2012 11:49 AM


Things are getting desperate in the Murdoch/Abbott camp to trot out something as massive & obvious as today's effort.
The involvement of Gemma Jones goes to reinforce the dictum that "if it's in the Australian, there's an agenda".
It's to be hoped the transparency of all this is not lost on the public.
There's a trap here too, illustrative of the double standard this lot get away with. Wall to wall coverage of Margie A. will be pushed, & any remotely critical commentary about this from Labor will meet with a rehearsed & ready to go barrage about how families should be kept out of politics & how typical it is of those nasty Laborites to drag things through the mud in this fashion.
I think the "alternative" media will do a much better job of dissecting this than the MSM. Looking at other sites, the comments are starting to flow, old TV guides are being consulted to compare the screening times of Downton Abbey vis a vis football matches. That sort of thing...


October 5. 2012 11:54 AM


Hardly definitive analysis here, but..
I didn't watch the Obama/Romney debate & saw little on TV. But I saw one line of Romney speaking, & it could've been Abbott. It's the vibe...
That personable assurance, you just vote me in & I'll fix it all up, especially the bits that affect YOU. That's all you need to know...


October 5. 2012 01:08 PM


Ad astra

I have to confess I couldn't read a lot of this article. I did skim it however. I find the whole live animal trade abhorrent and if it were up to me I would simply stop it.


October 5. 2012 01:29 PM


LadyInRed, I agree with you!   I don't need to read the pros and cons of the debate about live exports.   It should be banned.  But thank you, Ad Astra, for reminding us how important it is to make our voices heard.

Just one encounter on a WA highway years ago with a truckload of sheep on its way to Fremantle docks was enough to convince me.  The stench was appalling, one sensed the fear and distress of those wretched animals crowded together there after what had already been a long road journey.  I saw it often in those days but just the whiff of them in the distant air on a hot summer day was too much for me.  

Authorities must have heeded community complaints because these days the traffic seems to be out of sight and supposedly out of mind.  Exports must be managed by rail transport and movement onto ships at night because this scandalous trade still continues under our very noses, as it were.  


October 5. 2012 02:20 PM


such an insightful comment re: American debate. A MUST read.

Thnx for yer kind and supportive comments. I must admit it is hard to take a break from this top blog.

Lyn, thnx for the useful links.

Patricia, luv the poem/pome. Good stuff.


A couple of comments or twelve:

Wow! What a surprise!

The timing of today’s onslaught also conveniently feeds into the next Newspoll, which is being researched this weekend, ahead of publication on Tuesday.

Read more: www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0121005-273cr.html

Ask Mark Scott of the ABC why taxpayer's are subsidising rich man Alan Kohler who sold interests to News Ltd:

Seven years later, another feisty independent web publishing house has been sold, but this time the buyer is Rupert Murdoch, a proprietor with an unprecedented record of requiring and receiving loyalty and favourable editorial treatment from his employees.

So what does this mean for Alan Kohler, Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz—the crack “KGB” team of commentators and inquisitors at Business Spectator— who have all reportedly become instant millionaires courtesy of the generosity of News Corp’s $20 million-plus up-front cash payment for their business?

Will these doyens of business journalism, who deliberately named their business Australian Independent Business Media, now pull their punches on News Corp’s appalling corporate governance, nepotism, stacked board, Murdoch family gerrymander, abuses of corporate power and industrial-scale criminality in the UK?

The KBG will now be answerable to uber-Murdoch loyalist Chris Mitchell, who was quoted in The Australian today saying it was “great to have Alan and Gotty back at The Oz after so many years, and to welcome Steven to the paper. Being able to add them to the best columnist in the country, John Durie, has made my day.”

Alan Kohler is now the richest business journalist in Australia and in my view he and John Durie share top billing for quality, writing and insight. However, Durie has one substantial flaw: he covers corporate governance issues better than anyone but baulks at criticising News Corp. Sadly, this is the price you pay when you agree to take Rupert’s shilling.

Most News Ltd business commentators through the years—Durie, Matthew Stevens, Terry McCrann, Bryan Frith, Michael West and Mark Westfield—have voluntarily submitted themselves to the culture of blind loyalty. I did it during my five years as a News Ltd business editor on the tabloids in Sydney.

But in light of the unprecedented media ownership concentration in Australia and the enormous governance scandals that have engulfed News Corp over the past year, is this really an acceptable state of play in 2012? Will we even have a decent debate about the dominant newspaper group extending its dominance in pay TV as well, courtesy of the $2 billion Foxtel and Fox Sports bid?

News Ltd publications have recently been railing against any possible regulatory reforms arising from the Finkelstein report on the grounds that it infringes free speech. Truth be known, the greatest impingement on free speech in Australia is the cultural requirement that the dominant newspaper and pay-TV company in Australia does not brook any criticism from within.

Kohler was certainly out of the gates fast talking up News Ltd yesterday. No mention of the Melbourne Storm scandal when he spoke to ABC Radio’s PM program last night and said:

“Yeah, very happy. And very happy with News Limited, they’re a fantastic organisation and they’ve been really great to deal with.”

There were similar sentiments in his page-one column for The Australian today.

Such a gushing endorsement wouldn’t have been forthcoming without a News Ltd sale and employment contract that will deliver gross proceeds of more than $7 million to the ABC’s public face of business journalism.



Sack MARK SCOTT. He worked for Liberal Greiner...he's corporatising the ABC...why is the ABC obsessed with spruiking News Ltd employees on most of its shows including The Drum and Q&A.

Why is Allan Kohler the millionaire thnx to News Ltd buying his Business Spectator being subsidised by taxpayer's money? Why does ABC 24 Breakfast put up all the News Ltd front pages each morning...and promote FOX SPORTS so much?


Enuff is enuff.



October 5. 2012 02:24 PM


  I don't like the trade never have & I like to see it stop & the animals handled here. I had some sheep butchered here several yrs ago for my own use & I was surprised just how much goes to waste unless you like offal [I don't] when boned out there is not a lot to a sheep carcase so by processing them here we save tons of CO2 in freighting lots of wasted bio mass.

On another note, Abborts wife could have gone a long way to fixing up the per-sieved gaff in delaying the response to AJ the other day by coming out & condemning it from a woman's point of view, then giving some banal reason for him being so late.

To turn around & say how soft/emotionally touchy feeling he is after such a stark example of the total opposite really does smacks of delusional panic in the lieberal camp.

I wonder why his gay daughter is not singing his praises?

An apology to MR Abbort too, I did notice on a brief clip of him on ABC24 in his fire fighting play role that he was in fact wearing the right clothing after all [all be it nice & clean] I did think otherwise a while back. Although seeing this is just "pent up intestinal gas" & suppose its meaning less hey.  


October 5. 2012 02:29 PM


Handling animals for food production is a sensitive business....much like the armed forces in operation ; both have the capacity for brutality and indeed, sometimes are! But the thing to do is filter out that process which is brutal and those who are cruel.
Live animal export enmasse is dumb and cruel...there is an inbuilt attrition percentage which in itself is brutal, then there is the (I suspect) "favour factor" to be paid at point of disembarking of the animals , which if unsatisfactory could very easily see the animals being found "infected".
Then there is the cultural factor where some countries do not have a close sympathy with meat animals and treat them accordingly. All this is so very painfully and distressingly  visable in an age of social media.
While our abbotoirs are sometimes guilty of breaking the rules, they are under scrutiny and can be fined. The slaughter of animals for food is a fact of life, but the brutal killing of dumb animals is not.
Ban live exports and establish packed meat exporting instead...Jobs and oversight imperitive. We have come a long way from the days of the cave man and stone axes, it would be a pity to retreat back there.


October 5. 2012 02:39 PM


On the subject of Margie Abbott...I have a relative who is a mysoginist, married for 40yrs. the thing is, they don't avoid women, as a matter of fact they can even "overdo" it somewhat and appear charming...but it is all a part of their scorn and distrust, look to the eyes ; mirror to the soul for,as we read in history, even the most flattering of coutiers had a "knife" up their sleeve!
Of course, I am not telling women anything they do not already know or suspect..and as for Margie...regard the old adage.. ; "The partner is always the last to know".


October 5. 2012 03:08 PM


good point. My stepdad was like that.

The pro-Liberal media in action:

Appearing with her husband on the Nine Network, Margie Abbott says politics is a tough business and success in politics requires a tough exterior...Ms Abbott has also written an article for News Ltd newspapers and will make a speech in Sydney later on Friday spruiking her husband’s connection with women. (Business Spectator)


Mr Obama told Thursday's rally: "So Governor Romney may dance around his positions. But if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth.

"So here is the truth. Governor Romney cannot pay for his $5 trillion tax plan without blowing up the deficit or sticking it to the middle class. That's the math. We can't afford to go down that road again."

The Democratic president also mocked Mr Romney's plan to cut government subsidies for the PBS television channel that produces Sesame Street.

Mr Romney said during the debate: "I love Big Bird", adding that would not stop him axing federal funding to the public broadcaster.

"Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird," Mr Obama told Thursday's rally. "It is about time. We didn't know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit."



At Last Night’s Debate: Romney Told 27 Myths In 38 Minutes

By Igor Volsky on Oct 4, 2012 at 9:08 am, Think Progress

Pundits from both sides of the aisle have lauded Mitt Romney’s strong debate performance, praising his preparedness and ability to challenge President Obama’s policies and accomplishments. But Romney only accomplished this goal by repeatedly misleading viewers. He spoke for 38 minutes of the 90 minute debate and told at least 27 myths:

1) “[G]et us energy independent, North American energy independent. That creates about 4 million jobs”. Romney’s plan for “energy independence” actually relies heavily on a study that assumes the U.S. continues with fuel efficiency standards set by the Obama administration. For instance, he uses Citigroup research based off the assumption that “‘the United States will continue with strict fuel economy standards that will lower its oil demand.” Since he promises to undo the Obama administration’s new fuel efficiency standards, he would cut oil consumption savings of 2 million barrels per day by 2025.

2) “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about.” A Tax Policy Center analysis of Romney’s proposal for a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut in all federal income tax rates, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, eliminating the estate tax and other tax reductions, would reduce federal revenue $480 billion in 2015. This amounts to $5 trillion over the decade.
3) “My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people.” If Romney hopes to provide tax relief to the middle class, then his $5 trillion tax cut would add to the deficit. There are not enough deductions in the tax code that primarily benefit rich people to make his math work.

4) “My — my number-one principal is, there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. I want to underline that: no tax cut that adds to the deficit.” As the Tax Policy Center concluded, Romney’s plan can’t both exempt middle class families from tax cuts and remain revenue neutral. “He’s promised all these things and he can’t do them all. In order for him to cover the cost of his tax cut without adding to the deficit, he’d have to find a way to raise taxes on middle income people or people making less than $200,000 a year,” the Center found.

5) “I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong.” The studies Romney cites actually further prove that Romney would, in fact, have to raise taxes on the middle class if he were to keep his promise not to lose revenue with his tax rate reduction.

11) “What we do have right now is a setting where I’d like to bring money from overseas back to this country.”

Romney’s plan to shift the country to a territorial tax system would allow corporations to do business and make profits overseas without ever being taxed on it in the United States. This encourages American companies to invest abroad and could cost the country up to 800,000 jobs.

14) “What I support is no change for current retirees and near-retirees to Medicare.” Here is how Romney’s Medicare plan will affect current seniors:

1) by repealing Obamacare, the 16 million seniors receiving preventive benefits without deductibles or co-pays and are saving $3.9 billion on prescription drugs will see a cost increase,

2) “premium support” will increase premiums for existing beneficiaries as private insurers lure healthier seniors out of the traditional Medicare program,

3) Romney/Ryan would also lower Medicaid spending significantly beginning next year, shifting federal spending to states and beneficiaries, and increasing costs for the 9 million Medicare recipients who are dependent on Medicaid.

More here:




October 5. 2012 03:14 PM


The "casual approach to health and safety" by a Sydney insulation company contributed significantly to the death of a teenager who passed away after installing roof insulation in 40-plus degree temperatures, a coroner has found.

NormanK, it's interesting that every inquiry has laid the blame at the insulation company's feet, but the usual suspects still keep trying to blame the government.

So Mrs Liealot had a miscarriage...and Lielaot was sad? Join the club. There's squillions of members.

On the bright side, at 7bn and climbing, a few less humans on the planet can only be good for it.

Addressing your post, Ad astra. Live export is a vexed question and I've often wondered why the animals can't be slaughtered here by certified halal butchers, or why we can't set up rigorously supervised abbattoirs in the countries of destination.

I favour the former. It saves the beasts the stress of the sea journey and would be more easily supervised on these shores.

I don't sanction cruelty to animals; I think you have to be a pretty twisted individual to engage in, or ignore, such behaviour.

I also find it interesting that we're the only species that engages in deliberate cruelty and torture of our own and other species.


October 5. 2012 03:16 PM


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students (sometimes called seminarians) in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry.

The English word is taken from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed, an image taken from the Council of Trent document Cum adolescentium aetas which called for the first modern seminaries. Accordingly, in the West the term usually refers to Roman Catholic educational institutes...

Hmmm...any idea why a certain Liberal leader left?



October 5. 2012 03:19 PM



The establishment of modern seminaries resulted from Roman Catholic reforms of the Counter-Reformation after the Council of Trent.

The Tridentine seminaries placed great emphasis on personal discipline

Hmmm...some Liberal leader has a thing about using the word "discipline".



October 5. 2012 03:31 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Anyone with any sense should know that an industry will migrate to short cuts and poor safety practices when-
•  There is a spike in funding or potential revenue from the government
•  A program is designed to artificially stimulate new (and therefore inexperienced) industry entrants
•  The program is intended to bring in a bubble of inexperienced employees
•  There is a quick, government backed, mobilisation of employees and set up

The HIR was intended to encourage the entry of inexperienced employees and inexperienced employers. The government funding attracted shonks, as it always does. Anyone with any sense knows that this combination will result in poor quality and poor safety.

The government should have known this and it is an abrogation of their responsibility to blame the inexperienced employers they deliberately attracted to the industry.

Tom of Melbourne

October 5. 2012 03:38 PM



ABC Managing Director Mark Scott extends for second term

The ABC today announced that ABC Managing Director Mark Scott, has agreed to extend his contract for a further five years, commencing 5 July 2011.

ABC Chairman Maurice Newman AC said, “I am delighted with Mark’s extension. The Board and I are keen to see him continue in the role.”

“Mark has made a significant contribution to the Corporation?s success in the nearly four and a half years he has been here, having presided over the launch of two television channels; the ABC3 children’s channel and ABCNews24, and the rollout of digital radio. He has also taken a number of decisions which have added greatly to the ABC’s efficiency.”

“Mark Scott has led the industry in technological development, allowing the ABC to reach more people, in more ways, more often,” Mr Newman said...

Mr Newman added that with Mr Scott’s position now assured for another five years, the ABC was in excellent shape to progress a number of exciting initiatives which are on the drawing board.

Maurice Newman:

He was replaced as Chair of the ABC Board by Mr James (Jim) Spigelman AC QC who took up the Chair on 1 April 2012.

He retired as Chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Limited) on 24 September 2008.
His career spans forty years in stockbroking and investment banking, including as Managing Director in 1984, and Executive Chairman from 1985 until 1999, of what is now the Deutsche Bank Group in Australia. He was Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific Advisory Board and a Director of Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific from 1999 to 2001. He was also Chairman of Deutsche Asset Management (Australia) Limited from 1997 until 2000.

Mr Newman retired from Deutsche Bank in July 2001.

Political views


Newman helped establish the Centre for Independent Studies, a conservative Australian political think-tank.
He was a member of the first CIS Board which consisted of Neville Kennard, Maurice Newman and Ross Graham-Taylor.

Newman was associated with, and spoke at a CIS event in December 2007 given in honour of conservative economist Milton Friedman.

Newman is said to have been a close friend of former Australian PM, John Howard.

Interviewed in 2010 about this by the Institute of Company Directors he stated: "Much is made of my friendship with Howard, which is long standing. Little is made of my friendship with Bill Hayden, which is just as close and of longer standing. The truth is, I am not party political. I have voted on both sides of the fence, state and Federal, because I am driven not by labels, but by policies."

During his tenure as Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Rupert Murdoch delivered the 2008 Boyer Lectures, "A Golden Age of Freedom".




October 5. 2012 03:46 PM


Once again our "pet" troll gets it all a*se about face...He is obviously thinking about himself and presuming about others!
I have worked in the building industry for over forty five years...sure, it has more than its' fair share of shonks, but at the core there is decency and quality...as in most businesses. Just because govt' fund a project, doesn't mean short-cuts and shonky work. Indeed, when I subbied fitting-out houses for the "Trust", their inspectors demanded and got high quality finishes..as a matter of fact, the housing trust houses were the best quality for the price in its' day..it is mostly the right-wing opportunists who would try for the quick-buck and put lives at risk. It is symptomatic of a criminal way of thinking which is demonstrated by our "pet" troll in every sentence of his post!


October 5. 2012 03:50 PM


Honestly I find the use of Margie in this way quite disgusting. I am sure she is a very fine person but to drag her out and parade her around like a new suit or a new tie, or an adornment is a rotten trick. And to think that her saying that he is a wonderful man who empties the dish washer - honestly....I can't put into to words how offended I am on her behalf and on my own. So offended.....I disliked him before I dislike him even more now, and if I am represtative of women 50 years and over - this hasn't worked.

I am sure in his own way he is a fine husband and has no problem with women, but what he DOES have a SERIOUS problem with is women with power, the non-traditional woman, the woman who would like to be a priest, or a PM or a woman who wants to take charge of her own body.


October 5. 2012 03:57 PM


Jaycee re: the animals trade.

I hear what you say reagrding treatment of animals, but one of the things I find most abhorrent is stuffing the animals on a ship huddled together for extended periods of time - its awful. I also believe once these animals leave our shores no matter how much we would like to think we can regulate, once off shore it really is out of our hands. In this case, I think, the word regulate is just to make us feel good, to make us think that they wont suffer when deep down we all know they must.


October 5. 2012 04:01 PM


Jaycee - I agree completely.  There always is a element in industry that is prepared to cut corners and cash in on the latest "opportunity".  That is why those that want to build a reputation take the care to ensure that their work is done to a standard the customer requires.

It is those that claim "over regulation" and "too much paperwork" that will inevitably do the knowingly shonky work.  Government Departments still employ inspectors or managers to ensure that work is done correctly - it costs more but in the end it saves money.


October 5. 2012 04:02 PM



Yes I have been in close proximity to a truckload of sheep and it is enough to make me want to hang my head in shame, in fact as I write this the same feelings are coming over me. One of the reasons I couldn't fully read the article.


October 5. 2012 04:15 PM



Yep I was just as offended when I first saw that Grattan article as I am now. Woman are so fickle, so shallow that if we just see that he can parade around a bunch of 'his' women that we will all fall at his feet. Desperate comes to mind, as well as all the expletives I am keeping in check! I am so glad that in my life and on this site we have sensitive, caring men who get it. Thanks guys.

Jaycee @ 2:39pm - spot on.


October 5. 2012 04:21 PM


NormanK @ 12:19

Gosh I nearly fell over laughing at your post. This one is for you:

♫Sometimes its hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times
And he'll have good times

Doing things that you don't understand
But if you love him you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him
Oh be proud of him
'Cause after all he's just a man
Stand by your man
Give him two arms to cling to
And something warm to come to
When nights are cold and lonely
Stand by your man
And tell the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man
Stand by your man


October 5. 2012 04:51 PM


I can't resist:

From Bernard Keane @ Crikey:

The Tables turn on stumblebum Abbott as Labor cuts its error rate

Then there have been Abbott’s own errors, most obviously the notorious 7.30 interview. Saliently, that stumble was around his attempt to blame the government over the scaling back of mining investment occasioned by lower commodity prices, derived from Chinese demand and, indirectly, Europe’s continuing woes. He stumbled on that again yesterday, while endorsing David Murray’s asinine analysis that we were in Greece-like danger....

And for such a smart media performer, Abbott seems to have difficulty grasping just how quickly the news cycle now moves. He was left flat-footed by Malcolm Turnbull’s response to Cory Bernardi and looked like a follower rather than a leader when he moved hours later to sack the South Australian extremist for “indiscipline”—an outcome rather reminiscent of Al Capone getting done for tax evasion (doubtless that comparison will make it into Bernardi’s next YouTube whinge)...

Then Turnbull again beat him to the punch last Sunday morning. Abbott’s eventual response on Jones was mealy-mouthed, and substantially toughened a day later, but that wasn’t the point. Even on a weekend, there are now multiple media cycles; Turnbull weighed in early on the story, which, after being aired on Twitter last week, broke in the MSM on Saturday night. He didn’t need to issue a press release, or give an interview—a single early-morning tweet did the job. Abbott’s clumsy “out of line” comments six hours later allowed Labor, right up to the Deputy PM, to mock him all day as waiting for Jones’ approval before he spoke...

Next question was about David Murray. After he’d finished endorsing Murray’s lunatic view that we’re the next Greece, he was asked about Peter Slipper. He offered a talking point, then was asked four more times to give a real answer, including the mocking question “So you don’t have a point of view, Tony Abbott?” And that on an issue that should be a gimme for the Coalition.


Abbott's definitely on a downward spiral...

calling in his wife reeks of desperation.

"Please vouch for me honey...few others will...that have any credibility left...I seem to have infected them all with my hate and rant virus...please honey, babe, sweetie...I feel so victimised...boohoo...I promise I'll sit next to you and be a good obedient puppy...boohooo...please honey!!!"

"Okay okay Tony!!! Enough! I'll do it provided you pay for me and the girls to get a new wardrobe, and a trip to Switzerland...you know how they love Switzerland...great chocs and banking"



October 5. 2012 04:55 PM



There is no small amount of irony in the press choosing that particular headline. For many years I worked with contemporary dance companies and as a consequence spent a lot of time with gay men. One of their all-time favourite performers is (or was)* Tammy Wynette and she would get a frequent airing when they were in their cups. By far the most popular sing-along tune was 'Stand by Your Man'.

There are all sorts of issues swirling around that song, a reflection of the barefoot and pregnant mentality that was still alive and well at the time although on the surface it appears to be a call to arms. It was tacky and sexist and yet the boys loved it all the more for that fact. To have it applied to the Abbott household is delicious given that Tony admits that he feels "a bit threatened" by gay males.

There will be many a gay man out there laughing their tits off at the moment.

*I'm probably out of touch with what's in and what's not these days but not as out of touch as those who don't recognise that this song is many a gay man's hymn.


October 5. 2012 04:58 PM


ToM, pay attention. The COURTS blamed the employers for failing to observe OH&S standards which had been laid down. The employers were not inexperienced at all.

The employees may have been, but experienced or not, it is always the responsibility of the employer to ensure that they are operating within OH&S and other guidelines wrt their employees.

The offending company was not employed by the Commonwealth. Had that been the case, the company would have been very rigorously supervised.

The law was plain; the employer ignored it.

LIR @3.50pm, agree whole heartedly. Trotting out the female rellies seems pretty exploitative, imo, particularly as it seems that his wife doesn't like doing this sort of thing. She must have felt uncomfortable.

After all, it's not as if Liealot's been accused of some dastardly deed. Apart from being an incorrigible liar, that is.


October 5. 2012 05:10 PM


Spousal privilege


In Australian law, both the common law privilege of confidentiality between married people and the privilege of spouses not to testify against each other were assumed to have continued with the "reception" of English law.

On 30 November 2011, the High Court of Australia decided that neither privilege existed in common law



October 5. 2012 06:02 PM


Important interview with the courageous Judith Troeth on Capital Hill today...

spoke about why she crossed the floor on asylum seeker issue...and with Sue Boyce on ETS.

Stated that she was amazed at how many of her fellow Libs who supported an ETS then backed down.

Troeth aired the view that many men are thinking about their long-term careers in parliament...implying that principles come second to the goal of surviving long-term.

She also felt their was a problem with how many women are/were in the inner and outer ministries of the Coalition...too many talented women have been wasted. Not worth their while in hanging around.

Troeth also believes pre-selection process has been a problem and candidates should be selected on "quota system"...not just "merit".

Typically, Fiona Nash, recently Abbott & Joyce sycophant came on the show and disagreed with Troeth.

Frankly, it looks to me like there is a real problem in The Liberal party to do with patriarchy...and distorted priorities...and extremist control...

and the ETS backdown by many makes the party look hypocritical, BSing, weathervane, opportunistic and gutless...

cowed by the likes of fanatical and self-interested bullies and/or profiteers and/or far-righties like Allan Jones, the Murdoch empire minions, Gina Rinehart, Ray Hadley, Nick Minchin, Barnaby Joyce, George Pell...and a few other corporate bigwigs.

This is not a good look for the Coalition...increasingly a rabble under the wobbly, bitter and agro leadership of Tony (BOO HOOing when not being pugilist) Abbott.



October 5. 2012 06:21 PM


Do you think the dominant role that Jesuits/Catholics and other religious groups have in the Coalition due to Abbott's leadership, his team and the Howard legacy, has been a significant contributor to this male priority problem in the Coalition?

It's not like the Vatican and its Catholic leaders are promoting equality when it comes to leadership in that institution.

And Abbott does have close ties to the Catholic church...thinking of Pell, seminary etc.



October 5. 2012 06:30 PM


Remember this:

Shadow finance minister Andrew Robb forgot it when he arrived at a policy conference in the Parliament House theatrette.

Organised by the conservative Menzies Research Centre, it was billed as a gathering of "great Australian thinkers". Robb is clearly not one of them.

He had faced media questions on the way in about Liberal Party leadership tensions, particularly reports that he is out to replace Julie Bishop as deputy.

Tony Abbott was already settled in the front row and on the empty seat next to him was a large printed notice saying "Reserved Julie Bishop".

As TV cameramen filmed the notice, Robb loomed up, removed it and sat down in the deputy leader's place.

It was television gold - the perfect way to illustrate a story of rivalry, leaks and leadership manoeuvring that is embarrassing and damaging for the Coalition...

One of Tony Abbott's electoral liabilities is a perception among some voters that he might be a bit unstable - a touch less solid and reliable than they would like a prime minister to be.

That is why the Liberal leader's long silence and freaky stare the other day when the Seven Network's Mark Riley asked about his "s--t happens" comment in Afghanistan was important. It risked feeding the impression of flakiness.

Had Abbott reacted sensibly, and explained the context of the remark made during a visit to Australian troops last October, the whole thing would have sunk without trace.

Laurie Oakes:



Certainly a problem in that party.



October 5. 2012 06:33 PM


BTW, that Laurie Oakes opinion piece was from from Feb 2011...20 months ago.

Plus ce change...



October 5. 2012 06:49 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Jane, courts will examine legal responsibility, which I’m sure even you would find understandable.

But here are some factors that cause poor safety in the workplace-
•  Hunger for a quick buck
•  Rapid mobilisation & induction of employees
•  Lack of experience of the employer
•  Inexperienced employees
•  Rapid expansion of an enterprise, beyond the level that their systems can accommodate

Many of those factors were present in the HIP, and the government would have known that this combination results in poor safety performance. Therefore it is reasonable that the government accepts to opprobrium for the outcomes.

Tom of Melbourne

October 5. 2012 06:59 PM


Ban Live Export BRISBANE Rally
Public Event · By Animals Australia

Ban Live Export National Rally (BRISBANE) 12PM, Parliament House www.AnimalsAustralia.org/live-export-rally

If you care about animals and want to see them protected from cruelty, then this event is for you. Despite assurances from the Australian Government that cruelty in the live export trade would be addressed, animals continue to be neglected, brutalised, have their throats cut while fully conscious, and recently, were buried alive. Tragedy after tragedy reveals that animals exporte...See More




October 5. 2012 07:12 PM


   "Therefore it is reasonable that the government accepts to opprobrium for the outcomes."

Bulshit! If it were the "Commonwealth" would have been in the dock as well!
One of the deaths were caused by dehydration! I wait for your detailed response as to how the "Commonwealth" failed  to teach presumably an adult how to drink!


October 5. 2012 07:58 PM



You might also like to mention that the North Queensland death came about because the workers themselves 'didn't like' the plastic staples supplied by the employer (and made compulsory through federal regulation), went out and bought their own metal staples and one of them promptly electrocuted himself. You can't regulate against stupidity.


October 5. 2012 08:20 PM

Ad astra

I’m back after a long and hectic day.  I’ve enjoyed reading your comments.  The Margie Abbott ‘my husband is a nice man’ push will not wash.  Even the sympathetic ‘The Project’ made fun of it.

Nasking, Bernard Keane’s piece summed up the situation well. Thank you for the link.  Abbott is on the skids, and nothing can save him.

We have a massive day tomorrow with a 21st Birthday Party on the other side of the Bay.  Travel from the south coast will take four hours, then preparation and the Party itself, and back to Melbourne afterwards.  So you won’t see much of me until Sunday.

Keep the comments coming.

Good night.

Ad astra

October 5. 2012 08:37 PM


The Alan Jones scandal has claimed its first victim with Woolworths executive and prominent Liberal party member, Simon Berger, tendering his resignation last night.

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...scalp-20121005-274mt.html

Well its not Alan, but it does mean this has escalated.


October 5. 2012 08:39 PM



Gosh I didn't know that about the staples.....stupid and so sad.

By the way liked your post on Tammy and gay guys having a thing for Tammy and Stand by Your Man - perfect song for TAbbott.


October 5. 2012 08:42 PM


       Thanks! I know you can't regulate against stupidity, but as is ToM's want it has to be the "governments fault"
Forget state OH&S laws or lax state regulation that allowed "seemingly" anyone who wanted to set up shop could and did!
Here in the republic of South Australia you can't put insulation in a roof much less anything else unless you're a licenced builder. Yes there are still shonky ones getting about, but that was why SA had no problems with insulation roll out.
ToM would do well to remember the old saying Safety starts with you!

Another thing on safety we had here in Adelaide a couple of years ago (2009 or 2010 I think) the sad case of an apprentice fitter and turner who was killed when he was pulled into a "milling machine" because in the 2000's it was still company policy to wear a "dust coat"!


October 5. 2012 08:45 PM



Perhaps you could point out that the death of Rueben Barnes had nothing to do with the commonwealth government.

Representatives from Fair and Safe Work Queensland told the court a pre-existing defect in the wiring of the house was the main cause of the accident.


October 5. 2012 08:47 PM


AA - the ABC didn't think much of "Mrs Abbott's 24 hour" marketing oush either.

LiR -  its hard to believe that someone in Berger's position wouldn't have understood the potential implications of his actions at the Young Liberals Dinner.


October 5. 2012 08:49 PM


Patriciawa @ October 5. 2012 11:30 AM

Thank-you for a very clever pome. You're right, the only sincere apology that Jones might make is to the station's shareholders.


October 5. 2012 08:51 PM


       You're not suggesting I should try and convince him with FACTS are you?
Ok I'll try it your way I don't think it will do any good but I'll give it a shot.


October 5. 2012 09:22 PM



You are such a cynic! I've just been looking back at some February posts (for HIP deaths details) and our friend challenged me to provide facts on the stimulus programmes so I'm sure he will acknowledge indisputable facts when presented with them. Just to round off the discussion I will put this one on the table. The death of Matthew Fuller.

QHI Installations Pty Ltd was fined after the company was charged with failing to conduct its business in a way that was electrically safe, 
Christopher John McKay pleaded guilty to the  charge.  A guilty plea was also entered on behalf of the company.


October 5. 2012 09:33 PM


Had quite a few chuckles and head nods thru this...as did my partner Stacey.

We do have the ability to watch one show whilst recording another which we watch later, being in the 21st century.

Unlike Abbott and co it seems.

But then, we've always known that:

Abbott shows everyone he’s worried

It is rare that a political party would so obviously reveal the fruits of its internal polling and focus group work as the Liberal Party did today with the full court press of coverage provided via its friendly media publishers, News.ltd.

In an “exclusive” advertisement for the Liberal Party interview with Gemma Jones (she of the bullshit beat ups about asylum seekers, articles about people struggling to pay the carbon tax even before it had started, and big scoops on the soles of Julia Gillard’s shoes) Tony Abbott’s wife, Margie, was out to say how great he was. Despite the story essentially being as newsworthy as “Wife loves Husband”, News.ltd ran big with it:

God I do love a diverse media.

Just think how bad the internal polling and focus group are that it has reached this stage.

Obviously as well the reason for the stories coming out today is that this weekend is a Newspoll weekend.


And here’s the lines that are meant to persuade us:

"Just to give you an idea of how it happens in the Abbott household, I'll be grabbing the remote control saying `Can I watch the footy, please?' he will be saying `Oh, but I would really like to watch Downton Abbey,"' Mrs Abbott said.

I mean wow. It’s really that bad that they needed to evoke one of the highest rating TV shows? Really? Geez, those focus groups must have been hideous – talk about aiming for the very middle of the middle ground. I’m surprised she didn’t mention that he often walks around the house singing Adele’s “Someone Like You”.

Aside from the fact the footy and Downton Abbey are never on at the same time (so perhaps Tony is downloading season 3 on Bit Torrent and wants to watch it while the footy is on) who gives a shit?  If we’ve reached the point where talking about someone’s favourite TV shows is meant to give insight into their inner self and is deserving of being treated as news, then we might as well give up the whole thing as a joke. Sure put this in the Weekender Inside section, or Women's Weekly, but this is now Front Page News?

Even The Oz which didn’t have the story on its front page, chipped in with Dennis Shanahan in an amazing coincidence writing an article on (I kid you not):

What about the Prime Minister's problem with men?
From:The Australian

October 05, 2012 12:00AM
Subtle Dennis, very subtle.

And next up in the advertorial is Margie Abbott appearing on Chris Kenny’s Sky News show this Saturday. That in itself shows not only how desperate they Liberal Party is given they have reached a point where they think that Kenny’s show would actually attract an audience worth getting her to appear on (yeah it’s the must-watch show for undecided voters), but also that they have had to pick out the most clearly Liberal Party friendly “journalist” to tell Margie’s story.

But the real upshot in all of this is that Abbott has revealed he  is worried and that he is as weak-kneed when it comes to bad polls as was the ALP under Rudd.

Abbott has shown everyone that he has been badly wounded by the ALP’s attacks. How depressing must it be for back bench Liberal Party MPs to realise that their leader is so worried about Newspoll that a year away from an election he has to get his wife to do some repair work for him? Kimberly Ramplin on Twitter nicely pointed out that back in 2003 the ALP paid for an insert in the Women’s Weekly featuring Bob Carr and his wife, but that was:

a) A paid advertisement (here, News.ltd did the advertising gratis)

b) In the same month as the election. – Wives always become more prominent in elections or when a new leader takes office.

This is purely a case of a leader shitting himself about the polls. A leader whose party is leading easily in the polls.

That should scare the hell out of Liberal Party members when they think of what a Tony Abbott government would be like..  

Much more here:


A big six for Grog.

Well said.



October 5. 2012 09:49 PM


2353, you wrote:

AA - the ABC didn't think much of "Mrs Abbott's 24 hour" marketing oush either.

I'm not sure which ABC you are referring to but I was shaking my head in disbelief when the local 7pm ABC bulletin in Canberra led with the Margie Abbott Circus.

Why? Why did that puff piece, which so obviously was initiated by the Liberal Party, take precedence over reports on:

The High Court Case concerning the Sri Lankan asylum seeker
The Hearing in the Slipper/Ashby case
The ACT Election (due on 20 October 2012)
Robyn Archer delivering the Arthur Boyd Lecture in London (an important local issue as Ms Archer heads the ACT Centenary Cttee)
The Jill Meagher Funeral
The installation of the 36 dishes that are the forerunner of to the Square Kilometre Array - of enormous National Significance.
The major fires at Pretty Beach.
50 years of Beatlemania.

(I may not have got the items in absolutely strict order but I'm not far out).

To add insult there was a reprise of the Margie Abbott report near the end of the bulletin.

A wife's endorsement of her husband, even when that husband is the LOTO is not news. It's a puff piece that has no place at the head of a news bulletin on the Public Broadcaster.


October 5. 2012 09:50 PM




Patricia, Truth Seeker, Talk Turkey...rev up those poetry minds...this is gonna be one hilarious weekend...political satire lives!

Can't wait for the political cartoons...and Talking Pictures on Insiders.

Hope Baron Murdoch lets his cartoonists outa the bunker.




October 5. 2012 09:56 PM


Nasking said
Humans as a race have the potential to be great via sacrifice and innovation.

I'm sorry here to be a cynical sceptic, but is there anyone reading this who would go without hot showers/baths for the rest of his/her life if that and that alone were all that was necessary to saving Life on Earth?


October 5. 2012 10:08 PM


This is also very freakin' funny...the Abbott and Margie 'Officer and a Gentleman' brain fart by News Ltd has brought out the inner standup comic in some of our media...blessed be the Abbotts:

What exposes await as Abbott tosses up challenge?

Tony Wright
National affairs editor of The Age

The revelation by Tony Abbott's inner circle of women that his personal inner goddess is alive and well tosses up dreadful challenges for the Australian political class.

It would...if it were a story. You'd hardly think it was transfixing news that his wife and daughters loved him. If they'd formed a chorus line to declare that he was a rotter and a cad who secretly pulled the wings off butterflies; now that would be a story.

Still, the immense amount of newsprint devoted by News Ltd to the story of kind, gentle and loving Abbott, who sent a beautiful bunch of flowers to his wife for their last anniversary even though she'd said she didn't want anything!, exerted a sort of ghastly allurement.

How could you avert your eyes from the revelation that when Abbott's wife Margie wants to watch the footie on the tellie, Tony protests (sensitively, you'd imagine) that he'd rather watch the costume drama soapie Downton Abbey? Surely this could be the source of a fairly serious marital dispute, but apparently not.
Perhaps Margie understands that Tony is driven by a supernatural need to watch Downton Abbey. An abbey, you would be aware, is a Catholic monastery run by an...errr...Abbott.

Margie had to reach back a fair way for the bit about Tony choking up at a movie. The said film, The Year My Voice Broke, was made 25 years ago and is set in the tightly bound Australia of 1962. Figures, really.

Much more here:


Ya must read the paragraphs on Hockey, Swan, Bishop and Pyne.

We were choking with larfs.



October 5. 2012 10:17 PM


Greg-Grog said

I can’t see any aspect of this coverage today being about beating the ALP. The Liberals think the election is in the bag. This is all about Tony surviving till the election. That he has had to do it by getting his wife to tell us all how great he is shows just how bad he thinks things are for him, and how out of ideas he is.

Sorry to correct you Greg (actually, delighted!), but let me say with great confidence, any LNP supporter who thinks the next election is 'in the bag' is either living in a fool's paradise, or else the bag they think it's in for them is that hessian chaff bag about to be dropped far out at sea.

They are pressing the panic buttons and nothing works.


October 5. 2012 10:20 PM


An LNP bimbo, Pru Goward,
Who used to do grub-work for Howard,
Is lying I fear -
Claims she didn't hear
Anal Jones - She's a liar and coward!


October 5. 2012 10:34 PM


Top marks for your list of potential news items each of which deserved priority over the risible Margie Abbortt Show.

You are a great gun going great guns. TPS is magnified by your contributions.

Re poetic minds - I just posted that limerick on Twitter but I always intended it for TPS too. It can't look like a limerick on Twitter, but it can here.  


October 5. 2012 11:07 PM


To hear Kelly O'Dwyer on her usual rant (on Lateline just now) - she never even cottoned onto when she was being poked fun at!

See the smirk on her face when she proudly said SHE had coined the label "Handbag Hitsquad"? Looked very proud of herself!

I used to both admire & pity Margy Abbott, but now I'm just filled with disdain. The lady should never have allowed herself to be exploited. The whole episode is (rightly) being parodied in every forum I've visited. Shame that. I hope Tony's proud of himself that he's put his wife in such a situation, whilst all the time suggesting it was HER idea!


October 5. 2012 11:10 PM


P.S. nasking, please stop lol... I can't keep up with your (excellent) links!
L Smile


October 5. 2012 11:12 PM


yer another top poet...can't wait for yer latest observation...act of catharsis.

gracias amigo!

Sorry to correct you Greg (actually, delighted!), but let me say with great confidence, any LNP supporter who thinks the next election is 'in the bag' is either living in a fool's paradise

Would have to agree fullbore...

Gillard is the comeback kid/lady.

Something wonderful is about to happen.



October 5. 2012 11:23 PM


You're not suggesting I should try and convince him with FACTS are you?

LOL...as you and I and Norman & many others are aware of...ToM is like the boil on Abbott's posterior...he keeps oozing the same kind of puss day in and day out.

Sadly, the Coalition keeps producing such boils...Bolt, Jones, Hadley and Akerman the gigantic ones. Active volcanoes erupting puss...

fortunately the bulk of the public are heading away from the gross lava...rather than towards it.

And...Rupert Murdoch and the Murdoch Mordor Empire give off a putrid stench these days...

gets the public pinching their noses, gagging...chuckling as they head for THE LIGHT.



October 5. 2012 11:31 PM



Looking at some of the photos of Tony and Margie today and the body language of their appearance on the Today show, I am half-convinced that much of today's motivation was provided by Mrs Abbott.

Andrew Elder says it much better than I can (nothing new or surprising there).

Margie Abbott should be believed when she says that it was her idea to go on television to support her husband and deny that he has a problem with strong, capable women. It would be a misunderstanding to refer to her as someone who is "wheeled out" to spruik in the way one might refer to a backbencher, or to Chris Pyne, when they are required to prop up their increasingly inadequate leader.

The fact that Tony Abbott married a woman of substance requires not only a more nuanced understanding of her, but him too. Even people who loathe Tony Abbott should have more sympathy for his wife than they demonstrate when she makes a public stand in his favour.


I have nothing on which to base this but I'm beginning to wonder if Abbott is nothing more than a sock-puppet. It would explain why he seems so hollow whenever he is placed in a position where he has to go beyond his slogans or think on his feet. Margie might just be one of many bossy women (and men) in Abbott's life. It may be that he has very little control over his destiny.


October 5. 2012 11:38 PM


Tony was an officer and a gent,
certain in the knowledge he wasn't bent,
friendless but not dateless,
he'd wear a mask to make him faceless,
sincere as a softly spoken scumbag,
our Downtown Abbott was exposed in a daily rag,
just it seems a drooling puppy
as tame as a fish out of water, a guppy
natural in the limelight
floored in the latest fight
dazed and not amused on the canvas
Tony saw the cartoonists lambast
ran home holding the BOOHOO umbrella
this exit stage uncertain right fella
Turnbull and moderates snapping at his heels
letting the old bully boy know how it feels

a victimised dictator wannabe eats no humble meals
consequently voters hand him gills

and ask him politely to...



October 5. 2012 11:54 PM


Via Eddie on Facebook:

Margie Abbott’s dummy spit

by denniallen

So Mrs Abbott – “Margie” – you seem to be a tad upset at the so-called “personal” attacks on your husband?

Well boo bloody boo hoo.  Bring out the teeny weeny violins.

For the past two years, Labor and swinging voters (and no doubt many soft “L” Liberals) both women and men, have had to put up with the relentless, nasty, vicious and very ugly attacks on our Prime Minister that your husband has ignited and angrily fanned because of his petulant, spoilt brat, right to rule dummy spit he has raged ferociously with since 2010 because the Independents didn’t give him the nod to be PM.

Ever since your husband failed to convince the Independents he would be a man of his word, a decent Prime Minister and that he would be prepared to do everything they wanted (except of course ‘selling his arse”), he has set about wrecking the place, with his constant negativity, talking down the economy, his “No” “No” “No” to every forward thinking policy Labor has implemented – and have been passed regardless of your husbands tantrums.

You, like us, must have seen him proudly stand in front of the ugliest, most brutal placards ever displayed about any Prime Minister. As a fellow woman surely you must have been disgusted. Then again Browyn Bishop and Sophie Mirabella weren’t so maybe it’s a Liberal thing that you weren’t either? Anyway, I digress.  Regardless, did we hear you publicly decry his stance in support of those placards? No, “Margie”, we didn’t. If you privately berated him – we’d like to know – as until such times as you tell us whether you did or not – we can only assume the obvious – that you must have wholeheartedly agreed with and supported his actions just as Bishop and Mirabella did.

I am sure if he ever does get to be PM (which I very much doubt) – he will only bring his extreme right Catholicism down on every woman in this country. And that’s a very frightening thought.

Your husband, along with his bunch of feral shadow ministers and many on his backbench, have turned the political discourse in this country into the obnoxious, wretched, ugliness it is today.





October 5. 2012 11:56 PM


nasking Smile

I cannot beat you on all the lovely fresh produce you grow, though my parsley & shallots are devine Smile
However, tonight I had the BEST MEAL EVER!!! UMG!!!
It was BBq-Hickory USA smoked pork ribs, skow cooked for 3 hours;
Baked buttered corn on the cob with heaps of freshly cracked black pepper;
and Spiced oven-baked wedges with (lite) sour cream.

And a cold beer Smile



October 6. 2012 01:18 AM

Tom of Melbourne

Remarkable, lame excuses that blame the worker.

Tom of Melbourne

October 6. 2012 02:26 AM


Ad astra,

Sorry not to have acknowledged your new woolly thread earlier, as I have said before I often post something first, then I am just as likely to read any Comments that might have come in; I sort of gird my mental loins before I read your latest effort.

I'm an omnivore, I confess, (in common with Pigs and Black Rats btw); I'd probably be prouder of myself it I were vegetarian, but I think it would be a denial of the demands of my DNA code. I don't know of any truly vegetarian societies, though sects indeed may be. Be that as may, the way in which animals are traded and butchered is certainly a matter for shame, crying out for change - which it is obvious will only be effected by Government intervention. Plainly the trade in live beasts, hateful as it is in concept, is far worse in practice.

Halal rules for slaughter of animals I find deeply offensive, (am I right in thinking that Kosher demands are about the same?)
Bloody religious bullshit strikes again, in a really disgusting way!

As our resident Grasshopper has noted above, shipping frozen home-dressed meat is far more efficient than sending live beasts, (has anybody pictured the trail of shit each vessel leaves behind in the ocean as it sails, btw?)

New Zealand, it seems, once again occupies higher moral ground than WideBrownLand: they only send frozen meat, as I understand it. Australia could put its foot down: either buy our dressed carcases, or don't eat meat, at least not from Oz. It's only religious bullshit, and if we are going to hold our heads up we should bite the bullet here.  
Tony Abbortt has been fulsomely idolised by his wee wifey Margy, for his Teddy Bearness generally - Yes I just bet he is kind and loving with his own, and most of all obedient to his better half. Now, I would not know how to cope without J****, and I would not dare to cross her in some horrible unjust way - by reason of my own self-interest. That is of course not to say I don't adore her for herself (most of the time anyway!), O I do, but the point is I wouldn't dare.

No doubt some of those who receive the medals for valour in war are truly valiant, risking their own safety or undertaking huge hardships for King and Country, or for their own comrades, in situations where they have had time to consider the danger or sacrifice they face. My father was a bomber navigator in Lincolns and Lancasters, he hated the war, but O,how brave were those men! Night after night in raids on which most would not live to see a second tour of just 30 missions.

I don't mean to belittle any of them, but it seems to me that, well, they could not desert anyway (they would have faced execution for that of course). They didn't have any choice but to be brave. And the same goes for all people under arms everywhere. They would be more afraid of being seen as cowards! - Which has a weird inversion built-in: being afraid to show cowardice is still being afraid. IYSWIM*  

Tony Abbortt doesn't dare cross wee Margie. We can fantasize with his flirtatious fantasies with the androgynous Peta Credlin, but she is the one in leather, and Tony literally hasn't the balls to bring any sexual fantasies he might have to reality - he is too afraid that Margy would find out and destroy him, (which she could with a mere flick.)

Even less than a flick: she'd just have to withdraw support for him. He is a profoundly fearful man, afraid of failure, and afraid of the little woman. A lap-dog at home, and in public life a nasty-tempered Dachshund pretending to being a fearsome Dobermann Pinscher, on Credlin's short leash and subject to her pointy-toed boot at any time. He is pathetic. He will never be Prime Minister.

NO Prime Minister!  

*IYSWIM: Kudos in Spades to the first person to post the correct meaning.    


October 6. 2012 07:32 AM


If you savy what I mean?


October 6. 2012 08:39 AM


Nas @ 11:54 - I wonder if Mrs Abbott has seen this post.

Casablanca - ABC News Queensland sounds like it was a bit different to ABC News ACT last night.  Like you, I question the order presented but the commentary wasn't all that complementary.


October 6. 2012 08:45 AM


Ad astra, thank you for yet another thought provoking piece.

I am very strongly against exporting live animals because (a)I believe it causes unnecessary suffering to those animals, (b) the exporting of live animals is not necessary for producers to make a quid (c) Australia is too fond of taking the easiest way when it  comes to trade - it is time this country put it's mind to value adding.  (d) We whinge and whine about jobs (or lack of them, skill shortages and importing those skills; we beat ourselves to death that our generosity cannot extend to taking in huge numbers of displaced souls looking for a country, yet we continue to ignore the fact that there are many, many jobs to be had should we begin to manufacture and process our own raw materials.

I know, the cries of "but we can't compete with the cheap labour of our competitors" are always deafening, but for example, if the countries who buy  do not have the raw materials or are unable to get hold of adequate numbers of live animals to eat then they either buy our value added product or opt to have less food in their bellies.  I am not sympathetic to the excuse for the abuse and torture in the process of the slaughter of sheep and cattle on religious grounds.  In my book there is absolutely no excuse for cruelty to any animal and that includes the human animal.  


October 6. 2012 09:03 AM


Good morning all

Any bets as to the next poll results, out at end of this weekend?

I'll say 49.7 2PP to Us, (so 50.3 to Them) but I'm hoping it might be the other way around.

"Savvy" (with 2 v's though) will do very well though simple 'see' is the original. Kudos to you! Smile

And DYWAT! ?  

We are winning on every front, except asylum seekers where we are no longer losing but not winning neiter. But it is good to see that the risible ASIO got poked in the nose, it is plainly labelling those accredited refugees as 'security risks' in order to pretend that it has some relevance.

It thrills my spine deliciously to read this from our host Ad astra: Abbott is on the skids, and nothing can save him.

Blokes know what happens to their gonads when they are anxious . . . The little operatives retreat into the abdominal cavity to get out of the way of danger! . . . Well, if indeed Abbortt has any, they will be somewhere near his tonsils by now.

Especially if he has Ad's prognostication pointed out to him!

Neither Ad nor I have ever been anything but upbeat about the next election results (and Yes I say that with pride) but the best thing is watching our predictions coming true day by day - especially since the Ides of September, the 13th, TPS's 4th birthday, and the day Abbortt's sky really started falling, due to Leigh Sales' surprise (though long-overdue) dismemberment of the creep.

The resounding defeat of the LNP next time will be a major watershed in Australian political history, an end to Abborttianism and an affirmation of decency guiding our destiny.



October 6. 2012 09:05 AM



I used to both admire & pity Margy Abbott, but now I'm just filled with disdain. The lady should never have allowed herself to be exploited. The whole episode is (rightly) being parodied in every forum I've visited. Shame that. I hope Tony's proud of himself that he's put his wife in such a situation, whilst all the time suggesting it was HER idea!

Really, we shouldn't blame Margie Abbott - she is a Lib through and through and I have no doubt she feels hurt when her hubby is seen to be much less than the man she thinks he is.

  The whole problem with this sideshow is that the Libs have used their usual sledge hammer on the electorate and therefore highlighted the fact that Abbott's leadership stinks and the coalition are looking at fighting the 2013 election, not only devoid of policies, but without a credible team to give them a chance of getting away with pissing away a whole term in opposition on negative slogans.


October 6. 2012 09:30 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Twitterverse for you:

Federal leaders face first gender election, AFR

The Slippery slope, AFR
Within a week, the well-travelled Peter Slipper is scheduled to jet off overseas on parliamentary duties, sipping from the cup of perks and privilege bestowed upon the Speaker of Australia’s Parliament.

Margie: A rare American-style spousal intervention, Laurie Oakes
Abbott’s aggression, his unrelenting attack dog image, is a turn-off for women, and it alienates many male voters as well.

The Liberal leader has been building his politically pugilistic persona since well before he entered parliament 18 years ago.

It is hard to see that such an entrenched image can be altered quickly—but Margie Abbott is obviously going to give it a red hot go.

For political spouses to enter the political fray in this way is rare in Australia, but much more common in the United States.

Hold on to your bonnets for the new Downton Abbott, Lenore Taylor
But Abbott's ''women problem'' was never really about whether he had good relationships with the strong women in his own life.

In fact it wasn't really about whether or not he liked and respected women in general. His real ''women problem'' is that some women voters don't seem to like him.

Prissy shrieks of fear and loathing, Mike Carlton
In the 2GB bully pulpit his contempt for women in authority lunges into the neurotic. Julia Gillard, Anna Bligh, Clover Moore and the former Victoria police commissioner Christine Nixon have been sprayed with his bile recently, but it goes way back. His savaging of the Director of Military Prosecutions, Brigadier Lyn McDade, in 2009 - ''that woman'' - was as brutal as it was ignorant
As the Twittersphere showed, the outrage was genuine and widespread because his libel of the late John Gillard finally exposed the mountebank that dwells inside the tailored suits with those snazzy pink matching ties and hankies. Jones has poisoned the wells of our national debate for too long.

Woolies exec quits amid Alan Jones row, ABC
"The 'chaff bag jacket' was not intended as a statement about the Prime Minister or anyone else," he said.

"It was a prop to put myself in after I had taken the mickey out of Alan Jones

Abbott's wife says he is a feminist, not anti-women, Phillip Coorey
MARGIE ABBOTT has launched an extraordinary rebuttal of claims that her husband, Tony Abbott, has a problem with women after a concerted government attack portraying the Opposition Leader as a misogynist began to hurt the Coalition in the polls.

A tale of two Tonys at loggerheads, Chris Wallace
If you want to hit a man where it hurts, hit him in the groin. David Marr doesn't miss in his Quarterly Essay profile Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott. Mocks Marr, of the Liberal leader's profile in Speedos and lycra cycling knicks: ''Never in the political annals of this country have so many seen so much of so little.''

Angie Wilcox ‏
Alan Jones scandal claims first scalp - Simon Berger (the purchaser of said Chaff bag) has resigned from Woolworths www.smh.com.au/.../...st-scalp-20121005-274mt.html

Ross Gittins ‏
High and mighty bankers just as fallible as the rest of us - my column http://bit.ly/RjcQDD #ausecon #auspol

nevso ‏
Kelly O'Dwyer on #Lateline says that TAbbott did not see the "sign" because it was behind him! Are you kidding ? http://i.imgur.com/3Z49T.jpg

Schnappi ‏
NoNewspoll this weekend,,due to murdoch/credlin #MargiePoll


October 6. 2012 09:53 AM


TT. Yes, "see" was a bit too simple...I had you down as the "thinking man's front-bar raconteur"....where the injection of a quirky word or two into the vociferous vocaulary is a must!
BUT!....of course, I for one fully apreciate the "KISS" principle!


October 6. 2012 10:36 AM

Tom of Melbourne

Respect for women is a current political topic, generating plenty of comments.

As a matter of interest is it appropriate to call a woman a “slag”? Would this be appropriate in any circumstance? Would anyone object if it were applied to Gillard?

It’s a sign of the hypocrisy of this site that the term is routinely applied to a Liberal politician, with no objections here.

This place is a real hive of selective outrage.

Tom of Melbourne

October 6. 2012 10:50 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn and Folks
Thank you for the Twitterverse Lyn and thank you folks for your great comments.  What a range of items there are, most prominent being the Abbott Family show.  That might be worth a special piece.

I’m off now to the 21st Birthday Party for a granddaughter so I’ll not be around until tomorrow.

Ad astra

October 6. 2012 11:07 AM


I cannot help but get the impression that our "pet" troll has some sort of sexual obsession with posting on this site...hence the confected, manufactured outrage on a particular subject, then waiting "impatient and excited" for the "punishing" comments to come in....I do however, bulk at any imaging of what state of "undress" he awaits said commentry!


October 6. 2012 11:21 AM


Hi Ad

Hope you have a lovely day at the Birthday Party.

The Abbott family is getting sickening.  This publicity stunt by the biggest Coalition backers, namely the Murdoch Empire could very well have the opposite results.  Laurie Oakes says after all it has taken Abbott 18 years to aquire his thug persona, Mrs Abbott wants to bring that undone and present a sensitive, kind, gentle Abbott.

The Daily Telecrap ‏
Gemma__Jones Great job on the Abbott Advertorial. But do you think 4 full pages including the front page was enough? #SensitiveTony

Craig Emerson MP ‏
So this is the "kinder, gentler" approach TonyAbbottMHR_ assured us the Liberals would adopt two years ago? #liberalfail



October 6. 2012 11:28 AM


      If it were anyone else but the troll complaining about his latest outrage there might be a point to it!
Since just about every post he puts he calls the PM a "liar" or insinuates other misgivings, you can only conclude he's deluded! medication hasn't been given today and his "imaginary" friend is telling him what to write.
let's hope he's medicated soon.


October 6. 2012 11:35 AM


Just watched Lateline.

Can we just move on from this sideshow and get back to policy stuff, it makes me want to vomit. Apparently it is 'news' that Margie sees a very different TAbbott than we do......dah? And we should all just 'stop it'! We should all just ignore the image 'HE' built over the years....it is all a mistake.

Kelly O'Dwyer - well there is something quite offensive about the way she presents herself, she rubbed me up the wrong way on Q&A as well. I even prefer Julie Bishop to her. Honestly, to say TAbbott did not see those signs when he addressed that rally at Parliament House is so disingenuous. Comments like that would turn me off going into politics. It sends such a bad message. Clearly you have to tell outright lies that are not even plausible to be an MP, lies that you can't even give a benefit of the doubt to. If that is what it takes to be a politician then why would you want to be one? It is so sad that it has come to that. Lying to dig yourself out of a hole (something TAbbott does frequently) is one thing, but lying, treating us like idiots, to help dig someone else out of what clearly amounts to bad judgement takes the cake.

I like Andrew Leigh, comes accross as a very measured and intelligent person.


October 6. 2012 11:40 AM


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October 6. 2012 12:06 PM


Something to know about Alan Jones - the key thing, really - is that he's not all that bright. Far from it. Despite the artfully constructed public persona, there is no powerhouse intellect there, no vast store of wisdom. He is a crackpot muddle of prejudice and ignorance.

The claim on the 2GB website that Jones is an Oxford graduate is a typical piece of deceit.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...loathing-20121005-274a2.html


October 6. 2012 12:12 PM


Sorry Lyn I re-posted something you had already posted.


October 6. 2012 12:27 PM


Hi Ktagh

Hello Ktag don't bother it doesn't matter.  As I said before I love our readers to post what they think is interesting anyway everybody hasn't got time to scroll backwards all the time.

Thankyou for your link amazing how the lies are surfacing isn't it.
So the qualifications are fake not surprising.

Cheers to you SmileSmileSmile


October 6. 2012 12:39 PM


Jason....When you say;"I trust he will be 'medicated' soon"..I hope you were being polite!!?


October 6. 2012 12:53 PM

42 long

  Wouldn't it be great to have the media doing you giant favours with how you are perceived? ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!!.
  The same people who BAG Gillard for not getting THEIR MESSAGE out. I'm almost vomiting.
  Hopefully the King of SLIME will actually suffer for this. The Woolworths Guy has. ( Very expensive hessian jacket). Isn't it great, the GAMES the top end of town play? Two different worlds exist at the same time. The born to rule and the rest of us.
  Just a warning of how difficult it is for any non right wing party to get a FAIR go ( Here Or in the states but I suspect it is much worse HERE) If you EVER doubted it, you no longer have to. I hope this backfires with a vengeance. It deserves to.
   Obvously Tony realised the need. He IS what he is and it's not pretty. We don't need screwed up people acting out their fantasies by running this country and that is what you get with Abbott. Now your chances of ever finding the "Real" Tony are further confused. This man and his methods are not honestly presented. He NEVER answers a question clearly, and what does "in the marrow of my bones" mean? ( as an example).
   I believe one thing that he said he believes and that is that "Climate change is CRAP".You will only get the truth from Tony through little slips, the REST is carefully calculated and scripted. Deception and confusion, and non revelation.

42 long

October 6. 2012 01:50 PM


Baked buttered corn on the cob with heaps of freshly cracked black pepper;
and Spiced oven-baked wedges with (lite) sour cream.

Yum Libby. We luv corn on the cob...and oven-baked wedges. Sometimes we put butter or olive oil marg.on the cob...sometimes just pepper...and lemon myrtle herb...

oft use lite sour cream with wedges...also salsa is great with both.

Can add chilli seeds...or dip in Encona West Indian hot pepper sauce (we order it from British Sweets and Treats in Sydney)...also like Nandos Portugese BBQ Peri-peri marinade as a dipping sauce...or HP.

Instead of the ribs we throw in a Quorn product...or marinated mushrooms...or a vege Wellington (pg. 224 Practical Vegetarian Cookery from Paragon Publishing, 2000) or leek & sweet potato roulade.

On Sunday I'm gonna make a big roast with parsnips, onions, organic potatoes in red wine, gravy, chilli seed and thyme sauce, rosemary from the garden on Stace's dad's organic pumpkin, mint peas and cauli cheese...with a few roasted garlic and chillis added.

Yorkshire pudding from Goldenfry Foods...bought at Coles.

Serve with horseradish and organic cranberry sauce.

Can't wait.

BTW, last nite I made lime and coriander risotto using Nandos Coconut Lime & Coriander Sauce...add frozen organic leeks, capsicum, zuchinni, brocolli, snow peas from S's Dad's farm, organic chick peas, pepper, chilli seeds....later adding a wee bit of water to slowly simmer and then adding cooked brown rice and mixing together.

Gorgeous. Good energy food.

I'm actually starting to enjoy cooking again...music in the background...had a sip of sherry. And a white wine.

In the past I used to write out my own recipes...or versions of other people's recipes...must put them together in a book, and on a site oneday with pics. Not for money tho. Just to share.

Another adventure for the future. Life is full of paths and possibilities and opportunities.

Hope to bring together all my poems oneday too. Again, just to share.

Luv to get a collection with Patricia, TT, Truth Seeker, Libby, Migs and other cyberspace contributers' poems.

When I was in the QLD Multicultural Writers' Association we would print poetry booklets with assorted poetry from various writers...and then we'd have a lunch buffet with invited guests and perform some of them.

My poem 'Chook's Revenge' went down a treat. Smile



October 6. 2012 02:25 PM


BTW, when would Tony Abbott have time to watch Downton Abbey?

He's too busy scheming and planning with his shock jock and News Ltd and Channel Ten & Nine and Fairfax and blogging and corporate allies the next dirty campaign.

When not trying to prove himself an Iron Man instead of a Lead Balloon...

or doing photo ops...

or writing his next manifesto...

or ranting in parliament and devising NO NO NO speeches...and tactics...

and doing interviews with Alan Jones and One Nation founders...

and standing in front of irate crowds with abusive placards acting like a preacher from Salem.

Gimme a break!

Seems to enjoy best seller popular fiction too...

obviously skimming...

.and fast forwarding shows...

...with the odd whisper in his ear reminding him of characters and settings and plots he should mention in order to look the populist.

The Real Tony. Smile

Next we'll get a few pics of Tony fixated on the tele with Downton Abbey on it...

whilst exercycling for a charity wearing a pink shirt and cap identifying donors...

with surfboard and sports trophies carefully positioned in the background...

beneath a group of family portraits, of all the women who adore him.




October 6. 2012 02:46 PM



that Mike Carlton opinion piece is one of the most insightful and gutsy mainstream posts i've read this past decade. Superb...tells it as it is:

Misogyny is a defining Jones trait in public and private. I recall a young woman staffer at 2UE humiliated to tears after one of his snarling tirades: ''Wretched, wretched girl!'' At one of those ridiculous Ditch the Witch rallies he fomented in Canberra last year he berated a journalist from the Herald, Jacqueline Maley, virtually inviting the rabble to assault her for daring to ask if he had been paid to appear.

That was off air. In the 2GB bully pulpit his contempt for women in authority lunges into the neurotic. Julia Gillard, Anna Bligh, Clover Moore and the former Victoria police commissioner Christine Nixon have been sprayed with his bile recently, but it goes way back. His savaging of the Director of Military Prosecutions, Brigadier Lyn McDade, in 2009 - ''that woman'' - was as brutal as it was ignorant.

In 2001 he set out to destroy the career of a senior NSW police officer, Detective Inspector Deborah Wallace,
supposedly because she was not cleaning up Cabramatta to his knowledgeable satisfaction. ''Miss Debbie,'' he called her. ''How would you go in a brawl?'' he sneered. He trashed her reputation for months, bringing much grief to her family until, without a shred of evidence, he accused her of faking a police document. Wallace sued him for defamation and Jones settled, and she is now a Detective Superintendent and the respected chief of the Middle East Crime Squad.

The Tories' response to Jones's slur on the Prime Minister's father was instructive. Yes, it was wrong, cruel and offensive, they agreed. Certainly good ol' Alan had gone a bit far this time. But would Tony Abbott think of boycotting his program? No, he enjoys talking to the audience. Will Jones be invited to address future Liberal gatherings? Why, of course.

Predictably, The Australian's Janet Albrechtsen tried to pin the furore on his media rivals, the ABC etc. ''The hysterical outrage aimed at Jones was, at least in part, fuelled by his effectiveness as a political commentator,'' she bleated.

Poppycock. As the Twittersphere showed, the outrage was genuine and widespread because his libel of the late John Gillard finally exposed the mountebank that dwells inside the tailored suits with those snazzy pink matching ties and hankies. Jones has poisoned the wells of our national debate for too long. From his dishonesty in the cash-for-comment scandal to his idiotic pronouncements on climate change, he has been an incubus on the body public, enriching himself all the while as he postures as the champion of Struggle Street. The advertisers who support him share the odium.

In his faux apology last Sunday, Jones contrived to compare himself with the Anzacs who stormed ashore at Gallipoli in 1915. He has no shame. Enough said.

JONES is far from the only misogynist on radio. His breakfast competitor, 2-Day FM's oafish Kyle Sandilands, makes a daily meal of it. Sandilands's grotesque ''interview'' with a 14-year-old rape victim wired to a lie detector and his bullying abuse of a woman journalist as ''a fat slag'' and a ''piece of shit'' went lower than even Jones has gone.

The sorry truth is that Australian radio is a sludge pit of male supremacy. I cannot think of any commercial talk station that has a female voice in a prime slot. The ABC is better, but not much: 702 has just one woman in its front-line shifts.

The radio business needs to take a long, hard look at itself, to think about joining the rest of us in the 21st century. But with louts and buffoons like Jones and Sandilands cracking the ratings whip, radio executives don't have the guts to do it. Most of them are dumb blokes, too.

Too true. Sadly.

That includes John Singleton. A man who never seems to have enuff money...own enuff...an insatiable hunger for feeding off the moolah that comes with spreading the abusive, misogynistic male ocker myth.



October 6. 2012 02:54 PM


G'Day swords folk, just catching up with the posts while making a brew to take back out into the garden & thought I'd post a small item that came from my next door neighbor so some might get a chuckle or two:- these are all! true too.

            Recently, when I went to McDonald's I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets.
            I asked for a half dozen nuggets.
            'We don't have half dozen nuggets,' said the teenager at the counter.
            'You don't?' I replied.
            'We only have six, nine, or twelve,' was the reply.
            'So I can't order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?'
            'That's right.'
            So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets
            (Unbelievable but sadly true...)


            (Must have been the same one I asked for sweetener, and she said they didn't have any, only Splenda and sugar.)


            (Yes I think it was the same one that gave me a wing portion when I ordered a thigh.  Perhaps I should have asked for a leg.)
            I was checking out at the local Wal-Mart with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those 'dividers' that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn't get mixed.
            After the girl had scanned all of  my items, she picked up the'divider', looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it.
            Not finding the bar code, she said to me, 'Do you know how much this is?'
            I said to her 'I've changed my mind; I don't think I'll buy that today.'
            She said 'OK,' and I paid her for the things and left.
            She had no clue to what had just happened.
            ( But the lady behind me had a big smerk on her face as I left)
            THREE u
            A woman at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly.
            When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using     the ATM 'thingy.'
            (Keep     shuddering!!)
            I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car. 'Do you need some help?' I asked.  She replied, 'I knew I should have replaced the  battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can't get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have a battery to fit this?'
            'Hmmm, I don't know. Do you have an alarm, too?' I asked.
            'No, just this remote thingy,' she answered, handing it and the car keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I
            replied, 'Why don't you drive over there and check about the batteries. It's a long walk....'
            PLEASE just lay down before you hurt yourself !!!
            Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, 'I'm almost out of typing paper. What do I do?' 'Just use paper from the photocopier', the secretary told     her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper,  put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five 'blank' copies.
            Brunette, by the way!!
            A mother calls 911 very worried asking the dispatcher if she needs to take     her kid to the emergency room, the kid had eaten ants. The dispatcher tells her to give the kid some Benadryl and he should be fine, the mother says,     'I just gave him some ant killer.....'
            Dispatcher: 'Rush him in to emergency right now!'
            Life is tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid!
            Someone had to remind me, so I'm reminding you too.
            Don't laugh....it is all true...

            Perks of reaching 50 or being over 60 and heading towards 70!
            01.   Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
            02.. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
            03. No one expects you to     run--anywhere.
            04. People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?"
            05. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
            06. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
            07. Things you buy now won't wear out.
            08. You can eat supper at 5 PM .
            09. You can live without sex but not your glasses.
            10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.
            11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
            12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.
            13. You sing along with elevator music.
            14. Your eyes won't get much worse.
            15 . Your investment in health insurance is finally    beginning to pay off.
            16. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.
            17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.
            18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.
            19. You can't remember who sent you this list.
            20. And you notice these are all in Big Print for your convenience.
            Forward this to everyone you can remember right now!
            Never, under any circumstances,
            take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night!


October 6. 2012 03:11 PM


I'm a fan of the West Indies team. Great to see them going for it.

Loved the old team of the 80s, early 90s with the likes of Haynes, Greenidge, Gomes, Richards, Richardson, Marshall, Clive Lloyd, Big Bird, Holding...eventually Logie and Lara.


I really got into One Day cricket when I returned to OZ in 1982. Loved both the Aussie & West Indian teams.

Used to watch women's cricket too.

And in Canada my Dad and I would go out and watch amatuer cricket...or hit the ball around using my great uncles' bat who used to play UK county cricket. I think he played in Yorkshire.



October 6. 2012 05:34 PM


Knee High

They were just brilliant, I laughed at all of them, thank you for that.

Isn't it amazing the media coverage you can get if you tell all Australia that you love your husband.  I guess if she had said he was horrible and nasty, they would have just ignored her as just another whinging woman.


October 6. 2012 06:07 PM


ToM, the courts examined the details of the 4 deaths and ruled that 3 of the deaths were due to employer negligence.

The fourth, unfortunately, was the responsibility of the lad himself. Despite very specific instructions wrt the staples to be used by his employer, he and his co-worker ignored them and used metal staples, a fact testified to by the co-worker.

Regardless of experience, employers are responsible for the safety of their employees and should acquaint themselves with any legislation wrt OH&S, rates of pay etc.

To suggest that a third party is responsible for employee safety or other employer responsibilities, is nonsense.

The judgements are correct; the Commonwealth was not the employer at any time and was therefore not responsible for the deaths.  

Margie might just be one of many bossy women (and men) in Abbott's life. It may be that he has very little control over his destiny.

More like Janette Howard, NormanK?

Janice @8.45am, agreed. There are no doubt any number of people with the necessary qualifications for onshore processing of meat for export to Muslim countries, thus eliminating the need for live exports.

And it could be a leg up for refugees wrt employment once they have been processed. It must be very depressing for people who have struggled so hard to get here, only to find that there may not be a job for them.

Lyn, the Woolies exec rationalisation of the chaff bag jacket is beyond belief! Does he think everyone in the country is a complete idiot?

Who else would he have been referring to with that offensive bloody thing? If he had donated something even slightly witty and inoffensive, you could have a giggle, but the connotations associated with that "garment" are beyond offensive and smack of violent misogyny.

I wonder if he jumped or was given a violent shove? I suspect the latter.

When not trying to prove himself an Iron Man instead of a Lead Balloon...

Pure gold, Nas'.

BTW, when will you publish your recipes? Just read what you will be cooking and my stomach is aching.

18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

This one is my favourite, KHTAGH.


October 6. 2012 07:34 PM


BTW, when will you publish your recipes? Just read what you will be cooking and my stomach is aching.

After the next election? ;)

Me too...I've being cleaning... and doing paid surveys from Pureprofile...and downloading Cosmos all arvo.

Apart from getting in PBS Newshour...and an HD show on Cuba's natural environment from Nat Geo Wild.

Hot today.

Starving now. Time to make dinner.

18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

I larfed at that too. Good stuff KHTAGH.

jane, hope you and the hubby have a great nite.



October 7. 2012 03:17 AM


Minding your language a virtual reality

THE state government will resort to using ''virtual classrooms'' - where multiple schools share the same teacher over the internet - as it may not have enough qualified staff to fulfil its promise to teach every child a second language.

Before the last state election, Ted Baillieu promised a languages revival in which every Victorian student up to year 10 would be required to take on a language by 2025, starting with prep in 2015. But with department figures showing almost 60 per cent of secondary school students do not study a language - and almost a third of primary schools don't offer them - the government concedes it will have to get creative to deliver its goal.

Education Minister Martin Dixon said he was confident the language policy would be achieved, especially since $6 million was being spent to recruit language teachers over the next three years. However, he admitted that ''in every case, it might not necessarily be one teacher for every classroom''.


The future.

But you also need one on one attention.

Students need direction, motivating, personal contact...and someone to check they are meeting expectations, developing skills necessary to learn how to problem solve...a guide.

Also need positive reinforcement from an inspirational adult. So tech is useful but can't reproduce the human contact qualities 100% provided by educators...

the new three Rs are Rigour, Relevance, Relationships.

Anyway this is a transformation era and should not be used by cheapo politicians.

Certainly for educators/guides will change...but what might work for adults on computer does not necessarily work for younger people, some who might not relate to cyber world...and also they don't have the social and emotional maturity to be able to navigate their own learning pathway.

Do they want to have year 9 boys for instance just to be playing computer games? That's what can happen if not appropriately surpervised, guided and directed back to the learning.

As an ex-teacher who used some of the first computer-based learning modules and imaginative planning...interactive programs, some that I designed with the aid of others...and having tutored for a number of years ESL, I reckon the virtual classrooms are useful, exciting...but you can't cut out that need for constant supervision and motivation...and human contact. Not for young people.

Stacey & I see computer technology and used of digitalised space as another set of teaching tools...not the only teaching tool...they aid learning, enhance it...and can be cost effective...but they must work in tandem with some tried and true methods.



October 7. 2012 03:21 AM


Should be:

Certainly for educators/guides their roles and training will change to adapt, be more flexible.


October 7. 2012 03:25 AM


Should be:

Stacey & I see computer technology and use of digitalised space as another set of teaching tools...not the only teaching tool.

Apologies for the mistakes, finding it hard to see clearly these days.



October 7. 2012 03:44 AM


This is "over-kill"...reminds me of Tom Cruise everytime he wants to SELL his marriage...
Her observation, however, that ''one problem'' she has with Tony is how ''he likes to make a competition of everything'' might have been more telling than intended. Just maybe, this is a quality that's a turn-off for some of those alienated women voters.


Something odd about that relationship...doesn't quite ring true for me.

Tony spends an inordinate amount of time doing extra-curricula activities. Including long long bike rides. And hanging around parliament. And doing doorstop interviews.

Alot of non-home stuff for his age...and maturity(?)

Personally, I thought it took a long time for his wife to come out and support him.

Still, I guess different strokes for different folks.

I luv spending heaps of time with my wife and friend.

It is weird tho for someone who farts on constantly about family values...in a party obsessed with so called 'family friendly' policies.

Reminds of certain Republicans (clears his throat).

Not always what they purport to be...instead, bleedin' hypocrites and "Do as I say, not as I do" types.



October 7. 2012 03:53 AM


And btw,
I thought that infrastructure announcement by the NSW premier and Abbott was a bloody disgrace this morning.

If the transport infrastructure was so important then why didn't Howard do stuff all when he was in for nigh on twelve years?

Furthermore, Abbott is not the govt...and...the election is a year away.

This makes O'Farrell look overly-biased, partisan, arrogant, unwilling to negotiate, threatening...and in bed with the Abbott extremists.

What a stupid, divisive, immature, desperate move.

Puts me right off that NSW govt...is not enuff that they have problems with the top politicised cop...and the oddball attorney-general?

You govern for all NSW people Barry...not just religious fanatics, xenophobes, private companies and shareholders wanting toll and project money...and the upper private school snobs...and Abbott related bully boys and extremists.



October 7. 2012 07:42 AM


Dear Ad
Thank you for your post.  Reading it brings to my mind the classic “The man is a beast” quote, and the question of how much of man’s inhumanity to man is incited and licensed by inhumanity to animals.  The best of the many benefits of respect and kindness to human and non-human animals alike is that it undercuts and invalidates the mind-set behind “bloody imaginations”.  Your wise little two year old grandchild knows that compassion is not conditional.  If it’s sentient, it suffers.  In contrast, people who dismiss animal suffering imagine that there is distinction and authority in qualifying mercy and quantifying care.  In doing so, they only demolish their credibility and disgrace themselves.


October 7. 2012 09:27 AM


Bloody daylight saving. I hate it. Bloody crazy Yank idea.

In SA (Central Standard Time) we are in the rare position of having a half-hour difference from most of the world. (A few other places in the world do, they're mad too.)

TV's tell us that our shows are screened at EST.

The 7.30 report here is screened at 7.30 CST, i.e. half an hour later in real time than those on than EST.

Lateline is by contradistinction screened live, so it's only 10.30 here whereas it's at 11 PM EST.  

Queensland (sanely) doesn't do Daylight Saving Time.

WA is usually one-and a half hours behind CST, two hours behind EST. At least it's two full hours.

Then along comes DST twice a year. Dog help us!
(Dog actually works by body clock.)

I know there are other scramblements but I'm so scrambled by it all that I can't put them all down nor in any sort of order.

Does anybody really know what time it is?

SA ought to bite the bullet and either go forward half an hour in phase with EST or back half an hour which puts us a clear hour behind EST and a clear hour in front of WST.

And we ought to consign this bloody stupid DST to the 20th Century Bad Ideas Bin.



October 7. 2012 10:54 AM


Good Morning Ad & Everybody

Twitterverse for you:

Ad  if Tony Abbott doesn't have a problem with women as he says and Margie says, then how come it's Labor's fault.  So in other words Labor has made him have a problem with women.  Clever handbaghitsquad.

Abbott may roll out 'secret weapon' again
"If the Labor Party persists in this idea that there's some kind of problem with women, Margie will be out there correcting the record again," Mr Abbott said.

Young Libs caught with a chaff bag full of untruths , The Telegraph
Nobody likes a liar. Oh, and it's never the original crime that gets you. It's the cover-up.

For two solid years, Alan Jones has been accusing Julia Gillard of lying.

Ashby files ribald texts with Slipper, Jessica Wright

No ordinary tactic from Abbott camp, Michelle Grattan
Faced with his trouble with women (voters) the Abbott team's strategy was first to deny it, then to accuse the Labor Party of having a handbag hit squad (aka federal women ministers) out to get him, and now to launch a blitz with its own killer ladies, including wife Margie, mother Fay, and assorted daughters and sisters.

Alan Jones to lose his sponsored Mercedes
Controversial broadcaster Alan Jones is losing his $250,000 sponsored Mercedes-Benz, with the car dealer vowing to never again support him or his radio station again, it's been reported.

Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific has cancelled all radio advertising with Macquarie Radio's 2GB as the fallout continues over Jones's comments at a Sydney University

Denise ‏
There are nutters & misogynists everywhere, They're on the internet, on the radio & speaking at SULC functions www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../story-fndo1sdf-1226489927031


"Tony is just so optimistic"??? Now we know Margie Abbott was lying, & not just abt DowntonAbbey being on @ same time as footy. #Insiders

Christine Donayr
Have to admit I liked this quote from @KarenMMiddleton, "It's not that Tony Abbott doesn't like women, it's that women don't like him."

Tell me #insiders if ‘handbag hit squad’ is not a sexist slur then tell when we’re used men’s attire to dismiss their political views?

Elizabeth Aitken ‏
Glad that Roxon called the reverse sexism on O'Dwyer & "handbag hit squad" #insiders stiletto squealers?

People Skills ‏
If Abbott doesn't have a problem with women, why does he reduce strong Labor women ministers to "handbag hitsquad"? #insiders

Agnes Mack  
#insiders Nicola says she shouldn't be precluded from speaking out against Abbott just because she's a female minister

Equitist ‏
Dear #Insiders, at what point did #LNP decide that #MargieAbbott could presume a right to speak on behalf of Aussie women!? #DestroyTheJoint

Werner & Ursula ‏
#insiders Aw, Tony will get Margie to come out and fight for him if he gets picked on! Pathetic!

Agnes Mack ‏
#insiders Margie Abbott almost textbook operation....... Co-ordinated assault on Newspoll weekend IMO

People Skills ‏
So how exactly does "Abbott has wife" show he doesn't have a problem with women? Hitler had a wife too. #insiders

Denise ‏
AndoJC ...and he himself recently accepted Thomson vote...why dont journo's remind him of that?? A: Doesnt suit their agenda...



October 7. 2012 11:46 AM


As I commented on Facebook:

In regard to QLD premiere Newman's govt making severe cuts and sacking Health Dept staff etc...whilst spending possibly 2 billion on a new public service headquarters...

I do believe the old building was ratty, archaic, a health hazard. But there are obviously ulterior motives...profits being siphoned to private sector mates/donors (?).

Have to look into it. It's certainly a huge expense if that's the real cost. And is it credible prioritising? Hopefully media investigators will reveal details.

I don't have a problem with reducing public servant jobs if their position is redundant and could be transformed into something more useful...this might mean more creating new or adjusted positions rather than disposing of possibly highly skilled individuals...tho, obviously some public servants are eager to take a payout and leave the service, perhaps feeling stale, exhausted and unmotivated and therefore not being productive enuff...leaving room for new blood...but there should definitely be a system in place to assist those departing employees to transition into another form of employment, even if it's just part-time (I was not assisted that way...it was negligence on the part of the state)...

furthermore, I worry this is just a move to shift jobs to the more affordable, lower average worker wages  private sector (benefitting shareholder mates and allies)...

and also burdening further frontline staff by forcing them to take on duties of forced retirement/sacked staff...

which could lead to less personalisation with clients/customers, more errors under duress, more shortcuts, worker fatigue, illness and loss of skilled staff in future.

And of course, if you replace too many well paid staff with lesser paid staff in both public & private sectors you are in danger of creating a domino effect wherein small businesses and services that rely on their spending will find their revenue decreased...leading to an increase in unemployment...and less investment and expansion...more domination by large businesses who can cope with said shifts...

and those shareholders who benefit in the private sector...and execs.. might not spend as much money locally.

Once again we get the flood up...and out of country and state effect.

Not good.

Still, we need to see how the govt invests and spends and hires...and the private sector...in order to assess long-term effects...

but short-term this could be problematic during an economically unstable period globally...and in a patchwork Australian economy where certain sectors such as retail and tourism are already under duress due to various factors including high dollar, mining boom distortions, the impact of internet sales and services...interest rates etc...

Of course we must take into account that reducing govt spending can reduce expenditure on debt payments...down the road leaving more money for essential service and infrastructure investment.

Time will tell.

I cannot help but feel tho that part of this tactic is not just about
efficiency, productivity, affordability/cost effectiveness, future improving, appeasing donors -quid pro quo - as all govts do unfortunately...

but also about creating an ideological framework...and levels of economic uncertainty & unemployment levels that can be used to undermine the present federal govt during the election.

We'll see.

But the connection that these state govts have with Tony Abbott, Peter Costello, other Old Guard Liberals, and the usual suspect media is not reassuring...demonstrating they are viciously partisan...and up for federal election-related scheming, plotting and sabotage.



October 7. 2012 11:51 AM


Newman’s cuts lead to appalling conditions for staff


Not content with sacking thousands from Queensland Health, Campbell Newman is determined to make those that still have a job suffer.

After claiming the restructuring of BreastScreen would not affect patients or staff, United Voice, the health professionals’ union, has discovered the appalling conditions staff are forced to put up with.


United Voice Health Co- ordinator Sharron Caddie says “the true extent of the cutbacks to BreastScreen is being witnessed by health professionals already, particularly in rural areas.”

“Health professionals travelling with BreastScreen mobile vans have seen their conditions deteriorate to an unacceptable level where they must now provide their own bed linen and sleep in nurses’ accommodation at hospitals in different towns.”

“Furthermore they have to share bathrooms with male staff and more often than not there are no locks on the bathroom or bedroom doors.”

“They are now being told they may have to share rooms. This is totally unacceptable, after all the majority of the monographers in question are women in their 60’s.”

“These health professionals are on the road, away from home for three or four weeks at a time, they screen between 45-48 women a day, it’s a gruelling job. They deserve somewhere decent to sleep and unwind at night.”

“Furthermore some of our members have told us the bathrooms are filthy and kitchens are full of dirty dishes when they arrive.”

“I have spoken to many members who are very upset by the manner in which they are being treated, they have worked with Queensland Health for a long time and are deeply hurt by the lack of respect shown by this government.”

“They cannot believe they have to face into a situation like this after a long gruelling day screening women for breast cancer and they are very distressed.”

“We are calling on the government to address this problem as a matter of urgency; their cost cutting is putting regional women at risk.”

For further information contact Susan Butler on 0428 189 130/ 3291 4610


Dear oh dear.

Not the way to run a health dept...nor a modern, civilised state in a well-off country...nor treat valuable skilled workers.




October 7. 2012 12:10 PM


Going by the last comment I put up...this once again demonstrates that the present right-wing forces in Australia seem to be neglectful of women's needs...see them as a lesser priority perhaps?

A pattern of behaviour?

Revealing an underlying problem created by educations provided by patriarchal institutions possibly?...including religious instruction.

And the prevalence of a male dominated, ockerism style culture perpetuated by media, corporations, certain institutions and certain politicians and parties.

Including leaders, such as Tony Abbott, John Howard.

Media barons...Rupert Murdoch, Packers, Stokes, Singleton etc.

Shock jocks.

Television, music, sports and movie personalities. Tons of them.

When did this OCKERISM and MISOGYNY begin as a culturally dominant factor?

How has it changed lexicon...language?

Changed behaviour, attitudes in Australian society...including sports.

What are its roots?...who are the progenitors?...forefathers.

Has it spread globally by way of certain media empires? America and UK etc also impacted by Australian media empire.



October 7. 2012 01:00 PM



Has it spread globally by way of certain media empires

Yes it has been both introduced by & perpetrated by the Murdoch beast.

For a first class example, look no further than his page 3 girl in his papers, say no more. He deals in sleaze. Misogyny first class.


October 7. 2012 01:18 PM


"Legislators, priests, philosophers, writers, ans scientists have striven to show that the subordinate position of woman is willed in heaven and advantageous on earth.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

"Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

“Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom. The restrictions that education and custom impose on a woman limit her grasp of the universe...Indeed, for one to become a creator, it is not enough to be cultivated, that is, to make going to shows and meeting people part of one's life; culture must be apprehended through the free movement of a transcendence; the spirit with all its riches must project itself in an empty sky that is its to fill; but if a thousand fine bonds tie it to the earth, its surge is broken. The girl today can certainly go out alone, stroll in the Tuileries; but I have already said how hostile the street is: eyes everywhere, hands waiting: if she wanders absentmindedly, her thoughts elsewhere, if she lights a cigarette in a cafe, if she goes to the cinema alone, an unpleasant incident can quickly occur; she must inspire respect by the way she dresses and behaves: this concern rivets her to the ground and self. "Her wings are clipped." At eighteen, T.E. Lawrence went on a grand tour through France by bicycle; a young girl would never be permitted to take on such an adventure...Yet such experiences have an inestimable impact: this is how an individual in the headiness of freedom and discovery learns to look at the entire world as his fief...[The girl] may feel alone within the world: she never stands up in front of it, unique and sovereign.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

"A man never begins by presenting himself as an individual of a certain sex; it goes without saying that he is a man.
― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex



The Second Sex (French: Le Deuxième Sexe) is a 1949 book by the French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir. One of her best-known books, it deals with the treatment of women throughout history and is often regarded as a major work of feminist philosophy and the starting point of second-wave feminism. Beauvoir researched and wrote the book in about 14 months. She published it in two volumes and some chapters first appeared in Les Temps modernes.

The Vatican placed it on its List of Prohibited Books.

I bet it did.



October 7. 2012 01:21 PM


The Vatican placed it on its List of Prohibited Books.

and other info sourced directly from Wikipedia:




October 7. 2012 01:24 PM


For a first class example, look no further than his page 3 girl in his papers, say no more. He deals in sleaze. Misogyny first class.

excellent point.



October 7. 2012 01:32 PM


There's been interesting fall out from some international stories in the last couple of weeks.  Some of those stories have intersecting points of interest for the Church.  One such story is the scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch's news empire.  Back in 1998, Murdoch was made a Knight Commander of St Gregory under the sponsorship of Cardinal Mahoney of LA.  At that time Murdoch's then wife Anna was a Catholic and she herself was made a Dame of the Order. These honorary papal knighthoods are interesting in and of themselves, at least as to who is in and who is out, but now some folks think there should be some accountability for membership--and I'm not talking accountability in the financial sense.  The following is from Britian's Catholic Herald:

Debate: Should Rupert Murdoch’s papal knighthood be rescinded?

There will be no real reform of Catholicism as a spiritual system until leadership changes it's relationship with money.  Catholicism has to stop rewarding billionaires for donating millions to build cathedrals.  They could start altering this relationship by taking the very tiny step of looking at how those billionaires made the money they donate.  Murdoch has done more to destroy the integrity of Western news media than any other single individual.  He has done more to lower the level of discourse in the West by promoting the soft porn of his tabloids right thru to the ideological venom which now passes for cable news in the US.  If his business practices are seriously being held up as some sort of Catholic notion of chivalrous behavior, it's a form of chivalry with zero basis in the Gospels.


Interesting...verrry interesting.

Putting the pieces of the jigsaw together.

Quite a picture being revealed.



October 7. 2012 01:39 PM


gracias for the useful links and Tweets...you are one of the great assets of this wonderful blog. Superb and consistently informative job.

Noticed these tweets ya posted:

Tell me #insiders if ‘handbag hit squad’ is not a sexist slur then tell when we’re used men’s attire to dismiss their political views?

Elizabeth Aitken ‏
Glad that Roxon called the reverse sexism on O'Dwyer & "handbag hit squad" #insiders stiletto squealers?

People Skills ‏
If Abbott doesn't have a problem with women, why does he reduce strong Labor women ministers to "handbag hitsquad"? #insiders



October 7. 2012 01:42 PM



Thank you for all the above info.  I can't express how disgusted I am in Newman and what he is doing to the people of QLD. When the floods were happening I was amazed at Anna Bligh's pride in QLD and the people. Up until then I hadn't paid much attention, but she sure was a very gutsy lady.  It's a disgrace that people could be made to forget easily the good things some politicians do.

It has always been the Church, Men (not good men) and any other powerful group that has belittled women to gain and retain power.  The current case of the Nopposition leader 'using' his partner.  She may well be in full agreement to do what she has done, but I would have thought she would have waited until she was an elected person to have any right to tell us women how we should feel about her husband.  

I fully agree that  any politicians family should keep well out of politics.  I f they want to have a say, get themselves elected, then they can be as political as they like, be they male or female.


October 7. 2012 01:52 PM


Nas @ 11:54 - I wonder if Mrs Abbott has seen this post

I bet Abbott's advisors have. Smile

I'll link it again for those who missed it:


For the past two years, Labor and swinging voters (and no doubt many soft “L” Liberals) both women and men, have had to put up with the relentless, nasty, vicious and very ugly attacks on our Prime Minister that your husband has ignited and angrily fanned because of his petulant, spoilt brat, right to rule dummy spit he has raged ferociously with since 2010 because the Independents didn’t give him the nod to be PM.

Ever since your husband failed to convince the Independents he would be a man of his word, a decent Prime Minister and that he would be prepared to do everything they wanted (except of course ‘selling his arse”), he has set about wrecking the place, with his constant negativity, talking down the economy, his “No” “No” “No” to every forward thinking policy Labor has implemented – and have been passed regardless of your husbands tantrums.

You, like us, must have seen him proudly stand in front of the ugliest, most brutal placards ever displayed about any Prime Minister. As a fellow woman surely you must have been disgusted. Then again Browyn Bishop and Sophie Mirabella weren’t so maybe it’s a Liberal thing that you weren’t either? Anyway, I digress.  Regardless, did we hear you publicly decry his stance in support of those placards? No, “Margie”, we didn’t. If you privately berated him – we’d like to know – as until such times as you tell us whether you did or not – we can only assume the obvious – that you must have wholeheartedly agreed with and supported his actions just as Bishop and Mirabella did.

I am sure if he ever does get to be PM (which I very much doubt) – he will only bring his extreme right Catholicism down on every woman in this country. And that’s a very frightening thought.




October 7. 2012 02:03 PM


thnx for this:

Alan Jones to lose his sponsored Mercedes

Controversial broadcaster Alan Jones is losing his $250,000 sponsored Mercedes-Benz, with the car dealer vowing to never again support him or his radio station again, it's been reported.

Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific has cancelled all radio advertising with Macquarie Radio's 2GB as the fallout continues over Jones's comments at a Sydney University


And I noticed that the Young Liberals and other Libs seemed to have fibbed when it comes to Jones' abusive speech etc.

Quite an elaborate coverup...desperation.

Bad for the NSW Liberal party organisation...and the Liberal party in general I reckon.

BTW, surely Jones has earnt enuff money to pay for his own car?

Like his audience does.

I didn't realise he got freebies...discounts.

We sure don't get anything on here. Just providing info for free...and probably our links etc. help support some of the struggling media...and up and comers. It's what we do.



October 7. 2012 02:37 PM


When the floods were happening I was amazed at Anna Bligh's pride in QLD and the people. Up until then I hadn't paid much attention, but she sure was a very gutsy lady.  It's a disgrace that people could be made to forget easily the good things some politicians do.

I couldn't agree more. Well said.

How badly premier Anna Bligh was treated by the voters after her efforts...very sad indeed.

I remember certain media attacking her constantly. At that time a one paper town was Brisbane.

At least we have the Brisbane Times online now.

It did exist then...but not many knew of it. Just the Murdoch Courier Mail.

It has always been the Church, Men (not good men) and any other powerful group that has belittled women to gain and retain power.  

yes, sadly there is a history.

Fortunately some church folk are trying to change the patriarchal laws and policies and views that underpin much of these institutions.

Frankly, I find the Vatican-driven Catholic church, and a few other institutions, including Scientology, to be offputting due to their bullying, archaic, male-dominated at upper echelons, myopic views.

The views on contraception by the Vatican etc. are a bleedin' disgrace...gawd knows how many women have been enslaved...or died during during childbirth and backyard/alley/office abortions...and how much poverty has been created and perpetuated...

due to these archaic, superstitious, ignorant views???

Partly to create more gullible, malleable, desperate in poverty flock. To fleece. And propagandise. Spread their empire. And ignorant patriarchal views.

And this is the church so many leaders follow religiously...like sheep...like robots.

Shaking my head. 21st Century people...WAKE UP.



October 7. 2012 02:49 PM


Poor Jones lost his Mercedes....boo hoo - humiliation (one of his tools of trade) coming back and wacking him in the face.

Even Grattan says the "Margie offensive" is overkill. I haven't sat through all of Margies interviews, but what I did hear was her saying and "don't you tell me my husband of 24 years .....bla...bla...".

Earth to Margie........yes we are telling you.....and guess what yes we have told you. And, in case you haven't heard it your husband is a nasty piece of work, who has a very big problem with women in power. He has no respect for the Prime Minister of this country, he constantly calls her illegitimate, a liar (that beggars belief when you hear the crap that comes out of his mouth), he has a track record, he did worse to the first woman who took something that he coverted away from him. So clearly you must live on another planet....hence I use the term Earth to Margie!


October 7. 2012 02:52 PM

Paul of Berwick

Tony's problem is with women in power who share a different perspective to his.

Anybody can be nice to someone who is on your side, but it takes a certain amount of nobility of character to respect an opponent

Paul of Berwick

October 7. 2012 02:52 PM



I didn't realise he got freebies...discounts.

  Like the real HRH queen, this queen gets all his goods free from his sponsors as part of his advertising deals, so him loosing 70 sponsors so far is going to really cost him, not just $'s.

  It a pity there could not be an anti Jones advertising push, for example, any advertisers that don't leave 2GB [ or any that return] see their competition in the market place use their use of AJ as a negative.


     "We at product A will not use unethical advertisers like AJ & 2GB like product B does."



October 7. 2012 02:57 PM


         Not only has the Merc gone but!
"ALL advertising on the Alan Jones Breakfast Show has been suspended, following the fallout from Mr Jones's allegation that the Prime Minister's father "died of shame".



October 7. 2012 02:57 PM

Paul of Berwick

Tom of Melbourne,

Regarding the Pink Batt's deaths. Could you please read the material referred to in this link and get back to us.


Paul of Berwick

October 7. 2012 03:04 PM


Mr Tait said the threats to boycott Jones show were coming "almost entirely from people who do not listen to Alan Jones or 2GB at all – probably never have done and never will."

They did not have the right to "decide for our listeners who and what they are going to hear on the radio station they choose to listen to, and on the other hand decide for Australian-based companies which media outlets they will or won't use to advertise."

"What we are seeing here is 21st century censorship, via cyber-bullying.

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...dfree-20121007-2770m.html

Clearly they haven't heard the message loud enough. Everyone who watches any news station over the last 2 1/2 years has been subjected to Jones opinions being aired on TV, whether it be standing in front of disgusting signs or voicing his right winged skewed position on just about everything. So if it were just his 2GB audience they might have a point, but its not. So in my opinion the above just poors oil over an already raging fire.


October 7. 2012 03:10 PM


As an add on to previous post with respect to HRH Elizabeth. If you see "By Appointment to the Her Majesty HRH" on the label means she gets it free for life, HP sauce & Roses marmalade are 2 I know of. Nice for some.

Like lots of wealthy people they use it as a method of rent seeking off they sponsors/supporters [I'm presuming that would fall into the term AA?] Just another reason they stay wealthy.  



October 7. 2012 03:39 PM


It's good to see our erstwhile journalists out there asking the questions that need answering.

The Sun-Herald gave the Opposition Leader an impromptu grilling on Downton yesterday after his wife, Margie, outed him as a fan earlier in the week.

Fire up the floodlights, charge-up the batteries on the testicle tickler and water the bamboo shoots! We're gonna have ourselves a "grilling".
First order of importance. You! Yes you laddie!
Who's your favourite character?!!!

Mr Abbott said: ''I think they're all pretty good but the dowager duchess is pretty impressive.'' Downton aficionados would understand that as a passable reference to matriarch and snob Lady ''What is a weekend?'' Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith.

A passable reference. Ready the boltcutters!

Who's your favourite villian?!!!

''There's no one I dislike other than perhaps that rather nasty butler'' - a reference to the scheming footman Thomas Barrow.

Butler - footman. Near enough. Pliars! Hold his hand still!

The Sun-Herald pointed out that Robert, Earl of Grantham, was the head of a family with three daughters - just like Mr Abbott - and asked him to name them, but it proved a question too far.

Bloody hell, this bloke is a tough nut to crack.

''Enough TV commentary,'' he said.

Fair enough. Set the prisoner free. He won't make the same mistake again anytime soon. "Shoot your mouth off about a TV programme again, Mr Abbott and we'll drag you in here for another grilling."


October 7. 2012 04:03 PM


Who's your favourite villian?!!!

''There's no one I dislike other than perhaps that rather nasty butler'' - a reference to the scheming footman Thomas Barrow.

Butler - footman. Near enough. Pliars! Hold his hand still!

interesting that Abbott dislikes the butler...

Vatileaks scandal

Pope Benedict appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate the leaks in March 2012. The Vatican probe into the leaks is working along several tracks, Vatican magistrates are pursuing the criminal investigation and the Vatican secretariat of state is pursuing an administrative probe. The three cardinals appointed by Benedict are acting in a supervisory role, looking beyond the narrow criminal scope of the leaks to interview broadly across the Vatican bureaucracy.

They report directly to the pope and can both share information with Vatican prosecutors and receive information from them, according to Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

The group is headed by Cardinal Julian Herranz, an Opus Dei prelate who headed the Vatican's legal office as well as the disciplinary commission of the Vatican bureaucracy before retiring.

Paolo Gabriele, who has been the pope's personal butler since 2006, is alleged to have leaked the stolen information to Gianluigi Nuzzi.

Gabriele was arrested 23 May after confidential letters and documents addressed to the pope and other Vatican officials were allegedly found in his Vatican apartment. Similar documents had been published in Italian media over the previous five months; many of them dealt with allegations of corruption, abuse of power and a lack of financial transparency at the Vatican.



Ironic that Catholic fanatic Abbott brings up the butler as a villian. Smile

Probably just a coincidence.



October 7. 2012 04:13 PM


Just a reminder:

Top job 'offered to end probe'

THE man who led the Australian Federal Police investigation into the AWB oil-for-food scandal has alleged he was offered a promotion in return for shutting down the probe.
In an explosive statement lodged in the Federal Court, former AFP agent Ross Fusca said another senior officer had told him that if he could ''make the oil-for-food taskforce go away, he would be appointed as next co-ordinator''.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...nd-probe-20120606-1zwrh.html

Quite an unresolved saga eh?



October 7. 2012 04:15 PM


But Mr Fusca said a credible political informant had provided the AFP with intelligence that suggested ''senior government officials were aware … of the kickbacks''.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...nd-probe-20120606-1zwrh.html


October 7. 2012 05:17 PM


Alan Jones loses his Mercedes-Benz and Macquarie Radio Network suspends all ads over comments made about PM Julia Gillard's father


Wow! Could'nt happen to a nicer bloke.

The 2GB spokesperson has said that the station needs to be able to talk to its sponsors without the 'minute by minute, hour by hour pressure'.

Poor possums - what about the incessant maniacal rants, 'minute by minute, hour by hour, morning by morning, day by day, year by year' from Alan. We'd like some relief from him too.

At the very least, Jones should be asked to read a statement on air that corrects his deliberate twisting of the facts about the Carbon Price and his deceptive quoting of what the Prime Minister actually said, ie “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, but let’s be absolutely clear. I am determined to price carbon.”

Also, Jones might like to make a significant donation to Medecins Sans Frontieres. This was the group that the PM said that her father supported and that she would welcome donations to them as a tribute to her father.

Donations can be made at: www.msf.org.au/.../


October 7. 2012 06:34 PM


Whoever the bright sparks in the Liberal Party are that decided it would be a good idea to trot out Margie Abbott to defend her fool of a husband should be fired! I mean, I'm loving it, 'coz it's just so "vomitous" lol.

But honestly, as a tactical, political strategy, it's a shocker! It just shows TAbbott as a sook, and incompetant. Needs his wife's help to do his job. On just about every forum I've been on in the last couple of days, people have been lampooning the decision to trot out "Tony's Ladies". FFS, keep it up! You are doing ever more damage to brand Tony. Smile


October 7. 2012 06:48 PM


These Jones’ and Abbott’s & Morris/on’s have vilified seemingly everyone. No one is untouchable, whether it be to win a vote or to make a point. The list is a long one, but includes women, gays, refugees, asylum seekers, ethnic minorities, non-Christians, Indigenous Australians, the lifestyle alternative, the underprivileged, and, in general, anyone that doesn’t fit into the ever shrinking ideal of ‘White Christian Australian’. And it doesn’t stop with individuals – from scientists to economists, from prominent international organisations to world leaders – there is no expert or expert group they will not attack.


Loving it!
PS- this is only the 2nd time I've tried to link or quote, so my apologies if I've faffed it,


October 7. 2012 06:50 PM


Well, I HALF faffed it.
The top paragraph was a quote from the linked article.
Sorry :-(


October 7. 2012 07:26 PM


Good stuff Libby.

from the article you linked to:

Some know exactly what they’re doing here. Political commentators like Michael Kroger, the former Liberal Party power broker, was deflecting on Murdoch’s Sky channel a few nights ago, insisting that we look ‘at the other side’, refusing to be drawn on the actual issue at hand ― that the Jones comments were reprehensible and that he [Jones] should be taken off air. Others, I believe, are actually unable or unwilling to see that the cries of condemnation are their own doing.




October 7. 2012 07:38 PM


Who is Michael Kroger?:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Norman Kroger (born 30 May 1957) is a businessman and a former powerbroker within the Victorian division of the Liberal Party of Australia.

Early life

Kroger was educated at Wesley College, Melbourne, where his father Jack Kroger was a senior master. He became politically active while studying at Monash University.

While president of the campus Liberal Club, Kroger is largely credited with the creation of the still-thriving Sir Robert Menzies Lecture.

With his close friend Peter Costello he forged an alliance with moderate Australian Labor Party politicians in an effort to defeat far left-wing forces within the Australian Union of Students.

He became President of the Australian Liberal Students' Federation in 1978.

Professional life

After graduating, his association with Costello continued. Working as a solicitor, he assisted Costello in winning the 1985 Dollar Sweets case.

In 1987, at the age of 30, Kroger was elected as the President of the Victorian division of the Liberal Party of Australia and was President until 1992, becoming the longest serving President in the Victorian Division's history.

He instituted a series of reforms, the most important of which was his move to increase the power of the party executive in preselections.

While this led to several preselection challenges in 1988 and 1989 (most notably Costello's successful challenge against Roger Shipton in Higgins), it also helped in the election of several young Victorian federal parliamentarians who are widely considered to have bright futures, although this pattern has not been replicated at state level.

Kroger himself has often turned down opportunities to run in blue ribbon Liberal seats, notably Kooyong in 1994 and in Goldstein in 2004, preferring to concentrate on family and business interests.

Since the 1990s the Victorian division of the Liberal Party has been factionalized between Kroger's supporters and those of Jeff Kennett.

This has led to some bruising preselections, such as the Kennett-backed Louise Asher defeating the Kroger-backed Mitch Fifield in Brighton in 1999.

However, both backed Petro Georgiou when he was challenged for his preselection by Josh Frydenberg in 2006.

In 1993 Kroger established an investment company, JT Campbell & Co, and currently serves as Chairman.

Kroger has also spent five years (1998 to 2003) as a Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

In May 2012 he very publicly expressed concern over matters relating to Peter Costello's apparent idea of returning to the Federal Liberal parliamentary party.

Recently Kroger's former wife Helen Kroger got demoted on the Liberal party senate ticket and was almost facing a challenge by some Liberal for the Senate whip position.

Peter Costello's claims Michael Kroger asked him for help regarding Helen's troubles with the Liberal party, though Peter decided not to help.

Private life

His first wife Helen Kroger was elected to the Senate for Victoria at the 2007 election after being preselected in the safe second position on the Liberal ticket, along with the aforementioned Mitch Fifield and number three candidate Scott Ryan.

Despite their divorce, Michael and Helen remain close friends and are considered to be political allies.

Kroger married Ann Peacock, daughter of Andrew Peacock, in March 1999 at St Michael's Uniting Church, in Collins St, Melbourne. The marriage produced two sons and the couple separated 2009.

His current partner is Janet Albrechtsen.




October 7. 2012 07:43 PM




I find it all fascinating.

I'm sure there are some on this blog who could tell us heaps about the internal battles and machinations that go on inside the Liberal party.



October 7. 2012 08:00 PM


I had a chuckle when reading this opinionated piece from Ross Cameron...check out his use of Fox News motto, "fair and balanced":

The perfect choice for a fair and balanced ABC

March 10, 2012
The Age.com.au

The menu of ABC story options rotated like a scratched record through the greed of big corporations, the odium of social inequality, the awfulness of racism, the aggression of the United States, the plight of the indigenous and asylum seekers, the threat of global warming etc, etc, etc.

It was like Deborah Cameron on repeat - throwing a wet blanket of depression and grievance across the nation.

The absence of a profit motive in the ABC morphed into a self-justifying hostility to profit in general. John Howard's media adviser Grahame Morris lamented: ''We watch the ABC to see what our enemies are saying to our friends.'' So it was natural, with the election of the Howard government, that the empire would strike back.

Eminent conservative spear chuckers Michael Kroger, Keith Windschuttle and Janet Albrechtsen were installed on the ABC board and Christopher Pearson at SBS, to combat, in Howard's graphic phrase ''the black armband view of history''.

But it is simplistic to see the ABCs political values as instinctively anti-conservative.

The ABCs conception of itself has had much more to do with a perceived need to counter-weight the influence of profit-driven, prejudice-fanning media competitors (ie the Murdoch press and radio shock jocks) who it secretly believes, stoke and nurture the worst features of the Australian character.

Under its managing director, Mark Scott, and the outgoing chairman, Maurice Newman, we have witnessed a subtle but significant shift in tone.

It is now possible to listen to Annabel Crabb, Leigh Sales, Chris Uhlmann, Ticky Fullerton, Richard Glover, Adam Spencer, or James Valentine and have no idea of their private voting intentions. I no longer prepare myself to be ideologically assaulted when reaching for the ABC on the remote.

We economic ''dries'' still grapple with the need for a national broadcaster in this age of content diversity but Scott has given the ABC a clear sense of mission...


Crafty fella isn't he?

I'm surprised he didn't add Tony Jones to his list. ;) NOT.

Ya luv these missions...and crusades. NOT.

"subtle but significant shift in tone".....ROFL



October 7. 2012 08:35 PM


Before trying to guess who might be the replacement for Deborah Cameron as the morning host on ABC 702, we should ask why anyone would want it.

As a former Herald colleague, I know that Cameron is a caring, warm, and honest journalist. Her show is not to everyone's taste, but nor is Breakfast with Alan Jones.

She got an opportunity and ran with it, and due credit for four years of solid effort and good ratings.

Despite the numbers, she copped it from the growing legion of Australia's professionally outraged, who were impervious to their histrionic picking on Cameron being as off-putting as they judged her show to be.

A streak of masochism has long been a prerequisite for entry into the brutality of politics. So it is for radio. Everyone is a critic; even the ABC's erudite former chairman Donald McDonald was graceless about her in The Spectator.

The technological revolution has brought both the great benefit of democratic involvement in public discussion, and aggressive rudeness. Today's rule is if you've got nothing nice to say, say it loudly.



What did Ross Cameron say in that previous comment?:

The menu of ABC story options rotated like a scratched record through the greed of big corporations, the odium of social inequality, the awfulness of racism, the aggression of the United States, the plight of the indigenous and asylum seekers, the threat of global warming etc, etc, etc.

It was like Deborah Cameron on repeat - throwing a wet blanket of depression and grievance across the nation.

So, givin' a sh*t about inequality, racism, US military crimes, global warming, asylum seeker and indigenous issues...and the undermining of our democracy by big corporations, their shareholders and corrupt is boring...like a party pooper.

How awful that Liberals like Cameron should have to hear about endemic corruption and injustice...exploitation and war crimes...the suffering of others.

Obviously doesn't fit into his/their scheme of things, going by those views.

Better I guess the ABC is more upbeat...positive...fairy floss...GO PROFIT...GO BOOMS...GO ECONOMY...GO FREE TRADE...GO RELIGION...GO...


are the ABC supposed to ignore Tony Abbott and team's NO NO NO...and talking down the economy then?

And all the "wet blanket" fear-mongering over terrorism...and asylum seekers?

Tell me Ross, I'm confused.

Oh well, at least another woman in power...of influence...who wasn't Alan Jones and Tony Abbott enuff bit the dust job-wise eh?

At least Ross gets to opine on the ABC's The Drum heaps eh? And elsewhere.

Lucky Ross...a fortunate man.

Old Guard Liberal.



October 7. 2012 09:06 PM


Off to make dinner:


Will put up a few links and comments on my Facebook site tonite...some already there.

Have a good nite all.

Great job.



October 7. 2012 09:25 PM

Von Kirsdarke

Hello everyone. Sorry that I haven't commented in so long, university's got quite tricky now that I've changed courses (from Science to Metallurgy), and I've found I only had the time to comment on less sites than I'd like.

I get the feeling that Abbott won't survive the Opposition Leader killing season this year (the December in the year before an election), unless Labor makes a huge blunder or he recovers in the polls.

Most people I've spoken to have gone right off Abbott since the Ramjan story. People in my class are disgusted at the thought of a political thug going around bullying people at university (Ballarat uni hardly has any politics and is mostly peaceful), and others at work believe that he did threaten Ramjan, and the idea of the Prime Minister being a man that did that to a woman is not at all pleasing.

He's becoming an object of ridicule in the media, many don't seem to be taking him seriously anymore, and that's about the sign that an opposition leader is finished. Many were scoffing at Mrs. Abbott's efforts and are also linking him to Alan Jones. His "It's all Labor's fault" excuses sound rather hollow.

Von Kirsdarke

October 7. 2012 10:09 PM


Von Kirsdarke...welcome back.

Yer views are enlightening. I'm hearing similar views from my wife's swing voting father and others I spoke to when out.

Abbott is on the downward spiral...and no Newspoll weird polls can save him.

BTW, I forgot to post areminder from an article by Paul Malone of the Canberra Times in March 2012 -

It got me thinking of when I met Hawkey when I was working for the disabled in the late 80s...I found him to be welcoming, tho understandably exhausted...he seemed to care deeply about funding assistance for the disabled...including moving them from dreadful institutes into shared homes in the community. A great step. Hawke was laid back...and we were able to have a photo taken with him.

Recently, my wife told me that Julia Gillard, our first female PM had visited the school across the road...she heard from other teachers that Julia had been laid back, amiable, chatted to students and staff alike, was laid back...and cared deeply about education. Some had their photos taken with her.

We've heard similar from Patricia on this site and her blog.

Interesting then that a certain ex-Labor politician, Graham Richardson, is oft so negative about our PM.

Richardson...or RICHO as he is commonly referred to...has a show now on SKY NEWS (run by the Murdoch empire...on Foxtel owned jointly by News Ltd, James Packer's Consolidated Media, Telstra and Kerry Stokes).

Anyway, here's an extract from Malone's article:

It's worth noting the amnesia, as journalists and politicians described the recent Labor leadership battle as the most vitriolic ever. Take, for example, former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson. He wrote an interesting column observing the media frenzy, as television crews staked out Parliament House from 6.45am on the day of the Gillard/Rudd vote. Richardson said there had never been a more public brawl than this skirmish.


But the emphasis here should be on the word ''public'' because there is no question that behind the scenes the exchanges in the past were every bit as vicious.

Although he didn't mention it in his column, Richardson must surely recall the conversations he had with Keating and his supporters in the late 1980s as Keating angled to bring down Hawke.

As political correspondent of The Canberra Times I was tipped off about one of these - a car-phone conversation Richardson had where he referred to the prime minister as ''the c..t''. Keating more than matched the language in his response.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald's Alan Ramsey, some very choice language - all of it X-rated - was used to describe the prime minister.

Later, after the 1990 election, when Hawke failed to give him his preferred portfolio of Transport and Communications, Richardson's resentment grew and he vowed to ''get the bastard''.

Read more: www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...0120317-1vbzv.html


Patterns of behaviour eh?



October 7. 2012 10:09 PM

Ad astra reply

We are finally back in Melbourne after a hectic week and a 21st Birthday Party yesterday evening, and have take our Perth daughter and two of our grandchildren to the airport for the flight home this evening.  It's been a great family week.

I have been out of Internet contact for over a day, and it won't work for me this evening except on this iPad.

I hope I can connect in the morning.  Otherwise I will have to wait until I return to the south coast tomorrow.

Every spare moment today has been spent getting together the next piece, which I may have completed by tomorrow evening, but more likely Tuesday. It is titled: 'The attack dog that licked its owner's hand'.  You can guess what it's about.


Ad astra reply

October 7. 2012 10:27 PM


glad you had a wonderful week. Once I realised you were having valuable family time and travel was making it difficult to post I thought I better chip in more...as did the wonderful Lyn and many others apparently.

We look forward to your new post.

This another fine article:

Crispin Hull, Canberra Times

Last week Jones made an egregiously boorish, insensitive and manifestly incorrect comment about Prime Minister Julia Gillard, saying that her father died of a broken heart because of her lies.

The comment hardly needed correction, it was so obviously wrong.

How much better if no one had said anything in response, instead turning off his radio show and ignoring him.

How much better if that had been the response seven years ago when he made his racist comments before the Cronulla riots.

This week's NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal decision rejecting an appeal against a decision that the statements incited hatred and ordering an apology would have been unnecessary.

As it happens that process is proving deeply flawed - as if any legally imposed apology would have a grain of sincerity in it. Moreover, do we really need a tribunal to tell us the obvious?

But it is apparent that the self-correcting mechanism of the Voltairians is not working here. Why not?
Humans, like many other creatures, stick together to survive.

As a group they can find predators, prey and food more easily. They can look out for each other, support each other and survive as a species.

In human societies race and religion are forces like that. People of the same race, language or religion stick together. They patronise each other's businesses. They send their children to similar schools. They go to the same churches. And more importantly they exclude those not in the group - those who are different.
It is evolved behaviour. The group that stays together survives together. The group instinct is a powerful force in society.

The force is so strong that it makes people prejudiced against outsiders and it makes people act as a group. It produces the sort of thinking that gives us prejudice against people of different races, language or religion. The sort of thinking that gives us the troubles in Northern Ireland; the violence in the Middle East; the civil war in Sri Lanka and the Cronulla riots.

That force might have helped humans in a state of nature survive, but it is now counter-productive. Nonetheless it still exists. And it was prevalent again in the reaction of Jones's supporters.
When Jones asked on his show for comments about what he'd said, the response (according to a survey done by Crikey) was universally supportive.

You see, Jones and his followers form a tribe themselves. They feel threatened as a species so they feel they must stick together like humans in a state of nature whose conduct is dictated by the laws of evolution.
In short, Jones is as intolerant, tribal, visceral, unsophisticated and intolerant as the religious fanatics he so roundly condemns.

It makes it very difficult for us Voltairians.

■ ■ ■

Read more: www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...0121005-274m4.html




October 7. 2012 11:20 PM


From Miglo @ Cafe Whispers...a spot on piece (be warned...a certain Bear from a bygone era has his say...and our passionate regular, jane):

It has started already...

The media will find people (that Tony himself may have even forgotten about) that will attest to all his goodness and purity. And no doubt too, the media will beat a path to John Howard’s door, swooning to the lavish praise the little man will bless upon him.

This week he’s being presented as a lady’s man. What will he be next week? A soldier? A savior? A saint? And closer to the election he may become the Pied Piper or Tarzan, or perhaps a miniature version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is nothing our media couldn’t portray him as.

He will be the expert voice on all things in the known universe. He will be humanity’s guiding light and of course his incompetent mumblings will be fed to us as though he was a divine entity. He will be the master of all knowledge. Dare I chose what pair of socks to put on in the morning without first consulting him? I’ll need Tony the hold my hand and the media will attempt to have us handcuffed.

Might I suggest that over the next 12 months the tabloid media change from printing on white paper to brown. It might be appropriate. Brown is a close colour to bullshit. Looking ahead, we’re going to cop it in the bucket loads.

For the independent and social media, 2013 will be Tony’s year too. But we won’t be as kind.

Looking ahead, this and other left-wing blogs will be there helping to expose every lie, mock every brain fart, dissect every thought bubble and fill in the gaps missed by our media goons.

Since he became Leader of the Opposition we have been subjected to a stream of lies, misrepresentations, obfuscations and . . . a string of idiotic brain farts thinly disguised as policy which have been neither well thought out, nor costed. (Thanks to Jane from this blog for that quote). If the mainstream media won’t hold him to account, the independent media will be demanding that they do.

We’ll be pushing the message on all social media platforms and even at the hallowed family BBQs. People who don’t engage in social media – who only read/listen to our mainstream media – have no idea how politically incompetent and socially dangerous this man is.

2013 is the year to get in peoples’ faces. The might of the mainstream media can never be taken on, but by Christ we can still make a noise.





October 7. 2012 11:28 PM


Abbott's bodyguard? Apologist? Or cheerleader?:


I wonder how much Bolt makes for his various gigs?

Another bigshot media character working for the people apparently.

Not a Lib is he?

Surely not just another Murdoch empire hack bein' given an easy ride by Channel Ten?

And previously the ABC.



October 7. 2012 11:36 PM


Andrew Bolt (born 26 September 1959 in Adelaide, South Australia) is an Australian journalist, newspaper columnist, radio commentator, blogger and television host.

Bolt is a columnist and associate editor of the Melbourne-based Herald Sun. He has appeared on the Nine Network, Melbourne Talk Radio, ABC Television, Network Ten and local radio.

In 2005, Bolt released a compilation of newspaper columns in a book titled The Best of Andrew Bolt—Still Not Sorry.

From 2011, he has hosted The Bolt Report on Network Ten.



Crikey! Who woulda thunk it? Bolt on Channel Nine.

Nine coming up alot lately eh?



October 7. 2012 11:39 PM


Ad astra

You get a major mention here from Dan the Chimpy Man



October 8. 2012 12:51 AM


TV Anchor: In a bizarre twist to the Alan Jones saga that has been running all week, the Canberra Daily Bleat reported overnight that Julia Gillard has referred to Alan Jones as "a self-centred old fart" and that she hopes Mercedes never let him near one of their cars again.

(audio) (sound of running water in the background):
"Alan Jones is a self-centred old fart who spends so much time hissing into his microphone that the windsock has to be changed every fifteen minutes because it starts to drip acid into the equipment. I hope Mercedes refuse to sell him a car because they worry he would destroy their good name."

Anchor: Exactly seven days, almost to the hour, after Alan Jones called a press conference to apologise to the Prime Minister for remarks he made concerning the death of her father, Julia Gillard has had to call a press conference to apologise to him. Here's some of what she had to say.

JG: "Firstly, can I thank you for coming. I just want to say that when all of this broke, if that's the word, I was encouraged to make a statement, issue a press statement. I've chosen not to do that. I thought I should be here and answer whatever questions are to be asked.

I will just make one or two very simple and straightforward points to start with and then you will be free to ask what you want. Can I just say this, there are days when you just have to concede and woman up and say you got it wrong. And in this instance, these are remarks which I shouldn't have repeated. To repeat them was wrong, to even offer any impression that I might seek to diminish the grief that a self-centred old fart would feel for his Mercedes, independently who that self-centred old fart might be, is unacceptable.

I had a close affiliation with my old Mercedes and I know the kind of grief that attends that car's repossession. Of course, I didn't intend to do this, but that is irrelevant. What is relevant is it may have sought to diminish the grief that a self-centred old fart felt for his car. That is unacceptable.

To that extent any comment that might lead to that feeling by the self-centred old fart is unacceptable and there is no other way of putting it, you just have to make that honest observation and I was taught as a young girl by my father, if you are going to eat parrot, you should eat it while it's hot. That's why I felt this matter should be addressed today. In the light of that, I repeat the comments were, in the light of everything, unacceptable.

They merit an apology from me and you have got to be big enough to admit that you got it wrong, it shouldn't have been said, no matter who it is, the fact it's Alan Jones adds an extra dimension to it. I think any self-centred old fart, you would actually come to the same conclusion because it may well be that those sentiments sought to dilute the grief that a self-centred old fart feels. I'm now very mindful of that. As I said, the comments shouldn't have been repeated. I don't regret that, I apologise for that.


Everybody knows I have some differences with Alan Jones on matters of policy and those were issues I raised in the comments that I made. But those remarks would have been better made if it did not include the remarks that have been attributed to me which I repeated from a comment that had been made to me earlier in the day when I was attending the birthday party of one of Tim's nephew's friend's cousin's rabbit. It wasn't a joke, I can assure you. When the comment was made to me, it was out of a sense of frustration and a black parody about the problem that people are facing out there when they see the kind of things that this boring old fart does and the public are concerned with. But that shouldn't have been repeated. It was made at a party I was at earlier in the afternoon.


Reporter: Why did you say it?

JG: How do you know? In hindsight you can be smart. There is no excuse in hindsight. I repeated what I heard earlier in the afternoon. As I said, at Tim's nephew's friend's cousin's rabbit's birthday party. Can I put this in context. This was in the shower at The Lodge. That's an interesting story in itself, a private bathroom at The Lodge. I was waiting for the shower. It was a hell of a rollicking night. Tim had been mucking around in a pair of red Speedos. No-one was spared.
At all times during this, we thought we were alone and Tim even asked jokingly that if there was any journalists present could they say so or words to that effect. Tim was making fun of Tony Abbott and Craig Emerson and then he did an Alan Jones "Annie' number.
So I took a theme which had been current during the course of the evening and repeated the story. Now I shouldn't have repeated the story. That's what I'm here to say. I'm old enough and smart enough to know that shouldn't have happened.


If I could just say though, and again none of this is designed to dilute what I'm saying, but we do face one or two quite serious issues in all of this, I think. Because it was only last week that my attention was drawn to Twitter about me which said something to the extent that Alan Jones was stocking up on chaff bags for use on me and some of my senior ministers. This is the sort of stuff - OK, that doesn't really affect me much because I suppose I might be a different person. I don't know what the constitution of Alan Jones is on these emotional issues.


The theme of my speech to the bathroom mirror was the frustration, the black parody that is inherent in that comment that was made to me at Thumper's birthday party. It was not a joke, they were serious, about untruths about the asylum seekers, climate change, carbon tax, the budget surplus, the state of the economy. When people feel a sense of frustration and they don't feel as they have got anywhere else to turn, they then, I suppose, adopt this black parody which I, foolishly, with my experience, shouldn't have repeated.


But it seems that this was a throw away thing in a private bathroom, which I thought it was a private bathroom, and it was a private bathroom, and it was called a private bathroom. If it was a public bathroom, someone should have said "Are you prepared to have yourself tape recorded". I have no idea the material that I covered. It was a raucous night and we were both into it. But that's not an explanation, not an excuse.

Reporter: Did someone at the children's party say Alan jones is a self-centred old fart?

JG: Someone said - "Did you hear the latest". Let me stress, there was no humour. These people went on to a recitation of the malice out there in society and the total anguish that people feel about all of this and the fact that they are frustrated and seemingly have nowhere to turn and that leads, as I said to this. Which is much the same of course, not that it's analogous. But when I rethought all this today, to the type of humour that would have been beside the lifeboats in the last minutes of the Titanic when rich old men were trying to buy their way onto the last lifeboats ahead of women and children.


Can I apologise for comments of mine leading you to muck up your weekend. I hope this can put an end to it and you can all get back to making stuff up about me and writing crap. And I can get back to ignoring self-centred old farts like Alan Jones."

Anchor: Prime Minister Julia Gillard there speaking at a press conference this afternoon.



October 8. 2012 05:14 AM


Wanting to sue our Aussie PM is the straw that broke the camel's back for me...had doubts about his integrity for a couple of mths now...he should have the guts to face the Swedish women.

Extradite Julian Assange to Sweden



I used to think Assange was for real...

but so much money for his bio...

and holding back on the release of media and banking material...

and his avoidance of confronting the Swedish women...and turning on other Wikileakers...

and comments about Jews makes me realise he's lost the plot...become an egomaniac and paranoid delusional character, sadly...

and now wanting to sue our PM.

Nuts. Desperate.

The following sounds like the ravings of a desperate, overly paranoid person:

A report on the Assange-Shamir relationship in British bi-weekly Private Eye lead to an angry phone call to the editor from Assange who complained of a cabal of “Jewish” journalists out to bring WikiLeaks down. In addition to accusations of anti-Semitism,

Assange was now being criticized by senior members of WikiLeaks who blamed him for high-handed and negligent management that was putting sources and documents at risk. Following the departure of a number of veteran members, a computer file containing the entire State Department trove, without any redactions, was leaked on the web in September 2011.

Among the names revealed were the details and addresses of all remaining members of the Jewish community in Baghdad.

WikiLeaks by this time was facing not only criticism, but also constant warfare on the web; mysterious powers were trying to block its internet servers and many credit-card companies refused to process donations to the organization.

But the most damaging development for Assange personally was the accusation two years ago by two women in Sweden, who had hosted him in their homes that he had insisted on having sexual relations with them despite their pleas that he desist.

Swedish police at first released Assange after initial questioning and allowed him to travel to Britain, but decided that he was needed for further questioning as a rape suspect and demanded his extradition. Since then, Assange has for most of the last two years been under house-arrest at the homes of various supporters, while combating the extradition through British courts. In late May, he lost his appeal at the Supreme Court. Three weeks later, instead of arriving at a police station to begin extradition, he entered the Ecuadorean Embassy.


I've got secret files on Murdoch as 'insurance', claims Assange
Mr Assange told John Pilger in the New Statesman he had withheld a cache of confidential US government cables and files relating to Mr Murdoch's business as "insurance".


So much for having the guts and integrity to change the world.



I feel duped.

No wonder Gina Rinehart and Lachlan Murdoch's Channel Ten are so excited about Assange these days.

Patricia, you were right...yet another selfish libertarian who appears to have sold out to save his arse.



October 8. 2012 05:27 AM


Romney is a diplomatic nightmare:

Mitt Romney Spain Quip Adds To Foreign Policy Troubles

WASHINGTON -- If Mitt Romney becomes president, he might need a crash course in Diplomacy 101.

He irritated Britons and Palestinians during a summer tour abroad and has declared Russia to be America's No. 1 geopolitical foe. Just last week, the Republican candidate, who plans a foreign policy speech Monday, raised eyebrows in Spain by holding it up as a prime example of government spending run amok.

That left Spaniards confused, and threatened to reinforce Romney's perceived handicap in international affairs, precisely at a time when lingering questions over the Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has President Barack Obama on the defensive.

"I don't want to go down the path of Spain," Romney said Wednesday night during the first presidential debate. He argued that government spending under Obama has reached 42 percent of the U.S. economy, a figure comparable with America's NATO ally. "I want to go down the path of growth that puts Americans to work."

The remark was Romney's latest to cause international offense during a campaign that much of the world is closely monitoring.

The sensitivity reflects a wide understanding that Romney could prevail over President Barack Obama and take over as leader of the world's top military, economic and diplomatic power. If Romney becomes commander in chief, he could face a testy beginning with Europe's economic laggards such as Greece, Italy and Spain, whom he has beaten up regularly throughout the campaign.

No one contests that Spain's situation is dire, its economy in deep recession and unemployment hovering around 25 percent. But Spain's level of government spending is actually low by European standards, and significantly less than Germany and Scandinavian countries with far healthier economic prospects. Spain's woes were chiefly caused by the collapse of a property bubble that had fueled more than a decade of booming economic growth.

Spanish reaction to Romney was swift.

"What I see is ignorance of what is reality, but especially of the potential of the Spanish economy," said Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.


Are right-wing leaders taking stupid pills these days?

Romney is a walking, talking foreign affairs disaster zone.



October 8. 2012 05:37 AM


No, better to hit the poor, students and community services. God save the jolly old rich toffs:

Cameron dismisses Lib Dem demands for 'mansion tax'

Interviewed on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show as the Conservatives kicked off a potentially tricky conference in Birmingham, Mr Cameron dodged questions about whether the economy was finally recovering from its double dip recession.

Mr Cameron said his party would "level" with the public about the need for another £16 billion of spending cuts in 2015-16.

"We have to find these spending reductions and if we want to avoid cuts in things like hospitals and schools, services that we all rely on, we have to look at things like the welfare budget," he said.


My Aunt in London told my family when they last spoke about the Tories that they had cut lots of community services and made many people's lives worse. Including the elderly.



October 8. 2012 08:02 AM



Margie Abbott And The Streisand Effect, Dan Gulbery, The Daily Derp
The third and biggest problem is that having declared Abbott to be a sensitive type in touch with his feminine side, it means from now on he cannot use any of his usual bullying tactics in Parliament or elsewhere. No more hysterical rants as he attempts (and fails yet again) to suspend Standing Orders during Question Time. And definitely no more standing in front of signs like this:

Margie Abbott’s dummy spit, Denis Allen
So Mrs Abbott – “Margie” – you seem to be a tad upset at the so-called “personal” attacks on your husband?Well boo bloody boo hoo. Bring out the teeny weeny violins.For the past two years, Labor and swinging voters (and no doubt many soft “L” Liberals) both women and men, have had to put up with the relentless, nasty, vicious and very ugly attacks on our Prime Minister that your husband has ignited and angrily fanned because of his petulant, spoilt brat, right to rule dummy spit he has raged ferociously with since 2010

John Gillard’s Pride, Victoria Rollison
Alan Jones wasn’t just setting a new standard of nasty when he said Julia Gillard’s father died of shame: he was showing – again – how challenged he is by facts. There is absolutely no doubt that John Gillard was enormously proud of his daughter’s success.In the days following his death, the Prime Minister spoke in parliament about her father

Kayaks, feminism and the “real tony”- mrs abbott, Emma Koehn, LipMag . Com
It could merely be that voters are saying his policy views don’t float their boats (pardon the pun). If this is the case, then it isn’t so much a matter of a crusade against the private Tony Abbott. It’s not necessary to go as far as claiming he doesn’t “get” the women he interacts with day to day.But as an aspiring prime minister, both men and women have the right to critique him for his views and the way these inform his crafting of public policy.

The Situation with women, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
The fight has gone out of Abbott. He failed to capitalise on Labor's divisions: the vote itself was decisive but the comments of Crean and other Gillard supporters have left scars ripe for the Coalition to pick at. He was reduced to unworthy targets like Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper, and even though he went after them with full force they are still in place ... my kingdom for a Carbon Tax! He's vulnerable and he knows it

Abbott shows everyone he’s worried, Greg Jericho, Grog’s Gamut
In an “exclusive” advertisement for the Liberal Party interview with Gemma Jones (she of the bullshit beat ups about asylum seekers, articles about people struggling to pay the carbon tax even before it had started, and big scoops on the soles of Julia Gillard’s shoes) Tony Abbott’s wife, Margie, was out to say how great he was. Despite the story essentially being as newsworthy as “Wife loves Husband”, News.ltd ran big with it:

The PERSONAL being POLITICAL with Good-Wife Margie Abbott , Women in Labor Politics
What would Good-Wife Abbott know about her husbands deep feelings of women who are his political competitors? They've probably seen more of Tony than she and his daughters have in all the years they have been married!His Wife and daughters, even his Deputy Julie Bishop don't threaten his born to rule/Catholic masculinity and belief of Divine Providence being with him. Julia Gillard does.

Apologies, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
I'm sorry that my post on Alan Jones has offended many people. The language I used was unacceptable and I withdraw it. I understand how some of those terms I used carry a stigma well beyond the context in which I used them.

The Beginning Of The End, Peter Wicks, Wixxy Leaks
Not only were the arrest and charges predicted here the evening beforehand, it was also predicted that the alleged bullshit blower, Kathy Jackson, would be standing in front of anything that resembled a camera and claiming vindication. This was, I am told, quite a problem with local kids using their camera phones, however, she did manage to find

Margie Abbott and Sensitive Tony,Denise Allen, Independent Australia
For the past two years, Labor and swinging voters (and no doubt many small “l” Liberals) both women and men, have had to put up with the relentless, nasty, vicious and very ugly attacks on our Prime Minister that your husband has ignited and angrily fanned because of the petulant, spoilt brat, born-to-rule dummy spit he has raged ferociously with the Australian public since 2010, because the Independents didn’t give him the nod to be PM.

Conservatives crying crocodile tears, George Bludger, Independent Australia
this is not about whether Tony Abbott “gets women”, or whether he has been unfairly criticised, or whether Margie Abbott is privy to a gentler and kinder Tony. What this sorry saga of relentless attacks (on mainly women) by some in the Liberal Party and their attack dogs reveals is that the likes of Tony Abbott et al have the uncanny ability to serve up personal abuse whilst pretending it is nothing more than part and parcel of everyday political discourse.

Margie Abbott willingly coopted by the conservative machine , Matthew da Silva , Happy Antipodean
What people on social media objected to was the cynical use of Margie Abbott in the process of political message making, and the #SensitiveTony hashtag was their way of pricking the bubble of a spin operation they knew almost immediately was designed to influence their views about Tony Abbott. What News Ltd has done is to wilfully refuse to "get" social media and instead press the pedal to the metal and attempt to pass the juggernaut of popular opinion on the inside.

An Open Letter To Margie Abbott, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices
In his role as a politician both in and out of government, he has often left me open mouthed with astonishment at the depth of his ideologically-driven antipathy towards women who are not part of his family or friendship circle – the 11.3 million or so of us that are Australian females in the general population. So Margie, while I admire your loyalty to the man I won’t be voting for the politician in the 2013 general election

Looking ahead, Miglo, Café Whispers
Just when the whole world has woken up to the fact that Tony Abbott is a misogynist sledge hammer the media pluck his wife Margie out of his shadow to promote him as the perfect, dare I say it . . . man. Such headlines are sure to dominate the media landscape over the next 12 months as Margie competes with Paris Hilton as the tabloid gossip girl. The media will find people (that Tony himself may have even forgotten about) that will attest to all his goodness and purity

Dear Mrs Abbott, Wayne Brooks, Curiosity and Challenge
Many will say I exaggerate but to me, your husband is little better than a Political Terrorist, he tears down Australia, embarrasses us to the Indonesians, America and Britain, he mocked attempts at a seat on the UN Council. I suspect Tony hasn’t noticed we are players on a world-wide stage peacekeeping allies with the biggest powers on the globe. We should have a say in these matters.

Alan Jones & Tony Abbott – And An Apology?, Denarf, The Australian Blog
It’s been and interesting week as Alan Jones cops the flak and retaliates with his usual arrogant pomposity and Tony Abbott (aka The Rabbit) tries to keep out of the spotlight.
And Australians think that Alan Jones represents ‘The Battlers’ and also want Tony Abbott as Prime Minister? God help us!

.Appealing to Women a Game of Catch-Up, Aussiepollies
Tony Abbott has said some very stupid and offensive things over the years, from comments on women’s equality, to abortion and the want to deny reproductive rights. The majority of these came when a minister in the Howard Government, particularly around the time of, as well as before and after becoming Health Minister.

Wheel Out The Wife, The Hoopla
And it’s clearly a strategy. Someone in Tony Abbott’s office thought it was a good idea for Margie Abbott, known to be a very private woman, to give an interview about the Tony she knows, the one we don’t see, to put to rest the perception that he has a problem with women and sexism.Perhaps it is a strategy of another kind too: to take the heat off Abbott’s friendship with Alan Jones. The timing is interesting indeed.

Silence Is Golden , Sal Piracha, Only the Depth Varies
Yet Mr Tate is throwing around words like 'freedom of choice' and 'censor' - words he obviously doesn't understand. He accuses the Destroy The Joint campaign of attempting to censor 2GB content by forcing Mr Jones off air, while at the same time, he is prohibiting those brave souls who still want to advertise with Alan Jones from doing so, not to mention trying to undermine a passionate and sustained social media campaign

Don't Mess with the Womenfolk, Sal Piracha, Only The Depth Varies
No, Margie. Saying that Tony "gets" women because he's surrounded by them is like saying I can play the piano because I listen to a lot of music. Besides, no two people are alike, and simply making that comment devalues us all.

Sensitive Tony Abbott’s about-turn on asylum seeker policy: “Hugs not Tugs”, The Shovel
Australia’s caring-and-sensitive Opposition Leader – who we now know prefers Downton Abbey to the footy and cries when watching The Year My Voice Broke – today announced a change to his long-held policy of towing back boats of asylum seekers to Asia. In an emotional press conference this afternoon he said that, on reflection,

Margie Abbott defends husband as a “good man with a great heart, Video, Greatest Blog
Sky News political contributor Chris Kenny speaks with Margie Abbott, who has come out in defence of her husband over claims he is sexist.

Jones makes it hard for Voltairians, Crispin Hull
One hopes, therefore, that when prejudiced, stupid and false speech is put about in a free-speech society that it quickly gets corrected and ridiculed by further free speech and the best survives.This is the motivation of the great majority of proponents of free speech – that it improves human societies

If you force Alan Jones off the air, of course it’s censorship,Tim Burrowes,  Mumbrella
But when you get organised to do so, you are exerting economic pressure to get him taken off the air. That’s also your right.But let’s be clear: You are trying to force somebody off the air because you don’t like what he has to say.Be sure to admit to yourself that you are acting in favour of censorship.Are you sure you want to do that?

Alan Jones Really Is Sorry!, Patricia wa, Polliepomes
<Denis Atkins had acknowledged that Abbott will not shy away from any untruth in his campaign to brand Gillard an untrustworthy liar. It is the most reckless and audacious politicking most observers including this one can remember. But this is after two years of this “audacious politicking!”

Macquarie suspends all advertising on Jones's show, ABC
Read the full statement below   Mr Tate branded the social media response to the comments as "21st Century censorship, via cyber bullying".

TEN: Mrs Abbott speaks out  Channel 10
Posted: 04 Oct 2012 09:13 PM PDT

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 8 October 2012


October 8. 2012 08:30 AM


I don't know what you think, but I could never imagine Margaret Whitlam presenting herself as a serious debater under the "servile-friendly" moniker of : "Margie".


October 8. 2012 08:30 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

October 8. 2012 08:33 AM

Von Kirsdarke

It seems the sponsors pulling their support is finally starting to hurt Alan Jones, hence him lashing out at those writing to them.

Well, it could have all been avoided if he had just realized that in this society, it's unacceptable to have a go at someone like that, and if you do, only a sincere apology will even start to make amends.

And it doesn't seem to have clicked with him that the sponsoring companies are run by human beings as well, all with mothers and fathers, who might think the idea of saying that the Prime Minister's father dying of shame because of her is repulsive.

Von Kirsdarke

October 8. 2012 08:35 AM


So..now we witness Ajones squealing like a stuck pig, trying to bully his way out of his "bully-bin"!
Can he seriously believe he has a personality that can overcome any amount of vugarity that any self-respecting international company would like to assocciate itself with?
Clearly, quite clearly, for too long has this sociopath had too much "free-speech" to deliver his foolishness.


October 8. 2012 08:44 AM


Nasking's comment above regarding "Tony the perfect [whatever]" caused me to think about the North Korean media in respect to their leader.

Just sayin'.

Ironic when the LNP can be compared with a Communist State's publicity machine.


October 8. 2012 10:35 AM


It now appears that Alan Jones is only in favour of free speech if he isn't the subject.

I almost covered my newspaper this mornign when I came across this article:


It quoted Tony Abbott saying "In the end, I suppose the person who has got to take responsibility for what happens with any political party is the leader."

Why didn't the reporter juxtapose Abbott's quote from last week when he claimed that the Labor Party (falsely) blamed him for everything?  Using Abbott's logic, the leader is responsible for remarks made by a Liberal Party member - Alan Jones for example?


October 8. 2012 10:38 AM


Good Morning Ad & Everybody

Twitterverse for You:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, October 8, 2012 at 8:49 am
The day of the gravy train of bloviating, vilifying, threatening, standover old men, running one-way protection rackets, pontificating from behind the safety of an emasculated industry regulator, shielded by cynical employers, run by readily identifiable anti-government business men (and some women) is over.They wanted democracy. They got it. Now they can eat it.

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, October 8, 2012 at 9:24 am
Incidentally, I haven’t heard of any Liberal politicians going on for interviews yet. Their vow to continue with this practice sounded pretty hollow to me. A bit of insurance, no more.Even that could backfire when some enterprising journo notes they haven’t turned up like they said they would and asks them why. It might lead to a formal boycott (more in regret than in anger etc. etc.)… the Liberal Party are Jones sponsors just like Pain Away and Dilmah Tea.

Ben Cubby  
Alan Jones fumes at the car dealer who took his Mercedes-Benz away. http://bit.ly/SW2gl8

Mr Denmore ‏
If you use the net to mobilise public opinion, you're a 'cyber bully'. If you rant on the 'wireless', you're a friend of Struggle Street

Financial Review ‏
Alan Jones slams "cyber bullies" he says are in danger of making Australia a "dark place". [free] http://bit.ly/VBHBZN

John Hanna ‏
"John, don't read Paul Sheehan" especially when he's in the gutter & the sewer a the same time. #JonesBoy #SMH http://goo.gl/MxIFf

Kate Carruthers ‏
LOL RT @MrDenmore: Alan Jones: it’s about disintermediation | @AlanKohler | Business Spectator: http://kcar.me/TiB6tW

Carbon tax not all it was cooked up to be
The other dire predictions, from Senator Barnaby Joyce's $100 roasts to the assertion by the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, that the South Australian steel town of Whyalla would be ''wiped off the map'', are stubbornly refusing to come true.

The prices of beef and lamb have fallen since June, according to Meat and Livestock Australia. Last week a 1.7-kilogram leg of lamb from Woolworths online was going for just over $18.

  Denise Ryan  
Decent Australia says enough is enough www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0121007-2771n.html … via brisbanetimes

Herald Sun ‏
Jones: 'They can have the damn car back' http://hsun.info/VBHkpE

Dominico ‏
SkyNewsAust Margie Abbott, your argument is invalid. - http://i.imgur.com/3Z49T.jpg

Alan Jones points finger at cyber bullies
Broadcaster Alan Jones says his advertisers have become the victims of "cyberbullying" and online campaigns like the one that has stripped him of sponsors should be illegal.

Abbott can't do without Margie or his mum

Climate of 'vilification' declared un-Australian, Michelle Grattan

Peter van Onselen ‏
Worth a read... www.smh.com.au/.../...s-enough-20121007-2771n.html

Tweeting Roo ™ ‏
Jones vilification raises questions - Adelaide Now http://shrtn.in/2HCdsS #AlanJones #auspol

ABC News ‏
#AlanJones has chastised people who have used social media to attack #2GB advertisers http://bit.ly/SFXJc9



October 8. 2012 10:58 AM

42 long

Just love to see people who can't take what they dish out freely themselves.
   Dear Alan.
  How does it go.? One week, cock of the walk, next week a feather duster.
   Power to the people Alan. It's called democracy.
  I note who your sponsors are and it will affect how I buy things, and I am not alone.
  Rant and rave as much as you wish. I reckon it couldn't happen to a nicer person.

42 long

October 8. 2012 11:13 AM


I knew there was something wrong the moment I heard that someone from Alastair Campbell's office had said that Rupert Murdoch was like the 23rd member of the Blair cabinet.

They were all struggling to work out how to please him. Murdoch is only one name and one source of concern. To many he has been a source of much more good. But, whether one points to him or the Daily Mail, or the complacency of the Guardian, or the timidity of the BBC, it was clear: the higher aspirations of British journalism were under attack from within, and we are all left to wonder what it will mean for society.

But I take it back to the industry itself – to the newspaper as a habit of civilisation, to the art of journalism itself. To the papers I grew up with. What were those newspapers and what happened to them? What has been lost and what can be saved?...

...There are some great lines: "Writing for the Sun is like nicking a megaphone from a sociopath"; "One of the most engaging parts of Rupert Murdoch's character is his loyalty"; and "There's no magic on the fucking internet – we think they're boring upstarts and they clearly think we're egotistical dinosaurs




October 8. 2012 11:18 AM


Phone hacking victims' anger at PM's 'betrayal'

Letter urges prime minister to heed Leveson recommendations and expresses alarm over Tory ministers' remarks

Jamie Doward
The Observer, Saturday 6 October 2012

More than 50 victims of phone hacking, including a number of top celebrities, have written to David Cameron expressing fury at suggestions that the coalition government could reject tough new laws that would see the press policed by an independent regulator.

In a move designed to send the issue to the top of the agenda at the Tory conference, they warn the prime minister that trust in the media cannot be restored if the press is allowed to continue with a system of self-regulation.

Celebrities including Hugh Grant, Jude Law and Charlotte Church, as well as 7/7 victims and members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, have signed an open letter expressing alarm at reports that Cameron intends to reject any form of statutory regulation of the press if such a recommendation is made by the Leveson inquiry.

The judge-led inquiry into the role and governance of the media was established by the prime minister in July last year in response to the phone-hacking scandal at the now defunct News of the World newspaper. Having spent more than a year collecting evidence, the inquiry is considering a range of recommendations that may include a proposal for the press to be subject to an independent regulator backed by law and with significant new powers.

But the Hacked Off campaign, which represents victims of hacking and other forms of newspaper intrusion, and has issued the open letter, said it had become "alarmed and distressed" by reports that Cameron had decided to give news-papers "another chance to improve self-regulation".

Sources close to the prime minister have been quoted as saying he "is likely to reject statutory intervention in regulation of the press, even if it is recommended by Lord Justice Leveson".


The Murdoch empire are no better than a totalitarian propaganda machine...or the forces of Mordor.






October 8. 2012 11:21 AM






October 8. 2012 11:24 AM


News Hounds
We watch FOX so you don't have to.




October 8. 2012 11:32 AM


The Fox News Show: Rupert Murdoch’s Populist Creations
Guy Rundle


But the celebrations were over almost before they began because of the Giffords shooting. Six people were killed, including, unbelievably, a nine-year-old girl born on the day of the World Trade Centre attacks in 2001.

A trawl of Jared Lee Loughner’s online archive, which includes a series of bizarre films on YouTube – would reveal him to be a young man clearly undergoing some sort of schizophreniform breakdown, his thinking about politics and public affairs conducted in bizarre circular syllogisms, with angst about the reality of language. Loughner’s madness latched easily onto the Fall myth of the Tea Partiers, drawing in their obsessions about the gold standard – without it money was “unreal” – and the unconstitutionality of the entire federal government. His violent madness did not of itself invalidate those beliefs per se, but it was difficult for conservatives to explain how someone who had acted on all the various memes of Tea Party–esque conservatism was, by definition, criminally insane.

The Right had become a mess – Fox News in particular. Rupert’s neat little machine for contributing to the permanent Republican majority had become a compendium of the obsessions and projections of the American conservative fantasy. Much of the increasingly strident social conservatism, the doom and gloom, appealed to Murdoch’s own increasing personal turn in values – a move that was nothing other than what Murdoch had always done: be a totally average middle-class man at each stage of his life, moving from optimistic progressivism, to a focus on fiscal conservatism, to the slow advance of grumpy senescence.

What he and the Right establishment never really understood, or fully believed, was that the strains within American conservatism would be stronger than their ability to hold them together. After all, modern American conservatism combines a belief in the possibility of endless economic expansion and that of settled small town values with an imperial foreign policy. The triple threat was bound to pull apart sometime, and the combination of a financial crisis, a bogged-down war, and a Democratic administration taking them both over and using them to create change, was enough to pull it all apart.

One small group of conservatives – the so-called paleocons, whose most high-profile leader was Patrick Buchanan – had already split away, creating the American Conservative magazine, which was virulently anti-war, realist in foreign policy, and anti-Zionist.




October 8. 2012 11:35 AM

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Hi Lyn
What an extraordinary collection of links to stories about the Margie Abbott intervention you have given us today.  They will be of great help to me in putting together my next piece The attack dog that licked its owner’s hand.

Alan Jones outburst this morning is best described with the old fashioned saying: ‘squealing like a stuck pig’.  The sheer arrogance of this man is breathtaking.  He believes ‘free speech’ entitles him to abuse, demean and diminish the PM of our nation day after day, but when the people use their free speech to say ‘We don’t want your abusive remarks any more’ and successfully retaliate by encouraging sponsors to abandon him, he claims he is a victim of unfair persecution, but still proceeds on his abusive bullying way.

It seems not to have occurred to him to respond by promising to stop his abuse of our PM, and to actually do so.  That just might persuade the people to again give him a go.  But the track he has chosen will lead him further into the mire he himself has created.

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October 8. 2012 12:23 PM


Morning All,
back from hols and no internet

Just thought you would like to know this:

Phillip Adams ‏@PhillipAdamsABC
Out of sympathy to poor Alan will drop all advertising in Late Night Live


October 8. 2012 12:50 PM



Australia beat England to defend Women's World Twenty20

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Jess Cameron's show with the bat and Lisa Sthalekar's all-round skills helped Australia retain the Women's World Twenty20 title with a close four-run victory over England in the final on Sunday.




Samuels proves that West Indies is not overly reliant on Gayle to win matches

Gayle catalysed the West Indian juggernaut, but it takes eleven to win and on Sunday. West Indies proved that if they had to, they could indeed win a game, even a big final, without a substantial contribution from Gayle.

As talk of a West Indian renaissance begins, the equanimity of their captain should stand them in good stead. On the podium amidst wild celebrations, Sammy refused to say they were back and only hoped that this was a beginning. He knows there’s a lot more to be done and hopefully that knowledge will spur them on to many more memorable achievements.  But this is one hell of a start. And in Samuels, he has more than one go-to man to turn to.





October 8. 2012 12:54 PM



Good to see/ hear/read you back.


October 8. 2012 01:07 PM


thnx for the links.

From Matthew da Silva , Happy Antipodean:

Another jab at Labor, another failure to consider the views of ordinary people.

Truly, Margie has been fully coopted by the Coalition campaign machine's vision of debate in the public sphere as a matter of repeated sallies in a total war of messages.

But because of the pervasive influence of social media the message from the Dark Side has made this shift - from merely hopeful to doggedly determined - in just one, single day.

What people on social media objected to was the cynical use of Margie Abbott in the process of political message making, and the #SensitiveTony hashtag was their way of pricking the bubble of a spin operation they knew almost immediately was designed to influence their views about Tony Abbott.

What News Ltd has done is to wilfully refuse to "get" social media and instead press the pedal to the metal and attempt to pass the juggernaut of popular opinion on the inside.

Good points.

News Ltd...Limited News...propaganda machine for the Liberal party.



October 8. 2012 01:14 PM


From Lyn's tweets:

Bushfire Bill

Posted Monday, October 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

Incidentally, I haven’t heard of any Liberal politicians going on for interviews yet.

Their vow to continue with this practice sounded pretty hollow to me.

A bit of insurance, no more.Even that could backfire when some enterprising journo notes they haven’t turned up like they said they would and asks them why. It might lead to a formal boycott (more in regret than in anger etc. etc.)…

the Liberal Party are Jones sponsors just like Pain Away and Dilmah Tea.


Ben Cubby  

Alan Jones fumes at the car dealer who took his Mercedes-Benz away
. http://bit.ly/SW2gl8

Mr Denmore ‏

If you use the net to mobilise public opinion, you're a 'cyber bully'. If you rant on the 'wireless', you're a friend of Struggle Street




October 8. 2012 01:15 PM


DMW - welcome back.  We've kept the place just as you like it Laughing


October 8. 2012 01:48 PM


Hi NK, 2353
interesting to note that Jonesy is still creating a storm in his Queen Victoria tea cups.

Thought it would have all blown over by now. The way it is going he could wrest the title of The Human Headline from Derryn Hinch.

Had a wonderful stroll in the Ballarat Botanic Gardens and met all the Prime Ministers past and have a wonderful pic of the plinth that awaits our current Prime Minister's bust.

Umm, that's 'bust' as in the bronze sculpture of her, not a sexist reference or portent of the future Tong


October 8. 2012 02:49 PM



This is one of my favourites from Lyn's Twitterverse today

Evidently Tony Abbott is a feminist because he has lots of women around him. On that logic Henry VIII is the father of feminism.

John Passant Kambah ACT

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...-his-mum-20121007-2779o.html


October 8. 2012 04:51 PM



A timely article.

If New Zealand has already led the way in banning live exports then we should follow. I understood that one of the arguments in support of live exports was that many poor communities did not have refrigeration at their disposal. The NZ position would suggest that this is not longer a primary concern.

The owner of Willards, whose shipment was recently rejected, was interviewed on the 4pm ABC FM news. He again defended his companies record and practices and said that he would again land sheep in Pakistan.


October 8. 2012 05:26 PM


Really, I hate to put it out there; but if I can think of this as a strategy, someone will.
Now that Margie has put herself out there for TAbbot… she runs a not-for-profit childcare centre, right? What will she tell her clients when they ask why she thinks the alternative Prime Minister of Australia has a policy that pays stay-at-home Mums up to $75,000 per year to look after their babies?

What I’m trying (rather clumsily) to say is that this situation has the potential to blow up in EVERYONE’S face – Margie coz of the childcare centre & the highly paid maternity leave; TAbbott for obvious reasons; but also Labor if they go in too hard. That might counter-balance the “aggressiveness” thing.

Just saying....


October 8. 2012 05:57 PM


A good article by Simon Sheikh:


And another from PM Newton:


Interesting to see how recent Facebook and Twitter are - and how they are being used to circumvent the MSM.  Prior to this,any campaign against Jones would have tried (probably unsuccessfully) to use the MSM to get their message out - and now it is diffuse and there is no figurehead for Jones to attack.


October 8. 2012 06:06 PM


Well, boo hoo. Poor widdle Alan is being bullied by the nasty public.

Suck it up, princess! It's called people power and democracy and people are sick of his viciousness, his vindictiveness and his constant braying lies.

The people have and are continuing to speak, loud and clear. We're sick of bullies and you're the king of the bullies.

Ya can dish it out, but ya can't take it!

42 long @10.58am, lol. the froth and bile pouring from his vile gob must have almost filled the building he inhabits, by now.

I really admire the PM's restraint in all this. She could have commented, but wisely has chosen to maintain a dignified silence, no doubt out of deference to her newly widowed mother and her sister who must have been devastated at the slur against John Gillard and the PM.

She has shown herself to be head and shoulders above the likes of Anal Jones, his rabid followers and the gutless Liars Party, particularly Liealot.

Another one who can dish it out, but can't take it. Gutless to the end.


October 8. 2012 06:09 PM


Fucking Morons!
Gillard cops sexist spray in Facebook live chat

Julia Gillard is subject to the usual barrage of sexist trolling when she tries to talk education in a Facebook live chat today, as Crikey intern Sally Whyte discovers.


October 8. 2012 06:29 PM



While I agree with your comment - lets face it, it was always going to happen.  If people set up pages to insult people who get murdered, raped and so on - what chance did Gillard have?

Not saying it's right - but apparently you can't expect people to behave with courtesy and decency these days.


October 8. 2012 06:32 PM



It makes you proud to be a man, doesn't it? Frown


October 8. 2012 06:45 PM


    I know, and I guess if you wish to try to do what the PM tried to do you have to expect it!
perhaps it shouldn't have been done due to the current "outrage" with Jones and his foolish cheer squad!
However full points to the PM she pushed on despite what she copped, Abbott on the other hand walks from press confrences as soon as they ask for some detail on his latest "brain snap"!


October 8. 2012 07:37 PM


       Words fail me!I've never seen the political discourse descend to such a level, that those who wanted the "people" to rise up and make their voice heard, "squeal like stuck pigs" when a better "organised" group of people done exactly that!
Yet if that wasn't enough of a farce we have this!

James Ashby feared 'assassination' over claims against Peter Slipper


October 8. 2012 09:05 PM

Ad astra

I have just now posted: The attack dog that licked its owner’s hand.  Enjoy.


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