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The attack dog that licked its owner’s hand

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Monday, 8 October 2012 20:37 by Ad astra
Desperate situations demand desperate actions. The feedback from private Liberal Party polls and from focus groups must have been grim for Tony Abbott. They must have shown that his rating with women was lamentable. Otherwise, why would his minders and his family embark on such a brazen ‘Tony is nice guy’ campaign on TV and in the Murdoch tabloids? Presumably, saturation coverage was deemed necessary to pull him back from the abyss on which he must be teetering. It is rumoured that Newspoll exposed such bad news for Abbott and the Coalition that, although overdue, it has been postponed.

Desperation could be the only explanation for such an obvious crusade, one that all but Abbott’s sycophants would see through in an instant as a series of puff pieces on TV and in the press. Those responsible either gave no thought to how bizarre this series of stunts would look to the ordinary voter, how unconvincing they would be, or the situation was so bad and deteriorating that such a ridiculous strategy was considered worth a shot on the questionable grounds that even if it failed, it couldn’t make the situation worse for Abbott man.

Of course, it started a couple of weeks ago when Tony’s misogynist behaviour dating back to university days was exposed for all to see in David Marr’s Quarterly Essay: Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott, where he recalled the Barbara Ramjan story.

Soon after, we had the Punch and Judy show, where Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop came out at doorstops echoing identical lines, fed to them by their minders. NormanK listed these amusingly:

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.

Andrew Bolt joined the chorus but added that Tony also helps Aboriginals, validated by a nice photo of Abbott sitting with them.

Storm clouds were obviously gathering. Here are some edited quotes from the Fourth and Fifth Estates, supplied by Lyn and others, that show how serious the storm threat is:

Michelle Grattan, longtime Abbott acolyte, worried about the trend, offered some gratuitous advice: “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’.”

We shall probably never know who initiated the recent media onslaught – minders, media advisers, or simply Margie Abbott herself, fed up with having her ‘nice Tony’ demonized. It’s OK for her Tony to demonize our PM every day with his ‘liar’ and ‘untrustworthy’ mantras, but not OK for her man to cop it sweet in return. No doubt, there will be learned analyses by the few journalists who have the courage to dissect the matter at all.

Tony Wright gave it a satirical shot in The Brisbane Times. Before you read what he wrote though, take a look at the video at the top of his article where Lisa Wilkinson conducts a soft interview with Margie and Tony. Observe the supercilious smile on his face as Margie insistently extols his virtues. Does he remind you of a Pit Bull sitting gently by its mistress with that enigmatic look on its face that belies the anger and aggression beneath, waiting to explode in an instant into a violent attack on a stranger? To me it was sickening in its hypocrisy.

Wright begins: “Good lord! Where does this leave Malcolm Turnbull? Will he be required to reveal he spends his evenings tenderly tending to the homeless among the Paddington lanes of his eastern suburbs Sydney electorate? And when are we going to hear from Tim Mathieson about Julia's prowess at baking and decorating cupcakes, and how they occasionally weep together at an old episode of Lassie? 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…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…”

Another Fairfax columnist, Lenore Taylor, also has a go in Hold on to your bonnets for the new Downton Abbott.

“It was a blitzkrieg of love, an admiration avalanche. Margie Abbott, flanked by Tony, sitting close on the couch on the Today show, pictured walking the cute dog and lazing on the grass, alongside lengthy testimonials in the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun. Her message: that her husband has loving relationships with a whole bunch of strong and capable women.

“We have no reason to disbelieve her. Margie and Tony have been married for 24 years and they have three daughters who seem to have become the kind of happy, well-adjusted adults all parents hope they can nurture…

“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…Labor has, without doubt, tried to exacerbate this problem by suggesting to women that he doesn't like them either…

“Combined with the kerfuffle over whether Abbott, as a university student, did or did not punch the wall beside the face of a political rival, there was a real fear within the Coalition that the Labor attack was working.

“The blitzkrieg of love is in fact another very determined, calculated, carefully timed, (just before the next polling cycle) political counter-attack. It is a classic strategy of defence by proxy - grasping at the accusation that Abbott is a misogynist and using it to try to deal with the broader problem that his personal popularity, particularly with female voters, is almost certainly eroded by his very real political aggression. Yes, there have been many acid-tongued politicians over the years, including Labor leaders like Paul Keating and Mark Latham. But this Coalition leader does use political language more aggressive and hyperbolic than Australian voters are used to.

''The voters of Queensland, they won't miss … this Prime Minister and this Leader of the House have got targets on their foreheads,'' he said in the March.

The ''no carbon tax'' pre-election pledge, he repeatedly says, is a "promise that will haunt this government and this Prime Minister to her political grave''.

And on some occasions it is language that wouldn't be used against a man, like last year when he said that ''if the Prime Minister wants to make a - politically speaking - honest woman of herself, she needs to seek a mandate for herself and she should do that at the next election''

…suddenly, Labor was using his aggression against him just as the Coalition leader was trying to turn it down a notch.

And hence we discover, yet again, ''The Real Tony'', who is a ''softie'', who makes his daughters cubby houses and who disagrees with his wife about television viewing because she wants to watch the footy and he insists on Downton Abbey, ''a great program about things that are best in our nature''…

Hmmm, maybe it is possible to take this spin thing too far.

Another Fairfax journalist, Phil Coorey, joined the fray:

“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.

“In an unprecedented intervention by a political spouse, the normally private Mrs Abbott used a newspaper interview, breakfast television and radio interviews, and a speech in western Sydney yesterday in which she said the experience of having three daughters had made Mr Abbott a feminist. (A video of the speech is at the beginning of the article.)

''I'm not a politician and I'm not political - but just don't ever try to tell me that my husband of 24 years and the father of three daughters is on some anti-women crusade. It's simply not true,'' Mrs Abbott told the lunch, which was also attended by Mr Abbott's mother, sisters and one of his daughters.

''You get this - Tony Abbott is surrounded by strong women, in fact not only strong but capable women.''…

“Published and internal polling shows Mr Abbott less popular with female voters. In part, this was helped by recent allegations he physically intimidated a rival female politician at university 35 years ago.

“Then, in the wake of Alan Jones's offensive comments about Julia Gillard's late father, Labor again sought to implicate Mr Abbott by blaming him for creating the culture of personal denigration that encouraged the likes of Jones.

“In her speech, Mrs Abbott indirectly drew a stark contrast with the Prime Minister, who has never married or had children, saying the Abbotts were an ordinary family that had lived an ordinary life…

“The government declined to engage Mrs Abbott but urged voters not to be fooled. ''No amount of fuzzy photo-opportunities can airbrush away Mr Abbott's record of aggressive negativity or the huge risk he poses to the economy,'' the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, said.”

Laurie Oakes, the only News Limited journalist to do so, also had a go at critically analyzing the Margie Abbott push in The Punch:

“Tony Abbott’s wife, …in reply to what she called “personal and groundless attacks”- was blunt. “I won’t stand by and let others claim the man I love and the father my children adore has an agenda against women,” Margie Abbott said. The couple’s three daughters and various other female members of the extended family were also involved in bolstering Abbott’s defences.

“The first conclusion to be drawn from all this is that Abbott’s so-called “women problem” is real. It would not provoke such a response unless it was showing up as a serious issue in Liberal Party polling.

“One reason Abbott needs help from his wife and family here is that, at times, he does little to help himself. His initial failure to roundly condemn Sydney shock jock Alan Jones for foul, disgusting and unbelievably nasty comments about Julia Gillard’s dead father was a case in point…

“A second conclusion from the intervention of the Abbott women is that Liberal strategists are concerned about more than the opposition leader’s alleged misogyny. 
Women started to turn against Mark Latham before blokes did because of his aggressive manner. Paul Keating, too, suffered dismal ratings among female voters because of his bare-knuckle style. Abbott’s aggression, his unrelenting attack dog image, is a turn-off for women, and it alienates many male voters as well.

“So the Margie message is not only that “Tony gets women” and operates happily surrounded by strong females. It is also that he is not really the rough, tough, abusive and negative person that people see in parliament and on television. He is, in fact, “a soft touch”, has “a gentle manner”, prefers watching Downton Abbey to the footy, gets teary in sad movies, and is “the most optimistic person you could meet”.

“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…

“The third conclusion from Margie Abbott’s sudden front-line political role is that this must be starting to bite.”

The Fifth Estate is even more condemnatory.

Greg Jericho agrees that the polling must have been poor for Tony Abbott, and graphs the trends to support that contention. He concludes:

“Clearly, Abbott has been rattled by Julia Gillard’s numbers going up (and as Possum pointing up, increasing the ALP’s 2PP with it). The bad news for Tony Abbott is that Possum also notes that the standing of the Opposition Leader has absolutely nothing to do with the party’s 2 party preferred polling number. That means to keep the 2PP numbers high, the Liberal Party has to keep focus on Julia Gillard, which essentially means Tony Abbott attacking her, which obviously the Liberals have found doesn’t go down well in the electorate, and leads to Abbott looking like a bully.

“Which brings us back to where Mr Abbott finds himself today.

“The other aspect is this “Women don’t like Tony” narrative is old hat. Why on earth he feels the need to go big on it now is beyond me. Gillard’s numbers have improved a bit, and Abbott’s have gone down a bit. But is this really panic stations?...

“But instead of treating women as intelligent beings and developing more policies over the next 12 months that will actually affect them, he wants women to know he really is a nice guy.

“Geez, he must think women are stupid.”

NormanK drew our attention to Andrew Elder’s assessment in The Situation with Women.

“The Liberals clearly recognise that women are reluctant to vote for an Abbott government, and that having Margie Abbott talk about her husband in glowing terms might help turn that around.

“It is a standard tactic in American politics to have a candidate bring out their spouse as a way of generating positive impressions without the hard work of policy development and persuasion. Even the most appalling candidate can appeal to voters with a spouse or a family member who can tell endearing, humanising anecdotes about them.

“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.

At the same time, she has chosen to play the sort of blatantly partisan role that attracts negative attention from commentators, amateur and professional. ...If any criticism is due to her media appearances it is due to those who think they are clever in crafting media events of this type: to what extent will that appearance lift Tony Abbott's poll ratings? The judgment of and about those people, and not Mrs Abbott, lives or dies on those questions…

“So what if Tony Abbott's sisters, wife and daughters are all strong and capable and love him dearly?... The voters of Australia are not being invited to join his family. The political premise behind Margie Abbott's remarks is absurd.

“She should not have gone on television with Abbott next to her. It wasn't quite like a hostage haltingly reading out a badly-written statement with a Kalashnikov-wielding, balaclava-clad thug standing over - but she should have been free to tell the sort of anecdote that made him look like a bit of a doofus. Even better, she should have given an example of where she and/or the other women in his life have actually changed his seemingly inflexible mind. That might have made a difference.

“He should also have recognised publicly that Barbara Ramjan, Cheryl Kernot and every other woman who has gotten in his way over the years are no less deserving of basic respect than the women closest to him.

“That Tony Abbott's wife thinks he's nice is neither here nor there. An interview like this might have made a difference in early 2010, but it's too late. Again, the target here is Abbott's strategists, not his wife.

“The question that should have been asked of her was: can you understand why some women don't like Tony? A good answer would have reinforced her as a basically sensible person whose opinions should be listened to, and given both of them the credibility that her husband clearly lacks…

“The fight has gone out of Abbott.”

Nasking drew our attention to a pungent piece by Denise Allen on her ‘dennieallen’ website: Margie Abbott’s dummy spit.

It begins: “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…

“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. Are you proud of him? I’m sure you are. You must be, because you have now come out and said what a wonderful, loving, decent man he is! To say that – you must agree with everything he says and does! Otherwise you would have the courage to say there are some things you don’t agree with him on.

“But no. You just heap praise on him as if he can do no wrong.

“Quite frankly it disgusts me.

“So get over yourself Margie Abbott… Your husband is one of the most vicious Opposition leaders in this countries history, and as he would say “Its just politics!”

“It’s about time the decent women and men of this nation fought back against your husbands’ ugly persona.”

Take that!

I could fill several pieces with similar quotes, but these will suffice. There are several conclusions:

- Tony Abbott’s ratings in polls and focus groups must be poor, and the Coalition’s ratings sinking with him.

- Margie Abbott’s intervention is a sign of desperation, no matter who initiated it.

- The concerted campaign by News Limited through its tabloids, and the TV puff pieces designed to reinforce the Margie push, points to a fearsome turn in the polls from the dead-certainty of an Abbott government after the next election to one of considerable doubt.

- The extended Margie campaign seems unlikely to impress swinging voters, and may induce those who have left Labor in the polls to return. It may turn out to be a significant negative.

The attack dog has lived within Tony Abbott for many years. The fact that this Pit Bull has licked the hand of its owner: his wife, his family, his minders, his colleagues, does not make him a Shih tzu. He is still a Pit Bull.

Away from his owners, he strains at the leash – barking, snapping, and snarling, ready to tear his opponent to pieces. Just watch him in Question Time and moving Motions to Suspend Standing Orders. Just watch him in doorstops where he bares his teeth and salivates at every chance to demean our PM or her ministers, snapping: ‘liar’, or ‘untrustworthy’, or ‘bad government getting worse’, or ‘No, No, No’, or referring to our female leader as ‘she’ or ‘her’ or ‘this Prime Minister’.

That he licks his owner's hands, like all Pit Bulls, is unsurprising; that he savages those he does not like is what has brought him to the perilous situation he now faces.

It seems likely that no matter what he now does, nothing will halt his decline.

What do you think?

Comments (262) -

October 8. 2012 09:30 PM


Ad, yet another insightful and informative post...as usual, displays in-depth research...and a competent and articulately expressed comprehension of the political and news media sectors and how they affect one another.

Your assessment of Abbott and the desperate utilisation of his wife Margie is spot on...referencing valuable alternative media and online-based analysts and opinion-makers.

Top job.

As I wrote to Min @ Cafe Whispers (her comment precedes mine):

So far, their attempts to denigrate and obliterate the alternative media have come to nothing. It is they who must change, because the alternative media is growing and quickly…


In fact the more they refer to "cyber-bullying and use implied threats to clamp down on the blogs, social network sites, tweeters, the more passionate those users become...and the more it peaks the curiousity of the part-time & non-users. Galvanising many into reluctant and unusual alliances, determination to speak our mind, let our knowledge and ideas and views be heard.

I recall a time when Peter Costello and his running scared team banned Crikey from the budget lockups...blundering,  unsuccessful attempts to stymie the growth of the alternative online-based media. Crikey gained traction.

In a similar over-reaching fashion News Ltd outed Grog's Gamut as public servant Greg Jericho...he has gone from strength to strength.

This is an inevitable process of change...exponential growth in media and news filtering sites and individuals outside the mainstream system...eventually working their way to "the inside" that they partially help create and transform.

The Murdochracy is on its last legs...flailing away...desperate for attention...and seeking credibility...yet unable to extricate itself from its 'tabloid' reputation...and the sense by a growing mass of public that it is an opportunistic, top-down controlled Limited News organisation, the plaything of Rupert and children, a candy shop for a wannabe great dynasty...and at this present time partisan politics Liberal propaganda machine.

The perfect greedy media entity and multi-tentacled empire for an alternative media and news filtering system to revolt against...and grow & benefit from.




October 8. 2012 09:46 PM


It is all rather sad really.

Our political discourse is more concerned with the whimperings of some has been shock jock and if the alternative Prime Minister is a misogynist and if the actual Prime Minister is real or not and knows in which hand to carry a handbag but only so the handbag hit squad swing can be employed.

Bread and circuses, feeding the weak to the lions, the collapse of the empire is nigh.

... and my guitar gently weeps.


October 8. 2012 09:48 PM


The attack dog has lived within Tony Abbott for many years. The fact that this Pit Bull has licked the hand of its owner: his wife, his family, his minders, his colleagues, does not make him a Shih tzu. He is still a Pit Bull.

It seems likely that no matter what he now does, nothing will halt his decline.

Well said Ad.

This particular pit bull has become a liability for the Liberal party...that once prided itself on using rational moderate/centrist appealing arguments and attitudes to appeal to the masses.

To have as a leader a ferocious, unpredictable attack dog that you'd more associate with an extremist party such as One Nation, must be rather disconcerting for many a Liberal party member & supporter.

It will contribute to their eventual election loss and decline if not remedied.

Abbott's attack dog approach has been infectious...like rabies...even that "mincing poodle" Pyne has begun to act like a rabid dog.

But who will get sane in this mainstream party and politically, metaphorically, 'put them down'?

In order to restore calm, sanity and restore the Liberal party's reputation.

Who has the courage & determination? Loves their party enuff?

BTW, is it just me or does Pyne get asked on Q&A far too many times as a spokesperson for the Liberal party?

The man comes across as a compulsive SPINNER and ATTACK DOG APOLOGIST as far as I'm concerned. No integrity or display of principles whatsoever.



October 8. 2012 09:56 PM


It is rumoured that Newspoll exposed such bad news for Abbott and the Coalition that, although overdue, it has been postponed.

Indeed Ad,
many of us were expecting it out last week.

Tho, I guess we have to remember Newspoll is part of the Murdoch empire...part of the Liberal party propaganda machine.

Ever trying to manipulate voter and general public perception.

And attempt to save their attack dog Abbott...who once wrote for The Australian.



October 8. 2012 10:10 PM


the prime minister courageously & diplomatically participated in a Facebook session today...some of the grotesque responses provide insight into the mentality, maturity & attitude of conservative & libertarian extremists who have been egged on over the years by Abbott and a number of his close associates by way of attack dog and 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' politics:

A spokesman for the government said: "This is the first federal question-and-answer session by a major political figure in Australia – it is the first of its kind. There was a huge response in terms of questions; there's been a lot more that have been tabled for future use. There is a tiny minority of offensive comments and they are moderated after being published."

After answering about a dozen questions over about an hour, Ms Gillard thanked people for their questions and signed off. But once she was no longer answering questions, some users heaped abuse on her.
"McPiss off you red-headed bloody McClown," wrote a Nicholas Frampton.
One man, Clifford Cowl, told the Prime Minister, "Get my dinner ready", while "Adam Subwoofer Hodgson" asked: "Are your pubes as radiant, shiny and glorious as mine?"

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...to-abuse-20121008-278v5.html

Dear oh dear.



October 8. 2012 10:13 PM


Apparently the latest Newspoll is now out - although I'd like ot see the actual results and not the spin from Shanahan.



October 9. 2012 12:12 AM


the Newspoll has little credibility at this point...as there is no election result upcoming its results cannot be compared to that in order to see how accurate it is.

it has been shown by other polls that the previous Newspoll put the ALP too high. Some suspect that was a deliberate ploy to ensure there would be a drop this time. More attempted manipulation of public perception.

In fact, the majority of polls are corporate/private sector driven and have an obvious bias...results also cannot be checked appropriately for accuracy during a non-election period...that means pollsters could focus polling on specific population demographics that suit the result they are looking for...

and assist a campaign their media empire and/or favoured party is pushing.

Best to ignore polls until the actual election.

As Ad and others have advised.



October 9. 2012 12:18 AM


nasking, I thought the polls existed so "commentators" had something to write about - that's why they are so frequent, and run by the MSM.

Is this Newspoll delayed? If so, why?  Are the football finals so important that polling is suspended (or is it because the newspapers already have their (football) front-page stories).  


October 9. 2012 12:47 AM


I'm still of the opinion that the Murdoch empire and Newspoll have too much sway in this democracy...and we need some significant changes to media ownership in this country.

For one, Newspoll should be forced to break its connections with the obviously biased Murdoch empire and the staff should be picked on their objectivity, independence and lack of partisan views.



October 9. 2012 12:47 AM


Furthermore, disgraceful talking over Kate Ellis on Q&A tonite...and loud conversations by Pyne and Tanner during her attempts to speak about her views and govt policy.

My wife Stacey felt Christopher Pyne has a narcissistic approach to the world and doesn't seem to acknowlege when a woman is speaking...demonstrates no respect...he even made his views clear that he wanted more attention from Abbott because he has so many women around him these days.

Furthermore, Pyne was permitted to speak oft without interruption in a loud and whining voice...

was permitted by host Jones to interrupt constantly (to the obvious frustration and displeasure demonstrated by many in the audience)...

was rudely dismissive of the young women in the audience who asked questions...

as was sadly Lindsay Tanner somewhat dismissive with a lady who asked about insentivising school retention (more on that later...and Tanner's growing need for the limelight and self-centredly undermining Gillard govt efforts without acknowledging recent accomplishments not unlike another egomaniac Richo)...

and Pyne uses obvious techniques to dominate discussions...many we attribute to arrogant, privileged men who think the sun shines outa their butt...and they have a divine right to be the centre of attention.

Poor effort on Tony Jones part to ensure these bully boy, attention-seeking, discussion dominating techniques are not exercised to the detriment of other panelists.

It's time Q&A demonstrates equal opportunity and uses a female host, moderator for the next few years...even if they begin with alternating moderators week by week.

They need to walk the walk.

Akerman was his usual partisan, overly-biased, cruddy self.

Pleased minister Kate Ellis stood up to him...dressed him down a couple of times. Akerman can be a real arrogant sod...an attitude we've come to expect from many who work in the Murdoch empire...used to dominating the public arena.



October 9. 2012 12:56 AM

paul walter

What fascinates me are the parallels to current US politics. The Republicans, driven by the cranks within of the hard right Tea Party that have infiltrated it, have launched attacks on Obama similar to those by the right in Oz on Gillard.
These have not involved policy, but have been on character on the basis of inherent defects that have them operate as somehow intellectually inferior; Gillard's sex, Obama's race.
Both the US and Australian Right yearn for a punitive eco rationalist "austerity" regime involving no tax for the (virtuous) rich and the smashing of welfare for (undeserving) battlers.
In both countries the onslaught has involved trying to convince members of the wider public that they are valueless as human beings, because of class, race or gender.
Both countries have witnessed a ferocious "war on women" attacking everything from their sexual mores, through appearance, to their alleged financial profligacy, to their refusal to conform to a submissive role to men and to political authority.
In Australia, Gillard has been the actual focus of the attack, portrayed by Jones and many others as too characterless and stupid to run a chook raffle, let alone a nation and a woman who, for the lack of children can't even f--k properly (this being the only reason women perform this, for breeding). This perhaps rebounds back onto all women, who, humiliated and embarrassed, must return to the kitchen and the bedroom, to make way for no-nonsense guys like Abbott, and in the USA, Romney.
For Romney it has rebounded sharply, this Talibanisation of an educated, secular society. Women and easier-going men support Obama in huge numbers while the crackers and their ground down spouses plump for the simplistic nostrums of the right.
In Australia it is true that tabloid politics and msm have relentlessly tried to browbeat Gillard and as this has increasingly failed, resorted to the harshness of personal Jones- type attacks, which ran the risk and finally succeeded in crossing, an agreed upon line that separates political debate on the basis of logic and issues, or even run of the mill sledging, to something repugnant to the deeply entrenched and shared notion of the Fair Go.
In the end, it is the likes of Romney and Abbott who have been demonstrated to lack substance; how inept must Abbott be to have his "inferior" wife bail him out, while in the USA, Romney like wise has had to have to resort to the little woman, Anne Romney, to do the simple things he can't do on the campaign trail. They have been laughing stocks by those they tried to belittle and humiliate, all that remains is the naked ugliness of the right's authoritarian ideology and policies..

paul walter

October 9. 2012 01:20 AM


I thought the polls existed so "commentators" had something to write about - that's why they are so frequent, and run by the MSM

good points. Smile

Imagine if they couldn't use polls to try and manipulate public perception and wedge politicians and govts...and instead of constantly beating up and creating leadership challenge rumours and gossip...and in fact had to spend the bulk of their time reporting on actual issues and reporting the facts?

Can you imagine?

But we've come to expect nothing less than mediocrity and spin from the majority of the apathetic and sycophantic and increasingly desperate MSM these days...led by the leash by the Murdoch propaganda machine...

and a grandiose Newspoll.


As for creating incentives for parents/guardians to motivate their kids to finish year 12 or equivalent, I agree that we should see prioritisation of such...and less prioritising of incentivising reproduction...

particularly in a world of seven billion people that calls for more students spending less time on welfare, having babies in poverty and committing crimes or creating neighbourhood disturbances...and more enhancing of skills and knowledges in order to be an active & productive citizen.

John Howard certainly knew how to reach into the "battlers" minds by using certain carrots/incentives and in turn grabbed their votes.

The ALP ignore this approach at their peril...and no ivory tower style thinking and poo-pooing of audience members ideas will change that fact...

not in a world where so many have little intrinsic motivation, and have high personal debt from a young age...have come to expect carrots...and are too distracted by celebrities and pap infotainment to spend time researching the facts and learning why its important to change attitude/behavioural patterns.

That's not to say an effort to empower, widen debates, change voter expectations isn't important and should continue at a rigorous pace...

but from my experiences in lower socio-economic regions/areas (I live in one remember) and from observing politics and voter behaviour for a number of decades, I can safely say that if one mainstream party neglects to offer the carrots, the other will. And oft it benefits them.

Voters tire quickly of pontification from on high and being told to sacrifice, go without.

This is why we need govts with the courage to consistently standup to big money earners, massive profiteering corporations and those who hold wealthy assets/capital (including those via inheritance) and put in place redistribution policies, taxes, fees that remedy the lack of opportunity for too many.  

I'm sure that Lindsay Tanner might have some POSITIVE contributions to make in that area...rather than aiding & abetting the Coalition types like Pyne and taking the focus of Abbott & Jones etc.



October 9. 2012 01:32 AM


That should be:

...are too distracted by celebrities and pap infotainment to spend time researching the facts and learning why it's important to change attitudinal, behavioural patterns.


...rather than aiding & abetting the Coalition types like Pyne and taking the focus off Abbott & Jones


October 9. 2012 01:36 AM


Threat to sue PM a stunt: QC

Prominent defamation lawyer Stuart Littlemore, QC, has labelled attempts by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange to find ways of suing Prime Minister Julia Gillard for defamation as nothing more than a stunt.

Mr Littlemore and other legal experts say that defamation claims generally must be made within 12 months of the comments.

Read more: www.theage.com.au/.../...nt-qc-20121008-279qi.html



October 9. 2012 03:02 AM


It's an exciting new world...delayed by the Howard Coalition...coming to a neighbourhood near you thnx to this govt and the NBN...and funding, investment, creative innovations, research & dvlpt & projects from govts and other quarters:

Australia’s Silicon Beach on horizon


Last Friday’s Digital Economy Forum in Sydney kicked off with a big question from Prime Minister Julia Gillard: “What is your vision for Australia’s digital future?”

Google Australia managing director Nick Leeder, one of 50 digital experts at the forum, didn’t skip a beat in responding – he wants Australia to be a “Silicon Beach”, with digital innovation like the US’s Silicon Valley.

To most people Bondi, Surfers or Cottesloe are a world away from the technology heavyweights of the Santa Clara Valley. But as the forum heard stories of smart Aussie start-ups, we saw a glimpse of what might be more common in the future.

One example is Michael Fox’s Shoes of Prey which uses a 3D online designer so women can choose the heels, toe shape, fabric and colour they want in their perfect shoe.

Another is Aussie Farmers Direct which is taking on the major supermarket chains with a promise of 100 per cent Australian groceries, online.

These examples and those from Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 make the point that you don’t need a PhD in software engineering to profit in the digital economy.

Australia might have developed Wi-Fi and Google Maps but as the Productivity Commission first explained 10 years ago, most of the economic gains from technology come from using it well, not producing it.

A powerful message reinforced by speakers from Microsoft, IBM and Cisco was that Australian companies should be doing more to embrace digital technologies.

It’s a message we at Deloitte agree with and it appears Australians do too, as is shown in the impressive take-up rates for basic technology such as smartphones, tablets and broadband.

Where we lag behind other developed economies is in the more complex e-commerce, cloud and telework opportunities.

The big market incumbents outlined their latest tech developments: Australia Post with its digital mailbox and CommBank Kaching’s use of social media. They admitted that their driving force is responding to consumers.

All of this goes to the lack of certainty around the size and timing of digital change for business.

It’s a subject given serious thought in Deloitte’s recent paper, Digital Disruption: Short Fuse, Big Bang?

We found one-third of industries face significant change in the next three years. It is something we have seen already in the case of Borders and Blockbuster, where online competition overwhelmed their physical stores.

Minister for Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy’s favourite quote from the report is: “The digital economy isn’t just about speeding up communication across borders or changing the skills workers need; it’s about changing the very nature of consumption, competition and how markets work.”


In this home we already order a significant amount of our clothing, music, organic food @ veges, reading material, nutritional supplements, birthday & christmas gifts, herbal teas, beauty products...and the our general groceries, online...and have them delivered to the door...or postbox.

Most arrive within a few days, if not a day.

This permits us to cut out some of the risky driving & mingling with cold-ridden people & kids in supermarkets much of the time...potentially reducing sick days for my wife...and not putting my vulnerable immune at a high risk on a daily basis.

It also frees up to do other activities...

like blogging. Smile

No wonder Abbott hates the NBN and wants to sabotage it.

Getting back to why we need an NBN and more businesses and institutions and public services using it more imaginatively, efficiently and productively, we envision using the NBN, particularly in our older years, connecting to health professionals...not having to risk our health sitting in a doctor's office just to get a repeat on a script...using interactive probes that can be used by a doctor or specialist to diagnose illness or check skin, blood pressure and do myriad of other procedures.

It will assist educators like us who can run or participate in tutorials, public forums and so on.

The possibilities are infinite if the appropriate infrastructure is built...the access equitable & affordable...the funding for projects available from many sectors of society...the educational system setup to empower and familiarise...and motivate innovation.

An exciting future.

Not requiring NO NO NO...

and Luddites pretending to be supporters of small business.



October 9. 2012 03:17 AM


Should be:

and not putting my vulnerable immune system at a high risk on a daily basis.


In this home we already order a significant amount of our clothing, music, organic food & veges, reading material, nutritional supplements, birthday & christmas gifts, herbal teas, beauty products...and our general groceries online.

Apologies...eye problems. Can't wait to get these bloody cataracts removed...genetic thing in our family, comes early apparently. At least the specialist confirmed it wasn't related to the diabetes.

However, it will take 9 mths to see the specialist in the public hospitals...and another 9-12 for the first laser treatment/op. We may have to scrape together the money to pay for one to be done privately...not easy when you've got a mortgage to payoff...rates, car & house insurance, electricity, petrol & car/home maintenance, RACQ, food, communication, pet rego, gas, birthday & Xmas, dentil, vet, full pharmacy cost, and other health-related bills...etc.

Lot of expenses in this day & age...

I don't know how those on Newstart, single parent, disability and age pensions survive? Bloody hard I imagine.



October 9. 2012 03:32 AM


American latest swing state election poll figures can be seen here:


Check out Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri and North Carolina.

Obama & Biden better get their game on.

Also see Wisconsin. A certain VP nominee hails from there. Soon to be debating. You guessed it...Republican Paul Ryan. Doesn't look great for him.

Nevada very interesting.



October 9. 2012 03:48 AM


Elements of this I agree with, but a bit passe...not looking at recent ALP gains and changes in attitude towards Gillard.

Demonstrates the Fairfax bias...a business that wants a business Liberal in power, Turnbull:


Yet every time I've raised this with people who don't live or work in Canberra they say "I can't even think about Tony Abbott as PM."

Some of them vote Labor, to be sure, but lots have voted Liberal and literally cannot imagine Abbott in the top job - it embarrasses and/or scares them.

Perception is a mighty thing and I believe it's why opposition leaders such as Kim Beazley, Mark Latham, Simon Crean and Brendan Nelson all crashed and burned: average punters stood back and said "Really? I don't think so."

I've had a beer with Tony Abbott and he strikes me as a solid bloke and a good father; it's just when he steps into the world of people who live or work in Canberra, his desire to rule vulgarly consumes his desire to serve.

This is not a good look for politicians - vicious ambition must be gloved, whereas Abbott seems to understand no method other than bare knuckle and bared teeth.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../the-vibe-20121008-27809.html




October 9. 2012 06:12 AM


Why the obsession with Abbott though?   He's a boring thug.


October 9. 2012 07:24 AM



Witless and Wireless , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
The social media backlash against Jones represents real talkback, without the dump button. The wider public has had enough. And the response from advertisers shows market forces at work. That it has come to this also provides further evidence of the ineffectual nature of media regulation, which allows broadcasters to vilify, incite and deliberately mislead in order to build audiences to sell to advertisers.

Cranks and crazies — US politics is fair game for Australians, John Quiggin, Independent Australia
WAYNE SWAN’S remark last month that the US Republican Party had been taken over by “cranks and crazies” is notable in two respects.First, it is true.Second, it marks a further move towards a globalised politics, in which political arguments routinely transcend national boundaries.The truth of Swan’s claim is so obvious that few, even in Australia, have bothered to dispute it. The following are just a sample of the lunatic beliefs held by much of the Republican Party base

The Things We Do For Love, Peter Wicks, Wixxy Leaks
When the Liberal party comes out with terms like “handbag hitsquad” to describe female MP’s who know how to debate policy, don’t think that it ingratiates you with female voters. They are not idiots.After the reporting of Abbott thumping the walls on either side of a womans head brought forward credible witnesses, the damage control was laughable.

Sqwarking shock jocks, Gary Sauer-Thomson, Public Opinion
The traditional power relationships, which have been locked in for so long, are beginning to melt. Social media is providing the tools for people to organize to use them to make the shock jocks accountable for what they say in the public sphere on their syndicated radio program. More broadly, if the vacuum being left by the collapse of newspapers is resulting in the increased influence of social media, then it is also being filled by the PR industry's spin and misinformation.

Less than fair and balanced ABC, Utherssay
Is Tony Abbot less of a misogynist than Gillard is a liar not to mention Abbot’s own hyperbolic ranting rarely being put to the same “liar” test?Our ABC should be more fair and balanced not an afterthought for or echo of the News Ltd press with agenda

2GB operator holds out the white flag , Matthew da Silva , Happy Antipodean
"I think we've got to put a stake in the ground and sort some things out here; otherwise there won't be a sensible medium in the long term." Where the stake deployed by Tate and his managers might actually be placed is no longer up to Jones, who appears to have been comprehensively sidelined at this point in time. His fate is very much, now, in the hands of other people, including those he has alienated through his behaviour for such a long time.

We need to talk about the budget, Ross Gittins
For his part, Tony Abbott is trying to buy the election with promises to abolish the two new taxes that raise about $10 billion a year, the proceeds from which are already fully committed. For good measure, he's promising to lower the tax burden generally.

Methinks Abbott's wife doth protest too much, Mungo MacCallum,  The Drum
But many voters, and particularly many women, sense that behind the speedos, the lycra and the hard hats, there is another Abbott, a zealot about whom they know little and worry much. And the fact that his wife feels she has to attempt to reassure them is just as likely to confirm their fears as to assuage them. The lady doth protest too much.

Alan Jones scandal labelled 'great PR coup' for 2GB and advertisers, Amy Kellow, Ad News
Cox also said that despite the current hype, the controversy wouldn't be around for much longer."The 24 news cycle keeps churning, issues don't tend to stay up very long, 2GB would be trusting that it can get rid of this ban on advertising fairly quickly and get its advertisers back on. If not, it should be making a statement to the stock exchange, it hasn't done that so and it's a smart

Gillard cops sexist spray in Facebook live chat, Sally Whyte , Crikey
post relating to Gillard’s father appears to have been removed from the Facebook page, but other offensive posts still remain, making it unclear if it was removed by the user or by the PM’s team. Many of the trolls comments were sexual, calling Gillard a “slut” and saying “Are your pubes as radiant, shiny and glorious as mine?”. Most (possibly all) offensive posts were posted by males.

Jane Caro: why Margie Abbott is bloody revolutionary, Jane Caro, Crikey
the tables have turned a little more in Gillard’s favour. She’d still lose an election held today, but no longer would it be a wipe-out. The very fact that the Abbott females have been wheeled out proves she’s got her opponents rattled.

ALAN JONES THE VICTIM? PUH-LEASE…, Monica Attard, The Hoopla
Perhaps the best outcome would be if, at 71, Alan Jones decided on his own that the time has come to hang up the microphone and devote himself more fully to his good deeds for the battlers whose outrage he has so publically stoked for so long.

Stick to listening to the ABC, wankers. Leave us alone. We have the right to say whatever we want and if you don’t like it, then tough crap. Don’t spoil our party with facts and truths and compassion and all that nonsense. We gotta keep the oldies scared so they’ll keep buying funeral insurance

Abbott and the placebo effect, Stepen Koukoulas, The Melbourne Review
Such is Mr. Abbott’s political skill that in addition to manufacturing the problem, he simultaneously offers a solution. He’ll “stop the boats”, stop the “toxic carbon tax”, “slash wasteful government spending” and eliminate the “mountain of government debt”, even though each of these issues is small beer in the scheme of national well-being, growth and fairness for the local population

Tony Abbott and women: how both sides have played the gender card, Carol Johnson, The Conversation
sexist behaviour that Roxon claimed she had personally experienced from Tony Abbott. It certainly seems hypocritical for the Liberals to be complaining about Labor’s use of the gender card against Tony Abbott, when they have so skilfully played the gender card against Julia Gillard.

Bullies, trolls and twits are wreaking havoc online,Rafael Garcia, Megaphoneoz, Com.
Trolls post inflammatory comments wherever they can, seeking attention while hiding behind a keyboard. Cyber bullies, a lot more common, usually know their target and make no effort to hide. Either type has an acute lack of respect for others and may not realise that their aggressive online messages can have real consequences.

Why Are We Living Beyond Our Means?, Ian McAuley, New Matilda
In a bizarre twist Tony Abbott, helped by a journalist’s leading question, represented Murray’s comments as a warning that the current government "with its endless taxes", was "putting the economic future of our country at risk". By Thursday the media interpretation was that Murray had been warning of "a Greek-style downturn" in Australia.

IT more valuable than mining, says Gillard, Renai LeMay, Delimeter
news Prime Minister Julia Gillard has hailed knowledge and the technologies used to create and share it as being the key factor determining Australia’s future economic success — even beyond the resources sector — as she met with key figures from Australia’s technology sector and set in place key ‘Digital Economy’ strategies for the nation’s future

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 9 October 2012


October 9. 2012 08:08 AM


Julie Bishop...The plastecene pollie!


October 9. 2012 08:15 AM

Ad astra

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

Ad astra

October 9. 2012 08:24 AM

Truth Seeker

Hey Swordsters, back on line, now from Sydney for a week, so I thought I would post my latest musing, as it is on topic.
Ad I have only skimmed your article, looks great and will read it in full shortly.

Friends in the LNP.

The LNP.. as an entity……  has many different parts
Their leader Tony Abbott.. is renowned  for his brain farts
His loyalty.. is legendary for those who tow.. the party line
Unless your name is Barnaby… then stupidity is fine
They claim the moral high ground.. calling lies from all the rest
But the truth is.. when it comes to lies… the LNP are best

Turnbull as the leader… did a deal with Kevin Rudd
But Abbott didn’t like it…started baying for his blood
So he stabbed his colleague in the back.. to renege upon the deal
Claimed the leadership by one vote.. his ambition for to seal
Then he set a new agenda.. for himself to gain ‘The Lodge’
Based on lies and obfuscation…. While the truth and facts he’d dodge

With a platform lacking substance… from a vacuous policy pit
He chose a front bench…  full of lackeys.. who were happy talking shit
His finance spokesman Hockey… for numbers.. doesn’t have a nose
In fact he cannot count past ten… without access to his toes  
Yet he gets to spout his dribble… cos he’s Tony Abbotts mate
Despite the fact his mouth starts early… while his brain is running late

His deputy… Julie Bishop…. is a classy piece of work
Immaculately presented.. doesn’t mean.. she’s not a jerk
Looking prim… but with a sour pucker.. like her knickers are in a knot
with a mouthful of all day sucker… she is great at talking rot
She delivers lines that are well rehearsed.. repeating Abbotts spin
While proving quite conclusively.. there’s nothing much within

The Abbott.. was honoured speaker.. at Pete Slippers Nuptials
But four years on he wanted Slipper gone.. thought he had him by the balls
With.. Mal Brough in the shadows… ripe to take the Slippers seat
Slipper jumped ship.. to the cross benches.. just to prove he’s slippery Pete
So he stepped up to the speakers chair.. to piss off his ex mates
But then.. up popped Pyne’s mate Ashby.. with his own brand of.. arsegates

Mirrabella’s nasty friendships….. are unhealthy ones at best
By taking sad advantage… of the frail….. she fails the test
Claiming an inheritance… that wasn’t hers to take
Proves that as a human being… Tony’s  Sophie is a fake
But he keeps her on the front bench.. cos her loyalty is strong
Though on.. oh so many levels.. Tony’s Sophie’s is plain.. wrong

Little Kelly O’Dwye says… she’s The Handbag Hit Squads.. author
Proudly selling out her gender… proves she is.. a moral pauper
She lies without a second thought.. ignoring fact and reason
While repeating Abbotts spin and slogans.. is tantamount to treason
But it’s no consequence.. to Kelly.. cos she’s Liberal through and through
And to win the next election.. they will do what they must do

Tony’s good mate.. Alan Jones… is something else.. again
From hate filled gross misogyny… he really can’t refrain
And the normal bounds of decency… are nowhere to be seen
In the sociopathic ramblings of this… nasty.. closet.. queen
He’s an expert in most everything.. in his mind…. anyway
Quoting facts.. beyond dispute..cos he made them up just yesterday  

There is Gina and her billions… pulling hard on Abbotts strings
Aligned with Jones.. her rabid right wing views... are enticing little things
To Abbott and his motley crew.. who believe to rule.. they’re surely born
So their spin and lies they’ll justify… treating all of us with scorn
But don’t criticise their Tony.. or he’ll throw… a.. giant wobbly
Bringing out the liberals big guns.. Tony Abbotts good wife Margie

And she’ll tell us what a good.. good man… her little Tony is
How he watches Downton Abbey… and in the house.. he’s just a wiz
How he’ll shed a tear at movies… and he’s a bonza father too
How he really “gets” his women… and he’s honest through and through
And his mates in the mainstream media.. report it like a scoop
That a wife supports her husband… what a load of doggie poop

So Margie.. Tony’s a lucky man.. to have a wifey… just like you
But Pol Pot’s wives supported him.. and Pol Pot… he had two
So there’s nothing so unusual…. about these little.. farces
Of wives supporting husbands… who the people know are arses
And although you both desire the lodge… to be your new address
It’ll take more than your love story.. regurgitated in the press

And the Abbotts time is running short… as the sharks are closing in
Cos his misogynistic attitudes.. are deeper seated.. than the spin
And friendships in the LNP… won’t be worth… a dollar token
As they all desert the sinking ship.. of a leader badly broken
And the moral for Margie’s intervention.. brought on by her husbands panic
Is that you’ll dodge the Lodge.. when you’re married to.. the Liberals own.. Titanic


Truth Seeker

October 9. 2012 08:36 AM


Newspoll....What a joke...talk about polling for favour!! It's not a poll, it's propaganda!


October 9. 2012 08:45 AM


Why the obsession with Abbott, Marilyn?....in case you have overlooked it, he has the potential (slim now!) of governing Australia...I'd suggest you lobby HIM with all your outrage at the unfairness of the world and Julia Gillard so as to get a "foot in the door" for him to seriously consider your propositions.


October 9. 2012 09:24 AM


The 'Abbott is truly a lovable' thing totally overwhelmed my intense dislike of the man with an indescribable nausea at the total falsity of the whole business. Especially Tony looking embarrassingly stupified.
The last time I felt like this was the time that I ate a 'raw prawn' that was decidedly 'off'.  So was this whole business!
I said to myself then 'I won't come the raw prawn ever again'.  I'm disappointed that this one slipped through! Ewwww!


October 9. 2012 09:27 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Twitterverse early, I have to go out, enjoy:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, October 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm  
It’s poll voodoo. Ju-ju extreme.

The opinionistas will have a hard time explaining this one.

There is no way n the word that the government has plummeted in popularity as a result of the events of the last two weeks. No way.

The insults against Gillard. The advertisers seeing the writing on the wall. The farce of Marige & The Kids. None of these can do anything but work against the Opposition.

Then there is last week’s reported abandoned Newspoll, when News Ltd journos were so sure there would be one.

It is just to cute, 3w ago it was 50-50, AJ story broke, then it was a delayed for a week, then came Margie & The Kids, boom boom 54-46

Possum Comitatus
A simple chart that explain political polling in Australia http://yfrog.com/esebzqp

ABC Radio
Malcolm Turnbull again takes different path to Tony Abbott, stridently criticising Alan Jones: Tune in for 08:00 at http://abc.net.au/am

Jones has not been bullied – Turnbull, Lenore Taylor
''Mr Jones has sought to lead 'people's revolts' for many years. But this was indeed a popular revolt against vicious and destructive public discourse … It is difficult not to believe that he is getting a dose of his own medicine

John Pratt ‏
Abbott is still talking to Jones. Peas in a pod? #auspol #nswpol http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/-279e6.html

Tweeting Roo
Jones saga exposes media power shift - Sydney Morning Herald (blog) http://shrtn.in/2HV461 #AlanJones #auspol

David Marler
Newmania TimNichollsMP "No Need To Seek Public Opinion On Selling Some Assets" - http://ow.ly/einPz

Janice Gill ‏
Newman has bet each way on QR National http://www.smh.com.au/business/-2799o.html

State Government and the Opposition in war of tweets over fake Twitter accounts
A WAR of tweets has erupted between the State Government and the Opposition, with each accusing the other of setting up fake Twitter accounts.

Jana Favero ‏
Was it really necessary to repeat the offensive comments in your Gillard cops abuse article @theage? http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/-278v5

Australian News ‏
Slipper implicated in Ashby's psychiatric report (ABC): Papers released by the Federal Court su... http://yhoo.it/VSg0Ce #ausnews #uavaus

dee madigan ‏
In which Alan Jones urges people to join an ‘Australia wide campaign to boycott…’ www.2gb.com/index.php

Phil Kelly ‏
Destroy the Joint were Alan Jones words, Is this plagarism? www.dailytelegraph.com.au/.../story-e6freuy9-1226490986049 … via @dailytelegraph

Geraldine ‏@Fluffula
Yes indeed RT @JohnBirmingham: Jones saga as Ultimate Boss Battle shift www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0121008-279gj.html … via @brisbanetimes

Tweeting Roo ™ ‏
Confidential budget office could estimate Opposition policy costs - #Sydney Morning Herald http://shrtn.in/2HVnLG #Aust

Geoff Pearson ‏@GCobber99
Jones faces own brand of 'justice' www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6n6-1226490886840



October 9. 2012 09:54 AM


As I wrote a couple of months back...We of the fifth estate are now free of the prison of MSM. contained opinion...Murdochs chains have fallen away and the weakness of his stage is there for all to see....we will NOT be silenced anymore....The right-wing and their mates no longer keep the gates!
We will grow in confidence and capability...Does anyone know anyone involved in this latest "newspoll"?...ie; how and where was it done?


October 9. 2012 10:24 AM

Von Kirsdarke

Apparently the Coalition has forbidden all members from attending any function that has someone they believe has overstepped the line and must resign immediately.

And that person is... Peter Slipper. Oh not Jones, he's sacred to them.

Soon enough they'll be back on the show for a good pat by Alan Jones. He's the embodiment of a True Liberal after all - filled with visceral hatred of everything fair and decent with the world.

Von Kirsdarke

October 9. 2012 10:30 AM


No wonder our poor Aussie growers can't compete with the Italian tomato growers:

Such economies of scale trim costs, but Italy's tomato industry has two key competitive advantages: cheap, sometimes illegal, migrant labour and European Union subsidies. For 20 years, Italy has relied on field workers from Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and India. The Rome office of Doctors Without Borders has documented the plight of the migrants in several reports, the last in 2008. They describe a workforce vulnerable to violence and intimidation, living in extreme poverty in disused buildings with no toilets or access to healthcare. According to The Ecologist magazine, which visited Italy's Basilicata region last year, the workers were paid between $25 and $38 a day.

"The stories coming out of the Napoli region where they grow tomatoes are just appalling," says Mildura chef Stefano de Pieri, just back from three months in Italy. People, he says, care about where their coffee comes from but not, it seems, their tomatoes.

An experienced Australian importer, who declined to be named, told The Sunday Age the worker exploitation was "very heavy in the past" and the industry was now more accountable. Conserve Italia, makers of the internationally popular Cirio brand, imported to Australia by Conga Foods, has guaranteed all its production is ethical, while Coles and Woolworths say their home brand suppliers must also comply with ethical supply chain requirements.

(The Australian industry is not entirely innocent: migrants, mostly Asian or Indian, are used at harvest, and while the farmers pay a contractor about $22 an hour for each worker, they admit they have no idea how much each worker is paid.)

The European Union has protected the processed tomato industry with subsidies since 1978. Annual payments to farmers and canneries peaked mid last decade at $493 million but are now slowly falling. For every dollar an Italian farmer makes, the EU puts another 41¢ in their pocket, which means they can sell to canneries more cheaply than an Australian farmer. As the subsidies decline, the farmers are asking the canneries for higher prices. This year they got a 26 per cent price increase, which means, finally, they get the same price as Australian farmers: roughly equal to about 4¢ per 400 gram can.

From 1992 until 2002, Australia fought the dumping of cheap Italian tomatoes by charging the importers duties. But in 2002, an importer legally challenged the federal government over the measures and won. Then came the surging dollar, rising by a third against the euro, making it even cheaper to ship to Australia. Since 2007, imports of tomatoes have grown by 40 per cent. Industry sources say importers can buy cans from 32¢ for lower quality, to 60¢ for premium quality. It then costs between 12¢ and 17¢ a can for shipping.

Coles, Woolworths and Aldi are the biggest importers of Italian tomatoes under their home brands, with 53 per cent of the market. Indeed, the humble can of Italian tomatoes is one of the biggest import items for the Coles and Woolworths labels (each Australian eats on average 25 kilograms of processed tomatoes every year).

More here:


I hate hearing about workers being exploited. It's one reason we oft buy locally...or try to buy 'fair trade'...but it can be expensive...not really an option for some struggling families.

And I imagine there is little incentive for govts to deal with these dumping, unfair competition & overseas exploitation issues due to the fears of rising inflation...and how that will impact on interest rates etc.

The complexities of trading and supplying the masses' demands in a capitalist global system...where economies and governments and consumers rely and are dependent on a structure that sees inequality and losers enable said system...and benefit the privileged...prop up said system.

Not much 'fair trade' going on...nor REAL free trade.

Just more screwing over of small farmers/growers...

benefits flowing to large & corporate farmers/growers...

use of toxic, poisonous fertilisers (bees, waterways)...

consumers addicted to cheap goods...

interest rate systems penalising the move to purchasing from ethical employers/growers...

winners & losers...

money & assets flooding upwards...

people living in poverty and displaced by war & conflicts exploited, having few opportunities and little career & education choice.

Plus ce change...



October 9. 2012 10:39 AM


Truth Seeker,
top poem.

Turnbull as the leader… did a deal with Kevin Rudd
But Abbott didn’t like it…started baying for his blood
So he stabbed his colleague in the back.. to renege upon the deal
Claimed the leadership by one vote.. his ambition for to seal
Then he set a new agenda.. for himself to gain ‘The Lodge’
Based on lies and obfuscation…. While the truth and facts he’d dodge

Amazing how many in the media (conveniently) and public (sadly) have short memories...have forgotten about this knifing episode.

Easier I imagine to focus on the Rudd episode...pick consistently on the woman PM. The evil bitch. Ditch the witch.

Abbott knifing Turnbull just a normal part of the rough and tumble politics. Abbott's just doing what guys do.
He's manly and competitive. Nothing to see here...move on.


Great, inspiring speech by PM Gillard this morn.



October 9. 2012 10:54 AM


Apparently the Coalition has forbidden all members from attending any function that has someone they believe has overstepped the line and must resign immediately.

And that person is... Peter Slipper. Oh not Jones, he's sacred to them.

Soon enough they'll be back on the show for a good pat by Alan Jones. He's the embodiment of a True Liberal after all - filled with visceral hatred of everything fair and decent with the world.

Von Kirsdarke,
so true.


Is not Ashby a Liberal? He said some atrocious stuff in emails I've heard.

Be interesting to focus on the WORDS of a few Coalition members over the years.

Will the Libs/Coalition rid itself of Bill Heffernan for one?:

In the same Bulletin interview, Heffernan caused widespread outrage by suggesting the unmarried and childless Deputy Leader of the Opposition Julia Gillard was unfit for leadership because she was "deliberately barren".

He continued: "I mean anyone who chooses to remain deliberately barren ... they’ve got no idea what life’s about." Heffernan was later forced to apologise for the remarks.


Is he "a creature" of the Coalition?

Of John Howard...and now Tony Abbott...considering he is on their team?

Mr. Abbott is so desperate he will drag his entire party down with him...

A Descent into the Maelström



October 9. 2012 11:03 AM


I've been putting up a few comments above on my Facebook page...and links.


Will also go thru Lyn's useful links...top effort Lyn...and do same over the day...as I oft do.




October 9. 2012 11:04 AM


Greetings Comrades,

I love it every time I read a pome here, and Truth Seeker today's effort is BRILLIANT! Your imagery is nonpareil, I'd like to talk to you more about verse actually . . . per landline would be good, Ad knows my contacts, if you contact him as per the top of this page he could give you my number, I'd ring you back if you like. There is a wee giftie involved for you too but that's secondary. Smile


October 9. 2012 11:11 AM

Ad astra

Thank you for your kind comments and your multiple contributions.

Christopher Pyne is Deputy Attack Dog, in parliament and, as you mention, frequently on Q&A.  He puts himself into the public arena repeatedly.  Last night he was rude and interrupted often, trying to speak over others, particularly Kate Ellis, who I felt was the best panelist.  The feedback on ABC 774 radio this morning was condemnatory of all the male panelists and complimentary of Kate Ellis.

The rumour about Newspoll being postponed was incorrect.  The result is unsurprising as we all knew the last poll at 50/50 was aberrant.  The 54/46 result this time is in line with other polls.  These two results demonstrate the folly of using single polls to predict election outcomes twelve months away.  Last poll would have given another ‘hung parliament’; this one, three weeks later, would give a comfortable Coalition victory.

Julia Gillard’s popularity ratings have improved marginally, and so have Tony Abbott’s.  She still leads by ten points in the PPM, down four points from last time.  These changes are probably within the margin of error and therefore not significant.

I suspect therefore that it was private Party polling and focus groups that put the wind up the Liberals and prompted the Margie Abbott extravaganza.

Ad astra

October 9. 2012 11:34 AM

Ad astra

Dennis is a supreme poll spin master.  He can spin positively even the most dire results for the Coalition as he did in the latter Howard months.  It was easy for him this time to highlight the fact that Abbott’s popularity had improved marginally.  Margins of error are ignored by our Dennis.

paul walter
The parallel between Abbott and Romney is striking, in both ideology and strategy.  They are out of the same ultra-conservative mould.

Truth Seeker
What a stylish way you have of telling a story in verse.  The last stanza is particularly apt.

Newspoll is becoming a joke in the way it is reported, particularly by Dennis Shanahan.

Your expression describing Abbott with his Margie on TV: Tony looking embarrassingly stupefied is apt.  He did.

Von Kirsdarke
I’m sure you are right when you say: Soon enough they'll be back on the show for a good pat by Alan Jones. He's the embodiment of a True Liberal after all - filled with visceral hatred of everything fair and decent with the world.

Ad astra

October 9. 2012 11:39 AM


Smile Comrades of the Fighting 5th Estate! Smile

Let us be vigilant in monitoring 2GB and in particular Anal Jones' show for the first attempt to advertise there ever again.

Let us then be resolute in boycotting that brand, and let me reiterate Jason Obelix' pungent point - Jones' nasty little voice is only heard in parts of NSW, but here's the rub, all over Australia - wherever the Wings of the Tweety Bird are seen every day Smile - people buy Mercs and go to Woolies - or instead choose Jags (unless they're made by Mercedes?) and go to Coles instead. And we KNOW about stuff now.

We know that Jones has not a shred of humility, there is notheing in there but self-importance and hate.

We have great power now to enforce decency back into Australian society. In horror and impotence we have watched it slide in Australia, ever since the dark days of the Lying Rodent, (who called whom the nastiest word back then, Peacock, Howard?) - Well now, also as our pithy mate Jason Obelix pointed out on Shockjock Radio in Adelaide yesterday, there was ol' Jonesey calling for a People's Revolution, well, there you go, he's got one, ain't that a hoot.  


October 9. 2012 11:42 AM


I lost another big post, dam. I touched Enter when I shouldna.


October 9. 2012 11:43 AM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn
Thank you for yet another great set of links, which I am working through.

I see the Alan Jones saga is still dominating the Twitter talk.  I bet he never imagined that all this hell would break loose all over him.  The boot has always been on the other foot, his!

We were intending to return to the south coast yesterday, but will do so this afternoon after attending the funeral of an old friend.

Ad astra

October 9. 2012 11:47 AM


This morning on the ABC radio I heard Julie Bishop calling on the PM to censure Peter Slipper for his (private) text messages to James Ashby.  Did Ms Bishop condemn the offensive, sexist comments made by Coalition members about the Prime Minister in the past?  If not, why is she trying to hold the PM to a higher standard than she holds herself?  Completely hypocritical!

I have no time for Peter Slipper, but his text messages were not intended to be published.  Unlike Alan Jones,he did not make his comments at a Liberal party function.


October 9. 2012 12:38 PM


And I damn(with an "N")well sympathise TT. Well said MWS. I was going to say the same thing but was slower off the mark!


October 9. 2012 01:12 PM


From Lyn's links:

Furthermore, Tony Abbott constantly uses gender subtexts against Julia Gillard. For example, he has repeatedly implied that, as an unmarried woman who has not given birth, Julia Gillard can’t empathise with ordinary Australian families. That is why Abbott started the 2010 leaders debate by declaring: “my wife, Margie, and I know what it’s like to raise a family, to wrestle with a big mortgage, with grocery bills and school fees”.

It is also why he alluded to Julia Gillard’s unmarried state by claiming that: “Only an election could make an honest politician of this Prime Minister”. It is also why, during the 2010 election campaign, Abbott was continually depicted with his wife and daughters. Indeed , Margie Abbott’s own impassioned speech defending her husband from sexism chances was entitled “The Joy of an Ordinary Life” and itself had a subtext that repeatedly counterposed her “ordinary” married family life to that of Julia Gillard’s.



So much for a Liberal party that believes in CHOICE.



October 9. 2012 01:19 PM


Christopher Pyne is Deputy Attack Dog, in parliament and, as you mention, frequently on Q&A. He puts himself into the public arena repeatedly.  

Last night he was rude and interrupted often, trying to speak over others, particularly Kate Ellis, who I felt was the best panelist.  

The feedback on ABC 774 radio this morning was condemnatory of all the male panelists and complimentary of Kate Ellis.

that's good to hear.

Or should I say in this instance, read? Smile



October 9. 2012 01:47 PM


The Coalition are now like a Tea Party/One Nation/extremist religion rabble. The internal battles must be ferocious…but mainly hidden. Once those polls shift more the place will erupt. The truth will be revealed.

You can see why the Murdoch empire and its bloody Newspoll and the sycophantic reporting of it is such a problem.

They distort the playing field…too much manipulation of public perception.

They are a highly influential Liberal propaganda machine trying to save Tony Abbott’s bacon.

We need more CHANGE.

That is why it is important to not just LIKE links and comments on Facebook etc…but SHARE so the WORD gets around.



October 9. 2012 01:48 PM


Ad Astra

A very concise evaluation of the TAbbort dis-functional political method he is reduced to using in a vain attempt to cling onto his political position. He really does treat Australians like a bunch of dimwitted fools, with no capacity to tell shit from clay as they say.

Cooking tip for the month:-

  For the cooks out there here is a little tip I was shown by a mate the other day. Look at the easiest way to split out a yoke I have ever seen.


October 9. 2012 01:55 PM


Newspoll’s famous 50-50 result of three weeks ago is left looking more than ever like an outlier, with the latest result coming in four points higher for the Coalition. Meanwhile, the less erratic Essential Research continues to trend slowly Labor’s way.





October 9. 2012 02:03 PM


Missouri: The Heart of the Nation [Paperback]
William E. Parrish (Author)

Publication Date: February 1992

I wonder how long The Australian has referred to itself as 'The Heart of the Nation'?

Is this plagiarism?

I think not.



October 9. 2012 02:16 PM


The Fighting 5th

Well we're united now!
A Sword forged from a plow!
We say what we think
And we've forced Them to blink
Yes we're united now!

Where we meet on Ad astra's blog
We can read Bushfire Bill or Grog
For quick as a wink
Lyn can find us a link
Up to pace by the Grace of Dog!

Ohhhhhhhhhh ......

They won't stop us now we are united
They won't stop us now we are united
They won't stop us now we are united
Till the day we die
Till the day we die

[ Alternative verse:
We'll re~pay Jones for the folks he has slighted
And Abbortt too for the hate he's incited
They won't stop us now we are united
Till the day we die!
Till the day we die!]


As the Fighting 5th we're wise
To the lies that the LNP cries
And we don't get fooled
For where Murdoch once ruled
We have our own world-wide eyes

And we know we've found a way
To make all the shockjocks pay
We can hit them hard
Cos we've got past their guard
And this is what we say:

OHHHHH >>>>>..... !

   They won't stop us now we are united
They won't stop us now we are united
They won't stop us now we are united
Till the day we die
Till the day we die



Before the 5th Estate appeared
Our words were never feared
Now we have great power
For within an hour
We'll be jeering the ones who jeered

Now every Aussie maid and man
Can confound the hypocrites' plan
With a little bit o' Twitter
We can hit 'em to the . . . Shhhhhhhhh Smile
Like we're some kind of Superman!

OHHHHHHHH >>>>>>> ......  !

They won't stop us now we are united
They won't stop us now we are united
They won't stop us now we are united
Till the day we die
Till the day we die.

We'll re~pay Jones for the folks he has slighted
And Abbortt too for the hate he's incited
They won't stop us now we are united
Till the day we die!
Till the day we die!]

They won't stop us now we are united
They won't stop us now we are united
They won't stop us now we are united
Till the day we die
Till the day we die.


Thanks Strawbs. I've always loved this song. Bit dated I fear since Thatcher and Howard though.

All my rhymes above are similar to your own below
except for the line ending Twitter.


Original Lyrics [ Lyrics from: www.lyricsmode.com/.../part_of_the_union.html ]
(I'm told they were tongue in cheek!)

Now I'm a union man
Amazed at what I am
I say what I think, that the company stinks
Yes I'm a union man

When we meet in the local hall
I'll be voting with them all
With a hell of a shout, it's "Out brothers, out!"
And the rise of the factory's fall  (That's a weird line eh TT)

Oh, you don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
Til the day I die
Til the day I die

Us union men are wise
To the lies of the company spies
And I don't get fooled by the factory rules
'Cause I always read between the lines

And I always get my way
If I strike for higher pay
When I show my card to the Scotland Yard
And this is what I say:
  Oh, oh, you don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
Til the day I die
Til the day I die

Before the union did appear
My life was half as clear
Now I've got the power to the working hour
And every other day of the year

So though I'm a working man
I can ruin the government's plan
And though I'm not hard, the sight of my card
Makes me some kind of superman

Oh, oh, oh, you don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
Til the day I die
Til the day I die

You don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
Til the day I die
Til the day I die


October 9. 2012 02:33 PM


Ad astra
I'm with Bushfire Bill on this poll. There is somethng very skewed, deeply fishy about it. I think we are MUCH closer than that.

Lyn linked this earlier, I'm just drawing attention to it:

Bushfire Bill
Posted Monday, October 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm  
It’s poll voodoo. Ju-ju extreme.

The opinionistas will have a hard time explaining this one.

There is no way n the word that the government has plummeted in popularity as a result of the events of the last two weeks. No way.

The insults against Gillard. The advertisers seeing the writing on the wall. The farce of Marige & The Kids. None of these can do anything but work against the Opposition.

Then there is last week’s reported abandoned Newspoll, when News Ltd journos were so sure there would be one.

[I don't know about any of this but there is something VERY fishy about it.]


October 9. 2012 03:41 PM


Good afternoon Destroyers,
We are launching our website tonight; and our pledge.

We will be asking you to sign the pledge. We will also ask you to ask the people you do business with to sign the pledge.

It's never been more clear that we need to stop this unrelenting hatred of women. Today, our page has been under sustained attack from those who seek to silence the women and men of Australia who want a fairer and more decent society.

Please continue to spread our cause. Stop violence against women.


Good one.

I posted a few comments there including this site and thread.



October 9. 2012 03:45 PM



As recently as this year the UNHCR reports that
" at present, there is no effective national regulatory framework or institutional capacity to conduct RSD."   (Refugee Status dtermination)
Perhaps the Minister will cast light on this matter today when he explains how Asylum seeker claims will be processed.
See report herehttp://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e488e26.html

Like Nauru - signing the convention does not prove capacity and ability to
implement the convention responsibilities.
Into this human rights void, Australia is condemning the fate of 600 men , women
and children who have asked for protection. Many are proven refugees holding
UNHCR REFUGEE CARDS from camps as far away as Yemen and as close as Malaysia and


  As this excerpt from the current statement demonstrates , Australia is walking
away from the promises we made to respect human rights when we signed the
Refugee convention and the other agreements which protect human rights.


October 9. 2012 03:47 PM

Truth Seeker

Nas, glad you liked it, and yes that little episode is conveniently overlooked by those on the right.

Ad, thank you for your kind words, I thought hard about that last verse but was happy with the way it turned out.

TT, I always appreciate your feedback, and would be happy to have a chat with you about verse.
We are in Sydney for my daughters wedding until next week, so things are pretty hectic till we get home to QLD, but  I shall see about contacting you when we get over the drive if thats OK.    

Cheers all.

Truth Seeker

October 9. 2012 04:52 PM

Von Kirsdarke

Julia Gillard delivered one of her best ever speeches in Parliament today in the motion to remove Slipper as speaker, raining down political blows on Abbott so hard that his smirk at the start was wiped off within minutes.

Furthermore, Abbott used the phrase "This government should have by now died of shame", and Gillard threw it straight back in his face when it was her turn.

I think he'll regret saying that.

Julia Gillard's reply in this article: www.abc.net.au/.../4303512

Von Kirsdarke

October 9. 2012 04:57 PM


Tony Abbott & the Liberal National Party of Australia: Sack Tony Abbott as leader of the opposition

Sign the petition and SEND to friends:



Superb, history-making speech by our gutsy PM Gillard...who tells it as it is:




October 9. 2012 05:02 PM


Hi Ad

Here is Twitterati on Question Time today:

I would like to know what Margie has to say about Lotto's kind and gentle nature after today's performance in QT.

Julia was magnificent, for anyone who missed QT worth watching the video below of Julia to Lotto, well worth your time about 15 mins.

Abbott demands Slipper be removed as Speaker, Video of Abbott’s SSO

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has taken the unusual step of trying to force Peter Slipper out of the parliamentary Speaker's position.

Sabra Lane ‏
another day of shame for this parliament, another day of shame for a govt which should have already died of shame." TAbbott

Mark Phillips ‏
Abbott parrots #alanjones, gives the finger to all those offended by Jones' comments: "this government should die of shame". #auspol

eleanor bloom  
Abbott: SSO because the Speaker has failed the character test and so has the PM, has failed the judgement test. She did same re Thomson. #QT

MrRabbitt ‏
Well Tone has said something stupid again. Did not take long. Referencing Jones' sick comments....how despicable

HannahQuinn ‏
Wow, earliest SSO ever? #qt

George Bludger ‏
The LNP to a pathetic new low. #qt

Agnes Mack ‏
#qt ALBO : Govt will take motion on Slipper, 4 speakers a side.

Justin Barbour ‏
Julie Bishop and Sophie Mirabella are chatting very excitedly, and looking at the crossbench rather intently. #qt

AshGhebranious ‏
Abbott says 'PM's shame' should have had members of the ALP dying of death. He just can not control himself. Wall punching tony #qt

Giddey Girl ‏
New Fed Court #Slipper documents

Politics Australia ‏
All MPs need to decide on Speaker : www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frf7kf-1226492079508

eleanor bloom ‏
Abbott finding everyone unfit for office. Ergo, we are to examine whether Tony is fit for office. #foundwanting #qt

Agnes Mack ‏
#qt PM: I will not be lectured on misogyny & sexism by this man, LOTO.

leisa ‏
How can #SensitiveTony ever EVER use the term 'die of shame' in any context. It's low & nasty. Describes him perfectly #qt

Andrew Watson ‏
Prime Minister, that was by far your BEST moment this year. You made me proud once again to be a Labor supporter. Well done! @JuliaGillard

Latika Bourke ‏
PM Gillard speaking against the motion 'I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not.'

Mamamia ‏
Gillard to Abbott: "The Government is not dying of shame, my father did not die of shame" #qt

Marian Dalton ‏
Gillard: 'The govt is not dying of shame. My father did not die of shame. The Leader of the Opposition should be ashamed.' #qt

Van Badham ‏
I believe our Prime Minister just put her fist through the glass ceiling - there's blood on the floor, but it seems to be Tony Abbott's. #qt

Nathan Last ‏
Mute button for first time today, Pyne simply too much, especially after his display last night on #QandA #qt #auspol

Anne Summers ‏
“@geeksrulz: Here is PM Gillard keatingesque demolition of Abbott http://tinyurl.com/9lzyznr #auspol #qt #classic” worth watching!

James Stafrace  
Brutal speech from @JuliaGillard on the OL's blatant history of misogyny. Abbott really will be the cause of his own undoing #auspol

  Marian Dalton ‏@crazyjane13
Melham to Abbott: 'You're not at Sydney University now'. #qt

Peter van Onselen ‏
I actually missed this, but TA today said: a 'government which should have already died of shame'. I mean seriously, what was he thinking...

Olivia Illyria ‏
I see Windsor, Oakeshott, Bandt and Thomson voting with the Government. #qt

Andrew Watson ‏@Andy_Downunda
Prime Minister, that was by far your BEST moment this year. You made me proud once again to be a Labor supporter. Well done! @JuliaGillard

Matt Martin ‏@LeftyMatt
69 - 70. A near run thing. #qt #auspol

Gillard labels Abbott a misogynist, video
Julia Gillard has used a call by Tony Abbott for the Government to remove Peter Slipper as Speaker to attack the Opposition Leader for hypocrisy, labelling him a misogynist.

News: Abbott says govt “should have died of shame

Courtney ‏@C_L02
No Speaker has ever been sacked by MPs http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8545263

National Times ‏@NationalTimesAU
PM hits out as Coalition fails to oust Slipper www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...0121009-27a2g.html

Michael Short ‏
Gillard fires up at 'misogynist' Abbott | The Australian: www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fndckad0-1226492070004

Yahoo!7 News ‏@Y7News
Abbott unfit to lecture on sexism: Gillard http://yhoo.it/RMshX6 #auspol

Martin Hodgson  
Free speech frauds 2GB ban News Ltd editor over Alan Jones column | http://News.com.au : www.news.com.au/.../story-fndo4eg9-1226492061687 … via @newsdotcomHQ

Australian News ‏
Abbott demands Slipper be removed as Speaker (ABC): Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has taken the... http://yhoo.it/VI7mri #ausnews #uavaus

Australian News ‏
Peter Slipper saved as Speaker: Peter Slipper has survived an opposition attempt to have him re... http://bit.ly/R23Wtx #ausnews #uavaus


October 9. 2012 05:06 PM


I forgot the link doh
:- http://bbs.wenxuecity.com/cooking/1160651.html


October 9. 2012 05:21 PM


Von Kirsdarke

Julia Gillard delivered one of her best ever speeches in Parliament today in the motion to remove Slipper as speaker, raining down political blows on Abbott so hard that his smirk at the start was wiped off within minutes.

I agree she was impressive, most impressive & effective, like the Japanese said at pearl harbor.

"I'm afraid all we have done is wake a sleeping giant"

Now represents the lieberals, & the battles ahead of them.


October 9. 2012 05:22 PM


Sabra Lane
another day of shame for this parliament, another day of shame for a govt which should have already died of shame." TAbbott

A more desperate, ruthless, conniving, arrogant, socio-pathic, obnoxious, extremist egging on, irresponsible leader of a mainstream party I have never witnessed.

He makes Bush look like a gent.

Ya might think "Unbelievable!"...and yet from Abbott it is believable.

How LOW can he get...after all the trauma the PM had to go thru with her father's death...and the insensitive comments by Alan Jones? To use the same words.


He should go and work for Fox News...or a tabloid.



October 9. 2012 05:56 PM


I wrote the following post @ Cafe Whispers:


Tony’s Smear & Fear Team Will Lose Election For Him

Tony Abbott is playing the sincere, “I’m a compassionate & fair dinkum bloke” routine…whilst members of the Liberal Old Guard go around doing his dirty work.  That’s not unusual considering he is a rolled gold member of that “Old Guard”.

The former Prime Minister, John Howard, has obviously taught his protégé, well. “Honest John” would walk around as though he was walking on water…feigned innocence pouring from his words, tone of voice, beady eyes…acting as though any big dump on an opposition member, or even sometimes fellow Liberal, had absolutely nothing to do with him. John was far too busy & above such things to participate in a dump that might benefit him politically.

The job was left to his mocking front-benchers…and the likes of conservative radio broadcaster Allan Jones:

Returning to Australia, he was the candidate for the July 1978 by-election for the NSW state seat of Earlwood for the Liberal Party of Australia, formerly held by deposed Liberal leader Sir Eric Willis. The formerly safe seat was lost,  and Jones’ antics at a Greek cultural event were called into question. Notwithstanding this he again contested the seat in the Liberal interest at the subsequent general election in October of the same year. This time the ALP candidate was returned with an even greater majority despite the absence, on this occasion, of a Gay Liberation and another three conservative party and independent candidates.  Jones then worked for several years as a speech writer for NSW Opposition leader John Mason, meanwhile standing for preselection for the Federal seat of North Sydney.

In 1979, Jones again moved to Canberra, where he was a speech writer for the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser, until early 1981. (Wikipedia)

and the Murdoch bunch…with occasional participation by some in the Nine Network.

There is also The Institute of  Public Affairs…John Roskam is the institute’s executive director. He is often on Sky News…and the ABC.  Roskam was on Sky News today working full-bore to promote the Liberals & bash Labor/Gillard. The Institute of  Public Affairs is a right-wing think tank.

Prior to his employment at the IPA, Roskam was the Executive Director of the Menzies Research Centre in Canberra. He has also held positions as Chief of Staff to Dr David Kemp, the Federal Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, as Senior Advisor to Don Hayward, Victorian Minister for Education in the first Kennett Government, and as Manager of Government and Corporate Affairs for Rio Tinto Group.

The IPA was founded in the early 1940s, partly in response to the collapse of Australia’s main conservative party, the United Australia Party.  The IPA was one of a number of groups which came together to form the Liberal Party of Australia, and was, for many years, primarily a fund raising conduit for the Liberal Party, particularly in Victoria.  The IPA returned to prominence as a thinktank in the 1990s, following a merger with the Australian Institute of Public Policy, headed by John Hyde who became Executive Director.

The IPA advocates free market economic policies such as privatisation and deregulation of state-owned enterprises, trade liberalisation and deregulated workplaces, climate change skepticism (through its environmental subsidiary the Australian Environment Foundation)… (Wikipedia)

Alexander Downer always enjoyed a dump. Some have reported he’s done it again…a nice big juicy one right on top of former PM Kevin Rudd…a man struggling with his health in a hospital.

Piers Ackerman was out there straining away too on Insiders. Julia, Kevin, de-facto relationships, Tim Mathieson (PM Julia Gillard’s partner). You name it…Piers wanted to spread his crap Liberally.

Check out for instance: The Sunday papers…and Gillard’s magazine spread attracts attention vids at:


Piers earlier in the week gave us: Gillard is less boa and more anaconda

So much of this reminded me of the way some in the Liberal Party treated former NSW Liberal leader John Brogden…one of their own.

Remember: Brogden’s parting swipe at Lib enemy…?


In those days Tony Abbott loved to join in…

Abbott adds fuel to the fire with Brogden comments


he was apparently dumping for “extremist zealots” like David Clark back then.  And the rest of the compassionate NSW far-right.  Yes, even the Liberals have factions. You don’t think it was just a love for Tony that drove some to knife Malcolm Turnbull do you?

Still, Old Guard Liberals who kneel at the altar of “Children Overboard” King John will do what Old Guard Liberals who kneel at the altar of “WorkChoices” King John will do best…smear & fear.

In the latter years of the Howard era, the majority of the public woke up to it. Have they fallen asleep again?

Perhaps, it’s the fact that Tony Abbott walks around in fine suits and acts like a Hollywood celebrity circa 1950s.

Or maybe voters are mesmerised by his cycling prowess…the Corporate Billboard Flash.

Could it be that they were awe struck over his love of power…I noted how he referred to the Captain’s chair on a Navy vessel recently as the “power seat”. And didn’t Tony just love settling his scrawny buttocks on this “seat of power”…eyes blazing like a Prince about to take his “divine-right” place on the throne…shit-arsed grin included.

Nah, I think it’s more likely the voters are just playing a waiting game. Playing the same “what do I know?” role that John…and now Tony plays.

And come the day after election the “smear & fear” team will be saying : “It wasn’t us who screwed up…blame Tony!!!”…as they get pushed towards the edge of the cliff that looks out on OBLIVION.


From regular contributor Patricia WA

These tales of Alexander
The ALP should seize,
Take him to court for slander
With other lies like these.
Show that for filthy rumors
There’s none that can compare
With the spiteful bitchy humor
He delivers with a sneer.

More here:




October 9. 2012 06:11 PM


So Margie, Tony’s a lucky man to have a wifey just like you
But Pol Pot’s wives supported him...and Pol Pot...he had two.
So there’s nothing so unusual about these little farces
Of wives supporting husbands who the people know are arses.
And although you both desire the lodge to be your new address,
It’ll take more than your love story regurgitated in the press.

Brilliant poem, Truth Seeker.  This one verse says it all!

Wasn't the PM brilliant today?   Amazing that however enraged she can keep her cool.  I bet Abbott regrets that remark about the government dying of shame.  So crass, and unlikely ever to be forgiven, and it really got her going.  So unecessary and unwise to push for Slipper's removal until after the Judge gives his ruling.

It occurs to me too that if Slipper sits on the cross benches, if given the chance to resign from the Speakership, he is more likely now to feel pro-government in the final year of this parliament, after the things Julie Bishop said about him today.


October 9. 2012 07:25 PM


Just announced on ABC radio that Peter Slipper has resigned as Speaker.


October 9. 2012 07:39 PM


What little respect I still had for Laurie Oakes has now evaporated. If any journalist should have been able to understand what happened today, he is the one. He should have been able to point out that the government was defending the separation of powers between the government and the judiciary and the separate notion of due process within the parliament. Instead he went down the populist, sensationalist road and even managed to omit from his report any reference to Tony Abbott's use of the expression 'died of shame'. He is now officially useless as far as I'm concerned.

On a different note, I hope Slipper unloads on his 'good friend' Tony Abbott now that he is free to do so.


October 9. 2012 07:56 PM



Good point I wonder what dirt he is going to throw now. to have a play on Ad Astra's last paragraph, a case of man bites dog.


October 9. 2012 09:09 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Slipper is a proven sleaze. He had no place as the most senior member of the House of Reps.

He's gone - good.

Tom of Melbourne

October 9. 2012 09:34 PM


TfM - Slipper is now an Independent.  You're wrong - as usual.

Slipper also has nothing to lose - this could get really interesting (or he could sit back and do nothing).


October 9. 2012 10:05 PM


I don't use the word awesome lightly, but *J*U*L*I*A*s performance today was just that. ALL 4 of our Labor stalwarts were awsome, but she awed everyone. How she can stand there, voice barely under control and obviously deeply emotional, and smack the horrid being across the floor with unerring accuracy for ten minutes without stopping, without repeating herself, without a moment's hesitation - awesome.

I have always seen superb qualities in this woman, that's why I have always put her name up in lights as above, but I never thought to see her so need the steel in her makeup, nor that she would be able to withstand such savagery for so long.  strength. She is deservedly our Prime Minister.


October 9. 2012 10:26 PM



Do you think it at all possible Slipper would EVER vote w/ the Noalition after what they said about him today in Parliament? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face! They never saw this (resignation) coming.

TO ALL Swordsters;

And Tony got duly & truly trashed by our PM Julia, shown on every msm newscast, for being a woman-hating pig, for apparently no reason. God, Julz was beautiful in her attack today!

And the "shame" thing - That TAbbott just couldn't bloody help himself! Margie must have covered her eyes & ears today hearing the shite coming out of her Hubby's mouth - all that hard work by her a wasted effort (doomed from the beginning, but now she knows that too).

And while I'm here, I thought last night's Q&A was bloody appalling! My Hubby/BFF was SHOCKED when, in the early AM when he got up for work & I was retiring for the "night" lol, that I had a VERY bad word about Tony Jones' performance last night as moderater - pathetic! I said (along the lines of)"If you want an example of misogyny, look no further than last night's Q&A. Kate Ellis was continuously interrupted & talked over, fobbed off, so was a female audience member, and Tony Jones & (lamentably) Lindsay Tanner joined in the bad behaviour we all expect from C Pyne & that alledged "news" "journalist".

Finally, I am enthralled by what is happening right now with the Speaker's role. It's fascinating. Women, women everywhere - Tony must be pissed!


October 9. 2012 10:55 PM


I see our "pet" troll now doing what scavengers do best....tearing at and hungrily consuming the flesh of a carcass of a human victim. I trust he will mop the blood from his dribbling lips after the feast.
Those texts were supposed to be private and were no worse than any exchange of ribald jokes in any front bar...crude and distastful, yes, but of a one-on-one nature.


October 9. 2012 11:01 PM


News reaching overseas:

Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Australian PM lashes out at 'sexist' Abbott Published on 9 October 2012 - 6:55am

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched a scathing attack on opposition leader Tony Abbott on Tuesday, accusing him of sexism as he attempted to have the parliamentary speaker sacked.




October 9. 2012 11:06 PM


My wife Stacey cheered on the PM during that speech.

When I flicked on to SKY/SLY NEWS and Peter Van Onselen smugly spun it as a bad day for the PM and govt...backed by rat RICHO...and sadly, Kieran Gilbert...my wife was enraged.

She asked me not to visit Sky News anymore.

I reckon Van Onselen & Gilbert showed their true colurs today...Murdoch whipped. Partisan hacks.

I have better places to visit from now on than SLY NEWS...yet another tentacle it seems of the Murdoch empire's Liberal party...propaganda machine.



October 9. 2012 11:10 PM


Emma Alberici opened Lateline with the announcement "Labor's tainted Speaker resigns". The anti-Labor tone just became more and more one-eyed, accusatory in tone and lacking in courtesy. Tanya Plibersek showed great forbearance.

Even Tom Igulden, who often makes unbalanced remarks about the Government, sounded more balanced than Emma.

Emma, not for the first time, bordered on hysterical in the way that she tried to verbal Ms Plibersek.

I eagerly await the transcript.  


October 9. 2012 11:10 PM


Wasn't the PM brilliant today?

Indeed Patricia. We were impressed.

Tony got duly & truly trashed by our PM Julia, shown on every msm newscast, for being a woman-hating pig, for apparently no reason. God, Julz was beautiful in her attack today!

Libby, double indeed. Smile



October 9. 2012 11:22 PM


Emma Alberici opened Lateline with the announcement "Labor's tainted Speaker resigns". The anti-Labor tone just became more and more one-eyed, accusatory in tone and lacking in courtesy. Tanya Plibersek showed great forbearance.


Obviously the Liberal forces in the ABC are applying big pressure.

Mark Scott at the top...worked for Griener in NSW.

Spinning, spinning, spinning won't make the PM's speech disappear...it was history-making...Gillard broadsided Abbott and the Liberal party.

My wife said it was typical that a man, Slipper, would become the centre of attention by resigning just before the news broadcasts.

I thought it revealing tho that Slipper had had deep convos with Abbott about his problems.

Stacey remarked: "If they use that kind of abusive language towards women in public...imagine how they speak in public?"

She mentioned Pyne, Abbott, Jones, Slipper, Ashby, Heffernan and a few others. Stacey noticed Scott Morrison larfing at the PM during the speech...and Greg Hunt yelling & mocking.

Tells ya quite a bit about their character.

I'd luv to be a fly on the wall during their private chats.



October 9. 2012 11:24 PM


So Peter Slipper is unfit to be Speaker,according to the Opposition.  So why did they nominate him to be Deputy Speaker in 2010 -less than two years ago?  Surely they knew what sort of person he was, and yet the Coalition considered him a suitable person to be a member of their political party AND promote him to Deputy Speaker.  So much for "easing him out" as Abbott suggested.

Apparently Sophie Mirabella was offended by a (private) text message that described her as an "ignorant botch(sic)" I've no idea what a "botch" is,but anybody who has seen her standing with Tony Abbott and Bronwyn Bishop under the "Bob Brown's bitch" and "Ditch the Witch" signs now know that Sophie Mirabella knows that "bitch" is an offensive word - when will she be apologising to the PM?  Or is she only offended when people use offensive words against her?  She can't be objecting to the "ignorant" part of the phrase - it seems completely appropriate in her case.


October 9. 2012 11:25 PM


That should be:

Stacey remarked: "If they use that kind of abusive language towards women in public...imagine how they speak in private."

Loose lips sinks ships.



October 9. 2012 11:30 PM

Ad astra

Hi Lyn and Folks
I’ve had a very long day with a funeral and a trip back to the south coast, then catching up with what happened in parliament this afternoon and then watching the events unfolding in parliament this evening.  What a day in Canberra!

I’m off to bed now; I’ll look to tomorrow’s links Lyn and hope to have more time to comment then.


Ad astra

October 9. 2012 11:32 PM


Over 800 have signed the petition so far:

Sack Tony Abbott as leader of the opposition.




October 9. 2012 11:36 PM


Sorry to hear about the funeral Ad.

Have a peaceful rest. New day tomorrow.

Tho memories linger. But at least individuals we've lost live thru us...and the projects they've left behind.

We are aspects of them.



October 9. 2012 11:36 PM


Alberichi; the Uhlmann stooge......weak as water...I will never forgive Rudd for not going through the national broadcaster like a dose of salts...the first out the door should have been Mark Scott.


October 9. 2012 11:53 PM


Ad astra

Sorry to hear about a funeral. My condolences to you and yours.


October 9. 2012 11:57 PM

Ad astra reply

Nasking, NormanK

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 12:06 AM



My condolences for the loss of your friend.


October 10. 2012 12:12 AM


Is it ironic or just my jaundiced view of the world?

All fire and brimstone about sexist texts and behavior and quietly legislation is passed that attacks some of the most vulnerable women and children in our society.

So we have now reduced the single mothers pension to save some $750m which will make life tougher for a lot of women and children.

Of course we should not forget that we will also be spending some $5billion to export a problem we have with asylum seekers so that they can be incarcerated on a speck of birdspoo somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. How many of those will be vulnerable women and children?

Double standards the lot of em

Bah Humbug and a pox on both their houses.

PS That was some fiery performance by the PM today and some of The Real Julia shone through. Let's hope she can do more of that because it some of what is needed to turn the sinking ship around.


October 10. 2012 12:35 AM


from Paul Krugman:

The 30-second Rule
Hmm. A late thought about the discussion on This Week. I suggested that it was the job of the news media to check on and report falsehoods from politicians. The response of the other panelists was that the media can’t do that if the opposing candidates didn’t make an issue of it — which as far as I can tell makes no sense at all.

But even granted that, the fact is that the Obama campaign is making an issue of Romney’s falsehoods, or at least trying to. Yet this is apparently considered unworthy of attention, because Obama didn't make a forceful attack right there on the spot.

So let’s see if I have this straight: it’s not the job of the press to take on political falsehoods unless the other side makes a forceful case in 30 seconds or less. Glad to see that this has been clarified.


We seem to do it differently here.
The government has to ping opposition falsehoods within 30 seconds but the opposition has 30 months, at a minimum, to ping the government.


October 10. 2012 01:16 AM


1.Turning a sinking ship around doesn't stop it sinking.
2.Thank you so much for your encouraging pronouncements, and your refusal to discriminate between the two houses upon which you so evenhandedly wish the pox.


October 10. 2012 01:34 AM


No problems TT,
turning a sinking ship back to port for repairs would be the wisest course of action for a captain.

We can only hope that the PM is such a wise captain.

I will continue wish a pox on all the houses that kick the weak and vulnerable. The more so when they kick the less fortunate so as to appeal to a red neck minority.

Maybe our current crop of caring and sharing politicians could take a moment to remember the words engraved on the tombstone of one of our highly regarded former Prime Ministers:

“Justice and humanity demand interference whenever the weak are being crushed by the strong.”


October 10. 2012 02:18 AM


This will get most on here chuckling and nodding:


Have a good nite all.

I'm off for a few days...

no really. Smile

Stace is gonna hide the iPad.


October 10. 2012 06:20 AM

Paul of Berwick

The PM's speech is an international hit. Wow!

- www.news.com.au/.../story-fncynjr2-1226492464967

Paul of Berwick

October 10. 2012 07:14 AM


Sorry...had to return to say this:

A big BOO for ABC 24 who used the a right-wing Liberal supporter Tim Wilson from the Institute of Public Affairs to define the morning news and bash Gillard govt and promote News Ltds papers, Murdoch's The Punch, Janet Albrechtson...and that Gillard govt hater Peter Hartcher...no respect by ABC for growing women's social media movement and Gillard's speech...nor mention by Wilson of it spreading overseas...but what do we expect from an ABC run by Mark Scott who worked for Liberal Greiner.





October 10. 2012 07:28 AM



GOING VIRAL: Australian Prime Minister Gives Epic Speech Calling Rival Sexist
During a session of parliament, Australian PM Julia Gillard gave a stern drubbing to opposition party Tony Abbott, calling him a hypocrite and a misogynist for various comments he has made throughout his careercertainly not like anything you'd see in US politics. In addition to the intensity of the speech, you can see Abbott get increasingly uncomfortable as the speech goes on

Tony Abbott Has A New One Ripped In Him, Dan Gulbery, The Daily Derp
Abbott thought he was being comical when he said “that this government should die of shame”. Are there no depths to which this grub won’t stoop

Parliament: Gillard's white hot anger Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion
In one of the most extraordinarily passionate parliamentary performance of her career Gillard was on fire with white, hot anger. She changed the debate from being one solely about Slipper as a sleaze bag who was no longer a fit and proper person to uphold the dignity of the Parliament--- to one about sexism and misogyny in political life, and its systematic use by the Liberal Party as a political tactic. It lanced a festering boil on the body politic.

Hiding behind Margie’s skirts, Peter Wicks, Independent Australia
Abbott’s Wife, in a blatant attempt to make her appearances seem as though they were not part of a Coalition spin cycle synchronised to the latest Newspoll, told interviewers on Channel 9’s weekend morning show that she was not a political person. This statement was totally disingenuous.We really don’t need to know what type of woman supports Tony Abbott, we already have a pretty good idea.

Sexism, misogyny, and a Speaker’s scalp, The Conscience Vote
She, she, she, she, she. Over and over, the Coalition speakers refused to give the Prime Minister the benefit of her title, or even adopt the convention of using her surname. As my grandmother used to say, ‘She’s the cat’s mother’; ironic when you remember Julie Bishop’s cat-scratch moment towards Gillard in another memorable Question Time. And as Leader of the House Anthony Albanese said when he spoke against the motion: ‘If you used the Prime Minister’s title

Abbott ( A.Jones Apprentice) knows no Shame and Must lose the Electio, Gerard Oosterman, Pig and Whistle
I hope someone will come up with a petition barring all support for this truly vile person. He would just be one of the most insensitive man Australia in its short history ever have had the displeasure of having witnessed in public. Of course his remark to a man dying of asbestos a few years ago, pointed the way to a sociopath. A man truly relishing the unhinging of others. Julia was magnificient in her reply

Ugh, Ben Pobjie
was watching Q&A last night, and this really hit me with monstrous force, as I watched Kate Ellis MP attempt to answer questions and address issues in the face of some truly mind-boggling rudeness and disrespect from a sniggering bipartisan triumvirate of Lindsay Tanner, Christopher Pyne and Piers Akerman

SHADOW BOXING: James Ashby’s $500,000+ legal bill is the dirtiest little secret in Australian politics, Vex News
Since the Ashby saga blew up, there have been multiple reports about his conduct that have demonstrated that he’s certainly no stereotypical victim of sexual harassment. Far from being Peter Slipper’s victim, it is clear that Peter Slipper is his victim. The victim of a well-orchestrated, deviously cunning, cynical political assassination that has used and misused legal process to achieve political ends.

Gender Warfare  In The House, Lucy Clarke, The Hoopla
Gillard listed a litany of sexist offences by Abbott as she saw them, saying: “I was offended by those things – misogyny, sexism, every day from this leader of the opposition.”Back in her earlier speech this morning she said: “…yes, being the first female Prime Minister also attracts some commentary of the negative kind – and you know what I’m talking about when I refer to that. But I think it is a by-product of this generation of change.”

News: Abbott says govt “should have died of shame”, Mamamia
It was perhaps the most extraordinarily passionate parliamentary performance of her career. Julia Gillard in parliament this afternoon was quite frankly on fire.

As part of the opposition made a motion for speaker Peter Slipper to be sacked, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the Gillard government is a government that detects sexism everywhere, except when it is exhibited by one of their supporters. And that this government should have died of shame.

Tony Abbott repeats the phrase “died of shame” in Parliament, Turn Left 2013
After all the outrage that has consumed this nations media, both old and social – following Alan Jones using the phrase “died of shame” in relation to the Prime Minister’s late father – Tony Abbott apparently stood up in Parliament today, and used very similar words

Slipper issue dominates torrid Question Time, Simon Cullen, ABC
And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever."The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. "Well, I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation.

Statement from Peter Slipper 9 October 2012, Bernard Keane, Crikey
Speaker Peter Slipper has released a statement following this afternoon’s unsuccessful attempt by the Coalition to oust him:

Shock jocks unite – when commercial interests overcome public good, Andy Ruddock, The Conversation
Seen this way, the Jones controversy is not about giving 2GB listeners what they want; it is about the commercial value of male outrage in highly competitive media markets, and a privileging of commercial concerns over the public good
Jones hit with 'dose of own medicine': Turnbull, Amy Kellow, Ad News
Turnbull, the Opposition Minister for Communications and Broadband, refuted Jones' claims that he is a victim of "cyber-bullying" and said the personal attacks were giving the famed broadcaster a taste of his own medicine. Turnbull was lecturing at Alfred Deakin University yesterday.

Jones and Macquarie Radio Network discover the power of consumers, Alex Schlotzer, Café Whispers
It was certainly telling that Macquarie Radio Network decided to issue a press release declaring that it was the sponsors of Alan Jones’ breakfast program who were being bullied. MRN thought it highly inappropriate that advertisers on their 2GB radio station were being ‘cyber bullied’ into withdrawing advertising from Alan Jones’ breakfast show.

Gillard's got little to fear from Assange defamation threat, Sally Whyte, The Power Index
Pearson says it's unlikely the PM would ever need to argue her case. "People threaten defamation action but very few of those threats actually culminate in action and often the threat is a publicity stunt," he said.

Where's that phrase come from-
Shame Mr Abbott.

Today’s   Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 10 October 2012


October 10. 2012 07:32 AM


SHARE it on:




October 10. 2012 08:15 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 08:37 AM


If ever there was a metaphor for the betrayal of parliamentry proceedure and social decency, it would have to be Tony Abbott as the image of Judas Iscariot sickly, smilingly kissing the cheek of The Christ to identify him to the henchmen.


October 10. 2012 08:40 AM


Where's your thirty pieces of silver, Tony...It is on the floor of the entrance to The Lodge...go there and gather it to your arms..it is the pay from Rupert which he gleaned from the phone texts of a dead teenager.....it is now yours.


October 10. 2012 08:48 AM


There is no shame at the ABC. there is no professionalism, no dignity left...drunk with a capicity to scorn both public perception and ethics, the "wunderchildes" who frame the news questions feel they have a free hand to vent their own agendas..The ABC. is trash journalism.


October 10. 2012 08:52 AM



Degradation of human life
Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: "All that once was directly lived has become mere representation." Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as "the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing." This condition, according to Debord, is the "historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Society of the Spectacle is a work of philosophy and critical theory by Guy Debord. It was first published in 1967 in France.

Book structure
The work is a series of 221 short theses (about a paragraph each), divided into nine chapters.

With the term spectacle, Debord defines the system that is a confluence of advanced capitalism, the mass media, and the types of governments who favor those phenomena: "the spectacle, taken in the limited sense of 'mass media' which are its most glaring superficial manifestation". In his followup book, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, Debord referred to the spectacle as coming to existence in the late 1920s. This is the period in which modern advertising was introduced, most significantly with the innovative techniques developed by Edward Bernays in his campaigns for the tobacco industry. In his 1928 book Propaganda, Bernays theorized the "conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses."

The spectacle is the inverted image of society in which relations between commodities have supplanted relations between people, in which "passive identification with the spectacle supplants genuine activity". "The spectacle is not a collection of images," Debord writes, "rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images."


Counterculture of the 1960s - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's insidious, like a malignant cancer growth...the corporate fascists and their obedient MSM spreading their mind and action numbing sickness everywhere.


Time to WAKE UP...become an ACTIVE CITIZEN...take back our children, businesses, assets, land, minds, decision-making, homes, art, sports, educational and health and childcare and defense systems...from the CORPORATE WANNABE TOTALITARIAN CAPITALIST LEADERS...

and some of their puppet politicians like extremist Tony Abbott...

and Mitt Romney...

and those imposing grotesque cuts on the essential public services...and providing PROTECTION for the PRIVILEGED FEW as the money and assets FLOOD UPWARDS...

those harming people in GREECE & SPAIN...and CHINA...and RUSSIA...

those who promote returning women to the status of SECOND SEX...


those who use WARS and CONFLICTS to PROFIT and DISTRACT and create FEAR to gain OPPORTUNISTIC VOTES.










October 10. 2012 09:06 AM


I imagine Julia Gillard felt loyalty towards Peter Slipper because he put aside his right-wing style of hate for awhile and supported the great policy changes taking us further towards a "fair-go" society...

i bet he apologised to her for the misogynist comments on email and as a loyal gesture the PM supported him one last time and his seeking redemption...

she probably didn't want to see him commit suicide or attempt it like Brogden.

The Coalition were vicious towards both Slipper and Brogden...

..and Thomson...

as was Abbott towards Bernie Banton.

I doubt the PM wanted to see another victim...

pushed to the limit by a leader who attended Slipper's wedding...was comforted by him.




October 10. 2012 09:17 AM

pappinbarra foxette

How to wipe the smirk off an oaf's face in one easy lesson.

pappinbarra foxette

October 10. 2012 09:30 AM


The morning after the day before.

Time for some quiet reflection on events?

Maybe, maybe not. Pretty sure Tweethearts will find another target for a partisan pileon.

Meanwhile some interesting commnetary from the twitterverse

George Megalogenis ‏@GMegalogenis
That @JuliaGillard speech is a bit like our economy. Rest of the world impressed. But local media like kids in schoolyard, shouting 'fight'.

Samuel Mullins ‏@SamuelMullins
@GMegalogenis on the other hand: they’re more interested in the fireworks than the actual incident of consequence: the Speaker’s resignation

George Megalogenis ‏@GMegalogenis
True @SamuelMullins but a week, month, year from now what will people remember? Paul Keating lost a speaker Jan 1993. Re-elected Mar 1993.

Michael Williams ‏@mmccwill
@GMegalogenis @SamuelMullins Are you making a prediction G Money?

George Megalogenis ‏@GMegalogenis
No sir @mmccwill I make no prediction. Just reminding people not to get ahead of themselves. @samuelmullins

De Brierley Newton ‏@debrierley
@GMegalogenis @JuliaGillard Interesting the male journos applaud Turnbull standing up to Jones but not the PM for standing up the Abbott.

* * *

Sarah Joseph ‏@profsarahj
1/3 I am v uncomfortable when someone is hung drawn & quartered over totally private communications. Exhibit A: Slipper

2/3 Exhibit B: Prince Harry's video in Afghanistan Exhibit C: Abbott & #shithappens Re latter, bigger issue his reaction not statement

Sarah Joseph ‏@profsarahj
3/4 Danny Nicolic is exception of course: private communication which was a threat. And Slipper texts may be relevant in proving Ashby case

Sarah Joseph ‏@profsarahj
4/5 while I'm fairly certain few have similar vulgar texts to Slipper, I'm sure there's a few out there with very embarrassing texts

Sarah Joseph ‏@profsarahj
5/5 Alan Jones comments, btw, different. That was hardly "private". That was a speech to many, not a text message to one.

Sarah Joseph ‏@profsarahj
yes! MT @NickOsbaldiston @profsarahj we saw almost nothin in the ALP led legislation on sole parent payments in the msm...unfair &wrong

* * *

Sweary Cat ‏@Swearycat
ABC news headline focussed on Slipper and how govt "ploy" has "failed". Not a word on Gillard speech. Not even on how Abbott responded.

Sweary Cat ‏@Swearycat
Seems like media only wants to continue "drama" nature of politics rather than address substantive issue of misogyny & incivility.

Sweary Cat ‏@Swearycat
I'm truly disgusted.

* * *

Peter Brent ‏@mumbletwits
Tricky trying to use Hansard search engine, but can't find Abbott using such phrase in the past.

* * *

PM Tony Fake Abbott ‏@Tony_Abbott_PM
Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the greatest misogynist of them all..... #auspol #asktony #thelodge #cantwait

... and to round off this morning's commentary a republican thought:

Sarah Joseph ‏@profsarahj
Good point RT @OsbornBrett @profsarahj I hope this means monarchists will reject Charles as King for his tampon messages to Camilla!


October 10. 2012 09:38 AM


Libby - I wouldn't bet on Slipper being a "rusted on" ALP supporter.  I would bet on him not being an MP after the next Federal Election, Brough will win Fisher and that will be interesting.  He has the wits and charm to take the fight up to Abbott, he is well liked in the LNP and if Abbott doesn't win Brough could be LOTO fairly quickly as Abbott would be a two time loser.

A part of Abbott's tirade shown on TV this morning was interesting and demonstrated there was a plan to force an early election from the LNP.  The wording was something like - this failure of a Government was not supposed to be here by now.  If someone's really interested they can probably find it in Hansard in a couple of days.

The bit of ABC Breakfast I saw this morning had the "talking head" discussing the "disgusting" (and yes they apparently are) text messages sent by Slipper and claiming the Government shares the blame.  The male host asked the question when were they sent - last year says "talking head".  Male host suggests that Slipper was still an LNP MP at that date.  "Talking head" changes subject after expressing surprise.

The coverage on ABC is sometimes more balanced than the perception - in fact on the 20 minutes I saw this moring I thought it was reasonably balanced.  The only email/tweet that I saw read out that had a go at Gillard was from a Rudd backer.  As a matter of fact, I haven't seen much critical of Gillard at all.  The only negative comment I've heard at work was that if the standard of Parliament as observed on TV last night would not be allowed to continue in a child care centre - a statement I agree with completely.


October 10. 2012 09:55 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody,

I am very sorry to hear about the funeral Ad.

Here is Twitterverse for everyone, enjoy:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 8:11 am
As for Abbott, he has no hope as a man. Everything about him screams of inadequacy. From his resorts to violence in university days, to his failed bid for the priesthood, to his pathetic mea culpas over a son he never had, to his foul mouth, to his bullying of people who can’t defend themselves, to his squealing “Victim!” when he is caught out, to his truly awful production of the female props of his life – his Mum, his daughters and his put-upon wife – to the way his voice goes up an octave when he is excited, to the schoolyard “fags” he surrounds himself with, to the exaggerated “boils under the arms” simian gait he effects… it all adds up to a boy who has never grown up and a man who doesn’t care that he hasn’t.

Darren ‏
There were 856 tweets praising Julia Gillard's slap-down of Tony Abbott in the previous 2 hours. #Auspol

Destroy The Joint ‏
From London... The Telegraph's reading of current parliamentary debate on sexism www.telegraph.co.uk/.../...sexist-Tony-Abbott.html … via @WillBerryman

politics.co.uk ‏
Watch: Australian PM Julia Gillard tears apart leader of opposition for misogyny http://youtu.be/ihd7ofrwQX0

Destroy The Joint  
World claps Gillard #auspol www.telegraph.co.uk/.../...-was-her-best-card.html … via @chrismurphys

Anthony Painter‏
Julia Gillard may just have become a global feminist icon. Brilliant destruction of Tony Abbott's misogyny. http://bit.ly/Rsaxy8

John Cook ‏
PM's HofR spch "I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by the Leader of the Opposition. I will not." #auspol parlinfo.aph.gov.au/.../display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2F5a0ebb6b-c6c8-4a92-ac13-219423c2048d%2F0040%22

Jacqui Smith‏
This the clip which made me go YES on a crowded train-julia Gillard taking on misogyny of Aussie Leader of Oppn www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/.../...ott_n_1950663.html

Tony Abbott just can't help himself - more offensive comments, Video

Geoff Pearson ‏
Video: Julia Gillard's blistering attack on sexism was her best card via @Telegraph http://soc.li/wEmRfBP

  The Punch  
Gillard wins a verbal stoush, and maybe an election too: To use a modern phrase, Tony Abbott just got “owned”. H... http://bit.ly/PRogNd

Gillard's 'misogynist' Abbott blast echoes around world
A blogger at the influential Business Insider linked to the video, with the headline "An Australian politician shrinks in embarrassment, as the prime minister destroys him for being a misogynist". The article became a social media hit, spreading across Twitter and Facebook.

The speech also made headlines in South Africa, Canada and India


Gillard's 'misogynist' Abbott blast echoes around world
Watching a female Prime Minister tear apart the male leader of the Opposition with such aplomb, composure - but most importantly armed with a brilliantly impressive set of insults - backed up with dates and times of when each shocking comment was said - was the best card Gillard, ever the political animal, could have played in such a situation," the reporter said.

The Guardian also republished the video, though without editorial comment.

Social media helped spread news of the speech, with "Gillard" hitting the top ten Twitter trends in Australia and also trending internationally.

In the UK actor Chris Addison, from hit political satire The Thick of It, retweeted a link to the video saying "This is the best smackdown I've ever seen. Glorious. Advance, Australia Fair!"

He then tweeted again: "That Julia Gillard speech is mesmerising. You can see the colour drain from him. Wonderful

National Times ‏
The morning after the night before - Katharine Murphy @murpharoo picks up where she left things last night in Canberra www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...0121010-27c4h.html

At last, the PM puts her foot down, Laura Tingle

kylie kilroy ‏
New Hope applies for expansion | Toowoomba News | Local News in Toowoomba | Toowoomba Chronicle www.thechronicle.com.au/.../

TheQldPublicServant ‏
Newman Govt hit by mass multimillion $ lawsuit as nurses file suit | Courier-Mail #qldpol www.couriermail.com.au/.../story-fndo1yus-1226492403841 … via @couriermail

OPINION : Electricity privatisation in Qld looking increasingly likely under Newman #qldpol http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/queensland

We expected more of Gillard, Peter Hartcher
She chose to defend her numbers. She chose power over principle. It was the wrong choice. It was an unprincipled decision and turned out not to be pragmatic either. The Prime Minister gained nothing and lost a great deal.



October 10. 2012 10:20 AM


It's time someone outed Christopher Pyne...who is this snivelling thing, getting about like a kid with a forever runny-nose? Someone give him a tissue please!


October 10. 2012 10:40 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thanks to you and Casablanca for your kind messages.  Yesterday we said farewell to our dear friend, whom we had known for forty years.  It was a joy to hear her family give an account of her long and happy life.  Always an optimist, always a pleasure to be with, she showed us how to be contented, how to love all around her, how to be supportive of family and friends.  Without a trace of the nasty things we see around us these days, she exuded warmth and friendliness, enriching the lives of all she touched. Happy memories of her will be with us always.

Now back at the south coast, I’m now setting about reading your links and Twitterverse.  I missed Julia Gillard’s roasting of Tony Abbott, but did see the TV clips.  I’ll play it right through; it seems to have made a hit, here and overseas.  Talkback this morning from women was almost universally supportive and congratulatory, pleased that she had stood up to Tony Abbott.  Only a few apologists made excuses for Tony Abbott’s behaviour.

More nails have been hammered into his political coffin.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 10:50 AM


There was one example of Abbott's misogyny that I didn't see, but shows that Abbott is a serial offender - calling Barbara Ramjan "chairthing" for an entire year.  This behaviour can't be excused as a brain-snap - it was repeated behaviour that was designed to insult, denigrate and offend.  Would Abbott have wan't one of his daughters to be treated the same way that he behaves to other women?


October 10. 2012 10:52 AM


The FOX NEWS/FAUX NEWS MURDOCH EMPIRE would rather spruik, sell their children's programming that has had a terrible IMPACT ON CHILDREN and their ATTITUDES and EATING and PURCHASING and SCHOOL BEHAVIOUR...

think Bart Simpson. Family Guy...

rebellious and dissing adults...making adults look stupid...and greedy too often...



Murdoch doesn't care about the healthy mind of a child...but rather their money, purchasing power...

and his news shows get high ratings for capturing children/youth acting up...

acting like Bart or worse.

Rupert Murdoch does not want public television funding by govt...

nor an NBN because it will leave his grotesque brainwashing propaganda, profiteering empire out in the cold.

NOTE: Most of us have had some fun with Bart & Homer…but they are terrible role models…shown to kids of all ages for many years…and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox has made a mint from those audiences and advertisers.

Some of us as educators in the 90s noticed a direct correlation between kids who acted up and those addicted to both The Simpsons and Gansta Rap…in too many cases.

Rupert don’t care…he rolls in dough.



October 10. 2012 11:00 AM


Neil Cavuto is one greedy corporate media hack...

he's spent a great deal of time playing apologist for the FLOOD UPWARDS OF MONEY & ASSETS RICH.

He's also an attack dog for Murdoch's Fox News. And he loves promoting sexist companies, views and comments.

Fox's Neil Cavuto To "BB": "We All Love You, Big Bird. We Just Think It's Time You Flew The Coop"
"Big Bird. I'm talking to you. You got to calm down...We just think it's time you flew the coop."









October 10. 2012 11:05 AM


wanted, not *wan't*


October 10. 2012 11:08 AM



Some children's shows are more suitable for adults...at adult times.

"Give me a child until he or she is seven...and I will give you the woman or man"



October 10. 2012 11:22 AM


Back when The Bee Gees ruled the airwaves, women accounted for only 35 per cent of the workforce. After a massive surge during the 1980s and slower incline since then, women now account for just over 45 per cent...

The shift also recognises that "women's jobs" are also changing. With women now occupying over a third of all manager positions, and growth areas in occupations requiring high skills and advanced education, women are very much central to any discussion of economic policy and not a peripheral subject to be thrown a bone come election time.

Also of note, Margie Abbott as the manager of a childcare centre is right at the heart of the growth area, and so too is ex-lawyer, and now manager of the nation, Prime Minister Julia Gillard. But only one of those two is on a ballot.

Greg Jericho writes weekly for The Drum.


NOTE: my recently operated on and Head of Maths/Science Dept partner Stacey has woken...and it's time for me to make some breakfast...she wants my iPad...I've promised her five days without blogging...

so this is it.




October 10. 2012 11:45 AM

Ad astra reply

I have read the links and Twitterverse.  There are many opinions.

Let’s start with Peter Hartcher, whom I saw on ABC 24 pontificating about Julia Gillard’s ‘unprincipled decision’ to support Peter Slipper.  His piece this morning is on the same track.  We need to remember that Hartcher has held antipathetic views of PM Gillard for a long time.  I drew attention to this in reviewing his book, Sweet Spot.  He is a Rudd supporter.  So it is no surprise he still holds adverse views of our PM, and used this opportunity to hit at her again.

What surprises and dismays me is that he, along with Leigh Sales, Emma Alberici and Sabra Lane have all missed the point of the Government’s support for the Speaker yesterday.  They were standing for the principle that the Parliament of Australia ought not dismiss its Speaker, something that has not happened in the last 112 years, by judging him and finding him guilty when his behaviour is currently before the courts, and a judge has reserved his judgement.  Tanya Plibersek made the point that Parliament must not become a ‘kangaroo court’, a point lost on her interviewers.  The Government was NOT defending Peter Slipper’s behaviour – indeed they universally condemned it.  These journalists could not separate in their minds defence of a parliamentary principle that parliament must not be a kangaroo court, from what they saw as defence of a man whose behaviour was sexist.  They are quite separate issues, but the journalists blurred the distinction.  The separation of powers that the Westminster system of government depends upon was at the heart of the Government’s stance.  Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott saw this and voted with the Government; Bob Katter did too, and abstained.  It was disappointing and incompetent journalism, even populist.

Laura Tingle writes in a balanced way, well aware of the issue the others missed: ”The Prime Minister gave the government an out by arguing the matter should be considered once a reserved judgment from the Federal Court on the abuse of process claim by Slipper in the Ashby case is made in coming days.”

Katherine Murphy’s Politics Live is a great resource, keeping us up to date on what’s happening in the House.

A link on her page is well worth a read.  You will swell with pride at what overseas papers and blogs are saying about Julia Gillard’s demolition of Abbott man yesterday.

Folks, that will do for the moment.  I’ll come back after I’ve read some more.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 11:47 AM


For those that haven't followed the link from Katherine Murphy's blog on Fairfax - this New Yorker article is an excellent read.


AA - sorry to hear about your friend.  I hope you reasure the memory of your times together.

Sort of off topic but if you want to read a remarkable story of someone that overcame horrible odds to survive and prosper, try One Unknown by Gill Hicks - strangely enough another lady from Adelaide - who lost her legs and nearly her life in the London Tube bombings of 2005.  Must be something in that Adelaide water (apart from the crunchy bits - sorry just had to get the dig in!).


October 10. 2012 11:48 AM


D'oh - "reasure" should be "treasure"


October 10. 2012 12:12 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I’m still reading.

Anthony Sharwood’s Gillard wins a verbal stoush, and maybe an election too is well worth a read. In his opening paragraph he says: “…the words Mr Abbott chose to deliver this message were not only vicious but monumentally stupid beyond belief. Who are his advisers - the Sydney University young liberals?  Nice quip!

He concludes: ”Long story short, what we saw today was the PM fired up as never before, with a brilliant (seemingly) off-the-cuff retort to the dumbest, most cynically-worded motion imaginable.

“Tony Abbott got the shellacking he deserved, not only undoing all the image-shaping work done by his wife Margie last week, but quite likely also burning the poll surge that went with it.

“With form like this, not to mention an economy which today jumped three ranking places to be the 12th biggest in the world, Gillard looks like the sort of politician who might just win the unwinnable election after all.”


The UK The Telegraph has an interesting account: ”In short, Gillard didn’t have a leg to stand on during Australia's Prime Minister's question time. Defending the indefensible is a pretty tough job and could still cost her dear. But what she did have was an impressive set of insults to launch at the high and mighty Abbott – which has completely and cleverly shifted the focus of the entire news story ever since.

Watching a female Prime Minister tear apart the male leader of the Opposition with such aplomb, composure – but most importantly armed with a brilliantly impressive set of insults – backed up with dates and times of when each shocking comment was said – was the best card Gillard, ever the political animal, could have played in such a situation.”[/i]


I’m still reading but it is time to get lunch.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 12:32 PM


Hi Ad

Pleased to hear you are enjoying all the links,  took hours and hours for me to read, then the journalists articles.  Last night I was still reading at midnight.

Julia made me very proud yesterday, it's time she stood up to the THUG.

They talk about writers block well yesterday I got readers block.

Thankyou very very much for your new article Ad, you are wonderful.

Here is a couple more international articles:-

Mr Denmore ‏
Julia Gillard's showstopping performance in parliament is a global story, except in Canberra. See The Failed Estate http://tiny.cc/tkpxlw  

David ‏
The world media reaction to PMs speech really speaks volumes about incompetent, lazy, borish attitude of the Aust MSM, minus 3or4 exceptions

Stephanie Philbrick ‏
Please, I beg, you, just read this. The New Yorker on #Gillard & the personally toxic, hostile climate she's endured: m.newyorker.com/.../...llards-misogyny-speech.html

Jane Caro ‏
How the world's newspapers saw Gillard's speech yesterday. Contrast it with the Aust news media (sigh). www.news.com.au/.../story-fncynjr2-1226492464967

Brisbane Times ‏
International media praises 'badass' Gillard for stance against 'misogynistic' Abbott. www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0121010-27c0g.html … via @brisbanetimes

smh.com.au ‏
Julia 'Badass' Gillard: PM praised around the world as a champion for women for stance against Abbott http://ow.ly/elGQP  


October 10. 2012 12:49 PM

Ad astra reply


I hear on the ABC several comments about Tony Abbot’s use of the ‘died of shame’ phrase, channelling Alan Jones’ grotesque remarks.  There seems universal agreement that it was an ‘unfortunate’ use of those words; even some in his party say so. The argument seems to be about whether or not it was an ‘intentional’ use of the words.  In my view that is a spurious argument.  

If it was intentional, that makes it appalling; if it was not, that is even more appalling.  Because it signifies that this notion, this concept, is so deeply imbedded in the Abbott brain, that it comes out spontaneously, without him giving it any thought.  I suspect it is the latter, and that neither he nor his minders consciously thought that uttering those words would be politically damaging and would make his connection with Jones even more significant.  So it just came out.  Just as some people use foul language without thought, Abbott uses this type of foul language without thought, without caring.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 01:01 PM



I can sympathise with 'reader's block' - the coining of the expression now belongs to you. Smile
That is what assails me on those occasions when I do Today's Links. It inevitably leads to writer's block because I can no longer trust that what I am writing belongs to me and is not borrowed from all that I've read.

Thank-you for your hard work.


October 10. 2012 01:05 PM


What a great shame that none of our political commentators have taken note of the impassioned speech by Labor MP Daryl Menham. As Ad astra has said above, the defence that the government launched yesterday was not a defence of Peter Slipper. It was not a defence of his right or otherwise to say whatever he wishes in private text messages. It was a defence of the position of Speaker. It was a defence of all MPs, any of whom could find themselves in a similar position if a precedent is set. It was a defence of a principle.

I am dismayed that not one of the commentators out in the mainstream have put forward this notion. They can't complain that it wasn't spelled out for them. Mr Menham did an admirable job of elucidating what was at stake yesterday.

The debate before the House today is a very serious debate because precedents will be forged as a result of it. It has to be taken seriously.
What we are dealing with is a civil charge where the Speaker is contesting it as an abuse of process and the judge has reserved. The opposition want us to come in and adjudicate. I say to the crossbenchers—because I think they are the ones who will determine this debate—that that is a very dangerous precedent.
The thing that is most disturbing is the other procedures. I used to be on the Privileges Committee and I have been on the Procedure Committee; I understand some of the history of this case. I remember the case of Fitzpatrick and Browne, who this parliament put in jail for three months in 1955. At least Fitzpatrick and Browne addressed the bar of the House. Where is the procedural fairness in this shonky motion? This is a Speaker who is absent, who does not have the opportunity to have someone address on his behalf, in a situation where the numbers are depleted because he has voluntarily not taken his place in the House, which was his decision alone.
I am not here to endorse private text messages. A judge of the Federal Court will adjudicate on what they constitute. I say: what if it were me? How would I want it adjudicated? Is this the way we are going to administer justice—hang, draw and quarter someone? It is not because we are impartial. Let's be very clear, the vote will be a partisan vote as far as the opposition is concerned. As far as the government is concerned it is not on independent grounds—we do not know what the Speaker's answers to some of these allegations are. We do not get, 'We're going to put this on the table to give an opportunity for this matter to be considered and dealt with later on,' but rather it gets brought on for debate. This is a very dangerous precedent.
I can understand some members having particular concerns, but this is not about Mr Slipper. This is about principles.
We have a situation where the judgement is reserved, so it is not a question of sub judice. I am not arguing sub judice per se. I am arguing a separation of powers. This is a civil matter where this parliament is entitled as a matter of course to have the judge's determination in front of it before it makes a decision in relation to the Speaker. Any bozo can see that, except the lynch mob, who have a political purpose.
I do not say that the parliament does not have a right to remove him. That is not my argument. I am saying to you: before you proceed down that path, let the cards fall where they are going to fall in a Federal court. It may well be that the Federal Court gives you the ammunition for him to go voluntarily without being voted out by the House. I believe that that option adds further dignity to the House.
This motion is not dignified. To pull on a motion without notice where the Speaker's support is one vote down because he is not in the chair is not a true representation of this parliament. Be very careful, be very cautious, because I for one did not like what the parliament did back in 1955 when it sent people to jail for three months. But what it did have which we do not have was a conscience vote—not a vote on party lines to remove a Speaker. I am not arguing for a conscience vote, but I am re-emphasising the point I made to you earlier that we are involved in a party political debate which has ramifications for how this parliament is seen by those outside and by parliaments around the world. I say to the Independents: you will have an opportunity in the near future, I assume, to exercise your judgement if you have doubts, but today is not the day. I say that in all sincerity, because the position is that we have to get this right.

The difficulty here is that we each need to be very careful. I know we can engage in the theatre of a debate, but this actually has quite serious ramifications. I believe I have raised some fundamental issues which show that in proceeding to a vote today is flawed. Do not be too smart by half. These principles are bigger than Slipper; they are bigger than anyone in this chamber. We have a duty to maintain the dignity of this chamber. I do not believe the dignity of this chamber would be maintained if we removed the Speaker without him having an opportunity to present a case to us without a full complement of the House, without the wisdom of the Federal Court's judgement in relation to the matter that is currently before him. I say: do not persist with this at this point of time. Leave it on the table and allow it to stand there. We revisit it when his honour delivers his judgement in the Federal Court case.


I'm also disappointed that my telepathic powers were found wanting last night during Albo's and Tanya's interviews. I tried to encourage them to say:
"We were not defending Peter Slipper. We were defending the role of Speaker, in the first instance, and the rights of all MPs to be allowed due process, both outside of the House and within it. By bringing this Motion without Notice, Mr Slipper was being denied the right of any defence, the right of reply, and the right to be processed according to the principles and procedures that have stood the House in good stead since its inception."

Leigh Sales needs to read that speech and come to understand that her question last night about how low will Labor sink in order to cling to power was addressed to the wrong side of the House.
I am disgusted by her and every other commentator who reduces this debate to one of emotion about some bad taste jokes about women's vaginas and a throw-away private joke about Mirabella. A huge precedent was almost set yesterday and yet it seems the incident can only be viewed through the prism of partisan politics with the Labor Party defending itself and the LNP defending our right to be indignant about a couple of [bprivate[/b] text messages. Yes, Slipper had to go but there are procedures that needed to be followed in order to not set dangerous precedents. Why is it that only writers on blogs can see this distinction?


October 10. 2012 01:26 PM


Jaycee @10.20am, I'd suggest that Prissy is more akin to whatever is deposited in the tissue.


October 10. 2012 01:30 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for your kind words.  I hope the pace will lessen soon and relieve you of the pressure you feel.  There is so much to cover it’s really hard to keep up.  You do an amazing job.  Did I hear correctly that this is the last three weeks of sitting for the year?  I really hope so – we can do with some relief from the constancy of latter-day politics.

I’ll read your latest Twitter feed soon.  I want to catch QT today also.

Thank you for your pertinent comment and for posting Daryl Menham’s address to the House.  I did not hear his speech.  It illustrates beautifully the concept of separation of powers and the danger of turning the parliament into a court and acting as judge and jury, especially when the judgements were to be made on partisan political grounds.  Three independents saw that this would set a dangerous precedent that could entrap any member of the parliament, and acted responsibly.

Like you, I was disappointed that senior members of the Canberra Press Gallery seemed unable, or were unwilling to recognize and explain to their audiences the central importance of the separation of powers, and chose instead to go down the populist route.  It is a sad commentary on the calibre of our top journalists.  Is this the best they can do, or are they deliberately playing the partisan card?

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 01:39 PM

Ad astra reply

If you haven’t done so, you would enjoy reading Mr Denmore’s piece in Lyn’s last set of links.

Comparing overseas with local coverage of yesterday’s debate, I’m sure you would agree with his words: “In this case, a passionate and thrilling speech by a prime minister about sexism and the low-level tactics of a political opposition leader beyond cynicism attracted world attention. But our gallery are too clever to see that.

“They instead took the bait fed to them by the spin doctors on the other side of politics, that there was some moral equivalence between the private text messages sent by the speaker (when he was still a member of the opposition BTW) and the overwhelming climate of personal denigration and misogyny created by the Opposition leader and the tabloid flying monkeys that cheer him on.

“The public can see this, obviously the global media can see it. But a press gallery that spends more time getting "briefed" by spinners and reading each other's copy completely misses the story. Again.

“All the more reason they have become an irrelevance, a bunch of scribbling note-takers and thumb-sucking drones with the attention spans of cordial-fuelled toddlers and the horizons of lab rats.”


Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 01:55 PM


Hi NormanK

Thankyou for feeling sorry for my "Readers Block" I luv sympathy sometimes.  

Your post above is magnificent to say the very least.I absolutely love you saying "disappointed that my telepathic powers were found wanting last night during Albo's and Tanya's interviews". Wouldn't that be wonderful if we did have telepathic powers during these interviews.

Anna Albrechi was way of track on Late Line last night.  I consoled myself by saying "well at least the stupid questions gave Tanya a chance to shine".  Leigh Sales appears to have let her one moment of fame go to her head and is buoyed by false confidence.

Thankyou for posting Mr Menham's speech.  I watched him in Parliament
with awe and admiration.  I am also in love with Mark Dreyfus, but then I luv Stephen Smith too. Albo, Emerson, Andrew Leigh, Swan, Bourke, Combet we have a brilliant line up of gentlemen MP's no-one can find a slight hint of misogynistic behaviour.

This is Oh! Dear:-

Counsel George Brandis says Slipper has now become innocent until proven guilty.

  ABC News 24 ‏
Liberal Sen. George Brandis is talking to @LyndalCurtis now about latest political developments in Canberra http://bit.ly/abcnews24



October 10. 2012 02:01 PM


Tony Abbott has claimed that his "died of shame" remark yesterday was not intentionally an echo of Alan Jones' speech.

"I'd completely forgotten about [it], of course, but nevertheless," he said.

From The Age: www.theage.com.au/.../...hrase-20121010-27cgd.html

Do we really need a leader with such a terrible memory?  No wonder he couldn't recall punching a wall 30 years ago.  He can't even remember the major news story from LAST WEEK.


October 10. 2012 03:37 PM


Stace recommended I post this view related to an incident in parliament today:

Abbott has screwed up bigtime with that electricity bill he tabled in parliament today and used as an attack on the govt related to the carbon tax...

another Rio Tinto moment…combined with Wyalla moment…

overreaching, exagerration, scaremongering, misleading the public, slack research…

did he even scrutinise it?

using an elderly lady for base political purposes without notifying her about the complexities, possible problems with her bill…or checking the validity, accuracy of her statements…

Abbott should be ROASTED OVER HOT COALS BY OBSERVANT MEDIA for this episode.

Some Libs look distinctly uncomfortable, embarrased, concerned regarding these stuffups on a daily to weekly basis by Abbott.

He’d be a dreadful leader.

He’s a wrecker, an attack dog, a wedger, a headkicker…a pretendor…playing the role of leader.



October 10. 2012 03:50 PM


You're sounding a bit testy, Aa.


October 10. 2012 03:53 PM


Here it is:

2.10pm: A Dorothy Dixer from Labor on the economy.
Now back to the Coalition and the carbon price and power bills. (Isn't it true if you cut the carbon tax you'd lower power prices?)

And back to Ms Gillard accusing Tony Abbott of reckless negativity.
Ms Gillard says the power bill tabled by Mr Abbott shows an increase of 9 per cent for an average daily usage.

Caught out, like you were on Whyalla, and the lamb roast.

Mr Abbott is back, quoting from an email from the Perth pensioner. He says this lady has done all the same things, and she doesn't know why her power bill has gone up by $800. Don't you care about this pensioner?
Ms Gillard says she cares about the pensioner. But she doesn't care for Mr Abbott misleading people about her power bill.

1.10pm: Mr Abbott at the Food and Grocery Council just before.
(Do you remember Clint Eastwood's star turn at the US Republican convention talking to a chair?)
It's catching on.

1.02pm: Julia and Julie (Gillard and Collins) have meanwhile met up with some community workers who will be the beneficiaries of a pay rise.
The government has put $2.8 billion towards equal pay increases for community workers.


If the news and current affairs miss these tonite they are USELESS.

But we already know that.

Good on Katherine Murphy for recording these events...@ SMH.com



October 10. 2012 03:59 PM


Ad astra
Condolences on the loss of your friend.



Apropos Peter Slipper's hounding from the Speakership, for a text message sent in private to a private individual who he had reason to believe should and would treat it as confidential:

Obscenity Alert!

Persons of delicate sensibilities should read no further.

Ladies of gentle breeding should be seated and have their smelling salts at hand in case their eyes should accidentally stray to the lines below, so crassly parodised from Melanie Safka's Brand New Rollerskates song.

In 1972 there was a song in an Australian movie Alvin Purple , everyone thought it hilarious, My one-Eyed Trouser Snake.

The hirsute bivalve referred to below is a term with its origins lost in antiquity.  


Loins girded? OK then.

I got my funky One-Eyed Trouser Snake
You got your Bearded Clam
I think that we should get together and
Maybe we could jam!
That is simply the way you are,
That's the way that I am -
Oh, I got my funky One-Eyed Trouser Snake,
You got your Bearded Clam!

Actually I like my verse better than Melanie's. I was always worried about why she had a brand new pair of skates while You had a brand new key: Why didn't the new skates come with a key? What are you doing with one if you got no skates? did you steal Melanie's? - andanyway,what fun is there to be had from one pair of skates among two?

Whereas in my single verse, well one pair of critters is all that's required!

The point is we should all grow up about sex. Serious surgery involving a stay in hospital is one quick cure for false modesty. I'm so over titillation, the snide sort of cute smutty references in Carry On movies, the dirty jokes told by rednecks to other blokes in country pubs, only to cease mid-sentence if a woman should enter pass their sniggery circle, and to pretend that they respect women who they refer to as ladies.

Titillation sounds trivial but I see it as the root of clandestinity - (is that a word?)- peeping tommery, chairsniffing, knickers-nicking at the little end, but there is a big end too, a seriously bent end, up to and including rape and murder.

That sort of thing is virtually unknown in pre-contact primitive civilizations (here I'm using a strange tense used by anthropologists called the ethnographic present, which pretends that there are any societies left untouched which of course there aren't.) Smuttiness and sexual weirdness generally just was non-existent, though not all sexual practices were pleasant - they were 'normal' for the society concerned, not 'bent'. Sexual weirdness is an invention of a sophisticated society!  

Funny, what Slipper said is simply physically true. So what? If it weren't for the smuttiness in and around ourselves, we would see that fact for its simple truth. Yes genitalia, especially those of women, have their hassly aspects, OK so we know that, and btw blokes grow into hassles too, as I can ruefully attest. So? We have to live with our design, we don't get a choice at all, nobody be dismayed, it's just the way we are.

I am amused at the various terms for our genitals - several occur in pairs, less clinical than penis and vagina: There's cock and pussy,( a bit twee); dick and fanny (my preferred term, I think it is quite decent) and prick and ****, a deliberate insult to be reserved for a declaration of virtual war. In these days of degraded use of language, it remains the only obscene word, one I have never put in print, and one whose use by one politician of another I can only remember once, by Peacock of Howard as I remember. But that too was part of a "private" phone conversation with Kennett, giving all concerned a "Kennett of a day" as the Victorian Labor wags put it. Smile

The prettiest name for a fanny - and it is very old - is quim. I like it, it's a one-word poem. But I don't know the equivalent male term.

I think we should just HTFU and come to terms with each other's  physiology.

I remember Jimmy (Rear Window???????) in a movie where a pair of women's underpants were part of the exhibited evidence in a trial. Those in the court start to titter, whereupon the judge says If there is one more giggle when the words underpants is mentioned I will clear the court. Dead silence thereafter. The whole crowd just had to shed a skin right then. Parts of Australian society need to do likewise.

I'm sorry Peter Slipper foundered on such trivia, the silly but not-very-evil victim of a persecution campaign by Ashby and Brough. Gee I hope they get a legal comeuppance from their connivance, Pyne too.  
Slipper was a helluva good Speaker during his brief incumbency.
His case will be long remembered as infamous.

Well might he have said


Sorry to be flippant. This really is a serious injustice to a man whose reputation is far worse than anything he has ever been found guilty of. All because of a few words which really were meant to be private. They got him eh, trolling evidence in a case which had nothing to do with what got him, and in which he will probably be exonerated of any serious matter.

Such is the nature of lynching parties in kangaroo courts.
It's just that in Oz we don't actually finish the job.        


October 10. 2012 04:05 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Still reading your links.

Today in QT Tony Abbott called Julia Gillard ‘a piece of work’.  The Urban Dictionary gives several definitions, most of them unpleasant, for example: Unaware of one’s foolishness or A person whose stupidity and ignorance never fail to amaze you.


The Word Detective says: ”…a derogatory phrase, usually meaning “a person of dubious or unpleasant character” or “someone particularly difficult to deal with”.

So Abbott’s unpleasantness continues.  Julia Gillard asked him to withdraw, and he did.

He is incorrigible – he will never change, because he can’t.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 04:26 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your kind words.

I read the New Yorker article.  Overseas journalists seem to have more insight than our closeted Canberra Press gallery.

I enjoyed reading your depiction of genitalia.  

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 04:31 PM


Melham. Daryl Melham.


October 10. 2012 04:40 PM


Well said, TT.   The failure of Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott to understand the difference between 'bawdiness' and 'misogyny' explains how the LOTO left himself wide open for the PM's broadside yesterday.  His use of the 'shame' metaphor whether deliberate or thoughtless after all the Jones saga was another huge mistake.  The PM has always been very controlled in her response to Abbott's sexist slurs.  So much so those of us who did notice them began to wonder if she really was above all that.  Or was it that she wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of a reaction?  

Well, it seems she was biding her time! She had noticed them, and was ready chapter and verse when the time came for a recital.  Abbott does not know her well, for all the years they have been sparring partners.  He goaded her yesterday, hoping that the PM would lose it. Instead he spurred her into 'masterful' action! What a fool he looked!  Far from losing it she gathered up his sexists slurs from over the years and recent months and made nonsense of all those protestations from Margie.  What a fool he looked!

And he still couldn't refrain from throwing it at her across the dispatch box again today.   What a piece of work he is!


October 10. 2012 05:18 PM

Ad astra reply

Thank you for your kind words about our departed friend.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 05:19 PM


Sophie Mirabella is right to be offended when she is called a bitch. At least it was in a private text message, and not written on a placard outside Parliament, with members of the Coalition standing underneath the sign just to make sure it was noticed - oh, wait...

I await Sophie Mirabella's apology to the Prime Minister...


October 10. 2012 05:24 PM

Ad astra reply

Yes, I am testy, not just about Abbott's performance, but about our incompetent Canberra Press crowd.  We must have some of the most incompetent, groupthink-afflicted journalists in the world.  Not the sort of record we want!  Let's have some champions, not also-rans.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 05:42 PM


I've had a look at the electricity bill tabled in Parliament today.  I also am billed by Synergy,so I can easily read the portion of the bill that is visible on this site:

Firstly, the total payable is $1563.70.  Synergy bills are usually for every two months, approx. 61 days.  The current flat tariff is just under 25 c/kWh.  So the actual kWh used by this pensioner is just under 6400 kWh (which is also what the graph shows), or more than 100kWh EVERY DAY.  If she is a pensioner, then the supply charge (about $25) is not charged, so doesn't need to be accounted for.

My daily usage is about 7kWh.  My mother (a pensioner) uses 3kWh.  How on earth is somebody using 100kWh every day?  Has the Coalition looked to see if the lady concerned is having her power tapped by an illegal hydroponic system next door?  She urgently needs an energy audit!

This bill is completely non-representative of the "average pensioner."  I can't understand how the Coalition thought that this stunt would work.  I assume nobody there can read an electricity bill either.    


October 10. 2012 06:09 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I have finally worked through your links.  What a historic collection.  For the first time we saw the whole Julia Gillard reply.  What a superb rebuff for the misogynist-in-chief.  She was magnificent.  Abbott looked embarrassed, then stunned, then sheepish, then stupid.

Although our lesser journalists chose to chastise her for opposing the motion, all the time ignoring how dangerous a precedent it would set to eject the Speaker by a vote in the House before the court had made its judgement, some saw this, Laura Tingle for example, as did most of the Independents.  Thankfully there are a few sensible people with clear heads.

Thank you for keeping us so up-to-date.  Visitors here must be the best informed in the Fifth Estate.

It is sad that what you say about the ABC is occurring before our very eyes among some of their journalists: ”There is no shame at the ABC, there is no professionalism, no dignity left...drunk with a capacity to scorn both public perception and ethics, the "wunderchildes" who frame the news questions feel they have a free hand to vent their own agendas..The ABC. is trash journalism.

pappinbarra foxette
Indeed, TA looked like a chastised schoolboy.

Thank you for the GM dialogue, and the other Twitters.  Very interesting.

You are right – what a piece of work the LOTO is.

Thank you for your multiple posts; you keep us well informed about overseas matters.

You will wait a long while for a Mirabella apology.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 06:29 PM


Yes, Lyn....thank you for that marathon effort...well deserved praises, well deserved Tweety medallion!...Bravo!


October 10. 2012 07:39 PM


Hi Jaycee

Thankyou Jaycee you are so nice putting smiles on my face.

So pleased you enjoy.  As Ad Astra said we are the most informed in the fifth estate, how good is that we have everything going for us. Knowledge is Power.

I appreciate your posts very much Jaycee. Your opinion posts are a valuable asset to TPS.



October 10. 2012 07:45 PM


Thank you Lyn for your wonderful work, repeated daily.  I would be lost without your "daily links."


October 10. 2012 08:04 PM


Ad astra

You never cease to amaze me (and I'm sure all the rest of us.) You are across so much!

Oh btw when I sent my bare condolences I had not read nor realised the depth of your bereavement, I was hoping it was no-one too close and I am sorry to see that it was. But no words can really help anyway, only that the departed are assuredly at peace.

I suppose I must view myself as agnostic. I haven't a clue where we come from, no more where we might go. But I haven't any hopes of pie in the sky by-and-by when I die. I will be content to be asleep for good, as long as I don't dream of Pell and Abbortt and Anal Jones and things like that.


But Ad I note that you have echoed my feelings this morning, you agreed to the flippant comment from MWS about being testy, it was funny in the context of your Test post, but I know you were more than half-serious too. And Lyn is wing-weary too,she got Readers Block, and dam, I was this morning feeling battle-worn myself.

Well Dear Friends you two are too important to us all - the multiverse I mean, not just TPS - to burn out now, so instead you must wind yourselves back a bit, we must last the distance. Yes Ad Lyn makes us the best-informed bloggers anywhere, or at least she gives us all the best info, and you give us such leads in philosophy, but you mustn't feel you are duty bound, certainly not to the extent that you hit the wall. We'll leave that to Abbortt eh.

We are in the ascendant and there are now so many more who believe at last that we can win (still very few saying we will win) that really you can afford to lighten up a little for the nonce, with still nearly a year to go. The Fighting 5th Estate is starting to be exothermic, self-perpetuating, and I am confident now that it has begun to realize its power.    

I only say this because we need us all in full cry come the early sittings next year. Burnout is a real possibility, please just take it a little easy. I know that's hard!        


October 10. 2012 08:07 PM


Thanks Lyn!


October 10. 2012 08:26 PM


Hometown bias maybe, but I still reckon the Canberra Times gives us some of the best reporting and opinion on federal politics in the nation. It also has, in my view, a bigger sway with the movers and shakers in the Canberra hothouse than many will recognise and admit.

Anyhows, today, Ross Peake has written a reasonably balanced overview of yesterday's rumbling that is worth a read if you are not already over it all.

Uncertain times as mystery man takes his seat
No one is sure how Peter Slipper will vote, as he returns to being a humble backbencher, an independent. He does not have the power to bring down the government, nor would he be inclined to, as it would bring his career to a quick end.

I do have a bone to pick with Ross and/or the sub-editor: ... being a humble backbencher,   Now I know I can get a bit old school with some things, and, as usual, I may be WRONG, but, I seem to recall that 'an' is used rather than 'a' when the first letter of the next word is an aitch (h) as in 'an hotel', 'an historic'.

Colour or color? Computer or computor? Two-mar-toe or To-may-to? let's call the whole thing off Laughing

Oh well, practising pedantry may be something I give up next Lent.


October 10. 2012 08:28 PM


I don't know if I have welcomed or addressed you before but anyone who is electricity-meter-literate is very welcome!

Especially one with an impish sense of humour. Smile


October 10. 2012 08:30 PM


The ABC. has little problem with posting the most banal, stupid, gormless, off-topic ravings of all and any right-wing regulars but will not permit any response to them. They, the management,REALLY must believe THEY own the national broadcaster.
Hopeless, gutless and useless...purge the lot! Start at the top!


October 10. 2012 08:44 PM


DMW - agree with your assessment of the the Canberra TImes.  It's much better product than the Courier Mail - both are products of "one paper towns".


October 10. 2012 09:04 PM


It is terrific tha so many people are kind and charitable and make excuses for others. However, despite Tony Abbott's claim in an interview that he had forgotten the reference to "dying of shame"used by Alan Jones and the cause of much furore last week, when he used the phrase three times in a row while moving his motion yesterday, I do not believe him. Some people suggest he is suffering memory problems, others that he is not very intelligent.
No, the use of the phrase was quite deliberate. It is the tactic of the bully and the troublemaker who,after being reproved for some destructive act,does it again to regain his high opinion of himself, offended by criticism.

Little did he realise what the response would be - Julia Gillard's speech in parliament powerfully addressed his repeated acts of disrespect and misogyny.  I wonder how he will react this time.  This kind of person cannot bear to lose.


October 10. 2012 09:14 PM



That's so nice of you thankyou.

I love reading your posts too.

Thankyou Jason.

See we are lucky, we have perfect Labor gentlemen and perfect TPS gentlemen.

This American Video is well worth a watch only 5 Minutes, ends with
"I Love Julia Gillaaaard":-

Kimmaree ‏
Our media is pathetic, look at this report from US on Gillard speech >> http://youtu.be/FJfy2VI23Cw  



October 10. 2012 09:20 PM

Ad astra reply

The Ross Peake article was balanced, in contrast to Peter Harthcher’s partisan piece.  What a pity it is that there are so few Peakes.

Our friend was a very long-standing one, a member of a group of us who meet before Christmas each year to celebrate old friendships.  Each year there are fewer of us.

Like you, we believe it is life here and now that counts, enriched by the wonderful memories of those who have left us.

You are right – we need to keep ourselves ready for the fight in 2013.  Lyn and I will be taking a couple of months break over December/January to renew our energy.

Does anyone know the sitting days remaining in 2012 – is it only three weeks?

Welcome to The Political Sword family.

Abbott’s use of the ‘died of shame’ phrase may well have been deliberate, which is reprehensible enough.  If it was automatic, arising from something embedded in his brain, that is even more so.

Goodnight all.

Ad astra reply

October 10. 2012 10:25 PM


Yes Ad there are only 3 sitting weeks left this yr. Sorry about your loss, reminders like that make us all reflect on our own mortality.

TT I loved your rework of the roller skate song, & your whole piece.

I'm sorry Peter Slipper foundered on such trivia, the silly but not-very-evil victim of a persecution campaign by Ashby and Brough,

Why has the MSM forgotten about the fact that Ashby was screwing 15 yr old boys, anyone else would be beyond mentioning if they were caught in that situation.


October 10. 2012 10:34 PM


Hi Lyn,

Thanks for the link to The Young Turks.  The discussion was interesting in two ways - firstly in what was said as it seems that distance brings some "reality" to the discussion (and Gillard was defending someone who has a history of "interesting" behaviour even though the LNP kept pre-selecting him).  

The second thing was comparing Gillard's passion to Obama's Debate lack of passion.  The thing is that Gillard is usually as "passionate" as Obama for exactly the same reason as the two talking heads were discussing - not offending people that will never vote for them.  Lets face it, the majority of the people that believe what Alan Jones says will never vote ALP - regardless of the leader.  THe majority of people that watch Foxnews will never vote for Obama.  So why not show some passion and call out the Jones' or Tea Parties of the world regardless of the immediate retaliation from the conservative media.

Gillard's speech yesterday has really not done her any harm despite her defence of the seemingly indefensible.  Those that are concerned about Abbott's feeling were never going to vote for Gillard in any event - so does it really matter if they aren't impressed?  On the other hand, those that would vote ALP anyway will have their opinion reinforced - and those that sit on the fence might just look and think that she really does have a good point.  Its a trite expression but we should see more of the real Julia that we saw yesterday - if for no other reason than to show that the marketing people and image consultants really don't know it all.


October 10. 2012 10:56 PM



OED has the following definition (remembering that a good dictionary is descriptive, not prescriptive):

an - determiner the form of the indefinite article used before words beginning with a vowel sound.

usage - it is better to use a rather then an before words such as hotel and historical that begin with a sounded h-. An was common in the 18th and 19th centuries because the initial h was then often not pronounced.

So you could have "an honest and humble man" and "a humble and honest man". Unless of course you want to go with "an 'umble man". Smile


October 10. 2012 11:34 PM


Thanks NK,
you have rather proven the point that ... I can get a bit old school with some things   Embarassed

Can I still pretend to be an honourable man?  Tong


October 10. 2012 11:43 PM



It was a curious coincidence that I was sent scrambling to the dictionary by TextEdit's grammar checker just a few weeks ago on this exact topic. Since a lot of Mac stuff is U.S.-biased, I thought "don't tell me about 'an', I was taught about 'an' at school!"
To my considerable chagrin (which the dog likes to remind me of) I was incorrect. Oh well. Descriptive, not prescriptive. I can do whatever I like provided other people understand what I'm saying.

On a more serious note, could you spell out your misgivings on the changes to the single parent thingy. I'm a redneck so I reckon if the kid's eight you should try to find work.


October 11. 2012 12:43 AM


Yes, I am testy, not just about Abbott's performance, but about our incompetent Canberra Press crowd.  We must have some of the most incompetent, groupthink-afflicted journalists in the world.  Not the sort of record we want!  Let's have some champions, not also-rans

Just had to respond to this.

I've begun to suspect the group think, herd mentality bit demonstrated by the majority of the press club has partially to do with economy of scale, cost cutting etc by press barons...

and partially due to the psychological effects of people working in close quarters...mimicking one another due friendship and peer grouping...apathy, taking shortcuts under stress...lack of time for research due the 24 hr news cycle...lack of support staff and so on...

but something I've begun to wonder about as someone who was educated in various public schools in two countries (Canada & Australia) but also educated by an English grammar school principal, my maternal grandfather...is the private school effect...which in turn has affected public schools...

this includes promotion of conformity and lack of individualism by way of school uniforms...the heirarchical structure of schools...the infiltration of religion in education, whether it be chaplains...or religious studies in the curriculum...and a hangover of English style conformity...

and these 'old school tie' connections...related to journos/commentators originating from common private schools, locations, friendship/partnership groups.

It's rather incestuous here...as tho journlism has its pedigree and influence in too few training institutions and media organisations.

That's why it's essential the alternative media and news filtering networks remain diverse...and we see an emergence of some to replace existing news outlets.

And not accept the MSM just drawing upon alternative media recruits who fit that LIMITED group think criteria...and come from the same old 'selected' schools and institutions...potentially maleable and submissive...and sychophantic....reproducing the same old crap.

That's why Rupert Murdoch press baron is not as iconoclastic and as rebellious and progressive and hiring 'cutting edge thinkers'...because he's just another product of a system of privilege...of conformity.

He's just another elitist...pretending to be otherwise...his writers same...oft toffs or wannabe toffs...and herd mentality types spinning together in an incestuous game...to promote his staid, myopic, selfish views and spruik his media empire.



October 11. 2012 01:16 AM


While most male commentators admitted that it was a "feisty" performance, they did not go on to discuss the hypocrisy and double standards of the Leader of the Opposition. Nor do they understand how important such a speech is to the women of Australia. This was not just one woman's exasperated outburst on her own behalf. This was the Prime Minister of Australia saying to every Australian woman: we don't have to take this any more.

Susan Mitchell: Gillard's words changed politics forever


Commentator and author

Yesterday our world changed.

It is difficult for many men to ever truly understand what it is like to be a woman who is forced to put up with s-xist and misogynist remarks. Some of them are devious and sly. Some of them are openly hostile and aggressive. Rarely in the workplace do women ever call out men on these remarks.

Why is this? Because men usually hold the positions of power in most workplaces. Because to call out a man on s-xist remarks is to be labelled a man-hating feminist or a troublemaker or not a "team player". Those women who are brave enough to do this are sometimes punished in some way. And for this reason most women try to ignore the insults and just get on with their work.

My mother always told me "to rise above it" and not reduce yourself to the level of the abuser. Thankfully my father taught me to never be put down and to speak and write as an equal. It has not always been to my advantage to do so. But unless you do, nothing will change.

For the first time in our political history, we have a woman holding the power of the highest office in the nation. There are many men, particularly Tony Abbott, who have sought to rip that power away from her as soon as possible. But she has withstood them. Despite all the "slings and arrows" they have flung at her, she has tried valiantly to rise above it.

Yesterday in Parliament she could take it no more. And she let Abbott have it. She had reached her tipping point and refused to be silent in the face of his hypocrisy.

"Whether Abbott changes his manner, his language and his beliefs or just pretends to in order to become the next prime minister is up to him and the women and men of Australia to judge."

Her first words were: "I will not be lectured about s-xism and misogyny by this man. I will not." And with composure and passion she went on to list, with dates and times, the many acts of s-xism and misogyny that he had performed against her.

She challenged him to confirm whether he still believed that "men by their physiology and temperament were more suited to the exercise of power".

She stated that she was not only personally offended but was offended on behalf of the women of Australia when he stated that "abortion is the easy way out".

She pointed out that no man would ever have been challenged in the manner she was, "to make an honest woman of herself".

She underlined the double standard of Abbott standing in front of posters saying "ditch the witch" and naming her as "Bob Brown's bitch". Such hypocrisy, she said, could no longer be tolerated.

Abbott sat there unsure of how to shape his expression, knowing his usual stony, killer stare would not work. Looking decidedly uncomfortable at being forced for the first time to endure this personal attack on his own s-xism, he finally looked at his watch, to check how much longer he had to endure. She even called him out on this, adding: "Apparently a woman has spoken too long. I have had him yell at me to shut up in the past."

While most male commentators admitted that it was a "feisty" performance, they did not go on to discuss the hypocrisy and double standards of the Leader of the Opposition. Nor do they understand how important such a speech is to the women of Australia. This was not just one woman's exasperated outburst on her own behalf. This was the Prime Minister of Australia saying to every Australian woman: we don't have to take this any more.

When Peter Hartcher claimed in his column in The Sydney Morning Herald that Gillard had let down the women of Australia, he could not have got it more wrong. The hundreds of responses to his claim demonstrated that for the first time in our lives, a prime minister was speaking on our behalf. The fact he and most of the male political commentators have totally missed the point of her speech only serves to prove what she is saying is true.

Will her speech just drift off into the ether with all the other political hot air?

Why has her speech spread so quickly around the world? Why are women in many different nations reading it and commenting on how lucky Australian women are to have a prime minister who has the guts and passion to attack the kind of s-xism that some of us face on a daily basis?

Few might remember the details of the Slipper saga but her words will ring in our minds and our hearts forever.

The Prime Minister's message is clear. When confronted by relentless s-xist and misogynist language and behaviour, women should: confront it openly, call it for what it is and never consider it to be acceptable behaviour under any circumstances.

Whether Abbott changes his manner, his language and his beliefs or just pretends to in order to become the next prime minister is up to him -- and the women and men of Australia to judge.

Whatever happens, Gillard's words in that Parliament will never be erased. They are proof that words can change the world.

*Susan Mitchell is a commentator and author of the book Tony Abbott: A Man's Man

Crikey. 10 October, 2012


October 11. 2012 01:36 AM


Wasn't the ABC's Political Correspondent, Mark Simkin, just so witty with his remark that the new Speaker of the House, Anna Bourke, had to begin her new position with 'some housekeeping'. Geddit!!

I'm sure women all across Australia rolled on the floor splitting their sides with uncontrollable laughter.


October 11. 2012 02:10 AM


Ad astra, another thought provoking post. Thank you for your amazing output. I don't know how you do it.

I was very sorry to read that you have lost such a dear friend of so many years. It's almost like losing a parent; friendships developed over many years have a level of intimacy and knowledge almost equal to one's family.

Often such a friend is privy to things we would never tell our family. It's very hard indeed to reconcile to such a loss.

Nas', your Stacey has hit the nail on the head wrt Prissy Whynne. A nasty piece of work along the lines of the Parrot-in fact his horrible, distorted beetroot face, like the Parrot's, puts me in mind of demons faces in medieval manuscripts.

And another sexist creep just like his leader.  

MWS @5.42pm, wrt the alleged "pensioner's" electricity account, there is a distinct odour emanating from this account, which seems more like an account for a commercial premises with a fair bit of refrigeration.

In our business, we run 2 pumps 24 hours a day, as well as refrigerated sea water tanks containing several thousand litres and a large freezer. Our monthly electricity bills at peak season, are around $80-$1,000, roughly similar to the "pensioner's".

There is a stench about this account which I'd lay odds originates in Menzies House.

I hope you're not holding your breath waiting for Slagabella to aqpologise.


October 11. 2012 03:21 AM


Not to be taken as support for the Libs, but I reckon Joe Hockey came across well on 'Kitchen Stories'...seemed amiable enuff, down-to-earth, more socially moderate than I realised

but you can see his Dad and Howard and the Catholic church might have a big influence if he becomes leader...

only in that he owes Howard, respects deeply his Dad who has strict views on asylum seekers and possibly gay marriage...and I think he's sent his kids to Catholic school.

Obviously concerned for small business...interesting in past humourous posts I've referred to Joe as a future Deli owner (his Dad owned a deli he revealed tonite).

Hockey is possibly going to replace Abbott soon...a much nicer, more approachable, centrist fella you'd enjoy having a beer with...Howard knew he wasn't that type but still had the nous to use Joe as the good bloke next door.

I can see Hockey as Lib leader eventually, Turnbull as shadow Treasurer, Sinodinos as shadow finance, Julie Bishop as shadow health minister, Fryderberg as shadow foreign affairs...and Joe would probably bring in a few more moderates...and have more of a say over preselection. The party is seen as far too extremist and religious bigot-based right now.

Apparently Joe's lot did well in Kirribilli area of Sydney during latest NSW elections where some of my mates live.

Best episode and interview from Annabel Crabb so far IMO. Good to see those vege sausages. And I luv Barbees and a beer and red wine. And ethnic food. But where was the background music?

PM Gillard better prepare for Joe and team. I still reckon she can JUST win.

Abbott definitely gone.



October 11. 2012 07:37 AM


I'm not here...taking a break...but my alter-ego put up a few links and comments here:


Have a great day.

losing part of a friendship group is tuff. Glad you have a positive 'make the most of every day' approach. You are an inspiration for us all. Keep well.



October 11. 2012 07:38 AM


Oh! No,

   and it has to stay there all day.

Ad would you mind deleting this lot of "Todays Links" and I will post again.



October 11. 2012 07:41 AM



An Inconvenient Truth, Victoria Rollison
There has been a rising tide of commentary about Abbott’s blatant hatred and fear of women in the blogosphere and on social media. But this topic has never reached the level of scrutiny it deserved in mainstream media. When I watched the speech yesterday, I was elated. I believed, obviously naively, that the media could no longer ignore this gigantic elephant in the room. But alas, Abbott’s misogyny is being swept under the carpet by mainstream journalists,

Slipper and the damage done, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
Abbott has no credibility on measures against misogyny and was picking on the isolated Slipper because he can't be sure of trouncing Gillard. He could have won if she had simpered before him like she did before Alan Jones last year. He could have won if she had read out a lawyerly prepared statement in her drawling, passionless monotone. She did none of those things

News Judgement Fail , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate
In Canberra, press gallery members can stick around for years covering the same patch. It's no surprise, then, so many of them - like Peter Hartcher above - have such lousy news judgement.
In this case, a passionate and thrilling speech by a prime minister about sexism and the low-level tactics of a political opposition leader beyond cynicism attracted world attention. But our gallery are too clever to see that.

The Gender Card, The Art Neuro Weblog
Germaine Greer, eat your heart out, the world has a new poster-child for Feminism. And yes, Tony Abbott looked a right git toward the end of Gillard’s rant.Shut Up ‘n’ TakeYer Medicine TonyOf course today, Tony Abbott’s trying to come back at the rant, trying to characterise it as ‘playing the gender card’

Is the Hon. Tony Abbott MHR mad as a cut snake-, Petering Time, North Coast Voices
In the meeja the next day“Certainly he was elected as a Coalition member, his electorate would expect him to vote with the Coalition,” Mr Abbott told Sydney's 2UE radio.”"if he chooses to vote with the Coalition, we certainly will be happy to have that vote."
Sure, Tones – you’ve certainly earned his vote.

I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, Turn Left 2013
PM Julia Gillard to Tony Abbott“I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. And the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.

Ashbygate 2: Get Slipper, David Donovan, Independent Australia
We will be revealing more about James Ashby in coming weeks, including much about his past that is not publicly available, including his links to a range of interesting figures both in and out of the LNP. We will reveal the identities of a number of people named in the text messages whose identities are not obvious. And we will shed further light on the alleged role of senior Liberals in forcing Peter Slipper from the Speaker’s chair.

Last Night I Saw a Lynching, Wayne brooks, Curiosity and Challenge
So how do we determine Peter Slippers the villan, we the uninformed people hearing bits and pieces don’t, and Tony Abbott doesn’t have the right either, that’s a Courts job! Ooohh his texts are offensive and sexist… Says Australia’s newest moral crusader for women’s feelings.

POLITICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION: Slipper quits, government reaps what it sowed, Vex News
He trusted the wrong bloke. A bloke – James Ashby – whose claims of sexual harassment were always going to be very damaging and hurtful regardless of their veracity. It appears to us – and is widely believed in Canberra on both sides of politics – that Ashby intended to do Slipper an injury before he went to work for him

Gillard Rides The New Wave Of Feminism, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
Not for the first time, the Canberra press gallery largely missed the significance of yesterday’s events, this morning concentrating on Slipper’s resignation rather than Gillard’s attack against sexism. In part, this is entirely understandable. Events moved quickly last evening, culminating in a tearful resignation speech from Slipper and some serious back room manoeuvres for the position of Deputy Speaker.

What Alan Jones Doesn't Know About The Media, Ben Eltham, New Matilda
"Soon, the target of a corporate campaign begins to realise that the message is starting to bite, regardless of the medium. They then move on to their next tactic: attempting to silence the feedback by claiming they’re being bullied." This is indeed the playbook being followed by 2GB. In recent days, it has tried the laughable argument that a backlash by angry citizens against its advertisers is somehow "bullying", or an assault on free speech.

The gatekeepers of news have lost their keys, Tim Dunlop, The Drum
They can see through the groupthink that dominates so much political coverage and they know something is wrong.When you have the likes of Michelle Grattan, Peter Hartcher, Peter van Onselen (paywalled), Jennifer Hewett (paywalled), Geoff Kitney, Phillip Coorey, and Dennis Shanahan (paywalled) all spouting essentially the same line in attacking the Prime Minister - a line at odds with the many people's own interpretation of events

Changing role of women in the workplace, Greg  Jericho, The Drum
Last week we once again saw politicians - notably, Tony Abbott - worrying about what women want.It was interesting that the latest gambit in Mr Abbott's Battle for the Sexes followed David Marr's Quarterly Essay concerning alleged events at Sydney University in 1978, as that is the first year of the ABS standard Labour Force data series

Gone is the turned cheek: Gillard as we've rarely seen her, Anne Summers, Unleashed
Canberra journalists, who stood virtually shoulder to shoulder in this morning's newspapers to condemn the Prime Minister for the same speech.Gillard's words were condemned as "desperate" (Michelle Grattan), "completely over the top" (Jennifer Hewett), "flawed" (Peter Hartcher), and "defending the indefensible" (Dennis Shanahan). You can see other, but essentially similar views, reported here.

Gillard's misogyny speech goes global, ABC
The ABC video of her speech has had more than 300,000 views on the ABC News website and YouTube.Overnight 'Gillard' was one of the world's top trending words on Twitter, and her Question Time tirade has made headlines in the US, Britain, India, South Africa and Canada.The UK's Spectator magazine said there was "much to admire" in Ms Gillard's address

Gillard fires up, Slipper fired: the pundits’ verdict, Sallt Whyte, Crikey
Julia Gillard’s impassioned attack on Tony Abbott and Peter Slipper’s resignation fired up political pundits. Who won the politics on a dramatic parliamentary day?

Blokey culture means sexism still rife in Australian newsrooms , Charis palmer, The Conversation
Dr North said the intern who rose to attention in August for labelling editors at the Herald Sun sexist, homophobic and hetero-normative in an anonymous column in Farrago magazine was an example of what could happen when women spoke out on the issue.“What that young woman did is give academic words to what was happening in the industry, but she was castigated for it within the industry,” Dr North said.

Australian PM lashes out at 'sexist' Abbott, Radio Netherlands
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched a scathing attack on opposition leader Tony Abbott on Tuesday, accusing him of sexism as he attempted to have the parliamentary speaker sacked.

Today’s Front Pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 11 October 2012


October 11. 2012 08:19 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

October 11. 2012 08:20 AM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I've deleted the batch of links with the ugly Gravatar!

Ad astra reply

October 11. 2012 08:26 AM


Now we have grattan again trying to "snowball" us by obfuscating the difference between Labor defending the position of the speaker and defending the person of the speaker.
Does she seriously believe the majority of listeners are dumb?..thick?..Liberal voters?
You fluffed it first time Ms. Grattan...stop digging!


October 11. 2012 09:07 AM


Good Morning NK and swordsters far and wide,
Re your q on the single parent thingy.

By the way I doubt you are a redneck, unless, of course, you have had too much of the Nth Qld sun while out tending the roses, then your neck could have a more reddish hue.

Sole parents are to be moved onto the Newstart Allowance which could see them lose benefits in the order of $50 up to $140 a week. (The budget saving is estinated at around $725million)

With all benefits a line has to drawn and it is always arbitrary. (By the way did you know that the reason the retirement/pension age was set at 65, by Bismarck in Germany I think, was that they found that a big proportion of the population would die by 66 so they only needed to pay the pension for a year - no ref, something I heard on Late Night Live).

Children at the age of eight would nominally be in their second year of primary school and still in need of some parental supervision on journeys to and from school. The parent would need to find work between say 10am & 2pm. Of course there hundreds of thousands of jobs available during those hours only (cynicism intended). The arbitrary line would be better set at 12, nominally, when the child has started high school.

Unemployment has long been used, although less now than in the recent past, as a weapon in the war on inflation. The unemployed can be seen, correctly in my view, as casualties of war. I won't go so far as to call the unemployed as war heroes but I do know that they are used as cannon fodder so that I and others can maintain a lifestyle which we begrudge many.

We are now creating another group of casualties in a 'war' on a budget deficit so that we can maintain a lifestyle that we begrudge others.

The Newstart Allowance is at the level of a pittance and needs to be increased. That is another whole big discussion.

If Newstart was at a level closer the sole parent benefit then I would likely have less of a problem with arbitrary age eight cut-off but would take advice on that.

There is more but the long and winding road awaits my presence.

Not sure about reCaptha's hidden messages but vaneof Irish has eeriness about it Smile


October 11. 2012 09:42 AM


some points I didn't weave into the above.

This could easily open Pandora's box of worms but before we solve many of our 'problems' we need to determine whether we wish to live in a society or an economy.

While ever we 'fight' inflation, unemployment or any of the other 'enemies' of a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle we are, in effect, waging war. In one view, war creates casualties in another, collateral damage. Do we owe the casualties and/or the losers of the war anything?

Politics as it is currently played and, more importantly, as it is reported (analysed and commented on) is a fight between two warring sides.

There are NO winners in wars


October 11. 2012 09:48 AM


remember yesterday I, then others, picked up on Abbott's electricity bill stuffup in parliament...yet, what did we hear in the MSM for hours?...bugger all.

Now they are forced to go with the story...the ABC online...and now this:

And it has been revealed the Opposition bungled the use of a Perth woman's electricity bill in Question Time during a renewed attack on the carbon pricing scheme and the boost to household expenses.

The pensioner's power costs doubled and Mr Abbott yesterday blamed the carbon scheme. However, the main cause was that the woman's consumption of electricity had doubled.


Don’t usually go to Murdoch sites…but i think this might be another nail in Abbott’s coffin:
Tim Dunlop is spot on:

As anyone who has a Twitter account or a Facebook page has noticed, the media's interpretation of the Alan Jones' affair, or more especially, their interpretation of the Prime Minister's speech in Parliament about Mr Abbott's sexism, is rejected outright by many people.

Social media has been full of people interpreting these events in ways that are at odds with the media's view. People are simply tired of any professional view that pretends to be authoritative, let alone definitive.

They can see through the groupthink that dominates so much political coverage and they know something is wrong.

When you have the likes of Michelle Grattan, Peter Hartcher, Peter van Onselen (paywalled), Jennifer Hewett (paywalled), Geoff Kitney, Phillip Coorey, and Dennis Shanahan (paywalled) all spouting essentially the same line in attacking the Prime Minister - a line at odds with the many people's own interpretation of events - people wonder what the point of such journalism is.

What is particularly telling in the case of the way the PM's speech was reported is that - also thanks to the internet and social media - people were able to see the very different reception her speech received overseas. As blogger Mr Denmore noted:

In this case, a passionate and thrilling speech by a prime minister about sexism and the low-level tactics of a political opposition leader beyond cynicism attracted world attention. But our gallery are too clever to see that.

They instead took the bait fed to them by the spin doctors on the other side of politics that there was some moral equivalence between the private text messages sent by the Speaker (when he was still a member of the Opposition, by the way) and the overwhelming climate of personal denigration and misogyny created by the Opposition Leader and the tabloid flying monkeys that cheer him on.

The public can see this, obviously the global media can see it. But a press gallery that spends more time getting "briefed" by spinners and reading each other's copy completely misses the story. Again.

Paul Colgan, news director of news.com.au, noted on Twitter that four times more of his audience was reading about the overseas reaction to the PM's speech than were reading about Peter Slipper's decision to resign.

And yet, nearly every mainstream media outlet in Australia led the day with the Slipper story.

None of this simply to defend Julia Gillard. In fact, one of the most telling pieces on the day's events came not from the mainstream media, but from the blog of the Overland journal, and it was far more incisive, eloquent and devastating in its criticism of the PM:

If winning or losing in politics was merely a matter of who had the best one-liners to throw along with their stones, then Gillard won yesterday hands down. But politics is not simply about whip-smart wisecracks and cutting speeches. It's about policies and practices, legislation and social organisation.

Yesterday, the Gillard Government also passed welfare reforms through the Senate that will cut single parent payments by between $56 and $140 a week. This is a measure that will disproportionately affect women, and particularly those in the sectors of society that the Labor Party is traditionally supposed to represent.

... If we want to stand up for women, let's start by standing up for these women.

The point is, the reaction of ordinary people on social media shows in a glaring, almost cruel way just how out of touch political reporters have allowed themselves to become.

This reinvention of the audience as media critic and content shaper causes angst in the journosphere, and much of their reaction to this new dispensation is the reaction of an industry who have not only had their authority and prestige stripped from them, but of one that is struggling to find relevance in a scary new environment that threatens their very livelihood.

We can see it in the Daily Telegraph's recent moral panic over so-called "trolls", and 2GB's ridiculous response to protests over Alan Jones' comments.

Each is an instance of a media organisation trying in vain to define the terms of participation in the national conversation, of trying to assert their control over who does and doesn't participate.

Their resort to terms like "cyberbullying" and "cyberterrorism" and even "trolling" is indicative of a desire to define the terms of engagement by controlling the language used to describe it.

But more and more, people are rejecting this sort of language, language that attempts to define democratic participation as deviant.

Yes, we all know there are ratbags online, but we are not prepared to accept the media's interpretation of what is and isn't acceptable, especially when the mainstream itself is full of its own highly paid ratbags.

The bottom line is this: we no longer trust the media to tell us the story of our lives. We no longer have to settle for the narrative they impose on events. We are no longer passive observers, but active participants in the way our news is shaped.


Keep up the great work all. Speak to truth. Make the MSM earn their bucks.


October 11. 2012 09:49 AM


Tim Dunlop's post:



October 11. 2012 10:20 AM


Abbott insults EU/Europe...another diplomatic stuffup...and more NO NO NO:

The lower house will vote this morning on legislation that ditches the carbon floor price and links Australia’s emissions trading scheme to Europe.

Climate Change minister Greg Combet wrapped up after more than six hours of debate on the suite of seven bills on Wednesday.

He said many of the opposition speakers had put ‘‘ridiculous propositions’’ that appeared to come from a common set of talking points.

‘‘I repudiate every single one of them,’’ he told parliament.

‘‘We have a public responsibility to reduce carbon emissions at the lowest cost.’’

The bills will link Australia to a carbon price which is common to that in 30 other jurisdictions, covering hundreds of millions of people, the minister said.

‘‘It’s an extremely important achievement from an environmental and economic standpoint,’’ Mr Combet said.

‘‘Since we introduced a carbon price last year, more and more countries around the world say they are too moving to carbon pricing.’’

Earlier, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott moved an amendment that would halt the legislation’s passage through parliament.

He said Labor wanted to put the Australian carbon price in the hands of ‘‘Eurocrats’’.

‘‘You wouldn’t put the Australian dollar into the Eurozone but what this government wants to do is to put our carbon pricing scheme into the European system,’’ he told parliament on Wednesday.

‘‘I have nothing against Europe, but I tell you what, they’re hardly economic or environmental models for anyone.’’

As well as linking the scheme to Europe, the legislation dumps the $15 floor price that would have applied once the carbon price moved to a floating market-based mechanism in 2015.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...or-price-20121011-27eam.html

Abbott, like Romney, is a big mouth...puts his foot in it each time.

Bad for future relations. Demonstrates irresponsible leader(s).

Last thing we need after big mouths affecting foreign relations like GW Bush...and here, Pauline Hanson.

Amazing Abbott went after Hanson...he's so much like her in the unthinking big mouth category...volatile.

Tho, I notice he doesn't mind doing interviews with the One Nation BLOKE.

Abbott is an embarrassment to the Liberal party.



October 11. 2012 10:33 AM

Truth Seeker

Patricia, thank you for you kind comments and feedback on my poem.

Wedding tomorrow , and then back to QLD next week all being well.

Still lurking but not much time to comment, or do much else.

Ad, another great post BTW.


Truth Seeker

October 11. 2012 11:10 AM


'A' is our very first word of all.
It's called the Indefinite Article.
Its close relative, the, is definitive, see?
But a sometimes needs a extra particle.

For when vowel sounds collide, as in that line above -
As is never permitted in French -
The open vowels fight, they just don't work right,
It's a sort of linguistical wrench.

So what we do with 'a' is to give it a friend -  
A partner - an 'n' - to add on the end,

Oh this is too hard! I'll just write prose.

There isn't any question of its use when the vowels are obviously open - "a egg" becomes "an egg" and the transition of sounds is smoothed.

[When we say "the egg", we don't say tha egg, we say (like) thee yeg, interposing a 'yuh'(consonant) sound and so bridging the vowels that way.]

The only contentious area relates to words that begin with 'h',(aitch, please not haitch, pleeeeeze!) which may sometimes be aspirate as in heat, definitely silent as in heir, or disputable - as in hotel and humble.

If we say the aitch aspirately in such words, we normally don't add the 'n', it is sort of overkill to say "an (Huh)otel".

But aspirate sounds are not very pleasant actually: the French, who love the sound of their language (which is rather inferior practically) avoid aspirates at all costs, (so in "table d'hote" the de (of) is abbreviated to d', and the h is silent, so it sounds like tarble doat) and those who value mellifluity in English follow suit, we say an 'otel, but probably baulk at "an 'umble media baron" (!) , but we probably write "a hotel", intending to add the 'n' sound only in vocal expression. Well that's what I do.

These preferences, as I heard discussed a while back on ABC radio, are subject to fashions, and there will always be differences of opinion. I do like the smoothing lent by the invisible n sound bridging a and hotel though, but like Uriah Heep I would be 'umble in accepting whichever pronunciation you might choose to use.

But aspirate aitches remain unattractive sounds. So : "'Allo 'Allo" . And Bonjour.  


October 11. 2012 11:21 AM

Ad astra reply

KHTAGH, jane, Nasking
Thank you for your kind words.  Our friend lives on in our happy memories of her, and her smiling face looks at us from the cover of her memorial.

Ad astra reply

October 11. 2012 11:58 AM


DMW - agree completely about the "war" on the budget and the victims of "war".  The base issue here is that we live in a society - not a business.  The difference is that a society should be where those that are better off in some aspect of life assist those that as not as well off.

A business to a large extent has to accept a certain level of income (for example they can't normally increase their price by 150% of the increase of the competition and expect the same level of sales); accordingly their expenses have to be matched to the potential income to make a profit.  The other option is for the Directors to bear the risk of the shareholders - who won't get a dividend (share of the profit) on the money they have sunk into the company (the cost of the shares they own) -voting them out or suing them for non-performance.  (Anyone heard of Qantas - their shareholders haven't received a dividend for a few years!)

However a soverign government has two ways of increasing its income that a business can't use.  First they can "print" more money (not a good long term strategy but it has it's uses) and second they can increase taxes.  Clearly, the government is not a business - yet there is a perception they have to act like one.  Every government failure to "properly account for/spend money" is shouted from the rooftops as it should be, its our money in the end; how many times do we hear about less than ideal expenditure in say BHP, Myers, Flight Centre or so on?  I'm certainly not silly enough to believe it never happens (and I have been employed in both the private and public sectors during my working life).

The government does not run a business, it runs a society.  There is an implied contract between members of the society and the government that the government will assist the members if needed.  To a large extent, the Australian Government provides a reasonable level of service to the members of Australian society - but you have to ask how much better it could have been if Howard and Costello used the economic windfall of the past 20 years to provide infrastructure and welfare to those that need it rather than piss it against the wall providing middle class welfare to those that really can get by without it or "buying" votes with tax cuts.

It's a difficult political question for the ALP.  To they come straight out and say that they are increasing taxes to fund a level of welfare to the less fortunate which allows them to live with a reasonable degree of comfort? It would allow those with the ideology of "greed is good" or "each for their own" (interchangable terms in my opinion) to start another scare campaign on the ramifications of deficits or increasing the amount they are required to contribute through taxes.  Given the poor marketing of good policy (as well as the small working majority) of the current government - they really are over a barrel on this one in that single parents probably don't have as great influence on the media as those that believe in the "trickle down effect".  So should we look after single parents etc better than we do - absolutely yes.  Does this society need a structural shift in culture to allow it to happen - probably yes.  The only other alternative is that the ALP pull off a Queensland LNP size victory next  year and just increase taxes.  There would be screams of outrage from the "entitled", but a large majority would give the ALP the opportunity to say words to the effect of you know what, Howard gave and we're taking away,  we hear you but frankly we don't give a s**t.



October 11. 2012 12:02 PM


Misogyny is given in my Concise Oxford Dictionary as simple hatred of women.
I think that's a poor definition: it is contempt of women really, a blanket disbelief in women's abilities, which always involves belittling and unempowering. (not dis-empowering, male-dominated societies resist and prevent afa possible women ever getting any power.)

In Abbortt's case he does express this blanket contempt of women, as our PM on Tuesday detailed, but he genuinely hates and fears *J*U*L*I*A* personally, (and I would be sure that he has unsavoury sexual fantasies about what he'd like to do to her if ever he got the chance - as if!)

I would rather be hated than held in contempt - at least hatred and fear imply a measure of respect - but obviously contempt on one hand, and respect on the other, do not sit easily, and obviously Abbortt is utterly unable to reconcile his emotions wrt *J*U*L*I*A*, much less to develop a cogent strategy to deal with all these powerful women who have so confounded his deepest prejudices . . . and so shrunken his manhood.  


And I have no difficulty whatsoever in reconciling my love and respect for women. Not all women, look at O'Dwyer and Mirabella FFS, but then I love and respect some blokes too, and obviously, likewise, not all though.

Which makes us equivalent.

Not equal, no. But of exactly equal worth.

And Abbortt can just suck it up.

And I hope it tastes foul!


Lei Hsien Loon PM of Singapore with *J*U*L*I*A* as I write.
He seems very rational and their relationship is obviously both affectionate and respectful. Smiling and easy. Talking joint "Defence" training, well I suppose that has to happen.

Imagine if Abbortt was there instead of her. Boofy and bumbling. With no idea how to behave at all.

Dog be praised,
"Tony Abbortt Will Never Be Prime Minister.


A man being interviewed on ABC24 just shoved his telephone screen right into the TV screen - it FILLED the screen - it said

               That is OUTRAGEOUS!



October 11. 2012 12:10 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you again for Today’s Links.  It’s cold and raining here, so after breakfast I returned to my warm bed to read them on the iPad.  I feel chuffed that I’ve read every one so early in the day.

The dominant theme, captured so well in Tim Dunlop’s piece, is the pathetically inadequate response of our own MSM to the events of Thursday in the House.  While overseas papers and our the Fifth Estate have highlighted our PM’s outstanding address in reply to the Abbott motion to dismiss Peter Slipper, the local MSM has chosen to highlight what it labels as the PM’s hypocrisy - the defense of the parliamentary Speaker.  They either don’t understand the ancient Westminster principle of the separation of the powers of the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, or they didn’t see it as applying in the motion to remove the Speaker, or they chose to ignore it.  Take your pick.  I suspect the latter because it appears that the object of most of the MSM, particularly News Limited, but also some writers for Fairfax, was to write denigratory articles about Julia Gillard.  While some called her address ‘over the top’, ‘more desperate than convincing’, some grudgingly acknowledged the merits of her address with fluffy words like ‘feisty’.  They could not overdo that though, as denigration was their object.

So they focussed on her ‘poor judgement’, insisted that she ‘defended the indefensible’, ‘failed the leadership test, ‘played the gender card’, ‘got egg all over her face’, of course the old chestnut that she was ‘guilty of hypocrisy’, and so on the condemnation went.  Why is this so?

I suggest three explanations:  

First, that they have become so appallingly ignorant of parliamentary principles and procedures that the principle of the ‘separation of powers’ never occurred to them, and therefore meant nothing to them, rendering them unable to see how desperately dangerous abandoning it would be, turning the parliament in to a ‘kangaroo court’ to judge, convict and punish the Speaker of the House, while a court case involving him is extant.  If they understood and accepted the ‘separation of powers’ principle, they could not logically run the ‘hypocrisy’ line, or condemn the PM and her Government for defending it.

Secondly, that they do understand the principle, but as it didn’t suit the narrative they wanted to run, they discarded it for the populist ‘hypocrisy’ line that they preferred to run, which they knew would appeal to many of their readers because it sounded plausible, and matched their attitude to the PM and Labor.

Thirdly, that groupthink so influenced so many journalists that only a few were prepared to be the odd man out, and run a narrative different from the others.

Maybe all three applied, in varying degrees.  Whatever the explanation, all explanations starkly highlight the ignorance, or the incompetence or the malevolence of much of our MSM.  If it is the former two, that’s lamentable, if it’s the latter we are into George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four territory.

Ad astra reply

October 11. 2012 12:26 PM


Misogyny is given in my Concise Oxford Dictionary as simple hatred &/or fear of women.

I think that's a poor definition: it is rather, contempt of women really, a blanket disbelief in women's abilities, which always involves belittling and unempowering. (not dis-empowering: male-dominated societies resist and prevent afa possible women ever getting power in the first place.)

In Abbortt's case he does express this blanket contempt of women, as our PM on Tuesday detailed - but he genuinely hates and fears *J*U*L*I*A* personally, (and I would be sure that he has unsavoury sexual fantasies about what he'd like to do to her if ever he got the chance - as if!)

I would rather be hated and fered than held in contempt - at least hatred and fear imply a measure of respect, rather than dismissal out-of-hand - but obviously contempt on one hand, and respect on the other, do not sit easily, and obviously Abbortt is utterly unable to reconcile his emotions wrt *J*U*L*I*A*, much less to develop a cogent strategy to deal with all these powerful women who have so confounded his deepest prejudices . . . and so shrunken his manhood.  


And I have no difficulty whatsoever in reconciling my love and respect for women. Not all women, look at O'Dwyer and Mirabella FFS, but then I love and respect some blokes too, and obviously, likewise, not all though.

Which makes us equivalent.

Not equal, no. But of exactly equal worth.

And Abbortt can just suck it up.

And I hope it tastes foul!


Lei Hsien Loon PM of Singapore with *J*U*L*I*A* as I write.
He seems very rational and their relationship is obviously both affectionate and respectful. Smiling and easy. Talking joint "Defence" training, well I suppose that has to happen.

Imagine if Abbortt was there instead of her. Boofy and bumbling. With no idea how to behave at all.

Dog be praised,
"Tony Abbortt Will Never Be Prime Minister.


A man being interviewed on ABC24 just shoved his telephone screen right into the TV screen - it FILLED the screen - it said

               That is OUTRAGEOUS!



Slipper votes with Govt to pass new Carbon Pricing legislation.

AND! Craig Thomson vastly amused in showing the how-stupid-can-you-get letter from Cormann to try to lure him to vote for the Abborttians - when Pyne ran from the chamber (and Abbortt ran)  -  Oh look it's just too funny, check it out yourselves.  



October 11. 2012 12:32 PM


Ad astra

This is about so much more than separation of powers. As I tried to point out by quoting Daryl Melham, this action by the Opposition flew in the face of parliamentary procedures and conventions.

I'm going to go back and pore over Albanese's remarks and Dreyfuss also.

It was a stunt that trashed the conventions of the Parliament.


October 11. 2012 12:32 PM


Dunno how that came to be posted and then posted again in a more fulsome Smile version,  it didn't delete from the text box this last time neither.


October 11. 2012 12:36 PM


Dunno how that came to be posted and then posted again in a more fulsome Smile version, it didn't delete from the text box this last time neither.


October 11. 2012 12:38 PM



I'm getting testy too! Smile


October 11. 2012 01:29 PM


Speaking of Sportsbet -

Remember I put a proper wad on Labor 3-4 months ago at SEVENS? -Well it's gone to $6, $4.50, $3.50, and now it is at $3.25.

TEE HEE! Beaudy bottler Folks!
They're not looking quite so clever now!

LNP was at $1.10 (BLOODY HUBRISTIC FOOLS!)to $1.15, $1.25, now $1.28 .

I've never put a bet bigger than $1 on anything before. I told you guys to get money on Labor, never fear, drinks'll be on me in Canberra for the inauguration Smile  


October 11. 2012 01:42 PM

Tom of Melbourne

Fascinating. Misogyny is only a useful term it it’s redefined in a way that some people prefer. If a word’s real definition doesn’t fit with their political orientation, ALP barrackers prefer to change it.

Tom of Melbourne

October 11. 2012 01:57 PM


Hi Ad

Thankyou for deleting that rogue Gravatar .

Umm that sounds lovely nice and comfy reading the Ipad.

Here is Twitterverse for everyone:-

Bushfire Bill
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink
Gillard’s anger and the way she channeled it could be the start of something big, of world-wide implication. It could signal the end of the leaflet-dropping phase of the war and the start of the realization that, if you’re to defeat a merciless enemy, you need to be nastier and more ferocious than they are, but in a focused, cold-blooded way, when and where it counts best: against bullies who can dish it out, but run (in Abbott’s case, literally) squealing to Mummy when confronted.

This week is the week the Left fought back. May there be many more of them


Bushfire Bill
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink
They got it wrong. Abbott didn’t call Gillard a “witch” and a “bitch”. Like the bully he is, he got someone else to do that for him. Just as, by not condemning Jones, he got someone else to do his dirty work.

ISupportGillardgovt ‏
Misogyny isn't just 'hatred of women',this is it's true meaning, & that's what we mean!Toward a Definition of Misogyny: freethoughtblogs.com/.../

Offensive joke about Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's female Chief of Staff Peta Credlin ,

The Daily Telegraph ‏
Power bill tactic backfires on Abbott: JULIA Gillard turns tables on Tony Abbott when he claims carbon tax was t... http://bit.ly/UJsHRP

National Times ‏
Abbott suffers bill shock www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../abbott-suffers-bill-shock

Abbott 'caught out' on use of pensioner's power bill

ABC Radio ‏@amworldtodaypm
82 yr old surprised her power bill was used by TAbbott in Parli but she's still worried about the #carbontax - http://bit.ly/WSzvdm #auspol

Le Grace ‏
International blogosphere applauds Gillard's 'misogynist' attack on Abbott www.theage.com.au/.../...bbott-20121010-27dkk.html … via @theage

mark furler ‏
Another view of Peter Slipper from someone who worked for him... www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/.../

Marie Ryan ‏@cybahound
Elizabeth Farrelly ponders male anger and its impact on women http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/-27d7x.html

d.b. valentine ‏@dbvalentine
Speaking of PIGS! Urgh! RT Media moguls biding their time www.theage.com.au/.../...-time-20121011-27enn.html … via @theage #IFeelSoUnclean #Media #Packer #Stokes #failures

Carbon tax 'increasingly boring': watchdog

Asia Pacific News ‏@AsiaPacNews
Peter Slipper votes with Labor on carbon tax - The Australian http://bit.ly/UJvY3H #News #Australia

Adrian O'Hara ‏
“How Paul Sheehan’s article (reGillard) looked this morning & how it looked by this afternoon http://yfrog.com/h6wiqqp ” Again” @Paul_Sheehan_

mandy williams ‏@BaristasGrind
PM's speech nearly at 500k views! (It was around 25k yesterday) A huge jump which speaks volumes!

Abbott: a walking contradiction, Mark Latham

Words may come easy but they won't be cheap, Lenore Taylor


October 11. 2012 02:27 PM


I'm not a single parent (or even a parent), but I'd like to introduce some facts into the recent changes to the single parent benefit.

Firstly, the changes  were made under the Howard Government in 2006.  However, the Howard Government "grandfathered" those who were currently receiving the benefit, so the changes applied only to new applicants for the single parent benefit.  The "grandfathering" meant that an existing single parent on the benefit didn't have to look for work until their youngest child turned 16, while new recipients would lose their benefit when their child turned 8.

The Gillard Government is removing the "grandfather" clause, so all single parent benefit recipients will be treated the same way.  Funnily enough, the Opposition are opposed to these changes, when it was their policy (and legislation) in 2006.

Now, we can argue that an 8-year-old child needs a stay-at-home parent (although many families manage with both parents working full-time).  However, I doubt that the same argument would work for a 16-year-old child.  So the question is, when should a single parent be required to re-enter the workforce?

Personally, I would like it to be a requirement for benefit recipients to obtain work or receive education during school hours when their child is in primary school.  I accept that more jobs need to be available with school hours (including the school holidays), and where there is no available job, then there should be no loss of benefits.

To pay a single parent benefit to a parent with a high-school-aged child is not acceptable to me.  However I do acknowledge that holiday programs need to be available and affordable for these parents.  


October 11. 2012 03:35 PM


thanks for your comments on the use of a or an.

Between yourself and NormanK I am getting an edumification of a high standard which is unmatchable.

Another lesson in this, for me at least, is, just because it was drummed into me at school it doesn't make it right today.

Like life, language evolves.


October 11. 2012 03:53 PM



Thanks for the info on the single parent benefit.


October 11. 2012 04:00 PM


Combet on fire in parliament earlier...having go at guilty Abbott over electricity bill. Really got stuck into him...showed Abbott up for the deceitful, lazy, incompetent fear-monger he is. Go Combet!

PM got stuck in well too. Love the "wrecking ball" comments.

Abbott looked very uncomfortable, caught out...tried to cover with glasses and smug smile of an adolescent.

Tony Abbott...dead leader walking.


October 11. 2012 04:08 PM


They got it wrong. Abbott didn’t call Gillard a “witch” and a “bitch”. Like the bully he is, he got someone else to do that for him. Just as, by not condemning Jones, he got someone else to do his dirty work.

Spot on Bushfire Bill.

Just like Howard.

Sneaky as. And a crusader...in that bad way. Dividing communities for political traction.

But Abbott's even meaner (is that possible? Scary)...

more afraid of women in power who oppose him...more a bitter zealot. Less competent.

Abbott is a walking disaster zone for the Liberal party.

It's the downward spiral. Ugly to watch. But so was the ascent. And the leadership style.


Shame on the Liberal party.



October 11. 2012 04:15 PM


thanks for pointing out about the Howard administration changes to the benefit. Something I had overlooked, ignored or simply forgotten.

There are two separate (main) elements to this.

At what age (of the youngest child) should a parent be moved off the single parents benefit to another allowance? No matter age chosen there would be reasons presented why it should be higher or lower. For no particular reason grounded in 'science' or 'evidence' for me the age of transition from primary to secondary schooling (nominally 12 maybe even 13 years old) is an appropriate cut-off.

When changing age qualification for benefits or similar I tend toward a phasing approach such that with the single parent benefit on 1st Jan 2013 the cut-off would be 15 1/01/14 cut-off 14 and so on down twelve. If the cut-off was to be reduced to eight maybe in two tear steps would be ok.

The other element is the amount paid for an allowance/benefit. This is where my bigger beef is.

The amount paid to those on Newstart is too low and to me does not reflect any realistic cost of living, search for work or re-education expenses.

In some ways it says to those on the benefit 'your are worthless and you can damn well remain worthless'.

I am all for encouraging single parents and for that matter anyone un or underemployed to seek work and/or retrain to improve the chances of gaining employment.

On that score, at the tail end of the Keating government they introduced a programme of training combined with subsidised work experience that was excellent and benefited many unemployed and employers. For very partisan ideological reasons the Howard government ditched it and set the country back considerably.


October 11. 2012 04:16 PM


On the question of due process in the House of Reps with regard to how to handle Slipper, Albanese did not address this issue.

Dreyfus (one 's') only made passing reference to it during his speech which dealt almost exclusively with sub judice and the ongoing court case.

The Leader of the Opposition has called for a people's revolt. He has engaged in language which is unprecedented in this parliament, which has incited people. He has said that this is not a legitimate parliament. He has been a part of saying that, yet he comes in here and gives it no respect whatsoever. I say to the Leader of the Opposition: it is a step too far to go down this path of moving this resolution today without any notice whatsoever to the government. It is consistent with his attitude of wrecking and trashing everything that he touches and his failure to grant any common respect.

Therefore I have to rely on the remarks made by Daryl Melham. I won't quote the relevant passages again here but I think the following remarks indicate that Mr Melham believes that due procedure was not being followed. He would have preferred that the Motion be placed on the Notice Paper so that Mr Slipper had the right of reply; as many members who wish to do so could be allowed to speak; the Managers of Government and Opposition Business could schedule debate for a time when the maximum number of Members of the House could be present and the findings of the court could be spoken of during debate. I note that the Attorney General was absent from the House on the day that the Opposition chose to bring on this Motion.

I believe I have raised some fundamental issues which show that in proceeding to a vote today is flawed. Do not be too smart by half. These principles are bigger than Slipper; they are bigger than anyone in this chamber. We have a duty to maintain the dignity of this chamber. I do not believe the dignity of this chamber would be maintained if we removed the Speaker without him having an opportunity to present a case to us without a full complement of the House, without the wisdom of the Federal Court's judgement in relation to the matter that is currently before him. I say: do not persist with this at this point of time. Leave it on the table and allow it to stand there. We revisit it when his honour delivers his judgement in the Federal Court case.

The government did the right thing in voting the Motion down, not because they were defending Slipper but because they were defending the independence and integrity of the House.


October 11. 2012 04:17 PM


If people don't like single parents being under Newstart because it's too low, then call for it to be put up.

Hopefully this will deter those young women we know in our area from having babies so they don't have to work...the Howard govt incentivised the mindset that becoming a f/t baby machine was the way to go...propagandising young women...who oft didn't finish grade 12...saw their careers and job prospects go down the tube...too many become shopping and flat TV and fast food addicted...neglecting the kids sometimes...a disaster.

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind...to right a wrong...perpetuated by a Liberal party more concerned with creating dumbed down consumers, future cheap labour, potential christian crusader babies...and future taxpayers.


Go Labor!

Breaking the back of the Howard govts' welfare dependency policies.



October 11. 2012 04:27 PM



Based on the same science that you relied on to form your opinion about cut-off age (Smile), my guess is that NewStart will get a boost in the next budget. It is manifestly obvious that it is too low but Swan has to get his surplus done first. I can think of no reason that a Labor government would drag its heels forever on this.


October 11. 2012 04:36 PM


Lyn after spending a while watching twitter & getting to know how it works [kinda] I'm in awe of what you do, please do take a break,  even swifts land occasionally.
    Many thanks & lots of hugs for your efforts.♥♥♥

You keep a lot of people so well informed as does Ad Astra with his writings, your both too important to a lot of us. You are the nexus, the singularity, of the new net tech left, pulling in other good bloggers that will create an even greater online voice, that sword you use so well, Ad Astra one edge Lyn other with the respondents handle.

  Together surly we can make a difference even if it is a small one, better than sitting fuming out of frustration at the ineptness of the media in this country, the shear contempt at which they treat the general populace is galling to say the least, which has be beyond obvious in the last few weeks.

    I say this to you both with all my feeling, you help elevate the feeling of being hemmed in, over whelmed, shouting at the walls out of powerlessness in the current political & media situation, please don't think you are not appreciated, as you are, beyond saying in words.


October 11. 2012 04:41 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
Thank you for the Twitterverse, all of it interesting.  The bitterness continues with Julia Bishop trying to move a motion to force Nicola Roxon to reveal the background to the Slipper case, which was successfully shut down by Anthony Albanese.  The Coalition is stung, embarrassed, and hopping mad, and is trying to hit back.  But they are losing.

Thank you for your further exposition about the motion to expel the Speaker.  I take your point.  Having re-read you first comment, I suppose the key part is near the end: “These principles are bigger than Slipper; they are bigger than anyone in this chamber. We have a duty to maintain the dignity of this chamber. I do not believe the dignity of this chamber would be maintained if we removed the Speaker without him having an opportunity to present a case to us without a full complement of the House, without the wisdom of the Federal Court's judgement in relation to the matter that is currently before him. I say: do not persist with this at this point of time. Leave it on the table and allow it to stand there. We revisit it when his honour delivers his judgement in the Federal Court case.

Virtually none of the MSM journalists have made this point as they rush to judgement on PM Gillard’s ‘poor judgement’, ‘hypocrisy’, ‘defending the indefensible’, which is the story they want to tell.

While it was quieter today, the anger and the venom were still apparent, and will be for a long while.

Ad astra reply

October 11. 2012 04:45 PM


Australia's most powerful Catholic George Pell was present when a boy raped by a Christian Brother in regional Victoria described to another priest what happened, a parliamentary inquiry has been told.

The Victorian government's inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations has been told Cardinal Pell was present when the grade three student at a Ballarat school in the 1960s described to another priest what happened to him.

Cardinal Pell may be asked about the incident after indicating in August he will attend the inquiry if asked.

The Archdiocese of Sydney's communications office spokeswoman said it cannot comment while an inquiry was underway.

The victim, a student at St Alipius school in Ballarat, was raped by principal and teacher Christian Brother Robert Charles Best in 1969.

Police are now investigating 50 suicides by graduates of St Alipius, all thought to be linked to sex offences by Brother Best and Father Gerald Ridsdale who operated the parish.

Solicitor Dr Vivian Waller, who has represented hundreds of sexual assault victims alleging abuse by religious clergy, outlined the details involving Cardinal Pell in her submission to the inquiry.

Dr Waller says Dr Best's victim returned to class after the rape and told his teacher Christian Brother Fitzgerald, now deceased, who forcibly and repeatedly struck him until he retracted what he said.

The victim then went to the St Alipius presbytery and asked to speak to George Pell.

"I am instructed that George Pell refused to speak with him, but that George Pell was present when (the victim) described to another priest what had happened to him," Dr Waller wrote in her submission.



Doesn't Abbott know this Pell fella?

Wonder if Pell has ever spilled the beans to Abbott?

I'm still tryin' to catchup on all these connections between the church and certain pollies and media.




October 11. 2012 05:18 PM


But as the press gallery pundits (mostly middle-aged men, it must be noted) scribbled and spoke, something very different was happening on the internet and in the community.

They were absolutely loving it. Gillard’s speech, conveyed through embedded video and quotations in blogs, quickly went viral. Stripped of its context, the speech stood alone as a triumphant, long-awaited howl of indignation and fury against sexism and misogyny.

Women went nuts for it. Fairfax’s women’s website, Daily Life, posted the speech on its Facebook page and within minutes was inundated with air-punching comments and 'Likes' from its female readers. Twitter exploded in delight and websites around the world, from US political blogs, to feminist sites and even the conservative British Spectator, cheered Gillard in admiration. One movie website even ran a piece about the top five Oscar-winning actresses who should play Gillard in her biopic (the casting of Tony Abbott would be such a treat...but I digress).

Anecdotally, women I know outside of Canberra have said their workplaces were mesmerised by the speech, and one friend said her 86-year-old grandmother even rang her especially to discuss it.
Meanwhile, Sydney Morning Herald columnist Paul Sheehan wrote a scathing anti-Gillard piece which ran on this website yesterday, prompting a large number of readers to berate him for getting it flat-out wrong.
Cue negative reaction against the mainstream media generally, and the Canberra press gallery in particular.

I have received numerous (courteous and well-argued) emails from readers saying the press gallery is "out of touch" and saying this divergence between real-world reaction and press gallery reaction is the "reason" newspapers are failing. I think a lot of that is probably true. At least so far in the press gallery being out of touch.


My partner Stacey just commented:

"I'm sick and tired of the news and politics in particular being filtered through mainly men who appear to eat too much crap, drink too much, act like a boys' club...are grumpy...probably because they are hungover all the time...

they have the nerve to go on about women and PMT...but how many men are turning up to work hungover because alcohol is a brain toxin?"




October 11. 2012 05:41 PM


Gillard's fiery retort: Did the mainstream media get it wrong?

Jacqueline Maley

At last! A member of the Press Gallery admits to 'groupthink' - she calls it 'a general consensus' but it amounts to the same thing.

After Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s scorching oration against Opposition leader Tony Abbott on Tuesday, THE GALLERY, THOSE OF US WRITING AND BROADCASTING IN THE SO CALLED 'MAINSTREAM-MEDIA', CAME TO A GENERAL CONSENSUS: SURE, GILLARD HAD GIVEN A GREAT SPEECH, BUT IT WAS FOUNDED ON HYPOCRISY. Many of the nation's premier political commentators focused on this fact - that the speech was made trying to save the political career of Peter Slipper, himself accused of disrespect to women.

Read more: www.smh.com.au/.../...it-wrong-20121011-27eqg.html

A must read.


October 11. 2012 05:49 PM


Pell denies being present when rape claims made

Read more: www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0121011-27fa8.html


Sounds like Howard.

Too many times.

Best not trial by media...let the investigation continue...presume Pell is innocent until otherwise.

Provided investigation is not run by Catholic church protecting Lib supporters, interfered with by Lib govt...and a whitewash.

Like AWB scandal inquiry...complete whitewash.

And the sexing up of evidence to go to war in Iraq various inquiries. WHITEwash.

Lot of it goes on.

We know what they have in common. White old and middle-aged men crusaders.




October 11. 2012 05:51 PM


DMW, thanks for your considered response.  Much better than the "Gillard hates single mothers" posts that I've read elsewhere.

I completely agree with you about training.  Education is a life-long activity - I'm never happy unless I'm learning something! Australian needs the most educated workforce it can afford.  Training isn't a cost, it's an investment - unless you prefer importing overseas workers and ignoring unemployed locals.

The running down of the vocational education system, the rise of private diploma mills (aka permanent residency factories) and the full-fee degree courses (noting that the initial HECS program started under Hawke and Keating) will be one of the long-term legacies of the Howard Government.  


October 11. 2012 06:00 PM


The press gallery doesn't see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics -- what works politically, what doesn't, what impact political performances will have on the functionality of the government in the short term and, over the longer term, its prospects for re-election. The gallery also focused on the wider context for the speech, which was the government defending the wretched Peter Slipper. Criticising the gallery for "not getting it" misses that what they're supposed to be getting isn't necessarily in their job description.

Is the social media fury at the press gallery misplaced?
Crikey Canberra correspondent   
Social media is rarely kind to the Canberra press gallery but this week there's been one of those periodic outbursts of fury. Only, unlike the 2010 election campaign or the Labor leadership spill early this year, this one has a strong element of gender to it.

The gallery stands accused of entirely missing the significance of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's speech on Tuesday, which sent Twitter and Facebook into overdrive and was quickly picked up by major international websites.

Peter Hartcher, in particular, copped a savaging for his "we expected more of Gillard" piece. And Fairfax's own Piers Akerman, Paul "Magic Water" Sheehan, copped a bucketing for his attack on the Prime Minister which included a snide reference to her childlessness, one later removed by a Fairfax editor without explanation and, until prompted by Mark Colvin, any acknowledgement.

So -- clueless, don't-get-it (male-dominated) press gallery or lefty echo-chamber Twitterati?

The first thing to note is the two are talking about different things and, to some extent, at cross-purposes. The press gallery doesn't see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics -- what works politically, what doesn't, what impact political performances will have on the functionality of the government in the short term and, over the longer term, its prospects for re-election. The gallery also focused on the wider context for the speech, which was the government defending the wretched Peter Slipper. Criticising the gallery for "not getting it" misses that what they're supposed to be getting isn't necessarily in their job description.

Countering that is the insistence this was a key political moment, that voters, especially but not only female voters, will respond positively to the Prime Minister’s speech, that they'll be pleased a female Prime Minister has pulled such an important issue to them out into the open.

That's entirely possible, but gallery journalists are no better placed to make that assessment than anyone else -- indeed, worse placed, if they're based in Canberra, which offers a distorted view of the world. Nor, it must be said, are social media users well placed to make such an assessment. Twitter, even if 10% of Australians are said to use it, is unrepresentative of all voters, and most likely skewed to the politically-engaged anyway; Facebook is a more representative platform because it is much more widely-used, but in both cases selection bias is a problem, because both allow us to shape what we see. And merely because large foreign websites are carrying it doesn't mean it will resonate with Australian voters.

Where the "don't get it" criticism of the gallery may have more substance is that a key moment arrived in political debate without being heralded or particularly noticed. The issue of gender in politics has been simmering since Julia Gillard become. The misogynist abuse of her from sections of the Right outside Parliament, whipped along by shock jocks and sections of News Ltd, has drawn increasing attention. But in recent weeks the issue has erupted into a storm, particularly after Alan Jones' "destroying the joint" comments. Tony Abbott's decision -- yet again showing he refuses to be hobbled by his own previous comments on any issue -- to attack the Prime Minister was always going to create a tipping point.

Never before have gender issues been at the centre of political debate like this. Indeed, the Canberra tradition is to resolutely ignore such issues. Female politicians have, usually silently, endured double standards in how the press treats them. Both sides of politics consigned women to "soft" portfolios involving welfare and social services, with the silent assumption they were incapable of the hard stuff of government, good only for doling out money. Male politicians arrogantly assumed the right to dictate women's reproductive choices. Attempts to lift the representation of women in Parliament were dismissed as "patronising".

Suddenly that's over. A female Prime Minister has directly, fiercely, attacked her opponent for misogyny, in a way, clearly, that no male politician could ever have done.

Women understood this as an important moment better than men. We come back to that significant gender gap I've mentioned several times, how over 60% of women voters think the Prime Minister, and all female politicians, cop criticism that male politicians do not, while only 40% of men do. That 61% shows it's not just Labor and Greens-voting women who feel this way, but many Liberal-voting women as well, women who are prepared to back the Coalition even with Abbott leading it.

This was a political moment most of the gallery, focused on the tactical battle of day-to-day politics, missed.

But that doesn't resolve the issue of the extent to which the events of Tuesday resonated with most voters, who unlike either the press gallery or social media users, have little interest in politics. Time and polling will give us some clues as to the wider impact, if any.


October 11. 2012 06:07 PM


Labor's shadow treasurer Curtis Pitt said the LNP government was directly responsible for the recent increase in unemployment in Queensland.

"We have been saying for months that the Newman government's slash-and-burn budget strategy would result in an increase in unemployment and now it has been confirmed by labour force figures and their own bureaucrats," he said in a statement.

"The premier and treasurer must now explain how they propose to meet their key election commitment of keeping unemployment at 4 per cent."

Read more: www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0121011-27exm.html

Is this what we can expect from an Abbott-led government?



October 11. 2012 06:13 PM


Facebook is a more representative platform because it is much more widely-used, but in both cases selection bias is a problem, because both allow us to shape what we see. And merely because large foreign websites are carrying it doesn't mean it will resonate with Australian voters.

Pretty arrogant comment from Keane.

Thinking about not renewing my Crikey subscription...I've given him and others lots of support...lots of linking...including to Facebook.

Tired of arrogance of those at or near top of media ladder.

Thnx for the link Casablanca.



October 11. 2012 06:18 PM


Do agree with Keane here:

Where the "don't get it" criticism of the gallery may have more substance is that a key moment arrived in political debate without being heralded or particularly noticed. The issue of gender in politics has been simmering since Julia Gillard become. The misogynist abuse of her from sections of the Right outside Parliament, whipped along by shock jocks and sections of News Ltd, has drawn increasing attention. But in recent weeks the issue has erupted into a storm, particularly after Alan Jones' "destroying the joint" comments. Tony Abbott's decision -- yet again showing he refuses to be hobbled by his own previous comments on any issue -- to attack the Prime Minister was always going to create a tipping point.

Never before have gender issues been at the centre of political debate like this. Indeed, the Canberra tradition is to resolutely ignore such issues. Female politicians have, usually silently, endured double standards in how the press treats them. Both sides of politics consigned women to "soft" portfolios involving welfare and social services, with the silent assumption they were incapable of the hard stuff of government, good only for doling out money. Male politicians arrogantly assumed the right to dictate women's reproductive choices. Attempts to lift the representation of women in Parliament were dismissed as "patronising".

Suddenly that's over. A female Prime Minister has directly, fiercely, attacked her opponent for misogyny, in a way, clearly, that no male politician could ever have done.


Take the pledge

It starts with me.

I want an Australia where girls and women, where men and boys, can take part in our society without enduring discrimination, sexism and violence.
I want an Australia where we respect each other; an Australia where no person experiences hate because of their gender, race, religion or sexuality.

And I will challenge anyone who uses sex, race, religion or sexual orientation to incite hatred or to demean or vilify any of us. I will not stand by and let others do so without speaking up.
It Stops With Me.

Fill in the pledge to lend your name to this movement


We did.

Stacey & Nick King



October 11. 2012 06:22 PM

Tom of Melbourne

So Swan stayed at the CFMEU dinner following some, deliberately offensive, hurtful and distasteful jokes, he even made a speech!

But ALP barrackers condemned the Liberals for staying at a function following Jones’ remarks.

Political standards are funny, so are the weasel words of Swan etc.

Tom of Melbourne

October 11. 2012 06:25 PM

Tom of Melbourne

...and using the Jones precedent. perhaps all those here would start a petition to boycott the organisations associated with the CFMEU.

Such as their political wing, the ALP.

Tom of Melbourne

October 11. 2012 06:30 PM


Hey ToM,

Peta Credlin, the chief-of-staff to the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, has been poised and brave in the face of the vile sexist and misogynist remarks of a person alleged to be a comedian at a union dinner last night. This, dear Destroyers, is why we need Destroy the Joint. It once again shows a mindset which somehow imagines that women in positions of power don't get there by merit.

It's demeaning, degrading and it's exactly the kind of insulting behaviour that women everywhere deal with every day. It insulted her and it hurt Margy Abbott. As for the comedian, he needs some serious retraining. Maybe we can help with that.

This needs to stop. It stops with us. Sign the pledge http://www.destroythejoint.org/take-the-pledge/

The PM condemned the abusive words.

Yer a weasel. Note ToM's tongue sticking out...remind ya of any Liberal politicians?



October 11. 2012 06:33 PM


Notice how interested GOOGLE NEWS is in Abbott's electricity bill stuffup...and the PM and Combet's attack in parliament on him:




October 11. 2012 06:42 PM


Neither News Ltd nor Seven should be allowed to buy Consolidated Media...

we need more diversity:

Seven's pay TV bid blocked, News in box seat
By online business reporter Michael Janda
Updated 7 hours 15 minutes ago

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says it would oppose a proposed acquisition of Consolidated Media by Seven.





October 11. 2012 09:04 PM



I done yer Pledge thingo but I included a serious rider ...

Like this:

Ummm. I agree with all the above, but it is missing at least one category - and it is telling, by its omission,
- and that is AGE.

It is a pity that it was not included,
because it's too late now.
(Signatories have not signed to a potential altered version.)

But ageism is as real as any of the rest.

I was thinking of old age particularly, but as Jason the Younger points out, ageism bites when people go for apprenticeships, and when they try for re-employment after redundancy. Other situations would exist too.

Then there is prejudice against disabled people . . . which is a hard one.

Can anyone think of some other categories?


October 11. 2012 09:14 PM


Talk Turkey,
such an excellent point. I know where yer coming from.

Also, when I was younger in 1982 and arrived back here no QLDers would hire me because I had a Canadian accent: "Not local we don't want you". Was hard to swallow.

In the country we were treated badly when I was transferred to a cattle town back in 97. Apparently, because we were vegetarians...had alternative music and movie taste...and supported Indigineous land rights. Was horrible. Stacey was treated by some men like she was a piece of meat. Particularly in the hotels by drunk men. I was disgusted.

Stacey used my Facebook site tonite (she reckons she's too busy for her own...but maybe she'll put one up later)...

Stace put up some of her fave songs and bands of late as well whilst I made the roast dinner...two minutes til serving time:


N&S' Smile


October 11. 2012 09:19 PM



Gillard, new, verb - To gillard - to tear & humiliate one's opponent apart


October 11. 2012 09:22 PM


re The Pledge

... an Australia where no person experiences hate because of their gender, race, religion or sexuality.

For me there is something very important missing:

... no matter where they came from or how they got here or their social standing.

Without those words to that effect the pledge is worth a molehill of beans for mine.


October 11. 2012 09:31 PM


Funny given my little verse (above) about terms for genitalia, most poignantly the court scene . . . Where people sniggered at
a pair of knickers and the judge shut them up.

Tonight's Rake is strangely reminiscent in some ways. Smile

Wonderful fun on ABC for once.  


October 11. 2012 09:37 PM


Nas - pledge signed.  As others have said, it's not perfect but its a good start.


October 11. 2012 09:42 PM

Tom of Melbourne

The PM has commented on the CFMEU joke!!!  Swan has made some mealy mouthed remark too. That’s all nice then.

But I seem to recall that MPs were condemned for not walking out of the function following Jones’ poor taste comment.

However Swan didn’t walk out!! He remained as a guest of honour, he made a speech afterwards!! Did he condemn the joke in his speech? Did he clearly disassociate himself from it? Did he take the opportunity during his speech to say that misogynist and bad taste humour has no place in politics?
Or during the joke, did he just remain seated next to the union hacks, being all jolly along and knocking back the Crown Larger with them?

Swan is a hopeless dill, he has again demonstrated his complete incompatibility with the role of Deputy Prime Minister.
Is everyone signing up for a petition to boycott anything associated with the CFMEU, eg the ALP?

Or just an inconsequential petition?

Tom of Melbourne

October 11. 2012 09:52 PM


   Since you wish to "boycott" anything associated with the CFMEU you can start with this Blog!
As a card carrying member of the CFMEU for the past 20 years I'm not going anywhere! So write your letter of protest to Aa and be a man of your word and piss off for good.


October 11. 2012 09:58 PM

Tom of Melbourne

The CFMEU and you must be like hand in glove Jason. I’m sure you also share their “humour”.

Do you think Swan should have remained present and given the speech or do you think he should have acted in a way that the ALP has demanded of others?

Tom of Melbourne

October 11. 2012 10:01 PM


... no matter where they came from or how they got here or their social standing.

Without those words to that effect the pledge is worth a molehill of beans for mine.

DMW, you make a GREAT point.

But as 2353 wrote:

As others have said, it's not perfect but its a good start.

Thnx for signing 2353 and TT.

"From little things big things grow"


Jason, well said.



October 11. 2012 10:12 PM


   I couldn't care less what Swan was doing, he could have delivered the punch line for all I care. Now haven't you got a boycott to organise?
Would hate to see you being hypocritical after the lectures you give us.


October 11. 2012 10:37 PM


Stacey just put up the meal I made on Facebook (we've made it our profile picture)...

and the cover of the Facebook site is now the photo she took this arvo in the garden at twilight after a rainy day...and when she went out there Stace reckons it was like looking thru rose coloured glasses. Smile



The roast consisted of chilli & thyme & garlic roast potatoes...rosemary from the garden and organic honey pumpkin...both roasted in organic olive oil and cracked pepper...

also, cauli and brocolli in lemon cheese sauce with oregano and cracked pepper...

minty peas...and Yorkshire pudding...with horseradish and organic cranberry.

The potatoes were organically grown on Stacey's Dad's farm in Beaudesert.

The Yokshire pudding was made from Goldenfry UK packet bought online from Coles. As was the Nimbin Cheese grated for cauli cheese. And horseradish cream & chilli seeds.

The herbs were from our garden.

The rest organic products purchased from Organic & Quality Foods online...and delivered to the door.

The organic honey came from my father-in-laws' neighbouring farm...they have bee hives.

I don't mind saying, the meal was beaut...Stacey agrees...with a big smile...she didn't have to make it.




October 11. 2012 11:04 PM


point taken.

To grow a tree, plant a seed.

... and TT hmm, suspect I forgot ageism 'cos well I don't wish to think about (my) age Smile


October 11. 2012 11:10 PM


back onto the subject of solo parents, well sort of

World Food Programme ‏@WFP
Girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children. #dayofthegirl #endchildmarriage
Retweeted by Ursula Stephens

Education of girls in the developing world has the biggest benefit both socially and economically.

Long bow but the further education of single mums would likely assist in helping their children to understand and benefit from an extended education.


October 12. 2012 07:57 AM



Media regulation- everything will be all right, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless
People have simply grown tired of Jones, and to be tired of Jones is to threaten an entire, previously comfortable industry. The lazy paradigm which he built and sells no longer applies in the real world. Like most conservatives Textor can't pick a fad from a structural shift. Whether he knows it or not, Textor is in a similarly uncomfortable position to

Gillard’s words changed politics forever, Susan Mitchell, The Power Index
When Peter Hartcher claimed in his column in The Sydney Morning Herald that Gillard had let down the women of Australia, he could not have got it more wrong. The hundreds of responses to his claim demonstrated that for the first time in our lives, a prime minister was speaking on our behalf. The fact he and most of the male political commentators have totally missed the point of her speech only serves to prove what she is saying is true.

How Abbott stuffed up Musselgate,Bob Ellis, Independent Australia
Their next mistake was to abuse in the most hectic terms for hours thereafter the Prime Minister, a woman, for showing mercy, mercy of all things, to this persecuted gay man, painting her in the colours of Sir Les Patterson, and imagining this would go down well with the female electorate ― many of whom have gay brothers and sons.

Have the Old Media Failed Us “Yes They Have” Watching the Deniers
go direct to the sources; I bypass the gate keepers who for far too long have got it wrong. I’ll go to the science, and scientific community. I’ll turn to other informed bloggers and commentators outside the media. Thanks to the Internet, information and facts are readily available. As an individual passionate about finding out about the world around me, I ignore “old media”.The old media is dead

A drawing a day: Redhead strikes, W H Chong, Crikey
Instructive to see how the domestic MSM have mis- or under-read the meaning of the Gillard speech, now a wild success around the world. And Australians do love a winner.
The Age, Tony Wright: “She stuck the knife into Tony Abbott for being an Alan Jones lickspittle and a misogynist. .. And so it went.” The SMH, Peter Hartcher: “All she achieved was a serious loss of credibility.” The Oz, Dennis Shanahan: “Gillard’s … presentation was brilliantly ferocious … [but]

The Canberra Media Gallery has lost it ,Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion
The ground has shifted under them. Tim Dunlop concurs--the gatekeepers of news have lost their keys he says. They sure have. They haven't just lost their keys though --they've been taken from them and thrown away and they are wandering around in circles looking for them. We watch Parliament ourselves, we trust our own judgements, we publish them in social media, we evaluate other interpretations of events, and we critically judge them for their plausibility. We look at the work of the savvy insiders, such as Annable Crabb, Leigh Sales and Emma Alberici, - and reckon they actually missed has been going on.

West End Boys, Peter Wicks, Wixxy Leaks
To those of you who think you have it bad, spare a thought for those in Sydney’s West and North West. Out here we have a Minister with a knife in our back, and a parliamentary secretary that should have been sacked a long time ago, even if just to save the Premiers image.I’m starting to wonder if Campbell Newman would be preferable. That is scary

Tony Abbott, the author, the power bill and parliament, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices
Though, given this is a West Australia story, perhaps it is more than Mr. Abbott who has a connection with a mining industry unhappy about the national carbon price scheme and who may be intent on pushing the anti-tax case. Parliament might like an explanation as to how this pensioner came to his notice.

Why Julia Gillard’s Smackdown Speech was Brilliant, Kate laver, Mamamia
Either Peter Hartcher’s television is broken, or he dozed off and missed the part where our Prime Minister BROUGHT IT.Hartcher wrote in his Sydney Morning Herald column this morning: “If Gillard won’t defend respect for women, what will she defend? Just another politician indeed.”And this: “Gillard’s judgment was flawed. All she achieved was a serious loss of credibility.”WHAT NOW? Defending respect for women is exactly what she did yesterday – with a fiery eloquence

What the Australian Media missed in Gillard's misogyny speech, Caitlin Welsh, The Vine
I would suggest that the combination of the shame comment and the accusation of misogyny was in fact a giant poking device constructed by the Opposition to try and provoke the shrieking harpy they believe to be lurking beneath the PM’s cool exterior. Perhaps they expected (or hoped) that it would break her, that she would screech incoherently about it being terribly unfair and then run from the floor in floods of tears. Or – and it says something about Abbott’s choice of words that this

Spare Me Your Righteous Indignants!, Deknarf, The Australian Blog
Abbott had learnt nothing from Gillard’s speech, and b) it’s hard to change learned behaviour, especially in the arrogant and thuggish. The comments about ‘dying of shame’ really just showed Abbott for what he truly is – strategically inept, premeditated and deliberately nasty – totally unfit to be a representative of the people and utterly unsuitable as a Prime Minister of this country

The ghosts of Abbott's past come back to haunt him,  Matthew da Silva, Happy Antipodean
through vehicles such as social media they are pressing the new advantage, to credible effect. It will be hard for Abbott to outrun the shibboleths that populate his past in the form of documented public utterances. And his policy decisions, particularly when he was health minister under Howard, must count against him. It is interesting to note the tone of editorials written by the Right's culture warriors in the past few days; clearly they are very worried.

Alan Jones (the shock jock), a News Corporation, selected narratives and silenced narratives,  Utherssay
It is worth pointing out at this stage the opposition and those journalists who acted as little more than opposition surrogates were running twin narratives. One denied Gillard any credit for being able to compromise to form a minority government while at the same time they contributed further to delegitimise her by saying that the leader of the Greens was the real Prime Minister. The important thing was to deny her any credit and to have little rational debate or consideration for the reality of minority government and the importance of compromise in the democratic process.

Abbott Slippers into his Hole., David Palmer,  Politics in Australia
In the end it’s clear, that in spite of all the double talk, the supposed high moral standing, the judgement of others that comes so quickly to him the Leader of the Opposition, hypocrisy has a name, for it is Tony Abbott. Happy to set standards for others, happy to call others into line, but won’t apply those same standards to himself or his party. All this from a man who stood in front of inflammatory signs, stood next to the man who called for the prime minister to be drowned in a chaff bag and grinned about it, then has the audacity, the gall,

Sole Parents Deserve Better, Eva Cox, New Matilda
the Government and the Opposition jointly voted to increase the poverty of a large group of vulnerable sole parents. Before the dramatic events that culminated in the Slipper resignation, there were already some political moves to distract attention from the Senate passage of the social security bill (the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill 2012). This now-enacted legislation will screw around 100,000 sole parents out of at least $55 per week

Question Time: No more Good Blokes in Federal Parliament but Witches are welcome, Turn Left 2013
and in other newsWhat is Julie Bishop wearing on her jacket? A pentagram?is she being deliberately provocative or is it just a regular star and not a symbol of Witchcraft

The PRIME MINISTER. the SPEAKER and the LEADER of the OPPOSITION: what a day, Boeufbloginon
Abbott’s wife’s performance in raising Tony’s feminine side on the weekend was part of the strategy that was designed to achieve a few things: it was the scatter gun approach. It was to further highlight his newly acquired feminist credentials, get rid of a Liberal Party traitor, and undermine the Prime Minister: all with the added benefit of making him more appealing to the large number of Australian women who think he is a controlling chauvinist shit.

International Blogs:

Julia Gillard's misogyny rant goes viral , World of the Written Word
“Supporters of President Obama, watching Gillard cut through the disingenuousness and feigned moral outrage of the opponent to call him out for his own personal prejudice, hypocrisy, and aversion to facts, might be wishing their man would take a lesson from Australia,” she wrote.

Your New Favorite Politician: ‘I Will Not Be Lectured About Sexism And Misogyny By This Man’,  The Grindstone
We don’t usually cover Australian politics at The Grindstone, but trust me, you’re going to like this. Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister of Australia, delivered a blistering takedown of a political rival in parliament yesterday, and the video instantly exploded online

Balls to femininity, start shouting Julia Gillard-style, Katy Brand, Telegraph UK
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has dealt with years of idiotic personal abuse from opposition leader Tony Abbott, says Katy Brand

Gillard’s Blistering Speech: A Model for Obama? IHT Rendezvous
HONG KONG — A face-peeling speech by Julia Gillard, the prime minister of Australia, slapping down the leader of the opposition in Parliament has created an uproar in Australia and across the Internet this week.  Ms. Gillard called her opponent, Tony Abbott — to his face, mind you — a sexist, a misogynist and a hypocrite. Then she went to work on him.

Australian PM lances a sexist boil in Parliament, Boing Boing
Gillard didn’t take too kindly to the hypocrisy of Abbott jumping on someone else’s sexism for his own political gain, and boy did she let him know it, calling him on his own attitude toward abortion, women in government, and more for a good quarter-hour while he sat frozen in the crosshairs.
It’s a thing of beauty. Can we get her to come and talk to some of our politicians in the U.S., please?

This Is How You Do It, Ctd, The Daily Beast
I want to post the whole video in full, even though it's 15 minutes long, because it is a model of a brutal take-down of a conservative political opponent, who shamelessly pounced on a minister's naughty text messages with an ex-staffer, forcing his resignation. What Gillard does is simply compare the current position of the opposition leader with direct quotes from his past. She rips the bark off him. Do yourself a favor and start watching. You won't stop:

Today’s Front pages
Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 12 October 2012


October 12. 2012 08:09 AM

Ad astra reply

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

Ad astra reply

October 12. 2012 08:15 AM

Tom of Melbourne

“The attack dog that licked its owners hand”…the story of Wayne Swan and the CFMEU

Tom of Melbourne

October 12. 2012 08:41 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

Do you think Swan should have remained present and given the speech or do you think he should have acted in a way that the ALP has demanded of others?

Tom of Melbourne

Any movement by Swan to the door marked 'exit' would have meant he was a man with character and taste.

Sir Ian Crisp

October 12. 2012 08:45 AM


^^^^  Wot - you still here.  I thought your were morally obliged to boycott this website.  If an apology and admission of a "stuff up" is good enough for the Shadow Asst Treasurer (what's his name again) in seeking the vote of Thomson; apology and admission of a "stuff up" is good enough for the Treasurer.  Your standards change faster than the wind in Brisvegas this morning.

Lyn on the other hand has excelled herself.  International links to demonstrate yet again (in the words of a long ago advertising campaign) "its time" for all to stand up to s-xism and bullying.  I'm in awe.


October 12. 2012 08:50 AM


   I see you're now proving to be the liar you are!
I knew you didn't have it in you to be a man of your word, just a gutless little troll.


October 12. 2012 09:35 AM


ToM & Sir Ian,

THE wife of NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner has been busted Twitter trolling, attacking US first lady Michelle Obama's religious beliefs while her Trade Minister husband tries to woo business from around the world.



October 12. 2012 10:12 AM


Hey guys I haven't been here for a while just wanted to fill you in with the latest from Smithy
Some how I don't think Julia Gillard will be leading us into the next election but that's just my opinion..lol!!


October 12. 2012 11:04 AM


For Sale:
Two Glass Houses with an ample supply of stones. Some minor repairs needed. Can be inspected on site one Liberal Party HQ other at Labor Party HQ.


October 12. 2012 11:13 AM


5250 Bushfire Bill
Posted Friday, October 12, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink
It certainly looks like war between the readers and the pundits.

Katharine Murphy started it all off a few months back when, in response to readers’ complaints she was obsessing too much with the Thomson matter (remember that?) she told them it only looked like that.

Her readers (intoned Murpharoo) had no idea what was good for them. What they needed was a good dose of Canberra-orientated belly-fluff gazing and Kath was just the one to dish it up to them. So the readers should just sit back and take their medicine.

Then there was the “senior journalist” who reckoned his critics owed him an apology for kinda/sorta getting things right, once.

... there was a challnege and they all went quiet, noyt a word of apology from one of them. I do not make this s**t upo, I report .

Presumably this person didn’t owe his readers an apology for all the times he got things wrong.

Jacqueline Maley, classed as a “color” writer at the SMH reckons she knows what’s best for us, too. She told us the other day that while we may think that a speech by the Prime Minister – one that must have set some kind of world record for internet views of usually dull parliamentary proceedings – was important, it wasn’t really.

What was important was that Peter Slipper, alleged serial misogynist, had been defended by Julia Gillard by her giving a speech… against misogyny. Go figure! Hypocrisy!

That Abbott, a man under attack for his unwholesome attitude towards women in power, had brought up the subject, and made it his main theme (of the day, if not the whole week), was neither here nor there.

That the alleged utterances by Slipper regarding “mussels” were more lewd and crude than misogynist, and reflected nothing more than the usual off-color banter that men and women indulge in from time to time (when they think no-one’s listening) was also unimportant.

That his calling Sophie Mirabella “‘an ignorant botch’” – exactly re-quoting the words of the potty-mouthed James Ashby – was completely reasonable, in that she’d forced him, a Liberal at the time, to turf her out of parliament for 24 hours, just as the Carbon Tax vote was about to be taken, was also a mere bagatelle.

See? What we needed was context, a context that can only be provided by someone as wise and experienced a Jacqui Maley, or Michelle Grattan, or Phil Coorey, or Peter Hartcher or Dennis Shanahan, or any one of a number of contextualizers who know better than us.

Apparently Gillard should have just cut her political wrists there and then, and begged forgiveness.

But the real context was that Peter Slipper’s election as Speaker got Gillard’s government over the hump of having to water down pokies reform, saw through the inauguration of the Carbon Tax and in general made the fractious numbers in a hung parliament much easier to juggle at a critical time for the government.

It’s funny how our esteemed Gallery journalists believe that when it comes to “doing the decent thing”, playing by the rules, respecting the conventions, being philosopher-kings and suchlike, it’s always Labor that has to toe the line, while the Golden Boy, Tony Abbott.. well, he’s a retail politician, right? No biggy if he crosses that line here and there on his way to inevitable victory (“Lookatthepolls!”)

The same Gallery journos have told us that we don’t need to know the government’s policies because they’ll be out of power before those policies can be properly implemented.

On the other hand we don’t need to know about the Opposition’s policies because, well, they’re the Opposition, and Oppositions don’t have to do policy.

So, absolving themselves of the responsibility to report on, or analyze policy, the Gallery resorts to the only thing left: belly-fluff.

Belly-fluff about Rudd, about nasty texts, about travel rorts, about the precise definition of “misogyny” (and why the PM – again – got it all wrong), about how brilliant trotting Margie out would be for Abbott, gaffes, stumbles, door stops and who’s “desperate”, or “embattled” or “shambolic” today.

421 pieces of legislation passed? The best economy in the world by almost any measure you care to consider? An off-the-cuff speech made by the Prime Minister that has been downloaded three-quarters of a million times and viewed by millions more crowded around their laptops and their iPhones?


No explanation was offered about the concept of sub judice. No history of how these types of things are normally done (and it’s not by a suspension of standing orders). And no explanation that, no matter what the actual vote would be on the floor, an SSO needs an absolute majority to pass, an absolute majority that was never going to get up.

No mention was made that the Opposition was pwned comprehensively when they thought they’d make some cheap points with a routine, losing motion, but instead had their leader made a laughing stock all over the world.

No, none of this was as important as a couple of rude texts, and another deliberately, not only misread, but misquoted, sent by Peter Slipper over two years ago, dumped on the Federal Court, then laundered through it to the tabloids.

That’s context for you. In the policy-free zone where journo-on-journo interviews, thought bubbles, twisted metaphors, leadership challenges and meta-politics are all important, the true context of Tuesday’s extraordinary events is clear.

What’s Maley’s evidence? Well, it can’t be the circulation figures of the Herald. They’re in the toilet.

It also can’t be the regard in which the journalism profession is held by the public. That’s already flushed down the toilet and on its way to Bondi.

It can’t be the high esteem that the journalists maintain for their f***wits readers, telling them daily we are poorly governed by a desperate, embattled, beleaguered, unsuccessful, shambolic mob of low-lifes whose only claim to fame is running the best, triple-A rated economy in the OECD, passing in the meantime epoch-making legislation that is, in many cases, being praised and emulated all over the world.

So what’s their proof that we should eat their crow, and like it? What justifies their demands for apologies from their critics when, on the odd day, they get something half-right?

Of course, there is none. It’s just them telling us what’s good for us again, dishing up the same old “We’re-important-because-we’re-in-the-paper-and-you’re-not” hubris that the PM pinged so long ago for what it is: crap.

The single most relevant gauge of success that proves their relevance – proves it on their own terms – is whether or not the punters are prepared to shell out a dollar or two to buy their newspapers. And on this metric, the jury’s well and truly in.

The old paradigm of the linear search for truth – buy a newspaper, read a column, make an assessment, wait for the news at 6, watch it, react – has been replaced by a better, non-linear one.

The internet has allowed the punters to by-pass the old formula of “them” dishing it out to “us” (and of us swallowing it, our protests, if any, dampened by the red pencil of the Letters Editor).

We can listen to parliament while reading a blog, while sending an email, while voting on a petition to stop advertising on the Jones Show. Non-linear. We don’t have to wait to be told of the “proper” context. We can figure that out for ourselves.

And that is why the circulation figures and the “appreciation” figures have evaporated.

Jacqui’s and Dennis’s and Michelle’s and Peter’s guidance and color writing is not necessary when we have 20-20 binocular vision, and know how to use it.

Now, that’s conte


October 12. 2012 11:19 AM

Sir Ian Crisp

ToM & Sir Ian,

THE wife of NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner has been busted Twitter trolling, attacking US first lady Michelle Obama's religious beliefs while her Trade Minister husband tries to woo business from around the world.



Nothing new JGuy.

"Twenty-two women," the Washington Examiner recently explained, "including former members of the museum's board, have penned a letter to the museum in protest of Bush's selection," which is being led by National Organization for Women cofounder Sonia Pressman Fuentes.

Their argument against giving Bush the honor is, at best, specious. "I'm not complaining that she's a Republican," Fuentes said. "I'm complaining that she's never done anything for women to get this award."


Wife/spouse/partner bashing - in a political sense - is a common sport these days. A movie has been made about this type of behaviour. It is called 'Hyenas'

Hyenas (released 2011). Genre; Horror. Running time 92 minutes.

Roving clans of shape-shifting human/hyena creatures prowl and hunt for human prey.

Hyenas masquerading as politicians and their cheer squads; nothing new.

Sir Ian Crisp

October 12. 2012 11:21 AM


Good Morning Ad and Everybody

Twitterverse for you, enjoy:-

Susan Mitchell: What does it really mean to “hate” women
So when Tony Abbott says that women are not as suited to powerful positions as men because of their physiology and their temperament, he is judging them to be lesser than men purely on the basis of their gender. Now while this may not be overt hatred of women, it is a form of irrational hatred.

But there are other more subtle and sneaky ways of blowing the misogyny whistle. By never referring to Gillard as the Prime Minister but constantly calling her "she" is a form of extreme contempt. In other words "she" is not worthy of being called Prime Minister. By calling her government "illegitimate", he is saying "she" has no right to this position. Alan Jones has constantly referred to Gillard as "this woman" spitting out the words as a form of contempt.

Jennifer Wilson ‏
I feel so excluded from the Great Joke Debate because I don't know what the joke was.

The SQib ‏
TweetingRoo An interesting article by Courier Mail's Terry Sweetman. The dirty game may have changed for now! http://shrtn.in/2JJyw9

Complicated Canberra: drama compels, numbers count, Laura Tingle

Misogyny: it's still all Greek to male chauvinists
The prominent feminist Anne Summers, who delivered a prophetic lecture several weeks ago titled ''The political persecution of Australia's first female Prime Minister", also believes Ms Gillard was right to push back against sexist denigration

David Marler  
#Newmania @tennewsqld "6.3% Unemp @JarrodBleijieMP: 'Labor To Blame'" - http://ht.ly/epxym

Deputy Premier's wife gives Oakeshott both barrels for Slipper vote

Mission Implausible ‏
"Norway to double carbon tax on oil industry"......eat your heart out Abbott!! http://bit.ly/SO48Qw #auspol" @MikeKellyMP

Tony Wright ‏
Let's (not) talk about sex www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...0121011-27g3x.html … via @NationalTimesAU

Simon Cullen ‏
A nice story about @AlboMP & @ScottBuchholzMP by @farrm51 www.thepunch.com.au/.../


October 12. 2012 12:11 PM


When I followed Lyn's link to the mamamia article, I found this:

"Comment Guidelines : Imagine you’re at a dinner party. Different opinions are welcome but keep it respectful or the host will show you the door. We have zero tolerance for any abuse of our writers, our editorial team or other commenters. So if you’re rude, mean-spirited, snarky, aggressive, defamatory or bitchy, your comment will be deleted (so will any replies to the original comment – so don’t bother arguing with rude people, instead just hit the ‘alert moderator’ button).
And if you’re offensive, you’ll be blacklisted and all your comments will go directly to spam. Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re going to be – cool. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation…"

Very well put!


October 12. 2012 12:13 PM


So we have the "two cons" (conservatives) back with a vengeance! One fresh from losing a wad on the start of the spring carnival..How do I know that?...because a winning gambler sees everybody as his friend, but here he is looking to pick a fight...= loser.
And the "lesser poet"...welll..he's just got the "itch" again and he just has to scratch!


October 12. 2012 12:15 PM


Again, from the Terry Sweetman article in the Courier Mail Lyn linked to:

"...but if they [the Opposition] don't want Gillard to play the gender card, as Abbott claims, they should stop dealing it to her."


October 12. 2012 12:27 PM


I am nontheistic as most here will know, but funny thing, I seem to know and understand more of the Bible than a lot of the "Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites" against whom Jesus railed and whom he drove from the temple with a whip made of small cords which he himself ("He Himself"!) plaited.

Matthew 23:24
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

These low-life trolls of ours, well you know I never talk them, after the first time when I let them know I see through their hollow hearts, but this time I feel like whipping them myself, with Jesus on my side.

The Media, the Hartchers and Joneses, and these Trolls are 'scribes' while Pharisees are 'self-righteous persons with pretensions to sanctity' such as Arse-Bigot Pell and that Peter Angli-thing that 'corrects' Wormtongue Jones for saying some word was' 'Egyptian' (what was that word, I forget, I corrected Peter Angli-thing on TPS at the time?) was really Greek . . . when it was simple Latin . . . which he was really ignorant not to know. . . "Blind guides!" as Jesus

Those on the Right swallow camels all the time, the perpetual lies and abuse of Abbortt, the unrelenting outrageous comments of Anal Jones and his ilk, yet Labor is pilloried for some one-off dumb joke we've never even heard (...yet) by some hired help we don't even know, as if the sins of the Left were equivalently weighty as their own (to which they never admit as if that means the offences haven't ever happened) and even more hypocritical than ours - and Wormtongue Jones spends more than half his interview with Wayne Swan trying to gotcha him, notably without success - except that he has denied the People important information and instead given the impression to Joe & Josie Lunchbox that the ALP is sleazy through and through. Neutralizing the shame of filthy "Die of Shame" comments by the Right, tarring Labor with the brush thatonly their side of politics deserves, and always, always degrading the level of political discourse.

FIE! With *J*U*L*I*A* at our head, our Generals Albo and Penny and all the others, and our Dad-and-Dave-and-Mum-and-Mabel's  popular army the Fighting 5th Estate feeling its power at last, we will BURY these Trolls, these shockjocks, these brain-eating voodoo priests, these lying misogynistic politicians of the Right, these Pharisees, and after next election we will rebuild a decent society in which they cannot be more than the odd gnat in our soup. Strain them out or swallow them it won't matter, the news for the ToMs and bullshit Knights of the Realm of Frogshit is not good. Smile

We at last have the power to set the society to rights.

And we will too.

Ad's broadcasting station, and Lyn's stream of intelligence, make this the Command HQ as afar as I'm concerned for the Fighting 5th Estate. KHTAGH I commend your words a couple of days ago, my feelings precisely. Together we are powerful.





October 12. 2012 12:55 PM


Thanks Jason for posting Bushfire Bill's article this morning.

There is no better writer in the Fighting 5th Estate.

Well except Ad of course. Smile


October 12. 2012 01:23 PM



Thanks for today's links. Although it must be acknowledged that we exist within an echo chamber, hearing what we want to hear and reading what we want to read, it is reassuring to see so many intelligent writers giving voice to an interpretation of Tuesday's events that point out the shortcomings of our Old Media. Some of them even managed to mention the need to defend the separation of powers between the government and the judiciary. One or two saw fit to mention that if the parliament is going to depose a Speaker then perhaps they ought to go about it in a manner that maintains the dignity of the House i.e. not through a Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders during Question Time but with a Motion placed on the Notice Paper.

I am completely disgusted that not one senior commentator has seen fit to mention this aspect. Even Laura Tingle saw the separation of powers as an 'out' for the Prime Minister. Perhaps when they were watching Question Time on Tuesday they didn't see the looks of dismay and incredulity that crossed the faces of Labor front-benchers when Abbott launched into his stunt. Perhaps they saw it as the government being caught on the back foot. By dismissing this motivation of the government to defend the decorum of the House, they have allowed themselves to paint labor's speeches as defences of Slipper and by association, a defence of his questionable text messages. I have scoured through the speeches made by Labor Members and there is not one phrase that can be construed as having that intent. I guess that's just because I'm not an insider and can't read between the lines of the tactics of this desperate government.

I would love to have explained to me just how keeping Slipper in the Speaker's seat benefitted the government. His vote has not been counted since he stood aside and he was unlikely to return to the chair during the remaining parliamentary sitting days this year. Removing him from the Speaker's chair has simply added him to the cross-benches where his voting intentions are likely to be unpredictable. Abbott thought he could throw his arms wide in forgiveness and welcome Slipper back into the conservative fold. Does he really have so little awareness of the hurt that he has caused his 'friend'? The motivation of the Opposition is fairly easy to see - not so easy to pin down is the motivations of the government in 'defending' Slipper.

This is not the first time that the Old Media have deliberately overlooked Abbott's complete disregard for proper process. He embarked on a similar destructive gambit when he went after Craig Thomson despite there being no concrete evidence and no court cases afoot. The Canberra Press Galley have got their heads so far up their own fundaments that they are now incapable of performing the tasks set for them.


October 12. 2012 02:23 PM


*Contrarian Alert*

One of the frailties of being a human being* seems to be when we are attacked we tend to jump to our own defence. Same when a friend or relative is attacked, we usually jump to their defence.

That may have something to do with the survival instinct. Any Historical Anthropologists in the audience who can inform me better on the topic?

We have seen it here on this blog. (Excuse while I pick up a mirror.) When an idea or comment is attacked, the commenter usually comes back with a spirited defence. Sometimes other commenters will jump to defend as well.

In some people's opinion the soothsayers and pontificaters of Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery got it totally wrong this week and have attacked the aformentioned human beings who, for some odd reason, have jumped to their won and their colleagues defence.

I haven't worked out why, but we human beings have great difficulty admitting when we are wrong. I know this first hand and personally, well, except that, I am always right, except when I am wrong and I can get bit uppity when someone points out to me I am wrong. Seems a lot of human beings are like that.

Maybe the soothsayers and pontificaters of Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery are playing at being human beings with all the flaws that comes with that state of being. Well except for those that know they are god.

Why is it that when our ideas and beliefs are challenged we more often than not defend our position rather than shift a little in our thinking? Is it because we think we might be seen as, or called, weak-kneed or jelly-backed?

*Human beings. Something deep and meaningless to ponder, and, there is probably no answer. Why are we called human beings rather than human doings? It seems to me a lot of us spend more time doing than being.

Must toddle off I have an appointment at the Department of Inconsequential Studies to discuss harvesting belly button fluff.


October 12. 2012 02:58 PM

Ad astra reply

Hi Lyn
I’ve now been through all your links and Twitterverse; such a rich collection of important information and views.  They will be of great help to me in writing my next piece.  Thank you again.

Later this afternoon I’ll be posting more amusing satire from Acerbic Conehead, who has more time to respond at weekends that on weekdays.  It’s titled Mortgaged to the Hilt.

I hope to have my piece ready for Monday.

Ad astra reply

October 12. 2012 02:58 PM


DMW, the simple explanation is "confirmation bias."  See here:

If you are seeking a break from harvesting belly-button fluff,here is a list of cognitive biases:

Also of interest in explaining human behaviour is the Dunning-Kruger effect, which states that some people are so incompetent that they overestimate their ability, fail to recognise their incompetence,and cannot recognise ability in others.


October 12. 2012 03:10 PM


The parallels with current reporting of the PM's speech are stunning.

The Press Assess the Gettysburg Address
by Robert Brustein    Huffington Post

Am I right in believing that neither of you thought the President added anything new to the current debate?

No one says the man isn't a shrewd orator, Wolf. But what did he hope to accomplish by dragging the press corps all the way down to a remote whistlestop in Pennsylvania just to listen to a few paragraphs on the subject of dead veterans?

You know what I think? He was trying to bring closure to a troublesome campaign issue.

Which one?

The Civil War. It's not exactly proving popular in the polls.



October 12. 2012 03:17 PM


Joe Biden’s Passion Trumps Paul Ryan at Vice-Presidential Debate

Biden showed considerable passion when the debate turned to the economy, getting in more attack lines in two minutes than President Obama did against Mitt Romney in an hour and a half: Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. Romney wrote off 47 percent of the country. Romney pays a lower effective tax rate than Biden’s parents and neighbors.

Ryan was rather flat in response, ticking off a five-point economic plan, then lurching into a tale about Romney financially aiding a family whose four kids were killed in a car crash—touching, perhaps, but a total non sequitur. That, however, prompted Biden to recall the 1972 car accident that killed his wife and daughter, as if he had to match the emotional card that Ryan had thrown down...

They each spewed numbers about Medicare, with Ryan accusing Democratic critics of trying to “scare people” about a plan that would give future retirees a choice, including vouchers. He also accused the administration of  turning Medicare “into a piggy bank for Obamacare.”

That’s when Biden started speaking to the camera, saying the Ryan vouchers would cost the average senior citizen $6,400 a year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. He touted higher prescription drug benefits for seniors as well. “Folks, who do you trust on this?” Biden asked.

When the talk turned to taxes, Biden ripped the Republicans for pushing to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, saying “they’re holding hostage the middle-class tax cut to the superwealthy,” calling this “unconscionable.” Ryan responded by saying the administration would raise the effective tax rate on small businesses to more than 40 percent and that he and Romney would cut taxes for everyone without hurting the middle class.

...The discussion of Afghanistan was a wash, with Ryan conceding that his ticket supports Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops by 2014 and, when pressed by Raddatz, acknowledging: “We don’t want to stay.”

...The debate wound toward a close on a solemn note, with Raddatz asking the candidates about the role of their Catholic faith in their views on abortion. Ryan said he believes the church’s teaching that life begins at conception, and that a Romney administration would oppose abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Biden said he too accepts the church’s position on abortion, “but I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians, Muslims and Jews.” He also noted, correctly, that Ryan has opposed the exceptions for rape and incest, and that Romney would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade —an important part of the Democrats’ appeal to women.



The Libyan episode has slightly undermined the Obama admin's generally competent approach to dealing with terrorism...evident by the focus on it...and Biden's not so successful attempt to correct the record...and Ryan's aggressiveness on this issue.

It was a strong moment for Ryan...but let's face it, Obama got Osama...and Joe didn't fail to passionately remind American voters. One stuffup in Libya does not undermine the credibility of an admin that has proved itself capable of preventing further attacks on home soil...of helping to get Gaddafi in Libya...knocking out important al-Qaeda operatives...and getting the tall guy, the villian on America's most wanted list. Pretty impressive record. The idea that yer 'Only as good as yer last gig' is both reductionist and a nonsense.

Ryan generally held up well...but failed on detail...I found his explanations often vague...and the use of 'Romney is a good guy because he helped these people from his own church' bit (Isn't that an obligation for Mormons who are constant churchgoers?) as a diversionary tactic came across as saccharine and an obvious way of avoiding details. Americans just love those sappy stories...but in this case I reckon the audience was looking for more details...and less Hallmark moments.

Joe Biden did what Obama failed to do in his first debate...he sounded like he meant it.

Tho, the smiling did get a bit irritating...and occasionally Joe came across as condescending.

But he can be excused...Joe and team have been busy cleaning up Bush's mess...and he wasn't going to take BS and "malarkey" from a Tea Party style weathervane who offers up Medicare vouchers and wants to continue the Bush tax cuts for the rich...and possibly bomb Iran...who one moment asks for 'stimulus' handouts...the next blocks, blocks, blocks...sabotaging the economy.

Joe put the boot in effectively. Let's hope Obama gets his game on next debate...motivated by Biden's determined, passionate, kick-arse performance.

Well done Joe!!!



October 12. 2012 03:24 PM


Jack Welch, Rupert Murdoch & More Angry Old Rich Guys Who Hate Obama

Jack Welch, who accused Obama of manipulating the jobs report, is just one of the wealthy white dudes, mostly in their late 60s and 70s, who’ve been stalking the airwaves, print, and social media, attacking the president. Daniel Gross offers a guide to the aging moguls who loathe Obama.




October 12. 2012 03:25 PM


cheers MWS,
don't know the 'technical' term but there is also something I call the fake security camera effect whereby people see a security camera and think they are being observed or watched and behave as if being watched. Doesn't matter if there is no working camera people behave as though they are being observed.

It could well be that the soothsayers and pontificaters of Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery think that most people still read and believe what they write so keep writing as though what they write is important and correct and have some self fulfilling belief in their own self importance.

Bit rough around the edges so I might consult further with the good burghers at The School of Inconsequential Studies on that one.


October 12. 2012 03:43 PM


Hi Ad, Khtagh, Talk Turkey, 2353, Jason.

Ad glad you enjoyed the links, there was certainly some good reading there.  Bloggers are highlighting the MSM's narrow minded attitude.

Talk Turkey, thankyou for your post this morning you always say nice stuff:-
“Ad's broadcasting station, and Lyn's stream of intelligence, make this the Command HQ as afar as I'm concerned for the Fighting 5th Estate. KHTAGH I commend your words a couple of days ago, my feelings precisely. Together we are powerful.”

Jason I see Talk Turkey thanked you for posting Bushfire Bill’s post.  Thankyou from me too, you saved my time.  I love reading BB but really hate trawling through PB.

NormanK thankyou for your post @ 1.23pm.   You said  amongst lots of other good reading “ hearing what we want to hear and reading what we want to read”, very true an echo chamber we are , but a good chamber a golden one.

KHTAGH  you are so lovely thankyou , lots of hugs back to you.♥♥♥  

2353 glad you enjoyed the International Links.  I get pleasure from their comments about Julia, but mainly they are highlighting our MSM’s  miserable responses.

Gillard HQ
Meanwhile, PM Julia Gillard's address has become the most viewed Australian political video in history... https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Turnbull: Alan Jones campaign 'horrifying'
The phenomenon is that thousands of people that hitherto had no voice .... they were treated with contempt by the mainstream media, now they have their own megaphone.

Judge 'n Jury rocket ‏___
Tony Abbott theme song: I started Joke, which started the whole world Laughing. #globalhumiliation #auspol



October 12. 2012 03:46 PM


Long bow but the further education of single mums would likely assist in helping their children to understand and benefit from an extended education.

agree wholeheartedly.



October 12. 2012 04:03 PM

42 long

It's an effort to establish oneself higher up in the pecking order of whatever group you belong to.
   Look at ANY town. some places are absolutely the end of the earth but there will be a preferred area to live in. There will always be a "the wrong side of the tracks" place, where only plebs choose to reside, and the upper end of the town, where those who  have made it will gravitate to and compete there as to who has the biggest house, car, diamond ring  biggest number of wives etc. Originates with basic natural forces where the biggest toughest sleakest monkey gets to copulate with more than any other and propagates their genes more successfully.

42 long

October 12. 2012 04:30 PM


DMW, here is another take on the same subject,they call it "belief perseverance."



October 12. 2012 04:47 PM


thanks MWS
knew that there would be a name for it and (naturally) my thinking would not be original Tong

promise it is not groupthink tho' Tong x 2


October 12. 2012 04:52 PM


Lyn...I know what you mean about PB...Cor blimey!...does that forum move fast! I thought I'd join in with a bit of banter, but by the time you get an idea and get it down and posted, the forim has jumped into the next galaxy! How does one keep up!? It must be for those younger folk with their ipods...trouble is, it sometimes seems like nothing more than idle chatter till someone spots a quarry somewhere on the ether and they're after them and woe betide them if thet're caught! And sometimes they attack eachother, like a hunting pack of dogs......grrrrrrrrrrr!!
But it is exciting if you are young enough.


October 12. 2012 04:54 PM


Say...AA..can I get my old gravatar back? The current one looks a bit dicky and I don't know why I lost the other.


October 12. 2012 05:01 PM


that Scientific American article has some good stuff in it.

Maybe a few journos should read it but problem is the real 'lesson' would go over their heads.

For mine though a very interesting and pertinent statement:

Misinformation is a human problem, not a liberal or conservative one,

Hmm, just like a few of those other problems maybe.


October 12. 2012 05:04 PM



The avatar allocated to you is random but fixed. Smile
It is associated with your e-mail address. Have you gone to a new e-mail address that you are posting from?
If not, check that you have entered your address correctly in the box.

Better yet - get your own Gravatar. Laughing

Tutorial available for next to nothing.

Well, nothing actually.

With regard to PB, I think you'll find that there are a lot of oldies over there, they're just switched on oldies.


October 12. 2012 05:20 PM


Thanks for that NK. Well. they certainly ARE "switched on"!


October 12. 2012 05:40 PM

Ad astra reply

I’ve just posted another delightfully amusing piece of satire by Acerbic Conehead: Mortgaged to the Hilt.  Enjoy.


Ad astra reply

October 12. 2012 05:40 PM


NK @ 5:04 PM
is this another one of those Look over there moments?

... PB, ... there are a lot of oldies over there, ...

From my personal figuring the age thing rule of thumb.

If you were born before Queen Liz II ascended the throne you are old.*

If you were born after Gough was dethroned you are young.

If you still need mum or dad to take you to the throne then you're very young and probably can't read this anyway.

Anywhere between Liz and Gough like a good cheese you are simply maturing.

*Anyone born before Liz's ascension is entitled to use year of birth correction app that comes with the latest phone technology.


October 12. 2012 06:20 PM


NormanK @1.23pm, you have succinctly nailed the obfuscation and downright bastardry of both the opposition and their running dogs, the msm.

How could anyone with a functioning brain cell not be aware that the government has not defended either Craig Thomson or Peter Slipper, but have fought for the integrity of Parliament.

I find it especially ironic that not one of the incompetents in the press gallery has questioned why Liealot and Mirabella's votes are considered "untainted", but Craig Thomson's, who has yet to have a charge laid against him, is apparently tainted.

Perhaps they're harking back to the days of the penal colony on Norfolk Island, where the cruelly treated convicts formed their own inverse morality-every good deed=bad and vice versa.

Also of interest in explaining human behaviour is the Dunning-Kruger effect, which states that some people are so incompetent that they overestimate their ability, fail to recognise their incompetence,and cannot recognise ability in others.

Sounds like a definition of Liealot. Fits him like a glove. Come to think of it, it covers the entire Liars Party and with a few notable exceptions, the msm.


October 12. 2012 06:39 PM


Jane we had a saying in the Navy, everyone gets promoted to their level of incompetence.

   Liealot has reached his.


October 12. 2012 07:27 PM


Liealot has over-reached his.

There, fixed it for you KHTAGH.


October 12. 2012 08:06 PM

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