Focus on political ideology: Ross Gittins

This is the first of a series that will be posted periodically over the end-of-year break on The Political Sword. It is designed to give you an opportunity to comment on the important ideological and philosophical issues that influence contemporary politics.

The centerpiece of this first post is a lucidly written and challenging opinion piece by Ross Gittins, the Sydney Morning Herald's Economics Editor, which appeared in the National Times on 5 December 2012. It is titled: A warning as market pipes tune in America.

His piece is prefaced by a video where he reviews a book: The Price of Civilisation. He begins: “Libertarianism is the notion that the only ethical value that matters is liberty, but one of America’s leading economists, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, isn’t having a bar of it in his latest book, The Price of Civilisation.

You will get the gist of Gittins’ article if you first view the video. Click this link and play the video.

The entire article, as it appears in the National Times, is in italics below:

"Just as it's taking the world a lot longer to recover from the global financial crisis than we initially expected, so it's taking a lot longer than we might have expected for voters and their governments to learn the lessons and make the changes needed to ensure such devastation doesn't recur. But the penny has dropped for some.

Jeffrey Sachs, of Columbia University, is one of the biggest-name economists in the world. Yet in his book, The Price of Civilisation: Economics and Ethics after the Fall, he admits America's greatest problem is moral, not economic. Actually, he says that at the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis. He puts into words thoughts most of us have hardly dared to think.

Sachs says America's weaknesses are warning signs for the rest of the world. ''The society that led the world in financial liberalisation, round-the-clock media saturation, television-based election campaigns and mass consumerism is now revealing the downside of a society that has let market institutions run wild over politics and public values,'' he says.

His book ''tracks the many ills that now weigh on the American psyche and the American financial system: an economy of hype, debt and waste that has achieved economic growth and high incomes at the cost of extreme income inequality, declining trust among members of the society and the public's devastating loss of confidence in the national government as an instrument of public well-being''.

Even if the American economy is on the skids, he says, the hyper-commercialism invented in America is on the international rise. So, too, are the attendant ills: inequality, corruption, corporate power, environmental threats and psychological destabilisation.

''A society of markets, laws and elections is not enough if the rich and powerful fail to behave with respect, honesty and compassion toward the rest of society and towards the world. America has developed the world's most competitive market society but has squandered its civic virtue along the way.

''Without restoring an ethos of social responsibility, there can be no meaningful and sustained economic recovery.''

America's crisis developed gradually over several decades, he argues. It's the culmination of an era - the baby-boomer era - rather than of particular policies or presidents. It is a bipartisan affair: both Democrats and Republicans have played their part.

''On many days it seems that the only difference between the Republicans and Democrats is that Big Oil owns the Republicans while Wall Street owns the Democrats.''

Too many of America's elites - the super rich, the chief executives and many academics - have abandoned a commitment to social responsibility. They chase wealth and power, the rest of society be damned, he says.

We need to reconceive the idea of a good society. ''Most important, we need to be ready to pay the price of civilisation through multiple acts of good citizenship: bearing our fair share of taxes, educating ourselves deeply about society's needs, acting as vigilant stewards for future generations and remembering that compassion is the glue that holds society together.''

The American people are generally broadminded, moderate and generous, he says. But these are not the images of Americans we see on television or the adjectives that come to mind when we think of America's rich and powerful elite.

America's political institutions have broken down, so that the broad public no longer holds these elites to account. And the breakdown of politics also implicates the public. ''American society is too deeply distracted by our media-drenched consumerism to maintain habits of effective citizenship.''

Sachs says a healthy economy is a mixed economy, in which government and the marketplace play their roles. Yet the federal government has neglected its role for three decades, turning the levers of power over to the corporate lobbies.

The resulting ''corporatocracy'' involves a feedback loop. ''Corporate wealth translates into political power through campaign financing, corporate lobbying and the revolving door of jobs between government and industry; and political power translates into further wealth through tax cuts, deregulation and sweetheart contracts between government and industry. Wealth begets power, and power begets wealth.''

How have American voters allowed their democracy to be hijacked? ''Most voters are poorly informed and many are easily swayed by the intense corporate propaganda thrown their way in the few months leading to the elections.

''We have therefore been stuck in a low-level political trap: cynicism breeds public disengagement from politics; the public disengagement from politics opens the floodgates of corporate abuse; and corporate abuse deepens the cynicism.''

Sachs says globalisation and the rise of Asia risks the depletion of vital commodities such as fresh water and fossil fuels, and long-term damage to the earth's ecosystems.

''For a long time, economists ignored the problems of finite natural resources and fragile ecosystems,'' he writes. ''This is no longer possible. The world economy is pressing hard against various environmental limits, and there is still much more economic growth - and therefore environmental destruction and depletion - in the development pipeline.''

Two main obstacles to getting the global economy on an ecologically sustainable trajectory exist, he says. The first is that our ability to deploy more sustainable technologies, such as solar power, needs large-scale research and development.

The second is the need to overcome the power of corporate lobbies in opposing regulations and incentives that will steer markets towards sustainable solutions. ''So far, the corporate lobbies of the polluting industries have blocked such measures.''

In Australia, of course, the public interest has so far triumphed over corporate resistance. But the survival of both the carbon tax and the mining tax remains under threat."

We acknowledge our indebtedness for this piece to Ross Gittins, one of the finest writers in the mainstream media.  You might find the comments that follow his article informative.  They reveal starkly the variety of attitudes, and the wide variation in philosophy of his readers.

If you found Gittins’ article interesting you may also enjoy reading the rather dire account of the economy in the US: Debtpocalypse, Austerity and the Hollowing Out of America - Modern US history and the archeology of decline by Steve Fraser published in Common Dreams – Building Progressive Community.

It is now over to you, the users of The Political Sword, to express your views.

What do you think?

Comments (397) -

  • Ad astra reply

    12/5/2012 5:59:25 PM |

    Let me begin with some observations about the ideological values that are exposed by Gittins’ article.

    Across the democratic world, there are sharp divisions between those who occupy what is usually referred to as the ‘Left’, often called ‘progressives’, and those of the ‘Right’, the ‘conservatives’.  While both sides recognize the need for a strong economy built on enterprise and competitiveness, other values separate the two.  

    As Gittins points out, in America where free markets and light regulation have prevailed, the downside of that society is that it “has let market institutions run wild over politics and public values.”  We saw this during the GFC when Lehmann Bros collapsed, and other financial institutions that had built their wealth on shonky financial instruments, so-called collateralized debt obligations born out of the proliferation of subprime mortgages, had to be rescued out of the public purse because they were too big to fail.

    Irresponsible financial transactions ran riot, although the perpetrators knew they were shonky and very risky, and when they failed, the people paid.  And soon after the bailout, the executives responsible for this calamity were again pocketing large bonuses although they had lost billions of other people’s money.

    These are the same people who now oppose higher taxes on the very wealthy, who want to cut social expenditure by reducing welfare to the needy, and who resist cutting defence expenditure, which would make inroads into the powerful military-industrial complex, the danger of which was highlighted long ago by Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address.  It is now bigger than ever.

    Gittins points to the American financial system as “…an economy of hype, debt and waste that has achieved economic growth and high incomes at the cost of extreme income inequality”.  A telling paragraph reads: ''Corporate wealth translates into political power through campaign financing, corporate lobbying and the revolving door of jobs between government and industry; and political power translates into further wealth through tax cuts, deregulation and sweetheart contracts between government and industry. Wealth begets power, and power begets wealth'', a phenomenon he labels: “corporatocracy''.

    For any who think this is peculiar to America, just look at the different attitudes and values between Coalition and Labor ideologies.  We see Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, and indeed Coalition State governments, embracing free markets with light regulation, surplus budgets and debt repayment, but at the expensive of health, education and social welfare for the poor and disadvantaged, and today we heard Joe Hockey say, despite Abbott insisting he was ‘Dr Yes’ to the NDIS, that he would fund it only if the budget was well into surplus.  Every day we see Campbell Newman making cuts that savage health, education and social services.

    It is disingenuous for columnists to assert that there is really no difference between the two sides of politics.  There is a world of difference – not as much as in America, but what is happening there ought to be a stark warning for us.

    Although Gittins makes a reasonable case, the first comment I read began: “Typical Gittins article, exemplifying the intellectual dishonesty, or at best confusion in ‘progressive’ thought”, a typical ‘shoot the messenger’ comment from someone who clearly dislikes Gittins’ message.  It exemplifies the stark division between the conservatives and the progressives, the right and the left, which bedevils our politics, and will more radically do so if we allow ourselves to be drawn down the American path, one that the likes of Tea Party admirer Cory Bernardi would have us travel.

    Ross Gittins has done us a service; the book to which he refers: The Price of Civilisation, should be a good read.

  • 2353

    12/5/2012 6:23:02 PM |

    I may be sounding considerably older than my years here - but it wasn't like this in the "good old days".  My theory is that the introduction of marketing to politics in the 70's (and the ALP It's time campaign is an example of this) along with the rise of "greed is good" and "what's in it for me" in the 80's put paid to the potential of political parties to work together for the benefit of society.

    I feel the world is slowly coming back to value society and the increasingly polarised political system will eventually result in the same situation as the V8 Supercars.  In reality the cars are pretty similar under the bodies but there are mad keen Holden supporters, mad keen Ford supporters who wouldn't be seen dead supporting the other side.  The whole thing has become so irrelevant to the original purpose of racing cars (reliability testing for the showroom) that the majority of the population really couldn't give a rats who won.  The governing body is now fighting for relevance again by introducing a new set of rules that will allow things without Holden or Ford badges on the track.

    In society there is a greater interest in "back to basics" so I believe political parties will eventually get the idea that society expects them to work together for the benefit of the Country.  Obama's re-election, the current reporting on the US financial issues reporting that the Republicans are trying it on but will have to give up a lot more than  Obama will have to do, the media enquiry in the UK and the popularity rating of the LOTO here are all pointers to a better society.  Those who want a better world have to keep on agitating on sites such as this to get real and lasting change.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/5/2012 7:51:47 PM |

    Marcellus Wallace‏@bdrinkwater
    Reposted from Twitter

    @BowlerBarrister Try as they might, this "dirty little secret" now has a pulse of it's own. Check it @liberalaus Smile

    Dog Albitey I want Abbortt brought to book. But I want him there for now. A filthy stinking piece of baggage to which his side of politics is handcuffed. Bringing them down day by day. He will never recover. Dead Meat Come December remember.


    12/5/2012 7:58:14 PM |

    AD Astra
      It all comes down to the US ethos of "Greed is good" damn the result or long term environmental, social, costs. With an attitude of "as long as I have more that the next guy".

      Unfortunately we are stepping in the footsteps of the US if we go down the Lieberal path. Especially with the Mad Monk at the wheel. God help us all.

      Just listened to more hockey nommic's on ABC just now, "can't tell you anything until 10 days before the next election", that will soon were thin over the next 10 months, what a dope he is.

    Or he thinks we are the dopes, well there are at least 1 or 2 here aren't there when all said & done.

    LITERARY uplugh captcha  


  • TalkTurkey

    12/5/2012 8:05:05 PM |

    And this is fun
    Geoff Pearson‏@GCobber99

    Tony Abbott shows - once again - that he can't be trusted to follow his own advice


    12/5/2012 8:05:57 PM |


      I also agree  But I want him there for now. although I detest this prick of a person, he is our best asset. Slow toasting for the next 3-4 months maybe over AFHP, should be well done by then.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/5/2012 9:13:45 PM |

    And well worth reliving!

    Geoff Pearson‏@GCobber99

    Video Tony Abbott didnt want the public to see Deside for your self this is the party claiming they will fix economy

  • TalkTurkey

    12/5/2012 9:19:13 PM |


    Not toasting. Gangrene and Putrefaction. Infecting all around him.

    But what's AFHP anyway?

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/5/2012 10:08:22 PM |

    I’ll post this here too, because Nasking & I go back about 6 years, and I think I owe him a reply…

    ”Come on ToM reveal thyself.
    Show us the REAL YOU.
    The class act beneath the UNIONS SUCK bravado. 



    Just joshin' 

ToM yer fine just the way you are. 

    Another negabore incognito...afraid of the light.”

    I think I’ll choose to take that in good spirit Nasking.

    I (obviously) think blogging should be done with a fair amount of vigour, it is an activity for testing of points of view. If it’s not for this, what possible purpose does it serve, other than social networking?

    Why would anyone wish to publish their opinions and political orientation in the public domain, unless they wish to have it examined?

    But I suspect if anyone really wanted to waste their time trying to find out my name, they wouldn’t find it a huge challenge. I’ve posted an email address and exchange emails with a couple of people on the blogs.

    I’ve posted plenty of personal details and I think google would be of assistance.

    But really, what’s the point? We’re only exchanging opinions, and we’re not pretending to change the views of anyone.

  • LadyInRed

    12/5/2012 10:37:49 PM |

    The meaning of greed in Hindi: a mans greed for money leads him to do anything.

    I visited an old slate mine in Snowdonia in Wales. Some stats: the average age of a slate miner was 27. They sent you down the mines as young as 6 years old. You had to buy (yes buy) your own candles to take with you so you could see to extract the slate for the wealthy so and so that owned the mine. If you were the person who did the dynamiting you were more than likely deaf. You worked 6 days a week, you had choir practice 2 nights a week, and on Sundays you had to go to church twice. They sung like angles.

    Compassion, the mine owners - they had none.

    The only way we have made a difference is through engagement with the political process of government, demanding better conditions (trade unions, suffragettes) and the use of our right to vote, that we have become cynical disturbs me. TAbbott uses this synicism to his advantage, thank goodness for the 5th estate.

  • Woodypear

    12/6/2012 1:41:30 AM |

    Holdens/fords, collingwood/essendon, Liberal/Labor - there will always be those who will support blindly one or the other.  These people can't see the virtues of the others' argument/point of view.  In each of these situations fortunately, there is an overriding  concern - car racing, football and democracy.  Each of these situations has a governing body set up to maintain the punter's interest. The two sporting situations and the political one each get interference by outsiders who will try to benefit from them, regardless of the effect on the supporters.  Only when the organisations have strong governing bodies, that put the interest of the punters first, will that activity prosper.  Unfortunately, with politics, the outsiders are becoming too powerful and are calling the shots.  We need to stand up and be counted.


    12/6/2012 5:58:49 AM |

    Australians For Honest Politics= his slush fund.

  • Crowey

    12/6/2012 7:10:38 AM |

    The heavy rigid semi trailer Abbott is suppose to be driving from Qld to NSW wouldn't be over loaded by any chance.

  • Jason

    12/6/2012 8:04:21 AM |

       Mark Latham is a day late for the previous thread!

    The joke that’s journalism

    It just won’t go away. The misrepresentations, the lack of research skills, the inability to understand basic facts and report them in a logical and coherent way. If the Slater & Gordon affair proves anything, it does not concern the professional standing of Australia’s Prime Minister. It highlights, instead, the professional incompetence of its media.

    Over the years, I have grown accustomed to the error-prone nature of modern journalism. In one’s daily media consumption it is not difficult to find a series of stuff-ups. But even I have been shocked by the shambolic reporting of the so-called slush fund controversy, especially over the past fortnight, as more news outlets have rushed to judgment about a complex, detailed matter two decades ago.

    Some of this comes from political bias. The prolific Herald-Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, for instance, has made scores of mistakes because he is intellectually incapable of treating Julia Gillard fairly.

    This is also true of Australia’s Lunar Right radio stations, where the broadcasters have just one rule: you can say whatever you like, as long as it’s anti-Gillard. In its fanaticism about the Prime Minister, Australian conservatism has lost touch with real world notions of fact-based thinking and analysis.

    Even in upmarket publications like The Australian  and Fairfax’s newspapers, errors abound – so many in fact I have decided to write a book about media incompetence, using Slater & Gordon as a representative case study. For now, let me give you one of my favourite examples.

    On August 30, I wrote of how West Australian public servants had told me it was possible to register an incorporated association which undertook “fund-raising for trade union elections”.

    Four days later, The Australian’s legal affairs editor, Chris Merritt, wrote of how “Latham quoted his unnamed official as saying there would not be a prohibition on registering a union”. I had done no such thing, and nor had the WA officials.

    I subsequently rang Merritt to explain his error but he would not listen. He persisted in his mistaken belief that a fund-raising body like the AWU Workplace Reform Association might, in fact, be a trade union.

    Under West Australian law in 1992 (when Gillard gave free legal advice for the creation of the AWU WRA), it was not possible for unions to be registered as incorporated associations.

    Last Thursday, Tony Abbott, relying on another report, this time by Mark Baker in the Fairfax press, made a similar mistake to Merritt. A lengthy parliamentary debate followed in which Gillard confirmed the obvious: the AWU WRA was not a trade union. So what did Merritt write on Friday?

    He attacked Gillard by raising the nonsensical question of whether, for the purpose of its registration, the AWU WRA “was a union association or not?”

    Even with the passage of three months and extensive parliamentary discussion the previous day, Merritt showed how the power of learning is beyond him. Like a dullard bashing his head against a wall, he insisted in making the same elementary mistake.

    A decade or so ago, I recall Alan Ramsey telling me journalism was a dying profession.

    I thought he was exaggerating, but the great man was right. Journalism as we know it is dying, choking on its own incompetence. It is going the way of every commercial organisation which takes its customers for granted, offering low-grade services.

    For the sake of our democracy, this cannot happen fast enough. One of the reasons the Australian people are so disengaged from politics is their deep-seated distrust of journalism.

    The public has seen too many errors and too many smear campaigns masquerading as “investigative reporting” to take the media seriously. Unable to get reliable, independent information about politics, they see little point in following the public debate.

    Hopefully, a decade from now, newspapers and TV news bulletins will no longer exist, having gone the way of record players and typewriters.

    The best outcome would be for consumers to demand and receive individually-customised online services, delivering straight factual items plus material from columnists to whom they have chosen to subscribe.

    In this fashion, the internet can kill off the intermediary role of newspaper editors, TV producers and muddle-headed commentators like Merritt.

    Mark Latham is a former Labor leader

  • pappinbarra foxette

    12/6/2012 8:04:21 AM |

    Nothing is new - Gulliver could see the preposterous lunacy of big endians and little endians in one of his many travels.

    My old mum used to say if bullshit was thripence a pound Bob Menzies would be a millionaire- LOTO Abbott's truck must be worth a pretty penny- cartoonish I suspect like the other Lotto truck in the ads.

  • pappinbarra foxette

    12/6/2012 8:04:45 AM |

    Nothing is new - Gulliver could see the preposterous lunacy of big endians and little endians in one of his many travels.

    My old mum used to say if bullshit was thripence a pound Bob Menzies would be a millionaire- LOTO Abbott's truck must be worth a pretty penny- cartoonish I suspect like the other Lotto truck in the ads.

  • lawriejay

    12/6/2012 8:16:47 AM |

    There's a lot to be said for Tony Abbott driving a truck from Brisbane to Sydney and we can rely on the MSM to keep us fully informed??
    Priority focus??

  • Woodypear

    12/6/2012 8:39:25 AM |

    But Mark, Julia Gillard still has a lot of questions to answer - what was the temperature that day; what was she wearing; did she actually eat lunch or skip it, to mention a few.  What a lovely line - "still has questions to answer".  As a journalist you can set up any smear campaign with that line.

  • Ad astra reply

    12/6/2012 8:54:34 AM |

    Welcome to The Political Sword family.  Do come again.

    I’m pretty sure you have been here before, so welcome back to The Political Sword.

    Thank you for the Mark Latham piece; it is in line with the last piece on TPS.  His proposed book should be worth reading.  He writes well.  I enjoyed reading his last book The Latham Diaries.

  • Ad astra reply

    12/6/2012 8:55:11 AM |

    Thank you for your comment on the last thread.  Let’s see how the experiment goes: how much it keeps the site ticking over, how much interest it generates, and how much time it takes me.  

    I hope that some more articles crop up that lend themselves to an ideological discussion.  I feel that it is too easy to get bogged down in discussion of contemporary political issues that obscure the fundamental ideological differences between the political parties: Labor, Liberal, Nationals and Greens, differences which profoundly influence their behaviour and their approach to issues of policy.

    Journalists, and some of the public, like to say: ‘Political parties all the same”, or that ‘Politicians are all the same”, which even the most superficial assessment shows is incorrect.  I believe strongly that it is easier for us to understand why parties and individual politicians do what they do if we are aware of the underpinning ideology of the parties and individual politicians.  This is why I though a series that addresses political ideology might be useful over the break when there will be fewer policy issues in the public arena.

  • jaycee

    12/6/2012 8:59:30 AM |

    I see Dame Elizabeth Murdoch and Dave Brubeck both passed away today....Both have to be considered artists...One produced magnificent music..the other reproduced a human tragedy!

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/6/2012 9:08:56 AM |

    LOTO Abbott still has "questions to answer" about how he obtained a truck driver's licence,was there any bribe offered or accepted, who funded the truck, who will he employ and how will that person be paid, to walk in front of the truck swinging a red lantern?
    If the truck is filled with Hope where are Faith and Charity?
    Is the taxpyer being slugged for this venture?
    You get the idea.

  • DMW

    12/6/2012 9:23:16 AM |

    To add another perspective to the Gittins article Ad has posted it would pay to listen to Wednesdays Religion and Ethics Report on Radio National and the discussion Mr Gittins had with Andrew West.

    Ross Gittins on Ethical Economics
    A spokesman for the Australian retail industry urged consumers recently to “start early and go hard”, declaring Christmas had arrived. But this consumption culture has one of Australia’s top economic commentators worried that we’re spending ourselves not just into record debt but misery as well. Ross Gittins believes this ethos of prioritising economic growth and flexible work practices threatens family life and relationships. He writes about it in his new book, Gittins’ Gospel (2012) and in a recent Sydney Morning Herald column, where he warned corporations have hijacked American democracy. Interestingly, in NSW, unions and churches recently fought off an attempt to introduce trading on Boxing Day.

    It is also worth listening to the next story from that programme The legacy of John Nevile and the philosophy of Adam Smith

  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 9:26:48 AM |

    Where would we be, what would we do,
    Tell me Tony, if we didn't have you!

    Truly, he has kept us interested. Disgusted yes, all that, but we dare not just turn our backs and let an Abborttian Government happen. So he has kept our adrenalin pumping . . .  

    Imagine he'd been a pussy like Downer.

    Stupid MSM still pandering to his stunts I'm told though I haven't seen any TV footage of him and his Truck myself.

    I think they might feel a tad ridiculous now, and they are starting timidly to nibble at him in doorstops. His flesh is rotting, they like that, Dog albitey they're gutless though. I want to see some Piranhas with the courage of their convictions. (Yeah what convictions?)

    Anyway a couple of feel-good songs about Truckers, and looka what People are saying about Truckin' Tony.  

    Six Days On The Road


  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/6/2012 9:34:02 AM |

    Morning all: some pieces we may not yet have seen, plus some additional Twitter feeds with links.

    The PM Versus The Premiers Ben Eltham

    We’ve covered the AWU non-scandal here at New Matilda rather reluctantly; I firmly believe that the available evidence on the public record essentially vindicates the Prime Minister. With parliamentarians returning to their electorates, December is therefore a month in which we might have hoped that attention would turn to issues of policy and substance.

    For her part, Julia Gillard is getting on with the business of running the country. There’s a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments coming up this Friday, for instance, which gives her the perfect opportunity to resume combat with the natural enemies of all prime ministers, conservative or Labor: state premiers.

    A million new jobs ain't what it used to be Greg Jericho

    He analyses Tony Abbott's pledge to create a million jobs in five years - although to be completely accurate, in the forward of Abbott's new book, he wrote "Within five years, I am confident that our economy can create at least one million new jobs."  So the economy's responsible, not him!

    To put this in perspective, 1.002 million jobs were created between March 2007 and March 2012 - a period in which the Rudd/Gillard government was mainly in office, and the minor matter of a GFC.

    Hockey on four-point plans and a falling economy Bernard Keane

    “The Reserve Bank is trying to catch a falling Australian economy. The government is making it worse by going on a big taxing, big spending program.”

    That, from yesterday, could be the single dumbest thing Joe Hockey has said this year.

    The shadow treasurer is at his best when he’s least partisan. No other major party politician has dared put their name to the sort of comments Hockey made about entitlements. Speaking to international media and observing the rule that you don’t bag Australia to foreigners, he looks a measured, mature Treasurer-in-waiting. When he’s trying to score political points in an economy that for so long has resolutely failed to produce any bad news, the result, like yesterday’s quote, is painful.

    Verdict: Trial by media Barry Tucker

    The News Ltd owned Melbourne Herald responded with a virtual trial by media coverage of Mr Thomson’s speech. A front page photograph was embellished to give Mr Thomson a large Pinocchio-style nose.

    The overall tone of the articles presented Mr Thomson as a liar. The two polls of Herald Sun readers that accompanied the articles largely reinforced the impression.

    During his speech Mr Thomson questioned the possible involvement and motives of the Liberal Party in the affair — allegations that have not been examined by the mainstream media (MSM).

    Bernard Keane ‏
    Mark Latham rips modern journalism a new one, yo. And in passing humiliates The Oz's Chris Merritt

    Malcolm Fraser
    'Political promise' to return budget to surplus 'very dangerous' Hostage to fortune, politics over good policy.

    Bernard Keane
    Max Walsh warns Julia Gillard about self-funded retirees, yo. Er, I don't think any of them bastards vote Labor, Max

    Stephen Koukoulas
    Retweet: The 2013 and 1993 unloseable elections … @MelbReview

    Solar users force Newman Government backdown |  

    Public service job cuts, mining slowdown as Queensland economy goes in to reverse

    Possum Comitatus
    In a development that won't surpise anyone, The Fin and The Australian strangely omit reporting that productivity is the highest in 10 years

    Destroy the Context
    Newman can escape the 'leader killing season'

  • jaycee

    12/6/2012 9:39:06 AM |

    I see many tributes coming in on some sites for Dame Elizabeth Murdoch....Sure, fair enough, she contributed her share to charitable and artistic endeaveours...But I recall an encounter with a middle-aged Greek Lady who was the canteen cleaner and more at one place I worked.. She had a large family and held down two jobs a day..we were having lunch at one of the long tables there and the factory cat was on the table amusing us when Elena (the cleaner!)gave it a swoosh with the tea-towel that seemed to be forever draped over her shoulder.
    "Hey! nice!" one chap mocked, to which she replied without missing a step..
    "I am only "nice" on payday and between I am too tired and too poor."
    To some, it is much easier to be "nice".

  • LadyInRed

    12/6/2012 9:43:28 AM |

    That's all he's got? Driving a truck stunt? If this is supposed to endear him to female voters he can forget it. This just reinforces and highlights his macho "look at me" (not my policies), "the PM is a woman and I am a man", image. Its right up there with Bishop and Pyne telling us about his spending his saturday fire fighting, and that ridiculous footage of him pulling a hose. His constant door stops with the fluro vest. Its more of him trying to dumb down the debate.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 9:48:01 AM |

    Pappinbarra Fox,

    Who funded the Truck?
    Who funded the Truck?
    A trucker I wonder?
    Or just a truck-funder,
    A ****sucker not worth a buck?

  • DMW

    12/6/2012 9:50:17 AM |

    Just a thought on ... still has questions to answer

    You claim to be a journalist ask the freakin' questions you freakin' dimwit.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 10:08:26 AM |

    Ad astra Stop worrying about TPS!

    We're all addicts now, happy ones, no-one writes threads like yours but we all have an interest in keeping this site rocking.

    Jaycee I have thought likewise about Dame Murdoch, I thought your little story well put! That said, back to the centre:  better for her to have been a bit philanthropic than not at all (a la Rindlard) . . .

    Still it is hard to forgive her for spawning Rupert. She died of shame because of his lies of course, but she took a bloody long time to do it. I'm assured that he is impatient to join her.  

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/6/2012 10:12:41 AM |

    ” I feel that it is too easy to get bogged down in discussion of contemporary political issues that obscure the fundamental ideological differences between the political parties: Labor, Liberal, Nationals and Greens, differences which profoundly influence their behaviour and their approach to issues of policy.

    The major issue isn’t the ideological differences between the parties; it is the dishonesty and corruption within the political parties – their structures and processes – note John Faulkner. This malaise is the cause of disengagement from politics by youth, it is the reason that people are cynical about politicians (and their behaviour and motivations), and it helps explain why young idealists no longer seek a political career.

    While current examples of questionable behaviour might bother ALP supporters, such examination is important to start to clean up political behaviour.

    Workchoices proved that political parties that are too ideologically driven will be short lived. It is unlikely that any major party will press ahead with ideologically driven policies that are incapable of being embraced by the electorate.

    Ideologically, the ALP would prefer to provide unions with a stronger leg up, but the orientation of the electorate won’t support this. The political orientation of the electorate stymies implementation of extreme political philosophy.

    You should be arguing for more transparency and integrity in political parties, rather than defaulting to blaming the press.

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/6/2012 10:19:33 AM |

    Tok Turkie

    I am not the truck funder
    I am the truck funder's son
    I only fund trucks when the
    truck funder's gone ...

    LadyinRed - we all know that all truckies look the same but some are actually smart, cannot say that about the stunt truck drivers (yeah that is you LOTO.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 10:21:51 AM |

    You really getting into Linking now! What a Good Thing!

    Lyn's influence blossoming eh!

    As a result of his Truck stunt, I wonder how many undecideds have come Abbortt's way, and how many have finally had enough of him to desert him for good? I would say, about none to quite a few, what think you? Not just women thinking him posing a macho, but a lot of men thinking of him posing as macho. Nice distinction. He's gutless. Sleeping in luxury motel, posing as tough trucker.

    Good Morning to all Comrades of the Sword.

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/6/2012 10:25:00 AM |

    What yo sayin'm girlie and who is yo directin' that at, at 9.50 am?

  • MWS

    12/6/2012 10:33:24 AM |

    Loved this letter in the SMH today:

    Joe Hockey's explanation that rates are so low because of bad economic management by the government would appear to now explain why interest would always be lower under the Coalition; obviously they are better at mismanaging the economy.

    Mark Pearce Richmond

  • Ad astra reply

    12/6/2012 10:51:22 AM |

    Janet, DMW
    My last word for the day as I attend to TPS Mail.  Thank you for the interesting links, several of which I have bookmarked.

    I'm taking your advice!

  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 10:51:46 AM |

    *J*U*L*I*A* confirming predictions of the Mayan Calendar!

  • bob macalba

    12/6/2012 11:05:14 AM |

    Janet,  thankyou some good reading,  that love story by Gerard Paynter was a bit sickly though,it made my skin crawl

    Talk Turkey, -naughty but funny, luv yer humour,  cheers

  • bob macalba

    12/6/2012 11:16:07 AM |

    man i forgot all about the world ending on the 21st, and heres me booked in for a colonoscopy on the 19th

  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 11:18:34 AM |

    bob said
    Talk Turkey, -naughty but funny, luv yer humour,  cheers

    Not as funny as our peripatetic fox I think!

  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/6/2012 11:23:25 AM |

    TT, Ad, and bob macalba and others.

    Glad you like the bit of help with links. I really enjoy doing it and getting all your links too, all of which I then tweet on during the day on Twitter. Will be vagabonding a bit in next few days so might not be doing much - but lots of you are so generously unstoppable, no shortage of reading, which is marvellous Smile.

    TT: a secret: a certain wee feathered bright-yellow resting tweetie has been doing some lovely and very close mentoring! Smile

  • 42 long

    12/6/2012 11:24:02 AM |

      I commented weeks ago to watch Latham. Very valuable contributions coming from him. One  ( with a confronting style with punch and guts, against many. He's up to it.
      The reality of the MSM and Abbott is feeble and minimal. "He who pays the piper calls the tune" is with them. They are deservedly going extinct.  

  • Gravel

    12/6/2012 11:24:30 AM |


    Cancel it till the 22nd, and you may not have to go through the indignity. Smile. Seriously good luck.

    I think I'm now following you on twitter, from a tweet from out holidaying Tweety Bird.


    Thanks for the Links, I'll get to them soon.

    Talk Turkey

    That is a brilliant video of our Julia, she has a great sense of humour.

    Ad Astra

    What a great idea to do this, and to give yourself a lot of time off (hopefully).  Please enjoy the break, we will need you next year.  Smile

    Oh and a belated welcome from me to all the newcomers recently. Because everyone has a different way of looking at events, and express things differently it is great to have even more voices added to this blog.   Oh and by the way it doesn't take long to work out the genuine from the pathetic.  Personal gravatar's are great to help scroll the odd troll.

  • bob macalba

    12/6/2012 11:49:06 AM |

    Talk Turkey
    agree also in the groove.  [peripatetic]-had to look the word up,

  • nasking

    12/6/2012 12:01:55 PM |

    I am happy with whatever you come up with that gives you a well-earned rest over the Xmas break.  Having said that, I think this 'experiment' of yours is a good one and should keep us all happy.

    What Janice said.



  • nasking

    12/6/2012 12:05:27 PM |

    Sachs says America's weaknesses are warning signs for the rest of the world. ''The society that led the world in financial liberalisation, round-the-clock media saturation, television-based election campaigns and mass consumerism is now revealing the downside of a society that has let market institutions run wild over politics and public values,''

    What Sachs says.


  • DMW

    12/6/2012 12:06:30 PM |

    pappinbarra fox @ 10:25 AM,
    it is random thought directed at any person who claims to be a journalist and/or pretends to be one.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 12:13:02 PM |

    What you say is fine, but let there be no attempt to portray as equivalent the propensity for sleaze, nor the relative abilities, of the Government vis-a-vis the Opposition. Labor is to LNP as Platinum is to poop.

    Crowey I'm a Crowie and we give the odd bit of meat to a couple of Crows who visit in downtown Glenelg. They are shy and sus of humans, but how shiny! Not quite as shiny as male Satin Bower-Birds but that's not fair because NOTHING is shinier than them.

    The Political Sword is feeling very well indeed don't you think.

  • DMW

    12/6/2012 12:15:57 PM |

    ToM @ 10:12 AM,
    mmmm, some interesting thoughts.

    Unfortunately other lives have called (very loudly) so I have to go. I will ponder as I wend my way around the traps.

    A quick random thought: You should be arguing ..., 'should' should be 'could'.
    Rewind, 'should' could be 'could' and maybe it would encourage a different response Smile

  • LadyInRed

    12/6/2012 12:16:00 PM |

    pappinbarra fox and TT

    I can imagine that many men find his over the top macho image ridiculous. He and Kevin have an awful lot in common, media whores the both of them. Here I am cutting a fish, here I am hammering a nail in, here I am packing cookies, here I am fighting fires, here I am driving trucks, here I am in my budgies smugglers isn't my tackle impressive.......oh please put it away! He can never be 'one of us', and surley we don't expect him to be? So this constant trying to present himself as what?......a person of substance? a person who undestands the problems of truckers by being one for a day.....this is not done via stunts. Empathy is not learned by using the tools that others use in their daily life, like a knife or a hammer or a truck. I hope I make sense. Empathy is something you feel and when you have it, it comes out in all that you do, and in the case of the potential next PM that would be policies, and not treating us like an audience of fools.

  • LadyInRed

    12/6/2012 12:18:06 PM |

    Janet yes I am on twitter.....but I am just a small bird with new wings, learning to flap. Thanks for noticing.

  • nasking

    12/6/2012 12:23:18 PM |

    Too many of America's elites - the super rich, the chief executives and many academics - have abandoned a commitment to social responsibility. They chase wealth and power, the rest of society be damned, he says.

    We need to reconceive the idea of a good society. ''Most important, we need to be ready to pay the price of civilisation through multiple acts of good citizenship: bearing our fair share of taxes, educating ourselves deeply about society's needs, acting as vigilant stewards for future generations and remembering that compassion is the glue that holds society together.''

    This can be said of the super rich across the planet.

    How refreshing to see that Rupert Murdoch's mum was a genuinely kind and good citizen.

    Elisabeth Murdoch might've found herself in a privileged position...but she did not use it to spread darkness and fear and sexual titillation in order to gain more influence...rather, she appreciated the possibilities of creating a better world for all...respecting the vibrancy of nature...and the artists who captured it...the potential of children...and their struggles...and how to lift them from pain to another plain...she obviously got that spreading the tiniest bit of goodwill by treating others as equals with respect and compassion could send waves of positivism...lightening the burdens of a complex life.

    She is indeed a loss for this essentially good country...and the world as a good people are.
    Sad times for her family and friends...but at least have those inspiring memories...and the warmth that she bestowed on them.


  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 12:26:28 PM |

    Janet said
    TT: a secret: a certain wee feathered bright-yellow resting tweetie has been doing some lovely and very close mentoring!

    I thought I heard the flutter of tiny wings around those Links! And Yes we can all help hold the fort, feels good.

    Bob: BUM!
    And I just bought a big tin of Nescafe . . .

  • MWS

    12/6/2012 12:27:44 PM |

    From Bernard Keane (and thanks to Janet for the link):

    Hockey also notes that consumer and business confidence has been damaged by the government. To which one might point out that it wasn't Wayne Swan out there repeatedly claiming that the carbon price would send a “wrecking ball through the economy”. It wasn’t Labor warning of $100 legs of lamb as a result. It wasn't Julia Gillard claiming Australia was a poorer place to invest than Tanzania or Zambia. It wasn't Labor that called for a “people’s revolt” against the carbon price, that claimed the government was illegitimate, that called the Prime Minister a “crook”.

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/6/2012 12:28:44 PM |

    Sense you make.
    Well said indeed.

    Oh,now I see and yes I agree.

    I love to go a rambling along a mountain track

    To ors - keep up the linking thingy - I'd do it but I don't know how - they didn't have these computer thingies in my day
    More power to luddites - except for bloggers who cast sorely needed light on the immovable MSM.

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/6/2012 12:31:19 PM |


    Although I have never seen Kevvie in budgie smugglers - from some accounts (his own I suspect) he'd need wedgie* smugglers.

    * wedge tailed eagle

  • MWS

    12/6/2012 12:32:29 PM |

    Cartoon from First Dog on the Moon, regarding Barnaby Joyce's brain fart last Monday:

  • jane

    12/6/2012 12:52:57 PM |

    Another great article, Ad astra. I've been lurking for the past few weeks, on account of that great curse of the working (wo)man-work.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Gittins piece and found myself nodding and agreeing aloud with him.

    There is a disconnect with a lot of the values that we used to espouse. Once, people who had "made it" would have been horrified to be the recipients of welfare.

    Their attitude was one of pride in having been successful enough to provide for themselves and their families not to have to dip into the public purse-their hard work had paid off.

    Now, thanks to the Howard government bribes, people on very generous incomes think they're more entitled to a helping hand than the poor and disadvantaged because they've worked hard. The implication being that people on low incomes don't work hard or are bludgers.

    They refuse to acknowledge that welfare is a safety net for the poor, the unemployed, disabled and disadvantaged. It is not, nor should it ever be, cash from the government to prop up a lifestyle of expensive choices beyond their means.

    If you can't afford the latest BMW, the most expensive private school, a huge mortgage for a house in an exclusive suburb, a holiday home at an expensive resort town and frequent high cost holidays, lower your sights.

    The rest of us aren't obliged to pick up the bill for your lifestyle choices. I hope this government continues to chip away at this attitude, until people on $100,000+/annum stop thinking of themselves as the needy and realise how fortunate they are.

    jaycee's cleaning lady Elena @9.39am, said it all much more succinctly, imo.

    ToM @10.12am, while I agree with a lot of what you say, I think the young are mostly uninterested in politics.

    I say this in the light of what my children and their friends, who are all in their twenties, have to say. Politics is very low on their list of interests, atm.

    TT, I think Liealot's slush fund should be re-badged Australians for Dishonest Politics.

    According to my 49%, the colonoscopy isn't too bad; it's the fasting and purging that sucks. Hope all goes well.

    MWS @10.33am, do you think Sloppy realised he had defined stupidity, not to mention irony? Nah! All too hard for poor old Sloppy.

  • nasking

    12/6/2012 12:55:38 PM |

    I think I’ll choose to take that in good spirit Nasking.

    It has been more than a few exhausting years ToM hasn't it?...I'm surprised we're still at it. Laughing

    Must be something that drives us...that goes beyond money, the search for fame, the need to accumulate friends...a career...

    because we've pissed off enuff people in our time with our views we've got stuff-all of the above to show for it.


    I think we both want change...

    we just have different ideas on how to get there...and perhaps some different objectives.

    Anyway, as they did during The Great (ironic eh?) War - hopefully not a reflection of our ideological battles - let's put down our weapons soon and have a toast...wishing US a "bloody Merry Christmas!!!"

    Not long now.

    Sometimes I feel the exhaustion deep in my bones...and a strange sadness...that it's taken this long...and perhaps without the influence and stubbornness and greed and mistakes of some, we might not have had so much conflict...rather, found more time to agree...and not been wounded...wounded so many...lost sooo many...along the way. In the midst of this most strange of ideological wars. seems I'm getting soft with I reminisce...reflect...

    C'est la vite. Life in the cyber-trenches.


  • LadyInRed

    12/6/2012 12:57:08 PM |


    Thank you so much for laugh I got from your last post re: Barnaby's brain fart. First dog on the moon rocks!

    I think Barnaby meant......Everyone knows I am the fool, so I can say anything I like. What was my brief today? oh yeah find a way to mention carbon tax. Tone's will be proud of me and I will get a star against my name on the staff fridge.

  • nasking

    12/6/2012 1:06:56 PM |

    I thought he was exaggerating, but the great man was right. Journalism as we know it is dying, choking on its own incompetence. It is going the way of every commercial organisation which takes its customers for granted, offering low-grade services.

    For the sake of our democracy, this cannot happen fast enough. One of the reasons the Australian people are so disengaged from politics is their deep-seated distrust of journalism.

    it's a sad state of affairs...but like all destructive and archaic industries we eventually learn to move on...dependency recedes...

    it's the end of an era...

    the new world calls for new definers...the contributions of THE ALL.


  • nasking

    12/6/2012 1:10:28 PM |

    The heavy rigid semi trailer Abbott is suppose to be driving from Qld to NSW wouldn't be over loaded by any chance.

    we know one thing for certain...the cab is overloaded with bullshit.


  • LadyInRed

    12/6/2012 1:15:43 PM |


    Good article from Keane, thanks.

    He's not wrong about the Nats. I am looking at the fearful leader of the Nationals latest propaganda aptly named "Warren Truss Reports". He has surveyed our area of Wide Bay (what that means is people who could be bothered sent back his 44 questions that concern), very statistically significant....not. He seems to not know that when you ask for peoples opinions you generally get people of extreme views responding. You also tend to get people whose view match your own.....but I digress.

    Anyway of greatest concern to this region is "the level of foreign ownership of Australian land" AND "foreign ownership of Australian companies" AND "prevention of foreign takeovers". We should reduce foreign aid. Stop being humanitarian and government should provide more assistance to business and industry to support local jobs but not car makers.....oh not those people they don't deserve government help, because we don't make cars up here, we make trains and Newman is making sure we make less of those. Oh and get tuff on crime. And the carbon tax - don't let me get started on the carbon tax.  So there yah go Wide Bay according to Truss.

  • LadyInRed

    12/6/2012 1:24:35 PM |

    oh and don't tell Tony but apprently 87% think more frieght should be sent by rail. So maybe Tone's can learn to drive a train over Christmas?

  • Miglo

    12/6/2012 1:49:50 PM |

    Merry Christmas to you too, Nas. We've survived another year.

  • Crowey

    12/6/2012 2:14:22 PM |

    The heavy rigid semi trailer Abbott is suppose to be driving from Qld to NSW wouldn't be over loaded by any chance.


    I thought Hockey was in the back of the trailer.

  • Casablanca

    12/6/2012 2:31:31 PM |

    Her Roy Hill Highness

    A gold Koala stamp for the person who coined the title for our favourite billionaire-ess. I think that we all should adopt it.

    Don't holiday overseas, Rinehart recommends.

  • Casablanca

    12/6/2012 2:36:06 PM |

    Stubborn unemployment refuses to rocket. Michael Pascoe
    December 6, 2012 - 12:39PM

    This must be frustrating the bears as much as flat housing investment frustrates the bulls – unemployment keeps refusing to skyrocket the way the doomsday brigade, tabloid headlines and the federal opposition promise.

    Read more:

  • TalkTurkey

    12/6/2012 2:38:39 PM |

    Jane said

    TT, I think Liealot's slush fund should be re-badged Australians for Dishonest Politics.

    You gotta remember: Redheads are Blue. Tubby people are Slim.
    Lying Rodent Howard was Honest John.

    Australians for Honest Politics is aptly named!  

  • LadyInRed

    12/6/2012 2:43:20 PM |

    Her Roy Hill Highness needs to start to take some advice rather than give it. And here is some really good advice from me. Start modelling yourself on the late Elisabeth Murdoch, then maybe, just maybe, people will begin to listen to what you have to say, until then I suggest you shut up.

  • MWS

    12/6/2012 8:11:22 PM |

    Andrew Elder's latest offering:

    It is a dreadful slander on our democratic traditions and on the very real needs of our social institutions today to say that the confected outrage of media campaigns is the same as, or a substitute for, policy debate in this country. MSM journos report on what they wanna report on and anyone who doesn't like it can just just suck it up. Because those who provide us with information are focused away from debates of substance and import, any contribution to those debates is dismissed by Dyrenfurth, Farr and others as "ill informed", and thus the poverty of public debates through the mainstream media is reinforced. If politics is your sport, an arena where you can just cheer and boo like an ape, the complexities of debate are only going to get in your way. But when you're just hungry for stink, admit it: that's the way you like it.

  • MWS

    12/6/2012 8:22:56 PM |

    David Donovan from has written to the AEC regarding the dropping of an investigation into Australians for Honest Politics and Tony Abbott.

    I think we deserve to know what has gone on in this affair. Has Abbott, a then Minister of the Crown, used his influence to circumvent – or rather, short-circuit – a potentially devastating investigation by the AEC? If so, this is more than a question of character — this is corruption.

  • bilko

    12/6/2012 8:34:23 PM |

    Another thought provided blog. I have saved most of Ross's pieces in his maned folder with many other journos.
    Jane your comments re the ultra rich and the rest always reminds me of the Line "Live simple so others might simple live". I do not know who created it but it will remain with me for ever.

  • Wake Up

    12/6/2012 9:16:32 PM |


    With reference to the Independent Australia article on Abbott and the AEC, it is worth noting that there is a template included for use by anyone who wishes to email the AEC regarding this travesty.

  • BSA Bob

    12/6/2012 9:26:10 PM |

    I wonder if, with his latest stunt, the Pacific Highway may become one of Abbott's "signature policies" with him finding the money to spend on it whilst cutting back expenditure in other places & finding ways to take money off people to raise revenue. Then again, everything's aspirational these days innit? It's been said here & elsewhere that rail doesn't seem to come out of this very well.
    In the media I've watched here in S.A. there's been no mention of Tony's trip. Perhaps his minders judged there's no votes in it for him here over that? That people may decide that a dollar spent in coastal N.S.W. is a dollar not spent here?
    Speculation that's probably a bit over the top, but I wouldn't be surprised at that sort of thing nowadays.
    There are, of course, Questions For Abbott To Answer over this, such as who's paying for what, is he dossing down in the cab overnight? If not why not? If not, who's paying for his accommodation & how much?
    But from what I've gleaned it's not going down all that well anyway.

  • DMW

    12/6/2012 11:18:42 PM |

    Hey guys & gals a picky and pedantic poimt

    The heavy rigid semi trailer Abbott is driving from Qld to NSW ... or sinilar wording.

    A 'heavy rigid semi trailer' is an impossibility. Think about it.

    A semi trailer is an articulated vehicle, as in it 'bends' at one, two and in rare cases three points along its' length. A rigid vehicle cannot 'bend' during normal operation otherwise it wouldn't be rigid.

    Was it an ignorant journo that started the 'heavy rigid semi trailer' thing or the super intelligent mans' man LoTO that came up with that?

  • Trevor

    12/6/2012 11:45:37 PM |

    The "blow out" in cost of the Gorgon project over here has created the headlines and commentary from the usual galahs.  Demands that we must consider more flexible (read low cost imported) labour arrangements are trumpeted, without these we will all be ruined as companies such as Chevron may elect not to exploit our resources.  Of course these demands are reported without question by the dimwits in the MSM.

    I have some knowledge and experience with contracting construction of LNG projects and I have yet to see an escalation clause that permits variations for wage increase or even CPI adjustments.   The whole point to the extended and complex way the companies conduct the bidding process for these large contracts is to shift the risk on to the contractor. I can imagine there has been increases because of changes to scope of contracts and variations lodged due to a number of other reasons.  Chevron are never going to fess up however that the blow out is because they did define the scope well enough or their contractors have found holes to push through variations.   So why after contracts have been executed and work almost 50 percent complete are they now blaming high wages?  Well you can be sure none in the media will ask. Far easier to reprint the company press release and diatribe from the right wing commentators.  

    It would be the same as if, after signing a lump sum contract to build a house the builder said he would have to increase the price by 30 percent because his subbies were having to pay higher wages.  That does not fly when there is a an agreed price.   Contracting is after all, primarily, risk management.   We all know the  cost of projects usually go up but the most common cause is changes to scope and specifications.

    Of course Chevron, Woodside, Shell, ConocoPhillips et al would prefer to have floating LNG plants because without the gas coming on shore royalties are reduced significantly.  They can be built in Korea at slave labour rates and driven here.  

    I wait for our fearless press to question the motives of these companies and perhaps challenge what the real reasons for the cost increases are.  

  • jane

    12/7/2012 1:00:34 AM |

    TT @2.38pm, your logic is impeccable. I stand corrected, although I've never been called blue despite being a bloodnut.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/7/2012 6:10:41 AM |

    Check out who sent this tweet!

    Our Prime Minister is an international STAR!

    Mark Scott‏@abcmarkscott
    From the Daily Mail to The Voice of Russia, the world appreciates the PM's #endoftheworld advice.  @triplej

    The End of the World as we know it Audio

    Lyrics (???!!)

    As someone said yesterday, it'd be funnier still if the world as we knew it was not really coming to an end.
    With heavy heart.  

  • Alcyone

    12/7/2012 6:41:38 AM |

    Thank you, Ad Astra.  I really enjoyed this post.

    Social institutions remind me of animal instincts – designed to save the trouble of thinking through the design and the pros and cons of an action each and every time it’s called for.  Humans in general seek pleasure or profit in the company of others, so the notion of institutional devices to seamlessly standardise and integrate our lives has appeal.  It offers obvious strengths and benefits, not least less thinking.   However, as lemmings fail to realise, when the environmental context of an animal instinct changes, it can become something of a liability.  In the same way, the broad range of what we call “social institutions”, which can include things so intimate as childhood, marriage and parenthood or so meta-personal as media, democracy and the economy, only properly obtain when the bed-rock of beliefs, ideals and values on which they were founded has purchase in society.  In our society, bed-rock beliefs, ideals and values reflect our value for the rights and responsibilities of the individual as a moral agent.  This is why institutions, when they work as they are meant to, actually affirm the security, stability and happiness of both institution and individual.  But in a changed social environment, in which those beliefs, ideals and values are increasingly misrepresented, denied or abused (after all, they do rather obstruct a new-world-order construal of corporation as consumer and individual as consumed), three important aspects of individual autonomy are debilitated, not affirmed.  These are self-awareness, self-determination, and self-respect.  Given the brave new world Mr Sachs describes, maybe the remedy to apply on hearing an institutional siren-song is:  “Don’t be a lemming.  Find your Self and think with it”.

    Thank you Ad, and all contributors to TPS, for the comfort and pleasure of your company through the year.  A glad Christmas and bright New Year to TPS and all who sail in her.


  • TalkTurkey

    12/7/2012 7:04:14 AM |

    This blog is a minefield of information.

    DMW Yes I wondered what was meant by 'heavy rigid semi trailer', it is a contradiction, if it's a semi-trailer it's articulated, in which case it ain't rigid eh. Was that strange descriptor an attempt to cover Abbortt's arse do you think? Like, he's not entitled to drive an articulated vehicle maybe? I don't even know if he drove thebloody truck on the road at all! Anybody see such footage please?

    BSA Bob It's strange, I never saw Abbortt in his Truck neither, I had the feeling too that the Media felt this was ridiculous and embarrassing, a stunt too far. That is a welcome relief. "We'll have to think of a stunt to .. . Oh no that won't work neither. Well what about a stunt to . . . Oh no Dam we'll have to think of . . . erm .. . "

    Because they have no policy.

    He's in a bind once our insatiable journalists start using his stunts as an opportunity to nibble him - and one day soon someone will take a real bite out of him. They have to, their attempts at feeding off *J*U*L*I*A* have come to absolutely nought, which in their case is a big negative, they have invested a ridiculous amount of time trying to bring her down and they are confounded. They have to blame someone, we've seen how much they are prepared to blame themselves! And Dear Leader of the Opposition is the obvious culprit!  

    Jane I don't think girls get nicknames all that much. I got Blue hundreds of times as a kid. Carrot Top is stupid, carrot tops are green but then Blue is perverse too.

    Wake Up and MWS I'm keeping an eye on David Donovan's work too, he is a great warrior I'm glad to have on our side.  

    Trevor Thank you for some thought-provoking points in your post re Gorgon et al. It's exactly what one doesn't see in the MSM.  You actually know what you're talking about!  

    Bilko, 2353, LiR, Casablanca, I know I'll have missed some, so many people bringing original povs here, The Sword is singing.

    But my eyes are watering pretty bad too, Lyn says I gotta get BION Eyedrops and I will.  

  • Ad astra reply

    12/7/2012 8:40:09 AM |

    As you can see, I took Talk Turkey’s advice yesterday morning and stayed away from commenting on TPS all day.  This gave me time to work on writing Frequently Asked Questions for the upcoming TPS Mail system.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your complimentary, thoughtful and humorous comments this morning.  A big thank you to you all for keeping the site humming along.

    I see our PM has become an international star again with her dire predictions about the end of the world. TT’s Google search uncovered worldwide coverage.  She ought to be careful though as Tony Abbott has the Copyright on end-of-world predictions.  And Copyright is Copyright.

    Moreover, Joe Hockey has the Copyright on end-of-the-economy predictions.   After the recent reduction of the cash rate, he declared that this was the RBA’s attempt to catch a falling economy.  Julia had better not trespass on his territory.  He is currently working on his explanation of how ‘interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government’, which equals GOOD, but when they are lower under a Labor government, that equals BAD.  

    I have some technical work to do today on TPS, so I won’t be around much.

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/7/2012 10:47:24 AM |

    Ross Gittins makes good sense - we used to call it writing with common sense but we see so little of it nowadays that I had almost forgotten that the MSM still could produce such articles. Common sense writing does not use hyperbowl or grandiose adjectives in what purports to be a factual report. This leads to vacuous verbage (as my english teacher once wrote on a splendid piece by my good self)- which is the reason that very few want to actually pay for the paper. I'd like to see some stats on the uptake of the paywall system on the web too.

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/7/2012 10:56:45 AM |

    A semi trailer is an articulated vehicle, as in it 'bends' at one, two and in rare cases three points along its' length. A rigid vehicle cannot 'bend' during normal operation otherwise it wouldn't be rigid.

    Perhaps LOTO will bend it (not like Beckham)as he's coming down the mountain.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/7/2012 11:22:19 AM |

    Radio persons ring Preggo Kate's hospital pretending to be Queenie.
    Delighted headlines around the world.

    Prime Minister *J*U*L*I*A* regretfully announces End of the World.
    Delighted headlines around the world.

    LOTO wearing fluro jacket drives "heavy rigid semi-trailer" .
    Not, er, quite so much, heh heh.  

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/7/2012 11:30:54 AM |

    So during the next couple of weeks we’ll see the government walk away from its promised surplus. They are no doubt hoping that we’ll have forgotten about their promise over Christmas.

    Its drive for surplus was always politically motivated –

    •  It makes no economic difference whether there is a very small surplus of a very small deficit. Swan’s drive was just pap to put out another press release.
    •  The Reserve Bank is implementing expansionary monetary policy, while Swan is setting contractionary fiscal policy. This is inefficient economic policy.
    •  Swan has a history of implementing political economic policy and has previous continued his “stimulus”, while the Reserve bank was increasing interest rates to take the heat out of the economy.

    Swan’s promise to deliver a surplus was politically motivated, and now he should wear the political flack for breaking the commitment.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/7/2012 11:34:16 AM |

    Ad, & WM,
    I guess you're busy with little sticky bits of Web Mr WebMonkey but just to let you know that many of the gravatars have not come up (just in the last 10 minutes).

    It feels like losing my teddy. :,(

  • TalkTurkey

    12/7/2012 11:50:31 AM |

    Ad astra said
    I see our PM has become an international star again with her dire predictions about the end of the world. TT’s Google search uncovered worldwide coverage.

    Only thing, it wasn't my search, did you see it came from MARK SCOTT, he's a cunning bastard, he tweets innocuous bullshit himself ~ and quite often ~ but his presenters are almost all right-wing group-thinkers.

    All the pretty gravatars is come back. How beautiful is a Pappinbarra Fox eh! Pity I'm sworn enemy of foxes, only because they are feral and destructive of wildlife, they are brilliant animals just the same. I knew a tame fox once, Minna was her name, she answered to it, she had lost one leg but she could race rings around the little terrier that was her mate. She was so quick, so aware! That's why foxes are so terrible in Australia. But cats are worse.

    But just so there's no confusion, pf I think you have a lovely gravatar!

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/7/2012 12:06:22 PM |

    Tnx TT, I agree that european imports of all sorts have done zip for our environment, indeed have caused havoc in some instances, starting from white people on...
    But foxes do help to keep the rabbit population down.
    My fox monica is one bestowed on me as a 12 year old and its kinda stuck, I think because I was considered sharp with a retort rather than I had red flowing manes (whcih I did). You know the saying cunning like a fox, that was sorta me. Dart in have my say and retire to watch the mayhem from the sidelines.
    The classic import causing destruction is of course the cane toad. I was living in Darwin when they marched into town. An entmologist at Sydney museum wrote to the Qld gov in 1934 urging them not to release the toad. They actually held off for a few months but eventually ignored his advice and released them. His name was Bill Froggitt.

  • Jason

    12/7/2012 12:08:28 PM |

       Do you care to share a link?

  • Ad astra reply

    12/7/2012 12:56:46 PM |

    The Gravatars are coming up on my computer.  I see that pappinbarra fox has a great new Gravatar.

    I'll be out until late afternoon.

  • bilko

    12/7/2012 1:32:36 PM |

    bob macalba

    IMHO Tony Blair would still be UK PM if he had not hitched himself to GWB's bandwagon he had everyhing going for him. When I spoke to one of my brothers-in-law who is into local politics back there he was unable to shed any light on it, sad really as TB, WGB & GWH became the 21st century axis of evil.
    Most of the rellies back there are of pensionable age now and living comfortable but now they worry about their granchildren's futures.

  • nasking

    12/7/2012 3:48:46 PM |

    Merry Christmas to you too, Nas.

    And you Migs. Hopefully Santa won't forget yer FruChocs...for what is a duck without his goodies?

    Myself...I hope Santa brings me hot sauces and funky, groovy music.
    Spice life up on the hols...something the entire country could use...more hot spices and funky, groovy, jazz fused music...
    Groovy moves and wear...tearing a hole in the fabric of PREDICTABLY BORING TOWN AND SPACE

    We've survived another year.

    Indeed Migs. Another year on the roller-coaster. Laughing

    Tonite I shall have a Bloody Mary or two...followed by some French and then Latino red. Toast all of us...for no matter our differences...we have in common the fearless expression of views...seeking and creating spaces of diverse opinion...sometimes far from MSM nebula...

    Duck on!!!


  • nasking

    12/7/2012 4:03:04 PM |

    I remember living in Thatcher's UK...listening to this:

    Boogie wonderland - Earth Wind and Fire

    White stiff-faced boring suits on the TV...pontificating...sound muted...listening to this. Was good for a chuckle or twelve.


  • nasking

    12/7/2012 4:13:34 PM |

    I thought Hockey was in the back of the trailer.

    filling it with gas...preparing to flick the Bic.



  • LadyInRed

    12/7/2012 4:20:29 PM |

    From Kate Ellis MP:

    This morning Premier Campbell Newman and the Queensland LNP Government voted against national action to remove barriers to new child care centres opening up,  and to create more child care places for families on waiting lists.

    Sign our petition and join me in telling Campbell Newman that this isn’t good enough – Queensland deserves more child care places.

  • 2353

    12/7/2012 4:25:14 PM |

    For a bit of light relief on a Friday arvo - this link is worth a look.

    Yes, Bruce Flegg, the ex-LNP Minister that got the LNP Treasurer to "assess" sections of his Department, the ex-LNP Minster that resigned his Ministry over a number of scandals and the ex- Liberal Leader that some say caused the then Coalition to lose an election because he couldn't say who whould be Premier if the Libs won more seats than the Nats is suing his PR Advisor for a cool $1million or so because he went back to the backbench.

    If it wasn't so funny it would beggar belief.

  • nasking

    12/7/2012 5:54:03 PM |

    This morning Premier Campbell Newman and the Queensland LNP Government voted against national action to remove barriers to new child care centres opening up,  and to create more child care places for families on waiting lists.

    Not cool Newman...not cool.


  • Miglo

    12/7/2012 6:50:38 PM |

    Sure has been a roller coaster year, Nas, but nothing like we can expect next year, being an election year.

    The media, the Libs and the right-wingers will be on the attack like never before as Julia starts to fight back.

    And we'll be there to take 'em on.

  • bob macalba

    12/7/2012 7:16:44 PM |

    I agree they were the 'axis of evil'  but the puppet master pulling all their strings was the most evil of evil Rupert Murdoch, who himself being influenced by those who profit from war and the fear that comes with it,  a curse on all of them

  • nasking

    12/7/2012 7:39:41 PM |

    but nothing like we can expect next year, being an election year.

    The media, the Libs and the right-wingers will be on the attack like never before as Julia starts to fight back.

    Not sure why they'd bother...this govt being so RIGHT.

    War in Afghanistan...treatin' asylum seekers like shit...pushing coal and gas whilst pretendin' to do otherwise...anti-gay marriage PM...backroom talks and deals with big media inquiry worth it's weight in integrity...feeding money to free-to-air channels and car industry...continuing live exports...keeping the Lord's Prayer in parliament...the INTERVENTION goes on and on...useless mining tax...low carbon trade agreements...

    they're RIGHT-WING LABOR...verging on LIBERAL

    And we'll be there to take 'em on.

    Just gonna do my thing man...just gonna do my thing.


  • nasking

    12/7/2012 7:43:46 PM |

    Add...doin' sweet fck all about the money going to toff private schools.

    And goin' nutty over a COSTELLO-LIKE SURPLUS. Obsession...right-wing style.


  • Miglo

    12/7/2012 7:58:02 PM |

    Nas, yer sound tired. Rest easy over the break.

  • nasking

    12/7/2012 8:31:57 PM |


    More AWAKE than ever.


    I think it's the rest of Australia in SLEEP-MODE


  • nasking

    12/7/2012 9:09:07 PM |

    Men in suits
    Define the times
    All lined up
    Sincere in their shareholding gear
    Baking hot
    Sweat-soaked lot
    Tanned to the man
    Speak like spam
    With models hand in hand
    Lachlan, James, sports scam man
    Defining presenters in 20s time
    Look at me look at me
    Baby's grown up to build fortress free
    Free of effort, free of tax, free...of integrity

    Men in suits
    Slick is creed
    Greed is cool
    All smiles and sympathy

    Country early to bed...early to rise
    Working beyond 9-5
    Keeping it serious
    Keeping restrained
    Millions like a virtual chain gang
    ...rarely seein' the fruits in suits.


  • nasking

    12/7/2012 9:13:54 PM |

    two thumbs up


  • TalkTurkey

    12/7/2012 10:19:56 PM |

    Miglo, Nasking,

    I think you're both right.

    Nas you do sound, if not jaded, well browned off then, and I don't blame you really neither. I agree with all your gripes really. And don't forget my #1 concern, survival of Gaia Herself, the greatest of all priorities coming a Last by a furlong in world concerns.

    What to do?

    Well what more can we do but to try to hold the line.

    However much ground we have lost, the Labor Party IS The Line.

    It really isn't a difficult moral problem for me.

    It is not just the lesser of two evils. There is great nobility and good to be found in our Party. It is not the cynical bully-ridden self-interested cabal the MSM like to focus on. I don't intend to try to prove that, I have been a Member of the ALP for many years and take my word, Labor people are great.

    And when people blame the Labor Party for corruptoion or ineptitude, who are they blaming? Anyone can be an ALP Member for a tiny sum, maybe do a little more good than simply blaming from the safety of the bleachers. And they'd be a little less to blame than the blamers.

    So anyway, I'll have no hesitation in talking up our good points, while never evading the truth of the way I feel about Zionism, or the PM's initial statements about Julian Assange, or Cannabis laws*, even where I find myself in a minority of one sometimes . . . You would know that I am critical of Labor on a number of fronts, but I praise them (i.e.Us) on many more.

    What good will be done for ordinary People in Australia will not be done by the Coalition. It will not be done by the Greens nor the Catholic Church nor Happy clappers Jews Moslems Buddhists or Football, though sure, individuals may help. The Labor Party alone has the clout and the inclination and the policies to create ongoing change for the better - Gonsky and the NDIS and the NBN are testimony to that.

    So Nasking, look, you can talk down the Party, but I think you're a better trouper than that, that's why Miglo reckons you sound tired, maybe a tiredness deeper than just a few days' rest, it's called world-weariness and I'm sorry but we all feel it, well the only thing that seems to work is cameraderie, and determination to do what can be done, the most important thing being to help each other stay positive.


    *I see We have had a huge and astonishing long-overdue win in New York where at last recreational use of Cannabis is now legal!  

  • nasking

    12/7/2012 11:05:08 PM |

    And don't forget my #1 concern, survival of Gaia Herself, the greatest of all priorities coming a Last by a furlong in world concerns.

    Indeed TT...indeed.

    Not jaded TT...nor world weary...more OPTIMISTIC than ever. Laughing

    In part of myself.

    The exponentially evolving by the second part.

    I all of its complexity...


    HOPE the other part WAKES too.


    Sure to...sure to



  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/8/2012 7:49:18 AM |

    Just a g'day peeps and some reading that might interest. (And how close Monbiot's thinking is to Ad's and others here.)

    Wanted: a new politics to save Planet Earth George Monbiot

    In other words, the struggle against climate change - and all the crises that now beset both human beings and the natural world - cannot be won without a wider political fight: a democratic mobilisation against plutocracy. This should start with an effort to reform election campaign finance - the means by which corporations and the very rich buy policies and politicians.

    But this is scarcely a beginning. We must start to articulate a new politics, one that sees intervention as legitimate, that contains a higher purpose than corporate emancipation disguised as market freedom, that puts the survival of people and the living world above the survival of a few favoured industries. In other words, a politics that belongs to us, not just the super-rich.

    Labour has room to move before poll Laura Tingle

    The point is the budget policy story that Labor takes into 2013 is completely in its remit to shape.

    Equally, the extent to which its prospects are tainted and damaged by the story oozing out of the ICAC is also within the Prime Minister’s capacity to control.

    Not everyone agrees with all the elements of party reform Faulkner proposed this week as a response to a culture in NSW, which has finally emerged blinking and scowling into the daylight. But most agree Gillard has little choice but to do something to cauterise its damage to federal Labor’s already limited prospects of re-election.

    Party reform has been too hard to do for so long. But like any businesses facing tough times, the black prospects confronting Labor should force it to act.

    Labor prepares to ditch the budget surplus Laura Tingle

    The Australian Business Economists forecasting panel said the growth forecasts on which the budget rested “are seen to be optimistic”.

    “The impact of missing the surplus by the promised deadline is considered to be a political downside rather than an economic downside, provided the miss is not so significant that it shakes the medium-term strategy,” they said.

    The economists predicted a slowdown in economic growth in 2013, and forecast median gross domestic product growth would fall to 2.8 per cent in 2013.

    There have been signs that the government is softening its commitment to a budget surplus since the mid-year budget review in November.

    The PM’s electricity plan: it’s a Band-Aid not a cure Lyn Chester

    A few days ago, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard foreshadowed a “plan to make sure that families pay $250 less per year for electricity” to be discussed at this Friday’s meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

    It is not surprising that this “plan” draws from the conclusions and recommendations of four recent government reports – the Productivity Commission’s Electricity Network Regulatory Frameworks,the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) report, Power of Choice, the report of the Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices, and the 2012 Energy White Paper.

    A high-cost, low-productivity nation? Matt Cowgill

    The recent pick-up in productivity growth might well have nothing at all to do with the Fair Work Act, one way or the other – but, again, the Australian and the AFR were eager to point the finger at the Act when the figures were moving in the opposite direction.

    Both newspapers employ a number of smart, diligent journalists for whom I have great respect. Nevertheless, it appears as if news about the Australian economy will only be prominently featured (or even noted at all) in the papers’ pages if it suits the campaign being waged by the editors. We are all the poorer for it.

    Unemployment Rate in November falls to 5.2% Grogs Gamut (Greg Jericho)

    Well that was unexpected!

    Today the ABS released the Labour Force data which showed that in seasonally adjusted terms the unemployment rate fell from 5.4% to 5.2%. The fall is quoted as being a 0.1 percentage point fall, due to rounding. The October figure was 5.3636679% and the November one is 5.2312088% so the fall was 0.1324591 percentage points. (but ignore all that – at that level of decimal points the confidence levels gets pretty poor – which is why the ABS rounds to only 1 decimal point.[Has Greg’s usual terrific data]

    Bushfire Bill

    The last bastions of self-indulgence in the media are the political commentators.

    They see their house wrecked about them, empty chairs, vacant desks, tumbling circulation and newspaper shares literally not worth a stamp.

    Yet they keep on doing what they have always done: alienating half their readership by dismissing their legitimate political preferences, looking for glimmers of gloom in otherwise sunny skies, neglecting to outline a policy before condemning it (usually within 24 hours of its announcement) and in general behaving like spoilt brats at a post-apocalyptic wrap party.

    Minority Government stands the test of time John Warhurst

    Gillard herself has survived since the last election on 21 August 2010 despite constant pressure from her predecessor Kevin Rudd, one unsuccessful challenge and regular speculation about his intentions.

    Her minority government has survived against the odds. There have been no by-elections to change the parliamentary numbers, and no one has deserted the Labor Government on the floor of the House to facilitate a change of government.

    Don’t think of a Tony Abbott (Gordon’sThoughts blog)

    The reason he has been able to get away with this one dimensional tactic however is not because he is some sort of political genius (he’s merely a puppet for someone like Mark Textor), it’s because the ALP are trying to make Tony Abbott the issue!

    The “hard heads” in the ALP see polling and listen to focus groups that make it clear he is one of the most unpopular opposition leaders in Australian political history and in an attempt to exploit these facts they rationally conclude they can win back support and frame him as out of touch with “Middle Australia.”

    The problem is this thinking plays right into Abbott’s hands and he knows it. This is why Abbott deliberately goes out of his way to emotionally bait the ALP on areas where he is inconsistent.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/8/2012 8:50:27 AM |

    Destroy The Joint‏@JointDestroyer

    Time for change to Aussie radio shock jock culture - tragic end to #RoyalPrank call

    It's not the Australian radio hosts, they just pulled off an intrinsically innocuous prank better than they could believe. It wasn't the nurse's fault, she would have been awed to think she was talking to Queenie, wouldn't have dared question her.

    It was probably partly to do with the hospital management giving her a hard time, but the real blame lies with the Windsors perpetuating the myth of divinity, and the lickspittle Media making an Everest from a pimple.

    My sympathy for the family of the nurse, and, would you believe, for the radio pranksters.


    Janet you are a gem. I happen to know that a certain little yellow bird is delighted with your input which is growing exponentially day by day. Thank you on behalf of us all.


  • nasking

    12/8/2012 9:21:11 AM |

    It is not just the lesser of two evils. There is great nobility and good to be found in our Party. It is not the cynical bully-ridden self-interested cabal the MSM like to focus on. I don't intend to try to prove that, I have been a Member of the ALP for many years and take my word, Labor people are great.

    I don't doubt it.

    You make a number of good points in your comment.

    As you know, I'm a Green Laborite...who has liberal views (not to be confused with the Liberal party here that is in fact generally conservative...verging on right-wing extremism).

    So, the present govt suits me much more than that bunch of Tory oddballs and Luddites on the other side.

    However, the Green liberal in me sees the ALP moving further and further away from me...this claim that  Liberals (LOL) and some in the MSM make that the ALP is being controlled by The Greens is sheer nonsense.

    If that was the case we'd have less govt funding of well-off private schools...

    We'd have an entirely different asylum seeker policy.

    There would be federally approved gay marriage.

    A ban on live exports.

    A higher carbon price...and mining tax.

    And the coal and gas industries would be under much more solar and wind projects and other innovative energy practices and sources were prioritised.

    We'd have in place DentiCare...and not worry the next few years about a budget surplus.

    Sure, that might stuff interest rates...and be verrry expensive...and obviously coal workers would be pissed like they were in the UK back in the 80s...

    and private school parents/guardians would rebel...

    in turn, cattle and sheep stations would go bankrupt...

    and a million refugees would race towards Australia...searching for Green sanctuary... sure would be nice to see our PM get gutsy when it comes to gay marriage...

    tho, I guess it's happening in the states...

    I guess we can't have everything we want all at once.

    If only.

    I guess the public have to hear and read diverse views...and make up their minds on what they support...

    and change will come INCREMENTALLY.

    Hmmm...perhaps my interpretations of Greens' policies have been too reductionist.

    What I do know...

    I don't like NEGABORE ABBOTT...he's too angry...too much ranting...and he wears religion on his sleeve way too much for me...I wanna live in a secular country...not one dominated by right-wing Catholics.

    And frankly, I reckon Abbott doesn't deal with his opponents well...particularly women in power who put up roadblocks...or show him up for the conniving nudge nudge wink wink misogynist and xenophobe and bully boy Christian crusader and moralising missionary he is.

    I reckon he will compromise little with certain groups...and negotiate in a bullish and/or desperate manner...picking on unions and those working in public services in order to show what a "tough guy" he is...and kowtowing to businesses who will expect the cake...and to eat it too.

    Abbott will surely open his mouth when it comes to foreign relations and time and time again make the Aussie public feel like hiding out of shame...and embarrassment...he's too cocky by half...

    and speaking of can imagine what he'd be like if he wins a child suddenly becoming King...with servants...and few to resist his loopy ideas...the Coalition states lining up with this 'bully child'...

    egomaniac UNLEASHED.

    Don't believe me?

    Imagine a might be able to identify some in history...who is a schemer...and I mean scheming non-stop like Abbott...mind working overtime on how to destroy his opponents and take the seat of power.

    a conservative, yet somewhat unpredictable, opportunistic leader with a chip on his shoulder...and deep resentment and fanaticism brewing beneath the surface...sometimes bubbling to the surface...and the oddest of ways...

    who feels he isn't respected, adored enuff.

    Pushy, arrogant, cocky, false bravado...with underlying depression and mania problems. an act of catharsis. And to prove he's a 'man's man'...a man of incredible stamina...a man on a mission....

    Ya gotta's a time bomb waiting to happen.

    Abbott will EXPLODE all over this country.

    So yes...

    I guess the best option for me is to vote ALP...even tho it goes against my Green instincts...

    best to support the party of incremental change who are helping to provide interest rate cuts by their fiscal tightening...and balanced approach to mining...

    rather than voting for a time bomb.

    Besides...I like the NBN and disability-related scheme.

    And I detest American Republican views on Industrial in work 24-7 for sweet fck all and be happy you have cheap fast food and toxic goods...know your place...yer a serf...working for the WEALTH CREATORS...feel privileged. And don't talk to unions or we'll slam you...yer DISPOSABLE.

    Just thinking out loud.


  • nasking

    12/8/2012 9:27:00 AM |

    Janet...yer fantastic!


  • jaycee

    12/8/2012 9:36:41 AM |

    Have to back-up Bushfire Bill on his opinion of the Hartcher critique of Tony Abbott. To me it was "beige..all the way down" if there was "hard criticism" at all, it was of the Bertie Wooster kind..;"Oh..I say!"..Sure, Stephen Fry would gasp at the temerity of outrage ever so cleverly hidden in the language, but to Mr.& Ms. Reader, all one can see is ; "tut tut..tut tut! naughty boy!".
    I mean..let's be serious..We have in the opposition front bench; a) A leader who has accused the Prime Minister of our nation of criminal activities..b)several members of that same front bench stepping up to the despatch box and calling on the PM. to fess-up and resign her position and in effect resign the entire govt'...c) we saw that fat dirt-file that was continually thumbed by Julie Bishop seeking the "smoking-gun" A4 hidden somewhere amongst the bottomless swamp of papyrus accusations when all there was in reality were the limp accusations of an "out-of-towner" brothel-boyo and something equivalent to the knowledge of that midget-gangster in the Bugs Bunny show (forget his name...Oh yeah ; "Rocky")who stabs his gun at Sylvyster all trussed-up with the incriminating saw in his paws and screams; "I don't knows hows yers done it but I knows yers done it!"
    Now..if a serious journalist cannot get a front-page hit from those and the further Abbott-slush-fund antics of the opposition but has to run a softly-softly-sorting-Tony piece...then for F's sake give the game away and take to selling bottled water at those city-to-bay marathon thingies!
    But as far as criticism of the LOTO goes it was pure Bertie Wooster again..:"...rather impossible to please don't you know, But she does look wonderful in profile!"

  • ken

    12/8/2012 9:36:49 AM |

    Sorry for late comments on your original post.  There are so many things to be said, I hardly know where to start.

    The first point, as others have pointed out, is that America is different.  Historically it has always had a much stronger Protestant/individual ethic, a greater tradition of philanthropy and less Government involvement in social safety nets.  So I am not convinced that this is a new phenomenon but perhaps more an evolutionary product of those historical factors.

    There has, however, been an increasing emphasis on individual rights, including here in Oz.  I recall, I think it was Mr Justice Kirby, who said the greatest danger we face to our individual freedoms is our increasing demand for individual freedom: the argument was along the lines that the more individual freedom we demand, the more government will be forced to step in to set the limits of those freedoms in the interest of the society as a whole.  Some years ago, China used to respond to criticism of its human rights record by saying that at least its people had the "freedom" of safe streets to walk on at night, unlike some US cities.  And I was always struck by interviews with Chinese citizens who spoke about their social responsibilities.  Some may argue that they were "brain-washed" by the system but I would argue no more than we are.  We are each a product of the society/culture in which we live.  When I was studying social anthrpology (late '60s early '70s) one of our favourite theoretical discussions was whether there is any such thing as an individual: to be a genuine individual in our society, one may need to speak Swahili, wear leaves and live in a cave.

    We are a product of our education/socialisation.  I had many discussions with my step-daughter who would arrive home from school with her head filled with more and more about her rights but nothing about her social responsibilities.  Obviously, such approaches in our education/socialisation add to the increasing tendency away from acceptance of social responsibilities.

    I also recall an article I read when at university (but can no longer recall the author's name) that suggested that our Western-capitalist-democratic system operates with an incomplete socialisation process, beause this allows "questioning".  By way of contrast and explanation, Australian Aboriginal society operated a complete socialisation: when a person went through "the law" they learned everything there was to know and understood their place in the cosmos.  Such societies change very slowly.  With an incomplete socialisation, people are able to question, raise new questions, and change can be rapid, which is essential for our economic system (new means of production, new products, etc).  What I found interesting at the time (when I was participating in anti-Vietnam war demonstrations)was that this incomplete socialisation process means that some will not use their "questioning" to improve the economy but to question the very social fabric - this is recognised and measures built into the system to cope.  So even my participation in demonstrations was a product of the system - somewhat disheartening to my radical views at the time!


  • nasking

    12/8/2012 9:45:29 AM |

    Wonderful interview with Gail Mabo on ABC 24.


  • jaycee

    12/8/2012 9:50:54 AM |

    Ken..A very astute and knowledgable piece..Yes, I remember a certain right-wing lecturer in the Howard years didactically challenging the students in a tutorial to admit..: "...businessmen do not really gather and ask ; How can we screw-over the they?"...of course the youthful students had to admit it DID sound fanciful..But I was a mature-Age student from the working class..I interjected and said."That's the wrong question...In reality all they would have to ask is ; 'Where can I get cheap labour?' "
    Divide and rule through social individualism...the one is easier to crush than the union.

  • Ken

    12/8/2012 10:22:02 AM |

    thanks jaycee

    I also come from a working class background - grew up around Parramatta and Auburn in western Sydney.  When I was at uni, I was part of only a small group of working class lads at Sydney Uni.  I note that even recent figures show that the working class is still under-represented in higher education.

  • 42 long

    12/8/2012 10:40:24 AM |

      The free market will take care of everything if we just let it. The main function of a businees entity is to make profit for the share holders.
      This is the simplistic mantra we are supposed to "just" accept.
       I suggest we all become highwaymen. Small capital outlay good cashflow. Opportunities for growth. No over regulation etc.
      Unlimited free market will lead to a monopoly without regulation. (Rules become necessary and an oversight structure has to exist) Monopoly is not a free market, which needs competition.
       Corruption is a part of all systems and has to be controlled/limited in any system for it to function.
       The value judgements of anyones skills tends to only relate to earning capacity. IF you are rich by definition you are successfull. I doubt this should always be EXCLUSIVELY so.
       Where damage to others and the environment are not in the equation you don't have anything like the complete picture.
       GOD want's YOU to be RICH.!! Isn't THAT the final corruption of a concept?'
        In a world where there is so much uneven opportunity and widespread poverty. any thinking excessively rich person should feel some unease. I would be very uncomfortable in that situation. There has to be a higher aim than just accumulating wealth. It becomes a disease of the mind. An end in itself.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/8/2012 10:42:14 AM |

    I tweeted Tweety this morning on Twitter:

    @lynlinking Hi Lyn, our Gypsy gal Janet doing great works on … All welcome to contribute or just lurk. U taught us Lyn.

    and Lyn got back to me:


    @TalkyTurkey Good Morning TT thankyou 7 yes our cute little gypsy is doing a magic job full of fighting spirit, enthusiasm @j4gypsy SmileSmile

    We on TPS are so lucky!

  • Ad astra reply

    12/8/2012 10:45:35 AM |

    Thank you for the links, all interesting reading.

    What George Monbiot had to say is relevant to this piece and also to the next one that I will post near the middle of next week.   It is the second in the end-of-year series on political ideology, this one being a review of Joseph E Stiglitz’ book, The Price of Inequality.

    42 long, I’m sure you will enjoy the next piece.

    Bushfire Bill’s description of the Hartcher article as ‘beige’ is apt.  I read it looking for a killer line, but it fizzled out in a recital of facts and figures followed by a limp conclusion: ”… both parties are busy promising spending they cannot afford. Honk if you believe!”  Really Peter, you ought to be able to better than that.  

    Jaycee puts it well.  Hartcher is not about to address the serious ‘questions Abbott still has to answer’.

    Read more:

    Thank you for your thoughtful contribution to our discussion on political ideology.  You raise interesting points. ”We are a product of our education/socialisation” is a notion that Joseph Stiglitz embraces in his book: The Price of Inequality.  I think you will enjoy the next piece in the series on political ideology.

  • Ad astra reply

    12/8/2012 10:46:25 AM |

    I’ll be busy all day, and this afternoon will travel to Melbourne for a week where I have some technical work to do on my modem and further work on TPS Mail with Web Monkey.

  • bob macalba

    12/8/2012 12:29:49 PM |

    Janet, thankyou for your links, cheers
    nasking,  jaycee ,  maintain the rage were listening,
    Talk Turkey as the late Peter Tosh would sing

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/8/2012 12:44:01 PM |

    The fundamental responsibility of any leader is to generate the commitment that stakeholders have in the institution they preside over.  Without this, the leader is presiding over institutional malaise.

    Building stakeholder confidence and commitment the element that sustains long term sustainability of the institution.

    Public confidence in politicians and parliament is at a low ebb, the Prime Minister specifically is mistrusted. Organisationally the ALP is riddled with self serving power brokers and union hacks (at best) or is poisoned with corruption.

    Both institutions Gillard presides over have declining levels of public confidence. On any reasonable measure therefore, Gillard has failed her fundamental leadership responsibility.

  • Jason

    12/8/2012 1:11:34 PM |

       As much as you hate the unions and the ALP, why is it the party that you're a paid up member of has not ONE elected official anywhere in this country?
    Fix the democrats first before you bother me about the ALP!

  • Russell in Glendale

    12/8/2012 2:15:34 PM |

    Saw this link today for a free internet film released by Bill Clinton and narrated by Morgan Freeman

    It seems that many of our military adventures whilst complex have an element of prohibition about them.

  • nasking

    12/8/2012 2:23:54 PM |

    that sounded like something put together by a Liberal think tank. Really dry and mechanical tho delivered by an android.

    I larfed.



    good one.


  • Ad astra reply

    12/8/2012 3:07:17 PM |

    We will soon be getting on the road to Melbourne.  I'll be back tomorrow.

  • nasking

    12/8/2012 3:15:59 PM |

    have a safe and enjoyable trip.


  • nasking

    12/8/2012 3:57:45 PM |

    I stick to grog...but I do feel that plenty of adults are being treated like children because of their 'pleasure drug' of choice.

    And, medical use can be well as the taxes.

    Certainly drink can be more socially acceptable because when you have a drink you are not sharing it with others who do not desire would happen with dope smoke in crowded areas (think tobacco smoke in bars, restaurants...and how this led to bans and special areas for indulging)...

    and, it is easier I imagine to test drivers for drink than dope...and for drivers to know how much grog they can generally have...harder to gauge for smokers I imagine going by the variety and strengths of weed around...

    but dealing with such issues in a rational and adult way is essential...let's face it, there are plenty of marijuana smokers around...and they need to be represented by government better...not just put in the WACKY BOX...and jails...or fined...

    conveniently forgotten and too oft persecuted by governments and police who should know better. There are plenty of responsible, moderate users...who go about their lives as decent active citizens.

    Why should they be living lives of fear and anxiety...and have the label of POTENTIAL CRIMINAL hanging over them because they prefer to gain pleasure from a plant that has been used for centuries?

    It's time governments pulled their heads out of the sand...and treated a significant part of their population with dignity.

    It seems completely unjust to me that an off-duty policeman and a politician can go to a big deal horse race...gamble...drink...raise their glasses and bottles to the cameras...and wish people good will...brag about their wins etc completely shit-faced...

    and yet a person having a quiet smoke with some mates, eating a pizza, watching a few flicks...can find themselves being crashed in on...made to feel like crims...forced to go the courts...humiliated...possibly lose their job...and some family support...and be fined...perhaps jailed.

    Ridiculous. And total waste of police resources, the courts...and unnecessary stomping on that individual's rights...and possibly causing trauma...and undermining of career...home security and so on.

    This from The Guardian article Bob linked to:

    David Nutt, Monday 3 December 2012

    'The fact that there are so many users of illicit drugs means that the pleasures must often be seen to outweigh the pain, just as they do for alcohol and tobacco.' Photograph: Scott Houston/Sygma
    The mainstream penalty-driven approach to drugs control is both morally and intellectually flawed. Morally, it ignores the use and, in some cases, promotion of drugs such as alcohol and tobacco that are much more harmful than most "illicit" drugs. Intellectually, it ignores the reasons people choose to take drugs, and why they value them. One of the most important motivations for taking drugs, which cannot easily be acknowledged by the authorities, is personal pleasure...

    The fact that there are so many users of "illicit" drugs such as cannabis, MDMA and ketamine means that the pleasures must often be seen to outweigh the pain, just as they do for alcohol and tobacco. Until we properly understand the personal value of all drugs (including alcohol and tobacco), harm- and use-reduction policies are bound to fail.

    In some countries even admitting that there might be a value in drug use is effectively barred from public discourse. In order to start an honest dialogue with people who use drugs we need to balance the focus on drugs-related harms by exploring pleasure, which is what motivates most people who use drugs, including alcohol.

    The new web-based Net Pleasure Index, part of the 2013 Global Drug Survey is an attempt to gather this information for a wide range of drugs. It is aimed at the recreational rather than addicted user of alcohol and other drugs (tobacco users rarely admit to any pleasure, as they are mostly dependent).

    Along with questions on drug policy and prescription drug use, the data it generates will help decision-making by government and individual users about the relative likelihood of new "legal highs" becoming a problem and help us better understand what motivates the use of different drugs. It will also guide advice on websites such as the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and aid harm-sation educational approaches such as the Global Drug Survey drugs meter.

    If you are one the 90% of the UK population who use some sort of drug then please take the time to join the 13,000 people who have already taken part in this year's Global Drug Survey and give us your insights.

    What I despise is seeing hypocritical politicians, magistrates, police etc abuse good citizens...using sledgehammers in order to appeal to conservatives and moralising religious types...who oft we find take their pleasures in the most hidden...but disgusting of pursuits.

    Treat people like adults...they might surprise you.


  • Russell in Glendale

    12/8/2012 4:50:51 PM |

    I found some further information on the film link I posted earlier. It came from Politico with an announcement from Bill Clinton.

    Breaking the Taboo was directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade, and is Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman

    Featuring interviews with current and former presidents from around the world, such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.

    A Sundog Pictures and Spray Filmes production

    It seems the side effects of the war on drugs is far worse than the initial declarations.
    This has special resonance for Australia as one of major policital issues is 'boat people' from Afganistan.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/8/2012 6:10:53 PM |

    May I thank those who have expressed a non-judgmental attitude to cannabis. It is a matter of importance to me, if not to the many who don't actually know its therapeutic use as yet, in the treatment of such common major health problems as glaucoma, Alzheimers, epilepsy, chronic intractable pain and mental problems.

    (Heaven forfend it should also be enjoyable, enlightening and essentially harmless!)

    But I have not been used to being listened to about it. I appreciate that anyone is prepared to treat the issue seriously anything but trivial. I can assure you that for many thousands of Australians, and millions around the world upon whom the American-enforced ban on Cannabis has impinged, it is anything but.

    So Thanks Comrades Russell, Bob, Nasking and I know I've missed one or two. The taboo still has people frightened to speak out even on this relatively anonymous medium.

    Australians will charge the trenches, be awarded VCs and take on the waves of Waikiki, there is nothing that daunts Aussies!

    Oh except tell the simple truth about the world's most useful plant, Cannabis!

  • LadyInRed

    12/8/2012 6:32:51 PM |

    Re Hartchers article:

    He should have written "You paid a high price for your stupidity".

    I didn't see Abbott's truck stunt as him trying to move into a positive agenda. But then I rarely see him as having a positive thought and I do believe the article got that bit right. I just saw it his truck stunt as an attempt to steel the limelight from COAG and anything that might show the PM as holding the office of PM with self confidence, assurance and poise. His stunt didn't work thanks goodness, I don't think it got the mileage he wanted. He can't stand it when he drops out of the media and will do anything to keep himself there, not unlike a certain ex PM.

    TAbbott reminds me of gorilla, charging beating his chest and screeching 'look at me'. I had lunch with a whole load of women today and they all said YUK to TAbbott.

  • LadyInRed

    12/8/2012 6:36:35 PM |


    I rarely respond to you but I am with Nasking but that post at 12:44pm ......still larfing out loud.....ooops nearly fell off my chair. Get real.

  • nasking

    12/8/2012 7:30:08 PM |

    Well said Talk Turkey,
    for far too long MANY people have lived on their knees rather than speaking up against the DISCRIMINATION exercised by authorities against those who find pleasure and/or get benefit from the use of cannabis.

    It's time to end this discriminatory PROHIBITION...and get REAL on this issue.

    As someone who rarely uses it due to asthma, allergies and problems with seretonin levels related to Tourettes...but has met many moderate, responsible users in my travels...I find it outrageous that these many good and productive citizens should be made to feel like criminals of the worst order...and are traumatised and humiliated by a political, judicial and media system of elites who should be far more enlightened and tolerant and observant of adult rights than they too oft are.

    From my observations, this has much to do with their education...oft in private religious institutions...and fear of constituency backlash...usually driven by an opportunistic mainstream media who seem to benefit from conflict and fear-mongering and character assassination...and a security apparatus alongside certain judicial characters who benefit from persecuting individuals.

    Not to mention correctional centres that are transforming into cash cows for THE FEW...

    and various other self-interested characters who gain from scare-mongering.

    Frankly this PROHIBITION is grotesque...and has ruined too many lives...created too many dangerous suppliers.

    Legalise, regulate, research.


  • nasking

    12/8/2012 7:36:38 PM |

    thnx for the link to the doco Breaking the Taboo

    Hopefully I will find time to watch it over the next couple of days.


  • nasking

    12/8/2012 7:53:48 PM |

    I just saw it his truck stunt as an attempt to steel the limelight from COAG

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Abbott is an irresponsible a spoilt child he must always be the centre of attention.

    It is his job to express alternative views, shine a light on govt action, policy he believes is problematic or could use refining and so on...

    but there are times that the opposition leader needs to demonstrate respect for the system of ensure it works smoothly and effectively for the people. His attempt to disrupt COAG comes across as negative and an unnecessary distraction.

    Furthermore, if the state of the Pacific Highway is of such concern to him...then why did he not make this a big issue during his time as an influential minister in the Howard govt? He seems to have no trouble getting the attention of a sycophantic media these days.

    I suspect this concern also has to do with an attempt by the Coalition to oust certain characters who have assisted this government in its survival...and provided opportunities to pass important legislation that does not suit the Coalition and its donors and supporters interests.

    I find Abbott's tactics to be brutish...and badly-timed. And demonstrate the opportunistic, scheming and desperate nature of the man.

    Possibly useful focus transformed into political dung...considered another stinker by many of the public.

    Yet another stumble by an increasingly ineffective leader on a downward spiral.


  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/8/2012 10:36:11 PM |

    I don’t think so Nasking.

    But if the principal responsibility of a leader isn’t sustaining confidence in the organisation they lead, what would you say is the principal responsibility?
    One of the interesting characteristics of many contributors on this site is their inclination to attack the person rather than attack the issue.

    Lady in Red is the example to day.  Perhaps try reading a little more than blogs.

  • nasking

    12/8/2012 11:20:14 PM |



  • Jason

    12/9/2012 2:09:11 AM |

       It's not that I wish to attack you! However you should put the disclaimer that you're a paid up member of "The Australian Democrats"
    After all it's you that bangs on about "other peoples honesty"
    Try it yourself for once!

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 8:35:38 AM |

    With this latest stunt going awry in London, could this spell the end of "Bogan Broadcasting"?

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 8:49:17 AM |

    You are symptomatic of the times are of the great dumbed-down..; no matter how many times you are told, instructed, educated, encouraged and dumped-on, you come back for repeats as if and indeed HAVE learnt nothing and never will learn anything....symptomatic of the generic right-winger...: will trade their morality, their ethics, their children and their mother for personal gain...will sell-out their political party, their union, their class and their nation for vindictive comfort while not even knowing why they feel offended because their depth of intellectual debate is one of dumbed-down repetitive instruction...have you noticed we have now come the full circle, ToM?....this is your life!
    Do you really think we want such a thing in ours?

  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/9/2012 8:56:05 AM |

    Morning peeps.

    TT, Ad, Nasking, Bob M and anyone have missed: thank you again for the thanks and glad some readings are hitting the spot. Any thanks for wandering vagabonds can only be in part, though. Luscious Lyn the feathery little bird is, amidst her restful gardening and other daily pleasures, still putting up links on twitter, some of which, in our trainer wheels, are picked up by us (royal plural) and rolled along in fuller form to you! Smile

    States, PM take first steps to disability scheme: experts respond Sunanda Creagh

    The COAG agreement is a tremendous starting point for addressing the well-documented unmet need of people with disability. The first stage will be critical in developing the detail to be able to implement the full scheme.

    Disability is not a simple construct. There is an inherent complexity to understanding people across mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive disabilities and their respective support needs for social participation.

    The NDIS, for the first time, provides an Australia-wide approach to understanding an individual’s needs, providing them with the resources to have these needs met in an independent, dignified and equitable manner — no matter whether they are born with a disability or traumatically acquire their disability over their lifetime.

    Cutting ‘green tape’ won’t make a more prosperous Australia David Ritter

    The Commonwealth Government seemed to have accepted the case for handing off powers to the states. However, the planned changes collapsed when it emerged that even under the BCA’s own logic, what was proposed did not make sense. As reported in the SMH, talks between the Commonwealth and the states on the proposals “were reaching wildly varying conclusions from state to state – potentially leaving businesses with a more confusing set of environmental laws than they have now”.

    In addition, an alliance of major NGOs had made it clear that the inevitable decline in environmental regulation from these changes would unavoidably lead to an increase in litigation.

    How can anything rival the threat of climate change? Jonathan Green

    How can anything rival climate for significance?

    The problem is of course one of both the scale of the threat and its contemporary invisibility. We are talking about a trend, a prospect, a probability. One that is boggling. Barely conceivable. That both admits idiotic and ideologically motivated "doubt" (see A Bolt above) and subtly invalidates the issue in the eyes of a news media that favours the instantaneous, graphic and loud.

    If the consequences predicted for 2100 were happening now, well ... Then we'd have a story.

    It could be that the discussion of climate change and the pursuit of its solutions will be one of the first and most significant beneficiaries from the reframing of public debate in a world suddenly connected and thus freed from the constraints placed by rigidly hierarchical and corporatised media.

    The possibilities demonstrated by the likes of the Arab Spring go beyond using Facebook to draw like-minded crowds to a tear-gassing. The next step will be the global short-circuiting of information flow: instantaneous connections that can pass information unfiltered without categorisations and obstructions, without the external discipline of a news judgment that suits a particular platform or outlet over the needs of both audience and issue.

    A principal of pride Stephen Crittenden

    In 2005, Sarra founded the Stronger Smarter Institute at Queensland University of Technology, and he has just published a memoir, Good Morning, Mr Sarra(University of Queensland Press), which he says he wrote in the hope of inspiring young Indigenous Australians to aim for success.

    He is not interested in victimhood, and victimhood doesn’t come into his own life story.

    Part of what makes Sarra’s story so appealing is that it resonates beyond his Aboriginality. In a very contemporary way, he wants to celebrate what he describes as a “layered identity”.

    The 'daily' tablet newspaper to stop: Murdoch pulls plug Maza

    In a year that can not be called a winner for the Murdoch brand (don't mention the phone tapping) the Murdoch empire has announced that it will shut down its purpose built tablet app "the Daily". The reason being given is a lack of readers. ABC reports that "Murdoch's news Corporation has announced it will cease publication of its ipad app, the Daily, from December 15, due to a lack of readers." - the virtual newspaper was launched in February 2011… indeed it would seem to any observer that Murdoch has tried to meet the shifting tastes for news provided by the ability to obtain it from many sources with an old world model based on the print newspaper enhanced by technology and flashing lights. To this observer it seems little wonder that the Daily has failed.

    The limits of no Tim Dunlop

    Norm Ornstein of the (right-of-centre) American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the (centre-left) Brookings Institution are two of the most respected political analysts in the United States. They have a hard-won reputation as honest brokers in the highly partisan world of US politics, a reputation forty years in the making.

    It is unlikely that they would lightly risk that reputation, so you have to think that their hearts were in their mouths as they sent the final draft of their latest book to their publishers.
    That book, it’s even worse than it looks: how the American constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism, spent weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and caused a stir inside and outside the beltway.

    Visiting the heart of the nation, or at least the local fish-market ... Loon pond

    In the old days, the Australian used to fancy itself as the heart or perhaps the pulse of the nation, but that notion seems to have been abandoned in the current bland banner.

    Perhaps because in a flash, a snap of awareness, the rag realised that now it is the heart and pulse of crusading right wing hysteria, usually of a tabloid kind.

    The tabloidism in the digital format has led to a desperate plethora, a plague, a cockroach army of bright red "exclusives".

    Review our double sided coin of unaccountable politics Cairns News

    We take a look at alternative government under the Australian political system maintained by dedicated party faithful refusing to consider facts that a sound and  accountable governance does not exist in Australia.

    Since 1998 Tony Abbott denied any knowledge of a slush fund to sink Pauline Hanson.-

    Reporter, ‘Four Corners’, 1998: So there was never any question of any party funds or other funds from any other source?-

    Tony Abbott, Federal Liberal MP: Absolutely not.

  • 2353

    12/9/2012 9:11:44 AM |

    Jaycee @ 8.35 - I hope you are right.  2Day FM also employs Sanderlands, while they may have got management and legal opinion that the stunt was ok, obviously none of them have the morals and ethics to understand that a woman is in hospital with a serious condition (and concerned about the health and viability of their child) - surely some repect for people's privacity is warranted.

    I hope ACMA throws the book at them (or the UK Police).  

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 9:13:49 AM |

    There is a thread of conversation going on over at PB. on the whys and whyfors of Aboriginal Population growth and the lack of it pre-settlement.
    One thing constantly overlooked in such debates, is in the age of empires and conquests, there was a need for the fully equipted standing all other continents, there was the need to build and protect enclosures against wild, killer animals..the other thing grossly omitted in the debate of population growth in the "sophisticated societies" was the accompanying rise with population growth of erotica and sensual desire and demand. All these things : Standing armies, dangerous packs of carnivore animals, socially approved erotica, did not arise in Australian indigenous society, hence the natural growth to suit the needs of population rather than the social expectation for large families.
    For instance, try if you can to imagine growing up in a society with no manufactured erotic stimulus?

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 9:31:30 AM |

    Jonathan Green's article on climate chang on The Drum demonstrated the incapacity of the Drum Moderators to distinguish between conversation posts and complete stupidity of the deniers.
    The comments section very quickly descended into a cess-pit of blind ignorance and utter, utter stupidity! This is the moderators' version of "balanced commentry" : To have denier imbecility measured against sensible climate debate....???
    Sack the incompetant Scott, for god's sake and ours...just sack him!!

  • DMW

    12/9/2012 10:08:03 AM |

    Sunday bloody Sunday,

    Morning all,
    seems the social media has got all flustered as the Libs have been banned from using Twitter.

    Gees, what next banned from Facebook and blogs?

    While I have at moments contemplated a ban on Lib type commenters from blogs and Twitter etc. I reckon the Libs have taken a backward step if they choose not to use modern communication tools. Maybe it is a hankering for the good ol' times when smoke signals and Morse code were all the rage.

    That's all from me the traps are calling so it is back on the road.

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 10:11:41 AM |

    On my xmas shopping list was a book for my son..he liked biographies, so I thought... there on the shelf near Kipling, in the vicinity of Stendhal and Stein(Gertrude)was a biography of Kyle Sandilands. I leave you to imagine the amount of curious looks I received from the other shoppers with the groaning epithet of disgust and disbelief I let out!
    Yes, friends, HAS come to this!

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 10:16:23 AM |

    2353..ACMA "throwing the book" at someone would be like being "bitch-slapped" with a flannel-promo-pamphlet for thermal underwear!

  • Ad astra

    12/9/2012 10:18:35 AM |

    Janet and Folks
    Thank you Janet for another fine set of links.  The Jonathan Green article is sensible and sound; his quotes of the deniers are alarming. I agree with jaycee's comment.

    I will read the rest of the links when I can.  We are about to go up country with the family for a couple of days, so you won’t hear much from me until Tuesday.  But I will be discussing TPS Mail with Web Monkey while we’re away.

    Mid week, I’ll post the next piece in the end-of-year series: Focus on political ideology: Joseph E Stiglitz.

  • 2353

    12/9/2012 10:27:46 AM |

    Jaycee - again you're right.  However as in the case of Airservices Australia (where Australian registered planes nearly lost the right to enter US airspace due to claims by the US regulators of deficiencies in practice by Airservices), the UK Police may be able to "influence" the deliberations of ACMA to ensure that an appropriate penalty be applied to the announces, management and lawyers that deemed the "harmless prank" suitable for airtime.

    DMW - really a ban on the use of Twitter by the LNP is not that unexpected.  There are two issues here - the first being the LNP Machine can't control the tweets of individuals (and don't forget the LNP in Queensland anyway has a history of expelling LNP members - not necessarily just current pollies - that speak out; and 2nd the LNP Machine probably don't understand the potential to influence that Twitter has - if used properly.  It's an interesting policy when large and small corporations are beating each other over their heads to have a better presence on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 10:49:21 AM |

    Again..ToM seeks instruction...from WIKEPEDIA no less!..I rest my case.

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/9/2012 10:51:44 AM |

    You might as well rest your case, because you clearly rest your mind.

  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/9/2012 11:02:47 AM |

    DMW at December 9. 2012 10:08 AM and 2352 at December 9. 2012 10:27 AM

    You might be interested to know that the ALP just zapped this up on Twitter:

    Australian Labor ‏@AustralianLabor
    For the record, we encourage our MPs & candidates to be active on social media. We think it's important to engage with the community online.

    Good bit of strategy.

    I agree with you DMW, but more emphatically - LNP are cutting own throats on trying for this much control freakdom. We're seeing it with the management of the T'Abbott public persona of course. It has to be Credlin and husband trying to staunch spontaneous combustion - they can't and won't succeed Smile

    Apparently the edict, if actually out from LNP headquarters, allows/encourages use of Facebook. Well, as Nasking and other Facebook users will know, you can get into just as much trouble in a throwaway 'Wall' comment as in a 'tweet'. Never mind 'doorstops'!

    Social media is going to play an even bigger part in 2013 than in the 2007 election. Jonathon Green's article (linked above) explores so intelligently (I agree Ad) the potential power of social media to managing change on the most cosmic scale occurring to human-kind.

    If anything loses the election for an Abbott team in 2013 it will be first and foremost the utter inadequacy of intelligent thought in the 'campaign' team. All power to the absent brain cells.

  • nasking

    12/9/2012 3:18:22 PM |

    Just wanted to say this will be my FINAL POSTING on The Political Sword apart from any necessary replies.

    Thnx to Ad for tolerating my quirkiness and sometimes rapid posting of comments. I've enjoyed myself and appreciate the opportunity provided.

    Unfortunately, due to a number of circumstances I no longer feel the urge to continue. One reason being the ongoing problems with my eyes...

    the other being a connection that some have on this blog that leads to continual gossiping and bad mouthing on circumstances they know stuff all about...nor, as FAIR-WEATHER FRIENDS did they ever bother to have the decency to ask for my side of the story...regardless of how consistently well I had treated them. Which tells me a great deal about modern feminism...unfortunately. Considering I have worked hard to promote women's issues.

    Not only have I been hurt deeply by some...but even a stranger who I accidentally passed on their post and apologised to went about abusing me using foul language...and calling me FAT and other such things. Ironic that feminists would automaticlly back such an individual even tho their behaviour is exactly what they are trying to change in some men.

    But this does not surprise me...for there has been a KEY GOSSIPER peddling negativity and lies about a number of people for yonks...someone willing to destroy others it appears in order to continue to dominate...and not admit to their past sordid behaviour that saw them backstab those they referred to as FRIEND rather than own up to their scheming and lies.

    From here-on-in I will keep to Facebook...and use it primarily to promote causes and small business...and nature...

    as for the political side of things...I have fought long and hard to assist both the ALP and The Greens...

    but have begun to question whether I have the passion to do so anymore...particularly as the people who have hurt me the most are from that side of politics.

    It's a sad thing when you put your heart into something...never receive a thankyou...not one...then the people you thought were your friends turn on you like a wolf questions asked.

    I am not always the most consistently kind person on the block...I make mistakes...and sometimes I call people out if I think them full of it.

    But I do believe I have worked my butt to try and change things for the better.

    And the blogosphere...I have never felt more alone.

    And it irks me that obsessive liars, gossips and character assassins are getting away with it...again...again...again. And are seen as "sweet".

    But that tells you a lot about why so many passionate people eventually move on to other things...putting politics in the draw rarely to be opened.

    Anyway, sorry to be such a sad sack. I really did have a good time here...most of the time.

    And the eye problems are indeed another good reason to stop.

    I just wish it had ended on a happier note.

    But unfortunately once a virus takes off...too many catch it. And don't question how it has changed them. They just hang with the infected...and reinforce the illness.

    All the best TPS.


  • Michael

    12/9/2012 3:31:02 PM |

    No surprise at all in the Liberals canning Twitter use by their MPs. There's a Stalinist mindset to the Abbott-Credlin-Loughnane axis that runs the 'leader' of the Opposition's office.

    Right up to show trials and staged political dramas.

  • 42 long

    12/9/2012 4:00:52 PM |

    Nasking,, I have an old saying that has saved me getting too despondent about people who probably don't read carefully considered contributions fully anyhow.
    "You can ONLY be insulted by people who YOU RESPECT".
       We don't all have to sing the same tune. It would be adull world if we were so insecure we needed that. Some times I wonder if there is a "dont read" function on this site ( Ad As lets me know now and again that it is not the case.) It's surprising what IS picked up from the whole warp and weft of a site. We all have different styles, and some of the wordsmiths here are very good.

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 4:40:31 PM |

    Michael..I don't think the Libs' CAN use social media that good!..While Labor does have a tendancy to "over-talk" some issues, the Libs' have a tendancy to talk down to their constituents or dictate policy via three-word slogans.
    Then perhaps their followers are syllabic challenged!

  • Ad astra reply

    12/9/2012 4:51:17 PM |

    I'm sorry that you are leaving us, and that your eyes are troubling you.  I'm sorry too that you have felt hurt by comments that have been made; I couldn't work out whether they were made on other sites, or here.  I hope they were not made here.  We ought to be able to argue political points without becoming personal.

    I hope that you can take a break over the Festive Season, and come back fresh next year.

    We have enjoyed having you as a valued member of the TPS family, and as a regular contributor on both local and overseas politics.  We will miss your presence.

    Have a relaxing Christmas with your family and please consider coming back next year.

  • nasking

    12/9/2012 4:56:15 PM |

    We all have different styles, and some of the wordsmiths here are very good.

    42 long,

    "You can ONLY be insulted by people who YOU RESPECT".

    Unfortunately, I did respect these people. After many years of blogging it was nice to find some people to respect and trust.

    But some will put their hidden lives before everything and everyone else...and then BURN anyone who does not suit their agenda. Unfortunately, even the BURNT are more infected than they realise...and begin repeating the same kind of gossip-style.

    It has much to do with the constant emails and sometimes mocking adolescent style comments that go on in social media...and behind the scenes.

    People acting like vicious packs.

    They don't give a damn about who they hurt.

    When it comes to a few of the political and corporate and media hate-mongers...I have little pity for them...if you deal it out you have to expect some will resist and give it back.

    But when so called friends stab you in the back without ever asking your perspective on important makes you distrust the Human race...especially when it happens time and time again.

    And you begin to realise why some people become BASTARDS...because BASTARDS seem to get more RESPECT from those who live on their knees...and those who are hypocritical...and those who would prefer to run with the herd than truly think for themselves...and question the CULT...the HERD.

    If I were a politician I reckon I'd be an Independent.

    And whilst I'm at it...

    I'm not happy about the ALP taking away the Dependent Spouse Rebate...there are many who do not want to be shoved into a LABELLED 'disability' criteria...who use such tax back to assist charities and small businesses of their choice.

    I had a family member ring the other day who had been seriously ill since the 80s...and they were told that their chronic dental scheme had been ended...and before they could get important things done this year but were unable to get out of the house due to their husband's illness...and their own lung problems.

    I was lucky enuff to wind up my visits related to this scheme...and I am most appreciative...but that family member was irate because they could not understand what would fill the gap for the next year or so...saying "chronic illness doesn't just disappear because a government wants to cut spending".

    Anyway...the govt has done a lot of good things...has a lot of useful schemes going ahead...

    but when I heard this morning that the govt copped out and gave the pharmacies opportunities to keep billions related to generic drugs...and then thought about them ending the Dependent Spouse Rebate for many...and the Chronic Dental Health got me bloody annoyed.

    We put up with increases in electricity costs...because we hope it will lead to change...

    we put up with no tax cuts...and no healthcare card...because we want money to be used to help the disadvantaged...

    but I really wonder what is going on when people in our area of Logan and elsewhere are left in poverty because they can't find work (many don't realise they are ill...perhaps in denial)...and consequently we see kids losing it...joining gangs...when things were starting to improve...and the bloody media just pump it up...make things worse.

    Why make people suffer so much.

    And take away all of people's opportunity to choose how they spend...and who they give to?

    And why make life harder for one group of people with dental help another...when you could do both...if you didn't keep compromising with those who already have top toff schools...and pharmacists...and big American military corporations?

    Frankly, I'm fed up to the teeth with it.

    As are many others.

    And as for The Coalition...they're no better...and caused a lot of problems. And Abbott is about as inspiring as a boil on Berlusconi's corrupt career.

    I like Julia Gillard...but I really wonder sometimes if the ALP is blind and deaf when it comes to its supporters.

    And if some of its supporters aren't doing more damage than help

    Truth hurts...but sometimes it needs to be told. Before walls are hit.


  • nasking

    12/9/2012 5:09:10 PM |

    thanks for your kind words. You have always been a kind, supportive and consistent individual when it comes to me. Unlike some on here.

    Unfortunately, a comment made today made me realise that back door gossiping has indeed gone on between even some on this blog...related to issues from elsewhere. It's sad. And has caused me a great deal of pain of late.

    But on this blog...I have generally been treated well...and have high praise for it.

    I just think that continuing would lead to more and more gossip...and lies...some I realise just do not want me around.

    And the longer I stay obviously the more this crap will go on.

    But I certainly think it worthwhile for others to join in it a stimulating blog.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Years Ad...and yer family.

    Thanks for the great opportunity. Laughing

    You are a wise and superb poster.



  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/9/2012 5:34:20 PM |

    I see that undergraduate left-wing humour (alleged) has cost the life of an innocent lady in England and brought great shame to Australia. How low can the left-wing stoop?

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/9/2012 5:38:21 PM |


    We ought to be able to argue political points without becoming personal.

    Ad astra reply

    Have you been asleep for the last 3 years? Go and read the bile from Hillbilly Skeleton and others which will underscore the fact that you haven't been doing your job.

  • nasking

    12/9/2012 5:53:01 PM |

    Have you been asleep for the last 3 years? Go and read the bile from Hillbilly Skeleton and others which will underscore the fact that you haven't been doing your job.

    Sir Ian,
    do not use this moment of pain for me to dump on a good lady. Hillbilly cares deeply about making life better for the disadvantaged...unfortunately, she was unable to continue here.

    As for you look in the mirror.

    BTW, Ad does a top job. Not an easy one either. Juggling so many complex personalities.

    Anyway, I've had my say.

    BTW, Jason can alert me if there are any posts put up to read. And great links and comments. Just know many of you that you have my respect...lots of great heartfelt contributions.

    If only politicians sometimes listened to them more.


  • Jason

    12/9/2012 6:00:05 PM |

    Sir Ian,
           I see you get all hairy chested about what Ad Astra doesn't do!Lets face it you're nothing but a coward yourself!

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/9/2012 6:05:16 PM |

    Jason, you don't know what you're talking about as usual.

    Nasking, I disagree.

  • uriah

    12/9/2012 6:16:39 PM |

    Dont go Nasking I enjoy reading your stuff too much.The large contribution you give to TPS is shared and appreciated by thousands of people who visit this site.Plus we have an election in 2013 WE NEED YOU.Lets have some fun!!!

    Just a small aside-Barry OAFarrell when interviewed on radio on friday about the PMs proposal for smart meters etc to decrease power bills by $250 pa said words to the affect that the PM should scrap the carbon tax and any green schemes in place to effect lower power bills(this is the interesting bit)in this term or the next one!! He then qualified this by saying-if she is reelected.The so called experts said PM Gillard would be gone by Xmas 2010,now senior Libs are talking Labor victory in 2013.

  • Jason

    12/9/2012 6:21:30 PM |

    Sir Ian,
           I do! you're gutless, gave you my name and address to take me on at anytime legal or otherwise you do what? If you can't put up shut up!

  • Truth Seeker

    12/9/2012 6:32:43 PM |

    Nas, I am saddened that you have had a difficult time  with a few, but be assured that there are many here that appreciate your input and will miss you I hope as Ad says you can have a good break and maybe come back next year.

    Thanks for all your support, and I wish you well with your eyes.

    I hope you and yours have a great Christmas and safe and happy new year mate and I still hope to catch you around the traps.


  • nasking

    12/9/2012 6:50:59 PM |

    Uriah...Truth Seeker,
    thank you both for yer kind and supportive words. They help to lift my depression a bit. As did my regular afternoon time in the garden.

    Unfortunately, by the time we reach 2013 I doubt I will be able to read much...let alone write and be able to ensure I'm not making mistakes. The headaches are getting worse...and I find it hard to get around inside sometimes after such close reading. Bumping in to things etc. It's like a thick fog. And watching the TV has become a real only one eye now has any clarity whatsoever...sometimes.

    Thank goodness for my Kindle.

    But I urge you both to keep up the good fight...and be fearless.

    And Truth Seeker...keep those beaut poems coming. Soon Stace will have to read them to me...but I will enjoy nevertheless. She is a wonderful lady...a friend thru thick and thin. I love her dearly.


  • nasking

    12/9/2012 6:52:38 PM |

    Truth Seeker,


  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 7:34:57 PM |

    So I thought to myself..; Who is this "Hillbilly Skeleton" chap..or she? and when I google, there he/she is carving pieces off Sir Ian Crisp's hide like it was a christmas turkey..oh well, leave off the christmas bit!..oooo!, she did have a cutting tounge, did she not sir-cur?..I bet you tingled over that while running around in your 'jarmies, eh?....a little something to tuck down the front

  • Jason

    12/9/2012 7:41:56 PM |

          Hillbilly skeleton is also known on blogs such as Poll Bludger as C@tmomma!

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/9/2012 7:45:06 PM |

    Sir Ian,
           I do! you're gutless, gave you my name and address to take me on at anytime legal or otherwise you do what? If you can't put up shut up!


    Jason, what do I want your name and address for? Wasn't it you that was going to hand over my email to the police? You and your big mouth. I'm still waiting.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/9/2012 7:48:41 PM |

    Sorry to read of your unhappinesses, but I do know you have a lot of friends here, and I don't see anyone on this site that has said demeaning stuff about you . . . Perhaps I have missed some nuances but it seems to me that we are a respectful lot really, with a couple of exceptions of whom there is no need to take any notice anyway and who go out of their way to earn our contempt.

    If those who have given you grief are on other sites, well there is no reason to quit this one! - Not that I presume to try to make you change your mind, that is up to you of corse.  

    A few days ago, I said to you that we all feel world-weary some of the time - also opining that whatever one's frustrations with the Australian Labor Party has much good about it - and you wrote a very full reply, for which I thank you, and you seemed to have come to a resolution that after all Labor was worthy of your support, whatever your reservations.

    It was a perfect manifesto of the facts of political preference, you get a choice and you make your own on the basis of the whole lot of what each offers. No-one is ever completely happy, but you can't have everything. Anyway I thought it was some of the best writing I have seen from you, albeit it was circular in that it came back to Square One, i.e., Labor was the only logical choice in the present climate. I don't think anyone could have argued with what you said, and I think no-one did.

    Your eyes are of course a concern - as are Lyn's, and my own water a lot too (I wear bifocals and I think they're hard on one's eyes) but if you're going to post anywhere at all I still think this is the best company to be found in the political blogosphere anywhere. And so does Lyn, and Lyn ought to know, her daily hunts take her everywhere.

    So if you want to go and never come back, well that's up to you, but I think you're leaving the best bunch of the lot.

    Know that you are always welcome back.  

  • Miglo

    12/9/2012 7:49:41 PM |

    Sir Ian, Hillbilly Skeleton is a fine lady. She is a pillar in the community. She deserves no ridicule from the likes of you.

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/9/2012 8:04:01 PM |

    Sir Ian, Hillbilly Skeleton is a fine lady. She is a pillar in the community. She deserves no ridicule from the likes of you.


    Miglo, I disagree.

  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/9/2012 8:09:45 PM |

    Nasking: And Abbott is about as inspiring as a boil on Berlusconi's corrupt career.

    Nas, have only known your words for such a wee time, but such a joy you have been to me. What a divine statement about Abbort! Hope you, your eyes, and your heart and soul feel mended in a wee while. Take such good care.

    From your newbie on the TPS block

  • Jason

    12/9/2012 8:15:08 PM |

    Sir Ian,
            If I were the site administrator I would've handed your email over to the police! However as you know I'm not you have nothing to fear.
    So you can throw all the cheap barbs you like, fact is you're still spineless.

  • jaycee

    12/9/2012 8:29:42 PM |

    When I read pieces by cynical types like Sir and T and how they are so angry and vicious like an Ashby fellow..I wonder on their childish dissapointments in the political world, like as if it was all going to go as they wanted!
    I mean, only a complete child would believe in the infallibility of political policy. Yet here we have two grown adults all spitting and foaming and demanding THEY get some answers and will no doubt plunge a pin in a TPS lookalike doll if they don't get their way!
    Well, Sir and T all I can say is ;"You're stiff aren't you!"

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/9/2012 8:40:42 PM |

    That’s disappointing Nasking.

    For those newer to blogging, Nasking and I have exchanged views fon a few blogs for about 6 years.  On rare occasions we have even agreed. These days I think we have both decided that we’ve probably covered every possible exchange, so we now don’t have as many rigorous debates.

    I think Nasking is decent and committed, and is no sniper.

    There are some mean spirited, bitter gossips around the blogs, but I think that with Nasking what you see in blog commentary is exactly the same as occurs in email exchanges.

    Not everyone can say that.

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/9/2012 8:57:26 PM |

    Sir Ian,
            If I were the site administrator I would've handed your email over to the police! However as you know I'm not you have nothing to fear.
    So you can throw all the cheap barbs you like, fact is you're still spineless.


    Jason, you started this stupidity but you can't handle it when I retaliate. Get this through your skull: If you want to sling mud be prepared to be caked in mud. I ain't no Christian so I don't turn the other cheek. If you want to get in the gutter leave room for me because I'll slop as much rubbish on you as you slop on me. Don't misunderstand me.

  • Jason

    12/9/2012 9:30:07 PM |

    Sir Ian,

  • Libbyx33

    12/9/2012 10:02:17 PM |

    Hey Swordsters,
    If anyone wants to see how well & truly morally bankrupt this evil LNP Government here in Qld is, just click on the link below.

    "A Queensland mother is suing the Child Safety Department for failing to reveal the sexual history of a foster child, 15, who allegedly raped her eight-year-old son.

    But in a move that could leave the family financially ruined, the State Government is taking action against the mother, alleging she is partly responsible for the alleged rape because she should have been supervising the children and protecting her son."

    Just gob-smakingly horrifying :-(

  • 2353

    12/9/2012 10:23:57 PM |

    Nas - have a break and please come back in 2013.  42long's words above have a great deal of merit.  For I suspect the first time ever I actually agree with Troll from Melbourne I think Nasking is decent and committed, and is no sniper.  However your health and mental well being must come first.  Please look after yourself and take care.

    Sick Ian Crisp is now turning on the the (wo)man because he can't win an argument.  He never did put up those questions he wanted the PM to answer did he . . .

  • Ad astra reply

    12/9/2012 10:24:57 PM |

    I hope you are comforted by the supportive comments that have been made by family members over the last few hours.

    I still can't fathom what has gone on in the background, and can't understand why Hillbilly Skeleton has been brought into the equation.  She has not commented here for a while now.  She made a big contribution to TPS, discontinued posting here for the most legitimate reasons, and would be welcome back.  

    I'm not seeking an explanation Nasking for what has transpired, as that would only prolong the pain of the matter for you, and I don't want that.  

    I hope something can be done to improve your eyesight.

    I hope you and Stacey can get away from blogging for a while and enjoy the Festive Season.

    I ask the rest of the TPS family to let this matter rest.  It is disappointing to return from a pleasant meal with the family to read the scrapping that has been going on, precipitated by comments from just a few who get their pleasure from writing taunts.

    Can we now go to bed and start afresh tomorrow.

  • 2353

    12/9/2012 10:29:00 PM |

    Oh and by the way Sick Ian - the rest of us were discussing the "prank" phone call from 2Day FM this morning.  How about you actually read the blog before commenting - clown.

  • Libbyx33

    12/9/2012 10:51:38 PM |

    And further to the disgusting pile of poo we now have "leading" QLD:

    "THREE sisters who were repeatedly sexually abused by a foster child have been told by the Child Safety Department they share the blame for failing to lock their bedroom doors.

    The sisters are suing Child Safety for putting them at risk of the sexual offender, who two years earlier was convicted of raping a three-year-old girl."

    This is just crazy, yes?

    GOB-SMACKINGLY tragic. Qld, what on earth have you done to deserve this?

  • Miglo

    12/10/2012 6:38:24 AM |

    Nas, rest well and come back bigger and stronger in 2013, health permitting. You're going to be important to the Fifth Estate in an election year.

    Spend some time with your lovely wife Stacey and enjoy the moments.

    We'll be here when you get back.

    Cheers, old bear.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/10/2012 8:33:55 AM |

    Australian Labor‏@AustralianLabor

    Today is 20 years since Labor PM Paul Keating gave his landmark Redfern speech on Indigenous reconciliation:

  • jaycee

    12/10/2012 8:37:09 AM |

    As a newie here on TPS. I can detect a degree of "background disturbance" between the older posters here. I raised the issue of "Hillbilly Skeleton" because Sir-u-cur mentioned her and I became curious as to who or what they were.
    Personally, AA. I think the culprits in this quarrelling are the couple of "kilkenny cats"..; "Sir-u-cur and ToM" who in their dissatisfied-w-life state have taken to the role of agent provocateur and are trying to create dissent amongst the crew.
    Just delete the sob's. they do not contribute to debate, just arguement. They haven't had a new idea since Howard was voted out of his "Jayson-Recliner"!

  • jaycee

    12/10/2012 9:00:09 AM |

    Oh!. buggerbuggerbugger!..Had a whole post written out ready and accidently bumped the Esc. button and lost it all!..buggerbuggerbugger!
    Say, perhaps one of you bright boyos here can help.I am getting as little peed off with there another good, and i mean : GOOD search engine I can replace it with?
    As for the bad attitude currently going around, AA. I always ask myself that old Cicero quest'...:"Qui bono?".."For whose good?"....then delete those two "Kilkenny cats" that are nothing but trouble!

  • jaycee

    12/10/2012 9:31:37 AM |

    Good to see "poetic justice" come to bite Max Moore-Wilton (head of Austereo) on the ar*e after the dirty tricks he pulled in the public service as JWHoward's hit man!

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/10/2012 9:56:24 AM |

    Oh and by the way Sick Ian - the rest of us were discussing the "prank" phone call from 2Day FM this morning.  How about you actually read the blog before commenting - clown.


    Numbers, just what would I discover if I read the comments...something new perhaps? Let me guess; MSM= bad, Abbott='s a recurring theme here at TPS.

    Ad Astra showed me the way when he installed the crap meter. I now don't read the drivel from some posters because they deal in CRAP. Wake up you professional idiot.

  • Jason

    12/10/2012 10:30:36 AM |

    Yet more lunacy from the right wing nut jobs! If it were a crime they'd be doing life!

    New electoral laws that automatically enrol up to 1.5 million voters are another example of federal Labor "rorting the roll", Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne says.

  • Ad astra reply

    12/10/2012 10:39:37 AM |

    I'll be out and about most of the day.

    May we have a day when we are nice to each other.

  • 42 long

    12/10/2012 11:33:45 AM |

    Pyne whinging. As said, in a system of compulsory voting, ( the origins of which were to make it difficult for some employers making it hard to vote) it would be anti logic to not close a loophole of avoidance. The extreme right resist the use of logic . They use opportunism and distortion instead.
       While compulsory voting might look weird it is generally the envy of the rest of the world. It is delinberately made difficult in some parts of the USA.. THAT is corruption! Enroling people who are eligible is hardly a hanging offence.
    I don't get some of this talk. People all around the world are clamoring for the right to vote fairly. We don't seem to appreciate it sometimes.Objecting to eligible people being enrolled is pure BS.

  • MWS

    12/10/2012 11:35:23 AM |

    Victoria Rollinson, in Independent Australia

    This heartbreaking situation is a perfect example of a company, and our society, relying on the market to make their ethical decisions for them and measuring all consequences in dollar terms. What happened to the moral obligation to care enough just to do the right thing? Not because it’s profitable, but because it’s just the right thing to do. The problem is, in my experience, it is very rare for anyone to care about moral obligations and the consequences of anything unless the result has some monetary benefit or disadvantage to the individual.

  • MWS

    12/10/2012 11:57:56 AM |

    Peter Wicks' latest, Jacksonville 33:

    If mainstream media wants to know why it is losing the trust of the public and why newspaper sales are plummeting, they can weep bitter tears and point to the internet ― or they can look to the all too familiar behaviour above for clues.

  • 2353

    12/10/2012 12:13:01 PM |

    Here's an interesting take on why Obama shouldn't increase the taxes of billionaires in the US.

    Why do I suspect a similar rationale could be developed in Australia?

  • MWS

    12/10/2012 12:17:21 PM |

    Graham Readfearn on what a 4 C temperature increase means for Australia:

    "Roughly speaking, you can also translate each degree of temperature rise with about 150 kilometres shift from south to north. So 4°C for Sydney is like having the climate which is currently 500 kilometres up the coast, or even further."

    Professor Jean Palutikof, director of the government-funded National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, believes an Australia 4°C warmer than today will be a very different place.

    "It would just be too unpleasant to be out of doors," she says. "People would be living far more enclosed lives. It would be a heavily energy-dependent existence as you have to cool all of those spaces that you put people into.

    "You would have to be running your air-conditioners as a matter of course. The huge challenge would be to lay our hands on the energy we would need to maintain our comfort levels."

  • Patriciawa

    12/10/2012 1:47:47 PM |

    MWS - I take your point about the catastophic impact of climate change, particularly on our economies.  At a personal level we will all have to adjust, but I think humans have done that in the heat in different parts of the world. Being a Pom by birth I would prefer to live in the northern hemisphere.  But I am living here in WA at about 10 degrees above my comfort level through the summer months.   I found my decade in Sydney, for all the occasional heat wave plus humidity very bearable in comparison.

    But loved ones are here and it is to Fremantle I have retired, where we do get sea breezes! So my big west facing front verandah gets used in the evenings a lot this time of year.  I live in an old brick and tile house built when people didn't have air conditioning but understood the importance of high ceilings and built in fans.  Even so it could be very hot here after my leafy back yard in my little old house back in Wollstonecraft, so I've added a few extra features since I came back to WA.

    1.   I immediately put in a range of native trees to join my one lonely olive tree out front - typical Italian Freo! After five years I already have a very shady big front yard, which together with the street verge peppermints the council happily came along and planted at my request, protect me from about six hours of rising sun until noon.

    2.    I've been lucky enough to have taken advantage of the subsidised roof insulation offer and just made the deadline for full subsidy.  I think there is a less generous offer out there now, but even without a subsidy I would recommend it as a really effective way of lowering room temperatures with no added power costs.

    3.   I've a small back yard with a couple of established decididuous trees but I've added to fuller shade by building a covered in patio taking up a good third of its area. So apart from an hour or so of overhead filtered sunshine I can sit comfortably outside most of the day.

    4.   It's true that overhead fans don't actually lower temperatures but they do move the air around and we can really freshen up the house by opening doors and windows up to early morning cooler and fresher air.  Sometimes even late at night we get a drop in temperature to enjoy.  Problem with air conditioning I think is that nowadays people keep doors and windows closed all the time.   So I haven't installed it - yet but with solar power credits building up it's always a possibility if I become less mobile.

    5.   I'm blessed in that being old and retired I need only go out for my walks early in the morning and at dusk in really hot weather, and even so I make a real effort in summer time to walk on the shady side of the street!   And if in full sun I wear a hat!

    6.     I'm open to further suggestions for dealing with our very unpleasantly hot summers!  

  • nasking

    12/10/2012 2:38:45 PM |

    Talk Turkey, Janet, 2353, ToM, Ad,
    thnx muchly for yer kind and supportive words.

    I'm not always in a good place right now...up and down, up and down...tho Stacey and I had a pleasant weekend...putting the Christmas tree up with Xmas music from all over the world can be very uplifting.

    But each time I return to the blogosphere I am reminded of the deterioration of my eyesight...and other issues...things that unfortunately go way back and bring me only misery.

    That must mean I'm more fatigued and world-weary than I realised...and seeing so many animals and children abused around the world doesn't help...the CAUSES I put up on Facebook come with stories that bring tears to my eyes...and for the life of me I cannot understand why some people feel determined to be so cruel???

    So I will take yer advice and take some time off...and vision permitting return in the New Year...or maybe just pre-Christmas to join in on some music and poetry.

    Talk Turkey, I'm sorry to hear that you and Lyn are also having eye problems. You do so well considering.

    I am presently listening to a sci-fi series by Canadian Robert J. Sawyer....having just finished the first book in the WWW Trilogy, WAKE...

    the main character is a blind teenage girl who is given the ability to see thanks to the efforts of a Japanese scientist and his team...and in the process of her eyesight being restored this young lady connects with artificial intelligence in the World Wide Web (WWW) and helps it to become SELF-AWARE:

    The book refers to Helen Keller on occasion and her amazing journey:

    Life does indeed have its special moments. And people.

    Who put discovery, curiousity, education, reason, imagination, compassion, progress and tolerance ahead of selfish monetary, sexual, competitive, anger and envy-driven pursuits.

    I wish you all a wonderful holiday period...keep safe...relax...enjoy...provide light...over darkness.

    And thankyou for helping me to see a way out of my darkness.



  • Jason

    12/10/2012 2:53:21 PM |

    From Mark Latham in todays Crikey (pay walled)

    Latham: Obama Birthers take over The Australian

    The Australian’s campaign against Julia Gillard, kicked along by its legal correspondent Chris Merritt, has descended into ancient history and smear. Former Labor leader Mark Latham investigates.

    As a case study in the flawed reporting of The Australian on the union slush fund matter, it is hard to beat the work of Chris Merritt, the paper’s legal affairs editor. Merritt specialises in arguing the same point (that the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association might have been a trade union) without ever proving his point.

    This is typical of the media politics of smear, dealing in speculation and misrepresentation, rather than hard facts.

    My interest in Merritt’s work originated from one of fellow Australian reporter Hedley Thomas’ allegations against Julia Gillard, concerning her legal advice in 1992 for the establishment of the AWU-WRA. In August, Thomas wrote that if the Western Australian government had known the AWU-WRA was designed “to help in the election of union officials, it would not have been registered”.

    “It would not have been eligible,” he argued, “under the legislation that governed such associations.” Strangely, for a so-called investigative journalist, Thomas provided no corroborating material for this assertion. No legal opinion. No extracts from the WA legislation. No departmental advice.

    I thought his claim looked suspect, especially given the AWU-WRA had been successfully registered for a range of workplace functions, and the Western Australian Associations Incorporation Act 1987 allows associations to be created for “political purposes”. So I made further inquiries.

    When I asked the Associations and Charities Branch of the WA Department of Commerce about the registration of associations engaged in fundraising for union elections, I was told “there should not be a prohibition on that”. I also asked if this was a valid opinion going back to 1992, thereby allowing for subsequent legislative amendments. The officials answered “yes”. Not for the first or last time, Thomas was wrong in his claim against Gillard.

    Merritt has now written three defences of Thomas’ position (on September 3, November 30 and December 7), adopting a curious style of reasoning. He has not sought to address directly the question of the registration of associations engaged in fundraising for union elections. Rather, he has argued a different point: that if the AWU-WRA was, in fact, a trade union, it could not have been registered under the WA laws as they stood in 1992.

    How is this little exercise going? In his “Prejudice” column in The Australian last Friday, Merritt wrote of the AWU-WRA as follows:

    “So was it a union? Gillard says she wrote to the WA Corporate Affairs Commission arguing that it was not a union. And if the normal dictionary definition is applied, it clearly was not.”

    No joy there for the prosecution. So Merritt delved back into the definition of a union applying in the WA Trade Unions Act 1902.

    This is where The Oz’s pursuit of the Prime Minister now rests: that as a privately-employed lawyer 20 years ago, Gillard gave inaccurate advice to a WA authority concerning the definition of a trade union outlined in state law 110 years ago. This is no different to the Obama Birthers in the US: the making of loopy allegations on matters of ancient history, which no normal person in the community would regard as credible.

    The purpose of the Trade Unions Act was to provide for the registration and regulation of unions. As the AWU-WRA was not so registered, one could argue, by definition, it was not a trade union. Nonetheless, let’s entertain Merritt’s thesis and examine the full definitional clause in the 1902 legislation:

    “Trade union shall mean any combination, whether temporary or permanent, for regulating the relations between workmen and employers, or between workmen or workmen, or employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, whether such combination would or would not, if this Act had not been passed, have been deemed to have been an unlawful combination by reason of some one or more of its purposes being in restraint of trade.”

    Merritt is perhaps the only person in the country who thinks this arcane language causes a problem for Gillard. It may not have tripped up Edmund Barton, Chris Watson or Alfred Deakin but 110 years later, according to Merritt, it has the current PM on the run.

    There is no end to Merritt’s sophistry, arguing on Friday that as the AWU-WRA was committed to “a more equitable distribution of wealth” it might be regarded, according to the 1902 statute, as a trade union. By this logic, the Australian Tax Office and Centrelink, with their role in the redistribution of income in Australia’s tax-transfer system, are actually trade unions.

    Not surprisingly, the relevant WA authorities in 1992 had no interest in such nonsense and registered the AWU-WRA as an incorporated association. It was not a trade union.

    Surely now The Australian will end this train-wreck of a campaign. No wrong-doing has been proven against Gillard, not 20 years ago, not at any time since. The only wrongness on display has been the mistake-ridden reporting of Hedley Thomas and Chris Merritt.

  • Michael

    12/10/2012 3:11:31 PM |

    Mark Latham left out a third Australian (the newspaper) Stooge.

    Ean Higgins, who caused various substances to hit the fan at Murdochinania when he rechristened an off the cuff reference, 'slush fund', into a legal entity "trust fund".

  • MWS

    12/10/2012 4:42:27 PM |

    Thanks for your advice, Patricawa.

    I am also a West Aussie, and my house was built 11 years ago using passive solar principles. It also has PV panels, because good solar access to the roof was also part of the design. However, my medical condition has deteriorated to the point where I am contemplating air conditioning, although it's not easy to retrofit it into my house (and the minor matter of me being ideologically opposed to using fossil fuel power).  I am a keen gardener, so I don't live near the coast, and it takes a while for the sea breezes to reach me.

    I am also out very early in the morning to walk the dogs - often before 6 AM.  My smallest dog has heart failure, so it's the only time he can exercise without becoming distressed.  Fortunately the early morning is when I, too, am feeling my best.  Unfortunately the dogs like early morning walks in winter as well.

  • 2353

    12/10/2012 4:43:22 PM |

    Latham seems to write well - maybe he has time to think about what he's doing.

    It seems that the LNP in Australia believes the way to economic prosperity is to cut expenditure - look at Newman, O'Farrell and Hockey as examples.  Here's a argument why it has never worked

  • nasking

    12/10/2012 5:20:56 PM |

    Thnx Migs.

    Have a good Christmas duck. Laughing

  • Gravel

    12/10/2012 5:42:59 PM |


    Sorry to hear about your eyesight.  I do hope there is something that can be done.  I wonder if a text to speech program could help you?  Don't know anything about them myself but they were all the rage a while back in computer talk world.

    Have a great Christmas and New year and hope you are able to have some input next year as I am another one here who values your views.

  • Gravel

    12/10/2012 5:44:56 PM |

    Oh dear

    What has happened to my Gravatar???  I had to put my name and email address in and now it's gone, I haven't had to put my name and email in before.......very confused.

  • Patriciawa

    12/10/2012 6:10:30 PM |

    Yes, Gravel, that didn't look at all like you!

    Nasking, I've only been flying in and out recently so only today has it really sunk in how your health is really troubling for you.  As Migs says rest up old bear and come back bigger and stonger!  Listen to Stacey too!

  • TalkTurkey

    12/10/2012 6:16:08 PM |

    With Cannane on the Drum ATM are THREE Rightwing shills. Tim Wilson IPA (AGAIN!!!!) Cassandra Thingo from The Australian (she's horrible) and Joe Hildebrand durrrhhh what!

  • TalkTurkey

    12/10/2012 6:20:33 PM |

    Tacker! Tacker! Here Boy!

    Tacker where are you?

    Tacker! Tacker!



  • TalkTurkey

    12/10/2012 6:23:45 PM |

    Hildebrand claiming and insisting that *J*U*L*I*A* is a climate change sceptic. He deserves flogging.

  • Bacchus

    12/10/2012 6:33:56 PM |

    Check the email address you've typed in Gravel - just one incorrect character will 'lose' your gravatar...

  • Bacchus

    12/10/2012 6:36:52 PM |

    Look after your self Nas - TPS is strong, but it's stronger with your input.

    Take it easy (on facebook too) and enjoy the holiday season break with S...

    Gravel - I 'accidentally' left out one character from my email address on this post Wink

  • TalkTurkey

    12/10/2012 6:57:17 PM |

    Let's see if I can't make some sense of this royal nurse death thing. Because there's been a heap of nonsense so far, and there are some points of logic that ought to be pointed up.

    They apply to jurispriudence and to commonsense. And they are anchored in Fact, in Truth and in Logic.

    My position: (Not mine alone):

    The prank was essentially pretty innocuous.
    The tragic outcome was unforeseeable.
    If the moronic adoration of the Windsors were not involved, with the concomiticant focus of the moronic MSM, such a thing would never happen.
    If you're going to be "Royal" imo you ought at least to be able to take a joke with a stiff upper lip. Well, indeed,  HRH Philip Prince of Wales thought so, enough to quip to a journo's question about that Princess What's'ername - (I can't remember it and don't want to!)-  
    "How do you know I'm not a radio station?" said he with a twisty sort of inquisatorial nearly-grin.

    It was a quirky thing to say, but it was not sour nor vengeful.

    'Course that was before the Nurse's death.

    Now that was very sad. But it does not change the essentially trivial nature of the intent of the 2 DJs involved.

    There turned out to be some very wild cards in the episode, and everything went to hell.

    First joker in the deck was that the DJs got through the fastidious security which usually surrounds the Windsors' privacy. That did make it breathtaking, and hilarious to those like me who regard royalty and its sycophants with disgust and disbelief.

    It may be that it was illegal. If so it is at the very pale end of culpability,

    Some people say that it was foreseeable. How silly. And worse, how untrue.

    When I first heard of the stunt the Nurse hadn't died. Dif I think "this could end in tragedy"? No of course not, and I suggest nobody else did neither.

    Okay by drawing a long bow one might have thought ahead to the possibility of unforeseen consequences . . . but then . . . so might crossing the road . . . and that is not a trite point, it is a universal truth. Any action may have unforeseen consequences, so what then, stay in bed?

    The prank was not done with malice aforethought.
    It was a harmless undergraduate stunt that went horribly wrong.
    For once I'm in agreement with Abbortt on that.

    Last joker to book-end the main plot was of course the Nurse's death. But seriously - who'd a thunk it? Really?

    But there were some other funny cards that impinge.

    2DAY FM happens to be the same radio station as that Sandilands, one of Nature's trueborn scum like Anal Jones. I would myself throw  rotten eggs at him if he were ever in the stocks. I have to dislike a man a lot to say that. (Even if I wouldn't actually do it.)

    But I think the undoubted contemptible nature of Sandiland's horrid stunt with the 14-y-o girl has come home to roost not on him but on the two DJs.

    If it had come from a little-known regional radio station, the blame would not be so savage now. Sure the station's culture is despicable but this is not at the nasty end - it is weak, rather smelly undergraduate rather.

    The radio station sought and failed to receive Windsorial blessing for broadcasting the segment. (It seems that is required by law.) They went ahead anyway, dear oh dear.  Well imo such a law needs challenging anyway, otherwise no Chaser Boys and their ilk.

    But there is a clear distinction between the DJs' behaviour here on the one hand, and on the other, the filming of Craig Thomson's wife in the bathroom by media vultures outside the window, or any of many invasions done in the name of that evil bastard Murdoch. This was a prank, in essence, pure and simple.  

    So what about the blame?

    Tha radio station bears a lot, for its horrid culture far more than for its decision to publish and be damned.

    Yeah OK the DJs bear some but they meant it to be funny, and it got out of hand when the call went through unexpectedly. They are contrite and it is tragic for them too.

    The Hospital Staff from the Top to the Nurses are seriously blameworthy, but don't forget it was all before the nurse's death - it was all trivial up till then. But obviously the Nurses were made to feel terrible about what was essentially a trivial invasion - it wasn't even as though Princess WHN was seriously ill, not like life-threatening anyway. So who made it such a heinous crime that one awed and credulous lass passed on to another a prank call?  

    The British Media bear a great proportion of the blame. And just how it would be possible to be more hypocritical than that choice mob is hard to imagine. And now they are pretending that they are noble, so much more British and decent than the colonial crap writers we have out here. Well they're half right there anyway. The Murdoch disease is everywhere.

    In one of his tirades against the legal and priestly class amongst the Jews, Jesus said wtte "Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! Who strain at a gnat, yet swallow a camel!"

    But the real blame lies with the Monarchy itself, and the sycophancy it encourages and nurtures. You can't even touch Queenie's back in a protective way without it is an international incident. It is the greatest farce on Earth this idolatry of the world's most privileged family.

    The propensity of many people to apportion blame on the basis of outcomes, not of intent, is wrong in logic, and in law. That is the big point out of all of this. Let us keep things in perspective. And let us not drive the DJs to desperate measures themselves.



  • Patriciawa

    12/10/2012 7:04:32 PM |

    TT, Tacker is here but it is very hot!  So he and Sheba are lying stretched out in the shade and waiting for the sun to go down.

    Nothing Federal turning me on at the moment.  I have been writing a bit TT, but it is very local, WA stuff.  But since you ask.........or did you?

    Sleeping With The Enemy Does Not Pay!

    We learn from breaking news in WA
    Sleeping with the enemy does not pay.
    Since two ill famed lovers’ recent parting
    One of them still is badly smarting.
    That’s clear as we hear the details from Adele
    Of yet more drunken folly by Troy Buswell.
    She seems not driven by this man’s rejection
    So much as treachery in our state election.

    Remember how this Green MP went to bed,
    Not with an honest Labor party red,
    But with a Liberal of repute so ‘blue’
    At first no one believed the story true?
    Then she confessed to her affaire
    With Perth’s chair sniffer
    Of course, the man was by his Party retained;
    Without him government could not be gained.

    Her team? They would have expelled the woman, Carles.
    There was lots of anger, commentary and snarls.
    But she turned Independent, ran for cover,
    And supported the party of her lover,
    In an open agreement guaranteeing supply,
    Allegedly with a secret clause whereby
    For thus giving them now the upper hand
    In future against her the Liberals would not stand.

    That all happened in two thousand and ten,
    There have been many developments since then.
    ALP’s McGurk looks to win Fremantle
    Now the Libs are running too and have dismantled
    That much earlier commitment to Adele.
    Unsurprisingly she’s willing now to tell
    About the drunken escapades of her ex
    Which reveal such odd proclivities in sex.

    Barnett brushes aside as Labor’s ploy
    This gossip around his ‘larrikin’ Treasurer Troy.
    But tales have emerged about the ‘naughty boy’
    So often that this time they really could destroy
    All hopes for his government’s re-election.
    Will this cause politicians some reflection,
    Have them approach with more circumspection
    With whom they sleep, confide in and trade affection?

    If all the goss around this political scandal here in WA hasn't reached you over there I've posted some background notes with this pome which I finished in the early hours this morning.

    Haven't bothered to read up today's developments yet.   One really good thing about living here is the long day and late night hours of creative writing time!

  • TalkTurkey

    12/10/2012 7:05:19 PM |

    Oh Patricia I mixed up Tacker with Gravel's gravatar, sorry both, I'm sure yours will come back Gravel, I said a couple of days ago, it's like losing your Teddy.  

  • Patriciawa

    12/10/2012 7:07:30 PM |

    Perth's chair sniffer extraordinaire!!!!!!
    How could that have happened?

    Can it be corrected,  AA?

  • 2353

    12/10/2012 8:24:11 PM |

    TT - while I see your point regarding the Windsor family etc, at the end of the day two radio announcers thought it would be funny to broadcast the medical condition of a woman who could easily lose a baby at an early stage of pregnancy.  Their management and legal representatives also couldn't see a problem with the plan.  Where is the consideration of others and common decency here towards other members of society?

    My wife and I went through a number of similar scenarios at early stages of pregnancy - and its something I wouldn't wish on anyone.  While radio announcers weren't ringing to find out how my wife was (luckily we have no public profile), it wasn't a news story as the appropriate website was publishing the information if they cared to look.  It wasn't funny, it wasn't necessary, it wasn't needed, it was purely bad taste.

  • Jason

    12/10/2012 8:36:27 PM |

      You're wrong! The phone call should never have been put to air because it was pre recorded and people had time to think about it, and if anyone thinks this type of joke should be tolerated is mad!
    Prince William does a lot from what I see from afar to please the "media" so they do give him and his bride a fair bit of "privacy" so we don't see the same circus his mother put up with.

    The Royal's or the general public have a right to go to hospital safe in the knowledge that the "staff" aren't going to divulge their personal information to anyone! And for the radio station to claim they "acted" within the law while technically right is wrong, on so many levels.

    The sooner this station has it's licence revoked the better as far as I'm concerned, "Journalist" as far as I know are exempt from certain things under the law in order to do "their job", but these two DJ's along with some shock jocks are classed as "entertianers" so they can get around the rules their "Journo" bretheren can't.

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/10/2012 9:04:52 PM |

    Blame the media for a suicide. Blame Chaser.

    Now that’s just stupid.

    Best to blame the UK class system, where people are pressed to acquiesce to the royal family and privilege.

  • 2353

    12/10/2012 9:11:29 PM |

    Jason - agree completely.  There is no difference between this and Alan Jones recent behaviour that was rightly decried on this and other blog sites.  In both cases someone with a wide audience belittled other people primarily for the shock value.

    2Day's management are equally complicit - they authorised the pre-recorded lame attempt at humour prior to it going to air.

  • nasking

    12/10/2012 9:19:42 PM |

    Look after your self Nas - TPS is strong, but it's stronger with your input.

    Take it easy (on facebook too) and enjoy the holiday season break with S...

    Cheers look after yerself've been posting along time...and always informative.

    I realised a few minutes ago that continuing on Facebook would also cause me stress and not allow me to's been part of the problem...even tho it provides great opportunities. I realise I'm in a confused and fragile mental state right now due to various things...exhaustion one...Stace's op, the American election, the attacks on Gillard...the eyesight probs...losing a few friends...fair-weather friends...all taken its toll.

    So I've deactivated my Facebook page.

    I really need to de-stress. And get some sleep. My dump Tourette's mind just won't shut down
    Anyway...thnx everyone for yer lovely support. I know I make dopey mistakes sometimes...but I really do try to do the right thing.

    It's just been sooo long. And I can't wait for the ALP to win the next election. Get it over with. If I have to hear one more EXCRUCIATINGLY BORING NEGATIVE SPEECH FROM TONY ABBOTT I'll turn the TV off permanently.

    How does a country get lumbered with such a scheming negative opposition leader?

    Really makes me wonder about the sanity of the Coalition team.

    If anyone else responds...and I don't...just know I'm not being rude...I just really have to STOP. Before my head explodes.


  • Libbyx33

    12/10/2012 9:20:17 PM |


    This one's for you my friend...

    In the QWEEKEND MAGAZINE that was in the Courier Mail dated December 8-9, which I can't find a link to anywhere, I came across this article titled Star Performers - 2012 selection of 50 bright sparks. You may be able to get a back copy from your newsagent, or I could post it to you or drop it around as I'm only about 15 mins away from you. Also, please note I haven't investigated this further - maybe Stace could help you with that if your eyes are shot.

    A friendship forged in primary school at a music camp for the blind is the power behind software that enables the visually impaired to access internet sites free of charge. Jamie Teh's and Michael Curran's NonVisual Desktop Access software hes been downloaded 71,000 times and translated into more than 40 languages. The program gives audio to whatever words the cursor touches, allowing blind people to hear what other internet users see. LS (Meaning author Leisa Scott)"

    Dunno if that will help mate, but worth a look-see yes? Hope your health improves, and know how much you are appreciated here at TPS.

  • nasking

    12/10/2012 9:23:30 PM |

    Sorry...Gravel and Patricia...many thnx...I meant to add you to that last comment. Doh!

    Keep well and have a lovely Christmas.


  • nasking

    12/10/2012 9:27:10 PM |

    just read yer comment. So kind of you. I will be able to find it. Such a lovely offer on your part tho. Feel free to pop by anytime.

    My email is


  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/10/2012 9:35:36 PM |

    What’s the difference between this prank and Chaser making false representations to various levels of security during APEC a few years ago?

    Are we intending to close Chaser?

  • 2353

    12/10/2012 10:25:38 PM |

    Some one want to point out to the clown above the difference between demonstrating the stupidity of "enhanced" security levels versus the belittling of people in a fragile mental state for shock or entertainment value.

    Not that Troll from Melbourne would understand the difference.  I wonder if he has worked out the difference between an assertion and a question yet!

  • Jason

    12/10/2012 10:36:38 PM |

        You summed it up well when you said "Where is the consideration of others and common decency here towards other members of society?"
    2day FM were so proud of their efforts that they have pretty much air brushed from history what they done.

    No amount of weasel words from the "DJ's" or management can hide the fact they were prepared to do what ever it takes for commercial gain and ratings to be the number one station and the world wide recognition that would have flowed on from this.

  • Jason

    12/10/2012 10:42:51 PM |

       As much as the thought repulses me that you have children how would you feel if a radio station picked your wife out of the crowd and tried the same thing?
    Even you and yours ToM should be allowed to go about your medical needs without the Political sword or anyone else for that matter knowing all the details.

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/10/2012 10:50:30 PM |

    Fine Jason.

    I’m on board as long as -
    •  The same rules apply to the police and security guards that Chaser embarrassed, and everyone else that they poke fun at in the future.
    •  We all agree that Borat wasn’t funny because of the way Sasha Barron Cohen misrepresented himself to unassuming, innocent people.

    Perhaps we can lobby to get all that lot banned too.

  • DMW

    12/10/2012 11:06:36 PM |

    A totally wayward thought ...

    ... and it may get me into strife,

    ... AGAIN.

    We have heard and read a fair bit a over the last while about bullying, misogynist behaviour, talking down to and belittling people and other 'anti-social' behaviour. Many have tut-tutted, written and spoken words to the effect of it is not on.

    Can't say I disagree and I look back on some of my past lives and think hmmm, I have been guilty of some of those offending behaviours

    Then I read through some of the comments here and particularly those toward some of the less than welcome 'guests' and note that they have a remarkable similarity to bullying behaviour, to a 'them and us' attitude, to an offensive 'tone' that often creates strife.

    I have been guilty of writing comments that have been offensive even possibly 'bullying' which is possibly why they stand out to me.

    So the question is Swordsters When we 'have fun with trolls' as one contributor puts it, are we being bullies and exhibiting anti-social behaviour

    Too damn right we are.

  • Jason

    12/10/2012 11:14:30 PM |

       WHAT? You on drugs or something?
    "I’m on board as long as -
    •  The same rules apply to the police and security guards that Chaser embarrassed"

    I guess I'm lucky Howard was PM at the time or you would be doing one of your dummy spits about Labor not being able to provide security for world leaders.

  • Libbyx33

    12/10/2012 11:26:14 PM |


    D'OH! I just re-read the post I left for you & am truly grateful you took it in the manner it was intended. I had my head in my hands in embarassment, especially when I saw the bit I wrote -

    Dunno if that will help mate, but worth a look-see yes?

    It was an unintentional & unfortunate thing to say & I'm sorry if you (or other swordsters) took my lack of tact the wrong way.

    What I meant to say was that OF COURSE it would be wonderful if your eyes could be healed (don't know much about eyes, tho, except it must suck if they don't work properly!) but that there may be other avenues to follow in the meantime.

    I just don't do subtle, lol, and that gets me in trouble alot, even when I mean no malice.

    Thanks for the email addy - I'll gladly visit one day, so I'll get in touch with you that way.

    Phew - crises avoided! Smile

  • TalkTurkey

    12/11/2012 12:30:04 AM |

    DMW said
    So the question is Swordsters When we 'have fun with trolls' as one contributor puts it, are we being bullies and exhibiting anti-social behaviour [?]

    And answers himself

    Too damn right we are.

    Well DMW you speak for yourself.

    But what you say feels like bullying me to me.

    Don't try to tell me it doesn't, because it does.

  • DMW

    12/11/2012 7:17:58 AM |

    thanks for your feedback.

    That you feel 'bullied' by my words is most unfortunate.

    It is a viscous cycle where often the bullied become the bullies I can only hope that I have not been a catalyst to you possibly becoming a bully.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/11/2012 8:24:44 AM |

    Let me reitierate my attitudes to those I have come to call Trolls. There are only a few Trolls but people get very exercised about them, more so than they are worth.

    Trolls are not people who are subject to reason, they are deliberately vexatious and mischievous, and for the most part disingenuous about the stands they purport to take.

    There is no point in attempting discourse with them.

    My M.O. wrt to them, as I have repeatedly stated, is initially to reply just once to each one who crops up, letting them know that I see them plainly for what they are, and after that, either to ignore them completely, or to write about them in the 3rd person, but never to them directly, in terms ridiculing them - "Fun with Trolls" as I have called it.

    I have repeatedly and vociferously encouraged others to do likewise, not to engage in direct responses to them, but only about them if at all.  

    How other posters behave is up to them. But it would be over a year since I have attempted any direct rebuttals of any of them with the exception of one fairly recent female who abused us all, our host in particular, in her very first post: I told her immediately that I would not respond directly to her again, and have not done so.

    My attitude is rather like the stump-jump plough's attitude to stumps, not to let our discourse founder on the basis of such minor impediments but to skip over them, give them no credence, and they soon lose heart.

    When I say Fun with Trolls I mean just that, light dismissive  
    oblique comments if at all, never direct to them, and never giving them the satisfaction of taking them seriously.

    There are some who can't help engaging the enemy, that is their own choice. Their jibes are never pro-active in inciting the Trolls, but always in response to prior taunts from them. That cannot be classed as bullying, but rather as retribution. I would prefer that our defensive warriors paid them much less heed, along the lines I have just reiterated, (and I'm sure that it would do no harm to the tone of this site), but as for moi, when I say Fun, I mean just that.        

  • DoodlePoodle

    12/11/2012 8:41:46 AM |

    For my two bobs worth - the personal comments bullying or however you want to phrase it adds no value to this site.  In fact there are times when if anyone, who may well be a real asset to TPS, clicked into the site for the first time could be turned away by this sort of behaviour.  We need lots of likeminded people joining together for the battle ahead in 2013.  

    I agree with TT just let the trolls be.  Remember there is only one thing worse than being talked about and that's not being talked about.  Jason I see you as a valuable member here but I believe most of us could do without all of the banter with ToM.  

    AA enjoy your break we all appreciate your efforts.  Best Wishes for the Festive Season to all who post here.  

  • 2353

    12/11/2012 8:45:49 AM |

    DMW - short answer is yes, we are guilty of bullying as well.  At times it must drive AA crazy.

    Jason - thanks for the compliment.  While the Security planners and workers were no doubt embarrassed by the Chasers stunt, to my knowledge none of those affected by the system being ridiculed were ever named, no personal details were revealed and it certainly wasn't linked to someone taking their own life.  The Chaser and 2Day events are similar in the same way as Chery and Rolls Royce both produce cars.

    I said somewhere else that I can't understand how in the light of the Alan Jones "ashamed" comments and the management of 2Day FM already having to defend the actions of Kyle Sandilands the same management didn't stop for a second and reflect on the morals and ethics demonstrated by that putting the pre-recorded phone call to air.  Is 2GB a Southern Cross Media station as well?

    While ACMA putting "education sanctions" on the radio station (in a similar way to 2GB) is the likely outcome - in reality it's like using a slap from a wet lettuce leaf to change the culture of "anything goes until we get caught by social media".

  • jaycee

    12/11/2012 8:55:24 AM |

    I'm starting to believe it may be too late now to do anything about the MSM. totally falling behind the Lib's before the next election. With the complete failure of the opp' to substansiate charges alleged against the PM. they still come out on top because of the complete failure of the MSM. to bring the opp'. to account and indeed became almost an apologist FOR them!...some even had a vested interest in it!
    I reiterate my long-standing complaint against Rudd that he didn't clean out the national broadcaster when he first gained office...Conroy failing to take seriously the bias against the sitting govt' will leave their rear open to assult..and we know what the LOTO said he would do to win office!...and you can bet he will follow through with that threat!
    I am contemplating the possibility of a rise of fascist sympathy within the ranks of the opp' coming to the next election. If one was to stand the shadow front bench side by side to the ministers of the Third Reich you could see the similarity in both stature, personality and intent!...and if it walks like a duck...?

  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/11/2012 9:02:44 AM |

    Morning peeps. Some reading you might like to follow up (with apologies if you’ve found it already), starting with a delightful bit of satire that deserves a much wider audience. And the strong piece from Café Whispers’ Miglo focuses on some of the longer-term consequences of any shift back to hard right Govt in 2013. (Some additional Twitter quicklinks also, below the excerpts.)

    Tony Abbott: The Possibilities Behind the Illusion! Ian Harris [the Blowfly]

    But it is possible that in another universe there is a Tony Abbott and he has chosen another pathway or response to the hung parliament.

    The other Tony Abbott decided that the hung parliament was an opportunity to govern from Opposition. He was extremely creative and was able to garner the support of the Independents to push through a range of legislation that he believed were crucial for his government after the next election in 2013 where he was elected without much difficulty.

    In the parallel universe the other Tony Abbott found he could be quite civil to the Prime Minister and had no need to be offensive towards her at all. Now if this scenario is plausible many of you will want to be in that parallel universe. But before you get too excited please be aware that in that parallel universe there will be no Julia Gillard-misogyny speech because Tony Abbott was behaving as a gentleman should behave and he and the PM were still flirting a little as they used to in the old days.

    Beyond 2013 Miglo [Café Whispers]

    The 2013 election looms as one of the most important ever. It is not simply Labor versus Liberal, the working class versus the upper class or the progressives versus the conservatives. It is an election to determine whether Australia keeps up with the pace in the global village or cuts itself adrift to float aimlessly in the global seas.

    I see this as the most important election because the world now moves at a pace never before seen. Social and economic changes can take us by storm overnight, whereas in our lazy past we could have a nap in the hammock and still wake up in an unchanged world. We also face the uncertainty that climate change can bring, the predictions of which are horrific.
    Labor wants to keep up with, or at the best drive these changes to take us into the future. The Opposition is quite happy to keep resting blissfully in the hammock.

    Abbott's Politburo Propaganda Ian McAuley

    On Thursday last week the document "Coalition Speaker’s Notes" (sic) fell off the back of a truck into Crikey’s hands.  

    In its use of selective and fudged statistics its style is reminiscent of the propaganda pamphlets of the Communist governments from the 1960s.

    It is peppered with emotive and unsubstantiated statements about "Labor’s economic mismanagement" and the "massive government debt" Labor has bequeathed to young Australians, and like those old pamphlets, it is written for the most gullible.

    Taking on Peter Reith and Eric Abetz Pty Ltd [Godfrey’s Blog of Claims]

    It looks like the IR nut-jobs in the Coalition are refining their political strategy to keep working people down. Peter Reith has called for a broad-based inquiry into union behaviour and governance. The IR nut-jobs have clearly learned from the WorkChoices but it was clearly not the message that a majority of Australians were attempting to teach (you know the one about taking rights at work seriously). Instead, the idea is to use an inquiry of some description such as a Royal Commission to fundamentally weaken the independent organising capacity of the union movement. All with the added sweetener of ensuring complete corporate dominance of the hundreds of billions of dollars of workers’ capital in industry superannuation funds.

    Is the Coalition vulnerable to interest rates? George [Poliquent]

    At every federal election in the recent past, interest rates and the effect on voters servicing a residential mortgage has been a key issue.  This is no surprise, for those servicing a mortgage the movement of the RBA cash rate which in turn affects home loan interest rates has a big effect on a borrower’s cost of living.

    With the RBA cash rate at historically low figures this issue should be running in favour of the incumbent Labor Government. Is the Coalition vulnerable to a Labor campaign on interest rates?

    The revolution will be mobile Joshua Peck

    Digital organising is changing domestic politics in America and countries around the world. Similar to in the US, organisations like GetUp in Australia and 38 Degrees in the United Kingdom have played key roles in shifting domestic debates and influencing electoral outcomes. We're even seeing a shift in global politics., a global advocacy organisation, is introducing global narratives and opportunities for collective action across borders. With over 15 million members, Avaaz is a living manifestation of the concept of global citizenship.

    Human rights movement needs better and bolder leaders Phil Lynch

    So what can we learn from these human rights victories and failures?

    First, human rights reform is slow, incremental and opportunistic. We may have history on our side, but progress in the achievement of human rights is never inevitable and the prevention of regress requires, to borrow Thomas Jefferson's words, our eternal vigilance.

    Second, advances in human rights often require the disruption of existing hierarchies and power structures. It is apt to recall that the Murdoch press and the Catholic Church (each now mired in their own ethical controversies) were the most vociferous opponents of a national Human Rights Act. The current campaign to modernise and strengthen anti-discrimination laws must be alive and responsive to these oppositional forces.

    Le Grace
    I give as good as I get: Gillard … via @theage

    Think again. 'Who killed Jacintha Saldanha?', by Tess Lawrence.

    david ewart

    Katharine Murphy
    “@bairdjulia: Could GOP tribe of "arrogant, uptight, entitled, retrogressive white guys" become extinct? Maureen Dowd …”

    Mr Denmore
    Think Austereo is contrite? The trick is to entertain the stupid without angering the powerful. See The Failed Estate

    Godwin AEC-Gate Geek
    PM hosts about 25 female bloggers at Kirribilli House. Their sites reach about 2.5 million people.

    David Bradbury MP
    Good article from @katiewalshAFR on ideas of some members of the panel on multinational tax that I announced today

    Abbott’s Antics, And Allsorts: @otiose94 out-manoeuvered by the masterful Negotiator, Julia Gillard..... excerpt

    The tragedy of Ashby and Slipper: Act Three Is it blind ambition greed for money power sex or just stupidity? . excerpt

    Abbott hasn’t stopped lying since he lost the 2010 election and has been gazumped on every one of them expt by @MigloCW

    Abbott used the procedural Matters of Public Importance session to slander the government. Abbott had the gall. Excerpt

    Lenore Taylor
    Pyne caught red-handed with the airbrush … via @smh

    Trial by media? Trial by Google is the real threat to privacy, Lord Justice Brian Leveson told a Sydney audience today

  • 2353

    12/11/2012 9:39:31 AM |

    Thanks Janet - some wonderful links there.  A tweety bird has taught/is teaching you well Laughing

  • jaycee

    12/11/2012 9:52:29 AM |

    2353...Yes, I do believe AA. is sometimes "driven to the brink" by our antics against the trolls here...but it is somwhat his own fault! see, AA. is TOO much the gentleman with the "Kensington Cats" trollers that scratch and yowl here. They know this and take full advantage of his democratic principles to "purge their belly-full", I' a damn sight more bolshie..I'd delete them as soon as they showed their "ugly face". Why?..I know I sometimes sound downright rude and cruel, but they exhibit every sign of the "Judas Principle" in that they, if given sympathy and capacity will betray you.
    AA. has the Hippocratic oath sewn into his garments...The only oath I'd give to them is the same that I am sure Joe Stalin used for such traitors...(*******)..and he was too soft!    

  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/11/2012 10:33:29 AM |

    To 2353 @ December 11. 2012 09:39 AM

    Thank u 2353. Loving learning from that light feathery touch Smile Miss her here tho :-(

  • TalkTurkey

    12/11/2012 10:42:01 AM |

    You are being amazing.
    Tweety just won't stay home will she!


    It is possible I misread your meaning, and that you were referring to others rather than myself, whose responses are rather more acrimonious than my own tend to be. I am not about to criticise anybody for doing so, the Trolls really ask for it, but I distance myself from the hard-ball game.

    I am the contributor though who speaks of Fun With Trolls, by which I mean only ridicule, for the discomfiture of the Trolls and the amusement of the Comrades. I openly encourage ridicule.

    The Right really doesn't seem to understand humour much, whereas the Left revels in it, it is one of our great and most enjoyable strengths.  


  • MWS

    12/11/2012 10:56:10 AM |

    I enjoyed this letter in The Age:

    I HAVE been having a few strange health issues lately so I visited a doctor to see if there was anything I should do. He warned me that although things weren't too bad right now, unless I altered my lifestyle, improved my diet and gave up smoking I may be headed for significant trouble in the future.

    I wasn't convinced so I got a second opinion. He told me the same thing but I was still unclear so I got a third opinion. Finally, after I had seen 98 doctors who all told me the same thing I found someone who told me what I wanted to hear. He said it was all hocus pocus, the doctors didn't know what they were talking about and that I should just continue the way I am.

    Sure, he is not a qualified doctor but he seems to know something about it. Plus, people seem interested in what he has to say and he sounded convincing. I checked his advice against a cartoon in a respected Saturday newspaper and they seem to agree so I think I will follow their advice. Can't believe all those doctors got it wrong.

    Simon Mcinnes, Boolarra

  • MWS

    12/11/2012 10:59:46 AM |

    I see a few "Lynlinking" tweets in Janet's links this morning.  Is Lyn on a busman's holiday?  Or does she take a while to get into "holiday mode"?  Unfortunately I'm not on Twitter, or I would ask the question directly.

  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/11/2012 11:29:40 AM |

    MWS December 11. 2012 10:59 AM

    Hi MWS, Wouldn't ordinarily answer for Lyn, except I think she won't be popping back into TPS til Feb.

    Twitter is different from blogs like this one in that the followers you pick up are only kept following by the amount of interactivity you undertake.

    Lyn has built up some 2500 followers who follow her for links and her sweet and wise comments after tweeting these. If she stopped interacting completely for two months she would lose a valuable audience.

    Twitter can be quick and fickle, and those carefully nurtured followers are invaluable potential ALP supporters/voters. If you then think that each of those 2500 have followers of their own who also see Lyn's links and may retweet them, the influence of one person's work can extend extraordinarily.

    She has said it is less work for her to play on Twitter than to cover both Twitter, and reproduce reading for TPS. She has said she is resting, too Smile

  • Ad astra

    12/11/2012 11:54:39 AM |

    Thank you for another set of informative links.  I see our Tweety Bird in the background.  It’s hard after an intense year to walk away immediately and completely, so Lyn is gradually easing herself away from the very concentrated effort she has put in all year.

    Hi Lyn, we love your devotion.

  • Ad astra

    12/11/2012 12:03:34 PM |

    Regarding the folk who blog here seemingly to irritate and taunt, whom you label ‘trolls’, I urge you to make a New Year resolution, namely to ignore comments that upset, irritate or anger you when you perceive that they have been posted for that purpose.  

    Those who post such comments generally do so to taunt and evoke a response, just as some children deliberately irritate their parents in order to attract attention.  

    I believe that the most effective way to neutralize such irritating people is to ignore them when they irritate.  

    So can we resolve to ignore comments that seem deliberately designed to irritate and upset, yet respond to those that are reasonable.  Rather that labeling people as ‘trolls’, let's focus on the comment rather than the person, and ignore the unacceptable comment, rather than habitually ignoring the person, the so-called ‘troll’, even when he or she posts something reasonable.

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/11/2012 12:56:25 PM |

    Regarding the folk who blog here seemingly to irritate and taunt...

    Ad astra

    I've jotted that down in my little black book and will heed your wonderful advice. Thank you Ad Astra.

  • bob macalba

    12/11/2012 1:03:17 PM |

    thankyou, excellent links, its so much easier to maintain the rage when pointed in the right direction, cheers
    nasking, i too am going to miss your comments, I really dig your passion man,and its quite contagious , but ultimately your health and eyesight must take priority, rest up warrior next year should be a doozy and i suspect warrior wordsmiths like yourself will well be needed to combat the negative mendacious crap that is sure to be piled out by the tories [cant call them liberals] and their pet media,  and to you and yours nasking

    ps no need to reply, its all good,  cheers

  • MWS

    12/11/2012 1:05:13 PM |

    Thanks for the reply Janet - it all makes sense now!  I hope Lyn is enjoying her break between tweets.

  • MWS

    12/11/2012 1:28:44 PM |

    Peter Wicks on the extremists in the LNP:

    It is not just Tony Abbott’s misogyny the public have to fear, nor his inability to stick to one version of the “gospel truth”, we have to worry about the mates that he brings with him and the influence they will wield on the parliament.

  • 42 long

    12/11/2012 1:36:32 PM |

    Corey Bernardi has the top senate spot in SA!!. Doesn't that tell you everything about Abbott's direction and the sort of people he responds too. Thinking Liberals(where are you?) must be tearing their hair out.
       I resume of the last AGM of the LNP and the policies adopted there should maximise everyone's concerns. This is the loopiest bunch of nutters and nasties I have ever seen in politics. merde throwing muckrakers. The thing is that their slates are not so clean. There has always been more Right wing members forced to resign their portfolio's than labor because of misconduct etc. Why is that? Perhaps the greed/power element. It certainly looks at power at any price even at the expense of respect for parliamentary process. They present as pretty poor role models.

  • jane

    12/11/2012 2:43:50 PM |

    Nas' it was very sad to read about your health problems and particularly your deteriorating eyesight.

    I think you're doing exactly the right thing in taking a rest for your health's sake.

    You work so hard keeping us informed about things happening in the US and elsewhere, it's obviously taking its toll. So rest up for the silly season and come back reinvigorated for the looming battle against the forces of evil.

    Blimey! Very melodramatic, but I'm sure you know what I mean. Anyway my friend, enjoy the break with S and have a lovely relaxing Xmas and new year.

    Ad astra, from his latest comment, it appears SIC will no longer infest this site. How sad.

    Thinking Liberals.....

    Do such creatures exist, 42 long?

    With the silly season almost upon us, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Xmas and an extremely healthy and happy 2013 when we vanquish Liealot and the Liars Party utterly.

    In the spirit of the season I will even cough up a modicum of goodwill for the trolls-may they use the lumps of coal in their Xmas stockings wisely and may the scales fall from their eyes.

    I fear that neither wish will be granted.

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/11/2012 3:28:32 PM |

    Whenever the word “troll” is tossed around, it comprehensively demonstrates that there is nothing left - no logic, no rationale. It is a retreat to name calling, an admission of defeat in any debate.

    It is hilarious to observe otherwise sensible people resort to the sandpit style behaviour.

  • Ken

    12/11/2012 3:38:32 PM |

    As I'm new to this, I find it a bit hard to keep up to date with all the comments but have just a few points to make regarding a few posts made on 9 December.

    "42 long" referred to "God wants you to be rich" being a corruption but it is not quite as simple as that.  There was a religious group, descended from the Calvinists as I recall, who believed that those who would be admitted to Heaven was predetermined and that success in life (including the accumulation of wealth) was a sign that God had chosen that individual.  That approach was very influential in early America and continues, in one way or another, to the present day.

    "jaycee" also posted on 9 December about the Aborginal population and mentioned the lack of erotica.  That is not quite true.  I have personally visited a number of Aborginal art sites where there are clearly erotic representations.  One of the main population controls used by traditional Aboriginal society was the custom of marrying young girls to old men - nature took its course in such circumstances and reduced the number of children.  There are many other reasons which I won't go into now.

    I thought an interesting post was by "Libby x33" regading the Qld mother was was considered partly responsible for the rape of her son on the basis that she had failed to provide adequate protection and supervision.  This has been a bug-bear of mine for years.  There have been many occasions when governments have talked about making parents bear legal responsibility for the vandalism and "crimes" of their children.  But short of keeping one's children prisoners, this is next to impossible.  In traditional societies, yes, parents and other adults (uncles, aunts, etc) had much more direct control over children but in our society they are subject to values and teachings from "strangers" in the education system, from the media, including more recently social media, and from their peers.  Parents no longer have the degree of control they once had and if governments ever want to make parents responsible for their children's misbehaviour, they would need to increase the legal rights of parents to enforce their standards and values.

    The other issue that I will save until AA posts the next part of the summer ideology posts, concerns the break-down of "informal" sanctions and increasing legislation to fill that gap.  That break-down of informal sanctions also affects the role of parents.

  • nasking

    12/11/2012 3:44:06 PM |

    Just read this and thought I best put Libby at ease:

    It was an unintentional & unfortunate thing to say & I'm sorry if you (or other swordsters) took my lack of tact the wrong way.

    Do not worry Libby...I did not take it that way at all. In fact, I have had my mind elsewhere...focused this morning on a Poirot film...followed by some research into this tragic death of this nurse in the UK.

    And what I would be asking if I were a police investigator is:


    It is of course, the media...

    as it distracts from UK problems for some of them...and ensures they get more attention and subsequently sales and ad tabloid fever hits the public once again.

    It also leads some to believe this is yet another Royal Family-related incident/ in a supposed line of them...including Lady Di. The easiest of conspiracies to fall into...and plenty will. I tested my theory this morning...and of Stacey's family is already thinking this way.

    But I believe the possible perpetrators knew the public curiousity dominoes would automatically fall there.

    You must ask yerself? Who has been hounding the Royals in order to keep tabloid fever going for yonks?...and would know that the public would once again focus on that side of things.

    The Royals are convenient the poor Jews...when empires rule the roost.

    Furthermore, would it not suit a media corporation that invests more in papers, payTV and online news and opinion to see the ferocity of focus move to radio?

    As it also applauded...and fed...the wave of anger against the BBC of late.

    Another well-timed distraction...considering they must have sat on the peda stuff long? Yet did not pursue it with ferocity til now. Just as the piss weak Leveson judgements pretty well let them off the hook...interesting...considering this was PM Cameron's inquiry...looking at media characters he and his -now exonerated it seems - ministers were inappropriately in contact with, according to some observers.

    Some say a WHITEWASH from a man looking for a top judicial job...who comes to Australia and happens to focus on blogs and social media. Curious. The other competition for a certain media corporation. Perhaps tho, he was just doing his the elite have always done...we have come to expect no less.

    Returning to the death of this unfortunate nurse, it coincidently (if you believe in coincidence) once again shines a focus on the relationship between Indians...and yes, Australians.

    Just as the healing had worked...and relations improved.

    And who would love to see them deteriorate...under this govt? Think trade relations etc.

    Which media organisation under huge pressure here and in the UK would LUV to see this govt fall?...put its CHOSEN man in place?

    Interesting NEWSPOLL today. But where is the evidence it is on the money? No election to prove it right. Can we trust these corporate polls during these non-election periods? Could they be used as an attempt to alter public perception of a govt?

    Frankly, this is mere speculation...for the media would never attempt to CREATE THE NEWS for its own advantage.

    It is just another conspiracy theory.

    But one in a world of media corruption, bullying, criminal behaviour, anything goes strategies...DESPERATION TO SURVIVE.

    And police corruption...complicity...

    Sadly, I expect little but cover-up...and a less than thorough job when it comes to this tragic incident.

    Particularly when I reflect on the actions of some in the police force...both present...and past:

    In May 2012, a report into phone hacking by a House of Commons select committee found that Yates, along with director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer, was culpable for failing to properly investigate evidence when hacking was first brought to his attention in 2006-07.

    The report concluded: "The police at that time had no interest or willingness to uncover the full extent of the phone-hacking which had taken place." Since Yates' resignation and the reopening of police investigations in 2011, 90 people have been arrested and 16 have been formally charged with crimes.

    bob macalba,
    cheers...I wish you and yers the best during this festive season. Stay ever-curious...and passionate.

    I shall return to my distractions...far more...relaxing.


  • nasking

    12/11/2012 3:51:18 PM |


    cheers have a great hols.

    It is unlikely I'll be back.

    But the likes of yer good self...and the many determined, articulate folk on here give me hope that the supporters of darkness will be given one helluva a fight.

    The story must continue.

    Know my thoughts and words are with you.


  • Gravel

    12/11/2012 4:17:44 PM |


    I have changed my email address but I'm putting my old one in now and hope it works.  Thanks for your help.

  • Gravel

    12/11/2012 4:20:56 PM |

    Yes, it worked, thanks everyone, now as TT said, I've found my lost teddy. Smile


    Thanks for all your great links, and it's good to know that Lyn is having a rest.  I keep trying to wean myself off the net but it doesn't work, have to check in every couple of days at least.

  • jaycee

    12/11/2012 4:32:24 PM |

    just quickly, Ken...Yes, I am aware of those "erotic" rock-art by the indigenous peoples, but two things...a) considering the state of "undress" of the indigenous peoples of those hot climes, are you not presuming too much from what may just be a recording in art of the bleedin' obvious ..b) While the ancients of Rome, Greece, Minoa, Persia etc..had depictions that could be transported and places dedicated to the performance of erotica, rock-art in several parts of the country are not the same as portable pottery and such! Do you know of any corrobories that are dedicated to aboriginal erotic dancing? (not to be confused w/fertility rites!).

  • Ken

    12/11/2012 6:33:49 PM |


    They are genuine erotic sites but perhaps, I will concede, more like erotic cartoons.  Most, but not all, of the ones I have visited were actually to do with secret men's business and the elders allowed me to see them.  Some of the representations are in no way realistic and even the Aborginal men I was with saw many of them in a humorous light - including exaggerated examples of "whistle dick".  The idea of not being able to transport the images also goes to the heart of Aboriginal land rights.  One analogy I used in the past was that it was no coincidence that the great age of European exploration and colonisation followed the invention of printing.  Europeans could take their Bible with them and it provided the underpinning of the values of their native society as they moved around the globe.  Aboriginals couldn't do that - the "bible" (the law) that underpinned their society was "written" in the land.  So the concept that such things can be transported is another whole discussion about the nature of societies.

    No, I don't know of any erotic coroborees but there are many reasons for that, including, as I said, the custom of arranged marriages to older men.  Being a male, I wasn't allowed into the women's business, but I am aware of very open sexual discussion among Aboriginal women and wouldn't rule out the concept of erotica (even if it was only oral - and, after all, it was predominantly an oral culture).

  • jaycee

    12/11/2012 6:54:37 PM |

    That's very interesting, Ken...I am a student of Roman history so cannot speak in any qualified way about indigenous peoples. However, I do recall reading of research that paralleled the rise of erotica with the rise of cultivated empires.As to what came first; chicken or egg..?..
    But what IS different between indigenous cultures (of most[?]places) and sophisticated civilisations is the psychology of erotica...: erotica being a construct playing on "delay or denial of sensual pleasure", implying that there existed a "hunger" for sexual fulfillment!..was such lacking in those empires? Was there such a psychological construct in the indigenous cultures?
    In ancient Egypt we read of such delights..and Persia..and China..The evidence "on the ground" in Australia is the fact that there never was the population explosion that there was in the other continents.
    I find it difficult to imagine growing up in a place where there was no erotic display whatever....can anyone?

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    12/11/2012 7:56:44 PM |

    Can it get any worse? Over on another site the bird of paradox is being called Prime Minister Rosa Luxemburg.

  • MWS

    12/11/2012 8:35:12 PM |

    Antony Green on the changes to the electoral roll:

    By far the worst aspect of the debate on direct enrolment has been attempts to justify or denigrate it based on how people enrolled by the system might vote. Franchise should be judged by qualification, not by intended vote. Who people are going to vote for shouldn’t be used as a measure of whether rort is taking place.

    If an attempt to change the current enrolment system is to be labelled a rort, then why shouldn’t attempts to maintain the status quo, and its steady decline in youth enrolment, also not be seen as a rort?

  • Ken

    12/11/2012 10:03:22 PM |


    just a brief comment because I basically accept what you are saying.  The key thing seems to be the change from an oral tradition to one that becomes more visual (including the need to read).  Erotica as we know it seems linked to that change to a visual medium.

  • Wake Up

    12/11/2012 10:24:49 PM |

    The best fun you can have with miserable little trolls is to see who is the best at ignoring them.

    So here is the game: First one to break loses !!!

    Starting now.

  • 2353

    12/11/2012 10:48:05 PM |

    Wake Up @ 10.24.  Cool. I'm in the game.

  • pj

    12/11/2012 11:03:59 PM |

    Dear folks, could i be so cheeky to pick your fine minds, a new facebook page is being set up, would you have any suggestions for it, along the line of positive achievements, eg Team Labor connect vote labor 2013?
    any suggestions?

  • TalkTurkey

    12/11/2012 11:41:52 PM |

    This stuff about Trolls is interesting because it has to do with communication, with conflict resolution, and the awful truth that there are those who are simply malicious.

    This last is the class of people who vandalise, who spoil wantonly, who set fires, who spread wicked lies, who foment illwill.

    It is vital to our cause that we recognise the fact that there are many of them, and that they will not change. They are bent out of shape permanently. It is no use whatsoever to talk reasonably to them, and indeed the best thing is to send them to Coventry.

    But as for calling them Trolls, Ad, well I think it is a fine word to describe Trolls, for several overlapping reasons: it is a verb, to troll is to drag a fishing line with a lure behind a boat to catch voracious fish like Snook, and by extension to try mischievously to draw facts or reactions from people by provocative suggestions or leading questions; and Trolls in Scandinavian legend are rather unpleasant ogre-like beings, living in dark damp places, in caves and under bridges, and feeding off unwary wayfarers who come their way.

    So Trolls are always fishing for responses, anyone who replies is a catch they can feed off. And in the case of these Internet Trolls, they can do it without ever coming out of the dark.

    It really is very simple: Don't Feed the Trolls.

    Or at worst, as I've said many times before:

    Have FUN with Trolls!

    Don't address them directly. Talk about them but not to them.

    Until and unless they are respectful of this Hub of the Fighting 5th Estate.    

  • TalkTurkey

    12/12/2012 7:24:09 AM |

    Leunig outs himself as a non-anti-Semite. I'm with him.

    Over the years it has been implied that I am "a second degree anti-Semite", "a new-world anti-Semite" and a "latent anti-Semite" as well as a simple old-fashioned common or garden anti-Semite. I now learn to my amazement that to make comparisons between Israeli policy and any Nazi behaviour is in itself an anti-Semitic act.

    Read more: is

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 7:27:36 AM |

    Ken..Yes..I can see that an oral-descriptive storytelling could suffice for the transmission of erotica, after all, we would do the same as young men down at the pub in the "old days".

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 7:30:40 AM |

    Actually, I kind of like that : "Bird of Paradox"..perhaps "wrappped in a riddle" title given to the PM. It sort of elevates her above the dross of the opposition...yes..thank you troll!
    Of course, with JWH we had the "Man of Stool".

  • pappinbarra fox

    12/12/2012 8:08:00 AM |

    It is unlikely I'll be back.

    But the likes of yer good self...and the many determined, articulate folk on here give me hope that the supporters of darkness will be given one helluva a fight.

    Just Nasking - this sounds ominous - are you retirign or dying?
    I hope the former for your input will be sorely missed if the latter.
    Regards and do not go gently into the night.

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 8:36:17 AM |

    On the other hand, with the LOTO, can words describe a stench?.....Actually, just looked up the word; "stench" in the thesaurus...I stopped at twenty one, but there are dozens..all quite adequate!

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 8:41:17 AM |

    Am keen to hear the Slipper judicial finding this morning. Could be a game changer if it goes his way...The repercussions would spread far and wide...expect a couple of "notable" journalists to quickly accept positions overseas!

  • TalkTurkey

    12/12/2012 8:52:17 AM |

    pj could you please explain a bit more what you are after?

    Glad to help if we can . . .

  • Ad astra

    12/12/2012 9:53:42 AM |

    Ashby's case against Peter Slipper has been 'thrown out' by the court hearing Ashby's claim.

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/12/2012 9:57:34 AM |

    Proof abounds.

    When people have given up all hope of scoring debating points, they retreat to name calling – “troll”

    It remains the clearest proof that ALP supporters here have lost-
    •  The moral high ground – asylum seekers
    •  The moral high ground – integrity of leadership, and
    •  The moral high ground – policy debate - ”ABBOTT ABBOTT ABBOTT ABBOTT ABBOTT ABBOTT”

  • 42 long

    12/12/2012 10:09:36 AM |

    So it should have been Ad As. What repercussons can we expect from this? Or will it just be forgotten?
      Let's see how Thom(no "P")son goes too.The stitchup was too "generic". The real issue is who else is involved in these arrangements, and what links axist. Denying an electorate the right to be represented by their legally elected member and trying to bring down a legitimate government by questionable means should be a significant "crime" NO!!

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/12/2012 10:23:41 AM |

    …and the Slipper case has been thrown out, as expected.

    Regardless of this, people are entitled to expect better behaviour from the most senior person in the House of Representatives.

    He simply wasn’t fit to hold the position of Speaker. He only landed the job because Gillard broke her written commitment to Wilkie.

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 10:33:16 AM |

    Slipper cleared...The ALP. will have to go in hard on the LNP. on this decision...This is a political moment and they must use the full force of judicial and parliamentry power to utterly destroy the opposition! No stone unturned, no opposition member spared..hit them like a tonne of bricks, justice and law is on our side...we must use it.

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 10:35:38 AM |

    No mercy! No shelter. No home. no hope for the traitors!!

  • TalkTurkey

    12/12/2012 10:48:32 AM |


    Justice Rares throws out Ashby's vexatious mischievous claim against Slipper and orders Ashby to pay costs.

    Where does this leave Brough Doane Pyne Brandis and many many more in the MSM and the LNP?

    Past their nostrils in their own ordure I hope.  

    Judgment below:

  • LadyInRed

    12/12/2012 10:56:37 AM |

    Great news on Slipper. Anyone with any intelligence who read all the texts, and the gap in texts where texts were obviously deleted because they did not subsantiate the claim. Then the sequence of events, I am supposedly devastated but then go on and have coffee, go to dinner when you could easily decline make excuses, anything to put yourself out of his clutches. But no he continued texting Slipper (why continue texting if you feel threatened?).

    When you feel sexually threatened by an employer, or anyone for that matter, you do everything in your power to limit exposure to them, you don't reply to texts that you find offensive, and you certainly don't reply within a few minutes of receiving one anytime day or night. It just made no sense other than a vexatious claim to damage Slipper and bring down the government.  

  • 42 long

    12/12/2012 11:05:10 AM |

    How would you like to be in Ashby's shoes?. The LieNP will use and discard. His entrails are bared for all to see. If he had a modicom of perception he would have forseen this outcome. A lot of unsuitable people fancy themselves as politically predestined for political stardom. eg The LOTO and isn't HE really starting to be on the nose?  Everyone he admires has feet of clay. The schemers and plotters. have stumbled again, with more to come potentially. Risky stuff. If you throw muck make sure YOU are very clean Tony. You aren't, but YOU started it, remember.

  • MWS

    12/12/2012 11:19:58 AM |

    I found this interesting article that suggests epigenetics can explain homosexuality.  Particularly pleasing is the explanation of epigenetics using Harry Potter (apologies to non-Potterheads):

    If we think of a person’s DNA as a recipe book – say Advanced Potion Making by Libatius Borage – then the epigenetic marks (or epi-marks) are the annotations and corrections made in pencil by the owner. Epi-marks have many functions, many of them tailoring the DNA instructions to suit the circumstances in which an individual finds him- or herself.

    Most epi-marks get erased before the recipe is copied and handed down to an individual’s offspring. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes there are good adaptive reasons why offspring inherit epi-marks from a parent. And sometimes, like Harry Potter inheriting the Half-Blood Prince’s potions book, they receive annotated instructions that were not intended for them.

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 11:32:44 AM |

    Where does this leave Brough Doane Pyne Brandis and many many more in the MSM and the LNP?

    Up shit's creek...

    What a disaster for the Coalition.

    Makes them look like a bunch of scheming incompetents...full of crap...willing to do and say anything to bring the govt down.

    This will put into doubt on so many of their accusations.

    The judge recognised this was attempted political sabotage.

    How LOW can the Coalition go?

    Not good for Brough, Pyne, Brandis...and their leader Abbott.

    The man would be a disaster as PM.

    Couldn't miss this one.


  • nasking

    12/12/2012 11:36:31 AM |

    That should be:

    This will put into doubt so many of their accusations.


  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/12/2012 11:43:13 AM |

    Using a taxpayer funded mobile telephone, Slipper sent sexually explicit messages to a subordinate employee. He rorted his travel expenses.

    If a company executive conducted themselves in this way they would face some serious questions and consequences, and it wouldn’t be addressed in civil proceedings.

    Slipper was never fit to be Speaker, but got the job because Gillard duped Wilkie to win government, then walked away from her written agreement with him.

    People are entitled to expect better standards from those in leadership positons.


    12/12/2012 11:56:57 AM |

      Slipper now being cleared, my question is who will he sue first the Mad Monk will be top of his list followed by Pyne, Brandis, Brough, Abetz hummm basically the entire shadow front bench as all of them have defamed him in public, lost him the speaker-ship costing him large amounts of $'s through devious means & downright bastardisation, complicit manufacturing of evidence through selective leaking & deleting of undesirable pieces.

      He will be laughing all the way to the bank. I nearly ran the car off the road when I heard it on the radio today fisting the air like it was Abbortts face, the best news for us in so long.

      In his ruling Ashby has to pay all!! court costs, will the Lieberals pay it for him, if so why? if not will he unload all his knowledge about the internal conspiracy if they don't? they are in a real bind now, oh to be a fly on the wall in Lieberal party head quarters today.

      Maybe the turning point we have been waiting for, fingers crossed it is, now to bury the Mad Monk in his own pile of excrement with is own slush fund lies. Provable & on the public record, this is the best Christmas present we could have hoped for.

      I wonder how many holes the Mad Monk has punched in the house walls today?

  • Ad astra

    12/12/2012 12:01:18 PM |

    TT has favoured us with the full judgement of Justice Rares.  It is very long.  Some of the paragraphs below are of special interest

    132    Mr Ashby and Ms Doane had decided by 29 March 2012 that Mr Ashby would make allegations of sexual harassment in legal proceedings against Mr Slipper and would assist Mr Brough and Mr Lewis to damage Mr Slipper in the public eye and political arena with any information they could find including using the requested diary entries together with any proceedings. Mr Ashby referred to seeing or using lawyers in his texts from about this time. Accordingly, I have inferred that he, Ms Doane and Mr Brough intended that Mr Ashby would bring proceedings against Mr Slipper alleging at least sexual harassment. Over the six previous months Mr Ashby had described Mr Brough to Mr Slipper in the most foul terms. He had also been considerably unflattering about Mr Lewis when discussing him with Mr Slipper. Yet, by 29 March 2012, Mr Ashby had confided in Mr Slipper’s political foe, Mr Brough, about being sexually harassed by Mr Slipper and sought Mr Brough’s help in obtaining a lawyer. Moreover, within a day or so Mr Ashby and Ms Doane were providing Mr Brough and Mr Lewis with copies of Mr Slipper’s diaries.

    133    Once they had decided on their course of action, Mr Ashby and Ms Doane did not go straight to see a lawyer to air any concerns about any legal wrongs that either may have suffered. Instead, Mr Ashby or Ms Doane contacted Mr Brough and they began working with him and Mr Lewis. That was an act of disloyalty that they both knew was antithetic to their continuing to work for Mr Slipper. But they did continue. They asked Mr Brough to help them find a lawyer. They used their positions on his staff surreptitiously to copy and provide extracts from Mr Slipper’s diaries for periods in 2009 and 2010 at the requests of both Mr Brough and Mr Lewis. There is no evidence that Mr Ashby ever provided any of Mr Slipper’s diary entries concerning the 2012 Cabcharge allegations to anyone. Mr Ashby met Mr Lewis on 4 April 2012 and Mr Ashby so enthused Mr Lewis that the latter wrote “We will get him!!” just before flying to Sydney.

    134    Objectively, the conduct of Mr Ashby in relation to Ms Doane, Mr Brough and Mr Lewis prior to the meeting with Mr Russell QC is consistent with Mr Ashby working towards a politically damaging attack on Mr Slipper. That conclusion is reinforced by the absence of any indication in the text messages recorded on Mr Ashby’s phone that indicate that he had expressed any concern, let alone distress, about any sexually harassing behaviour by Mr Slipper.

    138    I am also satisfied that Mr Ashby and Ms Doane by about 29 March 2012 were in a combination with Mr Brough to cause Mr Slipper as much political and public damage as they could inflict on him. They believed and hoped that Mr Lewis would publish unfavourable stories about Mr Slipper concerning whatever they could help Mr Lewis find in relation to Mr Slipper’s use of his travel entitlements in the areas of Mr Lewis’ curiosity. That is why each of Mr Ashby, Ms Doane and Mr Brough were anxious to provide Mr Lewis with the diary entries he sought. It is not clear whether Mr Brough had passed on to Mr Lewis Mr Ashby’s foreshadowed complaint of sexual harassment in late March 2012. They also believed that Mr Lewis, and the media generally, would report on any legal proceeding against Mr Slipper in which Mr Ashby alleged sexual harassment. At this time, Mr Ashby and Ms Doane saw Mr Brough as their means of obtaining favour from the LNP in seeking new employment. It was obvious that once what Mr Ashby was then planning became public, he and Ms Doane could no longer work as members of Mr Slipper’s personal staff. The relationship of trust and confidence (if it still subsisted) between Mr Slipper and the two staff members would have been destroyed by their acts of calculated disloyalty.

    141    Mr Brough was unlikely to have been offering to assist Ms Doane and Mr Ashby in seeing Mr Russell QC for advice or looking for new careers out of pure altruism. Realistically, his preparedness to act for them was created and fed by their willingness to act against Mr Slipper’s interests and assisting Mr Brough’s and the LNP’s interests in destabilising Mr Slipper’s position as Speaker and damaging him in the eyes of his electorate. Mr Ashby wrote that he totally agreed with Ms Doane’s observation in texts on 30 March 2012 that what they were doing, seeking to bring the sexual harassment case would “tip the govt to Mal’s and the LNP’s advantage”. They also thought that meeting with Mr Russell QC would also be “[d]efinitely a good move for us” by aiding them in removing “the black mark from being” with Mr Slipper: [66]. By this time Ms Doane’s animus against Mr Slipper was pronounced, as her text expressing loathing of 3 April 2012 showed: [67].

    The following paragraph appears to let Steve Lewis off the hook, somewhat.

    145    Mr Lewis appears to have pursued, enthusiastically, the stories potentially available to him based on Mr Ashby’s and Ms Doane’s information. However, I am not satisfied that Mr Lewis shared with them the purpose of advancing the political interests of Mr Brough or the LNP or of aiding Mr Ashby or Ms Doane in their future prospects of advancement or preferment. It is more likely that Mr Lewis was focused on obtaining good copy for stories to sell newspapers. He may not have been so naïve that he was blind to the motivations of Mr Ashby, Ms Doane or Mr Brough. Mr Lewis was no doubt wanting to encourage them, as sources, to continue to provide material which he could use to publish. But, that did not involve him in seeking to achieve the same end as his sources, despite some overlap. Publication of significant or sensational news can have significant impact on the public perception of persons or bodies referred to in the stories that favours one side rather than another in the political debates of the day. However, that consequence does not necessarily suggest that the journalist or publisher is seeking to aid or support the side of politics that benefits from the publication. Rather, it is more likely that, by publishing the story, the journalist or publisher is simply fulfilling his, her or its role of reporting news. Once presented with sources such as Mr Ashby and Ms Doane, together with the prospect of a story such as in the originating application, it is difficult to think that any journalist would have acted differently to Mr Lewis in pursuing and publishing that story.

    Here is Justice Rares Conclusion:

    196    Having read all of the text messages on Mr Ashby’s mobile phone, as Mr Ashby’s senior counsel invited me to do, as well as the other evidence, I have reached the firm conclusion that Mr Ashby’s predominant purpose for bringing these proceedings was to pursue a political attack against Mr Slipper and not to vindicate any legal claim he may have for which the right to bring proceedings exists. Mr Ashby began planning that attack at least by the beginning of February 2012. As Mr Ashby and Ms Doane agreed in their texts of 30 March 2012 what they were doing “will tip the govt to Mal’s [Brough] and the LNP’s advantage”: [66]. It may be a coincidence that Mr Ashby suggested to Mr Slipper the idea of becoming Speaker just as Mr Brough began to move towards challenging Mr Slipper for LNP pre-selection for his seat and Mr Ashby ended up in an alliance in late March 2012 with Mr Brough to bring down Mr Slipper after he became Speaker. It is not necessary to make any finding about this or about whether Mr Slipper did sexually harass Mr Ashby in any of the ways alleged. It is also not necessary to consider whether these proceedings are “vexatious proceedings” within the meaning of r 6.02 or if that expression has a different meaning in r 26.01(1)(b) under which the Court can give summary judgment if “the proceeding is frivolous or vexatious”.

    197    For the reasons above, I am satisfied that these proceedings are an abuse of the process of the Court. The originating application was used by Mr Ashby for the predominant purpose of causing significant public, reputational and political damage to Mr Slipper. It contained the scandalous and irrelevant 2003 allegations and assertion that Mr Ashby intended to report to the police Cabcharge allegations. To allow these proceedings to remain in the Court would bring the administration of justice into disrepute among right-thinking people and would be manifestly unfair to Mr Slipper: Jeffery & Katauskas 239 CLR at 93 [28]. Even though Mr Ashby has now abandoned the 2003 and all the Cabcharge allegations, the features that I have criticised did the harm to Mr Slipper that Mr Ashby and Mr Harmer intended when those allegations were included in the originating application. A party cannot be allowed to misuse the Court’s process by including scandalous, irrelevant or damaging allegations knowing that they would receive very significant media coverage and then seek to regularise his, her or its pleading by subsequently abandoning those claims.

    198    Sexual harassment of anyone, including an employee such as Mr Ashby, is a violation of the person’s human dignity and rights. The Court must always be available for the hearing and determination of bona fide proceedings to vindicate and protect those rights. But for the reasons I have given, Mr Ashby’s pre-dominant purpose in bringing the proceedings was not a proper one.

    199    Even though I have not found that the combination was as wide as Mr Slipper alleged in his points of claim, the evidence established that there was a combination involving Mr Ashby, Ms Doane and Mr Brough of that kind. Mr Ashby acted in combination with Ms Doane and Mr Brough when commencing the proceedings in order to advance the interests of the LNP and Mr Brough. Mr Ashby and Ms Doane set out to use the proceedings as part of their means to enhance or promote their prospects of advancement or preferment by the LNP, including by using Mr Brough to assist them in doing so. And the evidence also established that the proceedings were an abuse of the process of the Court for the reasons I have given. Accordingly, I am satisfied that the exceptional situation that enlivens the Court’s power to dismiss (or stay) proceedings as an abuse has been proved to the heavy standard required: Williams 174 CLR at 529. The duty and power of the Court to protect its own processes require that I give effect to the findings I have made by dismissing the proceedings under r 26.01.

    Ashby says he will appeal.


    12/12/2012 12:02:56 PM |

    Look after your self Nasking, I didn't know if you would be here had I left a post before. I'll miss your posts.

  • pj

    12/12/2012 12:05:04 PM |

    Thanks TT, I am pretty sure a new name is decided. And what a difference justice makes. I do believe Tony Abbott "Boy who would be Emperor' is the lowest, the Independent is not letting his slushfund role go away, he has many questions to answer, now he and his band of lynchers re Peter Slipper have more questions. Brand Abbott goes from rotting to disintergration moment by moment, day by day. Keep it up Tony, can't wait to see what desperate measures you pull out next.

  • LadyInRed

    12/12/2012 12:05:47 PM |

    The Ashby case was not about what people should expect of a parliamentarian. It was about using a court to bring down the reputation of Slipper, and to tear down the government. The point is Ashby, Doane and Brough were trying to use the court to inflict damage against Slipper and the government. It was never about 'sexual harrassment', anyone can tell from the text messages back and forth that the claim did not stack up. Slipper did a fine job as speaker. He was naive in his dealings with Ashby that is clear. He trusted a person that was not to be trusted, and he was foolish and indiscreet, all very human failings. I suspect if we were to get rid of every parliamentarian for their indiscretions we wouldn't have any left, nor would we have anything other than people without lived experience sitting in the chairs.

    Slipper was not treacherous, he was foolish and naive, but not calculating and uncaring something that could be said about Brough and definitely about Ashby and we can now add the tag of quite "stupid", something you definitely don't want in a parliamentarian.

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 12:08:36 PM |

    we've done most of our Christmas for friends, family, staff...and of course, Emi and Apollo...our feline friends.

    I have a good feeling about 2013. I see a number of important economies bouncing back.

    What a bunch of sad sacks people are in Australia lately.

    We have it so good.

    We just got more interest rate cuts for goodness sakes!!! We have low unemployment. Plenty of thriving businesses regardless of what some doomsayers put out there.

    Problem is the MSM and these experts aren't recognising there has been a change in consumption habits and some of the bigger retailers and industry players might be struggling a bit (not that they can complain much considering the rewards they reaped for sooo long...don't these fools plan long-term?)

    There are plenty of small and large Aussie businesses online that are doing just fine. But they don't get focused on by a lazy MSM...and surveys that are archaic.

    Maybe the sad sack attitude is coming from the fact we have awful right-wing govts in the states? Let's face it, they are about as inspiring as the dullest of accountants...and give you the sense they would rather be in church than have some fun.

    Speaking of church...that ABC Compass show last nite was revealing. I kept thinking JOHN HOWARD WHERE THE FCK IS THE ROYAL COMMISSION?

    It's easy to see why Pell and the lads are desperate to get their boy Tony into power.

    Anyway, I hope the PM gets out there MOTIVATING peeps with good cheer. I enjoyed watching her announce the 'Fave teacher award'...she was beaming and full of good cheer. The younguns obviously enjoyed it.


  • LadyInRed

    12/12/2012 12:11:06 PM |


    couldn't miss this one........good for you! I hope there are more times you can't miss.

    Someone gave me some very good advice once: if someone says something that is meant to hurt or do you harm, count to 3   1...2...3 and then let it go. If you hold to after the count of 3 then it has a chance to take root, and once it takes root it has the chance to do what it was intended. Stay save.

  • LadyInRed

    12/12/2012 12:12:51 PM |


    That was meant to say:

    If you hold to it after the count of 3 then it has a chance to take root, and once it takes root it has the chance to do what it was intended. Stay save.

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 12:14:52 PM |



    Something the Coalition are not capable of under the reign of Abbott the Schemer.


  • Jason

    12/12/2012 12:21:20 PM |

    Now we are going to see a rewrite of history by some of the usual suspects who are not and never were fans of due process, will continue to make unfounded allegations that are yet to be determined (due process again) and continue to blame "others".

    Like Ashby they will also feel the Brough end of the pineapple!

  • 2353

    12/12/2012 12:23:53 PM |

    Now the blood letting starts.  Once again the LNP dirt unit can be accused of not thinking it through - Utegate, Slipper, Just say NO etc - all winners!

    Don't forget earlier this month ex-Minister in the Queensland LNP Government Bruce Flegg instigated court proceedings against his Media Advisor over Flegg's demotion, loss of income and so on.  Now (pending appeal) Slipper probably has an argument against Brough, Ashby and Doane for similar reasons.

    It has been said before that there is a strained relationship between the Liberals and Nationals that formed the LNP.  If rumours that the Nationals hold the power behind the Newman throne are correct, Flegg* probably won't care who he hurts on the way through his case - Slipper who has represented both sides of the LNP at some point is probably out for blood and likewise won't care who he takes down with him.

    All we need now is Thomson's case to be finalised (in his favour as it appears there are a number of issues with the evidence).  All these court cases going into an election year will demonstrate how the LNP works (assuming there is some publicity).

    * Flegg is a not overly bright ex-Liberal who when Liberal Leader was asked on Day 1 of an election campaign who would be Premier if the Libs got more seats than the Nats and couldn't answer the question.  The response was ridiculed in the media asnd was widely seen at the time as being one of the reasons Beattie was re-elected.

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 12:32:53 PM |

    such good advice.

    I do think I was in a bout of depression...partly due to stretching myself too thin.

    Since I froze my Facebook acct...and got two loooong sleeps I feel sooo much better.

    Perhaps there is hope for me yet...even my vision cleared up a bit. Musta been fatigue combined with the cataracts.

    And so many lovely supportive words on this site gave me a lift too. Yer a great bunch.

    As for Mal doesn't look good.

    I've always thought him another schemer. Like Abbott.

    And Pyne rides on Abbott's back as tho he were child looking for a ride. TAKE ME FOR A BUMBY RIDE, HOLIER THAN THOU...YEEE!!!


    What a rabble.

    Slipper is certainly not pure as driven snow...but neither are any of this lot...wonder how they'd like to be thrown to the lions as they did Slipper?

    With friends like them who needs enemies eh?


  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 12:39:21 PM |

    This finding demands an inquiry into the background of Ashby's backers....Those "persons of interest" should, like Slipper, step down until it is complete.

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 12:56:33 PM |

    To clear up any confusion:


    Vulcan meaning: fair and honourable victory

    Something the Coalition are not capable of under the reign of Abbott the Schemer.


  • 42 long

    12/12/2012 1:03:51 PM |

    Mr Harmer doesn't come out of it well. Harmers are favoured liberal lawywers and union busters. Working pro-bono for kathy Jackson beecause they "believe in her cause". Look for the connections and it all adds up. we do indeed live in interesting times. My trust in justice is "slightly" revived.
       Lewis highly pro active role brings Leveson type questions, into play. I hope this decision is only the beginning of uncovering their corruption.

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 1:09:35 PM |

    This is ugly stuff...from the judgement:

    I am also satisfied that Mr Ashby and Ms Doane by about 29 March 2012 were in a combination with Mr Brough to cause Mr Slipper as much political and public damage as they could inflict on him.

    They believed and hoped that Mr Lewis would publish unfavourable stories about Mr Slipper concerning whatever they could help Mr Lewis find in relation to Mr Slipper’s use of his travel entitlements in the areas of Mr Lewis’

    That is why each of Mr Ashby, Ms Doane and Mr Brough were anxious to provide Mr Lewis with the diary entries he sought. It is not clear whether Mr Brough had passed on to Mr Lewis Mr Ashby’s foreshadowed complaint of sexual harassment in late March 2012.

    They also believed that Mr Lewis, and the media generally, would report on any legal proceeding against Mr Slipper in which Mr Ashby alleged sexual harassment.

    At this time, Mr Ashby and Ms Doane saw Mr Brough as their means of obtaining favour from the LNP in seeking new employment.

    It was obvious that once what Mr Ashby was then planning became public, he and Ms Doane could no longer work as members of Mr Slipper’s personal staff.

    The relationship of trust and confidence (if it still subsisted) between Mr Slipper and the two staff members would have been destroyed by their acts of calculated disloyalty

    Nice bunch. The Coalition sure know how to pick 'em.

    Sheer bastardry...


  • nasking

    12/12/2012 1:14:24 PM |

    Should be:



  • nasking

    12/12/2012 1:18:09 PM |

    From CRIKEY:

    Brough justice: Mal can’t slip the net on Slipper campaign
    BERNARD KEANE | DEC 12, 2012

    What if the standards invoked by the opposition in regards to Julia Gillard were applied to themselves? Surely they would not let Brough, who a judge has found was a willing party to an abuse of process, continue as its preselected candidate for Fisher.

    The judgment of Justice Rares in dismissing the s-xual harassment case of James Ashby against former speaker Peter Slipper is profoundly damaging for Mal Brough, former Howard government minister and preselected Liberal-National Party candidate for Slipper’s seat.

    Brough, along with Ashby and Karen Doane, has been found to have been part of a “combination” to bring proceedings determined to have been “an abuse of the process of the Court”, one designed “for the predominant purpose of causing significant public, reputational and political damage to Mr Slipper”.

    Another LNP member who does not emerge from this matter with his reputation particularly enhanced is shadow attorney-general George Brandis. It is Brandis who in October insulted government officials and claimed a Commonwealth attempt to have Ashby’s case struck out was motivated by politics and was “plainly preposterous”.

    Justice Rares, clearly, disagrees.

    There’s been much discussion of accountability for politicians involved in legal matters of late. Brandis himself used the protection of parliamentary privilege to call Julia Gillard a “crook” — a claim he refused to repeat outside the Senate — and insist she had broken the law 20 years ago. The Opposition Leader has variously advanced and retracted similar claims. Christopher Pyne, a man with some involvement in the Ashby case, demanded the Prime Minister resign.

    What if the standards invoked by the opposition in regards to Julia Gillard were applied to themselves? Even the most serious claims made against Gillard by the febrile minds at The Australian and within the opposition are trivial compared to what a judge has found to be the case about Brough: that he was a willing party to bringing litigation that was an abuse of process — not 20 years ago, but earlier this year.

    And abuse of process in an area where not merely the legal system but Australian society still remains painfully ambivalent — the right of people to workplaces free of harassment, s-xual or otherwise.

    By even a pale shadow of the accountability demanded by the opposition in recent weeks, Brough cannot continue as its preselected candidate for Fisher.

    As for George Brandis, his habit of declaiming, he appears to think ex cathedra, on any legal issue it is in the Coalition’s interests to pursue, raises real doubts about his suitability to be attorney-general in a Coalition government.



  • nasking

    12/12/2012 1:27:14 PM |

    From Brisbane Times:

    Slipper case thrown out

    December 12, 2012
    Paul Bibby and Stephanie Gardiner

    The judgment also delivered a major blow to the political career of Mal Brough, the former Howard government minister and political rival of Mr Slipper within the Queensland Liberal National Party.

    Justice Rares found that Mr Brough, who recently won Liberal Party preselection for Mr Slipper's seat of Fisher, acted with Mr Ashby and another Slipper staffer Karen Doane in abusing the judicial process.

    This included promising to help Mr Ashby and Ms Doane find jobs within the LNP after their employment with Mr Slipper ended and arranging a meeting between Mr Ashby and prominent QC and Liberal Party member David Russell.

    Now...who put pressure on others to get Mal Brough into the seat?...and who else supported Brough in this complete and utter fck up?


  • Ken

    12/12/2012 1:36:22 PM |

    Remember that Brough was behind the NT Intervention and Downer gave away the real reason for that in an interview after they lost the 2007 election when he said that the coalition didn't get the bounce in the polls that it expected from the Intervention.

    I agree with all the comments regarding how high the collusion goes in the Libs but the other aspect of this, at least from Brough's side, is the internal turmoil in the LNP in Queensland.  There will be implications from this cropping up everywhere but how many we actually hear about will be the key question.

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 1:45:38 PM |


    Mal Brough wins Fisher preselection

    Mr Brough allegedly had extensive contact with Mr Ashby before he brought the case against Mr Slipper.

    He was also accused of interfering with a local government election on the Sunshine Coast but has since been cleared by the Queensland’s anti-corruption watchdog and police.

    Mr Brough, who lost his seat of Longman in 2007, beat seven other contenders in Sunday’s contest.

    Earlier on Sunday, Mr Abbott declined to endorse any candidate outright.

    ‘‘In the end it is up to the preselectors and I’m confident that whoever they choose will be a worthy candidate and a welcome addition to our parliamentary team in Canberra,’’ he said.

    Government frontbencher Craig Emerson said Mr Brough had admitted to being evasive about his involvement in the Ashby matter.

    He challenged Mr Abbott, who said Mr Brough was ‘‘totally upfront about his involvement in the Ashby matter’’, to do the same.

    ‘‘Tony Abbott must now explain what prior knowledge - specific or general - he had of his candidate’s involvement in the Ashby matter,’’ Dr Emerson said Sunday in a statement.

    And who didn't back Mal Brough?:

    “I set about to earn the respect of the local party membership and I intend to do exactly the same with the general population of Fisher,”

    Mr Brough said after the preselection, in which he defeated LNP campaign strategist James McGrath and six other candidates...

    Mr McGrath, who was lauded by conservatives for his role in defeating the Bligh government at the Queensland election in March, refused to comment.

    Mr McGrath had won backing from federal Liberals including Malcolm Turnbull, Jamie Briggs and Simon Birmingham.



    Per usual under Tony Abbott...

    And gutless Tony had no opinion.

    None. No probs. Whoever they choose?




  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 1:50:36 PM |

    The Liberal Party is no longer a democratic political party, it is a Junta in waiting...A junta led by a maniac and full of blind, demented fools just waiting for their little place in the sun!

  • Bacchus

    12/12/2012 1:53:45 PM |

    partly due to stretching myself too thin.

    Can the bear learn something from this? Wink

    Mission impossible, I know Nas, but learn to pace yourself - your passion is amazing, but also your achilles heel...

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 2:00:59 PM |

    Good job by Mark Dreyfuss going after Brough, Abbott and the Coalition on ABC 24.

    Reminded us of Ashby's calls to Julie Bishop.

    Bishop having a NIGHTMARE period.

    Turnbull has to be rubbing his hands with GLEE moisturiser.


  • nasking

    12/12/2012 2:10:30 PM |


    8 May 2012

    It is little wonder that Joe Hockey came out yesterday pleading for an end to “all of this speculation” about Slipper.

    Problems first arose for the coalition last week when Chris Pyne claimed he could not remember meeting with James Ashby. It has since been revealed that Ashby – a former Liberal party member and Slipper staffer, who now claims the former Speaker sexually harassed him – not only met with the senior Coalition figure Christopher Pyne in the immediate lead up to Ashby’s lawsuit for a two hour late night drinking session, but less than 20 minutes after that rendezvous, Pyne sent an email and text message seeking Ashby’s details.

    Pyne has accepted the evidence, but maintains he doesn’t remember asking for the contact details…

    It is understandable that Pyne now wants to forget the whole affair — like Hockey.

    Even more damaging for the Coalition is the revelation that former Howard Government minister Mal Brough – who is planning to challenge for Mr Slipper’s seat of Fisher – met with Ashby on numerous occasions and urged him to take action against the Speaker, even meeting Ashby with a lawyer on at least one occasion.

    It was revealed yesterday that Ashby had contacted deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop’s office and that opposition whip Warren Entsch had tried to ring Mr Abbott the night before Mr Ashby’s allegations were published. Pyne and Brough’s stories seem to change daily.

    More here:

    Not good...not good at all.


  • nasking

    12/12/2012 2:12:35 PM |

    this is me in relaxed mode.


  • LadyInRed

    12/12/2012 2:13:43 PM |

    Nasking @1:45pm,

    I love your use of the word poignant!

  • LadyInRed

    12/12/2012 2:15:33 PM |

    sorry Nas you used it 1:18pm ....ooops - but you get my drift. I just love it when you use it.

  • Jason

    12/12/2012 2:17:23 PM |

    Bushfire Bill

    Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing.

    Taylor and Grattan come out blaming the wretched state of “the politics” in Australia on everyone but the willing conduits of the trash-talk and smear: themselves.

    They express little regret (in Grattan’s case, NONE) that Slipper has been ruined by this. In fact (again in Grattan’s case) she gloats about it: “Ashby loses case, but wins the war…”

    It’s as if trumping up a phoney case that just about wrecks governance, the parliament, trust in public officials and worsens the already lousy view the public has of the media is some kind of passing matter, sort-of interesting, but nowhere near the importance of the government paying out $50k to get rid of the, now, official “grub”, Ashby.

    Lewis role as inciter, enabler and co-conspirator in this case was, disappointingly, dismissed by Rares as just a journo doing his job, offered an irresistable story.

    It is strictly-speaking irrelevant, but Lewis’s form in the Grech, Slatergategate and now Ashby cases indicate that his involvement is more than just professional curiosty, as his vendetta (and his promise a year ago to come back with even bugger scandals) against Slipper.

    The irony is that Slipper is way down on the list of travel entitlement expenses, with Abbott right at the top… but why let that get in the way of a good story, from a journo just “doing his job”?

    Brandis is slavishly re-tweeted by Simon Cullen as condemning Roxon for commenting on a case under appeal.

    But the case is NOT under appeal. If Ashby appeals he’ll have to organize finance (questionable), paperwork and something to appeal about. Until he does all three, Roxon can say what she bloody-well likes ahout the case, especially as she was involved in it as A-G.

    The media in Australia is utterly broken. It is so obvious, so patent, so undeniable.

    That the Opposition is classed as no more than having bowled a no-ball in Grattan’s piece – “overstepped the mark” – is a disgraceful, contemptible misrepresentation of the true situation.

    They were in it up to their necks. They brought censure motions against Slipper based on evidence brought before the court as part of (what we now know to be) an abuse of process, seeking to use this evidence as leverage to get rid of him and bring on a Constitutional crisis.

    They threaten, they intimidate, they spread smear, and the best Taylor manages to rave on about is how awful politics has become, without ascribing proper blame for why and how it has become so awful.

    Grattan looks at it all from the most cynical of viewpoints: as just a political game, which, by means of abusing the processes of the Federal Court, incurring millions of dollars worth of expenses, ruining Slipper, nearly wrecking the parliament, spreading the vilest of allegation to get them into court – then withdrawing them just as outrageously after they’ve done their damage – James Ashby and his pro bono legal and political backers have nearly brought governance in Australia to a standstill on several occasions.

    Remember Grattan’s call for Gillard to “Fall on her sword”? Over Ashby? Over Thomson? Yeah, right… it was important enough then, wasn’t it, you Old Boiler?

    No big deal there. Nothing to get excited about. The Coalition just “overstepped the mark.” Worth a try, etc. etc.

    Of course, there is the implication that the media were just honest reporters going about their business.

    Taylor laments the lack of attention to the “real issues”, when she was as rabid in reporting the Ashby case as a “scandal” as anyone else.

    They have learned nothing from Grech, Thomson, Slipper, Slatergate or the speech Gillard gave recently. All of them Lewis “cases”. All of them over-cooked, put-up jobs. Yet they go on Twitter to defend this disgrace to journalism.

    They continue to pontificate and wash their hands of their own sins.

    In fact they airbrush themselves out of the equation altogether, as if they are spectators at Wimbledon, there merely to clap, groan and wag their heads from side to side to see what happens next.

    Just close them down. Send them broke. Get rid of them. They are a blight on decency and our community.

  • LadyInRed

    12/12/2012 2:27:40 PM |

    Now I know why I don't like Grattan - her article trying to ram the last nail that she can into Slippers supposed coffin James Ashby lost the battle but won the war

    Read more:

    It is in the power of the MSM who helped in bringing him down to do the right thing and reinstate his reputation. But they don't want to do that - it is not in their interest to do so.

    Lenore Taylor is more correct:

    But most of all it raises questions about the vicious political climate of 2012, about rushing to judgment for political gain, about the personal consequences that can have and about all the other things we could have been talking about.

    Read more:

  • LadyInRed

    12/12/2012 2:34:38 PM |

    If 'supposed' nurse had led 'said' doctor to believe that his suggestive comments were welcome and reciprocated..... and then when 'said' nurse realised those same texts could get 'said' nurse a better job and so 'said' doctor was now put on the public rack and vilified all to enhance 'said' nurses career. I think I know whose side I would be on.....and it would not be on 'said' nurses. Change the people and circumstances as you will.

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 2:43:29 PM |

    I don't read Grattan...she bores me to that other pompous bore Paul always feel like they're rooting for ALP destruction.

    But most of all it raises questions about the vicious political climate of 2012, about rushing to judgment for political gain, about the personal consequences that can have and about all the other things we could have been talking about.

    Indeed. Laughing


  • nasking

    12/12/2012 2:59:18 PM |

    From the ABC online:

    Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus has called on the LNP to disendorse Mr Brough, describing his position as "untenable".

    "The Liberal National Party of Queensland should hang their heads in shame for even having endorsed him as a candidate," he told reporters in Canberra.

    However, the party appears to be standing by its candidate, with a statement from the LNP this afternoon saying Mr Brough: "will provide a strong voice for the people of Fisher".

    Mr Brough has also released a statement in response to the court's ruling: "I reiterate that I have at all times acted appropriately in relation to this matter and given the decision is subject to appeal I do not intend to make further comment."

    Mr Dreyfus said the case amounted to a "sinister" and "anti-democratic" attempt to overthrow the Government, and demanded Opposition Leader Tony Abbott give a detailed explanation about the extent of the Coalition's involvement.

    "We've had ducking and weaving from Mr Abbott, we've had ducking and weaving from [Liberal frontbencher] Mr Pyne, we know that Mr Ashby called Julie Bishop's office - that has become public," he said.

    Mr Pyne has admitted to having contact with Mr Ashby prior to him filing the claim, but says it had nothing to do with the court case.

    The story of Mr Ashby's claim was first revealed in News Limited newspapers on a Saturday morning. At 9:16am that day, Mr Abbott released a lengthy statement demanding the Prime Minister remove Mr Slipper from his position.

    Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the Coalition now had "serious questions to answer" about its conduct.

    "This shows how dangerously wrong and misleading [Liberal] Senator [George] Brandis can be in prejudging court matters," Ms Roxon said in a statement.

    In the old days we'd refer to George Brandis as A DOBBER.


    He seems to CRACK A FAT any time there looks like the slightest opportunity to throw an opposition member into the legal lion's pit.

    How American of him.


  • 2353

    12/12/2012 3:01:57 PM |

    It will be interesting to observe the media reporting over the next couple of days.  Some here have detected a slight change in the media reporting on the actions of the Federal Government.

    There will be a range of opinion and regardless of the smear, Slipper on the surface doesn't appear to be lily white.  If Brough gets a number of dishonourable mentions in the media - I suspect he will join Ashby and Doane as the victims of another LNP power play gone wrong.  

    Abbott's future may depend on this being buried - fast.  If the media assist, the "trend" towards reasonable reporting may be at an end.

    And finally - Nas; take it easy (although today would have to give you some hope).

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 3:02:17 PM |

    Jason...I dig that Bushfire Bill comment:

    The media in Australia is utterly broken. It is so obvious, so patent, so undeniable.

    That the Opposition is classed as no more than having bowled a no-ball in Grattan’s piece – “overstepped the mark” – is a disgraceful, contemptible misrepresentation of the true situation.

    They were in it up to their necks. They brought censure motions against Slipper based on evidence brought before the court as part of (what we now know to be) an abuse of process, seeking to use this evidence as leverage to get rid of him and bring on a Constitutional crisis.

    They threaten, they intimidate, they spread smear, and the best Taylor manages to rave on about is how awful politics has become, without ascribing proper blame for why and how it has become so awful.

    Indeed. For sure. SPOT ON.


  • nasking

    12/12/2012 3:05:57 PM |

    I'm off to watch Miss Marple.
    Munch on some Twiglets and choccy almonds.

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 3:11:50 PM |

    I agree with another poster at PB. : The House must bring charges against all those involved. The Parliament has been brought into disrepute and it must confront the culprits and bring them to account for their crimes against the democratic institution.
    There are questions to answer for the LOTO. he must be brought back from his hiding place, his refuge to answer to the House on his part and his party's part in this direspectful and disgraceful abuse of privilege.
    Start tweeting and emailing your reps'!


    12/12/2012 3:22:32 PM |

    Took 3-4 hrs to read it all AA

      I wonder if Ashbys lawyer is a worried man right now? struck off maybe?

  • 2353

    12/12/2012 4:11:00 PM |

    Knee High - is the judgement that damning?  Now that is interesting!

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 4:23:46 PM |

    Have contacted Nicola Roxon and my local member..(lib. filth!) the same!


    12/12/2012 4:39:48 PM |


      To knowingly introduce 2 fallacious pieces of evidence into a court claim, then retract it after it has done the damage it was meant to do to the defendant in the media is boarder line contempt of court I would have thought.

       Now to hear Ashby saying on the telly that things were held back from court & not allowed to be presented, is just fairy land stuff, he is just tightening the noose around the Lieberals neck.

      To say so after reading the entire ruling would be close to holding the judge in contempt NO EVIDENCE was withheld. Just like the Mad Monk Ashby is a sore loser, I'm surprised he didn't call the judge corrupt, that's what he is insinuating.

      I would hope to see several scalps be lifted over this, IF the OM do they job, but we all know the chances of that hey, remember buckley's.

  • Jason

    12/12/2012 4:41:42 PM |

          Here in the peoples republic of Makin we have a Labor man in the seat! But also contacted Roxon's office as well!

  • jaycee

    12/12/2012 8:38:51 PM |

    Those squib-wicks that call themselves MSM. journos' will be cosidered accomplaces to the conspiracy by their silence. An inquiry must be called and the journalists as well as the culprits must answer to the House and to the public for their treason!
    No home, no shelter, no mercy for the traitors!

  • nasking

    12/12/2012 9:09:59 PM |

    For Ravi Shankar,

    na jaayate' mriyate' vaa kadaachin naayam bhuthva bhavithaa na bhooyah: |
    ajo nithyah saasvato'yam puraano na hanyate' hanyamaane' sareere' ||

    "Never is he (Soul) born, nor does he die at any time, he has never been brought into being, nor shall come hereafter; unborn, eternal, permanent and ancient (primeval). When the body is slain, he is not slain."

    Speed well Ravi.



    12/12/2012 9:13:48 PM |

    Emerson was great on 7:30 even though Uhlmann tried to distance Abborts Lieberal involvement it didn't work Emo just ran over him. Pressing home just how serious this conspiracy was. Wheres Tony will be the new game on the block for the next few weeks, MIA.

  • Shirley

    12/12/2012 9:26:41 PM |

    KHTAGH @9.13

    I thought Craig Emerson was pretty forceful. I sensed a controlled rage there. And do not forget that Chris Uhlmann co authored a book with Lewis earlier in the year.

    Where you in Tassie when the Liberal party tried to bribe a labor politician to cross the floor to bring down the labor/green government  I think it was early nineties. Ended with a prominent businessman doing jail time.

    They really do not learn that truth will prevail, however people get destroyed in the meantime.

  • 2353

    12/12/2012 9:55:54 PM |

    Just had a thought.  Is someone sitting on a smoking gun here that directly links Abbott and either Brough or Ashby?

  • TalkTurkey

    12/12/2012 10:01:30 PM |

    OOOOHHHHH I'm just watching the beginning of 7.30 with UHLMANN and it feels so GOOOOOOOOOD !

    We of the 5th Estate have always been right about Slipper, the MSM has always been a disgrace.

    Here's Ashby whimpering. He is a dirty crook.
    Here's Harmer his lawyer. Another dirty crook.
    Here's Mal Brough. A dirtier crook again.
    Here's ABC suggesting $50000 has some bearing on the case. Pretty crook!

    Ooh here's our lovely Emmo, Craig Emerson, go you good man.

    Watch your step here smartarse Uhlmann. Pretty thin ice for you too.

    Uhlmann being very respectful for once. I despise him.

    Emerson did VERY well.

    We must not let this issue die. So many crooks involved!

    I predict that Craig Thomson too will be exonerated with a perfect record of honesty. I do so because of David Donovan's researches into *Jacksonville*, the dirty culture which evolved in the AWU some years ago. If anyone comes out of it clean, I believe it is most likely to be Craig Thomson. I have always said so, and IA's material promises to bear me out.

    Then where's that leave those filthy bastards eh?

    - On the run in total disorder, and us coming after them with pitchforks and clubs and our Sword of Swords . . . so we don't have to use Guns . . .

    Haven't heard much of Polls today!
    Nor Kevin Rudd FTM.
    [Had you missed them?] Smile

    But I seen that liddle Tweety twittering around . . . And with Jan . . . We're lucky aren't we!

    What a ride it's been so far, these last 28 months!  

    Dog AllFighty there didn't have to be a blog like TPS, waiting for us to speak our minds. And it happens that albeit largely by default, we find ourselves are at the very cutting edge of political discourse in this country. I say that quite seriously, in the certainty that we of the small but increasingly well-informed and confident 5th Estate have consistently been closer to Reason and to Truth about any subject than the political experts of the MSM, smug, groupthinkful, Rightist, lickspittle, fawning, vicious, biased  circlejerkers that they are - and the ABC is the most incestuous of the lot I think.

    How come we are part of leading opinion in this country?

    Hell we got HEROES on the 5th Estate! Grog and Bushfire Bill and IA people and WIXXY and our own Ad astra and Watermelon Man and many more - and many actual Politicians nowadays too, like Emmo, (though not the Libs' backbenchers!)  on TPS we get the BEST INFORMATION THERE IS from them, EVERY DAY, courtesy LYN!  

    We must not allow the slack bent snide MSM to kill this story of intrigue and connivance. Be very aware of this Comrade Swordsfolks, We are to the fore in the coming fight, now that we can talk across the sky to those very knowledgable people with their graphs and povs and logic, and we end up quite clever!

    Well cleverer than the *Experts* anyway!      



    12/12/2012 10:50:46 PM |

    Yes that was the Edmond Rouse affair, like you say they never learn, maybe it happens more than we know about, when they get away with it, who knows.

    Shirley I had forgotten the link between the two of them Lewis & Uhlmann, explains his attempt to pour water on the issue as much as he could.
      I think like you say the controlled rage/fury was just below the surface, had Uhlmann tried to cut him off I think Craig Emerson would have torn strips off him.

    Just like the poodle calling the automatic enrolling of the young  & un-enrolled people a labor rort, just because they perceive them as labor voters. They have to rig the game, just in the nature of the born to rule DNA. They can't play fair or they might lose.


    12/12/2012 11:01:31 PM |


      In the judgement the judge does mention that it was an attempt to bring down the government thru the #'s in the house of reps hence implicating Abbort & his band gutter rats.

    As Craig Emerson stated tonight, the link is sloppy Joe meeting Brough with Clive Palmer in Qld just days before the story hit the papers & it was discussed as Sloppy Joe already admitted on the record.

    Should there be a parliamentary inquiry they would have to supply their phone records & texts, even if they have tried to delete the msgs they are kept by the telcos.

  • Shirley

    12/12/2012 11:48:43 PM |

    KHTAGH @ 11.01

    Agree, how many scams do the public not get to hear of. Jim Cox certainly suffered and he was innocent.


    Now Gunns is no more. Again more Innocent people having their lives changed to satisfy corporate greed. John Gay succeeding Rouse who is now facing charges for insider trading. Why is it that conservatives would like us to believe only unions are corrupt.

  • TalkTurkey

    12/13/2012 4:06:18 AM |

    Shirley, DMW, KHTAGH,

    It's really good to see people recalling watershed moments like that affair with Rouse and Cox. So easy to forget unless one was actually involved. Such events need remembering for the lessons and examples they provide.

    TPS' Archives continuously EVERY day records such things.

    With Ad's leads, Lyn's Links going everywhere, and our own contributions forming a multi-dimensional commentary on the Australian political scene, has there ever been any form of almanac like it?

    I think TPS is unique, and very precious.  

  • Michael

    12/13/2012 7:16:47 AM |

    Bad Abbott.

    No "surprise" at all.

    With mainstream media reporting a 'surprise visit to Afghanistan' by Tony Abbott (who pays for this political stunt, by the way, who organises working soldiers to kit-up and frame Shouldabeen for happy snaps?), it's no "surprise" that Abbott should run for the Afghanistan hills with the Peter Slipper case reaching a conclusion.

    Well, we know "shit happens", I'm sure that his office will assure us the trip was planned well in advance, but this bloke's always ducking for cover when the shit does happen, especially the shit he's been waist-deep in shaping.

    Just a picture opportunity overseas travel rort for Tiny, and guess what? He has his shit-eating grin in place in every one.

    [reCAPTCHA code is "cantesc though" - 'can't escape though'??? How apt.

  • Crowey

    12/13/2012 7:30:41 AM |

    Shirley, talking about corruption in Tassie, what about an ex premier by the name of Robin Gray who so happened to be a business buddy of John Gay who had thousands of dollars stashed away in a freezer at his home.

  • jaycee

    12/13/2012 7:34:04 AM |

    the MSM. are trying to make the top story go away..they must be countered with mockery to the journalists involved..I have sent Simon Cullen a few mocking emails suggest others do the same to more MSM. journos..choke their system up!
    After all, what is a minor act of treason against the latest cricket score?

  • Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

    12/13/2012 7:44:09 AM |

    What a day or two TPSers. Biggest story is the Slipper case dismissal, of course. Today some extracts and then a bit of reading in what could already be feeling like ‘yesterday’s news’! Extracts above and tweets below.

    Truthtelling IA vindicated by Peter Slipper victory
    David Donovan Vince O’Grady

    But beyond this, they have dedicated themselves to the quest for power, through a series of nasty and spiteful campaigns. The campaign is undoubtedly being run out of Tony Abbott’s office, with the main foot-soldiers being Mal Brough, George Brandis, Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne and Eric Abetz…

    The modus operandi is well-established — why they persist in it, rather than dedicating themselves to developing policies – is unknown. Perhaps they should have a look at some of their failed attacks and try to clean up their act. The thought of this particular bunch of vicious and unprincipled thugs running the country is enough to give anyone nightmares.

    Luckily for us, that will now never happen. Justice Rares, by this judgement, has stopped them in their tracks.

    We advise the Coalition to clean out their ranks and install decent honourable people into senior positions in the Party. We also recommend they stop running smear jobs — they just aren’t very good at them.

    Tony Abbott’s Slush Fund Margo Kingston

    Since then it’s been groundhog day for me, except that compared to the citizen journalism I did with readers of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Webdiary from 2000 to 2005, the technology has made it so much quicker and easier! Once Independent Australia published my piece, [ ] the King’s Tribune reported the timeline of the Abbott slush saga. [ ]

    Twitter user @geeksrulz then created a repository for this citizen journalism project called Australians for Honest Politics, [ ]
    @otiose94 created a blog, [ ] and barrister Ross Bowler (@BowlerBarrister) created a Storify to archive key documents and record developments [ ]

    More at …

    How Abbott Funded The Fight Against One Nation  Margo Kingston

    This is the first of a series of edited extracts from Margo Kingston’s 2007 book, Still Not Happy, John. Why is New Matilda running this material now? To prompt a discussion: Shouldn’t Tony Abbott’s slush fund be subjected to the same media scrutiny Julia Gillard has received over the AWU scandal?

    On Twitter there seems to be a passion for getting and preserving the facts, and in independent media the youthful talent, energy and commitment to truth that makes me believe journalism has a bright future.

    How I met the PM and became part of the strategy

    Gillard was engaging, warm and generous with her time. The traits were hardly surprising given she's an experienced politician and knows how to work a crowd – but I never for a moment doubted being part of the strategy, and I didn't mind.
    The fact politicians actually have a strategy that includes women with communities online should hardly be revolutionary, or even surprising. It shows they're concerned about the block of voters we speak to on a daily basis, that they appreciate it's a powerful force and one they'd be wise to pay attention to.

    Indeed, I hope I can also be part of Tony Abbott's strategy for talking to women in the lead-up to the next federal election. I'd like to compare notes.

    Bullets, Bombs, and Bigotry Wixxy

    This week the Liberal Party showed its true colours again, as South Australia’s Liberal Senate ticket was announced with Cory Bernardi in the number one position.

    I know many of you will be thinking this is a bad thing, I however disagree. I think that it is vitally important that the public be made aware of the kind of policy idea’s and the opinions and attitudes that will take you to the top in the modern day Liberal Party.

    Youth strikes fear in Coalition ranks Stroke of Luck

    NEW electoral laws to automatically enrol up to 1.5 million voters could see the Coalition lose a swag of marginal seats at next year's election.

    According to several exclusive Newspoll surveys, the Coalition's primary vote would slip by 1.5 percentage points if those currently eligible to vote but not enrolled - mainly young people - were enrolled.

    As feared by Coalition strategists, as many as a dozen Liberal and Nationals seats around the country could come into play if Labor and the Greens could mobilise the "youth vote" and overcome the political disengagement of those who have resisted enrolment in the past.!/2012/12/youth-strikes-fear-in-coalition-ranks.html

    More on Direct enrolment and update Anthony Green

    Opposition spokesman Christopher Pyne on Monday accused the Labor Party of rorting the electoral roll for the next election through the introduction of direct enrolment and update …

    What the new direct enrolment and update system does is go one step further and directly enrol or re-enrol a voter at their new address.

    The Labor Party has adopted the arguments of various electoral bodies and academics around the country that relying only on elector generated transactions in the modern era is in fact undermining the quality and completeness of the electoral roll.

    Is the silly season real? Dr Kevin Bonham

    Yesterday's Newspoll, showing a far from remarkable 3-point 2PP jump to the Coalition against the backdrop of a general trend back to the Coalition in other polls, has provoked much gnashing of teeth and even some conspiracy-theorising among Labor supporters, and a lot of triumphalist chestbeating from supporters of the Coalition.

    A common response has been to blame it all on the Coalition's support of the AWU saga, a response which makes little sense given that the AWU saga is primarily about Julia Gillard, and her own Newspoll approval ratings have barely moved at all (one point).  Of course, it's possible there was a substantial change in voting intention that was confined to voters who disliked both Gillard and Abbott already, which would represent the Preferred Prime Minister factoid making a gallant effort to thumb its little nose at me after I dismissed it as rubbish yesterday.  But it's more likely that most of the three points is noise - that the previous 51 for the Coalition would have been a 52 with more sampling, that this 54 would have been a 53, and that random poll-to-poll bouncing is making it look like much more than it is.  None of the multi-poll aggregators are showing a genuine three-point shift to the Coalition yet; they are typically showing more like 1.5-2 points, and over a month, not a fortnight.

    Bernard Keane
    Me on Christopher Pyne's absurd fantasy of Coalition surpluses, and why it's dangerous:

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, them BISONs are having a great time at the Xmas Spectacular -

    Watch Emmo humiliates Toolsman again on @abc730 -

    Lurline McCulloch
    North Coast Voices: Coal Seam Gas: A David & Goliath confrontation for Northern Rivers

    David Marler
    #qldpol #auspol #Newmania "Newman Praises Cut To Ambulance Ramping At Hospitals" -

    Lyn Bender
    Sometimes MG sounds like she is trying to give tips Abbott's plan puts politics over good policy …via @NationalTimesAU

    Clancy Yeates
    Prick asset bubbles early, Glenn Stevens … via @smh

    Lyn Bender
    #Anthropocentrism sucks. Humans don’t make the world go round

    Paul Syvret
    via @TheOnion - The Onion's Plan For Solving The Fiscal Cliff Crisis  Hilarious Smile

    The Conversation
    Geoff Gallup argues that the ALP must reform if it is to meet the challenge of contemporary democracy  (@Sydney_Uni)

    Koren Helbig
    Campbell Newman has taken to Cabinet a possible proposal for National Disability Insurance Scheme funding.

    Haven't emailed AEC about their dealings with Abbott's slush fund yet? There's a template letter in this article:

    Mari R … What now Tony?

  • TalkTurkey

    12/13/2012 8:12:42 AM |

    Find the tiny word 'us' in Lenore Taylor's paragraph about the Media.


    This issue is a gift for the Government that will keep giving if it is worked right, and if that sounds merely Machiavellian well it's that and a lot more, these people are bloody CROOKS!

    Brough MUST GO. Or is it No No No he must stay for the same reason we want Abbortt to stay? It doesn't matter, he is a CROOK and he is going to be a major festering ulcer as long as he stays in the LNP, The Fighting 5th Estate can see to that!

    Anyone like to be Brough now? This criminal conspirator is GUILTY* of SEDITION, plotting to overthrow the State by illegal means, could any offence be more serious?

    [*There is no other possible construction to be put on Justice Rares' judgment. He good as said Brough's a CROOK.]


    Who said that eh Brough? Eh?

    Just how many conspirators are there in this evil plot?

    Who thinks Ashby will appeal? Smile

    Who will pay his bills so far?

    More, who will want to send good money after dead loss?

    He won't even find grounds for his appeal. He is an outcast now.
    Used, cast off like a jilted jaded lover.
    Buggered, indeed.


    Now here's a funny(-peculiar) thing, seems to me:

    Andrew Elder of Politically Homeless, whom I have long admired somewhat, put up this surprising tweet:

    [Foul language alert. That's half the surprise.]

    If we're going to get all faux-concerned about the 2dayFM DJs, spare a thought for Ashby. He's a cunt, but I still wouldn't want to be him

    That was the first in a series of exchanges, first from

    13hMarian Smedley‏@MarianSmedley :-

    @awelder He brought it on himself. His behaviour was intended to do damage, unlike 2Day DJ's. Suspect he is over ambitious for his abilities

    And I agreed with her, and said a tad tartly to Andrew: -

    @MarianSmedley @awelder Yes, my concern for the DJs is not faux thank you Andrew, this is completely malicious, conspiracy 2 overthrow Govt!

    Andrew replied to us both : -

    @TalkyTurkey @MarianSmedley Agreed, but if he self-harms I won't be surprised
    And I pursued him : -

    Yet you call the rest of us faux-concerned, 2 DJs are far more at risk don't U think?.

    To which he made this reply that made me wonder about him! : -

    @TalkyTurkey You'd need to know all three better than I do.

    [It took my breath away a bit after having seen the 2 DJ's and Ashby interviewed in the last couple of days, what a contrast!]

    Anyway Marian came in again: -

    I wouldn't wish harm on anyone, so we can only hope his LNP backers give him support.

    And I said, trying to get from Andrew an acknowledgment of the vastly different levels of culpability: -

    Come on AE, DJ's were deeply contrite, girl looked tragic, Ashby concerned for himself.

    To which AE replied, avoiding the point either deliberately or through lack of apprehension :-

    @TalkyTurkey That's the very point when self-harm occurs. We agree the big issues re this case*.

    And he said too :-

    @MarianSmedley Hmm. You can see why I'm concerned :/
    But at last, apparently having thought things through, he said, with becoming humility I think: -

    @TalkyTurkey Apologies for use of 'faux'.

    And I said Yes, Good.

    Does anyone reckon they can see why I told this story?


    The kicker is that I actually have very little sympathy whatsoever for Ashby, he is a bloody TRAITOR, and if he took his life I would think that only just and honourable.

    I would put him behind bars for a decade at least if I could. And I'd make sure he had some old friends for company.

  • jaycee

    12/13/2012 9:00:18 AM |

    I am not so concerned at Ashby doing "self-harm" as I would be if I was Ashby worrying that there just might..MIGHT be a couple of people out there who would see me as someone who "knows too much" and would not wish me well....Any case of "self-harm" done to Mr. Ashby would need intense forensic investigation!
    But hey! lighten things up a bit, I bet that little sh!t has a dvd. of all the usual suspects chatting freely on it stashed somewhere safe!...just in case!

  • TalkTurkey

    12/13/2012 9:27:41 AM |


    Miracle Marijuana? 4 Instances Where Pot May Have Helped Cure Disease #healthcare #ACA #hcr

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/13/2012 9:33:14 AM |

    A tawdry affair

    1.  Gillard makes a written agreement with an ethical Andrew Wilkie to win government
    2.  Gillard walks away from her agreement
    3.  Rather than face the consequences of her breach of the agreement, Gillard recruits Liberal Slipper to become Speaker
    4.  Gillard keeps her numbers
    5.  Colleagues counsel Gillard not to appoint Slipper – reputation
    6.  Slipper continues with his snout in the trough behaviour
    7.  Ashby, in cahoots with the Liberals, launches an harassment claim
    8.  Slipper found to be a sleaze, and unfit to be Speaker, as anticipated in 5 - above
    9.  Judgment goes against Ashby and is highly critical of the Liberals
    10.  ALP barrackers forget to mention points 1 to 6 when claiming the moral high ground

  • nasking

    12/13/2012 10:09:27 AM |

    Abbott has FLED from intense questioning over Ashby/Brough issue and hides behind our troops.

    Liberal party conspirators tried to bring this government down...and Liberal party leader Abbott hides behind our troops.

    Tells you how he'd run his government...using military...nationalism...and fear-mongering over asylum seekers and Muslims to escape scrutiny.

    Plus ce change...


  • nasking

    12/13/2012 10:25:59 AM |

    top effort. Thnx.

    From Independent Australia:

    DECEMBER 12, 2012 – 12/12/12 – may well be remembered in Australian legal and political history as the date when the wheels fell off the Liberal Party’s charge to regain Government.


    This is going to be a HUGE story.


  • Ad astra

    12/13/2012 10:59:21 AM |

    Thank you for the links.  I get the impression that the MSM is in the process of airbrushing away the Federal Court decision on the Ashby/Slipper case.  It got a good run yesterday, but is overshadowed by other events in most Front Pages today.  The ABC led with it in most of its news bulletins, but Bruce Guthrie, sitting in for Jon Faine on ABC 774 Melbourne radio did not mention it among the options for discussion, prompting an angry caller to ask why.  Guthrie’s reply was that it was discussed widely yesterday.  Presumably, he and his producers thought it was no longer newsworthy, certainly not as much as a proposed increase in public transport charges.  Guthrie gave the caller some air time, but cut him short, and when a text message accused him of being a ‘News Limited’ stooge, he became angry, pointed out that he had authored Man Bites Murdoch and, labeling the caller ‘a fool’, went onto other matters.

    As Justice Rares’ judgement makes clear, this matter is redolent with political conspiracy the likes of which we have not seen for many a year.  It was a Coalition plot to bring down Peter Slipper, which succeeded, by worst still to bring down a Government.  This episode is the one that should be subject to a judicial inquiry, not the old S&G matter.

    My guess is that the pro-Coalition MSM will give this matter the least attention it can, and go onto other matters, which it can probably do with Christmas coming.  Craig Emerson has performed strongly, putting interviewers in their place.  He is a good spokesman for the Government.  I doubt if he will let the matter rest.  

    If Abbott and Co. thought the AWU matter was a ‘scandal’, now they know what a scandal really looks like.  The only Coalition spokesman I have heard was George Brandis in a debate with Nicola Roxon yesterday, typically trying to turn the focus on her.  His effrontery is grotesque.

    Where is Tony Abbott?  Still circling the earth as Craig Emerson suggests, not wanting to land and answer questions?  Where is Christopher Pyne?  Where is Joe Hokey?  Where is Mal Brough?  No doubt advised by Peta Credlin to keep their heads down.

    I predict that every effort will be made by the Coalition and the sycophantic parts of the MSM to play this down and hope it will have disappeared by 2013.

  • Ad astra

    12/13/2012 11:03:34 AM |

    I found the word ‘us’ via the search facility, referring as it did to the media’s role in publicizing this ‘tawdry’ matter.  I’m not sure whether this is a tacit admission that the MSM is implicated, or is a bit of chest-beating about the power of the media.

    I agree that this scandal is a gift that will keep on giving so long as Labor plays its cards well and the MSM give oxygen to it.  The latter is where my doubt resides.

  • jaycee

    12/13/2012 11:32:18 AM |

    The real damage, the cruel damage to our society, our democracy is through the scorn and slander delivered to the rule of law that delivered the decision against Ashby.
    Any civilised society functions on a base of rule of law. A law abiding society demands respect for a) it's citizens rights b) a legitimate govt's right to rule without undermining c) the respect given to accept the "umpires decision" in matters concerning the rule of law.
    The right-wing have no respect for the other side of their politics citizenry. The right-wing, by it's disrespect of parliamentry proceedure does not respect democracy. The right-wing, by it's attempts to discredit Judge Rares decision shows it does NOT abide by the "umpires decision"....ergo; the right-wing does not respect rule of law...the right-wing is a barbaric mob that only respects mob-rule.
    Traitors to the core.


    12/13/2012 11:46:32 AM |


        I get the impression that the MSM is in the process of airbrushing away the Federal Court decision on the Ashby/Slipper case.

        I was listening to ABC local radio down here in Tas AM936 this morning, Ryk Goddard had the PR guy for Ashby on for his normal "spin Dr" session. He claimed that because they were appealing the decision that he could not talk about it.
       That is total crap, they have not been given leave to appeal the decision at all so it is not even an open or active case until they are given leave to appeal (if at all) so no sub judacy or any conflict at all.

       This is the way they will close it all down if they can. I nearly killed the radio by throwing a spud at it, lucky for the radio I'm not that good of a shot with a spud.

  • Jason

    12/13/2012 12:09:48 PM |

    Bushfire Bill Today!

    Bushfire Bill

    Posted Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Just after this all started, on May 1, I wrote this at The Political Sword:

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

    A bellowing rump of political commentators, the prima donna, preening elite of journalism write, without the slightest sense of the absurdity of their outpourings, increasingly bizarre, self-referential and nonsensical analysis. The pampered prognosticators, their feet still dry, waving their first class tickets, claim a right to seats in whatever lifeboats are left, even as they repel survivors still in the water, seeking rescue. In a tighter than ever market for their shallow skills, even the non-News Ltd journalists, those from the nearly bankrupt Fairfax and the cowering ABC, work effectively for Murdoch as when their own lifeboats go under, they believe there will always be a welcoming News Ltd there, ready to take them on-board.
    How Ashby turned from a dutiful employee, reportedly fiercely defending his boss's reputation against enemies everywhere (indeed right up to a couple of days before lodging his complaint to the Court), into a psychological wreck in hiding, too scared to front the media he has sent off looking for a moral "nigger" to lynch is a mystery.

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

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

    I haven’t changed my opinion. In fact, I’ve concreted it in.

    Yesterday Mr. Justice Rares confirmed that not only was Ashby’s case morally outrageous, but that it was also legally outrageous.

    A combination of Ashby, Karen Doane, Mal Brough, Mcardle, Ashby’s lawyer, Harmer, a gaggle of Ashby’s mates and acquaintances (including ex-Howard staffers), plus – clearly – a wide swathe of hangers-on and political pimps got together to stitch up the speaker of the House Of Representatives in a cheap, ersatz “scandal”.

    Rares found that the original affidavit, swooped on by the odious Steve Lewis from the Daily Telegraph, after being tipped off by Ashby or one of his agents when it would be lodged, contained accusations and allegations so irrelevant to the case, and so damaging to the second respondent, Peter Slipper, that they fatally tainted the entire proceedings, even after being withdrawn.

    He found that it was likely Ashby timed the start of the case to coincide with Slipper being far away, overseas, and that either Ashby or Doane provided details of Slipper’s travel arrangements so that he could be met by media hounds at the various airports he passed through on his way home.

    He found that whatever damage Ashby had “suffered”, as a result of his employment in Slipper’s office, was so minor, and so poorly supported that it amounted to no damage at all.

    Evidence was not presented – as it was strictly speaking irrelevant – as to Steve Lewis’ prior involvements in lies, forgery and smear, all directed at the Labor government, the Godwin Grech matter being the most infamous.

    Lewis’ earlier vendettas against Slipper himself, and his promise (when thwarted, ironically by Ashby and Doane before they all started to use the term “mate” to each other) to keep trying until he succeeded, were also only tangentially introduced.

    Indeed, the judge wondered why Ashby and Doane, who did not get on well with Lewis at first, should suddenly about face earlier this year and come to be bosom buddies and-or drinking mates – despite, as was claimed, Ashby “pissing blood” from a bladder infection – with the ubiquitous hack, while combining in a quest to frame Slipper by innuendo, unsupportable charges of previous homosexual activity and supposed travel rorts.

    He found that Lewis’ text, reassuring Ashby that “We will get him”, did in fact refer to Slipper and not some hire car driver peripherally associated with the case.

    Summarised, the judge decided that all of them were out to “get” Slipper through smear, exaggeration, innuendo and falsehood.

    But, absent evidence presented of a pattern of odious journalism, going back years, the judge had little choice but to find Lewis was simply “doing his job” as a journalist.

    In a way, Lewis is to be admired, as one wisely admires an enemy. He, at least, did the hack work, however unsavoury it might have been. He took notes, made calls, received stolen documents, wrote it up and gave his paper the scoop of scoops.

    That it was all unsubstantiated was beside the point, from a salacious, political point of view. It was a cracking good read: pissing out of windows, petty travel irregularities, Slipper picking on young staffers going back nearly ten years, raunchy text message exchanges.

    Unfortunately for Ashby, that it was all unsubstantiated was exactly on the point from a legal perspective.

    The judge found that the scurrilous allegations, claimed to have been witnessed and sworn did not exist. They were never presented to the Court, and were later dropped without comment.

    Luckily, Justice Rares noticed them beifre they were airbrushed from history, and used them to support his judgement that the case was thrown out root and branch, neck and crop.

    Legally, and now officially, Ashby’s case was a tissue of lies and half truths designed to stitch-up the highest Constitutional officer of the Parliament of Australia.

    The rest of the media, the “senior journalists” who attend press conferences in Parliament House, receive tip-offs from disgruntled “insiders”, write about how bored they are with election campaigns (while dreaming up their next “gotcha” question) and generally do whatever has to be done to avoid getting their feet wet, pounced on Lewis’ hard-won work and had a picnic with it.

    Shanahan and Grattan made calls for the Prime Minister to resign, to “fall on her sword” (for the good of the party, of course).

    Everyone had a go. When Slipper released his Cabcharge dockets they took to them with magnifying glasses. The parallels with the Thomson case, where credit card slips were similarly “forensically” analysed was uncanny. It seems our media love nothing more than juicy references to long-forgotten receipt slips.

    It lets them make-believe they are real journalists for five minutes.

    The baying for blood was unbelieveable. If Gillard wasn’t going to give them their wish and offer herself up via a juicy resignation, then at least they could “get” Slipper.

    He was the object of a ridiculous lawsuit, alleging he had wrecked a young life by saying Ashby looked fat in a polo shirt and by not taking him on a harbour cruise with a Tongan government delegation.

    Never mind that Ashby is not that young, being in his thirties, and has a long history of homosexual liasons, threats of violence, alleged corruption of under-age youths and rampant, dirty text messaging, or that someone who freaks out over a polo shirt reference belongs in a school for teenage girls, not a $150,000 job as a parliamentary advisor.

    Never mind that he had no money, and was relying on backroom finance from anonymous donors to run his million dollar case.

    Never mind that senior Liberal Party figures – Pyne and Brough, at least – had been drawn into association with Ashby… at first denying any involvement, and then only grudgingly conceding contact in a process reminiscent of pulling teeth or extracting fingernails.

    None of this was properly investigated. They had Steve Lewis’ basic brief of facts and they went to town with them, commenting on each others’ commentaries, analysing each others’ analysis, and giggling at each others’ giggles.

    Work? Why do any work? Why do the hard yards of tracking down facts, associations and connections, when you can get one of your mates in the media to do it for you, or you can just riff off the “resignation” and “sex scandal” themes, with a bit of signature-matching to make it look like you tried?

    Speaking of sex scandals, does anyone notice the common theme between Scores, Thomson, Slipper and Slatergate?

    It’s sex. Sex with hookers, bar girls, comely young male staffers and sex with dodgy union reps. They love a good sex scandal, do the Press Gallery and what they refer to as “the media”, being “the other media, over there”.

    That the likes of Grattan (but she’s not alone, just the worst and most cynical) can blithely report the failure of the Ashby case, mirrored against the success of the political and personal destruction of Peter Slipper, as if it is just one of those crazy things, is one of the greatest condemnations of the putresence of the press that I can personally remember. I doubt whether it’s ever been this bad, anywhere, anytime.

    Eventually, Slipper resigned over text messages produced in – no, laundered through – the Federal Court as the result of an almost unprecedented abuse of process and an abrogation of legal professional privilege, abetted by the wagging tongues of those least qualified to judge the morals of others: the disgusting Australian media.

    Are they ashamed of themselves? Do they show any sign of penitence?

    No. In fact they show little sign of anything at all. The story has been buried.

    The judgement of a senior Federal Court justice, one that took months to deliver, that was – during its progress – heavily and breathlessly reported and vigorously commented upon, extending to over 70 pages of intricate forensic and legal analysis, a case that the pissant Ashby and the Liberal Party had colluded to bring an unlawful case in order to damage Peter Slipper and hence the government, the parliament and the Constitution of Australia, has been cited as a war, well won, as an immediate response, then forgotten almost completely the very next day.

    So much time spent on the evolution of the case, so little time spent on its resolution.

    But, over there, a 20 year old union scandal with a touch of office politics involved in it, that peripherally involved a woman who was later to become Prime Minister, and to which literally hours of anything-goes press conference time has been devoted (plus of course two weeks of parliamentary business time), thousands of hours of television and radio time spent upending it every which-way, is still regarded as “the government’s worst crisis”, with many more “questions to be answered”. It’s “the story that won’t go away”.

    An attempt to bring down that same government through a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, by manufacturing a shameful abuse of process based on unsubstantiated evidence, is forgotten about within 24 hours.

    As the Mythbusters would put it:

    "Now THERE's yer problem!"

    Proper considerations of whether this disgraceful episode should be formally investigated are touted as “revenge”.

    Connections between Abbott’s promise that politics is only going to get dirtier and this filthy shame on our legal and journalistic professions are left unmade.

    The media’s inability to get almost anything right, their phoney constructions of “context” and “relevance”, the concentration on belly-fluff minutae, when the greatest story of the decade – one involving an attempted coup against the elected government and the parliament – was and is still staring them in the face, is met with silence.

    They are silent because, in order to give this sorry state of affairs a comprehensive coverage, they would need to examine their own motivations, actions and consciences.

    And, except for Katharine Murphy’s crocodile tears, they’re not going to ever do that.

    They’ll go on and on about text messages washed, ironed and folded through an illegal process, abusing the Federal Court and costing millions, without noting that these text messages were the kinds of thing that everyone, at some stage of their life (and this especially includes journalists) has said in unguarded, private moments, never expecting them to see the light of day, much less be debated in the parliament.

    But journalists have privilege.

    They don’t have to produce their own text messages. They argue in Court, as Lewis did, that the sanctity of their sources is paramount.

    They refuse to allow comments on their articles.

    They block critics on twitter.

    They have their phone calls and emails screened.

    They go on the airwaves and say whatever comes into their heads, without the slightest risk that anyone will get a chance to publicly disagree with them before they have done whatever casual damage to reputations, national pride, human lives, marriages and institutions they set out to do.

    They treat a Federal Court decision, the decider, the final word, one they waited for and spruiked as so decisive and compellingly important for so long, as just another opinion to be dropped into the he-said/she-said opinionation mill, alongside Joe Hockey’s “absolute confidence” in Mal Brough and Peter Slipper’s racy text messages. Meh…

    It’s all about “context”.

    Calls for the resignation of the Prime Minister are so lightly made – over Bob Carr’s appointment, over a Carbon Tax that has seen inflation go down, over an understandable desire to maintain parliamentary numbers (even Grattan admits that Slipper was the best Speaker in years) – yet when a real corker of a yarn comes up, it vanishes.

    I don’t know what to say, how to express my outrage that, in the sum of things, after all those sackings, bonings retrenchments and ruined careers among the media, the ugliest, least competent, most trivial, lazy and untalented journalists of all of them are the only ones still left in the lifeboat, waving their first class tickets, demanding respect without earning it, mocking other victims swimming in the freezing water as (literally) “losers”, and giving the oar to anyone else who tries to clamber aboard their sinking ship.

  • jaycee

    12/13/2012 12:30:36 PM |

    well...I have to say; Bushfire Bill's piece on PB. says it all!...And I will humbly add; in my opinion, it has never been better said.
    Well said; Bushfire Bill!
    To the MSM. I, as an Australian citizen, a worker who has contributed to the collected well-being and to the GNP. of this nation for sixty two a loyal Australian Citizen..: I spit to your feet!....Filthy cowards!..Filthy curs!

  • 42 long

    12/13/2012 1:27:47 PM |

      Hodkey had a FEW words to say. The people of the electorate will have the say as to whether Brough will represent them. They can vote for Brough, er.. Slipper an  a   a    a labor if they want to. Now there's a good idea Joe!!
    Well there would only be ONE "untainted" vote there. two faced hypocrites. Brough has been found to have behaved improperly. Much of the comment would have to be incontempt of court. Surely THEY are not implying the Judge wasn't doing HIS job properly.
      The only court's the LieNP like is the frenetic "kangaroo" courts they operate in the Par LIAR ment where reputations are trashed by orchestrated shenannegens led and directed by the HONOURABLE Leader of the Opposition  The leader that  most of the rusted on Lieberal voters don't even like. The LieNP can't separate the parliament and the judiciary. For a long developed country with the basic WESTMINSTER System at it's very foundation, this behaviour must stop. This miserable person is trashing too many principles, to be allowed to continue in the job. I'm ashamed of the lot of them.(THE RIGHT-WING NUTS).

  • 2353

    12/13/2012 2:03:46 PM |

    We have discussed on this blog before the lack of business confidence that can be partly attributed to the constant negativity of the LNP.  Well, Michael Pascoe reports in Fairfax today that someone has done the stats.

  • Casablanca

    12/13/2012 2:08:57 PM |

    The MSM is determinedly under-whelmed by the Rares Judgement. I guess that it is yesterday's news to some lazy journalists and/or too complex for them to consider and comprehend.

    Greg Jennett on ABC2 & ABC24 this afternoon added his stunning insight in the following words or wtte: Harassment is now the government's game and Tony Abbott is its target.

    Harassment is a highly emotive word in this context. Jennett's comment came after vision of Dr Emerson and Senator Carr calling for Mr Abbott to explain the Liberal Party's involvement in the case that James Ashby brought against the Government and against Mr Slipper.

    The ABC is little better than the worst of the commercial media.

  • Casablanca

    12/13/2012 2:22:58 PM |

    Ashby's case against Slipper was a 'planned attack'

    December 13, 2012

    Paul Bibby has probably just signed his own journalistic death warrant: his article actually provides quotes from the Rares' Judgement. To compound his audacity, Bibby does not once accuse the Government of 'Harassment', hyperventilating, or of being too lily-livered to put Peter Slipper's name forward again for the Speakership. His journalism career is in the balance!

    Read more:

  • Tom of Melbourne

    12/13/2012 2:37:10 PM |

    I like this bit from Bushfire Bill…

    ” Never mind that Ashby is not that young, being in his thirties”

    According to ALP barrackers only a woman can be “young” (and naïve) while in their thirties, and the woman who was “young” in her 30s was Gillard.

  • Ad astra reply

    12/13/2012 2:37:51 PM |

    Thanks for the BB text.  As usual he is spot on.  We have a degenerate MSM, one that seems hell bent on burying the Ashby/Brough scandal.

    Everyone, even those who seek to divert attention away from this Liberal conspiracy to unseat a Government, and cast aspersions at the PM, should read Jason's post at 12.09 PM.

  • Ad astra

    12/13/2012 2:53:00 PM |

    Thank you for the link to the Pascoe article.  At last someone is saying what we have been saying here for ages - that it is the Coalition that is talking down the economy, causing consumer confidence to fall or stagnate.  

    Everyone, please take a look at the graph in Pascoe's article It's unhappy work being a Coalition vote.  You will see that it is Coalition voters that feel miserable about the economy and so their confidence is down.  Why? Because they have swallowed hook, line and sinker the drivel that emits from Joe Hockey's mouth, and Tony Abbott's, about how terrible the economy is.  Look at the confidence levels of Labor supporters, and contrast it with that of Coalition supporters.   The picture tells the story.

  • 42 long

    12/13/2012 3:01:26 PM |

    They talk amongst themselves and eventually believe their OWN propaganda. That's why Hockey's comments seem so unreal.  Just imagine how good "the figures would be with the proper government in power".
       To anyone who had been oversees that sort of comment would seem quite ridiculous.
      SELF indoctrination is still indoctrination. ALL the organisations overseas that applaud australia's position must be inferior intellects to Joe & Co. AAA rating's don't seem to count for anything. The greatest threat to Australia's Future is Wayne Swann. (According to Joe)

  • Ad astra

    12/13/2012 3:03:01 PM |

    Paul Bibby is one of the few who has had the guts to write it the way it is.  Most of his colleagues are too timid or too intimidated by their superiors to write the truth.

  • Christine H

    12/13/2012 3:20:54 PM |

    Thanks Jason for sharing the brilliant commentary of Bushfire Bill of this whole sorry saga. BB never disappoints unlike the disgraceful opinon piece by Michelle Grattan both yesterday and today in The Age, and believe me that is not an accurate reflection of my opinion of her scribblings. Apparently her assessment is that whilst James Ashby and his Liberal/National backers have scored a loss in the Federal Court they have somehow been triumphant in the court of public opinion. Lets take a minute to think about that....Ashby can collude with the political enemies of Mr Slipper, fabricate evidence, disclose confidential information to third parties, run a smear campaigin wall to wall in the media that results in Mr Slipper suffering personally, professionally and econmically but that is okay because the ends justify the means? The tactic was to 'get' Slipper no matter that it was based on bull excrement and not evidence or verifiable facts, the tactic worked, Slipper is no longer Speaker, score a win to the LNP. What about morality and decency and the outrageous injustce suffered by Mr Slipper and the very blatant attempt, again, by the LNP to bring down an elected government. Unbelievable. I have no opinion one way or the other about Mr Slipper except that he was by all accounts a very good Speaker otherwise don't know the bloke, but I can see when someone has been well and truly done over by a bunch of very grubby individuals. You know it is hard not to descend into the depths of deep cynicism about the state of politics in this country. Why would any half way decent person with ability and ethics put themselves forward for public office in this county? Apart from the grievous injustice to Mr Slipper this is the implication of the destructive tactics employed by the Opposition in this hung parliament, that it has the potential to discourage younger, talented people from participating in our democracy. I hope that this is not the case.

  • 2353

    12/13/2012 3:38:39 PM |

    Don't know if anyone else has seen "The Drum's" wrap up of the Ashby saga ->

    It's worth reading for the Shanahan quote towards the bottom.  Even Dennis can't find much to hold onto here.

  • Gravel

    12/13/2012 4:06:13 PM |

    My thoughts on Justice Rares findings.  Fantastic, now the media will have to have headlines, good news, etc......  Nah, a few of us seem to be living in an alternate Universe.  Nothing wrong here, nothing to see here.  

    As people only seem to pay attention to loud headlines and repeated reportage of things, very few people will be aware of the the Nopposition along with Ashby, Brough, Brandis, Pyne....etc., have tried to do.

    To say I'm a disappointed is to put it mildly.  I did start to think things were starting to even out, but after this exhibition by the media, I will just totally ignore anything they say or do from now on.

  • Ad astra

    12/13/2012 4:32:34 PM |

    The current thread is getting long, so I have just posted another piece in the end-of-year series on political ideology.  This one is titled: Focus on political ideology: Joseph E Stiglitz.

    The current discussion on contemporary politics, and in particular the scandal arising from the Justice Rares judgement on the Ashby Slipper matter, can continue among your comments on the Stiglitz piece.

  • Ad astra

    12/13/2012 6:07:43 PM |

    Thank you for the link to the Jones’ ‘apology’.  I hope he chokes on the words he is now required to utter.

    Christine H
    I you haven’t been here before, welcome to The Political Sword family.  Do come again.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.  Many would agree with your sentiments.

    Thank you for the two links, both of which are good reading, especially the article on The Drum.

    I share your feelings about how the media is handling the Ashby/Slipper judgement.

Comments are closed