Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey, stop killing confidence

How many times have you heard commentators lamenting how low consumer and business confidence have become? Time and again. How many times have you seen journalists attempting to analyse why? Very few. How many times have you seen them sheet home any of the lack of confidence among consumers and businessmen to the negative utterances of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey? Practically never.

Indeed, it has been only recently that some journalists have been willing to point the finger at them and the Coalition’s unending talking down of the economy. Peter Martin was one who obliquely did so recently.

Here at The Political Sword we have maintained that the negative talk from the Coalition has had a substantial effect on confidence. Read Abbott and Hockey are endangering Australian business, written last November. Also read Do Australian businessmen really believe Tony Abbott?, written a week later, which is on the same theme.

Was this theme echoed in the MSM? Not until recently. Why? For the same reason the MSM highlighted in screaming front page headlines and grotesque photo-shopped photos the alleged misdemeanors of Peter Slipper and the supposed transgressions taken to court by James Ashby, but buried in its back pages Justice Rares condemnation of this Ashby action as ‘an abuse of process’, one intended to damage Slipper personally and politically, and the Gillard Government too. Much of the MSM deliberately and repeatedly buries or distorts the truth for its own commercial and partisan ideological purposes. It does the same with consumer and business confidence.

There are very few in the MSM, and none in News Limited, who will lay a finger on Abbott or Hockey. We have just a few journalists that will say it the way it is – Peter Martin and Ross Gittins are two at Fairfax, and Bernard Keane at Crikey. Let’s look first at an article by Keane: The strange case of the national delusion on cost of living

Here are some edited excerpts from Keane’s piece: ”Essential Research asked voters to give their impressions of how much prices had changed on a range of basic consumer items over the last two to three years… 70% of voters said they were paying “a lot more” for electricity and gas…that corresponds with reality: according to ABS inflation data, electricity prices have increased by 38 index points since December 2009, or over 16% a year. Gas has gone up by 29 index points, or around 11% a year.

“But what about petrol? That’s gone up by just over 16 index points, or just over 6% a year on average – ahead of CPI, but not in the same league as electricity. Yet 50% of voters say they’re paying a lot more than they were three years ago…That’s bordering on the implausible…On water, perceptions look more plausible: 47% said they were paying “a lot more” for water, and water prices have increased 22 index points or around 9% a year on average.

“After that, though, there’s a growing gulf between perceptions of inflation and reality. 43% of voters say they’re paying “a lot more” for insurance…But insurance across the country has only increased 10 index points, or less than 4% a year – around about CPI.

“36% of voters complain they are paying “a lot more” for fruit and vegetables. Fruit and veg prices have only gone up just over 10 index points since December 2009, or less than 4% a year… 28% said they were paying “a lot more” for food generally, when in fact food and non-alcoholic beverages prices have grown at less than the CPI...

“Health costs have gone up 15 points, or just over 5% a year, but 33% said they were paying “a lot more” for medical expenses… 24% thought they were paying “a lot more” for housing (both mortgages and rent) when housing costs have only increased slightly faster than inflation…

“Education costs have gone up by around 16 points, or about 6% a year, ahead of inflation, but only 24% said they were paying “a lot more”.

“One category stands out as being the basis of what is almost a national delusion. Clothing has fallen in price by 7 index points or around 2% a year each year, since 2009 (kids’ clothing has fallen by more, 11 points). But 21% of voters say they’re paying “a lot more” for clothing…

And there’s another factor that distorts perceptions: partisanship. On average, 10% more Liberal voters say they are paying “a lot more” for products compared to Labor voters.

“Is that because Labor voters have a positively-skewed perception of the economy, or because Liberal voters have a negatively-skewed perception? A bit of both, it seems, but more the latter. Both share the delusion about clothing prices…but 77% of Liberal voters more realistically say they’re paying a lot more for electricity, compared to 67% of Labor voters…

“Other categories, though, suggest Liberal voters see price rises everywhere even when they don’t exist. 58% said they were paying “a lot more” for petrol, compared to 41% of Labor voters. 42% said they were paying a lot more for fruit and veg compared to 28% of Labor voters. Insurance was 50% to 38%. Food, 32% to 23%. Medical, 42% to 25%...

“…A substantial proportion of voters will always be convinced inflation is much worse than it is, and in fact filter their perceptions of inflation through partisan bias....”
(my emphasis)

So here is the first piece of evidence – Coalition voters are more pessimistic about price rises than Labor voters. Why? Could it be because they have taken as gospel the negative talk that Abbott and Hockey feed to the electorate every day?

Recently, consumer confidence has been analysed to ascertain from whence the lack of confidence arises. In Coalition voters underpin surge in confidence, Peter Martin writes:

”Supporters of the Coalition are suddenly confident about the economy, moving clearly into positive territory for the first time in two years. The latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence survey shows optimists among Coalition voters outweigh the number of pessimists by five percentage points, a reverse of the recent pattern in which Coalition voters have been strongly negative. Labor voters remain extremely positive, with optimists outweighing pessimists by more than 20 points.

“The lift among Coalition voters has been enough to hoist the overall consumer confidence index from around 100 points to 108 on a scale where 100 means the number of pessimists balance the number of optimists.

“Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said the change was primarily the result of the carbon tax. Ahead of its introduction in the middle of last year it pushed the confidence of Coalition voters (but not Labor voters) into a downward spiral. ''There was the point when there was a whole series of overlapping concerns around tax changes - the carbon tax, the mining tax, the global situation was getting worse and in Queensland things looked dire. The incoming government spoke about Queensland being the Spain of Australia. At the same time low- and middle-income households likely to vote Labor were being showered with carbon tax compensation, exacerbating the wedge. In all the time we've been doing this we've never seen as big a deviation. In terms of confidence, we had a divided nation. It was off the charts.''

“Mr Hassan said the improved consumer figures represented a return to normality. The carbon tax had not been as bad as expected, the share market had climbed and interest rates had fallen.

“HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham hailed the surge in sentiment as a sign interest rate cuts were having their desired effect. ''This result is consistent with what we've had in mind, which is that the soft patch in the Australian economy may be behind us,'' he said.

“Asked whether now was a good time to buy a major household item, an extraordinary 59 per cent of Australians surveyed said yes. Only 16 per cent said no.

“One-quarter of those surveyed expected their personal financial situation to improve in the year ahead. Only one in five expected it to get worse.”

Here is another piece of evidence that it is Coalition voters who are depressing confidence ratings. The thesis of this piece is that this is because they have swallowed whole the Abbott/Hockey doom and gloom narrative.

The weekly Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating of 12 February shows “Consumer Confidence rising to 121.4pts (up 2.9 pts since February 2/3, 2013) after the RBA left Australian interest rates unchanged at a record low of 3%. Consumer Confidence is now 5.7pts higher than at the same time a year ago, February 11/12, 2012 – 15.7. The rise in Consumer Confidence has been driven by an increase in confidence about buying major household items and increasing confidence about personal finances over both the last and the next 12 months.

“Now a much larger majority of 60% (up 6%) of Australians say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items compared to just 16% (unchanged) that say now is a ‘bad time to buy’.

“Also, now 34% (up 6%) of Australians believe they are ‘better off” financially than this time last year (the highest since September 22/23, 2012) compared to 27% (down 2%) that say they are ‘worse off’.

“Australians are also more positive about their personal finances over the next 12 months with 43% (up 2%) saying they expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially while 14% (down 1%) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially.

“Now 39% (up 2%) of Australians expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next five years compared to 18% (up 2%) that expect Australia to have ‘bad times’

“However 29% (up 4%) of Australians expect ‘bad times’ economically over the next twelve months compared to 35% (up 2%) of Australians that expect ‘good times.”

So it seems that consumer confidence is on the rise. Which begs the question, why has it been so low for so long?

Clearly, there are many factors. The residual effect of the GFC lingered long. People are still more inclined to save; less inclined to make extravagant purchases, something retailers testify; more prudent about buying an expensive house, as estate agents tell us, and banks are less inclined to lend for this purpose. This prudence is not without merit as many were spending wildly beyond their means, encouraged by retailers such as Harvey Norman, maxing out their credit cards, and entering into maxi-mortgages to buy their four bedroom, three bathroom McMansions, complete with al fresco dining areas, and home entertainment theatres.

Then there was the Eurozone financial crisis with the dire threat of default on loans by the governments of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and even Italy, a threat that worried many voters, one that eroded their confidence. Politicians here, to wit Campbell Newman, referred to Australia as ‘another Spain’, and even Joe Hockey hinted that Australian too was a sovereign risk. Add to that the ‘financial cliff’ saga in the US with the Republicans blocking the Democrats at every turn, together with the poor economic data coming from there, and you have an ugly picture that would depress anyone already feeling insecure.

But while there were these global factors that undoubtedly influenced the thinking and feeling of the people, there was a persistent local factor: the continual daily talking down of the Australian economy and the Gillard Government’s capacity to manage it by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey.

While commentators largely blame overseas factors for the depressed confidence of consumers and businessmen alike, they show almost no willingness to recognize the elephant in the room – the negative, continually depressing talk of Abbott and Hockey, the demeaning of the Australian economy, day after day. What evidence is there for this assertion? Just look at the figures quoted above. It has been largely Coalition voters, those who swallow the Abbott/Hockey propaganda without question, who have pulled down consumer confidence, and I suggest also the confidence of businessmen, especially those involved in retail.

Their talk of the disaster that the carbon tax would bring about affected people’s confidence, and I suggest that the fact that the dire predictions of Abbott and Hockey, and of course Barnaby Joyce and his ‘$100 lamb roasts’, have come to naught, has ameliorated their anxiety and boosted their confidence. There seems to be an uncomplicated ‘cause – effect’ relationship between carbon tax doom and gloom and diminished consumer confidence, and between the dissapation of that gloom and improving confidence. We know that there is more to it than that, but the relationship seems germane.

In Why voters believe the economy is in trouble, Ross Gittins offers another reason for low confidence:

“With all the silly talk about 'the cautious consumer' and with punters blissfully unaware that retailing accounts for only about a third of consumer spending, all the highly publicized complaints of the Gerry Harveys helped convince the public not that the retailers have their own troubles, but that the economy must be going down the tube.

“Then there's the contribution of the unending fuss about ‘debt and deficit’, in which the government has been completely outfoxed by the Liberals. Although every economically literate person knows Australia doesn't have a significant level of public debt, the opposition has had great success exploiting the public's ignorance of public finance and of just how big the economy is ($1.5 trillion a year) by quoting seemingly mind-boggling levels of gross public debt.

“With much of this argy bargy being reported by political rather than economic journalists - how many times have you heard talk of 'the economy's deficit'? – it is hardly surprising the public has acquired an exaggerated impression of the economic significance of the budget deficit. Ironically, the budget deficit is a case where a cyclical (temporary) problem has been taken to be a structural (long-lasting) one.”

And who were responsible for all the spurious ‘debt and deficit’ talk – all this scary chatter about this nation being over its head in debt and borrowing a million dollars a day to service it? Abbott, Hockey, and bringing up the rear, Andrew Robb and Mathias Cormann.

And who in the media pointed out that the nation’s debt was miniscule, indeed much lower proportionately that the homebuyer taking out an average mortgage. It was left to Ross Gittins and Peter Martin. Even the AFR, that ought to have been exposing this, defaulted. With Michael Stutchbury at the helm there, I suppose we ought not to be surprised!

This piece asserts that much of the poor consumer confidence and low business confidence has been the direct result of Abbott, Hockey and the Coalition talking down the economy, mendaciously painting a dismal picture of the state of our nation, shamefully eroding confidence and damaging the economy for its own political ends, aided and abetted by a largely compliant media.

That other factors, some global, are operating on confidence is obvious, but ignoring the massive elephant trumpeting in the room where the people live – the Abbott/Hockey/Coalition elephant – is to miss what I believe is a major factor: the negativity, the doom, the gloom, the cynicism, the dismay, the distrust and the pessimism that these cynical, self-serving, ruthless politicians propagate every day, every week, every month.

And most of the media remains shamefully mute.

Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey, stop killing confidence.

What do you think?

If you decide to disseminate this post by activating the ‘Disseminate this post’ option in the shaded panel at the foot or top of this piece, it will be sent to the following pre-selected Federal parliamentarians, in alphabetical order: Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Anthony Albanese, Adam Bandt, Julie Bishop, David Bradbury, George Brandis, Mathias Cormann, Simon Crean, Craig Emerson, Julia Gillard, Joe Hockey, Barnaby Joyce, Christine Milne, Robert Oakeshott, Christopher Pyne, Bernie Ripoll, Andrew Robb, Bill Shorten, Arthur Sinodinos, Tony Smith, Wayne Swan, Warren Truss, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Windsor, Penny Wong, Nick Xenophon.

Comments (220) -

  • Pikiranku

    2/27/2013 10:18:57 PM |

    Yes, AA, "self-serving" is what they're all about.  Abbott and his cohorts have no interest in the good of the nation, present or future, no interest in our general well-being.  Their cynical, corrosive tactics are only about their own narrow interests. I just hope that the electorate works that out in time.

    Thanks for the link to Penny Wong's opinion piece.  She's brilliant, isn't she?  If I weren't so happy with Julia I'd be wishing they'd find Penny a HoR seat because I think she'd make a fantastic PM. It would be nice to think that Australia was ready for a PM who's not only a woman, not only a lesbian but also an Asian.  Too much to hope for, I know.  The rednecks would go ballistic!

    We'll keep 11-15 March free - looking forward to it.  We haven't always lived on YP (a mere 25 years)so we probably know less about this area than you do. Do know some Bilneys though.

  • Casablanca

    2/28/2013 12:10:54 AM |


    Apologies for not notifying you earlier about this problem. After initial success, I have more recently had problems with 'Disseminate this post'.

    I get the following error message:


    414. That’s an error.

    The requested URL /... is too large to process. That’s all we know.

    My primary programs are gmail and Firefox. However, I also have Microsoft Outlook which is linked to the email address that I have registered with TPS.  

  • Crowey

    2/28/2013 8:08:29 AM |

    The LNP are a danger to the low paid working people of Australia.

  • bilko

    2/28/2013 8:15:15 AM |

    Another fine compilation of facts sadly fallig on deaf out in blunderland.

    The Noalition will do anything, say anything to get their bums on the treasury seats. They salivate at such thoughts a complete set of dorian grey pictures hangs in each of their homes no mirrors to be they could not face the truth if it kicked them where they sit.

    And behind them is gollum in his New York castle rubbing his hands with glee.

    There has not been a country so mesmerised since Adolf came to power in 1933, they were promised utopia but this mob promise the opposite. Truth nil Lies one

  • bilko

    2/28/2013 8:17:10 AM |

    oops falig=falling , deaf = deaf ears thoughts ahead of fingers

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 8:27:39 AM |

    Pikiranku, Keith D, crowey, bilko
    Thank you for your comments.  Indeed, the Coalition will do anything, tell any lie, and indulge in any deception to gain power, even if it damages our country in the process, even if the lowest paid pay the price.

    How much the Sinodinos connection to the Obeid affair will get publicity will get airplay will no doubt depend on how much the MSM wants to give it.  Is there anything in the News Limited media?

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 8:28:28 AM |

    Hi Lyn
    Your links look delectable for an after breakfast read.

  • Truth Seeker

    2/28/2013 8:28:55 AM |

    Ad, another fine post echoing my thoughts and comments over a long period.

    I have mentioned this to many small business owners, who don't seem to be able to have any sort of comeback, although you can see them trying for one, and then begrudgingly agreeing with what I said even though they don't want to.   Sad!

    Keep up the great work   Smile

    Cheers    Smile   Smile

  • TalkTurkey

    2/28/2013 9:24:57 AM |

    Bon Matin Mes Camarades

    Lyn & Ad most particularly

    Imagine what the MSM would have said about the economy had the LNP been in power and handled it so well!

    Just imagine!

    I guess I could paint a picture but it might be better to let you~all do it for yourselves.

    Just think in the negative negative ( = positive ) to everything Hockeynomical: Dark becomes bright, greyscale becomes colour, fail becomes success, loss becomes gain, 5.4% unemployment and <4% inflation become brilliant. And so on.

    Ad those commodity prices you quote could easily be translated into simple comparative bar-graphs and flashed time after time in our coming justified terror campaign. There is enough material for a Daily TerrorGraph (hey that's not bad! Smile ) for weeks on end. Such a ploy might be very powerful if done well and consistently.

    For yes, terror lurks here. Many on this and every Leftish site are genuinely terrified at the thought of this Coalition of hoods and ninnies ever seizing power, and though I remain sanguine about our coming success, I quail too at that thought.

    We must harness this genuine terror in our exponential battle. This is a large part of my reason for remaining sanguine - our very terror!

    If there are any keen clever graph~ic artists (pun see) who would like to have a go doing one ... or a few ... don't let me stop you. But let me know OK so if I do any we're not doubling up on our efforts.

    There are some wonderful posts happening on all sites but on TPS in particular, we grow in power and resolve every day.

    Urgh Abbortt speaking at Universities Australia Higher Education Conference - Why don't they hurl interjections and insults at him as he and his do to *J*U*L*I*A* in Parliament?

    Because they're relatively civilized, yes I know.

    Double the fist Comrades, we're at Attack Speed now!

  • 2353

    2/28/2013 9:33:51 AM |

    AA - it amazes me that people will complain about petrol, water and electricity prices while happily sucking down cans of popular soft drinks for $3.25 each - or around $8 a litre.

    You're post is correct that a lot of this is due to the meme that has been popular for the past few years that has convinced people we are doing it tough.  The reality is that generally Australia is not "doing it tough" in relation to other established economies - it is 21 years and counting since Australia has been effected by a recession.

    In common with a lot of these memes it seems to have come from the "good ol' US of A" which has been doing it tough.  It has suited the conservative politicians (and US styled religious groups) to promote the idea to curry support.  I suspect that the Gerry Harvey's of this world believed that they should have been the recipients of Government handouts rather than the "mug public".  The funny thing is that NSW and Queensland is now discovering to their expense that the Liberals/LNP don't have all the answers and are in fact "just as bad as the other guys".

  • DMW

    2/28/2013 10:40:57 AM |

    Did anyone else listen to Late Night Live on Monday or the repeat on Tuesday afternoon?

    The topic was This Federal Election Year At The Perth Writers Festival with Phillip Adams chairing a panel with journalists David Uren, Laura Tingle and Chris Uhlmann to discuss what the ALP needs to do in order to have any chance in this upcoming federal poll as well as the major issues confronting both parties.

    You can listen or podcast here:

    While it was an informative and entertaining discussion it was also a sobering reality check that is worth more than one listen.

    Adams opens up the forum by saying he has sat through many federal elections and at everyone of them it has been said that every election was the 'most important of a decade, a generation, if not forever' however he suspects in the case of 2013 it might actually be true.

    Adams also notes that there are three contenders for the prime ministership all with hides as 'thick as rhinos'. Three of the toughest cookies to ever contest an election.

    From there a very interesting discussion ... make sure you are relaxed and have no sharp objects close to hand as you listen.

  • Michael

    2/28/2013 10:41:30 AM |

    They aren't killing MY confidence.

    The Australian public will see through them, even if they/we end up doing it through their/our 'hip pocket nerve'.

  • Crowey

    2/28/2013 10:57:26 AM |

    The Newman government have gone berserk, now they are starting to privatised our health and education system.

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 11:01:34 AM |

    Truth Seeker
    Thank you for your complimentary comment.  It seems almost as if businessmen are intimidated into believing the Abbott/Hockey/Coalition deception about the economy. Of course, many would be Coalition supporters, and therefore would have difficulty contradicting their leaders.

    Your rallying cry is apt.  I like your Daily TerrorGraph.
    There must be graphic artists capable of translating indigestible figures into graphics that mean something to the man in the street that could be used in Labor ads.

    You make good points.  Things are not as they are portrayed, but if you tell the people often enough that things are bad and they are ‘doing it tough’, they believe it.

    Thanks for the information on Late Night Live.  It will make interesting viewing.

    If only there were more like you.

  • Janet (jan@j4gypsy)

    2/28/2013 11:22:42 AM |

    Morning all, and Twitterstuff for you.


    #auspol 8 reasons for reelection JG 1 economy best 2 pollution low 3 repaymt low 4 inflation low 5 NBN great 6 NDIS 7 fairer Ed 8 vision

    Dani Bevins-Sundvall‏@DaniBevins
    Tony Abbott: only politician in the developed world who can discuss the value of online uni courses without mentioning the word "broadband."

    David Horton‏@watermelon_man
    Gosh, Scott Morrison, just a thought, but you don't think demonising refugees might have consequences in the future? No? Whatever? Oh, ok.

    Simon Banks‏@SimonBanksHB
    Does @TonyAbbottMHR plan to privatise Medicare? Just ask @qldpremier

    @CraigEmersonMP So Newman has started privatisation of State health and Abbott will finish it with Fed health. American system for OZ!

    Craig Emerson MP‏@CraigEmersonMP
    .@Gibbolin LNP speak - their term for sacking health workers is "cull the bludgers." Disgusting.

    Sandi Keane ‏@Jarrapin
    The Fed Gov should junk Howard's hotel room $13 billion dud deal on the Joint Strike Fighter and put this malingering mess out of its misery

    Possum Comitatus‏@Pollytics
    Some of the crap this week written by allegedly intelligent people would get you sacked if you did it in other industries

    Brian Arnatt‏@rattangreen
    If Julia Gillard was the 1 with "gorilla gait" #MSM would b all over it everyday  #wotnobias

    Senator Penny Wong‏@SenatorWong
    In SA, Libs claim to support River Murray Plan, upstream it's a different story -@SharmanStone calls it a "bad plan". Who should we believe?


    Mr Denmore‏@MrDenmore
    Cancel the Apocalypse: A New Path to Prosperity - Andrew Simms' talk to the LSE is worth a listen

    ABC News 24‏@ABCNews24
    The Prime Minister @JuliaGillard’s interview with @612brisbane’s Steve Austin is now available online here #auspol

    When is Tony Abbott coming out The cotton wool thingy didn't really work or maybe his party should join him in hiding

    Marion Groves‏@MarionGroves
    The LNP's first campaign ad is a pathetic mish-mash that says nothing. They'll have to do better than this.

    Lurline McCulloch‏@lurlibel
    AFP suspends probe on Brough ahead of appeal by Ashby | Sunshine Coast Daily …Congrats Graham Perrett! At last action?

    Ken ‏@KoenjiEikaiwa
    Typical Liberal xenophobic Scott Morrison is under fire from within his own party FANTASTIC

    Malcolm Fraser‏@MalcolmFraser12
    The demonisation continues. TA flaunts what he calls Christian values but only some people qualify.

    Mark Evans‏@markje4
    Scott Morrison - always ready to question the legitimacy of Lab govt. … via @smh #auspol #election2013

    Whit Goughlam‏@leftocentre
    An early look at @ScottMorrisonMP ( via @sloughly ) …#auspol

    Deborah Ann G‏@DeborahAG
    Gillard not the cause of Labor woes, ALP MP "quite normal compared to most party leaders in this country" #auspol

    Go West, Brave Leader!: You might not know about this, but I have a secret past. Back in my youth, before I be...

    Michael Dawe‏@Diddoms
    I'm not prone to outrage as a rule but this stinks. 4 people dead within 20 days of Newman axing dialysis transport.

    The Campbell Newman factor: 4,332 Queenslanders move overseas - nation's highest exit rate. … …#qldpol #auspol #LNP

    Mark Colvin‏@Colvinius
    This piece by @mediaactive quotes me, @Cuhlmann, @Raf774 and @asunderland on the ABC complaints process.

    Peter Foster‏@PeterFosterALP
    Are giant spiders on the Aussie Guardian menu?

    @ABCNews24 nothing has changed since 2009 ANU study found ABC news/media right wing-its much worst in 2013 #auspol

    Build it and they will come to buy it back again. via @wordpressdotcom #NBN #Murdoch

    Parts of Gympie and Sunshine Coast regions to receive high-speed NBN

    Jewel Topsfield‏@JewelTopsfield
    FUNDING FACTS A user's guide to Gonski … via @theage

    Marija Taflaga‏@MarijaTaflaga
    Bernard Keane injects some well timed factual analysis about gonski and the current Lib policy #auspol #igiveagonski

    David Donovan‏@davrosz
    Chris Pyne wants schools based on his "values"? I'm not so sure that'll help enrolments...

    The Conversation‏@ConversationEDU
    Exploiting the "digital revolution": @michellegrattan on Abbott's plans for higher education reform @uniaus

    Rob Coughlan‏@RobCoughlan1
    and so it begins - the corporate takeover of education in Australia

    Peter Foster‏@PeterFosterALP
    Great news on new anti-discrimination laws! Now we need to get them passed: via @GetUp #MarriageEquality #lgbti

    The Australian cigarette packet that puts you off smoking via @guardian

    Barry Tucker‏@btckr
    IPA has the ear of Liberal Party. Read its 75-pt plan to redesign Aust. No wonder Abbott wants a double-dissolution.

    Carmel James‏@carmeljune
    a $15 million windfall profit to the Obeids AWH from the NSW libs.

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 11:22:58 AM |

    Hi Lyn
    Your links were great reading.  Marilyn Shepherds’ piece in IA: Christopher Pyne and BER “waste” was particularly informative reading, putting paid as it did to the ‘waste’ story about the BER, with actual examples.  There are thousands more.  It gives substance to what we have been saying here for ages about the ‘waste and mismanagement’ fabrication of the Coalition and News Limited.

    I strongly recommend her piece at

    The article on New Anthropocene: Will the Opposition’s Direct Action Plan work? is a sober analysis of this Coalition alternative.  Although Tim Lubke doesn’t use these words, what he writes paints the DAP as a highly improbable and impractical option, perhaps better described as a deliberate fraud on the Australian public.

  • Gravel

    2/28/2013 11:24:51 AM |

    Ad Astra

    You've done another 'hammer and nail' post.


    Your links are up to your usual wonderful standard. Thanks.

    I'm tuning out of the MSM as much as possible, it is all too frustrating.

  • lyn

    2/28/2013 11:32:04 AM |

    Good Morning Ad and all my TPS friends ,

    Thankyou Ad for writing us another very enjoyable article, you are “Simply the Best”

    So far you have had 18 re-tweets to your article so reaching a large audience.

    The rain is still here but spasmodic showers,  and not so torrential.

    No Ad,  that lady next door is not helping, she keeps trying to stop the rain water, fancy putting tiles in the storm water channel, Oh! dear.

    Gravel, you have made a wise decision, thankyou for your compliments and valuable support.

    Khtagh thankyou for your hearts just lovelySmileSmile

    No mention of Arthur Sinodinos on ABC Breakfast, maybe they are whispering:-

    Campbell Newman man's CSG link to Obeid family

    Senator Sinodinos and the virtuous circle of political donations
    Liberal Arthur Sinodinos was treasurer of the NSW Liberals when the party received more than $30,000 in donations from a company he chaired,

    Former NSW Lib president declines Obeid-linked shares
    Sinodinos, who was chairman of Australian Water and is now parliamentary secretary to federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, says he will no longer be pursuing the share stake in the company.

    Ross Bowler ‏ Katharine Murphy will not be able to find a story worth reporting in relation to Arthur Sinodinos  It will not suit her narrative

    Sinodinos and virtuous circle of donations You can't ignore this any longer Arthur the people of NSW need answers.

    Mr C&D demographic ‏Arthur Sinodinos to make no further comment on Australian Water Holdings. closed then I suppose.

    Merri Blair  Come on thedrum Where's today's story about Arthur Sinodinos with his dirty hands in with Eddie Obied?  


  • DMW

    2/28/2013 11:41:24 AM |

    ... and now for something a little different

    Goodbye to All That: Why I Resigned  Nicola Roxon @ The Monthly
    When we won government in 2007, I became the first female senior cabinet minister to have a very young child – Rebecca was two. Luckily, I’ve always loved being organised. Every extra hour worked during the week in Canberra meant more Sunday time with my family in Melbourne. Every early draft of a speech or media release, every declined dinner invitation, reduced the last-minute rush to make the plane back home. I even relished the weekend cook-up so the family had decent food during the week.

    I was also lucky enough to have a steadfastly supportive husband, an amazing mother, helpful sisters, whip-smart staff and an income that allowed us to employ a nanny.

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 12:12:46 PM |

    Thank you for your great collection of Twittertalk.  I took special interest in checking what Michelle Grattan had to say via her new outlet.  Nothing has changed with Michelle.  This is another example of tired old journalism; most of her text is derived from a release of Abbott’s speech.  There is NO analysis.  And although Abbott talks about exploiting the digital revolution, Grattan does not even raise the value of the NBN in pursuing it.  She does not mention Abbott’s original intention to ‘demolish the NBN’, nor does she canvass how the Coalition alternative FTTN would measure up.

    The Conversation and the University of Canberra, at which she is a ‘Professorial Fellow’, ought to be bitterly disappointed at her journalistic efforts since taking up her post.  I am skeptical about whether she is capable of change from her past ‘he said, she said’, partisan journalism, which she inflicted on Fairfax readers for eons.  Oh dear!

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 12:19:18 PM |

    Hi Lyn
    Thanks for the links to the Sinodinos story.  All worked, but on all four the content had been taken down, or was not there because of a 404 error.  Very strange!  Are Coalition minders worried this story might grow legs, and are seeking to suppress it?

  • LadyInRed

    2/28/2013 12:41:26 PM |

    So News Ltd, and most of the media thus far are accepting Sinodinos' 'you don't know what it is you don't know' . I have to get my cranky-pants on because they sure didn't accept the PM's 'You can't report what you don't know' on the AWU.

    Let's just watch the hypocrissy unfold. I'll be tweeting this a few times today - need to get this out there. Not that I think Sindodinos is guilty of anything.....there are questions.... - but the hypocrissy is up for grabs.

  • Ausdavo

    2/28/2013 1:24:24 PM |

    re 2353 "...the Gerry Harvey's of this world believed that they should have been the recipients of Government handouts rather than the "mug public".."

    In fact, they did become the recipients! Every businessman should know that - give the lowest paid, the unemployed and the pensioners more and they spend it in the shops of Australia. That is why the stimulus worked so well.

    Interestingly today, Woolworth's announce that their first-half net profit after tax jumped 19.4 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier, to $1,155 million.

    That shows us what's happening in retail. However, many small businesses have not shared that success. Many are slowly going down. Abbott and his mates certainly don't help with the false stories that they peddle every day.

    Small business owners should be terrified of the effect his announced cuts will have on low income spending! Even Woollies might have a downturn if Abbott wins in September.

  • NormanK

    2/28/2013 1:34:18 PM |

    One of the reasons that I haven't commented much here this year is that I find this whole circus of political reporting profoundly depressing. It has gone beyond silly; way past partisan and entered into the realms of absurdity. Not just political reporting but almost everything that the media covers. It really is depressing to find that our major source of information is disseminating pure rubbish - gossip, innuendo, tittle-tattle and fake reflections of what the populace is apparently feeling (even before they know that they are feeling it).

    I walked past the television last night while Lateline was on and fortunately the audio was muted. Vision of a clip from the old Benny Hill Show, an excerpt from an old Carry On movie that involved a bit of boob humour and then Prime Minister Gillard walking and talking. One of the ABC's premier current affairs programmes thought that a bit of childish banter on radio from a government minister warranted the inclusion of an item about the PM's trip to Rooty Hill (titter) and how this minister's comments would be 'unhelpful'. The banter was boyish humour indulged in by both the presenter and the minister and deserved to be dismissed as the childish nonsense that it so blatantly was and certainly didn't warrant repeating.

    So why make a big deal of it?

    A few years ago I wrote a fairly lengthy comment here about Mr Abbott's campaign to convince the populace that they had a 'right to be angry'. Angry about a flood levy, angry about a supposed broken promise, angry at renegade independent members who went against the prevailing mood of their electorates, angry about just about everything that stopped their lives from reaching the nirvana that they so obviously deserve.

    A different theme has emerged in the way in which the popular media approaches just about every story that it covers. Perhaps the tactic has existed for many years but I'm only noticing it now. The new emotion for the decade is 'indignation'.

    It started manifesting itself in my consciousness when the 'sporting scandal' broke. Remember that 'darkest day' in Australian sport? Didn't that expression get a healthy run?

    Apparently, we the great unwashed were indignant that our sporting heroes might be cheating by using performance-enhancing drugs. Worse still, these drugs might have been supplied by organised crime groups. Depending on your age, 'organised crime' might call up images from The Godfather or any of Scorsese's Mafia films or for a younger generation it might be bikie gangs with their tatts and violent turf wars. Not the type of shady individuals we want mixing with our sporting heroes. But the real villains were the coaches, fitness instructors and scientists who were foisting these drugs onto our young men and women. Special indignation was reserved for them, especially the nutritionists and scientists.

    Further indignation could be fostered by implying that these same sportspeople have compromised themselves to such a degree that they might later be coerced into fixing matches. How horrifying to learn that our favourite team may have thrown a match for material gain? How mind-blowing to learn that the contest on which we have had a bet might have been fixed? UnAustralian, right?

    This level of emotion was only able to be maintained for about 48 hours before a new injection of indignation needed to be inserted into the public's psyche. Now came the calls for details. How dare the authorities make broad allegations of misconduct without naming specific clubs? "We're in limbo" cried the CEOs and coaches. It doesn't matter that it was explained that the Crime Commission had no powers to instigate prosecutions and is obliged to hand over evidence to law enforcement authorities so that they could commence their own investigations. Never mind that speaking about the detail of the Commission's findings would jeopardise those investigations. Never mind that naming a club which subsequently had no case to answer would damage their reputation in such a way that it would take years to repair.

    So, the clubs were given the green light to announce whether they had been named in the report. Excellent! Now we are indignant that our favourite sporting club or code has been caught up in the scandal. Surely, this is someone's fault. Have authorities been asleep at the wheel? Have senior sporting figures been complicit in a cover up?

    Cue a fresh round of indignation because although the clubs had been named, no specific allegations were forthcoming. Leigh Sales bemoaned the fact that a whole week had gone by with no further details emerging. Now the public is indignant because they are not being told which of the individual players and support staff were (allegedly) involved. Never mind that the Commission's hands are tied when it comes to revealing detail. Never mind the damage to an individual's reputation if they were named as being under suspicion. The media would handle this in a sensitive, 'innocent until proven guilty' way, wouldn't they?

    No-one was going to cough up individual's names so the public's indignation needed to be pointed in a new direction. Obviously, with such a lack of detail to back up the early allegations, this was a political stunt by the Labor government to distract the population from leadership tensions (or insert your own government chaos here).

    Pity the first individual to be brought in for questioning by the relevant authorities because they will become the target of a fresh round of indignation for dragging down the good name of Australian sport, the code of their choice and Australia as a nation.

    So, what has this got to do with Rooty Hill (titter)? Apparently, if you live in one of Sydney's western suburbs you will be indignant and angry that some Labor minister made offhand 'Benny Hill' type remarks about one of your suburbs. Never mind that if the original stupid banter had been allowed to drift off into the ether, the vast majority of Australians would never have known that these remarks were made. Apparently, our media houses are the litmus paper that gauges the emotions of any who might be affected by some obscure childish comments and feels obliged to report it. The fact that this then whips up the said emotion in a classic case of self-fulfilling prophecy is beside the point.

    Next time you have the misfortune to be consuming the tabloid media (I include 7.30 & Lateline in this category) ask yourself whether or not indignation is not the primary emotion that the slant of the story is attempting to engender.

  • Michael

    2/28/2013 1:42:48 PM |

    Sinodinos is channeling Donald Rumsfeld, isn't he, with his 'you don't know what you don't know' line.

    Do we really need Rumsfeldian political thinking, with all it led to when he had the ear of another less than critically intelligent political leader? The 'weapons of mass destruction' that weren't? Saddam Hussein directing the planes into the Twin Towers? The entire Iraq War screw-up that cost the USA so much financially it can feasibly be considered to be at the base of the entire world's current economic malaise?

    To quote Rumsfeld:

    "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

    Sinodinos went down THIS route!!!?? Defending a connection with suspiciously sourced election campaign donations to the Coalition??

    This from a man touted as a smart and steady hand in a possible Coalition government?

  • LadyInRed

    2/28/2013 1:50:23 PM |

    Michael I had forgotten Rumsfeld's quote. Well let's see if any journo's pick this up with any gusto. A bit early to say, but I suspect they wont.

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 1:58:43 PM |

    What an insightful comment you have written.  'Indignation' as an emotion to be evoked is certainly reflected in much of the media's messages.  Let's keep 'indignation' in mind when we consume media offerings in future.  From what you have observed, we will see plenty of examples.

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 2:03:05 PM |

    You make some interesting projections of what might be in store for business should Abbott be in a position to wreak havoc on the public service and the poor.  Why are people not aware of the train wreck that an Abbott government would bring about?  The media could alert them, but of course, it won't.

  • DMW

    2/28/2013 2:34:13 PM |

    Go Senator Doogie ...
    ‎#Auspol Labor Senator Doug Cameron, who was watching on as Senator Abetz spoke to the media, immediately launched a public attack on the Liberal frontbencher.

    "What a pathetic performance by Eric Abetz. I've got to say, I've never seen anything like this," he told reporters in his distinctively strong Scottish accent.

    "I think the dog whistle that you've just seen is the worst politics I have witnessed for many years in this Parliament.

    "If the argument that's being put forward now is because you speak a different language or you don't speak English well... well, what happens to all the waves of migrants who come to this country - migrants who are not refugees?

    "If you've got an accent like mine, are my neighbours to be told that I don't speak English properly?

    "This is desperate dog whistle politics and we should condemn it."
    (Full Quote)

    So all you Swordsters with an even slightly lilting brogue, beware, Senator Abetz and MHR Scott Morrison will enact laws which make you a 'reportable person'.

    Where will this stupidity end? How long before it becomes a 'hanging offence' to speak kindly of asylum seekers, refugees and/or other non-English speaking immigrants?

    Poor fellow my country, I quietly weep as I bottle up the rage inside me for the cowardly and inhumane way many of our elected representatives throw fuel on and fan the fires of unfounded fear of 'the others'.

    Appropriately reCaptcha says crooks prime(rl)

  • DMW

    2/28/2013 2:39:31 PM |

    well written, thank you.

    And in case you hadn't guessed I am indignant a gazillion times over.

    It is time to rage against the machine.

  • Pikiranku

    2/28/2013 2:44:50 PM |

    On Michelle Grattan's dismal effort.  Precisely what I thought as I read it:  'This is nothing but a paraphrasing of an Abbott press release'.  Pathetic!  Her contributions will do nothing to enhance The Conversation's reputation.  What were they thinking of?

  • Pikiranku

    2/28/2013 2:48:15 PM |

    I've no doubt whatsoever that Sinodonis is guilty of something.  This story reeks of graft and corruption.  
    Where are the investigative journalists when you need them?

  • 42 long

    2/28/2013 3:19:48 PM |

      He is one of their rising stars. Foregoing 3.7 million is a fair loss. He must have enough knowledge of it to do that. However I will give him the benefit of the doubt, unlike those in the LieNP who judge everyone who could damage the ALP before the courts and due process has taken place.

  • Tom of Melboune

    2/28/2013 3:46:19 PM |

    ” I've no doubt whatsoever that Sinodonis is guilty of something.

    What about Thomson?!

    Here and about he’s apparently just been framed by the media!

  • lyn

    2/28/2013 3:52:04 PM |

    Hi Ad and Everybody,

    So yesterday all day belittlement of Julia for going to Western Sydney, now it’s OK because Tony Abbott is going there too.

    Of course they report Abbott is travelling each way everyday unlike the Prime Minister who is staying there.

    Liberal Office says Abbott goes there quite frequently, so it’s normal he will be there next week.

    Reports yesterday said Julia's visit is a stunt, wonder what they will report now.  ABC will be in a frenzy.

    One Labor MP says Abbott is stalking:-

    Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott western Sydney tours set to overlap
      TONY Abbott will commute daily to western Sydney next week during a tour that is set to coincide with Julia Gillard's Rooty Hill-based stay in the area, and which one Labor MP has labelled "stalking".

       Dam project just the start in wooing of western Sydney
    Opposition leader Tony Abbott, who last month held a mini-campaign launch in Western Sydney, is also believed to be planning to visit western Sydney next week


  • Marilyn

    2/28/2013 4:25:13 PM |

    Thank you for running my piece on the BER, Pyne has infuriated me for years.

    In 2002 at a refugee meeting he was praising our brutal treatment of refugees and claimed that punishing children was really about punishing the non-existent people smugglers.

    I staged a walk out with Lowitja O'Donohue right behind me.

  • NormanK

    2/28/2013 4:52:11 PM |


    Indignation is good. We can work with that. It is worth reminding ourselves that this single emotion is the basis for the whole recipe. If you can get your hands on some indignant rage then so much the better. Indignant apathy really is a bland foundation and is likely to flop at the first sign of resistance.

    Before we start to prepare the dish, you might want to check your pantry for other crucial ingredients. Don't worry if you haven't got them, you can pick them up at any News Ltd outlet - they're even giving some stuff away free.

    To make the sauce you are going to need several cups of self-interest. 'What about me?' is a standard product that reaches its peak around May each year and although it is best used fresh, if you've got some left over from last year, it just needs a little whip-up in the blender and only the most discerning guest will notice the difference. Throw in a few government injustices if you think it needs it.

    You will need a couple of handfuls of envy. It doesn't matter where you get it from.
    Asylum seekers get hand-outs and I have to work for a living.
    Bob next door has bought his wife a new car but I can't afford it until next year.
    How come fashion models have such dishy boyfriends and I'm stunk with my lump of a husband?

    I'm sure you can find something. It's worth noting that class envy is no tastier than the garden variety. That's just a myth fed to you by the communists.

    A large bunch of inflated self-worth, finely chopped, will be used to garnish the dish when we come to serve it. Please note: your self-worth is infinitely more palatable than someone else's self-worth. After all, only you know how soundly-based your opinion is, how infinite your untapped natural talents are and how unreflective of your potential your current situation is. If only others could see you as you see yourself.

    No recipe is worth preparing if it doesn't include some prejudice.

    It doesn't matter what your source is, you simply must have it. This will allow you to marinate your indignation as you witness the injustices of the world. Remember, indignation has no use-by date. Bottle it up for years wrapped in your racist//sexist//religious prejudices and it will only benefit from the maturation.

    Now, it's not worth approaching the kitchen unless you have worked up a healthy sense of entitlement. It might seem difficult at first but really all you need are a couple of skin care advertisements ("You're worth it!") or a few back issues of The Daily Telegraph.

    Let me know when you've gathered the necessary ingredients and we can discuss preparation.

    Or you could take a lead from the media and just bung it all into the washing machine and switch on high for a couple of years.

  • Curi-Oz

    2/28/2013 5:00:56 PM |

    With regards to a LNP/Nats government doing nice things for universities (as reflected by Ms Grattan I heard a few moments ago that Mr Abbott is suggesting that universities should be grateful that they are likely not to get their funding cut after September (or words to that effect).

    Should someone have suggested he read his own press release?

    PS - I'm finding that I look forward to Ms Gratten's Conversation pieces ... mostly for the comments which are currently far more interesting.


  • bob macalba

    2/28/2013 5:06:08 PM |

    what about the 'sowd afrikin' in the senate


    2/28/2013 6:22:46 PM |

       Your still the best read I get in a week.

  • 2353

    2/28/2013 6:25:13 PM |

    Ausdavo - correct, except Harvey et al wanted the cheque with all the zeros straight in to their bank accounts.

    NormanK - nice to see you back occasionally.  Self interest is the media telling those that can now afford a new Prado rather than a 2nd hand Commodore it is all due to their hard work.  

    The reality is that they can afford the new 4WD for the daily school run because the Australian economy didn't go into a recession in the late "noughies" and as a result of the Government's good economic management (demonstrated by judicious spending) the Australian currency is now one of the IMF's world reserve currencies.  This causes the value of the Dollar to rise.  This means that the cost of imported goods falls in comparison to their salary and they can afford to purchase completely inappropriate vehicles to drop the kids off to school in suburbia.  

    The media either don't grasp that or have decided the "go on you deserve it" meme assists their business plan - through more advertising of the latest "Toorak Tractor" through to a conservative Government that will help them economically.

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    2/28/2013 7:31:01 PM |

    Thank you for running my piece on the BER, Pyne has infuriated me for years.

    In 2002 at a refugee meeting he was praising our brutal treatment of refugees and claimed that punishing children was really about punishing the non-existent people smugglers.

    I staged a walk out with Lowitja O'Donohue right behind me.


    And following your walk out the collective IQ in the room shot up immediately.

  • Pikiranku

    2/28/2013 8:34:37 PM |

    Last night I watched Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell, which is something I don't think I'll be doing for much longer - it's not worth the few feeble laughs you get out of it.  
    But what made me really antsy was the way they joined the pack in the sneering, jeering Swanny-bashing which seems to be all the go at the moment.
    Here we have a Treasurer who is praised and admired all over the world, the "World's Greatest" in fact; someone who had the courage and conviction to accept advice and implement action which flew in the face of all the conventional economic wisdom of our time.  He was so right and we're all the beneficiaries of his courage.
    But he's not slick or smooth, he's not charismatic, he's not a conman, so these superficial, supercilious smart-arses deride him.
    They even mock his communication skills, apparently unaware that all they need to do is to stop sneering for long enough to hear what he is saying and they'll learn that he is actually a very intelligent, articulate and clear communicator, that everything he says makes sense. But they'd have to stop baying for blood for that to happen, they'd have to shut up and listen.

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 8:35:58 PM |

    Thank you for your kind words.  Such compliments keep me going, indeed all of us!

  • Michael

    2/28/2013 8:58:34 PM |

    Sir Ian, beneath you, sir, beneath you.

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    2/28/2013 9:23:42 PM |

    Sir Ian, beneath you, sir, beneath you.


    Wrong Michael. She screams like a Xanthippe redux and warrants every condemnation coming her way.The truth will come out one day and we won't be surprised to know that it was Pyne who walked out.

  • Ad astra

    2/28/2013 9:43:43 PM |

    Appealing to Sir Ian's better self is a brave act, a hopeful one.  

    Marilyn writes a fine piece, offers her thanks that Lyn gave it some oxygen, makes an observation about a meeting she attended where Christopher Pyne was present, and for her trouble gets a nasty backhander from our resident knight, sans shining armour.  

    Some things are inexplicable.  Seeking reason is pointless.

  • 2353

    2/28/2013 10:29:14 PM |

    AA -  that clown is no knight (of the realm or anything else).

  • DMW

    2/28/2013 11:25:03 PM |

    the sabbatical has done you the world of good. You're on fire with that comment @ 4:52 PM

    Wish I had been able to read it before I got stuck in the traps it would have kept me slightly saner (if that is at all possible today).

    I am still giggling Smile

    A spoonful of NK medicine helps the blues go down, helps the blues go down ...

  • DMW

    2/28/2013 11:28:33 PM |

    Bob M,
    the word is that sowd afrikins are on the protected species list as are certain other breeds of 'shire scumbags' and 'border belles'

  • DMW

    2/28/2013 11:31:06 PM |

    ... in a very delightful way


  • DMW

    2/28/2013 11:40:01 PM |

    a check of the peerage register informs that he is an fact a Dark Knight of the Soul. He is indeed one of the rarefied few of the type R soul.

  • NormanK

    3/1/2013 12:14:53 AM |


    Glad I could bring a smile to your dial.
    I should have indicated that I'm trying to flog a recipe for Indignation Tart - not to be mistaken for Humble Pie and never to be served with it at the same sitting (that way lies madness).

    I hope what's left of your day improves.

  • jane

    3/1/2013 12:48:38 AM |

    Brilliant article Marilyn. I enjoyed it very much, principally because you did the research and gave us the plain unvarnished facts. Thank you.

  • Patriciawa

    3/1/2013 12:55:15 AM |

    Hi NormanK - I think I'm a bit like you.  I've long run out of rage and indignation at the way Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey et al have been trying to kill confidence in Oz and to belittle the achievements of our wonderful PM and her team.  You may recall it's almost a year ago since you inspired this little outburst about

    Tony Abbott And His Prophets Of Doom!

    “We’ll all be rooned!” said Tony Abbott,
    Attacking government as per habit,
    Trying to bring the economy down,
    Applauded by the big end of town.
    Indeed, some managers and bosses,
    Well able to bear short term losses,
    Saw a good chance to shed employees,
    Later replace them with cheaper trainees.

    As Tony, Julie, and Joe spread ‘the facts’
    About carbon pricing’s dire impacts,
    Worried Aussies, supporting a family,
    Cut down on spending, unsurprisingly.
    Nonetheless the economy boomed.
    The world didn’t think that Oz was doomed.
    Towns weren’t destroyed or industries dying,
    But in some big stores people weren’t buying.

    “Of course they won’t if they’ve lost their job,”
    Sneer Barnaby Joyce and Andrew Robb,
    “And for that they can blame this PM!”
    Rubbish!”  Wayne Swann shoots back at them.
    The respected 'World’s Best Treasurer'
    Was backed by another good measurer -
    Of growth rates,  the Reserve Bank boss!  He blames -
    Guess who?  He makes it clear.....without naming names.....

    It’s Tony Abbott and his prophets of doom!
    Without them we could go full bore - Vroom.....Vroom.....Vroom.....VROOM.....VROOM!

    I'm full of admiration for Ad Astra's energy and clarity as he continues to bring the fight right up to Abbott and the Coalition and doesn't let anyone forget what their game is.  At last he is able to refer us to main stream economists who acknowledge it too.  This wasn't the case when we discussed these rotten tactics over this pome at

  • TalkTurkey

    3/1/2013 1:37:03 AM |

    Ad, Web Monkey,

    For only the second time I have used @TPS Mail, the first time it worked fine, this time it gave me a message that some of the A/Ds couldn't be sent and it said If you have used commas to separate the addresses replace them with semicolons. I did and it worked instantly. Does that help?

  • paul walter

    3/1/2013 1:37:45 AM |

    And if you thought Hockey and co were vandals, what do you think of Morrison's nauseating proposal that refugees trying to settle in the community are given paedophile status- the Yellow Star treatment?
    Sir Ian Crisp's treatment of Marilyn indicates he has much to learn re how to debate her- she has a tough hide thickened by many political debates.
    Ad hominems don't work with her because she's generally intelligent enough to have garnered facts, as she did with the article on Pyne and education infrastructure, before she argues a point, no doubt having learnt a long time ago the same lesson SIC is learning, the hard way, as to debating others.
    Witty epithets don't work if the facts that underpin them are wonky.

  • Gorgeous Dunny

    3/1/2013 6:59:38 AM |

    Sir Ian
    The truth will come out one day and we won't be surprised to know that it was Pyne who walked out.

    You mean like this?

    But I wouldn't call it "walking". He beat Abbott by several lengths and earned a new nickname as "The Gazelle".

    I'm sure he'll show the same commendable speed if anybody in the MSM eventually lifts the gag on Ashbygate.

  • Gravel

    3/1/2013 8:10:41 AM |


    Welcome back.  I had never thought of indignation, I guess because I am so angry at all happening under our noses in plain sight, yet only people on Social Media seems to be aware of it.  You have written up the Indignation Recipe very clearly, I am terrified of the result when it is cooked.

    More wonderful links, thanks.

  • bob macalba

    3/1/2013 9:56:51 AM |

    terrific, always terrific..ta very much

    Marilyn.. nice piece, ignore the halfwit troll, a cowardly cad he be

    Patriciawa..dont remember reading that pome before, nice one
    Vroom Vroom Vroom

    stay dry everybody, cheers

  • DMW

    3/1/2013 11:08:23 AM |

    David Pope absolutely brilliant today with his ScottFree (TM) App

  • Pikiranku

    3/1/2013 11:11:55 AM |

    I thought this comment by Cuppa on Miglo's article about Andrew Bolt(see Lyn's Links) was well worth a read:

    February 28, 2013
    These cookie cutter Liberal shills in the media imagine they’re helping their “cause”. They obviously know the Liberals are a basket case, needing all the “help” they can get. Mostly they preach to the converted; morons who line up every day to have their brainwashing reinforced and conservative prejudices exploited.

    Meanwhile their bias is helping to send the Old Media into decline. Anyone repelled by the right-wing monopolisation of the “mainstream” media in Oz can now access a world of competing viewpoints with the click of a mouse or swipe of an iPad. The ground has shifted under the feet of the yokel partisan shills. They’re no longer the only side of politics with a voice. They’re being marginalised, and they’re panicking.

    In their desperation to avoid obscurity they’re ratcheting up the rhetoric. But this only drives the sane and moderate audience away faster. So they’re caught in a vicious tailspin, where the more threatened they become, the uglier the rhetoric, and the more they become sidelined.

    Very soon (if they’re not already there) they’re also going to run into the pitfalls of market saturation. With News Limited, Their ABC, talkback radio and increasingly the Fairfax publications all now competing for essentially the same ugly right-wing demographic, they are going to find there are enough audience to ‘go round’. I can see media outlets going under because they’ve “overgrazed the field”. Of course they’ll try to compensate by being even shriller, which will only hasten the decline of their Old Media. And so the vicious cycle will continue.

    Well, it gave me hope.

  • Truth Seeker

    3/1/2013 12:10:33 PM |

    Hey Swordsters, with Campbell Newman's latest announcements on his efforts to further privatise services, and Abbott's support for his style of governing, I have just posted my thoughts on what we can expect from Abbott.   "Tony Abbott's Mini Me"

    Be afraid.... be very afraid!

    Cheers   Smile

  • 42 long

    3/1/2013 12:16:14 PM |

      Listened to Faine and some IPA  person. (WHY do they have that right wing propaganda show on anything like a discussion?)
       morriscum is just neing a good politician and reflecting the views of a lot of people.
      Yeah. Like people who have been wound up by the dog whistle side of politics. Rely on the views of the extreme, not the informed.
       Watch out for the anti-left movement to get legs. You are/will be blamed for everything that goes wrong and IF Abbott pulls this chirade off, rules will be changed to make it as hard as it would be to get a two party situation in China going, to get your views out in this country.
       Remember the McCarthy Purges in the US. Academics and actors demonised plus unions etc.  Blacklisting of those who don't think "RIGHT". Police forces seeking approval.Science ridiculed.  It's already happening here in the LNP run states.
       You are lucky to have a preview. Imagine a federal gov't in power as well, plus the senate. Of course
       Qld doesn't have one of those much to its disadvantage.  Might be cumbersome at times but a bulwark against extreme shift.
       How extreme is Tone's mob. The indicators are that they are extremely so, even though the image is massaged carefully to present the highly ( whatever he is this week) illusion.
        When we get the reality it will be too late to do much about it. He is used to using friends in high places. He thinks he has them all so he will be. A bully when necessary. How would anyone know what he will really do? The whole thing is choreographed.

  • Jason

    3/1/2013 12:30:06 PM |

    Insiders ABC‏@InsidersABC

    On #Insiders Sunday 9am: @ScottMorrisonMP speaks to Barrie Cassidy from PNG, + panel @GMegalogenis @PhillipCoorey & @farrm51

  • Ad astra

    3/1/2013 12:45:08 PM |

    Hi Lyn
    I'm still working through your wonderful set of links, some of which feed into my next piece; The curse of the opinionistas.  

    I have to go out for a while.  The weather is beautiful here; I hope it's improving up your way.

  • Pikiranku

    3/1/2013 2:28:59 PM |

    Great David Pope cartoon!  Thanks for that.
    Anthony Bieniak's tongue-in-cheek piece (see Lyn's Links... again) pursues the same theme.
    The power of mockery.  Love it!

  • Tom of Melboune

    3/1/2013 2:32:14 PM |

    ” Yeah. Like people who have been wound up by the dog whistle side of politics. Rely on the views of the extreme, not the informed.

    True, like people who say – Another boat, another policy failure

    (Julia Gillard, as ALP Immigration Shadow Minister)

  • lyn

    3/1/2013 3:00:55 PM |

    Hi Ad,

    Thankyou for your appreciative comments as always.

    Thankyou Bob, Gravel & Pikiranku, sending 3 of Khtagh's hearts to you.

    No rain here today Ad but still very cloudy and heavy.

    Wonder how Mr Abbott is going to get out of this one, anyway wasn’t he supposed to be kinder and gentler in his new in 4 weeks personality, ha, ha.

    Mr Abbott said in his press Conference “The Government doesn’t know where the Asylum Seekers are.  Abbott was not implying not insinuating,he said Asylum Seekers are released into the Community in thousands, Government doesn’t know who they are even.

    Some information below for you all:-

    That’s the whole point, the Government doesn’t know where they are.
    The Government doesn’t know where they are but the Government has to know where they are -
    at the moment people are just disappearing into the community.
      thousands of people have been released into the community
    but the Government needs to know where they are.
    Scott is doing a magnificent job alerting people

    Simon Cullen ‏@Simon_Cullen
    Abbott says asylum seekers are "just disappearing" into community. Immi Dept says they face reporting requirements.

    Simon Cullen:  ‏Here's some helpful info on how bridging visas work - … Asylum seekers are already subject to reporting requirements

    Independent Australia: Australian Federal Police: Investigate AshbyGate Now - new petition

    Abbott defends Sinodinos over Obeid link
    It doesn't really pass the person-in-the-street test to say, I forgot I was a director of six organisations," she told Sky News on Friday.


  • Jason

    3/1/2013 3:07:15 PM |

       Aren't you a member of the party that went from keeping the bastards honest to joining the barstards on Howards never ever GST?

  • Michael

    3/1/2013 3:09:37 PM |

    With regard to the Faine radio show, Scott Morrison, and Shouldabeen's sanctimonious support of him...

    Incitement in any form is no form of "being a good politician".

    So long as people use this rationale/excuse we can expect to see nothing in this country but divisiveness, cynicism, disengagement... and where they all inescapably end up, violence.

    To that end, and I already know why, why why why, is Insiders taking a direct feed from Morrison in Papua New Guinea on Sunday?

    We can write the script now, we can see the thin-lipped sneering superiority on Morrison's face already, why not just take all that as given? That's what we'll be given... inescapably.

  • Tom of Melboune

    3/1/2013 3:19:34 PM |

    Jason, I joined the Democrats because they are economically conservative and socially progressive. In that respect they are the complete opposite of the ALP.

  • Jason

    3/1/2013 3:22:20 PM |

      "The Monthly‏@THEMONTHLY
    Don’t forget to read Nicola Roxon’s ‘Goodbye to All That: Why I Resigned’ – free until 5pm today:";

    I'll get in quick and post it in full.

    When we won government in 2007, I became the first female senior cabinet minister to have a very young child – Rebecca was two. Luckily, I’ve always loved being organised. Every extra hour worked during the week in Canberra meant more Sunday time with my family in Melbourne. Every early draft of a speech or media release, every declined dinner invitation, reduced the last-minute rush to make the plane back home. I even relished the weekend cook-up so the family had decent food during the week.

    I was also lucky enough to have a steadfastly supportive husband, an amazing mother, helpful sisters, whip-smart staff and an income that allowed us to employ a nanny.

    Still, not many jobs demand you sleep in a bed other than your own for more than 100 nights each year. There were only so many times I could put aside the book I was reading with my daughter and pick it up again in five nights’ time. There were also only so many years I could wake at 5.30 am, with a long list of pressing issues already coursing through my brain. Only so many times I wanted to dash to a TV studio for an interview, rush home to do the school drop-off, then fly to myriad meetings or conferences. At some point, even a time-management freak like me doesn’t want every 20-minute chunk of her life planned three months in advance.

    One week after my resignation as attorney-general, I’m writing this article from a quiet, sunny office on the second floor of Parliament House. When I was first elected to parliament, in 1998, this office belonged to Anna Burke, now the House’s speaker. She was the first of our class of ’98 to have a baby while in office, and she took no maternity leave. By the time I had Rebecca, seven years later, a three-month parental leave period was the norm. Even more satisfying was being part of the government that ensured all Australian women are entitled to paid maternity leave. Since January, men also get two weeks’ paternity leave. A quarter of a million Australian parents have been helped by this change.

    Achievements like this – setting up a hotline for parents to access a GP in the night; stronger protections against family violence – are what sustained me. Any woman wondering whether to plunge into politics should know one thing: the level of job satisfaction can be sky-high. Your daily work can provide comfort, support, relief or inspiration to countless Australians, whether it be establishing pay equity for some of the lowest paid women or beating tobacco companies in the High Court.

    Yet the reporting after my resignation hardly acknowledged that this sense of satisfaction was a factor in my decision to leave. It’s normal for people to readjust their lives and move on from demanding jobs once they’ve completed a project. It is also normal for women to scale up and scale down their work or careers at different times in their lives – though obviously those in higher paid jobs, like me, have more choices available to them.

    Suggestions that my retirement after 15 years in parliament represents a failure for working women are rubbish. My time as a politician should be an affirmation of what women can do – and do well – even with young children. Other women, like Tanya Plibersek and Penny Wong, will carry this flame, overseeing demanding portfolios while raising children.

    Feminism has delivered us opportunity and choice. I took that opportunity, gave it all I had and am now choosing to contribute in a different way. Though there is inevitably a focus on the constant tug-of-war between work and life for women, I don’t think our feminist dream is a simple binary equation. Maybe it would be better if we had a more nuanced view, of a triple bottom line – professional, personal and public. Are you professionally satisfied? Is the work personally sustainable for you? Is there a public benefit to your work? For nearly 15 years my answer to all of these questions was ‘Yes’. That satisfaction, that purpose, helped me and my family accept some of the personal cost.

    But expecting my family and friends to always put my work and needs first wore thin eventually. And it is much easier to go when you know there are good people who will step into your place. Surely, in choosing to leave I was exercising the choice and flexibility that women have been fighting all these years to achieve.

  • Ken

    3/1/2013 4:00:07 PM |

    Greetings all

    Just catching up with all the posts.  As usual a very good Ad article and good comments and lots of great links.

    I know there are some economists who will concede that "sentiment" is a large part of how an economy operates: e.g. if people think things are bad and curtail spending and increase savings, then they almost ensure that the economy will slow and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Agree that mockery and sarcasm can be more effective retorts, at times, than trying to win an argument based on the facts.  I have posted previously Hawke's retort in the '83 election when Fraser suggested people would need to keep their money under their beds if Labor was elected: Hawke said, there was no room under the bed because the Reds were already there!  A few of the current ALP spokespeople need to learn that art.

    Enjoyed Roxon's article.  Reminded me when I was a union delegate in a Woolworth's warehouse in the early 70s and when I was negotiating our agreement at Trades Hall in Sydney one thing I was asking for was 3 days paternity leave at the birth of a child.  The Retail Traders Assoc. rep wouldn't agree to that at the time because it would have implications across the retail sector.  Our site manager, however, called me aside next day at work and asked me how many blokes were likely to want paternity leave in the near future.  It was all blokes on the floor of the warehouse - and there was one definite in a few months, and another three or four young blokes we could anticipate in the next 18 months or so.  He said just tell them to let him know and he would arrange a few days off for them.  Where are the managers like that now!!!

  • paul walter

    3/1/2013 4:42:26 PM |

    Sensible adds from 4toolong and Jason, wish you both a good weekend.

  • MWS

    3/1/2013 4:58:50 PM |

    I found this quote while reading Andrew Ramsey's book The wrong line:

    "That's the trouble with routinely fabricating sensation to feed the short-term need of the daily news cycle - with loud-hailing every modest success as a 'dazzling triumph', with shrieking that every slight stumble plunges a 'dagger through the heart' - is that when something really extraordinary happens, there's no levers left to manipulate.  Massive setbacks, stunning upsets, miracle victories, crushing losses now arrive with all the regularity and wonderment of lunch.  Getting stories noticed requires stoking contrived conflict.  Screeching the loudest.  But when you run the scream-meter flat out seven days a week, people just tune out.  Or go deaf. In trying to seize the attention of a market that can now scour a world's worth of alternative 'voices' with a couple of keystrokes, mainstream media has become the boy who cried werewolf.

    (Page 108 for those interested in reading of the day-to-day life on tour reporting on the Australian cricket team.  It's worth reading for his opinions of the senior ranks of The Australian)

  • Jason

    3/1/2013 6:02:12 PM |

    For my SA Bretheren you might find this funny! An open letter to Ann Bressington!

    Open letter to Anti-Fluoridians

    Bernard Keane| Mar 01, 2013 1:12PM |EMAIL|PRINT

    This week I found myself the target of some vituperation from anti-fluoride, erm, “campaigners” after my attention was drawn to an appalling picture of Tanya Plibersek posted to the Facebook page of South Australian independent Legislative Councillor Ann Bressington. I contacted Bressington asking why a commenter’s suggestion that the Health Minister be “lynched” was allowed to remain on Bressington’s page and whether she thought accusing Plibersek of “crimes against humanity” was likely to incite such views. Bressington then posted my email on her Facebook page as well. When News Ltd political editor Tory Shepherd contacted her, Bressington posted details of that, too.

    Bressington declined to accept my Friend request on Facebook, thereby preventing me from responding to the anti-fluoride folk on her page — on the basis that she if she couldn’t comment on my Twitter, I wouldn’t be allowed to comment on her Facebook. She actually said this to me in a comment to me… on Twitter. Yes, this woman votes. Not votes in the normal sense — she votes in the South Australian upper house. On legislation.

    Anyway, as I was thwarted from responding on Bressington’s Facebook page, I thought I’d offer this open letter to anti-fluoride campaigners:

    Dear Anti-Fluoridians

    Firstly, let me say that I was delighted to hear the venerable anti-fluoride movement is still going. I thought you had died out sometime in the Nixon years, but to discover that you’re still alive in the dark undergrowth of the internet has cheered me as much as discovering that a rare and exotic species thought extinct has been rediscovered in dense forest rarely trodden by humans.

    Second, I wish to relate to you what happened this week when I was attending one of my busy roster of conspiracy meetings. As a member of the all-powerful Ruling Élite (Media Division), naturally I sit in on regular committee meetings that oversee some of the major global conspiracies. Keeping global conspiracies running is a lot of work, and you probably understand that it has to be divided up amongst a lot of committees that have oversight of individual conspiracies.

    As you can imagine, this can be fairly demanding of the time of attendees since we all have day jobs to do, and it’s only recently that I had to reluctantly beg off my participation in the Chem Trails Conspiracy oversight committee due to a clash with my growing responsibilities on the 9/11 Truth Committee and a new role on the Overarching Illuminati-Masonic Conspiracy audit subcommittee. Also, the Barack Obama Conspiracy has recently had to be split into two because the work of maintaining both the birther conspiracy and the Obama-is-a-Lizard-Person conspiracy was becoming too much; accordingly, my (admittedly small) role in the public affairs subcommittee there was eliminated.

    However, I was participating in one of my long-term commitments this week, a Fluoride-Conspiracy committee meeting held here in Canberra. At the end of the meeting, I turned and said to Tanya Plibersek “you know Minister, I’m really worried about Ann Bressington, I think she’s really close to blowing the lid right off this whole conspiracy and revealing that fluoride is a dastardly plot to poison people.”

    “But Bernard,” the Minister said, “that’s very alarming. What are we going to do?”

    Tory Shepherd, who’s also on the committee, joined the conversation (the idea that News Ltd and Crikey are enemies is just a facade — in fact we all work closely together to protect the New World Order). “We need to undermine and discredit the movement with our powerful media presences,” she said.

    “Well,” I corrected her, “your powerful media presence, and my not-so-powerful media presence. What we should do is, contact Ms Bressington’s office and ask her about the anti-fluoride poster she’s circulating that accuses you of crimes against huge manatee.”

    I waited a moment. “Crimes against huge manatee,” I said again. After several seconds and repeating “geddit?” a couple of times, I gave up waiting for either of them to laugh and continued “that will undermine and discredit the whole anti-fluoride movement.”

    Ms Plibersek considered this for a moment, sipped her glass of water, (distilled, unfluoridated — because that’s what we Ruling Élites drink), and then agreed. “Yep. Go for it guys,” she said. “And see you at the Chariots-of-the-Gods remuneration telecon next week.”

    “I just wish they’d circulate the papers for that one a bit earlier,” I said.

    Unfortunately, I confess, our lame ruse, our paper-thin, indeed wafer-thin, tactic, a tactic so thin you can’t even see it when it’s turned side-on, was soon seen through by anti-fluoride campaigners. No sooner had I contacted Bressington than she was onto me and exposing my attempt to perpetuate the conspiracy. As one of her commenters insightfully observed, “Must be so bored they need to create They story’s these days what do you expect from Mainstream Media Reporter’s who act like children (Bernard Keane ) to get noticed it would take a lot more grown up professionalism to be able to report REAL STORY’S.”

    But — and kudos — Bressington herself was clever enough to see the real agent behind all this – Tanya Plibersek. After Shepherd contacted Bressington, the MP divined the hand of the Health Minister in this appalling attempt to silence her. “ They want this poster removed because Tanya is afraid it incites violence,” said Bressington. Commenters agreed that Plibersek was behind both Shepherd and myself. “I’ll bet she doesn’t drink bloody tap water…thats only for the poor to drink,” one said.

    So, my message to you all is, I’m big enough to acknowledge when I’m beaten. I’m sorry, so very sorry, that we thought you wouldn’t see through such an obvious ploy to silence Bressington and destroy the Anti-Fluoride movement. I have tendered my resignation to the Fluoride committee in the hope that new input and fresh ideas can once again extend the dark veil of this global conspiracy over all minds.

    Yours sincerely

    Bernard Keane

    (Illuminati name: Putresco Incitatus)

  • Ad astra

    3/1/2013 7:12:01 PM |

    Hi Lyn
    I’m still digesting your links.  Ben Eltham’s piece, and the comments that followed, was particularly helpful.  Thank you.

    Thank you for your kind comment.  You are right – sentiment plays a major role in decisions made by voters.  Logic is put aside by many; otherwise Labor would be miles ahead in the polls.

    Thanks for Nicola Roxon’s piece – great reading, and the Insiderspanel.

    I enjoyed Alan Ramsay's words.

  • 2353

    3/1/2013 7:12:49 PM |

    Jason, two brilliant articles.  Thanks

    I hope Nicola Roxon has a wonderful time bonding with her daughter doing the school drop offs, pick ups and on tuck shop!  She deserves it.

  • 2353

    3/1/2013 9:09:22 PM |

    Bob - scroll the troll.  There is nothing to see there.

  • paul walter

    3/1/2013 11:41:07 PM |

    Good one Jason.
    As it happens, Bressington.
    facing the end of her upper house term has indeed gone feral on several Tea Party style issues lately, very much so.
    She is another example of the utility of hip pockets on singlets and definitely Adelaide's answer to Michele Bachmann of the US.

  • TalkTurkey

    3/2/2013 12:26:57 AM |

    I'm not ignoring you
    I'm  waiting for some other Crowies' options to come through!

    It would be perfect if everybody could make it on Friday the 15, the Ides of March, for LUNCH, at the Casino where we are subsidised willingly by the gambling addicts. See what that nice young James Packer does, he doesn't want his victims to have to go looking for tucker elsewhere so he actually gives them a fair enough meal for under $10, and see we suck along with that, well somebody apart from that nice young James Packer has to benefit from the redistribution of wealth!

    I like the idea of the Ides, and this year the election is to be held on the 14th of September - within a day of the Ides, and an auspicious date for moi, that was the date 3 years ago I first posted on TPS (and remember, I predicted that date for the election long before it was announced. Smile )

    Abbortt remember
    The Ides of September ...

    But I can't even be sure that Friday 15th of March for our traditional Swordfolks Lunch is available yet. 11-14th definitely are. I'll keep yous~all posted Orright?

  • TalkTurkey

    3/2/2013 1:11:29 AM |

    Sorry not pikiranku Pikiranku!

  • bob macalba

    3/2/2013 8:54:23 AM |

    thanks Ad, im just winding him up, he doesnt bother me in the least, although he was starting to real shirty, the fact he set his alarm clock to get up for another go tells me heaps about him. had a bit of a larf gonna carry on ignoring him now

  • Ad astra

    3/2/2013 9:17:41 AM |

    bob macalba
    If and when Sir Ian cares to contribute to the discourse about the thread that is extant, instead of raking over irrelevant past events, instead of regurgitating his venom towards some who post here, his posts will be allowed.

  • bob macalba

    3/2/2013 10:49:11 AM |

    he did start off in a nasty venomous way didnt he?
    he was just looking to get under somebodys skin, it sorta backfired on him though hence his early shot at me, must have annoyed him me not biting,
    i did play nice with him though


  • bob macalba

    3/2/2013 11:15:07 AM |

    meant to say 'late' not light

  • Tom of Melbourne

    3/2/2013 11:34:51 AM |

    While some think it may be poor form to remind Ad Astra of previous comments, I think Sir Ian Crisp made a great contribution on the last thread - when he reminded us of the way Ad Astra used to laud the opinion polls when they showed the government to be incredibly popular under Rudd.

  • 2353

    3/2/2013 12:00:57 PM |

    This article is actually making a reasonable point.  What does the Prime Minister need to do to get the clear air that Abbott seems to enjoy?

    TONY Abbott has had a shocking week. One of his shadow ministers was sacked by local pre-selectors despite the Opposition Leader's vociferous support and for two days there was policy confusion on the Coalition's marquee plan to scrap Labor's carbon pricing scheme.
    However, such is the weight of can't-take-a-trick bad news pulling Labor heads further and further down towards the political pits, no one noticed.

    Posted from yet another wet and rainy day in Brisvegas

  • TalkTurkey

    3/2/2013 12:10:21 PM |

    Bob said
    meant to say 'late' not light

    Nah you just wrote it in Strine Mite!


    But I did wonder, yes. Smile


    Lyn I love your links this morning, well I always do, but the quality of commentary just goes up and up, so many people easy with writing thoughtful commentary, and you bring them to us day by day.

    No wonder the print media is dying. We outwrite them and we must outfight them. But to do that we must find ways to teach our informed reasoning to those who are ignorant of the realities in Australian politics. And that ain't easy.


    (A nice pun!)
    A good one ~
    And well done ~
    A whole run ~
    Would be fun!

    So, like, there'd be a graph of tax-free entitlements compared imaginatively from $18Q00 to $6000 ... Watch the blood drain from underemployed Mums' faces when that slaps them!

    Some negative graphs about eg jobslashing ... positive ones about eg reef-saving ...  Corrective ones about FREE roof insulation scheme's relative (low) death rates and great benefits ... and the impact of the Price on  Carbon ... and all the BISONs ...

    Anybody good with graphics and graphs? Any good ideas like the above which are a bit boring in themselves I know but YOU LOT are the Brains of this outfit! Anyway we need winning ideas and no-one else to do them just us...


    I'd love to be the person to design the Australian Flag. I've wanted to change the present ignoble one all my life. The Union Jack is a marvellous flag, probably the best of all, but it's a FFF! where the F stands for Foreign!

    To design a new flag is the hardest thing in the world to do, that's why I'd love to do it.

  • Pikiranku

    3/2/2013 12:33:44 PM |

    bob macalba
    That was a terrific article on western Sydney by Mark Latham which you linked to this morning.  I haven't been to Sydney for decades, so it was an eye-opener for me.  
    Anyone who's more familiar with the area care to comment?

  • TalkTurkey

    3/2/2013 1:18:19 PM |

    Somewhere in the dusty Archives of the Hansards of the SA Parliament lies a copy of a Paper written by my late brother Gordon Bilney around 1960, when he was a student at Adelaide University.

    At this time he was completing his second degree, this time in Politics/Economics, having previously completed a six-year course in Dentistry - (which he had quickly come to detest).

    This Paper was entitled
    The Politics of Water Fluoridation in Australia
    and it was presented to the SA Parliament as part of Gordon's Honours Arts degree.

    Essentially it was a perfect segue (I knew one day I'd get a chance to use that word! Smile for Gordon into the world of real politics and he never looked back.

    But the point is that the issues were exactly the same then as they are now. The science was clear and certain: absence of fluoride in water causes chalkiness in teeth, no question. All over the world where it exists naturally in water, or alternatively does not, the evidence of its vital role in the formationof strong teeth was already there and that had been confirmed over and over in clinical trials.

    Well when its introduction into SA water supplies was being mooted, a section of the public went batshit ballistic and have been just as crazy as ever ever since. More so in fact.

    It's a neurotoxin they say, well yes sort of, if you increase the proportion of fluoride many many times above the rate at which it is now routinely added to our mains water.

    It's a plot by big Aluminium Producers to sell a toxic waste byproduct of their process ...

    It's a waste (a waste of a waste material! Smile ) because we only consume a small proportion of the water, the rest of the fluoride is all wasted on washing and such!

    And on and on.

    But the larger truth in here is that the antifluoridationists are just one manifestation of the science-rejecting, reason-defying, ignorance-worshipping subclasses in the community, the people who listen to shock jocks and call for instant elections and who make the most egregious hate comments.

    More threatening still than their irrational objection to fluoridation is their insane rejection of immunisation programs. In some cases they refuse blood transfusions for their children even in life-threatening situations.

    They are mad, and very dangerous.

    They are not accessible to argument, and we must recognise that, and learn to ignore them as we on this site eventually learn to ignore the deliberately obnoxious few who seek to disrupt the decent intercourse here. To take more than a dismissive interest in them is to give them oxygen.

    They are prime territory for Abbortt's rabble-rousing.

    And we must instead talk loud and clear to those not yet completely in thrall to these curdled souls, debunking their lies at every opportunity.

    BTW did you know that if iodine is absent from food you get goitres?  Spectacular swellings in the throat, and serious health effects. So it is routinely added to salt and no-one gets goitres.

    Fluoride addition to the water has had similar success in preventing dental caries.

    But here these zealots are, going batshit ballistic more than ever.

    Ann Bresington! Dog Albitey what can you do!

  • LadyInRed

    3/2/2013 1:22:38 PM |

    Not surprised the demographic of West Syd has changed. Stigma's however take a lot longer to irradicate. I lived in West Syd for many years, I grew up there. It was full of people working hard to improve their lot for the sake of their children. The demographics in Latham's article attest to their hard work paying off. And, in actual fact the Ettamogah pub is down the road from me on the way to the Sunshine Coast near Landsborough.

    TAbbott must be very fearful of Gillard winning some hearts in West Syd so he went out there early to continue to whip up resentment and stir the pot. He puts in his slogans and adds a bit of bile and stirs away. 'I'm not a tourist in Sydney' Honestly there is no line he wont cross. Nastiness oozes out everytime he opens his mouth.

  • bob macalba

    3/2/2013 1:28:50 PM |


    Mark Latham also turns up on the paul murray show on a monday night, also good value to watch as he gives his take on all the nonsense thats taking place, his arguments and points are all delivered with proper facts and figures, watching the usually blubbering bombastic buffoon murray kowtowing to Lathams insider knowledge is fun to watch,  any other times the show is just crap and i wouldnt recommend it to anyone unless Lathams on and in fine form


  • Gravel

    3/2/2013 3:44:42 PM |

    I was disappointed in that article. He is usually pretty reasonable, but instead of expanding and enlightening people what 'they' were up to, he got to the polls and that encompassed everything.  Then the MSM whinge about why Labor can't get its message out.  I just throw my hands up in despair and all this.  To think I used to think that journalists were intelligent!!!!

  • NormanK

    3/2/2013 4:14:32 PM |

    Articles I'd like to see written #245

                              Reeling Abbott rolled

    The faceless men of the Liberal Party have struck a lethal blow to Tony Abbott - one that brings into question his authority and ability to rein in maverick factions.

    As members of the Liberal Party jockey for position in what they believe will be an Abbott government in September, the Canberra Division has defied the federal leader by preselecting former ACT Leader Zed Seselja ahead of Mr Abbott's preferred candidate, frontbencher Senator Gary Humphries. Mr Seselja beat Senator Humphries 114 votes to 84 in the preselection ballot. But many of the 640 members in the Liberal Party's ACT division were not allowed to vote because of confusion over attendances at qualifying meetings.

    So dismayed are some members of the division that they have formally complained to the ACT Office of Regulatory Services, asking them to investigate irregularities in the way in which the preselection ballot was conducted.

    This is not the first time that Mr Humphries and Mr Seselja have bumped heads in a factional dispute.

    In February this year Senator Humphries gloated that his leaking of a secret deal between outgoing ACT Liberal Leader Zed Seselja and leadership contender Alistair Coe had brought the scheme undone. Senator Humphries had said that an agreement had been reached that Mr Coe, who controls the votes of large numbers within the Young Liberals, would support Zed Seselja's preselection bid against Senator Humphries, in exchange for the opposition leadership.

    Mr Coe's leadership bid failed although he was elected deputy to serve under Jeremy Hanson.
    Senator Humphries took to the airwaves to trumpet his victory.

    ''I stand by the comments I made to The Canberra Times on Sunday and in fact I'm pleased that the publication of that story in The Canberra Times on Monday contributed to a decision in the Assembly not to proceed with the plan I had described. I think that is a welcome development.''

    Following Senator Humphries' failed bid for preselection, Mr Abbott took a swipe at the Zed Seselja faction, saying that preselections should be free from "ambush" or "dirty tricks". Mr Abbott made his remarks at a function in Parliament House for Humphries supporters on Wednesday attended by several other members of the Liberal federal caucus.
    Mr Seselja has hit back at his federal leader, describing such comments as "unhelpful".

    In a move that has shades of the Coalition's response to the 2010 election result, Mr Abbott has encouraged Senator Humphries to "pursue any avenue of appeal open to him to regain the No.1 spot on the ACT's Liberal Senate ticket". It seems that for Mr Abbott, no decision is final if it's not one that he agrees with.

  • Michael

    3/2/2013 4:19:42 PM |


    'Senior Coalition figure and former Liberal leader Malcolm Turner has pledged that a Coalition government led by Tony Abbott would adopt a consensus approach to cabinet decision-making, rather than the presidential model adopted by former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, according to The Australian.

    Mr Turnbull said he would seek to foster a team relationship among a cabinet led by Mr Abbott and that a Coalition government would seek to avoid developing a “personality cult” around its leader.

    “Tony has made it clear, and I thoroughly endorse this, that the next Coalition government will be a traditional Westminster cabinet government,” Mr Turnbull told The Australian. “Decisions will be taken collectively. We are not electing a president. There is no president Tony. Tony Abbott will be the prime minister. He will be, as all prime ministers are in Westminster systems, first among equals.”

    Mr Turnbull said that Mr Rudd's experience with running a government where decision-making was largely run out of the prime minister office demonstrated the need to empower cabinet ministers.

    “What happened with Kevin, as we know, is that because he was doing that, decisions just weren't being taken,” Mr Turnbull told The Australian.

    If a Coalition government is formed as a result of the September federal election, Mr Turnbull is expected to take-up a senior cabinet role, perhaps as communications minister given his current role as the Coalition's communications spokesman.'*

    How comprehensively has Brown-Tongue Turnbull has been fooled by Shouldabeen making something "clear". Just said, or written down, Malcolm?

    Or, read it as absolute gospel truth of how Abbott's government will govern, truly a Cabinet of equals, and just think about who he's promised will make up that Cabinet.

    Definitely equals, and if that doesn't scare the daylights out of you, what would it take?


  • lyn

    3/2/2013 5:09:56 PM |

    Hi Ad and Everybody,

    Thankyou TT for your ever loyal support and lovely words of encouragement.

    This pension increase should change some of 2GB listeners minds on who they vote for.

    Our Government is increasing pensions, won't be front page news though:

    age pension, disability pension and carer payment as well as veterans' income support recipients.

        Pensioners get carbon tax return this month

    March 20 single pensioners will receive an
    extra $35.80 a fortnight,
    while couples will receive a combined increase of $54 a fortnight.

    The latest adjustment takes the maximum pension rate to

    $808.40 a fortnight for singles and
    $1218.80 a fortnight for couples

    Under an Abbott Government
    every single pensioner in Australia would lose more than $350 a year and every pensioner couple would lose more than $530 a year

  • Pikiranku

    3/2/2013 5:24:57 PM |

    bob macalba

    Thanks for the Paul Murray info but we don't have Foxtel. (It's the principle, you know.)

    Your links to the mire in NSW were fascinating.  Forget the left/right divide, the line that really counts in NSW is a horizontal one: above the line you have the grafters and crooks who use politics as a means of raking in all the money they can get hold of, and down below you have all the mugs who produce it.


    That description of a democratic, consultative cabinet sounds just like the one we have now!  Hasn't Turnbull noticed that Kevin Rudd is no longer running his presidential-style cabinet, that some time ago the Labor Party gave him the flick.  And did it for all the reasons that Turnbull enunciates.
    Notice that when Turnbull enunciates them they're good reasons; but when the ALP acts on them, they're totally bad.
    And when Julia runs a consensus government and bows to a majority decision (eg. the Palestinian vote) that's weak leadership and lack of authority but when the Libs promise it, that's democracy as it should be.

  • 2353

    3/2/2013 5:46:35 PM |

    Gravel - you are right the article go anywhere in the end but is indicative of the fact that they all know that both tribes have their problems - but only one tribes problems are reported on the front page.  At teh very least is shows a favouring of one side over the other.

    Could be an interesting discussion to ask why?

  • DMW

    3/2/2013 6:47:26 PM |

    you might like to add to the the things you would like to see written:
    Speaking of the Young Liberals. Here in Canberra the Young Liberals – the play actors of politics and wannabe big boys (they are almost always frat boys) – even stood outside a Liberal Party meeting and refused to go in. This made it inquorate to ensure the attendees wouldn’t satisfy attendance rules so they wouldn’t be able to vote in any possible re-run of the Gary Humphries/Zed Seselja ACT Senate battle which saw Zed topple Gary on what looked like branch stacking.

    Zed of course is the preferred candidate of the Young Liberals, and the creationists I have heard, although I cannot yet verify this latter assertion.

    Behaviour protocols for all Liberals @ En Passant by John

    The article in its' entirety is worth consideration.

  • Ad astra

    3/2/2013 8:41:49 PM |

    Hi Lyn
    When the benefits that Labor is now offering the less well off, and the penalties Abbott intends to apply to the same people sinks in, these folk will see who is really caring for them.  Of course, Abbott reckons that these folk would not vote for him anyway, so why should he care?

    Paul Kelly’s write up of Abbott’s ‘return’ to the Westminster system of Cabinet governance was a beat up of monumental proportions.  He contrasted Abbott’s 'intent' with what Kelly described as Rudd’s ‘presidential’ style, as if that was relevant!  Rudd has not been PM for two years, and in part was removed because of that style.  The contrast ought to have been between Abbott’s intention to adopt a consultative style, a consensus seeking style, and the current PM’s style, which is consultative and consensus seeking.  What new would Abbott offer?

    Kelly needed to draw out a contrast in favour of Abbott, so he disingenuously contrasted him with a PM two years out of office.  That is a measure of how Kelly’s partisan bias leads him into deception.

    Abbott’s lack of authority is on now display. He has no counter for the ambition of Zed Seselja, the young man who arrogantly declared himself ACT Chief Minister on the night of the ACT election, only to come second when the votes were counted.  His egotism in challenging the highly respected and well liked Gary Humphries for top spot on the Liberal Senate for the ACT, was too much for Abbott.

    Thanks for the link to the piece that shows 'Liberal' is a misnomer.

  • DMW

    3/2/2013 9:12:09 PM |


    Labor Spokesperson on Coalition Costings

    Guess something like that had to happen. It sounds a bit Orwellian to me but anthows I am sure Dr Leigh will do a superb job.

    Abbott Serves Up Stale Leftovers
    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has re-announced one of his old ideas for the fifth time, Labor Spokesperson for Coalition Costings Dr Andrew Leigh said today.

    “The Coalition today promised $50 million to fund closed circuit television cameras in Sydney”, said Dr Leigh.

    “This is the same policy previously announced by the Coalition on 24 July 2010, 30 August 2011, 8 October 2012 and 14 February 2013. John Howard took a similar policy to the 2007 Election.”

  • DMW

    3/2/2013 9:21:30 PM |

    His egotism in challenging the highly respected and well liked Gary Humphries ...

    ... ummmmmmmmmm,

    As an ACT resident and a potential Humphries voter I beg to differ. I do not like him and my respect for him is such that he is usually placed last on my senate ticket unless some other noxious and abhorrent group runs a couple of candidates.

    Mind you I would likely have put the big Zee below Humphries in the unlikely event both were candidates.

  • Gongite

    3/2/2013 9:46:37 PM |

    Great post and great discussion. I just wanted to make a small comment in relation to Ad Astra's article, which I really enjoyed. There is a reference to Joe Hockey hinting at sovereign risk due to Labor policies (with Campbell Newman identified as making bolder comments on this issue).  But In fact the Coalition as a whole is being quite direct (blatant ?) in making claims about sovereign risk. Just look at page 13 of 'Our Plan': among a list of concerns is included 'Australia's sovereign risk profile, which has dramatically increased with the introduction of these new taxes.' That's more than a hint!

  • Ad astra

    3/2/2013 10:41:14 PM |

    My understanding is that Gary Humphries is well respected and liked among his Liberal colleagues, which is why Abbott backed him.  He may not be so respected and liked by the electorate, as you testify.

    I believe you are a newcomer here, so welcome to The Political Sword family.  Thank you for your kind comments.  Do come again.

    You are right; the ‘sovereign risk’ issue is in ‘Our Plan’.  Thanks for the reminder.

  • MWS

    3/2/2013 11:16:08 PM |

    DMW, like you I enjoy the challenge of completing the Senate ticket "below the line."  I started it when the egregious Noel Crichton-Browne was the top Liberal on the WA Senate ticket, because I wanted to make sure he was absolutely last.  My current practice is to start at either end, writing 1, 2, 3 etc against the candidates I want and the last number backwards against my least-preferred candidates and working out the "middle."

    As most people vote "above the line," I suspect that ballot papers like mine take far longer to register than most people's.

  • DMW

    3/3/2013 1:07:32 AM |

    in the ACT with only two senate spots up for grabs it is a lot easier as there are usually less than twenty candidates so I can use my fingers then my toes to count them off Smile

  • Truth Seeker

    3/3/2013 9:25:42 AM |

    Morning Swordsters, following on the privatisation debate, my latest post  "Tony Abbotts Arse Selling"  Smile

    Cheers   Smile   Smile

  • TalkTurkey

    3/3/2013 9:36:55 AM |

    Breathlessly awaiting Scott Morriscum's appearance on Lopsiders!

    Will Crassidy give him a proper opportunity to explain his loving Christian attitudes to Asylum Seekers?

    Will Tony Abbortt's support of Morriscum's idea of branding Asylum Seekers' foreheads with crescent moons be mooted?

    Will the dread names Ashby & Brough be mentioned, beit ever so sotto voce?

    And of the same-sex marriage of Eddie Obeid and Arfur Sinodinos - any conception?

    Abbortt starting to be queried at last. W

    What if you *CAN'T* abolish the "Carbon Tax"?

    I refuse to even consider the possiblity ...

    There are provisions in the Constitution ...

    The first timid real questions today, barely audible in the media flock, must now grow in volume to a clamor, to a shout, demanding that the and his mob of goons explain their so-called *Plan* for Australia's future.

    Philthy Phil Coorey is forever damned in my eyes after his initial burst today.


  • bob macalba

    3/3/2013 10:16:39 AM |

    Watching insiders and every time coorey speaks its as a tory apologist, smoothing things over whilst pretending objectivity,
    as for cassidy he's been nobbled, the fix is on, Farr seems torn between honest about whats really happening, or his fear of being an outsider and not part of the groupthink, as for George, not to cold, hot cold, he knows abbort would be a disaster for the country sure he could do more to help.
    couldnt bring myself to watch or listen to morriscum, and how the hell does he get a strategic slot on insiders, perfect timing or what?

  • jane

    3/3/2013 10:35:35 AM |

    TT, I suspect the anti-fluoridation campaign is being secretly run by disgruntled dentists who are going to the wall because people's fangs are resisting caries and other bmw earners.

    I'd suggest that Ms Bressington's significant other is a dentist who subscribes to the Liars #1 rule: self interest above all else, closely followed by that tried and tested truism, "If they haven't got bread, let them eat cake. It's got more sugar, so it's better for business."

    Am writing this on my phone, so I have to make it brief. Typos on the phone are very frustrating.

  • TalkTurkey

    3/3/2013 11:22:52 AM |

    Lucky I can usually fit limericks on Twitter's 140 characters - just! Here's one.

    Twas on the good ship Venus~
    The goings on were heinous!~
    The figurehead
    Was Obeid in Bed
    With Arthur Sinodinos!

  • Ad astra

    3/3/2013 11:41:25 AM |

    A few observations about Insiders:  

    If you had not previously noticed it, this morning demonstrated Scott Morrison’s well-practiced approach to media questions: rapid and repeated bursts of automatic verbal gunfire.  He loads his verbal magazines with ammunition, and on cue pulls the trigger and out comes an almost unstoppable barrage that at times is difficult to encompass.  Barrie Cassidy was neither able to stop him, nor get him to address specific questions directly.  Even when Cassidy confronted Morrison with facts that contradicted Morrison’s story, he simply loaded another magazine that reiterated his own story.  Cassidy said the Immigration people knew where the asylum seekers were; Morrison replied that they didn’t.  So the viewer is left having to decide who is right.  The technique of denial of the facts is Morrison’s stock in trade; no doubt, he believes it works for him, at least among Coalition supporters.

    Phil Coorey, now an AFR man, blew out of the water the criticism that Julia Gillard unwisely revealed her Western Sydney visit prematurely when he said he was the one to break the story after a tip-off from someone outside Government.  So all the media criticism of the PM’s strategy was effectively debunked.  Not that this will stop the criticism.

    Another interesting comment came from Malcolm Farr, who recounted three major bloopers that had given Abbott an awful week (Humphries, climate change policy confusion, and Sinodinos), but went on to say: Abbott managed to get away with it.  He said that if any of these had occurred to PM Gillard they would have been blasted over the front pages.  But he fell short of drawing the obvious conclusion:  it was the media that let Abbott get away with it.  Maybe there is a glimmer of awakening, at least in Farr’s mind.

    The Sinodinos affair got a good airing, with skepticism being expressed about whether it was an unintentional oversight.

    Andrew Catsaras’ Poll of Polls told us what we already knew.  His comparisons with similar situations in the past revealed that recovery and victory from such positions has occurred several notable times in the past.  The journalists, not wishing to deviate from the conventional groupthink that Labor is doomed, retreated to: ‘the poor polling is entrenched’, and presumably unmovable.  Yet they conceded that it was around 50/50 before Christmas.  It is they who have entrenched opinions!

    I thought the panel was better balanced today than it would have been with rabid Coalition protagonists there.

    Your piece on privatization Truth Seeker was good reading.

    I’ll be away all day at another family birthday.

  • TalkTurkey

    3/3/2013 11:51:26 AM |

    Muck Fee I can't stand listening to the BS on Press the Meat on Ch 10 with its disgraceful spin, where is Paul Bongiorno, the most reasonable TV interviewer of all imo, has he been sidelined for fairness as I have been anticipating? Riminton, in his seat, was nothing but an interruptive rude attack dog today.

    bob there is not one journalist nor public commentator who has an approach consistently supportive of the Left. Not one. Unless you count Latham, (for whom, Respect! ) Lenore and Bongo are about as close as it gets. And they sure aren't red-raggers eh!

    jane I think there is a lot to what you say, if dentists really cared vicariously about caries Smile they would far more vocal about sugaries but then they'd get less victims in their surgeries.

  • Gravel

    3/3/2013 12:09:52 PM |

    Ad Astra

    Thanks for your report on Insiders.  I have sworn off all political shows, most of the news and only following reports on the internet.

  • Truth Seeker

    3/3/2013 12:32:47 PM |

    Ad, thanks for that, I realy appreciate you feedback   Smile

    TT, love the lymeric   Smile

    KHTAGH, thanks for the links and your input on my site   Smile

    Cheers   Smile   Smile

  • DMW

    3/3/2013 2:54:38 PM |

    Err ... Umm, too much information thanks Tones

    Abbott promises Brookie a lifeline via SMH/SunHerald
    Tony Abbott has given the strongest indication yet that Brookvale Oval won't die if he is elected as prime minister. The leader of the federal opposition was a special guest at Manly's season launch at Brookvale Oval on Friday night.
    If we've got the planning right, if we've got the finances right then we can deliver. And I've got my coach Bronwyn Bishop to make sure I perform on and off the field.''

  • DMW

    3/3/2013 3:05:29 PM |

    Possum Comitatus ‏@Pollytics
    That post by @GordonGraham highlights the key truth about the ALP and the 2013 election. If it's not about Qld, it's not about winning

    Alexander White ‏@alexanderwhite
    @Pollytics ALP unlikely to win seats anywhere... Their calculation is holding the West Syd seats

    Possum Comitatus ‏@Pollytics
    @alexanderwhite Which isn't a plan, its an enormous part of their problem

    Alexander White ‏@alexanderwhite
    @Pollytics ha ha. Five seats in QLD won't make up for the 10 in West Syd. But I take the point that West Syd focus is stupid.

    Possum Comitatus ‏@Pollytics
    @alexanderwhite That's the whole point. "If that's your plan, it's not a solution"

    Queensland and Western Australia are more important than Western Sydney Gordon @ Gordon's Thoughts
    It appears Western Sydney electorates have been designated the “key battleground” for the 2013 federal election by most in the political class.

    The area is mentioned so often in relation to federal politics that it’s become a filter for everything important. What does Western Sydney think about XYZ issue? Politician X made a mistake, how will that be interpreted in Western Sydney?

    In my opinion, the federal election won’t be decided in Western Sydney alone and the purpose of this post is to attempt to make that clear.


    3/3/2013 5:07:56 PM |

    Abbott pulls yet another stunt, picks up 2 pieces of rubbish for the cameras then just buggers off when they are turned off.


    3/3/2013 9:39:00 PM |

    From the comments after the article, very interesting. About inaction of the AFP to investigate Ashbygate.

    Former High Court judge Mary Gaudron explains (in a speech she gave a few years ago) a unique section of our constitution that would compel the AFP to do it’s duty.
    “ The genius of the Australian Constitution lies in a little subsection called section 75(5)[...] It gives the High Court original jurisdiction in which any person, citizen or non citizen seeks mandamus, prohibition or an injunction against an officer of the Commonwealth. As a result of that tiny little subsection, ministers of the federal government, federal public servants, their agents and others acting on their behalf may be compelled to perform their Constitutional and legal duty and may be restrained from acting in excess of their constitutional or legal power. The section, like lamingtons and Australian Rules Football, is all our own; our own peculiar genius. Not surprisingly, governments of both sides have sought from time to time to cut down the operation of that little subsection; and equally not surprisingly, High Court has resisted their attempts every time. That little subsection is quite unique. It has no equivalent, as far as I know, in any other Constitution”.

  • jane

    3/4/2013 12:30:11 AM |

    Ad astra, I doubt that the Coalition gives a toss about the poor and vulnerable. In their twisted world the poor and vulnerable are there to be exploited by and for the rich and powerful.

    And frankly, I'm really not too sure they give a toss about this country.

    Sort of reminds you of the Normans.

    I think the Obeid affair will quietly disappear now that Sinodonis is so firmly enmeshed in the it.

    They can't very well go for Labor's throat without fatally wounding Sinodonis and themselves in the process. And let's face it, his Alzheimer's defence has both feet on the banana peel.

  • TalkTurkey

    3/4/2013 6:25:57 AM |

    You've taken to social media like a grasshopper to a lucerne patch! I seem to see you everywhere these days.

    I dig on your turns of phrase!

    Lynnie I'm up before you post your Links for once.
    Good morning and hope things are drying out.
    And Ad astra, don't work too hard.
    Either of you.
    Save your eyes and brains for the finale.

  • TalkTurkey

    3/4/2013 6:57:53 AM |

    Bushfire Bill at the Wild Western Sydney Show: Do read this.

  • Ad astra

    3/4/2013 11:11:12 AM |

    Hi Lyn
    Your links make fascinating reading. Bob Ellis’ piece about polling is alarming.  It addresses the problem of sampling that we have talked about for ages. Everyone should read it.

    Andrew Catsaras' piece too gives an accurate picture of current polling.  

    Polling is being used to manipulate public opinion; it should be used simply to inform.

    BTW, I couldn’t get the links to Andrew Elder, Gary-Sauer Thompson, and North Coast Voices to work – they all said the page was not available.

    That article by Bushfire Bill on The Pub is essential reading.  Folks, don’t miss the Postscript.  It’s dynamite.

  • Trevor

    3/4/2013 11:24:20 AM |

    I noticed this  "Gillard spruiks $64m gang crime taskforce" headline yesterday on the ABC news website. Now I don't know about others but I find the term, spruiks a bit demeaning.  It conjours images of flashily dressed spivs outside of a circus tent.  So I did quick search of the ABC News website using "spruiks" in the  keyword search. In the first couple of pages it showed twenty articles referring to the PM or the govt, conversely there was only one with Abbott in the headline.   So why would it be that when T Abbott releases a statement he is "making an announcement" or "releasing information" but so often the Govt or Gillard are Spruiking when they do the same?

    Am I being pedantic or is this another example of John Howard's greatest legacy to the LNP ie neutering the ABC.  

  • lyn

    3/4/2013 12:02:10 PM |

    Good Morning Ad,

    I noticed the problem with those three links this morning as quite by chance I checked after posting on TPS.  

    Those three links work ok for me from my Draft and still do, they also work fine from  TWITTER.  

    I don’t think this has anything to do with our TPS problem this morning.

    In the past I have noticed some of the bloggers are moving their articles overnight,particularly those with a lot of pieces eg The Conversation, Ausvotes, Independent Australia.  When they move the pieces I am assuming there is a new URL created after my collection.


  • LadyInRed

    3/4/2013 1:19:22 PM |

    Trevor I agree, and I don't think you are being pedantic. I also took umbrage the words 'charm offensive' used today on ABC News. It really is an opinion in a headline, because when you read on it is the PM outlining a 5 point plan to the Western Sydeny electorate. It's insidious.

  • 42 long

    3/4/2013 6:11:57 PM |

      I feel at home at TPS, but I also post on wixxy, (Peter Wicks) and wordpress gave me the moniker "claritee", so I'm probably stuck with that. No attempt at concealment, or claiming any special skill(s).
       The double standards of the MSM are so obvious. They don't even have the decency to try and hide it.
       Perhaps this indicates overconfidence or straight contempt.
      I hope the Bastards trip up somewhere. Bring on a Leveson type show. What is the difference between what is happening here and what went on in the UK?
      Just imagine a reversal of the roles if one can for a moment.
        Just imagine the LNP had run a woman for PM and labor supporters pilloried that person as the LieNP do.
      How would the MSM react to that?  Many of the LieNP supporters who Demean & Vilify her are themselves women. What gives?

  • 2353

    3/4/2013 6:58:46 PM |

    I suspect there is a mood for challenging the "Abbott good" reporting happening.  

    There are a couple of reasons for this.

    First, Abbott has effectively gone to ground.  If you have a Leader that is alleged to be in an election winning position both personally and for his political party - why would you hide him?  From a marketing perspective it would be better to have him attending the opening of an envelope if it meant he would be able to interact constructively with people one-on-one.

    Second.  Kathryn Murphy had an opinion piece on the Fairfax sites today discussing Pyne's call for "chalk and talk" teaching.  There are a number of comments on the site and there is a considerable number of them that are critical of the content of the piece and extremely critical of any comments that could be construed as supporting Pyne.  Even six months ago - that didn't happen.

    Third.  Newman and O'Farrell are being compared to Abbott and it seems from the other side of the Country that Barnett's got a fight on his hands as well.  It was also interesting to read on one of Lyn's links today that the media will admit to group think - and that Abbott has some tougher times coming in the media coming his way.

    If the ALP don't stuff it up too badly, it may lead to a comfortable election win in a similar fashion to Obhama's "come from behind" victory.  Where is the Australian Nate Silver?  The closest we have is Possum - and I haven't seen him on Crikey for a long time.

  • 42 long

    3/4/2013 7:05:51 PM |

      Someone will have to make way for Arthur Synodinis sp? Howard notary and mover and shaker. He may be tarnished somewhat being part of NSW shenanegans. Pyne may be compromised in many ways. The LNP don't have a "lilly white" group by any means. Much depends on keeping a "LID" on things. Cat on a hot tin roof?

  • Ad astra

    3/4/2013 9:13:53 PM |

    bob macalba
    The 'climate on steroids' report got a run on the ABC, and from your link on Sky News, it got some airplay there.  I wonder how much oxygen it got elsewhere in the Fourth Estate?

    If only headlines would blast out these sentences: "...last summer 123 records were broken throughout Australia in 90 was the nation's hottest summer, capped by the longest and most extreme heatwave on record.

    Prof Steffen said the findings of the new report into last summer's extreme weather events showed climate change was real.

    'I think what this is telling us is that climate change is not some hypothetical thing that will occur in the future, the climate has actually changed,' he told reporters on Monday."

    Will Abbott take note - not I imagine with Lord Monckton hanging around Rooty Hill!

  • 2353

    3/4/2013 9:49:16 PM |

    Found this tonight and thought it interesting for two reasons.  It demolishes Turnbull's claimed popular opposition to the NBN as well as showing how an opinion poll should be written up.

    An extensive survey of residents in the early stage National Broadband Network rollout zone in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick has shown that 89 percent backed the NBN as a “good idea”, even if they hadn’t immediately signed up to use the project’s fibre infrastructure.

  • bob macalba

    3/5/2013 12:11:43 AM |

    It got a run on SBS as well, now we wait for greg hunts feeble explanations on how its all been misinterpreted and only he knows how to analyze the information properly,  im looking forward to watching his reply as he doesnt tell lies very well, he might tell lots and lots of them but he's not very convincing,

    paul murray live from the Rooty Hill RSL...panel included david oldfield, local tory mp [forget his name] Ed Husic and Mark Latham and of course the large gathering of angry punters from out west to be part of his live show, murrays been promoting this event all week encouraging the [PM]Gillard haters to turn up and vent their anger on his show 'live' from Rooty Hill RSL, well they turned up as planned so halfway through the show he ventured out into his audience to ask some hard hitting questions and in less than 3 minutes he had exhausted them...all 6 of them...yep '6' thats the best they could do.  and again Latham was a champion for the team with excellent backup from Husic,  the tory bloke was silent for most of the show and oldfield was a dogwhistling dickhead, all in all a bad result for murray and his backers, the audience of no consequence proved that, back to the drawing board murray you sad sad wannabee

  • NormanK

    3/5/2013 10:37:01 AM |

    Good morning Lyn,

    Thank-you for all of your lovely links. I'm an infrequent commenter lately but I can't resist the lure of your comprehensive links.

    Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication. ♡♡♡

  • lyn

    3/5/2013 12:16:06 PM |

    Hello Norman,

    How nice of you thankyou.

    We have been missing you but you still belong to us.

    Norman past little while you have been infrequent but you sure make up lost time when we read your magnificent posts.

    Have you noticed lots of new blogs emerging everyday, providing us with a massive amount of factual opinions.

    I hope your duties are becoming more routine & organized, thus making the hard work a little lighter for you. We are proud of you NormanK.


  • 2353

    3/5/2013 12:34:56 PM |

    Abbott's past is coming back to haunt him.

    From this story ->  comes this Yesterday Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised an unspecified amount of Commonwealth funding for the motorway, as long as it connects through to the city and the port, and does not include tolls on roads that are currently free.

    The announcement created a new stoush between Ms Gillard and New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell, who said the Prime Minister's demands would add up to $8 billion to the project, which is already estimated to cost between $10 billion and $13 billion.

    Mr Abbott responded to the announcement yesterday, saying: "I think what the Prime Minister has done today has set up a new fight with the State Government, not a real commitment to actually make this thing happen."

    In January Mr Abbott told News Limited it was not good enough the WestConnex project did not include an expressway through to the city.

    "The WestConnex project is still evolving but we'll ensure there's an expressway-standard road from the west to the city as part of our commitment. It has to be in there," he was quoted as saying.

    Asked today whether that remained his position, Mr Abbott sidestepped the question and instead focused on Ms Gillard's announcement.

    "What the Prime Minister was doing yesterday was not committing to get it built, she was committing to have a fight," he said.

    So the Prime Minster is "committing to have a fight" when the Federal LNP position up until recently was exactly the same.  Go figure.

  • bob macalba

    3/5/2013 12:42:08 PM |

    just finished all your wonderful links, so many so relevant,
    thankyou for your efforts..cheers

  • Janet (jan@j4gypsy)

    3/5/2013 2:03:36 PM |

    Morning all. Some Twitterstuff after some days of absence. The posting of Twitterati and T-verse will go on being spasmodic for this week and next (as I spend a little time in beautiful SA and catch up with a Swordie or two or three); so, my apologies. But our yellow-feathered birdie is really sourcing the juiciest L-L blog in the last little while. I’m with NormanK – missing Lyn’s reading as an adjunct to Ad’s posts is just not an option!

    Steve Thompson ‏@stevethompson49
    @ABCNews24 are now per-announcing Tony Abbott’s media conferences, to make sure we don’t miss even one. Oh, and the PM will also be there.

    Adrian B ‏@Volvo_of_doom
    MSM asks if anyone is listening to PM. It should ask itself if it is reporting what happens or framing it to suit its perceived interests.

    Stop the Botox ‏@felft
    PM @JuliaGillard I watched you on breakfast news today. You're being far too nice. ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK they're hurting you at every turn.

    David Horton ‏@watermelon_man
    A thought - how about Labor hire Peta Credlin? If she can do this much with crap candidate, think what she could do with excellent one like PM

    Sheila NomNomDePlume ‏@stinginthetail
    ... "come to Oz the right way" says Tony Abbott - on lower wages with no rights? Yay, says Gina - i can haz slaves!

    Shirley Green ‏@ShirleyGreen11

    I would like to build an Abbott-proof fence right around Australia.

    Elliot Giakalis ‏@ElliotG78
    Comedic gold RT“@tip66: TAbbott just said on @774melbourne when asked about new weather records ‘records are made to be broken’.”

    Lady Bea Morgan ‏@ladybmorgank
    Thompson's lawyer calls Abbott an "idiot". Can't say I didn't see this coming, following Abbott's comments at NPC #auspol

    Tim Christodoulou ‏@tim_chr
    Every single platform at Richmond has the front page of @TheHeraldSun advertised on it. Not looking good for Baillieu. #springst

    sortius ‏@sortius
    Getting rid of #Faillieu won't change the fact that LNP in Victoria is rotten to the core. #springst

    Herman Koop ‏@limchit85
    @senatormilne never hear Abbott talking about the cost of his own carbon tax. $1800 per household/year. No compensation

    AshGhebranious ‏@AshGhebranious
    Abbott lies that removal of carbon tax will cut 10% off your electricity bill. Half the bill is infrastructure re the wires

    Vince O'Grady ‏@vogrady2132
    @YaThinkN Friend of mine running for Parl introduced himself to Grattan, gave card and she screwed it up as he walked away Arrogant.Self cen

    Robert Oakeshott MP ‏@OakeyMP
    One demonises foreign arrivals, the other demonises foreign workers. A pox on both, and to anyone who swallows this xenophobic rubbish.

    julianburnside ‏@JulianBurnside
    #qanda The reward for Abbott's views on climate change will be climate refugees coming to Australia. Perfect irony

    David Kirkpatrick ‏@daveyk317
    @latikambourke is it true: OL Tony Abbott has lunch at News Ltd HQ every week to discuss #GetGillard strategies?

    aidan ricketts ‏@rickettsa
    Direct action the flame that boils the pot of social change … #csg #lockthegate #nswpol #agchatoz #investors #stocks

    Race to Bottom Geek ‏@geeksrulz
    Abbott ducks questions on asylum seeker protocols  & sidesteps questions on CBD link  #auspol

    Ben Eltham ‏@beneltham
    Worse than you think: Internet really is killing off journalism, writes Robert McChesney

    Ross Gittins ‏@1RossGittins
    Joe Hockey much underestimated - my column  #ausecon #auspol

    Lorraine R-Haddon ‏@lmrh5
    Morrison sees votes in anti-Muslim strategy … via @smh

    "Julia Gillard hits back at Tony Abbott's claim that she is demonising foreigners "

    Stephen Tuck` ‏@Imagine4756
    82% of early stage residents back #NBN | Delimiter … via @delimiterau #auspol #ausvotes #election2013

    Mark Lerno ‏@MarkLerno
    @TurnbullMalcolm Just in case you think Australia is alone in rolling out FTTH...oh wait, you knew that already!

    Askgerbil Now ‏@Askgerbil
    Greg Hunt: "Network costs are to blame for the significant increases in power bills." (NOT a carbon tax Smile … #auspol

    Mari R ‏@randlight … But will the idiots wake up to this too late?

    Nellie ‏@woolkebb
    @OakeyMP @TonyWindsorMP great interview - must watch

    HannahQuinn ‏@NannaHannah
    Tony Abbott tells a lie about AFP funding.:  via @youtube

    Graham Readfearn ‏@readfearn
    Climate science denier Lord Monckton caught out telling porky pies.. again. … #climate

    350 dot org ‏@350
    This summer was a record-breaker for Australia:  #ConnectTheDots
    Retweeted by Clinton McRobert

    Dr Mark Bahnisch ‏@MarkBahnisch
    Hospital privatisation will hurt those in need, doctors warn | Sunshine Coast Daily #qldpol

    margo kingston ‏@margokingston1
    Victorian planning minister in secret donor dinners/planning approval claims … Anyone in politics to serve community?

    newmatilda ‏@newmatilda
    Tasmania's anti-discrimination law has the fewest exceptions - and is the most widely lauded  #auspol #newmatilda

    Malcolm Fraser ‏@MalcolmFraser12
    Open our hearts, and our doors, to refugees … via @theage Please read, react for or against

    Imre Salusinszky ‏@Imresal
    Game Council under fire for licensing children to hunt

    Mark Colvin ‏@Colvinius
    Australian Human Rights Commissioner barred from visiting Australian-run asylum seeker prisons

    YvonneCorcoranNantes ‏@YvonneCorcoranN
    Murdoch's bile driven publications braying down on #BradleyManning. One flew over the cuckoos nest ? #world

  • Pappinbarra Fox

    3/5/2013 2:42:54 PM |

    Hailing, as I do, from Papua New Guinea, I see some serious similarities between a former PNG PM Bill Skate and our beloved LOTO. The following article was produced while Bill Skate was still PM (a 7.30 Report) - If you substitute Tony Abott for Bill Skate - can you see it reads resoundingly truthful -

    Just days after [Papua New Guinea's] Australia’s PM [Bill Skate] Tony Abbott caused a major diplomatic controversy by recognising Taiwan, the unpredictable leader today shocked the country further by announcing his intention to resign.
    In power for just two years, [Bill Skate] Tony Abbott says he'll stand down to restore political stability to the country, ahead of a parliamentary no-confidence motion against him next week.
    The Taiwan deal is hardly the first time [Bill Skate] Tony Abbott has been embroiled in controversy.
    His term has been dogged by allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement.
    But while [Bill Skate] Tony Abbott managed to tough out those allegations, he was unable to survive the desertion of his coalition partners.

    Is it possible that the election of the LOTO in September could bring Australia's democracy to crises point and have our country's administration look like a rabble?

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    3/5/2013 3:19:05 PM |


    I think the Obeid affair will quietly disappear now that Sinodonis is so firmly enmeshed in the it.

    They can't very well go for Labor's throat without fatally wounding Sinodonis and themselves in the process. And let's face it, his Alzheimer's defence has both feet on the banana peel.


    Yeah sure.

    Accountant Sid Sassine's job 'to hide' name of Eddie Obeid and family, ICAC hears


    Say, has Bob MacCretin come out from behind Ad Astra's apron yet? What a nancy boy he is; he can dish it out but he can't cop it. Hurry Mr MacCretin and get Ad Astra to delete my post.

  • Truth Seeker

    3/5/2013 3:33:04 PM |

    Hi Swordsters, with the revelation of Abbotts lunch dates at News HQ, I have just posted the last in the trilogy of "Abbotts Arse"   Smile

    Cheers   Smile   Smile

  • Ad astra

    3/5/2013 4:30:59 PM |

    Hi Lyn
    Your links made great reading.  Several on the NBN highlighted its popularity and the folly of trying to modify it to cut cost.  It is simply too important for the Coalition to mess with it.

    On global warming, Greg Hunt showed his ingenuousness again when he commented that some parts of the world were cold.  Of course they were.  But the fact that he said this shows that he still wishes to cast doubt on climate change science, which by now is virtually beyond challenge.  He must know what he’s doing as he can read and comprehend the scientists’ reports like anyone else.  He’s still at it, despite the 123 records broken this year.  But as Abbott said today, in response to these records: “Records are made to be broken”.  This is the man who wants to be PM!

    Your Twitter talk is fascinating.  

    I found the piece on journalism alarming: Mainstream media meltdown  It concluded: ”There is probably no better evidence that journalism is a public good than the fact that none of America’s financial geniuses can figure out how to make money off it. The comparison to education is striking. When managers apply market logic to schools, it fails, because education is a cooperative public service, not a business. Corporatized schools throw underachieving, hard-to-teach kids overboard, discontinue expensive programs, bombard students with endless tests, and then attack teacher salaries and unions as the main impediment to “success.” No one has ever made profits doing quality education—for-profit education companies seize public funds and make their money by not teaching. In digital news, the same dynamic is producing the same results, and leads to the same conclusion.”

  • bob macalba

    3/5/2013 5:04:03 PM |

    im here, missed you heaps

  • bob macalba

    3/5/2013 5:09:39 PM |

    nice twitter stuff.. thankyou,

    Ad.. old mates back all bluster and bravado but its cool i will just ignore the stoopid stoopid chap


    3/5/2013 5:59:46 PM |

    Lovely links lyn ♥♥♥

      Did anyone else catch the comment last night on QandA when the net nerd said, "I'm not sure on that, I'll just follow what J Bishops says", lieberal plant?

      Didn't Ms Bishop struggle with "Behavioral Protocols". Tony Jones actually seems to have grown a set of balls over Xmas, he is actually calling the Libs out.

  • 42 long

    3/5/2013 6:29:29 PM |

    It wouldn't take great perception. Just the desire, on Jones's part Who knows what is going on at the abc? Murdoch will want it cheap so anything is possible. Surprising they yield to the bullying of the MSM. Unless it was managed by the h.R.Nichols Soc. It would be too left wing for them. There should be no legitimate forum for lefty views in this country under Mr Abbott.

  • 2353

    3/5/2013 6:41:07 PM |

    I wonder if Abbott will gut the ABC as a part of his Public Service "reforms"?  Newman and O'Farrell cut everywhere.  There are a number of intensive care beds in Queensland that were deemed to be surplus to requirements - so why would the ABC be exempt?

    Just saying. . .

  • bob macalba

    3/5/2013 8:17:06 PM |

    The 'nerd' was in damage control, he pissed off a lot of people last time he was on QA, this piece explains why


  • Sir Ian Crisp

    3/5/2013 8:21:56 PM |

    I see the bird of paradox is still enjoying her Rooty Hill Club Med holiday. I notice she is avoiding shopping centre appearances.

  • DMW

    3/5/2013 8:54:54 PM |

    Hard to believe that at this time 30 years ago today we (at least those of us that watched the count) were witness to a monumental changing of the guard.

    Yep, 5 March 1983, the day Australia elected the first Hawke government.

    It was also the day that Malcolm Fraser let down his guard and showed he was (is) actually human.

    Geoff Pryor in the Canberra Times the next day gave us this drawing -  which summed it up so well there was no need to read the story.

  • DMW

    3/5/2013 9:00:31 PM |

    2353 @ 6:41 PM,
    the ABC is QANGO and as such its' staff numbers are not counted in the public service numbers.

    The simple way that governments over the years have 'cut ABC staff numbers' is by cutting the budget allocation to the 'venerable broadcaster'.

    Less $ = less staff & less services.

  • DMW

    3/5/2013 9:01:55 PM |

    the ABC is a QANGO

  • 2353

    3/5/2013 10:05:53 PM |

    DMW - the ownership structure didn't stop Newman.  Queensland Rail is a GOC (Government owned Corporation - the favoured term up here) and they were told to cut staff.  If I worked for anything to do with the Federal Government at the moment I would be hoping that Abbott isn't elected in September.

  • DMW

    3/5/2013 10:16:48 PM |

    this, which gives some insights into the 'tactics' of the public service might interest you.

    Go past the headline and get into the 'guts' of the article.

  • jane

    3/6/2013 12:25:11 AM |

    Ad astra 9.13pm 4/3, I can vouch for the unusually high temperatures this summer. Where I live, the low to mid twenties are normal summer temperatures.

    January is usually pretty cool; my kids had to wear wet suits for swimming lessons because the water was so cold, helped along by strong south westerly sea breezes (of around 20+ knots). Well we reckon they're breezes. Smile

    But over the last few summers, there's been less wind and temperatures in the high twenties and early thirties are being consistently recorded.

    I, for one, am not happy about it. I want my cool summers back. I don't do heat.

    Great links, as usual, Lyn.

  • TalkTurkey

    3/6/2013 12:48:56 AM |

    Truth Seeker:

    Here at last!
    Abbortt falls on his arse!
    The MSM canned it but
    They've been bypassed!  

    Personal Thanks to pixilatedme‏@pixilatedme and others on Twitter who replied to my call for someone to let me see the footage - which the ABC had kept from view so successfully.

    I'm told they showed it ONCE.

    Salutations to the Eagle Eyes of the Fighting 5th Estate for being on the job and preventing this footage simply ceasing to exist - just like the records the Party didn't want in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four!

    Had it not been for social media I would never have seen this.
    *J*U*L*I*A*s fall was played ad nauseam, for a week. So funny!

    Such nice juxtaposition in the relative responses of our disgraceful Media.

    We Will Get Them Comrades. Double the fist! Talk to workmates and friends and rellies. Don't be afraid that it is in bad taste to bring politics to tea and bikkies. This is a fight for the shape of the future of Australia and niceties don't cut it.

    (But it's not a good idea to talk politics in a pub!)

    Comrades do join the Labor Party if you aren't in it already, well you make your own mind up on that of course but it will help everyone's morale if many people join now. I would stick a feather in my cap to know that even one person had joined because of me. Now is the Time ...

  • TalkTurkey

    3/6/2013 2:03:07 AM |

    Thanks for the reminder of that joyous day 30 years ago - My brother Gordon had just wrested Kingston from Grunt Chapman, (and I was part of that fight, climbing Stobie poles and hanging off bridges putting up the very first new-thing-Corflute signs in places to trump the Liberals) and BobAwke had just wrested Australia from Malcolm Fraser who was there blubbering on TV making us feel so-o-o-o sorry for him O yeah I don't think.  

    Believe you me Comrades, there is nothing in the world like winning an election for the People's Party. Better than money, sex, drugs, (not that I've ever had any of those Smile ) and we have the chance to help achieve that feeling again, after this most-horrible-ever last parliament!

    Don't let the chance slip past Folks, help wherever you can, actively think of ways to take our Truth to the grassroots.
    I'm so fearful for the young people, and for the future of the environment, and for human minds in an Australia reigned over by a Catholic fundamentalist zealot and his Papist cabal.

    Dog Alfighty Comrades don't let that happen!

    Put every effort in that you can, encourage others to do likewise, and we WILL win.

    Which I reckon sounds great when you shout it (even inside your own head) in Espagnole:


    The rallying cry of the Sandinista!

  • Truth Seeker

    3/6/2013 7:12:47 AM |

    TT, Nice one   Smile   Smile

    Cheers   Smile

  • Truth Seeker

    3/6/2013 7:57:08 AM |


    Abbott’s Known for his brain farts
    And he doesn’t have much class
    But he can’t pass wind in the usual way
    Cos Murdoch owns his arse

    Cheers   Smile   Smile

  • TalkTurkey

    3/6/2013 10:43:41 AM |

    Greetings All,


    We have settled on

             FRIDAY 15th
         "The Ides of March"
          at NOOOOONNNN
           aka 12 Midday
             for our

         To be gourmandised* at
        The cheapo eatery upstairs
           *Cafe Junction*
          SKYCITY CASINO !

             CHEAP MEALS

    There is only one(-too-many!) casino in Adelaide, you won't get the wrong one. Why it is called SKYCITY I do not know. Maybe because there's nothing much else! It is exactly in the same building as Adelaide Railway Station on North Terrace, immediately west of Parliament House.

    Hey come on More People, do come, and let us know you're coming.

    *Well not quite cordon bleu ...

  • TalkTurkey

    3/6/2013 11:04:59 AM |


    There was Abbortt in his "Community Cabinet Meeting"
    I only saw it for a few seconds when he invited questions fromn the floor -
    And instantly @ABCNews24 CUT THE FEED,
    very very obviously on cue.

    This is absolutely RIDICULOUS!

    Who is giving the orders here? As if we didn't know.

    Mark Scott doing Abbortt's bidding, Credlin giving Abbortt orders to run rather than face questions, Rupert Murdoch at the top pulling all the marionette strings.

    Sort of like the My Fair Lady record cover, but not funny at all.

  • Crowey

    3/6/2013 11:57:10 AM |

    The Prime Minister advisers are making a big mistake if they don't allow Julia Gillard to mingle with people at shopping centres to get first hand knowledge of what their gripes are, Abbott and Hockey are doing it, why not Julia.

  • 2353

    3/6/2013 12:08:34 PM |

    Thanks DMW,

    The article you refer to seems to suggest the Federal Public Service have learnt from the Queensland and New South Wales LNP Governments and are in "survival" mode.  The pity is that some of them won't - and Canberra will again be on the receiving end of the same economic downturn as when Howard was elected.

  • MWS

    3/6/2013 1:06:22 PM |

    An interesting analysis of Australia's electricity consumption this Summer.

    The take-home message is that peak demand has dropped, most probably because of the installation of PV panels.  This is confirmed by the peak demand shifting from early afternoon (when the PV panels have their maximum output), to much later in the afternoon (when PV panels are less effective.

    The author suggests that greater use of PV panels could result in two peak demand periods every day - and that this needs to be managed.

    Apparently 25% of SA homes have PV panels - great job!

  • bob macalba

    3/6/2013 1:28:55 PM |

    rosie hopgood is a bullshit artist of the highest order

    you gotta larf at her stoopidity though, she has to live with the snickering and finger pointing after this, poor sap

  • Ad astra

    3/6/2013 1:49:08 PM |

    Hi Lyn
    What an interesting collection of links you gave us again this morning.

    The IA piece by David Donovan: Free market ideology is outstanding and frightening.  Anyone wanting to envisage Abbott’s Australia should read it.  He puts paid to ‘trickle down economics’, upon which the free market ideology rests.

    Mark Bahnisch gives a glimpse of what will emerge from another Costello review if Abbott succeeds.

    Truth Seeker’s piece gives an astute glimpse of an Abbott government.  Joe Hockey must be feeling desperate as Abbott continues to promise while eschewing revenue.

    Bob Ellis is his usual optimistic self, and Peter Lewis and Jackie Woods gives some substance to Ellis’ optimism in The game's not up: could voters have a change of heart?, a piece that might strike fear into Federal Coalition hearts, especially as the Baillieu affair escalates, and one of his members, Geoff Shaw, under investigation for misuse of an official car, quits the Liberal Party.  I can imagine them fearing that the tantalizing Federal prize they assume is almost within their grasp, slipping away, just as it does in a bad dream.  It’s a relief to see the Coalition under the microscope instead of Labor.

    This evening I’ll be posting The curse of the opinionistas, which focuses on the quality of opinion offered by media commentators.

    It’s hot here in Melbourne too – over 30 degrees C for many days.  Having lived my first eleven years in Queensland, I don’t mind the heat or the humidity.  I hope it soon cools for you.

    VENCEREMOS! indeed. Especially on 15 March at Café Junction.

    bob macalba
    The Libs are saying no bye-election will be needed!

    I’ll be out for a few hours.

  • nasking

    3/6/2013 2:11:53 PM |







    Three MPs quit Queensland's LNP in a week
    ABC News Updated Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:00pm AEDT

    After a week of public political mudslinging two more Queensland Government MPs have resigned. Brisbane-based MP, Carl Judge, and Gold Coast MP, Alex Douglas, have both had showdowns with the Liberal National Party leadership this week. Former LNP MP Ray Hopper defected to Katter's Australia Party earlier this week.


    MEMORIES...DEC 1st, 2010:

    Mr Abbott declined to comment yesterday when asked about his stoush with the NSW Liberal president, Natasha Maclaren-Jones, who he wants removed immediately and replaced with Mr Howard's former right-hand man Arthur Sinodinos. Ms Maclaren-Jones and Mr Abbott were due to meet tomorrow.


    MEMORIES...JAN 25th 2012:

    The normally placid, even somnolent, world of Victorian politics was shaken on Monday when premier Ted Baillieu announced the departure of his long-time chief-of-staff Michael Kapel, who will take up the position of Victoria’s commissioner for the Americas based in San Francisco.

    It’s fair to say that Kapel has been a controversial figure in the Baillieu government. He was central last year to the “Overland affair”, in which he met with disaffected deputy police commissioner Ken Jones. Although the investigation did not accuse Kapel of any wrongdoing, there was a widespread impression that he had acted unwisely...

    Kapel’s replacement is Tony Nutt, probably the Liberal Party’s most widely respected machine person. Originally from Western Australia, Nutt has been state director in NSW and Victoria, senior adviser in John Howard’s office for almost a decade, and most recently Baillieu’s head of the cabinet office.

    Cheers to all.

  • bob macalba

    3/6/2013 2:15:31 PM |

    The tory buggers are in self destruct mode all over the country,

  • Ad astra

    3/6/2013 2:17:47 PM |

    It is good to see you back.

    You are right - the Libs are looking shaky, but I'm sure they will smart-talk their way out of the mess, if the MSM lets them.

  • Gravel

    3/6/2013 2:39:42 PM |

    Ad Astra

    What do you mean, IF the media let them.  It will BE the media that brushes it aside as if it is nothing.  I'm also reading on twitter that Victoria is now in recession.

  • Truth Seeker

    3/6/2013 4:16:58 PM |

    Ad, thanks for your review, i greatly appreciate your endorsement and continued support   Smile

    Nas, great to see you back posting,   Smile   Hope you are feeling better mate.
    best wishes to you and S, and please drop a comment in to my musings when you get a chance, I would be very interested to hear how you are going   Smile

    Cheers   Smile   Smile

  • 2353

    3/6/2013 4:31:54 PM |

    Bob - that was a nice article on morning tea at the Hopgood's place.  Exaggeration hit firmly to the fence for 6 and a nice line in sarcasm.

    There are elements of the media that have seen the "light"

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    3/6/2013 5:02:29 PM |

    While some think it may be poor form to remind Ad Astra of previous comments, I think Sir Ian Crisp made a great contribution on the last thread - when he reminded us of the way Ad Astra used to laud the opinion polls when they showed the government to be incredibly popular under Rudd.

    Tom of Melbourne

    Tom, I agree with you about Sir Ian Crisp and his great contribution.

  • bob macalba

    3/6/2013 7:30:04 PM |

    ted baillieu steps down from tory leadership, looking for a link

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    3/6/2013 7:38:19 PM |


    Please don't bother with your carbon tax bullshit. There is no carbon tax. Gillard said she wanted a price on carbon emissions and that's what we have; all the sophistry in the world cannot get around that FACT.


    Jane, your prime minister disagrees with you.

    Julia Gillard finally admits it's a tax

    JULIA Gillard has been accused of breaking a second carbon tax promise by appearing to commit to an emissions trading scheme in 2015 regardless of what other countries do.

    She was yesterday also forced to again clarify whether the carbon tax was a tax and not some other mechanism that worked "effectively" like a tax. Ms Gillard conceded it was, in fact, a tax.


    I should imagine in Jane's strange world people don't pay income tax; they pay a price on labour.

  • Ad astra

    3/6/2013 7:40:35 PM |

    bob macalba has broken the news that Ted Baillieu is to stand down.  This seems extraordinary, but reinforces the view that he has not doing been doing well, and with the tapes released about the Simon Overland affair, he has been under a lot of pressure that he has not handled well.  I suspect that his departure has a lot to do with clearing the decks before Tony Abbott suffers too much collateral damage.  We are living in interesting times.

  • Ad astra

    3/6/2013 7:43:53 PM |

    The ABC is giving the Baillieu resignation airplay.  I wonder how News Limited will portray it tomorrow?

  • Sir Ian Crisp

    3/6/2013 8:22:07 PM |

    Ad Astra, I notice that you have taken to TPS with an eraser. Well done! Did your conscience gnaw away at you? You probably deleted several 'abusive' posts by your TPS pets before I pointed out what a whited sepulchre you appear to be.

Comments are closed