Phudget 2010

In their clubhouse on Canberra Avenue, the shadowy Kanberra Kricket Klub is convening a special meeting to discuss this year’s budget proposals. All elected officials are present at the head table and a sizable contingent of Ordinary Members fill the plastic chairs lining the rear of the room.

Tony (Chair)


Welcome all. I see we have a uh quorum so I’ll declare this meeting open. Tonight we are here to discuss proposals put forward in Joe’s budget but, but, time allowing, we will deal with any ah General Business that arises.

Could I be the first to say ah Joe that I am ah I am greatly impressed and ah heartened to see that you have brought the Klub’s finances back into the, the, the black after such a shocking shortfall last season.

Joe


Thank-you Mr Chair. The Kanberra Kricket Klub can move forward this year with confidence and certainty now that the budget is showing a surplus.

Andrew


Tell ‘em how you did it, Joe?

Joe

How WE did it, Andrew. (chuckle) Well, it wasn’t too hard really. We just sat down with a couple of bottles and a piece of paper and moved the numbers around, added them up, moved them around some more, had a drink, cut a whole heap of projects, moved the numbers around a bit more, added them up again and Hey Presto! - a surplus! I don’t know why those guys over at the ALP are always making such a fuss.

Malcolm

How much did you manage to save?

Joe

Forty-seven THOUSAND dollars!

Malcolm (smiling)

That’s a big number.

Joe  (frowning)

Hey! You KNEW I wanted to say that!

Malcolm

I'm not saying that you’re cooking the books but there is something fishy here. I’d like to see your modelling.

Joe

You mean like - casual evening wear? Formal? Swimwear?

Malcolm

Ee-ooh no! I meant economic modelling. Doesn’t matter. How did you swing such big savings? Cut a deal with the minors, did you? Higher membership fees.

Unknown (from the back of the room)

No! New! Taxes!

Tony

There will be NO NEW TAXES! How many times do I have to say it?

Joe (waving a single sheet of A4) (double spaced)

Have you bothered to read my briefing notes?

Tony

Malcolm, I think you are uh you are being uh obstructionist. I’m still not sure how it is that you are allowed to speak at these meetings.

Malcolm

Because when you shafted me, Tony, forty-nine percent of the Klub thought I should be given a position at the table.

Tony

Yeah but it’s not really a position, is it? Member in Charge of the Trophy Cabinet. The bloody thing’s ....... uh ....... the thing’s .... ah ......... the bloody thing’s bloodywell empty!

Malcolm

That’s not the point though is it? We wouldn’t want to be taken by surprise by a win this year and find we were unprepared to accommodate our shining achievement.

Win or lose, always be prepared, Mr Chair. Be very prepared.

A furtive movement in the doorway attracts the room’s attention. All eyes turn to a forlorn bespectacled figure slinking into a front row seat.

Tony

John! John? What are you doing here?

John

I was just passing and I thought perhaps you could use my help.

Barnaby

Having a bit of trouble filling your days, eh John? I’d have thought something on the world stage would be more in your league.

John

Yes. Ahem. As you very well know Barnaby, I put in for a job but they said I didn’t have enough experience. It seems running a country for eleven years wasn’t good enough for them. I thought some old friends (who owe me one or two favours) might be able to help with some on-the-job training. Deputy Chair perhaps, that sort of thing.

I’ve got over fifty-five years experience in watching cricket, you know.

Tony

That’s ah very kind of you John but as you can see we ah already have a Deputy Chair.

John

Yes but she’s a female. What does she know about googlies and doosras and yorkers and switch-hitting?

There is a loud crackling of electricity, the distinct smell of ozone in the air and a sickening crunching of bones and tendons as Julie turns her head through 360 degrees.

David

Oh knock it off Julie! We all know they’re just contact lenses.

John

That’s a neat trick with the ozone though. I could’ve used that back in the day.

Tony

John, we really ah must press on. You’re ah welcome to stay and observe if you like. Joe, the Treasurer’s Report.

Joe

Thank-you Mr Chair. Since you’re being so picky Malcolm, we’ll go through my COMPREHENSIVE briefing notes. First we rethought our border protection plans.

David

Oh no. We are still building the three metre fence around the oval, aren’t we?

Joe

Ah, no. Sorry David. It’s a bit complicated but what has happened is that Julie - thanks Jules, beaut job girlie - went round the neighbouring houses and collected pledges for money to help build the fence.

Barnaby

Why would they do that? Why pledge money for a fence which is of no bloody use to them

Julie

The erection of the fence would stop cricket balls smashing windows and damaging cars in nearby houses.

Sophie

You are joking, aren’t you? The pitch is five hundred metres from the nearest house.

Julie (glaring myopically)

Never-the-less SOPHIE, there were several instances of cricket balls going through windows at all hours of the day and night. They all thought it prudent to make a pledge towards the project. Co-incidentally, most pledges were roughly equivalent to the cost of a new window. Funny really.

Joe

Right, so. Julie has pledges for three thousand dollars. Bruce, our small businessman, has got a mate who was gonna put the fence up for half price, so that would have saved us another four grand and the local hardware shop was gonna knock 25% off the cost of materials - about five thousand dollars there.

(muttering) So that’s three plus four plus five, carry the one, multiply by ten, strike off two zeros, move the decimal point one place to the left, divide by ten and multiply by a thousand. Wow.

Since we’re not gonna build the fence now, we’ve saved TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS just on that one project alone.

(applause)

Malcolm

I don’t want to nitpick but how can you regard as savings, money which you haven’t collected

Joe

You surprise me Mal. This is Grade Eight Home Economics. If you don’t spend money then it’s a saving. Simple as that.

We were going to have to borrow twenty-eight thousand dollars to get the project started and now that we’re not building it, I wanted to put that money in the budget but Tony and Andrew thought we should save it for a rainy day.

Andrew

We may have to revise that bottom line figure, Joe. Some of the locals are paid-up members and reckon they would be coughing up twice. Some were threatening to boycott the club.

Unknown (from the back of the room)

Too bloody right!! No! New! Taxes!

Julie

It wasn’t a tax! It was an extortion!       No. Wait.    A donation.

Joe
(scribbling frantically with a pencil)

Ah no - now I’m gonna have to print all these pages again. Bugger.

Tony

That was pretty sloppy, Joe.

Joe

Listen Monk-breath ........

Bronwyn

Boys. Boys. Play nice.

Tony & Joe

Sorry Bronnie.

Scott

I thought this was going to be a more consultative committee? It seems like you and Joe and Andrew and Julie are making all the decisions. Sounds like a gang of .......

Tony

Don’t you dare! Don’t you bloody dare! We are ..... we are uh ............ collegiate. We’re consulting with you now aren’t we? So. Scott. What do you think about ah shelving our new perimeter fence until such time as we are better able to afford it?

Scott

I don’t like it. I think we need a fence and we need it as soon as possible!

Tony

Good. Thank-you Scott. See. A free and uh fair exchange of views and I’m sure we’re a better committee for it. There WON'T be a fence. But you ah you were consulted. Next item.

Joe

Training. Unfortunately, we have had to scale back our weekend workshops from three this season to one.

Christopher

That’s a pretty big “scale back”. So who’s still coming? Greg Chappell, Glen McGrath or Shane Warne?

Joe

We’ve all got to tighten our belts, Chris. Luckily, John has pulled a few strings and we’ve got John Senden - rated number ninety-nine in the world - at a very reasonable price.

Christopher

But he’s a golfer!

John

Ricky Ponting is a keen golfer AND he’s a former number one batsman in the world. Third highest run scorer of all time, record-breaking captain, superb in the field - surely if it’s good enough for Ricky, it’s good enough for you.

Christopher

Look maybe we could pass the hat around and ......

Unknown (from the back of the room)

No! New! Taxes!

Joe

For goodness sake, will you be quiet! I’m sorry Chris, it was either the training budget or the wine list that got trimmed and this year you lose out.

Sophie, you can tell us more about the changes we’ve made to the BNS.

Tony Smith

No! Not my beautiful new scoreboard!

Sophie (terse)

We will not be going ahead with the proposed hi-tech hi-speed BNS (which we don’t need) and will instead be trialling different coloured fluoro chalk to make the numbers JUMP off the blackboard. This will also contribute to our LCE target - Low Carbon Emissions, Barnaby. By taking this decision we no longer need to borrow eighteen thousand dollars from the bank and we can count this as a saving.

Tony Smith

But it was going to pay for itself, renting it out as an advertising hoarding during the week. Five years! Five years and we would have had our money back and be turning a profit. Now we’ll be the laughing stock of the ACT. All of NSW probably. Not to mention Sweden. A blackboard! This is taking us back to the dark ages.

Ah! What’re you going to do when it rains?

Tony (snide)

When it rains you ah (chuckle) you ah ...... you can’t play Smithy.

(general laughter)

Malcolm

What’s this at Item Four? A PPL? What’s that?

Joe

This is Tony’s idea so I’ll let him explain.

Tony

I’m ah particularly proud of this. It’s a Pay Parents to Leave scheme. The idea is that once they’ve dropped their kids off we want them to ....... ah .... to ......... to ..... leave. Instead of hanging around here all afternoon (rather than in the kitchen where they belong) shouting ah encouragement to their kids and clapping for every flaming run made, we will pay them to ah ..... go home. I think we can all agree that they are uh they are spoiling the uh ambience of the facilities. Some afternoons, I can hardly hear the ......... uh .......... the television in the bar.

Malcolm

How can we afford this?

Tony

We have devised an ah ..... an ah .... an ELEGANT solution. Every time one of our uh batsmen scores more than twenty-five runs, he puts twenty-five dollars in the kitty. Then he pays a uh a uh levy of one dollar seventy for every ten runs after that.

Unknown (from the back of the room)

No! New! Taxes!

Tony

It’s a levy! It’s a bloody LEVY awright?

Malcolm

That doesn’t sound particularly fair. Isn’t that a financial disincentive to succeeding? I mean, the players aren’t going to like it very much.

Tony

I think you’ve been knocking around with your commie mates over at the ah the ah Association of Lawnbowls Players too long, Mal. The players understand that the decisions we make are for the uh ..... the uh .... greater good. WE are the only ones who can see the big picture and WE are the only ones tough enough to make the hard choices.

Joe

Okay. Item Five. Lowering our carbon footprint. Barnaby, Sophie and Greg have been working together on this. Barnaby?

Barnaby

Cheers Joe. I’m a bit peeved you decided to call your PPL an “elegant” idea Tony, ‘cause I was gonna call this an "elegant" idea. Sort of stole my thunder there. "Elegant" ideas don’t grow on trees you know.

(pause for effect) (none)

Anyway, we did some research and Sophie found that the Chinese are working with an innovative new product called (shuffling papers) called “con-crete”. So what we’re gonna do is rip up that bloody awful grass pitch and put down a maintenance-free con-crete one. Doesn’t need watering, doesn’t need mowing, doesn’t need rolling - I don’t know why no-one’s thought of this before. It’ll pay for itself inside the first year.

Greg

Not only that, we can charge visiting teams a Pitch Maintenance Levy - SHUT UP - it’s a LEVY, so that we can give it a fresh coat of green paint every season.

Barnaby

But wait there’s more!

(pause for effect)
(none)

No? Too old? Sorry.

We’ve calculated that if we don’t use the sprinkler system we’ll use less water.

(pause for approval) (not forthcoming)

Gee. Tough house tonight.

If the grass dies, we save on mowing, tractor maintenance, fuel, fertilizer and groundsman’s fees. We just put the sprinklers on the night before a match so the clubhouse doesn’t get covered in dust. Don’t want to spoil the food, do we ladies?

Ladies

(titters)

Sophie

So we will have reduced our carbon output AND saved money.

Malcolm

Bob’s not going to like this.

Barnaby

Bob?

Malcolm

Brown. The groundsman.

Tony

Is he under contract? No? Then sack him. We’re not going to ruin the entire planet just to keep one groundsman happy.

Malcolm

What do the players think about playing in the mud?

Joe

Yeah yeah okay Lefty! Here we go again. Jesus!

Tony

Joe! You know how uh strongly I feel about blasphemy.

Joe

Yeah. About as strongly as you feel about lying, sex outside marriage and throwing children to the sharks!

Tony

Why you fat overblown ..........

Joe

What’s the matter Wingnut? Don’t like it when ..........

Bronwyn

Boys! Don’t make me speak to you again.

Helen

Don’t be too harsh, Bron. You know what WARRIORS are like, they’re just SO strong they can’t help themselves sometimes. I think it’s dreamy.

Malcolm

I see there’s fifteen hundred dollars put aside for mental health. That’s a lot isn’t it?

Joe

I have no doubt that you would know that Andrew has been plagued by the black dog of late and so it was decided on compassionate grounds that the club would put fifteen hundred dollars on to a bar tab for him.

Malcolm

But surely alcohol’s not the solution if he’s suffering from depression?

Tony

No, but we reckon with a bar tab that size, he’s going to have lots more friends! (chuckle)

Joe

While we are talking health, Peter has put in a request for increased funding for the First Aid box. Perhaps you could explain further, Peter.

Peter

Thanks. As the committee is no doubt aware, our general membership is rapidly aging and there has been a concomitant demand for band-aids, ice-packs, pain killers and the like to help alleviate injuries sustained from falls - particularly in the bar. To help fund this expansion of our health care system without raising - SHUT UP - without raising taxes, Warren and I have decided to liquidate some of the new equipment provided to us last year by the state government. To this end we will be selling all new shin-guards, chest protectors, elbow-guards, glove inners and boxes. Barnaby suggested we sell the bats too but we found this harder to justify.

Malcolm

Peter, do you mind if I ask, do you ever have people, you know, complete strangers, come up to you and say they’d like to punch you in the face?

Peter (surprised)

No! Why?

Malcolm

Oh, no reason really, it’s just a bit of a hobby of mine. People’s faces. My Mum used to say when women saw Dean Martin’s face, they had an overwhelming urge to kiss him on the cheek. When men see Clint Eastwood’s face, they want to stand beside him and glare at whoever he’s glaring at - “You feeling lucky punk?” When people see Kevin Rudd’s face they want to spray his glasses with whipped cream. When I look at your face ..............

Peter (eminently punchable)

We. Will. Be. Using. The. Derived. Income. For. The. Benefit. Of. All. Members.

Malcolm

The players are REALLY not going to like this. And aren’t you going to risk higher outlays through players getting injured?

Tony

Let us ah worry about the players. You obviously have no expertise in this field. Once they see the budget is returned to surplus, they’ll come flocking back.

David

Sorry to revisit old ground but if we’re not building the fence, what are we going to do about strange kids using the field?

John

TURN THE BIKES BACK!!

Joe

Thanks John.

Tony

TURN THE BIKES BACK!!

Joe

Bloody hell.

Malcolm

All well and good but some mothers don’t want their kids under their feet all afternoon. And what if they just won’t go?

George
(from the back of the room)

What harm are they doing? Surely we’re not afraid of a few kids?

David

It’s not just the fact that they come here. It’s a moral and cultural point of principle. They bring all sorts of baggage with them. Strange clothes. Strange food. Strange music. Ich. Strange perfumes. Strange languages - have you heard the way they talk?

They don’t hold the same values as us and we have a duty to uphold and maintain our culture. They threaten the very foundations on which this club was built by bringing in foreign ideas and heathen practices. Not to mention the footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, sorry, “football” balls, Frisbees, kites and baseballs. We’ve even had GIRLS on the park with SOFTBALLS.

George
(from the back of the room)

I still don’t see the problem.

John

WE will decide WHO comes to this oval and the circumstances in which .................


Tony


Yeh thanks John. We ah we like to think we’ve ah we’ve moved on from that sort of talk.

Scott

The Rottweiler Solution!!

Various


Ooh yes.

Of course.

The rottweilers!

Yes, yes.

I like dogs.

Sic ‘em boys!

You’re right Scott.

I prefer cats meself.

Go the Dogs!!

Scott
(frothing)

Rend! Tear! Bite! Batter! Maim!

Damage! Disembowel! Devastate! Mutilate!

Mangle! Wreck! Wound!

Crack! Crunch! Cripple!

(pauses for breath)

The ensuing silence is only interrupted by sounds of heavy breathing, subtle rearranging of clothes and foreheads being dabbed dry with lace-edged handkerchiefs.
Scott
(spraying foam)

Slash! Gash! Gouge! Split! Spurt!

Ravage! Rupture! Disable! Debilitate! Dissever!

Incapacitate! Eviscerate! Emasculate!

Lacerate! Perforate! Pierce! Puncture! Pulverise!

(sits back, flushed and elated)

Heavy breathing and nervous coughs continue for several minutes.

Bronwyn

Ooh Scott, that was pure poetry. I feel as giddy as a schoolgirl.

Helen

That was just SO naughty! You get an extra scone later for that.

Tony

Scott, that was ah that was most enjoyable. You know I like the Rottweiler Solution but now that I’m ah ..... I’m the Chair of the Klub, I don’t think ah that I can be seen ah running around the oval chasing children.

Scott
(still over-excited)

No, no, no! Not you! REAL dogs! Rending and crunching and .......

Sophie

Now now. Don’t get me started again.

Malcolm
(smug)

But we don’t have a fence. Remember?

Tony

Oh. True, true. George, any ideas.

George

I think we would be on pretty safe ground if we detained them and held them in the toilet block for a couple of days in order to verify their claims about being children.

As I understand the LPA - the UN’s Little Person’s Act of 2001 - if we find that they have no papers and are therefore, by default, dwarfs pretending to be children, we would be well within our rights to barbeque and eat them.

A stunned silence fills the room.

More than one Member is quietly contemplating the tenderising effect of dog bites. To season or not to season? What would Matt Preston do?

Tony

I’m ah .... I’m ah ..... I’m a bit skeptical about your ah interpretation there ah George. Perhaps you could do a bit more ah research and get back to us.

Let’s leave that for now.

Christopher, how is our ah recruitment drive going?

Christopher

Well it’s good and bad really.

We could do with some more bowlers ..........


John

I bowl a pretty mean right arm orthodox!

Tony

John? John? Where are you? Come out from under the table.

Scott

Orthodox?

Barnaby

I thought you were going to keep a low profile once you left politics?

John

I’m under the table at some second-rate suburban cricket club listening to a bunch of morons rabbiting on about eating small children. How much lower do you want me?

Christopher

I think you may be a bit old for what we’re looking for, Mr Howard.

John

Look. I just want to say that I’m prepared to serve the Klub in any way you see fit.

Joe

Gees. What is it with ex-Prime Ministers?

Christopher

Anyway, as I was saying, we’ve found a couple of good prospects. A quick bowler and a wicketkeeper/batsman who’re showing promise. But ............. but ...

Tony

Out with it boy.

Christopher

Well the only problem is that they are ................... um ......................... they’re Ghanian refugees.

Tony


Oh.

Christopher

Which presents us with a number of philosophical and moral dilemmas. For a start, they are very, um ............. very ............. ah ............. tall.

Ladies

Mmmmm.

Christopher

And incredibly fit and strong.

Ladies

Mmmmmmmmmm.

Christopher

And they are ..................... uh .................... they are uh ............................................ they’re very ........ um .......... black.

Ladies

Oh.

Christopher

Not just, sort of, “every day” black you know? They’re very um ...... very ................. they’re very dark black.

George
(from the back of the room)

What’s your point?

Christopher

Well I wouldn’t want them to feel ...... uncomfortable here, that’s all. Everyone else here is of a “normal” height  and  ............ and “ordinary” physique and ...... and ........ “average” skin colour. They might feel .......... inferior in some way.

Tony

That’s very uh considerate of you Christopher, after all they’ve been through, we wouldn’t want to ah add to their uh burden. Perhaps next season when they’ve had more of a chance to assimilate, they might feel a bit more liberal and tolerant.

Joe

So to summarise, Mr Chair, through the savings accrued from not building the perimeter fence, not borrowing to finance the BNS, cutting our workforce by 20%, scaling back our training and education  programmes, opting for "greener" alternatives on the field, liquidating superfluous assets and levying high achievers to fund our PPL scheme, I can safely forecast a budget surplus this year of eleven dollars and fifty cents. Minimum.

(applause)

From the front of an unruly crowd gathered in the doorway, a flame-haired Welsh witch shows off for her mates.

Julia

Hoy! What are you bludgers doing here? We’ve got a meeting tonight, so piss off!

Bronwyn & Helen

Ooh the language.

Tony

Ooh the breasts.

Julia

Go on - on ya bikes! Bloody wannabes.

Tony
(shaking his fist)

One of these days, Julia, one of these days.


Julia

In your dreams Phoney.

Tony

Just you wait ‘til the next AGM. We’ve got plans that are gonna cream you.

Julia

Yeah awright Tony. Just don’t slam the door on your way ut.

Julie
(hand on Tony’s biceps)

C’mon Iron Man. We’ve got miles to go before we sleep.

Tony

Mm.

Lindsay
(examining Joe’s briefing notes)

This bunch couldn’t organise a ***k in a brothel.

Wayne (from the back of the room)(giggling)

No! New! Taxes!

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Lyn

11/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Tim Dunlop Blogging, Kim Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Tim Dunlop’s writing at Blogocracy and Road to Surfdom and will be pleased to know Tim has a new blog – B Sides. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/10/tim-dunlop-blogging/ [i]Do Journalists pay any attention to criticism? Tim Dunlop, B SIDES[/i] a game where "winning" is everything, and where, increasingly, policy substance, values, ideas and ideologies don't matter. http://tjd.posterous.com/ [i]Wait, Gillard didn’t say what they’re saying she said, Jeremy Sear, Anonymous Lefty[/i] It couldn’t be that Labor’s being shamelessly verballed by liars who are deliberately misrepresenting what the Prime Minister actually said in a desperate attempt to get Tony Abbott into the Lodge, could it? No, no. There must be some other explanation http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/gillard-didnt-say-what-theyre-saying-she-said/ [i]Australian politics is not the West Wing, David Bonnici, Groupthink[/i] This bullshit could have been nipped in the bud a long time ago. Instead it has been allowed to fester because we have a media organisations that by and large doesn’t question such claims, but happily reports them to suit their own agendas. http://www.groupthink.com.au/2010/07/07/australian-politics-is-not-the-west-wing/ [i]RUDD’S REVENGE: Labor strategists fear Heavy Kevvie might be up to his old tricks While there might be lots of noise around this issue, some of it generated by a very grouchy Kevin Rudd apparently[/i]http://www.vexnews.com/news/10078/rudds-revenge-labor-strategists-fear-heavy-kevvie-might-be-up-to-his-old-tricks/ [i]The decline and fall of the Rudd Labor Empire?, Paul Walter, Webdiary[/i] But because we have a preferential voting system, that means, in the end, I still have to in effect, choose between the Coalition and Labor. http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/3065 [i]Note ot Julia re pollution standards, John hepburn, Rooted.[/i] By now, Julia Gillard has been well warned of the perils of ignoring climate change. So far, her comments have been carefully crafted to obscure her intentions and to push the issue beyond the election. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/

Gravel

11/07/2010NormanK that was so funny, thank you for the good belly laugh. Unfortunately if they do get it I think it would be even worse than your scenario. (Hillbilly, I got a notice you are following me on Twitter, thanks, but I don't know how to use it, I only read it so there won't anything on mine, unlike yours which is very good.)

HS

11/07/2010Wow! I'm not an OAP yet. What's with the 20pt text? :)

HS

11/07/2010Gravel, All you really need to know about how to use Twitter is to go 'Home', and for those that you follow, press reply on the right hand side of the Tweet to say something back. If you want to follow someone then go to the drop-down menu on the far right and press 'Follow...'. Also, if you come across a Tweet you like you can mouse over that person's name on the Tweet and go to their home page and press 'Follow'. You will also find a list of their followers there, and all you have to do if you want to follow them is click on their picture and it will take you to their Home page. And on and on you can go. It gets easier as time goes by. Any problems, don't hesitate to ask. :)

macca

11/07/2010Dips me lid NormanK, dips me lid.

Lyn

11/07/2010Hi NormanK Thankyou for your delightful, enjoyable piece, you have made us all happy, and laughing on our way today. [quote]Kanberra Kricket Klub is convening a special meeting to discuss this year’s budget proposals. [/quote] The miserable Liberals did so well at their meeting, they saved that fence, maybe they should all take up ruling Kricket, with a passion, just like their ex leader wants to do. [quote]The Rottweiler Solution!! [/quote] they could really shine with that solution, instead of the Pacific Solution, actually that would be an excellent mission statement, "we faithfully, believe in the Rottweiler approach across the board".

Ad astra reply

11/07/2010HS My IT son-in-law saved my bacon with the mad HTML code that was messing up the format. I've still to adjust the paragraph spacing. I hope it looks better now.

NK

11/07/2010Gravel Thanks, I'm glad you got a laugh. To conjure up, even in fiction, a more realistic version of what an Abbott Government (Ee-ooh) might be like would be too horrible to contemplate. macca "NormanK performed a backtip today with regard to comments made on TPS." Source : Random Lies Daily (another News Ltd publication) Lyn I swear there is a new glint in your eyes - Tweety's Revenge! Frankly, I'm hoping The Rottweiler Solution!! will gain some momentum as Abbott's new campaign slogan. Swordians Sorry about font size and spacing problems. Ad has called in an exorcist to banish the demon responsible.

NK

11/07/2010macca Sorry, "backdip" dammit, "backdip". Fingers have got a mind of their own and I'm not sure it's all that clever.

Jason

11/07/2010NormanK, As usual another funny piece

HS

11/07/2010NormanK, I wish I could be that funny. :) You know, if you don't laugh you cry about this Opposition, they are that shocking. Fair dinkum, when I saw the interview with 'Slippery' Scott Morrison on 'Meet the Press' this morning I could have sworn he was on Speed. He was galloping through the Opposition talking points without reference to the valid questions that were being asked of him about the Opposition's Asylum Seeker policy. All he was there for was to heap crap on the Labor party and evade being answerable for his party's policy, except to make up a fairy story about how because John Howard got Indonesia to accept AS boats back, TA would be able to as well. As if! But no one questions these bald assertions from the Opposition spokesmen. I despair that this will be the SOP until the election.

Gravel

11/07/2010HS thanks for your clear directions, I've had a look but having nothing to say so I'll probably just stick to making comments here (which took me all these years to chime in, as long as Ad Astra has been blogging). :-) I thought Paul B would have been a bit tougher on S Morrison, but I did notice he tried a couple of times to stop the flow. The 'panels' questions were very weak, as if they didn't care and were happy with what he was saying.

NK

11/07/2010Jason I'm glad you found it amusing. May I say, I like your new gravatar. I've been trying to think of a humorous way of saying that your old one scared the life out of me but I couldn't so : Your old gravatar used to scare the life out of me. Much more relaxed now. HS You are a political junkie, aren't you? I hope you find a way to relax on a wintery Sunday evening. I can only hope the election is called soon - we may get a slightly more level playing field instead of this avalanche of dross we're having to endure at present.

Rx

11/07/2010[i]... the interview with 'Slippery' Scott Morrison on 'Meet the Press' this morning I could have sworn he was on Speed. He was galloping through the Opposition talking points without reference to the valid questions that were being asked of him[/i] The Kanberra Kricket Klub: Australia's most copious spin organisation.

Jason

11/07/2010NormanK, The last gravitar is my passport photo I've just worked out how to use the web cam, the wife and pretty much everyone I know said the same thing.

Rx

11/07/2010NormanK, Great piece! Only one question went unanswered. Who paid for their drinks? I can't imagine those tightwads buying their own drinks ... so were the kricket spectators forced to cough up?

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11/07/2010NormanK Thank you for yet another delicious dose of satire. If only Abbott and Co would read it they would see how ridiculous many of their statements/propositions/policies are, or how they look to those who are not Coalition sycophants. Having read the piece at least half a dozen times while preparing it for posting, I enjoyed it more at each reading and discovered more and more subtle meanings. It really is a rich tapestry of irony and biting wit. Satire is such an effective way of exposing hypocrisy, incongruity, deviousness and disingenuousness. I hope the layout looks OK to you now. There are still a few spacing aberrations, but otherwise it looks quite readable on my computer. The morass of redundant HTML code that was messing up the layout was indescribable. I need a decent HTML editor like Dreamweaver, which I have used when running another website. My ‘exorcist’ is looking for one for me. I hope you will return with yet more satire. The Coalition will provide you with an almost endless parade of material suitable for your incisive analysis.

NK

11/07/2010Rx Can you believe it? I didn't use "spin". What a massive oversight. Although, if I never use "spin", "backflip" and "dog whistle" again in my life that will be just fine with me. As for the drinks, I imagine they left the tab for the real board to pick up. While I've got you - I'd like to borrow "The Mad Abbott" if I may. It might not belong to you but your post was the first time I'd seen it so credit where it's due. It isn't necessarily the very best description of our handsome-lipped Opposition Leader but it sure calls up images of a 19th Century novel or perhaps something by Poe. For some reason the cover image on Black Sabbath's first album immediately comes to mind. There's a story to be had there. Jason Whew! I bet they let you through customs.

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11/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS belatedly updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

NK

11/07/2010Ad astra Thanks very much for your kind words. And the opportunity. I worship at the feet of Clarke and Dawe and lament the absence of any other "serious" political satire in this country. Layout looks good now. I might contact you directly regarding the gremlins.

Jason

11/07/2010HS, I had a look at "slippery Scott Morrison's" web site in the bio, where this gem appeared " I have also been highly active in church life from a young age. My Christian faith remains the driving force for my family, beliefs and values. My family and I are members of ShireLive Church, at Sutherland" I didn't see meet the press today did he sound like the above.

Lyn

11/07/2010Hi Jason I love your new gravatar. Glad you worked out your web cam, I have one on my laptop but have never looked at it. Scott Morrison, motor mouth, didn't answer one question, of course he was let off, Steve Lewis & Michelle Gratton are useless at the best of times.

HS

11/07/2010Jason, You were joking about 'Slippery' weren't you? I have this conception about evangelical Christians wherein they substitute sanctimony and social conservatism in their religious cannon, for 'Faith, Hope & Charity'. Oh, and they have found a way to justify making lots of filthy lucre and keeping most of it for themselves and their Mega Churches, making sure none gets into the hands of the needy, except where it comes with liberal (lol) helpings of that good ol' sanctimony and condescion and value judgement. Actually, that's what really irks me the most, the fact that these people think their 'Values' are the ones we all should have.

HS

11/07/2010NormanK, I always imagined your gravatar would have been our most famous 'Norm', on the couch, or if you are naturally more physically-inclined, out for a walk. :)

HS

11/07/2010Jason, You might be interested to know we discussed your mate, Ark Tribe, at our ALP meeting today. We resolved to back him in his quest to see justice done for building workers. Our President, the State Sec. of the ETU was 4 square behind getting rid of the ABCC. However, I hoped that his court case would come back up after the election. :)

Lyn

11/07/2010Hi NormanK Galaxy Poll results, probably will not get reported in the other States. Jump to right wins Gillard support by Stefanie Balogh The Courier-Mail ,July 11, 2010 7:58PM An exclusive Galaxy poll for The Courier-Mail Importantly, Ms Gillard is cutting across party lines, with 68 per cent of Labor voters supporting the plan and 69 per cent of Coalition voters also backing it. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/jump-to-right-wins-gillard-support/story-e6freooo-1225890463071

NK

11/07/2010 Hi Lyn Thanks for the link. Great news if we are being positive and looking forward rather than back. They still can't resist putting the boot in though can they? Quoting Galaxy chief executive David Briggs - "There is overwhelming approval within the electorate for Julia Gillard getting tough with asylum seekers ..." (instead of saying she's getting tough with people smugglers by depriving them of 'product' - not my first choice of word but accurate enough in the context) "In addition, Labor's lurch to the right ...." (would they have had superlatives weighty enough to describe the new policy if she had said we're going to blow them out of the water. It had to be a lurch, it was always going to be a lurch and by God you will give us a lurch! Now lurch woman!! Oh, it was just a lean - still that's 'like' a lurch. A lurching we will go, a lurching we will go, hey ho the derry-o, a lurching we will go.) HS I hated 'Norm'. As probably did many another Norman. Give me "Norm from Newcastle" any day. "Don't you ever let a chance go by."

Rx

11/07/2010Norman, Of course you can use "The Mad Abbott"! It's just a rhetorical means of cutting to the chase. He's referred to a The Mad Monk, but to most people I imagine that comes over as, "Monk? Which monk?? I haven't heard of any monk." Paul Keating referred to him as "the Coalition's resident nutter". To mine, "The Mad Abbott" is simply a more direct and candid description. A bloody-minded misanthrope with wild and crazy eyes, simian, chest-beating swagger, right-wing crackpot, religious extremist, medieval views on women and gays, aggression always threatening to break loose ... I think it's quite an apt descriptor. PS: On a similar theme ... [b]15 reasons not to vote for Tony Abbott[/b] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVt4-BLFBJU

Rx

11/07/2010Aonther item for [b]ABC Watch[/b] please, Ad Astra. By poster, reb, at [i]Gutter Trash[/i] blog, July 9, 2010 [b]Media Bias alive and well at Your ABC[/b] [i] ...What you won’t read on the ABC online version of the interview is Tony Abbott’s awkward stumbling when questioned about his promise to “turn the boats back”.[/i] Full post here: http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/media-bias-alive-and-well-at-your-abc/

Rx

11/07/2010Actually, NK, With the jug-ears and the blitzed eyes Alfred E Neuman, mascot of MAD Magazine, bears more than a passing resemblance to the Mad Abbott, don't you think? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/19/Mad30.jpg

BH

12/07/2010A good laugh, Norman. Rx asks who paid for the drinks - the miners, of course!

Glorfindel

12/07/2010I notice that the latest polls show a drop in support for Labor and a rise in support for the Greens. Latest Galaxy has TPP 52 / 48 to Labor. These are the kinds of figures that suggest a change in PM is on the cards. So who's next do you think ? Swannie or maybe Shorten?

Glorfindel

12/07/2010PS - is joke

HS

12/07/2010Groan. If it wasn't bad enough that the ABC feels they have to ape the News Ltd. line, we now have 'Today' on Channel 9 querying, with wide-eyed innocence(yeah, right), 'Whether the ALP can hang onto its lead over the Coalition until the election?" They aren't focussing on the part of the latest poll that has widespread approval for Julia Gillard's Asylum Seeker policy, no, it's all scahdenfreude at the loss in support. Fair dinkum, if I knew about some skeleton in the closet of Karl Stefanovic, I'd tell the world, just to get rid of his smarmy presence on 'Today'. These people don't tell it like it is, they put a sugary coating on some very mean and nasty sentiments.

Lyn

12/07/2010[i]TODAY'S LINKS[/i] [i]Galaxy and Nielsen: 52-48 to Labor, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] favourable 55-45 result from Nielsen immediately after the leadership change. The poll has Julia Gillard leading Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister 56-35, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/11/galaxy-52-48-to-labor-2/ [i]Galaxy/Neilsen: 52-48 to Labor, Greens on 14/13, Ben Raue, THE TALLY ROOM[/i] You’d have to say that, based solely on polling, the overthrow of Kevin Rudd was one of the biggest over-reactions in recent political history. http://www.tallyroom.com.au/6021 [i]Nerdy Sunday - betting markets Edition, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] So while the market currently suggests that Labor will very likely win, it also suggests that the majority involved in that win, will – at this stage – not be particularly large. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/ [i]Distilling Gillard, A Senex View[/i] This is what Prime Minister Julia Gillard really had to say in her first press conference. The original can be found here. http://senexx.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/distilling-gillard/ [i]Why are we in Afghanistan? Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i] there are good reasons not to pull out – it is much harder to disengage than it is to refrain from going in in the first place. http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/ [i]Climate a hot issue in deciding election date, Canberra Times[/i] simply too politically unpalatable for the Abbott-led Coalition to suddenly embrace real, deep change in an attempt to out-manoeuvre the Government, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/climate-a-hot-issue-in-deciding-election-date/1882034.aspx [i]Julia Gillard, feminism and gender politics, Kim Larvatus prodeo[/i] an essentialisation of femininity which led to a belief that women’s presence in politics would bring about a utopia of niceness. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/11/julia-gillard-feminism-and-gender-politics/#more-13522 [i]Henry Sidelined? Peter Martin[/i] Dr Henry drew repeated fire from the opposition, which is now treading more carefully, reciting the mantra, "our argument is not with Dr Henry".) http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

NK

12/07/2010BH A pleasure to be of service. The miners/Clive Palmer was another miss on my part. I still can't believe I didn't think of "spin" as well. Chapter Two perhaps. Phudget 2010 - Down the Pub. Rx We all have our own closet full of images and emotions and so on which are triggered in different ways by different words. This is part of my take on The Mad Abbott : http://www.progarchives.com/progressive_rock_discography_covers/3253/cover_5140171522009.jpg As I said above, there is a story lurking in the forest just waiting to be ferreted out. I like to think I coined "The Mad Rabbott" but almost certainly I didn't. This is my favourite to date. Absurd, fantastical, insane, living down a rabbit hole, clever with words which have little if any meaning. This feels more like a comic strip or a cartoon than a short story. PS Thanks for the YouTube link. I only go there when I'm directed because I don't have patience with all the flotsam around. That was a great video.

Jason

12/07/2010Peter Van Onselen having a go at Scott Morrison about the impending invasion. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/opposition-stoops-to-lies-and-excuses-in-race-to-the-bottom-on-boatpeople/story-e6frg6zo-1225890492463

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12/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx July links to yesterday archived at LYN'S LINKS JULY 2010: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-LINKS-JULY-2010.aspx

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12/07/2010Jason PvO is very strong on the boat people issue. Thankfully at least one News Limited journalist is prepared to call this issue the way it is and to expose the bald-faced lies that the voluble Scott Morrison emits almost every time he's on TV/radio. His technique it to spout whatever he intends to say no matter what question is asked, and to deny anything that could be construed as disadvantaging the Coalition. Simple. It’s really up to the journalist to pull him up. Paul Bongiorno should have come back at Morrison with: [i]“Scott Morrison, I have just read you the transcript of what Tony Abbott said, and he actually used the words: "People understand that if anyone can just rock up to Australia and say 'I am here; you've got to keep me', that effectively the country is exposed to a form of peaceful invasion." Yet you’re telling a national audience here this morning that he didn’t use the words ‘peaceful invasion’. What do you say to that?”[/i] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/opposition-stoops-to-lies-and-excuses-in-race-to-the-bottom-on-boatpeople/story-e6frg6zo-1225890492463 What is wrong with good journalists like Bongiorno that they let politicians get away with blatant lying?

Jason

12/07/2010AA, Far be it for me to tell the media how to go about their job but I would have thought that if you were going to have him on your show, you might have come prepared with such things.(1) he is the shadow after all and(2) I think it was pretty much the biggest issue last week. But what would I know probably a silly idea anyway.

HS

12/07/2010Jason, It seems to me your talents are wasted manning the Cranes. You'd do a much better job than most of the Press Gallery standing on your head!

HS

12/07/2010Ad Astra, Wise words indeed. Maybe you should apply for a Canberra Press Pass? Goodness knows we need someone down there prepared to ask the thoughtful, intelligent questions!

HS

12/07/2010NormanK, And you should apply for a job with 'The Chaser'. :)

Jason

12/07/2010HS, Good to hear your branch and the ETU are behind Ark Tribe, the whole thing is just wrong,He's no "union Boss" and the company concerned was in the wrong over the safety problem anyway. The ABCC trying to justify their jobs. As to the "Slippery" tag you had used it earlier and I found it funny, Not a bad discription though. No Cranes this week my kids on school holidays i

HS

12/07/2010Hey everybody! This is required watching/listening: http://www.abc.net.au/streaming/abc-video2.asx

Lyn

12/07/2010Hi Norman K, Ad and Everybody Here is [b]Reb's brilliant [/b]take on the polls: [i]Latest Poll Results: Choose Your Own Headline, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] [b]But let’s not allow that to stand in the way of making this a bad news story for the Labor Government.[/b]http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/12/latest-poll-results-choose-your-own-headline/

NK

12/07/2010AA and Jason The PvO article is refreshing isn't it? It does beg the question, what pet subjects are the other journos subjugating in order to follow the company line? Surely each of them have things which bug them and that they would like to follow up and get to the "truth" in the debate. This is a rhetorical question in the current media climate but if they take pride in their work (and let's be fair - most people do) then they must have trouble reconciling the lies they propagate on subjects which might otherwise be dear to them. In the same vein, why is no other media house adopting contrary views to capitalise on that part of the market which is not catered to by Murdoch and co? For example, WE would read it and to be contrary to News Ltd you would only have to be fair and balanced. There must be money in it, surely. Hillbilly Three short posts in a row from you looks like an "armada" of friendly skeletons. A tsunami of bones. Working at The Chaser would bring me in close proximity to Chris Taylor who is second in line to BHP Peter in the punchable face stakes. Like Rob Sitch, he is funny when he is scripted but just annoying and smug when off-the-cuff. Unlike our handsome friend who is bloody annoying scripted and impromptu. Lyn Thanks for the links. For a little bird, you've got a lot of energy! Fellow Swordians If you have an idea for a satirical piece, please feel free to suggest it. There is no guarantee that it would come to fruition (to the contrary probably) but you never know what can spark a small fire in our brains.

Roswell

12/07/2010Thanks Norman. You're a genius. I could never have written anything like that and I doubt that many people could have. You've certainly enlivened my day. I've been over at the Cafe this morning where Miglo asks whether the opposition should really be looking at reducing the inflow of skilled migrants, which they have threatenned to do. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/mr-abbott-is-that-really-a-good-idea/ Lyn, thanks to the link for Gutter Trash. Laughs galore today.

Jason

12/07/2010NormanK, Maybe PVO has had a look to the future and thought at my age I could have a big future in the media (print and electronic), best I start being fair and balanced. But the whole Asylum Seeker debate needs to be put in context that apart from the usual suspects that read (look at the pictures)that Bolt,Akerman,Milne and Shanahann post, people I mix with yes some are even liberal voters they don't think this souffle will rise twice. As I said somewhere the other day while the Opposition continue whipping the god fearing folk into a lather over this it's one day less they have for policy development, which is a good thing.Keep whistling I say

debbiep

12/07/2010 Hi all. As a Loooonng time 'silent'( by daily) reader .. Just letting you know and hope you will follow on for support. I am submitting on the SBS show Insight under the heading 'Topic Suggestion for up coming shows' to be one on; 'The Media's Reporting on Politics'. Bring up issues on how the polls have been made seen as important news Over-viewing many other stories....actually a lot of the concern that I have read on here :) I have in the past suggested topics, with others , on population etc. and after a while these topics have come up so , fingers crossed ...

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12/07/2010debbiep Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. I'll looks at SBS [i]Insight[/i] tonight. Folks I'll be on the road for a few hours - back this evening.

Jason

12/07/2010NormanK, Back at the "Kanberra Kricket Klub" do you need a cravat,a smoking jacket and a snuff box to gain membership or would you be a land owner what is the price of membership for this gents Klub I take it women would only be guest and not allowed voting rights.

Roswell

12/07/2010NormanK must know something that mere individuals do not. Kanberra is the Ngunnawal spelling of what we spell as Canberra. It means 'meeting place'. Aptly named, don't you think?

Roswell

12/07/2010Good stuff NormanK. The blogosphere is in good shape with such a talent of writers on display.

NK

12/07/2010Jason Let's be honest. A few bucks would do it. As for the little lady - she can drink in the salon out the back when she's not cooking, cleaning and making babies. Voting rights?! What are you? Left of left? Roswell Thanks for the encouragement. Gee I'd love to latch on to the "k" in Kanberra as being deliberate but unfortunately KKK was the motivator. I knew canberra meant meeting place but beyond that my font of knowledge runs dry.

NK

12/07/2010debbiep Welcome. We must all do what we can and fortunately SBS has remained pretty much disease-free so far. Insight, like Q & A, is one of the superior forums available to us and would no doubt do a great job if they tackled the topic. Fingers and toes crossed.

Jason

12/07/2010contributor Holden Back at pure poison ‘Invincible ignorance’ is a favourite concept from Catholic theology. My dictionary is sadly out of date and has a meaning thats far to short on this matter

Jason

12/07/2010Sorry http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07648a.htm

NK

12/07/2010Jason Gees mate, is that what you're reading to your kids tonight to put them to sleep? Heavy going, my man, but I did get this far : "When ignorance is deliberately aimed at and fostered, it is said to be affected, not because it is pretended, but rather because it is sought for by the agent so that he may not have to relinquish his purpose. Ignorance which practically no effort is made to dispel is termed crass or supine." So Abbott and company can be safely described as "affected", "crass" and "supine". "pretend to have or feel (something)"// "lacking sensitivity, refinement, or intelligence"//"failing to act or protest as a result of moral weakness or indolence" Works for me.

Jason

12/07/2010NormanK Here I was laboring under the Macquarie dictionary for all these years. The public school system has failed me thanks Malcolm Fraser

HS

12/07/2010Yup, the Liberals cunningly encourage the electorate to be as dumb as fence posts in order to further their own ends. Works for me, too. :)

NK

12/07/2010HS There's no fooling you, you boney old thing. By the way, I couldn't get anything from your link @ 11.22. Jason Use your Macquarie as a doorstop or table leg corrector (perhaps the dog might like it?) and get your order in for a Concise Oxford for your birthday. Handy for avoiding US spelling also.

HS

12/07/2010NormanK, Sorry, the active link to the speech finished almost as soon as I put it up. Sigh. Anyway, it was a good speech by the PM and she ended it by saying that she would have some election news within days! This is probably why you will hear nothing else on TV tonight. It's already set Twitter abuzz.

HS

12/07/2010NormanK, This link should work: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/12/2951216.htm

Lyn

12/07/2010Hi DebbieP Welcome to "The Political Sword" and thankyou so much for your interesting comment. I hope you keep commenting here, your opinion is very important to us. Norman K's comment is spot on, SBS night news is the best, accurate unbiased reporting, disease free so far, as NormanK said: [quote]We must all do what we can and fortunately SBS has remained pretty much disease-free so far. Insight, like Q & A, is one of the superior forums [/quote] cheers

Lyn

12/07/2010Hi Norman K Mumble's take on the polls, who works for "The Australian' now, need I say anymore: [i]Gillard’s lead not enough, Peter Brent, Mumble[/i] [b]This government is making a mess of re-election, trashing its advantages and playing to its weaknesses. Gillard needs to stop the circus and become a prime minister, which means delaying the poll for several months. [/b] http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/gillards_lead_not

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12/07/2010Folks Take a look at today's Essential Research Report. Primary 41/38 to Labor, Greens 13; TPP 55/45 to Labor, and lots of interesting questions as well http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/files/2010/07/Essential-Report_120710.pdf

Miglo

12/07/2010Thanks for the laugh NormanK. God damn there's some good writers out there who I find much more informative and honest than what the MSM deals us.

debbiep

12/07/2010 Thanking you for your warm welcome...:0 To update - I have been to both the SBS Insight web site and submitted the suggestion . And then also to Their face book page..under Discussions .Please comment and help with ideas on the topic of The Media's Role & Influence in Politics to give support and ideas. Who Knows, I would luv to see many of you in the audience asking some questions IF this show was to come about...LOL Remember I am here but I may be on the silent ( shy) side :)

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12/07/2010Lyn If anyone thought the fiercely independent Mumble would remain incorruptible when he took Rupert's pieces of silver and transferred to blog for [i]The Australian[/i} they have only to read his piece today: [i]Gillard's lead not enough[/i] to be disabused of that idealistic notion. I cannot recall him ever writing anything as acerbic as that about the Government when he was plain old Mumble. How long did the conversion take? Just over a week!

HS

12/07/2010Ad Astra, I'm afraid I have to agree with you about Peter Brent/Mumble. I was aghast to read some of the absolute twaddle he came out with in today's blog. And he appears to have brought out a whole new slew of foam-flecked mouthings from utterly intransigent and off-the-planet Coalition supporters in the 'Comments' section. I honestly could not see how he came to the conclusions that he did, unless he did it by having suppositions and tailoring the figures to suit. Which is dishonest to say the least.

HS

12/07/2010Probably time to take 'Mumble' off 'Sites of Interest' then?

HS

12/07/2010I'm just including this to show that the 'Whiter than White' image that the Coalition tries to project is never the same when you scratch the surface: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/former-federal-mp-kym-richardson-tried-to-get-son-off-assault-charge-court-told/story-e6frg6nf-1225890740332

Lyn

12/07/2010Hi NormanK and Ad Possum's report on both polls excellent as usual: [i]Nielsen, Galaxy and the Gender Gap, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] On the gender split, Gillard leads Abbott on net approvals among males by a moderate 16 points – but among women it blows out to a massive 42 points! http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/07/12/nielsen-galaxy-and-the-gender-gap/#more-8303

NK

12/07/2010Miglo Thanks very much. That's a feather in my cap. debbiep Goodonya. AA, HS and Lyn Peter Brent's actions are a mystery to me. Did he or they think that his audience would follow him and then adopt his new stance? I have been trying to come up with an analogy (which usually helps me sort stuff out) but I can't. I guess the only thing to believe is that they hired him for his skills and not his attitude or audience. Still very odd.

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12/07/2010HS Mumble removed from 'sites of interest'. His old URL is defunct and if anyone still wants to read what he has to say, I guess they will find him under 'The Australian blogs'. NK Perhaps only Peter Brent knows why he's changed to News Limited and why his approach so quickly shows such a significant change. Anyway he'll lose some of his regulars but no doubt make that up with Coalition sycophants. I'm now off to watch [i]Media Watch, Q&A[/i] and [i]Lateline.[/i]

HS

12/07/2010NormanK, An analogy wrt Peter Brent might revolve around Guns for Hire and Beards, if you get my drift. He has been hired so that 'The Australian' can leverage legitimacy from his past work whilst absorbing him into their world like the Borg(from Dr Who).

NK

12/07/2010HS Yeah, maybe. I'm still struggling with it. Legitimacy from past work will evaporate very rapidly (look at the reaction here) and he has now squandered for all time his reputation for calling it as he sees it. Unless of course he has had a genuine change of heart and this is his new reality. The part of my brain which refuses to give up will eventually find an analogy. It's a bit like a famous rock star giving up screaming to take up opera - two quite different audiences and the only thing in common is his voice. Money is the only answer I have at present.

Glorfindel

13/07/2010I for one can't really see any difference between Mumble on the Australian and his old blog. He's been fairly consistent in his opinion that a change from Rudd to Gillard gives the coalition an advantage.

Lyn

13/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]GG delays trip as election speculation mounts ,ABC[/i] We are up against a first-term Government which is backed by an utterly Ruthless political machine," he said."A political machine that has no qualms about executing a Prime Minister without pity or mercy." http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/07/12/2951216.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Analysis: Liberals as Hollow as Ever, Alex Schlotzer, The Angle. Org.[/i] “Nothing makes more noise than an empty vessel,” describes the current state of the Liberal Party of Australia,* http://theangle.org/2010/07/12/analysis-liberals-as-hollow-as-ever/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=analysis-liberals-as-hollow-as-ever [i]Open Thread , Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] the Parliamentary Library’s Background Note on Asylum Seekers is worth taking the time to read. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Population Immigration Infrastructure Jobs Growth Refugees and Politics, AIEC Quest [/i]Australian Education Scott Morrison’s new mantra after he was caught out denying the undeniable yesterday on the Ten Network’s Meet the Press. Paul Bongiorno asked him: “(Tony Abbott) described (boat arrivals) as an invasion: isn’t that playing on people’s fears?”Morrison answered: “Tony did not say that; http://aiecquest.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/population-immigration-infrastructure-jobs-growth-refugees-and-politics/ [i]ACF poll finds that 45% of soft voters would be more likely to support Labor with an ETS, Mark Larvatus Prodeo[/i] energy efficiency and funding for renewable energy, this policy stance will be more about neutralising the prospect of a Coalition scare campaign than anything else. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/12/acf-poll-finds-that-45-of-soft-voters-would-be-more-likely-to-support-labor-with-an-ets/ [i]No carbon price? You’re being conned,Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] The Coalition’s “direct action” guff is supposed to enable Australia to easily meet the bipartisan commitment to reduce emissions by 5% by 2020, notionally making nuclear power irrelevant. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/12/on-climate-change-politicians-think-youre-stupid-and-youre-paying-for-it/ [i]Henry Sidelined? Peter martin[/i] Dr Henry drew repeated fire from the opposition, which is now treading more carefully, reciting the mantra, "our argument is not with Dr Henry".) http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Rupert Murdoch may be evil, but that doesn't mean his paywall is, David Mitchell, Guardian, Uk[/i]Murdoch is a man whose dedication to money is surpassed only by his enthusiasm for the merciless elements of the political and economic rightwing and his determination to bludgeon the British liberal establishment to smithereens with the granite-hard, post-colonial chip on his shoulder. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/11/rupert-murdoch-guardian-paywalls [i]Moving Australia forward, Mark, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Labor would do well to follow Brent’s advice and do a bit of governing before rushing off to the polls. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]Campaign countdown: What would Paul the Octopus do?, David Penberthy, The Punch[/i]There’s an interesting take on all the latest polls in today’s instalment of Peter Brent’s Mumble blog at The Australian. http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/campaign-countdown-what-would-paul-the-octopus-do/

Lyn

13/07/2010Hi NormanK and Ad Larvatus Prodeo again: [i]ACF poll finds that 45% of soft voters would be more likely to support Labor with an ETS, Mark Larvatus Prodeo [/i] energy efficiency and funding for renewable energy, this policy stance will be more about neutralising the prospect of a Coalition scare campaign than anything else. http://larvatusprodeo.net:80/2010/07/12/acf-poll-finds-that-45-of-soft-voters-would-be-more-likely-to-support-labor-with-an-ets/

vote1maxine

13/07/2010Hi Lyn Thanks for the LP link. Mark's last paragraph is disturbing in that the Gillard Govt has the potential to be a great Govt. building on the solid foundations that Rudd laid, maybe that potential will not be realized. [/"It’s quite bizarre that a government that has only been behind the opposition in one poll all term appears so skittish about its re-election prospects, and so seemingly unable to hold the line on any policy in the face of quite predictable Coalition attacks which are certainly not beyond rebuttal. It’s also massively disappointing that any measure of real reform seems captive to the path of least resistance against any political turbulence whatever."//]

Ad astra reply

13/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Lyn

13/07/2010Hi Vote1maxine Yes Mark's paragraph is disappointing, seems like we are being let down all over the place. Alex Schlotzer, gives me some pleasure, and of course we have Reb, Grog, Piping Shrike, Politically Homeless, Bernard Keane, Anonymous lefty, Pure Poison, The Stump, Cafe Whispers, and best of all, Ad , "The Political Sword". I was absolutely devastated yesterday over Mumble's column, but feel better today. Sometimes I think the quicker the election is called the better, then I think no make them (MSM & Coalition) sweat it out until next year. According to some reports, the union is getting their campaign ready right now, so maybe, then our confidence can then be restored somewhat.

HS

13/07/2010Glorfindel, Did Peter Brent ever explain how changing from a poor performer to the ALP's best performer was an advantage for the Coalition? I can't see it myself. As for his assertion that Julia should wait until October before having the election, that's just plain silly. All that would achieve is that Tony Abbott and the Coaloition of the glib soundbiters in his team and the MSM would have time to sharpen their lines of attack. Which may be why he's advocating it, considering where his political home is now.

Jason

13/07/2010What's wrong with us lazy tax payers Rio Tinto and others could be short billions http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/industry-sectors/m-a-month-bottleneck-choking-our-exports/story-e6frg97o-1225890964022

Rx

13/07/2010Hi Ad Astra, I left a posting for [b]ABC Watch[/b] which you may have missed. (July 11. 2010 11:01 PM)

NK

13/07/2010Jason Blame us Queenslanders - we're just not profit-driven enough. It's all this sunshine and beaches and fresh air, it makes us lazy. Oops, bad weather is blamed for the bottleneck. Too lazy to organise decent weather for rail upgrades. Probably preoccupied with State of Origin.

Roswell

13/07/2010It's raining here in Canberra today Norman and play has been postponed. Meanwhile, we all sit in the clubhouse. Well, most of us are. I'm in the nets practicing my big hits.

NK

13/07/2010Roswell This weather-controlling lethargy is a national disgrace. You wouldn't see it under an Abbott Government (Ee-ooh. Dettol for my fingers and Pine-O-Clean for the keyboard) How refreshing has it been to see the MSM relatively free of hate mail today? Good news on buyer confidence. Why is it that our highly educated journalists can't get their head around the idea that Timor's Parliament is a toothless tiger and that the President does actually carry a high degree of influence over the Timorese Government? As your ambiguous two-faced gravatar suggests, you would probably join me in thinking it was deliberate deceitfulness rather than laziness or misinformation. It is so so easy to neglect to inform people of these small but crucial facts, thereby leaving them with an altogether false interpretation of events. I wonder if there's a WH & S by-law which covers this.

Glorfindel

13/07/2010Hi HS, Mumble might be wrong, he might be right, but regardless he has been consistent. Before or after his move to the more mainstream media he had the same message about the Gillard ascendancy. Speaking of which IF Gillard is the superior performer then surely a later election date is to be preferred. Day by day she will out-perform Abbott and the gap between them will grow and grow. Why squander this advantage by rushing into an August election? Your brief analysis seems to indicate that time will be an advantage to Abbott which is entirely counter to the notion of Gillard being the better performer. (The notion that Labor have switched to a better performer is also debatable)

HS

13/07/2010Glorfindel, Won't an election campaign sort out who is the better performer? Then after that they can get on with governing with a renewed mandate from the people, as opposed to the faux mandate that JG has now which was bestowed upon her by the Caucus.

Glorfindel

13/07/2010Hi HS, Absolutely the election will sort them out, but why rush? We have to have an election sooner or later after all so why rush into it? Gillard outperforms Abbott all through July, then all through August, then all through September, then through most of October where she calls an election for November. That's three extra months to show the electorate she is much better than Abbott, rather than just rushing into an August election. Three more months to convince the swingers and moderate Liberals that she's the better choice. After all it's the election that counts, you don't gain any extra seats for out-pointing the opposition after the election it's only the vote on the day that matters. If Gillard is the superior performer then time is her ally and Abbott's enemy. (Also a bit of time to let Queensland get over loosing a Queensland PM wouldn't hurt either) Why does she need to rush in and claim a mandate, is there something wrong with the way she got the job now?

Jason

13/07/2010Glorfindel, What do you have against an August election? Why would anyone want to hear Abbott's slogans for three months,or as he has said himself read my lying lips. And the way she got the job is how under the westminster system it has always been the party picks the leader not the people.

Glorfindel

13/07/2010Hi Jason, Ok so the way she got the job was legit, which means that she doesn't need to rush to the people in August and claim a mandate. Let's assume that Labor is on an upward trend in the polls and that Gillard has the goods to keep that trend going. If that is the case then that trend should be allowed to run it's course and an election should be held at the peak of that trend. (Unless of course Gillard has peaked already). Right now, (July) the TPP is something like: 52 / 48 to Labor (Galaxy and Nielsen polls) Lets assume a slow, steady improvement until a peak as Gillard continues to outperform Abbott. August 53 / 47 September 54 / 56 October 55 / 45 November 56/ 44 (peak – election is called) According to Antony Green's spiffy little election calculator at 52 / 48 TPP to Labor would give 81 seats to Labor 66 to the coalition. But at 56 /44 that would give 101 to Labour and 46 to the coalition. That's an improvement of 20 seats a fantastic result. Even a 53 / 47 result is 9 seats better for Labor than a 52 / 48. So do you think that Gillard has peaked now and can't possibly improve her position over Abbott? If there is room for improvement then that should run it's course. Otherwise the party is wasting potential seats. And if the party can't go beyond 52 / 48 then why on earth did they dump Rudd ?

Glorfindel

13/07/2010whoops typo with September should have been 54 / 46

NK

13/07/2010Glorfindel As guru Antony Green points out, there are many more factors than opinion polls which affect the calling of an election. It is hard to imagine federal Labor would wish to get tangled up in the NSW election with that state party being so on the nose. So probably better to go before rather than after especially if NSW Labor get hammered. NSW might get a lift out of a federal win. Sports events play a part in this too. Christmas is a no no apparently. The new year is too far away - the public will get toey if this pre-election period drags on too long. Abbott declared the pre-election period as having commenced the day he was elected leader last November. Another premise which I would seriously question, is whether Rudd was dumped over polls. I know it is the popular belief but that doesn't make it necessarily true. The sudden nature of the act and the duration of the fateful Wednesday night meeting, point to a serious falling out, in my opinion. A purely poll-driven takeover would have been far more likely to have occurred on the previous Tuesday. And as you point out, the polls are not so different now. Also, if we're frank, if Gillard is going to make a mistake (no matter how small) due to inexperience, better it be after an election rather than on the eve. She's not perfect. An election campaign as PM will do her the world of good. Also exponential growth of TPP over three months is a very big gamble when all other factors are considered.

Glorfindel

13/07/2010Hi NK, The NSW election is early next year isn't it ? Football finals are over in September (AFL) / early October (NRL) and they would be good events for PM Gillard to go to. So if you rule them out and Christmas anything from mid October to mid November would be ok. But apart from that I'd pretty much agree with you I doubt very much Rudd was dumped due to bad polling and any the growth I used for the TPP was pretty much for the sake of the exercise only. But if Gillard has any capacity to improve the vote then that capacity should be used. I guess maybe that capacity is the issue? It will be interesting to see what the new climate change policy will be.

Jason

13/07/2010Glorfindel, I'm not worried about another twenty seats in the house I'm more interested in keeping what we already have.What does Green say about the senate? that's been the problem this term with that unrepresentative swill as Keating once said. At the end of the day the labor party hard heads would also be looking at internal party polling. ps I think commonwealth games start end of september or there abouts

NK

13/07/2010Hi Glorfindel You're right. For some reason I thought the NSW election was November but it is March.

Ad astra reply

13/07/2010Rx Apologies, I missed your 11 July addition to ABC WATCH, so I've just now updated it: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

macca

13/07/2010There comes a time when blowhards need to be called to account. It's Abbott time. The perception is that the country is very near ungovernable. This is the sad, tragic reality we are faced with. As a society, regardless of who you vote for, we must not allow this to continue. There is a marvellous Aussie saying.......if your unsure,....make a decision and go for it....RIP, SHIT or BUST!! This time is upon us. The media and various pundits tell us that Kevin Rudd was assinated by the factions. They didn't. They beheaded him. The msm, led by Murdoch, aided by the LNP and vested interests, gleefully encouraged by those insipid creatures we call Australian journalists administered the thousand cuts first. Why would Julia Gillard give them another opportunity? They have fed on enough blood. Let them fight for and earn their meat. As conservatives are fond of saying...".There's no such thing as a free lunch". I agree. Let's make sure they have to earn the next one. We need an election. We need it soon. We need to find out if the poison is winning.

Lyn

13/07/2010Hi Macca [quote]We need an election. We need it soon. We need to find out if the poison is winning[/quote]. I agree the sooner the better, if Labor wins do you think the MSM knockers will shutup, just shutup, for goodness sake shutup. We have a new show on Sky News now, called Australian Agenda, (advertised as), in conjunction with "The Australian", the fight to get the Coalition back in, is never ending.

Miglo

13/07/2010Well said, Lyn.

Lyn

14/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Twiddling thumbs time, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] we are all just waiting for the date to be called – August 28 or September 5 looking like being the date – but really look at the news http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]An Election to fill the gap, The Piping Shrike[/i] The media have been discussing the rapid approach of an election as though it is perfectly natural, indeed some have demanded it. Yet the idea of a newly installed leader rushing quickly to an election is quite unusual. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/07/an-election-to-fill-the-gap.html [i]Timor-Leste a horribly cynical choice,Mungo MacCallum, Echo[/i]. they cannot be allowed into Australia because that would give them access to the Australian legal system, and the possibility of justice, http://www.echo.net.au/opinion-piece/timor-leste-horribly-cynical-choice [i]Application for campaign - Director - John Alexander, Ramblings of a Political Tragic[/i]. when Ms McKew got elected, there wasn't a weekend that went by where she wasn't out meeting and greeting the locals. http://moderatelyleft.blogspot.com/ [i]Asylum seeker policy on the run, Dino Cesta, Online Opinion[/i]. Abbott’s objective is to discourage people smugglers and asylum seekers arriving by boat, it is morally bankrupt and inhumane: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10682 [i]Moving Australia backwards! Coalition policy speculation. Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i]. nuclear power seems to have been shot down by his leader, despite being endorsed by Glenn Milne. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/13/moving-australia-backwards-coalition-policy-speculation-open-thread/ [i]Labor is calling on Tony Abbott to admit that his promise to ‘turn back the boat can’t be delivered , Australia. To. News[/i] “Tony Abbott’s team have admitted what Labor already knows - Tony Abbott's policy is dangerous and unworkable. And Tony Abbott knows it,” http://australia.to/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3941:labor-is-calling-on-tony-abbott-to-admit-that-his-promise-to-turn-back-the-boats-cant-be-delivered&catid=101:australian-news&Itemid=167 [i]Nutty anti-Green claim #467: Jeremy, Anonymous Lefty[/i] Labor needs every vote otherwise ABBOTT MIGHT BECOME PRIME MINISTER! http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Andrew Bolt and the Great Gerrrymander Conspiracy, Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison[/i] bringing together of willful ignorance with partisan conspiracy theories that seems to be the hallmark of his work. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/07/13/andrew-bolt-and-the-great-gerrrymander-conspiracy/#more-6585

Ad astra reply

14/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

vote1maxine

14/07/2010Hi Lyn As Mark at yesterdays LP link stated "It’s also massively disappointing that any measure of real reform seems captive to the path of least resistance against any political turbulence whatever." Today we have Ross Gittins in the SMH, "I'm not impressed by what we've seen of the Gillard government so far. We've seen the triumph of political expediency over good government." Another link to your comprehensive list. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/show-us-your-ticker-gillard-before-you-force-us-to-vote-20100713-109ch.html I don't regard Gittins as part of the hysterical anti-Labor MSM. I'm concerned that the Gillard govt. if returned will not be the great Labor Govt. that Rudd built the foundations for.

Ad astra reply

14/07/2010Folks I'm in the process of completing a piece [i]How to beat up a story - ABC style[/i] which I'll post this afternoon.

Lyn

14/07/2010Hi Vote1maxine Thankyou so much for your link to Ross Gittens. He is reasonably objective, and I can appreciate & understand his point of view, but I don't agree with a lot of what he says. One sentense says, [quote]we have had a new prime Minister for 5 minutes[/quote], and then he proceeds to knock Julia Gillard's performance, such as: "[quote]I'm not impressed by what we've seen of the Gillard government so far[/quote]". [quote]Excuse me, but what's the tearing hurry? We've had a new Prime Minister for five minutes, but we're being rushed off to an election before we can get her measure. Why?[/quote] This excuse me, what's the hurry, business, that is the flaming, rotten, Media's fault. Sky news has been at the railway station, in Lindsay interviewing people on the way to work. Honestly it appears to me, if by chance, they happen to find a labor supporter, I am sure they can't wait to scrap the video clip in the nearest otto. Also you would swear blind, there is an election being held, this weekend, the carry on is hypo, maniacal nonsense. Julia Gillard will be a good Prime Minister, if only the Media and the knockers would give her a chance. So far we have heard, the colour of her hair, her voice, her clothes, her nose. cheers

Jason

14/07/2010Lyn, I also noticed yesterday when SKY were wondering around Lindsay asking the punters who would you vote for, one woman said Liberal because the train line hadn't been up graded. I would suggest if this woman can't tell the difference between state and federal responsibility on train lines then David Bradbury current sitting Labor member either is a poor communicator or lazy. The people seemed to be more worried about infrastructure or lack of it than they were of Abbott's peaceful invasion.

Miglo

14/07/2010My wife pointed out last night that at the end of the news.com story about school uniforms the article concluded with complete amazement that nothing had been done about climate change. Even when she does something popular, they still find ways to kick her.

Lyn

14/07/2010Hi My Friend Miglo Talking about school uniforms and they bring up Climate Change' Honestly the reporters and news readers are unreal, there is something happening with the MSM, the likes we have never seen before.

Lyn

14/07/2010Hi my friend Jason Of course Sky has to pick Lindsay, when they have just had a by-election. As for complaining about the trains, when asked about the Federal government election, just shows you how gullible Mr and Mrs Public are.

NK

14/07/2010Miglo & Lyn The school uniform rebate is only stage one. Tomorrow the announcement will be made that all school uniforms - public and private - must be constructed from reflective material to beam sunlight back out into space.

Lyn

14/07/2010Hi My friend NormanK I told you lots of times before, how clever you are. What a great invention, wonder if the scientists have been researching, your method of saving sunlight, especially in space, because there is lots of space, brilliant.

Lyn

14/07/2010 Hi Everybody Time for everyone to move over, to Ad's excellent factual column:- [i[u]][b]How to beat up a story - ABC style[/b][/i][/u] cheers

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