The election climate

One of the great imponderables over the life of the first term of the Rudd-Gillard government has been why it is that Climate Change and Environmental policy has fallen, not only off the radar, but off a cliff. From something that a politician could confidently claim, in his role as a mirror of the community, that “Climate Change is the great moral and economic challenge of our generation”, to an obscurantist position, which basically says, it's real, but it should not cause a transformative economic upheaval to our society, and politicians should stand idly by for a few years, almost in fear of the backlash that they think will arise from implementing it. A fear of introducing a cost that we must pay for out of our own pockets, to enable this environmental remediation and pro-active protection of our planet to occur.

Well, I've been around long enough to have seen a few environmental 'Crusades' fought; some won, some lost.

As inconsequential as it may seem now, the battle to introduce recycling and recyclable materials, was a long and hard-fought campaign.

Strangely, with respect to the success of that campaign, and maybe this is the key to the Climate Change debate and Julia Gillard is onto something here with her Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Change idea, the leadership that was required to forge community-wide consensus, came not from our elected representatives, but from passionate voices arising out of the community itself.

In my own State of NSW, we had pioneers who, as a first step, forced their way, through the power of their arguments, onto our local councils, in numbers sufficient to be able to make things happen.

Things like, 'Reverse Garbage' in Marrickville, where I lived, sprang up to cater for refuse that used to just go to the tip, but which actually turned out to be useful. And the glorious 'Tempe Tip', where old furniture could be deposited and 'recycled' back into the community, instead of also being taken out back, to the real tip, and trashed. Stuff that we value as antiques and collectibles today, but which used to be cast-off as rubbish back then.

I even remember the first newspaper recycling scheme, where we used to have to tie our newspapers in a bundle and leave them out once a week for the garbos to physically pick up and put into the back of an open-top garbage truck.

Then came the beer and wine bottle recycling, which we all used to put into our own personal, stolen, milk crates. Finally, once the plastics were called for, we had been given our first Sulo bin to put it all in. And our old plastic garbage bin was the first item into the new bins for recycling! Momentum and enthusiasm carried all these progressions forward.

Also, it was the time of creativity on the ground. I remember all my friends learning how to make new paper from recycling old paper products, and drinking glasses from old beer and wine bottles (we were poor students, and enthusiastic recyclers). We made our own soap and we made our own clothes. I even made my own furniture so I didn't have to buy products made from Tropical Rainforest timber. I made sure I used Plantation Timber. And no woodchip-based materials for me!

That’s how keen we all were then to make the change happen.

I guess you could say there was a 'Community Consensus' for the sort of changes that we knew in our hearts was needed; and we were prepared to provide the spearhead. It then naturally followed that older demographics, more conservative if you like, gradually became able to see the light that was like a beacon to us. And, hasn't it ever been thus?

So, and I am not claiming to know the mind of Julia Gillard, but, being from the same generation as I am, maybe she went through that transformative period like I did, and maybe she has come to the conclusion that momentum for Climate Change action must come from the roots movements in and of our society again.

On the ground, in every city and every town, the populace needs to feel it in their bones that action has to be taken and the time to take it is now, and the time to bite the bullet is now, if all the evidence is laid out before a representative sample of Ordinary Joes and Janes, who might then act as community activists for the cause if they are convinced of the strength of the argument about the need to act locally whilst thinking globally about the effects of Climate Change.

Thus, only when that innate understanding of the issue is gained by almost everyone again, only then will we 'Man Up' to the task of saving our planet's climate by getting out of our comfort zones and agreeing to make substantive contributions that will, necessarily, hurt our hip-pocket nerve. And I say 'almost everyone' because I acknowledge that there will never be complete agreement about going forward with real action on Climate Change, especially considering the advocacy against substantive action and the trivialising of the issue, or downright denial of the existence and seriousness of Climate Change that Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt advocate on behalf of the Coalition.

We must not let the naysayers deter us yet again as we are confronted by the self-interested prevaricators and denialists, or those without wit enough to see what is actually happening around the world to our Climate. All that should not be enough to deter us. It may seem an intangible concept, but have no doubt; Climate Change is a very, very real phenomenon.

We thus have to find a way to make action happen. Just like we did with recycling. It's too important to let conservative, old, white men and corporate interests win the day. Mother Earth is counting on us.

So, getting down to competing Environmental policy stories, we have 'Faux Action' from the Liberals, up against, 'Putting off till tomorrow what should be done today, but at least it will eventually be done once we get people onside again', from the ALP.

Firstly, to the Coalition.

'Direct Action'

What action to have an effect on Climate Change shouldn't be? You directly want to have an effect, so the action you take ergo needs to be direct. I put it to you that there is no more direct action on Climate Change than making polluters pay for the destructive CO2 that they emit.

I would have been more impressed if the Coalition had advocated 'Effective Action' on Climate Change.

Nevertheless, this is what they have to say about it:

'Direct Action' on soil carbons will be the major plank of our strategy.'

This suggests to me that the Coalition is planning to be a 'One Trick Pony' on Climate Change action, when it comes to implementing its Climate Change 'Action Plan'. That is, anything else it might speak about will only be incidental to its Biochar initiative. It will shoulder most of the burden of bringing down CO2 levels as far as the Coalition's concerned. It also sounds like it is preparing to set up a massive pork barrel for its Agrarian Socialist mates in the National Party, as it is mainly farmers who turn the charcoal back into the ground for soil improvement, which is the basis of the Biochar program.

Yes, it works, but on its own it's not enough. As we all know, the big change needs to happen in the Power Generation Industry, both here, and overseas, where our coal goes. It also needs to have a more ambitious target for CO2 reduction, both to provide an example to other countries and to show that we are good global citizens prepared to do the sort of heavy lifting we expect of those in other countries. This can only come about via the market mechanism of an Emissions Trading Scheme, well designed, to spread the burden as equally as possible between the populace and business and industry. And the Labor Party is the only major political party still advocating one. In contrast, the Coalition has stated that there will 'never ever' be a price on Carbon under its watch.

The Coalition also advocates ‘an Emissions Reduction Fund to support CO2 emissions reduction by business and industry'.

I wonder why it does not want to reward individual action? I thought the Coalition was all for 'the innate worth of the individual...and the need to encourage initiative and personal responsibility'? Well, at least that's what it says in its Mission Statement on its website. Which only leads me to think 'Pork Barrel' again. This time for their mates in the business and industry community who have been their financial backstop.

The Coalition Environment policy goes on to say, 'Through this fund we will support 140 million tonnes per annum abatement by 2020 to meet our 5% target'. Which seems a bit paltry to me, but then so is a 5% target.

Interestingly, the document goes on to add, 'This is a once in a century replenishment of our soil carbon'.

What does this mean?

Has the Coalition committed to 'replenishing soil carbon' only once this century? Has it calculated that a once only commitment of carbon to the soil will satisfy its anaemic target? After that will it be back to 'business as usual'? Not to mention that it stated that Biochar is its main CO2 mitigation plank. So does that mean that their much-touted fund for business and industry will be an overly generous payment for not much action at all to clean up emissions? If only our national journalists would get out of the gutter, from which they have been asking Julia Gillard questions, and ask the Coalition some of these hard questions, instead of simply relaying Coalition Talking Points, ALP gossip and verballing the PM.

Next on to the Coalition's 'One million Solar Panels on a million Roofs' policy.

Well, the fine detail says that the Coalition would invest $100 million/year, Australia-wide, for an additional 1 million Solar Energy homes by 2020. That's 10 years from now, across six States and Territories, or about 12,500/State and Territory/per year.

Now please excuse my skepticism for a moment, but didn't the Rudd government install ceiling insulation into 1 million homes in a couple of years just recently? So actually its a much reduced ambition to spread Solar Energy from the Coalition, as a way of getting CO2 emissions down, when you look at it that way. Also, I imagine that, under the Coalition's plan you would have to have the money to buy the Solar panels first, and then apply for a refund. How many low-income households can afford to do that? Whereas the Rudd government enabled those who are most affected by high electricity prices, which the Coalition have been banging on about endlessly this election campaign, to benefit from their program.

Next, the Coalition go on to promise '...across Australia 125 mid-scale solar projects will be established in schools & communities, and 25 geothermal or tidal power 'micro' projects will be established in suitable towns'.

Now, if you look at these links:  http://www.austrade.gov.au/Invest/Opportunities-by-Sector/Clean-Energy/Renewable-Energy/default.aspx and http://www.ga.gov.au/minerals/research/national/geothermal/index.jsp you'll see that the Labor government is already doing these things. So, its good that the Coalition is onboard, but it's hardly visionary policy-making, and it is a case of the 'metooism' they mock the ALP about. Also, as I have noticed on my journeys around my area, all the BER projects, at every school, are coming equipped with Solar panels on their roofs.

The Coalition also has a policy to support a 'study into replacing high voltage overhead cables in our cities with underground cables', and, 'to help reclaim land currently lost to high voltage transmission corridors in our cities'.

Now, whilst an admirable aim, I'd like to see the Coalition's costings for this policy. Dare I say it, due to the massive investment required to make this policy a reality, the Coalition may need to bring in a 'Great Big New Tax' to pay for it, or go into 'Debt and Deficit'. Either that, or a Public/Private Partnership with Energy infrastructure companies that would see electricity prices rise as they pass their costs on to the consumer and put more pressure then on the 'Cost of Living'. All themes that the Liberal Party have been hammering the ALP over in this election campaign, and before.

I also noticed that the Coalition have a plan to 'plant an additional 20 million trees in available public spaces'. Could someone please ask a Coalition spokesman to define an 'available public space'? Will it be confined to Crown Land only? In National Parks? In the park down the corner? On the top of Parliament House in Canberra? I don't know, but I sure would like to because these are the policies that the Coalition promise to implement if elected. One thing I do know, is that when Malcolm Turnbull first announced this policy, he stated that those trees could go anywhere. It was then pointed out that a lot of arable land would thus be taken up by those trees, because they will only grow where there is enough water to keep them alive, and most farmers would rather use that water and that soil to grow a cash crop. So it looks like the Coalition got that message from the farming lobby and has modified its policy as a result. Also, the point was made at the time about what would be the environmental impact of imposing trees on a place where there are none now, and the environment is presently incapable of supporting trees to maturity in 'available public space' where nothing else is at present.

The only area therefore that I can think of that would support large-scale tree planting is in previously logged old-growth forest. However, as that is not public space, yet again I cannot reconcile the facts on the ground with the aspirations of the Coalition policy.

In the Coalition policy document they deride the policies of the Labor government with respect to Climate Change, saying, 'Labor's ETS will increase the Cost of Living, put greater pressure on the household budgets of Australian families, penalise industry, and cost jobs, without delivering commensurate environmental benefits.'

Well, I say to them, prove to me that your policies, which I have outlined above, won't do exactly the same thing to the household budgets of Australian citizens? In fact, I posit that it will have a more detrimental effect to family budgets because the Coalition's policies also call for incentive payments to industry, which is taxpayers' money that they are talking about giving away as 'Good Boy' payments to companies that reduce their CO2 emissions, as opposed to the Labor Party, which would rather use a market mechanism and Emissions Trading Scheme to bring about a positive change in behaviour by companies.

Yes, this would see a flow-through into the price we all pay for our electricity, but I hazard a guess that the price we pay for that ETS-linked electricity would be less than what taxpayers would be asked to pay to fund the 'Great Big New Handout' to industry to thank them for doing what a market mechanism would naturally compel them to.

To say nothing of its Biochar initiative, which whilst it is seemingly an efficient method of locking carbon into the earth from whence it came, nevertheless comes with a hidden cost which lies in the cost of building all the pyrolysis plants to take the biowaste from all across the country to convert to Biochar. I can't see how transporting the large-scale waste far away to a small number of big plants would be economically efficient. Still, I would like to see this initiative eventually get up in some way, as it seems to me from what I have read about it that it has potential to make a valid contribution to our CO2-mitigation initiatives. But only as a bit-player.

No, the heavy lifting WILL have to be done by us all, every individual one of us. This includes business and industry paying their fair share, as we pay ours. Also I cheekily hope that after the election, should the Australian people elect a Labor government and give the Greens the balance of power in the Senate, we will have crafted for us an appropriately responsible Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme of sufficient strength to actually make a difference to our per capita CO2 emissions, which are the highest in the world. Don't let us forget that, despite what the naysayers bleat about any action we may take not ever going to make a difference.

It's time for us to start to build the consensus from the ground up again, and get everyone back on board.

To my eyes the cost of the Coalition's 'Real (Minimalist) Action' policies would be far greater than any ETS, and thus increase electricity costs more, though not in an upfront and obvious way to the end consumer. I think that the only difference is that with the Coalition plan the costs to industry will be paid for with $3 billion of our tax money and this may lead to what looks like lower electricity bills, but we're still paying for it in the end, aren't we? Also, who knows how much it will cost us, as a result of an unstable climate, to suffer the vicissitudes of the sort of climate calamity that will be unleashed in the medium to long term if little or no action is taken (we just have to look at the Black Saturday Bushfires to get a taste of that), and go down the path of immediate self-interest and selfishness, and support with our votes the sort of make-work and feel-good Coalition policies which ultimately seem to be going to cost us just as much, but which will contribute to a less positive effect on Climate Change.

All the polls say that people still believe in the reality of Climate Change. We just have to get together to nut out the best way forward. Create that groundswell movement, and get on with it.

What do you think?

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Ad astra reply

1/08/2010Folks This has been posted on the previous piece, but is duplicated here so everyone can read it. LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Note that LYN'S LINKS are available now for: APRIL: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-LINKS-APRIL.aspx MAY: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-LINKS-MAY-2010.aspx JUNE: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-LINKS-JUNE.aspx JULY: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-LINKS-JULY-2010.aspx When you see how many links Lyn has provided over the last four months, you will appreciate even more what a valuable service she provides for the thousands who visit TPS regularly, some specifically to check LYN'S LINKS for the day. Thank you Lyn. We are all very grateful. You save us so much time by searching out these links, some from obscure places, that give us such profound insight into what is going on in the political world and particularly the political blogosphere.

Lyn

1/08/2010Hi Ad Thankyou Ad, your kind words are greatly appreciated. I am humbled, you have brought tears to my eyes. "The Political Sword" is such a wonderful, worthwhile, place to be, I am honoured, & very grateful, to be contributor. Thankyou Ad for providing such an interesting hobby especially for me, but more importantly for us all.

Lyn

1/08/2010Hi Hillbilly Thankyou, Hillbilly for your brilliant piece, no wonder you have been quiet the last few days. The Topic no doubt will attract plenty of interesting opinions and comments from us all, I can hardly wait. Next on to the Coalition's 'One million Solar Panels on a million Roofs' policy. [quote][i]Well, the fine detail says that the Coalition would invest $100 million/year, Australia-wide, for an additional 1 million Solar Energy homes by 2020. That's 10 years from now, across six States and Territories, or about 12,500/State and Territory/per year.[/quote][/i] We had the pink batts installed 8 months ago, the result last summer was amazing, less air conditioning, so less power. Next week the electrician and contractors are fitting 12 solar panels on our roof, under the Governments scheme, Thankyou Kevin Rudd and the Labor Government, for providing us, in our home, with "[b][u]DIRECT ACTION"[/u][/b]

Michael

1/08/2010What Julia Gillard doesn't 'get', what we don't seem to generally on this site, is that voters don't want to do it for themselves. They want someone else to do the hard lifting. Even in something as critical as Climate Change, most Australians seemed to want Kevin Rudd to sort it out while we blithely, per capita, each contribute more carbon to the planet's atmosphere than any other nation on Earth. When Kevin explained quite rationally why he couldn't 'sort it out' straightaway in postponing introducing an ETS, the bottom fell out of his popularity. He lost the only sort of respect that seems to matter to a lot of this country's people. The respect that amounts to being someone who can be passed the 'tough' buck. To refer back to the previous topic about a Citizens' Assembly on Climate, Julia Gillard has made the same mistake as Kevin Rudd. The majority of Australians who want something done about climate change want someone else to do it. They don't want to have to think about it, they want the government to just sort it out... and they don't want to have to pay for it. It's called having your cake and eating it, and it is THE poisonous legacy of the Howard years. Because it is all flim-flam as it always was with Howard's government. He and Costello gutted this country's supposed ingenuity and inventiveness by cynically espousing the role of the individual ahead of the state, while all the time bribing us as parents, as taxpayers, as anyone who had their hand out and had a job come election time. Entitlement was the national motto under Howard, and "I'm all right, Jack", the pledge of citizenship. As a country, as a people, we actually have to re-learn civic responsibility, and civil co-citizenship between all Australians, because the poison Howard introduced was sweetly addictive, and virally powerful. It feels 'right', flag in hand, "Aussie Aussie Aussie" on our lips, but it is desperately wrong precisely because it does feel so exaggeratedly so. I applaud every word in your commonsensical article, and find most of the reasoned arguments made at this site of a high calibre in articulating issues for the government to address and citizens to be concerned about and active on. But, horror of very real horrors, it doesn't seem to matter how sensible, reasoned, and clarion-calling everyday citizens' voices and thoughts are as shared here, what is getting an increasing majority of voters' support is the simplistic message of "leave it to me" from Tony Abbott. Many people might find his inarticulateness, the internally contradictory nature of almost every policy he announces ('company tax down, company levy up', for example), and that barely the minimum of the 'big ticket' social policy promises (aged care, mental health, for two) will ever be delivered, reasons enough not to feel anything but bemused by the man. But even more people seem to simply relate viscerally to the image he projects. No thinking process need intervene, it seems. And the "real action" man image is that he will rescue Australia from travails that only really exist in propaganda and lies propagated through the Coalition's ideologically attuned mass media supporters. But, that's all he needs. It's bogus, it's hollow, it's going to be incredibly destructive to this nation's well-being if he's elected PM, but it's easy. Stupidly easy. What your article calls for is engagement, consideration, thought, following through with action. And that is not stupidly easy.

Ad astra reply

1/08/2010HS Thank you for a thoughtful piece that puts paid to the notion the Coalition’s Direct Action on Climate Change will be cheap, or that it is likely to be as effective as any worthwhile carbon mitigation scheme needs to be. In fact cheapness and effectiveness are likely never to be bedfellows. The Coalition policy smacks of tokenism, but it can get away with this because of the paucity of clear information about its Direct Action policy. This is the first analysis of its policy that I have read. Where are the MSM journalists? Why haven’t we seen a thorough appraisal from any of them, or if there has been some and I’ve missed them, would visitors please leave a link. It seems that they are more concerned with leaks and embarrassing Julia Gillard with off-the-subject questions to fill the columns of their tabloids with grubby items, while being uninterested in helping voters to decide on the merits of competing policies on this subject or other complex issues. It all seems too hard for them. We need more Lenore Taylor articles; she does have an understanding of the subject and could clarify the pros and cons for the general public – not that she would get front-page billing – that is for the scandals, the leaks, the conflict, and the anti-Government rhetoric. Michael’s comments brilliantly focus on the real problem with much of our society – it wants a quick, easy and cheap fix of the complex problems besetting this nation. That is why ‘action-man’, ‘leave it to me’ Tony Abbott, who will ‘end the waste, repay the debt, stop the new taxes and stop the boats’ appeals; it’s all so simple if you leave it to Tony. What IS needed is a way of engaging the people in serious discussion on these issues, like that described by HillbillySkeleton in reference to the recycling initiative. It was community involvement that made it a success. In my view similar action over climate change via the suggested Community Assembly could be the answer to public apathy on this subject. Possum’s analysis of the additional questions in the Nielsen poll shows that there is 60% support for an ETS; 74% among Labor supporters, 44% among Coalition supporters and 84% among Greens. Of those who strongly opposed an ETS, males predominated over females two to one (although the numbers were small). As there were no questions on what people would be prepared to pay for climate change action, we don’t know how any enthusiasm for action might melt away once the cost became anything other than very modest. Asked about the idea of a Community Assembly, 41% supported it, 53% opposed; males and Coalition supporters were more skeptical. So there is a starting point on which to build, with emphasis on building support among males and Coalition supporters. Actually I’m surprised that support reached 41% as there has been so little in the media about how the Assembly might operate; most journalists have ridiculed the idea out of hand. Here’s the link to Possum’s piece [i]Nielsen poll- the other stuff[/i]: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/08/01/nielsen-poll-the-other-stuff/ So as HillbillySkeleton says: “We just have to get together to nut out the best way forward. Create that groundswell movement, and get on with it.”

HS

1/08/2010Michael, Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Yes, it does seem, in this age of instant gratification and mental laziness, or the 'dumbing-down of the electorate' as it is so-called, that all the electorate are looking for are cheap bromides instead of real solutions to the problems that the climate scientists are ringing the alarums about. Then, after they have voted for Tony Abbott's, feel-good,do-nothing policies, they can switch off again and concentrate on the footy finals. Which, sadly, is what has become more important to them than the future of our planet. Yes, it is true that no matter how much we huff and puff on blogs like this, and have the truth on our side, the vast majority of the electorate won't give two hoots about it. Nevertheless, I work on the principle that the people who actually want to do the right thing only need 50%+1 vote to win, and if I can influence that one extra person to cast the deciding vote, then I will have done my job successfully.

NormanK

1/08/2010Hillbilly Skeleton Thanks very much for your piece. There is a good deal of information in it which I didn't know but probably should have done. If we add in Penny Wong's statement that modelling has shown that under the Coalition proposals emissions are likely to rise by 13% rather than fall, it paints a very gloomy picture. I would dearly love to share your optimism about people-power but really I can't because we (as a whole population) are far too selfish and self-centred to ever willingly embark on an endeavour which would cost us money or effort. The planet would have to be in appalling condition, with the effects there for all to see before we would act and by then it would be too late. Even then we would expect someone else to come up with a solution and implement it so that we can get back to whatever it was we were doing. Michael in his two most recent posts (with which I couldn't agree more) has summed it up beautifully. We were lucky with the GFC in that it came at the right part of the election cycle, Treasury had a plan already mapped out and we had a leader (Big Daddy Kevin) who was prepared to put it into action despite criticism or potential political fallout. There was no public consensus on the best course of action and any effort to seek one would have been farcical and devastating. We relied on experts, professionals and our elected officials to do what they considered to be the right thing. We - the whole population - don't actually know what is good for us. Imagine if the GFC had reared its head three weeks ago. I shudder to think what might have happened. With an election looming, would either of our current leaders have been willing to stick their neck out and advocate a massive stimulus package? Would they be prepared to do what they believed was right at the risk of electoral defeat? Or would they have turned to focus groups? There was a moment in December 2009 when a price on carbon could have been achieved but every aspect of the synchronicity has dissipated. There but for one Liberal Party Room vote. Rarely has such a relatively small thing had such huge consequences. I fear that what is required now is an act of political suicide. It will need to be done against our will. Whoever legislates a price on carbon will almost certainly lose the following election unless it is sold extremely well (Citizens Assembly?) and framed in such a way that the cost to taxpayers is minimal. It is still possible but will any politician be brave enough to put good policy and the future of the planet ahead of their future political career? Probably not. There was a time when I thought Kevin Rudd would but our current poll-driven leaders are too gutless methinks. If Labor is re-elected, they will need to act as quickly as possible to legislate and consolidate a price on carbon. To have this question linger until the next election would be plain stupid. Imagine a populace which is "sick of talking about climate change". Leaders must lead. Michael Thanks for your recent posts. They were marvellous.

Rx

1/08/2010[b]REAL ACTION ALERT[/b] Folks, If you have a colour printer, why not print out these leaflets, take them to a copy shop, get multiple copies made, and letterbox your neighbourhood! Every little bit helps! http://alp.org.au/get-involved/letterbox/

HS

1/08/2010Rx, I've just come back from letterboxing my neighbourhood actually!

George Pike

1/08/2010Great piece HS, I can just see Barnaby's land-baron mates grinning from ear to ear at the thought of getting billions for using free fertiliser and for planting trees in the desert! We need more than 50% plus one though..Labor actually has to win 51% to win...something to do with the electoral boundaries I think. While the big farmers will be giggling, the coal fired power co's will be laughing like a pack of hyenas at the massive handouts they are going to get...all at the expense of the taxpayer! No wonder Bob Brown is having kittens hey! It looks like the mining industry elites have restarted their anti-MRRT campaign as well. That shouldn't be too hard to get over though. All the Labor people have to do to squash that attack is to point to the last election, where the miners were declaring their industry dead and buried if Labor won the election and killed Workchoices. They are also saying that the cost of power will go up because of the tax, but the economists have already said that the price of coal in the Japan and China markets has by far the biggest effect on the price of energy in this country...and I can't see the miners bending over backwards to keep the price of export coal static hey!

nasking

1/08/2010Well said Hillbilly...should open a few eyes. NEW POST at the Cafe: Tony’s Smear & Fear Team Will Lose Election For Him http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/tonys-smear-fear-team-will-lose-election-for-him/ Kinda light-hearted. :) N’

Lyn

1/08/2010Hi Hillbilly From Possum: Nielsen poll - other stuff, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics Do you support or oppose the creation of a [b]Citizens’ Assembly [/b]of around 150 randomly selected people to develop the nation’s response to climate change? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/

Lyn

1/08/2010Hi Hillbilly Ad, and Everybody Post by Reb, [b]"Oh, Dolly what have you done...??"[/b] DollyGate!, Reb, Gutter Trash [b]The Telegraph has just upped the ante, by releasing the transcript of the interview with Alexander Downer. [/b] http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/01/dollygate/

HS

1/08/2010lyn, Yes, I read the transcript of the Dolly Downer interview with the reporter. I think Dolly forgets he can't just obfuscate and prevaricate the way he used to when he was in government, or in short, lie and cover-up. :) I can't see it getting much traction beyond tomorrow though, there might be a new Labor leak to smear all over the media, and the media love those ones more.

nasking

1/08/2010Good links Lyn. I noticed ya said elsewhere: "These Labor cabinet leaks have been sus anyway, wouldn’t be suprised if the Liberals have had their paws all over them." Indeed Lyn. I do think they were distorted by the Libs & some of their media supporters...the "smear & fear" team. At least Downer seems to think his comments were by Limited News. Perhaps the other leaks were SEXED UP. :) Memories... N'

Lyn

1/08/2010Hi Hillbilly I think there might be more to come, just have a feeling the Liberals have their paws all over something, somehow, somewhere. Tony Abbott has been having a great time with these Labor cabinett leaks, Government a shambles etc. etc., Dolly would have fixed that attack up wouldn't he. The Telegraph is not going to back down, seeing they published the unedited transcript. Here is what Andrew Elder has to say about Dolly, at "Politically Homeless" [i]Where's Johnny, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] If this is true, then Downer scored the greatest political own-goal since the German decision in 1917 to allow Lenin to go from Switzerland to St Petersburg. Every Coalition MP who lost office in 2007 should have a crack at Downer over that. Besides, isn't Downer supposed to be some big wheel at the UN where everyone has to be bipartisan? get Downer out of politics altogether: a dud leader, a dud foreign minister, and a toxic strategist. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/08/wheres-johnny-bob-hawke-turned-up-at.html

Miglo

1/08/2010Another good post HS. I'm glad we're on the same side. We certainly don't see many on the 'right' side who can put together a logical argument.

Lyn

1/08/2010Hi Hillbilly and Everybody Here is Grog marvellous again: [i]Election 2010: Day 16 (or Let's ask some questions) Grog, Grogs Gamut[/i] First off, Alexander Downer probably hates Kevin Rudd more than he does anyone on this planet. Kevin Rudd thinks the same of Downer. To think that these to vicious enemies would ever work together on anything is utterly preposterous. And thus whenever Downer says anything about Rudd you need to make sure you’re taking it with about a shipping container load of salt. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

HS

1/08/2010Latest Newspoll: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-newspoll-shows-labor-lead-eroded/story-e6frg6n6-1225899739932 * Labor 50:50 with the Coalition. Yay! 2 more than Nielsen. The fightback has begun! Momentum shifting the other way! (Well, someone has to be positive) :)

HS

1/08/2010Miglo, Ta! It's a thankless task, but someone's gotta do it. Those overfed and overpaid Press Gallery journalists have forgotten how, or just don't care to, & earn their keep the old-fashioned way.

vote1maxine

1/08/2010Lyn You are a Treasure, thx for the great links. The great link detective!! Yes it is a great feeling to undertake DIRECT ACTION on climate change without waiting for the politicians to take the lead. HS is right, CC Action needs to be a grassroots movement, we have to lead so the politicians can follow. In the last two years I have installed the following: 1) 5000L rain tank system 2) 4 bed vegie garden 3) Extra roof insulation* 4) 1.5kW Solar Roof panels (been pumping into the grid for the past month)* * thank you Labor Govt. 5) Currently building a nursery behind the garage for plant & tree propagation. Plants & trees natures best Carbon Sequestrators!! Lyn here is a link for you: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/06/1010-campaign-carbon-emissions "The 10:10 campaign aimed to persuade Britain to cut its carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. Now 3,000 businesses and 80,000 individuals have signed up – and there's still half a year left to go." HS your best post. Congratulations & well done. Yes Abbott's Coalition CC policy is pretty much a Clayton's policy. His only contribution has been one of obfuscation and obstruction. How about this Coalition's CC policy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/14/cameron-wants-greenest-government-ever "The prime minister has said he wants the new coalition administration to be "the greenest government ever". David Cameron was speaking to civil servants at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on his tour around Whitehall to introduce the new government. Flanked by Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne who will run the department, Cameron reassured civil servants that the environment was a top priority for him. "There is a fourth minister in this department who cares passionately about this agenda and that is me, the prime minister, right. I mean that from the bottom of my heart." In his introduction, Huhne said, "Climate change is in my view, our view, the greatest challenge facing mankind," adding that he wanted to go "further and faster than ever before". Cameron used the four-minute speech to formally announce the coalition's pledge to cut carbon emissions by 10% in the first 12 months." Now those Brits are REAL POLITICAL LEADERS. Shows Abbott to be a true CC neanderthal in opposing a 5% reduction by 2020. As far as CC Action goes Australia is the arse end of the world. Rudd would be in his second term had he called DD election on CC. Gillard is just as guilty as Rudd on this. We the people have to lead our politicians on CC and not let THE COAL LOBBY to continue to do so.

nasking

2/08/2010Hillbilly...I was thinking of how long it took to convince communities & companies & get thru legislation on smoking, car safety belts, to help fix the Ozone layer...etc... It takes alot of time & community consultation, as you say. I think Julia is on the right track. Tho, shame about her "Principals to be given more power announcement" today. I'm in two minds as an ex-teacher w/ a wife who is a HOD in a public school. Too easy to bash teacher unions & the like...but not big donors & mining corporate types w/ money & influence. N'

Lyn

2/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Where's Johnny, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] If this is true, then Downer scored the greatest political own-goal since the German decision in 1917 to allow Lenin to go from Switzerland to St Petersburg. Every Coalition MP who lost office in 2007 should have a crack at Downer over that. Besides, isn't Downer supposed to be some big wheel at the UN where everyone has to be bipartisan? get Downer out of politics altogether: a dud leader, a dud foreign minister, and a toxic strategist. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/08/wheres-johnny-bob-hawke-turned-up-at.html [i]Election 2010: Day 16 (or Let's ask some questions) Grog, Grogs Gamut[/i] First off, Alexander Downer probably hates Kevin Rudd more than he does anyone on this planet. Kevin Rudd thinks the same of Downer. To think that these to vicious enemies would ever work together on anything is utterly preposterous. And thus whenever Downer says anything about Rudd you need to make sure you’re taking it with about a shipping container load of salt. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Newspoll: 50-50, William Bowe , The Poll Bludger[/i] Newspoll has it at 50-50, with Julia Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister unchanged at 50-35. The primary votes are 37 per cent Labor, 44 per cent Coalition and 12 per cent Greens. More to follow. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/08/01/newspoll-50-50/ [i]Day 17: Group voting tickets released, Ben Raue, The Tally Room [/i] William Bowe at the Poll Bludger has posted simplified versions of the tickets, and Antony Green will soon be posting Senate calculators, which will allow you to predict the results in the Senate based on different primary vote levels.. http://www.tallyroom.com.au/ [i]Two Qld marginals: Longman and Herbert, Peter Brent, Mumble[/i] Michelle Devine from Roy Morgan Research give her regular (during campaign) marginal seat rundown on ABC1’s Insiders today. A fine segment based on the two so far. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/longman_and_herbert/ [i]Nielsen poll - other stuff, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] Do you support or oppose the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly of around 150 randomly selected people to develop the nation’s response to climate change? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/ It's 50-50: Labor on the slide?, Ben Eltham, The Drum Gillard's Citizen's Assembly on climate change has been a disaster, which concrete figures from Nielsen confirms http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/08/its-5050-labor-on-the-slide.html [i]The most spectacular contradictions of the campaign so far, Jeremey Sear, Ononymous Lefty[/i] http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/the-most-spectacular-contradictions-of-the-campaign-so-far/ [i]Spin Cycle: Week 3, Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison[/i] not that they’re always getting the scrutiny they deserve from the media, as noted by Tim Dunlop and Grog. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/08/01/spin-cycle-week-3/#more-6730 1. [i]Tony begs the question on Fundies First, Jeremy Sear, Ononymous Lefty[/i]. Mr Abbott – what nasty religious fundamentalist social policies have you promised Steve Fielding? 2. [i]Judging a party by its enemies, Jeremy Sear, Anonymous Lefty[/i] News.com.au has completely ignored the launch by the third biggest political party in the country http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Dracula Has Risen From His Grave , Mark Bahnisch, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] the greatest shadow of all is cast by John Howard, the one leader who’s actually conspicuous by his absence. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/01/dracula-has-risen-from-his-grave-2/ [i][b]The Liberals descend to what looks suspiciously like defamation, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i][/b]journalist Andrew Bolt and former Howard Government foreign minister, Alexander Downer plumb the depths with this comment by Downer repeated by The Bolter: http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/08/liberals-descend-to-what-looks.html [i]Donkeys lean to the middle this time, Charles Richardson, The Stump[/i] On Friday the Australian Electoral Commission conducted the ballot draw for this year, and it’s much more even .http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]Election 2010: Rights at Work Activists Take Campaign to the streets, Mark Phillips, The Angle[/i] In the first big event of the election campaign, community volunteers blitzed the three railway stations, handing out more than 10,000 leaflets in the period between 8 and 9am to inform the public about the Coalition’s industrial relations http://theangle.org/2010/08/01/election-2010-rights-at-work-activists-take-campaign-to-the-streets/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=election-2010-rights-at-work-activists-take-campaign-to-the-streets [i]Election Fiction versus Political Reality, Justin George, Left Focus[/i]. [b]All of this has been driven by the current corporate media environment we see in Australia today. In this environment only two companies own and control all the nation’s major newspapers and television stations. The result, here, is that only one nationally available newspaper is published - run by billionaire Rupert Murdoch. [/b][b]Murdoch’s media empire spans the globe reflecting his rightwing, neoliberal position via a cynical form of crass populism. [/b]http://leftfocus.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-fiction-versus-political.html [i]DollyGate!, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] The Telegraph has just upped the ante, by releasing the transcript of the interview with Alexander Downer. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/01/dollygate/ [i]When a Newspaper knows no shame... Dorothy Parker, Loon Pond.[/i] Yep with Rudd having just undergone an operation, what better time to slip in the surgeon's knife and demand answers http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2010/08/when-newspaper-knows-no-shame.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LoonPond+%28loon+pond%29

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2/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Apologies for the spacing problems, which I'll fix later - all the links work.

HS

2/08/2010vote1maxine, Thank yopu for your vote of confidence in my blog. :) I am so pleased that you are taking the Climate Change bit between your teeth and doing that personal heavy-lifting that puts energy into the grassroots movement that helps convince people that we take this issue seriously. I'm just wondering whether you have been able to influence any other people in your community, or in your greater family, about how seriously we should be taking the issue of Anthropogenic Global Warming? For, whilst it is inesteemably admirable to see the effort you've persoanlly made, it is also just as important to influence and debate the issue with those around us. Which is how we build the groundswell that washes through the electorate and community at large. For this reason, it would be interesting to see someone like you, articulate and committed, try and lead the debate on a local level in some way. Become a Climate Change Action Crusader! If not, then what you are doing is admirable anyway. Just keep spreading the word. :)

HS

2/08/2010Nasking, You are so right about the past campaigns for everything from vehicle safety measures, to anti-smoking campaigns. All had to be fought hard against the vested interests who had the bigger budgets and more persuasive ad campaigns and lobbying efforts to maintain the status quo. Eventually word got through the community, all the arguments from those against making a change were rebutted forcefully, and the change happened. For example, no amount of so-called 'expert' commentary, provided by the tobacco companies, about the lack of effect of 2nd-hand smoke on children could convince their mothers that it wasn't a problem. So the groundswell for change overwhelmed their disinformation campaign. In the same way I think that those who want Climate Change action to occur are going to have to work out how they can 'bring it home' to the evryman and woman on the street with convincing examples of how it effects their everyday lives and how it can negatively impact on their children's lives now and into the future. I well remember how the campaign to clean up our waterways was carried out. All those pictures of fish floating dead on the top of the water, glowing in the dark, and having 2 heads or 3 eyes, all combined to shame the community into taking action and make them fear what they might lose if they didn't commit the politicians to parliament who campaigned on the issue and presented them with the opportunity to do something about it. THAT'S how it works, and that's how we are going to have to make action on Climate Change work. Frankly, I haven't seen much that the Australian Conservation Foundation, or others in that space have done along those lines to advance their cause. It all appears to be about having an office in Canberra and lobbying the government these days. As a result they have been able to be fobbed off too easily. Don't they remember how their movement started? Where are the dramatic pictures of young kids with skin cancer that will be occurring when the climate heats up? Or the moonscape landscapes that will be all over the place? Or the climate catastrophes that will become ever more frequent? If I can think of all of this, why can't they? Make it as plain to the electorate as the nose on your face, and don't let Climate Change action fudgers like the Coalition get away with blue murder, our blue planet, that is.

Lyn

2/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]Tony’s Smear & Fear Team Will Lose Election For Him, Nasking, Cafe Whispers[/i] Tony Abbott is playing the sincere, “I’m a compassionate & fair dinkum bloke” routine…whilst members of the Liberal Old Guard go around doing his dirty work. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/tonys-smear-fear-team-will-lose-election-for-him/ [i]Real’ Julia struggles to stay afloat, Media Wrap, Amber Jamieson, Crikey[/i] [b]if you haven’t read Grog’s Gamut post on how this election campaign is playing out in the media, bookmark it now because it’s compulsory reading for political media junkies[/b]. It’s a fairly brutal but accurate representation of how journalists are covering this election in the mainstream media http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/02/real-julia-struggles-to-stay-afloat/ [i]Refugees and the election — remembering and forgetting, Crikey, The Stump[/i] The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is right when she calls Australia a sanctuary. That is what it has been for asylum seekers, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/08/02/refugees-and-the-election-remembering-and-forgetting/ [i]Alright, what if we ask it this way?, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] The Daily Telegraph, still (along with the rest of News Ltd) completely ignoring the Greens’ campaign launch yesterday, tries to take credit for the party’s long-standing commitment to a national dental scheme: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/08/02/alright-what-if-we-ask-it-this-way/

HS

2/08/2010Here's a very good post on the Climate Change issue: http://therealewbank.com/2010/07/30/dealing-with-the-electoral-unimportance-of-climate-change/

sawdustmick

2/08/2010Murdoch Media Thesaurus Tony Abbott Backflip - Changed my mind Backflip - Listened to the electorate Backflip - Good Policy Backflip - Things have changed since I had that view Backflip - In the heat of a discussion one does not always tell the truth Julia Gilled Changed my mind –Backflip Listened to the electorate – Backflip Changed our Policy – Backflip Things have changed since I had that view – Backflip

HS

2/08/2010sawdustmick, Too right! Despicable aren't they?

Lyn

2/08/2010Hi SawdustMick Thankyou that is Excellent, straight in my files. [b]Murdoch Media Thesaurus [/b]

Lyn

2/08/2010Hi harrington-fundraising.com Thankyou for featuring "The Political Sword" [i]The Political Sword, The Election Climate, Admin, Harrington Fundraising [/i][b]As inconsequential as it may seem now, the battle to introduce recycling and recyclable materials , was a long and hard-fought campaign . Strangely, with respect to the success of that campaign , and maybe this is the key to the Climate …Read more from the original source:[/b]The Political Sword | The election climate http://harrington-fundraising.com/wordpress/?p=16348

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2/08/2010HS Thank you for the link to [i]Dealing with the Electoral (un)Importance of Climate Change[/i] by Leigh Ewbank http://therealewbank.com/2010/07/30/dealing-with-the-electoral-unimportance-of-climate-change/ which makes some important points:[i] Polling data produced by Essential Research shows that “addressing climate change” is a priority issue for just 12 per cent of voters – ranking ninth out of 15 possible issues. This number is dramatically less than the level of support received by the top three priority issues: economic management (63 per cent); health care (55 per cent); and protecting jobs and industries (24 per cent). This is a shocking outcome. The most important long-term issue facing Australia is not receiving the priority it deserves. With all the money, time and resources invested in climate change advocacy, these results challenge the efficacy of the dominant climate policy proposals and the ways in which the phenomenon is communicated.[/i] This underscores the need to reach a new consensus and validates the Citizen’s Assembly initiative. Later she says: [i] So why not just present emissions trading as good for economic management, jobs and industries?[/i] and [i] When the focus of climate policy is on providing the renewable energy infrastructure projects we need, it is easy to demonstrate the job creation and industry development benefits.[/i] She concludes: [i] A nation-building approach to climate policy will require Australia’s most prominent environment groups to adapt their strategies: to cut their losses and shift their immediate focus away from emissions trading. These groups are capable of adopting an approach that yields are far greater chance of success than business as usual.[/i] That sounds reasonable.

Country Hick

2/08/2010I'm usually a quiet sort of person (hence my very sparse contributions to the comments on this and any other blogs or forums), but I am incensed by what I have just been reading on the SMH website. A comment column by Michelle Grattan ("Get Real, Julia") that is pompous one-sided comment that I would expect from a paid opponent rather than a fair-minded journalist. (But fair enough - it is headed "Comment".) Far worse, an attached "poll" (pretentious name that implies a data gathering exercise that has some meaning) in which the options are pure poison: Will revealing 'the true Julia' help Labor's election chances? Yes, an imposter has been stalking the land No, what we've seen is what we'll get How is that for a trap? How do you get to indicate anything which won't be used as (false) evidence in this stupid, toxic, campaign of lies and manipulation. I normally would not go down this path, but I find myself wondering if this is one of the paths to fascism - denigrate so widely and thoroughly, suggest such levels of community disaffection and alienation, that the only attractive alternative becomes the tough man (or woman) with the tough answers, who will impose their will, define the nation's scapegoats, and gather us all up in a great national adventure premised on "We" rather than "the other". It feels like a war against our community.

janice

2/08/2010Lyndal Curtis says Abbott was asked if he would move into the Lodge if he wins the election. Abbott said he'd rather not answer that question just now because he has an election to win. The despicable flea bag has every intention on taking up residence in Kirribilli House as Howard did - the media should force him to answer the question before the election.

Rx

2/08/2010Janice, don't you know it would be impertinent for "reporters" to press Dear Leader on such matters.

Valerie

2/08/2010 CS You are so right. It's obvious that the MSM does not plug into blogs or forums, or more likely chooses to ignore the bile being spat out at them by those they mistakenly think are their readers.It's a "race to the bottom of the news cesspool" and for Rupe and his goblins its their very survival they are fighting for. Rupe should do what he has done in Britain and that is put a paywall around the Australian and it's numbers will dwindle even further and all those gobs will be jobless. No doubt some will be repaid as Media Advisors for the Libs. Only way to subvert their outrageous bias plot is at the ballot box.

Valerie

2/08/2010 Sorry, my last comment was meant for Country Hick

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2/08/2010Country Hick Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come again. Like most journalists, I suppose Michelle Grattan wants to stay on side with the party that wins, so sensing a Coalition victory she’s leaning that way in this piece, which I regard as unusually arrogant for Michelle - she is generally more even handed. The arrogance of the media and the increasing disrespect it is showing to our elected representatives is distressing, and close to being out of hand. News Limited journalists are the worst offenders. Not only are many who write for Rupert Murdoch arrogant and self-opinionated, but in this election that are heavily biased against the Government, continually demeaning its policies and it efforts on behalf of the electorate, but also are uncritical of Coalition policies and utterances. They put down the Government and give a leg-up to the Opposition. The cartoon was appalling, portraying Julia Gillard as a puppet, and the online survey was the worst worded I have ever seen. What sort of a choice is it to be given the two options listed below to the question: Will revealing the 'real Julia' help Labor's election chances? Yes, an imposter has been stalking the land No, what we've seen is what we'll get Much as I would like to see what the results were, which are worthless anyway as most online polls are, I refuse to participate. I agree with you, we are seeing a very worrying trend in this election.

George Pike

2/08/2010Spot on there Ad, anyone who thinks we are not seeing our democratic right to a politically neutral media representation of events being stripped away before our eyes is sorely mistaken. There must be a hell of a lot of progressives out there who getting more than a tad alarmed at this hideous development. There is very little difference between the policies of Tony Abbott's Liberals and One Nation, yet instead of deriding them as un-Australian and toxic, the media are jumping on board and giving them their blessing enmasse....very worrying to say the least!

nasking

2/08/2010"Make it as plain to the electorate as the nose on your face, and don't let Climate Change action fudgers like the Coalition get away with blue murder, our blue planet, that is." You make excellent points Hillbilly. It's time for a more intense & evidence-based & "show the consequences" campaign to save the environment/climate. And I feel the same as Country Hick...I fear this is the road to corporate fascism...when our media acts like a Goebbel's propaganda machine and can assist in the assassination of a first-term PM & then try to do same to his replacement, we must begin to think about how far they are willing to go once their man, their leader, their journo mate is in power...especially as he is one of the OLD GUARD LIBERALS who did deals & crusaded & war-mongered w/ the likes of the Neo-Cons & Bush. Not surprising that Downer who loved to meet Negroponte & Condi Rice and looked the other way when it came to the AWB scandal is now out there doin' the dirty work. Whilst a certain other ex-immigration lady is in Berlusconi's Italy. How far are they willing to go to crush DISSENT? The Coalition were willing to spend many millions building Christmas Island...yet they had Nauru for offshore development. So who was Christmas Island really meant for? We have seen Bush & Howard ignore public dissent on the Iraq War...watched as so many media outlets sat idly by or were complicit in diverting attention as Bush & his cohorts inched their way towards full executive power...we read that Ruddock had a group of people working in his offices accumulating data on people... We know that the Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb knows about data collection: [quote]Database on Australian Individuals Since 1999, the world's largest provider of marketing information on individuals and households - Acxiom - has been collecting data on Australians. Initially a joint venture with Kerry Packer's PBL, Acxiom Australia has been a wholly owned entity of the US-based Acxiom Corporation since 2002. As at September 2004, the Chairman of Acxiom Australia was Andrew Robb, who was also Chairman of the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA). Robb was elected as Liberal MP for Goldstein (VIC) in the October 2004 general election and again in the November 2007 election.[/quote] It's all a bit worrying. Another GFC could see the Libs allowing mass unemployment & directing youth into the military for their LONG WAR. And re=directing youth into backdoor service. Think of how many Reserves in America were ripped out of their jobs & sent to Iraq. Abbott of the OLD GUARD LIBERALS...mates of NEO-CONS. Crusaders, war-mongers...zealots...profiteers. "Say anything, do anything"...this time. N'

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2/08/2010Essential Research this week is 54/46 down one from last week, a result that will hearten some of you. http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/essential-report/

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2/08/2010Folks Do read [i]This is all your fault[/i] by Bernard Keane in today’s [i]Crikey[/i] http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/02/this-is-all-your-fault/ It is one of the best articles I have read on the media’s role in politics. I was stuck by many paragraphs, but in particular these rang true: [i]”All this makes media complaints about “spin” all the more ironic: the media needs spin, both from politicians and from external experts and observers, otherwise it would have to do the heavy lifting of actual analysis. Political coverage relies on spin and fills columns and airtime analyzing spin, discussing how the spin will be perceived: spin, messaging, propaganda as it used to be called, has become the primary material of the media cycle. “The result is too much cynicism and not enough scepticism. The media not merely covers policy poorly, it covers it selectively. A remarkable feature of the last three years has been the ruthless assault on every claim advanced by the Government in relation to key policy issues such as emissions trading or the mining tax, while the claims of vested interests have been waved through and reported as fact with virtually no scrutiny. “Much of this, true, is the product of News Ltd’s war on Labor. But it isn’t confined to the pages of The Australian, by any stretch. The Financial Review was one of the worst offenders in relation to the RSPT, and the ABC is now the sort of broadcaster where it is typical, rather than a matter worthy of remark, that an irrational and discredited a figure like Chris Monckton is given extensive and high-profile airtime.”[/i] Then scroll down and read the comment of the ever-sensible Mr Denmore.

BH

2/08/2010HS - good work and after all that it's easy to see how people were so easily conned by talk of a GBNT. If Labor win then they will have to go for it from Day 1 - explain, educate, harangue, etc.

jj

2/08/2010And to think the Labor party was the party that stood for action on climate change! The greens are looking good in Melbourne!

HS

2/08/2010BH, Yet I have not heard one real, deep and thoughtfully put, question from the media about the real costs of Abbott's so-called 'Real Action' policies. 99% of journalists in this country are truly pathetic. You should have heard them at the PM's press conference today, after her Family Tax benefit A for youth announcement...eg,"If you are the real Julia Gillard now, was the old one a fraud?" Really demeaning stuff like that.

Lyn

2/08/2010Hi Hillbilly and Ad [i]UPDATE 2: Full Essential Research report here . William Bowe,The Poll Bludger[/i] Julia Gillard’s personal ratings reflect the overall trend in showing her three points down on approval to 46 per cent and up five points up on disapproval to 38 per cent. However, Tony Abbott records more modest changes, up three on approval to 38 per cent and up two on disapproval to 48 per cent. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ Newspoll Monday – the trends have it, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics Comment and and answer :Poss – has there ever been an opposition leader who was so far behind in PPM who won the election? [b]Answer: nope. There’s never been a leader who was that far behind in the campaign and actually won.[/b] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/08/02/newspoll-monday-the-trends-have-it/

Jason

2/08/2010jj, what would be the first thing the greens would do once in government?? Much of the same you bring to this blog nothing.

George Pike

2/08/2010Just in case everyone is unsure of the Liberal-National intentions, here is the conservative bible, it will remind you of just how dangerous these imbeciles really are. http://australianconservative.com/

Jason

2/08/2010HS, I for one hate the idea of the "150" on climate change and think the advantage the government had has now gone.The sad fact is Labor under Rudd got spooked and will never have the credibility that we once had. Rudd should have called a DD not only on that but all the other triggers labor had. Yes there was comment that the senate could be worse after a DD but you worry about that after, but try to get your plans through. HS even if Labor win the election the time has come that we have our version of "150",from what I see Labor is full of Career time servers very few "Workers".

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2/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Lyn

2/08/2010Hi Hillbilly, Ad and Everybody Here is Grog on Day 17: Thankyou Grog [i]Election 2010: Day 17 (or Alea iacta est), Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] The one great advantage the ALP still has in this election is that Tony Abbott is the alternative. And regardless of what spin you want to put on any polls, none of them show that the people are hot on the idea of him as PM. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-17-or-alea-iacta-est.html

Canbra Dave

2/08/2010If I were one of the Labor strategists at the top who was advising the campaign I would tell the upper leadership of the parliamentary labor party to wait until the day before election day and then announce that if re-elected the Gillard government would immediately seek to reintroduce the ETS in the Senate on the first sitting day of the next term with the intention of starting it in their third year of government. Furthermore they should lay out in the opening presser exactly what an ETS is (issuing permits, allowing businesses to trade permits, allowing the market to set the price, and if the price of buying a permit is more expensive than the price of polluting then the business will cut back on pollution). The Opposition would have no time to roll out their great big tax line. The News Ltd trolls would jump on the announcement declaring "double backflip" "did a complete 360" etc but the voters would see that Labor was actually prepared to back its rhetoric, and illustrate a real difference between the two parties.

Valerie

2/08/2010 Canbra Dave What a brilliant idea. Don't know what the constitutional implications are for re-introducing bill after an election but sure sounds good with a new green Senate. Hope the Labor strategists visit TPS and note this.

countryhick

2/08/2010jj I have also been disappointed with the ALP's unwillingness to invest some of the political capital it once had on pushing harder for climate change action, but I have to agree with some other Political Sword contributors when they say there was a shrinking consensus on what action should be taken, and that the failure to implement action was at least as much the responsibility of the Coalition parties who turned their backs on a possible (fairly minimal and poor) bipartisan position, and the Greens who didn't have the numbers to ensure anything got through or the willingness to go with something less than their starting position. Having witnessed the campaign of confusion and denial over climate change at fairly close quarters, I think as a community we have to accept some responsibility for where we are right now on climate change action. There are many people who have played an evil hand in this, and a lot of people who have been all too willing to shout their agreement and turn this into something that has wounded our community's ability to work out what it wants. I guess this suits some people well, because they are already able to get pretty well what they want without worrying about community consensus. I don't think the government is any more responsible for this than the rest of us, in failing to protect and build on the consensus that once did exist. There is some irony in the fact that there were so many people calling for the right to express their skepticism, so many of whom are now raising their voice to attack the government for failing to take action. At least some of this is pure humbug. What could I/you have done? Against such an organised campaign, not very much. But I think the same applied to the government. Surprising how little power a government of our elected representatives has against well organised forces determined to frustrate its agenda. With some notable exceptions, I think Labor governments will always be more hamstrung in this way than parties closer to the real seats of power and influence in this community. However, it is the path to social division and ultimately a kind of civil war. Those who talked about "the old class wars" and "the politics of envy" in previous election campaigns have turned out to be the main exponents - for some reason, this doesn't surprise me. So I have to disagree with your (implied) analysis of the ALP and climate change action.

Lyn

3/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010: Day 17 (or Alea iacta est), Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] The one great advantage the ALP still has in this election is that Tony Abbott is the alternative. And regardless of what spin you want to put on any polls, none of them show that the people are hot on the idea of him as PM. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-17-or-alea-iacta-est.htm Got to admit it's getting meta, Tim Dunlop,The Drum the election where the media itself became the story. interesting to see Part Two of this piece which promises to tell us why the problem is really all your fault. http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/08/got-to-admit-its-getting-meta.html#more [i]The five - pack. Five essential - if depressing reads about the election, Peter Martin[/i] http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Least-worst climate policy?, Jennifer Marohasy, Quadrant Online[/i] A centrepiece of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s revised policy on climate change is the creation of a 150-strong [b]Citizens’ Assembly [/b]to “examine the evidence on climate change http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/08/least-worst-climate-policy [i]Election 2010 update: Labor keeps dropping th ball, Liberal leaded Tony Abbott pushes denier "Climate has always changed" line, Watching the deniers[/i] Labor has decided we need a [b]“citizens assembly[/b]” of 100-200 representatives from all walks of life to examine all aspects of the science and how to respond. http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/election-2010-update-labour-keeps-dropping-the-ball-liberal-leader-abbott-pushes-denier-climate-has-always-changed-line/ [i]The real obstacles to greenhouse action, Geoff davies, On Line Opinion[/i] At present the voice of the people is drowned out by the noise of vested interests. We need to raise our voices and demand real action. Not action to save the coal industry for its shareholders, but action to save the Earth for our grandchildren. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10762 Gillard questioned on citizens' assembly leak, Emma Rodgers, ABC Financial Review is today reporting that Ms Gillard did not consult Cabinet before announcing that Labor would form a so-called citizens' assembly to consult on climate change. http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/08/02/2971054.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Debate hypocrisy on both sides; ABC only notices Labor’s, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Labor is offering another debate, Tony thinks he can be our next Prime Minister without it, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/08/03/debate-hypocrisy-on-both-sides-abc-only-notices-labors/ [i]Will The Real Julia Please Stand Up, Leon Delaney[/i] the truth is that the “Real Julia” has been there all along, but any political campaign is run by the Party, not just the Leader. http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/ [i]Labor in trouble up north, but the bookies like it, Tim Colebatch[/i] If Labor loses 13 seats, it will lose its majority, resulting in a hung parliament. And if the Coalition gains 17 seats, it will have a clear majority and form government. http://colebatch.blogspot.com/2010/08/labor-in-trouble-up-north-but-bookies.html [i]Abbott to freeze government recruitment, Ryan Jon, Upstart[/i] This policy could be offputting to current students, as young Australians voting Liberal could potentially be voting themselves out of future career opportunities. http://www.upstart.net.au/2010/08/02/abbott-to-freeze-government-recruitment/ [i]Labor's no worse , and now better, than the Libs, Ross Gittins[/i] the punters aren't impressed by timidity and lack of conviction. Bring back Paul Keating. http://rossgittins.blogspot.com/2010/08/labors-no-worse-and-no-better-than-libs.html [i]Could Tony Abbott unscramble the NBN Egg?, James Riley, IT Wire[/i] The Coalition has been the best friend Telstra ever had, both in Government and in opposition. It has in the past year used every procedural trick in the book in the Senate to block and delay the regulatory reform legislation. http://www.itwire.com/it-policy-news/regulation/40835-could-tony-abbott-unscramble-the-nbn-egg [i]Gillard's atheism belongs in the closet, Michael Mullins, Eureka Street[/i] her atheism might influence Christian voters not to vote Labor at this month's federal election. Some http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=22618 [i]A whack in the polls?, Mumble, The Australian[/i] Cultivate some incumbency Julia, do it quickly and go negative. And for God’s sake leave immigration and asylum seekers alone. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/a_whack_in_the_polls/ [i]A Decade of Australian Newspaper Readership, Part 1, Jason, Restless Capital[/i]. Something that gave me a more direct kick-along with this work was the discussion arising from [b]Grog’s post about his dissastisfaction [/b]with the nature of political reporting in this Federal election campaign. http://restlesscapital.net/

Sir Ian Crisp

3/08/2010Apparently an impostor has been doing the meet-and-greet thing trying to convince people she is the real Bird of Paradox. The ALP heavies have at last found the real Bird of Paradox and she has promised to thrill people. She even wants a second debate after having turned down a second debate at an earlier time. Why is she wanting Tony ah, um, um, er Abbott to help her resurrect her election campaign?

George Pike

3/08/2010How utterly despicable are the creatures running the Australian media? Well, when you see how readily they have piled up behind the cowardly worthless curs in the Opposition, to support their yellow gutless actions in refusing to debate Julia Gillard over the economy, it becomes obvious that they are nothing more than a lowlife pack of slimebags not even worthy of contempt. Channel Seven's Liberal propaganda strategists tried to pull a swifty on Gillard by dropping the debate bomb on her, and she knocked them for a six by accepting...and now the Liberals and their Seven mates have egg all over their treacherous co-conspiratorial mugs. Abbott and the rest of the Liberal fags have been shown up for exactly what they are, cowardly yellow gutless creatures that are not worth squat, yet the sleazy pro-Liberal maggots in the mainstream media, especially the ABC, have all come out declaring the PM's stance as invalid....can you believe the sheer hypocrisy of it all! It makes you want break out the guillotine and remove the heads of the whole worthless lot of the rabble rousing propaganda mongering thugs...they are worthless cowardly traitors trying to unseat a damn good government to try and impose the most despicable pack of morons this country has ever seen upon us.

Ad astra reply

3/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Lyn

3/08/2010Hi Ad Big congratulations to Grog; Grog has hit the big time: Lift your game journos — the campaign is more than a boozy Twitter tour by Grog of Grog's Gamut. On Friday evening political blogger Grog from Grog’s Gamut summed up the campaign so far by highlighting the media’s responsibility for the lack of substance. [b]The post received rave reviews on Twitter from Mark Scott, Leigh Sales and Amanda Meade (amongst others). If you happened to miss the post, here it is:[/b] http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/meadea/status/19944466677 http://twitter.com/abcmarkscott/status/19955209685

vote1maxine

3/08/2010HS Thanks for your kind words. And yes I am trying to spread the word beyond my backyard. Firstly, I've approached the Mayor of the City of Canada Bay to get his support to set up a community vegie garden on the Yaralla Estate bequeathed to the people of NSW by the Dame Eadith Walker. This would allow locals to have access to vegie gardening if space at home didn't permit. Further, local schools could also become involved, so kids could learn the skills of horticulture whilst doing their bit for the planet and of course enjoying the produce and having fun. I hope that excess produce could be distributed to the Exodus Foundation at near by Ashfield. Secondly, ever since I was involved with Trees On Farms in the early eighties and then with WIRES, I've had this idea of addressing CC through the best (tried & tested over 100s of millions of years) Carbon Sequestration method photosynthesis by Trees. I've approached AA with this idea, and at his suggestion this blog would be the ideal place to post it and get Swordians involved to bring to fruition. We need TRILLIONS of trees to be planted across the globe to sequester sufficient carbon to address CC. This technology is proven, available and is cost efficient, unlike Carbon Capture and Storage. The Trillion Tree Project essentially consists of 3 stages. 1. an individual/ group/ organisation/ government pledges to plant X number of trees in an immediate time frame – say a couple of months. 2. the individual/ group/ organisation/ government notifies the number of trees planted and their location, if possible with GPS coordinates. 3. An independent body certifies stage 2. I think this is idea would work because it is apolitical and can run parallel to any government policy. It allows anyone TO TAKE ACTION NOW. Essentially it would be facilitated by a website that would have 3 active counters. 1. TREES PLEDGED 2. TREE PLANTING NOTIFICATION 3. TREE PLANTING CERTIFICATION Stage 3 would allow Carbon Credits to be generated once an ETS is in place. So there are huge economic benefits as well. HS let me know if you think this idea is worthy to develop further. I think it would require an organisation of the caliber of GETUP or CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA to get behind it. Fellow Swordians let me, as well, know what you think.

Ad astra reply

3/08/2010Lyn It is gratifying that Grog’s piece on the status of political journalism during this election has attracted so much attention. It was mentioned on [i]Crikey[/i] and now you have mentioned the [i]Twitter[/i] comments, which indicate that serious journalists have not just read Grog’s piece, but are applauding his assessment. Apart from being a feather in Grog’s cap, which he thoroughly deserves, it is an indication that journalists do find it useful to scan the blogosphere. So we ought not to be too self-effacing in the belief that only like-minded bloggers read our offerings – clearly those professionally engaged in the media also do, and are able to be influenced by well written, well researched and well argued commentaries on the contemporary political scene. Grog Congratulations – it’s satisfying to see the quality of your work acknowledged.

janice

3/08/2010George Pike, [quote]Channel Seven's Liberal propaganda strategists tried to pull a swifty on Gillard by dropping the debate bomb on her, and she knocked them for a six by accepting...[/quote] Yes George, and now every news reporter are saying Julia is 'requesting' or even 'demanding' another debate. None of them could lie straight in bed and all of them manage to twist everything to suit their meme. It's journalism at its worst.

Ad astra reply

3/08/2010vote1maxine You are to be applauded for promoting your Trillion Tree Project. It points to a way that ordinary folk could make a contribution to carbon mitigation, something many would wish to do but lack a mechanism. As part of a larger scheme, such as an ETS, it would make a lasting contribution to reducing CO2 levels. Would you like to write this up for publication on [i]TPS[/i]? If you could expand the material you have offered above by elaborating on the science that shows how trees act as carbon sinks, and by pointing to how much land would be required, particularly in this country, what type of land and water resources would be needed, and the effect of tree planting on arable land that might otherwise be used for food or fibre production, it would make interesting reading. Your ideas about how community organizations to achieve your aims might be created and coordinated would give readers an idea of how this good idea might proceed. So if you are inclined to email me a piece, I’d be glad to post it so you could get reaction from visitors here. I would also be willing to create a page under ‘site pages’ in the right panel where contributions to the Trillion Tree Project could be aggregated. Let me know what you think.

George Pike

3/08/2010Here is a page that gives a very account of what has been achieved via the UNEP Billion Tree Program. http://www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign/CampaignNews/BTCjune2010.asp

Ad astra reply

3/08/2010countryhick I agree with your paragraph: “[i] Having witnessed the campaign of confusion and denial over climate change at fairly close quarters, I think as a community we have to accept some responsibility for where we are right now on climate change action. There are many people who have played an evil hand in this, and a lot of people who have been all too willing to shout their agreement and turn this into something that has wounded our community's ability to work out what it wants. I guess this suits some people well, because they are already able to get pretty well what they want without worrying about community consensus. I don't think the government is any more responsible for this than the rest of us, in failing to protect and build on the consensus that once did exist.”[/i] In my view the most evil are those who, to satisfy their own self-interest, are willing to allow the effects of climate change to continue unabated, knowing that this will lead eventually to disaster for our planet and for our successors who will suffer as the planet changes irreversibly from global warming. The dire effects are well documented, yet that seems to be on no concern to the polluters whose self-centered short-term gaze influences their actions. Like you, I fear the social consequences of inaction: millions of people with inadequate land or food resources, mass migration, and wars over land, food and water. Those who have persuaded much of the population that action can be delayed, and that any action constitutes a 'Great Big New Tax on Everything’, are, in my view, the evil ones to whom you refer. And tragically, because they have lulled so many people into a state of nonchalance about climate change, these folk may see no danger in handing them the governance of this nation.

Ad astra reply

3/08/2010George I understand your strongly expressed sentiments. Julia Gillard had not only to counter Tony Abbott and the Coalition, which in my view she could do with little effort; she has to counter an antagonistic media, particularly the Murdoch empire that is hell-bent on installing an Abbott Government, not because of its superior policies, but because it suits it ideologically and commercially. It is almost too hard to counter the power of an aggressively attacking media from which most voters derive the information upon which they cast their votes. Those of us who believed we lived in a fair democracy are more disillusioned by the day.

Michael

3/08/2010Just an observation about the general 'climate' of this election campaign so far. I believe that the Labor strategists have given Abbott a free kick in his having to deal with a female opponent. It was suggested that this would rein him in a little, that he would not go for the low punches. Well, it has, but unfortunately, in doing so, it has made him look almost gentlemanly when 'handling' the process of dealing with a female PM. He's so spooked of looking like he's harassing a 'girl', he's pulled his head in enough to convince casual observers that he's a nice guy, after all. Not the 'monster' Labor's always on about, which might mean... 'hey, this bloke could be a fair dinkum PM'. If Kevin Rudd had been opposing him then Abbott's interior bully would have surfaced without recall - the graveyard laugh of the health debate, the strange dance from Parliament that accompanied "I want to be bold, I will be bold" taunting of the then PM, the overall (dare I suggest, subconsciously homoerotic) desire to belittle the man who had literally reduced him from government minister to (initially, pre mortgage just like the rest of 'us') an income-reduced to 'hard times' backbencher. He'd have been asserting who the real big guy is, and by extension, well, who has to submit to the other. It would have been 'the jock' versus 'the nerd', and Abbott would have been incapable of not flexing his 'look at my six-pack' muscles. Now, though, countering a female politician having to handle a wide range of attacks that almost allow Abbott to skate past on the sidelines, he can keep his pinstripe suit on and present himself as sober, 'real', and underneath every observation he makes, the hint that he really is concerned for this woman who has got herself so far out of her depth. It's all "absolute crap", of course, but it's a line of presenting himself that he could never have taken against Kevin Rudd. Happy to play the man (in more ways than one, perhaps), Tony Abbott doesn't need to play the woman Julia Gillard with negativity or disparagement, he just has to hint with body, face and words, that he feels so sorry for her being pitched into a position she just can't fill. Why? Well, that would be a whole other question about the Abbott psyche, but I don't think any of us need to look too far into the man who's always patting the "strong women" around him on various portions of their body, and nominating his deputy as "a good girl", to understand where Tony Abbott really thinks women should be.

jimbo

3/08/2010Ad We do live in a fair democracy it is just at the moment it is being attacked by unscrupulous, egotistical,self-centred bastards that wont think twice ,grabbing that scoop,getting that story ,trying to embarrass that polly or prime minister,getting that extra two or four billion back from the tax office to improve the bottom line at the expense of legitimate taxpayers and this great country.Fortunately i have found over the years that because we are an egalitarian society that you can denigrate political parties over commitment and promises not kept or perceived problems with establishing major projects but after awhile when the denigration becomes repetitive,less than honest and becomes hostile and personal the average australian switches off and oftimes retaliates by going along with the victim because we are when alls said and done the country of the fair go.WE ALL REMEMBER GIVING A PERSON A FAIR GO DONT WE.

Canbra Dave

3/08/2010Regarding the Opposition's changes to the paid parental leave levy, try and follow this if you can. -The government announces that it will bring in a 40% tax on the super-profits of the mining industry and part of that will go towards cutting the company tax rate by 2%. -Mr Abbott says on the Today show that "nobody will notice a 2% cut in the company tax rate." -Mr Abbott announces that he will introduce a 1.7% increase in the company tax rate on businesses earning over 5 million dollars. -Mr Abbott announces that he will not introduce the tax on mining tax profits. -Mr Abbott announces that part of his budget savings is the scrapping of the 2% cut in the company tax rate. -Mr Abbott then announces that he will cut the company tax rate by 1.5% across the board. -He then announces that the tax on companies earning above 5 million will only be 1.5% so there will be no overall increase in the tax rate on those companies. Is anyone else getting confused here? Is anyone else looking at this and thinking "How the hell can he get away with this"? The government's cut in the company tax rate was to be paid from the revenue gained from the mining tax. Abbott and Hockey declare they won't introduce the mining tax, and then claim scrapping the proposed cut in the tax rate is a budget saving. They then go back and say that they will in fact cut the company tax rate, by more than what the government is proposing no less. They then say that they will be increasing the company tax rate on the larger companies resulting in no change in the tax rate whatsoever for those companies. So we end up with a 1.5 cut in the company tax rate for companies earning under 5 million a year - completely unfunded mind you so the money will have to come out of services. If the government was proposing this we would have heard nothing but howls from the media. However because the Coalition is proposing it it gets a completely free pass.

George Pike

3/08/2010Thanks Ad, I feared that I may have overstepped the mark with my gravelly verbosity! It has been great to see Julia handling the media like putty in her hands today though. Only a few journos who weren't with the PM's entourage, (she jumped on the media bus to keep them happy in a brilliant bit of PR work), were a bit snipey...especially the ABC people who were stuck in Canberra and missed the fun! Abbott barely gets a mention in any news program apart from the Midday Report! Very very different from last week. Even the national broadsheet has been warming to her today...this is a really big turnaround, let's hope it lasts! I have been busily condemning the media all over the place today anyway, they started the day pretty badly and raised my blood pressure quick time...as you know! I also wrote to the US State Dep't and the NY Times raising concerns about the totally undemocratic behaviour of the Murdoch media concerning the election...they may have had a word in his ear! Hope so anyway, not a good look for an American citizen to be undermining a friendly foreign government I would say!

vote1maxine

3/08/2010AA Thank you for your support and offer of assistance. I'd like to take up your offer of doing a piece for TPS. I'll email about a timeframe and other details. George Pike, thanks for your link. I wasn't aware of the UNEP Billion Tree Program. It makes a very solid foundation from which the Trillion Tree Project could build from or dovetail into. A Trillion Trees sounds very ambitious in comparison but an ambitious target maybe whats needed to motivate people & communities to take direct action especially as the effects of CC become more apparent with each passing year.

George Pike

3/08/2010Thanks Maxine, I think if it were possible to stop the destruction of the forests in Brazil and Indonesia etc, it would give you half your 1 trillion trees right there! With all the shocking destruction and deaths from flooding they are getting in those countries now, due to deforrestation, that objective may come about naturally!

Ad astra reply

3/08/2010Canbra Dave The Coalition PPL scheme and the accompanying rhetoric makes no sense at all, but where are the MSM journalists to challenge Abbott's lack of logic, consistency and transparency? Most simply regurgitate Abbott's lines about 'visionary social and economic policy'. It's only sound journalists like George Megalogenis, Laura Tingle, Peter Martin and Ross Gittins that have the requisite background and knowledge of economics to do so. Unfortunately they are diluted down in terms of penetration into the public consciousness by second rate sensationalists interest only in scoops, conflict and discord, certainly not in informing the people so that they can make an informed choice at election time. The media by and large is sick.

Gravel

3/08/2010HS This is a great article, as others have commented. Climate change is important. As a grandmother I care about how my grandchildren will survive when they are closer to my age with a dramatically different climate to deal with. I hope your arm is better, I've been away and haven't read previous blog since last Wednesday. Lyn I echo Ad's words about your links, they are the highlight of my day.

Gravel

3/08/2010Sorry for the second post. As for the media I gave up after Abbott became the opposition leader, they have just panted after him............nearly said something unacceptable then. Isn't it amazing when a bully is challenged (debate on economy) he turns tale and runs a million miles. I too am amazed the media are letting him get away with it, they usually love a good stouch, but I guess they know their boy would be beaten by a long long way. :-)

HS

3/08/2010Hello guys! Just back from a day spent handing out pre-poll 'How to Votes! Would you like me to give you a rough idea of the how people in my electorate are voting? It's a very small sample size(like about 20!), but it has given me some insight into at least how the 'real' punters out there are thinking. Well, knock me down and call me 'Shorty'! The one obvious vote for Tony Abbott, out of left field so to speak, was a 'Tattooed Lady'! This young woman was obvioulsly one of the new breed of empowered, post-feminism, aspirational bogans. She pointedly refused my 'How to Vote', and it seemed to me that Abbott's macho image and determinism appealed to her. Next there were a couple of ladies like myself, remnants of a bygone, activist time, who, even though there was no Green handing out 'HTV's, made the point of asking which candidate on the list was the Green's'. One, I think, was an actor. The other looked like a true 'Greeny', with a hand-knitted jumper and the look of someone who lives on good, organic food. Which sort of figures, I guess, when you imagine what a Green voter looks like. There were, of course, the businessmen who were coming in before their holidays to the Northern Hemisphere Summer, that wanted to put their Liberal vote in. They were added to on the Liberal slate by the well-healed family matriarch vote. There were some Labor voters too! Though they tended to be your more anonymous looking, everyday type of person. Generally nice and cheerful, as opposed to the businessmen/matriarch types, who looked at you like you were trying to pass a contagious disease onto them when you offered them the ALP HTV. Finally, though, and most interestingly, was the exchange I had with a woman who wasn't there to vote, but was there at a St John Ambulance First Aid course, which was in the same building as the AEC. She asked us what we were doing there, and when we told her she exploded in rage at me, saying that she voted for "gorgeous Kevin" in 2007, but this time she is not going to vote at all because she doesn't want to vote for that woman who stabbed him in the back! When I tried to explain that JG didn't stab him in the back, well, not in a vindictive way I suppose you could say, she would have none of it. Oh well, at least she's not going to vote for Tony Abbott either. :)

HS

3/08/2010vote1maxine, I have just caught up with your magnificent concept for 3 million trees. I think it's an idea with potential. I have a friend that's Greens' Councillor up here on Gosford Council. So I'll print out your post, and after the election I'll catch up with her and show her the concept. She is just the sort of person who can drive these sort of things along. On the other hand, I was thinking about whether you may want to actually go as far as contacting Ian Kiernan, of 'Clean Up Australia' fame, to ask him for advice wrt getting it up and running in a widespread way. Who knows, he might want to help you out with some free advice! One question I do have is, how do you ascertain where are appropriate places to plant trees in your local area? Btw, here's some synchronicity for you. My late husband's father was the Head gardiner at Thomas Walker many moons ago. He grew up there!

HS

3/08/2010v1m, Sorry, 'Trillion Trees'. :)

Lyn

3/08/2010Hi Hillbilly Thankyou for your informative piece on your experience today, handing out how to vote cards. Aren't you a good girl doing your bit. Ambulance First Aid course lady, was pretty cranky, but as you said not voting for Phoney either.

HS

3/08/2010Canbra Dave, Not to mention the number of nasty 'beaurocrats', that Tony despises with a passion and will be giving the Pink Slip to if he gets into power, that will be needed to administer his 'Tax-Go-Round'.

HS

3/08/2010George Pike, Dare I say that there would have been a noticeably large degree less death and destruction in Pakistan this week if the rain there had been sucked up by some trees?

HS

3/08/2010Gravel, Thank you so much for your kind words. :) The arm is slowly getting better, but it is a long, slow process. It's amazing isn't it, how the Press pack behave like a bunch of giddy schoolgirls whenever Toney Tony is around. Completely unwavering devotion and regurgitation, without question, his every banal line. why they haven't even figured out how he has been carefully placing his attractive young daughter in front of the cameras as eye candy for the nation, sometimes even putting her in front of him as he mouths off with his verbal garbage in the background. How cynically-exploitative of your own child is that? I don't think it's just a coincidence. He has been getting advice from that female-centric advertising agency, after all. Also, it's just the sort of thing that the Liberal Party have always tactically exploited. Some would say, that's politics. :)

Ethistan

3/08/2010Hey guys, I've been busying working on my thesis and hence not around much lately, but I wanted to say, if you haven't seen this, it is well worth a look :) https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/Australia_GetsUp_2010&id=1251

Lyn

3/08/2010Hi Ethistan Thankyou for the link to the video of the Getup Ad. Well done,excellent, just hope it's shown on TV plenty of times for a long time.

Lyn

3/08/2010Hi Hillbilly This is all over the bloggosphere wow! [b[quote]]"She said no repeatedly, and when she said no, I thought she meant no," ... "She's surely not trying to say to us that no doesn't mean no ...... when she said no I believed her"[/quote]b] Have you noticed, Phoney blames everything that is said about him on the Labor party, this is not the Labor party complaining about his words, it is everybody. On Sunday, Laurie Oakes said to Phoney, "but this is not the Labor Party saying it, it's your own words". Kerry O'Brien was as rude as ever to Julia Gillard on 7.30pm report, she handled him well and measured, do you think. What's this by KO, you should have phoned Kevin Rudd, why didn't you phone Kevin Rudd, you could have phoned Kevin Rudd, I thought you would have phoned Kevin Rudd. He butted in about 20 times, very rude and smart alec approach. I thought it was clever of Julia, on the Citizens Assembly, she said if people like you Kerrie would report, it would help. Of course KO is more interested in reporting Phoning Kevin Rudd, or what was discussed in Cabinet. Goes to what Grog said in his piece, about the Reporters, KO is no better than the pack.

HS

3/08/2010lyn, I absolutely agree with you about Kerry O'Brien. It's a sort of 'my way, or the highway' approach. If you don't agree with the premise of his question/harangue, then you, the interviewee, must be avoiding the question in order not to admit that he is right! It's the sort of circular logic that I find extremely offensive in an interviewer which revolves around the fact that if the interviewee tries to give a different answer to the one he expects then they must be 'avoiding answering the question'. He would never admit that he might be barking up the wrong tree, or blowing a trivial issue up out of all proportion. It's all about Kerry O'Brien's superior interviewing skills causing politicians to crack. Which I think is essentially pointlessly irrelevant.

HS

3/08/2010Ethistan, Thanks for the link! It's hard to keep track of all the little gems out there. Good luck with your thesis. :)

Lyn

3/08/2010Hi Hillbilly,Ad and Everybody Here is Grog with another Brilliant Piece, thankyou Grog: [i]Election 2010: Day 18 (or, these are the jokes, people). Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] “As I said, she’s surely not trying to say to us that no doesn’t mean no. When she said no I believed her.” Oh dear Tony. Just stupid. Even more stupid was when he was challenged to defend his line he referred to criticisms of it as a “Labor smear”. Err no Tony it wasn’t. You did it to yourself. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Lyn

3/08/2010Hi Hillbilly Must read, Excellent piece from Jess: [i]Andrew Bolt vs Andrew Bolt, Jess, You are doing that Wrong[/i] Real Andy’s up in arms about the fact that someone’s criticizing Tony’s ways with the lay-dees, while Twitter Andy heads vaguely in the same direction…but in a much more Lefty fashion. http://youaredoingthatwrong.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/andrew-bolt-vs-andrew-bolt/

nasking

3/08/2010As I said on the Cafe: I believe that Tony Abbott used the “no, means no” comment twice in order to stir up progressives so the right-wing media could focus on women getting agro…and then define them as “feminists” & bring up the old “political correctness” bogeyman in order to appeal to the blokes & the sheilas. Tony abbott is very crafty character…and something tells me that he had alot more to do w/ the awkward John Howard’s power grab & strategies…and the creation of One Nation than some think. We know that a One Nation founder was politically born in his office…under his wing…and knowing how crafty & scheming Abbott is it would not surprise me if the criticism of Pauline Hanson was mere show on the part of Abbott…in order to ensure so called “Honest John” could look more moderate…whilst in fact taking on some of her “dog whistle” & xenophobic approach… whilst extreme right-wing Libs & “low tax” types such as the radio cock jocks and mates in Ch. 9 and in News Ltd…did the rest of the work to ensure the public were convinced that Johnny was doing the proper thing by the country and not stirring up racism & xenophobia. I believe the Aussie public have been hood-winked. Abbott was the Machiavellian man behind the scenes to a degree…who was made to look by his colleagues as being a “rogue” politician kept on a tight leash and at arm’s length. Bullshit! I reckon he was one of Howard’s key advisors…strategists. And was being groomed for the top job long ago. I can confirm that friends of mine who know a top judge told me that this influential judge confirmed this a number of years ago. Something wicked this way comes. What was done to the refugees…& Malcolm Turnbull by way of the Gretch affair & the knifing… will be done to any dissenters & resistors & critics once the Abbott becomes King…sitting in his SEAT OF POWER. And Sky News will become Fox News. A tool to wield the executioner’s axe…and promote Tony’s fanatical, hidden Neo-CON, crusading views. WE need help…now. Before it’s too late. And those DARK CLOUDS once again roll over this country…but no rain falls…and the land becomes parched…and the trees fall…and the land is pillaged & raped…and our youths mind are poisoned and are sent to faraway wars…so the corporate aristocrats can make more profits…own more resources & energy… and the WORKERS are brought to their knees filled w/ toxins…vomiting & working day & night…in toxic towns…and megalopolises… shuddering to the echoes of propaganda white noise… fed drugs by big pharma to help them walk again… like zombies to the tune of insanity. And then the palms & trees that are left are lit up by the sick green light… and just like in the US Civil War, the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, the Second World War, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Iraq War, Afghanistan… the many many will die…and the FEW will prosper. As the weapon owners & distributors go KERCHING. N’

Acerbic Conehead

4/08/2010HS, your highlighting of the possibilities for re-cycling reminded me of recent events in the electorate-cum-parish of Dibley, where the incumbent vicar, Julia Grangeard, stepped down, wishing to discover if the parishioners were willing to ‘re-cycle’ her, and give her a new mandate. She is going head-to-head with her rival ecclesiastical, Tony Trott-Abbott (he of the “no, no, no, no...yes!” speech defect) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6JCUc1Pi3M The Chairman of the Parish Council, Dennis Horton-Shanahan, has convened a panel to ask the questions, so that the assembled parishioners can decide on the new vicar. As usual, Dennis has been up to his tricks, and has stacked the panel with his toadies, Alice Springs-Bishop, and Andrew Pickle-Robb. The first question is addressed to Jooles. Dennis: Right, Vicar – or should I say, ‘ex-vicar’ – is it true that you failed to phone that poor Mr Rudd in hospital – a truly abysmal lack of grace and Christian charity, considering he was awarded the ‘Australian of the Year’ gong by The Australian last year...And, are you not ashamed of your role in deposing that nice man – a role that involved you personally stabbing him in the back, and then callously in the gall-bladder, causing him to be rushed to hospital in the back of his ute? Jooles: Well, Dennis, thank you for your question, but... [Dennis imperiously cuts Jooles off in mid-sentence] Dennis: Yeah, right...tell it to someone who cares... [Dennis then turns to Tones] Dennis: Mr Trott-Abbott...you have heard that this inconsiderate wench failed to phone Mr Rudd, to inquire as to his condition...Isn’t it true that you took the time to do exactly that – which undoubtedly would make you a far more appropriate holder of the position of vicar than this pretender? Tones: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no... [Tones goes on and on, leaving Dennis totally exasperated, as he has coached Tones earlier to say ‘yes’ to that question] Dennis: Right, Mr Trott-Abbott, we’ll just leave it there for the moment...Now...Mrs Springs-Bishop...do you have a question for the candidates...wink...wink... [however, before Alice can open her gob, Tones springs back into life] Tones: YES! I did phone Rudd up – and I told him he was a bigger malingerer than Bernie Banton...I also told him I would donate one of my gall bladders to him, as I have an over-supply of bile anyway... [Dennis has heard enough. He interrupts Tones, and insists Alice asks her question] Alice: Erm...Mr Trott-Abbott...as we all know by now, the ex-vicar, Mrs Grangeard, has outed herself as an atheist...In fact, I believe it was her reckless admission that caused Dibley to slip down the MyParish league-table...Luckily for Dibley, Mr Trott-Abbott, you are a tried and trusted Christian, are you not? Tones: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no... [Dennis, again, cannot believe Tones has given the diametrically-opposed answer to the one he was coached to give. But, more ominously, Dennis hears mutterings of discontent coming from the assembled parishioners in the hall. In his next throw of the loaded dice, Dennis calls on the toxically-boring parish secretary, Andrew Pickle-Robb, to ask a question. However, before Robbo can even utter a word, Tones pipes up again] Tones: YES! As vicar, I will put a lot more stress on imposing Christianity – for starters, I’ll re-introduce compulsory Latin back into the schools...and I’ll send everybody off on one of those Crusades – ‘Bash the Burqa’, we’ll call it – what better way to deal with the unemployment problem when we call a halt to the stimulation programs...and all males will have to get one of those tonsure haircuts...And females will have to breed like rabbits...And... [by this stage, the hall has nearly emptied. The parishioners obviously want to maintain the status quo, even if they have some reservations about giving carte blanche to the previous vicar. So, while Jooles is scoffing down a celebratory packet of Tim-Tams, Dennis collars Tones and gives him an ear-full] Dennis: You nong! After all my expert coaching, you have to go and say the direct opposite! Tones: But, but, but, Den – everybody knows that no doesn’t mean no...erm...don’t they? Dennis: Just have a look around you, mate – how many supporters do you see? When the punters here said no, unlike you, they obviously meant it...

HS

4/08/2010This is just plain disgusting and a harbinger of exactly the sort of devious, low-down, dirty pool playing government Tony Abbott would lead: http://www.news.com.au/features/federal-election/australian-tobacco-companies-to-pay-for-5-million-anti-labor-ad-campaign/comments-e6frfllr-1225900842337

sawdustmick

4/08/2010HS, Thanks for the heads up on this artical, I thought I would throw my two cents worth in to help with Libs with their nest campaign add to support small business. Help the Liberal Party Campaign to support small business, get your children addicted to nicotine after all what is more important for the future of this nation millions dying from their addiction to smoking or supporting you local small tobacconist and the large multinational cigarette companies? I think the Australian People are smart enough to vote for a party that is willing to support business by any means no matter how many people die are a result of smoking. Written an authoried by Libeal Party strategist and our own Iron Man Tony Abbott. If these tobacconists are worried about loosing their incomes they could switch jobs to gravediggers. I am sure they would get plenty of work at their local cemeteries burying those poor bastards who have died from terrible lung cancer, throat cancer, stroke, heart and all the rest because they were addicted to nicotine.

Lyn

4/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Newspoll breakdowns and related matters,William Bowe , The Poll Bludger [/i]In Queensland, Leichardt and Dawson are said to be at risk, but Labor looks set to hold Longman and Flynn. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/08/04/newspoll-breakdowns-and-related-matters/ [i]Election 2010: Day 18 (or, these are the jokes, people). Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] “As I said, she’s surely not trying to say to us that no doesn’t mean no. When she said no I believed her.” Oh dear Tony. Just stupid. Even more stupid was when he was challenged to defend his line he referred to criticisms of it as a “Labor smear”. Err no Tony it wasn’t.You did it to yourself. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Essential Report and voting reasons, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] The Better PM question had Gillard leading Abbott 48/30 – a 3 point decline for Gillard and a 4 point increase for Tony since last week, with men preferring Gillard 46/34 and women 50/26. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/08/03/essential-report-and-voting-reasons/ [i]Tony Abbott Makes Rape Joke, MNS frames it as "Sexist gaffe"., Napalmnacey, Hoyden about Town.[/i] misogynistic, down-right dangerous trope about women’s ability to make decisions about their sexual behaviour. If this doesn’t expose the cold-hearted, calculating and dangerous man he is, I don’t know what will. Keep talking like this Tony Abbott, keep showing us your true colours. http://hoydenabouttown.com/20100803.7906/tony-abbott-makes-rape-joke-msm-frames-it-as-sexist-gaffe/ [i]The “Real” Tony Abbott!, Reb, Gutter trash [/i]Abbott’s “no means no” clanger was repeated four times at an even intended to help win over the women’s vote!Good luck with that Mr Abbott. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/03/the-real-tony-abbott/ [i]GetUp ad puts Tony Abbott’s words into women’s mouths, video, a series [/i] of women speaking the words of Liberal leader Tony Abbott. http://mumbrella.com.au/getup-ad-uses-the-words-of-tony-abbott-in-women-mouths-30946 [i]GetUp's latest ad: Tony Abbott's archaic views, Left to Think[/i] I think this is one of the more effective negative ads we have seen in the campaign so far, and reminds people that the very measured, restrained Tony Abbott we are seeing throughout this campaign, is not the Tony Abbott we have seen over the past few years. http://lefttothink.blogspot.com/2010/08/getups-latest-ad-tony-abbotts-archaic.html It's your faut, Tim Dunlop, The drum I'm not sure how "we" have allowed the media to turn into what it is. http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/08/its-your-fault.html#more [i]the media: politics v policy « ,Gary Sauer-Thompson ,Public Opinion[/i] [b]Last Friday Grog's Gamut [/b]had a critical post on the way the media operates during this election that added depth to this critique of the media. It indicates how the media have become part of the political narrative. However, the critique of the media goes deeper than the partisan bias of The Australian and the Murdoch tabloid Press campaigning to help win an election for the Coalition. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/08/the-media-polit.php [i]Being the real Julia, Nicholas Gruen, Clubb Troppo[/i] She needs to be articulating both the Govt’s achievements – Blogger [b]Grog’s Gambit proposed [/b]some ads to focus on Labor’s economic achievement during the GFC. For instance screens rolling up lists like this: http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/08/03/being-the-real-julia/ [i]Election 2010: Standing Up, Moving Forward, Acting Real, Simon Hukin, The Angle Org.[/i]The lack of depth in their talent pool is evident when Abbott resorts to invoking the (previously thankfully corpsified) names of Bronwyn Bishop and Phillip Ruddock. The Opposition’s core leadership team consists of Abbott, Hockey, Pyne, Julie Bishop, and Dutton. http://theangle.org/2010/08/03/election-2010-standing-up-moving-forward-acting-real/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=election-2010-standing-up-moving-forward-acting-real [i]To Debate or not to Debate, That is the Question, Leon Delaney[/i] Tony Abbott has been enjoying a relatively free run, getting away with a series of inconsistencies. http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/2010/08/to-debate-or-not-to-debate-that-is.html [i]Libs in bed with tobacco industry to attack Labor , Simon benson, Phillip Hudson, The Advertiser.[/i] The Liberal Party's election pollsters and advisers, Crosby Textor, are believed to be architects of the research behind the campaign. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/in-depth/libs-in-bed-with-tobacco-industry-to-attack-labor/story-fn5rizbk-1225900788345 [i]Link Dump - Grogfest, Massivespray, Spray of the day[/i] A round up of the excellent recent articles[b] by Grog on the election[/b] Mustreads. http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/ [i]I wonder who he's talking about?, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Man I wouldn’t want to be whoever it is that he’s talking about, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Andrew Bolt vs Andrew Bolt, Jess, You are doing that Wrong[/i] Real Andy’s up in arms about the fact that someone’s criticizing Tony’s ways with the lay-dees, while Twitter Andy heads vaguely in the same direction…but in a much more Lefty fashion. http://youaredoingthatwrong.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/andrew-bolt-vs-andrew-bolt/ [i]Love and politics: a virgin experience,Crikey, The Stump[/i] Tony Abbott is for many Australians — yours truly included — the parliamentary equivalent of a blind date. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/08/03/love-and-politics-a-virgin-experience/#more-2189 [i]Factional bosses spoil Labor’s chances, Mungo MacCallum, Echo[/i] Instead, they plan to install a mob of shop-soiled has-beens and wild-eyed never-will-bes whose policies consist of slashing government services, refusing to collect the taxes with which to pay off what it absurdly insists is unsustainable debt and sending asylum seekers to Nauru. http://live.echo.net.au/opinion-piece/factional-bosses-spoil-labor%E2%80%99s-chances

HS

4/08/2010sawdustmick, I couldn't agree more. However, what is truly scary is the way the Coalition bamboozle the electorate with Tony's 'honeyed words', like he accuses Julia Gillard of employing(but we all know it's really him he's talking about and just trying to divert attention from that fact). Godwin's Law notwithstanding, I fear that if Tony Abbott and the Coalition get into power their administration and spokesmen and women will give Hitler and Goebbels a run for their money.

George Pike

4/08/2010Hi HS, the floods are caused by much greater and faster runoff due to the deforrestation. Instead of being captured by the forests and given a chance to soak into th earth and slowly drain into river valleys etc it just runs straight off the bare earth enmasse....the rapid overpopulation of the montane regions of south Asia has resulted in the rapid reduction in forested areas..they use the wood for fuel mainly. The tropical areas are pretty much the same, the forest canpoies allow moisture from rain to remain fluid and soak into the ground etc..but once the canopy is gone it returns to the air very quickly and the higher temperatures allow much greater saturation levels of the atmosphere, thus much heavier rainfall is a result..when that falls on the deforrested hillsides it creates massive landslides and much death and destruction...Google Philippines or Brazil landslides and you will see what I mean. I have noticed how the media have not given any importance to the news that there will over 600 job losses from the Opposition's intended closure of the computers in schools program in NSW alone. When you think how the Opposition have promised to take $43 billion out of the economy should they win the election, it really shows us how destructive their policies are going to be for our economy...their slash spending and welfare polices are ideologically focussed wishes and not credible economic imperatives by any standard. I shudder to think what will happen to small business and jobs if these guys get into power and start driving the economy into a brick wall...and once our credit rating goes down when unemployment goes up, the interest rates will skyrocket as well...while that may be magnificent for the bankers, it will be abominable for the rest of us! Hard to believe the media are trying so hard to destroy what has been a very good government, simply to bring in the favourite of the corporate sector, when such a travesty will result in so much damage for the entire couintry! They truly do have to be the biggest pack of prize idiots in the land!

Ad astra reply

4/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Valerie

4/08/2010 Interesting comment on the "politico-media complex" of today and how their linkage to political parties makes them irrelevant as presenters of the news when their sole purpose for existing today is to protect their own 'little patch'. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/

Lyn

4/08/2010Hi Hillbilly and Ad [i]It’s the economy, stupid,Media Wrap, Amber Jamieson, Crikey[/i] added side dishes of sexual assault gaffes and paid parental leave and a tasty no interest rate rise for dessert. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/04/commentary-wrap-its-the-economy-stupid/ [i]Newspoll state by state and demographic breakdown, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/04/newspoll-state-by-state-and-demographic-breakdown/ [i]Why are interest rates steady? We're "Roaming malls sleepwalking", Peter Martin[/i] The Reserve Bank has delivered the Gillard government a lower interest rate than it gave the Coalition in almost all of its eleven years in office. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

Ethistan

4/08/2010Just watching Julia Gillard on ABC News 24 which has a live stream of her from Cairns via broadband and the quality is absolutely woeful. A good advertisement for the NBN if ever I saw one...

Lyn

4/08/2010Hi Ethistan Same here in Hervey Bay, $89.00 per month,unlimited plan 3G wireless, almost daily I am unable to open web pages, or email at all. Mostly when school is out, before school in the morning. ABC The Drum & Unleashed are particulary hard because of so many graphics. Service is nothing short of shocking.

Ad astra reply

4/08/2010Folks Apropos of your comments Ethistan and Lyn, I've almost finished a piece [i]Would Tony Abbott really be stupid enough to trash the NBN?[/i] which analyses what the NBN would mean for this nation.

HS

4/08/2010George Pike, You could almost say that the Coalition's treatment of the country would be the equivalent of political deafforestation!

George Pike

4/08/2010Political, environmental, social and economic annihilation I'd say HS! Good to see a fellow Aquarian of the same vintage following the same agenda too!

Valerie

4/08/2010 Here is an ugly reminder of Abbott's documented history http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/17/1089694611874.html http://www.bewareofthegod.com/wp-images/Abbott.pdf

HS

4/08/2010Valerie, I'm amazed no one has asked Abbott his views on Creation and whether he believes Dinosaurs walked with humans, in order to flush out the religious zealot behind the carefully-controlled facade.

George Pike

4/08/2010Thanks for those links Valerie, I've just posted them on Facebook....I'm sure they will create a LOT of interest there hey!

jimbo

4/08/2010Hi Lynn This link about factional bosses spoiling labors chances by mungo macallum on echo doesnt work,would you be able to fix it or find another link please Lynn.Thankyou.

Lyn

4/08/2010Hi Jimbo Thankyou for telling me, sorry about that. Try this one different numbers on this link: [i]Factional bosses spoil Labor’s chances, Mungo MacCallum, Echo[/i] Instead, they plan to install a mob of shop-soiled has-beens and wild-eyed never-will-bes whose policies consist of slashing government services, refusing to collect the taxes with which to pay off what it absurdly insists is unsustainable debt and sending asylum seekers to Nauru. http://live.echo.net.au:80/opinion-piece/factional-bosses-spoil-labor’s-chances

Lyn

4/08/2010Hi Jimbo Go to side panel on Echo's page and click OPINION, you will get Mungo's piece. I hink they want to make sure we read their newspaper, so set up the links.

Ad astra reply

4/08/2010jimbo If you go to LYN'S DAILY LINKS: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx you will find Mungo's piece at the end of today's links, and the link does work.

HS

4/08/2010Good. It's about time that groups who would be adversely affected by Tony Abbott's policies came out of the woodwork to say so: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/big-business-savages-abbotts-parental-leave-plan-20100803-115he.html

nasking

4/08/2010Hi, I have a new post up at the Cafe: [quote]This Man Could Be The Next Treasurer…Gawd Help Us The following is a transcript I made from part of an interview between ABC 2 Breakfast host Virginia Trioli & Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey. Plenty of reductionist, vague & ill-informed statements on the part of Hockey I reckon Some odd statements. It doesn’t matter what the credit rating is? Hmmm…that’s sloppy Joe.[/quote] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/this-man-could-be-the-next-treasurer-gawd-help-us/ N

FFreddy

4/08/2010Saw a classic example of the type of free-pass Abbott has been getting on Julie Doyle’s summary of the days political events on the ABC’s Midday News. The last part of her summary dealt with the tobacco issue with grabs from Swan, Abbott and a spokesperson from the advocacy group behind the upcoming adverts. It ended with vision in a cigarette shop and JD saying Tony Abbott says he would consider implementing the Labor governments tougher labeling if elected. The fact that Abbott was Health minister in the Howard govt. for much of its reign was apparently irrelevant and unworthy of mention. The fact that Abbott as Health minister stymied any attempts to change labeling not just for cigarettes but also fast food was also irrelevant and unworthy of mention. The fact that Abbott as Health minister even cast doubts on the dangers of passive smoking was also irrelevant and unworthy of mention. For the last three years every statement every policy released by the Labor government has been met with sneering cynicism by all and sundry at the ABC but Abbott can make statements such as this and presumably we should just take them at face value.

jimbo

4/08/2010Lynn Thankyou for the links,you too Ad,good comment on the joe humpty dumpty interview with trioli and i really hate to rain on humpty dumptys parade but i was watching bloomberg today and lo and beholdthey were discussing the real possibility of a double dip recession if governments in other countries start cutting infrastructure projects straight away.If this were to happen countries that do this may have to go to private enterprise to shoulder future infrastructure projects.Now i am not sure if bloomberg keep archives on stories or not but if they do anyone should be able to check this story out for themselves asit was only aired today 4th of august.Lynn you and Ad are lifesavers for me when it comes to links so again thanks very much to both of you.

Lyn

4/08/2010Hi Jimbo I am not sure which Bloomberg story you were looking at but I gathered 2 links, for you. You might have fun exploring their web page. Australian June Trade Surplus Widens on Coal Exports, Jacob Greber, Bloomberg Australia’s trade surplus unexpectedly reached a record in June as Chinese demand spurred exports of coal and iron ore, while imports stagnated amid a slowdown in domestic spending. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-04/australia-s-trade-surplus-widens-to-3-2-billion-almost-twice-estimates.html Australia and New Zealand News, Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/news/australia-newzealand/ Cheers

NormanK

4/08/2010AC Thanks for your piece. Geez you're quick! We live in hope that the vicarage will be in the safe hands of a moderate.

HS

4/08/2010I know this is not directly relevant to our own election campaign, but it is tangentially so and a very sobering article that gives us a prism to view the Abbott ascendancy through: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/bob-inglis-tea-party-casualty?page=1 * As they say in the classics,'Be afraid, be very afraid'. Especially considering the fact that the Americans, I learnt today, are watching this election very closely, and hoping that, if Abbott can be got up, in the name of religious conservatism, so can Sarah Palin.

HS

5/08/2010Grog, Day 19: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-19-or-his-ghost-may.html

HS

5/08/2010Paul Keating taking Tony Abbott's economic credentials to task: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/04/2973771.htm

HS

5/08/2010Great Tweet: 'ABCNews revealed to be Anything But Credible News.'

Valerie

5/08/2010 HS Great article and parallels can be drawn from the current US style of divisional, wedge politics we see on programs such as Glen Beck and Hannity. We as a country seem to be in a state of flux and the far right has taken advantage big time. Howard was a big proponent of wedge politics. As a republican supporter said on Fox News yesterday, people like Sarah Palin because she says what she feels, whether it be right or wrong. Dangerous stuff for someone who is showing signs of throwing her hat in the ring for presidential nominee in 2012.
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?