How the west was NOT won by Murdoch

Before the September election, some political pundits were predicting a Labor ‘wipeout’ in its western Sydney heartland. It did not happen.

Two Labor seats out of eight in western Sydney fell to the Liberals. Arguably, two seats, classified as southern Sydney by the Australian Electoral Commission, could be added to the list as they are part of Sydney’s central southern suburbs and border the central Labor belt (from Sydney to Penrith along the western railway line). There are reasons, however, other than the Murdoch press that these seats fell. More important are the six seats that did not fall.

The two western seats to fall were Reid and Lindsay: both border LNP seats and have areas (booths) that are predominantly Liberal voting. In Lindsay the central area around Penrith is Labor, but the northern and southern ends Liberal. In Reid, the northern half along the Parramatta River tends to be Liberal and the southern, Labor.

They are obviously seats that may move about in elections and be heavily influenced by small changes in electoral boundaries. When Reid was a Labor stronghold the seat included Labor-leaning areas to the west, towards Parramatta, but now those areas are in the Parramatta electorate and Reid includes more Liberal-leaning areas to the east, like the Drummoyne peninsula. Similarly, Lindsay’s boundaries have changed over time to include more Liberal-leaning areas in the north.

Of the two southern Sydney seats that fell, Banks has a similar profile. Barton is a little different, having some Liberal areas in the south, but is predominantly Labor – it was, however, lost by only 493 votes or 0.6% of formal votes. The retirement of the sitting member, Robert McClelland, probably had some influence on the outcome: in fact, the large swing against Labor in Barton (see table below) may also suggest an element of protest at the way McClelland was treated by his Labor colleagues during the preceding two years (demoted within the Ministry in December 2011, then dropped from the Ministry altogether in February 2012).

The swings in first preference votes in these electorates were:

Electorate Labor swing (%) Liberal swing (%) Greens swing (%)
Reid (west) -0.9 + 4.0 - 4.2
Lindsay (west) - 5.5 + 3.3 - 1.7
Barton (south) - 8.1 + 1.7 - 4.9
Banks (south) - 1.9 + 1.5 - 4.6


There is significant variation in what was happening in the electorates despite Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph being a common newspaper across these areas. But in only one electorate, Reid, did the swing against Labor result in an increased swing to the Liberals. The first preference votes went elsewhere and that is particularly marked in Barton.

Even if one argues that the Murdoch campaign was effective in reducing the Labor vote, these figures suggest that it did not have the corollary effect of convincing people to vote Liberal.

Some of those first preference votes moved to minor parties which may more reflect an attitude of ‘a pox on both your houses’.

The influence of the press is further questioned when one considers that within Reid, there was actually a swing to Labor in the five booths that make up Auburn, a core Labor area of the electorate: the swings to Labor in those booths ranged from 0.6% to 5.7%.

Does this mean that the Murdoch campaign actually convinced more Labor-leaning voters to vote Labor?

Labor was also affected by the decline in the Greens’ vote, reducing its preference flow. Whether the decline in the Greens vote was a result of the long running Murdoch campaign against them or a result of Labor campaigning strongly to distinguish itself from the Greens is debatable but, given the tenuous impact in the west of the Murdoch campaign against Labor, I lean to the latter.

And among the seats in western Sydney that did not fall, the first preference swings were:

Electorate Labor swing (%) Liberal swing (%) Greens swing (%)
Chifley + 0.7 + 1.9 - 5.8
Blaxland + 4.8 - 0.6 - 3.2
Fowler + 7.9 - 10.2 - 3.3
McMahon - 1.1 + 4.3 - 5.1
Parramatta - 3.2 + 3.6 - 2.7
Greenway + 2.2 - 1.3 - 2.3


Overall, Labor increased its first preference vote in four electorates and the Liberal vote fell in three: hardly a ringing endorsement of the effectiveness of the Murdoch campaign! Perhaps on that basis, Labor should ask him to continue the campaign and help increase its vote further next time. And Chifley, Blaxland, Fowler and even McMahon were held on first preference votes alone.

Greenway was influenced by the Liberal candidate being Jaymes Diaz: as Anthony Green said during the election night coverage, it showed that ‘candidates matter’. I suggest, not being an expert, that one quantum of the ‘candidate effect’ in Greenway could be 5.8%, the sum of overcoming the national 3.6% swing to the LNP plus the 2.2% swing to Labor that was achieved. (I would also accept 4.9%, summing the national swing and Diaz’s loss, which would then suggest that, after removing the ‘candidate effect’, there was still a 0.9% swing to Labor.)

The somewhat unusual result in Fowler suggests that the perceived quality of the local candidates was also a factor there but I have, as yet, not found any evidence to confirm this. (If somebody knows, please post a comment!)

What do the results in western Sydney tell us?

On the above figures, it seems that if the Murdoch campaign had any influence it was merely to reinforce existing leanings of particular areas within electorates, whether Liberal or Labor, or of confirmed voters’ views that neither of the major parties deserved their first preference vote. In this sense, the Murdoch campaign may have had more influence in turning voters off politics generally than in influencing votes.

I am not suggesting that the Murdoch campaign had no influence whatsoever but that the influence did not match the effort put into the campaign; nor was it as effective as Murdoch would have us believe.

Clive Palmer’s advertising blitz demonstrates the impact media campaigns can have. In his case, however, because he was starting from scratch, the campaign was as much about what advertising experts call ‘brand recognition’. What he did effectively was make his party known and provide voters an alternative to voting for the major parties, which a proportion of voters was obviously seeking to do. What he had to say mattered less than simply being known.

Murdoch himself believes he is a political force but the screaming anti-Labor headlines of his Daily Telegraph mattered little in the final analysis and appear to have had minimal influence on the vote in western Sydney.

Murdoch was basically granted political influence by the politicians, both here in Australia and in Britain, because the politicians reacted to the Murdoch commentary and polling. Instead of governing, or seeking government, by promoting policies and a vision for the future, politicians slipped into the trap of believing they will ‘live and die’ by the polls. As long as they believe that, they will allow Murdoch to continue to hold sway over them. But as my brief analysis of the vote in western Sydney indicates, the Murdoch influence is not as strong in the electorate.

While the polls generally (not just Murdoch’s polls) were relatively accurate in predicting the national voting outcome, the Government is not elected by a national trend but by winning individual seats in the House of Representatives (HoR). In 1998, for example, Labor won the national vote (51% to 49%) but insufficient seats to defeat the LNP. The published polls have not been very successful in predicting how individual electorates will behave and the figures above show the wide variations that occur between electorates.

The ability of Tony Windsor to hold New England for so many years, before his retirement at this election, and the Jaymes Diaz effect in Greenway, show that the quality of local candidates is crucial. While people know their vote will influence who becomes Prime Minister, they also know they are actually voting for a local candidate, so the quality of that candidate influences voting much more than the Murdoch press.

Strong, locally based campaigns are another effective tool to overcome broader, negative media coverage. The success of Cathy McGowan’s campaign in Indi (in Victoria) against Sophie Mirabella, is evidence of this.

I believe politicians need to ignore the Murdoch press commentary and his fortnightly polls. They are just marketing, linking his news (opinions) and his polls in a continuous marketing cycle for his media, fodder for political commentators, but next to meaningless when a voter walks into a polling station and puts pencil to paper.

What do you think?

(The above analysis used data from three major sources: the Australian Electoral Commission’s The Official 2013 Federal Election Results as at 29 September; and seat by seat guides by Anthony Green from the ABC’s 2013 Federal Election site ‘Electorates A-Z’ and William Bowe’s (aka The Poll Bludger) ‘Election Guides: The House of Representatives’.)

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Bacchus

6/10/2013[i]The Political Sword[/i] is again privileged to have one of its own providing your discussion-starter for this week: Ken Wolff. Ken has provided insightful and erudite comments on [i]TPS[/i] for some time now. This is what he tells us of why his piece 'How the west was [i]not[/i] won by Murdoch' evolved: “[quote]I was born and raised in the western suburbs of Sydney. It has changed but the changes were well underway before I left. I was moved to write this article partly in defence of the western Sydney voters, the voters of my birthplace and the electoral home of heroes like Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating, Tom Uren and Jack Lang. The people there are often derided as westies, bogans, unintelligent or disengaged voters, but I don’t think that is a true reflection of their voting. What many commentators don’t understand is that their rational decisions are simply based on a different set of underlying assumptions, not those assumed by some political and economic commentators. I am now retired and live happily in an area with a very different demographic but, thankfully, still a Labor heartland.[/quote]” In his eloquent piece, Ken draws on detailed research to clarify how the much-anticipated (in the Murdoch press particularly) 'wipe-out' for Labor in the west of Sydney failed to come about. We hope you enjoy such an excellent stimulus to discussion for this week. The [i]TPS[/i] Team

Ad astra

6/10/2013Ken Wolff Congratulations on a fine piece. You argue persuasively that Murdoch’s influence on the electorate has been less than expected. You are right when you say: “[i]Murdoch was basically [b]granted[/b] political influence by the politicians, both here in Australia and in Britain, because the politicians reacted to the Murdoch commentary and polling. Instead of governing, or seeking government, by promoting policies and a vision for the future, politicians slipped into the trap of believing they will ‘live and die’ by the polls. As long as they believe that, they will allow Murdoch to continue to hold sway over them.”[/i] It is politicians’ preoccupation with polls, and particularly how Murdoch’s minions interpret them, that influences their thinking. Because voters like to be on the winner, the polls and the commentary do influence them too. It is certainly gratifying that the would-be kingmaker is not as powerful as he would wish to be. I look forward to more such pieces from you.

2353~

6/10/2013Well written & argued Ken, It is an interesting set of statistics you have produced and I feel you are correct with the "pox on both your houses" comment. The "western Sydney" effect was actually in evidence in other parts of the country as well. Rudd in Griffith was talked about as being the only person that would hold an ALP seat north of the Rio Tweed post the federal election. The reality is that there is a number of ALP MPs - some of which (including Graham Perritt in Moreton) that increased their margins. Mind you Perritt needed to increase his margin - it was 1.1% - now I think he is sitting on something closer to 2%. Clive Palmer also didn't get a very good press from Murdoch once he left the LNP (and decided he wasn't going to challenge Swan). That he will either get very close or get up in Fairfax is a slap in the face to the LNP who seemed to have tried their hardest to "win" the seat back. The Murdoch media in Brisbane was responsible for a lot of the more biased headlines as well. I join you in you claim that a lot of it is marketing. Given the results, he must have done more damage to the credibility of his stable of papers in Australia.

Ken

6/10/2013Ad Thank you for your encouraging words. I think the more we can point out that Murdoch is not as effective as he, himself, and many politicians believe, perhaps the sooner politicians will start leading the country again, instead of looking over their shoulders at Murdoch and the polls. 2353 Agree that there was a similar effect (or should say non-Murdoch effect) in Queensland but I did need to keep the article to a moderate length and, as said in the introduction, I chose western Sydney partly in defence of the voters of my birthplace. And sincerely hope you are right that it has damaged Murdoch's credibility. Sorry I did not respond earier but I was "busy" (watching the NRL Grand Final)

Frank

6/10/2013There is no question that the Murdoch press had a deleterious effect on Labor but I guess internal division damaged the party as well. It was pleasing to see the predictions of Denis Shanahan,Peter van Onselen and Graham Richardson go wide of the mark. Shanahan was no doubt rubbing his hands in glee while predicting the demise of Paramatta and McEwen but Labor had a star there in Parra in Julie Owens. Dennis Atkins was predicting a wipeout in Queensland and lamented that the Liberals had allowed Labor to sandbag and save 6 out of 8 seats.55 seats is not a bad effort, and is only 5 less than Labor had before the 2007 election.

TalkTurkey

7/10/2013Ken That is a thoroughly Swordworthy Lead Article! I just thought of that term. Swordworthy. The term is worth nothing but concept of having nothing-but-ace articles on this site is, I know, a fierce desire within the many True Believers here. If just the lead articles, and the links, continue undiminished in quality, then I know Ad and Lyn will be delighted. And TPS will continue to shine its clear light for all the 5th Estate. The fact Ken that I wish I could concur with the top line, but cannot, is not at all a criticism of your analysis of the election results of Western Sydney. The part I disagree with is the conclusion, implicit in the heading: for to my way of thinking, Murdoch indeed has won the West, and manifestly so, in that he has won the whole election, in a winner-takes-all contest. The issue goes back to the fact that it was in fear of the Polls that *J*U*L*I*A* was encouraged by her Cabinet peers to challenge Rudd in the first place; it drove Labor to run and scurry, to live in fear all the days of the Hung Parliament, and eventually to get our fantastic first female PM rolled again by Rudd. Murdoch's media drove that fear with every negatively-spun story, with every ABC yes ABC "news report" beginning "The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abborrrttt ..." It was the fear of what would happen to the seats in Western Sydney that drove and skewed Labor's campaign Australia-wide. So I think Murdoch has won comprehensively - and the whole Western Sydney preoccupation, driven by him and his, effectively worked as a red herring, diverting Labor from a principled and clear stance to end up with Rudd's curdled-milk-and-water effort at the end. I think Murdoch cares not a fig about Western Sydney. He got what he wanted. But mark my words, we will quite soon get more than even with him, and Abborrrt, and Pell, and all the other horrors who today are so cock-a-hoop. Australia will not become more "Christian", but less so, as a result of their lies and hypocrisies, and in so doing turn their faces from the sort of behaviour we have seen in Parliament since Abborrrtt became Loto. We saw what happened to Howard once he got all the power he wanted, with a majority in the Senate; well it won't take nearly so long for Abborrrtt's yobs to come unravelled, it's already happening as we speak at an astonishing rate. But with the notion of the need for vigorous imaginative candidates and campaigns, that is vital indeed. The Others will always have vastly more to spend on the campaigns, with huge donors and Murdoch to boot, oh yes indeed, if Labor doesn't fight 24/7/365/x3, well it won't win and won't deserve to. That's what proper Labor candidates do: they work and they fight every day in every way and then some more. So let it be in Western Sydney, and so let it be throughout the Wide Brown Land. Now a bit of breaking news: David Donovan runs Independent Australia, the site on which he raised $50K in a few weeks to pay for a private investigation of #Ashbygate He tweeted tonight: ‏@davrosz 3m Looks like I will be giving a lecture on citizen journalism at Sydney University in October 21. To which a certain Jan Mahyuddin ‏@j4gypsy replied: @davrosz Well done you, David! Put it up on IA afterwards? The 5th Estate is more powerful now than ever before. We will erode that wizened old exAdelaideian alien's influence to a rump in the next few years. I can't wait.

Casablanca

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Although RCTs provide the best assessment of the overall value of a therapy, high-quality evidence from RCTs is often incomplete, contradictory, or absent even in areas that have been most exhaustively studied. http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196%2813%2900612-5/fulltext 35. Statins and Cognition: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Short- and Long-term Cognitive Effects Kristopher J. Swiger, MD, Raoul J. Manalac, MD, Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, Michael J. Blaha, MD, MPH, Seth S. Martin, MD In patients without baseline cognitive dysfunction, short-term data are most compatible with no adverse effect of statins on cognition, and long-term data may support a beneficial role for statins in the prevention of dementia. http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196%2813%2900613-7/fulltext 36. Conspicuous Consumption, Conspicuous Health, and Optimal Taxation Paul Frijters Is there a health-status race in Australia whereby people get joy from being healthier and fitter than others? And what are the general implications for public policy if there is? http://clubtroppo.com.au/2013/10/01/conspicuous-consumption-conspicuous-health-and-optimal-taxation/ JULIA GILLARD 37. Gillard unleashed a flood of emotions Anne Summers 'I hope you've got a fantastic marketing plan to fill all those seats," Julia Gillard said, via her adviser, when I informed her that I had booked the concert hall of the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne's Town Hall to hold my conversations with her. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/gillard-unleashed-a-flood-of-emotions-20131004-2uzh2.html#ixzz2gxNroNxF 38. Writing the Narrative, or should that be “Righting the Narrative”? rossleighbrisbane We initially were told that Gillard was the worst Prime Minister since Whitlam, before it was decided that she was the worst PM ever. So, I’m going to throw a couple of questions out here, just for fun. http://theaimn.com/2013/10/06/writing-the-narrative-or-should-that-be-righting-the-narrative/ 39. Gone but former PM not forgotten Canberra Times For prime ministers not long out of the job, there is no task more urgent than building and enhancing their political legacy, and Julia Gillard has begun that assignment in typically focused fashion. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/gone-but-former-pm-not-forgotten-20131003-2ux9y.html#ixzz2glNfI2dk 40. Accents Nicholas Gruen I love accents. I love pretty much everything about them. I love the way in which they actually convey things – sincerity, guile, sneering, superiority and their opposites and complements – all surreptitiously; http://clubtroppo.com.au/2013/10/05/accents/ SOCIAL MEDIA 41. THE HOOPLA: I NEEDED IT LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD Wendy Harmer In the new book What’s Next in Journalism? Wendy Harmer spills the beans on the inspiration behind The Hoopla and relishes the wonderful community it has become. http://thehoopla.com.au/hoopla-needed-like-hole-head/ 42. Administrivia: get the most out of your gravatar tigtog on October 2, 2013 So, are you one of our commentors who’s customised their gravatar (the little thumbnail (avatar) that appears next to everybody’s posts)? If you are only relying on WordPress’ default geometric ‘identicon’ because you don’t know how to get yourself a custom avatar, then this post is for you. It’s also for anyone who hasn’t yet realised that there’s more they could be doing with their gravatar. http://larvatusprodeo.net/archives/2013/10/administrivia-get-the-most-out-of-your-gravatar/ 43. Why do people troll? Alexandra Cain http://www.canberratimes.com.au/small-business/finance/blogs/the-big-idea/why-do-people-troll-20131002-2url0.html#ixzz2gxtMMWnT IDEAS & COMMENTARY 44. Avoiding futility under the Abbott administration Mark Bahnisch Our biggest problem is that we may have won policy battles, but we have been comprehensively defeated politically. The last ALP governments did their best to destroy themselves, and it’s signally important that a revival of membership and community campaigning saved the Labor party from itself as much as any politician did or didn’t. http://larvatusprodeo.net/archives/2013/10/avoiding-futility-under-the-abbott-administration/ 45. Pushing our luck: ideas for Australian progress Miriam Lyons Questions such as ‘what sort of government do we want?’ and ‘what sorts of policy do we want implemented?’ arise with federal elections, but is that the only time we should consider them? CPD’s new book Pushing our luck looks well beyond the 2013 campaigns, at policies which focus on long-term goals for a better future. ... the book is about how to make Australia’s prosperity last, and how to share it fairly. http://cpd.org.au/2013/10/get-a-copy/ http://cpd.org.au/2013/09/radio-national-life-matters-23-september-2013/ 46. Death by a thousand cuts: how governments undermine their own productivity | OCCASIONAL PAPER Christopher Stone posted 5 August, 2013 A new report by Centre for Policy Development (CPD) public service research director Christopher Stone and industrial relations policy expert Kathy MacDermott finds that blind, across-board-cuts reduce productivity, stifle innovation and damage government institutions. http://cpd.org.au/2013/08/death-by-a-thousand-cuts-how-governments-undermine-their-own-productivity/ 47. Left right out Andrew Elder In Shakespeare's Henry V, an immature and destructive young man unaccountably destined for high office hangs out with riff-raff who encourage him in his immaturity. Upon assuming leadership he sobers up and wins a famous victory against a larger but disorganised enemy. In the course of that he leaves behind his old mates, who end up wretched and dead in the hour of his triumph. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ 48. Where are the 'Women of Merit'? Married, unmarried, Gay, children, no children, minorities... The previous Cabinet, particularly under Ms Gillard, including both women AND men, while not perfect in displaying all facets of the population, was probably one of the most 'representative' of the Australian public that we ever saw, sadly those days are now gone :( http://yathink.com.au/article-display/where-are-the-women-of-merit,92 POLITICS OF THE RIGHT 49. Tim Goodwill ‏@bycrikey 4h US research gives a glimpse at our Abbott-led future - The power of the far right is an unwillingness to compromise 50. ‘People don’t fully appreciate how committed the tea party is to not compromising’ Ezra Klein The story of the shutdown is, in large part, the story of mainstream Republicans realizing they can't control tea party Republicans -- and deciding that it's better to go along than to try and fight. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/04/people-dont-fully-appreciate-how-committed-the-tea-party-is-to-not-compromising/ 51. Republicans stuck in reality they created Waleed Aly The US cash coma has its origins in the Republicans' recent success in creating gerrymanders. The Obamacare crisis was waiting to happen....It doesn't get much more radical than trying to bring the government down. And that's the real concern here. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/republicans-stuck-in-reality-they-created-20131003-2uxak.html#ixzz2glMV3ofN TODAY’S MAIN NEWS • ROULE REPORT — Issues of Today http://paper.li/RouleReport/1334728962 • AN EYE ON ABC NEWS: . Keeping the bastards who keep the bastards honest, honest http://www.abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/ • AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm • NEWS HEADLINES 7 October 2013 http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

Casablanca

7/10/2013 Kevin Rudd may face inquiry into botched home insulation scheme Steve Lewis Environment Minister Greg Hunt confirmed plans for the inquiry were well advanced. "In line with the election commitment, work began on day one on preparing for the inquiry," Mr Hunt told News Corp. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/kevin-rudd-may-face-inquiry-into-botched-home-insulation-scheme/story-fni6ulvf-1226733816800?from=public_rss

Ken

7/10/2013TT Yes, it was the [u]politician[/u]'s fear of the polls that drove the changes you mentioned. But consider what happened in western Sydney and in south-east Queensland and what it suggests about the electorate's response to Murdoch's headlines. I agree that in a macro sense Murdoch got the government he wants but I think it somewhat inspiring that there is evidence of cracks in the Murdoch influence at the micro level. If the politicians can see those 'cracks' at the electorate level it may help them believe that Murdoch's influence is not as all powerful as it may seem.

Algernon

7/10/2013The quality of the candidate does matter especially when they stand for the first time and that seems to be the problem in many of the seats in Western Sydney. Interesting that the Liberals would choose someone like Wal King a retired policeman to stand against Chris Bowen. On the surface all seems to be quite respectable. However It comes to light some of the company he keeps, Riger Rogerson for example or dining with Phoung Ngo. Diaz in Greenway is a David Clarke plant complete with branch stacking. Where were the minders when the channel 10 reporter asked him basic question that he couldn't answer. The Liberals will lament that they didn't pick up Parramatta yet miss the piont the Julie Owens is a good local member. The Liberals needed to pick up seats, In Lindsay they did with someone who thinks that asylum seekers are the cause of all the traffic delays on the M4 and are clogging up Nepean Hospitals emergency department. Are the folk of Lindsay that bigoted. From those I know that live there aren't (and who vote both Liberal and Labor) and would suggest the new local member is the bigot. When there is a swing against a particular party its harder for that party to hold on. A bad local member can comfortably hold on if they belong to the party who the swing is to. Living in Bennelong as I do I can see that first hand. The problem we have here is celebrity candidates. McKew chose to run against Howard and bought into the area six months before the election. In 2010 Alexander who as second choice refused to leave his East Lindfield bunker. That didn't stop the lie machine from telling you he lived all over the electorate. Yat Sen Li was parachuted in at the last minute after the initial candidate was disendorsed due to the need to front ICAC. Li was a good candidate and with more time could well have overhauled the B grade tennis player, however you'd have to look a bit cynically at putting someone into appeal to 17% of the electorate who speak Mandarin. However should he choose to run again in 2016 and given that Alexander is a lacklustre performer at best, behind a government that has all the hallmarks of being able to emulate Billy McMahon, then who knows. The reality is that 11 Liberal seats now sit on margin of 1500 votes or less. That's more than half the seats they need to win government. Also interesting is that 30000 votes in the right seat would have meant status quo.

TalkTurkey

7/10/2013Moir's inimitable take on Coalition being informed that private weddings are not claimable expense @moir_alan #auspol pic.twitter.com/CHU87gnB61

Bacchus

7/10/2013Perhaps this one might be easier to access TT? http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/alan-moir-20090907-fdxk.html?selectedImage=0

Catching up

7/10/2013Ken, I have this feeling, that the Murdoch influence might become a thing of th past. it is not up to Labor or any party to bring about a change. I suspect they are also victims of circumstances, unable to change things. Yes, they can work towards giving grassroots more power, within the party. There were some positives from the election results. Yes, Palmer shows, people do want more choice. The same foes for the efforts of the young in Indo. These young people, off their own bat, identified what was needed, found a suitable candidate, and set out to have her elected. Yes, turned a very safe seat around. We seen, in Western Sydney, when the media ridiculed one of Abbott's candidates in the media, the locals turned against him. Thanks to the likes of Margo Kingston her grassroots reporters, manage to get community forums go, leading to a better result, undermining the efforts of Murdoch. Another reason that the expected result for the Coalition did not occurred, was the gagging of all candidates in the area. People became aware that there were empty seats at community forums. We must never allow another election campaign, where all we see, is two leaders, giving daily photo ops, hundred of metres from the public, and all local candidates gagged. It is tile, we do all we can, to raised the profile of local members. What happens is s sin against democracy. We the voter, have The only power that Murdoch has, is what we give him

Catching up

7/10/2013Sorry, I love the article. Was not reared in the area, but raised my family in the area, before moving on.

Ken

7/10/2013Frank Apologies for not repsponding to your comment earlier. Yes, we can't blame Murdoch for everything - only most things. But as I said to TT, I think what happened in western Sydney and south-east Queensland show that there are cracks emerging in Murdoch's influence, particularly among voters, and if we can help those cracks grow the whole edifice may crumble (at least as a major political force). Algernon Really appreciate your comments and your on-the-ground discussion. I had thought of including Bennelong in my discussion (for a slightly different reason) but decided I had to limit myself to just the 'official" western Sydney seats or I would have ended up doing an analysis of almost all Sydney seats - which may actually be worth doing at some point! Yes, good candidates can oversome a lot of "evil" infleunces.

Ken

7/10/2013Catching up Thank you for your comments. You make a very interesting point about candidates being gagged and leaving empty seats at community forums - that would have a major impact on voters' thinking and, even if the forum has only 100 people or so, word would soon spread that candidate "x" did not appear. Also while I'm here - Bacchus - a belated thank you for the introduction. But not too much of this 'erudite' stuff. As I said, I came from the western suburbs and if too many words like that are being used about me, people will start thinking I'm "some sort of poncy north shore" bloke!!!!

Catching up

7/10/2013Abbott now on ABC 24. Hope he does not sign that trade deal, giving the Chinese all they demand when he visits.

Catching up

7/10/2013Andrew Leigh ‏@ALeighMP 3h It appears the federal govt has taken down the Better Schools website. #badomen pic.twitter.com/zvFF0MRC1G Retweeted 30 times Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

42 long

7/10/2013The LieNP are psycho. They have this madness to remove any trace of the Labor time in Power. Bloody Nut cases. Think the time in opposition has given them a big case of Post Dummy Spit Extraordinary Stress Trauma. Symptoms. Brain atrophy from lack of use and self pity.

Casablanca

7/10/2013 Erik Jensen ‏@ErikOJensen 53m Marriage is between a man and a woman and an expenses claim. Retweeted by margo kingston

Lucy

7/10/2013Hello everyone. Thanks Ken for a very thoughtful article. But I do think TT is correct in that at the end of the day Murdoch scared enough people to vote 'against' Labor, so he did win, I doubt he cares how. I say against Labor purposefully because I cannot see that they voted 'for' Abbott based on policy. Many of the people who switched and the swinging voters wanted to punish (and some of them were for dumping Kevin in the first place, for dumping Julia and bringing back Kevin, and then those that believed the media about debt and deficit and we will all be roooinned). The entire campaign was run on negativity and then when Abbott did the switch to positive Murdoch continued to drive the negative. So its complex. I do also believe the switch to Rudd had a big effect in turning around the polls, and it should be noted that Murdoch worked ever harder once we switched to Kevin. Julia refers to a perfect storm that occurred during her time, a hung parliament, Abbott being particularly aggressive and relentless, the constant instability within Labor, the gender wildcard (who knew Australia would be so ready to dump on a woman PM to that degree?). She also mentioned groupthink in the media. But instability is death. Basically I agree with much of your article in that even with all these things and the media working hard to capitalise on it all to advantage Abbott it didn't really produce the wipe out they were predicting. And I believe that is due to the fact that many people could see through all the BS and were smart enough to get their news elsewhere and are well enough informed, which is very heartening indeed. You are correct Ken in that good candidates are essential, but even bad ones win, look at Wide Bay...Warren Truss wins purely because he is the Nationals candidate and he has tenure. In an electorate this big a new candidate has to work over several elections, and raise a lot of money, to get known to the degree that is necessary to win a safe LNP seat. Unfortunately what happens is they give up after one try, and believe me I can understand why.

Bacchus

7/10/2013You haven't given up I hope Lucy! Warren Truss must be getting close to pulling the pin, and with Campbell Newman helping out - who knows what is possible. I have relatives in Wide Bay who would have voted for Truss - they've been died in the wool, rusted on National party voters for generations, but even they cannot stand Campbell Newman. Someone working to raise their profile in the electorate, with Campbell helping out and Warren retiring - maybe your "perfect storm." ;-)

Michael

7/10/2013This article about MP entitlements: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-07/abbott-defends-use-of-entitlements-to-attend-weddings/5002214 includes the report that Abbott says he initiated the check back on his having attended Mirabella's wedding. The relevant paragraphs: "Just last month, Attorney-General George Brandis repaid nearly $1,700 he spent on flights, accommodation and car hire to attend the wedding of radio shock jock Michael Smith in 2011. Mr Abbott says it was that issue that prompted him to go back and check his own travel claim for Ms Mirabella's wedding." If it proves that someone else broke this story before Abbott claims to have checked on his own recollection, then... he has no option but to resign. Also arisen, the matter of Abbott having slugged the taxpayers for his attending Peter Slipper's wedding - will this also turn out to be something he's recalled, had checked, and paid to 'clear the air'? Done 'before', but only made public after a news story? Abbott's resigning is only a hypothetical possibility, but what is neither is Barnaby Joyce's ridiculous claim that Gina Rinehart saved taxpayers having to stump up money during his Indian wedding trip. Read the comments section under the ABC story to see how quickly that notion is dismissed. Ditto for Barnaby ("dismissed", that is) since he's implying politicians are for sale so long as it saves the public money (and the public never hear about it, of course). Moronic and self-deluding, Mister Joyce. Just one amongst many such fools colluding in self-interest in the Abbott Error.

Ken

7/10/2013thanks Lucy I agree Murdoch may have had some influence but my point is that it was not as great as many, including Murdoch, thought it would be and that, as you would well know, there are many local factors that can play a bigger role. In that sense I was pleased that the voters of western Sydney (and as 2353 pointed out, south east Queensland) didn't succumb [i]en masse[/i] to Rupert's propaganda - I think it gives hope for the future. For you, TT and others, you may enjoy this. A track by Robb Johnson called "Rupert says" with the punch line "Rupert says, sorry we got caught" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIUt28x6uOk

Ken

7/10/2013Michael I noted that Abbott actually said he had paid back "the relevant funds" which suggests to me that he hasn't paid it all back, that there is a part that he thinks is justified under his entitlements. Would be interesting to know whether my speculation is true or whether Abbott is just being Abbott and 'too clever by half' with words (meaning he just gets into a tangle every time he opens his mouth and tries to be something other than he is!!)

Bacchus

7/10/2013You beauty - there is a silver lining to southerners having daylight savings. Queenslanders can watch Q&A at 8:35pm on ABC24 rather than having to wait for 9:34pm :) Must remember to record media Watch though...

Michael

7/10/2013Bacchus, hi. My Brisbane TV guide still has Q&A listed for 9:35 your time. May mean it ain't live for you up there? That's a 'lead lining' and a disenfranchising (in immediate engagement terms) nuisance.

Bacchus

7/10/2013Hi Michael. ABC24 has Q&A live at 8:35pm. ABC 1 is as per normal - 9:34pm. I enjoyed this earlier time last year too :)

Casablanca

7/10/2013Michael We also need to know whether the Bollywood Three, Joyce, Bishop jnr and Teresa Gambaro declared their Rinehart flight to Bollywood in the Gift Register.

Casablanca

8/10/2013 CASABLANCA'S CACHE for Tuesday, 8 October 2013: 41 items ON BEING LIBERAL WITH PUBLIC MONEY. 1. Greg Barns ‏@BarnsGreg @Pollytics @phbarratt @afvruawake I do not understand why AFP is not looking at potential offences under s.135.1 of the Cwth Criminal Code 2. Wedding claims just reinforce public cynicism about politicians Michelle Grattan Weddings have been a honey pot..... Abbott, questioned in Bali today, ended his media conference while journalists were still trying to quiz him. https://theconversation.com/wedding-claims-just-reinforce-public-cynicism-about-politicians-18963 3. Cleaning up political corruption Barry Tucker. October 1, 2013 I’ve been working on an article about the need for a third political party in Australia. Beyond that, we need to get more people involved in politics. I think that may be the solution to cleaning up politics and the political news media. http://thesnipertakesaim.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/cleaning-up-political-corruption/ 4. Don’t protest: oppose. The Greens’ big chance Ed Butler Well, here’s ..a chance for the greens. The ALP are otherwise occupied. The public are primed to get pissed off, and News Limited are unlikely to make anywhere near the song and dance out of politician's entitlements as they would have (did) if this was a Labor government. http://ausopinion.com/2013/10/06/dont-protest-oppose-the-greens-big-chance/ 5. Peter Slipper slams 'breathtaking' double standards over MPs expense entitlements Jonathan Swan Former Speaker Peter Slipper has weighed into the expenses scandal, saying it was “breathtaking” that other politicians were allowed to pay back inappropriate entitlements while he faced court for his. Mr Slipper suggested his treatment made a “mockery of justice and fairness in this country … not to mention the almost $70,000 for the cost to the taxpayer of a seven-day trial.” http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/peter-slipper-slams-breathtaking-double-standards-over-mps-expense-entitlements-20131007-2v3gp.html 6. Tony Abbott claimed $600 to attend Peter Slipper's wedding Jonathan Swan, Michael Bachelard, Daniel Hurst Other politicians to have attended the Slipper wedding included Ms Mirabella, Bronwyn Bishop, Andrew Southcott, Peter Costello, Bruce Scott, Phillip Ruddock, Brett Mason, Patrick Secker and Kevin Rudd. It is not known whether others claimed taxpayer funded travel to attend the wedding. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-claimed-600-to-attend-peter-slippers-wedding-20131007-2v3yg.html 7. Abbott, Slipper and an unedifying lack of perspective Mungo MacCallum 30 April 2012 It's a truly terrible realisation, but the person most like Peter Slipper in the current Australian Parliament is none other than Tony Abbott. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3980486.html 8. Sneaky or not, some expenses still reek Rick Feneley "Grandfather!" she protests. "Who in God's name are Barnaby Joyce, Julie Bishop and Teresa Gambaro?" Her grandfather, the billionaire industrialist G. V. Krishna Reddy, replies: "They are politicians from Australia, a quarry to our south which I have my eyes on. But, dear one, but do not concern yourself with such matters of state." http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/sneaky-or-not-some-expenses-still-reek-20131005-2v0rl.html#ixzz2h0cnvlPf 9. Expenses scandal spreads Jonathan Swan, Daniel Hurst You'd be a mug if you didn't go to a shock jock's wedding if you're invited. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/expenses-scandal-spreads-20131006-2v2jh.html 10. Joe Hockey declares wife's company directorship 14 years after the appointment Patrick Lion August 27, 2013 ASPIRING treasurer Joe Hockey has been caught breaching parliamentary rules after failing to declare a family interest for almost his entire 17-year career in federal parliament. http://www.news.com.au/national-news/federal-election/joe-hockey-declares-wife8217s-company-directorship-14-years-after-the-appointment/story-fnho52ip-1226705278752 HISTORY & CULTURE WARS 11. Our past revisited: new Cambridge History of Australia gives us the big picture Ruth Morgan This week’s launch of the two-volume Cambridge History of Australia comes just as the Coalition government fires the opening salvo of a new battle in the Australian history wars.... If historians are set to return to the trenches, what better time for the latest interpretations of Australia’s history from the nation’s leading scholars to appear? http://theconversation.com/our-past-revisited-new-cambridge-history-of-australia-gives-us-the-big-picture-18153 12. My first ideology: teaching reading falls victim to the culture wars Stewart Riddle When teaching students how to read, teachers are ignoring the best, scientifically-proven approaches according to a report out this week from libertarian research institute the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) http://theconversation.com/my-first-ideology-teaching-reading-falls-victim-to-the-culture-wars-18741 13. Better Schools site pulled down amid funding uncertainty Daniel Hurst The Abbott government has pulled down the Better Schools website as it works out how it will handle the school funding reforms started by Labor. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/better-schools-site-pulled-down-amid-funding-uncertainty-20131007-2v3v8.html POLITICS & LEADERSHIP 14. What the left needs to do to regain its mojo Nicholas Reece The ascendancy of conservatism poses policy challenges for progressive politics around the world. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/what-the-left-needs-to-do-to-regain-its-mojo-20131006-2v271.html#ixzz2h0XJL2zp 15. ALP's rotating team eroded voters' trust Sam Crosby The effect the leadership battle had on the Labor brand has been well canvassed. Less explored but almost as important was the effect the frequent cabinet and ministerial reshuffles - caused by the challenges (and non-challenges) - had on the public perception of the Rudd and Gillard governments. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/alps-rotating-team-eroded-voters-trust-20131006-2v27z.html#ixzz2gyQs10NU 16. Secret softie: the cold truth is Gillard's warmth couldn't be conveyed to voters Nicholas Reece. July 1, 2013 Julia Gillard, PM, was good humoured, warm, smart, dignified and down to earth. So what went wrong? To those who knew her at a personal level, as I did, she was regarded as warm, good-humoured, dignified, hard-working and courageous. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/secret-softie-the-cold-truth-is-gillards-warmth-couldnt-be-conveyed-to-voters-20130630-2p58z.html#ixzz2h2kTHaNi 17. Is Julia Gillard a Secret Softie? Paul Puckridge. 1 July 2013 The purpose of this article is not to form an opinion on Ms Gillard, but rather, consider the importance for anyone in a leadership role to make sure that the way people view them privately is the same as their public persona....Why are you two different people? http://thesuccessinstitute.com.au/julia-gillard-secret-softie/ 18. Abbott, not Gillard, is the true 'class warrior' Nicholas Reece. April 29, 2013 Look at the policies: the Coalition wants to take from the poor and give to the rich...Is Prime Minister Julia Gillard engaging in ''class warfare'' in a desperate bid to save her political skin?..As with most things in politics, the reality is more complicated. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbott-not-gillard-is-the-true-class-warrior-20130428-2imis.html 19. We took an Each Way bet in the Senate... Noely Neate The only mandate that a political party could credibly claim would be IF they have a vast overwhelming majority in an election in BOTH the Upper & Lower Houses. http://yathink.com.au/article-display/we-took-an-each-way-bet-in-the-senate-there-is-no-mandate,91 POLITICS OF THE RIGHT 20. The 2013 Senate contest: Australia lurches to the right Nick Economou With the official count of the Senate now completed, the implications of the contest and what it says about the mindset of the Australian body politic may now proceed. http://theconversation.com/the-2013-senate-contest-australia-lurches-to-the-right-17535 21. Motoring Enthusiasts in chaos as Queenslanders sack Victorian arm Heath Aston http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/motoring-enthusiasts-in-chaos-as-queenslanders-sack-victorian-arm-20131007-2v427.html 22. Right, you lot, it's time we seceded George Williams The latest group of disgruntled citizens lives on Lamb Island, near Brisbane. On October 19, about 450 locals will vote at a referendum on whether to form the Independent Republic of Nguduroodistan (named after the Nguduroo, the indigenous word for the island). http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/right-you-lot-its-time-we-seceded-20131007-2v493.html#ixzz2h3DJlpt2 23. A (US) Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and MIKE McINTIRE Out of that session, held one morning in a location the members insist on keeping secret, came a little-noticed “blueprint to defunding Obamacare,” signed by Mr. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups. It articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles: that Republicans could derail the health care overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans — including their cautious leaders — into cutting off financing for the entire federal government. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-federal-budget-crisis-months-in-the-planning.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0 24. The shutdown prophet Jonathan Chait "This is a domestic Cuban Missile Crisis. A single blunder could have unalterable consequences: If Obama buckles his no-ransom stance, the debt-ceiling-hostage genie will be out of the bottle. If Republicans believe he is bluffing, or accept his position but obstinately refuse it, or try to lift the debt ceiling and simply botch the vote count, a second Great Recession could ensue." http://nymag.com/news/politics/nationalinterest/government-shutdown-2013-10/ 25. Silence over boats sells public short Bianca Hall Control or limit the information available to people, and you frame the debate to your own ends. It's an old tactic but a good one, and it's been deployed in a surprisingly blatant way by the Coalition in its first month in office. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/silence-over-boats-sells-public-short-20131005-2v0r0.html ECONOMY & INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 26. “Hockey chafes at Australia’s debt straight jacket” Ironically, Joe Hockey is on a mission to New York to increase Australian debt: http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/10/hockey-chafes-at-australias-debt-straight-jacket/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+MacroBusiness&utm_content=Daily+MacroBusiness+CID_73ea5eb6fdc78813c7f64788effdf1ae&utm_source=Email+marketing+software&utm_term=Hockey+chafes+at+Australias+debt+straight+jacket 27. Funding the future after the demise of PPPs Dallas Rogers With the Coalition government abolishing the Major Cities Unit and the NSW planning system in disarray....... Research launched at the congress shows that PPPs are dying a slow death in Australia. http://theconversation.com/funding-the-future-after-the-demise-of-ppps-18869 28. Gender gap persists while working from home University of New South Wales Women cite domestic and childcare duties as the main reason they work from home, while men do so to escape office distractions. Studies show men who work from home do not increase their share of childcare. http://theconversation.com/gender-gap-persists-while-working-from-home-18297 29. The new age of speculation Alan Kohler Suppression of savers is the policy of the age....But now, with economic growth vexingly dismal, it’s the savers who must be restrained, or rather encouraged to spend and speculate. At 10 per cent, the savings rate is now too high to sustain an economy that relies for its growth on consumption and gambling. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/10/7/reserve-bank-australia/new-age-speculation?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=446332&utm_campaign=pm&modapt= 30. Why take a stick to public service productivity when a carrot works? Christopher Vas. One of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s most steadfast election promises was the axeing of 12,000 public sector jobs. Indeed, his first act after being sworn in was to sack three senior public service “mandarins… http://theconversation.com/why-take-a-stick-to-public-service-productivity-when-a-carrot-works-18546 31. Fairfax staff cuts will worsen decline in corporate investigations Andrea Carson Yesterday’s announcement of another 45 jobs to go at Australia’s second largest newspaper proprietor Fairfax Media is yet another marker in the decline of Australia’s print media news sector. http://theconversation.com/fairfax-staff-cuts-will-worsen-decline-in-corporate-investigations-18784 32. Corporate mentoring lacks for women and minorities University of Michigan, University of Texas While women and ethnic minorities are increasingly included on corporate board of directors, a lack of mentoring means their chances of obtaining ‘elite inner circle’ status by serving on multiple boards is lessened. http://theconversation.com/corporate-mentoring-lacks-for-women-and-minorities-18903 33. The Coalition's auto policy is driving on empty Victoria Thieberger Fast forward two short months (from the election) and one trip to Adelaide, and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has bowed to GM Holden and agreed to provide a “blood transfusion” of funding to Holden in time for Christmas. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/10/7/industries/coalitions-auto-policy-driving-empty?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=446332&utm_campaign=pm&modapt= 34. Corruption scandals engulf Australian plutocrats” Macro Business The last few weeks have not been kind to Australia’s reputation for transparency, rule of law and democratic process. http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/10/corruption-scandals-engulf-australian-plutocrats/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+MacroBusiness&utm_content=Daily+MacroBusiness+CID_73ea5eb6fdc78813c7f64788effdf1ae&utm_source=Email+marketing+software&utm_term=Corruption+scandals+engulf+Australian+plutocrats 35. Rinehart to star in trial of the year Adele Ferguson At 10am on Tuesday the NSW Supreme Court promises to be packed to the rafters as lawyers, media and the public jostle for a seat at the trial of the year: the country's richest person, Gina Rinehart, versus two of her four children. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/rinehart-to-star-in-trial-of-the-year-20131007-2v4a1.html NBN 36. Upgrading the Coalition NBN Mark Gregory The National Broadband Network is a vital nation building project that has been plagued by ongoing criticism of the network design, cost blow-out claims and ongoing construction delays. Despite its grand ambitions NBN Co has managed to connect far fewer premises to the NBN than originally identified in the first NBN Co rollout plan. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/10/4/technology/special-report-upgrading-coalition-nbn?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=446280&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt SOCIAL MEDIA 37. New No Fibs citizen journalism project: The CSG social movement Margo Kingston I knew I wanted to do journalism differently after experiencing the disconnect between the reality on the ground and the closed world of insider political reporting.... http://nofibs.com.au/2013/10/07/new-fibs-citizen-journalism-project-csg-social-movement/ SCIENCE, HEALTH & WELBEING 38. Reading literary fiction makes for a better society Readers of literary fiction are better placed to comprehend the complexity of social relationships and understand the mental states of others. http://theconversation.com/reading-literary-fiction-makes-for-a-better-society-18915 http://phys.org/news/2013-10-literary-fiction-mind-reading-skills.html 39. Right, left, wrong: people reject science because … Stephan Lewandowsky You’d be forgiven for thinking science is under attack. Climate science has been challenged by deniers and sceptics, vaccination rates are falling thanks to anti-vaccination movements, and GM crops are… http://theconversation.com/right-left-wrong-people-reject-science-because-18789 40. Good news, flyers: ‘flight mode’ is safe during take-off and landing Hamza Bendemra Earlier this year, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) put together a panel of aviation experts to look at whether personal electronic devices (PEDs) could be used on planes without compromising safety… http://theconversation.com/au/technology EDUCATION 41. The ritual dance of university rankings Gwilym Croucher And now for many universities, the ritual dance around a rankings release will proceed with vigour. Universities will variously welcome or dismiss the result, depending on the good or bad news. http://theconversation.com/the-ritual-dance-of-university-rankings-18765 TODAY’S MAIN NEWS • ROULE REPORT — Issues of Today http://paper.li/RouleReport/1334728962 • AN EYE ON ABC NEWS: . Keeping the bastards who keep the bastards honest, honest http://www.abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/ • AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm • NEWS HEADLINES 8 October 2013 http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

Casablanca

8/10/2013 Mal Brough, the chef and Anti-Hillary buttons at California GOP convention. Familiar? #misogyny #stopsexism https://twitter.com/StoppingSexism/status/386775465035198464/photo/1

TalkTurkey

8/10/2013Spam comment deleted by TT 7.34AM CST Which brings me back to comment re Mundine by ToM the Troll on the last thread October 6 2013 05:41 PM I have left it there just as a reminder of the creepy ToM's modus operandi, to appear halfway reasonable until someone replies to him and then say something really horrid and get decent people really angry and bring down the tone of this blog (and several others BTW). Ain't gonna happen. I will delete ToM quite gladly in future, and he can gripe all he likes about censorship. He did his best to make Ad's life miserable, because Ad has a horror of denying sincere people a voice, but we all know ToM, he is not only insincere but overwhelmingly ill-willed. I NEVER reply to trolls, as this is not a reply to ToM. If I refer to them at all it is always in the third person. It is rather fun to see their impotent outrage. I wonder what ToM'll do about this billet doux ..? .. :)

TalkTurkey

8/10/2013Casablanca Just in case you ever think we don't care I posted this on Twitter just now: TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey 41m Casablanca's Cache of current links on The Political Sword She does the work, we get a smorgasbord of articles! http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2013/10/06/How-the-west-was-NOT-won-by-Murdoch.aspx#comment … and I replied [i]to myself* [/i] TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey 30s @TalkyTurkey Casablanca works tremendous Seeking sites'n'sounds 2 send us: Perusing choosing cutting pasting 4 UComrades'delectasting! Folks Did you know that Lynnie had to move house recently to make room for her golden box of compliments because it needed a whole room to itself? I hope you've started your collection Casablanca. Oh and Casablanca I know you don't like 2 B abbrvtd but if ever I need to do it for the sake of a rhyme, [i]may I?[/i] :) [It would not mean disrespect. In my head I [i]like[/i] it!] *(Does anyone know if, Twitterfully speaking, it is *legal* to reply to oneself? - Anyway one [i]can[/i], and I [i]did[/i] so then the two comments ran in tandem as above. One could make a whole string by doing it several times but I have an idea it's not allowed. But You Dear Reader will TELL me won't you Thank You. )

TalkTurkey

8/10/2013A Very Bad Limerick Casa rhymes with Madras or Mombassa ... For more rhymes We need Colonel Nasser! And then as for Blanca There's Anchor And the W one And plenty more But Casablanca has such a lot of syllables to fit into a poor little limerick's last line especially on Twitter!

Catching up

8/10/2013What Abbott is ignoring about the polli pedal and other events. He claimed he was doing it for charity, not government work. If he was doing it for chaity, the tax payer does not pick up his expenses. So, Abbott was late this morning,and Putin was quick to point out the fact. Jonathan Green was =on ABC 24 this morning. The discussion was about the social media, and the effect it was having. Pointed out more that one, the blogs that are detailing Abbott's expenses. He said that the British experience, that led to many loosing their jobs over expenses came about by gentle probing from the public. It took on a life of it's own, that no media can control. Yes, lets hope he is correct. The government in this position, after 21 days, is amazing. What is more concerning from stories overnight, that Peta is in full control of all appointments, along with the husband. Has a adviser ever had so much power, within the PM officer. Yes, Howard had advisers the play a big role, in how the office was run. Do not know of any, that choose all government appointments, and had control of what all the government has to say. I knew someone was pulling his strings, but outsourcing his role to a office adviser, is indeed a new one. Wonder how the rest feel, having to grovel to Peta, to get a or I suspect, even a hearing. How long can this last, I wonder. It appears most appointments, have been those who work with Peta or her husband over the years. Have been out for hours, only to turn the TV on, to see that the stories have taken on a life of their own. Appears he claimed expenses for Peter Slippers wedding. What has he apologized to Malaysia for?

Catching up

8/10/2013Lucy, bad candidates lose even in safe seat, when eh electorate has had enough. Yes, they can be got rid of. It is up to the locals.

Catching up

8/10/2013Wonder how the brides feel at all these weddings, except for Mirabella, feel like having their weddings demeaned as being a political exercise, and digging for dirt on a duly elected PM.

Catching up

8/10/2013Our government is three weeks old today. God, it feels like years. Gina in court today. Should be an interesting day.

Catching up

8/10/2013Decision on new head of the trust, will be known in hours. I suspect it will not be Gina's favoured daughter, who would do as she is told.

Lucy

8/10/2013Catching Up - you raise some very good points about Credlin. It is extraordinary for someone to have so much power over proceedings. Abbott is out of his depth that is quite obvious. Australians will give him some leeway as he is new to the job and one would expect a settling in period but the expectations for Abbott are much higher because of everything he did whilst in opposition. He looks uncomfortable, he always looked and sounded weird, allowing for my bias, I still think he has got weirder. His staccato vocals, his arms back, stomach pulled in and chest stuck out looks even worse on the international stage along with that silly manic smile of his. Definitely he needs to control his chest beating, tone down the steroids and he can't pull of being gracious, somehow it always sounds over the top. But then that is who he is, he is constantly seeking approval from his audience, the 'why shouldn't I as PM make spending a week with the indigenous people of this land one of the first things I do". This is only one example of his constant need for approval and in doing so he more often than not gets it wrong. A lot of this blame needs to go to the media, they never pulled him up sufficiently on this while in opposition. The press have done him no favour in the past telling him no matter what he did he was the wonder boy........we learn by our mistakes and according to Murdoch, the ABC and The Age the only people that made mistakes in the last 6 years were Labor MP's! So Abbott will keep doing what he did and expect that the same applies now he is office. I just hope the Pollie Pedal sporting events expenses get the scrutiny they deserve. It's there in black and white and it looks very dodgy. As you said Catching Up - after 21 days in office amazing.

Catching up

8/10/2013Did one watch yesterday's PC of Abbott. Did not want to answer any questions, that did not involve APEC. Kept putting off answering questions on his expenses and other embarrassing topics. Then we had this sudden vision of Abbott actually grinning, and what one could say, close on hysteria. His face then went blank for a few seconds. He. regained his composure, and went on as if nothing had occurred. Answered a couple of embarrassing question, then run from the podium. Reminded one, of the O'Reilly incident. One wonders if he suffers from seizures of some type. The questioning, as no stage, that probing. His stance and walk, does remind me, of people who suffer from such mental illness as bipolar, whoa re on heavy medication. I am not being ironic, when saying this. Abbott often gives blanks looks during interviews. Many incidents are fleeting but noticeable. The question I ask of Abbott, who should be paying for party electioneering, outside the election period. I believe the party should be picking up the bill.

Catching up

8/10/2013http://images.canberratimes.com.au/2013/10/07/4811208/20131007200103649918-300x0.jpg

Catching up

8/10/2013When they go into retreat, can they take their advisers with them?

Ken

8/10/2013Catching up and Lucy Yes, it is amazing that all this is happening inside the first month in office. I said in a previous thread that, if Abbott won, the media would start looking more closely at many of the stories the fifth estate had been raising for ages, because they would no longer have Labor to kick and to fill the 24 hour news cycle those stories would eventually become "news". And so it has proved!

Gilly

8/10/2013To me, the most alarming point in election numbers, especially for the HOR, is the appearance of a greater polarisation of the electorate. The, possible, results in Government and legislation are numerous and negative. One thing for sure, this polarisation, makes it easier for "divide and conquer" control methods to flourish at the expense of democratic debate.

Catching up

8/10/2013Gilly, maybe we have to learn to divide and rule. More than one can play the same day. That was Howard's strong and only talent.

42 long

8/10/2013Tea Party politics which is embedded in the LieNP is based on extremism and right wing style simplicity of purpose. There are no greys. you deal in absolutes and talk over the thinkers like the IPA do. The other tactic is to shoot the messenger rather than address the point made. All this is divisive and bad news for good outcomes and representative democracy.

Catching up

8/10/2013So Abbott apologized to Malaysia for being so rude to them, when Gillard was PM. Wonder why he took this action. Can only come to the conclusion, the Malaysian leader must have launch a complaint with him. Also must raised questions to Abbott’s action at the time. at destroying the Malaysian option, which might have made things better, and saved life. Trouble is, we will never know. Lets be clear, Abbott’s apology can only mean, he is saying he was wrong at the time.

Michael

8/10/2013Concerning Pollie Pedal expenses, Abbott reckons it's okay for taxpayers to pay for other taxpayers to be able to see politicians. Perhaps he could park the bike and move into the Zoo for a week to achieve the same result more cheaply? There are already monkey bars in place.

Casablanca

8/10/2013 Interesting & overdue focus on entitlements in the MSM. Abbott in presser this afternoon said that the Pollie Pedal is a good thing because there are little hamlets and towns where people rarely get to meet with politicians. That gives Bernie Ripoll a let-out. I would say that the French peasantry rarely see a French politician let alone a fair dinkum Aussie MHR. Imagine too the unadulterated gratitude of the folk at Mike Smith's wedding to see a dancing Senator.

Jason

8/10/2013Abbott’s age of entitlement: Tony's Top Twenty-five In 2009 Tony Abbott falsely claimed flight and comcar costs while promoting his book and had to repay $9397.42. Here are 25 other examples of Abbott's work-related claims: 1. In August 2009 Tony Abbott claimed $1720 in travel allowance + $1,883 for flights while “volunteering” as a truancy assistant in Aurukun 2. In April 2010 Tony Abbott claimed $1539 travel allowance for all nights of his Pollie Pedal charity bike ride from Melbourne to Sydney + $480 flight to Melbourne 3. In November 2010 Tony Abbott and family claimed $420 travel allowance, $1956 for flights + $354 in comcar costs to attend the Melbourne Cup 4. In December 2010 Tony Abbott and family claimed $1910 for flights + $171 in comcar costs to attend day 1 of Boxing day Ashes test in Melbourne 0 5. In April 2011 Tony Abbott claimed $2875 travel allowance for all nights of his Pollie Pedal charity bike ride from Gold Coast to Sydney + $556 flight to Brisbane 6. In May 2011 Tony Abbott and family claimed $420 travel allowance, $1646 in flights + $599 in comcar costs to attend the AFL Dreamtime game in Melbourne 7. In September 2011 Tony Abbott (+ passenger) claimed $744 travel allowance + $12133 for chartered flights from Sydney to St George and back to Brisbane to attend the Birdsville races 8. In October 2011 Tony Abbott and family claimed $424 travel allowance, over $823 for flights + $550 in comcar costs to attend the AFL grand final in Melbourne 9. In October 2011 Tony Abbott claimed $5623 for a chartered flight from Sydney to Bathurst return to attended the Bathurst 1000 V8 supercars 10. In October 2011 Tony Abbott and family claimed $848 travel allowance, $3722 for flights + $763 in comcar costs to attend the Victoria Derby in Melbourne 11. In October 2011 Tony Abbott claimed $351 travel allowance while “volunteering” as builder’s labourer in Hopevale 12. In November 2011 Tony Abbott claimed $349 travel allowance + $941 for flights to compete in 70.3 Port Macquarie ironman event 13. In January 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $424 travel allowance, $771 for flights + $515 in comcar costs to attend the men’s final of the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne 14. In January 2012 Tony Abbott (and passenger) spent $9347 to charter a flight to Tamworth to attend the Tamworth Country Music festival. 15. In January 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $349 travel allowance + $1095 flights to Melbourne to compete in Pier to Pub swim in Lorne 16. In January 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $736 travel allowance, $1438 flights + $684 in comcar costs to participate in the Tour Down Under Charity ride in Adelaide 17. In March 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $3141 travel allowance for all nights of his Pollie Pedal charity bike ride from Geelong to Canberra + $482 flight from Canberra to Melbourne 18. In April 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $349 travel allowance + $2023 flights to compete in Hervey Bay Surf Lifesaving Pier to Pub swim 19. In May 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $424 travel allowance, $909 in flights + $328 in comcar costs to attend AFL Dreamtime game in Melbourne 20. In August 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $234 travel allowance while “volunteering” at Aurukun Mission and claimed $9636 for charter travel to/from Aurukun 21. In August 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $349 travel allowance + $650 flights to compete in Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge 22. In Sept 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $354 travel allowance + $160 flights to compete in Wagga ‘Lake to Lagoon’ fun run 23. In Sept 2012 Tony Abbott and family claimed $429 travel allowance, $1480 in flights + $540 in comcar costs to attend the AFL grand final 24. In November 2012 Tony Abbott and family claimed $848 travel allowance, $1053 for flights + $594 in comcar costs to attend the Victorian Derby in Melbourne 25. In December 2012 Tony Abbott claimed $1108 travel allowance for three nights while driving a big rig down the Pacific Hway That’s over $84,000 in work-related travel entitlements Abbott claimed while “volunteering”, running, swimming, cycling and attending major sporting events. All in a day’s work? Travel allowance is payed to Opposition Office Holders for the cost of accommodation, meals, and incidentals during overnight stays away from home when the stay is primarily due to official business such as sittings of Parliament, parliamentary committee meetings, official business as Opposition Office Holder, or parliamentary political party meetings. The pattern and consistency of these travel claims provides the most compelling case against Abbott. Abbott’s work related travel is regularly associated with attending major spectator events or participating in sports events. More than just a coincidence? It seems likely the primary purpose for his travel is to attend these volunteer, charity, sporting or major spectator events. And if his travel is not primarily for official business it is not a legitimate work related expense. International comparison This list of Abbott's dubious travel expense claims is astounding. Truly of international standard. So for an international comparison consider the Parliamentary Expenses scandal in the UK which arose when MPs and members of House of Lords were found to have systematically rorted their claims for travel and accommodation expenses. Many MPs were found to have made claims for expenses which were not "wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred for the performance of a Member’s parliamentary duties". Several MPs were charged and convicted, and many more stood down or resigned. For example: • Elliot Morley was sentenced to 10 months jail for dishonestly claiming over ₤30,000 (around $50000) in parliamentary expenses • John Taylor, Baron of Warwick was sentenced to 12 months jail for falsely claiming ₤11277 (around $20000) parliamentary expenses for travel costs • Jim Devine was sentenced to 16 months jail for dishonestly claiming ₤8385 (around $15200) in expenses • Baron Hanningfield was sentenced to 9 months jail for incorrectly claiming ₤14000 (around $25000) in travel allowances. Consider Abbott’s $84000+ of claims in this context. Abbott expenses v Slipper expenses? And in Australia Peter Slipper faces court over alleged inappropriate claims of taxi expenses of less than $1000. This list shows Tony Abbott has claimed over $84,000 in dubious travel expenses for his travel while volunteering, running, riding swimming and attending major sports events. But not a word is spoken. But wait there’s more ... In all these examples the expense claims are documented in Abbott’s own Parliamentary Entitlement Reports and evidence of his participation in non-work activities is in media reports and transcripts on Abbott’s own website. There are many other dubious entitlement claims not listed above. For example Tony Abbott and family travelled to Melbourne on the day of the F1 grand prix in 2011 and claimed over $2800 in work-related travel entitlements. Was it a coincidence he was working in Melbourne that particular day or did he travel to attend the race? On another occasion in 2011 Abbott travelled to Melbourne, participated in the Puffing Billy charity race, and received over $3000 in travel entitlements for two days. Did he just happened to be in Melbourne on work-related purposes at the time of another sports event? Then there are the costs of his stunts over the past three years. Visiting a Gold Coast rubbish tip, chartered flights to outback stations to discuss live cattle exports, visiting an ice works, chartered flights to North Queensland to discuss his wild rivers private members bill, his infamous trip to Wyalla. Perhaps this is appropriate travel for an opposition leader though it seems little more than a taxpayer funded backdrop for his daily media appearances. http://imputeation.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/abbotts-age-of-entitlement-tonys-top.html?spref=fb

Casablanca

8/10/2013 [b]The Minchin protocol explained: expenses, repayments and Tony Abbott[/b] Bridie Jabour. 11 July 2013 The rules for handling claims of misuse of politicians' expenses and how they relate to recent news about Abbott http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/11/minchin-protocol-expenses-tony-abbott [b]Expense claims kept secret: a team effort by Labor and the Coalition[/b] It took just three minutes for both major parties to exempt three key departments from freedom of information scrutiny Paul Farrell http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/08/expense-claims-kept-secret?CMP=twt_gu

Casablanca

8/10/2013 [b]How will Media, Finance and AFP handle the evidence that the PM is a cheat? [/b] Margo Kingston It looks like the Prime Minister is a serial cheat. It’s hard to imagine a bigger test of the integrity and fairness of our democratic institutions than that. Will the press gallery get forensic and press for answers from the PM and action from the authorities? Will the AFP investigate? Will the Finance Department audit his enormous expenses claims while in opposition to search for more rorting? http://nofibs.com.au/2013/10/08/will-media-finance-afp-handle-evidence-pm-cheat/#sthash.ilgpcOc3.dpuf

TalkTurkey

8/10/2013Jason Obelix Well spotted Comrade. What a foul being this PiG~THiNG Abborrrt really is. And this is the tip of the iceberg as we must certainly be aware. Not only him but his whole pigs-trough gang. A bunch of crooks. What's that rotten smell? Why It's Arse~Bigot Pell! "Te absolvo Tony" - and You'll both go to Hell! Pell may well absolve you Abborrrtt. The people never will. One really good thing about this is, we can forever hammer Religion for its nonsense and bigotry and hypocrisy, we have Everlasting Ammunition thanks to Saint Tony. By the end of his horrid stay, Religiosity of all kinds, Happy Clapperism and Catholicism in particular, will be actively reviled by a great majority of Australians. THAT'S The Fighting 5th's job to achieve! Voluntary euthanasia WILL be achieved in the lifetime of most reading this. Religious schools' snouts will have a ring through them and they'll be on a short leash. Science will triumph over shibboleth and lies. The Born-to-Rule mentality will linger but we will have our heel on its throat. And the boot is on that heel now, in a counter~intuitive sort of way, IYSWIM. The MSM know there's no blood left in Labor, and at last, now Abborrrtt is Up, they have finally begun to turn on him. He is not doing well at all eh. Abborrrtt is making a big fool of himself, and his nest of snout~vipers along with him. Reminds me of the old song ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnkuRQ8tjIE Great clip eh! Ahhh... They don't make clips like they used to in the Olden Days ..!

Lucy

8/10/2013Yep 42 long. Simplistic absolutes lend themselves to three word slogans. There are no greys with conservative extremism. There are however double standards, and hasn't Abbott and the Coalition got heaps of those. Brandis should lose his ministership. Barnaby has a lot of questions to answer about his closeness to Gina and the land he bought up that apparently has mega bucks worth of CSG on it. Abbott should pay back the 'charity work' travel entitlements OR tell the Australian people as an 'act of contrition' ...he hasn't always been entirely honest....he needs to come out and say publicly "most of my charity work is actually me campaigning and trying to get your votes plus I love cycling, charity begins at home after all".

Janet (j4gypsy)

8/10/2013A quick g'day and well done Ken. And this might interest?: GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes now #Morgan Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 42 (-1.5) ALP 37 (+3) GRN 9 (-1.5) PUP 4.5 (+0.5) #auspol

TalkTurkey

8/10/2013[i]AWWWWW - .... [/i] ........ - Some!

TalkTurkey

8/10/2013Awwww ... ! Then I forgot to paste the link! http://www.youtube.com/embed/AA56LgpFbSw?rel=0

Catching up

8/10/2013Listening th that apology. It I was the Malaysian leader, I would not accept it. If one listens, on e will find three apologies, maybe four being given. It appears the Malaysian demand more.

Casablanca

8/10/2013You can take Abbott anywhere, the second time to apologise! [b]Tony Abbott offers 'act of contrition' to Malaysia over asylum seeker criticism[/b] Mark Kenny, Michael Bachelard Tony Abbott has apologised to an Asian leader for the second time in a week over his robust political campaigning before he was elected, offering an "act of contrition" for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-offers-act-of-contrition-to-malaysia-over-asylum-seeker-criticism-20131008-2v5gl.html

Michael

8/10/2013While Abbott's in the habit of apologising left right and centre for treating countries, people and issues as 'political footballs' to get himself elected, what time will he have left to govern? Abbott's use of public money, story #3 on Channel Nine, led off SBS News, and in each story he looked like a conman. On Nine he also looked ridiculous (surprise!) walking he and Margie right past the entrance to the dining room for the official gala dinner. The galah missed the way in to the gala. Had to be called back and scrambled like a junior footballer at the Dally Ms with his mother to get there.

2353

8/10/2013Casablanca @ 6.31- and the third time to repay the expenses claim.

Ken

8/10/2013re Abbott's introduction to international affairs. Not a very auspicious start - not that we expected it. Late to meet Putin. Having to apologise to Malyasia for what he said when OL. Grovelling to Indonesia to support some sort of boat policy he can pass off as at least similar to what he promised the electorate. I have a feeling there have been (and will be) a lot of very busy Public Servants working on "mending bridges" and briefing Abbott on all the things he needs to back down from. Good stuff!

DMW

8/10/2013Settle down Swordsters - please. Are you forgetting history? (Something about reliving history could be inserted here) It times not so long ago Wedding Nuptials were a very important part of diplomacy. Princes and princesses were betrothed to help prevent countries going to war. It is not beyond the stretch of the imagination to realise that many a bilateral trade pact was sealed during the festivities of said marriages. Not so long ago in Merrye Olde Englande many a political difference was settled at various sporting events. Many a 'bad' knight was toppled in a jousting event. The connection between politics and sport has a long and rich history. Think of The Colosseum and Lions and gladiators. Leave poor Absman alone, he is only reliving times when love, sport and politics were totally entwined.

TalkTurkey

9/10/2013 A few tweets from/to me today: Michael Taylor ‏@MigloMT 4h @TalkyTurkey Good to see you gave ToM the olde heave-ho. :) TalkTurkey Tweet text Reply to @MigloMT @MigloMT No prisoners! :~) To a query wtte "Why is Labor staying so quiet on #travelgate " I said @marqoftheshire It's because if the LNP stole an elephant while Labor pinched a mouse, all the MSM would squeal EEEK! Within minutes Dreyfus having to repay $400 was all over ABC! And my general thought on people such as we meet here! TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey 7h MSM denigrates belittles & disses the Fighting 5th Estate. I know that there are some very fine minds & decent people here. Good company.Tx.

Catching up

9/10/2013One can go through the list now on line. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when others are involved. What counts, is the trend when one looks up a MP claims. If there are only one or two irregular claims, one would think, yes an error has been made. When one looks at the likes of Brandis AND CO. They numerous claims of a similar nature, generally over a number of years.

Casablanca

9/10/2013 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 9 October 2013: 36 items ACTS OF CONTRITION 1. Tony Abbott apologises to Malaysia for Coalition's criticism of Labor's asylum seeker swap deal Emma Griffiths The Prime Minister has moved to mend relations with Malaysia by apologising for the Coalition's strident criticism of Labor's failed asylum seeker swap with the south-east Asian nation. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-08/abbott-apologises-to-malaysia-for-swap-deal-criticism/5009180 2. Tony Abbott plays the politics of contrition Michelle Grattan Now the Malaysians are getting a dose of Tony Abbott’s habit, after the event, of seeking political absolution. http://theconversation.com/tony-abbott-plays-the-politics-of-contrition-19002 3. Tony Abbott offers 'act of contrition' to Malaysia over asylum seeker criticism Mark Kenny, Michael Bachelard Tony Abbott has apologised to an Asian leader for the second time in a week over his robust political campaigning before he was elected, offering an "act of contrition" for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-offers-act-of-contrition-to-malaysia-over-asylum-seeker-criticism-20131008-2v5gl.html ACTS OF COMMISSION 4. Politician expense claims deserve closer legal scrutiny Greg Barns Former speaker Peter Slipper and the thousands of Australians who are prosecuted for social security fraud each year have every reason to be upset about the way in which the criminal justice system is dealing with politicians. http://www.abc.net.au/news/thedrum/ 5. Abbott Can't Backpedal On Expenses Now Ben Eltham As opposition leader, Tony Abbott ruthlessly pursued Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson over improper financials. He will not be able to escape scrutiny over his own expenses scandal.. https://newmatilda.com/2013/10/08/abbott-cant-backpedal-expenses-now 6. How will Media, Finance and AFP handle the evidence that the PM is a cheat? Margo Kingston It looks like the Prime Minister is a serial cheat. It’s hard to imagine a bigger test of the integrity and fairness of our democratic institutions than that. Will the press gallery get forensic and press for answers from the PM and action from the authorities? Will the AFP investigate? Will the Finance Department audit his enormous expenses claims while in opposition to search for more rorting? - http://nofibs.com.au/2013/10/08/will-media-finance-afp-handle-evidence-pm-cheat/#sthash.ilgpcOc3.dpuf 7. Abbott owns rort problems Jack Waterford Abbott re-paid monies ''for the avoidance of doubt.'' These are weasel words. He does not look a leader, he looks a prevaricator. The public is as good a judge of that as they are of people who stretch the limits of moral entitlement to public money....And he is blaming, falsely, all misunderstandings on his predecessors, and bagging his nation abroad. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/entertainment/abbott-owns-rort-problems-20131008-2v6kl.html 8. Tony Abbott has history of claiming sporting events as travel entitlements Heather Ewart A pattern is emerging of Prime Minister Tony Abbott using his travel entitlements to compete in sporting events around the country....Pollie Pedal a 'serious act of community engagement' according to Tony Abbott http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-08/abbott-has-history-of-claiming-sporting-event-expenses/5010186 9. Modern politics: show business for ugly people Jonathan Green Show business for ugly people, that’s the joke. Funny, but also terribly true: the same obsessive drive for attention, the same deluded sense of influence and importance, except that for a politician, unlike your run-of-the-mill Home and Away starlet, the potential to do actual social good – and of course harm – does exist. It’s a confounding and confusing business. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/08/modern-politics-show-business-for-ugly-people?CMP=twt_gu 10. Coalition wedded to travel expense claims Paul Syvret POT, kettle. Snout, trough: That just about sums up the litany of expense-related accounting clangers that a conga line of Coalition MPs from the Prime Minister down have 'fessed up to in the past couple of weeks.... on the conservative side of politics ... it's the weddings, parties and woo-hoo brigade and pass the expenses claim form. http://m.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-coalition-wedded-to-travel-expense-claims/story-fnihsr9v-1226734289884?sv=d3aa99c279c9d15d0d14cf064c50bea0 11. Rorting rules unchanged, and behaviour much the same Tony Wright The words ''travel rorts'' in Australian political vernacular are a signpost to a road that can end in disaster for those who take it, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott would know it better than most. Rorting rules unchanged, and behaviour much the same http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rorting-rules-unchanged-and-behaviour-much-the-same-20131008-2v6eg.html 12. Big bucks for MPs' Bollywood adventure James Robertson and Jonathan Swan. Thousands claimed after Liberal politicians attend an Indian wedding. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/big-bucks-for-mps-bollywood-adventure-20131005-2v0wf.html 13. Tony Abbott defends ironman expenses (Video 02:12) Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he was entitled to bill taxpayers for travel and accommodation costs to compete in the 2011 Port Macquarie Ironman and attend Pollie Pedal events. 08/10/13 http://media.canberratimes.com.au/news/federal-politics/tony-abbott-defends-ironman-expenses-4812688.html 14. Abbott embroiled as scandal widens Jonathan Swan, Daniel Hurst Federal MPs of all parties are frantically checking their taxpayer-funded travel claims as Tony Abbott defends an Ironman event as a legitimate expense and a Labor attack on the government backfired. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-embroiled-as-scandal-widens-20131008-2v6ev.html 15. Ruddock says he won't repay money I don't think I would have been going to the (Slipper) wedding but for the fact that I received an invitation as Attorney-General. http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2013/s3864398.htm 16. Why Slipper's Cabcharges may be different to PM's weddings Richard Ackland Slipper has been charged with three counts under the ''general dishonesty'' provisions of the Criminal Code Act. The offence has three ingredients: dishonestly causing a loss or risk of a loss to ''another person''; knowing or believing that the loss or risk of a loss will occur; and that the other person is a Commonwealth entity. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/why-slippers-cabcharges-may-be-different-to-pms-weddings-20131008-2v6ei.html 17. Tony Abbott defends claiming travel expenses to participate in sporting events, including Pollie Pedal Emma Griffiths "Let's not forget that Port Macquarie was a marginal seat, effectively. I want to assure you that I don't go to marginal seats simply for sporting events, although the sporting event in question was a community event. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-08/abbott-denies-taking-taxpayers-for-ride-over-pollie-pedal/5008456 18. Tony Abbott's rising tide of inconvenient truths Kenneth Davidson September 30, 2013 Comments 386 As Tony Abbott said ad nauseam during the campaign, the 2013 federal election was about three things: the onerous level of public debt, stopping the boats and abolition of the carbon tax. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbotts-rising-tide-of-inconvenient-truths-20130929-2umbc.html TWO POLITICAL MAMILS (Middle Aged Men in Lycra Suits) 19. Did Russian President Vladimir Putin snub our Prime Minister Tony Abbott? Simon Benson THE Cold War may be technically over but Tony Abbott found out the diplomatic cold shoulder is still well and truly alive... A bilateral meeting with the Russian leader at APEC, appears to have not made it on to the agenda at Bali. http://m.couriermail.com.au/news/national/did-russian-president-vladimir-putin-snub-our-prime-minister-tony-abbott/story-fnihslxi-1226734836134 SOME EARLIER COVERAGE OF #Battlerort & TELECARD 20. The Great Telecard Coverup Margo Kingston. November 24, 2000 Peter Reith's son and the official Phone Card. http://nofibs.com.au/2013/01/13/the-great-telecard-coverup/#sthash.43cC6mOS.dpuf 21. EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book Margo Kingston. July 6, 2013 160 Comments The Opposition leader, Mr Abbott, was forced to repay taxpayers nearly $9,400 after receiving travel expenses to promote his book Battlelines in 2009. The repayment occurred after Mr Abbott publicly denied the allegation through a spokesman, who stated: “All travel undertaken by Mr Abbott has been within the entitlement. This is a blatant attempt by Labor to smear and mislead.” http://nofibs.com.au/2013/07/06/exclusive-abbott-forced-to-repay-taxpayers-9400-he-charged-taxpayers-to-promote-his-book/#sthash.b1yX2oEC.dpuf 22. Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning Margo Kingston 9 July, 2013 79 Comments QUESTION: Did you claim travel expenses on your book tour? TONY ABBOTT: I did not. http://nofibs.com.au/2013/07/09/abbotts-battlerort-lines-collapse-under-bkjabour-questioning/#sthash.Y3JbuoI4.dpuf 23. How the taxpayer helped Tony Abbott flog Battlelines Glenn Milne 28 July 2010 259 Comments Tony Abbott probably knows where his first dollar came from. [b]His preoccupation with how much money is coming through the door is legend in Canberra amongst his colleagues.[/b]..after John Howard's 2007 election loss Abbott [b]...mused publicly on the shock of losing his ministerial salary, complaining he didn't know how he was going to pay the bills.[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/35544.html CREATIVE WRITING 24. Recyclopedia Britannica: MLA surfs web for $13,000 study tour report Lisa Cox A Canberra Liberals MLA, Steve Doszpot, cut and pasted the majority of his report on a $13,000 taxpayer-funded study trip to Britain from Wikipedia and other online sources..."We teach our kids that it's wrong to pass off other people's work as their own, and as the shadow minister for education Mr Doszpot should be setting a better example," http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/recyclopedia-britannica-mla-surfs-web-for-13000-study-tour-report-20131003-2uxrd.html#ixzz2h8wvopsa CITIZEN JOURNALISM 25. How to write a news story The art of reporting is the art of simplicity. http://nofibs.com.au/2013/10/08/write-news-story/#sthash.p31cUZv5.dpuf 26. Assumptions – we all make them all the time. As a citizen journalist, however, your assumptions can destroy reputations – your own, your interviewees’, No Fibs’. http://nofibs.com.au/2013/10/08/assumptions-death/#sthash.g9uXOFkA.dpuf 27. Make a new Freedom of Information request Your Right to Know Everyone has the right to access information held by Australian public authorities. By law, they have to respond. Find out more about Freedom of Information. https://www.righttoknow.org.au/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 28. Getting serious about asylum seeker ethics Andrew Hamilton | 03 October 2013 In his recent article my Jesuit colleague Frank Brennan asked whether there is any ethical discussion to be had about stopping the boats. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38298#.UlLkMLe19ZY 29. Getting the facts about refugee and migrant mental health in Australia Harry Minas Refugees and asylum seekers living in Australia are particularly vulnerable to self-harm and suicidal behaviours, but aren’t getting the specialised mental health care they need, http://theconversation.com/getting-the-facts-about-refugee-and-migrant-mental-health-in-australia-18902 30. The Lampedusa asylum tragedy and the lessons for Australia Melissa Phillips The recent event of yet another boat sinking off the coast of Lampedusa in Italy resulted in the death of hundreds of migrants with still more unaccounted for. Despite the tyranny of distance, the incident should serve as a reminder to Australia that the issue of asylum seekers crossing dangerous seas in search of safety is a global challenge. http://theconversation.com/the-lampedusa-asylum-tragedy-and-the-lessons-for-australia-18980 INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 31. Occupational wages in Australia 2002-2012 Paul Frijters I was looking for evidence recently that tradies in Australia have become amongst the highest paid groups, which would means a profound change in relative rewards in that it would mean that smart young men could then rationally choose not to bother with university but simply become a tradesman. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2013/10/08/occupational-wages-in-australia-2002-2012/ POLICIES & ELECTORAL APPEAL 32. Comment: Why are the Greens so surprised? Paula Matthewson After taking a hit to its primary vote at the federal election, the Greens have some soul-searching to do. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/10/08/comment-why-are-greens-so-surprised NEUROMARKETING & PRIVACY 33. Neuromarketing – an unprecedented insight into the buying brain or an expensive scam? Griffith Hack Since the 1990s, marketers have used the tools of psychological and brain science - EEG and fMRI brain imaging, and facial and eye tracking to gain a better understanding of what goes on in consumers' brains. This practice, often called "neuromarketing", has claimed that it can detect a consumer's decision several seconds before the consumer consciously believes he/she makes it. The practice also claims that it can show what consumers really think about a product or an advertisement, rather than what they say they think. http://www.griffithhack.com.au/mediacentre-Neuromarketinganunprecedentedinsightintothebuyingbrainoranexpensivescam#page=1 34. Mobile privacy: A better practice guide for mobile app developers The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner The OAIC has developed this guide to help mobile device application (app) developers embed better privacy practices in their products and services, and help developers that are operating in the Australian market to comply with Australian privacy law and best practice. http://www.oaic.gov.au/images/documents/privacy/privacy-resources/privacy-guides/better-practice-guide-for-mobile-developers.pdf TROLLS AND SPAMBOTS 35. SkS social experiment: using comment ratings to help moderation John Cook Last week, the news rippled through the blogosphere that Popular Science had shut off commenting on their website. The reason: trolls and spambots had overwhelmed the comment threads. http://www.skepticalscience.com/SkS-social-experiment-using-comment-ratings-help-moderation.html 36. ATO warns of spike in email scams The Australian Taxation Office is warning taxpayers to protect their personal and financial details following a spike in reports of tax-related email scams. http://www.psnews.com.au/Page_psn38211.html TODAY’S MAIN NEWS • ROULE REPORT — Issues of Today http://paper.li/RouleReport/1334728962 • AN EYE ON ABC NEWS: . Keeping the bastards who keep the bastards honest, honest http://www.abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/ • AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm • NEWS HEADLINES 9 October 2013 http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

2353

9/10/2013CU - while not commenting on the honesty of borderline travel claims by politicians, what the ALP is finding out to it's detriment is that they need to find someone who is squeaky clean to throw the accusations. It is a very easy "gotta" for the accused to claim with minimal evidence that "he did it too" - which will neutralise the attack to a large extent.

Casablanca

9/10/2013 What is said in opposition stays in opposition Greg Jericho The things done and said while in opposition have come back to bite the Coalition. The Abbott Government has spent its first month in office trying to hide from its strong rhetoric on everything from the misuse of entitlements to stopping the boats and paying down debt. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-09/jericho-what-is-said-in-opposition-stays-in-opposition/5009086

42 long

9/10/2013I think the basic problem with the abbott is his belief that you can get up to any act of bastardry if you(HE) is to benefit and at some point you can confess and apologise and it all becomes OK. Shall we call it the "Confession" principle and acknowledge it's "Catholic " origins? This technique seems to have allowed some outrageous conduct to persist unaddressed, in THAT organisation and is therefore not a satisfactory model.

Catching up

9/10/2013Pyne now on ABC 24. Giving address to a conference. Looks like Howard's disastrous overseas student training scheme to be bought back. The one, were many came here, with the intention of staying, enrolling in bogus education programmes. One that took years for Labor to sort out. I do not know if Pyne has over done the makeup, or been out to long in the sun. Speech has much I disagree with, but makes sense. It is obvious, it has been written for him. Canberra. International Higher Education Conference.

Catching up

9/10/2013John Hancock has withdrawn his attempt to become trustee. He supports Bianco, his sister. Which sister is that? Nice lineup of links, Casablanca Have not had a chance to catchup yet.

Catching up

9/10/2013The truth is, when it comes to Abbott's expenses claims over the last three years, is, he from day one, had a dummy spit, did not accept the legitimacy of the Gillard government, from day one mounted a three year election campaign. I do not see that, as a legitimate role of an Opposition leader. Yes, mount the campaign, but the party picks up the cost. I do not believe, we the tax payers should have to pay, because he was unable to accept the will of t the voters , and spent three years in a tantrum. I also find it irksome, that Abbott claimed, and his supporters were quick to say, he was a wonderful charity worker, within the community. It was also said, he did the charity work in his own time, taking leave. From Abbott's own words, over the last few days, that was obviously a lie. He is clear, that he was in campaign mode. That was the main aim of all those bike rides. He was also claiming expenses from the government, as work expenses. Not, my idea of a good charity worker. The charities were being used by Abbott, for his own agenda conugh Relief

DM

9/10/2013Talk Turkey Thanks for republishing my post on 2 October. I was very disappointed when TPS (or was it you) chose to delete it shortly after publishing it. Now fellow swordsfolk can read it and form their own uncensored opinion about your credibility and accuracy. Thanks again DM

Catching up

9/10/2013".......What goes around, comes around. In December 2012, while in London, Abbott had this to say about the Craig Thomson affair: “it goes to the judgment of the Prime Minister.” Labor and many in the media might want to make a similar argument about Tony Abbott’s judgment in claiming travel expenses to attend weddings, parties and charity bike rides. Abbott is discovering that governing is much harder than opposing. In opposition, Abbott would have pounced on an expenses scandal such as this, and relentlessly hammered it to his advantage. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, he is finding that hosing down a scandal is much harder than inciting one..." https://newmatilda.com/2013/10/08/abbott-cant-backpedal-expenses-now Yes, indeed, most of our actions do come back to haunt us.

Bacchus

9/10/2013DM, It was not TT who deleted your comment (or me either), [b]but be on notice - should you post an abusive comment again, including people's real names & email addresses, I won't hesitate to delete.[/b] If you wish to carry on such rubbish, do so via email - you seem to have TT's email address - this is not a forum for your personal vendettas!

Bacchus

9/10/2013I have it on good authority, that TT would have bested you with his weapon of choice anyway :P

Catching up

9/10/2013The NPC is only on ABC 1 today. Something about whether there is a budget emergency ABC 24 having Naval Parade.

Catching up

9/10/2013McFarlane on ABC 24. The only minister in this government that sounds like he might know what he is doing. Not necessarily agreeing with, but putting up options. Hockey in NY. Not hearing much from him, though.

Catching up

9/10/2013Macfarlane. Sorry for spelling mistake. ABC 24

42 long

9/10/2013I agree with what Macfarlane is doing. He's not as shonky as some of his mates.

Catching up

9/10/2013"up to any act of bastardry i" What maybe worse, he does not see his acts as such. He sees nothing wrong with what he does. There is only one world, as far as Abbott is cncerned, only one view on the world. That is his. He has gone to Bali, ridiculing Ms. Gillard from day one. He talks as if he believes, they have the same view. He does not see, that most actually liked and respected the lady. Anyway. one does not start off by rubbishing and blaming all on their predecessor.

Catching up

9/10/201342 long, I think I do as well. Trouble is, with this government what he wants or tries to do, will not carry much weight. He will be over ruled easily. Abbott says those injured will be able to apply from the 21st October. Does this mean, parliament will resume before that.

Bacchus

9/10/2013Help Fairfax Media investigate politicians' expenses http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/help-fairfax-media-investigate-politicians-expenses-20131009-2v7i8.html#ixzz2hC0gQTPx

Michael

9/10/2013This story proves just how correct Abbott and Hockey were in describing Australia as being one of the worst managed economies in the world under a Federal Labor government, especially in the way ordinary citizens were affected. http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-business/aussies-the-worlds-richest-people-report-20131009-2v7np.html?skin=text-only We should never ever ever ever doubt either of them again about anything, right?

Ad astra

9/10/2013Casablanca You’ve given us another feast today. It’s hard to imagine that the expenses rorts saga will go away. Although both sides are vulnerable, it seems that the Coalition has well-established form, with the leader showing the way. Even if nothing more comes of it, the public is now aware that Abbott is shonky when it comes to claiming so-called entitlements; his character has yet another stain. Fairfax media has got its teeth into this matter, so it may persist. Abbott wanted to get sports on the front pages of the papers, but instead he gets travel rorts. Nature abhors a vacuum, and Abbott has created a vacuum by going into hiding until his recent overseas trips, and even when he has stuck his head above the parapet, he gets awkward domestic questions that detract from what is attempting to do there. Of course we now see him in confessional mode, sucking up to international counterparts whom he has previously insulted, using his well-tried technique of confessing his ‘sins’, expressing contrition, and asking for forgiveness and absolution. He learned well from his Jesuit training. I agree with CU and 42 long that Ian Macfarlane is one of the more reasonable occupants of Abbott’s front bench. It is good to hear common-sense offered rather than three word slogans.

Jason

9/10/2013I know it has nothing to do with politics! RIP Mark Brandon Chopper Read dies at age 56 from liver cancer in Melbourne Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/mark-brandon-chopper-read-dies-at-age-56-from-liver-cancer-in-melbourne-20131009-2v8b9.html#ixzz2hCcxyzyq

DoodlePoodle

9/10/2013Ken congrats on an excellent post your facts and figures were interesting. Today I saw your letter in the Canberra Times. Lots of people not very happy with the expenses rort. You live only a suburb away from me.

Catching up

9/10/2013http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=n6gdhm7GSzA it is so hard. One should never have to read.

Ken

9/10/2013DoodlePoodle Thank you for your kind words. Yes, the figures from western Sydney were interesting. If I had time I would look at other areas but by the time I did that it would no longer be topical! Hate to disappoint you, but the letter in the CT is not mine.

Casablanca

9/10/2013Don't hit the paywall Speaking of the Canberra Times, (DoodlePoodle & Ken) I have been providing links to the Canberra Times as the proxy for Fairfax articles by the majority of its big name journalists. There is method in my madness because at this stage, unlike the SMH & the Age, the CT is not paywalled. I would urge commenters here to follow my lead as it's very easy to clock up the 30 free hits on the SMH & The Age websites. http://www.canberratimes.com.au

DMW

9/10/2013Casablanca, ... and I thought it was 'cos it is easier to find Waterford & Hull 'cos they are (usually) excellent writers and commentators :P

Casablanca

10/10/2013Bacchus, Jason & DMW Further to my comment at 9.25pm: Don't hit the paywall Help Fairfax Media investigate politicians' expenses http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/help-fairfax-media-investigate-politicians-expenses-20131009-2v7i8.html Mark Brandon Chopper Read dies at age 58 from liver cancer in Melbourne http://www.canberratimes.com.au/victoria/mark-brandon-chopper-read-dies-at-age-58-from-liver-cancer-in-melbourne-20131009-2v8b9.html In some cases when you download an article or part thereof from the Canberra Times, the default URL is for the SMH. So you just have to be alert for that nuisance feature and manually copy and paste the Canberra Times URL.

libbyx33

10/10/2013Thank you Ken. A great article. Hubby & I also hail originally from western Sydney. The vast majority are certainly not the "bogans" they are portrayed to be. I do despair, however, that the shock jocks, 2ue/2gb etc have the ear of so many :-( As an aside, could I please be facetious and suggest that Fairfax must be broke if they are asking the public to do their jobs for them? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/help-fairfax-media-investigate-politicians-expenses-20131009-2v7i8.html Also, apologies for anything I do technically wrong before I post this comment - My first ever time on a laptop, can you believe, and I'm finding it has a mind all of it's own lol.

Casablanca

10/10/2013 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 10 October 2013: 45 items[/b] ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES 1. WEDDINGS, PARTIES, ANYTHING Corinne Grant Strap on the angry, it’s Rage Index time! There’s plenty this week to make you more furious than Scott Morrison discovering that Australia is still a democracy. Weddings, Parties, Anything According to Liberal logic, it turns out it’s ‘government waste’ to spend money on stuff like climate science and foreign aid, but it’s perfectly legitimate to spend the public’s money on going to mates’ weddings. http://thehoopla.com.au/weddings-parties-anything/ 2. Entitlements scandal highlights need to enhance parliamentary integrity Chris Aulich The recent revelations around the inappropriate use of travel entitlements by federal MPs reflect a broader problem of the lack of accountability in parliamentarians' public life. http://theconversation.com/entitlements-scandal-highlights-need-to-enhance-parliamentary-integrity-19035 3. Australia’s Abbott caught in travel expenses furore AFP-JIJI. SYDNEY – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was embroiled in a spiraling travel expenses scandal Tuesday as he defended his use of taxpayer money to take part in an Ironman competition and other events. The issue has blown up for Abbott, who was elected to office last month vowing to lead a government that would “live within its means,” while in Indonesia for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/08/asia-pacific/australias-abbott-caught-in-travel-expenses-furor/#.UlTVL7e1_X4 4. Taxpayers slugged $200,000 to fly MPs to Canberra for ALP leadership meetings Steve Lewis and Patrick Lion. October 08, 2013 10:00PM TAXPAYERS will fork out up to $200,000 to fly Labor MPs to Canberra so they can vote for a new parliamentary leader. http://www.news.com.au/national-news/taxpayers-slugged-200000-to-fly-mps-to-canberra-for-alp-leadership-meetings/story-fncynjr2-1226735036208 5. Be glad Brandis is able to read Jack Waterford All Australians should rejoice that we have at least one politician who reads books, and I am prepared to certify that in George Brandis, Attorney-General, we have one whose taste is refreshingly middlebrow on matters of politics, public affairs and the never-ending spectacle of human folly. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/be-glad-brandis-is-able-to-read-20131005-2v0zl.html#ixzz2hCBabpOR NEW MEDIA 6. The rise of the reader: journalism in the age of the open web Katharine Viner. ...digital is a huge conceptual change, a sociological change, a cluster bomb blowing apart who we are and how our world is ordered, how we see ourselves, how we live. It's a change we're in the middle of, so close up that sometimes it's hard to see. But it is deeply profound and it is happening at an almost unbelievable speed. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/09/the-rise-of-the-reader-katharine-viner-an-smith-lecture?CMP=soc_568 7. Why I'm not (too) pessimistic about the world of politics Katharine Murphy It’s a bracing old book – one that concludes that the profession you watch for a living has become fundamentally disconnected from the needs of the citizenry, and the profession in which you are privileged to earn your living is comprehensively failing the voters in different yet related ways. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/09/why-im-not-too-pessimistic-about-the-world-of-politics 8. Modern politics: show business for ugly people Jonathan Green Our politicians take what we think, feel and fear, and then turn that to their own advantage. Australia's most basic needs shouldn't be so cynically treated – we need and deserve better http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/08/modern-politics-show-business-for-ugly-people 9. Help Fairfax Media investigate politicians' expenses Fairfax Media readers are being invited to help aid the search for potentially misused funds...With thousands of pages of MPs' travel records and expense claims available on the internet, readers are able to contribute to our coverage of this issue. Here's how to help. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/help-fairfax-media-investigate-politicians-expenses-20131009-2v7i8.html MEDIA CHEERS & JEERS 10. The press gallery cheer squad Tim Dunlop Abbott is, after all, an invention of the media. His consolidation of power inside and outside his party simply could not have happened without the acquiescence of large sections of the press who were constantly willing to give his gaffes and obvious problems the benefit of the doubt, while always holding Julia Gillard to a higher, different - some would say, impossible - standard. http://www.kingstribune.com/index.php/weekly-email/item/1906-the-press-gallery-cheer-squad 11. Julia Gillard: The voice of inexperience Jane Gilmore Julia Gillard’s Prime Ministership will be the topic of analysis and discussion for years to come, and it’s likely that her, and our, perspective on it will change with time and distance from the events. But the Anne Summers interviews captured a more immediate reaction that is interesting, not just for what it says about Gillard herself, but what it reveals about Australian politics more generally. http://www.kingstribune.com/index.php/weekly-email/item/1905-julia-gillard-the-voice-of-inexperience SEXISM AWARDS 12. Ernies mark 21 years of outrageous sexist behaviour Alexandra Back It's the awards night no one really wants to happen. But, kept alive by a reliable stream of offensive comments, the annual Ernie Awards for Sexist Behaviour has become a uniquely Australian institution. http://www.dailylife.com.au/dl-people/ernies-mark-21-years-of-outrageous-sexist-behaviour-20130919-2u2h1.html?rand=1381286724651 13. PM Abbott in running for Australian sexism awards AFP-ST "Vicious" commentary about Australia's first female leader Julia Gillard dominates entries for the annual "Ernie" awards for sexism with Prime Minister Tony Abbott the "most constant" offender, organisers said on Tuesday. http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/world/story/pm-abbott-running-australian-sexism-awards-20131008 14. Aussie leader dominates ‘sexism awards’ AFP-JIJI SYDNEY – “Vicious” commentary about Australia’s first female leader, Julia Gillard, dominates entries for the annual “Ernie” awards for sexism with Prime Minister Tony Abbott the “most constant” offender, organizers said Tuesday. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/08/asia-pacific/politics-diplomacy-asia-pacific/aussie-leader-dominates-sexism-awards/#.UlTVfre1_X4 ETHICS & VOLUNTEERING 15. The ethics of giving service Alice Johnson In a contemporary society where the focus lies amid a whirlpool of egocentricity, self-gain and self-improvement, one must question where the true motive for giving service lies, and as a result what defines ethical service giving. Service giving in the interest of personal gain has become an increasingly popular outlook on assisting the needy in contemporary society. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38308#.UlV-L7ebZZY 16. Determining Volunteer Motivations - A Key to Success Joanne Schultinik, Mary J. Riley, Gilda Schott. Human nature and its driving forces can be very interesting. If we look at...reasons why people volunteer, we can begin to categorize these forces by needs described by Maslow in his hierarchy of needs: http://www.msue.msu.edu/objects/content_revision/download.cfm/revision_id.353032/workspace_id.275 SOCIAL JUSTICE & EQUITY 17. Many happy returns Michael Green Can private wealth cure social ills, at a profit?...THE Peterborough prison was opened in 2005, at the old Baker Perkins engineering works, half a mile from the centre of town. Where once they had manufactured industrial machinery, now they would punish and rehabilitate humans. http://michaelbgreen.com.au/many-happy-returns 18. Country's rich have lion's share of income growth Tim Colebatch John Martin, who has just stepped down after 13 years as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation's director for employment, labour and social affairs, says new OECD figures estimate that between 1980 and 2008, 22 per cent of all growth in Australia's household income went to the richest 1 per cent. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/countrys-rich-have-lions-share-of-income-growth-20131009-2v8q2.html 19. Aussies the world's richest people: Credit Suisse AAP Australians remain the richest people in the world, by one measure at least...The median wealth of adult Australians stands at $US219,505 ($233,504) - the highest level in the world, according to the Credit Suisse 2013 Global Wealth Report, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/the-economy/aussies-the-worlds-richest-people-credit-suisse-20131009-2v7qy.html 20. GST should be part of longer term budget repair Michelle Grattan Changes to the GST should be part of the mix in improving Australia’s budgetary position, the Grattan Institute’s CEO John Daley has said. http://theconversation.com/gst-should-be-part-of-longer-term-budget-repair-19044 TRADE & DIPLOMACY 21. Tony Abbott's claim West Papua 'getting better' rejected by experts Paddy Doulman Prime Minister Tony Abbott's claim that the situation in West Papua is “getting better”, in response to a protest by three Papuan activists in the Australian consulate in Bali, has been rejected by experts...A recent report by Dr Jim Elmslie, Co-ordinator at the West Papuan Project, said genocide, the forcible removal of children and other human right abuses are taking place in Indonesian-controlled West Papua. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbotts-claim-west-papua-getting-better-rejected-by-experts-20131009-2v85h.html 22. The ties that bind are also the ties that blind Damien Kingsbury A more cautious approach to relations with Indonesia and China may produce better results over the longer term... But the forcefulness of the way in which this agenda is being pushed may leave Australia exposed to uncomfortable outcomes. We generally have good regional relationships, but the interests of our neighbours are not necessarily the same as our own interests. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/the-ties-that-bind-are-also-the-ties-that-blind-20131008-2v64w.html#ixzz2hEcNxR6U 23. On the right free-trade track Paul Kelly, Abbott's foreign policy technique in Asia is bilateral engagement and economic diplomacy. It is the best and safest opening for a new Liberal PM. Abbott wants to establish his credentials, his authority and signal to the region his commitment to get results. [Paywalled] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/on-the-right-free-trade-track/story-e6frg74x1226735039977#sthash.Mq7Dlzg1.dpuf 24. Why Abbott should dump Free Trade Agreements Leith van Onselen Tony Abbott wants to revive free trade agreements with some of Australia's most important trading partners, including China. Sounds good, right? Maybe not, argues Leith Van Onselen. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-08/vanonselen-why-abbott-should-dump-ftas/5008478 25. Tony Abbott expects free trade pact with China in the next 12 months Katharine Murphy The prime minister told reporters in Bali that Australia 'will get the best deal we can' http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/07/abbott-free-trade-deal-china?CMP=twt_gu 26. Prime Minister Tony Abbott holds first formal meeting with Japanese PM Naomi Woodley Prime Minister Tony Abbott has held his first formal meeting as Prime Minister with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, during a gathering of world leaders at the East Asia Summit in Brunei. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-09/tony-abbott-png-trade-china-economy-brunei/5012868 ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY 27. Joe Hockey's L-plates are there for all to see Michael Pascoe. October 9, 2013 - 12:42PM First the new Prime Minister gaffes big time over a free trade agreement with China with his “whatever we can get” kowtow. Now the new Treasurer is promoting old Australian growth figures from the International Monetary Fund as fresh bad news for the economy. The L plates are being worn large this spring. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/joe-hockeys-lplates-are-there-for-all-to-see-20131009-2v752.html 28. Setting Public Policy 98 pages CEDA Australia has the economic fundamentals to underpin continued economic expansion for another decade or more, but for this to be achieved first and foremost we need strong leaders prepared to make the tough decisions and lead rather than be caught up in the 24 hour media cycle and headline politics. http://www.ceda.com.au/media/324134/spp2013.pdf 29. Tolerating corruption will destroy Australia's brand Michael Mullins | 06 October 2013 Australia tied with Denmark, Finland and Japan for the title of the world's least bribe-ridden country in 2013. According to Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer, only 1 per cent of Australians surveyed admitted paying bribes for services. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38293#.UlLlGbe19ZY 30. Hazards of political overlap John Warhurst Corruption can flourish when the lines between power broker and a political lobbyist become blurred. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/hazards-of-political-overlap-20131009-2v8hc.html#ixzz2hEbxFMz2 31. Industry's coal seam gas campaign is a con Ross Gittins The gas industry is working a scam on the people of NSW, in collusion with other business lobby groups and federal and state politicians. It's trying to frighten us into agreeing to remove restrictions on the exploitation of coal seam gas deposits. Failing that, the various parties want to be able to lay the blame for an inevitable jump in the price of natural gas on the greenies and farmers. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/industrys-coal-seam-gas-campaign-is-a-con-20131008-2v63m.html#ixzz2hEcr00Qy 32. Planned public service cuts add to Canberra uncertainty Ross Peake. October 9, 2013 - 12:51PM The Coalition is being urged to reconsider jobs cuts to Canberra's public service after Treasurer Joe Hockey said he was worried about the latest forecast for unemployment. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/planned-public-service-cuts-add-to-canberra-uncertainty-20131009-2v7kb.html 33. Crunching the numbers: Abbott's Public Service cuts Greg Jericho Can the Abbott Government cut the Public Service by 12,000 solely through attrition as it has claimed? Greg Jericho looks at the numbers to find the answer.... http://www.psnews.com.au/Featurespsn3821.html 34. Kickstarting government can send the wrong message Paul Karp First they came for the Queensland Literary Awards. Then they axed the Climate Commission. And in the United States, small government conservatives have caused a shutdown of the US Federal Government by refusing to pass a budget or continuing resolution. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-08/karp-crowdfunding-government/5004372 35. Australians more concerned about privacy than ever before Sarah Whyte and Ben Grubb The Community Attitudes to Privacy study, which has tracked Australians' attitude on privacy since 1990, found nearly half of the respondents agreed social media and online services posed the biggest risk to privacy. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/australians-more-concerned-about-privacy-than-ever-before-20131009-2v8d0.html NBN 36. Major NBN changes unlikely till 2014 Lucy Battersby Considering the Summer break, it is unlikely major NBN decisions will be made until well into 2014. Meanwhile Mr Turnbull has said any commenced construction on the fibre, as well as wireless and satellite, rollout will proceed http://www.canberratimes.com.au/it-pro/government-it/major-nbn-changes-unlikely-till-2014-20131009-hv1z1.html 37. ACCC issues final NBN Co requests Fairfax Media with Peter Cai The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its final requests for the NBN Co's ''special access undertaking'' document, editing it to ensure consistency in price, and fairness in access, to broadband services until 2040. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/it-pro/government-it/accc-issues-final-nbn-co-requests-20131008-hv1yk.html ELECTORAL LANDSCAPE 38. Five in a row for the Greens Peter Brent ...maybe minor parties in Australia just have limited shelf-lives. As with the Democrats’ 1999 GST deal with the Howard government, it will be open to debate whether that event really caused them to implode, or if it was bound to happen anyway. Then it’s a case of come the hour come the catalyst. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/five_in_a_row_for_the_greens/ 39. Where now for the Greens? Narelle Miragliotta and Robert Simms. The Greens face some of the challenges that effectively killed the Democrats, But important differences between the parties mean that history is unlikely to repeat itself http://inside.org.au/where-now-for-the-greens/#sthash.G7t2AZ5A.dpuf 40. Election vote winners collect $56 million in cash Dan Harrison October 9, 2013 - 2:09PM Multi-millionaire miner Cliver Palmer’s party has netted $2.2 million in taxpayer electoral funding, while former Labor MP Craig Thomson has missed out on funding by just two votes. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/election-vote-winners-collect-56-million-in-cash-20131009-2v7nr.html EDUCATION 41. ACEL Address: Opportunities and Risks in the Education Market Place Michelle Grattan It seems to me that [education] is increasingly being viewed in highly commercial terms, as a commodity, and operating in a marketplace. http://theconversation.com/acel-address-opportunities-and-risks-in-the-education-market-place-19032 HEALTH & WELLBEING 42. Getting the mix right for assessing research impact John Kaldor Outside professional sport, few industries measure the performance of their workforces more intensively than academia...There’s particular scrutiny on how much difference academic research has made to the world. But objectively measuring research impact is fraught with difficulty. http://theconversation.com/getting-the-mix-right-for-assessing-research-impact-18469 43. It’s good to be king: how social status affects health Robert Douglas The traditional view of health is a biomedical one – stop people from getting ill by preventing infection and treating disease. But a growing body of research showing that health is the result of social conditions has now gathered enough momentum to prompt a rethink about how social policy is made. http://theconversation.com/its-good-to-be-king-how-social-status-affects-health-18296 44. Whiffing peanut butter to test early stage Alzheimer’s Source McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, University of Florida Testing smell sensitivity with peanut butter could potentially confirm a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease, according to research from the McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste and the University of Florida. http://theconversation.com/whiffing-peanut-butter-to-test-early-stage-alzheimers-19030 45. NCDFREE Short Film Mongolia – from the banks of the Yarra Alessandro R Demaio ...six inspiring young health change-makers took to the stage to share their ideas for a world free from preventable NCDs...The audience was sensational, interactive and inspired – watching a program packed of urban planners, design thinkers, economists, doctors, nutritionist and epidemiologists… http://theconversation.com/ncdfree-short-film-mongolia-from-the-banks-of-the-yarra-18936 TODAY’S MAIN NEWS • ROULE REPORT — Issues of Today http://paper.li/RouleReport/1334728962 • AN EYE ON ABC NEWS: . Keeping the bastards who keep the bastards honest, honest http://www.abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/ • AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm • NEWS HEADLINES 10 October 2013 http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

Casablanca

10/10/2013libbyx33 at 1.38am I had the same facetious thought. It seems to be another form of crowd sourcing. Nothing [quote]technically wrong[/quote]with your post. Well done.

cuppa

10/10/2013It would be nice to think that Murdoch's influence on the election result was less than the damage his politicking caused to his medias' credibility.

TalkTurkey

10/10/2013Did we all hear Albanese destroy Labor's potential attack on Abborrrttt's rorts? Couldn't believe my ears!

Ken

10/10/2013Libbyx33 Thank you for your comment. Also glad to have some other 'westies' here. As you say, and as I also know, the majority of voters in western Sydney are not as poltically illiterate or as disinterested as many portray them. Your link is interesting. It reminded me of another article I read recently about why journalists now so often rely on "press releases" rather than finding the news themselves. The 24 hour news cycle and the cuts in staff and costs, mean there aren't enough journalists to gather enough news to fill the paper's pages (or the 24 hour on-line sites). So stories aren't investigated thoroughly and press releaes used to fill the spaces. I think the link you provided is another example of this - they know they may be onto a good story but no longer have the resources to do a thorough investigation and are asking their readers to help. As you suggest, not a good sign for the future of the paper.

Ken

10/10/2013cuppa Agree entirely. As I posted earlier, I think the evidence suggests there are cracks starting to appear.

Casablanca

10/10/2013 AND THE WINNERS ARE.......... [b]Ernies: Tony Abbott given 'repeat offender' award for sexist comments[/b] The organisers of the Ernie awards for sexist comments have given Prime Minister Tony Abbott the ''repeat offender'' award, while another Liberal MP, Mal Brough, took out the political Ernie for the ''Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail'' menu. The Ernies recognise the top sexist comments in politics, media, sport, celebrity and justice. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ernies-tony-abbott-given-repeat-offender-award-for-sexist-comments-20131010-2v9dz.html

Casablanca

10/10/2013 Don't forget that Casablanca's Cache can be viewed and downloaded from the panel on the left. Each file contains several days worth of news and views. CASABLANCA'S CACHE for 10 October 2013 Updated in '2013-10-07 (current)' at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2013-10-07.aspx Happy reading.

janice

10/10/2013[quote]Julia refers to a perfect storm that occurred during her time, a hung parliament, Abbott being particularly aggressive and relentless, the constant instability within Labor, the gender wildcard (who knew Australia would be so ready to dump on a woman PM to that degree?). She also mentioned groupthink in the media. But instability is death. [/quote] Lucy, I think Julia hit the nail squarely on the head when she made that analysis. Ken, thank you for a thoughtful and well argued piece. Like TT though, I disagree in part. I am of the opinion that Labor did itself in when caucus went into panic mode and switched back to Rudd. We will, of course, never know if Labor would have done better had PMJG been still at the helm, but there is nothing that will convince me Julia couldn't have won the election. 1. By the time the election was called a huge percentage of voters had not tuned in to politics. 2. I know of many voters who deliberately voted informal or not at all, because they could not vote for either Rudd or Abbott. 3. The polls haven't changed much since the election so IMO the abbott is there holding the reins by default. Although Murdoch's campaign against Labor played a big part in getting us an abbott government, it cannot be overlooked that the rest of MSM joined in with gusto as the airwaves were choked with groupthink journalists who took the easy way out in regurgitating the opinions of "respected" colleagues instead of putting in the hard yards required to research, interview experts, examine and analyse, and then report facts, not opinions of colleagues with or without an agenda of their own.

Michael

10/10/2013I guess we always knew we'd be stuck with low-brow government under Abbott, but even I never thought we'd end up with no-brow administration. http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=913909 Australia's becoming a lickspittle kowtowing forelock-tugging sycophantic suppliant under (no) Action Man Abbott. You can undertake acts of contrition to the point they become prideful, Tony Boy - didn't the Jesuits ever teach you about overweening pride? The Abbott Error may well sink this country, and in less than three years while he's about it.

Ken

10/10/2013janice I agree completely with your comment regarding Rudd replacing Gillard. My next piece will address some of the issues surrounding this, although not address it directly. So just something else for you to watch out for - probably on 20 October. Michael Abbott looks less and less like a PM every time he opens his mouth!!!

Casablanca

10/10/2013 Ken, Abbott's mouth is generally open and not only when he is talking. He is actually and figuratively a mouth breather*. Take a look at the photo in this article: Tony Abbott rejects calls for reform of MP expenses Jonathan Swan http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-rejects-calls-for-reform-of-mp-expenses-20131010-2vagx.html * Someone who breathes through the mouth. Basically the same meaning as "slack-jaw;" a stupid person who advertises that stupidity by letting his mouth hang open. http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/mouth-breather

Ken

10/10/2013Casablanca Love it! We should send the 'slack-jaw' stuff to him???? I know he always does it when he is stumped for an answer. So many clips where he doesn't know what to say next and his jaw just hangs open.

Casablanca

10/10/2013 MORE CROWD SOURCING At item 9 in Casablanca's Cache (See above or at http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2013-10-07.aspx) I linked to the Fairfax invitation to help aid the search for potentially misused funds on the part of our elected leaders. Now I discover that The Guardian is putting out a similar invitation. Check it out!: [b]Investigate politicians' expenses[/b] [quote]We've made one year's worth of politicians' travel expense claims available in a database. What were they claiming for? Help us by matching what a politician was doing on that day with their expense claim.[/quote] http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2013/oct/10/help-investigate-politician-expenses?commentpage=1 Comment: (on above referenced Guardian article) ReadyReader Dianne Costin 10 October 2013 6:40am Liberals spend $300,000 in three weeks on printer ink It has been dubbed "toner-gate" - a three-week, $300,000 splurge on printer ink by Liberal MPs to stock up on office supplies for the pending federal election. After being told in September 2009 that a strict finance cap would be introduced from October 1 that year, Opposition members ordered $267,288 worth of printer cartridge toner, according to documents obtained through Freedom of Information. With the election almost a year away, some Liberal figures claimed they were told by party HQ to be "ruthless" ordering taxpayer-funded supplies ahead of the campaign. One Liberal MP, West Australian Don Randall, ordered $25,414.68 of toner cartridges for his office printer, while South Australian Patrick Secker spent $21,797.74. Deputy Speaker Peter Slipper spent $19,280.83 while ex-Liberal Michael Johnson ordered $18,640.86 for his office - enough to fund a marginal seat's campaign. Despite its parliamentary majority of 18, Labor MPs spent $127,488 in the same period - less than half what the Coalition spent. Liberals spend $300,000 in three weeks on printer ink http://www.news.com.au/national-news/liberals-spend-300000-in-three-weeks-on-printer-ink/story-e6frfkvr-1226001144233

Martin Spalding

10/10/2013Ken, thank you for an interesting and thought-provoking article. With respect though I have to disagree with the thrust of the piece & the assumptions underpinning it. I think the Murdoch press had an enormous & unprecedented effect on the election. It went beyond the 'screaming headlines' of the Daily Tele in western Sydney. It was the day-in, day-out distortions, story selections, bias and lack of balance syndicated across the nation, covering 70% of the buying public, that was critical. And much of the remaining 30% looked to the 70% for its leads, its angles and its daily themes. In this environment, how can the public possibly make an informed assessment of the parties on offer? To address some of your specific comments: * Just because W Syd didn't swing as much is not evidence the Tele had little impact. Other factors such as ALP campaigning money, poor Lib candidates, the large swing at the last election & local issues could all be big factors. * The DT's effect across all of NSW must be looked at. * You state that the influence did not match the effort put in. Maybe true, but this does not necessarily mean the influence was not significant. * I agree that politicians should ignore the Murdoch press when formulating policy, but if you are saying they should not bother speaking out about biased coverage because their influence is ltd anyway, I have to disagree. The only way to tackle unfairness is to 'call it out'. Martin Spalding

TalkTurkey

10/10/2013Casablanca That disgusting image of Abborrrtt ... It's what he does with his mouth every Sunday for Arse~Bigot Pell ... Taking Holy Communion I mean ... [i]What did you think I meant?! :)[/i]

TalkTurkey

10/10/2013Martin Spalding That is very well argued! Much more from you please! Ken, your article has drawn some very thoughtful comments, most interestingly from some who like me disagree in small aspects while applauding your general point of view. That's excellent. A bit of argument won't go amiss! We on this site agree so broadly that often it would seem to newcomers that we are yes-people, people's reactions to your thread show that the contrary is the truth. Martin don't you forget to come back soon.

Casablanca

11/10/2013CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 11 October 2013: 40 items POLITICS 1. Free speech is Abbott’s first victim Mark Latham This is not surprising for anyone who has been watching the emergence of Northern European cultural norms in Australian right-wing politics. A significant number of ministers and conservative commentators come from this autocratic political background. http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/free_speech_is_abbott_first_victim_T1dnTWxeTDno7y3cLJwVfM 2. Feeding the chooks: Abbott, Howard and media management David Marshall, University of Canberra Is Tony Abbott really trying to gag his ministers when, under the Howard government, he and his ministerial colleagues enjoyed relative freedom to handle media interviews and issue press releases? http://theconversation.com/feeding-the-chooks-abbott-howard-and-media-management-18923?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013+CID_c959eaa88371bc6b24ea9c960ec08d20&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Feeding%20the%20chooks%20Abbott%20Howard%20and%20media%20management 3. Clyne urges business role in govt reform Staff Reporter Chief executive officer of National Australia Bank Ltd Cameron Clyne has called on business to work with politicians to drive a genuine reform agenda. He said the role of business was not to provide a running commentary on the political processes of reform, intimating such opining may have undermined the previous Labor government. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/10/10/financial-services/clyne-urges-business-role-govt-reform?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=453308&utm_campaign=pm&modapt= 4. Clive Palmer issues warning to Government as Motoring Enthusiast Ricky Muir joins Senate voting bloc Emma Griffiths Clive Palmer has warned the Abbott Government it faces a "very cold winter" if it tries to split his Senate voting bloc, which has been bolstered by the Motoring Enthusiast Party's senator-elect, Ricky Muir. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/clive-palmer-joins-forces-with-motoring-enthusiast-ricky-muir-i/5013556?WT.mc_id=newsmail 5. Christian delusions are driving the GOP insane Amanda Marcotte Why aren’t Republicans more afraid? The entire premise of both the government shutdown and the threats to force the government into debt default is that Democrats care more about the consequences of these actions than the Republicans do. http://www.salon.com/2013/10/10/christian_delusions_are_driving_the_gop_insane/ 6. Life after the prime ministership: a trek through history Geoffrey Robinson, Deakin University Former prime minister Julia Gillard has returned to the spotlight after maintaining a dignified silence since her removal as Labor leader in June. Since the defeat of the federal Labor government, she… http://theconversation.com/life-after-the-prime-ministership-a-trek-through-history-18826?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013+CID_c959eaa88371bc6b24ea9c960ec08d20&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Life%20after%20the%20prime%20ministership%20a%20trek%20through%20history ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES 7. Taxpayers won't quickly forgive the expenses scandal Jonathan Green The Coalition was elected to "cut the waste", but voters have found that this set of pollies is just as prone to trough-snorting self-serving excess as the mob they replaced. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/green-why-the-expenses-scandal-still-has-legs/5013230 8. Tony Abbott rejects calls for reform of MP expenses Jonathan Swan Under pressure to explain why taxpayers should spend thousands of dollars to help politicians compete in sports events and attend colleagues' weddings, Mr Abbott said there would “always be arguments at the margins” and changing the rules would achieve nothing. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-rejects-calls-for-reform-of-mp-expenses-20131010-2vagx.html 9. The Hon Tony Abbott MP - Expenditure on Entitlements Paid - 1 January to 30 June 2012 The Hon Tony Abbott MP - Expenditure on Entitlements Paid - 1 January to 30 June 2012 - ABBOTT_Tony.pdf http://finance.gov.au/publications/parliamentarians-reporting/docs/T30/ABBOTT_Tony.pdf 10. Here is a 2009 to 2012 breakdown with a few more things included http://bleyzie.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/20130725-abbott-expenses.jpg 11. Tony Abbott - Top 25 Rorts GeorgeBludger Between 2009-12 Tony Abbott charged tax-payers for travel & accommodation pertaining to “volunteering”, running, swimming, cycling & attending major sporting events outside his ministerial duties. http://storify.com/GeorgeBludger/tony-abbott-top-25-rorts 12. Investigate politicians' expenses We've made one year's worth of politicians' travel expense claims available in a database. What were they claiming for? Help us by matching what a politician was doing on that day with their expense claim. http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2013/oct/10/help-investigate-politician-expenses?commentpage=1 13. Liberals spend $300,000 in three weeks on printer ink Steve Lewis. February 07, 2011 IT HAS been dubbed "toner-gate" - a three-week, $300,000 splurge on printer ink by Liberal MPs to stock up on office supplies for the pending federal election http://www.news.com.au/national-news/liberals-spend-300000-in-three-weeks-on-printer-ink/story-e6frfkvr-1226001144233 CREATIVE WRITING 14. Senator appears to have copied tracts of text for report on European study trip Paul Farrell A Labor senator tasked with overseeing the federal government’s publishing standards appears to have copied out large blocks of text from other sources for his report on a European study trip claimed as a taxpayer-funded entitlement. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/10/senator-appears-to-have-copied-tracts-of-text-for-report-on-european-study-trip. POLITICAL MAMILS* 15. The Abbott-Putin man off: which leader wins the macho award? Ben Pobjie Tony Abbott passively-aggressively asserted his manliness by showing up late to Vladimir Putin's birthday party. This begs the question: which man is more of a man than the other man? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/10/abbott-putin-macho-leader * [i]Middle Aged Men in Lycra.[/i] ERNIE AWARDS, MISOGYNY, SEXISM, TONY ABBOTT 16. The undeclared war on women Margot Saville The sheer vitriol of some of the attacks on Julia Gillard is hard to stomach,"... "the anti-feminist backlash has been set off not by women's achievement of full equality but by the increased possibility that they might win it. It is a pre-emptive strike that stops women long before they reach the finish line." http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/celebrating-21-years-of-the-ernie-awards/201310103022 17. A dubious honour: The most sexist moments of 2013 recognised Women's Agenda He won the right to govern the country earlier this year and last night Tony Abbott won another accolade, albeit one he -- presumably -- hadn't campaigned for...At last night's Ernie Awards, presented at a sellout dinner at NSW State Parliament hosted by Labor MP Linda Burney, the Prime Minister won 'The Clinton', the Ernie awarded for repeat offenders of sexist behaviour. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/a-dubious-honour-the-most-sexist-moments-of-2013-recognised/201310093021 18. Free reign: PM Tony Abbott under fire for Tamworth festival trip as expense scandal deepens Daniel Johns HE SWAGGERED down Peel St like a Nashville star, posing in a cowboy hat, dancing a country-style jig and even embracing a mystery blonde holding a “Free Hugs” sign...The then-Opposition leader claimed $9347 in work expenses for the whirlwind visit – despite not even staying in the city overnight. http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/1828922/free-reign-pm-tony-abbott-under-fire-for-tamworth-festival-trip-as-expense-scandal-deepens/ 19. Abbott apology tour Gee Prime Minister Abbott has apologised to his Malaysian counterpart for things he said as Opposition Leader. Who will he say sorry to next? http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/life/satire/abbott-apology-tour/ 20. Tony Abbott Gaffes choosing Based on this list of gaffes since August 2010, Tony Abbott is no more fit to be PM or to represent Australia on the world stage now than he was three years ago. Between August 2010 and July 2013 Abbott insulted, offended or annoyed to varying degrees Africans, Irish, Indonesians, Chinese, Finns, Papua New Guineans & Luxembourgers... http://www.scribd.com/doc/133134121/Tony-Abbott-Gaffes 21. Australia's next top political spawn Mike Nicholson It's in their father's best interest that opportunities continue to arise for the ladies because then the Prime Minister can have a genuine reason to attend events, such as the races, all around Australia. These attendances would then result in a legitimate work expense claim being filed under the Abbott name, albeit Bridget's, Frances' or Louise's. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/nicholson-australias-next-top-political-spawn/5013722 IDEALISM 22. Friendship and Politics Tim Soutphommasane Now I am an erstwhile political philosopher. I’ve always been interested in the subjects of liberal reform and social democracy. I was naturally drawn, therefore, to studying groups such as the Fabians or the Bloomsbury set or the social liberal tradition as shaped by British idealism. But I had a hypothesis I wanted to test. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/friendship-and-politics EDUCATION 23. Are Americans dumb? No, it's the inequality, stupid Sadhbh Walshe The US and UK have pitifully low OECD test scores. They are also the countries with some of the greatest inequality http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/09/americans-dumb-oecd-study-test-scores 24. The dumbest generation? No, Twitter is making kids smarter Clive Thompson. Sep. 19 2013. Part of an occasional series about the way digital culture affects the way we think, learn and live. http://m.theglobeandmail.com/life/how-new-digital-tools-are-making-kids-smarter/article14321886/?service=mobile#!/ EQUALITY 25. Same-sex marriage: federal government will take ACT law to the high court Australian Associated Press ACT attorney-general rejects George Brandis's advice to defer start of law pending a court challenge http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/10/same-sex-marriage-federal-act-law-high-court?CMP=soc_568 26. Future growth in DSP receipt—not all bad news Carol Ey No doubt one of the priorities of the proposed review of income support payments will be the Disability Support Pension (DSP). http://parliamentflagpost.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/future-growth-in-dsp-receiptnot-all-bad.html 27. New mentoring program set to shift the balance for women in media Matthew Knott A group of high-profile female journalists is launching a new initiative to improve working conditions and career opportunities for women in the media. The mentoring program will begin early next year, with a new group of mentors and mentees to be chosen every six months. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/new-mentoring-program-set-to-shift-the-balance-for-women-in-media/201310093015?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=944896fb9e-Women_s_Agenda_daily_10_10_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-944896fb9e-30634093 HEALTH & WELLBEING 28. Relationships key to mental illness treatment Andrew Hamilton One of its most painful effects touches both those who suffer from it and those who love them. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38315#.UlZJu7eqpZY 29. The boy scout guide to mental illness Michael Lockwood Mental health is big business — very big business. I know — I'm an active client of the industry. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38278#.UlZKSreqpZY 30. Addiction can't always be cured so let's focus on quality of life David Best, Monash University Alcohol and substance abuse costs the Australian economy A$24.5bn a year. The human toll from accidents, overdoses, chronic disease, violence, mental illness and family disruption, however, is immeasurable… http://theconversation.com/addiction-cant-always-be-cured-so-lets-focus-on-quality-of-life-14123?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013+CID_c959eaa88371bc6b24ea9c960ec08d20&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Addiction%20cant%20always%20be%20cured%20so%20lets%20focus%20on%20quality%20of%20life 31. Australia’s people (Extract 42 pages) Australian Institute of Health & Welfare The demand for various types of welfare services is influenced by a range of factors, including age structure, population health and disability status, social and economic participation, access to appropriate housing, and availability of informal support networks. In addition, population diversity and geographical distribution are important considerations for planning, and providing appropriate and sufficient services in the locations where they are needed. http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=60129544555 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 32. The Australian public cares about privacy: do politicians? Bruce Baer Arnold. Two documents released this week highlight divergent views among the community and politicians. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) yesterday sought to reinforce its legitimacy… http://theconversation.com/the-australian-public-cares-about-privacy-do-politicians-19033?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013+CID_c959eaa88371bc6b24ea9c960ec08d20&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=The%20Australian%20public%20cares%20about%20privacy%20do%20politicians 33. Jack Dorsey was 29 and unemployed ... then he built Twitter Will Oremus The New York Times has published an excerpt from tech reporter Nick Bilton's forthcoming book about the early days of Twitter. Those in search of juicy anecdotes and a Zuckerbergian anti-hero figure in the Twitter origin myth will not be disappointed. I won't keep you in suspense: it's Jack Dorsey. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/it-pro/business-it/jack-dorsey-was-29-and-unemployed--then-he-built-twitter-20131010-hv22b.html ASYLUM SEEKERS 34. Why should we care about lives lost at sea? Claudia Tazreiter A state funeral will be held for asylum seekers who drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa last week. What can Australians learn from the way Europe responds to such boat tragedies. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/tazreiter-lives-lost-at-sea/5014526 35. Exposed: Nauru asylum seekers brought to Australia to be deported admin Five Sri Lankan asylum seekers who spent a year on Nauru and were brought from Nauru to Curtin detention centre two months ago have been told they will be deported to Sri Lanka. One of them, a 42 year-old Sinhalese asylum seeker, is scheduled for removal tomorrow, Friday 11 October. http://www.refugeeaction.org.au/?p=2917 36. Laughing at Islam Irfan Yusuf The show features a combination of stand-up and skits which do more than just poke fun. But not all will find Hussain's humour a blast. Writing in The Australian, Chris Kenny objected to Hussain's appearance on Q&A which Kenny described as 'highly disturbing and dangerous' and 'an apologia for terrorism'. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38279#.UlZKi7eqpZY CLIMATE CHANGE 37. Study warns world's hottest years could be the coolest by mid-century Graham Readfearn Study warns world's hottest years could be the coolest by mid-century...If emissions keep rising, then biodiversity hotspots and poorest countries hit earliest as climate shifts http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2013/oct/10/scienceofclimatechange-climate-change 38. Building resilience to climate change Tim Morris Political leaders must join relief and aid organisations like World Vision in responding to the disasters of climate change that have already hit around the globe. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/morris-building-resilience-to-climate-change/5011646?WT.mc_id=newsmail 39. The carbon price is as good as dead James Wight We knew, long before Australia elected Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, that Abbott wanted to tear down the former government’s (already meagre) climate policy regime, particularly the carbon price. On election night, as Abbott’s Liberal/National Coalition stormed the House of Representatives, the question became whether the ragtag bunch of misfits elected to the Senate crossbenches would be inclined to help or hinder his agenda, and what deals he might have to make to pass his legislation. http://precariousclimate.com/2013/10/09/the-carbon-price-is-as-good-as-dead/ 40. As climate changes, animals move fast to escape the heat Stephen Williams & Brett Scheffers, James Cook University Australia is already feeling the effects of climate change, with record-breaking temperatures not just over summer, but over the past 12 months as well. Research suggests that such events are many times… http://theconversation.com/as-climate-changes-animals-move-fast-to-escape-the-heat-18511?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+10+October+2013+CID_c959eaa88371bc6b24ea9c960ec08d20&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=As%20climate%20changes%20animals%20move%20fast%20to%20escape%20the%20heat TODAY’S MAIN NEWS • ROULE REPORT — Issues of Today http://paper.li/RouleReport/1334728962 • AN EYE ON ABC NEWS: . Keeping the bastards who keep the bastards honest, honest http://www.abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/ • AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm • NEWS HEADLINES 11 October 2013 http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

Catching up

11/10/2013Another good line up of links. So much is happening, that one does not know where to begin. Today is the 24th of this Abbott government. Maybe with him back in the country, we can relax, not having to wonder what he will do next to embarrassed us.

jaycee

11/10/2013I see the OM. is desperately working hard to "play the ball" away from the LNP. rorting charge against Slipper in trying to bring the govt' down to the more argueable case of plain entitlements and "They all do it!" One detects an anxiety and a "try-hard" distraction at play..it's a pity Mr. Slipper doesn't shout a bit louder on the hypocracy of the affair and bring the AFP. "sweetheart deal" a little more into the light. It's not rorting that is the issue, it's the sedition of the party that is now in power, led by a man who cried "wolf" loudest and longest....and the MSM. still betray the that pillar of democracy ; the Forth Estate , that they so staunchly defended so few months ago!.....cowards!, liars!...traitors!

Ken

11/10/2013Martin Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I agree that other factors were also in play, which was part of what I was arguing - that some of those factors had more influence on the vote than Murdoch. The key issue of difference with those, like you, who have put the other side of the argument in their responses, is the [i]degree[/i] of influence Murdoch had and that, of course, is the key question. My own view is that we undermine Murdoch, not by blaming him for having an influence on the vote, but by finding the evidence that he did not have as much as influence as he thinks. In other words, we work towards ridiculing his efforts. The more we blame him, the more we empower him! As I have said to others, I think the evidence from western Sydney shows that there are 'cracks' appearing in the Murdoch influence. We need to work on them.

Ken

11/10/2013TT Always aim to please and knew from the outset thta the piece would create some different points of view. But see my response to Martin. I wish to undermine Murdoch by showing that he is not as powerful as he thinks and any evidence showing the 'cracks' in that influence, I will leap on. I am enjoying both sides of the discussion.

Catching up

11/10/2013http://wixxyleaks.com/2013/10/11/ray-of-light-fair-work-commission-drops-its-civil-case-against-craig-thomson/#comments FWA Commission now wants to mediate with Craig Thomson.. Something that should have happened three years ago, at least. Wonder when the charges against Slipper will also be withdrawn. Cannot be far away. Personally I would like to see all charges continue, where all those making the allegations, have to stand before a court and justify their stand. History shows, all the way back to Whitlam, that allegations of corruption made by the Coalition, all disappear as soon as they gain power. No longer of concern. The new government will not want the court proceedings to continue. Would rather set a a few quasi inquiries, that give them the results they desire.

Catching up

11/10/2013No rorting is not the main concern at this time./ What is of concern, is how much should the taxpayer pay, for a three year dummy spit, and electioneering of any party. Most of Abbott's expenses consisted of fronting the media in up to three states in one day, repeating all his slogans. None had anything to do, with the issues of the day. Abbott, in the last few days, has said this is so. Using charity events for political spiel, is a little dishonest. Yes, Pollie Pedal was indeed a good event, as long as MPs from all parties where allowed to compete. This is no longer the case, and is now a Liberal Party event.

TalkTurkey

11/10/2013These'd be hilarious if they weren't so tragically true! Some old wisdoms and observations I was emailed this morning. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~Aesop, Greek slave & fable author Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev, Russian Soviet politician When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Quoted in 'Clarence Darrow for the Defence' by Irving Stone. Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~John Quinton, American actor/writer Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer, "The Mark Twain of American Socialism." I offered my opponents a deal: "If they stop telling lies about me, I will stop telling the truth about them". ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952. A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. ~Texas Guinan, 19th century American businessman Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924 ~Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981) I am reminded of a joke: What happens if a politician drowns in a river? That is pollution. What happens if all of them drown? That is a solution!!!

Catching up

11/10/2013Ken, it is important that we do not allow Murdoch and the MSM to create the perception in the community, that this is a good government. We have to point out, and hold to account, all that is misreported. The one thing we have learnt over the last six years, it is not about fact, but perception. This is what Abbott and Co are most scared of. That is why he goes around with that scared and worried look on his face. We better make sure he keeps that look. We should be past attacking Murdoch, he is no longer of account. What we need to do, is ensure we challenge all the lies, that his media produce.

Ad astra reply

11/10/2013Martin Spalding, Ken, TT, Jaycee, Catching up I am enjoying the recent dialogue between you all about the 'Murdoch factor'. Of course it's a matter of degree; there are no absolutes, especially in politics. You piece Ken has generated thoughtful comment and different points of view. That is good for any political blog site. TT I really enjoyed your politician quotes. I shall file them. Isn't Mark Twain a genius!

Ad astra reply

11/10/2013Casablanca I'm working through your Cache. What a great collection. Everyone seeking to understand the standoff in the US legislature should read 'Christian delusions are driving the GOP insane', by Amanda Marcotte in 'Salon'. It is truly frightening. Let's not dismiss it as an American aberration. We have fundamentalist people here and politicians governed by their religious beliefs. We should be very wary.

Ken

11/10/2013TT Loved your quotes. Here are a few more, especially for Abbott: Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. [John Stuart Mill] A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits. [Woodrow Wilson] A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. [Franklin D Roosevelt] A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time. [Alfred E Wiggam] A conservative government is an organised hypocrisy. [Benjamin Disraeli]

42 long

11/10/2013Completely correct AD AS. I find this somewhat surprising as we now have much more knowledge of the universe we live in than ever before. Evolution of Virus's etc yet the older beliefs seem to be all pervading in some circles. The established religions have never welcomed new theories, especially ones that explain matters that were credited to the god of the period. The USA is not unique, but surely more extreme than here. Statistics I have seen show very high belief in the bible as the absolute word of God yet most don't know the name of the first chapter.

Michael

11/10/2013When it's trialled in Queensland http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-11/government-plans-cmc-power-boost-to-crack-organised-crime-gangs/5016392 it's planned for the whole country... ...in the Abbott Error.

Lucy

11/10/2013Thank you Casablanca for the wonderful work you do. I really appreciate the time and effort it must take to put all those wonderful reads together for us Swordsters.

Casablanca

11/10/2013Lucy, Thank you. I hope that you have found time between all that reading to pen something about your Election 2013 adventures.

42 long

11/10/2013Lucy did youtake votes from the incumbent War on trust? regards

Casablanca

11/10/2013Ad Astra: October 11. 2013 12:04 PM I agree with you that the mindset of the Tea Party is truly frightening. There are cautionary observations in that article by Amanda Marcotte (item 5 in CC above) that should not be dismissed simply because Australia is not so riven by Christian Fundamentalists. We have just been through a 3 year Tea Party inspired assault on the Australian polity led by Abbott. He talked down the economy mercilessly, denied climate change, and set up a campaign to discredit Gillard as unfit mainly because she was godless. These quotes from the article should not be dismissed lightly. [quote]crashing stock markets, soaring unemployment, and worldwide economic depression sounds bad, but for the Christian right, the alternative is fire and brimstone and God unleashing all sorts of hell on the world.[/quote] [quote]Average global temperatures are creeping up, but the majority of Christian conservatives are too worried about the supposed existential threats of abortion and gay rights to care.[/quote] [quote]Being able to blow past all the advice of experts just to make stuff up you want to believe isn’t a quality that is unique to fundamentalists, but as these budget negotiations are making clear, they do have a uniquely strong ability to lie to themselves about what is and isn’t a real danger to themselves and to the world.[/quote] [quote]It’s hard for the Christian fundamentalists who run the Republican Party now to worry about the serious economic danger they’re putting the world in, because they are swept up in worrying that President Obama is an agent of the devil and that the world is on the verge of mayhem and apocalypse if they don’t “stop” him somehow, presumably be derailing the Affordable Care Act.[/quote] [quote]...The Tea Party is actually driven primarily by fundamentalist Christians whose penchant for magical thinking and belief that they’re being guided by divine forces makes it tough for them to see the real world as it is. [/quote] http://www.salon.com/2013/10/10/christian_delusions_are_driving_the_gop_insane/

Ad astra

11/10/2013Casablanca I’ve been out and about most of the day, using my tablet to read your Cache whenever I could, until its battery ran out! All your offerings were of value; the one by Amanda Marcotte stood out. It explains so much, as your extracts demonstrate. Tea Party members and their Christian fundamentalist supporters are unconcerned with the facts, unmoved by experience, contemptuous of science, disdainful of logical reasoning, guided only by their beliefs no matter how out of harmony with the facts they are, and certain of their position, which they accept by allusion to their ‘faith’. They are thereby unable to be persuaded to a different view. For anyone of a scientific bent, or even those who prefer simple commonsense, attempts to ‘convert’ these individuals is pointless. Faith is all they need, all they rely upon. Everything else is superfluous. This is tragically dangerous. This is what politicians are up against!

Michael

11/10/2013Scott Morrison illegally arrived at a wedding... well, touched up the taxpayer to stay the night for it. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-11/morrison-becomes-latest-mp-to-repay-travel-entitlements/5017304 Who knew so many Liberals got married? From the age of the guests, second marriages? Third? Doesn't the Catholic Church have something to say about that? Are they all annulment seekers?

TalkTurkey

12/10/2013Good Morning Swordsters. Thank Dog for Mike Carlton, read the first part of the article (suggest skip the Rugby part) but DON'T MISS CHOPPER's COMMENT at the very end. DIAMOND! http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-is-a-bludger-20131011-2vdkq.html

Michael

12/10/2013Following up on TT's link to the Mike Carlton story above, there are other stories in the Fairfax press complementing it well. The very last clause in the very last sentence of this expenses-related article by Peter Hartcher http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbott-must-end-expense-perks-20131011-2vdvj.html exposes the rot at the core of The Abbott Error, of course. This article by Tom Allard http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-and-the-expenses-row-hands-out-of-the-cookie-jar-20131011-2vdvi.html is a comprehensive review of the expenses issue, and well worth for the catch-up, plus his view of what's to come. This story http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/quarter-of-frontbench-in-expenses-storm-20131011-2vdxb.html is a story about "quarters". A quarter of Abbott's frontbench are expenses rorters on record, and only a quarter of the questionably claimed (owed?) money has been paid back by them. Dollar amounts, dates, and slippery* explanations of why the money was 'justifiably claimed' all feature in these stories and in Mike Carlton's. All add up to the same bottom line - rip-offs from the party of rectitude and "living within our means". Except, of course, the Coalition is revealed as actually being the 'partiers within your means' with no "Thanks" to taxpayers, just gouging of them. * No pun intended.

Jason

12/10/2013Our guest on #insiders is the former speaker, Peter Slipper. He sits down w Barrie Cassidy in 1st formal interview since election panel is @MikeSeccombe @PhillipCoorey and Gerard Henderson & the delightful @cathywilcox1 w @mpbowers for Talking Pics #insiders

TalkTurkey

12/10/2013Emailed to me bymy friend Prof. Paul Scott, himself a brass bandsman as well as Professor of Pure Mathematics and now a photographer and archivist of churches throughout the wide Brown Land. My best gal J**** is half Norwegian, ooh that Viking blood runs deep, she hasn't seen this yet but she'll dig it. The rest is from Paul himself:- This is the Norwegian Royal Guard Regiment (equivalent to the British and Canadian Guards regiments). These guys give the USMC Band and Honor Guard and the Army's 1 BN 3d Infantry (The Old Guard) a run for their money. It is interesting how a cheesy Hollywood theme (from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly") can sound impressive when played by an elite military band. This is "River Dance" with boots and rifles! I can't remember ever seeing a display of precision to beat this! Those are US made Garand M-1 rifles (WWII), and they are heavy weapons (9 POUNDS EACH) also known for its balance!! When that one fellow goes on his own - YOU'VE NEVER SEEN A RIFLE SPUN THAT FAST! Unbelievable! [You better believe it! And those are real bayonets!TT] http://sorisomail.com/email/16993/exibicao-de-banda-militar--um-espectaculo-imperdivel.htmlhttp://sorisomail.com/email/16993/exibicao-de-banda-militar--um-espectaculo-imperdivel.html http://sorisomail.com/email/16993/exibicao-de-banda-militar--um-espectaculo-imperdivel.html Thanks Audrey ...

TalkTurkey

12/10/2013Casablanca You got us all freaked out now, about time too, Abborrrtt is just a local misbegotten version of Tea Partiers. The future is daunting but well what else is there to do but regroup and fight on. I have a feeling that whoever wins tomorrow Labor is going to get a lot more opportunity to fire shots at Abborrrttians than ever before that illegitimate election. Dear Reader If you're not an ALP Member atm well now is a good time to join. It's cheap and undemanding, just JOIN! Please. Australia needs you, and that is simply true. Michael Those are 3 very good links, Hartcher is a trick eh. Tune: Bringing in the Sheep (! :) ) Polishing Tony's turds! Cleaning up his words! Hartcher comes behind him Polishing Tony's turds!

jaycee

12/10/2013You know...That "suppository of all wisdom" must be doing the rounds in the OM. stable!.....I hope they "dunk it" before they insert it!

Ken

12/10/2013TT "Politicians and nappies should be changed frequently and all for the same reason." [Jose Maria de Eca de Queriz, translated from Portuguese, and with my own Australian translation of "diapers" to "nappies"]

Ken

12/10/2013Sorry should add de Queroz (note corrected spelling) was a Portuguese poet, novelist and diplomat 1845 -1900

Catching up

12/10/2013some are saying, we once again have a mi or party holding the government to Ransom. Is that really true. The minor party has no power, unless others go along with them. Yes, it is about the majority of votes on the floor of the house. Each MP has a mandate given to them by the electorate they represent. Each MP's vote carries the same value. That is the only mandate, that any PM can rely on. What the policies that bought them to power, play no weigh whatever. I believe that Abbott would have trouble finding many, that does not believe carbon emissions have to be dealt with, and a ETS is the way to go. Yes, what we have now. If Abbott believes otherwise, he would not, could not have voted against Rudd's ETS. Abbott has even written essays along the same limes. Howard has voiced similar beliefs. Wonder who paid for the clothes of the Abbott women, Where they gifts. If so, has Abbott declared such. We know they are made by a so called leading designer. One gets the impression, they are gifts. If I was the designer, I would want such knowledge hidden. Neither appeared to have enhanced the designs.

Catching up

12/10/2013Thanks Jason. Maybe interesting.Bet Cassidy fives him a hard time. Wonder why the courts are taking so long, to give a ruling on costs. It was said as the beginning, it would be a quick decision.

jaycee

12/10/2013Interesting to note, as a byline of history, that Edward Gibbon ascribed as the second principle of the destruction of Ancient Rome to the christians and their abhorrance to leave in place any writing, statue or monument of their pagan ancestry... The Italians themselves have a saying that what the barbarians didn't destroy, the Barbarini did!....(the Barbarini being a line of Popes!)

Casablanca

12/10/2013 CLIMATE CHANGE 1. Countries should make carbon pricing the cornerstone of climate policy. OECD Credible and consistent carbon pricing must be the cornerstone of government actions to tackle climate change, according to a new OECD report. Releasing the report Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies during a Lecture organised jointly with the London School of Economics, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said that a transformation of the global energy system is needed if countries hope to limit climate change to a 2ºC temperature increase from pre-industrial levels, as agreed by the global community. 2. Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies OECD This report brings together lessons learned from OECD analysis on carbon pricing and climate policies. A key component of this approach is putting an explicit price on every tonne of CO2 emitted. Explicit pricing instruments, however, may not cover all sources of emissions and will often need to be complemented by other policies that effectively put an implicit price on emissions. http://www.oecd.org/environment/climate-carbon.htm

Jason

12/10/2013From Bushfire Bill bushfirebill October 12, 2013 at 11:09 am Aguirre: I reckon I could summarise Hartcher’s column in about two lines: “Abbott’s past transgressions are standing in the way of his rightful destiny as a trusted and loved leader. We must find a way to wipe them from the slate.” It’s depressing that they feel the need to not only elevate Abbott to Supreme Statesman, but to do it so quickly. There’s no “dawning realization” a year down the track, for decency’s sake. No legislative body of work, or glittering Parliamentary performances. No policy outcomes, no polling feedback, no budget balancings, or surges in productivity and employment. All there have been are a couple of apologies (mostly for his own hamfisted behaviour) to bemused regional Prime Ministers and their nations, a marked dearth of information (usually one of the chief raw ingredients of any assessment of a politician’s success or otherwise), a few declarations of undying love to as many Asian leaders as possible, some guff about selling us down the river with quick-and-dirty trade agreements, the abandonment of half the nation’s population as viable Cabinet ministers, several reversals of policy garnished with denials they ever were policies in the first place, and rorts… lots of them, petty, trivial and mean, local polly pigs with their snouts in the trough. Yet, out of all this has come the Acme Statesman… just add water, poured on by fawning has-beens in the commentariat. There’s no class to it, no smoothness. One day we have a leering, lurking bovver boy, saying and doing whatever it takes to bring everything and everyone down to his level of boorishness. Next day we have a statesman – nuanced, considered and disciplined – doing good things that no-one else, not Gillard, not Rudd, no-one could do. To set this up you have to suspend disbelief and accept that a new PM, still wet behind the ears in the job, can get on a plane, jet up to Asia and – literally overnight, or a series of nights – heal all problems, cure all ills, and single-handedly reverse not only his own policies, but the feelings of his antagonists, converting them from contempt to companionship. You have to ignore that trade agreements and co-operative ventures between nations, currency parity deals, international business initiatives, export agreements, military collaborations, law enforcement agreements and meaningful friendships between nations take more than just a pumping handshake and some one-on-one bloke talk. They take years of behind the scenes hard work, negotiations and give and take. The details of such things are thrashed out not between leaders, but between officials, working long into the night, over years, going back and forth to their political masters, ironing out policy problems, examining the legal ramifications, crossing dotting I’s and crossing T’s (and meanwhile minding their P’s and Q’s as well). But suddenly, according to our immensly insightful media commentariat, all the Asian Prime Ministers and their nations, sullen at the way Abbott has characterized them for years, plus the Chinese Premier, are all sorted out, sitting pretty and content, sure now they have met their match and their mentor. If you read Mark Kenny, it only took a day; one single day, starting out with a hearty handshake and ending with a state dinner at which Abbott grovelled in apology (“I was just kidding SBY! Har-har-har!”). At least most of his colleagues in the toadying media gave it a week and a few more apologies and kow-tows before they dared start out on their paens of praise. Abbott was lucky to get out of Jakarta without his balls in a necklace around his neck as a memento, after all he’d said about them and the way they run their country. Ditto for Malaysia. I call it “survival”, at best. The Media has labelled it “diplomatic genius”. From grub to butterfly in the blink of an eye. They should have gotten David Attenborough to do a docco on him: Life In The Sewer. We’d read Abbott’s own musings on how the office makes the man, on how you mature as you grow, about how he hoped he could progress from pure politician to Great Leader, a man for all Australians to be proud of.But who knew it would happen so quickly? Yes, there are the rorts and the cheapness of claiming for mates weddings and footy matches, of charging the taxpayer for plotting to frame the (then) Prime Minister as a hands-in-the-till “Bonnie” to her union-thug-boyfriend’s “Clyde”, but Hartcher thinks Abbott can turn even this nasty business into a triumph. And if Abbott succeeds, you can bet your sweet bippy that Pin Stripe Pete, one of Australian journalism’s greatest and most embarrassing fanboy crawlers, will be there to write it up. Come to think of it, even if Abbott doesn’t turn the Rorts sow’s ear into a political silk purse (there’s a pun in there somewhere), one suspects Hartcher will tell us he did, anyway. There’s no prophecy better than a self-fulfilling one. It’s all so unseemly, so contrived, so cringeworthy the way that they have turned Abbott from a brainless boofhead into Superman so quickly. What polls there are have stayed stubbornly grim, even dipping for the government a little. The punters don’t seem to be too impressed. There may not be too much Buyer’s Remorse at this stage, but their certainly doesn’t seem to be a lot of Confirmation Bias either. We have no parliament. We have no press conferences. There is little information on just what is going on. Yet Abbott is transformed. The leering, “sexy beast”, strewing double-entendres in the path of anything wearing a skirt (including netball girls), father to Harry Groupie virgins, rorter extraordinaire, endorphin junkie and bodily self abuser is a changed man. We are told we should ignore his past indiscretions which were just awful (NOW they tell us!) and reconsider the man as Prime Minister. Where Julia Gillard had everything about her – her breasts, her ankles, her backside, her nose, her voice, her hair, her thighs, her glasses, her shoes, her jackets, her boyfriends, her sexual activites under the flag, her dog, her job from twenty years back, and even her earlobes – put under a malignant microscope, Tony Abbott gets a free pass on all of his own (and many) flaws. It’s unsustainable, of course. The question is how long will it persist. Real damage can be done while it does.

Catching up

12/10/2013I suspect many of the leaders know too much about this country, to believe Abbott represents us. Many spent childhoods here being educated, and visit regularly. The fear ism that all will know Australia is open for business. The business of rorting and pillaging. That is the danger that Abbott presents.

Catching up

12/10/2013Stephen Conroy, being very honest. Worth a read. By the way, much of what he has said, is being misinterpret. Anything new. [quote]Former communications minister Stephen Conroy has conceded construction targets for the national broadband network were "overly ambitious" and overestimated the capacity of the construction industry. In his first public speech since resigning as the communications minister when Kevin Rudd was reinstated as leader of the Labor Party, Senator Conroy also said the Liberal Party's failure to do a cost-benefit analysis of its national broadband network after calling on Labor to do so was "bullshit" and "hypocrisy". But he admitted Labor had not realised the scale of the challenge when planning the NBN rollout.[/quote] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/it-pro/government-it/nbn-rollout-was-too-ambitious-stephen-conroy-20131011-hv244.html

Catching up

12/10/2013More. [quote]Despite this, he said the project had been "well managed" if looked at as a whole and not just in terms of "how many leads have been put into homes over the last three years". Senator Conroy said the debate on the merits of a cost-benefit analysis had been had "up hill and down dale". "The hypocrisy of the [Liberal Party] has now shown," he said. "They're not having a cost-benefit analysis. So this [debate] is complete bullshit." Conroy also slammed the Liberal Party in his speech — titled "Nation Building the Digital Economy" — for cutting $42 million in funding from National ICT Australia. He said the cuts would "dramatically reduce" the number of students able to complete an information and communications technology PhD. Senator Conroy's frank assessment of the NBN under his management came as supporters of fibre-to-the-premises broadband raised more than $26,000 for an advertising campaign in Malcolm Turnbull's electorate to try and convince the communications minister to kee[/quote] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/it-pro/government-it/nbn-rollout-was-too-ambitious-stephen-conroy-20131011-hv244.html

Catching up

12/10/2013https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkbQG9GSsv-bdHZRVm9kX1VVRnl2c01Ub0I5NGNMN2c#gid=0

Casablanca

12/10/2013 TT, Michael & All It has taken too long for the MSM to focus on rorts but the matter has well and truly captured their attention in today's press. TT & Michael thanks for the articles that you drew to our attention. I am still on my campaign to source & cite articles in The Canberra Times because, at this stage, it does not have a paywall. The SMH & The Age allow 30 visits per month, roughly 1 article per day, before visitors hit the paywall. So here are the very same articles in their Canberra Times incarnation, plus a couple more. [b]ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES[/b] 1. Tony Abbott is 'a bludger' Mike Carlton The Prime Minister is a bludger. A loaded word, I know, but it is a perfectly good Australian expression and it describes exactly what Tony Abbott was up to as he swanned around from bike ride to fun run at the taxpayers' expense. He was bludging on us. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-is-a-bludger-20131011-2vdkq.html#ixzz2hUMA93Jn 2. Tony Abbott must end expense perks Peter Hartcher The politicians' expenses scandal is a chance for the Abbott government to draw a line under bad practice and strike a blow for public trust. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbott-must-end-expense-perks-20131011-2vdvj.html 3. Tony Abbott and the expenses row: Hands out of the cookie jar Tom Allard The Prime Minister would do well to trade Lycra for action on MPs' entitlements. the famously competitive Abbott said. "It's mental therapy for me so I think it's very important I get as much exercise as I can to ensure I have a stable mind for politics." http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-and-the-expenses-row-hands-out-of-the-cookie-jar-20131011-2vdvi.html 4. Quarter of frontbench in expenses storm Jonathan Swan, Lisa Visentin A quarter of Tony Abbott's frontbench is now embroiled in the expenses scandal after Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert repaid taxpayer funds for attending a colleague's wedding. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/quarter-of-frontbench-in-expenses-storm-20131011-2vdxb.html 5. Tony Abbott ponders the 'liar' option as Palmer pressure looms Jack Waterford "I want to give a clear commitment no matter what result is delivered - there will be no minority government under the Coalition. We will not do any deals with independents and the Greens.'' Sample stock campaign promise by Tony Abbott, September 6 http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbott-ponders-the-liar-option-as-palmer-pressure-looms-20131011-2ve6i.html#ixzz2hURdsdbZ 6. PM won't wait for new Senate to repeal taxes David Wroe The Abbott government plans to move fast on legislation such as scrapping the carbon tax in a bid to turn the heat on Labor despite being likely to face an easier ride in the post-July Senate with the entry of Clive Palmer's alliance. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/pm-wont-wait-for-new-senate-to-repeal-taxes-20131011-2vdx9.html 7. Abbott and his very sorry lot Mark Kenny Apologies have become almost de rigueur for new Australian prime ministers. But what is surprising is the extent of it, and the nagging sense that it was part of the plan all along - that it was, perish the thought, pre-mediated. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbott-and-his-very-sorry-lot-20131011-2vdvh.html

Curi-Oz

12/10/2013It amuses me constantly that the Liberal Party leader keeps saying that he will not lead a minority government, whilst all the time has the National Party as part of an existing Coalition, which is referred to as such by both Liberal and National Party MPs and the MSM. According to the AEC, the LNP consists of four parties that won the following number of seat, for a grand total of 90 seats in the House of Reps. Liberal = 58 Liberal National Party = 22 The Nationals = 9 Country Liberals (NT) = 1 I don't know why they don't just give up and admit that they are just a single party. Or would that be too honest?

Casablanca

12/10/2013Did somebody here mention Western Sydney? I just found this oldie but goodie from February this year. No policy for you! So. Western Sydney. To hear Those In The Know tell it, it’s pretty much Fromelles. Or Ypres. Or whatever. Pick your overlaboured battlefield stalemate metaphor, because the reverence with which our major political parties are treating it suggests that election 2013 will be won and lost on the streets of Penrith or Mount Druitt...Today, among more informed, engaged voters, the phrase ‘western Sydney’ tends to come with a barely veiled undercurrent of ‘bogan’, ‘racist’, ‘idiot’. http://ausopinion.com/2013/02/15/no-policy-for-you/

Casablanca

13/10/2013 CASABLANCA'S CACHE for Sunday, 13 October, 2013: 53 items ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES 1. Do politicians need income management? El Gibbs Income management is intended to “help you manage your money to meet essential household needs and expenses. Through Income Management, you can learn to better manage your finances in the long term.” Sounds like a perfect system for those politicians who seem to be having a little bit of trouble managing their own public monies. http://ausopinion.com/2013/10/12/do-politicians-need-income-management/ 2. Tony Abbott is 'a bludger' Mike Carlton The Prime Minister is a bludger. A loaded word, I know, but it is a perfectly good Australian expression and it describes exactly what Tony Abbott was up to as he swanned around from bike ride to fun run at the taxpayers' expense. He was bludging on us. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-is-a-bludger-20131011-2vdkq.html#ixzz2hUMA93Jn 3. Tony Abbott must end expense perks Peter Hartcher The politicians' expenses scandal is a chance for the Abbott government to draw a line under bad practice and strike a blow for public trust. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbott-must-end-expense-perks-20131011-2vdvj.html 4. Tony Abbott and the expenses row: Hands out of the cookie jar Tom Allard The Prime Minister would do well to trade Lycra for action on MPs' entitlements. the famously competitive Abbott said. "It's mental therapy for me so I think it's very important I get as much exercise as I can to ensure I have a stable mind for politics." http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-and-the-expenses-row-hands-out-of-the-cookie-jar-20131011-2vdvi.html 5. Quarter of frontbench in expenses storm Jonathan Swan, Lisa Visentin A quarter of Tony Abbott's frontbench is now embroiled in the expenses scandal after Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert repaid taxpayer funds for attending a colleague's wedding. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/quarter-of-frontbench-in-expenses-storm-20131011-2vdxb.html 6. Claiming expenses for a wedding? This is an insult to all taxpayers Van Badham We have been footing the bill for politicians to attend races, weddings – even Ironman competitions. Those now in charge of spending should take note: don't mock the Australian people http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/10/claiming-expenses-for-a-wedding-this-rorting-is-an-insult-to-all-taxpayers 7. Expenses: how legislation was rushed through to reduce transparency Peter Timmins FOI coverage of parliament is accepted in the UK, Scotland, South Africa, India, Ireland and Mexico - so why did it take mere minutes for Australia's main parties to restrict parliamentary scrutiny? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/09/expenses-how-legislation-was-rushed-through-to-reduce-transparency 8. Abbott can't simply ride out the expenses furore Barrie Cassidy The problem arises ... when there is a belief that one person has a right to a good or service that someone else will pay for. It is this sense of entitlement that afflicts not only individuals but also entire societies. And governments are to blame for portraying taxpayer's money as something removed from the labour of another person.(Joe Hockey's "age of entitlement" speech 2012). http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-11/cassidy-abbott-cant-simply-ride-out-the-expenses-furore/5014310 9. A new word for hypocrite Victoria Rollison At first I thought enough had been said on this matter. I thought all bases were covered with various reasons for varying forms of outrage about the scandal. However there is still one thing which I haven’t seen said, which I feel needs to be added to the pile. And this relates to the Liberals, their sense of entitlement and the way that this sense of entitlement clashes quite inconsistently with their rabid resentment of anyone who works in the public sector. http://theaimn.com/2013/10/12/a-new-word-for-hypocrite/ 10. Register of Members' Interests: Tony Abbott (13 pages) So Abbott family only have loans but no assets? No 'household or personal effect' valued at $7500 or more? Also, 'no dependent children' so why does the taxpayer still seem to be picking up some things on the tab? http://www.openaustralia.org/regmem/scan/register_interests_10001.pdf … 11. MP expenses: Are the rules clear? Parliamentarians on both sides of politics - including the Prime Minister - have been claiming expenses to attend weddings, sporting events and even ski trips...Rorting of expenses is a big issue. Last year taxpayers shelled out a whopping $100 million in MP entitlements. More than a third of that was in travel expenses. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-11/anthony-albanese-mp-entitlements/5012086 POLITICS OF INFORMATION 12. Competence, discipline, strategy, and timing Andrew Elder This government lives or dies by its competence. Rorting Travel Allowance is not a hallmark of competence...This government's entire reason for being is completely negated if the case can be made that it is no better than the previous government... Opponents of this government should be prepared for laughter to be as effective in rebutting this government as concerted fire-with-fire opposition. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ SOURCES ON PARLIAMENTARY ENTITLEMENTS & EXPENDITURE 13. Parliamentarians' Entitlements The Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) has prepared the reports (listed on this site) on expenditure against entitlements accessed by Parliamentarians, former Parliamentarians and surviving spouses or de facto partners of former Parliamentarians, in accordance with the relevant legislation. http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/parliamentarians-reporting/ 14. Review of Parliamentary Entitlements Barbara Belcher, Chairperson. April 2010 http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/review-of-parliamentary-entitlements-committee-report/docs/review-of-parliamentary-entitlements-committee-report.pdf 15. Review of the Administration of Parliamentary Entitlements by the Department of Finance and Deregulation (80 pages) Helen Williams. January 2011 http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/review_of_the_administration_of_parliamentary_entitlements/docs/review_parliamentary_entitlements.pdf?v=2 16. Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, Senators and Members Entitlements' Handboook Where you are unsure of an entitlement, please contact your Entitlements Manager before taking any action or decision on the basis of any material contained in these publications alone. http://maps.finance.gov.au/entitlements_handbooks/senators-and-members/Senators_and_Members_Entitlements.asp 17. Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, Senators and Members Entitlements' Handboook http://maps.finance.gov.au/entitlements_handbooks/senators-and-members/Senators_and_Members_Entitlements.asp 18. Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, Senators and Members Entitlements' Legislative Framework http://maps.finance.gov.au/entitlements_handbooks/senators-and-members/Part_One_Introduction_-_1.2_Legislative_Framework.asp 19. Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, Provision of Entitlements and Accountability http://maps.finance.gov.au/entitlements_handbooks/senators-and-members/Part_One_Introduction_-_1.3_Provision_of_Entitlements_and_Accountability.asp 20. Department of Finance, Parliamentarian's Entitlements Reports 2008 - 2012 http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/parliamentarians-reporting/ POLITICS 21. Tony Abbott ponders the 'liar' option as Palmer pressure looms Jack Waterford "I want to give a clear commitment no matter what result is delivered - there will be no minority government under the Coalition. We will not do any deals with independents and the Greens.'' Sample stock campaign promise by Tony Abbott, September 6 http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbott-ponders-the-liar-option-as-palmer-pressure-looms-20131011-2ve6i.html#ixzz2hURdsdbZ 22. PM won't wait for new Senate to repeal taxes David Wroe The Abbott government plans to move fast on legislation such as scrapping the carbon tax in a bid to turn the heat on Labor despite being likely to face an easier ride in the post-July Senate with the entry of Clive Palmer's alliance. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/pm-wont-wait-for-new-senate-to-repeal-taxes-20131011-2vdx9.html 23. Abbott and his very sorry lot Mark Kenny Apologies have become almost de rigueur for new Australian prime ministers. But what is surprising is the extent of it, and the nagging sense that it was part of the plan all along - that it was, perish the thought, pre-mediated. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbott-and-his-very-sorry-lot-20131011-2vdvh.html 24. Palmer set to be in the new Senate’s driving seat Zareh Ghazarian Perhaps the most significant player in the new Senate will be the Palmer United Party, which had a major impact on the 2013 election result. http://theconversation.com/palmer-set-to-be-in-the-new-senates-driving-seat-19055?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Weekend+Conversation&utm_content=The+Weekend+Conversation+CID_74064a47949bcbf1f60125f8ba3a40ed&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Palmer%20set%20to%20be%20in%20the%20new%20Senates%20driving%20seat 25. Policies explained: What does the Palmer United Party stand for? Daniel Miller http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-11/palmer-united-party-policies/5016266 26. “Labor insiders” Ed Butler Just the other day, Katherine Murphy was widely and justifiably praised for a smart, considerate review of Jonathan Green’s new book, The Year My Politics Broke. In it, she effectively endorses Green’s thesis that both individually and symbiotically, politics and political journalism are in a pretty dark place, but holds out perhaps more hope than he does for a recovery. http://ausopinion.com/2013/10/10/labor-insiders/ 27. Is the ALP leadership vote really that empowering? As we come to the end of the ALP’s first ever rank-and-file leadership ballot (votes close today and the new leader will be announced on Sunday) it is worth looking at how it has all gone. One thing we can certainly take out of it – and this is not unexpected – is that the ballot seems to have invigorated many in the ALP membership. Looking at the reactions of my friends in the Party, I get a real sense of empowerment by the process. http://ausopinion.com/2013/10/11/is-the-alp-leadership-vote-really-that-empowering/ 28. Labor's experiment in democracy doesn't end here Joff Lelliott With the winner of the Labor's newly democratised leadership ballot to be revealed on Sunday, 13 October, 2013 eyes should turn to how the Liberals, Nationals and Greens respond. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-11/lelliott-labors-experiment-in-democracy-doesnt-end-here/5016316 SOCIAL MEDIA, OPEN JOURNALISM, TECHNOLOGY & PRIVACY 29. The Beginner's Guide to the Hashtag Rebecca Hiscott If you’re a social media novice, hashtags — those short links preceded by the pound sign (#) — may seem confusing and unnecessary. But they are integral to the way we communicate online, and it’s important to know how to use them (even though some people, like Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, are not the biggest fans). Plus, they can be a lot of fun. http://mashable.com/2013/10/08/what-is-hashtag/# 30. Struggling Media Empire Seeks Volunteers Dan Rowden It seems Fairfax Media needs your help. No doubt they’re running so low on cash they have no staff to do their own research. An unnamed Sydney Morning Herald scribe recently posted a sleuth soliciting spiel requesting the services of amateur Sherlocks in relation to the pollie perks and public purse purloining scandal. What struck me most is the sheer hide of it. They want you to do their jobs, apparently. http://theaimn.com/2013/10/12/struggling-media-empire-seeks-volunteers/ 31. Ian Katz: 'Open journalism has transformed the Guardian's news coverage' The way the Guardian reports news has changed forever thanks to new technology, which has allowed greater engagement with our readers and a revolution in immediacy http://www.theguardian.com/media/video/2012/feb/29/ian-katz-open-journalism-news-video 32. Apps are fine but I prefer my own body of work Annabel Crabb Any smartphone can already do more for you than the human hand. There are apps for notemaking, apps for lists, apps for phone numbers and addresses and anything else you could possibly want to record for a limited but urgent period. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/apps-are-fine-but-i-prefer-my-own-body-of-work-20131012-2vf3r.html#ixzz2hWVnwFel 33. Intuition Pumps and the Privacy Debate OnlyTheSangfroid The Greens’ most vocal advocate for cyber-rights, Senator Scott Ludlam, has penned an argument over on New Matilda about six ways to fight surveillance by the State on Australian citizens. http://ausopinion.com/2013/10/12/intuition-pumps-and-the-privacy-debate/ 34. Six Ways To Fight Surveillance Scott Ludlam It's time to reverse the assumptions of the 'war on terror'. Citizens have a right to privacy and whistleblowers a right to justice. Here's how we can push back, writes Greens Senator Scott Ludlam https://newmatilda.com//2013/10/11/six-ways-fight-surveillance 35. When it comes to freedom of speech, be careful what you wish for OnlyTheSangfroid When people who agree with us are silenced, we demand a bill of rights to protect our freedom of expression. But who ends up paying for our free speech? http://ausopinion.com/2013/10/09/when-it-comes-to-freedom-of-speech-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/ 36. A Clash of Cultures: Hate Speech, Taboos, Blasphemy, and the Role of News Media (42 pages) Jane Sasseen This report examines the intense debate about the rights of countries or communities to restrict content viewed as blasphemous or objectionable in their cultures and how this is affecting the international news media landscape. Chapters include The Role of the Press Around the Globe; Innocence of Muslims and Other Disputes; Where Does the Line Get Drawn?;Tech Companies as Gatekeepers; and The Implications for Media Training. http://cima.ned.org/sites/default/files/CIMA-Hate%20Speech.pdf 37. Open web journalism: where conversations are more likely to give us the truth David Holmes The one indulgence in theory that Viner affords, following Thomas Pettitt ..is that digital culture is ushering in a rebalancing of media toward a world before print: one where conversation, rumour and the “passing on” of information from point to point – that Twitter is famous for – is challenging the galaxy of the print era. http://theconversation.com/open-web-journalism-where-conversations-are-more-likely-to-give-us-the-truth-19056 GENDER INEQUALITY 38. Sarah Lacy Writes Every Female-Penned Defense of Gender Inequality Ever Amanda Marcotte ..there is a kerfuffle over the revelation that Twitter's board, investors, and almost all of its executives are male. This is playing out by the book: The initial criticisms, the defensive retorts, the anger at the defensive retorts. Now for the next phase: A woman gallantly gallops in, ready to absolve the men in her community of sexism and scold other women for being tedious feminists, thereby setting herself up as one of the "good ones," ready to absorb the praise and adoration of the menfolk. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/10/09/sarah_lacy_s_defense_of_twitter_an_outstanding_example_of_the_form.html 39. Twitter’s female “problem” — This is why mobs don’t appoint public company boards Sarah Lacy I can’t believe this debate about whether Twitter is an awful company, simply because everyone on its board has a Y-chromosome, is still going on. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/10/09/sarah_lacy_s_defense_of_twitter_an_outstanding_example_of_the_form.html RACIAL INEQUALITY 40. Australian feminists need to talk about race Kelly Briggs Aboriginal and Australian women of colour are being left behind in the fight for a place at the table. Australian feminists must join the fight for racial diversity http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/11/australian-feminists-need-to-talk-about-race 41. Why 'Indigenous Policy' Doesn't Work Michael Winkler Tony Abbott didn't spend his first week as PM in Yirrkala, as promised - but even if he had, it would have provided only one small snapshot of diverse Indigenous Australia, writes Michael Winkler https://newmatilda.com/2013/10/09/why-indigenous-policy-doesnt-work LEADERSHIP 42. Human Relations Journal (Abstracts) Simon Copland The social construct of leadership is viewed as a myth that functions to reinforce existing social beliefs and structures about the necessity of hierarchy and leaders in organizations. http://hum.sagepub.com/content/45/2/113.abstract ECONOMICS 43. Governing for all of us or just for business? Ross Gittins Will it run the country to please its business backers or to benefit all of us? Because the notion that what big business wants of government always coincides with what's best for the rest of us is a fairytale only a chief executive could believe. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/governing-for-all-of-us-or-just-for-business-20131011-2ve6e.html 44. Borrowing from the Future — Except that We Aren't Peter Dorman The New York Times featured an utterly clueless op-ed by Stephen D. King (not the horror writer, at least not intentionally). It would take too long to go through all the errors and misrepresentations he managed to pull together, but one in particular deserves mention, since it is a common meme: fiscal deficits mean that “we are borrowing from future generations”. http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/borrowing-from-future-except-that-we.html 45. When Wealth Disappears STEPHEN D. KING AS bad as things in Washington are — the federal government shutdown since Tuesday, the slim but real potential for a debt default, a political system that seems increasingly ungovernable — they are going to get much worse, for the United States and other advanced economies, in the years ahead. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/07/opinion/when-wealth-disappears.html?_r=0 NBN 46. NBN rollout was too ambitious: Stephen Conroy Ben Grubb Former communications minister Stephen Conroy has conceded construction targets for the national broadband network were "overly ambitious" and overestimated the capacity of the construction industry. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/it-pro/government-it/nbn-rollout-was-too-ambitious-stephen-conroy-20131011-hv244.html 47. $26,000 raised for NBN campaign in Malcolm Turnbull's electorate Lucy Battersby An online crowd funding group has raised more than $26,000 within two days to fund ads in community newspapers calling on the minister to ''build the NBN that Australia is asking for''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/it-pro/government-it/26000-raised-for-nbn-campaign-in-malcolm-turnbulls-electorate-20131011-hv243.html 48. Ziggy Switkowski's NBN appointment sparks shareholder revolt Oliver Milman Executive chairman's commitments to other companies, including Suncorp, raise concerns he will be 'overloaded' http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/oct/10/ziggy-switkowski-nbn-shareholder-revolt?CMP=twt_gu CLIMATE CHANGE 49. Countries should make carbon pricing the cornerstone of climate policy OECD Credible and consistent carbon pricing must be the cornerstone of government actions to tackle climate change...Releasing the report Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies OECD Secretary-General said that a transformation of the global energy system is needed if countries hope to limit climate change to a 2ºC temperature increase from pre-industrial levels, as agreed by the global community. http://www.oecd.org/environment/climate-carbon.htm 50. Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies OECD This report brings together lessons learned from OECD analysis on carbon pricing and climate policies. A key component of this approach is putting an explicit price on every tonne of CO2 emitted. Explicit pricing instruments, however, may not cover all sources of emissions and will often need to be complemented by other policies that effectively put an implicit price on emissions. http://www.oecd.org/environment/climate-carbon.htm 51. Australian PlantBank opens with mission to protect and preserve theguardian.com The Australian PlantBank, opened on Friday at the Australian Botanic Garden, will conserve and research the nation's unique flora...it aims to be the 'ultimate insurance policy' and includes the largest native plant seed bank in the country http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/11/australian-plantbank-opens-with-mission-to-protect-and-preserve?CMP=soc_568 HEALTH & WELLBEING 52. Smoking even deadlier than previously thought, Australian study finds Sax Institute Two-thirds of smokers' deaths linked to their habit and smoking cuts 10 years from lifespan, comprehensive study shows. The four-year analysis of health records in the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study shows even moderate smoking is a major killer. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/11/smoking-deadlier-than-thought-study?CMP=soc_568 53. Preview: ABC’s Redesign my Brain with Todd Sampson Neil Levy A new three-part series to be screened on the ABC (Program 1 on 10 October) caters to this fascination with brain elasticity, and to .. hopes and fears about aging. In Redesign my Brain, advertising company executive and media personality Todd Sampson is both the host and the guinea pig. http://theconversation.com/preview-abcs-redesign-my-brain-with-todd-sampson-18756 TODAY’S MAIN NEWS • ROULE REPORT — Issues of Today http://paper.li/RouleReport/1334728962 • AN EYE ON ABC NEWS: . Keeping the bastards who keep the bastards honest, honest http://www.abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/ • AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm • NEWS HEADLINES 13 October 2013 http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/ ###############################

Michael

13/10/2013Casablanca, good morning, and thanks for your formidable Cache this morning. Also for your no-paywall suggestion re The Canberra Times. I've long used http://www.smh.com.au/text/index.html to read the SMH without all the pictures, ads and other add-ons, and have yet to hit the paywall in this stripped-down presentation. It IS stripped down, though, and not as intuitively navigable as all those pics on the full content page allow by beguiling the eyes. No paywall that I've hit, though. The other possible option for the SMH is http://m.smh.com.au/ which is the Mobile version. It does have at least one pic per page, though otherwise stripped to the text articles, but I've never used it enough to hit a paywall if there is one. For now, the best of both worlds is definitely the Canberra Times option. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Whenever I find late-entry or obscure articles in Fairfax that have escaped your Caching eye, I'll do my best to provide the Canberra Times link for them. Thanks for all your excellent trawling and pure gold delivery of the Net's newsy nuggets.

jaycee

13/10/2013It will be a telling moment when Slipper fronts Bazz Cazz on insiders, not so much for what he might say, but for what he has been forbidden to mention.....you can guarantee Brandy-brandella has been on the blower "advising" the ABC. ...sorry!..."advising" Mark Scott inc. ...what would be best left out of the interview.

TalkTurkey

13/10/2013Casablanca You are piling wonder on wonder on wonder here. Lynnie is the first wonder. You are a wonder in your own right. That you should have stepped up to the plate to take over seamlessly from our Tweety Bird - that is beyond ordinary wonderful. You spoil the rest of us in the Fighting 5th Estate daily. The tradition you are continuing is incredibly important. Lyn changed the face of linking in this country. The Political Sword became the Hub that it is based hugely on her work. Without your continuance of it, (even with the Team doing its best to fill Ad Astra's great big shoes), TPS would be a far lesser site and the whole 5th Estate the poorer. And the amazing continuous record that is archived here would be at an end. Thank you so much Casablanca. And GO TEAM!

Catching up

13/10/2013Well at least Ashbey-gate got a mention, I found that Slipper was treated better than I expected.43934298 24

Casablanca

13/10/2013 [b]TWEET from ALP[/b] Australian Labor ‏@AustralianLabor 11m Caucus will meet at 2pm where the results of the caucus ballot will be combined with the members vote to decide the new #LaborLeader.

Casablanca

13/10/2013 52.02% it's Shorten

Ad astra

13/10/2013Folks Here's a message from Chris Bowen: [b]With a Caucus vote of 63.95% and a membership vote of 40.08% which totals 52.02%, the new Leader is Bill Shorten. [/b]

Catching up

13/10/2013Shorten in many disappointed. Now is the time, not to give us. We must have to hold Shorten to account, along with Abbott. I am happy to see Albanese in the role he now holds. I suspect, over the coming months, that is going to be the most important one. Being leader is not the be all in any Opposition,. One should focus on the team, not the leader. Media is already talking down the process. We must be careful, we do not make their job easy.

Casablanca

13/10/2013 [b]Happy as a pig in perks[/b] Tom Allard It is impossible to get detailed and definitive figures for entitlements. A Fairfax Media analysis has found each member of Parliament now receives a minimum of more than $500,000 a year in salary, expenses, allowances and perks. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/happy-as-a-pig-in-perks-20131011-2vdt4.html

Catching up

13/10/2013Will be interesting to see who caucus piks for the shadow front bench. Also Deputy. With Shorten, I have a feeling there is less chance of seeing Rudd back. Then it is up to caucus, not Shorten, I believe.

Catching up

13/10/2013Maybe, Palmer is right. follow the example of the USA. They are given a set amount, and have to live within it. Even keep what they do not spend. Gillard qhick off the mark, with congratulations.

Michael

13/10/2013Shorten has (the opportunity) to live up to his name. Shorten 'The Abbott Error'. Shorten it to a footnote in Australia's history. Shorten Abbott. To nothing.

Catching up

13/10/2013So he wants GG to stay until next March. That says, there will be no DD called before then.

Catching up

13/10/2013 [quote] ......WikiLeaks: Shorten seeks US approval for prime ministership AUG 30, 2011 12:38PM A confidential cable leaked today by WikiLeaks from the US consulate in Melbourne contains an extraordinary portrait of federal Labor MP Bill Shorten as a power hungry sycophant and contains similar allegations from last year that the foreign power is being provided detailed inside information about government ministers and the ALP. The cable, covering a meeting on the 11th June 2009, appears to be in part an audition piece, with Shorten presenting his Prime Ministerial credentials to the US Consul General. In the leaked document he talks about his ambition, criticises the union movement, plays up his friendship with Melbourne business elites, and is disappointed about being overlooked in a recent cabinet reshuffle….[/quote] http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/30/wikileaks-shorten-seeks-us-approval-for-prime-ministership/ Reply

42 long

13/10/2013Pretty poor form for a foreigner to provide material couched in those terms. Never trust out of hand any comment from the USA on Left wing candidates. Generally they don't want them to be around. Am I sceptical of the purpose? YES. Why? I'm not young anymore. Remember how they treated David Lange? the NZ labor PM.

Ad astra

13/10/2013Folks Posted just now: [i]Tony Abbott's 'Cone of Silence'[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?