Who’s winning the RSPT debate?

It’s now a month since the Henry Review was made public along with the Government’s decision to endorse an RSPT, although there were rumours that this was to be the case for weeks beforehand.  Where is the debate now? Who is winning?

It seems that although the Government was out of the blocks first with its messages, the miners have had more impact as far as one can judge from the MSM and the polls.  The critical question for the Government is how can it regain momentum and counter the mining industry’s strident opposition to the details of the RSPT?

The last piece Is it that hard to sell the RSPT? suggested that the Government was doing a poor job in selling its RSPT.  Today’s Nielsen poll, as dissected by Possum on Pollytics, confirms this, as does a Newspoll in marginal seats.  Today’s Essential Report too shows that the miners’ campaign is having more impact than the Government’s. 

Now the Government has begun TV promotion, which is bound to have greater impact. It badly needs something better than it’s had.  You can see two of the TV promotional pieces on Peter Martin’s blog site under At last - some good communication fromthe government about the RSPT.

The Government produced a specific paper on the RSPT – The Resource Super Profits Tax- a fair return to the nation that arose from the Henry Tax Review. I couldn’t find a publication date.  It is a typical Government paper couched in the precise and somewhat archaic language that bureaucrats use.  It is informative for those who seek the detail it contains, but not educational for the general public, as almost none would bother to read it through even if they were interested in the RSPT.  It is not until page 26 that the threshold at which the super profits kicks in is mentioned - the long-term bond rate.  Yet this is a crucial point in the debate.  Perhaps the most telling graph, one that makes the case for the tax, does not appear until page 10 and even then it is complicated by captions (LHS and RHS) for which no explanation is given.  While one cannot expect such a document to be a ‘sales pitch’, one specifically designedfor this purpose should have been prepared at the same time as selling the tax is as least as important as getting the details into the public domain.

I discovered today that the Government has a website A tax plan for our future Simpler. Fairer. Stronger. It says its commencement date for radio was May 29 and TV June 6.   This is the first time I’ve seen this website and I’ve been looking!  On a page headed Public Information Campaign there are videos (the same as those on Peter Martin’s blog site), and several audio pieces for use on radio. 

In contrast, let’s look at what the Minerals Council of Australia has on its website Keep Mining Strong, which has been around for a while – it doesn’t have a publication date either, so I don’t know when they put it up.  It is attractively set out and easy to navigate.  While few would bother, it is educational as well as informative, and has had a head start over the Government site.  The MCA’s press release sets out what it wants on the table for the RSPT discussions – everything.  It denies the oft-heard assertion from Treasury, Government and economists that there is a two-speed economy.

On a website addressing the RSPT directly, The Daily Bludge, J J Fiasson has an informative Mining Tax Facts Site.  It is well worth a visit.

That’s what the proponents and opponents say – what do the commentators say? There are many pieces – here is a selection.

Mark Bahnisch on Larvatus Prodeo on June 5 in What if the mining industry backsdown? concludes: If, say, the government agrees to exempt existing projects and fiddle a bit with the tax’s design, under the guise of the promised “generous transitional arrangements”, where will that leave Tony Abbott and the Coalition?”

In Shallow discourse in The Age on June 5, Shaun Carney opens: “Australia's political debate is more and more about slogans and marketing, and less and less about ideas.”  He sums up the RSPT debate with What we have with the resource rent tax battle is pretty simple: the elected government wants to change the tax system and an important, powerful, cashed-up section of industry wants to frustrate it.”  He laments “Australian voters do not seem happy and they do not seem particularly attached to the government. The nation escaped the recession that hit every comparable country and, according to the budget, the insurance bills will be paid within three years, but it's seemingly not enough.” He concludes: “This is why the mining companies' assault on the government's legitimacy - its right to set taxation - is so important.  If the companies prevail, it will be a powerful sign that our political systemis fragmenting, getting weaker, and governments in the future will be reform-free zones.”  We all ought to be concerned.  

Over at Larvatus Prodeo, picking up on Carney’s piece, on June 5 Mark asks Who governs Australia?  He begins: Much more is at stake in the noise around the RSPT than whether the mining industry ends up paying more tax. A whole host of serious public issues entwined with the proposal –including but not limited to the adequacy of our corporate tax architecture, the desirability of a two speed boom bust economy, an increase in workers’ superannuation, the need to invest in infrastructure, and the fly-in, fly-out regional economy – have been thoroughly obscured by the so-called ‘debate’. Each one of these inter-related questions needs serious consideration on its own, but none is receiving anything beyond an occasional distorted mention to serve the partisan needs of the almighty narrative.”  He refers also to an article by Tim Dunlop on The Drum on June 3 No-one is blameless in the current malaise, that concludes by sheeting home responsibility to the media: It lies with the media. To all intents and purposes they are the public sphere and until they do their job better, we won't get anywhere. What's more, they are the only ones with at least a theoretical commitment to disinterested discussion and objective assessment of the facts… 
A political media that reported honestly, eschewed excessive opinion and trivia, and openly apologized when they made errors of fact or interpretation, would start to buy back the trust they have lost and public discussion might move beyond he said/she said faux-journalism toward informed debate. They might even save themselves.  The media need to stop pretending they are separate from the issues they report on. More than any other institution, they set the terms and the tone for public debate. That's an enormous responsibility.”

Back at LarvatusProdeo in CFMEU on the anti-RSPTcampaign: “It’s going to ruin us!” Mark has an entertaining video that lampoons the ‘disaster’ the RSPT has been painted to be.

Turning to the miners’ campaign, Tony Maher in The Punch writes on June 4 Xstrata is just playing chicken with the Government. He debunks the Xstrata’s claims and concludes To blame yesterday’s job cuts at Ernest Henry on the RSPT– 24 months out from the reform’s scheduled introduction – is plain cruel to these workers, their families and communities.  Passing strange? Actually not that strange. Yesterday’s announcement is entirely consistent with Xstrata’s corporate modus operandi: cynical and money-grubbing. It’s what we expect, but disgraceful none-the-less.

We are told that tonight on Four Corners Clive Palmer admits that he’s not closing a mine in WA as he said a few days ago, but is just ‘slowing it down’ whatever that means!  This is the story in ABC North West WA

Writing on May 31 in The Age in Fear campaign on resources tax is a furphy John Perkins begins: The miners' raucous opposition willfully ignores the facts.” and concludes: By imposing a resource rent tax, Australia is right to show leadership as the major resource exporter. If they are governed rationally, other jurisdictions will follow suit. The miners should quell their raucous opposition. Australia should now join together with other resource-exporting countries to ensure that supernormal resource revenues are invested wisely for the future of the planet.”

At An Onymous Leftie on 4 June Jeremy asks Why’s the business lobby letting the mining companies try to kill their tax cut? He begins: This is what I don’t get about the RSPT and the accompanying 2% cut in the company tax rate proposed by the ALP: why aren’t the lobby groups for other businesses in Australia out there countering the mining companies’ shamelessly dishonest fear campaign?”

In The Age on June 5 in an article: Rudd has more to worry about than miners’ bluster, Peter Hartcher talks about Paul Howes’ entry into the RSPT debate and says: “Why does he think the Rudd government is in electoral danger? ‘I think the government has difficulty selling its achievements.’  For what it’s worth there is an accompanying online poll that indicates that of those polled 77% say the mining industry is winning the ‘public stouch’ over the proposed mining tax.  Hartcher, talking about the reforms Andrew Fisher achieved all those years ago concludes:This sort of real change will take years, and Rudd has only a few months. The Rudd government has not succeeded in explaining its accomplishments, and Rudd has destroyed the political identity which carried him into office. That's why being attacked by overblown miners is his best hope for a new, quick-drying political persona."

In Rudd needs to prove his mettle in tax fight Laurie Oakes in the June 5 issue of the Daily Telegraph agrees: The mining row is Rudd's chance to show some steel. And he is going flat-out to exploit it.”

In his 29 May piece in the Daily TelegraphMining new depths of political bastardry Oakes quotes Rory Robertson, a Macquarie Bank interest rate strategist. “In a recent report, Robertson wrote that miners were not paying their share because ‘flat-footed state governments were slow to adjust their royalties to take account of the surge in global prices’.  He spoke of ‘the basic logic’ of the Federal Government's approach, then proceeded to demolish one of the resources sector's key arguments - that the proposed tax is 'retrospective’.  After all, every city-based household knows that its rate payments will trend higher over time, even if the home was bought many years earlier. Owners of rural property know that the government rates and rents are linked directly to the latest assessed value of the property, and that if that value doubles, then payments to government will tend to rise.  Finally, those of us working over decades to build 'human capital' would struggle to argue with a straight face that any increase in income-tax rates is unfair because it is 'retrospective'."  Oakes concluded:“But the mining companies will not be concerned. Their campaign, after all, is primarily about their hip-pocket nerves.”

That’s enough to give you some flavor of the comments.  I trust you have found them informative.

Let me end by painting a picture of how I see the fight.  Imagine Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan and Lindsay Tanner standing on a street corner on their way to deliver what they regard as a beneficial package to the nation.  They are approached by a group of heavy well-heeled men armed with expensive but not lethal weapons who demand they drop the package or at least modify it to suit them.  They threaten to undertake a costly campaign to destroy the package.  The four resist and press on.  The large men become very angry – one of them almost explodes. 

On the sidelines there are some academic looking men who declare that the package is well thought out, fair and necessary.  The four quote them.  On the other side there are some well-dressed men who express doubts about the package in varying terms –some say it is deeply flawed and must be scrapped, that geese laying golden eggs will be destroyed, thousands of jobs will be lost, their endeavors will go overseas, the nation will be threatened by ‘sovereign risk’, and that if it is implemented life as we know it will change irrevocably and nationalization and even ‘communism’ might follow.  Others are more conservative, only saying that the implementation of the package has ‘left a lot to be desired’.  Most, but not all have mining connections.  The large men quote them.

Standing well back but urging them on is an angular man in a wet suit on his way to the surf who assures them he will stop the delivery of the package or will destroy it if they do get it through.  The miners see him as a useful accomplice to achieve their aims; they even hint they might throw him some funding if he continues his opposition to the package.  The angular man looks pleased and claps his hands.  He’s on a winner he thinks.  He hopes the confrontation will continue for a long while.  He enjoys a scrap.

But has he considered what he will do if the four reach an agreement with the big men and put down their weapons?

 

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Bilko

7/06/2010The government's appears to be loosing and I think the problem is they seem incapable of getting a simple message across to the public, time to hire the CMFEU team otherwise they coould br roooned

Lyn

7/06/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]Nielsen gives Abbott best poll ever,Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] but with slightly more Coalition voters having to hold their nose while they tell the pollster “Oh yes, I’ll vote for Tony”. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/07/nielsen-gives-abbott-best-poll-ever/ [i]Nielsen -Offshore processing and the RSPT,Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] interesting juxtaposition of course, would be to ask this 62% whether they would support, say, The United States sending their asylum seekers here to Australia to be processed and paying us for the privilege? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/07/nielsen-offshore-processing-and-the [i]Galaxy: 55 -45 to LNP in Queensland, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] A remarkable 85 per cent expressed opposition to the government’s asset sales, against 12 per cent support. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Woah, Neilsen says 53 - 47, Peter Brent, Mumble[/i] Do not adjust your sets. Coalition on 43, Labor on 33, Greens on 15 http://mumble.com.au/ [i]Essential: Rise and rise of the Greens,Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] With the Coalition vote stubbornly failing to shift much above 40%, it means a tiny shift in the 2PP Labor’s way from last week, back to 52-48 on a rolling two-week average. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/07/essential-labor-keeps-leaking-to-the-left-and-voters-believe-the-miners/ [i]Nielson poll open thread, Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Essential Report is out. Labor 52-48 TPP, up 1% from last week. Greens primary also on the increase, to 12%. Pick which poll you prefer http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]Those Chinese f**kers are trying to rat-f**k us!!”, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] ABC, Australia’s “China-friendly” image of Kevin Rudd has been tarnished by claims he branded the Chinese “f**kers” at the Copenhagen Climate Summit. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/06/07/those-chinese-fkers-are-trying-to-rat-fk-us/ [i]A politician is an arse upon which everything has sat except a man, [b]Mungo MacCullum[/b], Crikey[/i] Labor’s fallback position has always been that their guy might be pretty much on the nose, but the other guy is unelectable — too crazy to take seriously in the top job. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/07/mungo-a-politician-is-an-arse-upon-which-everything-has-sat-except-a-m [i]Point of no Return, Leon Delaney[/i] if Tony Abbott wins in a landslide in the House of Representatives, he could very well be confronting a hostile Senate controlled by the Greens. http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/2010/06/point-of-no-return.html [i]Palmer backs down from super tax claims, ABC[/i] Mr Palmer has told tonight's Four Corners program that he was probably exaggerating. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/07/2919984.htm [i]Global calamity or domestic drama:what will save Rudd,Jonathan Green, The Drum[/i]Being slagged off by David Marr can cut both ways http://www.abc.net.au/thedrum/

Ad astra reply

7/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS Updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Snoozer289

7/06/2010Hi, I have noticed since the polls have come out this morning there has been a distinct slow down in the responses to the previous blog item. I don't care, Kevin Rudd our PM may be a prick, fouled mouth and what ever other descriptive adjective you may want to call him (or the MSM may want us to believe), I don't particularly care. As I am more interested in a Government/leader regardless of personnelity that is interested in improving our country for the long term. I believe that what Kevin Rudd and this government is trying to do is not only govern in the short term but set reforms in place for the long term to set this country up for our children and our childrens children. Isn't that something to work for and defend?? The MSM are out of touch not the Government. Kevin Rudd and the Governement do not have a problem selling policies or it's benefits, it is the MSM that have a problem, and it is up to people like ourseleves who are more concerned about our countires future to get of our ass. Just because the polls are not going our way now is no need to despair, it is a long way to go and believe and believe in yourselves, when it come to ticking the box on election day, do you really think people are going to vote for a government that is lacking talent, foresight and initative, over a government that is working to build a future for this country that we will all be proud of in our retirement. I appreciate I may be naive in my comments, but I also believe that regardless of the MSM may want us to believe or think we do have a very good, forward thinking government who will set and take this country forward. I think it is time everybody stops being defeative, we are a long way from an election and the only ones that seemd to be consumed about the latest polls are the MSM. Just take a look and listen to Kevin Rudd, his response was appropriate and his de-meaner was very calm. I believe that he and the government are far more in control of the agenda than the MSM would like to believe. The MSM have gone on a wild ramage over the past 6 months (2.5 years) in particular to discredit the PM personnelly dur to what ever reason (I think this more analysis and discussion as to why the MSM are being so personnel) than the RSPT or they way it is being sold. As many commentators have menation this is not policy yet this is a discussion about the future tax on a particular industry, and the government has clearly (more times than we can count) stated that they have set out a policy guide line and want to discss/consult with the industry on how such a policy will be implemented. Most Governement would implement such tax increases (as we have all seen) without any consultation. The constant

janice

7/06/2010Oh, for heaven's sake, Bilko! The government is hamstrung and gagged by a relentless hostile media. I'm really angry to read most Labor supporters joining in the msm meme that Rudd and his team are 'incapable' of getting their message across to the public. They are NOT incapable. They are PREVENTED from being heard. No matter what Rudd says, all that is reported is that he is rattled and they go on to tell us that we have stopped listening etc etc and the government is in big trouble. IMHO, if Labor supportes believe what the anti-government forces are saying, then what chance is there of less politically interested voters of getting the message? We should not be adding to the negativity. We ought to remember that we are very much on the outside looking in, that although we think we may know what Rudd should do or shouldn't do, we really don't have any idea because we aren't in the driver's seat. What we do know is that this is a good government which has brought the nation through the GFC. It is a government with a long term vision for the nation's prosperity. It is a government that, despite the GFC crisis, has taken the first steps to address our failing health system and embarked on the education revolution. There's more of course but I won't go on because we all know this government is not a do-nothing government, nor is it incompetent. I've read a couple of BBs posts over at Pole Bludger where he points out that Australians are lazy nervous nellies who are afraid of everything. I agree but I would add that they are also ungrateful and selfish and all too ready to kick the gifthorse in the mouth. I still believe Labor will win another term. I just wish Labor supporters would suppress their negative thoughts and have more faith in the Prime Minister and his team.

Snoozer289

7/06/2010I apologise if my comment looksa bit disjointed, it does not distract from what I was saying I was probably trying to say to much

Bilko

7/06/2010Janice, Your points are well made and the achievments are muted for what ever reason but the printed message in the adverts is far from simple and it needs to be to the point, which the CMFEU add does in spades. I will be betting on Labor this week to win at the election, bear in mind the waverers are parking anywhere but with Abbott who IMO is totally unelectable.

Lyn

7/06/2010Hi Janice Bravo to you Janice, excellent comment, well done. Love the way you think. cheers

Lyn

7/06/2010Hi Snoozer289 love your comment, [i]government are far more in control of the agenda than the MSM would like to believe. [/i] I agree with you, I don't think you are naive in your comment one little bit. Keep up the good work, proud of you.

Lyn

7/06/2010Hi Bilko Great comments as usual, I agree. I think, the sooner they bring in Paul Howes in earnest the better, in fact all the unions.. All these polls at once are a bit fishy, makes money for Rupert, gives the MSM something to report.

Snoozer289

7/06/2010Thankyou Lyn, It is people like you that encourage people like myself to express our views. Your efforts along with AA, Janice and HS are very much appreciated, an afternoon of discussion and reflection after the election over a few quite drinks would be interesting

Beerme

7/06/2010Just saw the Four Coners program on the RSPT mentioned above. Nice, balanced and informative - just the way I like my ABC in the evening. Yes, the polls aren't looking too good in atm - but I believe thats due to the headstart of the ad campaign being waged by the miners. Just give it another couple of weeks to let the public assimilate the government's message.

jimbo

7/06/2010well,well,well another week of mining companies,msm,opposition and rupert murdochs dopey lot who wouldnt have a brain between them getting carte blanche in running down the rudd government.excuse me if im wrong but isnt the media meant to find what an opposition is going to do when and if they get into government, that being print,radio and television media and then dissect it to see if their policies or lack thereof will benefit the australian people.so far none of this has happened because if it had we would be asking why wingnutt abbott is demolishing the chance for kids to get their computers,destroying the national broadband,killing off the health initiatives and the super clinics and siding with big multinational mining companies to stop a tax that is beneficial to all australians and what has he got policy wise.well not much coming close to an election he has dont listen to what i say only what is written is gospel according to mr wingnutt,then he has maternity leave paid for by big australian businesses(i wonder if that includes the mining companies)and then we have workchoices2,3500 hospital beds for a health policy(wow so many)then we have the pacific solution which damaged us internationally as a credible fair and non racist country that lied about children being thrown overboard just to win an election,then i suppose the wingnutt could probably fish out a few more of the frogs worst policies of the past.so mr wingnutt should have the theme back to the past.cmon the msm of australia grow a set,get off your lazy butts and stert giving us the unbiased view of politics because if this clown was to win the next election because it has been bought and paid for by murdoch,his cronies and a biased media then australia has a lot to worry about as thatwill be a major blight to democracy and i for one will never vote again if my democratic right is taken away from me by these egotistical bastards.

Lyn

7/06/2010Hi Ad Grog has written us another fantastic piece, everybody should hurry to read. Run to Grog's blog quick. Thankyou Grog. [i]Nielsen and Essential - the tea leaves get a work out, GROG, GROG'S GAMUT[/i] But it also comes down to the narrative. The media has one (and remember they don’t like Rudd – he’s “angry”, rude” and worst of all, he doesn’t give them easy copy as does Abbott). What is Rudd’s narrative? Why are we voting for him again? What’s the story? http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Lyn

7/06/2010Hi Jimbo Fantastic comment, I agree with you, Mr Wingnut and his army of wingnuts are a very real threat to our democracy, it's scary. [b][i]i [quote]for one will never vote again if my democratic right is taken away from me by these egotistical bastards.[/i][/b][/quote] [quote]election because it has been bought and paid for by murdoch,his cronies and a biased media [/quote] Good on you, I admire your conviction, keep telling us here on the Political Sword.

jimbo

7/06/2010just a few other things to say,on sunrise this morning david koch had a bit to say about the rubbish coming from the mining companies about the super tax the grab may still be on the sunrise site,on the cfmeu site they have a number of items on the super tax also one on a mining company and another on the bulldust cvoming from extrata,also the actu has items on the super tax on their site.now im not overly good with computers but a few on this site are, so maybe we need to get a whole cllection of items on all aspects of policies and get them uploaded onto information sites and try and get some traction back by using and winning the battle on the internet

Lyn

7/06/2010Hi Beerme I enjoy your comments, and a big thanks for the confidence. I am so glad you come to "the Political Sword", we have a great little community don't we. Lucky we have Ad Astra providing our other home.

HS

7/06/2010Aaaarrrggghhh!!! I'm just back from Twittering away on #qanda. It's like being on speed, or what I think it would be like. :) My head is still spinning.

HS

7/06/2010They say, 'Loose lips sink ships', and I think Clive Palmer went a long way to sinking the Mining Industry's anti-RSPT ship tonight on 4 Corners. Thank you, Clive!

Lyn

7/06/2010Hi Hillbilly, Good on you, I need a link though, so I can see what they are saying. I have been on Twitter a couple of times, but got lost, no sense of direction.

Canbra Dave

7/06/2010How does News Ltd spin the 4 Corners program? http://www.news.com.au/business/miners-could-pay-58-per-cent-tax-swan/story-e6frfm1i-1225876668835 By making the headline that Swan admits that miners could pay up to 58% tax. Curiously they neglect what one would assume is their journalistic duty to say in what cases that level of tax would be paid. I.E a return on investment of over 50%. If any project had a potential return on investment of over 50% I don't think even a 58% tax rate would be able to discourage that.

HS

7/06/2010lyn, To start with I just googled Twitter. Then just go from there wrt setting up your own account. Then you just start following people or event feeds like #qt, or #qanda, or #grogsgamut for grog's feed, etc. etc. I'm under #HillbillySkill because your username only allows you 14 letters. :) Any more questions, just ask!

gusface

7/06/2010Hola swordians I have taken the director SKY news to task feel free to follow his responses via my twitter feed the responses are tres interesting to say the least

Acerbic Conehead

8/06/2010AA, Clive the Fat Controller, on the Island of Loadore, is running into strife with the local council. You see, Clive operates the rail business on the island, and one of his trains, Kevin the Tank Engine, has publically suggested that Clive should rightfully pay an extra levy to the council, during the tourist high season, so that it can establish a few more picnic areas at the stations for the tourists to avail of. Kevin, however, has never been known to be so outspoken, and has always been recognised by his trademark beige paintwork, in recognition of his bland persona. So, in retaliation for Kevin’s bolshie outburst, Clive has given him a red re-spray. Afterwards, Kevin is still sulking and is having a good old whinge to his two carriages, Annie Roxon and Clarabel Gillard. Kevin: Bloody Fat Controller! Painting me red...huh...calling me a commo...He’s nothing but a rat f**ker, y’know... Clarabel: Kevin! Well I never...what language! It sounds like David Marr was right about you after all... Annie: Yes, Kevin, I agree with Clarabel – I haven’t heard such language since Anthony the Blue Engine abused me back in 2007... [just at that moment, Clive the Fat Controller walks onto the platform, sniffs derisorily at Kevin, and proceeds to pin a notice on the Public Announcements board. Kevin reads it out.] Kevin: Dear tourists, due to burgeoning demand for the services provided by our very successful tourist and freight railway system here on Loadore Island, we have opened up a parallel line to supplement the original single track. From now on, the original track will be for the tourist trains, which will go at a leisurely pace, suitable for your sightseeing needs. The other track, however, will be for the faster freight trains which will service the mines on the island. So, to celebrate the opening of the new dual service, there will be a race across the island, involving our four trains, Anthony the Blue Engine, Kevin the Red Engine, Robert the Brown Engine, and Malcolm the Green Engine. Come along tomorrow to see the sport... Clarabel: Whoopee! I love races...you better get a good night’s sleep, Kevin, so that you can pull Annie and I over the finishing line in first place... Kevin: Huh...a good night’s sleep...everybody knows I work 23 hours a day...this whole idea is just a red herring by Clive so that the council forgets to charge him for the extra business he’s getting at this time of the year...the whole idea is balderdash...it’s simply bunkum... [Annie and Clarabel bed down for the night and ignore Kevin’s protestations and whining. The next day they get the good news and the bad news from Clive the Fat Controller. First the bad news: Kevin and Robert the Brown Engine have drawn the slow track, and Malcolm the Green Engine and Anthony the Blue Engine the fast track. And the good news: Anthony and Malcolm are handicapped by having to leave the station fifteen minutes after Kevin and Robert. So, the race begins and Kevin and Robert soon get into a rhythm on the slow track. However, at the first sign of an incline, Robert, who only has one gear, fails to make it and is shunted off into a siding, leaving Kevin as the sole occupant of the slow track. However, the day is not spoilt for Robert’s passengers, as they transfer to Annie and Clarabel for the rest of the trip. Meanwhile, on the fast track, Malcolm and Anthony have moved away from the station but, after a while, Malcolm shows signs of running out of steam. As it happened, Clive the Fat Controller didn’t approve of Malcolm being too pally with Kevin, so only gave him a limited supply of coal for his engine. As Malcolm slowed down, Anthony came up from behind and whacked him into the ditch. Now the race was just between Kevin the Red Engine and Anthony the Blue Engine. On the slow track, Kevin had passed a number of crossover points where access could be made to the faster track. Annie and Calabel didn’t know whether he lacked confidence, or courage, but clearly he wasn’t ready to take the fight up to Anthony on the fast track. Kevin bypassed the InsulationGate crossover...and the GFC-is-a-myth crossover...and the BER-is-a-rort crossover...And all the while, Anthony is drawing closer and closer on the faster track...Kevin’s only chance is to make his move at the next and last one – the RSPT-is-a-commo-plot crossover, and then put the boot down and beat Anthony to the finish... Will Kevin’s ball-barings be up to the challenge? Will Clive have to pay an extra levy to the council? Will Anthony blow a boiler and say the whole thing is crap? Will Clive make squillions from the extra tourists and freight and admit he “probably overstated” the problem in the first place? Will Grechie come out of hiding and get a job sending Clive’s emails for him? Will Malcolm get back on track in time, take revenge by pushing Anthony the Blue Engine into the ditch, and open up a joint-partnership with Kevin, to design a more environmentally-friendly train engine? Will Barnaby become Clive’s accountant and turn him from a billionaire to a trillionaire overnight? Will Joe successfully tender for the pie-shop franchise at Clive’s stations? All of these, and other questions, will be answered before the end of the year. Keep your Tank Engines tuned.

Lyn

8/06/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Nielsen and Essential - the tea leaves get a work out, GROG, GROG'S GAMUT[/i] But it also comes down to the narrative. The media has one (and remember they don’t like Rudd – he’s “angry”, rude”. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Is Rudd too Ethical for Politics? Admin. The Daily Bludge[/i] Rudd seems to have the ethics but has lost the argument because he hasn’t crafted a public relations strategy to support his decisions. http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/06/is-rudd-too-ethical-for-politics/ [i]Why is Google inserting itself in the Australian Mining Tax Debate, clarencegirl , North Coast Voices[/i] So why was a Google employee bothering to mimic Clive Palmer by placing Rudd in the same company as Marx and Engels? Thought Clive needed a little help with his credibility perhaps? http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/ [i]Kevin Rudd and the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy – will historians ever know the truth?, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] The short-lived Rudd Government (2007-10) has received relatively little attention from historians in recent years http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/06/07/kevin-rudd-and-the-vast-left-wing-conspiracy-will-historian-ever-know-the-truth/ [i]We Will Decide Which Cetaceans Enter This Country, And The Manner In Which They Come!, Darryl Mason, The Orstrahyun[/i] Opposition leader Tony Abbott, reveling in his best poll numbers yet against prime minister Kevin Rudd, http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/2010/06/we-will-decide-which-cetaceans-enter.html [i]No wonder the Libs like Clive, North Coast Voices, Blogotriat [/i] Clive Palmer admits he may have overstated the tax's impact on his projects http://www.blogotariat.com/node/194887 [i]I’m sure Marr would not like his own public career to be assessed on the basis of a reductive argument , Trevor Cook[/i] Every political leader should be judged on policy and performance, what drives them is I think ultimately unknowable (even to themselves) http://trevorcook.typepad.com/weblog/2010/06/david-marrs-rudd-rage-thesis.html [i]David Marr's Quarterly Essay on Rudd and Anger, Mark, Larvatus Prodeo [/i] I’m sure Marr would not like his own public career to be assessed on the basis of a reductive argument http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/06/07/david-marrs-quarterly-essay-on-rudd-and-anger/ [i]An Agent for Change, Mac, Ramblings of a Political tragic.[/i] Anyway, enough about me. How are you all coping with the very real possibility that Tony Abbott could be the next PM? http://moderatelyleft.blogspot.com/2010/06/agent-for-change.html

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

joe2

8/06/2010Have a look at an interesting comment that Brian made over at L.P. when considering last nights Four Corners. He spotted something I certainly missed. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/06/05/who-governs-australia/#comment-888224

Lyn

8/06/2010Hi Joe2 Thankyou Joe2 for commenting here on The Political Sword, please keep coming back you will like it here, Ad Astra will be very pleased, to have you stay with us. Also thanks for your link, that is an excellent comment by Brian over at Larvatus Prodeo, people notice some interesting things don't they, sometimes I feel like putting some of those comments like Brian's, on here, but it's not fair to the bloggers.

Lyn

8/06/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS JUST IN[/b] [i]What’s Kevin to do?, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] It’s been another week of bad polls for Kevin Rudd. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/08/whats-kevin-to-do [i]RICH PICKINGS: Who's afraid of the RSPT?, James Thomson, Business Spectator[/i] [b]list of those likely to be affected (values for the top 10 have been taken from the BRW Rich 200): [/b]http://www.businessspectator.com.au:80/bs.nsf/Article/gina-rinehart-RSPT-resource-super-profits-tax-mine-pd20100603-636J3?OpenDocument&src=kgb

janice

8/06/2010Joe2, I didn't miss that statement made by Sarah Ferguson. However, I thought the rest of the programme was balanced when I thought it was just going to be another lot of Rudd bashing.

janice

8/06/2010I find it strange that everyone and his dog is consumed with analysing the personality of Kevin Rudd. No other political leader has come under such probing scrutiny about his/her personal makeup with scant regard for his (and Labor's) policies and long term ambition for the prosperity of this nation. There is a certain paranoia about revelations that our PM gets angry, uses language 99% of people of both sexes use when riled and is apt to become frustrated and tired. Why is it that people expect PM Rudd to be some sort of paragon who couldn't possibly have human failings like the rest of us? I do not believe David Marr was out to denigrate Kevin Rudd but his opinion about what drives the man is no better than anyone else's opinion. I'm inclined to agree with Trevor Cook (see Lyn's link above) that every leader should be judged on policy and performance.

joe2

8/06/2010Yes agreed janice I must say I was pleasantly surprised with that episode of Four Corners but this constant almost subliminal, inaccurate, editorialising, by ABC correspondents, is a curse. And Lyn you make a good point about protecting bloggers comments from elsewhere but Brian is one of the team writers like Ad Astra, over there, and would be unlikely to mind being linked to elsewhere. Cheers and thanks for the welcome.

NormanK

8/06/2010joe2, No tax = no benefits. I was about to launch myself on this subject yet again and it is great to see people bringing this into the light of day. I posted the following on an earlier thread here but it was the final post before comments closed so it may have been lost. {Found in The Australian of all places. Article by Nicola Berkovic on May 14th. "DEFEAT of the government's resources super-profits tax would significantly shrink the first budget surpluses after the global financial crisis but would still allow Wayne Swan to meet his target to balance the nation's books by 2012-13. Analysis of the budget reveals that stripping the super-profits tax and all of the promises the government has linked to it would remove $365m from the budget bottom line in 2012-13. This would leave the budget with a surplus of $635m instead of $1 billion. And in 2013-14, the surplus would be slashed from $5.4bn to $3.3bn without the resources super-profits tax. The resources tax is set to add $2.4bn to the government's coffers over the next four years. About $10.2bn of the total $12.6bn in revenue from the tax will be spent on new promises." Such a pity this point has been allowed to drift away.} I also wonder if Mr Swann pointed this out but his response ended up on the digital cutting room floor - another subtle bias. I thought the Four Corners programme was reasonably well-balanced but lacked the depth I would expect from them. Further evidence of laziness or a hidden agenda to be found in the remark by Sarah Ferguson that the big miners felt that they had been broadsided by the new tax. Although she was careful to attribute the sentiment to the miners and resisted the urge to state it as fact, she also neglected to point out that they were consulted as part of the Henry Review and apparently suggested that a profits-based tax was the way to go. I was curious to see Peter Van Onselen being interviewed on the subject and a literal shiver went up my spine (really) every time his face appeared. To be fair, he was fair. But since when does one journo interview another journo and call it in-depth analysis. I may be mistaken and discover that he is an expert on the subject but I doubt it. Of more concern - and not a good feeling to take to bed - was some of the audience responses on Q&A last night. There is a lot of content there to pick over and in general it was a good debate. What scared me was the presence in the audience of what can only be described as GFC-Deniers. Several times they groaned and jeered at the idea that this government steered us through a crisis and the stimulus, more than any other reason, is the cause of the deficit. It seems a case of if they had a near miss with another car while driving to work, pulled over and had a walk around their car and saw no damage then they could convince themselves that it just didn't happen. Scorn was also poured on the government and Mr Rudd in particular over the ETS. I can only assume that they were young people who see the DD trigger as just another tool to be used for getting things done. The fact that it could have blown up in their faces and delivered an Abbott government doesn't seem to have occurred to them. The ETS would then be at best five years away instead of two. Instant gratification can not be demanded of any politician.

Lyn

8/06/2010Hi Joe2 Sorry Joe 2 I should have made myself clearer, I meant to say that I feel like copying and pasting some of those excellent comments sometimes. Linking is fine, the blogs love it, well I hope so because, I link the blogs all day, everyday, they are all my friends. By the way, thanks for info nice to know the team members. Cheers

HS

8/06/2010Hi guys! At last the Rudd government's RSPT ads are out. You'll find them on Peter Martin's blog, or at the government's own dedicated website: A Fairer Tax System. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

HS

8/06/2010NormanK, Sorry to say, but Peter Van Onselen is actually one of the few Murdoch journalists with appropriate qualifications to base their political comments upon. He was a Professor(or A.Prof.) of Political Science at Edith Cowan University in WA before he came to national prominence, after writing the Howard biography, and being snapped up by News Ltd.

janice

8/06/2010[quote]Scorn was also poured on the government and Mr Rudd in particular over the ETS. I can only assume that they were young people who see the DD trigger as just another tool to be used for getting things done. The fact that it could have blown up in their faces and delivered an Abbott government doesn't seem to have occurred to them. The ETS would then be at best five years away instead of two. Instant gratification can not be demanded of any politician.[/quote] Spot on NormanK.

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

NormanK

8/06/2010HS, Good. Thanks for that. He was very fair on Four Corners - I was just waiting for a bombshell which never materialised.

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010Snoozer289, janice I agree with what you have written. The Rudd Government has been good government that apart from shielding the nation from the GFC had done many other good things and has initiated many needed reforms. You know them all, but perhaps it’s time for us to document the details for all to see – people forget so easily and as BB and janice suggest, are ungrateful. It has had to battle against a hostile media, much of which has accentuated the negatives in the Government’s programmes, but said precious little about the positive aspects – the employment of tradesmen, the support for small business, the school infrastructure, and the houses insulated. Like a child who is being scape-goated at home or at school, everything the Government has done is painted as bad or wrong, nothing is good or right. It is precisely because of this powerful force directed against Labor that it needs to be a jump ahead with its public information campaigns. I believe, if it hasn’t one already, it needs a specialist media unit geared to inform the public with memorable, pithy educational grabs that can be used on TV, radio, and in the papers. I agree janice that the Government is not incapable – it needs to focus on the essential information-giving role and bombard the electorate with messages as memorable as GBNT. Why not: “Who saved the nation from recession – your Federal Government”, or “Who built thousands of school buildings – your Government” or even “Who insulated over one million ceilings – your Government”. It must not be complicated – just simple, informative and most of all memorable. Frankly, like you, I’m tired of the incessant negativity, but it is only the Government that can get the positive messages out, and it must. The poll trend has concerned many Labor supporters and the Nielsen poll was a disturbing instance of the downward trend. While some in the media such as Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Glenn Milne and probably Dennis Shanahan will continue their anti-Rudd tirades I suspect that some of the more moderate journalists will see that the ‘kill Rudd’s prime ministership campaign’ has gone too far, and is now becoming ridiculous. With the prospect of an Abbott government they may be having second thoughts, and will moderate their remarks and give credit where it’s due. Prediction in politics is hazardous, but I’ll stick my neck out and predict that the polls are as bad as they will get for Rudd, and that slow recovery will occur. Folks I have to go out again - I'll join you later this afternoon.

NormanK

8/06/2010A little light relief on what may prove to be a watershed day regarding the polls and MSM bias. Good morning and welcome to Pollywood FM Breakfast live from Canberra. Today's weather will be fine and clear with a top of 25 degrees after an overnight low of 23 degrees. Keep those automatic sprinklers turned off folks because you can expect rain at 3.00 a.m. with a predicted fall of 50 mm ending just before dawn which will be at 6.47 in the Eastern suburbs and 6.30 in all other city precincts. Outlying areas are advised to check local guides for sunrise times. Gardeners are advised to only do essential planting this week as a Nielsen blip has resulted in a massive hailstorm predicted for all of mainland Australia this weekend. Due to a technical glitch, Tasmania and all other Australian islands will miss out on the storm. In local sport, the Raiders are tipped to win 45 to 0 on Friday night with Betfair offering $1.01 for a win. In related news, Betfair has launched action in the Supreme Court to contest the Federal Government's legislation covering sporting events describing it as "unAustralian". They can expect little sympathy from the local electorate with one prominent commentator describing as "absurd" the proposition of allowing results to be determined on the field. In a motivational address to the under-three state-of-origin team, the former NRL/AFL/NBA/Syncronised Swimming star said "How on earth can we win a premiership if we have to leave it to the players?". Mothers in the audience were impressed by his shoulders and seemed inclined to answer his call-to-arms. In Parliament today, Mr Abbott will be Prime Minister from 9.00 a.m. to 12.43 p.m. and Mr Rudd will take over until an early finish with Question Time suspended in favour of a game of touch cricket. Yeah, I know - I'd don't understand the rules either. Mr Brown will be in charge of the tuckshop at big lunch whilst Mr Truss has been given responsibility for little lunch. Mr Hockey is still the subject of a restraining order. The recent abolition of the Senate is still sending shockwaves through the local housing market but there is better news on the share market with rises of between 15 and 17 percent anticipated today. Fuel prices continue their downward slide and grocery prices are tipped to reach 1943 levels later this week. The twenty hour working week came under more pressure yesterday with protesters locking themselves in to local pubs and refusing to budge until the matter is addressed. Recent reforms to increase it from an eighteen hour week are under fire as being "incompatible with the life of leisure to which we have become accustomed." Given the lack of an Opposition it is hard to see how this can be resolved. Celebrity news now and Paris Hilton's last appeal has been turned down and she will face the hangman's noose at 7.00 p.m. EST and this will be televised live on all free-to-air channels. Tom Cruise also sits on death row awaiting the outcome of his final appeal to the Global President. (How dare he do that to our Nicole?) A spokesman for Mr Cruise said they are contesting the conviction and sentence on the grounds that it was "heightist and unscientific". Mr Murdoch is expected to hand down his ruling in coming days. To breaking news now and...................oh,dear - it seems people are sick of the sound of my voice. 57 to 43. Ah well. Here to take you through the rest of the programme is ...........................Ian Macfarlane ?? Who's in charge of these bloody polls anyway?

HS

8/06/2010Wow! NormanK, with contributions like that TPS will soon replace new matilda(deceased) as the site for political satire on your internet dial! Of course, we cannot leave out Acerbic Conehead, who constantly amazes and enlivens our days with laughter on a regular basis. Even lyn's humorous contributions have the face cracking into a grin. :) This is how it must be as we contemplate the scary thought of Tony Abbott bamboozling the electorate into submission to the extent of supporting a Son of Howard government(even scarier than Son of Sam to my way of thinking). For, as we all know, when contemplating such things, if you don't laugh you cry.

HS

8/06/2010Reassuring news from Big George M. at The Oz: http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/party_needs_to_heed_lessons_of_history/

HS

8/06/2010Another cracking article from new matilda by Andrew Elder that I think we should all take the time to read and osmose the import of: http://newmatilda.com/2010/06/08/gentle-reminder-barry-ofarrell If only the ALP's media strategy was as sophisticated. Sigh.

HS

8/06/2010The Catholic Church are starting the fightback against nominal Catholic, Tony Abbott's punitive Asylum Seeker policies: http://www.caritas.org.au/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Media_releases&CONTENTID=7445&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm They also have a bit of a dig at the ALP too. :)

bilgedigger

8/06/2010Thanks once again Ad Astra for pulling together the various commentary on the RSPT. It is going to be a hard slog from here on in but I see no reason to run scared from a continuation of the right-wing campaign against Kevin Rudd personally and of the Labor Government. It is useful to hear what Tony Abbott says in order to get some insight into what the Conservatives are planning in the run-up to the election. He says Rudd and Labour "will run a filthy campaign". Turn that right around and we can see who it is that will be running a campaign that can be equated with his use of the word "filthy". It is a curious usage of the word in the current context. It also brings back to mind the rather curious coincidence of warnings given a few months ago, one by Peter Dutton and seemingly echoed by Denis Shanahan, regarding the spreading of rumours on Twitter in the run up to the election, reported at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/anonymous-blogs-allow-rumour-to-dera...on ll May 2010. I thought at the time that it sounded a warning note as to what was uppermost in the mind of Peter Dutton, an inveterate Tweeter. Because of the pace and quantity of news and blogs it seems to me that there is an increasing need to verify where possible what is being said and why. A daily reality check in other words. To add to the comments on last night's Four Corners, there were moments of bias as noted above but it also provided some insights. Although I wasn't happy that the ABC so readily accepted the hospitality of Clive Palmer's jet, it did provide the view of the immense asset beneath the earth, which was said to be enough for many years to come. If Clive Palmer doesn't want to mine it, then he should surrender it and let others take it on. How much of the program survives in the newsworld is another matter and could be drowned out by juicier gossip on whether the Prime Minister is driven by anger as suggested by David Marr in his latest writing, or what seems to be today's theme that Kevin Rudd "cannot compromise" (courtesy of 2UE and repeated naturally by SkyNews). The only point on which I could agree with David Marr after having read the Quarterly with the gossip-based approach it took, is that we have a decent man as Prime Minister. After so many years with the exact opposite I don't think people will rush to change Government however much the media attempts to push buttons. To respond to queries regarding Peter van Onselen above, he was/is an Associate Professor in Politics but now billed in an Editorial role on SkyNews. To my mind he is not a balanced commentator and displays his Conservative leanings far too often to be regarded as such. The fact that he has an academic qualification in the political area and comes from a mining state does not make him the independent expert he was trying to appear to be on Four Corners.

Sally

8/06/2010HS Can you help me re Twitter. I'm really sorry but I'm totally IT illiterate in the networking dept, as is my partner. I would really like to listen to QT twitter and others but when I looked at Twitter accounts it asked me to insert my 'full name' which it says 'will appear on your public profile'. Do I have to insert my real name or do you just use a pseudonym? Any advice would be welcome as no-one I know is that networking savvy. Thanks in anticipation,

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010Folks Back on deck again. Beerme You’re right – let’s not get too exercised about the current polling. HS has given us a link to ever-sensible George Megalogenis who draws a parallel between Rudd’s polling and that of Howard during the One Nation upsurge. It’s reassuring reading: http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/party_needs_to_heed_lessons_of_history/ jimbo When the sensible journalists see starkly the prospect of an Abbott government, I believe they will recognize that the ‘let’s promote this election as a close contest’ game might backfire and we’ll end up with Extreme Abbott and his Paper-Thin Frontbench. Lyn As usual Grog has written another perceptive piece. As I read it, I wondered how the electorate has become so infantile that such minor habits, quirks and sayings of Rudd have become so off-putting. Grog might be close to the truth when he uses the metaphor of how the previously endearing habits of a lover can become irritating when the shine comes off the relationship. I can’t believe that the electorate is really ready to can Rudd because of the way he talks, the old-fashioned expressions he uses, the ‘you know something’ phrases, the look on his face, the ‘smugness’ which some see but I never can, the fact that he wears a tie most of the time on official business (this was seriously suggested as a drawback in the [i]Herald Sun[/i] today), his wariness when watching for Kerry O’Brien or Tony Jones’ gotcha questions, the fact that he has pressers outside his church, his ‘bad temper’, his ‘rudeness’ to some people, the way he works his staff, and so pathetically on and on. All of these have nothing at all to do with governing the country. We might as well dislike him because his hair is grey, he wears square glasses, he looks like a dentist, he wears hard hats on construction site, and he visits people in hospital. Should we draw up a job specification for future Prime Ministers that insisted these dislikes be absent? Surely our electorate is not that pathetic. My thesis is that these infantile dislikes have been generated by a few columnists in the MSM – the likes of Bolt, Akerman, Milne and Co, and their persistent campaign of verbal assault of Rudd has been taken up by some in the electorate because it has been repeated so often. It’s sick and unworthy of a decent democracy. People are entitled to feel upset with Rudd if they feel he has let them down on such significant issues as climate change and asylum seekers, but not on the superficial matters mentioned above. The media should feel ashamed that it has fostered a focus on such trivial and inconsequential matters.

Lyn

8/06/2010Hi Sally Iknow, you asked Hillbilly, her and Gusface are the ones clued up on the use of Twitter. But in my case with help from Hillbilly, I have signed up under the user name Lynlinking, I wanted lyn, but not my full name to appear they rejected lyn, but have accepted lynlinking. Then just choose a password to your liking. the part I am having is retweeting, I have got no idea where I am sending to, it says retweet so that's what I did. Hillbilly and Gusface will come along here soon, and help you more.

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010joe2 Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come and comment again. Like Janice, I felt that [i]Four Corners[/i] was reasonably balanced. I don’t know why sensible journalists have to get into gratuitously sideswiping Government ministers. I wonder sometimes if they are more concerned about what their fellow journalists will think of their efforts and afraid of their criticism that they were ‘too soft’. janice As mentioned above, like you I fume at the incessant analysis of everything Rudd says, his mannerisms and his quirks, all irrelevant to governing well. NormanK I too was annoyed by the exhibition of denial of the reality of a GFC by a section of the Q&A audience. The major parties ensure that they have representation at what has become an important political forum. So we’ll always see partisan applause. There was at least as much applause for Labor points, such as Kevin Sheedy’s advocacy for Rudd. But it does show how unthinking partisan behaviour can be exhibited by what one might expect to be an intelligent audience. Bias crushes logic every time.

Lyn

8/06/2010Hi Ad Good to see you arrived back ok Ad, did you have a nice day. The bloggers are out in full force today, with plenty to tell us. I will start posting part two links in a minute. cheers

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010NormanK You have joined Acerbic Conehead in the realm of satire that so brightens our days when the polling doesn’t look so great. Thank you. bilgedigger Thank you for your kind comments. Like you I believe Rudd is a decent man trying to improve our nation with much needed reform. The focus on his mannerisms is infantile in the extreme, although come to think of it, that’s probably an insult to infants. I find Peter van Onselen somewhat of a chameleon. Sometimes he’s balanced as he was in his Sky interview of Peter Garrett, but when he writes it up for [i]The Oz[/i] that paper’s bias shows through. I suspect he writes to curry favour with his audience, or the paper’s proprietor or editorial policy.

NormanK

8/06/2010Ad astra, Did you think it was just partisan bias or is it that these folk actually believe that because it didn't touch them then the GFC simply didn't happen? What manner of conspiracy theory would need to be cooked up is beyond my ken.

Lyn

8/06/2010TODAY"S LINKS PART 2 ABC FIRST, I will creep up on them, so they won't know I am coming. [i]'Angry heart': David Marr on Kevin Rudd, Kerry O'Brien, Video, 7.30pm report[/i]found a Prime Minister 'hidden in full view' http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/06/07/2920843.htm?site=thedrum [i]Rudd redoubles attack over mining tax,ABC[/i] Xstrata has also indicated the wording of its news release linking job losses to the tax has caused some confusion. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/08/2921294.htm?section=justin [i]The Greens: sanctimonious without responsibility, Luke Walladge, Unleashed[/i] Bob Brown will need to tell us, and soon, whether he wants to see a Labor Government or an Abbott Liberal Government after the next election. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2921137.htm [i]You Said It: Readers Email, The Drum[/i] they are openly egging the Federal Opposition to back their greed in return for a few measly donations http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/08/2921083.htm?site=email

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010HS Thank you for the informative links – all interesting reading. I wonder what Caritas thinks of Tony Abbott’s asylum seeker policy – not much is my guess.

Canbra Dave

8/06/2010Ad astra, Did you see the interview that van Onselen did with Abetz on the Sky News Agenda show? He actually answered 'I agree completely with everything you say' in reference to Abetz criticsising the government over the advertising backflip. Most unprofessional thing I've ever heard any journalist announce. It may be fine doing that in a private interview to get the subject to open up and trust you, but to do that on-air is just plain wrong. One of the most softball interviews I've ever seen. Abetz nasally voice didn't help much either.

Lyn

8/06/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]Labor on Track to Deliver an Election Promise! SHOCK EXPOSE!!, Reb, Gutter trash[/i] A program that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said he will “scrap immediately” if elected. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/06/08/labor-on-track-to-deliver-an-election-promise-shock-expose/ [i]Doom or salvation for Rudd Labor?Mark, Larvatus prodeo[/i]. Tony Abbott is one of the least plausible Coalition leaders to present to the electorate as an alternative PM., http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/06/08/doom-or-salvation-for-rudd-labor/ [i]When Labor is a better friend to business than the Liberals, en Passant, Blogotariat[/i] If Liberals are friends of capitalists the Labor Party is the friend of capital. http://www.blogotariat.com/node/194875 [i]You can't call the election on what's said in June,Tim Colebatch[/i] He brought on the campaign and boldly declared the issue was trust. He was right: we didn't trust Latham http://colebatch.blogspot.com/2010/06/you-cant-call-election-on-whats-said-in.html [i]The balm for Federal Labor’s pain points, Guy Beres.[/i] The Opposition has adopted a resolutely negativist approach in recent months, focusing almost purely on attacking the government’s record http://guyberes.com/2010/06/08/the-balm-for-federal-labors-pain-points/ [i]A perverse bit of good news, Richard Farmer, The Political Owl[/i] government will soon have the tag of underdog, which is what a sensible political party wants to be when the campaign proper starts. http://politicalowl.blogspot.com/2010/06/perverse-bit-of-good-news.html

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010HS Thank you for the informative links – all interesting reading. I wonder what Caritas thinks of Tony Abbott’s asylum seeker policy – not much is my guess. LYN’S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Thanks Lyn. NormanK Who knows whether what they believe is the result of brainwashing or simply not being affected by the GFC. As we know in medicine, preventing disease does not evoke the same applause as curing it, as the individual may believe they would not have gotten the condition in the first place. So they might have been able to smoke for 50 years without getting a lung cancer, but who would knowingly take that risk?

Ad astra reply

8/06/2010Canbra Dave I don't have Sky News, something for which I guess I should be grateful after reading what you had to say about the van Onselen interview with Eric Abetz. I believe van Onselen tries to curry favour with his interviewee, which probably explains why he was congenial towards Peter Garrett when he interviewed him.

sally

8/06/2010hi Lyn and many thanks. I'm on a mobile so typing is lousy. my briggest prob is how to deal with "your name". Do you actually enter your real name or a pseudonym? The 'username' bit etc is no problem. Hopefully either HS or gusface will respond.

gusface

8/06/2010Sally my best advice is to NOT enter your real name

Lyn

8/06/2010Hi Sally I just checked my profile on Twitter, it is the same as my user name, so there is no need to use your real name. But I see our cute little fluffy friend Gusface up above, "hello Gusface" I knew you would come along and help Sally and I. Thankyou Gusface.

gusface

8/06/2010Hi lyn very tired chasing all these silly people who think abbott is a good thing for Oz keep up the information flow as more and more people are coming to Ads fine site :)

jimbo

8/06/2010wow another day and the cracks are starting to appear in the mining companies arguments against the rspt.what with clive palmer being prone to exaggeration and extrata fessing up to not sacking 60 people(i also noted that one media outlet decided to tell people it was two hundred,channel ten i think)extrata still has to fess up about the shelving of a project which is still twelve months or more down the track,course if they dont the cfmeu will or you can read it on the cfmeu site yourselves onya cfmeu boys.it seems to me that now that the advertising for the tax is starting to hit the airwaves we are starting to get a little more balance to the argument.of course what does mr wingnutt say on this subject,well we have to look after the one point six million mine workers yes agreed but as a potential prime minister you are also reponsible for the other twenty million people living in australia as the job you want dopey is prime minister of AUSTRALIA period.i am also loving this media crowd,rather than do the job your supposed to you all seem to have decided to tell mr rudd how to get out of his troubles,not bad considering you lot had a lot to do with causing the problem one he wouldnt have had if you clowns had reported all the facts without bias and had done some investigative journalism instead of rehashing the one sided views of news limited.

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8/06/2010jimbo The disingenuousness of the miners will expose them for what they are. I notice they are making a lot of noise at Julia Gillard's visit to the West. The more noise they make in protest, the more they 'have become sounding brass and clanging cymbal'.

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8/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Lyn

8/06/2010Hi Jimbo I love your use of the name wingnut, very appropriate. Agree with your comment wholeheartedly. You are so right, investigative journalism are strange words to the MSM. Sky on the Contrarians, hosted by Peter Van Onselen, had Andrew Bolt as an interviwee, can you imagine, fancy, Andrew Bolt, great unbiased point of view to be sure, what does that tell you about Van Onselen and Sky News, and the media, the lot of them, there, those, reporters.

Lyn

9/06/2010TODAY'S LINKS [i]WHERE'S MY ABC? JJ Fiasson, THE DAILY BLUDGE[/i] Many in the blogosphere have commented on the perceived right-wing tilt of ABC news reporting http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/06/wheres-my-abc/ [i]It's Official: Government gives ABC to Murdoch, STOP MURDOCH[/i] no place on the ABC without disclosing Chris Masters' current status with Murdoch's fatally tainted News Corporation http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/ [i]Regional voters backing the Coalition, ABC[/i] In terms of preferred prime minister, Kevin Rudd is still in the lead with 49 per cent of the vote in both city and rural areas http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201006/s2920116.htm [i]Bias to the right? 'Yeah right', Brigid Andersen, Sept. 2009 .ABC[/i] the study actually found that ABC television news was the most pro-Coalition of them all. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/03/2675819.htm [i]Media favours Coalition, study finds, Sept. 2009, ABC[/i] John Howard railed against the alleged left-wing bias of the ABC, but the researchers found Aunty was more likely to favour his side. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/02/2674717.htm [i]Not Happy, Kevin, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] much can change in the crucible of an election campaign, as Abbott’s extraordinarily poor campaigning in 2007 showed. http://newmatilda.com/2010/06/08/not-happy-kevin [i]I am too lazy to form an opinion, Jeremy Sear, Anonymous Lefty[/i] It’s not good enough to say “I have no opinion”. Really? http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]This Election will be about "TRUST", Peter Brent Mumble[/i] no matter how loathed the incumbent, they all turn on how “safe” the opposition is., http://mumble.com.au/ [i]Rudd Labor on the nose, Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] response to Rudd's shelving of plans for carbon emissions trading, are seen as inevitably returning to the ALP through preferences. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/06/rudd-labor-on-t.php [i]Towards a true democracy, David Donovan, On Line Opinion[/i] the Labor Government is being blocked at almost every move by a recalcitrant Senate. It is a regular feature of Australia politics. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10532

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9/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

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9/06/2010Folks Do you get the impression the mining debate is slowly turning the Government’s way? There are just a few tidbits: First, Clive Palmer’s admission on [i]Four Corners[/i] that he had ‘exaggerated’ his claim that some of his projects were being stopped, and that in fact they were just being ‘slowed down’, which can mean anything he wants it to mean. Then Xstrata’s claim that 3000 jobs would be lost because of the RSPT was debunked as the jobs never existed, and now there are some doubts about the 60 who were said to have lost their jobs. Add to that MCA’s Mitch Hooke’s statement this morning on ABC 774 Melbourne radio that the miners support ‘tax reform’ and that he hopes there will be progress at the Perth talks, that resolution is what the miners want, which they believe will be possible if ‘the Government wakes up to the consequences of its actions and the commercial realities’. I was surprised to hear the few people that commented by text on the Mitch Hooke interview all opposed Hooke’s views. Then there was the CFMEU representative touring the mining sites talking to workers who were telling him that the miners are looking after their own interests and that the workers do not support their assertions and their campaign. Paul Howes of the AWU is a strong advocate of the RSPT and insists his members are too. He is mounting a pro-Government campaign. Maybe the belated Government TV information campaign is beginning to bite, and with the other bits and pieces of disingenuous behaviour by the miners is slowly changing public attitudes. If this gathers momentum the Government’s position will be strengthened and a rapprochement with the miners made more likely. The miners, not wanting to be seen as losers, will be more amenable. As for Tony Abbott, I hope he enjoys sitting by himself on a long limb high above the dirt while the Government and the miners go off to the pub to have a celebratory beer after coming to an agreement. After all, that’s what they say business negotiations, no matter how bitter, are all about. I know these are just straws in the wind, so let’s see.

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9/06/2010Folks Just now on ABC radio Mitch Hooke has been castigating the Government for ‘discrediting the mining industry’ and ‘minimizing its influence in averting recession during the GFC’. The fact that he is on the defensive suggests that he is feeling the heat of the Government’s assertions, and feels the need for public statements. Just another straw in the wind; if you see any floating by, do tell us all about them.

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9/06/2010Folks Will be back later this afternoon. I look forward to reading your comments.

Augustus

9/06/2010Ad Astra, one small straw I pulled from the haystack of Monday night's 4 corners was that this battle isn't just about a 40% mining tax in Australia, but many countries are taking a close look at our model and if Kevin Rudd can pull it off it leaves the door open to other countries doing the same, this what is really frightening the large international mining companies, so it is in their interest to never allow this to happen. Clive Palmer didn't really help their cause either by admitting he may have exaggerated some of the facts "an abbott moment" I guess. I work in a small niche market connected directly to the mining industry, mostly exploration, and noticed when the world wide finanical meltdown happened our business also melted down and has not fully recovered since. Therefore there hasn't been much exploration going on, so to say they have stopped exploration is true but it was during the down turn and not due to the Resource tax as our work load hasn't changed, if anything it may have even picked up slightly.

jimbo

9/06/2010hi again just a short note about the news.com.au site.they have as piece about australian taxpayers paying for the bp spill,absolutely gutter trash journalism and no wonder there is no byline and through the story is sources say this sources say that what utter garbage another news limited hack giving an opinion no doubt braindead and of course no other opinion to refute this

jimbo

9/06/2010i have also been looking at mining companies sites and in particular fortescue metals financial position.not bad reading according to their site they are going great guns so an rspt to them shouldnt be a problem accortding to their quarterly report or are these just twiggy forrests exaggerations.anyone good with a computer or any few could probably pick out some interesting tidbits to print and upload to various information sites.same for extrata and other mining company sites.

NormanK

9/06/2010Afternoon all, This is such a great site. Characterisations of Peter Van Onselen could not have been more accurate. Mr Flipflop. Here he is at lunchtime today. Mining tax revamp would pay Kevin Rudd big dividends THE premise for this column includes a very big "if", but here we go: IF the government finds a solution to its dispute with the miners over its new super-profits tax, it has an opportunity to outflank the opposition on the economy. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-tax-revamp-would-pay-kevin-rudd-big-dividends/story-e6frg8zx-1225877216423 Ad astra I can only agree that the worm has turned on this topic as well as the whole anti-government rhetoric. There was a feeling in the ether on Monday morning (how unscientific is that?) that many journalists were moving away from the hard language that they had been using. It was a subtle shift but I think we will see more of it. I am speaking more of language rather than content - a subject better addressed by others - with a softening of verbs and adjectives and a measurable backing away from both personal comment and personal attack. My take is that you and other commentators were on the money in describing their motive as a desire to see a close election which sells papers etc. Now they have it. The whole ABC thing is a different kettle of fish and the links above show us why we should all of us be concerned. She is after all my favourite aunty. Thanks Lyn. I'd love to say that every day so please take it as read.

HS

9/06/2010Augustus, Thank you for that tidbit of information about the Mining Industry, from the inside looking out. I will be sure to spread that word about, as it is little nuggets of reality such as that which can often sway people's opinions.. It all helps the broader argument at the very least.

Snoozer289

9/06/2010 Hi Finally a story on THe Drum worth sharing http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2922524.htm

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9/06/2010Augustus I believe you’re right – the multinationals are concerned that any RSPT legislated in Australia might be replicated overseas in countries to which the miners are threatening, somewhat emptily, to flee if Australia gets its RSPT. So the miners’ fear is that the world-wide bonanza they have enjoyed for years might dissipate. Thank you for your insight from the inside of the mining industry. We need to hear these stories to counter the hyperbole that pours from the big players. jimbo That story was cooked up in the fertile mind of Greg Hunt, who argued that because within the RSPT there is a provision for the Government to share 40% of the set-up costs of new mining ventures, the idea being to encourage exploration, that if that exploration resulted in an oil spill such as has occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, Australian taxpayers would be called upon to pay for cleaning it up. Now that gives new meaning to the old expression ‘drawing a long bow’. There are much less polite ways of describing Hunt’s thought bubble. It’s a pity Peter Garrett seemed to be caught off-guard, indicating that he didn’t know if Hunt’s proposition had any veracity. That it is repeated in the news media is no surprise – all that counts with lesser journalists is conflict, sensation, headlines, and stirring the anti-Rudd pot. It would be good if we could collect data that reveals the true state of affairs of mining companies, which appears to be nowhere as dire as they would have us believe.

Sally

9/06/2010Lyn and Gusface, Thank you both. I'm finally back at a real computer so can act on your advice. BTW, you are both people that add a little light relief to an otherwise sour political day. Thank you for that too.

Augustus

9/06/2010HS, Ad Astra, it is a shame that the truth and reality is being lost in the noise eminating from the MSM and the coalition, but while Abbott whores (please excuse the expression but...) to the mining industry to fulfill his own political destiny, Australia's future is at risk, Abbott is beginning to smack of megalomania if not on a small scale, a minimego maybe????.

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9/06/2010NormanK Thank you for the link to the Peter van Onselen article. Peter is trying hard to establish himself as a mainstream political commentator – a latter-day version of Paul Kelly. In some ways he writes like Paul. He seeks to be prophetic, and longs for Paul’s gravitas. Like Paul, one day he will lean one way, yet the next day the other. Like Paul, he writes cautiously so that any prediction he ventures to make has caveats, in this case the big ‘if’. Occasionally he lets rip with an anti-Government piece – who knows why? To please his editor or the proprietor or to stay aligned with some of the heavyweights at [i]The Australian[/i] who push that line? Regarding the turning of the worm, I hear Mitch Hooke again on the 3 pm news saying that the MCA believes in tax reform and a profits-based tax, that he is confident a resolution can be found, and that talks are continuing. His words are less truculent than previously, more conciliatory. For his part, Kevin Rudd is not yet giving an inch. Twiggy Forrest continues to be confrontational and is a leader in the 3000 strong ‘axe the tax’ protest rally in Perth. As Rudd’s friend I wonder what’s agitating him so much – does the RSPT disadvantage his outfit more than others, or was he seen to be the one who might be able to bring Rudd around and is angry that he’s had no success? Hypotheses of course, but if junior journalists feel they have the right of conjecture, why not we in the blogosphere? As you say, even the MSM rhetoric is softening somewhat. As for the ABC, by encouraging news and current affairs presenters, who we expect to be neutral and balanced, to write opinion pieces on [i]The Drum[/i], places them in a conflict situation where keeping separate their opinions from their moderator role is for some too difficult. I believe this was what happened to Barrie Cassidy a couple of weeks ago on [i]Insiders[/i].

bilgedigger

9/06/2010For anybody who is able to access the First Dog on the Moon cartoon on http://www.crikey.com have a look at today's cartoon. Apart from the funny little add-ons that First Dog loves to use, it is one of the best explanations of the RSPT available in an easily digestible manner. While you are there, click on to his cartoon about the Cat (the one below the iPod reference) - it has a fantastic pictorial reference to Kim Carr, being so much like Kim, which provided a lot of laughter in this household.

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9/06/2010Snoozer 289 What a refreshing article that was by Annie O'Rourke in [i]The Drum Unleashed: Rudd, Blanchett and Button: the real story[/i] It gave a plausible explanation of why Rudd did not attend the Button funeral and just for a change was not trenchantly anti-Rudd. Any visitor feeling despondent about the media’s treatment of Rudd should read it: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2922524.htm

Sally

9/06/2010AA and Snoozer 289, Yes it was refreshing but look at the personally vicious and vitriolic comment it has, by its nature, provoked. Don't sit on your hands. If you can, respond and support the woman.

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9/06/2010Augustus Tony Abbott has nailed his flag to the miner’s mast, and along with him Julie Bishop and Wilson Tuckey, both of whom attended the ‘axe the tax’ rally in Perth. What will they do if the miners abandon ship and make a deal with Government? Abbott has declared that this will be the main issue on which the election will be fought. But that will be so only if the Government and miners are still fighting come election time. Maybe Rudd will let this dispute run until the miners run out of steam, then stitch up deal and leave Abbott sailing into the wide blue yonder. Rudd does not have to hurry to an election; he can even leave it until next year. The consensus on an election date is already moving from August to October. Remember how Johnny played with election dates – Rudd can, and I suspect will do the same. Despite the exhaustion it might cause, I would prefer it be left until February 2011, or even April!

Sally

9/06/2010AA and Augustus, You are both right - IF that is the outcome of WA. And I suspect AA you are right on the timing of the election as well. A DD is not a good outcome for the gov't. Let it wait and let all this nonsense (crap?) disappear. Maybe he needs to wait to call the election once the tide turns.

Snoozer289

9/06/2010Sally, I agree with your comments, I overlooked this comments from these narkie,bitter and twisted responses, as people like these are just reflecting the type of government we will have if Abbot is elected. I will use the David Marr evaluation, they are angry nasty people who are reflecting their inner childhood experiences and frustrations

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9/06/2010Sally I've just posted the following comment on The Drum Unleashed story by Annie O'Rouke: [i]Annie, what a refreshing change from the vitriolic anti-Rudd rhetoric we’ve become accustomed to reading. It has brought out in response the usual coterie of those who revel in pouring out their venom on our PM, but I hope you won’t be disappointed – that is what we have come to expect from them. Be assured there are many who applaud your candor and your courage in putting the record straight.[/i]

jimbo

9/06/2010stop the presses reinhart and forrest together for the first time over the mining tax why is that not happy to be seen together as two out of the top ten on the brw rich list.oh and what about the huge turnout for the demonstration against the mining tax omg a whole two thousand three of which were reinhart forrest and low and behold julie bishop,hahaahaa one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven people and the three amigos i hope bishop had an appropriate passport not one titled made in israel.amazing to think that we had a march in ballarat over losses of jobs in the rail industry when jeff kennet decided to restructure said industry and we managed between five and ten thousand marchers the three amigos managed two thousand demonstrators and what size is westewrn australia much bigger than ballarat methinks.hahaahaaa.this result is priceless.

NormanK

9/06/2010AA, I agree the election is a long way off and hope to have time soon to make this argument. With regard to comments posted on The Drum - this very thing is what makes TPS such an oasis. One or more of three things is going on here. Kevin Rudd and company are incompetent fools who fully deserve our derision. Australians who are world-renowned for their political apathy have shaken off their lethargy and are giving voice to their new-found awareness. Professional comment writers are being paid to troll news sites and bombard them with vitriol. I can not believe for one moment that this many Australians feel this strongly on a political subject. If you take the comments at face value, you could be forgiven for thinking Kevin Rudd has crashed through their front gate, shot the dog and taken a dump on the front step. Initially I was angry. Then embarrassed. Now highly cynical.

Lyn

9/06/2010Jimbo I saw the rally on Sky Agenda only a small clip, they showed Julie Bishop with the Mining big wigs. You know I thought, how strange, since when did our taxes pay a Federal Parliament Shadow Minister, Deputy Leader, to take part in demonstrations, of any kind against, the Government, think about it The Government. Wonder did they rent a Liberal Crowd, paid out of their entertainment allowances. Have you ever seen the likes of this happen before ever, surely it's a first. OMG! is easy on them.

Lyn

9/06/2010Hi Normank I agree with Ad, maybe it would be wise for the Government to delay the Election until next year, I believe they have until April. By that time the Liberals should have disintegrated. [quote]Kevin Rudd has crashed through their front gate, shot the dog and taken a dump on the front step.[/quote], I agree with you. But then media come racing along and kick the shot dog when it's down.

Augustus

9/06/2010Ad Astra, this going to be a long and protracted battle and if possible drag it out up to election time if possible, but as you have pointed out Kevin really has up until early in the new year and it looks as though he will use it hoping Tony and the miners have spent their penny, if Kevin Rudd does come to an agreement with the miners it will leave Tony Abbott with no where to go as he seems to be hanging everything on the RSPT being the election issue. If the miners do pull a capital strike it will hurt the industry I know I will be the first to suffer but I will not kowtow to blackmail, and remain resolute to never vote for Abbott.

Augustus

9/06/2010Lyn "High Priestess of the Link", it is bizarre to see politicians heading protest rallies, just keep going guys, how can you respect anyone who will so willingly stoop to such low morals to graner a vote.

Lyn

9/06/2010Hi Augustus Glad you agree with me politicians heading protest rallies. Julie Bishop wrote a column in the National times , all about how dirty Kevin Rudd and Labor are going to conduct the election campaign, attacking Tony Abbott, Oh dear, poor sweet little Tony. Are you having a lend of me, with the title you have bestowed on me.

Augustus

9/06/2010Lyn, I did see something about that today and had to scoff just at the title alone, I didn't have the time or inclination to read it though, I just can't take any of them seriously enough to bother these days. [i][/i]Are you having a lend of me, with the title you have bestowed on me[i][/i] I'm certainly not having a lend of you mate, a term of respect for your efforts.

jimbo

9/06/2010fantastic job the union movement is doing the cfmeu and the awu on the mining tax and the actu reminding us all about workchoices which if wingnutt gets in will become workchoices part2 and as for wingnutts policies we have all heard him total destruction of all infrastructure projects brought in by labour.obviously the wingnutt isnt interested in roads,health,hospitals,nurses,teachers,schools the environment or world standard high speed broadband.he is nothing more than a destructive ratbag who needs to be brought to book by the mainstream media asking him about policies and his idea of the future for ALL australians as well as costings for all of his policies

Lyn

9/06/2010Hi Augustus Thankyou, Augustus, haven't we just got the best blog, here at "The Political Sword". Yes, I didn't bother to read the Bishop Article, either just the title. Just reading Antony Green's prediction for the election date, you might like to read it too, I will post the link for you: Cheers and love your comments. [i]A Federal Election in August? Antony Green, ABC[/i] Constitutionally the last possible date for the election is 16 April 2011. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/06/a-federal-election-in-august.html

Augustus

9/06/2010jimbo, Abbott must believe what the mining companies are saying because if he believes that they will cut jobs then he has no where to send all those under 30 smelly dole bludgers which will punch a hole in his budget, I thought using Charles Firth from the chasers was a clever move by the CFMEU, lets just treat the whole argument with the contempt it deserves

Senexx

9/06/2010Only skimmed the post, will read in full soon. Thought you might like this link though: http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/06/09/is-the-kpmg-report-on-the-resource-super-profit-tax-reasonable/ Apparently the answer is no

Augustus

9/06/2010Thanks for the link Lyn, so it is beginning to look like a August election, hmmm 2 months, just enough time to sort out the mining companies and for the coalition to do something else very stupid, or to stretch it out to april next year, how will Kevin Rudd jump.

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9/06/2010Folks Thank you all for your comments and links. I agree that the appearance of Julie Bishop and Wilson Tuckey at the 'axe the tax' rally in Perth was extraordinary - who do they think they are - unionists? It has locked the Opposition in even more strongly with the miners, something that must please Labor. The more this happens, the more isolated they will become if and when the Government and miners agree. Time for sleep now -it's been a long day.

gusface

9/06/2010For the ABC watch site [WTF lateline business used clip from todays protest to hiliite consumer lack of confidence-ABC you really suck bad]

HS

9/06/2010Community Cabinet in Perth tonight was not a hostile environment for the PM. Thank goodness!

Lyn

10/06/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Leave Kevin Rudd alone, Catherine Deveny, The Drum[/i] Kevin Rudd's done nothing wrong. He's done nothing at all. What more do you want? Something? Next you'll be wanting everything. You bunch of selfish narcissists. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2922801.htm [i]Negative, narrow and uninspiring Politics, Barrie Cassidy, The Drum[/i] They will not, when it comes to the crunch, vote for Abbott on election day http://www.abc.net.au/thedrum/ A[i] Federal Election in August? Antony Green, ABC[/i] Constitutionally the last possible date for the election is 16 April 2011. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/06/a-federal-election-in-august.html [i]It's GOING TO RUIN US! JJ Fiasson, The Daily Bludge[/i] Twiggy is supposedly a Labor man, and yet he couldn’t help but accuse Rudd of turning this country into a Communist dictatorship. http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/06/its-going-to-ruin-us/ [i]Abbott Is Not PM Material, [b]Andrew Elder[/b], New Matilda[/i] Tony Abbott got where he is today by flouting "political realities". He is proud to be an obstacle to reform http://newmatilda.com/2010/06/09/abbott-not-pm-material [i]The decline and fall of the Rudd Labor Empire?,Paul Walter, Webdiary[/i] God help us all if a dimwit like Britain's Cameron- Abbott- gets in and sets about the same sort of policies as Cameron- robbing the poor to pay for the mistakes of the wealthy. http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/3065 [i]John Howard Who asked you,Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] whatever tripe happens to be spewing forth from John Howard’s mealy-mouthed gob. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/06/09/john-howard-who-asked-you/ [i]No way back, no way out - the miners don't want a deal. Peter Martin[/i] The mining companies don't really want what they say they want. Not yet. Not by a long shot. Not while there is a chance of toppling the government. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Is the KPMG - report on the Resource Super-Profit Tax reasonable?, Paul Frijters, Club Troppo[/i] Large sections of the report are hence devoted to explaining the differences which read a little forced to me. You can smell the guilt http://clubtroppo.com.au/ T[i]he risky politics of apolitical advertising[/i], Stephanie Younane Brookes , Inside Storythe media and political commentators view Rudd and his government: spin ahead of substance, http://inside.org.au/the-risky-politics-of-apolitical-advertising/

HS

10/06/2010Good article by Heather Ridout today on the RSPT: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/pilloried-tax-is-a-step-in-the-right-direction-20100609-xwq2.html

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10/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

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10/06/2010Folks Back later this morning.

janice

10/06/2010HillbillySkeleton, I agree, that was a good article from Heather Ridout. The commenters were also mainly in agreement with her. Don't know about anyone else, but I am mostly more interested in the comments which gives me a picture of what voters might be thinking. I have come to the conclusion that the anti-Rudd brigade are made up of the same people who rant and rave on JTI, Megalogenis, Bolt and The Drum. They're like an army of cockroaches moving from site to site to spread their bacteria. IMHO, they only feed their like-minded media columnists who like to think they are experts. BTW - good posts from you over at JTIs.

janice

10/06/2010Peter Martin's piece is absolutely spot on. The miners don't want a deal while there is hope that Abbott will win the election. If and when they see tide turning back to Labor they'll be scrambling to find a way to back off without having egg all over their grubby faces.

FFreddy

10/06/2010I would recommend people read Barrie Cassidy's piece in the Drum, a piece dripping in contempt for the Govt. and Kevin Rudd in particular. To give you a taste this gem appears in the first few paragraphs.. " And the perception is that no humiliation is beyond the current crop of ministers who long ago abandoned any sense of personal self-respect or individual authority that once came with achieving such office." This guy must have a bile duct the size of a watermelon. The second half of the article is a boo hoo defence of poor little Tony because.. "some govt. supporters have started hawking around anti-Abbott material to the gallery, so far without much success." It's funny the gallery, including the ABC, showed no such reluctance in spreading any rumour or damaging anecdote when it came to Mark Latham, Kevin Rudd, Mike Rann etc. I'm just waiting for the Abbott anecdote about his brief time as a journo at the Bulletin to come out where one night he got extremely drunk and had to be restrained from taking 'muscles' Bob Carr outside and bashing his head in for expressing his support for a womens right to choose. I suppose we can expect BCassidy to come to his defence on that one as well. The last part of the article is a snear at Rudd for his refusal to be interviewed by ABolt in which BC describes AB as "a particular journalist"!

Rx

10/06/2010Night after night [i]Lateline[/i] gives the Liberals and mining industry spokesmen the stage to whack at the government. And morning after morning Fran Kelly does the same on their Radio National.

janice

10/06/2010FFreddy, Cassidy must have contracted PPD (poison dwarf disease). Time we really ramped up the "Can the Cass" campaign in the form of a petition to present to the ABC. Cassidy is not worth one cent of taxpayer money.

Rx

10/06/2010Is the ABC in its present politicised form worth one cent of taxpayers' money?

Lyn

10/06/2010Hi Ad The above piece in today's links, by Barrie Cassidy this morning, [i]Negative[/i], [i]narrow and uninspiring Politics, Barrie Cassidy, The Drum [/i] Cassidy's page links, to read more, and comments, do not work. But now we have this piece, different title same story: [i]The Abbott dirt file and a Bolt ban: things go negative,Barry Cassidy, The Drum[/i]Noted Melbourne conservative columnist, Andrew Bolt, was apparently barred from interviewing Kevin Rudd. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/10/2923180.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail Seems Abbott and Co, can belittle, slander, heckle call Kevin Rudd digusting names, but if Labor, the GOVERNMENT say anything AT ALL about Phoney Tony, it's CALLED dirt. Well I never, Andrew Bolt was barred from interviewing Kevin Rudd, Andrew Bolt detests Kevin Rudd and Labor, he makes no secret of it, in the slightest way at all. Think this Cassidy piece is a good one for ABC Watch.

nasking

10/06/2010Hi Lyn. I thought the Cassidy piece absolute trosh. Fancy him spruiking Andrew Bolt. The Murdoch empire is certainly getting a free ride from the taxpayer by way of ABC backdoor advertising. We have created a temporary (?) blog whilst Blogocrats is on hiatus (Miglo's idea), it's called Cafe Whispers. Ben has posted on the Cassidy/Bolt affair: Journalists still deciding they are the story… http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/journalists-still-deciding-they-are-the-story/#comment-77 cheers N'

nasking

10/06/2010[quote]Good article by Heather Ridout today on the RSPT[/quote] HillbillySkeleton, I agree. If Heather was in the Liberal Party she'd make a darn site better leader than Tony Abbott. She knows how to compromise & negotiate. Abbott sounds like a puppet for the Rolex Revolution. N'

Ad astra reply

10/06/2010janice Peter Martin’s piece is a paragon of commonsense and saying it the way it is. He even suggests a way out of the impasse, but doubts if the miners are interested in compromise while they hold to the possibility that there might be an Abbott government come election time. He is one of the best economics correspondents around. His view is consistent with Twiggy Forrest’s utterances on [i]Lateline[/i] last night where he avoided answering direct questions about what might be an acceptable compromise. Despite what he says about wanting a resolution, it seems that the only acceptable one would be Government capitulation. He would not answer whether miners ought to pay more tax, or whether lifting the threshold above the long-term bond rate would be acceptable. He repeatedly mouthed the platitude: ‘I’m excited about tax reform’, but gave no hint of what he would regard as acceptable reform. Tony Jones was his usual probing self, and although rather more gentle than he is with politicians, did expose the nihilistic approach Forrest showed he was determined to take. If he takes this attitude into his private talks with Kevin Rudd today no resolution can be expected. As Peter Martin suggests, at least some of the miners seem to not want resolution – instead they seem to prefer an Abbott Government where they can go on doing just as they have before.

Ad astra reply

10/06/2010FFreddy In that article on [i]The Drum[/i], now rebadged as [i] The Abbott dirt file and a Bolt ban: things go negative[/i], Barrie Cassidy demonstrated that he is prepared to descend into the grubby depths of journalism that we see from the likes of Glenn Milne, Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman. It is the most appalling thing I’ve seen Cassidy write, and when he comes out in defence of Bolt, it exposes for all to see his accommodating attitude to this journalist. So what’s behind it? First, he seems to have an unmovable grudge against Kevin Rudd, who I understand has appeared only once on [i]Insiders[/i] and refuses to appear again. I don’t know why, but I suspect some of the panelists Cassidy uses might be the reason: Bolt, Akerman and Milne. And I don’t blame Rudd – why would he have any interest in feeding a programme that hosts the most venomous anti-Rudd journalists in the MSM? Another plausible reason that he has rushed to Bolt’s defence, insisting he should not have been excluded from the Steve Price MTR interview of Rudd, is that he has been repeatedly attacked for including Bolt on [i]Insiders[/i] while Bolt continues to be incapable of making balanced statements about Rudd and his Government. As Cassidy stubbornly continues to engage him, I suppose it is logical he would insist on the same for the MTR programme. Cassidy is entitled to his opinions, as we all are, but when a man who is required by the ABC to present an evenhanded, balanced weekly political programme indulges in such partisan journalism on the ABC’s own outlet [i]The Drum[/i], it jeopardizes his ability to properly fulfill his [i]Insiders[/i] role. We saw this two weeks back where the views he expressed on [i]The Drum[/i] so contaminated [i]Insiders[/i] that protests were sent to the ABC complaining about what was a seriously partisan episode on what is supposed to be OUR ABC. In my opinion the policy of encouraging current affairs programme moderators to write opinion pieces on [i]The Drum[/i], is fatally flawed. It should be reversed but with the present management that seems unlikely.

Lyn

10/06/2010Hi Nasking I am delighted to see you today, I have been keeping a close watch on Blogocrats waiting for some more great writing from the team. Thankyou so much for telling us about . [b]cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../#comment-77 [/b] I have just come back from there, fantastic piece exactly my sentiments. Nasking all your comments are enjoyable as well. I love Joni and Min, the little bird, they are so nice to the commenters and everybody gave me a lovely welcome. Miglo's idea, I am very proud of Miglo, he's a clever smiling duck, love his comments and pieces too. Oh and by the way, it's a nice touch when anyone visits Blogocrats, the system says hello to you by name. Barrie Cassidy is one thing, but Andrew Bolt getting upset about not being able to interview Kevin Rudd has stuck in my gizzard.

Augustus

10/06/2010Ad Astra, I found this article reporting yesterdays rally in Perth, it reads that it appears most protesters were from the industry, retirees worried about there investments, and landlords worried about there property values. Bugger Australias future I wanna be rich. And this little bit at the bottom "Outside the hotel, at the corner of the park, there was another, more modest protest. An Aboriginal woman, Jude Kelly, stood by a hand-painted banner reminding anyone who cared to look just who were the original owners and custodians of Australia's mineral wealth."

nasking

10/06/2010Thankyou for yer kind comments Lyn. Much appreciated. I always enjoy visiting here too. Highly informative posts & very useful links provided by yerself & the others. [quote]Cassidy is entitled to his opinions, as we all are, but when a man who is required by the ABC to present an evenhanded, balanced weekly political programme indulges in such partisan journalism on the ABC’s own outlet The Drum, it jeopardizes his ability to properly fulfill his Insiders role.[/quote] Ad astra, I couldn't agree more. Something stinks about the state of what was once OUR ABC. BTW, I noticed in the opinion piece that Cassidy specifically mentioned ABC correspondent Mark Simkin. [quote]The truly sad aspect of the spin that day was how some otherwise intelligent senior ministers, robot-like, took their instructions from some "junior woodchuck" in the Prime Minister's office, and dutifully did as they were told. Once those contributions were bundled together by ABC political correspondent, Mark Simkin, they looked foolish and demeaning.[/quote] Not sure if it's relevant but Mark Simkin is on the List of Old Boys of St Aloysius' College. Guess who else are? Yep, Tony Abbott & Joe Hockey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Old_Boys_of_St_Aloysius'_College Old school ties perhaps? N'

Ad astra reply

10/06/2010janice, Rx, Lyn Cassidy’s piece added to ABC WATCH: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx It will be interesting to see the effect of this piece by Cassidy on his moderation of next Sunday’s [i]Insiders[/i]. If his performance a couple of weeks ago after another of his opinion pieces on [i]The Drum[/i] is any guide, we can anticipate Labor will be in for a rough time. nasking Congratulations on setting up Café Whispers. The Cassidy piece is a good starting point. I have the impression that Mark Simkin is a pretty evenhanded journalist and likely not wholly behind the thrust of his piece on the Nielsen poll. I suspect that some smart aleck cut and paste merchant had some childish fun piecing together the various ‘repeated at election time, this poll would result in Tony Abbott being PM’ utterances, presumably for the amusement of viewers. How else could this simple fact be said? Drawing attention to the similarities in what Labor members said was pointless, but I suppose OUR ABC thought it was good entertainment. Augustus The ‘axe the tax’ rally was obviously organized to make it look as if the people were storming the streets, but as you say, the usual suspects were there and some unusual ones too – Julie Bishop and Iron-bar Tuckey. What a poignant touch that one of the original owners of this land was there to point out who else is being dudded by the miners.

Ad astra reply

10/06/2010Folks You might be interested in Bernard Keane’s piece in [i]Crikey[/i] today that started out titled [i]If Rudd can’t win this debate he doesn’t deserve to be PM[/i] but which now appears under the title [i]The Twiggy that broke Rudd’s back[/i] http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/10/if-rudd-cant-win-this-debate-he-doesnt-deserve-to-be-pm/ He puts his finger on it in this paragraph: [i]“I’ve been saying for a month that the mining industry is lying. Bit by bit the evidence is starting to mount, not just in the credibility gap between their words and their business-as-usual actions, but from their own mouths. Clive Palmer had to admit to the ABC that he wasn’t “canning” projects at all (and we’re still looking for that South Australian mine he said he was shutting). Forrest made an absolute howler yesterday, claiming the Chinese were cutting mining taxes when they’re considering imposing a resources tax. Hell, maybe even copying the RSPT.”[/i]

Mobius Ecko

10/06/2010Barry Cassidy did another hatchet job on Rudd on ABC News Breakfast when he was supposed to be commentating on newspaper headlines. He spent far more time denigrating Rudd at every headline change than he did on the job at hand. Does anyone know why Cassidy has it in for Rudd?

Sally

10/06/2010Hi great TPS folk, I fully agree with the dialogue above about Hopalong (does anyone else remember him? Seems an apt descriptor for one hopping to the Lib/mining camp) and the ABC although as I said in a posting on The Drum yesterday it seems to have been ALP friendly for about 5 days. Hopalong's post inverted that. These recent words from none other than John Hewson have a resonance: "To the punter, daily media reports of the [political] contest are often little better than Hollywood gossip. It is little wonder that they increasingly tune out, feel disenfranchised and become disillusioned. Problems don't get "solved", real needs are not addressed, and "bad (political) behaviour" is expected, but perhaps ultimately not yet excused. Hasn't all this, and more, all come together in the current political contest over the mining super profits tax? Powerful, multinational, well funded, mining giants, fearful that this may be the thin end of the wedge from the point of view of the taxation of their global mining activities, hell-bent on intimidating a government out of "governing", where they and their narrow interests are concerned." http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2923280.htm Read it if you have time. Re St Aloysius, the Jesuits in Sydney have educated a number of interesting people in Aus public life but mostly in the Arts. I suspect the right-wing bias (not necessarily conservative but certainly liberal) is partly due to it's middle class and aspirational elite status, and its location, more than the values espoused at the school by the teachers. But only a suspicion. I've had many friends over the years who attended the school and loved it and they are firmly entrenched lefties (not, I hasten to add, 'commies'). But a Catholic education, in such a serious intellectual/religious environment (as I also had in a female school), does screw you up to some extent and takes many years to work through. I think Tony is still not there.

Ad astra reply

10/06/2010Folks If you were wondering how KPMG could write a report for the Henry Tax Review that argued the appropriateness of the RSPT, yet could later write a report for the Minerals Council of Australia arguing the opposite, read [i]Is the KPMG report on the resource super-profit tax reasonable?[/i] posted by Paul Frijters on June 9 on [i]Club Troppo[/i] He concludes: [i]“Hence, as far as I can ascertain, this report is guilty of double-dipping in terms of clientele, uses various assumptions that are far from realistic, and systematically highlights the worst case for the RSPT. In my own mind it carries a big sticker saying ‘some poor competent modeler was told to make up a set of assumptions that would help the cause of a rich client’. I am not at all surprised that the report carries the immortal phrase on page 2 that ‘neither KPMG nor any member or employee of KPMG undertakes responsibility arising in any way from reliance placed by a third party on this report’ which basically means KPMG washes its hands of the use of its report in the media and by opponent of the RSPT. I wouldn’t want to be held responsible for the content of this report either.”[/i] The link is: http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/06/09/is-the-kpmg-report-on-the-resource-super-profit-tax-reasonable/#more-11483

Ad astra reply

10/06/2010Sally The Hewson article [i] Politics is a game, and rotten to the core[/i] was germane. It seems as if the media now has a pernicious influence on how governments operate by forcing them into its 24 media cycle, and governments have become willing or unwilling accomplices in this charade. If we are to survive as a democracy that can embrace needed reforms, governments have to break free from this media manipulation and fashion their own agenda for the advancemant of the nation. The link is: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2923280.htm

Ad astra reply

10/06/2010Mobius Ecko As I postulated in response to FFreddy, [i]Cassidy “…seems to have an unmovable grudge against Kevin Rudd, who I understand has appeared only once on [i]Insiders[/i] and refuses to appear again. I don’t know why, but I suspect some of the panelists Cassidy uses might be the reason: Bolt, Akerman and Milne. And I don’t blame Rudd – why would he have any interest in feeding a programme that hosts the most venomous anti-Rudd journalists in the MSM? “Another plausible reason that he has rushed to Bolt’s defence, insisting he should not have been excluded from the Steve Price MTR interview of Rudd, is that he has been repeatedly attacked for including Bolt on [i]Insiders[/i] while Bolt continues to be incapable of making balanced statements about Rudd and his Government. As Cassidy stubbornly continues to engage him, I suppose it is logical he would insist on the same for the MTR programme.”[/i] Let’s see if he does another hatchet job on Kevin Rudd in next Sunday’s [i]Insiders[/i].

Agnes Mack

10/06/2010The comments link for Cassidy's piece was down for hours, but was restored a short time ago. Here's a link reminder for any of you itching to have a few words with Barrie. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/10/2923180.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

HS

10/06/2010This is an absolutely cracking article on the disngenuous anti-RSPT campaign by Ian Verrender: http://www.smh.com.au/business/in-miners-war-on-tax-logic-is-first-casualty-20100609-xwxa.html#poll Thank goodness Fairfax are holding onto their journalistic principles in this debate.

Lyn

10/06/2010Hi Ad I don't think the average Australian would be very sympathetic with the the Mining Company's. Gina Rinehart who is usually a very private person, staying away from the Media, but when it comes to perhaps having to pay, one cent more tax in two years time she is yelling from the back of a truck. Here's a piece by Michael Gordon: [i]Billionaires' club hits the street for tax protest , Michael Gordon, Video, The Age[/i] the country's richest woman bellowed into a megaphone, imploring one of the best-dressed assemblies of protesters to gather in Perth to vent their anger on Kevin Rudd. http://www.theage.com.au/national/billionaires-club-hits-the-street-for-tax-protest-20100609-xwu6.html?autostart=1

Agnes Mack

10/06/2010I should warn anyone commenting on Barrie Cassidy's piece at the Drum to choose their words carefully. My final paragraph, suggesting a David Marr analysis of Barrie's past to determine what scarring event had caused him to be such an angry anti-Rudd activist, was moderated out.

Macca

10/06/2010The truly sad aspect of the spin that day was how some otherwise intelligent senior ministers, robot-like, took their instructions from some "junior woodchuck" I doubt that this will be passed by the moderators, however, for what its worth I submitted the following to the BC comments. " Your problem, Barrie, is that the "junior woodchuck" is something worthwhile and just you're a run of the mill journalist. Thats gotta hurt."

Sally

10/06/2010Agnes Mack and others, Interesting that the comments on the Hewson piece have been down for hours as well. Still not up.

Sally

10/06/2010Hi all, Also worth reading this by Leslie Cannold: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2923682.htm An excerpt: 'Leopards don't change their spots. Tony Abbott is still the Mad Monk or, as his daughter put it, "a lame... churchy loser." If he comes to power, the Christian right will still have his ear and just as it was in the past, women, gays, single mothers, young people, Aborigines, religious minorities, migrants and those with the audacity to be disabled or unemployed will need to watch out. Labor needs to stop making elliptical references to the nightmare of an Abbott-led government and start spelling out exactly whose rights are likely to cancelled, and whose best interests will be decided by others.' Hewson comments still down.

bilgedigger

10/06/2010It is an unlikely event in the current climate at the ABC, but full credit must go to John Faine this morning on ABC 774 Melbourne where he took on The Australian over it's treatment of Victoria's Police Commissioner, Simon Overland. There is a fascinating backstory to the current articles The Australian is running (although they are the usual slime and grime so common to that newspaper). Today at http://www.crikey.com there is a story which gives some of the background with click-throughs to other relevant articles. There is still so much which cannot be reported on at present and so much yet to come. By so openly opposing New Ltd's treatment of Commissioner Overland and the OPI, John Faine has opened himself up to the kind of vitriolic attack on him in retaliation that is so much part of News Ltd's formula. In keeping up to date with the kinds of bias other commentators at the ABC are peddling, we ought to be careful to support the few who are still prepared to put their heads up over the trenches.

Sally

10/06/2010bilgedigger, I try!

Acerbic Conehead

10/06/2010AA, as you know, Tones is a real outdoors man, and the Perth rally yesterday to AXE THE TAX has inspired him to get out into the bush and do his lumberjack impersonation on a few unfortunate trees. So sing along with him as he is accompanied by his fluro-jacketed choristers, The WorkGang of Four, Clive, Twiggy, Klopps and Gina. However, look out for the denouement, as Tones just can’t help himself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clPYfaTvHT0 $$ Tones: I'm a MinersHack and I'm OK I sleep all night and I chop all day. $$ The Gang of Four: He's a MinersHack and he's OK He sleeps all night and he chops all day $$ Tones: I’ll axe the tax, ‘tis gospel truth I’ll give to the bloated few But what happens after the election, I don’t have a bloody clue $$ The Gang of Four: He’ll axe the tax, ‘tis gospel truth He’ll give to us bloated few But what happens after the election, he doesn’t have a bloody clue He's a MinersHack and he's OK He sleeps all night and he chops all day. $$ Tones: I’ll axe the tax, win a Jesus quiz For my answers get a lot of ticks But on economics, I’m as thick as a couple of bricks $$ The Gang of Four: He’ll axe the tax, win a Jesus quiz For his answers get a lot of ticks But on economics, he’s as thick as a couple of bricks He's a MinersHack and he's OK He sleeps all night and he chops all day. $$ Tones: I’ll spin my ‘vane, might axe the tax Do a flip-flop every day Whatever it takes I’ll do it, just to keep old Kev at bay $$ The Gang of Four: He’ll spin his ‘vane, MIGHT (!) axe the tax? Do a flip-flop...every day? No way’s he's a MinersHack, far from being OK So instead of this idiot, give us Malcolm anyday

Rx

10/06/2010Sally, I tried to post a comment to the Abbott story, but got a "Page Not Found" error. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2923682.htm I won't be deterred, will try again tomorrow. I think all concerned Swordsmiths should make a point of leaving comments on ABC and News Ltd blogs defending the Labor government and Kevin Rudd. Mobius Ecko, Good to see you here! Have been an admirer of your work on other blogs. I hope you will add [i]The Political Sword[/i] to the list of blogs to which you regularly contribute.

HS

10/06/2010Agnes Mack, My comment to the barrie Cassidy diatribe was censored 100%! I thought that only News Ltd. were low enough to do that to people who disagreed with them. My comment was incisive and not entriely unreasonable. That's all. Not abusive, certainly. Basically, all I said was that no wonder the PM won't allow himself to be interviewed by Bolt, he's a running dog of the Liberal Party. Also that maube Barrie was miffed by the 'junior woodchucks' in the PM's Press Office because he thought he would have gotten the gig. Also, that it was a bit rich to complain about the Tony Abbott Dirt File when John Howard had a taxpayer-funded Dirt Unit!

Rx

10/06/2010[i]My comment to the barrie Cassidy diatribe was censored 100%! I thought that only News Ltd. were low enough to do that to people who disagreed with them.[/i] I have been censored by their ABC also when attempting to defend the Labor government. It doesn't happen often, fortunately, but the fact that it does happen strikes me as fishy, to say the least, considering some of the unhinged hateful comments against Kevin Rudd that the ABC lets through.

Lyn

10/06/2010Hi Mobius Ecko, I want to second Rx's words, it is great to see you here. I too have read your excellent comments on other blogs.

HS

10/06/2010Speaking about 'lame...churchy losers', I believe part of the Tony Abbott Dirt File included an incident with Bob Carr. Bob Carr was defending a Woman's Right To Choose(Abortion), and Tony Abbott was so incensed he wanted to take Bob outside the room they were in and punch him out!

Lyn

10/06/2010[b]Hi Ad A fantasic piece by Reb over at Gutter Trash, thankyou Reb for cheering[/b] [b]everybody up, love the photo of Kevin Rudd[/b] [i]Kevin Rudd: The Comeback Special. Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] very rich mining person Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest agreed that progress had been made in the discussions with the Prime Minister. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/06/10/kevin-rudd-the-comeback-special/

Rx

10/06/2010Wasn't Abbott once thrown out of Question Time for putting up his fits at a Labor Member? The guy's a common thug. Sometimes, in a black little corner at the remotest area of my heart, I hope he does become PM (just for one term, mind) so the stupid Australian public are forced to see first-hand how bad he really is. I believe he would damage the Liberal brand so badly they would be unelectable for a generation. "What, vote Liberal? You've got to be kidding! They're the mob that gave us the madman, Abbott!"

HS

10/06/2010Isn't that just so hypocritical? Barrie Cassidy is able to have a spray at Kevin Rudd, but we aren't allowed to have a spray at him back?

Lyn

10/06/2010Hi Ad Now Gerry Harvey has decided to get on the band wagon, of Kicking Kevin Rudd when he's down. But I see, he tried to retract his words later by saying "what he said , inside was all rubbish", I am trying to find a link of the retraction, wonder if the media will report it online though. [i]Gerry Harvey says Rudd's Government 'bloody amateurs' , Herald Sun[/i] the timing, you just think these blokes are bloody amateurs http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/gerry-harvey-says-rudds-government-bloody-amateurs/story-e6frf7ko-1225878113416 [i]Rudd government ‘amateurs’ on RSPT: Gerry Harvey, The Australian Business Journal[/i] But you know, with how they presented it, the timing, you just think these blokes are bloody amateurs http://www.australianbusinessjournal.com.au/rudd-government-amateurs-on-rspt-gerry-harvey/ Of course then comes the ABC: [i]PM's credibility the biggest loser: Harvey, Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop, ABC[/i]He's trying to be somebody he's not. People are saying this guy's a fake http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/10/2923972.htm?section=justin

joe2

10/06/2010Sadly, the comment section has closed at The Drum and I was unable to let Barrie Cassidy know my feelings about his suggestion, in his article, that Kevin Rudd was avoiding Andrew Bolt. Hope you nice folks do not mind if I reproduce it here. "Barrie, I would perfectly understand if Andrew Bolt had been placed on a black list by the P.M. Indeed, having watched The Insiders for what will be my last time, two Sunday's back, in which he smeared him constantly and was not once called on it, I could see why Rudd would not wish to waste his time by accepting an interview there, either. "Insiders" has become so blatantly partisan with Murdoch hacks- Bolt the worst offender- given free kicks , every week, to launch further, the obvious vendetta that spills from the stable newspapers during the week. You really have allowed a program that should be about thoughtful analysis to become a Sunday morning branch meeting of the Liberal Party." Cheers

Rx

10/06/2010Nicely worded, Joe2! Perhaps you'd like to send your comments to "Can the Cass" via the 'Contact' page. http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/contact.htm As Bushfire Bill (I think it was) said, the program should be renamed <b>The Onesiders</b>.

Lyn

10/06/2010Hi Joe 2 Thankyou for posting your interesting Cassidy comment here. Funny though the comments, are closed so early, don't you think. Why on earth would Kevin Rudd speak to Bolt, does't Barrie Cassidy understand what nasty means. This is Bolt today, he is having a rolling, around the ground, gleeful time with Cassidy's words: Rudd’s mice squeak , Andrew Bolt spin-mad, authoritarian and flailing Rudd Government: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/rudds_mice_squeak

joe2

10/06/2010Thanks Rx, maybe I should. I would imagine Cassidy received a lot of strong feedback about the episode which finally killed the show for me. Sadly, though, I do not think he takes any notice. One thing for sure, my own weekend mood was improved hugely by giving the show the flick last Sunday.

Ad astra reply

10/06/2010Folks I've enjoyed reading your comments. The Cassidy piece has certainly stirred up a lot of people. I wonder does he realize how badly he's shredding his credibility as an even handed moderator of a significant political programme? Gerry Harvey has shot off his mouth in an arrogant way that does not suit his carefully cultured knock-about image. He may regret that outburst, which I predict will boost, not diminish Kevin Rudd's popularity. The berating of Rudd has gone too far - the people will tire of it, and react against it. Harvey's outburst will be seen as yet another multi-millionaire sounding off to curry favour with his billionaire mates. It's a big club - to belong you must keep in with your super-wealthy buddies. I notice that in two Fairfax polls about two-thirds support Rudd sticking to his guns against the miners. Be confident folks that he's slowly winning. Tomorrow a piece by HillbillySkeleton will be posted - Kevin, Kevin, Kevin...

HS

10/06/2010Rx, Don't hope that TA becomes PM, I'm sure he'll implode badly enough before the election to scare the electorate sufficiently.

Lyn

10/06/2010Hi AD Good News just in: [i]PM Kevin Rudd holds out olive branch to mining companies over tax , Terry McCann, Herald Sun[/i]THE Rudd Government will announce major changes to its proposed resources super profits tax today or tomorrow. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/pm-kevin-rudd-holds-out-olive-branch-to-mining-companies-over-tax/story-e6frf7jo-1225878145058

Rx

10/06/2010Hillbilly Skeleton, With all the rigours of an election campaign in front of him he will have barely any time for running, biking, jumping and swimming. What are those hormones called that some athletes are said to become addicted to? Endorphins? Won't be long before the withdrawal pangs start kicking in, and he'll become edgy, irritable, restless, stressed. In other words, more unhinged that usual. Just at the time when he's got to be on his best behaviour. LOL! There's some A-grade entertainment coming our way, I think, as the Mad Monk mucks up bigtime! http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/ironman-tony-abbott-overdoes-it/story-e6frgczf-1225854310851

HS

10/06/2010A cartoon about the PM's RSPT fight: http://twitpic.com/1vi04y

HS

10/06/2010Lol, joe2. :)

HS

10/06/2010A contribution to the broader RSPT debate involving people's view about Super going from 9% to 12%: http://www.aist.asn.au/media/43615/2010.06.07_media_three_out_of_four_australians_support_12.pdf

Nobody

11/06/2010A whois check on the sites gives their registration dates, and proxies for the inceptions of the respective campaigns, as: futuretax.gov.au: 29 April 2010 keepminingstrong.com: 05 May 2010

Lyn

11/06/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Journalists still deciding they are the story, B Tolputt, Cafe Whispers[/i] news-worthy that Rudd decided not to talk to an aggressive, anti-Labor columnist is just ludicrous! http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/journalists-still-deciding-they-are-the-story/#comment-77 [i]Mungo MacCallum: Serial Killer By Mungo MacCallum, New Matilda [/i] There aren't many independent Australian media outlets which haven't featured Mungo MacCallum's by-line. So why have so many of them shut down?http://www.newmatilda.com.au/2010/06/10/mungo-maccallum-serial-killer [i]It isn’t over yet,Geoffrey Barket, Inside Story [/i] It is also puzzling because the magnitude of the collapse seems out of proportion to its supposed causes http://inside.org.au/it-isnt-over-yet/ [i]"Resource companies will leave Australia only when there is no more minerals and energy to extract." Peter Martin[/i] "Enough is enough. If one more person looks me in the eye and talks about sovereign risk and the new resources tax, I swear I'll strangle them. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Kevin Rudd: The Comeback Special. Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] very rich mining person Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest agreed that progress had been made in the discussions with the Prime Minister. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/06/10/kevin-rudd-the-comeback-special/ [i]Won’t someone think of the billionaires? Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] Twiggy” Forrest (dressed in jeans and a hi-vis t-shirt) and Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/10/wont-someone-think-of-the-billionaires/ [i]Automatic enrolment in Vic; Green preferences, Peter Brent, Mumble[/i] Antony sees here possible evidence for an August federal election. http://mumble.com.au/ [i]The imaginings of the conservative mind, Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Is this really indicative of the typical conservative’s level of understanding of their political opponents? http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/06/10/the-imaginings-of-the-conservative-mind/#more-13431

joe2

11/06/2010Gerry Harvey has a bit of a record for mouthing off, Ad astra. Thinking back to the time of the economic stimulus cash handouts he felt some were more deserving than others, obviously. Those who would spend it on white goods rather than food and shelter we may presume. " Asked in a new book about the role he and Harvey Norman play in the community, Mr Harvey said giving money to people who "are not putting anything back into the community" is like "helping a whole heap of no-hopers to survive for no good reason". " http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/national/charity-a-waste-says-billionaire/2008/11/20/1226770680456.html

Ad astra reply

11/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Sally

11/06/2010Last post for me (on this piece I mean). I tried again this morning to make a comment on the Hewson piece and despite the fact that between about 7.45 and 9am some 50 odd comments appeared, when I tried to comment it was 'page not found' over and over and over... So, here is what I tried to post: Dr Hewson, I’ve voted Labor all my life and lived through your attempt to introduce the GST, and witnessed your demise as a result of poor communication of a complex issue. But in recent years have come to appreciate your political commentary as it seems to spring from a small l liberal base in many ways, or perhaps at least from an intelligent and humane person. Your article has many merits from my point of view, mostly regarding communication issues, the media and the mining industry, and I’ve posted some of your comments on at least one blog. My only problem is that you too seem to be distorting the ‘debate’ by buying into the media trash that has been printed/published/viewed on lib/lab politics for a long time now. ‘Unfortunately, it's the contest that matters, not the policy substance, not the governance!’ I believe you are correct re the mainstream media, but not re the government, possibly its communications strategy, or lack thereof. Like you, the current government has some very complex policies that have been fouled up by poor communication and bad timing, and a hostile media in bed with conservatives. You indicate your contempt for the media (‘With a media, little better than Google experts on the subject, and probably with even less genuine interest...’), you dismiss the ‘opportunistic... master of the negative’ Abbott, and your attack on Rudd is couched within an equally negative attack on Abbott (‘It is said that a fish rots from the head. Our "governance" is rotting through a distinct lack of effective leadership, and delivery, in a political system that is in desperate need of reform, on so many fronts.’). Many commentators see all of this as a MSM creation, notably News Limited’s outlets, but also the national broadcaster, ‘our ABC’. Perhaps it’s important for you to review some of your sentiments in light of the patent bias that pervades what we all read/watch and its brainwashing of the populace. Despite all of the above, thank you for a fine piece. (Dr) Sally Thanks for a great home away from home good people at TPS.

mick smetafor

11/06/2010I notice that in two Fairfax polls about two-thirds support Rudd sticking to his guns against the miners. Be confident folks that he's slowly winning. meanwhile,over in the parallel universehttp://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/cabinet-cracks-emerge-on-mining-tax/story-e6frgczf-1225878175580

Lyn

11/06/2010Good Morning Sally That is a fantastic comment you have written regarding the Hewson piece, thankyou for sharing with us. I agree with everythig you have said. John Hewson is probably the best Liberal of a bad bunch, at least he is objective and has a fair point of view, instead of those nasty, awful, spiteful words, we get all the time, from the other Liberals. Sally you are really excellent at getting your point across, would be good if you could join Hillbilly and write some pieces for "The Political Sword", maybe a joint effort like the journalists do and some of the blogs. You could ask Ad, if you are interested and want to.

nasking

11/06/2010"Gerry Harvey has a bit of a record for mouthing off, Ad astra. Thinking back to the time of the economic stimulus cash handouts he felt some were more deserving than others, obviously. Those who would spend it on white goods rather than food and shelter we may presume." Joe2, Gerry Harvey is a sad piece of work. It wasn't enuff for his company & other retailers to be bailed out by the stimulus during the GFC when others were goin' broke overseas. Think Woolworths UK. Electronic stores in America. Instead he feels the need to act like a pontificating prat. It goes to show that many of the rich club that support Abbott & bash Labor are merely greedsters looking after their own profits/shares & mate's interests. I find it highly disturbing to see governments in democracies bein' bullied & pushed around by a corporate aristocracy. A pretty good reason I reckon to push for "wealth redistribution". And that means to assist small businesses too. Some in this society have used their bully pulpit & connections to politicians & media for far too long in order to dominate and accumulate wealth & assets. It's time THE PEOPLE stood up to them. (This blog is doin' so) N'

HS

11/06/2010mick smetafor, Poll on the end of the Ian Verrender piece had 72% in favour of the PM sticking to his guns. And that from readers of the Business Section! You know, I think as the realisation dawns on the gen pub just what the PM is trying to get through here, against the opposition of the Opposition and the Billionaires Club, I believe they are getting to like the idea and understand what's in it for them, over and above the proximal fear of losing their job or turnover in a related business, if the Miners up stakes and leave them high and dry(which they won't, of course, because our country is the most stable politically that they mine in, and our resources are top notch and closest to Asia, so where would they go, really?).

Sally

11/06/2010Morning Lyn, Many thanks for such very kind words. And for the suggestion re an article. Whilst my heart says 'yes' (I've published a bit and I love writing), my head says 'hang on: you are building a new off the grid solar house; doing lots of the project management and some labouring; keeping a household running; trying to finish some stuff for an exhibition later this year - and you want to take time out to write again? So for now I'll pass on the suggestion - which is not to say that I won't offer to do something at a later date. Thanks again Lyn

HS

11/06/2010Bernard Keane on Twitter has noted today that Xstrata is STILL buying properties around the Wandoan Coal Mine in Queensland, the one they supposedly had to shelve because of the RSPT. Which suggests to me that the scare campaign against the RSPT is simply a cynical opportunity by these companies to force a change of government, drive down the prices they will have to pay to aquire proximal resource assets around the shelved projects, in order to begin 'business as usual after the election. Cynical bastards.

NormanK

11/06/2010Sally Well written comment. I agree wholeheartedly. I wonder do any of these sites (commentary on news articles etc) come under any form of oversight. As a lapsed luddite, I worry that these posting sections can manipulate not only what is posted but the order in which they appear and where a "brief listing of current comments" can be used to reflect anti-government sentiment or what ever suits their purpose at the time. Often 2 of 3 and sometimes 3 of 3 of them are pure venom. If you were only to drift into these places, you could be forgiven for taking them at face value and be left with the impression - "Oh, is that what everyone thinks". The same might be asked of informal polls. Is there any accountability? Despite disclaimers, they do look "scientific" and folks will believe them. The digital superhighway is wonderful but it is fraught with danger. Just because something is in print on your screen does not mean it is true or accurate or free of manipulation and bias.

Sally

11/06/2010NormanK Thanks for the compliment. I agree, an editor's role is to edit. The thornier issue is within what ideological or theoretical framework does he/she edit? And under whose direct or indirect control/supervision? And I agree about the venom. That's partly why I find the Hewson piece interesting. The degree of venom is so small as to be almost invisible. Is it editorial control or is it because the author is a former lib leader? If you read his article very carefully it is more about bagging the media and libs than it is about bagging Rudd. Anomolous and curious since any vaguely leftish commentator is normally greeted with bilious and venemous attack. All very odd. cheers

nasking

11/06/2010Thnx for the link Lyn & yer kind words that Miglo passed on to me. Please feel free to leave a link to yer pieces anytime in case we forget to pop over now & then. Looking forward to Hillbilly's upcoming post. N'

Ad astra reply

11/06/2010mick As HS has pointed out, the questions were different in the Fairfax and News Limited online surveys, which by the way we know are of doubtful validity. The survey in [i]The Oz[/i] asked: “Which side has made the more compelling case in the debate over the resource super-profits tax?” Not surprisingly over 80% said the miners. But the Fairfax polls asked if those polled supported Rudd or the miners – the current tally is: 50% supported the tax as it is, 14% supported the tax with modifications, leaving only 36% totally opposing the tax. Talkback this morning had the usual Rudd-haters demanding he be thrown out, but there were as many, perhaps more, who were supportive of the Government.

Ad astra reply

11/06/2010nasking I hear on the radio this morning that outside the meeting where Gerry Harvey shot off his mouth, he acknowledged that what he had said inside was nonsense. So far no one is denying this. As you point out Harvey was a major beneficiary of the early stimulus packages and lauded them at the time. He was just being a loud-mouthed smart-aleck in front of his wealthy mates.

Ad astra reply

11/06/2010Sally I agree with the complimentary comments about your response to the Hewson piece. I’m glad you find [i]TPS[/i] a congenial home. Perhaps when the other responsibilities you have on your plate lessen, you may wish to contribute an original piece to [i]TPS[/i], or maybe before that if you’ve got something you need urgently to get off your chest.

Ad astra reply

11/06/2010HS I've sent you an email about your upcoming piece.

Ad astra reply

11/06/2010NormanK, Sally I too have been reflecting on the quality of comments on blog-sites. It seems to me that with a few exceptions, comments on blogs in the Fifth Estate are much less venomous than those on commercial media-based blogs. For example, if one has the stomach to take a quick glance at blogs run by the likes of Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman and Glenn Milne, the proportion of vitriolic anti-Rudd comments is very high – the group attracted to these sites enjoy having their strongly held views about Rudd reinforced. Blogs run by balanced columnists such as George Megalogenis and JTI though have a more balanced mix of comments. It confirms the thesis that venom breeds venom and hate fosters hate. Equally love engenders love.

NormanK

11/06/2010Ad astra I am a highly cynical individual when it comes to enterprises which put profit over veracity. If they are willing to "massage" (I am being very kind) headlines and hooks etc then it would be no surprise at all to discover that they manipulate comments and on-line polls. Having been personally stung in the past, I have long-since dismissed newspaper content as "false until proven true". This is a broad brush and patently unfair but it does stop me from going mad in the face of this manufactured drivel.

nasking

11/06/2010"He was just being a loud-mouthed smart-aleck in front of his wealthy mates." Indeed ad Astra. It seems that Tony abbott is setting an example for many of the business types his party kowtows to...mouth before wicket. :) As this thread deals w/ mining and resources ya might be interested in my latest post: Green Labor...future possibilities http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/green-labor-future-possibilities/ I bring up oil disasters and questions about nuclear energy. I'm not too big on it myself but I like to get people's opinions on whether it could fit into our energy mix...and if a Labor/Green alliance would see more compromises on the part of The Greens. I guess it's like their pulp mill bogeyman in Tasmania. How far will a party go to be part of a government?...or be part of important policy negotiations? And how much will Labor be prepared to knock back Union demands that are related to archaic, environmentally destructive industries? Cheers N'

NormanK

11/06/2010nasking "mouth before wicket" is definitely a keeper. Superb. I hope its yours - quick get copyright.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?