Focus on political ideology: Joseph E Stiglitz

This is the second in the end-of-year series on The Political Sword on political ideology. It is based on a Stiglitz’s book: The Price of Inequality

Stiglitz’ book was published in mid 2012 in New York by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., and in London by Allen Lane, part of the Penguin Group.

Stiglitz is a Nobel laureate in economics, is currently a professor at Columbia University in the Department of Economics and the School of International and Public Affairs, and has taught at Stanford, Yale, Princeton, and Oxford. He was chair of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, and was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. He has pioneered theories in the fields of economic information, taxation, development, trade, and technical change.

The summary that follows is provided by Project Syndicate, an international not-for-profit newspaper syndicate and association of newspapers that distributes commentaries and analysis.

”America likes to think of itself as a land of opportunity, and others view it in much the same light. But, while we can all think of examples of Americans who rose to the top on their own, what really matters are the statistics: to what extent do an individual’s life chances depend on the income and education of his or her parents?

“Nowadays, these numbers show that the American dream is a myth. There is less equality of opportunity in the United States today than there is in Europe – or, indeed, in any advanced industrial country for which there are data.

“This is one of the reasons that America has the highest level of inequality of any of the advanced countries – and its gap with the rest has been widening. In the “recovery” of 2009-2010, the top 1% of US income earners captured 93% of the income growth. Other inequality indicators – like wealth, health, and life expectancy – are as bad or even worse. The clear trend is one of concentration of income and wealth at the top, the hollowing out of the middle, and increasing poverty at the bottom.

“It would be one thing if the high incomes of those at the top were the result of greater contributions to society, but the Great Recession showed otherwise: even bankers who had led the global economy, as well as their own firms, to the brink of ruin, received outsize bonuses.

“A closer look at those at the top reveals a disproportionate role for rent-seeking: some have obtained their wealth by exercising monopoly power; others are CEOs who have taken advantage of deficiencies in corporate governance to extract for themselves an excessive share of corporate earnings; and still others have used political connections to benefit from government munificence – either excessively high prices for what the government buys (drugs), or excessively low prices for what the government sells (mineral rights).

“Likewise, part of the wealth of those in finance comes from exploiting the poor, through predatory lending and abusive credit-card practices. Those at the top, in such cases, are enriched at the direct expense of those at the bottom.

“It might not be so bad if there were even a grain of truth to trickle-down economics – the quaint notion that everyone benefits from enriching those at the top. But most Americans today are worse off – with lower real (inflation-adjusted) incomes – than they were in 1997, a decade and a half ago. All of the benefits of growth have gone to the top.

“Defenders of America’s inequality argue that the poor and those in the middle shouldn’t complain. While they may be getting a smaller share of the pie than they did in the past, the pie is growing so much, thanks to the contributions of the rich and superrich, that the size of their slice is actually larger. The evidence, again, flatly contradicts this. Indeed, America grew far faster in the decades after World War II, when it was growing together, than it has since 1980, when it began growing apart.

“This shouldn’t come as a surprise, once one understands the sources of inequality. Rent-seeking distorts the economy. Market forces, of course, play a role, too, but markets are shaped by politics; and, in America, with its quasi-corrupt system of campaign finance and its revolving doors between government and industry, politics is shaped by money.

“For example, a bankruptcy law that privileges derivatives over all else, but does not allow the discharge of student debt, no matter how inadequate the education provided, enriches bankers and impoverishes many at the bottom. In a country where money trumps democracy, such legislation has become predictably frequent.

“But growing inequality is not inevitable. There are market economies that are doing better, both in terms of both GDP growth and rising living standards for most citizens. Some are even reducing inequalities.

“America is paying a high price for continuing in the opposite direction. Inequality leads to lower growth and less efficiency. Lack of opportunity means that its most valuable asset – its people – is not being fully used. Many at the bottom, or even in the middle, are not living up to their potential, because the rich, needing few public services and worried that a strong government might redistribute income, use their political influence to cut taxes and curtail government spending. This leads to underinvestment in infrastructure, education, and technology, impeding the engines of growth.

“The Great Recession has exacerbated inequality, with cutbacks in basic social expenditures and with high unemployment putting downward pressure on wages. Moreover, the United Nations Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, investigating the causes of the Great Recession, and the International Monetary Fund have both warned that inequality leads to economic instability.

“But, most importantly, America’s inequality is undermining its values and identity. With inequality reaching such extremes, it is not surprising that its effects are manifest in every public decision, from the conduct of monetary policy to budgetary allocations. America has become a country not “with justice for all,” but rather with favouritism for the rich and justice for those who can afford it – so evident in the foreclosure crisis, in which the big banks believed that they were too big not only to fail, but also to be held accountable.

“America can no longer regard itself as the land of opportunity that it once was. But it does not have to be this way: it is not too late for the American dream to be restored.”


Stiglitz’s book is in harmony with the last piece: The ideology of politics: Ross Gittins in which Gittins comments on Professor Jeffrey Sachs’ book: The Price of Civilisation.

Using the US as the context, Stiglitz talk of matters we have discussed here before: the inequality that gives the top earners almost all of the income growth thereby widening the gap between the very rich and the rest, the growing role of rent seekers, the fallacy of ‘trickle down economics’. Stiglitz examines particularly the social effects of inequality – slowing growth, rising unemployment, downward pressure on wages, underinvestment in infrastructure, education and technology, adverse effects on the health of the middle and lower classes, and social discord.

It’s now over to you, readers of The Political Sword.

What do you think?


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13/12/2012Folks Although the situation in Australia is not as gross as that in the US as described by Stiglitz, we do have a similar problem here on a growing scale. Income equality exists and is worsening. Executives rake off massive salaries while many in the poorer classes are feeling the stress of the rising cost of living that is not matched by wage increases. We have the employer class clamoring for more ‘flexibility’, which is code for being able to mould employees to their needs and requirements at the expense of the workers and their families. They would dearly love the WorkChoices provisions back, but of course with another name. Gina Rinehart speaks of how little overseas miners will work for - $2 a day! We have seen our rent-seekers in full flight – the Minerals Council’s special pleading emasculated the MMRT. Recall the carbon tax rent-seekers and the electoral damage they inflicted on the Government, only now recovering as the people realize they were conned. This was dealt with in August in [i]The scourge of the rent-seekers[/i]. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2012/08/09/The-scourge-of-the-rent-seekers.aspx We have those who still believe in trickle-down economics. Certainly the Republicans, and particularly the Tea Party, subscribe to that now-debunked economic theory which insists that if you give advantages to the wealthy – the wealth creators who employ people – through concessions, tax breaks and lower taxes, some of the wealth and employment they generate will trickle down to the masses at the bottom of the pile. We see this contemporaneously as the conservatives still fight against President Obama’s attempt to ask the wealthy to pay more tax. Stiglitz shows convincingly that the theory is a dud and in fact it seems more the case that benefits trickle upwards to the wealthy elite. This economic theory, which our own John Quiggin called a ‘zombie’ in his book: [i]Zombie Economics - How dead ideas still walk among us[/i], (which was reviewed in April in [i]Joe Hockey should read John Quiggin’s 'Zombie Economics'[/i]), was thoroughly debunked by him, but as he pointed out, it was ‘un-dead’ and still had its adherents, those to whom it is an advantage to promote support for the wealthy at the expense of the poor. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/04/11/Joe-Hockey-should-read-John-Quiggin’s-Zombie-Economics.aspx We can see already that the attitude of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, and indeed the entire Coalition, is to support big business – the miners – by repealing the carbon and minerals taxes, at the expense of those who stand to benefit from these taxes. The big-end-of-town always gets preference from them. We can be confident that should we be unfortunate enough to get an Abbott government that will become as obvious as it is becoming day after day in Queensland under the Newman Government. If you don’t believe me, read Ian McAuley’s [i]The Economic Policy Abbott Can't Grasp[/i] in [i]New Matilda[/i] on 3 December. I’m sure you would enjoy the satirical second half. http://newmatilda.com/2012/12/03/party-libs-could-be The Stiglitz book should be taken as a warning of what awaits us here if the very same types who have almost destroyed the US economy to feather their own nests, get the chance to do the same here – look at Campbell Newman before and after election! Stiglitz’ book is well worth a read.

Casablanca

13/12/2012Ad, I look forward to reading your latest piece - I know that it will be another well considered, well written observation and thought provoking. The article from June 2012, linked to below, contains some prescient comments by Peter Slipper's first wife. [b]Abbott let loose the dogs, says Slipper's ex-wife [/b] June 3, 2012. Cosima Marriner [b]''Peter stood between Tony Abbott and The Lodge; it was obvious he was fair game. Tony Abbott released the dogs; they were going to come for him, come what may.''[/b] Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/abbott-let-loose-the-dogs-says-slippers-exwife-20120602-1zoke.html#ixzz2Eub9jZyY

ausdavo

13/12/2012Stiglitz really shows us how it is, and worse still, how it's going to be. As a nearly 70 yo newsagency owner in Queensland, I can't retire despite worsening health! The banks simply refuse to lend money to buyers of "small" businesses. Obviously, the banks know where the future lies for small business. My remaining super will evaporate over the next few years no matter what I do. Any small business owner who honestly thinks it all through knows the LNP only represent BIG business (but most cling to old thinking). Newman is busy proving it in Queensland! Abbott will be 5 times worse because he will be able to legislate federally to give the BIG end of town a free ride. The less well off members of society will have less to spend and that means the end for struggling small businesses all over the country. As the biggest employers per $1 of turnover, small business will "shed" staff far quicker than big business does. That will simply exacerbate the worsening situation. Pulling Australian workers wages down to Asian levels is what Abbott, his newspaper mates and Big business are all about. Start digging your gardens folks and plant your fruit and veggies. The return to 19th century living standards will be upon us quicker than you may realise. (Happy Christmas Ad Astra from David)

MWS

13/12/2012Tim Dunlop: [quote]Would Julia Gillard still be Prime Minister if there was no such thing as social media? So when the SMH led with a story by Mark Baker on the Thursday of the final sitting week of parliament, after two days of the Opposition grilling the PM during Question Time, and claimed that "new" evidence showed the PM had contradicted herself, it seemed like the coup de grace had been delivered, that she had been caught out and that maybe her time was up. But it took those on Twitter about two seconds to start questioning the article and about two minutes to demolish it. Users started pointing out that the central, damning claim of the piece - that Gillard had told the WA authority that the entity she set up was not a union - was rather less damning than the article suggested given the fact that the entity was, indeed, not a union. From that point on, I'd suggest, the story went flat. Social media had reset the narrative, changing it from the final episode of The Killing, where the criminal is finally revealed, into the last scene of Waiting for Godot, where the smoking gun, like Godot, did not show up. Interestingly, this social-media push back was not a particularly partisan thing, not in the traditional tribal sense. The rallying around was not just in support of the PM, but a push back against the media's ownership of the story, of the way they presented it. In other words, it was as much in defence of the audience as it was of Gillard, a point missed by those in the media who accuse social media of being a leftwing echo chamber. And maybe it was the Coalition's failure to grasp the significance of social media - to understand that it is the new front page of Australian politics - that led them to overreach.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4425720.html BTW, I've joined Twitter (but haven't actually tweeted, just following) @Monicas_WS

Casablanca

13/12/20122353, You were right in saying that [quote]the Drum wrap-up of the Ashby saga was worth reading for the Shanahan quote towards the bottom[/quote] and that [quote]Even Dennis can't find much to hold onto here.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-12/ashby-slipper-wrap/4424082 Well here is the whole article by Shanahan who must have mis-placed his Peta Credlin Speaking Points for that day. Mal Brough the real victim of Peter Slipper judgment Dennis Shanahan, Political Editor The Australian. December 12, 2012 3:52PM FORMER Howard government minister and putative MP for Fisher, Mal Brough, is the latest political casualty in the ongoing scandals surrounding Peter Slipper. Justice Steven Rares of the Federal Court has slammed shut James Ashby's claims for sexual harassment against Slipper when he was the speaker of the House of Representatives and opened a new wound in the politics surrounding the contentious former Liberal-National Queensland MP. Slipper's resignation as speaker was irrespective and independent of the outcome of the court case, although it was linked to the infamous sexist and salacious texts submitted as evidence to the court. Slipper's history has previously damaged the Liberals, his own standing, and then undermined Julia Gillard's political judgment in appointing him as speaker. Today's judgment has found Ashby and his lawyers, Harmers Workplace Lawyers, produced “scandalous” evidence in apparent breach of professional standards to damage Slipper publicly as part of a political conspiracy. The judge has thrown out the claims not because there was no evidence of sexual harassment but that the court application was “an abuse of process” which would have brought the justice system into disrepute if it continued. But the real political victim is now Brough, who stands accused of working with Ashby and co-worker Karen Doane in an underhanded political scheme based on disloyalty, political preferment, duplicity, and lies - all aimed at bringing down Slipper and promoting Brough. After sustaining months of allegations about the AWU slush fund scandal the Labor government is keen to hit back and threaten Brough and by extension Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne with an inquiry of their own into a political scandal. Of course, the government does not come out of the judgment without its own questions to answer: the judge said there was evidence of sexual harassment but upheld Slipper's claims for an abuse of process, which the commonwealth spent $750,000 working on and then withdrawing after paying Ashby $50,000 in compensation. The judge describes the payout given when Attorney-General Nicola Roxon was trying to kill off all the legal cases against Slipper as more than Ashby could have expected even if he had succeeded against Slipper and the commonwealth. Brough's alacrity to deal with Ashby and act in “combination” with Slipper's betrayers may prove politically fatal, with or without a government inquiry. The saga of Slipper just goes on. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/mal-brough-the-real-victim-of-peter-slipper-judgment/story-fn59niix-1226535477024 re-CAPTCHA: uprooted e[t]hicals

KHTAGH

13/12/2012AA I don't know who it was but I caught the end of a good discussion on I think it was Big Idea on ABC 24 the other day, there was an economist from the US, he stated that when the GFC happened that they did the wrong thing by backing the banks. He stated that had they given the money to the people & paying off their mortgages they would have boosted the through put of money in the society & by the trickle up affect take some pressure off the banks. I would have thought that was a brilliant idea. We would have heard the Republicans screaming that's socialism from here. If someone else saw it & can fill in who it was & where Id be happy.

KHTAGH

13/12/2012ausdavo [i] The banks simply refuse to lend money to buyers of "small" businesses.[/i] Our local post office has been up for sale for around 2 yrs, its a little gold mine all the agencies that go with it etc. Only $400,000. I asked the owner the other day, many nibbles? her answer was yes plenty, but! the banks won't lend anyone any money.

Miglo

13/12/2012I had pleasure in posting Politically Speaking, Australia Kicks America’s Ass, originally written for vegasjessie.com by an Australian, Derek Wood of Sydney. Vegasjessie.com is an American blog site that promotes the same issues as Café Whispers and TPS, albeit at a local level. A link to vegasjessie can be located under Global Sites below the Blogroll on CW. It is an informative site for those interested in the grass roots machinations of the American way of life. In particular, the American passion for those 'taboo' subjects, politics and religion are articulately expressed by blogmaster Jessie. I found Politically Speaking, Australia Kicks America’s Ass a very interesting read. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/11833/

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13/12/2012Casablanca Thank you for the piece featuring Peter Slipper’s first wife. An interesting perspective! Thanks too for the full Shanahan article; he sounded nonplussed. ausdavo Thank you for your comment and your greetings, which I reciprocate. It is disheartening for you to be facing the position you do in your news agency business. I believe you are right. Despite his rhetoric, Abbott will be no supporter of small business. He is for the big end of town – the miners, the banks, the big outfits, who give him financial support for his election campaign. MWS That was a great article by Tim Dunlop on how social media is pulling politicians into line. Its power is apparent and increasing. KHTAGH That sounds like an interesting economic theory. I wonder what Joseph Stiglitz would say about it? Miglo Thanks for the link to vegasjessie.com. Interesting reading!

Michael

13/12/2012Bad Abbott. On past performances, since Shouldabeen is flying to the UK (at whose expense?), just how much will he talk UP the Australian economy 'over there' until he returns to continue talking it down at home? The man deserves his own triple AAA rating, sibilant as a snake, ending after all those A's in "shole". Guess that's a silent "H".

TalkTurkey

13/12/2012Christine H I enjoyed reading your post, if it is your first contribution to Ad astra's blogsite [i]The Political Sword[/i] let me assure you you are very welcome, do keep your thoughts coming. As your post came right near the end of the last thread, I have taken the liberty of reposting it here in its entirety, for others to get to know you. Grattan's article was one of the stupidest I've ever read. She just don't get it do she, and she can't let go of her biases, and she is not clever enough to make a credible alternative universe, so it comes out like the proverbial madwoman's shit. Which indeed! :) December 13. 2012 03:20 PM Thanks Jason for sharing the brilliant commentary of Bushfire Bill of this whole sorry saga. BB never disappoints unlike the disgraceful opinon piece by Michelle Grattan both yesterday and today in The Age, and believe me that is not an accurate reflection of my opinion of her scribblings. Apparently her assessment is that whilst James Ashby and his Liberal/National backers have scored a loss in the Federal Court they have somehow been triumphant in the court of public opinion. Lets take a minute to think about that....Ashby can collude with the political enemies of Mr Slipper, fabricate evidence, disclose confidential information to third parties, run a smear campaigin wall to wall in the media that results in Mr Slipper suffering personally, professionally and econmically but that is okay because the ends justify the means? The tactic was to 'get' Slipper no matter that it was based on bull excrement and not evidence or verifiable facts, the tactic worked, Slipper is no longer Speaker, score a win to the LNP. What about morality and decency and the outrageous injustce suffered by Mr Slipper and the very blatant attempt, again, by the LNP to bring down an elected government. Unbelievable. I have no opinion one way or the other about Mr Slipper except that he was by all accounts a very good Speaker otherwise don't know the bloke, but I can see when someone has been well and truly done over by a bunch of very grubby individuals. You know it is hard not to descend into the depths of deep cynicism about the state of politics in this country. Why would any half way decent person with ability and ethics put themselves forward for public office in this county? Apart from the grievous injustice to Mr Slipper this is the implication of the destructive tactics employed by the Opposition in this hung parliament, that it has the potential to discourage younger, talented people from participating in our democracy. I hope that this is not the case. Christine H

MWS

14/12/2012I urge TPSers to read Richard Ackland's piece in the SMH. Sorry, can't link from my tablet.

Casablanca

14/12/2012MWS and TPSers here is the article by Richard Ackland. It is short but full of punch and end-to-end quotable quotes. It is a rare thing, an opinion piece redolent with facts and balance. (The bolding of text is mine). [b]Ashby case a shocking spectacle[/b] December 14, 2012 Opinion. Richard Ackland. Sydney Morning Herald columnist Justice Steven Rares's judgment on Wednesday in the Federal Court made for gripping reading. The interplay of newspaper reptiles, the unlovely Speaker of the House of Representatives, his duplicitous staffers, desperate Liberals grasping for power, a no-win, no-fee flack merchant and over-the-top lawyering - was all too much enjoyment for one day. As has now been widely known, the core finding of the judge was the manner in which the sexual harassment proceedings were brought by James Ashby against Peter Slipper were an abuse of the court's process. The judge explained the inclusion of allegations about misuse of Cabcharge dockets and a previous sexual relationship between Slipper and a young member of his staff, were designed to injure the parliamentarian for no legitimate forensic purpose. They were irrelevant and scandalous, and were designed to maximise and inflame the media coverage. Those superfluous flourishes were withdrawn when the statement of claim was filed a month after the originating application. The real purpose of this litigation was to fire-up an attack not just on Slipper but on the government, and to seek to bring about its downfall. The sexual harassment allegation had the consistency of snowflakes. Throughout their smut-infused game of footsies, Ashby flirted with Slipper and he responded with the alluring qualities for which he is justly infamous. Instinctively, there is a need for a good, long shower after reading the electronic conversations of these love birds. The judge put it this way: ''There was no hint in contemporaneous texts with his friends, of Mr Ashby feeling upset as a result of sexual harassment. Rather those texts suggested that he was planning to use the record of his texts with Mr Slipper to empower others in a way that would affect the balance of power in the House of Representatives.'' Ashby had no doubt about his purpose. In text messages to friends he said that in bringing his case he was making ''national decisions''. He also talked of ''saving the nation''. Throughout, Ashby's hand was held by his solicitor, Michael Harmer, the famous workplace law guru from the eponymous law firm. Rares again: ''To allow these proceedings to remain in the court would bring the administration of justice into disrepute among right-thinking people.'' Don't you just love the ''right-thinking people''? There's an implication that Ashby and Harmer might not be ''right-thinking''. It's worse than that, because [b]this would have to be one of the grubbiest, underhand, unmeritorious, political assaults on a government in recent democratic memory, fanned by leading adornments of the Liberal Party.[/b] But, there is more fun waiting in the wings. Often it is to be found right at the tail of a body of serious and meaningful judicial reasoning. And there it is on the last page under the heading of ''costs'', which to lawyers is the most important part of the dissertation. Ashby's claims of sexual harassment involved ''relatively minor incidents'' and were even only likely to attract ''a very modest'' award of damages if he was successful. By engaging the PR man Anthony McClellan at $550 an hour plus GST, on top of that portion of his own costs that could not be recovered from the other side, Ashby would have received virtually no damages or other compensation had he won the case. Of course, he has the $50,000 for the ''commercial'' settlement in September of his claim against the Commonwealth. Whacko the diddle, that amount is unlikely to spread far. The case was commenced under the Fair Work Act, which is a jurisdiction in which parties are not awarded costs. However, Justice Rares said that because of the abuse of process involved with the conduct of the case, Ashby should pay Slipper's costs. There was this bit, the last sentence: ''If any special order for costs is sought in consequence of the orders I will make today either party may apply within seven days.'' What should Ashby do, now that his shakedown has failed, and he's been landed with a whopping costs order against him? Already, there's a looming conflict issue. He might sack Mr Harmer and get separate legal advice, which could urge him, within the seven-day deadline, to apply for an order of the court that Mr Harmer pay these costs. The judge already has prepared the ground. The case was brought, it seems, without ''genuine steps'' being taken to resolve the dispute. Instead, the tactic was shock and awe ambush with headlines, in a manner that used the court as the plaything of one of the litigants. There's plenty of precedent for costs against lawyers in other abuse-of-process cases - the most famous in recent memory is that of Flower & Hart, another escapade uniquely populated by Queenslanders, including the then High Court judge Ian Callinan. A company called White Industries had constructed a shopping centre at Caboolture Park for interests associated with the property developer George Herscu. George was seeking to delay payment and as a tactic, he and his lawyers, Flower & Hart, commenced fraud proceedings against the builder. There was no factual basis for the claim, but that didn't stop the case running for 150 days in the Federal Court. Justice Goldberg awarded costs against Flower & Hart for the conduct of this spurious case. It was made all the more fascinating because Ian Callinan, QC, before his elevation, had been counsel advising Flower & Hart on the litigation. Then we have the latest ignominy for the shadow attorney-general, Queenslander George Brandis. Throughout the Ashby versus Slipper case he has been volunteering his foot-in-mouth observations, which bring little hope that in an Abbott government we'll have an attorney with dignity, let alone acumen. Brandis has been the author of much posturing and silliness on legal issues. In this instance, he objected to the Commonwealth settling its case with Ashby, which was done in the expectation proceedings could be long and expensive. ''This is further evidence of how dishonest and slippery this government is,'' he intoned, without a hint of shame. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/ashby-case-a-shocking-spectacle-20121213-2bcgg.html#ixzz2EwFr4tu7 reCaptcha is on the money today: mifchief formsqCo

Casablanca

14/12/2012In the above article Richard Ackland says that: [quote]There's plenty of precedent for costs against lawyers in other abuse-of-process cases - the most famous in recent memory is that of Flower & Hart, another escapade uniquely populated by Queenslanders, including the then High Court judge Ian Callinan.[/quote] Indeed, Ackland wrote about the Flower & Hart case in an article published in the SMH 2004: [b]Bench tips a bucket on the reckless and worthless[/b] By Richard Ackland. January 16, 2004 http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/01/15/1073877962996.html?from=storyrhs

Alcyone

14/12/2012There's an old saying pertinent here: "Where there's money, there's muck." Make poverty dignity.

Alcyone

14/12/2012KHTAGH, your local post office sounds to me like a prime candidate for a community co-operative!

Michael

14/12/2012Bad Abbott The bastard's playing mealymouth AND lying through his teeth in one sentence again! In London asked about the case against Peter Slipper being thrown out, he says that Mal Brough was properly endorsed as the LNP candidate in Fisher, as if that answers why he can't possibly be pursued on how he got to that position by assisting to set up Slipper. And then says he can't say anything on the wider case because the judgement is the subject of an appeal, which it isn't. Apparently someone stating an intention to appeal as Ashby has done is now a legal position that foregoes the opportunity for anyone to make comment outside the court. Imagine what this gagging principle would mean if it was applied as the policy of an Abbott government. It might extend to a minister, even a Prime Minister, just having an announced 'thought' being enough for it to be considered official policy. Oh. Come on, people, can anyone seriously want this mendacious mongrel as the country's leader, and thus the 'voice' of Australia? (reCAPTCHA is being apt again - result. noweiz 'result. No ways!')

pappinbarra fox

14/12/2012[quote] Why would any half way decent person with ability and ethics put themselves forward for public office in this county? Apart from the grievous injustice to Mr Slipper this is the implication of the destructive tactics employed by the Opposition in this hung parliament, that it has the potential to discourage younger, talented people from participating in our democracy.[/quote] It used to be in days past said (at least of the lefter side of politics) that youthful enthusiastic individuals entered parliament full of ethics and a desire to do good works driven by morality and a sense of justice for the disadvantaged downtrodden and dispossessed but after a few years mixing with the old hardheads they would eventually become politicians become, perhaps, cynical or devious or worse be corrupted. How things have changed. Now you have to have the unseemly traits before you get a guernsey to run for parliament.There are some exceptions - a couple of independents and a few laborites - but generally this is a real indictment on the way things are done. The question is what can be done to turn around this trend? Because it seems to me that the labor party would be making a grave mistake to adopt the style of the LOTO and his cronies. They really need to rise above it every day in every way in every utterance. Turn the gotchya questions back on the journos, demand that they ask real questions or they will be ignored. Insist on a better discourse. Ban the attack dogs, put them back in the kennel. Don't address LOTO in Q Time, address the Speaker with humility and decorum. You can do it. Yes you can!

Michael

14/12/2012In today's Sydney Morning Herald, Richard Ackland nails it: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/ashby-case-a-shocking-spectacle-20121213-2bcgg.html and Michelle Grattan and Lenore Taylor skirt and swirl around it: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/playing-cat-and-mouse-on-inquiry-20121213-2bceg.html http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/question-so-difficult-coalition-cant-hear-20121213-2bcih.html but none leave any doubt that there's a dead cat stinking up Abbott and his cabaleers.

2353

14/12/2012Members of the LNP had no hesitation in commenting on the Slipper/Ashby case before and while it was in consideration, yet now they can't comment because it is subject to an appeal (maybe). Me thinks there is a double standard in play here. Pappinbarra fox - I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments in your last paragraph. Claim the high moral ground (AKA don't feed the trolls). Something we all find difficult at times :D

bob macalba

14/12/2012PM vs Sabra Lane on abc breakfast, JULIA was pretty angry and despite Lanes...'look over there' attempt the PM got the out the message she wanted,.. whats with that Lane? is she part of the old media hoping this will just go away so they dont have to keep reminding themselves as well as the rest of the country of their own major part in this SCANDAL, now more than ever the FIGHTING FIFTH should ready for battle.. evil cannot be allowed to rule our lives, cheers comrades

jaycee

14/12/2012So good to see the PM. slap down Sabra Lane, slap down Tabbott and the rest of the LNP. bottom-feeders...onya, "Jules"!

jaycee

14/12/2012Instead of all these journos' TALKING about the event AFTER it has passed, why can they not scoop the event as it happens...Have they no "contacts"? Are they so sh!t scared of their job they crawl away to hide?...What is it with these "Journalists"?

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

14/12/2012 Pippinbarra Fox said: [i]They really need to rise above it every day in every way in every utterance. Turn the gotchya questions back on the journos, demand that they ask real questions or they will be ignored. Insist on a better discourse. Ban the attack dogs, put them back in the kennel. Don't address LOTO in Q Time, address the Speaker with humility and decorum. You can do it. Yes you can![/i] That's a delicious strategy PFox. If you don't mind? I'm going to 'plagiarise' and send via Twitter to the PM and some MPs. Also, Ben Eltham has a solid piece on the Slipper judgment in New Matilda: [i]The Slipper affair shows why this term of Parliament has been so nasty and bitter. Rather than accept the legitimacy of Julia Gillard’s minority government, the Opposition has consciously tried to attack it and its integrity at every turn. Instead of developing constructive alternative policies, the Coalition has engaged in a zero sum war of attrition that has left both major parties damaged in the eyes of voters. It has hatched plots and engineered dirty tricks to destroy Labor with fell-swoop controversies, rather than build support through the more traditional methods of policy development and debate. Worse, much of the media has followed the Opposition’s lead, seizing upon hazy conspiracies and poorly substantiated allegations with an alacrity that has been little tempered by the exercise of judgment, or the gathering of hard facts.[/i] http://newmatilda.com/2012/12/13/slipper-conspiracy-coalition-win PS: Michael: loving your 'skirt and swirl' remark :-)

Ad astra reply

14/12/2012bob macalba, jaycee Did you notice how deflated the always-aggressive Sabra Lane sounded at the end of the AM interview? She is consistently rude when interviewing the PM; it was good to hear a feisty Julia Gillard slap her down, and get her message across in no uncertain terms. Michael It amazes me that Fairfax pays good money to Michelle Grattan and Lenore Taylor for writing such articles.

jaycee

14/12/2012No kidding..I can barely look at the ABC. anymore..I'll post a comment on an interesting article on The Drum now and then, but as for reading the other posts and the general reporting on the site..I blanche and wince! For Christ's sake Conroy...somebody..just sack that useless liberal tatoo on Tabbott's arse ; Scott!

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

14/12/2012 Vision of the PM's Sabra Lane interview. What a joy to watch. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-14/abbott-needs-to-come-clean-gillard/4427498

Tom of Melbourne

14/12/2012Studies in the UK about 10 years ago found a direct correlation between voting behaviour and IQ. The most intelligent people voted Green, followed closely by Liberal Democrats. This group was significantly above average intelligence. Quite a way behind the Greens and LibDems were the Conservatives, then Labour – who were behind the intelligence of Conservatives but not by a huge margin. Interestingly supporters of both the major parties were a long way behind the IQ of the Greens and LibDems. Quite a way behind the intelligence of Conservatives and Labour voters were the supporters of the various nationalist parties. This pattern seems to be replicated in Australia, with the quality of debate dumbed down between the ALP and the Liberals and their barrackers. More independently minded people offer more intelligent, sharper discourse

Crowey

14/12/2012Their has got to be a Royal Commission, so that we can get the truth????? out of Abbott and his henchmen in the LNP

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

14/12/2012 I think this has been posted before, but worth repeating. A petition to the Attorney-General seeking an inquiry into the #Ashbygate conspiracy can be found and signed at: https://www.change.org/petitions/attorney-general-parliament-house-canberra-inquiry-into-people-involved-with-james-ashby-acting-against-peter-slipper Can the legal beagles help me understand the difference between 'an inquiry' and a 'royal commission' ...? And maybe how effective a petition to Nicola Roxon is likely to be?

jaycee

14/12/2012thank you Janet...that presser was worth the second viewing...The PM. really stuck it to Saabra Lane!...Pompous journo!

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

14/12/2012 Just throwing up a couple more critical readings: Twitter is running fast today (like yesterday) with new important pieces: [i]Bushfire ‏@BushfireBill[/i] "The Strawberry Revolution has fallen flat on its face", My take #2 on Ashby v. Slipper and its implications: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/12/10/newspoll-54-46-to-coalition-11/?comment_page=75/#comment-1501861 … [i]Leroy ‏@Leroy_Lynch[/i] 10 Hours of Bullshit - Abbott probably lying about press release timestamp http://wp.me/p2LLZB-Gm by @sortius #auspol ping @latingle @osbornep The Leroy link takes you to Sortius's blog. He is a computer expert/IT geek of 20 years and is busy proving Abbott is lying about the 10 hr time delay on computer. Ergo, he had a press release ready before Steve Lewis broke the Ashby story.

MWS

14/12/2012Thanks for the Ackland link, Casablance. I haven't worked out how to cut and paste on my 7" tablet (either that or my fingers aren't small enough). Interestingly, you highlighted the identical paragraph that I would have done! Great minds think alike (or fools never differ). Note carefully Tony Abbott's denial: "I have no knowledge of any involvement by any members of the Federal Coalition [b]in Canberra[/b](my emphasis)." It's similar to "no specific knowledge." I assume "members of the Federal Coalition" refers to MHRs and Senators only, not their staff (who would be members of Liberal, National LNP etc). So who WAS involved, and were they based elsewhere, not in Canberra?

jaycee

14/12/2012Interesting that the "dumbest thinkers are therefore the left-wing bloggers"..yet that is precisely where the right-wing posters come to put up their opinions!..."verrr, verrr strange?" Well..I've always said ; "Democracy..of the people etc." always has a home with the left-wing.

Ad astra

14/12/2012Folks Thanks to you all for the links. It was enjoyable Jane to replay the interview of the PM by Sabra Lane. Obviously, she is not prepared to be messed around by cheeky journalists. Bushfire Bill once again has treated us to a forensic analysis of the Ashby/Slipper matter, such a contrast to the wishy-washy material dished up by Michelle Grattan and Lenore Taylor.

42 long

14/12/2012We've had good opportunity to see what the LNP are made of. We are aware of what sort of person Abbott is. We are aware of the method they wish to use to get power. Can you believe a word they say? I've signed the petition. Incidently Judge Rares was appointed by Phillip Ruddock. ......Hardly a corrupt left wing patsy. Don't the "BAD" MSM stink? We should compile a list of the ones who stand out from the rest for "GOOD" journalism. They need to be supported. THEY should be the leaders of what is left for the future. The public ( not Murdoch )should be the judge.

MWS

14/12/2012Ben Eltham's take on the Slipper case: [quote]"The Slipper affair shows why this term of Parliament has been so nasty and bitter. Rather than accept the legitimacy of Julia Gillard’s minority government, the Opposition has consciously tried to attack it and its integrity at every turn. Instead of developing constructive alternative policies, the Coalition has engaged in a zero sum war of attrition that has left both major parties damaged in the eyes of voters. It has hatched plots and engineered dirty tricks to destroy Labor with fell-swoop controversies, rather than build support through the more traditional methods of policy development and debate. Worse, much of the media has followed the Opposition’s lead, seizing upon hazy conspiracies and poorly substantiated allegations with an alacrity that has been little tempered by the exercise of judgment, or the gathering of hard facts."[/quote] http://newmatilda.com/2012/12/13/slipper-conspiracy-coalition-win

LadyInRed

14/12/2012I so thoroughly agree with Stilitz. He stirs a passion for change. Thanks Ad I have downloaded the book onto my Kindle. I have no idea why we idealize people who become filthy rich off the backs of the poor? And why we would want to emulate them or imagine that this is something we can all aspire to? It makes no sense. Growing together by sharing the wealth has to be better than growing apart with wealth concentrated in the hands of a greedy few? When did we start idealising people who have done nothing to deserve it? The facts of the budget show that the current government's budgetary footprint on the economy is small, running at the lowest level in 35 years, writes Stephen Koukoulas. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4427680.html Sabra Lane needs to understand that repeatedly asking a question, asserting it in such a way as to try to make it sound like a fact, turning and twisting it, just makes Sabra look really very stupid indeed. It was a stupid attempt by the coalition to turn this onto the government (understandable they need to squirm out of the hole they are in). But when the media to do the same they really do look like the LNP mouthpiece that they are. The PM handled herself well.

TalkTurkey

14/12/2012Janet We are all very proud of you. You have taken to this task as gracefully as a certain little Platypus I met took to the (big!) pond many of us had helped prepare at Dr John Wamsley's wildlife sanctuary Warrawong. Just smooth little ripples as he quietly eased in, staying on the surface unafraid and feeding on the little~water~things immediately, delighting all the onlookers, and there were hundreds, journos and photographers, all over the news. We had just literally rescued him form Kangaroo Island but I guess you'd say that's another story. It's just the gracefulness with which you have eased into the job, and the smoothness of those ripples you send out, that you remind me of that little Platypus. One of the dearest moments of my life btw. Oh and Platypus breed at Warrawong now as a matter of course. Good omen. I regard Lyn's work as having been critical in bringing the Fighting 5th Estate to the combative edge that now has MSM journalists looking silly irrelevant biased and wrong. Yesterday one of the MSM's own acknowledged the 5th Estate as (wtte) the *front page* in journalistic reporting now. (I forget exactly who what or where, that's the gist tho'.) So Janet Thank You from all of us, you are doing this ever-so-important job splendidly.

TalkTurkey

14/12/2012Salute to Miranda Gibson, up a tree in Tassie for a year today in defence of ancient forests. How staunch is that.

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

14/12/2012 TT: *blush* :-)Thank you. (Must point out so many TPSers are watching the media, old and new, like hawks at the moment and linking them in, which is lovely.) Your platypus story and analogy is equally lovely (*muses* - should one change one's gravatar :-)) So nice to know you work to save wildlife. Lyn's work is phenomenal. I haven't seen anything like her: networker extraodinare and such a sweet personality too. The article that was so clear and glowing about the shift of fifth estate to 'front page' was Tim Dunlop's on The Drum. Repeating link here: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4425720.html See you back on the barricades! :-)

jaycee

14/12/2012Well, from the push for action these last couple of days, it has become obvious that the Fifth Estate is doing all the heavy lifting...firing the heavy artillery..the MSM. are mostly firing blanks, save a few hardy, honest souls..we know their names! Perhaps a good stunt to bring the Fifth Estate to the general public's notice would be for some intrepid hacker to hack onto The Australian's web-page and put up an alternative headline in place iof their usual bullsh!t!

Bacchus

14/12/2012For the tweeters here, this fellow is worth keeping an eye on atm: https://twitter.com/sortius He's forensically pulling apart the press release that Mr Abbott claimed was released after the MSM had broken the Ashby / Slipper natter back in April. It seems the time stamps on the press release aren't all that they seem to be... You can also read more on his blog: http://sortius-is-a-geek.com/?p=2626

Jason

14/12/2012Thanks Bacchus!

bilko

14/12/2012LadyinRed "I so thoroughly agree with Stilitz." Ditto any tv show from the Land of the free, seems to be created in a different reality to what their news displays. Gene Roddenbury aka StarTrek creator had a vision for the USA ie the world without money and other problems, which progressed from riots shown in a DS9 episode using the back in time concept, always an an exceptable idea when one runs out of good ideas. In fact their movies are doing lots of reruns Superman another version of the original out this month. Must be some sort of urge to go back to the good old days post WWII a period that Stilitz reckons, that there were no so many real opportunities for all Americans. PS AA youv done it again merry christmas to all fellow swordspersons

Michael

14/12/2012Oh Bad Bad Abbott, with his 'the server ate my homework' rationale of just when he knew what he knew about Ashby. Great work, Sortius. Abbott and his amathematical crew have been caught out on this one. Not just clumsy blame-shifting by forged numbers, but proof he couldn't wait to jump a gun, not even one he'd loaded and should have known better to leave in the rack until well after the 'news' was out. Imagine this idjut as PM? Don't try, all it will do is cross your eyes and freeze-dry your tonsils. Shouldabeen and his office make Berlusconi look like the natural heir to Machiavelli, when themselves they most closely resemble the GrossoBuffooni family. (reCaptcha sitting in wait for me again! "stormiest Boxperal" Surely these will be boxer Abbott's stormiest, most perilous days? We can only wish. Actually, we can do something about it, as Sortius shows.)

2353

14/12/2012Bacchus - it is a pleasure to watch Sortius work, isn't it? Demonstrating that Abbott's press release predates the publication of the NewsCorp article it relates to. This is certainly worth delving into.

MWS

14/12/2012I'm not fully technologically literate, but if I wanted to write a file with a particular time-stamp, why not create a new document (with the right time-stamp) and cut and paste from the original document? Or is the Coalition completely stupid (rhetorical question only)? Perhaps they could employ somebody who can come up with [b]believable[/b] excuses instead of this rubbish?

Wake Up

14/12/2012A nice compilation of front pages to ponder on.............. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rD1lpAiDXfw

jaycee

14/12/2012Oh1 don't you just luuuuvve social media!..Thank you "Sortius"..Sortes..(Lat. sors, sortis, chance.)A species of divination...YES! I forsee trouble for Mr Rabbbott!

LadyInRed

14/12/2012Hockey working hard to change careers as a comedian! Hilarious. Fiscal discipline and in the next breath talking about their wreckless parental leave scheme. You'll see all our costings ....one day. bluster, bluster, bluster. Puff out chest, take a deep breath look commanding, and don't look like the fall-guy that you are. Slipper .....look over there! And then to top it off - we can go to hell as well. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-14/hockey-rejects-being-involved-in-slipper-case/4428400 Brough saved lives, saved lives in the NT! How dare we ask questions, how dare we think that maybe Joe is being frugal with the truth, and that Brough is anything other than a far more superior person to Slipper, and we who think that 'can go to hell'. Nice. Lovely way to win votes! If you don;t believe us "you can go to hell". Where is Tony? Afghanistan, London....Siberia here I come! I hear its nice their in December. Certainly cooler than here. Mal Brough's judgment is now very much in question. http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/bills-view-brough-may-pay-highest-price-ashby-case/1660262/ And here you go Joe you can tell Ackland to go to hell for writing this: [i]this would have to be one of the grubbiest, underhand, unmeritorious, political assaults on a government in recent democratic memory, fanned by leading adornments of the Liberal Party.[/i] Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/ashby-case-a-shocking-spectacle-20121213-2bcgg.html#ixzz2F00xHXFK Big taxing party? The facts of the budget show that the current government's budgetary footprint on the economy is small, running at the lowest level in 35 years. The current small government is made up of both low tax receipts and record cuts in government spending. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4427680.html

Robynne

14/12/2012Sabra Lane is beyond the pale and her interview with the PM was truly rude but all it succeeded in doing was to show what an inept journo she really is. And the interview with I think it was Craig Emerson earlier in the week was every bit as bad. The abbort broadcast corporation is certainly living up to it's name. They really are a bloody disgrace. Independant Australia http://www.independentaustralia.net/jacksonville/ Has an in depth analysis of the ashby disgrace,it is well worth a read. Sorry to be off-topic Ad Astra, but the abc bias is really getting on my goat.

Ken

14/12/2012There is no doubt that America has become a more unequal society and there are efforts by some (guess who?) to do the same in Oz. As I said in a previous comment, early America was influenced by the religious view that those who would go to Heaven was predetermined but that success in this life (including wealth)was a sign that God was favouring that individual. Individualism works to some extent in frontier and agrarian societies (where people can largely provide for themselves)but not so well in conurbations. Education is vital to decreasing inequality but often overlooked are values. Some groups will have values (from their socialisation) that do not necessarily fit with the prevailing values or ideology. For a long time, Australia had an egalitarian ethos. I grew up being taught never to "big note" myself, never to be a "big head". In more recent years that value did not help me. My boss told me a couple times after I had been interviewed for promotions that I did not sell myself at interview. My reply was that if I wanted to sell myself, I would have been a salesman, not a Public Servant. Egalitarian communities (even within a wider society) play down differences and spread wealth, even with little things like a successful worker shouting his friends more often in the pub (in fact, that used to be expected). "Increasing poverty at the bottom" is apparent in America with recognition of the "working poor". Howard tried to do that here. He said any job is better than no job. Workplace agreements were intended to drive down wages for those at the bottom (but many at the top actually benefitted). By contrast, when the original basic wage decision was handed down in 1907, Justice Higgins said "The provision of fair and reasonable remuneration is obviously designed for the benefit of employees in the industry, and it must be meant to secure to them something which they cannot get by the ordinary system of individual bargaining with employers." But that was what Howard was trying to take us back to - and what the Liberals would still like to do. One other interesting issue for the lowest paid workers is how often societies throughout history have used migrants to do the menial jobs - labourers and servants. The Irish in England in the 1800s, subcontinent "guest workers" in many rich Middle East oil countries today. Even in Oz, newly arrived migrants are often found in the lowest jobs. I offer no explanation for this but I do find it intriguing. The increasing use of casual labour and some of the steps taken under Howard, added to what is called precarious employment, when people feel their job is not secure. In such circumstances, it has been found that people do not spend as freely, thus reducing the wider economic benefit of having work (any work!). Other studies I have read have suggested that to escape from poverty at least one member of a family needs to be in full-time work - casual and part-time positions do not appear to improve the circumstances. For all the talk about mining, it employs relatively few workers compared to other industries. Around the time of the 2006 census, I worked out that if every mining job in remote areas was Aborginalised there would still be a few thousand unemployed Aboriginals. The mining industry may create wealth but it does not create a commensurate quantity of jobs:hence, the owners get wealthy and the nation only benefits to the extent that taxes can capture some of that income. At to the effect of bank bail-outs, I have always taken the view that bail-outs benefit the lender, even at a national level. When a country is given a so called bail-out, it is usually so they can meet their debts (i.e. pay the international banks and bond holders). We had an example in Oz of what happens when a government tries not to do that. Lang decided to postpone payments to English bond holders during the Depression and was dismissed. This is getting a bit too long. I may add more later.

bob macalba

14/12/2012Big thanks,..Janet, Michael, MWS, Lady in Red, Robynne, Bacchus and any i have missed, links everywhere Wake Up,.. those front pages!!!! says it all really, our media is just crap,

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

14/12/2012 Hi ya Bob Macalba :-) One more to read to keep maintaining the rage you do rather well (and aren't the TPSers amazing in the last coupla days - so energized by the Slipper judgement!) http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/abbott-implicated-in-ashby-conspiracy-by-10-hours-of-bullshit/

Tom of Melbourne

14/12/2012[quote]Australia and Nauru could be in breach of their international obligations to protect refugees over the running of the detention centre on Nauru, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has found. In an unusually strong report for the agency, the UNHCR said Australia’s ''no-advantage'' policy, in which boat people who arrive in Australia after August 13 face transfer to Nauru or Manus Island, is ''inconsistent'' with both countries’ responsibility to protect the rights of refugees[/quote] Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/unhcr-takes-aim-at-australia-over-nauru-detainees-20121214-2be9u.html#ixzz2F0aYvt5R The ALP government has really lived up to expectations.

Christine H

14/12/2012Thanks TT for your kind comments and for reposting my comment of yesterday. That was the third time I have posted here, I'm trying to disabuse my husband of the notion that I am a 'lurker'. This I am told is not a good thing though I must confess I have been 'lurking' at TPS and enjoying Ad Astra's fantastic analysis and articles and Lynn's wonderful links as well as all contributions for at least a year. Bob Macalba and Jaycee I had the same reaction as both of you when I watched that interview with Sabra Lane and the PM. Apparently 'gotcha' journalism is what we now see routinely at the ABC. I used to enjoy The Drum but give it a miss now for the sake of my mental health! Pappinbarra Fox Your post regarding the ALP and the PM adopting the high moral ground instead of the Liberals stock-in-trade mud throwing is sage advice indeed. We know that the PM rates well with women and that women particularly despise gutter politics. As tempting as it is to get down and dirty and start taking swings at your political opponents inevitably you run the risk of blowback. However the Liberals should have to pay some kind of penalty for this conspiracy to bring down the government. It does have the whiff of corruption about it. Janet Your question about the difference between a Royal Commission and an Inquiry, is I believe, and I am no legal expert, that a RC has more coercive powers to compel witnesses to appear before it and to produce relevant documents and materials. Speaking of experts I asked my computer/tech wizz offspring to try to explain to me the whole 'timestamp stole my homework' excuse by Abbott today and as discussed earlier it is a complete load of bollocks! Seriously if you compiled a list of Abbott's porkies since he has been in politics it would be a tome thicker than 'War and Peace'. Apologies to Tolstoy!

42 long

14/12/2012The more I ponder on this the more I feel the matter should be tested at LAW. People who play with fire should expect to get burnt. Sorry you appear to be carrying the can Joe, but you are a pathetic hypochrite. YOU have been found out by a judge appointed by one of your side P Ruddock so you can't complain there. Do you people have any sense of common decency left or have you just been pressing on regardless of what rotten precedent you set so that you can gain government at any cost? Muck raking,distortio and lies, depending on support from the vilest section of the media. Rupert Murdoch won't live forever. The trashing you people have given to principle and decency and proper process will live long in the blogosphere long after Rupert passes on. What will the Abbott mob's legacy be? The most negative and foul opposition I can recall in australia's history at a time when real planning and effort is needed. Wreck the lot as long as you get to rule the mess left. You could never get your brain around the hung parliament. you don't inherit or steal government . You EARN it, by convincing the electorate that you are the better government. The fact that you don't do that makes me think that you can't do that. You can't offer a better option. You haven't even tried. Maybe this time you will get what you have earned. The wrath and justice of the LAW of the land.

Gravel

14/12/2012Talk Turkey Tim Dunlop is the person that wrote the 5th estate is now the front page. I was reading his blog from a long time ago. He started at a Road to Surfdom, Nasking was there too. He is always excellent to read. Now I'm going back to read the other comments.

Gravel

14/12/201242 long Very well put. I refuse to think past today. Let us hope the Government does something to about the disgraceful happenings. Christine H Glad you have stopped being a lurker and are putting your 2cents worth in, it helps us all to hear everyone's different thoughts. Talk Turkey You are becoming our welcome wagon of late, keep up the good work. Loved your platypus story. We had a couple in the creek when we lived in Tassie. What a great compliment to Janet, and very well deserved too.

Jason

14/12/20122353, Can yo give us more meat on the bones about this? dee madigan‏@deemadigan QLD LNP MP Woodforth has just linked school results to fluoridation. Faaark. The stupid hurts my ears. #abc730

42 long

14/12/2012That argument could have some teeth in it

Jason

14/12/201242 long, Thanks! why didn't I think of that? LMAO!

2353

14/12/2012Jason. It was just on the ABC News here and I was half listening - so here goes . . . Woodforth is a first (and probably last) term MP from a northside suburban Brisbane seat. He has a theory that fluoridation in drinking water (a recent innovation in the majority of Queensland) is dosing the population with poison - for all the usual reasons claimed by the nut jobs. Newman has already watered down (sorry!) the state requirement to provide fluoride in water to a decision by each water authority (generally owned by a single or group of local councils) and a few (Bundaberg and the area south of Cairns being the main areas) have decided to discontinue to dose their water supplies. For reference - up until a couple of years ago, the only city in Queensland the fluoridated it's water was Townsville. Unsurprisingly, Queensland has the worst oral health record in Australia. On the Ashby thing - despite the majority of the 4th estate trying to bury the story, it seems to have a life of its own. The 5th estate should get a heap of new readers out of it - and that is probably a good news story.

KHTAGH

14/12/2012MWS He is referring the the Meta data time stamp. Every time you open or alter a file on any computer is writes to itself in what is called a meta data file [kinda inside the file back page type of thing] This records the time the file was created or altered, for how long it was opened, these entry's cant be altered & if they are is pretty obvious. It stands up in court & they take notice of it, tampering with a Meta Data file is REAL SERIOUS SHIT.

Robynne

14/12/2012This article at IA puts the abbott lie to rest, this totally lying grub is now treating everyone as if they are so stupid.I expect that that is what you deserve when you go to alan jones for advice. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/abbott-implicated-in-ashby-conspiracy-by-10-hours-of-bullshit/

MWS

14/12/2012KHTAGH, I know about time stamps, but I don't know if cutting and pasting text into a NEW document is a way to hide the (original) time stamp on the (original) document. I am assuming that cutting and pasting text won't copy the original time stamp? In this specific case, it's a PDF created from a Microsoft Word document (ie print to file) - but seems to show the time stamp of the Word document too? It's not good practice to broadcast the Word Doc, because you can see the editing process embedded within the document, which might reveal more information than the creator of the document wanted. That's why PDFs are used. If it is as easy as cutting and pasting text into a new document, why didn't the LNP cover their tracks with this method - or is it that THEY don't understand time stamps?

KHTAGH

14/12/2012My apologies I re read your post & realised I had taken it the wrong way. I agree with you last post. Pretty dumb. Obviously above the average Lieberals pay grade.

nasking

14/12/2012 Julia Gillard, the PM, had the demeanour of a BATTERED woman this morning. She's copped alot of shit...from all quarters. Abbott, opposition leader, had a smug holier than thou look...grandiose with The Lord on his side stuff. Typical batterer. As is Murdoch. And too many used to privileges...afraid of change...mortality of their position. Thinking their overLORDS will protect them...provide them sanctuary. Hitler's crims thought same. Don't count her out. Nor US. Roar of engines...lit up...the night N'

2353

14/12/2012Just had a thought after reading the IA story. Maybe the Government should wait for a while before the enquiry - and it could investigate the claims against Slipper and Thomson. If the timing is right, s couple of month enquiry with a brief to compel answers leading into an election campaign could be really interesting (snigger snigger).

Ad astra

14/12/2012Wake Up What a revealing set of Front Pages. Casablanca All that Hockey could muster was to tell us that ‘Tony Abbott’ was mentioned 24 times by Julia Gillard. He was expecting end-of-year greetings, and seemed surprised that she lambasted Abbott over his apparent involvement in the biggest political scandal for decades. These guys either don’t get it or they think they can bluff their way out of the condemnation of Justice Rares with a few set lines, like ‘the Government is hyperventilating’, something [b]they[/b] should be doing over what people are calling ‘Ashbygate’. They are hoping for absolution over Christmas, but I doubt if Julia Gillard will let this one go. This is very, very big. Robynne That is a great chronicle about the HSU saga and Kathy Jackson story. Ken Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You are right: [i]"Increasing poverty at the bottom" is apparent in America with recognition of the "working poor". Howard tried to do that here. He said any job is better than no job. Workplace agreements were intended to drive down wages for those at the bottom (but many at the top actually benefitted).”[/i] Employers and the Coalition want them back; they call it ‘flexibility’. Janet The IA article is the reason that there needs to be a forensic investigation of Abbott’s involvement and that of the rest of the Coalition and the others – Brough and McArdle. Otherwise the Coalition and the MSM will sweep it under the carpet. Christine H Thank you for your kind comments. Your thoughtful well-written contributions are very welcome here. 42 long You are right. Hockey is a hypocrite. He seems to be the only one who was sent out today, and he was pathetic. Jason After hearing that statement linking fluoridation to poor maths scores, I realized that inanity is still alive and well. That fluoride is effective in reducing caries is indisputable. In the sixties, before water was fluoridated, as medicaI officer of health for the rural shire where I had my practice, I handed out fluoride tablets at immunization sessions. In just a few years, the practice of the one local dentist changed from extractions and fillings in children to orthodontics, because caries had virtually disappeared. Anecdotal, but very convincing. There is no evidence of harm from ingested fluoride from water supplies. But then some believe that the world is just 6000 years old!

KHTAGH

14/12/2012MWS [i] I am assuming that cutting and pasting text won't copy the original time stamp?[/i] I don't know about this but it does record all alterations time & the path they take[even if you move the file], so it just might, even the copy & paste.

Jason

14/12/20122353 Aa, Thanks for the information, I'm lost for words! I thought the argument over this was settled years ago!

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14/12/2012Nasking Good to see you, big bear. Yes, she did look battered, but wasn’t she feisty. She is not going to take any more of the crap that has been thrown at her all year, and she was letting Abbott and Co. know in unambiguous terms. 2353 I think you are right – Julia ought to threateningly dangle the forensic inquiry in front of Abbott over the coming months until she is ready to strike. That would be a real ‘cobra strike’.

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14/12/2012Jason It was.

Robynne

14/12/2012Sorry to everyone, but you all know I'm a bit of a dill when it comes to this new-fangled stuff. I actually meant to link you to this article on IA:http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-tragedy-of-ashby-and-slipper-act-4/ Not to say that the articles about the Thomson/Jackson affair aren't well worth reading, it shows how duplicitous these low lifes that inhabit the opposition are. And the expose from the IT clever person are very damning of abbott.

2353

14/12/2012Jason - its similar to the argument over climate change, the science suggested years ago that we were in deep s**t - they just aren't sure how deep! Yet the Heartland Institute and their mindless drones continue to claim equal time for their mindless and factless crap.

42 long

14/12/2012The agenda of the heartland institute is to confuse the population and allow the exploiters of the worlds resources to continue to make profits in a one-off sale and despoilation of the only planet we have. Deliberate misleading of the people for the purpose of profitting at the expense of the future of the whole world is the worst crime imaginable. "Those who gamble should be able to afford to lose" If THEY are wrong we all suffer, and to what expent Almost beyond comprehension.. In the meantime THEY make obscene profits. Plunderers who are quite prepared to sacrifice the future of all our progeny so they gratify themselves for a short time. Time Is running out for something to be done. Tony Abbott is the worst thing that could have befallen this country at this time in history. Totally unproductive,and consumed with his own ambition.

nasking

14/12/2012 Too Nite Too Oft..en To see the man in the tie http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cAgAvnvXF9U N'

nasking

14/12/2012 [b]Yes, she did look battered, but wasn’t she feisty. She is not going to take any more of the crap that has been thrown at her all year, and she was letting Abbott and Co. know in unambiguous terms[/b] Ohhhyeaaa Ad, She-king Warrior-queen She's got the look of fire Burnin' be HE Soon be realised. Cocky HE...sends out in West Town guns and other things... Come east...lookin' for same...and peculiar things Put up the man in the iron cross Thinks draws fast...mouth open wide...like lizard closed in public second look...tongue flicks...thinks time on his side Call him out...some Me Draw me a bath I need to reflect I hear the clock... The light in the sky grows closer Tick...tock... Not 'fraid Like him fraud Remind sweet her Push the button...pull the lever Close the door I will be fine...will see you again WE ARE 12 N'

Libbyx33

15/12/2012(very early) 'Morning, Swordsters, I like this: "It is probably impossible to overestimate the admiration and affection for Gillard among women, especially young women, after her ''sexism and misogyny'' speech in Parliament in October. All the websites represented on Monday plugged the speech approvingly. ''So yesterday this happened,'' was how allconsuming .com.au presented the video of the speech. ''Game On.'' There are still some people, including in the media, who don't appreciate the game-changing nature of that speech. Even Gillard herself did not understand its impact right away. She has said that after she sat down she was about to call for some correspondence to sign when the Treasurer Wayne Swan said to her, ''You don't just sign letters after you've given a J'Accuse speech.'' Even so, it took 2 million-plus YouTube views, congratulations from the US President and other world leaders, not to mention hundreds of letters from Australian women, to persuade Gillard that she had taken command of a whole new political terrain." Brilliant read! More here: Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/gillard-working-her-womenfocus-mojo-20121214-2bfgo.html#ixzz2F2VDJXAT

nasking

15/12/2012 http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xzkhOmKVW08

nasking

15/12/2012 http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=S7uBrx5aJ20

Libbyx33

15/12/2012I do think too, that this is something we all need to think about. I've been there (20 years ago). Not a nice place to be. "Newstart is now so low, says the Business Council, that it's likely to be a barrier to employment. ''Trying to survive on $35 a day is likely to erode the capacity of individuals to present themselves well or maintain their readiness for work.''" Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/the-poor-get-poorer-while-the-rest-get-the-handouts-20121214-2bfdo.html#ixzz2F2ZebqYL Especially when you read what's [i]literally happening down the end of my street:[/i] "A WATER BOTTLE, a pair of reading glasses, some pork chops and a dad who'll stop drinking. Community worker June Hintz said the heartbreaking Christmas wish lists of children whose families were or have been homeless had brought her to tears. Homeless children who have been sleeping rough with their families at the empty OC Centre at Eagleby in Logan City, Queensland have asked for basics such as glasses and shoes this Christmas. For children who do not have a stable home, getting a bed of their own or a pair of glasses so they can read is far more important than a doll or a computer game. Local Beenleigh community worker June Hintz said the Christmas wishes were distressingly basic." Read more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/homeless-kids-wish-list-that-will-make-you-cry/story-fnet08ui-1226536197293#ixzz2F2ed4aOF

TalkTurkey

15/12/2012[b]ABBORTT SHOULD RESIGN.[/b]

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15/12/2012Robynne [i]IA[/i] gives a good documentary account of some of the exchanges in the Slipper/Ashby scandal, which would interesting fodder for a forensic inquiry into the conspiracy to unseat the elected Government of this nation. Nasking Great Beatles songs and so apt. Libbyx33 The Anne Summers piece was great reading. Abbott should very worried. I was amused to read near the end: [i]”…at the Prime Minister's press gallery drinks at The Lodge on November 29 where, I am reliably informed, hard-nosed Canberra journos who just two days earlier had been yelling borderline abusive questions at the PM about her past with Slater & Gordon, lined up to have their photos taken with her.”[/i] Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/gillard-working-her-womenfocus-mojo-20121214-2bfgo.html#ixzz2F4IXXcnx While I was there, I took the opportunity to read Michelle Grattan’s article this morning, another inconsequential opinion piece. And they pay her good money for those one thousand words. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/gillard--takes-a--big-slipper-to-abbott-over-ashby-judgment-20121214-2be28.html The Freeman-Green article [i]The poor get poorer while the rest get handouts[/i] is consistent with the message of this piece featuring Joseph Stiglitz. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/the-poor-get-poorer-while-the-rest-get-the-handouts-20121214-2bfdo.html#ixzz2F2ZebqYL Yes TT, and he should resign now! Folks I’ll be out all day at a friend’s birthday party.

Ken

15/12/2012While I agree with all the comments about the Ashby case, I will make just a few points. I say this as a "Labour man" all my life (and no, that is not a typo - I deliberately include the "u"). I think, so far, the most damning evidence for Abbott's involvement is the time stamp. But what he and Hockey and the others are saying is only what one would expect in the circumstances. We don't really expect them to come out and say, yes we were involved and yes we are sorry!!!!! That's just politics. Poltically, it has give the PM a stronger hand. The issue for the Government is timing. Too much too early on this and it will be forgotten by the time of the next election. Possum Comitatus had an interesting post on "The Primary Dynamic" which showed that in the past decade the personal standing of the PM has had the most influence on voting intention - the standing of the Opposition Leader has had no effect. If his stats are correct, then the PM needs to use this in a way that boosts her own credentials as PM, rather than just tearing Abbott down. Of course, the other danger is that if attacks on Abbott are too successful, there could be a change in the Liberal leadership and, as many others have pointed out, Abbott is one of the best things the Government has going for it in termsof re-election.

Patriciawa

15/12/2012 [b]We Want Our Speaker Back![/b] Mal Brough ambitious office seeker, James Ashby mercenary leaker, Though their case could not be weaker Still brought down a first rate speaker. How could that have come to pass? Remember Slipper kicking ass? And doing it with gravitas! In Oz speak that means ‘bit o’ class.’ It wasn’t just the way he dressed In long black gown and fancy vest. What had watchers most impressed Was the end of uproar and unrest. The Chamber filled no more with cries Of outraged members screaming, “Lies!” In other simple ways and wise He brought calm; fewer lows, more highs. Prissie Pyne, censured, had to use ‘Time Out’ to find the Members’ loos, Fearing the Speaker might refuse To let him rise to make more POOs. He cut time-wasteful SSO’s Used by Abbott against his foes. Will there be many more of those? If Slipper’s gone for good, who knows? His talent is too good to miss! Pollies! Make friends, shake hands, or kiss! One thing you must agree is this - Order in the House with Pete was bliss! Mal Brough ambitious office seeker, James Ashby mercenary leaker, Though their case could not be weaker Still brought down a first rate speaker. How could that have come to pass? Remember Slipper kicking ass? And doing it with gravitas! In Oz speak that means ‘bit o’ class.’ It wasn’t just the way he dressed In long black gown and fancy vest. What had watchers most impressed Was the end of uproar and unrest. The Chamber filled no more with cries Of outraged members screaming, “Lies!” In other simple ways and wise He brought calm; fewer lows, more highs. Prissie Pyne, censured, had to use ‘Time Out’ to find the Members’ loos, Fearing the Speaker might refuse To let him rise to make more POOs. He cut time-wasteful SSO’s Used by Abbott against his foes. Will there be many more of those? If Slipper’s gone for good, who knows? His talent is too good to miss! Pollies! Make friends, shake hands, or kiss! One thing you must agree is this - Order in the House with Pete was bliss! Cheers, Patricia http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/we-want-our-speaker-back/

Patriciawa

15/12/2012Sorry, guys, don't know how I doubled up there!

Ken

15/12/2012Patricia - agree with the sentiments of your verse. Whatever one may think of Slipper's personal life (and there are many things to dislike and criticise), what is often overlooked is that he did make a bloody good Speaker!

Granny Anny

15/12/2012There are suggestions over at Poll Bludger that Murdoch editors are deliberately not reporting the Ashby matter.

42 long

15/12/2012What would you expect? They have their aims and that is to have the LieNP in government. It suits their business plan.Lewis probably gets a salary rise for his efforts. They are so crass they don't try to appear fair. Wasn't interfering with the processes of government in the UK what started the Levesen enquiry? The attitude is the same is it was in the US. The Democrats ( read LABOR) have no right to governance). The LieNP are still doing the biggest dummy spit in history.They don't like "hung" parliaments. I can't recall where on the voting slip it has vote for HUNG . It just "HAPPENS". Like "shit happens" TONY. You didn't get the numbers so keep trying to put red headed sheilas in gaol. (And rely on smear and ruining people to get the job.) Your character is now tarnished as well. Getting caught out all the time. Your word is worth nothing!! You are covered in it Tony....

nasking

15/12/2012 If the Americans don't WAKE UP after this latest guns-related tragedy, which has seen so many young lives prematurely ended by a swarm of bullets, then there is something badly wrong in that place. And SHAME on our QLD premier and his team for pushing to make it easier to own a gun. And SHAME on all those criminal and corrupt individuals in Australia for smuggling so many guns into this country. And making it far less safe...and increasing the chances that a similar tragedy will happen here oneday. This FLOOD OF WEAPONS across the world is helping to leave a trail of misery and despair...and it has come with unnecessary conflicts and wars, slack and weak regulations, the exponential growth of libertarianism... and a media far too influenced by the Murdoch empire who have been willing to cater to every kind of red neck, libertarian conspiracy nut and pro-gun crusading whack job. I'm sure it was Fox News the other day that was promoting mums in America proudly taking their school age kids to the shooting range. Time for REAL CHANGE. N'

Tom of Melbourne

15/12/20121. Gillard made a written agreement with Wilkie to win government 2. Gillard must have known that the commitment was unconditional and she could not guarantee the commitments she made. 3. Gillard walked away from the agreement without even bringing the support of her own party to the vote. 4. Rather than deal with the consequences of this dishonesty she appointed Slipper to Speaker 5. Many of her colleagues warned her not to do this. 6. Slipper was already a proven rorter 7. Slipper continued his rorting and sleazy behaviour. 8. Slipper proved himself to be unfit for Speaker 9. The Liberals used dishonest tactics to demonstrate his sleazy behaviour 10. The Liberals can be legitimately criticised for point 9. I’m not quite sure why Gillard is trying to take some form of moral high ground.

Pikiranku

15/12/2012Another terrific poem, Patricia, and I agree wholeheartedly with its sentiments. I'd almost given up watching Question Time (unthinkable for a tragic such as I am) because it was so frustratingly disjointed, inaudible and unedifying under Harry Jenkins' watch. But Peter Slipper was just getting the whole place really into line and QT was well worth watching again when he was forced to stand down. A twofold incentive for the Liberals to get rid of him, I suppose - remove an effective Speaker who had the temerity to stand up to them and bring down the legitimate government at the same time.

Jason

15/12/2012http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rggFlBsqalw

Jason

15/12/2012Bushfire Bill Posted Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink The media has gone on strike over Ashby. One would have thought that an issue they covered with such glee and lascivious attention would have at least made it to page 1 on maybe a couple of days in the immediate aftermath. One might have been forgiven for thinking that the poring over a few old Cabcharge dockets, forensic matching of signatures by hired handwriting experts and the instigation of a virtual manhunt for the hapless driver of the limo might have been matched by some attention, post decision, to who said what to whom and when. All that Photoshop and Illustrator time spent on attaching a rat’s tail, pointy ears and whiskers, putting nonexistent judges horsehair wigs on top of Peter Slipper’s head, all that inventive punning on the name “Slipper”, all those hours spent on stakeouts at various airports in the middle of the night could possibly have been matched by some questions directed at the side of politics that was found to have consipired to run a bogus case against the Speaker, followed by some skeptical analysis of the answers given. But no, hardly anything has been heard, except the voices of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, joined at the lip by the spin of the day, as if the tens of thousands of kilometres between them was just a door or two up the street, chanting “hyperventilation” in sympathetic synchronization. Who’d have thought that, faced with the biggest story of the year – to wit, that the previous biggest story of the year was an official crock of shit – the media’s chutzpah would extend to not only playing down the resolving of the first, but actually burying the latter? Not only burying it, but blaming the victims – Peter Slipper and the government – en passant, indeed listing one of the perpetrators, Mal Brough, as the true victim? With the misogyny speech, the media’s mistake was to try to articulate why it, and its 3,000,000 hits were unimportant and bad for the government. I mean it was just twitter and YouTube after all, right? The media have learned their lesson alright: this time they’re not trying to define the context, they’re just ignoring the context altogether. It’s safer that way. If the Justice Rares “version” of the truth never happened, then there’s no story. IF it’s in the paper it must be important (just ask Barrie Cassidy), so isn’t the converse true? I guess that’s what we’re required to believe. And “version” it was. The judge in this case has merely one opinion among many. He clearly doesn’t understand the media’s role in being official arbitrator of what’s important and relevant, and what’s not. Judgement? Meh. It’s just what they said would be earth-shattering when it was delivered, but now they don’t think that way anymore. That was then. This is now. Possibly the best form of inquiry into all this would be for Peter Slipper to play hardball with costs, attaching Peter Harmer to his list of potential debtors. Then the court could look into it all and enquire away. The legal eagles around here (and elsewhere) say this might automatically split Ashby and Harmer, due to an unresolvable conflict of interest – Harmer can’t act for both himself and Ashby at the same time, as I understand it – forcing James to find yet another high-priced legal representative who’ll go into bat for him for free. That’s several hundred thousand dollars worth of “free”, on top of what James already owes. Any takers out there willing to take the challenge that, if James loses, then they might be next in Slipper’s sights for compensation? As Alfred Dolittle once sang, "With a little bit of luck, When 'e comes around you won't be 'ome." To those who say the media’s abrogation of its responsibility to cover the story through to its conclusion is no big deal, to be expected really, and that only ranters and ravers (and the incredibly naive, of course) should be surprised and dismayed by this, I say, thanks heaps for leaving parliamentary employment. The Labor party is better off without your lazy cynicism. The only pity is that you came here to bother us instead.

2353

15/12/2012Its interesting that there is only extremely marginal interest in the Slipper/Ashby thing if you read the Courier Mail. Could hardly find a mention. And the only mention in the Brisbane Times is this (a survey saying people prefer Brough to Slipper in the Fisher electorate) -> http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/slippers-constituents-say-they-no-longer-support-him-20121214-2bf7l.html. Pathetic.

Wake Up

15/12/2012Jason, that YouTube link......... lol what a classic !!!

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

15/12/2012 Ken: I agree. (Apologies for disagreeing with Ad and TT.) Abbott is one of the best things the ALP have going for it in terms of re-election. The PM needs to reel him in and let him out a tad and reel him in and do him oh so slowly! Mind you, we may not have anything resembling a democracy left by the time she does him, and there's the moral and political rub ... Granny Anny: it isn't just the Murdoch press that is under-reporting Ashbygate. It's also Fairfax and ABCNews24, and, and etc. And Jason, I see Bushfire Bill is hitting this theme hard too. Twitter is running fast and furious on just this issue (and other issues). I've had time to grab some Tweets, most with relevant links to pieces. Keep your eye on what Margo Kingston is saying on this issue perhaps. In my humble, if we are looking at the second nearest thing we've had to sedition in this country, then the media is complicit. Democracy is truly in peril, and calling for an inquiry or royal commission (thanks Christine for explanation of differences) means, if we got it, looking into not only the culpability of the LNP, but also the actual and implicit involvement of institutionalised media in seditious activity. The PM has a very strong hand. Think the take-no-prisoners Judge Rares would be ideal to head a Royal Commission! Sorry, back to links. [i]Mike Bloomberg ‏@MikeBloomberg[/i] Today President Obama rightly sent his condolences to families. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress http://bit.ly/12dSWRj [i]Julian Simpson ‏@JulianSimpson1[/i] This is a STUNNING savaging of the NRA and their collusion in child murder http://m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/newtown-and-the-madness-of-guns.html … [i]Carol Bohman ‏@CarolBohman[/i] Here is a list of every politician who is receiving money from the NRA to make sure guns are easy to own: http://say.ly/wFP4MvO [i]George Megalogenis ‏@GMegalogenis[/i] Australia suffered 13 mass murders between 1981 and 1996. In the 16 years since our gun law reforms: zero. No more excuses please America. [i]Adrian B ‏@Volvo_of_doom[/i] Under John Howard's sedition laws, Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne, Julie Bishop and Mal Brough would be facing conspiracy charges right now [i]margo kingston ‏@margokingston1[/i] Bought the papers today. Where r the news features, the reads, on #ashbygate? Where is the analysis, the questions on Ashby's funding? ... [i]Craig Emerson MP ‏@CraigEmersonMP[/i] @margokingston1 A small handful of journalists willing to examine but most editors not interested: they have a different agenda. #auspol [i]Mr Denmore ‏@MrDenmore[/i] The story you won't read in the newspaper reviews of 2012 is the role of the media in our political circus. Here it is. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/send-in-the.html … [i]Victoria Rollison ‏@Vic_Rollison[/i] My latest post: When did Watergate come off the front page?http://wp.me/p1ug7x-dt #Ashbygate #Auspol #Mediafail [i]John Pratt ‏@Jackthelad1947[/i] No theory, just a real conspiracy. #auspol Time for a judicial inquiry. Liberal heads to roll. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/-2bess.html … [i]IndependentAustralia ‏@independentaus[/i] Cartoonist Matt Bissett-Johnson gives his take on the#SlipperConspiracy. http://fb.me/E1On7iGl [i]Ross Bowler ‏@BowlerBarrister[/i] Slipper judgment could lead to challenge of absolute privilege Defamation defence ♦ http://twy.la/W6DDJD [i]The Masked Crusader ‏@themaskedcrus[/i] Facts took a while in 'Slippergate': Albanese http://www.smh.com.au/national/facts-took-a-while-in-slippergate-albanese-20120616-20g9h.html … via @smh [i]Chris Barrett ‏@selga55[/i] #abuseofprocess politically too #LNPlies Persecution case: scathing judgment turns blowtorch on Ashby teamhttp://www.smh.com.au/national/persecution-case-scathing-judgment-turns-blowtorch-on-ashby-team-20121214-2bf7h.html … [i]Wendy Bacon ‏@Wendy_Bacon[/i] More on Lewis's role in Slipper Affair from Lagan in Global Mail. He missed grub in his scoop. http://www.theglobalmail.org/blog/judge-theres-a-grub-in-my-scoop/521/ … [i]Cranky Frog ‏@FrogCrank[/i]y How would you rate Campbell Newman's QldLNP gov? End of Year Report Card A to F: You can vote here: Courier Mail http://ht.ly/g7kO0 [i]John Pratt ‏@Jackthelad1947[/i] Finally some cracking good news for fracking industry. This will Fracking well kill us. #auspol #climatechange http://www.smh.com.au/business/-2bf91.html … [i]John Pratt ‏@Jackthelad1947[/i] Report card makes grim reading. "To win the economic race we must first win the education race!" #auspol Gonski now! http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/-2bfe2.html … [i]Major Major ‏@defenceAU[/i] Julia Gillard and Tim Mathieson try to do normal things< most would miss shopping & the freedom to go to visit familypic.twitter.com/Rqy0t17w [i]Michael Short ‏@shortmsgs[/i] some thoughts on politics and economics #auspol #economics#abbott #gillard http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/-2bfm5.html … ** [i]TheFinnigans[/i] battle must be won against those who, with whatever motive, relish talking down the econ @CraigEmersonMP on the BISONs http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/dont-let-the-prophets-of-gloom-get-away-with-it/story-e6frgd0x-1226537002130 … [i]Chipp Awae ‏@sloughly[/i] Income management in the Northern Territory: racism is still the issue - http://overland.org.au/blogs/loudspeaker/2012/12/income-management-in-the-northern-territory-racism-is-still-the-issue/ … ** For a piece in the Oz that is behind the paywall, copy the link and put this into Google. The story will come up. Copy the Google link for the story, put it into your browser and you should be able to read the piece.

2353

15/12/2012Dentists are protesting Bundaberg Council's decision to not fluoridate water. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-14/dentists-concerned-over-fluoride-opt-out/4428932 Gerry Harvey claims retail is suffering and the goes out and purchases part of Tinkler's horse empire - go figure. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-15/talks-underway-to-sell-tinkler27s-farm2c-horse/4429612 [quote]A draft of the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been leaked on climate sceptic websites. The leaker and other climate sceptics have isolated one section of the draft to suggest that cosmic rays such as those of the Sun may have a greater influence on warming than had been claimed. Professor Steve Sherwood, the director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW, was the lead author of the chapter in question. He says the idea that the chapter he authored confirms a greater role for solar and other cosmic rays in global warming is "ridiculous".[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-14/ipcc-draft-climate-report-leaked/4429036

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

15/12/2012 And Elder nails it one more time. [b]You can't handle an Abbott government [/b] Andrew Elder The press gallery seeks to bring about an Abbott government by overreporting the failures of the Gillard government and ignoring narratives to the contrary (particularly if they emanate from the dreaded social media). The Gillard government does not court the press gallery like previous governments did, or like Abbott does in Opposition; the press gallery is keen to see the back of it, and keen to exercise what power it has left to secure that result. The press gallery should not seek to bring about an Abbott government because it could not handle an Abbott government. The overreporting was shown this week with the dismissal of a sexual harassment case brought by James Ashby against the Commonwealth and the former Speaker, Peter Slipper. Allegations arising from the plaintiff's submissions received prominent and salacious coverage in the media, while the judge's findings did not. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/you-cant-handle-abbott-government.html?m=1

Jason

15/12/2012Bushfire‏@BushfireBill The story the media WANTED to write... http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/12/10/newspoll-54-46-to-coalition-11/?comment_page=102/#comment-1503209 … #auspol

TalkTurkey

15/12/2012Jan We don't really disagree on Abbortt. I have said before, the strategy should be to hound him and his mob of thugs towards a spill, and when it gets close, lobby like hell to keep Abbortt there! They are in [i]Duhrrr?[/i]ville now, they don't know what to do, if it weren't for the media brownout on the Brough-Ashby Treasonous Plot they would be jumping from windows by now! Imagine the response if Labor had tried something like this! Brough and Abbortt both are major assets for Labor. But stay or go they have done great works for us already.

nasking

15/12/2012 From Mike Carlton: [b]Justice Steven Rares of the Federal Court is no stranger to political rough and tumble. I recall him fondly as junior counsel on my defence team when Neville Wran sued me for defamation - unsuccessfully - back in the rollicking 1980s. His honour knows his way around the traps, you might say, and his demolition of the sexual harassment case against Peter Slipper was a scorcher. The disloyal former staffer James Ashby had plotted with his lawyer and various odds and sods in the Queensland Liberal National Party to ''damage Mr Slipper in the public eye and political arena with any information they could find''. But the case was never just about the former speaker and his scheming political opponent, the former Howard government minister Mal Brough. It was central to Tony Abbott's agenda to destabilise and bring down the Gillard government. Abbott, Christopher ''Poodles'' Pyne, and the would-be attorney-general, the mouthy Queensland senator George Brandis, were in it up to their necks, aided and abetted by a vicious campaign against Slipper in The Daily Telegraph. Now it has blown up in their faces, revealing the conspiracy for what it was. It will be interesting to see who pays Ashby's legal bills, which should run into a hefty six-figure sum. Perhaps Abbott could call for donations to a slush fund like the one he ran when he was trying to destroy Pauline Hanson a few years ago.[/b] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/no-theory-just-a-real-conspiracy-20121214-2bess.html Well said. The sooner the people realise Abbott spends a great deal of his time scheming, plotting, coming up with ways to bring down opponents like some devious, power-crazed Cardinal or such in bygone days the sooner we'll be rid of his foul stench that is helping to give politics a bad name. It's not surprising Abbott is in bed with the Murdoch empire...and a certain shock jock...they spend an inordinate amount of time scheming, plotting the downfall of opponents...and those who abandon their toxic cause. At times I feel like I'm observing the actions of foul characters time shifted from centuries ago. N'

42 long

15/12/2012The grim feel of shady characters from a Dickens novel. I know what they are doing. I understand why they are doing it, but I am somewhat incredulous of a system that not only tolerates it but sees it as something benign. A world that tolerates this sort of skullduggery is devoid of morality. those whe seek to cover the truth, and trade in deceit, are the most foul. Truth has a special place in a worthy society. Liars need long memories, but the record is there for all to see as has never been the case before. How could Brandis an Abetz be entrusted with justice? More than ever we should be dealing in facts.. nothing less. People who don't understand this must be in denial. I can understand that. I can't see (human nature being what it is), that we will collectively do the right thing, for this stressed planet. Sorry to be pessimistic, but there it is.

Ken

15/12/201242 long - although I said we can't expect the Libs to admit what they've done and that's just politics, I do agree with your view. Politics has always had its seamier side, deals and back-stabbing, and perhaps we will never entirely get rid of that. But the personal attacks have become far too frequent. These are not deals, these are out and out smear campaigns with political intent. There is a crying need, if not for a more moral approach, at least a more ethical approach to politics. We will clearly not get it from the current "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition".

Libbyx33

15/12/2012This is TRULY an epic FAIL for the MSM media in America - So it's the world over, not just pathetic coverage here in OZ, it's everywhere. "The performance of some of the biggest media outlets in the country Friday would be laughable if the story they were covering wasn't so horrific and tragic: Twenty children slaughtered in their classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. And for several hours, AP and network and cable TV news misidentified the gunman to millions of readers and viewers as Ryan Lanza. They linked to his Facebook page and ran pictures and information from his account on the air and in print. Except, as hopefully everyone knows by now, it wasn't Ryan Lanza who killed those children. It was his younger brother Adam." http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/z-on-tv-blog/bal-sandy-hook-media-confused-debased-20121214,0,4827210.story What a sad, sad state of affairs. Not just the tragedy that happened - also the tragedy of the media reports.

Tom of Melbourne

15/12/2012Imagine the outrage here, if Abbott had made a written agreement with Wilkie to deliver poker machine reform to defeat Gillard, and then if he’d specifically and deliberately broken the agreement. There would have been vocal and legitimate outrage by the range of ALP supporters here. If Abbott then recruited a disgruntled ALP MP to fill a cushy job in order to avoid the consequences of the dishonesty, the screeching would have been particularly vocal. It would have been a legitimate range of complaints too. But we don’t hear any criticism of Gillard’s dishonesty here, because ...it was Gillard. ------------------------------------ These are the factors that didn’t help Howard- • A strong economy • Politicisation of asylum seekers • Putting partisan interests in front of public responsibilities • A budget surplus • Getting all cosy with a US President • Lowering interest rates There is no reason to suggest that the same factors should rescue Gillard.

42 long

15/12/2012The "kangaroo" court that the LNP have run should now be replaced with the real thing. I (and many others) suggest that what has been attempted here is a CRIME of great significance. What is more significant that trying to get rid of an elected and still lEGAL government by nefarious (Criminal) means? We are not playing little games here. Billions of dollars are at stake and the precedent is large. If it is not appropriate for the current Government to instigate this there must be some other way, because it cannot be passed of as HYPERVENTILATING. That is just adding insult to injury, and If you take a good look there is plenty of injury. It is pompous to describe it in that way. We are dealing with reality . Time to ditch the spin. Abbott has no concern for the welfare of anybody who stands in his way to gain Power. This man has shown a ruthless disregart for the LAW and common decency. He has engineered this and most wear the consequences. He has shamed the nation. This is not a party thing. If labor or anyone behaved this way I would feel the same, and ask for the same process. IF the MSM pretend it is not happening that doesn't mean it didn't happen. JUSTICE!!! Nothing less.....

Ad astra reply

15/12/2012Folks I have just completed reading your comments and links posted since we left for our friend's birthday party. What a great array of fascinating comments. Thank you. I must give the prize to BB for his delectable satire, which illustrates so cleverly how our pathetic media can distort almost any story to suit its political purpose. It's 'silence' over the Slipper/Ashby conspiracy is a classic example.

jaycee

15/12/2012No home, no shelter, no safe harbour for the traitors!

jaycee

15/12/2012It is so weak, so weak..the tears of the traitors..crying over their own demise..tears of pity..for themselves!...pity me! pity me! pity me!.............poor, poor tragic souls... NO MERCY! NO SAFE HARBOUR, NO HOME FOR THE TRAITORS!!

Robynne

15/12/2012Patricia, you have once again pomed the situation with delightfull prose and as a pome lover I do truly delight in every offering. The sight of abbort on the abc(his own personal TV station) tonight was bloody sickening, lauded by all as he lectured the world on the abbort view. Pass me the chuckbucket please.

jaycee

15/12/2012Can there be a lower breed of individual that would seek to deminish the just, the seeker of justice, the preyed upon in this affair. Like a religious official who would seek to diminish or dismiss the crimes against the innoccent. A Judas.. there can be no lower breed...lower than the primordial slime..save perhaps them who come to sites like these seeking audience for their seedy thoughts and theories. nothing lower, nothing more debase, nothing more corrupt nor deformed in their thinking than they!...traitors ..no safe harbour, no home, no refuge.

Wake Up

15/12/2012+ 1 jaycee

MWS

15/12/2012Thanks for the Twitter welcome Janet. I'm just lurking there until I think I've got something to contribute to the conversation (a bit like what I did here).

TalkTurkey

15/12/2012Patricia I see you really have cracked the Rhyme Barrier, all quadrhymatical couplets! But while I agree about the order Slipper brought to the House, but I don't with the call for his return to the Speakership for more reasons than plenty, and it's not going to happen anyway. Anna Burke is doing fine, it empowers women of course but to see her grow into the horrid job the Abborttians have made hers (remember Pyne tongue-poking her?) is an inspiration, and must certainly be intimidating, even more so than infuriating, to the creeps on Their side. Ken I don't know if you have posted before this last few days, but Welcome Comrade, Ad astra welcomes nearly everyone but I'd be surprised if a few didn't slip by him, he has so much call on his time and energy. Our Eye in the Sky Tweety Bird Lyn, probably never misses welcoming anyone - she sure don't miss much - but she is on "holidays" flitting around on Twitter, and you can see, having a great time. So I will just have to do instead. But could you explain please what you mean when you say, [i]I say this as a "Labour man" all my life (and no, that is not a typo - I deliberately include the "u").[/i] So many other Swordsfolks, everyone can't reply to everyone though, so Sorry, but Hi to Libbyx33 Jaycee 42 Long KHTAGH Nasking Jason Pikiranku Granny Anny 2353 Ad astra Himself, plus all I've missed, and lastly to you Robynne, whose understanding of the word [i]prose[/i] I must correct. It means definitively [i]ordinary[/i] language, as distinct from being rhymed and metered - exactly [i]not[/i]-poetry in that sense. I'm not being nasty btw, [i]pas du tout[/i], on the contrary I find it quite funny because most "poets" these days write what [i]is[/i] plainly prose and [i]call[/i] it poetry. And indeed most of them look down their noses at rhyming verse, (but they secretly adore it when it's good.)

TalkTurkey

15/12/2012Folks Do you think it would be kinder of me to let ToM know the truth, that I conscientiously stopped reading his rants many months ago, or to let him go on living in the comfortable but erroneous belief that I do ever read him? Kinder not to tell him, you reckon? OK then I won't. :)

Casablanca

15/12/2012Swordsters, A friend sent this to me and I thought that most of you would chuckle over it too. [quote]One sunny day in late 2013, an old man approached the Lodge, the Canberra residence of Australia's Prime Ministers. He spoke to the guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with Prime Minister Tony Abbott." The Guard looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr Abbott was not elected as Prime Minister and does not reside here." The old man said, "Okay," and walked away. The following day the same man approached the The Lodge and said to the same Guard, "I would like to go in and meet with Prime Minister Abbott." The Guard again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr Abbott is not the Prime Minister and does not reside here." The man thanked him and again just walked away. The third day the same man approached the The Lodge and spoke to the very same Guard, saying, "I would like to go in and meet with Prime Minister Abbott." The Guard, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr Abbott. I've told you already that Mr Abbott was not elected as Prime Minister and so does not reside here. Don't you understand?" The old man looked at the Guard and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing you say that Mr Abbott is not our Prime Minister." The Guard snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow, Sir.[/quote]

Ad astra

15/12/2012Casablanca And so say all of us. Patriciawa Delectable pome. TT No don't upset him - Christmas is in the air!

MWS

16/12/2012Finally a piece in the Fairfax press about Slipper - an exclusive interview with the PM. "PM concerned at emotional toll on Slipper"

TalkTurkey

16/12/2012Casablanca I love it. Now you've gone and made me tell a dirty version. Woman comes to Con da Fruiterer: [i]I want 2Kg of Bananas please[/i]. Con: [i]I'm'a sorry Madam Today we have-a no bananas[/i]. Woman goes away, an hour later she's back: [i]I'd like 2Kg of bananas please.[/i] Con: [i]I'm'a sorry madam, I'm'a told you, we have-a no bananas today![/i] An hour later she's back, [i]May I have 2Kg of bananas please?"[/i] Con points at the signs around the shop: [i]Madam, you look, you see da '[b]Pis[/b]' in '[b]Pistachios[/b]'? [/i] - [i]Yes[/i] . . . [i]And-a Madam, you see da '[b]root[/b]' in da '[b]Beetroot[/b]'?[/i] -[i]Yes[/i] . . . [i]And you see da '[b]#*CK[/b]' in '[b]Bananas[/b]'?[/i] [i]? ... No . . .There is no '#*CK' in 'Bananas!'[/i] . . . . ! :)

KHTAGH

16/12/2012Casablanca I to love it. I'm sorry to disagree with some very wise people here, I think Julia has to come out swinging early in the new yr. Yes it is a way more moral to not do the same as the Lieberals & Mad Monk. Only one trouble if she does that the OM & the Lieberals treat her with contempt. If you look back over the past few yrs its the times when she has got angry & responded to the abuse from the Lieberals that she gets some recognition "Mincing poodle" "misogyny speech" "AWU pressers" etc. She can be strong & forceful without jumping into the gutter she has them on the run & they are praying that it will all blow over before they get back next yr, we can't let this happen this time as TT said earlier. This episode even has the capacity to knobble Turdbull if it is done properly, it puts him in the same muck bucket due to Utegate affair tared with the same shitty brush Mad Monk uses. I really hope she does have a parliamentary inquiry into the Lieberals denigrating our political system into what we have currently. I get the feeling she has finally had a gut-full of the Lieberals foul behavior/scheming, then the OM airbrushing it off the public discussion as soon as they can. Thank dog for the fighting 5th.

TalkTurkey

16/12/2012 Nobody writes like [b]Bushfire Bill ![/b] (lifted from Poll Bludger) Posted Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink [b]The story they WISH they could have written….[/b] No shoe malfunction: Gillard Slippers on a banana skin of her own choosing Denise Grattanahan, The Sydney Morning Australian, Friday, July 12th, 2013 ------------------------ TODAY'S bombshell Federal Court judgement in the Ashby case has left the government facing its greatest ever crisis. Mr. Justice Rares has delivered a scathing condemnation of Peter Slipper, saying that he had: "... cynically, and with contempt for Mr Ashby's rights as an employee of the Commonwealth government, sought to (a) Harass and intimidate him to the point of unlawful sexual harassment and, (b) Additionally, by forcing Mr Ashby to witness the commission of serious crimes against the Commonwealth, by way of the misuse of Cabcharge dockets, seriously breach his workplace rights." The government is "in emergency lockdown" this afternoon as the enormity of Mr Justice Rares' comprehensive demolition of theirs and Mr Slipper's cases sinks in. One internal Labor party critic of Julia Gillard said, "This would never have happened if I was still Attorney-General. She's got to go, and this time I think the Caucus will agree." There are unconfirmed reports that Kevin Rudd has boarded an overnight commercial flight in Beijing, for an immediate return to Sydney, and thence Canberra. The crisis comes as the result of a series of inept decisions by the Prime Minister. First came the appointment of Peter Slipper to the Speakership of the House of Representative. The second blunder was Gillard's now infamous "Misogyny Speech", seen at last in its proper context: that of a desperate but ultimately doomed to divert public attention away from the tainted Speaker's character, and not the clarion call to to women of all ages that so-called "social media" made it out to be. The third, unforced, error was from Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, a Gillard "favourite", whose position on the front bench must now be under an ominous cloud for not settling this disastrous case when she had the opportunity to not only save taxpayers'money, but to extricate the government from the catastrophic predicament in which it now finds itself. At one stage there was a feeble attempt to have this case adjudged to be an "abuse of process", an arcane legal principle that is rarely applied, and in this case was contemptuously and summarily dismissed by Justice Rares last year. In what now is seen by legal experts as a "desperate ploy", both the Gillard government and Mr Slipper sought to have the Ashby case dismissed on the obviously ridiculous and hopeless ground that Ashby's complaint was merely a publicity stunt, a conspiracy between himself and members of the Liberal Party, designed to embarrass Slipper and bring down the government. Senator George Brandis, SC, and, if the polls are to believed, slated to be next Attorney-General, had already told a Senate committee hearing that he would "under no circumstances" advise any client of his own to pursue the "abuse of process" ploy. His retrospectively wise advice was dismissed by an over-confident Nicola Roxon as the product of "a fevered mind" and a "known dickhead". A beleaguered Ms Gillard has, this afternoon, brushed aside Press Gallery reporters and refused to answer any of their questions, as she moved to attend today's crisis Cabinet meeting, under way as this analysis is being written. Joel Fitzgibbon, one of the few senior Labor members prepared to speak on the record, has told the Sydney Morning Australian, "The Prime Minister will be gone before the day is out." A spokesman for the Australian Homosexual, Taxpayers', Small Business And Retired Radio Presenters' Harassment Lobby, a body incorporated only yesterday, has condemned "the government's anti-gay, anti-lesbian, anti-shock-jock agenda", and has promised a national Day Of Pink shame on the lawns of Parliament House before the week is out. Whatever the outcome of the Cabinet meeting, one thing is certain: the media, heavily criticised by the government and in particular by Ms Gillard herself over this matter, has shown that a vital 4th estate, prepared to delve into such matters of national importance, is more than ever necessary in the face of patent government spin and the politicisation of the highest Constitutional office of the Federal Parliament. The rampantly left wing agenda of social media - consisting mainly of a web site called "Twitter" and various left-leaning blogs - as exposed in a series of hard-hitting articles by Peter Hartcher-Henderson in this newspaper late last year, has been shown to be somewhat lacking in objectivity by so slavishly following the "Gillard line" on the Ashby case. The days of "He-Said/She-Said" are over. Mr Justice Rares damning judgement is no matter of opinion. He has heard all the evidence over a period of fifteen long months and has come to an eviscerating conclusion that has the force of the law. The law, as Ms Gillard seems to be about to discover, is no laughing matter, and accusations that the media has been "hyperventilating" on this disgraceful affair have been shown to be as shallow and inept as her bumbling government. For the good of the Labor Party, and for the good of the nation, Julia Gillard has no option other than to resign, and resign before this day is done.

Ken

16/12/2012Talk Turkey - thanks for the welcome. I have only joined in here in the past couple of weeks. Your question about my use of "Labour man" - I like using that because after all the Labor party arose from the labour movement. It recognises that historical fact, and emphasises my own political views which also arise from and focus on "labour" rather then just "Labor". Someone else may be able to tell me why the party that arose from the labour movement became the Labor party - why did the "u" disappear?

jaycee

16/12/2012You know..If I know anything about female tactics that I have SEEN..(a male never "learns" woman's tactics ; they change so swiftly!)..Julia Gillard will "baste the turkey's"; ie. the LNP. over christmas..and serve them up as a cold-collation next year! I'll tell you a little tale I heard of such tactics many years ago about a woman who discovered her husband was having an affair with his secretary at work..."she took him aside" and quietly informed him of her knowledge and suggested he finish the affair and they get back to their ordinary life...he promised, but he didn't finish it...she once again confronted him quietly..and this is where she cut off his "cajones".. "Alright" she said "You can have your little coquette..but I will have mine too!...the difference is..(now watch this bit!!)..I don't have to leave the house." He very quickly buckled under! In other words, any serviceman, any tradesman that comes to do repairs or anything, could theoretically be fair game!....Oh!, the doubt that would engender in the male mind!! Julia Gillard now has enough acumulated evidence to "drop a plum" into the parliament at her choosing to throw the discussion into disarray at her pleasing...the doubt that must generate in the oppositions confrontationalist tactics. Personally, I'd like to see the PM. skew the bast*rds! but that is not politics and the PM. is so much more of a genteel nature than yours truly!

Ad astra

16/12/2012Folks I’ve just spoken with Talk Turkey and have read your comments KHTAGH and jaycee about the tactics that Julia Gillard ought to employ regarding the Ashby/Slipper matter. This scandal eclipses any other that we have seen for decades. The actions of Ashby and Brough, and all those who knew what they were up to, could be categorized as seditious. I use the term ‘sedition’ rather than ‘treason’ because it better fits the definition: [i]”In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order.”[/i] Wikipedia further says: [i]”Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power. Treason is the violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or state, giving aid to enemies, or levying war against one's state. Sedition is encouraging one's fellow citizens to rebel against their state, whereas treason is actually betraying one's country by aiding and abetting another state.”[/i] In my view, we have witnessed an act of sedition. The words of Justice Rares seem to establish that. Yet, the MSM, which made such a strident case of the Ashby/Slipper matter when it began, is now almost mute. TT tells me that the Twitter feed is suggesting than an edict has gone out within the MSM to bury the story. The Front Pages bear witness to the plausibility of that suggestion. The timing of the Rares judgement, close to the end-of-the-year turmoil, means that there will likely be little interest among the voters who will first be busy with Christmas, and then overcome by the annual post-Christmas torpor. Attempting to escalate an inquiry into the matter over this period would likely be fruitless. Yet, it must not be allowed to fade away. An attempt to unseat a democratically elected Government is far too serious a matter to let evaporate, with the perpetrators escaping scrutiny and avoiding the political consequences of what I believe is a seditious act. I find myself in line with KHTAGH, jaycee and TT. This matter must not be allowed to be airbrushed away by the MSM, as seems its intent. By coming out so strongly in her last pre-Christmas interview before taking a two week break, Julia Gillard has given notice that this matter has a long way to run, or to use the MSM’s preferred mantra, ‘there are many questions still to be answered’. She has challenged Tony Abbott to come out from behind his ‘fudge’ words, and has invited Mal Brough to use her Press Conference facility to answer ALL the questions the Canberra Press Gallery has about his involvement in the affair, at first denied, but later admitted. Her demeanour throughout that interview gave me the impression that she was not going to let this matter rest, but rather was determined to dangle before the eyes of the Coalition the possibility of a formal inquiry into the matter in due course. Realizing that nothing much could be instituted until next year, she has left the Coalition in an indeterminate state of uncertainty, and I imagine considerable apprehension about what might eventuate in 2013, where it may have cause to genuinely ‘hyperventilate’ as the sordid details are uncovered. So, folks, I believe that as far as PM Gillard is concerned, this matter has only just begun. How then do we in the Fifth Estate, and here on [i]TPS[/i] manage the next few weeks? My view is that comments will simmer along in Fifth Estate blogs and on Twitter over the coming weeks. [b][i]TPS[/i] can contribute via comments of the folk who visit here. I invite you to use [i]TPS[/i] over the coming weeks to post comments that remind all who visit here that the Ashby/Brough/Abbott pot continues to simmer, and that next year the heat will be turned up by the Government and the Fifth Estate until the pot boils over and burns all those near it.[/b] I feel that this is not the time for a major piece on the subject on [i]TPS[/i], as its impact would likely be lost, or at least muted. In my view, it would be better to gather the evidence, draft some argument, and finalize a piece over the coming weeks, with a view to launching it when we begin again next year. I trust you are in accord with this strategy and will contribute enough heat with your comments to keep the pot boiling in the meantime.

Casablanca

16/12/2012AA, Agree wholeheartedly. Also, the PM has a rapier wit which she could employ more often and to great effect. I recently looked again at the Red Cross address when the PM said that she was present because she was 'Red' and Abbott was there because he is 'always Cross'. He scowled and then looked uncomfortable. He didn't like being made fun of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oYxvAuAkK8

DMW

16/12/2012Ken @ 9:00 AM [i]Someone else may be able to tell me why the party that arose from the labour movement became the Labor party - why did the "u" disappear?[/i] From rough memory it is down to King O'Malley. O'Malley was a colourful character who was born somewhere in the Americas, he claimed he was born in Quebec I think, but, it was more likely he was born in Kansas. Among many other things O'Malley, as Minister for Home Affairs, was responsible for, or had heavy influence on, choosing the site of Canberra as the National Capital.

Ken

16/12/2012thanks DMW. I know a fair bit about O'Malley and his role in Canberra but his influence on the spelling of the party name is new to me.

DMW

16/12/2012Hi Swordsfolk, you probably know the old joke about putting four economists in a room and they will come out with at least five opinions. This would most likely apply to lawyers as well. With regard to the 'Slippergate' Affair suggesting that some should be charged with sedition may be a little off the mark. I will take the 'learned' opinion of Sarah Joseph from Castan Centre for Human Rights Law as a very good guide. Sarah Joseph ‏@profsarahj @GayCarBoys I went through this yesterday so not doing so again. It's not "sedition". But it's serious. You could delve into @profsarahj timeline here https://twitter.com/profsarahj to get a better picture.

Tom of Melbourne

16/12/2012Here are a couple of other issues that decent people might be concerned about. [b]1. Asylum Seekers[/b] We have a government that made significant political capital out of this issue. They condemned off shore processing, calling it inhumane. This government has now introduced the most unethical and outrageous policy in the nation’s history. It is a policy premised on locking up innocent people indefinitely, it is a policy that (when applied as intended) it is harmful to the physical and mental health of people. This cruel policy has now been found to be in breach of our international obligations. Is there any criticism of this policy here? [b]2. Breaking Written Agreement[/b] We have a Prime Minister who entered into an unconditional written agreement with an independent MP to deliver reform. It was a contract. The Prime Minister was either dishonest in making the agreement (when she could not guarantee its delivery) or she was dishonest in breaking the agreement. She then made a further sleazy deal with a proven rorter to avoid the consequences of her action. If the opposition had won and then retained office on this basis, the screeching would be unrelenting. Is there any criticism of Gillard’s actions here?

LadyInRed

16/12/2012AA I agree with your strategy on the Slipper/Ashby afair wholeheartedly. This cannot be allowed to rest. Imagine if the PM had said to journo's anyone who doesn't believe me "can go to hell" as Hockey did the other day? It wold have been all over the fornt page of every newspaper in Australia. But Hockey says it and ......nothing. It looks like they are leaving Ashby out to dry as well. But can they safely do that? Afterall he has no scruples. And I think Brough has Abbott over a barrell, Brough has proven he will do anything to get back onto the front bench, I bet Abbott can't get rid of him or Brough might just squeal. I suspect an 'agreement' might have been made (I had gentleman's agreement written down but I couldn't leave it there because Brough and TAbbott and the word gentleman just don't sit well together).

DMW

16/12/2012I have been attempting to write a fuller comment on a sensible response to Justice Rares considered judgement but other lives and the end of year rush has overwhelmed me. In a nutshell the answer lies in Senator Faulkners speech to the [i]Integrity In Government Conference[i] http://www.senatorjohnfaulkner.com.au/file.php?file=/news/QCRMVHXKFO/index.html The whole speech is long and wide ranging and probably needs at least two glasses of fine red on standby to get through the whole thing :) Basically there is now, more than ever, an urgent need [i]to pursue the introduction of a Code of Conduct for Members of Federal Parliament.[/i] Also: [i]We need a Joint Select Committee to inquire into the issue of a code conduct for Members and Senators and into the establishment of a Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner.[/i] The goings on around Slippergate (or it really Ashbygate?) would have to be a walk up start for investigation by a Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner. Peoples energies may be better directed towards those ends. Oh well the traps are issuing their siren call so it is back on the road I must go.

DMW

16/12/2012damn mixed up my [ i ]'s & [ /i ]'s In a nutshell the answer lies in Senator Faulkners speech to the [i]Integrity In Government Conference[/i] http://www.senatorjohnfaulkner.com.au/file.php?file=/news/QCRMVHXKFO/index.html The whole speech is long and wide ranging and probably needs at least two glasses of fine red on standby to get through the whole thing :) Basically there is now more than ever an urgent need [i]to pursue the introduction of a Code of Conduct for Members of Federal Parliament.[/i] Also: [i]We need a Joint Select Committee to inquire into the issue of a code conduct for Members and Senators and into the establishment of a Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner.[/i]

Ken

16/12/2012Ad, I agree that the PM has looked quite strong in recent interviews but she still has to handle this very carefully. The danger in any situation like this is to avoid getting dragged down to the same level. I think it may be all right for one or two backbenchers or Ministers to go in hard, but the PM almost needs to remain one step removed, otherwise she may also suffer political damage. I think the ALP handled the allegations against the PM about he so-called "slush fund" quite well in the sense that, although Abbott let others lead the questioning, the Government eventually forced a debate where Abbott had to step forward. The PM has to be careful that she is not forced into that situation re AShby. Similarly the timing of any inquiry is delicate. In one sense, an inquiry that reported only a month or two before an election could have an impact but could also backfire and be seen as nothing but a "political ploy". The other aspect of an inquiry is that there need to be solid grounds for it that can be explained and understood by the broader electorate or, again, it may be seen as purely political. The electorate is cynical of politics at the present time and the Libs have fallen right into that with their emphasis on pursuing individuals. The PM and the ALP need to be careful not to fall into the same trap. (Of course, the lack of reporting by the MSM is diminishing the impact this should be having in an already cynical electorate.) While I agree there are elements of sedition in what has taken place, I genuinely doubt you could sell that to the electorate. So timing and the basis of an inquiry are vital considerations that will take serious consideration to avoid self-inflicted damage. And the Labor Party has the ongoing problem of the corruption inquiry in NSW. They would need that to be out of the way early in 2013 so they have some breathing space before the election. I have little doubt that during the election the Libs will remind voters in NSW that Obeid and MacDonald were Labor Party members. The ALP may need to remind voters of Utegate and Ashby. The trifecta will be if Thomson is cleared. It then fits the old adage that "once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times is becoming a pattern" and people may well see that. Yes, there is a need to keep it simmering. I agree that it has almost come at a good time, during the summer recess. That leaves two months before it moves back onto the mainstream political agenda which will suit the Government - they can't be accused of delaying any inquiry (or even pursuing it) just for political purposes. In the absence of proper MSM coverage, yes, there is a need for the Fifth Estate to keep the pot simmering. Although, has been noted elsewhere, there are signs that, at least, some sections of the MSM are starting to question Abbott's approach a little more critically. Continued pressure from the Fifth Estate may help increase the number!

DMW

16/12/2012Oh, and just a little aside. I have considerable criticism of the governments' asylum seeker policy which I have aired here. Some have agreed with some of those criticisms. There will no doubt come a time when we go through some of the big problems with the policy but not this week.

2353

16/12/2012The Sunday Mail (Brisvegas version) actually has a couple of mentions about the judgement against Ashby today. The subtext being that even though Slipper was judged not to have a case to answer - we all know he was guilty. Maybe the realisation has hit that as this isn't going away anytime soon, it's time to play blame avoidance. I actually complained tot he Brisbane Times regarding their lack of coverage yesterday. Wonder if I'll get a reply?

Tom of Melbourne

16/12/2012DMW , the point is that there are very few here that are entitled to take the moral high ground on political ethics or policy integrity.

2353

16/12/2012DMW - agreed, there does need to be a debate on the matters you raise @ 12.41. The irony here is that someone who admits to never formally voting is commenting on others morals, ethics and integrity.

jaycee

16/12/2012The ABC. has to be cleaned out of Howard sympathisers. If the national broadcaster goes dumb on this issue, it will have broken its' terms of contract surely and the minister can move to dismiss the relevant people. The ABC. will be vital to deliver accurate reporting on policy by ALL parties next year. Mark Scott..being a "fellow traveller" with the LNP. cannot be trusted to do an honest job of coverage. His sworn alliegences are with the party of traitors to the Parliament and he should be stood down from his position. All journalists who choose to stay employed with the most notorious of the MSM. are now indellibly branded with their "ink of collusion". I have NO sympathy with any person who with free choice chooses to align themselves with those of criminal intent...you make your bed... I think the fifth estate can do their bit by continual harrassment of those who seek to destroy our democracy. I received a "form letter" email from Malcolm Turnbull, which I returned with the question ; "how does it sit being a member of a political party that chooses treason as its' main platform for electrol success?" I implore others to do the same wherever and whenever!

Michael

16/12/2012Bad Abbott It will come as little surprise to most here that Tony Abbott's recent speech at Oxford University is largely tosh, and manifestly self-serving nonsense. http://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2012/12/15/tony-abbott-transcript-address-queens-college-oxford-uk It is my understanding that a speech, or an essay, should conclude in such a manner as to deliver in preçis form the 'message' of all that has come before it. If that is so, what do you make of these final sentences in Abbott's speech? "To study at one of the world’s greatest universities is an extraordinary privilege. Our duty is not to rejoice in our good fortune but to be worthy of it. That way we will “earn this” and ensure that others are grateful rather than resentful at our chance to enjoy this enchanted place." Precisely why should anyone else be "grateful" that Tony Abbott should have spent time at Oxford University? Could it possibly be that in the 'class warfare' frame of mind that underpins so much of the man's thinking and utterances he is actually suggesting that those less fortunate or advantaged should simply accept as our lot that others are born to rule? Such as he, for example? That we will be enhanced as people and the followers of him as Prime Minister should he lead this country simply because we are not resentful but gratefully recognising our place as the led, the necessarily guided, those who must defer to the advantaged as a matter of course? Pigs arse!

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

16/12/2012 Just on the concept and definition of sedition: found the 2006 Overview of proposed changes to Australia's sedition law. This is a 2006 document. Don't know if the changes went through or whether any others have been made in the last 6 years. The following suggest that the emphasis in Australian law is on an 'urging to violence', which may be the one ingredient missing from what has been occurring. This may be why DMW's Prof Sarah Weston said so categorically that it is not sedition. [i][b]What do these amendments do?[/b] The proposed amendments make the following changes to the sedition laws: [b]Change the name of the offences from ‘Sedition’ to ‘Urging violence” [/b] The title of the offences will be changed from ‘Sedition’ to ‘Urging violence’. The offence of ‘sedition’ has always dealt with urging violence against Australia’s community groups and institutions of Government. The change of name provides a plain English explanation of this offence. [b]Clarify intention to urge the use of force or violence[/b] The amendments will make it clear that, in order to commit an offence of urging violence, a person must intentionally urge the use of force or violence. This does not amend the offence, but simply clariies that the urging of force or violence must be intentional. Include an additional requirement: intention that the force or violence will occur As well as clarifying that a person must intend to urge the use of force or violence, the amendments will require that a person must intend that the force or violence will occur. This provides an additional safeguard by requiring that the offence of urging violence will only be committed where a person: • intends to urge the use of force or violence, and • intends that the force or violence will actually occur.[/i] http://arts.gov.au/sites/default/files/pdfs/sedition-laws.pdf If it isnt sedition I wish it were! And if it isn't, then DMW, how about you/me get back to Prof Sarah and ask her what Australian laws might be called into effect when an opposition tries to secure the fall of a government via a series of conspiratorial acts?

Ad astra

16/12/2012Folks Thank you for your helpful comments. I imagine DMW that there will be much academic debate about whether ‘sedition’, or for that matter ‘treason’, are appropriate terms, or whether there is some better term that describes an attempt, covert thought it may have been, to change an elected government. While this debate rages, the matter is before the public eye, which would be to the Coalition’s disadvantage. Care needs to be taken in developing a strategy to expose the involvement of Brough, Abbott and Co. Perhaps the best initial approach would be to simply dangle the possibility of an inquiry in front of Abbott and the Coalition over the summer break, all the time inviting the Coalition players to play their hands, to reveal their involvement, even if that amounts to vehement denial as in the case of Joe Hockey. The Coalition has discovered the political value of continually asking questions and no matter how often answers are given, insisting that ‘there are more questions still to be answered’. Labor too can play that game. I doubt if PM Gillard will rush to an inquiry, as it may be as useful politically to just keep asking questions, keep on pressing for answers at a press conference, and dismissing Abbott’s answers as he dismissed hers over the S&G matter. She now has the whip handle and can flick Abbott’s backside as her did hers for months. Of course, the media will paint any effort the PM makes to uncover the truth in adverse terms (so beautifully illustrated by BB in his satirical newspaper item by Denise Grattanahan in ‘The Sydney Morning Australian’ posted above at 8.37 AM). But if she plays her hand carefully, she should be able to draw the attention of the electorate, in a just-so-innocent way, to the nefarious conduct of several members of the LNP in this matter. Slowly, slowly, catchee Monkey, as it were.

MWS

16/12/2012Read this if you are in need of a good laugh: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/16/workshy-aristos-costing-us-billions

Ad astra

16/12/2012Michael 'Tosh' is such a polite word. I have an alternative in the next piece. Janet Whatever the term that is used to describe Coalition actions and words, the more we debate it, the more the conspiratorial behaviour of the Coalition is in the public eye. The object is not to so much to 'convict' anyone of a punishable offence, as it is to expose the subterranean workings of the Coalition and its fellow-travellers for the electorate to see what they would get with an Abbott government. jaycee Who could disagree with your comment: [i]"I think the fifth estate can do their bit by continual harrassment of those who seek to destroy our democracy."[/i] That's what we are about. Folks We’re now getting on the road back to the south coast. I’ll be back tomorrow.

Pikiranku

16/12/2012I'm developing an unshakeable faith in Julia Gillard's ability to handle this lot. Since she took on this job she's steadily grown in stature and confidence so that now she just walks all over them. As Jaycee so aptly put it: 'Over Christmas she'll baste the turkeys and then she'll serve them up as a cold collation in the New Year'. Spot on, Jaycee! I can't wait!

Christine H

16/12/2012Hi Swordsters did anyone watch the Anthony Albanese interview with Peter Van Onselen on Sky News this morning and the panel chat afterwards with Cheryl Kernot, Dr Geoff Gallop, John Hewson and Peter Debnam? The interesting development in the Ashby/Slippergate story is the admission today by Warren Entsch that he was aware of the sexual abuse allegations by Ashby before it became public knowlege via media reporting. Peter Van Onselen persisently questioned and attempted to try and draw out Mr Albanese over when and if the government would have an inquiry into the Slipper/Ashby matter. Mr Albanese quite rightly refused to be cornered and insisted that the government would carefully consider the matter before making a decision. This link below is one of the few news stories that discuss this development today, nothing on ABC or at Fairfax so far. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2012/12/16/Entsch_admission_extraordinary-_Albanese_827045.html This story is growing legs no matter how much the MSM are trying to avoid it.

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

16/12/2012 Hi Ad, I do agree with all your words and wisdoms about the road the fifth estate and the Gillard Government might take in the next little while. It's just that ... well I really have my mad on at the moment and lean, even if only metaphorically, towards hanging, drawing and just a bit of quartering. I shall try to ommmmmm more often :-). Cheers

jaycee

16/12/2012The shoe is on the other foot now as the social media keep the Ashby affair as a talking point. True, the MSM. are doing their damnest to squash it, but it cannot go away while there are damming questions for Mr. Rabbott to answer! The entire cabal of conspiritors are trying to smile while on a drip-feed of sh!t sandwiches!

MWS

16/12/2012I missed this article when it was posted, but I think it needs a wider audience: http://kingstribune.com/index.php/magazines/june-2012/item/1516-the-great-unhinging-revisited [i]The Great Unhinging Revisited[/i] by Possum Comitatus (Scott Steele)

BSA Bob

16/12/2012Hi T.T.!! Yes, Denise Grattanahan sure can write. I've nothing particularly original to offer in this, but agree with those who point out this is probably better described as an "antiWatergate" as in this case the media is complicit in the coverup. I like to prattle on about the "Perpetual Present" & there can't be a better example than this. Less than a month ago the media was all over alleged 20 year old events & now ignores this. Oblivious, or at least seeming to be, of the contradiction. A case, I fear of their having nailed their colours to the mast. It also seems to highlight the widening gap between the 4th & 5th estates.

uriah

16/12/2012Ad@3.09pm-Agreed,softly softly catchee monkey.Fret not swordsters PM Gillard is patient and will draw the MSM out of their denial,whilst letting the coalition sweat over Xmas and the NY.Abbott has made a fatal tactical error and has given the PM huge leverage. The little black ants will eat up the giraffe.

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

16/12/2012 MWS. Thank you for the King's Tribune article - a beauty. Forgive me for a tiny but bold suggestion. One of the ways to get going on Twitter is to post such a link, with a little comment that it's worth a look. That way you don't have to come up with 'contributing comments' 'til you are ready. Lyn has been 'coaching' me, you see, and well, she's the master/mistress of Twitter networking :-). Give it a go? Cheers

Patriciawa

16/12/2012Talk Turkey - I'm not sure what [i]quadrhymatical couplets[/i] are but I hope they're something good! I agree with you that Anna Burke, our present Speaker, is doing a great job, but that pome wrote itself. You know what happens then. Somehow it seemed, from the response I've had to it, that many other people thought that Peter Slipper deserved credit for at least that job well done. As well, like the PM, I think he deserves a break. Someone suggested I send him a copy of the pome which I have done. I hope he gets to read it and has a cause to smile. What a pity it all came undone at this late stage in his life when he'd found a job a really enjoyed and could do well.

Gravel

16/12/2012I hope you are all right, I do hope that our trust in Julia and her methods are going to work. It is so scary that Abbott and his cohorts would get away with this. Ad Astra I look forward to your next output on this Abbott/Ashby and all those involved. I know we have to wait until the festive season has passed. I think it does give Julia and Labor a good chance to get specialist advice and have a good tactical team set up to ensure that it will not just die away without resolution. Australia needs to have this resolved so that no one else can ever try this again. I see the horror of events overseas and don't want my children or grandchildren to have to live in fear of their own government in the future.

TalkTurkey

16/12/2012Oh COMRADES! The writing here today is giving me rushes, like, Man, you know, shivers up and down my spine?! KHTAGH Thank Dog for the Fighting 5th Indeed! :) FAR Ken OUT, you are so spot-on SHREWD! I agree with every point you make, timing, strategy, [i]traps[/i] . . . You will not be allowed to escape the Circle of the Sword now, never! AFA Labor/Labour is concerned I must refresh my memory on the history, one thing though, the Australian Labor Party has made the shorter spelling respected everywhere, I now prefer it to its fat forebear. [i]I wish I could respond to everybody's post, but I keep forgetting the stream of them . . . [/i] LiR We seem to be in general and passionate agreement with Ad astra's projected path over the next weeks, jaycee Casablanca and Pikiranku, we are all convinced by *J*U*L*I*A* now eh! Isn't she something! I too Piki have great faith that she will not merely outclass the Opposition in the coming months but make them rue the day they chose Sedition as their main strategy for unseating the Government. Sedition?! Of course it's sedition! I think I was the first one to start using the word of the Abborttians, some few months ago, it has taken a while but it is now starting to gain traction, as 'misogyny' did after Her speech. I'll be pushing it because that's what it is, exactly. Here's Collins on the meaning of Sedition: 1. Speech or behaviour directed against the peace of a State; 2. An offence that tends to undermine the authority of a state; 3. An incitement to public disorder; 4.(archaic) Revolt. What is there to argue about? And Christine H I didn't see the PvO/Albo i/view but I would have played the same hand, good on him, let the Media do their worst, if they turn stuff up well and good, if not the doubts will be such that Labor will be "forced" to hold a quick enquiry early in the year. In the meantime Swordsfolks let us keep honing our blades and practising our skills, I do think the Fighting 5th Estate is going to be critical to the outcome next year. I always have thought so, now I am convinced.

TalkTurkey

16/12/2012You might argue with Definition #4 of Sedition: Revolt. Well have the Abborttians been revolting or what?!

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

16/12/2012 Oh passionate TT: on sedition. Under Australian law, it's not sedition. That's the point. Under...curre...Australian law. Under every feeling for all that is right and just anyone has on this blog, it's bl**dy well sedition! But mon ami, there IS a difference. :-)

42 long

16/12/2012Most of them are revolting. Is that good enough? The difference in the way the MSM run stories when the beneficiaries change. They are so crass. They still keep saying that Labor can't get it's message out! All the achievements they have made. Well what's the bloody reason for that? The bias of the MSM. They also say that discerning people can work out what is really happening. Well give it a break! Why do Jones and the shocker jocks spend all their efforts trying to defame Gillard if people can see through it? If repeating innane advertising slogans similarly don't do anything why do people pay so much for the advertising? If you believe that kind of baloney you really ARE stupid. The LieNP do use exactly the same terms at exactly the same time. Of course it's rehearsed. Same with "specific" knowledge which is used in the legal sense and should draw the crabs whenever it is used. Same as run the line ' If Slipper has been treated badly Julia should re-instate him as speaker. again although the law has nothing for him to answer at this time and the LieNP DO have PLENTY to answer for. They know that they have done a job on Slipper of effective character assination. Same as they have tried to do on Thomson. Stinking Abbott brought that up again,yesterday. The person is a creep. NO principles at all.

uriah

16/12/2012Regarding the Abbott press release timing lie , as pointed out by Sortius I would imagine that this must be a point of some discussion within the IT community.There must be many IT magazines,newsletters and blogspots where we could follow this discussion.Does anyone know of some? Bring on the geeks!!

DMW

16/12/2012jaycee 1:54 PM please take this as a helpful hint. Could you please put a break (that is hit the enter key twice) at the end of each paragraph as it will make your comments more readable to old f@rts like me :) Have a look at the difference it makes to your comment then: The ABC. has to be cleaned out of Howard sympathisers. If the national broadcaster goes dumb on this issue, it will have broken its' terms of contract surely and the minister can move to dismiss the relevant people. The ABC. will be vital to deliver accurate reporting on policy by ALL parties next year. Mark Scott..being a "fellow traveller" with the LNP. cannot be trusted to do an honest job of coverage. His sworn alliegences are with the party of traitors to the Parliament and he should be stood down from his position. All journalists who choose to stay employed with the most notorious of the MSM. are now indellibly branded with their "ink of collusion". I have NO sympathy with any person who with free choice chooses to align themselves with those of criminal intent...you make your bed... I think the fifth estate can do their bit by continual harrassment of those who seek to destroy our democracy. I received a "form letter" email from Malcolm Turnbull, which I returned with the question ; "how does it sit being a member of a political party that chooses treason as its' main platform for electrol success?" I implore others to do the same wherever and whenever! Thanks in anticipation of being able to read your fine comments without getting a headache from being overwhelmed by the 'tightness' of the presentation :)

Robynne

16/12/2012Jeez, talk turkey!! I was trying to compliment patriciawa on her latest effort. I am deeply offended by the way that you have derided me in my misuse of the word 'prose'. That you have singled me out to have a go has deeply upset me, given that the numerous other misuse and misspelling has never caught your attention. I wonder why it is me that you have decided is the only idiot in this village. I am on your side in the effort to stop abbott becoming PM, but perhaps my efforts and commentary would be better spent in another place where my misuse of a particular word would be ignored if the general comment was understood.

Pikiranku

16/12/2012So, Janet, if Australian law has redefined 'sedition', does that mean that only attempts which use physical force to overthrow a government are an offence in this country? That doing it by devious, underhand means including abuse of the justice system, are okay? Who thought that up?

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

16/12/2012 Hi Pikiranku, Am no lawyer. Just dug up a few aspects of the current law. It does seem that there's no 'legal' action that can be taken in this current situation other than e.g. Slipper suing for defamation or gettiong Brough on maybe perjury ... An inquiry or royal commission are 'legal directions' that may have authority to 'uncover' and reveal, also. Sedition law has been around for as long as Federation (and way before as it is based on British law), but with changes. Last changes (see the link to PDF above) were, you guessed it, Howard's. I was just curious to see what legal recourse the Government has in this situation. Not a lot seems to be the answer thus far, but both Ad Astra and TT are arguing for something much more effective than trying to charge someone - that pressure and revelation from the fifth estate and the government on those involved in any conspiracy will have the required effect on the electorate - and the LNP will (hopefully dramatically) lose votes. Hope this clarifies, and cheers.

Shirley

16/12/2012A very emotive and well written wrap of the players in the conspiracy. It also adds to the discussions here on sedition. I agree sedition seems the right description. "[quote][/quote][b]In many places, these sorts of actions are called sedition. In Australia, it’s called “The LNP’s right to rule”.[/b] It is extremely frightening for our nation that the mainstream media continue to refuse to investigate this issue ­— and to tell the Australian people the full truth. It is time we asked — why won’t they?" Ashbygate and the Born to Rule Brigadehttp://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/ashbygate-and-the-born-to-rule-brigade/[u][/u][b][/b] The other story worth following is Harmers, somewhere down the track there has to be accountability for this business model. A well thought out and planned inquiry is needed but I feel enough rope will be given for the guilty parties to hang themselves a bit more.

Ad astra reply

16/12/2012Folks I’m back at the south coast and could not resist saying thank you for your many thoughtful comments, so firm, so strong, so confident, so bolshie. Together, we in the Fifth Estate can keep this tawdry affair simmering in the public mind until next year when we can turn up the heat until the cauldron of Coalition malfeasance boils over, scalding all in its path. The more the MSM tries to quell the fire, the more we will fan the flames. Robynne We need and want you here. You are a valued member of the [i]TPS[/i] family, and your contributions are respected. Please stay with us. Shirley The IA article was a repository of important information. More will emerge day after day until it engulfs the Coalition and its leader.

DMW

16/12/2012Swordsters, if we can accept that the definition, or more appropriately the current usage, of the word misogyny has changed such that the PM's speech was an accurate and appropriate usage of that word then surely it would be reasonable to accept that the definition of sedition may have moved as well. While I can understand the passion that causes a cry that the actions around 'Ashbygate' are seditious we have to remember we are dealing with the law as it stands and the definitions that parliament has imposed. There may well be arguments in the higher echelons of legal circles around the 'intentions' of the parliament when such changes were made we are basically stuck with what the law is at this time not definitions from the 18th or the 24th centuries. There is a (mostly) time honoured principle that legislation should not be retrospective and also not 'bind' future parliaments to certain actions however that can be gotten around when an intention to take action has been 'telegraphed'. Legislation implementing a Code of Conduct for Parliamentary Representatives and possibly a Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner could come under the category of having been 'telegraphed' as, as a part of the agreement with the independents there were specific references to such matters. Played the right way the government has the whip hand and by either introducing legislation, or establishing a Joint House Committee with a short reporting period will put the opposition between a rock and a hard place. Any attempt to oppose implementation of rules for greater transparency and integrity of the workings of parliament and the behaviour of our elected representatives would blow up in their face. There is a golden opportunity for the government to take action that will give the public at large a greater 'confidence' in the workings of government and 'screw' the opposition at the same time. This is one of those rare moments when I may well endorse the introduction of legislation for partisan political purposes as if it is done well it could 'improve' democracy as we practice it and give Mr Abbott and his fellow travellers the thrill of the big sword up the backside.

TalkTurkey

16/12/2012Robynne What a horrid misconstruction of my intentions you have placed on what was my friendly respectful correction of your misuse of a word. I doubt that there is another reader here who would think your response to be in the slightest indicated. (Is there? Anyone? Please speak up now..?) That you have taken such offence saddens me but I have no intention of saying sorry because I had no intention to offend. May I suggest that you reread what I said, giving full credence to my assurance that I was not being nasty, as you seem to have disbelieved. My intent of course was to disabuse you (not abuse you) of a completely 180-degree wrong use of a word. If indeed you love "pomes" then I would assume you like appropriate use of language, and I would count myself lesser as a friend and as an English teacher if I didn't do that. Anyway take it any way you will, just don't try to tell me I said anything ill-willed to you.

TalkTurkey

16/12/2012BTW Robynne ! If ANYONE had made the same error as you, be it Ad astra himself, or *J*U*L*I*A* ftm, I would do the same thing, and everybody on TPS knows that. NOT to pull rank, NOT for one-upsmanship, but in a spirit of pure educative friendship. It's like telling a friend his fly is undone before it causes any more embarrassment. Our PM copped heaps for pronouncing Hyperbole as Hyperbowl. But whoever told her the correct pronunciation was doing her a favour. I think it a pity you can't see my offering in similar light.

TalkTurkey

16/12/2012Folks, I know the Devil quotes Scripture for his own . . . And I was among the first to argue that a dictionary definition of [i]misogyny[/i] as nothing but [i]hatred or fear [/i]of women was nonsense, I always claimed it was [i]contempt[/i] for women rather, treating women as lesser beings, and I do not resile from that, and indeed, belatedly, dictionary definitions have now acknowledged that. Now, in an apparent reverse, I say that the dictionary definition of [i]sedition[/i] is the correct one, not the narrow construction imposed by any Australian legal definition. Nor will any dictionary ever rescind their present definition in favour of the latter. It isn't a matter of what the plotters might be charged with, it's about the meaning of a word whose origin means discord. There are other things of which we may hope that Abborttians may be convicted. Sedition will not be one of these, but it is what lies at the core of their behaviour.

Patriciawa

16/12/2012Robynne, don't mind TT and his forthright ways! He is often very literal as well as literary! He loves a a good argument and he sticks to his guns too! I certainly appreciated your compliment and I've stored it away all with my other compliments and pomes to be read by my great-great-great-grandchildren one day! By the way, TT, last time I looked you hadn't answered my question about [i]quadrhymatical couplets.[/i] You were too busy being a purist about 'sedition' and 'prose' and generally spreading yourself around in that enthusiastic way of yours.

DMW

16/12/2012TT, there is some Anonymous grouping or two that preach something about knowing the things that you can change and those that you can't and understanding the difference. While it is all well and good to take the linguistic high moral ground it wont change the law as it is written. We could make a valiant attempt to convince the High Justices to pontificate and reinterpret the law so that it was more in line with your understanding of the meaning of the word but I suspect it would waste more money than any of us could gather together to tilt at that windmill.

Casablanca

16/12/2012Interview with Leigh Sales December 16, 2012. Wendy Squires [quote]When the request for this interview reached Leigh Sales, her first reaction was hesitance. Sunday Life asked if she would be photographed with her baby, Daniel, and talk about the pressures of "having it all": arguably the best job in television journalism heading the ABC news institution 7.30; a much-wanted child conceived relatively late in life, and a self-confessed "very happy marriage". http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/interview-with-leigh-sales-20121214-2bdgi.html?rand=1355619247907 As a feminist, Sales immediately asked herself whether her 7.30 predecessor Kerry O'Brien would have been asked to pose with his child or to talk about juggling family with career. Or was it a question only women had to answer? [/quote]

TalkTurkey

17/12/2012Patricia, It's true I don't shy away from argument, but I am distressed by being not only misunderstood when I have made my position clear, but also misaccused of singling someone out for abuse, when I have all who read my posts today must know I have been entirely goodwilled. Except for one who took me the wrong way. You didn't actually ask me a question about the term [i]quadrhymatical couplets[/i] - I don't suggest you look for it in a dictionary, but the meaning must be clear of the substantive adjective (which btw is validly a word in its own right, once coined); just stanzas in which there are four identical rhymes instead of two twos. If that seems ordinary-ish, it's only because we speak English and it offers such a phenomenal range of words! I don't think you'd be able to do it in any other language. I do it sometimes but usually in isolated verses, not through a whole poem of multiple stanzas. Thank you for reading my motivations reasonably aright, but I wasn't there for an argument at all. As a former Teacher yourself I'm sure you appreciate my intentions.

TalkTurkey

17/12/2012DMW What do you think I meant by these lines? :- [i]There are other things of which we may hope that Abborttians may be convicted. Sedition will not be one of these, but it is what lies at the core of their behaviour.[/i] So why would you write this at me? :- [i]While it is all well and good to take the linguistic high moral ground it wont change the law as it is written.[/i] Not for the first time in this thread, I'm thinking, [i]Oh Dawg, please don't let me be misconstrued![/i] Why should I not think that your use of the evocative term "to take the moral high ground" is pretending to the high ground yourself? I am not proposing tilting at windmills, thank you very much, I am not talking about changes to laws, nor charges based on the notion of sedition FFS, I'm talking about the meaning of the word. [i]Got that?[/i] .

Patriciawa

17/12/2012Yes, TT, As a former teacher myself I may appreciate [u]your[/u] intentions, but I certainly don't share them. I try very hard not to be the retired chalkie. Saves a lot of time having to find tactful ways of expressing correcting spelling, grammar or pronunciation. I was never very good at tact. Can anyone tell me if too much offal is bad for cats? Sheba is mad keen on lambs kidneys or liver. She is such a fussy eater most of the time, and this offal is the only meal she actually finishes and looks for a second helping. I sense too that she might eat it more than the once a week I've been giving it to her. If I thought it wouldn't harm her I'd serve it up more often for her, but I was warned against it when she was a kitten. Tacker too would eat it more often, though he's not so hard to please, just loves his diced lamb off the hocks for dinner, and the bone for breakfast next day.

janice

17/12/2012Patricia, Kidneys and liver are good for cats :) I once had a moggy which suffered dramatically reduced kidney function and was always a bit on the unwell side. She became quite skinny and refused most foods offered until I discovered she ate lamb kidney with gusto. From the time she began the lamb kidney diet her health improved noticeably, so much so that the vet asked what was going on. She lived for another 9 years to finally bow out at the ripe old age of 18. Oh, she refused to have anything to do with liver though.

2353

17/12/2012Robynne - as another that has (on more than one occasion) incurred TT's wrath over grammatical and other real or imagined infractions; at the end of the day, his heart is in the right place - it's just the language and attitude that needs a bit of work. Please stay and contribute - it is worth it (and if nothing else it will stop you yelling at the TV so much when you know they have it wrong). Which segues nicely into. . . On ABC Breakfast this morning, Jim Middleton was doing the newspaper commentary. The Ashby thing (why name it after a person that has not had anything proven against him?) was raised along with Abbott's handling of the AWU stitch up. The comment was that this time last year the Prime Minister "wore" the untrustworthy and lying tags given to her by the LNP - and the polls demonstrated this. This year, the untrustworthy and lying tags just aren't working - the Prime Minister is finding herself rather than answering to the call of others. While we can all claim the ABC is biased and so on, there seems to be a realisation within the organisation that the mood is changing (and the 48:52 reported today is a position where the ALP can win from). Abbott (apart from his own problems) has a few others to overcome in the next few months. The Brisbane Times is reporting this morning that 50.5% of Queenslanders are less likely to vote for Abbott because of Newman (and the number is rising). http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/half-of-state-less-likely-to-vote-lnp-poll-20121216-2bhfp.html

Ken

17/12/2012A few comments on "sedition". I won't specfically mention everyone who has already commented because there are too many. In one sense, the different views being expressed are each correct. The broad dictionary definition gives the major clue as to why the law was changed. "Speech or behaviour directed against the peace of a State; 2. An offence that tends to undermine the authority of a state; 3. An incitement to public disorder; 4.(archaic) Revolt." [thanks TT] Historically, you can replace State with the word King, and you didn't have to say very much for a charge of "sedition" to be laid. When the law had a similar meaning, or if it still did, even much of what is said here on TPS would be sedition if it was being said about a Government. Almost any political attack on a Government could also be construed as sedition. If "sedition", as a law, continued to have the broad meaning, it would be almost impossible to have strong political arguments, and next to impossible to change a Government (which was the intention when Monarchs considered they were there by Divine Right). In effect, the broad definition runs counter to the right to free speech (or "implied right" here in Australia). In a modern democracy, such a broad definition cannot work within the legal framework without stifling debate - almost anyone who spoke against the government could be threatened with a charge of sedition. The line between genuine political comment and something that undermined the authority of the State (sedition) would be blurred. So although the law remained in place, it was rarely used. Hence, changes that have tried to tighten the legal definition. As a word, yes, the actions of the LNP are seditious but legally are not and, as much as I hate to say it, for that we should probably be grateful, for, otherwise, each of us could also be guilty of sedition at some time.

DMW

17/12/2012TT, It must have been something about the position or size of the moon yesterday as between a few we have either written misintepretable words or read them the wrong way. Mea culpa I didn't put a tongue in cheek emoticon in after the words [i]high moral ground[/i] Then again it might have been something in the water wot done it :P

DMW

17/12/2012Ken @ 9:17 AM thanks for your explanation. Wot a wonderful way with words you have used to simplify it all. Eleven and a half out of ten for that comment :)

Michael

17/12/2012Writing in today's Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-librarians-strategy-20121216-2bhgm.html on the judgment made by Justice Steven Rares about the collusionary pursuit of Peter Slipper, Katharine Murphy includes the following paragraph: "Take the time if you can to read the Rares judgment. It's an extraordinary case. It's not every day you see a court determine that senior Australian political operatives have abused processes with the intention of destroying one of their political enemies, and perhaps a government." I, and I doubt many here, would subscribe to her use of "perhaps", but the simple matter of fact statement that she makes in support of the matter of facts judgment delivered by Justice Rares is calm indication that the facts of this matter will not be made to disappear. Quite the reverse of a "witch-hunt" will bring Abbott and Co down on this one. Clear assessment of the facts, and a timeline ineradicably on record which includes a history of personal and 'office' contacts between senior Coalition figures and Ashby, will build a publicly aired case that the public will accept precisely because it is delivered without 'hyperventilation'. Abbott will go down swinging (it's his only self-image of 'authority', to smash), but he will go down.

MWS

17/12/2012Phillip Coorey on the character of Mal Brough: [quote]Brough comes out of this poorly. He stands scorned by a court of law for being part of a conspiracy to abuse the legal system for political purposes. He is being openly branded a “liar” by Julia Gillard and her ministers for his initial denial of having had any contact with Ashby. This makes him a handy tool for the government between now and the election. Every time the opposition raises Craig Thomson or Gillard’s actions concerning the AWU slush fund, the government will hit back with Brough. Labor’s real target is Abbott and, as Gillard did on Friday, it will accuse the Opposition Leader of endorsing the behaviour for as long as he stands by Brough and demand Abbott detail what knowledge he had in advance of the case becoming public.[/quote] http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/brough_caught_on_the_off_side_f1CQl7Xet5JwFbYWP3avlO

Ad astra reply

17/12/2012Michael I enjoyed reading Katharine Murphy’s piece. I noticed alongside it an article in the [i]SMH[/i] by Peter Hartcher, one not inclined to give a boost to Julia Gillard titled: [i]Attack dog methods bite Coalition leader[/i], an interesting analysis of why Tony Abbott has a disapproval rating of 63%, the second worst for an opposition leader in the 40 year history of the Nielsen Poll. Is Hartcher waking up to what is actually going on? http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/attack-dog-methods-bite-coalition-leader-20121216-2bhkp.html

MWS

17/12/2012Peter Hartcher on the latest poll: [quote]"Tony Abbott has gone backwards this year," said the Herald's pollster, John Stirton of Nielsen. "The lesson of the year seems to be that on two of the big issues - the carbon tax and the AWU affair - Tony Abbott overstretched. "He said the carbon tax would be much worse than the experience voters have had with it and he implied or said that Julia Gillard's behaviour 20 years ago was much worse than he's been able to make a case for."[/quote] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/attack-dog-methods-bite-coalition-leader-20121216-2bhkp.html

MWS

17/12/2012Another member of the 5th estate asking the question on everybody's lips - where is the #Ashbygate outrage? [quote]The fact that the mainstream media are not reporting this is shocking. The mastheads should be screaming “Conspiracy to sink Government” or other such hyped up sensational headlines, you know, the ones that we saw in their hundreds while they were hounding Slipper, nit picking and analysing every tiny twist & turn in the saga which brought us to the judgement yesterday. Instead, the silence has been deafening, very little has been said or written, and a lot of what is written is in a seriously bizairre context, some have even had the gall to say “Mal Brough the real victim of Peter Slipper judgment”, I kid you not! There are others along a similar vein.[/quote] http://yathink.com.au/article-display/where-is-the-ashbygate-outrage,31

MWS

17/12/2012 [quote]The media that pushed the wheel barrows crying ‘cockles’ and ‘mussels’ for months have gone silent. A man lost his job because of a politically motivated smear and abuse of justice. And the response from the media? Silence. Deafening silence.[/quote] http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/crying-cockles-and-mussels-alive-alive-o/

LadyInRed

17/12/2012Michael [i]"To study at one of the world’s greatest universities is an extraordinary privilege. Our duty is not to rejoice in our good fortune but to be worthy of it. That way we will “earn this” and ensure that others are grateful rather than resentful at our chance to enjoy this enchanted place." [/i] Turn this around to what he really meant: [i]Oh Lord it's hard to be humble but I'm doing the best that I can. I guess you could say I'm a loner, a cowboy outlaw tough and proud. I could have lots of friends if I want to but then I wouldn't stand out from the crowd. Some folks say that I'm egotistical. Hell, I don't even know what that means. I guess it has something to do with the way that I fill out my skin tight blue jeans. Oh Lord it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way, I can't wait to look in the mirror cause I get better looking each day To know me is to love me I must be a hell of a man. [/i]

MWS

17/12/2012The 5th estate seem to be making up for the deafening silence from the MSM: [quote]It is shameful, scandalous and utterly senseless that mainstream media aren’t foraging around this issue like frenzied little squirrels gathering nuts for winter in order to bring the truth of the matter to the Australian people. The Australian people need – but more importantly – deserve –to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Anything less just makes us look like a corrupt third world country where truth and honour are utterly disregarded just so some power hungry bully can get his hands on the leadership.[/quote] http://denniallen.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/beware-of-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-especially-one-bearing-gifts/

LadyInRed

17/12/2012[i]THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA are gloating about the fact the LNP and Ashby have “succeeded” in their evil little plot to discredit the Government. They are gloating about the fact that, not only have they ruined a man’s career, they have also destroyed a man’s “character”. What a wonderful result that must seem — to have so successfully slandered and defamed another person? To have driven him and his family to the brink? [/i] Looks like I am off to hell: [i]Jolly Joe quietly travelled to the Sunshine Coast in April – that is, just before Ashby filed his court documents – to meet Mal Brough and Clive Palmer at a Coolum steakhouse. Joe says they discussed Peter Slipper — but not James Ashby. Of course not! Now, don’t expect big Joe to remember meeting James Ashby ‒ if it turns out he did ‒ as he has up to eleventy things on his mind at any one time. And if you persist in asking him questions about this affair — well, you can just “go to hell”! [/i] http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/ashbygate-and-the-born-to-rule-brigade/

42 long

17/12/2012Amazing!! I can't really fault Hartcher's latest piece. The thrust/perspective is different to his general stance. These people are definately influenced by their job situation. What's changed though!!!! except it is more acute than ever previously? The response from journo's has always been...... "It has to come out anti xxxxx. There are only 2 types of journo's in Australia.... Those who work for Rupert and those who are going to.".. So Rupert doesn't have to vet each article personally. The successful ones find out quickly what HE wants. The dynamic is changing now. Grattan will be among the last to realise it. We will find out who the ones with integrity are. When I use that word, am I from another world? We still need the adherence to that kind of concept or we lose civilisation, or is it only a thin veneer? Not really there in any substance. Just an illusion. Abbott makes me think it is only that. Abbott and integrity er ...what..

LadyInRed

17/12/2012A tweet for you all: [iWhit Goughlam @leftofcentre Breaking: @TonyAbbottMHR seen entering Ecuadorian Embassy. Will do anything to stop returning to Oz, including selling arse to Assange. [/i]

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

17/12/2012 Another few pieces below to add to the archive TPSers are compiling so rapidly (with my thanks, too, to all for how much easier it makes keeping up!). It does seem as if the media are starting to swing now on #Ashbygate, Brough and Abbott's truthfulness. McCauley's article is particularly 'dry', but cutting. [b]A Plea For Smarter Debate In 2013[/b] Ian McAuley If you want to criticise the government do so; it’s the essence of democracy. But explain why. Don’t just say "Labor is incompetent," or "we need to get rid of this rotten government". There are plenty of blogs that make such banal assertions. If you have reasons, support them with logic or facts. Before you say interest rates were lower under the Coalition government check the Reserve Bank website. Simply saying over and over again that Australians’ cost of living is rising faster than their income does not make the statement true. (Or perhaps you have evidence that the Australian Bureau of Statistics is engaged in a conspiracy of official deception?) If you are using official statistics, don’t patronise us by neglecting the normal qualifications a first year economics student would make. Don’t compare a 1992 financial figure with a 2012 figure without bringing it to constant prices. Remember that even six-year-olds negotiating for pocket money can see through that argument. They know that ten bob a week was a pretty good allowance in 1960. If you think the Gillard Government has mishandled the economy, explain what it should have done better. If, like Christopher Pyne, you think it should have run a surplus budget in the wake of the 2008 crisis, explain why you think 10 or 12 percent unemployment would have been a good outcome. (Perhaps it would have made it easier to hire a servant.) If you want to tell us that a politician has diverted a cut of all AWU membership dues into his or her personal account, provide credible evidence, and not just a cutting penned by a Murdoch journalist — you might notice that those on the "left" don’t quote from the Pyongyang Times. http://newmatilda.com/2012/12/17/plea-smarter-debate [b]Election may hinge on Abbott’s appeal[/b] Laura Tingle And so the year closes almost as it begun. All that grief, angst and unpleasantness and the only change it has produced, in net terms over 2012, is the most reviled Opposition Leader in almost 30 years, and some improvement in the standing of the Prime Minister. http://www.afr.com/p/national/election_may_hinge_on_abbott_appeal_Ro7o4cveCFZM17BP6G4PbJ Meanwhile @sortius has updated his blog because he believes he now has absolute proof ... [b]10 Hours of Bullshit[/b] @sortius This does mean that the original files were output at 23:08 (& 32 seconds) on 20/04/12 in the AEST (+10hrs) time zone, meaning Abbott’s office was not only aware of the impending report from News LTD, but had enough time to prepare a statement the night before. Yes, this has confirmed my suspicions that the edited file was not showing the correct time zone, and while more than likely this was not changed for malicious reasons, it does show that Abbott’s “10 hours out” to be bullshit on so many levels. It’s clear that Abbott was made aware of much more than he’s letting on. http://sortius-is-a-geek.com/?p=2626 Meanwhile Jonathon Green from ABCRN has tweeted: @GreenJ putting the polemic to one side, the geekery here from @sortius on the abbott timing affair looks unarguable http://bit.ly/XiWvk9 Shirley at December 16. 2012 08:34 PM I do so agree; there's been very little addressing of Ashby's lawyer, Harmer, and his modus operandi and/or business model. Suspect as the story finally gains heat we're going to see some. DMW at December 16. 2012 09:29 PM Very interested in your notion of the introduction of retrospective legislation perhaps 'telegraphed' etc. One hopes the Govt. is actually also doing some of this thinking. Perhaps you could email a few MPs :-). Ken at December 17. 2012 09:17 AM You said: [i]As a word, yes, the actions of the LNP are seditious but legally are not and, as much as I hate to say it, for that we should probably be grateful, for, otherwise, each of us could also be guilty of sedition at some time.[/i] You've captured, along with TT the 'behaviour' and its separateness from law very well. Je suis content :-) [b][/b]

KHTAGH

17/12/2012A small add on to the discussion about sedition, as pointed out by TT [i] 1. Speech or behaviour directed against the peace of a State; 2. An offence that tends to undermine the authority of a state; 3. An incitement to public disorder; 4.(archaic) Revolt.[/i] #4 Remember Abbortt publicly called for a citizens revolt over the price on pollution so even #4 is relevant to him being charged in my opinion. He should be!!

nasking

17/12/2012 Top comments from the majority of contributors on this site. From BSA BOB in regard to the lack of intense focus by our ever-mediocre MSM when it comes to the Ashby/Brough affair...Slippergate as some refer to it: [b]I've nothing particularly original to offer in this, but agree with those who point out this is probably better described as an "antiWatergate" as in this case the media is complicit in the coverup.[/b] [b]I like to prattle on about the "Perpetual Present" & there can't be a better example than this. Less than a month ago the media was all over alleged 20 year old events & now ignores this. Oblivious, or at least seeming to be, of the contradiction. A case, I fear of their having nailed their colours to the mast. It also seems to highlight the widening gap between the 4th & 5th estates.[/b] --- Indeed. BSA BOB reflects the common man's view I suspect. Something stinks. What does it say to the public about BIAS when the mainstream media go bonkers over a recycled issue...acting like a pack of slavering wolves recently, intent on wounding and feeding on our PM... yet, the Liberal party have been caught out in a virtual act of sedition...and the MSM generally stumble around farting and grumbling like a bunch of over-fed pub goers attempting to play darts blindfolded...Tony Abbott as the board? The likelihood of many, if any, hitting the bullseye is remote. Yet, we can expect the order for those blindfolds to be removed...once the gaze is to be fixed on the PM again. The public are waking up to this inconsistency...this SHAM. N'

Truth Seeker

17/12/2012Hey Swordsters, although I haven't been commenting much over the last couple of weeks, due to everything being pretty much covered by the regulars here, I have been lurking and reading most of the comments. Hey Nas, good to see that you are still around and feeling a tad better. I also thought that due to the intense nature of the political debate over the court decision and the subsequent "look over there" and "nothing to see here" attitude of the MSM, It was time for a little light relief. So here is my latest looney left musings; Tony Abbotts Letter to Santa Dear old Santa, now here’s the thing I’m pretty well off so I don’t want bling But the thought of losing makes me shiver So here are some things… you could deliver For Julie Bishop, she needs your aid To find some proof to help put paid To Gillard and her Labor crew Who deny the scandal… of the AWU We’ve said Gillard acted illegally But the cow just sits and laughs at me Though Julie keeps on throwing mud It’s me that ends up wearing… crud She needs to find that smoking gun To get the PM on the run To help us turn the Labor tide Before they tan… her Gucci hide And sloppy Joe needs help with maths Cos he just keeps making mega gaffs On the state of our economy Where he’s lost.. all credibility And that bloody smart arse treasurer Swan Makes sure the economy keeps moving on From strength to strength with world wide ticks While we look like.. economic… dicks So a calculator that Joe can work Will stop him looking like a jerk And something else he’d like to see A recession.. to help his… credibility For Chrissy Pyne It’s my first choice That he could get a deeper voice My misogynist word “Shrill”, is working fine Except HE gets “Shrill”.. when he starts to whine His whining and his dummy spits Are what give laborites the shits But sadly, if I’ve truth to tell His voice gives us.. the shits as well The Mincing Poodle’s his nick name Making light of the way he plays our game So a deeper voice would be just great To help my little.. fluffy mate And my mate Pell could use a hand To support his wholly right wing stand To help his cause a Pope’s decree Would be the shot.. and might help me For there’s many there within the church Who don’t like George’s right wing lurch And the separation of Church and state Is a fluid concept for my… Churchy mate And though he’s a mate, a Popes decree Could keep him there where he needs to be For the spin that flows out from his gob Makes him a genuine threat.. to take.. my job And there’s nothing Turnbull hasn’t got Except his cred is badly shot As he promotes my NB brain fart Which was my plan… from the very start Cos the party thinks he’s sold his soul To the centre left, and he’s dug his hole And he’s stuck there now for eternity Never more to lead… the LNP So a candle would be more than fair To help him see through his despair As he vainly searches through his big black hole To find his long lost.. right wing.. soul And for Sophie, Ashby and Jackson too I ask some legal help from you For despite promoting their renown Their shonky deals… could bring us down So please let charges soon be laid From the Thomson allegations made To prove the man’s a Labor crook And do him.. like a roasted chook While Jackson walks away scot free From allegations made that she Misappropriated Union dosh To live the lifestyle.. very posh And likewise for young Ashby too Though the judgement dumps us in the poo Please let his appeal be granted quick Cos the whole thing makes me… feel quite sick And let her ill gotten gains stay with Sophie To offset her moral bankruptcy And I ask these gift to clear the way For victory on… election day By the way Santa, that bloody carbon tax Has done me over with the facts So to prove I’m not just talking crap Could you wipe Whyalla… off the map And I need to win the electoral fight Cos Mummy told me, it’s my right With the last one stolen from my hand By that ranga bird… and her rag tag band So I ask all this for those weary hearts Who’ve supported me and my many brain farts And the