Not quite joined at the hip but in the same ballpark

I will now attempt to elucidate the points I think Menzies' speech has in common with the PM's thoughts about Labor's polity ensconced within contemporary Australian society, thus to prove how it is not heresy to say that, yes, Menzies and Gillard may have something worthwhile in common with each other. Not everything, or even a majority of things, to be sure because that would be a betrayal of Labor's core reason for being a party opposed to what the Conservative Liberal's stand for in other areas. Instead, I just want to point out that it is worth considering that maybe a Prime Minister from the Labor Party can have a few things in common with a PM from the Liberal Party, which they can have in common with the Australian ethos and its people, in general.

Of course, I will not agree with all Menzies' positions either, and neither would Julia Gillard.

Paragraph 1: 'His (the bishop's) theme was the importance of doing justice to the workers.' 

Now, whilst Labor will always have, as it's core philosophy, 'doing justice to the workers', and rightly so, it's true to say that the definition of a 'worker' has changed in some important ways from the days when the ALP ethos was originally conceived as being, approximately, 'by the worker, for the worker', when 'the worker' was broadly conceived to be, 'not the boss', but an employee.

Now, I think we all have to agree that, and as John Robertson interestingly put it recently in his interview with Barrie Cassidy on Insiders, that these days 'workers' are also Small Businesspeople. To my mind this group also includes Micro Businesses which do not have a shop front and are run from home, Contractors and Sub-Contractors. These are all people who just want to work hard for a decent living and provide well for their families. A fair day's pay for a fair day's work is what they also want. And so, as the party which seeks to protect 'workers' from exploitation, the Labor Party should be seeking to embrace these people and win them over from the Conservative camp where they are parked now. They are there, I believe, due to their now outmoded allegiance to the sort of small 'l' Liberalism principles, which appear to have been superseded by big 'C' Conservatism and Libertarianism, which pays fealty to the multinational corporations, and national monopolies and duopolies, who seek to expand at the expense of the little guy. In the same way that unscrupulous employers have always sought to exploit powerless employees.

So, in other words, it is right and proper for the ALP to proudly say they seek to represent these 'Forgotten People'. Where once, back in Menzies' time, they were an understandable and natural constituency of the Liberal Party, now they are not. In fact, many of these demographics didn't exist back then, and it is just a failure on the ALP's part that they didn't cotton on to them before the Liberal Party did. They are a more appropriate constituency of the ALP.

'His belief, apparently, was that the workers are those who work with their hands.'

As we know, Labor represents not only those who work with their hands, but also those who work in the Services sector, and the Financial Services sector, and the Health Services sector, and the Education Services sector. Also, as I alluded to previously, those in the Brain Services sector, who contract out their brainpower and talents in areas such as IT, Design, Engineering, Economics, Journalism, Life Coaching, and all those new areas of our new Green Economy, which will flower in the years to come.

'He sought to divide the people of Australia into classes.'

Well, as you, I, Menzies and Gillard would agree, Australia strives to be a classless society. However, I would add the rider that, it is not to say that there are not 'Elites' in Australian society today. And not just the 'Intellectual Elites' that the Liberals seek to deride in their malevolent attempts to encourage the spread of anti-intellectualism for their own political benefit. What IS true is that there are Economic Elites and cadres which have formed in Australian society.

There are the wealthy Self-Funded Retirees, who were gifted largesse from the Public Purse and a powerful voice during the Howard years; the Housing and Investment Elite, who made their fortunes off the decisions made by government favourable to them, which started in the Hawke/Keating years, as a result of Capital Gains, Negative Gearing and the subsequent Housing Bubble. Also, there has come to be those financially-favoured by the Resources Boom, plus those who have made their fortunes by investing wisely, and those who have profited as a result of the Liberal Party's weakness when it comes to taxing Trusts equitably and fairly compared to PAYE taxpayers.

I'd say that these new 'Elites' form the base of the Liberal and National parties today.

I think the new 'Demarcation Lines' I have drawn between the Labor and the Liberal Parties should be those that they should now function around.

What do you think?

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COLEN

19/04/2011Hi Guy's Childcare cuts revisited. http://www.news.com.au/national/wayne-swan-retreats-on-child-care/story-e6frfkvr-1226041268478

lyn

19/04/2011Hi Hillbilly Thankyou so much for your delightful article. I thoroughly enjoy your happy spirit, enthusiasm, energy and undivided loyality. Grog has listed problems facing Julia Gillard in his column, leading today's links. I think poor Julia, gives me a panic attack reading the list. Seems to me, at least on the blogosphere, the general consensus is, Labor can't win an election with the carbon tax, and can't win an election if they dump it. Labor is being too nice to Abbott, I think we all agree there, no-one is questioning Abbott's three word slogans, the journalists are letting him sing: "Riding along on my Pushbike song: A-round, round, wheels goin' round round round. Down up pedals, down up down. But I gotta get across to the other side of town, Before the sun goes down. Hey, hey! I think Acerbic Conehead can help me out with the song, making it applicable to Mr Abbott. Cheers Hillbilly

lyn

19/04/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Time to go and eat worms, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] Chris Uhlmann pointed out the Government has a few fights on its hands. He right. But his list was a little light. Here are the fight the ALP has http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2011/04/time-to-go-and-eat-worms.html [i]Divisive Abbott In Front , John, True Politik[/i] Back to Julia Gillard. If she wants to counter Tony Abbott’s popularity, she, and her ministers, need to adopt the same tactics as Abbott: http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2011/04/divisive-abbott-in-front.html [i]Concerns of the Fourth Estate, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] A point of view backed up by facts cuts through in a way that verba-not-facta can't; it's why Lenore Taylor and Grog's Gamut cut through with topical, well-researched pieces http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]News Corp phone tapping scandal: the empire under attack, Brian McNair, The Conversation[/i] With its purchase of BSkyB, News Corp would become the UK’s most powerful media company, with revenues exceeding even the BBC. Should such a behemoth be allowed to form around an organisation so clearly negligent http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/news-corp-phone-tapping-scandal-the-empire-under-attack-1003 [i]UK Phone Hacking Scandal: Is Australia at Risk?, John O Driscoll, The Angle[/i] our local media has not yet seen fit to keep us informed of the sensational new developments in the case, which, given Murdoch’s power in Australia, has a bearing on us all. But if Murdoch is interrogated by a reinvigorated police investigation, http://theangle.org/2011/04/18/uk-phone-hacking-scandal-is-australia-at-risk/ [i]News vs Wilkie: 28 years is a short time in our sort of politics, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] there are few things more hideous than a journalist who’s run the sort of attack you ran on Friday – seriously, “Nazi Slur”? – acting like it’s he and his media company who are the victims http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/04/18/news-v-wilkie-28-years-is-a-short-time-in-our-sort-of-politics/#more-9829 [i]'Chuffed' Oakes to be inducted into the Logies hall of Fame, Amanda Meade , The Australian[/i] I don't want to see Andrew Bolt and two of his mates talking about stuff. I know Andrew Bolt's views on most things, anyway." http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/chuffed-oakes-to-be-inducted-into-the-logies-hall-of-fame/story-e6frg996-1226040587497 [i]The Seven Myths Of The NBN, Ian McAuley, New Matilda[/i] a cost-benefit analysis would be no more than an expensive delaying tactic (presumably in order to give a government of different complexion time to kill it). http://newmatilda.com/2011/04/18/seven-myths-nbn [i]Carbon Tax. "We'll be rooned" What crap, Peter Martin[/i] The guarantee is demanded in a letter delivered to prime minister Gillard signed by 45 executives including the heads of Nestle, Yakult, Goodman Fielder and Bundaberg Sugar. http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]There’ll never be a better time for a carbon price, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] The constant claim from business that they support a carbon price, but not one that will affect them (usually, “cost jobs”), is, literally, nonsensical. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/04/18/sorry-you-cant-support-a-carbon-price-but-not-want-any-change/ [i]Is Julia Gillard channelling Ayn Rand, Don Arthur, Club Troppo[/i] It’s a story about how government should look after people who work hard and play by the rules rather than those who don’t. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/04/17/is-julia-gillard-channeling-ayn-rand/ [i]Andrew Bolt - pushing his credibility, Petermcc's Blog[/i] good old ABC is partly responsible for his ego because whenever they wanted to push a particular line that Bolt was opposed to, they would invite him along to attack their line http://1petermcc.wordpress.com/ [i]Come Monday: The Holier Than Thou Edition, Miglo, Cafe Whispers[/i] Just look at the track record of these holier than thou companies and tell me if they’re concerned about lost jobs and/or slashed living standards. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/come-monday-the-holier-than-thou-edition/ [b]VERY IMPORTANT READING[/b] [i]Plans for Australia to become world’s nuclear waste dump, Independent Australia[/i] Howard has provided a once in a lifetime opportunity to set Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party up for life—if Tony seizes his big chance before the other contender, Russia, does. The Greens will have to be destroyed so that the Coalition regains control of the Senate but, hey, the Australian is taking good care of that. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/australia-open-for-nuclear-sewage-business/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=australia-open-for-nuclear-sewage-business [i]The precarious nature of endangered species, Rooted[/i] The rates of extinction now are between 100 to 1,000 times faster than normal, and between a third and a half of species could be lost by the end of this century. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2011/04/18/the-worrying-rise-of-endangered-species/#more-2435

Feral Skeleton

19/04/2011lyn, I was also dismayed to hear on the TV this morning that WORKERS at a dinner held by Fortescue Metals boss, Andrew Forrest, last night, cheered Tony Abbott the special guest, who is on a 'fact finding tour'(cough) of the NW of WA. He said, misleadingly, that the Carbon Tax and the Mining Tax would kill their industry. Now, as with Howard in Tasmania with the Timber Workers, Abbott is taking more of the ALP's base away from it. Just because workers can afford a few shiny trinkets by being paid more than the average worker in these jobs they fall for the crap that the kleptocrats and their voices in parliament spout. Anyway, as I say, if their is anyone left in the ALP with any nous, they will start working on those 'Forgotten People'.

Feral Skeleton

19/04/2011The Australian didn't get the result they were after, so they've not put this story on the front page today(note that Kevin Rudd's popularity has actually gone down): http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/just-one-in-10-want-wayne-swan-to-lead/story-fn59niix-1226041224734

Ad astra reply

19/04/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

janice

19/04/2011FS, [quote] Now, as with Howard in Tasmania with the Timber Workers, Abbott is taking more of the ALP's base away from it. Just because workers can afford a few shiny trinkets by being paid more than the average worker in these jobs they fall for the crap that the kleptocrats and their voices in parliament spout. [/quote] It's a good argument but a bit too simplistic for me. What Howard did was take over and con the Unions leadership in order to make them toothless tigers as the first step to eliminate them. We had a couple of decades of Union bashing emanating from the coalition forces which set out to change the perception of workers that they were no longer needed to protect their rights at work, their safety and a fair wage for their efforts. As soon as Howard got the reins in his grubby little paws, he stepped up his ambition to dispose of unions. (the waterfront dispute could be viewed as being the first stoush of Howard's War on Unions and the last stand was his IR policy that brought in Workchoices). After so many decades of the unions fighting for their worker membership which improved the lives and pay packets of the ordinary worker, people began to feel safe and were vunerable to be conned by propaganda put out by conservatives. They were "got at" through their hip pocket by things like compulsory union fees. At the same time the workers' party, the Labor Party, were dabbed with a black brush that it was driven and controlled by "Union Bosses" who bled the workers by collecting compulsory fees and using those funds to feather their own nests. Whilst some Unions became too big for their boots and wielded much too much power, there was also too much complacency and laziness within the membership that allowed rabid leaders to emerge. Much the same thing that happens periodically within political parties. The workers you reference in the quote above, are not, in my opinion, people Labor has "forgotten". Those workers basking in their highly paid jobs do so at the expense of most other working Australians. The mining industry has sucked the life out of other businesses by wooing their best-skilled staff away and making them uncompetitive in the labour market. The mining industry is the new aristocracy of our times and has divided communities into "elite high-paid" workers and the others who scramble for around their fringes for any crumbs they might throw out. The mining industry is a parasite that is fast eating up our lifestyles, our livelihoods and healthy well being whilst spitting out discontent and greed as big as the slag mountains they make and as deep as the cavernous holes they leave in their wake. Naturally these workers will cheer Tony Abbott and vote via their hip pocket. It would be a waste of time and effort for Labor to concentrate their resources on trying to win over this demographic - they are a lost cause. Labor should, though, concentrate on extracting every last cent from the mining industry through the Resources tax and lose no time in distributing those funds to the infrastructure needed in the communities suffering the mining activities around them. Help is urgently needed for businesses providing services and jobs in those communities and some protection is also needed for farmers and their farming lands that are being swamped by mining activities. Just my rant for the day.

lyn

19/04/2011Hi Janice What a fantastic rant of the day, I agree with every word you say, you are the most thoughtful genuine person, your comments are a read to behold. Thankyou Janice. [quote]slag mountains they make and as deep as the cavernous holes they leave in their wake[/quote] Janice, have you ever been to Queenstown in Tasmania?, if so you would know, Queenstown is extreme evidence to what you say. I am so glad you popped in this morning, because I need to ask you a favour. Twice in the last 3 months I have had to put my computer through the recovery system, as a result I have lost some of my files. I am making a file of our readers who have a blog of their own, the list is growing everyday. The favour is, would you be kind enough to give me the link to your work again, for my files, I would be very appreciative. Cheers Janice

janice

19/04/2011Good morning Lyn. Thank you for your kind words - I usually keep my rants to myself but every now and then I break out :) The link you want is http://www.anzwers.org/free/janice Cheers

janice

19/04/2011Lyn, sorry I forgot to answer your question re Queenstown, Tas. No, I haven't been to Tassie though I have seen the devastation of Queenstown on TV. My experience of slag mountains and deep cavernous holes is happening right here in my backyard. I live in the Upper Hunter Valley and the mining companies are busy digging up river flats and good arable land plus covering anything left with coal dust. It is a bloody disgrace that people/governments are sacrificing what was once a beautiful, fertile valley to turn it into a mountain range of manmade slag heaps. And, I might add that nothing will ever convince me that these enormously deep caverns do not have a detrimental affect on the underground water systems.

Ad astra reply

19/04/2011janice What wisdom and knowledge you bring to your comments, which are a joy to read. We need to be reminded of the historical events you describe as they form a pattern of behaviour and attitude that characterizes the conservative ideology and approach. As I said in a comment yesterday, Tony Abbott’s ideological framework is not susceptible to change, no matter what he says. Like John Howard he is just waiting for the opportunity to apply it. Vigilance is a crucial weapon in our fight against the steady advance of conservative ideas and actions, some emanating from conservative elements in the US. FS alerts us to the need to identify and foster those groups that would appreciate and benefit from Labor ideologies, attitudes and actions. This piece gives us the opportunity to do so.

Feral Skeleton

19/04/2011janice, I agree with lyn and Ad Astra, your words ring as clear as a bell. It will be a difficult balancing act, like walking a tightrope, for the ALP to break away from the strictures that the Unions are seeking to put on them for their own selfish benefit, whilst at one and the same time making sure that Unions aren't crushed under the heels of the Conservative Capitalist ideologues, and also seeking to add to the number of ALP supporters by encouraging those who survive quite well in the economy without Unions. What I found fascinationg last night of Lateline Business, which I normally do not watch because I have to get up early to get the kids ready for school, and because I generally find Ticky Fullerton nauseatingly pro-business at the expense of all else, however, she did an interview with the CEO of an Australian Green Business which has signed a multi-billion dollar deal to harvest our Wind Power for Energy to sell to consumers in Australia. It was interesting because, here was a man who has developed a Renewable Energy technology business, and you would have thought he would be all for a Price on Carbon. He wasn't! He was an Uber Capitalist who just wanted to make his billions from doing deals and not be forced to pay a cent to the government in any way, for any thing, even Climate Change action! Which goes to the point I am trying to make about broadening the base of the Labor Party. You cannot even count on 'Greenies' anymore to naturally support Social Democratic parties, let alone 'the workers' and Unionists. So, while Tony Abbott is getting busy cosying up to the blue collar workers, the Labor Party has to start identifying those who are being left in the dust by the Liberal and National Parties. As you say, janice, the ALP needs to identify those who are being left to scrabble around in the mining slag for the crumbs and provide solutions which will give their lives more dignity and a better income.

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19/04/2011FS Thank you so much for fostering a re-examination of Labor’s natural demographic and some less natural ones that it ought to cultivate. In doing so, it is helpful to review RG Menzies’ ‘Forgotten People’ speech in 1942, the first in a series of radio broadcasts, in which he identified the 'forgotten people' as ‘the middle class’, and went on to describe what he meant in these words: [i]“We do not have classes here as in England, and therefore the terms do not mean the same; so I must define what I mean when I use the expression "middle class." “Let me first define it by exclusion. I exclude at one end of the scale the rich and powerful: those who control great funds and enterprises, and are as a rule able to protect themselves - though it must be said that in a political sense they have as a rule shown neither comprehension nor competence. But I exclude them because, in most material difficulties, the rich can look after themselves. “I exclude at the other end of the scale the mass of unskilled people, almost invariably well-organised, and with their wages and conditions safeguarded by popular law. What I am excluding them from is my definition of the middle class. We cannot exclude them from problems of social progress, for one of the prime objects of modern social and political policy is to give them a proper measure of security, and provide the conditions which will enable them to acquire skill and knowledge and individuality. “These exclusions being made, I include the intervening range - the kind of people I myself represent in Parliament - salary-earners, shopkeepers, skilled artisans, professional men and women, farmers and so on. These are, in the political and economic sense, the middle class. They are for the most part unorganised and unself-conscious. They are envied by those whose benefits are largely obtained by taxing them. They are not rich enough to have individual power. They are taken for granted by each political party in turn. They are not sufficiently lacking in individualism to be organised for what in these days we call ‘pressure politics’. And yet, as I have said, they are the backbone of the nation.”[/i] In defining what Labor’s demographic might be, a similar process of exclusion is helpful, acknowledging though that no categorization is absolute – there are always exceptions to the general rule. The first exclusion is the ‘rich and powerful’, who seem unlikely to be enamored of Labor’s ideology and approach. As few might, most would not. At the other end of the social spectrum, the ‘unskilled’ (who Menzies excluded from the middle class and the ‘forgotten people’ category) are a natural part of Labor’s constituency. There are probably many fewer than in Menzies’ time, and nowadays many fewer organized into unions (now said to be about 15%) although still ‘with their wages and conditions safeguarded by popular law’. I expect a better descriptor now might be ‘working class’ and that would include many with skills who work in manufacturing, mining and infrastructure endeavours, who might now be labeled ‘salary-earners’ that Menzies considered middle class. These too ought to be Labor’s constituency and probably mostly still are, but they are susceptible to campaigns that insist that Labor’s actions threaten their jobs and livelihoods, such as we have seen with the carbon and mining taxes. Labor has probably lost many of these to the Greens and even to the Coalition. Labor needs to retrieve them, especially those who see themselves moving into ‘the middle class’. In the middle we have most of Menzies’ so-called middle class – ‘shopkeepers, skilled artisans, professional men and women, farmers and so on’. Today, we would probably include the terms ‘small businessmen’ and the ‘self-employed’. John Howard would have described many of these as ‘aspirational’, people whose potential enables them to aspire to bigger and more elaborate houses, swimming pools, boats, private education for their children, overseas trips, restaurant entertainment and fine wines. Some of this group has drifted to the conservative side with its private-enterprise orientation; Labor needs to woo them back with policies that enable them to achieve their aspirations, rather than penalize them with policies that seem to restrict them. PM Gillard used these words when talking to them: you “work hard, …set your alarm clocks early, … ensure your children are in school.” This characterization includes all the abovementioned groups. They are a vital group that Labor needs. In summary, while Labor’s natural constituency includes what might be called ‘the working class’, a significant extension of Menzies’ ‘unskilled’, it also includes Menzies ‘middle class’, many of whom have drifted away. While it might be legitimate for Labor to ignore the ‘rich and powerful’ group, it cannot afford to ignore any of the other groups. That is where it must concentrate its efforts.

Feral Skeleton

19/04/2011Ad Astra, Whilst I, for the most part, agree with your sentiments, I find myself more ambitious than you when it comes to the spectrum of new potential supporters that the ALP should seek to cultivaye. Yes, the wealthy will tend to 'vote their money' in most instances, however there should be enough of them with a social conscience who might vote their values instead. In this way, and I believe that The Greens get a lot of their support from this type of people, Progressive principles can be used to appeal to wealthy people as well. For, who would be intelligent enough to assess the risk that some Conservative policies pose to their future well-being, the well-being of their children into the future and the need for a sustainable planet, which would provide a continuation of money-making opportunities into the future? These people would. Which is exactly why, if I were attempting to reorientate the ALP for the future, I would be crafting an economically-conservative message out of Progressive principles. Which, I think, Julia Gillard is trying to do, if somewhat clunkily, as I have said before. Also, I wouldn't guarantee that, at the other end of the income spectrum, the manual labourer is wedded to the ALP anymore. Howard expended a great deal of energy cleaving them asunder from the ALP. So successfully that, you could almost call the Coalition the parties of the blue collar working man in Mining and Manufacturing industries. Which is also why I said that Labor should concentrate on the Service Industries angle. They are a growing demographic, and the Manufacturing Industries are a shrinking one, also Mining has never been a labour-intensive sector.

Feral Skeleton

19/04/2011Speaking of Queenstown, talk about synchronicity, they were on the News at 12 noon! There has been a massive explosion in the town due to an unknown cause! Too much Methane Gas hanging around and igniting with a spark?

janice

19/04/2011Ad Astra, [quote]What wisdom and knowledge you bring to your comments, which are a joy to read. [/quote] Thank you Ad Astra but really I must say it is a first for me when one of my rants is seen to hold wisdom and knowledge :) [quote]At the other end of the social spectrum, the ‘unskilled’ (who Menzies excluded from the middle class and the ‘forgotten people’ category) are a natural part of Labor’s constituency. There are probably many fewer than in Menzies’ time, and nowadays many fewer organized into unions (now said to be about 15%) although still ‘with their wages and conditions safeguarded by popular law’. I expect a better descriptor now might be ‘working class’ and that would include many with skills who work in manufacturing, mining and infrastructure endeavours, who might now be labeled ‘salary-earners’ that Menzies considered middle class. These too ought to be Labor’s constituency and probably mostly still are, but they are susceptible to campaigns that insist that Labor’s actions threaten their jobs and livelihoods, such as we have seen with the carbon and mining taxes. Labor has probably lost many of these to the Greens and even to the Coalition. Labor needs to retrieve them, especially those who see themselves moving into ‘the middle class’. [/quote] I agree that Labor needs to work hard to retrieve these voters and sharpen the senses that are telling them that these voters are susceptible (even gullible) to the targetted scare campaigns being run by Abbott's mob. These are the insecure/fearful people who become confused and are unable to sort out the facts from mis-information and lies because they do not understand, a) how government works, b) the intricacies of revenue collecting and distribution and c) the purpose of the nation's budget, the provision of infrastructure, the difference between our State and Federal Governments and the difference between a national budget deficit/surplus and that of a family household or business. I remember being absolutely gobsmacked many years back when a young working couple became self-employed. They ditched their labor party membership and joined the Liberal Party because, the lady said in a proud and loud voice: "The Labor Party only look after working people and now that we are in business, we are going with the party who will look after us." I thought at the time that people are as fickle as the summer wind and will bend any whichway. These are the "aspirational voters" Howard went after and successfully bribed with middle class welfare handouts. These are also the hardest nuts for Labor to crack because of the need for reform, to wean them off welfare handouts and get rid of the budget's structural deficit.

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19/04/2011FS After all the self-centered and rent-seeking behaviour that has characterized the carbon and mining tax debates, I don’t feel too optimistic about the ‘rich and powerful’ coming Labor’s way, but I do agree that an ‘appeal to values’ might be the most promising approach. I would be more optimistic about the manual laborer coming to Labor, especially if we hear much more of Eric Abetz’s urging to Tony Abbott to toughen IR laws. janice Your story about the change of heart of the working couple when they became self-employed, was sad. In both instances it was self-interest that governed their behaviour, rather than commitment to a set of principles and ideals. In fact to me the most disheartening feature of the carbon tax debate is the way in which for so many people and groups self-interest overrides the national interest and the common good that would result from reducing carbon pollution.

Jason

19/04/2011Who does Labor represent anyway? We seem to have a party with multiple personality disorder at the moment. On the one hand we have the likes of Paul Howes and today the secretary of the SA branch echoed his masters voice saying we have to protect "our members jobs",of which I have no problem with. What I do have a problem with is these two and others go to state and national conventions decide on "labor policy" but in who's interest? they also decide who will be ministers! how can you serve two masters?The fact is you can't the union secs can't guarantee that everyone of their membership is a "Labor voter" The AWU has a membership of about 130,000 which is about the size of an electorate so there isn't enough of them to change a government, But Howes et al could decide that like with Rudd Gillard has to go and she'll be gone. It's time the rank and file of the ALP took back their party and let the Paul Howes of this world represent their members because he doesn't speak for me any many other who aren't in his union.

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19/04/2011Jason I believe you might be right about unions. While Paul Howes seems to feel entitled to influence who shall be Labor leader, that is not accompanied by any great show of loyalty to Labor. He preferentially looks after his members, which is fair enough, and especially if he wants to keep his job, but his members seem more interested in themselves than in the national interest and what Labor is doing in the national interest. Again, self-interest reigns supreme. Labor might do no worse than to shed its dependency on unions, let them loose to do their own thing, and attract union members with good policy.

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19/04/2011Folks While browsing through a magazine at the newsagent this afternoon, I came across an article about Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook in 2004 and its CEO, who is now a billionaire, richer than Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch. There was a revealing attribution – that he [i]‘invented a product the world did not know it needed’[/i]. That I believe is the answer to those who insist that the NBN would have been better off in private hands, where the owners simply ‘responded to the demands of consumers’, where supply would be consumer-driven. The Zuckerberg phenomenon shows that, at least in the IT world, a crucial aspect is developer initiative, creating products never imagined, products ‘the world did not know it needed’. This is why I for one believe: ‘develop the enabling infrastructure of the NBN’, even if it costs a lot, and the innovations will flow, just because there a plenty of Mark Zuckerberg’s out there ferreting out and creating applications you and I, and most users, would never ever have imagined, would never have requested. We will look back in ten years and see how true that is.

janice

19/04/2011Jason, [quote]It's time the rank and file of the ALP took back their party and let the Paul Howes of this world represent their members because he doesn't speak for me any many other who aren't in his union. [/quote] Sadly, the fact of the matter is that both the rank and file of the ALP and the various Unions, do not bother to attend meetings to voice their opinions/concerns. This is the reason we get powerful factions emerging and taking control. Same thing happens when it comes to elections. Voters are too lazy and complacent to keep themselves informed and are too ready to believe whatever slogans or misleading headlines served up to them by the manipulating power mongers seeking control. Everybody and his dog whinge and whine about Paul Howes and his influence which, so far as I can make out, is more media/coalition propaganda than anything else. The AWU with a membership of a mere 130,000 is a minor voice in the ALP and I doubt that Paul Howes had much of a part to play in the demise of Rudd as the media and Abbott would have us believe. Howes is not a member of the parliamentary labor party and all he does is lobby for his union which is his right. Just between you, me and the gatepost, the conservative forces seeking to install Abbott and his motley mob in the Lodge, are using Paul Howes to beat the "Union Boss" drum but they forget how successful their campaign was to destroy the Union movement that stood between the working man and those who sought (and still seek) to grind the working man into the ground. Besides, I'm told that Paul Howes is about to face his own election in the AWU, which is why he is out there trying to look as though he's working hard for his rank and file. So, to my mind, Paul Howes and the AWU are not worth getting your knickers in a knot over.

jj

19/04/2011FS, Before i comment on the piece above i just want to pull you up for something you posted on the previous post about Gillard always having admitted to postponing the ETS (and telling Kevin to as well). Can you please find me any such statement that backs up what you have just said, because i am sure that journos that have been trying to get this dirty secret out of her would be grateful if you could find anywhere that she did.

jj

19/04/2011As for the piece above. Not much was really said, however i do reject the last piece of your piece. If the Liberal and National Parties are based on the elites of Australian society than by god there must be a hell of alot of elites around! The Coalition primary vote never gets very far below the high 30s and i am sure that you wouldnt claim that there are 35%+ Australians that could be considered elites! Sure that is how you mob like to portray Lib and Nat voters but that is just not the case. Some of the lowest socio-economic areas in NSW in particular are held by Lib/Nats: towns such as Bourke, Dubbo, Broken Hill, parts of my electorate, areas of the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Bathurst and the far south west of the State. So it is just wrong to make such assertions. The Liberal Party's base is made up of all sorts from all different income groups and geographical areas. It is a shame that the same cannot really be said for the Labor Party who are hitched onto the Union movement even though it often does more harm to the parliamentary party than good.

Jason

19/04/2011jj, So who were the LNP based on? did the working class own land? did they have capital? how many of the working class were highly educated It's not what they are now! but from where you started!

thenewjj

19/04/2011Only those with property could vote way back and so it is pretty unfair to cite history. However the modern Menzies Liberal Party is a party for everyone. Unlike the Labor Party the Liberal Party does not subscribe its self to any particular sector of society. It is due to the Liberal party's inherent openness that it has managed to continue to attract large swathes of the general voting populace.

Jason

19/04/2011jj, That is your history, your quite happy to remind us about labors, the fact is you are a party started by and still represent those interests. I don't know why you're ashamed of it! well I do and I would be to.

D Mick Weir

19/04/2011FS, in part one of my feed back I will offer some historical context. I will comment separately on other aspects later. In the post you have said [i]'... back in Menzies' time, they were an understandable and natural constituency of the Liberal Party, ...'[/i] and then used small parts of Menzies Forgotten People speech of May 1942 as part of a proof that these people belonged to the Liberal Party. At the time of this speech Menzies had not been PM for about eight months and would not become PM again for another seven and half years. The Liberal would not come into being for another two and a half years. It would appear the forgotten people chose to forget Menzies for quite some time. It could be said that the speech layed out the foundations for what would become the Liberal Party. A reasonable view could be that Menzies used this and other radio talks at the time to maintain his profile and to win the 1943 election. Sure Menzies went on to become PM for 23 years but we could debate that the forgotten people were well served. I would contend that the disarray of Labor and Menzies' masterful potrayal of them as lead by 'no-hopers' therefore unelectable had more to do with his early successes than nuturing the forgotten people. As an aside and for some historical context of the Labor Party of the late fifties into the sixties have a listen to Phillip Adams chat with Cyril Wyndham the first paid, full-time federal general secretary of the Labor Party (1963-69). There is a revealing anecdote about the 'Faceless Men Saga' within. The discussion about Document 7 may also show you how much things don't change. It is well worth listening to. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightlive/stories/2011/3185328.htm So from this chair I contend the article is based on some tenuous history and has weak links to proving your point. I will not argue against the general idea that Labor needs to win back many of the groups you mention and can only hope that in the next part that some meat is put on the bone and some practical ideas are set out. To Labor (sic) a point have a listen to Cyril it may help.

D Mick Weir

19/04/2011Jason @ April 19. 2011 05:49 PM jj has made some reasonable points it just a pity that s/he is unable to provide some context and/or some links. S/he could have gone to Wikipedia and found this: [i]'As the etymology of our name ‘Liberal’ indicates, we have stood for freedom. We have realised that men and women are not just ciphers in a calculation, but are individual human beings whose individual welfare and development must be the main concern of government … We have learned that the right answer is to set the individual free, to aim at equality of opportunity, to protect the individual against oppression, to create a society in which rights and duties are recognized and made effective.'[/i] The Liberal Party once claimed itself to be 'a broad church' and interestingly it was undone by those from the 'NSW Right'. Strange days indeed that that both major parties have been 'bastardised' by the right from the federations supposed 'Premier State'

Jason

19/04/2011DMW, I don't disagree with jj's points,but whatever the party was called in the past now or in the future it was started by elites! no shame in that I wouldn't have thought!

D Mick Weir

19/04/2011FS, I will pick up another point in your post. [i]'... whilst Labor will always have, as it's core philosophy, 'doing justice to the workers'[/i] We can possibly hope that Labor will always as a core philosophy 'of justice for the workers'. We can not gaurantee it without the party members working to maintain that philosophy. I would debate whether Labor has held true to this philosophy steadfastly over the last 30 years or so. As an example, when did 5% unempoyment become something to be proud of? Is that number of unemployed doing justice to the workers? or is it allowing those un (and under) employed to be cannon fodder to a neo-lib/con economic philosophy? Menzies would have been appalled (and probably out on his ear) if unemployment was that high. Agreed, 'things have changed', but any social democratic party that thinks that 5% unemployed and similar numbers or more underemployed is 'good news' to be thumped and to say how good are we, we have created all these jobs is, frankly, full of BS. Time will, again, tell but, if Labor doesn't do some serious work on re/training and other measures to improve the lot of the cannon fobber of neo-liberal/conservatism it will be a big fail in my books.

D Mick Weir

19/04/2011Jason, fair enough, it could be said that Labor has had fair share of 'elites' as well. As I have mentioned train drivers were the 'aristocracy' of thier communities and one of those became PM. Further to NSW a late thuoght, interesting that the left of the Greens in NSW are causing much angst there. There must be someting wrong with the water in NSW

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19/04/2011D Mick Weir The unemployment rate of less than 5% is about as low as I can remember in recent years. As the GFC could have resulted in a figure twice as high, I feel Labour is entitled to feel proud that its actions have avoided the higher figure. Of course some would argue that it had nothing to do with what Labor did, and the Coalition probably believes that is so, but it is hard to escape the conclusion that Labor’s actions had a lot to do with it. During the Menzies’ era the unemployment rate was initially below 2% and rose to over 3%. But is that period comparable with more recent times? I can remember vividly that when the Coalition was in power and the unemployment rate was around 10%, Labor was ridiculed when it suggested that its aim was to reduce unemployment to 5%. I can still hear John Howard and Peter Costello insisting that that was impossible and just a silly Labor fantasy. I have heard several economists assert that contemporaneously around 5% is an irreducible minimum. I don’t know whether this is so; it will be interesting to see how much lower it goes.

John

19/04/2011I have enjoyed reading the comments above. I think that: 1) part of Paul Keating's and John Howard's legacies is the promotion of middle-class welfare to sacred cow status. This means that no government will actively try to reduce it. At best, a government could attempt to control the rate of increase, and the amount as a % of GDP. 2)John Howard's social restructures - diminishing the influence of unions through the Waterfront battles, IR legislation; the reduction in social infrastructure (public health care, public education, puublic obligations); and his hip-pocket politics have ensured that the "middle class" have a much-increased expectation of government support. This has encouraged many to live a lifestyle that would not otherwise be affordable, and, like any addict, they will fight like hell to preserve their "supply". 3)I suspect it will take generations to undo HHS (Howard's Hedonist Syndrome) 4) there is hope! Today's news indicated that federal funding for research will not be cut in the budget. It was one of a number of kites flown through the media, but it seems the research industry have captured voters' concept of goodness. So, too with the kite flown about means-testing child care. Personally, I thought a phased reduction of rebates for households with gross incomes over 200K would not have been unreasonable. 5) That last statement raises the child-care issue. With increased qualification staffing & "educatinoal" requirements, should we be using taxes to create public child care system, as with public education?? John :)

lyn

19/04/2011Hi Ad More good news for the NBN. People in Armidale are very pleased with the NBN, with over 90% takeup. Test customers go live on Armidale NBN, James Hutchinson, Computerworld Armidale received the highest take-up of all five mainland sites of over 90 per cent of those premises included in the build. http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/383764/test_customers_go_live_armidale_nbn/

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19/04/2011john I suspect you right. John Howard created an expectation for more and more middle class welfare, and now we are stuck with it. Any Government trying to pare it back will invite such an electoral backlash that it will probably be scared to move on this, as seems to be the case with this Government, existing as it does with the support of independents.

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19/04/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for the link - that is good news. What an uptake of the NBN in Armidale – 90%. I wonder what thenewjj will have to say about that? I’m packing it in for the night now.

D Mick Weir

19/04/2011Ad @ April 19. 2011 08:36 PM, I agree that the policies/actions put in place re the GFC helped avoid worse unemployment and probable business failures. Yes something to be proud of. Some economists talk about NAIRU and other bits and suggest that we may be near 'full employment' but I still think that is BS There is no way to compare unemployment numbers between now and Menzies time. There have been changes to way unemployment is measured such that now as little as one hour a week of paid or voluntary work means 'statistically' we would be unemployed. Another factor is the increase in casual and part time employment that hides a lot of under employment. Compare us to Scandinavian countries where if you are out of work you would be paid a decent living benefit and in return be expected to undertake training for available or possible work. Offhand I don't know what sort of numbers of unemployed there are in those countries but they certainly treat people in that situation with more respect and as a consequence there is less loss of dignity. There are tradeoffs of course and as I understand it the pay scales are considerably more compressed than here which would irk some. It may well be tough to lower the unemployment rate but if we don't strive we will not achieve.

thenewjj

20/04/2011Jason, The Labor party was never the party of the intellectuals back in time but it is today. The Labor party has changed and continues to change. The problem is that its original constitution (if you want to call it that) was quite narrow and heavily unionised; and so as the party has changed it hasnt taken much for it to seem as thought has abandoned its original purpose. Remember the Liberal Party was started by Menzies. It was and is a very different party to the country party or United Australia party (i think that was what it was called) of times past. It is a party that believes in individualism both in society and in the economy. It is a mix of the sort of One Nation Conservatism of Disraeli (UK PM of times past) and the sort of Liberalism espoused by Menzies. Sure it has changed, but change is essential.

thenewjj

20/04/2011Ad Astra, If the government was going to run like it had a majority (as Gillard said earlier) than she would at least attempt cutting this middle class welfare; but she doesnt have the guts! I find it amazing that some of the papers occasionally use the old phrase 'the Iron Lady' to describe Gillard. Gillard has almost no similarities with Thatcher (apart from the woman thing)! If she had any iron than she would have taken a carbon tax or ETS to the last election instead of a citizens assembly and the possibility of the government implementing a price if the rest of the world moved.

lyn

20/04/2011Good Morning Ad, This is very exciting news, Wow! for our Government, Wow! for the voters, Wow! for us on TPS, I love the Wow! factor. Ash has a report on the report on NBN in Armidale: I will put the link in "Todays Links" but can't wait for everybody to read Ash's article: Delivery is up, up, and away!http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/delivery-is-up-up-and-away/ [quote][i]Today I want to talk about something that was delivered. The NBN went live in Armidale today:[/i][/quote] [quote]That’s right! The NBN has gone live in New England. And accounts have been good with a 90% take up. [/quote] [quote]There’s more. A decent write up in The Australian. Shock! Horror! Oh wait. It’s not from someone FROM The Australian. It’s from the president of the Australian Computing Society.[/quote] [quote]The first site in mainland Australia is live and from all accounts is very very well. So its on to the left. And to the right. And over to the west. And the east. Then south and of course. [/quote] http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/delivery-is-up-up-and-away/

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011jj, You say that the ConAgs are no longer the parties of the Landed Gentry. True! On the one hand, one part of the Coalition is now the party of the Agrarian Socialists, Landed Gentry with their hands out for government support at every possible opportunity-drought, flood, Ethanol subsidy, Carbon Tax BioChar money, Family Trust Tax subsidiy from the Public Purse off the back of PAYE taxpayers, they're lining up for Murray-Darling Basin physical infrastructure upgrade handouts. John Anderson even got the taxpayer to pay for a landing strip on his property at Gunnedah when he was Deputy Prime Minster. More Socialist than the Labor Party! Then there's the Liberal Party who voted in NSW against Privatising the Electricity Industry. Also, federally they are now against a Market mechanism for Pricing Carbon, instead having as a policy a 'Stalinist', to use Malcolm Turnbull's favourite epithet to describe anything government-controlled, Tax and Transfer mechanism to pay polluters out of the Public Purse to 'Pretty Please' reduce your Carbon emissions and to buy a dirty Brown Coal Power Station and shut it down, instead of relying on the market mechanisms advocated by the Labor Party to independantly force that action, without spending one cent of taxpayers' money to do so. Yes, yoou're right, jj. I wouldn't want to go back to the situation where only the Landed Gentry had voting rights. The Coalition are too used to conning everyone to vote against their best interests and calling it democracy. Much better that than having to wear the consequences of your actions and take responsibility for them, having made decisions as the only ones with the vote. Not that Howard didn't try to disenfranchise certain sections of the polity though, when he was Prime Minister. The Labor voting ones.And starve the Unions of fees from their members, in fact, delegitimise Unions altogether. Though I must say, Abbott seems smarter than that. He's just decided to follow through on Howard's other tactic of co-opting the Union members and the working man. Like a good, old-fashioned Catholic Labor Union leader. So, jj, how does it feel to know you are supporting the good, old-fashioned DLP?

2353

20/04/2011Two comments here. 1) Economics textbooks currently suggest "full" employment is currently around 95% of the workforce having a job. Factors for this include people "between" jobs, greater mobility and greater access to welfare - which leads nicely to . . . 2) The middle class welfare in Australia is a real concern. In the USA, middle and upper class tax cuts have contributed to the current budget battles in their Congress (they are $14Trillion - that's a "T" not a "B" in debt). Obviously Regannomic's "trickle down effect" doesn't work to any great extent. While there have been some tax cuts here, our unsustainable practice is the payment of sums of money to those that can afford to go without - how many Toorak Tractors monthly payments or annual overseas holidays were being paid for by Family Tax Payments while the LNP was screaming about people buying palsma TVs with $900 cheques? A government sometime will have to rein it in or we will go down the same track as the USA where the payments become unsupportable despite the Mining Boom Version whatever - yet the government of the day won't be able to stop it. The ALP doesn't seem to want to and the LNP won't hurt what is now it's core support base. [i]Disclaimer - My family recieves some Middle Class Welfare payments.[/i]

lyn

20/04/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Strike me sovereign! 43 billion? That's Capital, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] who are investing in BHP? Because look at its share price in the last 6 months – a six months in which the carbon tax has been proposed and the MRRT continues to be on the table. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Delivery is up, up, and away!, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] That’s right! The NBN has gone live in New England. And accounts have been good with a 90% take up. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/delivery-is-up-up-and-away/ [i]Barnaby's calculations, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] A journalist worth their salt would go after the real story rather than just splice a few press releases and concoct a story http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/04/barnabys-calculations-i-feel-change.html [i]Memo Paul Howes: reform means change. Sorry, Mungo Maccallum, The Drum[/i] speaking of insults and illiteracy, has there ever been a more selfish and mendacious campaign than that being mounted by the Registered Clubs Association against poker machine reform? http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/56858.html [i]Gillard Needs A Will Of Steel, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] But the government is fighting on multiple fronts: pubs and clubs, the defence lobby, big business — even its own union base http://newmatilda.com/2011/04/19/gillard-needs-will-steel [i]Abbott says tax a threat despite BHP investment," ABC[/i] I just think we're seeing in the newspapers some inflamatory claims and then meanwhile, out in the real world, there's BHP announcing a new investment worth more than $40 billion," she said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/19/3195981.htm?section=justin [i]The Ethics of free speech, Mark Bahnisch, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Some online publishers, most signally Crikey, but also smaller independent blogs, are coming to see that there is value in moving on from tired debates about “the future of journalism” and acting now to reinvigorate and revive informed discussion of public affairs. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/04/19/the-ethics-of-free-speech/ [i]Don’t worry, Laurie won’t read this, either, Dave Gaukeroger, Pure Poison[/i] It must be a bit gutting for a man whose columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser, who runs the “most-read political blog” in Australia, appears on Melbourne’s MTR 1377 http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/04/19/don%e2%80%99t-worry-laurie-won%e2%80%99t-read-this-either/#more-9840 [i]Leaderless in Victoria, Alex Schlotzer[/i] Sure we were repeatedly assured they had policies but where are they? What is the government doing? Where is Ted Baillieu? http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/ [i]Test customers go live on Armidale NBN, James Hutchinson, Computerworld[/i] Armidale received the highest take-up of all five mainland sites of over 90 per cent of those premises included in the build .http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/383764/test_customers_go_live_armidale_nbn/ [i]Come on down Barnaby Joyce!, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] potentially see Senator Joyce becoming the Deputy PM under a Coalition government. The implication being that Senator Joyce would be completely out of his depth and incapable of fulfilling such an important role. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/come-on-down-barnaby-joyce/ [i]Australian Politics … yawn – yawn and more yawn , Eyeball, The Eyeball Opinion[/i] TRUSS says Barnaby chose to run for the Senate – what a mis-speak – nobody really runs for Senate – if you are a party faithful you are rewarded with a Senate position on the ticket – http://bleyzie.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/australian-politics-yawn-yawn-and-more-yawn/ [i]The Barnaby Phenomena, Min, Cafe Whispers[/i] one reason only – that he will no longer be able to hog the limelight once The Greens take control in July. Caption by debbiep http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/the-barnaby-phenomena/ [i]What Can Our PM Do That’s Right? PatriciaWA, Pollipomes[/i] Just compare her calm composure, With the constant self exposure, Of our Opposition leader, http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/what-can-our-pm-do-that%E2%80%99s-right-julia-gillard-the-media-tony-abbott-grogs-gamut-cw/ [i]NBN Co releases wholesale pricing calculator, Renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] The National Broadband Network Company has released an online calculator that allows users to calculate projected wholesale costs for providing services on its planned network, http://delimiter.com.au/2011/04/18/nbn-co-releases-wholesale-pricing-calculator/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Delimiter+%28Delimiter%29

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20/04/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

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20/04/2011Hi Lyn The Ash article is exciting. I liked particularly the paragraphs [i]” According to the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development: “In the same way that the construction of electricity grids and transport links spurred innovation far beyond the dreams of their builders, high-speed broadband networks are a platform for progress. The potential of the digital economy is undeniable. We believe that only a fraction of its possibility has been realised as most of the applications that will leverage the power of the digital economy are yet to be created.”[/i] These statements are consistent with what we have been writing on [i]TPS[/i] for ages, and again yesterday at 4.53 pm where I quoted a magazine article statement about Mark Zuckerberg’s invention of [i]Facebook[/i]: he “[i]invented a product the world did not know it needed’.[/i] While sometimes entrepreneurs create products in response to public demand, in some areas it is the other way around – inventions are created that never could have been imagined by members of the public. This will be so with the NBN.

D Mick Weir

20/04/20112353 @ April 20. 2011 07:46 AM, thanks for the bit about 'full employment'. While I have limited understanding of the 'science' that is behind it this little black duck (swan?) reckons it is neo-con blather. In this case a con job. Middle class welfare - I guess my bias on this is that all these things were introduced long after my family would have been 'entitled' to them. Ripped off again :)

D Mick Weir

20/04/2011jj @ April 20. 2011 07:46 AM my compliments to you. Nice to read some of your own thinking :) [i]The Labor party was never the party of the intellectuals back in time ...[/i] Debatable point. They may not have calle them intellectuals back in the late 1800's but one of the forerunners to the party were the Labour Leagues open to all. Shopkeepers and other community leaders sat side by side with union members and others and discussed the 'issues of the day. Unfortunately my reference books on this have gone walkabout so I can't offer any quotes or timelines. May have to partake of a bit of 'social welfare' and visit the local library!!!

lyn

20/04/2011Hi DMWeir You would be just the most thoughtful person . Good on you for your informative, valuable, comments, always enjoyable. TPS is a very valuable source of information, I love the exchange of different opinions, absolutely delightful. They say we never stop learning and TPS has taught me heaps not only Politics, but current affairs, general knowledge, etc. I am sure most would agree. [quote]The Labor party was never the party of the intellectuals back in time ... [/quote] Mick, I will be interested to see what info you provide for us.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011jj, Wrt the PM wanting to postpone the ETS when Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister. If you want proof then you only have to go to your mates in the ConAgs Coalition because they were touting the so-called minutes from the meeting of the Expenditure Review Committee in parliament, the meeting which, it has been widely reported, supposedly had Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan arguing for a delay of the ETS until such time as the Senate numbers would be more favourable to the ALP, so as to give a greater chance for the ETS legislation to get through parliament successfully.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011jj, As for equating the false equivalence between the Primary vote of the Coalition and the elites, that's just nonsense. Just because a political movement is supported by elites does not mean that they are the only ones that vote for them. As I have said previously, this lot in the Coalition are experts at getting 'the mob', as they dismissively refer to them, to vote against their best interests. The landslide win by Howard in 2004 before he imposed WorkChoices on the nation's workers, is a case in point.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011jj, Prove to me that the ALP is not also 'open to all'. And don't come the raw prawn about the ALP being the party of the Unions.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011DMW, You are a hard taskmaster! I am glad I am not one of your 50. You exact a high standard of work from your interlocuters here on TPS that's fersure. :)

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011DMW, [quote]As an example, when did 5% unempoyment become something to be proud of?[/quote] If you look forward to the Budget and back at the PM's speech to The Sydney Institute, I think you will find that an unemployment figure of ~5% will not be enough to satisfy the PM. She wants to eat into it as much as possible and get it down to Whitlamesque levels. The word around the traps is that the PM is preparing to use more carrots than sticks wrt the long term unemployed, or neo-con cannon fobber as you like to call them. :)

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011DMW, Long bow to compare a Train Driver to a Landed Gentry 'Elite'. Sure, it was a goal for a working class lad to aspire to, but you could hardly say it came with the privileges that being born into a wealthy family did.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011jj, No Liberal Intellectual Elite? Guffaw! Try telling that to the denizens of Catallaxy, the IPA, the CIS, the Sydney Institute, Menzies Research Centre, various faculties in all our universities across Australia who identify themselves as Conservative intellectuals. What about Professor Ian Plimer? I could go on but I hope you get my point.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011jj, The Liberal Party euphemistically call it 'Individualism', I call it self-centredness and greed and callous disregard for the common weal.

D Mick Weir

20/04/2011A wayward thought, I haven't looked at the numbers or locations for the 90% NBN takeup in Armidale but surely there would have to be National and/or Liberal Party voters (member maybe) in that lot. Have they not listened to Mr Abbott or Mr Turnbull, they don't need it, and it is a waste. Maybe they are smarter than the Libs take them for. jj, are you in the 10% on principle?

Feral Skeleton

20/04/20112353, You wouldn't believe it but the Repugs are bleating, still, about the 'fact' that if Obama succeeds in reversing Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans, they will no longer be able to create jobs! I always thought it was the profit motive that spurred people to start businesses, now it seems that it is a perverse reliance on a new form of government welfare, Middle Class Welfare and and an unwillingness to pay your fair share of tax.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011Ad Astra, As regards technology spurring the creation of products the public did not know it needed or wanted, you only have to look at the explosion of the Apps market to see the proof of that.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011DMW, [quote]one of the forerunners to the party were the Labour Leagues open to all. Shopkeepers and other community leaders sat side by side with union members and others and discussed the 'issues of the day.[/quote] Exactly my point. It's about time the Labor Party got the shopkeepers back into the party alongside the Union members, alongside anyone with a social conscience basically. Which might include a few small businesspeople, or so I have been told. :)

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011Further to my contention, which I have mentioned at some other time, why doesn't the ALP do some talent spotting and go outside of the party to identify potential candidates for seats? They could do worse than target Ash Ghebranious for one.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011Interesting to note this line from the Computerworld article: [quote]NBN Co head of procurement, Kevin Brown, confirmed recently that, unlike the Tasmanian build, some of the five release sites had gone over their intended contractual budgets.[/quote] Which tends to reinforce the cost overrun story. And good on NBN Co. for trying to nip it in the bud ASAP.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011lyn, You must be the most intelligent Tweety Bird in the world, I reckon! :)

Jason

20/04/2011FS, "why doesn't the ALP do some talent spotting" Why would anyone with talent want to put up with prehistoric ideas of our right?

lyn

20/04/2011Hi Hillbilly Oh dear, I think my comment to DMWeir, might read wrong the wrong way to some of our dear readers. [quote]but current affairs, general knowledge, etc. I am sure most would agree. [/quote] When I said I am sure most would agree, I meant, "agree that TPS is a valuable source of information". Anyway thanks, for saying Tweety bird is clever, she will appreciate that nice comment. Well Hillbilly, I am still searching, searching, the MSM for one little whisper, of a report about the NBN take up in Armidale, you guessed, nothing, not even on the ABC, nothing. Wouldn't you think, with all their reporting leaks, fake emails, outing bloggers, sources reports, somebody told me, some might say, I guess, I imagine, they use the excuse it's in the national interest, wouldn't the NBN in the National interest. Cheers

Ad astra reply

20/04/2011FS Wow - fourteen comments in less than an hour. That must be a record! I'm breathless, you must be too! I especially agree with your comment about our Tweety Bird.

Ad astra reply

20/04/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for your monitoring efforts re the NBN. It would be interesting to know when the MSM first acknowledges the Armidale experience. If the uptake had been lower than anticipated, it would likely have made the headlines already. But we know 'good news doesn't sell', especially if it is news about something good the Government or PM Gillard has done!

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011Ad Astra, I was just listening to the radio on my computer and thought I'd comment on the very interesting conversation that went on in my absence yesterday while I was out digging drainage ditches to channel the increased rainwater load due to Global Warming. :)

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011lyn, If it's not controversial wrt the Gillard government the MSM aren't interested in it as a story. It might show them in a positive light, and they can't have that as it would clash with the narrative of incompetence they are trying to perpetuate with Tony Abbott's disabling assistance.

D Mick Weir

20/04/2011and further to my wayward thought above ... ... could it be that jj 'got connected' and is now able to comment at greater speed?

NormanK

20/04/2011Hillbilly Skeleton From the naive country hick comes a plea that the ALP (in particular) and politicians in general stop treating us like customers - constantly searching for what will push our buttons on every tiny subject. Having little knowledge of the history surrounding Labor, I see their ties to the union movement as a millstone around their neck in the 21st Century. Perhaps it's more about funding than history. The base upon which a political party is built should not be restricted to historical support, demographics, lifestyle or wealth but rely purely on philosophical tenets. All I ask is that they make a pledge to strive for social equity; work for the greater good of the whole nation including rivers, plants and animals as well as humans; stop measuring everything in dollar figures and factor in social good; fund or perform those tasks which have social worth but are/appear economically unviable (the Arts, esoteric R&D) and lift the unfortunate and under-priviliged out of the cycle of despair in which they find themselves. There should be no child sleeping rough on the streets tonight, for example. Digesting the media over the last few weeks has been particularly unappetising - every policy issue is couched in economic terms and every man and his dog are screaming 'what about me?' I can live with Labor having to discuss reforms in almost exclusively economic terms provided they are underpinned by a quest for social advancement. The NBN is a particularly good example of this situation. I can also live with Labor having to pay lip-service to the unions provided what they (the government) are proposing is for the greater good and is not pandering to an elite of self-centred navel-gazers who have somehow got the idea that they are the fonts of wisdom who know what's best for all of us when in fact their major concern is their own well-being. Unfortunately, we as a society have become so obsessed with economics that anyone who questions the outrageous expansion of the mining industry is a traitor who wants to do some poor bugger out of a job. There are more things in this world than the mighty dollar. If Labor wants to broaden its base it needs to talk about people at least as often as it talks about money - there are progressives in every stream of society, they just need to be led. On the NBN take-up, bear in mind that the figure reflects the number of people who have opted to have the box put on their wall, it is not actual users yet. Not to pour cold water on what is otherwise great news, just a bit of reality.

Ad astra reply

20/04/2011NormanK If everyone embraced the high ideals of which you speak, Labor, at least in its pure form, would be the party of choice for them. They would eschew a party that encouraged self-interest over the greater good. Yet experience, particularly over the carbon tax, but also the flood levy and the MRRT, shows how self-interested much of the electorate seems to be. Of course electorate behaviour and attitudes are known only through polling, focus groups, vox pops and MSM reporting. It may be that there is more altruism out there than we realize, but of course it would not be in the interests of most of the MSM to report it if it were, as that would contradict its preferred narrative of discord and dissatisfaction. Regarding the NBN, would not most who had authorized the placement of an NBN box on their premises want to connect to it?

NormanK

20/04/2011Ad astra A bit of devil's advocacy on the NBN. It would be unwise for anyone to allow the work truck to go past their house even if they didn't feel that they had an immediate use for it. Why pay for it (the connection) later when you can get it for free now? Perhaps I was being grumpy - if 90% opted in for the connection, you would reasonably expect 75% to take up an ISP deal in the near future. A very good result by anyone's standards. Just pointing out that the two things are not the same - opting in and signing up. On the subject of individual altruism, the Brisbane floods and the 'mud army' give us some cause for hope. On a good day, I like to think the selfish whingers are just the squeaky wheel given a microphone by the media. On a bad day, I think Australians have become incredibly selfish and totally lacking in compassion and empathy. We can aspire to be better citizens with the help of our leaders but if they lead us down a different path there is not much an individual can do. Of all the harm Abbott is doing at the moment, this encouragement of fear, negativity and selfishness is probably the biggest sin. I have despaired over recent weeks of a world gone mad. When members of the press can speak of carbon dioxide as being purely benevolent and not be taken to task - what a poor state of affairs.

thenewjj

20/04/2011Sorry. I am not saying that the Labor party is closed to everyone but a select group, it just seems that way. That is obviously the issue facing the Labor Party at the moment... The lefty intellectuals are going to the greens, and the right wing lower class workers are (according to the polls) moving somewhat in the Coalitions favour. I can really see the Labor Party getting wedged on this issue of a carbon tax. Windsor is highly unlikely to back the tax, especially if he is to run again, and even more so if it is against Barnaby (Windsor desperately wants to show the Nats that he can beat them no matter who they throw at him). Katter has already said he will not back. If Rob from Lyne wants to have any chance at winning his seat at the next election than he will have to make the political decision not to back the tax (no matter what he said at the beginning of the process). Abbott is tactically also forcing the unions to take his side in opposing the tax, which may have implications for stability. The greens cannot support anything that gives industry any more compensation than the CPRS otherwise they will look silly (having blocked it the time before). Then of course, there is the public, whom, according to most polls, do not support the tax. The government is in a real predicament on this issue which exposes both their left and right flanks to further vote erosion.

thenewjj

20/04/2011FS, To say that to support empowerment of the individual rather than the suppression of the individual through collectivism, makes you inward looking is just absurd. No one in Australia claims there should be no social safety net; however many individualists believe that all in society individually can make more of an effort to help those worse off, rather than leave it to the often heartless state.

Jason

20/04/2011thenewjj, Abbott has one union, who as I said yesterday has about 130,000 members, not enough to change a government because not even Howes knows how they vote,but are you saying what's good for the AWU is good for you or good for the country?

Jason

20/04/2011thenewjj, The "battle for New England" there is only one problem Barnyard was re elected at the last election for the senate(6 years), and if we're to believe anything Abbott says there could be an election at any time. Barnyard can't be a senator for Queensland and live in NSW and if Windsor won Barnyard has nothing plus there is no guarantee there would be a hung parliament next time.

thenewjj

20/04/2011Jason, No i am not saying that what the AWU says is best is necessarily good for the country. What i am saying is if what the AWU says is different to what the ALP says but supportive of what the LNP says than that is going to cause a lot of damage to Gillard. As for the Barnaby situation, i think it would be great if my electorate got someone such as him to be our local member. Windsor is definitely in trouble, for both supporting the Labor government and also possibly a carbon tax. The Carbon tax in the seat of New England is really quite toxic. At the state election there were placards and posters everywhere claiming a vote for the Nationals is a vote against a carbon tax (the Nats got a 10%+ swing against Windsors closest political ally in Peter Draper). Plus the unpopularity and perceived weakness of the Labor party also affects Windsors popularity. Barnaby would be an energetic, loud advocate for our area, as well as properly represent our views. But we will see, i know whenever Barnaby is around (especially in Tamworth which he is a hell of a lot) he is always noticed and swamped by the general populace. He is a rock star!

lyn

20/04/2011 Hi Jason Here is a fair assessment of Barnaby Joyce's grand plan. [i]New England is not for you Barnaby. Think again, Josh Rosner, ABC[/i] [quote]New England isn’t full of bloody-minded ideologues who can’t see beyond “what’s in it for me?” [b]or their next welfare payment.[/quote][/b][quote] Tony Windsor holds New England with a margin of 21 percent. That’s a huge margin in anyone’s language. I’ve little doubt Windsor will be punished by some voters for siding with Labor, instead of Liberal, but with 21 percent he has a huge buffer and it is inconceivable the voters of New England will throw him out [/quote] [quote]Joyce doesn’t seem to have the where-with-all, or the ability, to filter his erratic thought-process before speaking. What he does have is a history of gaffes and incoherent ramblings. This makes for good newspaper copy, and it’s fun to watch from the sidelines, but only while he is in the “unrepresentative swill” of the Senate. It won’t serve him at all as Nationals leaders in the lower house.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/70998.html

janice

20/04/2011thenewjj, [quote]As for the Barnaby situation, i think it would be great if my electorate got someone such as him to be our local member. Windsor is definitely in trouble, for both supporting the Labor government and also possibly a carbon tax. The Carbon tax in the seat of New England is really quite toxic. At the state election there were placards and posters everywhere claiming a vote for the Nationals is a vote against a carbon tax (the Nats got a 10%+ swing against Windsors closest political ally in Peter Draper). Plus the unpopularity and perceived weakness of the Labor party also affects Windsors popularity. Barnaby would be an energetic, loud advocate for our area, as well as properly represent our views. But we will see, i know whenever Barnaby is around (especially in Tamworth which he is a hell of a lot) he is always noticed and swamped by the general populace. He is a rock star! [/quote] After reading this I am now quite convinced you are stark staring raving mad, but I concede you have every right to be so :) Barnaby Joyce is a loud-mouthed fool, politically speaking. I've never met the man so he may well be a nice bloke, but he's way out of his depth in senior portfolios and, I'm sorry to say, would be a disaster if he ever got to represent New England, a seat Tony Windsor has held for a long time and given the people of the electorate the very best representation possible. Tony Windsor has integrity in spades, more guts than most and he has always put the interests of the people he represents as well as the country as a whole before all else.

thenewjj

20/04/2011Yep, Well that is your usual stereotypical view from someone that has little/no connection with the areas he talks about nor the people he talks about. This mans view is thus irrelevant, and Lyn, you should know that. Barnaby is an extremely effective communicator and campaigner and unlike the seat of Lyne he was born and bread in the heart of the electorate. The other day he was in Tamworth hospital after a farming accident which made front page news!

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011jj, For such an outstanding individual, Barnaby Joyce has a lot of accidents. 4WD, farming. Not to worry, our 'Socialist' Hospital system fixed him up. Or, did he go to the local Private Hospital, or, more true to his ideology, did he use the Public Hospital and pay for himself after declaring he had Private Health Insurance? Do tell, jj. Try and find out for us, I'd love to know if Barnaby practices what he screeches. :)

2353

20/04/2011I for one hope that Joyce doesn't contest Windsor's seat. It will remove my opportunity to help vote him out of the Senate next time around in Queensland. Joyce seems to be accident prone (no I'm not talking about what comes out of his mouth). Early this year who could forget him writing off his Government funded - and self insured - truck by driving it into floodwaters. (Sorry a Landcruiser is not a car in my opinion, it is too big and not as safe for the occupants or other road users.) Now he goes to Tamworth Hospital after a farming accident. Most WH&S practitioners will tell you that there is no reason that a workplace incident is acceptable practice as it indicates that the person has not thought through the implications of the task at hand.

Feral Skeleton

20/04/2011A dispassionate assessment of the NBN, in the wake of the 4 Corners story, from Paul Budde: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/NBN-Co-AAPT-Phil-Burgess-Paul-Broad-Telstra-pd20110418-G25QL?OpenDocument&src=kgb ReCaptcha is appropriate too: necessary

Jason

20/04/20112353, What's happening up there? first we see "can do Campbell" now Barnyard thinks he might be a chance in a different state,and yet the coalition wonder why Windsor went with Labor! You will still have the chance to sack him,Barnyard wouldn't have the ticker to cut and run! He might be better in getting Bruce Scott, or Truss or Slipper to retire or even that Neville fellow but then Barnyard might have to fight off Mal Brough. But Dutton does nothing maybe there could be some hope there for him!, no matter how you look at it you wouldn't elect any of them, aren't you spoiled for choice up there lol.

Grog

20/04/2011Lyn and AA - thanks for the comments on the previous post. Rest assured I do come by and read the posts. But I'm a bit of a Twitter addict so am usually writing comments on there. (plus apparently I have my own blog that takes up half my life :-) ) Good post HS. Have to say I have never been one to work with my hands - I am bloody useless at it!

Patricia WA

21/04/2011 [b]Did someone say St George?[/b] Twice under threat of indundation? Where Barnaby has his station? Wasn’t there a headline story, Covering our Senator in glory? No, that was just some crazy plan, A dream of being Action Man. When their dam seemed about to burst. He thought he’d be a National first; A pollie who pulled his finger out And held it where a leak had sprout! Driving, he saw that headline there, The answer to his party’s prayer: [i]Local hero, Barnaby Joyce![/i] “I had to do it! I had no choice!” That’s what, in his delirium, he said, Lying on his hospital bed. Yes, he’d nearly drowned in a creek. Not a dam that had sprung a leak, As he seemed to think. More bizarre Was the fevered repeating, "What can I claim on a government car?"

lyn

21/04/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Shouting fire in a pre-budget theatre, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] remember the stupid “Garrett would be charged for industrial manslaughter” bullshit from Abbott?). http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Why a tweet’s context is essential, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] So journalists and newspapers that present the tweets solo, without any context, without any explanation, are doing their readers a disservice. They are misrepresenting their targets http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/04/20/twitter-and-news/#more-9849 [i]bringing the media to heel ,Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] up to the politicians to find the political courage to use the powers of Parliament to stand up to Murdoch by setting up a wide ranging public inquiry http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/04/bringing-the-me.php#more [i]Looking to Aristotle for a guide on reform, Ross Gittins, SMH[/i] People are motivated to exercise practical wisdom not to obey rules or increase their income but because they know it's the right thing to do, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/looking-to-aristotle-for-a-guide-on-reform-20110419-1dnbg.html [i]Armidale embraces NBN net, Richard Fox, The Land[/i] A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says Australians pay more for broadband – and get slower services for their money – than in any advanced country. http://theland.farmonline.com.au/news/state/agribusiness-and-general/general/armidale-embraces-nbn-net/2138822.aspx [i]Phil Burgess and the NBN competition clincher, Paul Budde, Business Spectator[/i] Coalition was in power (1996-2007) they attempted this, through facilities-based infrastructure policies, and failed. agreement across the political divide was clear evidence of a market failure, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/NBN-Co-AAPT-Phil-Burgess-Paul-Broad-Telstra-pd20110418-G25QL?opendocument&src=rss [i]Photo's Inside an NBN Fibre access Node, CRN[/i] A sneaky tour of Australia's future communications exchange. http://www.crn.com.au/Gallery/255169,photos-inside-an-nbn-fibre-access-node.aspx [i]Weighing up the poll-driven media, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] suspect that, faced with conflicting information, we all believe that the majority agrees withwhatever is our own personal position. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/ Warning Signs on The Road to Nowhere, Doug Evans, Earthsign If it makes it to Gasland, where coal-fired power generation has been replaced by (perhaps) slightly less green-house intensive gas-fired power generation, http://duggyvans.blogspot.com/ [i]Carbon Tax – a simplistic analysis … if there could ever be one …, Eyeball, Eyeball Opinion[/i] Why has such important information been withheld from the public? If the public were aware that man-made CO2 http://bleyzie.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/carbon-tax-a-simplistic-analysis/ [i]How can we borrow from our grandchildren? Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] a global scale climate change mitigation involves us making a (small and completely manageable) sacrifice for the sake of our children and grandchildren. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/04/20/how-can-we-borrow-from-our-grandchildren/#more-20771 [i]Paying & educating to dispel lies, Harry Clarke[/i] People such as Abbott therefore value power over principle and are consequently quite worthless public figures http://www.harryrclarke.com/2011/04/20/paying-educating-to-dispel-lies/ [i]Breaking down the Legislative Council vote by seat, Ben Raue, The Tally Room[/i] Apart from shining light on the effect of a personal vote on the Labor vote in each seat, the upper house figures include some other interesting statistics. http://www.tallyroom.com.au/ [i]Advertiser: 60-40 to Liberal in SA, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] Isobel Redmond has a thumping 56-28 lead over Mike Rann as preferred premier http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Defence / Public Relations / Competence / Politics / Stephen Smith, Agitaate[/i] Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, has an uphill battle to change an entrenched culture where the Department and its communications unit doesn’t support its Minister. http://www.agitate.com.au/blog/ [i]Did someone mention St. George?, Pollipomes, Patricia WA[/i] No, that was just some crazy plan, A dream of being Action Man. http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/did-someone-mention-st-george/

Feral Skeleton

21/04/2011Grog, You do indeed work with your hands! You let your fingers do the working! :)

Feral Skeleton

21/04/2011patriciaWA, Twinkling verse! It certainly brightens up my day. :)

thenewjj

21/04/2011Barnaby did go to the emergency department of the public hospital, as it was just a small infection issue (he was kicked over by some livestock onto a rock which caused a deep gash on his leg, which subsequently got infected). Whoever said that a land cruiser is not really a car just shows how little he/she knows about rural issues and therefore really shouldnt comment on anything we are discussing at the moment. Julia Gillard has had an affair with a now cabinet minister in Craig Emerson-does that make her accident prone? Or did she do it on purpose? I am pretty sure i am the only one that lives in the electorate in question. I am probably the only one who reads the daily rag and participated in the seat of Tamworth's election as a part of the state election (seeing Barnaby's popularity as he door knocked). Barnaby would win the battle with Windsor if it were held today...easily. As for what one of you said about abandoning QLD to come down south. At least Barnaby has a connection with the electorate in question (rugby, grew up in Niangla which is part of the electorate, he went to uni in the electorate, and you often see him walking around town or at woolworths doing some shopping for his parents). This is of course more than what can be said for most other members of the lower house with many, many members being flown in to certain electorates to which they have almost no connection with. My point is, this is not a big issue.

Jason

21/04/2011thenewjj, That was me that talked about Barnyard abandoning QLD,because he can't be both a senator for Queensland and live in NSW and can't hold a job under the crown and run for the reps! so he would have to resign from the senate. So your right it's no big deal because one he wont do it and your FEC haven't even made him the endorsed candidate.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

lyn

21/04/2011JJ Do you mean, Barnaby would win is not a big issue?, the infection is not a big issue, the land cruiser is not a big issue, the Electorate is not a big issue, Julia Gillard having an affair, shopping in Woolworths, you read the daily rag, flown into certain electorates, door knocking, handing out how to vote cards, none of these are a big issue. In other words, would you tell us all please: "what is your own big issue"? No wait! I think I can guess, The Coalition lost, poor Liberals "right to rule" smashed, in opposition for 6 years and looks like nine years coming up. :):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

21/04/2011jj, So you went doorknocking with Barnaby during the NSW State election? Also I see you resort to the personal smear about the PM just as easily as any Coalition politician. No mention of any of the many, many affairs had by Coalition politicians themselves though. Which makes you just as hypocritical as any Coalition politician. So, when do you go to work in a National MP's office, you are serving your apprenticeship well? Peter Phelps, well-known Coalition smear agent from up your way, would be proud of you.

thenewjj

21/04/2011I live in a suburb that got door knocked by both Kevin Anderson (now the state MP) and Barnaby. I have no affiliations with the National party whatsoever. Lyn, According to all of the recent polls the Labor party would be decimated if an election were held today. My problem is that you guys come onto this website spewing out uncontested garbage about people and places you have little understanding about. My point about Gillard is that her little fling hasnt, seemingly, caused her to be labeled and thrown to the waste side; and yet because Barnaby has made a few POLITICAL (much better than personal) errors, that shouldnt allow you to just dismiss him as being a loony.

Jason

21/04/2011thenewjj, I notice the fact I was spewing seems to escaped your notice! He has to resign first, so just deal with those facts! weather or not we live there is irrelevant it's the same rules for everyone. It would be a lot easier if Barnyard was looking at a reps seat in his own state, there is another fact.

lyn

21/04/2011JJ That's a new name for Barnaby Loony, that's a lunatic, Loopy suits him actually, nice goes with his crazy analogies on everything even the universe. Anyway who on TPS has called Barnaby Loony, a fool maybe, but I haven't read loony, Loopy is better. Well JJ, the polls 2 and a half years, out from an election, I have to say, don't even interest me. Mr Abbott is suffering a lot of hubris, be careful, that's when he makes bigger mistakes, also panic setting in because of the senate. row, row, row your boat gentle down the stream, merrily, merrily, life is but an dream. Acerbic Conehead will fix the song up for me, I think.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2011FS To come back to the theme of your piece, you have evoked a lot of thoughtful comments about the direction Labor might usefully pursue in rebuilding its support base. Is it your intention to draw these together in the third part of your trilogy? I for one would appreciate having an overview of the road ahead as you see it in the light of the comments offered here. Or had you something else in mind for your third piece? If the latter applies, are you intending to add a summary of this piece as a comment to round it off before I post another satirical piece by AC tomorrow afternoon?

Feral Skeleton

21/04/2011jj, According to the pollster, John Stirton, John Howard was in a worse position in the polls before the 2001 federal election and went on to win in a canter. So, don't get your hopes up too high just yet. Especially if Tony Abbott has another couple of years to go around and make cringeworthy sexually-suggestive comments about his daughters. I can also still vividly remember the scene in his pool with them before the last election. The man has 'issues' which are very thinly papered over. As a woman, let me tell you, my instincts and antenna pick them up loud and clear. Yes, as you say, we should put politician's sexual pecadillos to one side and concentrate on their performance in the job. However, it is also the case that we must judge our nation's potential leaders on their character attributes. To not do so would be reckless. Now, as for your presuming to tell us that we 'spew out uncontested garbage about people and places we have little understanding about', well, a couple of points

GrannyAnny

21/04/2011JJ Loony Barnaby has made a FEW political errors has he? Just for starters, isn't he the agrarian socialist with some sort of degree in matters money who gets his millions and billions confused and eventually had to be sacked from his finance spokesperson role because he wasn't competant enough, even for the $11 billion black hole specialists in the Liberal Party. The guy will never be the member for New England. Why? Becauase he is a loon, that why.

Feral Skeleton

21/04/2011Hi Ad, What I had thoughts of doing was tying up the threads of my series on the track that I think the ALP should be heading down after I go to a conference next weekend being put on by Progressive Australia. I'm sure that the subject I have been canvassing here will be a hot topic of conversation there as well. So, to have input into my own insights I thought would be helpful and useful for people here too. Thus I will probably need to find another theme for a slot next week after AC and your good self enrich us further with your insights. I have the germ of an idea in my mind. :)

D Mick Weir

21/04/2011Hi FS, apologies for the delay in responding to comments from about April 20. 2011 09:44 AM and following on. My only excuse is that another of my lives interupted and well on the advice of Colen I have been out and about in search of a 'real life' :) I wonder if Colen (or jj) has any suggestions or better still reccomendations as to what a real life looks like? I am still trying to work out what I want to be when (and if) I grow up!! Working out what is a ral life is possibly to much for this little left wing black duck. :) Anyhow back to this reel (sic) life - it is a little like a movie reel sometimes. A hard taskmaster - hmm I seek forgiveness for expecting in you (and others) what I find difficult to achieve myself. You do a great job and consequently I (we) have great expectations of you and mostly you meet and exceed. Train drivers - way back then (and I wasn't there so I can only take others word for it) train drivers were high up on the totem pole in local communities. To say the were 'elites' would be stretching it. Aristocrats? maybe low level ones, but certainly looked up to and even revered. So it is a perspective to take into account that is all. Involving shopkeepers and other similar people is a 'must' I agree. There may be something in the Labor League thing that could be reworked. Somewhere there is something called 'Politics in the Pub' that offers get togethers to discuss issues. Some pollies hold regular community meetings maybe they could expand on these. The biggest challenge is getting bums on seats - so many are time poor these days. Unemployment - I will keep my powder dry on this for the moment. Swan and Gillard have certainly set 'the frame' for people expecting the worst from the budget that is reputed to be tough. Could be a double edged sword setting up expectations for 'toughness' and then hitting with a velvet glove could provided extra ammunition to the opposition who will no doubt, no matter what is revealed scream long and loud 'proof that Labor can't manage' and similar.

D Mick Weir

21/04/2011NormanK @ April 20. 2011 11:44 AM & 3:48 PM, what a fine set of words one gets a little green (with envy) at your wordsmithing skills. Being the 'hard taskmaster' I must 'take you to task' on a couple points :) [i]... the naive country hick[/i] a country hick you may be be but I suspect naive in the sense of an open mind one willing to learn and discover. [i]Having little knowledge of the history surrounding Labor ...[/i] a word of caution 'a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing' as I so often prove. You seem to have a knowing about things I am only vaguely aware of so; let's stick together kids as together we can learn many things. end of task mastering :) [i]... pledge to strive for social equity; work for the greater good of the whole nation including rivers, plants and animals as well as humans; stop measuring everything in dollar figures and factor in social good; fund or perform those tasks which have social worth but are/appear economically unviable (the Arts, esoteric R&D) and lift the unfortunate and under-priviliged out of the cycle of despair in which they find themselves. There should be no child sleeping rough on the streets tonight, for example.[/i] Hear, hear, for a country hick you sure put us city slickers to shame with words like that. I heard something on Radio National this morning that was in line with what you have written. The person was saying something like 'pollies have to stop treating us an economy and start treating us as a community'. If I get a chance I will find the programme. I haven't had the chance to read this article from [b]Andrew Leigh[/b] which is from a talk he gave at a recent community meeting but the quick look says that it is in line with what you are suggesting. [b]Better Together[/b] - http://www.andrewleigh.com/blog/?p=829 It seems to draw heavily on stuff from his book [b]Disconnected[/b] and if so, is certainly worth digesting.

D Mick Weir

21/04/2011... and just before I wander off in the never ending search for a 'real life' ... a giggle from [b]Fiona Katauskas[/b] [b]The Easterabbott[/b] - http://newmatilda.com/2011/04/21/easterabbott-0

TalkTurkey

21/04/2011Greetings Swordsfolks I been away in Mildura and my computer (which I took) failed completely and it took much of the day yesty since we got back) to reconnent. I haven't even tried to catch up with events on the Sword yet but I can see you haven't let it cool in the sheath! I've not much to say political, but I did hear someone from the Coalition - Robb I think - saying, D'ohhh, Costello left a whole $20 Billion in the kitty FOR A RAINY DAY, and here the Government has frittered it all away on paying for FLOOD MITIGATION!!! Ya gotta larff. Praise Dog for a sense of humour. See below! http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=EVwlMVYqMu4&feature=player_embedded#at=216>

Ad astra reply

21/04/2011Folks Sheer incoherence is the best descriptor I can muster to characterize Andrew Robb’s responses to Steve Cannane’s questions on [i]Lateline[/i] last night. If you missed Robb’s appalling performance, and you have the emotional strength to endure it, the link is: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3197260.htm What follows are examples of Robb’s incomprehensible answers, answers from the alternative Finance Minister. They are in italics; my comments are in bold. After an introduction Cannane asks and Robb replies: [i]STEVE CANNANE: The Treasurer says tax revenue will be down at least by $4.5 billion this year and that natural disasters have had a real impact on the budget bottom line. What's your response to that? ANDREW ROBB: I felt it was almost embarrassing today. We just saw another litany of excuses, new excuses, today. Not only were the floods the major reason, and Japan, but in an extraordinary way, he rolled out the mining boom as a reason for revenues being down. This is a Treasurer who, in a sense, is blessed with the best terms of trade in 140 years, and yet still can't deliver a surplus and is looking again at excuses for not being able to balance the books.[/i] [b]So the floods in Queensland and Victoria, the Yasi cyclone, and the earthquake /tsumami/nuclear disaster in Japan are EXCUSES! Of course Andrew, they had little effect on us at all, little effect on expenditure, little effect on revenue. And now Wayne Swan has the temerity to tell us that mining revenue will be down and will adversely affect the budget, yet another EXCUSE! Of course Swan’s deluded – his facts must be wrong, and anyway, if they’re right, how can reduced revenue affect the budget – ridiculous! The favourable terms of trade should neutralize all that – if you were Finance Minister Andrew, that would balance your budget, wouldn’t it?[/b] [i]STEVE CANNANE: On the issue of the mining boom, he says this time it is different, this time round. He says that there's a higher dollar and that's squeezing companies and that's affecting company tax. He says there's different issues with the property market, the share market, that's affecting capital gains. Economists have backed that today. You don't agree with that? ANDREW ROBB: No - well, all of these factors have an impact on revenues. I don't disagree with that. But some of those are problems of their own making. Like the mining boom has pushed up the Australian dollar, along with what's happening in the US. It's a relative business. But the Government has been in the market for $100 million a day borrowings, is still there for another 12 months, has been for 12 months. They're every day there competing for Australian dollars with small business and other businesses. As a consequence, they've put pressure themselves on interest rates, and that has made some contribution to the exchange rate. So, most of these issues he talked about today, if the Government had lived within its means, he'd be balancing his books today. But they have wasted money like no government ever has before.[/i] [b]So despite economists agreeing with Swan, Robb has resurrected the fictitious figure of $100 million a day of borrowing, which he insists is ’putting pressure on interest rates’, despite economists saying time and again that Government borrowing has a miniscule effect on interest rates, and despite the fact that there has been no rise in interest rates for since November and none forecast in the months ahead. Any relationship between what Robb said and the truth is coincidental.[/b] [i]STEVE CANNANE: So you're arguing that the Government's fiscally reckless, but why does the Coalition continue to block measures that would help bring the budget back to surplus quicker - things like the private health insurance rebate that would bring in $2.1 billion over four years? ANDREW ROBB: Well, the private health sector - I mean, it's now doing 56 per cent of all operations. It's a fundamental complement to our public health sector. Private health insurance is something the Government wants to get rid of, ultimately. That's their real agenda. This is an anti- ... STEVE CANNANE: But aren't they just trying to means test it? ANDREW ROBB: No, it's an anti-productivity measure. We want as many Australians as possible to take responsibility for their health costs and their health expenses, and by means testing it, you are discouraging Australians from doing that and the fact of the matter is that most of the things we have blocked are things that, you know, should not be stopped by the Government. We need to stop the measures they're taking. Yet at the same time they have - they have wasted tens of billions of dollars on the Building the Education Revolution, on the pink batts, on a lot of the green programs, on endless programs. And if they hadn't have wasted all that money, if they hadn't have spent the amount of stimulus money, wrote out cheques when they weren't needed, if they hadn't done all that, they would actually now be close to surplus.[/i] [b]Confronted by the Coalition’s blocking of a $2.1 billion revenue bill, he obfuscates with talk of productivity, throws out the fictitious line that Labor wants to get rid of private health insurance, then in desperation gets onto the tired old ‘waste and mismanagement’ theme and once again flogs that to death.[/b] [i]STEVE CANNANE: Well Labor also wants to scrap the chronic disease dental plan, which would save $3.1 billion over four years, but the Coalition opposes that cut. Are you trying to have it both ways here? ANDREW ROBB: No, no - no, we're not. We're saying that this government has borrowed and borrowed and borrowed and spent and spent and spent. We're not talking about a million here and a million there. We're talking about tens of billions of dollars. And if they had lived within their means, like millions of Australian households are forced to do, then none of these problems they would confront, and they would be making the most of the mining boom. There's not one dollar of the mining boom that's been used to pay off the debt. We've still got $100 billion debt, $6 billion interest repayments each year, that's six new international level hospitals each year. And it's only because they have wantonly wasted money hand over fist.[/i] [b]So he disingenuously denies blocking another $3.1 billion boost to revenue, and getting even more desperate, reverts to the well-worn cliché of the Government not living within its means and accumulating billions of dollars of debt, somehow forgetting that there was this thing called the GFC that came along and seriously threatened employment, retail trade and small business, and that the Government used fiscal stimulus to successfully avoid these threats. It’s as if the GFC had never occurred – indeed Coalition members use words like ‘what recession?’ They have been in convenient denial since the GFC began and clearly still are.[/b] [i]STEVE CANNANE: Penny Wong put out some figures over the weekend where she said if the Coalition was in government you'd be delivering a deficit every year of the forward estimates. And she says not only have you blocked more than $5 billion worth of saving in the Senate, but also you've voted against $8 billion of savings in the Parliament that have already gone through. ANDREW ROBB: If we'd been in the Government, we wouldn't have spent $85 billion in stimulus money. STEVE CANNANE: How much would you have spent in stimulus money? ANDREW ROBB: Well we sought to block a large part of it. The first $10 billion - first $10 billion, we supported. It was important for confidence. By the time they even passed the second tranche of stimulus money, Australia was coming out of it because of the monetary policy had worked and the floating exchange rate had worked, had done its job. And yet they came in and they've spent it in a most irresponsible fashion. We would never have got anywhere near the debt they've got, we would never have built the deficits they have. So for Penny Wong to suggest, you know, that we wouldn't be in surplus for many years, it's just nonsense. It's absolute nonsense. And she knows it. They are out of their depth. Wayne Swan today was an embarrassing performance. This man, in my view, is not up to the job. I've now been to 42 boardrooms since I've had my responsibility some 10 months ago. Most of them have never seen him, never, and he's the Treasurer of the country. And those that have said to me that this fellow is out of his depth, that he's a wholly-owned subsidiary of Treasury, he does not understand the problems of business and you're seeing it every day with the way in which they are misspending taxpayers' dollars and the way in which they're borrowing and taxing.[/i] [b]So now Robb trots out the oft-repeated line that the Coalition would not have spent so much because, after all, [i]“Australia was coming out of it because of the monetary policy had worked and the floating exchange rate had worked, had done its job.[/i] Again you see the GFC really was nothing much at all and $10 billion would have done the job, and that the stimulus the Government applied was largely unnecessary. No proof needed! He then denies Penny Wong’s assertions without advancing any evidence – we just have to believe him, - and goes on to make personal comments about Wong and Swan, demeaning them as out of their depth, a convenient generic statement that he seems no need to verify, casts Swan as ignoring the board rooms he has visited, which presumably he believes are the ones all Treasurers should fraternize with, insists Swan does not understand business, is under the thumb of Treasury, and every day is misspending and taxing. There is no acknowledgement of the fact that with the BER thousands of schools have excellent facilities they did not have before and are 97% satisfied, and that even with the much-maligned HIP around a million homes have had their roofs insulated, even although there were problems with shonky operators. Of course he won’t do that, but it is as if these infrastructure developments never occurred, and from what he said, would never have occurred under the Coalition, and all those tradesmen and suppliers involved in the BER and HIP would have been out of work or going to the wall.[/b] The interview went on a long while, too long to detail here. Steve Cannane is a persistent interviewer who puts the tough questions, but in a polite way. He also covered the carbon tax, the Fair Work Act and Barnaby Joyce’s pitch for Tony Windsor’s seat. But Robb’s responses were no more coherent, no more logical, no more backed by facts. I came away wondering if this man thinks at all, or whether he is an automaton, emitting the same old rhetoric on cue, no matter how precisely a question is posed. There was little sign of new facts emerging, just the same old weary words devoid of reasoning or logic. And this man wants to be Treasurer or at least Finance Minister. What a prospect for our nation should we be ever so unfortunate as to have an Abbott Government inflicted upon us. Steve Cannane showed great patience and courtesy, more than Robb deserved. The rest of the interview is at http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3197260.htm

Ad astra reply

21/04/2011FS What you suggest sounds fine. After AC’s piece, I’ll post mine: [i]How do you think about climate change[/i] early next week. Your next piece could be slotted in after that.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2011D Mick Weir I enjoyed reading Andrew Leigh's piece. What a joy it is to read a thoughtful piece, actually based on research, written by a serving politician.

lyn

21/04/2011Hi Talk Turkey Gee, I really am so glad you are back, I was going to ask Jason if he had seen you in Adelaide somewhere, but I thought I better not appear to be a sticky[b]beak[/b]. Did you have a nice holiday in Mildura Talk Turkey? [quote]Ya gotta larff. Praise Dog for a sense of humour. [/quote] You are so right Talk Turkey, a sense of humour sure is my friend and keeps me in a happy, healthy, body. Ummm! Andrew Robb, oh dear! I see today Mr Abbott has tried to trump the Government on mental health, he has used Andrew Robb's illness as an example of the state of mental health, if I was Andrew Robb, I would be embarrassed by Mr Abbott's analogy. Ad Astra, in his comment above has Mr Robb sorted: [quote]Wayne Swan today was an embarrassing performance. This man, in my view, is not up to the job. [/quote] This statement by Andrew Robb, sures draws attention to himself and his own problems, they say Robbs health problems are in the past, but appeared evident today in his shakey performance. Cheers Talk Turkey, glad you are back.

NormanK

21/04/2011D Mick Weir What a generous soul you are - providing such words of encouragement. Thanks for the Andrew Leigh link. He is proving to be a very good find, isn't he?

thenewjj

21/04/2011FS, Your comments about Abbott are both plain wrong and disgusting! Abbott never made any off the cuff random remarks about his daughters sex life. he was asked a question by a journo about advice in that area he would give to his daughters... he answered it! As for the other thing you said about the scene of him and his daughters in the pool, what the hell are you suggesting! It is not Abbott's fault that people like you have such sick minds as to automatically think in a sexual manner whenever a man and girls are in a pool (they are his daughters! Why is it so wrong?). Lyn, Well at least Abbott will be around to fight the next election...Gilard will be thrown out by her backbench and union 'friends'. You can spin good results for the coalition as causing hubris, but i would much prefer to be in their position right now than yours. Ad Astra, I though Robb was fine. That is the way he delivers his answers. You may not agree, but that does not make him a bad alternative.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2011jj It was not Robb's delivery of his answers that concerned me, but the incomprehensible content. Read it, and my analysis of it, and you will see what I mean. We can all accept an unusual mode of delivery, although her adversaries criticize PM Gillard for hers; it was Robb's gobbledegook that made his responses so pathetic, so unbecoming for a potential Treasurer of this nation.

Jason

21/04/2011thenewjj, "Well at least Abbott will be around to fight the next election" so you were born with a crystal ball as an extra organ were you?

thenewjj

21/04/2011I have read your analysis and much of your objection is based on opinion. i am sure that if you went and got a transcript of an interview Peter Costello did back when he was treasurer i am sure you would come up with the same sort of response. You disagree with what he said, many people would agree...as they say, thats politics!

thenewjj

21/04/2011Jason, Nope just a brain and a little knowledge of the ALP...thats all you need!

Jason

21/04/2011thenewjj, As they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! How are you going on an answer to my bit about Barnyard this morning?

thenewjj

21/04/2011Jason, There is nothing to answer. Barnaby has said he is considering running, but has not yet decided. He has said that he expects the same rules to apply to him as they would anyone else. All i am saying is that if he does run he will romp it home.

thenewjj

21/04/2011Jason, 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing'- especially in the hands of an angry ALP member.

Jason

21/04/2011Lyn, "but i would much prefer to be in their position right now than yours." I wouldn't worry "their position" is exactly the same as when the poll was taken in Opposition the poll doesn't make them the government.

lyn

21/04/2011The New JJ You are trying to convince the wrong people, TPS commenters know all about Mr Joyce' millions, sorry trillions of stupid gaffes. What the Nationals fighting again, seems common place to me. You need to convince your own party, here is proof: Truss rules Joyce out of seat as LNP firms up push, Michael McKenna , The Australian A BRAWL has broken out in the Nationals' leadership ranks over the future of Barnaby Joyce, with party bosses split over whether the high-profile senator should make his run for a lower house seat in Queensland or NSW. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/people-in-politics/truss-rules-joyce-out-of-seat-as-lnp-firms-up-push/story-fn5oarzd-1226042463898

thenewjj

21/04/2011Lyn, It is funny to see you quote the Australian... i thought you were on an anti Murdoch campaign. What you have cited has nothing to do with your argument about gaffes, it is about Truss wanting Barnaby to run against Windsor, and the QLD Nationals not wanting to lose him to NSW. Nothing much here Lyn! Jason, The Labor Party seems to be in terminal decline, and unlike the Coalition the Labor Party seems to give little credence to the authority of the PM. Sure Howard faced worse polls, but the Coalition stuck with him. What we have learnt from the Labor Party (both at a federal and NSW level) is that the Labor Party does not seem to stand by their man/woman in the tough times. This is why i wouldnt want to be Gillard at the moment...as the polls get worse, so do her chances of staying as leader.

Jason

21/04/2011thenewjj, the Labor Party seems to give little credence to the authority of the PM who where?

thenewjj

21/04/2011Jason, I was talking about the trend in Labor Party politics at both a federal and NSW state level: Morris Iemma, Nathan Reece, Kristina, Robertson & Rudd. Gillard is next in line.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2011thenewjj I suspect Peter Costello, who at least gave the impression of knowing what he was talking about, might find insulting your suggestion that he talked the same gobbledygook that we heard from Andrew Robb last night. You say my comment was based on opinion. If you read it again you will see that most of it was supported by the facts. Since you expect us to accept your opinion, maybe you will be charitable enough to accept mine, rather than appearing to discard it because after all it is only opinion.

Jason

21/04/2011thenewjj, The trend in NSW Labor was it was a basket case that's it! yes Rudd got knifed as have many leaders before him on both sides, I think your grasping a straws to suggest anything else. Look at your own side Howard Nelson Turnbull Abbott see any trend there? apart from the obvious?

thenewjj

21/04/2011Jason, The difference being that all of the changes in the Coalition have gone on whilst in opposition not government. You cannot just dismiss this obvious trend towards the flippant nature of back benchers in regards to the leadership of not just a party or state, but the nation. I am pretty sure that Kevin was the first PM to be dumped by his own side! Ad Astra, I am sure that Peter Costello would agree with almost all that Robb said last night. As i have said, your disregard for what he says is due to opinion rather than fact...everything that you have said is debatable.

Jason

21/04/2011thenewjj, Rudd was the first first term prime minister to get dumped, but not the first PM. The last PM in recent times was Hawke when Keating done him, there could have been more modern one but Costello didn't have the guts. As for your other comment about the flippant nature of the back bench the LNP is no different, self interest is what drives all MP's

janice

21/04/2011People, why argue with jj? Let's just accept the fact that her/his mind is on the same plane as Barnaby Joyce/Abbott/Robb and allow her/him to wallow in the hollowness therein. Jason, I really do think you are enjoying stirring an empty pot but I urge you to refrain in the interests of spoiling a very good site.

Jason

21/04/2011janice, I will try harder to refrain!

janice

21/04/2011 thank you Jason :)

thenewjj

21/04/2011Janice, And you can continue along your high minded way where you either think your way or dont think at all. You are the reason why the left is stereotyped into being a inward looking, disconnected group, with no real understanding of reality.

Patricia Lorimer

21/04/2011Thanks janice. My sentiments completely. Whilst a very infrequent contributor, I love to follow the site. I have great admiration for Ad, Lyn and FS and others, but I think jj/newjj/he/she has been given a platform which does not advance intelligent discussion. I was outraged by the Leigh Sales' interview with Chris Bowen on the 7.30 report tonight. Any comments?

lyn

21/04/2011Hi Patricia Leigh Sales was downright rude, I counted 8 interruptions and rude ones too. Sales was treating Chris Bowen as though the riots were his fault only, she didn't listen to one answer from Chris Bowen. Oh! and did you notice Leigh, pen tapping the desk with sheer impatience. I thought Chris Bowen did a wonderful job, I noticed on one answer, he completly talked over Leigh, in a desperate attempt to be heard. Cheers Patricia

D Mick Weir

21/04/2011jj, [i]I am pretty sure that Kevin was the first PM to be dumped by his own side![/i] Maybe a bit before your time but in March 1971: [i]... a challenge was launched ... with the resignation of the Defence Minister, Malcolm Fraser, who attacked Gorton on the floor of Parliament in his resignation speech, saying that Gorton was "not fit to hold the great office of Prime Minister." Gorton called a Liberal Party meeting to settle the matter.[/i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gorton The records show that on 10th March 1971 William McMahon became PM. So you can add Gorton to the list of PM's ousted by thier own party.

Miglo

21/04/2011Happy Easter to all my friends at TPS. Keep up the good work.

D Mick Weir

21/04/2011janice @ April 21. 2011 08:11 PM my most humble apologies I read jj's comment before I read yours and well I just couldn't help myself pointing out that the Liberal Party had also ousted a sitting PM. I too am guilty of 'stirring an empty pot' but it can be fun :)

lyn

21/04/2011Hi Miglo Thankyou for your happy wishes, that is so nice of you. Happy Easter to you too, and all our friends at "Cafe Whispers" Cheers to you Miglo

TalkTurkey

21/04/2011Lyn, Patricia, Yes I was enraged by that self-styled 'Well-read head'-ed #itch Sales' repeated and repeated interruptions too. How bloody dare they! (Where 'they' is her and Uhlmann and all the ABC clique who are in on their nasty conspiracy.) It seems to me that it should be our primary focus to rout this nest of traitors from the People's publicly-funded broadcaster. Our primary focus.

Feral Skeleton

21/04/2011I go away to dig some more ditches, do the weekly shop and get a haircut for a wascally kid, I come back, and find that jj has accused me of implying Abbott had made 'off the cuff random remarks about his daughters sex life.'!!! That, 'he was asked a question by a journo about advice in that area he would give to his daughters... he answered it!' Actually, thanks, jj, for reminding me about that incident also, wherein the Mad Abbott proceeded to proclaim his daughters' virginity as a gift they should bestow upon their chosen one, like some sort of Lucky Matrimonial Door Prize. No, jj, what I was referring to, and my perception was reinforced by others who agreed they perceived it that way too, was an incident which occurred only last week at the end of Tony Abbott's self-promotion exercise known as the 'Pollie Pedal', wherein, with the smell of his own 'Manly Man' hormones still fresh in his nostrils as he rode back in to Manly, he commented to the assembled journalistic throng hanging on his every utterance, as they do these days because they seem to have convinced themselves that they hanker for a new Howard & he's their man, that, "You've got to agree Frances and Louise look hot in their cycling gear." Sorry, jj, but when you have children one day, one thing you will realise is that it is virtually impossible to see them in any sexualised way, it's just one of those barriers that automatically goes up in your mind. So, to have heard another parent speak in such a way about their pulchritudinous offspring it just rang alarm bells, I'm afraid. My children, 2 boys, so I have an approximately similar familial construct to Mr Abbott, can neither be 'Hot' or not, as they will always and forever be my children and I will dote on them fondly and never look at them with sexual aforethought. However, as you believe Mr Abbott can do no wrong, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

lyn

21/04/2011Hi Mick Weir It's not just you, but that was a nice comment you made. Today, I have wasted my time answering JJ too, as I said above JJ is trying to convince the wrong people with the wrong information, it's just the constant harping, by JJ I think, that is so nerve racking, and I just can't stand it when she has a go at our Ad Astra, and just now our dear kind gentle Janice. The useless Barnaby argument got to me, and I don't know why, because everybody knows about Barnaby., not to mention the crazy stupid head banging arguments about the NBN. I think we have just unknowingly, gradually, fallen into JJ's trap, she's probably laughing her head off for getting so much attention by just being anti and nasty.

Feral Skeleton

21/04/2011lyn, Yes, Leigh Sales was rude and overbearing on 7.30 tonight when she interviewed Chris Bowen. For some reason these tenured ABC journalists, for I have never heard of one getting the sack for any reason(even the one who spent time in jail in Singapore recently for drug use is back), have arrogated unto themselves the role of gatekeeper to the political kingdom wherein their opinions are now all that count. No longer is a Minister allowed to explain themselves. Instead, they have to sit through an abusive diatribe from the 'interviewer', who has become the judge, jury and executioner meting out summary justice on their program. What I have found by turns disconcerting and 'interesting', is that no commentator when talking about the Asylum Seeker Detention Centre problems, has seen fit to lay the blame at the feet of Kevin Rudd and his cockamamie decisions when he was PM to delay processing of Asylum Seeker claims, thus gumming up the system and causing these problems down the track. Also, I was aghast that Leigh Sales could accuse the Labor government of bringing all this on themselves because they gave in to the Oceanic Viking emotional blackmailers! Sorry, but I thought she might have realised that something had to be done about them as they were determined never to go anywhere. This wasn't 'giving in' but was finding a solution to the problem, I would have thought. Also, I wonder if the whiter than white Ms Sales also thought it was 'giving in' when Malcolm Fraser allowed the Vietnamese Boat People to stay en masse in Australia, or Bob Hawke 'gave in' to the Chinese students who wished to saty in Australia after the Tienanmen Massacre, even though they were not strictly Refugees? If Leigh Sales thought that was a good, hard interview tonight, then she is sadly mistaken. It was a shrill and undignified performance worthy of a termagent. Nothing more. Where was the sympathy and attempted understanding of a Minister in a difficult situation trying to do the right thing and find solutions to an almost intractable problem? Chris Bowen must hate the contract that binds him to Serco. Yet he is still trying to go forward with a policy that is actually humane, in the teeth of constant naysaying from the Opposition, who are ever-intent to recast the reality of the Pacific Solution into a success of mythical proportions. Leigh Sales should be ashamed of herself after tonight's performance. However it is the shameless that are the success stories in today's world. Sadly.

Feral Skeleton

21/04/2011lyn, I'm pretty sure 'jj' is a he.

lyn

21/04/2011Hi Hillbilly JJ dobbed herself in last year, a comment about Abbott's Parental leave scheme. Cheers Lyn PS love your comment above

D Mick Weir

21/04/2011It has been said that 'Newspapers are the first draft of history' Seems reasonable to me. I am starting to think this interwebby thing that we partake of is also part of the first draft but also it is often used as the 'third draft of the rewrite of history' and often to suit the writers prejudices. In my my role as a reader of the 'gutter press' I came across a piece that confirms my prejudices that current 'conservative movement' in this country will twist and distort anything to prove that Labor is (and has been since forever) incompetent. [b]Paul McCormack[/b] who is reputed to be 'a political observer who lives and works in Wagga Wagga.' (Not sure whether that gives him crediblity or not) has posted: [b]The ALP disease began with Evatt[/b] - http://www.menzieshouse.com.au/2011/04/the-alp-disease-began-with-evatt-.html [i]In recent weeks, there has been renewed attention on the historical figure of Dr Hervert[/i] (sic) [i]Vere Evatt, the leader of the Australian Labor Party in the stormy decade of the 1950s. ... Evatt must surely be regarded as the worst politician in the history of our nation for the reason that he destroyed a political party through his own combination of paranoia, naivety, poor judgment and vindictiveness.[/i] So there you have it, Labor has been incompetent since the fifties and nothing between then and now proves otherwise. Please be careful should you follow the link and be warned the comments on the article may have detrimental effects on your mental health.

Jason

21/04/2011DMW, Most of my family come from Wagga Wagga National party heart land! Never heard of him,it could also be said that is exactly what Happend to Howard with his life long quest to break the unions.

thenewjj

22/04/2011To all, On the first PM thing i will clear it up by making the distinction that Rudd was the first, first term PM to be sacked by his own side. I thought the 7:30 report last night was great. It is about time someone started digging the boot into Bowen especially on the imaginary East Timor solution. What is the point, i ask, if just letting the interviewee go on and on and not answer the question in any way shape or form. It is good that sales jumped on him. AA, how about you do a little analysis of this interview, Bowen looked stressed and pathetic! As for Abbott's comments about his daughters in lycra, SO WHAT! He was just doing the embarrassing dad act, using colloquial language which he obviously has not learnt to use properly yet. If you take the connotation of what he meant it was, 'dont my daughters look good in lycra'... now surely your perverse mind cant mold that into some sick fantasy.

Feral Skeleton

22/04/2011jj, Tony Abbott has a Master of Arts and is a former journalist. He chooses his words expertly and has 'learnt how to use language properly'. You are making excuses for him. Shame on you. jj, it's not me with the problem, it's you it seems.

lyn

22/04/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Open Thread - the Budget, The Conscience Vote[/i] Tony Abbott delivers a new ‘plan’ or ‘package’ almost every day, which – in his own words – is designed to be ‘a test for government’. All up, it’s a rather ridiculous competition http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/open-thread-the-budget/ [i]Why I’ve changed my mind about gay marriage, Tim Dunlop, The Drum[/i] but giving offence should not be illegal in our society, a point conservative jerk Andrew Bolt is trying to make in court as we speak. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/97680.html [i]Yes Labor, this is as good as it gets, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] With their distinctive bleating, whingeing sound, the steel industry, the LNG industry, the coal miners, have all converged to suck some more handouts from government, claiming “things have changed” since 2009 http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/04/21/yes-labor-this-is-as-good-as-it-gets/ [i]In search of meritocracy?, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] political leaders to stop pandering to the stupid and greedy, then how about she asks some of her colleagues to stop passing off fatuous pap as news? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/04/21/in-search-of-meritocracy/#more-9860 [i]Withdraw from the Refugee Convention, Ken Parish, Club Troppo[/i] I don’t accept that Australia has any general moral obligation to offer permanent residency to any of the world’s hungry masses yearning to be free. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/04/21/withdraw-from-the-refugee-convention/#more-15447 [i]Christmas Island Riot: Now on Tour at a Detention Centre Near You!, Deusexmacintosh, Skepticlawyer[/i] been destroyed, including a billiards room and computer room. He said power had been cut off to the compound on fire and many detainees were upset and worried. http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2011/04/21/christmas-island-riot-now-on-tour-at-a-detention-centre-near-you/ [i]Tony Abbott wants to Get Mentally Ill back to work. Cites Coalition MPs as “Living Proof, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb has recently overcome depression and returned to a senior role in the coalition ranks. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/tony-abbott-wants-to-get-mentally-ill-back-to-work-cites-coalition-mps-as-living-proof/ [i]Abbott steals a march on mental health reform, Jeremy Thompson, ABC[/i] Mr Abbott used the example of his finance spokesman, Andrew Robb, and his well publicised battle with depression, as an example of how to help those suffering from mental illnesses http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/21/3197297.htm?site=sydney&section=news&date=(none) [i]Smokes and Mirrors, Coffee with Ruby[/i] ban smoking at bus stops I will consider starting again, just so I can break your stupid law. And I don’t care what colour the cigarette packet is http://coffeewithruby.wordpress.com/ [i]Journalism Needs Courage, Mary Kostakidis, New Matilda[/i] media addicted to sloganeering politicians and media beholden to proprietors like Murdoch, Stokes, Packer and Rinehart whos e interests they must protect http://newmatilda.com/2011/04/21/journalism-needs-courage [i]The ALP turns right ,Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] I suspect that we are seeing the influence of the Labor Right in Gillard's explicit shift to the right; a right that has deep roots in a Catholic conservatism that detests, and is opposed to, liberalism. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/04/the-alp-turns-r.php#more [i]TAXING TED: Baillieu supports Gillard’s carbon agenda, Christian Lyons, Vex News[/i] VEXNEWS Investigation Unit, this split between Victorian and Federal Liberals on the biggest issue currently in Australian http://www.vexnews.com/news/13101/taxing-ted-baillieu-supports-gillards-carbon-agenda/ [i]What’s for Easter?, Miglo, Cafe Whispers[/i] even at Easter it’s very hard not to want to talk about that human headline, Tony Abbott. You can bet your last dollar that the mainstream media will be doing http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/whats-for-easter/ [i]The Barnaby factor, Weeklytimes Now[/i] He is seen, especially within Liberal circles, as shooting off at the mouth too often and espousing policies which do not reflect the views of the coalition http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/04/21/322941_latest-news.html [i]NBN role committee a Dixer of a time, James Hutchinson, Computerworld[/i] during the nine public hearings held to date, the discussions have been downright trivial. They range from “Why doesn’t my town get fibre?” to “When do I get fibre?” and the frequent and ever-valuable, refrain: “The NBN is great.” http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/384024/opinion_nbn_role_committee_dixer_time/?fp=4&fpid=78268965 [i]The “Carbon Tax” debate 2 – more research …Eyeball, The Eyeball Opinion[/i] The debate changed some 8-10 years ago to carbon emission and its contribution to the climate change debate. Al Gore‘s ‘Inconvenient Truth‘ became part of that message http://bleyzie.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/the-carbon-tax-debate-2-more-research/ [b]READING:[/b] [i]Easter reading: Two good speeches by a politician who can actually write, Peter Martin.[/i] On SpyCatcher, Assange and freedom of the press Malcolm Turnbull, Sydney University Law School March 31 http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Britain sent troops to Iraq for BP’s share of its oil, Independent Australia[/i] Greg Muttit obtained this information after five years of a campaign to gain access through freedom of information legislation. Muttit will publish his book ‘Fuel on the Fire’ next week. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/international/britain-sent-troops-to-iraq-for-bp%e2%80%99s-share-of-its-oil/ [i]"It's Not A Fight For Humanity, It's A Fight For Oil", Darryl Mason, The Orstrahyn[/i] Over at Murdoch's flagship 'The Australian' newspaper website, at least three key columnists weighed in supporting Howard's claim that he didn't say what he said, and it really didn't matter even if the prime minister and the defence minister did say what they said. Which they did. http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/ [i]The Bank of Facebook: Currency, Identity, Reputation, Emergent by Design[/i] Every time you upload a photo, make a comment, add a friend, click a link, or make a purchase, that data is being harvested to create a map and a simulation of you. This is tremendously valuable information, and Facebook gets that. http://emergentbydesign.com/2011/04/04/the-bank-of-facebook-currency-identity-reputation/

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22/04/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

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22/04/2011janice You are right about thenewjj, who is just the old jj. It seemed to me that as he did appear to be trying to be conversational, it might be productive to engage in that conversation and thereby give expression to a viewpoint different from that of most who comment here. I was wrong. Productive conversations require give and take. There is no sign of ‘give’ from jj. I’ve learned that being considerate to jj’s views has yielded no better conversation. So it’s time to stop trying.

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22/04/2011Hi Lyn and FS I missed Leigh Sales’ interview last night but saw it on iView this morning. As you say Lyn, Leigh interrupted Chris Bowen at least eight times, several times rudely, her non-verbal signals were loaded with disdain, she was determined to hammer him on asylum policy no matter how he responded, even to the extent of bringing up the Oceanic Viking episode which she characterized as ‘giving in’ to boat people, in response to Bowen saying that episodes like the recent Villawood one would not alter the asylum seekers’ claims, berated him and the Government about the East Timor concept, which Sales deemed to be already an abject failure despite progress towards a regional solution at the recent ‘Bali’ meeting and ongoing negotiations, and capped off her trenchant criticisms with a recital of the numbers of boat arrivals. The whole interview seemed designed to embarrass Bowen and demean the Government’s asylum efforts no matter how he responded. Her attitude was adversarial rather than what it should have been – objective and devoid of personal opinion and emotion. She failed on every count. While we expect interviewers to be probing and even persistent if answers are not forthcoming, we expect them also to be respectful of those we have elected. She was disrespectful. The contrast with Steve Cannane’s interview of Andrew Robb the night before is stark. Cannane was probing but respectful, Sales was probing and disrespectful. I would give Chris Bowen full marks for his responses, always measured and on the subject, despite repeated interruptions, such that in one instance he needed to talk over Sales to get his response heard. Some seem to feel he looked harassed – Sales was certainly doing all she could to harass him. It is to his great credit that not once did he lose his cool despite repeated provocation and harassment. I wonder when she reviews her interview she feels proud of her effort. If so, I suppose we can expect more of the same. Is she trying to outdo Chris Uhlmann?

TalkTurkey

22/04/2011FS I am quite certain that sameoldjj is an it. A person would need a proper noun for a name. A proper noun would require a capital. By its own definitive nomenclature jj has defined itself as a thing. There's no point in addressing inanimate things.

NormanK

22/04/2011It will be interesting to see how much milage this report gets over the coming days. [b]Carbon price plan will cost families a sausage sandwich, says Climate Institute[/b] by Malcolm Farr [quote]A DETAILED analysis of electricity charges has found that the jump in power bills caused by the Government's carbon pricing plan would be a snack for most families - the cost of a weekly sausage sandwich. "This analysis challenges the widely repeated claims that a pollution price will cost households $300, $500 or more a year on their power bills,'' said the institute, which based its calculations on a carbon pollution penalty of $25 a tonne.[/quote] http://www.news.com.au/national/carbon-price-plan-will-cost-families-a-sasuage-sandwich-says-climate-institute/story-e6frfkw9-1226043193869?from=igoogle+gadget+compact+news_rss

janice

22/04/2011Cuppa Posted Friday, April 22, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink If you want to help push the ABC to return to its charter, please vote and comment on the petition. http://suggest.getup.org.au/forums/60819-campaign-ideas/suggestions/1684971-petition-for-abc-to-return-to-its-charter Another appeal from Cuppa (Pollbludger) which I post here if you might be interested to vote.

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22/04/2011janice Thank you for the link. Isn't it interesting that so many commenting on GetUp find Chris Uhlmann's and Leigh Sales' interviewing style distasteful, and enjoy that of Steve Cannane. The difference is respect - absent from the former pair, but not from the latter.

lyn

22/04/2011Good Morning Ad, Happy Easter to you and your lovely wife,and all those dear little kiddies, the chocolates are just scrumptious, but don't eat too many. I have thoroughly enjoyed your assessment of the 7.30pm report, a wise, considered, genuine comment. I can always rely on you Ad, especially if I am unsure in any way, thankyou very much Ad. The reading I put up today is very interesting, if you get time. Darryl Mason's article is brilliant. Also I am looking forward to the new book being released next week [quote]Muttit will publish his book ‘Fuel on the Fire’ next week. [/quote], I am avid reader, a bit of a nerd with my books, very rarely read fiction. Cheers Ad

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22/04/2011NormanK Thanks for the link to the Malcolm Farr story - very revealing. I note though that Farr only reports the Climate Institute statement - he does not endorse it, presumably so he can voice a different view when it suits him.

Feral Skeleton

22/04/2011NormanK, I saw the interview with John Connor where he suggested the cost of the Carbon Price would be a Sausage sandwich. It was a good analogy to make due to the undeniable fact that just about every Australian has consumed a sausage sandwich! Even vegetarian Greens voters must have had a soy sausage sanger at fund-raisers. John Connor is a fascinating individual. I've read a lot about him lately. Not your normal 'Greenie' that moved up through the ranks of the Environment movement, he came by way of Law and Economics from memory. His heart is certainly in the right place, as is his brain, as this story from Crikey yesterday shows: [quote]18. Woodside resists perfectly reasonable shareholder resolution on carbon Stephen Mayne writes: ANDREW BOLT, MICHAEL CHANEY, NEWS LTD, RUPERT MURDOCH, TERRY MCCRANN, THE CLIMATE INSTITUTE, WOODSIDE Australia might be a great shareholding nation, but for some strange reason the wide range of tools available for shareholder engagement are rarely deployed. Unlike the Americans, who can’t vote against public company directors, Australians can easily remove directors but it rarely happens given the average incumbent is re-elected with 95% of the vote in favour. Another tool is the calling of an extraordinary general meeting. Apart from the 2008 attempt by Kerry Stokes to remove the WA News directors, this tactic is rarely used, although it is encouraging to see some fund managers have called an EGM to take board control of RHG from the oppressive billionaire John Kinghorn. If calling an EGM is seen as too disruptive and expensive, the easier option is putting up a shareholder resolution at the AGM, but this has only been used at about 10 of the 4000 AGMs put on by ASX200 companies over the past 20 years. While Andrew Bolt and Terry McCrann keep howling at the moon with their hysterical climate-change denialism, it is amusing that another arm of the Murdoch family helped fund yesterday’s carbon-related shareholder resolution at the Woodside Petroleum AGM in Perth. Woodside initially rejected a standard shareholder resolution calling for greater disclosure of carbon costs, so the Climate Institute, which was established in 2005 with a $10 million donation from Rupert Murdoch’s niece Eve Kantor, pursued the irresistible path of proposing the following new rule in the Woodside constitution. 43A. The business of any AGM, in addition to any other business required to be transacted at an AGM, by law or under this constitution, is to receive, consider and approve a report to be prepared by directors as a supplement to their annual directors’ report setting out descriptions (prepared at a reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information) of: (i) The assumptions made by the Company about the path of future carbon prices, oil prices, demand for oil and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions in its assessment of new and ongoing major capital expenditure; and (ii) The assumptions made by the Company and the Company’s auditors when assessing the extent, if any, of the impairment of Company assets regarding the path of future carbon prices and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. So that shareholders can make a well informed assessment of the operations of the Company and the Company’s business strategies and its prospects for future financial years. You can tell that the Climate Institute, which boasts a powerful board including AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, got under the skin of Woodside chairman Michael Chaney given that the notice of meeting mentions on four separate occasions that "item 5 was proposed by a group of 109 Woodside shareholders holding 12 shares each". So what, Michael. The law requires at least 100 signatures from shareholders with a marketable parcel of stock worth more than $500. As of last night, 12 Woodside shares were worth $559.20. In the US a shareholder resolution can be proposed by a single shareholder who has held $US2000 worth of shares continuously for 12 months, something which a Gilbert & Sullivan expert will do at the 2011 News Corp AGM in a repeat of the 2007 attempt to unwind the Murdoch family gerrymander. So how did the Climate Institute go yesterday? Despite getting an endorsement from the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), the two powerful global proxy advisory houses, ISS and Glass Lewis, both recommended against. The final result was 27.33 million votes worth $1.26 billion in favour and 439.31 million worth $20.45 billion against. That’s only 5.85% of the directed votes in favour, but if you strip out Shell’s 190.12 million shares, you had 10% of the independent votes supporting the proposal. Ironically, Woodside argued that such disclosure would reveal sensitive commercial information yet Shell itself discloses its $US40 a tonne carbon price assumption. Incredibly, Michael Chaney argued that to use any carbon price in a base case would be misleading to investors. At a time when shadow carbon prices are continuing to rise globally, how can using zero as a base case assumption not be misleading? This is starting to sound like the old story about optimistic assumptions keeping the gravy train flowing. When Woodside does eventually issue the inevitable carbon-related profit warning, the fund managers will only have themselves to blame for not insisting on disclosures that could have better informed them. Woodside has already admitted the Browse Basin project off Broome has more CO2 that anything else in its portfolio, something the Climate Institute ensured shareholders were told about in its 1000 word S249P statement that accompanied the notice of meeting. Given that Shell recently dumped a 10% stake in Woodside to institutional investors for more than $3 billion, you would think those fund managers would want to enjoy the same insights into carbon exposures that Shell had when they exited. Talk about fund managers shooting themselves in the foot.[/quote] It shows John Connor is about outplaying the players, and I wish him well in his future endeavours. Btw, he is just the sort of person the ALP should be targeting as candidates.

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22/04/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your Easter good wishes. At present my wife and I are alone on the south coast looking out on a cold stormy inlet. I expect the sea will cover an acre of salt marsh at the water’s edge on the high tide, as it did yesterday. The kids will come later in the weekend. I wish you, your husband and family, and all the good folk who come to [i]TPS[/i] to participate in our conversation, a Happy and Peaceful Easter. Thank you for your kind comments; I was glad that you alerted me to the Leigh Sales’ interview; for me it is another nail in the ABC coffin. I hope the GetUp ‘petition for the ABC to return to its charter’, has some effect on the ABC – certainly the opinions expressed there are consistently ones of disappointment and dismay. I’ve yet to read your links but look forward to doing so this afternoon. I often read them on the iPad over lunch or even when waiting in the car for my wife when she’s shopping. How do you get time for reading when you give us so much of your time seeking out links? I too prefer factual reading over fiction. When you have read it, please let us know what [i]Fuel on the Fire[/i] is about.

Rx

22/04/2011Boy, this "jj" character is using some lame old Lieberal spin to justify Abbott's statements. Shame on these conservatives.

Feral Skeleton

22/04/2011Rx, Abbott is the Cons Messiah doncha know? Therefore excuses must be made for him to keep him afloat. No matter what he says or does the PR flacks are onto it like blowies onto a rotten budgie to make it seem to smell as sweet as a rose. :)

lyn

22/04/2011Hi Hillbilly He's their budgie pin up boy.

lyn

22/04/2011Hi Ad Look what EyeBall Opinion has said about "The Political Sword" I get so pleased when the other Blog Sites enjoy TPS, isn't it just so good. EyeBall Opinion [/i] [i]It is still Easter Friday – mid afternoon and I went looking for something to read – [b]The Political Sword dishes up some really good links to abstract and intelligent thought [/b]– [b]I found this among the recommended Easter reading links [/b]-[/i] http://bleyzie.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/malcolm-turnbull-a-speach-worth-reading/

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22/04/2011HI Lyn Congratulations on the Eyeball Opinion reference – as we are always saying, your links are what bring so many people to [i]TPS[/i]. You are a gem. I’m still going through this morning’s links – I’ve been busy baking bread rolls and making zucchini soup. Although the sun is out between gusty showers, we’re inside with the heaters on looking out at an inlet whipped up into white tops by a strong south westerly, which has kept the fisherman home, but the boys on jet skis and the windsurfers are having a great time. The waves are crashing over the shore and the sea is creeping onto the salt marsh. The ibis are sheltering against the wind behind the tussocks of spear grass on the edge of the shore. It’s a great scene from the comfort of a warm living room. Now back you your inks!

thenewjj

22/04/2011To All, I know it must be terrible to have someone that comes on here and rebuts your rubbish. You must have got used to giving each other a pat on the back: "I hate Murdoch" "That was such a profound and considered statement Lyn" etc I disagree with what you say on Abbott, so i am a right winger. I disagree with your assertions that the 7:30 report has a conservative bias, so i am a right winger. I disagree with you over the NBN, so i am a right winger. Maybe you are all just blind left wingers and i am in the main stream (well at least i have some quantitative evidence to back me up; the polls). Your ideal society died along time ago; soviet Russia. And i tell you, if you asked many in Eastern Europe whether having a press that didnt ask any hard questions of the politicians, a workforce controlled by union thugs, and enterprise and industry quashed by state interference was a good thing, than i am sure they would tell you that you are mad! This website is just a hideout for the dwindling number of backward hard-leftist whom the Labor Party was once built upon. You, in no way have any connection with main stream thought, and the garbage you dribble is just that, garbage. But you have a right to do so, and i also have a right to contest it, just as the media has a right to contest what politicians do and say. You are a dying minority of the Labor Party, and from some of the stuff i have seen you post, it is no wonder why your party is slowly fading away.

thenewjj

22/04/2011Another piece on climate change that you might want to cast your eyes over, http://www.informath.org/media/a42.htm

Jason

22/04/2011thenewjj, You're yet to rebut anything!this is you this morning "April 22. 2011 07:39 AM To all,On the first PM thing i will clear it up by making the distinction that Rudd was the first, first term PM to be sacked by his own side." This was me April 21. 2011 07:55 PM thenewjj, Rudd was the first first term prime minister to get dumped, but not the first PM. Notice the time and the date? 12 hours later you come to rebut and clear up what had already been done I wait your withering rebuttal

Jason

22/04/2011thenewjj, " And i tell you, if you asked many in Eastern Europe whether having a press that didnt ask any hard questions of the politicians, a workforce controlled by union thugs, and enterprise and industry quashed by state interference was a good thing, than i am sure they would tell you that you are mad!" Cory Bernardi says "Membership of the EU seems to impact everything from the labour market to monetary policy. Critics maintain that it also subsumes cultural sovereignty in favour of an ultra-politically correct Euro nation." http://www.corybernardi.com/page/2/

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22/04/2011Folks I've just posted another stylist piece of satire by Acerbic Conehead: [i]Why do Only Fools and Horses Gamble?[/i] Enjoy. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/04/22/Why-do-Only-Fools-and-Horses-Gamble.aspx

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22/04/2011Jason If thenewjj believes that the [i]TPS[/i] website is “[i]…is just a hideout for the dwindling number of backward hard-leftist whom the Labor Party was once built upon”[/i], why does he bother coming back again and again to talk to such a backward mob?

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22/04/2011Folks To get the most from AC's latest piece, I suggest you run the YouTube clip first.

Jason

22/04/2011AA, Some hideout you found for us! Does that mean we have to move again? Yet we have a cocky on this blog that thinks the country still rides on the sheeps back, King George still reins and once Menzies wins the next election who knows.
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