Extreme Makeover Takeover

Tony Abbott reckons questions about his leadership and (lack of) policies could come thick and fast any day now, so he has bummed the money off Lindsay Fox to take out a lease on the ramshackle Nauru asylum-seeker centre. Being in such a state of disrepair, it makes the house that jack built look like the Taj Mahal, and so he has got it for a song. In future, any time the heat is on, he plans to high-tail it up there for a bit of respite.

So, the other day he got word that he was going to be tackled on the issue of whether he was going to call for a plebiscite on cutting government services if he were to gain power and implement his Direct Action policy on reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. Understandably, Tones jumps in Lindsay’s jet and heads off for a bit of R&R on Nauru.

Since his last visit, however, the joint is in an even worse state. There are holes in the roof, windows are missing, and it looks worse than Rome did after the Barbarians left their calling card. Even still, Tones finds a relatively tidy spot in a corner of a dorm, rolls out his swag, and settles down for a siesta after the long flight.

However, he has no sooner drifted off into a light slumber when he is suddenly woken by some clown in the yard outside bellowing at him through what sounds like a megaphone.

Voice: Tony! Tony Abbott! Come on out! This is your lucky day!

[To say that Tones is peeved at being aroused from his slumber, would be an understatement. He grabs one of the many pieces of broken ceiling plaster that litter the floor, intending to hurl it at the idiot who dared to wake him. However, upon peering out the glassless window, in order to get sufficient bearings to accurately launch his missile, Tones recognises immediately who is on the megaphone. It is none other than those two superstars of the renovation business, Julia “The Joiner” Gillard, and Wayne “Sawdust” Swan!



[Tones can’t believe his luck. Those two world-famous put-it-righters, Jooles and Swannie, are outside and ready to give his place a makeover and, more importantly, he won’t have to fork out a cent! He runs outside and greets the two life-savers, jumping up and down on the spot for joy. Then, as is her trademark, Jooles talks to whoever she is addressing on her megaphone.]

Jooles (bellowing): Right, Tones...it looks like you have provided us with the biggest challenge in any of our previous series...

[Jooles’ opening remarks are cut off abruptly by Tones who, even with his hands over his ears, is nearly deafened by Jooles’ megaphonery.]

Tones: STOP THE MEGAPHONES!!!! Pheeeww! That’s better...now, Jooles, when can you and Swannie start the renovations? I’ll be PM soon and I want to invite other world leaders, like Sarah Palin, Rupert Murdoch, and Niccolo Machiavelli over here to spend some time at my hacienda.

[Jooles is just about to lift her megaphone to answer Tones. However, as he delivers one of his infamous head-nodding death stares, she has second thoughts.]

Jooles: Oh, no problems, Tones...In fact, why don’t you go for a little leisurely bike-ride a few times around the island and, by the time you’re finished, we’ll have everything ship-shape for you, ready for the place to receive all your high-flying guests...heh...heh...

[Tones doesn’t need any further invitations. He jumps on his bike and heads off down the track that circles the island. Meanwhile, Jooles and Swannie unload the chisels, planes, borers and saws from the back of Kev’s old ute, and crank up the jig saws and nailguns, and get to work. In a while, and true to their word, they welcome Tones back from his ride to a sight that brings tears of joy to his eyes. Jooles and Swannie lead him on a tour of what looks to him like a brand-new centre.]

Tones: Wow!!!! This looks great, guys...you have certainly done a terrific job...And I just love the brightness of the place – the paint is so clean and white – did you get it locally?

Swannie: Erm...Yes, my word, Tones! In fact, the raw material for the paint is actually very common on the island...hee...hee...

[Just at that moment, Tones, who is standing under a particularly wet section of the newly-painted ceiling, experiences, on the top of his head, a drop of ‘paint’. Swannie rushes over to wipe the offending deposit off Tones’ noggin with his handkerchief.]

Swannie: Oh my gosh, Tones...I’m ever so sorry...here, let me clean you up...

Tones (stoically): Nah, don’t worry about it, Swannie...

Swannie: Yeah, that’s the spirit, Tones – as you say, “birdshit happens”...heh...heh...

Tones: But yeah, Swannie, I’m really impressed by the job you’ve done...So, just tell me what other innovations you’ve included...I can’t wait to get on the boatphone and tell Julie and Scott and the rest of the gang...

Swannie: Righto...erm...well, as you can see, we’ve put a new TV in every room...

[Tones is delighted. Once the Indos come to their senses, he’ll be able to see himself on the ABC every night, with Chris Uhlmann indulgently intoning, “the Government says...” However, Tones is disturbed from his reverie by the sight of some device or other plonked on top of each TV.]

Tones: Erm...Swannie...what’s that contraption on top of the TV’s, mate?

Swannie: Oh, they’re just set-top boxes, Tones – they’re the latest in digital technology, y’know...

[Tones is starting not to like the sound of this. However, Swannie continues with his overview of the renovations.]

Swannie: And as I was saying, Tones, we’ve included computer connection points in each room...

Tones: Oh very swish, Swannie! Copper, I hope?

Swannie: No way, Tones! You’re obviously no tech-head when it comes to these matters...No, only the best – fibre optic cables, exactly according to NBN (“Nauruan Best-practices Network”) specifications...

[Tones is becoming increasingly uneasy and Swannie wants to milk this opportunity for all its worth – he’s not called Schadenfreude Swannie for nothing!]

Swannie: And all the roof cavities are chockers with pink batts to keep the heat out and cut down on the air-conditioning bills...And we’ve brought the Building the Education Revolution to these shores by including a brand new classroom for visiting school excursions...

[Jooles, tag-team style, carries on the litany.]

Jooles: And we’ve dug a well out the back, so that Joe Hockey will feel at home with a great new big black hole nearby...And, we’ve put lots of copies of the Productivity Commission’s reports in the dunnies for Barnaby to use as toilet paper...Oh, and we’ve put the local guano producers on GullChoices instead of WorkChoices, which has made them a lot chirpier...heh...heh...and...

[At this stage of Jooles’ and Swannie’s report, Tones is so ready to erupt, he would make the recent Chilean volcano look like a sparrow fart.]

Tones: STOP THE RENOVATIONS!!!! I CAN”T TAKE ANY MORE OF THIS BULLSHIT!!!!

[Angrily, Tones pulls out the boatphone, punches in a few numbers and lets it ring. However, it soon seems that his addressee is unavailable. He leaves a message on his voice-mail.]

Tones (very abruptly): Malcolm! This is Tony! I want you to get yourself and your private yacht up here to Nauru as quickly as your propellers can carry you...Oh, and put on your Demolition Man gear...and bring your sledgehammer...I’ve got a job for you to do...

[Tones hangs up, and turns to Jooles.]

Tones: And you two can bugger off n’ all...I’ll soon have this place back the way it was, and it’ll be all the better for it...

Jooles: Alright, suit yourself mate...But, be warned...Malcolm mightn’t show up...In fact, we’re heading down to the Indo’s territory, where they’ve experienced some terrible floods and they want us to help them fix up their devastated buildings...I heard that Malcolm might be more interested in helping them than coming up here...So, why don’t you and your Demolition Derby mates stay permanently up here and you can live in your very own plebs’ site...Hasta la vista, baby...heh...heh...

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Feral Skeleton

24/06/2011AcerbicC., Your best yet! Who knows, if you keep up this high standard you might just get noticed by Mr Funbags, Joe Hockey, and you could be asked to write his next batch of material! :D

Feral Skeleton

24/06/2011Did anyone else happen to catch Channel 9's so-called 'explosive revelations about a loophole in the $11 Billion Telstra/Gillard government NBN Deal which will blow it apart'? (copyright a scriptwriter with an overactive imagination at Ch9) Of course, there was no show without Punch, and Malcolm Turnbull was along for the ride. Now, as far as I can make out, and I'm no Tech Head(copyright Tony 'The Stunt Man' Abbott), but the 'revelation' seemed to revolve around the 'No Compete' clause of the contract signed which prevents Telstra from poaching NBN's clients. Now, it was breathlessly said that Telstra has indicated it will be going to 4G Wireless Mobile. Now, with a long bow drawn, Turnbull proclaimed that because landlines were being dropped like hot potatoes by houselholds, they will be wanting their broadband internet on their mobile devices and so the Telstra 4G, "which will be able to deliver fast broadband at twice the speed of what you can get now"(wow! not), according to Malcontent Turnbull, will then be able to lure their "10 million customers" back from the NBN, and, ergo, the $11 Billion will have been totally wasted. Because, ipso facto, every last one of them will be preferring to do everything on a little mobile or tab or laptop and not on the family computer(s). Suffice to say, this scenario is wrong in so many ways. Firstly, Malcolm Turnbull, or his facilitators and enablers at Channel 9, always fail to mention the fact that wireless speeds suffer massively from congestion. The more people using them, the slower it goes. Secondly, the NBN will be able to provide speeds, eventually, of Terrabits per second, and at least a Gigabit/sec, as compared to whatever twice what we have now on mobile internet is. Thirdly, and please correct me if I'm wrong, isn't it the case that you will need the FTTH in order to provide your domestic WiFi hotspot? Fourthly, if Turnbull's plan of FTTN, and then Copper to the home, is enacted, won't we be back to square 1 wrt the limitations on speed that the physics of transmission of data by Copper line produces? Not to mention letting the market decide who will and won't get speedy service? In other words, that Channel 9 story tonight was a crock of Coalition-serving misleading information.

D Mick Weir

24/06/2011AC, thanks for a lighthearted and entertaining opening to the weekend. Warped and whacky and as some say in some ad or another [i]'... and that's the way I like it'[/i]

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011Off Topic but I now have a small amount of time to answer previously posed questions TT, you asked on a previous post (Looking down from the grandstand ...) [i]What would be your own 'solution' to the AS 'problem'?[/i] Obviously I don't have all the answers nor do I think that there is a simple 'solution' to what has now become a protracted problem. I will, however attempt to outline some steps along the path that I believe would help make the whole refugee 'dilemma' less contentious. Given the polarisation I believe we need to 'move' public opinion to a more neutral position on the subject. I would start by enlisting the Governor General to make a few landmark speeches on our history of building this nation on the backs of refugees and immigrants highligting how many descendants of those refugees and immigrants are now an integral part of our nation. I would then enlist first up, Malcolm Fraser and Bill Hayden to talk about how they worked together on the Vietnamese boat people arrivals and how we as a nation had a duty to give them refuge here. And how we became a better nation for it. Soon after I would have other prominent Australians talking about similar things. There are many prospective candidates for this role that could include, but not be limited to, Bob Hawke, Ita Buttrose, Steve Waugh, Anh Do, Jimeoin, Frank Lowy. You could no doubt suggest others. The poison and vitriol that is spewed by some needs to be taken head on. It would take time but it could be done. There are many who would move in behind a group of respected Australians to carry the message. Unfortunately we do not have a leader with the courage to take this on so I would find another person to be our Prime Minister. My problem with this action is I cannot see another person (currently in parliament) who could do it at the moment. This would be the first part of a process that would take 12 - 18 months of hard yakka and quite a bit of head bashing. I will add further steps later. PS If you are wondering why I am cynical about the government and its policies regarding refugees take a look at this story: [b]Let's follow Guantanamo's lead[/b] - Leigh Sales - The Drum http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/24/3252239.htm [i]Australian immigration detention centres are less open and transparent than Guantanamo Bay. ... The fact is the US military admits dozens of journalists annually to a prison full of accused terrorists while the Australian Government does not permit media access into facilities housing asylum-seekers.[/i] Read it and weep. Openess is a very short suit with this government.

TalkTurkey

25/06/2011DMW I don't want to cavil, and your ideas are all very nice, but hang on, what about the people in the camps right now, and those on the high seas right now, they are not very aery at all, they are very lumpy! And they are very much in and of the present, as well as assuredly even more in the future too. And the future isn't now-to-2020 or -2050, it's for as long as there are people. So what would you do with the banked-up asylum-seekers between now and, say, October? Just let me point out that any suggestion that they be processed in Australia is as politically realistic as legislation to euthanise blue-eyed babies at birth. I really think that, having expressed your dissatisfaction with what Bowen is working for, you owe it to readers to suggest some concrete courses of action to deal with the present unfortunates. Over.

lyn

25/06/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Senator Minchin, Did I Hear You Right? Patriciawa, Polliepomes[/i] Had got the voters in a stew, About a harmless thing like CO2 http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/ [i]Two Bald Men fighting over a comb, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] People like Minchin have to preserve Stockdale in aspic because otherwise they will become the has-beens that people like me would wish them to be. If it's more important for people like Minchin to control the Liberal Party http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/06/two-bald-men-fighting-over-comb.html [i]The false, the confused and the mendacious: how the media gets it wrong on climate change, Stepham Lewandowsky, The Conversation[/i] The deniers have seemingly endless enthusiasm to post on blogs, write letters to editors, write opinion pieces for newspapers, and even publish books. What they rarely do is write coherent scientific papers on their theories http://theconversation.edu.au/the-false-the-confused-and-the-mendacious-how-the-media-gets-it-wrong-on-climate-change-1558 [i]Conversations: Clearing up the climate debate, Unleashed[/i] This week we've put climate change "sceptics" under the microscope: exposing who they are, how they work, and the tactics they use to cloud the public debate. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2770384.html?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Joe Hockey's Cry for help, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] Fortunately, for those who want the best for the man, he left a record on the Internet for professionals to study. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/joe-hockeys-cry-for-help/ [i]The Canberra Press Gallery: one year on , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] Not only is this agreement of historic importance the NBN is the biggest infrastructure project that Australia has seen; and one that is designed to transform Australia. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/06/the-canberra-pr.php#more [i]Copper wires hold back internet speeds, ABC , Video (few minutes)[/i] Old copper wires have been blamed for internet users missing out on high broadband speeds promised by providers http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/06/24/3252800.htm [i]Telstra Deal Locks In NBN, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] We have another two years of the Gillard Government before we return to the polls. By then, the NBN will be well on its way to construction. Whatever else happens in the next two years, Labor will be able to point to a genuine nation-building achievement. http://newmatilda.com/2011/06/24/nbn-telstra-deal [i]Plebiscites and conscience votes: Playing the democracy card, John Warhurst, Online Opinion[/i] Abbott’s exaggerated rhetoric placed him in this second camp, whether he realised it or not. He has now left himself open to calls for wider use of plebiscites. What, for instance, are the criteria for the use of such democratic instruments? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12229 [i]Stop at nothing, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] a barrage of points of order, calls for quorums, and censure motions (intended for use and used up to now only for relatively serious topics)daily on the most laughable of bases. The intention has been to make parliament technically unworkable and then to pretend http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/06/24/stop-at-nothing/#comment-2833 [i]A breath of fresh air’: pollster Gary Morgan to host Monckton shindig, Andrew Cook, Crikey[/i] “Lord” Monckton will give a $60-a-head speech at Morgan’s 401 Collins Street premises on July 19, hosted by Des Moore from the conservative Institute for Private Enterprise.The title of the address is “the science is not settled”, despite a http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/06/24/a-breath-of-fresh-air-pollster-gary-morgan-to-host-monckton-shindig/ [i]Paul Sheehan’s false choice, Jeremy Sear , Pure Poison[/i] Well, duh. The point was for them to experience how the refugees travel, and although SBS was hardly going to actually kill six Australians and obviously had made sure they were safe, for the real refugees . http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/06/24/paul-sheehans-false-choice/ [i]I'll Show Sheehan A 'Real' Refugee Experience, Hadi Zaher, New Matilda[/i] the fact is that lies and manipulation by some opinion makers in Australia prevent the debate over asylum seekers from being one about facts, principle, responsibility and the truth; instead turning it in to a show of passion, misinformation http://newmatilda.com/2011/06/24/show-sheehan-real-refugee-experience [i]Meet the new neighbourhood , The Economist[/i] Tony Abbott, the opposition leader, was to Nauru—and that was just to score political points against Ms Gillard over he corrosive issue of asylum-seekers arriving by boat. Australians, says Mr Wesley, would never tolerate leaders who treated the http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/06/australia-and-region [i]740,000 would lose health rebate if means tested, Jeremy Thompson, ABC[/i] Those losing the rebate are singles who earn more than $124,000 and families with an income of $248,000 or above.Singles on less than $80,000 or families earning below $160,000 would still be eligible for the full amount. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/24/3253005.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Sorting the myth from the chaff on this silly Sackiversary, Annabel Crab, The Drum[/i] In the 43rd parliament so far, 151 bills have been passed. Not a single bill has been rejected.The Prime Minister's problem, one year into it, is not so much that she faces a disobliging parliament. It's that Australian political debate has almost entirely disengaged from the two chambers http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/24/3252891.htm#comments [i]Expanding empathy: Go Back to Where You Came From,Suzannah Marshall Macbeth , Upstart[/i] My hope is that the circle of empathy can continue to grow for participants and audiences, and that it can reach beyond the boundaries of our own lives and beyond the groups of people that we are exposed to. To sympathise http://www.upstart.net.au/2011/06/24/expanding-empathy-go-back-to-where-you-came-from/ [i]The Global Energy Conversation Registration -[/i] , What will happen to the world's Energy System? Have your say: http://www.economistconferences.co.uk/global-energy-conversation/home [b]Reading[/b] [i]Follow the digital language, Technology Spectator[/i] Terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes and, more recently, the yottabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) are entering the broader lexicon as we continually expand with the exponential growth of data storage. http://technologyspectator.com.au/industry/it/follow-digital-language [i]Definitions of editorial skills, EAC[/i] Clarifying meaning, eliminating jargon, smoothing language and other non-mechanical line-by-line editing. May include checking or correcting reading level; creating or recasting tables and/or figures; negotiating changes with author. http://www.editors.ca/hire/definitions.html [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Malaysia blacklists shadow immigration spokesman Scott Morrison , Geoff Chambers, The Telegraph[/i] MALAYSIAN officials have blacklisted shadow immigration spokesman Scott Morrison and banned him from entering detention centres or meeting key senior officials. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/malaysia-blacklists-abbott-mp-scott-morrison/story-e6freuzr-1226081625716 [i]Walking both sides of the street, RICHARD DENNISS, The Canberra Times[/i] Her Government is criticised for being poll-driven and lacking in conviction, yet she is lambasted for the poor poll results that inevitably flow from having to defend a yet-to-be finalised reform proposal as big as a carbon price. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/walking-both-sides-of-the-street/2205865.aspx?storypage=1 [i]Mourning Kevin Rudd,Lyn Bender, Eureka Street[/i] To that end we must decide who is good enough. In my view, Tony Abbott is not, and the jury is still out on Gillard. But it seems many of us believe that Rudd was. It remains to be seen whether 'what is done' can, in fact, be undone. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=26890

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011D Mick Weir, I agree with Talk Turkey. There's as much chance of 1) The redneck/bogan/little old lady xenophobe/Alan Jones listener, in fact Alan Jones or Ray Hadley or their simulacra around the country, themselves listening to those speeches you suggest, or those people you suggest, and even agreeing to making them(just think back to Dick Smith's open and brutally honest words about becoming actively involved in the Climate Change debate), and 2) Tony Abbott and the Coalition allowing a golden opportunity to polaraise the debate even further pass him by, as there is of me winning the Mens 100M Final at the London Olympics. Especially when you read the claptrap Leigh Sales wrote about the issue, and promoted and promoted and promoted on Twitter yesterday. I mean, beyond her cleverly-crafted words, constructed to draw out the emotion of further resentment at the government, think about why she is complaining so long and so loud, and think about who it is that has been behind the most scurrilous and misleading 'exposes' of the delicate Malaysia/Australia Refugee regional Solution negotiations. Yep, that's right, the ABC NewsCaf organisation of scurvy miscreants in search of an ill-gotten Walkley Award. Why do you think Sales has decided to apply the pressure now? I'll tell you. Because, as a jobbing journalist(with a failing, ratings-wise) program on her hands, she has got the itch about getting inside the Detention Centres to harass the Asylum Seekers in order to one up Steve Cannane and Tony Jones and the rest of the media. I mean, considering how much the ABC has distorted the story so far, with out of date, leaked negotiating emails from one particular UNHCR officer(as far as I can tell from the evidence thus far), I can only begin to imagine how Sales would love to put together a dunning piece against the government, tugging on our heart strings disingenuously. Especially in the wake of Go Back on the SBS, which, I feel(maybe disngenuously), was the cause of the chagrin at the ABC and the motivating factor for Sales to write the piece she did and have a public whinge in order to line up the conditions for a piece to trump SBC. You know these people, I know these people, and you have to agree that that is how they think sometimes. Anyway, I'll just leave you with the best reason against Ms Sales' plaint. Chris Bowen, the Minister for Immigration, was asked this same question about access to Immigration Detention Centres once, just after the Christmas Island Christams Boat tragedy. His reply was the only 'Adult in the Room' moment I've seen in a long time. He answered simply, "These are real, traumatised people. They are not zoo exhibits. I want them to have the privacy that is due to them after they get to this country. After they leave the Detention Centres I don't care who they speak to. Until that time I have a duty of care to them and I will do everything in power to fulfill that duty." Or, wtte, in case the pedants are reading this. :D

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011I should preview. :$ That should be "...everything in my power..."

Ad astra reply

25/06/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

lyn

25/06/2011Good Morning Acerbic Conehead Thankyou for delighting us again with your enjoyable article. What would we do without you, talent is a gift and you sure got a big box of it, tied with a big Pink Ribbon. Mostly I can find an eye stopping paragraph, but you've done it this time, the whole article is eye stopping. Blacklisted Mr Morrison I see this morning, can anyone tell me what is the blacklist, must be awful, sounds awful. Have a nice day Conehead Cheers :):):):):):):):)

Jason

25/06/2011Lyn, MALAYSIAN officials have blacklisted shadow immigration spokesman Scott Morrison and banned him from entering detention centres or meeting key senior officials. Mr Morrison arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning for a "first-hand look" at how illegal refugees are treated in Malaysia ahead of the Gillard government's plan for a refugee swap. But his visit was not welcomed by all with his visitation ban also backed by the Malaysian government refusing to let him visit Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who had mocked Mr Morrison's visit. Instead, the MP visited a local Chin community before meeting the Australian High Commission and refugee advocates. Earlier, Mr Morrison had heard a boat of 65 asylum seekers and two crew were being taken to Christmas Island yesterday after they were intercepted off Australia's coast. Those refugees will join the 275 detained and in limbo with no deal officially signed between PM Julia Gillard and Malaysia. "The key point of this visit for me is to compare education, health and general living conditions for refugees in Malaysia compared with Nauru, where I have also visited," Mr Morrison said. Travelling with two staffers, he hit back at government MPs who called his 6600km trip a "stunt". "People who have watched these refugee programs on television have told me to watch them. Well I've gone one step further and I've actually come to see for myself what is going on here," he said. Refugees declined to show Mr Morrison their UNHCR identification cards which often do not stop them from being considered "illegal" by police and sent to prison. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/malaysia-blacklists-abbott-mp-scott-morrison/story-e6frf7lf-1226081697216

lyn

25/06/2011Hi Ad and Acerbic Conehead GrogsGamut Greg Jericho Stockdale wins Presidency. Can someone give us the headline "Reith pushed overboard"? Alan Stockdale has retained the Liberal party presidency, despite a strong challenge by former minister Peter Reith , The Australian "I really am moved by the support of council," a teary Mr Stockdale said after his victory. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/alan-stockdale-has-retained-the-liberal-party-presidency-despite-a-strong-challenge-by-former-minister-peter-reith/story-fn59niix-1226081756961 Stockdale re-elected as Liberal Party president, ABC The challenger, former Howard minister Peter Reith, had the support of the four vice presidents of the party. Mr Reith was considered the favourite to win the ballot of more than 100 delegates, held at the Federal Council meeting in Canberra this morning. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/25/3253386.htm?section=justin cheers :):):):)

lyn

25/06/2011Hi Jason I have to go out, thanks for the info. See you a bit later. Cheers

Glorfindel

25/06/2011What we need is a leader that can actually sort out the asylum seeker issue, oh and the mining tax and carbon. Instead of making those issues worse. Any idea where we could find a leader like that ? But some good points raised, the NBN is clearly an excellent project. What a good thing that the last PM got that project started. And the idea of Naru is patently ridiculous, it's completely without merit - unless of course you compare it to the "idea" of the 'Malaysia Solution'. http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Solving-the-asylum-seeker-problem-in-three-easy-steps/

Ad astra reply

25/06/2011AC Thank you for another piece of delightful satire, so apt, especially in view of Scott Morrison’s visit to Malaysia, which looks as if it will aborted at several levels by Malaysian authorities. But we can be sure he will return declaring that Nauru is a preferable location, after Extreme Makeover of course, even if he garners little information about conditions in Malaysia. Whatever he sees, whatever facts he elicits no matter how flimsy, he will promote an adverse view of Malaysia. Of that we can be sure.

Michael

25/06/2011Bated Breath waiting on Today's Bad Abbott: Tiny will give a speech today at the Liberal Party's federal council (Hi Alan, Bye Peter (and Nick)) in which he will outline tax cuts to counter the facts and dollar figures Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivers today concerning the collection of a carbon price from emitting industries, and the compensation to be paid to households when those industries do what everybody knows they will do... raise prices and utility charges. I write "counter", but, take out the "er", and I'm sure we'll all discover that Shouldabeen's Coalition policy will 'count' to a total just as legitimate as their 50 billion dollars of 'cuts' at the last election, which were 11 billion dollars shy of correctly adding up. Leave alone what damage their self-defined productivity improvements and prudent economies in government spending would have wreaked. Can't wait for the details, can you? Hot off Hockey's calculator and filtered through the torturous alleyways of Andrew Robb's busted abacus of a financial mind. Except, from sorry experience, we know Coalition costings not only have the Devil in the details, they have cost fudging, double-assessing, meretriciously false assumptions, and primary school arithmetic howlers. But, we'll know soon enough how the alternative Prime Minister of this country plans to save us all.

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011FS @ 8:09 AM, I have no argument with Bowen's response wrt the the Christmas Island tragedy. I have a problem with using a faux excuse of privacy for all [b]detainees[/b] in all [b]detention centres[/b]. Note here my emphasis of the use of the word detain in it's various forms. These reople could be refered to as refugees being housed in refugee assessment facilities. Less poisonous. The government is still trapped in the mindset of treating refugee applicants as criminals and using poisonous words as I see it. Wrt to your reading of Leigh Sale's story. Did you read it with eyes wide shut? I will selectively quote from it. [i]I requested a visit to the Inverbrackie Alternative Place of Detention, a low security facility ... The terms on which I was allowed inside Guantanamo with a cameraman were extremely strict. ... we were not allowed to speak to any of the detainees even if they attempted to speak to us. ... We were not allowed to film detainees in such a way that they could be identified. We couldn't even film the backs of their heads, only from the neck down. ... I offered to visit Inverbrackie on those exact terms, including allowing a representative of the Immigration Department to vet whatever material I filmed inside the centre and confiscate anything unacceptable, ...[/i] Please explain how refugee privacy would compromised under those conditions. The continuing diatribe that everything is a media conspiracy and that the ABC is totally biased (which comes from both sides) is a shallow argument. I can only remember back as far as the late sixties and the ABC was biased then. I don't remember a time when someone wasn't claiming that the ABC was biased. The questioning of Sale's motives for doing the story without knowing all of the story Sale's was going to tell looks like a tactic that would be used by the likes of our esteemed opposition parties. How can I assume anything about Sale's motives? I don't buy the argument that people should not speak up for fear of being criticised. The fear that some would polarise the debate further is, to my mind, part of the problem and one of the reasons we have this poisonous situation. As I said above this needs to be tackled head on. Others have said it here [i]'... when good people fail to speak up ...'[/i]

jj

25/06/2011It seems to be that the Coalition is damned if they do something positive and damned if they dont with you guys. All Abbott is doing today is countering the possibility of an attack from the Government over rolling back the compensation, before it gets any traction. Nothing wrong with that! That is what the Australian people expect. The Coalition trundled out plenty of positive policies before the last election, and most of them still apply. So if there is a change of Government in the next few months than the Coalition has the policy road map to guide them whilst in Government. Just because you may not agree with their policies does not mean they have none!

Patricia WA

25/06/2011DMW, I can remember well back into the sixties! And I don't ever recall the national broadcaster, here or in the UK or Canada, slanting news to the right in the way that the ABC currently does. The disrespect shown to the office and person of the Prime Minister had reached an all time low recently. So much so, that I think I detect a shift just lately. Perhaps the weight of complaint has been overwhelming. Or could be that the anniversary retrospectives have brought about a grudging respect for this remarkable woman. On the refugee issue, I agree, good people should speak up, but good people don't always agree and speak with one voice. The exchanges we have here on this issue demonstrate that.

Jason

25/06/2011So Abbott is standing in front of the lecturn blathering about the labor party! But he has a new three word slogan behind him, Hope Reward Opportunity Which is all bullshit as he offers none of the above! So far his speech is attacking the usual supects and claiming the sky has fallen in!

Jason

25/06/2011jj, "All Abbott is doing today is countering the possibility of an attack from the Government over rolling back the compensation, before it gets any traction" Well may you say that! because Abbott just dusted off last years election launch speech.Long on rehtoric short on detail.

Jason

25/06/2011jj, Or possum on twitter sums up Abbotts speech thus! Pollytics | 1 minute ago :-D RT @awelder: @Pollytics He's just employed some very experienced economists from Greece, by the sounds of it #MagicPudding

Patricia WA

25/06/2011Talk Turkey, I've been waiting for the right moment to talk shop, as it were, in response to your query about [quote]whether there is an (unwritten?) protocol not to multi-post.[/quote] I myself have pondered that when I've done a bit of satire on a particularly hot topic and my effort seemed to fit a couple of threads. I seem to recall Ad Astra indicating to me that he'd rather see items like that duplicated here at TPS than not. For me it’s all about relevance and topicality. Since I've learned how to link I use that if the item is only of peripheral relevance. I've occasionally done the odd duplicate posting of a pome on the same day, besides my own site, that is, because of topicality. I think it's a bit like political cartoons. A link to a funny picture is nothing like the same as the picture itself in front of the reader. Or like repeating a joke; you need the immediacy. As you said, you have your own site where you can store your delicious humor and it's always there if a particular thread or news item demands it in future. For example with Ad Astra's most recent post being about climate change and the need to combat scepticism and his mention of Nick Minchin's valedictory speech I was reminded of a pome that I'd posted, just once at Cafe Whispers, last October about Minchin's announcement of his retirement and confessed that he should have spoken up about Work Choices and the Iraq War. I pulled it up and ultimately rewrote it entirely, but I’d have simply copied it to TPS had it been topical. Another reason I’ll post something twice is if I amend it, even slightly, and don’t want to bore friends with my new version, so I’ll find another spot where it fits. PS I'm sure AC knows what I mean about topicality since his lovely pieces must take bit longer to prepare than a few verses. But Friday night is post night for him and he can't really control the MSM theme of the day - however powerful his pen! (Odd image came to mind there!)

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011Patricia WA @ 12:26 PM, Can you recall a time when the ABC slanted its' news towards the left? Was there ever a time that no one percieved that ABC News and Current Affairs reporting was biased against their own point of view? Can anyone point to the 'right wing bias' in the Leigh Sales story I linked to? Is it a simply a case that because Sales wrote: [i]'The excessive secrecy of Australian governments and departments undermines our democracy. When we have a situation where Australian immigration detention facilities are less accessible than the most notorious maximum-security prison on the planet, surely it's obvious we have a problem.'[/i] that some may have taken it as a criticism of the current government only, and, in having the temerity to use the phrase [i]'undermines our democracy'[/i] that Sales is therefore a right wing harpie or something similar? My point is that using claims of bias in reporting is a weak argument and does nothing to make a supporting case for the 'rightness' of ones point of view.

Acerbic Conehead 2

25/06/2011Hi FS, Thanks for your kind words. Yes, with his cut-out figures the other day, Joe should be working for Walt Disney. I hope you are feeling better this weekend and thinking about getting back into the groove. D Mick Weir, I’m glad you enjoyed the sketch. Keep your thoughts on the AS issue coming. The more ideas we have to mull over the better. Ditto for TT, thanks for your pertinent questions on the issue also. Lyn, Great links as usual. Thank you once more for seeking out these mines of information, and for your kind words on the [i]Extreme Makeover[/i] vignette. Regarding Ban Morrison’s “blacklist”, it seems he’s been given the cold shoulder by the Malaysian government. If he expected anything different, he must have been standing in front of the amplifiers too long. AA, Thanks again for your support. It is always my pleasure to contribute to one of Australia’s finest political blogs. Oh, and by the way, since my last report above on Tones’ shenanigans on Nauru, he has decided to board Lindsay’s jet again and head back to Canberra. However, he was no sooner there when all those pesky policy issues required his proper attention, so he reckoned it’s time for a mid-winter break. He has two choices: Nauru (again!) or Malaysia. The Coalition members, always happy to continue to be, ahem, relaxed and comfortable, eagerly await whom, between himself and Ban Morrison, gets the short straw. However, everyone suspects that in these contests, Tones always has two short straws in his fist and makes his opponent draw first. So, inevitably, Ban gets to go to Malaysia and everybody else lines up behind Tones for their leisurely bike-ride and canoe-paddle to Nauru. But, they quickly assure Ban that, on the way, and in his memory, they will respectfully recite a specially-adapted version of his age-old poem, “Coney Island” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=min5Wrw1eV4 :- ) Nauru Island :- ) Cyclin’ up from Canberra Paddlin’ over to Port Moresby Out all day bird watching Guano not as good as Nauru :- ) Stopped off at New Britain Early in the morning Cycled through Raboul taking pictures And on to New Ireland :- ) Stopped off for The Australian at the Kavieng district Just before Nauru Island :- ) On and on, over the hill to Honiara In the Solomons, autumn sunshine, magnificent And all shining through :- ) Stop off at Honiara for a pallet of pies for Joe And some catfood for Bushby In case they get famished before dinner :- ) On and on Gillard drones, sayin’ she’ll stop the boats Heading towards Nauru Island :- ) But the smile will be on the other side of her face When the Indos kick her out through the window On her ample backside :- ) And all the time going to Nauru Island I’m thinking Wouldn’t it be great if it was like this all the time?

Gravel

25/06/2011Acerbic Conehead Thank you again you have done another great piece. Just heard Julia speaking in WA. It was so positive and uplifting, a pity not many people will get to see or hear it. I thought I saw something on the internet today that the Malaysian government, or some such, will meet with Morrison on Monday. I wonder could it be possible that the Asylum seeker agreement has gone through. It would be a terrific achievement if it has. It will help stop people risking their lives on dilapidated boats. Michael I love your 'bad Abbott's', it has got to be another good reason that I read TPS everyday, and I would miss it if you stopped. Feral Skeleton It sounds like you have got a bit of your 'go' back, thankfully. I found it sad to read your despondent posts, and pleased to hear a bit of grunt from you. Patricia I'm off to read your pome, which I look forward to and enjoy every time you post one. DM Weir Great as your proposal sounds, it would not fit with the current media and opposition's stance. It certainly wouldn't stop the people smugglers from enticing people to risk their lives on shonky boats. Maybe in a couple of years when things have been out of the media, and the dog whistle has got mislaid by the opposition, then that would be good time to talk with the Australian people positively about asylum people. Ad Astra Thank you again for this great site, I just love it.

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011DMW, It still sounds like a fishing expedition by Leigh Sales to me, and, we know that a fish rots from the head down, even if only filmed from the neck down. I just can't see what purpose speaking to people in Immigration Detention would achieve(and that's the term that needs must we have to use until it is changed by parliament, and yes, I agree it should be changed, but caution you to reflect upon the fact that it was worthy of comment on News Radio this week that the government had changed one word of the terminology wrt the interception of Asylum Seekers boats, from "The Asylum Seeker boat is being escorted to Christmas Island", to, "The Asylum Seeker boat is being assisted to Christmas Island", and allow you to reflect on what a brouhaha would be made of the sort of change you suggest in the terminology of detention). Surely the Asylum Seekers are being released into the community from the Detention Centres, or Welcoming Hubs, or whatever, and have the same stories to freely tell to Leigh Sales, if only she could cool her heels for long enough to speak to them that way? Also, the statement you highlighted about Sales offering a rep of Immigration to vet what she filmed there sounds, and maybe I'm being a little too sceptical of her and her producer's motives here, just a bit too cute by half to me. I see no promise that that same Immigration rep would be able to 'vet' the edited version of the story that would be put together and put to air after the footage was taken away from Inverbrackie. Did you?

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011jj, Did you know that Tony Abbott promised to take back the compensation that the Gillard government will provide to Pensioners to compensate them for the Cost of Living increases that putting a price on Carbon will cause and give it to wealthy taxpayers as an Income Tax cut for all? Of course, he styled it as the Gillard government being in the business of 'Wealth Redistribution'. I mean, how dare they take money from the rich and give it to the poor? Or attempt to do something for the environment by way of public policy. The environment doesn't vote for Tony, doncha know?

Jason

25/06/2011DMW, I'm with FS and TT on this! Sales is a "and I use the term loosely" a journalist, and so what? she didn't get access to detention center,I doubt if I would get access to see her at the ABC in her office either. TT and FS have both put compelling cases and maybe Sales should try some old fashion "investigative journalism" instead of wanting it served up to her.

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011Back to my thoughts on potential solutions to 'that problem'. We need to rethink the words used to describe the situation to take the poison out of discussion. Implying criminality on the part of those seeking refuge is morally bankrupt. This is not to say that some of those involved in the transportation of these people are not criminals. Wherever there is money to be made there will often be a criminal element in there making a quick and easy buck. Using whatever means available to seek refuge is not a criminal activity and should not be painted as such by the government. Whether you consider Moses a criminal for his people smuggling role may depend on which version of history you choose to believe but I am pretty sure that some of those calling the current crop of refugee transporters criminals would tar and feather me if I were to call Moses a criminal. It is up to the government to reframe the debate. TT asks [i]'So what would you do with the banked-up asylum-seekers between now and, say, October?'[/i] I don't know enough about what happens within the detention system to say what I would do differently. There are however, problems with processing and establishing the bona fides of aplicants for refugee status that need to be fixed. I would have no problem for example saying 'If you are arrive here with verifiable Identity papers of some sort we will process your claim within (say) sixty days. If you arrive without papers you may have to wait for sixty months or more.' Of course some will claim that this will encourage more criminal activity in the forged paper market. I would rather one person with forged papers slip through than one genuine refugee be denied the granting of refugee status and be condemned to live as a non citizen in some far off hell hole. Some time ago I saw a story which I think was on the ABC's Landline programme about a group of Afgahn (?) refugees who were put through training to become stockmen and farm hands. The 'redneck' northern Queensland graziers were over the moon about these guys. There was much praise for their work ethic and skills and one asked 'have you got any more of these? We'll take as many as you can get us' or similar. There are many places that refugees could be working. Expanding the search for unmet need of workers and training refugees to fill some of the gaps would benefit us all. We as a nation must admit that at the moment we are only paying lip service to the protocols on refugees and either live by the conventions as we say others must or revoke our support for the protocols. Sending people back from a place of safe refuge that Australia is supposed to be, to any unsafe place, is against the UN conventions. We can't have it both ways. We are either signatories and should live up to the letter and the spirit of the conventions or completely repudiate those conventions. To my mind it is that black and white. We are at the moment acting like we are half pregnant on this. I said in a previous comment that I was prepared to give the government the benefit of doubt and accept that there could be a long game on creating a better refugee and asylum seeker outcomes within our region that I could not see and I still hold that view even if a little tenously. At the moment all I can see is that Ms Gillard is implementing policies and procedures that are more influenced by Mr Abbotts 'Stop the Boats' slogan than a decent and humanitarian belief.

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011FS What am I missing in this? Sales clearly states that one of the conditions of going into Guantanamo was that [i]'... we were not allowed to speak to any of the detainees ...'[/i]. I can't make a connection between that and your question: [i]'... have the same stories to freely tell to Leigh Sales, if only she could cool her heels for long enough to speak to them that way?[/i]' Sales says: [i]I just spiked a story I was working on about children in immigration detention because [b]I was unable to get enough vision to make it work for TV.[/b] I had plenty of good information and it's obviously a critical issue. But if I can't get the pictures to make it work, then it's not television current affairs. Full stop.[/i] I don't care what colour of government it is that uses faux claims of being concerned about 'privacy', 'possible legal complications', or 'safety risks' to deny access to these facilities the [i]excessive secrecy ... undermines our democracy.[/i] Using the possibility that Sales may come up with a story that is critical because she is apparently biased is missing a bigger point. Being open is better for everyone than secrecy.

Jason

25/06/2011DMW, She asked for access and was denied,are you saying we should have to put up up with her childish display if she is knocked back again for something else? perhaps she could have displayed at the bottom of the screen "this is a dramatisation"! of what she lacks the "vision" for!

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011Jason you too may have missed something though the weight of numbers is suggesting that I am the one that is missing something. What is the connection between [i]I doubt if I would get access to see her at the ABC in her office[/i] and Sales being denied access to Inverbrackie? There is in my mind a connection being over secretive about what goes on inside these facilities and allowing an open debate the whole system. Rather than taking the issue 'off the front page' it tends to encourage beat ups and hysterical stories. The government is doing itself, and us, a great disservice by being over secretive. Can anyone explain to me how being secretive and denying access is beneficial to the debate?

Jason

25/06/2011DMW, "I just spiked a story I was working on about children in immigration detention because I was unable to get enough vision to make it work for TV." So what ever the problem was/is, the "children" may just have to suffer even more if that was the problem because Sales couldn't get vision for the TV? So who is this story about again the children or Sales?

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011Jason, [i]'... who is this story about again the children or Sales?'[/i] None of the above, the story was about the government and various departments being too secretive (IMHO too secretive for their own good but that is my interpretation). At this point I will fall into the trap of using the Australian version of Godwin's Law and state: [i]If this had come up during Howard's reign there would be many that are currently defending the government's position screaming blue murder[/i] My point on it is that being inappropriately secretive does no one any good and that suggesting that Sales is a lousy journalist and only wants to beat the government over the head entirely misses that point.

Patricia WA

25/06/2011Following up again on Jason's point, DMW, I agree with him, TT, FS et al on this. Sales is only interested in the story for herself, not the children in detention. [b]"But if I can't get the pictures to make it work, then it's not television current affairs. Full stop."[/b] Where is the conviction and determination that a truly committed investigative journalist should bring to the job?

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011Patricia WA, you may have been typing your comment @ 4:06 PM while I saved mine @ 3:55 PM. [i]'Sales is only interested in the story for herself, not the children in detention.'[/i] I find that statement unworthy in that it implies you, FS and Jason already know Sale's motives and what the story would have been about. The perception that the ABC is totally biased to the right and totally against the government is getting in the road of seeing something more important. Surely we have a right to know what goes on inside these facilities don't we? How can we make informed choices about the system if the facts are hidden from us? Why should we be swallowing the government line hook, line and sinker because we percieve one journalist is supposedly only in it for herself or that we 'know' that the organisation she works is nothing but a right wing think tank and we 'know' what that the story was only going to be about harming the government? Is anybody able to answer my previous question: [i]Can anyone explain to me how being secretive and denying access is beneficial to the debate?[/i]

TalkTurkey

25/06/2011DMW 'Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare "You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair." As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes. When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark, And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark; But, when the tide rises and sharks are around, His voice has a timid and tremulous sound. :) "Lewis Carroll" Sorry if that stings a little Cobber but you have basically bagged Labor for taking its best shot, in the face of unrelenting jeering, abuse, hype and opposition, at a course of action which just might bring at least some degree of sanity and order to a necessarily chaotic situation, exacerbated by unrelenting jeering, abuse, hype and opposition. We know that the Coalons, staunchly supported by their allies the MSM (most particularly in this case in the self-important person of one Leigh Sales, self-styled "Well Read Head" ffs!), are dedicated to exploiting this opportunity to create confusion and division and dissent, and with ultimate but entirely anticipable cynicism, they are only to happy to side for once with the Greens, over the Malaysian proposition, in their own brand of unrelenting jeering, abuse, hype and opposition. The Greens on average, not all, are sort of bleeding hearts re asylum seekers, ut with no more practical solutions than you yourself have offered. Truth hurts yes, but you DMick are hurting me and Labor and any chance of the Government's bringing some rationality to this situation. Whose side are you on here? And if you have no solutions, do you have to be part of the problem? DMW you said: "It is up to the government to reframe the debate." [Well that sounds easy. Just . . . erm . . . like, "Hey Rupe, look, . . . ", yeah? . . . TT] "TT asks 'So what would you do with the banked-up asylum-seekers between now and, say, October?' I don't know enough about what happens within the detention system to say what I would do differently." And indeed DMW you have offered us nothing substantial, just motherhood statements, and a bit ungraciously I would have to say. I don't mean to be nasty. I wish you did have a magic wand, or could bring a sort of chess-master-like genius to solving the boggling ever-changing problems which confront the displaced members of our species, and those on whom they must depend for succour. But you don't, and can't, and haven't, so why bag Labor's honest and strenuous attempt to work out something as good as they can? You say, "At the moment all I can see is that Ms Gillard is implementing policies and procedures that are more influenced by Mr Abbotts 'Stop the Boats' slogan than a decent and humanitarian belief." Well I say, Oh never mind. PS Oh but "detainees" they are anyway, because they are being detained, whereas their status as refugees is yet to be determined; and this is not a trite distinction, it is what this is all about, and once it is determined - (judged really) - that they are indeed refugees, they are no longer detained, I suppose with immediate effect. I do hope the Government gets a proper deal with Malaysia. It's gotta be better than what we got now.

NormanK

25/06/2011D Mick Weir Hang in there. As I see it we are not so very far apart on this debate. Certainly not so far that I can't see where you're coming from. I agree the secrecy is not a good look. How about a couple of other reasons for it though. It has been mentioned (with some credibility) that the media can't necessarily be trusted to keep the best interests of detainees foremost in their minds. If they can create a sensationalist story out of a few seconds of footage they will. Another factor may be that, as we saw with Raye (the older lady on [i]Go Back[/i]) and the stupid woman who is head of the Inverbrackie 'opposition to the camp' committee, there is a lot of angst around at the moment about how much is 'given to those people' while the rest of us have to work for what we've got. If footage shows comfortable conditions, a clean kitchen, a well-provisioned social area (plasma TVs and the like) and great playgrounds for the kids this might only fuel the jealousy without enhancing the understanding. My prediction is that in the not-too-distant future cameras will be allowed access to areas which have been cleared of detainees and that will test whether the tabloids decide to run the jealousy angle or not. I don't think the Gitmo comparison is a good one - there are too many complex differences between the circumstances, not least no-one in the US seems to be complaining that detainees there have 'got it good'. I do agree with you that it is presumptuous to assume that Sales' only wants to do an anti-government story but it is likely that it would be anti-detention. That might be interesting. Once again we are being grandstand experts but if the government has any sense they will allow someone like Sales or an independent producer in to one of the facilities so that unnecessary speculation can be brought to an end.

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011FS, harking back to your comment @ 1:54 PM re the News Radio imbroglio over the use of the word 'assisted' intstead of 'escorted' and that I [i]reflect on what a brouhaha would be made of the sort of change you suggest in the terminology of detention.[/i] I am not trying to suggest it would be easy or that there would not be lots of bricks thrown. I don't believe that because the xenephobes resort to gutter tactics that we should shy away from stating a different point of view. As I have already said in different ways that to my mind is one of the problems. The current government has let the red necks and xenephobes set the rules and have not had the guts to take a principled stand. Why are we being asked to accept the easy and/or lowest common denominator position on this? Can you imagine Whitlam, Hawke or Keating wilting the way the current lot appear to be? I can already hear some plaints of 'but we are in a minority government', or the 'media will kill us and slant everything towards trhe rightand the red necks'. The government can't hide behind these garbage sort of excuses any longer. As many have gleefully pointed out: [i]'... the ball game changes on July 1st'.[/i] You bet it does and it is time this government stood up and acted in a principled way as it only has two years left to arrest the decline from a great party to a 'whatever it takes power hungry rabble'. And before you resort to [i]'would you rather Mr Abbott and his lot'[/i] NO. But more and more this lot is being just as lousy on quite a few things.

Patricia WA

25/06/2011DMW, [i]What goes on inside these facilities [/i]can be determined, presumably, by interviewing those now released into the community as [i]bona fide[/i]refugees. Interviewing or even filming those currently detained could give rise to exploitation of media exposure by those least likely to be assessed as refugees, rather than economic migrants. By the way, I am enormously conflicted on the boat people issue and have been for years. My current support of the government's Malaysian initiative comes because like Talk Turkey I see this as a breakthrough an impasse and a chance not just [i]of the Government's bringing some rationality to this situation. [/i] but also some humanity. I am not convinced the 'boat people' category of asylum seekers are without resources and necessarily likely to become victims of the kind that so many are in Malaysia and elsewhere. They will have freedom of movement and will be able to access money to assist them in that environment, just as they have found the necessary funding for fares. Not enjoying the health and education facilities of mainland Australia is a fate shared by the vast majority of people in SE Asia and elsewhere in the world. Family reunification is so often the grounds for appeals through refugee advocates once they arrive here that one senses that this really is seen as a well organised short cut through our immigration system. No matter how dangerous that route there seems to be very well organised resistance to any solution, no matter how humane.

Michael

25/06/2011Today's Bad Abbott (confirmed) "At the next election, the Coalition will deliver tax cuts that are not just compensation. It will be a tax cut without a carbon tax." Mr Abbott gave no details on costings, saying the Coalition does not have the resources to model and cost detailed tax changes from Opposition. (excised from the report at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/25/3253465.htm ) All of which was exactly the line and excuse he used before the last election, when the figure the Coalition economic team eventually trumpeted far and wide was bogus, and the company that did their 'costings' announced that they had done no such thing, merely added up the figures they were given. Tiny, Tiny, Tiny, please learn from your mistakes. Then again, why bother, the public seems to be as blind to them as you are. Perhaps you are the PM that contemporary Australia really does deserve, judging from recent polls, displaying how the land of the 'fair go' has become the nation of whingers.

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011Sorry, I haven't been contributing more fulsomely to this ongoing debate...but I have just started writing my next blog post!!! Yes, yes, I know, I'll just copy someone else's words...which is exactly what I am doing! I am taking Tony Abbott's speech to the Liberal National Circus, er Conference, and analysing it line by line. I could stay silent no longer after sitting through that amalgam of half-truths, spurious reasoning and mealy-mouthed cliche. Now, to the debate at hand. Might I pose a few questions? 1. Didn't the ABC do a story about the unaccompanied children in Detention just a little while ago? Why the need for another one again so soon after the last? I think I know why. Chris Bowen promised to have them all out by June 30, and they aren't yet. Now, as I remember, Bowen was asked about this and he said that it has been hard finding families for them to stay with in the community, and homes for them to live in, but he's trying his best, along with the Church groups that are part of the solution. What more could he humanly do? Yes, it's easy for Sales et al to carp about his broken promise, but that denies the efforts he is makiing. Disngenuously. Which is what so much of contemporary Australian journalism seems to be about these days. 2. What's so important about the children in Inverbrackie? Who are with their parents and who wouldn't be able to speak English anyway I would have thought. So Sales point wrt speaking to them is...? 3. I thought the Detention Centres on the mainland housing the families and children were of such a high standard of provision of service that it made Tony Abbott liken them to having given "the Red Carpet treatment" to the Asylum Seekers? So Sales is unhappy with this because...? Oh, and I've got Reason on my side, because ReCaptcha says so. ;-)

Jason

25/06/2011DMW, The article of which "Sales" wrote where she wanted to go to "Inverbrackie" here in Adelaide, the place is now a "gated community" where once members of the air force and their families lived in the three bedroom houses, that are no longer up to the standard that defence accepts today because it's not the 1970's. I also think that they have enough people Dr's social workers and other staff going in and out daily that if Sales had any fears she would be told! Also they said she could go in but without the camera! But Sales says"As we say no pictures, no yarn". So the bottom line in all this was the "camera" was denied access, not Sales herself!

TalkTurkey

25/06/2011DMW said, quoting Jason "What is the connection between 'I doubt if I would get access to see her at the ABC in her office' and Sales being denied access to Inverbrackie?" You must be kiddin' Mate? Jason actually has more right to demand to see Sales in the ABC, a non-secure facility, and with less potential for serious security risk, than Sales has of taking her little prying magic box to Inverbrackie. Where there are multiple reasons that she nor you nor I should be allowed without need to know, or perhaps you hadn't thought around that? And while I can't guarantee that Patricia's Prognostication of Sales' Angle was correct, I'd bet it was anyway, and in any case it sure smacked of serious miff, and the result was a nose-out-of-joint self-righteous whinge. "There is in my mind a connection being over secretive about what goes on inside these facilities and allowing an open debate the whole system." You use the term "over-secretive" more than once, and in whose estimation? Sales? Yours? Cosmic absolutist terms? Then you say, ". . . the story was about the government and various departments being too secretive (IMHO too secretive for their own good but that is my interpretation)." So . . . they are in fact "too secretive" in absolute cosmic terms, but only "too secretive for their own good" in your interpretation? Sounds . . . erm . . . Then you talk of "being inappropriately secretive . . ." Matey . . . Again . . . Who made you the arbiter? Were I in charge of Inverbrackie I would make especially sure that Leigh Sales in particular, after her petulant self-important little snarl, got nowhere near the facility.

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011Sorry, one last thing. 'Secretive' or 'protective'. It all depends on your point of view.

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011NormanK thanks for bringing your usual commonsense view to the conversation. I take your point on some sections of the media potentially creating [i]'a sensationalist story out of a few seconds of footage'[/i] and contend that by being overly secretive the government is creating the space for sensationlist stories to spawn and there is no way any of us can know even part of the real story. [i]... in the not-too-distant future cameras will be allowed access to areas which have been cleared of (refugee applicants) ...[/i] Why the need to clear the people out? However it could be helpful to furthering our understanding. The way I read the Gitmo analogy was about the conditions of entry not about the facility itself and Sales saying she would abide by those (IMHO overly draconian) conditions. TT, [i]Sorry if that stings a little Cobber[/i] No sting felt at this end although it did cause me to wish I could pull out of nowhere some appropriate verse or witty comment as a retort :) As to the rest of your comment I will respond after some grocery shopping and an anniversary celebration I must briefly attend.

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011Michael, You're cutting my lunch! ;-)

macca

25/06/2011I'll be upfront and state at the beginning that I have never had that much time for Leigh Sales. In an industry that prides itself on snide and shallow intellectualism Sales would be close to leading the pack. A reading of the Drum article reinforces that veiw. It's nothing but a load of petulant, self indulgent tosh. Two telling statements give her away; just spiked a story I was working on about children in immigration detention because I was unable to get enough vision to make it work for TV. I had plenty of good information and it's obviously a critical issue. But if I can't get the pictures to make it work, then it's not television current affairs. Full stop. The second statement when referring to her book on David Hicks; " the juiciest revelations came from the American military" or wtte. What Sales was looking for was vision to be edited in such a way as to fit in with her predetermined "juicy revelations" as manufactured and beat up as they might be. Essentially, Sales was looking for a "gotcha" and the Govt., quite rightly in my veiw, denied it to her. Now the following, as was much of the above, is all assumption. The people in the detension centres have entered into the country in a way that circumvents a full and proper examination as their bona fides. That they are traumatised by their journey is beyond doubt. Are they hopeful of a new life? Of course. Is a detension centre stressful? Yes. The amount of internal strength these individuals must muster every day to cling to the hope of a better, peaceful life stands me in awe. No wonder things do go awry every now and again. But there is another side. A side no journalist wants to explore. Because it will interfere with the narrative. What about the good, honest and unfairly maligned public servants who deal the people in their care? Perhaps the system is cumbersome and awkward and needs streamlining. Perhaps it doesn't work as fast as most would like. At the end of the day it is the system that they, on behalf of the Australian people, are charged to implement. Can you imagine going home after work to your family when you've spent the day looking into the eyes of people searching for hope and pleading with you to give some to them? Can you imagine turning on the television only to see vision of a juicy revelation trash the integrity and honesty of your work? Not done out of malice. Because the program needs the ratings and the presenters ego needs a massage. This isn't about secrecy. It's about "gotcha journalism" and it's denial.

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011macca, Hear! Hear! Also, what really irked me about Sales attitude and the words she used to convey the thinking behind the article, was when she referred to what she is doing, not as Investigative Journalism, but as 'television current affairs'. I mean, who's she trying to emulate here, 'Today, Tonight'?

Jason

25/06/2011macca, well said! Sales seems unable at the moment to even dissect the coalitions rubbish when they appear on her show, yet she wants us to think she would be sensitive inside a detention facility. FS, just give Leigh and Chris time the 730 report is ever so slowly heading towards ACA or Today tonight audiences!

D Mick Weir

25/06/2011Macca, you make a very important point regarding the people that deal with this on a day to day basis and I acknowledge that it was not part of my thinkinking in my comments today. I feel guilty in as much as a friend who worked for Immigration suffered because the difficulties of reconciling the disconnect between basic humanity and decency and the way the the politicians treated refugees as a ploiticla football. Thanks for the salient reminder.

NormanK

25/06/2011Is it karma? Mr Stockdale (Minchin's man) beats Mr Reith (Abbott's man) by one vote. Or is it synchronicity? We have the Federal Leader of the Liberal Party put in place by a one vote majority and we have a Liberal Party President put in place by a one vote majority. And the President is not the Leader's preferred choice. No chance of ructions or Reichter Scale 7.0 divisions in the near future? "We are as one!" will be the cries tomorrow despite such obvious conflict over future directions. Who is going to undermine the other first do we reckon? We could do with a bit of relief in the news headline stakes.

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011Gravel, Thank you for your kind words. Things have only marginally improved on the home front and it will take a long time to get to the end of a very long and bumpy road with that. However, your words, everyone else that has offered words of support up to today, and those of AcerbicC. today, helped inspire me to again take up the pen. That, and Tony Abbott's audacious grab for the title of 'Lowest of the Political Low' with his speech to the obsequious toadies, er, faithful, of the Liberal Party at their National Conference. How they can support such a Lying Liar and the Lies that he tells(with thanks to the great Al Franken), I just don't know. I think it's because 'Power' is their drug and they are all hopelessly addicted to it and Abbott is waving it under their noses in a sort of Anti-Pied Piper fashion, leading them to a very dark place of their souls.

Acerbic Conehead 2

25/06/2011FS, Great news. Just like Jason a while ago, its marvellous to have you back on board.

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011AcerbicC., It's been so long, I've ended up writing 'War and Peace II'. It's going to take a while to type it up now. Much music will need to be listened to. :)

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011A great little story about what it means to Aussies to be an Australian today: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/who-do-you-think-you-are-20110624-1gjjh.html

Feral Skeleton

25/06/2011A sobering tale, but still the details within it give me renewed hope that the deal between the government and Malaysia may end up being a good one: http://www.smh.com.au/world/jailed-caned--and-protected-by-a-refugee-card-20110624-1gjim.html

Jason

25/06/2011AC, I'm sorry! I don't know how you keep on writing such funny stuff but long may it continue! it certainly brightens up my weekends.

Patricia WA

26/06/2011NormanK, so if Reith is Abbott's man and Stockdale is Nick Minchin's - I am somewhat confused about alignments now. That's mainly due to my determined ignorance about Liberal party inner workings. So, if Minchin the climate sceptic, monarchist and rightist power broker in the Libs backed Abbott (say, very dry?) against Turnbull, sort of environmentalist and Republican (hardly wet, rather damp?) and now is at odds with Abbott over party presidency, what is happening to alignments? Has Abbott gone even further right than Minchin wanted, or is he pulling back towards centre? What does Reith represent in that sort of spectrum - if it can be simplified in that way for my simple brain. I keep seeing 'Work Choices Revisited' references when Reith is mentioned. Is that really where Abbott wants to go? I think there's plenty of footage of him saying that Work Choices is Dead, Buried, Cremated....whatever! FS, just had a look at that Malaysian treatment of the Burmese refugee story. Confirms for me that the idea of rescuing four thousand of his ilk who have been in limbo like that for years is a pretty good exchange for wiping out the boat people business, even at the cost of misery for their hundreds of clients, Apart from bringing more Burmese here, failing their often preferred option of repatriation, I have a sense that the Malaysian government wants to put its house in order on the refugees generally. A hard ask for them with the huge numbers involved and their comparatively limited resources. The consultation with Australia, involvement with the UNHCR and the need to establish administrative processes for the future will all help move them forward on this. To say nothing of this being an important first move towards a general regional policy and structures. DMW, I can imagine our even considering this issue in terms of numbers might be distressing to you. I've noticed over the years of reading newspaper reports, listening to the radio and watching [i]television current affairs[/i] programs it is always stories about individuals which disturbs us Australians most; a child at his parents' funeral, a mother with her dying baby, a young woman raped, For me lately it has become the reverse as these accounts mount up and accumulate. There are so many sad stories out there in those refugee camps, so much grief, hardship, poverty and injustice that I would welcome any initiative which could offer hope to thousands rather than a few hundred. Any effort to try to lessen the sum total of human misery so we can share our good fortune here with as many others as possible should be encouraged, if it can be done legally and by peaceful means.

Feral Skeleton

26/06/2011PWA, So very eloquently put. :D Now, can you go and put it that way to your local member, Melissa Parke, whose hand I can see pulling the strings yesterday and behind the move by the WA ALP to vote against the Malysian Asylum Seeker deal? I think a case put so succinctly and clearly to her(she should be back in WA for the week), needs to be put before she derails it. Of course with the best intentions, but wrong nonetheless. This is too important a matter to blow up for no good reason.

lyn

26/06/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Some facts about Parliamentary Democracy, Bill, Billablog[/i] the Gillard government in 2011 has as much mandate for a carbon tax as the Howard government of 2004-2007 ever had for WorkChoices. If anything, they have more http://the-billablog.blogspot.com/2011/06/some-facts-about-parliamentary.html [i]You can’t vote for everything, Crispin Hull,[/i] Abbott’s plebiscite also raises the questions of mandate. It is not in the national interest for a government to pursue only those policies it announced at an election and never to change its mind. Circumstances change and good governments need to respond. http://www.crispinhull.com.au/2011/06/25/you-cant-vote-for-everything/ [i]On The Drum - Political Press Release Dressed Up as Opinion , Steve Szetey,The Fezzant Creek Rambler.[/i] you cannot read a media site without falling over at least a dozen articles scathing in their criticism of the Gillard Government with only a small handful of articles actually mentioning, if not discussing, some of their accomplishments. http://fezzantcreakrambler.blogspot.com/2011/06/drum-political-press-released-dressed.html [i]NBN – Subscriber Agreement, Michael Wyres[/i]. This is the last-mile monopoly that Telstra has enjoyed since the Postmaster General's Department rolled out the CAN in the 1950′s. The PMG eventually became Telecom Australia, and then of course Telstra. http://michaelwyres.com/2011/06/nbn-subscriber-agreement/ [i]Anatomy of Power, Roger Wegener.[/i] Tony is still their leader and for all his stunts he is seriously on the nose with large sections of our population. Despite the ABC's attempt to spin it - the #abbottin3 Twitter hashtag demonstrates that large numbers of thinking Australians don't want him anywhere near the levers. http://roger-wegener.blogspot.com/2011/06/anatomy-of-power.html [i]The Doppler Effect, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] the day of ’the knifing’ occurred, the press played the game for the coalition and every day in every way, the noise got louder and louder and louder. The gimmicks got bigger. The frequency between national polls reduced and so on. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/the-doppler-effect/ [i]Advertise your own irrelevance, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] Having spent all that time sucking up to government to regulate in favour of media organisations, we at mainstream media now find ourselves in a Faustian bargain with government. Teetering on the precipice http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/06/advertise-your-own-irrelevance.html [i]Letter from a refugee: ‘This system broke my heart’, Green Left[/i] Finally, I left Malaysia and took the risky journey by boat to Australia. Unexpectedly, I was detained for18 months, both here in Darwin’s Northern Immigration Detention Facility and on Christmas Island. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/48005 [i]Part I – Journey of an asylum seeker: Reza flees Iran,Vince, Champions of Change[/i] After being on the run for 3 months since fleeing Iran, Reza finally boarded his last flight to Australia. When he arrived at Melbourne airport he immediately sought out a customs official and, in broken English, told him “Iam an asylum seeker and I need protection. http://www.championsofchange.org.au/?p=645 [i]Daffodils and “Go back where you come from”., Gerard Oosterman,Window Dresser's Arms, Pig @ Whistle[/i] Did anyone not feel the humaneness and warmth of those refugees in Kuala Lumpur, especially the kid’s eagerness to go and learn at schools? http://pigsarms.com.au/2011/06/23/daffodils-and-go-back-where-you-come-from/ [i]How did we get into this?, Don Aitkin, Climate Etc.[/i] No matter that climate affects us all locally, the outcome has been to find the villainy in our universal use of fossil fuels, leading to increases in temperature, leading to disaster scenarios. The villain is ourselves, and we require government action, more regulation and new taxes. http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/24/how-did-we-get-into-this/#more-3764 [i]Farmers getting older as their acreages decline, Rooted[/i] Nationally, almost half (48%) of all agricultural businesses in Australia were also engaged in cropping activities. Some 17% of agriculture businesses were engaged in horticulture. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2011/06/24/farmers-getting-older-as-their-acreages-decline/#more-2604 [i]Mentioning the war, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] Those nasty “warmists” deliberately use the name “denier” to discredit the tens of thousands of scientists and their friends who are skeptical about global warming, so stop it. http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/06/25/mentioning-the-war/ [i]How Newsrooms Can Win Back Their Reputations, Scot Rosenberg, Mediashift[/i] A piece without links is like a story without the names of its sources. Every link tells a reader, "I did my research. And you can double-check me." http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2011/06/how-newsrooms-can-win-back-their-reputations174.html [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Stop complaining, our economy's in fine form , George Megalogenis, The Australian[/i] THE most futile conversation in Australian politics involves telling people that living standards are rising. The moment a prime minister makes such a claim, as John Howard did in 2007, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/stop-complaining-our-economys-in-fine-form/story-e6frg6zo-1226081585121 [i]Abbott offers tax cuts to rally troops , Peter Veness, SMH[/i] Just how Mr Stockdale will work with four vice-presidents who openly opposed his re-election remains to be seen. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-offers-tax-cuts-to-rally-troops-20110625-1gk93.html [i]Global cooling anyone? , Nigel Tapper, National Times[/i] The longer-term effects of all this ash and dust could be of wider environmental concern than, say, a few hundred thousand stranded passengers, as difficult as it is for those people. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/global-cooling-anyone-20110616-1g4st.html

2353

26/06/2011So Abbott is planning to buy his way into the Lodge again with middle class welfare. As someone who is distinctly middle class, it the missing services syupid. I would rather pay more tax and get things like free roads rather than tollways, public transport that can easily cope with the demands placed on it, a Medicare system that pays 85% of the REAL cost of going to the Doctor, not having to read about "fast tracked" air traffic controllers under extreme pressure nearly causing mid-air collisions between 777's and 737's (effectively due to lack of expensive training time). The strange thing is that Abbott apparently has no problem with pointless wastes of money such as Nauru, extra security at airports (which realistically annoys the majority while leaving gaps wide enough for the Queen Mary 2 to sail through), $80 million "plebiscites" when it suits him and so on. Apart from the fact it has been proven that he can't count (what was the size of the hole in his costings last time - $11billion?) when will someone start calling this clown out for what he is? It's also interesting that Reith didn't get the Liberal Presidency - as a moderate [palm slap]! If Reith is a moderate, may the deity of our choice help us! Nice post AC - it gave me a laugh unlike the LNP.

Feral Skeleton

26/06/20112353, How could you not find holes in the logic of Tony Abbott's speech at the Liberal Party National Conference, wide enough for the QE2 to get through, as you said about the Election Costings? Which I had fun doing yesterday, and it will be the subject of my comeback post! :D

lyn

26/06/2011Good Morning Ad and Acerbic Conehead I have hidden a little game for everyone this morning. The "Today's Links' are different. The game is to find the first, Astute, crafty reader to spot the difference from the normal today's links. This is Ash, just posted: Pressure, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery The most interesting aspect of this vote at the Liberal party conference is not, like its current leader of the federal party, it was won by one vote. No. The interesting aspect is Mr Abbott, the party’s federal leader, was not able to get a stronger vote of support. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/pressure/ Cheers :):):):):)

janice

26/06/2011I have become quite dizzy going round and round in circles re the asylum seeker issue. It is an emotive issue that has been used as a political football for too long so that there are divisions of opinion every whichway. For what it is worth, my opinion is that the government are taking the right course in seeking a regional solution which is the only way there will ever be just and reasonable outcomes for both Australia and the asylum seekers. Detention centres came into being when many (10% ?) of asylum seekers did not fulfil their obligations to this country to keep authorities informed of their whereabouts etc and simply disappeared into the community. (There will always be some who will spoil it for everyone else). We get all emotional and ask why we are so worried about so few arriving here by boat, and we're right to ask that question. However, there is more to that question. What about the hundreds of thousands of refugees already languishing in camps around the world? What if even half of those had been able to afford to pay a smuggler to get them a passage on an overcrowded fishing boat bound for Australia? Why have we more sympathy for those who can afford to pay to force their way into our country, and so much less for those who've been waiting years for a country to extend a sympathetic hand? And then, having arrived on our shores and placed in detention (a system they were fully aware of before embarking on the perilous journey), what makes these people think it is okay to whinge, complain and riot because the wheels of government are turning too slowly? The Australian government has bent over backwards to give these people every possible facility to ease the pain of waiting for their desired freedom yet, they have the audacity to riot and burn down those facilities. Sorry, I used to have much sympathy for their plight but I lost it when they began to bite the hand that is feeding them.

Michael

26/06/2011Bad Abbott (a given) and a naughty Bob Brown Did anyone else hear (as I'm sure I did, although repeated playbacks of my recording of the show don't make this absolutely certain), Bob Brown, being interviewed by Barrie Cassidy, call Tony Abbott an "idiot"? It might have been "blithering idiot", but Cassidy was talking at the same time, so it's hard to be certain. 'Naughty' Bob if he did... get something so right. Off to read a couple of tabloid newspapers pieces on the Abbott family. Thankfully this time of year is too cold for images of his daughters clambering all over him in the family pool! Oh no, what if they have a sauna?!

Lyn

26/06/2011Hi Michael I sure heard Bob Brown say"Abbott Idiot" loud and clear, Barrie Cassidy cut in very quick. Bob Brown also said Tony Abbott is defending the indefensible. Thankyou Michael for you bad Abbott Report, most enjoyable. I didn't say thankyou yesterday, but that just means busy busy. Took me over three hours yesterday to collect the links, our bloggers are increasing their output, also new blogs popping up everywhere. Cheers :):):)

Gravel

26/06/2011Janice I agree with you and especially your last paragraph Sorry, I used to have much sympathy for their plight but I lost it when they began to bite the hand that is feeding them. [quote][/quote] If that paragraph isn't here, I do apologise, NormanK I followed your instructions but must have missed something out. Feral Skeleton I am seriously looking forward to your next post, caught a bit of what Abbot was saying and just couldn't listen any more.

Gravel

26/06/2011Okay so the quote thing didn't work. I am now pasting what Janice said: [i]Sorry, I used to have much sympathy for their plight but I lost it when they began to bite the hand that is feeding them.[/i]

Ad astra reply

26/06/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

TalkTurkey

26/06/2011AC I've spent some time considering a meet comment on this scatire of your'n. (Well some of us write pomes.) I was going to write you a limerick but my brain scanner tells me incredulously that there are NO rhymes for Acerbic except for herbic, your fault for choosing it. This bloke has a very strange head: It is shaped like a cone, so it's said! It breathes vapours acerbic - Could its contents be herbic??? Who knows what those neurons get fed! Lyn, I've had a look but you got me puzzed so far. :)

NormanK

26/06/2011Gravel Congratulations! A copy and paste with quotation italics. Play with the 'Preview' button above the comments box. It will show your post just as it will appear. Use "Comment' button above the box to return to drafting mode. You can do this as many times as you like before actually posting your comment. More power to you. Acerbic Conehead Thanks as ever. After an exhausting week I'm fresh out of quips but I see you're still good for a new NBN.

TalkTurkey

26/06/2011Lyn, Michael, Yes I heard it twice, ABC24 gets broadcast half an hour earlier than ABC1 and I was waiting for it 2nd time, and I do think Brown said 'blithering idiot', me t'ink it 'mazing!!! So BTW did a few people on PB think that is what Brown said. But you're both wrong about Crassidy, he was neither talking at the time nor did he deliberately cut in, he just boorishly stupidly interrupted Brown at the precise instant he should've STFU! Or rather, NFI! So it's very hard to be sure if those were Brown's words, just goes to show why such as little friends like Crassidy ought to learn manners. We'll see it again I hope. What a great take.

Ad astra reply

26/06/2011Hi Lyn I'm still looking for the difference in LYN'S DAILY LINKS. You have set us quite a test!

Bill

26/06/2011Many thanks for the link.

Ad astra reply

26/06/2011Hi Lyn I may be on the wrong track, but I note that on two links there is #more and a number, which when clicked goes to part way down the relevant page, but I'm still wondering where that is leading. Then again, maybe that is not the change, and the real one is so obvious I've missed it.

lyn

26/06/2011Hi Ad and Talk Turkey You guys are an absolute pair of Darlings, both awarded the Astute Crafty crown. Thankyou for having a look at my little puzzle. Maybe I should have put at least one clue. Trouble is one clue gives away the answer. There are 10 bloggs that have never been posted before, also our old favourites are at the bottom of the list. Now I wonder why I would have spotted that straight away. Just joking. Cheers:):):):

Ad astra reply

26/06/2011Hi Lyn I see the [i]Crikey[/i] link with the #more goes to a paragraph that contains your byline under the title, but the other #more doesn't, so I'm still mystified.

janice

26/06/2011Hello there Bill, and welcome to The Political Sword. I've just been over to your blog and read your piece on democracy. You certainly make points that put the cat among the pigeons and give much food for thought.

lyn

26/06/2011Hi Bill That is just so nice of you to tell us you noticed, thankyou so much. Your article is a must read for everybody. Brilliant information and a wonderful enjoyable read. I get so sick of this "She hasn't got a mandate" over and over again. You have just given me a much better understanding. I just wish the MSM would point out some of these distorted statements. Some facts about Parliamentary Democracy, Bill, Billablog the Gillard government in 2011 has as much mandate for a carbon tax as the Howard government of 2004-2007 ever had for WorkChoices. If anything, they have more the-billablog.blogspot.com/.../...rliamentary.html Cheers

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011Patricia WA @ 1:44 AM The discdussion about numbers causes me no distress at all. What distresses me? On the refugee topic I am distressed by the vilification of refugees by BOTH sides of the political divide. I am distressed that people are willing to accept a least worst option. I am distressed that many cannot see that the so called Malaysian Solution as it has been currently explained is closer to a pandering to the 'Stop THe Boats' slogan than it is to a humane response to the huge problem that is caused by the displacememt of people from their prefered homelands. You make a good point about it being individual stories that disturbs the thinking and understanding of a lot of people. The [b]Send them back[/b] doco shows very well that peoples understandings and thinkings on the topic can be changed and that personal experience is powerful force for change. It distresses me that some cannot see that instead of leading on the issue the government is fighting on the oppositions terms. There are times when it appropriate to fight fire with fire and there times when it is better to fight fire with a fire extinguisher. This is one of those times. It is time for the government to pick up the phone not to Nauru but to the fire brigade and put the fire out rather than fanning the flames that are being created by some in the opposition parties, the xenephobes and the red necks. I will refer once again to a comment some time ago by Paul Barratt: [i]I do not want the Government to do the tough thing or the media savvy thing. I want it to do the right thing. I would like it to show the same political and moral courage that was shown by Malcolm Fraser in relation to Vietnamese boat arrivals in the 1970s, the message that this is not a big deal, and we are quite capable of managing it. I do not want the Government to be defensive about its more humane approach; I want it to explain it and be proud of it. I want it to lead popular opinion on this issue, not follow it.[/i] As the story on the [b]Ipsos Mackay Report, Being Australian[/b] that FS linked to @ 10:34 PM last night partly shows with leadership and courage the government could kill this off as a poisonous issue that they have encouraged it become by playing into the oppositions hands and playing the political football game on it.

Feral Skeleton

26/06/2011janice, Exactly. Upon closer examinatiion of the Asylum Seeker/Refugee problem I have come to the conclusion that the terms 'Asylum Seeker' and 'Refugee' are not general terms but specifically cover a whole range of subsets of people who fall into these categories. We have those who can afford to pay People Smugglers to come by boat, and those who languish in Refugee Camps called, 'Nowhere', because they are in the middle of nowhere in Africa, or there are Staeless Chin and Karen Burmese who have been the subject of Ethnic Cleansing raids by the Burmese government, or are placed into virtual servitude in their own country, who are also languishing in virtual holes in the ground in Malaysia and Thailand. I truly feel sorry for them, and now that I know more about their plight I want our country to do more for them, and not so much for those who are gaming the country coming over here via the People Smuggler network. That may sound cruel and heartless to some, or as if I am advocating discrimination where there should be none, but I also think that at least there should be more balance put into our Asylum Seeker numbers. I also believe that our country's environment simply cannot support all the world's refugees, in a never-ending procession to our door. I mean, I thought The Greens were concerned about man's impact on the environment? Well, how do they reconcile that with their Open Door Refugee policy? Just askin'.

lyn

26/06/2011Hi Ad You will need to scroll back for the answer, we have crossed our posts. I wonder if Bad Abbott will take up this kind offer. Julia Gillard has a kind heart, fancy wanting to help bad Abbott after all the nasty things he has said, personal and otherwise: [i]Gillard offers Abbott Treasury officials , The Age[/i] "Today I do want to make an offer to Tony Abbott, I do believe Australians should be able to judge this on the basis of all the facts and figures," she told the Ten Network. "So I'm prepared to make available to Mr Abbott officials from Treasury to work with him in coming weeks to cost whatever he says he wants to do in tax so that we can see what it means and the billions of dollars it would cost." http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/gillard-offers-abbott-treasury-officials-20110626-1glag.html Cheers

janice

26/06/2011FS, I agree. As always, I'm apt to use too few words to express my opinion but you do it so well. Btw I'm pleased to see you are back to your old self and I look forward to your next piece.

TalkTurkey

26/06/2011Lyn, I didn't realize all the newies but I did notice, wish a rush of pity and love, that you said you spent three hours doing Links today! And then I thought, Oh yeah, well how long does she think I then have to spend READING them and skating around them?! And all the other people whose eyes and fingers dance to your Pied Piper tunes every day, spare a thought for them! What you can do now is breathe on your nails and polish them on your lapel with a sort of Mona Lisa smile. I'm going to Bill's now. It's good so they say! DMW I do enjoy and try to follow your writing. Just in case you think I wanna havva go. I don't.

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011Lyn thanks for your plethora of links makes for some interesting Sunday reading. Mr Hull's story shows he is still a master at squashing mythconceptions. Thans for that link.

Michael

26/06/2011Lyn, hi. Thanks for your enthusiasm for the Bad Abbott series. It's just so sad that they are so easy to find. What's even easier to find, due to your wonderful ferreting-out, are the stories from all over the media that daily make up Lyn's Links. Invaluable! Talk Turkey, hello. Thanks for confirming what my ears couldn't quite decide Bob Brown had said. Bob looks decidedly happy about having the upper hand in the Upper House from July 1. I expect, however, there will be even more than normally dirty politics aimed at the Greens up until the next election. On Insiders, that Liberal Party 'spokesman' from The Australian, Chris Kenny, trundled out the line we'll undoubtedly be hearing from Shouldabeen et al forever, that Gillard Labor is locked into a partnership with the 'radical' Greens that will drag the country into the depths of tree-hugging/big business bashing. But if big business is so frightened by Labor and the Greens seeking common ground on too-important-to-leave-undone policies, why was one of the attacks on reinstated Liberal Party President Alan Stockdale that the finances of the party are parlously low. Surely such a spooked and determined to change the government 'big business' would be stuffing the Liberal Party coffers with cash to make that happen? Also on Insiders, the information was dropped that Tiny A actually voted for Stockdale, after previously being reported as supporting Reith. If he was trying to play both sides because the number-counters' word was that Reith would stroll it in, how deliciously ironic that the man he wanted to see 'out' got 'in' by one vote. Just as Shouldabeen himself became Liberal Leader. Essentially his own vote in each case. May Stockdale, who apparently considers winning by one vote "a vote of confidence", have every bit as much credible achievement in his role as Tiny has in his. 151 pieces of legislation passed since the election. If Abbott was truly the "most successful Opposition leader in recent times", that parliamentary statistic would be halved, quartered, reduced to single figures. The simple fact is that Tiny can pull stunts, but he's not a real national leader's freckle.

lyn

26/06/2011Hi DMick Weir Yes Crispin Hull is a good read too. I love our bloggers they do such a good job of explaining for us, they make me overwhelmed at times. Cheers:):):):)

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011FS @ 12:26 PM, First up to assist with understanding about refugees and asylum seekers read this: [b]What is the difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee?[/b] [i]There is a great deal of confusion about the difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee and often the terms are used interchangeably or incorrectly. An asylum seeker is someone who is seeking international protection but whose claim for refugee status has not yet been determined. In contrast, a refugee is someone who has been recognised under the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees to be a refugee.[/i] Parliamentary Library Background Note - Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts? - Updated 14 January 2011 www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/BN/sp/Asylumfacts.htm Slightly outside the scope of the categories you have suggested but still something that is important to understand. Your category: [i]'... those who can afford to pay [b]People Smugglers[/b] to come by boat[/i] illustrates part of the problem of villification. The use of the term People Smugglers is not needed. It is guilt by association and only adds to the lumping of those people into a category of illegal or whatever. Those seeking refuge by whatever means are not doing something that is illegal. They may use means that are considered illegal just as prisoners of war have done since time immemorial. Attempting to escape hell is not illegal. I am sure your intention is not to villify and I point it out only to show how easy it is to fall into the trap of playing this football game at the lowest common denominator level.

lyn

26/06/2011Hi Talk Turkey How can I cope, you just make me laugh so much, enough to make anyone spend 6 hours just to hear what you say. [quote]And then I thought, Oh yeah, well how long does she think I then have to spend READING them and skating around them?! And all the other people whose eyes and fingers dance to your Pied Piper tunes every day, spare a thought for them! What you can do now is breathe on your nails and polish them on your lapel with a sort of Mona Lisa smile[/quote]. Laugh, laugh, laugh, and then smile, smile, smile You guys make my day you all contribute fantastic enthusiasm to our TPS pages everyday. Cheers :):):):):)

Ad astra reply

26/06/2011Bill Welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family. Do come again. I enjoyed reading your blog about the issue of a 'mandate', so full of facts and well reasoned argument. Why can't/won't most of the MSM write such sensible, readble material. I think we know the answers.

Ad astra reply

26/06/2011Hi Lyn It shows that sometimes we need to step back and look at the big picture rather than fossicking among the detail as I did. You do us such a great service by finding new blogs and bringing them to us. Thank you so much. I was occupied all last evening with a family birthday, and now have more kids and a grandson coming for lunch, so I won't be around until this evening.

Feral Skeleton

26/06/2011D Mick Weir, I did kinda understand what the difference between a Refugee and an Asylum Seeker was, but I guess I was just being a bit shorthandish. Anyway, I have genuine sympathy for all of them, don't get me wrong. However I am starting to have selective sympathy, if you will, or differentiated sympathy might be more exact, especially when I hear stories such as the one in which a loophole has now been closed which was allowing various people to wire money direct from Australia to Indonesia to pay the People Smugglers their fees and to get more of those person's family members onto boats headed for Australia. That just sounds the furthest thing from a desperate refugee setting sail on the high seas in order to flee a clear and present danger to them and theirs that I can think of. My sympathy is going to those who are living in a metaphorical hole in the ground instead. The people in Indonesia may have been fleeing from their tormenters for a number of years, and fair enough they may be genuine refugees, however, as there are new conflicts causing refugee numbers to swell every day, and other conflicts which are not getting Australia's attention to their refugees stranded in first countries of refuge, such as the Karen and Chin in Malaysia and Thailand, Africans and even Libyans, it has just made me reassess my attitude towards those who seem to me to be gaming the system here, even though those same asylum seekers may indeed be genuine refugees.

NormanK

26/06/2011D Mick Weir I'm still trying to pin down your position without putting words in your mouth or doing too much reading between the lines. It's worth the effort for all of us though eh? :D This won't make your life any easier but I feel compelled to point out that I will only take responsibility for that which I have written and do not necessarily endorse other opinions expressed on TPS. I'm not sure why you still feel that Labor is vilifying refugees. Yes the media commentators and refugee advocates refuse to speak of the Malaysian deal in any terms other than those which reference Coalition policy i.e. it's the Pacific Solution by another name; Nauru would be more humane. They are refusing to acknowledge that this may be the first step towards a lasting solution which will stand the region in good stead for the rest of this Century and beyond. I don't know why they are doing this. I don't pretend to know what the refugee advocates' motives are. For the media I suspect it just doesn't suit the narrative that they have got going about each side being in a race to the bottom. And they are lazy beyond all measure. God forbid that one side is actually trying to break the mould and spoiling their story. The Malaysian deal is getting some quite positive press in Asian newspapers who can see the benefit to the region of a deal which sees Australia increase its intake from their region and the possibility of Australia helping to set-up and fund a regional processing centre (or two or three). This may be one of the foundations on which your objections rest. A regional processing centre is being depicted as somewhere that we can send our unwanted asylum seekers whereas in fact the idea (under the Bali Process and the recently signed Bali Framework) is to put a centre further up the pipeline (a better description than queue in my opinion) so that asylum seekers have somewhere to go that they can reach by land. They can be processed and have their asylum claim legitimised (or not). This was the main driving force behind the East Timor Solution - to have somewhere back up the pipeline where people could be processed. Commentators only saw the out-of-sight out-of-mind aspect of it. It is indicative of their lack of imagination and inability to do some homework. There are two versions of 'Stop the Boats' in play at the moment. I no longer have any doubt that Abbott and Morrison (and more recently Warren Truss) are playing to the xenophobic minority and are actually saying 'Stop the Asylum Seekers' (with a bit of 'border protection' thrown in). Labor is trying to 'Stop the Leaky Old Fishing Boats' with children on board. The extra 4000 refugees we are willing to take from Malaysia give the lie to the idea that Labor is trying to 'Stop the Asylum Seekers'. The ALP has thrown time, effort and money at the problem on the Indonesian end of the pipeline but it doesn't seem to be working. Neither you nor I would be happy to see the likes of the Nauru deterrent reinvigorated. So what's the solution to stopping the leaky old fishing boats? Tell people that it is a game of Snakes and Ladders. If you come to Australia by boat you land on a snake and go back six places to Malaysia. So don't get on the boat. If the Bali Framework comes to fruition, all of the participating countries will revamp their irregular arrivals policies. I listed the participants for ToM some time ago and it is a long and comprehensive one. The insertion of the UNHCR and IOM into places like Malaysia will herald a big step forward in their reformation efforts. As a result of the Bali negotiations, Indonesia has now enacted laws making people smuggling illegal which means that they can now police smugglers on their shores and prosecute law-breakers in their own courts. Malaysia has disbanded its voluntary police force which was the main perpetrator of breaches of human rights (as we would understand them). I'm sure there is much more going on in the region which we don't know about - primarily because our media is obsessed with the horse race and pays no attention to developments outside the race track. I know that you are keen on the Paul Barry quote but he doesn't spell out what he would like to see done. We have effectively moved to have Australian Processing Centres - Christmas Island as first point of contact and then mainland sites where applicants are housed while their claims are deliberated upon. Where possible people are being allowed out into the community or moved to more comfortable environments like Inverbrackie. I join you in a call for a re-branding of these centres to something a bit less like prisons. There is nothing in Barry's statements which addresses the problem of last year's dreadful sinking. If Malaysia goes well we could see similar deals being done with other neighbours whereby we take thousands of their refugees if they co-operate in the regional framework. The ideal outcome would be that no-one comes by boat (and consequently gets chooffed off to be processed elsewhere) but that we continue to increase our regional intake. I am still at 60/40 in favour because of three reservations. 1. The fate of the first asylum seekers who are sent to Malaysia may not be all that I might wish. But nowhere near as bad as critics would have us believe. 2. People who presumably know a bit about these things, like Malcolm Fraser, are still vociferous in their objections. 3. Manus Island. If this turns out to be a detention centre with punitive overtones rather than a regional processing centre then I will be dismayed. I stand a very real chance of getting fat on the amount of Humble Pie that I will be forced to consume if your fears are realised and my hopes are shattered but at present I'm optimistic that the government is taking the first steps towards flipping the bird to the rednecks by stopping the boats but increasing our intake.

Gravel

26/06/2011D Mick Weir Fraser had BI-PARTISAN support with the Vietnamese Refugees. There has been no BI-PARTISAN support since the Tampa 'We will decide who comes here' 2001 stuff. Sorry to yell but 10 years of the Coalition degrading refugees, I personally have got to point of, I just want it all to go away. I was stunned when this current opposition started it all up again. I naively thought the media would jump down their throats. Nup, not a word. The opposition helped pass the more humane processing that Labor put in place, then proceeded to yell and scream how they were too soft. The public bought the b!llshite and here we are. As I said in an earlier post, it would be lovely to have what you are proposing but it will not happen unless or until there is once again BI-PARTISAN support.

Patricia WA

26/06/2011Grog, the other day pleading for someone [i]'to throw a wreath to Peter Reith' [/i] reminded us of the scandalous role that 'elder statesman' of the Liberal party played in all the rabble rousing over the asylum seeker/boat people issue. It was also a reminder of the quality of the men still running the Liberal Party. Think of the level of support Reith had in his bid to be President of the Liberal Party from three of their vice- presidents, including the delightful Alexander Downer. He only lost by one vote because Tony Abbott switched his at the last minute. Oh, the power of one! I wonder if Tony Abbott sees the irony in that? I didn't see Grog's ‘wreath’ reference as just a pun, but a grim reminder of the deaths of so many asylum seekers in tragedies like SIEV-X, and before that SIEV-IV in 2001 when Reith as Defence Minister released a video which he claimed showed asylum seekers cynically throwing their ‘children overboard’ to pressure naval rescue vessels as they scuttled their boat. That was at the end of his parliamentary life but he was always a polarizing figure in national politics. In 1988 as Shadow Attorney General Reith played a significant role in successfully promoting the ‘No’ case in the Referendum on electoral reform. As Minister for Industrial Relations in the Howard Government in 1998 he supported Patrick Corporation in their lock-out of striking workers and use of strike breakers at the Darling Harbour docks protected by balaclava-clad security guards and vicious dogs. In 2000 he was discredited by disclosure that his government funded phone card bill amounted to $50,000, much of it from private use, including $1,000 by his son! He decided, very sensibly, not to stand for election in 2001. He was, however, still Defence Minister when the ‘children overboard’ scandal broke, followed by a xenophobic furore which was a major factor in the Liberal party winning that election. Our good friend, Grog, recently announced a change of direction in his career. He’ll be spending less time on his blog and focussing instead on writing a book. He's had lots of tributes from his readers at [quote]http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/[/quote] so I thought this might be appropriate as a token parting gift. I'm not sure if, presentation-wise it needs the emphasis referring to the incidents I've outlined above. Any thoughts? [b]A Gamut of Emotions About Once [i]‘Honorable’[/i] Peter Reith[/b] Typical of Liberals to say [i]“No!”[/i] to Peter Reith. They should have honored him, not kicked him in the teeth. A man like him, so deserving of reward, Instead has been [i]discarded[/i] and then thrown [i]overboard.[/i] He more than others deserved the laurel [i]wreath[/i]. Modern Liberal spirit shows how much he has bequeathed. His party should be grateful for all he’s done, Not [i]lock him out[/i], reject him by [i]a majority of one[/i]. How must he feel, hounded out by such a [i]pack of dogs?[/i]Does he regret his political life, so full of [i]paradox?[/i]This, a simple tribute, to the [i]patrician[/i] Peter Reith, Hides a depth of feelings and my meaning underneath.

Patricia WA

26/06/2011I guess I have the answer! No Italics! [b]A Gamut of Emotions About Once ‘Honorable’ Peter Reith[/b] Typical of Liberals to say “No!” to Peter Reith, They should have honored him, not kicked him in the teeth. A man like him, so deserving of reward, Instead has been discarded and then thrown overboard. He more than others deserved the laurel wreath. Modern Liberal spirit shows how much he has bequeathed. His party should be grateful for all he’s done, Not lock him out, reject him by a majority of one. How must he feel, hounded out by such a pack of dogs! Does he regret his political life, so full of paradox? This, a simple tribute, to the patrician Peter Reith, Hides a depth of feelings and my meaning underneath.

Gravel

26/06/2011Patricia I think you mean he's just been thrown overboard? I got a laugh anyway.

Jason

26/06/2011TT, RIP Crows!

TalkTurkey

26/06/2011Next time Jason! We'll get you next time! BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!

Feral Skeleton

26/06/2011Gutless! http://www.smh.com.au/national/coalition-rejects-gillards-tax-challenge-20110626-1gldf.html

Jason

26/06/2011FS, I noticed yesterday in Abbotts "speech" where he was offering tax cuts for all, without the need for a carbon tax! I for the life of me can't remember how he was going to fund the super increase and the cut in business tax due to the mining tax, did it even get a mention?

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011NormanK @ 3:14 PM Julia Gillard in a speech to the Lowy Institute said [i]'That people smuggling is an evil trade to be punished.'[/i] and that this was one of the principles for developing asylum seeker policy was to be based. (Audio and a pdf available here: http://www.lowyinstitute.org/Publication.asp?pid=1328 One of the stated effects of the Malaysian Solution is to 'break the people smugglers business model'. Unstated, but clearly another desired outcome, is to 'Stop the Boats'. Like it or lump the truth is that the government is also saying that people who come by boat facilitated by 'people smugglers' are criminals. This is pure dog whistle that plays straight into the hands of Abbott, Morrison and many others too numerous to name. Up until now, despite what many claim, there has never been a queue for asylum seekers to join to get here (or anywhere else?). What has been created now is the perception that there is an orderly queue (for the lucky 4,000) in Malaysia. Now we have another potential very loud dog whistle. Iregular Maritime Arrivals are now definitely queue jumpers and will be told in no uncertain terms "Go to the back of the queue". The vilification comes by associating in peoples minds those seeking refuge with criminal activity. Now also by labeling one class of refuge seeker a queue jumper. I have many of, if not all of, the hopes that you have for the Bali Process and for long term viable solutions to what seems to be an intractable problem. Yes the government is actively involved and doing more than we suspect that an Abbott led goverment would (but we do not know that for sure) and when it bears fruit I will applaud. My main beef is that Gillard is playing this on the Oppositions terms and at the lowest level. Ms Gillard is, in effect, fanning the flames of hatred and pandering to the xenephobes. There are no votes to be won playing it that way in fact it is likely there are many that will be lost. Back, for a moment, to Ms Gillard's words to the effect that [i]'people smugglers are evil people'[/i]. If she was only talking about people [b]traffickers[/b]; those that lure young girls into sexual slavery while pretending to offer those innocents freedom and work as housekeepers or nannies then I would totally agree. As I have said I am sure there are criminals involved in the movement of refuge seekers by boat but that does not make the refuge seekers criminals. Even some of the crews are but simple fisherman who think they have won the lottery by being paid what is to them a very large amount of money to be part of the process. Does that make them criminals? Maybe, but put youself in their shoes; if you were offered what amounted to a lifetimes earning for a one off trip in your ricketty old boat to help save the lives of fifty or a hundred people what would you do? What would I do if I were in one of those fisherman's shoes? I very much suspect I would take the money and run just as if I were stuck as an 'illegal' in Malaysia I would find the first boat I could to Australia in an effort to better my life and hopefully that of family.

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011FS @ 2:12 PM I understand what you are saying and can follow why you may have come to some of those understandings. Try this simple whatif scenario: [i]Feral, is a mother of a couple of fine strapping young lads and she loves them dearly. Feral's problem is that as an Asylum Seeker she came by boat to Australia but had to leave her sons behind in Malaysia. It took eighteen months for her to be granted refugee status but her sons are still in Malaysia. But there is hope, Feral has a job now and so she is saving every spare cent to get enough money to pay people smugglers to take her sons on the same perilous voyage that she bravely took so that eventually she may be reunited with her family.[/i] Would you condemn this fictitous feral?

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011Gravel @ 3:15 PM I agree and I to wish it would it would go away. I also apologise for harping on about it but it will not go away whilever (? is that a word) the government plays at the oppositions level and also dog whistles.

NormanK

26/06/2011D Mick Weir [quote]Like it or lump the truth is that the government is also saying that people who come by boat facilitated by 'people smugglers' are criminals.[/quote] That is the leap that I can't make. Yes, the rhetoric of Rudd and now Gillard around people smugglers is a bit over the top but how can one have any sympathy or respect for individuals who dangle freedom as the carrot, take exorbitant fees for their services then destroy papers and put 60 vulnerable people on to leaky old fishing boats which were never meant to take to the open sea? The December ship-wreck was a boat that left port during unfavourable weather. They have no conscience and once they have their money they have no duty of care (that's overstating it) to either the asylum seekers or the gullible Captains and crew (some of whom it seems are victims of shanghaiing). Presumably the boat crew don't realise that they are headed for years in jail or they think it is worth it. The whole 'go to the back of the queue' thing surprised me and I can see no defence of it. It seems that you can't make a distinction between 'Stop the Boats' (code for stop the illegal aliens) and 'Stop the Leaky Old Fishing Boats'. Perhaps my glasses are rose-tinted.

Feral Skeleton

26/06/2011DMW, If I, Feral Mum, knew there was a right way and a wrong way to get to Australia as an Asylum Seeker, I would want to maximise my chances, both for survival and the prospect of getting a guernsey from the government to come here, and I would make my way to the nearest queue which was being set up for me and my family in a refugee camp ina country of first asylum. Which is pretty much what the government is on about I think. That is, they think that Stopping the Boats can be a good thing, not in the way Tony Abbott wants to, but in the sense of breaking the People Smugglers business model, which gives rise to a lot of the resentment Australians feel about refugees who come here by boat, and, secondly, because they genuinely want people to stop coming by boat and not making it here as they drown at sea or are dashed upon the rocks of Christmas Island. I mean, what's the point of going to all the trouble of becoming a refugee if you just end up as shark bait? Now, to your hypothetical scenariio. As a mother of 2 boys that I love more than life itself, I would never let them out of my sight if we became refugees, and I would certainly not get on a boat bound for Australia on my own without them. For us it's one in, all in. However, as I said, if I found out there was a right way which had been set up by the government in the region, and there was the wrong way, which involved paying a People Smuggler a fee to get on a boat and take my and my family's chances, I know which way I would choose to go.

Jason

26/06/2011DMW, Just accept that in the short term it's going nowhere!and whilst we have the "radio shock jocks" and the pentecostal churches fanning the flames of division, the good folk of "western Sydney" and a compliant "media" who hardly report the good the government does!It wont be changing any time soon.

Jason

26/06/2011Aa, An add on for the global warming thread! http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011NormanK, I am in no way condoning, or have respect for, the principals behind the people smuggling (and I trust I haven't given that impression). One of the ways people smuggling may be reduced is by solving te resettlement problem closer to the source as you have suggested is part of what the Bali Process is about. I understand that some cannot bring themselves to see that the way the government is framing this is a dog whistle to the xenephobes etc. Can I suggest that those rose coloured glasses you mention may be part of the barrier. It is unfortunate but no matter how I look at it I can only see that the government is playing this on the oppositions terms not its' own terms. FS, forgive me if I don't totally believe you but I also understand that from your current place that is how you believe you would do it. If you were actually in that situation I suspect you may do it differently. You gave more of answer than I asked for and I will reask the question. [i]Would you condemn this fictitous feral?[/i] Jason, Again I understand and accept what you are saying but that does not mean we should not try. For some strange reason some words that may mother used to hound ne with whenever I got into nefarious mischief with my best mate EG are haunting me so I'll share the conversation with you. [i][b]Mum:[/b] 'Why did you do that? [b]DMW:[/b] 'Because EG did it and it seemed like good fun' [b]Mum:[/b] 'If EG jumped off a cliff would you follow him?' [b]DMW:[/b] 'If it seemed like fun'[/i] I can still feel the sore ears and behind for that reply :) Folks one and all, At this point I am reinsating my promise to myself that whenever discussions about refugees or Asylum Seekers come up here I will cross my fingers (so I can't type) and bite my tongue (so that I can't speak out of turn) and end my harping on this topic (and the cheers were heard around the blogoshere)

NormanK

26/06/2011DMW [quote]I will cross my fingers (so I can't type) and bite my tongue (so that I can't speak out of turn)[/quote] Don't do that unless you've run out of steam. There is no correct answer to such a complex and multi-faceted problem. I run out of puff after a while but while the conversation is civil the effort is not wasted.

macca

26/06/2011One way of putting out a fire is to use a fire extinguisher. Another way is to starve it of oxygen. The Malaysian agreement should do this. The unfortunate and brutal truth is this; When people pay a smuggler to put them on a boat they become central to a toxic political debate in this country. It's not fair, it's not right. But it is the reality. This debate isn't going to be quelled by lucid and rational thought, though it should be It isn't going to be quelled by compassion and empathy. The poison, administered by Howard and Reith, drip fed by Abbott, Morrison and a hate media has to deep a penetration. This whole debate is like a boil underneath our collective armpit. It's inflamed, full of toxins and ready to explode. As a kid the way we dealt with boils was to pop them, wash out the toxins and, importantly, find and discard the core. Whether we like it or not. Whether we accept it or not. The boat arrivals are the core that feeds the toxin. The boil has to be popped. That we have become a lesser people because of this debate is just a scar we'll have to carry. I agree with NormanK. That a regional commitment of co-operation to refugees and their plight might just be an unintended consequence. DMW, I just don't see a soothing balm fixing this. I just believe the boil has to be popped and the toxin drained.

Jason

26/06/2011DMW, I long for the day when we have an opposition leader who can sit down with the government and come to some sort of "Bipartisan" position on the whole debate! However with Abbott and Morrison this wont happen in my life time!

John

26/06/2011AC As Feral Skeleton suggested, watch out for offers to write script. I'm not sure who will call first: Joe Hockey, John Clarke, or Roy & HG. And I'm not sure if they'd praise you, or abuse you for trying to displace them. I'd love to see what The Chaser team could do with it. Onya! :) John PS what's in the Libs DNA, as referred to by Tony A? See: http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2011/06/abbott-tax-cuts-are-in-our-dna.html

Patricia WA

26/06/2011Dear Mick Weir! Do you want a thick ear? Don't ever think it is speaking [i]out of turn[/i] to be a minority of one in any exchange of ideas, least of all here at The Political Sword. How would we ever sort out our thoughts and feelings on this issue, and others, without discussion and debate fired by different points of view? Watching Bob Brown on Insiders this morning I thought to myself that the thing he and Julia Gillard, and Tony Windsor all have in common is a capacity to understand how and why people have different points of view. Their ability to understand each others' differences and to compromise, to reach consensus, will make this hung parliament a historically productive one. We don't have to reach consensus here, but we can learn from each other. I certainly have today. I've a lot still to think through again. That's why I'll keep coming back here. That and the courtesy shown to each other no matter how passionate the argument.

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011[i]With trepidation he gingerly steps out of the corner once more unto the breach.[/i] Ok NormanK; I am not out of steam and have a lot to add and I will do so with care. macca, the boil is a great analogy. With words like this you could well rest my 'tweety bestowed title' of 'our resident Confucius' from my shoulders - please do :) [i]Another way is to starve it of oxygen. The Malaysian agreement should do this.[/i] Grimace. We could hope so but again listen to the words being used. I still think that, however inadvertant or unintended, they are fanning the flames. Jason, you are more than likely right about Abbott. That is another good reason not to play at Abbott's level. Played at a different level the likes of the Judiths and others in the opposition may well come forward again to kick him in the nether regions until he sees sense. Backed by a number of eminent aussies there could be a chance at a shift. I will concede however a pipe dream that I am having. As an aside for those that watched Send them back. When the participants got to Jordan the narrator said somethng like there being a popullation of 5 million Jordanians and 5 million refugees hidden away. Something not mentioned is that there are many Jordanians scattered around the Middle East who can't return to Jordan and are stateless where they are living. They can't go 'home' and the countries in which they live will not grant them citizenship or in some cases permanent residency. Just another hideous example of the complexity of the displaced persons issue. Why has recaptcha given me: ISSUES heatels?

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011Patricia WA ouch and you reminded me of my mum bashing my ear - in the nicest way thanks :)

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26/06/2011Folks I have just now had time to read your comments and found them most informative. If only the quality of the dialogue among politicians was as well reasoned, how much better would be political discourse be in this country and how much more progress would be made on contentious issues. We’ve had our son-in-law, Web Monkey, and our beautiful daughter and grandson in for lunch and the afternoon, and have used some of that time to talk about Internet problems and some intermittent problems with the website. Maybe we have solved some of them. We are working on the site problem that intermittently throws an ‘Can’t decode raw data’ error message. We will record exactly when that happens and Web Monkey will check the server logs to see if anything abnormal is happening at those times that might explain what is causing the error. It’s just like a difficult diagnostic problem in medicine, which sometimes takes a long while to solve.

Feral Skeleton

26/06/2011DMW, To answer your question, again, yes I would condemn the fictitious feral. As a mother I could not leave my children behind in another country while I set out on a boat to an unknowable fate. Even if it may lead to us all one day coming together again in safety in a new country. Sorry, but I have experienced the heartache that separation from your loved ones for an extended amount of time can cause you. And I never want to go through that, or put my family members through that, ever again. Maybe I would end up being the one left behind with my family in the refugee camp then. Which, as it might turn out, is not the worst thing at all. :)

Feral Skeleton

26/06/2011This was a pretty fair assessment of Julia Gillard, one year on: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/editorial/gillard-heavily-armoured-ploughs-on-20110624-1gjke.html

Feral Skeleton

26/06/2011This is really funny and shows just how quickly attempted iconography can be turned on its head in the digital age: http://twitpic.com/5h2mmx

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011When I started on my one person crusade yesterday I was blissfully unaware that I had missed a momentous occasion in Adelaide. Malcolm Fraser gave his [b]Australian Refugee Association Oration[/b] at the University of Adelaide's Elder Hall on Friday night (24th of June). [i]FORMER Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has accused both major parties of inhumanity towards refugees. And he outlined a new approach to dealing with asylum seekers last night. ... "Does Labor realise it can never outdo the Coalition on inhumanity to asylum seekers?," Mr Fraser asked. Mr Fraser singled out the Liberal Party ... for special criticism as he outlined the changes in Australian immigration policy since the end of World War II.[/i] [b]Fraser slams both parties on refugees[/b] - Julian Swallow - The Advertiser http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/fraser-slams-both-parties-on-refugees/story-e6frea6u-1226081624657 And at the SMH an excerpt from Mr Frasers speech: [b]How Australia can solve its asylum seeker 'problem'[/b] http://m.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/how-australia-can-solve-its-asylum-seeker-problem-20110624-1gjlt.html [i]The pettiness and meanness of the current debates about asylum seekers and indeed on other issues that are dealt with on a totally partisan basis must be put aside. There is a special obligation on our political leaders to lift themselves off the bottom and take the debate in a different direction - based on fact not hyperbole, based on humanitarian rather than punitive considerations; to rejoin the bipartisanship that will be needed to make meaningful contributions to such complex global challenges. We should also ask ourselves what we as Australians need to do so that politicians will learn to appeal to the best of our natures and cease playing politics with the lives of vulnerable people.[/i] I believe I can now claim to be in a minority of at least two and I am proud to stand beside Mr Fraser no matter what I said to him loudly and vociferously way back in 1975. And FS, maybe recaptcha is really on my side: analyze Pardes

D Mick Weir

26/06/2011I make no apologies that at this moment I feel like the cat who got the cream and that I am labouring a point but another quote from Mr Fraser: [i]THE asylum-seeker debate in Australia is demeaning and miserable. The politicians who participate in it have contempt for the Australian people. They believe, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that if they appeal to the fearful and mean sides of our nature, they will win support. They are showing that they believe we won't know enough about the world to know that for the most part what they are saying is plainly false.[/i]

D Mick Weir

27/06/2011I also missed this piece: [b]Blind to the suffering Paul Daley[/b] - National Times - June 26, 2011 http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/blind-to-the-suffering-20110625-1gke0.html#ixzz1QOKG5sRL [i]Australia has a refugee issue. But the only crisis that exists is the inability of Australian politics to deal with it honestly, maturely and compassionately. But hey, it's not all the politicians' fault. Maybe they're just giving us what we deserve. Others are, thankfully, less willing to let public and media sentiment shape political response. The member for Chisholm, Anna Burke, said recently: ''I've received thousands of emails about cows and sheep and their terrible treatment … I haven't received thousands of emails concerned about people getting into leaking boats and drowning. So I just find it a funny debate where people don't get things into I suppose the perspective I have on them.'' Well said.[/i] Please read to the end of the article and see how you answer the question posed by Daley. Maybe I am in a minority that numbers a few than three :)

Patricia WA

27/06/2011FS, that's a brilliant piece. I wonder who wrote it. Are their editorials always that good, or have they taken on new staff? Dear Mick Weir, I don't think you are in a minority of any kind here. All of us here have been trying to [quote]ask ourselves what we as Australians need to do so that politicians will learn to appeal to the best of our natures and cease playing politics with the lives of vulnerable people. [/quote] Much as I admire Mr. Fraser, however, I don't agree with him that the government has [quote]contempt for the Australian people[/quote Rather, finding itself between a rock and a hard place it is trying to get out of it. Have you listened to Chris Bowen when he talks about his responsibilities and how sees the arrangement with Malaysia. He is a good man. If ever there was an opportunity for bi-partisanship to end the boat people issue this is it. It could lead to a regional solution. FS, re the Member for Fremantle and that possible motion of dissent on the Malaysian solution, it was withdrawn without debate. I wonder how hard the PM worked to reach compromise on that, and the mining tax too. Lots of rumblings here before she arrived. In the end all the huff and puff was about the uranium mining ban. W.A. is determined to take a stand, no matter what the big feds say! So there!

lyn

27/06/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Abbott: “Tax Cuts are in our DNA” , John, True Politik[/i]Tony Abbott wants us to wary of the current Federal Labor Government, we voters should be very mindful of that part of the Liberal DNA he is selectively NOT telling us, and which he wants to keep from public scrutiny. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/ [i]Not in it for the Money, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] it seems hard to believe there is no room for a progressive news-based network in this country. Perhaps Eric Beecher should buy the Fairfax network and fashion a radio version of Crikey? http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/06/not-in-it-for-money.html [i]Do not confuse Possibility with Probability, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Andrew Bolt wants us all to test our luck based on his gut feelings and the possibility he is right as opposed to the probability he is wrong. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/do-not-confuse-possibility-with-probability/ [i]Abbott’s Manifesto, Min, Cafe Whispers[/i] Can it be that we are in for the marathon of all marathon of election campaigns. It is now… http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/abbotts-manifesto/ [i]Christopher Monckton’s travelling circus rolls into town, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia[/i] Abbott, who is a part master at loading personal abuse at those he disagrees with, would have been happy to share a platform with the freak, but a picture of Monckton holding http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/the-christopher-monckton-travelling-circus-rolls-into-town/? [i]all opposition, no leader ....., John Richardson, Your Democracy[/i] Gosh, now he's shovelling sand into a concrete mixer. Whoops, look, he's got an apron on, poking a pizza into an oven. Yes, he's ironing a shirt! And, gee, is that him over there demanding a plebiscite on the carbon tax? Sorry Mr Abbott, missed that; do it again for us, please, http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/12798 [i]Will the Mad Monk be brought low by madder Monckton???, Big Gav, Peak Energy[/i] prompted a call for a plebiscite — and then a refusal to say that he would honour it, if the result went against him? Moncktongate is a test of whether he’s got the ticker, or would rather guzzle more Fantasie. http://peakenergy.blogspot.com/2011/06/will-mad-monk-be-brought-low-by-madder.html [i]Advertise your own irrelevance 2: Tony Smith, Ideas man, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] the Coalition had to pass a measure they had bitterly opposed because they "couldn't find equivalent savings measures" - in other words, "because Tony and Joe hadn't done their homework". http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/06/advertise-your-own-irrelevance-2-tony.html [i]Live Export: The problem doesn't just belong to Government or Parliament - it belongs to YOU too, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices.[/i] This is the Australian Senate Rural Affairs and Transport—References Committee composition: http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/ [i]Lazy News Construction, 1Petermcc's Blog[/i] When Abbott makes a declaration about a “new” policy it’s then up to Gillard to point out it’s the same old policy he released last year. Heaven forbid a commentator should actually check Tony’s data. That would be too much like hard work. http://1petermcc.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/lazy-news-construction/ [i]A Gamut of Emotions About Once ‘Honorable’ Peter Reith, Patricia wa, Polliepomes[/i] He only lost by one vote because Tony Abbott switched his at the last minute. Oh, the power of one! I wonder if Tony Abbott sees the irony in that? http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/a-gamut-of-emotions-about-once-%E2%80%98honorable%E2%80%99-peter-reith/ [i]Attacks on tax, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] Abbott, like his hero John Howard’s hero George Bush (who also had a man-crush on Grover) before him, has at last come clean. No more mild-mannered action man http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/06/26/attacks-on-tax/#comment-2849 [i]The nuclear industry’s dangerous pipedream: electricity too cheap to meter, Scot Ludlam, Independent Australia[/i] In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the German government has decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022. The Swiss government will phase out nuclear power permanently by 2034. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/environment/nuclear-industry-pipedream-electricity-too-cheap-to-meter/ [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Abbott 'deceived' Reith on bid for Liberal presidency, Michelle Gratten,The Age[/i] Extraordinarily Mr Abbott, who was sitting on the platform at the Liberal federal council, showed his ballot, with Mr Stockdale's name written on it, to both Mr Stockdale and deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop, a known Reith backer.http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-deceived-reith-on-bid-for-liberal-presidency-20110626-1glt4.html '[i]Liberal MPs in heated row after torrid vote over party presidency' , Malcolm Farr, Herald Sun[/i] In fact, the video catches Mr Abbott not only revealing how he was about to vote to Mr Stockdale, but to Liberal Deputy Leader Julie Bishop http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/liberal-mps-in-heated-row-after-torrid-vote-over-party-presidency/story-e6frf7l6-1226082265809 [i]SA Senator Nick Xenophon to bow out of Parliament , Samantha Maiden, Adelaide Now[/i] The influx of new Greens' senators elected at the last election means that if they side with Labor, the passage of Government legislation will be secured. He will still be in the Senate, but his vote will now be less important. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sa-senator-nick-xenophon-to-bow-out-of-parliament/story-e6frea6u-1226081984801

Feral Skeleton

27/06/2011[quote]In fact, the video catches Mr Abbott not only revealing how he was about to vote to Mr Stockdale, but to Liberal Deputy Leader Julie Bishop [/quote] That's Tony Abbott's 'Guided Democracy' for you. Guided by him. Oh well, what I think that whole thing means is that Alan now knows in no uncertain terms that he is Tony's boy, and when Tony says, "Jump!" Alan must say, "How high?" Imean, honestly, how can the Australian people even give more than the time of day to this man, let alone the Prime Ministership of our great nation, which will end up in the sewer with all the rats, once Tony Abbott is finished with it.

Ad astra reply

27/06/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

2353

27/06/2011Can someone pass Abbott some Kool-Aid? For the good of the Liberal Party and Country of course ;)

Jason

27/06/2011Watching "news 24 Breakfast" this morning when Nicola Roxon, came on to be grilled by "La triolli" This grilling however was about how much much "Tax payers" money was going to be used to fight a tobacco company! and Roxon wouldn't answer because the government had yet to be served with any legal papers! Triolli pushed on even though her questions couldn't be answered other than in a general sense. Now I imagine that in the Attorney Generals office "we" have lawyers that are already paid for by the "Tax payer" in much the same way she is! So "why" she might think this could be a squandering of "Taxpayers" money beats me! Now I'm not sure about everyone else here on the sword, but I'm not sure if "Triolli" is actually value for "Tax payers" money either! Surely the "ABC" can find better than her!

Jason

27/06/2011ACT Liberals claimed relief fund cash BY NOEL TOWELL, CHIEF ASSEMBLY REPORTER 27 Jun, 2011 06:24 AM The Canberra Liberals claimed $10,000 of emergency relief money meant to help Canberra's poor and needy and spent it on gift vouchers for their political supporters, official documents show. Papers obtained by The Canberra Times reveal the party then failed to properly disclose the payment it received in November 2009 to electoral authorities. The cash was part of an urgent assistance fund rushed through by the ACT Government after the onset of the global financial crisis and was intended to help carers and volunteers to continue their work during the financial crisis. The Liberals, who claimed they needed funding for community or welfare purposes, received more of the grant money than the ACT Deafness Resource Centre, the Victims of Crime Assistance League and SIDS and Kids combined http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/act-liberals-claimed-relief-fund-cash/2207476.aspx?storypage=0

Michael

27/06/2011Today's Bad Abbott "Tax cuts are in our DNA..." But not health care, education reform, equitable taxation, comprehensive asylum seeker policies, multi-culturalism, gender equality (beyond "She's a good girl"), natural resources management and nationwide profit sharing, Aboriginal disadvantage without paternalism, climate change, defence (except when participating in allies' offences), road rail and ports infrastructure, live animal exporting, digital technology maximisation, harnessing natural and renewable energy sources, scientific research and development, supporting the arts from community based groups all the way through to film premiere red carpet 'heights', mental health (more than providing extra beds - who knew just lying in a bed could cure you???), water, food security, the aged, and... There's a vacancy for every Federal Coalition shadow portfolio. There's a vacancy IN every Coalition shadow portfolio (you too, Malcolm). None of the above, of course, could be laid accusatorially at Tiny Abbott's feet if he and his party actually had thought-through publicly-released policies to inform us all of just how richly infused with ideas and concerns their DNA is apart from 'lower taxes'.

TalkTurkey

27/06/2011Patricia WA I did write a tribute to your pithy pome yesterday, but yet again I did something stupid and Fwt! and I can never recapture the *MAGIC* of the orginal. I think your little nose-thumbing to That Man was superb, and I love the rhymes almost as much as I despise him. He would be charged with a gross perversion of the Electoral Act for his part in the Children Overboard affair if I were dictator. Some simple rhymes have special charm eh. reward, overboard. wreath. bequeathed. Funny how pairs of rhymes give a sense of completion, finish, gloss, satisfaction, perfection. There is no apparent reason for it, any more than there is a reason we should like music, but it's a fact even in other languages, people like rhyme and meter. Thee and me Patricia, we are immeasurably lucky in having English to play in, as indeed do rappers and crooners and greeting card writers, a mixed blessing, but then you get John Lennon who put it all together as never before. I especially and forever dips me lid to him. Wild rhyme and mindblowing thoughts and magic music all in one. Any way I love this last little effort of yours in particular, partly because of how I feel about Reith. Pome On!

TalkTurkey

27/06/2011TT said "I can never recapture the *MAGIC* of the orginal." Oh, those orginals of my youth! :)

NormanK

27/06/2011[b]Call for party review as Lib vote fails to heal split[/b] by Imre Salusinszky and Christian Kerr [quote]FORMER federal Liberal Party treasurer Michael Yabsley has called for an independent inquiry into the way the party is run, warning there are "more bombshells than you can poke a stick at". He said the problems included "issues as specific as the salary of the federal director" along with "serious operational matters such as the availability of management accounts to the finance committee and the vice-presidents of the party". Mr Yabsley stressed he was not accusing any party official of financial impropriety.[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/call-for-party-review-as-lib-vote-fails-to-heal-split/story-fn59niix-1226082405247 The article includes a good picture of Mr Abbott showing his voting slip to Alan Stockdale. If you found yourself in a tight spot, Mr Abbott is the bloke you'd want to have your back, isn't he? There is no way that he would put his own interests ahead of the well-being of the group. ;-) He can only get away with this just so many times before he is undermined.

Feral Skeleton

27/06/2011Talk Turkey, What I do if my comments have continued to be swallowed, or 'Content Encoding Error' comes up on TPS and I have to wait around to post my comment again, I just Copy it and Save it so I can have it there to post when the dogs are smiling at me and it can go through. That way I never lose my gems of wisdom. It's a trick I learnt back at the beginning of the interactive side of the internet blogs, especially on The Australian blogs when sometimes they'd just disappear into the ether. Then, all I had to do was re-post and voila! world was enlightened with my wisdom. ;-)

Gravel

27/06/2011Ad Astra As I wrote before and it went into the never never, we were discussing yesterday (in home, not blog) how good it is to be able to share and discuss different ideas without nastiness or rancor. We certainly do it much better than politicians, but I for one would not want to be a politician. The Web Monkey deserves a huge pat on the back for the great job he has done in helping you set up and manage this blog. I, like you, don't thing 'Triolli' earns her keep. She used to be on Melbourne ABC radio, quite a few years ago, and I didn't think she was any good then. Talk about dumb....... Talk Turkey Your magical gem will return in another form I am sure.

Patricia WA

27/06/2011Gravel, You're right! I have just saved it to store for m own posterity in my treasured comments! I am still learning how to link and I will do that for TT's comment to his site during the day. FS, Yes, no matter where it is, that immediate [i]'save'[/i] once a comment is finished and before posting seems so obvious now. If only I had known these simple skills when I started commenting on the web two years or so ago. It took me an age to gather up my 'pomes' once I set up a site March this year. Were it not for the help of Miglo at Cafe Whispers I couldn't have done that with reasonable competence. TT, have followed your advice on access within your site, but even when trying to buy your book of verse, which looks brilliant, I get that 404 message. All this shared expertise here might help us with this.

lyn

27/06/2011 Hi Patricia I get the 404 message on Talk Turkey's front page too'the 404 is on every link. Hope it's not been hacked. ˜ BRUCIE the BILBY and OTHER VERSE Ecological educational rhyming verse. 404. That’s an error. The requested URL /shakespeare-fun-verse.html was not found on this server. That’s all we know. Cheers :):):)

Feral Skeleton

27/06/2011All I can say is that if the Labor Party had the sort of vote for President of the Party that the Liberals have just come through over the weekend the media would have been full of 'Labor Party Split!!!' headlines screaming from every corner of the land. As it's the Liberals, we have the Chief Wiggum response, "Nothing to see here, move along." I keep wondering when the rest of the country will finally wake up to the fact they are being taken for a very big ride by the media and Abbott's Mephistophelean political performance art. Instead they're happy to swallow the political Soylent Green they are being fed. As long as they can get the footy on Foxtel I suppose.

lyn

27/06/2011Hi Michael Thankyou for today's Bad Abbott report, you little beauty. Humph! see this morning, we had to look at Bad Abbott riding a horse and cuddling cows. Next thing he will be entering in the Melbourne Cup, now there's a photo shoot for him. See what Jason posted up above, thankyou Jason: [quote]The Canberra Liberals claimed $10,000 of emergency relief money meant to help Canberra's poor and needy and spent it on gift vouchers for their political supporters, official documents show. [/quote] Bad, Bad Abbott, Bad Liberals. Looking forward to your next report. Cheers for you Michael :):):):)

Ad astra reply

27/06/2011Folks I've just posted [i]A tribute to Greg Jericho[/i]. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/06/27/A-tribute-to-Greg-Jericho.aspx

Gravel

27/06/2011Feral Skeleton Yes, you would think the ABC would have had it on the news all weekend and today too. Also the article in the Canberra times of the Liberals rorting the emergency funds. But no, not a word. Too busy with an old survey saying people won't support a price on pollution. Gone are the days when 'fair' and non-biased reporting were normal on ABC. I am trying not to get angry. It is very hard. I appreciate you and the other commentors on here. It makes me feel less alone, and knowing that I am not the only one seeing and hearing all this rubbish.

TalkTurkey

27/06/2011Jason Your researches are sometimes pure platinum! Liberals need the money more than anyone else I guess. They are on the run now.
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?