The ALP has come to its own fork in the road

And so it has come to pass...that the NSW State Labor Party was beaten about the head metaphorically with baseball bats by the electorate, and they lost the Unwinnable Election.

So, now that I am through my period of mourning, and with the 24/7 world, you can only take 24 big ones, and that's hours not days, to get over your grief about these things and then get on with it. I thus hereby declare that today, the Post-Election funk ends, and the period of Rebuilding, Renewal, Rebirth and Rebadging for the ALP begins.

Ergo, I, Professor Feral Skeleton, have come up with a Baker's Dozen of helpful tips and advice to get this party started again. A Baker's Dozen because I am a generous soul, and to have a generous soul should be a Core Principle of any Labor Party in Australia. We are the good guys who have EVERYONE'S backs and no one should be allowed to forget that fact. Most especially Labor MPs.

So to begin:

1. Tricky Dicky Nixon Political Tactics Should Be Binned
Copying and pasting political tactics from your Political Science 101 textbook and then believing they will work for you, will, well, no longer work for you. The electorate is too well-informed and sophisticated now for them ever to be successful any more. Main Street Media Management, PR and Ad Companies left behind such techniques for selling political parties, their brand, as in, 'What do they stand for?', and their policies, a long time ago. Time to realise that in the Post-Modern age of politics, now that the old Left/Right divide is dissolving, it is necessary to sell the concept of your political convictions to the electorate. Determine them yourself, and ditch the Focus Groups, except as they may add a bit of sugar on top of the political product you are trying to sell.

How about this for an idea? Try being straight up with the electorate about what you want to do for them and why, after listening to their valid concerns, not behind the closed doors and two-way mirrors of the Focus Groups, after which you trickily tailor your talking points and your policy according to the shifting sands of opinion they represent, but by regularly going out into the electorate and genuinely listening to anyone and everyone on the ground, and in the shopping centres, and their opinions and concerns. Then, take it back to the Party Room, and brainstorm solutions after assimilating it into clearly defined problems that require solutions by the electorate. You'll generally find most causes and concerns are pretty universal across the electorate, and if you come up with a solution people will appreciate that. Simple.

For example, the line that the NSW State ALP used in their campaign, 'Don't give Barry a Blank Cheque', was lame. As if the electors couldn't figure that out for themselves. Anyway, such a shallow point was hardly going to affect elector's votes when it finally, after 4 years, came time to put pencil to paper.

Which leads me to Point 1a.

1a. Sack Sam Dastyari, NSW ALP General Secretary
He couldn't run a piss-up in a brewery, let alone an effective election campaign. He is also a potent symbol of the 'NSW Disease', and he, and it, should be excised from the ALP body politic like the cancer it is. What the NSW Right and 'Sussex Street' stands for is a microcosm of all that is wrong with the party and which needs to be fixed if the ALP is to have any decent future at all. And Pronto!

2. Candidate Selection
The ALP's base for candidate selection is narrower than the Liberal Party's. How can that throw up a wealth of talent from which to choose election winners? I have been banging on about this to anyone who would listen in the ALP since I joined over 10 years ago. Which I must say, is starting to feel like banging my head against a brick wall as I shout in an empty room, as they in the Upper Echelons of the party, who have expended all their energies in getting there and putting their own interests first, as opposed to the party's interests, think they know best - which they obviously don't, if the NSW Election result is anything to go by. However, again, I reiterate, stop choosing your factional colleague, Electorate Officer, or Chief of Staff, to succeed you in your seat, based upon the numbers which you and your cronies, both in the Unions and out, strictly control in your Electorate Council.

Expand your horizons and look into the electorate itself and the community it serves, and start identifying influential and inspiring community leaders and advocates in local special interest groups who espouse sentiments similar to those which the ALP broadly supports philosophically.

For example, Labor is the party that champions the causes of Carers, the Disabled and Pensioners. Can you name one ALP MP who has come out of this sector into parliament? I can't. In fact, just today Bob Brown of The Greens was giving the keynote speech at the ACOSS Conference. Yet it seems like such a natural fit for the ALP, a party of government as the Prime Minister said, who can actually make a difference to this constituency's lives. So why doesn't the ALP at least broaden its base to this sector? I don't know. One thing I do know is that John Howard saw fruit here ripe for the plucking. When he was in government he had the head of Carers Australia in his fold. He knew he had to broaden his base, not collapse it.

The Liberals have certainly broadened their base in a number of areas. And, in general, the Coalition make a point of currying favour with all groups in their communities, macro and micro, such as those Special Interest Groups such as I mentioned above, all the way to the local Rotary, Lions, the local Sporting Associations, Chamber of Commerce, and everything in between, all the way down to the local Bowling Club.

In other words, they have gone out into the community and co-opted all the good burghers to THEIR cause. It provides a wellspring of talent with a wealth of local name recognition in their electorates.

This is opposed to the ALP that just seems to keep going back to the Unis and trawling through the ranks of Political Science students and Labor Club members who have cut their teeth in student politics. Yes, they can provide valuable fodder for the parliamentary ranks, but the ALP needs real people who have led real lives, that the community can identify with, to represent. And for those who think that John Robertson, ETU and Unions NSW apparatchik since the age of 16 when he left school to start his Electrician's Apprenticeship, is as far afield into the real world as the ALP has to go to explore for new talent, then think again. At between 10 and 20% of the working population, Union members are no longer truly representative of our communities. They should thus no longer overwhelmingly represent the ALP in parliament, or as candidates for the party. Anyway, even Unions and unionists are defecting from the ALP and affiliating with other political parties. And not just The Greens. A Teacher was just elected into the NSW State Parliament for the Liberal Party!

The Liberal Party have become adept at targeting these 'Real People'. The new NSW State government has Dentists, Veterinarians, Teachers, as I said, and they almost got an ex-ABC journalist in. The ALP sort of gets it, as I spied one Public Hospital Doctor among the ranks of new MPs who had survived the bloodbath, but that seemed to be it. And he probably had to fight the factional warlords in the ALP tooth and nail in order to get over the top of one of their own people. My own local electorates had a couple of lawyers standing for the ALP, hardly inspiring choices but the only group within the community that still seem willing to stick their hand up for pre-selection.

Which brings me to:

3. Stop the internecine factional warfare
If there's one thing the electorate finds distasteful, it is the sight of the Right of the ALP fighting with the Left for the spoils of office, and for positions on tickets, etc.

I can guarantee you that the ALP lost, and loses, countless Upper House votes in elections because the ruthless political operators within the party, such as Eric Roozendaal and Eddie Obeid, and others like them in the Senate and Upper Houses of other State parliaments, arm-twist and intimidate until they are given the winnable spots on the ALP ticket at elections, even though it is obvious even to Blind Freddy, let alone the electorate, that they are the problem and the cause of the 'NSW Disease', not its cure.

People like that have to be sidelined in the party, as the NSW Liberals have successfully done with their equivalent numbers, by equally hard-headed individuals within the party who have the party's best interests at heart, whether Kristina Kenneally, or her like, threatens to walk, or not. The party in NSW was always going to lose this election anyway, ferchrissakes, and that whole scenario playing itself out in public, as some sort of watershed moment, may have even GAINED a few votes and some much-needed credibility for the ALP because it would have shown the electorate that the party still had some integrity left. And integrity certainly appears to be the coin of the realm in politics at this time.

Oh, and as I alluded to before, could the ALP get over its aversion to choosing journalists as candidates? The Liberals have pretty successfully spooked them on that front, Maxine McKew notwithstanding. Especially when the Coalition does it all the time these days. Just look at Dai Le, former ABC (yeah Their ABC) journalist and former Vietnamese Boat Person and candidate last weekend for the Liberal Party. They are nothing if not successful hypocrites, the Libs. Criticising Boat People up hill and down dale as 'Queue Jumpers' one day, saying they really only care about their safety on the 'Leaky Boats' the next, then selecting them as candidates for ethnically diverse electorates in the next breath.

Hence, the ALP has to stop being afraid of being identified too closely with specific demographics like this, and I acknowledge they have chosen well among the Middle Eastern and Muslim community, but where are our Asian candidates, or our Indian candidates, or South American Hispanic candidates? I know there are large communities of all these peoples in Australia. I know there are members of those communities in the ALP. The Liberals have thrown caution to the wind and adopted certain ethnic communities and are unashamedly tailoring their political product to their electoral market as they congregate in certain areas.

Which leads to the obverse:

4. The ALP can no longer count on any particular group in the community to automatically vote for them any more
Last weekend's NSW State election put paid to that idea and I saw it with my very own eyes. I saw a couple of washed-up former TV Soap actors sucking up to the Liberal Party booth workers at the polling place where I was working. That is, there's no more, 'the Arts Community always supports Labor' any more. Or Teachers. As I said, they've gone to The Greens and the Liberals too. Ditto Union members.

5. No more sinecures should be guaranteed
This is along the lines of the previous suggestion with respect to Factional Warlords, but it really is a waste of a good seat in parliament if the ALP guarantee a place for every former ACTU President and/or Secretary. A greater waste of space I have never seen than former ACTU President, Jenny George. She may have been a nice person with the ALP in her heart and soul, but as an effective politician she is useless. Unlike Greg Combet, who we have seen is the complete antithesis of Ms George. He's an extremely capable and effective Member of Parliament for the ALP.

I could almost guarantee there's someone in the rank and file of the ALP in Ms George's electorate, or in her community who self-identifies with ALP values, who would be a better candidate for the party and MP than she has been. Yes, the ALP must be respectful of their Union roots, but unionists should not be put into politics if they are not good politicians, or merely representing their patch of the Union turf in parliament. And, even though I am repeating myself again and may seem to be labouring the point, with only 20% of the workforce Unionised, the ALP by concentrating candidate selection in this area, are ceding the very large demographic of Contractors, the Self-Employed and the Non-Unionised workforce to the Liberal Party as candidate pools for them to fish in.

6. Ditch the Top End of Town
They'll come crawling to the ALP if they're in power and also drop it like a hot potato for the Liberal Party if they're not. They'll donate to the ALP anyway if they look like they're going to win an election. Trying to curry favour with them, therefore, is a zero sum game, especially when the electorate is repulsed by the sight of obsequious toadies from the so-called Party of the Workers, the ALP, licking the boots of, and hob-nobbing with the Bosses. Or using the parliament to enrich themselves and their friends and family.

Of course, hypocritically, it's OK for the Liberals to act similarly because they are perceived as coming from that millieu and thus are merely putting their 'talents' to work when they privatise and outsource government services and projects to their mates in private industry. As:

7. We're All 'Aspirational' Now
It's like the 'American Dream' that the Republicans in America have co-opted and like to wave as bait in front of the electorate in order to allow them to enact policies inimical to employees and favourable to the bosses, millionaires and billionaires who really get the most out of Republican policies. So it goes here also, and it was conclusively demonstrated in the NSW Election last weekend. People now vote Liberal because they identify with the ‘Aspirational' iconography which has been cultivated as being what the hopes and aspirations of us all should be, and thus, when we reach those goals we tick off 'Voting Liberal' to acknowledge we have 'Made It' - from the smallest Bakery Franchise Owner to the most successful Barrister.

In NSW we must even have had the Welfare-dependant and unemployed voting Liberal the other day. How Labor breaks the back of this conundrum and gets these people back into its voting fold I haven't quite figured out yet. The 'Aspirational Voter' has now become a generic brand for the Liberal Party and Labor needs their own new brand identification awareness campaign that everyone can identify with and support.

8. Campaign Non Stop
Get a truck. Dream up an outrageous claim with plausible deniability that resonates with a core theme you constantly advance, and then plaster it on billboards on both sides of the truck. Find a generous benefactor to fund the truck to drive around all day, every day, from Peak Hour traffic jam to Peak Hour traffic jam, and all points in between, and get out in the faces of people stuck in those interminable traffic jams. I mean, no way are families going to be $500/year worse off as a result of a Carbon Tax. Didn't stop Barry O'Farrell and the Libs mocking up a truck with a billboard on either side disingenuously claiming just that and driving it around during the NSW State election campaign. Politics is all about perception remember?

9. When attacked: 'Repudiate! Repudiate! Repudiate!...Obfuscate!'
One thing I have noticed when the Liberal Party are correctly attacked for something, they quick sticks brainstorm a repudiation of the attack and send the troops immediately back into the fray and the media to run the new line and muddy the waters around the issue. Then they keep it up, and follow it up with their own attack along a similar thematic line, against the ALP! Thus have they have turned the issue away from being about them and back onto the ALP.

For example, in the past week, Tony Abbott made a massive miscalculation addressing the, allegedly, 'No Carbon Tax Rally', organised by Political Wingnuts, Chauvinists and Bigots Inc., and standing four square in front of offensive, slimy and abusive signs. Yet you wouldn't know it from the way the Opposition reacted to their mistake. They quickly devised a plan to turn this negative into a positive for them and into a negative for the Prime Minister and the government. Hence the line: 'Julia Gillard is just being precious'. I don't know how well it went down with the electorate; the next poll may reflect that. However, as a general tactic Labor could do worse than adopt it for its own ends. It works.

10. Learn how to slip the political shiv into an opponent with a smile and a reasonable-sounding line of patter wrapped around it to disguise it effectively from the casual and untrained listener who might take offence at anything more strident, whilst at one and the same time effectively conveying your meta message. If you say it matter-of-factly, it must be a matter of fact, surely?
I was amazed at how Barry O'Farrell's, 'Campaign Communications Chief', Gladys Berejiklian, performed this task for BOFfa with consummate adroitness, both during the campaign and during the ABC's election telecast. No opportunity was too small or insignificant for her to take advantage of. She exploited every opportunity to either slip in a laudatory plug for her team, or a snide put-down of Labor. Labor could learn a lot from studying her style of attack.

Which leads me to:

11. Relentlessly negatively characterise your political opponent
If the Opposition can twist a scenario, push it through the Looking Glass and make it come out the other side as something that it is not but which casts their political opponents in the Labor Party (or The Greens), in a negative light, they will do it.

I admit, they have the weight of the Murdoch Press, Fairfax Radio and the John Singleton-owned Radio Stations such as 2GB, plus various old political pros from the Howard years, and Republican Party Message Masters such as Frank Luntz, helping them out and backing them up, but it behoves Labor to just keep trying to match them at it.

The prime question must always be:
What emotionally-charged language can be used to sensationally comment on this situation, so that it sticks in people's minds?

12. Smile until your face aches
It's been my observation that voters seem to respond positively to a negative message about your political opponents if you smile while you are delivering it. In fact, people respond positively to any message delivered with a smile.

12. There is no #13, because that would be bad luck and I just want to wish the ALP all the luck in the world. They'll need it if they are to survive and continue to prosper. Of course I hope so.

What do you think? Do you have any helpful suggestions?

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nasking

29/03/2011 Some useful points Feral. Well done. I agree w/ Paul Keating's assessment tonite: [quote]He disagreed that the NSW Labor rot led all the way to Canberra. He said all governments struggled in the polls from time to time, particularly when taking on the big issues, such as action to battle climate change.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-labor-lost-moral-authority-keating-20110329-1cetw.html Go Roadrunner Gillard...Coyote Abbott just ain't good enuff: Coyote & Road Runner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUq9hynzCVo Luv Keating analogies. :) Ya gotta admit...there is somethin' very Coyote about Abbott. N'

Feral Skeleton

29/03/2011Nasking, There is something Rabid Dog about Tony Abbott. Oops, sorry, we're not allowed to say nasty things about Tony, but he and his Shock Jock fanboys can say whatever they like about the PM and the Labor Party. :(

TalkTurkey

29/03/2011Swordsfolks The article reprinted below is just one of the things I hold against this #itch "Doctor" Jonica Newby. You can find a lot more about her association with the pet food industry, and with ABC demigod Robyn Williams, pretty easily. Search Raw Meaty Bones Newby or like that. The most important of my objections are much more important. I am not about to air them at the moment. I would think that the first Mrs Robyn Williams might have some of her own objections too. In the 1997 excerpt below be sure to check Stuart Littlemore's pronouncement on the glamorous Dr Newby which I've highlighted *** Thus *** ABC's Catalyst ignores whistleblower - Raw Meaty Bones I provided him with a copy of my book Raw Meaty Bones and .... You may be aware that Robyn Williams and Jonica Newby were exposed by ABC Media Watch (in the ... www.rawmeatybones.com/crikey2.html - Similarhttp://www.rawmeatybones.com/crikey2.htmlMedia Release: Raw Meaty Bones Lobby of Concerned Veterinarians, 11 July 1997 Please explain (part 2) Today is the launch date for the ABC book "The Pact for Survival" by Dr Jonica Newby who was described by Mr Stuart Littlemore QC as, "a publicist for something called the Petcare Information and Advisory Service (PIAS), which it seems fair to say, is nothing more than a front for the multi-national pet food manufacturer Mars." Does our ABC know that the Mars Corporation, besides its sugar and chocolate interests, controls 65% of the Australian pet food market and boasts of feeding one third of the world's pets? Does the ABC realise it has arguably created a powerful marketing tool for the Mars Corporation? Was that part of the plan? The Science Show was provided with details of 'Pet foods Insidious Consequences' in 1992. Instead of informing the scientific community of these things the programme has chosen to stay silent. Jonica Newby, meanwhile, has in our view been provided with a comfortable berth from which to launch pro-petfood propaganda. Why? ABC Books, in a 'Note to Readers', makes a lame disclaimer that PIAS is a non-profit organisation. Don't they realise that propaganda is always made freely available in bucketfuls? The 'Note to Readers' is a curious addition to an 'independent' ABC book. Why didn't they make a full and frank disclosure? Can any commercial organisations, for instance other junk food companies, assume an alias and obtain publication of an ABC book? Do any conditions apply? Mr Littlemore on 3 March 1997 advised us that, "It's a crude and subtle pitch. Jonica Newby didn't tell us to buy Pal in so many words, but to keep pets. Well, we have to buy food for them don't we?" ***Mr Littlemore further advised, "She shouldn't have been on the ABC at all." Why did ABC management ignore this advice?*** Mr Littlemore described the programmes as, "Arrant tosh, highly insulting to her audience's intelligence", but it seems to us that the misrepresentation within the book might be worse. For instance: "Keeping pets may be essential for our health. Research suggests the savings to health care could be in the billions." This sounds oddly like Mr Robyn Williams' article in 'The Australian' February 6 1996. "But they [pets] also have a dramatic effect on people's health... The saving in doctor visits and medicines in Australia is up to $1.5 billion each year as a result of the beneficial effects of pet ownership." The report of an NHMRC objective independent study into this matter published in The Medical Journal of Australia 7 April 1997 suggested that the dollar health benefits of pet ownership were not 'billions' but zero. How then does the ABC justify recycling and placing on the permanent record such grandiose claims generated for the Mars Corporation? At the ABC Radio National Web site it is asserted, "Scientific events and personalities, scientific fraud, discoveries and broadcasting pranks have been the hallmarks of the Science Show over the past 20 years" What's gone wrong? Please explain. There is more. There is always more and it gets worse. For the details please consult: Dr Tom Lonsdale, Riverstone, NSW Tel. 02 9627 4011 E-mail: tom@rawmeatybones.com Internet: http://www.rawmeatybones.com/ Dr Breck Muir, Long Jetty, NSW Tel. 043 32 6026

TalkTurkey

29/03/2011Google and watch! lol as they say. Coyote and Roadrunner The Final Chapter Beep Beep

Acerbic Conehead 2

30/03/2011HS, Thank you for that great analysis and pointers for the future. Your mention of a baker’s dozen put me in mind of Gerry Rafferty’s, “Baker Street”. Sing along with this comrade who is trying to find the silver lining in the cloud. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3ov78kAMNg&feature=related :- ) Winding her way down on Sussex Street The atmosphere says we’re already beat The focus groups say Why not give it all away And forget about everything :- ) The fainthearts make her feel so cold They flatter to deceive, but got no soul And it's taken her so long To find out she was wrong When she thought she knew everything :- ) Used to think that it was so easy Used to say that it was so easy But she’s cryin’, she’s cryin’ now “Another year and then you'll be happy Just one more year and then you'll be happy” No longer buyin’, not buyin’ no-how :- ) Way down ‘nother street there's a light in her face She opens a door, a new vision set to taste And she’s asked where she’s been She tells them who she’s seen And they talk about everything :- ) Now got this dream about takin’ a stand Forsakin’ the white feather, head outta the sand No jumpin’ at shadows Nor spooked by Newspoll Just campaignin’ about everything :- ) So you know they’ll always keep moving You know, they’re never gonna stop moving Cause they’re rolling, they’re the rolling stone When they wake up, it's a new morning The sun is shining, it's a new morning Where they’re goin’, they’re goin’ to roam To the only place of learning – Struggle Street – their real home

Ad astra reply

30/03/2011FS What an incisive analysis you have made. I do hope that Labor figures read it and take note. You piece is full of good advice, unpalatable though some of it may be to the apparatchiks. I agree particularly with point “ 9: “ When attacked: 'Repudiate! Repudiate! Repudiate!...Obfuscate!' I have spoken with Web Monkey this evening. He will reposition the images in the morning.

Acerbic Conehead 2

30/03/2011It seems there's something wrong with the above link to Gerry Rafferty's, "Baker Street". Try this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSxGNg76kAA&feature=related

Bilko

30/03/2011well said we have had a few occaisons in the ACT to review past disasters where a high profile person carry's out a "review" talks to us plebs reports back and the report then finds its way into the round filing cabinet and thus forgotten. It seems to be a band aid solution. We are coming up for 12 yrs ALP rule here and it seems that as "they" look around as the iceberg/election day approaches rearranging the deck chairs mind set, sets in. Forget those old actions so they were wrong no one remembers whose idea it was anyway. Last year we dumped on the factions pre-selections and had a sort of peoples revolt selecting our own, we have the highest paid on average and educated electorate in the country it was a kick in the privates to the behind the doors faceless persons. A little step for the rank and file but a leap for the party. Mind you having said that nothing else has changed and it still is business as usual.

Lyn

30/03/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Mining the truth, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] Tingle tells how reporting of the RSPT became a classic case of he said-she said, with the focus quickly turning to the political fight itself r http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]Don’t Tear It Lady, I’ll Take The Whole Bolt, The Bannerman[/i]Sun Herald columnist & supposed blogger, radio show host & sometimes participant on ABC’s Insiders program, Andrew Bolt, is being sued over something he wrote. http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/03/dont_tear_it_lady_ill_take_the.php#more [i]O'Farrell finds 'Black Hole', John, True Politik[/i] in the spirit of new ‘accountability’ promised by Mr O’Farrell, he release the Treasury documentation that led to the total of $4.5 Billion. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/ [i]The power play that killed a government, Peter Lewis, Unleashed[/i] for many of these voters, the power sell-off was the straw that broke the camel’s back. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45698.html [i]Where's The Silver Lining?, Ben Ethlam, New Matilda[/i] Barry O’Farrell, which has suddenly "discovered" a budget shortfall and sacked a number of high-ranking http://newmatilda.com/2011/03/29/wheres-silver-lining [i]NSW. Let the Liberal Spin Begin., Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] a journalist asked Mr O’Farrell “ You said there would be no more spin. Isn’t immediately announcing Labor’s “cooking the books” just more spin?” http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2011/03/29/nsw-let-the-liberal-spin-begin/ [i]Labor lost in New South Wales, Geoff Robinson, On Line Opinion[/i] Labor is now such a small contingent in parliament that they will struggle to function as an effective opposition http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11824 [i]Costa’s catastrophe, John Quiggin[/i] Costa quit the day he became eligible for a Parliamentary pension, and immediately emerged in his true colours http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2011/03/29/costas-catastrophe/#more-9652 [i]Actually, the Greens should be pretty hapy with any increase on Saturday, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] 3rd party that gets little coverage during the campaign – except from The Australian (that has pledged to “destroy” it) http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]And now Tony Abbott misrepresents Flannery; will the media call him on it?, Jeremy Sear., Pure Poison[/i] Let’s see who in the media actually call Abbott on his shameless misrepresentation of Flannery, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/03/29/and-now-tony-abbott-misrepresents-flannery-will-the-media-call-him-on-it [i]No Doubt about it, Opinion Dominion[/i] have a read of the quote from the scientifically ignorant, routinely offensive, misrepresenting and absurd commenter CL* http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/2011/03/no-doubt-about-it.html [i]Not an Election for Independents, wmmbb, Duckpond[/i] The political climate has to the be suitable for independent candidates to do well. In Saturday’s NSW election the number http://wmmbb.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/not-an-election-for-independents/ [i]Remind me again: how does climate change work?, The Conversation[/i] Climate change is one of the greatest ecological, economic, and social challenges facing us today. The scientific evidence that human activities http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/remind-me-again-how-does-climate-change-work-461 [i]Fierravanti-Wells exposed as another hard right extremist, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia [/i] I was speechless at the bile and drivel which Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells spewed incessantly forth. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/fierravanti-wells-exposed-as-another-hard-right-extremist/? [i]Mining tax stays as is, says Gillard, Paul Osborne,Trading Room.[/i] Ms Gillard said if Opposition Leader Tony Abbott were now to voice opposition to the tax cut it would be http://www.tradingroom.com.au/apps/view_breaking_news_article.ac?page=/data/news_research/published/2011/3/88/catf_110329_172000_5117.html [i]Politics and human rights are inseparably linked, Mark Bahnisch, Unleashed[/i] controversy has revolved around the potentially conflicting aims of protection of civilians and regime change. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45732.html [i]APPOINTMENTS TO THE RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA BOARD, Peter Martin[/i] http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]The Cost of ABC 24, Margaret Simons, The Content makers[/i] I put a freedom of information request in a while ago, and have just received an acknowledgement. The http://blogs.crikey.com.au/contentmakers/2011/03/28/the-cost-of-abc-24/

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011Bilko, I am so glad that the ACT had its rank and file pre-selections before the 2010 federal election, as a result we got the magnificent Dr Andrew Leigh, also Chris Uhlmann's missus, Gai Brodtmann. We also in Robertson had a rank and file pre-selection and got, arguably, the other 'best' candidate from the federal election, Deborah O'Neill, Member for Robertson. Which just indicates that this way of choosing candidates is superior to 'the fix' from the factions. Also, wrt the report into the ALP, all I can say about that is that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, and the ALP will probably stumble along if they ignore the most recent report by the 3 Wise Men, but it won't thrive and prosper and adapt to the changing political landscape.

Doug Evans

30/03/2011Really good piece of writing making a lot of good points. A couple of things I wonder about: Aren't the behaviours recommended in 9,When attacked: 'Repudiate! Repudiate! Repudiate!...Obfuscate!' 10 Learn how to slip the political shiv into an opponent with a smile and a reasonable-sounding line etc etc and 11 Relentlessly negatively characterise your political opponent part of why the public has turned off politicians and politics so strongly? Surely these are pretty much how things are done by either of the major parties at the moment anyhow? I think the public would respond to explanation, rational argument a degree of generosity and some good humour. A bit more human decency, a bit less of the tendency to treat the voters as mushrooms. Although I have no idea of the state of play in the NSW State branch it seems to me that a major part of the path back to truth and wisdom is cleaning up the internal workings of the party. In Victoria rorts of the process, branch stacking etc are far too prevalent. They drive away members (The ALP membership is pretty disastrous) and whenever they become headlines they work to reinforce the negative perception of the Party in the electorate at large. I think the review by Faulkner, Bracks and (?) Carr tried to address this. But whether their recommendations are likely to be effective and whether they will be adopted anyway is unknown. History suggests that nothing will change.

Kevin Rennie

30/03/2011Opposition has its pluses for party members. Head Office rediscovers community campaigning and grass roots politics. Many of the bright young staffers and green gatekeepers are looking for real jobs and are probably too old for Young Labor politics as well. Time to re-read Fawlkner et al on party reform before the review is filed under too threatening by the remaining apparatchiks.

Lyn

30/03/2011Good Morning Hillbilly You have been busy, preparing another, brilliant, delightful piece for us to think, and talk about. Thankyou, Hillbilly we appreciate your work very much, you are my literature hero, I love what you say. Everybody, knew the Labor Party would be voted out in NSW, this election, I was amazed they were elected 4 years ago, so therefore, the party were not caught unawares. What annoyes me is BOF, signing a contract, raving on about 100 days, then trying to get so many billion from the federal Government in an attempt to alter the rail route. I hope Julia Gillard doesn't give in, Julia said the Parramatta link, was an election promise. To top it all off, BOF does the oldest trick in the book, 1 day after the election, and announces a black hole in the budget, what did someone say, ask BOH to release the evidence. You said: [quote]admit, they have the weight of the Murdoch Press, Fairfax Radio and the John Singleton-owned Radio Stations such as 2GB, plus various old political pros from the Howard years, and Republican Party Message Masters such as Frank Luntz, helping them out and backing them up, but it behoves Labor to just keep trying to match them at it. [/quote] Poor Labor, they sure have some mountains to climb, those mentioned above are a disgrace to our democracy, especially the radio station loud mouths. Have a nice day Hillbilly

Lyn

30/03/2011Hi Kevin Rennie How wonderful to see you here, what a pleasant surprise, thankyou so much. I do read your blog "Labor View from Bayside" and appreciate your opinion very much, I didn't realise you had the other sites, although, I have caught you on Global Voices a few times. Congratulations on your "Red Bluff" launch, also thankyou for alerting us. Red Bluff Media, Kevin Rennie personal perspectives on Australian and international news and politics, the environment and the media. http://www.redbluffr.com/

nasking

30/03/2011Lyn, I'm feeling worn out today so don't feel like commenting much...but I'm looking forward to reading the articles you've linked to. This morning I sent the following to Aussie friends by email: [quote]Hi, if ya get some time I recommend ya read these blogs:[/quote] http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [quote]and:[/quote] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2010/09/07/john-menadues-sizzling-critique-of-politics-the-media-and-more/ [quote]Failed Estate primarily deals w/ the media...the other has some useful info on health policy.[/quote] Occasionally I send my family & friends in Canada & the USA links too...as they do me. It's useful to spread info around. Thnx for the Failed Estate link Lyn...I then linked to the John Menadue/Melissa Sweet piece at Croakey/Crikey from there. I'm going thru yer links offered from the last 3 days. Keep up the great work. We cherish yer participation & efforts. Feral, I always enjoy a good stoush between the forces of Keating & Hawke...reminds me of the good old days. :) N'

Lyn

30/03/2011Hi Nasking Thankyou so much for your lovely comment. We appreciate you very much too, you know. Your comments are a daily delight, your opinion always genuine well thoughtout, you have a brain full of welcome knowledge, and I thankyou very much for sharing your opinions with us. Nasking I am sorry you are not feeling so well today. I tell you, get some vitamin "B" into yourself, the B complex are excellent, from the Supermarket. Also my daughter put me onto Fish Oil 1000mg, Omega3 capsules. Ad Astra will tell you, he is a Doctor, and a great believer in vitamins. Yes Mr Denmore is billiant isn't he, such a nice person too. That is so good of you Nasking, to send links to our Australian Writers, to international readers. I have noticed more and more blogs coming online, that are taking an interest in our current affairs.

TalkTurkey

30/03/2011Brisbane's Mayor almost seemed like a human, A natural Captain-the-Crew man, But sad to relate He ate Langbroek, his mate, And they're calling him Cannibal Newman! Skelly, after 'obfuscate' - DENIGRATE!

Ad astra reply

30/03/2011Kevin Rennie Thank you for your comment and welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again.

Ad astra reply

30/03/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra reply

30/03/2011Folks Do read Mr Denmore's latest post on [i]The Failed Estate[/i]: [i]Mining the truth[/i]. Like so many of his posts, it's a gem. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/03/mining-truth.html

Lyn

30/03/2011Hi Ad I believe in Mike' Blog, I think Everyone else will too: [i]Power without glory: why we should begin to boycott Andrew Bolt’s blog,Mike, Watching the Deniers[/i] It is our clicks that count [quote]The Andrew Bolt Blog Boycott Refrain from visiting Andrew Bolt’s blog Spread the word via email, Facebook,Twitter and social media Suggest others begin their personal boycott[/quote]http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/power-without-glory-why-we-should-begin-to-boycott-andrew-bolts-blog/

Ad astra reply

30/03/2011Hi Lyn I've long since declined to visit the Bolt blog. His pieces are so scientifically inaccurate and deceptive, and so disgracefully cloaked in vitriolic invective and at times hate. His sycophantic followers are of the same ilk. Their comments are often as venomous as his. Why would reasonable people subject themselves to the rabble-rousing rubbish that populates his site. Obviously many people, far from being incensed, enjoy the nonsense and the insults he dishes out day after day, but I for one am not going to contribute to his 'million hits a month'.

Doug Evans

30/03/2011Apropos a previously running conversation on how voters do/might/should make thir minds up on how to place their vote - I found this old post on 'An onymous Leftie'that sums up my feelings pretty well. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/tanner-v-bandt-the-often-contradictory-reasons-the-alp-gives-progressives-not-to-vote-green/

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011Doug Evans, The point you make about just engaging in a level of common decency as the new shock tactic which should be employed by the ALP, as in this piece, but by all parties in general, is apt but unrealistic, sadly. I believe President Obama tried just that approach in America, and those that oppose him, both the Republican Party in government, and the Billionaire Oligarchs in Business backing the Tea Party out of government but now in government, treated that approach with disdain and Obama was a lamb to electoral slaughter as a result in the end. Hence, one may wish for the political parties to rise above it all nobly, but, in reality, they cannot. So, my advice to them therefore is to learn how to seem nice and reasonable about it, like the example I gave of Gladys Berejiklian in NSW, and you could probably add Ted Baillieu in Victoria and Colin Barnett in WA, while at one and the same time being a smiling political assassin. This should be alternated with someone from the party 'Refudiating' (as Sarah Palin would say), madly, every perceived slight, sling or arrow of outrageous political fortune you can gin up in the media to encourage the sympathy vote and make your political oppositioin seem like nasty pieces of political work. :)

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011Kevin Rennie, I think the telling battle over ALP party reform will be fought at the National Conference later in the year. I would be looking to Simon Crean to carry some of it out, he was the one who finaly wrestled the 60-40 Union vote rule to the ground, and he and John Faulkner are close.

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011lyn, I think Barry O'Farrell came out too quickly with his 'Budget Black Hole' statement yesterday. It seemed too convenient an excuse to sack the Treasury Secretary, when he said he wouldn't do such a thing to the State Public Service Heads. People are cynical enough about politics now that they probably weren't convinced about the 'Black Hole' palaver. At the end of the day, the people of NSW voted, and all they appear to have ended up with is another politician. And another 'Mean and Tricky' Liberal at that. Also I might make a comment about Campbell Newman in your own home state of Queensland, but in general about the Liberal Party and reflecting one of the points I made above. That is that it appears that the Liberal and National Parties have mastered the art of the Faux Perpetual Campaign, which is why Newman has been cut loose to wend his way around the State in his Campaign Bus, not doing a real job, like the ALP State government, but endlessly carping at them from the sidelines and announcing rinky tink 'policies' along the way. That way, while the grown-ups in the ALP are preoccupied governing, he, like Tony Abbott the other political gadfly, just run around from Murdoch local rag to ABC Regional Radio Station, putting about their anti-government propaganda. It works.

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011I never read Andrew Bolt. I have better things to do with my time than get sucked down into the gutter with all the trash he throws around. I'm rational, he's irrational, and ne'er the twain shall meet I believe. The thing that amuses me is how people hang on the every word and pronouncement of a tabloid journalist. It just exemplifies their ignorance.

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011To prove my point, this is the Murdoch paradigm admitted to openly by a Senior Fox News Executive, and now that they have such control over the news cycle, he admits it proudly and openly: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/content/breaking-fox-news-uninterested-facts

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011Interesting little article on the NBN vote and Malcolm Turnbull's manouverings, by Malcolm Farr: http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/turnbull-is-dancing-to-the-beat-of-a-different-drum/ I often wonder if MT might be calculating whether he could make a play for the Indies' votes in parliament consequent to a challenge to Abbott.

janice

30/03/2011FS, You make a good case for the way forward for NSW Labor. However, nothing will do any good unless and until there is a change within the voting public minds to be more discerning and analytic when bombarded with pollie/msn rhetoric. When so many Australians cannot bring themselves to take an interest in the workings of their governments, to keep themselves informed and learn to sort out fact from fiction, then we will always end up with poor governments at best and downright dishonest ones at worst. If we do manage to get a good government in these modern times it is, I think, more by good luck than good management of voters, because in the main the voters do not, cannot or don't wish to, recognise a good government from a bad one. When so many Australians are willing to promote 'freedom of speech' without adding responsibility and integrity, then we will always see our best leaders destroyed and replaced by the amoral, disingenuous and power-mongers. For me, it doesn't matter much anymore because I have passed on my values to my offspring and it is now up to them to teach their young to have respect and tolerance for others and to demand the same from their peers and their leaders. I am proud that my boys hold these values dear and are guiding their own young ones along the same path. As I watch and listen to radio and TV, I am convinced there is massive confusion out there and it all stems from religious beliefs. Somewhere along the line the separation of powers as set out in the constitution no longer applies and we see that religion has seeped into every tier of government. I'll most probably be slammed for saying this, but it needs to be said. I don't know about anyone else but not a day goes by that I don't hear someone (either a journo, an interviewee or just a commenter) outing themselves as Catholic, or less often, Anglican. There seems to be a similar thing going on now as went on when the ALP split except that now the "DLP" appears to have risen under Tony Abbott so that extreme catholicism lives in the Lib right. We have all witnessed the lack of respect bestowed on PM Gillard and I have come to the conclusion she is being vilified because she is an atheist. Bob Hawke got away with his non-belief because he admitted only to being agnostic, and of course, he is a male.

nasking

30/03/2011Thnx for the kind words Lyn & suggestion. I'm not actually ill, just tired...been watching international events w/ a keen eye the past few weeks & reading plenty of articles...after awhile the brain gets needing a break from the montage of images & analyses. BTW, I do take B12 & occasionally B-Complex...but thanks for mentioning it. Yer a sweety. :) ----------------------------------------------------- Mungo's piece on Abbott was spot on... and this from Jeremy got me chuckling: [quote]If rightwingers vote for Hanson, then clearly it’s the Greens’ fault[/quote] http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/if-rightwingers-vote-for-hanson-then-clearly-its-the-greens-fault/ Yea, blame The Greens who think for themselves...make their own voting choices. Don't blame those pollies who cater to mean-spirited & ignorant voters & desperate, anxiety-ridden shock jock listeners... those who refuse to take responsibility for giving Hanson an opportunity to spread her venom again because like alcoholics & drug addicts in top level positions they should be excused for hiding their addiction to power, stirring up xenophobia, bashing the underprivileged...behind serious & sincere faces. All hail & excuse the softly spoken scumbags of our corptocracy. Yea, I'm looking at you Abbott & yer motley crew. Yer playin' dangerous games Tony...people's revolts can easily be turned on their leaders, funders, guides, motivators & manipulators...once you've taken up the mantle of supreme power. Become THE DECIDER. Plenty of those salivating, roaring pissed off crowds waving placards like pitchforks, swords & torches are fires that rarely go out...the anxious, distrusting, borderline personality mob...ever burning individuals...add fuel and they become a raging firestorm of cynicism & hate & whinge & verbal...sometimes physical, abuse. I observed the Tea Party movement rise from the bilefire that was GW Bush admin hate & distrust...and 9/11 movements...and "Out of Iraq"...sceptics & doubters & denialists & paranoids whipped up again during the bailout of the big banks... one moment detesting Bush...the next Obama... yer playing w/ fire...you are not firestarter...merely the guide & fuel provider... it's time you moved away from it Tony...lest yer playthings turn on you at a later date and consume you...as they have others. Consumed by bilefire... whilst corporate media & copycats add their own fuel...and directions... demonically laughing to the sound KERCHING as you are slowly consumed...on live television...on front page news...in cyber space. And the supporters turn away...as you hold out yer trembling hand...ignore the pleas... turn away from the chameleon, opportunistic YOU. N'

Lyn

30/03/2011Hi Ad and Hillbilly I don't read Bolt either, his column is detestable, but there is a lot of controversy around today, because, Bolt is in court. Bolt in Court, Dave gaukroger, Pure Poison we may not agree with what you say, but we’ll defend to the death the right of people to call it small-minded, hollow, illogical, erroneous, spiteful rot. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/03/29/bolt-in-court/ I will defend to the death Bolt’s right to wallow in the mire, Michael Brull, Unleashed. what Andrew Bolt says is outrageous. I’m doubtful that the current case even addresses the most offensive things that Bolt has written. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45746.html Cheers

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011Lyn, Yes, Bolt's court case is the cause celebre of the journo world atm. They hate it when one of their own is actually taken to task by those that they villify in order to sate 'the mob' or 'the chooks' that they feed with their distorted writ(h)ings and venomous bile spewed out on a daily basis to feed the paranoid insecurities and flat-out bigotry of their flock. Actually, all the craven cowards in the journalistic sphere, and even Dave Gaukroger of Pure Poison has been sucked into this vortex, are deliberately(?) confusing the Right of Free Speech with Hate Speech. Again and conveniently, as it leaves the door open for them to skate close to the edge themselves in the future should they so desire. However, what that defence also says to me is that they think anyone should be able to write any low slur, or defamatory statement about anyone, just because they have this glorified 'Right' to 'Free Speech'.

nanosat

30/03/2011This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog. especially its discussion From the tons of comments on your articles I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here Keep up the excellent work

nasking

30/03/2011[quote]I don't read Bolt either, his column is detestable,[/quote] Lyn & Feral, Bolt is another of those political animals who spends an inordinate amount of time trying to create the perception that this government is "illegitimate"...and The Greens are running the show. I hear the same crap on SKY NEWS & in the Murdoch papers & on the ABC constantly. And from shock jocks. It's nonsense. What is wrong w/ ALP leaders negotiating w/ Greens & Independents, who have experience in conservation & rual/farming areas, for better, wider outcomes? I prefer a government made up of a wide spectrum of people rather than just a bunch of mining, media puppets. I note we don't get the same level of concern when it comes to the Coalition of Liberal & National parties. For gawd's sake, the LNP in QLD here is a virtual "spooning" as they sleepwalk thru the political days... And the Nat's Senator Barnaby Joyce is like Tony Abbott's sidekick...they could do a late night talk show together...Barnaby can blow his horn as the musical intro whilst Tony walks in & does standup...much of what he says these days is pretty comical anyway. One could not ignore the chummy relationship between Nat's leader Warren Truss, Barnaby & other Nats and Abbott & a few Libs at the recent "people's vomit" outside parliament. It was a virtual protest orgy of Nats & Libs. A symbiotic relationship? Or just twins wearing different colours? Some consistency required of our media please. "Ladies & gentleman, we present the two-headed beast... the LIBNAT!". N'

2353

30/03/2011^^^^^^^^^^^ Or the Liberal National Parody.

nasking

30/03/2011[quote]Or the Liberal National Parody.[/quote] 2353, I like it. :) N'

Doug Evans

30/03/2011FS You appear to be in accord with HS on this. You may both be right but if so it is a profoundly depressing scenario and there is no real hope for our democracy. When your (joint) assertion of what is necessary for the short term rehabilitation of the ALP are applied to the wider field of politics in general you are simply asserting that there is no path back. Given that HS' points 9, 10 and 11 are what occurs now when things are running smoothly within the major parties you are (jointly) arguing that what we have now is what we will always have. The only direction for our political culture will be down as the two major parties seek to differentiate their 'product' or 'brand' with new ways to undercut, betray and deceive while giving the illusion of actually bring human. Ironically this amounts to nothing more than a slight recalibration of Richo's dictum 'whatever it takes'. Here we are wailing about what the NSW disease has done to the once glorious party and we are proposing to install the core value of the NSW right wing at the heart of the rehabilitation program??!! There will be no relief from the level of insincerity, hypocrisy, obfuscation and disinformation that we currently endure. Let me be quite clear about what I mean. We will apparently be subjected to the appearance of straight talking when parties are setting out their agendas but only because that is what 'plays' not because that is the right thing to do and that is what is owed to the electorate. When things don't work out or when opportunity presents no change in current behaviour patterns is contemplated apart from the fact that the bastardry is to be concealed from the voters because, again, ‘that is what it takes – great! FS you justify your position by reference to Obama and the congressional midterm elections. The analogy may be fair enough but the Australian political culture is I believe not yet as toxic as that in the US and it is my hope is that: a. The electorate would still be capable of responding to a degree of ethical behaviour without reading it as weakness warranting political execution. b. That although many of the building blocks are in place we will never construct a political forum as characterized by hysterical insanity as the American one. I can’t imagine a better way to guarantee that is where we end up though than the sort of continuation of unprincipled, business-as-usual expediency that underlies much of HS’ otherwise excellent and definitely thought provoking piece. On a slightly different but related point, it occurs to me that the sort of manic adversarialism that typifies the current Australian political scene is in high degree the logical endpoint of the two party system. In many years of living in Denmark with a dozen or so parties in Parliament spanning the full spectrum from the Communists on the left to the populist rather nasty ‘No Tax Party’ on the right such idiocy never appeared. They were all too busy negotiating and deal making. The common objection to that type of parliament by people who have never experienced it is that no-one gets the chance to implement their program – the suggestion being of some sort of policy gridlock – can’t move forward or backwards.. This however was never the reality. All that orderly negotiating only seemed to refine the outcomes for whatever government was in power at the time. Somewhat as our current minority parliament seems to be achieving currently. I don’t care to assert this idea strongly I haven’t thought about it – just occurred to me now – but its worth toying with I suggest.

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011Doug Evans, Sorry, we are me as you are he as we are all together. :) Before you came along, I had an amazing problem occur to my Gravatar wherein it became a Black Hole(yep, I am where the $4.5 Billion that Barry O'Farrell claimed was lost by the Labor Party went :) ). Anyway, that was when I was Hillbilly Skeleton. It became both unnerving and frustrating to see just a black void whenever I logged on as Hillbilly Skeleton, so, with the help of the inimitable NormanK, we devised a workaround, and the result was that I had to develop an alter ego, Feral Skelton, so that I could have a gravatar again. Ergo the 'split personality'. :)

TalkTurkey

30/03/2011William Bowe on Poll Bludger writes: "Gender splits lean in the expected directions, though not as heavily as you would think. An exception is disapproval of Gillard, with women notably more reluctant to give her the thumbs down." I've read it over several times, what does he mean? I thought in voting patterns girls went for girls and blokes for blokes. Bilbo seems to imply heterogeneous prefs are the norm. Please explain?

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011Doug Evans, Now to the points that you raised. I think you misunderstand me when you intimate that I think the ALP should just use an apparent straight talking and honest style of communicating with the voters simply as an alternative to spin. Not so. I believe that the electorate would find a direct, honest and transparent approach refreshing, and an easy contrast to the way in which the Opposition conducts itself. In fact, this evening on The Drum I heard one of the panellists, Jame Caro, say just that. She is in Advertising so I imagine that she could also see the possibilities for a government to win Brownie Points with the electorate by being open and honest with them, instead of 'Mean and Tricky'. Also, I do believe that the Gillard government is actually trying to steer political debate in this country around to this perspective. I don't remember if I linked to it, but Senator Kate Lundy gave a speech along those lines just this last week. Now, as for the other tactical suggestions that I made that you disagree with, and the way you relate it to the NSW Disease, well, I was referring, not to the way that the ALP should behave towards the electorate, but to the way they should engage in the thrust and parry that is the foundation of the undertow of adversarial politics in democracies, wherein you should always be engaging in a joust with your political opponents. The suggestions I made were based upon the successful political tactics that are being employed by Coalition MPs in all the jurisdictions, and I just thought that the ALP might benefit by learning how to behave similarly. After all, when one behaves this way, you can do it for the right reasons, that is, to advance your agenda containing initiatives which will enhance the polity, or, you can do it in order to advance the position of the economic elites, as the Coalition does, to the disadvantage of the rest of us and the environment. Therefore, I guess I have to agree with your assertion that what I have said amounts to a recalibration of Richo's dictum, 'Whatever it takes', because I believe that I am asserting something similar in order to achieve just outcomes for this country via the vehicle of the Progressive Social Democrat Federal Government of the ALP+ the Cross Benchers, against the weight of the campaign from many quarters against them. If you're doing 'Whatever it takes' for the right reasons, it's OK, isn't it? Now, let me be clear. I am not advocating 'Business as usual' political expediency. What I am trying to offer are suggestions that may help the ALP fight back against the tactics I have perceived being applied pretty effectively against them by the Coalition parties and other entities who are against the ALP for their Vested Interests' reasons. Like the Mining Industry, who used a variety of media tools to crucify the precursor to the MRRT, the RSPT. I only suggest they may like to learn how to use some of the same tools so that they may continue to advance their positive agenda for the country, not so that they may become as sleazy as them. I don't want the ALP to be insincere or hypocritical, and I don't believe I suggested that. However, a little bit of tactical obfuscation, so as to spin a political spider's web around your opposition in order to tangle them up, is a legitimate tactic in my book, and one which I see politicians around the world using all the time, for good and ill. Actually, Point 9 was supposed to be an ironic reference to Sarah Palin's 'Word of the Year', 'Refudiate', and meant to allude to the practice she has developed of turning any valid criticism of her on its head with a carefully planned counter-attack. However, in the editing process Ad Astra corrected it to 'Repudiate', so it sort of lost its connotation. I agree with you about the Minority government. It is working well and reflects the situation in many European parliaments. If only the Australian media could say the same and educate the electorate accordingly.

Feral Skeleton

30/03/2011Talk Turkey, I don't know how William Bowe keeps Poll Bludger ticking over endlessly the way he does, with his expert commentary thrown in to boot. So it is understandable that he may, after a big election weekend, like the one he's just been through, be a little vague sometimes. Now, I think he means that Men like Tony Abbott more and women disapprove of him more. Women like Julia Gillard more and don't disapprove of her as much as men do. Does that make sense?

Lyn

30/03/2011 Hi Talk Turkey I think William Bowe means, "approval" instead of "disapproval". [quote]Gender splits lean in the expected directions, though not as heavily as you would think. An exception is disapproval of Gillard, with women notably more reluctant to give her the thumbs down.[/quote]

D Mick Weir

30/03/2011Professer Hillbilly Skeleton [b]aka[/b] [i]Honours Student Extraordinaire Feral Skeleton,[/i] What a pungent mix of ingredients you have added to the melting pot that is known as "How to rebuild a declining political party" [i]1. Tricky Dicky Nixon Political Tactics Should Be Binned [/i] Much of the stuff you mention is also prominent in a highly secret manual you may not of had access to [i]Populist Politacal Party Practice 101 [/i] I am told by informed sources that this manual is the 'bible' of the likes of the Tea Party. [i]9. When attacked: 'Repudiate! Repudiate! Repudiate!...Obfuscate!' [/i] I can't help it; every time I read this line I keep getting images of Daleks [i]Exterminate, Exterminate[/i] Thanks for a great post and when I can escape again from my other life I will add more

D Mick Weir

30/03/2011For another perspective on how difficult it can be to 'do reform' that is in the better interests of the country read this and weep: [b]Imagine a tax system that penalised work[/b] - Saul Easlake http://www.smh.com.au/business/imagine-a-tax-system-that-penalised-work-20110329-1ceqb.html HT Professor Steve Keen http://www.debtdeflation.com

D Mick Weir

30/03/2011... and now for something completely(?) different Fiona Katauskas made me shake my head and wonder. However she may well have summarised Mr Keatings feelings well. [b]Meanwhile, in New South Wales[/b] http://newmatilda.com/2011/03/30/meanwhile-nsw-0

Doug Evans

31/03/2011HS/FS I think we probably disagree still over the likely outcomes of using 'whatever it takes' in pursuit of noble causes but it is no more than a gut feeling and pursuing it risks heading off into pretty abstract philosophical regions to no good end. So - well written and well argued a really thought provoking contribution.

Lyn

31/03/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Look Into My Eye, Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i] so he’s had a leg-up from the online news media. Which online news media? Don’t be a complete goose! The Australian, of course! http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/03/look_into_my_eye.php#more Australia’s NBN is nothing like Korea, says Turnbull,Delimeter Turnbull made it plain that the Opposition supported a vision where all Australians got access to high-speed broadband. However, http://delimiter.com.au/2011/03/30/australias-nbn-is-nothing-like-korea-says-turnbull/ [i]Scrambling to get on the NBN Wagon, Paul Budde, Buddeblog.[/i] they feel threatened by Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s remarks indicating that he will ‘kill the NBN’. http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/scrambling-to-get-on-board-the-nbn-wagon/ [i]Can Turnbull do a Menzies?, Norman Abjorensen, Inside Story[/i]A former high-profile lawyer who rose rapidly in politics but was dumped as leader by his own party… Yes, Robert Menzies http://inside.org.au/can-turnbull-do-a-menzies/ [i]KM in the Oz , David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] Conroy, unlike every Comms Minister for the last fifteen years stood up to Australia's largest totally domestic corporation http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]Abbott to unveil tough welfare policy, Business Spectator[/i]like Australia to follow the lead of the UK and reform the disability pension, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Abbott-to-unveil-tough-welfare-policy-report-pd20110330-FFR45?OpenDocument&src=hp13 [i]The evidence shows that physician assistants could help improve access to healthcare, Melissa Sweet, Croakey[/i] Today, Associate Professor Moira Sim, from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine at Edith Cowan University in Perth, explains http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2011/03/30/the-evidence-shows-that-physician-assistants-could-help-improve-access-to-healthcare/ [i]Politics in the Mucky Country, Michael Stuchbery, Unleashed[/i]it frames the Opposition as more focused on throwing dirt, attacking in a malicious unfocused swarm. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45778.html [i]Carbon derangement in NSW, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] So is the NSW Liberal Party really trying to argue that they’ve won the election on the back of a federal policy announced only a few months ago? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/03/29/carbon-derangement-in-nsw/ [i]When the Rot Sets In, Reb, Gutter trash[/i] Meanwhile Frank Sartor’s letter reads like this… http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/when-the-rot-sets-in/ [i]Oi, Bazza! What you gonna do about this bluidy mess? Petering time, North Coast Voices[/i] Well Bazza, you told everyone who would listen during the NSW election campaign http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/03/oi-bazza-what-you-gonna-do-about-this.html [i]Are The Greens Ready For Hard Ball?,Antony Loewenstein, New matilda[/i] Greens have a lot to learn when our political opponents and the Murdoch press are working together to attack us", says David Shoebridge http://newmatilda.com/2011/03/30/are-greens-ready-hard-ball [i]When should free speech on race be constrained, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] There’s an interesting court case going on at the moment in Melbourne involving a trollumnist http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Tony Abbott gets his climate science from Andrew Bolt , Tim Lambert, Deltoid[/i] To his credit, Graham Lloyd, Environment editor for The Australian corrects Abbott's error: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/tony_abbott_gets_his_climate_s.php?utm_source=sbhomepage&utm_medium=link&utm_content=channellink [i]Union fightback can stop the Liberals in NSW, Solidarity[/i]. Net.Au help put a stop to O’Farrell and Abbott, we need to mobilise in Sydney on April 2 at 11am at Belmore Park, in support of action on climate change. http://www.solidarity.net.au/web/union-fightback-can-stop-the-liberals-in-nsw/

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011DougE, Thank you. :)

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011DMW, What a busy little bee you are! Thanks for the Katauskas 'toon, will get around to the other links later as today's my shopping day. :)

nasking

31/03/2011Thnx for the links Lyn, I found Antony Loewenstein's article @ New Matilda to be a useful read: [quote]The real effect of BDS on the Marrickville and Balmain campaigns is impossible to determine but just retired Greens MLC Ian Cohen told New Matilda that he thinks it was a major factor, a position he’s held, with various degrees of consistency, for some time. He’s opposed to BDS, believes it unfairly targets Israel and ignores other gross human rights abuses across the world: "Many pro-Israel people worried about the lack of consistency and this included Greens members. Nothing was said about dictatorships in the Arab world from the Greens … I believe there is a huge scope for criticism of Israeli behaviour against the Palestinian people but BDS for the Greens was an old style, in the trenches method of pushing a campaign. It wasn’t properly assessed how it would affect the NSW election campaign. The Jewish community outrage had a significant impact on our candidates." [/quote] Indeed. I reckon it was a pretty dumb move on the part of the NSW Greens. Certainly Israel's relationship w/ the Palestinians is problematic...and paternalistic... and any rational person would see that discriminating against Arab Israelis, undermining justice & universal values when it comes to driving people from their homes & land in order to benefit settlers & create buffer zones, and threatening to chuck the children of migrants out of a state they are born in, are reprehensible & contentious actions... but one cannot ignore the crimes committed against Israel as well...the missiles fired upon innocent people...the bombings, probably instigated by groups connected to Iran...and the fact that other Arabs were and are willing to sell out the Palestinian people. And the attrocities committed by tyrannical Atab & Persian regimes are as heinous as anything committed by the Israeli military & government. It seems to me that a boycott of Israel would come across as a biased act to many a voter. And provide the usual suspect critics of The Greens a great opportunity to label the party as "extreme" & "anti-Semitic"...which in fact I don't think they are. It seems to be a misjudged policy not well communicated or thought out. However, there is no excuse for this type of behaviour: [quote]Jamie Parker revealed to New Matilda the extent of the hatred directed at him during the campaign due to the Greens BDS policy. He had countless letters sent to him calling him a Nazi and Jew hater. His car was vandalised and campaign signs spray-painted with swastikas. He received death threats and some abusers said they knew where he lived. "One letter said I wanted to turn Balmain power station into a gas chamber and the light rail would take people there", Parker tells me. "Lefty Jews told me that you can’t be surprised if extreme people do extreme things but they wouldn’t come out in public and condemn it." He was appalled. When the Murdoch press editor David Penberthy wrote that, "[Fiona] Byrne’s been busy advocating a polite modern rendering of Kristallnacht in the Inner West", Parker hoped progressive Jews he knew would condemn the offensive comparison. They did not. "These Jews provide cover for extreme actions if they occur. If there’s a sniff of you being critical of Israel, such Jews will attack you and cut you loose." BDS simply made many Jewish people unreasonable and extremely upset, Jews told Parker.[/quote] Unfortunately, far too many Israel supporters have become uncritical of the Israeli government's behaviour...and of the "extremists" in their own midsts. And have been led down the garden path by a media, particularly the Murdoch empire, that has promoted the idea & fearmongering over a Muslim caliphate threatening the very existence of Israel by way of the Arab Spring and such...whilst previously playing cheerleaders & apologists for a generally disastrous & ill-planned Bush Doctrine inspired & led war in Iraq...and Afghanistan...that actually undermined reform movements in countries like Iran & weakened Israel. How I see is, the Murdoch empire & other related entities are in fact Christian profiteers using some paranoid, fearful & traumatised Jews (and the odd mean-spirited extremist) to attack rational thinkers... creating problematic & potentially dangerous relations between once moderate Jews & extreme Christians based on lies & propaganda and distortions of events & fears, often using Muslims as the scapegoat/catalyst...that will see an attempted wrecking of the Arab Spring as a generally "universal rights", "democracy-seeking" movement...in order to turn Arab moderates to extremists in desperation...create more distrust of Israel...and lead to more grotesque conflicts that Murdoch's empire of crusading profiteers can financially benefit from as LIVE & BREAKING NEWS. I reckon, for the state of Israel & Palestinians to find peace they need to create a "united states" type country, say The Democratic States of the Middle East, or such...where religion is kept to the home & churches/mosques...and the rule of human's law is prioritised over God's/Allah's laws. No state should be constructed on, defended & promoted as a singular, nor dual religious state. Not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Judeo-Christian etc...it just leads to increases in feudal behaviour, irrationalism over rationalism, bigotry, conflict, bias in defense & policing policies, boundary disputes and discrimination...and an underming of democracy & universal rights. Prrofiteering propaganda outlets need to be taken w/ a pinch of salt...even put aside...as we take this unique opportunity to reach across religious & ideological divides and help lay the path to a brighter, more harmonious future. N'

TalkTurkey

31/03/2011Lyn replied 'Hi Talk Turkey I think William Bowe means, "approval" instead of "disapproval".' Gender splits lean in the expected directions, though not as heavily as you would think. An exception is disapproval of Gillard, with women notably more reluctant to give her the thumbs down. Lyn No Lyn, Strangely, that would not correct the apparent contradiction. If he'd said . . . "thumbs UP" it would make sense, except that then the whole statement would be untrue. I don't see any exception at all in the fact that women are reluctant to give *J*U*L*I*A* the thumbs down. Let's try it all as a double positive instead of a double negative: ". . . women are more inclined to give her the thumbs up." That is true, so why is it exceptional? AHA! I think at long last I have sussed what Bilbo means. He means to emphasize that although the gender preference is usually only fairly minor, the exception is that women seriously strongly prefer *J*U*L*I*A*. As they should of course. She has smashed the glass ceiling as none before. If this be the correct interpretation, it does make sense after all. The emphasis should be on the word "notably". FS, if you of all people don't know how Bilbo can keep it up, nobody does. I think your output is more astonishing, because much more peripatetic!

Ad astra reply

31/03/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Lyn

31/03/2011Hi Talk Turkey Oh! well I tried, your right, approval really doesn't work, I tried to look for a simple solution. You know what I think, I should put a comment on William's blog and ask him what he meant. Cheers:}:}:}:}

Lyn

31/03/2011Hi Talk Turkey I have posted the question to William, my comment is number 2013. Do you think, I have a chance of getting a reply in this life. Cheers

Ad astra reply

31/03/2011Hi Lyn I've just finished reading your great selection of links, and once more came away admiring your skill at selecting a line or two to point us to what the piece is about, something that is not always clear from the title. That line adds so much extra value to your links. To find the relevant line you must read the piece carefully, and that takes time. Thank you for putting so much time and effort into making these links so useful for us all.

Lyn

31/03/2011Hello Ad, How are you? I hope you and your family are having a lovely time in Perth, A beautiful city. My daughters went to St Hilda's boarding school in Perth, so am quite familiar with the city. I also stayed there, to do an Airline ticketing course, when I was working for the airlines. Thankyou Ad, I love working for "The Political Sword". I do enjoy putting up the excerpts, you are right it is necessary for me to read every single Blog Link that I post. Tell you what, I learn a lot with all the reading involved. See Mr Abbott is hitting the airways again, this time cutting welfare, he loves making a noise. Wonder if this is going to continue for two and a half years, what a thought, oh! dear. Have a lovely day Ad, best wishes to your family.

Jason

31/03/2011Memo John Robertson, Now that your leader of the party in NSW learn this and let the right wing power brokers know, not only in Sussex Street but in all the States and Territories, The cold war is over! We no longer have rampant communists in our already thinning ranks, and those that are on the left are to be listened to as well. The party needs to be more inclusive and move back to our progressive roots in all areas! but most of all start listening to whats left of the rank and file without them your nothing.

nasking

31/03/2011[quote]See Mr Abbott is hitting the airways again, this time cutting welfare, he loves making a noise.[/quote] Lyn, there's something incredibly old fashioned, archaic & unimaginative about Tony Abbott. I read the following today: [quote]Mr Abbott said jobless benefits should also be suspended for people aged under 30 living in areas where there is demand for unskilled jobs such as being a cleaner or fruit picker. "What's needed is a more sophisticated benefit structure that distinguishes between disabilities that are likely to be lasting and those that could be temporary and that provides more encouragement for people with some capacity for work," he says. Mr Abbott said nearly 60 per cent of disability pensioners had potentially treatable mental health or muscular-skeletal conditions. He said the disability pension cost $13 billion a year and the number of people receiving it was about to pass 800,000.[/quote] Frankly, I just see these announcements as vague, cheapskate measures that are reductionist and ignore the complexity of social & mental illness. They cater to the average shock jock listener who sees life in black & white...confused borderline personalities who expect a handup when they or their small businesses are struggling...but are quite willing to tar every social security recipient w/ the same brush if it helps them fit into the radio & tabloid & current affairs' herd. Regardless of the tricky dick details we know that Abbott & his supporters on the benches see this as another opportunity to "bash dole recipients", divide communities...push the government further to the right... and eventually use harsh, austerity measures, when in government, to redirect government revenue & tax cuts to the voters and businesses that will maximise their chances of winning elections...and to fulfil their bigoted, coralling of people into contradictory consumer goes mad family values religious-based agendas. I can't help but think that Tony Abbott & some of his team would've suited the Victorian era better... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_era perhaps as factory owners... and those who opposed (said NO) to the various Factory and Workshop Acts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factory_Acts There is nothing wrong w/ using well thought out measures to motivate people to retrain, upskill & return to work... but you can't help but feel, going by their history (words/actions/WorkChoices) & those who they sometimes happily mingle with...that Abbott & allies are either oblivious to the pain they cause...or perhaps even take pleasure in creating more mental/emotional hardship for those already in difficult & challenging positions...demonstrating an adolescent lack empathy for others...as they propel themselves forward on the back of a reductionist, limited & incestious media... Furthermore, there comes across a certain sadistic side to their nature, as evidenced by their addiction to xenophobe stirring/race baiting...seemingly taking pleasure again in the suffering of the under-privileged & powerless caught between a rock & a hard place... that undermines the Abbott Coalition's combination of softly spoken sincerity...and grave bellowing...that purports to be about "the national interest"...but instead feeds ignorance and divides communities. If they'd had the chance, I'm sure Charles Dickens & many a Chartist would see right thru Abbott & his allies...recognise the true, underlying motivations...the rot & greed that lies beneath...covered by a facade deviously defined as "caring" & "kind". Chartism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charterist N'

nasking

31/03/2011As for Abbott's "not about welfare, rather, about the economy" speech... Not only did he applaud someone for taking an "evangelical" approach to a function (got me thinking of the prosperity evangelical greedsters)... but he also addressed "the wealth creators" of this nation...it seems that wealth to Abbott is all about making profits & financial security...tho, it's interesting that in previous speeches he likes to pump "volunteerism"...which provides primarily "mood & mobility & environment enhancing" wealth for the participant & the person(s)object of their attention. Abbott compares our economic productivity unfavourably to many Asian nations...quite frankly, I'm damned if I'd want to be an average worker in those countries that exploit cheap labour to increase affordable exports...and have need of financial aid from us due to problems ranging from education affordability to access to drinkable water to religious & tribal-based conflicts...nor the kind of irresponsible housing development bubble we're presently seeing in China. I won't even go into the various problems w/ corruption, neglect, underdevelopment, short staffing & lack of access & funding to appropriate healthcare systems in many of those countries. Furthermore, Abbott noticeably speaks for both "Liberal & National parties"...as tho the National party has no mind or policies of its own. Just spooning the Liberals obviously as they sleepwalk to another federal defeat. And to hear Abbott stating that these measures, like the previous Howard era ones, are about ensuring "taxpayers money isn't wasted" & "greater fiscal restraint" is hilarious... when you consider the amount of taxpayer's money wasted by the Howard/Costello/Abbott government on the National party demanded regional rorts schemes...the currency exchange stuffups, the upper middle class welfare, Bush's wars, various military equipment, the rebates that helped ABC Learning Centres grow like a plague only to go bust leaving taxpayer's w/ more burden (Nat party people partly to blame for that debacle)...the list goes on. Next, it pisses me to hear a politician farting on about welfare & "handouts" when he spent time writing a "manifestO called Prattlelines...sorry, Battlelines...during his time as a well paid member of parliament. Found alot of time to cycle too. And as for Abbott's "firm but fair" approach to work...I couldn't help but notice that the moment he mentioned "fruit picking" & "cleaning" jobs he followed up immediately w/ references to Aborigines. Mr. Paternalistic doesn't fool me. Lastly, Abbott likes to own "small business". Whilst referring to the record/commitment of the UK government to cut debt & spending by slashing public service jobs. I would remind Mr. smart arse negabore that the Howard government was damn fortunate in that it had primarily Labor run states to deal with during wobbly economic times...states that ensured its teachers, nurses, policepersons, firepersons, and other public workers actually got enuff of a useful income...and holidays/long service leave...that they had the time to search for small businesses on-line and on the streets...and the money to buy & hire small business products & services... unlike those who too often work the most ridiculous hours in private companies for a basic wage...and like Americans, have little time to explore the internet & streets for small business products and services...but rather head to the convenient mall, shopping at the BIG stores...or doing a basic internet search and coming up w/ BIG companies... particularly, when they are not only short of time & money...but loaded up w/ children because the likes of Abbott, Costello & Howard provide "get yer plasma TV gratis of government" incentives to have plenty of babies via the rebate system. The Coalition is supportive of "small business" my arse. A chosen FEW such as Ziggy's mining company & ABC Learning Centres perhaps...but they get their undying support...and its all in the family so to speak. And they don't stay "small" for long...but are just as "predatory" as the BIGuns. Abbott's a CONservative. Like too many so called "wealth creators". No longer eyes wide shut. N'

Lyn

31/03/2011 [quote]Lyn, there's something incredibly old fashioned, archaic & unimaginative about Tony Abbott.[/quote] Oh! Nasking you are being nice to Mr Abbott, Archaic and unimaginative, archaic is apt, (No longer in ordinary use). Abbott is prehistoric. “[quote]The Opposition’s ideas reveal a limited understanding of the plight of some of the country’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens, [/quote] I just watched Mr Abbott's address,Queensland Chamber of Commerce, presented on ASBC24. Abbott says cut the welfare, is about the economy. He calls the Government "The Brown, Gillard Government" smart alec. PM dismisses Abbott's 'recycled' welfare plan, jeremyu Thompson, ABC "This is the third time he's announced it, and this time he hasn't even bothered to talk about where the money would come from." http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/31/3178839.htm?section=justin

D Mick Weir

31/03/2011[i]8. Campaign Non Stop[/i] With this one I will have to disagree. One of the perceived problems with the Rudd period was that it spent more time campaiging than it did governing. The relentless drive to win the current day and be on top of the 24 news cycle distracted from need to inform and educate on policy and why whatever policy change that was current was a benefit to the nation as a whole. Non stop [i]may[/i] be ok for oppositions but not for governments. I actually suspect it is no good for oppositions either. Oppositions need to take time to develop sound policy and then educate as to why thier policy is better than the governments. I guess in some ways that is campaigning. Maybe I am confusing campaigning and sloganeering in my thinking with this. Either way nonstop campaigning dulls the message for when it is important.

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011DMW, I take your point. However, being more explicatory about my little 3 Word Slogan, 'Campaign Non Stop' :) I guess what I am trying to get at is not what Kevin Rudd got up to, which was, as you say, trying to perpetually win the news cycle, day after day with 'Announceables' and general, 'InYourFaceness', as I believe Julia Gillard learnt a salutary lesson from watching that schemata fall flat on its face. This belief is reinforced when I remember her statement that she would not be seeking to win the 24/7 news cycle, but would take an approach to the media which would involve longer cycles. No, what I was trying to get at was that Julia, and members of the government, should get out and about among the community regularly, to see and hear from the electorate on the ground and get a feel for their concerns, and also to give an impression of not being aloof from them. Not that I want her to don the Lycra and hop on a bike so that she can match MAMIL(Middle Aged Man In Lycra) Abbott's opportunistic 'Pollie Pedal' effort, but turning up at a few Footie games, a few fetes, and, maybe, for example, going with Tim to Queensland for a holiday in order to reinforce the point about reviving the Queensland economy and tourism sector, will keep her naturally in the media, in front of people, and thus help her 'campaign', in the broad sense, for the next election.

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011Nasking, What a fertile mind for Grizzly Bear you have! I hope you don't hibernate over Winter though, as what you contribute is much food for thought. :) Now, to some of the points you have raised. Firstly, you spoke of the Evangelical Christian/Jewish link. Now, I don't know if you are aware of this, but the most rabid of the Evangelicals, that is those who take the Bible literally, see the Holy Land as where all the action will be when the End Times are upon us/them. So, they think it is in their best interests to link up with the Jews to bring about the expulsion of the Palestinians from that land. Problem is, they also believe that the Jews shouldn't be there either, and that after the Jews have helped them, and they have helped the Jews to aquire the Palestinian territory, then they will turn on the Jews and drive them out as well, so that they can have it all to themselves! Not very 'Christian' behaviour, if you ask me. However, they are zealots, and thus, mad as the proverbial meat axe, so I don't expect them to behave reasonably in any way at all.

Ad astra reply

31/03/2011Hi Lyn We are having a very enjoyable time here in Perth with the family, and the enveloping warmth is such a contrast to chilly Victoria. You know what a lovely city Perth is. You are right – searching for suitable links is a great learning experience. I had a similar experience searching the online medical literature for articles of relevance to family doctors for inclusion, much like your links, on a medical website. I was better informed then than ever. Tony Abbott is reverting to his previous attitudes about the unemployed and the disabled. Anyone who believes Abbott is capable of really changing his ultra-conservative beliefs only has to look at his performance, when time and again old attitudes surface despite him insisting, like he did with WorkChoices, that they are ‘dead, buried and cremated’. His doctrinaire conservatism will never be buried, just opportunistically placed into suspended animation when it suits him, only to be resuscitated when he gets the opportunity to breathe life into it again.

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011OK, N', to today's attempt by Abbott to steal the limelight from the government over Welfare 'Reform', which has been flagged as the overarching theme of this year's Budget. This is what I put up on facebook on the ABC News Breakfast page: [quote]Another simplistic solution to a complex problem from Tony Abbott. Whilst I can see the merit in fit young unemployed people being given jobs Fruit Picking, it's not as simple as that because you usually have to then wait 26 weeks before you qualify again for benefits, thus I can see a situation where , essentially, these young people will work for a while, then when the work runs out use their money to sustain themselves until benefits kick in again, or become itinerant labourers like Swaggies going from short-term job to short-term job. As far as Disability Pensioners goes, I'm with Dr Baker.(That's Dr Ken Baker, Head of Disability Services Australia) First you should enable Training for them, not take simply punitive measures against them. Then you have to educate employers to end the discrimination against the Disabled Job Seeker. Which usually involves subsidies. So if Tony Abbott thinks his plan will save the Commonwealth money, he's sadly deluded.[/quote] Ergo, I am as one with the Prime Minister, when she said at the Community Cabinet last night wtte that she is for all our young people "Getting Training, Skills, a Job." None of this Unskilled, Cheap Jack Labor Hire Company stuff that the Coalition favour, and which they allowed to flourish under WorkChoices, where the long-term unemployed become indentured labour, Cleaners, and the like for multinational companies who view such individuals as mere 'Production Units'. However, as I said, I don't mind the idea of unattached young people, who haven't found their feet in employment in the area they grew up in, being sent to places in the country to Fruit Pick or labour on farms for an income and work experience. Just so long as they aren't made to keep doing it in perpetuity, as some sort of low-paid navvy and itinerant, who gets sent from pillar to post throughout the countryside to work for the mates of the Nationals MPs as virtual slave labour. Nor should they have to run down the money which they have made, unless it's more than the already mandated amount, instead of being able to get back on benefits once the work runs out.

Michael

31/03/2011I don't find it at all surprising that Barry O'Farrell has begun his Premiership with a scare-politics lie about a "$4.5 billion" hole in the State budget left to him by Labor. Turns out his claim has as much basis in truth as the $11 billion hole in the Federal party's election promises proved to have. A government that kick-starts it's life on lies does not promise much good for NSW.

NormanK

31/03/2011Hillbilly Skeleton Thanks for such a thought-provoking piece. Some of it is beyond my ken (the personalities involved) but I do find myself reluctantly agreeing with points 9 through 11. Ad astra did a piece last year questioning whether the ALP was too nice and at that time I was ambivalent. A kinder gentler polity is certainly what I would prefer to see but as has been shown over the last twelve months, if only one side of the House winds back the politicking, speaks to truth (as they see it, let's not get bogged down) in an intelligent and intelligible way when addressing the public, plays the ball and not the man and so on, they will not be rewarded for it. This same public which is apparently crying out for more civilised discourse is the same public which will happily follow the Canberra Press Gallery down the path of using terms such as 'weak', 'reactive instead of proactive', 'defensive', ' leaderless' and on it goes. The beast that is the media thrives on conflict, if it doesn't exist they will create it and Abbott is only too happy to provide them with fresh material every day. The Government must also find new ways to say the same old things or else they won't get into print. Lyn remarked quite some time back (and I meant to agree with you Lyn but the moment passed) that the Government is tarred with the same brush whether or not they are actively involved in the 'war of words' (i.e. the constant claim that both sides of politics are as bad as each other in dragging debate down to a squabbling match) and so they may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. Kevin Rudd tried to show some decorum - remember his response to Abbott's "I'm not always consistent" revelation to O'Brien? Rudd's response was "Mr Abbott will have to explain that to the Australian people". Any other politician from an earlier time would have slapped Abbott about the face with that comment in an homage to Monty Python's Fish Slapping Dance. Similarly Gillard let 'jet lag' go through to the keeper while maintaining a dignified near-silence on the subject and yet was still reported as being in the thick of things. My dodgy memory has it that the first two years of the Rudd Government were fairly civilised while Nelson and then Turnbull occupied the leadership but now in the face of such blatant misrepresentation of the facts by the Coalition, the old ways must become the new way. Wayne Swan seems to think that one press conference in which he refutes something spouted by Abbott & Co will bring the subject to a close when we can now plainly see that it does not. If appearances are anything to go by, the Government has already gone down the path of meeting the mud-slinging head-on but one can only hope that they don't now descend to the appalling levels of the current Opposition. Your idea of a perpetual campaign, especially as spelled out in your follow-up comment, has great merit provided they spread themselves around and actually do it out in the electorate and not just during press conferences and photo-op stunts. On that subject, I can only hope that Abbott wears out his welcome in lounge rooms around Australia - he's certainly annoying me. Doug Evans Thanks for the CPRS links. Very sobering reading.

Patricia WA

31/03/2011I agree with you, FS, about PM Julia Gillard 'not...seeking to win the 24/7 news cycle.' Sadly, there is abuse of even her best efforts to meet and greet the public at events like 'community cabinets,' which also give an opportunity for the wider public beyond those attending the meetings, to get a glimpse of her in the flesh. I've just written at <a href=http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/> Cafe Whispers</a> about my efforts to encourage friends and neighbours to get out to our local high school where the Prime Minister was appearing in a community cabinet, to join a peaceful demonstration of support by conservationists and others, particularly children and their parents, for the government's action on climate change. Hundreds turned up, but sadly they were drowned out by noisy clamour and protest, not just from the comparatively few anti-carbon tax campaigners, but by other groups trying to attract media attention. e.g. out in force were fishermen, anglers, whose quarrel really is with the State government and gill netters who are ruining their sport by overfishing prized scale fish. They were handing out free fishing rods plus klaxon horns to young people and encouraging them to make as much noise as possible! I was particularly surprised by the raucous non-stop chanting of a group of young gays demanding equality of marriage rights, something I was inclined to support. Julia Gillard and the ALP were being accused of homophobia! If that were indeed true I imagine that Abbott and the Coalition would be calling for the extermination of gays! All of the crowd outside South Fremantle High School were dismissed out of hand by the ABC as 'noisy protesters' but I still feel very sorry for all those well behaved children with their parents waiting patiently to see their Prime Minister and present her with a giant card with hundreds of signatures, thanking her for doing something about our environment. It would have made for some good news for the government too.

nasking

31/03/2011Feral,good stuff. Great points. I used a magnifying glass to read yer comments. Feel like im on the ocean w/ a headache. :) The rim of my glasses broke this arvo and I can't type long w/out them. I've superglued them so hope to return tomorrow. I agree w/ Ad astra when he says: [quote]Anyone who believes Abbott is capable of really changing his ultra-conservative beliefs only has to look at his performance, when time and again old attitudes surface despite him insisting, like he did with WorkChoices, that they are ‘dead, buried and cremated’. His doctrinaire conservatism will never be buried, just opportunistically placed into suspended animation when it suits him, only to be resuscitated when he gets the opportunity to breathe life into it again.[/quote] Cheers N'

nasking

31/03/2011Meant to put up this: Dear Tony, let me tell you about my disabled career By Stella Young [quote]Ahhh, the old tough love chestnut again! Give us less cash and we'll be inspired to abandon our sweet, sweet deal watching daytime TV and living off the hard-working Aussie taxpayers. Great idea Tony. But I'm afraid you're forgetting a fairly big factor in this proposal; the intense, deeply-rooted discrimination that occurs in every facet of life for people with disabilities, including employment.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/31/3178976.htm I detest Abbott & his team. N'

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011Nasking, Mate, you have my sympathies. Without my glasses I'm like that cartoon mole. :) I always have a pair of simple magnification glasses from the $2 Shop on hand for emergencies. As for the Welfare 'Reform' proposed by Abbott, what can I say? Simply, if he or one of his family were thrown onto the physical scrapheap he'd soon change his tune.

Doug Evans

31/03/2011NormanK Briefly because this is off topic Giles Parkinson in today's Climate Spectator passed this comment on Rudd's CPRS in the course of another excellent piece. [quote][i]One of the biggest problems of the CPRS was that the special interest cases of various industries were attended to by government on an ad hoc basis before it was all piled together and discovered that more money would be going out than coming in. The CPRS was not so much a great big new tax as a great big new subsidy.[/i][/quote]The whole piece can be found here: http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/carbon-leakage-try-network-leakage?utm_source=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily I can't stress enough that Rudd's CPRS was an absolutely dreadful piece of public policy up there with Work Choices. The chief difference being that on Workchoices Howard was 'outed; with the CPRS Labor got away with it more or less by vilifying the Greens who in fact saved Labor from having to explain to an irate electorate why so much was wrong with their farcical climate change gesture.

NormanK

31/03/2011Doug Evans Thanks for that. Don't worry about drifting off-topic - Ad astra is very liberal provided it is not an attempt to undermine the general thrust of the blog. Keep it coming, everyone here is very interested in the topic I'm sure. I don't know how to properly express my surprise that otherwise intelligent people could have got the CPRS so wrong considering that they had access to excellent advice and were not under prohibitive time constraints. Trying to be all things to all people perhaps.

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011What is it about the ABC that they crow triumphantly on Tony Abbott's behalf, "Tony Abbott has stolen a march on the government with his Welfare to Work plan" ???

Lyn

31/03/2011Hi Norman K Your comment March 31. 2011 04:51 PM, Here we have another, depressing, perfect, example of what I was complaining about, exactly what you said NormanK: [quote]"dragging debate down to a squabbling match"[/quote] George Negus on channel 10 just now, interviewing a Dr John Falzon. George asked him about Tony Abbott's welfare announcement today, Dr Falzon said "Abbott is tough but cruel". George cut the Dr off 3 or 5 times, insisting with a vengence, "yes but they are both the same, Gillard and Abbott". Gillard and Abbott are both cutting welfare. Putting Abbott and Julia Gillard, in the same basket it stinks. Well I haven't heard any announcement from Julia Gillard, apart from a small report, when asked by a journalist, about Abbott's plan, Julia replied, there is a welfare review in progress in preparation for the May budget. How does that above statement, make Julia Gillard's, the Government's policy, the same as Mr Abbott's cruel pathetic, grab a camera, any camera, ideas. I could wring that George Negus's neck, and here I was under the mistaken impression he was fairer than the rest. NormanK's para: [quote]Lyn remarked quite some time back (and I meant to agree with you Lyn but the moment passed) that the Government is tarred with the same brush whether or not they are actively involved in the 'war of words' (i.e. the constant claim that both sides of politics are as bad as each other in dragging debate down to a squabbling match) and so they may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. [/quote] [i]Dick Head Interviews Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, Friday Mash[/i] [quote]I’m absolutely negative about that’ said Tony ‘but I’m not positive it was as negative as Julia claims or as positive about it being positively negative or as negative about it being negatively positive’[/quote] http://www.fridaymash.com/election-sanity-top-stories/dick-head-interviews-tony-abbott cheers:):):):)

Lyn

31/03/2011Hi Everybody A must read, don't miss out, excellent column by "The Conscience Vote: [i]Kindness is killing Abbott's Welfare - Newspeak, The Conscience Vote[/i] twenty minutes later, Abbott appeared to finally exhaust his list of accusations – many of which contained [b]outright lies and strategic misrepresentations – and turn to the putative ‘real issue’. [/b]But all the Newspeak in the world can’t obscure what Abbott is really saying – [b]that money is more important than people, and that corporations deserve help from the government when the most vulnerable citizens do not[/b]. And that – while neither new, nor unexpected – [b]is an utter disgrace.[/b]http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/kindness-is-killing-abbotts-welfare-newspeak/

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011A couple of pertinent Press Releases from The Greens about Abbott's punitive Welfare to Work suggestions: http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/abbott%E2%80%99s-welfare-plan-%E2%80%98cheap-shot%E2%80%99-vulnerable-australians http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/leave-poor-alone-bandt

Jason

31/03/2011Doug,(Normank) If as you say the CPRS "was an absolutely dreadful piece of public policy up there with Work Choices" because it didn't go far enough and you and the greens wanted more than in reality could be delivered,we aren't like Europe where there is a mix of different sources for base load production,and since our primary source of electricity is coal fired power stations (and old) how many people do you want out of work over night? Small steps are what is needed, and since I do a lot of work at power stations you and the greens feeling good doesn't put food on my table or pay my bills! The reality in the short term for me and dare I say the CFMEU is self interest!and in case Labor haven't heard we shall tell them at national conference later this year!

Bilko

31/03/2011Tones hasn't got a plan, it a recycling of the old rodents ideas. Tone is a policy vacuum and these are just thought bubbles because he has just been kicked in the privates re the NBN a real policy. So he is off on another tangent just as long as he stays in the news. Roll on July 1 my 50th wedding anniversary and the Lieberals loosing control of the Senate.

Lyn

31/03/2011Hi Bilko It's good to see you, you were here the other day and I meant to say hello. How is your wife going now, I hope she has fully recovered. You are right the Tones is getting backed against the wall in quite a few areas, the flood levy went through, the NBN as you said has been passed, looks like the debt truck has been pounded, squashed or something, BER has gone quite, pink batts old hat. What now, rob the poor welfare people, they don't vote for him anyway, (he thinks). Oh well! like you say "Happy Anniversay" coming up for you and your wife, Golden isn't it? hope you have a golden present in mind for your wife Bilko. Like you, I can hardly wait for 1st July when the Liberals lose control of the Senate. Abbott is getting more desperate everyday, more talk about the Independents switching sides, very remote chance of that happening from what I have read. Just mentioning, the 7.30pm report is up the creek. Cheers

Feral Skeleton

31/03/2011[quote][/quote]Just mentioning, the 7.30pm report is up the creek. lyn, I think the ABC News and Current Affairs department is 'Up the Creek', and it's driving me 'Up the Wall'! I mentioned the line the newsreader in Sydney came out with tonight about Abbott's Welfare 'Plan'(and I use the word advisedly) 'Stealing a march on the government'. All supercilious snark and sneer intimating Abbott was trumping a hapless government. Whereas, in reality, all Abbott has done is use one of the oldest tricks in the political playbook and, when he got wind of what the government was planning to do in the upcoming May Budget, from one of the Liberals snitches in Treasury, he cobbled together on the run a speech which he gave in front of a sympathetic audience in Queensland, intended to make it seem as though it was him, Tony Abbott, that was coming up with the policy creativity. The sum total of this policy innovation was to go down the path that the Republican Party in the US is treading, all over the weakest members of their society who cannot put up much of a fight against them because they are not as hard as nails, they are broken people, nor do they have access to the funds to pay marketing and advertising types to run propaganda campaigns for them, unlike the rich people that fund conservative parties the world over these days, and so the unemployed and the disabled become the easy targets for the those arch-conservative bulldogs that want to publically maul them for fun and profit. Reprehensible and despicable are only the first two words that describe policy naking like this.

Doug Evans

31/03/2011Jason If you really are going to try and do something about this at ALP National Conference you should bring yourself up to speed first. I set out a number of very serious criticisms raised by competent experts. They convinced me. If you have a problem with their conclusion, which was shared by many others, then you should say why they are wrong. Self-interest for all of us, not just you and the CFMEU, requires that we get on with it. Unless the points raised against the last attempt can be shown to be wrong the inescapable conclusion is that the CPRS was a dud that (according to Treasury) would not have produced any reduction in domestic emissions until at least 2033 at enormous cost to all of us. By the way substantial elements of the CFMEU along with the ETU recognize that change must come. I don’t believe you will find the union movement as a bloc opposing the change to a carbon constrained economy. Increasingly they realize it is in the economic as well as social and environmental interests of their members to support this process. I refer you again to the statement by ten of Australia's better-known economists listing the shortcomings of the CPRS that I reproduced in my last comment to you at the end of the comment stream for the previous piece in the blog on the shortcomings of Hartcher's writing. Unless you can argue that they are wrong you can hardly slam the Greens for voting it down. We don't know what the current process will lead to. The hints coming out from Combet and Gillard have not been promising. Coal jobs to be protected at any cost – carbon prices well south of $40/tonne. This is the price argued by those who know to be what is necessary to produce the paltry 5% cuts the government has committed to. The hints from my local MP Adam Bandt suggest that the difference between Labor and the Greens over targets will not be able to be bridged so they will have to find a way of avoiding that clash. How that can be done I haven't a clue. I think the best we can hope for is an outcome that despite a uselessly low start-up price: Restrains compensation to the EITEs and that follows Garnaut's recommendation this time and doesn't compensate the generators. Garnaut's idea for government guarantees instead of compensation was an interesting way out of this problem. That unlike the last effort does not undermine the usefulness of all greenhouse gas mitigation initiatives outside the ETS envelope. and That permits further tightening in the future rather than (as with the CPRS) making this the trigger for massive compensation payouts. If this can be achieved I'm pretty sure the Greens will support it. As for the other cross benchers, who knows? Combet's a conservative but he is competent and an experienced negotiator and if anyone can bring home the bacon he can. Finally, while an ETS is an essential component of an effective suite of climate change policies it will never be enough by itself. Although the government plainly does not want to hear about it, this is only a very little first step on a long road that must be traversed really quickly. Your reference to Australia’s almost total reliance on coal-fired generation supplemented by a little gas is no justification for inaction. It simply underlines the complexity and scale of the task. If you want some authoritative information on where we are currently headed I recommend http://climatecodered.blogspot.com/ Hope this is helpful.

Doug Evans

31/03/2011NormanK [quote]I don't know how to properly express my surprise that otherwise intelligent people could have got the CPRS so wrong considering that they had access to excellent advice and were not under prohibitive time constraints. Trying to be all things to all people perhaps.[/quote] Indeed. I suggest that it had something to do with the combination of a government in an unbelievable rush to act; a totally inexperienced minister pitted against the very formidable green-house mafia that Guy Pearse described so well in his Quarterly Essay and a Prime Minister who despite his soaring rhetoric was only interested in the appearance of action. Now before the posse rushing to defend Kevin 07 attacks me it has been argued that there was a strategy, hopeless as it was, behind all this. The Rudd government having been persuaded by elements of the Green house mafia that CCS (carbon sequestration and storage) would be both commercially and technically viable a couple of decades down the track was looking to hang on in the hope of retrofitting our fossil fuel fired power stations and Emissions intensive industries with CCS equipment, thereby bringing down emissions without having to completely reconfigure our economy. If this actually was the case this strategy now seems to have been based on an illusion and we have no option but to set off after most of the rest of the developed and developing world some of which is decades ahead of us. Jason mentioned the mix of our power generation fuels. It is interesting to compare it with that of other nations. Giles parkinson's piece on the New Energy Order is thought provoking and includes a lot of diagrams allowing the reader to compare our energy mix with that of other nations. It can be found here. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/new-energy-order?utm_source=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily

TalkTurkey

31/03/2011The ABC now customarily labels the Government's ceiling insulation scheme "the Government's failed ceiling insulation scheme". I had my roof insulated for FREE, and the bloke who checked my place for termites recently, who has inspected many houses, remarked off his own bat, no pun intended, what a good job of insulation it was. (It was blow-in insulation not batts but it works.) But the fact was that it was a highly successful scheme, providing a spectacular fillip in the economy, the deaths were shown to be far from egregious for what is a dangerous job at best, and even then it was not the Government which was really responsible but fly-by-night employers . . . But oh well, the ABC will have its shameless way, Dog I'd like to have them by the ear the way Dickensian parents handled their kids. The worst thing of all, as with Negus on 10 today, is to tar both sides with the same brush. OOOH I hate that. It's so blatantly patently unfair. Only one side throws pigshit around, but everybody gets covered with it and the Government not the throwers gets the blame because the Government is the Government. Negus ought to have his nose rubbed in it.

TalkTurkey

1/04/2011Doug Evans, Apropos my last post, and what you have to say, d'you reckon the Government's "failed ceiling insulation scheme" has been counted to its credit for saving major amounts of household energy? Or just as its failure? Anyway Folks I'm fairly well struck in years, and being childless, I don't have to believe in the future at all. This doesn't mean I don't care, I do, and intensely, though I see LIFE on Earth as being more important than HUMAN life on Earth. If it were just Us, Humans, or Them, everything else, well That's All Folks, Dah da-lah da-da-da-dah dah dah dah dah dahh Da-da-dah dah DUM!* My fear is we'll take everything with us, and Folks, don't think that that isn't on the cards. Never mind possible predictions of 4+ degrees Celsius global warming by 2090, (and how much beyond that?), NOTHING can survive the UV radiation from the naked face of Old Sol should we continue to lose the ozone layer that's taken BILLIONS of years to create. NOTHING. And nobody seems to be talking about that any more, except one Turkey. And I'd rather not but there it is. I wish I didn't have such a clear grasp of the chemical and physical forces that are causing ozone destruction, and why it is so unstoppable. Most of yous folks don't really want to know, I know, you've mostly got kids, and ergo what I would tell you couldn't be true could it?! Well . . . I am sorry. ("Doctor, my Eyes! Tell me what is wrong! Was I unwise To leave them open for so long?") (Jackson Browne) Sadly the alternative is to sing the Song the Ostrich Sings: Peek-a-Boo, I can't see you, Everything must be grand. Boo-ka-Pee, they can't see me, As long as I've got me head in the sand. Peek-a-Boo, it may be true, There's something in what you've said, But we've got enough troubles in everyday life, I just bury me head. That was Flanders and Swann, from the 1950'S ! Check out the whole lyrics, it'd be a great little funny song if it weren't so damn serious. The last verse is a killer! Yous don't really want me to explain the self-resetting dynamics of ozone destruction involving O2 molecules and O+ and Cl- ions and ClO molecules do you? 'Cos I will if you want . . . But I'm warning yous it's freaky . . . *BTW, anybody watch that "Die Sweet Roadrunner Die" video? None bodies commented . . . Me tink it 'mazing! Imagine Abbortt ever did roll *J*U*L*I*A* . . . Then what? PatriciaWA my Captcha challenge is " edirop Hexameter, " . . . What can it all mean?

Michael

1/04/2011Go Pauline Hanson, GO! I sincerely (and OK, mischievously) wish that Pauline Hanson does get the final seat in the NSW Legislative Council, which is looking likely. Barry O'Farrell will control both houses of State parliament if he has the conservative independent members' support in the Legislative Council. The Christian Democrats, the Shooters and Fishers, are such natural bedmates the pillows have already been fluffed up in readiness. However, the joyous pleasure of watching him have to gain the support of Ms. Hanson, who has no love for that prince of NSW Liberal politics, Tony Abbott, over every piece of legislation he wants to unimpededly swish through both houses of parliament onto the law books will be delicious. I hope he has to "please explain" every inch of the way.

Lyn

1/04/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Moving Backward, Ashghebranious , Ashs Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] What is your vision on health, education, technology etc Mr Abbott? And note I said vision. Not policy. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/moving-backward/ [i]Kindness is killing Abbott's Welfare - Newspeak, The Conscience Vote[/i] twenty minutes later, Abbott appeared to finally exhaust his list of accusations – many of which contained outright lies and strategic misrepresentations – and turn to the putative ‘real issue’. http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/kindness-is-killing-abbotts-welfare-newspeak/ [i]Why Balanced Welfare Reform is Beneficial for Everyone - Except the Leeches, MJWILL91, Standpoint.[/i] NOW- before you think i’m some sort of plant-a-rainbow, hug-a-whale bleeding heart earth-loving trotskyist- http://standpointau.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/why-balanced-welfare-reform-is-beneficial-for-everyone-except-the-leeches/ [i]Do my arduous work for whatever I feel like paying you… or starve, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] As for Tony’s promise to cure 60% of the disabled by forcing them back to painful work – what a visionary! http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/do-my-arduous-work-for-whatever-i-feel-like-paying-you-or-starve/ [i]Coming out of the wood work? John Quiggin asks a perinent question about right-wing authoritarians Australia, Watching the Deniers[/i] I’d recommend people jump over to Google Books and have a look at the book “The Authoritarian Specter by Altemeyer http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/coming-out-of-the-wood-work-john-quiggin-asks-a-pertinent-question-about-right-wing-authoritarians-australia/ [i]The fruitpickers lament, John Quiggin[/i] First, has there ever been occasion when significant volumes of fruit have gone unpicked because of a shortage of pickers? http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2011/03/31/the-fruitpickers-lament/ [i]Need a backbreaking chore done? Tony Abbott has some welfare labour on offer at bargain basement prices, Jeremy Sear. Pure Poison[/i] magically cure 60% of disabled people by demanding that they work (IS HE THE MESSIAH?) – http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Abbott’s Welfare Crackdown ‘Classic Bully Behaviour’, Matthew price, The Angle[/i] It is classic bully behaviour – demonising the easy targets in order to make the rest feel superior. It makes great fodder for shock jocks and tabloid media too – http://theangle.org/2011/04/01/abbotts-welfare-crackdown-classic-bully-behaviour/ [i]Poll Bludger, In the Public Disinterest[/i] Tony Abbott is well trained at this sort of manoeuvre, learned through his years of boxing and stomping on cute things. http://inthepublicdisinterest.blogspot.com/2011/03/poll-bludger.html [i]Get Back To Work says Tony Abbott, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] allowing people to stay on welfare when they could be working is a “kindness that kills http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/get-back-to-work-says-tony-abbott/ [i]Kevin Andrews dabbling in policy spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E, Barry Everingham, The Independent[/i] Andrews, like Abbott, is from the extreme right of the Liberal Party and totally at odds with the Party’s founder, Sir Robert Menizes. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/kevin-andrews-dabbling-in-policy-spells-t-r-o-u-b-l-e/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kevin-andrews-dabbling-in-policy-spells-t-r-o-u-b-l-e [i]Johnny Panic, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] Watch O'Farrell bat him away like Gillard is increasingly doing to Abbott. Labor lost government because it had lost its sense of big-picture, longterm policy, http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Denial NSW - Edition, The Piping Shrike[/i] It is really about Labor losing its historical project, but not in stages as elsewhere, but in one spectacular collapse. http://www.pipingshrike.com/ [i]Why Your Electricity Bills Are Gold-Plated, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] fears have been irresponsibly stoked by the Opposition; then again, the irresponsible stoking of fear is pretty much Tony Abbott’s stock in trade. http://newmatilda.com/2011/03/31/why-your-electricity-bills-are-goldplated [i]Exposing the Anti Carbon Rallies, Alex Schlotzer[/i] being paid by un-named companies to see that the carbon price is dumped. In one exchange, a CANdo member even indicates a willingness to pay people to speak out about the carbon price. http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/exposing-the-anti-carbon-price-rallies/ [i]Over the top with Campbell Newman, Graeme Orr, Inside Story[/i]Labor MPs will be able to attack Newman under the absolute freedom of parliamentary speech; Newman will not only have no right of reply, he will enjoy no such counter-freedom. http://inside.org.au/over-the-top-with-campbell-newman/ [i]The winners, whiners and miners in Gillard’s GST review, John Mangan, The Conversation[/i] The royalties shouldn’t be an issue in this debate because they will be gone after the resources tax is introduced. They are only an issue because if they are going, what is going to replace them? http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/the-winners-whiners-and-miners-in-gillards-gst-review-574 [i]Turnbull: NBN gets harder to 'unpick', Ry Crozier, IT News[/i]"The legislation makes it, quite deliberately, extremely difficult - one could say impossible - for the NBN to be sold until the whole network is complete, a date past the lifespan of many of us I suspect, http://www.itnews.com.au/News/252817,turnbull-nbn-gets-harder-to-unpick.aspx [i]Sydney shock jocks muddled NBN image: Conroy , Business, Stuart Kennedy, The Australian [/i] He named 2GB's Alan Jones, Chris Smith and Ray Hadley, and 2UE's Michael Smith and said that over December and January the foursome had attacked the NBN 158 times. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/sydney-shock-jocks-muddled-nbn-image-conroy/story-e6frg996-1226031504155

Lyn

1/04/2011Hi Michael Hey! I agree with you, what fun, delicious alright. [quote]However, the joyous pleasure of watching him have to gain the support of Ms. Hanson, who has no love for that prince of NSW Liberal politics, Tony Abbott, over every piece of legislation he wants to unimpededly swish through both houses of parliament onto the law books will be delicious.I hope he has to "please explain" every inch of the way.[/quote] Cheers

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Doug Evans, I agree with you that the new CPRS must not throw out financial support to EITEs willy nilly like Rudd's effort did, but constrain assistance to the Steel, Aluminium and Concrete industries essentially. This is fair and reasonable, as to economically neuter these industries as a result of a Price on Carbon fails the Defence of Australia test. That is, that no matter how much it costs the country to subsidise these particular industries it is right and proper to do so because they need to be able to propel the country's defence munitions supply if ever we came under attack from an aggressor. That is partly why the industries were fostered after the Second World War, so that Australia could take advantage of the natural resources we are blessed with to produce munitions from them should our supply lines be cut by the Navy of a foreign power. As we are an island continent we therefore have to keep such a possibility front of mind when developing policy. It's something as a pragmatic ALP supporter, which, as the PM reiterated last night, the Greens are not. Their focus is on the idealistic goal of doing whatever it takes to bring down Carbon emissions and transition to a Decarbonised economy as quickly as possible. The Labor Party are realistically taking all factors into account when formulating policy. Which is not to say that we should not be moving forward with a restructuring of power generation such that these industries can source their power from low CO2 output sources, I think that the national Grid that the PM promised before the election is the way that all types of power generation will eventually be linked into the grid, and, I for one believe it can't come a moment too soon. Just to think that my favourite potential source of baseload power, Geothermal, could be powering these energy-intensive industries is exciting. However, we, as a country, and the Labor Party, as the federal government, need to make this transition as smooth as possible for all concerned. That is why I think that an Adjustment Package would be the best way for all concerned to go. Not being handed a bucket of money, as Kevin Rudd proposed, but a carefully thought through Buttonesque Industry Assistance Package that will see the transformation through to its conclusion sensibly. DE, I also agree with you, and I think it's the government's intention, that the targets should be ramped up before the initial 2020 deadline for the present targets, if we are achieving our transformative goals sooner.

Jason

1/04/2011Doug, "the paltry 5% cuts the government has committed to." Is where the Greens a wedged! they can either in the current political climate accept a very small start in what will be a long process or they can join the coalition and say no! Either way the greens and their hanger on's need to understand they wont even get close to what they want! So it's not a matter of me getting up to speed with anything it's the Greens dealing with political reality.

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Michael, And Tony Abbott thought Pauline Hanson was 'Dead, Buried and Cremated'. :) Just quietly, I have also entertained the potentialities of a Hanson victory for BOFfa. He will be between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea on occasion, as Pauline and her mouthpiece in the media, David Oldfield on 2UE, push their line, which will be further to the Right than the new government may have wanted to go, but to get Ms Hanson's vote against the combined Greens/ALP numbers BOFfa will have to make concessions to her, which may not please the majority of NSW voters. Ah, revenge, a dish best served cold, is what Ms Hanson must be thinking. Speaking of the NSW Upper House, I heard today that the former Attorney General, John Hatzitzergos, has been forced to retire, that is it wasn't a voluntary decision for him to go half-way through his term now, because the ALP has decided they want to parachute Steve Whan into his spot! I think this is a good idea because, as I said before, Steve Whan was one of the members of the previous government who actually did a good job, and the ALP need as many people like that in the parliament now as they can get. Lol, ReCaptcha Bingo: economics. Yup, as the PM said, always to be kept front of mind.

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Why is Malcolm Turnbull now saying that it is unecessary for all homes in Australia to have fibre connected to them? The Opposition never mentioned that before.

Lyn

1/04/2011Hi Hillbilly How interesting: Do you think somebody wants somebody to know Abbott joins Newman for a cup of coffee: Abbott joins Newman for coffee and a chat Ninemsn Abbott joins Newman for coffee and a chat SBS Abbott joins Newman for coffee and a chat The West Australian Abbott joins Newman for coffee and a chat WA today Abbott joins Newman for coffee and a chat Sydney Morning Herald Abbott joins Newman for coffee and a chat Brisbane Times Abbott joins Newman for coffee and a chat The Age

Lyn

1/04/2011Hi Hillbilly This is what Turnbull has lept on, it seems the Tender suspension is about price gouging. Turnbull is just spinning: [i]NBN suspends tender over value worries , Trading Room[/i] [quote]Opposition broadband spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said NBN Co had no option but to suspend the tender process because putting optic fibre into every house in Australia was enormously expensive. Mr Turnbull said it wasn't necessary to run fibre into every home to ensure fast broadband access.[/quote]http://www.tradingroom.com.au/apps/view_breaking_news_article.ac?page=/data/news_research/published/2011/4/91/catf_110401_085600_9831.html

Jason

1/04/2011FS, It seems that not only does Abbott like extremists the Greens prefernce them! "There’s one other person who was directly assisted by the Greens at last Saturday’s poll and it’s Pauline Hanson. To the enduring disgust of the Labor Party, the Greens chose to direct preferences to the One Nation founder ahead of the ALP, and she may now creep into the Upper House courtesy of their support" http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/the-greens-when-in-doubt-cry-conspiracy/

Patricia WA

1/04/2011TT, I think you're getting a half encoded anagrammatic message from the Dogs there. Don't be fooled by the dopier opinions of some. The Dogs are encouraging you to continue with your heroic work in hexameters. That work is important - this is a dire op. Every day you must keep letting an ode rip out until the time comes for you to die - ever a pro.

Patricia WA

1/04/2011Some good news, after all, from that gathering in Fremantle I told you about, so despairingly, yesterday. But, of course, being good news the MSM at large just haven't bothered to mention it. http://ccwa.org.au/blogs/young-students-thank-gillard-price-pollution-wa-community-cabinet

Doug Evans

1/04/2011FS I agree with your comments generally but would comment that our potentially enormous potential for baseload geo-thermal energy, can only be brought into play by a much higher carbon price than any being contemplated currently. There is still a gap between renewables and fossil fuel in terms of the cost of delivery from various sources. It is closing rapidly however as the costs of delivery from all non renewable sources is rising steadily and will continue to do so. As I understand it and this is a bit outside my area wind is currently the only renewable almost at parity. The most we can expect from the carbon prices being toyed with in the Multi Party Committee process is a price that will drive the transition out of coal fired power generation to gas. Unfortunately the evidence is accumulating that when the whole cycle of delivery and combustion is taken into account gas fired power production is as emissions intensive as coal fired production. But we have to jump these hurdles one at a time. This said I must take you up on this statement in respect of the Greens and the supposed implications of their policy position. [quote]Their focus is on the idealistic goal of doing whatever it takes to bring down Carbon emissions and transition to a Decarbonised economy as quickly as possible. The Labor Party are realistically taking all factors into account when formulating policy.[/quote] I am not blind to mistakes made by The Greens. They have in the last couple of years made some politically pretty inept moves. I excuse them for now because they are a small under-resourced party still learning the ropes as far as existing in the various legislative assemblies around the country. Despite having moved my vote to them I am not uncritical but I can't let this statement pass without comment. It is always difficult when conducting a conversation with someone you know nothing about. However I must ask: 1. Have you read the Greens policies in this area? I have. If you haven't I suggest that in making this statement you are simply parroting a slogan fed out by both the major parties with an obvious vested interest in discrediting the new kid on the block. This notion has been uncritically promulgated by journalists either too busy or too uninterested to question what lies behind them and has plainly taken hold across the country. Reading the policies is not difficult as they are fairly brief (pages rather than chapters). They basically consist of statements of where they believe we need to go and what the factors are that should be taken into account in this process. Having read them, in my opinion they show good regard for the whole range of factors in play in this vital area. What do you base your opinion on? 2. Given the inevitable compromises that occur along the path to legislation, what do you think is the best [i]starting point[/i] for the formulation of policy? What you think it is desirable to achieve for the good of the citizens you are elected to represent or what you think it might be possible to achieve given the anticipated self interested opposition of various interested parties and stakeholders? On my reading of their policies the Greens are clearly in the former camp. On this issue at least - the one I am most familiar with Labor has so far been in the latter one. To argue as you apparently do that it is not necessary to bring emissions down as quickly as possible suggests that you do not understand (or fully accept) the urgency of the situation articulated by the climate scientists. This is disjunction is clearly indicated by the gap between regular statements from senior Labor figures that (unlike the coalition) [i]they[/i] accept the science and policy offerings that fall far short of what the scientists say is required. Far short of what most of the developed and developing world is now pursuing. There is no time to waste but they have so far wasted plenty. Emissions cuts of between 25 and 40% below 1990 levels have been called for from the world's developed economies over the next decade if global temperature rises are to be stabilized at two degrees - a level that gives us a 50/50 chance of avoiding runaway climate change. So far we are offering 5% below 2000 levels. Further Combet is promising a start up price well below the $40/tonne that it is generally accepted is the level required to achieve the 5% cut Labor has promised. Jason objects to my use of the term 'paltry' in describing this commitment. What do you think? You describe yourself as a pragmatic Labor supporter. I question that. To me pragmatism implies an acceptance of the facts as they stand and a willingness to act in recognition of reality. What are the facts here? The scientists may be wrong but sober assessment would suggest that for so many speaking with such a unified voice are unlikely to be wrong. That being the case what is the role of a pragmatic Labor supporter? To accept and attempt to justify action that is plainly inadequate or to get busy urging your party to pull their finger out before reality mugs the whole country?

Doug Evans

1/04/2011Talk Turkey No evidence that such schemes save energy. Studies have repeatedly shown that when delivered as stand alone measures such schemes simply promote increased levels of consumption. Oh I can now afford to heat the whole house instead of just the living room. I think the scheme was rushed and dreadfully implemented. Garrett's letters to Rudd apparently suggested that he shared some of my misgivings. However, as to the government's culpability for the fires and deaths I have already indicated that your link to the Crikey (?) article showed that I was wrong.

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011lyn, Abbott having a coffee and a chat with Campbell Newman, could that be the kiss of death for him? Barry O'Farrell certainly didn't want the taint of the extremist politician around his campaign. :)

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011lyn, I can't wait for Stephen Conroy and Julia Gillard to pick up on the Coalition's new Broadband policy that not everyone deserves to have it. :)

Ad astra reply

1/04/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Doug Evans, I don't think you can say that the federal Labor government are not willing to put taxpayers' money into Geothermal: http://www.all-energy.com.au/Industry_headlines.html?HeadlinesSect=Geothermal http://www.ret.gov.au/energy/clean_energy_technologies/energy_technology_framework_and_roadmaps/geothermal_industry_development_framework_and_technology_roadmap/Pages/GeothermalIndustryDevelopmentandTechnologyRoadmap.aspx I think the point needs to be made that a Price on Carbon is not the only way that Renewable Energy modalities can be encouraged into the national grid. Also I think you are jumping at shadows, or could it be using a straw man argument, to assert that the federal Labor government are committed to a 5% by 2020 CO2 abatement figure. In fact, I have heard the PM specifically say that if other countries move further and faster than Australia she will commit our country to do so as well. However, she also believes that we should not be way out in front despite the Greens best intentions because to do so is economic cupidity until those other countries show their hands to the world. As Greg Combet has just this week met with the Chinese to exchange notes on what each of our countries are doing in order to tackle the Global Warming problem. I don't think the Chinese would have taken kindly to our government lecturing them on the need to take drastic action NOW! No matter what it means for the Climate. Don't forget who sunk the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference because it wanted to go too far too fast in the BRIC countries' eyes. So, you know, that's how I define political pregmatism, or Real Politik if you like. And, as the PM said again last night, with the best of intentions, The Greens just don't get it yet. I will take the time to read the policies though. And I do have many friends who are on Council and in the party, or who simply vote for them where I live. I have had many discussions with them about their policy positions. However, to echo Jason's point, when The Greens wake up to themselves and stop doing crazy stuff like boycotts of Israeli produce into Local Council areas, and preferencing Pauline Hanson, a Climate Change denier, over the ALP in elections, then I will take them more seriously.

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Lovely article by Richard Ackland skewering the hypocrisy of Andrew Bolt: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/nothing-black-and-white-about-bolts-case-and-right-to-free-speech-20110331-1cn8l.html

TalkTurkey

1/04/2011Doug Evans said: "Talk Turkey No evidence that such schemes [i.e. roof insulation] save energy." Yeah Mate well you can save your own energy talking nonsense like this to the Turkey. Save it for pushing yr barrow to La-La Land where the climate is always perfect. What POSITIVES have you to suggest to Jason? Tintacks please.

TalkTurkey

1/04/2011Abbott and Hanson photographed yesterday holding hands in an ACT coffee shop! See Age front page!

NormanK

1/04/2011[quote]"........the Greens chose to direct preferences to the One Nation founder ahead of the ALP, and she may now creep into the Upper House courtesy of their support." Um, no they didn’t. That is not true. Labor is whinging that the Greens declined to issue preferences in the upper house – as if it’s their responsibility to tell their voters who to preference, rather than their voters’ own bloody choice – but I haven’t seen anyone shameless enough to declare in print that the Greens actually preferenced One Nation.[/quote] [b]News Ltd War on the Greens tactic #1: shamelessly make stuff up[/b] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/04/01/news-ltd-war-on-the-greens-tactic-1-shamelessly-make-stuff-up/#more-9577

Doug Evans

1/04/2011FS Didn't say they weren't prepared to put money into geothermal I said the carbon price at which geothermal becomes a market option in the usual way was above that which is being talked about at the moment. TT Don't know what to say. Can't have a discussion unless people are prepared to discuss on the basis of facts as opposed to shouting slogans and simplistic one liners. I think Jason is not across the facts of the CPRS. I tried to offer what I consider to be authoritative information. I regard that as positive. Others seem to have found that helpful. I try not to have opinions unless I have something to base them on or at least make it clear when I express them that I harbour doubt. This discussion is beginning to resemble those I have from time to time with climate change deniers. Logical argument is irrelevant to those who know the truth already.

Doug Evans

1/04/2011FS The government says whatever it says but as they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating and so far it's been pretty meagre fare. Lets see what they actually do in respect of targets. I suspect much of the current characterization of the Greens as unrealistic dreamers has to do with the fact that they can't agree over targets in the MPCCC and Gov't is trying to apply some pressure to get them to move further than they feel they are able but that's only speculation. Who knows?

Lyn

1/04/2011 Hi NormanK Jeremy Sear is furious: News Ltd: if you can’t damage the Greens with smears, try outright lies, Jeremy Sear, An Anonymous Lefty [quote]I don’t expect much from News Ltd when writing about The Greens, but I wasn’t quite anticipating outright lies.[/quote] http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/news-ltd-if-you-cant-damage-the-greens-with-smears-try-outright-lies/

Lyn

1/04/2011 Norman K has already posted this link, there is an update on the column now. Thankyou NormanK. More from Jeremy Sear on the Greens Smear: News Ltd War on the Greens tactic #1: shamelessly make stuff up, Jeremy Sear Pure Poison UPDATE: Called on the above, Penberthy doesn’t apologise or correct – he tries to pretend he said something different: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/04/01/news-ltd-war-on-the-greens-tactic-1-shamelessly-make-stuff-up/#more-9577

Per Ardua

1/04/2011they can't agree over targets in the MPCCC DW, just curious,where does this come from?

Per Ardua

1/04/2011Sorry, previous should have been DE (fat fingers?)

D Mick Weir

1/04/2011Hi Ad, I tried to use the contact page and found it is 'broken' Something I only just noticed [b]today[/b] the URL for that article we discussed vigorously recently is in part: theage.com.au/[b]opinion[/b]/politics/ The banner of the page gives no indication that, that or any other article is opinion. A (now) glaring oversight on the part of the National Times methinks. Trust Perth is treating you well and you are enjoying wading through Mr Qiiggins tome! By the way if you bump into my brother say hello for me :) ;) :)

Miglo

1/04/2011Feral, from your link and Bolt suggesting that a person should not be an Aborigine if they have various bloodlines, I am reminded of a case in the US I looked at in uni some years ago. A lady 'classified' as an African American (AA) did not like this classification as she was only 1/16th AA and hence took her case to the courts. The court decided that no matter the fraction of AA blood a person has, they are to be classified as an AA. Bolt won't like that.

D Mick Weir

1/04/2011Jason @ March 31. 2011 08:09 PM [i]...how many people do you want out of work over night?[/i] this comment and others that followed highlight some of the difficulty with any reform. Having been an economic casualty at least three times in my life I can understand the fear most people have with the possibility of job loss that reform often creates. The reality is (as I have learned the hard way) that change is inevitable and for some it will be a complete disruption to thier way of life. What it requires on the part of those that propose and then implement reform is to be acutely aware of the casualties and implement programmes to assist them to adjust to the 'new world'. Not an easy task and we can only hope that this government has the foresight and heart to 'do the right thing'.

D Mick Weir

1/04/2011Have just come across this and haven't had time to 'process' it yet but the headline 'captured' me (and my short attention span): [b]'Keeping the bastards honest' - government's new role in combatting mainstream media mistakes [/b] [i]Traditionally one of the roles of the 'free press' is to keep governments honest, to shine a light on inappropriate conduct, poor decisions and uncover corruption, falsehoods and backroom deals. With the advent of social media I've been watching this role slowly twist into new forms and relationships. One of the more interesting developments has been the take-up of social media by government to correct media mistakes.[/i] http://egovau.blogspot.com/2011/04/keeping-bastards-honest-governments-new.html

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Migs, Just been reading Andrew Crook's coverage of the case against Bolt for Crikey. Phew! Lots of argument from Bolt's Defence Lawyer(probably angling for a spot on the Liberal ticket if he wins the case for the Conservatives' Boy Wonder), along the lines of splitting the hairs of the angels on the head of a pin. It's absolutely dizzying trying to follow the back and forth. I must say this though, Bolt is attempting to give as good as he is getting. Not letting the battle get him down for a moment. In fact, as per his wont, he got angry at the court for questioning his interpretation of events. :)

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Doug Evans, I still stand by my comment that the PM has said that targets will be adjusted if the rest of the world gets on board the CC Action bandwagon. What the government wants to do is get the framework into place, then modify it from there. Don't forget, Labor has LEAN(Labor Environmental Action Network), and has had for a long time. However, our core concern is for the working man, can't help that. I believe that, in the form of Minister Combet, Australia has the best person in the Global Warming policy hot seat to effectively combine the two competing interests for the benefit of the environment and the economy. As for the Carbon Price, is that not an initial price of ~$25/tonne of CO2 emitted that we are talking about, followed by a free-floating, market-based price which could go anywhere? Following market principles, if it becomes cost-effective to supply, for example, Geothermal Power, to the national grid, which it will after the government gets it off the ground, which they want to do, then that's where the money will go because Geothermal is certainly a cheap way of producing electricity once the infrastructure is in place.

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Here's a very good piece about my blog topic, from the campaign technique angle. It is from Crikey today, so I have Cut N Pasted it in case you needed to be asubscriber to access it: 3. NSW election: authenticity and re-engaging the grassroots Crikey Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane writes: [quote]Overnight, it appeared that Labor's Verity Firth had slipped behind Greens candidate Jamie Parker in the crucial race for second in the NSW seat of Balmain, meaning the Greens would grab their first Legislative Assembly seat in NSW. The final swing against Firth, however, was 9%, below the state-wide swing of over 13%, and well below the the high teens and over 20% swings seen in nearby Sydney seats. Before the election, Firth had been considered gone for all money. In Carmel Tebbutt's seat of Marrickville, the swing was even smaller, 6.6%, and Tebbutt held on, in the end comfortably, against another Green challenge. Nathan Rees is also likely to hold on Toongabbie, although he suffered a bigger swing, 14.2%. All three seats saw well-resourced campaigns from Labor to save the political skins of a minister, Deputy Premier and former Premier. Various conservatives and Zionists have drawn the longest of bows in attributing Tebbutt's victory to Marrickville Council's Israel boycott. There was also a concerted campaign from Labor figures to link the Greens' Jamie Parker in Balmain to shonky business practices. But both seats also saw the first NSW outing for Campaign Action, a progressive, Labor-aligned organisation that provides training for grassroots campaigns. It was established by Damian Ogden, a former LMHU officer, drawing from Ogden's experience in the US on the Obama campaign and with the Wellstone Action group. The Obama campaign is famous for its innovative use of social media, but that obscures how successful it was at organising a grassroots movement. This meshed with the work of progressive groups like Wellstone Action, a group established to continue the legacy of the late US Democrat Senator Paul Wellstone. Wellstone Action is run by Jeff Blodgett, who was Obama's Minnesota campaign director. Blodgett visited Australia in 2009 during the ALP's national conference, renewing an acquaintanceship with Ogden established during the Obama campaign. Campaign Action's approach, which draws strongly from Wellstone Action (Blodgett is on the Campaign Action board), is intended to contrast with the now standard top-down, tightly controlled nature of modern political campaigns. It trains political volunteers and candidates to avoid what they call the "transactional" approach of door-to-door campaigning, relying instead on candidates and volunteers engaging voters in a conversation in which they explain why they are seeking election, or why they personally support the candidate seeking election. Typically, political parties don't train volunteers, and confine them to handing out campaign literature or stuffing envelopes. Campaign Action has a dedicated training course to train candidates and volunteers in talking with voters and explaining their own personal reasons for supporting a candidate. The contrast with the rigid, talking-points only style of modern campaigns, in which door-to-door volunteers are told to provide "verbal direct mail" is obvious. "The approach only works if you've got an authentic message," Ogden told Crikey. "And of course you need an authentic candidate. The success of the Obama campaign online was partly a distraction. The ALP's website is as good as the Obama campaign's was. But the lesson of the Obama campaign was that you need an authentic candidate to draw supporters, you need to use their time valuably, and you need to get them talking one-on-one with voters." The approach complements more traditional campaign techniques -- volunteers can identify undecided voters that enable more targeted campaigning efforts, and report back on burning issues that candidates can specifically address via mail or phone calls. The Balmain effort was strong on direct contact between Firth and voters, often follow-ups to previous contact. But offering an authentic story to voters is the key. The techniques used by Campaign Action had their first Australian outing in the Tasmanian state election last year, when Labor's David O'Byrne and Brian Wightman worked with Ogden on the Wellstone Action training. O'Byrne contrasted it with the traditional "strip-mining" approach of modern campaigning. The Wellstone Action/Campaign Action approaches are suddenly very relevant for a party that, by universally agreement among even bitterly opposed figures, needs to reconnect with voters and renew its membership base. The first step might be to stop regarding volunteers as cannon fodder in top-down campaigns only engaged at election time.[/quote]

Ad astra reply

1/04/2011Folks I'll be out for a couple of hours. When I return I'll be posting another piece of Acerbic Conehead's delightful satire: [i]Phoney Footie[/i].

Ad astra reply

1/04/2011D Mick Weir I'm enjoying John Quiggin's [i]Zombie Economics[/i], although it's heavy going in places. I've finished the chapters on [i]The Great Moderation[/i] and [i]The Efficient Markets Hypothesis[/i] and am about to start on [i]Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium[/i]. I'm also reading in parallel Laurie Oakes [i]On the Record[/i] - a very interesting read.

Jason

1/04/2011Doug, It's not a matter of if I'm across the facts or not, the thing you seem to overlook is (1) a hung parliament so windsor and oakeshot need to be convinced to start with, the other problem is you want it all now! I to would like to put on my roof over $20,000 worth of solar panels to get the full benefit from solar, but I can't aford them all at once! so I will start off small and get the rest as I can afford it!If the Greens had that sort of mindset rather than this all or nothing aproach you and I would probably agree! You can wheel out more links to websites but the fact remains if the Greens are too bloody minded as to not take the 5% that seems to be on offer because of their lofty principles, it could be another decade or so before it's revisited, so I stand by my comment of something no matter how small is still better than nothing at all!

Jason

1/04/2011FS, Did you see this by Rodney Cavalier? "What are the prospects for meaningful ALP reform? None, actually. Within weeks it will be business as usual. Giving meaning to ALP membership involves a serious involvement in forming policy and candidate selection. Empowering the membership means disempowering union officials" http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/labors-machine-will-learn-nothing/story-e6frgd0x-1226031611170

TalkTurkey

1/04/2011DE sez: "TT Don't know what to say." > Well, 'Remember what wisdom there may be in silence.' [from Desiderata] Better say zip than crap. "Can't have a discussion unless people are prepared to discuss on the basis of facts as opposed to shouting slogans and simplistic one liners." > How would you characterise this little gem? :- "No evidence that such schemes save energy." Bwahahahahaaa. Ain't even got no verb! "Studies have repeatedly shown that when delivered as stand alone measures such schemes simply promote increased levels of consumption." > What studies repeatedly showing thus? Include some germane and definitive direct quotes in your reply please, You're the one making the 'no-evidence' claim, which to me sounds like arrant BS. "I tried to offer what I consider to be authoritative information." > That would involve supplying authoritative information. Or at least what you consider as such, which ain't necessarily what I would. Convince me. "I regard that as positive." > Better leave the jumper leads to someone else then. Or look, try to remember, Red goes to RED! BTW Doug I don't understand what you were talking about when you said: " . . . as to the government's culpability for the fires and deaths I have already indicated that your link to the Crikey (?) article showed that I was wrong." Please explain?

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Jason, Thankx for the link. I really don't know what to make of Rodney Cavalier. Is he Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, hoping to bring back to life an ALP that never really existed, except when he was part of its ruling class, and, therefore it was what it should be? Or, is he some unreconstructed curmudgeon that will never be happy, no matter what the ALP is now, or into the future? Just the sort of fodder for opinion articles that The Australian loves to cultivate like weeds in the ALP garden.

NormanK

1/04/2011TT Not everything has to be a confrontation you know. Describing what someone else says as 'crap' without providing repudiating evidence is not exactly adult conversation. Given that Doug Evans is already producing long posts, perhaps a bit of leeway could be given with regard to not providing links to every single thing he says. A polite request about the studies that look at consumption might provide a more meaningful response than all-out attack. You may also wish to acknowledge that you are not the only poster/reader here and that some of us may actually be learning something from this exchange. If it's not to your taste then ignore it. Unless of course your desire is to shout down anyone who disagrees with you, thereby alienating them and turning TPS into an echo chamber where commenters pat each other on the back because they share exactly the same view of the world. Hardly my cup of tea. Oh dear - no verb. Perhaps a bit of your own advice would not go astray - 'Remember what wisdom there may be in silence.' The reference to the Crikey article is a misunderstanding. Both D Mick Weir and I provided a link to it almost simultaneously during a flurry of posts so DE has attributed to the wrong source. Not the first time it has happened here.

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011However, that is not to say that Cavalier does not make some valid points. Candidate selection is rank. I said so myself. We need to broaden our base. Also, and this is no reflection on your good self, Jason, Union power over the party needs to be cut back even further than 60-40. It should be free-floating and determined at every national Conference based upon the previous 3 year average for Union represenation in the workforce. Therefore, if Unions can up their numbers, they get abenefit with increased influence at National Conference. If their numbers fall, so does their voice become smaller and they get allocated fewer delegates. Hmm, sounds like a good motion to put up. :) Suffice to say, if the ALP do not heed the message the electorate in NSW tried to send them last weekend, then they will be cast into oblivion for a very long time electorally, and they will suffer a mass resignation of the True Believers, who have staunchly supported them through thick and thin, and many dismissive and abusive efforts from the Administrative wing of the party.

Jason

1/04/2011FS, I agree with cutting the union power,I don't belong to a faction either,but as I said at a branch meeting recently I think the latest figures of paid up members nationally is about 45,000! Collingwood in the AFL has somewhere near 70,000 What we are doing at the moment isn't working, and the party needs reform!I can go to my branch meeting bluster long and loud but because I'm not with the "Right" or it might upset the catholics they ignore you! Just be there on election day to hand out how to vote cards seems to be the only time they like to let me have a say!

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011Jason, Ditto. So, at our next meeting I'm going to say, 'This is the ALP, not UnionsNSW or the ETU.' Our Pres is the NSW State Pres of the ETU. :) I don't care any more, I'm just going to start speaking out because Sussex Street has lost all legitimacy in my eyes.

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011NormanK, Wise worrds. Thank you. I hope you don't think I got too angry at DE too. :) I actually enjoy the back and forth.

Doug Evans

1/04/2011Jason When did the Greens say they want it all now? Is that your conclusion from their rejection of the previous CPRS or is there something that I'm not aware of? As I set out in one of my previous comments I'm tipping that if a response with two or three fairly modest conditions can be achieved they will back it. But this is only me reading tea leaves - I don't really know anything about what is going on in the MPCCC. You have heaped a whole lot of blame on them for our current lack of any mechanism for pricing greenhouse gas pollution. I set out a heap of arguments why the last attempt was not just ineffective but counterproductive and I haven't heard anything from you about what you think is wrong with the objections I raised. Are you absolutely sure that those responsible, possibly with the best intentions, didn't just muck up completely. Is it inconceivable that a totally inexperienced minister way out of her depth and a prime minister with his mind constantly racing to the next problem just might have been outfoxed by a very formidable horde of lobbyists? If the well qualified critics of the CPRS that I listed are right then passing the CPRS would have been outright counterproductive and the Greens were surely right to oppose it weren't they? Believe me there were more than those I have referred to so far. Try googling Ken Davidson CPRS I remember that he was particularly critical. Try and look up Richard Denniss' article in 'Dissent' at the time. If they are all wrong then where and how are they wrong? How can you be so certain of your position? Surely not just because poor Penny W kept repeating the mantra over and over 'Not my fault blame those accursed Greens it's all their fault.' Any way now I'm simply repeating myself and this is all in the past. We wait with baited breath and good heart the outcome of the present process. These are politically difficult times in the land of Oz and it is hard to stay positive but let's wait and see what people of good faith can produce for us. FS/HS I remember Julia Gillard said that but I confess I'm not sure what to make of it when her climate minister takes every opportunity to point out the efforts currently made by so many different nations and her very sensible climate change advisor unambiguously labels Australia, the USA and Canada as climate laggards. Exactly who are we waiting for to take action before we increase our ambitions in respect of targets? I can only repeat that despite individual successes like the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target the record so far has not been good and I want to see some action not just more promises. Thanks for your support NormanK. I'm battling on here just trying to set things out as I see them.

Jason

1/04/2011FS, Good on you! It's time for what's remaining of the party to take it back!I like a lot of the recommendations that the review found. The party in SA although we fell in at last years election, some of the faction bosses are saying "move on people nothing to see here" I hope some of them saw NSW last week because after 11 years we headed the same way! although a term in opposition is always good for a clean out.

Ad astra reply

1/04/2011Folks With the weekend of footie upon us, it is appropriate that the latest piece of clever satire from Acerbic Conehead be posted: [i]Phoney Footie[/i]. Enjoy. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/04/01/Phoney-Footie.aspx

Patricia WA

1/04/2011D Mick Weir, the government could help by making it easier to make complaints. Or simply to access the complaints process. I was outraged again this afternoon by ABC 3.00 pm National News running a headline story of Treasury releasing projected costs of the Carbon price @ $40 per ton for the average householder to be $860 plus per year. A brief comment from Wayne Swan followed that no price had yet been set. But the summary at the end still carried a categorical claim that 'the government's planned Carbon tax would cost householders.......' The 4.00pm bulletin ran a figure of $30 per ton with the same projected costs and led in with the same old lead in "The Leader of the Opposition says........ I wrote a letter of complaint but could't find anywhere to email, or fax it either. Their phone had an answering machine when I called, and so it will have to go into snail mail this afternoon. Again not an easy address for Jo' Citizen to find.

debbiep

1/04/2011~ You may also wish to acknowledge that you are not the only poster/reader here and that some of us may actually be learning something from this exchange.~ Hi all. Just to confirm NormanK above comment. I am enjoying very much the new exchange between jason ,and others-nasking and Doug Evans . I am a torn Green/labor supporter. I read one comment -and agree, then I read the reply from the other side- and agree..LOl. Both sides giving me insight to feelings and wonderings that I have questioned myself recently against both parties. So much so I feel like its a 'meant to be' as in myself I was/ am feeling confused regarding many issues that are now being discussed . BTW- I am driving up to Sydney to attend the Action on Climate change rally tomorrow... :)

2353

1/04/2011Back from an other work trip to the backblocks of Queensland. Interesting to see that O'Farrell has claimed there is a shortfall in the NSW budget - I think I predicted it early this week on this site :) Newman and Abbott having coffee is sad enough - even sadder is the rest of them are now arguing about who will be Newman's Deputy when he wins (their words - not mine). Also interesting that the couple of self professed ALP members on this board are prepared to go to their branch (and other) meetings and effectively tell the ALP to pull it's finger out and get back to the grassroots. These "grassroots" members who surprisingly DO live in the real world probably have a better idea than those at Sussex St, or Peel St or wherever the Trades Halls are throughout the rest of Australia of the needs and desires of people with no real political affiliation. There seems to be a disconnect between "party workers" and the general public. At some time in the past, I worked at a State Election (with the optional preferential voting in force). Apart from the l-o-n-g day, my deepest memory was the scrutineers from both major parties looking at the "exhausted" votes (those that didn't number every square) and bemoan "what a waste". A few of us counting the votes suggested that a more accurate reflections should be "I want this person to win and no one else - so why should I "vote" for those I don't want to win as well". Politics switches a lot more people off than on. Politicians of all parties (including The Greens) are seen as remote, out of touch and looking after themselves. It would be great if the ALP could demonstrate by actions that they do understand the needs, wants and aspirations of the community in general. Explaining policy in simple easy to understand ways would be a good start. And in Recaptcha bingo - the word decency appears. Does Recaptcha scan the input somehow ;)

D Mick Weir

1/04/2011NormanK @ April 1. 2011 04:33 PM Hear, Hear and the rest of my comment is silence. :)

Feral Skeleton

1/04/2011debbiep, If you are reading this before the Climate Change Rally, I'm going too with my son! Strength in numbers so that we can rain on Abbott's parade. :)

TalkTurkey

1/04/2011NormanK said TT Not everything has to be a confrontation you know. > No but some things do need confrontation. I asked DE whether the roof insulation scheme could be counted as an energy saver. It was a little test, to see if DE could be tempted to acknowledge ANYTHING AT ALL positive that Rudd-Gillard have ever done. Not a sausage. I received a flat unsupported dismissal of the value and validity of the action, along with DE's opinion that it was "rushed and dreadfully implemented." Some, (but not he!), might characterise it as "expeditious and highly efficacious, with some admitted and regretted accidents which I understand nevertheless to be at a rate BELOW the expectable. Describing what someone else says as 'crap' without providing repudiating evidence is not exactly adult conversation. > a. I didn't actually say that of anyone, just as you have not actually accused me of doing so. I said, better say zip than crap. That is not an accusation, it is a general principle. b. I have indeed said that I regard as BS the (verbless) unsupported claims that, "No evidence [?exists?] that such schemes save energy. Studies have repeatedly shown that when delivered as stand alone measures such schemes simply promote increased levels of consumption". Well let me tell you, in my own case I can testify that my living room is cosier in winter and cooler in summer thanks (THANKS to KR!) to my free insulation, and that OF COURSE I don't use as much heating and cooling as previously. I have challenged DE to provide hard evidence of what I believe is a nonsensical claim. BS for short. c. I'm not the one making the egregious claim, DE is. Ergo, I don't need to provide repudiating evidence, he does. Given that Doug Evans is already producing long posts, perhaps a bit of leeway could be given with regard to not providing links to every single thing he says. > Every single thing? Who's asking him to? I only want links and quotes to where he's getting his claim from, that roof insulation leads to increased use of energy. Perhaps you might do that for him if you feel so strongly that he didn't oughta have to back that particular claim up himself. A polite request about the studies that look at consumption might provide a more meaningful response than all-out attack. You may also wish to acknowledge that you are not the only poster/reader here and that some of us may actually be learning something from this exchange. If it's not to your taste then ignore it. > No! Why should I not challenge unsupported nonsensical claims? And obviously, I could say the same thing to you about what I have to say, but I don't mind, you say what you want Cobber, but don't tell me what to ignore Bro. Unless of course your desire is to shout down anyone who disagrees with you, thereby alienating them and turning TPS into an echo chamber where commenters pat each other on the back because they share exactly the same view of the world. > What's all this about "shouting"? DE said the same thing. I argue my end, in writing, NOT in shouting, (though I might if it were possible!) and I DON'T demand that everyone share my world-view, but don't expect me not to challenge what I think to be nonsense. Hardly my cup of tea. Oh dear - no verb. > You would know NK that I don't as a rule pick people up on grammar, nor was I doing so this time. DE writes of "shouting" (?!) "slogans and simplistic one liners." I was pointing out, not exactly DE's HYPOCRISY wrt me, (because I don't acknowledge that I was guilty of simplistic sloganeering, - and we'd BOTH need to be doing it for his accusation to be hypocrisy, right?) - but I do accuse him outright of doing what he suggests of me though, so it's "one-sided hypocrisy" if you like, and his bald facile one-liner - especially lacking as it does the verb! - is a perfect fit. Perhaps a bit of your own advice would not go astray - 'Remember what wisdom there may be in silence.' > I wasn't the one that said I didn't know what to say! The reference to the Crikey article is a misunderstanding. Both D Mick Weir and I provided a link to it almost simultaneously during a flurry of posts so DE has attributed to the wrong source. Not the first time it has happened here. > Yeah well as I said it made no sense to me. Not my fault it didn't, it was his mistake not mine, but I did invite him to explain. Fair? I still don't know what it was that you and DMW said, I don't read EVERYthing on TPS, but I imagine that you were giving the lie to the notion of wastefulness and rate of mortality of the roof insulation scheme fomented by THEM. DE said: "I try not to have opinions unless I have something to base them on or at least make it clear when I express them that I harbour doubt." > Noble sentiments no question. Only, how does that jive with: "No evidence that such schemes save energy. Studies have repeatedly shown that when delivered as stand alone measures such schemes simply promote increased levels of consumption." So - DE provides no evidence that there's no evidence. Sounds like someone else . . ? . . DE also said: "This discussion is beginning to resemble those I have from time to time with climate change deniers." > Oh I do agree! Only, the denialism is all your'n DE, denying at every turn any good works ever by Rudd and Gillard.

Doug Evans

1/04/2011Per Ardua Just found your comment. Adam Bandt indicated indirectly that this was the case in a presentation I heard him make in the electorate (he's my local MP) the other night. If I heard right he suggested that an outcome that somehow avoided targets would be found although I can't imagine how this could be done. The government and the Greens certainly would have started the discussion a long way apart on emissions reduction targets. This is not to say that they won't overcome the problem but I imagine the battle will be very tough. FS/HS I'll try to come back to your last comment asap but I need to do a little checking first

Feral Skeleton

1/04/20112353, Good to see you survived the backblocks of Queensland! Barnaby Bjelke-Petersen didn't run you off the road with his new Landcruiser, did he? :)

TalkTurkey

1/04/2011TT said "Abbott and Hanson photographed yesterday holding hands in an ACT coffee shop! See Age front page!" Did anyone fall for it? April Fool? Please?

Doug Evans

1/04/2011FS/HS Sorry haven't responded properly to your last comment. I was aware of LEAN but know nothing of what they do or have achieved. I don't know that any start-up carbon price has been set. $25/tonne has been mentioned and is probably a reasonable guesstimate but JG, WS and GC keep saying that no price has yet been set. In respect of the carbon price I don't fully understand your comment but my original comment was only intended to indicate that Geothermal energy is currently one of the most expensive to deliver and requires a higher carbon price to make it economical. If I understand this stuff at all (not certain as economics is not my strength) different carbon prices whether a tax or a market value enable different energy technologies. I can't really remember what kicked in at what price but gas was the first and easiest transition to drive with a carbon price. One source I googled said replacing coal with gas requires a carbon price of only $25-30/tonne compared to wind power’s $70/tonne currently. Solar photovoltaics somewhat more expensive to deliver, and concentrating solar with storage together with geothermal both currently more expensive again. Have a good climate change rally. In Melbourne between 5000 and 8000 showed up. Hope Sydney gets twice that number.

TalkTurkey

2/04/2011Doug Evans said: "Emissions cuts of between 25 and 40% below 1990 levels have been called for from the world's developed economies over the next decade if global temperature rises are to be stabilized at two degrees - a level that gives us a 50/50 chance of avoiding runaway climate change. So far we are offering 5% below 2000 levels." Can we just dissect and inspect that para please. a) Between 25 and 40% : big difference b) below 1990 levels . . . How do they compare with 2000? c) have been called for - hopeful targets, not in the bag at all, and sad to say, I very much doubt whether they'll be achieved, or even go close. Now, to the matter of the 5% as compared to those ambitious figures: Perhaps I've missed it but I've seen no mention of the MOST germane aspect of this: viz., that Oz has an IMMIGRATION policy! Rightly or wrongly in excess of 300,000 people ( !!! ) come here each year from elsewhere. They need NEW HOUSES BUILT, that takes so much energy! The Government is not about to lie about targets: Yes it does seem a pitiful target, but as Gandhi said of progress in India, Australia has to run fast, well anyway walk pretty smartly, just to stay still. Oh and we don't use atomic fission to produce energy: if we were to do that sure we'd cut emissions in the long run, but . . . How many of us want nuclear power, now especially? If you're not factoring these considerations into your deliberations, as seems to me to be the case but I could be wrong, then you need to start afresh . . . and one thing about 5%, at least we can probably achieve it. And it equates to a lot bigger figure in countries with nuclear power stations and no immigration. Somebody acknowledge please?

Doug Evans

2/04/2011Dear all “Emissions cuts of between 25 and 40% below 1990 levels have been called for from the world's developed economies over the next decade if global temperature rises are to be stabilized at two degrees - a level that gives us a 50/50 chance of avoiding runaway climate change. So far we are offering 5% below 2000 levels.” I was mistaken. The figures I quoted from memory were outdated. In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report that was used for COP 15 in Copenhagen the updated relevant figures were as follows: To stabilize global greenhouse emissions at 445 – 535 parts per million CO2e (Co2e allows for the greenhouse warming capacity of other gases eg methane) global emissions need to peak between 2000 and 2015 and reduce by 2050 to somewhere between 50 and 85% below 2000 levels. The scientists’ best estimate is that this would stabilize temperatures at between 2.0 and 2.4ºC above the pre-industrial equilibrium. This as I said previously would give us about a 50/50 chance of avoiding runaway climate change. Not great odds. This has been calculated as likely to produce sea level rises of between 0.4 and 1.4 metres by the end of the century. The IPCC states that; "equilibrium sea level rise is for the contribution from ocean thermal expansion only and does not reach equilibrium for at least many centuries. These values have been estimated using relatively simple climate models ... and do not include contributions from melting ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps. Given the rate at which ice is now disappearing, sea level rises at the end of the century can be expected to be at or above the upper limit and as the IPCC says continue for many centuries. An excellent summary of this material with several very good links to other information sources can be found here: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Greenhouse_gas_emission_reduction_targets Now place our commitment of 5% reductions against 2000 levels by 2020 in the context of what is required globally. If we achieved this (no certainty) nearly all the task still remains ahead of us but with 25% of the time available to us to achieve this goal used up. Now is our commitment paltry or what? There is another way to assess this. You can determine the total amount of GHG pollution that would produce temperature rises of 2 degrees subtract the current level of GHG pollution and from this determine Australia’s equitable share of what can still be put up there. Projecting forward it is calculated that Australia will have used up its share by 2025 or thereabouts. Thereafter we are using up someone else’s quota. Several people have used this very clear way of illustrating the dimensions of the problem we are faced with and I have not googled to check it but I am confident that what I say is pretty much right. Now tell me again is our commitment, from the world’s highest per capita emitters living in a rich country, enjoying a very high standard of living, paltry or what? In light of several studies indicating that we can accommodate far more ambitious emissions reduction targets than we are currently prepared to commit to do you think we are pulling our weight? And before you start asking for the references I suggest that anyone interested can easily begin to inform themselves as I did – do a bit of research. I’ll end this post with a few good general references but I’ve given a heap of references to this stuff already and the people most interested in further references don’t seem to have bothered to read those I have so far given. Skeptical Science will send informative newsletters and have a great website that can be found here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/ The Real Ewbank Leigh Ewbank’s blog carries much important commentary on the Australian scene. It can be found here: http://therealewbank.com/ David Spratt’s blog Climate Code Red is essential and I suggest you might like to sign up to receive his excellent climate change media summary. It can be found here: http://climatecodered.blogspot.com/ Spratt’s other blog for the Victorian Climate Action Centre is also well worth checking out: It can be found here: http://www.climateactioncentre.org/carbon-equity Banksia Foundation puts out an excellent daily summary of environment issues in the Australian media called Making Environmental News. See if you can get it sent to you by googling Banksia Foundation. Finally I can’t recommend highly enough Giles Parkinson’s writing for Climate Spectator. Get it sent to you daily.

Michael

2/04/2011TT said "Abbott and Hanson photographed yesterday holding hands in an ACT coffee shop! See Age front page!" Did anyone fall for it? April Fool? Please? Talk Turkey Yes I did! Because, nothing, NOTHING, would surprise me in what Abbott would do to get The Lodge.

TalkTurkey

2/04/2011Michael said: 'TT said "Abbott and Hanson photographed yesterday holding hands in an ACT coffee shop! See Age front page!" Did anyone fall for it? April Fool? Please? Talk Turkey Yes I did! Because, nothing, NOTHING, would surprise me in what Abbott would do to get The Lodge. Michael ' Michael I love you. You made my little joke all worthwhile. And Yes, he bloody would do bloody any bloody thing too, yer bloody well right... Urgh though. Pauline Pantsdown! Urrrggghhhhhh though! TOE-RAG ABBORTT! URRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH though!!! THE TWO OF THEM TOGETHER!!!!!!!! QUICK, THE AIRWICK!!! PS Did I goad you to buy an Age, or what did you do? I sure wasn't going to induce anyone to buy an unAustralian!

Jason

2/04/2011Doug, I accept your passion your argument and commitment to the cause! However the reductions you and others are calling for at least in the short term is just a dream! Labor will I think go for the one that causes the least pain to it's chances to win the next election. I know it wont please you and others but that's the reality of politics. When Howard won the election on the GST it wasn't because we wanted a new tax,Howard after his 96 victory had such a massive majority with mainly traditionally Labor held seats he could afford to have them go back to Labor at that election and not be tossed out! So quite simply Labor has it's own self interest to protect and that's what will happen.

masealake

2/04/2011Why believe Premier Barry O'Farrell able to deliver commitments meeting NSW $4.5 billion black hole not to explore a Health Olympic? Although Premier Barry O'Farrell has signed a contract to the people of NSW to deliver commitments, and that contract will be honoured. An honourable government is importantly to advancing the state, to create more opportunities for people to work on, and to ease the cost of their life that in happy to stay such state. But the true story is any Politician still sits on the position for four years until the beat down by doing little, regardless the deliver commitments on time. If they resigned early due to incompetence, they still enjoyed all retirement benefits with worry free. Why a Health Olympic guarantee NSW back to number one state? • Inventing health improvement patterns; • Growing high antioxidant healthy grains and plants; • Manufacturing high antioxidant healthy grain powder products; • Exporting its health improvement knowledge and pattern; and • Exporting health improvement resources (including human resources). More detail linked to http://www.streetcorner.com.au/news/showPost.cfm?bid=20747&mycomm=ES, or http://www.liberal.org.au/ActionContract/Action-Contract-4.aspx#129458356716694000. Masealake (Member of the Queensland Inventor Association since 1993).

Doug Evans

2/04/2011Jason What I put in that last post is what the scientists tell us is necessary to avoid unimaginable disaster probably in the lifetime of our children. It is not a manifesto dreamed up by the Greens (or anyone else) with the aim of creating grief for the Labor Party and discomfort for Australians. No-one says it is easy; it's not. There is every possibility that it is already too late. For evidence of this you could try reading Clive Hamilton's 'Requiem for a Species'. I've read it and the chapters where he sets out the case that we have already missed the boat are impeccable in their logic and scholarship. I can't fault them. David Suzuki, who I guess retains some credibility when he was here recently singled out Hamilton's work for praise although he also said (in essence) that since we did not know everything it is still possible to hope that nature proves more forgiving than currently seems likely to be the case. Are you happy to hope for the best or do you think we should fight for our future. Many scientists already believe that it is too late. The choice globally is between doing what is required it or trashing and possibly destroying the future. Jason what do you think we should be telling our political parties? "It's OK the scientists might be wrong." "It's OK we understand that it is a bit hard. We don't mind if you go forward slowly and leave it to the others to do the heavy lifting." How about "Australia is a rich nation and can take a little pain for the sake of our grand children's future. We demand you stop mouthing platitudes and take action in line with the science." What is your message to your party and what will you do about it? No-one can say with certainty what will be the results of losing this battle but for a cautious look at what it might entail you could try looking at http://climateinteractive.org/scoreboard

Jason

2/04/2011Doug, I don't disagree with you!But either you're new to the political process or you just don't know how the Westminster system of government works! However if you're a sample of the Greens thinking that more should be delivered than is possible in the current political environment, I for one would urge labor to walk away,then you have nothing not even a frame work that could be added to as times change! I know I'm not going to convince you! you look at it from the eye of the science and in simplistic terms! Labor however is a more complex beast and it isn't that simple in a hung parliament.

Doug Evans

2/04/2011Jason This must be my last word on this stuff for a while. I'm not new to the political process and understand perfectly how the Westminster system works. I think your assessment of what Labor is prepared to do is almost certainly right. I also think, and here we probably disagree, that the political situation we find ourselves in is largely of Labor's own making. Cast your mind back to 2007 the enormous wave of goodwill Rudd surfed to victory the overwhelming mandate his government had to take effective action on climate - where are we now, who is responsible and how many of these people are still in powerful positions in this government? I'm hoping that we get the structure of a sensible carbon pricing mechanism in place and that the Greens in the senate can hold on like crazy through the next term of Coalition government. I do not think Gillard will get another go - nor if I'm honest do I think this government deserves another go. These attacks on the Greens. What are they? Is Gillard playing to her party's dwindling membership at the price of another term? To attack the Greens in this manner when she has allied herself so closely with them only portrays her as desperate and inept in the eyes of the electorate. If they are so bad what are you doing working so closely with them? Surely the sensible way forward is to counter the rubbish from the other mob by stressing that they are not so bad and that the odd lunatic like Lee Rhiannon is not typical of this party, will be kept on a fairly tight rein. Even if it proves not to be so it would be in Labor's interests to maintain this position for now instead of caving in to Abbott's attacks on Labor's association with the Greens. The time for attacking the Greens is when the minority government experiment has failed. On current form I reckon Labor will be licking its wounds in opposition after the next election sitting on a primary vote around 30%. I reckon the Greens will still have a primary vote above 10% probably around 15%. If they ever hope to get in power again Labor will have to mend bridges with the other party of the left. How, after this extraordinary attack will they be able to do this? The last legacy of the idiots in the NSW right might just be the Abbott coalition government and won't that be just dandy Sean Carney's assessment of Labor's prospects in the Age today was pretty sombre. I was surprised to discover that of the 45,000 members more than half are fake (stacked) or inactive. What a shambles!

Jason

2/04/2011Doug, I'm glad it's you last word because,Should Abbott ever get elected he said he will repeal any carbon tax legislation that Labor ever passes into law. So if that's what the greens stand for and want to shout people down,who cares? The greens are still whack jobs and under a coalition Abbott will go to a double dissolution election and try to rid you of the balance of power in the senate, and then the greens will be exposed as the the hollow men of Australian politics! As If there was any doubt!

Jason

2/04/2011Doug, Apart from banjo's and moonshine at your branch meetings is there anything of substance put up? even considering for the moment you only have one seat in the house of reps! Even at the last state election in Victoria you were put last,Doug the greens are wreckers when it comes to climate change legislation and you and your party could end up with nothing! So be happy with nothing.

Doug Evans

2/04/2011OK Enough's enough I retire and leave the field to those major intellects TT and Jason. I'm tired of being abused for expressing an opinion and I'm off to find some discussion. Suggest you rename the blog Political Security Blanket under which you can all huddle reassuring each other that the party's difficulties are all the fault of the media, Abbott and of course the accursed Greens.

Jason

2/04/2011Doug, Don't leave on my account!and don't insult the other people who come on this blog because of me. All I have tried to do is educate you about the realities of the political process in this country,if you think that is abuse well that's not my problem. I'm happy to have robust debate with you and as I'm prepared to take your points on their merit, it would seem you are the only one who has the answers. As for your slur about the security blanket fancy an inner city elite criticising anyone!

2353

3/04/2011While not taking sides (and because I don't belong to any "political tribe") Doug and Jason are both accurate. It might be too late and I do have concerns for the life my kids and their kids will have because the world collectively sat there and did nothing about climate change for years. As an interested spectator - I'm still amazed that The Greens didn't vote the original scheme up regardless of how bad it was perceived to be. It's much easier to change something later to have a meaningful effect that to get the proposal up the 2nd time. That's reality. It is also reality is that if the LNP are elected anytime soon, the first thing they will do (assuming they have the numbers) is to repeal any Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme - regardless of how it works or what it's called. The only thing that will stop them will be it's so bedded into the system and proven to achieve something - like the ALP never repealed the GST (and lost the urge to somewhere in opposition).

TalkTurkey

3/04/2011NormanK You were very quick to weigh in on behalf of DE, (or was it against TT), but I have yet to see any reply from either of you to my posts in rebuttal. It seems DE has scuttled off leaving you to do the decent thing and answer my charges, viz., a)That to my POLITE question to DE, 'do you reckon the Government's "failed ceiling insulation scheme" has been counted to its credit for saving major amounts of household energy? Or just as its failure?"', his statement that (there is) "No evidence that such schemes save energy" is arrant nonsense,(and couched in arrogant, dismissive, IMpolite and contemptuous terms as far as I'm concerned too. A throwaway line as evidenced by the nuanced and imo deliberate fact that in DE's opinion my question wasn't even worth a making into a proper sentence. If you think that grammar was my objection to DE's reply you're not the sensitive user of English I took you for.) My response to DE thereafter was TT in biteback mode. As this is to you. Not initiated by me. b)That DE's unexplained and unsupported claim "Studies have repeatedly shown that when delivered as stand alone measures such schemes simply promote increased levels of consumption. Oh I can now afford to heat the whole house instead of just the living room" demands documentary evidence which I have challenged DE and by extension to you to provide, and if you don't then why not? That is the nub. NK you said "A polite request about the studies that look at consumption might provide a more meaningful response than all-out attack. You may also wish to acknowledge that you are not the only poster/reader here and that some of us may actually be learning something from this exchange. If it's not to your taste then ignore it." OK NK here's a polite request, which I have made before but which remains unanswered by you and DE: please provide the evidence. Cogent, concise quotes please, taken in context, from reputable named sources, which I can check if I wish but shouldn't need to. You also said "Unless of course your desire is to shout down anyone who disagrees with you, thereby alienating them and turning TPS into an echo chamber where commenters pat each other on the back because they share exactly the same view of the world." I now return this serve to you. Oh and BTW when DE says, "No evidence that such schemes as ceiling insulation save energy", what "such schemes" might your scuttled protege have meant do you think? eg solar panels? No good? erm, double glazing, naah, waste of time? HWS water-saving shower heads, skylights, all not worth doing? All right DE, what then? Oh sorry you've gone off snivelling. In all DE's long posts, I have yet to see from him, or you NK, or anyone else on TPS, any acknowlegment of my sole voice crying the word Immigration in this mix. It is a HUGE factor. 300,000+ immigrants per year. HOUSES! Is anybody listening, DMW, FS? Just to be clear: I have been 49 shades of Green all my life. My passion is for wildlife on Earth. I grieve all the time for what's happening. But whatever our wish for reductions in CO2 (and other planet-destroying problems) we are not going to stop having hot showers, and all, and Australia in citing 5% reductions by 2020 is about on a par with targets in low-population-growth countries esp ones with nuclear energy. At least Oz might achieve its targets. It won't save the world but neither will BS. Speaking of which I have since early days perceived DE as a Rat in Tree-Frog's clothing, sanctimoniously gnawing away at the Party I wear proudly on my sleeve. He has only ever bagged and slagged the government in all his statements, as ungracious as Bolt afa I'm concerned, but sneakier, pretending to be a regretful fugitive from Labor. I asked him about what he thought of the roof insulation scheme as a litmus test. IMO he tested yellow. He can put up or shut up, go or tarry or stay I don't care, but NK you are now holding his bag. You bought into this, let's see your currency. Evidence in many studies that roof insulation (and like schemes?) result in an increase in net energy use. H'mmm? BTW I still regard you as one of the writers with most gravitas on TPS. But you mounted an UNprovoked attack on me, Cobber, in response to my PROVOKED attack on DE's credibility and rudeness. Barnyard Turkey or Brush Turkey, I'm quite wild. But I'd rather write about Batavia or Golden Orb Spiders* or something else positive. * More anon.

Jason

3/04/20112353, Thankyou for your comment, I don't think I had abused Doug until I made the banjo comment,I had also said to Doug that I agreed with him on the science in fact I agreed with everything. What Doug couldn't come to terms with was political reality, there was/is no way the government would agree to the cuts Doug was saying is needed, and that's not abuse it's a fact I like you had been saying something no matter how small is at least a start and can be added to later! Doug and/or the greens seem to have this all or nothing attitude and sadly that is what they could end up with!

NormanK

3/04/2011Talk Turkey I figure I've got a number of options for how best to deal with this situation. Option 1 : Pull the pin on TPS and thereby relieve myself of any future angst - my first reaction this morning. However, this would only punish me since I enjoy the atmosphere here and have learned a great deal from both Ad astra and other contributors. And for what? For seeking to promote polite discourse with an interesting newcomer on a blog which prides itself on just such courteous and respectful intercourse. Not today. Option 2 : Rise to your challenge and lay the groundwork for a flame war where we dissect each other's comments word by word and line by line, desperately exploring every subtle nuance for signs of insult and thereby justifying an escalation. I have too much respect for Ad astra and TPS to ever descend to that level. Not to mention that it would give me no pleasure whatsoever and would serve no useful purpose. Option 3 : I have a beautiful Apple Magic Mouse with a lovely scroll function which allows me to navigate web pages and blogs with consummate ease. So, on reflection, Option 3 best suits my needs today. You may be assured that from this day forth I will scroll past your comments which means there will be no point in responding to this post because, I promise you, I won't read it. May I very respectfully suggest that you do the same to my comments - just look for a rose gravatar. I trust that nothing I have written here today could be construed as a response to your challenges. Have a nice life TT.

TalkTurkey

3/04/2011Let me say NormanK this had nothing to do with you until you chose to do it. You fired at me first, so I fired too, and now it seems that you rue it. You talk of a flame war - well you struck the match and now you are shifting the blame: You fired flame and fury at me with despatch: Now it seems your own fire has caught your own thatch! Why start that fire if you knew it could catch? Now you've run from your self-kindled flame! Anyway NK's no longer going to reply to me, DE's spat the dummy too, so I'll ask anybody else, quite politely, if they are prepared to defend, with documentation, DE's claims that (there is) "No evidence that that such schemes (as roof insulation) save energy. Studies have repeatedly shown that when delivered as stand alone measures such schemes simply promote increased levels of consumption." If any persons hereon can, with convincing evidence, support Doug Evans' (I-say-BS) claims, as I challenged him to do initially, then I'll apologise to him and NK, and pull my head in. Fair? I'll let my credibility stand or fall by that PIVOTAL issue. It has been TPS' demand as long as I've known it that claims are rigorously backed up with evidence, now's anyone's chance to supply it. If not, I won't plead for an equivalent apology but imo I'll be due one. If not several. Ad astra, sorry, I'll drop this when I can. But I wouldn't want DE's claims to go unchallenged if it were e.g. Bum-Bolt making them, and when my own question was dismissed peremptorily and contemptuously with no evidence, and then an uninvolved third party implied that (my) "desire is to shout down anyone who disagrees with (me), thereby alienating them and turning TPS into an echo chamber where commenters pat each other on the back because they share exactly the same view of the world", which is exactly the reverse of what I've done, well as the Everley Brothers said, "You know no man can crawl." I arc up at slurs like that. I did tell NK that I still had heaps of respect for him. Oh well. All he had to do was reply on behalf of his protege DE.

Jason

3/04/2011Normank, I feel somehow responsible for what has happened, and yes you may choose to wipe me as well! Yes Doug was a new contributor,and I found what he had to say interesting!The fact that he expected more than was ever going to be delivered and couldn't grasp that reality was also a fault on his part! and to a certain extent needed to be shouted down.TT for his part is also the brother of a former Keating government minister who might just know a thing or two more than Doug! Continue or start the boycott of TT if you must, but why no criticism of Doug at all? Quite frankly he's a political pygmy!

TalkTurkey

3/04/2011Let me be clear here. Jason is the one talking sense. It was the Greens who in fouling up Labor with a call for impossible emissions reduction targets have ensured that we can't and won't get much more than 5% after all. I remember the targets being talked about were much higher before Copenhagen. Why did Copenhagen fail? Because Greens from all over the world were so far away from the realities of economies that no agreements could be reached. In Australia that went much deeper andnearly brought Labor down. Greens. Now the climate really has changed, no pun intended, and any talk of what, 8%? 15% ? is cloud cuckoo land. mainly thanks to Greens. Pontificati,ng and posturing piously, self-importantly self-important. OK THEY'RE RIGHT! We ARE losing the planet! Because there's too many people! Doesn't matter WHAT we do now, we're locked towards a cataclysmic future, sorry folks, bin tellim yous foer years, hate it but true. But never mind that small inconvenient fact for now, for now the fact is that Jason is the only one talking Real World, and the Greens so saintly are and have long been at the core of the problem. Are you listening to Gillard folks? Divisive and obstructive. Bugger them. As for Doug Evans, well he seems to be at the core of the Greens it seems, from what he's said. BTW if you have learnt much from the learned links etc he's put up, well p'raps you haven't been listening to things for the last 40 years. He calims to be a disillusioned fugitive from Labor, I think he's a pale troll in goat's clothing, talking down every good thing Labor has done and attempted. A heart-worm for the Government. To check that I tested him with the question as to whether he gave the Government just even a teensy tick for energy saving with roof insulation, Nuh, says he magnanimously, it only leads to people using more energy! #@%*?#! Oh and from his superciliously majestic heights he tells us that it was done dreadfully too. Which is UNTRUE! So I called him out, demanding chapter and verse of his alleged sources re the increased energy claim. He failed, yelping his hurtness, and has it seems slunk off. Meanwhile NormanK bought in on his behalf, sucked in it seems by his green wool, not exactly alone in that regard neither but uniquely critical, and now anyway he's immune from anything else I have to say because he's going to scroll past. I want to say more but I have to go out now.

Jason

3/04/2011Normank, Just to put all comments into consideration, yours mine and TT! The following is from Doug Evans own blog, call it what you like! he seems more like a zealot to me, So what say you? What this blog is about! This blog is a vehicle for communicating my thoughts on the environmental crisis confronting us and our shift to a clean green future. It is also a means for spreading the word on community actions and information sources supporting this shift. The science monitoring the atmospheric changes in train and their climatic and environmental impact is increasingly dire. The measures required to avoid runaway global warming are increasingly stringent and the time frame for undertaking these measures becomes tighter and tighter. The political and economic forces opposing necessary change are powerful, determined and deeply embedded. The possibility of cultural change may be slight but we either do what we can to promote the necessary changes or become complicit with our unheeding politicians and the blind self interest of the industry lobbyists in the extreme degradation-of, perhaps the destruction of our collective future.There is hope. As Margaret Mead said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

TalkTurkey

3/04/2011Widening the focus: Proposition: Toe-Rag Abbortt would be quite prepared to stage a violent palace revolution, or even lead Australia into civil war, to gain and retain power. What do you think? More importantly, What would you do?
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?