What happened to leadership and conviction?

Why are politicians reacting to polls instead of driving them?

In a previous piece on TPS, I contended that politicians had granted political influence to Rupert Murdoch by believing they will ‘live and die’ by the polls and reacting to the fortnightly Murdoch (Newspoll) polls rather than attempting to drive them.

There are two types of relevant polling: ‘voter intention’ polling and ‘issues’ polling. Most attention is given to the first. Politicians, however, often attempt to influence voter intention by reacting to some aspect of issues polling – but this is not driving the polls.

What I mean by ‘driving the polls’ is setting the agenda through displaying leadership and conviction, acting on principle and providing inspiration for a better future. They are the approaches that I believe can make people take notice and that will then be reflected in the polls.

First, one needs to understand what polls are telling us.

All pollsters when put on the spot will fall back on the old rule that a poll only measures public opinion, it does not predict it. Polls tell you what public opinion was, not what it will be.

Which is where people misunderstand the meaning of margin of error. This weekend Newspoll will be polling Federal voting intention, and the poll will be reported with a margin of error of about 3%. That means there is a 95% probability that the real measure of people’s voting intentions this weekend will lie within 3% of the figure reported by Newspoll.

That does not mean that come the election, the result will be within 3% of the poll. The margin of error is a measure of the error margin on a sample, not the error margin on a prediction.

Followers of TPS well know that the media pursues each voter intention poll as if it is predicting the outcome of any forthcoming election, even twelve months out. Reports will often carry the caveat, ‘if an election was held this weekend’, but the accompanying commentary usually makes it appear this is bad for the election prospects of whichever party is trailing.

The other major issue with media reporting of polls is the insistence that every little movement has meaning. The truth is that if a poll moves only 1-2% it is within the margin of error and may, in fact, indicate no movement at all.

Unfortunately, politicians seem to believe this media commentary and start trawling the issues polling for something they can seize on that may lift their standing in the voter intention polls.

While voter intention polls are not predictive, they do say a great deal about the electorate’s view of politicians at particular points in time.

Before the 2007 election Rudd was telling the populace, and indeed later repeated it at the United Nations, that climate change was ‘the greatest moral challenge facing our generation’. In meeting that conviction after he came to Government, he negotiated a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) with then Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull. (The value of that scheme has been much debated but that aspect is irrelevant to the argument here.) Whatever its worth, it was a fulfilment of the rhetoric that preceded it. He also ratified the Kyoto Protocol and gave a national apology to the Indigenous Stolen Generations, both of which he had promised during the election campaign. It gave the appearance of conviction and leadership.

After being elected in 2007, Labor had maintained a strong ‘two party preferred’ (2PP) lead over the Opposition in the polls but on 27 April 2010 Rudd announced he was abandoning, at least for then, the CPRS.

The Newspoll results before and after the announcement make a telling point.

Poll dates
(2010)
Labor primary
vote (%)
LNP primary
vote (%)
Labor 2PP
vote (%)
LNP 2PP
vote (%)
16-18 April 43 40 54 46
30 Apr – 2 May 35 43 49 51

Labor suffered an 8% loss in its primary vote and a 10% turn-around in the 2PP in just a fortnight. Voters were disillusioned - again!

Rudd had given the appearance of a man of conviction, with a grand rhetoric of his vision, but shown there was little conviction behind the rhetoric. He had abandoned leadership and the voters knew it.

Julia Gillard’s reference to the ‘real Julia’ during the 2010 election campaign confirmed the view that politicians are all ‘spin’, reacting to polls, being told what to say and do by media advisers, and offering little to lead the nation.

Abbott’s later inflated rhetoric, such as Whyalla being wiped off the map by the introduction of a carbon price, didn’t help. After the introduction of the carbon price on 1 July 2012, none of Abbott’s hyperbole came to fruition. For much of the electorate it was simply another case of not being able to believe what politicians told them.

What Rudd, Gillard and Abbott managed to do was reinforce the population’s low regard of politicians as demonstrated by the Reader’s Digest annual poll of ‘Australia’s Most Trusted Professions’. Although the number and naming of professions has changed over the years, politicians have consistently rated near car salesmen and similar groups:

  • In 2007 politicians were ranked equal last, with car salesmen, of 40 professions (actually ranked 38th owing to tied results). Journalists were ranked 34th, with real estate agents, sex workers and psychics-astrologists separating them from politicians.
  • In 2010 politicians were ranked 38th of 40 professions, having climbed above car salesmen and also above telemarketers. Journalists were then 35th, with real estate agents and sex workers still between them and the politicians.
  • In 2013 the list included 50 professions and politicians ranked 49th, above only door-to-door salespeople. Journalists were then 43rd while talkback radio hosts, real estate agents, sex workers, call centre staff and insurance salespeople ranked below them but above politicians.
It could be said that this creates ‘a perfect storm’ fuelling the electorate’s cynicism: untrusted journalists reporting on untrusted politicians, using polls in unjustified ways.

The Rudd example in 2010 demonstrates that what politicians say and do influences the polls, particularly negatively when what they do does not match what they say.

Abbott fed this constantly in his attacks on the Government when Opposition Leader and reacted to it at his swearing-in as Prime Minister when he said ‘We hope to be judged by what we have done, rather than by what we have said we would do.’ He is essentially trying to ‘cover his arse’ for those times when his actions do not match his words. He is not attempting to drive the polls in any positive way but merely trying to dampen them in advance.

In the lead up to, and during the 2013 election, there were many examples of politicians reacting to both voter intention and issues polling and precious few (actually none that I recall) of attempting to drive the polls. Their reactions were intended to neutralise issues the polls were telling them may influence voters; for example:

  • Abbott accepted the NDIS and ‘Gonski’ because the polls showed these were popular in the electorate and would favour Labor if he opposed them;
  • Rudd brought forward the move to emissions trading by one year, to replace the fixed price on carbon emissions, and adopted a much tougher stance on refugees arriving by boat, also in response to polling.
What neither chose to do was state that their position was right and argue for it: conviction had disappeared. The voters saw this for what it was: simply politics, no conviction, no leadership, resulting in an increased vote for minor parties (12.4%, excluding the Greens, compared with 6.9% in 2010). The electorate knows that a minor party will never govern the country but at least they appear to stand for something, even Family First, rather than wavering in the wind to every nuance of the polls.

By the time of the election, I think many voters were feeling they had Hobson’s choice between a media-managed politician and a poll-driven politician who had previously lost credibility.

Abbott’s approach can perhaps be justified because the LNP held a comfortable lead in most polls leading to the election, and to keep them that way he essentially had to do nothing – which is exactly what he did!

Rudd had lost credibility after his 2010 decision and did nothing during the campaign to regain it. There was an initial surge in the polls when he resumed the leadership but his decisions, such as those noted above, merely reiterated he was just another politician reacting to polls. To overcome his previous loss of credibility he needed to display conviction and provide inspiration, but he didn’t.

In December 1941, John Curtin took the nation with him in his inspiring speech that Australia would ‘look to America’. It is sometimes forgotten that the speech also took the nation to a full ‘war footing’, affecting the lives of every Australian and promising difficult times ahead. Leadership can be about unpopular but necessary decisions, and arguing the case and inspiring people to accept them for future benefit. But current politicians, by constantly reacting to polling, are avoiding such decisions.

There are more recent speeches that have provided inspiration: e.g. Keating’s ‘Redfern speech’ and his speech at the entombment of the Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial, and Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations.

There was positive movement in the polls after Keating’s speech at the Australian War Memorial (11 November 1993): Labor increased 2% in voter intention, the LNP dropped 3%, and Keating’s ‘satisfaction’ jumped 3% (but only from 26% to 29%).

There was also a movement in the polls around the time of Rudd’s ‘apology’ (13 February 2008). In the Newspoll conducted on 15-17 February 2008 Labor’s primary vote was 46% but a fortnight later had jumped to 51%. I think the ‘apology’ played a part but the poll may have included a reaction to the Coalition’s childish behaviour on 22 February when it took a cardboard cut-out of Rudd into the Parliament. The Coalition’s behaviour may have made, by comparison, the speech’s dignity and inspiration appear more relevant.

It suggests such inspirational speeches can have an impact. And if joined with conviction, principles and leadership, they become a more potent force for driving the polls.

When politicians take a stand, it is legitimate to ask are they are doing so on principle or reacting to something appearing in issues polling? Even if the latter, a principled stand on an issue can give the politician credit for the future and flow into voter intention.

John Howard, for example, not known for his oratory, at least took a principled decision regarding the ‘gun buy-back’ after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. He did so despite strong opposition from gun owners and some National members of his own Coalition, but with the overwhelming support of the majority of the population. In that case, he was reacting to strong public opinion following the massacre (at the time the worst in the world in terms of numbers killed by a lone gunman) and followed through despite the opposition.

In a modern democracy, issues polling can be important in revealing the ‘will of the people’ but if followed unthinkingly by politicians, without underpinning principles to weigh the polls against, politicians will often react with bad policy that has not been thought through.

If the electorate is currently cynical and distrustful of politicians, it is because the politicians have given them good grounds to be. To change the electorate’s perception, politicians need to stop reacting to polls with ‘band-aid’ (bad) policies. They need to:

  • provide inspiration,
  • show conviction for what they believe, and
  • provide leadership.
With conviction, leadership and inspiration they can shape the issues polling and influence voter intention. If they do this, politicians will be driving the polls again, something they have chosen not to do since … well, I’m not sure I can remember the last time!

Can politicians really set the (issues) agenda with genuine leadership?

Will the electorate listen if they hear conviction in political statements?

Can an inspiring vision for the future change voting intention?

Will all three together drive the polls?

What do you think?


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TPS Team

27/10/2013Readers of [i]The Political Sword[/i] are fortunate to have Ken Wolff, regular commenter on [i]TPS[/i] (so one who now needs no further introduction) back with us again this week with another fine discussion-starter. In a well-crafted piece, Ken is continuing to pursue issues relating to what ‘drives’ the polls. He says: [quote]What I mean by ‘driving the polls’ is setting the agenda through displaying leadership and conviction, acting on principle and providing inspiration for a better future. They are the approaches that I believe can make people take notice and that will then be reflected in the polls.[/quote] Ken further suggests that: [quote]To change the electorate’s perception, politicians need to stop reacting to polls with ‘band-aid’ (bad) policies. [/quote] Ken’s views will once again interest and challenge [i]TPS[/i] readers, and we are sure they will provoke very stimulating discussion this coming week. Enjoy.

Ad astra reply

27/10/2013Ken Thank you for your thoughtful and erudite exposition on leadership, and on the fallacy of politicians allowing themselves to become slaves to the polls. You give example after memorable example of when they have fallen under the spell of polls, and how adversely they were affected as a result. Reacting to polls has brought many politicians undone and many will follow, as they seem to be slow learners on that subject. How refreshing it would be to see politicians take a stand on principle, and stick to their guns instead of wafting about in the poll-driven breeze. Bill Shorten has an opportunity to do this over global warming and the need for a market-based mechanism to achieve effective carbon mitigation. I believe his leadership on this issue will be a crucial element in his success as Opposition Leader. Your piece will evoke a strong response and vigorous debate

2353

27/10/2013It is an interesting proposal for a political party to consider - ignoring the polls and relying on the convictions of the leader and it's members. I would love to see conviction rather than the stage managed appearances planned meticulously by people which marketing degrees and little or no practical experience apart from working for politicians. The problem is the media praticioners (again with degrees and in a lot of cases little practical experience outside politics) will grab every opportunity to criticise politicians for the very reason Ken mentions above - their public reputation is such that you wouldn't even buy a dodgy used car from them. I would dearly love to see Shorten give a speech saying he is planning to throw the marketing rule book out the window and return to the convictions of the ALP in days gone past - and suggesting that like most people, his mind will change if given new information; as the media minders have not approved every press release - occasionally he will get it wrong but what you see is what you get and these are the policies that we will implement complete with costings and a proposed implementation plan.. Abbott won't do it and unfortunately the ALP probably won't either.

Pappinbarra Fox

27/10/2013Well done Ken, Part of the problem is that conviction leadership is not needed when the polls do our thinking for us. Of course at the end of the day we get the society and country that Rupert purchased. Conviction is hard work and we have a current PM who is allergic to hard work (of the thinking - policy development type) and who squibs it when confronted by anything requiring more that a poll driven response. I was astounded to see that Abbott described the former government as a circus. And chaos. He was the one running from parliament like some kid in the playground running from the boogie man. Squibed it. And now he trashes Australia in an overseas news paper. Sick.

2353

28/10/2013Well done to our "esteemed PM" [b]Diplomacy[/b] Tony Abbott's use of a Washington Post interview to brand his Labor predecessors as ''wacko'' and ''embarrassing'' could set back his working relationship with the Obama adminstration, a leading US commentator says. Perhaps you can chalk it up to a rookie mistake. But it is a pretty big one. Norman Ornstein, an author and political scientist with the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, said he ''winced'' when he read the interview in which Mr Abbott put the boot into the Rudd-Gillard government in unusually strong language for a foreign interview. ''It really does violate a basic principle of diplomacy to drag in your domestic politics when you go abroad,'' Dr Ornstein said. ''It certainly can't help in building a bond of any sort with President Obama to rip into a party, government and - at least implicitly - leader, with whom Obama has worked so closely. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbotts-alp-criticism-could-affect-us-links-20131027-2w9lv.html#ixzz2ixhSXWYc [b]Climate Change[/b] Leading economists have overwhelmingly rejected Tony Abbott's direct action climate change policy and backed carbon pricing. A Fairfax Media survey of 35 prominent university and business economists found only two believed direct action was the better way to limit Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Thirty - or 86 per cent - favoured the existing carbon price scheme. Three rejected both schemes. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbotts-new-direct-action-sceptics-20131027-2w9va.html#ixzz2ixhpJdzL Economists are convinced that carbon pricing will yield the greatest environmental bang-for-buck at the lowest economic cost. Advertisement Justin Wolfers, an Australian professor at the University of Michigan, says: "Abbott's plan doesn't effectively harness market forces; it relies instead on the government handing out cheques. ''One problem is that we'll end up subsidising a lot of abatement that would have occurred anyway. Another is that the plan imposes extra costs because it uses scarce tax dollars … All told, Direct Action involves more economic disruption for less of an environmental payoff." http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/economists-remain-convinced-carbon-tax-or-ets-is-the-way-forward-20131027-2w9rv.html#ixzz2ixi59uDq

TalkTurkey

28/10/2013Ken Splendid article Comrade, you are a credit to our site. We (the society) give undue credit to polls. And as a result, the polls suck us along and sucker us as they do. They are able to create a sense of panic, or of hubris, and that does affect outcomes. But there has never been a situation like the hung parliament, with Murdoch spinning every aspect of political life, a cynical Greens party, which having sucked votes from Labor, was stupid enough to use its power to frustrate progressive programs, and huge money driving the Right. In a more ordinary Parliament the power of the Media would not have been so critical - critically critical in the event. And in that atmosphere nearly everybody in Labor was running scared - with *J*U*L*I*A* an outstanding exception. She held her nerve while the moral midgets around her, instead of covering her back, were sticking needles into it. She was a leader with conviction. Your article needs a lot more consideration, I haven't much time this morning but I know it will be well received.

Millie

28/10/2013Does a man with gravitas run "helter-skelter" from the institution of parliament? No, I didn't think so either. But a man driven by polls might.

42 long

28/10/2013There may be numerous acts of parliament but abbott is a continuous act IN parliament. His minders programme him constantly to achieve the desired result. This is why he speaks in such a disconnected way. He has to keep to his scripted lines, and even though they are simple and don't have to be delivered with anything like the ability of Richard Burton, he finds it quite mentally challenging.

42 long

28/10/2013"whacko and embarrassing". Now who would fit that description? Masters of Projection. Phoney and Co. Protocol and decency, nowhere to be found. He always was the loose CANON.

Ken

28/10/2013Apologies for my late response to comments so far. Ad Thank you. I agree that climate change is an issue on which Shorten could take a stand. If the coming summer is as bad as currently appears likely for bushfires, I think climate change will re-enter people's thinking as it did in the drought years. I must admit I fear that Shorten may not be up to it. He is remarkably silent at the moment which is a worry when there is so much he could and should be commenting on. 2353 It may be a dream but it would be incredible to hear inspiring speeches spoken with conviction. I don't think politicians need to ignore the polls altogether but blend them with leadership and principles (as in the Howard gun buy back, as much I personally don't like using that example). As I mentioned near the end of the previous thread, Labor can take a stand on health and education, issues that always rate highly in issues polling and which are seen as Labor strengths - thus combining both. And I would add climate change to that. Pappinbarra Fox Yes, politicians are really misunderstanding polls in their approach. Issues polls [u]reflect[/u] popular thinking and that can change, and be changed. But, as you say, the politicans (and the media reports) seem to take this as some immutable electoral being to which they must respond, rather than examining it. Won't go on, another whole article!! TT thank you Comrade. Millie A good example of what can happen when polls rather than conviction take over the pollies' mindset.

Michael

28/10/2013Have there BEEN any polls since Abbott was anointed? It's as if their job done, the pollsters have been farmed off. As to leadership and conviction, they SHOULD be in the Thesaurus as synonyms for 'truthfulness'. And their antonym? "Abbott". His "leadership" will fail; I can see "conviction" in his future. Because the guy has walked too many fraudulent roads to get where he is. Something will come out, the whole falsity of 'Abbott PM' will unravel.

42 long

28/10/2013One can hope there is some justice somewhere. I agree with all your stuff Michael. Keep it coming.

2353

29/10/2013Michael - " A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. " attributed to Mark Twain as well as Winston Churchill.

jaycee

29/10/2013If what I hear about Shorten et all joining with the LNP. to abandon the carbon "tax" is true...then one has to concede that the "Judas goats" have infiltrated the Labor Party as well! "Say goodnight ; Dick".

Janet (j4gypsy)

29/10/2013Ken, many thanks for such a thoughtful piece. It may seem ironic, then, to offer the following, a summary from Twitter of the polls that have run in the past month! Offering this because the question has been asked on this thread by Michael, and on other threads recently, as to whether any polls have run at all. 'Ghost who votes' is one person on Twitter who tracks this and reports accordingly (seems to have early access and a lot of journos follow this Twitter account to get their first poll update). With the most recent first: [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 10h [/i] #Newspoll Preferred PM: Abbott 47 (+2) Shorten 28 (-15 compared to Rudd) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 10h[/i] #Newspoll Primary Votes: L/NP 47 ALP 31 #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 10h [/i] #Newspoll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 56 ALP 44 #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 21 Oct [/i] #Essential Poll Preferred PM: Abbott 41 Shorten 22 #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 21 Oct[/i] #Essential Poll Abbott: Approve 46 (+5) Disapprove 35 (-1) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 21 Oct [/i] #Essential Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 44 (+1) ALP 34 (-1) GRN [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 21 Oct [/i] #Essential Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 53 (+1) ALP 47 (-1) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 20 Oct [/i] #Morgan Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 43.5 (+1.5) ALP 34.5 (-2.5) GRN 10 (+1) PUP 4.5 (0) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 20 Oct [/i] #Morgan Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 51.5 (+2) ALP 48.5 (-2) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 14 Oct [/i] #Essential Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 43 (0) ALP 35 (0) GRN 10 (+1) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 14 Oct [/i] #Essential Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 52 (0) ALP 48 (0) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 10 Oct [/i] #ReachTEL Poll Should Govt stop NBN rollout: Yes 30.4 No 69.6 #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 10 Oct [/i] #ReachTEL Poll Abbott: Good 40.5 Poor 40.2 #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 10 Oct [/i] #ReachTEL Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 45.4 ALP 35.3 GRN 8.6 [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 10 Oct [/i] #ReachTEL Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 52.1 ALP 47.9 #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 7 Oct [/i] #Morgan Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 42 (-1.5) ALP 37 (+3) GRN 9 (-1.5) PUP 4.5 (+0.5) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 7 Oct[/i] #Morgan Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 49.5 (-1) ALP 50.5 (+1) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 7 Oct [/i] #Essential Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 43 (0) ALP 35 (-1) GRN 9 (0) #auspol [i]GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 7 Oct [/i] #Essential Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 52 (0) ALP 48 (0) #auspol

Michael

29/10/2013Participating in dumping the legislated activity lyingly characterised the "carbon tax" would NOT be traitorous on the part of Labor. The party had undertaken pre-election to move 12 months earlier than originally planned from fixed price (not "tax") carbon pricing to floating - market-set - priced units of pollution. What would be unforgivable to everyone who voted for our national government's controlling inhibition of the dirtying of Australia's air, water and soil when voting Labor, would be to abandon to the climate change deniers any obligation for Australia's government to sustain livability in this country's environment. To walk away altogether from fighting the polluters, as some Labor politicians have suggested, to stand back and watch the damage wreaked by 'Direct Action' on the physical make-up of this country, as if an even further damaged and torn Australian environment can then serve as a political playing card for Labor at the next election, would be too cynical, too uncaring, too participatory in the destruction (and the lack of ability/resources to repair 'natural' damage) that 'Direct Action' will cause this country. A price on pollution is THE baseline for environment policy. It is the line that must not be crossed or surrendered. Polluters must pay, polluters must accept responsibility, polluters must step forward to take on their civic role as co-inhabitants and thus obligatory (and self-interested, surely???) preservers of the sustainability and protected environmental viability of this country. And so must a national government. And so must Labor in opposition. Carbon doesn't go away. But it need not be so wilfully and cynically 'created' as a waste product denaturing the land, fraying Australians' lives right now in its contribution to pollution, and diminishing the potential for the next generations of Australians to live as freely as we older ones have until now - not afraid to take a breath, to sip the water, to consume locally grown produce. Labor can participate in repealing the "carbon tax" - it never actually existed as Abbott and co characterised it, anyway. But Labor must not give up on this country, its people, our shared future, by failing to carry on fighting carbon and any/every other form of pollutant gushed willy-nilly into our environment. Polluters must pay for imposing filth on all Australians. If they 'pay' their researchers to work out how to reduce/eliminate the volume and impact of that filth, well and good. An ETS allows for and encourages the reduction of filth as a means towards corporate bottom-line advantage. Reduce the price on carbon by reducing carbon. Increase the forward-projected bottom-line by eliminating the cost of reducing carbon by getting it done early and on-goingly comprehensively. Labor will support 'business' by supporting pricing pollution for the long term. Direct Action is an out of the packet torn bandaid that will eventually cost 'business' much more than it appears to save it now. I suspect 'business' knows this with much greater clarity and calculated self-interest than anything that is laid out in the Coalition's Direct Action policy. Pity the Abbott mob's "clarity" is no more than 'kick Labor', and its "self-interest" no more developed than... 'kick Labor'.

Janet (j4gypsy)

29/10/2013As the withdrawal symptoms grow, herewith a dash around the blogs and other sources for some reading to hold us (and we hope you are resting and starting to feel better, our very valued Casablanca). [b]#Blogs[/b] [b]Unemployment benefits: we’re not in 1996 anymore [/b] [i]By Matt Cowgill [/i] Peter Martin has an interesting piece regarding the Commission of Audit in today’s Fairfax papers. He looks back at the 1996 Commission of Audit to draw some lessons for the current Commission. He notes that the 1996 Commission recommended scaling back tax expenditures to businesses and high-income households, reducing politicians’ entitlements, and changing the model of school funding. He also notes that the 1996 Commission wasn’t too keen on increasing the unemployment benefit, Newstart Allowance. It argued that payment rates for the unemployment benefit and pensions should be “de-coupled,” so that the latter rise more rapidly over time. The Howard Government implemented this change, by ensuring that Newstart is indexed in line with the CPI, while pensions are tied to a measure of average wages. This remains the case. http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/its-not-1996-anymore/ [b]Howard messed up blocking gay marriage[/b] [i]by Crispin Hull on October 26, 2013[/i] Those days, no-one imagined a marriage could be between people of the same sex. Four or five decades on, however, momentum built in western democracies to allow same-sex marriages as part of a general move to improve human rights and human equality irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, colour, religion, political affiliation and so on. In Australia, the Howard Government’s response was to make a political statement that marriage is to be between a man and woman by declaring it in law in a 2004 amendment to the Marriage Act. It added a definition: “‘marriage’ means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” http://www.crispinhull.com.au/2013/10/26/howard-messed-up-blocking-gay-marriage/ [b]Nacht und Nebel[/b] [i]By Martin Hurst from ‘The Pub’[/i] Prime Minister Abbott has made it clear time and time again that he will not brook questions, he will not brook debate, he will not brook dissent. He is, as Jeff Sparrow points out, a cultural warrior par excellence. He has no compunction about establishing the slush fund, ”Australians for Honest Politics” that resulted in the jailing of Pauline Hanson. Is it beyond the bounds of possibility that he might act in a similar way to anyone who dissents, disagrees, or differs? It may seem ridiculous in 21st century Australia even to ask such a question. However … … remember, [i]Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.[/i] Remember Argentina in 1966, Chile in 1973, Germany in 1933. http://pbxmastragics.com/2013/10/27/nacht-und-nebel/ [b]Can you get arrested under QLD’s new VLAD laws for listening to these songs? (possibly not): Music And Politics [/b] [i]By turnleft2013 on October 27, 2013[/i] Under Queensland’s new VLAD (Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill) http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2013/10/15/tough-penalties-for-criminal-gang-members – legislation aimed, ostensibly, at bikies, but can be used against any organisation – a man was arrested for wearing a Sons Of Anarchy t-shirt, which is a television show. The laws are so stringent, even fictional bikies face being outlawed. In another case, a man was denied bail for wearing a Rebels belt buckle. http://theaimn.com/2013/10/27/can-you-get-arrested-under-qlds-new-vlad-laws-for-listening-to-these-songs-possibly-not-music-and-politics/ [b]Australian Liberal Party; Our very own Tea Party[/b] [i]By New Anthropocene[/i] Recent news about this new government has left me wondering if they have any intention of remaining in serious consideration for the next federal election. http://newanthropocene.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/australian-liberal-party-our-very-own-tea-party/ [b]Doing Things Wrong The Right Way[/b] [i]Sortius[/i] So we’ve established that Turnbull is doing things wrong the wrong way. He has changed technology & done nothing to alleviate the construction shortfall. There are unverified reports that NBN Co has come to a grinding halt, & with the news that NBN Co’s head of Network Operations, Leisel Ramjoo, has resigned, things are looking dire for the project. What Turnbull has done over the last 50 days is to throw a spanner in NBN Co’s works, slowing the rollout to crawl, & prompting (more demanding) mass resignations since the election. The reviews are being conducted by Turnbull’s mates, showing a massive conflict of interest. http://www.sortius-is-a-geek.com/things-wrong-right-way/ [b]#Newmedia[/b] [b]Carbon tax not the electricity price culprit it's made out to be[/b] [i]By Greg Jericho Guardian Australia[/i] A look at the level of spending on electricity infrastructure over the past 20 years, however, quickly displays why electricity prices have exploded in the past six years: In 2004, the value of engineering construction work done (by the private sector and state governments) was about 0.4% of GDP; by 2009 it was more than double – up to 0.9%. This massive increase at a time when demand for electricity was actually falling has justifiably led to claims of “gold plating” of the electricity networks – excessive spending on poles and wires which contributes marginal benefit to the network performance. Someone has to pay for the cost of that increased construction – and alas, it was we the electricity consumers. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/28/carbon-tax-not-the-electricity-price-culprit-its-made-out-to-be [b]Vulnerable people to suffer if the Government outsources Centrelink services [/b] [i]28 Oct 2013 | Rachel Siewert[/i] The Australian Greens said today they will not support Government plans to outsource services from Centrelink to Australia Post. Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services today raised concerns that vulnerable people would suffer as a result of the move. "Supporting the vulnerable Australians who rely on Centrelink is not like posting a letter," Senator Siewert said today. http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/vulnerable-people-suffer-if-government-outsources-centrelink-services [b]Labor is running out of time while it dithers over the carbon tax[/b] [i]Lenore Taylor Guardian Australia[/i] Labor has not "backflipped" on the carbon tax. "Backflip" implies a clear reversal of position. A more apt description for Labor's current state would be "flailing around". The shadow cabinet has not taken a decision on how Labor will deal with the Coalition's eight carbon tax repeal bills, even though these are the first pieces of legislation it will have to deal with when parliament resumes in a fortnight. Its holding position remains exactly as it has been since the election, that Labor backs "an emissions trading scheme which places a legal limit on carbon pollution and lets business work out the cheapest and most effective way to operate". http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/29/labor-dithering-over-carbon-tax?CMP=twt_gu [b]Question for Hockey: Treasury said no need for big RBA cash gift[/b] [i]By Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] There was “no particular imperative” to return the Reserve Bank’s Reserve Fund to a particular level, Treasury told then-treasurer Wayne Swan earlier this year — and even if the Reserve Bank’s capital position turned negative, it would not impede its capacity to do its job. The advice, requested by Swan rather than initiated by Treasury, completely undermines Treasurer Joe Hockey’s claim that there is a need to provide a capital injection to the RBA and that Labor was at fault for not doing it. http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/10/28/question-for-hockey-treasury-said-no-need-for-big-rba-cash-gift/ [b]Time for new media to take over[/b] [i]Chris Were[/i] There has to be a better way forward which can give us the strong media required by a strong democracy. There is an ever growing volume of quality content produced across new media in Australia, covering a large variety of niche topics. This content needs to be pushed into one website showcasing the best independent media in Australia, and in doing so, provide an easily accessible alternative to the mainstream media. Importantly, this news needs to cover the broad spectrum of content that people will find when they browse a traditional masthead. The best sports, politics and entertainment news, opinion and analysis from across the independent media and blogosphere all in one spot. This ensures the content reaches the broadest cross-section of our community. Not only that, but the top stories should be determined by the visitors, ensuring the people are in control of the conversation taking place. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/business/media-2/time-for-new-media-to-take-over/ [b]#MSM[/b] [b]Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt have dropped the ball in their sniping on the international stage[/b] [i]Paul Syvret The Courier-Mail October 29, 2013 12:00AM [/i] It should be a reminder that, particularly when we are on the international stage, our political leaders should choose their rhetoric carefully, and bear in mind there is a fine line between being a forthright and plain-speaking Aussie and making an arse-hat of yourself.… Not content with just straying slightly when it comes to the accepted protocol of leaving the dirty domestic laundry at home when promoting your country in international forums, Abbott decided to dial the pugilism up to eleventy and really let fly … http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-prime-minister-tony-abbott-and-environment-minister-greg-hunt-have-dropped-the-ball-in-their-sniping-on-the-international-stage/story-fnihsr9v-1226748502686 [b]The topsy turvy approach to climate change[/b] [i]Stephen Koukoulas Climate Spectator[/i] The crux of Tony Abbott’s Direct Action policy on climate change is having the government pay the worst polluters a fee as an inducement for them to reduce or stop their carbon emissions. It is an odd policy, to be sure, and without any precedent – which means it is risky in terms of cost and effectiveness. As Fairfax Media revealed yesterday, only 5.5 per cent of the 35 economists surveyed were in favour of the Direct Action approach to reducing carbon emissions versus 86 per cent in favour of a carbon price or emissions trading system. The only surprise in these findings was that 5.5 per cent (two respondents) were in favour of government payments to polluters. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/10/29/climate/topsy-turvy-approach-climate-change [b]#Twitter[/b] [i]Andrew Sullivan ‏@sullydish 11h [/i] The Greenwald-Keller exchange is one of the high moments of debate as journalism evolves in the digital era: [i]John McTernan ‏@johnmcternan 12h [/i] Kludge. @NYTimeskrugman 'better-than-nothing-but-pretty-bad solutions have become the norm in American governance' http://nyti.ms/1g714M8 [i]Salon.com ‏@Salon 12h [/i] Paul Krugman absolutely savages GOP's stance on Medicare: It's fundamentally hostile to idea of govt helping people http://slnm.us/e6x0dzo [i]ABC News ‏@abcnews 15h [/i] Older Australians struggling on Newstart await better life on aged pension http://ab.co/1eZmGH7 [i]Perorationer ‏@Perorationer 8h [/i] Oz undersells its own culture http://ow.ly/qcsje Or @ninacaplan s 'Internal incoherence of Nation founded on theft' @YaThinkN @j4gypsy [i]Ben Eltham ‏@beneltham 27 Oct [/i] Amongst other things this Fairfax report discovers is that economist Craig James is a loony climate skeptic http://m.smh.com.au/federal-politics/abbotts-new-direct-action-sceptics-20131027-2w9va.html … [i]maryann martinek ‏@Defenseau 27 Oct [/i] Rebekah Brooks proved memorable for her wrath towards those who challenged her. http://www.afr.com/p/business/marketing_media/murdoch_mission_to_save_rebekah_tjp3FLV1dyqoiS0VQbBshO … [i]Lyn Bender ‏@Lynestel 27 Oct [/i] Denialist crapp for kids #Howard launches vile Plimer anti science primer via @roshart http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-13/howard-lends-support-to-anti-climate-change-book/3727650?section=nsw … via @tracyscanlan3 #climate

Catching up

29/10/2013One needs to keep in mind, there is not a single carbon tax bill. The price on carbon is what funds a suite of CEF bills. Abbott has sold thee misconception, that is it only about making electricity dearer. He has added to the misconception by saying his Direct Action provides what CEF does not. Of course that is the biggest lie of the lot. It is not about making electricity dearer, so people use less. It is about making a level playing field, that allows power generated by renewals to enter the field. It is the cost of transferring to renewals that is expensive. Once establish, should be as cheap, and more efficient, than using fossil fuels. We need to get the focus away from Abbott's toxic tax, and onto the rest of the CEF legalisation. Let him have the so call tax, but fight to the death, tho keep the rest. Mr Abbott's DA has no means of funding. One could say, that DA is not much different, than the rest of the CEF legalisation. The alternative is we lose the lot, and people will remain unaware of what was actually achieved. Just a thought. A similar situation occurred back in the days of Medibank. The Coalition allow the Medibank bill through, but block the funding bill. That is disallowed the money to pay for it. They believed that would kill Medibank. It did not Whitlam funded it out of general revenue, until a levy was introduced a long way down the track. CEF is about a lot more, that the method to fund it. It is abut dealing with carbon emissions. What we now have, is probably the best method of funding it. It is not the only method. Once funding part goes, Abbott will have a much harder time, mounting an argument, to dismantle the rest. His own DA does not have any method of funding, tied to it. We need to get control of the agenda away from Abbott. Fighting for something, that will go anyway, in July does not make much sense. The whole lot will go then, with very a ripple in the public domain. Good article, as usual. Having computer problems, that will take me a few days to sort out. Will be dropping in and out.

Catching up

29/10/2013Cannot imagine how Australia Post can take over the role of Centrelink. Especially as most now are only agencies. Yes Australian Post has been semi privatised. They do much more, than deal with the post. Mail is a small part of their business. Most of Centrelink's contact with their client is via the web. One wonders what world the Coalition lives in. It is not the world of most low income earners in this country.

Catching up

29/10/2013Cannot imagine how Australia Post can take over the role of Centrelink. Especially as most now are only agencies. Yes Australian Post has been semi privatised. They do much more, than deal with the post. Mail is a small part of their business. Most of Centrelink's contact with their client is via the web. One wonders what world the Coalition lives in. It is not the world of most low income earners in this country.

42 long

29/10/2013Australia post has difficulty keeping up with it's prime purpose without loading it up with something as complex as centrelink's function. Another wacko Lieberal LieNP idea.= unlikely to work

2353

30/10/2013A couple of quick links (get well soon Casablanca) [b]Election review[/b] Kevin Rudd could have pulled off an unlikely election win if he had quickly gone to the people after regaining the leadership in June, says the man armed with the polling data at the time, Labor's campaign director George Wright. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-had-chance-if-rudd-had-called-early-20131029-2we77.html#ixzz2j8wRP7oQ [b]Emissions Trading[/b] Shell-shocked MPs and true believers are on the path, variously adjusting to their rejection and regrouping for the future contest. Some more than others. A major hurdle is the ultra-problematic carbon tax position. It is both exquisitely complex and yet fairly simple. On the one hand there's the conviction that if Labor were to fold its tent on the carbon ''tax'', its supporters would regard it as a party of nothing but hollow men - craven, vacuous, self-interested. On the other hand, there's the reality that Labor had already accepted the carbon tax was poisonous electorally, which is why Kevin Rudd sounded its 2014 death-knell before the election. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/labor-must-leave-lost-carbon-battle-to-regather-party-for-the-war-ahead-20131029-2we78.html#ixzz2j8winCkw A report by the Climate Change Authority will provide government with a series of options to lift Australia's bipartisan goal of reducing emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 but the government's policy is not to endorse any increase. The draft report, to be released on Wednesday morning, is understood to canvas options for increasing the goal, providing a spectrum of targets above 5 per cent and explaining how the government might achieve them. It will also report on how to fulfil Labor's other target while in government, to slash emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/coalition-gets-new-choice-on-emissions-20131029-2we75.html#ixzz2j8x3dLD1 [b]And for those who have ever suffered long-haul economy plane seats[/b] Research by the European plane-maker has revealed that sleep quality improves by 53 per cent in an 18-inch (46-centimetre) seat compared to a 17-inch (43-centimetre) seat. The study says that the time it takes to fall asleep in the one-inch (2.54-cm) wider seat improves by 14.7 per cent and that on average, passenger awakenings on a long-haul flight are reduced by 28 minutes. Airbus head of passenger comfort Kevin Keniston said many airlines have stuck to the 17-inch seat that dates back to the 1950s, when there were few long-haul flights. Advertisement Airbus, which has a standard 46-centimetre seat in its long-haul economy cabins, is calling on airlines to go bigger. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/travel/sleeping-on-planes-why-one-extra-inch-makes-all-the-difference-20131029-2wdns.html#ixzz2j8xT0M5M

Janet (j4gypsy)

30/10/2013A bit more reading to add to 2353's contribution. (And we're still missing and thinking of you Casablanca ...) [b]#MSM[/b] [b]One for the pin, not a sword[/b] [i]Jack Waterford[/i] It has been of the essence of Labor's criticism of some of the new team that some are butterflies, who pay no attention to detail, are policy-lazy, and addicted to public relations rather than substance. If this is true, it can emerge only by focus on detail, and by refusing to be diverted into a contest of slogans and abuse. Hard-worn (and, from their own account hard-done-by) former ministers ought to be able to cross-examine the Abbott ministry, including Abbott himself, into a cocked hat - exposing fundamental differences in a stark way. They ought to be able to do so in question time, not least by keeping the focus on substance and fact rather than spin and opinion. And in debates on finance, administration and on legislation. Former minister for finance Penny Wong ought to be able to cross-examine bureaucrats and ministers in estimates just as she, albeit with some departmental support, could in budget cabinet while trying to rein in government expenditure. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/one-for-the-pin-not-a-sword-20131029-2we9w.html#ixzz2j8x02riC [b]What does left wing actually mean?[/b] [i]Marko Attila Hoare for Left Foot Forward, part of the Guardian Comment Network [/i] Conservatives like to claim that the right is inherently anti-state while the left is pro-state. Yet Republican president George W Bush presided over a huge expansion in the US federal government, while anarchists are arguably the most leftwing and anti-state of all. Green politics are generally viewed as leftwing, yet many greens and conservatives share common ground, whether in their dislike of modern industrial society, love of the countryside, idealisation of traditional small farmers or fear of developing world population growth. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/29/what-does-left-wing-mean-redistribution-wealth [b]The decline of print doesn't mean the end of journalism[/b] [i]Mary Kissel[/i] Cue the inevitable lamentations about the decline of quality journalism and the deleterious, knock-on effects on civil discourse and democracy. Don’t believe the naysayers. It must first be noted that horror at competition is odd on its face, given it’s an enduring, essential, and central feature of capitalism. It was always going to descend on print media. The only question was when it would reach a critical enough mass to force the management of said publications to do what their online competitors were doing (indeed, had to do) from the get-go — ask what consumers want, when they want it, and how they want it delivered. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/29/decline-print-media-journalism-web [b]WikiLeaks' rotten twist of fate[/b] [i]By John Keane [/i] When I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting Julian Assange in the Ecuador embassy in London, I was impressed by his daring technical skill, his bold courage, his raw resilience, his resourcefulness under intense political pressure. I still am, just as I continue to feel deep upset about the great injustice of his confinement and the organised smear campaigns against WikiLeaks as a publishing organisation; there are even days when I fear for his life. Back then, I was struck as well by the way he lived the principle that there's only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. Nowadays, performing on a global public stage and trapped in a wretched prison, Julian Assange acts as if it is outrageous the way people go about saying things and revealing secrets behind his back, despite the fact that they're often painfully true. What a rotten twist of fate. So lamentable, so disappointing, so tragic ... so politically unnecessary. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-28/keane-wikileaks-rotten-twist-of-fate/5050202 [b]Labor should stick with carbon pricing, national secretary tells party colleagues[/b] [i]Katharine Murphy[/i] Labor’s national secretary, George Wright, has urged his parliamentary colleagues to persist with carbon pricing, declaring that the policy positions the party on the right side of history, climate science and economics. Wright used a frank campaign postmortem at the National Press Club on Tuesday to express his view that Labor – having “bled” on the carbon pricing issue – should stick with the policy during the transition to opposition. He said Labor party members felt strongly that Labor should hold the line on carbon pricing. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/29/stick-with-carbon-pricing-labor?CMP=twt_gu [b]Joe Hockey blowing hundreds of millions to make himself look good[/b] [i]Michael Pascoe[/i] Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has effectively confirmed that Joe Hockey is blowing several hundred million dollars in an attempt to make his performance as Treasurer look good. Never underestimate the vanity of politicians. Forget a few thousand here and there on the cost of weddings and Cairns “meetings”, Hockey’s petty budget politics will cost tax payers about $300 million over the next 12 months and another couple of hundred million the next year. http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/joe-hockey-blowing-hundreds-of-millions-to-make-himself-look-good-20131029-2wcy3.html#ixzz2j9MrtCA9 [b]The trouble with bolstering the RBA's reserves[/b] [i]Stephen Koukoulas[/i] Under Labor, the RBA paid a total of $7.9 billion in dividends or around $1.3 billion a year, on average. In today’s dollar terms, this total approximately $9 billion or an average of around $1.5 billion per annum. In the last three Labor budgets, the average dividend was a tiny $410 million a year. In other words, Treasurer Peter Costello ‘raided’ the RBA, using Hockey’s language, to the tune of $3 billion a year in today’s dollar terms for every year in 11 years, while Treasurer Swan (and then briefly Chis Bowen) ‘raided’ $1.5 billion per year for six years. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/10/25/reserve-bank-australia/trouble-bolstering-rbas-reserves [b]Don't go slow Joe - cut now[/b] [i]Stephen Koukoulas[/i] Spending was also hard to wind back given the sense of entitlement that is increasingly entrenched for many middle and high income earners. Joe Hockey has been a strong voice in breaking this wasteful, unfair and unnecessary spending and he now has his chance to put words into action. I hope he cuts some of these unfair payments and cuts hard. There is an important lesson in the previous government’s fiscal policy and economic outcomes for the Abbott government as it looks to impose its thumb-print on the budget. The ability and willingness of the Abbott government to implement the recommendations from the audit commission will be strongly influenced, if not driven, by the state of the business cycle in 2014 and beyond. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/10/30/economy/dont-go-slow-joe-cut-now [b]#Blogs and #New Media[/b] [b]Address to National Press Club[/b] [i]George Wright[/i] Too many issues from the past six years of Labor in office remain unsolved for those issues to go away. And, if like the Labor Party in previous times, Labor can talk about those issues instead of talking about itself, it will reach out and energise the Gen-X and Gen-Y versions of my mum and dad. The telegram may have been replaced by e-mail, the internet and social media, but achieving that goal of making Labor’s message personal, immediate and deeply meaningful to Labor’s supporters once again, is the task we must set ourselves for the next few years. http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/australianlaborparty/pages/1890/attachments/original/1383017072/George_Wright__Address_to_NPC_Transcript.pdf?1383017072 [b]A vote for instability[/b] [i]Andrew Elder[/i] The idea that a double dissolution hangs over this parliament like the Sword of Damocles gives rise to the very sort of instability that Abbott promised to avoid. The hysterical media commentary that beset the last parliament is set to continue, after a bit of a lull for the dummies to wake up to the possibility that there's a difference between what Tony Abbott says and what actually happens! And then convey that to the public! As though they haven't worked it out! Abbott, according to conservative commentators, deserves credit for 'lowering the political temperature'. They forget how non-sporting news is sucked out of the media landscape in September and early October every year. In the same way that only Richard Nixon could go to China without being red-baited by Richard Nixon, only Tony Abbott can stumble and bumble around the region without being savaged by Tony Abbott. Government is all about facing situations you don't control, and whenever Abbott fails to get what he wants, he can only create heat instead of light. http://www.kingstribune.com/index.php/weekly-email/item/1911-a-vote-for-instability [b]Where Did All the Voters Go? And Why? [/b] [i]John Lord[/i] Indeed, where did they go? Mysteriously 3.3 million eligible voters went missing at the last election. That is a whopping 15% more than the previous one. There is something fundamentally wrong when, despite a huge recruitment drive by the Australian Electoral Commission, 1.22 million citizens failed to enrol to vote and 400,000, or one third of the non-registrants, were aged 18 to 24. Additionally, 760,000 House of Representatives ballots were informal – about 6 per cent, – up more than 0.3 per cent from the 2010 election. Who carried the loss? Our democracy did. http://theaimn.com/2013/10/29/where-did-all-the-voters-go-and-why/ [b]The Coalition are not guaranteed victory in 2016[/b] [i]Simon Copland[/i] “The Coalition’s massive victory”. “A loss that will see the ALP in opposition for potentially a decade”. “A massive win for Tony Abbott that will guarantee him the next election.” I’m sure we’ve all heard something along these lines over the past couple of months. We’ve been told the story that the Coalition romped it home in the 2013 election, that they have a massive mandate to implement their agenda (whatever that is) and that there is no chance that the ALP could turn things around in the next three years. The ALP needs to start licking its wounds and prepare for a long stint in opposition. It is an interesting piece of the re-writing of history that doesn’t actually reflect any reality. http://ausopinion.com/2013/10/29/the-coalition-are-not-guaranteed-victory-in-2016/ [b]We Can’t Afford to Waste Money on The Arts, We have Submarines and Planes to Buy! [/b] [i]By rossleighbrisbane [/i] So when I heard that a couple of people were not only ignoring St Russell’s example and refusing to vote but were actually attempting to start the Australian Arts Party. I decided that it might be a good idea to interview them to see why they felt that they needed to do this rather than join the Facebook group supporting Russell’s Revolution. (That group sure looks like it has a lot planned to change the system!) In order to be informed, I thought I’d brush up on the Liberal Party’s Arts Policy so that I could ask them why they needed to start a whole new party when they have so many points of similarity with the Liberals. So I tried Wikipedia. Nothing relevant there. Of course, I’ll try the Liberal Website. http://theaimn.com/2013/10/30/we-cant-afford-to-waste-money-on-the-arts-we-have-submarines-and-planes-to-buy/ [b]Will Abbott Back Down On Direct Action?[/b] [i]By Ian McAuley[/i] Abbott’s civic-minded behaviour in firefighting contrasts strongly with his attitude on climate change. While he was out fighting bushfires, his Treasurer Joe Hockey, commenting on the latest Consumer Price Index, made a crass appeal to selfishness, drawing attention to the 22 per cent rise in the price of electricity since the previous government put a price on carbon. “Abolishing the carbon tax will save households, on average, $550 a year next year,” he said. https://newmatilda.com//2013/10/27/will-abbott-back-down-direct-action [b]Abbott's Socialist Fantasy[/b] [i]By Jamie Hanson[/i] Whatever one’s concerns may be around Australia’s existing climate change policies, socialism cannot be one of them. In any universe that hadn’t seen years of relentless politicisation of this issue, a market-based system of pollution permits, with the dividend returned to "trade-exposed" industries and the most vulnerable Australians would be a perfect Coalition policy. Markets respond to price signals. They would accept the orthodoxy that, excepting certain well-known market failures, the distributed intelligence of markets should be trusted to determine how a good (in this case the right to pollute) should be distributed through the economy. That is, to use the common phrase, they would accept that the government should not involve itself in "picking winners", as is actually the case in centrally planned socialist economies. https://newmatilda.com/2013/10/29/abbotts-socialist-fantasy

Bacchus

30/10/2013Looks like this could be a useful resource too: http://pncau.net/ The Progressive News Centre Australia. (@PNCAU on Twitter)

Patriciawa

30/10/2013Thanks, Bacchus, that is indeed a useful and stimulating site to visit. Thank you too, Janet, for stepping in so ably while Casablanca is out of action. I'm not commenting anywhere much these days, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate all the stimulating reading offered here by people like yourselves, Michael, 2353, TT - so many of you. Like Miglo and Min over at the Cafe and their great work at AIMN. I see Cu writing her heart out here and over there too. Almost too much to read right now, and I'm afraid to get back into writing mode on favorite sites right now! Meanwhile all of your work is much appreciated if not commented on as in the past.

jaycee

30/10/2013Having posted on various blogs for some years now, I am fully aware how blog-sites evolve from their starter origins to more mature commentry sites. The more serious ones appear to be administered by OR moderated by people with professional or academic careers, either current or retired. Ad Astra, of this site, if I have my knowledge correct, is of the medical profession and I presume, once a practising GP or RMO. . to go on to become a lecturer in the discipline. That he was a public practising professional is important, I believe, in his knowledge of the trials and failures of the people struggling to deal with life and death situations...and his articles demonstrated an understanding sympathetic to the Human Condition that is a necessity to politically parse a social idea so that everyman could comprehend his meaning. It is his "coalface" experience that gives him the skill to communicate the vernacular to the reader. There are other sites that , while dealing with serious issues, appear to lack that necessity of public experience needed by the owner or moderator to couple with writing skills to communitcate the "element of truth" , that " je ne sais quoi " of the subject that "grabs" the reader's attention and creates an atmosphere ripe with on-topic discussion...and instead, the opening topic can be too light-on with subject matter or too encompassing of the subject, leaving no room for discussion developement ; opinion becomes opinionated and the discussion falls flat or goes off at a tangent and the topic shifts from serious discussion to admiration of , say ; "jetting settings of the Holly Carburettor on the Ho Falcon"! I am afraid the jargon of "fake it till you make it" does not work with progressive fifth estate blog forums. What is needed is solid, hard-core attack to the heartland philosophy of the opposition...but it has to have the capacity to "talk the talk" to draw out posting intention in the readers. The serious members of the fifth estate have to make a decision as to how it will counter the salacious accusations and immoral reporting that the forth estate revels in and has perfected AND is willing to take the legal blows for as it destroys people, careers, social policies and govt's. I am not saying that we have to stoop that low...but we do need to take the fight right up to their jaw-line and open discussions based on logically constructed suspicions of corruption and intrigue AND bluntly accuse the journalists, political persons AND the policing authorities of colluding together with criminal intent. We HAVE TO force them, with the blunt instrument of the sharpened quill, to come out and explain themselves and their behaviour to the public..we have to become notorious! It could be nasty, it could get threatening....but I think we all know "it" - or something - must be done!...for many, like AA. have put their all into articles of merit and morals and we STILL end up with a crappy govt' thanks to the forth estate! Anyway...that's what I think.

Catching up

30/10/2013Back with another computer. Much to catch up with. Another good article

TalkTurkey

30/10/2013Hi folks, haven't had much time last couple of days, and I'm having trouble watching any political programs nowadays. I turned off Q&A as soon as I heard that loaded "black arm-band" question - How can Wormtongue Jones pretend that these questions come spontaneously from the floor, they are [i]SET UP![/i] [i]And they always have been.[/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So let's just escape into humour for a while. This is not a new joke, it's quite funny though. It was really about Aussie Rules Football! The Queen's Riddle Barak Obama meets with the Queen of England. He asks her, "Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?" "Well," says the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people." Obama frowns, "But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?" The Queen takes a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy. You just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle." The Queen pushes a button on her intercom. "Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?" Tony Blair walks into the room. "Yes, my Queen?" The Queen smiles. "Answer me this, please, Tony. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?" Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answers, "That would be me." "Yes! Very good," says the Queen. Obama goes back home to ask Joe Biden, his vice president, the same question. "Joe. Answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?" "I'm not sure," says Biden. "Let me get back to you on that one." He goes to his advisors and asks every one, but none can give him an answer. Finally, he ends up in the men's room and recognizes Colin Powell's shoes in the next stall. Biden asks Powell, "Colin! Can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?" Colin Powell yells back, "That's easy. It's me!" Biden smiles, and says, "Thanks!" Then, he goes back to speak with Obama. "Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Colin Powell." Barack Obama gets up, stomps over to Biden, and angrily yells into his face, "No, you idiot! It's Tony Blair!" -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BACKBACK

TalkTurkey

30/10/2013http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2013/10/catalyst-episode-draws-criticism-from-medical-experts.html http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-28/professor-says-abc-catalyst-episode-could-result-in-deaths/5050866 Compare and contrast the quotes from AMA President Doctor Steve Hambleton in these two articles re the efficacy of statins in reducing cholesterol and whether "bad" cholesterol is as important a factor in myocardial infarctions as generally believed. It shows that merely selecting quotes without sufficient context can turn black into white. I saw the first program last week, the second half is tomorrow night (Thursday) and I would be pleased to hear from others what you think aout it. The issue is important in itself - peoples' lives either do, or do not, depend on the use of statins, which are admittedly expensive to Government though not to users - but it goes much deeper than that, it goes to the credibility of the ABC's much-vaunted main TV 'Science' show. I have already been deeply critical of that program, especially its blonde bimboesque superstar showpiece presenter, "Doctor" Jonica Newby, protégé and doxy of Saint Robin de Williams. I don't think she is presenting this show tomorrow night but I count her significantly responsible (and St Robin Himself therefore) for the lousy sensationalist *science* which has become too often the fare on Catalyst. Which I have in the past referred to as Crapper List. As I wrote I saw Abborrrrt presenting a National Science Awards address. FED me DUCK! Watch the show if you can Folks and let's know what you think.

TalkTurkey

31/10/2013Swan ‏@jonathanvswan 4m If anyone wants to know how cynical and hollow the Labor Party was while "saving the furniture", read this: http://gu.com/p/3kx6z/tw Pity Labor politicians didn't listen to social media!

Michael

31/10/2013The core lies that put Abbott into government are here http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/cost-of-living-barely-climbing-20131030-2whgb.html?skin=text-only Cost of living. 'Carbon tax'. Electricity prices. Every Abbott canard exposed as complete shonkery.

Janet (j4gypsy)

31/10/2013A grab bag of reading via Twitter this morning (and good morning :-)). [i]Lenore Taylor ‏@lenoretaylor 6m [/i] Bruce Hawker's diary: the 'diamond-studded toolbox' and other Labor fixes http://gu.com/p/3kx6z/tw via @guardian [i]Jeff Sparrow ‏@Jeff_Sparrow 16s [/i] How Rudd tried to win Murdoch http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/oct/30/kevin-rudd-murdoch-press-bruce-hawker?CMP=twt_gu … [i]Wendy Bacon ‏@Wendy_Bacon 29 Oct [/i] If #Abbott or MSM bothered to tell Aus public what they'll lose with Trans-Pacific Partnership, many would oppose http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/business/abbott-set-to-sign-secretive-tpp-agreement-this-month/ … [i]Bridie Jabour ‏@bkjabour 37m [/i] Bruce Hawker wanted to film asylum seekers being denied entry to Australia and make a campaign ad out of it http://gu.com/p/3kx6z/tw [i]x4media ‏@x4mediaLtd 1h [/i] The Arctic Ocean is absorbing carbon dioxide at a far greater rate than was previously thought http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/the-acid-ocean-arctics-soaring-co2-leaves-fish-and-hunters-gasping-for-life-8606805.html … [i]ABC News ‏@abcnews 7h [/i] Updated NBN rollout maps show thousands of homes removed from construction schedule http://ab.co/1aTjEjF #knowthestory [i]Boston Blackie ‏@MaryHenderson19 7h [/i] At last a scientist supports direct action, but not TAbbotts version - this is political resistance http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/science-says-revolt …" [i]Guardian Australia ‏@GuardianAus 7h [/i] One third of Australia's media coverage rejects climate science, study finds http://bit.ly/1cqyqoJ [i]Australian Labor ‏@AustralianLabor 9h [/i] It's just not good enough Malcolm. Australia deserves the real NBN, not your fraudband. Sign the petition http://www.iwantmynbn.com.au [i]Christopher Wright ‏@ChristopherWr11 10h [/i] Naomi Klein: How science is telling us all to revolt http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/science-says-revolt … [i] Adnan Al-Daini ‏@respect65 11h [/i] A must-read piece by @seumasmilne “The grip of privatization on our vital services has to be broken” #Labour #Greens http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/29/grip-privatisation-vital-services-ineos-energy … [i]Greg Jericho ‏@GrogsGamut 16h [/i] Thankfully judges understand the seperation of powers more than does Campbell Newman "QLD 'Courts in crisis' " http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/courts-in-crisis-over-newmans-remarks-20131030-2wfm9.html … [i]The Conversation ‏@ConversationEDU 23h [/i] Labor warned not to be "too cute" on carbon issue, writes @michellegrattan (@UniCanberra) http://bit.ly/Hr6pj9 [i] Lenore Taylor ‏@lenoretaylor 20h [/i] tougher greenhouse targets? who knew! well, we all did... http://gu.com/p/3kx4f/tw via @guardian [i]Sandra Searle ‏@SandraSearle 23h [/i] Australia, beautiful one day… Fascist the next! http://wp.me/p31mvU-wi via @wordpressdotcom [i]Andrew Leigh ‏@ALeighMP 23h [/i] Labor should be a party of openness- extract of my @BlackIncBooks chapter in the Oz: http://www.andrewleigh.com/blog/?p=5099 #markets #multiculturalism

jaycee

31/10/2013Well...WE can witness from Bruce Hawker's mea culpa diaries that crawling like mongrel dogs to the feet of the forth estate was a complete and utter waste of time AND dignity!...So much so that when people talk of "Labor sucking up to Murdoch", WE, the members and supporters have to cop the stigma for our leaders doing the moronic crawling.

jaycee

31/10/2013And then we get the likes of a "fore-lock tugging" Grattan spewing her pearls of wisdom...the same voice that gave Julia Gillard advice to "fall on her sword"...talk about that famous erronious comment ; "...can't sing, can't act..can dance a little"...and then Gillard delivered the mysoginist oration that was heard and rejoiced of around the world...except for "those who saw the context"..ie ; Grattan and co.! There WAS a time at the breakfast table when I'd welcome the sensible chatter of Kelly interviewing Grattan...that was before both were "knighted" by the head goose with the order of the GA-GA! Now, when they seep through the radio, I always find things to do around the kitchen..like tossing out the scraps rather than endure the hesitant stumbling rubbish both have made of their careers. These two, along with the majority of their associates in the trade have "ticked the box" of history marked "f#ckwits".

2353

31/10/2013PatriciaWA - nice to see you back and thanks for the compliment. Jaycee - it is a concern that both political parties seem to be more interested in what the media are saying rather that what the mug punters (like us) are saying. It is a worry when the same people are consistently interviewing or feeding off each other - and usually are in the same environment as those they are reporting on. Where is the critical analysis? Hawker's confession article is especially interesting. I've said here and elsewhere that I would love to see at least one political party reduce their reliance on polls and "focus groups" and return to the days of listening to its members. There is also the issue of hatred. Look at the comments on the MSM's comments sites where people from both sides of the political spectrum openly detest those with a differing opinion. There have been some posters here in the past that have tried the same thing. Why are this society going down the path of "what's in it for me and stuff the rest of you"? Abbott traded on this and Hawker is admitting that he though the ALP should be doing so as well. Do apprentices need $6k to stock their toolboxes - I have no idea BUT I do know that the best way to look after the entire society is to develop policies that benefit the entire society. It shouldn't be about targeting specific groups that some market research wizz kid grasping at some dodgy statistic gleaned from some "research" that probably didn't involve the "target" group anyway. Are we heading towards following the recent history in the USA where a conservative rump in one political party was prepared to create uncertainty in millions of peoples lives and destroy the economic system of the country (together with the possibly creating a global recession) to demonstrate they don't like a policy from "the other side" of politics that actually benefits a significant proportion of the country's population that can't afford the healthcare services that are available at a substantial cost to others in the same society?

Ken

31/10/2013jaycee, 2353 One key issue about the media, is whether the public is really listening. As I said in the article they are rated quite low on trustworthiness. I did a quick intenet search and found similar comments - that trust in journalism has fallen - for the USA, the UK and Canada. I did see figures as low as 22% of a population trusting journalists. It may suggest that a majority of people can see through the biases in the press and no longer rely on the press for "facts". Worth pondering and perhaps another article!

Bacchus

31/10/2013I must say I was delighted to see Tacker make an appearance again yesterday Patricia - you should visit more often to delight us :) A few words to let us know that you're well...

Ad astra reply

31/10/2013Patriciawa How good to see your comment. I hope all is well with you. Jaycee Thank your for your thoughtful comment, and your kind words. It's hard to know how to counter the Fourth Estate. So many of the journalists are partisan shonks, and the people know it; paper sales are falling; the newspaper industry is dying a slow death, and needs a coup due grace; I believe it will be the Fifth Estate that finally delivers it. Greetings to you all from Keswick Island in the Whitsundays off Mackay.

TalkTurkey

31/10/2013Greetings Swordsfolks It's not so easy to write these days. All the news seems bad. We even didn't get the Labor Leader we wanted. Shorten? - Well I hope he's planning something really clever and strategic, because so far he really hasn't struck any sparks at all. And Abborrrtt is more disgusting and destructive even than we thought possible, because he's getting such adoration from his multitudinous R-slickers, and no serious opposition at all. And for us Labor voters, 8 weeks into his *reign*, there is a long period of doldrums to cope with, depressing and daunting yes but there's the rub, we MUST be strong now in a new way, we must defend and extend the reach and effectiveness of the 5th Estate, not let it wither, because as we can all see, the 4th Estate, beyond being 70% owned by Murdoch, whose prize Australia really is, is 97% controlled by him. 97%? Just think back: How many times over the last 3 years have you watched a political TV program and felt that the MSM have really bored into the real LNP? Trioli, ONCE (it got her some award!); Lisa Wilkinson, ONCE. Any others? Mark Latham in speaking out on ?Contrarians? got himself banned from appearing there again, and nobody else gives him a soapbox neither. And on the radio, Jon Fayne, at least once, though maybe other times I don't know about, but I doubt that because the 5th Estate would have been agog if so. And of reliably pro-Left journalists I reckon David Marr is about the only one I'd trust with any issue, and even then, No not really, he might cover your back but then he might not too. I'll give him this, he pinged what sort of a bloke Rudd was before anybody else said so publicly, I thought at the time he was just rabbitting on but he was right. But still he is a curate's egg imo, but at least, not all bad. So - IT'S UP TO US! Patricia, it's always so good to see you here, you have been an inspiration to me from the first time I came here; only a few of us write pomes but be sure when something's written in rhyme it punches 'way above its weight, and it has a kind of immortality too. 2353, Michael, Janet, what good company you are, I don't know what I would do without the likes of you here. jaycee I must say I feel your rage and pain too, but, well, there's no pill we can take to ease it; but nil desperandum, the best thing is to write, let's all help to keep each other's spirits up and fight on! In my Inbox from the Labor Party: Bruce — Today I read some terrible and disappointing news. Just released information shows over half a million houses where construction had already commenced have been cut from Labor’s NBN. You only have to look the NBN Co website to see if you’ve been cut. We all know the benefits of super fast broadband from health to education, but it seems Malcolm Turnbull just doesn’t get it. He wants to leave Australian homes in the dark, but I know you disagree. Can you sign our petition so we can show Malcolm Turnbull that Australia wants the real NBN, not his fraudband? We need as many people as possible to sign and show support for the Labor's NBN. If you can sign this petition, then we can do our best to show Turnbull and the Coalition that their plan just isn’t good enough. Super fast broadband is key to the future of Australia and we need to fight to protect it. Riley Boughton National Digital Organiser http://www.iwantmynbn.com.au/sign_up?utm_source=australianlaborparty&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nbn_unsigned3 It's a very easy petition to sign Folks, do make the effort please. And Write On, Comrades of the Sword! Writing brings its own reward!

TalkTurkey

31/10/2013Ken, The MSM and politicians share the bottom rungs of the trustedness ladder - and it is true there are many shonks in both camps. Yet I reckon it's profoundly unfair on most of the Labor Members, I've known quite a few and most are decent honest hard workers, often leading campaigns for the public good. I know they are often hurt by the yellow media's parsimonious judgmental statements, but they battle on, simply because they are public-spirited. It's hard in Australia's society to convince people that there are ANY good politicians, but we all know you shouldn't tar all of any group with the same brush. Leadership and conviction are going through a tough time at the moment but that's why we Swordsfolks have to be tougher still for the long hard fight back.

Casablanca

31/10/2013 Hi Folks, Thanks for the concern and commiserations. I am feeling a bit better each day and hope to sparking on all four cylinders soon. waving from my sickbed.........

2353

31/10/2013Clive Palmer has just gone up in my estimation. The Courier Mail's website has a link to an Andrew Bolt piece claiming that Palmer is an embarrassment to our democracy! If you want to read it, go ahead but I haven't and would prefer not to.

jaycee

31/10/2013TT. Yes, i'm angry, but it is a cold anger, a calculating anger and I'm thinking of ways and means to counteract the bastardry of the forth estate! I'm not going troppo, just sharpening my quill!

TalkTurkey

31/10/2013About Mick Keelty! Even not mentioning his part in the Bali 9 affair, this shows that the man is crooked http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42516.html

TalkTurkey

31/10/2013 Former police commissioner Mick Keelty to investigate 1,300 missing Senate ballots in WA By chief political correspondent Emma Griffiths Updated 10 minutes ago Related Story: Palmer United candidate to represent WA in Senate Related Story: Greens appeal decision not to recount WA Senate vote Related Story: PUP's third Senate seat in doubt, senator-elect says no formal deal with Muir Map: WA More than 1,000 ballots have gone missing in the recount of the Senate race in Western Australia, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has revealed. The AEC has asked former federal police commissioner Mick Keelty to investigate the "serious administrative issue". More: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-31/more-than-1000-senate-ballots-missing-in-wa/5061174

Michael

31/10/2013So Turnbull is following through on Abbott's command and 'destroying the NBN' after all. http://www.afr.com/p/technology/coalition_nbn_rollout_grinds_to_NniMiEmFTep0cw56XdnJcJ

Ken

31/10/2013Casablanca So good to see your fingers are working. Seriously, good to see you are on the mend. I suggest you take whatever time you need. As important as Casablanca's Cache is to us all, you are more important. Look after yourself.

Ken

31/10/2013Where is Bill Shorten? MIA Am I missing something or is he being as quiet as Abbott? Have they made a pact to try to put the electorate to sleep? Is this the new form of leadership? Pretend politics doesn't exist and save it all for a three month election!!

jaycee

31/10/2013Hello Jan. Here's an idea that could be developed into an interesting public spectacle on the social media ; "Show Trials" of individual personalities of the MSM. First we come to a public agreement on what constitutes treason (a broad interpretation) in this postmodern age, perhaps using a legal-eagle w / "legalese-speak" from amongst your battery of lawyers :) ...and armed with such a definition, we "charge" certain MSM. journos' of aiding and abetting foreign nationals or corporations to ; a) attempt to bring down the elected govt' and b) to get elected a govt' that will suit the vested interest of said foreign national which will then deliberately dismantle social and physical infrastructure to the detriment of the well-being for a majority of the citizens of the state. Then we publicly call for "submissions of evidence" from all and sundry in the social media world, who know anything private or public about the accused on "trial" and coupled with what is on the public record, we duly serve justice on the individual. The debates would have to be firmly controlled and moderated or it could get nasty...but then again it could go viral on the internet and become a public spectacle!...a public trial! Sure..it's "trial by media"..but THAT is exactly what Labor and certain individuals have had to endure these last three or more years!...AND ..at least it would be "trial by public media"! Of course, it will only be a "show trial", but if served with appropriate gravitas, we could accuse (without directly naming, of course) and discredit certain individuals that have and continue to do injustice to us , other progressives and the party. It's a naughty idea...agreed, but by christ it would be great "payback"! and as an "honorary Italian", I kind of like the idea of "La Vendetta".

jaycee

31/10/2013I have to have a bitter laugh when I hear Mr. Hawker described as a "political strategist"....what a joke!..what a big, fat, stupid ..J-O-K-E ! I started full-time work in the building trade at the age of fourteen. I have worked in the industry for over forty-five years...in that time I have met every colour / creed / nationality and personality of bullshit artist that ever spun a shit-for-brains story and con-job on boss's, workers and customers alike. "Strategist".......really ; strategist. Mr. Hawker has to be up there with the best of them...I mean that as no compliment, I mean that as an indication of the type of con-man hustler that has "worked the floor" of his ..I won't say business, it's not that...I won't dirty the meaning of "trade", so I will call it what it is...; scam!...a sly, cunning as a shithouse rat scam. Between the scheming of those nests of rats in the Party and the MSM. Australia has been dudded with a govt' of the dumbest bastards that ever swore allegience to a foreign national since Battista sold out Cuba to the Yanks. Go away, Mr. Hawker...take your pathetic little portfolio of excuses and..just go away.

Bacchus

31/10/2013Love your passion jaycee. How can we harness that for the good of the known world? ;-)

jaycee

31/10/2013Well...you know how it is, Bacchus....; the morning after, ; one can shut one eye...perhaps shut both eyes..but sooner or later one has to open wide and gaze full frontal at the image in the "ugly-mirror"...the truth can hurt!...I sometimes wonder how that horror of a corrugated crustation ; Murdoch, doesn't think, whilst fumbling the folds of floppy-jowl when shaving, about using the razor judiciously and end the game he cannot win?

Janet (j4gypsy)

1/11/2013Good morning, and a special wave back to Casablanca. So good to see the gravatar again, even if it is still resting on the sick bed :-). Here's some reading to keep us going folks, until our Casablanca walks those special searching fingers back across all things political and commentary. [b]#Blogs[/b] [b]Ah Queensland ... [/b] [i]Loon Pond[/i] In recent days, Campbell Newman - whose popularity had been flagging - seized on the moment and some ill-judged bikie mayhem to whip out a law 'n order routine as the way forward to the next election. Joh Bjelke-Petersen would have been in awe at the manoeuvre. And it's not just bikies. If you happen to disagree with Newman, chances are high that you're a paedophile - yep, the spirit of Stephen Conroy's fabulous internet filter lives on in Queensland. http://loonpond.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/ah-queensland.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+LoonPond+%28loon+pond%29#.UnKuG-JQhRx [b]Where the bloody hell are you?[/b] [i]Kay Rollison[/i] Before we get carried away, however, and say he isn’t doing his job, let’s just stop and think about what sort of Leader of the Opposition we might want. It’s easy to know what we don’t want; at least what I don’t want. I don’t want a Labor version of Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader. I don’t want to see Labor lower the political debate further than it is already by a) ceaseless negativity, b) stupid stunts or c) populist three word slogans. Let’s look at these in a bit more detail. http://theaimn.com/2013/10/31/where-the-bloody-hell-are-you/ [b]An Open Letter to Bill Shorten [/b] [i]Dan Rowden[/i] Excuse my candour, mate, but assuming it’s true: are you flipping insane? Has Labor completely lost its capacity to read the electorate and the politics of this issue? Its record of the last six years gives a certain pause for thought on that score. I put it to you in the strongest possible terms that this is the worst move you could make with regard to action on climate change – or your political future. I remind you that over the previous six years you’ve been on the wrong side of the politics on this, but on the right side of the policy. The political failure is your (Labor’s) fault. You were politically out-witted by an economic and scientific half-wit. How does that feel, Bill? Smarts a bit, I imagine. Now you want to hand him the shovel with which he can dig an even deeper hole for you? http://theaimn.com/2013/10/30/an-open-letter-to-bill-shorten/ [b]The farce gets deeper: Now Telstra sues NBN Co[/b] [i]DeLimiter[/i] The pair signed a landmark deal in June 2011 that will see Telstra transfer its customers off its copper and HFC cable networks and onto the NBN’s fibre infrastructure, as well as giving NBN Co access to roll fibre through Telstra’s pits, pipes and ducting infrastructure. All up, the deal is worth some $11 billion, and Telstra has already started receiving payments under the contract. However, in a statement issued this morning, Telstra confirmed it had started legal proceedings against NBN Co over when consumer price index adjustments should kick in with respect to the payments. In Australia, Consumer Price Index rates are published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Broadly, the statistic measures changes in the overall price level of markets based on consumer goods and services consumed by households. http://delimiter.com.au/2013/10/30/farce-gets-deeper-now-telstra-suing-nbn-co/ [b]Step Back In Time – HSU update and a look at the Jackson support network[/b] [i]Wixxyleaks[/i] Last week saw some substantial developments in the HSU saga, in Sydney relating to Michael Williamson and in Melbourne relating to Craig Thomson. Michael Williamson was back before the court to face the music for his multiple charges relating to defrauding the NSW Branch of the Health Services Union of close to $1 Million dollars. A date for sentencing has been set for March 3rd 2014. This means that fraud squad detectives will have some time on their hands to look into other aspects of the case that have not seen charges laid as yet. http://wixxyleaks.com/2013/10/30/step-back-in-time-hsu-update-and-a-look-at-the-jackson-support-network/ [b]Paywalls on media websites will become more common [/b] [i]Matthew da Silva[/i] If social media websites continue to refuse to help media companies by tolling users for links they follow to get to news stories (I wrote a spoof about this idea earlier this year) then media companies have no option but to start looking for better ways to collect payments for the stories they create. But if an enterprising group of people could set up a cross-site platform to enable readers to maintain a single account for all of the media they consume, readers' lives would get a whole lot easier. http://happyantipodean.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/paywalls-on-media-websites-will-become.html [b]Climate change and a government in denial[/b] [i]Clarencegirl[/i] A Federal Government department was being factually accurate and the national media was reminding the Abbott Government that former Coalition Prime Minister John Howard accepted the causal link between climate change and bushfire risk in 2006. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/climate-change-and-government-in-denial.html [b]Promises, promises: what's in a promise?[/b] [i]Clarrie Burke[/i] It was the Liberal/National Party (LNP) launch to the 2001 federal election campaign. The packed auditorium of true believers was abuzz in an air of expectancy. Then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, was poised to address an aggravating issue in Australian politics. Howard had chosen this event to vent his resentment and frustration at what he saw as the continuing stream of "illegal/unauthorized", "queue-jumping" "boat people" arriving on Australian shores through the back door. In the wake of the controversial "Tampa affair", he stood defiantly behind a lectern, on national television, and announced the Coalition's tougher policies on boarder control. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15631 [b]#NewMedia[/b] [b]Huawei charm offensive can’t whitewash complicity in surveillance[/b] [i]Bernard Keane[/i] Chinese communications company Huawei has launched a major charm offensive that whitewashes its track record of working closely with some of the world’s worst dictatorships. http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/10/29/huawei-charm-offensive-cant-whitewash-complicity-in-surveillance/ [b]Low Income Earners Cough Up For The Coalition[/b] [i]Eva Cox[/i] All governments over the last 20 years have been guilty of overtaxing low and no income earners' super savings. If parents take unpaid time off from paid work, their earnings on their savings will still be taxed, even though they have no taxable income. As women are more likely to take time out and to earn low incomes, when employed, the bulk of these extortionate taxes have come from them. Removing this small, belated redress which is adding maybe a few thousand to often fairly minimal retirement funds, is a mean and unnecessary response. It can easily be paid for by doubling the tax rate on the highest income earners, who excessively benefit from these concessions. The anomalies are clearly outlined here by ACTU economist Matt Cowgill. https://www.newmatilda.com/2013/10/30/low-income-earners-cough-coalition [b]Union Star Chambers To Return Under Abbott[/b] [i]Dave Oliver[/i] We are hearing the same claims now that we did then: that the construction industry is plagued by “thuggery” and a special body is urgently required to restore order. This body will require a few special privileges, such as being able to interrogate workers in secret hearings without the right to silence. What concerns us most is that this is just the beginning. The Liberal Party, in concert with big business, is out to smear unions and union members and take them out of the equation because unions represent the only real organised challenge in society to their bankrupt ideology of "let ‘em rip" free markets. https://newmatilda.com/2013/10/31/union-star-chambers-return-under-abbott [b]News Corp teeters on the edge[/b] [i]Rodney E. Lever[/i] ANOTHER SECRETLY RECORDED STAFF MEETING at News UK has revealed that Rupert Murdoch’s British operations are close to bankruptcy and their future is dependent on the outcome of the current London trials. A former head of the British publishing arm, New Zealand-born Tom Mockridge, told the staff late last year that the costs associated with the trials will be at least double the half-million pounds cost that the corporation told its shareholders at its recent general meeting in the United States. http://www.independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/news-corp-teeters-on-the-edge,5850 [b]Queensland LNP trashes democracy and rights[/b] [i]Stephen Keim[/i] The fundamental point about the Queensland Government’s actions over the last two weeks is that it will fail in its avowed objectives to stop organised crime; to ensure Queensland is the safest place in Australia to raise a child and to get rid of associations of people that foster or support the commission of serious offences and to, thereby, increase public safety. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/queensland-lnp-trashes-democracy-and-rights,5848 [b]#MSM[/b] [b]Will abolishing the carbon tax reduce power bills?[/b] [i]ABC Fact Check[/i] ABC Fact Check asked Mr Abbott where the figures came from. His office directed the query to Environment Minister Greg Hunt, whose office is yet to respond. How Mr Abbott can be so sure electricity prices will fall by 9 per cent and gas prices by 7 per cent from where they are today in the absence of a carbon price is questionable. The carbon price is only one of many factors that contribute to household utility prices. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-30/tony-abbott-carbon-tax-gas-electricity-bills/5050348 [b]Global warming likely to 'energise' El Nino effect, research shows[/b] [i]Peter Hannam[/i] Australia may face more intense and frequent bouts of extreme weather in the future as global warming "energises" the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the dominant climate system over the Pacific, according to an Australian-led team of researchers. The research, led by Shayne McGregor at the University of NSW's Climate Change Research Centre, found that the ENSO phenomena were more active and intense during the 1979-2009 period that at any time in the past 600 years. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/global-warming-likely-to-energise-el-nino-effect-research-shows-20131031-2wlgg.html#ixzz2jKPWjh7m [b]NSW bill is about marriage, just not equality[/b] [i]Waleed Aly[/i] Amid all the pyrotechnics surrounding same-sex marriage this week, it's important to remember that this is overwhelmingly a symbolic debate. That doesn't mean it's unimportant. Symbolism matters to us in a visceral way, sometimes even more than substance. That is why flag-burning is such a provocative act. But it's important to know when something is symbolic so we can assess what has or hasn't been achieved. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/nsw-bill-is-about-marriage-just-not-equality-20131031-2wlxb.html#ixzz2jKVLG27i [b]#Twitter[/b] [i]Cranky Pants Noely ‏@YaThinkN 28m [/i] "Goodbye Campbell Newman - evidence of "illegal payments" being made to Queensland ministers?" http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/clive-palmer-the-winner-in-fairfax/story-fnii5v6w-1226750713471 … ta @Planet_Rach [i]Wendy Bacon ‏@Wendy_Bacon 16h [/i] Truth in science & journalism. Why 'balance' & 'open debate' are false arguments. Here's my discussion starter. http://sceptical-climate.investigate.org.au/part-2/background/ … [i]margo kingston ‏@margokingston1 19h[/i] Protests at the East Coast #CSG Conference - report from the street by @nofibs newest CJ Melinda Wilson http://wp.me/p3t0mw-2R3 [i]Charles Edward Frith ‏@charlesfrith 12h [/i] Do you smell a rat? #Leveson https://twitter.com/charlesfrith/status/395806796557717504/photo/1 [i]EMILY's List Aus ‏@EMILYsListAus 12h[/i] And now for something completely fabulous. @JuliaGillard's first ever EL campaign biography #throwbackthursday pic.twitter.com/o8zJt2NbHx [i]Dean McNulty ‏@McNultyDean 12h [/i] Congrats to @theqldpremier. No doubt subject of law school studies for yrs after this court ruling on sep. of powers. http://archive.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/2013/QSC13-299.pdf … [i]sortius ‏@sortius 13h[/i] Holy f**k, I have not read a more moronic article on the #NBN in a long time: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/blogs/the-tiger-of-happiness/time-to-compress-our-thinking-about-the-nbn-20131031-2wjm1.html … idea about compression needs #auspol [i]Kevin_Rennie ‏@Kevin_Rennie 13h[/i] On Nov 17, join me at the huge National Day of #Climate Action! http://bit.ly/17YF1iB via @GetUp #auspol [i]Helena Karter ‏@HkarterKarter 10 Oct [/i] “@FrancieJones: This is truly disgraceful https://twitter.com/juliemela/status/388202444616110080/photo/1 ”Abbott the tightarse exposed! [i]Mike Carlton ‏@MikeCarlton01 13h[/i] Campbell Newman seems hell bent on becoming the new Bjelke Petersen. Small man syndrome ? http://tinyurl.com/kqxsss2 [i]Robert Maxwell ‏@RobMax4 22h [/i] Jumping for joy: new species of dolphin identified off Australia http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/jumping-for-joy-new-species-of-dolphin-identified-off-australia-8913720.html … [i]New Scientist ‏@newscientist 13m [/i] Where's the heat from global warming going? Researchers found it in the deep Pacific Ocean http://ow.ly/qnaz6

2353

1/11/2013Jaycee - the role of a strategist is certainly a strange one. Like you I'm wondering at the moment why those that are supposed to be able to craft a plan into the future only demonstrate why they are completely clueless. (This is not only in relation to Hawker by the way.) The problem is that these people seem to be able to inculcate a relationship with the decision makers and discount the opinions of those that actually have a clue. For example, the village idiot could have told the ALP that regardless of what was done - Murdoch's newspapers would not support them for the 2013 election. Hawker thought they could. What's that story about the Emperor's New Clothes?

Pappinbarra Fox

1/11/2013The carbon tax was only ever a temporary measure until the4 move to an ETS, so why is there any angst at all abotu this. Abbott is creating a faux argument to hit Shorten around the head with (that is Abbott's modus operandi) and Shorten is falling for it. A simple explanation along the lines of my first sentence will defuse the Abbott assault. In other words Shorten should should say: We do not oppose the elimination of the Carbon Tax, however we can see no sense in the Direct Action plan that smacks of socialism, rather we support, as do over 95% OF THE WORLD'S ECONOMISTS, AN EMISSIONS TRADING SCHEME which will make the alternatives to coal fired generation of electricity cheaper. It is a simple message that avids all sorts of complexity for the average punter (read simple voter). It is not that hard - but the LOTO has to get out there and do it - constantly - otherwise he gives Abbott a free cick in front of the goals. Leave the complex analysis to the back room and the blogs (yeah - we are capable of that!) but sell the message to the coimmunity at large.

jaycee

1/11/20132353. It's the old con of offering a desperate person a result that sounds too good to be true....and like those dudded pensioners that signed their retirement savings over to a shonky financial adviser, ; "if it sounds too good to be true, it usually IS!"

jaycee

1/11/2013Morrison demonstrates his "Gestapo me, Gestapo thee" mentality! http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-01/asylum-seekers-who-spoke-to-media-sent-offshore/5062622

jaycee

1/11/2013Behold!..: "The Murdochian Principle" on immigration...: "...provided cultural relativism was resisted and the newcomers were willing to "abide by our way of life". "OUR WAY OF LIFE"....Oh!..you mean : corruption?.. invasion of privacy?..phone hacking? ..sedition?..collusion to bribe police?....scandals to coerce govt' ministers?... Keep your way of life...it's what a person like YOU deserves!

2353

1/11/2013Pappinbarra Fox - It seems that Shorten is falling into he same trap that Rudd and Gillard did - Abbott is framing the terms of the argument again. Jaycee - And given Murdoch is a US Citizen, does he mean a society where a conservative rump of a conservative party is prepared to hold a country and potentially the world to economic ransom in an attempt to eliminate a scheme that will help the low paid to gain affordable healthcare in one of the world's richest nations. [i]. . . a few links . . . (good to see you're on the improve Casablanca edition)[/i] [b]Clive Palmer MP[/b] The Palmer United Party leader extended his lead over LNP candidate Ted O'Brien to win by 53 votes. Advertisement In an interview with ABC's 7.30 program, Mr Palmer implied he planned to use parliamentary privilege to reveal damaging information about Queensland's Newman government. "Goodbye Campbell Newman," Mr Palmer said. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/clive-palmer-wins-fairfax-after-marathon-recount-20131031-2wjl6.html#ixzz2jKzLjdXl [b]Now where did we put them?[/b] The entire state of Western Australia could be heading back to the polls in what could prove an early test of the Abbott government's popularity after more than 1300 votes went missing during a recount of WA Senate ballots. In what would be an unprecedented move, the High Court could order a fresh vote for the six WA Senate spots, giving the state's voters the chance to alter the balance of power in the upper house. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/wa-senate-recount-in-turmoil-as-1375-votes-go-missing-20131031-2wjub.html#ixzz2jL0B6Ngl [b]Asylum Seekers[/b] Asylum seekers being held at one of Darwin's four immigration detention centres are now wary of talking to the media after two people who spoke to the ABC last week were sent to offshore detention http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-01/asylum-seekers-who-spoke-to-media-sent-offshore/5062622 [b]Those were the days[b] But recently I’ve been thinking about what it was like to come to work when I first started. It made me realise how very grateful I am for the mod cons we now take for granted in the workplace. So I thought I’d glance back at some of the business trends that are now thankfully consigned to history. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/small-business/trends/blogs/the-big-idea/five-trends-best-left-in-the-past-20131031-2wign.html#ixzz2jL1Nrjgd

jaycee

1/11/2013Ahh! Queensland...Beautiful one day ; Newman the next!

Catching Up

1/11/2013Shadow Cabinet meeting today, Canberra. Maybe we will see some leadership at last. Albanese announced this morning, that local government grants have been reneged on by this government. It appears, at a conference earlier in the year, the government in Opposition said they would agree to honour applications approved. Albanese said this government is still in "no" mode. He added, it is time they realize they are now in government, and it is time to begin governing. From Mobius Echo, over at the Cafe. [quote]Möbius Ecko NOVEMBER 1, 2013 @ 8:53 AM [EDIT] So Scott Morrison got a slap in the face from the Indonesians on his visit there. Scheduled to meet the Indonesian Security Minister, Morrison was instead fobbed off to the Indonesian Army Commander after the Security Minister called off his meeting. Then the Army Commander fobbed of Morrison, instead he sent his Chief of Staff. Then to top of this Morrison diplomatic disaster he got this from the Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Minister: ”Australia should ‘pay more attention’ to the countries of origin of asylum seekers in searching for a solution, and be kinder towards refugees. The Australian government should pay more empathy to the position of the Indonesian government, who is not comfortable with having so many asylum seekers here, but also to show empathy with asylum seekers who are seeking to have a better future.” Of course you didn’t hear about any of that in our media when it would have been front page and heading news bulletins if it had been a Labor minister, nor did you hear anything from the government who would have been crowing if it could have been spun as being in anyway successful, so they kept it secret like they do everything else. And talking of keeping things secret. This government has refused to release a précis on the PM’s brief on coming to office. The brief gives a frank assessment of the incoming government’s election policies, so for this government to keep them secret says a lot about that brief and how bad their policies must b[/quote] 2353 and Janet (j4gypsy) More links, to keep us busy.

Ad astra reply

1/11/2013Casablanca It was good to read that you're improving. Please do take whatever time it takes to get right before resuming your Cache. Jaycee You are running hot with your comments. I welcome and admire your passion. Your comments about Murdoch's way of life, and Hawker, Morrison and Newman , are apt. Janet, 2353 Thanks for your informative links. PF, Ken Shorten is indeed a worry. If he reneges on carbon pricing and an ETS, he's a goner. TT Bravo! Your passion is an inspiration.

TalkTurkey

1/11/2013 Betcha Abborrrrtt has his eye on Canada for this sort of measure, and on Saulth Effrica for the $2 a day pay. http://www.canadianlabour.ca/right-to-refuse-unsafe-work

TalkTurkey

1/11/2013Hey great links Gypsy Girl, seems like what Lynnie started has blossomed in other hearts and minds - and according to another of our Amazon warrioresses, Catching Up, who fights on many fronts apart from TPS, it seems, the whole habit has spread to other political blogs too. I wouldn't know, I limit my attention pretty much to TPS and Twitter, but that don't mean I don't honour Watermelon and the Café and IA and the Pub and all the other honest Leftish blogs whose contributors are sincere too. Lyn, Casablanca and Gypsy are all pioneers of the most important of all the activities on the 5th Estate - the immediate dissemination of information. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOyyg7onCF8

TalkTurkey

1/11/2013Stephen Koukoulas ‏@TheKouk 5h A reminder of the what the scum did with Milly Dowler's phone: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/jul/04/milly-dowler-voicemail-hacked-news-of-world

TalkTurkey

1/11/2013Cannabis has been used for THOUSANDS of years as an animal tranquilizer ... It cools out many animals, as well as having actual therapeutic properties in many medical conditions in humans too. http://www.420magazine.com/forums/international-cannabis-news/203733-vet-guru-medical-marijuana-veterinarian-dr-doug-kramer-dead-36-a.html This man died far too young. Note that the plant he is holding is not the real thing (which is an outstandingly beautiful and symmetrical plant.)

TalkTurkey

1/11/2013And we the law-abiding cannabis users WILL win in the end! Think 3 years sounds a long time to fight a cause? Pshaw! I have been fighting this one since September 1972! But of all issues, cannabis legalization has been the most out-of-hand dismissed by a society utterly-ignorant of the facts, having been kept so by a grog-saturated nicotine-smoked society. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmhEGTGjYu8

TalkTurkey

1/11/2013Lucy Stanton ‏@louinoosa 26 Oct RT @randlight The Age has had some great editorial lately this is one of the best #OneTermTony http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/abbott-and-hunt-reckless-on-climate-20131025-2w78a.html … Seems to me The Age is pathetically trying to pretend it was never complicit in Murdochratising the country. Thanks a lot.

TalkTurkey

1/11/2013Wendy Bacon ‏@Wendy_Bacon 6h I regard this Israeli Law Centre action as a huge threat to my free speech. https://newmatilda.com/2013/10/31/israeli-law-centre-sues-outlaw-boycotts …

TalkTurkey

1/11/2013zippuli ‏@zippuli 30 Oct .@GMegalogenis on Keating #auspol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPeoJPiFwV8&feature=youtube_gdata_player …

TalkTurkey

2/11/2013 Geoffrey Payne ‏@geoffrey_payne 20m Climate scientists want business leader to apologise for 'serious slur' #auspol #MurrayUnqualified ! http://gu.com/p/3k33c/tw via @guardian

TalkTurkey

2/11/2013Lots of good tweets this morning! These 2 are consecutive on my timeline: Laurie Kidd ‏@KiddCaptain 51m Great column again from @MikeCarlton01 http://m.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-dinner-oh-to-be-a-fly-on-the-wall-20131101-2wrs7.html … grace pettigrew ‏@broomstick33 47m ABC corrupting Independence by hosting Reith's business lobbying under pretence of commentary: http://nofibs.com.au/2013/11/01/lobbyists-public-commentary-reith-spotlight-mark-anning-1earthmedia-reports/ … via @NoFibs @abcnews Retweeted by Cranky Pants Noely

Janet (j4gypsy)

2/11/2013Morning all, and a bit more reading from around the online traps (and you're doing some pretty good linking yourself there TT :-)): [b]#MSM[/b] [b]Compliant media fed on leak soup and other titbits[/b] [i]Richard Ackland[/i] Prime ministerial briefings of editors are a regular feature of the landscape. But last Saturday in Kirribilli was different. The fact that the guests were right-wing advocates and overwhelmingly came from News Corp reinforced the uniqueness of the occasion. In the main this was a clutch of the freshly minted PM's favourite Murdoch claqueurs being thanked for their reliable coverage of the Coalition and their relentlessly toxic demolition of the Labor government. You might argue that they were, in the main, columnists and opinionists and so entitled to act as boosters for whomever they liked. That is only part of the story. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/compliant-media-fed-on-leak-soup-and-other-titbits-20131031-2wlvb.html#ixzz2jQDuiKKZ [b]'Digital divide' looming because of questions over NBN fibre roll-out[/b] [i]Lexi Metherell[/i] The Government has promised to deliver on existing NBN contracts, but yesterday the NBN Co updated its rollout maps, removing hundreds of thousands of premises that were scheduled to be connected to fibre optic cable. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the old maps were misleading because they listed areas as being "under construction" even though they were only at the planning stage. But Paul Budde from telecommunications research site BuddeComm says the Government has made a political decision to redefine contracts. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-31/nbn-broadband-turnbull-budde/5060884 [b]#Blogs[/b] [b]Politics – The Week That Was[/b] [i]John Lord[/i] The reality of political conservatism is now well and truly with us. A three year journey of rule by an ideology that believes in privilege over altruistic necessity has begun. It must be said however, that the conservatives won the election and are perfectly entitled to govern. Tony Abbott once said that ‘’oppositions oppose”. A statement I found to be intellectually barren. Oppositions also have a responsibility to the people and the common good and should act in a bi partisan manner when necessary. They should also hold the government to account for its actions and policies in the stoutest way possible. Writers of the left (particularly bloggers) also have similar responsibilities. I have wondered since the election what I will write about for the next three years. I have concluded that it is also my duty to hold the government to account. To see to it that the Government governs honestly and transparently and that the media reports news rather than opinion in the guise of propaganda. http://theaimn.com/2013/11/01/politics-the-week-that-was/ [b]Cliev Palmer: That joke isn’t funny anymore[/b] [i]Ed Butler[/i] Clive has been a fixture in the media for quite a few years now, since he decided that a greater personal presence in our lives may be beneficial for his business interests/his ego. Always good for a quote, willing to go after anyone and anything, and able to contort just about any question into a non sequitur that supports his case, he gives great interviews. But upon the gleeful reception that his insane conspiracy theories could be validated, and that he has won the recount for the seat of Fairfax, I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm. I tried tossing off a few tweets with the requisite misspelling, but in the end, I’m just sad. http://ausopinion.com/2013/11/01/cliev-palmer-that-joke-isnt-funny-anymore/ [b]Raising the stupidity ceiling[/b] [i]Billablog[/i] When Treasurer Joe Hockey announced last week that Australia’s debt limit would be raised by $200 billion, one of the justifications he offered was that it was to prevent the possibility of the kind of crisis that the US government went through last month. This reasoning has since been duly repeated by many reporters and commentators. I will leave it to smarter people than me to argue whether raising the debt limit is good, bad or unremarkable either way. What I do know is that nobody needs to worry about US-style crisis happening here for one simple reason: It couldn’t. http://ausopinion.com/2013/11/02/raising-the-stupidity-ceiling/ [b]Same state, different rules[/b] [i]Penny Blatchford[/i] Most Australians enjoy the freedom to make choices about their lives – whom we marry, if we will have children, where we live and where we work. It would seem for people like me who choose to marry a farmer, have a family, live on the farm and make that farm our primary business, our freedom to continue to choose our life is being taken away. Governments across Australia, without any sense of balance or democracy, are choosing to turn our countryside, including our wilderness and our farms into a nationwide industrial gasfield. http://nofibs.com.au/2013/10/31/state-different-rules-penny-blatchford-asks-people-nsw-get-special-treatment/ [b]Refugee Boat Timeline Updated to October 31st[/b] [i]ArchieArchive[/i] A huge slap in the face has been given to Herr ÜberGrossenFührer Morrison by the Indonesian Government. On Wednesday he went to to meet Mr Djoko, Minister for security, politics and law, the chairman of Indonesia’s people smuggling taskforce, and the man who must agree to any new policy direction. Mr Djoko was “called away to another event by president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono”. Indonesian army commander, General Moeldoko. was who was also “unable to attend the meeting” and sent instead his chief of staff for general affairs, Boy Syahrial. http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/refugee-boat-timeline-updated-to-october-31st/ [b]When A Rollout Goes Missing[/b] [i]Sortius is a Geek[/i] Like an alien abduction, NBN Co’s site has mysteriously lost all future plans for the rollout on the “When do I get it?” map. Gone are the claims of “continuing the rollout until reviews are complete”, & being “technology agnostic”, the days of corporate back slapping & secrecy are upon us. With the news that only “work commenced” projects will be shown on the rollout map as “active”/”build commenced” now & all other planned areas will not be shown at all, the NBN is fast becoming the white elephant that Turnbull warned us about, except he’s the one creating it. http://www.sortius-is-a-geek.com/rollout-goes-missing/ [b]#Newmedia[/b] [b]Abbott’s belligerence: putting in the boot or kicking himself? [/b] [i]Mark Rolfe[/i] The words won’t rank with the oratorical flourishes of great leaders but I can’t remember Churchill or Roosevelt describing anybody as “wacko”. When prime minister Tony Abbott uttered this word in an interview with the Washington Post on the weekend, it was clear he wished to plant one of his partisan boots in the soft, nether regions of his opponents. http://theconversation.com/abbotts-belligerence-putting-in-the-boot-or-kicking-himself-19624 [b]Politicians' car expenses: the wheel deal[/b] [i]Nick Evershed and Oliver Laughland [/i] There has been a rush on stories about politicians' travel expenses over the past few weeks. From Barnaby Joyce and George Brandis's trip to a friend's wedding, to requests to the Australian federal police to investigate some of the prime minister's claims, as well as questions raised about Joe Hockey's trips to Cairns, reporters have been poring over publicly available documents to try to find out whether politicians have been playing the system. But contained within these reports are details of smaller claims that shed light on some interesting travel habits among Australia's elected members, and – perhaps – on their attitudes towards the public purse. Who, for example, likes getting their car parked for them? Who is the most likely to pick up a motoring fine? And who is most set on keeping their car squeaky clean? http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/nov/01/australia-politician-car-expenses [b]Indigenous incarceration rates are a national shame[/b] [i]Antony Loewenstein[/i] Aboriginal levels of incarceration in Australian prisons have never been higher. In fact, country-wide rates of imprisonment are worse per capita for the black population than during apartheid South Africa. These numbers are also largely ignored. This silence, which stretches across the country only to reach the highest levels of the political and media elites, is arguably Australia’s greatest outrage, and a stain on our projected global image as an egalitarian state with justice for all. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/01/indigenous-incarceration-rates-are-a-national-shame [b]News Corp Australia winds back national news desk[/b] [i]Nic Christensen and Megan Reynolds [/i] Centralisation was a key initiative of former News CEO Kim Williams and the national news hub cut costs by having a central group of reporters reporting national stories for News Corp’s mastheads across the country rather than several journalists at various newspapers covering the same news story. “It was always a Kim Williams project, I’m surprised its taken them this long to wind it back,” one News Corp insider told Mumbrella. http://mumbrella.com.au/news-corp-australia-winds-back-national-news-desk-186937 [b]#Twitter[/b] [i]PolitiFact Australia ‏@PolitiFactOz 19h [/i] .@JoeHockey "most countries" moving towards direct action, away from market solutions. Really? Latest on site. http://www.politifact.com.au/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/nov/01/joe-hockey/hockey-says-most-countries-moving-toward-direct-ac/ … [i]Kate Sheppard ‏@kate_sheppard 2h [/i] Obama Orders Federal Agencies To Take Proactive Approach To Climate Change http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/obama-climate-change_n_4191913.html?1383322962 … [i]Annabel Crabb ‏@annabelcrabb 52s [/i] Interesting piece on Obama's co-dependent relationship with columnists ... political cloud-seeding? http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=EAC2C36A-14DF-41F3-8C55-055433875642 … [i]Mark Anning ‏@1EarthMedia 21h [/i] Vested Interest: P.Reith on payroll of Coal Seam Gas coys #csg #vicpol #auspol #nswpol #Faine http://nofibs.com.au/2013/11/01/lobbyists-public-commentary-reith-spotlight-mark-anning-1earthmedia-reports/ … pic.twitter.com/zXp5UxsKCn

TalkTurkey

2/11/2013 A War Crime Trial of John Winston Howard, a former Prime Minister - A Stage Play False cause to war commands account of profits and flesh by God I was the secretary to the federal parliamentary intelligence committee from 2002 until 2007 From Sydney Morning Herald 12 April 2013 Former prime minister John Howard's justification this week on why we went to war against Iraq in 2003 obfuscates some issues. More http://wctjwh.blogspot.com.au/p/from-sydney-morning-herald-12-april.html?spref=tw

TalkTurkey

2/11/2013 69 new Tweets Victoria Rollison ‏@Vic_Rollison 25m My latest post: Why did Australians want Abbott as their Prime Minister? I think I finally get it. http://theaimn.com/2013/11/02/i-get-it/ …

Catching Up

2/11/2013Mr. Hockey and others spend the night with Murdoch. http://francesjones.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/lowering-australia-to-rupert-murdochs-level/#comment-1847 Janet (j4gypsy), another good effort.

TalkTurkey

2/11/2013Peter Jukes ‏@peterjukes 6h A stunning interactive treat from @guardian NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations explained http://gu.com/p/3k3ve/tw Retweeted by Jelsi Dallas

TalkTurkey

2/11/2013couriermail.com.au ‏@couriermail 2h Revealed: The reason Clive Palmer turned against Newman and started his own party: http://bit.ly/HjXork Retweeted by Gabrielle Bryden

TalkTurkey

2/11/2013This is a very long article but is worth taking the time to read. http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/10/science-says-revolt

jaycee

2/11/2013It gives one to wonder..; if the religious nutters who seem to be the biggest climate deniers, rejoice every day, in every way, for being as one in "God's plan A" for humanity....perhaps they could just dash off a plea to the "Almighty" to give us religious doubters a glimpse of ; "Plan B" to enact after "Plan A" has seen the biodiversity of the Earth collapse into chaos.

jaycee

2/11/2013Oh!....there's NO "Plan B"!!?....oh dear!

Catching Up

2/11/2013http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myhS5w7n_K0

Catching Up

2/11/2013Worth another peek at. [quote]He pledged his troth to Santamaria. It would be a year before he met the man face to face but he fell in love that weekend. "I have been under the Santamaria spell ever since." He regarded him until his death in 1998 as "the greatest living Australian". Few shared his awe. Inside and outside politics, inside and outside the Catholic Church, Santamaria was widely hated. His venom was phenomenal, his energy inextinguishable, and his fears legion. In the Whitlam crisis just passed, he had privately discussed the need to raise a secret army to defend democracy against the scourge of Labor. Now, in his 60s, he was seized by a profound sense of failure. Despite all he had done - purging communists from the unions, splitting the ALP and founding the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) - Bob Santamaria had failed in his larger purpose of ending the threat of world revolution and making Australia the good country of his Catholic dreams. Abbott is a man with mentors. Most were old men with embattled beliefs: true believers; relics of lost causes; men with a high view of their life and mission; men who believed in the magic of the crown, the church and old institutions. To stand for old ideas and old authority in the late 1970s took courage of a kind, and deep faith in faith. The tactics were not so lofty. The Democratic Clubs were small and their membership carefully controlled. The correct line was strictly enforced. They used tactics Santamaria developed to fight reds in the unions: provocative campaigning, ceaseless leafleting and infiltrating of rival organisations. They called themselves moderates but their position was extreme: as far to the right as the Maoists and Trotskyists on campus were to the left. Among the young cocks Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/early-elections-20120903-2593o.html#ixzz2jT1Bm6sJ[/quote]

Ad astra reply

2/11/2013Janet, TT, Catching up Many thanks for the interesting links. There are many powerful messages there about how Abbott and Co. are already on their destructive path, showing that what the Fifth Estate has always said is true.-that Abbott is irresponsible diplomatically, he and Hunt irresponsible on global warming, and Abbott and Morrison irresponsible on asylum issues. They are beliggerent cowboys careless with the truth, ignorant, and incompetent. They will ruin this nation in no time if we fail to protest. Read TT's New Statesman piece to get a notion of what we need to do to save our planet. It's a magnificent day in the Whitsundays.

Catching Up

2/11/2013Ad Astra, Abbott appears to have no respect for law or conventions. At the same time, he is quick for the law to intervene, when it suits his interest. Yes, with Tony, what one sees, one gets.

Catching Up

2/11/2013Some have it easy. Then I suspect you have earned the privilege to be there. Do you get any feed back, of what people actually think of Tony and his like, on your travels?

TalkTurkey

2/11/2013Al Gore ‏@algore 14h This map of our rapidly expanding global population is a must-see: http://ow.ly/qoig0

TalkTurkey

3/11/2013David Donovan ‏@davrosz 16m With Tory ascendency complete, satire is back in town. Taking the piss on behalf of IA is @winetosser Scott Clarke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcMGWFu-sQY … Don't miss this Folks!

jaycee

3/11/2013Isn't it amazing how "quiet" it is now that the LNP. have "won" the election!?....No more AFP. / MSM. "raids on union officials who rip off their members!"...No more AFP./ MSM. announcements of "investigations into AWU./ PM. affairs!"...WHY, there's NOT EVEN an "investigation into the Slipper / Ashby / LNP. trying to bring down a democratically elected govt' affair!".....so peacefull..don't you think? The status quo is again at balance...; The miners are ripping up, the banks are ripping off, the "spanking new pm and his cabinet" is a ripping yarn and all the social policies painstakingly put in place for the benefit of the nation's future are being ripped to shreds! GOD BLESS RUPERT AND THE LNP. !

jaycee

3/11/2013But here's the rub..and it is a tragic one...If we are to despise Rupert and co., and fair enough, we do! Then how are we to feel about those who, against all reason and out of twisted spite, even against the interests of their own children's future, voted the buggers in?....and sadly, some of them were my relatives..some of them no doubt, were yours...and I remember pointing this out to one of mine who bragged about voting for the LNP. "What about the schoolkids bonus?..what about education reform with the Gonski program?"...so what! was the answer...and then on to the Gillard govt' was sending the country broke etc. Inside myself, I cursed him to sheol!..but outside I just shrugged...what can one say...but I must admit I find it VERY DIFFICULT to apply the "jesus on the cross plea" to ;"forgive them, for they know not what they do". I sincerely wonder if I can ever really forgive them.

Catching Up

3/11/2013Insiders on. As usual. all questions directed at Gerard Henderson.

TalkTurkey

3/11/2013The sting is in the tail! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn0lwGk4u9o

Ad astra reply

3/11/2013Catching up The folk we are with here on Keswick Island have the same view of Abbott an Co. as we do.  They are appalled by what little they have seen so far, and fear what Abbott, Hunt, Pyne, Hockey, Morrison and Turnbull will inflict on this nation in the three years ahead unless they are stopped in their destructive tracks by protests from the people, much of which will be delivered via the Fifth Estate, and the street protests it organizes. Protest is our weapon; we must use it powerfully. This evening I'll be posting the next piece: 'Where on earth is Lampedusa?' by 2353.

Catching Up

3/11/2013Ad Astra, I have always believed that those away from the capital cities, are less likely to be taken in by the likes of Abbott. Yes, they are indeed agrarian socialists, that know what is good for them.

jaycee

3/11/2013The German writer Heiner Muller composed in 1993 a poem titled "Mommsen's Block"...about the nineteenth century historian and Nobel Prize winner ; Theodor Mommsen. Theodor Mommsen wrote a work of genius with his three volume history of Republican Rome up to Julius Caesar. He had planned and was involved in writing a forth volume to take the record to the time of Empire. But he stopped..and he could not continue because of what was called a "writer's block".....in truth, it was something more sinister...not of real-world intrigue, but in the depth of his soul...you see..he was also a member / admistrator of the newly formed German Federation and what he saw in the direction that his beloved German State was going, was a direct correlation to where the Roman State ended up. So the forth volume ended up as nothing more than notes and false starts. You could surmise that he "saw into the future" and he didn't like what he saw, so couldn't write about what must have been to him an obvious ending...better not to reveal it at all, : "If ignorance is bliss, t'is folly to be wise!" ? I think many of us with a tad more of life - experience and a corporate memory longer than a three-word-slogan know exactly what he felt. That's the problem with history, it tells us there is nothing new under the sun..The likes of Abbott, Rupert and co. are nothing new...they are the bacteria that rise in numbers whenever a society becomes "overheated" and enriched with luxury...consider Rome ; rolling in wealth from rapine and plunder of those tribal lands unable to resist the "advance" of the Roman legions...then we get Julius Caesar flooding the Roman market with his ill-gotten gold to break the financial backs and banks of his opponents before overthrowing the govt'....as a point of interest, it was Cicero who wryly commented that ; "Julius Caesar was the first sober man who brought down a govt' " ...they weren't lacking in wit ; those Romans! What we are seeing is a part of a cycle...a small arc in the circle..born from an imperative hunger for consumption that will end, no doubt and trusting history , in an emergency for environmental disaster!.....you see, THAT was also one of the major catastrophies that destroyed the remnants of the Roman Empire.....The more things change... "Now write it out a hundred times!"

TalkTurkey

3/11/2013jaycee I am deeply in sympathy with your feelings. I wish there was a clear path to action but it's the Labor Party that has to take the lead. A Rudd-buggered ALP, minus *J*U*L*I*A*, Smith, Combet, Emmo, plus Mike Kelly, my own local Member Georganas and so many more. And now headed by a man who was NOT the popular choice and from whom we only heard the first definitive statement (on carbon pricing) 2 days ago. I treasure passion like yours. Wish there was a hundred times more of it in the Party. Maintain your rage Comrade.

Catching Up

3/11/2013What does being entitled to ones opinion, really mean. [quote]Secondly, I say something like this: “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Well, as soon as you walk into this room, it’s no longer true. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.” A bit harsh? Perhaps, bu[/quote] https://theconversation.com/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978 or maybe the only opinion that has any value, is one that can be argued and defended. Everything else, goes into the personal prejudices basket. What is the difference between personal opinions and ones own prejudices? Serious question, on my behalf.

Catching Up

3/11/2013Yes, Labor shadow ministers are out and about. Not that one would know, if they only follow MSM. [quote]Well, Joe Hockey claimed, at a time when Australia had such a significant debt and deficit problem, we simply couldn’t afford this. I think the first few weeks of the Abbott Government has revealed the fraud at the heart of this rhetoric. Just last week, the Treasurer borrowed nearly $9 billion to give to the Reserve Bank, which it seems may not have been needed. In just over a month in office, the Government has doubled the debt ceiling so it can borrow more money. But they’ve announced they will take $4.5 billion from the world’s poor on the false pretence that Australia cannot afford it. To put this into perspective, $4.5 billion is greater than what was budgeted by our Labor Government in 2013-14 for the entire AusAID country and global program. But that’s only half of what the new Treasurer gifted to the Reserve Bank. - See more at: http://tanyaplibersek.com/2013/10/speech-to-the-australian-council-for-international-development/#sthash.cWGJWCpH.dpuf[/quote]

jaycee

3/11/2013'Where on earth is Lampedusa?'...he's on my bookshelf with the other Italian writers!

42 long

3/11/2013An opinion that can't be defended shouldn't get much of a run, by examination or qualification. All opinions have the right/need to be challenged. If there is no verifiable fact(s) in it, it is of little import. Fact is the essential element of input of substance so what conclusions you reach in the absence of fact fail any real scrutiny. There is little point in discussing much with people who are not interested in the truth or who are not ready to change their mind in almost any circumstances. unfortunately propaganda is effective in forming opinion especially if it suits the circumstances by being an easy way out or advantages the listener.

jaycee

3/11/2013I see "Mumbles Truss" has weighed into the debate about the WA. senate vote. Whenever I watch or hear that criothan splutter, it reminds me of compressed air pumped through a cut bycicle tube and the open end being manipulated to make farting sounds!....AND..I give the intellectual credit to the tube!

jaycee

3/11/2013But then..he's gotta sound like a bumbling fool or he'll lose his leadership to Bananaby!...they promote on merit there you know..: who's the bigger fool!

42 long

3/11/2013Choice between Banarnaby and War on TrussT.? Most never knew that Truss was the NP leader.

2353

3/11/2013The WA Senate ballot papers are an interesting story that is developing. Palmer's Party lost the Senator - that should raise Palmer's "biased" argument again (that mysteriously disappeared when he did win Fairfax the 2nd time around. If Palmer wants to go ahead with it, he can probably match the legal firepower of the AEC/Government/LNP/ALP and so on combined. If the Courts order the poor Sandgropers back to the polls - knowing what they know now, there could be a completely different result.

jaycee

3/11/2013Not that I go along with Palmer on most things..after all he's just a goofball with a deep pocket full to the brim of money. But I no longer take for granted those once venerable institutions that you could bet the house on as being "incorruptable". Not that the AEC. administration is to blame, but I wouldn't put it past certain conservative parties to place a "sleeper" (like a Gretch)into an organisation to do a bit of dirty work for the team!...Look to the highly suspicious behaviour of the AFP. and Fairwork Aust. to name a couple of "players" that SEEM TO favour certain parties with their investigations. And after all..there have been several lots of "misplaced" votes this election and with the marginal seats, you wouldn't need to "misplace" too many to effect the outcome! Just sayin' !

Catching Up

3/11/2013Slowly we are getting some insight to what s going on, on Manus Island. Wonder who idea was it, to keep staff billeted off shore. Does not appear to appreciate the move. I suspect they, themselves where expecting to get jobs, and be involved in running and supplying the centres. Time for a little more transparency from Morrison. [quote]A demonstration by local landholders against Australia’s expanding asylum seeker facilities on Manus Island became a “major disturbance” that had to be put down by Papua New Guinean police, sources have told Guardian Australia. The demonstration on Saturday is believed to have been targeting the new floating barge hotel, the Bibby Progress, which accommodates up to 635 staff and has been dubbed “a monstrosity” by local people. The demonstration riggered a “code grey” security alert – a major disturbance – and some sources said two Papua New Guinean nationals were injured when local police responded in a “heavy-handed” way, with “weapons drawn”. The latest incident comes after the recent violent clash outside the processing centre between PNG police and military, which saw the initial stages of an evacuation of centre staff – leaving the asylum seeker centre inmates behind. The staff were in the process of evacuating to the HMAS Choules, anchored off Manus, when the evacuation was called off. The government is holding an inquiry into that incident. Tribal elders have been angry that local people have not been able to tender for contracts at the asylum centres and have demanded payments for the use of their land for the asylum camps and associated facilities, like rubbish dumps. The arrival of the Bibby Progress, with its restaurant, gymnasium and rooftop terrace, is the latest development to anger some locals. A spokesman for Scott Morrison, the Australian immigration mi[/quote] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/03/manus-island-protest-over-bibby-progress?CMP=ema_follow

Jason

3/11/20132353, Anthony Green's thoughts on the WA senate result. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2013/11/whats-going-on-with-the-wa-senate-counct.html

Catching Up

3/11/2013[quote]Tribal elders have been angry that local people have not been able to tender for contracts at the asylum centres and have demanded payments for the use of their land for the asylum camps and associated facilities, like rubbish dumps. The arrival of the Bibby Progress, with its restaurant, gymnasium and rooftop terrace, is the latest development to anger some locals. A spokesman for Scott Morrison, the Australian immigration minister, has said the barge will house up to 635 immigration staff, security workers and building contractors and that it contains a central kitchen and dining facilities, recreational facilities, laundry facilities and bedsit style accommodation.' The immigration department hired it as temporary accommodation for staff for $1,295,475 from 31 October 2013 until 31 May 2014 from Liverpool-based Bibby Maritime, which boasts it has a fleet of floating “coastel” accommodation barges.[/quote] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/03/manus-island-protest-over-bibby-progress?CMP=ema_follow
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?