What is political leadership? Do you know?

Leadership is a recurring theme in political debate. It refuses to go away. It is a dependable subject for journalists wondering what to write about next and adds spice to any subject. Leadership means different things to different people, certainly to different journalists. Indeed, Alice in Wonderland-style the word ‘leadership’ means whatever they want it to mean: "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean − neither more nor less." So is it with journalists.

D Mick Weir and I had a conversation about leadership on my last piece. He concluded; “I can't explain leadership to you but rest assured you will know it when you see it”, which reminded me of Robert Pirsig’s telling line in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: "Quality is hard to define but you recognize it when you see it." Then in an opinion piece by Shaun Carney in the National Times of 13 August: Australia's best-kept secret: we're not doing too badly he began: “The curious thing about leadership is that it's hard to define but you know it when you see it.”

So here we go again about leadership. And it seems as mystifying a concept as ever. There have been several pieces about leadership on The Political Sword. I enjoyed reading them again before writing this piece. Instead of rehashing them, I will make passing reference only.

In February of this year, I wrote Leadership – what do the people want?  In it I referred to several pieces on the same subject.

One, a year ago, on 15 August, there was: The enigma of leadership, and on 21 November: What does Julia Gillard stand for, and a couple of weeks later for good measure: What does Tony Abbott stand for?  

There was another piece, back in June of last year that expressed my exasperation at the media’s seemingly insatiable but poorly argued demands for a set of attributes it expected in our nation’s political leaders. It was titled: The media’s specifications for an Australian PM.  

Time and again, the question of what constituted leadership and an admirable leader has been addressed. Reading over these pieces, we seem no closer now to consensus on what leadership is, than we did then. It seems that like ‘quality’, leadership is hard to define, but we feel we can recognize it when we see it. Can we? On the sporting field we can identify quality and leadership without being able to easily articulate our reasons. Does the same apply on the political field of play?

So instead of going over old ground, this piece will examine recent leaders in an attempt to tease out what constituted leadership in them, and the opposite.

His followers would rate John Howard as a great leader. His political longevity is partial testimony to this. Even his detractors would credit him with great persistence, determination and grit - some might label it stubbornness, in the face of adversity and defeat. 'Lazarus with a triple bypass' is how he described himself.

He could also be credited with being a reformer In that he brought in the GST, which history shows has been a very substantial reform.

He was a good communicator on talkback radio, which he made his special forum. This way he connected with the ‘vast majority of the electorate’ as he termed it; the ‘Howard battlers’ as the media labeled them. On TV he was sure of himself even if his detractors disagreed with him. It was only near the end that his confidence left him to reveal a tentative man beneath.

His determination was evident in the lead up to the Iraq war. Even the casual observer could see he was intent on taking Australia to war, although he insisted in public he was still considering his options. It was then that admiration of his determination turned to dismay at his lack of transparency.

Another aspect of his term was his willingness to go back on his promises, leading to his infamous quote about ‘core and non-core promises’, which led to the slow erosion of confidence in his word.

Another negative for him was his disingenuousness, which was manifest starkly in the ‘kids overboard’ incident, the truth of which he kept hidden from the public until after the 2001 election. ‘Honest John’ became a phrase of derision.

The final nail in his coffin seemed to be the length of his prime ministership. Even people previously enamoured of him stopped listening and believing.

So the positive attributes of determination, persistence, reformer, communicator and ‘battler’s friend’ were eroded by his discard of ‘non-core’ promises, his deceptiveness, his political longevity, and at the end loss of confidence and a listening electorate and public support.

Kevin Rudd began with strong electoral support. Almost as soon as he became Opposition Leader, his ratings began to rise and reached almost stratospheric levels at the height of his prime ministership. He seemed almost unassailable as the nation’s leader. Why? In the public’s eye he took on the aura of the fresh, energetic, enthusiastic young leader with new ideas and vision that contrasted sharply with the diminishing image of the older man. He was articulate, even if somewhat verbose and bureaucratic in his language. He was confident and assured.

Notwithstanding his status with the public, News Limited began a slow process of hacking away at him, at eroding confidence in him, and when he took ‘decisive action’ that kept Australia out of recession, it took to highlighting the negatives in the hurriedly rolled-out program of stimulus, so that few now give him and his core group credit for placing this nation in the best position of any of the developed nations. Instead the mantra of ‘waste and mismanagement’ comes to the public’s mind. This continual attack eroded confidence in the once-confident Rudd, something that eventually showed on TV and talkback as aggressive interviewers hammered him. The more eminent journalists insistently asked about Rudd’s narrative. Paul Kelly led the media pack with his usual gravitas; lesser journalists soon echoed his words. This assault fostered an impression of a directionless leader, never a good look.

An initial positive was his concern about climate change and his determination to do something about ‘the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time’. This inspired those worried about global warming, a substantial majority at the time. This was leadership directed towards a looming problem. And because it was such a positive for Rudd initially, it became the most serious negative when he postponed pursuit of his CPRS, an event that led the people to believe that he had abandoned a principle that he had previously elevated to lofty prominence. In the view of most commentators this was the beginning of the end for Rudd, even although we know now several other factors operated to bring about his spectacular downfall.

Kevin Rudd could be described as a ‘middle distance’ leader. At the height of his prowess he had the Australian people in the palm of his hand, and while that was so, discontent closer to home was obscured. Rudd had never been a factional man, and indeed flouted factional imperatives when he determined to appoint his own ministry contrary to the tradition of the Labor caucus doing so. He earned no friends then. As time went by stories emerged about his non-consultative and arrogant approach, his apparent disdain for ministers’ portfolio responsibilities, his belief that he had all the answers and was the smartest person in the room, which in an intellectual sense he probably was. This eroded support for him within his own party, but with public opinion of Rudd and his Government so high, they were content to go along for the ride, unappealing though it was for many of his ministers. But when that waned and the polls and focus groups began to give Rudd the thumbs down, they abandoned him with a ruthlessness rarely seen, even in the brutal game of politics. His ‘short distance’ leadership failed.

Although his international credentials were highly regarded initially his ‘long distance’ leadership turned out to be not as effective as predicted. The most spectacular international ‘failure’ for Rudd, his supporters and the nation turned out to be Copenhagen. So much hung on agreement there, that when this failed to live up to expectations, not only was Rudd crestfallen, so were his ministers, and the public was disappointed and disillusioned. Support for an emissions trading scheme began to erode and reached levels below a majority, and with it support for Rudd. Although Rudd can hardly be blamed for Copenhagen where he worked tirelessly for a good outcome, it has been viewed by most commentators and many of the public, as ‘his failure’.

So Rudd initially exhibited leadership qualities of youthful energy and enthusiasm, a well-articulated vision about how to address important problems like global warming, the promise of reforms to health, education, the tax and transfer system, IR, communications and infrastructure, and generated excitement and confidence in his ability and plans. For some, this get-up-and-go morphed into frenetic activity with too much unfinished business.

He exhibited strong and courageous leadership during the GFC, and showed great promise in tackling climate change with the Garnaut reviews, green and white papers, and a design for a CPRS, which he negotiated with Malcolm Turnbull, but which fell over when Tony Abbott toppled Turnbull. He made progress with health reform, but the initial mining tax failed because of inadequate consultation with the stakeholders who flexed their considerable muscles to defer it.

The negatives included not bringing his team behind him, not being able to deliver on his most important assurances, and most of all, in the face of poor opinion polls and focus group outcomes, abandoning his pledge to effectively tackle global warming.


Brendan Nelson was a Leader of the Opposition but briefly. He said: “Leadership is everything, whether of a political party, company or school. Vision, inspiration, character, judgment, temperament, humility, intellect and courage are just some of the qualities that will define our party's success.”

How well did he rate?

He was not high on vision or inspiration, but was very sincere and concerned about the welfare of the people, ex family doctor as he was. Some of his more dramatic performances in the house with cans of baked beans and lurid descriptions of a Tarago loaded with kids at the petrol pump, were over the top.

He was always vulnerable to the marauding Malcolm Turnbull who from the day Nelson was elected set about taking his job. Nelson lacked the political skills and party support to counter the erosion of Turnbull and soon succumbed. He was a good guy but naïve politically and no match for Turnbull.


Malcolm Turnbull looked like a leader from the outset – tall, good looking, urbane, successful and well heeled. When he spoke he sounded impressive, plausible and usually convincing. He seemed destined for prime ministership, and was soon rewarded by John Howard with a ministry.

Then it became clear that he was at his best only when advocating a cause in which he had his heart; when that was not so, he was less convincing, less believable. This has been a consistent feature. Remember how well he spoke about global warming and the need for action. Remember how his conviction caused him to cross the floor on emissions training. Reflect on how he now speaks on this subject although Coalition policy is opposed to an ETS. Contrast that with his relatively ineffective talk about the NBN, which Tony Abbott commissioned him to ‘demolish’. It seems obvious he has not got his heart in the demolition, is already saying nothing will be ‘dug up’ if the Coalition assumes government, and he is now talking about the high cost of reversing the NBN. Extrapolating from these observations, it seems that Turnbull’s capacity to lead rely on his being in control and able to call the shots. He excels at advocating his own ideas, but falls down when asked to advocate the ideas of others when he does not believe in them.

Anabell Crabb’s Quarterly Essay on Malcolm Turnbull aptly titled: Stop at Nothing, highlights a strength and a weakness of Turnbull. He takes risks and backs his judgement. He did this when he took on Kerry Packer, and the British Government in the Spycatcher case. But sooner or later this risky strategy was bound to fail as it did in the Godwin Grech episode. So sure was he that he had Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan on toast over the OzCar affair that he neglected to carry out due diligence, chanced his arm, laid down his cards with a flourish and found himself trumped by a fake email sent by a disturbed Coalition Treasury mole. His humiliation was complete and his reputation damaged. Had he succeeded in rolling Rudd and Swan with him, his own demise as Opposition Leader would likely have been avoided.

So we see in Turnbull a man with many leadership attributes. Presence, style, charisma, high intelligence, plausibility when arguing positions he owns and a principled approach to those positions, and a crash through or crash approach. His risk taking, his impetuosity and his ‘stop at nothing’ approach was his undoing, along with his adherence to a position on climate change different from that of the hard core conservatives among whom were many climate skeptics. He still looms in the background irritating the conservatives in the party, threatening to come back into leadership contentions. But because he has not developed a base of support in the party, somewhat like Rudd, he is unlikely to become leader again.

Is Tony Abbott a leader? In the sense that he has improved the position of the Coalition in the polls to the point where it almost took government on 2010, he is an accomplished leader of his party. The extent to which he leads the members of his parliamentary party is unclear. There are murmurings of lack of consultation, going off half cocked on policy issues and changing his position without notice, but as was the case with Rudd, support for him is poll generated – when they’re on a winner they will stick with him.

His many changes of position and his naked opportunism have earned him the weathervane tag. Events that have occurred after his recent return from overseas have underscored his ‘say anything to anybody and say the reverse the next day’ approach. A media that has afforded him much liberty is now noticing his inconsistency, his evasive approach to awkward questions and the paucity of his policies. This is not sound leadership. Nor is going around the country talking the economy down over the carbon tax, with threats of escalating living costs and fabricated images of massive loss of jobs, business failures and ghost towns, thereby contributing to the decline in business and consumer confidence and falling retail sales. Leadership is talking the economy up and giving people confidence.

Overwhelmingly, in place of vision and an inspirational narrative, we have seen a succession of short negative slogans, which on the face of it have been successful in elevating the Coalition in the polls. His ‘leadership’ has been characterized by unremitting pugilism, negativity, destructiveness and nastiness, all aided and abetted by a compliant media, a prominent part of which seems intent on ‘regime change’.

His leadership attributes seem sharply limited to his capacity to improve substantially the position of the Coalition, such that it would sweep to power were an election to be held now. But should that happen, Abbott’s capacity to lead this nation would be sorely tested, and his leadership attributes found seriously wanting.


Which brings us to Julia Gillard. What leadership attributes does she possess?

To believe the rhetoric that emanates daily from the Opposition and much of the MSM is to accept that Julia Gillard is an incompetent liar, a hopeless communicator and a poor dresser to boot, entirely undeserving of prime ministership, and therefore illegitimately occupying that post and The Lodge. She has no vision, no policies, no plans, and is entirely directionless. She ought to be forced from office by a fresh election before she ruins the country. One shock jock would have her ‘cast into the sea in a hessian bag’, with Bob Brown; others suggest assassination.

Where does the truth lie?

What is her vision for this nation? She has told us often enough. I’m tired of repeating it, so if you’re still uncertain, read What does Julia Gillard stand for? written last November, and in exasperation in June this year another piece: What Julia Gillard DOES stand for.  

She has repeatedly outlined her vision for employment, IR, education, the economy, review of the tax and transfer system, climate change, health, mental health, aged and disability care, asylum seeker policy, indigenous policy, and she has articulated a myriad of other visions, some announced in the winter break. It seems almost every few days some other initiative is announced, the practical manifestation of political vision. Compare that with the vision of Tony Abbott – a chalk and cheese contrast.

Some hark back to Chifley’s 1949 ‘Light on the Hill’ address, somehow longing for that heady rhetoric. But look at it again in What does Julia Gillard stand for, and you will see that she is reiterating that same message time and again. How often does she have to talk about the dignity and security of work and value of opportunity?

So let’s stop looking for her vision with blinkers on – she has vision enough for us all.

What about determination and the capacity to battle on in the face of adversity, an essential attribute for those in high political office. Is it not obvious every day that she has buckets of it? With Tony Abbott and his team firing at her every day, shock jocks abusing her, the media criticizing her relentlessly, often disingenuously, with heavy hitters in commerce and industry throwing tough rhetoric and millions of dollars in adverse advertising at her, what does she do? Shrink into a hole in the ground? No, she is out there day after day repeating her message, sticking to her guns, determined to bring in the reforms she has planned, and when these are frustrated, such as by the High Court over the Malaysian arrangement, she patiently waits for resolution. And when she runs into an immovable brick wall, such as she did over her ETS plans, she adapts, even retreats from a position that is no longer tenable, and does it another way. As she points out, the alternative was to just give up and do nothing. I expect some of you will want to remind us all that ‘she broke a promise’, that she is a liar, and that she therefore cannot be trusted on anything. Go ahead, but ask yourself what you do when you meet an immovable object in life. Do you keep smashing yourself into it or find a way around it. Only a fool would choose the former.

How well does PM Gillard communicate?

She has many critics. Some dislike her drawl, her ocker accent, her repetition of some phrases; indeed it amuses producers of the Riley Report and Insiders to play clips of the same phrase repeated in the many forums and interviews she does each day. What do they expect – a different phrase on every occasion? Yet if she were clever enough to do that they would be onto her for inconsistency or ‘mixed messages’. If only these producers, or better still their proprietors would grow up, and set aside their obsession with ‘infotainment’. Faint hope.

When she is matter-of-fact on serious occasions, she is ‘wooden’, and of course inappropriately dressed; when she is trying to connect with the people via TV, the adjective is ‘condescending’. She never seems to be able to satisfy her critics no matter how hard she tries.

Yet when she is engaged at close quarters she comes across as warm, humorous, with an infectious laugh, easy to talk to, and above all, genuine. She is a good ‘close up’ communicator; it is her ‘middle distance’ communications that cops so much criticism. If only she had Malcolm Turnbull’s dulcet tones. She can be grateful she is not afflicted with Tony Abbott’s raucous yet awkward laugh, and his nodding silence, which incidentally seem to attract little media attention.

Her long distance communication has turned out to be better than expected. She seems to have got on well with international dignitaries, despite her initial reticence.

Not getting her message across has been a constant criticism. There seems to be a deficiency in her media unit, which seems incapable of scripting clear messages that people can understand, but there is a caveat that applies here. It is difficult to transmit complexities simply, as any teacher knows. It is so much easier to convey simple, if disingenuous slogans, as Abbott does so effortlessly. To test my assertion, try creating a handful of easy-to-understand slogans that capture the complexity of an emissions trading scheme and all that flows from it. If you succeed, please post them in comments.

We have covered vision and what she stands for, determination and communication. Let’s quickly check Brendan Nelson’s other attributes for leaders: inspiration, character, judgment, temperament, humility, intellect and courage.

Is she able to inspire? If Chifley could inspire with his ‘Light on the Hill' address, why does not PM Gillard with her near identical words?

What of her character and temperament? Her character seems strong and her temperament possessed of equanimity. She certainly exhibits humility despite a formidable intellect that allows her to be across all aspects of her brief, and who could doubt her courage.

That is enough about Julia Gillard.

I need no more convincing about her suitability to be PM of this country, about her leadership attributes, and about her capacity to be a strong and successful leader of the nation.  I believe she is doing a great job; not perfect, but laudable.

Her detractors will scoff. They will scoff at me too for holding such a view. Let them.

Finally, I want to leave you with some insights that came from NormanK in the form of a comment on the last piece: The Convoluted Convey at 4.14 pm on 13 August. There is not room for all of what he said, so I hope he will post his comment of yesterday, or a version of it, on this piece.

He began with a comment about the first sentence of Shaun Carney's article in the National Times which read: "The curious thing about leadership is that it's hard to define but you know it when you see it." NormanK wrote:

"Rubbish.

"Two things. You know it when you see it when the leader is doing something of which you approve. If they embark on an endeavour, no matter how well thought-out and elucidated, with which you strongly disagree, how can you possibly attribute it to good leadership? Good leadership, as defined by each of our minds, means doing those things of which we approve even in the face of staunch opposition from naysayers who are not in our camp. Carping on about a lack of leadership says more about what the speaker wishes were happening than it does about the leaders themselves.

"Yes, there are examples of poor leadership. Gillard gave us a few during the latter half of 2010 but the Press Gallery seems unwilling to accept that perhaps this minority government, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, no longer fits the template the pundits constructed for them last year.

“The other important aspect of evaluating good or strong leadership is that it is done in hindsight."

NormanK goes on to elaborate with some telling examples. Do reflect upon his insights. Has he put his finger on the core reason why there are so many conflicting views on leadership, and in particular Julia Gillard’s leadership? Is it simply that she is not doing what her critics believe she ought to be?

So where do you stand on political leadership?  

What is political leadership in your book?

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Trevor

15/08/2011I think sadly, there is a dearth of quality political leadership in Australia at present & we are poorer because of this. With labor, to their credit they are willing to continue policy development but their inability to inspire is an issue. The libs on the other hand just seem to have sold out completely to populism and "tell me where you want to go" style of leadership. Which cant score as it is not really leading. My personal vote for the person I would like to have in charge would have to be Paul Keating. While he could infuriate I dont think I have seen a politician before or since who was across the detail of policy and could articulate a succinct message with it. He also had the ability to explain how a policy fitted within an overall "big picture" or vision. Probably the closest I can think of on either side who may be able to sell a "vision" would be Malcolm Turnbull, unfortunately he is in a party that is not interested. I have heard Keating say that in government you have to concentrate on good policy and let the politics follow. I may be contradicting myself here but I remain hopeful that this will be prophetic and will see the tables turn on Tony Abbott.

Lyn

15/08/2011Hi Ad Brilliant thoughtful, honest genuine article. You really have worked very hard this time Ad Astra, an award winning article fantastic read. Superb. Ad you make your writing sound as though you are talking to me. I was thrilled to see that you have included NormanK's super duper comment of yesterday, thankyou to NormanK. [quote]I need no more convincing about her suitability to be PM of this country, about her leadership attributes, and about her capacity to be a strong and successful leader of the nation. I believe she is doing a great job; not perfect, but laudable. [/quote] I agree with you Ad. Julia Gillard is doing a magnificent job, one only has to look at the circumstances she has had to overcome. The nonsense Julia deals with is enough to prove she is a strong Leader. The only part of your article I disagree with is this: [quote]Turnbull style, charisma, tall, good looking, urbane, successful and well heeled. When he spoke he sounded impressive, plausible and usually convincing. [/quote] No I can't have any of that, every time Turnbull talks he reminds me of his stupidity in the Utegate affair, none of that How Now Brown Cow can fix his reputation, also delivering papers to Kerry Packer in a car park at 2am in the morning Just a couple of problems listed below for Julia Gillard: Who wants to be a Leader let alone Prime Minister. [i]Activists call for ban on live export trade The Age - Daniel Flitton - [/i] Hundreds of protesters - many near tears - on the steps of the Victorian Parliament called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to allow MPs a conscience vote on ... http://www.theage.com.au/national/activists-call-for-ban-on-live-export-trade-20110814-1iszj.html [i]Canberra braces for season of protests over Julia Gillard's carbon tax , Malcolm Farr, News Com[/i] THOUSANDS of demonstrators will gather in front of Parliament House tomorrow and next week scores of trucks will blockade the building as the Government faces a season of protests over its carbon pricing scheme. http://www.news.com.au/national/canberra-braces-for-season-of-protests-over-julia-gillards-carbon-tax/story-e6frfkvr-1226115293612 [i]Police to launch state-wide traffic operation to minimise disruptions caused by protest convoys[/i] The heavy vehicles will set out from 11 locations across the country this week – the first convoy is due to leave Port Hedland, in Western Australia, tomorrow (Tuesday 16 August 2011). http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/latest_releases?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGd3d3LmViaXoucG9saWNlLm5zdy5nb3YuYXUlMkZtZW [i]Asylum deal hearing in High Court,Matt Johnson, Herald Sun[/i] THE federal government will be in the High Court again today as the challenge to its embattled asylum seeker people swap deal continues http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/asylum-deal-hearing-in-high-court/story-fn7x8me2-1226114941832 [i]Sign up on transport or lose, states told ,Annabel Hepworth , The Australian[/i] A STOUSH with the premiers is looming at Julia Gillard's summit this week as the government threatens to withhold reform incentive payments and infrastructure funding from states backsliding on key planks of a transport reform agenda worth $30 billion to the national economy. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/sign-up-on-transport-or-lose-states-told/story-fn59niix-1226114841370 Cheers :):):):):):)

NormanK

15/08/2011Ad astra As requested I have transposed some of my previous comment over to this thread. In the interests of disclosure I should confess that I e-mailed a slightly abridged version of the original to Shaun Carney and today I received a reply from him. As might be expected he slapped me down - some of it justified, some not so much so. He did not address the question of leadership. I have removed all reference to Mr Carney and his article since it is not particularly relevant to this topic. The following takes up from where your quote left off. [quote]The other important aspect of evaluating good or strong leadership is that it is done in hindsight. Let me give an example. Suppose I were a military commander who has devised a bold strategy for how to conduct an upcoming campaign. I have relayed my plans to my officers, in the process even winning over those who were initially sceptical of my vision of how the battle will unfold. I have made sure that my troops are trained to an impossibly high degree, are armed with the best available equipment and stand capable of facing anything the enemy may throw at us. I have addressed my troops and instilled in them a sense of belief in themselves, their officers and my strategy. When I stand at the edge of the battlefield with my forces skillfully deployed, all knowable contingencies accommodated and my troops primed and ready to follow me into Hell, am I a good leader? It's probably fair to say that I appear to be. However, a sudden unpredictable, freak storm descends on the conflict zone three hours into the operation and my heavy armour is bogged, we are over-run and routed. Will history record me as a great leader even though I lost the battle? I think not. Some purist military strategists might defend my legacy by praising the theory of my tactics but the greater bulk of commentators will depict me as a failure. When did I go from being a strong competent leader to a failure? Answer - when sufficient time has passed to be able to judge the efficacy of my decisions. In this example it might only be a matter of hours or days. David Cameron is coming under fire for a lack of leadership during the riots within days of the event. That is probably fair since the duration of the event was quite short and any chance of re-shaping outcomes has passed. When it comes to the bigger ticket items on a politician's agenda however it may take years or even decades before a proper evaluation can be done. Health system reforms will probably take five to ten years before they can be said to have proven themselves one way or the other. The NBN will only be able to be evaluated after about 2020 when the greater bulk of the nation has begun to reap the benefits and the new tech-inspired industries have had a chance to establish themselves. The MRRT will have some shorter term indicators with regard to small business but even the injection of capital into infrastructure projects may take a decade to bear fruit. The increase in compulsory superannuation won't come into its own for at least twenty years when some statistician can point to the percentage of the federal budget dedicated to pensions and compare it to what it might have been had the increase not been brought in. It might take thirty years before someone can honestly say that putting a price on carbon in 2012 was the right thing to do for our economy. It might take fifty years before we can work out whether a price on carbon has had the desired effect on emissions. So, in 2060 will commentators be saying that Julia Gillard and her government showed great leadership in the face of considerable opposition by sticking to its plan to price carbon? Let's hope so but the point is we can't do day by day evaluations of the efficacy of long-term plans with any degree of fairness or certainty. 'Great leaders' are decided by history not by this week's polls. A true 'visionary' can only be called such when the test of time has shown them to have been right. Abbott calls his Paid Parental Leave Scheme 'visionary' - what incredible hubris and abuse of the language. Yes, a politician might (indeed should) have a vision for the future but whether that turns out to be 'visionary' only time will tell.[/quote]

Ad astra reply

15/08/2011Trevor While I can agree with your contention that there is dearth of quality political leadership in this country, I can’t accept that this is universally so. Despite all the talk to the contrary, I believe Julia Gillard is providing strong leadership. The Opposition and the media seem to have convinced us that political leadership is lacking, but I don’t buy that this is universally so. We can’t have Paul Keating, and as I recall, he wasn’t all that popular towards the end of his term. I enjoy hearing him comment even now on TV, but it is somewhat easier to comment aside from the turmoil of daily politics.

2353

15/08/2011AA - the immediate thing that hit me when I read this article was that Abbott seems to be like the advertising for certain cheap furniture, hardware or electrical chains. Abbott is always on TV or radio spruking his wares with a quality factor that is poor to miserable (there are numerous examples here and elsewhere of Abbott changing the message to suit the audience). The chains advertising constantly have come to dominate the market in general not because of the quality of the items for sale (most of the time the quality is not great), but because after getting the brand name of the retailer shoved down your throat constantly (if you listen/watch commercial media) you're more likely to go there and "get a bargain" than do the comparison and buy a quality product usually for the same price from a lesser known retailer. All Gillard can really do here is govern, get agreement to go ahead, implement and move on. Although my narky side would love to see the ALP fund a website and twitter/facebook page called "Abbott's Lies", keep it well maintained and call for feedback from the media and public. It's also an interesting development that Bob Brown has effectively "called out" Abbott on his statement last Friday in response to CSG mining on farm lands. I wonder if that will get a run in an election campaign.

Catching up

15/08/2011It appears the one allleged liar is enough for many to dump PM Gillard. What is not mentioned here, is her superior performnce in parliament. Her ability to take all abused thrown at her and come back in a calm and composed manner. Her ability to lob back taunt when appropriated.

Ad astra reply

15/08/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your kind comments – I particularly appreciate your comment: “…you make your writing sound as though 
you are talking to me.” That is a great compliment. I know how you feel about Malcolm Turnbull, especially since the Grech affair, but before that I felt he had potential, especially soon after his entry into federal politics. Back in September 2008, shortly after he became leader, in a piece: [i]The Turnbull Report Card 10 days in[/i] I wrote: "[i]So to date Turnbull deserves ticks for sharing his background with the public, for being a smart and articulate campaigner when promoting his strongly held views, and for his aggressive performance in the House, even if not always based on sound information and a well argued case, even if founded on outright populism. But where he falls short is when he is not on his favoured turf, when he’s challenged with uncomfortable facts, when he attempts to advocate causes in which he does not have his heart, and when he has to defend untenable positions.[/i]" http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2008/09/26/The-Turnbull-Report-Card-10-days-in.aspx Nothing much has changed since then! Thank you for your interesting links. It will be interesting to see how the convoy pans out.

Sir Ian Crisp

15/08/2011It's worth repeating what I said last year (or the year before that): Al Capone in his biography "You Dirty Rat" lamented the fact that he didn't register his crime empire as an Australian political party.

Ad astra reply

15/08/2011NormanK Thank you for re-posting your comments. I’m not surprised Shaun Carney disapproved of your comments; how dare a blogger contradict an eminent journalist! 2353 What frustrates me is that Tony Abbott can say anything he likes, contradict himself the next day, then retract, squirm, and deny what he said originally, and the media let him get away with it. They report his gyrations, but usually fail to condemn them. He is the white-haired boy who can ‘get away with murder’. Sooner or later his lying and contortions will be exposed for all to see. Catching up You are right – Julia Gillard does very well in parliament, particularly in QT. No doubt tomorrow Tony Abbott will be back to his old motions of censure, so boring, so time wasting. He has such a limited repertoire.

Ad astra reply

15/08/2011Folks I'm packing it in to enjoy my favourite night on ABC TV.

janice

15/08/2011Ad astra, Thank you for yet another excellent piece. Like you, I believe our PM is providing strong leadership and in very difficult circumstances. I would venture to say that there are few leaders who would have the skill to preside over a minority government such as this one and still manage to get important bills presented and passed through both Houses of Parliament. I'm afraid though that I'm with Lyn when it comes to Turnbull :) IMO Turnbull looks like a barrister, acts like a barrister and therefore should have stuck to being a barrister. He appears to me to think that running a government is no different to running a private corporation, and that is what makes me believe he is not what this country needs as PM because the party in government must govern for all of us. Kevin Rudd showed signs of what I would call good leadership at first. He failed only because he wasn't able to hold the respect of his own colleagues and, I suspect, this was probably because he a) didn't respect them enough to include them in policy making/decision making or b) he thought that he didn't need to work at gaining/keeping their loyalty. No point in me sounding out about why the LOTO isn't even a leader's bootlace and I don't see anyone else in the coalition parties at this time with any leadership qualities.

NormanK

15/08/2011Ad astra Thanks for an interesting take on an age-old question. Something I have never considered is the use you made of 'close', 'middle' and 'long' distance communication. I think most of us would agree that Julia Gillard is superb in close contact with people; delivers set pieces such as speeches and structured press conferences with aplomb and seems to have struck up fruitful relationships with international leaders both when they visit here and when she is abroad. It is what you term the 'middle distance' communication such as taped addresses and some one-on-one interviews that I have issues with but they are not of sufficient concern that they drag down my overall estimation of her performance. Having thought about this for a few days, I am still inclined to stick to my remarks from Saturday. The question I always find myself looking for the answer to when someone says "show some leadership" is - what is it that the leader is doing or not doing that requires a change of tack? Almost invariably the answer is that the leader is doing something other than what the complainant would like to see done. After all, if a leader is promoting causes with which we agree would we depict them as being a poor leader? Most unlikely.

D Mick Weir

15/08/2011Ad, I haven't had the chance to digest your post yet but I have to let you in on some wise words. After watching Q&A SWMBO said: [i]I haven't heard Malcolm Turnbull speak for quite a while and while I don't agree with a lot of what he says it is very refreshing to hear a Lib speak who actually has a brain and connects it with the mouth that is speaking[/i] Hmm maybe an element of leadership may have something to do with thinking before opening one's mouth. Back to reading your post.

jane

16/08/2011Ad Astra, I really enjoyed reading your post. However, like Janice, I have never found Turnbull convincing and the Grech affair proved to me that he is not leadership material. He is rash, arrogant and overbearing. Abbott otoh is utterly lacking in integrity, honesty, decency and leadership qualities. He has no vision or any coherent policies for this country and if he hadn't been given the greatest free ride in history, he would be languishing on the rubbish heap of failed leaders. Gillard, after a shaky start, has demonstrated she has what it takes to be a leader. Her skill in negotiating the Independents' support was excellent and although she must at times feel dispirited at the baseless and unwarranted attacks on her, she appears undaunted. I feel a great deal of admiration for her; no other leader has been subjected to such sustained, vicious and baseless attacks on a personal and professional level by the media.

D Mick Weir

16/08/2011Hi Ad, what an interesting and in depth look at the topic. Well done. Your comment [i]... it seems as mystifying a concept as ever.[/i] inspired me to go over to Amazon and search on 'leadership'. In one form of the search I got 68,400 results. Even accounting for a fair number of repeats in the results that is a lot of books, Is it any wonder we are having trouble pinning it down to a few succinct words? As I read through the summary of each of the recent leaders you chose, something nagged in the back of my mind. There seemed to be something missing from the analysis. It is a bit of a tangent, but after some thought the one word missing was 'trust', although you did mention in the negative sense that some say [i]... (the PM) cannot be trusted on anything ...[/i] Trust is an important virtue and trait needed by all leaders. There is the trust of those that are being lead; a trust in oneself and in the decisions one makes as a leader and a reciprocal trust that a leader must have in those they are working with. Trust is something that can take years to build and can be lost in the blink of an eye. John Howard lost the trust of a lot of the electorate, in some of his fellow pariamentarians and I suspect some of his trust in himself and his own judgement. Equally Kevin Rudd lost trust from the electorate and from members of his team (if he ever had it from some). I'll skip over Brendan Nelson as I am not sure that trust was an issue in his demise more as you said 'stalking' by Turnbull and he was on a hiding to nothing to last given the depths of despair his party plumbed after the thumping given to it by the electorate. Turnbull lost the trust of his colleagues in a large part (I think) because he had the 'temerity' to negotiate with Rudd over the CPRS and because some did not trust his political judgement or acumen. What can I say about trust and Tony Abbott. Personally I wouldn't trust him as far as I could kick him but it seems he still maintains some level of most of his colleagues. This brings us around to the current PM. A large part of the current 'success' that the opposition is having has been the constant underming of trust in her which from one point of view is a brilliant tactic. The question now becomes, what can the PM do to rebuild trust? This could be the $64,000 question the answer/s to which may when implemented be the making of the leader when know is there even though it is difficult to believe at times, I amongst the books on leadership I have read there is one on the subject of trust that I recall was a very good read and I shall delve into the back cupboard to see if I can haul it out. [b]The Speed of Trust[/b] Stephen M.R. Covey http://www.amazon.com/SPEED-Trust-Thing-Changes-Everything/dp/1416549005/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313416824&sr=1-1 In the book Covey outlines 13 behaviors of trust-inspiring leaders, such as demonstrating respect, creating transparency, righting wrongs, delivering results and practicing accountability. Just those five mentioned, put into practice, may go a long way toward instilling confidence in the PM's leadership.

TalkTurkey

16/08/2011Didja see Q&A tonight didja? One really stupid voice only, guess who. Hint: rhymes with jelly. Everyone else was rational, except for where poor old Turdball was repeatedly wedged, been cast as a wedge himself, found himself in impossible situations because basically he's mostly rational himself being supposed to defend irrational postures, not to grace the Coalition's brainphhhts with the term policy. I haven't yet read your new voluminous post yet Ad astra, nor the other comments, i'm a bit distracted by other matters, but it matters not too much because tonight it became plain that what we have corporately argued and worked for is gaining traction, the thaw is setting in on cue, see what just a couple of days can do! Stick that in your pipe Richo, we got 2 years yet, and this is the Year of Delivery says *J*U*L*I*A*, much is already delivered in terms of the enabling legislation, the rest will be in place largely by the end of the spring sitting, wotcha gunna do about that Mr Abbortt? Like the weight of carbon dioxide - zilch ha ha. Poor old Turdball, right out of his depth, Jackie Kelly displays her inepth, Labor's grand plan is beginning to work, Tony's good on Q&A - Oh I mean, Tony [i]Burke![/i] I can't wait for QT today though. This is where the harassment of the wounded Abbortt begins in earnest. The questions for him to flee. The media pack like the curs they mostly are are at last starting to snap at his heels. They have made no impression on our PM, they know they won't catch her out, she's smarter by country miles than any of them, meanwhile Abbortt's stumbles in the last few days have turned the tables, but it is delicious to realize that the publicity given to them has been as much a media production as it is based firmly on what the idiot has indeed said himself. Today they are having a field day with his costings and his posturings, and his gobstop interviews, and they are starting to notice at last the small detail that he flees from real questions, and he's sure got some coming now! $70 billion Tony, twice the Government's total estimated expenditure on the NBN! Gonna take a lot of Pumpkin Scones to raise that sort of dough! And guess who's really fracked, out of the farmers vs miners Tony? Why, it's you! Absolutely fracked! All your gas escaping! I don't hate you Tony Abbortt. It's just that I despise you and you disgust me. This week Tony, Thy comeuppance cometh. Run Tony run! Ride Tony ride! As fast as you can, but you can't hide! Like I told the folks last week, I betcha [i]This[/i] week the Media's comin' to [i]GETCHA![/i] :)

2353

16/08/2011As one of "Sunrise's Dawn Patrol" (those that watch the first half hour or so), I was somewhat surprised after the share and currency figures were dutifully read out, David Koch says the rise in the sharemarket yesterday equated to about $35Billion of additional worth being added in a day. Then he goes on to the "dicussion" with Commbank and asked Craig James to prepare a few graphs showing why we are travelling well in these uncertain economic times! For the hattrick, Koch & Craig James from CBA agree that the only reason they can see for Australia it go into recession is for the population of Australia to remain negative about the future - which has to stop! They calculated the increase in net worth for every Australian yesterday was $1500. I nearly spilt my morning coffee (instant - I can't afford a machine!)

Lyn

16/08/2011[b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]Just when things start to go well for Gillard...Mungo MacCallum, The Drum[/i] I have been grossly verballed by The Australian's Sneer-and-Smear section, Cut and Paste. Okay, so I'm not Robinson Crusoe, but this was a particularly sleazy exercise by the paper's anonymous crapulator. By selective cutting he/she/it removed http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2839746.html [i]Game on some more!, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Oh where to go for the Tony ‘No’ show? Should he back the miners who’s taste is on the tip of his tongue,or should he strip naked and join the greens in a congo veto line? And will he support a move to take away a states rights on the matter? http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/game-on-some-more/ [i]The PM and the Party, David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] where did we get this idea that just because a Government mid-term becomes unpopular there should be anelection? I've long been an advocate of annual elections and actually think they could work. But the current thinking is sheer lunacy. http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]Liberal Party and Industrial Relations, Liberal Party and Industrial Relations, Alex Schlotzer[/i] Tony Abbott lied to Australians at the last election about their IR policy. Tony promised we’d be given the full details of their IR policy by Eric Abetz. http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/liberal-party-and-industrial-relations/ [i]Tony Abbott gives the green light for penalty rates to be slashed, Business Insider[/i] If Mr Abbott does not rule out John Alexander‟s policy to reduce or abolish penalty rates, the only thing that is dead, buried and cremated is his promise to the Australian people to abandon these laws. http://businessinsider.net.au/stories/financial/tony-abbott-gives-the-green-light-for-penalty-rates-to-be-slashed [i]Abbott on farming v mining, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] The only clarity to be found was in the comments he made before he got to those remarks, which was to declare “we don’t support the Greens. We’re not going to support the Greens”. That is, Abbott was crystal-clear on the politics, http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/15/abbott-on-farming-v-mining/ [i]Abbott backtracks on coal seam comments, Jeremy Thompson, ABC[/i] "The Greens are just against mining, full stop. They are particularly against the coal industry, which they want to close down."Mr Abbott said land use decisions were "fundamentally a matter for the states" http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-15/abbott-backtracks-on-coal-seam-comments/2839638 [i]Coalition won't back Greens move to restrict CSG mining of farmland, Climate Spectator[/i] They had hoped to win Coalition backing for the legislation following comments made by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on Friday, that farmers had "a right to say no" if they did not want miners to come onto their land to explore and extract coal seam gas. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/news/coalition-wont-back-greens-move-restrict-csg-mining-farmland#.Tkh5Wd1s1mI.twitter [i]My evidence on the carbon price, John Quiggin[/i] claims by the NSW government that the carbon price will have a devastating impact on households on the state’s economy are unfounded and rely on misleading presentation of extreme cases http://johnquiggin.com/2011/08/15/my-evidence-on-the-carbon-price/ [i]Keep calm and carry on: global market chaos shouldn’t affect the carbon tax, Paul Burke, The Conversation[/i] If governments reacted to every piece of negative news by neglecting their long-term reform agenda, the quality of our overall governance would be substantially weakened.The climate won’t wait for the financial markets http://theconversation.edu.au/keep-calm-and-carry-on-global-market-chaos-shouldnt-affect-the-carbon-tax-2843 [i]Vote early and vote often?, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Sadly, this whole episode just highlights how far away we are from having a mature discussion on climate change in Australia. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/15/vote-early-and-vote-often/ [i]Australia's overheated climate debate, Friends of the Irish Environment[/i] Tony Abbott, is vigorously stoking the fire with his trademark blend of alpha-male swagger and hyperbolic claims about the ruinous effects of the carbon tax. On paper, the opposition party has committed Australia to the same emission cuts http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.net/paperstoday/index.php?action=view&id=14397 [i]Send Them To Manus!,Ilya Gridneff, New Matilda[/i] Earlier this year, ABC correspondent Liam Fox visited Manus and confirmed the facilities were run down, dilapidated and in need of more than a lick of paint. Costly repairs are going to have start as soon as possible if this recent momentum is to continue http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/15/send-them-manus [i]Corporations have all the same rights as people — and are using them to ruthlessly hijack democracy in the United States. Richard Eskow , Independent Australia[/i] Our corporate personages need help. And they get it — from their servants in the Republican Party, and from the many Democrats who are also eager to pitch in. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/business/corporations-are-people-%e2%80%94-to-hijack-democracy/ [i] Dazed, confused and uninformed: self-funded retirees bear the brunt, Susan Thorp, The Conversation [/i] The self-funded retirees of Australia are watching as the horses keep on bolting out the open stable door. If you could sum up in one word the feelings of the average Australian retiree about financial markets, that word would be “confusion”. http://theconversation.edu.au/dazed-confused-and-uninformed-self-funded-retirees-bear-the-brunt-2834 [i]More distortions on the BER< Guest, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Over 9,000 of the 10,500 projects have been completed since the P21 program (Primary Schools for the 21st Century – the $14.1 billion component of the $16.2 billion BER) was conceived in February 2009. This is a significant achievement. It is clear that the program did in fact deliver substantial stimulus.” http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/08/10/crap-from-the-oz/ [i]Public service same size as 20 years ago,Peter Martin. SMH[/i] Coalition shadow ministers have been asked to appear before a meeting of its expenditure review committee today with list of programs or departments that could be abolished. http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service-same-size-as-20-years-ago-20110814-1it39.html#ixzz1V2fIYA2g [i]Abbott’s policy vacuum bites him on the bum, Malcolm Farr, The Punch[/i] Tony Abbott would not be in this uncomfortable position if he had a broad policy perspective on key issues. Instead,he has concentrated on climate change and asylum seekers, and has yet to create a solid economic http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Abbotts-policy-vaccum-bites-him-on-the-bum/ [i]Stop Coddling the Super-Rich, Warren E Buffett, The Opinion Pages, NY Times[/i] Twelve members of Congress will soon take on the crucial job of rearranging our country’s finances. They’ve been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html?_r=1

Ad astra reply

16/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Lyn

16/08/2011Hi Ad and Everybody Some good news for fans and readers of Grog's Gamut: GrogsGamutGreg Jericho From tomorrow will be writing weekly posts for @abcthedrum. Will have lots of graphs or protest signs. Whichever feels the most Drumish 9 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply Cheers:):):):):):):):)

Lyn

16/08/2011Hi Ad ABC reporting: [quote]As he did in March, Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott is expected to address today's rally[/quote]. Who, in their wildest dreams would have thought Mr Abbott would have stayed out of today's rally:- MPs return to rallies, protests, Naomi Woodley, ABC If people come there with placards that are a bit questionable, not even the police can stop them being there. And that's the whole idea of democracy, people can express their views." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-16/gay-marriage-to-be-debated-in-parliament/2840818 Cheers :):):):):)

Casablanca

16/08/2011Prof Marty Kaplan is being interviewed by Margaret Throsby as I type. His theme fits in with our recent discussions about media etc. ABC FM 102.30

Ad astra reply

16/08/2011janice Thank you for your kind comment. I see that, like Lyn and jane, you are not enamoured of Malcolm Turnbull. When he first entered parliament, even although via a pretty ruthless pre-selection process, he was impressive and looked like a future PM. For many, the initial gloss wore off and the Grech affair further diminished him in their eyes, reducing him to an ordinary politician. As I have often said, he shines when he is advocating an issue in which he has his heart, but does poorly when that is not so. Did you see that last night on [i]Q&A[/i] he was at his best in talking about the technicalities of coal seam gas and the possible effects on aquifers, clearly on top of the subject, but when he was asked about things with which he was not in accord, he floundered. Clearly he is embarrassed with Tony Abbott’s contradictory utterances, and flounders when confronted by them. A barrister ought to be more convincing defending a guilty client.

Ad astra reply

16/08/2011Folks I have to go out for a few hours – I’ll respond to other comments later.

TalkTurkey

16/08/2011Ad astra said (of John Howard, aka the Lying Rodent, a term coined for him by (can anybody remember?): "Another negative for him was his disingenuousness, which was manifest starkly in the ‘kids overboard’ incident, the truth of which he kept hidden from the public until after the 2001 election. ‘Honest John’ became a phrase of derision." Actually Ad I think you have that the wrong way 'round. I think We were the first to start calling him Honest John as a term of derision (a la redheads are 'Blue', plump blokes are 'Slim' etc) and then gradually the term was turned around by Them as though he really was *[i]honest[/i]* I'm sure they didn't turn it around in your mind nor mine, - you and I surely have since the first always viewed it as a richly-deserved term of condemnation - but it just goes to show the power of the opinion-makers that, in face of his lies and evasions and stonewalling, they could still convince a lot of people that 'Honest' meant [i]honest[/i]. I despise Abbort, yes, but if I'm to really [i]hate[/i] anyone at all it must be Honest John Howard. Now we are really talking leadership! Leadership into a society of nastiness via a cunning scheming cynical assault on honesty, decency and respect for humanity. Howard remains the worst leader this nation has ever had, and really Abbortt is no more than his idiot understudy. He has all JH's nastiness but little of his rat cunning, he's just a boor who by banging on and performing stunts has made people "Look!" time and again and again and again, but you know, they've started [i]looking[/i] at him at last, and now those who fondly hoped and believed that he could take up where JH left off are sadly disappointed (and will be increasingly as it sinks into their own unpleasant minds) that he is not their man after all. And whither now for the Coalition? [i]Wither[/i] indeed, for they have no policies, no credo, and most of all, no leadership either present or future. In the short-to-medium term - including the next election - I reckon they're fracked! :) I sometimes tire of wiseheads like Mungo telling me such stuff as he says this morning (Lyn's Links) wtte that the best thing, well almost the only thing Labor has going for it is Abbortt's unpopularity, (which btw imo is set to burgeon now), and he cautions against getting rid of him too soon - with which I cautiously agree. Mungo, what a parsimonious old coot you can be. Damn, what do you want, Labor's done so much good stuff, including steering this country through the rapids of the GEC into the most enviable economic position of all the developed countries! What is it with Australians, the better we have it the more a lot of our countrymen whinge. Led by such as puppet Abbortt, with strings pulled by his elders and richers and worsers, and flanked by naysayers and jeerers, but perhaps most disgracefully, [i]not[/i] staunchly [i]rejected[/i] by such as Mungo, who ought to know better. Above it all, know-it-all, supercilious . . . Come on you armchair pundits, credit where it's due, we have a GREAT Government in terms of its agenda, with the MOST talented front bench this country has EVER had, and the BEST economic position of ANY country in the WORLD! Julia Gillard will do me for a leader, and her front bench will do me as a leadership team. We are VERY well-governed. Oh and while we're about leadership, Ad astra, you'll do me as the opinion leader of this blogsite. Thank you on behalf of all who benefit from it. Never doubt it, Swordsfolks, we are part of the heat that is bringing about this obvious thaw in the winter of Australians' discontent. Good stuff. Don't forget to be watching Question Time today, look for mild Government merriment, and a very nettled Abbortt starting to be done slowly. "Yum Yum! Pig's Bum! Question Time! Big Fun!"

Gravel

16/08/2011Ad Astra That is a great piece of writing. I was pleased that it opened up new ground for us to think about. I, like Janice, Lyn and jane, have the same thoughts about Turnbull. I didn't like the way he used his money to get preselection in the first place so have never had any fond thoughts of him. It seems a bit like us 'girls' sense something about him that seems to elude you 'boys'. :-) It will be interesting to see what Feral Skeleton, Debbie and any other 'girls' on here think. Talk Turkey, I note your dislike of Malcolm as well, so maybe my theory is incorrect.

nasking

16/08/2011[quote]Is Tony Abbott a leader?[/quote] He doesn't inspire me. Useful post Ad astra. Abbott, like those leaders of the Tea Party in America, is a "win at all costs" type who pits communities against one another and talks down the economy to the point it damages processes of necessary socio-economic reform and transition. The guys a "wrecker"...put in place by a number of religious extremists, stubborn free marketeers and Rinehart/Palmer/ForrestMurdoch kowtowers to do "demolition derby" stuff on the government...and attempt to wedge it on most policies...tear down its poll numbers...and lay the path for another more palatable Liberal leader. However, Tony's got a Moses complex that comes across more like the political version of some kooky American preacher warning the end of the world (Australia in this case) is nigh. But like many a sly & devious attention-seekin' preacher from across the pond he's hiding the real motives of his party/church from the public. And his ego knows few bounds...eventually he'll turn on his own in order to spread THE WORD. The WORD according to Tony...once he's figured out what it is. For the Allan Jones audience it's about "You shall not drill on your farmer's land without permission"...and to the mining masters audience "You shall drill on your farmer's land as long as you give them appropriate lollies"... if he wins government it will probably be "You shall drill anytime, anywhere provided you donate to my crusading causes of spiritual Ozsterity & Tony the Lionheart foundation and make it look like, with the aid of Jones & News Ltd, you provided your farmer appropriate lollies". Speaking of grab for resources insanity: [quote]North sea oil spill 'worst for a decade' The government estimates oil leak could involve more than 1,300 barrels but claims it has been greatly reduced Fiona Harvey guardian.co.uk, Monday 15 August 2011 [/quote] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/aug/15/north-sea-oil-spill No matter how much they crap in the oceans and on the land...putting at risk bio-diversity and the livelihoods of families...types like the Texan governors, Republican Tea Party supporters & other Republican leaders call for MORE MORE MORE... Why not more electric cars instead of putting so much at risk?: Electric car company opens first showroom in Israel Better Place will show three models of the Renault Fluence ZE, outfitted with Better Place's battery and electric engine instead of a conventional fuel tank and internal combustion engine. By Daniel Schmil, Haaretz.com http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/electric-car-company-opens-first-showroom-in-israel-1.378066 Bring on energy diversity. N'

Casablanca

16/08/2011Paul Keating at today's State Funeral for Clyde Holding said, '....Clyde had what all leaders must have, imagination and courage.' He is spot on, I think.

nasking

16/08/2011Yawn. Per usual Tony Abbott & One Nationistic allies are proving to be unoriginal. SKY NEWS does Fox News impersonation…Tony Abbott does Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck (contemporary Moses)impersonation…addressing a mere 2000 people crowd doing Tea Party impersonation…pumped up by Allan Jones on radio doing Rush Limbaugh impersonation… and truck driver Troy “Grover” Logan doing Bernie Banton/Peter Finch in Network impersonation (and treated better than Bernie by opportunistic Abbott). Aussie democracy in action. Courtesy of the USA. Sad day for the Liberal Party. N’

Trevor

16/08/2011Talk Turkey said: "(of John Howard, aka the Lying Rodent, a term coined for him by (can anybody remember?)" I believe it was George Brandis, one of his own. Brandis is now one of the very few remaining moderates in what is now a very conservative party.

Jason

16/08/2011N I guess if it wasn't for 2GB Abbott et al would have been talking to the press. As I've noted before with these rallies,most of them who turn up need not worry about a 5% cut by 2020,as they will be at the great "Anti Carbon Tax Rally" in the sky by then.

Ad astra reply

16/08/2011NormanK, D Mick Weir, jane, TT, 2353, Lyn, Gravel, Nasking Thank you all for your comments and thoughtful contributions, which I will attempt to address collectively. To return to Malcolm Turnbull, about whom there have been differing views expressed here. After posting a response to you janice, I heard a talkback caller on ABC 774 Melbourne radio extolling Malcolm Turnbull’s performance on Q&A last night and the way he responded to questions about Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey. I don’t agree with him on the latter; I felt that was where he floundered. But what he said next was salient. Declaring he was a Liberal voter, he expressed exasperation at the performance of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey and asked why they could not be replaced, presumably with someone of the calibre of Turnbull. I can’t remember what adjective he used to describe these two, but it wasn’t complimentary. Clearly this Liberal was embarrassed by the Leader of the Coalition and the Shadow Treasurer and wanted them replaced. I see in Mungo MacCallum’s piece on [i]The Drum Opinion[/i] that he says: [i]“…Gillard and her colleagues must have once again been grateful that Abbott, and not Hockey, let alone Malcolm Turnbull, is leading the Liberal Party. According to the remorseless polling, he is the only thing that is keeping Labor in the race.”[/i] While I disagree with the latter – I think Julia Gillard is the best thing Labor has got going for it – his view again highlights the disdain that so many have for the so-called leader of the Coalition. Is this part of a gathering tide of disregard and disrespect for this worst-ever Leader of the Opposition? DMW, you have put your finger on an important aspect of leadership – trust, one I ought to have highlighted it in the piece. We all remember how John Howard cleverly used that term just when trust in him was being questioned in his 2004 campaign by asking: “Who do you trust to (insert whatever you prefer such as keep interest rates down; keep the economy strong and so on).” He elevated trust to the highest level and gained a considerable advantage. Trust is essential, and it is exactly this that Tony Abbott continually tried to erode in our PM. That is his strategy – erode trust in her to the extent that the people vote her out of office. Trust is what PM Gillard has to establish. In my opinion, the way in which she carries out her program of reform over the next two years will achieve that. I have to go out for a few hours - I'll catch up with other comments later.

nasking

16/08/2011[quote]As I've noted before with these rallies,most of them who turn up need not worry about a 5% cut by 2020,as they will be at the great "Anti Carbon Tax Rally" in the sky by then.[/quote] Jason, I imagine big pharma will be annoyed about this rally...it means a few hundred chronic worriers didn't have time to come in to pick up their valium. Tho, today's crowd came across more like an amphetamine one. The convoy mosh pit were hopin' to bang Gillard & Swan's heads...chantin' TONY TONY TONY. Abbott rose to the occasion singin' UP UP and away Would you like to ride in my kinda gasless balloon? Would you like to dive in my OZsterity balloon? We could hit the ground together, you and I. N'

Trevor

16/08/2011I have seen some of the pictures on ABC online of the rally, quite prominent are people carrying a coffin pronouncing "democracy is dead". I can only say thank goodness democracy is alive & kicking here. I am not sure what their idea of democracy is but I guess it has something to do with rolling opinion polls. And of course these are only to be given credence if they align with your view. It seems more like a call to mob rule to me.

debbiep

16/08/2011hey gravel, you count me in I feel exactly the same as you. Sadly I lost a lot of faith in Turnbull back when he was Environmental Minister and was a shareholder ( or part owner) of a Logging Company in the Solomon Islands. I [i]want[/i] to like Turnbull. I remember watching a show with him being interviewed , Australian story I think a few moons ago . However there is a lingering element of distrust with Turnball Im sad to say . something that I domnt quite feel comfortable with in him. The worrying thing is personally I don't see anyone in the current Liberal familiar faces Party in-whom I would suggest as a good (Liberal) leader. Julia Gillard however , in my eye , is growing well in the job.

Lyn

16/08/2011Hi Trevor [quote]"democracy is dead". [/quote] They wouldn't be able to hold a rally if we didn't have a Democracy. Stupid gooses. Cheers:):):):):)

Gravel

16/08/2011debbiep Ah it is coming together nicely, my little theory. Ad Astra was just talking about trust, and I think that is what I don't have in Turnbull. On the other hand, I would trust my life in Julia's hands. She has been as honest and forthright as a politician can possibly be. This rubbish about her lying, she went on to say she would put a price on carbon but the media didn't play that bit. So here we go again, the media controls what most people hear and say. The 4pm news on the ABC local radio, started with "Tony Abbott says....." so I tuned out and turned off. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Michael

16/08/2011All anyone has to know about Malcolm Turnbull is that he had a portrait painted of himself and his wife that was an exact copy of a famed Renaissance nobleman and his wife. An attempt to assume some distant cachet of nobility, or merely ego? See here for details, http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+life+and+adventures+of+Malcolm+Turnbull.-a0202074387 search on the page for Sforza After all, it is Paul Keating who said of Turnbull, "brilliant... but no judgement". PS I can't bring myself to post a Bad Abbott today... it's Groundhog Day. Again.

Lyn

16/08/2011 Hi Ad and Everybody At the Carbon Tax Rally: This article by Malcolm Farr has a video on it. The most pitiful stupid, idiotic performance I have seen, this truck driver could hardly stand up, but Abbott helped him to the microphone, generous Mr Abbott, he needed to call an ambulance, first aid Mr Abbott. See what you think [i]Tony Abbott joins carbon tax rally to call for fresh election , Malcolm Farr, News Com[/i]We want to say first, we don't want a carbon tax. And second, we do want an election,'' he said to cheers and chants of “Election now, election now''. Mr Abbott then introduced Troy "Grover'' Logan, a truck driver who had walked 368km from Albury to protest carbon pricing, which he said would force truckies to drive for longer, dangerous hauls to make up for extra costs. However, Grover was exhausted from his trek and almost collapsed in Mr Abbott's arms at the podium. This man is doing the hard yards for our democracy. Thank you for giving him such a welcome.'' But Grover still could [b]barely talk and appeared in great pain[/b], but said: “This is for every single truck driver in Australia.'' http://www.news.com.au/national/carbon-tax/tony-abbott-joins-carbon-tax-rally-to-call-for-fresh-election/story-fn99kjia-1226115972975#ixzz1VAcq0egA Cheers :):):):):)

Trevor

16/08/2011Lyn I couldn't quite get to the end of the video but I noticed Grover the walker said he had done it for everyone in Australia. So I guess that includes me and I support the price on carbon so good on him. If he lists his email addr I will thank him for walking in support of the carbon tax.

Lyn

16/08/2011 Hi Trevor Good on you for thinking like that, yes you are right, Grover the walker nearly died for supporting the Carbon Tax.. What Grover did say had little if nothing to do with carbon tax anyway, What electronic log books???????????? This is probably a pretty accurate article, the writer thinks like us . [i]Carbon freak show, Anthony Sharwood, The Punch[/i] 3. The constant references to the death of democracy [b]Oh and if democracy is so dead, just remind us again why a rally organised by government opponents was allowed to happen on the lawns outside the seat of power?[/b] 4. The endless sooky calls for a new election Here’s some good news, Tony. There’s an election due in two short years. See? Wishes can come true. The Punch asks again: was this an anti carbon tax rally or a whinge at being out of power? 7. Truckie “Grover” Logan [b]This was one of the weirdest things seen on Australian television in years. Not since Daryl Somers has someone seemed to be so close to death on stage.[/b] Frankly, the guy actually looked like he needed a drink of water and a lie down and [b]possibly a hospital bed. Putting him on stage in that state was not only bizarre, it was cruel[/b]. Indeed, it was pretty much a [b]de facto Liberal party campaign [/b]launch. Minus the policies of course, but then who needs policies when you can harp on and on and about THAT REALLY BIG LIE. http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/carbon-freak-show/ Cheers :):):):):):)

Lyn

16/08/2011Hi Ad and Everybody Julia performed brilliant again today in Parliament, she had Abbott wobbling his head, I noticed when the camera let me look. This is Ash's article on Today's question time: Order in the House??!??, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery Joe did have a doozy of a question that Laurie Oakes tweeted as ‘a torpedo at HMAS Gillard’. [b]But the PM not only defused the torpedo, she reprogrammed it and sent it back at Joe with 70 billion tonnes of TNT.[/b] http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/order-in-the-house/ cheers:):):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

16/08/2011Oh, spare me, 'Grover' the fair dinkum Aussie bloke...and mindless moron who wouldn't know when his thoughts were being manipulated by experts if his life depended on it, and, it seems, from your reports about today's rally, that his life, spent in obsequy to Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Chris Smith & 2GB, almost did end up being given for the cause he thought he was supporting so that the manipulators of those such as him can get uf their Anti-Tax agenda. The poor dupe is probably one of the very people that will actually end up financially ahead as a result of the Climate Change policy. *Shakes head*

Feral Skeleton

16/08/2011Sorry, the spelling of 'up' was stuffed 'uf'. It's because I have been walking my legs off all day too. Except I have been doing it for a sensible reason.

Trevor

16/08/2011Yes I think Grover spends to much time on the Hume Highway with his radio tuned to Alan Jones. Maybe I could send him some RN podcasts on CD. At least he may hear some point of views that not only differ but are not laced with anger.

Feral Skeleton

16/08/2011As far as Tony Abbott's leadership qualities goes, since when has a demagogue and rank political opportunist with delusions of grandeur ever been considered a good leader? Might I also add that Abbott appears to have cast himself in the role of Mary Magdalene today, as he picked up the faltering 'Jesus Christ' Grover, who had had such a heavy cross to bear(of not even knowing that he had been royally manipulated by the likes of those in the Propaganda Palaces that he listens to devoutly on his truck radio), as he wended his way from Albury to Canberra today. Did anyone see if Tony Abbott kept the hankie he wiped Grover's fevered brow with, and whether he brought it to Question Time to show the masses Grover's visage imprinted upon it? And, if not, then I must say that I am surprised that Singo hadn't thought about it and had one made up for the Sideshow Barker, otherwise known as the Leader of the Opposition, beforehand. ;-)

Ad astra

16/08/2011TT Thank you for your kind words. I hope we bloggers are making a difference. How much we can only guess. I did watch QT today and was again appalled at Tony Abbott’s naked aggression towards PM Gillard. It was disgraceful but she answered calmly and deliberately, never losing her cool. I guess that is what infuriates Abbott and drives him to distraction.

Ad astra

16/08/2011Hi Lyn I saw only the ABC’s hour of QT, but I felt Julia Gillard was in control and left Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey flailing about. Obviously Ash enjoyed the first QT.

Ad astra

16/08/2011FS I saw a clip of the carbon rally on ABC TV this evening. It did not look like a large crowd, and what a motley lot they appeared to be. I was amused to see Tony Abbott’s insincere attempt to distance himself from some of the posters, smilingly saying he didn’t ‘necessarily agree with some of them’, while clearly enjoying the mob’s demeaning of the nation’s PM. He doesn’t seem to realize that by associating himself with this sort of event he demeans his office of Leader of the Opposition, and that such events have lost their potency. It was around item five on ABC News, nowhere near the top of the bulletin.

Ad astra

16/08/2011Thank you Lyn for the Anthony Sharwood link which filled me in on the carbon rally. His reference to Barnaby Joyce was fascinating reading. I saw a brief TV clip of his rant – he looked close to apoplexy. One day we should collect this man’s ravings into one place. They would evoke questions about his cognition.

Ad astra

16/08/2011debbiep I see you are in the anti-Turnbull camp, and that for you trust is the key reason. You have a strong point. How easy is it to trust him after the Grech affair? I see Gravel agrees.

Trevor

16/08/2011Hi Ad Astra. On the topic of JG's leadership qualities, I also admire her resilience and her ability to negotiate an outcome. I think inability of Rudd to include others and compromise was in the end probably fatal for him. I remain perplexed however at watching Julia in parliament where she is very good and can generally best the opposition and leave them looking flat. Compared to when she is making a public speech or conducting an interview, where she often appears patronising and looks uncomfortable. I am sometimes left shouting at my radio trying to channel lines to her. I get the feeling she has been coached that her audience will only understand very simple concepts and not to stray into any complex debate. I, like many others find this very frustrating and would love to hear her talking to us more as people who do understand the complexity of the issues we are dealing with.

Jason

16/08/2011Dear the political sword, For those of you who may fall into the age bracket of the 2GB "anti carbon tax" protesters except my apology for my "ageist" comments! and may you live to see 2020 and the coalition still in opposition, as I think their next leader is yet to enter parliament! and after Joe's stint on the 730 report tonight well that's a few minutes I'll never get back!

BSA Bob

16/08/2011We certainly didn't see any political leadership from Joe Hockey on 7.30 tonight, as he floundered over & over in the face of Chris Uhlmann's questioning. Uhlmann appeared to treat the whole episode as an elementary training exercise (not intended as a criticism, Hockey was so weak anything else would have landed Uhlmann in a Coroner's court.) I think the big question beginning to appear on the national horizon is "Is Australia strong enough to survive an Abbott & Hockey government?"

Ad astra

16/08/2011Nasking You advisedly used the word ‘wrecker’ to describe Abbott. As Paul Keating said so aptly, Abbott’s behaviour bespeaks: ‘Give me what I want or I’ll wreck the place’.

Ad astra reply

16/08/2011Trevor When the public has been conditioned to Tiny Abbott’s three word mindless slogans for years, and with the political attention span of most of the public steadily diminishing, I expect Julia Gillard tries to fit her message into tiny sound bites that can penetrate tiny minds. There are not all that many who will take the time to listen carefully and understand complex messages. Sadly that may lead us to an Abbott led Government. As BSA Bob and Jason indicate, Joe Hockey was awful tonight, as usual. Imagine an Abbott-Hockey combination!

Ad astra reply

16/08/2011Folks I'm heading for bed.

Feral Skeleton

16/08/2011Ad Astra, Yes, it was real 'nod and a wink' mealy-mouthed stuff from Abbott today to the protesters about their placards. I must say that I noticed the progression of this rally through the guts of a beggar, so to speak, as I have caught glimpses here and there along the way over the last couple of days. Firstly, on the day before the rally, Channel 9 News, in Sydney at least, made great play of the rally organiser's latest prop, his 'Democracy Is Dead' coffin, into which he poured the Carbon Pricing Scheme Information leaflets for the camera, before loading it into a stretch limo/'hearse'(gee, some 'Battlers' are hard up against it, I thought to myself). Come the day of the Rally, I caught the interview on the Channel 9 'Today Show' between Lisa Wilkinson and Jaques Laxalle(I think his name is). What I found interesting about this interview was that Lisa was not content to be a cheerleader and wasn't simply giving him free reign to spout his hateful lines. She pulled him up a couple of times and made him promise that he wouldn't allow any placards which were disrespectful to the Prime Minister at the event this time. This is where I believe the idea that the placards couldn't be as horrible as last time came from, soon picked up by other media. So, as the point was reiterated throughout the day, come the time of the rally, it was generally expected that the people with offensive signs either wouldn't show them, or would be asked to take them down by the organisers. This obviously led to the confrontation that we all saw on the nightly news tonight, where one old, probable, White, Male, Self-Funded Retiree(the Jones/Hadley/Smith 2GB core audience demographic) had a shouting match with a rally organiser. Obviously, as this is the way these people think, the argument was all aboutone man touching another man's 'property', not whether the sign was so offensive that he should show some respect for the PM and lower his sign. Then we got to see Tony Abbott's oily, smirking visage, mouthing platitudinous pablum. So, the overall impression that I got is that there are starting to be some mice that are getting up a roar(eg Lisa Wilkinson), some naughty boys, who are actually grown men would you believe, are getting called out and pulled into line a little bit(eg Jaques Laxalle), and the histrionics of Tony Abbott are starting to wear a bit thin I think, as, metaphorically, his bike gets a flat tyre. :D Finally, watching 'The Drum' tonight, hosted by Steve Cannane, who seems to have made the fastest descent from Progressive journalist to Conservative in the history of modern Australian journalism I think, it was interesting to hear Peter Reith let the cat out of the bag about the Coalition's Industrial Relations plans. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Coalition are planning to take the concept he expounded on wrt IR and spread it across the whole spectrum. So, what is it I hear you ask? Well, it goes to how they are going to save the magic $70 Billion figure. It's pretty radical, but it seems to me that they are hatching a plan to devolve a lot of policy-making back to the States. For example, with IR, Reith spoke about 'Individual States' IR systems wrt the concept of different pay for the same job done in different States. As in, if WA needs a lot of one type of worker and they can't get them, then the business should have the 'flexibility' to be able to get those workers however they can(read this as 457 Visas) but not be subject to paying them higher, standardised wages and also because of the Skills Shortage aspect factoring into higher wages for them. Hmm. And, of course, as the Coalition types, with hubris never far away from the scene, are factoring into their calculations, wall-to-wall Coalition State governments, then Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott can then achieve the Neo-Libertarian's wet dream scenario of abolishing large swathes of the federal bureaurocracy and departments, and devolve it back to the Populist Premier Potentates in the States, who are hand-in-glove with their business and industry mates, or fellow Liberal and National Party members, as they are basically one and the same. Ergo. QED. $70Billion saved. The Joe and Tony Dog and Pony Show then just have to keep the perpetual election (Uni)cycle up and running around the country, providing the Bread and Circuses for 'the mob', while their mates in the States get on with the De-Evolution of our Democracy as they get hand-balled the dismantled pieces of the Social Democratic Welfare State, courtesy of the Conservative Neo-Libertarians, to perform the death rites over.

Patricia WA

17/08/2011debbiep and Gravel, Janice, Lyn and jane and I think FS - make me a late addition to the anti-Turnbull glee club. Lots of other things happening here mean I haven't turned a rhyme in weeks, but after coming here even at this hour, Gravel, something is stirring. Well, I think it began yesterday as I watched the noble Malcolm hold centre stage on Q&A! I'll have to work on this, and I'm still wondering about how to have Malcolm try finish off Tony. Any ideas? Could he do it with doctored email do you think? [i]A la Grech? The wretch![/i] Don’t give Malcolm Turnbull too much credit, And think that if only he could head it His Party’s manifesto he’d edit, And of anything unjust he’d shed it, Since Liberal climate sceptics threw him out, He must’ve wondered at Abbott’s clout And drive which has left so little doubt That an election means a Labor rout. Well endowed with looks and no one’s fool, Let us not forget this is a man who’ll Not willingly forego his plan to rule Australia, dreamed of since his days at school. Gravel, Turnbull is a show pony! I think in his own way he is quite as phony as Tony. If only......we could have them finish each other off at the same time! Oh dear...goodnight!

2353

17/08/2011AA said [quote]Nasking You advisedly used the word ‘wrecker’ to describe Abbott. As Paul Keating said so aptly, Abbott’s behaviour bespeaks: ‘Give me what I want or I’ll wreck the place’. [/quote] Which ties in nicely with Noni Hazelhusrt's comment on Q&A last week (seen on ABC promos) that she has had a fair bit of experience with 2 year olds - and Abbott seems to be acting like one. Disclaimer - the 2 year old in our house is currently watching Shawn the Sheep on TV.

Lyn

17/08/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i] The week that was, Catching up, Café Whispers[/i] Want a budget surplus? Looking for $70 billion in savings? Easy. Tax the rich. Cut their subsidies.A Resource Super Profits Tax of the sort Kevin Rudd proposed would raise an extra $10 billion a year. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/4520/ [i]Fracking politics, Andrew Elder, politically Homeless[/i] It isn't good enough to flick this issue to the states. Ever since Bolte, Askin and Bjelke-Petersenganged up on John Gorton no Federal Coalition leader has been able to use that as the excuse that trumps all others. Abbott is the most anti-states leader the Liberal Party has ever had: http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/08/fracking-politics.html [i]Of boats and votes, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] To those who are ready to junk the orthodox view on this subject, I would offer a few notes of caution. Certainly there was no majority in favour of assessing refugee status in Australia at the time of the Tampa episode, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/08/17/of-boats-and-votes/ [i]Seeing as the Coalition forgot they lost in ‘10 here is proof, Insert Clever Title Here[/i] erhaps the push for things like the NBN, a price on Carbon even treating refugees fairly should be taken into consideration looking at these numbers.Abbott might want to remember that in 2010 we voted more left than right http://www.wolfcat.com.au/randomrants/2011/08/postid-1914/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter [i]Order in the House??!??, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Joe did have a doozy of a question that Laurie Oakes tweeted as ‘a torpedo at HMAS Gillard’. But the PM not only defused the torpedo, she reprogrammed it and sent it back at Joe with 70 billion tonnes of TNT. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/order-in-the-house/ [i]Oz meltdown continues, John Quiggin[/i] I’m starting feel guilty turning the full power of my blog against a mere national newspaper, backed only by a multi-billion dollar corporation. I’ll talk it over with Clive at the next meeting of the central committee. http://johnquiggin.com/2011/08/16/oz-meltdown-continues/ [i]Polling trends – Spring Session Edition, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] With the Parliament set to start its Spring sitting session today, it might be worth taking a look at the current state of play on the polling trends using our Pollytrend system http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2011/08/16/polling-trends-%E2%80%93-spring-session-edition/ “[i]Dr No” too prone to say yes”, Graham, Ambit Gambit[/i] It is over-reach, because land tenure is the business of state governments, and they give freehold title to the surface, not the subsurface. Not only has Abbott no power over the situation, but he is suggesting transferring rights from one group of entities http://www.ambitgambit.com/2011/08/15/dr-no-too-prone-to-say-yes/ [i]Is Australia acting ahead of others by bringing in a Carbon Tax,JJ Fiasson, Independent Australia[/i] many other countries have already made huge steps towards reducing their carbon output,and that includes developing nations like China. Countries have started this transformation http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/environment/is-australia-acting-ahead-of-others-by-bringing-in-a-carbon-tax/ [i]Coal seam gas a welcome issue for Labor, The Stump[/i] The winner out of this is the Labor Government which has little to lose by way of the votes from farmers and will benefit by having an issue where it clearly is seen to have a different view from Bob Brown and his team. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2011/08/16/coal-seam-gas-a-welcome-issue-for-labor/ [i]Explainer: coal seam gas, shale gas and fracking in Australia, Dennis Cook, The Conversation[/i] If planned CSG wells are not finished on time and ready to supply LNG export commitments, the LNG plant owners will need to buy gas on the open market. This scenario would be a “triple whammy” – shrinking conventional gas supplies, http://theconversation.edu.au/explainer-coal-seam-gas-shale-gas-and-fracking-in-australia-2585 [i]Coal Seam Drilling Begins Near Wollemi, Wendy bacon, New Matilda[/i] Coal seam drilling will begin this week just 500 metres from the Wollemi National Park, a World Heritage listed wilderness area near Putty in the lower Hunter valley in NSW .http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/16/csg-drilling-begins-near-wollemi [i]Hockey must shift a heap of dung, Rob Burgess, Business Spectator[/i] whereas Hockey must achieve the fiscal equivalent of washing out the mountains of dung filling the Augean stables in a single day. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Joe-Hockey-Gillard-budget-surplus-GFC-Swan-pd20110816-KRS5B?opendocument&src=rss [i]Another day, another report: what more do we need to know about the harms of immigration detention?Zachary Steel, The Conversation[/i] There’s overwhelming evidence to show that mandatory detention is extremely expensive, does not deter new arrivals, is not required for immigration compliance and is extraordinarily harmful to detainees and staff alike. http://theconversation.edu.au/another-day-another-report-what-more-do-we-need-to-know-about-the-harms-of-immigration-detention-2840 [i]London burning 111 – more sociology of civil disorder, Tigtog, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] starters for further discussion – Interview – Zygmunt Bauman on the UK Riots (shared by Mark on FB, so some of you may have already seen it) http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/08/16/london-burning-iii-more-sociology-of-civil-disorder/ [i]Turnbull: Praising the mistakes of Alstons past, Renai LeMay, Delimeter[/i] There is really no way for Turnbull to know precisely what changes will be required in all of these different areas — it has taken the whole of the Gillard Government’s first term, and part of its second, to work through them all. http://delimiter.com.au/2011/08/15/turnbull-praising-the-mistakes-of-alstons-past/ [i]I can see clearly now, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] Oh, plenty of trees around here” and assume that means plenty everywhere, or “plenty of water here” andassume this means that people downstream can look after themselves. http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/08/16/i-can-see-clearly-now/ [i]Marriage Equality Debate – Anti – Marriage Equality rally held in Canberra,mjwill91 , Standpoint[/i] Katter, more-so than the other MPs who spoke drifted into the realm of “hatespeak”, toeing the line of what is legally acceptable to say in public. His comments that “this proposition [gay marriage] deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed. http://standpointau.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/marriage-equality-debate-anti-marriage-equality-rally-held-in-canberra/ [i]The Far Right’s Day Trip To Canberra, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Greg Jericho has more shots of the rally on his yfrog account, including this hilarious sign blaming Gillard for floods. And apparently giving some unhelpful shout-outs to 2GB, which is busy claiming it was only there to report, you know http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/16/the-far-rights-day-trip-to-canberra/ [i]Australian government urged to promote, and fund, media diversity, Guardian UK[/i] Instead, he calls for the country's federal and state governments to redress the imbalance in media ownership by "helping people start and run media" and "supporting the growth of media diversity, not suppressing what's already there." http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2011/aug/16/phone-hacking-scandal-live [i]Hacking 'widely known' at Murdoch paper , The Age[/i] RUPERT Murdoch, James Murdoch and their former editor Andy Coulson all face embarrassing new allegations of dishonesty and cover-up after the publication of an explosive letter written by the News of the World's http://www.theage.com.au/world/hacking-widely-known-at-murdoch-paper-20110816-1iwni.html [i]James Murdoch set for recall by Commons over phone-hacking scandal , News Com[/i] Members of the house culture, media and sport committee said last night they were likely to recall Mr Murdoch as they released documents claiming telephone hacking was "widely discussed" at the NOTW under former editor Andy Coulson http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/james-murdoch-set-for-recall-by-commons-over-phone-hacking-scandal/story-e6frg996-1226116351376 [i]Phone-hacking scandal: live, Tuesday 16 August 2011 , Guardian UK[/i] Key developments in the phone-hacking scandal as they happen, as James Murdoch's evidence to MPs is questioned and Tom Watson MP says new evidence will be 'dynamite' http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog [i]Greens drill into gas firm donations ,Sean Nicholls, SMH[/i] Mr Anderson has been with Eastern Star Gas since 2007. According to disclosure statements submitted to the Planning Department, the company has donated $40,325 to the Liberals and Nationals since 2008 .http://www.smh.com.au/environment/greens-drill-into-gas-firm-donations-20110815-1iuwb.html

Feral Skeleton

17/08/2011PatriciaWA, Yep, you can add me to the Anti-Talcy Malcy Club. I fought long and hard on Jack the Insider's blog to expose Mr Turnbull's Achilles Heel, that being his disingenuousness of oil-slick quality. No wonder he was a successful Barrister, he can turn on the faux charm, with it's attendant convincing mien, in the blink of an eye. Although, as Ad Astra has observed, that 'talent' appears to have deserted him somewhat in the sunset years of his career in politics. :)

janice

17/08/2011Good morning all. Last evening I wrote a long post only to find that when I pressed the 'save comment' button, the gremlins had arrived and stuffed up the site. :( So you will never know what wisdom and insightfulness was packaged in my post, and I cannot remember :D: I do remember though that I offered to take the dog (in Trevor's gravatar pic) off his hands. What a delightful canine! Patricia, nice to see you back (from where?) and read another of your wonderful pomes. FS, a little bit of kudos for you that I thought I ought to pass on. Two people have recently expressed in glowing terms that your posts are always "a great read". I must say I agree with both of them - you can take a bow :)

Lyn

17/08/2011Hi Ad This is Grog's, Greg Jericho's article in the Drum, billiant analysis of the Rally yesterday:- [i]Memo PM: There's not a lot of love out here on the lawn, Greg Jericho, The Drum[/i] Ditch the Witch" signs and a bit of a chant of the same got going for all of 10 seconds, but no-one was trying to incite violence. But there was hatred. These people seriously hated Julia Gillard. So many of the signs wrote "Juliar" that when I came across one with merely "Julia" written, I almost pointed out he had made a typo (not a wild assumption to make with respect to many of the signs). http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2842656.html Cheers:):):):):):)

D Mick Weir

17/08/2011The discussion on Turnbull reminds me of an aphorism: [i]If you can fake sincerity you have got it made[/i] Turnbull seems to be able to fake it (sometimes) ... Does his lack of success at becoming PM disprove the theory?

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011FS, Lyn Thank you FS for your comprehensive commentary about the ‘rally’, and Lyn for your link to Greg Jericho’s description as an eye-witness. As I missed most of the drama you have filled me in nicely. I suspect this may be the last of such rallies. If the organizers have any perspicacity at all, they may realize that these rallies are running out of puff. Patricia WA Thank you for your nice pome – I see you too are in the anti-Turnbull group. What appeal he might have seems sharply limited to men. That won’t get him far!

Michael

17/08/2011Wednesday Bad Abbott At the anti-pollution reduction rally yesterday, Shouldabeen addressed the crowd, described so: 'Abbott did make a speech... But his speech was considerably shorter than last time, and he made a point of saying: ''I can see a lot of signs. Some signs I agree with, some signs I don't necessarily agree with.'' http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/suddenly-not-everyones-angry--perhaps-its-a-sign-20110816-1iwg1.html#ixzz1VEhxl8Gm What the text does not include is a description of his smarmy smile when Tiny, in the manner of Geoffrey Chaucer's Pardoner, spoke of not "necessarily" agreeing with all the signs. I think the visibly painful Abbott walk can be seen as the result not only of all that narrow-seated bicycle riding, but of the effects of trying to straddle both sides of a pointy fence.

Feral Skeleton

17/08/2011janice, Thank you for those kind words and the kind words of your friends. :) Do you know what? I was seriously thinking about chucking in the blogging towel. I sit here and read Ad Astra and Acerbic Conehead's work, and the erudite discussions between NormanK and D Mick Weir, plus PatriciaWA's perspicacious pomes, and Talk Turkey's range across manner areas with ease and grace, and then compare it to my shouty little rants, and, quite frankly, I think I pale in comparison. So I just thought that maybe I might be better in the grandsatnd, as opp;osed to out on the field.

Feral Skeleton

17/08/2011Is there no part of this country too scared for the Coal Seam Gas Drillers to bore a hole into?

janice

17/08/2011FS, [quote]Do you know what? I was seriously thinking about chucking in the blogging towel[/quote] No, no. no :) Believe me, you are up with the best of them so keep on blogging. All of those you mention have something to say and say it well, but all have different approaches and so it is with you.

D Mick Weir

17/08/2011I am thinking of changing my name by deed poll. I want to change my firsty name to Bloody so that people can be speaking the truth when they say [i]... that bloody Mick Weir ...[/i] The real reason though is so I can pretend to be 'classy' and be referred to as [b]BMW[/b]

janice

17/08/2011Ad astra, [quote]I see you too are in the anti-Turnbull group. What appeal he might have seems sharply limited to men. That won’t get him far! [/quote] Don't think so, Ad. You only have to look beyond the barrister bit to see there is not much there other than a great big ego. I wrote him off when he chaired the Republic thingy and then during his stint as LOTO, the rubbish he sprouted during the GFC as well as the Godwin Grech fiasco, it was obvious to me that his talents are not suitable for political leadership. The only thing he's got going for him is that he is not Abbott, has more moderate views and there is no-one else in the party at the moment who even remotely looks like a leader. (captcha says MULLET,tonello) :)

NormanK

17/08/2011Feral Skeleton Two reasons that you can't retire. Firstly we will badger you until you get back into harness because we will all miss your elbow in our ribs calling attention to something we have missed. Secondly, once you have caught your breath (I completely empathise with your running out of steam/ideas) someone will do or say something so outrageous that you won't be able to resist putting them right. Writing is an addiction - you can't just throw it off without suffering serious withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps I should more often post responses to some of your 'rants' and observations but you should know that at all times even if I don't necessarily agree with all of them your efforts are greatly appreciated. Diversity is what keeps life interesting. Heaven forbid that we should all begin to sound like each other and it must be said that there is no other voice like your voice. As I'm so new to this form of dialogue, I am only now slowly coming to realise why (for example) Ad astra takes a break at Christmas. We all need to recharge our batteries and purge the poisons that seep into our souls when we spend so much time examining the follies and untruths of our fellow citizens. Anyway, you won't give up because you're hooked :) and we need you.

Gravel

17/08/2011Janice You beat me to it. As Shouldabin is apt to say, Feral Skeleton, NO, NO, NO. Please don't give up writing here or anywhere you feel you need to, we all need your wonderful perspective on things. And could you explain to me, if you get time between your census collecting, what is 'The Drum' you watch, I would like to see this Steve Cannane some people are talking about. Patricia, oh and Feral S, you are making my theory look good thank you. Patricia, I agree it would be lovely if Turnbull and Abbott could defeat each other at the same time. Ad Astra It appears that abbott appeals to some men in one way, whereas Turnbull appeals to some men in another way, and may 'never the twain meet'.

D Mick Weir

17/08/2011FS @ 9:36 AM I toatally disagree with you and as to your proposed solution: [i]'... seriously thinking about chucking in the blogging towel.[/i] That solution stinks. Does that help?

BSA Bob

17/08/2011Michael at 9.15 I picked up on the "necessarily" too, giving himself an out. Said in a manner that made it clear he didn't care that anyone saw through it, but just giving himself a legalistic escape.

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011FS I am unable, as you can see are others here on [i]TPS[/i], to entertain the thought of you 'throwing in the towel' as an original contributor. You have a unique style that brings a brilliant counterpoint to the contributions of Acerbic Conehead and myself, and to the comments of the many thoughtful contributors who add so much to this blog. We have missed your insightful pieces, and the light that you have been able to throw on the political process, with which you are more familiar than most. Your background in politics brings to [i]TPS[/i] a dimension that the rest of us lack. As I judged that your Census obligations must be nearing completion, my ‘do today’ list was to email you about your next piece, which I will do shortly. Please do not leave us as an author. We value and respect what you have to say and always look forward to the next piece.

nasking

17/08/2011[quote]Which ties in nicely with Noni Hazelhurst's comment on Q&A last week (seen on ABC promos) that she has had a fair bit of experience with 2 year olds - and Abbott seems to be acting like one[/quote] 2353, Wasn't Noni brilliant...so down-to-earth? My wife said to me that night: "Noni's great...and when did we get so many starchy suits & ockers on TV?...we need more laid back Aussies like Noni". I agree. It's like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Boring softly spoken scumbag suits...whining spoilt grumpy mothers w/ a ME ME ME complex...or borish venom spitting crowd members sounding like Allan Jones. It's not the laid back, good feel we had during the QLD expo...and the time Hawke all gave us a larf durin' the big yacht race...or when we used to go and watch bands like Goanna in the park...or the great community feeling at the one day matches between OZ & the West Indies etc. It's all money money money...markets markets markets. And for what? Too much stress, early to the grave...unless you've got Murdoch genes...but I wouldn't swap w/ Rupert for quids. Who wants to be a harrassed emperor w/ nowhere to go but down? Not me. ------------------------------------------------------------- BTW, I'm not surprised some of the Libs are goin' full bore on Craig Thomson...pretty low stuff by Libs Steve Ciobo on SKY NEWS today... considering that Libs Ross Vasta & Andrew Laming were cleared: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2007/s2030289.htm Talk about "glass houses". This will only make ALP supporters, journos & investigative authorities focus more on Coalition members & their use of entitlements...and where they go for enjoyment. Sad stuff indeed. Trying to win by any means. Tabloid style crap. Somethin' you'd expect in the UK. N'

Lyn

17/08/2011Hi Ad This is funny so funny, I can't wait for Michael to report: [i]Canberra store butchers Tony Abbott's carbon tax picture opportunity [/i]James Massola, The Australian TONY Abbott has been forced to cancel the latest stop on his anti-carbon tax campaign after the [b]owner of a Canberra butcher's shop refused to let him in. [/b] The Opposition Leader's office told reporters to gather this morning at The Butcher Shop, in suburban Dickson, to hear how the carbon tax would affect the price of meat. After a 20-minute delay, and increasingly animated discussions between the shop's staff and Mr Abbott's minders, a Liberal staffer emerged to say the event was cancelled. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-plan/canberra-store-butchers-tony-abbotts-carbon-tax-picture-opportunity/story-fn99tjf2-1226116575109 Cheers:):):):):)

nasking

17/08/2011Lots of delicious links. Thnx Lyn. Feral, I'm still waiting for yer next brill post. Fire up. :) Keep the bast*rds dancing in a fit of anxiety. N'

nasking

17/08/2011[quote]As Paul Keating said so aptly, Abbott’s behaviour bespeaks: ‘Give me what I want or I’ll wreck the place’. [/quote] Aa, was waitin' for Abbott & Joyce to hand out the pitchforks & torches. BTW, Katter, Joyce, Andrews and others should be condemned for attending & speaking at that Family Bigots Of Australia forum. Dickheads. N'

Lyn

17/08/2011Hi Ad Here's another delighful report, the episode has also lite up Twitter. [i]Abbott's carbon campaign hits a snag, Jeremy Sear, ABC[/i] It is Mr Abbott's custom to invite journalists, photographers and camera crews to observe him daily in a Liberal-friendly business, filleting a fish or driving a nail, and today was to be no different. But it was far from business as usual. Reporters arrived at The Butcher Shop in Dickson at 10am to find one of Mr Abbott's staffers blocking their entrance and no sign of the Opposition Leader. [b]The picture opportunity had apparently been given the chop.[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-17/abbott-carbon-campaign-hits-a-snag/2843290 Cheers :):)

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for those delightful links. It’s high time Tiny got a dose of his own medicine. I see he’s pictured kissing a snag; don’t they know he prefers fish. Nasking You are right. That image of pitchforks and torches fits the picture of the rally perfectly.

nasking

17/08/2011I was impressed to hear that Turnbull & his wife used to visit Margaret Olley...I generally respect those who have a luv for art...and are concerned about keepin' elderly people company in their winter years. I noticed in parliament Abbott had to have a petty dig at Malcolm by mentionin' Olley was a founding member of Monatchists for Australia (or some such thing). The fact that Malcolm continued to visit Margaret regardless of her beliefs tells me he's a bit wider thinking & more tolerant than some on that frontbench. I liked the fact that Turnbull expressed concern about the Aussie aquifers & waterways on Q@A too. Frack the frackers I say. Too much of a dangerous guessin' game this gas drillin' business. As we've seen in the USA. Noticed on ABC24 The Greens & NSW Independent Tony Windsor have same concerns. Good stuff. They are far more believable than "gospel" Abbott. That fella would support cow patty eating if he knew it would get him a few thousand votes. N'

Paul

17/08/2011As for leadership, this quote comes close to defining what leadership is all about... " Leadership is the discipline of deliberately exerting special influence within a group to move it toward goals of beneficial permanance that fulfill the group's real needs " So yes, our real needs are 1: lower reliance on mining for export income (thus the mining tax), 2: to tackle climate change (the carbon tax), 3: productivity improvements (Infrastrcture Australia, NBN, education/trades, etc). So, to sum up - what is the groups' real needs, what is being done about it, and who is driving that change.

nasking

17/08/2011Ya gotta luv the Texan yeehaaa governors...they're so visionary: Rick Perry Raises Predator Drones As Possible Border Security Solution http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/rick-perry-drones-border-security_n_928194.html I'm sure there was an Outer Limits episode w/ drones in America. Who needs cops when you've got drones? Plenty of work for those who make bodybags tho. Imagine a Tea Party backed Republican party in charge of drones: "Oh damn, we didn't realise that was the LA mayor...mistook him for a Latino crim...after cleanin' up the mess we better take a good look at our racial profilin' techniques". N'

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011Nasking Rick Perry is like Tony Abbott. He says whatever he thinks will win him applause and support. Facts are irrelevant. The fact that the drones have been patrolling the border with Mexico for two years already (including the border with his own state of Texas), is no barrier to him advocating such a move as if it was a new idea. He is either ignorant, or else he does know that this is so, but still talks as if it’s his idea. Great Tea Party stuff.

Lyn

17/08/2011Hi Nasking I hope you had a nice few days off. But, I am so pleased to see you back. Your contributions are delightful. Thankyou for your very welcome links and educational informatiom. I see your point about Malcolm Turnbull, but his good points are in conflict with his ego. "Oh lord it's hard to be humble when your perfect in every way, each time I look in the mirror, can't think of the rest of the words. Cheers:):):)

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011Folks I have just witnessed the first hour of QT. I noticed two things: First Coalition members kept sticking out their jaws, only to get comprehensively clobbered by PM Gillard and her ministers. Second, the Government speakers focused over and again on weathervane Tony Abbott’s inconsistencies, changes of position and naked opportunism, saying one thing to one audience then the opposite to the next the very same day. This was such a dominant theme that I suspect it was a deliberate strategy to expose Abbott as the disingenuous, dishonest and devious man we all know he is. I wonder how much of that will reach the public via the evening news. I suspect not much!

nasking

17/08/2011Thanks Lyn. I hurt my lower back on Sunday night so decided to keep the sitting/blogging to a minimum the past couple of days. Commenting can be perilous when yer seein' thru a haze of pain & painkillers. :) Accident prone me eh? Luck of the Irish. I luv readin' all yer comments Lyn, particularly the witty ones that bring to mind an image of Tweety Bird usin' her brolly to trip up the meansters and BSers. :) Keep up the great cybersurfin'. Aa, speakin' of Perry: The sad facts behind Rick Perry’s Texas miracle http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-sad-facts-behind-rick-perrys-texas-miracle/2011/08/16/gIQAxc3zJJ_story.html to be balanced, here's another POV: Low-paying jobs in Texas aren't the whole story http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/08/16/3295182/low-paying-jobs-in-texas-arent.html I reckon it's not right tho to compare Obama to Perry on the job front. Obama's efforts have been undermined by state & local governments that have used debt excuses to get rid of heaps & heaps of public employees....and Obama's employment figures don't benefit as much from oil subsidies and such when you add all the states into the mix. And Perry doesn't have the Tea Party, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh & Koch bros and others usin' "win at all costs" strategies to diminish &/or destroy/halt his job creation policies. I'd like to know too what kind of benefits those health workers are gettin'. The idea of a country dominated by mining, financial groups, fast food, armaments/military, cattle companies, a construction industry dominated by low paid migrants, corporate prisons, fast food and big pharma is not appealing to me. That's what Bush helped create...and Perry seems to push for. And Abbott for that matter. Great for cowboys & warriors & fast food addicts & the rich who benefit...but too oft life sappin' for the environment and those who choose to live a healthier, more peaceful, less yeehaa life. I have a friend who lived in Houston for a number of years...he made a heap of money there but once he got back he had plenty of ugly stories to tell. He generally felt it was an intolerant place...too many cold brash greedy people...the community lacking a heart...he felt empty there. But then, he worked for a big financial corporation. I have discovered some great music from Austin, Texas tho. Including Explosions in the Sky, Okkervil River, Spoon, The Black Angels, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. N'

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011Paul That is a nice definition: " Leadership is the discipline of deliberately exerting special influence within a group to move it toward goals of beneficial permanence that fulfill the group's real needs."

nasking

17/08/2011[quote]Tony Abbott’s inconsistencies, changes of position and naked opportunism, saying one thing to one audience then the opposite to the next the very same day. This was such a dominant theme that I suspect it was a deliberate strategy to expose Abbott as the disingenuous, dishonest and devious man we all know he is.[/quote] Indeed Aa. He's such an obvious flipflopper...has a different POV and policy offer for each audience...givin' them the bit of the meal he thinks they want. [quote]I wonder how much of that will reach the public via the evening news. I suspect not much![/quote] Ain't it frustratin' they let this BSer get away w/ so much? He should be held to account. I hold the Liberal party responsible too...they picked this "disingenuous, dishonest and devious man"...and News Ltd & Ch. 9 & Allan Jones & some other venomous shock jocks prop him...day after day. When the people finally see thru him I hope they ask themselves why the Libs/Nats & some media supported him as tho he was the Messiah himself. N'

TalkTurkey

17/08/2011Professor Hillbilly "Feral" Skeleton, M.T.P.S, said "I sit here and read Ad Astra and Acerbic Conehead's work, and the erudite discussions between NormanK and D Mick Weir, plus PatriciaWA's perspicacious pomes, and Talk Turkey's range across manner areas with ease and grace, and then compare it to my shouty little rants, and, quite frankly, I think I pale in comparison. Well FS Dear, read this: The Mole subsided forlornly on a tree-stump and tried to control himself, for he felt it surely coming. The sob he had fought with so long refused to be beaten. Up and up, it forced its way to the air, and then another, and another, and others thick and fast; till poor Mole at last gave up the struggle, and cried freely and helplessly and openly, now that he knew it was all over and he had lost what he could hardly be said to have found. The Rat, astonished and dismayed at the violence of Mole's paroxysm of grief, did not dare to speak for a while. At last he said, very quietly and sympathetically, `What is it, old fellow? Whatever can be the matter? Tell us your trouble, and let me see what I can do.' Poor Mole found it difficult to get any words out between the upheavals of his chest that followed one upon another so quickly and held back speech and choked it as it came. [i]`I know it's a-- shabby, dingy little place,' he sobbed forth at last, brokenly: `not like--your cosy quarters--or Toad's beautiful hall--or Badger's great house--but it was my own little home--and I was fond of it--[/i]and I went away and forgot all about it--and then I smelt it suddenly--on the road, when I called and you wouldn't listen, Rat--and everything came back to me with a rush--and I wanted it!--O dear, O dear!--and when you wouldn't turn back, Ratty--and I had to leave it, though I was smelling it all the time--I thought my heart would break.--We might have just gone and had one look at it, Ratty--only one look--it was close by--but you wouldn't turn back, Ratty, you wouldn't turn back! O dear, O dear!' Recollection brought fresh waves of sorrow, and sobs again took full charge of him, preventing further speech. The Rat stared straight in front of him, saying nothing, only patting Mole gently on the shoulder. After a time he muttered gloomily, `I see it all now! What a pig I have been! A pig-- that's me! Just a pig--a plain pig!' Well FS any time you feel a bit Moley, and the rest of us seem like plain pigs, well I'm sure we all feel a bit that way sometimes, but in your case FS, as comparing yourself to the rest of us ravers, you have been and are our scout, fighting champion, constant part of the main fare of TPS, near-martyr, and as concerns your writing ability, [i]DYWAT![/i] I will just mention that yesterday on Poll Bludger - don't ask me to find it, you know PB! - there was a brief comment by someone (?), I think the exact words, certainly the exact meaning, were, [i]Feral Skeleton is a great read.[/i] And so say all of us. (K)

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011Folks I’ve just watched a replay of Joe Hockey on [i]7.30[/i] last night, which I had missed. And this is the man who would be Treasurer! Have your ever seen so much avoidance of the question? Clearly, Chris Uhlmann was bemused by Hockey’s empty answers. Notice how Hockey simply denied Uhlmann’s assertion that to find even $30 billion dollars savings would mean deleting the entire Department of Defence. The following exchange shows how disingenuous Hockey was: “[i]CHRIS UHLMANN: Can you tell us how you go about finding even $30 billion over four years? That's the size of the Department of Defence. That's 100,000 workers. JOE HOCKEY: No, it's not right. It's not quite right. Because, over four years, the Department of Defence is far larger than that. CHRIS UHLMANN: I'm talking about over four years, you're trying to find the equivalent of removing the Department of Defence from the Commonwealth budget. JOE HOCKEY: That's not right. Because over four years the total budget expenditure is $1,500 billion. CHRIS UHLMANN: For the entire Government. JOE HOCKEY: That's right. CHRIS UHLMANN: For the entire Government.[/i] How can an interviewer get anywhere with someone as devious as that? If you want to refresh your mind, the interview is here in video and transcript. http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2011/s3295026.htm It is truly frightening that if an election were held now this man would be the nation’s Treasurer.

Michael

17/08/2011Lyn, hi. I don't know that I want to go anywhere near the 'hit a snag' and 'got the chop' gaga that have already been trottered out (oh, dear), but... if you go hear, http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/tony-abbott-cancels-media-stunt-after-aggressive-phone-call-to-venue-owner/comments-fn7x8me2-1226116787417 yet again Tiny wriggles away by making a totally unsubstantiated claim about an "aggressive phone call" that has the commentaries below the news story wading in, without a shred of evidence, to lambaste Get Up and 'lefties' in general. So long as his every word (and we know that he told us we can't 'necessarily' [sic] believe everything he says), so long as his every wriggly word is taken as gosPell (oh, dear), so long as his every utterance is accepted as the Troot and Nuttin' But de Troot by the right-wing rabidariat and the guileless or otherwise compliant mainstream media, we'll get giblets and dogs' bones dressed up as filet mignon in reports of the sayings of Shouldabeen.

Michael

17/08/2011So many spelling mistakes in my previous post, "gaga" for "gags", "hear" for "here", I'm thinking someone might be doing some 'aggressive hacking' of my posts. Darn right-wing tech-heads taking revenge in cyberspace! That's who it will be. I just know it, OK!! In space we were told, in promotions for the first Alien movie, that no-one can hear you scream. Apparently, in one corner of cyberspace, ALL you can hear is the satyric shout, "Tony, Tony, Tony!". PS Feral Skeleton, don't go. Get madder, for sure, Abbott's being nothing but badder.

Miglo

17/08/2011Hi Lyn, I see that someone has snapped up the Australian Blog Sites name as soon as I let it expire, probably so they can take advantage of the good traffic the site was regularly attracting. It has now turned into an advertising page, purely, I imagine, to make a few quick bucks. You might want to remove the link from your daily updates. Cheers, Migs.

Gravel

17/08/2011Michael You are just so funny with your words, maybe you could write something like AC does, then we could have a weekend laugh and also a good mid week laugh. Nas I hope your back gets better soon, any more test results, re your lungs etc.

Lyn

17/08/2011Hello good day Miglo Great to see you on TPS. We hope you are feeling much better each day, so take it easy. Sad about Australian Blog Sites, never mind it's not the end, you can start again. Those other people might have snapped up the traffic but that doesn't mean they can keep the traffic. You have got Cafe Whispers to be congratulated for you know. What a great little cafe that is, lots of nice clients contributing everyday, their a lovely bunch. Ad will read your comment later and remove the link. Cheers:):):):):)

Jason

17/08/2011Aa, Amongst your "medical friends" is there some clever neurologist? Paranoia isn't supposed to be infectious, but this strain has clearly become so. "The No Carbon Tax movement is getting bigger - and way more paranoid, as Adam Brereton discovered on the bus to yesterday’s rally. When will the Coalition distance itself from this extremism?" http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/17/great-big-crazy-carbon-conspiracy

NormanK

17/08/2011A word of warning to anyone who is tempted to engage el gordo - he has a huge file of global cooling stuff that he has posted on other blogs and had refuted in no uncertain terms, but that won't stop him from inflicting his vision of the world on this site. Open the floodgates at your own peril.

Lyn

17/08/2011Hi NormanK Thankyou so much for warning everybody. Cheers:):):):):)

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011jason Paranoia is not infectious in the traditional sense, but it is contagious among those who want to believe extreme views. NormanK Thank you; I have deleted 'el gordo'.

nasking

17/08/2011[quote]I hope your back gets better soon, any more test results, re your lungs etc.[/quote] Many thnx Gravel. I have 2 lung tests to go. One I hopefully will find out about next Wednesday. The other will take awhile. Coming off the Lipitor has helped tho, I was reacting to it. And the treadmill is helping w/ the lung function. I hope you are well too. And yer family. ------------------------------------------------------ On another matter, the following petition is worth signing if you were disturbed by the anti-gay marriage forum yesterday...I have some wonderful gay friends and it really irked me to see this American Republican family values type garbage in Australia: [quote]"It won't stop at homosexual marriage - look for polygamy and marriage between adults and children to be legalised. There is no greater dream for a paedophile than to be able to legally acclaim a child as his lover." That's what keynote speaker Rebecca Hagelin declared yesterday at the "don't meddle with marriage" event at Parliament House, as she was joined on stage by Barnaby Joyce and other conservative Australian politicians. She said there is "no greater evil" than legalising same-sex marriage, and told the crowd to join her in a "war for the future of the human race." These sorts of disgusting comments are far beyond the pale in Australia but unfortunately, they are exactly the messages local politicians are being inundated with right now, by an extreme and vocal minority. They've been calling, faxing, emailing and visiting MPs telling them that those in same-sex couples don't deserve the right to marry. We have one week to send a message to MPs, to our communities and importantly – to our gay and lesbian family and friends – that these people don’t speak for us. That's when local MPs will report back to Parliament on what their electorate has told them about marriage equality. Regardless of where our MP personally stands on marriage equality, we can't let these hateful messages dominate their reports. Sign our petition and before MPs meet next week we will both print the result in an unmissable full-page newspaper ad and deliver it to their office to ensure they hear the message.[/quote] http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/marriage-equality/petition/sign-now?t=dXNlcmlkPTM2NjkyLGVtYWlsaWQ9Mjk5 Cheers N'

nasking

17/08/2011Ad astra, I larfed so hard when watchin' parliament today. Abbott, Bishop, Pyne & the motley crew all started accusing the PM of "looking for the answer" when she was giving a response to a question on the carbon tax. They acted like a bunch of dobby prats in school. Turned out the PM was lookin' at their dopey 'Direct Action Plan' booklet. She grinned and held it up for all to see and thanked them for pointing it out. Then went on to use a passage against them...demonstrating more hypocrisy on their part. It was classic. Hilarious. Hope it makes the news. N'

Sir Ian Crisp

17/08/2011I wrote earlier that Al Capone lamented the fact that he didn’t register his crime empire as a political party. May I take this opportunity of thanking the member for Dobell, Craig Thomson, for endorsing that statement in his own unique way.

Jason

17/08/2011Lord Ian Monkton, Just because a few of your fellow fluffers in the coalition say he's guilty doesn't make it so!

Feral Skeleton

17/08/2011Sir Ian Crisp, I haven't laughed so hard at one of your comments since Santo Santoro tried to explain his Government Insider Share Trading as just his natural gift at picking winners.

nasking

17/08/2011I noticed that not only did the QLD ABC news do its typical right-wing bias thing by leaving the Greens speaker Bandt out of the news and promoting Katter instead...but also failed to mention The Greens go at Abbott over the tobacco packaging issue...and left the complaints about Andrew Forrests co re: Aboriginal training to near the end... but also managed to leave out the "butcher fiasco" mentioned by Lyn above...instead goin' to Abbott in the other butchers fartin' on about Craig Thomson...add to that a big beatup on Thompson...continued by the lacklustre Chris Uhlmann on 7:30... and neither show used the positive performance by Gillard or any other government member...per usual. Sometimes the ABC sucks big time. No better than News Ltd. Every government supporter in QLD should write a complain to the ABC about tonite's obvious bias. Leaving out the butcher stuffup was a disgrace. We need a media inquiry. Full stop. Before it's too late. N'

Sir Ian Crisp

17/08/2011Guilty? Guilty of what may I ask. Nice apology to our senior citizens from you J. If you look hard at a pic of AA you'll see a face that displays the lineaments of 'accumulated experience'. He also has (SIC adopts a sotto voce tone) grey hair. We wouldn't want to disenfranchise him based on the fact that he is elderly would we.

nasking

17/08/2011Sir Ian Crisp, I originate from a conservative family...but support the government because I've seen in this country previous ALP governments do the fair-go thing by the people...affordable tertiary education, medicare, protecting worker's rights, assissting the disabled, helping public schools and so on. I have to say, I've rarely come across a more dirty fighting group as the present Coalition and their supporters. Apart from the scum who went after Bill Clinton & his wife day in & day out...and the present day Tea Party supporters & some members. If yer lot win power in the next few years, it will be remembered how you behaved. The Coalition & their media have created a rod for their own back. I'm sure the present government supporters will have long memories...as tho the Whitlam dismissal wasn't enuff to motivate them. Expect incredible scrutiny of yer Abbott-led Coalition in the future. Laser-like. Frankly, I think it's very sad that Honest John's lot got away w/ the AWB scandal, children overboard & many other grotesque actions & lies. I wish the ALP government under Rudd had inflicted more justified pain on the Coalition. Bloody hypocrites. N'

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011Sir Ian Let’s see your face.

Ad astra reply

17/08/2011Nasking The News is always selective. I wish it had shown clips of Julia Gillard and her ministers exposing Tiny Abbott’s weathervane attributes in QT. I’m giving it away for the day.

Feral Skeleton

17/08/2011Nas, You might be interested in the Texan Ken Doll's thoughts about Fracking: :) [quote]Rick Perry Wants To Frack Iowa At a campaign stop in Iowa, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) claimed that the Obama administration is “trying to scare people” about natural gas fracking. He argued that natural gas drilling with hydraulic fracturing has never damaged groundwater, and expressed concern that Iowans would miss out on the natural gas boom: You have this administration talking about stopping hydraulic fracking, trying to scare people, saying that hydraulic fracking somehow or other is going to damage the groundwater, and so we’ve got to stop this. Not one time that I’m aware of has hydraulic fracking impacted groundwater. And if we don’t have the ability to frack, then all of the Pennsylvania Marcellus shale — you know, we don’t know what’s under the surface here in Iowa. There may be copious amounts of natural gas down there. Because the Eagle Ford in Texas, no one knew it was there until four or five years ago. New technologies finding new ways to bring this energy source. And we need to be, we need to be talking about ways to make America as independent energywise as we can. And it covers the watershed.[/quote] http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/651392/rick_perry_wants_to_frack_iowa/#paragraph3

NormanK

17/08/2011Ad astra It wasn't my intention that you delete el gordo's comment, which is your right of course. It's just that if you get on his particular merry-go-round you might find it difficult to get off.

Sir Ian Crisp

17/08/2011Nasking, good for you. The Lib-NP camorra is not my ‘lot’ as you put it. I find Australian politicians to be the grubbiest, most putrid, most disgusting and lowest form of life on earth. My job at election time is to vote for the party or individual that will do the least amount of damage to Australia. If Abbott and the Lib-NP camorra do come to power I expect AA to devote all his energy and time examining the opposition because that seems to be the way he does things. Don’t worry there are hypocrites all round. What about the MP that didn’t know the difference between a 4 cylinder engine and a V8 so he claimed T/A based on the allowance for a V8...his car was a 4 cylinder. What are we to make of a gov’t that allowed Christopher Skase access to his passport which allowed him to flee justice? Can we make sense of the insistence by major parties that workplace efficiencies are a concomitant of pay rises yet one state gov’t gave MPs a 40% pay rise based on nothing more than parity. Spare a thought for the homeless as one MP spent $617,000 renovating his bijou city suite. Those homeless must be still scratching their heads after learning that a certain Quisling Quasimodo pocketed A$117,000 tax free T/A over four years. The former MP who said “we will not sell any more of the Commonwealth Bank; ownership by the government on behalf of the people is locked in law”. How about the ex-Premier who was convicted of stealing more than A$122,000 from his party so he could build on his stamp collection. What about the ex-Premier from the same state that was given a gentle tap on the shoulder by the police and asked to repay about A$10,000 advanced to her for a trip she didn’t take. Etc, etc, etc. I’ll stop now because I don’t want to give you nightmares knowing how corrupt our pollies are.

Lyn

17/08/2011Hi Feral Now I have left you until later, because I know you will be here later. What did I read you saying up above: This is your blog sister telling you to cheer up, the spunk will come back in the morning, where will you be for 2013 election, with your blog family, "The Political Sword Family" that is where you will be. Boney legs in ugg boots and all. Here is your lovely compliments from this morning, now how good is that for your moral, I say wow! aren't they just the best. No, no. no Believe me, you are up with the best of them so keep on blogging. All of those you mention have something to say and say it well, but all have different approaches and so it is with you. [b]janice [/b] Two reasons that you can't retire. Firstly we will badger you until you get back into harness Anyway, you won't give up because you're hooked and we need you. [b]NormanK [/b] You beat me to it. As Shouldabin is apt to say, Feral Skeleton, NO, NO, NO. Please don't give up writing here or anywhere you feel you need to, we all need your wonderful perspective on things. [b]Gravel[/b] FS @ 9:36 AM I toatally disagree with you and as to your proposed solution: '... seriously thinking about chucking in the blogging towel. [b]D Mick Weir [/b] Please do not leave us as an author. We value and respect what you have to say and always look forward to the next piece. [b]Ad astra reply[/b] Feral, I'm still waiting for yer next brill post. Fire up. Keep the bast*rds dancing in a fit of anxiety. N' [b]nasking [/b] Feral Skeleton is a great read. And so say all of us. [b]TalkTurkey [/b] cheers :):):):):):):)

debbiep

18/08/2011 ~ [i]"might be better in the grandstand, as opposed to out on the field. Feral Skeleton [/i]" ~ Grandstand is Full ;), you need to stay in the field with all your great team mates.

Lyn

18/08/2011 [b] TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]Why Abbott is lying when he says a price on carbon will kill the Coal Industry. Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] If a picture paints a thousand words, then this one paints thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. If you logically extend the climbing red line, soon China will be the biggest producer of steel then the world combined. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/why-abbott-is-lying-when-he-says-a-price-on-carbon-will-kill-the-coal-industry/ [i]AN OPEN LETTER TO ‘DON’T MEDDLE WITH MARRIAGE’ RALLY ATTENDEES., Mike Stuchbery[/i] How the bloody hell do you think this kind of rhetoric makes a young gay bloke feel? When the cameras roll on the rally and the speeches reach churches across the nation, what do you think that does for the well-being and self-confidenceof the same-sex http://mike-stuchbery.com/2011/08/17/an-open-letter-to-dont-meddle-with-marriage-rally-attendees/ [i]Little Sir Echo, Petering Time, North Coast Voices[/i] Tony Abbott is obviously intent on mimicking this disastrous course with the policy announcement that should Tones the Terrible win government he expects to produce small government and $70 billion in budget savings. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/08/little-sir-echo.html [i]Turnbull's curious high-bandwidth blind spot, Stilgherrianm, The Drum[/i] Turnbull says that the NBN will cost us $5,900 for every connected household. Over a 10-year build, that's $11 a week. Madness? Sure. Where do I sign? http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2844038.html [i]Echo Chambers Are Ruining Scientific Communication, Moth, New Anthropocene[/i] Asking questions and debating rigorously are part of scientific exploration. We must be careful never to shout someone down, but to engage with them positively and enthusiastically. It won’t take long to work out if the other is genuinely interested http://newanthropocene.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/echo-chambers-are-ruining-scientific-communication/ [i]Galileo movement fabricates science to fuel climate divide, Douglas Fisher, Independent Australia [/i] Advisors include News Ltd. blogger Andrew Bolt, University of Virginia emeritus physicist Fred Singer,George Mason University climatologist Patrick Michaels, Perth-based coal-to-liquids advocate David Archibald and public speaker Lord Christopher Monckton of the United Kingdom. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/environment/galileo-movement-fabricates-science-to-fuel-climate-divide/ [i]cardboard cutout positions , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian rails against the ABC as an example of the intellectual class being ideologically blinded in offering a Left-liberal explanation of the recent London riots. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/08/cardboard-cutou.php#more [i]Media Self-Regulation Isn't Rocket Science, Johan Lidberg, New Matilda[/i] It is time for media owners to understand that their businesses exist on a mandate issued by the public. Misuse this mandate enough and your business model crumbles. This is what News International is experiencing in the UK. http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/16/media-selfregulation-isnt-rocket-science [i]The Great Big Crazy Carbon Conspiracy, Adam Brereton, New Matilda[/i] The Coalition should be terrified by this after seeing what Tea Party politics did to the Republicans during America’s debt ceiling debate. Instead Tony Abbott continues to appear at CATA’s rallies http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/17/great-big-crazy-carbon-conspiracy [i]Who needs anger management classes? Credit Card Craig!, Jennifer Wilson ,No Place for Sheep[/i] If I were the PM I’d be getting him to a psychologist pronto and paying the bills. A bit of cognitive behavioural therapy, intense angermanagement training, meditation, heck, even drugs. Send him on leave with depression. Have him diagnosed with a bi polar disorder. Credit Card Craig is a bigger problem for the government than the Malaysian solution and the carbon tax rolled into one http://noplaceforsheep.com/ [i]Who will be more embarrassed – Glenn Stevens or Craig Thompson, Peter Martin[/i] The chair of the parliament's economics committee will greet Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens and askhim a few questions about the economy to kick off the governor's half-yearly parliamentary grilling. http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Anything to render him ineffectual and harmless, Coalition ups pressure on Thomson over card use, Jeremy Thompson, ABC[/i] If Mr Thomson resigned from the marginal seat and it fell to the Coalition, Ms Gillard's minority government would fall.Now, News Limited newspapers have reported the ALP bankrolled http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-17/coalition-pressures-craig-thomson/2843804?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Hatetweep?, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] it’s nice to know, even though they rarely engage with us directly. But I’m not particularly comfortablebeing labelled a “hatetweep http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/17/hatetweep/ [i]The smart future of public transport, Nicole Gardner, The Conversation[/i] Can you imagine a public transport environment free from the complications of buying a ticket and validating it? What if fare evaders were automatically singled out for their faux pas? Or how about the information you require to complete your journey http://theconversation.edu.au/the-smart-future-of-public-transport-1815 [i]Application for party registration refused - Katter's Australian Party, AEC[/i] On 3 June 2011, the Australian Electoral Commission (the AEC) received an application from Katter’s Australian Party (the Party) for registration as a federal political party under the provisions of the http://aec.gov.au/Parties_and_Representatives/Party_Registration/Registration_Decisions/4226.htm [i]Sure, keep Swan honest, but don’t talk down the economy, Malcolm Farr, The Punch[/i] Hypothetically, if all Commonwealth public servants were immediate sacked - and Mr Hockey doesn’t want to get rid of ALL of them - he would save $60 billion and still have to find $10 billion. http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Sure-keep-Swan-honest-but-dont-talk-down-the-economy/ [i]Politics, Why Do You Care, Holly Isemonger, Vibe Wire[/i] Have politicians been forced into vapid repetition in response to a gossip style twenty-four hour news cycle or is the media catering to political campaigns based on negativity and repetition? http://portal.vibewire.org/2011/08/politics-why-do-you-care/ [i]More Qanda Musings, Window Dresser's Arms, Pig & Whistle[/i] faithful Party member ably discharging his duty to defend an errant leader. The nudge-nudge wink-wink here is that he and we really know Tony Abbott is an oaf http://pigsarms.com.au/2011/08/17/more-qanda-musings/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog [i]Former minister Helen Coonan to quit, opening way for Arthur Sinodinos to enter Senate , Imre Salusinszky ,The Australian[/i] HOWARD government minister Helen Coonan is about to announce she is quitting politics,opening the way for NSW Liberal Party president Arthur Sinodinos to replace her in the Senate http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/former-minister-helen-coonan-to-quit-opening-way-for-arthur-sinodinos-to-enter-senate/story-fn59niix-1226116765854 [i] Aged care reform: the time is right, Melissa Sweet, Croakey[/i] A new Aged Care Commission, independent from government, would be responsible for overseeing a progressive freeing of the market for aged care, setting prices, and overseeing accreditation, regulation, and a data clearing house. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2011/08/17/aged-care-reform-the-time-is-right/

Ad astra reply

18/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

18/08/2011To Everyone, THANK YOU! :$

TalkTurkey

18/08/2011Anybody still think this isn't serious? DON'T MISS THIS SWORDSFOLKS! What's the difference between a Pit Bull Terrier and a Tea Party Christian? http://i.imgur.com/1LXA1.jpg The Love of JC! :-O !

TalkTurkey

18/08/2011OK Feral, and [i]from[/i] everyone, Thank [i]You![/i] (K)

Lyn

18/08/2011Hi Ad The Liberals are sure they are going to get the seat of Dobell, because of the Craig Thompson story. I watched Heather Ewitt give Abbott some this morning on reading the Newspapers ABC24. Just what you said yesterday Ad, the Media and the Public are getting sick of Abbott Stunts.. I noticed as well any reports on the Butcher stunt are saying "if you believe Tony Abbott" No wonder Michael didn't want to go there yesterday. Mr Abbot's excuse, "they received a nasty phone call" he would get out of jail, master of lies. [i]Hungry pack foiled by mis-steak , jacqueline-maly, National Times[/i] The press were annoyed, their questions were cranky. One Journalist saying "you said you would explain" http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/by/jacqueline-maley [i]Thommo in Dobell, Mumble, The Australian[/i] There is talk of a possible by-election in Dobell. If that happens, you would have to [b]favour the Liberals to romp home. [/b] Then the House of Representatives numbers would be 75 all. There seem to be various opinions about the likelihood of a subsequent change of government or fresh elections. (If the first comes about it will probably lead to the second.) From the Gillard government’s point of view, the important element to consider is: if there is an election, which side will go to it as the government? Oppositions are always, for the voter, a bit risky. This particularly applies to one led by Tony Abbott. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/dobell_by_election/ Cheer:):):):):)

Ad astra reply

18/08/2011TT What an appalling set of comments from so-called Christians. It is frightening that such sentiments can be so blatantly expressed: http://i.imgur.com/1LXA1.jpg Hi Lyn Thank you for your links – sooner or later even a compliant media must tire of Tiny Abbot’s pranks, disingenuousness, deceptiveness and ever-changing rhetoric. I notice that this morning that while he was milking the Craig Thompson matter as hard as he can with innuendo and smear, he was not willing to say what he would do if in the same situation, admitting that it would be unwise for him to paint himself as a paragon of virtue. At least he is right about that!

NormanK

18/08/2011For anyone who missed Howard Jacobson on [i]Lateline[/i] last night, may I recommend it to you. In what felt like a flashback to the days of old it was refreshing to hear a non-aligned commentator speak on social and political issues without resorting to absolutism or blame-laying. If possible watch the video because it will give a better impression of his measured tone when discussing what has become the highly divisive issue of the London riots, what may have caused them and the current response of the Cameron Government. Absent is the melodrama of current contemporary discourse - think 'Regretful Joe Hockey' who gives the appearance of being deeply personally saddened to have to deliver more bad news to the Australian public or 'Reluctant Tony Abbott' who is only making a comment (accompanied by a hypnotic shaking of his head) because he is forced to by the sheer incompetence of the current government. You may not agree with everything Mr Jacobson has to say but wouldn't it be wonderful if more public debate in this country was undertaken with less rhetoric and political partisanship. Here is an excerpt to show what I mean: [quote]HOWARD JACOBSON: Well, I think it's very interesting that if you read about what's being going on in the streets, that even those people who are most moralistic about the violence on the streets, about the hoodlum behaviour - and no-one calls it anything else - are themselves almost hoodlums in words. People are killing one another - I mean, this has been - verbally, in language. This has been going on a long time over here and probably over there too on the internet. I mean, anybody who looks at the internet will have noticed how much more violent language has become. You don't disagree with somebody now, you vilify them, you kill with language. And of late it's got even worse over this particular issue, so it's very strange to have grown-up politicians and academics trying to put their mind to the violence of the streets and mirroring it in the violence of their own - the intemperateness of their own disagreements with one another.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3296091.htm

Patricia WA

18/08/2011Yes, NormanK, I did agree with his comment about the corruption of Members of Parliament, the mendacity of media moguls (my words!)and the greed of corporate executives with their obscene bonus payouts. All headlined on the news and TV in the past few weeks. Now all this handwringing and outrage because a few thousand disadvantaged youths have run amok and stolen TV sets and a few pairs of trainers! The lack of awareness by Cameron and MPs generally and of media commentators is breathtaking. I agreed with Jacobson thus far, but found even he lost the plot when complaining about young people's poor language and numeracy skills. He seemed to want to return to the good old days when a clip round the ear, or maybe six of the best? would have sorted these young hoodlums out.

nasking

18/08/2011The Labor Party should be ashamed of itself today. Not one person crossed the floor to support the bill to ban live exports. Not one. A slap in the face to The Greens' Adam Bandt, Indie Andrew Wilkie, GetUp, Animal protection groups, supporters of a LIVE EXPORTS BAN... and those poor, defenceless animals treated so abusively. Would we treat our dogs & cats like that? No. But silence falls when it comes to animals that don't eat meat...enuff water in them to make for a nice meal. Who gives a stuff how the meal is prepared, as long as the yeehaas who profit from this grotesque process don't give the government any more of a hard time by way of the sick bast*rds who run this country... bein' the shock jocks & the News Ltd/Sky News types & their softly spoken scumbag think tank, CON trade promoters... all grinnin' from their ugly immoral mugs right now...pretendin' they give a damn about animal rights & human rights/refugee rights when in reality all they give a stuff about is fillin' their bank accounts and doin' the corporate masters' sick jobs. If there is a God I hope they suck their wedging, profiteering souls into a black hole. A bad day for the Labor party. Gutless. N'

nasking

18/08/2011I might add, I expected nothing from the Liberal Party...considering how much they kowtow to the rotten at the core National Party & immoral blowhards like Barnaby Joyce. Tony Abbott's Liberal Party are not just the NO party. They're the cowardly hypocrisy party...w/ a huge weathervane stuck up their big church butts. N'

nasking

18/08/2011[quote]He seemed to want to return to the good old days when a clip round the ear, or maybe six of the best? would have sorted these young hoodlums out.[/quote] Patricia, I can think of more than a few politicians & media pundits & farmers I'd like to clip around the earole right now. And they wonder why the youth are losin' respect. N'

Sir Ian Crisp

18/08/2011I see that Mr Craig Thomson made a tardy entry into the register of pecuniary interests. He was advanced A$290,000 by the NSW branch of the ALP.

nasking

18/08/2011[quote]I mean, anybody who looks at the internet will have noticed how much more violent language has become. You don't disagree with somebody now, you vilify them, you kill with language.[/quote] Norman, I hope Jacobsen realises that it's better in some instances that people let off their steam about important issues by way of blogs...than actually goin' out and takin' baseball bats or worse to the people they blame for unethical acts...and stealin' the public's money by way of political influence, blackmail and various corrupt practices. See it as an essential part of democracy. Free speech for the generally powerless. Much more preferable to bein' a suicide bomber or Norwegian slaughterer. I can't understand why anyone who cares about the lives of some of their compatriots would want to take the lives of others to prove an ideological point. Tho, I guess revenge has alot to do w/ the suicide bombing thing...and brainwashing. When one sees the abuse of animals, for example...a few fired up words, living by example, signing petitions, letters to pollies, boycotts and the odd demonstration is about all the non-insiders have to express their disgust/opinion. It's too easy to sit back in academia and come up w/ sage pronouncements...placing a pox on all political houses...the reality is, the perceived powerless will sometimes sound too angry...too divisive... but let's face it, when the Jews were bein' rounded up & murdered...the silence by many was deafening. But eventually governments and military and the public had hear the roar...and respond. Sometimes ya have to ROAR. N'

Jason

18/08/2011Baroness Ian Crisp, $290,000? or " BESIEGED MP Craig Thomson has admitted he broke parliamentary rules and amended the pecuniary interests register to declare more than $90,000 he received from the Labor Party. "http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/mp-craig-thomson-late-to-declare-alp-loan/story-e6freuzi-1226117004792 Or when the PM says "others" have also been late to declare is this what she had in mind Ian? "The Federal Government says Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's delay in declaring a change to his home loan arrangements to Parliament raises questions about his ability to be Prime Minister. Mr Abbott changed mortgage providers two years ago but only recently updated the pecuniary interest register to declare it. A spokeswoman for Mr Abbott says it was an oversight and the Government is trying to dig up dirt. But Government Minister Craig Emerson says it raises questions about Mr Abbott's accountability. "It's probably an oversight, but it's a very big oversight to forget about a $700,000 mortgage," he said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-06-23/labor-pounces-on-abbott-mortgage-change/877602

nasking

18/08/2011Another example, Barack Obama walks softly, calmly w/ a big stick. He saw Gadafhi doin' the wrong thing...heard this serial abuser, intimidator, bully and war criminal threatenin' to massacre his own people. Obama's roar was in the jet engines, the missiles that told Gadafhi that he was gonna get some of his own medicine back if he didn't desist. Speakin' of Obama, I recognise now he really is determined to pull that country together, if it drains the life outa him. I was worried for him, thought some dumbarse fanatic like the Norwegian fella might go all paranoid for the wrong reasons spurred on by the roar of the profiteers like Limbaugh & Beck...and try to take Obama out. But ya look in Obama's cool eyes and ya see the determination. The courage. The roar beneath. Determination to take America down a more visionary road...a more sustainable future. He has a great lady beside him. I wouldn't want someone who roars out loud like me to lead that country...w/ all its nukes and military capability. Someone who wears their emotion on their sleeve. Or Perry who is careless w/ words...aggressive to the point of stupid. I reckon the world is a darn site more comfortable w/ Obama there than those Republicans backed by the pushy Tea Party, Limbaugh & Fox News. Damn straight. N'

Gravel

18/08/2011Nas I thought I read somewhere that the live animal trade to Indonesia was going to end in 2014/15, the Indonesians reckon they will have enough of their own cattle by then and won't need imports. I could be totally wrong on this, but this is what I am hoping will happen anyway.

Jaeger

18/08/2011Jason - I wondered why Tony Abbott was being so cagey when questioned about whether Craig Thomson should be sacked; obviously there's a few skeletons in the Opposition closet.

Lyn

18/08/2011Hi Ad Ad did you know The Political Sword was catalogued and preserved by the National Library. Congratulations Political Sword. The Political Sword [b]The Political Sword was selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia. This title is scheduled to be re-archived regularly. The publisher's site may provide more current information. Archived 15 Sep 2010 00:00 [/b] http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/120603 http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/5058503 The Political Sword [electronic resource] Online Bib ID 5058503 Format Online, Online - Google Books Online Access Publisher site Online Versions Archived at ANL Description Australia : The Political Sword, 2008- Series PANDORA electronic collection Technical Details Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web. Available at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com Summary The Political Sword is a blog that focuses that politics and politicians in Australia. Notes Title from title page (viewed on Sept. 15 2010) Text and graphics. Selected for archiving Life Dates 2008- Subjects Blogs - Australia. Holdings Comments (0) Librarian's View Copyright Status Cheers:):):):):)

2353

18/08/2011Wow - we're part of history!

Sir Ian Crisp

18/08/2011[quote] $290,000? or " BESIEGED MP Craig Thomson has admitted he broke parliamentary rules and amended the pecuniary interests register to declare more than $90,000 he received from the Labor Party. Jason [/quote] J, the entry reads as follows: "I wish to update my statement of registrable interests as follows: In May 2011 the Australian Labor Party (New South Wales Branch) paid a sum of money in settlement of a legal matter to which I was party." It was dated the 16th of August and the name Craig Thomson was typed at the foot of the entry. The entry was not signed and the amount of money was not mentioned. Let's say it was A$701,000. It makes him as bad as Abbott. (hat tip Catallaxy)

Ad astra

18/08/2011Hi Lyn You a brilliant detective. I recall something reading about this some time ago, but could not recall seeing that cataloguing had occurred. It is a compliment to all who contribute here that [i]TPS[/i] is listed with the National Library of Australia.

Ad astra

18/08/2011Folks I have an anniversary to celebrate tonight; I'll be back tomorrow.

Jason

18/08/2011Sir Ian, I'm still not sure where you seem to be going with this if anywhere? In the words of your "political birth mother" please explain?

TalkTurkey

18/08/2011Lyn said "The Political Sword was selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia. This title is scheduled to be re-archived regularly." 2353 said "Wow - we're part of history!" Correction 2353 The national Library is part of history. It's got TPS in it! :)

2353

18/08/2011You're right TT. I will determine the gravity of my error with myself and probably give myself an upper cut. So Thompson "forgot" for 2 months - Abbott "forgot" for two years. I know which one I reckon is accidental.

2353

18/08/2011Forgot to add ^^^^^ Abbott demonstrated this week the value he places on his word. It was Abbott who demanded an end to the live-export trade less than two weeks ago. This week, when given the opportunity to actually put his words into action - he squibbed it and voted to retain the status quo. Oh sorry, I forgot - it's only the public published pronouncements that carry the weight of policy. As a Carbon Tax is still part of LNP Policy, I guess Abbott won't be doing much about that then so what was the grandstanding at the Canberra Rally all about then?

nasking

18/08/2011[quote]I thought I read somewhere that the live animal trade to Indonesia was going to end in 2014/15[/quote] Gravel, I hope it ends sooner. But thnx for the info. Seems we now have sheep stuck on a ship. Makes ya wanna weep. "The Political Sword was selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia". Congrats. N'

Acerbic Conehead 2

18/08/2011AA, I've been chasing my tail all week so apologies for not congratulating you earlier on another superb article. And talking about leadership, AA, yours is there in spades when you see the National Library acknowledging your fantastic blog. And FS, What's this crap about you throwing in the towel? Don't you freakin' dare!!!!!

Feral Skeleton

18/08/2011Bleugh! Whinge, whinge, whinge. And, to top it all off, having walked up driveway and down driveway, up steps and down steps, for the last 3 weeks, I have failed to lose any weight! The money is nothing, it's the lost weight that I wanted out of all this Census palaver. Oi vey! Oh, and about Craig Thomson, no one has made the obvious point that if the Sydney Morning Herald had any proof that it was him at the Brothel, don't you think they would have splashed it all over their front page by now? :) Tony Abbott and the Smearalition are just doing what they always do, that is, using the incident to distract from the fact that their policy cupboard is bare and is on very shaky legs due to a $70 Billion Black Hole in the middle of it.

D Mick Weir

18/08/2011FS, Chocolate?

Lyn

19/08/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i] I've Seen That Movie Too , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] A typical 730 political interview involves Chris Ullman playing cat-and-mouse with an over-media-coachedpolitician, trained to avoid saying anything mildly surprising or interesting - http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/08/ive-seen-that-movie-too.html [i]Little bit News Corporation’s Sky News a little bit favouring a little bit tea party protest, Uther’sSay[/i] coverage of what may have been one of the most media courted protests in Australian history and the possible extension of a News Corporation/ political party coalition to include an angry street protest movement. http://utherssay.com/2011/08/17/8-little-bit-news-corporation%e2%80%99s-sky-news-a-little-bit-favouring-a-little-bit-tea-party-protest/ [i]Media regulation and the tennis paradox, Tim Dunlop, The Drum[/i] when I was contracted for several years to write a blog for News Ltd, I was not only never shown the code of conduct, I was actively encouraged, in one instance, to ignore what I considered my obligation to my readers. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2844102.html [i]The Power Index: Yabsley says ‘ban political donations’, Paul Barry, Crikey[/i] In 1999, he set up the Millenium Forum, which raises millions of dollars by selling access to Liberal leaders. In 2007 he used the same model to establish the Wentworth Forum, which has raised millions of dollars for Malcolm Turnbull’s campaigns. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/17/michael-yabsley-on-political-donations/ [i]Paul Barry talks political donations with Michael Yabsley, The Power Index[/i] As a former Liberal Party politican and fundraiser, Michael Yabsley knows a thing or two about political donations. In this episode of Power Index TV, Yabsley explains what donors actually get for their money, what he thinks of the process and how the major parties might be funded without political donations. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/political-fixers/paul-barry-talks-political-donations-with-michael-yabsley [i]Turnbull wants Govt-funded email for all, Renai LeMay, Technology Spectator[/i] Malcolm Turnbull has reportedly proposed a policy which would see every Australian allocated a limited email-like inbox to receive communications from governments, if the Coalition took power in the next election. http://technologyspectator.com.au/industry/internet/turnbull-wants-govt-funded-email-all?utm_source=Technology+Spectator+List&utm [i]Do the Murdochs have more wealth outside News Corp?, Stephen Mayne, Crikey[/i] when Rupert passes away, it is clear his four adult children, and the combined wealth of Wendi Dengand her two daughters, will see them all qualify as billionaires, assuming the News Corp share pricedoesn’t collapse. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/18/do-the-murdochs-have-more-wealth-outside-news-corp/?utm_source=feedburner&utm [i]Deficits, debts, etc – bad for business, bad for the economy, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] conundrums of social democracy is that measures to increase profit are also (up to a point) in the interests of workers, precisely because we live in capitalist economies. One of the ways to deal with, if not dissolve away http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/08/18/deficits-debt-etc-bad-for-the-economy/ [i]Crowdsourcing the links between climate and tobacco hackery, John Quiggin[/i] In this very silly hit piece in the Oz, Graham Young says that I “imply” that many climate delusionists are (or were) tobacco hacks. His wording in turn implies that they aren’t or might not be. http://johnquiggin.com/2011/08/17/crowdsourcing-the-links-between-climate-and-tobacco-hackery/ [i]There are no NBN apps: Turnbull, Stilgherrian[/i] Malcolm Turnbull about his broadband policy, an alternative approach to Labor’s National Broadband Network (NBN) and I was surprised by one comment. Apparently he can’t see any real use for data speedsabove 12 or 25Mbps http://stilgherrian.com/internet/patch-monday-there-are-no-nbn-apps-turnbull/ [i]What’ll we be left with after the boom – RBA, Peter Martin[/i] Australia is more exposed to the risk of a downturn in Asia than at any time in the pasttwo decades and our productivity growth iabysmal, meaning we will soon no longer be able to http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/08/whatll-we-be-left-with-after-boom-rba.html [i]We Need Tough Love To Keep The Peace, Ben Pobjie, New Matilda[/i] columnist/theologian/wombjockey Miranda Devine revealed, they are the fault of gay parents, such as Penny Wong, who violated the social order recently by impregnating her partner with lesbian sperm. http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/18/we-need-tough-love-keep-peace [i]Sinodinos expected to replace Coonan, so who is he?, Paul Barry, The Power Index[/i] Though taking up the plum Senate seat would do wonders for his political career, he'd probably have tomove to the lower house if he wants to become treasurer or Liberal Party leader. Which is where manyin the party think he belongs. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-move/sinodinos-expected-to-replace-coonan-so-who-is-he/20110818296?utm [i]Bolt and Negus back for 10 in 2012, Matthew Knot, The Power Index[/i] The Bolt Report has not been performing well. It has shed almost a third of its morning audience since its May debut and last Sunday's ratings (115,000) were the second lowest since the show started. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-move/bolt-and-negus-back-for-10-in-2012/20110818294 [i]Speaking metaphorically, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] Unless my sense of metaphor has been unhinged by the signs at the “kill the prime minister” rally. I mean those people are using metaphors, aren’t they? http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/08/18/speaking-metaphorically/ [i]Golden Oldie (curtains included),Gerard Oosterman,Window Dresser's Arms, Pig & Whistle[/i] Now we come to the tricky ‘Unleashed contributors’ bit. Is it also this ‘privacy’ thing that sees so many people writing under nick names, often even changing their names as they go along? Is it safer to write something a bit controversial http://pigsarms.com.au/2011/08/18/golden-oldie-curtains-included/ [i]Solar will force coal and nuclear out of the energy business, Andrew Blakers, The Conversation[/i] electricity in Australia comes mostly from coal, which produces lots of greenhouse gas emissions. So called “clean coal” technology with carbon capture and storage doesn’t exist on a commercial scale. http://theconversation.edu.au/solar-will-force-coal-and-nuclear-out-of-the-energy-business-2557 [i]Twiggy's got friends in high places, Tom Cowie, The Power Index[/i] Rupert Murdoch (billionaire media owner), Kerry Stokes (billionaire businessman), Lindsay Fox(billionaire businessman): Three incredibly powerful businessman, all of which have lent much-needed financial and public muscle to Forrest's indigenous employment project. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/circles/twiggy-s-friends-in-high-places/20110816283 [i]Gary Who?? Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i] Gary Johns, Christopher Monckton, Andrew Bolt kind of people simply refuse to incorporate into their arguments. Until they can address this single, vital point – the accumulated 300-plus years of human industrial pollution of the planet’s atmosphere – http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/08/gary_who.php [i]Coalition to reclaim South Australia’s grid for solar power, Robyn Waite, Green Left[/i] replacing the Port Augusta coal-fired power stations with concentrated solar thermal, or a combination of concentrated solar thermaland wind, would prevent the emission of roughly 5 million tonnes of CO2 every year andcould supply 50% of South Australia’s power needs. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/48548 [i]A life unravelled … whistleblower who incurred wrath of the Murdoch empire, The Guardian[/i] This is a cautionary tale about what can happen to someone who dares to become a corporate whistleblower. Or, more specifically, someone who incurs the wrath of News Corporation, the media empire owned by Rupert Murdoch, http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/17/whistleblower-murdoch-empire [i]Is the ABC in breach of its charter? Karl Quinn, National Times[/i] technically, that means the ABC is not in breach of its charter. But if we were to ask if theABC is in breach of the spirit of that charter we might get a different answer entirely http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-vulture/is-the-abc-in-breach-of-its-charter-20110818-1iz6v.html

Feral Skeleton

19/08/2011DMW, I think Chocolate's been the problem. :( I've been hitting the hard stuff too much to get me through the days and lonely nights hunched over a Census Collector's Record Book. No glass and a half of Dairy Milk goodness for me, or my son who has joined me. Nope, we started out with the 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, then 'graduated' to the 70% + Chilli Dark Chocolate. Finally we gave up all hope and self-control and threw down our hard-earned for the 85% Cocoa content beast. I will admit though that I have pulled myself into line recently and stepped down to Cadburys Old Gold, and I even indulged in a little of my younger son's Peppermint Aero(I know, I'm a bad mother, I start them on the easy to consume lolly-type 'gateway' chocolate first). However, it just didn't give me the kick that I craved. Though I did resist the temptation to go straight for the Old Gold. Instead I satisfied myself with a Chocolate Truffle dessert. Maybe one day I'll win my battle. Maybe we all will. Say a little prayer for us, DMW. We need all the help we can get. :$

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19/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

nasking

19/08/2011Why does it not surprise me that yet another market panic has been created partially by a Murdoch paper?: [quote]Wall Street shares plunge on recession fears The Australian - Jonathan Cheng - ‎2 hours ago‎ European banks led the declines, in part after The Wall Street Journal reported that US federal and state regulators were intensifying their scrutiny of the US arms of Europe's biggest banks, worrying about spillover from Europe's debt crisis into the ... [/quote] Is it any wonder that Murdoch was so desperate to get his hands on The Wall Street Journal & Dow Jones prior to GFC 1...and created a business channel. Interesting that this present panic should come off the back of another serious arrest in the UK tabloid hacking scandal...and w/ President Obama about to go on vacation after announcing he's on the verge of putting a comprehensive job's package to the country. And why does it not surprise me that Fox News & certain shock jocks have led the fingerpointing against Obama in regard to his wee ten day holiday? Knowing full well how much they supported GW Bush who had spent three times as many days on his farm. It's not as those these Presidents are in contact w/ their advisors and the White House etc. whilst on hols. And it is the end of the summer hols in America...w/ Congress away. As for Murdoch, there's no way that any single individual and/or family should own so many shares and have governorship over so many influential media organs. It is dangerous for our economies...and democracy...and global stability. N'

nasking

19/08/2011[quote] It's not as those these Presidents are in contact w/ their advisors and the White House etc. whilst on hols. And it is the end of the summer hols in America...w/ Congress away. [/quote] Make that: It's not as though these Presidents aren't in contact... N'

Feral Skeleton

19/08/2011Nasking, Worth reading this article from The Guardian about the complete and utter, soul-destroying bastardry that the 'News' Empire engages in when someone crosses them(and I note the investigation into the murder in Wales of another News Corp Whistleblower which Tom Watson, bless his cotton socks, is going to investigate): http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/17/whistleblower-murdoch-empire

nasking

19/08/2011Thnx Feral. Tom Watson is a brave man. Inspiring. This article by Naomi Klein is also worth reading @ The Guardian: [quote]Looting with the lights on We keep hearing England's riots weren't political – but looters know that their elites have been committing daylight robbery How about a democratic example then? Argentina, circa 2001. The economy was in freefall and thousands of people living in rough neighbourhoods (which had been thriving manufacturing zones before the neoliberal era) stormed foreign-owned superstores. They came out pushing shopping carts overflowing with the goods they could no longer afford – clothes, electronics, meat. The government called a "state of siege" to restore order; the people didn't like that and overthrew the government. Argentina's mass looting was called el saqueo – the sacking. That was politically significant because it was the very same word used to describe what that country's elites had done by selling off the country's national assets in flagrantly corrupt privatisation deals, hiding their money offshore, then passing on the bill to the people with a brutal austerity package. Argentines understood that the saqueo of the shopping centres would not have happened without the bigger saqueo of the country, and that the real gangsters were the ones in charge. But England is not Latin America, and its riots are not political, or so we keep hearing. They are just about lawless kids taking advantage of a situation to take what isn't theirs. And British society, Cameron tells us, abhors that kind of behaviour. This is said in all seriousness. As if the massive bank bailouts never happened, followed by the defiant record bonuses. Followed by the emergency G8 and G20 meetings, when the leaders decided, collectively, not to do anything to punish the bankers for any of this, nor to do anything serious to prevent a similar crisis from happening again. Instead they would all go home to their respective countries and force sacrifices on the most vulnerable. They would do this by firing public sector workers, scapegoating teachers, closing libraries, upping tuition fees, rolling back union contracts, creating rush privatisations of public assets and decreasing pensions – mix the cocktail for where you live. And who is on television lecturing about the need to give up these "entitlements"? The bankers and hedge-fund managers, of course. This is the global saqueo, a time of great taking. Fuelled by a pathological sense of entitlement, this looting has all been done with the lights on, as if there was nothing at all to hide. There are some nagging fears, however. In early July, the Wall Street Journal, citing a new poll, reported that 94% of millionaires were afraid of "violence in the streets". This, it turns out, was a reasonable fear. Of course London's riots weren't a political protest. But the people committing night-time robbery sure as hell know that their elites have been committing daytime robbery. Saqueos are contagious...[/quote]More here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/17/looing-with-lights-off It's a matter of trust. N'

nasking

19/08/2011Lyn, great links. Thnx for Tim Dunlop's article on media regulation: [quote]And it is that presumption that I think is the weakness in how we think about the media. So lightly is it regulated, our inclination to trust, to presume that 'they simply can't do that', may well be misplaced. Let me stress again, my tendency is to be hands-off in regard to media regulation. I don't want restrictions in place. But I do want a media I can trust, and the current system of self-regulation is not providing a framework that encourages that trust. The system of 'codes of conduct' and other such gossamer veils of decency are next to useless. I know this from personal experience: when I was contracted for several years to write a blog for News Ltd, I was not only never shown the code of conduct, I was actively encouraged, in one instance, to ignore what I considered my obligation to my readers. That is, when I wanted to explain to readers why a post was pulled, I was told that that sort of transparency was not what the 'big boys' did. I was told that you simply write the next piece and move on. So I think that if we really want to re-examine media regulation, then what we have to encourage is transparency. Let me make a few suggestions. First up, we have to be vigilant consumers. We have to hound every error we see and demand higher standards. We also shouldn't be afraid to organise boycotts and to pressure advertisers. It was the consumer-led campaign to target advertisers that helped make its owners realise that the News of the World was a permanently damaged brand. But in saying this, we come up against what I'll call the tennis paradox. The only reason tennis is a great game, or even exists as a game at all, and the only reason we have great, creative players, is because there are lines on the ground and a net. Yes, these rules restrict what the players can do, but they also provide the very means from which great play is born; take them away and all you've got is a couple of dudes whacking balls at each other. The reason customer complaints about bias and factual error in the media fall on deaf ears is because there are so few rules in place that guide this aspect of media practice. It is easy to ignore complaints when there is no recourse other than to norms of professionalism and decency. In fact, in the absence of rules, those norms are unlikely to develop in the first place. Here are two further suggestions. Media outlets should be obliged to employ ombudsmen or in some other way to officially deal with consumer complaints. That the ombudsmen should be independent of the media organisation itself should go without saying. As Jonathan Holmes pointed out the other day, the ABC is the only media outlet that remotely does this and I really can't see why other media organisations should be exempt. Secondly, maybe we need to regulate for corrections and the airing of complaints. Media organisations have a vested interest in burying their mistakes and that should change. If we are to have an inquiry into the media, let's look at how we might oblige them to publish serious corrections on an ongoing basis. And here's a final related thought. We need to rethink the 'public interest' test, and we can start by redefining it as a 'public value' test...[/quote] worth reading the entire piece: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2844102.html It's time the government got on w/ the job...don't let the corporate media, whether it's News Ltd or Fairfax intimidate you into backing down. N'

jj

19/08/2011Interesting stuff on Craig Thompson this past couple of days. Now that the media has a hold of it and will send a few investigative journos to dig a little deeper, who knows what will prop up in the next few weeks? It is a pretty big story if it comes off. Anyway, even if he doesnt get charged and sentenced it will be interesting, as Grattan said yesterday, to see what the Labor party does at the next preselection for the seat. Will they dump him and therefore admit that he was not fit to be a parliamentarian. Or will they keep him, leaving the people of Dobell with a man that should have been vetted out before he was able to become an MP. Interesting times for the ALP...

Gravel

19/08/2011Ad Astra Congratulations on The Political Sword being kept in the National Archives. What a magnificent accomplishment and very well deserved. Feral Skeleton You are one of the main topic providers here and your input is very much wanted, and needed to be added to the National Archives. I watched Tom Watson on Lateline, Labor could do with someone like him here to dissect the opposition.

nasking

19/08/2011I noticed yesterday that SKY NEWS was thrilled about it's deal w/ China's state TV...and some think it puts them ahead of the ABC when it comes to gaining the contract to run Australia's overseas television srervice...but isn't it better to have more independence?: http://www.smh.com.au/national/abc-keeps-distance-with-chinese-media-20110818-1j074.html [quote]THE ABC says its independence charter stops it getting too close to Chinese-state controlled media after its rival Sky News gained a strategic toehold in China in the contest for Australia Network.[/quote] Another article worth reading: [quote]June 26, 2007 Murdoch’s Dealings in China: It’s Business, and It’s Personal By JOSEPH KAHN BEIJING, June 25 — Many big companies have sought to break into the Chinese market over the past two decades, but few of them have been as ardent and unrelenting as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Mr. Murdoch has flattered Communist Party leaders and done business with their children. His Fox News network helped China’s leading state broadcaster develop a news Web site. He joined hands with the Communist Youth League, a power base in the ruling party, in a risky television venture, his China managers and advisers say... Star TV overhauled its programming to suit Chinese tastes. In 1994 it dropped BBC News, which had frequently angered Chinese officials with its reports on mainland affairs. Mr. Murdoch said the decision was made for business reasons, not political reasons. Mr. Davey, who then ran Star TV, agreed that cost was a primary consideration. But he said he had pressed the British broadcaster to stop showing a video of a man facing down a tank outside Tiananmen Square — an indelible image from China’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989 — during its on-air programming breaks. He said the BBC refused, calling the video a “journalistic presentation.” “The BBC never got the sensitivities of the situation,” Mr. Davey said. “It was relentless and stupid. Neither party was too upset about ending the relationship.” If Star was a potential threat to the one-party state, it was also a new opportunity. Chinese officials disliked Western news media coverage of China and wanted to present their own face to the world. Mr. Murdoch provided the access they wanted.[/quote] Hmmm... N'

Jason

19/08/2011jj, I suppose the coalition is full of fine upstanding people!

nasking

19/08/2011Sorry, here's the link to the article above: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/26/world/asia/26murdoch.html?pagewanted=print N'

Feral Skeleton

19/08/2011Nas, Funny how you don't hear the Conservative Right bleating about 'Activist Judges' when a young mum is put into Jail(!!!) for the 'crime' of accepting 1 pair of looted shorts, or the 2 boys who merely tried to bignote themselves on facebook by calling for civil unrest, that never eventuated, being put in jail for 4 YEARS each.

jj

19/08/2011Or just people that are smart enough to cover their back sides properly or go to the police when their signature has been forged to hire escorts.

Jason

19/08/2011"Or will they keep him, leaving the people of Dobell with a man that should have been vetted out before he was able to become an MP. Interesting times for the ALP... jj " Oh really? SOUTH Australian federal politician Mary Jo Fisher has been charged with allegedly stealing groceries from a supermarket and assaulting a security guard who apprehended her. Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/liberal-senator-mary-jo-fisher-arrested-for-shoplifting-assault/story-e6frfkvr-1226100027412#ixzz1VQkGHfLE

nasking

19/08/2011jj, If the government falls & Abbott takes over, The Greens in the senate & the few Labor state governments will be the only hurdles left to stopping the Coalition from bringing in Workchoices Mach whatever...and Peter Reith's beloved OZsterity measures. Reith has had his mug all over the media these days...particularly SKY NEWS. Be interesting to see how the QLD & SA state government-related polls go if Abbott did get government. And the Victorian & WA ones for that matter. The need for balance can change things abruptly. And I guess Turnbull will go down in history as the man who led the charge on a Republic & ETS/carbon price...and got neither. N'

nasking

19/08/2011[quote]Funny how you don't hear the Conservative Right bleating about 'Activist Judges' when a young mum is put into Jail(!!!) for the 'crime' of accepting 1 pair of looted shorts[/quote] Excellent point Feral. Doesn't Fox News luv fartin' on about "activist judges'? As in so called "Liberal ones". I noticed Peter Reith has been bringin' up the idea of "recall elections". Considerin' that the Wisconsin Republicans just lost two seats in recent recalls...and are only now one seat away from taking the majority outside of the normal electoral period...I reckon he might want to be careful what he asks for. Doesn't the Victorian Liberal government have a one seat majority? N'

nasking

19/08/2011Make that: and the Democratic party are only now one seat away from taking the majority outside of the normal electoral period Note: in lots of pain re: back. N'

Feral Skeleton

19/08/2011Nas, Onwards and upwards to the Recall of Governor Scott Walker! Did you also notice that the Dark Lord of the Republican Party, and all-round Kochroach, Paul Ryan, is musing about entering the Presidential Race for the Kochroach, er, Republican Party? Sort of ties in nicely with the notion that the natives are starting to get restless about the amount of political power the Corporatocracy are getting and are making their disquiet known on the streets of Athens, London, Wisconsin. How much can a Grizzly Bear? ;-) Also, it would be nice to do a 'Compare and Contrast' between the number of signatures on the anti-WorkChoices petitions, and the Anti Carbon 'Tax' petition that faggot(in the twig sense, of course :) ) wrapped in Armani, Julie Bishop, has got in Perth.

Lyn

19/08/2011Hi Jason Thought you might be interested to read the below article:- [i]Station in trouble as MTR posts $6.2 million loss last financial year [/i] STRUGGLING Melbourne talk radio station MTR is "most unlikely" to continue in its current form after posting a $6.2 million loss in the last financial year. The station's headliners include Steve Price, Steve Vizard and Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, but in the latest ratings it recorded a dismal 2 per cent audience share http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/station-in-trouble-as-mtr-posts-62-million-loss-last-financial-year/story-fn7j19iv-1226117919776

Feral Skeleton

19/08/2011lyn, Also Andrew Bolt's 'The Bolt Report' is in the 'dismal ratings' category. It's still being brought back next year though courtesy of Big Gina's deep pockets.

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19/08/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for another set of great links. I did enjoy the spoof on Mr Denmore via the You Tube clip. I have your email; I’ll respond this afternoon. Nasking You have been busy this morning. Thank you for your contributions. Jason Thank you having the patience to answer the tiresome jj. FS Thank you for the [i]Guardian[/i] link. What a sorry position anyone who defies Murdoch gets into! Gravel Thank you for your congratulatory remarks. All who contribute so thoughtfully here should take a bow. I hope you are continuing to improve.

Feral Skeleton

19/08/2011I sure hope John Quiggin's blog is also included in the National Archives. It's one of the best.

Jason

19/08/2011Hi Lyn, Well I'm as lost for words as MTR are for listeners!

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19/08/2011Folks In these days when quality journalists are so sparse on the ground, what a tragedy it is when a journalist of the calibre of Paul Lockyer is killed doing his job, along with pilot Gary Ticehurst, and cameraman John Bean. We shall miss his honest and unbiased reporting, which is becoming a rarity among reporters of politics. ABC News has a report with video clips. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-18/abc-helicopter-crashes-at-lake-eyre/2845962

nasking

19/08/2011[quote]Paul Ryan, is musing about entering the Presidential Race[/quote] I noticed that Feral. I think it would be a dumb move on the part of the Republicans considering the environment. For one: In 2008, Ryan voted for TARP, the Wall Street bailout that precipitated the Tea Party. On May 21, 2008, Ryan introduced H.R. 6110, titled "Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2008". This proposed legislation outlined a plan to deal with entitlement issues. The act would have abolished the State Children's Health Insurance Program in 2010. On April 1, 2009, Ryan introduced his alternative to the 2010 United States federal budget. This proposed alternative would have eliminated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, lowered the top tax rate to 25%, introduced an 8.5% value-added consumption tax, and imposed a five-year spending freeze on all discretionary spending. It would also have replaced the Medicare system. Ryan's proposed budget would also have allowed taxpayers to opt out of the federal income taxation system with itemized deductions, and instead pay a flat 10 percent of adjusted gross income up to $100,000 and 25 percent on any remaining income. Ryan's proposed budget was heavily criticized by opponents for the lack of concrete numbers. In late January 2010, Ryan released a new version of his "Roadmap." It would give across the board tax cuts by reducing income tax rates; eliminating income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax. The plan would privatize a portion of Social Security, eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, and privatize MediCare. Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman took issue with the contention that Ryan's plan would reduce the deficit, alleging that it only considered proposed spending cuts and failed to take into account the tax changes. According to Krugman, Ryan's plan "would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population" but would produce a $4 trillion revenue loss over ten years because of the tax cuts for the rich. Krugman went on to label the proposed spending cuts a "sham" because they depended on making a severe cut in domestic discretionary spending without specifying the programs to be cut, and on "dismantling Medicare as we know it", which is politically unrealistic. (wikipedia) Regardless of his Mum's apple pie looks, Ryan would get murdered politically on the tax & Medicare issues. He also voted to stop federal funding of National Public Radio. AND: Voted for: 8.5% Business Consumption Tax instead of taxing profit. (Jul 2009) Voted NO on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation. (Jul 2009) Voted to: Repeal ObamaCare reporting requirements for small business. (Jan 2011) Voted NO on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons. (Jun 2000) Voted NO on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes. (Apr 2009) Voted NO on $40B for green public schools. (May 2009) Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Nov 2007) Voted NO on allowing Courts to decide on "God" in Pledge of Allegiance. (Jul 2006) Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006) Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror. (Nov 2001) Voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling. (May 2011) Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. (Apr 2011) Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009) Voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets. (Sep 2008) Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (May 2008) Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008) Voted NO on investing in homegrown biofuel. (Aug 2007) Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jan 2007) Bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules. (Jan 2009) Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001) Voted NO on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore. (Jun 2006) Rated 0% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006) Voted NO on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013. (Jun 2008) Voted NO on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006) Voted NO on four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. (Jun 2009) Rated 91% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-Family-Value voting record. (Dec 2003) America is the most pro-human idea ever conceived. (Sep 2010) Voted NO on supporting democratic institutions in Pakistan. (Jun 2009) Voted YES on restricting independent grassroots political committees. (Apr 2006) Voted YES on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers. (Oct 2005) Voted YES on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse. (Apr 2003) Voted YES on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1. (Jun 1999) Voted YES on prohibiting lawsuits about obesity against food providers. (Oct 2005) 8.5% tax on imports from foreign countries. (Jul 2009) Medicare is a $38 trillion unfunded liability--add vouchers. (Jan 2010) Replace Medicare with $9500/year private insurance payment. (Jul 2009) Voted NO on regulating tobacco as a drug. (Apr 2009) Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007) Voted YES on terminating funding for National Public Radio. (Mar 2011) Voted YES on retroactive immunity for telecoms' warrantless surveillance. (Jun 2008) Voted NO on removing US armed forces from Afghanistan. (Mar 2011) Voted NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq. (Jun 2008) Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days. (May 2007) Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006) More here: http://www.ontheissues.org/House/Paul_Ryan.htm Not surprised that Fox et al luv him. N'

Feral Skeleton

19/08/2011China has decided to set up it's own Carbon Trading Market. Take that! Tiny-Minded Tony Abbott! Must also add wrt Craig Thomson, after seeing him in front of reporters today, he did not have the furtive disposition that someone trying to hide miscreant behaviour would have. I think, therefore, that he knows he is on solid ground and therefore the Opposition are thus going to come away empty-handed from their fishing expedition. This was subsequent to today's front page splash by the smh re phone calls from a hotel room to a brothel.

nasking

19/08/2011[quote]We shall miss his honest and unbiased reporting, which is becoming a rarity among reporters of politics.[/quote] Agree Aa. Tragic. And cameraman John Bean's work was simply brilliant. Helped one to appreciate the diverse & magnificent landscape & environment of Australia. Paul Lockyer, Gary Ticehurst, and John Bean...cannot be replaced. A sad loss. But they gave us so much. May their energy find peace & harmony in a less conflict-ridden place. N'

Gravel

19/08/2011Lyn Thanks for the link to 'utherssay' I have bookmarked it and will read all the entries, hoping they are as good as the one you linked to.

Lyn

19/08/2011Hi Gravel You are so appreciative, you make my job so worthwhile. I am really glad you enjoy the links. That article by Uthersay is a worthwhile read, the Tea Party in America tactics and the Liberal party here. Interesting opinion of the incredible media. [i]Little bit News Corporation’s Sky News a little bit favouring a little bit tea party protest, Uther’sSay [/i] [b]coverage of what may have been one of the most media courted protests in Australian history and the possible extension of a News Corporation/ [/b]political party coalition to include an angry street protest movement. utherssay.com/.../ Cheers:):):):):):):):)

Lyn

19/08/2011Hi Gravel Sorry the Uther'ssay link again :- http://utherssay.com/2011/08/17/8-little-bit-news-corporation%e2%80%99s-sky-news-a-little-bit-favouring-a-little-bit-tea-party-protest/

BSA Bob

19/08/2011Gravel & Lyn Hear hear! Thanks for the "utherssay" link. Good stuff.

nasking

19/08/2011Feral, I found that Guardian article related to "whistleblowers" & News Corp very disturbing: [quote]For a year before he was sacked in November 2006, Emmel began compiling documentary evidence that he suggested backed up the allegations, and posted it to public bodies and individuals including the US securities and exchange commission, two senators, two Senate committees and the New York attorney general. It is not known what happened to Emmel's allegations within the regulatory bodies he approached. He posted one set of 55 pages of documents on 20 December 2006, shortly after he had been fired and a day before he signed a non-disclosure agreement with News America. That set of documents went to Nicholas Podsiadly, an official in Washington then working as an investigative counsel at the Senate finance committee. At one point, court documents show, Podsiadly said the committee was considering referring the allegations to the justice department and the federal trade commission. Podsiadly did not reply to a request for information. A spokeswoman for the finance committee said nothing would be done with any documents sent by Emmel until the litigation over them had ended. Emmel today remains under a court-imposed injunction that forbids him from disclosing anything from these documents. "I cannot comment," he said. News America learned of Emmel's whistleblowing activities after it had sacked him in a dispute over his timekeeping. It then unleashed its legal armoury against him. In April 2007 it filed a lawsuit accusing him of six violations relating to his disclosure of confidential information, pressing its case with more than 300 pleadings to the Georgia courts. The company said Emmel refused to return "tens of thousands of stolen documents" and added: "Initiating legal action was News America Marketing's only recourse to protect the company's private information."[/quote] The power of corporations is quite frightening. It takes a great deal of courage to defend yerself...particularly when yer dealing w/ a news organisation that can use its various arms to attack you. Another reason we need affordable legal services. And government inquiries such as the one in the UK. And a diverse media, including tough cross media ownership rules. ------------------ Speaking of bullies: Reminds me of those "don't do as I do, do as I say" hypocritical, domineering evangelical, fundy parents who control their children by using severe and ongoing punishment & threats...Dad, Mum or the older brother or sister inflicting pain to the perceived "ungodly", disobedient child. Children can be overworked too...cheap labour. The above is one reason I don't support home schooling, unless a child is poorly & temporarily unable to attend. Too much opportunity for abuse behind closed doors. The video Ungodly discipline is worth watching at CNN: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/17/video-ungodly-discipline/ N'

nasking

19/08/2011[quote]Gravel & Lyn Hear hear! Thanks for the "utherssay" link. Good stuff.[/quote] I agree. A useful read Lyn. I'm off for the weekend. Expect more government bashing by SKY NEWS & News Ltd & Insiders & Ch. 10 over the weekend. The Murdochracy in action. N'

nasking

19/08/2011Before leaving I took one more look at yer list of links Lyn. I see you were the first to put up the "whistleblower" link @ The Guardian. Thnx to both you & Feral then. Great job both. Superb post by Aa...great comments by most. Feral, that chilli choc sounds great. How about sharing? :) Found myself nodding in agreement w/ the Watermelon blog: [quote]Yes, this is a lazy afternoon post. Was going to, indeed started to, write about the insane anger of the anti-gay marriage and anti-pay-us-compensation-for-a-price-on-carbon and anti-having-a-female-prime-minister demonstrations of this week, but I was too angry. Incidentally you know the old media equation that one death in your own town equals five in someone else’s equals fifty in an English speaking country equals 5000 in a third world country? Something like that applies to protests in reverse – one person at a protest by a right wing/religious group is more significant than 500 at a union protest is more significant than 5000 at an environmental protest. So it’s like the old joke about a woman having to be ten times as good as a man to be paid half the salary (or something like that) fortunately this isn’t hard? Same with demos – a left wing protest has to have 100 times the number of a right wing protest to get half the media attention. Again, not hard.[/quote] I remember the HUGE anti-war demos goin' nowhere w/ Howard & his supporters. Yet a couple of thousand Aussie One Nation cum Tea Party cum "Get Frankenstein's monster & the witch" crowd and some in the media treat it like the second coming. But I guess Tony is their messiah. Walks on water...well, surfs. Turns support for farmers into support for miners. Non-stop pontificating. Speaks for the people...well, at least the employers who let him thru the front door...and a certain redhead he once took down...and an angry singer. He's a healer...for self-funded retirees at the bowls club...and rich miners...they swear by him. But oddly, this time he's got the empire on side...Murdoch. And the high priests...including Pell. And Bolt...of The Holier Than Thou Association of Followers of Gina. Strange days. Cheers...really off now...before I get pelted w/ some of the watermelon shell. N'

D Mick Weir

19/08/2011On 'porky pies' and other things read Andrew Leigh [b]Canberrans Feel the Result of Abbott’s Fear Campaign[/b] [i]Greg Combet has been running a series of releases titled ‘Abbott absurdities on climate change’...[/i] http://www.andrewleigh.com/blog/?p=1378 There is a link to Combet's releases @ AL's site.

2353

19/08/2011Lyn - Thanks for "The Power Index" articles. All very interesting and worth reading. You constantly amaze. FS - On some forums I use the tag line "Save the Earth - its the only planet with Chocolate". My wife found it on a stamp at a stamping & craft supplies shop - so it's not original. Chocolate is as necessary as your contributions here and elsewhere.

D Mick Weir

19/08/20112353, Like that Save the earth etc. Kinda goes with [i]Make Chocolate Not War[/i]

Lyn

19/08/2011Hi Nasking and 2353 Pleasing to hear your comments, there is some good stuff out there. 2353 the Power index is a new blog, I got stuck in there, great articles. Was like a new shop to me. I haven't got into the chocolate conversation, I agree with you 2353, chocolate is a great part of life, I adore any of it, black, white, brindle, any brand any filling. One thing wrong though I don't eat any, not that I am carrying any weight but I don't want any weight on either. I think everybody will get a kick out of this link: Tony Abbott’s brain scan goes public ! Darin Sullivan My | [R] evolution. http://darinsullivan.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/tony-abbotts-brain-scan-goes-public-tw-auspol/ Cheers :):):):):)

Lyn

19/08/2011Hi Ad Wonder if you could go to this, then we could get your first hand report: Grog, Greg Jericho speaking at #MWF New News: Political Journalism - What's Broken What Works [i]26 Aug New News: Political Journalism - What's Broken What Works? Steve Harris, Samantha Maiden, Lindsay Tanner,[b] Greg Jericho[/b], Jay Rosen Buy tickets The Wheeler Centre 09:30am - 10:30am[/i] CODE 7002 [i]Are political journalists doing their job, and if not, what should they be doing? Can politics be saved from itself? Mainstream journalists face their critics, and citizen journalists have their say. Featuring Samantha Maiden, Lindsay Tanner,[b] Greg Jericho [/b]and Jay Rosen.[/i] http://www.mwf.com.au/2011/?name=event-info&event=215 Cheers :):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

19/08/2011lyn, I am in absolute awe at the way you ferret out new links for us to get our teeth into and which open up yet another ray of light in an increasingly dark world. Thank you. Your tirelss efforts are always appreciated, even if I don't say so often. :)

Lyn

19/08/2011Hi Feral Your a sweetie, thankyou for your appreciation, I know you enjoy the links, they are a wealth of information for us thirsty TPS'ers , I have to say I enjoy them myself very much. I wanted to tell you, I am sorry about your chocolate love, but listen my blog sister no more for you, otherwise you have wasted wearing out your feet. We all care about you, you know that, don't get in the dark part of the world . Now I am going to give you a link to SUGAR see what you think. [i]Is Sugar Toxic, New York Times[/i] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&hpw&adxnnlx=1302919237-rI8hWAFVNt1Fc%20Nn8w1GmA Cheers :):):):):):):):):):):):)

NormanK

19/08/2011Feral Skeleton Welcome to [i]The Political Sword's Dietary Section[/i]. :) If you haven't read it already may I recommend David Gillespie's [i]'Sweet Poison'[/i]. It is written by an Australian who was at his wit's end trying to lose weight so he embarked on his own research project and found a way to lose weight and keep it off. Reading it changed my attitude to cane sugar and corn syrup. He is not pushing any barrow i.e. a diet and although the cover may give the impression that it is going to be a dry read, he adopts an engaging conversational tone that leads the reader through the journey that he undertook and some of the startling (but almost common sense) facts that he ferreted out. I can't recommend it highly enough even if it only proves to be a bit of self-education. You probably won't look on soft drinks and fruit juices in the same way again.

Ad astra reply

19/08/2011Hi Lyn We were not scheduled to be in Melbourne at the time of the session on [i]Political Journalism- What’s Broken, What Works?[/i], but as our apartment is just a hundred metres from the Wheeler Centre, we may come back to Melbourne for it.

Ad astra reply

19/08/2011Folks I have just posted the latest delightful piece of satire by Acerbic Conehead: [i]Monster Mayhem[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/08/19/Monster-Mayhem.aspx Enjoy.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011NormanK and lyn, Do not fear, this is a low-sugar household for the most part. I have made sure that the kids were brought up not drinking soft drinks, or 'Energy' drinks. Lots of milk, water and, generally, the more pure types of fruit juices, which you have to pay a lot more for but they are worth it. I cook roughly 360/365 days per year, and the other 5 are Take Away, but never McDonalds. Although I will admit to buying their Fish Burgers and their Apple Pies. Actually, I only started eating Chocolate again(generally the lower sugar varieties because it was in the fridge for others). And that has only been recently after we watched a series on ABC1 about an English Chocolatier. Which is why I bought the Lindt Chilli Chocolate, as he used to use chocolate in all his cooking and was a passionate advocate for the low sugar, high Cocoa varieties. So, there you go. :)
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?