Should Labor hitch itself to the slogan waggon?

One aspect of contemporary politics in which the Coalition has outstripped Labor has been in its use of slogans. Coalition slogans have been simple, often just three words, understandable, plausible, memorable and successful in promoting the Coalition’s agenda. Because its agenda has been largely negative and obstructive, creating slogans has been relatively easy – it is manifestly easier to develop negative slogans than positive.

Even using the relative difficulty in creating positive slogans as an excuse for Labor doing so little sloganeering, its negative slogans also have been slow in coming and have lacked the potency of the Coalition’s.

In my view, Labor needs to work now on a set of slogans, both positive and negative, to advance its cause, and promulgate them widely, or as widely as the MSM will allow.

Yet even as I write, I have an uneasy feeling. Memories leap into my mind of bar room fights in old Western movies where the bad guys fought ‘dirty’ using any missile at hand: bottles, chairs, tables, and sometimes firearms, while the good guys always fought ‘clean’, using only their bare knuckles. Yet the good guys always won. As the Coalition rolled out its misleading and deceptive slogans, which were sometimes downright lies, my feeling was that Labor ought to reciprocate with hard-hitting counter slogans, but as I perceive Labor as ‘the good guys’ as far as slogans are concerned, I was uneasy about going along with this line, hoping that eventually truth and decency and logic and good intent would enable Labor to overcome the Coalition’s negative assault. Now I’m not so sure. As Tony Abbott tours the country spruiking his disingenuous anti-carbon tax slogans everywhere he goes, and to good effect for the Coalition, I wonder if it is time for a similar onslaught of sloganeering by Labor. Labor is not in a fictional bar room fight – this fight is real, dirty and deadly, and the good guys are losing.

Hillbilly Skeleton’s last piece urges Labor to engage in the process of framing and re-framing its crucial policy messages. Although they may not be a classic example of framing and are relatively unsophisticated, I believe simple political slogans have their place, something the Coalition has shown so convincingly. In his book Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy, Lindsay Tanner quotes a Seven Network producer as saying: “Television news has to be simple. If you want to be sophisticated, go write a novel.” He also quotes Labor pollster Rod Cameron: “The people who determine elections in this country are the least interested and least informed about politics…They are basically ignorant and indifferent about politics. They vote on instinct for superficial, ill-informed and generally selfish reasons.” Cameron believes that because voting is compulsory in Australia, emotions play a big part. He goes on to say: “Disengaged voters who are forced to vote are most likely to be susceptible to simplistic scare campaigns and misrepresentations.” The veracity of this is confirmed by the success of the Coalition’s slogans and Tony Abbott’s ongoing scare campaigning. By corollary, slogans ought to be able to help Labor in the same way.

In the opening chapter of Tanner’s book, he disparages the slogans that were used in the 2010 election: ‘Going Forward’ and ‘Standing up for Australia’, as banal. Many would agree. These slogans were generic ones, not directed to a particular policy or plan. The slogans that I believe Labor should consider are those that are specific about the plans and policies it endorses; ones that in a simple and understandable way transmit a positive message, and if needs be negative.

Readers are invited to express their views about the prospect of Labor mounting an intensive campaign of sloganeering. While some of you may feel uneasy at the idea that Labor should follow the Coalition lead, others may feel it’s about time.

If Labor were to do so, it would need to use the same strategies as the Coalition, which seem to be based on several principles:

Coalition principles for slogan creation

Don’t be squeamish about not sticking rigidly to the truth.
Accuracy and completeness are less important than effectiveness.
Plausibility is essential, but that does not require accuracy or truthfulness.
Slogans must be simple and easily understood.
Brevity is essential: preferably three or four words, and not more than ten.
Keywords in the slogan must be upfront.
Slogans should have some commonality, with a theme common to several.
Slogans must roll off the tongue, or the page, and thereby stand out.
Slogans must be eye-catching and music to the ear.
Slogans must be highly memorable.
Slogans should be repeated as often as possible.
Slogans should be repeated in as many media as possible – TV grabs on evening news are among the best ways of achieving exposure.
Question Time in the House is a good place to create TV clips.


I believe what inhibits Labor is the desire to be accurate and complete in its statements and slogans. But with the short attention span of so much of the electorate, long-winded utterances will not be heard fully. So brevity is essential.

To counter the negativity of the Coalition, Labor would be well advised to itself consider negative slogans – the Coalition has shown that they work, and they are easier to create. Labour should remember that they do not have to be accurate or truthful so long as they are plausible and memorable. If anyone is feeling upset at this prospect, they ought not to get into contemporary public relations.

This piece is an opportunity to try your hand at slogan creation. Some examples will be offered for you to appraise and your contribution is invited. If the collection amounts to anything worthwhile it could be sent to the Government. Just three issues will be used as examples: climate change, the minerals tax and the NBN.

Of course there are many other aspects of the Coalition’s performance and policies that could be the subject of Labor slogans, and Tony Abbott and several of his ministers would be good objects for slogan creation. Feral Skeleton has suggested that Labor needs only one of the man who would be PM – the minute of head-nodding in response to Mark Riley’s question to him about his ‘shit-happens’ remark. No sound would be needed.

Here are some suggestions, some of which some of you may wish to discard. But before you do, remember the first Coalition rule: Don’t be squeamish about not sticking rigidly to the truth.

Slogans could be used in any combination but would not all be used together – they would be used singly or in small clusters, and varied to suit the circumstances.

Negative slogans about the Coalition climate change plan

The Coalition is infected with climate deniers
Many of the Coalition are climate skeptics
Climate skeptics just pretend to address climate change
Coalition’s ‘direct action’ plan is a pretend plan
Coalition’s ‘direct action’ plan is a sham
Coalition’s plan WON’T WORK
Coalition’s plan will have NEGLIGIBLE effect
Economists don’t support the Coalition’s plan
Businessmen don’t support the Coalition’s plan
Coalition’s plan lets pollution CONTINUE
Coalition’s plan will NOT overcome carbon emissions
Coalition’s plan PAYS the POLLUTERS
Coalition's plan PAYS POLLUTERS with YOUR MONEY
Coalition’s BIG NEW TAX ON YOU TO PAY POLLUTERS
Coalition’s plan costs YOU more
Coalition’s plan will cost you $800 A YEAR
Coalition will NOT COMPENSATE you
Coalition’s plan will NOT save the planet for your grandchildren

Positive slogans about Labor’s climate change plan

Combat climate change effectively – Labor’s way
Labor taxes the POLLUTERS, not YOU
Labor will NOT tax you
Labor covers ALL your extra costs
Labor PAYS YOU compensation
Labor’s plan WILL WORK
Labor’s plan WILL REDUCE pollution
Labor’s plan will encourage ALTERNATIVES
Labor’s plan will STRENGTHEN the economy
Labor’s plan will CREATE jobs
Labor’s plan will TRANSFORM our economy
Labor’s plan will put Australia at the FOREFRONT
Labor’s plan will ensure Australia is NOT left behind
Labor WILL save the planet for your grandchildren

Negative slogans about the minerals tax

All Aussies OWN Australia’s minerals
YOU own Australia’s minerals
The miners are NOT paying enough for them
Australians deserve a FAIRER SHARE for our minerals
The Government’s minerals tax corrects this unfairness
Once the minerals are dug up and sold, there are NO MORE
So we need to get value for them NOW
Coalition is BLOCKING the minerals tax
Coalition will kill all YOUR BENEFITS

Positive slogans about the minerals tax

The minerals tax is a fairer system for ALL.
All businesses have to pay taxes on their profits
The miners should pay a FAIRER share
The income from the minerals tax will be used to fund:
- BETTER superannuation for all workers
- EASIER tax returns for ordinary Australians
- For most, no need to send in a tax return
- LOWER company tax for small businesses
- Additional capital deductions for small business
- Infrastructure for business - road, rail and ports to transport products
The minerals tax will make Australia’s economy STRONGER
If Coalition blocks the minerals tax these benefits will be LOST

The National Broadband Network

Labor’s NBN will be the fastest ever created
Labor’s NBN will connect you to the world
The NBN will be the best in the world
The NBN is the envy of other countries
The NBN will place Australia ahead of the rest
The NBN will open up vast opportunities and jobs
The NBN will massively advance health, education, business, agriculture
The NBN will reduce the isolation of rural people
The NBN will energize regional areas
The benefits of the NBN will hugely outweigh the cost
The NBN is the biggest infrastructure ever built in Australia
Coalition is intent on ‘demolishing’ the NBN
Coalition would deprive you of all the benefits of the NBN

These are but a few examples of the slogans that might be created on these three sample subjects. There are countless other aspects of the Government’s program that would lend themselves to slogans.

You may wish to let your imagination run wild by creating slogans to characterize Tony Abbott or Joe Hockey or Andrew Robb, or Christopher Pyne, or Greg Hunt, or any other. Whether personal slogans are the way to go is arguable.

If you feel inclined, please add to the slogans listed here, and feel free to criticize any, amend any, or recommend any for discarding.

Should Labor hitch itself to the slogan waggon? What do you think? Is this the way Labor should go?

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Catching up

8/05/2011Maybe but I still have faith in the Australan people's ability to see through shit. Sometimes it is better not to join your opponent in the gutter. That type of fight can get messy. If Labor continues to deliver, the doomsayers are going to look a little stupid.

lyn

8/05/2011Hi Ad Thankyou for posting another brilliant article for all the TPS readers to enjoy. I enjoy your writing very much as always. Thankyou for maintaining and managing "The Political Sword". Your work is very much appreciated. I have thought of a few slogans for the Government: Connecting People It Gives You Wings New. Fast. Efficient Just do it" For the future Quality in government. It's up to you! Because you're worth it.

Feral Skeleton

8/05/2011Hi Ad, Here's the first few that come to mind(I can't wait to see what our truly creative genii come up with): *The NBN: The Future to Your Home *The Mineral Resources Rent Tax: A Little Slice of the Pie for Everyone *A Price on Carbon: A Future for Humankind *The Coalition's Climate Change Plan: Indirect Inaction *Labor's Climate Change Plan: They Pay, You Save, the Planet Survives *The MRRT: Your Minerals, Your Rent * The MRRT: More Super for You, Less Profit for Them * Don't want to fill in a Tax Return? The MRRT is for you! * Don't Worry about WiFi, Be Happy with the NBN

D Mick Weir

8/05/2011Interesting Ad, I will take a different tack for the moment. You write: [i]' ... quotes Labor pollster Rod Cameron: “The people who determine elections in this country are the [b]least interested[/b] and [b]least informed[/b] about politics. They are basically [b]ignorant and indifferent about politics[/b]. They vote on instinct for superficial, ill-informed and generally selfish reasons.” Cameron believes that because voting is compulsory in Australia, emotions play a big part. He goes on to say: “[b]Disengaged voters who are forced to vote are most likely to be susceptible to simplistic scare campaigns and misrepresentations.[/b]”[/i] I am sure I have heard or seen Tanner comment recently, he has had some second thoughts about compulsory voting. Nick Minchin has said one of his regrets about ending his political career is that he did not push harder for an end to compulsory voting. I have long been a proponent and supporter of compulsory voting but even I am beginning to questioning the wisdom of this. I am not yet ready to endorse this slogan: [b]Stop compulsory Voting[/b] However, I am starting to see some merit to the idea as, it has been suggested, voluntary voting would see only those interested in and informed in politics voting. If we did have voluntary voting then the cynic in me would thoroughly endorse the slogan: [b]Don't vote, it only encourages the bar stewards[/b] Elsewhere I have read that only the educated should be allowed to vote and some even suggest that goverment would be better served such that, the higher educated a person is, the more votes they should be entitled to cast. Crazy stuff, but I can understand the sentiment and desire. If only the 'educated' were entitled to vote then campaigning would no longer be reduced to lowest commom denominator 'sloganeering' and the debate would need to be at a higher level. Meanwhile, being totally cynical at this moment may I suggest: [b]Vote 1 for Stupidity, Vote for Tony[/b]

Ad astra reply

8/05/2011Hi Lyn, FS You are fast off the mark! What a great start. I look forward to a surge of creativity. I'll aggregate the slogans and post them at the end. Catching up I understand your feelings. I had similar ones when writing this piece, but Labor has a need to do much better at transmitting its messages. Slogans may help. If the negative ones cause discomfort, the positive ones ought not to.

D Mick Weir

8/05/2011NBN, the No Brainer Network

Feral Skeleton

8/05/2011DMW, It's easy to be disillusioned by Compulsory Voting, but just think about it, why would Nick Minchin, of all people, be so keen on it? The number one Machiavellian Liberal politician of the recent past. Answer: because he realises that if it came to pass, all government's would have to do is target their policies and vote-buying to certain demographics, plus energise their bases to turn out on polling day. You just have to look at America to see where that has led. Britain, on the other hand, has such an apathetic electorate that a lot of poor quality but enthusiastic candidates end up getting elected by not many people. Bit of a rum job either way, compulsory or non-compulsory. So, I'd rather stick with compulsory because at least you can then say that the will of the people has been expressed.

Feral Skeleton

8/05/2011DMW, How about,[i] 'If Your Brain is in Your Budgie Smugglers, Vote Tony'[/i]? :)

Feral Skeleton

8/05/2011lyn, Here's a good blogger you might want to put on your list: http://mike-stuchbery.com/2011/05/08/an-open-letter-to-geoff-shaw/

D Mick Weir

8/05/2011FS, I am more inclined to agree [i]'that the will of the people has been expressed.'[/i] However, the more I see the 'dumbing down' the more of a 'Social Darwinist' I tend to become. I can understand restricting the vote only to those who actually understand what they are voting for. I will still take a lot of persuading to end my support for compulsory voting but equally I can see merit in other arguments. As such I am questiong [i]why do I believe compulsory voting is the right thing?[/i]

Feral Skeleton

8/05/2011[i]The MRRT: Whose Wealth, Our Wealth![/i]

lyn

8/05/2011Hi Hillbilly Thankyou for the link , great find much appreciated http://mike-stuchbery.com/2011/05/08/an-open-letter-to-geoff-shaw/ Cheers

Ad astra reply

8/05/2011D Mick Weir I see that compulsory voting has attracted your attention. If what Rod Cameron asserts is true, excluding the unthinking who vote on sentiment or selfishness seems logical and might reduce the potency of sloganeering. But voluntary voting is not going to occur, so we may be stuck with simple messaging - slogans.

D Mick Weir

8/05/2011Ad you are likely right. I doubt I will see the end of compulsory attendance at a polling booth in my lifetime. However we have seen another trend that of of Optional Preferntial Voting that in my mind is a step toward that end but I will discussion on that for another forum. Sad as it is, sloganeering may well be the only form of communication to the uninterested and ill informed. [b]The Slogan is our Policy[/b] oh rue the day :)

NormanK

8/05/2011Off-topic I know but you can be assured that I will get back on track. This has stuck in my craw since I first heard it this evening and TPS is the lucky recipient of my regurgitation. As part of Mr Abbott's appearance on The Bolt Report he made these statements : [quote]"If we send 800 to Malaysia, we get 4000 back and Malaysia becomes the backdoor route to Australia - the open backdoor to Australia and that's why this really is a lousy deal for our country" "Sending to Malaysia means that we get five back for every one we send. "Nauru doesn't have any to send back, that's the point. If we send them to Nauru, they go there, we don't get any automatically back."[/quote] http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8246239/malaysia-refugee-plan-lousy-abbott Now, are we talking about diseased cattle here? Or empty coke crates? Or rabid dogs frothing at the mouth? I would draw your attention to the fact that in the above quotes Mr Abbott does not once refer to asylum seekers or refugees by name. "If we send 800 (impotent camels?) to Malaysia, we get 4000 (polystyrene boxes?) back and Malaysia becomes the backdoor route to Australia - the open backdoor (up to a quota of 1000 per year) to Australia and that's why this really is a lousy deal for our country (because after all it is a commercial enterprise, right? I mean really! What's in it for us?)." "Sending to Malaysia" (sending what Mr Abbott?) "means that we get five back" (five what, sorry? dead smelly fish?) "for every one (used diaper?) we send" (worse than boomerangs aren't they?). "Nauru doesn't have any (what? what? what?) to send back, that's the point. If we send them (poisoned dead rats?) to Nauru, they (Greens voters?) go there, we don't get any (deeply traumatised fellow human beings seeking shelter from those who seek to do them great harm) automatically back." If the 'Stop the Boats' slogan is meant to reflect the Coalition's desire to reduce the arrival of refugees on our shores on humanitarian grounds (and throw in the furphy of border security) then these statements give the lie to that. What Tony Abbott is advocating is stopping asylum seekers and refugees coming to this country. That's it. If he thought he could get away with it, his slogan would be 'Sink the Boats'. I know that I should show more consideration for my blood pressure because that's not what Abbott believes at all. Who knows what he believes on this topic. Mr Abbott is the King of the Trolls and therefore has no need of fundamental convictions when he unloads this type of rubbish, as long as the dogs can hear it and the person interviewing him is not going to contradict him (much less take affront at such cavalier statements about traumatised and needy fellow Homo sapiens). You may reasonably assume that I am completely disgusted by these statements. I have remarked before that I don't like being treated as a customer being sold a commodity when it comes to politics, well I'm even less impressed when the so-called alternate Prime Minister chooses to speak of the underprivileged as though they themselves were an inconvenient commodity to be shipped off to Nauru, never to return. This is a new low from a man who I didn't think could go much lower.

Patricia WA

9/05/2011Which is why, NormanK, I don't think the left should join the Coalition in their war of words and slogans. They are immoral and their slogans are dishonest. No matter how much cleaner and closer to the truth Labor slogans might be they will tainted by the sham hollowness of this over-used political tool. There has to be a more effective way to communicate than sinking to the Opposition's level. Beating them at their own sleazy game sounds all very well, but we don't have their expertise, experience or ruthlessness. Fortunately that's all they have. They don't have character or credibility. As I watched the unlovely, overweight, flubbery Joe Hockey today mouthing one after another dishonest cliche I asked myself how such a mediocrity can come within a whisker of running this country, even be considered as a possible party leader or PM. Compare him with Penny Wong or Stephen Smith or Greg Combet. And there are many others in the ALP who are of equal calibre. Somehow I can't see many of them being comfortable promoting themselves and their policies with slogans. For which I am grateful. What the ALP needs is not more or better slogans. They need more exposure. Even if they became brilliant sloganeers overnight they'd get little opportunity to repeat them with the force and frequency offered by the Australian media to Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce. Labor needs more of that. But how do they get it without buying time which almost guarantees the public switching them off, anyway? How do they infiltrate an MSM overwhelmingly controlled by one man? Not with slogans, that's for sure. There has to be another way. Consistency and character seem to work for Tony Windsor. Perhaps he hasn't upset Rupert Murdoch. Until now. Forgive my rambling. Time for bed.

2353

9/05/2011How about "Don't vote LNP - it only encourages them"?

lyn

9/05/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Locked Up, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] His Holiness Paul Kelly at The Australian will no doubt fulminate and ruminate and cogitate and all the other "....ates" about the budget marking a "profound change http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]A lousy deal’Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] What really angers me with this statement is Mr Abbott is deliberately misleading the public. It’s actually a great deal. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/a-lousy-deal/ [i]Staring at the sea, staring at the sand… #lolbolt and the right-wing freak show, Only the Sangfroid[/i] Unfortunately, it seems far too much to expect from Bolt, who seems far too content trolling public debate rather than contributing to it. http://onlythesangfroid.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/staring-at-the-sea/ [i]Latest word on Tony Abbott's off the cuff remarks, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices[/i] Abbott at a country retreat. He takes a short break to speak to the nation about his views on a number of important matters. Many people say this is his best presentation http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/05/latest-word-on-tony-abbotts-off-cuff.html [i]The Bolt Report, David Knox, TV Tonight[/i] is there room for a show where the guests are there to further the views of the host?Ask Glenn Beck of FOX News…But the bottom line may be about “shock jock” television, http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2011/05/the-bolt-report.html [i]Two billion examples of innumeracy, John Quiggin[/i] the recent British Royal wedding, it was repeatedly suggested that the event would be watched by 2 billion people worldwide, that is, about 30 per cent of the world’s population http://johnquiggin.com/2011/05/08/two-billion-examples-of-innumeracy/#more-9756 [i]Pensioners to get free digital TV conversion, Bacco, The Spy Report[/i] Under the scheme, those who currently receive the maximum rate of a number of government pensions will be eligible for a free set-top-box with installation and training. http://www.mediaspy.org/report/2011/05/08/pensioners-to-get-free-digital-tv-conversion/?utm_source=wordtwit&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=wordtwit [i]The Bolt Report, Justin Shaw, The King's Tribune[/i] Gillard is DEAD, but no mention of her still way ahead of Abbott as Preferred PM. Three blokes who loathe the ALP and everyone in it, sitting around agreeing. Wow. http://elwoodtribune.com/the-shout/1272-the-bolt-report-dull-and-duller $[i]100,000 on juice: Collective goods within firms, Nicholas Gruen, Club Troppo[/i] Microsoft and the Googleplex in February is that though both have a ‘campus’ feel with oodles of adjacent buildings (Microsoft has a whole food hall – with all the charm http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/05/08/100000-on-juice-collective-goods-within-firms/ [i]Ray McGovern on bin Laden's killing, Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i] dangers that lie ahead for the United States in Pakistan as a result of the killing, and the consequences of the United States passing up the prospects of questioning bin Laden http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2011/05/ray-mcgovern-on-bin-ladens-killing.html [i]The Idle Umemployment System, David Bonnici, The Kings Tribune[/i] These days you need a TAFE certificate for jobs that you once were able to score simply by showing a willingness to work. Basic labouring jobs in the mining and http://www.kingstribune.com/magazines/may-2011/1270-the-idle-unemployment-system [i]From Progressive Australia: "Beyond preoccupations", Alex White[/i] much of the discussion on the Left – both inside Labor and outside – is trying to understand and analyse the success of Tony Abbott and Australian conservatism’s electoral success. http://alexwhite.org/2011/05/from-progressive-australia-beyond-preoccupations/ [b]Reading[/b] [i]In China, Fear of Fake Eggs and ‘Recycled’ Buns, New York Times[/i] came from a filthy workshop where workers “recycled” buns after their sell-by date. The workers merely threw the stale buns into a vat, added water and flour, and repackaged them to be sold anew. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/world/asia/08food.html?_r=1 [i]Climate change and crops, Hindering Harvests, The Economist[/i] Some people will be surprised, even dismayed,that comparatively modest climate changes are already doing measurable damage. http://www.economist.com/node/18648350

Acerbic Conehead

9/05/2011The Boltox Report Agree with us Or get a fat lip.

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Here is a comment I just left on the ABC News Breakfast facebook page(I left it in a total state of despair): [quote]Isn't it a good thing that we will be taking 4000 UNHCR-approved refugees out of the now much-reported 'hellhole' that is the Malaysian refugee system? I guess we could have continued to ignore them & their plight over their in Malaysia, which we had been doing up until last week, and just continued to accept Boat People Asylum Seekers that land in Australia; however, I thought the cry from Refugee advocates, The Coalition & The Greens was to try and find a way to end these perilous journeys and stop the People Smuggling trade? Here is a genuine attempt to try and do that, and all the aggressive attack dogs from the Left and Right can do, with the media happily jumping aboard their bandwagons, is to find a new angle to launch their attacks on the government from. In essence, they don't want the government to succeed at anything they put their mind to(the Coalition), or they want a perfect world type of solution(The Greens & the Refugee advocates). It makes me despair that this government will ever be allowed to get on with making pragmatic progress.[/quote]

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Here's the very depressing results from the ABC News Radio website poll of the day, where you'd think people would have a more considered take on the issues: Should Labor adopt John Howard’s Pacific Solution for Asylum Seekers in full? Yes 66.8% No 33.2%

Steve

9/05/2011"Tony Abbott all put down no policy" I agree with the Rod Cameron's quote that emotions play a big part. Note that to try and counter an emotional topic with a logical, reasoned response is not in the first instance going to be successful. It may work when the first emotional outburst dies down but by then the coalition will have generated another emotional argument. Riding the emotional, negative public opinion (ie Mob) wave is easy to start, difficult to maintain and sometimes dangerous and difficult to control for example to the line "Stop the boats" was added "Cut their throats" It may work but is irresponsible manipulation of the mob.

janice

9/05/2011A piece that is food for thought Ad Astra. I am of the opinion that it won't help Labor in the long run to get into the gutter with the rabid Coalition. If Labor takes up the slogan mantra then I think that the only way the party can remain true to itself and the people it represents is to preface each policy announcement with a Positive slogan. e.g. TAX POLLUTERS SAVE THE PLANET or TAXING POLLUTERS GETS CLEAN ENERGY. In other words, by prefacing each announcement of policy with a positive slogan it should beat Abbott to the punch and make his negative ones less memorable. Once a slogan is out there it is more difficult to counteract so Labor needs to get in first with a positive and memorable slogan with which to pre-empt the negatives that will surely come from the Coalition. I could never countenance making voting non-compulsory. People are duty-bound to attend the ballot box and I think it is time there was a compulsory subject introduced in our education system to educate our students about government, how it works, how revenue is collected and distributed, the difference between government debt and deficits and that of business/households. It is, IMO, ignorance that causes people to be disinterested in politics and why they fall prey to lies and deceit. An education that does not include party politics will arm our future generations with knowledge that is crucial to protecting our democracy. Just my opinion :)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Steve, To which one can only add: [i]'Tony Abbott, All Show, No Go'.[/i]

Ad astra reply

9/05/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011NormanK, Brilliant observation, eloquently put. I couldn't have put it better myself. In fact, I could never hope to put it so well. I agree with you 100%.

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011How about, for a negative rejoinder to Mr Abbott? [i] 'On yer bike, Tony!'[/i]

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Wow! Just heard Deb Cameron on ABC702 Sydney say, "Coming up after the news Alison Carabine will [b]frame[/b] the issues of the day in politcs." :)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011[i]'The Liberal Party, All Anger, No Empathy.'[/i]

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011NormanK, I was so enamoured of your comment about Tony Abbott that I reposted it on Ash's blog today. Hope you don't mind. :)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011With inspiration from above :) 'Don't Troll the Debate, Be Part of the Conversation'.

David Horton

9/05/2011Just to be even-handed (as if!) I thought I would offer Mr Abbott a new slogan - "All budgie, no smugglers". His minders can contact me via email to offer large sums of money for the copyright.

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011David Horton, Ew! The graphic image that slogan paints in my mind is truly horrifying. :)

David Horton

9/05/2011Ah, that's the power of slogans Feral.

NormanK

9/05/2011Ad astra This is one occasion where I may have to disagree with the basic thrust of your piece. As Catching up, Patricia WA, janice and others have said, personally I would find it depressing if Labor were to enter into slogan-wars, thereby playing the Coalition's game on their turf and by their rules. More importantly, I would need to see empirical proof that sloganeering is what is giving the Coalition a lift in the polls or conversely that the lack thereof is in any way holding Labor back. In fact I would dispute the premise that Abbott's 'success' is due to slogans. The LNP is polling well and yet Mr Abbott, Head Sloganeer, continues to poll badly on all measures - preferred PM, personal approval ratings and preferred Liberal leader. If anything I would say slogans and negativity (among other things) are what's holding Abbott back and stopping him from capitalising on the Party's overall good standing. There is no question that Labor need to find ways of counteracting the deliberate lies and misinformation put about by Abbott & Co but I seriously doubt that slogans are the answer. I'm heartily sick of hearing glib slogans (Spin & Spend from Regretful Joe yesterday) and fear that if the ALP were to join in, the electorate might very well say "oh no, not you too". The ALP has begun some modest sloganeering. 'It's the right thing to do' springs regularly to senior ministers' lips and there are a few others. I just hope someone is monitoring their use and don't allow them to reach or exceed the saturation levels that 'Moving Forward' achieved. You are indeed correct in suggesting that simple, easy to understand phrases would get them more air-time and they should be working to this end in order to advocate current policy proposals but bumper sticker slogans are not the answer, I fear. More than any other thing, I believe Labor need to get their backbenchers to shut-up and quit their whining about polls - starve the media of 'a Labor source said'. Keep the backbench well-informed about progress on policy implementation etc. so that they can then go out into the electorate and meaningfully advocate them. Hard work, sound decision-making, enthusiastic advocacy and clever politics are what will eventually resonate with the public. When the sky doesn't fall despite all of Mr Abbott's warnings he will look more than a little foolish and hollow (one of Ms Gillard's pet appellations for our Tony). Of course, being a troll, Mr Abbott will simply shrug this off and start a campaign on another subject but that can't be helped. Perhaps 'Ignore the Troll' might gain some momentum amongst the on-line community. FS You are very welcome to do whatever you wish with my late night regurgitations. My brain wouldn't let me rest until I had done something about that appalling display by Mr Abbott yesterday. I'm just glad that it was coherent and that you found something of worth in it. :)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011[i] 'The Liberal Party, Sacrificing Correctness Altogether In Order to Slay Perceived Political Correctness.'[/i]

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Very interesting comment from the acknowledged Conservative writing for Only The Sangfroid: [quote]'The media has a right-wing bias. The default reporting of events is written from a right-wing perspective (even on the ABC): Coalition talking points are normalised, even when they’re batshit insane;'[/quote]

Gravel

9/05/2011Ad Astra I afraid I agree fully with Patricia WA, I know politics has to be a bit dirty, but I would absolutely hate Labor to go down the Opposition way. I want and need to respect the political party I vote for. Off topic and on the asylum seeker issue. When I heard snippets of advocates for asylum seekers complaining about the conditions in Malaysia for asylum seekers it occurred to me that these vocal groups have been denigrating Labor's policies since they were first elected, saying they did not go far enough. Now that this issue has become so toxic that Labor has had to look for other options, the so called advocates are screaming. If they had backed the changes that Labor made in the beginning they would have been able to help Labor block the opposition's position from the start and it would not have become an issue. Well, that is my opinion.

lyn

9/05/2011Hi David Excellent slogan: [quote]Just to be even-handed (as if!) I thought I would offer Mr Abbott a new slogan - "All budgie, no smugglers". His minders can contact me via email to offer large sums of money for the copyright.[/quote]

lyn

9/05/2011Hi NormanK Thankyou for your brilliant comment, I agree with all you have said, you really do write some wonderful comments. My husband always says The Government and Julia Gillard needs to get down and dirty with them. I don't agree, the Government is better than that, we have a whole host of respectable, upstanding, wonderfully presented, intelligent MP'S, I am proud of them all. [quote]Perhaps 'Ignore the Troll' might gain some momentum amongst the on-line community.[/quote] Good advice, "ignore the troll". Well spoken, well written NormanK, your quiet, considered, well thoughtout comments are a delight.

Steve

9/05/2011Labor for hospital delivery.

TalkTurkey

9/05/2011How quick we flick subjects on TPS! (ntm everywhere else of course) Pity really, 'course that's the nub of all this, our deliberations don't get much past skin-deep on any given issue before events and the Media move us on. Properly to *grok* e.g. the US action in killing Osama bin Laden, the killing of Gaddafi's son and 3 kids, the multiple airstrikes by Israel on Gaza under the global dust-cloud of the Libyan invasion, or its killing of those Egyptians on the relief flotilla; to suss out the circs, meditate on the alternative options and the possible consequences and the morality. How quickly we pass on and forget, issues which have huge consequences for the future shape of global relations. We can't focus on any one political issue for long, plus they're all cross-multiplied by floods and earthquakes and nuclear tsunamis, mining disasters and refugee boat arrivals, and all confabulated by 'The #*&%ing Opposition says . . .' But on the killing of bin laden, doesn't anybody else much think it to be a watermark illegal act of imperialism by the one super-power, the only organisation in the world which can openly admit to premeditated cold-blooded murder and publicly preen about it? Doesn't hardly anyone in the West really care about the Rule of Law? Is it something only to be cared about when it suits *our* purposes? 3 basic scenarios: *We* do it to Them: that's OK, we're US, spelt Yew Ess. They do it to each other: *We* lend a murdering hand to whichever side we choose, IF there's oil. They do it to US! . . . WHOOOOHHH! WAR !!!!! Look out civilians, we're comin' through anyway! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Crazy for the Red White and Blue!" ("Hair") "Military Madness . . . Killing the Country . . ." (Crosby Stills et al I think) "And I dreamt I saw the bomber jet planes Riding shotgun through the skies Turning into butterflies Above our nation . . ." (At least one version by Mathews Southern Comfort, apropos the Woodstock festival) Then we got Ronald Ray-Guns and the butterflies all got flamed. Somewhere in the Bible it says (of the approaching Time of the End): "Ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars, in divers places . . ." Ummm. 100,000 people marched in Adelaide in 2003, many millions throughout the world, to try to prevent Bush's War of Terror. Didn't work. Now: ". . ? . . . Meh . . ."

BSA Bob

9/05/2011Norman K's recent posts highlight how ruthless Abbott truly is. For the moment "compassion" isn't on the agenda, merely a simple mathematical calculation that in itself is all that matters. For Abbott all these lines are like spanners in a toolbox, to be taken out & used for a certain job & then put back. He knows where they are when he needs them again. A problem with slogans is that they in themselves can be easy to deconstrust- example Stand Up (why?, what practical purpose does that serve?) for Real (what other kind is there?- so what?) Action (we learnt that every action has an equal & opposite reaction- care to comment on those?) Abbott is spared the burden of having his slogans critiqued, Labor will not be so fortunate so theirs will have to be bulletproof. Something not mentioned was the revolting chortling in the background last night as the ABC obligingly gave Abbott an uninterrupted go with his line of the day- presumably Andrew?

tredlgt

9/05/2011This topic sure has resulted in a variety of views , so here's my two bobs worth. It would be satisfying to have slogans that denigrate and falsify the opposition and their policies [if they had any] if only to repay the nastiness of the coalition but the slogans , outright lies and distortions of the coalition annoy me and I don't want the Labor party to be as negative or shallow as them. Mistakes were made with the way things were done under Mr Rudd . Mainly , very few ministers faced the public and explained what they were doing . They don't all have to be great public speakers but they should show us that they are on top of the portfolio they represent. This appears to be changing and as this occurs more often the msm will start reporting the Labor story because journalists are lazy and they just want a story and abbott is no longer a novelty and is becoming boring. Another year should show improved results for Labor . Give the PM time to get some plans finalised and the floating voters will go with the one that looks like an achiever. With more ministers talking up their progress there will be more positives to report and the results of good policy will be seen and experienced in the community . One example, NBN will be available to a great number of people and this will be shown a success .

sue

9/05/2011How about if every Press Release handed to our journos had a "headline" rahter than a "slogan". That way it would be much easier for the MSM editors.

Ad astra reply

9/05/2011Folks As I expected, this piece has elicited many comments – over forty since it was posted last night, and it has also evoked opposing views about the issue of sloganeering. Some have gone along with the idea of Labor creating its own slogans and have contributed some of their own, while others are opposed to slogans, especially if they give the impression that Labor is ‘getting down in the gutter’ with the Coalition. I have read your comments with interest, and appreciate how thoughtful and comprehensive they are. Thank you for taking the time to express your views so pensively; that is what sets most of the comment on [i]TPS[/i] apart from other political blogs. Perhaps there is one thing upon which most of us could agree – that Labor is well behind the Coalition in the ‘war of words’. Many of its messages lack clarity and brevity, chiefly because of the complexity of the issues it is attempting to explain. It is much, much easier to be negative, especially if accuracy and truthfulness are disregarded. Many of us here have implored Labor’s media people to engage professionals to craft messages, but so far we have seen Labor transmit very few telling ones that stick in the mind. NormanK cites one: “It’s the right thing to do”, but there are few others. He also questions whether the Coalition’s sloganeering has brought about its strong position in the polls, pointing out that Tony Abbott’s popularity is still in the doldrums, and he is the one perpetrating most of the slogans we know so well. Perhaps it is a case of people remembering and accepting the veracity of his slogans, yet at the same time disrespecting him for his carping use of them. Human communication is so complex that no one can venture a confident opinion about what ensures it will work; we can all have our views, but no one really knows. There is probably another thing we could agree upon – that messages need to be brief, understandable, plausible and memorable. Reading between the lines of your comments, there seems to be a definite preference for positive messages. Negative messages, especially if manifestly inaccurate or blatantly untrue, are anathema to several of you, who feel that Labor should be above that, and that it should not descend to the level of rhetoric that the Coalition regularly uses. Most here would agree. But the question remains – how does Labor get its messages across, and in the process counter the Coalition’s? Perhaps the term ‘slogan’ is too jarring, and ‘sloganeering’ more so. NormanK expresses his distaste for ‘glib slogans’, and indeed those two words are often placed in juxtaposition. We share his distaste. So what we need are Labor messages that are not glib, ones that strike a respondent chord in voter’s minds and hearts. Indeed, ‘message’ is likely a more acceptable term than ‘slogan’, which has a mildly pejorative overtone. So let’s use ‘message’. Having got off our chests our initial reactions to the somewhat provocative question: “Should Labor hitch itself to the slogan waggon?”, shall we regroup and re-address the crucial matter of how Labor should craft its messages and transmit them in a way that they have the same impact as those of the Coalition, but without diminishing Labor’s standards? A starting point is to accept that with most swinging voters, (about whom Rod Cameron has said that they are ‘the least interested and least informed about politics and are basically ignorant and indifferent about politics’), messages which rely on verifiable facts and figures, logic and well-reasoned argument will not be effective. We might be keen to believe that this approach might work, but that is near to fantasy in the savage world of contemporary politics. So let’s re-focus on how Labor can fashion simple, understandable, plausible and memorable positive messages about its achievements, policies and plans that tell the voters what Labor wants them to know, and also appeals enough to cynical journalists to promulgate them. Clever, stylish, catchy messages that meet the demand of latter day journalists for ‘entertainment’ to titillate their consumers, are what is needed. Let’s identify and put aside negative messages that you feel go too far, as do most of the Coalition’s. Let’s make the next phase of our discussion productive – we may yet assemble messages with which you are comfortable, that Labor could use.

TalkTurkey

9/05/2011David Of Abbott himself, wouldn't that be, All smugglers, no budgie? Or of Coalition *policy*, All buggered 'n' smudgy!

Ad astra reply

9/05/2011Folks A word of clarification: So-called ‘negative’ messages don’t have to be offensive. Some reinforce a positive message that one side wishes to transmit. Let me give an example. The message: [b]Coalition's plan PAYS POLLUTERS with YOUR MONEY[/b], although it might be regarded as negative, is factually accurate and could reasonably be placed in juxtaposition with [b]Labor taxes the POLLUTERS, not YOU[/b]. So while we may wish to discard messages that are inaccurate, there are others, those that reinforce positive messages, that might be acceptable. It’s complicated isn’t it?

TalkTurkey

9/05/2011When is a slogan not a slogan? "SUBSTANCE NOT SLOGANS!"

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Steve, I nearly choked on my chicken and tomato roll your slogan was so good! And yes, it is true, if I had needed a Public Hospital it would be because of Labor that I could count on good delivery of services. :)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011BSA Bob, You're right, Abbott is a political love child borne out of a threesome between Rodney Rude, Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson and Austen Tayshus. That is, a 'comedian' who gets his laughs at the expense of other people's dignity. I was particularly offended when he retailed the comment by his wife about the Asylum Seeker deal between Australia and Malaysia: "Oh, I didn't know this was April the 1st". Absolutely unfunny, cutting and cruel, in order to get a laff. But then the petit Bourgeoisie have always been crass and uncultured. And they don't come any more petty than Mr Abbott and his reflection in the mirror of a wife.

mick smetafor

9/05/2011"the tone of the slogans will allways be lower under a coalition government"

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Talk Turkey, That 24/7 news cycle is a bugger, isn't it? Big wheels keep on spinning around, the issues get caught up in the spokes and it's only a very big one that will stop those wheels turning around relentlessly. Most issues get sucked in and spat out again. As for our own proclivity on TPS to get in on the churning, well, if we don't try and claim some of the available oxygen, you know who will. Which is why I will keep on doing it because I, and my 2 youngish children back then before the Iraq War, were part of the 200,000 who marched against Howard's war-mongering, and I swore, from that day on to use whatever means at my disposal to fight the bastard and all he represents. As Abbott is just Howard-redux, the fight goes on.

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011More great news from the Optical Fibre research space: http://www.pcworld.com/article/227398/graphene_modulators.html#tk.rss_news

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Jeez! Andrew Bolt has big earlobes :) http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/media-matters/the-bolt-report-all-bolt-no-report-20110508-1ee9g.html

NormanK

9/05/2011Ad astra You know I can rarely resist a challenge. [u]NBN[/u] Remember when 2001 was a science fiction movie about a fantastical future? That was set ten years ago. Yesterday's science fiction is today's reality. It's not just about US - it's about our children too. TV on demand - no advertisements. Six hours of MasterChef if you want it. Work from home - the Pacific Islanders will thank you for it. That university degree you couldn't afford in your teens - now you can do it from home. Send your child on a tour of ancient Egyptian temples - from their classroom. The future is now. The future is digital. If road, rail and sea are the backbone of Australian commerce then the NBN is its lifeblood. Wireless broadband will be one of the growth industries of this decade - the fibre network is central to the success of wireless technology. [u]Price on pollution[/u] It's not even about us - it's about our grandchildren's children. Are we so locked in to the present that we can't plant a seed which may not bear fruit for fifty years? Why does everything have to be about us? Should we give no consideration to those as yet unborn? [u]Mining Resource Rent Tax[/u] Australia is not a magic larder - one day the cupboard really will be bare. It's your dirt - don't you want to get a fair price for it? [u]Miscellaneous[/u] Life is what happens TO you - health care is what we are building FOR you. mick smetafor You're on to a winner there!

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Some of the comments from the article above are comedy gold: Andrew Bolt's show should have been named 'One Bolt and Three Nuts'. 'Tony Abbott from the Noposition.' :)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011[quote]Did they have an announcement at the end that the show was "written and authorised" by the Liberal Party like they have to in election ads?[/quote] :)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011More perceptive comments: [quote] I cannot wait to hear the howls of BIAS. For years the ABC has had this word thrown in it's face for daring to pose difficult questions to the conservative side & when they went unanswered, asked them again. Badgering of fine citizens by the commie hoards we were told, public service bludgers wasting your 3 cents a day, you don't get that sort of cosy deal in the commercial world, they wouldn't last a second. Well it seems you do, a howling conservative commentator, spewing his ill informed opinion & agenda & gleefully having those "lies" backed up by complicit conservative politicians looking to gain power at any cost. Truly gutter television & the funniest thing is ten goes for the youth viewer, someone usually a left of centre/Green voter, is that the hidden agenda influence the young with half truths & outright lies????[/quote] [quote]Just just goes to show that an education can do little for character if the character in question has one thing in mind.. to insult, to stir the pot. That's all Andrew Bolt will ever be a pot stirrer, a conservative flag waver and when he's gone who will care? Politics has turned into a sideshow in this country, a piece of entertainment for the media..and in the end we all suffer via successive bad governments. We're killing our culture one Bolt at a time...and we think its amusing? Lord Macguffin[/quote]

Ad astra reply

9/05/2011Folks This is what we have to counter and possibly emulate while adhering to Labor standards. Without even referring to a news item, can you remember what Tony Abbott is currently saying about the asylum seeker issue? I can. “Pick up the phone to the President of Nauru”, “Re-introduce temporary protection visas” (for all asylum seekers), and “Turn the boats around when it’s safe to do so”. Of course he’s saying all sorts of derogatory things about the Government’s latest moves, but those three are trotted out every time. Add to that: “The Government’s border policy is a failure”, and “The Government has lost control of our borders” and “The Government has lost control of detention centres” and you have a constellation of messages that people remember. The Budget gives the Coalition another opportunity to repeat its standard messages. I’m sure you will remember all of Joe Hockey’s messages: “The Government is addicted to spending”, and “They don’t know how to stop spending”, and “Labor can’t manage money”, and “Labor will never bring in a surplus budget”, and “Labor will never bring in a tough budget”. It is this sort of messaging Labor needs. If I can sit down at the computer and remember these messages without prompts, so can the people out there in voter land. Surely Labor can do as well as the Coalition. What is stopping it?

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011NormanK, Well done in rising to the challenge! I have only one quibble, won't watching 6 hours of Masterchef make you fat? :)

Ad astra reply

9/05/2011Folks Wow, you're really steaming now. David Horton, "All budgie, no smugglers" is very clever, very subtle. mick smetafor, that is a beauty: "The tone of the slogans will always be lower under a coalition government". steve, what a neat saying: "Labor for hospital delivery"; "Tony Abbott all put down no policy" is apt. NormanK, what a superb collection - why can't Labor do that? FS, 'A Bolt and Three Nuts' is a deliciously incisive comment on the [i]Bolt Report[/i]; I wish I could think up such gems - but then I'm not a comic - far from it. I also liked: "The Liberal Party, All Anger, No Empathy." AC, "The Boltox Report Agree with us Or get a fat lip." is very clever. TT, you are right; "Substance not slogans". sue, That's a good suggestion - give the journos a catchy headline. tredlgt, you are right, when the successes pile up it will be easier for Labor to craft messages. Already the NBN rollout is providing some. BSA Bob, it's because Tony Abbott is so ruthless, and because the media aid and abet that ruthlessness, that Labor needs strong messages that stick. janice, I see you feel strongly about the carbon tax: "TAX POLLUTERS - SAVE THE PLANET and TAXING POLLUTERS GETS CLEAN ENERGY. Lyn, what a lovely sequence: "Connecting People It Gives You Wings New. Fast. Efficient Just do it" For the future

D Mick Weir

9/05/2011FS, I liked your [i]A Bolt and Three Nuts[/i] Had been workshopping in my head 'For every Bolt a matching Nut' but I like yours more :)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Verry interesting: From Crikey's 'Tips and Rumours': [quote]Loaded questions in NewsPoll call. I was a respondent to NewsPoll on Sunday May 1. The question requiring an opinion on the introduction of a carbon tax was classic push polling. We were asked, and I paraphrase, "Would you support a carbon tax if it meant that the price of food and power would rise substantially?" The Australian reported, unsurprisingly, that only 30% said yes! Given that the question omitted any reference to the government’s promise of substantial compensation when the carbon tax is introduced, it is astonishing that the figure in favour was as high as 30%[/quote].

Patricia WA

9/05/2011It's all very well for us to sit here trying to come up with constructive slogans, but do you have any which will work on the the people who really should be listening, like asylum seekers? [b]'Don't Come Here By Sea!'[/b] We’ve heard your stories one and all. Widow, orphan, soldier amputee, And how you strive to reach landfall Here beyond the Arafura Sea. You know that if you come by boat People smugglers charge a hefty fee With no guarantee you’ll stay afloat To journey’s end across the Timor Sea. If Tony Abbott now held sway He'd stop your boat. That’s his policy. He’d turn you round, have you towed away, Deaf to your cries, back to the cruel sea. A plan to lessen your suffering Has now come from the ALP, Anxious to find a buffering Between Oz and the surrounding sea. It’s been proposed by PM Gillard, Wherever your starting point may be, Boarding leaky boats will now be barred. You may not risk your life at sea! There now will be an orderly queue For you to join, perhaps certainty That now at last we'll welcome you. Though for that, you'll have to wait and see. Be patient. You’re seeking refuge In a land already sanctuary To people whose anxiety is huge, Girt as Australia is by sea. Things here aren't what they used to be When we had endless plains to share For those who came across the sea. So forget all that, and 'Come By Air!'

Rx

9/05/2011[i] Did they have an announcement at the end that the show was "written and authorised" by the Liberal Party like they have to in election ads? [/i] The same question should be asked of talkback radio. (Which government department is it that oversees political advertising?)

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011PatriciaWA, Spiffing! :) Yes, if only the wider populace would/could get access to our intelligent and exceptional musings.

Ad astra reply

9/05/2011Patricia WA That is a very clever poem, and so apt.

NormanK

9/05/2011Patricia WA Very very clever! I had no idea where you were going with that. I love a good sting in the tail.

TalkTurkey

9/05/2011Ad astra "Substance not slogans" is actually double-edged: Positive for Labor, negative for Them. Worth popularising. It could spawn a series of apposite alexipharmic alliterative catch-cries: Action not Abbott/aggravation/ . . . Business not bluster/bullsh*t/ . . . C . . ? . . .

Ad astra reply

9/05/2011I found this on [i]Crikey[/i]: [b]Gillard move straight from the Bolt playbook[/b] by Richard Farmer [i]"Big policy win for Andrew Bolt. He’s a humble and modest fellow, that Andrew Bolt. There he was on the tele yesterday for the debut of his new political talk show. And there in all the Sunday newspapers was the story of the federal Labor government having accepted one of his recommendations. And not a word did our man Andrew say about this confirmation of his importance. "Let me explain. On March 17 last year when Kevin Rudd was still prime minister, Andrew Bolt in his News Limited column stopped criticising the continued arrival of boatloads of asylum seekers at Christmas Island for a moment to actually propose a solution. He wrote: "So here’s a simple plan to fix everything  —  a plan first suggested to me by Family First Senator Steve Fielding to stop the boats dead without being at all cruel.
 "Let’s announce that from today we’ll send every boatload of “asylum seekers” we intercept to some refugee camp in Indonesia, Pakistan or whichever other country we can persuade to take them. "Yes, you’re right. Those countries won’t want our rejects, so let’s make them an offer they can’t refuse. "For every single boat person they take from us, we’ll take two genuine refugees from their camps. "What could be fairer? We’ll be twice as kind, we’ll send the boat people to safety and we’ll reward not those who’ve pushed in but the refugees who have waited the longest in line.
Two refugees for every boat person. Guaranteed to stop the flood like nothing Rudd has ever tried. If the Prime Minister has a better idea, let him now explain it. But I haven’t heard one yet in the two years since he made his fake promise to “turn ‘em back”. "At the time I wrote in Crikey that If you really did “believe that queue jumping is the great evil when accepting boat people, the plan has a certain logic about it”. And so, it seems, Julia Gillard agrees. Her Malaysian swap plan comes straight out of the Boltian playbook with the exception of the swap ending up as five for one rather than two for one."[/i] Why didn't Andrew Bolt mention that yesterday in his [i]Bolt Report[/i]?

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011Ad Astra, I knew that the Asylum Seeker policy announced last weekend was similar to that advocated last year by Andrew Bolt, as one of the links lyn provided over Easter was to a Club Troppo conversation about what might be the best solution for the Asylum Seeker 'problem'. One of the commenters mentioned Bolt's suggestion. Of course, as can be gleaned from the exerpt which you have quoted above, I don't think Andrew Bolt in his wildest imaginings thought that the Gillard government would ever advocate a policy which would see more Asylum Seekers accepted, as opposed to them trying to find a way to follow the Coalition's clarion call to 'Stop the Boats'. However, I can guarantee that he knew what the new government policy reflected but, being as slippery as a ship's rat, he knowingly and purposefully decided not to draw attention to the fact. Instead he just let his '3 Nuts' rabbit on with their Middle-Aged White Man xenophobia and bigotry, using all the tired old lines from their well-worn playbook. ReCaptcha: camps :)

NormanK

9/05/2011FS Congratulations on the part you have no doubt played in introducing 'framing' to our erstwhile and diligent journalists. With regard to [quote]won't watching 6 hours of Masterchef make you fat?[/quote] may I suggest that that will only occur if you snack for the whole six hours. Personally, I would lose weight because I can't stand the fake reality of such 'spontaneous' programmes and would therefore likely be seriously nauseated by six hours of well-rehearsed reality.

TalkTurkey

9/05/2011Here's how off-putting I find Trioli, Uhlmann, Sales et al now: there's a bit of music that the ABC plays along with the slithering bubble baubles on promos usually following close on those persons' images, and now, it sets my teeth on edge if I happen to hear it, like the nastier type of singing ads: it's an aversive stimulus as the psychologists would say. I can't ever remember an ABC theme doing that to me before. Uhlmann in particular is a new high in ABC disgracefulness. He is absolutely anathema to virtually all those who have posted on the petition to the ABC. How the Labor MHR for the ACT, Gai Brodtmann, can sleep at night, with him, is beyond my imagining. Can her love really triumph over his disgusting political bias? Dog I hope not! Or rather, perhaps, if it does, could it please, please bring about a concomitant Road-to-Damascus-type conversion in him? As if.

Ad astra reply

9/05/2011Rx You are right. The 'Bolt Report' was an advertisement for the Coalition, but unpaid. If it was an official political paid ad, acknowledgement would be required. We can expect more of this in the manner of FOX News in the US, which is unashamedly a Republican propaganda machine. TT You seem enamored of slogans - you have made a good start - there are a lot more letters in the alphabet! FS You must be pleased at the positive remarks from the Malaysians and the UNHCR, and PM Gillard's strongly stated determination to see this through, which she will. I join NormanK in thanking you for introducing the 'framing' debate. Today we have seen Tony Abbott reframing the Government's asylum seeker policy ad nauseam. He is skilled at this. Labor ought to anticipate what he will say - it's not rocket science - and neuter it in advance.

TalkTurkey

9/05/2011Aa said "TT You seem enamored of slogans - you have made a good start - there are a lot more letters in the alphabet!" Ad I didn't want to be greedy! Surely Swordsfolk will rise to the challenge of creating 3-word alliterative double-edged slogans? - For the Party?

NormanK

9/05/2011Hi lyn I've just been rereading the mountain of comments put up today and I see that I have been remiss in not replying to your's @ 11.02. Thank-you very much for your kind words. :) I do try very hard to comply with Tim Radford's commandments, particularly number one : [quote]1. When you sit down to write, there is only one important person in your life. This is someone you will never meet, called a reader.[/quote] Last night's little rant seemed a bit self-indulgent but The Skeletal One took some pleasure in it so I forgive myself. Don't work too hard tonight. Cheers Lyn.

Patricia WA

9/05/2011You inspired me too, NormanK! After a lovely Mother's Day away from news it was when I read your comment that I wanted to get stuck into Tony Abbott big time after those remarks of his, or as he claimed, his wife. Somehow though, as always seems to happen, when I got down to writing, the anger went. Something, not outside of me, but in my head, takes over. You say you couldn't see the 'sting' in the tail coming. Well, nor could I! It certainly wasn't planned. Can anyone explain that? Another question to all you writers out there. My grandson is doing an assignment. He's uncertain about a sentence structure. He, his Mum and Dad all disagree. Nana has been asked to adjudicate. It seems the net is not helpful on this. He wants to say that his friend and he had quite different experiences. Should he say 'from' me, 'to' me or 'than' me? Or perhaps, was his experience different 'from' mine, 'to' mine or 'than' mine? An answer by tomorrow morning will do, it seems.

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9/05/2011Patricia WA I'll stick my neck out: My friend's experiences have been quite different from mine.

macca

9/05/2011"I thank all of those who born in this country for coming here and making a contribution to Australia. We are the least discriminatory country in the world, in my veiw.".......John Howard It seems to me that the LNP, both the party and their hardcore supporters, revere former Prime Minister Howard. They use him to great effect..eg; the Howard/ Costello years were the best the country has ever seen etc, etc, ad nausiem. This line of propaganda does reinforce the oppositions attacks on the Govt. in the minds of the swinging electorate. That the Murdock and ABC hacks follow this line is beyond doubt. It begs the question.....how can the Govt turn this to their advantage? Instead of slogans. Start hitting the opposition and their hacks with quotes, selective and out of context if need be, from Howard, Costello, Downer and the rest. Put them in the position of having to either denigrate their heroes, the soul of their party, or, agree with the Govt. Force them to make the choice. Make them ask the question of themselves....do we trash the John Howard legacy for a thirty second soundbite?...or do we agree with the Govt policy? Turn the tables...make them defend the Howard years instead of them using that period as an effective propaganda tool. One apt quote,IMO, should preface any reply to the lies that Abbott, Hockey, Robb and co spew; 'Former Prime Minister Howard once said "We want to assert the very principle that truth is absolute, truth is supreme, truth is never disposable in national political life" are you up to that Mr Abbott?' Anyway....just another theory.

lyn

9/05/2011Hi Ad Lindsay Tanner just said on Q&A : "[quote]The Opposition is all about slogans.[/quote] [quote]Slogans where's the Solutions[/quote] Cheers

lyn

9/05/2011Hi Norman K You are simply the best, a very special person.

Feral Skeleton

9/05/2011macca, Fair point.

NormanK

9/05/2011Tony Jones is a fool and anyone who thinks he has good interviewing skills is deluding themselves. For the purposes of clarity, OED defines 'fool' as "a person who acts unwisely". Jones tried to slip a question in under Lindsay Tanner's guard tonight on Q&A by interrupting to ask what was the primary cause of Kevin Rudd's downfall - it was more pointed than that but my short term memory ain't all that it might be. Tanner has repeatedly refused over recent interviews to discuss, even obliquely, what transpired behind closed doors while he was a minister in the government. He said as much again tonight and yet Jones displays his greed and ineptitude by going for the 'Big Question' in the hope that it might win him a Walkley. Why do I say greed? Because when Rudd was on Q&A and waxing lyrical about the postponement of the CPRS, complete with the 'revelation' that some members were inclined to kill the scheme off, instead of letting Rudd continue on his loquacious way and thereby acquiring a few more gems (having already been given a handful) Jones got greedy and went for the 'was it Julia?' question. If he was a halfway decent interviewer he would have kept his mouth shut, let Rudd ramble on (as he was obviously wont to do) and gathered another handful of small gems. Instead, Jones' eyes lit up and he popped the Big Question which immediately put Rudd on his guard and the flow of quotable quotes dried up then and there. The same thing tonight. Jones could have settled for a few nice snippets from Tanner, respected his (Tanner's) right as a private citizen to only answer those questions which he chooses to and settled for that. Instead he went for the Big Question and stemmed the flow. Where do these people learn their interviewing techniques? Watch Jones in future, he does it all the time, butts in with a 'clarification' question meant to score the big prize, puts his interviewee on their guard and gets nothing. He's a gambler not content with his winnings. Double down. Which leads me nicely to Abbott on Bolt. Some time ago it occurred to me that the best way to catch Abbott out in one of his 'mouth before wicket' moments is to let him ramble on. Kerry O'Brien didn't get Abbott's 'I'm sometimes inconsistent' remark by badgering (although the fear of badgering may have played a part), he simply let him have his head. If I had the chance to interview Abbott, I would make every endeavour to make him feel as relaxed as possible. A few dirty jokes if need be, a bit of elbow jabbing, go with the flow of whatever nonsense comes out of his mouth and then let him ramble. Give him lots of rope in what he feels is a safe environment and his own self-importance will do the rest. Abbott is far more likely to speak what is truly in his mind if he thinks he is addressing a sympathetic audience who will share his views. If you go after him he is just going to maintain discipline and chant his mantras. The Bolt Report might, unwittingly, be just the forum for some loose lips from Tony. Patricia WA No doubt TT will have the defining say but I was always taught 'different from'.

TalkTurkey

10/05/2011Patricia WA 'From' and 'to' are prepositions, and 'than' is a quasi-preposition. All are used differently. As in: Some things (including experiences) are different from each other, similar to still others, and (comparative form of adjective, e.g. bigger)than still others again. I might be inclined to avoid any of the above. "My friend and I had quite different experiences." ('from each other' understood of course) [ Which btw is exactly what you said the lad wanted to say: "He wants to say that his friend and he had quite different experiences."] But in short, as Aa opined, it's 'different from', no two ways. The other two words are unacceptable pairings with 'different', for the reason that they are logically at variance, as conversely 'similar from' or 'similar than' would be. The use of 'different than' and 'different to' betrays sloppy thinking, and is to be reviled! Then of course there's 'as . . . as' as in 'as different as chaws and cheek' . . . (In this case 'from each other' after the word 'different' is understood.)

Patricia WA

10/05/2011Thanks TT. I thought 'different from' as well, and with AA and NormanK and yourself that makes three wise men outside of the family who agree with me. I was already appointed adjudicator but I promised I'd ask for third party confirmation. All the other points you make are valid too, but when you're thirteen avoiding a problem of syntax by changing your sentence structure is not an option you immediately think of. NormanK, I was infuriated by Tony Jones too. He forgets he is supposed to be moderator and not an interviewer and becomes a real pain. I also get really fed up when he wastes valuable time by engaging in debate himself. Lindsay Tanner looked after himself pretty well though. It was Turnbull who came unstuck over the asylum seekers and I was inconsistently pleased that Jones pursued him on it, though he should have let others on the panel do that for us. Christine Wallace was good there and Lindsay Tanner did a brilliant job of 'framing' the asylum seeker issue globally. Not sure if you watched, TT, but I imagine you would have been unhappy with the lawyer, Malcolm Turnbull's opinion on the 'lawfulness' of Bin Laden's execution. Only one of the panel really disagreed with his view that 'wartime' rules of engagement legitimised that operation. Does anyone else sense 'winds of change' in the tone of the ABC's reportage and commentary recently? Still biassed, but more muted somehow.

TalkTurkey

10/05/2011Earlier in the day NormanK wrote a landmark post on asylum seekers, I wrote lamenting the swift flight from sight and mind of even the weightiest issues, and Feral Skeleton agreed that the 24/7 cycle was (wtte) deplorable and destructive, but unavoidable anyway. (This theme about the 24/7 cycle and yellow journalism was synchronicitously writ large in tonight's Q&A.) Some time ago I also flew a less-than-airworthy kite about some sort of Brain blog from the best of blogs, to archive the best of the posts on given important issues. One of the chief and most persistent of which is that concerning asylum seekers. Maybe I'll just add a bit to the tail and have another run into the wind with that kite . . . Can't do no harm . . . I make no pretence that I know how to make it fly. But just imagine that Paul the Psychic Octopus had sussed the proper connections, and was willing to do the work . . . In all Australasia, only a very few landmark posts stand out on any given important issue on any given day. [Lyn has them mostly sussed of course!] Further, there might only be one or three or so overlapping issues of present concern at any given time. So, not such a huge load for Paul's tentacles day by day . . . Those issues could be hived off and become separate strong archived threads, and they could be added to chronologically, not directly but via various blogsites. Over time they would become considerable documents, one on NBN, one on Libya, one on Asylum Seekers, one on journalists, maybe one of Pomes, one on disasters, one on . . . and on . . . and on . . . Ar I dunno. It just seems to me a shame that the best expressed thoughts on vital issues just flow out to the cybersea, not cyberspace note, the material is mostly still there but it's scattered throughout the whole ocean of the Internet instead of being ordered somehow, and available. Maybe it might never get off the ground. Paul?

Crowey

10/05/2011After 41 years voting Labor, I have become very disillusioned with the direction the Party is taking, we have a population of over 22 million,and yet we are importing skilled labor,where are these so called TAFE Colleges,why are their Hex Fees for University Education, yet their are Millions of Dollars freely spent on our Sporting Endeavours, why are they taking the same road as the Liberal/National Party when it comes to Religious Matters,Multinational Co,Asylum Seekers and gutter politics,it is so demeaning.

lyn

10/05/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]The Asylum Debate - No edification, but lots of soul destruction, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] It comes nicely off the back of Scott Morrison’s first media release on the policy:“Increasing our overallrefugee intake will not only further increase costs, but add further pressure to a programme where only http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2011/05/asylum-debatenot-edifying-and-rather.html [i]Budget Expectations, Tim Dunlop, BSides[/i] the Budget will be reported within the narrow confines of the media's (ie the Opposition's) preferred narrative of the government as one who just can't do anything right. This in turn will fit with their historial narrative of Labor as the party you just can't trust to run the economy. http://tjd.posterous.com/budget-expectations [i]From All The Lands On Earth We Come, Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i] a decided minority within the greater Australian cultural collective which is clearly exhibiting a stupidly ignorant and arrogant attitude towards their fellow human beings who wish to come here because of our culture http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/05/from_all_the_lands_on_earth_we.php#more [i]The Political Whoppers Abbott tells....Petering Time, North Coast Voices[/i] Carbon pricing is not due to commence until 1 July 2012 at the earliest and therefore falls within the 2012-13 federal budget - there is no "hole" in this year's budget. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/05/political-whoppers-abbott-tells.html [i]NBN + cost benefit analyses , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] They deny the negative externality; or say that if laissez-faire—that is, no government intervention—provides too little high speed broadband to regional Australia, http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/05/nbn-cost-benefi-1.php#more [i]Internet on the outstation, Ellie Rennie, Inside Story[/i] The federal government currently provides subsidised satellite internet to households and businesses in remote areas via a program called the Australian Broadband Guarantee. This program, which http://inside.org.au/internet-on-the-outstation/ [i]Surplus fetish: the political economy of the surplus, deficit and debt, David Richardson, Australian Policy Online[/i] Without the stimulus, and assuming the earlier unemployment forecasts had been borne out, Australia would have lost production of around $44 billion per annum. http://www.apo.org.au/research/surplus-fetish-political-economy-surplus-deficit-and-debt [i]A Penny for her thoughts. Wong on making Tuesday's Budget, Peter Martin[/i] And ensuring the budget is sustainable is a Labor value. We need ensure we can continue to afford a safety net. http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/05/penny-for-her-thoughts-wong-on-making.html [i]The Orstrahyun: Andrew Bolt's Reality Meltdown, Darryl Mason, Don't believe the lies, critically analyze[/i] How many times can pro-nuclear wacko and alleged journalist Andrew Bolt show himself to be grotesquely ignorant, wrong and ill-informed in the space of just one week? Five times? Ten times? More? http://kurtrudder.blogspot.com/2011/05/orstrahyun-andrew-bolts-reality.html [i]Stevens sells his moral authority, Ross Gittins[/i] "remuneration committee" argued it was all about how much you could earn after you ceased being governor.Bernarke would command $250,000 a speech. That's a market-forces argument? http://www.rossgittins.com/2011/05/stevens-sells-his-moral-authority.html [i]TV Show transcript ,The Clot Factor[/i] Clot: My next guest is the esteemed Leader of the opposition Tony Abbott. Welcome. Abbott: Look, this is a big bad tax. That’s what it is, it’s a big bad tax and it doesn’t matter what you do to it, http://theclotfactor.blogspot.com/2011/05/tv-show-transcript.html [i]The Bolt Report: "generally dull", OVEHG, Climate Shifts[/i] Surely Boltie’s show should be called ‘Nuts and Bolts’ (as a good friend suggested the other day). Actually, that title would be misleading given that practical mechanics is a lot more exciting than the drivel we saw on Sunday! http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=6626 [i]TV reviews from the weekend, Opinion Dominion[/i] The opening part, where Andrew got to editorialise (it was rather like him reading out one of his own columns) reminded me of Alan Jones' short-ish TV career. http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/ [i]Column - Boatloads of welfare recipeints, The Clot Factor[/i] Even though these figures are for asylum seekers that arrived more than five years ago during the Howard Government, it is clearly still evidence of the Gillard Government's bungled refugee program http://theclotfactor.blogspot.com/2011/05/column-boatloads-of-welfare-recipients.html [i]Brown people: expensive, Spock, Groupthink[/i] News Ltd tabloids find a negative way to frame it as being too soft on Asylum seekers, or too expensive to the tax payer.With the terms of the debate being set by Tony Abbott and the News Ltd outrage http://www.groupthink.com.au/2011/05/09/brown-people-expensive/ [i]Honk your horn: the fringe benefits tax is changing, Chris Riedy, The Conversation[/i] If you drive less than 10,000 km in a year, you are taxed on 26% of the car’s value.If you drive more than 10,000 km it drops to 20% of the car’s value, http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/honk-your-horn-the-fringe-benefits-tax-is-changing-1495 [i]Myths, lies and asylum seekers, Greg Barnes, The Drum[/i] Why Mr Abbott do you use the phrase ‘queue jumper’ when you know, as a man who is intelligent and rational, http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2318586.html [i]Whatever Gets You Over The Line, Ben Raue, New Matilda[/i] It’s true that some Pauline Hanson votes were probably made informal by the voting system but it’s also true that http://newmatilda.com/2011/05/09/whatever-gets-you-over-line [i]Lindsay Tanner chose the wrong profession, Mumble, The Australian[/i] And he was also one of the better practitioners of the craft of politics. He could pretend up was down with the best of them, but seemed to understand that making a message stick in people’s minds http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/tanner_book/ [b]Reading[/b] [i]Online retailing: the great Australian gouge, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] The same LG refrigerator costing $2500 at Harvey Norman — billionaire Gerry Harvey was the initial face of the retailers’ campaign against the internet — is available to American consumers from Amazon for just under US$1500. A Sharp microwave costing $199 at Harvey Norman is at US$85 from Amazon and US$74 at Walmart http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/09/online-retailing-the-great-australian-gouge/ [i]A Dozen Global Warming Slogans, Bob Carter, Quadrant Online[/i] Australian press coverage of global warming policy over the last two months has comprised the endless repetition of numerous facile and utterly unconvincing sound-bites, designed with no other end in mind than propaganda. http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/5/a-dozen-global-warming-slogans [i]A Volcano of Lies, Alexander Cockburn Counterpunch[/i] Osama may have been stoned as part of his pain management program since there was a marijuana patch outside in the allotment and, like any world star in retirement, Osama liked to smoke a lot of weed http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn05062011.html

sue

10/05/2011Thanks feral for the Crikey information. The fact that Newspoll had asked a question with a definite bias was intuiative to the response it generated. The fact that they would then publish the result amazes. When a poll is so skewed, it generates investigation and scorn from experts. If Newspoll want to damage there business than go straight ahead, after all who now takes any notice of the Financial Ratings agencies, since the GFC.

thenewjj

10/05/2011It is funny isnt it, that after all of tanner's whinging and whining about how the media makes politicians spin, the media makes politicians act stupidly, he goes on T.V. and spins himself, "The coalition only has slogans, no solutions", did the media make him say this? But wait a sec, didnt he also say that he is a private citizen now and so he can decide what he wants to say? Tanner's comment is a slogan in its self because it is obviously not true. The Coalition at the last election put forward a position to return to the policy measures that existed under the Howard government, as well as upping the refugee intake (without paying for it all... remember we are doing these countries a favor). Tanner is just as bad as the rest of them, except he likes to pretend he is not!

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011NormanK, I've been watching Tony Jones behavioural 'approach' to Q&A moderation for a while now. As I did last night, especially so as Lindsay Tanner was on the panel. Well, let me just say this much about Tony Jones, you can tell when he's lining up to hurl a thunderbolt, or so he thinks, as he puts his hand on his hip, turns to the person that he has lined up the question for, has a pre-arranged camera operator focussing a long shot on him and the target, and then he leans forward towards his 'prey' and, from the beginning of his target's answer he just doesn't seem to be listening but waiting a pre-determined amount of time and for a pause for breath by the target, and then he just butts right in with the question he really wants answered. None of this hoping to elicit the answer via an audience member's question, he's got an agenda item that he wants an answer to. Now, for the first time last night I also noticed that he has his pre-determined question written on a specially-coloured piece of paper, last night it was pink, so that he can lay his hands on it quickly I suppose, when he determines that the time is right to ask it. I have also noticed that he usually has the question sequencers make the last, or next to last, question of the night about the subject he wishes to broach with his target, probably so that it is the last thought in people's minds that they take away from the show. Plus the fact the copywriters for ABC24 know where to look for his hoped-for 'scoop'. So, basically, he tries to lob his curveball in under the radar and under the guard of his target as they are in full flight of answering the audience question related to Tony's pet project question for the night, then he drops the question, bumptiously demands an answer and does a bit of pointed hectoring to elicit an answer, and keeps trying to put the target on the spot until he gets his answer. Then, with a look of smug satisfaction on his face from having elicited his 'Gotcha!', he signs off for the night. However, if I can elucidate his modus operandi, I'm more than sure that Lindsay Tanner could also work it out. Which it looked to me that he had last night because Tony Jones came away without his scalp. :)

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10/05/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Jason

10/05/2011jj, Tanner said now that he's a private citizen he didn't have to answer questions on the downfall of Rudd or any of the questions about what went on in cabinet, as he said he's not a "kiss and tell" type of bloke. As for your lot the only slogan that suits them is Race to the bottom

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011Crowey, Don't jump the gun, mate. Wait until tonight when the Budget will reveal all. Now, no one else but Labor would actually announce a new scheme to lift people out of long term unemployment via training them for a real job, as opposed to the Coalition who have an idea whereby they become the unpaid, indentured labour of Fruit Growers and multinational unskilled labour hire companies and makework providers. Labor has also set a target of 40% of our young Aussie kids having a university qualification by 2020. Howard and the Coalition were content to fill the Unis up with wealthy fee-paying kids and loads of overseas students who paid heaps for an Aussie tertiary education. Labor has been busily building Trades Training Colleges in a multitude of High Schools across the country, which Howard never did because he preferred to let his Liberal Mates set up federal government funded Traing centres to make a profit out of kids who wanted to learn a Trade. Labor has put into place the BER, the greatest investment in Public School buildings for decades. Labor has provided Interactive White Boards linked to the Internet for scholls, and Laptops for the kids. Now, as for the Asylum Seekers. Can anyone who is 'unhappy with the Labor government' explain to me what is not to like about the Win/Win situation whereby the People Smuggling/People Trafficking trade has a spoke put into its wheel, and we end up taking 5 times more genuine refugees from out of the so-called 'Refugee hellhole' of Malaysia? Especially, and I admit to being somewhat biased here, when a lot of these new refugees will be poor Burmese who, until last weekend, had very little hope of resettlement in Australia, due, I'd hazard a guess, to them not having the extensive networks in Australia funnelling money back for boat trips. As for importing Skilled Labour, at least the Labour Party aren't using it, as Howard did, as a back door to permanent settlement in Australia, thus denying our own kids the opportunity to train for those skilled jobs. Labor wants to train our kids for those skilled jobs, but as Rome wasn't built in a day, they have to let some skilled workers in, but they are not goping to let them stay permanently. They will set about training our kids for those jobs. Wait until tonight to hear about that, I reckon. There may also be HECS fees for University, but I think you'll find that the number of University Scholarships for students from low-income families has increased massively under the Labor government. Labor has also put serious money into our Public Hospitals. Howard was only interested in Private Health initiatives. There is talk about a $2 Billion Mental Health initiative in tonight's Budget as well. As for Multinational companies, who is it that wants to introduce a Mineral Resources Rent Tax? Who is it that wants to make multinational and large Australian companies pay the price for their pollution which is causing so much Climate Change? It's easy to criticise the Labor Party, Crowey, but have you looked at the alternative? And have you looked through the bad-mouthing by the Opposition to what the Labor Party has really achieved?

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011Well, knock me down and call me 'Shorty', jj has dosed up on Coalition talking points again and come here to vomit them back up onto us. Yawn. Amazing, isn't it, how Howard held Cabinet solidarity to be sacrosanct but the Coalition, their flunkies in the media and their camp followers like 'jj', junked that idea as soon as they went into Opposition and have been demanding from all and sundry in the federal Labor government to kiss and tell? Which just points to an overarching truth about the Coalition et al., they are hypocrites.

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011sue, My pleasure. :) I always suspected that Newspoll questions directly funnelled to The Australian for their blaring front page headlines were as shaky as a wino with a skinfull. :)

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011Bumper Sticker of the Day: 'Wayne is a Swan, Joe is a Goose.'

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10/05/2011Folks What an impressive set of comments you have made overnight and this morning. Because I'm going to be out for several hours. I'll leave any responses until late afternoon. But please keep your suggestions coming about messages that Labor might gainfully use to promote its vision, plans, policies and achievements.

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011'Labor Don't Just Talk the Talk, They Walk the Walk'.

NormanK

10/05/2011Feral Skeleton What a good morning you are having! It was the thought of watching six hours of MasterChef that facilitated a good night's sleep wasn't it? I agree almost entirely with your evaluation of Tony Jones' technique. My only quibble is that his Big Question rarely elicits the response he is seeking or at least such has been my observation. Q&A is only slightly more spontaneous than MasterChef and you are right to point out the structural manipulation of the sequence of questions. More often than not what Jones and his producer are trying to achieve is the old showbiz maxim of 'leave them wanting more'. Controversial subjects and/or gotcha moments are held back until towards the end of the show so that Jones can 'unfortunately' run out of time just as things are heating up. Not to say that there aren't other interesting moments earlier in the show but it pays to hold a good 'un 'til last. What really prompted my comment last night (Patricia WA backs this up to a degree) is that when the panel does give voice to spontaneous debate or unexpected elucidation, Jones drags the whole conversation back into the prescribed format by sticking his boofhead in and 'moderating' at times when he would be far better advised to give the panellists their head. This doesn't mean he should let them ramble unchecked or talk all over each other, Christopher Pyne springs to mind, but there are times when all he needs to do is direct traffic rather than, as PWA suggests, join the debate or try to steer someone's ship on to the rocks. I'd be very interested to hear Mr D's take on Jones' technique, from memory he has a very low opinion of Q&A as a format. Christine Wallace was refreshing until it came to the subject of Tanner's book where she fell in behind the defensive lines and stuck her bayonet out through the wall like just about everybody else has done. Oh well, at least they are now thinking about the phenomenon and may as a result observe more of what Tanner is trying to define. Your response to Crowey was superb but don't be too tough on him, remember Murdoch and others have got us by the throat and their pernicious influence is difficult to overcome. :) Jason Please, please, please don't feed the troll. No good will come of it. Like the King of the Trolls, criticism and correction are water off a duck's back to this particular individual. You know that I ask this in the gentlest tone of voice. :)

D Mick Weir

10/05/2011a thought bubble The 'real' reason that the opposition are blathering about the (proposed) Carbon Tax must be included in the budget or otherwise the budget 'will have a great big hole in it' has nothing to do with the 'integrity' of the budget as most would suspect. As the proposed tax would not start until Juy 2012 it would be included in the forward estimates and being the smart fellows that the opposition are they would scour the estimates to discern the proposed starting price and the compensation component probably to prove emperically that Labour = Lies.

TalkTurkey

10/05/2011One just made for our Tweety! Tune: (I Pull My Blue) Jeans On David Dundas 1976. . . covered by Keith Urban lots later. Just google "I pull my blue jeans on" and take your pick. When I wake up In the morning light I pull up Lyn's Links and I feel all right! I pull Daily Links up, I pull Lyn's Daily Links up! Ch-Ch! I pull Daily Links up, I pull Lyn's Daily Links up! Ch-Ch! Ch-Ch! It's the weekend - What will be on TV? I look up Lyn's Links and there the gen will be! I don't need have her near me - Somehow I feel she's close to me! Thee and me, we'll go Internet Surfing Through the comments from sage to inane! Got my fingers on the keyboard - The Internet is Go! - The Political Sword again! We'll meet up Somewhere in cyberspace - I don't need to feel your hand or see your face Somehow I feel you're near me - Somehow I feel you're close to me! (Ch-Ch!) Somehow I feel she's near me - Somehow I feel she's close to me! When I wake up In the morning light I pull up Lyn's Links and I feel alright! I pull Daily Links up, I pull Lyn's Daily Links up! I pull Daily Links up, I pull Lyn's Daily Links up!

Jason

10/05/2011Normank, I agree feeding time is over!However on the subject of Q&A I too wish Tony Jones could just shut up every now and then and just wait and see where the conversation on what ever the question asked goes! But I never had a high opinion of Jones as an interviewer or moderator anyway,compared with the way that Ali More on late line last night questioned Chris Bowen on the Malaysian solution! there were no gotchas, no constant interrupting she had done some reasearch and I thought it was quite good as opposed to the way Jones goes about it.

D Mick Weir

10/05/2011I caught only a few words Jovial Joe rabbiting on about the disaster that is due to fall on our heads at 7:30 pm tonight. A journo asked him whether if he was doing the budget would he $50 billion is spendings this budget to bring it back to surplus. Jovial told us he would never have spent money on blah, blah so he wouln't have the problem. Interesting, we will never know, but if he had been treasurer what would be the unemployment rate my bet is over six rather than under five as it currently is.

D Mick Weir

10/05/2011arrgh I am not good at self proof reading that shoold be '... if (Joe) was doing the budget would he [i]cut[/i] $50 billion [i]in spending[/i] this budget to bring it back to surplus.

D Mick Weir

10/05/2011Will you have a job if Mr Abbott gets the one he wants? Bit long, but a reasonable question to ask.

Jason

10/05/2011DMW, Joe reminded everyone that were he treasurer 12,000 public servants would have lost their jobs, and I bet that would only be the start of it!

lyn

10/05/2011Talk Turkey How nice you are. thankyou for composing such a magic little song for me. You have inspired my whole day. Every comment you put up Talk Turkey is valuable, always an enjoyable thoughtful opinion. I had two lovely compliments for "The Political Sword" yesterday, one from the manager of "On Line Opinion" and one from "Independent Australia" both very professional and sucessfull bloggs. We can all take a bow, Ad Astra gets to do a little tap dance. Norman K is special Talk Turkey, but you are magic. There were a couple of new blogs in the links today, I hope you enjoy them, I did. You will note, there is more compassion for the Asylum Seekers out there than we think. Lindsay Tanner's slogan is still the best, I think: Slogan's where's Solutions Cheers :):):):):)

Patricia WA

10/05/2011I feel that way too, TT. Only after my first coffee with Lyn's Links do I get around to pulling my old jeans on. I thought Lindsay Tanner's 'only slogans, no solutions' was a good one for this thread. Has it been used before? Or has he been reading TPS - I notice he gave the 'new media' the thumbs up for the future of good political journalism.

lyn

10/05/2011Hi Ad and Everybody Looks like Hockey's getting help, Peter Martin Check out the comments, has Turnbull forgotten the NBN. http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/05/looks-like-hockeys-getting-little-help.html Cheers

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011'More Tripe from Tony'. That's a guaranteed goer every single day. :)

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011Speaking of which, did anyone else catch the Sideshow Barker's spruiking of the Coalition's Disinformation Campaign re the Budget and the Carbon Tax? Apparently, the whole Budget document is a fraud on the taxpayers because it is doing with the Carbon Tax exactly what Howard and Costello did with the GST. That is, they didn't include the figures for it in the Budget until they had been finalised. So that makes Peter Costello and John Howard frauds then? Except the Budget is in no way, shape or form 'fraudulent', a point reinforced immediately after Abbott made the statement to the media by Tony Harris, ex-Auditor General of NSW. However, and what is of more interest to me, is the fact that the Opposition and Abbott do not care whether what they say to the media(and I must admit, the media's questions to Tony Abbott at his Presser were lame in the extreme, a mile wide and an inch deep), whether it is the truth, or not. All they care about is that what they say is reported, and what they say is absorbed by the unthinking. All they want is the frame, "This government is a fraud", to get through, right or wrong. Scandalous that politicians attempting to gain control over this country should behave in such a reprehensible manner, but that's Tony Abbott's Coalition for you. 'All Hat, No Cattle'.

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011Here's a very sad story from Poll Bludger today, Read it and really weep for what Howard, and his all too eager Mini Me, Tony Abbott has done and would readily do again to our country: Michael Cusack Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm [quote]Hi BK, Yes I have been absent on other business for a while. Among other things, I spent some time with my “temporary neighbours” at the coast, bogan tradies with too much money and too little intellectual capacity. The conversations I had with them reinforced to me the truths Bushfire has mentioned several times over the year. On one hand they boast of their financial sucess, demonstrated in their ability to purchase holiday homes worth nearly $1M, on the other they moan thet the economy is rooted. On one hand they boast of the rorts they have perpetrated against tax, first home owners grants, govt contracts, etc and on the other they incessantly moan about the rorts that reffos and single mothers alledgedly get up to. One evening they were moaning that Muslims would never fit into our society because “they have no sense of generosity like Aussies do”, later that night as I was going to Church I saw him dumping some clothes into the rubbish and asked if I could take them for St Vinnies as there was a demand in the local area. “No, f… em” was the reply. There is absolutely no evidence of introspection in their lives, no concept of consistency of thought, no human qualities of intellectualism. My wife thought they were like cattle, no feeling for others, ate when hungry, slept when tired, lay on the beach or verandah when bored, farted when necessary, and contemplated nothing. And blamed the govt for all the worlds ills. It was a totally depressing experience.[/quote]

Jason

10/05/2011Abbott Abbott Abbott out out out Anyone but Abbott Better a third term than a third-rater Abbott. Like a Rock. Only Dumber LNP Our Bridge to the 11th Century

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011Pot. Kettle. Black. [quote]A Dozen Global Warming Slogans, Bob Carter, Quadrant Online Australian press coverage of global warming policy over the last two months has comprised the endless repetition of numerous facile and utterly unconvincing sound-bites, designed with no other end in mind than propaganda.[/quote]

NormanK

10/05/2011[u]NBN[/u] The so-called white elephant that the opposition continually refers to, will in fact be doing all of the heavy lifting for our telecommunications needs into the second half of this century. It may be an elephant but it certainly isn't white. The NBN will be a 'user pays' system just like a toll road. Your broadband fees will contribute to the further roll-out of a fair and equitable system of communication for all Australians, not just those who can afford it. Why would you continue to let your broadband fees flow into the profits of multi-nationals when you could watch them being invested in a nation-wide system which is cheaper to use and in which you will be a shareholder?

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011NormanK, Did you see this? http://www.pcworld.com/article/227398/graphene_modulators.html#tk.rss_news

NormanK

10/05/2011FS I read the one you put up the other day on the subject but I haven't been able to determine whether this is something which needs to be included in the 'wrapping' of the fibre or whether it is independent of it. Admittedly, I haven't applied my brain to it. If it is the former, which is what I suspect - a combination of shield and modulator, the question will be can NBN Co afford to upgrade? Is it too late for some areas? If it is the latter, where does it fit in the system? Either way, it is incredibly exciting, isn't it?

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011NormanK, As far as my limited understanding of nanophysics goes, and upon a reading of the article, I believe that the graphene coat lays over the fibre so as to allow faster transmission of the signals sent down it. This is the money quote: 'Thanks to the tiny 25-square-micron size of these graphene modulators, optical cables could do away with the modulators measuring in millimeters used now. In effect, the optic cables could be shrunk which could potentially reduce their capacitance--the ability to hold an electric charge--and lead to faster data transmission.' As far as the NBN not being able to match this even newer technological advance, well, I sort of thought that that might be the case. However, I consoled myself with the fact that the NBN will always be faster than whatever the old wireless technology will ever be able to offer up. I mean, I just saw a Tweet from a Uni student complaining that his Uni wireless network drops out every 5 secs or so. And, yes, it is damn exciting what the future of optical fibre holds. Also, I presume that once we have the fibre backbone laid around the country, it will be easy to replace it with new types of fibre. Just keep on rollin', rollin' rollin'. :)

TalkTurkey

10/05/2011Anybody watch QT? *J*U*L*I*A* turned her back on Them! Walked about the way Abbortt does! Talked to other Members while Abbortt was squawking! I rejoice, even though it's sad really that *S*H*E* has decided to play rude too! 'Onya Labor, shield yourselves against the POO, (pun there!) and throw it back! Got 'em right up the nose today. Not one economic question, and the AS issue was a dead pig. Bowen killed it! In an unhappy situation, it could be that the Government has come up with the nucleus of a tolerably elegant solution. Heh heh, if it's so bad in Malaysian refugee camps, releasing 4000 of them in exchange for 800 unprocessed ones is obviously a net humanitarian plus, the coalition is all confused eh. ESPECIALLY if Malaysia is not a signatory to the Whatsit Agreement! It's quite wonderfully wedgy for Them! Abbortt was pathetic with his stupid MPI, Harry has told him that no such undisciplined raves will be tolerated in future, not before time. Poodle was warned at least twice. Morriscum was as nasty as you'd expect, but all up it was a wet demoralized effort from the Opposition. It's all setting in at last. It's just that they're so stupid, like headless turtles, still flopping their flippers, too dumb to realize they're already dead. Labor is set to get traction at last. Abbortt's on my TV all the time, he doesn't know that familiarity breeds contempt when it is nothing but huff and puff. But he has no other modus operandi anyway.

NormanK

10/05/2011FS We'll have to be careful just in case there are geeks monitoring our conversation which would make our speculation look more than a little naive. My confusion comes from the fact that a 'modulator' should be an incredibly small in-line box which converts signal pulses either up or down in frequency depending on whether they are going into the fibre or coming out. But the article sort of doesn't read that way and a bit of research shows that the article is pretty much a cut and paste of a press release so early searches turn up the same info. What the modulator should be is the pulse-maker that both feeds the system and converts signal as it leaves the fibre and enters the reception device. Another article that I found suggests that in the fullness of time this device might be incorporated into the chips on smart-phones thereby enabling very high download speeds. The bottleneck will continue to be the available spectrum etc. etc. but presumably you could plug your smart-phone into a fibre network and scorch a movie into it in seconds. If the modulator is an in-line device it will be no sweat for NBN Co to facilitate its incorporation either now as the cable goes out or later as up-grades are made to the system. We should keep an eye out for developments and I thank you for bringing it to my attention. We won't know ourselves in ten years' time.

thenewjj

10/05/2011Can anyone tell me how any of what i said in my previous post was anything like Coalition Talking points? As for your posts to one another so far this pretty well sums it up: ALP 1: Gee i luv Tanner, but i hate Jones for trying to get Tanner to answer questions. ALP 2: yeh ALP1 Tanner should be PM and Jones should be ditched. ALP 3: The new Labor party Asylum seeker policy = great because it wedges the coalition. It doesnt matter if it totally contradicts previous positions of the labor Party, as long as it feeds those trolls! ALP 4: Oh dont listen to that CS (common sense, it is me if you hadnt guessed) he is just a troll. ALP 3: What is a troll? ALP 4: I dont really know, but it sounds bad, like Conservative, so i use it. ALP 3: fair enough then. ALP 1: Yeh, CS just re crafts the coalition's talking points, here at PS we dont like re crafting, we just repeat exactly what head office tells us to. ALP 2: yep yep yep ALP 1 thats the way i like it. BIG BAD ALP MAN: i am sick and tired of listening to CS, i am deleting what he says because CS is rubbish! GRRRR! THE END

sue

10/05/2011Talk Turkey, the funny point in QT was when when Julie Bishop wanted to make sure that minors would not be sent to Malaysia. Now I would hate to think Julie Bishop was a hypocrite but were any minors were sent to Nauru.

lyn

10/05/2011Hi Ad Budget TV Tonight: Federal Budget 2011: coverage ABC: ABC1 and ABC NEWS 24 7.30pm – 8.30pm 7.30 Budget Special: The Treasurer’s Budget Speech 2011 WA – Coverage begins at 5.30pm. [b]SA – Coverage begins at 7pm.[/b] Live from Parliament House Canberra, Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan’s Budget speech. Hosted by Chris Uhlmann and Leigh Sales. Interviews with the Treasurer, and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey, along with immediate analysis of the economic, political and social implications of what the Government says will be a tough budget. (Simulcast on ABC News 24) 10.30pm Lateline - Budget Special Hosted by Ali Moore in Parliament House Canberra. Guests include Minister for Finance, Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Finance, Andrew Robb, as well as ANZ’s Warren Hogan, Australian Financial Review’s Political Editor Laura Tingle and The Australian’s Economics Editor Michael Stutchbury. (Simulcast on ABC News 24) http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2011/05/federal-budget-2011-coverage.html

Patricia WA

10/05/2011Lyn, further to your comment on Peter Martin's site about Malcolm Turnbull I've been playing around that idea while we wait with baited breath for them all to be let out of the Lock-up and take to the air waves! [b]Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense![/b] So Malcolm Turnbull is hosting a post-budget conference. Who is he hoping will attend his forum on finance, Businessmen or Liberal party members? Will this help advance His reputation, as Abbott shows too much belligerence And poor old Robb plus Hockey’s bluster inspire no confidence? Didn’t his rival farewell him once, in terms of excellence, Ironically describing him, ‘man of the renaissance’? Here he is, indeed ‘reborn’ with all his former nonchalance. Fighting NBN wasn't his route for re-emergence But a new 'trim' TV image can't be coincidence. There seems no doubt he has in mind to risk one more advance On party leadership. Does he dream of dalliance With Windsor and Oakeshott and other independents Just when Greens are poised to assume that fateful balance In the Senate of a power so crucial to our governance? Whatever the outcome of the Coalition power dance, Have any of our media commentators perchance Asked themselves the question of real significance; Is Malcolm Turnbull, with all his charm and grandiloquence, Any match for our PM in guile, strength and intelligence?

Patricia WA

10/05/2011Doesn't work as well as I'd hoped. I wonder if TT can make a better fist of something with that 'fateful balance' in the Senate. Still twiddling my thumbs. Why don't we have everyday 'lock-ups' Of journos with media releases in 'the cage?' Maybe we wouldn't get so many cock-ups, If made to read, digest, before their pen hit page.

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011jj, This is the sort of 'Common Sense' I respect: http://yfrog.com/h7jbjgp It provides the truth to the lie that Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott are peddling about '80% of refugees are still not in work and on welfare 5 years after coming to the country'. What they don't say is that most of them are not on Newstart Unemployment Benefit but studying hard to become productive members of Australian society, or starting up businesses, or studying and looking after their families, or even studying and working! Honestly, jj, I just can't fathom how you could support such a mendacious bunch of Christian White Supremacists.

TalkTurkey

10/05/2011Sue! How do you do! You know that famous poster of Uncle Sam in a tall RWB top-hat, pointing at you, eyes boring into you and with the legend WE WANT YOU! ? . . . I can imagine a poster of Death-Stare Bishop, hand up imperiously in STOP! mode, eyes freezing the blood of all who gaze thereon, with the legend WE DON'T WANT YOU! If the Government plastered posters of Mesma everywhere where there are refugee push factors, THAT would stop the boats! Or paint it on our patrol vessels, when boat-people saw one coming, kids would jump overboard in fright of their own accord! Wouldn't Reith love that! Nasking, Bring Back Maxine, Miglo, Adelaide Girl, Ummm, errr, all the others, G'day, it's been too long! Where's yous bin?

lyn

10/05/2011Hi Patricia Well done, excellent. Yes I think Malcolm sees a gap to squeeze into, the budget and finance is definately Malcolms forte. Patricia you are very innovative when you are twiddling your thumbs waiting. [quote]Here he is, indeed ‘reborn’ with all his former nonchalance. Fighting NBN wasn't his route for re-emergence But a new 'trim' TV image can't be coincidence. [/quote] Did you see this comment: [quote]I reckon It's Turnbull getting the massive help. Check out the photograph. It's either been photoshopped or he has had mountains of botox lately.[/quote] I think, just lock up the Journalists and don't let them pen at all, not the present lot anyway. [i]Budget 2011-12 I'm going in, Peter Martin[/i] [quote]At 1.00 pm I go into the lockup. They won't let me out until 7.30pm, when the Treasurer begins his speech to Parliament. Like I said, the budget speech will be here at 7.30pm eastern time, and instant analysis will be here.[/quote] http://www.petermartin.com.au/

Ad astra reply

10/05/2011FS I can only hope that what thenewjj typed in conclusion [i]THE END[/i] refers to his presence here. His nonsensical words beg to be disregarded.

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011PatriciaWA, A picture to add to your pome: http://www.smh.com.au/national/coalition-squabbles-over-oakeshotts-seat-20110509-1efwn.html

Ad astra reply

10/05/2011Folks I've been busy today with a hundred and one things so have not had time to respond to the many comments, and this evening I'm going to watch the Budget speech and the aftermath. I'll be back tomorrow.

lyn

10/05/2011Hi Ad Here is Crikey's Live Budget Blog: 2011 federal budget live blog Wayne Swan aka The Axeman has cometh, but how deep will his cuts be? The Axeman will deliver the much-anticipated first budget of the Gillard government, with a focus on returning the budget to surplus by 2012-13. For the latest developments join Crikey’s federal budget live blog featuring Bernard Keane and Nicholas Gruen post lock-up, Australia’s hairiest political analyst (Mr First Dog on the Moon) live from the Treasurer’s budget address, the rest of the Crikey gang and bonus coverage from Charles Richardson in Sweden. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011-federal-budget-live-blog/

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011All Budget, All the Time! :)

Ad astra reply

10/05/2011Folks Who would you have as Treasurer – the one who delivered the Budget Speech tonight and who in his interview with Chris Uhlmann, despite some difficult questions, showed he was across every aspect of the Budget and at times made Uhlmann’s questions look rather inept? Or Joe Hockey, who blustered through his interview with Uhlmann who did apply some acid for a change, refusing to support the Government’s spending cuts despite demanding them (we’ll look at the details); refusing to say what cuts he would make (except to the public service), once more talking of the $50 billion of cuts the Coalition ‘offered’ last year, which Uhlmann pointed out was seen as a chimera; and resorting to the old, old clichés about how much the Government is borrowing to service the debt (now up to $113 million a day according to Joe); how Government debt is forcing up interest rates, which it is not; and how this Government will never bring in a surplus budget, which it will. Never once did Hockey acknowledge that the higher-than-predicted deficit for this year and next was due to the extra cost of natural disasters (almost $10 billion), the lower than expected revenue, and the left over effects of the GFC. Apparently these things didn’t really happen and if they did, had no effect on the Budget. Hockey is a wind bag programmed to emit hot air in a predictable way, ready to tell any untruth, and happy to obfuscate and deceive. I sensed that Chris Uhlmann, and on ABC radio Eleanor Hall, were exasperated with him and his technique of talking over the interviewer when pressed for a direct answer. They ought to know him by now, but I wonder if they have reached the point of not being willing to put up with his bull, bluster and hot air any more. Could it be, as some of our visitors here have suggested, the ABC is trying to present a better balance in its political discourse? If that is so, watch out Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott.

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011Word Map of Wayne Swan's Budget speech: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150299077344988&set=a.134629924987.132856.72924719987&type=1&theater

BSA Bob

10/05/2011Ad astra at 9.12 Agreed. Hockey's performance was nauseatingly bad, the worry being that large segments of the media want to make him Treasurer, & bewilderingly most of the rest seem to think it would be a bit of a giggle. Acting P.M. Hockey putting in a performance like tonight's to defend an Abbott head lolling brain snap on the world stage is an interesting thought.

Ad astra reply

10/05/2011BSA Bob Joe Hockey will continue to be a worry until the MSM acknowledges that he is a windbag whose competence in matters economics is highly questionable. If he does know anything, it is obscured by his bluff, bluster and bull. When the media not only wakes up, but also exposes him for what he is, he will collapse like an deflated balloon.

Ad astra reply

10/05/2011Folks The general reaction to the Budget is good but not ecstatic, many feeling it is not as tough as portrayed beforehand. I would love to hear from these people where more savage cuts should have been made. Chris Richardson was one who looked for more cuts but was not too unhappy; I’ve never ever seen a budget that satisfied him. Heather Ridout was largely happy, but felt more should have been done for businesses adversely exposed to the high Aussie dollar; Cassandra Goldie of ACOSS was also reasonably happy, although she was less enthusiastic about the ‘getting people back to work’ provisions; Stephen Long thought it was ‘as tough as tofu’ but otherwise politically sound; [i]Crikey’s[/i] editorial gave it seven out of ten; Bernard Keane thinks it won’t save the Government but won’t kill it either, whatever that is supposed to mean, but acknowledged there were quality cuts; and almost as expected Alan Kolher gave it the thumbs down as not tough enough, and too reliant on Treasury forecasts that he insists are wrong. We might be concerned about his assessment if he had had a sound record of prediction, which he has not. I'm packing it in now. We'll get another dose of the Budget on [i]Lateline[/i].

Feral Skeleton

10/05/2011Nice set of Budget Day Lock-up photos courtesy of The Canberra Times: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/multimedia/23467/246247/inside-the-federal-budget-media-lockup.aspx

NormanK

10/05/2011Ad astra I couldn't agree more about the Uhlman interviews. I should acknowledge once again that I am slowly coming around to the opinion that Uhlman is not as partisan as I at first feared but that does not mean that I have grown any more enamoured of his style. Put yourself in Uhlman's shoes tonight. No doubt he has spent days poring over past budgets, analysing the many and varied leaks and announcements which have occurred over the last week or so and finally spent the last couple of hours combing through the budget papers in order to formulate a report and a series of meaningful questions. He will have endured long hours, complex figures and detailed documents, surrounded by serious-minded colleagues and staff. Then comes the time to reap the fruits of his labours. His interview with Swan goes well (from Uhlman's point of view) and then in trundles Mr Hockey. Uhlman must have felt all of that hard work being sucked away into a black hole and blown back at him as hot air by Hockey. All of the seriousness of the day mocked by the vacuousness of Hockey's responses. We all know what it is like to put in an enormous effort only to have it belittled and dismissed. I'm pretty sure that will be part of how Chris Uhlman felt by the end of that interview. I am no particular fan of Wayne Swan, nor am I a budget tragic but it seemed to me that he performed well tonight. And on the face of it, this budget hardly seemed like a 'declaration of war on dole bludgers'. I await with interest the pure as the driven snow 'left' response to it.

NormanK

10/05/2011FS Those photos make a perfect backdrop for my comments above. All of that industry, only to have Hockey come out and say .... well, nothing really. Thanks boys and girls, you can all go home now.

BSA Bob

10/05/2011Norman K at 10.13 Yes. I don't mind Swan, though.

Patricia WA

10/05/2011I don't know about being part of the 'pure as the driven snow' left, NormanK, but I am a rusted on leftie who has been despairing recently about the ALP's battering in the media and polls. Trying to turn a massive training initiative to bring more people into the paid work force into a war on the disadvantaged by some in the social services sector, supported by the Greens is quite astonishing. Bob Brown looked positively sour this evening but reserved judgement until he'd seen more detail. Jason's earlier comment to me about the general coolness over at Larvatus Prodeo being about the Greens there being disenchanted with Julia Gillard seems borne out again in their disdain for the budget generally. I was very pleasantly surprised by the reception given to Swan's budget by earlier ABC News presenters, their chosen pundits, and the few members of the public trundled up to the mike in Engadine. One parent of a disabled young woman was delighted with the opportunity for her traing and the chance of a job. And a young Uni was as delighted with the fairness of the Hecs fees measures. Joe Hockey and the Acting Shadow Finance Minister had obviously worked together on their response, hours if not days before the budget was presented, learned it off by heart and mouthed it off along with a lot of hot air, regardless of the questions put to them. I gather some of that feel good stuff didn't make it to 7.30 and looking into Lateline just now Ali Moore, Sutchbury and Hartcher were doing their best to hose down any likely advantage for the government. Hartcher maybe less so, but still damning with faint praise. Tomorrow we'll see how it all looks in the cold light of a new day.

Patricia WA

11/05/2011Hi Lyn encouraged by your comment I smartened Malcolm's photo up from Peter Martin's post and published it all in polliepomes. Learned a lot of new things about cropping. As I did when I copied in the one suggested by you, FS. Great idea. Thanks for that. Half past midnight! How time flies when you're having fun.

Matthias

11/05/2011Great article :-) ! In the last 30 years the number of billionaires has increased from 10 to 800. This is an explosion of super-rich by the 80-fold or 8000% As you know from our reports about the Bilderberger group and other talks with absolute TOP PEOPLE they expect that this number of billionaires will again grow by the factor 5 within a few years. Do you have any idea what this explosion of wealth on the one side will mean for the indebtedness on the other side, the private and especially public sectors?

lyn

11/05/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Budget 2011: Too much pain; not enough pain, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] if the Government had put in the carbon tax, which has not been agreed on and would be all guess work right now, it would make the budget complete hooey.But hey, who needs facts, data, reality… http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Think Badly of Malcolm? Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense!*. Patriciawa, Polliepomes[/i] It amused me to speculate that Malcolm might be using the post-Budget fall-out which could be damaging to Tony Abbott as an opportunity for another leadership challenge. http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/ [i]The Last Chance, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] Tony Abbott was an economic lightweight, he is an economic lightweight, and he always will be an economic lightweight. This week won't change that. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/05/last-chance-and-in-masters-chambers.html#comment-form [i]Random jottings from Budget Day, Malcolm Farnsworth, The Drum[/i] Regular as clockwork, Abbott rises at 2.59pm to move suspension of Standing Orders. He wants Gillard to stand before the House and explain the Malaysia solution… http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2500942.html [i]No chainsaw massacre, just modest cuts from Swan, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] Once again Wayne Swan has promised The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and delivered Twilight, with a suite of modest spending cuts over the remainder of this financial year http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/10/no-chainsaw-massacre-just-modest-cuts-from-swan/ [i]Expect A Deficit. And Don't Worry, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] It doesn’t help that many of the so-called impartial commentators, like Deloitte Access Economics’ Chris Richardson, share the curious fixation on government spending, without stopping to ask whether a modest deficit might be http://newmatilda.com/2011/05/10/expect-a-deficit-and-dont-worry [i]2011: Big Picture politics , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] We can ignore the Coalition because what we mostly hear from them on economics is them banging on about the "massive" debts and deficits and how the Gillard Government has not been http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/05/2011-big-pictur.php#more [i]Are we in danger of squandering the boom?, Damien Giurco, The Conversation[/i] important to improve the social and environmental performance of the mining industry.We also need to think beyond digging holes in the ground as a basis for our future prosperity as a nation. http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/are-we-in-danger-of-squandering-the-boom-1560 [i]Where the problem lies, The Piping Shrike[/i] Yet anyone with a mild grasp of democracy would know it’s the voters that are the solution. It may take time, as, like at most points in history, http://www.pipingshrike.com/2011/05/where-the-problem-lies.html [i]2 Billion* uncritical journalists, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] It’s hard to disagree with Gyfford when he points out how ludicrous it is that this sort of stuff gets published by “professional” news organisations: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/05/10/2-billion-uncritical-journalists/#more-10061 [i]Why Andrew Bolt shouldn’t be gagged (even if you don’t like him), Mumbrella[/i] Bolt is not some holocaust-denying extremist. He represents a mainstream point of view even if its one that many disagree with. http://mumbrella.com.au/why-andrew-bolt-shouldnt-be-gagged-even-if-you-dont-like-him-45933 [i]Be Tolerant of refugees - we'e almost boat people, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia[/i] Wretched souls escaping dreadful regimes where there is no value in human life.Abbott and Co call then queue jumpers.What queues? http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/australian-identity/be-tolerant-of-refugees-wee-almost-all-boat-people/ [i]Here we go again., Erdem Koc , Upstart[/i] The term ‘queue jumpers’ is not only entirely misleading, but it is incredibly insensitive and offensive to the people who we, under international law, have a right to protect. Or, at the very least, to attempt to protect. http://www.upstart.net.au/2011/05/09/rhetoric-on-cue/ [i]Trading refugees, Klaus Neumann, Inside Story[/i] “Across Malaysia, government officials regularly tear into the flesh of prisoners with rattan canes (rotan) travelling up to 160 kilometres an hour. The cane shreds the victim’s naked skin, http://inside.org.au/trading-refugees/ [i]Pointless, heartless, racist - Gillard's 'Refugee swap", The Conscience Vote[/i] Shame on you, Prime Minister. And shame on you, Mr Abbott, for scoring political points rather than truely holding the government to account for this revolting excuse for policy. http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/pointless-heartless-racist-gillards-refugee-swap/ [i]The ABC's Q and A gets in to crowd sourcing, Margaret Simons, The Content Makers[/i] We have just had confirmation that Fairfax’s CEO Greg Hywood will be one of those participating. We have also invited (but have yet to hear back from) ABC Managing Director Mark Scott and The Australian Editor in Chief Chris Mitchell. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/contentmakers/ [i]Politicians on Social Media - Another Political Joke! , Writing in Cyberspace[/i] Please Tony Abbott, put some clothes on! No-one wants to see a 50-something year old man donning “budgie smugglers” doing “pier to pub” swims and emerging from the beach like a try-hard Daniel Craig! http://writing-in-cyberspace.blogspot.com/2011/05/politicians-on-social-media-another.html

nasking

11/05/2011Phasing out the Dependent Spouse Offset is sheer bastadry & short-sighted. Plenty of chronically ill spouses having left stressful careers but too proud to push for permanent disability who pay heaps in healthcare/pharmacy costs rely on that wee bit of money to help out. For the ALP types like Penny Wong to grin as she announces the phasing out of this offset, a small amount that provides suffering spouses w/ a wee bit of dignity, goes to show how out of touch w/ some families/couples this government is. You kill yer middle class you kill yer country in the long run. To cut 2000 dollars or such out of people's annual income w/ a stroke of a pen and a smile on the assumption that all people who get the Dependent Spouse Offset are well-off types in leafy suburbs is just plain ignorant and stupid. This will cause many thousands of couples further financial hardship & mental stress. The ALP have lost my vote. It's enuff that our cost of living has gone thru the roof due to privatisation & mismanagement of water, electricity and other costs due to state ALP...and the rising interest rates have really bitten...as have food costs...but to cut this tax offset out on the myth that it helps the rich is the last straw. That and sending refugees to Malaysia. And that stupid approach to testing students. And losing a 100 billion on the super profits mining tax. I will not vote ALP again. They have proven to me that they are not a thoughtful & compassionate party...but rather political opportunists who look after their shareholder mates, big extorting trade unions (teacher fees are disgusting this year)...and too often waste money by not providing proper frontline staff (healthcare workers have told me this time and time again). Shame on you Labor. You have just put in place a budget that will lead to financial stress and misery for many...including small business that relies on middle class purchasing of their services & products. But then, I reckon the ALP really only give a stuff about big companies w/ their big union mates in them. Like I said, the ALP have lost my vote. N'

janice

11/05/2011Well, Swanee isn't a show pony (sigh of relief) but he's a damned good treasurer. The pro-coalition are scoring the budget around 3/10 whilst Bernard Keane, Peter Martin et al are giving it a 7/10. I am giving it 8/10. It was pleasing to see the budget received a good reception and it seems it is only Abbott and his crew are slamming it. Hockey showed how little he has between his ears and seemed shocked when Chris Uhlman asked him pointed questions. According to Hockey, the Opposition will "show" us all how to make the "right" cuts and spend less. Andrew Robb appears to have disappeared - some bloggers are wondering whether he has had a relapse and isn't well. Saw a comment in JTI's blog last evening that Pauline Hanson has won the recount. Anyone here know anything about it?

lyn

11/05/2011Hi Nasking Great to see you back. Hope you had a good rest. I clicked refresh, and there you are "a big Hi to you".

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Where's the ALP version of this? LiberalAus Got a #budget quote worth sharing? Post it on http://budgetresponse.com.au/ #MyLiberal

Jason

11/05/2011N, I haven't had a tax cut in years due to bracket creep, my partner can't get either family benefit part A or B because I earn to much! do we long for a Abbott government? NO! So Labor has lost your vote! lucky for you Abbott will be a more caring PM and keep handing out middle class welfare.

nasking

11/05/2011Hi Lyn. I hope yer well. I'm not back for long. My health has deteriorated badly...and this government is causing my wife & I alot of stress. Jason, They are phasing out the whole Dependent Spouse Rebate over time…and basically once again kicking childless couples in the head. Do you know how many childless couples are out there who already have suffered emotionally by losing kids or due to lack of fertility, treated like second class citizens because they don’t have children even tho they may have wanted children…and where one of the spouses has a long-term mental or physical (possibly both) health problem(s) that keeps them at home…and the only assistance that couple gets is the Dependent Spouse Rebate? There are thousands. I know of three. It’s thoughtless cuts based on the assumption that all dependent spouses are wives of rich blokes who would rather stay home and do their nails. What this government fails to realise is there are thousands upon thousands of people who fall thru the cracks…who are not on a disability pension…but are chronically ill and pay heaps for pharmacy goods and healthcare tests and such…who do not get a healthcare card or any other support…and the only break they get is this tax offset. To cut over 2 grand out of that couple’s yearly income in one go at a time when things are so tight, interest rates so high, food costs up…it’s pure shortsightedness, mean-spirited and callous. And it doesn’t take properly into account the wage of the working partner. Furthermore, One reason I supported Labor because I was concerned about the way refugees were being treated. And now they want to send them to bloody Malaysia. Might as well be Nauru...be safer for them. Another reason I supported Labor was the War on Terror obsession. I don't see any difference now between the two...and in fact my own concerns have risen about the role of Iran...and having seen what Pakistan gets away w/ because they have nukes it has led me to lessen my anger towards the Coalition...particularly as Howard was careful not to get as involved in the Iraq misadventures as much as Bush woulda liked. It was the Coalition that provided the First Home Owner Grant that helped my wife get our lovely home...and now the ALP's decisions are ensuring that our quality of life is diminishing by the year because they want to keep hitting professional childless couples and others who they think are disposable at the ballot box. Regardless of the fact that those couples might be helping out elderly parents, giving to charities, purchasing goods & services from small companies & volunteering. And/or dealing w/ serious ongoing health problems. This government act like robotic, bureaucratic robots...no real deep thought behind some of their decisions. They want to freeze benefits and cut tax offsets...in a time where things are getting real tight...and many businesses are doin' it tuff...and sectors are flat...interest rates & electricity costs are high...as is food... and they only offer up a few measly millions for dentalcare... yet they waste money on digital setboxes, redoing insulation that shoulda been monitored properly...and want to pay teachers to compete against one another... and they wonder why people like my wife & I are determined now to vote Green then Liberal. I'm not surprised - after playing w/ people's heads for the past three years - that they are putting more into mental health...by the end of this term I reckon heaps will have been pushed over the stress barrier into mental ill health. I'm tired of supporting a government that does little but play opportunistic games...and seems to enjoy bashing the likes of me & my wife...once supporters. And don't get me started on the stress that the NAPLAN test & dopey MySchool site has caused my wife and other teachers. Sense of long-term stability if you work in a disadvantaged school? NIL. Labor can go jump as far as I'm concerned. I don't need the stress & games. N’

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Jason, I think Nasking is inferring he will vote Green from now on. Still, it certainly is a contradictory position from Nasking, to be sure. The government are supposed to keep an age-old Dependant Spouse Tax Offset for childless couples, which has been rorted for years by the wealthy, because it would wound his pride to have to claim the Disability Pension? Come on. If he is Disabled due to having been invalided out of the workforce then he should face the fact. It certainly didn't stop another ex-Teacher, and new MP for the Liberal Party in NSW from doing just that until he got a new job in State Parliament. Who knows, if Nasking went on the Disability Pension he might, as a result of the Budget's intiatives, end up with a nice little earner too, on top of the DSP. Plus he would be putting back into the society that is supporting him with its tax dollars. Unless he's trying to avoid that prospect, of course, by staying out of sight and out of mind as a Dependant Spouse. Look, I'm in a very similar position to Nasking, it seems to me. I have had a debilitating back injury that has plagued me all my life. I have gradually worsening arthritis. I have 2 teenage kids to bring up ON MY OWN, with no help from a working spouse whatsoever. What I do know is that I do not want to languish in this position for the rest of my life. I would love a job whereby I can get some dignity back into my life and be also able to provide better for my children. At the moment employers don't want to know me because I am >50 and they don't want to put the effort into retraining older workers that they won't be able to get a lifetime of service out of. Only a Labor government, with its Budget last night, has shown that they care about people like me, but also that they have had enough of the people in our community prepared to let overseas workers come in and take jobs Aussies could be doing, even if only part-time if only they were reskilled for those jobs, and they also care about the young people that drop out of school and go nowhere fast. Tony Abbott would have those young people doing unskilled work for his fruit growing mates at piecemeal rates, or for their dole money, after having ripped them out of their local communities and sent them off to goodness knows where as latter-day swaggies and indentured labour, and Tony Abbott doesn't give two hoots about my dignity or the prospects of an employer being made to take me on. Only the Labor Party cares about the Forgotten People.

Patricia WA

11/05/2011Nice comment from the St. Vincent de Paul spokesman[quote]This is the test of the new welfare morality: that increased obligations are commensurate with the additional assistance on offer. It’s a test that the welfare initiatives in the Budget pass. [/quote] That was an 'on-quote' from <a href=http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/> Grogs Gamut</a> who, as usual, did a really good overview of the budget. If pnly journos at large had his professionalism.

Ad astra reply

11/05/2011Nasking Welcome back. We've missed you. I'm sorry to read that your health has deteriorated. I wish you a steady return to good health.

Ad astra reply

11/05/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Nasking, Greens first, Liberal second? Well it's just as well you don't have children because there's no hope of a Greens government and every prospect of a Coalition government if people like you give them their preferences, and one things as clear as a bright sunny day, Tony Abbott doesn't give a tinkers cuss about the children of the poor, except in so far as they can provide the unskilled labour that he constantly states he wants the unemployed to get off the dole and do, and the poor to be funnelled into due to lack of opportunity as a result of their parent's inability to pay sky-high tuition fees and associated costs of further education. Just like it was fast turning out under John Howard. Abbott is no different and probably would be a hell of a lot worse, with the emphasis on 'Hell'. I didn't know you were so narrow-minded as to buy that grub's schtick, nor possessed of so much wounded pride as to not be willing to admit that you are Disabled. As far as I know, and as someone who used to work while their spouse, when alive, was on a Disability Pension, your wife could still work as a teacher while you claimed the DSP. I honestly do not think that you would be financially worse off as a result, and probably better off as you would qualify for subsidised Pharmaceutical Benefits, Travel Concessions and Medicare Bulk Billing, among other things. Still, you're entitled to your view, perverse as it is.

NormanK

11/05/2011Patricia WA I should perhaps have referred to the 'hard left' or 'extreme left' or some such nonsense - perhaps I was trying to be clever or facetious. It was from yourself and Feral Skeleton that I was hoping for a report since you are our agents in the field monitoring the likes of LP and the Twitter feeds. I was dismayed to hear of the knee-jerk response to the PM's speech and the subsequent media headlines of a 'crackdown' when there was very little indication that that was what was in the offering. Just wondering if those fears have been allayed. It will be a strange day indeed when I have a dig at you, PWA. :) I am a non-swinging voter firmly ensconced to the left of centre (the old centre not the current confection).

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011NormanK, Grog's blog does a nice take on the initial headlines. As for the Twitterverse, it's been overloaded most of the morning and I can't connect to it atm. Poll Bludger lately has been swamped with Liberal, cough, commenters, which we get enough of here. :) Crikey had a Live Blog last night and reaction was fairly muted. Generally I think that the reaction has reflected the Budget, dour and workmanlike. Except for Nasking, it seems. :) What I might do later is go and buy a Fin Review and see what Laura Tingle had to say, unless someone with an online subscription can naughtily Cut and Paste her assessment here.

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011janice, All I know about the Pauline Hanson recount is that she was arguing for the fact that her supporters were too stupid to understand how to vote correctly for her. :)

nasking

11/05/2011Feral, you have yer view, I have mine. Something I'd like to make clear tho as I've stated on LP... The government didn’t have the courage to take on the Palmers & Rineharts…so they hit those w/ less influence…and voting power. Tells me alot about them. My wife said this morning that she is now terrified of them bringing in a carbon price…even tho she wants to see a shift to cleaner energy she has, like me, lost trust in this government…feels that they will compensate the big polluters at the expense of workers like her…that Gillard will kowtow to big business and big unions. These latest budget cuts & measures demonstrate that the middle class are going to be expected to take all the burden of the carbon tax and future cuts…at a time when many sectors other than mining are flat or in trouble…and it is the middle class that helps keep small business thriving… whilst the rich are using their influence to keep their privileges and subsidies… so we end up w/ the middle class being shrunk…and are well on the road to a badly divided society…just the rich…and the working poor. In a work ’til you drop Gillard Nation. Feral, you refer to the offset as a rort...as usual you let yer political bias lead you to an ignorant statement. I know three people who have mental & other chronic illnesses who have received the measly 2 grand offset. It helped them keep some pride w/out draining the public purse more. That goes for me too...hoping that oneday I can escape this illness hell. But no, we have a government run partially by extreme feminists who believe in this myth that the Dependent Spouse Rebate is just about keeping women at home...unable to think outside of their ideological box...now driven by the demands of big mining companies calling for more workers. And wanting to prove themselves as tough as Abbott. I'd prefer to vote for the real tough guy than pretenders who stupidly stomp on people's toes...who spend inordinate amounts of time screwin' around w/ voter's heads...as they did w/ pensioners at the beginning of their 1st term...as they have w/ the mentally unwell up until now...as they did w/ people w/ disabled kids...as they have w/ refugees...as they did w/ roof insulation workers that were left in the lurch...as they have w/ teachers & health workers...as they did w/ Green energy companies (still do) you just never know where you stand w/ this lot...and you spend hour upon hour trying to justify their games & incompetence and eventually realise they don't give a stuff unless yer the vote or big union or big business they are trying to buy. Well, I've had my fill. This government never had the guts nor the goal to do anything about shifting us from coal...unless it was nuclear (and wasn't that blown outa the water lately?)... they blew 100 billion in that poor super profits deal w/ the miners...and decided to hit the lower middle class and upper working class instead. No Denticare...no fast trains between big cities...just more cars on the road...more accidents...more infrastructure for the big miners who they kowtow to... And as far as I see it they are just like the Democrats in America...they are using testing, transferring power to principals, performance pay and the MYSchool site to lay the foundations of a corporate takeover of our schools... and spending millions on chaplains rather than the counsellors required. I believe now that Gillard is the corporate fox in the henhouse. I might as well vote for the Liberal party that is the pro-business party I know. Rather than the "tricky dick" ALP business party that pretends to be otherwise...and w/ stealth destroys all I treasure...or have left. I think NSW is a great example of how grotesque this ALP can get. They've lost my trust. And I now reckon the carbon price & NBN will only benefit their shareholder mates...and their rich allies...and that certain few "family" voters who they need to keep them in power. I no longer intend to ruin my health defending them. N’

TalkTurkey

11/05/2011Nasking, Good to see you. Pity about the Bear's head being so sore though! You have poked the Government in some sensitive spots, and with some justification it would seem, always remembering that there's always two sides and arguments will be made each way. There will always be winners and losers from every budget, and further, one might win in some ways and lose in others. As Jason points out. Jason himself is a case in point. He gripes too about the Labor Party for completely different reasons, but he's a Labor Man to the bone. It's a complete no-brainer, for the simple reason that the Coalition has no brains! Nor heart for that matter. Now it may be that the Government is displeasing you in many ways, but - (you know what's coming!) - the Coalition would be out-of-sight worse. That's negative reasons, OK, but the lesser of two weevils is still less of a pain than the greater. In Cornish Pasty, a very old book by Oswald Prior of captioned cartoons from the Copper Triangle in South Australia where many Cornish miners came in the first days of this colony, there's one picture of a posh-looking big-bellied boss-man (always referred to as Cap'n) with gold watch, and thumbs stuck in his waistcoat, with a group of some sad-looking goateed miners wearing helmets with candles stuck to the front, and bowyangs - (there's a word you don't hear a lot of, award yourself a Turkey Feather if you know what it is!) - They're saying to him, "Eightpence an hour, Cap'n? Why that ain't hardly nothin'!" and he's smugly replying, "Better take 'un, boys, nothin's better'n nothin' at all!" Nas, you may be disgruntled about Labor . . . but really . . . you're not going to let your vote go to the Coalition . . . Are you??? I think in getting a generally agreed 7 out of 10 the government has done a lot better than 7 out of 10 iyswim. Any more ticks by some would mean markedly less by others. Personally, I think Swan who has the job of framing (sorry FS) a budget to which most will give a fair pass, did pretty well. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nas I wrote the foregoing before most of these last posts - not long after your first one. I am sorry to hear of your infirmity. But as far as changing your vote away from Labor, there's hardly anyone on the Sword would want you to do that, and the ones who would were agin Labor to start with.

lyn

11/05/2011Hi Ad Here are two links I enjoyed this morning, I think you will too, along with our readers: ADVERTISERS PULL PIN ON 'THE BOLT REPORT', Your Daily Spa Once they found out that these spots were run during The Bolt Report, they asked Ten not to run the spots during this time again. The impression I’m getting is that they were already onto this before anyone from our group contacted them, and had already made the decision not to align themselves with the content on Bolt’s show. We may have nudged them slightly, but this was totally their call, their business decision.” http://themusic.com.au/newsletter/advertisers-pull-pin-on-the-bolt-report Facebook group urges advertisers to boycott The Bolt Report, Mumbrella The TeleChoice television commercial aired during The Bolt Report was advertising air time purchased prior to Channel Ten altering its programming. Since reviewing the program, TeleChoice has decided to no longer advertise in this timeslot as some of the program’s content is not aligned with TeleChoice’s brand values. It is never our intent to endorse content that could offend our customers. Another group member claimed that he received a response from Mr Rental, which would also be withdrawing its ads from the show. On its first run, The Bolt Report pulled in 163,000 viewers in its morning slot and 123,000 for its afternoon encore. http://mumbrella.com.au/facebook-group-urges-advertisers-to-boycott-the-bolt-report-45912

nasking

11/05/2011"I wish you a steady return to good health." Thnx Ad astra. I do hope you are in good health. Unfortunately I've had a bad run the past few mths...and now find it hard to breathe after a few steps...and my body is racked w/ pain for some reason. Presently undergoing heart tests and other tests. It's probably best I don't say much more...but my views on some issues and politicians have gradually altered in the past few months...and as you can tell I'm not as well disposed towards this government as I once was. I still have my problems w/ Abbott, as you know I was a harsh critic...but I have learnt to respect his passion and perserverance. If the ALP had put half the effort into selling the ETS & the last election that Abbott has prosecuting the case against the carbon tax they woulda shone by now. I also respect the fact that he visits markets and promotes fruit & veges...and good physical effort. Julia Gillard's glib comment that she "doesn't even know how to make toast" is a pathetic message for our youth. I just find she lacks "roundness" and verve for life...which Abbott seems to have. And oddly, Gillard seems to push religion & religious funding as much as Abbott...I fail to see the difference. I also respected Abbott for getting out there w/ the Aboriginal people whilst Gillard played Royal Wedding. Strangely, I think Abbott is growing on me. N'

BSA Bob

11/05/2011Lyn et al Looking at the Andrew Elder piece you link to this morning, I thought this quote was a stunner; "The sheer indulgence required to maintain Tony Abbott at the top level of Australian politics has been one of the most amazing features of contemporary politics." There's a hell of a lot in that.

nasking

11/05/2011Hi TalkTurkey, thanx for the feedback. Unfortunately I think it's gonna take alot of convincing to get me to change my vote back to the ALP now...I'm really am so pissed & disappointed w/ them. Yes, I'm pleased they've put more money into training & mental healthcare...and for disabled students. But I'm not convinced that money will reach frontline services. And like my wife, I'm extremely worried about who will take the burden of the carbon price when it comes in. My wife & I paid for 100% wind power for one year...now 2 years 25% windpower (also have a gas stove & water heater)...and not once have we seen rebates to provide incentive. Just skyrocketing electricity bills. We don't believe the ALP is bona fide about clean(er) energy. And the thought of teachers competing for reward payments just sickens me based on my own experience in schools. There is enuff politics & departmental rivalries in schools w/out adding to it. And how this government can let the big miners continue to reap the big rewards whilst people's teeth rot in their heads due to the cost of dentalcare...it makes me irate. I'm sorry...but something stinks about this government...the way it treats The Greens lately part of it. At least Abbott rides a bike and saves carbon output. I never thought I'd read myself saying such things...but health & financial misery can change a person's outlook...especially when they're trying to help sick, aged parents...who have similar suspicions regarding the government's motives...and are feeling heaps of stress about the impending introduction of a carbon price...already terrified to put on their one wee air conditioner during very hot days, or heater during cold days...because of skyrocketing electricity bills coming from rich executive run companies that the ALP helped create by way of privatisation. Anyway, that's all from me. Not feeling the best. Cheers...keep well all. N'

TalkTurkey

11/05/2011Lyn Love it that "Advertisers pull pin on Bolt Report" But I'd have liked it worded "Advertisers screw nuts off Bolt"

Jason

11/05/2011N, "And how this government can let the big miners continue to reap the big rewards whilst people's teeth rot in their heads due to the cost of dentalcare...it makes me irate." Well if your mate Abbott had have passed it in the senate you would have nothing to complain about! let him grow on you he's the reason your missing out on things!

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Nasking, Self-serving BS: [quote]'The government didn’t have the courage to take on the Palmers & Rineharts…so they hit those w/ less influence…and voting power.'[/quote] If advocating a Mineral Resources Rent Tax and a Price on Carbon pollution, isn't taking on the 'Palmers and Rheinharts', I don't know what is. Who do you think is paying for Tony Abbott's countrywide campaign? And to blame the government that tried to get the extra $60 Billion for the country but wilted in the face of a full-force assault from the media, the Opposition, the Palmers and the Rheinharts that succeeded in debasing our democracy, is just a poisonous perspective that has infected your mind. And, by the way, must I reiterate, I am dead pleased that a government has shown that it actually cares about me and mine and wants us to enjoy the dignity of a job which doesn't insult our intelligence, nor condemn us to the makework and unskilled 'Work for the Poor' scheme, which is how Abbott's 'Work for the Dole' mantra should be renamed. I don't feel like I have been 'hit' by the government in last night's Budget, I feel like I have been given a shot at being able to put my head up again in my community, where the first question always asked of strangers is, 'Oh, and what do you do?" So, yes, the action taken by the government last night DOES tell me a lot about them. A lot that I like and feel grateful for. [quote]'My wife said this morning that she is now terrified of them bringing in a carbon price…even tho she wants to see a shift to cleaner energy she has, like me, lost trust in this government…feels that they will compensate the big polluters at the expense of workers like her…that Gillard will kowtow to big business and big unions. [/quote] More arrant nonsense and presupposition. Abbott is the one who wants to slyly use ordinary taxpayers' money to pay big polluters to do what a Carbon Price will compel them to do using market forces and ALL THEIR OWN MONEY FROM A PRICE ON CARBON levied on them, not ordinary taxpayers. I mean, hasn't your wife heard about the compensation for her and not the big polluters. The tax on them will pay the compensation to her. However, it seems to me that you and your wife don't care about the truth. You've set yourself against the Gillard government and are now in the phase of using whatever your creative minds can cook up between you to condemn them. Facts don't matter. Emotion does. And we all know how that clouds judgement. Oh, and thanks for condemning my children to a life of no opportunities without the money to pay for them under your new best mate, 'Hard Man' Abbott. 'At least you know where you stand with him'? Puhlease. And the sexist crap about feminists running the country. That's why we've finally got a Paid Parental Leave Scheme which was only going to happen over Tony Abbott's dead body. Oh, that's right, you don't have children, nor have children with the prospect of having children and wanting to have paid time off to care for them, so you don't care. You'd rather abuse the woman and the government who fought hard to get over 'Hard Man' Abbott's politically dead body to give it to those women in our society who used to have to go back to work when their baby was 6 weeks old under Howard(and Abbott) because they couldn't afford to stay home with it. But what do you care? You'd rather bellyache about the dignity that a couple of thousand gives you because you're too proud to go on a Disability Pension, and now vote for a man who would abolish the hard won rights that women have fought long bloody battles for over the last century, because, 'at least you know where you stand with him'. Not to mention that Abbott would be a hell of a lot harder on Disability Pensioners than Gillard ever would. But that's right, you don't want a DSP, so you don't care, really. What a pathetic phallocentric argument you have made, Nasking. And to whine about how hard your life is financially. Try bringing up 2 children in rented accomodation, providing for their education and well-being, and, yes, physical and mental health, on only $500 odd dollars a week. You truly have descended into the irrational world of the ideological, self-centred purist that seems to have infected blogs like Larvatus Prodeo. And you're welcome to it. I prefer supporting a party that tries to solve the real problems that real people at the bottom of the ladder face, where I am looking up at you and your wife from. I'm definitely happy that teachers who aren't bludgers are going to be paid more because they have made the effort to take an interest in my kids future. Oh, that's right, your wife and her friends in the teaching industry don't like that idea because it might start to identify their compatriots that just 'turn up' to school every day and aren't really interested in teaching my kids. And don't try and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. I've done a Grad Dip Ed, and I have had 2 children who have been in the education system for 14 years and I well know what sort of teachers get served up to my kids. I'd rather have the good ones paid more than the time servers and failures, thank you very much. It's called an incentive. Something that the whiners in the AEU refuse to admit is wanted by the parents of the children. The important ones in the Education equation. It's one of the reasons why so many parents have taken their kids out of the Public Education system. Maybe your wife might like to contemplate that. I won't hold my breath waiting for acknowledgement of the potential positives. As for this: [quote]And I now reckon the carbon price & NBN will only benefit their shareholder mates...and their rich allies...and that certain few "family" voters who they need to keep them in power.[/quote] That's just an unsubstantiated billious rant from what seems to me to be one embittered individual. But yer entitled to yer opinion, Nasking.

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Jason, Nasking has also been sucked in by Abbott's Howardesque 'Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body' schtick. Oh, he goes to Fruit & Veg Markets! Maybe because Teresa Gambaro's family owns them and provides a supportive environment for him there. It also supports his facade and the lines he crafts to toss out at the government on a daily basis, very, very well. Also to sneer at Julia Gillard because she has admitted to only being able to cook toast, well, has he seen Abbott cook anything with all the lovely Fruit & Veg he surrounds himself with? I bet his wife does all the cooking. He probably can't even make toast. Or does it as well as he does the ironing. It's just sad to see Nasking, and his wife, and his parents blame Labor for the multinational energy companies lack of investment in infrastructiure over decades, which is causing the rising electricity prices that seem to distress them; especially when the ALP have only been in power and able to do anything about it for 3 short years. Nasking says Tony Abbott is slowly growing on him. Nuh. He's slowly pulling the wool over his eyes. He'll live to regret it if he gets his wish and he contributes to turfing out the only party that actually cares about the little people and Tony Abbott gets to rule his 'Guided Democracy'. I mean, who gave Pensioners the only decent raise in their pensions to pay for their increased 'Cost of Living pressures', which the Liberals bleat on about as if they care? The Labor Party! Still, when pensioners truly suffer again and go back to eating dogfood, like they were under Howard, and their teeth were rotting in their heads so much that they couldn't eat hard food and especially the Fruit and Veg that provide the colourful backdrop for the flint-hearted, 'Hard Man' Abbott that is 'growing on' him, nasking will have no one to blame but himself.

sawdustmick

11/05/2011Nasking if you feel that hurt about Labor then you should definitely vote for Tugger. Of course you know that he had no intention of tackling climate change with his DAP. Perhaps you could explain to the rest of us how his policy works. I am tipping that if he is elected in 2013 he will drop the plan. You mention the loss of some 100 Billion from the mining tax, however, you do realise that under Abbott there will zero mining tax in fact Abbott is on the record that he believes that the miners actually pay more than their fair share. I guess from your post that you have bought the spin from Tugger on the Carbon tax and he has won you over. PS. Privatisation is the Liberal Parties ideology so you are kidding yourself if you believe that they will not privatise every public utility that moves when given opportunity.

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011sawdustmick is right. The Liberals want to Privatise Education, remember? Vouchers for schools that are run by local school owners and the Churches. With society's dregs whose parents can't afford to pay for their education left to rot in what is left of the underfunded Public School system. Some people just don't realise when they are being had big time by the Liberals.

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Nasking, Peas in a pod, the Australian Liberal Party and the American Republican Party. And I know I'm on solid ground here because this is exactly the policy that John Howard and Tony Abbott were advocating in government and would introduce again in a heartbeat, should 'Mr Healthy Exercise' Abbott become our Prime Minister. You and your teacher wife should read it and weep for what would become of Public Education in this country. Or, don't you care, do you only care about your paypackets? http://www.alternet.org/story/150868/the_devos_family%3A_meet_the_super-wealthy_right-wingers_working_with_the_religious_right_to_kill_public_education?akid=6945.172728.CJD2Tl&rd=1&t=2 I mean, you want to give your vote to the man who supports this? And he does, don't kid yourself otherwise.

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11/05/2011Hi Lyn That is an interesting development about the [i]Bolt Report[/i]. No doubt TEN will continue with or without advertisers to avoid losing face, at least for a while. Many of the viewers of the initial program would have been conservative voters who will return, but many would have been curious onlookers to see what his program was all about who will not return, except a few of us tragics who will. TEN is a commercial outfit, and will not keep a program going at that desirable time slot if it is financially unviable. So we will look on with curiosity.

lyn

11/05/2011Hi Talk Turkey Thanks for the big Laugh you gave me. One of the best presents, I told everyone you are magic. [quote]Love it that "Advertisers pull pin on Bolt Report" But I'd have liked it worded "Advertisers screw nuts off Bolt" [/quote] Cheers

lyn

11/05/2011Hi BSA Bob I agree great para, amazing feature alright. "[quote]The sheer indulgence required to maintain Tony Abbott at the top level of Australian politics has been one of the most amazing features of contemporary politics." [/quote] There's a hell of a lot in that.

Patricia WA

11/05/2011FS, thanks for your relentlessly rational response to Nasking. Now I don't need to reply to him point by point, which in one sense I knew had to be done. He's not one of our trolls to be ignored. TT and AA have both touched on our more personal concerns and needing to reply to Nasking today. This is not the N' we've met and warmed to before here and at Cafe Whispers. Sometimes when we're in a really bad head space it's natural to blame something or someone outside of ourselves for everything that seems to be going wrong. The 'gummint' has long been many people's scapegoat. Because he's more intelligent than most N' has refined that a bit and narrowed it down somewhat unfairly, as we would see it, to the ALP and Julia Gillard. It's hard to produce a budget for a national economy which encompasses every possible individual case in a broad category of people e.g. dependent spouses or unmarried teenage mothers. There are probably many individual cases in those two groups whose needs won't be met by what is intended by the the government's policies for the whole group and that of the country at large. In better health and a more optimistic mood N' would be among the first to argue just that. By the way I do agree with N' about the urgent need for more spending on dental services. I'd discard school chaplains and put that money towards public dental care. Without being an economist I am reluctant to be more critical of this budget which seems to have been given a big tick by the experts, even a mark of 7/10, and more than a pass by the community at large.

NormanK

11/05/2011Have I got the wrong end of the stick here? [quote]We will also reduce disincentives for secondary earners to work by phasing out the dependent spouse tax offset [b]for those aged 40 or under[/b].[/quote] http://www.kateellis.fahcsia.gov.au/mediareleases/2011/pages/b01_10052011.aspx

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11/05/2011Nasking It’s good that you have returned to [i]TPS[/i] to blog. Some of those that have read your comments in the past are surprised to read that ‘Tony Abbott is growing on you’, while so many here feel increasingly repulsed by his words and intentions. We are each entitled to our views, which as you indicate are influenced by our contemporary experience. Be assured, your opinions as a co-blogger are accepted even when there is disagreement with your viewpoint.

TalkTurkey

11/05/2011Nasking said: "Strangely, I think Abbott is growing on me." I don't mean to twist the knife Nas but do you think that Abbortt might be the growth that's causing you so much pain? You have astonished me and many more of us with your bitterness. You have the right to be bitter, if that's what you want. But we are all saddened by you. We are generally I think not fair-weather friends on this site, but if you jump ship and swim away in a storm there's nothing we can do but grieve. Abbortt is real bad weather. BTW I have to say I think you are being unfair to a great many people. Venceremos!

Jason

11/05/2011FS, My heart bleeds for this lot!And Nasking thinks he's hard done by! http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/balancing-act-makes-for-some-hard-choices/story-fn8gf1nz-1226053616581 AT first blush, Julia Gillard should have nothing to fear from Marie-Louise and Phil Allardyce, working parents of two young girls living in Melbourne's inner-west seat of Gellibrand -- the safest Labor seat in the nation. Like three out of four of their voting neighbours, they plumped for Julia Gillard's ALP at last year's federal election. An angry Ms Allardyce last night said this budget would make her reconsider her vote. "She is a woman and I thought she would understand the pressures in the workplace," she said of the Prime Minister. "Maybe Gillard should have a child. "We have made the choice to better ourselves. When I came to Australia I worked my way up and sacrificed a lot. "But the government are making it bloody hard. We need people who want to better themselves and I thought that is what Australia stood for." The Allardyces both work full-time and together earn about $200,000 a year. That makes the Dutch-born working mum rich according the federal government. She doesn't feel that way. "Food, clothing, gas electricity -- it all adds up. The more money you earn, the more you have to do for it. It is not as if I have a cushy job." Mr Allardyce works in the building industry and Ms in recruitment. Like many families, balancing work, family and finances is their biggest daily challenge. Paris, 6, has started primary school and attends after-school care. Elle, 3, is in daycare. Ms Allardyce said she went back to work to set an example to her daughters and to ensure they had every opportunity. She tried to go back part-time, but it cost more than she earned. Now Ms Allardyce starts work at 6.30am so she can pick up Paris and Elle at 4.30pm, works from home on Wednesdays and has a roster with other parents for the school run. "That's the reality," she said. "Our school doesn't have a before-school program and not a lot of employers do school hours, then there's holidays and curriculum days. If I'm sick I can't take a day off." The couple would love to have a third child, but despite a healthy combined income, they believe they cannot afford to. "We're paying $2000 a month in childcare and $3000 a month in tax," Ms Allardyce said. "If they changed the $7500 childcare rebate our only other option would be to get a nanny and share with two other families, but we chose childcare for the interaction, which makes starting school easier. "You have no idea the costs involved (with having children) and the emotional baggage. You're damned if you do (work) and your damned if you don't." With the cost of living increasing, eligibility for family benefits should have been lifted, Ms Allardyce said, as tax brackets were not keeping up with the true value of a dollar. Instead, they have been frozen by the budget.

NormanK

11/05/2011As a moderate individual I do wonder why every knee-jerk reaction to announced policy shows no capacity for giving the benefit of the doubt to the government. Why is it that only the very worst possible outcomes and intentions are entertained? In Lyn's links today there is an article by Klaus Neumann entitled [b]Trading Refugees[/b] which whilst it is critical of the proposition of an agreement with Malaysia, it does spell out the potential positive outcomes of such a deal. [quote]Given that Australia has committed to funding the arrangement, however, the Najib government could demand that Australia help it treat all other refugees and asylum seekers currently living in Malaysia “in accordance with human rights standards.” Australia would then, commensurate with its economic capabilities and regional leadership aspirations, be able to initiate a genuine regional solution for forced migrants in the Asia-Pacific. It would facilitate the integration of forced migrants in Malaysian society by providing money for additional teachers and doctors. It would fund a well-trained police force whose only purpose is to uphold the law, and allow Malaysia to disband the People’s Volunteer Corps. The Malaysian government would accede to the 1951 Refugee Convention, introduce changes to its Immigration Act to distinguish clearly between refugees, asylum seekers, trafficking victims and other undocumented migrants, and provide protection to those recognised as refugees. Together, Malaysia and Australia could create a model that could be exported to other countries in the region that host large numbers of forced migrants: Thailand or Pakistan, for example. In fact, they would need to export that model in case people smugglers directed Afghans and Iraqis and Burmese to Malaysia rather than to Australia. Julia Gillard might have had such a solution in mind when she persuaded her Malaysian counterpart to agree to the “pilot project.”[/quote] Unfortunately, Neumann does add this caveat : [quote]And pigs might fly. (Actually, when it comes to this intractable public policy issue, they have to.)[/quote] http://inside.org.au/trading-refugees/ Why does Mr Neumann presume that only he can foresee these positive outcomes and that an entire department and its minister and the Prime Minister are incapable of doing so? To answer my own question, it is because the narrative has already been mapped out and there is an underlying inability to entertain any variance from this plot. My only concern about this proposal is that the first 800 are going to be guinea pigs and we will need to see firm commitments to a stringent oversight mechanism.

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011NormanK, Always the voice of sweet reason and common sense. I guess you're right, and Nasking has been huffing and puffing over nothing. It appears he will still be able to get his $2000/year and will not have to suffer the indignity of the DSP as he had feared. Or will he argue that it is better for a spouse under 40, in the 21st century, to be dependant as opposed to independant?

Patricia WA

11/05/2011TT - got distracted from comment on your nuts and bolts quip. Delicious. Looks like he's his shot his bolt. Try as I may I can't get a few lines going that deserve the title "Bolt Shot!" Any ideas?

nasking

11/05/2011"Or will he argue that it is better for a spouse under 40, in the 21st century, to be dependant as opposed to independant?" Feral, I find yer comments offensive & hypocritical. You are a blind ideologue. As someone who started working at the age of thirteen...and has always tried to give a decent percentage of his income to charities and those in need...and has tried hard not to take from government...I find yer accusations disgraceful considering yer own less than independent situation. It seems the gullible ALP voters have fallen for the "work work work 'til you die" BS that so often comes from politicians serving the mining masters...before you know it the pension age will be pushed up...more superannuation payments will be asked for (many will never see a penny as they die worked into the ground)... I saw the same happen in Canada decades ago...and now more than half of my father's Canadian friends are dead or have had strokes well before their time...driven by the same/similar mantras... and the big miners laughed all the way to the bank... whilst time & finance stressed families divorced and lost much of what they had accumulated. Tell me...where are all the benefits of this GREAT MINING BOOM? Where's the improved Medicare system? Where's DentiCare? Where are the fast trains between cities? Or do we just adopt the robotic teacher/student approach & work 'til you drop attitude of the so called Asian miracle? What happened to the long weegends?...and the "laid back" lifestyle Aussies were proud of? Yes, all hail the obsession w/ childcare...so mothers become work machines living on mobile phones...the corporate dream...female emancipation suddenly means a new kind of slavery...as kids immune systems are battered in corporate childcare...kids who learn to love Mum the mall shopper...rather than Mum or Dad who has time to take them to the wee sweet shop...and the park. And just out of interest, where was the "opportunity" provided for bloggers over the last decade? Governments of all persuasions didn't seem to mind giving subsidies to car companies...and oil companies...or throwing money out there to assist big retail companies. Major media got a handup by way of government ads...and weren't stopped from grotesque & incestious ownership grabs. But the bloggers who spent a decent proprtion of their lives trying to do the public good?...well, as usual they got the middle finger. Not even a thankyou. The system is a sham. But you'll see that. BTW Feral, let me know how the mine jobs go. And when this government tumbles in a heap next year as the mining boom dream collapses & China gets ill...don't blame when you hear people raging over small business bankruptcies...and because they've lost their homes...and realise that at least they have fruit picking jobs...or uni to go to. Kill the middle class...kill the engine of yer economy. Look to America. N'

thenewjj

11/05/2011FS, "Tony Abbott doesn't give a tinkers cuss about the children of the poor, except in so far as they can provide the unskilled labour that he constantly states he wants the unemployed to get off the dole and do, and the poor to be funnelled into due to lack of opportunity as a result of their parent's inability to pay sky-high tuition fees and associated costs of further education." I am sorry FS but it is the Gillard government of late that has been going on about doll bludgers etc as well as the Libs, why dont you get stuck into them too? On other issues discussed, I am no fan of the Bolt report thingo, i think he is a terrible TV presenter.. slow and fixated to the tele prompter. The content of his show was also light on. The budget was not tough by any means, but there are sum reasonable proposals in it as well. I am a fan of the mental health spend, the training spend and some of the cuts in defence; however i am not a fan of the digital box set offer. One other comment i would like to make about the budget is why didnt they cut further now? Just think of this scenario for a minute: say the sovereign debt crisis blows up in Europe or there is a property bubble that burst in China etc and we find ourselves in another pickle. Swan and co will have to make either massive spending cuts close to an election (unpopular) or break their promise to get back into surplus (unpopular). As many of the economists that have been interviewed up to date have stated, "this budget was the budget for cuts". We need to be prepared! Nasking, You have every right to think whatever it is you want to think. it is true that the Labor Party has drifted away from its once core and transparent morals and values. I suppose in politics it often comes down to the least worst option, and Gillard is doing everything it seems to paint the Labor Party as being the latter.

sawdustmick

11/05/2011Nasking, I don't know you from a bar of soap, and you do have the right to think what ever you want. However, your last posting was one of the most nonsensical ones I have read in some time.

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011PatriciaWA, Thank you for your kind words of support. Sometimes, when challenged by someone who, as you say, is not a troll, I am prompted to review my support for the policies of the Labor Party and to test whether I may have missed something important that others, whose opinion I have previously trusted, may have picked up. It is thus that I can say, in this particular situation, I stand by every word I have said in response to Nasking. Now, I feel even more justified in what I said because I have the support of an honest broker such as your good self. Also, if you don't have principles that are dear to your heart, what do you have left? You just become a fair-weather political friend whose vote can be finagled. By the way, I agree with you about the Dental situation and the Chaplaincy money, as I have always been a supporter of the dictum: 'If religious institutions want to spread their 'message' to our children, then they can do it on their own dime.' As opposed to your suggestion for the money to go to a Denticare scheme, I would have preferred it to go towards more School Counsellors. :)

reb of Hobart

11/05/2011I'm sorry to hear about Nasking's health however I heartily agree with everfything he says. Labor supporters have been duped by the evolution of the Gillard govt. When I voted for Labor, I voted for a party that was socially progressive and interested in equality for all. Instead we have a party that has taken a dramatic lurch to the right. Gillard's staunch opposition to same sex marriage despite some 70% of Australians in favour of it is one example. Her pandering to religious groups reassuring them of this position, as well as he staunch opposition to euthenasia is another. Shipping off asylum seekers to a nation with an abominable track record in the treatment of asylum seekers is the final nail in the coffin for me. It seems the only people who really represent "the heart" of Labor values, are people like Doug Cameron. No wonder Labor are losing voters to The Greens in droves. Gillard, and the rusted-on Gillard apologists only have themselves to blame. Like Nasking, I'm not prepared to continuously defend a party that has abandoned every principle it once stood for, although it amuses me that so many rusted on supporters are.

Jason

11/05/2011Nasking, You will do well with the Libs, that sense of entitlement, and let them eat cake attitude and of course there is no one worse off than me! Yep Howard taught you well.

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11/05/2011Folks What a lot of diverse talk there has been about the Budget. We have economists and economics correspondents disagreeing with one another! Now who would have thought that could be so? After all they are trained in the discipline and ought, by and large, to be able to reach similar conclusions about any financial measure, no less so about a Federal Budget. But no, we see diametrically opposed views from these experts, as usual. Yet they appear in public expressing their views, presumably in the belief that they will be believed. Opposite views cannot both be believed! An explanation of this disparity is to be found in John Quiggin’s book [i]Zombie Economics[/i] where he points out that economists find it difficult, often impossible, to move away from their preferred economic model, so that any event is seen through that much admired and polished prism. That might explain Michael Stutchbury’s insistence on [i]Lateline[/i] last night that the Government [/i]“…should be really cutting much harder than we've saw tonight”[/i], and that the Budget is too dependent on a continuation of the China boom: [i]“I think the Government misread the financial crisis. We were rescued by China, not by the stimulus, and now they're in danger of being overoptimistic on how China unfolds over the next few years.”[/i] His contempt for the view that the stimulus package provided massive beneficial effects in restraining unemployment and supporting small business began during the GFC and continues to this day. No evidence will convince him otherwise. He is wedded to the ‘cut expenditure savagely’ strategy even when to do so at the time of the GFC would have aggravated the effects of that crisis. So how much store should we place on this economics correspondent? Asked by Ali Moore if he agreed, Peter Hartcher said”[i] Yes, I do. I agree absolutely that we are not making the most of our situation.[/i]” but added: [i]”I also think that the Government at least, sort of on the Hippocratic principle, has done least amount of harm tonight.”[/i] Later Hartcher did give the Government some credit: “[i] So, for such a weak government to bring down a reasonably responsible budget I think is actually something we should not be too unhappy about.”[/i] A bob each way! So here we have two correspondents agreeing with one another, aided and abetted by Ali’s leading questions, that the Government’s cuts were not savage enough, although Hartcher was somewhat equivocal. Several others did so elsewhere. Discussing another aspect of the budget, Eleanor Hall interviewed Stephen Long and Brian Toohey on [i]The World Today[/i] beginning with [i]”The tabloid press has accused the Government of attacking and ‘gouging families of $150,000’, attacking aspirational households by winding back on middle-class welfare. But many economists are arguing those cuts don't go far enough…. Starting with you Stephen, the front page of the [i]Daily Telegraph[/i] today says Wayne Swan's budget ‘pickpockets’ families and that it is hard-working families in ‘mortgaged poverty’ that will be hardest hit. Is that a fair characterization of who is bearing the brunt of the budget cuts?”[/i] Stephen answered: [i]”No, I don't think so. It's an inaccurate misleading and very, very superficial critique of the budget, Eleanor. They're talking about measures to wind back on family benefits and various other small benefits to families on $150,000 a year. Now let's put that in context. On the Treasury's figures, there are 40,000 households earning $150,000 a year or more. There are 8.5 million households in Australia so we are talking less than half a per cent of all households who are on that money.

 “Now well-paid newspaper editors and Canberra press gallery journalists might feel that these are modest incomes but the reality is that $150,000 a year puts you in the well-to-do bracket nationally. There is only about 3 per cent of workers who earn more than $100,000 a year; average weekly earnings are $65,000. “We are talking about people who are relatively well-off and a tiny, tiny proportion of households overall and the benefits that they will lose, we are talking of less than $30 a year for a child with the winding back of the supplement to the various family tax benefit arrangements. Small money for people who are relatively well to do.

 “Now I accept that if you are on $150,000 living in Sydney, paying a mortgage where house prices are through the roof, it might feel tough and you're not rich in the sense that you are living high on the hog. Very different experience to someone in a country town or say Hobart but you are still, the objective reality says, in the top bracket and the question is who deserves a handout? Does everybody deserve a handout? Where do we cut it off?[/i]” Brian Toohey agreed: “[i]In fact they are not actually cuts. All they're saying is that the threshold for the cut off, $150,000 is not going to be indexed upwards with the CPI, but one of the glaring ones that isn't touched at all is the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme where people on $300,000 a year or more, tax free superannuation payouts in retirement, can get subsidised prescription drugs for the same as the base rate aged pensioner which is $5.60 a go, whereas someone slaving away in the workforce on the minimum wage which is worth less than $30,000 a year. So someone on 10 times as much gets drugs for $5.60 and the person on the minimum wage pays $34.20 - more than six times as much.

 “So there is plenty of scope to start cutting what I would call in this case upper class welfare to create more money for doing the worthwhile things that can be done in the budget about trying to help people get back into work who haven't got jobs et cetera, et cetera.”[/i]. So again we have the [i]Tele[/i] promoting the ‘pickpocketing families story’, no doubt supported by its economics correspondent, and two other correspondents saying quite the opposite, with Brian Toohey getting on his favourite hobbyhorse of criticizing ‘middle class welfare’. I could go on quoting other statements by those who are regarded as experts in economics, but these instances serve to make my point that we are unwise if we take any individual’s opinion for granted when opinions, all about the same event, the Budget, are so varied. Quoting one without quoting contrasting opinions is simply to mislead. My skepticism about the opinions of economists remains. The best I can do is to stick with those who seem to have been on the money in the past, and Stephen Long is one of those.

Jason

11/05/2011Reb, "Gillard's staunch opposition to same sex marriage despite some 70% of Australians in favour of it is one example." I suppose that until the Labor Convention that happens later this year, where it will be put to the vote and where Labor policy is formed would mean little?

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11/05/2011reb One does not have to be a ‘rusted on’ Labor supporter to continue support for it. Belief in Labor’s principles and belief that the Gillard Government is following these in its policies and Budget, is sufficient. Your use of the term ‘rusted on’ in this context implies that those to whom you refer are unthinking ciphers who blindly and obediently follow. Read what FS has written so expressively today and try to tell me she is simply an unthinking ‘rusted on’ Labor acolyte. You and Nasking are entitled to change your mind about Labor and give your support elsewhere, but that does not entitle you to cast those who still support Labor principles and actions strongly as ‘rusted on’ even though you might be ‘amused’ that some of us consistently remain supporters of Labor. I for one believe that the Gillard Government is doing a commendable job under difficult circumstances and is getting on with governing despite the trenchant negativity and unremitting obstruction of one whom I consider to be the most destructive politician in recent times. The only alternative to the Gillard Government is an Abbott Government. To me that is a horrifying prospect; nothing Abbott has done in his period as Opposition Leader gives me any confidence in his ability to competent lead this nation in these difficult times. Supporting the Greens is an alternative, but although they can influence and at times improve government policy, they cannot govern. It is not possible to escape the reality that with the present leadership of the political parties in Canberra, the only alternative to a Gillard Government is an Abbott Government. Think of that.

reb of Hobart

11/05/2011Yes, Jason, it would "mean little". Why couldn't she just back it now, when the majority of Australians are in favour of it? Instead, you are defending her "personal position" against it, which is really all it is. She has made repeated assurances, that she won't be changing her mind. I'm sorry but I'm not prepared to overlook her blind disrimination and homophobia. Maybe you are...

janice

11/05/2011FS, I must say I was somewhat gobsmacked to read Nasking's comments. Like others here, I support your replies to him and agree with both you and Patricia re the school chaplain policy. I blame Howard's vote bribing for the discontent and the ever increasing demands for government handouts. People do not seem to realise that the welfare portion of the budget is pretty well unsustainable right now and growing. Nasking asks "Where's the medicare system; Where's the Denti-care; Where's the fast trains between cities" and you bet he has a similar list as long as your arm. Well Nasking, strip the budget of its middle class welfare and the government has a chance of providing all this. And, have people forgotten already that Abbott and his mob opposes the MRRT and managed to pull the wool over the public's eyes to vote against their own interests? As for removing the pension for the spouse of a couple without children, who is under 40 years of age and who is quite capable of working, my mind boggles that there is opposition to this budget cut. Why should the rest of us work to support out and out freeloaders who are capable to work and provide for themselves? Reminds me of a young woman who quite seriously told me that as far she is concerned "the government owes me a living". She didn't like it when I told her that as far as I'm concerned, I (who contributes to the Govt's coffers) owes her nothing and if she wants a "living" she can do what I did and go out and bloody well earn it.

nasking

11/05/2011Reb, we've had our differences over the years...but I have to say I totally agree w/ you. Since I've been really ill I've thought much about things you & ToM wrote on GT...and you were were spot on about the lurch to the Right...and this pandering to religious groups. For some time I hoped it was a ruse...but now I see it is in the DNA of the modern ALP. And ToM was right to focus on "waste". And the role of the big unions. The rest of us are disposable voters it seems. In the early 90s the ALP convinced the populace that "free tertiary education" should go. Now they are convincing voters that "work 'til you drop" is a privilege. And big business laughs all the way to the bank. Anyone who thinks the mining super profits deal a good one needs to realise the miners were allowed to plunder and reap golden rewards for so many years that even they became embarrassed and recognised for the good of the economy they'd have to pay more...but once Ruddy decided they should pay their "fair share" rather than just the measly amount they hoped to get away w/...well, the good old boys from the big unions, Shorten & Howes & others decided he should go. Then Gillard & Swan kowtowed & gave us a "lemon" of a deal. A deal that probably comes into affect so late it won't matter to the industry as China's demand shrinks...partially due to economic instability, partially due to opening of mines in other parts of the world. But I guess we can always shovel uranium to India. Anyway, I hope I'm wrong...but I think the dream of Denticare & fast trains is dead...I doubt the NBN will ever be realised...nor the progressive health system that Ruddy hoped to bring us. It's all been to slow...too much wasted money & effort...too many incompetent and corrupt state managers...and now the little financial breathing space people have will disappear... and they'll pat themselves on the back marching to the worker's songs...marching to the tune of THE MAN...as the mining boom collapses behind them...taking house prices, small businesses, health, hopes & dreams w/ it... but hey! There's always big business there to pick up the pieces...and further austerity measures... N'...fini

Jason

11/05/2011Reb, She doesn't make the policy the "party" does? at national convention. Things are put up at state convention and if carried it goes to national convention, my last look at that proposal I think had backing of all states and territories so now will go to national convention be voted on and then become party policy! I'm sorry Labor doesn't work quick enough for you but that's what happened for over 100 years! I'm sure you will remember that when voting for Abbott

nasking

11/05/2011"I'm sorry but I'm not prepared to overlook her blind discrimination and homophobia." Nor I reb. There is no leadership from her on this issue...just hypocrisy & catering to the ignorant & bigoted. Too many bad signals from this government. I'd rather vote them out until they get sensible & integrity leadership...than keep a stealth bomber going that hits you in the back of the head time & time again. I prefer to face the enemy I know. W/ the support of The Greens in the Senate. At least The Greens believe in something. To me Gillard has become the Phoney Tony Blair of Australia. Wrapped in a "power" cloak of arrogance. N'

Jason

11/05/2011Reb & Nasking, Yes your right to a degree about the lurch to the right,and a lot of us in the party aren't happy about it. Yes I like Ferral would love to see the end of the catholic right in the Labor party who hold all the power, But what do you suggest we do give up?Do you two want to join and help us and the many others?or is it easy sitting on the sidelines lecturing others? Put up or shut up!

Ad astra reply

11/05/2011Folks I have a lot of time for Bob Brown and the principles for which he so strongly stands. But why does he appear after the Budget and insist that it lacks ‘vision’ and that he could make it more ‘exciting’? What is it if not ‘vision’, that the central object of the Budget is to create half a million jobs by giving all who can work the opportunity of training and placement in a satisfying occupation that gives independence and financial reward, and just as importantly, as PM Gillard so often repeats, the ‘dignity’ of work. Some might sneer at that, but reflect on how people feel who are deprived of it by circumstance or lack of opportunity. ‘Opportunity’ has been a Gillard vision for many years. What is it if not vision to assist people languishing on welfare, including some disabled who wish to work and can, who are stuck in a poverty trap with little hope for the future, to gain meaningful employment? What is it if not vision that this nation prepare itself for the expected boom, mainly occasioned by mining and exporting commodities, by training Australians and using skilled migration to meet the accelerating needs of commerce and industry for trained labour? What is it if not vision to support apprentice training and small business? What is it if not vision that the Budget is designed to get back to surplus in 2102/3? World and national economics are the backdrop against which the Government considers this essential if Australia is to continue its prosperity and improve the lot of its citizens. What is it if not vision to take steps to ease upward pressure on interest rates so that the Reserve Bank will be less likely to raise them? What is it if not vision to support regional Australia? What is it if not vision that the Budget has allocated over $2 billion to mental health in a manner that is in accord with the advice of mental health experts? What is it if not vision that the Family Tax Benefit A, the Child Care Rebate and the Education Tax Rebate are being extended, and the Low Income Tax Offset is to be paid fortnightly instead of yearly, and that Fringe Benefits Tax on company cars will be more equitable and less susceptible to rorts, and the Dependent Spouse Tax Offset will be phased out for most under 40 to remove a tax-splitting loophole? What is it if not vision to extend infrastructure development? Is that not enough ‘vision’ in one Budget for Bob Brown? And what ‘excitement’ has he to offer? Tell us Bob.

Ad astra reply

11/05/2011janice Like you, I support FS’s well-argued replies. And I agree with the other sentiments you have expressed.

reb of Hobart

11/05/2011"Put up or shut up!" That's a bit of self-righteous condescending tone you've got there Jason. Nasking has expressed an opinion that he's disillusioned with what the Labor party has become under Julia Gillard, and so have I. Suddenly this makes us the target of your snide "Abbott-voting" remarks. In case you hadn't noticed, Labor is hemmorraging voters to the Greens at unprecedented levels. Instead of demanding to know when or why we won't join the Labor party crusade to "fix things up" why don't you justify any reason why we should..? In case you hadn't noticed, Labor currently enjoys only about 30% of the Australian voting public. Don't you think it's up to Julia to address this? Doesn't the buck stop with the leader of the party?

reb of Hobart

11/05/2011Nasking, I too have become completely fed up with Labor under Julia Gillard. Jason and the other Gillard apologists here can wax lyrical about how things would be "so much worse off" under Tony Abbott, but I'm sorry, simply pointing out that Gillard's Labor government is "the lesser of two evils" does not vindicate the travesty that Labor has become under Gillard. Where is all the outrage from "the Left" over Gillard's Malaysian asylum seeker solution? Nowhere! If this had been an Abbott Government initiative this blog and others would be indignant with moral outrage! But no, the Gillard apologists simply overlook this and return the familiar refrain of how things would be so much worse off under... blah blah blah. Perhaps it's time for the rusted on Labor barrackers to do some deep soul searching. But I doubt that will happen. Feel free to drop by the gutter... Cheers reb

Patricia WA

11/05/2011N' I don't understand how you can quite clearly loathe the mining companies for many valid reasons and still talk about giving your vote to the Coaltion rather than the ALP. After all, it was the Coalition who argued against Rudd's mining tax, supporting the mining lobby's massive campaign against it. If you think they are 'laughing all the way to the bank' now, wait until there is a Coalition government. They'll be doing that and rolling in the aisles of their local churches giving thanks for answered prayers. Reb. I've been really surprised at the personal resentment shown by many gays about this marriage issue. It's not sensible. After all, most of the social reform giving gays equal civil rights across the board couldn't have been achieved without support of the progressive left. Soon there will be a change in civil law so that de facto couples can celebrate their relationship as formally as they wish. Meanwhile if Greens and others turn their back on the ALP it's more likely that progress to gay marriage rights will be stalled. As well as many even more urgent reforms, like action on climate change for example.

reb of Hobart

11/05/2011[quote]I've been really surprised at the personal resentment shown by many gays about this marriage issue. It's not sensible[/quote] It's not "sensible?" What do you mean by "sensible?" It doesn't fit within the the confines of the Labor/Gillard perspective on the issue?? Try telling that to the families who've lost gay children to suicide because they felt like "second class citizens" I know several through personal experience. Are you aware that gay teens are three times more likely to kill themselves through suicide than hetro kids the same age? Don't you think that perpetuating gays as second class citizens by denying them marriage rights simply reinforces this bigotry? Why is Julia Gillard so afraid to afford same sex couples equal rights? Isn't the Labor Party about "equality for all?" Don't you think that Australia is lagging behind many other nations who now recognise same sex marriage? Honestly, your ignorance astounds me, but maybe you'll write aa poem about it and all will be fine with world. FFS *rolls eyes*

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Nasking, How presumptively wrong you are. And I think Jason will be able to back me up on this, being well-acquainted with the Miniing sector himself, and, if it wasn't for the Unions, such as the CFMEU, which he is a member of, then your nightmare scenario about the Mining Industry might just come to pass in this country. Also, might I add, if you new best bud, Mr Abbott, gets to be Prime Minister, then let's just wait and see who oversees the best working conditions for Mining Company employees and who will oversee the worst? I know who I'll bet my house on. And it's not even mine, because there's one thing I know to the core of my being, and that is the Labor Party will stand up for Mining Industry employees, their pay and working conditions, and the crackpot ramblings about the Mining Industry from the likes of you will never make a hill o'beans difference to the outcomes in that industry in this, or any other country in the world. You know why? Because the Multinational Mining companies will Mine on, regardless of what you think about them and their practices. And you know who will be the only party that will stand between the Mining companies and the exploitation of their workers? The party of the working man, for the working man and by the working man. The Labor Party. Listen, mate, I've just spent a weekend listening to stories of worker exploitation, which is still going on, yes, while we have a federal Labor government. But you know who is the only party in there pitching for the little guy? The Labor Party. They are still fighting pitched battles with the bastards trying to find ways around the Fair Work laws, in order to keep exploiting migrant and uneducated workers in Australia. The Unions and the federal Labor government are taking these creeps on and taking them to court. But they don't make a big fuss about it and poonce around worksites pretending to care like Tony Abbott. A guy 'you are warming to', just like his handlers want you to, sucker. No, it's the Labor Party that is working away dilligently in the background without fanfare. So, call me what you want. Call me a 'blind ideologue', just like the Conservative Con Men want you to. At least I have unshakeable principles I am prepared to stand by and fight for. And I certainly won't get sucked in by the web of lies about 'Cost of Living Pressures' that the Cons are weaving to disguise the fact of their mates in the big end of town ripping off the little guys for all they are worth in many and varied ways, and then seeking to blame it on the polcies of the only party that really cares about them and has actually done something real for them. Budget after Budget. Oh, and my family will be 'working in the mines'. My youngest son can't wait. And I'm sure he'll come out of it with his health intact, because he's a good boy and smart enough to not get sucked in by alcohol, gambling and loose women seeking to lighten his wallet of its load of money.

Jason

11/05/2011reb, Again you show your lack of understanding! Gillard does not make Party policy, that is done at national convention, yes it may be out of date and not to your liking but until that is changed at national convention that is the system she or any other Labor leader is bound by! because as a MP you sign up to that!

reb of Hobart

11/05/2011[quote]it's more likely that progress to gay marriage rights will be stalled. As well as many even more urgent reforms, like action on climate change for example. [/quote] Ok, so let me get this right, you consider climate change to be a "more urgent reform" than young men killing themselves...? You really need to get out of the rose garden occasionally Patricia.. Here's some facts, that might enlighten you: [quote][b]Suicide is now the leading cause of death by injury in Australia,[/b] and it is the largest single cause of death in Australian men. In recent years, several reports have linked homosexual orientation to youth suicide. Studies estimate nearly 30 percent of gay youths attempt suicide.[/quote] http://www.aare.edu.au/02pap/gil02454.htm What could be more important than addressing the leading cause of death by injury in Australia? Maybe a poem'll help.

Tom of Melbourne

11/05/2011In support of reb and Nasking - it is notable that many ALP supporters excuse the hopeless inadequacy of the government on the basis that “the only alternative is Abbott” What a bizarre attitude, this is the mentality that breeds complacency. It makes the ALP a pale imitation of conservatives, it causes the conservatives to set the political agenda. The ALP will always be “Liberal Light” with if progressive people accept this as the yardstick.

Jason

11/05/2011Tom, Well be my guest if you reb and Nasking can get the national excecutive of the ALP and at National Convention to do the things that need changing, and can rid us of the old DLP and faction bosses go ahead actions speak louder than words!

reb of Hobart

11/05/2011[quote]actions speak louder than words! [/quote] Indeed, so where is the leadership from Julia rather than "the obstruction?" Why don't you just face the fact that you "backed the wrong horse" when you voted Labor? Rather than blindingly make apologies for Gillard's new found "conservatism?" FFS, even Thatcher voted in favour of gay rights! Julia takes "conservatism" to new levels!

lyn

11/05/2011In support of Jason, Patricia and Feral [quote]Tom of Melbourne: What a bizarre attitude, this is the mentality that breeds complacency.[/quote] This can be said of you too. [quote] Reb: You really need to get out of the rose garden occasionally Patricia[/quote] This can be said of you too. [quote]Nasking: Feral, I find yer comments offensive & hypocritical. You are a blind ideologue[/quote]. This can be said of you too.

TalkTurkey

11/05/2011Tom of Melbourme said "Maybe a poem'll help." OK just for you: Hobart Reb, and Melbourne Tom, it Sounds to me like verbal vomit: Seems your body still survives But you're brainwashed like the Stepford Wives! Does that help?

reb of Hobart

11/05/2011"This can be said of you too. " Really Lyn? I think the difference is that I'm actually prepared to change my viewpoint based on close scrutiny of each party's political policies. I don't consider myself "rusted on" to any particular party, but here at TPS it seems that castigating anything Labor does is anathema. Sure, so far we've seen nothing from The Coalition, but plenty of right-wing, conservative sentiments emanating from the Gillard Govt. Including: - Staunch opposition to same sex marriage (despite other countries being far more progressive on this matter) and overwhelming public support in favour of it. - Staunch opposition to euthenasia despite growing public sentiment in favour. - Implementing an abhorrent asylkeum seeker program that will see asylum seekers deported to Malaysia where abusive treatment of asylum seekers (including rapes and flogging are rife). TPS just overlooks these issues, and yet I am criticised here for voicing these concerns? This will be my last post here, as it seems you lot would rather indulge in a love-in of the Labor party rather than genuinely put "politicians to the political sword" (as long as that's not Labor of course). Enjoy yourselves.

Jason

11/05/2011reb, you have a choice wait until labor does what it does as set down in it's rules, where it is likely to happen this year! Or go and plead your case with Abbott either way you and your cause is going nowhere and the greens can't make legislation as they don't form government,and if it becomes Labor policy even the catholic right will have to vote in favour of it, unlike the coalition who can cross the floor.

Tom of Melbourne

11/05/2011Talk Turkey, you should try to attribute comments to the person who actually made them. Is this inaccuracy typical? Is this also the level of rigour that you also apply to your political opinions? Probably.

janice

11/05/2011Reb of Hobart, If your biggest beef is gay rights, why blame PM Gillard and the Labor Party? Coming in here and railing against Labor and those of us who are sympathetic to your cause, will not help your cause to change the perceptions which so-called christians have been teaching for as long as I remember. Abbott belongs to the catholic right and although he has stated he "knows or has gay friends" he believes firmly in his church and its teachings that tell him homosexuality is wrong as well as an acquired trait - in other words he believes (as do a lot of other people) that a person CHOOSES their sexuality. In recent years big steps have been made in our society with regard to homosexuality so that more and more people understand and support your fight for equal rights. There is a long, long way to go and, just as it is with racial prejudice, progress will be slow and quite possibly will never be completely overcome. Our PM cannot support gay marriage as the leader of her party which still holds to the notion that "marriage" is between a man and a woman. She supports all other aspects of gay rights.

lyn

11/05/2011Hi Ad I saw a snippet of Joe Hockey on Radio, and I think he was indicating that the Coalition would try to stop supply: [i]Joe Hockey says Coalition will try to force early election as it considers budget response [/i] The Australian JOE Hockey has warned the Coalition will try to force the government to call an early election, as the opposition signalled it could block key budget measures We're going to do everything we can to put the pressure on the government to call an election,” the Coalition's treasury spokesman told MTR radio. But Senator Brown ruled out working with the Coalition to block budget measures, branding it a “heartless” and “horrible alternative” for its opposition to higher mining taxes. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/joe-hockey-says-coalition-will-try-to-force-early-election/story-fn8gf1nz-1226054176080 This is good news: [i]Brown sees no point in coalition talks[/i],Sky News The Australian Greens see little point in talking to the coalition about making changes to the Gillard government's first budget. 'Tony Abbott's whole mantra is saying no to everything,' Greens leader Bob Brown said of the opposition leader. 'We are very well aware that he will be looking for a political opportunity to embarrass the government before he looks at what could be good for the Australian people.' [b]The Greens will ensure Labor's money bills pass the Senate[/b], where the minor party holds the balance of power after July 1, but are keen to amend some measures. http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=611570&vId=

TalkTurkey

11/05/2011ToM said "Talk Turkey, you should try to attribute comments to the person who actually made them." > Oh dear oh dear, so I didn't. How can you ever forgive me, when your attitude and Reb's are so diametrically identical! Is this inaccuracy typical? Is this also the level of rigour that you also apply to your political opinions? > You are nothin' but a TYPO! Typo Tom! Tom of Melbourne Oh yes and btw speaking of which I see that Reb has deleted itself . . . Hee hee hee . . . so the pome is all yours anyway now!

Crowey

11/05/2011I am totally against the millions of dollars being spent on religious zealots(chaplains) attending our public schools, children are there for the purpose of getting an education, not to be brainwashed into believing in fictional characters, just look at the actual damage that religion has created around the world, Religion and Politics??????????.

macca

11/05/2011Nasking, Reb of Hobart and Tom of Melbourne; Don't suppose you could send me the keys to your parallel universe? I really would like to visit a place where logic decrees that a Neo Conservative, Born Again Christian ideology surpasses a moderately socialist one. Again, I only want to visit. I feel that living there would sear my soul. Thanks

Tom of Melbourne

11/05/2011Talk Turkey, I don’t have a particular wish to disrupt the nonstop reinforcement of the prevailing opinion here, though I’ve noted how quickly many on this site lapse into derision of those that post opposing opinions. You doesn’t seem to welcome testing or diversity. Most contributors want to excuse the complacency of the government, not press it into better and more progressive performance. But I won’t make a habit of disturbing your vibe here.

Grog

11/05/2011Nasking wrote: [quote]Phasing out the Dependent Spouse Offset is sheer bastadry & short-sighted. Plenty of chronically ill spouses having left stressful careers but too proud to push for permanent disability who pay heaps in healthcare/pharmacy costs rely on that wee bit of money to help out.[/quote] Except let's look at the policy: [quote]The Government will phase out the dependent spouse tax offset (DSTO) for taxpayers with a dependent spouse born on or after 1 July 1971. This reform addresses a barrier to participation by progressively removing the tax concession for taxpayers with a non‑working spouse and no children. [b]Taxpayers with an invalid or permanently disabled spouse, supporting a carer, or people who are eligible for the zone, overseas forces and overseas civilian tax offsets will not be affected by this change[/b].[/quote] So if you are over 40, no change. Too proud to go on disability even though they are chronically ill? Well that pride will cost them (if they are under 40, if not, not). Let's not got carried away painting this budget as cruel. This ain't hitting old people, this ain't hitting disabled people. This is hitting people who are under 40, who have no kids.

lyn

11/05/2011Hi Ad Grog has saved the day for us, magnificent article Grog. [i]On the QT: That's a bit Rich, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] So the thing that would hurt them most is the one thing that was not included in the budget! What stunning reporting. Yeah we really got some insight into how people are coping with the changes from the budget… http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

sawdustmick

11/05/2011Since 1 July 2009, same-sex couples receive the same level of recognition as de facto opposite-sex couples in federal legislation including tax, health, superannuation, and aged care. I guess Reb and Nasking have forgotten which party supported same-sex couples. Eventually same-sex marriage will be recognised and I can tell you Reb that it will be the Labor Party not Tony Abbott that will introduce this legislation. So Reb before you leave our knitting group and crawl back into your gutter, pause for a moment and take an objective assessment as to which party you believe will recognise same-sex marriage, Labor or Tony Abbott.

Ad astra reply

11/05/2011Hi Lyn Grog, as usual, is right on the money. Hockey is behaving like a buffoon: facts wrong, figures wrong, conclusions wrong, rhetoric wrong. You can't get more wrong than that. Yet some here today are sidling up to the Coalition, as if it offered something better than Labor!

TalkTurkey

11/05/2011Macca said "Nasking, Reb of Hobart and Tom of Melbourne; Don't suppose you could send me the keys to your parallel universe? . . ." . . . and I thought it was too perfect not to republish! Thanks Macca.

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Bigotry comes in all shapes and sizes, as does intolerance and bad manners. It appears that, while I have been away for a couple of hours the Left Wing Thought Police have crawled up out of 'The Gutter' and made all manner of bold assertions. Not based in any way on fact, mind, but, hey, who cares about the truth where a villification amd misogyny are concerned. So, to the FACTS. The leader of the Labor Party, aka the Prime Minister, is bound by the Rules and Regulations of the ALP to defend party policy publically, whether he/she agrees with it privately or not. Until such time as the party votes by a simple majority on the floor of our National Conference, where delegates from all over the country come once every 3 years, no matter what gets up your nose, reb, she can't change her position and is duty bound to stand by the party's position. Now, and this is where the realpolitik of the issue comes about, something which your ignornace indicates to me that you haven't got a clue about, it is within the leader's gift to agree to certain motions being brought to the floor of the conference over the objections of other members of the National Executive. This is exactly what has happened as Julia Gillard, the female leader you appear to hate with a passion(is it because you are a male homosexual that you do? As there is a lot of misogyny in the male homosexual community and I could understand your position better if you admitted as much, though I won't hold my breath that you will because, on the other hand, you may just dearly hold your opinion about gay marriage); has moved to allow our first openly gay federal Minister, Penny Wong(oops, you forgot about the Labor Party's open support of her), to bring a motion to the floor of the upcoming National Conference in favour of supporting gay marriage. Facts. They are so inconvenient, reb, and they get in the way of a good billious dose of reverse bigotry, the sort you and that Tom sidekick of yours are only too ready to practice in 'defence' of your ideological preference for being sucked into the world of religion and conformity with society, otherwise known as 'gay marriage'. Oh, sorry, that's right, you just want to be able to show how 'committed' to your partner you are, just like everyone else. Well, I just can't figure out why you need to adopt the hetero way of 'committing'. I would have thought that smart gays wouldn't have wanted to touch it with a barge pole, considering the centuries of villification from the churches and the straight community that the LGBT community have had to endure. If I were gay I would have developed my own unique 'commitment' ceremony that had nothing to do with the straight world's traditions and practices. Though I must admit, until today I was unaware of how many arch-conservative gays were out there, yearning to conform, and willing to sneer at, insult and denigrate anyone who might want to question them. Enjoy your gutter, reb. You belong there.

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Ad Astra, Did you also see Scott Morrison's 'own goal' of a question in QT? He asked Chris Bowen wtte 'How much is it going to cost the government to pay for the rebuilding of the Villawood Detention Centre after it was burned down in the recent riots? Chris Bowen's answer: "Nothing. It will all be covered by Insurance." And probably Serco's insurance at that! :)

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Ad Astra, Disappointingly, at the end of the day, Bob Brown is just another politician. His comments today have shown him to be just that. He could've made the Budget 'sing'...what would have ended up being a funeral dirge for the ALP as the 30% of people who still vote for them deserted to either The Greens, in support, or to the Liberal Party, in disgust at Labor 'selling themselves out to The Greens'. Either situation which would make Bob Brown happy, no end. As he would then be leading 'Her Majesty's Opposition' after an Abbott victory at the next election and the collapse of the Labor Party.

Tom of Melbourne

11/05/2011For a post that asserted the word “FACT”, your post is remarkably fact free. High points for on randomly rambling on, low score for actual persuasive content. Do keep trying though.

Ad astra reply

11/05/2011FS No, I saw only the first hour of QT. Scott Morrison should think before he speaks. But then that would inhibit him somewhat. Bob Brown sometimes talks to his own constituency. He usually exhibits good sense though when negotiating with the Government. He has sized up the Coalition and won't be talking to them. Like you, I would love to know how he would make the Budget 'sing'.

Jason

11/05/2011reb permalink* May 11, 2011 8:04 pm “Well, that brief excursion to nunuland was intriguing.” Indeed. I used to think, somewhat misguidedly I now confess that The Political Sword was an informative and insightful forum of varying political opinions. It seems like it’s now evolved into a “Gillard Govt Cheer Squad” where any dissenting opinions are quickly frowned uponed and attacked. Even Nasking has been victimised by the “prevailing wisdom!” They’s just a bunch of rusted-on Gillard apoligists, who can see no wrong with anything Gillard does. Pity really. God knows the political landscape could do with more robust debate. To which I said! reb, get some guts don't judge the political sword by me!

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Tom of Melbourne, Nice to know you haven't got a clue, and are unable or unwilling to follow a rational explanation and a differing opinion; but irrational blind hatred can do that to you. And, that's a fact! Which I have much evidence to support from reading your commentary elsewhere. OK, so you and reb have brought your gay little bandwagon to The Political Sword, and used it to take unwarranted potshots at us from. Can your caravan move on now please? It's getting tiresome very quickly.

Jason

11/05/2011Tom of Melbourne, "For a post that asserted the word “FACT”, your post is remarkably fact free." do you care to point us in the right direction? Which facts were wrong?

Grog

11/05/2011[quote]Grog, as usual, is right on the money. Hockey is behaving like a buffoon: facts wrong, figures wrong, conclusions wrong, rhetoric wrong.[/quote] Not this time - turns out I was wrong, Hockey right. Stupid error by me - missed the part in the Budget papers that Hockey was talking about - the freeze of the $726 supplement. Which would work out at around $67 less in 2014 if we have 3% inflation. Dumb error - pointed out to me on Twitter by Sam Maiden. Have updated the blog with a correction and an apology btw to Joe Hockey.

lyn

11/05/2011Hi Jason That's ok, whatever they gossip about. But did you check the variety of commenters they get there.

Tom of Melbourne

11/05/2011Here’s some nonsense that you provide under “FACT” • <i>"Julia Gillard, the female leader you appear to hate with a passion(is it because you are a male homosexual that you do?As there is a lot of misogyny in the male homosexual community and I could understand your position better if you admitted as much"</i> Got some evidence to prove that is a “FACT”, though I won’t hold my breath because you’ve just made it all up? Here are some of your ramblings- • <i>"Oh, sorry, that's right, you just want to be able to show how 'committed' to your partner you are, just like everyone else." • "If I were gay I would have developed my own unique 'commitment' ceremony that had nothing to do with the straight world's traditions and practices." </i> Got some evidence for this insulting assertion, or do you just prefer to engage in personal insults when people express a legitimate (alternative) point of view?

Feral Skeleton

11/05/2011Tom of Melbourne, The facts I mentioned were relating to the practices of the Labor Party wrt changing policy on the floor of the National Conference. The other things which I wrote were my opinions. So, the evidence therefore for 'this insulting assertion', is that it was merely my personal opinion and musing, and no 'fact' about you or anyone else at all. You should stop jumping to conclusions, Tom of Melbourne, it only reinforces the perception of ignorance on your part.

Tom of Melbourne

11/05/2011When you assert “FACT” on a couple of occasions, then mix up your “facts” with narrow minded assertions, you might consider exercising more care with your expression. You’ve made various assumptions about sexuality and political orientation, without any basis, and which are demonstrably untrue. But I don’t think “facts” have ever interfered with your ramblings. You really do struggle with coherence when challenged.

Patricia WA

12/05/2011Plenty of good assessments of this budget but I like this one best from Ross Gittins. Makes a good slogan too! [b]Gillard has guts![/b]

Feral Skeleton

12/05/2011Tom of Melbourne, They are just my opinions, flagged as such. If you don't agree with them, that's your business. A lot of my opinions are based upon the feelings of my own gay friends, expressed to me over the years. Who's to say we should agree with you? And especially, who's to say they should agree with you just because they are gay and you support gay marriage? They are gay and they don't. Get used to the idea.

Paul

12/05/2011Can someone contact the owner of "AustralianBlogSites". They have been hacked.

lyn

12/05/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the QT: That's a bit Rich, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] So the thing that would hurt them most is the one thing that was not included in the budget! http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Done Like a Dynasty Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] But nothing compares to the hardship endured by the family's patriarch - Myles Herthington-Alswyth III. An Australian Air Force commodore in the Vietnam war, Myles survives on a veterans' pension, 10,000 BHP Billiton shares, a $5 million self-managed super fund and the rent from 10 investment properties. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/05/done-like-dynasty.html [i]All along the watchtower, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] Hey everybody, the bad news is we are in trouble because climate is changing rapidly.Good news is we can do something about it. Pass it on. http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/05/11/all-along-the-watchtower/ [i]What is the typical Australian’s income?, We Are All Dead[/i] [b]The Australian’s piece, a couple on $200 000 a year (who admit they pay only 18% tax) complain that they may be forced to get a nanny if their childcare subsidy is reduced.[/b]http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/what-is-the-typical-australians-income/ [i]Possum: a budget so tough, Chuck Norris checks under the bed for it, Possum Comitatus, Crikey[/i] Regardless of your politics, when politicians put some serious thought into public policy, they should be commended. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/11/possum-a-budget-so-tough-chuck-norris-checks-under-the-bed-for-it/ [i]Up is down at your ABC, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Northern Territory, which has experienced a big decline in job ads, is more important than the national figure. I wonder if the ABC is preparing a feature on crocs for the 7.30 Report tonight? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]No time frame on inquiry into Coalition's election 'audit' , Peter Martin, SMH[/i] examination by Treasury found up to $11 billion of errors in the costings, including double-counting and purporting to spend money from funds already allocated. The chief executive http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/no-time-frame-on-inquiry-into-coalitions-election-audit-20110511-1ej14.html [i]Budget delivers fine balance of funding and cuts to environment, Inviromental Management News[/i] The 2011-2012 budget, delivered last night by Treasurer Wayne Swan, was balanced in terms of both extra funding and cuts environment, water, and climate change initiatives. http://www.environmentalmanagementnews.net/StoryView.asp?StoryID=2336880 [i]Budget 2010-11 reviews: Mostly favourable, Peter Martin http://www.petermartin.com.au/[/i] Julia Gillard’s budget grand narrative: if you work hard you won’t be left behind, Anika Gauja, The Conversation When looking at the budget it’s useful to remember, in the cold light of day, that politics, at its most fundamental http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/julia-gillards-budget-grand-narrative-if-you-work-hard-you-wont-be-left-behind-1620 [i]Budget 2011: Govt discloses NBN equity payments, Renai Lemay, Delimeter[/i] The Federal Government has used tonight’s annual budget to provide further detail about how it will inject equity funding into its flagship National Broadband Network project, http://delimiter.com.au/2011/05/10/budget-2011-govt-discloses-nbn-equity-payments/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Delimiter+%28Delimiter%29 [i]A Strong Budget, But Will It Bounce?, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] In policy terms, this is a classic Labor budget. If we look at the policy priorities, they are the sorts of things that Chifley or Hawke would have welcomed, as Greg Jericho has also http://newmatilda.com/2011/05/11/strong-budget-bounce [i]My budget instant reax for Crikey, John Quiggin[/i] the dependent spouse offset, a relic of the days when respectable women didn’t go out to work, and was replaced years ago by Family Tax Benefit B for those with children. http://johnquiggin.com/2011/05/11/my-budget-instant-reax-for-crikey/#more-9775 [i]Budget Lock-up, David Havyatt. Anything Goes[/i] As the scrum of what felt like 200 jourrnalists and commentators pushes its way through the doors to the suite of committee rooms in Parliament House that have been http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]The after-party: tribal journos jostle with Abbott, advisers, Andrew Cook, Crikey[/i] Sensible scribblers like Ross Gittins had wisely abandoned this sad circus many hours earlier. And it showed this http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/11/the-after-party-tribal-journos-jostle-with-abbott-advisers/ [i]Cutting the UN Convention on Refugees, Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i] Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is so eager to return, deprives refugees of a number of rights under the Convention: the right to pursue wage-earning employment (Article 17(1)), http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/07/gutting-un-convention-on-refugees.html [i]In Praise of Gillard's Malaysia Solution, Ken parish, Club Troppo[/i] If Tony Abbott were to experience one of his increasingly infrequent moments of disarming honesty, he would admit that Gillard’s Malaysia gambit is a policy masterstroke which a Coalition government would have adopted like a shot http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/05/11/in-praise-of-gillards-malaysia-solution/

lyn

12/05/2011Hi Paul I have left a message for Miglo on Cafe Whispers, David Horton from The Watermelon block also reported the hacking. Did you see how awful a web site looks when it's been hacked, awful isn't it. Looks just like someone breaking into a house and wrecking everything, scarey.

Feral Skeleton

12/05/2011So, today is the day we get to hear Tony Abbott's 'Budget-In-Reply' speech, which will have everything to do with a reheating of Abbott's baseless attacks on the government, and very little to do with an up-to-the minute Coalition alternative Budget. Tony Abbott will share with the national audience his economic 'beliefs' instead, it seems, which, upon even cursory examination, are so conspicuously economically illiterate, if past performances are anything to go by, as to be alarming to anyone in the communnity who is adult in their approach to the nation's finances and what governments should do about them. You'll almost be able to guarantee that Abbott's speech will build its case based on several assertions that are contradicted by market indicators, government documents, Treasury figures and economists expert opinions. His remarks on tax policy will most likely be gibberish, designed to appeal to the unthinking and self-interested. It will probably rely on an incoherant, impervious-to-facts economic philosophy and 100% Liberal biolerplate. Abbott's economic comments will be nothing particularly new. Indeed, they will reflect what has become themainstream thinking of the Liberal Party and National Party. But that's exactly the point. We have become so inured to hearing this thinking that we, and journalists, neglect to point out how wrong it is. My economic argument with Abbott is not that he believes in a more limited role for government and a greater involvement of the Private and 'Faith-Based' sector than I do, or that he is more sceptical of government intervention in the economy and overt regulation of it, and not that he is worried about the effects of tax increases on economic aspiration, or the imposition of a new tax, the Carbon Tax, will have on business and consumers. Those are legitimate ideological differences. Australian politics is better for a sceptical Opposition. I'm talking about statements that Tony Abbott will most likely make that are simply false. This is very important because I am thus removing partisan and ideological concerns from the discussion. I'm a 'Lefty' and Abbott's a 'Righty', so naturally I won't agree with all his policies or his agenda. But that's not what this is about. The Opposition Leader is probably going to present an 'economic vision' based upon fantasy, confusion and lies. The man simply has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to economics. Even though he studied Economics at University! Let's walk through a bizarre list of factual errors made so far by Mr Abbott. He thinks the Stimulus Package was wrong, unecessary and hurt the economy. Wrong. He believes the Public Sector crowds out the Private Economy, such as in the Hospital sector. Wrong. He, and Joe Hockey believe that 12,000 Public Service jobs should be cut. Wrong. Especially when you drill down into that statement and find out that it is Coalition Code for simply replacing those Public Service positions with Private Contractors to do the same work, as John Howard did(except he didn't really get rid of Public Service jobs after all, and ended up with a massive increase). And Abbott is certain sure the economy will not grow after the introduction of a new tax, the Carbon Tax. Wrong. These claims aren't just wrong by Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey, they are ridiculous. It has nothing to do with Labor versus Liberal, or Left versus Right. It is Abbott versus reality. At an almost instinctual level, the political and media establishment resists acknowledging this 'reality'. I more or less understand why-considering Abbott's rhetoric at face value, as it does, and assuming he means what he says, it is chilling to them to admit to us how painfully confused he is. But here we are. The day of the Budget-In-Reply. And it appears we are left with the discomfiting fact that the Leader of the Opposition, the Coalition's most powerful official, is functionally economically illiterate, it seems to me, or is that economically opportunistic, with the level of debate he doesn't bring to the subject. We'll see anyway.

lyn

12/05/2011Hi Ad A few more interesting pieces, for you to read when you have a spare 5 minutes: Abbott’s half hour a show to watch,ROSS PEAKE, Canberra Times Based on his rhetoric so far, however, the best we can hope for is repetition of his well-known lines of ''more debt, more deficits and more spin''. He raises the expectation he will propose the savage cuts he accuses the Government of being too gutless to do. For instance, he is fond of saying that the Coalition proposed $50 billion in savings last year. That was impressive, until Treasury dismissed $11 billion of the proposed cuts. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/abbotts-half-hour-a-show-to-watch/2160948.aspx?storypage=1 We're not rich, but wealthier than most: Sydney family , Stephen Lunn, The Australian The couple estimate they incur about $2000 a week in regular expenses, and say electricity and rent hit them particularly hard. Ms Hardcastle-Fowler is halfway through an eight-month stint on maternity leave and says she would like to extend the break to a year or more, but they can't afford the financial burden. If the primary earner is earning more than $100,000, a second earner might think twice about doing more hours if it tips the family over the $150,000 threshold. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/were-not-rich-but-wealthier-than-most-sydney-family/story-fn8gf1nz-1226054297260

Tom of Melbourne

12/05/2011TPS is quite funny. A few of the contributors are angry, but irrationally so. There are homophobic views expressed here that just go unchallenged. Feral Skeleton appears not to comprehend or even attempt to address alternative perspectives, he/she simply lapses into a navel gazing rant about ALP rules, as if this justifies a discriminatory policy framework. Unlike http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/ you don’t appreciate alternative views being expressed. You certainly don’t like diversity. TPS likes bland generalisation, reinforcement of opinion and mindless barracking. On this basis I might just continue to pop in occasionally.

Ad astra reply

12/05/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra reply

12/05/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for those two links which will be most useful to me in putting together a mock speech that Tony Abbott will likely give tonight. I'll post it later today.

lyn

12/05/2011Good Morning Ad I hope you have a nice day today. I am so pleased when the linked stories come in useful for you. Plus I get inspiration when you tell me you are working on a new article. I am trying to do a new list of our commenters today, we have over 180 regular readers to date. Thankyou to you Ad, for providing a highly respected blog. I know our TPS blog is well respected, because I converse with many other Blog owners, there are over 100 in my files to date. Big thankyou Ad

Feral Skeleton

12/05/2011No one is ever 'rich' these days, are they?

Feral Skeleton

12/05/2011lyn, Part of the respect accorded to this blog is due to the gargantuan effort you make on its behalf. Have a nice day. :)

Feral Skeleton

12/05/2011Tom of Melbourne, Please continue to 'pop in' to TPS. We enjoy the inetraction. Just, if you do so, please don't insult our intelligence by trying to equate homophobia with our posters' questioning of the need for 'gay marriage', or the ALP's policy wrt to it, and why the PM has not clicked her fingers and changed it to please you. If you really must know, I have a 'bi-curious' son, and when I have spoken to him about the issue he says he can't see the point in 'gay marriage'. To him, if you love your partner enough and want to spend the rest of your life with them, that should be enough. Just as I chose to do with my hetero partner of 30 years. Our relationship was as deep and meaningful as any other couple who had completed the marriage ritual. Moreso, I would hazard a guess that as we did not start our life together believing that a ritualistic ceremony conferred a quasi-magical power upon our union,we would see it last longer than those who had married. Which it did, compared to a lot of our friends. Still, on the other hand, if you want to frock up for a wedding, I'm not going to be one to stand in your way. Go right ahead. I just think that it plays into the hands of conservative thinkers and their mores. Just don't call me 'homophobic'. That's just silly, and nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you're welcome to come to lunch tomorrow with my oldest and dearest friend, a gay man. We have been close friends for nearly 30 years. I'm sure we could have a very good discussion together. Or, you can just continue to 'pop in' to TPS and make misleading rants, as you have been so far, and entirely miss the point I'm trying to make to you, carefully and deliberately.

Feral Skeleton

12/05/2011Interesting post from the 'We Are All Dead' blog linked to by lyn today: Jose May 12, 2011 at 8:26 am [quote]I was just reading Grog’s Gamut, and had decided to do my own numbers. This was before I got to his link to you at the bottom! Using Household Income and Income Distribution 2007-08, I annualised gross income, and inflated it using CPI. (I know I should have used AWOTE, but I’m having breakfast and not thinking). The percentiles are below, showing that $150K is well above the P80. Anyway, as Grogs points out, $150K is a bullsh*t number that doesn’t mean anything. 10th (P10) $18,811 20th (P20) $31,400 30th (P30) $43,756 40th (P40) $58,501 50th (P50) $74,678 60th (P60) $91,599 70th (P70) $112,278 80th (P80) $138,857 90th (P90) $185,436[/quote]

TalkTurkey

12/05/2011ToM the Typo Please, please do drop in often! I am writing a book, "Fun with Trolls", and you provide superb material.

Miglo

12/05/2011Thanks to all who have advised me about the hacking of ABSites. I'm in the Gold Coast holidaying and don't have access to a computer so can't do much until I return to Canberra next week and speak to my web host. It's very disappointing.

Feral Skeleton

12/05/2011[quote]''You will know that there are people in this country who could run our country, who believe in choice, who believe in freedom, who believe in opportunity and have got real policies to bring it about,'' Mr Abbott said. [/quote ...Who believe in motherhood statements. And who would like you to believe they have policies. In other words, the government should just use a one-word slogan with Mr Abbott. "How?"

Tom of Melbourne

12/05/2011Feral Skeleton, here are a few examples of your ill informed ranting, that simply go unchallenged here. Like so much that is narrowly focussed on an automatic response in support of any ALP policy. • “I have a 'bi-curious' son, and when I have spoken to him about the issue he says he can't see the point in 'gay marriage'” • “my oldest and dearest friend, a gay man.” Ipso facto Feral Skeleton is able to post an informed view regarding institutional discrimination. What crap. • “villification amd misogyny” Show where has there has been any of this. You just make up stuff. You lapse into this type of ridiculous characterisation when challenged, because you’re locked into defending a partisan position that cannot be logically or compassionately defended. • “the Prime Minister, is bound by the Rules and Regulations of the ALP to defend party policy publically, whether he/she agrees with it privately or not.” Real leaders lead opinion. Julia Gillard is just driven by polling. • “there is a lot of misogyny in the male homosexual community” Got some evidence for this outrageous misrepresentation? Or do you just make up this nonsense? • “Oh, sorry, that's right, you just want to be able to show how 'committed' to your partner you are” Misses the entire point, possibly deliberately to avoid addressing the key issue. Or because you don’t bother to consider the point being made, before heading off to your unthinking defence of the indefensible. • “I was unaware of how many arch-conservative gays were out there, yearning to conform, and willing to sneer at, insult and denigrate anyone who might want to question them. “ Misses the entire point (yet again), which is that gay youth are 3 times as likely to commit suicide. Institutional discrimination isolates them from society, and the ban on marriage is part of the forced isolation from acceptance.

Feral Skeleton

12/05/2011Tom of Melbourne, Where's your own evidence? I mean, are you trying to say that simply because there is no gay marriage in Australia that the gay youth who are 3 times more likely to commit suicide do so for that reason only? Don't be a facile debater, Tom of Melbourne. I don't know if you are the parent of a gay youth, or a hetero youth for that matter, but let me tell you, for a fact which I can provide evidence for if you like, that most of the emotional distress I see with 'gay youth' comes from being bastardised and humiliated at school. One of my sons has a friend, 15yo, who is a cross-dresser. Do you know what causes him the most angst in his life? Well, it certainly isn't the fact that there's no gay marriage in Australia. It's the fact, and no, I'm not going to go to my son's facebook page and extract the 'evidence' to prove it for you, but it is the case that at school and on facebook he is bullied by his peers for his lifestyle. Being regularly labelled a 'Wanker' and a 'Fag' is just the beginning of it. Not to mention how many times he has been bashed up by the other kids. THAT's the sort of thing that leads to an increased gay youth suicide rate, Tom. Not some silly philosophical debating point that you are obsessed by. As for the villification and misogyny, and misanthropy, of straights by gays, and by lesbians of gays, and by gays of lesbians, well, you obviously haven't been circulating among the members of the homosexual community that I have over the decades. Proof? Sorry, I don't tape my friends conversations.

Tom of Melbourne

12/05/2011You neglect to justify a single one of the baseless assertions you have previously made. I’ve used your own narrow minded, partisan words to make some points, and you decline to justify or retract them. The ALP once stood for compassion and s