The Rudd phenomenon

I have always liked Kevin Rudd.  I still do.  When he first came to prominence as shadow foreign minister I remember being impressed with his grasp of his subject matter and his articulateness.  I enjoyed listening to him on TV and radio, and occasionally in parliament when he hammered the Howard Government.  Back then I found I understood every word he uttered.  I still do.  Yet it is his ‘poor communication’ that is cited as being a major reason for his downfall.  What am I missing?  More of that later.

How might we assess Kevin Rudd’s legacy?  What is the Rudd phenomenon?

Already there have been many thousands of words written about the events of the last six months and this last week.  I do not wish to bore readers with a repetition of what others have written, but instead to explore some other aspects of how it all came to this.

But first let’s accentuate the positive and give great credit to Kevin Rudd where it’s due.  Many here have developed a deep affection for him, which made his sudden and unseemly exit painful.  We felt his hurt and humiliation.  This feeling was so strong that some felt angry at not just what had happened but the way it happened.  Conflicting emotions made it hard to separate the stark reality of the situation facing members of the parliamentary Labor Party and what seemed to many the brutal remedy they applied.

After a few days of reflection it is easier to see where things went wrong, and at the same time what has been achieved since Kevin Rudd came onto the Federal scene.  

He earned his stripes with his exemplary performance in his shadow ministry.  He was forensic in his dissection of the AWB affair and pursued the Government relentlessly.  That he did not succeed in getting some scalps is a tribute to John Howard’s clever terms of reference of the Cole inquiry.

Historical accounts of Rudd’s rise to power insist that he has always had his eye on the prime ministership, so when the factional heavyweights arranged a merging of interests of right and left factions, a Kevin Rudd-Julia Gillard ticket was organized and Kim Beasley was toppled, even at a time when the polls were not too bad for Labor.   This event foreshadowed what would transpire over three years later.  Beasley was considered to be unable to beat Howard at the 2007 election, so he was replaced, just as Rudd has now been, with polls much worse than in 2006.

So what has Kevin Rudd done for which he deserves our eternal gratitude?

First, after over eleven years of Labor in opposition, he challenged and defeated John Howard and his Government.  Whatever the legacy of the Howard era, there was in 2007 a strong desire in the electorate for change and Rudd enabled that to occur.  Thank you Kevin.

Next, he led Labor to do some of the things the Coalition ought to have done – apologize to the Stolen Generations and sign the Kyoto Protocol.  The latter was part of Rudd’s push to tackle global warming, something Howard came to so reluctantly.  His commissioning of the Garnaut Report, the Green and White papers and the subsequent ETS/CPRS legislation were landmark events, all of which came to nothing because of Coalition and Greens’ Senate obstruction, and eventually lead to the removal of Malcolm Turnbull and the rise of Tony Abbott.  Copenhagen, into which Rudd put so much effort, was disappointing, leaving him with almost nothing.  Whatever we feel about the deferment of the CPRS, we thank you Kevin for getting us as far as you did.

All except the most hard-hearted and biased give you and your inner cabinet team great credit and thanks for shielding this nation from the GFC, high unemployment and business failures.  Increasing job opportunities, economic prosperity and consumer confidence resulted.  Thank you.

There are many other things you did for which we are grateful – you insulated a million homes while lessening the chances of fire and injury in the process.  We all know the problems there – the media made sure of that, but thank you for getting so much done.   You have built countless school buildings, but all we heard from the media were the ‘cost-blowouts’, the ‘rip-offs’, the ‘fraud’ that occurred in a few instances, mainly in NSW.  But schools, teachers, parents and their children will be grateful for many years to come.  Thank you.

There are many other things: abolishing WorkChoices, the computers-in-schools programme, the national curriculum, the MySchool website, the increase in funding for education, the health system changes, the tax review, the review of pensions that made life easier for recipients, the PPL scheme, the NBN, the Murray-Darling plan, gaining Australia a place at the G20, and so on it goes in a very, very long list – it would take too much space to record here.  But we are grateful.  Thank you. 

But for many your compassion for the less fortunate, your dedication to making this nation a better place, your passion for getting the job done, your ceaseless devotion to your work, your work ethic sometimes to the detriment of your health and well being, your determination against overwhelming odds, your willingness to stand up against powerful vested interests for the sake of the people, and your decency and fairness will be remembered by a grateful nation, sad that you left us so precipitously after all you had done.  Thank you Kevin – you are a good man.

So how has it all come to this?

Commentators point to communication problems, centralization of decision-making, inadequate consultation, poor political judgement, and lack of anticipation as the prime causes.

Communication

There are several elements in communication: the message, the messenger, the recipient and the media.

The message 

Too often the message was seen to be confusing.  Personally, as mentioned earlier, I have had no difficulty in understanding Rudd’s messages, but journalists became irritated by the repetitive phrases – ‘working families’, ‘in the national interest’ and so on; annoyed by his use of old-fashioned words such as ‘balderdash’, ‘bunkum’, and worst of all, ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’, which it labeled as ‘fake’ ockerism.  Having lived in Queensland including a stint in Nambour, I know these expressions were used there and at Eumundi where Rudd grew up.  But the media didn’t like them so it revolted, made them the issue and wrote about them endlessly.  There’s no accounting for the mindless infantilism of some journalists.  

Of course the central message was at times unclear to some.   On this blog site some of us have expressed the view that a specialized media unit was needed to craft easily understandable messages the public could and would assimilate, as the Government’s messages were not ‘cutting-through’.  Rudd’s inexperienced staff was not up to the job. On this blog site we suggested how the CPRS might be ‘sold’.  Yet not one journalist who wrote about lack of ‘cut-through’ suggested what messages would ‘cut-through’ – they just kept harping that they weren’t. I’m still wondering what these cut-through messages would look like, and asking if we’re talking about some fictional notion of ‘cut-through’ that nobody has much idea about.  The media is well and truly capable of talking about a non-existent entity as if it was as plain as a pikestaff.  It also had the temerity to say that the messages about the good things the government was doing were being ‘starved of oxygen’ by the Government’s ongoing travails, most recently the RSPT, when IT was deliberately doing the starving.  Talk about media hypocrisy! 

Early on, the media criticized Rudd endlessly for the lack of narrative in his message, but then turned round and criticized him for hyperbole, over promising, setting expectations too high – presumably that was too much narrative.  As argued in another piece on The Political Sword: The folly of putting a politician on a pedestal, we the public placed unrealistically high expectations on Rudd and became disappointed when the sheer weight of partisan politics and self-interested opposition crushed some of them.  It is generally accepted that a turning point for Rudd’s decline in popularity was when he deferred the CPRS until the end of the current Kyoto agreement in late 2012.  This was branded as a serious betrayal of trust after his ‘greatest moral and economic challenge of our time’ rhetoric, a theme the media pounded relentlessly until everyone had been indoctrinated with ‘Rudd’s broken promise’.  There was little mention of Opposition obstruction or that he had been let down at Copenhagen – only trenchant condemnation – it was clearly Rudd’s fault he had not delivered.

The messenger
The media labeled Rudd as robotic, endlessly spouting focus group-generated phrases.  By the time they had indoctrinated the public into thinking likewise, any substantive messages were easily overshadowed by the language Rudd used, language that the public had been programmed to despise and eventually ridicule.  It was a classic instance of media scapegoating which worked brilliantly for them. Every time Rudd spoke, the listener homed in on the language the messenger used, not the message.  Intimidated by shock jocks and the likes of Kerry O’Brien, in the manner of a self-fulfilling prophesy, Rudd became even more ‘robotic’, and when he showed some spirit in standing up for himself was accused of a ‘meltdown’.

The recipient

Although much of the repetition was designed to impact the busy homemaker and the tired worker who might catch only a fragment on TV at the end of a long day, because the media made such a noise about it, the repetition became the focus of the recipient, a classic example of media brainwashing and manipulation at work. 

The media

This blog site has as one of its prime aims the exposure of the pernicious influence on public thinking of much of the media, particularly the Murdoch outlets.  The media went out of its way to condition the mind of the electorate that Rudd did nothing but waffle, that he spoke gobbledygook, that he talked spin instead of substance, and that he had become a laughing stock.  That accomplished, is it any wonder that the people stopped listening, the ultimate death-knell for a politician.  And if they hadn’t done so already, the media’s repetition of ‘the voters have stopped listening’ ensured that those still doing so wondered why they were.  

Scapegoating is powerful.  We see it in families.  Once started, it is very hard to stop it escalating, let alone reverse it.  The media’s scapegoating of Rudd has been deplorable.  It would argue that all it did was expose Rudd’s weaknesses and foibles.  That is a cop-out.  No matter what defects Rudd had and still has, the media’s role in Rudd’s downfall cannot be underestimated.  It has been as shameful as it has been successful.  When will it start on Julia Gillard?

Of course the media would counter that Rudd did not show them due deference, but exploited them to his own advantage.  That has an element of truth but Rudd has found out the hard way that the media is powerful and punishing, and has contributed substantially to his political demise.

The media message was so persuasive that Labor members found that people in their electorates had stopping listening to Rudd, and had turned away from him so profoundly that they were no longer prepared to vote Labor.  They fled to the Greens, the Labor primary vote in the marginals as well as federally fell to levels incompatible with re-election.  A rout was looming, and no sign of it reversing was to be seen.  The only solution these members could see was to replace the one identified with this desperate situation – the Prime Minister.  This is what they did with clinical precision.

It is seen by many as ruthless and unfair – those responsible were convinced that to do nothing would have given Australia an Abbott-led Government, an alternative too horrifying to contemplate.

Centralization of decision-making

It is now established that Rudd’s modus operandi was control of all aspects of Government.  Although ministers did their work individually and have acknowledged that they were allowed to do so, the requirement was that every move had to be signed off in Rudd’s office even if it was going to Cabinet, and often that process was inadequate.  There was not enough sharing of responsibility, enough delegation, enough sharing of information and decision-making.

How did this occur?  Studies of Rudd’s past show that he has formidable intelligence and an uncommon capacity to assimilate vast amounts of information and come to a reasoned conclusion and a plan of action.  He has unbridled faith in his ability and brainpower.  So he sees no need to consult with others, as he believes he has the answers.  The matters which a Prime Minister has to deal with are so profoundly complex that no one person can possibly encompass all the facts, figures, wisdom, experience and foresight needed to fashion a rational plan and achieve a successful outcome.  This defect in Rudd seems to be longstanding, going back to his days as chief of staff for Wayne Goss.  It may not be remediable.  Rudd’s reaction to failure in any policy area was simply to ‘work harder’.

The upshot of this approach was alienation from colleagues who felt their work was not valued.  They felt anger at being overlooked, ignored or exploited.  The end result was the slowing of the process of governance.  There have been many media reports of the torpid process in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, something aptly described recently as chronic constipation of governance.

The same self-belief, coupled with disdain for Labor’s factional system, led Rudd to insist on selecting his own Cabinet ministers, and subsequently paying little attention to his backbench who found it difficult to engage with him.  It was those backbenchers, even more than factional heavyweights, who toppled Rudd, although the latter were involved in organizing the coup.  He found himself friendless among the wider parliamentary party.  The Abbott attempt to raise the spectre of ‘faceless’ men in Sussex Street running the show – who will forget the ‘36 faceless men’ mantra of forty years ago – will not succeed.  It is not the case; only we oldies remember that era.

Another outcome of centralization of decision-making, especially if the staff involved is inexperienced, is that anticipatory actions are stultified.  There are many who assert that many of the problems Rudd encountered in selling his policies resulted from lack of anticipation of the reaction of those affected.  The CPRS is quoted as a classic example. In his piece Thank you, Kevin, Bushfire Bill makes the telling analogy of ‘Rudd as engineer’ – if you make your product well enough, it will sell itself – but that is a delusion.  He also suggests that Kevin Rudd is an example of The Peter Principle: namely that: “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."  There seems to be much evidence to support that.

In his Quarterly Essay: Power Trip, David Marr asserts that anger is Rudd’s most powerful motivating force.  This psychoanalysis is suspect, based partly as it seems to be on Rudd’s explosive reaction to what Marr had written about him.  If he had written that about me, I think my reaction might have been the same!  Therese Rein corrected Marr when she said, with tears in her eyes on that awful 60 Minutes interview by Tara Brown, that the one thing that motivated her husband was compassion.

So there is my assessment.  Many thousand words more could be written, but enough is enough.

So what do we say now?

What is the Rudd phenomenon?  

Although difficulty in communicating messages the Government wanted the people to hear was a major problem, and the centralization of power and control in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet was debilitating, the role of the media in bringing about the downfall of our Prime Minister was as ugly as it was overpowering.  We shall never forget the disgraceful role of the Murdoch media and particularly The Australian, the paper that nominated Kevin Rudd as its Australian of the Year in January and then proceeded to relentlessly and shamelessly tear him down thereafter.  

While acknowledging his shortcomings, those of us who admire his many attributes and achievements, his passion and his compassion, pay tribute to him for all he has done for the people of Australia.  

To me, that encapsulates the real Rudd phenomenon.  Thank you, Kevin.

What do you think?

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Ad astra reply

28/06/2010Folks I'll be on the road again most of the day, and will be back at my computer late afternoon.

Mobius Ecko

28/06/2010...yet aren't the MSM with the ABC (The Drum) in particular laying the boot into Rudd now he's down? God the media really hate Rudd but I note they are starting to turn on Julia with ABC News Breakfast this morning having a go at Julia for being all talk with no policies after being in power for all of two days, and those two being a weekend. Sound familiar, it's how they started their attacks against Rudd before the GFC.

janice

28/06/2010Excellent piece Ad astra. The Liberal Party and their media attack dogs took some time to find a chink in Labor's armour as they explored reasons for the Rudd Phenomenon. When it became obvious there was too much strength in Labor's policies and the competency of the front bench, they began the tactic of attacking the PM as a means by which to destabilise a Labor Government which dispelled the myth that they were incompetent economic managers and would ruin the country. Out here in the electorates, the people ignored the petty criticisms but when Tony Abbott took over the reins of the Opposition and secured the backing of Murdoch et al, there was a decisive change in the whole media scene in that there was no positive reporting allowed for the government. Day in and day out, there was only negatives for Kevin Rudd and great emphasis placed on his personal idiosyncrasies and what they said was his inability to communicate. I always understood the message Kevin was putting out. Having said that though I have questioned many Labor voters who said they disliked, or even hated, Kevin Rudd and I was told that his messages were too long winded and often unclear to them, and some even resented his "too" christian image which they thought should be a very personal thing and not displayed as part of his political image. It is my personal opinion that it was largely the efforts of the media that killed Kevin Rudd's Prime Ministership. There was much dissent within the Labor Parliamentary party regarding his leadership style which would have become a big problem for him in his second term but I do think that this might have been overcome had his team of advisers been more experienced and willing and able to guide him to see the folly of alienating his party and colleagues by not trusting them enough to include them in decision making and implementation of policies. I firmly believe that we should not lay blame on those who took the action to wrest the leadership from Kevin Rudd. They saw the writing on the wall and took the only action available to them to stop the mad stampede caused by Abbott/Murdoh coalition in their quest to slink back into power. They had already sullied the reputation of Kevin Rudd and downgraded the achievements of a good government in its first term. Mind you, I also believe that the anti-Rudd brigade did not intend to see a change of leadership and were as shocked as all Labor voters were to see it happen. Rather, they thought Labor would try and limp back into Government as they thought Howard would have done had it not been for Rudd. (Thank you Kevin) To sit by and ignore the real risk of Labor losing the election would have been to betray the people and this nation.

Gravel

28/06/2010Ad Astra, thank you. You and many people here have spoken for me too. Lyn Thank you for that link about the opposition's weekend. How fortuitous that they missed all the coverage. Labor had good win this weekend. Oh and the gloating by the media is obnoxious. We here have sworn off ABC (so missed the Wednesday night 'breaking news' stuff, but on the other had we had a good night's sleep). Unfortunately, we are stuck with the ABC radio, and suffered the Melbourne 774 gloating. A couple of our supporters managed to get through but it was mostly Libs and greens being insufferable. I've never known so many people to kick a person when they are down. But on the bright side, they actually had two Labor politicians on, which surprised me, and after the second interview Jon Faine said he was pleased to have Labor politicians on, because he had more often than not been give a polite 'no'. (Don't know if I can believe him though). Lost all trust in most MSM now.

Normal

28/06/2010 Ad Astra, Would that the MSM could formulate, AND publish, a story/feature/article/commentary .. ANALYSIS! (Got it!)as thoughtful and as balanced as this one. Much appreciated. With warmth, Normal

Snoozer289

28/06/2010 Thankyou Ad Astra, It is so unfortunate that the analysis of Kevin Rudd and what he did and contributed to the Labor Party/Government and more importantly the Australian Community will never fully be recognised or acknowledged. The MSM are continuing on with the vindicitive personnel attacks to discredit Kevins Stewardship and style, and to a lesser extent the Government is re-enforcing this by trying to distance themselves from the policies and strategies. (so much for conviction) but again as will be pointed out to me, it is not conviction that counts it is PRAGMATISM. Politician wonder why we the people are so cynical, when it come our political leaders, and the action over the last few days is an example. If we are not to get ourselves tied up in knots, we need to accept that it is politic's and not conviction, passion or compassion which will determine the direction of this country and its poloicies. Thankyou Kevin Rudd for trying

BK

28/06/2010AA A beautifully written piece from both the head and the heart. You are right in that his demise will always be remembered for the role that the Murdoch press played. He did a lot for this country. Things that will be remarked upon in the years to come.

Sir Ian Crisp

28/06/2010Where to now for Ad Astra? After being in thrall to K Rudd, Ad Astra has to watch the spectacle of the ALP tapping Kev on the shoulder and telling him ‘times up’. Let’s have an end to the sobbing and cries of lese-majesty on the part of Rudd. The bloke was a dud. YMBK, if you are still viewing don’t be surprised at the weird behavior here at TPS. How’s this for pure comedy: There is no challenge. There will be no challenge. Dennis got it wrong, again. That from an alleged seer who says opinion pieces from journos should be tethered to reality. YMBK, here at TPS the eclectic passing parade comprises one amateur psychiatrist/psychologist, 5 hypocrites, a lady who taps her way around town with a white cane, one person on the verge of being declared criminally insane, a didacticist wordsmith graciously helping Merriam-Webster rewrite its dictionary, an epigone playwright, a lady who sits a little too close to the liquid paper bottle as she types, and an assortment of frustrated Trotskyites. Ad Astra, a highly principled individual such as yourself cannot give tacit approval to the removal of Rudd by the ALP-orchestrated coup d’état. You must resign from the ALP and uphold your dignity.

Snoozer289

28/06/2010Sir Ian crisp, Please go back to bed and roll out the other side, it seems that you as usual continue to wake up on the wrong side of the bed

Min

28/06/2010An excellent and thorough examination of the situation Ad Astra. I have put a link over to Cafe Whispers as recommended reading.

sawdustmick

28/06/2010SIC, I know that you believe Rudd was a dud, but mate you have to admit that what Ruddy did to Rodney was pure genius. Then to top that off for the next couple of years managed to have the Libs eating their own young. Even Smirk in the end could not stand the thought of leading such a bunch of weak minded not talented pack of bums. We can only hope that the Monk’s prediction of being cast as political road kill if he looses will come to fruition.

Roswell

28/06/2010Great article that was referred by your friends over at Cafe Whispers. It's good that such blog sites recommened each other's posts. If not, I might not have been alerted to this excellent piece.

Patricia WA

28/06/2010Yes, Ad Astra, you've said it all so well. You've also pre-empted the usual rubbish about this having been[quote]the removal of Rudd by(an) ALP-orchestrated coup d’état[/quote] This was no 'coup d'etat' nor, I believe, insider treachery. It will be some time, if ever, before we know exactly what transpired between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. We do know that she confronted him and talked to him for some time, leaving it to him to announce her request for a spill before then nominating herself. I've sent this to other sympathetic sites like Lavartus Prodeo, so mutual friends, please forgive the repetition. It seems to fit the theme here. . We held our leader in high regard, Watched helpless as he was daily mauled By media and an opposition fighting hard And dirty, with no holds barred. And finally when he lay bleeding, Victim of press gallery canard, Yes, we killed him because we knew He was near dead, so battle scarred And bruised he could never rise again. So much was his reputation marred Our cause, also dear to him, looked lost. No choice but for the old praetorian guard To take control and end a tragic farce. This was no assassination. It was an end to suffering; a ‘coup de grace’. [/quote]

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010Folks Back on deck after a long day on the road. Thank you for your kind comments which I enjoyed reading on my return.

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010Roswell Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family . Thanks to [i]Café Whispers[/i] for linking to here. We hope you will return often. Patricia WA A warm welcome to you too to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come again.

HS

28/06/2010Sir Ian Crisp, You wish you were as kind, thoughtful and erudite as Ad Astra, and Kevin Rudd for that matter. Instead all you sound like to me is a spiteful old queen. I don't know why you bother coming here, except if it's just to titillate yourself about the wit only you think you possess. Or to take potshots at those of us with a different political perspective to you, with your etherial flintlock pistol, whose flint has been mined from the pit of your heart.

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010Mobius Ecko The ABC has been complicit in the media’s relentless attack on Rudd. It seems to have some alliance with Murdoch’s News Limited. Whether formal or informal, it replicates faithfully much of the political news that appears there, sometimes word for word on its online outlets such as [i]The Drum[/i] and in its news bulletins. Moreover Dennis Shanahan now features regularly on ABC evening shows, such as Tony Delroy’s [i]Nightlife[/i] and as a commentator on [i]Lateline[/i]. He’s everywhere, promulgating his views, which too often are tainted with his idiosyncratic brand of wishful thinking. I don’t view morning ABC TV or listen to ABC national radio – I’m an ABC 774 Melbourne radio listener. So if you have a link to the transcript of the ABC’s initial attacks on Julia Gillard, please post it here and I’ll paste it into [i]ABC WATCH[/i].

Glordindel

28/06/2010Any analysis of the Rudd phenom should be a balanced view of the whole thing, From Kevin 07 up until June 2010. For most of that time Rudd was well on top. Absolutely untouchable – right up until about April this year or thereabouts. So to say he was a poor communicator or that the media were out to get him can really only explain from April onwards. (and it does not explain the recent improving trend in the polls) Whatever Rudd was doing it was working for all of 2007, all of 2008, all of 2009 and up until April 2010. If he had any fundamental flaws that's one heck of a long time for those flaws to remain hidden. Also a heck of a long time for a media campaign to start working. I think he had the same essential problem as Malcolm Turnbull, a great difficulty in selling a decision that he did not personally believe in. It was quite well noted during Turnbull's time as leader that he could be a markedly different communicator when he truly believed in the subject matter as opposed to when he did not. Perhaps Rudd shared a similar weakness, perhaps he had a great deal of difficulty trying to explain the decision to drop the ETS because he fundamentally did not believe in that decision. Where the wheels fell off was when he was persuaded to accept a decision he did not believe in and dump the ETS. He never recovered from that damage (although he was still in a winning position).

NormanK

28/06/2010Ad astra Thank you very much. There can be no doubt that the media played a major role in bringing Mr Rudd down. Beyond that, everything else is conjecture and you have walked a fine line between accepting the media hype as fact and acknowledging the need for the Party to act. I agree with Patricia WA when she says "It will be some time, if ever, before we know exactly what transpired between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard." Something huge must have occurred. May I offer my sincere thanks to Kevin Rudd who is a very rare creature who chose to use his talents to make this a better country in which to live. The saddest lessons in all of this is that younger versions of him may now decide to avoid public office and the media now have proof positive that they can shape events in this country. Dark days.

simon

28/06/2010Interesting read Ad Astra, One thing I cannot get my head around in all of this is that everyone talks of the inevitability that labor would lose the coming election if Mr Rudd stayed in power.I don't feel that way at all.I beleive Labor was on the way back up and had stopped the rot, and the momentum would have likely continued when the campaigning started.People in the party have forgotton very quickly what an excellent performer Mr Rudd was in those crucial last 2-3 weeks before the polls in 2007.I beleive he would have eaten Mr Abbott alive in the head to head debates and won back many of the people who had been tuning out.The party let their personal opinion's toward the PM get in the way of their better judgement.After a short honeymoon period the media attacks will resume only this time aimed at Ms Gillard and frankly I think she will struggle to maintain her current popularity which is based mainly on the gimmick ofher being the first female PM.

Sir Ian Crisp

28/06/2010sawdustmick, what you say about what Ruddy did to Rodney is correct. He even saw to the exit of The Smirker. However, you have to balance it out. As Howard has pointed out from his South African bunker, Tony um, er, ahh, um Abbott now has seen off an Australian PM. Scalps are about even. Will Tony um, um, um Abbott take the scalp of the Bird of Paradox? Only time will tell. HS, I don't think you mean that. Surely you of all people are not homophobic. I thought you were a member of the ALP.....the enlightened party.

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010janice I agree with all you have written. If the prime purpose was to bring the Rudd Government down and restore the rightful order – a Coalition Government, what the media decided to do first was to scandalize the leader, starting with the Scores and Burke episodes, followed by the ‘rude to RAAF hostie’ and ‘hairdryer’ events. As that didn’t work, the media homed in on Rudd’s linguistic habits, criticizing first, then ridiculing them, then ridiculing Rudd, then insisting that he had become a ‘laughing stock’ and ‘the people had stopped listening’. Having turned people off Rudd as a leader whose words were now not worth listening to, they attacked his personal behaviour patterns and finally his policies. The sequence is important – kill respect for the leader before arguing the case against his policies, because once respect is gone and replaced by disdain, even the finest policy is discarded by the people as valueless. Now whether they were smart enough at News Limited to plan their demolition of the nation’s PM deliberately from the beginning, or whether serendipity played a part, we will probably never know.

Sir Ian Crisp

28/06/2010YMBK, add one homophobe to my list of the human parade of oddities here at TPS.

Lyn

28/06/2010Hi Glordindel A big welcome to you, thankyou for your very worthy, interesting, comment on "The Political Sword", Ad Astra will be pleased. We all hope you keep coming back with many comments.

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010Gravel It will be interesting to see if the ABC now gives more opportunities to Labor politicians to appear on its news and current affairs programmes. The story going the rounds is that Kevin Rudd’s office kept tight reins on the message to be promulgated and who should transmit it. There have been bitter complaints by media outlets, including the ABC, of having been rebuffed repeatedly. If Julia Gillard has a more open policy to the media, and her past history and present attitude suggests she has, we might see many more Labor politicians passing on the Government’s messages and particularly its achievements. That will do nothing but good.

Lyn

28/06/2010Hi Simon A big welcome to you, thankyou for your thoughtful comment on "The Political Sword' We all hope you keep posting heaps more comments for us to read. [quote]I cannot get my head around in all of this [/quote] I agree with you , we are all having trouble coming to terms with what has happened to Kevin Rudd.

Miglo

28/06/2010You need to see this; it's dynamite. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/rock-bottom/#comment-1651

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010Snoozer289 The political reality is that pragmatism almost always trumps conviction. In fact the term ‘conviction politician’ is a [i]non sequitur[/i]. When did we last see a politician die in ditch on a matter of principle? John Howard was touted as a conviction politician, and Tony Abbott wants to assume that mantle. But neither were, or are. Pragmatism will reign supreme on both sides. I wish they would just drop ‘conviction politician’ – who believes it?

Rx

28/06/2010The media, not least of all the ABC, can give themselves a big pat on the back for the part they played in the campaign of destruction of a good and decent Prime Minister. Glad I'm not them, with that on my conscience...

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010Glordindel Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come often. I do agree with your assessment of Malcolm Turnbull – he was a poor salesman of anything in which he did not believe, but when he had his heart in it, he was a formidable advocate. It is an interesting insight that you believe that Kevin Rudd suffered from the same problem, and that is why he had difficulty selling the merits of deferring the ETS. Perhaps history eventually will reveal what his real feelings were about the ETS. Thank you for your comment.

janice

28/06/2010Ad astra, I firmly believe the prime purpose was to discredit the Rudd Government and restore the Coalition to power. It was a planned and relentless campaign that would have succeeded had not the Labor Party found the courage to take the unthinkable and ruthless action to sacrifice Rudd to save both the nation and the government. While we may like to think that Labor would have won the election, I am of the opinion that the risk of losing it was too great and the very thought of finding ourselves lumbered with the remnants of the Howard era, lead by the dubious straight talking Abbott, is too ghastly to contemplate. And, I firmly believe that Julia Guillard would not have even considered challenging Kevin Rudd had not she believed the government was in jeopardy. So, I blame the coalition of the media and Abbott for the assassination of Kevin Rudd. I also firmly believe that Kevin Rudd will always enjoy the undying gratitude of the Labor Party for leading them back into government and for his hard work, his dedication and determination to make this nation a place of which we can all be proud.

Lyn

28/06/2010Hi Ad Everybody might enjoy this piece, I did: [i]the fabulous hollowman ....., John Richardson, Your Democracy[/i] As for his much vaunted contribution to the nation's future, hollowman proceeded to unveil the Oppositions' 12-step ''action contract'', which contains all the policy [b]substance of a discarded McDonalds Big Mack.[/b] This cheap crook has nothing to offer our country other than [b]meanness, misery, division & small mindedness .... all dressed-up & no-where to go.[/b] http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/9649

Augustus

28/06/2010Ad Astra, As the reports mention Kevin Rudd was advised to shelve the ETS by the right, by the same people who white anted him, so was this an elaborate plot within the Labor party by the factions to remove Kevin Rudd to install a factional member, it does beg the question for me at least, or did they just loose their bottle - panic stricken chooks with their heads cut off - the fear of opposition again. Was Kevin Rudd possibly even placed on a pedestal within the party and Australia because he beat of John Howard but turned out to be human after all, Kevin Rudd didn't seem to have a problem with being human, just obsessed with making a change within a machine and a country that was baulking at change in particular to their own structure. FEAR IS NOT AN OPTION. Has the Labor machine and Australia assimilated into the 21st century yet, or are we still bound to the Howard years, after all it hasn't been a full term of change yet and plans were interrupted by the global financial meltdown which the Government had to adjust to quickly and still uphold election promises. We'll never know so it really does become a moot point, but like all disappointments in life we need to look to the future.

Jason

28/06/2010Sir Ian Crisp, After reading much of what you have had to say for the last couple of days I assume you have an invisible friend advising you in your delusion, or is this all your own work?

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010BK Thank you for your always-encouraging remarks. We shall remember what Kevin Rudd did for us, and also way the media deliberately contributed to his downfall. Min Thank you for linking us to [i]Café Whispers[/i]. sawdustmick If Abbott loses the election badly, his prediction of becoming road-kill will become a reality. He knows it – that’s why we’re seeing fake bravado from him right now. Patricia WA Thank you for your touching verse. NormanK That the media has had such a pernicious role in the downfall of our PM is perhaps the most salutary lesson for us all out of this episode. We tried to counter its bile, but could not overcome its malicious intent. But we have learned on the way. We now know the tactics and will be alert to them. We will watch like hawks the media's attempts to do the same to Julia, and will scream blue murder. The media must not be allowed to play the same game again. simon I’m not sure if this is your first comment, but if so, welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come again. The public opinion polls were on the improve as Possum’s [i]Pollytrend[/i] showed; it was the private polling, especially in marginal seats that alarmed the parliamentary Labor Party members, and encouraged them to act as they did. As mentioned above, we must all be alert to the inevitable attacks on Julia Gillard and expose them. Miglo That comment on the Liberal Party website says lots about the Liberal Party. Rx Does the media have a conscience? If so, it’s well hidden. Individuals have a conscience but the media is such a large conglomerate that it’s easy for journalists to avoid looking at their individual consciences when the media generally is pursuing a course of action. Lyn Thank you for the [i]Your Democracy[/i] link – great reading. Augustus I guess it will only be in the fullness of time, after the main players have written their memoirs, that the ‘truth’, whatever that is, will emerge. Until then we can only indulge on conjecture. Sir Ian Snoozer289, sawdustmick, HS, and Jason have all had a go at putting you straight after your typically acerbic comments, so I won’t attempt to answer you tonight. I haven’t got the energy and there are some interesting things to watch on TV. [i]Q&A[/i] is coming up, then [i]Lateline[/i], so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Have good night’s sleep.

Ad astra reply

28/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Sir Ian Crisp

28/06/2010And may Morpheus grant you a pleasant slumber tonight Ad Astra. Jason, you'll have to try harder. It's water off a duck's back to me because I am dead to criticism.

HS

28/06/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Don't you sneeringly accuse me of being a homophobe. I simply object to you and you alone and the way you come on to this blog and condescendingly give us the 'benefit' of your 'wisdom' as if you are some sort of superior being to the rest of us simply because, it seems to me, you don't support the ALP, as some of us do. I feel sorry for you, unable as you seem to be to discuss and evaluate politics in an open and collegial way like the rest of us do here. Anyway, you have mischaracterised my original assessment of you in order to fit in with your subsequent sneer. I said, 'you sound LIKE a spiteful old queen', NOT that, 'you ARE a spiteful old queen', and I stand by that assessment 100%.

Acerbic Conehead

28/06/2010Sir Ian Crisp (June 28. 2010 09:13 PM). “I am dead to criticism”. There are none so blind... http://www.noogenesis.com/game_theory/johari/johari_window.html

Acerbic Conehead

28/06/2010Sir Ian Crisp (June 28. 2010 02:20 PM). You will have to do much better than this. A cursory squiz at your post reveals a presumption, a non-sequitur and a host of ad hominems. At this rate, you wouldn’t even get a spot on a Junior High School debating team.

HS

28/06/2010Sir Ian Crisp, 'It's water off a duck's back to me because I am dead to criticism.' A sad comment from a pathetic, pitiful individual. You have my sympathy.

Sir Ian Crisp

29/06/2010AC, stick to writing your version of comedy. HS, at least I think. If I brush off criticism it means I am not afraid of venturing into areas that are normally protected by PC thought.

HS

29/06/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Back to your condescending & belittling best I see. If 'you think', why are you singularly unable to come up with a convincing argument to support your demeaning assertions? Saying it doesn't make it so. Or maybe, if you consider what you deep, 'thinking', then let me just say it as deep as a puddle of dirty water after a rainshower. Also, compared to your 'thoughts' Ad Astra's are as deep as the Pacific Ocean trench. I notice that you run your ragged claws through the meme of 'pc thought' in a feeble attempt to diminish the thoughts of those who disagree with you. Pray tell, o superior being(purely and simply because of your conservative 'thoughts', it seems, which is a risible proposition at best), what exactly is 'pc thought' and why is it laughable(well, by your feeble estimation), to think in a politically correct way? I would have thought(yes, SIC, I think too, and very well if I don't say so myself), that if one is correct about politics one is right. I certainly 'think' so. No doubt you see it as your mission to attempt to decimate a 'Lefty' blog and its contributors, as some sort of political guerilla action which will benefit your confreres in the conservative movement. Well, go your hardest. I relish the prospect of stepping up to the plate against you and your petty villification, every day from now until the election, and beyond. Your presence merely serves to reinforce in observer's minds the moral bankruptcy of the conservative movement as a whole. Thank you.

Lyn

29/06/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Newspoll ALP 53 - LNP 47 (or this is irrelevent, apparently) Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] Was he lying? Well yes, he was. How do we know? Because it took him two days to change his story. Here was Abbott on Saturday at the Liberal Party National Conference: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]The Electeral reality of Rudd's last days, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] Unlike Dennis we actually analysed voter firmness to get a better grip on the dynamics of the large third party vote we have recently witnessed. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/ [i]Possum refutes Shanahan, Mark, larvatus Prodeo[/i] So Gillard saves a situation that according to the polling didn’t exactly need saving, , http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]Naming the mystery spokesman, Political Owl, Blogotriat[/i] Abbott tried to pretend that he had spoken to his colleagues not about the prospect of "a famous victory" but rather made the more mundane assertion that the next election was “certainly winnable, but there’s an enormous http://www.blogotariat.com/node/196333 [i]Burchill: the blogger's fantasies ,Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] The only legitimate political commentators in the eyes of The Australian are the professional ones (especially those who work for The Australian) and who tell us what to think and what our politics should be. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/06/burchill-the-bl.php [i]Healthcare reform: Vince Guy, The Daily Bludge[/i] The controversial electronic healthcare identifier legislation passed the Senate a couple of days ago, http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/06/healthcare-reform-id-card/ [i]the fabulous hollowman ....., John Richardson, Your Democracy[/i] As for his much vaunted contribution to the nation's future, hollowman proceeded to unveil the Oppositions' 12-step ''action contract'', which contains all the policy substance of a discarded McDonalds Big Mack. This cheap crook has nothing to offer our country other than meanness, misery, division & small mindedness .... all dressed-up & no-where to go. http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/9649 [i]An Excellent System Leon Delaney[/i] even though we do not directly choose our Prime Minister, many people nonetheless feel cheated by last week’s event, http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/ [i]Crean moves to DEEWR who will Rudd replace if Labor wins?,Bernard Keane,The Stump[/i] There will be no further changes until when and if Gillard wins the forthcoming election. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/06/28/crean-moves-to-deewr-but-who-will-rudd-replace-after-the-election/ [i]Howard: a terrible first-term PM Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] the idea that it was Rudd’s chaotic and alienating management style that was the true cause of his downfall. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/28/the-strange-case-of-the-terrible-first-term-prime-minister/ Who killed Kevin Rudd's prime ministership?, Peter Menadue, Unleashed corporations are not flesh and blood citizens like you and me: Mr BHP and Ms Rio Tinto do not go down to a polling station and cast a vote. They are soulless legal entities created to confer economic privileges http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2938940.htm

Ad astra reply

29/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Roswell

29/06/2010Lyn, I appreciate your links. I first found TPS through Cafe Whispers and it's encouraging that there are so many of 'us' solidifying the uncorruptable across the blogospere.

Lyn

29/06/2010Hi Roswell Thankyou so much for your very nice compliment, Roswell, also a big thankyou for joining in with us on "The Political Sword. When I first came to "The Political Sword" I had been following various links from, would you believe, Andrew Bolt's "commenters", I found my good friend Ad Astra, we have been friends ever since.

Lyn

29/06/2010Hi again Roswell I forgot to mention, I love your gravatar.

Roswell

29/06/2010Thank you Lyn. The gravatar says alot about me. I'm into conspiracy theories. Ashamed that you ever read Bolt though. That's almost unforgivable. But you're forgiven.

Michael

29/06/2010Kevin Rudd has often been characterised as a 'process' man, more of a bureaucrat than a politician. To me, he was an ideas man. Think back over the Rudd Government's programs, its initiatives, its dealing with undealt-with issues such as the Apology to the Indigenous People, and signing the Kyoto agreement, and its approach to how to take on unexpected developments like the Global Financial Crisis, and see if you see what I see - big ideas. (Whatever immediately came out of the 20/20 Summit, the concept was large, and the potential for seeding of this country's development from the ideas canvassed and the meeting of minds of attending individuals may well pay dividends for decades to come.) I wonder if, ironically, this more 'pragmatic' government under Julia Gillard will simply draw on the bank of ideas that Rudd has brought to the table? Because I do wonder if there is anyone in this government without Rudd at its head who has his capacity for developing new ideas? Do not most of the ministry in fact look more like process-oriented, pragmatic, 'solid government' types than he, apart from physically, has ever looked? Nobody about to scare the horses in this lot. Wouldn't it be ironic if history shows us that the most radical member of the Rudd government was Kevin Rudd? That the ideas that would have grown over two or three more confident terms of his heading a government will now wither back from full exploration, because his 'stable' of fellow Caucus members lacked his vision, and his excitement in dealing with issues that previous governments shied away from in pursuit of re-election? Kevin Rudd may lack in many areas of his personality, as all of us do, but between the ears, he gave away nothing to any Prime Minister before him. I sincerely hope that the Prime Minister now following him will not give away the ideas and enthusiasm that attracted so many Australians to Kevin Rudd's governing of this country in the first place.

Ad astra reply

29/06/2010Michael You’re right – Kevin Rudd was an ideas man – still is. Initiatives such as the 2020 Summit, the Asia Pacific community, the Garnaut Review and the ETS that followed, and the Henry Tax Review were ground-breaking ideas, some of which were lampooned, particularly by our learned media. His problem was not lack of ideas but difficulty in marketing them. We are a conservative ‘she’ll be right mate’ society that does not respond well to new ideas – there are an abundance of knockers, particularly in the media and the Opposition who raise doubts in people’s minds. This has happened with the global warming debate where the skeptics have eroded public confidence in the need for action. So we need not only ideas people but also good salesmen who can bring public opinion along with the ideas they generate. Julia Gillard is highlighting the fact that the public has not yet formed a consensus about what to do about climate change for example, and that part of her action plan is bring the people along with any plan for an ETS. It would be a great pity if ideas were suppressed because of the difficulty in selling them. Time will tell whether Julia is as much an ideas person as Kevin.

NormanK

29/06/2010AA and Michael Fanciful perhaps but the ideas man may still be on the front bench. This is why I was greatly heartened to hear he would stand again. Let's all hope Ms Gillard keeps the ideas and does a good job of selling them. Swan had better lift his game though. AC Thanks for The Johari Window.

NormanK

29/06/2010IT’S A SIN In a small cafe in Forestville. At a corner table sit two men hunched in earnest conversation. One a man of the cloth, the other reptilian in nature. Tony : Thank you for agreeing to meet with me Father. Father : You know I am always available to one of my flock, Tony. But why here in a cafe? Is this not something which could be better dealt with in the church? In the confessional perhaps? Tony : Really, that’s uh that’s the problem Father. I’m not sure what I need to confess. I was hoping for a bit of ah advice before I go into His office, if you know what I mean. Father : Very well, my son. What’s troubling you? Tony : Well, there’s been a lot said, and written, you might have seen some of it, about how sometimes I’m .... uh .... I’m not ..... ah ......... consistent in what I say. Father : You mean lying. Tony : No .... no ......... (chuckle) no .... I mean ...... I mean being inconsistent. Like the climate change thing when I said it was ........ you know, untrue. That was because I was in a room full of people who all thought it was ...... untrue ..... so .... so I was just saying what they all thought anyway. Father : So that they would like you? Tony : I suppose so. I mean ... I mean I don’t care if they like me or not as long as they vote for me. But ..... but the point is, at the time I couldn’t say MAYBE it was ........... uh ..... rubbish or maybe it was true ‘cause they would’ve lynched me, so when I said it was ....... rubbish I meant it. Sort of. Father : Okay. And then later you were inconsistent. Tony : Yeah well there’s so much jumping up and down about it, I can’t go out there and say it’s ......... ah ....... rubbish and expect to get elected so ....... so I had to say what everyone wanted to hear, that it MIGHT be true and IF it was true we MIGHT have to do something about it. You see my problem, Father? Father : I believe so, my son. But what do you really think about man-made climate change? Tony : What’s that got to do with ........ ? Oh, okay ..... okay, okay I see ....... what do YOU think I should think about it, Father? Father : That’s hardly the point, is it? Still, let’s leave that. What else? Tony : Well there’s that thing about no new taxes, you remember? But I was under pressure. I can’t come out as a new Opposition Leader and say , and say “we’re gonna put up taxes” - people don’t like taxes, Father and they really don’t like new ones. Father : And then later you were inconsistent? Tony : Yeah but ...... but you have to understand, Rudd had this great idea about Paid Parental Leave and ................ and ......... and ..... I ....... I needed something better than his and I didn’t have any money. People reckon women don’t like me so ....... so ......... and I wanted them to .......... to like me. I didn’t think anyone would remember the “no new taxes” thing you know and it was just spur of the moment stuff and anyway it was gonna be on big businesses not on real people. Nobody cares about big business. Except me of course. I .... uh ...... I care about, uh big business and I care about, uh small business ............ Father : So you were ...... inconsistent because you wanted women to like you? What about men? What about the businesses you were going to tax. Tony : Well, men already like me. Heck, I’m an Iron Man. Have you SEEN my six-pack, Father? (laugh) And the businesses knew I’d never get it through Parliament so no sweat there. Father : So you never really intended to implement a PPL scheme? That was a lie? Tony : No, no, no (chuckle). I was going to ............ uh to ........... to TRY to do it but SOMEONE would have stopped me even though I really really wanted to. Father : Mm. That would bring us to your “consultative”, “collegiate” speech after replacing Mr Turnbull, wouldn’t it? Tony : Sure, sure. He was high-handed and I uh I had to uh I had to promise that I wouldn’t be. Father : And then you ...... Tony : Yes, yes, I ...... I ...... I announced the pregnant mothers’ scheme ......... Father : Saying that sometimes you have to “act first and seek forgiveness afterwards”. You must be aware, there are prisoners serving life sentences who used that same rationale. Tony : What are you saying? Father : Nothing my son. It is not for me to judge. Each man must live according to his own conscience. Tony : (aside) Conscience? Con...sci....ence? Rings a bell but ................ Father : Alright. These are obviously complex issues and I don’t have all morning to dissect them. What about “victory is within our grasp”? Was that true? Tony : When I said it? Sure. Absolutely. Gosp........ We were just going on holidays and I was giving the team a pep talk sort of thing. It was what they wanted to hear. Father : You wanted them to like you? Tony : Yeah, of course, I’m their leader. Sometimes you can uh ........ you can TELL them to like you but .......... uh ......... but it doesn’t always work. I don’t think Julie likes me. She’s always looking over my shoulder. Father : Was it true? Were you within reach of a famous victory? Tony : Don’t be silly Father. We looked like getting trounced but you can’t , you can’t say that to the kids just before holidays, can you? They wouldn’t have liked that. Father : Mmm. But then you said later on that you didn’t actually say those words - it was a misunderstanding. Tony : Look, I couldn’t have the Australian public thinking I was ah .......... I was ah ........ I was full of myself. People don’t like that. They don’t like people who are full of themselves. Hubris. Father : Alright and then a few days later you told Father O’Brien that you DID say that but it wasn’t all that you said. Tony : Yeah. Gee it’s hard to get him to like me. I really thought he’d like me for that one. What is it with redheads and getting them to like me? Oh Julia uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... Father : So, my son. Are you saying you lied when you admitted lying about something you didn’t believe in when you said it? No. Hang on. Sorry. You told the truth when admitting lying about something you lied about. No, that’s not quite right either. It’s hard isn’t it? Let’s see. You were honest in admitting that you lied about saying something which you knew wasn’t true? Tony : Sure, maybe. But enough with the uh ......... the uh ........ the lying stuff Father. I am not always consistent in what I say but ......... but ........... BUT I’m a fair dickum bloke and what you see is uh what you get. Father : (aside) That’s what I’m afraid of. Tony : Sorry Father. Father : Nothing my son, nothing. Can you see the common thread running through all of this? It seems you have a desperate need for people to like you. In fact, you’ll say pretty much anything to get them to like you. Do you believe it’s working? Do you think people like you? Tony : No, no not really Father. Fifty-five percent of them hate me. Father : And why do you think that is? Why don’t people like you? Tony : Because they think I’m uh ....... they think I’m a liar. For goodness sake! What do they want me to say so that they’ll believe I’m honest? If they would just tell me what to say, then I’d say it. Father : I’m sure you would. Tony : So what do you think Father? Confess to a bit of hummus and ............. ah .... and ah ...... and inconsistency and covetting thy opposition’s leader and ah Bob’s your uncle? Father : That’s not for me to decide my son. I’m sure the Lord can see in to your heart and ..... Tony : (aside) Oh ferguggle.* Father : ...... provided you remain true to your heart, He will judge you accordingly. Tony : Thank you Father. I really appreciate your uh ..... your uh .......your blessing. Father : Oh no, no, no. (standing) Make no mistake, my son. YOU are going straight to Hell. *Copyright - Hillbilly Skeleton 2010 All rights reserved

Ad astra reply

29/06/2010Sir Ian Morpheus has done his work, but judging from the responses your comments have evoked, there may not be much more to say. You know you are welcome here, and you have the right to be provocative, to challenge views expressed by others, and to express your own. What mystifies me is why you waste so much of your time and that of other bloggers by shooting the messengers, rather than debating the message. In case you think I’m exaggerating about shooting the messengers, reflect on this part of your post: [i]”… here at TPS the eclectic passing parade comprises one amateur psychiatrist/psychologist, 5 hypocrites, a lady who taps her way around town with a white cane, one person on the verge of being declared criminally insane, a didacticist wordsmith graciously helping Merriam-Webster rewrite its dictionary, an epigone playwright, a lady who sits a little too close to the liquid paper bottle as she types, and an assortment of frustrated Trotskyites.”[/i]. I wonder who is the [i]”...didacticist wordsmith graciously helping Merriam-Webster rewrite its dictionary…”[/i] Is this your attempt at self-deprecation? The only substance in what you wrote is that you believe Rudd was a dud and that some of us got our predictions wrong. I suppose the latter should disqualify us from ever predicting again - we should leave it to the experts that populate the media as their predictions are always spot-on. Then I reflect on how many predicted the events of last week and the dismissal of a sitting PM by his party and search in vain for anyone who sagely saw this coming. So be a little cautious in knocking us here. If one can judge from your use of the English language, you are learned and capable of mounting well-reasoned arguments for or against any proposition. So why not favour us with an exposition of your views, and your considered opinion about what people write here. Help us to maintain and even elevate the quality of discourse. That is what we seek. You can see from the responses you have evoked that some see you as an acerbic curmudgeon who delights in baiting but who contributes little to rational debate. Of course in using the term ‘curmudgeon ‘ I’m assuming the name you use here is a pseudonym and that you are male, reinforced by your use of ‘luvvie’ to describe females who blog here. If you are in fact female, that’s something else I’ve got wrong. May I conclude by saying, hopefully in language you will understand, be a good chappie and give the others who blog here a break from your sarcasm, and instead delight us with your learned opinions and impeccable argued conclusions. Feed us.

bilgedigger

29/06/2010Thanks Ad Astra for another of your insightful posts.

Ad astra reply

29/06/2010NormanK You are brilliant. What a superb send-up. Your satirical characterization of Phony Tony is worth more than a thousand words of serious writing. You run the risk of being roped in to write original pieces for [i]TPS[/i]! Thank you for delighting us.

Min

29/06/2010Ad Astra @5.58pm. I have popped your comment over to Cafe Whispers on B.Tolputt's topic. I thought especially pertinent was your comment about 'sequence of events' and are we now seeing this with Gillard being questioned about her partner, her unmarried status (shock! that this might be an encouragement for Australian women to enter into defacto relationships)and Gillard's religion or lack thereof.

Ad astra reply

29/06/2010bilgedigger Thank you for your kind words.

NormanK

29/06/2010Ad astra Thanks very much. I am writing original pieces for TPS but I know my limitations. Hummus is a sin.

HS

29/06/2010NormanK, Brilliant! just brilliant! And thank you for the attribution, I think I better take kudos where I can get them because I am afraid my own work will compare poorly with yours, Ad Astra's, Bushfire Bill's, and Acerbic C.'s. Not to mention lyn's Herculean efforts at link gathering on a daily basis. Phew!

Ad astra reply

29/06/2010MIn Thank you. NormanK Please keep writing in this vein. It is not just entertaining - like a great cartoon it so accurately captures the stark truth.

HS

29/06/2010Ad Astra, 'I wonder who is the ”...didacticist wordsmith graciously helping Merriam-Webster rewrite its dictionary…” Is this your attempt at self-deprecation?' Um, that would be me. :) I remember I had the temerity to exclaim once to SIC that I used to read the dictionary as a child. Not that he believed me that my vocabulary was broad and deep, accusing me at the time of resorting to Merriam-Webster online in order to pad out my blogs. All of which is untrue, but like a dog with a bone he won't let go of the idea, and has obviously thought it advantageous to his critique of us all here to go around the block with it again.

Lyn

29/06/2010Hi Norman K Thankyou so much, you are just so delightful.

Ad astra reply

29/06/2010HS I really thought Sir Ian was having a go at himself - silly me.

Macca

29/06/2010Sir Ian Crisp; In your world you are a chocolate. In our world you're just another boiled lolly.

Lyn

29/06/2010Hi Ad These two stories are sad: [i]Rudd says goodbye to Lodge Updated 49 minutes ago , ABC[/i] Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has left the Lodge in Canberra http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/29/2940275.htm?section=justin [i]Tax agreement with Rudd was almost there: Forrest Updated 1 hour 43 minutes ago , ABC[/i] Fortescue Metals Group executive director Andrew Forrest says he was within 24 hours of reaching an initial agreement with former prime minister Kevin Rudd on http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/29/2940236.htm?section=justin

NormanK

29/06/2010HS Credit where it is due but I can't see "ferguggle" entering my day-to-day vocabulary. There is something cathartic in the anglo-saxon, replete as it is with the implication that the hammer is more to blame than the wielder or the thumb. Lyn It's my pleasure. How could I not seek to please eyes as sweet as yours. Perhaps Julie Bishop could learn something from you.

Ad astra reply

29/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Sir Ian Crisp

29/06/2010HS, you seem to be suffering from delusions of grandeur so I’ll ease your pain. It is not lending your vast experience to the Merriam-Webster organization. Below is what I was referring to regarding ‘a didacticist wordsmith graciously helping Merriam-Webster rewrite its dictionary’. >Ian - little old me "a whited sepulcher"? I'm devastated by your comment (there also goes Rule 2 out the window for me). At this time of the evening, I haven't had any dinner and it looks like being some time before that happens. In these circumstances I often turn into a "nit-picker" and in that guise I wonder if you actually meant to say that you thought I was "a whited sepulchre".< HS, you seem to think I don’t like the fact that you use unusual words. Not so. As I have already told you I am not disturbed by the use of unusual words and your use of them must be applauded. I find unusual words interesting and if I see a word used that I am not familiar with I look the damn thing up, I don’t carry on like an idiot. With Google©™® on tap it takes all of about 40 seconds to get the definition of a word. I wonder if Ad Astra is interested in running a workshop on how to use Google©™®. You ask for a definition of ‘PC thought’ so I must ask Daniel Barenboim if I can use his quote: “To be politically correct is an act of intellectual cowardice because it allows a person to take part in a conversation without having to form their own opinion, an opinion for which they may be criticized”. Ad Astra, I’ll reply to your post tomorrow.

Lyn

29/06/2010Hi Ad and Everybody Our friends over at Cafe Whispers, Ben writes an enjoyable post: [i]Moral Right vs Immoral Left – Take 1, Ben Tolputt, Cafe Whispers[/i] [b]Abbott might have to choose between running with the media (and having a chance come election day) or sticking to some level of principle.[/b] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/moral-right-vs-immoral-left-take-1/

adelaidegirl

29/06/2010The rag is too poor to mention, and I think has been alluded to already, but Bettina Arndt's article in the SMH today was disgraceful. She implied, in a roundabout "I never meant that" sort of way, that JG was a poor role model for young women, being in a defacto relationship and all. You see, young women will be trapped into serial "marriage-lite" relationships, wasting their "tiny window" of fertility and failing to acquire the most important accessory a woman can have: children. How can she possibly run a country when she can't even run a marriage? Or doesn't choose to. Breathtaking. Fortunately, a huge percentage of comments slammed BA's 1950s ideas and recommended she come into the 21st century with the rest of us - or rack off. The only comments I read that agreed with her were, unsurprisingly, from what appeared to be men (sorry guys). Then, on 7pm report tonight (another excellent piece-of-work), Steve Price declared that she should have hidden her atheism (go JG!) and that she "doesn't believe in children". Erm . . . Clearly, children exist (unlike God - sorry Christians) but we don't all want them or have the opportunity to create them. Added to this is the constant media focus on Abbott. I don't know how many times I've heard announcers (I won't call them journalits) stating, JG says this, then crossing to live footage/audio of Tony crapping on and on and on and on and on . . . The same old message and no new face! So, it has started. JG is anti-marriage (unwomanly), anti-children (unwomanly) and anti-religion (dirty, dirty sinner). Thank you AA for a fine piece. I was initially shocked, disgusted, terrified by the ousting of Kevin. I vowed to change my vote for the first time in my life. I was deeply saddened that we got our first female PM this way. But on reflection, and on reading your piece, I know that the last thing I want, and this country needs, is an Abbott government. So I will vote for Julia (not that it will do much good in the seat of Mayo :p) and pray to the cosmos that she THRASHES THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF THE COALITION! And, yes, I know we don't vote for the PM. Or do we? Maintain the rage, TPS. Thanks to to Janice, Simon and all the others who have contributed more erudite words than mine. I shoot from the hip - especially with a little comforting scotch on board. And SIC = troll. Love to know who he really is. Perhaps TA with a little scotch on board?

HS

29/06/2010adelaidegirl, I wouldn't believe everything Andrew Forrest says, and anyway, if he was within an ace of signing on the dotted line with Kevin, I wonder why he would consider withdrawing his support just because Julia is now PM? Isn't the majority of the negotiation being done between Martin Ferguson and Wayne Swan anyway?

adelaidegirl

29/06/2010Hi HS, sorry, but I don't think I mentioned Andrew Forrest. That's a whole new kettle of stinking fish! Off topic, but a matter of great interest to me, I heard/read (I don't remember which) a theory about conservatism and rigid thinking. I've just now googled it and found the following article. “Brains of Liberals, Conservatives May Work Differently . . . “The work, to be reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, grew out of decades of previous research suggesting that political orientation is linked to certain personality traits or styles of thinking. A review of that research published in 2003 found that conservatives tend to be more rigid and closed-minded, less tolerant of ambiguity and less open to new experiences. Some of the traits associated with conservatives in that review were decidedly unflattering, including fear, aggression and tolerance of inequality. That evoked outrage from conservative pundits. . . . “Based on the results, Sulloway said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.” Source: The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times See the rest at the link below - don't know how to add this as a hyperlink. http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/09/10/brains-of-liberals-conservatives-may-work-differently/1691.html I've worked with people with acquired brain injuries for many years now. Rigid thinking is one of the possible sequelae (along with other cognitive sequelae plus potential physical, emotional, sexual, etc.). In people with ABI, rigid thinking can present as an inability to move off-topic (perseveration) and an inability to problem solve as the first solution thought of is frequently the only solution thought of, therefore action can be taken without consideration of other possible solutions. Anyway, I think the theory is interesting . . .

Acerbic Conehead

30/06/2010AA, go back a few days, when Kev was still PM. Some of the big hitters in the Coalition, Twiggy Forest, Clive Palmer and Glenn Milne, are alarmed that many of their innermost Party secrets are getting out, and they are determined to get to the bottom of the leaks. Some of their revealed secrets include: Joe Hockey’s favourite pies are steak and kidney; Julie Bishop learned her death stare from aliens who beamed her up to their space-craft which had been visiting from the Planet Zork; and Phil Ruddock is leaving politics to apply for a vacancy as an extra on the set of the re-make of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”. Anyway, the plan is to invite Kev back to his old haunt, the Scores Club, get him well and truly pissed, and maybe the in vino veritas will make him reveal the identity of the mole within the Coalition ranks. However, a few of the other big-hitters in the ALP, Bill ‘Shortie’ Shorten, Mark ‘Bibs’ Arbib, and Julia ‘Jools’ Gillard, have got the wrong end of the stick and concluded that Kev has been kidnapped, and will be ferociously tortured to reveal the source of the leaks within the Coalition. They prepare to mount a rescue operation, one that will be so efficient, it will make The Thunderbirds’ International Rescue outfit look as clueless as Jimmy Carter’s ‘Iran Hostages’ crew way back in 1980. So, to cut a long story short, Shortie and the team are outside the front door of the Scores Club and are listening for the shrieks from the tormented Kev within. However, they can’t even hear a dickie-bird. Bibs: Jeeze...I hope they haven’t done too much damage to poor old Kev...Twiggy Forest has probably been whacking him with that great big birch of his – that’s how he got the nick-name ‘Twiggy’, y’know... Shortie: Y’sure? I thought he got it cos everybody thought he was off his tree...haw...haw... Jools: It might even be worse for Kev – what if Clive sits on him? Shortie: Or even worse again – Glenn might be forcing him to listen to him reading out a selection of his columns from the Australian...hee...hee... [the three shock-troopers decide it’s time to bite the bullet. They turn the door handle and gingerly slip inside. Once they enter the bar-area, a strange sight reveals itself – everybody is lying around in seeming states of unconsciousness. Twiggy is flat out on a couch; Clive is prostrate on the floor; Glenn is slumped lifelessly over the bar; and Kev, looking like he’s soaked to the skin, is stretched out like a corpse on a table] Jools: Crikey...those guys must have tortured Kev so much, they’ve exhausted themselves and passed out... Bibs: Yeah, and look- Kev’s soaking wet on the table...to get him to spill the sauce bottle, the cruel bastards must have water-boarded him...the poor bugger... [Shortie and Bibs bundle up the prone figure of Kev and cart him out of the Club. Hailing a taxi, they intend bringing him back to their hotel room so that he can recover from his shocking ordeal. However, they are no sooner on their way when they realise Jools is not with them. Before they can direct the taxi-drive to return to the Scores Club, Kev regains consciousness] Kev: Oooooooohhhhhhhh...my god...my head...every time I go to that blasted Scores Club, I get plastered...oooooooohhhhhhh...never again...any of you guys got a couple of Berocca tablets? Shortie: You...you mean...you haven’t been tortured after all? We thought you needed rescuing! What about the water-boarding you got? Kev: Nah! What a couple of drama queens you are...I had just finished my first pint of shandy and- you know how I’m a bit of a one-pot screamer – I was just about to take a sip of my second one, when I missed my gob and poured the whole lot all over myself...silly me... Shortie: Driver! Turn around and bring us back to the Scores Club...Jools must have been captured by some of Twiggy’s goon mates and they’ll probably be torturing her horribly as we speak... [the taxi eventually arrives back at the Scores Club and Shortie, Bibs and Kev alight. They listen at the door for the expected shrieks of pain from Jools. However, all they can hear are clinking glasses and loud renditions of Welsh rugby songs. Kev tries the door, but it is firmly bolted from the inside] Kev: Bum! Thanks a lot, you two...I didn’t need rescuing in the first place and now Jools has taken my place and locked me out...I suppose I’d better just mosey off into the night... [Kev strolls off disconsolately, whilst Shortie gets out his mobile phone and gives Jools a bell, so that she can come and open the door to him and Bibs] Shortie: Oh well...a bit of collateral damage can’t be helped I suppose...poor bugger... [the door is opened and Shortie and Bibs are invited inside, to sup with their new chums. However, long spoons are definitely not provided]

Glorfindel

30/06/2010I recall a conversation I once had with a good friend, a psychologist of many years practice. We were discussing the human condition and I asked him what he thought the greatest human downfall was. Aside from the various maladies which can affect mental health his thoughts were that the greatest source of misery was those people who consistently put short term pleasures ahead of long term benefits. It's an interesting thought, it can even be seen to operate in such spheres as the corporate world. The current disaster BP is overseeing might be indicative. So has the Labor party now put it's short term pleasure ahead of long term benefits? The poll bounce is fantastic and will almost certainly lead to an election victory. However at what cost will this brief pleasure be? Up until recently the best thing that the Labor government had going for it was it's strong and stable leadership team of Rudd and Gillard. Now both are somewhat damaged goods. What happens in the future when Gillard's poll numbers start to drop? And what of the factional leaders, they have flexed their muscle and disposed a leader who didn't suit them, an excellent result for them in the short term but what are the long term effects. I had quite looked forward to a Labor dynasty. It would be disappointing to have to console myself with only two or three election victories. PS adelaidegirl There is also a finding in the United State the conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6W4M-4VHS7P7-1&_user=10&_coverDate=06%2F30%2F2009&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1385795436&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=d54b06ab16ae48a6cdd800b7ce0867de

Lyn

30/06/2010[b][i]TODAY'S LINKS[/i][/b] [i]Westpoll: 54.5-45.5 to federal Coalition in WA,William Bowe, Poll Bludger[/i] this one shows Labor’s gains coming at the expense of the Coalition, who are down seven points on the primary vote to 49 per cent. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/06/29/westpoll-54-5-45-5-to-federalcoalition-in-wa/ [i]The Post Spill Polling Roundup, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] Under all three preference scenarios, Rudd’s final week of polls had him in an election winning lead, despite the huffing and puffing of lightweights to the contrary. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/29/the-post-spill-polling-roundup/ [i]Kevin, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you, Ben Pobjie, Crikey[/i] But I would like to thank you, Kevin. I want to thank you for the past tw and a half years. Two and a half years of joy and inspiration, http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/29/kevin-this-world-was-never-meant-for-one-as-beautiful-as-you/ [i]The trouble with Kevin, Crikey[/i] Gillard has said Rudd would get a front bench position once the government has been re-elected. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/29/the-kevin-problem/ [i]Ruthlessness, brutality and cowardice, Jennifer Wilson, On Line Opinion[/i] The ruthlessness, the brutality, and the cowardice we’ve seen over the last few days leave a very bad taste and a very bad smell. These can’t help but taint the federal Labour party and Ms Gillard’s ascension for a long time to come. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10621 [i]Reflections on the Leadership change,PAUL BARRATT , Australian Observer[/i] Among the many things that Kevin Rudd did not understand was the value of an effective Cabinet process http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/06/reflections-on-leadership-change.html [u][i]Rudd's chances, the Gillard bounce and the blogosphere conversation, Mark, larvatus Prodeo.[/u][/i] Given that the debate here has been emotionally charged and fast moving, I’d like to put some observations on the record: http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]The "Hulk Effect" has the electorate gotton angry & turned green?, Crikey Intern, The Stump[/i] a permanent millstone around the Coalition’s policy neck; on refugees, climate change and a large range of social issues http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]PM Julia Gillard is a bad influence because she’s in a defacto relationship. Wait, is this 2010?Mamamia[/i] http://www.mamamia.com.au/weblog/2010/06/pm-julia-gillard-bad-influence-defacto-relationship-tim.html [i]Bolt: I’ll take that as a Leftist conspiracy,Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison[/i] Joyce had a reasonably consistent ideological companion in Janet Albrechtsen — Bolt dismissed the whole show as a stacked Leftist panel being rude to Barnaby. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/06/29/bolt-ill-take-that-as-a-leftist-conspiracy/#more-6481 [i]Ben Smith: What the Gov. should do with Mining Tax, Peter Martin[/i] Ben Smith is brilliant, and knows the ground better than perhaps anyone. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Time for a Break, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] But, seriously if you were a political strategist would you come up with a 12 point plan to win an election? Twelve steps to an election win? http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Moral Right vs Immoral Left – Take 1,by Ben Tolputt , Cafe Whispers[/i] Abbott might have to choose between running with the media(and having a chance come election day) or sticking to some level of principle. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/moral-right-vs-immoral-left-take-1/

HS

30/06/2010Sorry, adelaidegirl, I meant to discuss Bettina Arndt's article but had just heard about the Andrew Forrest article so my comments became confused. :)

HS

30/06/2010Glorfindel, That's a really interesting article, and I had read something similar myself recently. I guess that's why the Coalition pitch their appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator rather than our better angels. :) Still, history is on the side of the angels, just!

Rx

30/06/2010Adelaidegirl, The research by New York University and the University of California tends to lend weight to the observation of 19th century British philosopher, John Stuart Mill: [i]"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid but most stupid people are conservatives."[/i] http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/09/10/brains-of-liberals-conservatives-may-work-differently/1691.html

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ebenezer

30/06/2010What!" Don't mention the war" Morgan Phone 51.5 Libs. Nice bounce Julia. Is this what they mean by a "dead cat bounce"?

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010adelaidegirl Thank you for your comments. We’re all recovering from the shock of last week, and are realizing that no matter what we feel about the process that took place, the bleak prospect of an Abbott Government will dissuade Labor voters from changing their support to the Coalition. Some will turn to the Greens for their primary votes, but as in the end we all have to preference one of the major parties, it’s hard to imagine Labor voters giving their preference to the Abbott Party. I’m expecting Julia Gillard will get a very short honeymoon from the media, particularly News Limited and the arch-opponent of Labor, [i]The Australian[/i]. Already there are snide remarks being made; we should expect the attacks to extend into policy areas. They will do their most to reduce the chances of Labor defeating the Coalition. Thank you for the [i]Psych Central[/i] reference – it was very interesting reading. The research provides a plausible explanation some of the phenomena we see in politics. Your mention of the behaviour pattern of people with ABI raises interesting questions. Dynamic MRI imagining will reveal more and more about how brain function influences behaviour, and perhaps give insight into the relative influence of nature and nurture in brain function. We live in an exciting world.

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010AC History may demonstrate the validity of your latest piece of satire. Of course history depends on who writes it, and that is usually the victors. Thank you again for delighting us.

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010Glorfindel You make an interesting observation [i]”… the greatest source of misery was those people who consistently put short term pleasures ahead of long term benefits.[/i] I have always thought that selfishness was the greatest evil, but then I suppose preference for short term pleasure is a manifestation of selfishness. Regarding a Labor victory in the upcoming election and the advent of a ‘dynasty’, I believe that although victory is not assured after the recent upheavals, and the polls are jumping around at present, I still feel that the depressing prospect of an extreme conservative Abbott Government will be frightening enough for the majority of voters to stick with Labor, which after all has done so many good things and initiated so many essential reforms. Could you please repost your link to the [i]Science Direct[/i] reference. It got me to [i]Science Direct[/i] but I couldn’t find the article.

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010Eb The [i]Morgan[/i] poll is out of kilter with the others, even with [i]Westpoll[/i] which traditionally shows Coalition ascendancy, showing a substantial improvement for Labor. Possum's analysis is sound and his [i]Pollytrend[/i] is showing a sharp upturn after a long decline. So let's ignore [i]Morgan[/i] until we see some other polls. If Julia can reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the RSPT, we can anticipate a further bounce, a 'live cat' one.

janice

30/06/2010Meanwhile, it seems that the ICC Presidency has escaped the hands of John Howard.

Lyn

30/06/2010 [b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]Joe Hockey at odds with Tony Abbott, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] Joe Hockey has announced that there will be no new taxes under a Coalition government. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/06/30/joe-hockey-at-odds-with-tony-abbott/ [i]The making of Ming the merciless, The Piping Shrike[/i] In a bizarre piece, Peter van Onselen, claimed that talk Rudd was done over by ‘faceless men’ is complete nonsense because, er, they weren’t faceless http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/06/the-making-of-ming-the-merciless.html [i]Janet Albrechtsen, news 24/7 & Pay TV speaking to the nation that counts... the ones that pay for Chairman Murdoch., Dorothy Parker, Loon Pond[/i] Chairman Rudd very peculiar and a rotten leader, and cried for himself, and that Mark Latham had an astonishing insight http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2010/06/janet-albrechtsen-news-247-and-pay-tv.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LoonPond+%28loon+pond%29 [i]What’s the election date?, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] Joe Hockey said “I expect the election to be called this weekend … or the following weekend at the latest.” http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/30/whats-the-election-date/

Sir Ian Crisp

30/06/2010Ad Astra, why is it do you think that people at TPS have thin skin? I pointed out, quite correctly, that one opinion writer here at TPS got it all wrong when he said there would be no challenge. I merely pointed out the bleedin’ obvious. I was merely pointing out the bleedin’ obvious when I said K Rudd was a dud; his own party has told him he is a prime minister manqué. All we got from the coup plotters was that a good government had lost its way. Why not hold a party room meeting where all MPs remind the PM that he was part of a team? Simple and succinct language like “get back on track Mr Prime Minister…more consultation Mr Prime Minister. Instead he was dumped. The plotters then assured his legacy as they airbrushed the ex-PM with encomiums. They trotted out the usual stuff…strong leader…steered us through the GFC…that sort of stuff. Why then replace him? The party you once knew, the ALP built on admirable traditions is now a party run by hatchet-wielding, poll-driven grubs. That’s the call you should have made but you didn’t. A reading of your comment piece leaves a person wondering why the hell he was replaced. I don’t mind being viewed as an acerbic curmudgeon. People are entitled to form an opinion. You say I should give people a break from my sarcasm but it’s only sarcasm for those who have a thin skin. I am not a Christian and don’t fear striking back so some people should remember that before they have a go at me.

bilgedigger

30/06/2010We ought not forget that Gary Morgan (Morgan Poll) can also be regarded as having extra strong links not only to the Liberal Party where he was hoping to get pre-selection, but also to the mining industry through one of his Companies, called Haoma I think. This poll was a phone poll and not a face to face poll which he has repeatedly claimed are closer to truth. I cannot allow HillbillySkelton to incur the wrath(?) of Ian Crisp. It was some time ago that I penned the paragraph to which he refers as part of a longer post. He can use whatever terminology he likes with regard to me. As I have said I'm very comfortable with myself and my views and see no need to consider any further what he thinks or says.

Glorfindel

30/06/2010Hi Ad, The article is simply Conservatism and cognitive ability Author: Lazar Stankov The Morgan phone poll is interesting for 2 reasons. 1.Morgan usually tends to be biased towards Labor in their polling. 2.One of the earliest polls, A nielsen poll came in with 53 / 47 TPP to Labor. But that was severely skewed by the 67 / 33 result in Victoria. Whereas Qld/WA/NT/SA all came in with a Coalition lead on TPP. Perhaps the assumption that the Gillard ascendancy will automatically lead to a poll bounce needs to be re-considered. At least until more data is available. Possum's pollytrend would also show the turn that began under Rudd – would a move to Gillard necessarily continue the Rudd trend ?

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010Thank you Glorfindel. The link is http://www.scribd.com/doc/15893285/Conservatism-and-cognitive-ability which shows that [i]”Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated… At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education (e.g., gross enrollment at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels) and performance on mathematics and reading assessments… Conservatism scores have higher correlations with economic and political measures than estimated IQ scores.”[/i] Make of that what we will.

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010bilgedigger, Glorfindel Gary Morgan did this poll for Channel Seven. How that might influence his approach goodness knows. He could hardly afford to produce a dodgy poll.

Ad astra reply

30/06/2010Sir Ian Points taken. Let's call it quits.

Lyn

30/06/2010Hi Ad Watch the bootstappers go. Sky News, David Speers just interviewed John Howard, and of course asked Howard what he thought about Kevin Rudd being put sown. Howard said, Tony Abbott is doing a very good job, and it was to Abbott's credit that Kevin Rudd is now gone.

Miglo

30/06/2010In my latest post at Cafe Whispers I argue that Tony Abbott is playing the 'race' card now that there's talk of the election being called soon. This particular card is the 'Aborigine bashing' card, which John Howard always had up his sleeve as his trump. Read my thrilling piece of work here: http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/there-must-be-an-election-in-the-air-let%E2%80%99s-pick-on-someone/

Jason

30/06/2010Hi Lyn, Thanks I saw them off over at the other place.

Lyn

1/07/2010Hi Jason So glad you saw them off, you can play them of a brake, with your knowledge and, measured well thought out comments Jason. Good on you.

HS

1/07/2010Mornin' All! Anyone else sick of wall to wall media coverage of John Howard's rebuff by the ICC? Who cares? It's as if the media are trying to engender sympathy for the old white rascist former Prime Minister of this country. I'm glad they didn't even let him get a foot in the door. There can be no doubt that he would have been as duplicitous and divisive a character at the ICC as he was in politics.

HS

1/07/2010This just in from Club Troppo: http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/06/30/government-paid-400000-hush-money-to-school-to-shut-up-he-said-she-said-something-else/ Another one for ABC Watch for sure. They're just making it up as they go along in order to satisfy their masters in the Liberal Party these days. It seems to me that they are actively 'working' stories to get an anti-ALP government angle to them. Which is thoroughly reprehensible, no doubt about it.

Lyn

1/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Bullying Your ABC, Crikey[/i] The ABC is too important to Australia to be kicked around as a pawn in a power game designed to bully the federal government into toeing the News Limited line. http://www.crikey.com.au:80/2010/06/30/crikey-says-bullying-your-abc/ [i]Gillard behind Rudd's policies, warns Howard,Damien Larkins ABC[/i] Mr Howard says Tony Abbott can take plenty of credit for Labor's decision to dump Kevin Rudd as PM. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/30/2941524.htm [i]Julia Gillard: time for a little context....clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] at least 17 of the 27 Australian prime ministers to date were installed by their respective parties in periods between federal elections. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/ [i]Expense wars, Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison[/i] So, we should be outraged at what Julia Gillard might have cost taxpayers and at what Kevin Rudd might, over the rest of his life, cost us. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/06/30/expense-wars/#more-6495 [i]Gillard versus Abbott: does it really matter who wins?,Chris Lewis, On Line Opinion[/i]Taking a punt, Labor is likely to win. Julia Gillard is a capable leader and political animal who will generate enough public support by addressing various community concerns http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10619 [b][i]Dear dummies, if you’re not using the Labor Party, could we borrow it for a while?,Guy Rundle, The Stump[/b][/i The Coalition remains dominated by people who have no real idea of the way most Australians live and what protects our way of life. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/07/01/dear-dummies-if-youre-not-using-the-labor-party-could-we-borrow-it-for-a-while/ [i]The Australian Coup : Does Kevin Rudd Know Something We Don't? ,Darryl mason, The Orstrahyun[/i]If Julia Gillard doesn't round up Labor voters lost thanks to bitterness, anger and bewilderment over the coup, they're going to be in real trouble http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/ [i]Keeping the masses outraged, Spock, Groupthink[/i] Seriously, it’s like the Herald Sun is just re-printing Liberal Party talking points.Still waiting for that pay-wall. http://www.groupthink.com.au/2010/06/30/keeping-the-masses-outraged/ [i]Twiggy Forrest wants more; miners up ante on Gillard, Kim, larvatus Prodeo[/i] This, of course, gives the lie to claims that Rudd had been unwilling to genuinely negotiate. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]There’s an election in the air . . . let’s pick on someone,Miglo, Cafe Whispers[/i] On the eve of the 2007 election Howard marched in to the Northern Territory on his high horse and took control of Aboriginal communities, http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/there-must-be-an-election-in-the-air-let%e2%80%99s-pick-on-someone/

Lyn

1/07/2010Good Morning Hillbilly [i]Anyone else sick of wall to wall media coverage of John Howard's rebuff by the ICC?[/i] Hillbilly I said in my comment last night, watch the bootstappers. Howard only wants the power, the rebuff of 6 members is a hee, hee, hee. During the Howard interview on Sky, there was little about the ICC, mostly sticking the boot into Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. See how it works, use a talked about topic, for an interview, then use the opportunity to bash the Government. Stinks.

Lyn

1/07/2010Hi Ad [b]Is this war, I think so:[/b] [i]It's true Janet: breaking news is hard to do,Johnathan Holme, ABC[/i]So what we saw on Sky News was mostly speculation, and the reporting of text messages from "sources", and what-ifs. Visually, it was an absolute mess - five people sitting round two tables consulting their mobile phones. http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/07/01/2941629.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

Lyn

1/07/2010Hi Ad Trying again: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/01/2941629.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

Ad astra reply

1/07/2010[i]Turncoats and Political Judas Sheep[/i] by HillbillySkeleton has been posted this morning. Enjoy. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/07/01/Turncoats-and-Political-Judas-Sheep.aspx
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?