Julia Gillard’s Fireside Chats – A Price on Carbon

Introduction by Ad astra

In a piece titled: The ragged trousered philanthropist on The Watermelon Blog, it was David Horton who suggested that PM Gillard should consider instituting ‘Fireside Chats’.  Quoting from Wikipedia, he related previous attempts at ‘fireside chats’: “President Franklin Roosevelt first used ‘fireside chats’ in 1929 during his first term as Governor of New York. He…would occasionally address the citizens of New York directly. He appealed to them for help getting his agenda passed. Letters would pour in following each of these ‘chats’, which helped pressure legislators to pass measures Roosevelt had proposed…. The ‘fireside chats’ were considered enormously successful and attracted more listeners than the most popular radio shows during the ‘Golden Age of Radio’.” David urged our own Prime Minister to do the same, particularly to explain the ‘why’ of her Government’s plans. The whole piece is thoroughly worth a read.

Those of mature years will remember RG Menzies’ broadcast essays delivered weekly by radio during 1942. Some of them dealt with matters of continuing interest while others were on issues that were more evanescent. They are well documented in the Menzies Virtual Museum. It was in those addresses that Menzies referred to ‘the forgotten people’, by which he meant the middle class. They had a profound effect as they reached out to the ordinary men and women of Australia sitting by their firesides in the evening.  

The Rudd Government, and now the Gillard Government, has embarked on many reforms that will benefit both our economy and the lives of our people. Many are not well understood and because of that some have been misrepresented. The Government has a need to explain to the people what it has achieved, what it is planning, and particularly why it is proposing the substantial reforms it is. So far, there is not only a lack of understanding in the electorate and a degree of disinterest in these reforms that needs addressing, but also a need to correct the misinformation that abounds. The idea behind ‘Fireside Chats’ is to put the record straight on a number of important issues in terms that all can understand, in the belief that when the average person has matters explained clearly and unemotionally she or he can, and usually will identify with the underlying rationale.

This is the first of a series in which contributors to The Political Sword will attempt to fashion examples of messages that our Prime Minister might give in her Fireside Chats. The first is on the contentious subject: A Price on Carbon by NormanK



Before we begin, a couple of disclaimers from NormanK.

This is not a satirical piece. There is no twist in the tail.

This is my first attempt at writing a speech and is not meant to be a replication of good speech writing. There are many tricks to writing a clever speech - word selection, pacing, phrasing and so on. I don't know these tricks.

Finally, this is not meant to be a definitive explication of climate change science. Any errors are of my own making and polite corrections will be gratefully accepted.

No doubt there are many smaller innovations that other federal departments are undertaking which could be brought into this speech to better portray a holistic approach by government. Without access to government staff it is difficult to know what those projects are. 

A Price on Carbon


Good evening.

Thank-you for giving me this opportunity to discuss with you one of the most urgent challenges facing us today.

Tonight I want to talk about climate change and what we can do to prepare Australia for the shock that is coming. As well as bringing about changes to protect our own society, we also need to play our part in slowing the rate of climate change and limiting how bad it eventually gets. As good world citizens, I think all Australians are ready to pitch in and do their bit.

The science around global warming has long since passed the stage where experts are arguing over whether or not global temperatures will increase over the course of this century. Climatologists, physicists, meteorologists and other experts in many different fields have been collecting information on the current state of the planet for many, many decades.

These are not fly-by-nighters or Johnny-come-latelies who have suddenly turned their attention to this problem. Many thousands of papers have been written, published in the world's leading scientific journals and subjected to peer review.

Peer review is something which many of the sceptics who wish to pour scorn on the idea of global warming are loathe to subject themselves to. Scientists are a fussy bunch when it comes to endorsing new ideas and theories and they spend a lot of their professional time and energy testing whether a colleague's methods and conclusions are robust enough to be reliable.

After many years, thousands of papers and countless reviews, the great majority of experts working in the fields which study climate activity have come to a joint conclusion. They believe that the presence of significant quantities of pollutants in the atmosphere has altered the balance in ways that will have consequences in the coming years, decades and even centuries.

Much is made of carbon dioxide as the main pollutant but there are many other gases which are affecting the way our atmosphere operates. It is mainly for convenience of conversation that we refer to carbon dioxide as the primary concern.

In simple terms these pollutants have changed the balance of chemicals in the air and although they are a long way from causing us harm by breathing them, they have affected the ability of the atmosphere to protect us from the harmful aspects of the sun's radiation and they are altering the chemical make-up of our seas and oceans.

I won't try to give a science class because it would take far too long but an easy way to understand the problem is to look at the difference between now and say three hundred years ago. In the eighteenth century some of the radiation from the sun would have made its way through the atmosphere, hit an object and then bounced off back into space.

This is the way it has been for tens of thousands of years and all life on Earth has got used to it.

Since the time of the industrial revolution, mankind has been pouring more and more pollution into the air and we are doing so today at historically high rates.

What scientists are warning us is that more of the sun's radiation is not finding its way back out into space. Instead it is bouncing off the pollution in the atmosphere and returning to the ground and the oceans. Quite a bit of the sun's radiation is easily converted to heat, that's what a warm sunny day is all about.

As a result, the overall temperature of the planet is increasing. Ice caps which would once have stayed frozen through the short summer months are now melting and flowing into the oceans causing sea levels to rise. The water in our rivers and dams is now evaporating at a faster rate than it would have done in centuries past. The oceans are warming, in particular at the surface and this is causing even more water to enter the atmosphere.

What goes up must come down. It would be simplistic to point to something like Cyclone Yasi and say that it was caused by global warming. But what we can do is look at the recent floods around Australia, the storms in the United States and the bitter winter weather in Europe this year and imagine what the future holds if the weather patterns change in the way that most forecasters are predicting.

Water in the atmosphere plays a large part in generating the winds which swirl around the globe and storms are predicted to become more frequent and more fierce over the decades ahead. The wet times will be wetter and the dry times will be drier.

Another one of the problems created by too much carbon dioxide in the air comes from it joining together with water to form acid. Too much acid in our oceans threatens to kill off the smallest of the organisms living there. Larger creatures, all the way up to the fish that we eat and the dolphins and whales that we love, rely on these organisms and other small animals to survive.

You might hear some people talking about how plants need carbon dioxide to live and that it is a natural part of the environment. This is true but just like chocolate at Easter, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Plankton, very tiny plants and animals floating in the ocean, rely on carbon dioxide and will help to reduce it from our atmosphere but sadly these little plants and animals are under threat from rising acid levels in our oceans.

Along with the removal of trees, one of the primary sources of the increase in pollutants in the air is the burning of fossil fuels. We burn coal to generate electricity and we burn oil and its by-products to run our engines. It took hundreds of millions of years for the plants and animals on this planet to convert carbon dioxide from the air into the fossil fuels we are digging up today. We are now returning that carbon back into the atmosphere at such a rate that Mother Nature can't keep up.

In order to limit the amount by which the temperature might rise we must stop burning fossil fuels. This is not about us, you and me, but about the children who will celebrate the coming of the twenty-second century on January 1st 2100. If we want that to be a joyful celebration, we must start to act now.

If we want those children to be able to marvel at the wonderful diversity of plants and animals that you and I take so much pleasure in, then we must make the first steps to move away from fossil fuels.

How might we best go about this? It's not something that we can do in a year or ten years or even fifty years. We must slowly phase out our reliance on coal and oil and replace them with other ways of generating electricity and powering our machines.

We could take a massive gamble and hope that the scientists are wrong. Continue on with business as usual even though we know that one day there just won't be any more coal, there won't be any more oil to be found.

Continue on with business as usual, pollute the skies and hope that the planet adapts to the new circumstances.

If, like me, you are a keen watcher of David Attenborough's wonderful documentaries, you will know that many of the world's creatures are specially adapted to the circumstances they have enjoyed for hundreds of thousands of years. They can't change their habits as quickly as the climate is changing. But we can. It is part of our obligation to our fellow-creatures that we do everything that we can to protect them.

But if we do nothing and the predictions are accurate, it will be too late to fix the problem and our 21st Century descendants will curse us for not acting.

We could plant more trees and find ways to put some of the carbon back into the soil. These are good ideas but they are very limited. We can only go on doing them for just so long and then there will be no more land to plant trees on and the soils our farmers use will have reached capacity.

We could protest that we are only a small country, contributing a fraction of the world-wide pollution. This would hardly be acting as good world citizens. As the changes become more apparent, each and every individual on the planet will be required to make sacrifices. As a rich developed nation with a ready source of renewable energy sources it is only reasonable that we take action before some of the poorer nations.

We are also in a position where we can capitalise on our own skills and hard work to develop new technologies that generate electricity from renewable sources. As other nations shift away from fossil fuel dependence, we will be ready to export our innovations to the rest of the world.

We could let the rest of the world move to some form of carbon trading scheme and simply buy our way out of our responsibilities by purchasing someone else's permits. Economists who examine these things are warning us that eventually we won't have enough income to buy our way out of trouble.

Plans which don't put a price on carbon will require billions of dollars of taxpayers' money. Tens of billions to reach our target of a 5% reduction by 2020 and a predicted expenditure of tens of billions every year as we approach 2050.

These are taxpayer dollars which could be much better spent on roads and bridges; spent on schools and hospitals or spent on rail programmes to ease congestion in our major cities. There are many uses to which this money could be better put and future governments will be faced with a choice. To find these extra dollars they would have to cut back on basic programmes like health and education, or increase taxes.

There are two other ways that are considered by economists to be viable.

We could put a tax on carbon which means that if a business wants to create pollution they will have to pay a penalty to do so. However, if different governments around the world set different levels of tax then we run the risk of driving some of our businesses off-shore to where they will be paying less tax. Struggling economies might even abandon the idea of a carbon tax in order to coax businesses to them.

The second approach we could take is to adopt a cap and trade scheme otherwise known as an emissions trading scheme.

We as a nation can decide how much we want to reduce our emissions by and set a cap on our annual output. If a business wants to exceed their cap, they must buy permits to do so.

Initially the government would be the seller of permits and therefore the recipient of the money used to purchase them. But as more and more countries adopt a carbon trading scheme, a worldwide market in permits will be established.

Australian businesses will be able to buy and sell permits around the world at a price determined by the market. If they want to avoid the cost of over-polluting they can change the way they operate and reduce their emissions.

The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee has sought the best advice available and determined that the most suitable scheme for Australia is an emissions trading scheme. Because we want to minimise the shock to business and households we have decided to phase in the trading scheme starting with a fixed price which will steadily increase year by year.

The income generated by this fixed price will be used to compensate households considered to be at risk from rising prices. We will also protect businesses which might lose out in the export market because they are competing with products manufactured in countries which have no price on carbon. And we will fund alternate energy projects.

Once businesses have become accustomed to the new scheme we can transition to an emissions trading scheme and leave it to the market to determine the price.

One of the great advantages of this system is that if global warming shows signs of worsening we can reduce the level of the cap to encourage even greater reductions.

It makes more sense to penalise those industries that continue to pollute so that we encourage them to change their ways. It also means that there is no impact on the budget and government can continue to provide those services which you expect of it.

Each of us as individuals will be encouraged to change our habits by purchasing low-carbon products, making small adjustments to our lifestyles and embracing new technologies in our buildings and workplaces. There are already many exciting products out there which recapture wasted energy, especially heat, and convert it back to electricity. Australia can lead the way in the discovery of new products.

Many Australian households will be better off financially and the more you do, the more you save.

The government has already begun preparing Australia for a renewable energy future by building the Smart Grid which will bring electricity from remote generation sources and provide it to our high density population areas. The National Broadband Network will play a significant role in achieving this aim.

At the same time as we are reducing our reliance on energy sources which pollute the atmosphere, we will be investing in cleaner renewable sources like wind, solar, tidal and geothermal.

If Australia acts now we can join in on the technological revolution and become a supplier to the rest of the world. This will stimulate our economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Future generations will benefit from the new opportunities presented by clean technologies - through extra jobs, a reliable source of energy and by continuing to enjoy the wonderful lifestyle we love so much in Australia.

By the time our descendants are singing Auld Lang Syne to welcome in 2100 there might very well be no coal-fired power stations in Australia. Australia's Twenty-second Century citizens will be enjoying low cost energy from renewable sources.

The future holds exciting prospects if we are brave enough and wise enough to apply our collective efforts and ingenuity to solving the challenges that confront us.

If we do the right thing and set our sights on the needs of those who come after us and work together as a nation, there is nothing we can't overcome.

Thank-you for your time. Goodnight.



Postscript

One of my aims in putting this speech together was to demonstrate that, in the right circumstances, it should be possible to address the Australian public on serious policy issues without resorting to political banter and point-scoring. There are two reasons why I find this concept exciting.

A significant percentage of the population is made up of disengaged voters who need to be addressed by the government in a manner and language that they won't find confronting or predictable.

If the Prime Minister manages to attract viewers who are traditionally more likely to be disengaged from policy debate, the moment she mentions Tony Abbott, the Labor Party, the Opposition or mentions 'the opposition policy' they will switch off - figuratively and literally. By speaking to them in clear, uncomplicated language and avoiding all references to politics (including the ALP), it may be possible for the PM to provide a better understanding of what she is doing and why.

Secondly, as we saw with the PM's speech to the Sydney Institute, the press will trawl through any speech by the PM looking for a controversial 'hook' on which to hang their story. If Ms Gillard avoided making mention of Tony Abbott or the Coalition there is a greater likelihood that the next day's stories will focus on the policy and not the players. We might see some allusions to 'veiled references' with regard to the Coalition policy but that wouldn't be as bad as 'Gillard slams Abbott' which is what they will do if she criticises the Direct Action Plan.

So, what do you think about deliberately creating a forum where policy issues can be discussed without reference to politics?

What do you think about the idea of an informal 'fireside chat'?

 

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David Horton

25/05/2011I am delighted (and not a little flattered!) - well done Norman. I think the tone and language is just what I had envisaged. The only main criticism I would make is that it needs to be shorter - in Roosevelt's time people would listen to a long talk, attention spans are much shorter now. The other thing is that I would basically get rid of science - "scientists have done the research and have sounded the alarm. I am not qualified to assess their analysis, but Australian climate scientists are among the best in the world, and when they sound grave warnings I know I have to listen." Something like that. People will turn off if you start talking about CO2 and radiation. Otherwise, well done. Will be interested to see what others think - including Julia! Cheers David Horton

lyn

25/05/2011Norman K Thankyou so much for your article, you are a delightful writer we enjoy your work so very much. Norman you said [quote]I won't try to give a science class because it would take far too long [/quote] Well I'll tell you what, you have explained a lot to me with your easy to understand use of everyday words. Oh! boy did Greg Hunt loose me last night on the 7-30pm report, I have the transcript and still can't understand anything he said even a little bit.

lyn

25/05/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the Qt: "You should be made to wear earphones, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] And even more pathetic for Hockey's and Abbott’s attack is that they are suggesting all this “misleading” occurred to the ABC in a radio interview, not in Parliament. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]How to make something look like it is not, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Abbott looked like a dill. You see you can’t call for standing orders to be stopped when you have an MP standing and asking a question. He demanded the call but Harry smiled http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/how-to-make-something-look-like-it-is-not/ [i]Hubris is one word for it, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] A scare campaign against the carbon tax and refugees is pretty much the entire Liberal offering. To preserve that precious offering, you need to nobble Turnbull before he has the chance to offer http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]The Battle Rages On, Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i] We who support democracy, openness and transparency in social engagement fight the good fight, and we will not be defeated. http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/05/the_battle_rages_on_1.php#more [i]A Weird obsession, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] weird obsession with a small number of asylum seekers who happen to arrive by boat.It’s ridiculous. Why aren’t they a laughing stock? http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]More rigorous research from Andrew Bolt, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Bolt has presented this is simply another piece of obfuscation and misinformation, once again leaving readers less informed than they would otherwise be. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/05/24/more-rigorous-research-from-andrew-bolt/ [i]The People's Forum no one saw, The Conscience Vote[/i] and the presence a senior Coalition MP like Malcolm Turnbull participating constructively in the discussions lends even more legitimacy to the government’s whole strategy. http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/the-peoples-forum-no-one-saw/ [i]Rich support middle-class welfare — but not for lower class, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] deserving (pensioners, the affluent) and undeserving (the unemployed, those falsely claiming disability payments). However, it’s also clear that attitudes are shaped by income as well. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/24/rich-support-middle-class-welfare-but-not-for-low-income-earners/ [i]Budget response a little bit rich, Peter Lewis, The Drum[/i] As Abbott dusts himself off for his next negative campaign; maybe the direct payments stumble will serve as a reminder that even in Opposition the answer shouldn’t always be ‘no’. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2727484.html [i]Andrew Bolt claims to be an Indigenous Australian on the “Snide” Report, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia[/i] His pet topic was the Welcome to Country tradition which has grabbed the headlines since Ted Baillieu decided – with, of course, National party prodding – that his Ministers could please themselves if they took part in it or not. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/indigenous-australia/andrew-bolt-claims-to-be-an-indigenous-australian-on-the-snide-report/ [i]Bob Brown’s ill-considered attack on the Murdoch ‘hate media, Denis Muller, The Conversation[/i] .The Murdoch media in Australia has been for a long time unashamedly biased, particularly in their reporting of Federal and state politics. http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/bob-browns-ill-considered-attack-on-the-murdoch-hate-media-2139 [i]Malcolm’s Motive: His ETS Lie Unravelled, Barnaby is Right[/i] Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull looks set to emerge from his long court case over HIH Insurance with his former employer, the Goldman Sachs merchant bank, making a confidential settlement on his behalf. http://barnabyisright.com/2011/05/24/malcolms-motive-his-ets-lie-unravelled/ [i]Coal crucial until 2050: commissioner, Trading Room[/i] Commission chief Tim Flannery later said it was wrong for federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to claim the report backed his direct action policy which focuses on storing carbon in land and vegetation rather than cutting emissions. http://www.tradingroom.com.au/apps/view_breaking_news_article.ac?page=/data/news_research/published/2011/5/144/catf_110524_191700_1720.html [i]Climate change: beyond politics, Miglo, Cafe Whispers[/i] We can’t simply run out and plant more trees as Tony Abbott would have us do; we need to hurt the pockets of the industries in this country which are happy to turn our land, http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/climate-change-beyond-politics/ [i]Climate change is real. We cause it. But then, you knew that, Graham Readfearn, The Drum[/i] The Opposition leader Tony Abbott also welcomed the report, although he still thinks pricing carbon will commit Australia’s economy to some kind of hellfire. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2728116.html [i]Time To Stop Talking About Climate, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] Flannery, for instance, showed admirable restraint last night on 7.30 as the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann asked a series of irrelevant questions about tropical cyclones. http://newmatilda.com/2011/05/24/time-stop-talking-about-climate [i]So What is the alternative? Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] if there is to be a “debate” about an appropriate response to the industrialization of Asia and its effects on Australian society other than that of the Treasury econowonks, http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/05/24/so-what-is-the-alternative/ [i]A semblance of action , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] So what we have from those opposing reform is a claim that they believe in climate change and that doing little or nothing about it is a sufficient response. So the opponents do not really believe http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/05/a-semblance-of.php [i]Climate Commissions's defines the critical decade, Alex Scholtzer[/i] Abbott tried to take on the report’s finding to press his disastrous alternative. Abbott and Hunt still can’t find any organisation, other than right wing think tanks, to support their policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/climate-commissions-defines-the-critical-decade/?utm_source=feedburner&ut [i]Devastation and hope in Borneo: anthropologists' first-hand account, Thompson Reuter, The Conversation[/i] This “Heart of Borneo” initiative will shield this vulnerable highland region from logging, oil palm concessions,and other environmentally destructive development http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/devastation-and-hope-in-borneo-anthropologists-first-hand-account-2118? [i]A theory about politics, Nicholas Gruen, The Drum[/i] The ALP could be out there taunting the Opposition saying that only the Opposition thinks that the internet should be regarded as a private rather than a public good (or managed deliberately to optimise its benefits as a public good) http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2728826.html [i]More gratuitous advice for the ALP , David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] The ALP needs to create a strong praetorian around Gillard. A leadership team of Gillard, Smith, Rudd, Crean(as Special Minister of State), and Combet needs some extra spine on the Treasury/economy front. http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-gratuitous-advice-for-alp.html [i]Laser puts record data rate through fibre, BBC[/i] "Already a 100 terabits per second experiment has been demonstrated," he told BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13469924 [b][i]Flashman in the pulpit, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i][/b] The radio and print shock jocks are of course nothing but a pack of bullies roaming at will. Heard one of them on a breakfast TV show the other day bullying Rob Oakeshott http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/05/24/flashman-in-the-pulpit/

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011Hi Lyn I join you in congratulating NormanK on his initiative. What he has written is lucid and understandable, such a contrast to Greg Hunt’s gobbledygook last night on [i]7.30[/i]. Hunt has the intelligence to know what he’s saying, so his words last night constituted deliberate obfuscation, which I suppose he finds necessary as what he’s attempting to communicate does not make logical sense. As a stark contrast, Adam Bandt made good sense in his interview with Ali Moore on [i]Lateline[/i]. He was articulate, measured, and resistant to Ali’s repeated attempts at gotcha over the initial price on carbon.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011David Horton It was your piece that started this initiative. Thank you for the stimulus.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011NormanK If only politicians could explain complex matters as lucidly as you have done, how much better informed we all would be. Too many politicians seem unable to speak simply, and of course some set out deliberately to confuse either for partisan political purposes, or because, as was the case with Greg Hunt last night, (and almost every time he opens his mouth) the message is so inherently illogical and confusing that only obfuscation will do. Thank you for your excellent piece.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

janice

25/05/2011Absolutely bloomin' brilliant, NormanK. Please will someone send this whole piece off to our PM. I've come to the conclusion that it is simple, plain language that will persuade the electorate to turn on again. Your idea of informal "fireside chats" is exactly what is needed and a way to get around the media distortions that occur after a presser. There is yet another excellent article in the SMH from Ross Gittens which is worth reading. I didn't copy the link when I was there but will go back and do so unless someone else posts the link in the meantime.

janice

25/05/2011The Ross Gittens article: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/stop-crying-poor-and-fix-the-mess-20110524-1f2e6.html

Feral Skeleton

25/05/2011NormanK, There, that wasn't so bad, was it? :) And you did such a magnificent job aren't you glad AA poked and prodded you along the track to get there?

Feral Skeleton

25/05/2011janice, Here's the link to Ross Gittins article, complete with filmed 'Fireside Chat': http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/climate-inertia-shows-ugly-side-of-the-australian-character-20110524-1f2dj.html

Patricia WA

25/05/2011Well done, Norman. Thank you. I'm not sure about length until I know how long it takes to read! It held my attention but I'm not a modern listener. David may be right. I enjoyed the science lesson but there less detail could well be more informing. I always enjoy reading your comments, for their content and lucid style, so I'm hard put to make helpful criticism. I found writing school speeches, or even radio talks, a great discipline, as well as very satisfying. Ideas first, exposition next, then style. But all three must be subject to time in those situations. As is your fireside chat.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011janice, FS What a hard- hitting article is Ross Gittins', and so in tune with NormanK's piece. What a difference it would have made if Malcolm Turnbull had not been toppled by the duplicitous Tony Abbott, and if Kevin Rudd had kept his nerve and gone to a DD? Isn't it terrifying how the course of history can turn so radically on such events.

Bring Back Maxine

25/05/2011NormanK Well done!! I particularly agree with your two points in the postscript. Labor needs to focus on rationale factual debate on policy. This is Abbott's Achilles' heel. It also deprives oxygen to the hysteria and mistruth spewed forth by the Murdoch media and the shock jocks, which in turn are the only means that sustain Abbott's constant negativity (an inbred closed feedback loop).

janice

25/05/2011Ad astra, Maybe I'm suffering from a spot of wishful thinking, but I am sure I detect a shift in the duplicitous one's fortunes. I posted the link to 'fireside chats' over on Poll Bludger where it has elicited a few supportive comments, including one from a lady who is 'passing it on' to the government. I'm sure that if the PM takes up this suggestion the tide will change in her favour and the current chorus of "can't sell a policy" will disappear forthwith.

debbiep

25/05/2011normank ~ 'from little things big things grow' your article may just achieve such :)

TalkTurkey

25/05/2011"VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A Vatican-appointed panel of scientists has . . . called for . . . all nations . . . to develop and implement, without delay, effective and fair policies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change . . . " ONE: One-child families to be mandatory. Second pregnancies to be terminated without right of objection. Couples having subsequent pregnacies to receive convictions and increasing gaol penalties for repeat offences. Expenses for their incarceration to be paid for by the offenders. TWO: Hot showers to be limited to 45 seconds . . . See I think all measures so far ever advanced - except China's 1-child family policy - are a bad bad bad bad joke. I have no kids, otherwise I'd be even more in a state of dismay. Funny, neither has NormanK. Funnier still, neither has *J*U*L*I*A*. And still funnier yet, we're all rangas! No wonder they reckon us redheads are on a short fuse! How come the people who really worry are the childless ones? Or does that come from the other end? (It did in my case.) How that works is, parents don't really believe things are so critical. Basically, "What you're saying can't be true, I got kids!" And they put every dime into raising the kids for a better future, but in their doing so they ignore the future ath we're I knew a bogan man who vastly overloaded his Chevy ute time and again moving house for some friends of mine. He said of the load, "It can't fall down, there's nothing to hold it up!" I don't know if it ever did, but that was his long-time habit . . . Not to belabour the point but I think that the whole human race is like that with the belief that we will always find better ways of doing things, escaping consequences. We won't, sorry. But the worst problem is our ridiculous population, multiplied by multiplication by religious insanity. Especially from the Vatican.

TalkTurkey

25/05/2011Horrible missed bit in middle of last post, sorry. It was going to be 'the future that we're actually eating.' It's like a belief in Good Fairies or space-people coming to help us with cargo. Well we've brought it on ourselves. But I bleed for all the other species. Why do I despise Abbortt et all his alien alia so much, it's all about Gaia. A concept so many will never understand it seems. Sob.

NK

25/05/2011David Horton It is I who should thank-you for planting such a healthy seed, it really is a good idea. As I said to you over at your blog, Ms Gillard would need a bit of coaching from a theatre director so that she can tap into her more informal side (or a couple of stiff tipples of her favourite beverage). As to the science, I did want to refute some of the nonsense which surrounds the nay-sayers rhetoric but perhaps I could have done it in a more succinct manner. On the length of the piece, I guess I would find it depressing that people can't sit still for ten minutes (I haven't timed it which I should if I was seriously putting it forward as a speech) to listen to the leader of their country explain what their government is doing (and why) on the biggest threat to the planet and all life on it. "This is boring. I'm switching back to [i]Survivor[/i]". Perhaps they'll pick up a few tips. Thank-you for your encouragement, David.

lyn

25/05/2011Hi Ad David says don't mention the weather, well David it is cardigans today in Hervey Bay, it is cold, the wind is roaring up the coastline. Don’t mention the weather, David Horton [quote]I had been primed earlier by the usually excellent Ben Eltham who said “Flannery, for instance, showed admirable restraint last night on 7.30 as the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann asked a series of irrelevant questions about tropical cyclones.” Until we start explaining to people that global warming is going to hit home, is hitting home already, right where they live, we have lost the battle. Lost indeed the war. Well I mentioned the weather, but I think I might have got away with it.[/quote] http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/05/25/dont-mention-the-weather/

NK

25/05/2011lyn I'm glad you were able to understand my ravings a bit better than Mr Hunt's. :) As Ad astra has said, I suspect it was deliberate on Greg Hunt's part. Make a lot of complex, convoluted statements and if the audience can't follow then that's their shortcoming. In the mean time (like a good troll) it's difficult to pin him down on what he actually means - in this case, who pays for this Mr Hunt? Answer - savings! Savings like no NBN, 12,000 public servants not replaced, roads not built, GP Superclinics scrapped and on it goes. No cost to the taxpayer (sarcasm alert). You know Lyn that you are partly to be credited (blamed!) for me sticking my head up above the parapet. Saying nice things about my brain will get me every time. :)

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011janice Like you, I wonder if there is might be a ‘shift in the duplicitous one’s fortunes’, but am apprehensive about accepting that this might be so for fear of it being no more than a false dawn. But there are a few straws in the wind. For example, I have detected a small change in Barrie Cassidy’s rhetoric towards a more balanced position about Julia Gillard and one more critical of Tony Abbott, towards recognition of the biases in the media, and a willingness to challenge those who make unsupported adverse statements about the Government. Another instance was this morning on ABC 774 radio Melbourne where host Jon Faine was interviewing Simon Pristel, editor of the Melbourne [i]Herald Sun[/i]. Of late Faine has been quite balanced in his political comments and prepared to pull up anyone who makes statements without evidence. An example this morning was when Pristel began by asserting that the Gillard Government was ‘on the brink’. Faine pursued him on that until Pristel conceded that the Government had the support of the Independents and therefore a majority in the House and had over two years to run. Pristel’s words bespoke his anti-Labor attitude, mentioning as he did her ‘lie’ over the carbon tax, Labor’s waste of taxpayers money, and its erosion of welfare for those earning over $150,000, which he claimed would not have been necessary if it had not wasted money, justifying his screaming post-budget headline about how this impoverished group were being targeted. I didn’t keep count, but my strong impression was that all but a few talkback callers were critical of the [i]Herald Sun[/i]. One lady tore strips off him as editor; a man said he had been a reader of the paper for thirty years but had now abandoned it as an appalling paper that trivializes everything and fails to give proper attention to the critical issues facing us all as Australian citizens. Both were unremitting in their condemnation and Pristel had no answers. This is the paper that supports Andrew Bolt, so anything goes. On Monday while lunching at a café, I glanced through a copy of it that was lying on the table. The mega headline that took half the front page was [b]Clean up this mess[/b], reference to a statement by an electricity provider that prices would skyrocket because of ‘uncertainty about the carbon price’, yet the report of the Climate Change Committee Report had been relegated to page four with its ‘Disaster’ headline. That was what should have been on the front page rather than the rabble-rousing story the paper preferred. Recently the media has taken a barrage of criticism from many sources: Lindsay Tanner, Bob Brown, the Fifth Estate and talkback callers, and has, as expected, reacted defensively, which has brought forth even more criticism of its current state. Individual reporters such as Chris Uhlmann have copped it. Now all that criticism might be water of a duck’s back, but even the most case-hardened journalist is susceptible to sustained criticism. It is up to us, the citizens and consumers of the media, to keep it up.

NK

25/05/2011Ad astra Thank-you for your kind words and unrelenting encouragement. As I said to lyn, I think Hunt was deliberate in his obtuseness last night. Dancing around the question while throwing out key words which make no coherent sense but sound impressive to a barely listening audience. If one was watching [i]7.30[/i] as a gladiatorial contest, Hunt probably won that round. janice Thank-you. It was David Horton's idea and Ad astra's clever goading that brought forth the article. Thanks for the plug on PB - let's hope TPS gets a few irregular visitors.

NK

25/05/2011Feral Skeleton I bet someone said to you, after the birth of your first child - "there that wasn't so bad was it?" :) :) The great advantage of this particular article is that there is very little of 'me' in it and so I don't feel like I'm sticking my neck out. I have no problem being confident in my writing skills. As Stephen Fry says, at a very early age I knew that I was born to write. As it turned out, painting with light distracted me for thirty years. debbiep Wouldn't it be exciting for all concerned if something came of this? I know that I could do with a break from the slanging matches. janice I neglected to say congratulations on becoming 'link literate'.

janice

25/05/2011NormanK, I'm really chuffed that I've mastered the link thingy: :) I know the idea originated with David Horton (whom I meant to congratulate and now wish to offer the kudos he deserves), but your first attempt at 'speech' writing is to be applauded. Ad astra, Would you, or could you, send the whole piece to the PMs office? I really think we should push the PM and her advisers to give the 'fireside chat' idea serious consideration.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011janice I am on PM Gillard’s email mailing list. Yesterday I received this from her: [i]Dear Ad, I lead a government committed to tackling climate change. We know we must cut carbon pollution and the cheapest, most efficient way to do it is to make big polluters pay. This week, the Climate Commission’s report The Critical Decade: Climate Science, Risks and Responses confirmed now is the time to act. The longer we wait, the more it will cost. The Report highlighted: • In the last 50 years the number of record hot days in Australia has more than doubled. This has increased the risk of heatwaves and associated deaths, as well as extreme bush-fire weather in south eastern and south western Australia; 
 • Sea levels have risen by 20cm globally since the late 1800s, affecting many coastal communities. Another 20cm increase by 2050, which is likely at current projections, would more than double the risk of coastal flooding; and 
 • The Great Barrier Reef has suffered from nine bleaching events in the past 31 years. This iconic natural ecosystem, and the economy that depends on it, face serious risks from climate change. I believe taking action on climate change is the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do for our economy, for jobs and for the environment. Importantly, it’s the right thing to do for those who will inherit our nation from us. The Critical Decade strengthens my determination to make sure we price carbon. When big polluters pay, every cent of that money can be used to help families, protect jobs and fund programs to tackle climate change. That’s why it’s so important that we act now. Julia Gillard[/i] I will reply to her letter and point to NormanK’s article. I hope someone up there will read it.

Gravel

25/05/2011NormanK I thoroughly enjoyed your piece, oh to be able to write so succinctly. I to wondered whether it may have been a bit long, not for me but the general uninterested public. On re-reading it, I couldn't find anything that I would cut, but then what do I know.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011janice I have replied to the email from PM Gillard in the following manner: [i]Dear Prime Minister Thank you for your most recent letter that confirms the dire state the world is approaching with global warming. I strongly support your intention to put a price on carbon before moving to an ETS. I applaud the publicity you are giving this critical issue, and feel that even more is needed, particularly to counter the misinformation that abounds. You may be interested in an article that was posted today on the blog site, The Political Sword, titled "julia Gillard's Fireside Chats - A Price on Carbon" that is an attempt by the author to craft a message on this subject that could be promulgated to the people of Australia in a manner similar to RG Menzies' radio messages in 1942. You will find it at http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/05/25/Julia-Gillard’s-Fireside-Chats-–-A-Price-on-Carbon.aspx I hope you will find it of interest. Yours sincerely Ad astra[/i]

NK

25/05/2011Bring Back Maxine I got a bit excited about the PM and her government delivering non-political speeches and would love to claim the idea as my own but no doubt it was the product of other people's writings seeping down into my brain. I reckon they could be on to a winner, if I'm anything to go by. I have grown disgusted with the banter (stronger word required) which passes for political discourse at the moment. As a case in point (and Michael, this is entry for Bad Abbotts) take Mr Abbott's behaviour in parliament on Monday. As part of what should have been a sombre testimonial to the late Honourable Ralph James Dunnet Hunt AO, Mr Abbott just couldn't help himself. [quote]But Ralph Hunt's steadfastness was well illustrated by his response to the 'Joh for Canberra' push. He was actually directed by Sir Joh's backers to seize the National Party leadership from the then leader, Ian Sinclair, and then to keep that seat warm for the Queensland Premier. Ralph Hunt's response was that that would not save Australia from a bad government—showing a very sensible attitude. [b]The important thing is always to do what is necessary to save Australia from a bad government. That is what Ralph Hunt did then and that is what others have tried to do subsequently[/b].[/quote] It doesn't look so bad as a transcript but I'm sure anyone who didn't see it would have no trouble picturing the self-satisfied smirk on Abbott's face as he delivered those lines. Apart from speaking with regard to the death of a soldier, I have never seen Abbott show the least signs of good taste or Christian charity. Such unrelenting negativity must surely bring him undone.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011Folks This beautiful saying, which applies so well to many of our politicians, will appeal to you: [b][i]Light travels faster than sound. This why some people appear bright until you hear them speak[/b][/i].

NK

25/05/2011Patricia WA I must confess that I only gave passing thought to the length of the speech. I was more concerned with including salient points, keeping the language as simple as I could and trying to craft snappy sentences. No doubt I could do a Chekov and go back with a red pencil and trim a third of it by undoing some of the knots in lengthy sentences and perhaps, as you and others have suggested, diminish the 'science' bits. Gravel I am so glad you enjoyed my humble efforts. I think the general consensus is going to be that it was a bit long. As the parent of this child, I would find it difficult to cut a single word. :) This is why writers have editors.

Feral Skeleton

25/05/2011NormanK, The first baby's birth was traumatic because I didn't know what to expect. The second one was a lot easier. Ditto writing blogs. At the end of the day your opinion is as valid as anyone else's, and you express it very well. :)

Tom of Melbourne

25/05/2011Perhaps a “fireside chat” should start with ... [i]‘When I lied to you in August last year...” [/i]

lyn

25/05/2011Hi Norman K You can't have a general consensus on the length of your article because I wouldn't agree. To make your article shorter would have spoilt your message, your articulate speech, distinct choice of words, makes your article a masterpiece. You have beautiful language and a snappy smart brain, keep writing Norman K forget the gym, look after our brains. [quote]I was more concerned with including salient points, keeping the language as simple as I could and trying to craft snappy sentences. [/quote] This is a link to Larvatus Prodeo, some excellent research of facts, certainly makes one think hard. I know you will enjoy reading the article: [i]Climate crunch time arrives, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] There is a short note telling us that we have 1,700 billion tonnes of carbon in the form of methane locked up in permafrost, twice as much as is present in the atmosphere now. One study tells us that about 100 billion tonnes are vulnerable to thawing this century. Should it stop at 4-5C you have a a very different planet and the likelihood that civilisation as we know it would not survive. Implied are billions of deaths and a collapse of the human population. The challenge for Gillard is to seriously take up the challenge. The challenge for Abbott is to avoid being a bit of historical detritus. Best he just get out of the way and be taken out with the tide. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/05/25/climate-crunch-time-arrives/

Jason

25/05/2011Tom, When I lied to you in August last year...” No doubt with wit like that I can see you playing to packed phone boxes all over the country!

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for the LP link. What a frightening prospect we face with global warming, so well summarised by Brian. And in the face of this impending disaster for future generations, our offspring, and NormanK's effort to craft a speech PM Gillard might use to warn us of it, all Tom of Melbourne can come up with for her speech on this existential threat to us all is: "When I lied to you in August last year...” It is this sort of pathetic, blinkered, mindless response that makes progress on enormously serious issues so difficult. Tom of Melbourne is truly an Abbott disciple on climate change. It shows how seriously Abbott has warped the minds of his followers. Do they think for themselves, or just mindlessly regurgitate Abbott lines? You know the answer!

Tom of Melbourne

25/05/2011[i]“Tom of Melbourne is truly an Abbott disciple on climate change.[/i] “ Can you cite some proof of this, or do you just make it up? I’m simply an opponent of political expedience and duplicity. Though I do acknowledge that most contributors here are particularly sensitive about acknowledging that there is plenty of duplicity in the ALP.

Feral Skeleton

25/05/2011Nasking, If you are reading this let me just warn you that Campbell Newman's smiling face hides a very dark future fro Queensland Teachers: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/public-service-revolution-20110524-1f2ky.html

NK

25/05/2011Tom of Melbourne Thanks for that snipe. Nothing to say about the article itself? As a 'Gillard apologist' (I know I am because you, the great hater of labels, told me so) I am bound to point out that one man's liar is another man's victim of semantic nit-picking. Julia Gillard has never been in favour of a carbon tax as a mechanism for putting a price on carbon. In the context of someone who was endeavouring to win government in her party's own right, she offered that undertaking. The Australian public voted in a hung parliament. In order for one or other of the major blocks to form government compromises had to be made. It could just as easily have been an Abbott Government and as we've seen reported he was 'prepared to do anything' to gain power. Do you reckon there wouldn't have been a few modifications to Coalition policies announced during the election in order to achieve this? Are you saying that any compromises David Cameron agreed to in order to form a coalition in the UK are now 'campaign lies'? It takes a bit more semantic fun & games to turn 'an emissions trading scheme with a phase-in period where the carbon price would be fixed' into a 'carbon tax'. So, more than any other thing, are you going to insist on a semantic argument as justification for not taking some sort of action on pricing carbon? I'm sure the moral high ground will still be above the high tide mark in 2111. Pity about all those Pacific islands though eh?

Jason

25/05/2011Normank, What can I say! Brilliant.

janice

25/05/2011Ad astra, Thank you for posting your reply to the PM's email. I too hope that whomever has the job of sorting through all her mail will follow the link to TPS and read the piece, be impressed and give it to the PM for consideration. Really, it isn't too much to ask, is it? :) What a despicable performance from Tony Abbott in QT this week. I doubt the man has even one ounce of charity in his whole body but worse than that, he doesn't care a fig for the country or the welfare of its people.

NK

25/05/2011This is classic! Alan Jones - your tech advisor from hell. [b]Alan Jones impressed by 'laser' speed breakthrough[/b] By Andrew Ramadge [quote]Jones said the announcement was proof that the NBN would be outdated by the time it was built, without realising the network was based on exactly the same technology.[/quote] http://www.news.com.au/technology/shock-jock-impressed-by-laser-speed-breakthrough/story-e6frfro0-1226062824273

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011NormanK Thank you for replying to Tom of Melbourne and saving me that tiresome task. In response to my statement: “Tom of Melbourne is truly an Abbott disciple on climate change“, he asks: “Can you cite some proof of this, or do you just make it up?” There’s an old saying: “If it walks like a duck; quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck.” Tom sure quacks like an Abbott duck.

Jason

25/05/2011TT, Remember the lecture we got from "our" green friend? THE GREENS have backed away from their hardline position on a high starting price for the carbon tax, conceding they won't get the price they want in negotiations with Labor. As the multi-party climate change commission prepares to meet over the weekend to hammer out a deal, Greens leader Bob Brown has conceded his party will accept a lower starting price for the tax than it believes necessary to ensure a start to the transition from coal to gas and renewable energy. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/labor-rebuffs-greens-on-coalmines/story-e6frg6xf-1226062491025

Valerie Woodruffe

25/05/2011How are those of us dependant on Centrelink welfare benefits supposed to aford the increased prices this carbon tax will result in? Anywau global warming is a hoax, unfortunately carbon tax is not a hoax

Jason

25/05/2011Valerie Woodruffe, Who cares?

NK

25/05/2011Jason Thanks for that. I just stumbled on your post on the end of the other thread with regard to Alan Jones. Great minds and all that. What a monster intellect that bloke harbours inside an innocuous exterior. Valerie Woodruffe You will be compensated - whether you believe in global warming or not. There is no snap quiz to exclude denialists.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011Jason Alan Jones is an ignoramus on NBN technology. The problem is that he doesn't know how disastrously ignorant he is. And even if he did, it wouldn't change his mind anyway.

Michael

25/05/2011Today's Bad Abbott. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-sends-mixed-smoke-signals-20110525-1f39y.html He's talking about how hiked taxes on cigarettes are hurting families facing high costs of living. "I don't like smoking any more than the next person, but overwhelmingly these are some of the least privileged, least well off, people in our community," Mr Abbott said of cigarette buyers. Just what exactly does that mean??? That the "least privileged" should be left to poison themselves because... they are the "least privileged"? That the "least well off" should have at least (sic) one cheap... what? Something the more privileged have access to a wider range of choice in? Tobacco is an addictive drug, so more 'privilege', more spending power, means..? We're deep in the mind and given verities of Tony Abbott, remember. Put aside what the depth of a person's wallet might deliver in pharmaceutical terms in Abbott's reflexive thinking. Just take in his words. "I don't like smoking any more than the next person, but overwhelmingly these are some of the least privileged, least well off, people in our community," Mr Abbott said of cigarette buyers. His comment doesn't make sense. There's no way to discover any logic in it. Except, underpinning the comment, somewhere buried deep and inextricably in it, is the attitude that the overwhelming proportion of cigarette buyers need some cheap distraction, and their health and wellbeing can go to Hell. In short, they're too dumb to care that they're killing themselves, and as someone who doesn't "like smoking any more than the next person", 'what can I do?'. Well, hey Tony, you're presenting yourself as the alternative Prime Minister, the leader of this country. Which is not a job description that calls on someone to just abandon any citizen of a country they lead to poisoning themselves as some sort of anesthetic to the arrival of the latest gas bill. Of course, that would require you having a policy on tobacco products and the damaging impact of their use on this country.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011Michael Beautifully said. As you have discovered, trying to dredge logic from Tony Abbott's utterances is pointless, unless of course the 'logic' is political points scoring quite divorced from the import of the subject. Then it does make sense.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2011Folks I'm off to watch the rest of tonight's TV.

TalkTurkey

25/05/2011Jason said, TT, Remember the lecture we got from "our" green friend? "THE GREENS have backed away from their hardline position on a high starting price for the carbon tax . . . " Ummmm. Pity they didn't think about the landing gear as well as the fairy wings back then when they brought Labor undone by their high-minded stand . . . Had they not spiked our guns we would by now have passed stage 1, inception, and stage 2, consolidation, we would have been on the cusp of expansion to Stage 3, something well beyond what we might finally get up as our yet-to-be-achieved Stage 1. Greens might squirm but that's the simple regrettable fact. In the meantime they have grown at Labor's expense, people who think Labor hasn't been proactively eco-sensitive enough are supporting the Greens who cost us the ability to be eco-active! They nearly cost us the election, and wouldn't they be pleased with themselves if *J*U*L*I*A* hadn't saved the day! They would probably have had even more supporters, and an Abbortt administration! Great deal eh! I do accept that most Greens-inclined people are good-hearted and well-meaning, and many of them are thoughtful caring and reasonably educated. But the sad truth is that they have seriously #***ed up Australia with their parliamentary representatives' high-minded demands that everything be perfectly comme il faut instantly, as if they don't know that improvement takes time and effort, and must start with a single step. Dog I hope they've got it now. If it weren't for Brown they'd have no direction at all, but then if it weren't for Brown they wouldn't have much of a following neither. I like Brown a lot, but his acolytes are a big worry. I want things to start getting better, not stay getting worse. Adam Bandt seems reasonable. But if Labor is out of power, so are the Greens, even more so in some ways. Gee I hope they've got that . . .

Tom of Melbourne

25/05/2011Odd. I pose a few questions that ought to be front of mind for people interested in social equity and wealth distribution. But the owner of this site defaults to lazy labelling. I suppose he will be able to provide answers to the questions I posed when ALP issues a press release.

Jason

25/05/2011Tom, http://www.pm.gov.au/

TalkTurkey

25/05/2011Michael Gee I gotta tell you I saw that Smoking issue coming as a splendid Bad Abbott myself, I hadn't written the below when I saw your BAD (Bad Abbott Daily) post, but I would've written one on smoking today, only it wouldn't have been as good because I hadn't seen some of what's in your BAD. I just knew They take money from Big Tobacco, the most unbelievably outrageous of all possible sponsors. It says it all doesn't it, just what sort of people these are. How close to 50% of our nation's people think they're OK is ongoingly absolutely shocking to me. BTW I don't write these pomes for fun nor for fun for you Swordies you know. I write them to sting Them eh! But I enjoy writing them immensely!!! :) There's 10 verses now. All mine, damn! Here's 9 and 10. BAD ABBOTTS Now that nic - o - tine Is addictive and obscene I'd never use the filthy stuff myself! But if some - poor - bloke Wants to kill himself with smoke His sacrifice will swell my Party's wealth! Well it makes a profit! We get funding off it! And those smokers are Just low-life proles If they die - in - pain Well we've had - some - gain! We all got our Bad Abbotts! Keep postings BADs Folks!

Gillard Apologist

25/05/2011Tom of Melbourne I think we now know which category we can quite safely place you in. But we won't put a label on the box because we know you don't like them.

Roger

25/05/2011This is great. I've emailed the Labor Party to appeal to them to read it and apply it. Let's hope they're smart enough and willing to try it.

Valerie Woodruffe

26/05/2011Thanks Jason, yes those of us with great minds do think alike

Casablanca

26/05/2011Re the Mad Monk and smoking. I thought that Minister Roxen landed a blow in question time today when she called on Mr Abbott to reject funding of the Liberal Party by the tobacco industry and called on him to support the plain packaging policy. She concluded by saying 'Stop the habit Mr Abbott'

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Valerie Woodruffe, Welcome to The Political Sword. I hope you come back and visit our little blog often. We believe it is the best little community of bloggers in Oz. But we're biased. :) Now, I can understand that, after having listened to Alan Jones/Ray Hadley/ et al. in the HMV Shock Jock infotainment community, or read your daily copy of The Daily Telegraph or Herald Sun et al. in the Media/Mining Magnate-owned press, and then listened to your daily dose of the Tory Abbott Fear Campaign, you, as a seemingly poorly-educated and aware Pensioner, may have come to believe that the sky will fall in for you if a Price on Carbon is introduced by the federal government. So, let me reassure you, as a fellow Pensioner, who also has a couple of expensive teenagers to support with my meagre gruel of a Pension, um, which only the Labor government I will remind you, have increased the value of in recent years, for both myself and my teenage children, that you know what? You will actually end up BETTER OFF if a Price on Carbon is passed through the parliament of this great country(and greater for not having Tory Abbott and his Magnate henchmen and women anywhere near the levers of power). You see, and may you may not have got this in all the hubub created by the blaring of Mr Abbott, whose aim I hear today on the news, is to use every last breath in his political body(because it's always about the politics with Mr Abbott, and never the nation's, or the globe's best interests because they can't vote 1 'Tory'), to see that the Carbon Tax is never intriduced in this country. What. A. Dangerous. Fool. He. Is. And if only, Valerie Woodruffe you could see that too. Now, I don't know if you have had the chance to hear Tory Abbott's speech to the Manufacturing Industry last night, but in it he was trying to tell them that if they didn't move with the times they'd be OK and their comfy island home would be insulated by a Tory government from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. An outrageous fortune, I might add, that denies the reality on the ground in the rest of the world, because Mr Abbott was trying to say to them that the manufacturing world isn't changing around them, even as he speaks. That the manufacturing world isn't moving from constructing the parts for Coal-fired Power Stations to constructing the parts for Wind Turbines, Solar Panels and Electric Cars. No, stick with Tory, he was saying to them, and those modern-day equivalents of the Horse and Carriage that you are building, will always be preferred to the new technology. You will always have a steady stream of customers bringing trade $ into this country for your anachronistic widgets whilever he is your ruler. Hmm. Now, Valerie Woodruffe, stick with me here because this is where it gets a little bit complicated, and it seems you are one for the simple slogan as opposed to the boring, complicated but true answer. Now, if this country elects as its federal government a party who is prepared to wave as the Green Industrial Revolution caravan passes them by, and turn their back on them to go on digging holes in the ground that the world is going to be less and less inclined to buy the product of as it works out new ways to produce the energy that it provides with their own natural resources of wind, geothermal, wave and sun, then the price of those commidities will drop. It's called 'Supply and Demand'. Sure, they'll still buy our Iron Ore, Gas and other minerals, but our Terms of Trade will suffer as they power their own Steel Mills and other industries with their own power sources. So, the country has less revenue coming in, and if there's one thing that Greece is showing us that is that when other countries start growing Olives, no one wants yours so much anymore, and if you haven't diversified into new industries the base of the country's income collapses. So, if you have built your governmet's popularity riding off the back of an undiversified economy which hasn't kept pace with the rest of the world, your economy collapses to Tin Pot status. And you know who the guys at the top take money off to pay for their bad decisions? Pensioners. If you don't believe me look at Greece, Ireland, and America, where the Republican Party's solution to the Debt Crisis is not to penalise the wealthiest 1% but to take Medicare away from the elderly and Medicaid away from the poor. That is, instead of seeking to grow the pie, because the Republicans and their Fossil Fool backers also do not want to head towards a Renewable Energy future, they want to shrink the pie instead, in ever-decreasing, self-defeating circles. Like Tory Abbott. And not only that, to pay for his poor decisions he wants to make everyone, young and old, who is still capable of working, to work till they drop because he won't pay you a Pension until you do. And he won't provide any opportunities for the children of Pensioners on welfare, either. He prefers to use them as factory and farm fodder while the universities are open to to those who can pay for it, the children of the wealthy from overseas and those children of the poor who agree to take on an onerous burden of a loan to pay for their education. Nah, sorry, Valerie Woodruffe, but from the perspective of this Pensioner, I think a Price on Carbon pollution and the economic transformation it will enable for our country, is a good thing. And I think that a government which really cares about the welfare of Pensioners is a good thing. Not support for one man and his party who wants to take us for a ride in the wrong direction.

lyn

26/05/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]The Australian pretends Greens have "failed" if they don't run the parliament with their one lower house seat, Jeremy Sear. An Onymous Lefty.[/i] It’s no surprise that the biggest Greens haters at News Ltd are trying to portray this as a betrayal of principle: http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Why are Australians so afraid?,Matt Cowgill, We are all[/i] Dead Now the OECD has created its Better Life Index, which enables comparisons of the standard of living across countries. I like the approach the OECD has taken here: http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/why-are-australians-so-afraid/ [i]NSW solar scandal … a million roofs forgotten, Simon Mansfield , Crikey[/i] welfare management approach to their good-faith investment in solar energy. And this is a Liberal government that was meant to fix things — not make them worse. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/25/nsw-solar-scandal-a-million-roofs-forgotten/ [i]A frequent flyer foreign minister? Thanks heavens for that, Michael Fullilove, The Drum[/i] It sets an awful, self-defeating precedent for Ms Bishop should she ever become foreign minister. As for Mr Downer, I'll simply say that I preferred the argument he made in his 2007 Playford Lecture, http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2730408.html [i]Risk Rising, Uncertainty Falling, Martin Jones, New Matilda[/i] The Critical Decade, and an interim report into Public Risk Perceptions, Understandings,and Responses to Climate Change in Australia and Great Britain have made it clear that this issue is still not fully understood. http://newmatilda.com/2011/05/25/risk-rising-uncertainty-falling [i]Climate crunch time arrives, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] The challenge for Gillard is to seriously take up the challenge. The challenge for Abbottis to avoid being a bit of historical detritus. Best he just get out of the way and be taken out with the tide. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/05/25/climate-crunch-time-arrives/ [i]Critical Decade report understates climate threat, Climate Change Social Change[/i] Coalition leader Tony Abbott said he was “very pleased” with the report because it endorsed his“direct action” plan to offset fossil fuel emissions by storing extra carbon in the soil. But the report said the opposite, warning that “atmospheric carbon cannot be sequestered into land ecosystems indefinitely”. http://climatechangesocialchange.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/critical-decade-report-understates-climate-threat/ [i]A pointed message to College of Physicians on climate change and health, Melissa Sweet, Croakey[/i] The Climate and Health Alliance is a coalition of health care stakeholders established in 2010 to advocate for policy action to reduce the risks to human health from climate change. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2011/05/25/a-pointed-message-to-college-of-physicians-on-climate-change-and-health/ [i]More Bosses Means More Press Freedom,Lee Rhiannon, New Matilda[/i] Both the 1994 Senate inquiry into foreign ownership of Australia’s media and the 2000 inquiry into media self-regulation raised concerns about our concentrated media ownership http://newmatilda.com/2011/05/25/more-bosses-more-press-freedom [i]I have a dream, Ken Parish, Club Troppo[/i] I heartily agree with Ross Gittins’ assessment of Tony Abbott, and I also tend to agree with Harry Clarke about the respective current merits of Labor and the Coalition, http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/05/25/i-have-a-dream/ [i]Gittens on Abbott, Steve, Opinion Dominion[/i] Tony Abbott is setting new lows in the lightness with which he plays with the truth. He blatantly works both sides of the street, nodding happily http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/2011/05/gittens-on-abbott.html [i]How do we rate? Take the index for a spin, Peter Martin[/i] A new OECD survey of living standards across the leading 34 industrial nations finds Australia at or near the top on almost every measure, but toward the bottom on the question of free time http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]On modern politics , Gary sauer Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] he becomes a hired gun for James Packer's casino gambling industry with an explicit brief to sabotage Labor's forthcoming reforms of the Australian gaming industry. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/05/on-modern-polit.php#more [i]Doubts over Turnbull heritage request,ROSSLYN BEEBY, Canberra Times[/i] basis of the Senate motion, environment groups and people concerned about the conservation of the Tarkine mistakenly assumed a world heritage assessment was being carried out,'' she said. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/doubts-over-turnbull-heritage-request/2173927.aspx [i]Increasing electricity prices: watt’s the culprit?, David Dargaville, The Conversation[/i] More expensive electricity will make efficiency measures more attractive – it may be time to look at those halogen bulbs, getting rid of the second fridge or swapping the electric hot water system for a solar system. http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/increasing-electricity-prices-watts-the-culprit-2146?utm_source=The+Conversation+Daily+updates&utm_campaign=3b030a4b42-DailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email [i]Death Derivatives Emerge From Pension Risks of Living Too Long, Oliver Suess, Bloomberg[/i] Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt have set up insurance companies that promise to pay pensions if retirees live beyond a certain age. They typically receive a portion of the pension plan’s assets in return. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-16/death-derivatives-emerge-from-pension-risks-of-living-too-long.html

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011One and all might be interested in Alan Jones' NBN Epic Fail yesterday wrt this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13469924 Here's Jones: http://michaelwyres.com/2011/05/alan-jones-and-the-nbn-fail/

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26/05/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Here's a very interesting set of graphs behind the palaver that WA MPs and Colin Barnett is coming out with atm: http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/wa_compared/

Gravel

26/05/2011Feral Skeleton I liked your response to Valarie Woodruffe, thank you for that. PS could you check your email from Saturday or Sunday please.

Jason

26/05/2011Gravel, Old Valarie is nothing more than one of Tom of Melbourne's multiple personalities!

lyn

26/05/2011Hi Hillbilly Thankyou for the link to Jones, nice picture on the start of the video (not). Love this bit from Michael's Musings on your link: [quote]What do you propose to shoot the “laser” beam down Alan? String? In fact, the installation of the fibre in the ground, combined with this new research actually demonstrates in the most perfect manner possible, the future-proof nature of rolling out a fibre-optic network.[/quote] See what Renai LeMay has to say about Mr Jones: [i]NBN 2.6 million times too slow, says Alan Jones, Renai LeMay Delimeter [/i] [quote]Oh dear. Radio shock jock Alan Jones appears to have gotten his wires crossed, in an analysis this week of how a new data speed record set by scientists in Germany might affect the National Broadband Network.[/quote] [quote]Leaving aside the fact that the NBN will actually deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps, itself at least ten times faster than anything consumers can currently access in Australia … there is also the fact that the Germans are, of course, using the exact same technology as the NBN — optic fibre — and there is a solid prospect of such innovation eventually boosting speeds on the national network.[/quote] http://delimiter.com.au/2011/05/26/nbn-2-6-million-times-too-slow-says-alan-jones/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Delimiter+%28Delimiter%29

lyn

26/05/2011Hi Jason [quote]Gravel, Old Valarie is nothing more than one of Tom of Melbourne's multiple personalities! [/quote] Jason you just confirmed exactly what I thought. Cheers :):):)

lyn

26/05/2011Hi Hillbilly Seems News Com has picked up on the Jones error: Alan Jones Confuses Laser Beams With Fibre, Gizmodo [quote] Radio talkback king Alan Jones has always had a fairly liberal view of the world, but he clearly doesn’t have a clue about technology. Andrew Ramadge over at News has picked up that the opinionated personality jumped on the story of German researchers breaking the data transmission record as a way to trash the NBN, despite the fact they use the same technology.[/quote] [quote]Alan Jones, however, picked up on the story and used it to claim that the NBN will be outdated before it’s even completed[/quote]: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/05/alan-jones-confuses-laser-beams-with-fibre/

TalkTurkey

26/05/2011Jason Yeah Big 10-4 on your 9.38 Mate! And Lyn at 9.55! I think it's funny :) There's Tom of Melbourne, jj too, "Sir" Limpy, Knight Who Boasts: We use them Trolls like piggy poo To fertilize our Posts!

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Some nice photos from about the House taken from Ed Husic's facebook album. The PM looks lovely in her gold shawl :) http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.195174970519057.36842.118388888197666&l=f2515457a3

nasking

26/05/2011Apparently Turnbull & 4 of his colleagues have shown "great disrespect" for the Coalition by not showing up for a vote. Frankly, I'm surprised any Liberal voter w/ an ounce of integrity shows up considering the lack of respect the Coalition leadership is showing the Australian public. The past fortnight has revealed the Abbott shadow cabinet to be a bunch of lying, opportunistic, deceitful swines who cannot be taken seriously. They obviously have no trouble kowtowing to the demands of the blood suckers of our country...the ultra rich mining bosses who send us their arrogant flatulence by way of "rich lists" & multi million dollar ad campaigns to ensure wealth continues to flow upwards into their gaping maws rather than be redistributed fairly to the people... I mean...frack me!!!, the silence of the Coalition over WA Barnett's 2 billion hit on their precious miners is the height of hypocrisy & contradictory to all the hype & bluster coming out of their churchy camp the past coupla years...and demonstrates loud & clear that Abbott's lot are a bunch of big time BSers. And of course the big opportunistic hypocrite of them all, Rupert Murdoch, throws his support in the Abbott corner...what more would we expect from the man who salivated at the chance to crush coal miners in the UK under the Thatcher regime...but now uses his media morons to suck up big coal's backside like they've been chums for eternity...of course Murdoch supports Abbott...they are obviously the same kind of contortionists...evolved from burrowers beneath. Interesting tho how the "bleed for us" whining steel & commodity industries are still whooping it up on Treasure Exec Island even tho the dollar has gone thru the roof...kinda makes the message of an all destructive carbon price seem more than a wee bit oversold. The Australian people need to see these giant Aussie companies (usually hoovering multinational corporates in guise) for what they are...employers who will take a mile if ya give them an inch. Abbott gives them the whole ten inches. The carbon price needs a useful floor & compensation that Abbott can't wind back w/out being mightily damaged...I'd really dig seeing a wind turbine company blow him into the sea as he tried to "unwind" things... would anyone bother searching for the floating corporate billboard?...knowing it/he can float anyway due to bein' full of hot air. Maybe he could be used as mine to "stop the boats"?... or perhaps Scott Morrisson & the rest of the BSing, sincerity scumbag crowd can pick floating Abbott up on their way to lucrative positions in America or Asia...all of them moaning about: "When we said we'd take in more refugees we didn't mean more under an ALP government...and certainly not from Malaysia...and certainly not those bloody Burmese do-gooders...in fact, we didn't mean what we said at all...YES MEANS NO...our One Nation of A-hole supporters know that". I'm surprised that Turnbull can stand the stink of BS on that frontbench. It's curdled Hockey. Weaseled Hunt. Befuddled MacFarlane. Brought out the decent daughter on a p/t basis in Julie Bishop. Confused Pyne. But put a spring in the stomp of Sophie Mirabella...throwing dead & shrivelled flowers at the feet of her beloved master Abbott as he negabores the public w/ whispers of darkness...watching Sophie dance & thud in glee to the tendrils of stank must force any observer to rethink Coalition support...and yearn for days free of Cthulhu's spawn, Tony Abbott. "Gospel truth" my arse. I'm back to Green/Labor voting. A bad, bad week for the Coalition. And no morally bankrupt media out greedily spending their bags of slimy coins after peddling more lies can tell me otherwise. N'

NK

26/05/2011Jason & TalkTurkey I hope you read this: [b]The Australian pretends Greens have “failed” if they don’t run the parliament with their one lower house seat[/b] [quote]So there’s the second approach: make unrealistic, strawman claims about them that their voters might like to believe – the regular “moral superiority” sledge, in particular – and then when they fail (with their limited parliamentary representation) to achieve all those impossible “goals”, portrary[/quote] (sic) [quote]it as some kind of a failure.[/quote] From Lyn's Links From two people who profess to understand that the Murdoch press are a ridiculously unreliable source of information, it intrigues me that you are prepared to promulgate one of their myths. Correct me if I'm wrong but The Greens didn't have the balance of power when the CPRS came before the Senate in 2010. In order for it to get up without the support of the Coalition the government would have needed the votes of two Independents as well as the Greens (unless someone is suggesting that rogue Liberals might have crossed the floor). Senator Fielding and the Greens finding common ground on a carbon mitigation proposal - that would have been interesting. Especially when the Greens were excluded from the negotiation table and were being asked to approve a scheme into which they were allowed no input. Another popular furphy is that the Greens voted it down because the starting price was too low. They opposed it because they felt the compensation package for big polluters was too generous and as 'our friend' tried to point out, the CPRS budget didn't balance. The government had promised more in compensation than it was going to collect and the problem was likely to be exacerbated in future years. The idea that the Rudd government could negotiate a CPRS with the right side of politics and then expect the far left to support it is just ridiculous. If Rudd didn't want to go to a DD he should have put the Coalition-negotiated CPRS into a drawer and started talking to the Greens, just as the ALP is doing now. To suggest that the Greens scuttled Rudd's CPRS is just wrong. Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin scuttled it. And then the ALP put it into the too hard basket. But even if I accept your basic premise, let me ask this. If you were looking to sell your car, would you put up an asking price which exactly corresponded with the price you were willing to accept? No you would inflate it in order to have room for haggling. It is widely accepted among a good many knowledgeable commentators that $40 per tonne is the price at which electricity generating businesses would hasten to switch to gas in place of coal. Not a bad opening gambit I would have thought. Political reality and the need for compromise at the negotiation table has now seen the Greens accept a lower offer, just as you would for your car. I'm no great backer of the Greens, some of them are complete nutters with unrealistic ambitions but on this subject they have been seriously misrepresented and you seem to have swallowed the News Ltd line. Why that should be, I don't know.

Michael

26/05/2011Today's Bad Abbott. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/26/3227199.htm?section=justin Details at above link to ABC Online. There's something decidedly apocalyptic about Tony Abbott. Take his speech last night to the Manufacturer's Monthly annual awards night, where his message boiled down to 'do it my way or die'. Of a price on carbon being introduced to Australia, he is quoted: "It can't be fixed, it has to be fought, and if it's not fought, the manufacturing sector in this country, I regret to say, is almost certain to die," he said. "I think this is as stark as that, the choice that you face - do you fight or do you die?" Very Old Testament, except, watching his little jigs in Parliament when he's in attack-mode, observing his facial contortions in TV interviews, listening for his Professor Moriarty lisp as he speaks generally, he reminds me most of the late Jim Jones. Seducing his followers across Australia to drink the lime-flavoured Kool Aid with him when everything goes so wrong even their beloved prophet of daily doom will not be able to save them (us). But unlike Jim Jones, who seems to have been a misguided but convinced believer in his utterances, why do I have an almost similarly apocalyptic vision of, the dead all around him, Tony Abbott slinking away with a smirk on his lips and a bike-pump in his pocket? In fact the more I see of him weaving his merrily destructive, opposing-for-its-own-sake, way, the more Mae West's droll question (also delivered to an exaggeratedly self-confident male), paraphrased slightly, comes to my mind: 'Is that a bike pump in your pocket, Tony, or are you just happy to (fill in this space)?'

lyn

26/05/2011Hi Norman K I just watched Julia Gillard's address to the Cancer Council and of course Mr Abbott has to speak as well. On comes Mr Abbott, he introduces The Prime Minister, then his Julie Bishop, also he says "and Kevin Rudd". "Good to see you in the Country Kevin followed by his hideous laugh, says "Sorry Kevin the [b]devil made me say that[/b] followed by more hideous etc.. To top of his speech Mr Abbott says: last year he came without his wallet and had to borrow his donation, this year he brought his wallet but there is no money in it, so he again has to borrow, he says "I promise to pay it back" Sounds like Mr Abbott didn't pay back his borrowed money last year uhmmmmmmm. Yes seems Mr Turnbull and Co are in trouble: No excuses for missing vote: Joyce, Channel 9 Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull and four of his colleagues reportedly were absent during a division in the lower house on Tuesday night which denied some marginal seat MPs their chance. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8253761/no-excuses-for-missing-vote-joyce Norman K your comment above is wonderful you are an education, your genuine well thought out comments are delightful. Cheers:):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Some rare good news on the Asylum Seeker front, out of Malaysia, for the government(and one in the eye for that Nasty Pillay, or whatever her name is): http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/malaysia-rejects-criticism-of-swap-deal-20110526-1f58w.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011lyn, I have noticed, since Malcolm Farr became National Affairs Editor of News.com, their political coverage has become more reasonable and not as rabid as other News Corpse media outlets.

lyn

26/05/2011 Hi NormanK Looks like I am not the only one who has arrived at the same conclusion of the speech: AshGhebranious AshGhebranious #abcnews24 Abbott tells world what a cheapskate he is. He has his wallet. Just no money and he had to borrow from staffer BrigadierSlog Brigadier Slog BlackHole much? RT @iBleeter Tony Abbott's brought an empty wallet to #BiggestMorningTea and had to borrow some dosh from a staffer. #auspol Wyld Mark Gold. ♺ @iBleeter: Oh dear, Tony Abbott's brought an empty wallet to #BiggestMorningTea and had to borrow some dosh from a staffer.. 38 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply iBleeter Oh dear, Tony Abbott's brought an empty wallet to #BiggestMorningTea and had to borrow some dosh from a staffer…. 47 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Here's the Phil Coorey yarn about the 4 Horsemen of Tory Abbott's Apocalypse who 'missed' a vote the other night: http://www.smh.com.au/national/libs-accuse-turnbull-of-disrespect-for-party-20110525-1f4hx.html The 4+ Malcolm make an interesting sidelight wrt the barely-contained simmering tensions within the Coalition atm: Mr Turnbull, Ian Macfarlane, Alby Schultz, John Forrest and Luke Hartsuyker. As far as I know, Alby Schultz is in amongst it all because he just hates Abbott's guts after he was demoted upon Abbott's ascending to the Opposition Leader's job. The others are probably sympathetic to Turnbull.

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Nasking, I second your sentiments. One thing I will add is that I have noticed that there has not been a groundswell of approval and warmth generated in the General Public for the fact that Big Gina has flopped onto the top of the BRW Rich List this year. It's generated a sort of embarassed silence actually from the media. In fact, I can't say as I have seen or heard any Coalition MPs coming out and saying how great it is to see her there. Not even the WA MPs she has probably bought and paid for with her donations to the Liberal Party of WA. I imagine they feel somewhat emboldened when they are in Canberra. :)

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011NormanK, You are correct about the Senate vote for the original CPRS. Nick Xenophon was with The Greens in thinking it gave too much away to Big Biz, and Steve Fielding thought God could solve the problem and so sided with the Coalition. :)

lyn

26/05/2011Hi Hillbilly Yes you could be right , I hope so, but I will need to see more convincing evidence in the near future. A few more objective columns or interviews perhaps.

NK

26/05/2011Hi lyn Abbott's empty wallet is a fashion statement. It's all the rage at the moment to attend high-profile charity events with an empty wallet in your pocket. I can't remember which of our billionaires started it but it sure is catching on, isn't it? Michael Keep 'em coming. I have tried every which way but loose to unpick Abbott's comment on cigarette smokers and, like you, I can find no meaning skilfully hidden within the political rhetoric of 'this government bashes the poor'. At what point does Mr Abbott start to appear hysterical (not in the funny way) in the eyes of the public?

NK

26/05/2011This is a bit of a worry: [b]Australia investing in nuclear arms[/b] by Dan Oakes [quote]THE federal government's $74 billion Future Fund is investing Australian taxpayers' money in foreign companies that make components for nuclear weapons.[/quote] http://www.theage.com.au/national/australia-investing-in-nuclear-arms-20110525-1f4fb.html#poll It's only $135.4 million out of a $74 billion fund but it does cause me to wonder - why not do the morally correct thing, in keeping with our international agreements (put aside the legal arguments) and move the money into something in which the nation can take pride? It looks bad, it's a tiny bit of money, move it.

Jason

26/05/2011Normank, Wrong! all TT and I have ever said was 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing! Cars aside this is/was the political reality for the Greens in 2011,had things been done differently before under Rudd well that is another argument, but that was never our argument ours is on the here and now with the current parliament. even in 2010 three crossed the floor to vote with the government Turnbull in the house with Troath and Moylan in the senate, what did the Greens do in the senate? nothing and took 100% of nothing.We said to Doug Evans when he was with us the Government wouldn't move from the 5% reduction on offer no matter what,What I posted last night said exactly that!

TalkTurkey

26/05/2011Michael NormanK said "As a case in point (and Michael, this is entry for Bad Abbotts) take Mr Abbott's behaviour in parliament on Monday. As part of what should have been a sombre testimonial to the late Honourable Ralph James Dunnet Hunt AO, Mr Abbott just couldn't help himself. But Ralph Hunt's steadfastness was well illustrated by his response to the 'Joh for Canberra' push. He was actually directed by Sir Joh's backers to seize the National Party leadership from the then leader, Ian Sinclair, and then to keep that seat warm for the Queensland Premier. Ralph Hunt's response was that that would not save Australia from a bad government—showing a very sensible attitude. The important thing is always to do what is necessary to save Australia from a bad government. That is what Ralph Hunt did then and that is what others have tried to do subsequently. It doesn't look so bad as a transcript but I'm sure anyone who didn't see it would have no trouble picturing the self-satisfied smirk on Abbott's face as he delivered those lines. Apart from speaking with regard to the death of a soldier, I have never seen Abbott show the least signs of good taste or Christian charity. Such unrelenting negativity must surely bring him undone." Here's my best attempt to put a difficult but poignant Bad Abbott situation into verse. Changes in future are not ruled out. We're up to 11 verses now. All mine so far, damn. "Where the Hell are ya?" BAD ABBOTTS Well now Ralph Hunt's dead! Can't hear what I said! For I know old Ralph Would not agree - For I used - his - death To spray my spite - ful - breath Can't help myself Bad Abbotts Well now that Ralph's a goner It can scarcely harm his honour If I misrepresent what he once said For I used Ralph's decent stance As a Gotcha Gillard chance And it can't hurt poor old Ralph now he is dead! So the very next day My last respects to pay I got up to say What a wondrous bloke But I made it seem That he shared my dream My revolting team Bad Abbotts Please anybody tell me if you are actually trying to sing along with these lines to Bad Habits? S'il vous plait? 'Cos you can you know, in perfect time I think, and it would seem such a waste of mine if NO-ONE sang along at all. N'est-ce pas? There's 2 different types of verses in this clever song, all honour to Billy Field if he wrote it or whoever. I don't know what the separate verses are called respectively, like one's a chorus for the other but it's prettier than an ordinary chorus, it's very melodious. You have to get them right when you try to sing them of course. It helps to be listening to the original turned down enough so you can hear your own brain over the top. It's a very adaptable songline. The long gaps between syllables in some of the lines allow many more syllables to slot in perfectly, and I just love that. It's too good for Abbortt, really . . .

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Talk Turkey, Yup, it's one of those songs that just immediately starts playing in your head when you think about it. So perfect for our aims here. Also it is nice 'n easy to slot words into. :)

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011NormanK, With David Murray and Peter Costello on the board of the Future Fund, let's just say I'm not surprised that financial outcomes came before ethics in making that investment decision.

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011If anyone is interested in following it on the aph.gov site, the ABC is being grilled today in Senate Estimates. I have to go and do the weekly shop.

Jason

26/05/2011Normank, "What is not commonly recalled is that these brave Liberal Senators looked across the division to see the five Greens Senators siding with the Abbott Opposition to vote down the Bill" or this "If Bob Brown and the Greens had voted in favour of the CPRS last year, it would be law now and Australia would be in an entirely different political “climate.” http://www.wangle.com.au/life/greens-trade-votes-not-emissions

NK

26/05/2011Jason It doesn't have to be an argument. :) I don't understand. In 2010, were there sufficient votes from Labor, the Greens and others to have passed the CPRS in the Senate if the Greens had supported it? That is at the heart of what I am trying to say. If I'm wrong on the numbers then I'm wrong and I retract most of my previous remarks.

TalkTurkey

26/05/2011OOOOOHHHHH!!!!! Coalition shaking to pieces! Lyndal Curtis says it was "unhelpful at best" for 4 or 5 of Them failing to turn up for a division . . . Ho Ho Ho Turnbull's hatred and contempt for Abbortt is right at the surface now. (And vice versa! See the billet doux from him to the absentees! HooWa!) Turnbull doesn't need the leadership or the Prime Ministership as Abbortt does, to Turnbull it would in his own eyes cap a righteous and distinguished career, but he can walk away from it anyway, (and I have the feeling he's just about ready to do that), but Abbortt of course is monomaniacally obsessed with his lust for power for its own sake, he is going off his rocker without it. And Turnbull seems of a mind to sabotage the Rotten Right, and though I don't think too much of Turnbull, I wish him all the success in the world in spiking their guns. Where do they go now? They're falling apart together! Like a de-lapidated stone arch, FLOOMPPPP! :)

NK

26/05/2011Jason Our posts crossed. I stand corrected. My recollection was inaccurate. As I remembered it, even with Green support the bill was destined to fail. My apologies to you and TT.

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26/05/2011Folks Thank you for your interesting comments. I'll catch up with them when I return later in the afternoon

Jason

26/05/2011NormanK, Thanks for that!but no apology needed.

lyn

26/05/2011 Hi NormanK Turnbull is getting cranky what do you think: Turnbull lashes out at 'press release' email By Jeremy Thompson ABC Updated 56 minutes ago Some in the Opposition are seeing the email as payback by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for Mr Turnbull's outspoken comments last week, when he was critical of the Coalition's climate policy. Mr Abbott refused to comment on the subject. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/26/3227862.htm Malcolm Turnbull fears email was leaked, News Com "Clearly somebody has leaked it, but when you send a letter or email to every member of the government, or the Coalition, the reality is the chances of it finding its way into the hands of the press are extremely high - probably not 100 per cent, but 99 per cent," he said. http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/malcolm-turnbull-fears-email-was-leaked/story-e6frfku0-1226063468987#ixzz1NR0B96D

lyn

26/05/2011Hi Norman K Did I see someone mention on TPS that Julia Gillard lied, well we should be looking at Mr Abbotts lies: [quote]Tony Abbotts lies Much is made of Julia Gillard’s so-called lies. Nothing is ever said of Tony Abbott’s lies. He continually says that he will roll back the Carbon Legislation, the Mining Tax NBN etc. He can’t! The Greens have the balance of power in the Senate for the next six years and they don’t look like changing their policies in that time. He has told many lies about his position on Climate Change – more than anyone in Australia. Who really believes that he now thinks that Climate Change is no longer crap. Obviously another lie. Saying that the Independents are Labor stooges is another lie. He only needs one to agree with any of his policies to get it through Parliament – he does not have to be in Government in this Parliament to pass legislation as is shown by some Independents introducing legislation. For instance, he can pass his Parental Leave Scheme as the Greens and Independents have said they would vote for it. Oh, that’s right, it involves a great big new tax. What a hypocrite, what a liar.[/quote] http://www.freetimes.com.au/wordpress/?p=1056

NK

26/05/2011lyn Sometimes I think your Gravatar should be a fox terrier. http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/factsheets/Dogs/Fox-Terrier/1393 Once you get a sniff of a story there's no stopping you. Is the Turnbull thing a storm in a teacup or are we seeing the beginning of an escalation? I'm sure you'll keep us informed. I'm looking forward to seeing on TV tonight the awkwardness of Abbott meeting Turnbull at the Tea Party. Perhaps Tony was just embarrassed because Malcolm has a bigger wallet in his pants.

Jason

26/05/2011N @May 26. 2011 10:52 AM, "I'm back to Green/Labor voting." Welcome back!

lyn

26/05/2011Hi NormanK A fox terrier eh! they really are gorgeous little dogs, seems according to your link they match my nature, (roll eyes), but I think tweetie is more for a girl. [quote]There's never a dull moment when there's a Fox Terrier around! Loved worldwide for their overflowing enthusiasm, Small, trim, and alert, Their small, trim appearance and alert nature, very intelligent,[/quote] The Liberal Stew is in the slow cooker, still stewing, not cooked yet. latikambourke Latika Bourke Opposition Whip lambasts Malcolm Turnbull and others for missing votes. http://twitpic.com/52l3xv AlanBaxter AlanBaxter Don't leave me hanging, bro! Turnbull will be leading his own party before the next election. http://bit.ly/kpyvq2 #auspol PoliticalTarot Political Tarot Liberals accuse Malcolm Turnbull of disrespect for party... http://t.co/15kgOD3 via @smh_news sydneynewsnow Sydney News Now Turnbull labels party rebuke 'ridiculous': MALCOLM Turnbull has attacked as "ridiculous" an email from Liberal w... http://bit.ly/lp8kzt 2 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply gordongraham gordongraham how's this for an awkward picture (a moment this morning between Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull) http://bit.ly/iOyaZ9 #qt #auspol eddietqld Eddie L Liberals accuse Malcolm Turnbull of disrespect for party http://t.co/5ygX3O3 via @brisbanetimes Cheers ::):):):):):):):):):):)

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26/05/2011Folks I won’t attempt to respond to all your comments, but from them there is clearly some discord within the Coalition. I imagine Malcolm Turnbull is appalled by the incompetence of several of his colleagues, especially in the finance field, in which he has an interest. He would like Joe Hockey’s job, or at least Andrew Robb’s. He must be dismayed at the performance of the Coalition’s ‘economics team’. Just look at it. Tony Abbott is disinterested and illiterate in matters economic and never speaks on the subject, which is amazing for one who would be PM and have the responsibility of running the nation. Joe Hockey is mostly bellow, bluster and bull, with just occasional glimpses of understanding of economics. Whenever Andrew Robb is in the public gaze he talks gobbledygook. Whether he know anything about economics is unclear as when he talks in public it is often in defence of dodgy figures, such as the fictitious $50 billion of ‘savings’ in which Treasury found an $11 billion black hole. He gets into such a tangle doing this that he sounds as illiterate as Joe Hockey. Now the Coalition is trotting out Mathias Cormann, Shadow Assistant Treasurer to comment on financial matters. Is Robb ill? Last night on [i]Lateline[/i] we got a full dose of this man which at the end left viewers wondering what he was really talking about. He was even worse than Robb, strange as that may seem. Tony Jones began with: [i]“Does the WA Government's decision to raise an extra $2 billion from mining taxes create a sovereign risk to the state's booming mining sector?”[/i] He asked that three times but never got an answer. Instead he got Cormann’s programmed message that there was a $2 billion black hole in Wayne Swan’s budget as a result of the increase in royalties imposed by the WA Government on mining companies, that Wayne Swan had made a ‘mess’ of negotiating the MRRT, and that the WA Government had clearly communicated to Wayne Swan its intention to increase the royalties. They were the three key messages he was determined to transmit no matter what questions he was asked. It reminded me strongly of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s “Don’t you worry about that” that preceded his belting us with his three messages, always three. If you’ve got the inclination, and you feel ready for it, read the transcript at http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3227142.htm There you will find one of the most incoherent performances that a politician could give. He does not answer questions, he trots out his predetermined messages, all with the hint of a supercilious smile on his face, and responds as if Tony Jones was not really there asking questions. If this is the fourth leg of the Coalition economics team, it shows how bereft it is of knowledge, understanding and skill in this crucial area. Heaven help us if this team ever gets into government. It is no wonder that Malcolm Turnbull is showing his colleagues such disdain, knowing full well he could run rings around all of them, singly and collectively. Don’t be too surprised if Turnbull spits the dummy pretty soon and gives these incompetents the flick.

Acerbic Conehead 2

26/05/2011Drat - missed the ton! NormanK, Apologies for not writing in earlier to congratulate you on a great piece. Its been one hell of a week, work-wise. I can just imagine Jooles sitting there on a cold winter's evening in front of a blazing fire with a well-charged glass of hot port, lol. And I can also imagine Tones trying the same thing, only he'd be in front of a few cold ashes, with a misery-guts look on his face, making Ebeneezer Scrooge look like Graham Norton on uppers. I hope you keep up the format. Looking forward to more.

Valerie Woodruffe

26/05/2011Feral Skeleton, How dare you call me "seemingly poorly-educated" I will have you know I am a fully qualified and licensed hairdresser in WA and highly educated in the profession of hair and beauty, and if it had'nt been for my brain injury caused by a stroke,which results in permanent short term memory loss I would'nt be forced to rely on a pension and other welfare benefits I can get out of Centrelink. Nevertheless thank you for wellcoming me to The Political Sword, and ibiting me to come back and visit your little blog often. Regards Valerie Woodruffe

Valerie Woodruffe

26/05/2011Gravel,lyn & Jason, I am NOT Tom of Melbourne whoever he is. I am Valerie Woodruffe of Mullaloo WA 6027, also known in blogging circles as Marlene from Mullaloo of Communications from The Bunker. Please show some respect to new bloggers and BTW my name is spelt ValErie not ValArie

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Valerie Woodruffe, Nice to hear from you again. Sorry to hear about your medical problems. However what it proves to me is that, whether Labor, Green or Coalition supporter, we are all the same at the end of the day because we all have all too human frailties which strike each and every one of us at some stage in our lives. Just as well we also have Progressive Social Democrat political parties who want to provide a social safety net for us, I reckon. As I said earlier, don't forget who provided the biggest increase to the Pension for decades, either. It was the Labor Party. They have also just redressed the financial imbalance wrt bringing up teenagers. And, of course, and I don't know if, as a former small business-owner you like this fact, but the Labor Party brought fairness back to the workplace. Speaking of which, I can still remember the horror stories relating to some Hairdressers, who took full advantage of the 'flexibility' that Howard's Workchoices offered them by only paying their staff in a piecemeal fashion by the job. If there was a gap during the day when there were no customers, they weren't getting paid. I hope you weren't that sort of employer. Money and profit are never worth it if you have to destroy people's dignity to get it.

Jason

26/05/2011ValErie, Pfft!

Valerie Woodruffe

26/05/2011Feral Skelton thank you, and Jasan show some manners please, I think you left them behind you in the fridge and while you are in the fridge get me a top up for my wine

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Don't forget. Renewable Energy will only get cheaper over time: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/26/3227776.htm?section=justin

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011The Cancer Council 'Australia's Biggest Morning Tea' meeting between Turnbull & Abbott: http://www.news.com.au/national/malcolm-turnbull-and-tony-abbott-downplay-tensions-barely/story-e6frfkvr-1226063408951 Also, it was well pointed out tonight, on one of the nightly news broadcasts, another of Tony Abbott's duplicitous statements. There he was in the morning speaking at the Cancer Council do about what a scourge on society Cancer was and how he had worked tirelssly as Health Minister to support finding a cure for cancer, yada, yada...but come the afternoon...Tobacco? In his best Marie Antoinette voice he was virtually saying, "Let them smoke cigarettes!" :)

Tom of Melbourne

26/05/2011Nothing to do with me. What is it with you people and labelling, jumping to conclusions, presuming everything and knowing so little? If I need any light relief I’ll pop in, but as Tom of Melbourne. Get over yourselves, and the misleading tag of this site.

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Verrry interesting: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/doubts-over-turnbull-heritage-request/2173927.aspx There goes Malcolm leading the Liberal Party again! Which leaves...Scott Morrison or Christopher Pyne, after Abbott emulates that Monty Python sketch where the bicyclist comes to a faltering halt on his bike and falls off sideways. :)

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Valerie Woodruffe, Don't mind Jason, he barks but doesn't bite. :) Btw, I lived in WA myself for 15 years. I had a small business in Nedlands and a house in Highgate. I also worked at Princess Margaret Hospital. I also had friends up your way in Beldon and Yanchep.

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Another Canberra Times article, by Malcolm Mckerras, that takes an historical perspective on the Prime Minister and Tony Abbott: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/lesson-for-labor-remember-menzies-in-1954/2175843.aspx?storypage=0

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011It was Grog's birthday today! Happy Birthday Greg. :) However, he is as addicted to this blogging politics thing as we here are, so he wrote 2600 (!) words on his birthday for his blog: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2011/05/on-qt-stench-it-rises-so-too-does.html

Feral Skeleton

26/05/2011Anyone for a little bit of Liberal 'Waste and Mismanagement'? http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/stately-queens-coach-goes-missing/story-fn7x8me2-1226062968417

lyn

27/05/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the QT: The stench, it rises (so too does the economy), Gerg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] Abbott is incapable of uttering a public remark that does not have some political barb. The devil made him do it? Gee I’ll have to remember to use that one next time I say something stupid. How pathetic. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2011/05/on-qt-stench-it-rises-so-too-does.html [i]The narrowness of the carbon price debate, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] Coalition, where the “means” of direct action is primarily about the “end” of trying to pretend the Coalition takes climate change seriously, with Greg Hunt stuck with the role of the insufficiently large figleaf, http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/26/reality-check-the-narrowness-of-the-carbon-price-debate/ [i]ABC chief Mark Scott backs broadcaster's presenters hosting NBN, climate events , Lauren Wilson, The Australian[/i] Mr Scott told a Senate estimates hearing today that the broadcaster granted permission for AM presenter Tony Eastley to host a public meeting of the Gillard government's Climate Commission, and for ABC TV's http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/abc-chief-mark-scott-backs-presenters-hosting-nbn-climate-events/story-e6frg996-1226063269183?from=public_rss [i]There’s No Messiah Here! There’s A Mess Alright But No Messiah!, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] The letter says it all. It seems someone is out to cut Malcolm Turnbull down. http://images.smh.com.au/file/2011/05/26/2386055/turnbullemail.pdf http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/theres-no-messiah-here-theres-a-mess-alright-but-no-messiah/ [i]Giving CO2 the refugee treatment or, Ash, Ash's machiavellian Bloggery[/i] I have decided to write this blog like a idiot That means I have to think like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones for about ten minutes. Trust me, it is making me sick just contemplating it. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/giving-co2-the-refugee-treatment-or/ [i]Cracks appear in fragile Liberal Party unity, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia[/i] Kevin Andrews; Phil Ruddock; the appalling foul-mouthed Sophie Mirabella; Bronwyn Bishop; Cory Bernardi; Eric Abetz; the ridiculous Barnaby Joyce; and, the worst of them all, Nick Minchin. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/cracks-appear-in-fragile-liberal-party-unity/ [i]Turnbull want to destroy Abbott - and the Coalition, Australian Climate Madness[/i] He hates the fact that Tony Abbott is doing so well as Opposition leader. He hates the fact that he thinks Abbott is inferior to him (or so he believes) and he himself should still rightly be the leader of the Opposition. http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2011/05/turnbull-wants-to-destroy-abbott-and-the-coalition? [i]National Sorry Day, The Conscience Vote[/i] It’s important that we don’t forget what led to the Apology, why it was necessary in the first place. http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/national-sorry-day/ [i]Australia’s confused solar policy lacks energy, Mark Diesendorf, The Conversation[/i] With a substantial government program to improve the efficiency of energy use and phase out electric hot water systems, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on roofs could http://theconversation.edu.au/australias-confused-solar-policy-lacks-energy-1205 [i]Nextgen denies Turnbull's claim, Roberto Suarez, International Business Times[/i] director of Nextgen denied Mr. Turnbull's allegations saying that it would be ''gravely wrong'' to interpret the investment as a vote of no confidence in the network. http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/151621/20110525/nextgen-denies-turnbull-s-claim.htm [i]All passion spent, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i]I shouldn’t be writing this, have a date with the giant presses of my local monthly newspaper think Rupert Murdoch undergoes a tree change. http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/05/26/all-passion-spent/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheW [i]Leftland is angry,John Izzard, Quadrant Online[/i] Take television and radio. Without doubt the standard bearer is the ABC. ABC1 news and current affairs is generally skewed to the left with slavish attention to the perspective of the http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2011/05/leftland-is-angry

Ad astra reply

27/05/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Jason

27/05/2011Thanks Bruce Hawker! some of us already knew this. Abbott cherry-picks easy interviews to avoid tough questions Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/abbott-cherrypicks-easy-interviews-to-avoid-tough-questions-20110526-1f692.html#ixzz1NV7G4Rdm http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/abbott-cherrypicks-easy-interviews-to-avoid-tough-questions-20110526-1f692.html

Michael

27/05/2011Today's Bad Abbott. Pop over to Grog's Gamut, and check out the first few paragraphs (then read on, of course): http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ to discover Tony Abbott using occasions meant to focus positively on nation-affecting issues, fighting cancer amongst all Australians, and due respect being paid to the first Australians, as opportunities for inappropriate shallow wit and self-interested politicking. "The devil" made him do the former, apparently; the devil take the interests of the owners of land affected by his simplistic, and ultimately paternalistic, approach to the Wild Rivers legislation. I've no doubt Big Daddy Tony cracks his girls up around the family dining table, where he seems to have learned both the skills of 'sharp' comedy and 'wise' fathering, but away from that clearly very forgiving audience, he's not up to the job. Most definitely not the job he reckons should be his. Just watch him in past media events with William Hague and Mark Riley. Two sides of a very thin coin.

Jason

27/05/2011Hi all, Just a bit of self indulgence as one of the "200" may I say congratulations James Harrison! Australia's greatest life saver breaks a new record! Australia’s greatest plasma donor made his 1000th donation today, having saved the lives of 2.4 million Australian babies along the way. James Harrison, 74, has a rare type of blood plasma that is used to make lifesaving injections given to mothers whose blood is at risk of attacking, and killing, their unborn babies. In Australia, 17% of all pregnant women are at risk of this happening. The product derived from James Harrison’s blood is called Anti D, and every batch of Anti D ever made in Australia has some of James Harrison’s blood in it! “I hope it’s a record that somebody breaks, because it will mean they are dedicated to the cause,” Mr Harrison said of his milestone. Mr Harrison is a member of the Blood Service Rh Program. The Rh Program has 200 donors nationwide and began in 1967, to help stem the unnecessary deaths of unborn babies during pregnancy, known commonly as ‘blue babies’. The Blood Service is also today issuing a call for more male donors to follow in Mr Harrison’s footsteps and be part of the program. Mr Harrison has been a blood donor since 1954, and he will make his record 1000th donation at Sydney’s Town Hall Donor Centre this morning. Donating with him today will be his grandson, Scott, who celebrated his 16th birthday this week. It will be Scott’s first time donating. In an amazing twist, Scott’s mother, Tracey, was one of the 2.4 million Australian women who have received the lifesaving plasma antidote donated by her dad. To find out how you can donate to the Rh Program, call 13 14 95.

debbiep

27/05/2011 Abbott is clearly a politician that can not think for himself

lyn

27/05/2011 Hi Ad and Norman K I think this idea is wonderful, a long awaited idea to stop the MSM distortion: [i]The press feels ire of Labor 'sooks',Alison Rehn Political Reporter , The Telegraph[/i] Journalists at The Australian were also targeted, and on three separate occasions this week Senator Conroy's media adviser Lyall Johnson sent to all media press releases containing detailed answers to questions generated exclusively by The Australian. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/the-press-feels-ire-of-labor-sooks/story-e6freuzr-1226062993191 [i]Who’s the sook?,Dave Graukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Conroy has begun issuing general press releases whenever he responds to questions from the Oz and has indicated that he’ll take similar action with the Tele, with the reasoning being that it’ll stop them distorting his answers, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/05/26/whos-the-sook/#more-10329 Cheers

sue

27/05/2011Thanks for a great article. My only concern about "fireside chats" is that in todays media the "chat" would probably be interrupted. The media would then cross to a reporter who would than give their opinion on what the PM was saying. This is what reportedly happened to the PMs Community Cabinet in SA and News 24 coverage. So I suppose it would be up to the the PM to ensure that the entire chat would have to be broadcast.

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011They also had a good interview between Virginia Trioli and Chip Le Grand, the Deputy Editor of The Australian this morning on ABC24 about the topic mentioned above relating to distortion of the answers to questions submitted by Murdoch media outlets. The Oz guy said it wasn't fair of them to do it, as he believed it would in future prevent specific titles from being able to break stories and get the scoop over other media. Which is a disingenuous argument because that's not really the point that the government are trying to make here. They are trying to point up the inherant bias in the way Murdoch's minions report the facts as the government supplies them to the Murdoch people. Which I thank them for because it is a new layer of transparency that the viewing public have at their disposal now in order to compare and contrast what they read in the Murdoch media with what the government actually said and the evidence it supplied to them, no doubt. Which might just start to level up the playing field a bit more, between what Murdoch's muckrakers say is the case, and the actual case. However, yes, I will admit that it could simply turn into just another opportunity for the government to put their own spin on things in return. However, if the government play a straight bat and just provide unemotive answers to the Murdoch media's questions, and back those answers up with as much evidence for them as possible, then I think they'll be on a winner. Anyway, wrt the Murdoch sooks crying foul because their business model is being sabotaged by the government, I'd say, 'Tough!'. That's business isn't it? And don't you play it harder than the rest? And weren't you even prepared to tap people's phones to circumvent good journalistic practices, all in order to get the scoop of the day? So why are you complaining so long and loud now and trying to seem 'Holier than thou' about government/media relations standards? Virginia Trioli put it best by saying deadpan, wrt the ructions between government and media seeking advantage, "Hasn't it ever been thus?"

Ad astra reply

27/05/2011Jason The Hawker article is revealing, confirming as it does that Tony Abbott is a media wimp.

Ad astra reply

27/05/2011Hi Lyn It will be interesting to see how the strategy that Labor has begun to use pans out. Certainly the media people don't like it. After all they are the only ones allowed to preempt, not the politicians. They are the only ones allowed to throw stones; when they come back they whine about 'breach of trust'. That's pretty rich coming from Chris Mitchell!

Ad astra reply

27/05/2011sue You are right. Fireside chats would be uninterrupted, except of course if commercial outlets got hold of them and interspersed ads and 'comment' from 'experts'. I imagine that if they did go to FIreside Chats the Government would have to insist they be broadcast uninterrupted, but of course that would not stop [i]post hoc[/i] comment from their commentators.

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011Tony Abbott is afraid of scrutiny. End of. However, this coyness about facing the more sceptical end of the media may backfire if that section of the media start giving more favourable, or dare I say it, 'balanced', coverage to the government as a result. The statistics that Bruce Hawker quotes also put into stark relief the fact that the only ABC journalist Tony Abbott has been prepared to give two long-form interviews to, is Chris Uhlmann. Wonder why? :)

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011Michael, From my reading of the relationship between Tony Abbott and his girls, from evidence presented by the 60 Minutes profile of the private life of the Abbotts, where an embarassing moment between Dad and daughter occurred in the family pool, and what has recently been shown as a comment from 'Dad' to one of his daughters after the Pollie Pedal, wherein he commented to all and sundry present that, "Gee she looks hot in her Lycra bike riding clothes, doesn't she?", I would be able to make an educated guess that all is not entirely frabjous in the Abbott household. I could be wrong though, the girls might enjoy being leered at by Dad.

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011Bring Back Maxine, I forgot to say thank you for coming back and making a comment. We have all missed you. :)

debbiep

27/05/2011Ugh just had a thought -I hate to see a Abbott doing fireside chats...lol.. sorry :)

NK

27/05/2011debbiep It might still prove to be interesting to have Mr Abbott do a fireside chat especially if he had to keep to my rules. No mention of any political party, no slogans that aren't accompanied by fifty words of explanation and no bagging out the other side. Considering that Abbott couldn't get through a tribute speech to a past member of parliament without including a dig or the other examples Grog gave of the 'devil making him do it', I tend to think his chat would be full of rhetoric, unsubstantiated claims and completely devoid of any vision of where he would like Australia to be in fifty or a hundred years' time (unless of course he reckons 2097 should be like 1997). Yes, it would be excruciating but it might also be informative.

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011I could see Tory Abbott doing a Fire and Brimstone chat. :)

NK

27/05/2011FS I hadn't gone there. Perhaps a wall-sized fire into which he can throw things Glenn Beck style. From a lighting point of view, having Mr Abbott's face lit by crackling firelight from one side would be somewhat apt, methinks. How exciting is this? Science fiction comes to life! Drive your electric car over the road and the road [b]charges[/b] your car. I love it. [b]The Vision[/b] [quote]Our long range goal is to cover all concrete and asphalt surfaces that are exposed to the sun with Solar Road Panels. This will lead to the end of our dependency on fossil fuels of any kind. We're already investigating using mutual inductance to charge EVs traveling over the Solar Road Panels.[/quote] http://solarroadways.com/vision.shtml

Jason

27/05/2011AA, For your ABC watch! http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/liberal-senator-attacks-leftist-abc-coverage-20110526-1f62z.html Liberal senator attacks 'leftist' ABC coverage THE ABC has been accused by the Liberals of taking a pro-Greens stance in its coverage of the 2010 federal election, and its managing director says the Greens leader, Bob Brown, is the politician most critical of it. The Liberal senator Eric Abetz told a Senate estimates hearing yesterday he was concerned that the national broadcaster received only five viewer complaints about its coverage of the Greens, out of 982 complaints received during the election. Of those, 55 per cent claimed an anti-Coalition bias, 33 per cent cited an apparent anti-Labor bias and five related to the Greens, or one for each of its senators. Advertisement: Story continues below ''Not a single one asserted that an interviewer or presenter displayed a bias against the Greens. It was all about not being given enough time,'' Senator Abetz said. ''Not a single Greens supporter, irrespective of how extreme they were, anywhere in Australia found any cause to complain of anti-Green bias during the election campaign.'' While he congratulated the ABC for its ''perfect score'' for the Greens, he hoped it could achieve the same statistics for the Coalition. The ABC managing director, Mark Scott, defended its reporting and said its aim was to provide fair, balanced and impartial coverage. ''I don't envisage a world where we will ever do political coverage that generates no complaints,'' he said. Senator Brown was the politician most critical of the ABC's reporting and had complained as recently as last week. The ABC was subject to significant criticism by the Greens after Senator Brown's interview with Chris Uhlmann on 7.30 . Senator Abetz applauded the ABC for ''finally'' employing someone willing to ask tough questions of all sides of politics. He said it ''is a welcome change and I congratulate you. I would just invite you to show the same even-handedness to the Coalition.'' He accused the ABC of promoting ''leftist'' perspectives on its opinion and analysis website, The Drum. Senator Abetz said it was especially biased in its coverage of asylum seekers, significantly over-representing sympathisers among its authors. Mr Scott said the website featured six regular writers - two from the left of politics, two from the right and two from the middle. Senator Abetz said he was concerned there was always a ''Labor-Greens majority'' in the audience of the Q & A program. ''No matter which program, no matter whereabouts, it is always a Labor-Green dominated audience including, surprisingly, the one you held in Albury to get the views of the people in regional Australia,'' he said. This was of particular concern because the electorate has a strong Coalition majority. Mr Scott said the program aimed to ensure a plurality of views in the audience and on the panel. with AAP

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011Norman K, Abbott would be happy to throw Bob Brown into the fire and cackle maniacically, as he is the one that stands between Tony and any sort of chance to get his agenda through the Senate, were the Opposition to succeed in over 2 years time in conning the electorate to vote for them. The fact that Bob is gay must also irk the hyper-hetero jock, Abbott, no end as well. No, I just imagined that Tony Abbott would be incapable of the 'Fireside Chat'. He wouldn't be able to sit still for long enough to achieve the gravitas necessary to pull it off. Instead he would prefer, I think, the chance to deliver a 'Fire and Brimstone' sermon from a bully pulpit. Which is what he pretty much tries to do every day anyway. It's also something he needs to keep stoking, unlike the 'Fireside Chat', which is best effected in measured doses. For example, Abbott's 'People's Revolt' appears to have come to a sputtering halt. As does his 'Factories of Australia Revolt' appear to be doing, as the government comes up his rear with the broom and sweeps all his hyperbole away pretty effectively. :)

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011Jason, I'm sure Sen Abetz just happened to overlook the little matter of the recently-released report that showed that, actually, the ABC is Coalition-biased these days. Ah, the Coalition, never ones to let the facts get in the way of a good smear.

TalkTurkey

27/05/2011Jason said Hi all, Just a bit of self indulgence as one of the "200" may I say congratulations James Harrison! Australia's greatest life saver breaks a new record! Australia’s greatest plasma donor made his 1000th donation today, having saved the lives of 2.4 million Australian babies along the way. James Harrison, 74, has a rare type of blood plasma Here's to you Jason! The Charge of the Bl:):)d Brigade Half a litre, half a litre, half a litre, so good! Into the bottle of Life flow the Two Hundred! Forward the Blood Brigade! Aim for their veins! she said: Into the Bottle of Life Flow the Two Hundred. Forward the Blood Brigade! Is there a man afraid? Not though the donors know From Blood they'll be sundered: Theirs not to moan and groan! Theirs but to bleed alone! Seen just as blood and bone! Into the Bottle of Life Flow the Two Hundred. Medics to the left of them Medics to the right of them Medics behind them Heavily funded: Punctured with needles thick Poor ****s can't take a trick Dabbed on with pads of meths Once more a mighty prick! Flow, O Two Hundred! Flash are their biceps bare! Flash as they fanned the air! Itching in underwear Bleeding in bottles while Lesser men chundered! Can't even have a smoke Bravely they share a joke Nurses and Doctors Giving their bums a poke (Why? the folks wondered . . .) Then they're released, but not The blood they've had plundered. Medics to the left of them, Medics to the right of them, Medics behind them! But this blood won't be squandered! It will be guarded well Who'll get it none can tell It may prevent a death Goodies for guy or gel (All that is left of them!) Saved by two hundred. Oh Sacrifice they've made! Lest Life from victims fades, Their blood's refunded! Honour the Blood Brigade Honour the Blood they've paid! Noble Two Hundred!

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011Talk Turkey, You've said it better than I ever could. Thank you for that. All I could think of was that I'm so glad Jason's here as a result. :)

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011Here's a survey that our mates at New Matilda would like us to fill out(in?) http://newmatilda.com/2011/05/27/reader-survey-who-reads-new-matilda

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011NBN Buzz: http://technologyspectator.com.au/nbn-buzz/nbn-buzz-tender-memories

Jason

27/05/2011Great, I'm lead to believe that the guest on insiders on Sunday is Senator Nick X. The question is who cares and why?

Feral Skeleton

27/05/2011Jason, Well Insiders certainly isn't going to get Tony Abbott on for an interview anytime soon I'd hazard a guess. So I guess before he becomes a complete Senate irrelevancy on July 1 they've lined him up for an interview on the Pokies Pre-Commitment legislation thingy. Whadya reckon, everyone's been out and about today? I've certainly been feeling like I've been all alone in the TPS room today. :)

Ham Sandwich

27/05/2011Feral Skeleton Hah!

Jason

27/05/2011FS, I agree! has everyone gone fishing or something? I just hope Barry gets stuck into him about calling for a new election on the carbon tax! He's a one trick pony who feeds our "shock jock" here in Adelaide about the impending doom that Labor is bringing on the country! Trouble is the morons will probably give him another quoter come the next election.

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27/05/2011Acerbic Conehead I've sent you an email about your piece for this evening: [i]A Minder, kinder, gentler polity[/i].

NK

27/05/2011All's well in Camelot it seems. [b]Abbott misses same votes as Turnbull[/b] by Paul Osborne [quote]Tony Abbott's leadership has come under fresh scrutiny after it was revealed he missed the same parliamentary votes for which former leader Malcolm Turnbull was publicly chastised.[/quote] And a lovely bit of ethical alliteration from Mr Abbott. [quote]Meanwhile, Liberal senator Nick Minchin and two other MPs have disagreed with Mr Abbott over a government plan to increase the excise on alternative fuels. Mr Abbott told the party room on Tuesday that backing the bill would undermine his attack on Labor over the cost of living. He said faced with a choice between [b]"policy purity and pragmatic political pragmatism, I'll take pragmatism every time"[/b].[/quote] http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-misses-same-votes-as-turnbull-20110527-1f89k.html

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27/05/2011Folks I've just posted another delightful piece from Acerbic Conehead titled [i]A MInder, kinder, gentler polity[/i]. Enjoy. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/05/27/A-Minder-kinder-gentler-polity.aspx

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27/05/2011NK The key sentence that explains almost everything that Abbott does is: "[i]He said faced with a choice between "policy purity and pragmatic political pragmatism, I'll take pragmatism every time".[/i] That says it all.
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?