Cross-breed Purposes

The Assistant-Treasurer in the Federal Government, Bill Shorten, is in his Melbourne office pouring over reports on the Tax Forum, when his mobile rings.

Bill: Hallo, Bill Shorten here...

Caller: Hi, Bill...it’s Chris Uhlmann here...I hope I haven’t caught you at an inconvenient moment?

Bill: Nah, mate...no worries...how can I help?

Chris: Well, I was hoping you could do me a favour, mate, and come down to the studio for an interview?

Bill: Erm...it could be difficult, mate, as I’m not actually in Canberra at the moment...I’m in my electorate office...

Chris: Nah, that’s not a problem, mate...In fact, and it’s a long story, but I’m in Melbourne too...How’s about if I send a taxi over and bring you down to the studio?

Bill: Not a problem, mate...I’ll be ready in half an hour...

[Bill hangs up and memories flood back of that famous encounter when he sarcastically apologised to Uhlmann for interrupting his questions with answers! (see about 6 minutes into the following):

Click here

“Huh”, says Bill to himself. “That smarmy bastard isn’t going to get away with it this time either. I’ll settle his hash one more time, see if I don’t...heh...heh...”

So, in preparation for the upcoming interview with Mr-know-it-all, Bill reads up on the major achievements and future plans of the government. And, to arm himself with pertinent information, he quickly scans through his scrap-book containing some great stuff from The Finnigans on Poll Bludger and Ad Astra on The Political Sword.

Then, after a while, the taxi arrives, picks Bill up and heads off to the studio. On the journey, Bill isn’t paying any attention, except to his scrap-book. By the time the taxi arrives at its destination, Bill is in a world of his own, not having a clue where he is and, typical of Melbourne, the weather has turned awful, with sheets of rain lashing down. Bill quickly thanks the driver and, holding his scrap-book over his head to keep off the rain, scuttles up the steps and flees into the warmth and dry security of the building. However, he is surprised to see Chris there in the foyer, ready to greet him]

Bill: Oh, hi Chris...didn’t expect to see you here as the welcoming party...the last time you interviewed me, one of your underlings escorted me to the studio door, made me take off my shoes outside, and insisted I bow down before you...Jeeze, mate, it was like getting an audience with the Shah of Persia, ffs!

Chris: Erm...nah, mate, it’s nothing like that now...But, yeah mate, I must admit I was a bit up myself then...but not now, I’m happy to say...

[Bill smells a rat. “The prick is trying to put me off my guard, I reckon”, Bill mutters to himself. “I’ll no sooner be in his studio, when he’ll start his usual carry-on, making the Marquis de Sade look like Forrest Gump!”

Chris leads Bill through a labyrinth of corridors, heading towards what seems like the very bowels of the building. And, all the time, Chris is being as nice as ninepence which, as it is so out of character, Bill finds totally disconcerting.]

Bill: Erm...the last time I was here, mate, you had the prime-real-estate studio right beside the foyer...Do they reckon you need to get some exercise now and lose some weight...haw...haw...

[However, before Chris can answer, they arrive at their studio destination. Chris opens the door, flicks on the light switch, and invites Bill inside. It is a lot smaller studio than Bill remembers from previous occasions, but he doesn’t pass any remarks.]

Chris: Okay, Bill, while we’re waiting for the producer to turn up, I’ll grab us a couple of coffees from the trestle table over there – only Instant, I’m afraid...

[“Hmmm”, says Bill to himself. “Things have really gone to the dogs around here – only Instant coffee, and no producer as yet...I remember when Chris used to say, “jump”, to the highest-ranking producer in the organisation and they would say, “how high?”

So, after what seemed to Bill an eternity of small-talk, a producer rocks up, shakes hands with Bill, but doesn’t even take Chris under her notice.

Anyway, the interview is ready to start. Bill is looking for the Jekyll and Hyde transformation, with Chris’ usual, conceited, self-satisfied, smug demeanour coming to the fore.]

Chris: Good evening, viewers and it’s my great pleasure to have a chat tonight with Bill about...

[Bill has decided that attack is the best form of defence. There’s no way he’s going to allow this turkey to talk over him the way he’s done in the past. “I’ll give this joker a taste of his own medicine...heh...heh...”

So, frantically trying to recall some of the stuff from his scrap-book, Bill begins his blurtethon.]

Bill (sarcastically): Oh, it’s clear Liberal Party shills like you Chris think you know it all...but, I’m going to let you into a little secret – the Federal Government has got more policy nous in its little finger than your lot has in its whole body – even a body as big as Joe Hockey’s...heh...heh...

Chris: But...but...but...

Bill: Oh, isn’t that typical! I’ve hardly started with my answer and you’re “but-ing” in already! Well, I’ll have you know that due to our magnificent governing abilities, we’ve kept unemployment down to a manageable 5.3%, inflation to 3.6%, and Public Net Debt to 7% of GDP...

Moreover, RBA interest rates are at 4.75% - no rises in 11 consecutive months – plus a 1.8% growth in the economy during the 2010-11 financial year...and a $22.4 billion trade surplus for the last financial year also...

Chris: Erm...Bill...

Bill (sarcastically): Oh, I’m sorry to interrupt your questions with answers, buddy...but, as I was saying...due to our fabulous government’s efficient financial leadership, there will be, next year, investment in mining and related infrastructure of something in the realm of $140 billion...whilst business investment in general is expected to grow by 15% this year, and by another 15% the following year...

Chris (exasperated): But...but...but...

Bill (slightly raising his voice): AND! Both the OECD and the IMF say Australia is in good shape to withstand another global debt crisis...

Chris (pleadingly): But, what about...

Bill (triumphantly): Yes, “but what about”, indeed! And while we’re on track for putting the budget into the black, the Opposition is merely offering a series of great big black holes! So, while we’re being financially responsible, the Leader of the Opposition is disgracefully offering his arse for sale to all and sundry!

Chris: Bill...please...erm...

Bill: And while the Opposition is a policy-free-zone, we’ve got so many terrific policies, we make Santa’s sack on Christmas Eve look as empty as Jonesie’s chaff bag...Let’s take the HIS, for example...it provided employment at the time when there was a danger of the unemployment rate taking off...Moreover, it kept small businesses afloat and lowered energy costs for the house-holders involved...And, what about the BER – the Orgill Reports show a 97% satisfaction rate among schools, the provision of updated and new infrastructure, and, support for the building industry at a crucial time...

Chris: (even more desperately): But...but...but...

Bill (with faux-anger): Chris, I know your fatuous questions are going to be of the naysaying variety, so I’ll just treat them with the contempt they rightfully deserve...So, as I saying...

[Bill rants on and on, sticking to his pre-arranged strategy of not allowing Chris to get a question in edgeways. Other topics he bombards the hapless Chris with include, off-shore processing of asylum-seekers (on this point, Bill makes sure he emphasises that Tones’ recent Boatphone Backflip is an even greater surrender than the one after Singapore), the PPL, the NBN, the passing of 200-odd items of legislation, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the dumping of WorkChoices, the MRRT, etcetera.

Meanwhile, however, the producer has decided the interview had gone on long enough. Whilst Bill was manically offering his outpourings of verbal diarrhoea, with Chris pathetically and futilely attempting to get a word in, she turns off the cameras and mics and pisses off to the pub. Bill, however, imagining himself on somewhat of a roll, keeps on spouting and is only stopped in rhetorical mid- flight by the polite request of the cleaner to move his feet so that he can Hoover under the desk. Shortly afterwards, an eerie silence subsides on the studio, which is a very welcome relief to Chris’ poor beleaguered ear-drums.]

Bill: Well, thanks, Chris...that went a lot better than when you last interviewed me on the ABC’s 7:30 Show...heh...heh...

Chris: Erm, Bill...I should have appraised you of this earlier, but you wouldn’t allow me...So, now that the interview’s over, maybe you’ll listen...

[Upon picking up the serious tone of Chris’ voice, Bill is all ears]

Chris (melancholically): You see, I don’t work for the ABC 7:30 Show any longer...they told me I needed “a fresh challenge”...something about ratings getting smaller than Tony Abbott’s nuts after a mid-winter swim in Port Phillip Bay...

Bill: Soooooo...this isn’t the ABC! So where am I?

Chris: This is Channel 7 and I now work for Better Homes and Gardens – but, to be precise, for Dr Harry’s segment on quirky Pet stories...

[Bill barely constrains a loud guffaw.]

Bill (with faux-compassion): Jeeze, mate...how the mighty have fallen...But, you’ve got me puzzled now – why did you invite me here to talk about politics when you’re now a junior Pets’ reporter?

Chris (indignantly): Well, if you had let me get a question in, it would have been clear I didn’t want to ask you about politics...

Bill (slowly): Sooooooo...why then did you want to interview me about...pets!?

Chris: I wanted to ask you what it was like to play the part of Bill the Terrier in At Home With Julia...



Bill: Erm...mate...I hate to break this to you...but that was a real dog playing the part...

Chris (incredulously): Really!!! I just thought it was you dressed up...

[Bill slowly gets up and walks backwards towards the studio exit. He gropes nervously for the knob, turns it, opens the door, steps through, closes it quietly behind him, and sprints so quickly up the corridor, the cleaner thinks Usain Bolt’s interview has just ended.

Thereafter, Bill Shorten’s nickname was no longer “Bill the Terrier”, but “Bill the Greyhound”.]

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NormanK

14/10/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]EWE NOT EWW: ABC dines out on Christopher Pyne’s clean mind Vexnews[/i] Flamboyant federal front-bencher Christopher Pyne has a clean mind in contrast to more racy ABC listeners as this transcript from an interview Thursday morning on ABC Radio Melbourne illustrates: http://www.vexnews.com/2011/10/14456/ [i]No Refuge II: Pressure on Andrew Elder Politically homeless[/i] It isn't having it both ways to honour the deal with Malaysia. I still think that the regional dialogue I went on about here is important and it would have been impossible had the Malaysians disgraced themselves by agreeing to drop it. Also impossible would have been articles like this without the focus on refugees in Malaysia. This is the start of something big and important in regional engagement, hopefully not limited to refugees. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html [i]Govt proposes “streamlined” piracy controls Renai LeMay Delimiter[/i] The Federal Government has proposed to modify federal regulations to make it easier for anti-piracy organisations to request details of alleged Internet pirates from ISPs, in a modified process which would make it easier for organisations such as Movie Rights Group and AFACT to pursue individuals allegedly illegally downloading content online. http://delimiter.com.au/2011/10/14/govt-proposes-streamlined-piracy-controls/ [i]Tax talk-fests and the importance of being dismal Bruce Bradbury Club Troppo[/i] Why is tax reform so hard? Reviews such as the Henry Review often point to ‘low-hanging fruit’ where efficiency gains can be made without any significant equity costs. One oft-noted example is property stamp duty, where the Henry Review recommended its replacement by land taxes. Taxes such as stamp duties, it is argued, discourage residential mobility and the most efficient use of the housing stock. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/10/14/tax-talk-fests-and-the-importance-of-being-dismal/ [i]The Jobs-lot politician: where inspiration meets capacity Greg Jericho The Drum[/i] Last week when news of the death of Steve Jobs broke, the reaction online was overwhelming and effusive. This was not altogether surprising given those with a tendency to congregate in the online suburbs of Facebook and Twitter are going to contain proportionally higher owners of Apple devices than those who live offline. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3504218.html [i]On-shore processing rules so suck it up and play nice Jennifer Wilson No Place for Sheep[/i] It was a grim-faced PM who held a press conference yesterday evening to announce her decision to withdraw proposed amendments to the Migration Act that would enable the government to send asylum seekers to Malaysia. http://noplaceforsheep.com/ [i]A Crikey whistle-blower bites the dust? Petering North Coast Voices[/i] Crikey was mentioned almost in the same breath as “potential breaches of the Australian Public Service (APS) Code of Conduct”. It seems Now with extra source has a dangerous ring to it if you want to walk those departmental corridors. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/10/crikey-whistle-blower-bites-dust.html [i]And now for a flock of memories and Friday layabouts ... Dorothy Parker Loon Pond[/i] The idea of balance in the media takes a battering on a daily basis. Take Phillip Adams, please someone take him. Adams is routinely held up as the the pivot around which leftism swings at Radio National, and the shining star of lefties in The Australian, which is bit like saying a pompous bore like Paul Kelly is a shining star for sensible conservatism. http://loonpond.blogspot.com/ [i]What’s a bridging visa? Amber Jamieson[/i] As part of the government’s new onshore processing system for asylum seekers arriving by boat, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced an increase in the amount of bridging visas to clear out the crowded detention centres. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/10/14/crikey-clarifier-whats-a-bridging-visa/ [i]Thinking out loud David Havyatt Anything Goes[/i] No wonder after Turnbull used the EIU report the EIU analyst pointed out that their report favoured the Australian solution over New Zealand (behind AFR paywall). The difference is that Turnbull consistently ignores 25% of the people. I continue to ask where Fiona Nash and Barnaby Joyce are on this? http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]Too Much Green… Wixxy Wixxy's Blog[/i] I am aware that this post will no doubt become a magnet for abuse, so I will start out by saying that I agree with some of the Greens policies. Equal marriage rights for all, I’m with you 100%. However…. Every time Bob Brown or Sarah Hanson -Young open their mouths, I can almost hear the trampling of swinging voters feet as they move over to the Coalitions side. http://wixxy.wordpress.com/ [i]Abbott and Costello meet Catholic Social Teaching Brian Lawrence Eureka Street[/i] There has been a high degree of consensus among Catholics about Catholic Social Teaching on work, workplace rights and economic relations since the seminal articulation of modern Catholic social teaching by Rerum Novarum in 1891.  It underpins the thinking of many Catholics from the left to the right of the political spectrum.  Social justice is at the heart of that teaching and remains part of the Catholic DNA. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=28529 [i]Surprised by Joy. How Treasury underestimated Peter Martin[/i] Treasury now releases reports of the Joint Economic Forecasting Group (JEFG) Committee after a period of 2½ years.

Today it released the JEFG report of March 2009 mid-crisis, when things looked particularly murky. http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011_10_01_archive.html [i]CLEANTECH BUZZ: All-Energy 2011 Sophie Vorrath Climate Spectator[/i] Wandering around the exhibitors' stalls at the 2011 All-Energy Australia conference in Melbourne this week, it was, once again, a notably solar-dominated affair. Solar players big and small were showing off their wares, including a good amount of the latest inverter technology, with local solar players coming up against outfits from Korea, China, Canada and the US, to name but a few. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/cleantech-buzz-all-energy-2011 [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Carbon tax will not increase grocery shopping bills, says industry group Lenore Taylor SMH[/i] THE food processing industry says shoppers will not suffer any price rises under the proposed carbon tax because the impact will be borne by manufacturers. The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has repeatedly used the Australian Food and Grocery Council's earlier estimate of a 3 to 5 per cent price hike on food due to the carbon tax during his anti-carbon tax campaign warning of imminent price increases. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/carbon-tax-will-not-increase-grocery-shopping-bills-says-industry-group-20111013-1ln4g.html [i]In spin-free zone, NBN sparks navel-gazing David Braue ZDNet There was a palpable sense of anticipation as attendees sat down to this week's CommsDay Summit in Melbourne, where Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was scheduled to set the agenda with what one assumes would be the usual anti-NBN spray ..... When it was announced to waiting attendees that he was a no-show ........ the gathering took on a markedly different tenor. Rather than the usual political spin that has dominated NBN-related discourse in the past, the industry got a chance to simply stand up and tell how the project is affecting their businesses. http://www.zdnet.com.au/in-spin-free-zone-nbn-sparks-navel-gazing-339324316.htm [i]Mamdouh Habib report ready by year's end news.com.au[/i] Ms Thom said the work of the inquiry had been "substantial".

"By the end of the reporting period a small team of four had examined many thousands of pages of documents and I had formally interviewed 25 witnesses," she said. http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/mamdouh-habib-report-ready-by-years-end/story-e6frfku0-1226167010355 PM to announce conscience vote Andrew M Potts StarOnline[/i] A senior federal ALP source has told the Star Observer that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is planning to announce she will allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in an effort to short-circuit debate at the ALP National Conference in Sydney in December. http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/2011/10/14/pm-to-announce-conscience-vote/63868

Ad astra reply

14/10/2011NormanK Many thanks for posting Lyn's Links on this post as well as the previous one.

Ad astra reply

14/10/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

nasking

14/10/2011[quote]something about ratings getting smaller than Tony Abbott’s nuts after a mid-winter swim in Port Phillip Bay... [/quote] LOL. Good stuff AC. A post chock-full of info. Shorten's a pretty articulate & knowledgeable fella when he gets goin'...gets the important info out there quick smart at times. “Bill the Greyhound” is a more apt description indeed. As long as his owner is the ALP of course. :) If Tony Abbott becomes PM (Gaia forbid!) dya reckon he'll ever be shot scuba diving & discoverin' rare artefacts at the bottom of the sea? Abbott as PM would certainly be a Halloween mask for this fella...add some black robes...an old growth forest cross in one hand...a copy of The Australian in the other...riding an abbottmobile that has a lit up ticker tape sayin' things like MY TAX CUTS ARE WRITTEN IN BLOOD should be enuff to scare the crap outa the neighbours. N'

nasking

14/10/2011Good to see Mayor Bloomberg has backed off on his department's move to shift the Wall St. Protestors. I was wonderin' too how a public park, as it's been described, could be privately owned. Strange days indeed. Was pleased to see CNNs Susan Candiotti treatin' the protestors w/ respect & providin' them w/ opportunities to air their views. Some highly articulate people...it's obvious that no longer will the outspoken representatives of WE 99% accept bein' taken for granted by the politicians, media & corporate aristocracy. Noticed this SCAM accusation on CNN too...related to the wobbling Murdoch empire: [b]Wall Street Journal circulation scam claims senior Murdoch executive Andrew Langhoff resigns as European publishing chief after exposure of secret channels of cash to help boost sales figures[/b] [quote]Nick Davies guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 12 October 2011 One of Rupert Murdoch's most senior European executives has resigned following Guardian inquiries about a circulation scam at News Corporation's flagship newspaper, the Wall Street Journal. The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal's true circulation. The bizarre scheme included a formal, written contract in which the Journal persuaded one company to co-operate by agreeing to publish articles that promoted its activities, a move which led some staff to accuse the paper's management of violating journalistic ethics and jeopardising its treasured reputation for editorial quality. Internal emails and documents suggest the scam was promoted by Andrew Langhoff, the European managing director of the Journal's parent company, Dow Jones and Co, which was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in July 2007. Langhoff resigned on Tuesday. The highly controversial activities were organised in London and focused on the Journal's European edition, which circulates in the EU, Russia, and Africa. Senior executives in New York, including Murdoch's right-hand man, Les Hinton, were alerted to the problems last year by an internal whistleblower and apparently chose to take no action. The whistleblower was then made redundant.[/quote] more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/12/wall-street-journal-andrew-langhoff?newsfeed=true Seems professional investigative reporting is helpin' to wake the global public up to the ROT that exists in this Murdoch propaganda machine. Sad that the modern day Moriarity-like character got his hands on this once great paper...infected it. N'

psyclaw

15/10/2011FS In the national interest I add my vote....yes, yes, yes .... to the comments yesterday about your magnificent contribution to TPS. Your hugely comprehensive research and finding skills are unsurpassed. Your many and varied and interesting contributions so much keep the ball of discussion here rolling. I think you are one of the cornerstones of TPS. And I think we all know and appreciate what you do. (well maybe all minus SIC).

TalkTurkey

15/10/2011These two posts below accidentally got put on the thread that got closed last night. October 14. 2011 11:50 PM I too saw Greg Jericho last night (Thursday) and I too was disappointed, it's like those Stepford Wives what happens to guests or whatever the word is for eggspurts on ABC shows like the Drum. I've seen it several times before but I thought Greg would be immune! Another illusion shattered! It was like he was on soma, WT#?! TalkTurkey October 15. 2011 08:49 AM jane, I do so agree with you re Turdball, he is a serious disappointment in every way. I offered to call him Turnbull if he started to behave ethically, but he turned me down. Mug. He has continued to act as Abbortt's clown, in a role he doesn't believe in, when he could have taken a principled stand and gone to the backbenches, from which he could have quietly awaited Abbortt's unravelling, and he really is the only one of the whole Coalons with any ability. But he seems to have little political nous, and of principles no more than his master, and of courage, not enough to declare himself. There is no-one in the Opposition who will be able to suture the gash in their ranks that Abbortt will leave when he has finally been excised. I think they are in the wilderness from now on. They don't have any ethos at all except greed for power. And the Dark Lord Merdeoch is not only faltering from within his tower, he will also have about lost faith in Abbortt's ability to deliver *J*U*L*I*A*s head. Turdy is in a position from which he could act as a statesman, he doesn't even need the job, he could unload on Abbortt and do Australia a favour by taking a principled line, instead he is cowering in ignominy, and he's left his declaration too late now imo. Pity really. He could have been somebody. TalkTurkey

TalkTurkey

15/10/2011AC That is a very impressive scrap-book of Bill Shorten's! Have you a single list of all the Government's main achievements - like, just those you mention but minus Bill's woofing ? If so would you post it please? It has some impact imo. (K)

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011psyclaw, Aw, shucks. :$ I really like your contributions too. :) Anyway, as my mother always used to say, when she could get a word in edgeways, "You could talk the leg off an iron pot." Now I just type the keys on my keyboard to shininess. :)

Acerbic Conehead 2

15/10/2011NormanK, Thank you for another great selection of links this morning. Boredom is not an issue for us with having you around. You keep us productively occupied for hours. nasking, Yes, you paint a frightening picture of what could be in store for us. Let’s redouble our efforts to make sure it doesn’t eventuate. psyclaw, An amen to what you said about FS’s contributions to [i]The Political Sword[/i]. Her insights into the Australian and international political scenes are invaluable. Looking forward to your article this coming week, FS. TT, I haven’t seen or read anything about Greg Jericho lately, so can’t comment. However, I agree with you about Malcolm Turnbull. I don’t understand how he can look at himself in the mirror each day. More about him in my next piece. Oh, and by the way, in response to your request for a list of Government achievements, see the following: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/10/07/morgan-57-43-to-coalition/comment-page-49/#comment-1051687 http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/08/01/essential-research-56-44-to-coalition-2/comment-page-26/#comment-968414 (for The Finnigans, Poll Bludger) http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/author/Ad%20astra.aspx?page=2 (for Ad Astra, The Political Sword) http://itsouraustralia.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/federal-labor-achievements-rudd-gillard/ (AustraliaNow site)

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011Was everyone else appalled at the bald-faced audacity of the Opposition Leader, and let's keep that idea front of mind, Tony Abbott, yesterday when he fronted a group of businessmen and women at The Menzies Research Centre(and aren't they doing a striling job of contributing policy to the Coalition? Not.), and told them not to buy CO2 Abatement Permits after July 1,2012, because his first order of business as Prime Minister(note, in his megalomaniacal mind he already has the next election in the bag), will be to rescind them and make them worthless pieces of paper! Well, let me tell you for free, the only worthless one around here is Tony Abbott. His true colours, as a result of his hubris, are now on show for all to see. He doesn't, and probably never did, believe in doing anything concrete or sensible about Global Warming, other than tipping a bucket of money over the big polluters. I am truly disgusted that this man, who has no more claim to the Prime Ministership of this great nation than the chewing gum on the bottom of my shoe, has the weight of a complicit media behind him. They should all be ashamed of themselves. However, in this Age of Post Truth Politics, where any old lie, as long as it is told convincingly with a straight face to camera, will do. As long as it achieves your goals. To my mind, the delusion necessary to believe zealously in a deity which controls our lives, is what has infected Tony Abbott's brain like Syphilis, and infected the rest of the Coalition too. Even now, it seems, sadly, Malcolm Turnbull, who has begun parrotting the duplicitous drivel that is Tony Abbott's 'Direct Action Plan' to deal with Global Warming, wherein the only 'Direct Action' is to directly funnell money into the pockets of Big Business' most polluting companies, and Big Agriculture. It's not right, and I am going to fight it every step of the way until the next election. And I don't care if I invoke Godwin's Law by saying, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels combined, have nothing on Anthony Abbott. There is no world forum he wouldn't seek to dominate and wreck if it suited his grand 'Guided Democracy' designs to do so, should he become Prime Minister of Australia, so convinced is he of his Divine placement on this Earth. Well, what he wants to do is wrong. And there can be no more noble cause to fight for, than what is right.

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011!!! :0 :) :) !!! [quote]The first face-to-face Morgan Poll taken after the Gillard Government Tax Forum shows a sharp rise in support for the ALP 47.5% (up 4.5%) compared to the L-NP 52.5% (down 4.5%) on a Two-Party preferred basis. The L-NP primary vote is 43.5% (down 3%), still ahead of the ALP 38.5% (up 3%) — this is the highest ALP primary support since March.[/quote]

Ad astra reply

15/10/2011AC Thank you for yet another superb satirical tilt at our political system and the media that supposedly reports it. We know though that for much of the MSM ‘report’ is not the word; instead it’s ‘distort’. Thank you to for those great references to the achievements of the Gillard Government, not bad for ‘the most incompetent government since Federation’.

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011Lots of good info on the Problem Gambling campaign from Stephen Mayne, who is fighting the good fight through the Local Government Association and on his blog: http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2011/10/14-1435-5466.html

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011It's blackmail, pure and simple, aligned with absolutely reprehensible behaviour: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/club-shifts-pokies-to-poorer-punters-20111014-1lpaq.html

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011Talk Turkey, Wonder if Turnbull ever wistfully watches that Marlon Brando movie with the iconic line, "I coulda been a Contender." ? ;-)

Ad astra reply

15/10/2011FS I agree with you about Abbott’s speech to the Menzies Research Centre. The temerity of Sir Liealot is increasingly breathtaking, in my view bordering on a psychological disorder. Terms like ‘delusions of grandeur’, ‘flight of ideas’, ‘manic’ and ‘delusional thinking’ come to mind as he wanders further and further from reality.

TalkTurkey

15/10/2011Is everybody having the same pleasure-shudders as I am in considering the state of The Game? Because I sure am, it's just starting to feel better [i]better[/i] [b][i]better[/i][/b] to me. But it is nothing the Turkey didn't predict, nor Ad astra for that matter. The wonder is that Abbortt has stayed airborne for so long, it's of course down to the MSM but his helium is about out. In Chess metaphor, Abbortt lost his Queen last week, the Carbon Tax, and both sides lost a Knight and a Pawn or two in a mutual bloodletting in the Asylum Seeker matter . . . But Labor is in a better position altogether now, [i]those who screeched Stop the Boats will know that Labor would have done so, and Abbortt Abbortted the legislation, how's that going to play with them eh?[/i] :) Put it another way: Labor will have lost NONE of its supporters from this outcome, plus picked up a little too unless I'm much mistaken, because Abbortt WILL have LOST a solid gout of his supporters on the issue, and including some of those who, despite the Coalons' line, never supported 'offshore processing'.* Abbortt's not worthy of the simile really, but he's like a (very nasty) Polar Bear on a shrinking iceberg, and one that's nearly all tip at that. Two whole years yet if we want it. Anyone giving long-range odds on Our Ranga Lass? I don't mean to sound hubristic, that way is certain damnation. But the Government is doing splendidly, it's the Best Government in the English Speaking World surely, and has a good chance for the first time in years to take a deep breath and a fresh grip. The Government has plenty to talk up, as AC poignts out so poignantly, and that's one area at least where the Fifth Estate can help. You know what I always say . . . [i][b]VENCEREMOS![/b][/i] :) *[What is that better term someone spoke of please remind me?]

Jason

15/10/2011FS, Perhaps once the "pre commitment" has gone through, the government could threaten the clubs with a profit tax on machines in disadvantaged areas! I know it wouldn't happen, but it's probably time for the government to take on one of these "loud mouthed lobby groups" and hit them so hard, that it will send a message to "others". A family member of mine had a problem with the pokies,but I was able to put a stop to it before everything was lost! As for the venue they seemed to be unaware that my family member had a problem and was insulted that I said they knew about it but chose to do nothing!

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011This is a long piece of information to read through, but it is a vital piece of evidence against Club's claims of their Social Benefit role in the Community: http://epubs.scu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=tourism_pubs

jane

15/10/2011AC, rofl. Nas @10.05pm, perfect plot for the next Hammer Horror movie. lol @10.40pm, the toxic sludge which is the Murdochracy just keeps on giving. [quote]Senior executives in New York, including Murdoch's right-hand man, Les Hinton, were alerted to the problems last year by an internal whistleblower and apparently chose to take no action.[/quote] Situation normal, then. Plaster must be falling off the walls in great chunks! I wonder if they just take the money out of petty cash at the Australian? TT, a perfect summary of Malvolio Trunchbull's career in politics. A lot of people with early onset Alzheimers are wistfully calling for Malvolio to assume the LOTO mantle again. "She'll be right if we get rid of Liealot and reinstate Malvolio," they intone. "Then we'll have our principles and integrity back. Malvolio wouldn't sell out his principles for power. He'll stand up to Liealot..........Oh." psyclaw, I'll add my thanks to FS to yours. And a big thank you to all the other regulars who make this such a great site to read and add a comment. FS, I think that Liealot telling businesses not to buy permits is the ultimate attempt to trash the economy and tantamount to treason, imo. Every time you think the bugger can't possibly plumb new depths, down he goes another story, followed by his obedient partners in scumbaggery. He must be getting near the earth's core by now. How the cheerleaders can maintain support for this power crazed wrecking ball is beyond me! Are they all such cretins that they think ruining the economy is a wise move? Oh hang on; no need to answer that. They also believe in magic wands and fairy dust.

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011Ad, I prefer my word to describe Tony Abbott: Megalomaniacal. :)

TalkTurkey

15/10/2011FS That's-a what I was-a thinkin of . . ! . . :) BTW I hadn't read your Good News on the Poll Front before I posted my (even-more-upbeat-than-usual) 11.50 rave: it's all down to my cosmic wet polliefinger . . .

D Mick Weir

15/10/2011Afternoon FS, One Swallow a Summer does not make. I am breaking my vow of silence on polls to urge caution and not to read to much into that poll result. [i]The L-NP primary vote is 43.5% (down 3%), still ahead of the ALP 38.5% (up 3%) ...[/i] Bang on the Margin of Error so LNP primary could be anywhere between 40.5 & 46.5 and ALP anywhere between 35.5 & 41.5 Indications are (i.e. the tea leaves!) that ALP is still bleeding votes to Greens and others and the preferences may take a very long journey to get back to ALP. Btw in the betting markets ALP has firmed slightly and LNP eased a bit so maybe the opinion polls and betting markets are talking to each other!! Anyway still about twenty months to the real public opinion poll so read the tea leaves instead as you will likely get a better picture :)

D Mick Weir

15/10/2011You already know that The Empire of The Sun King lies and cheats and don't need more proof but here some anyway. [b]Patterns Of Misconduct[/b] Krugman - again! http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/patterns-of-misconduct/

jane

15/10/2011FS, I'd rather vote for the chewing gum on the sole of your shoe than Liealot. Those clubs, all heart. I suppose they think moving extra machines to poorer suburbs will be classed as community service? Still crying poor mouth after a $300m cut in their tax obligations and veiled threats to renege on community service funding! And they have the gall to campaign against mandatory pre-commitment! Jason @11.58am, another example of the hypocrisy of these people. I like the idea of the tax. And perhaps after signing a pre-commitment, the gambler must leave the premises for 30 minutes before playing. And has anyone heard the rumour that Bronnie and Vampirella are leaving politics to concentrate on a lucrative business venture? They intend to open a nursing home for wealthy elderly lawyers suffering Alzheimer's. Bronnie's in charge of the kero and Vampirella's in charge of the enduring POE and wills.

Gravel

15/10/2011Ah Acerbic Conehead, you've done it again. Thanks heaps for another great laugh to start my weekend with. Interesting poll, will have to wait and see if there is a trend. Feral Skeleton I do so hope your impression of Grog is wrong. Why would he turn like that? Please, please be wrong. I haven't seen him on the tv, I just love the way he writes.

TalkTurkey

15/10/2011jane said . . . And has anyone heard the rumour that Bronnie and Vampirella are leaving politics to concentrate on a lucrative business venture? They intend to open a nursing home for wealthy elderly lawyers suffering Alzheimer's. Bronnie's in charge of the kero and Vampirella's in charge of the enduring POE and wills. . . . with Mary-Jo Fisher as Chief Provisioner . . . . . . Barnyard Joyce to take the old folks on rides in 4WDs . . . and Tony Abbortt Himself to give Absolution and comforting words to those suffering from terminal lung diseases . . .

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011DMW, One swallow may not a summer make, but any port in a storm will do me atm. :D

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011Gravel, As I said about Grog, it is more about style rather than substance since he went on The Drum and to work for The Hamster Wheel. He just seems a bit neutered in his commentary. His obvious wit and intelligence is still on display, but when you have the Liberal shill from the IPA agreeing fulsomely with him, it just rings a few bells in my head.

Patricia WA

15/10/2011TT, realized I hadn't copied this over to here when I tried to get my mind around yours, AA and FS's comments about Abbott's delusions of grandeur. Does he really believe that his oath in blood also binds business to non-compliance with the new carbon pricing legislation until he is placed in power and able to repeal it??? [b]Bloody Oath![/b] Tony Abbott, politician, Leader of the Coalition, Once an upright man of God Has now become a lightning rod For unfair and cruel criticism About whom there’s too much cynicism. He once confessed to telling lies, Which self-disclosure has given rise To friends and foes alike inviting Him to put his promises in writing. Fearing that for truth his name’s now mud, He swears he’ll sign to some in his own blood. And now he’s offered even more - To clarify which policies are gore and which non-gore.

Michael

15/10/2011It's taken a whole lot longer than I expected, but finally, finally, people are starting to see Malcolm Turnbull for what he truly is. He smooth-talks like a smart and noble fellow, but if you really listen, and you really look, his is the soft-sell version of the Abbott smirk. Turnbull believes he is the smartest man in any room he walks into, and the one with the purest motives to boot. 'If only people would listen to him and follow his suggestions, they'd all be so much better off.' As Abbott's spearbearer #6, after the usual cretinous suspects, Pyne, Morrison, Mirabella, Bishop, Joyce... actually, maybe he's further down the greasy pole? Bishop and Bishop, O'Dwyer, Hunt, Dutton, Truss, Abetz, Corman, Bernardi... Well, I guess he would be the smartest man in the Shadow Cabinet 'room'. All that insulating mediocrity between him and Abbott allows him to maintain/'display' he is not right in there with the cankerous core of Coalition bush-leaguers. A speech here and a speech there to send the message, "I'm not really like them", helps this perception along, but when hard decisions are called for, he's lined up and voting "No No No" with the knuckle-draggers. But anyone with eyes to see, anyone with ears to listen, can see and hear through Malcolm Turnbull.

2353

15/10/2011DMW - I'd like to see more that one poll before agreeing there is a trend, however promising. Mike Carlton (in Fairfax this morning) and Paul Syvert in the Courier Mail comment favourably on the "Oppose Wall Street" movement today. Carlton's bit starts with [quote]WE must all hope that the Occupy Wall Street movement is the first wave of a great global uprising against the greed, stupidity and incompetence of the world financial system[/quote] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/hypocrisy-leaves-holes-in-the-kid-gloves-20111014-1lp30.html#ixzz1apFdlKiL While I can't find Paul Syvret on line - he's suggesting that while we aren't in the same hole as the US, there is some justification for a group protesting about the top 20% of households account for 62% of total household wealth. The last two paragraphs are instructive [quote] In a sense, the Occupy movements, both here and abroad can be seen as a rejuvenation of the political Left - a perhaps inevitable result of the slow drift of traditionally social democratic parties such as the ALP here and the Democrats in the US, towards the centre of the political spectrum (and indeed to the right on issues such as asylum seekers). At its core, Occupy is simply a voice. We can't hear the detail yet, but it's not happy.[/quote] The Courier Mail online is also reporting around 200 at a "Occupy Wall St" demonstration in Post Office Square, Brisbane (located between the main Westpac and HSBC offices) this afternoon.

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011Laurie Oakes: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/a-pledge-in-blood-is-dripping-with-irony/story-e6frezz0-1226167053930

BSA Bob

15/10/2011"Sorry to interrupt your questions with an answer"- one of the great lines. F.S. Godwin's law as it's usually applied now is bullshit anyway. It was originally a smartarse observation with a ring of truth along the lines of the Peter Principle et al, but has now been perverted into a "thou shalt not" catch ya line, It's OK to reflect on a big moment in world history & make comparisons. Some commentary on the last thread about possible replacements for Abbott- there aren't any that even the Murdoch Press could pretend to take seriously, in the weird electoral climate we live in Installing Abbott in the Lodge seems to be the only real aim & the fact that he would come with the baggage that is his cabinet is of no concern to anybody.

Ad astra reply

15/10/2011Folks Here is another example of what I was referring to when I wrote my last dissection of an MSM article and sought your opinion about whether you would find such a feature a useful addition to [i]The Political Sword[/i] in a separate section. A few of you were affirmative; if we were going to add this feature I would need to see a reasonable number in favour. It is rather too long for a comment affixed to a current piece; if we are to have such a feature it needs its own place. This piece is also about a Paul Kelly article in today’s [i]Weekend Australian[/i]. I have placed Kelly’s words in italics and my comments in bold. [b]Dissecting another Paul Kelly article:[/b] On 15 October he wrote in [i]The Weekend Australian: Carbon tax triumph divides a nation[/i] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/triumph-divides-a-nation/story-e6frgd0x-1226167112128 It begins: [i]”Julia Gillard's tactical triumph in winning a carbon price scheme from minority government with less than 30 per cent of the primary vote testifies to the schism in Australia's public life: the conflict between the parliament and the people.”[/i] [b]Here Kelly expresses surprise that a minority government with 30% primary vote could have a ‘tactical triumph’, and I suppose he’s entitled to be surprised, but then goes on to declare that ‘winning a carbon price scheme’ in these circumstances indicates a ‘schism in public life’ and not just that, but that it also reflects ‘conflict between the parliament and the people’, a sentiment captured in the title. Inherent in his meaning is that the reason for the low primary vote is the carbon tax issue. He is bound to be right to some extent, but is the Government at 30% only because of the carbon tax, or are there other factors such as asylum policy, and the much trumpeted ‘failures’: ‘pink batts’, BER ‘waste and mismanagement’, ‘addicted to spending and running up public debt’ and ‘it will never bring in a surplus budget’? Politics is complex. To attribute effect to a single cause is hazardous and almost certainly wrong. But note the effect on the reader, who is lead by the nose to this conclusion, thereby creating a mindset that will influence further reading of Kelly’s piece.[/b] [i]”Gillard and her ministers, infused with relief and brief delight, celebrated their win on the floor of parliament. But this cannot gainsay that Labor has taken one of the great gambles in its history and, unless it converts public opinion, this triumph will turn into ashes.”[/i] [b]Here again he makes the connection between the passage of the Clean Energy Future legislation and Labor’s future, as if that is the one, or at least the prime defining attribute of the Gillard Government. He may be right, but again he binds the carbon tax and Labor together as if the success of the latter depends on the success of the former. And he sees it as a ‘great gamble’; but isn’t this what governments do with almost every piece of legislation, unless they are hopelessly timid? Was John Howard’s GST legislation and his WorkChoices a gamble?[/b] [i]”An unforgiving Tony Abbott, mobilising the wrath of the people against the government, said the joy of Labor ministers over their broken promise "should be the kiss of death for this government". Abbott will fight to his own political death to defeat Labor and bury its policy.“[/i] [b]Here he slips in a touch of Abbott propaganda.[/b] [i]”Gillard declared this reform had "Labor values right at its heart". Yet this is a Labor reform like none other. It penalises economic growth and imposes extra costs on people and business for a clean energy future. The pivotal issue is whether Labor's values are shared by a majority of Australians. Frankly, the public now seems confused and weary of this once idealistic debate.”[/i] [b]Again he binds Labor to its clean energy future, but on the way passes judgement on it with his talk of penalties and extra costs on people and business, without bothering to mention compensation. He has already declared his hand. He goes further and asks whether Labor’s values are shared by the majority, hinting that they are not. If he’s right, he should have expected that, with all the misinformation and lies about the ‘carbon tax’ perpetrated by the Coalition and the media, particularly his own organization and paper. See how he’s setting up for demolition the straw man of Labor out of step with the public.[/b] [i]”There are, however, core realities that will plague both sides. First, pricing carbon remains the best model for limiting greenhouse gas emissions. So Gillard has this right and Abbott's policy will be a nightmare in terms of delivering his target.”[/i] [b]This is some concession, yet he declines to explain how the public is so averse to ‘the best model’. Is he culpable at all I wonder?[/b] [i]”Second, with a renewed threat of world economic crisis and little momentum for globally binding emissions commitments, Labor risks misreading the times and misjudging public sentiment by enshrining climate change as its "make or break' issue. It is a decision taken by virtually no other Western government.”[/i] [b]Yes Paul, there is always the risk of ‘misreading’ and ‘misjudging’, but if governments avoid these hazards, they would achieve nothing except the bland.[/b] [i]”Third, this scheme is a flawed exercise in carbon pricing. This is because it puts political need before policy. It represents compromise piled on compromise. It is a hybrid of market forces and government intervention riddled with contradiction. It will almost certainly require revision if Labor prevails and wins the election.”[/i] [b]Now we see his real judgement: it is ‘flawed’, ‘politics not policy’, full of ‘compromises’, ‘hybrid’, ‘riddled with contradictions’, and needing ‘revision’. He fails to elaborate, but clearly he deems this scheme, based on what he concedes is the ‘best model’, is hopeless. He is setting the scene for failure, but without evidence to support that outcome.[/b] [i]”Gillard's victory is to legislate her scheme when Rudd failed in the last parliament. The conundrum, however, is whether Labor needs to recall Rudd to persuade the people to accept what the parliament has done. The further contrast is that where Rudd tried to legislate with the Coalition, Gillard has operated from a joint Labor-Greens deal.”[/i] [b]Now he wanders into the tired old leadership issue. Although it is a non-issue, he gives it a fly.[/b] [i]”This conflict between the parliament and the people will be resolved, somehow. There are two obvious paths - either Gillard will stage the most heroic recovery in our election history, reducing the Coalition to a shocked rabble, or Abbott will be vindicated and the public will reject Labor for its arrogance and exceeding its mandate.[/i] [b]That is stating the bleeding obvious, but note that he now introduces the issue of ‘mandate’, one that has been flogged to death and will be flogged even more. I thought that when the government was elected, and remember we do have a government albeit a minority one, it had a [i]mandate[/i] to govern in the national interest. Julia Gillard campaigned on the introduction of an ETS, which is what she has legislated, but with a price on carbon for the first three years, which she is introducing only because she is in minority government and needed to accommodate other views. In my view all this talk about mandate is claptrap, and is simply being used as a way of inciting the susceptible to ‘revolt’ on the spurious grounds that at elections the people give the winning party a mandate to do this or that. This applies only when a party asks the people specifically to give it one on a particular issue, almost like a referendum. I don’t recall John Howard asking for or receiving a mandate to introduce his industrial relations laws, yet he did. And they were rejected not because he didn’t have a mandate, but because they were restrictive laws that hurt ordinary people.[/b] [i]”There is also a third scenario: that a desperate Labor installs Rudd to save its fortunes. The timing of this legislation suits Rudd because it means the party has time to decide if Gillard can sell her policy. If Rudd becomes PM he would be largely free of the stigma of Gillard's broken promise, thereby weakening Abbott's personalised onslaught. “In office, Rudd would have two strategic options now being canvassed inside caucus. He could leave the legislation in place but campaign as a more effective salesman than Gillard, as a new PM without her baggage and better able to combat Abbott. “The alternative would be for Rudd to delay the scheme until after the next election offering to rebuild trust with the public. The obvious problem with this option is that it makes the election more of a carbon tax referendum, which is what Abbott wants.[/i] [b]Here again he stokes the leadership issue. Does he seriously believe that a change of leadership is in the offing? Yet he spends three paragraphs discussing this hypothetical as if it were a serious option. Or is he just pouring inflammable talk on the embers he imagines are smoldering in caucus? And does he seriously believe Kevin Rudd would be a better salesperson than Julia Gillard, especially with his own ‘baggage’ on this very subject?[/b] [i]“In truth, Labor's problem is immense. Labor has no mandate for this reform. It is widely seen by the public as a breach of trust. It has crippled Gillard's standing as PM. It has been branded as unworkable and irresponsible by the nation's biggest business group that backs the principle of carbon pricing. No Australian government since the Depression has sought to implement such a reform from such a weak political base.”[/i] [b]Here is ‘mandate’ again, to which Kelly has added ‘breach of trust’, presumably harking back to Julia’s ‘lie’, a damning perception conjured up by Abbott and promulgated endlessly by the media and the shock jocks. It has been one of the most successful campaigns of demonization of a politician based on a trumped-up charge, and Kelly and his media colleagues have been part of it.[/b] “[i]Australia is trapped in the disastrous legacy from the politics of 2009 and 2010. The last election should have been a Rudd-Abbott contest that settled the climate change issue. But it settled nothing. At the election Gillard pledged no scheme until there was a political consensus. The upshot is that parliament has legislated a scheme the public, so far, does not accept. The policy suffers a democratic deficit that can be redeemed only at the next election. Yet the process of securing its legislation has alienated the community from the scheme.”[/i] [b]Kelly is wrong. Gillard did not pledge ‘no scheme’; she pledged an ETS. When journalists get their basic facts wrong, the argument on which they rest falls away. Again he talks of a ’democratic defect’, which is code for lacking a mandate. He is probably right that the public does not yet accept the legislation. That is the ‘selling’ task of the Government, and if it does so successfully, and when the fear campaign is shown to be hollow, the next election may well indicate acceptance. He asserts that ‘securing the legislation has alienated the community’, but in my view that is nonsense. It is not ‘securing the legislation’ but all the FUD+ML perpetrated by the Coalition and the media that has caused any alienation on this issue that exists.[/b] [i]“Contrary to Labor's repeated claims, this legislation cannot deliver investment certainty. Carbon pricing becomes viable only with a Labor-Coalition policy settlement. Yet that is remote as the political contest sinks into an "all or nothing" struggle.”[/i] [b]Kelly advances no reasons for these statements; I guess he presumes they are self-evident. Well not for me.[/b] [i]“This scheme was passed on Labor-Greens votes but cannot endure on this basis. Even if Abbott is beaten and the Coalition retreats to a market position it would seek major changes to these arrangements. “The best option for Australia is neither Gillard's package nor Abbott's repeal. It is an alternative carbon price model with better safeguards for Australian competitiveness. But that position had no political champions. “When John Howard embraced carbon pricing in 2007 he had the Business Council of Australia behind him. But the BCA does not back Gillard's model. Its chief, Jennifer Westacott, says the legislation "must" be changed, that its design is "neither workable nor responsible", its modelling is not stress-tested and industries that would be competitive under a global carbon price now face "premature decline". “Australian Industry Group chief Heather Ridout says the timing of the scheme "couldn't be worse", that it should be amended and that manufacturers "are facing prices around 50 per cent higher than those in the European Union for the same years". Business has put Labor on notice.”[/i] [b]Kelly ought not be surprised that representatives of industry groups are complaining; they are reflecting the self-protective defensive positions such groups adopt when threatened with change, especially when it is likely to cost them. [/b] [i]“It is unforgivable that Labor has not acted on Productivity Commission advice that Australia has about 230 schemes, state and federal, that are mostly inefficient, equating to a de facto carbon price of about $10 a tonne and that such schemes should be eliminated when the national carbon scheme begins. Again, Labor is put on notice: retaining solar rebates and renewable energy targets only hits its own voters in the neck and validates Abbott's massive retaliation.”[/i] [b]Goodness knows what Kelly is talking about here. [/b] [i]“Australia's mid-2012 starting price of $23 a tonne is about 50 per cent higher than in the EU or New Zealand schemes. The forward December 2012 price for the clean development mechanism units is less than $15 a tonne. The AI Group insists the opening price be no more than $10 a tonne. “More serious is the lack of hard proof of global progress on carbon pricing. Nations made ambitious pledges at Copenhagen and Cancun. A pledge is not a law. Many developing nation pledges are "best endeavours". There is no prospect of the US congress legislating "cap and trade" for years. Japan and Canada have backed off such action. While China makes major investments in renewables, this has little effect on the competitive price of its exports, the test that counts. Meanwhile, China and India expand their coal-based power and Australia works on the assumption it will build no further plants. “Treasury's optimistic modelling assumes that nations implement their pledges. How realistic is that? The BCA says Treasury has not modelled "what may well be a more likely scenario; that is, fragmented and differentiated actions by only some of the advanced economies". Precisely. It argues that pledges made by the EU and US are far less demanding than required by Australia by 2020. Our business-as-usual trajectory is emissions at 24 per cent above 2000 levels by 2020, when the target is -5 per cent. It is a steep adjustment. “The truth is that Australia's scheme is inherited from an earlier, more robust phase of the global debate. With Australia responsible for only 1.5 per cent of world emissions there seems a lack of proportion in our response. The question is: why not start with a lower price and have a more flexible scheme rather than risk losing competitiveness in the period before a world carbon price emerges? “The BCA argues, based on modelling by Deloitte Access Economics, that if the floating price through to 2020 is lower than expected (and equates to the scheme's floor price) then the imbalance between revenue and compensation turns a projected cumulative surplus of $9.6 billion into a cumulative deficit of $9bn across the four years from 2015-16. That is, the fiscal side is highly sensitive to changes in price assumptions. And, pray, if the scheme is under fiscal pressure, how will government make up the deficit?”[/i] [b]These paragraphs seem to be out of place. He is mounting a constellation of arguments against the scheme that would have been more suited to a debate about this scheme and a comparison with the Coalition’s scheme.[/b] [i]“Meanwhile, Labor's selling pitch is obvious: it will focus on the tax cuts, tax reform and benefit increases. That makes sense, though a third of householders are worse off. But it makes you wonder if Labor started with the compensation component and worked backwards to devise its scheme.”[/i] [b]Note here that he repeats the Coalition’s line that ‘a third of householders are worse off’ without bothering to mention that these are the wealthiest third, those earning over $80,000 a year, who might reasonably be able to manage the projected 0.7% increase in costs. He also makes what must be a frivolous conjecture that Labor worked out the compensation first, and then the carbon price. Really Paul! This is not the place for frivolity.[/b] [i]“Because the Coalition's focus is only repeal it has no interest in devising a better carbon pricing scheme. That's the tragedy. It is the real policy and political need.”[/i] [b]Note that no serious assessment is made of the Coalition’s plan to pay polluters, give no compensation and plant millions of trees. Kelly airily dismisses the need of the Coalition to do anything, set as it is on ‘repeal’. But if hypothetically it were able to repeal Labor’s plan, would it not want to implement its much-touted superior scheme to meet the targets to which it says it’s committed? This is a serious omission that speaks to Kelly’s puzzlement over this issue. What does he think of Abbott’s Direct Action Plan? Is it a good one or pie in the sky? Does he avoid it because he believes it will never be implemented even if the Coalition is elected? He doesn’t give us a clue.[/b] [i]“Australia is not getting the lowest cost scheme. Indeed, the mishmash of flawed carbon pricing and government intervention will leave significant uncertainty. Australia struggles to resolve a series of complex dilemmas. It wants to be Asia-oriented yet its policy design is Europe-centric. It champions competitiveness yet risks our competitive advantage. It aspires to be bold on climate change action, to rekindle productivity and to compensate voters. But it may find such a package doesn't fly.”[/i] [b]Kelly concludes limply, with his very own mishmash. He talks of flawed carbon pricing, government intervention, uncertainty, complex dilemmas, policy design orientation, competitive risks, but looking back over his piece he makes little attempt to tease these out and analyse them. For someone as senior and experienced as Kelly, this is another disappointing piece. He has crammed many aspects into it, yet has failed to follow them through. He has contaminated the idea of the tax with ‘the mandate’ and Labor leadership, has given some details of it albeit [i]sans[/i] important caveats, has listed the dire effects and industry opposition, has avoided any treatment of Abbott’s plan, and has injected into the piece his own doubts about, and dislikes of the scheme. To take him at face value, as I expect he hopes his readers will do, would leave one with the impression that this scheme is flawed, illegitimate and almost certainly doomed, unless an unlikely political miracle eventuates. Coalition supporters, impressed by his gravitas, will no doubt have their antagonism to the scheme confirmed, those seeking clarification will be more confused and probably annoyed to boot. Only those unprepared to question will nod in approval. It is not Kelly’s brightest contribution. He is capable of doing better.[/b] Folks, please let me have your views about this type of feature for [i]TPS[/i].

BSA Bob

15/10/2011"Kelly airily dismisses the need of the Coalition to do anything..." Could this in future be held up as the definitive Media piece of our (electoral) times?. I skimread the article (Paul would say that's not enough & he has a point, but that's what I do after so many Murdoch articles pointing in the same direction) & it seemed to me that Kelly started with the usual Murdoch assumption, Labor is bad & stuffed, & built an article on that. Well done A.A., I for one would like to see more, but realise it's a major effort on the part of anyone doing it.

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011This is great news from our Region: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/surprises-in-burmas-guided-democracy-20111014-1lp1s.html (Their 'Guided democracy' is going one way, Tony Abbott wants his to go the other way. Also it's instructive to note just what a 'Guided Democracy' is in practice.)

Ad astra reply

15/10/2011BSA Bob Thank you for the feedback. Such an analysis takes two to three hours. Perhaps some who comment here may wish to give it a try. FS The Oakes article was interesting. At least he called Abbott for the opportunistic liar he can so easily be.

Michael

15/10/2011AA, hi. The forensic dissection of mainstream press political articles approach is a good one, if you can stomach doing it for too long. As with my finding a Bad Abbott a day (which is so sickeningly easy it becomes sickening), breaking down the illogicality, the re-parroting of three word sloganised partisanship, the accepted as 'fact' reiteration of rank propaganda, the sheer nonsensicality of what is passed off as top-flight journalism and coalface-formed experienced commentary in this country, might just send you mad. Or at the very least, feel that with each new article you aren't dealing with a 'new article' at all, just re-entering an old trench refilled with what was just drained out of it. I think it was Laurie Oakes who complained about Australia now being served by 'political pygmies'. That supposed stunting of the quality of our politicians is at least mirrored by the diminished and derogatory 'standards' of political news and commentary in this country. "Kill all the lawyers" was Shakespeare's advice. Mine would be, "silence all the commentators". Instead, read the distilled bulletins of AAP and Reuters, those old-fashioned news reports that Australian newspapers shunt away to easy to flip past boxes at the bottoms of pages, or vertical strips alongside the page-folds, and get in 100 words or so that 'this happened here', 'that occurred there'. Hard news, no embellishment, no 'take' on events except that they just happened. And no bloody bylines!

NormanK

15/10/2011Ad astra I'm in two minds about having a separate thread, as it were, for major critiques of articles. I just don't know what advantage would be gained but I'm more than willing to be convinced. Past experience suggests that such deconstructions, while they do attract comment, rarely spark an ongoing conversation. A home of their own would increase their longevity but a critique is only topical for as long as the original article remains relevant and arguably that is about a week. Given the amount of time that needs to be dedicated to such a task it would be good if they had a separate repository and perhaps they might be useful as references.. Time allowing, I would be willing to have the occasional stab at it when something gets up my nose. I have enjoyed those that you have written recently and certainly would look forward to others having a go at it.

Feral Skeleton

15/10/2011I must say that I have to agree with NormanK in essence here. That is, the article deconstruction is a very valid new form of analysis of the media, to take their words and analyse them forensically for the subtext, misinformation and insincerity. However, possibly it would be better to just keep them on our main page for people to enjoy and especially those who may not otherwise know that a second forum within TPS exists elsewhere on the blog. As for the frequency, well, that should be up to whoever feels that a particular article, or transcript of a show on TV or the radio, takes their fancy. That service I discovered the other day on Twitter, and which Michael also found advantageous to use, may come in handy for this purpose. I guess each one may as well stay within the body of the general daily back and forth because, as NormanK said, their currency is ephemeral but is useful in informing the flow of analysis. It would also be good because it would be another unique string to our bow, and not William Bowe's bow! ;-)

Acerbic Conehead 2

15/10/2011AA, Thank you for your kind words @ 11:21 am, and your critique of the Paul Kelly article which I thought was a fascinating analysis. Such an approach probably doesn’t suit my writing style, but power to anyone’s elbow who wants to give it a go. Jane, Glad you liked the story. You are right that Sir Liealot is an economic wrecking ball. Moreover, in his comments about the economy, he appears to think he is merely playing a game of Monopoly. And thanks for the heads-up on Bronny’s and Sophie’s future business venture. However, I fear that if it eventuates, they will be on the receiving end of more than one court case. Gravel, Great to hear from you again. Yes, that Morgan poll is interesting. But, as you say, the longer-term trend will tell us more. PatriciaWA, Loved your “Bloody Oath” poem, especially the “gore and non-gore” policies, lol.

psyclaw

15/10/2011Regarding Laurie Oakes, who raised his head today in an all too rare bucketing of Abbott, perhaps he does have a heart/soul/conscience and maybe he now realizes how his anti ALP spoiler role in last year's election campaign contributed to a huge near miss .... the election of Abbott as PM. Or is this wild speculation on my part? God knows, having been a significant commentator for so many years, he surely knows deep down that someone of Abbott's level of ethics, honesty, sincerity, selflessness, economic skills, interest in the welfare of wider humanity, empathy, fairness and justice (zero in all aspects) is an extremely unsuitable candidate for the office of PM. For anyone who didn't read Oakes's article today, he quoted chapter and verse the excuses Abbott put up a couple of weeks after the 2004 election when he discarded his explicit election promise to not interfere with the medicare safety net. Generally "circumstances have changed" he profered as a legitimate excuse. Evidently "circumstances also changed" between the 2004 and 2010 elections such that this excuse is unavailable for JG. Oh the machinations of a fraudster's mind!

Casablanca

16/10/2011FS @ 11.27 you provided a link to a good article by Matthew Moore and Jacob Saulwick [b]“Club shifts pokies to poorer punters” [/b] which reported on the move by the Mounties Group to move some poker machines from a low yield club to a high yield club which just happens to be a Local Government area with one of the highest levels of problem gamblers and welfare recipients in NSW. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/club-shifts-pokies-to-poorer-punters-20111014-1lpaq.html Matthew Moore and Jacob Saulwick have a second article [b] The machines that are draining a city [/b] where they focus not on the personal impact of problem gambling and the descent into debt, thanks to willing loan sharks and then, sometimes drug trafficking. The Clubs' business model is an enticement to gambling but government seems to be a very willing partner. The article cites O'Farrell government legislation to give clubs almost $300 million in tax breaks. Also, Clubs and pubs can apply to the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing to halve the shutdown period from six hours to three on Saturdays, Sundays and sometimes during the week. It is a very powerful article by Moore & Saulwick that justifies SMH using the term investigative report Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/the-machines-that-are-draining-a-city-20111014-1lp52.html#ixzz1arDJgAqN

Casablanca

16/10/2011OOPS I did a bit of last minute editing and left in a 'no' after focus in para 2 which clearly should be ignored.

TalkTurkey

16/10/2011Casablanca @ 12.56 re 12.53 No, no, not [i]'no'[/i], [i]'not'[/i]! :)

TalkTurkey

16/10/2011Ad astra, quoting Paul Kelly's [b]FIRST paragraph[/b]: JULIA Gillard's tactical triumph in winning a carbon price scheme from minority government with [b]less than 30 per cent of the primary vote[/b] testifies to the schism in Australia's public life: the conflict between the parliament and the . . . people. [b]Wait right there[/b]. [i]Less than 30%[/i] of the primary vote? When? Where? Which primary vote? From Wikipedia: (for which Thank Dog (K)) ) House of Representatives (IRV) — Turnout 93.21% (CV) — Informal 5.55% Party Votes % Swing Seats Change Australian Labor Party 4,711,363 [b]37.99 [/b]−5.40 72 −11 Coalition Liberal Party of Australia 3,777,383 [b]30.46 [/b]+0.76 44 −11 Liberal National Party (QLD) 1,130,525 [b]9.12 [/b]+0.60 21 +21 National Party of Australia 419,286 [b]3.43 [/b]−0.04 6 −4 Country Liberal Party (NT) 38,335 [b]0.31 [/b]−0.01 1 +1 Australian Greens 1,458,998 [b]11.76 [/b]+3.97 1 +1 National Party (WA)[nb 1] 43,101 [b]0.34 [/b]+0.20 1 +1 Independents 312,496 [b]2.52 [/b]+0.30 4 +2 Other 510,876 [b]4.11[/b] −0.38 0 0 [b]Total 12,402,363 150 [/b] [b]Two-party-preferred vote [/b] Australian Labor Party 6,216,445 [b]50.12 [/b]−2.58 72 −11 Liberal/National Coalition 6,185,918 [b]49.88 [/b]+2.58 72 +7 [i]Torpedo tubes clear![/i] [i][b]FIRE ONE![/b][/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ad astra, quoting Paul Kelly's [b]SECOND[/b] paragraph: Gillard and her ministers, infused with relief and brief delight, celebrated their win on the floor of parliament. But this cannot gainsay that Labor has taken one of the great gambles in its history and, unless it converts public opinion, this triumph will turn into ashes. WHOA! Brief delight sure why not, but longterm joy and satisfaction, [i]Kelly[/i]. Perhaps you don't think like that eh? Great gamble? [i]No it's not![/i] It's a dead-set certain win for the People! Turn into ashes? [i]No it won't![/i] It's here to stay, and Kelly, you can't stand it, like a kid refusing to believe that a dead puppy can't come back to life. Except with a kid that's a charming form of 'pathetic', you're just pathetic in the sense of [i]vile[/i]. Now that Ad has made me look at your work carefully once, let me assure you [i]Kelly[/i] I will not ever bother a second time. Scum of an article! [i]Torpedo tubes clear! [b]FIRE TWO![/b] [/i] You are sunk imo Kelly. [i]Why would I read further Ad?[/i]There is so much more to read everywhere, fun, logical, intelligent, goodwilled, [i]true[/i], Why the #*ck would I want to read on? I don't watch Bolt either. I don't buy Merdeoch papers neither, nor hardly any others neither. I can read all the opinion and facts I need here, where the people are honest and informed seekers and promulgators of truth, with their politics on their sleeves, and making no pretence at 'balance' which is a BS notion altogether, as if there is any sort of credibility (let alone 50% !) to e.g. climate change deniers, they are charlatans and crooks. Kelly and the UnAustralian and Merdeoch are not to be countenanced at all imo. Ignored. Not even given time of night. Life's too short, especially when one gets to my point in it. That's what I really want to talk about I guess, this from the keyboard of a Turkey who no matter how logical and organized his posts might appear, is a poor and scatty reader with a randomly selective memory, to whom reading long posts is, well yes, a [i]chore[/i] really. FS pinged that Turkey was a peripatetic long ago, ['course she's got a Scrub Turkey named Bruce so she's had a chance to suss our scratching techniques . . . ] but I digress . . . I remember Ad a very good post from you re interviewing techniques, the nuances and types of leading questions. I have enough background in Psychology that I already understood pretty well what you were saying, but in any case it was useful to see the subject in the clear focus you brought to bear on it. For people who have little theoretical training in the psychology of persuasive techniques and the like, that article in particular would be good to have on such a parallel thread as I seem dimly to think you might be thinking of. I must admit I'm a bit hazy on what you conject, I suspect you've explained it but I have failed to cotton on very well. I can imagine a chronological compendium of your threads Ad astra. It would be a hypertome from the last 3 years but I can imagine it, even referenced and to a degree cross-referenced according to subject and title. But your posts are always on subject Ad, if that helps! But I don't know if that is at all what you have in your thoughts. Could be not. I can imagine separate superpigeonholes for threads by Acerbic Conehead (Dog Allbitey that's a funny name at 3.17 AM and with a Muscat mellowing me mind! :) ) and Professor Skeleton and NormanK, speaking of whom, [i]he[/i] is the one who has taught several TPSers how to enshrine a Gravatar, and THAT would sure be a good thing to have in an easily-accessible file. jane I hope you and other posters who float free of Gravatar are noting this. Ad I could even imagine slots for the pometical exploits of da Turkey and especially of PatriciaWA whom I have only emplaced after my own scratchmark so that I can remind us all of this: Oh! Patricia my darlin' Patricia, I can see all my dreams in your eyes . . . Your smile is as gay as a bright summer day, You're much fairer than Erin's blue skies! Oh! Patricia my lovely Patricia, You could make all my dreamin' come true . . . My heart is just droolin' . . . Patricia, no foolin' . . . I'm fallin' in love with you! Oh! Patricia my darlin' Patricia, I can see all my dreams in your eyes . . . Your smile is as gay as a bright summer day, You're much fairer than Erin's blue skies! Oh! Patricia my lovely Patricia, You could make all my dreamin' come true . . . My heart is just droolin' . . . Patricia, no foolin' . . . I'm fallin' in love ( I'm fallin' in love . . . ) I'm fallin' in love with you! AND the one I [i]meant[/i] to find on youtube, it was super-sexy when I was just discovering . . . Well . . . anyway I can only find the lyrics . . . Kiss her and your lips will always want Patricia Stroll her, see Patricia move with all her charms Mambo, Cha-cha, or Meringue it's Patricia Heaven, that's where you'll be when she's in you're arms [Instrumental Interlude] ??? in Japan they brag about the Geisha Who cares, long Uncle Sam has got Patricia Eyes that have a starry sort of gleam for you She is like a million dollar dream come true Everybody wishes they'd could steal her heart away, I guess There's so many trying but she never, never will say yes Eyes that have a starry sort of gleam for you She is like a million dollar dream come true Kiss her and your lips will always want Patricia Stroll her, see Patricia move with all her charms ??? in Japan they brag about the Geisha Who cares, long Uncle Sam has got Patricia I forgot to note who wrote these but DON"T BLAME ME! :$ But I digress again. Dam. Ad astra whyncha do a few of what you mean you are mooting, hell it isn't as though you got anything else to do, :), and We your Echo-Lites will then grok on them? Do that make any sense at all?

Michael

16/10/2011I've got into the habit of recording Insiders just so I can play back anything that's caught my eye or confused my ears. As an online option, the website brought to all our attention by Feral Skeleton, http://www.tveeder.com/ offers a great live transcription service to 'follow' the show in text on your computer. It also has an archive section, which allowed me to gain access to the Trioli/Abbott interview earlier this week. You can get there by clicking on their RSS Feed, which is currently highlit on the 'Read Our Blog' page you can reach from the top line of the home web address above. A great service, and a great 'catch' by FS.

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011If you ever needed to know what utter bastardry the Liberal Party are capable of, behind the facade of cuddly front men like Ted Baillieu and Campbell Newman, then you only have to read this to be confirmed in your suspicions: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/out-of-the-premier-league--keneallys-perks-pulled-20111015-1lqev.html

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011Talk Turkey, You might be lucky and one day be told the story of how the inimitable Acerbic Conehead aquired his blog de plume. :)

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011Michael, Thank you for re-linking to the tveeder site. I was a bit tired and wasn't up to going back through the posts to track it down again. :)

TalkTurkey

16/10/2011#*CK! :-O I'm watching Lopsiders, it's raising my BP, I do mean it. OOman is disgusting. He started bigoted anti-Labor and has not for a moment relented. Gentle loving photo-opp for Mesma. Fran "Ms Jelly" Kelly, being given a good run to say #-all. Pigs Ackerman allowed to bogart the conversation amahl. [i]except[/i] when [i]David Marr [/i]is bagging *J*U*L*I*A* ! OOman is the [b]worst[/b] though. "Chris Uhlmann, smooth and smug." Now he says: [i]Let's look at the one image that got the biggest run[/i] (The Kiss). Get that Jason, "not Us of course, it's all the others who showed the Kiss so now it's news in itself, but don't blame Us, it's everybody else!" Perfect. Like electricity in a superconductor, round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and you can probably guess where it goes from there. If you watched Insiders, (there I've graced it with its real name even if I don't think it's true nor deserving of my grace), please tell us what you think about this program today. Anyway look at this to take your BP down again. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguste_Rodin Surely one of the most beautiful modellings of human forms ever.

Gravel

16/10/2011Ad Astra I love what you did the P Kelly's article. I for one like the idea, but as I don't have a lateral thinking grey cell in my head I just couldn't do it. I also like the fact that you are doing it in the main thread. I agree with some of the others, do it only to writing that deserves it and only while it is current. Michael I could get that tveeder thing to work. I am on Firefox. Any help would be appreciated. Totally NOT watching any political shows any more, feel much better for it.

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011Talk Turkey, I didn't bother watching Insiders because I knew it would be a Liberal Love-In with David Marr trying to get a word in edgeways over Piers Ackerman. I merely followed my Tweeps commentary on Twitter. It told me all I needed to know. :)

TalkTurkey

16/10/2011http://www.google.com.au/search?q=the+kiss+rodin&hl=en&rlz=1G1TSHN_ENAU450&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=cBuaTpiSDJCciAfGgOmrAg&ved=0CDkQsAQ Lots more pics of (Rodin's) [i]The Kiss [/i]

TalkTurkey

16/10/2011http://www.google.com.au/imgres?q=the+kiss+rodin&hl=en&sa=X&rlz=1G1TSHN_ENAU450&biw=1366&bih=640&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=0tJ-qiMx6-RlrM:&imgrefurl=http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/r/rodin_s_the_kiss.asp&docid=epJVvALpEsM-BM&imgurl=http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/pha0046l.jpg&w=400&h=348&ei=TRyaToigEoyhiAeypLisAg&zoom=1 Poor Tony will just have to handle it all by himself! :)

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011As I didn't watch Inciters I didn't see the Julie Bishop interview. Never fear, the ABC are making sure we see her vile contemptuous statement about our brave Prime Minister over and over and over again. Julie Bishop is a bitch. She is also a political pro. And the media are her pimps.

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011Something amusing for a Sunday: http://yfrog.com/obm69oj Christopher Pyne secretly supports gay marriage. ;-)

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011Like a poisonous, multi-headed Hydra: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/senator-spins-tangled-web-on-tax-20111015-1lqfl.html

NormanK

16/10/2011A bit of additional reading (cherry-picked) to balance the scorecards. That nasty communist government! [b]Interest free loans for families to beat carbon tax[/b] The Sunday Telegraph [quote]NO interest loans of up to $1200 will be offered to struggling families to buy energy-efficient washing machines and light bulbs to beat the carbon tax. Families Minister Jenny Macklin will confirm the "no strings attached" offer that will enable families to keep their carbon-tax compensation even if they cut their energy use and utilities bills under the $30 million loan scheme that begins in the New Year.[/quote] http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/money/interest-free-loans-for-families-to-beat-carbon-tax/story-e6fredkc-1226167519818 Although I can't stand Eddie McGuire, a personal hackles-raised reaction, he does speak some sense in this article. [b]Stop the rhetoric, get on with it[/b] by Eddie McGuire Herald Sun [quote]Surely now it is Australia's time to stop mucking around and get on with putting lengths between ourselves and the rest of the world. The mind-numbing picture that symbolised one of the biggest steps in our country's recent history? A photo of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former prime minister Kevin Rudd having a post-vote peck on the cheek. Yes it was funny, but surely it is time now for our elected leaders to get on with making this work. And it is time for our leaders to forget the carping of their peers and the trivialisation of the media and to make things happen.[/quote] http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/stop-the-rhetoric-now-and-just-get-on-with-it/story-e6frfhqf-1226167524748 No mention of how the media itself might play a positive role in making the most of the new price on carbon but at least Claire Harvey is upbeat and positive. As David Horton wondered aloud last week on his blog, imagine if the bulk of the media decided to emphasise the benefits of the newly emerging economy (with all of the investment, innovation and kudos that could come with it) while at the same time keeping a weather eye on stuff-ups. We could, and should, be positive and excited instead of being negative and afraid but that mood-shift is unlikely without the 'voice of the people' taking a sensible optimistic approach. I can still dream. [b]Claire Harvey: Voice of people not for threats[/b] by Claire Harvey The Sunday Telegraph [quote]Democracy ain't dead. But hopefully the rude, crude blue-rinse protest movement is. In a way, it's probably a good thing the protest happened on Wednesday. It exposed the anti-carbon tax protesters for what they really are: a bunch of people who either wilfully or ignorantly have allowed themselves to play patsy for much more clever and powerful interests.[/quote] http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/voice-of-people-not-for-threats/story-e6frezz0-1226167523137 A man who needs no introduction. [b]Senator spins tangled web on tax[/b] by Deborah Gough SMH [quote]But what appears to be a proliferation of anti-government activist sites is, in fact, a political campaign orchestrated by a Liberal Party senator, Cory Bernardi, and conservative organisations with which he has links.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/senator-spins-tangled-web-on-tax-20111015-1lqfl.html GO THE WALLABIES!! Quade Cooper to play a blinder tonight - Australia by 12 points.

2353

16/10/2011Contrary to the naysayers, there is something to watch on ABC1 on a Sunday morning. My kids loved [i]Bindi the Jungle Girl[/i] and [i]Seasame Street[/i] earlier in the morning. Don't know (or care) what was on the "news" shows - we turned the TV off at 9am. We all have better things to do, in my case I did the mowing!

Feral Skeleton

16/10/20112353, Sounds like much more the sensible thing to be doing on a Sunday morning. Insiders was just a tawdry Liberal kiss-up, orchestrated by Tony Abbott's best ex-Seminarian mate, Chris Uhlmann. Who allowed the villification of the PM to continue unabated. It was tawdry, pathetic stuff. Sadly, however, I am stuck inside my room, looking out the window at the perfect Spring day outside, typing up my next post. :( ;-)

Michael

16/10/2011http://www.tveeder.com/ The site appears to place on-line the closed captioning service that goes to air with many TV shows. I believe you can choose or not to display these captions if you're hooked up for digital reception on your television. As to the Web-based site itself, and Gravel's problems, I use Firefox, too. The 'top' page is a live feed, but heading off with a click to "Read Our Blog" brings you to a page that has several links in it to, amongst other things, 'RSS feed' which offers more text than the live feed's single-page/screen material. The home page also has "Program Guides" which, clicked on, will take you to the most recent captions from the shows in question. I think these might be complete-show text records. If the site in Firefox is not coming up at all, perhaps you have a 'Preference' set for the browser that refuses to open the site because it contains some content/plug-in you've previously chosen not to have displayed? Try another browser, perhaps? As to Julie Bishop being a 'professional' politician (surely that was what was meant by "political pro" above??), I noticed in her interview on 'Insiders' she said "seeks to repeal the Carbon Tax" at one stage when discussing the Coalition's intentions in government. "Seeks to" offers that 'circumstances change' wriggle room so beloved of, and availed of, by Shouldabeen. I doubt the "seeks" was anything but sown into the ongoing conversation that will allow the Coalition, should they gain government (well, control of the House of Reps) to wriggle out of rescinding the Clean Energy legislation on the 'all too hard to unwind, blame Labor for the next two or three elections or so' basis.

Ad astra reply

16/10/2011FS, TT, Michael, Folks [i]Insiders[/i] was particularly unpleasant this morning. First, Chris Uhlmann as substitute moderator was smug. He was the one, who on [i]7.30[/i] made such condemnatory remarks about Julia Gillard’s strategy in scheduling the asylum debate when it was bound to fail in the Senate, and he found plenty of support in today’s panel for his assessment of her strategy. He smiled approvingly as groupthink swept them all in the same direction. I find this level of arrogance from media players astonishing. While sometimes they ‘advise’ politicians in advance about how they should conduct their business, they comment mostly with the benefit of hindsight, a very comfortable position from which they are able to say ‘you should have done this or that’, or ‘it was obvious this or that was going to happen’. We are all pretty accomplished at retrospective analysis. It would be a fascinating exercise to ask these self-styled experts what should be done prospectively and have them live with the consequences. Come to think of it, to me the most offensive aspect of such panel programs of so-called experts or ‘insiders’ is the arrogance they bring to their assessments. They often use the term ‘no-brainer’ to indicate that even a brainless fool would have done or not done something, and in the process they demean the decision maker. My question is: ‘What makes them think they are more expert than the politicians themselves?’ Any answers? And of course when there is a group, groupthink tends to encourage conformity; few people are brave enough to overtly be the odd man out. If you saw it, did you notice that there was much more conformity than disagreement among panel members. In fact the only disagreement was with some of Piers Akerman’s outrageous statements by David Marr and to a lesser extent Fran Kelly. I question the intellectual and functional value of such programs. What do we learn from them that we don’t already know? What value do we place on the opinions of the panellists? To what extent is their opinion superior to that of well informed others? To what extent are they in a position to inform the general public? Is opinion a proper substitute for facts? Murdoch thinks so with his ‘opinion is news’ quip. I would not mind if they prefaced their opinion with even a modest qualification, such as “My assessment of these facts: 1,2,3, is as follows, because of A,B,C”, or simply “In my opinion…”. But they speak with such assurance that they are, indeed must be, right. They discount the inherent complexity of most political issues, reducing them to simple propositions that they find so easy to resolve. In my view, one of the most powerful impediments to clear thinking and problem resolution is the oversimplification of issues because of an unwillingness or incapacity to recognize the extreme complexities of many issues, and the inability of so many to deal with them even when they do recognize the complexity. I found this to be the case during many years in medical education. While some patient problems are straight forward, many are very complex and therefore require an approach that attempts to get in touch with the relevant variables, how they interact, and how they might be managed. This process requires an understanding of complexity and systems theory. Many seemed unprepared or ill equipped to grapple with this mind taxing and time consuming process. Compared though with our commentators who publically assess politics, those who assess patient problems were, in my view, way ahead, which by the way is fortunate. To return to [i]Insiders[/i], in my opinion Chris Uhlmann’s interview with Julie Bishop was ‘soft’ in that while he asked some hard questions, such as ‘Do you think Executive Government ought to be able to implement what asylum processing method it prefers?’, he did not insist on an answer – Bishop went on to make the statement she came prepared to make, although Uhlmann repeated the question. This disconnect between question and answer was illustrated several times – it is poor interviewing. He performed well as a genial substitute host – Barrie Cassidy should watch his back – but he fell well short of the balance we yearn for from Our ABC. Piers Akerman seems incapable of acknowledging any good thing the Gillard Government has ever achieved. He is chronically infected with the Abbott negativity virus. I have always maintained that he is a useless addition to the panel; his presence could be justified only on the grounds that he induces tabloid-style conflict, which is not what sensible viewers want on Our ABC. David Marr was more balanced and did challenge Akerman, but he too was overconfident in the correctness of his own opinion. Fran Kelly was similarly overconfident, but at least acknowledged near the end that the passage of carbon legislation was a major event in Australia’s political history. So much time was spent on the asylum issue that time was limited for discussion of the ramifications of the carbon legislation and Tony Abbott’s blood threat to repeal it, an aspect that was better handled by Mike Bowers. This imbalance reflects the tabloid nature of this program. Altogether it was a disappointing episode for anyone wishing to see the important issues discussed in depth free of the hype, partisan ploys and flimsy information. It now resembles [i]The Daily Telegraph[/i] more than the [i]Sydney Morning Herald[/i].

Michael

16/10/2011PS Julie Bishop's quote from today's Insiders. "We will take that burden off, we will seek to repeal the carbon tax legislation." PPS reCaptcha code for this post "endpoint eralike"

Ad astra reply

16/10/2011Michael I too noticed Julie Bishop's use of 'seeks to repeal'. I agree that sounds like a caveat that will give them wriggle room when they find they can't achieve repeal of the 'carbon tax', the toxicity of which might poison them in the long run.

NormanK

16/10/2011Ad astra [quote]..... they comment mostly with the benefit of hindsight, a very comfortable position from which they are able to say ‘you should have done this or that’, or ‘it was obvious this or that was going to happen’.[/quote] I didn't watch the programme but you are right on the money about the benefit of hindsight. It would be an interesting exercise to stage today's episode again with the altered circumstance of Crook having decided to back the government and parliament rising for a break with the Migration Act Amendments passed in the lower house and on their way to the Senate where Abbott & Co might have been under more pressure to concede that they were the will of the parliament. More distressing for me, and you touched on this, is that almost everything is viewed through the prism of political expediency and not whether it is good policy or in the national interest. Most of the opinion pieces in the papers over the last week have been all about the 'politics' of politics and little attention is given to policy assessment. Even those who concede that pricing carbon is a good idea and in Australia's interest find ways to criticise how it came about, what it will mean for the polls and Heaven help us, the KISS. We can point to good journalists who are endeavouring to give us the dry facts but unfortunately they are not the ones getting the exposure. It is the sopping wet opinionistas that have the megaphones. It occurred to me last night that the word 'opinion' has now acquired derogatory status with me. I'm sick of it.

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011You just can't trust the Liberals to keep their word: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51BMjt_jp7E

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011Ad, This one might interest you, but you probably already know about it :) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/business/medical-apps-to-assist-with-diagnoses-cleared-by-fda.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

Jason

16/10/2011Mike Kelly's thoughts on "insiders" Mike Kelly MP @MikeKellyMP @ABCNews24 @CUhlmann nearly broke out into a real discussion on policy. Saved the situation by dragging it back to talk about the kiss photo

Gravel

16/10/2011Michael Thanks for that information. Unfortunately this Luddite has tried the RSS thing and stuffed the 'puter up and not game enough to try again. I have made a note of what you have written and hopefully one day someone will visit and show me what I do wrong. Wow, I am so glad I didn't watch 'that' show this morning, it would have made all my hair fall out. Thanks for the reviews though, I hate it when I miss something good, so you have all made my day.

psyclaw

16/10/2011FS and AA Uhllman merely did a paid???? advert for Bishop. He simply introduced topics for her to lay it on about, viz: "what are your thoughts on ......" (carbon tax, Nauru, Migration Act etc etc). And this woman, (a 'kin bitch of the highest order)needed no second invites to put the boot in. I did see a few points of interest. 1)"We will [b]seek[/b] to repeal...." 2)"Nauru was [b]the equivalent[/b] of a convention signatory when we used it" (No follow up question!) 3)"Hanson-Young coached the Ombudsman before his Senate estimates appearance" Hello!!!! Abetz/Turnbull give Gretch the actual questions and answers before his appearance. (No follow up question!) 4) The fat pig stated that JG will resign as an MP if challenged. Kelly queried this and Akerman quickly named a Telegraph journo as his source ie "News Ltd said so" In all the offshore processing interviews we have seen I have not yet heard the key question asked of anyone. ie "what is the purpose/value of offshore processing?" I'll put a comment about this later. In the meantime it suffices once again to say that Abbott leads a mob of shameless hypocrites who are like him, drunk at the prospect of government. And Bishop is one of his best.

jane

16/10/2011AC, how right you are. There does seem to be a vast disconnect between Liealot's domain and realty. He seems to be completely unaware that his and the Liars Party behaviour is doing substantial damage to the psyche of this country as well as ignoring the economic and social impact of their constant negativity. Or perhaps they just don't care, but still retain some mystical belief that when they get hold of government, all the damage will magically be mended. Maybe he thinks God will wave the wand for his right hand man? TT, poor old Kelly must be confused. I wonder if Vampiralla is interested in aging journos? I read Ad astra's excellent forensic dissection of the article and I take my hat off to him for being able to stomach it for long enough to write his critique. All I would have been able to write after each piece of quoted text would have been; lies.......Liars Party talking points.......BULLSHIT!!!!!!!! I read the Laurie Oakes article, but noted he couldn't help regurgitating the Gillard lie meme. A spot of basic research would have prevented it even being mentioned. I also thought his disparagement of the government's jubilation at having won a hard fought battle against determined and well funded lies and distortions, in getting the CEF bills passed was more akin to sour grapes than genuine dislike. Then we come to the Migration Act and his facile attack on Gillard's political nous and alleged arrogance at presenting the amendments to the Lower House. I disagree totally with his assessment. I think Gillard has displayed enormous nous in doing what she did. She has effectively wedged Liealot and can have her cake and eat it too. Onshore processing is now the only alternative and Liealot has been exposed yet again as a dogmatic, arrogant, uncooperative wrecker. Had he agreed to support the Malaysia Solution, he would have presented himself as a credible alternative PM, prepared to compromise what he couldn't change and it would have left his preferred option on the table, if he were to win government. Instead, he chose to be his usual obstructive, destructive and negative self and he's given the government the opportunity to endlessly repeat that it's his fault that boats are arriving on our shores. They'll say and keep on saying that if he'd just been prepared to accept their proposal, none of this would be happening. Of course, it's a slightly risky approach, but eventually the mud will stick, not just to Liealot but to the Greens who have onshore processing as their non-negotiable hobby horse. So, far from being arrogant, stupid and lacking in nous, I think the PM has pulled off a subtle and clever double bluff, which , given the standard of political journalism in this country atm, would be too far over their heads for the to recognise. I never watch Onesiders; I read the comments and know my BP doesn't need that sort of treatment. I don't have high BP, but feel certain I would after watching that Liars Party propaganda machine. NormanK, I agree completely with your comment about the paucity of policy assessment by political commentators. They are more suited to babbling on at Enews or Who magazine than providing serious policy analysis.

Ad astra reply

16/10/2011BSA Bob, Michael, NormanK, FS, TT, AC, Gravel, jane, Folks Thank you all for your comments and advice about the dissection of MSM articles. There seems to be enough interest to pursue the idea, and in a way Michael has been doing something similar with his Bad Abbott comments and NormanK, TT, FS, Jason and Lyn also make comments about MSM articles. There is a consensus that such dissections should be posted on the current piece as a comment. Whether or not it would be valuable to also copy them to a separate part of [i]TPS[/i] as a permanent record, time will tell. I would welcome contributions from anyone who feels inclined, but would want to minimize the burden of doing so. A few guidelines might help. Some articles, like the Kelly one dissected yesterday, are quite long and have so many aspects that warrant a comment that the dissection becomes quite lengthy and somewhat time consuming to prepare, and to read when posted. Can we agree that it is up to the author to decide how much of a given article is dissected? For example, it might be just the first paragraph or two (where the tone is often set), or the final ones (where adverse conclusions are assembled), or perhaps only the ones that exhibit poor journalism or bias. Whatever part is chosen for dissection, a link to the article should be provided; for my part I prefer copying the whole article into the comment, even if only a small part is subject to dissection, as this saves the reader from having to go to the original article. But that is for the author to decide. To standardize the format somewhat, may I suggest that the text of the article being dissected be placed in italics within quotation marks, and the dissector’s comments in bold type. I believe this makes reading and comprehension easier. Moreover, to distinguish these comments from others, shall we head them in bold with: [b]Political Sword Media Mash[/b]. This is one of several titles that could apply, but ‘mash’ seemed a suitably descriptive one, synonyms for ‘mash’ being: pound, pulverize, pulp, crush, smash, squash; all pretty representative of what we will usually be attempting. If we are lauding an article, another synonym: puree, might seem less aggressive. After the heading we ought to then detail the title of the article being dissected, the author, the title of the publishing organ, the date, and the link. I think we can make this additional feature on [i]TPS[/i] useful, informative and enjoyable as we build up our repertoire of examples of poor, and occasionally as a contrast, good journalism. After all, the byline of [i]TPS[/i] is [i]Putting politicians and [b]commentators[/b] to the verbal sword[/i]. Any additional suggestions about how we can make this new feature work for us would be welcome.

psyclaw

16/10/2011Offshore Processing Make no bones about it, Howard and Ruddock invented offshore processing for a completely nefarious reason. This was an attempt to by-pass the Migration Act provisions for judicial appeal by asylum seekers receiving an adverse decision. Their idea was that if applicants were processed outside of Australia, the Migration Act did not apply. To this end they set up a process to be implemented by the private contractors they hired to conduct refugee assessments, which involved using the Migration Act whilst not using the Migration Act. True! No error here! As a result they now brag of a 30% rejection–return to country of origin rate. This was easy to do by providing crap assessments with no right of appeal. But on November 11, 2010, the HC gave its judgment after examining this matter in the cases of M61 and M69. It was the most unequivocal judgment available to the HC …… one joint judgment by the unanimous full bench. The (Howard) government’s case (at point 82) was that the contractor was not bound by Australian law (since this all took place in Nauru) and that the Migration Act was being used only as “an aid” and was therefore not binding (at point 105). They similarly argued that the Act was merely “a guide” (at point 97). The HC held that decisions about protection of asylum seekers must be made according to the law and that the Migration Act was binding, not just an aid or guide to decision making (at point 88). In an additional side issue, the HC also found that the contractor’s application to the decision making of information from the government that Sri Lanka was at that time “safe” should have been presented to the applicants for their response. That it was not, was a breach of procedural fairness and s 424A(1) of the Act. (at points 90, 91) In summary, the HC unequivocally held that Howard applied the Migration Act in a shonky and unfair and unlawful manner. So now the question is begged about Nauru and Manus .... what’s the point? Even if their use was able to be “squeezed” past the August 2011 Malaysia HC decision, (as that shining legal mind of Brandis urges) what’s the point? All asylum seekers assessed in those places must now be given the opportunity to appeal, so the 30% rejection rate will not reoccur. The 62% that went from Nauru to Australia or NZ will henceforth be closer to 90%. So any disincentive power Nauru ever had (if any, other than a high rejection rate because of the unlawful processing) has clearly evaporated. The matter of the Malaysia solution is quite different .... quick removal to Malaysia would certainly pose a disincentive, as Abbott knows and fears. This is just another grubby episode in the lives of the born-to-rule mob who approach their right to govern unfettered by ethics, morals, the national interest or the law.

jj

16/10/2011AA, i believe you are getting 'over confident' and 'smug' mixed up with 'they dont agree with my views'. It was a shocking week for Gillard with one giant cabinet leak just to top it all off, and thus the panels discussion reflected this.

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011jj, Don't get too cocky yourself, young fella. As Andrew Elder, former Young Liberal, said to me about the leak, it's just the NSW Right smarting after being outmanouvered by the Left of the party, who the PM supported, on Asylum Seekers. So, nothing to see here, move along. Your gloating is all for nothing. :)

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011psyclaw, Love it! :D However, one small point. Why do all members of the Coalition keep saying that the most recent HC decision did NOT rule out Nauru?

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011I just had the biggest laugh today. I Tweeted Peter Van Onselen that his show was as balanced as a pensioner with polio. He sent me a Direct Message back, calling me a 'Lefty'. So I sent him a Tweet back calling that a puerile pejorative. I am a Progressive, I said. :)

Ad astra reply

16/10/2011[b]Political Sword Media Mash[/b] [i]Labor's carbon success marred by embarrassing failure on asylum-seekers[/i] by Dennis Shanahan, Political Editor of [i]The Australian[/i], October 15, 2011: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/labors-carbon-success-marred-by-embarrassing-failure-on-asylum-seekers/story-e6frgd0x-1226167112334 I would not ordinarily choose a Shanahan article to dissect, as experience show that almost everything he writes is anti-Gillard and pro-Abbott, but this one seemed to illustrate many of the techniques writers like Shanahan employ to get their antagonistic messages across while on the surface not appearing overtly to do so to the unobservant reader. “[i]This week's parliamentary success of the carbon tax and the failure of Labor's offshore processing of asylum-seekers even to make the House of Representatives for a vote will decide the fate of the Labor government and-or Julia Gillard, perhaps within months. “The passage of the carbon tax through the Senate because of the Greens-Labor partnership and the inability to submit the asylum-seeker offshore processing changes because of Greens-Coalition obstruction could also decide the fate of minority government.”[/i] [b]This is a killer introduction. Note the words he uses: the one positive one ‘success’ is neutered by ‘failure’, ‘will decide the fate’, ‘perhaps within months’. He has assigned failure and without a shred of evidence to support his assertions is canvassing her Government’s ‘fate’ and its timing.[/b] “[i]There are an increasing number of scenarios that make an election for the House of Representatives earlier than August 2013 more probable, with the common aim of creating certainty, resolving government legitimacy and restoring parliamentary supremacy. “Australia's national political and policy agenda is being set by political opportunism made possible by a weak government, an embattled Prime Minister, a rampant opposition and lack of parliamentary certainty or authority.”[/i] [b]He doesn’t pull back: ‘early election more probable’; ‘creating uncertainty’ whatever that is supposed to mean; ‘resolving government legitimacy’ (since he believes it is illegitimate); ‘restoring parliamentary supremacy’ whatever that means (presumably majority government); ‘political opportunism’ but he doesn’t say by whom; ‘a weak government’ which, having passed over 200 pieces of legislation is hardly weak, but is ‘weakened’ by not having a majority, a very big difference. That’s not all: ‘an embattled Prime Minister’, he thinks so even if she doesn’t; ‘a rampant opposition’, not a bad descriptor; ‘lack of parliamentary certainty or authority’, not much in evidence from the legislative performance so far, but that doesn’t stop Dennis putting in the boots. See how the rapid-fire use of these pejorative words and phrases build up a picture of besieged incompetence and ineptitude. It’s a clever technique and I suspect quite deliberate. Even after just four paragraphs, the ones most would read, he has painted a desperately bad picture for PM Gillard and her Government.[/b] “[i]Labor leadership changes are being discussed as a result, as factional leaders, ministers and backbenchers come to grips with the reality of the Prime Minister's loss of credibility and air of incompetence.”[/i] [b]Now he slips in the leadership issue for good measure. This PM is not just exhibiting all the awful attributes he describes, she is under threat of upending.[/b] [i]"The passing of the 19 Clean Energy bills through the House of Representatives by the narrowest of margins and their expected ratification in the Senate is a political and policy milestone for Labor.”[/i] [b]Note the use of ‘narrowest of margins’, giving the message that she just squeaked in. Football teams don’t mind winning by the ‘narrowest of margins’ but for the Government that is not good enough. What else could have happened in a minority government?[/b] [i]“Julia Gillard and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet finally have succeeded in passing a carbon tax and laying the basis for a limited emissions trading scheme in the future where their predecessors, Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong, failed at the cost of their jobs. “The parliamentary scenes of Labor MPs cheering, clapping, hugging and even kissing were not so much a sign of jubilation as relief. As one minister told Inquirer yesterday: "It's never going to be popular, people won't like it, but it's done, it's through." “This grim determination over the carbon tax personifies Labor's political position and is Gillard's forlorn hope.”[/i] [b]Note the words: ‘finally’, ‘limited’, ‘failed’, ‘at the cost of their jobs’, ‘grim determination’, ‘forlorn hope’. Dennis is not going to let them have any joy from this accomplishment, so he pours on the pejoratives.[/b] “[i]Since Gillard announced her intention to recognise the Greens' balance of power in both houses of parliament in February by introducing a carbon tax notwithstanding her election promise not to do so, and destroyed Labor's primary vote and her credibility, the mantra has been that things would be tough until the compensation package for the tax was announced and the tax itself was implemented in July next year."[/i] [b]Dennis is not finished: he can’t resist referring to PM Gillard’s broken ‘promise’; Labor’s ‘destroyed primary vote and credibility’.[/b] “[i]The announcement of the compensation package of tax cuts and household assistance has hardly helped, so the future for Labor now turns to the delivery into family bank accounts of advance compensation in June next year and the opportunity to say the tax is not as bad as expected after July next year. “Gillard has determinedly stuck to this formula and is convinced Abbott's success as Opposition Leader will falter once the immediate public anger at the carbon tax subsides. “This latter point is reinforced by the Labor view that Abbott is so keen for an early election because he wants the next poll to be a referendum on the carbon tax, and preferably one before the tax is implemented. Labor's explicit campaign is slightly contradictory but depends on the tax being in place and under way and argues that Abbott can't repeal the tax but wants to withdraw the compensation, "clawing back" payments to pensioners and families.”[/i] [b]At last some evenhanded comment, although he slips in ‘slightly contradictory’ whatever that is supposed to mean. It is certainly not a compliment.[/b] “[i]Combet has again demonstrated an ability to do an almost impossible job well and competently. As a former union leader Combet showed a skill in negotiating not only with unions but also with employers in the steel and coal industries. He also showed the necessary steel required to draw a line under insatiable Greens demands for renewable energy funding, subsidies and unrealistic carbon reduction targets. “Campaigning for industry and household compensation, Combet has shown competence and conviction and not suffered the same odium as Gillard, who gave him the impossible task.”[/i] [b]Combet must be a genius doing something that Dennis cites as ‘impossible’, but at least he is not suffering Gillard’s ‘odium’.[/b] “[i]Abbott's response to Labor's argument is that you don't need the compensation if you don't have the tax, but he is caught on the mechanics of how to withdraw it. Further, Abbott's rollback campaign smacks of Labor's unsuccessful anti-GST campaign in 2001. The Liberal leader is in danger of overreaching his position with warnings such as the one yesterday suggesting business not buy foreign carbon credits.”[/i] [b]Dennis give Tony Abbott the lightest of slaps when he says that ‘he is in danger of overreaching’. By now only the dogged will still be reading.[/b] “[i]The key issues on carbon tax for both sides during the next year is whether Gillard can get the public to accept it and whether Abbott can convince the public he can repeal it cleanly and before 2015. “Notwithstanding the difficulties Abbott may face on the carbon tax, they are completely overshadowed by Gillard's carbon problems because voters have stopped listening to her about anything. Gillard's credibility problems go well beyond the carbon tax and nothing demonstrates that more than the swamping of any positive relief over carbon by the asylum-seeker debacle.”[/i] [b]So Dennis sees Abbott’s task of repeal are ‘overshadowed’ (don’t they love that word) by Gillard’s ‘credibility problems’, ‘because voters have stopped listening’. Dennis says so.[/b] “[i]The political strategy, tactics and policy preparation behind this week's humiliating surrender on offshore processing, to avoid an even more damaging and potentially fatal failure on the floor of the House of Representatives, has been sheeted home to Gillard.”[/i] [b]Now he’s onto the asylum matter to squeeze in some more derogatory comments: ‘humiliating surrender’, ‘even more damaging and potentially fatal failure’. He pours on the poison for anyone who’s still reading.[/b] “[i]There is no doubt Abbott has behaved irresponsibly by refusing to endorse the principle of offshore processing on the pretext of being afraid of being blamed for sending asylum-seekers to Malaysia from Christmas Island. Gillard has grounds for blaming Abbott in part, but the failure of the policy, the retreat to pre-1991 Labor policy on mandatory detention, and the perception in the region that Australia is now a soft touch, while officially fearing 600 boat arrivals a month, is due to a long policy decay under Rudd and then Gillard."[/i] [b]So at last Abbott gets some stick but Dennis says it’s really the Government’s ‘failure of policy’ and ‘long policy decay’ that’s to blame. Abbott is really an innocent at large compared with the Rudd/Gillard ogres. Is there any point going on with the dissection? There’s just more of the same.[/b] “[i]After allowing the perception to build that Labor's changes to the Howard-era management of asylum-seekers went much further than they did, Labor created pull factors for asylum-seekers in the region and Gillard's trail of spectacular policy failures, starting with the East Timor solution last year, has undermined public confidence in the immigration system. “This long trail of incompetence led Labor into the invidious position this week of prolonging its own misery and weakness while further humiliating Gillard. "The crisis cabinet's discussions on Thursday included advocacy of going to Nauru for offshore processing, as well as discussion of going to Abbott once again seeking a compromise that would allow both Malaysia and Nauru. “The brutal reality was Labor could not go to Nauru and hold on to the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister and there was no choice but to retreat from the field, leaving Abbott in charge of government policy from opposition. “As with its stunned reaction to the High Court decision overturning the Malaysia Solution, cabinet had no plan how to move to onshore processing and has left Immigration Minister Chris Bowen with the task of patching up the existing system, dealing with an inevitable shortage of accommodation and shovelling the expected increase in asylum-seekers into the community after security and health checks. “Like Combet, Bowen has done well with an impossible task and escaped the odium directed towards Gillard over the failure of faith in the immigration system. “The concentration of anger, loss of faith and incompetence on Gillard has crystallised discussions about changing the Labor leadership to restore voter confidence and give the minority Labor government the ability to work more effectively and have a chance of winning the next election. “Even those opposed to Rudd's return can see the logic in simply saying to the public, "Sorry, we got it wrong" in removing our last leader, and drafting the Foreign Minister into the leadership. “Again, even those who don't like Rudd and may fear retribution believe if he did return it would be best to go to an election, on the basis that he would get a short-term bounce in the polls and could campaign on giving Labor legitimacy. “There are also those who oppose a Rudd return but recognise Gillard's days may be numbered and who are working quietly to position Defence Minister Stephen Smith as an alternative candidate to Gillard and Rudd. This is another scenario that would suggest a leadership change would be followed sooner rather than later by an election. “The least likely outcome is that Gillard will lead Labor to an election after August 2013."[/i] [b]Dennis gorges himself on pejoratives and negatives, then regurgitates condemnation all over PM Gillard until she is drowning in his vituperative vomit. Have you ever read such a biased heap of arrant gibberish from Shanahan? Perhaps you have. Only those addicted to heaping scorn and disrespect on our PM still read this man’s writings, so this will be the last I will bother to read and critique unless and until he writes something worth reading. Dennis, it’s your credibility that’s in question, not the PM’s. We have stopped listening to you.[/b]

psyclaw

16/10/2011FS It is always hazardous to predict the outcome of possible cases. The specific facts are often nuanced to the specific case. Nevertheless, the overwhelming commentary from the legal community is that the Malaysia judgement is highly likely to apply to Nauru Abbott is taking advice from that eminent !!!???? silk George Brandis. As usual, Abbott lives in today ....tomorrow can always be "cured" by confession to Dog Albitey or to the forgiving electorate. The August (Malaysia) case identified four main issues, (i) whether there was domestic law to protect the transferees, (ii) whether there was international law to protect them, (iii) whether there was evidence from which it could be concluded that the country adhered to its own or international law (at 245), and (iv) (from the CJ at 64) whether the country has a judicial system capable of enforcing its laws. About Nauru, all that the Opposition is spruiking is that Nauru now has signed the Convention ie point (iii). It's very interesting that the dissenter, Heydon J, was a conservative appointment to the HC by Howard who didn't want a "boat rocker". The gist of his argument (at 169) was that the relevant section which stymied JG (s198A(3)) was written for Howard and Ruddock [b]to rule out[/b] the necessity that the receiving country has appropriate domestic or international laws binding it. The other six judges thought the opposite.

TalkTurkey

16/10/2011Ad Mashing seems a bit infra dig as a purpose to which to put the noblest of weapons . . . like putting Black Caviare onto a milk round . . . Sliced? Chopped? Diced? [i]Julienne?[/i] Umm, um, what's it called when you slash the Piggie's skin with all those parallel cuts to make crackling? :) Ad astra also said the byline of TPS is Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword. FS can you work out what [i]drongo byline [/i]is anagrammattickle of? ;-) (Pls not publish solution, just say yep if you got it.) Ad I've always thought it would be a great idea to pool comments about individual journalists and politicians - the journalists particularly. A meta-study of opinions on Pigs Ackerman, or A[i]xxx[/i] Jones, anytime you felt you wanted to throw up. An appreciative set of comments about Laura Tingle's work. I don't have any idea how it could be achieved though. I still have no clear idea of what you have in mind, nor how it would be done. But if your idea looks like a good idea to you, it probably is! Regards and thanks to Web Monkey who seems to have used his prehensility and his Monkey Wrench to splendid effect, is everybody happy with the way the Sword is working now? I am. But I think the way things are shaping, Ad's going to ask more of you yet WM. :)

jane

16/10/2011[quote]Why do all members of the Coalition keep saying that the most recent HC decision did NOT rule out Nauru?[/quote] Because they are arrogant, ignorant lying scumbags, FS. [b][quote]Have you ever read such a biased heap of arrant gibberish from Shanahan?[/quote][/b] Yes Ad Astra, every article he writes.

debbiep

16/10/2011 Hi all. Keep up the good work for us 'lurkers' , to read :) AA, great idea - the 'Political Sword Media Mash'. adds more 'bite' to the blog.

Feral Skeleton

16/10/2011Talk Turkey, Yep, of course I got it & did so long ago. Bro? ;-)

Patricia WA

16/10/2011Out all day so a lot of reading to catch up with! First, Talk Turkey, thanks so much for the encouragement! As you and AC know versifying is its own rewardm, but appreciation is a plus. The internet has been wonderful for getting read though, and feed-back too. Your [i]Maid Of Yarralumla[/i] I think deserves something more tangible, though. Had you thought of print publication of some kind? Ad Astra I think I'm going to disagree with majority opinion here about the value your Media Mash. It's not that I haven't appreciated your commentary on the Shanahan piece. But I don't think his article is worth the effort of a critique of the quality you brought to it. I'll give it more thought, but that was my immediate reaction. Re Insiders and media commentary generally this weekend. Not much mention of the shift in polls. Anyone else notice that?

nasking

16/10/2011[quote]Situation normal, then. Plaster must be falling off the walls in great chunks![/quote] Jane, indeed. Goin' by today's performance on [i]Insiders[/i], once the inevitable happens and Rupert loses control of News Corporation, Piers Akerman can work for the series [i]Grumpy Old Men[/i]...would fit him like a glove. I thought [i]Insiders[/i] ran well enuff today...quite useful. Tho, I don't believe PM Gillard is on "death row". Julie Bishop seemed pretty worried to me - I don't think she's ever got over Gillard beatin' her to the PM position...lotta envy oozin' from her like snake oil, not a good look...reminds me of a petulant toff who missed out on an award for best etiquette & deportment...snort snort - Bishop tends to overact on the frontbench too...full of hyperbole like her boss. Must be infectious. Good to see Chris Uhlman more cheerful. I'm pleased he gave the panelists plenty of opportunity to talk. Thumbs up to [i]Talking Pictures [/i]too. Professor David Flynt was hilarious on [i]Meet the Press[/i]...what a prat...he's like a pompous arse from a bygone era...expected him to regurgitate a silver spoon & a P. G. Wodehouse. "I say old chap...can't be having that media inquiry...it's just not on...who do these plebs in government think they are?...tally-ho!!!" http://ten.com.au/video-player.htm?movideo_m=136101&movideo_p=41949 N'

psyclaw

16/10/2011AA I like the idea of the Media Mash. Whilst I take Patricia's point about the relative effort, some articles are so bad that really, not much effort is required to point out the deceptions and incompetence. This would knock TPS into a higher gear, and would be a step further in "educating" visitors to the site and in shafting the MSM (or as others more polite than me would say, 'putting the MSM to the sword'). I'm driving about 200Klms daily at the moment with a bit more radio listening than usual. One thing that I've been noticing (today, on the ABC) is the large number of news items with this format: [quote]1) Full statement that Abbott criticises some aspect of the government's policy, always quoting Abbott or playing audio grab, followed by 2) Brief statement of the policy he's negativising, [b]perhaps[/b] quoting JG and on occasions an audio grab, followed by 3) Restatment of Abbott's criticism and another quote or grab.[/quote] The final statement is always about/by Abbott. This is wrong. The PM position deserves the prime (introductory) spot, especially so in contemporary politics where the current PM invariably discusses policy, action, progress, reform, whilst Abbott invariably plays the no, no, no game. This is all aars up. It's like publishing a photo negative in the paper, rather than the actual print.

Ad astra reply

16/10/2011Folks I'm off to bed after watching 'A Fish called Wanda'. I'll respond to your comments In the morning.

NormanK

17/10/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Nielsen: 57-43 to Coalition; Galaxy 58-42 William Bowe The Poll Bludger[/i] Consistent with other recent polling, it has Labor’s primary vote recovering from unprecedented lows, up three points to 30 per cent. The Coalition is steady on 48 per cent, with the Greens down a point to 12 per cent. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Asylum seekers in Australia - can Australia 'grow up' and confront its past failings in this area of human rights? Mark Thomson Seeking Asylum Down Under[/i] The Coalition's constant vilification of Labor for being weak on border protection has now morphed into a hypocritical concern for the rights of refugees. These of course - yes, you guessed it - will be protected on Nauru. http://seekingasylumdownunder2.blogspot.com/2011/10/asylum-seekers-in-australia-can.html [i]That’s Entertainment David Horton The Watermwlon Blog[/i] Began with the destabilisation of an existing leader. Unflattering photos, odd pieces of film, some past “scandal” uncovered, carefully edited bits of an interview played again and again. Then we might find a disgruntled and very junior member of the party to make a criticism, anonymously of course, and describe this as “voices”. http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/10/16/2519/#comments [i]How can Abbott’s Liberals be called “conservative” or “pro-business” after this? Jeremy Sear An Onymous Lefty[/i] They call themselves “conservatives”, but they’re trashing one of the most cherished, long-standing and critical traditions of government in Australia – that citizens and business can work with Australian governments because when, as is inevitable in a democracy, that party eventually loses power, its successor will honour the previous government’s commitments. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]CSI: Tony Abbott (A bloody oath of a journey) Ash Ghebranious Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] It seems Abbott thinks that he should be judged differently than the way he wants people to judge the prime minister even though they did exactly the same thing. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/csi-tony-abbott-a-bloody-oath-of-a-journey/ [i]On double dissolutions David Havyatt Anything Goes[/i] With Tony Abbott having made a "commitment in blood" (but we don't know if it is written down) to repeal the carbon tax, the question has been raised whether it is possible to do so. The issue rests on timing and our weird electoral system. http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]Quadrant’s shocking expose on GetUp! – turns out they’re the progressives they openly claim to be. Jeremy Sear Crikey Pure Poison[/i] News has been linking this week to an expose on GetUp! published by Quadrant, written by a Young Liberal who was appalled to discover that, whilst independent of any particular political party, progressive advocacy organisation GetUp! consistently advocates for progressive causes and encourages a vote for whichever parties promise to implement them, surprisingly and shockingly completely consistently with its mission statement. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/10/16/quadrants-shocking-expose-on-getup-turns-out-theyre-the-progressives-they-openly-claim-to-be/#more-12321 [i]Miranda Devine, and a dose of intolerance will surely fix your tolerance levels like a dose of Epsom salts* will fix constipation ... Dorothy Parker Loon Pond[/i] It turns out that it isn't homosexuals who are part of a persecuted minority, subject to bullying and harassment and prejudice. No, it's long suffering conservatives and Christians. For this profoundly topsy turvy insight, we can thank Miranda the Devine, as she indulges in one of her standard rants in Call off the thought police. http://loonpond.blogspot.com/ [i]Q&A: Jillian Broadbent Interview by Giles Parkinson Climate Spectator[/i] The newly appointed head of a review committee commissioned to design the proposed Clean Energy Finance Corporation says the tension between funding emerging energy technologies and getting a return on investment may not be easy to resolve. And she's kicked off her preparations for the job by reading up on the US Solyndra debacle. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/qa-jillian-broadbent [i]Unacknowledged links between climate change and increased social unrest Michael Busch Independent Australia[/i] In many respects, 2011 has been marked as much by the mayhem of nature as it has by the upheavals of men. Although challenges to political authority have captured the imaginations of millions and produced exciting tremors of revolution across the continents, Mother Nature’s increasingly ferocious response to the heavy environmental footprint of industrial production will likely be judged the most profound source of social change around the world in the years to come. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/environment/unacknowledged-links-between-climate-change-and-increased-social-unrest/ [i]News Corp on the defensive Gary Sauer-Thompson Public Opinion[/i] News Ltd continues to be on the defensive as more evidence is emerging of the anything goes attitude that seems to pervade Rupert Murdoch’s papers, and is giving rise to a revolt by shareholders who have the Murdoch's in their spotlight. They are opposed to the re-election of Rupert Murdoch's two sons, James and Lachlan, at the News Corp annual meeting next week because of the phone-hacking scandal. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/10/news-corp-on-th.php#more [i]Understanding the Aussie dollar Ross Gittens[/i] Economic theory tells us the level of the exchange rate is an important factor in the health of the economy. Unfortunately, there's nothing in economic theory that can explain the Aussie dollar's strange behaviour in recent weeks. It's hard to know whether to cheer or boo. http://www.rossgittins.com/2011/10/understanding-aussie-dollar.html [i]Worst. Opposition. Ever Massive Spray Spray of the Day[/i] In short, this Opposition has “apparently” thrived on mindless negativity, fear-mongering, empty slogans and poisonous rhetoric and in conjunction with a fawning media pack have convinced the public that the Government are useless. http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/ [i]NBN committee to test Turnbull's FTTN argument Supratim Adhikari Technology Spectator[/i] The joint Parliamentary Committee overseeing the rollout of the NBN is reportedly set to compare the fibre rollout methods in New Zealand to the one pursued by NBN Co. http://technologyspectator.com.au/nbn-buzz/nbn-committee-test-turnbull-fttn-argument [i]It’s about authority, not the policies The Piping Shrike[/i] Here’s a question: what do the mining tax, the ETS, onshore processing of asylum seekers, gay marriage and poker reform all have in common? All of them are supposed to be major tests for the government to bring in, yet all of them were supported by either the overwhelming majority of voters (e.g. poker reform) or close to majority. None of them could be remotely called unpopular. What we are seeing is not a problem of the policies themselves, but the declining authority of the government to implement them. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2011/10/it’s-about-authority-not-the-policies.html [i]SHOW ME THE MONEY: Greedy Green politician Nick Carson cashes in on Occupy Melbourne Vexnews[/i] The self-appointed chief organiser of Melbourne’s painfully derivative Occupy protest against capitalism, currently stinking up what passes for the City Square, is a Greens party political hack and Legislative Assembly candidate with a dubious history of cashing in on far-left trends ..... http://www.vexnews.com/2011/10/show-me-the-money-greedy-green-politician-nick-carson-cashes-in-on-occupy-melbourne/

Casablanca

17/10/2011Current Drum Poll at http://www.abc.net.au/news/thedrum/polls/ [b]Which is the most annoying phrase:[/b] great big tax on everything 60% clean energy future 22% people smugglers' business model 17% 3701 votes counted That's the sort of win that Tony Abbott deserves!

Ad astra reply

17/10/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

BSA Bob

17/10/2011Casablanca at 2.26 Thanks for the tipoff about the Drum site, never bothered to vote there before but I put my bit in for GBTOE. I think I was watching when it had its first airing on the 7.30 Report. I've said before (frequently) that I laughed when I heard it & thought "You'll have to do better than that Tony." I was wrong.

Ad astra reply

17/10/2011debbiep, Patricia WA, psyclaw Thank you for your comments about the idea of [b]Political Sword Media Mash[/b]. Let’s give it a try when an MSM article crops up that cries out for analysis. There is no shortage of material to dissect. Anyone wishing to contribute to this section of [i]TPS[/i] can email their analysis to me. You are right Patricia WA. Dissecting a Dennis Shanahan article is hardly worth the effort. We all know how he writes, the bias that infects his writing, and the comprehensive collection of pejorative words and phrases that he sprinkles liberally through his pieces. He is so predictable – I could almost compose his articles for him. It just happened that his piece was next door to Paul Kelly’s and when I read it I thought it was so archetypical of articles that lend themselves to analysis that it would serve as an example of the potential of the approach of interspersing commentary among the words of the author. This is not unique to [i]TPS[/i]; for example, Andrew Elder does this so well on his [i]Politically homeless[/i] website, as do other bloggers on their websites. I assure you that I won’t be returning to Shanahan articles unless there is one that particularly deserves attention, and I would never dream of dissecting, even reading, anything that Andrew Bolt or Piers Akerman wrote. Let’s stick with credible writers.

Gravel

17/10/2011Ad Astra I like the guides you have set down for the 'mash' articles. Over the holidays, I might have a go at something, and then if it is okay with you, I will send it by email, so you can then tell me if I understand what to do. It looks very easy when reading other people's dissections of articles, but I know that it would be very difficult. I really would like to have a go at a paragraph or two.

Gravel

17/10/2011Ad Astra I just read your last entry. You must have been reading my thoughts when you typed for us to send our contribution by email. :-)

Ad astra reply

17/10/2011Folks I have just posted another fine piece from Hillbilly Skeleton: [i]It's time to lock the gate on the Barbarians before the reasonable get trampled underfoot[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com

nasking

17/10/2011Patricia, I dig yer poem. Yer spot on w/ this: [quote]He once confessed to telling lies, Which self-disclosure has given rise To friends and foes alike inviting Him to put his promises in writing. Fearing that for truth his name’s now mud, He swears he’ll sign to some in his own blood.[/quote] Not only does Abbott hope to get widespread media & subsequently public attention...but he obviously knows he's not trusted and therefore comes up w/ such extreme announcements in order to try and convince people. Abbott seems to have few boundaries...and as we've witnessed the past year, he's willing to benefit from the activities of extremist movements such as the "Rolex Revolution" & "anti-carbon price movement"...at some points addressing them like a supreme leader making all kinds of fiery, blunt, reductionist and exaggerated claims about his opposition, the government...and making bold promises that in all probability cannot be fulfilled...or would lead to huge political & socio-economic disruption. The fact that so many out there in the public and the media repeat ad nauseum his sales pitches...and the arguments of his propaganda machine including Alan Jones & some in the Murdoch empire, worries me that an Abbott regime in the present war & economically insecure climate could take this vulnerable nation down the road to a climate of extreme crusading nationalism & religiosity that will divide communities and lead to a sense of being dispossessed and somewhat persecuted for many who do not agree w/ Abbott & Murdoch's policies. Many of us felt that way under Howard & Bush in the post 9-11 period of their rule. Abbott & Joyce & Jones & the Murdoch empire are far too pushy & desperate for me to respect them. I would remind people of "Lesson Plan", shown on SBS a few weeks back...a doco on Ron Jones' [i]Third Wave [/i]class experiment during the turbulent 60s. When I heard that Aboriginal students in some schools, controlled now partially by others outside of the public system, are being taught by way of Direct Instruction apparently using strict scripted lesson plans... whilst Alan Jones & others were pumping up these anti-carbon price revolts... and the media usual suspects simultaneously w/ Coalition members & supporters attack our PM, the government, The Greens, the Indies...time & time again using extreme slogans & descriptive words...in an attempt to alter & manipulate public perception...and diminish the authority & respect for the PM & her government... it gets me wondering how far Abbott & co. are willing to go to get power... and how they would use it considering their patterns of behaviour (rants in parliament, almost OCD type of campaigning, obsession w/ fitness), approaches (spreading cynicism, writes a manifesto, scaremongering & unwillingness to put forth the real details of policies) and the current global climate (conflict in the Middle East, China emerging as heavyweight, climate change, economic/financial instability globally, protests against financial, political, corporate corruption, incompetence & influence): 'The Wave' Official Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=1HbsHatqKqc Smiles can be deceiving. Look at the fanatacism that lies beneath...and sometimes bubbles to the surface. N'

jane

17/10/2011Received this by email. Hopefully this fellow will be true to his word, but he is employed by Ltd News. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/sydney/paul-whittaker?utm_source=The+Power+Index&utm_campaign=4d08342d9d-The_Power_Daily_01_Oct_2011&utm_medium=email
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?