Tony Abbott is really ‘P’ing me off

Tony Abbott loves using buzzwords, as do most effective conservative communicators these days. These people are the inheritors of the Newt Gingrich conservative political legacy, which I have referred to before.

Not only have they taken their communication cues from the infamous Mr Gingrich's list, they also appear to be taking advice from the American conservative linguist, Dr Frank Luntz. It's really starting to ‘p’ me off. Why does it ‘p’ me off? Because I know that the words that they use when framing their arguments around the issues, in this particular instance population, immigration and refugee policy, whilst being essentially meaningless with reference to objective reality and the evidence which contradicts their assertions, are however very potent and effective in shifting people's perceptions, and in framing the debates and conversations they have with the electorate. Which really upsets me.

It's not a talent that the ALP has mastered yet. They try. However, to my eyes and ears their attempts are pretty ham-fisted and lame. Fair dinkum, if I hear, ‘Working families’, one more time, even I, a rusted-on Labor supporter, will look around for the nearest wall to bang my head against.

Nevertheless, it is Tony Abbott's use of various 'P' words that is really 'p'ing me off at the moment.  Archangel Abbott is encouraging the electorate to believe their worst fears. He intimates that their worst nightmares may come true, unless they harden their hearts, and vote for him.

That really 'p's me off, because I know that we are so much better than that. But the Archangel refuses to encourage our better angels, instead fanning the flames of the following:

Parochialism: narrowness of view; provincialism

Provincialism: ignorance and narrowness of interests

Prejudice: 1. a biased opinion, based on insufficient knowledge
2. hostility, for example, towards a particular racial or religious group

Prejudiced: to make someone feel prejudice; to bias against; to harm or endanger

Populism: political activity or notions that are thought to reflect the opinions and interests of ordinary people

Propaganda: the organised circulation by a political group, etc. of doctrine, information, misinformation, rumour or opinion, intended to influence public feeling

Nativism: the policy of favouring the natives of a country over immigrants

Xenophobia: intense fear or dislike of foreigners or strangers

Bigot: someone who is persistently prejudiced, especially about religion or politics, and who refuses to tolerate the opinions of others; from the 16th century French for 'a superstitious hypocrite'.

Considering all of the above, I have been looking on recently with alarm at the increasingly shrill attacks on immigrants and refugees, sometimes under the guise of commentary on population policy, by conservative politicians, such as our own Mr Abbott, and the echo chamber in the media world-wide, so as to stir up nativist sentiment for their own electoral benefit.

In Britain especially after 'Bigotgate', where the Labour PM Gordon Brown was caught in secret but with mike still on, calling a middle-aged white woman's fears of Eastern European EU migrants, 'bigoted'; and where the Conservative Party are relishing exploiting such fears in the UK Election campaign, we are able to see a microcosm of a more widespread xenophobia becoming apparent, and a nativist propaganda campaign being run in order to benefit the Conservative Party and likewise, other conservative political parties around the world. 

So what we need to do is get down to basic taws about all of it.

We all know that we can't just open the floodgates and let everyone into a First World country who wants to come to it from a Second or Third World State.  We need an orderly immigration system as a tempering tool to manage population, social cohesion, infrastructure provision, employment opportunities and environmental sustainability.  However, on the one hand we hear conservatives in our own country, like Tony Abbott, making the point in the media about infrastructure when they are talking about limits to population and about maintaining population at 'sustainable' levels; on the other hand, we don't hear about and thus shouldn't lose sight of the fact that that's not all there is to this concern about immigration and population.

For when you look around the world at this point in our history, about 50 years after WW2, there has been a groundswell of opposition to immigration, both legal and illegal, especially from neo-conservative politicians, and new movements that have recently sprung up, like 'The Tea Party' in America. Why, when all of our countries have flourished as a result of immigration? Why have these uniformly WASPy politicians sought to demonise this particular group of people? Well you might ask.

From Tony Abbott's anti-boat people tirades and suggestions of muscular and armed responses to the boats, to David Cameron's suggestion that he will 'do something' about the 'flood' of Eastern European EU migrants to Britain, to the Republican State of Arizona's recent enactment of a law to require suspected illegal immigrants to produce identity papers when stopped by police; are they not all of a piece which we should find a troubling portent of things maybe to come, should this attitude get a toehold in the national psyches of these country's populaces? 

So, before it gets that toehold, I'd just like to make clear what I think it all points towards - other than appealing to the unjustified fears of Middle Class voters in Marginal Seats that is.

“We will decide who comes to this country, and the manner in which they come.”  Or, in other words Howard (and Abbott, who mimics him), will forcefully and determinedly decide the composition of the country.  Ditto in a Conservative UK and the Republican States of the US it seems. So, as far as they're concerned, we should no longer be subject to a natural ebb and flow towards an increasingly colourful society which accommodates acceptance of all equally.

It's not actually populism, as my definition suggests - reflecting the opinions and interests of ordinary people as in a popular sentiment of the people. It is something else. Because populism was, historically still is, about making government a force for economic justice to the end that oppression, injustice and poverty shall be attended to, and making government less a tool of the elites.  No, instead, what it is is prejudice, provincialism and parochialism.

How I'm seeing it manifest in the media and from conservative politicians, in order to weave their attitudes into our minds, is that it starts with generalising unwanted characteristics across an entire demographic (Muslims, Boat People, Hispanics or Eastern Europeans, for example).  Then a solution to this 'problem' is advocated by asserting a superior force, via the Armed Forces or the Police over this population.  These people are repeatedly demonised and stripped of their rights and dignity that you yourself enjoy,  not because it is right and the correct thing to do to them, but because the conservative media and their politician confreres have convinced the populace that this course of action will solve the 'problem' somehow.

However, when you strip a man or a woman of their basic human rights, you strip them of their dignity in the eyes of the community and even in their own eyes eventually.  He or she who is degraded is then perceived to be of less worth than other individuals in the community.

These are the seeds of resentment, hostility, and in extreme cases, conflict.

Such 'solutions' solve nothing, even if they ARE superficially appealing and resonate with us at a visceral level.

All I can hope for is that our Western democracies will not again heed the siren call of those who want to demonise these migrating populations of refugees and immigrants, because these people won't be going away anytime soon.  So we should just grow up and get on with embracing them and exploiting them as a positive resource.

We can be bigger than xenophobia.  We can be one big, happy Australia.  The world likewise.

Without letting ourselves become doormats, of course, as that way lies eventual subjugation to the immigrant communities, who can also be aggressively nativistic.  This is also not desirable.

So what do you think? 

Do you think that we will ever be able to take Nativism, Parochialism, Provincialism, Populism, Prejudice, Propaganda, and Bigotry out of our debate about what to do with immigration and population policy?

I'll leave the last few words to W. B. Yeats, and his poem The Second Coming:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

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mick smetafor

6/05/2010if we move on a little from P we get to R for racism and as most of these refugees are as dame edna would say "tinted",i think this explains a lot.i doubt that the dog whistling and the other more explicit methods would resonate in the community if they were white people.

Rewi

6/05/2010The zeitgeist is Yeats, HS! I whacked that very poem up on the Pollbludger just last week, with regard to the ETS. So many applications. And my apologies, I believe I referred to you as a 'he' previously. It strikes me that part of the problem here is that in trying to defuse the culture wars over the past couple of years, whoever's been the pacifying force (including the Prime Minister, but not just him) has left it open to people like Abbott to claim that there is a unified 'us' which can be distinguished from 'them', the latter being a multitude of different 'others'. I don't see anything dangerous or subversive in suggesting that this purported 'us' actually doesn't exist, that in one way or another the heterogeneity of the Australian population comprises a great many groups each of which faces challenges from confabulousnesses of other groups from time to time. And yes, that means that the group which features xenophobia as one of its defining characteristics is entitled to feel threatened from time to time by the aggregate of other groups which don't which think they're wrong to feel hold those views. It's a lot harder to play 'us' and 'them' games if there's no 'us' to usefully speak of.

Rx

6/05/2010There are some conservatives who will never admit how much controlled immigration benefits the economy. They would have people believe that our status as a prosperous, First World nation is all down to THEM, and "the prudent economic management" of conservative governments. It'll be a scorching day in Antarctica before some right wingers ever consider being honest or conducting their politics in a way that doesn't automatically target the basest of human prejudices. In the meantime people of good conscience must remain unfailingly vigilant against the forces of spin and wreckage, and never take their eyes off the goal of a better, fairer future for all.

Ad astra reply

6/05/2010Folks Those of you interested in seeing Yeats' poem [i]The Second Coming[/i] in full might wish to read it and some interpretations of it at http://www.thebeckoning.com/poetry/yeats/yeats5.html

gusface

6/05/2010http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/the-australian-publishes-false-report-about-rio-tinto/ Sorry Ad but this is too good to not link. :)

lyn

6/05/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] The ANAO Report on the BER: Fact meets the Narrative, by Grog, Grog's Gamut Does the media read the report and report the findings in the full context of the report? Hell no,instead it scours the report looking for any sign of negativity that they can then blow up out of context (and often contrary to the meaning given in the report), and then go with brain dead headlines like: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ Rudd's ETS out with a whimper ,Mungo MacCallum |, Northern Rivers Echo By and large Rudd’s initial response to Henry qualifies both as good policy and good politics.But because it has come at a time when the government is perceived to be running scared,it will get less credit than it deserves. The taint of political cowardice is a hard one to shake., http://www.echonews.com.au/story/2010/05/06/rudds-ets-in-with-a-bang-out-with-a-whimper/ [b][quote]The Australian publishes False Report about Rio Tinto!, by Reb, Gutter Trash[/quote][/b] So, the Australian has been caught out publishing a report which is completely false, innacurate and total bullshit. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/the-australian-publishes-false-report-about-rio-tinto/ Auditor General’s Report Supports Rudd’s BER, by reb, Gutter Trash I guess the Auditor General must be a Labor party stooge, just like Ken Henry is was used to be not anymore http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/05/auditor-generals-report-supports-rudds-ber/ You’ve got to accentuate the negatives…, by Tobias Ziegler. The Stump, Pure Poison The SMH opened its early reporting by telling us what the Opposition thinks the report says – can you guess? By early afternoon, they were ready to say the report “slams” the government. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/05/05/youve-got-to-accentuate-the-negatives/#more-6008 A credibility gap yawns again for miners, By Berbard Kene and Glenn Dyer, Crikey The right-wing smear machine gleefully seized on the announcement. “It may be followed by others as the industry reels from the prospect of giving up billions of dollars in profits,” one outlet piously declared. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/05/the-games-people-play-a-credibility-gap-yawns-again-for-miners/ Mr 70% becomes Mr Half-baked, media wrap, Crikey Half a year, a few rate rises and one failed emissions trading scheme later, the nicknames most commonly being applied to his far-less-shiny forehead are “coward” and “wimp”. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/05/mr-70-becomes-mr-half-baked Abbott meets mining bosses, rejects tax by Karlis Salna, Channel 9 news The opposition leader, following his own meeting with senior mining figures in Canberra, said the only way to avoid the tax being introduced would be to elect a coalition government. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=1048489 Abbott rejects Super Profit Tax – risks business tax relief, by David Olsen, Dynamic Business “It is a very, very bad tax. The only way to avoid it is to ensure there is a change of government at the next election.” Mr Abbott said. http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/articles/articles-finance-cash-flow/abbott-supports-miners-risks-business-tax-cuts-1468.html Rudd Government's cutious response to ambitious and visionary Henry Review, by Saul Eslake, Club Troppo, Hence the Review aspires to a tax system which ‘is oriented towards supporting strong and sustainable economic growth’, http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/05/05/rudd-goverments-cautious-response-to-ambitious-and-visionary-henry-review/#more-11153 Unelectable Abbott takes the lead,The Shadowlands, by Gavin Atkins. If a week is a long time in politics, then Tony Abbott faces an eternity before the Federal election, http://us.asiancorrespondent.com/gavin-atkins-shadowlands/unelectable-abbott-takes-the-lead

Ad astra reply

6/05/2010gusface That is a beautiful rebuttal on [i]Gutter Trash[/i] of the fallacious claim by [i]The Oz[/i]. Although the link in the [i]Gutter Trash[/i] piece works, I can't find the story on [i]The Oz[/i] website anymore. Can you? I wonder when and where we’ll see its [i]mea culpa[/i]

Ad astra reply

6/05/2010Folks The NBN Implementation Study is now public at http://www.dbcde.gov.au/broadband/national_broadband_network/national_broadband_network_implementation_study The Executive Summary dot points are: SUMMARY OF IMPLEMENTATION STUDY FINDINGS ■ Government’s objectives for the National Broadband Network can be implemented within the $43 billion estimate of capital expenditure by deploying fibre to 93 percent, fixed-wireless from the 94th to 97th percentiles and satellite to the final 3 percent of premises. ■ The NBN should be deployed efficiently by setting practical coverage objectives, being willing to make use of existing infrastructure, providing appropriate legislative support and leveraging the capabilities of commercial wireless operators. ■ Retail competition should be improved through mandating NBN Co’s wholesale-only, open-access role and by ensuring NBN Co eliminates network bottlenecks and operates at the lowest appropriate layer in the OSI stack. ■ The fibre access network should be expected to become the predominant fixed-line telecommunications infrastructure over time by pricing for affordability and take-up and providing continuity for existing services. ■ Full Government ownership should be maintained until after the roll-out is complete requiring temporary peak funding in the vicinity of $26 billion by year 6—which can be paid down quickly from then with investment-grade debt prior to privatisation. Government should expect to cover its cost of funds under most plausible business case scenarios. ■ Future competition and innovation potential should be safeguarded by preferring a network design that preserves options for active-layer competition and shifts in technology, and by ensuring a healthy industry structure and appropriate regulatory regime are in place prior to privatisation

Rewi

6/05/2010Two references (or at least possible references) to the Second Coming I know of: 'What Rough Beast: the state and social order in Australian history' from the Sydney Labour History Group published in 1982. 'Things fall apart', The Roots' fourth album released in 1999.

Ad astra reply

6/05/2010HS In confirmation of your assertions about Tony Abbott, Grog reports on [i]Grog’s Gamut[/i] (near the end of of his post) [i]” In a speech last night on asylum seekers Abbott said: ''If global conditions worsened, millions might be at least tempted to swap their current existence for the opportunities of a new life in Australia if they thought the perils of the boat trip would win them permanent residency.'' Yes, millions. Had Rudd said this in 2007, he would have been bashed from pillar to post by the media, and there would be serious doubts as to his credibility. Such a dumb statement is almost par for the course for Barnaby Joyce, but for a prospective Prime Minister? It’s time for the press gallery to get serious about Abbott, and throw off the “oh that’s Tony” attitude.[/i] It sure is.

Ad astra reply

6/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

ostermann

6/05/2010Ad we won't see a mea culpa but what we will see is this http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/rio-tinto-reaffirms-reviewing-iron-ore-projects/story-e6frg8zx-1225863102680 tucked away in the financial section, "by the way we weren't the only ones to report it"

You must be kidding

6/05/2010Hillbilly I am not sure the point of your blog ... Abbott is a bigot? We demonise minorities? The theory you quote I have read elsewhere but I am wondering the point. Are you suggesting the community and thus the media spend too much time focusing on second world refugees. No wonder the other commnetators are off talking about the NBN and the resource tax. Nice work but what are you trying to say

Ad astra reply

6/05/2010Come on YMBK, you’re not that dumb. You must be able to see that, as in her first piece, HS is asserting that conservative attitudes are not just local but universal, and we should take note of strategies used elsewhere, such as in the US with its ‘Tea Party’ and the new Arizona laws, and in the Conservative election campaign, to anticipate what might happen here. Already Tony Abbott is touting a line about immigrants [i]"If global conditions worsened, millions might be at least tempted to swap their current existence for the opportunities of a new life in Australia if they thought the perils of the boat trip would win them permanent residency."[/i] In other words ‘be scared’. This is serious. Attempting to dismiss this piece with “...what are you trying to say” won’t make this issue go away.

HS

6/05/2010Hello, and sorry for not being able to reply before now. Thursday is Shopping Day! Monday is Washing Day too! :) Is everybody happy? (Just thought I'd throw that in because it's the last line of the Nursery Rhyme, and there has been a Happiness Conference going on in Australia this week... Ad Astra, Thank you for filling the void while I was absent. As far as Abbott's statement last night in his speech about the 'marauding hordes', it just makes apposite the point I made about how there is a whole chapter in the Conservative playbook, it seems, devoted to fantasising about what may be coming down the pike wrt immigration pattterns in the future. Poetic licence isn't the half of it. Using it to channel community angst that can only be assuaged by the remedies that conservatives proffer appears to be the aim. I think it goes to the conservatives love of the militaristic society, as the only remedy for keeping us 'safe'. Not for a moment even pausing to consider the alternative of a society that doesn't solve all its problems in aggressive and violent ways. What I find disheartening is that no one in the media ever questions the conservatives anymore about this attitudinal bias that seeks to seamlessly osmose the military into everyday society, whereas in times gone by it was distinctively a separate entity. No one seems to question how military types are now part of the everyday conversation about the issues. Rewi, Thank you for your thoughtful contribution. What a coincidence about the poem! I came across it while doing my research for this piece, but not on Pollbludger, worthy blog though it is! You're correct in referencing the Culture Wars as being pivotal in all of this. Someone recently did a very thoughtful article about why the Culture Wars have become the latterday leitmotif of the world-wide conservative moment, and they postulated that, since the conservative movement can no longer advocate for their more traditional ideologies, as much of that agenda has been settled between Left and Right, post WW2, things such as Health, Education, Welfare and IR policy(tho' Howard gave it his best shot to swing the pendulum back the other way with Workchoices), thus all they have left, and especially with the rise of the Religious Right, is a crusade to change the hard-won social reforms of the last 30 years, plus an attempt to forestall the rise of 'the others' to positions of power in our societies. mick smetafor, Actually, what I have found most interesting in this latest bout of demonising of 'the others', is the UK's fascination with the White Eastern Europeans, and their belief that they will be the cause of the end of British society as they know it. Especially strange when you read that a lot of the British citizens who are being the most vocal, are the 2nd generation West Indians, Indians and Pakistanis! I know that they say that they are only complaining about the Eastern Europeans because they have brought their criminal ways with them to Britain, and because they will take any job at any price, but hasn't it ever been thus with new immigrants? They get by as best they can when they arrive in a new place, legally or illegally. But by the 2nd and 3rd generations they have usually settled down, and just want their kids to become doctors and lawyers! Also the levels of criminiality fall back to average levels. Rx, I couldn't agree with you more. Finally, I'd like to add this article about the topic(I don't think lyn has it in her daily links): http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-public-cooling-on-immigration-20100504-u75z.html Interesting, isn't it how Abbott seeks to speak on behalf of 'the public', when all he's doing is peddling his nativist line.

Ad astra reply

6/05/2010Ostermann That's no [i]mea culpa[/i] - why would we be silly enough to expect one - that's just justification of their erroneous report. When they resort to quoting dictionary definitions, you know they're on shaky ground. YMBK Don't be surprised if other subjects are discussed under this post. Because there are many things going on in the world, such as the NBN report today and the miners' reaction to the resources tax, they will find their way here, as usual.

bilgedigger

6/05/2010WOW! Thanks HS - this looks like a great read. Have to print it out to take with me tonight - going out for dinner in about ten minutes. This is not only "great food for thought" but in my case "great thought for food"

You must be kidding

6/05/2010Thanks AA But may I refer you to the Canadian experience with the Reform Party back in the 90's and indeed there was a movement in Europe ... can't quite remember what it was called ... but the Canadian experience was the most useful to observe in this instance. Mostly based out of the west coast with a strong emphasis in Alberta the Reform Party wanted a return to "the Canadian" way. Indeed there was a lot of debate between west coast and east coast with the east predominately dominated by the French Canadians. It seems that even though Vancouver had become a hub for asian migration the Alberta folks still wanted a more conservative approach to politics and a reduction in immigration plus a whole bunch of other things. They performed extremely well at elections almost taking national government but I don't think they are in existance now. I wouldn't compare them with Hanson's movement and the extreme rhetoric of those folks but it was more of a conservative movement ... in other words, "we are not afriad of change, just take us slowly". Fundamentally Australians are conservative and if exposed to massive change they will react in a negative sense. They did so with Whitlam and indeed Keating. Not so with Hawke because he engaged the electorate much like Howard ... something conservatives want and indeed need is to be engaged. Abbott is a conservative ... so to is Rudd for that matter. The difference I think is their rhetoric and as was the case with previous Labor PMs rhetoric will bring them down. Australians don't like authority or folks who position themselves as above us and I suspect the media rhetoric is reflecting how many in the community are beginning to feel about Rudd. If you look at others, this is why Costello was not liked. He handed out money like Rudd yet could not get popularity traction. Rudd had plenty of capital because he spoke the words we all wanted to hear ... the only problem now is that those words seem hollow given his actions. We should never confuse conservatism with bigotry or the other words that the Hillbilly used. Racists, bigots and others of their ilk are just that ... they are not conservatives.

Daisey May

6/05/2010Morgan at 50-50. Sorry I haven't posted properly for a few days. Took 300 Bex and had a really good lie down after the Never Ending Story emanating from the OZ. The fire and passion of BB, Ad, Grog and the other alumni that populate this site give me great hope. The redoubtable Possum has been my rock over the last couple of days with his forensic dissection of the mountain of crap being pumped out. I have read every scrap of coverage for the last 4 days and have read every concievable theory about the woeful standard of reportage so here is my two bobs worth. The trashy, low rent style of reporting that we have had to endure for the last few months will continue and will probably become apoplectic until the election is called and Abbott and co. are put under the spotlight. Many journos' are frantically auditioning for a spot on the post paywall payroll. If you can prove to your editor that you can hold your spot in the frontrow (as it were) by writing the most infammatory tosh and therefore generating the most hits to your byline, then this will translate into cold hard cash. This is how Janet, Andrew, Dennis et al manage to keep their jobs despite the fact that they have sparsely furnished minds with nary a neuron to share between them. I often fantasise about organising a group of like minded people who spend their days clicking onto banal and frivolous stories just to undermind these awful freaks of nature but I'm beaten to the punch daily by the great unwashed who, judging by the top ten news items thingy listed on these ghastly websites, have voted with their own feet unprompted by the likes of me. Anywho, the NBN will be savaged by News tomorrow and therefore the rest of the MSM, and after that the Budget will be trounced. Nothing will stop the death spiral until Rudd calls the election. I will however echo the widely held sentiment accross a lot of political blogs that Kev needs to grow a pair and start slaying some of these dragons. I'm reminded of the lovely old saying "those who allow themselves to be insulted deserve to be". Ps, Abbott is a creepy cretin who is too gutless to admit to todger tangles whilst bedding down at the seminary (lol).

Sir Ian Crisp

6/05/2010HS, I don’t agree with the word xenophobia to describe Australians. With about 120 different cultural and ethnic groups in Australia the correct word is xenomania. That strawman you are pummeling sure does cop a beating. You seem to think that every Friday night, Australian yobbos afflicted with poikiloderma of Civatte gather at the local pub, drink 10 cans of beer each, grab their shotguns, jump in their utes and go abo hunting. The results of a survey undertaken in the 1990s revealed that most Australians are unhelpfully non-racist. The book “How Australia Compares”, by Rodney Tiffen and Ross Gittins, includes the result of a 1990s survey on the sorts of people who were not desired as neighbours. Some of the respondent percentages were: drug addicts 74, heavy drinkers 60, people with a criminal record 45, emotionally unstable 38, and immigrants and people from a different race 5. Only 5 per cent! And that was the lowest in the list of countries surveyed. Other countries responding to the ‘immigrant as a neighbour’ percentages were: Austria and Belgium 20, Japan 17, France, Italy and Germany 13. You can file the above under your ‘evidence which contradicts assertions’ that you seem so familiar with. We will never rid ourselves of the racist tag while we continue to import racist from various countries. They are the ones who must shoulder the blame for our racist tag. Why would the ‘peace loving’ Tamils of Westmead and Wentworthville seek out and toss acid over Sinhalese? What you perceive to be racism may in fact be a large degree of fed-upness. With an arid interior and a coast that is over-populated why would we be interested in bringing in any migrants and refugees. Surely with our jobs heading to China we should point all refugees in that direction.

HS

6/05/2010biledigger, Wow! Printed out! I am embarassed! Thank you! It's such a pity, isn't it, that the MSM can't do a bit of research before THEY go into print. On the other hand, I don't believe that they want to. Btw, does it irk anyone else that Tony Abbott is very obviously pinning his colours to the mast of the wealthiest individuals in Australia, and the MSM(mostly owned by one of those wealthy-as-Croesus individuals, I will admit), haven't said "Boo' about it? Actually, isn't that the crux of the whole problem, and Keating's biggest mistake, IMHO, that those people who benefited from Keating's Cross Media Ownership changes, have now become too powerful and too wealthy? They really did a snow job on him, which was unusual because he wasn't normally prone to snow jobs, but then it was Packer and Murdoch doing the softening-up personally, so... Combine that with the Mining Men(I don't think I saw a woman in the mug shot from WA on the TV tonight), that Abbott is jumping into bed with, and you'd think that the ordinary person would be up in arms at his obvious favouring of 'the elites', which the Liberals never usually fail to have a crack at when it suits them. But no, 'the mob' will be fed their pablum by these evil manipulators, and they'll even think they like the taste of it.

HS

6/05/2010YMBK, I was trying to tie in a few incidents that have happened across the world of politics this past week or so, especially on the conservative side, and point out how it seems to be part of a common theme that runs through conservative ideology at this point in time. It IS topical; as Ad Astra has pointed out, Tony Abbott gave a speech on Immigration just last night, and there was that article in the paper yesterday that I linked to. So actually, I'm addressing the issue that the MSM have mostly overlooked at the moment, but which needs careful attention to be paid to it. Now, if you have any further comprehension problems, just get back to me. :)

HS

6/05/2010Daisey May, Morgan at 50/50. The fightback has begun! Lol!

lyn

6/05/2010Hi Hillbilly and Ad Thankyou for your enjoyable piece today, excellent. Sorry I took so long, but bigpond wireless 3g crashed in Queensland at 7am this morning only just restored, I had half hour to post the links this afternoon, then nothing again. The mobile phone users are really mad, saying on the news, they will not be renewing contracts with Telstra. Maybe it happened at a good time for Kevin Rudd, with the launch of the NBN this afternoon, Queensland is crucial for the federal election. Tomorrow looks like being another MSM frenzy day. Seems Chris Uhlmann, is an expert on the NBN plan, even though he has only had the report say an hour. (7.30pm report) makes me wonder if he even read it maybe, as Grog said [quote](hell no!).[/quote] [quote]Tony Abbott is really 'p'ing me [/quote]- off, you're not the only one. He is opposing everything, before even having time to read any of the policies, before they are released even, telling lie after lie . I notice too, the cackle has intensified.

lyn

6/05/2010[b]Hi Ad and Hillbilly[/b] Excellent piece by Rewi Lyall COURAGEOUSNESS, By Rewi Lyall The forces now arraigned against the government over these economic measures are about as strong a cross-section of traditional anti-Labor economic and social players as we’ve ever seen http://oqurum.com/?p=457

Daisey May

6/05/2010I love the crispy one I really do. The things one reads in a book Ian are often at odds with harsh reality. Ever been called a slopehead Ian? An abbo? A poofter? Greasy wog? Ever been belittled in front of others just because of the colour of your skin? The problem with right wingers generally is that they have no capacity for empathy and on the rare occasions that they do, they suffocate all and sundry with their Homeric tales of bravery on reaching such an epiphany. Let me guess Crisper, you have been labled all of these things or worse and have managed with great courage to rise above to become the upstanding little citizen you implore us all to aspire to be. Racism is a learned behavior and it can be unlearned with a bit of dilligence. At the seventh level of Dantes' hell lays a family with your name tattooed prominently upon its forehead.

lyn

6/05/2010[b]HI AD AND EVERYBODY [/b] [b]HERE IS GROG WITH A BRILLIANT PIECE, THANKYOU GROG[/b] WHAT'S THE DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF 'STUFF UP'? BY GRO< GROG"S GAMUT And just on the RSPT, you really should read Peter Martin’s blog on who proposed to the Henry Tax review that there be such a tax – yep, it was the Minerals Council of Australia: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Daisey May

6/05/2010Thanks HS for the insight. Do you think that all the endless focus groups that political parties pay for actually produce any positve results into how people vote? Personally I cannot wait for the paywalls to come as it will weed the chaff from the chaff. Abbott will be cactus once the election campaign proper starts. Even by my low standards he is a joke. Thanks for stirring the pot. To bed with me unless I have to suffer an impotent rejoinder from limp crisp.

Grog

6/05/2010[Morgan at 50/50. The fightback has begun! Lol!] As William over on Poll Bludger has pointed out, this is a Morgan phone poll, which they do a lot less regularly than their face-to-face polls, and which are usually pretty close to Newspoll. I don't think there's any doubt the ALP have taken a big hit of late. Maybe the Newspoll overcooked it a bit, but next week parliament is back, the budget comes out etc etc. Long way to go yet.

HS

6/05/2010Daisey May, This election will probably be fought by News Ltd. before it goes behind the paywall, so that it can influence the result then conspire with the Machiavellian Mad Monk to introduce laws to limit internet access for all like they are trying to get up in the US atm. Verizon wants to be able to jam your pipe if they choose to, after deciding that you are an internet character of ill repute! THEY will decide who uses the internet, and the manner in which they use it!

Grog

6/05/2010[Do you think that we will ever be able to take Nativism, Parochialism, Provincialism, Populism, Prejudice, Propaganda, and Bigotry out of our debate about what to do with immigration and population policy?] Sadly, I have to say no. It's the Prisoner's Dilemma of Australian Politics. The country, and both parties are better off if they both purse open, non-populist, non-prejudicial polcies, but the rewards for either party "renegging" and taking that line in terms of votes will always be too great to resist. So they'll both do it, and they and we will all be poorer for it. I wish I did not think so.

Grog

6/05/2010[This election will probably be fought by News Ltd. before it goes behind the paywall,] Interesting point HS. You would think if they had a viable business model they would go behind the paywall before the election, as that is when interest in national affairs and politics is at its greatest.

HS

6/05/2010Grog, Thanks for the feedback. 2 points: 1. The Australian's circulation figures are woeful, for the hard copy at least, so I don't think that going behind the paywall before the election is an option because not that many would be following. Only the rich, old, white guys who appear to be their core demographic. I would hazard a guess that the majority of their readers only go there because it's free. 2. Strategically, it makes more sense for them to put all their effort into getting a successful outcome at the election, which involves influencing free AND paying eyes.

lyn

7/05/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Labor Dives in the Polls, by Reb, Gutter Trash Which leads us here at Gutter Trash to ask “Is Kevin Rudd now a Dead Man Walking?” http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/06/morgan-poll-at-5050/ The News Ltd campaign against Rudd, By Trevor Cook Bolt is an employee of News Ltd, and along the way somewhere Kevin Rudd has done something to really upset the self-important fools that represent Murdoch's interests in this country. http://trevorcook.typepad.com/weblog/2010/05/the-news-ltd-campaign-against-rudd.html How Rio Tinto played The Australian for fools, by Possum Comitatus, pollytics Crikey Rio hasn’t actually decided to shelve any investment plan at all – they decided to get the lazy hacks at The Australian to do their bidding for them, getting them to tell the public they had shelved the plans, Stop laughing you lot – this is The Heart of The Nation! http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/06/how-rio-tinto-played-the-australian-for-fools/ Rudd's battle between pragmatism and cowardice, by Tim Dunlop, The Drum Kevin Rudd picks fights, but he doesn't want to take a punch. Maybe that's pragmatic and means he'll live to fight another day. But increasingly it looks like he has vacated the ring. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2891728.htm News Ltd's pro-mining scare campaign undermined by facts by Jeremy Sear, Anymous Lefty Let’s hope Australian readers don’t actually check up on the paper’s claims. They sound so delightfully devastating if you don’t realise they’re not true http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ Building an Education Confusion, Media Wrap, Crikey “Erroneous piffle” says Possum Comitatus, who is compiling all the “criminally flatulent” reporting on this issue at Crikey’s Pollytics blog. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/06/building-an-education-confusion/ Vindictive bastards, By Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless Palluzzano is only in Parliament because of the ALP machine. She is not there because she is the Authentic Voice of Penrith, http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ MORGAN POLL If a Federal Election were held today, with the two party preferred vote at 50:50 it would be too close to call according to today's Morgan Poll. http://www.roymorgan.com/resources/pdf/papers/20100504.pdf Telstra's goose is cooked, by Alan Kohler, Business Spectator So Telstra is cornered, a cooked goose. It might be bitterly unfair, and might be worth a few million votes for anyone but the ALP at the next election, but it’s the reality. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Telstras-goose-is-cooked-pd20100507-57S9U?OpenDocument A little bit rich, by Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless It's still true that the Liberals are policy-lazy and that swinging voters will revert to Labor once this becomes more obvious. It's also true that they have the wrong leader: http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/05/little-bit-rich-tony-abbott-was-far-too.html Chris Uhlmann a pro, says Abbott, but is there an ABC double-standard? by Jason Whittaker, Crikey Crikey has learned of one case where a reporter was stood down from all political reporting because of a relationship with a candidate. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/06/chris-uhlmann-a-pro-says-abbott-but-is-there-an-abc-double-standard/ Angry Mining Execs Are Not The Real Story By Ben Eltham But that hasn’t stopped much of the Australian media from swallowing the mining companies’ talking points whole http://newmatilda.com/2010/05/06/angry-mining-execs-not-story

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7/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

You must be kidding

7/05/2010Daisey May There is a difference between empathy and sympathy and it seems the Crispy knows the difference where as others do not. On the one hand you claim that it must be terrible to be labeled and unless one has been labeled then do not even consider to know what bigotry is like ... fair enough, but then you go on a label Crispy as some sort of right wing sycophant ... surely a label wouldn't you think ... what was that about being hoisted on pettards? The point that Crispy so colourfully identified is that the very nature of the Hillbilly's thesis is in itself bigoted. Scratch the surface enough on any human being and we get to the values that maketh that person. With our values system, thus our consciouness comes judgment and once we judge another based upon our own values then we move into the territory of right or wrong ... by its very nature we become judgmental and thus bigoted to another's point of view. Much the same as your assumption that Crispy is a right wing person. Indeed he may just be a conservative and conservatives exist in both the left and right of the political spectrum. Empathy is very different to sympathy and many do not know the difference. Political awareness is about knowing the difference.

janice

7/05/2010I won't repeat what I think of Tony Abbott Hillbilly, but what is p'issing me off is the behaviour of the media. It irks me no end when Laborites keep on that Rudd should be more forceful etc etc when anyone with even half a brain can see that bugger all Labor says gets reported, unless it is negative and good for a beat-up. We have entered a political climate change where the conservative parties and the media have ganged together to oust the Labor Government. The pity of it all is that the welfare of the nation has nothing to do with this campaign. I tuned in to the National Press Club Address this week. Guest speaker was a Scientific Journalist (if I remember the term correctly) and I found it interesting that his description of the climate change debate so far as the campaign waged by denialists/sceptics is precisely what is going on with the anti-Rudd campaign waged by the Coalition and its media supporters. One of the questions asked was wte why it is that Scientists don't get their message across - the reply was that it is pretty near impossible to counter the misinformation if the media refuses to report anything except the rogue negatives coming at the speed of light from the anti-brigade. So, in the interests of keeping my blood pressure stable, I've stopped listening to the negative rubbish coming out of Abbott's mouth and regurgitated and reported by his media mates. I refuse to worry about whether the general public are gullible enough to swallow it but I remain hopeful that Labor will win the coming election despite it all. BTW I was polled by Morgan - a new experience for me. I must say I was taken aback a little by the question "What would you like the Government to do for you personally?" I replied that the Government is supposed to be doing good for each and everyone of us but, for me personally, the best thing they can do is win this next election.

macca

7/05/2010IMO the the Govt, given that it's always going to be on a hiding to nothing with the MSM, should start releasing major policy decisions through sites such as Crikey.com. Send a pretty clear message about who does call the shots. I doubt whether Crikey or others would have a problem about it being free as against a paywall for those particular scoops.

HS

7/05/2010janice, You go girl! What a spunky answer to the Morgan question. Coincidentally, wrt your point about no longer listening to the bile which spits out of that nasty little man Abbott's mouth, and the conservative MSM who echo him, I decided about a month ago to no longer read a lot of the Right Wing commentators who I had previously kept a watching brief over. What's the point? They have become entirely predictable. If Tony Abbott says it, they praise him to the heavens; if the Prime Minister says it, it's rubbish. As a result I have decided to only read the opinions of those journalists whom I trust, even if they do criticise the government as well, I can feel pretty confident that they are not doing it gratuitously(well, most of the time).

HS

7/05/2010macca, Problem with that suggestion is that if the Rudd government ignores the MSM, they will not ignore him and they will redouble their negative messaging. Sadly.

HS

7/05/2010lyn, Thank you for your links o' the day. :)

HS

7/05/2010Did anyone else notice that the ABC topped their news bulletins today with the results of the Morgan poll, for the first time in, oh, forever?

Rx

7/05/2010Yes, Hillbilly, the ABC has ignored Morgan polls for years because there was only bad news in them for the right wing. But as soon as it looks a bit bad for the Left (well, should I say, for Labor), out comes the ABC trumpets blaring. Lately Dennis Shanahan has been on regularly to spin News Corp's Newspoll. I thought the ABC was supposed to be independent and non-partisan. It's a worry ...

HS

7/05/2010Rx, The ABC has been captured by the Right, well, the conservatives actually, no doubt as a result of the effect on the place of the Howard stooges, Maurice newman, Janet Albrechtsen and Keith Windschuttle. Plus the MD, Mark Scott, as others have noted, is a former Liberal flack. Sigh. Only good thing recently has been Tony Jones' filleting of Clive Palmer last night on Lateline. What hard work that must have been for TJ, wading through all that fat!

macca

7/05/2010HS That's my theory. The more you can get them screaming like banshees the better. I have enough faith in people that I believe that the screaming and wailing from the Murdoch hacks will reach such a crescendo people will look to the cause. None of the hysterical rantings of those such as Shanahan et al can compete with truth and logic. Give people a door to read, evaluate and decide for themselves It could also serve as a timely reminder to the MSM, as if they don't already realise the power of the fifth estate. Imagine the gnashing of teeth and beating of breast in the Australians editorial office as they link and give credit to a mere internet news site, not to mention the ranting and temper tantrum in a certain New York boardroom.

Rx

7/05/2010Hillbilly, It goes further back than that, I'm afraid. 'The Age', 2 June 2003: [i]A few weeks ago, the campaign against the ABC resumed. The first straw in the wind was the Howard Government's appointment of Ron Brunton to the ABC board. Brunton has long been the right's most influential spokesman on indigenous affairs ... Even more significantly, for very many years, as an employee, consultant and author, Brunton has been closely associated with ABC's most determined political adversary, the IPA.[/i] http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/06/01/1054406072003.html And how's this for a "balanced" headline: [b]All about politics and not tax reform[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/03/2889045.htm?site=thedrum Fran Kelly again!

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7/05/2010janice I agree with what you say. If there was any doubt when I wrote [i]News Limited’s undeclared war on the Rudd Government[/i], http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/03/15/News-Limitede28099s-undeclared-war-on-the-Rudd-Government.aspx there is none now that News Limited and most of its journalists are waging an unremitting war on Kevin Rudd and his Government with the intent of bringing it down. The ferocity of the stories is increasing, and the escalating disingenuousness of its assertions points to its flagrant bias. It’s no holds barred now, and having seen the polls shifting away from Rudd and Labor they are going in for the kill. We in the blogosphere are David’s fighting a towering, angry Goliath. We must press on despite the disheartening spectre of the mighty media gaining ground in this unequal war. But war never was fair. What I find more disappointing though is how some, who would usually be supportive of Rudd, are now turning on him in a disparaging way. Even the redoubtable Mungo has caustic things to say about Rudd’s deferral of action on an ETS, perhaps dismayed that he has displayed political pragmatism rather than die in a ditch for a cause that is temporarily lost, like a parent disappointed with a talented child who does not fulfil his ambitions. Reb on [i]The Gutter Trash[/i] today, after a couple of poor polls, ends his piece by saying[i]”Which leads us here at Gutter Trash to ask “Is Kevin Rudd now a Dead Man Walking?”[/i] Talk about Kevin Rudd being gutless! Reb seems to have thrown in the towel already. Tim Dunlop today says [i]” Kevin Rudd killed his political career dead when he dropped the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). That conclusion might seem a bit premature, but from where I sit, out in the world of interested citizenship, he looks finished.”[/i] Why has Tim’s also become gutless? Or is he just jumping on the groupthink bandwagon that is predicting Rudd will be a ‘oncer.’ I find such going to water spineless, cowardly if you like. They had expectations that Rudd would die in a ditch defending principles [i][b]they[/i][/b] hold sacrosanct, but [i][b]they[/i][/b] do not seem to be willing to die in a ditch defending Rudd’s position. There is a long way to go to election time, at least four months by all accounts, and if Rudd is serious about going full term, perhaps six or more months. Despite disappointing recent polls for Labor, Rudd is still well ahead of Tony Abbott as PPM, and the Coalition has not made the headway it might have expected as Labor’s ratings were falling. In other words, while the electorate is less enamoured with Rudd than previously and is annoyed at some of his recent decisions, it is not rushing to Abbott and the Coalition. Yesterday’s NBN story, despite media comment to the contrary, was favourable to the Government; the BER Implementation Report likewise was largely favourable although the media don’t agree; and the Orgill Inquiry into value for money due in August will be favourable. It’s been an outstandingly successful programme, but all the public has been fed has been the relatively small number of problems. We will have the budget soon, and that may be a good news story with less deficit and debt than anticipated, along with some further tax adjustments. The PPL legislation is about to be presented, will be supported by Abbott despite him calling it Mickey Mouse, and will be greeted by women with enthusiasm. We can be sure there will be more goodies coming in the months leading to the election. By then the hypocritical and deceitful Rudd-bashing campaign by the miners, the media and the Coalition over the resources tax will have died down. If the miners keep pushing Clive Palmer into the public eye as they did on [i]Lateline[/i] last night, they will soon cruel their cause. If you missed one of the more spectacular rants in recent times, the transcript is at http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s2892642.htm Already the outrageous claims of the miners are being rebutted and discredited, and when a miner who threatened to defer projects because of the tax and the next day bought a million shares in his company, the doubts multiply. The other side of the equation is the alternative to Rudd and his Government – Abbott and the Coalition. The miners say they want a Coalition Government, how many other businessmen do? Abbott is not seen as a saviour – he’s acknowledged to be a loose cannon that business would be reluctant to let loose as PM. We shouldn’t be too surprised if the media, faced with the prospect of an Abbott Government, backs off a little and moderates its anti-Rudd rhetoric. There are some decent journalists out there that may be becoming fed up with what they know in their hearts is a malicious media campaign. So let the gutless abandon Rudd, but those who believe he has done a commendable job and will do even better next term as many of the reforms that he began come on line, ought to gird their loins and be ready to fight the good fight for justice, truth, fairness and decency. There will be little, perhaps none, of this emanating from the media, but even small voices are heard.

HS

7/05/2010Rx, I think Fran Kelly is turning into Clive Palmer! :)

HS

7/05/2010If anyone's got a copy of today's Fin Review, go to the 2nd last page and check out Mark Rowe's cartoon above John Hewson's column. Priceless! (I had to go on a long bus trip today, so I needed something to read, and the Fin Review is the only paper behind the paywall atm so I buy it in such instances).

HS

7/05/2010Ad Astra, Stirring stuff! You should hop in your car, head on down to Canberra, knock on the PM's door and offer your services to him! Only joking, but the ALP does need to get their messaging right(see Laura Tingle's column in today's Fin). Fair dinkum, Tony Abbott could sell sin to a virgin!

HS

7/05/2010I'll be fighting to the bitter end. The memories of Howard's mendacious administration are still fresh in my mind. Abbott was a big part of that.

HS

7/05/2010Actually, AA, I saw a piece on the PBS News on SBS this week about how the Republicans have embraced Web 2.0 with a fervour. They are killing it, and are actually leaving the Dems in their dust. I think that, therefore, we need to redouble our efforts here as a result, because you can be sure that the Coalition have their students over there now, learning all about it. Thus, they realise how important the 5th Estate is, and social networking. So we just have to fight them on the electronic beaches now, and, as you say, we should never surrender!

lyn

7/05/2010Hi Ad and Hillbilly You are right Ad, what is the matter with them all, even the backers turning away, courage and conviction they chant. It's like a mob of sheep. I'm like Hillbilly, fight to the bitter end. Peter Brent today: Time to bury Kevin07 by Peter Brent, Inside Story Most federal elections are decided by two questions: have the voters had enough of this incumbent and, if they have, are they comfortable with the prospect of the alternative? Even if Rudd’s behaviour creates the conditions for the first, the second is very difficult, http://inside.org.au/time-to-bury-kevin07/

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7/05/2010HS, janice I agree HS. The conservatives will use the Fifth Estate for their own ends. We must keep ahaed of them. In case we despair that the courageous writers have faded away, let’s celebrate the strength of gutsy writers like Grog, Andrew Elder, Rewi Lyall, Ben Eltham, Bernard Keane and Possum. Another point, with the contemporary global financial situation deteriorating, stock markets falling, and the possibility of a ‘double-dip’ recession, will the public want to hand over economic management to Abbott, Hockey and Co? Or will they remember how well Rudd and Swan handled it last time, and leave it in proven safe hands?

HS

7/05/2010Kevin Rudd ain't dead yet: http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4493/ Labor 54: Coalition 46 Phew!

HS

7/05/2010Ad Astra, Re the chances of a second wave of global financial catastrophe. I was musing the exact same thing as you, mischievously, about how such an eventuality might not be such a bad thing for the Rudd government. Actually, what might be a wrinkle, however, is that the Budget was framed in the period of relative stability and growth that we have just been experiencing in Australia, and this latest bout of global instability may not have been on Treasury's horizon. Thus, some of the initiatives may be erroneous under the new circumstances.

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7/05/2010HS I'd be sure there is feverish activity in Treasury now to accommodate and take advantage of the evolving situation. At last some better balanced reporting from the ABC: 'Hysterical' mining industry claims 'complete rot' by By Browyn Herbert, Brendan Trembath and staff http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/07/2893468.htm

HS

7/05/2010Is anyone else having fun watching the British election results? :) I'm on Crikey's Live Blog with Charles Richardson.

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7/05/2010HS 54/46 is an interesting Morgan result. It was face-to-face taken among 931 electors just before (May 1-2) the Henry Report, while the 50/50 one was a phone poll of 555 taken a few days after (May 4-5), and strongly oriented to the resources tax. Whether that influenced the outcome of the phone poll is unknowable, but I suspect it did and reflected voters' unease with the tax which by then had had plenty of adverse publicity. Visitors might like to compare the two: May 1-2: http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4493/ May 4-5 http://www.roymorgan.com/resources/pdf/papers/20100505.pdf Morgan's caveat about phone polls is germane: [i]"However, in analysing this telephone Morgan Poll result it is important to note that telephone polls have typically been biased towards the L-NP and are more ‘responsive’ to current events.”[/i] This supports they contention that the 'current event' - the resources tax, was relevant.

HS

7/05/2010I see Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi have been banging the Parochial, Provincial and Prejudicial drum today with their call to ban the Burqa, after someone wore one in an armed holdup. This comment from the Australian's website made some good points: 'I hope that Tony Abbott is not speaking for me..!! (He is however probably speaking with his fellow conservative church going peers!) I was in staunch opposition to Abbott but found myself softening to him in the last couple of weeks or so. This softening has now reversed. Politics and government have a role in Australia to make sure that people's rights are protected, that people are not persecuted and that the rule of law is upheld. Government has a role to uphold the ptincipal of 'no harm'. Government however does not have a role in determing how people peacefully practice their beliefs, religion and tradition. If Abbott finds the Burqa confronting then he really needs to get out and see the rest of the world. I personally finding it confronting and unacceptable that someone in his power thinks that he can speak on behalf of 'most Australian's to say something that plainly is not true. If he cant be a credible politician without resorting to completely uncredible tactics, then he has no place in the Australian parliament.'

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7/05/2010Folks Further to my comments that the time ahead may be more favourable to Rudd than the immediate past, you may be interested to read Peter Brent’s piece in [i]Inside Story: Time to bury Kevin07[/i] http://inside.org.au/time-to-bury-kevin07/ It concludes: [i]”If the 2010 election campaign becomes a referendum about the prime minister and his spin and emptiness, and if Rudd obliges by descending further and further into self-parody, and if the opposition somehow manages to wrap it all together with government debt and stay out of the spotlight itself, then perhaps Abbott can win. “But this is unlikely. Most federal elections are decided by two questions: have the voters had enough of this incumbent and, if they have, are they comfortable with the prospect of the alternative? Even if Rudd’s behaviour creates the conditions for the first, the second is very difficult. “It was Abbott’s elevation to the Liberal leadership that brought some contest to federal politics. But on election day Abbott will be a difficult opposition leader to vote for, much more difficult than his Liberal predecessors. Those Mark Latham comparisons are apt. “And if Rudd does win this election, and handsomely, then ‘everything’, to quote the environment minister, ‘will change’. We will all realise he always knew what he was doing: he called the opposition’s bluff on the emissions trading scheme, took on the miners and carefully, brick by brick, rebuilt his electoral stocks. He wedged the opposition, and he will, like all re-elected leaders, be seen as a ‘scrapper’, someone who is ‘best with their back against the wall’. “He might even become a ‘conviction politician.’”[/i]

Rx

7/05/2010Peter Brent is a damn fine writer when he puts his mind to it.

HS

7/05/2010AA, I was around Kevin Rudd before the 2007 Election. And I can clearly remember there were many, so-called 'expert' political commentators writing him off then, as well. Comments along the lines of, "Once he comes up against John Howard in the election campaign his stocks with the electorate will crumble and he'll end up being another notch on Howard's belt." Also, it was widely asserted that the Coalition Election Campaign machine would come up with a killer angle and deal a knockout blow to Rudd and the ALP, especially considering the wellspring of resources that incumbency provided to the Howard government, Dirt Unit, synergistic Murdoch media and all. Kevin overcame it all and went on to win. I'm not writing the PM off just yet. I believe they are preparing their camnpaign at ALP Headquarters, from which I believe they are mining rich pickings from Tony Abbott's long history in politics. As I said, I was around the PM for a short while before the 2007 election, and I was worried on his behalf, but he seemed calm. I guess he was placing his faith in the great good sense of the Australian electorate, and not letting the hysterical rantings from the Rabid Right get him down or put him off his pre-determined course.

HS

7/05/2010This is a very good comment from 'Cuppa' over at Poll Bludger, re the ABC: From a letter I just received from the ABC: '...The editorial requirements for opinion content are detailed in section 4 of the ABC Code of Practice, a copy of which is enclosed for your reference. The impartiality requirements are outlined in cluase 4.3, which states: The ABC is committed to impartiality and must demonstrate this through the presentation of a diversity of perspectives across a network or platform in an appropriate timeframe. Accordingly, there is no requirement that all sides or political parties be afforded equal input or opportunity; rather that a range of views on each subject be published in an appropriate timeframe. This is the bit that seems most salient to the issue of bias: there is no requirement that all sides or political parties be afforded equal input or opportunity Theoretically they could have 99 stories featuring Liberal press releases, 1 from Labor and 1 from the Greens, and it would still be “impartial” because it is representing a “range of views”.'

HS

7/05/2010Sorry, but I'm putting up another fine comment about 'Their ABC' from BH, as I think it's apposite: 'I think I wrote here before a comment I heard by Kerry O’Brien a few weeks ago on A=pac. He said wtte that he wouldn’t be hanging around for too long and that he was disappointed with ABC News etc. which is full of junior journos who know nothing of the history of the place or politics and are paid low wages. Says it all about the current crop in the ABC newsrooms, doesn’t it. Inexperienced, lacking the time for proper research, or maybe a bit too lazy to do any,so just regurgitate Lib media releases which flow in before the Govt. even gets time to explain anything. It’s not good enough.'

Sir Ian Crisp

7/05/2010"We believe in free speech in this country and people are entitled to a personal view, even politicians,'' Mr Abbott said. "I think a lot of Australians find the wearing of the burqua quite confronting and I wish it was not widely worn. "But the point is we don't have a policy to ban it and we have always respected people's rights in this area. "He (Bernardi) has expressed a view, I respect the view, I don't absolutely share it, but I can understand the concerns in the community.'' http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/australians-find-burqa-confronting-tony-abbott-says/story-e6frg6nf-1225863717990 And TPS is supposed to be an anti-spin blog? Shouldn’t TPS transcend the grubbiness of tabloid journalism? How ‘bout all posters lining up for an injection of scopolamine.

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7/05/2010Sir Ian You comments are more challenging than cryptic crosswords. Please tell us what point you are making when you say “[i]And TPS is supposed to be an anti-spin blog? Shouldn’t TPS transcend the grubbiness of tabloid journalism? How ‘bout all posters lining up for an injection of scopolamine.”[/i] And why scopolamine? I looked at your link and at the associated online poll which asked: “[i] Should Australia ban the burqa?[/i]” At the time I looked, 74% said yes, 26% no. Now, even allowing for the inherent biases in online polls, that result gives a clue as to why Bernardi threw out his line in the first place, and why Abbott lamely refuted it – I find the burqa ‘confronting’ but banning it is not Coalition policy and I won’t be banning it.” That’s mighty generous of him, especially as he finds that garb confronting. Poor Tony seems to be ‘confronted’ a lot.

Jason

7/05/2010Sir Ian Crisp, As I live in Adelaide Bernardi's view is nothing more than dog whistling lets "ban The burqa" and yet he and others of the strong "christan faith" say nothing about the sexual abuse that happend to the likes of me that happend at the hands of these C###ts, maybe we should ban priests or religon in general

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7/05/2010Folks Barrie Cassidy has joined the ‘Bash Rudd Brigade’ in his article in [i]The Drum: Labor poll dance spins out of control[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/06/2891539.htm?site=thedrum Now tell me how he can moderate [i]Insiders[/i] in a balanced way after expressing his views in such a personal way? Is this ABC ‘balance’? Sunday’s programme should be interesting. I’m mystified how the ABC can claim balance when it gives its journalists who anchor current affairs programmes that are supposed to be balanced, the opportunity on its own website, of saying whatever they like. Barrie joins a growing chorus of journalists who confuse political pragmatism and gutlessness. He says “[i]The Government is being whacked because they rarely take the hard, unpopular decisions.”[/i] So it takes an unpopular decision about the resources tax – and everyone can see how unpopular it is with the loud-mouthed in the community – and it gets whacked just the same, and certainly gets no credit for that hard decision, from Barrie anyway. Sadly Barrie has succumbed to groupthink and has thereby relegated himself to the biased team of journalists that now inhabit media-space. It takes guts to express opinions different from buddies down the corridor. Maybe he’s lacking what he accuses Rudd of lacking.

Bushfire Bill

7/05/2010Cassidy also talks about the media as if he isn't a member of it. I agree, he's disqualified himself morally from fronting Insiders. I doubt whether he'll see it that way, as he seems to be saying that harsh, vicious stories just "appear". They write themselves. The journalists who put their name to them are spirit writing. Their hands are forced by unknown powers. The lies they peddle and the cat-calling, the bootstraps and the bullshit just "happen" naturally, somehow.

HS

7/05/2010'Integrity' appears to be a word a lot of journalists have forgotten the meaning of.

Jason

7/05/2010AA and BB, The best show insiders ever had was when Uhlman hosted and coorey, taylor and shubert were on the panel no bolt no henderson and no akerman, just a balanced show in general

HS

7/05/2010Jason, And no Barrie Cassidy! Frankly, he's becoming an embarassment to the profession of journalism, and appears to have been got at by the conservative commentators who appear on the show, who must say some bitchy things to him, as only they know how, in the Green Room. It has a corrosive effect and seems to have worn him down. Working for Hawkie for 5 years is not a crime. Actually, it's just occurred to me that the problem with the conservative commentators who have infested the ABC from News Ltd., is that they do not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If they did I wouldn't mind them appearing to express their pov.

HS

7/05/2010BB, When are we going to see some more of your exemplary writing here on TPS? :)

HS

7/05/2010Hmmm, maybe the reason Barrie et al. on the ABC are becoming Mean Girls and Boys, is because they are feeling like they have to compete with the 'trollumnists': http://newmatilda.com/2009/11/02/if-i-make-you-angry-enough-maybe-youll-keep-reading

Daisey May

7/05/2010Talk about praising with faint damns YMBK! Your gentle chiding is almost lovely but your elliptical style of argument echos that of the clay footed crispy and even though you mean well, it ill behoves you to defend the indefensible. To get to the heart of the matter, it irks my ire that on left leaning blogsites across the globe there is always some mealy mouthed whackjob (invariably from the right) who thinks its hilarious to bore other bloggers to tears with their tedious and terminally boring outpourings. The welcome mat is never extended and no matter how vociferous they are their rantings are continually shot down in flames by bloggers who are better informed, better educated and far better in debating complex issues. The daily humiliation they eudure on these sites does not deter them and seems to only embolden them until finally the weight of ridicule and scorn totally engulfs them. That is when they turn tail and head to La Bolta for solace. I love that you question my assumption of crispy being a conservative. I said no such thing. I accused him of being a typical right winger devoid of empathy. The shoe fits and he will wear it whether he likes it or not. Money can buy a lot of things but the respect of your fellow men can not be so easliy bought. As for scratching surfaces, I'm old enough to know that the sheen of an odious nature is proof enough in itself to determine the stench of a diseased mind.

lyn

8/05/2010[quote][b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b][/quote] Why stop at Burqas? Lets ban Corys as well, by Chris Owens. Sportolotics something much more disturbing. Cory Bernardi. Cory. C-O-R-Y! You see? What is a man of his age doing with a name like Cory? In fact, what is anyone doing with a name like Cory? http://sportowens.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/07/why-stop-at-burqas-lets-ban-corys-as-well/ The Taint of Political Cowardice .. By Mungo MacCallum, Hinterland Times It was Groucho Marx who coined the immortal phrase: “These are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others. ”The temptation to present Rudd with the appropriate spectacles, nose and moustache set could prove irresistible. , http://www.hinterlandtimes.com.au/2010/05/08/the-taint-of-political-cowardice-mungo-maccallum/ Betting Market Friday – there was movement at the stable, by Possum Comitatus ,Pollytics This week the aggregate market moved toward Abbott becoming Prime Minister by 3% – although still giving a 70% implied probability of victory to the Labor Party http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/07/betting-market-friday-there-was-movement-at-the-stable/#more-7717 Lost in the spin cycle, By Rodney Tiffen, Inside Story Between their own increasingly implausible exaggerations, the simplistic condemnations of the opposition, the media’s overwhelming focus on problems and shortcomings, the real achievements of the Rudd government are in danger of being lost. http://inside.org.au/lost-in-the-spin-cycle/ And Now to Religion, by Mac Ramblings of a political tragic Today, Cory Bernardi called for the banning of the Burqa saying it oppresses these poor women and it is Un-Australian lhttp://moderatelyleft.blogspot.com/ Morgan 54 - 46 to Labor, By William Bowe, The Poll Bludger this is still their worst result in a Morgan two-party poll since November 2006. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ Tax will kill mining industry: Abbott, The West Australian "(Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd does not have a plan for the economy, he has a plan to kill the mining boom stone dead," Mr Abbott told reporters on Friday. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/7189282/tax-will-kill-mining-industry-abbott/ On April 30, Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, published the transcript, by Darryl Mason, The Orstrahyn The transcript included every stutter from Abbott, every repeated word, every uh and um. http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/2010/05/on-april-30-deputy-prime-minister-julia.html The week started well for Liberals , by Bill Hoffman , Sunshine Coast Daily LNP members emerged on Wednesday from crisis talks and a session with former Prime Minister John Howard on how to win government, http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2010/05/08/the-week-started-so-well-for-liberals

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8/05/2010Jason Welcome to [i]TPS[/i]. You are right. The edition of [i]Insiders[/i] you mentioned was outstanding. The moderator and the panellists were balanced and informative. I thought last Sunday's episode too was good when Barrie interviewed UK journalists about the upcoming election. Although each journalist had his own leanings, they did not imperil the balance of the programme. I thought at the time, if only [i]Insiders[/i] could be as balanced with Australian journalists. We get the occasional balanced episode, such as you describe, but in between there are awful tabloid editions that are devoid of balance. This Sunday's episode will be one to watch to see whether Barrie's atttitudes as expressed in his article in [i]The Drum[/i] come through, and of course who he has as panellists. To me that is the most important determinant of the quality of the episode.

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8/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

8/05/2010I'd like to add another link which examines the intersection between religion and conservative politics: http://www.alternet.org/story/146752/how_glenn_beck_re-invented_himself_as_a_crying_conservative?page=entire

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8/05/2010Folks I'll be on the road most of the day - back this evening.

gusface

8/05/2010Anyhoo the rightwingers are doing their best 'chicken little" impersonation and stirring up both their base and the wavereers. Now is the time to absorb and then methodically rebutt the MEME that rudd is indecisive and is a do nothing PM I suggest to all and sundry here to lift another gear and engage friends associates etc The simple issue is whether we want to guide our own destiny or let our "betters" guide us. The choice is yours

bilgedigger

8/05/2010HS your article prompted some lively discussion the other night. On the infrequent occasions this group of friends gets together for the evening usually political affairs are kept off the horizon so the responses were more than interesting. People on this blog are not the only ones noticing the tone of the conservative media in Australia. One of the people present the other night who is noted for their own conservative viewpoints, while not admitting to being p****d off with all media, ventured his reactions to the incessant "bad-mouthing" as he terms it of an Australian Prime Minister. Who knows he may even change his usual way of voting and vote for Labour. Viewing the results of the British election makes me wonder though. After all the Murdoch media threw at Gordon Brown it seems not all the U.K. voting population believed what they were reading. Labour didn't do quite as badly as was expected and the Conservatives who purportedly were going to romp home didn't quite make it. The Australian media and the conservatives seem to have whipped themselves into the kind of hysteria which is all too easily spread to the gullible and the deceitful. I'm sure some contributors to this site can readily provide a list of all the perceived sins of Labour (but more particularly Kevin Rudd), but what about a list of what they feel should, or in reality could, have been done at any of the points now labelled as points of "indecision" or even better can they provide their dissection of "spin" apart from facts and comment that they re-label as "spin".

HS

8/05/2010biledigger, Thanks for getting back to me here to report on what went on at your dinner with friends. I'm pleased that the nominally conservative dinner guests didn't think that what I had written was too partisan or biased against the Tony Abbott Party. :) Your friend is correct to be upset about the bad-mouthing of the PM. I've never in my half-century life heard a Prime Minister of Australia referred to openly, as a 'creep', or 'gutless'. In fact, the media, instead of admonishing the Opposition for their lack of manners, joins in instead and echoes them! Hopefully, between the Budget and election time, the media will put this bunch of craven fops under the spotlight and find them to be the real Hollow Men and Women. I won't hold my breath. For, as I have alluded to before, the media appears to have been taken over by the Mean Girls and the Bully Boys. Also your observation about the British Election is very apt. Murdoch believes that he can be the puppeteer out of sight of the audience, pulling the strings. Well, I'm glad the British public didn't believe everything his minions in the media had to say about Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown. Between them, the Lib Dems and Labour have taken 305 seats, to the Tories 306. The country appears to be evenly split, as opposed to wildly favouring the Conservatives. And, in raw votes terms, Labour plus Lib Dems attained about 15 million votes, to the Tories 10 million. However, their electoral system sees the Lib Dems lose out massively. Although the latest news appears to suggest that the Tories will accede to some Lib Dem demands and form a government with them. A bit like a Liberal/Greens Coalition in Tasmania. I'm not so sure it's going to work. Suffice to say, Murdoch won't like it one little bit.

HS

8/05/2010Gusface, I'll be 'straining every sinew' between now and election day, don't you worry about that! :)

lyn

8/05/2010[b]HI EVERYBODY[/b] Here is [b]Grog[/b] with a brilliant, wonderfull piece, for us again. Thankyou Grog don't forget to read Grog's comments. [u][b]Memo to Kev: What's the Story ? by Grog GROG'S GAMUT[/b][/u] Because here’s the thing Kev, it’s down to you. The media have departed the playing field. They don’t like you Kev. They never really did, they just liked the fact you created a competition with Howard. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/05/memo-to-kev-whats-story.html

bilgedigger

8/05/2010It is being reported on both the sites of Pavlov's Cat and The Content Makers (about 1 hour ago apparently) that Rupert Murdoch is to place his newspapers behind a "wall" in approximately three weeks time. Let's hope this is not just a rumour and that it actually happens. Don't know that so many people will be rushing to pay for what they serve up as news. I'm keeping my fingers crossed anyhow.

HS

8/05/2010It was interesting to read in Grog's blog his description of Tony Abbott's proselytising to Year 5 and 6 students in SA, melding his Anthropogenic Global Warming scepticism with his religion by throwing in the reference to 'Jesus of Nazareth'. He just can't seem to help himself. It would be a scary proposition indeed should this man, and his Conservative Christian henchmen, like Cory Bernardi, take control of the federal government of Australia.

lyn

8/05/2010Hi Ad, Hillbilly, Bilgedigger Yes Murdoch has announced the paywell in 3 weeks time: Here are the links: Murdoch Sets Paywall Countdown Clock Ticking, O'Dwyers Inside News Murdoch envisions an online "windfall http://www.odwyerpr.com/blog/index.php?/archives/920-Murdoch-Sets-Paywall-Countdown-Clock-Ticking.html Murdoch: Paywall Announcement 3-4 Weeks Away Posted by Video Marketing News on May 6th, 2010 ,, Admittedly I am more than a little curious. I do find it kind of humorous that Mr. Murdoch touts an “innovative subscription model”. Right now, they are all innovative since the idea of widespread “pay for content” options don’t really exist. In fact, most “models” that have been rolled out thus far have fizzled. Just ask New York Newsday how many people are willing to pay for their news. http://freeinternetvideomarketing.com/business-trends-social/social-networking/murdoch-paywall-announcement-3-4-weeks-away/ News Corp soon to announce paid content plan Friday, 07 May 2010 00:00 SMART COMPANY The company has previously said it will begin moving its news behind a paywall, and Murdoch himself has attacked internet giant Google for documenting news through its search service. http://www.smartcompany.com.au/advertising-and-marketing/20100607-news-corp-soon-to-announce-paid-content-plan.html

Acerbic Conehead

8/05/2010HS, your use of the P-words put me in mind of the role recently of that P-person, Clive Palmer. Clive could be said to epitomise the current state of the Australian mining industry – bloated on the resources boom, over-weight with swilling too much from the reservoir of a national asset. So unhealthy, in fact, he looks like a walking beer-keg. So sing along with Clive, HS, as he laments the imminent passing of a piece of legislation that would make the Great Train Robbery look like a Robin Hood hand-out to the poor. It’s to the melodies of the Beatles’, “I am the Walrus”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnpil_pRUiw&feature=related :- ( BHP and Kalgoorlie and Tinto Ri and we are all together See how we run like pigs from a gun, from the super-tax We’re crying :- ( Sitting on a goldmine, cartin’ the stuff off in bulk Rakin’ in the profits, stupid bloody gov’mint Man, we’ve been naughty boys, we let our girths grow fat I am the keg-man, we are the keg-men I am the walrus, boo-booby-tube :- ( Ruddie, Swannie, Fergo sitting Greedy little taxmen in a row See how they grab, like lucy in the sky, see how they spin We’re crying, We’re crying. We’re crying, We’re crying. :- ( Yellow-caked custard, living off the dead sheep’s back Julia Gillard’s a fishwife, proletarian priestess, Snug up to now, better not let our share-holders down I am the keg-man, we are the keg-men I am the walrus, boo-booby-tube :- ( Digging in an Aussie garden, baking in the sun If the dosh don’t come, we’ll re-locate And shift the lot to an English plain I am the keg-man, we are the keg-men I am the walrus, boo-booby-tube :- ( Expert textpert cigar smokers, Don’t you think we jokers laugh at you? See how we swill like pigs in a till Aren’t we so snide? We’re crying (all the way to a foreign bank) :- ( Ruddie and his tax-grab, sending us up the Eiffel Tower We need to get up off our humungus haunches Man, we’ll use the Oz for kicking Michael D’Ascenzo I am the keg-man, we are the keg-men I am the walrus, boo-booby-tube

lyn

8/05/2010Acerbic Conehead You are amazing.

Grog

8/05/2010[Yellow-caked custard, living off the dead sheep’s back ] Brilliant!

Sir Ian Crisp

8/05/2010Jason, I am a lapsed catholic and I have zero admiration for the pedophile protecting hierarchy that runs the catholic church. If you want to ban all religions I’m ready to march in the street with you. AA, the point of my piece was to highlight how the esteemed TPS contributors insist on accurate journalism at all times. A worthy aim to be sure. I have seen many contributors here at TPS point to the inaccuracies of certain opinion pieces and the general blatherings that appears in the tabloids and spreadsheets. Then we get this from a TPS contributor: “I see Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi have been banging the Parochial, Provincial and Prejudicial drum today with their call to ban the Burqa, after someone wore one in an armed holdup.” It was Cory Bernardi who called for the ban on the black tent NOT Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi. It seems ludicrous to insist on a certain standard from journalists if the same standard can’t be met here at TPS. It’s worth noting that from the figures you supplied 74% of Australians want the black tent banned. I think we are still under ‘the majority rules’ agreement so Rudd or Abbott should find the backbone to ban habiliments that belong in the 7th century.

HS

8/05/2010Amazing Conehead!

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8/05/2010Sir Ian Thank you for your explanation. Now I understand to what you were alluding.

HS

8/05/2010Sir Ian Crisp, You are right. The pusillanimous Tony Abbott did not say he wanted the Burqa banned. No, instead he claimed to speak for most Australians(to give his case legitimacy), and said that he 'believes most Australians find the Burqa confronting'. Also, the slippery wordsmith proclaimed, 'understandable community concern'. Which isn't exactly saying that he wants it banned, but then he didn't repudiate Cory Bernardi's statement in support of the ban, either. Walking both sides of the street between them, as the Prime Minister said, just about covers it for mine.

gusface

8/05/2010Sir Ian I suggest agood start would be richard fidlers -conversations- good book and quite a challenge to what we percieve is australian BTW The black tent as you call it is only a piece of fabric-why so scared? And following your logic should everyone be naked lest they offend some with their C7 or other period garb I await your logic stream Inshallah or insular?

HS

8/05/2010lyn, That paywall announcement by Murdoch is interesting. Looks like he has decided to get it up and running for the new Financial Year. I'll be interested to see whether he adopts the model whereby the first 5 articles you read per day are free, but if you want more than that, you have to pay for them. Or, will he leave the most popular News and Opinion journalists free, but charge for the niche content like Business, Higher Education, Australian Literary review, etc.? That's as far as us computer-based netizens go. However, those using iPads or Mobiles will have to pay to download it, which is a different scenario.

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8/05/2010AC What a great piece. Thank you. And I did enjoy playing again [i]I am the Walrus.[/i]

Acerbic Conehead

9/05/2010Lyn, Grog, HS and AA, thank you for your kind words. Yes, Clive is, at the moment, sipping his double Courvoisier and puffing his havana, whilst listening to his favourite Beatles’ numbers: Penny Lane (new name for Kalgoorlie’s Golden Mile after the super-tax is brought in) The Long and Winding Road (to socialist perdition) Please please me (and block it in the Senate) Twist and shout (and keep the commos out) Eight days a week (what you plebs will have to work when Rudd gets his way) Yellow Submarine (like the one Rudd will escape to China in) Let it be (aren’t we friggin’ taxed enough?) Get back (in your box, Kev) With a little help from my friends (at the Oz) Lucy in the sky with diamonds (cos it’ll be too expensive to dig them out of the bloody ground) Fixing a hole (but only if the taxpayers foot the bill) She’s leaving home (cos the socialists will be taxing the workers’ dongas as well) When I’m sixty-four (under this gov’mint, you’ll still be on apprentices’ wages) Back in the USSR (who said communism was dead?) Happiness is a warm gun (and I know who’s in my sights) Rocky Racoon (when this tax comes in, we’ll have to sack the workforce and employ the bloody wildlife instead) Why don’t we do it in the road (cos it’ll be too expensive to do it anywhere else) Julia (sucks, and so does Michelle) Mother nature’s son (is a greenie bastard) Revolution (there’ll be one, mark my words) Norwegian Wood (where we’re shifting all the mines in Australia to) Help! (the socialists are coming) Yesterday (yeah, bring back Joh) If I fell (we’d save a fortune on dynamite) The fool on the (Broken) hill Strawberry fields forever (which is what our mines will revert to if Rudd gets his way) Baby, you’re a rich man (but not for long – thanks Kev!)

jason

9/05/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Yes point taken.

mick smetafor

9/05/2010the only product murdoch sells is entertainment.he uses news as a raw material to be fashioned into propaganda to give him power and to feed his ego,so the suggestion that the first five articles being free makes sense in that allows him to disseminate the manipulative stuff no one would pay for but which gives him political influence and he would then hope to entice victims behind his paywall for all the gossip,sex and sensation he feeds off.

HS

9/05/2010Has anyone else seen Tony Abbott's first campaign ad? Ties in absolutely with the theme of this blog, doesn't it?

lyn

9/05/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] How Australia's 5th Richest Man Is Trying To F**k With Your Mind By Darryl Mason, The Orstrahyn It's like watching Jabba The Hut channeling Glenn Beck, with a script written by Rupert Murdoch's chief propagandist Andrew Bolt : http://blogotariat.com/node/192975 The politics of delusion,by Josh Fear, Abc Unleashed This is one of the crucial lessons of politics in the media-saturated age: if you say something, it becomes true. And the more important you are, the more true it becomes. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2893038.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail Abbott Flies his True Sceptic Colours to Children.Climate Common Sense OK, so the climate has changed over the eons and we know from history, at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth the climate was considerably warmer than it is now," Mr Abbott said. , http://www.ozclimatesense.com/2010/05/abbott-flies-his-true-sceptic-colours.html#more Australian lawmaker stirs burqa controversy I think a lot of Australians find the wearing of the burqa quite confronting and I wish it was not widely worn," Abbott said. http://www.mysinchew.com/node/38789 NBN Implementation Study gets flack from Opposition , by James Hutchinson, Computer World Australia. "This takes opposition for opposition's sake to a new level. They are opposed... even before they see a plan that it can be done." http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/050710-nbn-implementation-study-gets-flack.html?hpg1=bn No, that was not a Tory win, by jeremy Sear, An Anymous Lefty. You’ve probably seen the staggering figures of just how profoundly undemocratic the system is in terms of weighting of votes: http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ Australian Federal Election 2010: linguistically it's a bad bad thing, by Petering Time , NorthCoast VoicesBAD bad Bad bad ba-d BAD bad.............times about one trillion. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/05/australian-federal-election-2010.html Morgan: 54-46 to Labor, by William Bowe, The Poll Bludger Note the the looming by-election for the NSW state seat of Penrith, expected to be held in six weeks, is the subject of its own post. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/05/07/morgan-54-46-to-labor/ Our first advertisement for this election year will hit TV screens today., by Brian Loughnane Liberal Party As you know, Mr Rudd is all talk, no action. Only Tony Abbott and the Liberals stand for real action to get things done. http://www.liberal.org.au/Liberal-TV.aspx?id={3DAFFCFB-C994-4F12-AE3F-161262A57573}&utm_medium=email&utm_source=SwordEmailer&utm_content=507014180&utm_campaign=OurfirstTVadfortheyear+_+bkkqh&utm_term=firstadvertisement

lyn

9/05/2010Hi Hillbilly Liberal Party Ad in the today's links above Happy Mother's Day Cheers

lyn

9/05/2010Hi Hillbilly a[quote] very, very bad Liberal Ad, bad things, bad news, really bad , bad bosses, a bad lot, a bad plan, a very bad situation, and a just for a change a few adverbs based on degrees of badness.[/quote] [b]There is no way the Government can support this Ad, it's too bad[/b] PS: We need your assistance, unlike our [b]cashed-up opponents [/b]and their [b]union mates [/b]we can’t keep this TV ad on prime time for long. You can do your bit to ensure it is seen by as many people as possible by: Making a donation – the money you pledge will help pay for this ad campaign Brian Loughnane Federal Director

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9/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

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9/05/2010Folks I got the impression this morning that the tone of the comment from the panellists on [i]Insiders[/i] was more conciliatory towards Kevin Rudd and his Government than it has recently been. The always reliable George Megalogenis was as balanced as ever, Malcolm Farr was very sensible, even Fran Kelly was balanced in her comments and Barrie Cassidy did not push a negative line. I was surprised how all the panellists, especially Fran and Malcolm, picked the flaws in Joe Hockey’s outburst against the resources tax. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a feeling, and its only a feeling, that at least some in the media are sensing they have gone too far in demeaning Rudd and are pulling back somewhat. Maybe they are contemplating the alternative – an Abbott Government – with apprehension. When one reads some of Lyn’s links, it’s easy to understand why. Read the piece on what Tony Abbott said to the children about climate change. Also check what Nick Minchin said elsewhere about WorkChoices not being flawed, and reflect on his extraordinary statements about smoking; no wonder the more sensible journos are backing off the prospect of an Abbott Government. Of course the ranters, Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman, will continue spewing their vitriol all over anyone imprudent enough to read them. Maybe Rupert Murdoch’s pay-wall will shield online viewers from their venom. Who on earth would pay to read their malignant words?

gusface

9/05/2010Ad I think rupe has in mind "In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king" Too bad he never read the full story esp. the end ;)

HS

9/05/2010lyn, Thank you for your kind felicitations! I have had the tea and toast made for me, and who would've thought that teenage boys could do such a good job of it? :) I hope you have a nice day too! In Sydney it's just perfect, but I understand you are in Queensland where it is a tad rainy. The one thing I can't understand about it all is, how did I end up changing the sheets and cleaning the stove on Mothers Day? :{ Oh, that's right, because I wanted everything that I see today to be perfect! Of course, my children always are, even when they are messy and dirty. Well, that's the sentimentality out of the way. It's time to talk politics again. How many of you believe that Tony Abbott will lose votes with his xenophobic new ad? I think it's just as well the Coaliton don't have enough money to have it played too often, it's a shocker!

gusface

9/05/2010HS i have watched the ad about 10 times (i know i know) and it just dawned on me. Tone the Teacher- it all makes sense now ps i think it is hi tech (for the fibs) Dogwhistle- more about reinforcing the base than capturing waverers

HS

9/05/2010Ad Astra, AS I didn't want to be put into an angry frame of mind, I muted the Hockey interview on Insiders this morning. However, when I did unmute it, there he was being Mr Nastypants and ignoring the reality of the global economic situation to focus on a very narrow interpretation of Australia's debt situation, plus trying to throw out lines about the Resources Rent Tax which just weren't true. Combine this with the new Tony Abbott TV ad with its big, bold red lines all pointing towards the heart of poor, little Australia, in an overblown attempt to demonise Boat People, and the Coalition lining up 4 Square with the bloated billionaires, like Clive Palmer, from the Mining Industry, and I think you've got the seeds of a resurrection and fightback from the government. Compare and contrast the interview with Hockey with that on Channel 9 between Laurie Oakes and the Treasurer, and you can see a nice contrast starting to build up, between the Coalition and Labor, in the area that matters most at the end of the day when the electorate goes to cast their ballot, that is, wrt Economic Management. The 'Sobersides' Rudd government who govern in the interests of all of us, versus the Radical Capitalists of the Coalition who favour a Laissez Faire Mercantilist economic model that favours the economic elites. I agree with you, AA, that Barrie Cassidy didn't photocopy the anti-Rudd government bile from 'The Drum' and transplant it to 'The Insiders' today. As you say, even Fran Kelly was more reasonable, though to my eyes and ears she couldn't resist a couple of unfair digs at Rudd. What I think happened to her which has been transformative was the interview she did with the former head of the Minerals Council of Australia. I imagine she may have been expecting a reinforcement of the Coaliton and Mining Industry line, but what she got instead was an eloquent counter argument in support of the government's initiative. Added to the fact that the week was capped off with Julia Gillard staring down the Teachers Union, a favourable BER Report and a positive NBN outlook from McKinsey and KPMG, and probably, as you say, the media have decided that Tony Abbott has been given enough assistance for now, saw the journos pause for breath and survey the lie of the land and decide to head down a new path. I hope so. Reports from Parliament next week will give the answer to that question.

Agnes Mack

9/05/2010It was a nice change to find Barrie Cassidy and the Insiders panel talking sense instead of regurgitating headlines from the Australian.The discussion was so rational I thought they might even have begun to dip into the political debate in the alternate media, possibly even reading the thoughts of a few of the notable political bloggers, such as Grog, Possum, Ad and more.

HS

9/05/2010Agnes, Thank you for your comments here at TPS. To add to your point, I believe that Dr Peter Van Onselen reads up on the blogs because I swear some of his talking points recently, as he swings wildly from analysing thoughtfully to regurgitating Murdochian blah, have echoed suspiciously those things that we have been saying here and there amongst the blogs.

HS

9/05/2010Actually, now that I think about it, the one point which did irk me about Insiders today was their continued focus, to the exclusion of all else, on Newspoll. Not a word about Morgan, both of their polls, in order to balance the analysis somewhat. Since when did Newspoll take on oracular status?

Michael Cusack

9/05/2010Going back to the Burqa business, I can sympathise with Abbott a little bit. I went to primary school where we were taught by Nuns in the full monty, head covered, arms covered, robes to the floor outfits. I am used to the sight of that style of dress. Yet, I still find it confronting and a little alarming when I see people in the whole face covering outfits today. I am conflicted by my emotions. On one hand I strongly believe that a person can wear whatever they like, on the other I find the burqa an agressive rejection of society. Plus I fear that the wearer may be forced into an uncomfortable situation. Bernardi, on the other hand is an imbecile. To ban burqas because one person(male) wore one to commit a crime is beyond ridiculous. Ban tracky daks, all hold-ups of video stores and servos are comitted by people wearing trakky-daks.

HS

9/05/2010Michael, Thank you for your comment. I agree that I, too, am conflicted about the Burqa. One part of me says that people should be allowed to wear whatever they want, but then I think that as a society we do have our limits, not allowing complete nudity on our streets, or gay men to wear everyday the more outrageous sort of things they wear for Mardi Gras, for example. So, the other part of me says that maybe there should be limits, and in this case those limits should be a Hijab or a Niqab, but not the Full Monty Burqa. I just know that there have been Muslims living in Australia almost as long as the White Man, and they managed to survive without the women being compelled to, or feeling the need to wear them. I have only noticed them since extreme forms of religious devotion made a comeback recently in the West(I presume they have been around in the Middle East for some longer time). So, as I'm all for compromise, I think that in a Muslim land women can wear the Burqa, but in a secular land they should compromise with us.

HS

9/05/2010gusface, 'Tone the Teacher'? Only in the most extreme religious schools, surely? :)

lyn

9/05/2010Hi Ad Gutter Trash, Reb on the Tony Abbott's ad, to be released tonight. [b][quote]ABBOTT'S ARMY ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN, BY REb GUTTER TRASH[/quote][/b]. I thought he was taking the piss, but Tony Abbott appears to be dead serious about “Abbott’s Army” http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/

Ad astra reply

9/05/2010Lyn Have been busy with Mothers' Day and writing a piece for tomorrow. I'll look for Reb's piece tonight when I get back from another Mothers' Day celebration.

gusface

9/05/2010HS I was referring to Tone's new persona-action man seems to have been replaced by a more middle of the road type appeal. Also the add reminded me of geography class way back in the 70's

lyn

9/05/2010Hi Gusface I thought Tony Abbott sounded like he was concentrating, very hard on the new Tone.

HS

10/05/2010Poll Bludger is going off! Nielsen reinforcing last week's Newspoll has really set the cat among the pigeons. Though the sane point was made that most of the poll drop came out of, you guessed it, WA. Which just happens to be where the Noisy Miner birds are squawking the loudest.

Ad astra reply

10/05/2010HS Possum has some interesting observations on the Nielsen poll: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/10/nielsen-the-revenge-of-malboro-man/

HS

10/05/2010Ad Astra, Bushfire Bill and Grog, It's time to man the cannons and fire back some heavy artillery at the tissue-thin veneer of the Coalition. No retreat! Never Surrender! I live near John Singleton. I think I'll go down now to where I know he has his morning coffee and poke him in the ribs! Mel Gibson in Braveheart will have nothing on me, metaphorically at least!

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Hillbilly Go Hillbilly, poke him in the ribs, gatecrash is coffee table, Looks like Singleton would be a traitor., if the media reports are true. [u][b]Bob Hawke's advertising man John Singleton may work for Tony Abbott , by Simon Canning, Herald Sun[/b][/u] If a deal were sealed, it would mark a return to the conservative side of politics for Mr Singleton after more than 20 years as a Labor supporter. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/bob-hawkes-advertising-man-john-singleton-may-work-for-tony-abbott/story-e6frf7l6-1225864314731

HS

10/05/2010Lyn, 'Singo', like Bill Leak, who also lives nearby, long ago went over to the dark side.

Ad astra reply

10/05/2010HS All strength to your arm.

janice

10/05/2010Hillbilly, the media has instigated the perception that Rudd is poor at selling his message simply by ignoring anything Rudd and Labor says or does, by misrepresenting and misinterpreting, by nitpicking out negative phrases into new beatups and by unfairly promoting the messiah properties of one, Tony Abbott's budgie smugglers and his addiction to endorphins. People have been inundated with a flood of negative words and phrases like gutless, hasn't-done-anything-in-two and a half years, reckless spending etc etc etc. IMO there is bugger all Labor can do to counteract this insane campaign waged by the media at this time. Abbott and his media pals have been frantically waging an election campaign and, IMO, firing all their guns because they expect, and want, Rudd to call an early election. I do not believe Rudd will go to an early election nor do I believe he will call a DD election. By the time Rudd does call the election, Abbott and Co may well discover that people are sick to death of the negatives and demand positive alternative policies, the absence of which will make Abbott the 'road-kill' he deserves.

HS

10/05/2010janice, The media campaign is insane, isn't it? I watched an interview Virginia Trioli did with Assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry this morning, and my jaw dropped when, after a very few niceties about how well the economy is travelling, she launched into a full-scale attack on Sen. Sherry, making reference to a report by the 'ABC Investigative Unit', which has done some alternative analysis of the Auditor General's report on the BER, and saying, virtually, that the government had 'cooked the books' of the ANAO BER Report in order to produce findings favourable to it!!! As the 'Investigative Unit'(sounds like a simulacrum of the Liberal's 'Dirt Unit' to me, and is probably what the Coalition have control of, IMHO, now to do this sort of dirty work for them at Their ABC), had gone out independantly and found that Primary School Principals had, 'in fact', not agreed that the BER was a good thing(or something similar to that because I haven't looked up the 'Report' yet). Now, not even a good report for the government will be let through to the keeper by the forces aligned against them. It now gets picked apart, after the fact. I'm sorely disappointed in Virginia Trioli, who has joined the Mean Girls gang that appears to be congealing, along with the Bully Boys, in the media, in an alliance to destroy the government, that would put 'The Villains' on Survivor to shame.

gusface

10/05/2010I just heard julie B on their ABC Who is she again?

BH

10/05/2010HS - I hate to disappoint you but Trioli has never been fair to Labor. She hasn't forgiven them for outsting John Howard. When she was on radio in Sydney she would cut anybody dead who dared to disagree on anything to do with John Howard. For the pst 2 years every time there is a good news story for the Govt. she has shown her miserable face and anything she considers good for the Oppn means she smiles all morning and makes sarcastic comments about the Govt. Bad luck for her that we turn it off most mornings. The dam has broken with the last couple of polls and I can see nothing stopping Trioli or the rest of the ABC from spouting negatives from now until the election. Tony Eastley made his last commnt to Fran Kelly this morning that she should ask Julia G about Kevin Rudd's popularity fall. They are no longer serious journalists. AM has degenerated in to a lovefest for the Oppn. Fortunately Mark Colvin on PM is staying balanced.

HS

10/05/2010gusface, The Opposition, no matter who they are, even non-performers like Julie Bishop, are being given an unprecedentaly-large, free advertising platform, courtesy fo the ABC, to spruik any old load of cobblers, as long as it is damaging to the Rudd government. No matter how many letters of complaint that we write in. One thing I have always noticed about the way the Coalition plays the game, is that if they wish to colonise an institution, they always go in with a 'top to bottom' approach. So, with regards to the ABC, they not only appoint sympathetic Board memebers, and the Managing Director, but they attend to the little things, like altering policy wrt Complaints, such that they have all bases covered, and we, who disagree, thus no longer have effective avenues for remedy. It's ruthless, but effective.

BH

10/05/2010lyn - Singo hasn't ever really been a Labor voter. He got the advertising contract through being Hawkie's racing mate but he actually stood in elections himself, not as a centre or left person, but more to the right, I think. If he was a Labor voter he would never give Alan Jones free rein. Same as John Laws - always made out they friends of Hawke and Keating but did they ever really vote for them. Singo is, in the end, out to make as much dosh for himself as possible. Political morality or ethics don't come in the form of people like Singleton. He'd fit in very well with Abbott I'd think.

gusface

10/05/2010HS i was wondering why they have wheeled out JB out now.Perhaps the libs base needs a reminder who she is? I also think the Malcontents within the parliament need to be sent a signal-I just cant shake this feeling that Abbott is having the last throw of the dice- I intend to monitor mals machinations with more than the usual scrutiny. as an aside the espirit de corps of the libs hangs on the MSM's constant stroking and massaging.

lyn

10/05/2010Hi BH Yes, you are right, no true values, there anywhere, morals out the window. Money speaks all languages. Yes and Singo and Abbott do look like a good match.

gusface

10/05/2010Lyn Singlet and Undies- the dodgy brothers of australian politics :)

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Gusface Good one!! Cheers

Ad astra reply

10/05/2010Folks I've just posted [i]The folly of putting a politician on a pedestal[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/05/10/The-folly-of-putting-a-politician-on-a-pedestal.aspx It picks up on the 'broken promises' theme the Abbott Party and the MSM is playing so stridently. I'll leave this post open as comments are still coming in.

Sir Ian Crisp

10/05/2010gusface, why do you think I am 'scared' of the black tent? I am bemused by its appearance on our streets. If you aren't satisfied with that why don't I just hide my detestation of the black tent behind a religion; would that make it OK? If I held that view' Australian 'progressives' would be out there running interference for me saying my views were part of a tolerant country. Hell, if I did hold that sort of view I would have more in common with the religion that has more than a tenuous connection with the black tent. I would then have to develop a rejection of any type of friendship with Xtians and Jews, because as has been codified in one instuction manual for its followers, Xtians and Jews are friends one to the other. Richard Fidler's 'conversations' is very interesting. His conversations are but a few of many.

Ad astra reply

11/05/2010Folks As we seem to be now attracting only spam, I'm closing comments.
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?