Does the media reflect public opinion, or create it?

The media is fond of insisting that its reporting reflects public opinion, what the people think and what they want. It rejects the notion that it creates public opinion, but might reluctantly concede it influences it. That it attempts to do so is undeniable. Its opinion pieces and commentary clearly express views that it hopes readers will back, and at election time it often endorses one side.

The thrust of this piece is that the media, particularly some sections of it, does set out to create public opinion, certainly to profoundly influence it, rather than simply reflect it as any proficient media outlet ought to do. Some do this in pursuit of a commercial agenda – to sell newspapers and attract viewers and listeners – but others have another deliberate agenda: to have their audiences embrace the same beliefs, attitudes and preferences that they have adopted. This might be relatively harmless in some spheres, but in political arenas it is tantamount to manipulation and indoctrination. We have seen, and are even more alarmingly seeing this in the political media in Australia where the agenda and intent of some outlets, notably the Murdoch stable and its flagship The Australian, is now overt and the subject of much concerned comment in both the Fourth and the Fifth Estates.

The ‘reflect versus create opinion’ debate has been going on for eons. I can recall that in the days of the rabid scandal sheets – the Melbourne tabloid The Truth was an example – those who asked why the paper offered such salacious material were told that this was what its readers wanted. Which of course was true; people bought the rag and kept it going for years. But the question that was never addressed by the paper was “How did the readers come to seek and enjoy the scandals and flesh the paper thrived upon?”

There is little doubt that many folk enjoy reading about scandals, especially among the wealthy, the powerful and the celebrities. It seems almost an innate desire in many people. But can it be argued that that desire demands feeding via the media? If the media decided to omit such material, would it go out of business? The survival for countless years of broadsheets such as The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, none of which rely on salacious material, suggests that it is not essential for survival. Yet we have Murdoch tabloids here that while not flagrantly using grossly scandalous material such as has the News of the World, they do use a sensationalist approach to attract readers, which at the very same time must influence public thinking and attitudes.

A talkback caller to ABC 774 Melbourne radio, who said he had worked for the media for many years, insisted that the media was not in the game of transmitting information but ‘emotion’, as emotion is what sells newspapers. He went on to say that if newspapers transmitted information instead of emotion the papers would remain on the newsstand.

We all know emotion can influence public opinion more than can facts, which is why media outlets dress up their stories with it – scandal, outrage and protest, while relegating the facts to the background.

Since Christine Nixon’s newly-released book Fair Cop is currently in the news, let’s look at Claire Harvey’s leading paragraphs in a piece in The Daily Telegraph back in April 2010 titled: Christine Nixon: what the backlash is really all about, which was about Nixon absenting herself from her office for 75 minutes to take a meal at a local pub with friends during the height of the 2009 Victorian bushfires, something she now freely admits was an error:

“Shoving a piece of cake into her mouth. Talking about food. Walking uncomfortably along a corridor, looking big and ungainly.

“These are all the images that have been presented of Christine Nixon this week, on television and in newspapers. Some of the images are months, or years, old.

“They are being republished because Nixon, the NSW copper who became Victorian Police Commissioner, has admitted that on the night of Black Saturday, the devastating 2009 Victorian bushfires that killed 173 people, she spent an hour at a pub, dining with friends.

“But there's another reason for the use of these old images, and it is the subtle theme beneath career-long coverage of Nixon, who is now chair of the Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.

“Christine Nixon is overweight. She is curvy, Rubenesque, substantial, big-boned. She is fat.”

“In the eyes of the Australian commentariat, that is her defining quality. No matter what Nixon achieves in her life, she will never transcend her own shape. Her weight will always be remarked upon. She will always be the fat sheila - just like every other fat sheila in public life.”

Even just a few days ago Herald Sun headlines included:
Christine Nixon failed us all
Nixon still on the hunt for excuses
Christine Nixon’s claims under fire

Clearly, the emotion and outrage of these papers and their journalists are dominant. The facts are simply a vehicle for expressing outrage, and it is the outrage that influences public opinion. A headline that simply said: ‘Nixon works 20 hours straight during fires’ and as a byline: ‘Took a 75 minute evening meal break at a local restaurant’, would be accurate, but light on emotion. I can see readers smiling at the improbability of ever seeing such a headline.

So here are two Murdoch tabloids creating public opinion, or at the very least strongly reinforcing the view that Nixon should have not left her post. These papers would argue that people were upset at her actions, and that they were merely reflecting that, but who believes that the flagrant use of pejorative language and unflattering images did not inflame readers’ emotions? A more balanced and unemotional write-up could have defused public anger, but instead the papers chose to do the opposite – to kindle it and create even more anger.

The media does create public opinion, no matter how loudly it protests to the contrary.

Lindsay Tanner, in his book Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy, starts chapter four, whimsically titled “Shattered Media Slammed in Scandal” (by the way written well before the recent News International phone hacking scandal) with these words: “The distortion of reality in the media’s coverage of politics involves much more than misuse of content. Language and visual images are routinely manipulated to add excitement to stories. In the process, the content is further distorted, often to such a degree that the original material can barely be recognized. The tone and language of Australia’s media coverage of politics is invariably characterized by hyperbole.”

He quotes British journalist Peter Riddell: “The coverage of most papers lacks depth and context, as well as being squeezed in size. Personality differences are exaggerated, every dispute becomes a split, every small shift in position becomes a humiliating climb-down…There is little consistency in follow-up…”

Later on Tanner says: “Standard nouns used by political journalists include ‘fiasco’, ‘turmoil’, ‘scandal’, ‘crisis’, ‘chaos’, ‘outcry’, ‘row’, ‘disarray’, ‘backflip’, and ‘backdown’. Common adjectives include ’shattering’, ‘seething’ and ‘humiliating’. Verbs used regularly include ‘bickering’, ‘squabbling’, ‘lashing out’, and ‘slammed’. In the great majority of cases, the use of these rather extreme terms is not justified by the substance that lies beneath them – they create an extremely distorted image of the content being reported. In fact, I believe that the routine misuse of language in the media is one of the main reasons that the practice of politics has fallen into disrepute.”

I quote these parts of Tanner’s book to reinforce the thrust of this piece: that the media does profoundly influence public opinion; indeed it creates it.

In the August issue of The Monthly, an article by Sally Neighbour titled: The United States of Chris Mitchell - The Power of Rupert Murdoch and The Australian’s Editor-In-Chief says this, inter alia: “The biggest story in politics at the moment is the relationship between News Limited and the government,” a veteran Canberra-watcher says. According to a News Limited insider, “Mitchell has inculcated a view [at the newspaper] that they are there not only to critique and oversee the government, [but also that] it is their role to dictate policy shifts, that they are the true Opposition.”

Can this be interpreted as anything other than unashamed political manipulation by the media?

Later in Neighbour’s piece: “Chris Mitchell once told a colleague, “You have to understand – this is a dictatorship and I am the dictator.”

And later still: “It is Chris’s newspaper,” agrees editor Clive Mathieson, who took the role in April when Paul Whittaker moved to the Daily Telegraph. “Chris quite clearly sets the direction of the paper. There’s very little ambiguity in what he expects. A suggestion from Chris is not really a suggestion, a suggestion from Chris is really an instruction.”

“The view that it’s “Chris’s paper” is echoed by John Hartigan, chief executive of News Limited. “With good editors, the newspaper is almost a mirror on their own personality. It reflects their own values. You can form a very strong picture of them simply by reading the newspaper.” Talk to Mitchell’s colleagues and it’s clear he inspires an intense tribal loyalty among many of them.”

“It’s a remarkable newsroom to work in under him because there’s so much energy about it,” says [Deputy Editor Michelle] Gunn. “It’s having stories that the nation talks about – that’s how you measure your success, the number of stories you break and the influence those stories have. And that’s the mark of his success. It’s intoxicating.”

“His critics enjoy saying the Australian is like a cult and Mitchell surrounds himself with yes-men. It’s truer to say he surrounds himself with talented, dedicated journalists who either share or are willing to reflect his vision for the paper and work their guts out for it, while the others leave, are ignored, frozen out or languish on the back pages.

“If he likes you there’s no nicer place to be than at the Australian,” says one. “If he doesn’t like you it can be a very lonely place.”

So here we have one man, a newspaper editor, unelected, wielding enormous power, influencing and indeed creating public opinion that aligns with his own through his editorial pages and his columnists who slavishly offer him ‘tribal loyalty’. How can this be so? Ask Rupert Murdoch.

We have seen this power in action from the moment Mitchell decided to harass the Government. His paper relentlessly attacked the HIP, highlighting its administrative deficiencies and of course the ceiling fires and deaths, but never mentioning the value to householders and the environment of insulating a million ceilings; he set up a special section in The Australian to publicize complaints about the BER, yet even when there was a positive ANAO Report and three Orgill Reports showed over 97% satisfaction, all his paper focused on was the 2.7% that had a complaint and the instances of ‘waste and mismanagement’. That was ‘the story’, not the employment of thousands of builders kept out of unemployment, the small businesses that avoided closure, and the thousands of school buildings that now grace our schools. Mitchell’s approach was unremittingly negative throughout. He has now turned his sights on the NBN, the carbon tax and the MRRT. Is it any wonder he and his paper are accused of promoting ‘regime change’, something he and John Hartigan implausibly deny? In fact Hartigan asserts that the reason for the assault by News Limited on the Government is that “it is unpopular and down in the polls”, a state of affairs his papers have been prominent in creating.

Here’s another slant from Tanner’s book where he quotes media researcher John McManus who “…cites four basic rules of television news: prefer images, employ emotion above analysis, exaggerate, and avoid extensive news gathering.” Can you believe that TV news and current affairs outlets ‘avoid extensive news gathering’? If we are not already aware of this, we had better get used to this grotesque notion.

Does any of this take you back to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four?

Later Tanner quotes Robert MacNeil, a former executive editor and anchor man of a major US TV news show: “The idea is to keep everything brief, not to strain the attention of anyone but instead provide constant stimulation through variety, novelty, action and movement … (assuming) that bite sized is best, complexity is to be avoided, that nuances are dispensable, that qualifications impede the simple message, that visual stimulation is a substitute for thought, and that verbal presentation is an anachronism.”

Julia Gillard has been repeatedly criticized for not getting her message across, for not ‘cutting through’, yet what she is needing to transmit is the essence of complex matters – reforms such as a price on carbon, the MRRT, the NBN, health reform and so on, issues that cannot readily be reduced to images and a few snappy phrases, while Tony Abbott can spread his negative messages with just a few words and phrases – “No, No, No, toxic tax, ghost towns, industries wiped out, unemployment and ruin, all because of an incompetent wasteful government”. What hope does she have of informing the electorate about her intentions when the media is geared to do just the opposite – not inform, avoid complexity, foster antagonism and anger, and promote conflict by quoting Abbott’s slogans over and again in a winners/losers contest that becomes the real story in the media?

Later in this chapter Tanner reports: “…a study of thousands of individual items in the British and American media that revealed that the overwhelming bulk of the portrayal of anonymous public opinion in the media is in fact a reflection of journalists’ opinions. Phrases like ‘some people say’ are usually code for the individual journalist’s friends or peer group. Typically, such groups are not representative of society at large.”

Tanner goes on to talk about content distortion being critically influenced by story selection, and that a common and important source of distortion is omission, which is much harder to detect than other forms of distortion. We see this over and again. He quotes Laura Tingle as saying that “...writing a news story doesn’t mean just listing a number of facts, but making judgements about the context in which readers should consider these facts”. Again, how often are we given the context of a story?

Instead we are presented with the words journalists prefer to transmit their own and their peer group’s views, using a minimum of facts, little complexity, virtually no context and little reasoning, but lots of ‘he says, she says’, images, conflict and intrigue, all designed to create and manipulate our views so that they align with their own.

I could go on quoting supporting comments from Tanner’s perspicacious book, but instead will conclude by reference to the way opinion polls and focus group polling is used to create rather than reflect public opinion. Of course pollsters would protest to the contrary, insisting that they reflect public opinion accurately, within the limits of polling. For good pollsters that might be so, but the less careful ones can create opinion via their methodology, for example by asking for opinions on issues before voting intentions. By asking first: ‘Are you in favour of the proposed carbon tax’, subsequent questions are contaminated.

But even good pollsters seem reluctant to concede that one poll feeds into the next, especially now that there are polls of one sort or another almost every day, and much shrill publicity afforded to the major ones via every media outlet. People who do not spend their days analyzing and reflecting on political matters, like many who visit here do, are bound to be influenced by what they hear and see in the media about the latest poll results. On the days of major polls there is media saturation of the results from late the night before through the entire day until late. Along with the voting intentions are the ratings of the leaders and who is preferred as PM, even throwing in some names other than the leaders. Convince me that this does not influence how people will direct their opinions next time a pollster calls. And since landlines are the preferred technology, to what extent does that bias the result against the opinion of mobile-only users?

In my view, frequent polls bring about a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the polls are loudly screaming one way, surely that must induce a similar response in subsequent polls. In other words one poll creates or predicts the result of the next. It follows that polling trends are like a large ship – the momentum takes a long while to reverse. Yet each poll is reported as if it carries a unique message – a further dip spells more pain for the victim, a small rise a glimmer of hope. Yet although statisticians warn about ‘margins of error’ that result from sample size, and the danger of reading too much into any one poll, and particularly small changes, the media sensationalizes every change, particularly if they reflect badly on the side that the media does not favour.

Polls create as well as reflect public opinion, as do the results of focus groups. Have you noticed how headlines in the Murdoch media adverse to the Government often precede the Tuesday Newspoll? Then The Australian uses the results to justify its persistent denigration of the Gillard Government on the grounds that the polls show that it is down and deeply unpopular. Talk about a circular argument!

This piece could be twice as long as there is abundant evidence and a plethora of studies, quotes and opinions that the media always has, but more than ever does create public opinion, rather than simply reflecting it. The more it creates opinion, the more individual journalists, editors and media proprietors call the tune, the further civilized societies slide towards rule by the powerful media barons, the more we are manipulated in Orwellian fashion towards conformity with the views, desires and malicious intent of the media dictators. This is serious.

We in the Fifth Estate have but a small voice, but if enough of us cry out often enough, persistently enough and fervently enough, we will be heard. It is not too late to reverse the pernicious influence of a malevolent media. Our survival as a democracy depends on persuading the media to return to its rightful role – informing the public with all the verifiable facts and well-reasoned conclusions and opinions based on them, rather than the pursuit of a pre-determined and too often individualistic agenda that seeks domination.

Does the media create opinion? Should it? What do you think?

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nasking

8/08/2011AA, you've done it again. Another excellent analysis of the media that manipulate the public and manufacture public opinion. [quote]Polls create as well as reflect public opinion, as do the results of focus groups. Have you noticed how headlines in the Murdoch media adverse to the Government often precede the Tuesday Newspoll? Then The Australian uses the results to justify its persistent denigration of the Gillard Government on the grounds that the polls show that it is down and deeply unpopular. Talk about a circular argument! [/quote] Ohhh yea...time & time again. And SKY NEWS lose their balance and ramp up the war on the government (sometimes in a tricky dick way) over the weekend...prior to the Newspoll... I've seen Saturday Agenda use four, yes four, News Ltd journos/commentators (including the host) to interrogate, attempt to bully, and try and ambush government ministers. Often Paul Kelly acts as the old sage, as in "bloody know-it-all", using his techniques to cajole and push the minister into a policy corner...wedgggggeeee. And Jennifer Hewett sits there and sneers, unable to hide her contempt for the government. This is an example of a "lead in" to a Hewett article on the carbon price: [quote]Jennifer Hewett writes: The general mood in business is that this government is dominated by those with little experience of business and even less appreciation of its needs and its contribution to economic growth - or lack of it.[/quote] The headline to the article is: [quote]Determination not enough to revive Gillard[/quote] Says it all really. Add the sneering, acidic words and contempt-ridden face and ya get a good idea of what Hewett is like on SKY. I keep waiting for her to lunge and take a bite outa the minister. Ya all know Mr. Stutchbury. And others of the Dark Realm. When tricky dicks David Speers and Peter Van Onselen come across as the "kinda balanced" ones of the panel...ya know somethin' stinks in the studios of SKY NEWS. N'

Sir Ian Crisp

8/08/2011Why not explore new territory AA? Here’s a challenge for you Ad Astra. Why not contrast the styles of negative Tony with that of the gov't attack dog and Minister for Scare Tactics Tanya Plibersek? Minister Plibersek said to a Central Coast group: [quote]“We know the science tells us that we need to act on dangerous climate change,” Ms Plibersek said. “The science shows us that the Central Coast faces the highest risk of inundation from sea level rise in NSW. [/quote] Then Professor Plibersek said on QandA: [quote]“We will lose the Barrier Reef. We will lose Kakadu. We won’t be able to feed ourselves. We won’t be able to grow fruit and vegetables to feed ourselves”.[/quote] I don't need to add negative Tony's quotes because one only needs to visit previous topics and contributions here at TPS to find an absolute plethora of his bilge. So which is worse AA: negative Tony and his blatherings or Scary Spice Girl Tanya and her hectoring style?

Ad astra

8/08/2011Nasking Thank you for your quick response and your supportive words. News Limited outlets will continue to inject venom into the debate with their personal opinions. Of what value is Jennifer Hewitt’s opinion compared with yours and mine? What entitles her to pontificate on politics and sneeringly demean the Gillard Government other than the fact that she regards herself as an ‘insider’, the title of her husband’s program. After watching many episodes of [i]Insiders[/i], I am unconvinced of the value of the opinion of most political journalists, as most seem to be pursuing a predetermined agenda, and manipulate the facts to support their position. What you relate reinforces what this piece asserts – that journalists too often attempt to persuade their audience to their views, whereas they ought to be reporting the facts and allowing us to decide what the facts mean. Their arrogance is mind-boggling. Sir Ian You remind me of Peter van Onselen’s comment about Lindsay Tanner’s book, namely that he should have written a different book! You think I should have written a different story. I know you find media stories boring. If you prefer different stories, why not set up you own blog and write them yourself. We can then come to your site and pour scorn on them as you do here.

2353

8/08/2011Well written AA - it's not the telling of the story but the way in which it is told. I personally don't expect too much from the media, News - reporting of straight factual evidence - on the News pages, Opinion - clearly labelled opinion pieces from journalists and others that have the creditability to write such pieces (on a range of topics) - on the Opinion pages, Business & Finance - again with the Opinion pieces being clearly labelled as such - and the cartoons (ooh and some port as well). Clearly others have a differing opinion - including at least one newspaper manager.

Lyn

8/08/2011Hi Ad How do you do it, another wonderful brilliant article, thankyou Ad Astra. Have you noticed a few of the Newsreaders and journalists have said, they have been accused of bias by the Government. This is not true, they were of accused of distorting the facts, misconstruing the headlines, giving and writing a false impression. They are saying bias, because that is harder to prove and they try to make the Government look petty and whinging. Sally Neighbour's article in the Monthly was certainly a worthwhile read. [quote]Mitchell’s approach was unremittingly negative throughout. [b]He has now turned his sights on the NBN[/b], the carbon tax and the MRRT. Is it any wonder he and his paper are accused of promoting ‘regime change’, something he and John Hartigan implausibly deny? [/quote] Your words Ad, they make me cranky with the NBN reporting, at least Paul Budde gives an excellent report. A couple of links on topic, I don't have much faith in The Press Council, the Government needs more than them to do the investigations. [i]Papers, mags face pressure to lift their game , Sally Jacksn, The Australian[/i] Other topics likely to come up for discussion include the taking of photos in or from public places, the alteration of photos, whether headlines fairly reflect the tenor of articles, [b]conflicts of interest, [/b]using dishonest or unfair means to gain information, [b]how to ensure fairness, accuracy and balance, and more.[/b] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/papers-mags-face-pressure-to-lift-their-game/story-e6frg996-1226110462531?utm [i]Australian Press Council[/i] The Australian Press Council was established in 1976 and is responsible for promoting good standards of media practice, community access to information of public interest, and freedom of expression through the media. The Council is also the principal body with responsibility for responding to complaints about Australian newspapers, magazines and associated digital outlets. The Australian Press Council has 22 members, comprising the independent Chair and eight “public members”, who have no affiliations with a media organisation; nine nominees of media organisations which are "constituent bodies" of the Council (see below under Constituent bodies); four independent journalist members, who are not employed by a media organisation http://www.presscouncil.org.au/ Cheers :):):):):)

Catching up

8/08/2011Some days ago I was listening to an ABC news report. The news broadcaster was a young chap I have not noticed before There was a short video clip of the PM talking about the economy if I remember correctly. Nothing wrong up to this point until the young unknown announcer made the comment 'THAT WAS THE PM SOUNDING OFF" Is that how a news broadcaster should behave. What gives him the right to make insulting remarks during a news broad cast. Have we reached the stage where there are no standards and anything goes. I hope not.

calyptorhynchus

8/08/2011They create it. The political centre is several kilometres further right than it would be if we didn't have a poisonous right-wing media pumping people full of nonsense. I twigged to this as a teenage in Britain watching the media bring down the Callaghan government, and it has continued in both the UK and Australia ever since.

Ad astra

8/08/20112353 Thank you for your kind comments. In my view one of the main problems with the media is that it does not differentiate between facts and opinion, perhaps in tune with Rupert Murdoch’s dictum that ‘opinion is news’. Hi Lyn Thank you for your kind comments and your links. I could not get them to work – apparently they were having some server problems. I’ll try again tomorrow. Catching up It is nauseating to see young journalists being disrespectful to our nation’s PM. I find that insulting and insolent. calyptorhynchus You are right. The poisonous media seems to authorize their journalists to behave in an arrogant way.

Lyn

8/08/2011Hi Ad Looks like the Sally Jackson story is a broken link Try again: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/papers-mags-face-pressure-to-lift-their-game/story-e6frg996-1226110462531 Cheers:):):)

Ad astra

8/08/2011Hi Lyn Thanks. The link worked this time. Let’s hope the Press Council will do its job properly and bring the media into line. It’s a faint hope, but we can always hope. I’m calling it a day now to enjoy my favourite evening on ABC TV.

nasking

9/08/2011This present market crash reminds me of a Spooks episode which saw a closet Russian communist turned billionairre in London using negative whisper strategies to create a big sell off...in order to bring down the western markets. I reckon governments need to close the markets and investigate who the big sellers are who are the main sources for this negative news. I'm getting the stench of economic sabotage here. I would particularly investigate those in the fossil fuel & armaments', corporate media & security areas. And large investors from countries we are presently not on great terms with. President Obama needs to call for an emergency session of Congress to put in place immediate debt reduction & revenue increasing measures...and if the Congress can't do the job he needs to use his own powers. All Superannuation companies in Australia need to ensure in the future they are less exposed to this world casino sharemarket. Those who believe in less regulation of the financial sector are fools or complicit in widespread theft & mayhem. I agree w/ Brian Toohey that the government needs to delay the increase in Superannuation. It's far too risky these days. If necessary people in financial trouble should be able to get access to their Super...either a small percentage to pay down mortgage or debt specifically. Or workers should be paid the Super contributions on top of their wages for an emergency period. The inflation measuring tools need to be altered, made more flexible, temporarily. The carbon price needs to be lowered. And enuff talking down the economy by the irresponsible Coalition. They're a disgrace. Is it any wonder we can't transition to more sustainable economies when the workers & investors allow themselves to be manipulated so often? N'

Lyn

9/08/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]The Opposition’s second – rate NBN plan, Paul Budde, The Budde Blog[/i] the most likely outcome is that if the Coalition wins the next election the NBN will come to a standstill, since there will be no economically-viableplan if it is left to private industry – at least not based on the plans that they have put on the table at this stage. http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/the-oppositions-second-rate-nbn-plan/ [i]NBN-connected Tassie schools finally get access, Renai LeMay, Delimeter[/i] Under the second phase, the Department of Education will utilise the systems and services as part of the new eSchool which will provide online learning opportunities across Tasmanian schools,” he added. “This will include services to rural and remote students http://delimiter.com.au/2011/08/08/nbn-connected-tassie-schools-finally-get-access [i]Replicators do exist!,, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Welcome to the world of 3D printing. And yes, this will mean loads of changes in manufacturing. It will also mean the end of importingand exporting some manufactured goods. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/replicators-do-exist/ [i]They saved us last time, but still faced a credit crunch, Mungo MacCallum[/i] indeed in its early days The Australian was a fair, even progressive paper; I know because I worked for it. But things have changed, and for Cater to claim that they haven't is either very stupid or very dishonest. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2829422.html [i]Treasurer Swan will Balance the Budget: While Markets Crash and US Hegemony Declines, Peter, Aussie Views News[/i] Anyone close to retirement or actually retired now has less money to live on. It is not about forgetting the present of a brand new car or a really long overseas trip. It’s about spending a lot less each year or running out of money before http://www.aussieviewsnews.com/2011/08/08/wayne-swan-markets-hegemony/ [i]Amid global market turmoil, can China keep our economy afloat? John Quiggin, The Conversation[/i] We managed a good fiscal stimulus last time, we the economy has essentially stabilised and the debt-to-GDP ratio has peaked. So there’s room foranother fiscal stimulus if we need it, and room for interest rate cuts. http://theconversation.edu.au/amid-global-market-turmoil-can-china-keep-our-economy-afloat-2724 [i]Loving the Punting, Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] What is the Coalition going to cut public expenditure to fund its promises--eg the Coalition's direct action plan; the tax cuts; childcare; closing down the coal-fired power generators in the Latrobe Valley; its national broadband--without increasing taxes and without the moneyfrom the carbon and mining tax http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/08/loving-the-punt.php#more [i]Investors Hit The Panic Button,Charles McPhedran, New Matilda[/i] The cause: the decision by credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s to reduce the United States’ credit rating one notch down to AA+ on Friday, after weeks of back and forth between Democrats and Republicans over an agreement to raise the ceiling http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/08/investors-hit-panic-button [i]Caring for Older Australians, Inquiry report, Australian Government[/i] This inquiry report, including online appendices and errata, was released on 8 August 2011.Please note: Appendices B to H will only be available online and are not in the printed copy. http://pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/aged-care/report [i]High Court extends asylum swap injunction, ABC[/i] The full hearing is not likely to take place until the week beginning August 22 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-08/high-court-asylum-swap-decision/2829446?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Who’s the guardian of unaccompanied minors sent from Oz?, Amber Jamieson, Crikey[/i] He has to discharge the obligations of guardian properly. Meaning, he shouldn’t send them to Nauru, he shouldn’t send them to Malaysia, he shouldn’t put them into immigration detention http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/08/crikey-clarifier-whos-the-guardian-of-unaccompanied-minors-sent-from-oz/ [i]A Temporary Freeze To The Malaysia Solution, New Matilda[/i] the plight of detainees on Christmas Island has been turned into an ugly media spectacle. The sensational coverage of the forcible removal of humanbeings has not been edifying nor has the collusion of media outlets http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/08/temporary-freeze-malaysia-solution [i]ASYLUM SEEKERS MALAYSIA ACCOMMODATION, AAP One[/i] image made available on Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 of temporary transit accommodation in Port Dickson, outside of Kuala Lumpur, that will house asylum seekers affected by the controversial swap deal between Australia and Malaysia. Under the deal, the 800 asylum http://www.aapone.com.au/search.aspx?search=ASYLUM+SEEKERS+MALAYSIA+ACCOMMODATION%26(IMPORTDATE>20110807) [i]Lest we forget: the amnesia preserving Australian self-image, Julian Byrnside, The Drum[/i] Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison swung into action by criticising the parents of the children for sending them off in the first place. They don't seem tounderstand that most Hazaras can only scrape together enough money to save just one member of the family. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2829188.html [i]Labor govt says high-speed rail’s $100bn price ‘worth it’,David Twomey, Eco News[/i] Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, himself a former National Party leader, said it was “now or never” when it came to high-speed rail.“This report has created a window of opportunity which must be prosecuted, otherwise suburban sprawl will close out many of the vital corridor http://econews.com.au/news-to-sustain-our-world/labor-govt-says-high-speed-rail%E2%80%99s-100bn-price-worth-it/ [i]How Bad Is News Corp.?, Michael Wolf, Ad Week[/i] -sourced information coming out of the Department of Justice and the FBI suggests a debate is going on that could result in the recently launchedinvestigations of News Corp. falling under the RICO statutes http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/how-bad-news-corp-133928 [i]Blagging in the public interest, Media Watch[/i] The moral is this: in the media's eyes - in Australia, as in Britain, in News Ltd, and elsewhere too, deception is justified if it's in the public interest. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3288423.htm [i]Seven types of troll: a spotter's guide , James Delingpole , The Telegraph[/i] 4. Pedant Troll. In his imagination, pedant troll is the very exemplar of reason, balance and moderation. He feels effortlessly superior to the ridiculous, extremist, purblind fool whose blog he haunts, and whom he likes to put down with his killer sarcasm, weapons-grade pedantry and niggling little quibbles masquerading as constructive criticism. If he were really as brilliant as he thinks he is, he would at the very least have a major blog of his own http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100099194/seven-types-of-troll-a-spotters-guide/

2353

9/08/2011O'Farrell's honeymoon didn't last long. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/politics/ofarrell-must-come-clean-on-dealmaking-20110805-1ifbr.html And Carbon Tax is being written about as a done deal http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/at-last-pm-gets-break-on-climate-plan-20110808-1ij71.html Interesting moring in the Brisbane Times/SMH.

2353

9/08/2011And if I could spell, "moring" would be "morning"

Ad astra

9/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011What an amazingly succinct and perspicacious comment, from Twitter, on the society that Murdoch and his tribal media cabal have created: [quote]Bad_Cat_Sam Deconstruction as a form of creationism. Peeps r not satisfied accepting social/law/celebrity culture that lacks REAL accountability #riots[/quote]

nasking

9/08/2011Ad astra, feeding into your useful post, one only has to look at the corporate media types such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to see how their constant support & promotion of the Tea Party & their destructive politics has led the markets into a panic situation...undermining the financial security of America at a time it desperately needed growth & innovative stimulus via increased revenue and a shifting of priorities. These are the same media types who pushed the Bush admin's case for war in Iraq... and once again we see a fiasco...a debacle. Rupert Murdoch & Roger Ailles & Charles Krauthammer & Rush Limbaugh & Glenn Beck & Sean Hannitty & Bill Kristol and their rich supporters are the buggest turkeys on the planet...and deserve to be ignored and ridiculed long before Thanksgiving. The reason I believe the Congress should be called into emergency session, rather than waiting on this so called "super committee", is the fact the committee could be construed by both the public & the markets as elitist and not representative of the people. There is enuff distrust already. The Republican party needs to give the Tea Party members a dressing down...big time...and the more sensible, responsible Republicans need to vote w/ as many Democrats as possible for a "balanced budget". Including getting rid of tax loopholes & subsidies to oil companies. If the Tea Party members refuse to join in...let them fry. This is about America's short & long-term financial/job security. The people are not "collaterol damage". Not disposable. Just so the Republicans can win an election. And the fossil fuel companies...and types like Murdoch can remain rich. Charles Krauthammer's attacks on the President this morning on the Fox News panel w/ Brett Baier were an absolute disgrace and represent the contempt shown towards Obama by many on the Right from the beginning...undermining his authority...and talking down the economy. Opportunistic & irresponsible claptrap. They took us into the Iraq FIASCO...and Afghanistan's black hole...are we gonna allow the same dickheads to crash our economy AGAIN too? Lyn, thnx for link: [quote]How Bad Is News Corp.?Michael Wolff on the state of the Murdoch empire and its Mob-like structure [/quote] http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/how-bad-news-corp-133928 N'

Michael

9/08/2011In the absence (blessed!) of Shouldabeen, today's 'bad' commentary from AlmostWasPresidentoftheLibs Peewee Reith. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2829910.html He's suggesting that the federal government, who he characterises throughout as "Gillard", should abandon all its economic reforms 'just in case things go sour' in Australia due to turmoil on the world's private sharemarkets. Public policy thrown out to avoid potential disaster brought on this country because of the screw-ups of the private companies and investors as manifest by the rise and fall of share prices here and internationally. All, of course, so that 'business' can sort these problems out, because, by this sort of thinking, the 'market' is the efficient engine of progress and economic stability. Well, Peter, it's the market that is teetering because of business sector foul-ups. And, ironically, the market's teetering is doing what you reckon it should be. Flushing out the screw-ups. But we all remember from the Global Financial Crisis what the screw-ups, the banks and large companies considered too big to be let fail, many still run by the same people who threw all the wrong levers last time, what those screw-ups became then: the bailed out. The 'hairy-chested capitalist free marketeers' who were rescued by governments worldwide, that is, by the taxes paid by citizens worldwide. The small people, the famous 'mums and dads' rescued the Porsche drivers, the First Class flyers, the private yacht holidayers. And now, you recommend that our Federal Government should tighten up purse-strings, shelve far-seeing economic reform, and go once again to the small people to bail out the big wasters? Tony Abbott missed having a real soulmate in head office when he told you he'd vote for you as Lib President, and then publicly made clear that he hadn't.

nasking

9/08/2011Thanks Michael for the link to the ever morally bankrupt Peter Reith's grotesque piece. In no way shape or form should the government abandon the mining tax. As for this: [quote]Gillard should have a mini budget as a platform to announce some structural reform and to cut back on waste and unnecessary spending. Around the world other countries are introducing austerity packages.[/quote] Yes, haven't the "austerity packages" gone down well in Greece & the UK? Tho, I imagine anyone who benefits from 'security'-related stocks...and digs "police states" will be lookin' for gains off the back of rioting. As for "waste" to cut...and cutting debt...I can think of a few areas related to Medicare & rich schools etc. that might help...as in upper middle class to wealthy people's welfare. And withdrawing faster from a certain war...pushed by Howard & co. N'

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011Nas, Agree totally. This Standard and Poors US Debt downgrade has brought about that which the Debt Ceiling showdown could not. I'd be interested to follow the links between the CEO of Standard and Poors, who, we must not forget, aided and abetted the Administration of George W.Bush and his Wall St cronies to unleash CDOs on America and the world by rating them AAA, and the Republican Party, the Kochs, Murdoch, and the rest of the Capitalist Kochroaches. Speaking of shills for the Kleptocrats, here's the Bum Rush's take on matters of the last few weeks: Limbaugh: A Credit Rating Downgrade Was "Probably Exactly What [Obama] Wanted In His Heart Of Hearts"... http://dlvr.it/fPptz When, of course, the truth is that it is exactly what the Tea Party Kleptocrats wanted in their heart of hearts. They so badly want to destroy the best Democrat President of our generation and replace him next year with one of their CCC(Crazy Christian Capitalist) shills for their cause.

Feral Skeleton

9/08/20112353, You don't know the half of how bad Barry O'Farrell is. He has pushed through legislation, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NSW HISTORY, that restricts speeches in the NSW Parliament to 20 minutes max. Now, some might say that's a good thing because it will force Opposition MPs to tighten up their speeches. However, the same restriction has not been placed on NSW Coalition government speeches in favour of legislation. How unfair is that? In fact, it's not just unfair, it's undemocratic, as some legislation is technically complex and you need more time than 20 minutes in which to effectively outline your case against. Which leads me to sadly speculate that the federal Coalition will pull the same trick. They will ride around on their bikes, conducting their Sideshow acts for the gullible electorate and totally escape the sort of pre-election scrutiny they deserve which may expose hidden agendas such as Barry O'Farrell hid from the people in NSW before the State Election this year. There's no such thing as Buyer's Remorse when it comes to elections, that I do know.

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011lyn, I love your last link: 7 Types of Troll'. I hope Sir Ian Crisp and jj read it. :D

Lyn

9/08/2011Good Morning Feral Ummmm the thought did cross my mind on reading the article, especially the own blog reference. Cheers :):):):):)

Lyn

9/08/2011Hi Ad A little bit more about media standard's: Media Bites examines journalism practices, VIDEO, The Australian Sally Jackson speaks with the Australian Press Council about its initiative to change and adapt the media's standards and practices. http://video.theaustralian.com.au/2084991045/Media-Bites-examines-journalism-practices

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011Um, the 'Austerity Budget' brought in by Cameron and Osborne(to follow on with Reith's perjorative belittling of national leaders by calling them by their surnames only :D ), has worked wonders in Britain, ey? ;-)

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011I'm glad the rioting in the UK has shown up the limits of a Police State. Not enough Police to go around when the rioting moves away from their lumbering presence as they move their heavily-armed vehicles and numbers into place in one area, only to have the riot dissolve and pop-up in a new area. Also embarassing was the fact that the Police thought they were smart in monitoring facebook and Twitter for information put around by the rioters when all the time they were conversing with each other via Blackberry Messenger. Which is not to say that I condone the Anarchy in the UK, however, what I despise more is the infiltration of the ethos of the American Police State, with it's 'Shoot First and Ask Questions Later' mentality that started these riots off in the first place a few days ago. Britain was a much better place before they decided to arm the Bobbies to the teeth with all the latest weaponry. Also, I think these riots are in some way a commentary by the people and a judgement by them on the corrupt chuminess that has recently been exposed as occurring between the Police, News/Propaganda International, and the Parliament. And no, I do not exempt the Labour Party in Britain from their complicity in allowing that situation to develop over the years they were in power too.

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011Nas, The government should not agree to have a Mini Budget until the Opposition come up with a Budget-In-Reply, that gets down to economic specifics, as a response to the May Budget first. ;-)

nasking

9/08/2011Feral, My aunt lives a couple of blocks from where the original riots started. Her daughter, my cousin, told Mum on the phone an hour ago that it's much worse there than even the media's reporting. I can remember my Aunt complaining about the austerity measures...cutting important funding for youth & elderly groups. And of course the upping of uni fees barring many of the poorer children from entry has certainly contributed. As has the previous government's focus on the military...bogus & unnecessary wars enhances cynicism & mistrust in authorities...even elements of racism. The connection of the Metropolitan Police to scummy tabloids that oft fingerpointed & stomped on minority groups & characters would've also enhanced cynicism and anger towards authority. Again, lack of trust. Add the brutality of some police. And cuts that have weakened the police force...and the role of guardians such as teachers & nurses & community workers. And money bein' poured into the London Olympics whilst many London families are hit by "austerity measures"...bein' asked to sacrifice whilst many of the investment bankers, and other super-rich get away almost scott-free for their mismanagement & corrupt practices...even bein' rewarded on occasion via bailouts & promotions. And young people feeling they have no future under an "austerity government"...sitting at home watching excessively violent computer games, movies and TV shows...too oft representing youth & minorities as loudmouthed, dangerous, aggressive types. Is it any wonder things have blown up? Follow Peter Reith's approach and the same will happen here. Imagine the radio shock jocks who would egg it on...and then call for a police state. N'

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011Google Maps have the location of all the 'London's Burning' locations: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=207192798388318292131.0004aa01af6748773e8f7&msa=0&ll=51.558503,-0.055275&spn=0.114195,0.298691

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011There is approximately one person left with any sanity in the Republican Party: http://ezkool.com/2011/08/republican-calls-teaparty-congress-members-nuts/ However, when you look at the story below and to the right you will see that the Tea Party Republicans are still nuts. :(

nasking

9/08/2011BTW, I condemn the violence. It gains little. Apart from being a horrid, tragic wake up call...creating debate...that unfortunately could devolve into another political civil war if the American example is anything to go by. I hope the British politicians act more like mature, rational adults and deal w/ the real root causes...and don't knee-jerk into police state, big brother, banning and/or censoring communication technology, anti-civil rights attitudes and policies. That would be a loser...and only contribute to the problem. Unfortunately, these riots & the resulting housing, business, vehicle & infrastructure damage will make the UK seem even more unstable. It's already in a poor economic position. It's like the QLD floods...but created by angry, out of control people. N'

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011Tariq Ali, the voice of truth and reason: http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2011/08/09/tariq-ali/why-here-why-now/

Ad astra

9/08/2011Nasking Thank you for your comments. I believe that much of the News Limited strategy is based on the US model of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party. We should look carefully at it and condemn any replication of it here. Thank you Lyn for your links; I’ve read the ones on the NBN and the one on trolls. I’ll have to leave the rest until later as I’m now going to Web Monkey to do some upgrading of my iMac and maintenance work on [i]TPS[/i], so I’ll be out of action most of the rest of the day. Michael, your link to the Reith article shows how disruptive this man Reith can be. We should be grateful he failed to get the top Liberal job; just imagine what he would be doing now if he had. 2353, FS Thank you for the interesting links. Maybe the tide is turning, just a little, for PM Gillard.

peter

9/08/2011Enjoyed the article. Murdoch of course is absolutely certain that the print media (although he includes the electronic version of this)leads all debate on any important topic and view around the world. In that he could well be right, even if it is a slight digression from your question. And I am certain that the print media directs more than it reflects. Blogs that attempt to comment on current affairs usually start with a topic that has appeared in electronic media. The writer tries with varying success to remove political bias and add a wider perspective than the original article. And in so doing, attempts more often to direct public opinion than to reflect it. This is particularly so when the blog is written with righteous indignation, no matter how concealed. Given that such blogs if at all successful are a part of "the media" the cynic could say that they commit the same "directing" sin as the rest of the media does. And I would say that the cynics are probably right.

Lyn

9/08/2011Hi Peter Thankyou so much for your welcome comment. You said: [quote]commit the same "directing" sin as the rest of the media does. And I would say that the cynics are probably right[/quote] I hope so, at least the blogs get the truth out there. The people in America should be supporting their President, the same as here, they are elected to Govern, Oppositions should be sorting the difference between willful destruction and good Governance . The Opposition here is a National disgrace as they are in America. [i]Obama White House Address: A Presidential Swan Song?, Peter, Aussie Views News[/i] [quote]There is an enormous amount of political will in the Republican Party. But it is [b]directed at removing Barack Obama [/b]and not at solving America’s economic problems. And it was up to the President to draw the line in the sand. To defend the country which he was elected to lead. [/quote] http://www.aussieviewsnews.com/2011/08/09/obama-address-fails/

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011peter, On behalf of Ad Astra, whose blog this is, may I extend a big Welcome! to you, and thank you for your salient contribution. I concede that by highlighting that which we criticise we are, in effect, feeding the beast, however, sometimes a little light needs to be shone on those things lurking in dark corners, and, if never highlighted, they continue to fester and grow. Sunshine is the best disinfectant as they say, also.

peter

9/08/2011Thanks Lyn + Feral Skeleton. Of course any sin done by the good guys is OK; I am happy to admit that I do try to direct opinion, no matter how ineffectively. That's why I write my blog and no doubt part of why you write yours. But I also admit to hearing a soft voice from time to time asking me why I think my view is one people should be directed to ... The print media and other media barons do not seem to hear soft voices, let alone listen to them.

nasking

9/08/2011[quote][/quote]A useful article: [quote]A Beer Hall Putsch By the Rentiers? The S&P's Coup By MARSHALL AUERBACK Floating rates float. This is not synonymous with economic and financial degeneracy, as our economic moralists, or the gold bugs seem to imply. Over the past 10 years, the Australian dollar has fluctuated between 50 cents to $1.08 against the greenback. The last time I looked Australia was still surviving and thriving. One can also consider the more extreme case of Russia in 1998, during which its entire financial system imploded and the ruble lost two thirds of its external value against the dollar. Yet the currency itself did not “evaporate” and the ruble remains Russia’s currency unit of account today. And for those who argue that “markets rule”, it’s interesting to see the initial response: money flooding into the yen, despite the fact that Japan has a credit rating lower than the US (remember, neither Moody’s, nor Fitch, followed the S&P downgrade) , in a country which has a public debt to GDP ratio twice that of the US (not that we think that’s a horrible thing per se). As for the Swiss franc, the other beneficiary of this move, it is worth recalling that but for the Fed opening up dollar swap facilities with the SNB in 2009, the Swiss franc wouldn't be worth the value of a piece of toilet paper that you scrape off your shoe in Grand Central Station. It is questionable how much of the furor surrounding the downgrade is ideological and how much is really a misunderstanding (an “innocent fraud” in the words of John Kenneth Galbraith). Governments around the world have been led to believe that they need to issue bonds and collect taxes to finance government spending, and that good policies should be judged by their ability to enforce fiscal austerity. Mainstream economists and ratings agencies such as S&P have guided policymakers into imposing artificial constraints on fiscal policy and government finances, such as issuing bonds when running deficits, debt ceilings, forbidding the central bank to directly buy treasury debt, allowing the markets to set interest rates on government bonds, etc. While last Friday’s downgrade per se probably won't do much, if anything, to interest rates, growth, and employment, ratings agencies like the S&P reinforce the current deflationary state of affairs because their perverse rating actions simply reinforce efforts for further substantial deficit reduction and a balanced budget amendment. Ironically, if the siren songs of “sound finance” are followed, we will get exactly the outcome now predicted by the likes of Michelle Bachmann: the US will become like Greece. Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and commentator. He is a brainstruster for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Intitute[/quote] ------------------------ NOTE: Auerback specifically mentions Australia & the floating dollar. [quote]Over the past 10 years, the Australian dollar has fluctuated between 50 cents to $1.08 against the greenback.[/quote] Huge moves in the dollar, affecting exporters...yet...we still have a vibrant mining & steel export industry. Whilst power hungry Coalition members and the usual suspect media beat the flames of fear over the introduction of a carbon price & mining tax...a carbon price scheme that provides compensation for the steel industry... and let's not forget the multi-billions of profits made by mining companies. I've noticed that certain usual suspect media pundits are now talking down the Chinese economy...as well as the Australian one. I'm wondering how far they are willing to go to damage the economy and damage this government in order to gain power...and/or force the government to abandon the carbon price? SKY NEWS for instance. Shock jocks. Liberal & National party shadow ministers. I might hazard, the damage they will cause will cost this country, including businesses, general households & self-funded retirees, alot more than any carbon price. But that's the insanity of it these days. We have Oppositions who are destructive OCD types led by religious zealot wankers. The public, even their supporters, are the collaterol damage. But isn't that always the way when you are led by and/or duped by Crusaders? N'

nasking

9/08/2011More BS from Crabb...as tho the rubbish she spouted on Insiders last Sunday wasn't enuff...the ABC's invested, yet again, in another tricky dick commentator who oft comes up w/ dopey & reductionist analysis...and she ain't half as funny as she thinks she is: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-05/crabb-moonlight-affair-still-clouds-gillards-identity/2826034 [quote]The mud maps of our most recent prime ministers might go as follows: John Howard - solid, middle-class type. Bit awkward. Social conservative, sticks to his guns. Strong. Kevin Rudd - hardworking. A bit nerdy. Modern family. Knows about foreign stuff. Labor, but not much into unions. Keen to do something about climate change. But what does Julia Gillard's story tell us? It's an interrupted affair, and this is at the heart of her continued struggles as Prime Minister. Her life story, as it appears broadly to voters, looks a bit like this: Redhead. Political lifer. Pretty feisty. Likes football. Seems a capable deputy. Whoops! Is suddenly the Prime Minister.[/quote] Not only does Crabb sound like a Murdoch empire copycat & sh*tstirrer...but she manages to sound like a sycophant when it comes to Howard...whilst lazily playing into the adolescent political game of Rudd vs Gillard by the very nature of the descriptors she uses for each... and sadly demonstrates a terrible sense of insecurity and need to be accepted by her too oft Dark Realm peers by catering to the "Let's Bash Julia" school. "might" is the optimal word when it comes to that "mud map". More like: John Howard - antagonistic, xenephobic-stirring, middle-class type envious of intellectuals and people w/ a sense of compassion. Very awkward unless kowtowed to...then lacking in humility. Socially conservative nerd of the Nth degree, sticks to his guns...except when it comes to Medicare, WorkChoices etc. etc. Strong smell of fibbing, constantly. Stubborn as a mule when it comes to suckin' up GW Bush derriere...and holding onto the leadership...demonstrating an addled brain in older age...and weakness of character...as in destructive displays of grandiosity. N'

NormanK

9/08/2011[b]Stop the downgrading of informed debate in Australia[/b] by Nicholas Stuart [quote]These changes[/quote] (to leadership positions in Defence) [quote]have already encouraged some interesting (and worthwhile) speculation. Everything is in a state of flux. It'll require time to work out exactly what has happened and how things have changed. In the past, it was normal to wait and see what happened before pronouncing a verdict on whether something was good or bad. Today the media is increasingly being forced to issue a moral judgement on every event immediately. Events are labelled either good or bad, or even (we leap to use the superlative) wonderful and evil. Hype is generated instead of reasoned analysis. Rants are allowed, even encouraged, to occupy the space of informed opinion and reasoning. It sells.[/quote] (edited) http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/stop-the-downgrading-of-informed-debate-in-australia/2252587.aspx?storypage=0

nasking

9/08/2011[quote]Her life story, as it appears broadly to voters, looks a bit like this: Redhead. Political lifer. Pretty feisty. Likes football. Seems a capable deputy. Whoops! Is suddenly the Prime Minister. [/quote] Hmmm...okay...how about this? The PMs life story, as it appears to many voters, including my wife & I, comes across somewhat like this: Well educated. Worked as a lawyer. Great debater, particularly in parliament provided she doesn't get into tit-for-tats w/ negabore ranting Abbott. Useful negotiator...much better than Abbott. Willing to delegate & let ministers do their job. Deliciously feisty on occasion. Seems to support sports more than arts like far too many in the community. A capable, hard working deputy. Determined Prime Minister. Has occasional slip of the tongue which can easily come back to bite her due to the anally retentive approach of media these days and their luv for character torture. Quick learner, articulate, adapting to the job of PM effectively after a rocky start. Recent time on the ground w/ public demonstrated charm, wit & compassion necessary to be a great PM. Fearless when it comes to our too oft morally bankrupt, working for the master media. Assertive. Bold. Practical reformer. Courageous under fire. Destined for great things. N'

Gravel

9/08/2011Ad Astra I could feel myself wanting to weep. You have written a truth but unfortunately this truth will only be read by a few people. The misinformation is parroted on ABC 774 everyday by people who ring in. As for this GFC2, I say to Labor, don't do a bloody thing. Let the country suffer. The media, ergo the people will never thank Labor for doing the right thing the first time around and they will be just as ungrateful no matter what you do this time around. Tie up all the money in projects that the opposition can't break after Labor lose the next election and let's see the opposition get out of it all in 2013. As for the asylum seeker issue. When will the do-gooders stop helping the people smugglers? When will the do-gooders stop enabling the opposition and media to keep beating this issue up? Do they really want people risking their lives on leaky boats forever? Do they never want this problem kept in check by a regional solution? Damn it all, it's enough to make a person want to give up. Congratulations go to Penny Wong and her partner on their upcoming parenthood in December.

nasking

9/08/2011To be fair to Howard I should add: Adores his family. And his cricket. Yapping on morning radio. And brisk walks ad nauseum. Practical reformer. Moderate when required. Wears hubris like an overcoat during post-PM interviews. Great pontificator. Occasionally delusional & boring as. N'

Ad astra

9/08/2011peter Thank you for your comment and welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. I hope you will come again. The purpose of this blog from the outset has been to critique the media in particular, as well as federal politicians. It has been my view for years that much of the media is guilty of distorting the political facts and messages, often deliberately, in pursuit of an agenda of its own. Our small voices cry out in protest, and believe that they are sometimes heard and reflected in media comments. Of course we have our biases and preferences that come through in our comments. Many who comment here do so to counter the anti-Government biases that we perceive in the media. We indeed do hope that we have some influence!

tredlgt

9/08/2011 Nasking , crabb looks at our PM and realises that the PM is hands down a more intelligent ,capable and accomplished person than she [crabb] can ever be ,so crabb does her usual trick and tries to ridicule and she can't even do that with any style . Waste of space, and on the public purse.

psyclaw

9/08/2011AA..really enjoyed your article. I spent a bit of time in the car today and all morning heard "Immigration Minister slams Colin Barnett" on ABC radio headlines. Every time they then played Mr Bowen's calm voice saying "well what Mr Barnett is saying is not his own party's policy which is to tow the boats back to Indonesia and tie them up at the nearest jetty". No shouting, screaming, inflammatory language, personal abuse or any such thing. But he was "slamming" Mr Barnett. Apologies if I've overlooked existing comments on qanda last night...... it was generally pathetic I thought, with the exception of Ms Hazlehurst's wisdom, equanimity, articulateness and perceptiveness, especially when Ms O'Dwyer was in her face. Speaking of the latter, I was compelled to email her during the show, and again this morning. In the first missive I politely told her that she was an obnoxious loudmouth. Mr Jones failed to call this female attack dog to order many times in the show as she talked over others. Her immaturity shone through as she attempted to twist every single question into a free advert for Abbott's mob. The joke of the night was the news that she convenes a liberal group called "Moderate Members" Richo was his usual slimey self (in my humble opinion)and Mr Switzer oh so predictable and completely out of depth when commenting on NH's book...."it's totally unsuitable for children"....fool couldn't understand that it was an adult book ABOUT children. Lyn...thanks for today's great links....you are amazing!

Jason

9/08/2011psyclaw, Ms O'Dwyer is a "graduate" of Costello's office, along with that other great intellect who they took to the last election as the shadow "communications" minister Tony Smith! who has since been found work more suitable to his skill set on the back bench. Ms O for all her much "hyped" skill set, only displayed last night why she also sits on the back bench. I would go so far as to say, although she isn't as funny!she has a mouth like "Foghorn Leghorn".

Feral Skeleton

9/08/2011I hope everyone has filled in their Census!!! :D Now, Nasking, I was wondering if you could do me a pen portrait of Ms Crabbe? I'm sure it would be deliciously apt. :)

Lyn

9/08/2011Hi psyclaw Thankyou so much for your informative comments, also thankyou for sharing your opinion on Q&A. KOD is a disgrace did she answer one question? how many times did she divert to the carbon tax, and talk about talk, she would talk under water. What about KOD when she denied Abbott negativity, unbelievable. Jason has her lot summed up. I am so pleased you enjoy today's links and thankyou for saying so, Nasking has been finding some helpful stuff too, he tells me. Tony Abbott called for a people's revolt over the carbon tax. I hope the London riots have fightened him. Cheers:):):):):)

Ad astra reply

9/08/2011psyclaw Thank you for your kind comment. Like you, I found Kelly O’Dwyer a motor mouth who exhibited the characteristics often seen now in conservative spokespersons, namely talking over other people, refusing to shut up even when asked, bullying if inhibited, loaded with Coalition talking points that they insist in spouting no matter what – just as does Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman and Chris Kenny. It seems they are replicating the strategy of Fox News and the Tea Party. Which is understandable as it seems to work in bending the unthinking to their viewpoint.

Lyn

9/08/2011Hi Feral Just reporting, I did our census online. I have a receipt number and nothing is different in our house tonight. Am I in order? Cheers :):):):)

Ad astra reply

9/08/2011Folks I’ve had a long day updating my iMac, so I’m calling it a day. Thank you all for your comments and links.

D Mick Weir

9/08/2011NormanK @ 03:51 PM thanks for that link. Interestingly I was reading the paper version of the story about the time you posted your comment. I am sure you know which part of the article stood out for me and caused more than a little pondering as I wended my way around the traps for the next five hours. [i]Only a brave (or stupid) person could insist blindly that everything this Government does is hopeless. Equally, it is utterly impossible to assert its faultless. No matter what your political views, you don't need to try very hard to find a more egregious example of a complete stuff-up than the way Labor has dealt with the asylum seeker issue. It's not (politely) possible to point out how atrociously the Government has mishandled this issue every step along the way, to the very steps of the High Court. But this is what happens when you allow polling and uninformed, knee-jerk opinions to guide the formation of policy.[/i] And just to add to the stuff up I have just heard on the late news that the paperwork applying to bring forward the High Court hearing has not been lodged. Sadly this government is too busy looking for a political solution that does not exist and creating more problems for itself. Gravel I note your comment @ 4:33 PM [i]As for the asylum seeker issue. When will the do-gooders stop helping the people smugglers? When will the do-gooders stop enabling the opposition and media to keep beating this issue up? Do they really want people risking their lives on leaky boats forever? Do they never want this problem kept in check by a regional solution? Damn it all, it's enough to make a person want to give up.[/i] Damn right, it is enough to make a person to give up. The inept handling of the whole issue by this government is absolutely incredible. To requote Nicholas Stuart: [i]... this is what happens when you allow polling and uninformed, knee-jerk opinions to guide the formation of policy.[/i] I couldn't agree more and can only add there is not a principle in sight with the policies and solutions that are being offered by this government.

TalkTurkey

10/08/2011Good evening Swordsfolks, I've think I've got a case of No-Tone-itis, while that man has been elsewhere I think everybody is a bit de-hyped, and there's been a kind of hush all over the realm for the last week or so. Spoiled by dumb High Court decision, riots in the UK, craziness in the USA, financial ruin facing parts of Europe, and my own full-on migraine. Never mind, the fat will hit the shin again soon in Parliament and then we will see what we will see. Feral Skeleton I honour you and all your ilk for your pains on behalf of censussising us. Sounds like the pains are real. Ad astra I'm sorry not to have commented earlier on your article, I think your question begs the question, that's not a criticism, it's just that the answer's all too evident. The very term public opinion is surely a constuct of the mass media, I think of myriad gullible people being gulled again and again, wheeling in unison like flights of gulls to every slight change in whatever wind blows their way. And who is in charge of the artificial wind machine? Cheers to Peter with your fresh gum-tip gravatar, [Blinky would be pleased], and Calyptorhyncus I love your nom de plume, your name wouldn't be [i]Bill[/i] by any chance? :) Questions On Notice . . . Are there any more questions for Abbortt on his return? Not much of a post Folks I'm sorry. Not tonight. I got a headache. :,(

Feral Skeleton

10/08/2011D Mick Weir, That is not what Gravel meant, and you know it. I don't think she will appreciate having her comments misconstrued by you to bolster your weak, biased argument. I believe she was referring to the Refugee 'Support' Industry that has grown, limpet-like, around the asylum seekers. Gravel lives in WA where one of the most egregious limpets lives, a person by the name of Ian Rintoul, who has confused compassion with attention-seeking. I believe Gravel was saying that these people have lost all perspective on this issue and now reflexively manufacture sympathy without true insight about those they champion. Or, she could have been referring to the opportunists, like David Manne, who see their meal ticket in these people's continued alighting on our shores, as evinced today, unwittingly, when he referred to them, repeatedly, as, not asylum seekers, but his 'Clients'. Though I'm sure Gravel will be able to speak for herself in the morning. For myself, all I can say is that anyone that thinks that this government's attempts to actually solve this problem by creating a Regional Solution to a Regional problem are wrong, is wrong themselves and unwilling to face the reality of this situation, which is appalling in so many ways. From unecessary deaths at sea, to a flourishing trade in people no less vile than that which brings illegal workers to this country, it is a wrong which needs to be righted. That professional do-gooders have latched onto it as some sort of cause celebre is reprehensible to me, especially when they refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies of the alternative solutions to this one, such as Nauru, TPVs and the Pacific Solution in general. Just as reprehensible as you think my opinion is I suppose.

TalkTurkey

10/08/2011Not colon comma open bracket Dopey Colon [i]apostrophe[/i] open bracket :'( Can't do nothin' right.

TalkTurkey

10/08/2011اجاره لپتاپ said "I offer the ideas above as basic inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you convey up the place an important thing will likely be working in sincere good faith." jj should take logic lessons from اجاره لپتاپ ! :)

D Mick Weir

10/08/2011FS, you refer to my [i]weak, biased argument[/i] Interesting. On what basis do you contend that my argument is 'weak'? In what way is it 'biased'? At the moment the only sense I get from your statements is that as my opinion dffers from yours my opinion is weak and biased. In my humble opinion that is a very poor basis on which to make your case. If you are prepared to let go of your apparent bias against Club Troppo you may be interested to read this post by Ken Parish: [b]Legal heaven on a stick[/b] http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/08/09/legal-heaven-on-a-stick/ Parish notes that [i]... just about every policy initiative relating to asylum seekers over the last 20 years, under the Hawke, Keating, Howard, Rudd and now Gillard governments has been challenged through the courts. You wouldn’t expect anything else.[/i] There is some heavy reading involved but you would possibly agree with most of his points and be relieved to read he thinks that the government will more than likely win the case. I happen to agree with most of what he has written but that does not take away from my assessment that the government has handled it very poorly and playing politics with the issue is one of the reasons it has appears to be in a shambles over the issue.

Lyn

10/08/2011 [b]DAILY LINKS[/b] [i]Productivity, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] In the media and other forums for public debate there is a consensus among economic commentators saying that Australia needs to boost productivity, and that an important element in that is greater labour market flexibility http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/08/productivity.html [i]Nick Clegg (April 2010) predicted [b]riots if Tories made cuts[/b], Trevor Cook, Video[/i] http://trevorcook.typepad.com/weblog/2011/08/nick-clegg-predicted-april-2010-riots-if-tories-made-cuts.html?utm_ [i]'This Is London, How Could This Happen?', Paul Farrell, New Matilda[/i] As the sun sets in Tottenham now, the few shops that are open quickly shut. Some put wooden boards up against their windows. Despite the police presence now in Tottenham the escalation in violence across London has made people very, very scared. http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/09/this-london-how-could-happen [i]London’s burning: Blame it on the BlackBerry, Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep[/i] When a large enough group feels it has no stake in society, that group will revolt. Trainers and plasma TVs are the pathetic symbols of the revolt of the have nots against the haves. Not political? You must be dreamin http://noplaceforsheep.com/2011/08/09/londons-burning-blame-it-on-the-blackberry/ [i]Panic on the streets of London. Penny Red[/i] The people running Britain had absolutely no clue how desperate things had become. They thought that after thirty years of soaring inequality, in the middle of a recession, they could take away the last little things that gave people hope, the benefits, the jobs, the possibility of higher education, the support structures, and nothing would happen http://pennyred.blogspot.com/2011/08/panic-on-streets-of-london.html [i]London Burning- Why here, why now – The sociology of civil disorder,Mark Bahnisch, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Lastly, there’s always been a distinction between large scale civil disorder and political shifts. For the latter to accompany the former, a lot of the groundwork has to have been laid by changes in attitudes among some of the elite and political class http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/08/09/london-burning-why-here-why-now-the-sociology-of-civil-disorder/ [i]Chip Le Grand creates a Climate change sob story, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] The Australian published a s-s-s-so-sob story: IT is not easy watching one of your reporters get done over by Media Watch. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/08/chip-le-grand-creates-climate-chang [i]Why the campaign against anonymity is an attack on free speech, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] despite this high-minded affection for civil debate, newspapers still run unsigned editorials and continue the long print media tradition of pseudonymous or unsigned journalism. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/09/why-the-campaign-against-anonymity-is-an-attack-on-free-speech/ [i]The responsibilities of opposition,Peter Boyer,Climate Tasmania[/i] “No tax collection without an election” is Abbott’s cute little jingle summing up his case for the Gillard government to be drummed out of office two years ahead of schedule. Buoyed by anti-carbon tax noise, and with Labor at rock bottom in the polls, he’s going for the jugular. http://climatetasmania.com.au/2011/08/09/a204/ [i]The census: an historical goldmine for future generations, Glen Davies, Independent Australia[/i] The ‘time capsule’ is an opportunity for you to be remembered forever. That is, your personal information will, in 99 years time, become a valuable resource for future generations, http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/australian-identity/the-census-an-historical-goldmine-for-future-generations/ [i]Obama White House Address: A Presidential Swan Song?, Peter, Aussie Views News [/i] There is an enormous amount of political will in the Republican Party. But it is directed at removing Barack Obama and not at solving America’s economic problems. And it was up to the President to draw the line in the sand. . www.aussieviewsnews.com/.../ [i]Panic and Mungo’s take, Min, Café Whispers[/i] who will save us now? The last time around the government was able to quickly roll out stimulus, not only in the form of a one-of handout but also via “shovel ready” projects which included the BER. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/panic-and-mungos-take/ [i]A black hole at The Age, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] it’d be nicer if they accurately described what it is, rather than trying to pass it off as being connected to the story. The image shows up quite regularly around the internet on articles about black http://www.crikey.com.au/ [i]Aged Care reform , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] The other option allows pensioners to sell their house, bank the proceeds in a government-backed age pensioners savings account, and still receive the aged pension. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/08/aged-care-refor.php#more [i]Caring for older Australians: one family’s journey highlights the need for culturally appropriate care, Melissa Sweet, Croakey[/i] Below is a personal account which highlights the importance of these issues, as well as the need for culturally appropriate care and services. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2011/08/09/caring-for-older-australians-one-familys-journey-highlights-the-need-for-culturally-appropriate-care/ [i]It’s 30 years since Australia’s first mobile phone call,Stuart Corner, ITWire[/i] In the early days of cellular not only did Telecom have a monopoly over the network and the service, it also ruled the handset market: choosing a handful of suppliers and dictating what devices they could offer for sale. http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/market/49025-its-30-years-since-australias-first-mobile-phone-call [i]Phone hacking: 'Rupert Murdoch tells Rebekah Brooks to travel the world’, Tim Walker, The Telegraph[/i] My understanding is that Rupert has told her to travel the world on him for a year and then he will find a job for her when the scandal has died down,” whispers my informant. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8684463/Phone-hacking-Rupert-Murdoch-tells-Rebekah-Brooks-to-travel-the-world.html

Ad astra

10/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

10/08/2011D Mick Weir, I could only conclude that your argument was weak and biased against mine because you had to resort to misconstruing Gravel's comments on the Asylum Seeker issue in order to seek to bolster your own pov. Now, I will read that Club Troppo link, and I will say that it's not that I am biased against CT, I just believe they are po-faced. It's just an opinion, it's just my opinion, it's not to say that it is any less worthy as a blog as a result of that opinion. One thing I have learnt in life is to never say never. :)

nasking

10/08/2011It's important to keep young people active (including mind activity)...and respected...you have to invest in their schools, communities, activities. Kudos to the governments here for creating community centres, sports fields, parks w/ exercise machines, providing excursions...and the BER program...my wife's public school saw real infrastructure & technology changes (educational tools) by way of increased targetted funding and it did wonders for student morale. It's important to keep parents/guardians engaged...and use some levers such as social security to motivate them to ensure kids attend school regularly. Ya need to invest in teachers, counsellors and other community workers, including police (well & thoroughly trained & accountable) in order to keep in contact w/ both students & parents/guardians...providing a variety of guidance services. I don't have a problem w/ chaplains either, provided they don't go overboard w/ their recruiting stuff & theological pontifications...and leave the bigoted stuff to the priests...but secular counsellors, nursing staff, teacher aids etc. in schools should be prioritised over them when it comes to public funding. Activities, activities, activities. Keep the children occupied. Including providing up to date libraries. And ensure higher education is affordable...but don't just use it as a gateway to one form of social propaganda or the other. Teach young people how to learn for themselves...and to be flexible (career opportunities/sector demand changes regularly) ...but also provide them useful work experience opportunities. Frankly, I reckon all level of governments are generally doin' a better job here than in the UK. Far too much class division there...and yobs comin' out of the sporting audience areas such as soccer/football. Keep sports participants responsible & humble if possible...keep too much gambling & over-competitiveness out...scrutinise the tabloids & make them ethically accountable...and expect appropriate behaviour of sports crowds. Emphasise a variety of arts, engineering related games and other activities as much as sports. Art & engineering can be highly cathartic. Ratings on computer games is essential. And ensure young people are motivated to work p/t from their early teens...good the government eased up on the minimum hours rule. Essential young people learn the value of earning their own dosh and dealing socially w/ other workers, clients/customers. Ombudsmen/women, fair-go arbitration/commissions, accountable unions, a robust alternative and publicly funded media are all essential for ensuring the youth are paid & treated fairly. It's about instilling pride & intrinsic motivation by way of supportive external means. It also means that authorities need to be accountable...that goes for PMs (Mr. Cameron) & the police. Riots should not be used to distract from investigations/enquiries into inappropriate/criminal/corrupt behaviour. Young people require more trustworthy authority figures...and more trustworthy definers of issues (media). N'

Gravel

10/08/2011Feral Skeleton at 12:08am Thank you for speaking for me, I really appreciate it as I do not have a good way with words. You have interpreted exactly what I was trying to say, and thank you for thinking on the same lines. (By the way, I didn't actually read the post that you were referring to.) The REGIONAL Processing of Asylum seekers is the only way that this problem can be helped. It will also hopefully de-politicise this issue at until there can be a bi-partisan agreement again, the same way Fraser and Whitlam/Hawke were able to handle the situation. Now wouldn't that be a great move forward for Australia.

nasking

10/08/2011I expect a functioning police force to be provided w/ the appropriate tools to deal w/ any emergency. The same goes for fireman. And teachers. When, as a government, you fail to invest in yer community & service providers adequately because you have not met the unwritten social obligation of taxing all members of yer community appropriately in order to create a balanced and fair and opportunity-providing society…then you contribute to the problem. If the media are unwilling to support the cause of a “fairer” society…and the judicial system is stacked (think America & Wallmart workers)…and the corporate/dynastic elite put major shareholders & CEOs/top execs ahead of the workers/customer/public needs (Robber barons as you prefer to refer to them…I say Corporate aristocracy)…and use their financial advantage to control aspects of the political arena/policy development…and large unions are infiltrated by corruption and swayed more by their leaders desire for power rather than the needs of their members… and necessary reform & socioeconomic progress is stifled by economic sabotage on a grand scale oft perpetrated by a number of the above… how are the people meant to respond to issues? Some will attack their own…some will defend themselves. Some play vigilante. Opportunistic media & politicians feed on it, spread it…it becomes a self sustaining organism unless the root causes are dealt w/. The oppressed & powerless fight one another…fingerpoint. Add a few saboteurs who help start the riots…and a few deranged and opportunistic crims…a few usual suspect commentators to help inflame the civil war… and you’ve got a great DISTRACTION. Now, weren’t the Tory government & Metroplitan Police involved recently in some heavy duty inquiries re: their relationship to the media? How could they possibly distract from that…and emerge victims & heroes…pumped up by the very same media they had inappropriate relationships w/? Ahhh. And how can a Tory government that lives & breeds on making toffs look like the hard done by…lives and breathes on stirring up xenephobia & bashing welfare & unions…and promoting the need for religious/spiritual uplift…and volunteerism…and work based on cheap wages to support businesses…possibly put in place its agenda? Ahhh. We won’t get fooled again. N’

nasking

10/08/2011The corporate media live & breathe on fear, reductionist analyses, LIVE footage to hook-in the audience…regardless of how distorted it is…and how much it exacerbates the problems. The media is responsible to its shareholders and advertisers…not its audience. They are a lesser priority. It is not in the interest of the media to calm things…they benefit from panic & chaos. Until people are empowered and see thru them…and the “panicked now”. N'

nasking

10/08/2011BTW, Andrew Bolt is a money & fame hungry stirrer who works for his employers to get attention/ratings/advertising…and will just about say anything to do so. He also detests the federal government and multiculturalism. This colours his view. I also believe he ramps up fear. Lazy commentating/journalism. No better than Abbott. The easy road. Stereotypical responses. N’

nasking

10/08/2011In response to those who call for more weapons/guns in the community: Introduce more weapons and you’ve just admitted to failure. A society can invest in the things I mentioned above…or just heed the suggestions of the fear-mongers in media & politics & corporate types who benefit from more & more violence…more fear…more LIVE explosive tragic moments…and the prisons that they have shares in…provide goods to…and that cater to their control freak mentality. California & Texas are cases in point. N’

psyclaw

10/08/2011D Mick Weir...good morning. I refer to your reference to the "stuff up" by the government regarding the Malaysian matter. I am not commenting now as to the sensibleness of the very policy or the way the government has handled the boat issue over the past few years. Clearly many of us wish that they had taken a different tack to simply playing the opposition at its own game, but I do admit that they have been wedged on the issue since Howard's disgraceful conduct around 2001 (Tampa, kids overboard). But on what basis do you say that the government has mishandled the setting up of the Malaysia solution. This has taken many weeks of necessary and sensitive negotiations by many reps from each country, and so far so good. As to the High Court action, this was always anticipated, and if the HC eventually "cans" the whole box and dice, so be it...that's its role. You mention the stuff up re the court papers. This was a very minor stuff up in the solicitor general's office and no more....it is a common occurrence in legal actions that particular docs are not immediately available...as usual His Honour gave a mild castigation and then as is common practice gave Mr Gaegler half an hour to sort it out. Your sweeping statement that the government pursues policies with no underlying basis of principle is absurd. If you consider the NBN, the ETS, the MRRT, and the Health Reforms just to name a few, if you cannot remember/identify the underlying principles which have been stated so many times by the government, and conced them, then I think you are insincere.

nasking

10/08/2011[quote]Waste of space, and on the public purse.[/quote] [quote]I was wondering if you could do me a pen portrait of Ms Crabbe?[/quote] tredlgt & Feral, I was pleased to see that Annabelle Crabb interviewed Paul Cleary 'Too much Luck' last nite on The Drum...and gave him a great opportunity to put his case re: mining tax/sovereign fund etc. Fran Kelly made some useful points...as did the diplomat...particularly in relation to gay marriage & Penny Wong & her partner's baby. All sounded rational bar the religion-driven Liberal senator. Which is the whole problem w/ the Abbott lot...driven by religion, fear & underlyin' xenephobia & bigotry. Even tho I don't think Turnbull is much more than a corporate hack these days...I do think he is more rational thinking...and less warped and driven by bigoted, narrow religious beliefs. Abbott does things because he reckons God tells him to...or will punish him. I want someone in charge of the Opposition who makes decisions because THEY give a damn...not because of fear based on mythology...or because they think God is on their side...is in their sports box. Crabb can be annoying & lazy. And needy. But she has potential. She's intelligent, articulate...and can be refreshingly self-depricating at times. But she needs to dig deeper. Be a maverick. Not worry about her peers' reactions nor cater to their style or opinions because she needs reassurance and friends. Try not to be boxed in by the low or too busy to care expectations of the system you work in. Provide the valuable public interest stories/facts...be interesting...but don't lose the value of the story because you or others inflate yerself. Don't crucify yerself over errors of judgement...live and learn. Admit when yer wrong. Build trust. Do the research. Be cordial...but not sycophantic. Have both self-respect...and humility...in good measure. Don't let critics distract you from doin' yer job...focus on it w/ passion...or get out. Don't let the financial and job security enticements keep you treading nowhere...lazily. That's not in the public interest. Be the work. But know when to put it aside. Rejuvenate. Shift to a different role...or media organ. Don't be the mogul's puppet. Don't undermine the core of yer reporting due to intimidation from on-high. Compromise...adapt...use yer skills to get the essential stuff out. Be confident. Make a difference. N'

Ad astra

10/08/2011Folks I’ve been preoccupied with other things the last few days and will be so today also, so I’m somewhat behind with responses. But I did want to pick up on the dialogue between Gravel (thank you Gravel for your kind remarks) D Mick Weir and FS. Thank you FS for responding in support of Gravel to DMW’s comments. This is a vexed area. As I said earlier, as one sympathetic to asylum seekers, I am becoming increasingly exasperated at the attempts to frustrate the Government’s attempts to stem the flow of boat arrivals via a regional mechanism. While it is possible to argue the relative merits of different regional approaches, it seems that the central argument is between those who favour some sort of regional ‘solution’ and those who believe all arrivals should be processed here. The latter approach would not stop boat arrivals, and would likely accelerate the flow. It is unlikely that agreement will ever be reached between these two groups. So who then decides whether or not the Government has handled this matter poorly? No doubt the latter group do as well as some of those who believe boat arrivals must be slowed or stopped. But what do those who think poorly of the Government’s actions believe it should have done? I daresay there would be a wide variety of opinion and certainly no consensus. No one knows the absolutely right thing to do, as no such option exists. So we ought to be circumspect in condemning the Government’s actions. We ought to remember too that governments seek to represent the opinion of the electorate, but how does any government do that when opinion extends across the entire spectrum from open-armed acceptance of those seeking asylum to those who do not want any of them ever coming here. It has to make a value judgement about where the balance of opinion lies, and how that reconciles with its deeply held beliefs about this issue based on its ideological foundations. This is a delicate balancing act for any side of politics. To label any single approach as being simply ‘political’ is unfair as it belies the enormous complexity of this issue. Like Gravel and FS, rather than believing that the Gillard Government has handled this matter badly, I believe it has done what it believes it had to do to solve an intractable problem, knowing that whatever it did, it would be criticized by those at the ends of the spectrum of opinion. It is a pity that testing the effectiveness of the carefully sculptured Malaysian arrangement is being frustrated and delayed by those who believe they have a better solution, and while some of these have hearts as pure as gold, as FS suggests others may have ulterior motives for their actions. I for one would like to see how the Malaysian arrangements pans out; clearly others don’t, but are slow to suggest an alternative that would be acceptable to the majority of Australians.

Ad astra

10/08/2011Folks I'll be back later this afternoon.

NormanK

10/08/2011D Mick Weir Forgive me if I'm being uncharitable but it does seem as though you have joined much of the media in sweating on the first misstep by the government, or even anyone associated with them, so that you can say "aha, I knew it!" There is nothing at all surprising in the High Court challenge - the Minister and Prime Minister flagged this as being highly probable at their early press conferences. If anything, this is a good thing because it will decide some issues once and for all (or at least until a further challenge arises). I won't regurgitate Ken Parish's points at length but he does make a strong case regarding the consistency of challenges to new approaches to the problem and makes light of the judge's mild admonishment of the Solicitor General's office. As for Nicholas Stuart's remarks, I'm willing to take them on-board since I agree with most of the rest of what he has written but I don't give them much weight since he has decided to join in the chorus of indignation that the Malaysian deal has ended up before the High Court thereby signalling government incompetence when any reasonable person would have expected it to occur. As for [quote]allowing[ing] polling and uninformed, knee-jerk opinions to guide the formation of policy[/quote], I just don't go along with that assertion with regard to this agreement. East Timor probably does fall into this category - certainly in terms of perceptions - but we may never know the full story of why that idea fell over. Australia is trying to help solve the bigger picture problems of migration, trafficking, people smuggling, illegal workers, exploitation and refugees throughout the entire South East Asian region by vigourously extending and implementing the Bali Process. I've tried to keep myself and [i]TPS[/i] up to date with agreements as they've been either mooted or reached. They extend from Sri Lanka right through the migration corridors into our nearest neighbours. In truth the only aspect of this flow of people that adversely effects us is the problem of leaky boats and the events on December 15th 2010. The number of people over-staying their visas and applying for asylum here is miniscule by any measure. I've got much more to say but I need to go out. Sadly DMW, I suspect you are willing this agreement to fail and the use of Gravel's comments means you either misunderstood or misconstrued their intent. Opportunity allowing, I will add more later.

D Mick Weir

10/08/2011psyclaw my reference to a stuff up in the paperwork was specific to the apparent non-lodgement of paperwork to expedite the hearing of the case not the the judges comments during Mondays hearing. If the government wants the matter settled quickly and it had, rightly, anticipated a challenge, then a reasonable person might expect that the government would have instucted AG's to have prepared for the probability. The [u]appearance[/u] to me and others is that they have not prepared. Hence another stuff up. My comment that the [u]whole 'asylum seeker issue'[/u] has been poorly handled by this government and its' predecessor was not specific the the Malaysian (so called) Solution but the [u]whole[/u] issue. I have stated here previously that I agree there needs to be a regional cooperation toward the whole refugee problem and that the Malaysian 'Solution' [i]may[/i] end up being a good and positive first step toward that but, the [u]appearances[/u] are that the 'solution' is based on [i]polling and uninformed, knee-jerk opinions to guide the formation of policy.[/i] To my mind the government has stuffed the whole issue up ever since they chose to go down the path of 'proving' they could be tougher on [i]irregular maritime arrivals[/i] than the opposition and as I have contended before played the whole issue on the opposition's home turf. I have previously referred to articles by Paul Barret as having informed my opinion (in part) on this issue and offer you these thoughts from him: [i]I do not want the Government to do the tough thing or the media savvy thing. I want it to do the right thing. I would like it to show the same political and moral courage that was shown by Malcolm Fraser in relation to Vietnamese boat arrivals in the 1970s, the message that this is not a big deal, and we are quite capable of managing it. I do not want the Government to be defensive about its more humane approach; I want it to explain it and be proud of it. I want it to lead popular opinion on this issue, not follow it.[/i] [b]Asylum seekers: all aboard the bad ship Bigotry[/b] http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2009/10/asylum-seekers-all-aboard-bad-ship.html It may well be too late for the government to lead public opinion on this issue but I would rather they did so than to continue the race to the bottom which in my eyes they are currently leading by the length of the home straight. You may also wish to read some other pieces by Barrett on the issue and I will offer these two as showing why I am of the opinion that the goverment is handling the issue poorly. [b]Turning away refugees[/b] http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2011/05/turning-away-refugees.html [b]Gillard’s Malaysia solution[/b] http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2011/05/gillards-malaysia-solution.html It is too easy to lay the blame for the perceptions of the goverment being in a shambles on this issue at the feet of the media and the 'Refugee Support Industry' but the reality is, as I see it, that the government has created its' own problems on this issue.

D Mick Weir

10/08/2011NormanK, I did not misunderstand Gravel's comments at all. I did turn them back in using her statement to express the same sentiment [i]'it is enough to make a person to give up'[/i] from a different point of view. Far from [i]'sweating on the first misstep by the government'[/i] I have held my typing on the matter for some time and through a few other missteps along the way. You say [i]I suspect you are willing this agreement to fail[/i] No, I am questioning the 'selling' of this so called solution. The main stated aim of this policy [u]that I have heard[/u] is to [i]to break the people smugglers business model[/i] Good luck with that. A long bow maybe but I suggest that it has about the same chance of success that prohibition had in stopping the sale and consumption of alcohol. Ad, I need to process your statement [i]'We ought to remember too that governments seek to represent the opinion of the electorate ...'[/i] further but as an initial reaction I will suggest that in seeking to represent public opinion rather than leading it is part of the problem. I too must now depart to check the traps and wend my way along some by-ways during which time I will ponder further. Enjoy your afternoon one and all.

Gravel

10/08/2011Feral Skeleton Just a point, I live in country Victoria.....I am assuming by some of Ad Astra's comments, that I may live within 50klms of him. Sorry everyone if I have caused some trouble. I will refrain from commenting on this topic.

NormanK

10/08/2011Gravel Don't you dare censor yourself on this or any other topic. :) No doubt you are aware that there is a long-running debate over this issue and unfortunately you have become collateral damage through no fault of your own. It will rapidly become a boring old place if only the usual suspects offer comments and we agree all of the time. A bit of disharmony, provided it is civil, is a good thing.

Lyn

10/08/2011Hi Gravel I just came home from shopping, and I quickly read the comments, before getting lunch ready. Norman K has just told you exactly what I was thinking. Don't you ever think you can't post your opinion, we all love what you say. At least you have an interesting opinion on the Asylum Seekers, mine is plain old boring. I think the problem should be sorted out by both sides of politics, I think the media drive everyone crazy. Have you noticed how the News channels, as soon as they run out of news they bring up the Asylum Seekers again, on and on they go. The wrong message is being sent to those boat people. I have to say I enjoy everybody's contributions immensly. Cheers:):):):):):):)

nasking

10/08/2011[quote]Sorry everyone if I have caused some trouble. I will refrain from commenting on this topic.[/quote] Gravel, yer view is as important as anyone elses. I'm in two minds regarding the Malaysian solution. I don't like the idea of sending children to Malaysia...and any adult who has left a country in desperation due to persecution. I believe we have a duty to provide sanctuary to those who flee war criminals. However, the Christmas Island disaster has once again alerted us to the dangers of refugees fleeing on boats that are not really seaworthy or appropriately designed and maintained to safely make such journeys. Considering the bulk of boats used are problematic at best, or sabotaged...one comes to the conclusion it would be more desirable for asylum seekers to be brought here by safe passage...the 4000 refugees from Malaysia by plane seems to fit that requirement. It is a shame tho that Malaysia should be promoted as a "bogeyman" in order to deter others from taking the unsafe sea journey. And it does contradict the government's assurances that the children etc. will be protected. However, I guess it's all about perception. And the fact that in some polls the majority of Australian people polled believed there was a problem w/ asylum seekers coming by boat...attests to the underlying xenephobia that pervades this and many other countries (fear of the other)...and the ability for our present shock jock, tabloid-like current affairs programs & Murdoch empire media to use asylum seekers to increase fear in the community and succeed in fulfilling both their political & monetary agendas. It also demonstrates that humans are easily duped. And are highly competitive & intrinsically driven by survival genes that ensure they see most refugees as bein' shirkers and economic refugees come for a free ride and/or to take their jobs...or spread alien culture that competes w/ their own. It is often only when they are put in the shoes of refugees that they see the complexities & other variables...ensuring more empathy for the asylum seeker's position. How many have seen the plight of the potato famine-struck Irish & Jews fleein' Nazi Germany/Poland or Sth Vietnamese escaping the wrath of the Viet Cong in film & doco and found themselves wiping away a tear...giving thumbs up to the countries & politicians who welcomed them? The very same people who might've rallied against taking in refugees at that time...who might feel the same about these present asylum seekers. How I see it, we will soon leave Afghanistan...staying there is no longer financially nor strategically viable. There has been a good attempt to educate and reform and protect the innocent. Clean up some of the mess created by the Bush era. But violence begets violence...and helps recruit more & more for the Taliban as they push their propaganda about resisting the invaders/crusaders. We have walked into cultural antagonism and disputes that are centuries old, generations deep. As did the Russians. It's time we left the Afghanis to it...to resolve their own disputes...w/in reason. And take some of the logs outa the fire. That means as a member of the allied occupation force we will have a temporary responsibility to take in some who decide to flee the war we helped contribute to...for compassionate and ethical reasons. And for strategic purposes. A rounded, well-educated, skilled & grateful Australian Afghani is more likely to help their own country in the future and promote democracy and fairness...whilst contributing positively to our own, particularly as we have labour shortages. The Sri Lankan refugee situation is more complex...but does fit into the category of fleeing war criminals. Consequently, I think we would be better off increasing our refugee intake by way of various means...including using the many hundreds of millions to be spent by governments on Malaysia, Nauru, PNG etc...to provide safe passage for refugees by air & water. See it as a logical & less expensive & more humanitarian move...as was done in the 70s w/ bi-partisan support. At least then Australia can feel prouder of itself. But don't expect the increasingly desperate David Speers, Andrew Bolt, Allan Jones & other usual suspects to agree. We were ONCE a bigger country. -------- BTW, I recently signed this: [quote]Not In Our Name[/quote] http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/refugees/children-in-detention-ad/not-in-our-name N'

Patricia WA

10/08/2011Thanks psyclaw and NormanK for clarifying again what others like Gravel, FS, TT, AA and others have grasped, that the current stand-off in the High Court is but one anticipated part of the government's policy of trying to develop processes for regional cooperation on migration, people and drug trafficking, organised crime etc. DMW's suggestion that the government has [i]'created its own problems'[/i] on the asylum seeker issue fails to see the bigger picture, not only on people smuggling issue as but one in the SE Asian region, but other major reforms already achieved in Australia or on the drawing board for the next two years. As I watch Chris Bowen front the media, I see a decent man, acting with resolve, clearly with a bigger picture in his head than the clamorous press gallery chasing a headline can grasp, or is willing to report. I can also sense a similar resolve and understanding amongst other ministers. That the reforms achieved to date and others on the dawing board are proceeding apace suggest far more team cohesion and leadership than the media either appreciates or is being allowed to report by our 'limited rightist news' media. That that cohesion and leadership comes from a Prime Minister under extraordinary pressure leading a minortiy government is almost miraculous. Watching her perform from day to day gives one an understanding of why a man like Tony Windsor has such confidence in her as an individual that his support for this government is by arrangement with her alone. I have no doubt that if our PM can cut the Gordian knot of the boat people/asylum seeker question and generalise the issue into one of regional cooperation on a range of maritime regulations she can start to address other seemingly intractable problems. I've no doubt she and others are focussed on how to loosen the strangehold that Rupert Murdoch and big business have on our print and electronic media. I am sure that's not being left to chance. If getting their message across was as simple as putting it out I'm sure the 'polls' would be very different. What is the story on Abbott? Why aren't there any questions from Fairfax, SBS or the ABC. Have I missed something? Or is it more likely that adverse comment or speculation is not being permitted?

NormanK

10/08/2011D Mick Weir There is so much of the current commentary that I fundamentally disagree with that I frankly get bored with pulling it apart. Let's look at a couple of them. "Poll-driven policies". Okay, what are the polls saying? [i]No more immigrants clogging up our suburbs, taking our jobs and straining our infrastructure.[/i] The Labor government has approved the taking in of 4000 more refugees over 4 years - a significant lifting of our intake and there is the possibility of more such deals being struck with accompanying increases. That's Labor thumbing its nose at that poll result. [i]Our borders are insecure.[/i] We are a huge island and our borders will never be properly secure. Could the deal with Malaysia be seen as pandering to this fear? Sure, but it could just as easily be an incidental part of solving the boat problem from a humanitarian point of view i.e. no more wrecked boats. [i]We're afraid of these foreigners - they might be terrorists.[/i] So too might every visa over-stayer, in fact it would make more sense to come in on a 'plane or a cruise ship than to risk a trained operative on a fishing boat. The Malaysian deal does nothing to allay these fears. [i]Refugees are threatening our way of life and 'heritage'.[/i] Again, 4000 more refugees are being welcomed. No pandering there. Have I missed any? It is only the media and vested interests who insist that Labor is trying to be tougher than the Coalition. They are trying to stop a repeat of December 15th whilst at the same time extending a welcoming hand to those who sit patiently and wait for help. Has Labor reopened Nauru or re-instated TPVs? No. Have they threatened to turn boats around? No. Have they threatened to deny them access to Australian waters? No. Have they instructed our border security personnel to to sit back and watch an asylum seeker boat sink? No. It's a beat-up and should be called for being such. All of the bleating about a bi-partisan agreement such as Frazer was able to initiate is just so much hot air. What would that bi-partisan agreement look like? Process boat arrivals on-shore and thereby open the flood-gates for literally thousands of people to put their lives at risk? Would we then sit back and feel good as a nation when an overloaded boat goes down with a hundred men, women and children on-board? Spend billions on detention centres to house them while they are being assessed? Spend hundreds of millions on court cases as appeals drag on for years because the system is over-loaded? Risk large scale unrest when those who feel they have waited too long or who have been denied refugee status decide to riot or self-harm? Allow thousands of partially processed individuals into the community rather than detain them and risk creating (or expanding) our subculture of illegal workers and people outside of the safety net? What happens to their kids? Born Stateless. Look at the U.S. - they still don't know how to resolve this problem. The world Frazer inhabited is long gone. September 11th 2001 and Howard's hard-line policies saw to that and there is no going back. The only other options are to close off our borders entirely and completely deny any international obligations or send Navy boats to Indonesia to safely ferry people across. Not going to happen. While I have a degree of sympathy for those first few who are sent back to Malaysia, if this goes well there will be no-one to send back. And if they do keep coming, knowing full well that they will be sent back, then they no longer have my sympathy. It's a very vexed issue DMW, and picking on a couple of departmental shortcomings is shooting fish in a barrel. Nasking The 'Malaysia as bogeyman' scenario is not something the government has put out, it is the product of others. What the government wants to have sink in is the sense of disappointment felt by those who arrived the other day, having spent thousands of dollars to get here, when they were told they were going back. Labor is trying to stop the boats not punish the asylum seekers.

Feral Skeleton

10/08/2011Nasking, Did you hear about the Ballistics Report from the Independant Police Investigator in the UK whose task it was to analyse the shooting of the man by the Police which started the 'London's Burning' imbroglio(to put it euphemistically)? He has stated that the gun found at the scene of the police shooting(?murder?) showed no signs of having been fired by the deceased man. So there goes the legal leg that the Police were trying to stand on as justification for shooting the guy. No shot fired in anger from him in the direction of the Police. Interestinger and interestinger. Which goes to the original motivation for the Tottenham riot. That is that the local Constabulary have a contempt for the youth in the Housing Estates(and how many times have we seen that scenario played out on 'The Bill'?), and there were some Tottenham locals that they had it in for.

nasking

10/08/2011Norman, [quote]What the government wants to have sink in is the sense of disappointment felt by those who arrived the other day, having spent thousands of dollars to get here, when they were told they were going back.[/quote] I doubt it will work Norman. And anyone who believes that the government hasn't relied on the "bogeyman Malaysia" bit is either kiddin' themselves or not telling it as it is. The government has relied upon this perception bein' created in the public sphere by a number of characters who predictably would...and a few humanitarian reporters. And it does punish the refugees, including children, who have arrived recently. Anyway, you've managed to ignore the bulk of my comment above. Fair enuff. I'm not attacking the government...I'm just asking people to think a bit wider. Not be so boxed in by perceptions & poll results created by opportunists for political & financial gain. It seems to me that many government supporters are putting all their eggs in one basket when it comes to this issue. I'm a government supporter who prefers to offer up alternative options. If this present policy fails...as I suspect it will...as the Nauru option and others put by the Coalition are destined to...it will need real leadership to come up w/ an alternative that makes Australians feel a helluva lot better about themselves. It's obvious to me that Indonesia will bleed refugees regardless of any forceful strategy...until these damned wars are reduced to smaller conflicts. [quote]A bit of disharmony, provided it is civil, is a good thing.[/quote] Indeed. See it as civil disagreement. :) N'

Jason

10/08/2011Normank, Just to add a PS to what you have written! we saw the absurd situation during the last election campaign where David Bradbury Labor MP in jackie Kelly's old seat of "linsday" (in Western Sydney)Was heavily promoted on patrol boats in Darwin etc, lest "boat people" come up the Parramatta river. As Hinch used to say Shame Shame Shame.

nasking

10/08/2011Feral, interesting info. Now, I would prefer to give the Tories & police the benefit of the doubt...considerin' my granddad was a Tory mayor in Essex, a nice, caring fella. However, the timing is a bit suss...considerin' the latest media inquiries related to the govt, media & police...and the latest economic sabotage pushed by the American Tea Party...their allied corporations/ratings agency/investors...and so on. And, it's rather odd & inappriopriate for reporters to be askin'/interrogatin' children regardin' their motives...considerin' they: (1) may not have been involved but might want to be part of the excitement and thus pretend. (2) are morally still growin' and unlikely to give real intrinsic and external motivations...includin' usin' violence as an expressin' abuse by a parent/guardian or other authority figure... or attemptin' to display "power" thru violence and theft as an attempt to deal w/ frustration & disgust based on the sense their parents/generation/schools are "powerless" during times of elite corruption, austerity measures, corporate theft...and ongoin' generational poverty. (3) herd mentality. Wanting to fit in. Doing as the bullies & dominant characters in the group do. Not unlike many adults in OZ who supported the Coalition when they bullied the Tampa crew & refugees. (4) may be young innocent people dobbed in by others due to dislike or for other reasons...recallin' Afghanis & Iraqis who were arrested due to sly neighborhood dobbers who wanted their spouse, business etc. (5) guilt by media The list goes on. N'

Michael

10/08/2011Bad Andrew (in the continuing blessed absence of Shouldabeen) Robb http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/dump-carbon-tax-to-boost-investors-oppn-20110810-1im9o.html Where the depressingly repetitive A Robb tries to be just as blinkered and scaremongeringly stupid as Tiny... and succeeds.

nasking

10/08/2011This from Michael's link, by Robb: [quote]Abolishing the carbon tax would give a psychological boost to businesses and households as sharemarket volatility hits investor confidence, the federal opposition says.[/quote] I would say: If the Coalition, including Abbott, stop threatening to repeal the carbon tax it would give a psychological boost to businesses and households as sharemarket volatility hits investor confidence. N'

Michael

10/08/2011http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3289826.htm Where to start with what the Liberal Senator asserts has happened in this article? You make your own mind up, but, for a start I'd say the racist patronising explicit in his tale, that the 'good' Senator sidles away from owning by claiming the usual anonymous informant, is smack dab in the middle of utterly disgusting.

Feral Skeleton

10/08/2011NormanK, Thank you for being your eminently reasonable self. :) Sometimes, I feel like a shag on a rock as I hold out my forlorn hope that the Asylum Seeker/Refugee Deal with Malaysia may actually, as part of the Bali Process, be the Silver Bullet that unties the Gordian Knot of Irregular Maritime Arrivals, and the consternation they cause to this 'Girt by Sea' nation. Sometimes, as it seems to others, this deal seems like another 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind' 'Solution' by an Australian government keen to get this issue off the front page and out of the Daily Newscycle. It's almost tempting to believe the naysayers who opine persistently that this 'Solution' is even worse than 'The Pacific Solution' because, at least with the Pacific Solution it was our own government that was mistreating the Asylum Seekers (lol) and keeping an eye on them, basically schooling and treating their health concerns, in a fly speck of a country as far into the middle of the Pacific Ocean as they could get them.All the while ignoring the Mental Health issues that occurred as a result of the seemingly interminable amount of time they were kept there before eventually ending up in our country, albeit, as the 'Solution' became more 'Final', as a result of the encouraged hardening of the hearts of the populace by the Howard government "We will decide..." mantra, and the imposition of the Orwellian and dystopian 'Temporary Protection Visas', which only served to make the mental health crises worse once they finally got here to Australia. I mean, it has almost got to the point that I despair that there will be anyone left at present who will be willing to suspend disbelief about the positive potential of the Malaysian Deal for Asylum Seekers, when I hear now people such as Frank Brennan come out in the media, Dr Sev Osdvowski, former Human Rights Commissioner(though he sounded too much like a Coalition mouthpiece this morning on AM), and especially the so-called Refugee Advocates, all now condemning the deal outright and saying that, if the country has to have some sort of offshore processing system, then Nauru is better than what is on offer from the Gillard government. This just beggars belief to my mind, and not because I feel the need to be partisan about the issue, but because I honestly feel that the government, if only they were given half a chance by the all-too-conveniently antipathetic media, Oppsition, The Greens, the Refugee/Client Advocates and the collective naysayers, exemplified by Barrett, who I have been having a Twitter dialogue with over the issue btw, DMW, just half of half a chace even, to see if this attempt at a solution to the increasingly industrial scale People Smuggling network can be found. Maybe it's because the scales have fallen from my eyes, and I no longer see desperate 'poor and huddled masses' adrift upon the open seas desperate for succour by our nation, as the port that will take them away from the storm that is going on in their country of origin. Sure, this is partly the case. However, I cannot help but be informed by stories of so-called 'Refugees who are coming by boat to this country seeking asylum, who are 'escaping' from conflicts over 20 years old. Who have come, not from haggard refugee camps, but from residence in the suburbs of 2nd countries where they have resided and brought up and had families, before they landed here on a boat. It just sort of debases the concept of refugee to my mind. And Dietrich Boenhoffer or Oskar Schindler the People Smugglers in Indonesia definitely ain't. Which has led me to therefore put my hope in the Malaysian Deal between Australia and that country as I can see that there are, how can I put it, 'fresher' refugees there who kinda need what I would traditionally connote as the sort of assistance that Asylum Seekers have been given up until recently. Within the purview of this definition I would include the Fraser/Hawke welcome to the Vietnamese, as the Vietnam War blowback was still fresh in our consciences and consciousness when they took the action that they did. But honestly, how long has the persecution of the Hazaras by the Pashtun been going on in Afghanistan? How many centuries? And will it ever end? So, really, all I can see is a never-ending stream of refugees from there, should we be so-inclined to keep on accepting them from that country. And yes, I know we have troops there, but the underlying problem of persecution is perennial, is it not? Same with the Iranians, the Iraqis, and the Tamils from Sri Lanka. Not to mention all the Civil Wars and their refugees in Africa. So that is why I think that the government needs to try and bring some order into the process. We can't just say that people that come here by boat should be given preference. I think that's only fair. That's all. And that's why I will continue to defend the government's attempt to find a reasonably humane solution to the regional asylum seeker problem. I also don't have any truck with the malarky that the Returnees to Malaysia will, per se, be mistreated there. In fact, that's the other reason I support the deal, as it seemed to me that it was a way of, finally, bringing Malaysia onside with Human Rights aspirations wrt the treatment of refugees. Still, when you have an all-too-well-developed industry in this country whose livelihoods and 15 minutes of fame depend upon deep-sixing a successful solution, at the end of the day I don't hold out much hope for the deal's ultimate success.

Feral Skeleton

10/08/2011Sorry, That should be...'give the government half of half of a chance even..' :$)

NormanK

10/08/2011nasking Sorry, I didn't intentionally ignore the rest of your post. I was in a hurry to get back to the more important tasks of life - the daily ball game for the dog that has got me under its paw. Basically, I agree with you but was a little surprised to see you suggest ferrying refugees here. We are already doing that and where do you draw the line? Also, how does that solve the sinking boat problem. FS It seems very few people are willing to break out of the narrative line that currently surrounds this subject. Jason Well said. I probably haven't said it here but I've pretty much written off 2010 as far as Labor is concerned, especially the election campaign. That stunt was very dumb. I may be projecting but I have the feeling that since the PM came back from the summer break there has been a shift whereby she is going to forge ahead regardless of the polls. I'll judge them on this year's efforts not last year's.

nasking

10/08/2011[quote]the daily ball game for the dog that has got me under its paw[/quote] LOL Norman. It's the three cats and their demands for stroking, bein' let out & in...and wantin' food here. :) Can relate. [quote]I agree with you but was a little surprised to see you suggest ferrying refugees here. We are already doing that and where do you draw the line? Also, how does that solve the sinking boat problem. [/quote] By hiring seaworthy passenger ships. Not sure of how that cost compares to using planes. Norman, Feral, Ad & others, I know yer decent people who want what's best for the refugees and see this is a viable option by a government that has been placed in a terrible corner. I don't question yer integrity. It's certainly an imaginative policy that has been thought out much more than the lazy Nauru one - I reckon Abbott & the Coalition have created a rod for their own backs w/ that push...considerin' the role the tsunami & American navy radar played in reducin' the boats...and the return of refugees to Afghanistan... A part of me hopes it works for the government and ensures that no more refugees come by leaky, unsafe boats...but I can't help but feel for the poor blighters bein' sent to Malaysia as part of the swap. And, I might add again, that Indonesia should be condemned for permittin' children of any kind to leave their shores like that. It's disgraceful. And speakin' of Indonesia...I would not trust any abbatoir worker who has been abusive and then been put under pressure by co-workers, employer and authority figures, and neighbours to provide evidence that he is innocent...and was paid to hit animals. I've seen a number of secretly filmed footage of abbatoir workers constantly kicking and beating animals when they are down...for David Spears and others to push this "suss" line only demonstrates bias...and a lack of checking out other abuse events. I find it very hard to believe that any animal protection group w/ the reputation this one has would pay to have animals beaten to get a point across. I do not find it hard to believe that a poor criminal would lie if leant heavily upon. For various reasons. The truth will out. I hope the Senator resigns if it is proven he is complicit in manufacturing a con/lie. N'

nasking

10/08/2011Lyn, thnx for the Jennifer Wilson link, and many others. Great job, per usual. [quote]The marauding gangs have been described as criminal opportunists, a description that can be as accurately applied to the News of the World phone hackers, the Wall Street financiers who gave us the first global financial crisis, the private companies making exorbitant profits from the misery of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the sub-prime mortgage mongerers, authorities entrusted with public well-being who take bribes to work against the common good. Countries such as Australia, the UK and the US have been governed by men who are widely considered to be war criminals: make up your own list, the possibilities are endless. We commit our crimes in accordance with our means and circumstances. The better our means and circumstances, the less likely we are to engage in the crimes of looting and arson. The London riots are complex in their genesis but without doubt unemployment, poverty and lack of hope play their part.[/quote] Indeed. Worth mullin' over. It's easier pridewise for a kid to boast he's a crim...than to admit he's from a poor rundown area w/ unemployed parents. Think of the many gangster films kids are fed on. The anti-hero...arrogant, proud. N'

Ad astra

10/08/2011Folks What a fascinating dialogue has taken place while I was out this afternoon. Although there is disagreement, the discussion has been polite, well reasoned and informative. Thank you NormanK for sharing your well argued position, with which I find myself in accord, as I do with FS. DMW, you raise an important philosophical issue of whether governments should reflect public opinion or ‘lead it’. I believe it ought to do both. But how far can a government ‘lead’ in the face of public opposition? There was lots of opposition to Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war, but John Howard’s ‘leadership’ brought this nation into involvement alongside the US. His main reason was probably to strengthen Australia-US relationships, but the wishes of many Australians to stay out of it were ignored; indeed they were never asked their opinion. And there are many, we will never know how many, who still believe this was a wrong move, who believe Howard’s ‘leadership’ led this country into a conflict that it might have avoided. So which should have prevailed – public opinion or Howard’s leadership? In the same way, what ‘leadership’ by PM Gillard in the ‘asylum seeker arriving by boats issue’ would have been appropriate? What ‘leadership’ would have attracted consensus approval? We can only surmise. In my view, the complexity of not just this particular vexed issue, but also the way in which governments have to balance public opinion against their own deeply held values, is insufficiently appreciated. It is easy to say that what is needed is ‘leadership’, but problematic to define what form that leadership ought to take. Frankly, I don’t envy those who have to make these judgments in the face of strident interest groups pulling them in opposite directions. Should we, like the experts sitting in the grandstand who find it easy to advise umpires and players about how to do their job, be critiquing and advising politicians? While all are entitled to express opinions, they need to reflect the realities of complex matters and avoid simplistic approaches that in application might attract the same level of disparagement that critics seem ready to heap upon our elected representatives.

Lyn

10/08/2011Hi Nasking Thankyou and again for so many informative comments. You guys have all been delightful this afternoon. Can you all keep up the good work everyday please, I hear "Yes" alright that's settled. Cheers :):):):):):)

2353

10/08/2011I'm in two minds here. I can see the reasoning for sending people to Malaysia as while it seems that while Australia knows for a considerable period that a boat is coming - the country of departure appears to do nothing to stop a miserable trade in humans that only benefits a few. I'm reminded of the RACQ Boat Insurance ad - "Charter boat, what charter boat?" (Apologies to those south of the Tweed, its a woman having a go at her partner for running his tinny into a charter boat - because he didn't see it). On the other hand, there are genuine concerns about the physical and mental well-being of those who, after enduring a trip to Australia on a boat that shouldn't be used for more than day trips, are "welcomed" with the news that they are being put on a A320 and being sent to a third country with a "interesting" reputation for human rights. While the politicians may have the right motives and all the good will in the world, has that been communicated to those that will actually be looking after the refugees.

2353

10/08/2011A bit more explanation of the first paragraph - if Australia knows they are coming and where roughly they will turn up - why can't the country of origin prosecute those who benefit from selling one way tickets on leaky boats?

nasking

10/08/2011[quote]Can you all keep up the good work everyday please, I hear "Yes" alright that's settled. [/quote] Lyn, LOL...we'll give it our best. Some very thoughtful commentors on here. It's a pleasure to read & participate. Particularly as the discussion is "polite, well reasoned and informative" as Ad astra aptly notes above. You all run a good ship. It seems Tony Abbott's back on the scene tomorrow...I wonder what he's smuggled back into this country. :) Surely not OZterity measures? Hey! it's been a long day. :) -------- BTW, I noticed the mainstream media is focusin' on the rioters stealin' flat screen TVs. Kudos then to both John Howard & Kevin Rudd. Howard's baby bonus...and Rudd's 900 buck handout ensured just about everyone here has a flatscreen TV. No need for riots then. Stimulus works! Hallelujah! :) N'

Feral Skeleton

10/08/2011Nas, Have just heard the reporter who broke the 4 Corners animal abuse story speaking on the radio. She straightforwardly said that Sen Back should put up the Affidavit and disclose the name of his informant, therefore, or shut up. Also, she said that she watched that animal being tortured for over 20 minutes on tape and it sure didn't look like a put-up job to her. Personally, I can't understand how people who love animals, like Animals Australia, would even countenance such a thing as the Senator has suggested today. Anyway, he made the assertion outside of parliament, so he can be sued by Animals Australia if he has lied. :D I know who I'd believe at the end of the day. And it sure ain't a Liberal Senator from Western Australia. I lived there for 15 years, I know what scum rises in the West from the bowels of the Liberal Party.

nasking

10/08/2011Thnx for the info Feral. [quote] I know who I'd believe at the end of the day. And it sure ain't a Liberal Senator from Western Australia.[/quote] Have you noticed how arrogant some of the WA coalition members have been gettin' lately...and the premier of WA? His almost outright dismissal of the government's disability announcement was filled w/ brash contempt. I've come to really dislike his attitude. I can imagine a few ALP supporters who gave him the benefit of the doubt are beginning to be turned off him. I reckon we should scrutinise his government's policies more. Heard tonite his government has gone down the stereotypical hard man route when it comes to drug use. Interesting discussion on The Drum about that issue. There are at least two generations of people out there now who know that the War on Drugs is expensive, useless, increases criminal activity and imprisonment of people who would serve the community better via rehab and normal work on the outside... seems that the WA Premier is an old fashioned too cocky for his own boots politician in some ways...who will lose voters by the minute if he continues to posture and take the archaic, big miner kowtowin' position on most things. If the fed government loses in 2 years (hopefully not) I can see him goin' down pretty quick. As Rudd showed, polls don't luv ya forever...not in a politically mood disordered country. N'

D Mick Weir

10/08/2011Gravel @ 12:46 PM, first up you have nothing to apolgise for as in no way did you cause trouble. If there has been any 'trouble' caused it would be more down to me than you. Please accept my apology for puttiing you in the line of fire. It was not my imtention to cause you grief or to misconstrue your comments. As NormanK, Lyn and others have said your opinion is welcome and valued and while I may have a different opinion it doesn't devalue your opinion in any way. Keep on commenting even if occaisonally your comments may light a little bonfire.

D Mick Weir

10/08/2011Ad @ 6:27 PM I agree a vexed question striking a balance between when a government should lead and when it should implement policies to fulfill the desires of the electorate. There are times when the electorate do not know what their desires are and so will only become aware of that desire when a party comes up with a policy or progamme that 'lights their fire'. The NBN may (just) be a case in point. I have been mulling over the question on and off today and this evening have come across an article by Shaun Carney that may throw a tiny bit of light on the subject. [b]Economic gloom delivers Gillard an opportunity to shine[/b] Shaun Carney @ The National Times http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/economic-gloom-delivers-gillard-an-opportunity-to-shine-20110809-1ikrf.html [i]Time for Labor to end its run of rotten luck and make some of its own. ... For the government, the current market shock offers an opportunity to establish its credentials not just in terms of economic stewardship but also in demonstrating national leadership.[/i] In reading the article it occured to me that this is definitely a time for the government to lead and when read in association with an article by Ross Gittins that thought firmed for me [b]Sorry to be so sober but the world is not ending[/b] Ross Gittins @ The National Times http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/sorry-to-be-so-sober-but-the-world-is-not-ending-20110809-1iku7.html [i]At times like these, much of the media tends to cater to people who enjoy a good panic. The sky is falling and the proof is that billions have been wiped off the value of shares in just the past few days. ... We have a kind of race memory - a relic from the 1930s - that tells us a sharemarket crash is invariably followed by an economic slump. It ain't. As the Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Samuelson once quipped, ''the stockmarket has predicted nine of the past five recessions''.[/i]

Feral Skeleton

10/08/2011Nasking, Would that be the WA Premier who: * Just spent untold amounts of WA taxpayers $ on a new lift for Parliament House in Perth for the Queen to travel in once, or maybe twice, when she visits Perth for CHOGM later in the year. * The same Premier of WA who's never seen an expensive infrastructure project he didn't like, like a pipeline 1000s of km long from the North of WA to the South, to carry water that would end up an expensive trickle by the time it got to the capital? * The same Premier who hypocritically criticised the RSPT up hill and down dale on behalf of his Fat Cat Mining mates, like Big Gina and Little Twiggy. Then whacked up the Royalty Rate sky high in his last Budget without batting an eyelid? * The same Premier and former Head of the WA Chamber of Commerce? * The same Premier whose Police Commissioner has a son who is one of the biggest druggies in WA and who nearly burnt himself to death recently when his home-made drug lab blew up? * The same premier of WA who seems to get his lines from Liberal HQ and spout them for the cameras, in a totally evil and duplicitous way, about a federal government who just wants to get on and do policy, not play politics. Yep, I know him. I just don't know how he succeeds in pulling the wool over people's eyes in WA. I guess they've just got more money than sense most of them in WA these days(PatriciaWA excepted, of course!).

D Mick Weir

10/08/2011NormanK, thanks for your in depth analysis and commentary and I can understand your frustation and boredom with [i]pulling it apart[/i] You have presented quite a broad range of points to support your case and I can only deal with a few at this time. [i]The world Frazer inhabited is long gone. September 11th 2001 and Howard's hard-line policies saw to that and there is no going back.[/i] I have to disagree, an article @ The Drum by Peter Lewis a director of Essential Media Communications, may be of interst to you in understanding why I say that the government could be more on the front foot on this issue. [b]Turning back the facts[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2829948.html [i]The High Court injunction to Labor's elaborate asylum-seeker swap with Malaysia provides yet another forum to fuel, rather than soothe, community anxiety about the arrival of boats carrying asylum seekers. This crisis has been driven by Government policy, Opposition alarmism, media sensationalism and all tied up with an ongoing sense of economic and cultural anxiety that we have lost control of our borders.[/i] Berg presents the results of a few poll questions and the results are interesting and show that when presented with the facts peoples level of concern decreases. A telling comment by Berg; [i]The problem with closing down these issues, by playing tough, is that governments are seen to be accepting and reinforcing these myths, until they take on a life of their own and do not just justify, but as our research shows actually inform public opinion.[/i] appears to support my contention that the government is playing this on the wrong 'home ground' that being the oppositions, not their own. It seems to me from some of the comments today that some have taken Abbott's slogan/bait hook, line and sinker as they see the Malaysian Solution is about [b]Stopping The Boats[/b] and justifying it by using the tragedy of December 15th last year as a humane reason for [b]Stopping The Boats[/b] is a cop out. There is no denying that no one wants to see a similar tragedy occur but some are using it as a cover for buying into the [b]Stopping The Boats[/b] rhetoric. [i]Have they threatened to deny them access to Australian waters? No.[/i] While the current administration may not be doing that, as far as we are aware, the Rudd administration certainly did. I was absent from the country for most of 2009 so am not full up with the incident when the Oceanic Viking intercepted a boatload of Tamil Refugees in international waters somwhere near Christmas Island and took them to Indonesia. Surely that was denying access to Australian waters. Again I am not up with any hysteria surrounding the incident as I only recall a very brief report on Al Jazeera on the incident and was unable to follow up on it but I do recall thinking that it didn't sound right or what I thought a Labor Government would be doing. This leads me back to your statement: [i]It is only the media and vested interests who insist that Labor is trying to be tougher than the Coalition.[/i] What a load of bovine excreta and I am surpised that you could even believe that. I don't know what to say you have me completely mystified with how you are unable to see the blinindinly obvious.

Feral Skeleton

10/08/2011DMW, I am reliably informed the ERC is onto the GFC MkII,keeping a close Watching Brief. :)

D Mick Weir

11/08/2011FS thanks for that bit of info lets hope that there is some good 'sales pitches' being developedand with a little luck not too many feet being placed in mouths as it unfolds.

TalkTurkey

11/08/2011Gee I've been away from here for part of a day, then there's so much I think Oh no do I gotta read all this! I'm not quick like all yous. But all you say ends up covering the whole ground pretty well, I always feel as though I've got a better grip on matters for reading on this site. This issue sure got you-all stirred. I wouldn't mind putting the lid on it and putting it in the fridge for now, while we cogitate. So I'll see if I can say anything useful. In the end it's not about leaky boats (what if the boats are seaworthy?) It's not about being soft or hard hearted. In this Government's case it's not about being inhumane, it is not! It's not seriously about threats to security, though quarantine considerations are a different matter. It's not really about race much any more, look at the mix of people who legitimately migrate here. Partly, it's obviously about push factors - who would leave if they got it made where they are?! - and there are equally obviously [i]suck[/i] factors, who wouldn't want to come to Australia from places people want to leave?! Australia of course is a preferred haven, especially for those who have any idea of what choice there is. It can't be that we too greatly resent people of any origin coming here - there is no serious argument against our immigration policy, though personally I certainly don't feel comfortable about the hyper-burgeoning of our population. I just want population growth everywhere to stop stop stop, faint hope. So what is it then that Aussies find so threatening about a relatively few people, mostly destitute, desperate and pathetically hopeful of a better life here, coming here on boats rather than through customs? Why, that sly lying rodent Howard put his grubby finger on it when he said that immortal line - [[i]b]WE[/b] will decide who comes to Australia![/i] That's what it is, and I agree with that sentiment too! And right or wrong so do the vast majority of Australians. We view it as our birthright to control our borders, which are so absolutely defined by our island nation status. Unless of course we consider such outposts as Christmas Island which tend to complicate matters. So where's that leave us? Why, just about where Bowen is standing his ground! I hear [i]nobody at all[/i] with any [i]better[/i] course of action, neither the Turn-em-round-or-sink-em Right nor the Let-em-all-in ??[i]Left[/i]?, always remembering that [i]something[/i] must be done, it must be firm and determined, it must be acceptable to all whether they [i]like[/i] it or not - as Howard's Nauru trick was not acceptable at all to all the Left, and Process-em-here would cause a war with the insane Right. Bowen is a tower of sanity, and the course of action he is pursuing is better than any other ever suggested or employed. I find the asylum seekers' legal counsel entirely unhelpful and I suspect not a little disingenuous, akin imo to quacks selling snake-oil hope to people with intractable illnesses. It would be better for those whose interests they claim to represent if those bleeding hearts (which btw I doubt that they are working out of the pure goodness of!) were to stand aside and let the processing process proceed. If anyone seriously has any better suggestions I haven't heard them, it's too bloody late now anyway, this is what the Government will do, so why not suck it up as they like to say these days, we have to do [i]something[/i] and Bowen is doing something and that is where it stands. Let's move on eh? Gravel I have always thought your comments quietly wise, dunno why you're [i]Gravel[/i], (I'd like to hear the story please?), imo you are more like Talcum Powder, soft but effective in reducing chafing . . . As long as TPS stays worthwhile, which play Dog is deep into Eternity, we will always welcome your soft sensible voice, DYWAT!

nasking

11/08/2011This from Psyclaw related to Q@A & Kelly O'Dwyer: [quote]In the first missive I politely told her that she was an obnoxious loudmouth...Her immaturity shone through as she attempted to twist every single question into a free advert for Abbott's mob. [/quote] Psyclaw, you can't say O'Dwyer doesn't keep on message. This latest Coalition lot are like those funeral & life insurance ads that keep poppin' up on tele these days...really bloody irritatin'... in yer mind yer screamin' out: OKAY! I GET IT...NOW DISAPPEAR (The polite version) I doubt the public will put up w/ this repetitive nonsense much longer. I reckon soon enuff Abbott and his blowhards like O'Dwyer will be as popular as an episode of The Anna Nicole Show. N'

nasking

11/08/2011[quote]The same Premier who hypocritically criticised the RSPT up hill and down dale on behalf of his Fat Cat Mining mates, like Big Gina and Little Twiggy. Then whacked up the Royalty Rate sky high in his last Budget without batting an eyelid? [/quote] Feral, indeed...sure was a big, steamin' load of hypocrisy...and didn't it kill mining investment in WA? Not. Reminds me of a Liberal leader who criticised the PM for not wearin' out her shoe leather on the carbon price issue...who then is suddenly MIA. Believable lot. Good onya for doin' the research Feral. I noticed the NSW Premier seems to be bringin' in OZterity measures...well, at least puttin' the boot into librarians, park rangers, court officers and any other public servant he can get his hands on. Coalition reckons it won't bring back WorkChoices. Believable lot. N'

Lyn

11/08/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]The Money Go Round, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] But, Joe, every other market is down as well isn't it? And the carbon tax doesn't actually start till a year from now. "Well, yes, and that just tells you the whole world is worried about this tax http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/08/money-go-round.html [i]Don’t Bring Me Down, Wixxy’s Blog[/i] Abbott’s course of action is to block everything he possibly can, what he can’t block he will wreck, smash, or demolish. His theory is that the harder it is, and the worse it sounds, the more likely you will vote for him next election. http://wixxy.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/dont-bring-me-down/ [i]Why tough talk won’t stop London burning: look to Johnny Rotten, Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep[/i] Or even the police and politicians who fell on their knees before the Murdoch empire and turned a blind eye to vile illegalities that empire was busily engaged in perpetrating. These same police and politicians are now claiming the high moral ground in their shocked http://noplaceforsheep.com/2011/08/10/why-tough-talk-wont-stop-london-burning-look-to-johnny-rotten/ [i]A very British class war, Van Badham, The Drum[/i] Cameron's Tories are not interested in even pretending to enfranchise the working-class or middle-class, let alone the underclass from which the majority of London's rioters have sprung. What's been going on is nothing less than a social revolution where public services have been stripped and withdrawn http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2833334.html [i]UK: urban riots ,Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] The urban riots indicate that it is impossible to understand politics without economics or economics without politics, and so we need to think in terms of political economy http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/08/uk-urban-riots.php#more [i]Now you see it, now you don’t, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Basically it involves bending light and refracting it to create the illusion of invisibility. The journal link above has all kinds of equationsand stuff if that floats your boat. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/now-you-see-it-now-you-dont/ [i] Blogs on Politics, News and Current Affairs. How do They Compare with Twitter and Facebook, Peter, Aussie Views News[/i] If you already have a political commentary blog, you must integrate all three: the blog and both Facebook and Twitter http://www.aussieviewsnews.com/2011/08/10/blog-twitter-facebook-google/ [i]Tom Switzer,whoever he is, on the good old days, Darryl Mason [/i] Switzer somehow forgets John Howard was called a "rodent" and even a "lying rodent" by senior members of his owngovernment, though presumably never to his face. http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/ [i]The quality journalism project: the heart of The Oz, Chris Mitchell, Amber Jamieson, Crikey[/i] I dip into various overseas newspaper websites and political blogs during the day and generally check the local psephology sites such as Poll Bludger, our own Mumble and Anthony Green, etc. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/10/the-quality-journalism-project-the-heart-of-the-oz-chris-mitchell/ [i]Fund managers, investors on the Lemming Express, Glen Dyer, Crikey[/i] Why the shares in probably the safest of the sectors in the market had to be sold yesterday in their millions, and were then bought back in the afternoon, will be the biggest mystery http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/10/fund-managers-investors-on-the-lemming-e [i]The GFC Is Back - And It's Here To Stay, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] In Australia, where the stimulus was relatively large and surprisingly effective, the medicine worked. But in many northern hemisphere countries, the recession was much deeper and the eventual stimulus was not large enough. http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/10/gfc-back-and-its-here-stay [i]Elsewhere: Ken Parish on Grattan’s “analysis”, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Ken Parish over at Club Troppo excoriates Michelle Grattan’s “analysis” that the existence of a High Court challenge to the government’s Malaysia-deportation plan shows that “it’s a shambles”: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/10/elsewhere-ken-parish-on-grattans-analysis/ [i]Abattoir worker 'paid to stage cattle cruelty', Jeremy Thompson., ABC[/i] Liberal Senator has alleged during a parliamentary inquiry that an Indonesian abattoir worker employed by welfare group Animals Australia was paid to kick a cow in the head so footage could be obtained of animal cruelty. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-10/liberal-raises-indonesia-cattle-concerns/2833218 [i]Internet visionary and Google web evangelist Vint Cerf praises NBN , Mitchell Bingemann, Australian IT[/i] Dr Cerf, who acts as Google's vice-president and chief internet evangelist, described the government’s plan to construct a fibre-to-the-home network to 93 per cent of the nation as a "stunning" investment. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/telecommunications/internet-visionary-and-google-web-evangelist-vint-cerf-praises-nbn/story-fn4iyzsr-1225992510039 [i]More distortions on the BER, Guest, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] The front-page article in The Australian on Saturday, July 9 under the headline “BER waste blows out to $1.1bn” is an example of the crap mentioned by Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the National Press Club on Thursday, July 14. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/08/10/crap-from-the-oz/ [i]The National Disability Insurance Scheme - Where Gillard squibbed, Peter Martin[/i] The scheme would gradually be rolled out from mid-2014. It would start in a few regions. That would allow fine-tuning of the scheme, while providing high quality http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Global economic shakeout: the cracks in Australia’s superannuation nest egg, Michael Rafferty, The Conversation[/i] I think the government has a very strong moral obligation. If they are going to take that money compulsorily out of people’s income, at a time when they need it most, they better have a strong justification for that. They also should make superannuation funds and the finance industry http://theconversation.edu.au/global-economic-shakeout-the-cracks-in-australias-superannuation-nest-egg-2783 [i]London Bridge is falling down, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] burning fine old buildings (including homes), kicking in windows, trashing shop contents, setting fire to cars and buses, preventing fire brigades from putting out fires. A great deal of what was going on in London this week seemed to be just the desire to destroy, and to take http://davidhortonsblog.com/ [i]Inside North Korea, In Focus[/i] granted unprecedented access to parts of North Korea as part of the AP's efforts to expand coverage of the isolated communist nation. The pair made visits to familiar sites accompanied by government minders, and were also allowed http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/08/inside-north-korea/100119/ Newspapers [i]Premier Barry O'Farrell gets set to wield the axe through the public service , Andrew Clennell, The Telegraph[/i] But an internal war has broken out, with the National Party fighting to stop cuts in Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner's 8000-strong Department of Trade and Investment http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/premier-barry-ofarrell-gets-set-to-wield-the-axe-through-the-public-service/story-e6freuzi-1226112682694

Michael

11/08/2011Shouldabeen's WannaBes practise Bad Abbottry http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/coalition-on-attack-over-carbon-tax-modelling-20110810-1imwq.html The particular reference to Andrew Robb follows up my post yesterday which indicates just how shallow (and racist, see also the reference to Nigeria) Coalition spokeswankers are when they allow policy positions to be spelled out by radio shock-jocks. Matthias Corman is no better, perhaps worse, when describing a fall to 142 billion dollars from 144 billion dollars over 1 year as financial collapse. Do these guys think no-one is listening, no-one is watching, as they trundle out their bullshit day in, day out?

Michael

11/08/2011Bad Bishop (Junior) http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-bishops-gambit/now-is-not-the-time-for-a-carbon-tax-20110810-1ilfr.html This article is remarkable. It actually says absolutely nothing.

Michael

11/08/2011I guess the return of Tiny has got them all excited over there on the Right. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/consistency-of-approach-will-do-wonders-for-our-inscrutable-pm/story-e6frgd0x-1226112633396 In this article, kindly uncle Arthur Sinodonis offers Prime Minister Julia Gillard advice on how to do better. Nice, huh? But then he blows himself out of the water, when referring to aged care reform, he writes: "If this government bites the bullet to come up with a package to improve the financial sustainability of the sector, the opposition should back it and ensure any necessary legislation is passed well before the next election." This Opposition 'backs' nothing put up by this Government. That's Abbott's 'pragmatic' approach, just say "No". For Uncle Arthur to even begin to suggest a bipartisan approach coming from Abbott on anything is just disingenuous and cynical. At the expense of the aged.

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Michael, Yes, the Opposition are well-practised at 'Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin'. But it is convincing. Which is all they care about. For example, WA's premier Bovver Boy, Colin Barnett, is today trying to torpedo the National Disability Scheme by calling it, "Another clumsy Commonwealth takeover". No mention of the AMA's support, Disability Rights NGO's support, the Productivity Commission Report which recommends it. No, it has the smell of Labor about it, so, the Coalition outsource the intial headkicking to their smug little mate in WA. 'Your Liberal Party: Using the Disabled as Political Pawns in 2011.'

Gravel

11/08/2011Talk Turkey Thank you. Now for the history of "Gravel". My Great Uncle Wal, a Japanese POW, came home weighing 5 Stone, dumped by girlfriend while a prisoner, never married, took myself and two sisters on as his kids. He was the most loving and wonderful man, besides my paternal Grandfather, that I ever knew. My eldest sister, whose first name starts with W, was called Windy, my name starts with S, so I was called Gravel, so far so good, a bit of extrapolation and you might guess our first names relatively easily. But, my younger sister, whose names starts with J, was nicknamed Tom. Maybe it is a name that can't easily be done the same way. Hope this all makes sense, and I don't mind people guessing if they want, it's neither here nor there with me. :-) Thank you DMW, as I didn't read your initial comment, I appreciate your explanation. As I said, Feral Skeleton cleared up and made my messy remarks sound sensible and less inflammatory. I have to admit at the time I typed that remark I was extremely angry, and as Talk Turkey has just said........'what else can the government do', with all the bullsh#t going on day after day, year after year since 2001. When Labor first got in they changed a lot of stuff on asylum seekers, for the better, and within months of their election the oppositions started calling them 'soft', got traction with that from the media and the public, and now here we are four years later. I am just sick to the back teeth with it all.

Ad astra

11/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

debbiep

11/08/2011~ Bad Bishop (Junior) www.smh.com.au/.../...rbon-tax-20110810-1ilfr.html This article is remarkable. It actually says absolutely nothing.~ @ Michael, but some of the comments sure do .

Ad astra

11/08/2011D Mick Weir I’m enjoying our dialogue. I have read both your links. Shaun Carney says: “[i]For the government, the current market shock offers an opportunity to establish its credentials not just in terms of economic stewardship but also in demonstrating national leadership.”[/i] Later he predicts that Australia’s capacity to avoid a recession, amongst other things, “[i]…will also be determined by the Labor leadership's capacity to influence public opinion.”[/i] He then expresses a pessimistic view about whether Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard can influence public opinion based on the contemporary media groupthink that ‘people have stopped listening’, presumably based on the polls. This notion might appeal to the unthinking, but needs challenge. Is it really so, especially since Tony Abbott has been away and not filling the airwaves with his endless negativity? We have seen PM Gillard make many announcements and get good media coverage. The conventional wisdom that ‘people have stopped listening’ may not be correct. By that is ‘by the way’. Getting back to the issue of leadership, Carney ends his piece: [i]“Labor has had rotten luck, with its time in government coinciding with America's financial meltdown. But great leaders can, when the chips are down, make their own luck.”[/i] That is pretty trite. He doesn’t expand on how PM Gillard might ‘make her own luck’. But I guess that’s too big an ask for a journalist. Ross Gittins’ article was sober and sensible. He did not talk about leadership. He cautioned us all against panic. I see no sign of panic in the Government, and the fact that it is still pursuing its aim of a surplus budget in 2012/13 against the advice of some economists, suggests that PM Gillard and Treasurer Swan are indeed showing leadership by their firm resolve to stick to their aim for the budget in 2012/13. Those advocating abandonment of that aim may be the ones that are panicking and not showing leadership. So what is leadership? Is it simply doing what WE want the leader to do? Is it showing resolve in the face of adversity? Is it having people listen and believe? Is it setting a vision of what might be, what we as a nation might aspire to? The announcement yesterday of the idea of a plan for disability insurance looks visionary to me. This begs the question of how much leadership this PM, this Government is exhibiting. When they fail to satisfy the expectations of individuals or groups they are accused of ‘failing to give leadership’; but when they do, as they have done over the fiscal projections and the disability plan, no one jumps up and says ‘this is leadership’, take a bouquet. About the best we can expect from most of the media in these circumstances is that it refrains from hurling a brickbat. ‘Leadership’ is so much in the eye of the beholder.

Lyn

11/08/2011Hi Ad A big thankyou to Jeremy and Dave at Pure Poison. Jeremy and Dave at Pure Poison have given the "Political Sword" a headline article. [i]Elsewhere: The Political Sword, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Does the media reflect public opinion, or create it?: “ The media is fond of insisting that its reporting reflects public opinion, what the people think and what they want. It rejects the notion that it creates public opinion, but might reluctantly concede it influences it. That it attempts to do so is undeniable. Its opinion pieces and commentary clearly express views that it hopes readers will back, and at election time it often endorses one side http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/10/elsewhere-the-political-sword/

Ad astra

11/08/2011Michael I wonder if Julie Bishop actually wrote that piece. It reads like a set piece from Tony Abbott’s office. Arthur Sinodinos’ piece is all over the place as if he is having flight of ideas. At the end, I asked myself ‘So what?’ Can anyone inform us what point he was trying to make?

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Here's an 'An Onymous Lefty' blog from Jeremy Sear(to repay the kindness shown towards Ad Astra and TPS-not that AA needs it because his work is stratospherically good. :) ) http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/economy-damaged-by-the-people-who-believe-tony-abbott/

Ad astra

11/08/2011TT Many still bristle at John Howard’s mantra ‘WE will decide…’, but the current situation where it seems as if some asylum seekers come here and demand not just to be admitted, (which Howard’s mantra addresses), but also to be processed in a manner of their liking, aided and abetted by their advocates and lawyers, and reinforced by hunger strikes, self harm and destruction of property, does make many Australians angry because they feel this country should control the process and not be subject to the demands and threats of those arriving, and the legal manipulations of their lawyers.

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Michael, [quote]Do these guys think no-one is listening, no-one is watching, as they trundle out their bullshit day in, day out?[/quote] Of course they know people are listening. That's why they do it. They want to get back to business as usual, making the Australian Quarry pay off handsomely for their mates, and use everyone else as factory fodder, as soon as possible. Don't think they have hearts that care. Feelings and care for others are for girls, and these are Alpha Male apes.

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011This is what happens when economically illiterate populists take over Senate Committees: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/coalition-on-attack-over-carbon-tax-modelling-20110810-1imwq.html

Ad astra

11/08/2011Hi Lyn, FS What a pleasant surprise to see the current piece on [i]TPS[/i] mentioned on [i]Crikey[/i]. Thank you for drawing it to my attention. I’ve been so busy with many other things these last few days that I’m behind with reviewing other blog sites. I hope I can catch up today. My thanks too go to Jeremy and Dave at [i]Pure Poison[/i].

TalkTurkey

11/08/2011Gravel said "My eldest sister, whose first name starts with W, was called Windy, my name starts with S, so I was called Gravel, so far so good, . . . " [i]Ermmmmmm . . .[/i] Then Gravel said " . . . a bit of extrapolation and you might guess our first names relatively easily." From the emerging pattern? H'mmm . . . . Then Gravel said "But, my younger sister, whose names starts with J, was nicknamed Tom. Maybe it is a name that can't easily be done the same way." Ah, so that breaks the pattern established above? I . . . see . . . . . . . I . . . .... [i]think?[/i] Gravel, thank you ever so for the explanation. But I still don't . . . quite . . . ummmmm . . . . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Anyway to you and all Swordsfolk this fine morning, (K) , just remember to be bloody glad and duly thank our lucky stars that we do live here, the Lucky Country is so very lucky still to be lucky, and the whingers and hate-screamers better remember it too, they better be careful what they wish for, Abbortt would be the stone cold end of it and 1984 will have finally swallowed us. We've lost a lot already, but we have just managed to keep the light on the hill. Federal Labor is not corrupt, nor is it inept. I think our front bench is brilliant. Comrades, Let Us Resolutely Resist the Reactionary Right! Sounds corny and commie eh. It still applies anyway. Albeit in words rather than bullets - (I would have said 'words rather than swords' for the pretty alliteration but it doesn't sit well somehow since my words are on The Sword! :) ) - we must fight to preserve this society from the religiomanic society Abbortt would establish if he could. Juices Crisp, it's bad enough already, and have you seen that brave man who's challenging Government funding for chaplains, I nearly put chaplins but they're just not funny. I haven't caught his name yet but Good On Him! May he wield the Sword of Righteousness with skill and may his efforts be crowned with success. I despise the ever-so-anxious-not-to-offend deferential obsequious attitude all sides display to religion, chaplains should not be publicly funded AT ALL, it's as important a principle as kids not being compulsorily-taught "creation science". This is avowedly and constitutionally a SECULAR SOCIETY, religion has no [i]*right*[/i] whatsoever to demand so much as a Goodday from any Aussie. And one admirable brave heart is taking up cudgels to fight for that principle. I wish him great success and good publicity, he's going to need it, they fight dirty these saintly types. Have at you Pell! It's all bloody voodoo, religion. Witchcraft, shamanism, humbug. It needs a stake driven through its evil heart. It is fuelling the division around the world. It pretends love and austerity, and practices hatred and excess. I wish it wouldn't. Go well in the High court, that Good Man. I'll know your name next time. [i][b]Venceremos![/b][/i]

nasking

11/08/2011Lyn, thnx for linkin' to the followin' pieces. [quote]The Money Go Round, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate [/quote] and [quote]Why tough talk won’t stop London burning: look to Johnny Rotten, Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep [/quote] Mr. Denmore is spot on. He improves by the post. And Wilson's reference to Sex Pistol lyrics reminds me of the days in the UK when I lived in a bed-sit, got fck all wages for demeaning work, treated like crap by the Green Welly Brigade...and wondered if I had a "future" in Thatcher's UK. Thank gawd I left the place behind and entered uni here, with affordable fees. God might be an Englishman inside Abbott's head...but it's Australia that's fortunate to have many a "fair-go" minded politician and citizen. N'

Michael

11/08/2011Eureka! I've found THE climate science AND economic policy expert for Tiny. Over in the comments section that follows Bishop Junior's vacuous article here: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-bishops-gambit/now-is-not-the-time-for-a-carbon-tax-20110810-1ilfr.html there is a response by "Dr B S Goh", in which he argues Australia's percentage contribution to world carbon emissions will "DECREASE" naturally over the coming years. Why? Because as India and China's emissions increase, which he just asserts they will, those two countries will naturally be responsible not only for increasing the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere, they will be responsible for a higher percentage of it. Ergo, the remaining percentage will need to be recalculated as to which countries worldwide are responsible for what. Less to divide, less percentage responsibility per country. You see!!!! Australia will thus 'naturally' contribute a lower percentage to all the crap in the air. Ain't arithmetics grand? I mean, wait long enough, we'll have a 'zero' in front of our percentage contribution to planet-wide CO2 emissions. Of course, by then we might also need to have breathing masks in front of our faces and clean-air tanks on our backs just to go down the shops, but hey, it'll still be Australia, right? This could all be a satirical piece I've swallowed whole, of course. I am a bit worried about the good doctor's initials, for example. And am I being led down the garden path when I feel urged to request he act as his surname is pronounced? And, he is a 'doctor', and there are enough people beating up on scientists out there already. Oh, who cares? Goh, just go!

Ad astra

11/08/2011Folks It’s sad to see bookstores close, as has Angus & Robertson, Borders and Reader’s Feast in Melbourne, all owned by the now-in-receivership REDgroup. But there is a small bonus – cheaper books. Yesterday, while walking past the tomb of Angus & Robertson, I noticed a book sale – [b][i]All books $5[/b][/i]. $60 later we staggered home under the weight of some marvellous finds. One was Bruce Guthrie’s book [i]Man Bites Murdoch[/i], which retails at $49.99. I began reading it last night. It didn’t take long to get a feel for how News Limited operates; it started on the second page. As it’s relevant to this piece, let me share a few morsels. Guthrie described the executive floor in the Herald & Weekly Times building where a prime unoccupied office is kept in a constant state of readiness for the occasional visit of The Great Man. On 27 October 2008 Rupert Murdoch summoned Guthrie to his office. As Guthrie, then the [i]Herald Sun[/i] editor says: “[i]These meetings between proprietor and editor were legendary, often humbling and sometimes career ending.”[/i] He relates that another feature of Murdoch’s visits was the tailored pages that graced that day’s edition of his paper, all designed to please The Great Man. Guthrie related that past editors had told him that Murdoch liked “[i]…lots of happy snaps and stories close to his heart. He’s particularly fond of animal pictures. This is the way the empire thinks most of the time. In five years at News, I had learned that the most senior executives don’t do anything without first asking themselves: ‘What will Rupert think about this?’ He’s an all-pervasive presence, even when he’s not in town.”[/i] Of course there’s much more to come in the book, but even the first few pages were revealing and confirmatory of commonly held views of Murdoch. Guthrie is convinced that despite Murdoch giving him a pat on the back for one of his editions, on that very day in 2008 his dismissal was signed off by Murdoch, and subsequently became the subject of a successful wrongful dismissal case brought by Guthrie against News Limited. The purpose of this comment is to reinforce the assertion often made here that Murdoch exercises strict control over his empire and that editors know exactly what he wants, and go out of their way to please him, knowing that failure to do this, as Guthrie found to his chagrin, can be fatal to career advancement, or even worse. For Murdoch, his executives, editors or fellow travellers to insist editors have editorial freedom and that The Great Man does not influence the content of his papers, flies in the face of the facts, as Guthrie tells us so early in his book. I suppose Rupert has the right to do whatever he likes with his papers; after all he owns and runs them. But for his defenders to assert that he gives editors editorial freedom and that he does not influence them is disingenuous nonsense. Murdoch clearly does influence what appears in his media and thereby he influences the opinion of those who consume his offerings. That so easily translates into actually [b]creating public opinion[/b], which is precisely what this piece asserts so much of the media does.

Gravel

11/08/2011Talk Turkey It isn't too complicated, glad I have got your thought processes um-ing and ar-ing. Think along the lines of a crypt clue maybe? Michael You are so funny sometimes, I do enjoy your posts. I wonder if the B and S in the good doctors name could be short for bulls..t?

GrannyAnny

11/08/2011Gravel - I have an Aunty Gladys. Her name was corrupted to provide a nickname of Happy, short for Happy Bottom.

nasking

11/08/2011Ad astra, just a reminder: [quote]Murdoch has said he "stands by his testimony to the select committee" and Thursday's letter is expected to provide evidence to back this claim up. Myler and Crone are, in effect, jointly accusing Murdoch of being part of the cover-up, one in which the company's executives twisted and turned to conceal the truth about phone hacking and blame it on a single "rogue reporter". Murdoch's crucial claim to the committee was that although in 2008 he had personally agreed to a payout of £700,000 to hacking victim Gordon Taylor, he had done so in ignorance of the true facts. He said Crone and Myler had told him the payout was legally necessary. Murdoch, sitting alongside his father Rupert, claimed that Crone and Myler had concealed from him the crucial piece of evidence in the case: that an email had come to light with a voicemail hacking transcript, marked "for Neville", allegedly a reference to Neville Thurlbeck, the News of the World's chief reporter. The existence of this email, had it been made public at the time, would have exploded the "rogue reporter" defence and begun to implicate the rest of the NoW newsroom. John Whittingdale, chairman of the culture sport and media select committee, said after Myler and Crone issued their statement in July: "We as a committee regarded the 'for Neville' email as one of the most critical pieces of evidence in the whole inquiry. We will be asking James Murdoch to respond and ask him to clarify."[/quote] http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/10/james-murdoch-evidence-mps N'

D Mick Weir

11/08/2011Hi Ad, we have batted around the leadership thing on and off for a while and in some ways we have gone nowhere fast simply because defining leadership ain't easy. A bit like trying to put your finger on a bead of Mercury. A bit of a cop out on my part but, I will throw into the ring [i]I can't explain leadership to you but, rest assured you will know it when you see it[/i] Part of my take out from the two pieces is that leaders [i]turn adversity into advantage[/i] and that may be a part of a turnaround in perceptions of the PM. I have about 307 thoughts on the possibilities of what could be done and am struggling to put my finger on that 'bead of mercury' at the moment. One thing though is clear though, there needs to be sense of calm resolve being shown by the government and it may well be that Penny Wong could be used to great advatage atm.

D Mick Weir

11/08/2011[i]One thing though is clear though, ...[/i] Gees ,some days I do a great job of torturing the language ... and other days I do do a great job at not being able to proof read my own words. :$

nasking

11/08/2011Interesting article: [quote]Roger Ailes and the rise of Fox News Even Rupert Murdoch is afraid of Roger Ailes, the paranoid boss of Fox News. But 'the Chairman' is using his power to make Americans more rightwing, more ignorant and ever more terrified Tim Dickinson, The Guardian, Wednesday 10 August 2011 At the Fox News Chrismas party the year the network overtook arch-rival CNN in the cable ratings, tipsy employees were herded down to the basement of a midtown bar in New York. As they gathered around a television mounted high on the wall, an image flashed to life, glowing bright in the darkened tavern: the MSNBC logo. A chorus of boos erupted among the Fox faithful. The CNN logo followed, and the catcalls multiplied. Then a third slide appeared, with a telling twist. In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the network's founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as "the Chairman" – Roger Ailes. "It was as though we were looking at Mao," recalls Charlie Reina, a former Fox News producer. The Foxistas went wild. They let the dogs out. Woof! Woof! Woof! Even those who disliked the way Ailes runs his network joined in the display of fealty, given the culture of intimidation at Fox News. "It's like the Soviet Union or China: People are always looking over their shoulders," says a former executive with the network's parent, News Corp. "There are people who turn people in."... To watch even a day of Fox News – the anger, the bombast, the virulent paranoid streak, the unending appeals to white resentment, the reporting that is held to the same standard of evidence as a political campaign attack ad – is to see a refraction of its founder, one of the most skilled and fearsome operatives in the history of the Republican party. As a political consultant, Ailes repackaged Richard Nixon for television in 1968, papered over Ronald Reagan's budding Alzheimer's in 1984, shamelessly stoked racial fears to elect George Bush in 1988, and waged a secret campaign on behalf of Big Tobacco to derail healthcare reform in 1993. "He was the premier guy in the business," says former Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins. "He was our Michelangelo."... Ailes was also determined not to let the professional ethics of journalism get in the way of his political agenda. To secure a pliable news staff, he led what he called a "jailbreak" from his old employers, NBC, bringing dozens of top staffers with him to Fox News.... Ailes then embarked on a purge of existing staffers at Fox News. "There was a litmus test," recalled Joe Peyronnin, whom Ailes displaced as head of the network. "He was going to figure out who was liberal or conservative when he came in, and try to get rid of the liberals." When Ailes suspected a journalist wasn't far enough to the right for his tastes, he'd spring an accusation: "Why are you a liberal?" If staffers had worked at one of the major news networks, Ailes would force them to defend working at a place such as CBS – which he spat out as "the Communist Broadcast System". To replace the veterans he fired, Ailes brought in droves of inexperienced up-and-comers – enabling him to weave his own political biases into the network's DNA. Reporters understood that a rightwing bias was hard-wired into what they did from the start. "All outward appearances were that it was just like any other newsroom," says a former anchor. "But you knew that the way to get ahead was to show your colour – and that your colour was red." Red state, that is. Befitting his siege mentality, Ailes housed his newsroom in a bunker. Reporters and producers at Fox News work in a vast, windowless expanse below street level, a gloomy space lined with video-editing suites along one wall and cubicle offices along the other. In a separate facility on the same subterranean floor, Ailes created an in-house research unit – known at Fox News as the "brain room" – that requires special security clearance to gain access. "It's where the evil resides," says Cooper, who helped design its specs.... From the time Obama began contemplating his candidacy, Fox News went all-out to convince its white viewers that he was a Marxist, a Muslim, a black nationalist and a 1960s radical. In early 2007, Ailes joked about the similarity of Obama's name to a certain terrorist's. "It is true that Barack Obama is on the move," Ailes said in a speech to news executives. "I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said: 'Why can't we catch this guy?'" References to Obama's middle name were soon being bandied about on Fox & Friends, the morning happy-talk show that Ailes uses as one of his primary vehicles to inject his venom into the media bloodstream. The Obama era has spurred sharp changes in the character and tone of Fox News. "Obama's election has driven Fox to be more of a political campaign than it ever was before," says Burns, the network's former media critic. "Things shifted," agrees Jane Hall, who fled the network after a decade as a liberal commentator. "There seemed suddenly to be less of a need to have a range of opinion. I began to feel uncomfortable." Most striking, Ailes hired Glenn Beck away from CNN and set him loose on the White House. During his contract negotiations, Beck recounted, Ailes confided that Fox News was dedicating itself to impeding the Obama administration. "I see this as the Alamo," Ailes declared. Leading the charge were the ragtag members of the Tea Party uprising, which Fox News propelled into a nationwide movement. In the buildup to the initial protests on 15 April 2009, the network went so far as to actually co-brand the rallies as "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties." According to recent polls, Fox News viewers are the most misinformed of all news consumers.... [/quote] much more here: www.guardian.co.uk/.../roger-ailes-fox-news-murdoch Hasn't Ailes backed the politicians who have gone on to do wonders for America's reputation? If you were lookin' for one man to blame for the quagmire America is in...Roger Ailes might top the list. Wonder when the Downfall begins? N'

Trevor

11/08/2011Great article, thanks. IN the dumbing down of our media, particularly FTA TV news and current affairs there is one insidious tool which is now routinely deployed whenever there is a major policy announcement. That is; "we have analysed who the winners and losers are out of this and have our reporter with Mr & Mrs Smith of Campbeltown". The said couple then lament about how much they spend on child care, groceries & power then say how much this new policy will hurt & they will have to give up eating. Honestly!! Wouldn't it be better to have some subject matter experts who could provide some useful information. If I see one more of these "Western Sydney battlers" interviews I swear I'm going to.... No I will just turn the TV off and put some nice music on, perhaps a stiff drink as well.

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Trevor, Welcome to The Political Sword! :) We just like to kick the political football around here, so whenever you feel like coming down to TPS Park to join in, you will be most welcome. Might I just add wrt your comment that it always galls me to see the size of the houses and the number of cars that Mr and Mrs Whiner from Palookaville have. I have a friend like that. She lives in a big, open plan house with multiple split levels. She has 2 Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners, and her kids are always leaving the sliding doors open in Winter, letting all the heat out. Her Quarterly Electricity Bill is always over $1000. You know what she complains about? The 'exploding Electricity Bills' she has to pay. Sigh.

Lyn

11/08/2011Hi Trevor Welcome to TPS, I just refreshed my page and thought, OH! wow we have a friend for Tacker, a little dog belonging to our regular reader and commenter Patricia. Thankyou for your appreciated comment, Ad Astra will be along soon to say hello. Welcome to "The Political Sword". I agree with you, those whingers the Journalists run around digging up from everywhere, to make unfounded questions to them and they receive unfounded answers, frustrating for anyone that follows Political debate even a little bit. Did you hear Mr Abbott today, when questioned about his overseas holiday, he said the Abbott family holiday is usually in a caravan by the sea. Stupid attempt to liken himself to those "Western Sydney battlers", or as he calls them "The forgotten Australians". Cheers:):):)

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Nas, Guess who Ed Rollins has thrown in his lot with this Presidential Election Cycle? The US' own version of Mesma. I'm sure the Conservatives choose candidates like Julie Bishop and Michelle Bachmann because they have eyes that can hypnotise and brainwash 'the mob' better.

Ad astra reply

11/08/2011Nasking Thank you for your comments and links. I couldn’t get the Fox News one to work, but the first one was dynamite. How can James Murdoch wriggle out of the accusations of Myler and Crone? From what we heard today from Murdoch’s news conference, he is preparing himself to cut his son James loose should his testimony to the parliamentary committee be proved to be false. Nice father! D Mick Weir Agree, let’s give ‘leadership’ a rest. Your quote reminds me of what I regard as the most telling lines in Robert Pirsig’s book: “[i]Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance[/i], namely: “[i]Quality is hard to define, but you recognize it as soon as you see it”[/i].

Michael

11/08/2011Tiny's family holidays, "caravan by the sea". Usual bs - he's just trying to channel Little Johnnie's treks to Hawks Nest all those years when he was in Opposition. But never forget, as soon as he was PM, JWH began the annual visit to Lord Howe Island, where the local Administrator was turfed out of his home for Johnnie, Janelle and the offspring to settle in and scoff down taxpayers' largesse. How many times did he empty out the cellar at Kirribilli House?

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Nas, Murdoch certainly didn't sound like a forgetful old man, only in possession of half of his faculties, on the radio today from LA where he was conducting the News Corp Conference Call after the release of the yearly profit figures for the company.

Trevor

11/08/2011Thanks for the welcome. I'm welmed

Ad astra reply

11/08/2011Trevor Thank you for your comment and welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family. Do come again. I too am irritated by Mr and Mrs Doing OK, of Affluentville with their MacMansion, 4WD and BMW, kids at private schools, struggling to pay their electricity bills that keep rising in anticipation of a carbon tax on polluters that begins next July. How can they afford such an imposition when they have got big bills to pay for equestrian activities, skiing holidays and overseas school excursions? It’s just not fair.

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011I thought Switzerland was a land-locked country? So how can one put a caravan by the sea there? Oh, I get it, Mr Wealthypants masquerading as Uriah Heep, 'usually' is in the caravan by the sea. Just not this time. I haven't seen him yet, but I'm guessing this holiday was in a Swiss Clinic by a lake, taken so as to get a little 'refreshment' for the wrinkles. Lol, ReCaptcha always gets it right: physician ;-)

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Has anyone else noticed that the latest frame the Opposition are trying to hang around the neck of the federal government is the one wrt incompetence? They almost always preface all their remarks with, "Well, it may sound like a good idea, but considering the incompetence/the fact that this government can't do anything properly/ or variations on that theme,...it will probably end up being a disaster." Jeez, I wish Labor had a backroom operative like the Liberals do, that could write lines that would cut the Opposition down to size every day in a similar fashion.

Trevor

11/08/2011Ad astra What annoys me most about those interviews is not so much the hypocrisy and exploitation of the couple. It is that this is the substitute for informed debate. When we have a powerful vehicle such as FTA news for getting information out concerning an important policy it is instead used for promoting a winners & losers segment. Inevitably with these segments losers are promoted and encouraged to whinge when in all likely hood they will either not be affected or may be better off. But of course those stories don't fit with an agenda of frightening people because that is the easiest way of getting attention.

TalkTurkey

11/08/2011Ad astra said "How can they afford such an imposition when they have got big bills to pay for equestrian activities, skiing holidays and overseas school excursions? It’s just not fair." I must say it's refreshing to see such cynicism in one as mature as you Ad! :) Worse, I mean it! Trevor We aim to welm. Welmome to TPS!

2353

11/08/2011Reported on 7News tonight is that Abbott's policy changes on Carbon Pricing, Mining Royalties and the other promises will put us Australians down the hole by $70Billion. According to Mark Riley, the information was leaked by Liberal Party sources. And since someone above was speaking of McMansions -> http://brisbanetimes.domain.com.au/mcmansions-downsized-as-buyers-realise-small-is-good-20110810-1imvm.html While there is life, there is hope :)

John

11/08/20112353 I, too, saw that news item. $70 Billion is a lot of $$$, even over 4 years. Among its items were: $27 Billion to undo the carbon tax $11 Billion to undo the mining tax $8 Billion in tax cuts Feral How about Labor starts everything with "... remember, Peter Costello laughed at the idea of Joe Hockey being treasurer. Laughed at teh concept of putting Joe Hockey in charge of our taxpayer dollars. ..." OR ".. remember Joe Hockey couldn't, and wouldn't, explain his policy after his speech to the National Press Club, ran away, and left Andrew Robb in the lurch" Lyn I think the only opinion reflected by much of the media is their own editorial opinion. Yet they present it as "balanced news" I am currently re-writing a News Ltd 'story' to better reflect the position of Prof Fr Brennan on refugees. :)

John

11/08/2011Lyn News Ltd story re-write published at http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2011/08/deal-with-refugees-on-our-turf-fr-frank.html :)

Trevor

11/08/2011Slightly off what is currently being discussed but while I am generally having a go at the media and to back up my claim that they are mainly interested in frightening us. I noticed on Monday night after the ASX had dropped over 4 percent that most of the news outlets reported this in dollar terms. IE "$33B wiped off the value of superannuation funds as share market collapses" etc etc. Yet on Wednesday when it recovered and went past where it had been on Friday it was just reported as "share market recovers ground or ASX rose by 4 percent today". No headlines of $40B added to superannuation funds in share market rally. It is no wonder consumer confidence is down. What is amazing is the captains of industry who should know better still look around to blame the government.

Lyn

11/08/2011Hi John Good to see you, gee your quick, when you posted your first comment, I flew straight to True Politik, having a look see. Anyway good on you great new article for our enjoyment, great work, showing brilliant examples of MSM misreporting. "balanced news" incredible. [i]deal-with-refugees-on-our-turf-fr-Frank Brennan, John, True Politik[/i] I believe that both News Ltd pieces from the Internet and from The Australian show sufficient bias and intent to manipulate public opinion that the News Ltd journalists have abrogated their responsibility to report impartially. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/ Cheers :):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

11/08/20112353, Thank you for that Brisbane Times article. Living,as I do, in a 2B/R, 1 bath cottage,but on a rural block, with lots of native bush around me, I feel that I am living in paradise. My closest neighbour is the length of a football field away, and my life is essentially unencumbered with that bane of human existence-dusting! :D Also, you find the most interestint tidbits of information in the strangest of places, like a Property article: [quote]Mr Quinn said the move to smaller houses on greenfield sites on the city fringes was driven by a lack of housing affordability, with households under financial pressure with the benefits of the mining boom failing to trickle down.[/quote] Don't the Coalition believe that the country can become the world's quarry, and all within it's borders will prosper plentifully as a result? When the reality appears to be that it's only Big Gina, Little Twiggy and the Jac Nasser's of this world that are thriving and 'relaxed and comfortable' as a result. Re Captcha does it again: con :)

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011So there you are young Turkey. I was thinking your computer had gobbled you up, instead of it being you who does the gobbling. :)

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Trevor, But are you gruntled? :)

nasking

11/08/2011[quote]If I see one more of these "Western Sydney battlers" interviews I swear I'm going to.... No I will just turn the TV off and put some nice music on, perhaps a stiff drink as well.[/quote] G'day Trevor! I could use one of those drinks myself. Glad ya dug the Fox News-related article...goes to demonstrate the Murdoch lot are a breed apart...a big old propaganda unit...it might be a time of fancy colourful TV & flat screens...and manicured talkin' heads...but it doesn't change the fact that this lot are doin' the job of a reeducation & false information ministry...and helpin' to break the world economy in order to help their like-minded fascist style allies take over everywhere they can get their dirty claws into...and are one of the most sneaky outfits we've seen on this planet. Aa, It will be difficult for James Murdoch to squirm out of this one...but considerin' the money the Murdoch empire/News Corp throw around...and the relationship they have w/ police & pollies...and the stuff they must have on people as levers...I'm not holdin' my breath. However, these media oligarchs think they are UNTOUCHABLE. And that will be their downfall. Their arrogance. There are too many good people out there...willing to fight everything from mafia to corporate corruption. Someone will get them. Justice will have its way. And the world's public will sigh w/ relief...when they shoulda had the courage from the beginning to stand up to the pr*cks. Lyn, Feral, Trevor, Michael & others, I reckon the so called "Western Sydney battlers" will get a shock when they realise how much Abbott policies are gonna cost them & their kids. And I'm not sure most of them will wanna live in Tony's OZsterity wonderland of low paid fast food, big pharma & retailmart jobs where religious counsellors guide kids into the army and church and mines...putting blindfolds on them so they don't see the aspiring Swiss holiday set siphoning off their wages & conditions. This government has alot to offer them...they just need to take off the Howard, Abbott & Murdoch inc. blindfolds. N'

nasking

11/08/2011[quote]I, too, saw that news item. $70 Billion is a lot of $$$, even over 4 years. Among its items were: $27 Billion to undo the carbon tax $11 Billion to undo the mining tax $8 Billion in tax cuts [/quote] 2353, and that ain't the half of it. Imagine how much the talking down of the economy & threatening "repeal of carbon price" is costing the economy? Billions in lost investment. Abbott & Hockey are wreckers. No better than the Tea Party. Promoted by Murdoch empire & shock jocks. N'

John

11/08/2011Feral You've gone off at a tangent: trevor, I do hope you are couth, ruly and kempt, but not nocuous or scathed! Lyn It took me 3 nights to write the last posting: busy, with a head cold (and the Scotch is not making me better, even if I feel better). And tonight I was watching film footage from WW2 on Ch7. I do like reading the posts & comments here. :)

Ad astra reply

11/08/2011Trevor, Lyn, TT, 2353, John Thank you all for your comments. It’s an old statistical trick of the media Trevor to quote absolute figures when it wants to create alarm, and relative figures when it wishes to portray an unexceptional position. That way it can paint the most dismal aspect, whichever way the data goes, and maximize the negative effect. It’s dishonest but par for the course for our media. I’m packing it in for the night.

Lyn

11/08/2011Hi Ad Have a nice TV night and rest, you can read this in the morning. Top of the tree news though, get out of this one Mr Abbott: [i]Abbott's carbon tax rollback to cost $27b,[/i]ABC Updated August 11, 2011 19:53:17 The Federal Opposition has confirmed a report in which leaked party documents revealed it would cost the Coalition more than $38 billion to scrap the carbon and mining taxes. The documents were obtained by Channel Seven and claim to show that the Coalition frontbench and senior advisers had been told of the figures in four separate meetings chaired by treasury spokesman Joe Hockey. The Coalition's plan to dump the Government's carbon tax will cost $27 billion over four years, the documents say, while plans to wind back the Government's Minerals Resources Rent Tax would cost $11 billion. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-11/ditching-carbon-tax-would-cost-2427b/2835546

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Thank you lyn :) Now, how will Mr Hockey explain how the Coalition will get the country back into Surplus sooner? I only hope that, at Mr Abbott's fish-kissing photo op, or whatever it will be tomorrow, that an enterprising journalist gets in quick before TA scarpers and asks him about his Black Hole in the Budget Bottom Line. No doubt, News Ltd are working on his answer even as I type this. Might I also add that I suspect Mr T was behind the leak(while the cat's away Malcolm the mouse did play), and it appears that some sort of alliance has been forged between Mark Riley, who probably hates Abbott's guts, especially after Noddygate, and Malcolm Turnbull, who hates Abbott's guts just generically because it must irk him that a populist can have been more successful than he. :) It's all pure speculation on my part, of course, however, now that Tony Abbott has turned around the fortunes of the company and the Coalition are in a winning position, it must be sorely tempting for those who know exactly what an Abbott Prime Ministership would be like to snatch the rug from under him and put the ship's steering wheel back into the hands of someone a tad more circumspect. Actually, it's a fascinating confrontation on the Conservative side of politics, as has been mentioned elsewhere about the American scene as a battle between the Establishment Conservatives and the Cowboys. Of course, in our neck of the woods, Malcolm represents the Establishment and Tony, the Cowboys. Malcolm is backed by the Eastern States Old Money crowd, and Tony by the Western Australian Cowboys and Cowgirls(not that they could find a horse that could carry Big Gina without it's back being broken). I think I'll buy some popcorn. The battle has only just begun I think.

NormanK

11/08/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for that link. It will be interesting to see how much coverage this gets.

Jason

11/08/2011FS, "that an enterprising journalist gets in quick before TA scarpers " TA scarpering isn't the problem! "enterprising journalist" might be.

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011If anyone wants to send the PM some encouraging words, here is the form to do it on: http://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm/thank-you?sid=73750

Feral Skeleton

11/08/2011Jason, They're both contributors to the problem. The archetypal bully and his sycophantic sidekicks.

Trevor

11/08/2011Feral Skeleton Your assumptions about some of the Machiavellian plays going on between Big Joe, Mark Riley, Mr Abbott and Malcolm sound on the Mark. The one player in this that is not mentioned but seems to be still sticking his head up is A Robb. While he may no longer be part of our parliament he does not seem willing to give up power and will fight for the right. It would be interesting if it looked like Malcolm was making a come back. I suspect A Robb would not be beyond commissioning some sort of nasty accident. Perhaps Godwin may finally have his day.

Feral Skeleton

12/08/2011Trevor, Malcolm Turnbull thinks he is the only one in the Liberal Party who can harvest votes from the Labor voters. There's some truth in that, but not as much as he thinks IMHO. Especially after Godwingate.

TalkTurkey

12/08/2011Lyn, Harbinger of Good News you are! So it'd cost the Coalons more to back out now than the whole NBN will cost the Government! I love it! Money talks out loud, Abbortt will be skewered long-term on this issue. This revelation is perfectly timed (deliberately? yes by whom? Turdball? - only maybe imo)to start the hard questioning of him, and of Them. I have waited for this. Two whole years before an election, FS, how say you that Abbortt and Them's in a [i]winning[/i] situation? Day by day they LOSE! They cannot take back the ground the Government claims for the People, even if they won they'd have lost a lot, (be a bugger if they did win and got the credit for what the Government has done, it nearly always happens, to our chagrin, but it's better to do it and have it done even if the Right then claims the glory, rather than not and not.) But Dog willing We will win yet again, but that's TWO FULL YEARS AWAY! And the hardest work is nearly all done, sure a hard grind remains before the Government making people aware, against our legion enemies' combined naysaying and misinformation, of the great things it has done for this country, but it has much to be proud of now and to trumpet. Abbortt's only got a vuvuzela. [b][u][i]BLAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHH!!!!! [/i][/u][/b] [Footnote: On ABC 24 I've theen Thenator Erica Betthh theveral timeth thinthe yethterday, not onthe have I theen anyone from the Government. ]

Feral Skeleton

12/08/2011NormanK, You want to know how much coverage the Coalition funding expose is getting? Front page of The Canberra Times, plus a shed load of apologists on ABC News Breakfast trotting out lines like, "Well,it's actually Revenue foregone, so is it really as big a deal as the front page of The Canberra Times makes it out to be? Sniff." (This is where I wish I knew how to do the 'Rolls Eyes' emoticon).

Lyn

12/08/2011Hi Ad, Talk Turkey, Feral, Norman K I am typing real slow, Norman K said: [quote]It will be interesting to see how much coverage this gets.[/quote], Feral said: [quote]shed load of apologists on ABC News Breakfast [/quote] I have just raced through every avenue trying to find reports on these leaked documents , we should have known, they will cover up. What I did find though and someone else might know more or find something. The forum conducted in Perth yesterday, apparently had a good result for the Carbon Tax, seems they had a vote or something. We need to find out more. Cheers:):):):)

Lyn

12/08/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]The Trouble With Humanity or More Four Letter Words, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] The lefties did it the righties say. And the lefties instead point at the right. Each hiding individual logs in their eyes and pointing out the speck in the eyes of others. It is bizarre how easily some are accustomed http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/the-trouble-with-humanity-or-more-four-letter-words/ [i]Deal With Refugees On Our Turf – FR Frank Brennan, John, True Politik[/i] Fr Brennan described it as a “moral evil”. I believe my re-write is a more accurate representation of Fr Frank Brennan's position and arguments in the interview ... and I'm an amateur! http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/ [i]Murdochracy vs Quiggin – another round, John Quiggin[/i] a Stutchbury piece from July referring to Abbott “mounting a powerful case against Gillard’s carbon tax”. Not exactly consistent with the supposed Oz line! As you would expect from someone who opposes a per tonne tax on something he believes to be weightless, Abbott’s arguments were in fact lame. http://johnquiggin.com/ [i]Professor David Flint has assumed yet another persona, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia[/i] poor Tom has swung around to the extreme Right, along with Jones, Bolt et al. Switzer really should keep better company. On the ABC’s Q&A this week he tut tutted when Alan Jones was. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/media-2/fashionista-flinty-and-the-case-of-the-red-bandana/ [i]OurSay gets a boost via a Bolt from the blue, Margaret Simons, Crikey [/i] But then, starting last weekend and again yesterday evening and today, Andrew Boltlent a hand. Using his blog, which has a very high readership, he advocated a vote for this question: http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/11/oursay-and-andrew-bolt/ [i]Economy damaged by the people who believe Tony Abbott, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] Tony terrifies the gullible into thinking disaster is looming and the gullible then make it happen. Which ultimately makes Tony look right, and could conceivably propel him to government – of a country he’s selfishly wrecked, http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/economy-damaged-by-the-people-who-believe-tony-abbott/ [i] Domestic aviation and a carbon price, Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Stage 1 of the high speed rail study essentially ignores the issue of CO2 emissions. But pricing CO2 emissions and rising fuel costs are perhaps the most plausible economic drivers of HSR, so even at this stage it’s worth doing some rough analysis http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/08/11/domestic-aviation-and-a-carbon-price/ [i]Native title and Australia’s resource boom: a lost opportunity?, Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh , The Conversation[/i] AFTER THE INTERVENTION: Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh of Griffith University explains why mineral wealth rarely ends up in Indigenous hands. http://theconversation.edu.au/native-title-and-australias-resource-boom-a-lost-opportunity-2725 [i]Disability insurance: a monumental day for all, Amber Jamieson, Crikey[/i] This is a big day for Labor, not just for the disabled. “It will stand with Medicare and the introduction for free university education in the part’s history as a huge policy initiative. writes Laura Tingle in The Australian Financial Review http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/11/disability-insurance-a-monumental-day-for-all/ [i]The stock exchange roller coaster, Richard farmer, The Stump[/i] Ten days gone and the S&P 500 index from the United States for August has three entries in the Top 40 biggest daily declines since 1950 http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2011/08/11/the-stock-exchange-roller-coaster/ [i]London and Norway, David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] Terror is a strategy that makes the powerless powerful. Here we get into the real bowels of discussing a democratic parliamentary democracy - it is meant to be one where no one is subject to the arbitrary exercise of power by another. http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]A FISTFUL OF NOTHING., Mike Stutchbery[/i] What can every single one of us – me, the pompous shit of a blogger, my colleagues, their spouses, the parents of the kids I teach, business owners, politicians, hell, even you – do to turn around the life of some eleven year old going through the same? http://mike-stuchbery.com/2011/08/11/1283/ [i]Whoever expects a ‘pure’ revolution will never live to see it- The UK riots in perspective, Dr Tad, Left Flank[/i] so many interviewed rioters have clearly singled out corrupt politicians, bankers’ bonuses, the government’s cuts to social services, and the brutality of British policing as part of their motivation suggests that while such riots aren’t as neat and pretty as a peaceful http://left-flank.blogspot.com/2011/08/whoever-expects-pure-revolution-will.html [i]Rupert delivers the profits, analysts dodge the hard issues, Stephen Mayne, The Drum[/i] Things will certainly be different this year when the 13 non-Murdoch directors on the News Corp board will all be up for re-election. After arguably the biggest governance scandal ever to hit a listed multi-national company, .http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2834826.html [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Coalition stumbles over its $70 billion black hole, Phillip Coorey, SMH[/i] The $70 billion figure also includes $11.1 billion in foregone revenue from axing the mining tax. The Coalition says it will also axe the measures the tax is slated to fund to cover the loss. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/coalition-stumbles-over-its-70-billion-black-hole-20110811-1iotv.html#ixzz1UkztRg3M $[i]27b to scrap carbon tax: Libs, CHRIS JOHNSON, Canberra Times[/i] Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s promise to undo Labor’s carbon tax would cost taxpayers $27billion, according to leaked Coalition documents that were presented to shadow cabinet on at least four occasions. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/27b-to-scrap-carbon-tax-libs/2256336.aspx

Feral Skeleton

12/08/2011lyn, Joe Hockey on Channel 7 this morning blustered and said that in a $1500 Billion Economy finding $70 Billion in 'Waste' will be easy. It depends how you define 'Waste' and the Opposition define it as anything that threatens the Fat Cat Miners or the Big Polluters, probably the Alcohol,Gambling and Tobacco Industries as well.

Ad astra reply

12/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

nasking

12/08/2011Related to America, I noticed Rick Perry's bein' promoted big time by the likes of Fox News. I'm sure Obama will get fired up again and give him a run for his money...but I kinda feel sorry for Obama...it's obvious he luvs spendin' quality time w/ his family...and he came in durin' such a bad time, left all the garbage by Bush...sabotaged & insulted by Tea Partiers & Fox News & corporations thruout his time... There's a part of me that reckons he deserves to be thanked heaps...and let him retire in 2012. The family needs him. I'd luv to see Hillary Clinton take on this so called "man's man". Hillary & Bill vs Perry. Now wouldn't that be one helluva battle. And I reckon Hillary can beat Rick. That's all the world needs, another Texan cowboy w/ Bush & oil connections in the White House. Been there, done that. The first woman president...now that would be cool. N'

Lyn

12/08/2011Hi Feral So when the Liberals eventually say they can't repeal the Carbon Tax, it will be because it's too expensive to do so. See they already have an excuse. I found this bit of news: [i]PM's carbon tax sales pitch wins over forum, DANIEL EMERSON, West Australian[/i] But after Ms Gillard's well-rehearsed explanation of the tax and the Government's reasons for pursuing it, followed by 21 questions from the floor, the numbers swung significantly her way. [b]Fifty-six per cent said they supported the tax[/b], with 26 per cent against and 18 per cent undecided. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/10025031/pms-carbon-tax-sales-pitch-wins-over-forum/ Liberals, Mr Hockey's Maths; [i]Dumping taxes won't hurt budget, Hockey ,SMH[/i] "It's not a cost if you abolish a tax. You collect less tax, you spend less money therefore it's not a cost to taxpayers," Mr Hockey said. Tony Burke said the opposition would not be able to make up the shortfall through cutting programs. "If you're going to have to find that much in cuts, you're either going to have significant increase in taxes, significant cuts to the pension. They're the only ways you can find that sort of money," Mr Burke told Seven. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/dumping-taxes-wont-hurt-budget-hockey-20110812-1iph8.html Cheers :):):)

Lyn

12/08/2011Hi Ad, Feral and All Spray of the day has just posted this excellent article: The Coalition of rubbery figures, Massivespray, Spray of the Day In fact, to compound the stupidity even more, Joe Hockey was on TV this morning and with a completely straight face claimed that these were not actually costs because IT DOESN’T COST YOU MONEY TO CANCEL A TAX. Seriously. Joe seriously expected us to believe that because you cancel a tax it costs nothing…the same Joe Hockey who brought us the $11b election costing black hole. http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/the-coalition-of-rubbery-figures/ Cheers:):):):):)

nasking

12/08/2011From the Stephen Mayne article put up by Lyn: [quote]It was Rupert who declared during his three-minute opening address that the board supports him remaining as the world's longest-serving CEO of a public company and Rupert who declared that Chase Carey supports James Murdoch staying in his current role. Despite meeting over two days this week in Los Angeles this week, no independent director fronted today's call to give a board perspective on behalf of the 87 per cent of News Corp which is owned by non-Murdoch investors. Melbourne-based Sir Rod Eddington, who is supposed to be the lead independent director and chairman of the board audit and risk committee, hasn't said boo publicly since the hacking scandal exploded on July 4. When challenged about the board not being independent, Rupert cut one journalist off to declare that lawyer and Georgetown University professor Viet Dinh is completely independent. The conference call was then shut down before the obvious follow up question: "how can Viet Dinh be the independent chair of the governance committee when he is godfather to one of Lachlan Murdoch's sons?"[/quote] Reminds me of an emperor and his eunuchs. That includes the analysts mentioned in the article. N'

Gravel

12/08/2011Trevor Can I add my welcome to Ad Astra's site. You are in for a treat over the weekend when Acerbic Coneheads weekend contribution comes up. Like most of us you will probably get addicted to Lyn's fantastic links five days a week. Nas I tried to copy and paste something you wrote but the computer froze on me and I have forgotten what it was. But can I say I have mostly agreed with what you have written, both on what is happening here and overseas. You are wonderfully prolific lately. We watched the Public Forum last night. Julia just blew most of the audience away. Our Prime Minister was direct and to the point all the while being very pleasant. It certainly didn't come up the "grilling" Sky was advertising. In fact in her little spiel before questions, she would have answered most people's questions before they were asked. Oh if only the whole of Australia could watch and see her live like this, the difference in attitude it would make. As for the oppositions black whole, the ABC didn't mention it until 7.52am. I was listening to the radio from 5am. Not a thing, nada, zilch......and definitely nothing about Public Forum.

nasking

12/08/2011My wife & reckon the PM did a splendid job at the People's Forum in WA last nite. Julia really was at the top of her game. Charming, humourous, articulate, free flowing, polite yet firm & determined when necessary...she could bone up more on a few issues, but let's face it, there are alot of issues/projects/topics out there...the audience did seem to take to her...and apparently she near doubled the amount of support for the carbon price. We had the distinct feeling that the "hate" & "mistrust" has now turned to curiosity...and more respect...even if begrudging. Not the WA bloodbath expected that you could see the News Ltd/Fox News types were hopin' for...and what a biased buildup by Speers & co. there was...particularly the arvo Agenda. Disgraceful. I reckon Julia is incrementally winning people over...and once the carbon price is thru...and voters realise how much hyperbolic wind Abbott & co. have been blowin' their way, the government's poll numbers will hit a positive level. Particularly if the government continues to focus on the important areas of training, education, health, disability, NBN, valuing youth, consumer rights, aged care, transport & infrastructure, bio-diversity, social harmony, affordable housing, energy diversity. protecting superannuation and eventually dental care, preparing for the Olympics in London & media ownership. N'

nasking

12/08/2011[quote]We watched the Public Forum last night. Julia just blew most of the audience away. Our Prime Minister was direct and to the point all the while being very pleasant. It certainly didn't come up the "grilling" Sky was advertising. In fact in her little spiel before questions, she would have answered most people's questions before they were asked. Oh if only the whole of Australia could watch and see her live like this, the difference in attitude it would make.[/quote] Gravel, thnx for yer supportive comments. I always enjoy reading yours and taking in different perspectives on issues...tho, I primarily agree w/ you on much. I didn't see yer post until I'd put mine up...and wholeheartedly agree w/ you regarding the forum. Well said. The "spiel" was indeed a goodie. :) Cheers N'

nasking

12/08/2011[quote]As for the oppositions black whole, the ABC didn't mention it until 7.52am. I was listening to the radio from 5am. Not a thing, nada, zilch......and definitely nothing about Public Forum.[/quote] Gravel, I was also surprised not to see clips & analysis on ABC 24. Very odd. I do believe that the blackhole, cost of repealin' the carbon price & minin' tax is gonna be real problematic for Abbott & Hockey. And it doesn't help the "confidence" & investment side of things. Too radical...and looks like an obvious kowtowin' to certain miners...includin' one who owns shares in Ch. 10. Not good. Australians deserve their fair share of the money for resources. We've only got so much. N'

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011Good Morning NormanK (and all TPS'ers) Here is a thoughtful article to add to the discussion on Asylum Seekers. [b]Let's give the Malaysia solution a chance to work[/b] John Stuyfbergen @ The National Times http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/lets-give-the-malaysia-solution-a-chance-to-work-20110811-1iob4.html [i]It is a pity that many, otherwise well-reasoned articles and discussions on the transfer of refugees to Malaysia diminish their reasoning by emotive words, often inferring despicable practices of the past. Terms such as "people trading" and deporting "little kiddies to Malaysia" slant the debate and the results ... Listening to the politicians talk, we notice how happily they criss-cross from one level of debate to another level, from the ethical to the emotional, from populist answers to leading opinion. They are for or against a Nauru solution, for or against the Malaysia solution, with every debate hoping to sway some voters. In the end a government's task is to make a decision in the midst of a sharp diversity of opinions ...[/i] Without wishing to create yet another round of divisive debate I will point to another comment in the article that 'confirms' my view that this is being played on the wrong home ground: [i]As each of the participants scrambles to put its point of view in the best possible light, it comes as no surprise that we seem to forget that the original and fundamental aim of the Malaysian deal is to stop the boat smugglers ...[/i] I still believe that the government needs to move the debate away from [b]Stop the Boats[/b] And believe it or not I agree with the author that we need to give it time for the Regional Solution/s to work.

NormanK

12/08/2011D Mick Weir New bumper sticker: [b]Disincentivise Unsafe Maritime Excursions[/b]

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011NormanK @ 11:03 AM R'sOTFL ...

Trevor

12/08/2011Gravel Look forward to the comment but alas I will be freed from the internet over the weekend. Myself & a bunch of other intrepid fellows will be in the South West negotiating sections of the Munda Bidi bike trail. I stress there is no lycra and definitely no Mr Abbott wanna be's I am sorry I missed the talk at the Perth Town Hall if I had known it was on I would have gone. Oh well. I was pleased to see that her overall performance was judged well and the crowd generally supportive. Hopefully it will help shift the view that WA is only populated by loudmouth rednecks.

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011Another interesting POV to throw into the mix [b]Pay enough and you'll always get the advice you want to hear[/b] Richard Ackland @ The National Times http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/pay-enough-and-youll-always-get-the-advice-you-want-to-hear-20110811-1iort.html Ranges over a number of issues that, well, cause the grey matter to percolate.

Ad astra reply

12/08/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for yet another interesting set of links. The one I found most attention-grabbing was the one by Mike Stuchbery http://mike-stuchbery.com/2011/08/11/1283/ Leaving aside his language, I found his analysis of the UK ‘riots’ appealing in that he acknowledged the complexity of the issue and its multifactorial nature, which belies the simplistic explanations offered by those with rigid and often extreme views about society who proclaim to have simple answers to complex problems. Life is not simple. I’ll be out with Web Monkey most of the day.

Jason

12/08/2011It would seem Barry Cassidy isn't a part of the problem, it's the "others" that do it. Take this line "That perception is fanned by most of the tabloid media coverage and the self-serving shock jocks on commercial radio" or this "Ross Gittins recently asked the question in The Sydney Morning Herald: "Is it possible for a country that is the envy of the developed world to talk itself into recession?" Yes it is. And the same country - aided and abetted by the media and politicians on both sides of the aisle" Yet this sunday on Insiders he will have these very people of which he complains. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-12/cassidy-cheap-populism-and-the-doing-it-tough-con/2835438#comments

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011G'day Jason, an interesting point of view you have put forward [i]It would seem Barry Cassidy isn't a part of the problem, it's the "others" that do it.[/i] A common theme here at TPS is that the guvmint 'can't win' the 'meeja' never reports anything positive and it is all the fault of 'biased' and 'lousy journos' and the 'shock jocks' oh, and Rupert Murdoch. Yet when Cassidy offers up a positive way for the guvmint to talk about the positive side of our situation: [i]It's probably better to tell essentially a positive story and not concede the cost of living argument. Surely the Government can relate instead through a more subtle conversation about the "standard" of living and lifestyle issues?[/i] he still gets bagged. Seems no matter what Cassidy said he'd still be a just another lousy journo causing the guvmint no end of problems that in no way have anything to do with the perfect way they are doing things. Funny that.

Trevor

12/08/2011Jason [i]"Is it possible for a country that is the envy of the developed world to talk itself into recession?" [/i] It definitely is when they are bombarded every day with negative news and no counterbalance. Commercial media has long known that headlines predicting disaster and incompetence are the way to get peoples attention. It works. Our problem is that we now do not have another mainstream source of current affairs that takes a moderate line. Unfortunately the ABC News seems to take its guidance from The Australian on how to frame a story. Witness the ABC now refers the BER as a "fiasco" when 4 reports have shown the program to be a success. John Howard's greatest legacy to the Liberals may be his nobbling of the ABC. With the stacking of the board the incessant attacks and investigations of supposed bias and the sword held over them of funding cuts, they are now a cowed organisation. I think very fearful that if the coalition does gain government and they have not been good in their absence there will be blood on the floor. As has been high lighted in earlier posts, waving through all the in consistencies with Mr Abbott's statements and costing anomalies. I think the last time he was put on the spot by the ABC was when he fessed to Kerry that he lies if it makes the story sound better. Yet they are now part of the pack cheering on because he provides good copy.

Trevor

12/08/2011Further to my view on how the media behaves in this country. If the CSIRO were to announce tomorrow they had discovered a simple injection that could prevent all forms of cancer and anyone with an existing cancer, this would go into remission. I would not be surprised to see headlines the next day of "Whole hospital wings to close, staff out of work". They may even interview an oncologist who said he was fearful for his future and blamed the government. While obviously an exaggeration this is almost the standard we are at

Jason

12/08/2011DMW, I'm sorry it must be a different Barry Cassidy I've been watching on insiders these past ten years! Actions speak louder than words,and that said I look forward to the "new" Barry Cassidy this weekend. ps Although I wont hold my breath!

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011Hi Trevor, [i]'... bombarded every day with negative news and no counterbalance.[/i] There are couple of points to consider in that statement. How much counterbalance is the government offering up? I suggest not enough. Sure, there are elements of the media that will distort and twist the message if a more positive one were offered by the government but IMHO they are too often sucked into playing on the oppositions turf and not playing it to their advantage. I haven't seen much vision of, for example, Wayne Swan in a presser lately but in the past I have ofen seen him sort of hunched forward, shoulders a bit drooped attemting to sell apositive message. Just doesn't work for me; he often seems to be on the back foot. Now that is a bit of a generalisation and may be a little harsh on him but all the same it seems to me he doesn't seem to be on top of things. Another aspect your statement bought up for me is: How often do we actually notice the (admittedly few and far between) positive stories? There is an occaisoinal refence to a 'glimmer of hope' about a particular story but I supect that more often than not some of the stories we see and/or hear are written off as agin the guvmint when one or two marginally negative phrases have been used because we have come to believe that is the way the meeja is, 'just totally negative and biaed agin the guvmint'. Too often a report or story is written off as biased because some trite phrase such as [i]'The oppositon says ...'[/i] and like a red rag to a bull to some, the story has become as biased against the guvmint when in fact if we were to read or listen a bit closer we could find it is actually a reasonable reporting of the situation. Many accuse the meeja of 'groupthink' etc. and I suggest many of those who critcise the meeja for that [i]crime of the century[/i] are in fact also commiting the same groupthink crime.

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011Jason, ok, accept that is how you see Cassidy and that is your privelege. For me though it is not that black and white. I go back to a comment from an article linked to on Tuesday by NormanK (August 9. 2011 03:51 PM) [i]Only a brave (or stupid) person could insist blindly that everything this Government does is hopeless. Equally, it is utterly impossible to assert its faultless.[/i] Equally it would be a brave person who would insist that everything a particular journalist writes is totally biased against the guvmint or totally supports the oppositions line. While the article you linked to may not be particularly supportive of the goverment it does, as I read it, offer the 'advice' that the government could do better for itself by concentrating on the positive aspects of our current situation rather than (as I see it) [i]buying into the oppostion's doom and gloom rhetoric[/i]. As to whether Cassidy thinks [i]... (he) isn't a part of the problem, it's the "others" that do it[/i] I don't know, you may be right. But a question for you 'What is the problem that you see he is not part of?'

nasking

12/08/2011[quote]Actions speak louder than words,and that said I look forward to the "new" Barry Cassidy this weekend. [/quote] Jason, I can totally relate to yer skepticism when it comes to Cassidy. Having observed constant catering to government bashers & character assassins from News Ltd, I have little time for him. Cassidy gave Andrew Bolt a free ride courtesy of the public purse. I fondly recall writing a post at CW: [quote]Watching ‘Insiders’ Is Like Having a Hard Dry Dump I’m not too fond of the show Insiders with Barrie Cassidy. After waking from a beaut sleep to a typical Queensland gorgeous blue sky morning in the garden, followed by chomping on a superb mixed grill cookup, watching the ABCs putrid political analysis of a Sunday morn is like having a hard dry dump…it’s bloody long & painful. So what did that dump offer up us masochistic viewers today? Well yes, you guessed it…it was our Prime Minister who actually got dumped on over & over again by a media panel representing the types who think/believe/dream: WE INSIDERS FROM THE MEDIA RUN THIS COUNTRY NOT THE LABOR GOVERNMENT[/quote] Fits right in w/ Ad astra's current post. 'Insiders' & Cassidy have alot to answer for. I was a wee bit hard on George Megalogenis in that particular post...he's demonstrated himself to be a balanced political analyst...but I do reckon News Ltd has had preferential treatment on that show. BTW, congrats to Min & the team at CW...splendid job, informative posts. N'

Michael

12/08/2011Abbottually under the influence. Shouldabeen's back, and Malcolm ("I'm beyond gagging") Turnbull is thinking like an accountant, not an entrepreneur, already. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/turnbull-claims-nbn-overhead-costcutting-20110811-1ip31.html Tiny has a remarkable ability to cheapen everything he touches, and shrink everyone 'in his tent'. Of course, O'Dwyer, Hockey, Robb, Corman, Bishop X2, Abetz... et al, didn't really require further shrinking to fit in.

Trevor

12/08/2011Hi Mick I take your point that this govt is hopeless at promoting its achievements or explaining/selling a new policy. They seem to get gazumped every time then stare vacantly not understanding. Oh for a communicator with the skills of PJ Keating, I am sure we would not be having this debate if there was. I am a complete amateur in political communications but can see the problems the ALP has in this area. I cant believe there are not competent & skilled people who could provide them with a good strategy. Are they trying to find them? I hope so. I guess my criticism is more at lazy journalists who cant be bothered doing their own research / investigations rather than regurgitating press releases and following a pack.

Jason

12/08/2011DMW, I think you have missed the point to what I originally said! "It would seem Barry Cassidy isn't a part of the problem, it's the "others" that do it." Cassidy to me seemed to be writing in the third person,he is of the media,and any objective view of the show he fronts would demonstrate that the same thing of which he accuses "others" of doing employs the very same tactics himself. So that was the point I was making, bias etc are secondary issues,and as to your claim that a lot of us here at TPS have some sort of degree of "Stockholm syndrome" and see "bias" everywhere in the media is just wrong! I just want the media to report,and if they are going to a press conference to at least be conversant with the subject matter, after all that is what they are paid to do. If I had the time and money I would do it myself! but since I don't that's what "journalists" were there for I thought.

Casablanca

12/08/2011SITUATION NORMAL: The ABC led into it's News with "The Opposition leader said..negative, negative, negative."

nasking

12/08/2011A positive: Elizabeth Warren Gearing Up For Senate Run, Announcement To Come Post Labor Day http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/11/elizabeth-warren-senate-massachusetts_n_924881.html This from Wikipedia: Popular works Warren is also the co-author (with Tyagi) of The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke (Basic, 2003) (ISBN 978-0-465-09090-7). Warren and Tyagi point out that a fully employed worker today earns less inflation-adjusted income than a fully employed worker did 30 years ago. To increase their income, families have sent a second parent into the workforce. Although families spend less today on clothing, appliances, and other consumption, the costs of core expenses like mortgages, health care, transportation, child care, and taxes have increased dramatically. The result is that, even with two income earners, families no longer save and have incurred greater and greater debt. In an article in the New York Times, Jeff Madrick said of Warren's book: “ The upshot is that two-income families often have even less income left over today than did an equivalent single-income family 30 years ago, even when they make almost twice as much. And they go deeper in debt. The authors find that it is not the free-spending young or the incapacitated elderly who are declaring bankruptcy so much as families with children. ... their main thesis is undeniable. Typical families often cannot afford the high-quality education, health care and neighborhoods required to be middle class today. More clearly than anyone else, I think, Ms. Warren and Ms. Tyagi have shown how little attention the nation and our government have paid to the way Americans really live. ” In 2005, Dr. David Himmelstein and Warren published a study on bankruptcy and medical bills, which claimed that half of all families filing for bankruptcy did so in the aftermath of a serious medical problem. The finding was particularly noteworthy because 75% of those who fit that description had medical insurance. This study was widely cited in academic studies and policy debates, though some have questioned the study's methods and offered alternative interpretations of the data. In one critical article funded by an insurance industry group, the authors simply multiplied two numbers found in the Himmelstein and Warren manuscript, and reported that only 17% of bankruptcies resulted from medical bills. In a rejoinder, Himmelstein and Warren explained the critics' multiple errors... In an interview at Newsweek, December 7, 2009 titled "Reining in, and Reigning Over, Wall Street" Elizabeth Warren was asked: "Congress is trying to reform financial regulation, and it can get a little abstract. Where should people focus?" She responded: To restore some basic sanity to the financial system, we need two central changes: fix broken consumer-credit markets and end guarantees for the big players that threaten our entire economic system. If we get those two key parts right, we can still dial the rest of the regulation up and down as needed. But if we don't get those two right, I think the game is over. I hate to sound alarmist, but that's how I feel about this. On July 29, 2011 she left her role with the agency to return to academic life at Harvard Law School. Her departing address indicated how she first became involved: "Four years ago, I submitted an article to Democracy Journal that argued for a new government agency called the Financial Product Safety Commission. I threw myself into that piece because I felt strongly that a new consumer agency would make the credit markets work better for American families and strengthen the economic security of the middle class." Warren wrote, "I leave this agency, but not this fight . . . the issues we deal with -- a middle class that has been squeezed and business models built on tricks and traps -- are deeply personal to me, and they always will be." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren Goin' by the hostile response of some of the Iowa crowd today to Mitt Romney's dopey statement: "Corporations are people!" I reckon Warren should go down well w/ much of the public. More on corporate kowtower Mitt: [quote]“Corporations are people, my friend,” Mr. Romney responded, as the hecklers shouted back, “No, they’re not!” “Of course they are,” Mr. Romney said, chuckling slightly. “Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?” [/quote] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/us/politics/12romney.html I'd say it floods upwards Mitt...and often outa the country. Plenty of dosh stored in those corporate bank accounts & shares too...whilst average Americans go jobless. Bye bye Mitt...bye bye. Float on back to corporate cloud. N'

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011Nasking, umm, the analogy you used was, umm, I am lost for a polite description. As I don't often watch Insiders (I actually hear it sometimes on the News Radio version) I can't make a reasonable and fair assessment of your judgement. While I found it difficult to 'stick with it' whenever I heard/saw Bolt on the programme I was at least able hear what he was saying and only occaisionally want wring his neck O.k. more often than not I wanted to do damage to his outward appearances but was able to confine myself to muttering words like ... no I will leave them out for the sake of civility. Here is a proposition and a few suppositions regarding Insiders. Put together a group of equal numbers of 'fefties' and 'righties' and have them watch (perish the thought) the two hundred or so hours of Insiders from beginning to end. Ewehah that thought is to much to bear but let's stick with it. I suggest that during it's early years there would be a bit of a view that it wasn't to 'biased' one way or the other. Some eps would have upset the 'lefties' some the 'righties' in probably close to equal measure. After about the first seventy hours or so, there would probably be a shift where the 'righties' would be screaming blue murder about 'bias' and 'it's all a left wing plot' and the 'lefties' would be smilining and saying 'spot on Bazza'. Finally as we get to the last fifty hours or so the 'lefties' are screaming blue murder about 'bias' and 'it's all a right wing/Murdoch plot' and the 'righties' are smilining and saying 'spot on Bazza'. Guess it all comes down to which pair of glasses you choose to pick up come Sunday morning.

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011Jason, o.k. I missed your point. It is something I am very good at it seems. As to my (apparent) claim [i]'... that a lot of us here at TPS have some sort of degree of "Stockholm syndrome" and see "bias" everywhere in the media ...[/i] I didn't think that was what I was saying. There is a tendency here, and in other places, to succumb to a form of 'group think'. It is a natural byproduct of being a part of a group. At times it may be a benefit at others it can be dangerous. Where it becomes dangerous is when it starts to turn a group toward believing in 'conspiracy theories' and when a group starts to believe 'the whole world is agin us'. In saying that I am not in any way suggesting that you or anyone else here has gone to that extreme end of it, however, at times I can see some moving in that direction. Maybe I am stupid and unable to see what is blindingly obvious to others. It just may be that I am the one who is being so dumb and sucked in by that meeja that I can't see what they are up to. Maybe my biases borne from my days working beside those journos has blinded me. I will go away and think about it.

nasking

12/08/2011[quote]I take your point that this govt is hopeless at promoting its achievements or explaining/selling a new policy.[/quote] Trevor, I have to disagree. Certainly they've had their problems...but I reckon Gillard has done a beaut job of late...last night's forum an example. Stephen Smith & Stephen Conroy are also effective communicators. And plenty of others. But they need space...and luck. Repeating the descriptor "hopeless" fails to ignore the improvement of late...and feeds the negabores. When I watch superbly articulated announcements by the PM & other govt ministers in the day...only to observe the evening news' distorted snippets accompanied by negative views of the talking head backed up by the usual smash & grab attention trosh from Abbott it not only irks me...but time & time again brings to mind Lindsay Tanner's accusations regarding the OZ media. It's one reason I hope Julia gets out there w/ the public a few days a week...one way or another. Cut out the BSing middlemen...and force them to concede that the public aren't as hostile towards her as some luv to state ad nauseum. And ensure that the media landscape is more balanced...so the messages can get out their w/out as much editing, manipulation and biased slants added. Just sayin'. You do make insightful comments. Just disagree on this. N'

Sir Ian Crisp

12/08/2011[quote]There is a tendency here, and in other places, to succumb to a form of 'group think'. [/quote] Very bad form. Here in the TPS hothouse Ad Astra believes that only the meeja succumbs to group think. Casual observers such as myself know that group think isn't the only thing that TPS myrmidons have in common with the media. Amusingly, AA accuses the meeja of blatant bias but TPS displays the same level of bias.

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011SIC, I am still waiting for your response to my challenge. Have you not had the time to compile your list? or are you just fobbing me off?

nasking

12/08/2011[quote]Guess it all comes down to which pair of glasses you choose to pick up come Sunday morning.[/quote] D Mick Weir, I voted for a conservative my first ever election, in Canada. My parents & my grandparents are all conservatives...tho Dad has a Liberal side related to his business interests. I'm pretty familiar w/ conservative politics...and can recognise pretty quickly when a show is leaning towards conservatism...and/or being consistently antagonistic towards a Labour/Labor/progressive government by the choice of panelists...the focus of establishing montages...the use of leading questions, choice of topics, time allotted to certain panelists, tolerance of interruptions & bullying tactics, selection of newspaper political cartoons & pictures etc. Cassidy & the 'Insiders' team should be ashamed of themselves. I have found it to be one of the most consistently unbalanced politics-related shows on television, apart from the odd episode. The copycatting of News Ltd's headline agendas & consistent repeating of the exaggerations & distortions used by Coalition members to describe ALP schemes & policies & ministers/prime ministers has demonstrated to me over a number of years that Insiders has contributed as much to creating a myriad negative labels of this government and its programs as News Ltd & shock jocks. And noone can deny that Andrew Bolt, during the past four years (ending w/ his departure) was given far more latitude than most other panelists...throwing David Marr in their occassionally did not offset his dominance. And rather than introducing fresh representatives of blogs such as Crikey & New Matilda etc. Cassidy & his team seem determined to acknowledge that Rupert & co. own nigh on 70% of the print media by providing his hacks w/ prime seating. Feel free to play devil's advocate. Again. :) N'

Casablanca

12/08/2011I guess that many Swordians are members of GetUP http://www.getup.org.au/ and will have received the following earlier this afternoon, for others you might like to consider throwing your support behind this petition which encapsulates the media issues that we have been discussing for some time but particularly in Ad Astra's current post. 'Dear friends, Right now, Canberra is debating whether to launch a full-scale inquiry into the Australian media industry. Following the News of the World phone hacking scandal, it’s the best shot we’ve ever had to publicly scrutinise the media landscape as a whole: what’s working, what’s not and what we can do change things for the better. But politicians are jumpy. Without public pressure this inquiry will never make it off the ground. Click the link to join the public call for a Parliamentary inquiry: http://www.NewsStand.org.au Recent polling shows that our trust in the media is at an all time low. We deserve better. It’s time to call editors out for not sticking to their own standards. It’s time to ensure individual journalists are allowed to do their jobs – instead of having to shape their writing to match the opinions of their editorial boards. And it’s time to make sure that there’s a healthy, competitive marketplace for news, rather than just a few people and corporations having a stranglehold over the flow of information. Most of us rely on mainstream media for our news -- and if we don’t like what we see, there’s been little we can do besides pen an angry letter to the editor, or switch off altogether. That's why we’ve started NewsStand. Part media watch, part advocacy group, together we will expose the bad and highlight the good. We believe that, armed with facts and determination, a movement of informed, empowered people can change the Australian media for the better. We don’t have all the answers yet -- but that’s precisely why we need this government inquiry. It would allow us, as a country, to hold an open and honest conversation between journalists, elected officials, and citizens. This is not about silencing voices or letting politicians tell the media what to write. A healthy democracy is one where we have a diversity of voices and that requires a fair and diverse media. Sign the petition for an inquiry now – and forward this email to all your friends and family so that they can, too: http://www.NewsStand.org.au Sincerely, Kate, Erika, Taren, and the NewsStand team ________________________________________

nasking

12/08/2011[quote]There is a tendency here, and in other places, to succumb to a form of 'group think'. It is a natural byproduct of being a part of a group. At times it may be a benefit at others it can be dangerous. [/quote] I'll point out the "Malaysian solution" debate above to disprove that comment. In my time on the blogs...about a decade now...I found that commentors who referred to "group think" related to media criticism tended to be right-wingers who had infiltrated the blog by pretending to be centrist or generally left-wing...often playing devil's advocate in order to try and corral commentors & readers into a "don't blame the media" pen. They often refer negatively to "conspiracy theories" too. I'll remind you of the Nixon tapes & Watergate. Enron scandal. Sexing up evidence related to Iraq War. Anyway, I hope yer not one Mick. A tricky dick. N'

Patricia WA

12/08/2011Thanks for drawing attention to the Prime Minister's success with the forum here in the West, Lyn. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/10025031/pms-carbon-tax-sales-pitch-wins-over-forum/. But then there was nothing unusual in that, was there? The Prime Minister is consistently up-beat, convincing and constructive, and I am sure well received all over the country, but gets too little credit for it in the media. It is our friend, DMW, who is off track in suggesting we have somehow not appreciated that. I'd be inclined to accept his argument about the [i]'goupthink'[/i] crime at TPS were he to offer more concrete examples of the kind Lyn has provided, of which he claims we are so dismissive. If every one of Julia Gillard's encounters with the public were reported by the [i]'meeja'[/i] as Abbott's are we would have no complaints.

2353

12/08/2011Casablanca - done although I now "look forward" to a stream of junk emails.

nasking

12/08/2011Casablanca, thnx for the petition link. Signed. I'm away for a few days starting in a few hours. Great links Lyn. Superb post Aa. Many insightful comments. Thnx for the opportunity to comment this week PS. Cheers, N'

Michael

12/08/2011http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-12/abbott27s-razor-gang-makes-no-apologies/2836876 Isn't it just wonderful to have "Big Threats/No Apologies" Tiny back in Australia, promising if elected just the sort of government cutbacks and sheer 'suck it up, peasants' attitude to people and their jobs as lit a tinderbox under London?

Lyn

12/08/2011Hi Casablanca Thankyou for the links to the Media petition. Signed Cheers :):):):)

Jason

12/08/2011I don't wish to Labor the point about Cassidy's piece on the drum today! However what Piers Akerman has to add to the national discourse is beyond me,and he's also on Insiders! As I said there must be two Barry Cassidy's! 8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda On Sky News Australian Agenda this week the Leader of Government Business Anthony Albanese, South Australian Premier Mike Rann, and Productivity Commission Assistant Commissioner John Walsh. Joining host Peter Van Onselen on the Panel, The Australian's Paul Kelly, Michael Stutchbury and Jennifer Hewett 8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary This week political editor Mark Riley takes takes a look at a week of launching massive diversions as the surplus promise becomes an "expectation". 8:40am Ch9 - Today on Sunday - The Laurie Oakes Interview The weekly Laurie Oakes interview is in hibernation until further notice. 9:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 - Insiders On Insiders this Sunday, Barrie Cassidy interviews the Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten. On the panel: the Sydney Morning Herald’s David Marr, News.com.au’s Malcolm Farr and the Daily Telegraph’s Piers Akerman. And Mike Bowers talks pictures with Herald Sun cartoonist, Mark Knight. 10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 @ 5.30pm - Inside Business This week on Inside Business, an in depth discussion about the economic and political forces driving the mayhem on financial market. The panel includes; Economist Prof Peter Morici from the University of Maryland’s Business Schoolin the U.S., Steve Mansell, London based Director of Citi’s Global Rates Strategy Team & J.P. Morgan’s Chief China Economist, Jing Ulrich. Alan Kohler also talks to Commonwealth Bank chief, Sir Ralph Norris. As well, the latest news from the markets and Alan Kohler’s incisive commentary. 10.00am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.30pm - The Bolt Report - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day This week on The Bolt Report, Andrew talks to Brendan O'Neill, Editor of Spiked, on the London riots On the Bolt Report panel; trucking magnate Lindsay Fox and political commentator Niki Savva And, Andrew also speaks with Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition 10.30am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.00pm - Meet the Press - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day Paul Bongiorno is joined by panellists; Katharine Murphy from The Age and Marius Benson from ABC NewsRadio. Together they interview the Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne, followed by South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Lyn

12/08/2011Hi Nasking I hope you have a nice 2 days away, looking forward to your return. Cheers:):):):):):):)

Lyn

12/08/2011Hi Jason Thankyou for the Sunday lineup. News.com.au’s Malcolm Farr and the Daily Telegraph’s Piers Akerman. You have their measure Jason spot on. Now that is fair and balanced not. I don't think anyone was talking about bias. The problem is distortion, misreporting. Omission is rife. As Patricia pointed out in here appreciation comment [quote]Thanks for drawing attention to the Prime Minister's success with the forum here in the West, Lyn[/quote]. au.news.yahoo.com/.../. That forum report was nowhere else to be found. Cheers:):):):):)

Jason

12/08/2011Hi Lyn, Most of those who go on "insiders" I don't have a problem with even Gerard Henderson,but to have Chris Kenny,Piers Akerman and Bolt there in the name of some sort of balance is just wrong. Those who are on the "panel" should not be picked because they are either left or right leaning, they should be discussing the week that was,and give a fair and balanced appraisal of how that week went! fairly simple stuff I would have thought! but what would I know? I'm not a journo.

Jason

12/08/2011Hi Lyn, I'm not sure if you can post pictures on here! However have a look at this from pure poison, speaks for itself. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/12/weekend-talk-thread-16/comment-page-1/#comment-61456

nasking

12/08/2011Thnx Lyn, you have a great weekend too. You deserve it. :) Til later. N'

Lyn

12/08/2011Hi Jason Can't post pictures on here , I went to comments is the picture of the Brisbane story bridge????? Cheers:):):):)

D Mick Weir

12/08/2011Jason I think this is the picture you meant http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/files/2011/08/GinaToy1.jpg yep say a helluva lot

Jason

12/08/2011DMW, Thankyou that was the one!

Ad astra reply

12/08/2011Folks I've just posted another piece of witty satire by Acerbic Conehead: [i]The Convoluted Convoy[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/08/12/The-Convoluted-Convoy.aspx [b]To view the YouTube clip of an episode of [i]Father Ted: Dougal becomes a milkman[/i], you will need to click the YouTube link as this particular clip does not permit embedding in the usual way.[/b]
What does two plus 1 equal?