Is your moral compass better than mine?

Isn’t ‘moral compass’ a catchy phrase? And isn’t losing it a pretty serious indictment? It suggests that anyone who has lost his or her ‘moral compass’ is to be looked down upon as an unworthy reprobate. Andrew Wilkie introduced the term to label PM Gillard and her Government over their approach to live cattle exports to Indonesia and asylum seekers. And how easy is it to nod wisely in agreement, without giving much thought to what the term really means, and what implications flow from it.

Dictionary.com defines ‘moral compass’ as “anything which serves to guide a person's decisions based on morals or virtues.”

Once the term ‘moral’ is used we find ourselves in deep water as the issue of ‘morality’ arises. It gets complicated; we are into philosophy. What is morality? According to Wikipedia “Morality is a sense of behavioral conduct that differentiates intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. Immorality is the active opposition to morality, while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles.”

I’m afraid it gets more complicated, but we need to go a little deeper to get down to what this business of losing one’s moral compass is all about.

Wikipedia goes on to say: “Morality has two principal meanings: In its "descriptive" sense, morality refers to personal or cultural values, codes of conduct or social mores that distinguish between right and wrong in the human society. Describing morality in this way is not making a claim about what is objectively right or wrong, but only referring to what is considered right or wrong by an individual or some group of people (such as a religion). This sense of the term is addressed by descriptive ethics.

“In its "normative" sense, morality refers directly to what is right and wrong, regardless of what specific individuals think. It could be defined as the conduct of the ideal "moral" person in a certain situation. This usage of the term is characterized by "definitive" statements such as "That act is immoral" rather than descriptive ones such as "Many believe that act is immoral." It is often challenged by moral nihilism, which rejects the existence of any moral truths, and supported by moral realism, which supports the existence of moral truths. The normative usage of the term "morality" is addressed by normative ethics.”

So to get a handle on what losing one’s moral compass means, we must get into what is moral and what is not.

Let’s start with the live cattle issue. From public reaction to the Four Corners program, it appears the most people regard the way in which cattle are processed in some abattoirs in Indonesia as appalling; many would label it immoral. Even those supplying the cattle have expressed their abhorrence. Yet Meat and Livestock Australia has been slow and reluctant to express its abhorrence, and its Jakarta representative reports that MLA has been aware of animal cruelty in some abattoirs for years. So it looks as if different people and different groups apply different standards of morality to the same situation as displayed on Four Corners. Some, such as Andrew Wilkie, the RSPCA, and like-minded folk, consider the situation is so immoral that they want all live cattle exports banned permanently, and regard those who resist this by imposing only a temporary ban, to wit the Gillard Government, as having ‘lost their moral compass’.

Looking at it from the cattlemen’s point of view, despite their concern for their animals, they might consider it immoral for the Government to suddenly halt their trade and impose heavy financial burdens and possibly bankruptcy upon them. The MLA at present sees no reason to compensate them from MLA funds, something the cattlemen might view as immoral since they collect $4.20 for every beast sold and have many millions of dollars in reserve. They may consider that the MLA has lost its moral compass by declining compensation.

So in accusing any person or group of ‘losing its moral compass’, the accusers are imposing their moral standards on the accused. That’s where it gets tricky and dangerous. They are applying moral standards in a normative sense in that they are defining what is “right and wrong, regardless of what specific individuals think.” It seems that is what those who insist on a complete ban are doing.

Now before we get into an argument about what is acceptable in the live cattle trade, where there will be a variety of views, be aware that this is not the purpose of this piece. The purpose is simply to point out that as soon as people talk about others losing their moral compass, they are making a value judgement about the morality of the situation under scrutiny and the morals of those on either side of the debate, and indeed are representing their moral values as the superior ones.

In the live cattle debate there would likely be a very large majority of the population deeply distressed by what is happening, and sympathetic to the call for a permanent ban on live exports. But does that entitle them to label those who don’t want to go that far as having ‘lost their moral compass’?

The asylum seeker issue has divided the community more evenly. There are those who consider it immoral to place people in detention for processing their asylum claims.  They would release them into the community for processing there. But many would consider it immoral to release them unprocessed and perhaps endanger the community. Some resent it and no doubt think it immoral to provide benefits to those arrivals beyond those afforded our own citizens. So whose morality is ‘right’?  What morality should prevail? Which of these different groups should be labeled as having ‘lost their moral compass’?

Many see the Malaysian arrangement as immoral, threatening as is suggested harsh conditions for those sent there and inhuman conditions for children. Even more are against removing to Malaysia unaccompanied children arriving on boats. But on the other side of the argument, there are those who support the deportation of these ‘queue-jumping’ arrivals, and applaud this attempt to disrupt the people smuggling trade. They see it as humane to discourage people from risking their lives on leaky boats; we have heard politicians argue this case over and again.

So whose morality is ‘right’? What entitles anyone to label those who hold one view or the other as having ‘lost their moral compass’? Yet that is how Andrew Wilkie and refugee advocates are labeling PM Gillard and her Government over their attempts to negotiate an arrangement with Malaysia. They seem to discount that part of the proposal that will admit to our country 4000 already processed legitimate refugees. The negative of sending 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia, designed as it is to stop boat arrivals, outweighs in their mind the positive of resettling 4000 legitimate refugees from Malaysia in our country. That is a value judgement to which they’re entitled, but does that entitle them to label those who support the Malaysian arrangement as having lost their moral compass?

In conclusion, left me emphasize again that the purpose of this short piece is not to debate the whys and wherefores of these two curly issues, but to question the right of Andrew Wilkie, or anyone else for that matter, to impose his morality on those who do not accept his viewpoint and characterize them as having lost their moral compass? To me that is a bridge too far because such pejorative labels, like slogans, stick and unfairly diminish those so labeled.

Is his moral compass better than mine, or Julia Gillard’s, or that of anyone else?

What do you think?

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John

15/06/2011Hi, Ad Nice piece. I rather think 'lost their moral compass' is a euphamism for no longer acting ethically. I think andrew Wilkie is correct, and I believe the Labor Party has plumped for political expediency at the behest of the right-wing of the party. On the other hand, I'm not sure any of the current Federal Liberal Party had a 'moral compass', having all voted for, and defended, WorkChoices, guards with attack dogs on the docks(remember Peter Reith?), mandatory detention, children overboard mistruths,... :)

Ad astra reply

15/06/2011John What a rapid response – thank you for your comments. The Wikipedia definition of 'euphemism' is that it is: “[i]a substitution for an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver, using instead an agreeable or less offensive expression, or to make it less troublesome for the speaker.[/i]” I’m not sure that: ‘lost your moral compass’ is less offensive than an alternative expression. To me it sounds pretty pejorative. You are right though, the Coalition has a pretty shonky moral compass on several issues, IR, asylum seekers, placing a price on carbon, to name but a few.

lyn

15/06/2011Hi Ad Thankyou Ad for writing yet another brilliant article, also a very interesting topic. You know how much I enjoy your writing. Andrew Wilkie was out of order in an effort to sound pure and sweet, he has used the wrong words. Wonder did he think about the true meaning. I would say not. [quote]personal or cultural values, codes of conduct or social mores that distinguish between right and wrong in the human society[/quote]. Ad, I will tell you now, if I tried to enforce my morals onto people today, they would say I was senile. I am old fashioned by today's, standards, on codes of conduct, cultural values, even right and wrong, my standard of consideration for other people, behaviour towards other people, respect for other peoples opinion, what about old fashioned honesty, out the window. I am told I am old fashioned. I see things on TV and often say where are their morals, the general behaviour is incredible, the more shocking they are the more they love themselves. Respect is hard to find and it is the lack of respect causing problems in society . There is no respect from the radio shock jocks, from the Coalition, even from people who should know better. Colin Barnett on TV tonight was a good example: Uhlmann said have you informed the Government of you plans, no he said. Of course not who are they, who's the Government, they are nobody, I will tell the TV first. See no respect. I don't care if I'm old fashioned I like it that way, at least I have my own personal code of conduct and it feels good to me. Cheers

David Horton

15/06/2011No, sorry Ad, there are times when it s fine to bend over backwards to see the PM's point of view (and in the context of how much worse Abbott would be) - I get that. But Labor (under both Rudd and Gillard) seems to have made an art form of pandering to groups that would never vote for them in a million years while spurning the views of the people that support them. It is precisely the opposite of the ruthless coalition approach. On issue after issue the PM comes across as someone who lacks a kin of moral baseline - there seems to be literally nothing that will not be cast aside if expediency or perceived political advantage (or more often merely reduced disadvantage) appears to demand it it (or even just hints at the request). The cattle issue is a classic. The PM was the last hope for the cattle, no one else is in a position to stop them being brutally abused and tortured then painfully killed. Does she stand firm? Does she say well there may be grounds for compensation, we are happy to look into that, or help with alternative market arrangements, but we are committed to animal welfare as a priority? No she does not. The same process has occurred in effect with refugees. It occurred with Rudd on the ETS. It is why, I think, that her "approval" poll results are the same as Abbott's. People don't like him, but she has given little reason for them to like her. We don't expect the conservatives to act on principle. We do expect the Labor Party to do so. Remember in a choice between a real conservative party and an imitation people will choose the real one. Is there a real Julia to influence that choice?

lyn

15/06/2011Hi John Your article on Moral Compass is brilliant too. I think I told you that on Monday or Tuesday, when I posted a link to your article. [i]In Search of a Moral Compass, John, True Politik[/i][quote] The Current Events [quote]Andrew Wilkie, MP, accused Labor of losing its moral compass on live exports (of cattle, in particular) and in its treatment of refugees. [/quote] So, exactly what is a “moral compass”? The terms ‘morals’ and ‘ethics are often used interchangeably. They are somewhat different. Morals represent the shared beliefs of a group or society about what is 'true’ or right in behavioural terms. Morals are not the exclusive domain of religions, or religious groups. Different societies have different moral codes, sometimes at odds with religious groups within their society.[/quote] http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/ Cheers

Russell Glendale Newcastle

15/06/2011David, well put. I seem to recall that when the Murray-Darling water plan was delivered. The irrigators and a few from the renta crowd boohooed the results. The government just caved in. Incredible. Its not that consultation had been going on for years by both sides of the political divide and that significant modelling had been undertaken by several universities. None of these seats were ever going to be won by labour.

Ad astra reply

15/06/2011HI Lyn Thank you for your kind remarks. What a lot of commonsense you write. I do agree with your comments about respect: “[i] Respect is hard to find and it is the lack of respect causing problems in society. There is no respect from the radio shock jocks, from the Coalition, even from people who should know better.”[/i], like Colin Barnett.

Ad astra reply

15/06/2011John Prompted by Lyn I have just now re-read your piece on the moral compass on 13 June. It is very sound. You conclude “[i] Our political parties are not guided by any moral compass. They are guided by ‘spin doctors’ and party power-brokers whose only desire to gain political power, and to keep it.[/i]” That may be so but rests on the assumption that there is a moral position that political parties ought to take. With their different ideological positions, their moral position varies accordingly on many issues. It is difficult to establish a normative morality as there is so much dispute about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

Patricia WA

15/06/2011David Horton, I disagree with you strongly. Firstly, I think the PM has acted ethically in the livestock trade issue and has consequently had to wear criticism from all sides, all of whom are judging her from their own perspective, or by their own moral compass. Peter Holmes a Court, a cattle rancher himself, commended her action. This morning I heard Warren Truss endorsing Minister Joe Ludwig's initial bans but wanting as early a possible resumption of trade. I agree with the RSPCA that we should have Australian standards, i.e stunning of animals before slaughter but that may take months or years to achieve in Indonesia. Meantime what about the ethical implications of the inevitable hardship for those losing employment, both here and in Indonesia. Are they required to suffer to meet our moral scruples when many of them haven't harmed any animals? I don't eat meat myself, and as an animal lover I was appalled at those TV images. And I'm really angry with the M.L.A. for their dereliction of duty in this regard. If I had my way we wouldn't have live sheep or cattle export trade at all. In fact, no domestic trade either. But then how would I feed my pets? I'm not being facetious there, just showing how inconsistent I can be at a very personal level. But that's all moral squeamishness compared with the conflict I feel about the ethical dimensions of Julia Gillard's efforts to stop people smuggling. There is no absolutely right answer to this problem, as I always thought there was, for example, about those Jews turned away from ports all over the western world. Even throwing open our borders and allowing free entry of refugees as some would have it would be to encourage an even livelier and more dangerous people smuggling trade as refugees, and maybe just would be economic migrants, stampede to get passage to this first world antipodean country surrounded by third world poverty. As well, you say that Rudd and she both lost their moral compass on climate change? Rudd, supported by his deputry, Gillard, worked tirelessly to get their ETS passed again and again. Were the Greens more ethical because they wanted an unacceptably high standard and so voted against it? What moral compass did Abbott use leading the Coalition away from their earlier commitment to support it? Why didn't Malcolm Turnbull use his moral compass to guide him across the floor of the House of Reps with whoever would follow him? The 'shelving' or deferral of the ETS was not its abandonment as a result of moral turpitude, but rather the acceptance of political reality. The accusations of immorality in all of these issues have come after event evolved and as the media and the Opposition manipulated and moulded them to paint Gillard and her government as in 'the wrong.' So long as the media continue to the put the right 'in the right' that is where the left will stay. When Tony Abbott becomes Prime Minister of this country it will be because we have allowed ourselves to buy into the media story and to be blown off course on issues like the need to act on climate change, the need to end the people smuggling trade, the need to find ways to protect our environment and waterways, to modernise our communication sytems and to fund all of these things with as just a taxation system as can be achieved. On all of these issues we have a Prime Minister who is trying with her government, supported by a few sturdy independents, to steer a course through stormy waters churned up and muddied by a power hungry opposition leader prepared to promote the interests of mining magnates and polluting power industries. You are accusing her of losing her moral compass? Who is there whom you trust to have a more reliable compass with which to guide Australia into the future?

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011David Horton Thank you David for your comprehensive response. The purpose of this piece was not to ‘bend over backwards to see the PM’s point of view’ (and I do not believe I have done that), or for that matter to debate the several sides to the cattle export trade or the asylum seeker issue, as I stated in the piece. Rather it was to point out that when one accuses someone of losing his or her moral compass it requires the accuser to set his or her standards of morality against that of the accused. It is saying ‘my morals are superior to yours’. Now you may argue that changing position according to the prevailing political wind is a sign of losing the moral compass, as I believe you are asserting when you quote Julia Gillard’s response to the cattle export situation. I could disagree with your assessment, but as it was not my purpose in writing the piece to argue the case one way or the other regarding this or the asylum seeker issue, I will not do so. The central point of the piece is that morality can be ‘descriptive’ – “describing morality in this way is not making a claim about what is objectively right or wrong, but only referring to what is considered right or wrong by an individual or some group of people”; or ‘normative’ – describing “what is right and wrong, regardless of what specific individuals think.” It seems as if we expect our politicians to operate in a ‘normative’ way where morality is absolute (according to our standards, whatever they are), and chastise them when they act in a ‘descriptive’ way where right and wrong is conditioned or moderated by an external group of people, namely the stakeholders or the electorate. It seems the latter often applies and politicians get caned for going that way. Russell Glendale Newcastle Thank you too for your comment. As you agree with David, the above response applies to what you have written, in your case about the Murray-Darling Water Plan.

Patricia WA

16/06/2011Ad Astra, had I read your response to David Horton it might have tempered my own somewhat. I still feel deeply disappointed when people whom I would have expected to be less judgemental do not understand the moral dilemma of a national leader, particularly ours at this particular time. She, I feel, is following an ethical course with regard to climate change, particularly, where she is seeking not only to do the right thing by the environment but to achieve it by consensus with other parties and in a socially equitable way. The Dalai Lama, I think, would have more in common with her moral compass than the religiosity of Tony Abbott. Had he, or his advisors, taken the time to read about what she is trying to achieve with the Carbon Tax, he would have had a lot to talk about with her. What, I wonder, did he find to say to Tony Abbott?

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011Patricia WA I wrote my response to David earlier in the evening but couldn’t post it because I kept getting an error message, so that’s why I’m posting at this ungodly hour. But late as it is, I did want to support what you have written in both your posts. My post was directed to the fundamental issues of morality and the recently resurrected term ‘moral compass’, and was not intended to canvass the issues used as illustrations, but if it were I would have echoed your sentiments. Like you, I am tired of the continual sniping at PM Gillard when she is tackling such monumental reforms and challenging events (such as the cattle trade) in the face of unremitting negativity and obstruction, pulled this way and that by powerful forces and having to find a principled, responsible and equitable way through. I shall try to get something together for next week about the tortured path those in power have to traverse to achieve sound outcomes that advance our nation and its citizens, outcomes that not only deal with present exigencies, but with the unfolding future. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

paul walter

16/06/2011Well, I'm not dure I've lost my moral compass, but what is current state of play with the beef cattle? Alive, dead, properly fed and watered. What is this about no compensation? The farmers, or most of them in this country are surely not responsible for what happens in Indonesia. They were moving their stock in good faith, or not? The abattoirs owners are a more likely culprit and those who licenced them. It keeps putting me in mind of the gerry-built foreign students rort, an antic that must surely have subverted this countries reputation offshore. As for asylum seekers, an understanding seems to be moving glacially as to what's involved, apart from the physical processes. Time for the leaders to show leadership and relent just give a bit for including a little more humanity into the process. Let them give it up, before the grief mounts exponentially.

David Horton

16/06/2011I don't want to monopolise this - I'm sure there will be plenty of TPSers wanting a say. But I'll just add this - if friends can't tell friends when they are going wrong who will? Not telling your friend they have a problem is no kindness. Patricia - your account of the ETS in relation to parliament is somewhat inaccurate.

lyn

16/06/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the QT: No Smoke, No Fire, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] As I say – the Government has a good story to tell on the economy: it needs to keep telling it and forget about Abbott while they’re doing it. He doesn’t have any policies anyway, so just ignore him until he does. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]The Stitch Up, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] Newspoll ('It better be bloody respected, do you know how much we pay these people to stitch things up for us?' - ed) showed increasing support for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, whose straight talk ('straight', that's good -ed) is resonating with voters. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]Dirt Poor, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] So Julie Bishop has been to India: that's nice. Who paid for her to go, who went with her, and what does this trip - we have only her report of it to go on - mean for Australia's trade, and our economic future? If I were a journalist I'd ask these questions http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/06/dirt-poor.html [i]Dame Elisabeth Murdoch awaits the brutal “Carbon Cate” treatment from News Ltd, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Imagine what’ll happen when those consistent campaigners against the corruption of privilege are forced by their consciences to give the mother of their proprietor the same treatment they gave Cate Blanchett. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/06/15/dame-elisabeth-murdoch-awaits-the-cate-blanchett-treatment-from-news-ltd/#more-10588 [i]Facts and fictions: Water vapour, CO2, and the Carbon Cycle, Ash,Ash's Machaivellian Bloggery[/i] FACT: The oceans sink capability is hitting a wall. They are becoming more and more less effective as they are already capturing at capacity. And it is the Oceans that are the biggest carbon sink we have. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/facts-and-fictions-water-vapour-co2-and-the-carbon-cycle/ [i]Caesar’s wife, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] This week came payback, the tobacco industry revealing that in 2005 (2 years before Labor came into government!) some fund-raising letters had gone out, signed by Roxon (I’m guessing in a big pile of hundreds of letters http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/06/15/caesars-wife/ [i]Gillard is worth How Much? last chance to bid, Peter Martin[/i] Current maximum bid for "Spectacular dinner for six with Prime Minister Julia Gillard at The Lodge or her Sydney residence Kirribilli House. This is a unique opportunity for corporate Australia to dine with the nation’s leader." $8,200.00 http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/06/gillard-is-worth-how-much-last-chance.html [i]The never ending crisis , Opinion Dominion[/i] Let's face it, Janet and Andrew, if you want inconsistency and leaps to populism, there is no better example in the Australian polity at the moment that Mr T Abbott. http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/2011/06/never-ending-crisis.html [i]Respecting past enemies as a way to bash the current ones, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Who but the most died-in-the-wool conservatives would seriously argue that Alexander Downer “commanded” respect beyond their own partisans? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/06/15/respecting-past-enemies-as-a-way-to-bash-the-current-ones/ [i]NBN promo video under the hammer, Mumbrella[/i] In the Telegraph article, Malcolm Turnbull, the opposition communications and broadband spokesman, was quoted to have said: “They [the government] have squandered billions and are now chasing their sunk investment [b]The video [/b]is to run in libraries and councils, and will be used at conferences to sell the NBN’s benefits. http://mumbrella.com.au/nbn-promo-video-under-the-hammer-49185 [i]Telstra's broadband plan an illusion: ACCC, Josh Taylor, ZNet[/i] Under an $11 billion deal between NBN Co and Telstra expected to be finalised soon, NBN Co will lease Telstra's existing pits and ducts, and Telstra will decommission its copper network and move customers onto the NBN. http://www.zdnet.com.au/telstras-broadband-plan-an-illusion-accc-339316827.htm [i]Gassy mines (and reports) Macro Business[/i] This should serve as an illustration of how a carbon price works to incentivise abatement, and how exempting an industry removes a potentially low cost supply of abatement from the economy leading to then higher costs for the rest of the economy. http://macrobusiness.com.au/2011/06/gassy-mines-and-reports/?utm_source=Media+List&utm_campaign=4bd622f44e-RSS_DAI [i]Optus-NBN deal nears completion: report, Technology Spectator[/i] The agreement reportedly contains a wipeout clause in the event that Labor is voted out of office and the opposition follows through on its pledge to cancel, or at least cutback the $35.9 billion project, according to the AFR. http://technologyspectator.com.au/nbn-buzz/optus-nbn-deal-nears-completion-report?utm_source=Technology+Spectator+List&utm_campaign=e7d0541e54-TECH_SPEC_DAILY&utm_medium=email [i]Dear Four Corners, Scot Braithwaite, Quadrant Online[/i] I am asking for a fair go. You have been expertly manipulated. Hear the actual other side of the story let the Australian public see both sides. I am happy to make all the arrangements. http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2011/06/dear-four-corners [i]Modern Labor must rise above its myths and memories, John Faulkner, ABC[/i] Our primary vote at the last Federal election was worse than in any of the election during the dark post-Split days of the late 1950s and 1960s. It was our worst primary vote since 1906 and it was just a whisker above that result. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2759256.html [i]A superhighway for clean energy, Andrew Dyer, ABC[/i] The Snowy Hydro Scheme took 25 years to be completed. The electricity portfolio transformation ahead of us is far more complex in scale and scope. A typical large-scale power generation project takes around five years to plan, develop finance and construct. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2759240.html

Michael

16/06/2011Today's Bad Abbott http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/my-name-is-tony-ive-come-to-save-your-factory-20110615-1g41l.html Yesterday's stunt exposed (so to speak) another 'natural' male supporter of Shouldabeen, who seems to need to, well, expose, his masculinity to make a point (oh, this is getting tricky!). What a testosterone-driven country this will be should Shouldabeen ever be PM. I can see his supporters buying tape measures all over the land in expectation. Doomed to disappointment, I expect. Shouldabeen will always be the biggest dick, day in, day out.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011Ad astra Some would say that heroes are for kids, nobody is perfect or infallible in judgment and gurus only exist in the minds of those who pay them any mind. But if not a guru exactly, Ad, you certainly fit my notion of a sage. You keep this stuff coming, and us-all thinking. You are a moral lodestone to many, and though you may be embarrassed by my saying this, it is sort of - germane? - ironic? - the way you yourself are peculiarly intertwined with your article. See I don't think it's the compass that's lost, it's the Pole! This is not trite: before we plot a course we have to know where we want to go and what we wish to achieve, and then what other considerations must then be suborned to that end. Stop the Boats? Sure, we can do that, torpedoes'll do it every time! - Ah but bloody morality gets in the road! War is the most powerful of poles, surely: it takes precedence over all other considerations. Winning the War IS the whole of the morality. It's easy to forget this in peacetime, but in war stopping the boats, and with torpedoes at that, is standard practice. All's fair - NOT! In peacetime there is no such unifying force, and that presents infinitely greater problems. Fundamentalist religions where they are overwhelmingly predominant - Iran, Vatican City, Israel - are great social magnets, all the faithful, like little iron filings, prostrating themselves perfectly along the religious lines of force -(Dog that's good, wonder if it'll earn me a fatwah?!) -facing holey places or old walls or graven images or other idolatry in all its horrid guises. But I'm not religiomagnetic! (Lyn is this word OK?) And neither is *J*U*L*I*A*, and so many more; meanwhile some are this or that religion, Jews Micks Proddos Moslems Hindus and Dog knows what from happy clappers through Scientidiots. No unifying force here, just clumps of filings stuck on their particular magnet, with little interest in seeking new horizons. Not a very useful crew when it comes to plotting a generally agreed course! At least being free of religious shibboleths prejudices and constraints allows one to venture into other realms, though in itself providing neither comfort nor compass. But it seems to me that yes, Dorothy, there is a Moral Pole, equally acknowledgable to people of all persuasions everywhere, it's very simple, too corny for words, but here they are, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. My favourite character in all scripture that I've ever seen is just plain old Good Samaritan. Note, when he picked up the man who had fallen among thieves, so badly beaten that Goodie's donkey Sam had to carry him, Goodie didn't take him to his place, he didn't give him half his wealth neither, he took him instead to a half-way house, gave mine host Gus a penny (with inflation that is $98.60, it meant a whole day's wages in those days) and said Look mate, I know it's a drag but can you fix him up a bit, I'm coming back tomorrow and if it costs a bit more I'll sort it then OK? There's moral force there alright. I think it is not too big a stretch to extend it to all sentient beings, that as the experience of pain is horrid, so is the deliberate infliction of pain immoral. Cattle should not be treated so, we are in overwhelming agreement about that at least, so if live exports are to continue there's a moral imperative to treat them humanely. Hardly rocket science, and the MLA operatives deserve a stretch AHMP imo. If we're going to eat animals at all then they're going to be killed somewhere, but as readers probably realize from my posts t'other day I regard halal and kosher killing as utterly barbaric. Stunning first, well OK. With regard to refugees and asylum seekers, a great moral problem for all nations now and for all foreseeable future, the best course is never going to be simple, and abuse is completely unhelpful. What will help is goodwill and thought and paying Gus's ancestors in Malaysia or wherever whatever it's worth to help while things get sorted, but thank Dog very few want an open door. The real problem of course is there's too many homo saps but what can one do. We must do something, ad hockery's no good, and I do have faith that the Government is doing its best to devise a "moral" process. They are at least providing those necessary requirements, humanity and consideration. Here we come back to you Ad astra. You are a moral magnetic pole for people to align their compasses with, that's why I pushed you so hard to try to get on the ABC Board, but Don't You worry About That Ad, you're doing just great as it is.

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011David Horton said: "Patricia - your account of the ETS in relation to parliament is somewhat inaccurate." Please Explain? Captcha Bingo: Politics nabithe

Patricia WA

16/06/2011Ad Astra - re that 'error message' I get that far more often for this site than any other, particularly late at night here, early hours of the morning elsewhere, I guess. I had assumed the late night inaccessibility was a shut down by yourself as a spam avoidance technique when traffic would be very light. Who else but AC and myself would be posting comments at 2.00 am EST?:) Seriously, though I often get the error message during the day and I somewhat naively used to put it down to overload of traffic at the site. I understand that's not it. So what is the reason?

janice

16/06/2011 Very well said, PatriciaWA. When people use phrases such as "lost his/her/their moral compass" they should be challenged as to their definition of such phrase and to give examples of where the accused has "lost" it. As Ad astra asks "isn't 'moral compass' a catchy phrase?" and IMO the fact that it is a catchy phrase is the very reason it was used at all. The word "morals" has a wide-ranging meaning that changes according to the context in which it is used. It's synonyms are many, including dutiful, ethical, excellent, faithful, good, honest, just and pius. Add "compass" to the word we then have a broad meaning of the direction in which society (or government, religious groups, people generally) should, or are, moving. I disagree strongly with David Horton this time. My view of a good government is one that governs for all, and that means that all voices must be heard, dealt with honestly and fairly and policies followed that are inclusive and for the betterment of the economy and society as a whole. It is not "pandering" to groups who will never vote for this government to take their views and wants into account. It is, in my opinion, endeavouring to govern for all rather than to ignore any voters who support the opposition. I do think you are being particularly harsh on the PM and her government. The issue of the live cattle trade is complex and the government has acted accordingly. The temporary bans on the trade was necessary and right (morals?), compensation should not be foisted on taxpayers generally when the Industry itself is culpable for its failure to address the cruelty they were well aware was going on. Was the MLA and the cattle industry itself acting ethically and morally in turning a blind eye to the cruelty of the animals they export? The government is working with the Industry and Indonesia to find a solution as quickly as possible - isn't that the right thing to do? Again, you point to the refugee issue which is also a complex and emotive issue that the Coalition has used as a political football with which to discredit a good and caring government. The PM and her government do not have a magic wand. The nations refugee intake must be decided according to economic and infrastructure capabilities. The PM is seeking a regional solution to a regional problem which is something that takes time, effort, understanding, fairness and duty of care for all.

lyn

16/06/2011Hi Talk Turkey Thankyou for such a thoughtful, genuine, comment a delight to read, magic to say the very least. [quote]I'm not religiomagnetic! (Lyn is this word OK?) [/quote] Brilliant word "religiomagnetic"! Talk Turkey only magic people can incorporate such a word. [quote][b]If we're going to eat animals at all then they're going to be killed somewhere[/b], but as readers probably realize from my posts t'other day I regard halal and kosher killing as [b]utterly barbaric[/b][/quote] Every school holidays for years and years from the age of five to 15. I was sent to the dairy farms belonging to my mothers family in Northern NSW. The slaughter of cattle, pigs, fowl, that took place on those private properties were horrific. The country has come a long way since then. You are right while humans continue to eat meat there will be slaughter. I don't even believe there is a kind way to kill the animals. Dad would cut of the chickens heads with an axe, then hang them on the back fence to bleed. My Grandmother would ring their necks with her hands. My mother's job as a child, was to feed the calves from a very young age, she watched one cow being slaughtered and never ate meat for the rest of her life. Not even fish or chicken. Mum died at 89. Moral Compass as you say "Moral Pole" what does that really mean, lost your morals North, South East and West, that means no morals at all. Can we have say a North moral.

lyn

16/06/2011Hi Talk Turkey I forgot your smiles :):):):):):):):):):):)

D Mick Weir

16/06/2011paul walter g'day and welcome. Already adding your two cents worth I see. For a bunch of [i]'rabid left wing loonies'[/i]* there are some great and thoughtful characters here. I am sure you will enjoy your visits. *How some others describe us. Personally I know I am. Others here are far from loony. :)

David Horton

16/06/2011TT - whether the Greens "voted with" the government on the ETS or not was irrelevant (as was Turnbull's position), they didn't have the balance of power, Fielding did (and would never ever vote for an ETS). They did point out that if you were going to actually do something about greenhouse gas emissions, as distinct from paying minimal lip service to the idea, you might want to (a) not aim for "5% reduction" (b) not pay massive amount of money to polluters (c) not lock in those two attributes indefinitely. Conversely the Liberals, their party almost solid climate change denier ('cept Malcolm), were never going to vote for any scheme no matter how weak Rudd made it. If Rudd really believed that this was the great "moral challenge" (as indeed it is, and there are other adjectives one could use) then his only option to get something through was to come up with a meaningful scheme (one, for example, not locked in over time - the Greens would have come to the party on something half way decent with a promise of future flexibility) and take it to a double dissolution election. If he had won this (and I think the chances were better than even, given a somewhat better campaign than 2010 was) then it had the advantage of not just enabling him to keep his word on climate change but to also start getting through the other major components of policy being constantly blocked in the senate. Instead here we are, about to come to a Green-Labor senate majority at last, and the game is nearly over. Fortune does favour the brave, and Rudd squibbed this, and lost the prime ministership and looks like losing the next election for Labor as well.

Jason

16/06/2011David, Two Libs crossed the floor Fielding was irrelevant!just needed the greens and it would have been in!

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011PatriciaWA Your first post today was superb. No need to tone it down imo. Janice too, saying what you want to with great conviction. Several women have mentioned how much confidence they have gained through this blog, but I think it's a two-edged Sword, fellers too get confidence here. We mostly wouldn't have a soapbox at all otherwise, but here people speak exactly their mind. - Well, almost! ;-) Oh and Patricia, "Who else but AC and myself would be posting comments at 2.00 am EST?" Yeah bit early for me! Ad astra, "to the star" - Which star? Why Polaris of course! ". . . upon whose true-fixed and unbending quality There is no fellow in the firmament." (Julius Caesar/Shakespeare) Well the blogosphere anyway. * :-O * * * * * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lyn, (K) !

lyn

16/06/2011Hi Patricia I want to second Talk Turkey on your comment being superb. Janice you too, you and Patricia are both a brilliant flurescent lights on this famous TPS blog. I can't answer you both it would take me too long. Congratulations to you both for providing such quality writing to TPS. You others Guys, will get a mention later on, another day, don't worry you are all triple AAA rated quality writers. Cheers

debbiep

16/06/2011Talking about moral compasses.. This is the underlying issue where I really feel mixed up. Meaning, I can see people may question and judge Gillard/Labors Moral compass ,BUT, then will go from her to support (as shown in polls) a person like Abbott & a Party that has shown OVER THE YEARS to have less of a Moral Compass. Shows me that Morals are not what most people value. Patracia gave it more food for thought when she said ' the moral dilemma of a national leader'.. For me (Firstly, A voter for the Greens), I see Gillard as the more trusting leader and Labor as the more trusting party, than Abbott and his front bench .

Patricia WA

16/06/2011Talk Turkey's moral compass, that one guiding principle, is one I share. [quote]Do unto others as you would have them do unto you[/quote] I was a bit off topic earlier when I had that knee jerk reaction to David Horton's accusing Julia Gillard of losing her moral compass, or was it the nation's? (Thanks, TT, for asking that question re the ETS). Because the question is a personal one about our own moral compass. But giving it some thought I don't think it's quite that personal. There is something generic about mine which I don't quite understand. Having no religious faith and having been dragged up, rather than reared, in an appalling environment I am somewhat amazed to find myself surrounded by an astonishingly morally sound bunch of rellies. Not just my own children either, who I would expect to at least partly reflect my own moral values. Even they will differ from me on some political issues. My four brothers and their children likewise are decent, upright citizens with few signs of either moral decadence or the other extreme of bigotry. We have no law breakers in the family and no church goers or preachers either. But we're a warm hearted mob who live by the [i]do as you would be done by [/i]rule of thumb. I have never seriously asked myself where does that come from? Certainly not tsught by those two warring parents in that long ago slum dwelling who did their best to abort all but two of us, one of whom drank to excess and the other who would buy fags with her last few pence. Now that's the unfair judgement of a child. In retrospect as an adult I am gob-smacked with admiration by their tenacity and capacity for whatever work they could find in their struggle to survive and support themselves and their clamorous offspring at near subsistence level. So, how dos one develop a moral compass, even in a terrible environment? What is it, after all? Where does generosity of spirit come from? Is it innate? In our genes? We're a good looking family on the whole, sound in wind and limb. Though scattered to all corners of the earth we share similar values about lifestyles which are generally healthy though not unduly materialistic. We're intellgent and well informed about politics with some though not widely divergent views. Only a few of us are tertiary educated, but that is not the determinant in choice of politics. Even so, those few differences aside, I would say that if we ever gave it thought, as Ad Astra has challenged me to now, we would generally claim to share the same moral compass as Talk Turkey. And few us would claim that it was better than others, because we would assume that most other people shared it with us. But that's clearly not a correct assumption. Hence Ad Astra's question

David Horton

16/06/2011No Jason, not in the senate.

Jason

16/06/2011David, http://www.wangle.com.au/life/greens-trade-votes-not-emissions " As you will recall, the CPRS was put to a vote in the Senate soon after Malcolm Turnbull was deposed as Opposition Leader. At the time of the vote, two Liberal Senators crossed the floor to stand alongside the Rudd Government in supporting the legislation. What is not commonly recalled is that these brave Liberal Senators looked across the division to see the five Greens Senators siding with the Abbott Opposition to vote down the Bill."

janice

16/06/2011[quote]With regard to refugees and asylum seekers, a great moral problem for all nations now and for all foreseeable future, the best course is never going to be simple, and abuse is completely unhelpful. What will help is goodwill and thought and paying Gus's ancestors in Malaysia or wherever whatever it's worth to help while things get sorted, but thank Dog very few want an open door. The real problem of course is there's too many homo saps but what can one do. We must do something, ad hockery's no good, and I do have faith that the Government is doing its best to devise a "moral" process. They are at least providing those necessary requirements, humanity and consideration. [/quote] Talk Turkey, your comments above are what is called hitting the nail on the head. "Goodwill" is just another word that can added to the list of synonyms to define morals.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011Folks First, thank you all for your brilliantly insightful comments, spoken from the heart. You make this blogsite what it is, one to which people return over and again to read your comments. I shall now begin responding to you, but it will take much thought and time. paul walter Thank you for your comment. You mention both the live cattle export and the asylum seeker issues. The sentence that caught my attention began: [i]Time for the leaders to show leadership…[/i], a phrase often used in commentary, one that is assumed to mean the same thing to all who use and hear it. Is it that we sometimes end in disagreement because we have quite different views of what constitutes leadership, good leadership? I will address that subject in the piece that is at present just a swirling nebula in my mind that I hope will take shape in the next few days. David Horton I agree David that here we can disagree and remain friends. Disagreement does not necessarily mean that one side is right and the other wrong. Each of us has a sense of right and wrong, governed by background, experience and moral points of reference that create the optics through which we view the world. It is not surprising then that we sometimes differ in our idea of right and wrong especially when issues are multifaceted and nuanced. I hope to be able to address this predicament in next week’s piece.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for another great set of links. I’ve had time only to read Grog and Mr Denmore, both superb. I’ll look through the rest when I’ve responded to the many comments on this piece. BTW, when you are negotiating for your new computer, see if you can get the salesman to assist you with the transfer of your valuable files to the new machine. You have such a great database of blog sites, which you would not want to build again. If you go down the iMac track, you will find that it has its own word processing program, Pages. I tried it, but being a long-time Word user, I eventually installed Office for Mac, which includes Word for Mac. To get a sale they may be prepared to do a deal. Good luck with your choice of computer, whatever it is.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011macca That was an interesting Bad Abbott. The article suggests that journos are tiring of these daily ‘Abbott-actions’, and seeing them as the attention-grabbing stunts they are.

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011David What are you talking about? Last year 2 brave Coalons ?Moylen and ?Troth crossed the floor in the Senate to vote with the Govt on the CPRS, while 5 Greens stayed behind and destroyed it. We've been through this before with others. Am I missing something, or is this a rewriting-of-history meme? Quote: "(Lindsay Tanner makes) a case for tertiary-educated, middle-class progressives to vote for Labor instead of the Greens. In a nutshell, his argument is that that while the Greens take attractive postures, Labor is the only party that can actually achieve progressive goals, even if they are more modest and occur more slowly than such voters want. He notes, for instance, that had the Greens voted for the CPRS in the Senate, it would be the law of the land right now: "Whatever Labor does, it’s never quite good enough for the Greens." Sorry lost link. Google 2010 cprs greens senate vote tanner or something like that, it's there. We now face an outcome no better than before, 1 year on, still not off Dot, and at the election the Labor Party copped the blame for not having passed the CPRS, and so people voted Green in droves! Was this a SHY/Milne/Brown cynical incredibly-clever strategy? - or just a grand bit of cosmic irony? One way or another, let not Greens supporters presume to lecture Laborites on policy, and moreover Jason and I are getting a bit sick of having to argue this over again. Where is this mythical meme coming from? As I said before: Please explain?

David Horton

16/06/2011Ok, I stand corrected, I had forgotten that after all the lead up, where the Senate seemed clearly dead-locked there was actually a vote. Somewhat hypothetical though - would the 2 Libs have crossed if the Greens had done a deal? But it still begs the larger question - if Rudd had thought he could get some Lib support, why didn't he negotiate with the Greens? Why not try to get something that they could agree to? Why was it that Rudd refused to see Bob Brown for a year? Why behave as if your political enemies are on the Left not the Right? Couldn't have been playing politics could he - wanting to ensure that people would blame the Greens for the lack of a scheme?

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011TT What can I say except thank you for the ever-so-generous compliment you pay me. I am glad you appreciated the piece to such an extent that you wrote such a comprehensive and thought-provoking comment. You make the astute point that it’s not just the compass, but the ‘Pole’ to which it is pointing that determines the direction we pursue. The pole for some may be in a different place from that of others, and have a different attractiveness. It would be difficult, even for the most cynical and hard-nosed, to refute the universal truth you present to us: [i]”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”[/i] It ought to be printed on the office wall of all who govern us, and all who advise them. Your example of the Good Samaritan is apt as you apply it to asylum seekers and the live cattle trade. Isn’t the juxtaposition of these two issues poignant? You have inspired me yet again as I prepare to tackle the complexities of right and wrong, morality and leadership in the context of the several pressing contemporary problems facing the Government right now. Thank you.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011Patricia WA Yes, the error messages are irritating. The [i]TPS[/i] site, along with other sites where the [i]TPS[/i] server is situated, have been under cyber attack for some time, and seem to be the reason for the error messages. Web Monkey has installed an automatic site refresh every 40 minutes that removes the error message. So it’s a matter of waiting patiently until the site corrects itself, which is why I was posting in the middle of the night comments I couldn’t post earlier. We will do all we can to fix it but we are constrained by the fact that BlogEngine is a free product, and even with the new version, still has bugs that need fixing.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011janice Thank you for your detailed comment. I was taken by your opening words: [i]”When people use phrases such as "lost his/her/their moral compass" they should be challenged as to their definition of such phrase and to give examples of where the accused has "lost" it… The word "morals" has a wide-ranging meaning that changes according to the context in which it is used. It's synonyms are many, including dutiful, ethical, excellent, faithful, good, honest, just and pious. Add "compass" to the word we then have a broad meaning of the direction in which society (or government, religious groups, people generally) should, or are, moving.”[/i] How to the point! You are right, people mouth so easily that others have ‘lost their moral compass’ but no one challenges them to say what they mean. It is allowed as a plausible phrase, but without definition it is simply glib. Your comments about the particular issues that are extant resonate with me, and provide me with food for the piece I’m about to prepare. Thank you.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011debbiep The comprehensive contributions of Patricia WA, Talk Turkey and janice have added important additional dimensions to the discussion of this contentious subject. PWA’s reference to “[i]the moral dilemma of a national leader'…”[/i] is at the core of the matter, and as the title of this piece suggests we should ask accusers: “[i]Is your moral compass better than (hers)?[/i]”

Gravel

16/06/2011Patricia WA I fully agree with what you have written at 11.58pm last night. You write just as logically and well when angry as you do when happy. Janice Can I back you up too, it was a terrific comment. Jason and Talk Turkey You are both right. I think rewriting of history is going on here. Two libs crossed the floor and then greens sat next to the libs on that vote, there was even a picture going around the internet showing it. We were so angry with the greens, and would not put them second on the ballot paper, only that would help the bloody libs so we are stuck with it.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011Gravel You’re right, a little ‘anger’ is often what we need. Patricia WA’s contributions were superb and from the heart, as were janice’s and Talk Turkey’s. Jason and TT have been on the ball re parliamentary votes on the CPRS, with facts that I could not have unearthed. We need archivists like them.

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011David Horton said Ok, I stand corrected, I had forgotten that after all the lead up, where the Senate seemed clearly dead-locked there was actually a vote. David Here is a message from a Labor Minister especially for you: http://www.google.com.au/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1TSHN_ENAU345&=&q=short+memory+midnight+oil Somewhat hypothetical though - would the 2 Libs have crossed if the Greens had done a deal? >Yes. This is a question that not only tells how entirely the whole episode passed you by, it also casts a hypothetical slur on those two women, suggesting as it does that they only voted with the Government in the knowledge that the Greens would vote it down . . . It's not often that I praise Coalons, but where they deserve it I will be right there to give it. They were committed and courageous. They wanted the legislation passed, as all their side said they did until Abbortt aborted it after rolling Turnbull. You can't blame the other Coalons. They were just being Coalons, except for those 2. The Greens alone are to blame. And it would be nice if they at least admitted it. But it still begs the larger question - if Rudd had thought he could get some Lib support, why didn't he negotiate with the Greens? >Why don't you bone up on some history? Why not try to get something that they could agree to? >Why not do some reading? Why was it that Rudd refused to see Bob Brown for a year? >Why not bother your head to find the answers yourself? The reasons are there and they relate partly to Turnbull. Why behave as if your political enemies are on the Left not the Right? >The Greens were everybody's enemy that wanted action on climate change that black day. No more rewriting or squirmy silly queries please David, you sound like someone else. Couldn't have been playing politics could he - wanting to ensure that people would blame the Greens for the lack of a scheme? >Well that's what we've got now, and yes the Greens are why. Why why why why why couldn't didn't hasn't wasn't ISN'T? In a word: Greens. Have you any idea how much damage this has done to Australia? Or how righteously savage and sad the Greens' stupidity and cynical cupidity has made all of us who have nous enough to know that half a loaf would've been better than what we've got now? The repeated rewriting and moral highhorsing by people with what Peter Garrett says (above) makes me seethe. I'm especially sick of Greens supporters, so proud and free and occupying such immaculate moral palaces in the sky, passing parsimonious judgment on a Labor Government beset with many woes and enemies on the Right, yet battling on with courageous reforms . . . Gee it'd be nice if some Greens came down to Earth and helped . . . Or at least got their facts straight.

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011Folks We need to replenish the larder. We'll be out shopping for a few hours.

David Horton

16/06/2011Ok Tt for some reason I hadn't understood that an example of the Greens acting according to their principles, their moral compass, was somehow a reason for Labor not to. Perhaps I have lost track of the argument.

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011David To my surprise and disappointment, you have made me quite cross,now you have said "Ok Tt" >('TT' Please, I have my reasons.) "for some reason" >(don't ask me) "I hadn't understood" Yes that's understood "that an example of the Greens acting according to their principles," >Which principles were they - specifically? "their moral compass" >Ummm . . . erm . . .? Sure they were holding it right-side-up? "was somehow a reason for Labor not to." When? Who? What? How? Why? Why not? "Perhaps I have lost track of the argument." >Perhaps you have. Who were you having it with? Where were you using it last? I haven't been arguing. Neither has Jason. We've been setting the record straight. If you showed even a twink of contrition for having been so insistent when you were so 180-degree wrong, I wouldn't be taking this tone would I?! Your "Ok I stand corrected" seems begrudgingly not-quite-halfway to accepting responsibility for your repeated error, your insistence after Patricia and I and Jason all gave you the gen on where you were wrong until we had to prove it (again!!! :P ) . . . well if I had been uppawattle that far I'd just climb right down . . . but you have it your way. You have squirmed instead. I'm only saying it 'cos it's true. I never have asked for an apology except on behalf of others, and I don't intend to start now, and it's a bit late now anyway that you've baulked at just saying Sorry folks I didn't mean to mislead you, more than just "Ok I stand corrected"; you did mislead a lot of people publicly here, albeit inadvertently, but if we had not called you on it it would be a truth-meme by now. And the error is a matter of great moment, both historically and politically. Not just Her ear-lobe size. And this is not the first time we have been subjected to this particular falsehood on this site. BTW I'm only following my moral compass telling you this, i.e. what I'd do in your place, but I know Johnny Howard had trouble with one hard little word too. The thing is, I really believe in the power of good manners and the importance of intellectual rigor, exactly as Abbortt and Poodle don't, and where people are ignorant of good manners, or much worse, of ignoring them, I sort of think it is my business to let them know, especially when they impinge on me and other innocents I care about, in particular on this blogsite. It's just good manners I'm talking about, not differential calculus. I think I only lose my moral compass when I get really cross. Then, my language has even have been known to get a bit colourful if I feel it might help make a point. But I'm always polite unless hassled first. Anyway music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWmXNy4HEcg

lyn

16/06/2011Hi Michael Thankyou for your Bad Abbott report today. [quote]Doomed to disappointment, I expect. Shouldabeen will always be the biggest dick, day in, day out.[/quote] We will probably survive if he keeps his clothes on. Cheers

Patricia WA

16/06/2011[b]How Australia Almost Lost Its Moral Compass.[/b] For many Aussies the greatest cost They thought, caused by their government Was its moral compass being lost; Stored always at the official residence, Locked safe below in its binnacle, Until we had a woman at the helm. That was supposedly the pinnacle Or height of women’s liberation. Instead, by News Ltd we were told That female emancipation Had placed the ship of state on hold. Had Julia Gillard somehow lost the key? Now no-one could check course or landfalls. There were reported murmurings that she Somehow misheard that odd term ‘Kelvin’s Balls,’ Became alarmed and had hidden it, The key that is. But curses down below Were heard as someone called out, ‘Shit!’ It was Tony Abbott, wouldn’t you know? He’d grabbed the two ‘brass monkeys’ sitting there To prove the rumor they were frozen solid. Holding them triumphantly aloft, had made him swear, “Global warming theory is invalid!” His home invasion had paid off! He’d won! But no. Arrested immediately for treason, Caught red handed, like Guy Fawkes undone. No matter how he rationalised his reason. That charge he simply could not dodge; His belief that a man should steer the ship of state; His should be the Captain’s quarters at the Lodge With his wife, ‘First Lady.’ There could be no ‘First Mate!’ Julia Gillard at the trial eyeballed him, “Tony, I called you ‘mate’ once for a joke, But I’d never use that term for Tim. Get used to it. I run this ship. And he is First Bloke. NOTE FOR LANDLUBBERS. In the 18th and 19rh centuries a ship’s compass was always kept in the binnacle along with the Kelvin Spheres, two iron balls to offset magnetic shifts. These iron balls, mounted on brass arms, sitting on either side of the ship’s binnacle gave rise to the term ‘brass monkey’ and the now well known description of extremes of cold which could freeze its balls off.

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011Lyn, Everybody thanks you for your Daily Links, but not many say how well you say things. Simply and sweetly, a bit like Tweety, but always welcoming and sensible. Just time someone said . . . Gravel, Thank you for the confirmation and the support, and we all hope you are enjoying every day more and more. The Greens are mostly nice sort of people, but they are cutting off all Left noses to spite Left faces.

Jason

16/06/2011Aa, Fancy someone like Wilkie to accuse others of losing "their moral compass"!Didn't he admit to taking part in "bastardisation" whilst at Duntroon? Some could be unkind and say he never had one!

David Horton

16/06/2011Apology for the "Tt", not having a good day and my finger slipped and was saved before I had noticed. I have gone from hero to villain in 24 hours or so it seems. I will write more at length on my blog in relation to this stuff. But its worth saying here that if Labor and Greens cannot find a way to work together from 1 July then we are soon going to be starting a reign of Abbott PM which will make Howard's rule seem like a brief holiday. Lecturing me on "good manners" isn't a good start.

jj

16/06/2011AA, It is not a matter of who is morally right, it is a matter of moral consistancy. The fact is that this government has not in anyway acted in a morally consistent fashion. It was Julia Gillard who stated offshore processing was a cruel, costly, inhumane and ineffective way of approaching the issue of asylum seekers. Gillard also said that she would not send asylum seekers to any country that has not signed the refugee convention. Now Gillard is looking to Manus Island to open an off shore processing centre, as well as having already opened new detention centres around Australia. Her latest proposal Malaysia, is not a signatory to the refugee convention, and is known to have violated the human rights of many of the refugees that have attempted to seek refuge there. Gillard also now states that it is moral for off shore processing to occur, because it prevents accidents such as the Xmas island incident from happening again. You see, there is no moral clarity. Gillard has contradicted herself on so many fronts now, her image as a strong leader has almost eroded away completely.

NormanK

16/06/2011Ad astra Thanks for raising a complex topic. May I say that I think Mr Wilkie's comment was a below-the-belt bit of 'blackmail by media'. I don't say this in defence of the government but because it is such an easy bit of criticism to roll out when someone feels that they are not getting enough of a hearing. It also smacks of 'holier than thou', an attitude which is sure to get my back up. His remark is unfair because who is there among us who could not find, if pressed, at least one point upon which we differ from the stance of any given government? It wouldn't matter if the topic were education funding, health, the economy or the environment, it would not take any great mental gymnastics to couch our objection in moral terms. As a result a comment like 'this government has lost its moral compass' will be met with nods to the affirmative from the right (who knew all along), by the left (who feel they aren't being listened to) and even by moderates who might find that their favourite topic is not being addressed to their satisfaction. It is impossible for any one politician or political party to be all things to all people. It was a very cheap shot. As to your headline question, if I may modify it and then answer it. "Is your moral compass better than [b]or at least equal to[/b] mine (Julia Gillard's)? As a fairly intelligent thinking human being my answer to that must be yes. My moral compass is better than or at least equal to anyone else's. If I compare my morals to yours and find one of mine to be lacking or inferior then surely it is incumbent upon me to examine why that should be so and to modify my belief such that it is in closer accord with your's. At the end of the process my compass is at least equal to your's. If I find one of your morals is different from mine and I feel mine is superior then surely my compass is better than yours. Who, other than a completely ignorant lout devoid of any desire for self-improvement, would concede that their moral standards are inferior to someone else's and do nothing about it? Any attempt to say that Australia and Australians have a universally agreed set of morals is as silly as trying to say that Australia has a culture that can be defined. Any attempt to define what Australia's mainstream moral compass is comprised of would be firstly subjective and ultimately inaccurate because it is so mercurial. Finally, and I may add more at length, if this government has lost its moral compass it could be because Australia as a whole has lost its way.

lyn

16/06/2011Hi Talk Turkey You have excelled today wow! 2 brilliant in depth comments thankyou. Very intersting exchange with David. Thankyou for caring Talk Turkey, you know, I have learnt a lot in my lifetime from people correcting my sometimes missremembering the facts, or my wrong interptretation of words. I love to listen even if I don't agree, I think listening is a gifted skill takes years to cultivate. Today has been another wonderful day on TPS the posts are second to none in quality and authenticity. You would say this better than me, being a school teacher, but Honesty is a virtue , ( moral goodness is that it) see I can have one moral on the moral pole. You and Patricia highly regarded professions, a teacher and a headmistress. I am in Awe. "If I tell the truth I don't have to remember anything" Cheers :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

janice

16/06/2011[quote]The Greens are mostly nice sort of people, but they are cutting off all Left noses to spite Left faces.[/quote] Have they got their moral compass stuck fast on one setting, TT?

Jason

16/06/2011Further to my post Wilkie also got up to support Katter to try and censure the PM for the second time today, this time over the "live cattle trade". Monday night "4 Corners" showed yet again more sordid goings on at "Duntroon" and yet Mr Wilkie who said when asked back in April " the culture of bastardisation was “endemic” in the defence force when he was at the military college in Canberra." Thankyou for the sermon on how "others" have lost their "morals" Mr Wilkie, forget the "live cattle" and turn your efforts to getting rid of something YOU helped keep "endemic". http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/andrew-wilkie-regrets-bastardisation-renews-claims-of-clubs-smear-campaign/story-e6frg8yo-1226039621654

janice

16/06/2011[quote]http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/16/3245289.htm[/quote] With friends like the Greens, the government sure has enemies. Bandt was looking somewhat astonished at the consequences that arose out of his "win" for his PMB in QT. He has been conned by the holier-than-thou Sarah H-Y who thinks her moral compass is better than all others. I wonder if Bandt felt a bit of a hypocrit when he voted with the government to defeat Abbott's censure motion? When SH-Y submits her PMB to stymie the government's deal with Malaysia, which way will Bandt jump?

2353

16/06/2011Isn't "losing your moral compass" really shorthand for "I think you have taken the wrong action on this particular occasion - not for any practical reason but rather the action offends MY morals". Regardless of the reasons Wilke chose to make the remark I think he was silly to do so publically. Let me explain - Wilke is an independent, he is in Federal Parliament due to either a fluke result or he has a loyal group of Tasmanians that think he is a really good representative. (As I'm not Tasmanian, I have no knowledge and care even less which answer is correct). His views as reported on the media in Queensland seem to be close to the Greens (and I believe he was a member at some point, as well as an ex- Liberal Party member). He is assisting the country at the moment by ensuring a stable Government - maybe he feels that he is being forgotten. Now if he went through with his public threat of withdrawing support from the current Government over this issue he makes it a bit harder for the ALP to govern but soils his own nest by supporting an arch conservative opposition (who he has previously accused of almost bribing him) while he is trading as being more progressive than the ALP. It's a position that doesn't logically engender consistency in my view over an issue that inside a month or two will have been more or less forgotten. As Tasmanians would probably per capita fly more often that the rest of Australia, if he wanted to send a message to the ALP he could have chosen something a lot better - today's proposal for positive ID before flying for example (positive ID in the USA seems to exist solely to add to the sense of menace and fear the US TSA system thrives on, proves nothing except that a person caught a plane and is inconsistent with the lack of customer screening on other forms of public transport).

janice

16/06/2011Jason, Wilkie has always worried me because I don't feel he can be trusted to put the welfare of his electorate, let alone that of the nation as a whole, before his own aspirations of being seen as a high priest and the keeper of the moral compass.

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011David You are neither hero nor villain to me but you were wrong enough, enough times, that if it had been me, as I said, I would have said sorry, to the many people who would have been misled had the error not been corrected. My reason for wanting 'TT' is simply that it is very easy to find as I scroll through other people's posts. I was not looking for a Sorry for that. You really haven't answered anything about which principles you reckon the Greens were upholding by destroying the CPRS. If you are sincere you will. I was not asking merely rhetorically. I would genuinely like to hear your reply. If indeed you wish for cordiality between Greens and Labor, as I do, we will need a firm foundation on truth - and manners. Or at least one, or the other! With respect, you have been in deficient in both departments today. I'm not saying you're dishonest, you just got it wrong and then repeated that, what do you want me to say? You made me and Jason go searching for the evidence, took us a while, well in your place I'd say sorry, but you please yourself. Look just shoot me if you wish, I'm only the messenger, I don't matter much . . . I'll still visit your blog with pleasure, oh but not if I'm shot I guess . . . Look check this out and chill OK? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCKKwjDc7h0

David Horton

16/06/2011I was wrong in forgetting there actually had been a vote. My account of the events leading up to that was somewhat more accurate than the original comments from Patricia "Rudd, supported by his deputy, Gillard, worked tirelessly to get their ETS passed again and again. Were the Greens more ethical because they wanted an unacceptably high standard and so voted against it?" They clearly did not work tirelessly with the Greens to find an acceptable solution. "This is what's on offer, like it or lump it" was the approach, and there seem to have been no meetings with the Greens to discuss the matter. I get very weary of the "Rudd produced a perfectly good CPRS and the Greens destroyed it meme" - my account was considerably closer to historical reality. And "an unacceptably high standard" and "which principles you reckon the Greens were upholding by destroying the CPRS" are based on the same misunderstanding. There are all sorts of political compromises you can make on all kinds of things (I don't include animal cruelty by the way). I can certainly imagine compromises between Green and Labor on economic matters and many social matters (although on both sides there are structural problems, rather than philosophical problems, in the way). But you can't argue with the planet. There is no deal you can make with the atmosphere while you keep adding CO2 to it. You can't say "wait a decade or two please" or "what do you think, 450ppm seem like a good compromise?" There is nobody you can make a deal with. A CPRS which aimed, at best, for a tiny reduction at great cost, and locked that in for the foreseeable future is no solution at all, any more than the equivalent Abbott approach. The Carbon Tax (which the Greens were suggesting very early on) seems like the best approach and can be gradually built on later. If the Greens had "accepted" the solution which was no solution at all then there would be no carbon tax debate now. The planet has no interest in all this - it isn't Labor or Liberal or Green - it just has an atmosphere filling up with CO2, and if this doesn't stop soon politics is going to become irrelevant to us all.

Jason

16/06/2011Janice, I share your concerns! I'm not a fan of Wilkie either hence my earlier posts!

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011Patricia WA You do express yourself well via your pomes. Jason It looks as if Andrew Wilkie ‘lost his moral compass’ at Duntroon, so I guess he can pick others that have done the same! 2353 I agree that [i]"losing your moral compass" is really shorthand for "I think you have taken the wrong action on this particular occasion - not for any practical reason but rather the action offends MY morals".[/i] This is what Andrew Wilkie seems to be saying, rather arrogantly. He needs to take care lest he bring the Government down and thereby lose all his power and influence. jj Once again Julia Gillard has failed your test – that of consistency. What else would we expect you to say? NormanK Thank you for elaborating on this complex subject, because complex it is. I agree that [i]”…any attempt to define what Australia's mainstream moral compass is comprised of would be firstly subjective and ultimately inaccurate because it is so mercurial.”[/i] That is what make moral judgements so problematic. I hope I can tease this out in my next piece. I enjoyed your ‘Dig Watermelon Man’ YouTube video, David Horton I agree with your assertion about our planet:”[i]…it just has an atmosphere filling up with CO2, and if this doesn't stop soon politics is going to become irrelevant to us all.”[/i]

Jason

16/06/2011David, I'm no word smith like you! but to sum up the "Greens seemed to think at the time 100% of nothing was better than 50 60% you put the figure up, than what is currently in place!" Now they have to vote on something that is even worse than they rejected! Labor stuffed up because Rudd wanted to play politics with everyone on the issue, and Rudd payed a price,The Greens now have to deliver or Bandt could go at the next election.

NormanK

16/06/2011Ad astra Credit where it is due. TalkTurkey put up ‘Dig Watermelon Man’.

Jason

16/06/2011Where is the Skeleton today?

Ad astra reply

16/06/2011NormanK, Talk Turkey Goodness gracious me; I got you two mixed up re the Dig Watermelon Man video. Apologies.

lyn

16/06/2011Hi Ad Thankyou for caring Ad. Your avice about my new computer is very much appreciated, you are kind, a good Manager. I have all my blog files on disk. I did that today, you are right I would go demented trying to collect them again. there is over 100 now.. Remember when I had to put my computer through recovery back to manufactures settings, yes that's when I put all music and photo's and files on disk. Don't worry about writing Watermelon man video to the wrong person, they would have known who you meant. I just scrolled up and see Mr K has used his (pole) compass morals, and is not accepting undeserved credit . Goodness me Ad, with all those brilliant long comments you have had to answer for the last 3 days, you are doing wonders. I think it has been hard to read them all let alone answer them all. Have a good rest Ad

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011Ad astra said: NormanK, Talk Turkey Goodness gracious me; I got you two mixed up re the Dig Watermelon Man video. Apologies. O my gosh, so you did, what a silly billy! :)

TalkTurkey

16/06/2011Feral Skeleton? . . . Feral Skeleton?

Patricia WA

17/06/2011I just scrolled back, Jason, and no FS at all today. I trust she's just tied up with some project, and not under the weather. Looking back I see it's been a pretty solid day with very strong exchanges of opinion between friends about morality and compromising and the like. Part of that time there was an astonishing example of moral compromise, in the pejorative sense, being played out in Parliament today, with the Greens joining with the Coalition to condemn the Government over the Malaysian asylum seeker exchange proposal. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ covers it brilliantly. Where on earth, or at sea for that matter, was Adam Bandt's moral compass today? He may have been determined to express his disapproval of the government's policy. But of what value was that expression, backed up as it was by the confected moral outrage of Tony Abbott and his party? I felt very conflicted about that, and depressed at my own inability to really sort out in my head and heart where I really stand on that issue. I remember the stories of Jewish refugee boats being rejected at port after port all over the world, and I recalled actually looking at the pictures in the newspapers of the even worse horrors of Belsen and Dachau as they were opened up in 1945. Surely we aren't doing anything like that, and Julia Gillard is no monster leading our country astray as some were accusing her in Parliament today, and even here to a lesser extent. I tried to write a serious poem about it, but it was all too hard so I retreated into writing nonsense. Then I went for a walk. I thought about TT's golden rule, and mine too, of [i]Do as you would be done by[/i] and realized there was another important rule we hadn't talked about much. [i]Judge not that ye be not judged.[/i]

paul walter

17/06/2011I feel an answer for the comment way back concerning Lindsay Tanner presenting a case for Greens at al, to return to the fold at voting time and that's the one I've heard every year of my voting life and before, which means I am as almost as old as God, which is to say Tanner's age. But I am too cynical to contemplate an immediate return to a vote for Labor. So, so many broken promises. I can't countenance Abbott and who else am Ieft with, as to some thing that is actually a quite ineffectual gesture although this not the case last election. The silly, silly attempt to censure dissent in the parliamentary party room just the other day really ensured the image of labor as currently constituted. But the poster above discriminating enough to observe that the complexity of the issues that are faced just now and the drag on some of the solutions for some of them, starts to make them look too Scullinish. 2007 held out too much hope for people to let it go just yet and yet its the history of ALP government, as ever they are listening to interfering busy bodies from overseas rather than the knowledgable and rational voice of Australia.The burlesque was presented by who bought us the NSW Right; are the same dills who had/have control of NSW labor. Sorry, if I'd wanted to vote tory, I would have voted for Howard or Abbott.

Feral Skeleton

17/06/2011I'm back! Sorry if my presence has been ephemeral of late but I have had various family 'issues'(a la Kath Day-Knight :) ) to deal with, and will be continuing to have to deal with for the foreseeable future. So, I will pop in as and when I can. Also my blog output will, of necessity, have to become less reliable(to which the pedants in their ivory towers are saying, "That's always been the case." ;-) ). There's so much I wish to write about atm(like Abbott & his wife exploiting the government's new Child Care arrangements to put more trained staff into Child Care Centres and make them less of a cash cow for the likes of the Abbotts, as something else again, that being the 'horrible gummint wants to send Child Care Centres broke...and so we, Margie & Tony Abbott will thus scare the living bejeesus out of you all and make you think that your child care will be taken away from you as a result when centre after centre falls over into a financial hole)...but I just can't find the time to get a post together, or I can't think straight when I do have the time, so emotionally drained I am at present. Especially as I now have to cross-reference every sentence I write respecting American Association of Psychology Bibliography Rules(anyone who has written Uni assignments recently will know what I am talking about), or else the fastidious pedants will get their Kimbies in a twist and write another blog about it. Ergo, NormanK, some instructions on how to insert a Hyperlink into Notepad please. :) So, as I thus have some time to myself, and can think about this topic you have been discussing of late, let me add my tangential 2c-worth. You want to know who I think has lost their Moral Compass? The Refugee Movement, and Lateline never had one, but they are complicit in the latest farce which David Manne has instituted in the High Court yesterday and which Lateline, in its current role of leading the media charge to deep-six the government's attempt to stop people exploiting our refugee system by coming via people smuggler's boats to Australia. Let me just say that I have been extensively reviewing the situation of the majority of people who are coming here by boat, and whilst I agree that a lot of them are asylum seekers from countries which we as a country have had a presence in as we fight for 'Democracy' in those countries, or whatever, and so these people have that as a reason to come here, displaced as they say they are by these wars(although I don't see what Iranian Kurds, such as David Manne is seeking to represent in the High Court, have got to do with a clear and present danger to their lives, except in the existential sense), I cannot, in my moral heart, any more support their preferential treatment as asylum seekers who deserve a preferential place in our refugee intake, over and above those 'real' refugees, such as the Burmese in Malaysia and Thailand, who have escaped the recent brutal bloody crackdown by the Burmese Junta. Same would go for the Syrians in Turkey atm, to my way of thinking. These people fit into my conception of asylum seekers. They have fled in terror of their lives, recently, and they have ended up in a squalid refugee camp with not much hope of a future and very little money. Certainly not enough to pay a people smuggler to get them to Australia. They don't have the well-resourced networks that have been set up, it seems to me, like the Middle Eastern and Tamil refuge seekers, who just seem to have a Merry-Go-Round Money-Go-Round in place to keep funnelling funds around and around to get an ever-increasing number of them out of wherever it is they have come from, and via quite a few years in between where they have managed to establish themselves and their families and send kids to school and expand their families, before they then pack up and fly to Indonesia to make contact with a people smuggler to get them a passage to Australia. There is certainly no evidence that they are, like the Jews of the Second World War, floating about from country to country getting rejected before washing up on our shores. Yet they, and the grubby refugee lawyers, like David Manne, and their facilitators and enablers in the media like Tony Jones and Steve Cannane of Lateline 'fame', fascetiously and fatuously, and certainly misleadingly, craft their complaints about the government's attempt to both find a solution to the People Smugglers' racket and the racket which has become entrenched with boat-borne 'asylum seekers', and actually take some genuinely recently abused and downtrodden refugees from Burma, in greater numbers into this country for a new and better life. I thought they cared about real refugees? It seems to me all David Manne cares about is continuing the steady stream of cashed-up clients that challenge our legal system and our refugee system, and all Steve Cannane and Tony Jones care about is beating up a story in cahoots with Manne, in search of that despoiled Holy Grail of a Walkley Award, and to wreck a genuine attempt by this government to craft a considered and non-political solution to what seems to me is a broken system being cynically exploited by the asylum seeker industry and by The Greens and the Coalition, for their own purely political ends. For if it is not a cynically political move by those parties, how could they so easily join together to vote against the attempt by the government to find a real and lasting solution to the problem of both the safety of the people who come by boat to Australia, and the sleazy industry which has grown up around them? As I have posited before, why hasn't a journalist challenged Miss Sarah Hanson-Doe Eyes about what exactly is her party's policy wrt asylum seekers? Does she approve of the fact of people risking their lives on the high seas to get to Australia? How 'Caring & Sharing' and gooey Green is that? Also, does she believe that the Burmese, or the Syrians in camps on the Turkish border, who may be taken by the government from countries where they have landed and are in refugee camps with no access to boats, but are genuinely traumatised refugees, should not have the chance to come to this country as asylum seekers also? And in increased numbers to what are being allowed in now? Where's the 'Moral Compass' there? Cynically trodden on by the spiked heel of one of Ms Hanson-Young's boots I think. No, in my humble estimation, it is The Greens and the Coalition who have lost their Moral Compass on this issue(actually, the Coalition never had one despite the surfeit of so-called 'Christians' in their ranks), and it is the Gillard government who are using their Moral Compass to steer our ship of state away from the exploiters of this issue, on all sides, and towards a non-political, genuinely compassionate, solution. That's showing a true Moral Compass in my book.

D Mick Weir

17/06/2011Good Morning Ad, a plea. Please stop writung all these thought provoking posts you are causing my brain to hurt. Oh, ok that's part of why I visit, to test my thinking, be provoked to think again about what I think I believe - thanks for doing that, [i]again[/i]. Can a country have a moral compass? I would hope so, and it would be enshrined in its' concostitution. I haven't dusted off my copy but I suggest that Australia's Constitution is a bit lacking in moral guidance. Other lives and family business has me by the short and curlies for the next few days so I will catch up later Enjoy the weekend all

lyn

17/06/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the QT: No majority; no policy worthy of it, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] The surprise being not that he moved this, but that he did it at 2:25pm and not 2:52 (which I had in the suspension of standing orders sweep). http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Tony Abbott, the boy who cried 'Censure' The Conscience Vote[/i] Abbott’s cried ‘Censure!’ so many times, and for such trivial reasons. People have come to expect that anything he says on the subject will be the same kind of noise, designed to do little more than get a few sound-bites into the evening news. Crudely put, it just looks like he wants the attention http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/tony-abbott-the-boy-who-cried-censure/ T[i]he funniest, least self-aware words we've ever read in The Australian, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] You’ll note the editorial doesn’t actually address why they’re not running the same lines on Dame Murdoch they did on Ms Blanchett, either. Attack is the best form of defence, etc etc.) http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/06/16/the-funniest-least-self-aware-thing-weve-ever-read-in-the-australian/#more-10599 [i]We don't know how the Carbon tax will work, so wer'e scared, Peter Martin[/i] Concern about the carbon tax appears to be undermining consumer confidence. The Westpac Melbourne Institute sentiment index slid http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Time To Get A Better Lawyer, Ben Raue, New Matilda[/i]Pauline Hanson's legal action against the NSW Electoral Commission never looked to be on firm ground but proceedings revealed she'd never even met her star witness, http://newmatilda.com.au/2011/06/16/time-get-better-lawyer [i]Native owners or mining companies: who benefits?, Paul Cleary, The Conversation[/i] Benefits now being derived from the mining boom by Aboriginal people and communities are in part the result of Paul Keating’s Native Title Act, in part the result of changed corporate culture, http://theconversation.edu.au/native-owners-or-mining-companies-who-benefits-1725 [i]Conjurers of doubt: anti-climate change action, Andrea Carson, ABC[/i] the Bolt Report, and put one of the most vocal voices opposing action on climate change at the helm. This Sunday TV show is essentially a pastiche of Andrew Bolt's views and interests which mostly coincide with those of his masters. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2760244.html [i]We have behaved like colonial bullies in the live beef affair, David Barnett, ABC[/i] The cattle that were filmed were not ours. They belonged to the Indonesians who had bought them from us, live, so that they could be fattened in feedlots before being killed by being bled to death http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2759616.html [i]Unless you live under a rock, pricing carbon makes sense, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia[/i] And for sheer tripe, have a look at Bolt in yesterday’s Herald Sun — his constituency has been whipped into a frenzy of hatred for Julia Gillard.What drives Bolt when Gillard’s name comes up is something only a shrink could fathom, http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/unless-you-live-under-a-rock-pricing-carbon-makes-sense/?utm_source= [i]NBN BUZZ: Abbott's circuit breaker, Alexander Liddington-Cox. Technology Spectator[/i] a Coalition government would strongly consider throwing the NBN contracts out. Given the real prospect that Abbott could be Australia’s next prime minister, the comments appeared in a number of broadband commentaries this week and even influenced NBN Co’s negotiations with Telstra http://technologyspectator.com.au/nbn-buzz/nbn-buzz-abbotts-circuit-breaker?utm_source=Technology+Spectator+List&utm_campaign=5a488b3bf3-TECH_SPEC_DAILY&utm_medium=email [i]Green light for Senate chaos, Eric Abetz, Quadrant Online[/i] From the 1st of July the numbers in the Senate will be 34 Coalition, 31 Labor, 9 Greens, 1 DLP (after an absence of 36 years)and Senator Xenophon – giving Labor and the Greens a majority of 40 out of 76 seats, and giving the Greens a veto over any Labor legislation opposed by the Coalition. http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2011/06/green-light-for-senate-chaos [i]Ducking the main issue on Hunting, Crikey, Rooted[/i] given the especially large bag limits this past season (ten game ducks per day), the deaths of many adult ducks will have left behind starving young. The full environmental impact of this hunting season will be unknown for some time. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2011/06/16/ducking-the-main-issue-on-hunting/#more-2584 [i]Cancer Ward, David Horton, The Watermelom Blog[/i] It isn’t the kind of medicine favoured by the conservatives of America and Australia. In their vision each patient would come in wearing some badges of rank – “I was a company executive”, “I was a famous sportsman”, “I was a conservative politician”,”"I am a billionaire miner” “I come from an A-list family” and so on. http://davidhortonsblog.com/ [i]How Australia Almost Lost Its Moral Compass, Patriciawa, Polliepomes[/i] These iron balls, mounted on brass arms, sitting on either side of the ship’s binnacle gave rise to the term ‘brass monkey’ and the now well known description of extremes of cold which could freeze its balls off. http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/

janice

17/06/2011[quote] No, in my humble estimation, it is The Greens and the Coalition who have lost their Moral Compass on this issue(actually, the Coalition never had one despite the surfeit of so-called 'Christians' in their ranks), and it is the Gillard government who are using their Moral Compass to steer our ship of state away from the exploiters of this issue, on all sides, and towards a non-political, genuinely compassionate, solution. That's showing a true Moral Compass in my book.[/quote] FS, Spot on.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra reply

17/06/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for yet another informative set of links. Thank you too for your message late last night. After an intense day, I did indeed have a restful night. Now it’s another day and I’ve something on the go for next week that is, to use DMW’s expression, ‘hurting my brain’. Politics is complex, with moral issues woven through every issue. I’m part way through teasing out what politicians in government have to manage, which is so different from what those now in opposition choose to do. For them, cheap three word slogans and continual attack is all they have to mount. I wish you well with selecting your computer replacement and changing over from the old one. I’ll be posting another satirical piece from AC this evening: [i]Getting sucked in by a séance[/i].

janice

17/06/2011A remarkable and wonderful thing happened on Poll Bludger last night that restored my faith in human nature. One of the Bludgers is an avid tweeter and picked up a tweet from someone she recognised as a regular PB - the tweet was a cry for help that signalled urgency. It is quite a long story and anyone interested might like to follow the drama through pages from 63 to about 70 on the present thread headed with the last Newspoll results 55/45. I know Gravel has read it all and posted her congratulations to the Poll Bludger community this morning.

TalkTurkey

17/06/2011Picturesque and piquant though the accepted story might be, it appears that the Brass Monkey never actually had any to freeze off. The Phrase Finder debunks it disappointingly: Some references say that the brass triangles that supported stacks of iron cannon-balls on sailing ships were called monkeys and that in cold weather the metal contracted, causing the balls to fall off. The derivation of this phrase is difficult enough to determine without such tosh, so let's get that oft-repeated story out of the way first: Cartoons of pirate ships always come complete with the usual icons - parrots, peg legs and pyramids of cannon-balls. That's artistic license rather than historical fact. The Royal Navy records that, on their ships at least, cannon-balls were stored in planks with circular holes cut into them - not stacked in pyramids. These planks were known as 'shot garlands', not monkeys, and they date back to at least 1769, when they were first referred to in print. On dry land, the obvious way to store cannon-balls seems to be by stacking them. On board ship it's a different matter. A little geometry shows that a pyramid of balls will topple over if the base is tilted by more than 30 degrees. This tilting, not to mention any sudden jolting, would have been commonplace on sailing ships. It just isn't plausible that cannon-balls were stacked this way. Another myth kaput.

janice

17/06/2011http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/taxpayer_twiggy_goes_out_on_limb_74X94XYVoLkurjD1Tzl5mJ Has anyone else read this interesting article from Laura Tingle?

NormanK

17/06/2011Feral Skeleton Best wishes and kind thoughts for a swift resolution of whatever is currently confronting your household.

lyn

17/06/2011Hi Ad Looks like this is the theme these days, buy yourself a Political Party, but make sure they all agree with yourself before you pay. Gina Rinehart flew MPs to India for lavish wedding , Katharine Murphy, The Age BILLIONAIRE mining magnate Gina Rinehart flew Coalition MPs, including the Liberal Party's deputy leader Julie Bishop and Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce, to take part in a sumptuous three day-wedding of a prominent Indian industrialist in Hyderabad. Ms Rinehart took the Canberra delegation by private jet to a Reddy family wedding earlier this week. The Reddy family company, infrastructure behemoth GVK, is seeking a controlling stake in coal mines owned by the Hancock group. Reports suggest the transaction could be worth more than $2 billion. http://www.theage.com.au/national/gina-rinehart-flew-mps-to-india-for-lavish-wedding-20110616-1g5zf.html Another nasty remark against Julia Gillard: [quote]timwattsau timwattsau by AgnessMack For goodness sake. This deliberate campaign of misogyny against the PM has to stop>> MP's 'pussy-whipped' remark http://yhoo.it/kghyg9 1 hour ago [/quote] Storm over MP's 'pussy-whipped' remark, Andre Probyn, The West [quote]WA Liberal MP Don Randall has accused the mining industry of allowing itself to be "pussy-whipped" by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in comments that have been described as grossly sexist by some of his colleagues. Ms Bishop, the most senior female Liberal in Federal Parliament, said she was not offended by Mr Randall's remark. "I took it that he was talking about males who cower in the face of dominant women," she said. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/9655973/storm-over-mps-pussy-whipped-remark/[/quote]

Jason

17/06/2011Lyn, "Ms Bishop, the most senior female Liberal in Federal Parliament, said she was not offended by Mr Randall's remark." There are a few lines there and I can't print one of them!

lyn

17/06/2011Hi Jason But see what Ms Bishop thought the comment meant. Well! well I don't believe Miss Bishop. Sorry Jason not sure what you mean Jason about the few lines and printing. Cheers :):):):):):):):):)

Jason

17/06/2011Lyn, I think she knew exactly what Randall meant! much the same has been alleged about her position!

jj

17/06/2011I have been looking at some of you archives AA and i have found it extremely interesting, how slowly, but surely, your attituteds towards the Coalition and the Labor Party have hardened; as well as towards the political comentariat: 21/05/2009 "Paul kelly respected journalist. Senior, experienced, steeped in Australian political history, and endowed with plenty of gravitas, he writes sound pieces that have a prophetic ring to them. He enjoys his senior journalist status. What I find though is that sometimes what he says in The Weekend Australian does not always correspond with what he says on Insiders the next day, leaving the observer wondering what his real position is. Laurie Oakes is another mature senior who writes well, has gravitas, and conducts his interviews on Channel Nine with persistence but courtesy. He is not averse to trying for a gotcha moment. Brian Toohey of the AFR comes across as a reasonable person; he has some pet topics though, such as ‘middle-class’ welfare, that he works into his articles and his discourse on Insiders. Jack the Insider is my favourite blog columnist. Jack writes well, is balanced and unbiased, does separate fact and opinion and injects humour into his pieces. Above all, he is the most responsive blogger, adding respectful and helpful comments regularly. Dennis Atkins of The Courier Mail is balanced and fair, and has been a welcome addition to Insiders. Coming back closer to the mean there are several journalists that do a reasonable job but are not exceptional. Michelle Grattan is very experienced and writes some good material but is inclined to get caught up with some inconsequential stories. In London at the G20 she spent a lot of airtime on the ‘Rudd was rude to hostie’ story, when we wanted to hear what was happening at the meeting. Today she’s jumped on the ‘Rudd and Swan won’t say billions’ horse. She could have left it alone; it’s already flogged to death. Shaun Carney, another Fairfax journalist writes gentle but generally sound articles, but they are unlikely to set the world on fire. Peter Hartcher, yet another Fairfax columnist, seems to be aiming to assume the mantle enjoyed by Kelly and Oakes, but has a way to go. Gravitas descends over time with consistently good work that proves to be prophetic. His latest book To the Bitter End, should tell us how far he’s progressed. Some of his pieces, especially when reporting opinion poll results, can be off the mark. His recent Rudd's walk with the gods is over after the ACNielsen poll is a case in point. Possum on Pollytics said Hartcher wrote with “the sort of biblical authority usually reserved for Paul Kelly on a gravitas bender.” If he had waited for Newspoll the next day, he might have been more reserved in his judgement. He, like many commentators with little statistical knowledge, reads too much into single polls. Matthew Franklin usually writes balanced pieces for The Australian. Phillip Coorey writes generally well balanced pieces in the SMH, with an emphasis on economics. Bernard Keane is usually balanced in his comments on Crikey, but today is exercised by what he sees as Rudd’s manipulation of the media via a well controlled message which he acknowledges is aimed not at the political tragics but at busy folk who catch only fragments of political information. Nonetheless he’s angry at the way the hallowed media is being handled. The media are good at dishing it out, but become petulant if they don’t have it all their own way. Greg Sheridan writes well, more on international politics, and performs well on TV, for example on Q&A. He writes and speaks with great authority. Clustered around the mean there several journalists who do an ‘average’ job. Malcolm Farr writes in The Daily Telegraph; what he writes in less impressive than what he says on Insiders where he is even-handed and fair. Jennifer Hewett writes for The Australian. Her material is generally balanced, but she is prone to insert an acerbic edge that irritates without enlightening. Brad Norington writes for The Australian, with a liking for IR matters. A long-time opponent of unions, he finds fault with the Government’s IR changes. Gerard Henderson of The Sydney Institute writes for the SMH and appears on Insiders. He is rather pontifical, but generally makes balanced comments on Insiders when occupying the ‘right wing chair’. Peter van Onselen is trying to establish himself as a political journalist in The Australian, but still lacks authority. Although an editor of books about the Liberals, he is inclined to take a shot at all sides of politics. Dennis Shanahan is an old hand at federal politics. He amused us all during the year leading up to the election with his interpretation of the opinion polls, always searching for a ray of hope for Howard or the Coalition, no matter how inconsequential, and blowing that up into ‘the turning point'. He received so many ribald comments from bloggers that he became at first defensive then resigned to a change of Government. His offerings since then have been more balanced, but he still declines to respond to bloggers on his blog-site. He’s been absent for a while." Would you say the same things now AA? Or has the fact that the Government has finally got the media scrutiny it deserves changed the way you view the quality of these journos? On what i said before AA, Well tell me, what is wrong with what i said?

Gravel

17/06/2011Janice and Feral Skeleton You both wrote was I was going to say. Thank you as you have expressed my thoughts exactly. Janice How did you put that paragraph of Feral's in italics to quote what she said? I was going to type it out but you beat me to it. :-) I read that article of Laura Tingle's on Twiggy Forest, it was brilliant.

NormanK

17/06/2011Gravel To manipulate text: Click down on your mouse and hold. Sweep over text you want to copy. Release click. Text should be highlighted. Copy text by [b]one[/b] of these methods: Right click, select 'copy'; or use 'control' and 'c' simultaneously on your keyboard; or go to 'edit' at the top of the page (in the toolbar) click on it and select 'copy'. Your computer is now remembering that piece of text and waiting for you to do something with it. Go to the comments box. To paste the desired text use [b]one[/b] of these methods: Right click, select 'paste'; or use 'control' and 'v' simultaneously on your keyboard; or go to 'edit' at the top of the page (in the toolbar) click on it and select 'paste'. You should now have the copied text in the comments box. Click down on your mouse and hold. Sweep over the text in the comments box to highlight it. Release click. Above the comments box there are four shortcut commands. [b]b i u quote[/b] 'b' is for [b]bold[/b]. 'i' is for [i]italics[/i]. 'u' is for [u]underline[/u]. 'quote' is to show text is quoted [quote]from another source[/quote]. With the desired text in the comments box highlighted, click on one of the shortcuts to execute the effect you require. Not much will happen in the comments box except that some square brackets and extra letters will have been added. If you want to check whether you have been successful click on 'Preview' above the box. Your comment will be displayed just as it will appear in the main comments section. If you are happy with it, fill out ReCaptcha and click 'Save comment' below the box. If you are not happy with it, click on 'Comment' above the box to return to the box where you draft your comment. Fiddle with it, add more remarks and so on; then repeat above steps until you are satisfied. Proceed to ReCaptcha and 'Save comment'. Hope this helps - it sure will save you some time.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2011Thank you janice and Lyn for your links and Lyn and Jason for your explanation of a term I have never heard before. It looks like the mining magnates are planning to take over as Twiggy pushes his disingenuous line as detailed in Laura Tingle’s penetrating piece in the [i]AFR[/i], and as Gina hosts the Coalition brass at a wedding for an Indian buyer. I heard Robert Manne on ABC radio this morning say that in his view Rupert Murdoch was the most powerful man Australia had ever produced, and how he combined commercial success with political influence all round the world. Don’t we know it! It looks like we are being overwhelmed by the rich and the powerful; the need for a progressive party to counter this threat is needed more than ever.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2011jj You compliment me by going back to read the archives. I think you are right, my regard for the MSM has lessened and my attitude towards them has hardened since I wrote the piece you quoted over two years ago. In my opinion the MSM has deteriorated significantly since then, something many, notably Mr Denmore who writes regularly about this in his [i]Failed Estate[/i], have emphasized. Lindsay Tanner thinks similarly. The falling away of objectivity and the rise of ‘opinion as news’ is pretty clear to any one who looks. I didn’t say there was anything wrong about you expressing your opinion of Julia Gillard, only that it was what I would have expected you to say. Perhaps one day you will surprise me by saying something nice about her.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2011FS It was good to see you in full flight commenting on the asylum seeker issue. Thank you for your detailed analysis. There is much that I agree with there. It feeds into the piece I’m writing now.

NormanK

17/06/2011Feral Skeleton With regard to hyperlinks, you may have to indicate just what it is that you are seeking to achieve. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink I will pre-empt your answer and assume that you want to add links to your text. You could learn how to write the necessary code to include a link in [i]Notepad[/i] but I'm not sure that you will be achieving very much apart from making your draft copy look good to you. When Ad astra puts your article into [i]BlogEngine[/i] it almost certainly gets re-coded to suit that application. The code you have learned for [i]Notepad[/i] might not be recognised by [i]BlogEngine[/i] and Ad astra (read: and/or Web Monkey) will have to edit your links in anyway. If you are seeking to embed a link into a word (or phrase) such that the word is highlighted and contains the link within it, that will be a question for Aa as to whether it is possible or not on this site. It's very sexy but means more work for somebody. This leaves you with three other options. Include the links interspersed throughout the text as Ad astra currently does. This might involve devising a way of bringing Aa's attention to a link e.g. "Joe blogs said in his recent analysis that up is down and left is right." [insert link here: http://wow.joeblogsanalysis.com]. Or you could provide links at the top of your article indicating that source material can be found at the following addresses. Not so attractive or effective. Or you could use old footnoting marks[b]*[/b] and supply the links at the end of the article. I found this site [b]**[/b] useful for the Wikipedia link which was too long for the site. [b]*[/b] http://tiny.cc/ptr2k [b]**[/b] http://tiny.cc/ Personally, I think the last option looks okay and requires the least amount of work by Ad astra who will certainly recognise them for what they are and treat them accordingly. As an afterthought there is another potential option. You could write in [i]Microsoft Office/Word[/i] if you have it and perhaps it will recognise links as you insert them. The question then will be if [i]BlogEngine[/i] is happy to convert [i]Word[/i] documents.

janice

17/06/2011Gravel, Sorry I was missing in action (decided to take advantage of the more clement weather and get some exercise) when you posted your comment. NormanK came to the rescue and since he is more computer literate than I am, his instructions are much clearer than mine would have been. :)

Jason

17/06/2011Aa, Next week on SBS this show which goes for three nights could be worth watching! http://www.sbs.com.au/radio/article/756/Go-Back-to-Where-You-Came-From No doubt the "shock jocks" will see it as another propaganda piece from Labor!

Gravel

17/06/2011NormanK Thank you so much. I have written your instructions down and will give it a go in the future. I see Feral S is also going to benefit from your help too. I like your last suggestion of the * as that is used in a lot of articles that I read. Janice Hey I didn't expect an instant reply, we all live busy lives, and hope you enjoyed your exercise. As you say, NormanK came to the rescue, we do have some very clever peoples here. :-)

Feral Skeleton

17/06/2011Thanks, NK. :) Now off to a friend's birthday bash.

2353

17/06/2011Jason said [quote]Next week on SBS this show which goes for three nights could be worth watching! www.sbs.com.au/.../Go-Back-to-Where-You-Came-From No doubt the "shock jocks" will see it as another propaganda piece from Labor![/quote] Dead right Jason - the problem is those that should watch it won't because it's on "that bloody foreign language channel that shows soccer and por*". I suppose we have to be grateful for small mercies and celebrate that one station in Australia has the guts to show it (and probably contribute to the cost of making it in the first place). Hopefully it rates well and is repeated often.

jj

17/06/2011AA, Well here is something nice, I was extremely impressed with Gillard's first press conference as PM. Gillard commanded the room, she had a presence, she felt as though she was really going to get back control of the ship. Her first moves of dumping the idea of a price on Carbon until building community consensus; renegotiating the mining tax; doing photo shoots and readying a move to announce a new asylum seeker plan were all politically brilliant ones (for the short term), however it all seemed to fall apart once the election was called. The 'moving forward' slogan was Ruddesque and seemed extremely shallow for a PM. The announcement of an asylum seeker plan with East Timor before it had even been considered by the East Timor Government, ass well as getting the president and PM mixed up didnt look good. The fake Julia, real Julia stuff was just odd and unbecoming of a leader (however she could get away with it due to a few poor Abbott interviews). The announcement of a citizens assembly to build community consensus before even considering a price on carbon looked ridiculous and rushed etc etc She started off well, but quickly became mired in her own mess; doing exactly the same things Rudd was doing and which eventually got him dumped.

NormanK

17/06/20112353 I have high hopes for the SBS programme. Hopefully, the main thrust of it will permeate the rest of the media even if it doesn't rate all that highly. Ash had a photo of two young ladies on his blog last year around the time of the Inverbrackie 'invasion' wearing 'Bomb Their Boats' & "Sink Their Boats' T-shirts and smiling proudly for the camera. That's who I want to force to watch this programme. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/rooty-me/

jj

17/06/2011AA and others, On what i was saying earlier about moral consistency, I would like to ask you all, 1 Do you believe Julia Gillard is clear and consistent policy wise, as well as politically? 2 Do you believe Tony Abbott is clear and consistent policy wise, as well as politically? 3 If the answer to question 1 is yes, but the answer to question 2 is no, can you explain how so? 4 If the answer to both is no, is one leader more consistent than the other? I would just like to understand whether it is possible for you all to see the contradictions and hypocrisy of both leaders, and not just Mr Abbott. I see them, but can you?

Ad astra reply

17/06/2011Folks I have just posted another clever piece of satire from Acerbic Conehead: [i]Getting sucked in by a seance[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/06/17/Getting-sucked-in-by-a-seance-.aspx Enjoy, and don't miss the Dave Allen clip.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2011jj I’m so glad you enjoyed Julia’s first press conference. What a pity for you it has been only downhill from there. For me it has had its ups and downs but many more ups. I believe Julia has been clear and consistent policy-wise and politically, except for her ‘no carbon tax’ pronouncement pre-election that post-election circumstances caused her to change. Tony Abbott has changed his policy position so many times that he has been labeled a ‘weathervane’. He is consistent politically – consistently negative, obstructive, and destructive.

Patricia WA

17/06/2011So much to think about from Ad Astra's question "Is Your Moral Compass Better Than Mine?" yesterday and today, and almost as much to think about in everyone's responses. I almost decided just to move on but I wasn't comfortable doing that without responding in writing as I did in my head. 1. [u]David Horton,[/u] TT has tackled you head on and in a sense has argued the case for me re. Julia Gillard and Rudd over the ETS. However, just in case I haven't made myself entirely clear, the vehemence of my response to your charge that Julia Gillard had lost her moral compass was in part colored by the disappointment I felt in one I had judged an ally. I agree with so much of the Greens agenda, how could one not. But the Greens have become a political party now. They have to get that agenda through our legislative process. That inevitably involves compromise, which does not have to mean a betrayal of one's principles. Nor does it have to mean the condemnation of anyone who fails to see your point of view or who fails to accept and come up to your expectations. 2. [u]Talk Turkey,[/u] you and I have had a misunderstanding in the past, simply because of disappointment over things which I took for granted as a given with someone who was so aligned with my own point of view. Somehow when friends fall out it's a whole lot more painful than one expected. Finding a way to talk that through is not easy. Nor is finding one's way back to the original easy communication. I'm happy to say I feel we're back! Re 'brass monkeys' - they were just a delicious distraction yesterday when I felt overwhelmed by AA's challenging question. Wiki was pretty clear that the origin of the 'brass monkey' thing is shrounded in mystery. The balls could indeed be cannon balls as you and others suggest, but I loved the 'Kelvin's Sphere' explanation and the chance to use it in a pome. Those verses need a lot more work, flattered as I am by Lyn's linking it today. 3. [u]Lyn's[/u] reference to TT and myself and our highly regarded professions in my case was not fully informed. I was indeed a teacher and became a principal for several years but I left the profession, prematurely 'retired' in the mid eighties. I was not under a cloud so much as in a confrontation with some in the State Education Department over what I saw as a matter of principle re. Aboriginal education. That's where I learned, the hard way, about the need to compromise. It took a while to recover from the shock and unnecessary shame but life opened up with some delicious opportunities and here I am many years later a happier and wiser woman. 4. [u]Janice[/u] Thank you for your comments on Sarah Hanson Young with which I agree. I've refrained from comment on her myself in similar vein before because of my reluctance to target the woman and not the issue. You're right though, to complain of her 'holier than thou' attitude which permeates her whole demeanour, colours her language and lessens the impact of her message. Sadly she is almost a caricature of what many think is a Greens activist, which is a pity because with a little more objectivity and less vehemence she could become a very effective speaker. Christine Milne has a similar intransigence of attitude but with a colder and more judgemental style. Why can Bob Brown get across the same message without the preachiness or moral condemnation? [u]Jason[/u] There's a similar sort of preachiness about Andrew Wilkie, but even though he's still pretty starchy and uncompromising he has acknowledged that he participated in bastardisation at Duntroon and having confessed to that expressed regret. I can understand his having shopped around trying to get politically comfortable. I think the big test for him will be his being able to weigh up the long term national interests and find a way to stay the course with this government. I'm sure he's learned something from yesterday's shenanigans in Canberra. [u]D Mick Weir[/u] I agree with you about AA's 'head hurting' posts but this one has my heart hurting too. I had things to say to [u]Gravel[/u] and to [u]2353[/u] and to thank [u]Norman K[/u] for his lesson on links which I've had to copy and file till I have time to read them! I'm late for tea next door! My family calls,,,,,
What does two plus 1 equal?