Spongebob Shenanigans

Dennis “Mr Krabs” Shanahan got his fingers burnt badly a while ago when he temporarily moved out of his journalistic comfort-zone and lost all his savings on the disastrous Krusty Pool project. As an experienced operator, Mr Krabs should have known better, but his cub reporter, Spongebob, can be excused as he was still a bit wet behind the ears.



So, after this disheartening experience of the real world, Mr Krabs realises he should stick to what he is good at and has returned to the fourth estate fold.

And, Mr Krabs has got the perfect story for Spongebob to get his teeth into. You see, Mr Krabs has milked and promoted the “Coalition: good/ALP: bad” grand narrative paradigm for all it’s worth, and sees an ideal opportunity for gilding the Coalition lily yet one more time.

So, as Spongebob is so inexperienced in political matters, Mr Krabs shows him a picture of Tony Abbott, the Leader of the Opposition, and other characters, and orders him to go off and prepare some background for a feature article he is writing for the next edition of The Weekend Australian. Now, our favourite spongy scribbler is heading off to file some background on “that colourful fish”, as Mr Krabs calls him, armed also with a modicum of context about some conflict or other between miners and fish-farmers at the “Budgie Smugglers’ Bottom” atoll. As Spongbob still hasn’t got a licence, he brings along his best friend, Patrick the Starfish, as his driver.



Patrick: Well, Spongebob...here we are at Budgie Smugglers’ Bottom...I wonder how Tones is going to reconcile the two opposing factions around here, the miners and the fish-farmers...They’re like chalk and cheese, so he better look out or he could end up being the meat in the sandwich...

Spongebob: Yeah...and eating one of his famous shit sandwiches as well...bahahahahaha...

[Just then, at the southern corner of Budgie Smugglers’ bottom, Spongebob and Patrick come across a meeting that seems to be being chaired by that bright-red-coloured fish, Tony Abbott, who is wearing a hard-hat. He is meeting with a group of sea-creatures whom Spongebob recognises from the photographs Mr Krabs gave him earlier. He points out Clive “Sea Slug” Palmer, Twiggy “Anemone” Forrest, and Gina “Conger Eel” Reinhart. And, swimming-cum-loitering nearby, is a school of assorted hangers-on and plaicemen, including Chris “Snapper” Pyne, Gai “Sea Horse” Waterhouse, Joe “Pufferfish” Hockey, Greg “Shrimp” Hunt, Barnaby “Clownfish” Joyce, Julie “Staregeon” Bishop, Declan “Rock Lobster” Stephenson and a whole host of Young Liberal “Sea Urchins”.]

Clive: Right, Tones...you gotta grow a pair on this one and get Tony Windsor and the other Indos, and your new chums the Greens, to give us unfettered access to everything that’s under Budgie Smugglers’ Bottom...

Gina: Yeah...by the time we’re finished with the joint, it’ll make Bikini Atoll, after the Yanks ended their nuclear tests there, look like Shangri-effin’-la...heh...heh...

[Spongebob coughs, to announce his presence.]

Tones: And who the f*** might you be? Wait, don’t tell me – you’re one of those dole-bludging lefties who’s gonna “sponge” off the hard-earned money that Gillard’s MRRT will pinch off my mining friends here...

Twiggy: And who’s your fat mate...he’s so porky, he makes Clive and Gina here look as thin as me...heh...heh...

Patrick (angrily): I...I...I’m Patrick Starfish, I’ll have you know...and there’s no need to be so rude...

Gina (threateningly): Mmmmm...I just love starfish...So, buddy, if you’re still hanging round here after our meeting, I’m going to have you for a snack...heh...heh...

Twiggy: Huh...for your sake, Gina, I hope he isn’t a Crown-of-Thorns Starfish, cos if his diadem sticks in your gullet, you could well be at sovereign risk...hee...hee...

[So, it’s obvious Tones and the three nasty miners are having a great laugh at Spongebob’s and Patrick’s expense. Eventually, they calm down and Spongebob gets a chance to tell them why he’s here.]

Tones: Righto...so, Mr Krabs sent you...that’s fine, cos Krabby Shanners is one of our best spruikers...Make sure you tell him how keen I am to help my mining mates here out with their projects...

[Spongebob writes everything down, just in time to see Tony the red-coloured fish swim off with his entourage in the direction of the northern corner of Budgie Smugglers’ Bottom. The two friends jump in Patrick’s car and head off after them. Eventually, they reach their destination.]

Spongebob: Yeah, Patrick, this is the place – there’s Joe “Pufferfish” Hockey over there, ordering a few buckets of KFC...

[Spongebob looks around for Tones the reddish-coloured fish, but can only see a blue-coloured one talking to a group of fish-farmers that he again recognises from the photographs Mr Krabs showed him earlier. They include, Alan “Parrotfish” Jones, “Clammy” Campbell Newman, and Bob “Barracuda” Brown. He turns quizzically to Patrick.]

Spongebob: Hmmmm...this is strange, Patrick...there’s no sign of that reddish-coloured fish...I can only see that blue one over there who, strangely, looks almost identical to the red one...

[Spongebob and Patrick drive over and, to their utter amazement, as they eavesdrop on the conversation, discover that Tony the reddish-coloured fish from the southern corner of Budgie Smugglers’ Bottom is now Tony the blue-coloured fish here in the northern corner! He has ditched his hard-hat and is now kissing every creature in sight, just as he did at the fishmongers a few week’s ago. Alan “Parrotfish” Jones scornfully turns on Patrick.]

Alan: Hey, mate – either you’re grossly overweight or you’ve been inhaling too much of that coal-seam gas that’s found around here...But, if you two are 2GB listeners, you can have my autograph...If not, just bugger off – we’re talking to Tones here about his plans to get parliamentary support for banning those pesky miners from fracking our farmland...

[Again, but to the fish-farmers this time, Patrick has to explain why they are here. But, at the same time, he berates Alan for being so personally insulting and for using such bad language as ‘fracking’. “Barracuda” Bob comes to Spongebob’s rescue, however, by commenting favourably on the colour of his trademark shorts.]

Bob: Oh, the little sponge can’t be that bad, Alan – at least he’s wearing the right colour of shorts...heh...heh...

[Then, as the discussion unfolds between Tony the now-blue-coloured fish and the three fish-farmers, Spongebob, incredulously, scribbles down everything that Tones is saying to them.]

Tones: And...we’ll send all those greedy miners off to Nauru Atoll, where they can mine all the guano they want – if there’s any left by this stage...heh...heh...

[The fish-farmers are so enraptured with Tony the blue-coloured fish’s decision to support them against the evil miners, they allow him to give them more kisses than Osama Bin Laden got from his seventy-two virgins when he arrived at the Pearly Gates.

Then, suddenly, the lagoon-love-in is dramatically interrupted by the appearance, on the coral atoll, of two giant gum-boots. Spongebob reads out loud what it says, in indelible ink on the side of the brightly-coloured soles – “Tony Windsor”.

Immediately, an empty jam-jar appears and Tony the blue-coloured fish is captured. The jam-jar is pulled out of the water, much to the distress of the fish-farmers, who presume their champion has gone forever, to presumably be the prime exhibit in the fish-tank in Windsor’s electorate office.

However, within a few seconds, Tony the blue-coloured fish is plopped back into the water and meteorically disappears out to sea in a self-created brown haze.]

Patrick: Huh...shit happens...heh...heh...

Booming voice from above: Jeeze...don’t you just hate those crappy chameleon fish – they don’t know whether they’re Arthur or Martha...bloody weathervanes...

Spongebob: Erm...Patrick...I don’t think Mr Krabs is going to believe a word of this story...and even if he did, I don’t think he’ll print it anyway...got any other ideas?

Patrick: Urrr...Yes, Spongebob, in fact I have...Remember that monastery we passed on the way in – I reckon Craig “Trappist Monkfish” Thomson is incarcerated in there after Julia “Red Empress” Gillard finished giving him the third degree...Let’s head over there and see if he’ll spill the beans...

Spongebob: Yeah...great idea, Patrick...And by the way, has anyone ever told you you’re a star...bahahahahaha...

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Feral Skeleton

26/08/2011Not only is Tony Abbott a political chameleon, and a flat-track bully, buut he is also a flat-out liar: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-26/records-undermine-abbott-attack/2857656/?site=melbourne

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011Hold onto your hats, a (former) journalist says this is the best government in twenty years [b]Dark days[/b] Norman Abjorensen @ Inside Story http://inside.org.au/dark-days/ [i]If, as seems likely, the burgeoning scandals surrounding Labor MP Craig Thomson bring down the Gillard government and hand power to Tony Abbott, it will be a most unfortunate and undeserved end to the best government Australia has had in twenty years, but an outcome for which the Labor Party has only itself to blame.[/i]

Acerbic Conehead 2

27/08/2011D Mick Weir, How many times does it have to pointed out to you that we are witnessing arguably the most feral, toxic, anti-Labor media in Australian political history? Why am I not surprised an ex-journalist, Norman Abjorensen, doesn't even mention this salient fact? Blood is thicker than water, isn't it?

Ad astra reply

27/08/2011AC Thank you for yet another penetrating piece of satire. Of all Tony Abbott’s undesirable attributes, his chameleon behaviour, day after day, is one of his most disgraceful. What is even more reprehensible is that most of the MSM has been so unwilling to expose this. Abbott can lie, change his mind whenever he likes, swing in the breeze like a cocksure weathervane, and the media scarcely murmurs. It was comforting to see that yesterday at least the ABC corrected its earlier report about Julia Gillard contacting the Industrial Registrar about the Thomson affair, when the opposite was the case, a fact known to the Opposition and publically at the time. Yet it did not stop Abbott accusing the PM of ‘interference’. Even the ABC account linked by FS was light on condemnation – presumably they saw this as ‘normal’ Abbott behaviour, and therefore unremarkable. It is disappointing to hear and read the gloom perpetrated by strong Labor supporters: Richo is casting a pall over Labor, even Peter Beattie was gloomy last night on [i]Lateline[/i] and now Norman Abjorensen is giving a poor prognosis, yet as you point out failing to even mention the inexcusable dereliction of duty of much of the MSM in holding Abbott and the Coalition to account for their behaviour. It is noteworthy that on [i]Lateline[/i] it was Arthur Sinodinos, to be a replacement for Helen Coonan in the Senate, who was more positive, pointing out as he did that Coalition governments had been ‘in the bunker’ on occasions but had emerged triumphant. He should know, having in the past been John Howard’s chief of staff. Why can’t Labor supporters have more confidence in one of the best Prime Ministers and one of the best governments this country has ever had?

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011The Liberals really are a lot better at lying than the Labor Party: http://jamesfiander.net/2011/08/26/the-blatant-lie-police-minister-mick-gallacher-used-to-attack-julia-gillard/

lyn

27/08/2011Hi Acerbic Conehead Thankyou for your beautiful weekend treat, delightful read. I wish Abbott was a fish. [quote]they allow him to give them more kisses than Osama Bin Laden got from his seventy-two virgins when he arrived at the Pearly Gates.[/quote] Very funny Conehead. I wonder if we could get your article published in The Australian, plenty of other people get accepted for publication. Oh no thats right, you have to write a book first, the The Australian will advertise for you. $34.99 cheaper by the dozen. [b]extract from Black Dog Daze: Public Life, Private Demons by Andrew Robb, published by MUP on Monday ($34.99[/b]). [i]Mornings the darkest time of day , Andrew Robb, The Australian[/i] [quote]It was important that I let the people in my electorate know. I have nearly 700 party members in my electorate, and it was vital that they had a clear idea of what was going on. Once I had done the interviews for the column and the radio, that was it. I didn't want to do anything else until I had found an answer[/quote]. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/health-of-the-nation/mornings-the-darkest-time-of-day/story-fn9iqmqf-1226122668395 [i]Andrew Robb can't remember the speech of his life , Leo Shanahan From: The Australian[/i] [quote]Writing in his book Black Dog Daze -- extracts of which are published in The Weekend Australian today -- Mr Robb said his initial attempts to medicate a depressive illness called diurnal variation led to the onset of an even more debilitating episode[/quote]. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/andrew-robb-cant-remember-the-speech-of-his-life/story-fn59niix-1226123164747 Cheers:):):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011lyn, Not meaning to be mean to Andrew Robb wrt his malady, but might I say the Liberal Party are riding the Mental Health horse for all it's worth. Mental Health 'issues' has become the excuse du jour for any of their MPs bad behaviour.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Line of the day in the reporting of the Craig Thomson issue: When the parliamentary bells summoned MPs to Question Time at 1.55pm on Thursday, Labor members trudged towards the House of Representatives resigned and demoralised.[b] ''I really hope the sex was good,''[/b] muttered one minister. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/factional-brawl-could-sink-gillard-20110826-1jebw.html#ixzz1WB7kMONV

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011AcerbicC., Fantastic job. I know it's hard to maintain a sense of humour during such dark days when the best government in 20 years may well be replaced by what will undoubtedly turn out to be the worst. No separation between Church, State and the Judiciary, here we come. :( http://www.smh.com.au/national/thomson-twist-brandis-called-ag-before-minister-20110826-1jegs.html And, as usual, ReCaptcha is on the money, throwing up the religious word 'Galatians' to reinforce the point.

TalkTurkey

27/08/2011AC I wouldn't know a Spongebob if I met it in the bath! I can say for sure though that Abbortt reminds me of a Cuttlefish when it comes to sea-life: [i]he slimy, he change colour and appearance in a flash, he got ten arms he do multitude tasks, challenged he instantly ejaculate a sepia cloud of obscurantism, while jet-propelled he zip backwards and disappear![/i] You not bin trustim Cuttlie. Get im on hook, im squirt im ink in sea, you pull im up, bring im into light of day, you think all OK you got im, SPLURT! Bimeby im ejaculate again all over you! :) Not to mention him have beak of Parrot! And him got many of suckers at his command . . . maybe i bin stretchim metaphor little bit plenty now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Actually I LOVE Cuttlefish now, (alive and well I mean, not as calamari); imagine, a [i]mollusc[/i], such a clever creature! Like a snail from Andromeda! If you don't know much about them, (and there are many species) they are truly amongst the great wonders of the animal world. The last 4 words are of course redundant. The Spencer Gulf waters off Point Lowly, near Whyalla in South Australia, are the sole breeding place of the Giant Cuttlefish. If you have any interest in the world of Nature, researching these creatures is a pure and astonishing delight. The more you find out the more amazing they seem. Saving biodiversity is the most important and urgent mission of all now. For me, it always has been, not that I have been able to do much about it. Education is key, but so urgent that without huge spending we are set to lose most of the world's species. Pretty simple, pretty stark. That's why Abbortt must be stopped, he cares not a whit.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011DMW, Good to see your kitten in kramped but kumfy konditions again! I thought I might have caused you to give up in disgust coming to TPS! Now I know you are made of sterner stuff. :)

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Talk Turkey, Decrease in Biodiversity is only the beginning. As events in NSW have already shown, Industrial Pollution of our waterways will also be back with a vengeance. Not to mention the Cover-Up. Which also occurred wrt Mary Jo Fisher and the Orica spill in Newcastle. Fair dinkum, the electorate is being sold a pup by the federal Coalition, and they don't even know they are being had big time. In fact, speaking of seminiferous metaphors, the way Alan Jones, Ray Hadley et al at 2GB, plus the Conservative Christians who run the Coalition now, are behaving towards the electorate seems like nothing more or less than the Grooming behaviour towards innocent little boys that Catholic Priests have been engaging in for decades in this country.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011And I'm sorry if the symbolism of the previous post upsets some, but as has been said this past week, it's about time the Labor Party took off the gloves and started fighting the bare-knuckle brawl toe-to-toe with the Coalition which has been started by Tony Abbott. They are never going to play nice, no matter how many opportunities the government gives them to reform their evil ways. So, on behalf of the ALP, and within the bounds of reasonable comment, that's exactly what I am going to do.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Put simply, the Federal Government has to announce an Inquiry into Tony Abbott's rorting of the Travel Allowance scheme when he was promoting 'Battlelines', as move #1. Let him squirm under the glare of the spotlight for a change. We wouldn't have to wait long for the rictus grin to dissolve into a catatonic head-nodding brain snap I believe.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Ash's latest 'on fire' blog, with standard Menzies House habitue reply: http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/spy-vs-spy/#comment-970

Patricia WA

27/08/2011[quote]Why can’t Labor supporters have more confidence in one of the best Prime Ministers and one of the best governments this country has ever had? [/quote] Ad Astra has expressed the very thought I came away with last night from a social gathering at the local bowling club where Greg Combet came along to meet ALP members and [i]to share a drink and any insight that people may have into the issue of renewable energy or energy efficiency that can be conveyed by a smile or a friendly wink.[/i] It was just around the corner from me so I popped in, not so much to ask about renewable energy but to say encouraging words about his government's achievements, praise him personally and to send a message of support to the Prime Minister. He seemed to appreciate that, and to agree with me that the MSM, particularly News Ltd, is killing the government. I hadn't planned to stay long anyway, but I left even sooner than I intended after a few exchanges with people who seemed to blame Julia Gillard's poor showing in the polls as Labor's major problem. No one seemed to understand the reason for this and one or two people actually shook their heads when I expressed my whole hearted admiration for her. I really think many on the left do not understand that the government's survival, very existence, is largely due to her negotiating skill and leadership. I'm too old to engage in heated political exchanges, particularly not with people on the left! So I went home after my brief few words with Greg Combet, who by the way is much more attractive in the flesh, I thought. A very nice, personable and approachable man as well of course as being the strong capable ACTU secretary we all respected so much and now an effective Minister for Climate Change. PS. Clark Kent look-alike? Well, he'll be an acknowledged Superman once the carbon pricing and clean energy legislation is finally passed.

Michael

27/08/2011Bad Abbottism as defined in the editorial of today's Sydney Morning Herald, that concludes with the following. At present, the opposition - its energies absorbed by its campaign of blustering negativity - has little to say of any weight on these important matters. It believes its own victory is inevitable. That arrogance offers Labor - now the only political player of substance in the game - its only opportunity. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/editorial/the-substance-hidden-in-the-shadow-20110826-1jea4.html#ixzz1WBOMA8kb Now, when the anti-Gillard dullards catch up with the recognition that Labor is "the only player of substance in the game" of running this nation, then we might have a nation again. Not a football for fools.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011PatriciaWA, I bet the complaints from the Left were all about Gay Marriage and Asylum Seekers' policy, huh? They really don't seem to be able to comprehend that these two issues have been used by the MSM to drive a wedge through the ALP, and they certainly don't seem to be able to see that the party is trying to find an equitable and durable solution to the Asylum Seeker issue and is wending it's way to a resolution of the Same Sex Marriage conundrum by the time of the National Conference in December. Which I am going to go to and give Julia the biggest and loudest cheer I can, and the finger to the Nervous Nellies and recalcitrants and underminers from 'the Left'. Or, should that be, 'the Utopians'. :) Ha,ha,ha, ReCaptcha has just given me a new name for Murdoch: 'Murduck', and, of course, the adjective, 'Murduckian', for when it looks like a Murduck and quacks like a Murduck, it must be a Murduck! ;-)

ian

27/08/2011Maybe we are all looking at this the wrong way.`Perhaps, indulging in a vicarious political blood lust, we want the PM to go to the mat with Abbott. We lust after, and will accept nothing other, than the spectacle of Abbotts political blood spilt on the floor. To see his henchmen bowed, beaten and contrite. To see them choking on the arrogance of their vacous, empty superiority. Do I wish this?…Yes. Is it healthy for me?…No. Does it serve to ease my angst?….No. Does it serve an intelligent purpose?…No. So what can I do?….I can believe. I can believe: That this country has good strong governance. That that the legislative program of this Govt. will serve future generations well. That the politics of “now” will be seen to be the empty vessel that it is. That citizens are people. Not units of overpaid/underperforming units of production. To the opposition and those that own them. To the msm who shill for them. To those who blindly hate because that is so much easier than thinking. I say this. To hell with the lot of you. You have as much confected outrage as you wish. Have a “Convoy of the seriously deluded” every day. Should you wish to anoint Alan Jones as the patron saint of the Insipidly Stupid do so. Grow the crop you have planted. Understand that the poison you’re going to reap will be feeding your children and their children. To the Prime Minister and her Government. I say this. Understand who owns the sewer they wish you to fight in. They’re comfortable there. You’re not. Keep to your vision for the country. Especially the young, the infirm and the elderly. While they may hear those who oppose. They will listen to you. Understand the difference. You have a strong story to tell. Keep telling it in the parliament where it will be written into law. The lies, insults and innuendo that you face every day are not the product of your failings. You face this every day because of your strength. cross posted from poll bludger

Michael

27/08/2011Peter van Onselen http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/labor-should-take-the-risk-and-dump-gillard/story-e6frgd0x-1226123138427 He's onselling absolute tosh in his article. This: "Besides, with rising unemployment and global economic uncertainty, now wouldn't be such a bad time for Labor to lose office in the event the minority parliament didn't allow it to correct its problems. Abbott would receive a poisoned chalice - required to enact a set of promises that don't add up. " is the only comment in the entire article that is real-world pertinent. But the real-world pertinence it highlights is this nation's critical need of a government that has more on its mind than simply being the government, as is Shouldabeen's sole brief for the Coalition.

Ad astra reply

27/08/2011Patricia WA Well said. How heartening to hear the positive tone your project. I’m sick and tired of the gloom we see projected from the MSM so much of the time, and from Labor supporters too. No battle was ever won with dispirited troops crying ‘ain’t it awful’. What we need is confidence in our PM and her ministers to ‘get the job done’, as Julia would say. So far it has got over 180 legislative jobs done, with many more far-reaching reforms in the legislative pipeline. We need a touch of Churchill’s ‘We shall fight on the beaches’ oratory and a determination to succeed even if that means ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat. The electorate is fickle as Peter Beattie and Arthur Sinodinos said last night on [i]Lateline[/i]; it can turn in a minute, as we have seen many times before. The Opinion piece in the [i]SMH[/i] suggests that at least some in the MSM are beginning to wake up to the merits of the Gillard Government and the utter shallowness of Abbott and his Coalition.

Ad astra reply

27/08/2011Michael Thank you for the link to the [i]SMH[/i] Opinion piece. Are we seeing a new dawn? Is the MSM beginning to wake up to Bad Abbott?

TalkTurkey

27/08/2011[i][/i]FS quoted someone: 'When the parliamentary bells summoned MPs to Question Time at 1.55pm on Thursday, Labor members trudged towards the House of Representatives resigned and demoralised. ''I really hope the sex was good,'' muttered one minister.' Well that wasn't the way the Question Time ended up! *J*U*L*I*A* hit boundaries every ball. The Ministry looked completely confident throughout. The Opposition looked bloody glum. Don't You Worry About THAT! Harry ousted 4 of them, he is going to keep doing that and they know it. All patience with them is at an end. As I said before he finally has taken my advice on that. ;-) A few more sitting days, delivering major reforms which will be unstoppable and They know it, WHAT IS ALL THE FRETTING ABOUT? This is [i]delicious[/i], savour it!

Ad astra reply

27/08/2011ian Thank you for your thoughtful comment and welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. I appreciate the positive things you say about the Gillard Government and agree that our PM need not get down in the sewer from which Abbott emerges regularly to spew out his lies and malevolence. There is a difference between joining Abbott as a sewer rat, and calling him for the spiteful rat he is. I was pleased to see Julia Gillard give the bully-boy some of his own medicine in parliament this week, heaping scorn on him for his unseemly behaviour. I have always found that standing up to bullies is the best strategy as they invariably retreat, but that does not mean becoming a bully oneself. I’m all for the PM calling Abbott out, but with the dignity and style that has come to characterize Julia Gillard. I suspect you might agree.

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011Acerbic Conehead 2 @ 5:30 AM, I note that you wrote [i]'... we are witnessing [b]arguably[/b] the most feral, toxic, anti-Labor media in Australian political history?'[/i] (my emphasis) I agree that we have some best examples of anti Labor reporting and commentary in the last fifteen years occuring at the moment. I also recall some pretty solid anti Labor reporting and commentary in the period immediately prior to that. I also recall some pretty solid anti Labor reporting and commentary about 35 years ago. My memory doesn't stretch beyond that. There are students of political history that could argue the case for and against your proposition that the current anti Labor reporting and commentary is the 'worst' in Australian political history and while it may be an entertaining and informative debate it would be inconclusive as in the end it is all about perceptions. [i]Why am I not surprised an ex-journalist, Norman Abjorensen, doesn't even mention this salient fact? Blood is thicker than water, isn't it?[/i] Perhaps we should ask Norman Abjorensen why he didn't mention it. I can only guess that he didn't consider it germane to the story he wrote. Mr Abjorensen has a more intamate experience of the practice of politics and a greater depth of knowledge of Australian politicl history than I, so, I will continue to read his contributions with interest. That does not say I will agree, or disagree with what he writes. So, back to the media, there is a, possibly, more important question we could ask: [i]Is blaming the media an effective political strategy?[/i]

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011FS @ 09:29 AM thank you for your kryptic komment komrade. It is interesting that you would think that your comments would make me give up in digust. I take all of your comments on board, sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't, sometimes I learn something, sometimes I don't. If it is your heartfelt desire that I should refrain from further comment here then say so in plain simple words. State your case and I will consider it on it's merits.

Ad astra reply

27/08/2011Michael You are right about PvO’s piece being a load of tosh. [i]Labor should take the risk and dump Gillard[/i]: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/labor-should-take-the-risk-and-dump-gillard/story-e6frgd0x-1226123138427 Someone at News Limited must have hinted that he should write something controversial. You will have noticed how he covered his bare backside in his last paragraph but one. Those who go out so far on a shaky limb usually do. The only thing I agree with is his high opinion of Stephen Smith. But being a great Defence Minister is well short of being a great PM.

lyn

27/08/2011Hi Ad This is Grog , Greg Jericho live at The Melboure Press Club Watch live streaming video from melbournepressclub at livestream.com [i]New News Conference, Video, The Wheeler Centre [/i] [quote]The New News Conference is being held 26-27 August at the Wheeler Centre. Swinburne's Public Interest Journalism Foundation has partnered with the Melbourne Writers Festival to present the conference, which will ask the question: "What's next for journalism?"[/quote] [quote]We will be filming and livetreaming a number of sessions throughout the two days and will be presenting the videos live on this page. When the recorded videos become available we will also be embedding them on this page[/quote] http://www.melbournepressclub.com/events/new-news-conference Cheers:):):)

lyn

27/08/2011Hi Ad An audio, from The Wheeler Centre: Margaret Simons talks about the New News Forum http://audioboo.fm/harrison.polites Cheers:):):):):)

Acerbic Conehead 2

27/08/2011D Mick Weir (12:19 pm), I see you are still up to your straw man tricks. You emphasise my "arguable" qualifier in your first paragraph, but omit it when distorting my position in your third paragraph. And, your "blaming the media" jibe is insinuating, again in straw man fashion, that those who point out bias in the media are cry-babies. There are a lot more "political strategies" going on than pointing out the obvious (media bias). Unlike in your distorted analysis, people can walk and chew gum too.

Casablanca

27/08/2011'Factional brawl could sink Gillard', Nick O'Malley and Phillip Coorey [b]'The Craig Thomson affair began in a factional brawl'[/b] Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/factional-brawl-could-sink-gillard-20110826-1jebw.html#ixzz1WCBQrRlT Wow. This is a real who's up who and who's paying tale, a knock 'um down and drag 'um out factional brawl that may even knock Tony Abbott off the front pages. Meanwhile, Julia Gillard will go on doing what she does so well, that is, legislating her reformist agenda. From this morning's press it seems that much of the paint that was knocked off the PM in the past year has been restored. 'Worlds apart on politics.', Peter Hartcher. [b]'Far from being paralysed, the Gillard government has delivered some substantial reforms.'[/b] Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/worlds-apart-on-politics-20110826-1jecw.html#ixzz1WCDUefcl

Patricia WA

27/08/2011FS, that leader in the SMH you linked to www.smh.com.au/.../...e-shadow-20110826-1jea4.html is really good, very much in the tone and serious import one remembers from what feels like another era. Well worth reading, and well worth recommending to all and sundry as well as commending the SMH for. May we hope for more of its kind, do you think?

Casablanca

27/08/2011Patricia WA I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but the link in your above comment is broken. However, I went back to FS and her hyperlink was OK. So here it is again: The substance hidden in the shadow August 27, 2011 Opinion Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/editorial/the-substance-hidden-in-the-shadow-20110826-1jea4.html#ixzz1WCMWGmLh

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011DMW, Nothing cryptic,just good to see you back, as opposed to good to see your back. :D

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011PatriciaWA, Yeah, 'Courtesy Calls'. You've got to give it to the Lieberals, they are the masters of the obfuscatory euphemism.

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011Acerbic Conehead 2 @ 1:17 PM If you believe that I distorted your position then I apolgise for doing that. Is the comment: [i]... "blaming the media" jibe is insinuating, again in straw man fashion, that those who point out bias in the media are cry-babies.[/i] a distortion of my position by my simply asking: [i]'Is blaming the media an effective political strategy?[/i]

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Casablanca, I'm sure there are just as many skeletons and dead bodies in the Coalition closets. :D

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Bugger, :( , missed Grog. Was setting up my new laptop. :D Hope they have Vodcasts for download later.

Gravel

27/08/2011Acerbic Conehead Well done again, I like fish of all sorts, to watch while they play, and unfortunately I love to eat them too. I am a touch fussy on which fish I eat though and certainly not one dressed in red or blue. Nas From the last topic, thanks for likening blogs to Dr Who, going from here to there and seeing things as they are. As for the rest of your comment, I don't think you are a conspiratorialist at all, I appreciate the way your mind works, and how you put your point of view across. ian and Patricia I love what this Labor party are doing, and of course I can't but help look at Julia with utter admiration and awe. No matter what she has thrown at her she just keeps on smiling and doing what is expected of her in her position. I have said many times that I would have given up a long time ago if I was Julia. I will not ever give up while Julia is so determined to continue and I will follow no matter what happens. I loved watching the big bravado guys going into COAG, they were going to tell her what to do, oh yes, they had her measure and were going to come out the winners. I laughed when they were talking to the reporters afterwards, with their tails between their legs. The woman had beaten them. Go Julia. (And not just because she is a woman.) Feral Skeleton I tried to watch Grog too, but satellite broadband too slow. Lyn Could you put the link up so that I can keep an eye out for when it goes on video please.......on Monday that is, thanks.

Casablanca

27/08/2011FS I have no trouble accepting your comment that there are just as many skeletons and dead bodies in the Coalition closets. Unfortunately, without an MSM ready to expose these matters lurking in Coalition many stay buried.

Michael

27/08/2011Abbott reckons Labor has an integrity problem!!?? http://www.theage.com.au/national/howard-adviser-to-claim-coonans-seat-in-senate-20110826-1jel5.html in which Arthur Sinodinos is quoted: ''I wouldn't have minded either house but I think it's a good time to try and go in and make a contribution and the opportunity came up.'' He "wouldn't have minded either house"!!!???? No mention of the wishes of the voters here. Just a gift from the Liberal Party. 'Sinecure Sinodinos' might be an apt name for Arthur from now 0n - it certainly sums up his thinking. His income as a Senator, incidentally, when he accepts this gift from the Liberal Party, most definitely outstrips the money NSW Labor came up with to keep Craig Thomson from bankruptcy.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011D Mick Weir, To attempt to absolve the media of any blame in the argument about who is to blame for the dire straits of any government, here or overseas, is to overlook the part they play, and it is a very prominent one, in the political process.

Ad astra reply

27/08/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your links to the Wheeler Centre event on journalism – the New News Conference. I have filed them for reference. I wish I was there! D Mick Weir In your response to AC, you ask: “[i]Is blaming the media an effective political strategy?”[/i] In my opinion that is not the question we ought to be asking. The politicians, the media and the public are all part of the political game. In my view, what we might profitably do is dissect out the roles each plays in the creation or changing of political beliefs and attitudes. In any complex interpersonal interactions, all parties play a part. Apportioning ‘blame’ for the contemporary state of affairs might not be a productive exercise, but assigning responsibility might be. I’m sure that you would agree that the media is a serious player that does have an influence. So let’s tease out what it is and how its [i]modus operandi[/i] might become more helpful in promulgating information and ideas that assist voters to make informed decisions when casting their vote. I’m sure too that you would agree that improvement is possible. Lindsay Tanner concluded that the media had a profound influence on political discourse and how it is carried out. His thesis was that politicians were in adaptive mode, shaping their interactions with the media to fit in with the media’s style and operational characteristics. Many journalists took that as his ‘blaming’ the media for the current state of affairs. They went into defensive mode, and some are still stuck there; witness Tony Jones defensive words when interviewing Jay Rosen on [i]Lateline[/i] last week. Some journos refuse to ‘cop the blame’, indeed to accept any significant responsibility for where we are. That’s what we have to examine and hopefully come up with suggestions about a better way of doing things. Although it may seem presumptuous alongside what is going on these past days at the Wheeler Centre, I’m preparing a piece titled: [i]The forgotten art of political communication[/i] for next week where we can all have ago at diagnosis and treatment.

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011Michael @ 10:38 AM The PvO article has some parallels to a post yesterday by Professor Quiggin. [b]I may be some little time ...[/b] http://johnquiggin.com/2011/08/26/i-may-be-some-little-time/ [i]I’ve been planning for a while to write a post arguing that the one thing Julia Gillard can do to (at least, potentially) salvage her place in the history books is to secure passage of the carbon price package (and preferably the other outstanding items left over from the Rudd era, such as the mining tax legislation and health reform), then step aside, and let the Labor party choose a new leader. I was going to wait until the package was passed, but for various reasons, I’ve decided it’s time to speak up on this. I’ve been very critical of Gillard, but I’m probably less hostile to her at this point than the majority of Australians. On the other hand, her success in holding a fragile government together, and in securing agreement on some complex pieces of policy, suggest she is much more appealing in person than her public persona would imply. My limited contacts with people who’ve worked directly with her support this view, as does the clear belief of her supporters that, if only we could see the “real Julia” we would all like her. Unfortunately, that’s no longer a relevant possibility. After more than a year in office, there seems very little likelihood that the negative view of Gillard, based on her public record, is going to change, no matter how many rebranding exercises she undertakes. Her last chance, a big bounce when the release of the carbon price package showed the spurious nature of Abbott’s scare campaign hasn’t come off. Moreover, despite her contribution to getting the package together, she can never get past her promise that there would be no carbon price under her government. Only with a change of leader can Labor sell the carbon price. As regards the choice of alternative, my natural inclination is for Rudd, but it seems clear that his colleagues won’t go that way, and he is doing a good job as Foreign Minister. Wayne Swan has been a good Treasurer, but he is too closely tied to the coup against Rudd and the dumping of the CPRS. Greg Combet would be my preferred choice, but Stephen Smith would also be good. Given a change of leader, and if they aren’t forced to an election early, I think Labor still has a good chance. Abbott is incredibly unpopular, considering the circumstances, and the hostility towards Labor is very much focused on Gillard personally. If the government can survive long enough to see the carbon price in place, Abbott’s scare campaigns will collapse completely.[/i] Maybe PvO reads the good professor's writings.

Patricia WA

27/08/2011DMW, your comment entirely overlooks the fact that MSM here is almost entirely dominated by News Ltd. Have a look at http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/25/rupert-murdoch-tony-blair-chris-mullin Particularly interesting is the exchange between Chris Mullin and John Major(!) when Mullin was trying to get Blair to grapple with Murdoch way back in the nineties, for god's sake! And that's with only 20% Murdoch control of the print media in the UK! Here it's over 70%! As well, your comments suggest a generally uncritical acceptance of modern day media reportage. Extremist shock jocks are not the government's major problem, they are largely preaching to the converted. Rather it's the echo factor with a lazy (at worst) or overstretched (at best) press gallery expected to feed a 24 hour highly competitive market hungry for a non stop supply of stories, preferably sensational or at least capable of being headlined either as the uncovering of titillating sex secrets or other scandalising details of corruption. Even without Murdoch's pro-Coalition bias the idea of a government every day on the brink of destruction and our first woman prime minister likely to brought undone gives our MSM a steady supply of feed for its monstrous master.

Patricia WA

27/08/2011AC Loved your spot on choice of names for all those fishy characters. But they weren't just colorful, were they? Pretty smelly lot, I'd say. Which is a bit unkind to fish in general, I think, being linked to that stinking mob. I was disappointed that they weren't all sent to Bikini Atoll and blown sky high. I'm glad that Spongebob and Patrick Starfish were able to emerge untainted by their experience.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011"Tony Abbott said at the Liberal Party Conference in Tasmania today..."(insert Tony's daily anti-government diatribe here, unquestioningly reproduced in full by ABCNews24). Sigh.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Why is Tony Abbott continuing to repeat the LIE in Tas today that the PM's COS called the Fair Work Ombudsman when it is known to be a LIE?

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Why is the ABC continuing to broadcast it unquestioningly? Are we able to ring ABC24 and tell them to stop broadcasting this patent LIE?

Patricia WA

27/08/2011You can do that, FS, so long as you're willing to wait up to four weeks for a reply!

NormanK

27/08/2011Feral Skeleton I've seen reports around the place that suggest that both events occurred - the Industrial Registrar rang the COS but he (Williams?) also concedes that he took a call from the COS. I've had a quick scratch around but I can't lay my hand on any of references (there have been several) so I can't say with any certainty which call happened first.

NormanK

27/08/2011Here you go. Unfortunately it does leave the way open for Abbott to maintain his 'what did she know and when' line. [b]Thomson records missing[/b] by Royce Millar and Ben Schneiders [quote]Prime Minister Gillard was yesterday forced to defend reports that her chief of staff, Ben Hubbard, had asked questions of Fair Work Australia about its investigation of the HSU before the allegations against Mr Thomson became public. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott jumped on the report. But the government produced evidence that the Industrial Registrar had contacted Mr Hubbard only after the allegations about Mr Thomson were made public, on April 8, 2009. However, it remains unclear when Mr Hubbard first telephoned the then registrar, Doug Williams. Ms Gillard said yesterday neither she or Mr Hubbard, had any ''active recollection'' of when contact first occurred on the Thomson case. Mr Williams was quoted as saying: ''I recall receiving a phone call [from Mr Hubbard] in early 2009 concerning inquiries that I had initiated into the Health Services Union.''[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/national/thomson-records-missing-20110826-1jem5.html

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011FS @ 2:37 PM, where in any of my comments have I attempted to absolve the media of any blame? How am I overlooking the part that the media plays? (This ties into Ad's comment @ 2:38 PM which I will come back to separately. Patricia WA @ 3:17 PM [i]DMW, your comment entirely overlooks the fact that MSM here is almost entirely dominated by News Ltd.[/i] I am in no way overlooking that News Ltd. controls 70% or thereabouts of the print media and through that seems to have undue influence on the way other parts of the media report and offer their analysis and opinion. I don't like it but that does not mean that I should therefore conlude that all the ills that befall this, or any government are solely caused by the media as a whole or News Ltd. in particular. How is it that because I posted a link to a piece and expressed some surprise that the author said this is the best in twenty years and I made no further about how good, bad or indifferent that article was I get jumped on from a great height and given lectures about my apparent ignorance of [i]'...arguably the most feral, toxic, anti-Labor media in Australian political history?[/i] Because I said that I can recall other periods of when there were some heavy anti Labor reporting I am accused of putting up straw man arguments. To add insult to injury I am accused by Acerbic Conehead 2 of misrepresenting his position apparently for this paragraph: [i]There are students of political history that could argue the case for and against your proposition that the current anti Labor reporting and commentary is the 'worst' in Australian political history and while it may be an entertaining and informative debate it would be inconclusive as in the end it is all about perceptions.[/i] Acerbic Conehead 2, I am not withdrawing my apology for apparently mispresenting you but given other comments I would appreciate you explainimg exactly how it is a misrepresentation. Can any of you explain how by me saying [i]... there is a, possibly, more important question we could ask: Is blaming the media an effective political strategy?[/i] I am throwing up straw man argement or that I am defending the media and the reporting and commentary. AC2 can you explain to me how you comments on that were not a misrepresentation of my position? Sure there have been times that I have defended some in the media and put a view that some of the pieces that have been criticised here when looked at in a slightly different way are not as bad as some would have us believe. How does that create the impression that I apparently believe the media is a pure as the driven snow? How does it suggest that I have no comprehension of the apparently insidious influence of News Ltd? Please forgive me NormanK, for taking your name in vain for a moment, but what would have been the reaction if NormanK had posted a link to the Abjorensen piece and expressed surprise that he had said that this is the best goverment in twenty years? Now I have had my dummy spit I will re read Ad's comment and give a considered and rant free response. And by the way I disagree with Abjorensen, I think that this is the best government in fifteen years.

Jason

27/08/2011Lucky we have a "thinker in residence" such as Truss! he seems to think you can just move people to "the bush" and they will fit in to the life style etc,and no doubt some of these communities will thank him when the "gang bangers" "drug dealers" and every other undesirable takes up residence! THE Nationals will push for the federal coalition to adopt a policy of denying unemployment benefits to anyone who refuses work in regional centres. Tying skilled migrants to regional areas and providing tax incentives for business are other key parts of the junior coalition partner's regional investment strategy unveiled today. Leader Warren Truss said tough measures were needed to encourage unemployed people in the cities to take jobs elsewhere. "Along with the carrot approach we should build into our strategy something of a little stick," he told the party's federal council meeting in Canberra. "Young mobile welfare recipients who refuse to take up gainful employment in the regions should not expect to continue to receive those benefits." Mr Truss said it was crucial to attract skilled and non-skilled workers to the regions as farmers recover from floods, drought and the global financial crisis He said more than 100,000 jobs in agriculture - 80,000 for skilled labour and 22,000 for entry-level roles - would go begging because of labour shortages. "Tying new migrants to regional locations experiencing skilled and non-skilled labour shortages for a specified period can fill the gaps," he said. Under the medical rural bonded scholarship scheme, doctors are required to live and work in the bush for a minimum of six years. "This is a scheme which can surely be extended to other professions, professions that are in need and demand in regional areas," Mr Truss said. Mr Truss said agriculture and horticulture apprentices should be reinstated on the national skills list. He said tax incentives were important to encourage people to start up or relocate businesses to the regions. Mr Truss also called for a tertiary access allowance to help support regional tertiary students who have to move away from home to study and pledged that a coalition government would have a dedicated minister for regional health. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/unemployed-should-take-rural-jobs-says-warrentruss/story-fn3dxity-1226123404897

lyn

27/08/2011Hi Gravel Here is a link to the Melbourne Press Club Video, where Greg is talking about the media. You can pause, stop and replay. http://www.livestream.com/melbournepressclub/video?clipId=pla_0dd339b6-8a99-42cf-bb50-742059e9319f Cheers:):):):)

Michael

27/08/2011No way should Julia Gillard resign. Her assertion that there would be no carbon tax under a government she led was both true on the day the statement was uttered, and true now. "Carbon tax" as it was espoused at the time by the Greens was a policy without a transition to an emissions trading scheme. It was intended to be the solution in and of itself. That "Carbon Tax", the Greens' policy, has not survived the processes necessary within the current minority government arrangements with them and Independents to put a price on carbon-based fuel emissions. The taxing element of the legislation that will go to putting a price on pollution is not the "carbon tax" that was being promoted during the election. Julia Gillard has negotiated a much stronger and free-standing result, which will see an emissions trading scheme that calls on business to be truly efficient in improving productivity, not scrambling around for some way to pay workers less. Truth be known, only the Coalition and lazy/compliant media call it a "carbon tax", and in both cases it is because of bone ignorance and disinclination to inspect, let alone reduce, said ignorance. Ignorant is Coalition-speak for arrogant, and arrogant is Coalition-speak for entitlement... to the government of this nation. But with a leader in Shouldabeen who can neither govern his tongue nor his spite, this nation can only be properly-served by a Labor government led by its most competent politician. She's there already.

Jason

27/08/2011So Mr Truss why is it alright for the sons and daughters of these "regional" areas to move to the "city"?

CJM

27/08/2011Hi Jason, "He said tax incentives were important to encourage people to start up or relocate businesses to the regions." Truss is all for the NBN then,jolly good. Or wait, maybe like Truss,dial up is too fast for us hicks (still dial up would win hands down in a Truss IQ speed test).

BSA Bob

27/08/2011Is there an award for "Best Statement of the Bleeding Obvious"? There should be & here's my nomination; from Laurie Oakes in today's Adelaide Murdoch rag- no doubt other States will get it. "It is time, however, for Mr Abbott & his team to come under greater scrutiny." lectures the great man, about 18 months or so too late I'd have thought. Plus of course it won't happen.

TalkTurkey

27/08/2011This is it Folks A truly global People's initiative [i]The Blogosphere manifests its World Wide Will![/i] HOO RAY ! http://climaterealityproject.org/ I urge Us to sign up.

lyn

27/08/2011Hi Ad Jennifer Wilson, No Place For Sheep, Links your last post from her blog. Thankyou Jennifer [i]Rainy day woman on marriage, Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep[/i] [quote]this piece on the [b]Political Sword, in which Ad astra [/b]alleges that Tony Abbott is the worst opposition leader in our political history, and gives resoundingly convincing arguments to support the allegation /[/quote] http://noplaceforsheep.com/2011/08/27/rainy-day-woman-on-marriage/ Cheer:):):):)

Jason

27/08/2011CJM, Truss is just parroting the same thing Abbott said at the last election!The man is from a bygone era, and still thinks the country rides on the sheep's back! Also the trouble Truss has after 11 1/2 years of a government that Truss was apart of we as a country gave up training people, be it apprentices or the areas we have a skill shortage in. It was always better (cheaper) to get "457" visa holders in.

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011Ad, yes I agree there is considerable room for improvement in the way the media informs the electorate. Equally I think there is room for improvement in the standards against which we assess the media. While I accept that you don't think it would be a productive excercise for us to discuss here whether blaming the media is an effective political strategy it would never the less be a valuable question for some to ask and answer. Done well it could be effective but I suggest that more than likely most in the broader electorate would not accept it as anything but bleating. Your point about Tanner's conclusion that the media has had a profound influence on political discourse and how it is carried out is accepted and the over reaction of many in the media certainly indicates a profound lack of understanding of the poor way many journalists at times choose to play the game. For another point of view on the [i]dumbing down of politics[/i] you may want to take a look at this to give another perspective: [b]Political parties and the dumbing down of democracy[/b] Independent candidate for Lalor James Johnson @ Independent Australia http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/democracy/political-parties-and-the-dumbing-down-of-democracy/ [i]... Tanner has written a charming and surprising expose of the difficulties of practising politics in the modern, media saturated age. It is a surprising book. A book one might expect to have been written by a Professor of Journalism, say a Professor Jay Rosen of New York University, rather than a man newly retired from a 30 year career of practising serious politics ...[/i] Johnson asks some interesting questions and looks at the subject from some alternative angles. I must warn others that if they follow the link they may not find it to their liking. Johnson's views may not be in accord with the beliefs of some. Never the less I found it informative. I will also ask anyone who does follow the the link to suggest that I agree everything that Johnson has written. It will be interesting to read your next piece and see how you strike the balance between 'assigning responsibility' and not 'apportioning blame’ as there will be no doubt some who will have difficulty and nuancing the difference.

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011Andrew Leigh has posted his speech in response to the opposition's motion about 'Australia's forgotten families' http://www.andrewleigh.com/blog/?p=1438 It is a pretty good speech that I haven't seen any reporting of yet.

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011I loved this line from Crispin Hull in today's Canberra Times: [i]As it happened, what was planned as an assault against Australian democracy by a bunch of truckwits flopped.[/i] [b]Convoy of No Confidence a flop because it lacked a real moral purpose[/b] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/convoy-of-no-confidence-a-flop-because-it-lackeda-real-moral-purpose/2272318.aspx?storypage=0 Sharpe's very rude and mean cartoon is brilliant too

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011A ray of light! :D [b]EMBATTLED Labor MP Craig Thomson claimed to have "travel documents and witness statements" to prove he was not the person using union money to pay for prostitutes.[/b] Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/tmomson-someone-else-used-money/story-e6frfkvr-1226123316189#ixzz1WDnr2LXA

NormanK

27/08/2011D Mick Weir Three observations which might shed some light on today's exchanges (without putting words in anyone else's mouth). You have in the past disputed the weight that many of us ascribe to the media's 'inefficiencies'. You have in the past used quotes from other authors to bolster your own case (no value judgement there, we all do it). You chose this paragraph to accompany the headline: [quote]If, as seems likely, the burgeoning scandals surrounding Labor MP Craig Thomson bring down the Gillard government and hand power to Tony Abbott, it will be a most unfortunate and undeserved end to the best government Australia has had in twenty years, but [b]an outcome for which the Labor Party has only itself to blame[/b].[/quote] I suspect the reaction is to the section in bold and there has been a bit of guilt by association. Personally, I would have chosen a different paragraph.

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011This appears to be a legal opinion of the likelihood of an investigation proceeding to charges in the Craig Thomson imbroglio(hat tip: Poll Bludger): [quote]charlton Posted Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink It will be looked at objectively. Yes, and in accordance with the following principles: Decision to prosecute: The decision to prosecute is primarily a question of public interest. According to Nicholas Cowdery QC, the current Director of Public Prosecutions in New South Wales: The public interest is not to be equated with political pressure; even less is it to be gauged from current popular clamour. What is of public interest is a different question from what is in the public interest. The DPP Prosecution Policy in New South Wales outlines three issues to be assessed to resolve whether the public interest requires a person to be prosecuted: whether or not the admissible evidence available is capable of establishing each element of the offence; whether or not it can be said that there is no reasonable prospect of conviction by a reasonable jury properly instructed and, if not; whether or not discretionary factors nevertheless dictate that the matter should not proceed in the public interest. Discretionary factors include the seriousness and recency of the alleged offence, the likely length and expense of a trial, any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the alleged offender's age, health or other relevant subjective features, and their degree of culpability in the offence. A decision to prosecute must not be influenced by: the race, religion, political beliefs and other characteristics of the alleged offender unless they have special significance to the commission of the offence; the personal feelings of the prosecutor; possible political advantage or disadvantage to the government or any political party, group or individual; the possible effect of the decision on the personal or professional circumstances of those involved in the prosecution. The independence of the DPP was also addressed by none other than Michael Kirby in Price v Ferris (1994) 34 NSWLR 704 at 707: ‘What is the object of having a Director of Public Prosecutions? Obviously, it is to ensure a high degree of independence in the vital task of making prosecution decisions and exercising prosecution discretions.’ By contacting the A-G & Police Minister, Brandis has politicised the Thomson affair to such an extent that in my view the DPP would not want to touch it with a barge poll.[/quote]

Michael

27/08/2011http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-26/libs-accused-of-fishing-expedition/2856458/?site=melbourne Let's none of us forget Senator (oh, Caligula's horse, meet thy mistress, and not just on appearances) Concetta Fierravanti-Wells' ingenious-as-Godwin 'letters' ploy. All so that she could ask as publicly as possible whether Labor politicians Craig Thomson and Darren Cheeseman had received "letters" questioning their Australian citizenship, it appears she had a private law firm send letters to them 'asking' this question. Of course, she conveniently forgot to make that clear when she raised the matter of "letters" publicly - by her silence intimating that these letters were official, possibly from some organization with interest in such matters like the Electoral Commission. It appears that the mere receiving of letters from anyone, even someone led to send them by the Coalition, is enough in the mind of Neighsayer Fierravanti-Wells to start another Australian public hoodwinking witch-hunt against Labor politicians. We have truly descended into ripe farce, or perhaps, in legal terms, entrapment?

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Things are getting interesting in the NSW Parliament(I especially love the last coupla lines in this story): http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ofarrell-livid-over-shooters-graffiti-move-20110826-1jeh6.html

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011In the interests of keeping well-informed of the latest smear from the Liberal Party Dirt Unit, via Andrew Bolt: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/a_tip_on_something_that_may_force_gillard_to_resign/P100/

Feral Skeleton

27/08/2011Oh yes, I had forgotten about this: [quote]In the meantime it would be good if someone behind the scenes could come up with the woman who laid the groping charges against Abbott way back when.[/quote]

D Mick Weir

27/08/2011NormanK, thanks for your as usual astute obsevations. Your first point was acknowledged by me in my dummy spit. Yes I have used quotes that agree with or better inform my view, I have also posted links that agree with others view on the subject and I do not always agree with. I quoted the first paragraph of the article in full as it was the one that said [i]... it will be a most unfortunate and undeserved end to the best government Australia has had in twenty years ...[/i] The question arises if I had ended there and not included the following words would some people have felt misled? If I chose a different part to quote equally would would some people have felt misled? More importantly would have the reaction been any different? Why was there a need to remind me that others have the view that in AC's words [i]... we are witnessing arguably the most feral, toxic, anti-Labor media in Australian political history ...[/i] instead of discussing the article? I have acknowledged that there is some pretty awful reporting and commentary in the past and yes also questioned some commenters assessments of some commentary This apparently is a sin so deep that I could almost be persuaded to convert to catholicism so that I can seek redemption.

psyclaw

27/08/2011Just a post to say that I have not disappeared from the TPS. Life has been extremely busy over tha past couple of weeks, however not to busy to read TPS regularly and follow Lyn's great links. FS (9.51 am today) It was just great to see JG with gloves off at the health announcement press conference on Thursday am and in QT that day. Pity that she was not on such a front foot in the election campaign, thanks to Latham, Oakes and the over-the-top media play on the Rudd issue....I think if she'd performed as on last Thursday it would be a majority government....but it was her first time campaign and there were these very heavy issues to deal with. Remember she had easily won week 1, and then Latham etc happened. On Thursday she was fair but authoritative to the media. I loved her statment to M Grattan..."that is not true Michelle"....then on to another question. Very good control of the presser, but not resorting to flight a la Abbott. Then at QT she took no prisoners and her confidence and debating skills were a joy to behold. Her vocab was extreme but apt and justified "stinking hypocrisy" etc. She needs to make it her permanent style. Her detractors will criticise her no matter what style, so she may as well deliver groin kicks to the conservos at every opportunity. I think it would also buoy up her backbench. This morning I unfortunately heard Abetz on ABC AM. In his most practised you-can-trust-me-I'm-not-the same-Abetz-who-prefabricated-Godwin Gretch's-evidence voice, he was trying to yet again smear the PM by associating her name with the Kathy Jackson spade. That mob are slimes in the extreme....utterly disgraceful. It was good to see Abbott shoot himself in the foot again ..."the phone call" by the PM's office to FWA didn't come "weeks before it was made public" .....it was made on the day the PM's office found out about it after the SMH had published it. And how was this confirmed....from the records of an Abbott question in QT....... he knew, or ought have known the true facts (a minor consideration).....they were in his possession. I do think he knew, but a good smear is always a good smear. They are below contempt. Without prejudice, give me incompetence any day rather than complete untrustworthiness and total lack of ethics. A final note...it was great to hear Arthur Sinodinis on Lateline last night expressly stating "our economy is in pretty good shape". Hope that when he replaces H Coonan that he retains this view. He has always impressed me as being a reasonable and reasoning political enemy, despite being nominally Howard's chief advisor (but in subordination to Mrs Howard of course, so he can't be blamed for all of Howard's faulty choices)......maybe he can give the moderates a backbone so thay will turf Abbott?????

NormanK

27/08/2011D Mick Weir Not to labour the point I was referring to my three observations in conjunction. To answer one of your questions. [quote]More importantly would have the reaction been any different?[/quote] (if you had used the shorter except) Almost certainly - yes. psyclaw From the link I posted @4.56 PM you will find that there is a distinct possibility that COS Hubbard instigated a phone call to Industrial Registrar Williams separate from Williams contacting Hubbard. The exact timing is under question but that tiny bit of information allows Abbott to continue on his merry way. [quote]Mr Williams was quoted as saying: ''I recall receiving a phone call [from Mr Hubbard] in early 2009 concerning inquiries that I had initiated into the Health Services Union.''[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/national/thomson-records-missing-20110826-1jem5.html I can't believe I'm defending Tony Abbott but there you go. Postscript: I've just reread yor comment because TPS was down for a while - is there more information detailing the timeline?

psyclaw

28/08/2011 Hi NormanK The article you quote is quite confusing/confused???? See this quote, a couple of paragraphs above yours: "Opposition Leader Tony Abbott jumped on the report. But the government produced evidence that the Industrial Registrar had contacted Mr Hubbard only after the allegations about Mr Thomson were made public, on April 8, 2009." There is no allegation that the Registrar contacted Hubbard at the PM's office. It is the reverse. On Thursday night (I think) the ABC stated quite clearly (7.30 or Lateline.....I saw it but can't recall what show)that Hubbard first contacted the Registrar to check if the SMH article was factual ie after the matter was public knowledge. The ABC also showed on screen the prepared, typed question that Abbott asked in QT at the time, which stated the timeline I have given. Don't know who leaked it to the ABC Cheers.

Casablanca

28/08/2011[quote]The Australian Multicultural Council was officially launched by the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, on Monday, 22 August 2011 at Parliament House in Canberra.[/quote] Hands up those who had not read, seen or heard anything about this new body in the media! The SMH has an item today by Jessica Wright, 'Gillard backs NRL star as racial adviser'. I guess that the story only got a guernsey because it involves 'RUGBY LEAGUE'S ''favourite son'', Hazem El-Masri...' Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/gillard-backs-nrl-star-as-racial-adviser-20110827-1jfd5.html#ixzz1WF95RLKz [quote]As part of Australia's new multicultural policy, the Prime Minister has announced the Australian Multicultural Council will appoint 40 People of Australia Ambassadors. Ambassadors will champion inclusion and provide 'grass roots' input to the Australian Multicultural Council and to Government. Ambassadors will be appointed for a 12 month period and have key roles in annual community events and celebrations for Harmony Day on 21 March.[/quote] Nominations can be made at http://amc.gov.au. The new body will be chaired by Judge Rauf Soulio (Chair) (SA) Judge of the District Court of South Australia

Feral Skeleton

28/08/2011Casablanca, 'Decision and Delivery'. Getting on with the job, while the Circus Clowns in the Opposition go on their never-ending, round and round the country tour, with stops in parliament when it is sitting to carry on like a bunch of over-excited baboons.

Feral Skeleton

28/08/2011Every time Tony Abbott walks into Parliament House, near the doors, someone should start up a recording of the Big Tent Clown Music, "La da da de da de da da da!", on one of those cheesy-sounding pipe organs. :D

Feral Skeleton

28/08/2011psyclaw, So what you're saying is that both Hubbard and the Registrar contacted each other AFTER the issue had become public knowledge in the smh? NOT, as Abbott has been screeching about, BEFORE the matter was put into the public arena? Ergo, no case can be made that the Deputy PM, or her office, was trying to surreptitiously influence the Fair Work Australia Registrar, out of sight and out of mind of the general public? Also, as far as the information wrt the content of the phone calls goes, it certainly seems like no more or less than a 'Courtesy Call' between the two men to me. Whereupon, one of them, the one that Tony Abbott continues to witter on about, followed protocol to the letter and informed the Registrar that it would not be Right and Proper to discuss the matter with him. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And this is in stark contrast to George Brandis, who has broken with protocol, and called, not only the NSW Liberal Attorney General, but the NSW Liberal Police Minister. Purely out of 'Courtesy' we are led by the nose to believe.

Feral Skeleton

28/08/2011Huzzah! Finally back online. Someone has to do something about the constant interruptions to the TPS feed. People eventually give up on something that cannot be relied upon.

Jason

28/08/2011THE way Tony Windsor recalls it, Tony Abbott begged crossbench MPs to make him prime minister, joking that ''the only thing I wouldn't do is sell my arse - but I'd have to give serious thought to it''. http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-failed-to-sway-with-a-bum-rap-20110827-1jfs5.html

Feral Skeleton

28/08/2011psyclaw, Any chance the Abbott question was leaked by a Shadow Frontbencher, who would have had the questions pre-QT? Could that Shadow Frontbencher, with the Field Marshall's baton still tucked away in his knapsack, be one with the intials 'MT"? :)

2353

28/08/2011Instead of the usual trash that is claimed to be current affairs on TV on a Sunday morning - the Brisbane Times seemed to be a better bet. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/the-day-abbott-bared-his-soul-20110827-1jfgv.html http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/wilkies-got-no-regrets-about-labor-20110828-1jg5v.html. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/carbon-tax-will-pass-swan-20110828-1jg5p.html Where there is light - there is hope.

Ad astra reply

28/08/2011FS I am aware of the interruptions. We are attempting to rectify them. This blog engine is a freebie, is not perfect, and periodically and unpredictably throws errors. I can only counsel patience. If you have any data on how long these recent 'Oops' interruptions last, please email me. You may have noticed that a previous error 'Can't decode raw data' has been corrected as far as we can tell - I haven't seen it since the code was changed a couple of seeks ago. We hope we can fix this one.

Jason

28/08/201128 August 2011The next federal Coalition government In what is basically a job application for the Senate vacancy created by Helen Coonan, Arthur Sinodinos engages in a lot of blue-sky thinking about what the next Liberal government should look like. Any other newbie backbencher who tried this would get chewed out by Loser Loughnane, or by one of the timid and vacuous little bunnies who report to him or his wife http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/08/next-federal-coalition-government.html

NormanK

28/08/2011Acerbic Conehead Thanks for another dose of good medicine. We need this on a regular basis to keep our feet grounded. Keep up the great work.

NormanK

28/08/2011A bit more whimsical fare for our weekend delectation. [b]Pelicans follow fishers of men[/b] by Ian Warden [quote]His Holiness[/quote] (the Pope)[quote], obviously speaking directly to Catholic Tony Abbott, criticised ''pick and choose'' Catholics who pick and choose which parts of Jesus' example to follow and which ones to ignore. How Mr Abbott's distinctively-shaped ears must have burned as his spiritual leader said this, given that Mr Abbott's let-thy-neighbour-rot-in-detentio n-centres-on-Nauru approach to humankind contrasts with Jesus' famous love-thy-neighbour teachings.[/quote] And from the same author, an echo of recent exchanges with Patricia WA: [quote]But one of the barbarous Melbourne-based commercial networks ''rolled out'' to the hamlet is at least resisting the almost universal commercial television trend to have the news read by young Barbie and Ken dolls. This network is employing news readers gnawed by time ..... Perhaps the network, feels, sensibly, that the news has more authority when it's read by a wise old grown up instead of being giggled by some pert, pneumatic Barbie. [/quote]

Ad astra reply

28/08/2011Folks Did you notice how much more even-handed [i]Insiders[/i] was this morning with its three balanced panellists – Misha Schubert, George Megalogenis and Gerard Henderson? No ranting, no hyperbole, just sensible discourse. Although I wondered why so much time was spent on the details of union rules and obligations and credit card use; more than enough time was given to the Craig Thomson matter in the introductory collage. The tabloid nature of [i]Insiders[/i] was again exposed today. If it had not been for the Wilkie interview, we would have heard almost nothing about Government policy and the legislative plans it has for this nation, plans that will affect all of us. Yet we heard that 185 pieces of legislation had been passed already in this term. I wonder how many of these could be named from memory, even amongst those of us absorbed with politics?

Gravel

28/08/2011Watched Insiders this morning. Quite bearable. Thanks Jason for putting up who was on the panel. Wilkie confuses me. He says he has support for the Pokies thing. But, if the Government doesn't get it passed into law by May next year then he won't support the Government. Apparently it won't matter if the opposition do their usual no, no, no, and some of the Independents don't support it, he will not support the Government if it doesn't go through. Help, can someone clear it up for me please.

lyn

28/08/2011Hi Ad Yes the Insiders was not quite as bad this morning, but still bad. Gerard Henderson comparing, Craig Thomson scandel to the AWB was a comical statement, but then that's Gerard I suppose, he doesn't look humerous. I didn't like the way Barrie Cassidy said, "Well now let's get back to Craig Thomson. Barrie doesn't have much regard or no consideration to the HSU rules. They also talk about the media like they are not the Media. [quote]Although I wondered why so much time was spent on the details of union rules and obligations and credit card use[/quote] I agree Ad, I told the TV it was none of their business. Cheers:):):):)

nasking

28/08/2011Aa, George Megalogenis said something that stuck in my mind...and my wife also noticed it. Something to do w/ the obsession in newsrooms w/ Thomson. "Did they get him?" not referring to Gadafhi...but Thomson. George Megalogenis works for News Ltd...so he was obviously referring to the News Ltd newsrooms. Says something about News Ltd when they are more interested in pulling down an ALP-led government that getting a war criminal like Gadafhi. There is no comparison between the grotesque crimes of the former Libyan leader, over 4 decades & Thomson's alleged crimes. News Ltd are a bullying crazy organisation. Lately they come across like union-bashing, left hating, big business supporting, free trade, semi-libertarian, extreme zionists...w/ a Chritian bent. It's weird stuff that reminds me of the Neo-Cons under Bush & Fox News. Dangerous. What a mess they made of America...and they have weakened Israel too. Michael Stutchbury on SKY this morning sat perched like a gargoyle staring intently at The Greens Lee Rhiannon...you could tell he wasn't interested in hearing her out...he nudged fellow panelist Paul Kelly as she was talking, nodding in the direction of the GOTYA questions he was preparing to ambush her with...which later turned out to be more stuff related to "socialism & communism". He's an obvious character assassin who barely blinks in his contempt for Greens. Kelly farted on like some rheumy-eyed, archaic Crusader concerned about boycotts of Israeli businesses. Be interesting to know how he feels about boycotting Arab regime businesses. Rhiannon stood up to the all news ltd boys panel well...informing them that News Ltd was basically out of touch w/ the public on this issue. Frankly, I reckon boycotts don't generally work unless you focus on one or two key businesses that are doin' the wrong thing...and use key social media sites, petitions etc. to get yer point across. Why bother hurting Israeli workers who may not be involved in anti-democratic, anti-Arab funding etc. I do find it odd however that the Murdoch empire is so obsessed w/ the Israel issue...and oft comes across like some crazed Zionists...or pushes hard for the Christian evangelicals who get all loopy over Jerusalem (Fox News for instance). Not sure of the ideological backround of this site...but it does demonstrate in a list of articles the attacks on The Greens & the Oz's pro-Israel fervour: http://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2011/04/australian-goes-on-warpath.html I'm one who supports the existence of Israel and hopes for a two-state solution...and would luv to see religious zealotry take a far back seat in the Levant...so people can get on w/ their lives in a democratic way w/out kooks blowin' sh*t up left, right & centre because of religion & revenge, age old bigoted differences & myths cooked up to control people. Sad to see all that rubbish, OCD fear-mongering come to Australia...I notice it on Q&A sometimes too. Keep it over there...keep this great country free of it. I'm not interested in a Christian/Jewish vs Muslims conflict here. It's hurt enuff people over the years. If Israel & Arab/Persian states have useful trade & businesses to offer...and good safe holidays...I'm all for it. They can keep their battles over there tho. And if they want to be democracies...then be real functioning democracies. Enuff fakery. N'

Casablanca

28/08/2011IS THE MSM STARTING TO ENGAGE IN A BIT OF SOUL-SEARCHING? Abbott's whole tactic [b][quote]has been predicated on an assumption (cynical but sadly correct) that the media would focus on the spot-fires of national debate burning at the government's feet, rarely asking who lit or fuelled them, before moving on to the next gotcha grab.[/quote] [/b] So said Paul Daley, 'He who lives by the sword' Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/he-who-lives-by-the-sword-20110827-1jfa0.html#ixzz1WI2w6bKN Things are changing....

Patricia WA

28/08/2011You've said it for me lyn. I'm glad I saw yours before I made my own comment that for all there was [quote]No ranting, no hyperbole, just sensible discourse. [/quote] as Ad Astra said, I thought it was still very biassed. Even George Megalogenis gave no credit to the government after this year of considerable legislative achievement and good economic performance. At one stage he even described it as a 'bad' government! As well, he seemed to agree with Cassidy's broad statement that 'all these unemployment figures' were somehow the government'f fault. With all the focus on the Craig Thomson issue, (for god's they were even echoing the Oppositions presumption of guilt!), there was the usual unhealthy media pre-occupation with sleaze. How many times did I hear the phrase 'local knocking shop' and reinforcement of the idea that this was diverting the government from getting on with effective government? True, there was general agreement that it was time for Abbott to let up on the issue, however 'successful' the strategy had been. So why waste so much time on it themselves? This is the anniversary of the government's establishment. Why were they not reviewing the over-all performance of the parliament? What about the huge contradiction between the reported picture of a government in crisis and the reality of its achievements? After all, other 'insiders' in the press gallery have been doing just that in the print media this weekend. Isn't that the sort of analyis of reporting on the national political scene this program claims as its brief? At the very least they might have given more serious weight in their discussions to the interview with their guest, Andrew Wilkie, who I thought gave a balanced exposition of how the past year had played out. His interview confirmed Misha Schubert's report for Fairfax papers on how the independents viewed the government's performance. Gravel, watch that interview again. He came across to me, as a pretty level headed and straight guy. I also think he's right about the gambling issue. He will get it through, but in the face of huge opposition not from the electorate at large, but from vested interests in the clubs from which the ALP gets so much financial support. He was pretty clear eyed about that and its implications for Julia Gillard. I don't think he sees the political game as about himself, as someone suggested. He sees it as about good government in the best interests of the people. I was impressed with his appreciation that there are many points of view on that, and that people could disagree with him without rancour from him.

Casablanca

28/08/2011AA, You asked 'If you have any data on how long these recent 'Oops' interruptions last, please email me.' I've never put the stopwatch on these interruptions but I generally give up after about 15 minutes and come back later. I have certainly encountered these 'Oops' interruptions at greater frequency over the last while. You also remind us that this blog engine is a freebie, is not perfect, and periodically and unpredictably throws errors. I have often wondered if the TPS community would be prepared to make a financial contribution to obtain a more versatile blog engine. I have no idea whether this would be a one off cost or a recurring one but I think that it is an idea worth considering. To coin a phrase, What do you think?

Gravel

28/08/2011Lyn Thank you heaps for that link to Jay Rosin and Grog, it was very interesting, if you were a journalist, there would be many good points you take note of. Actually a lot of the points are the same as The Failed Estate writer makes. Oh the despair. To think I held journalist in high esteem once upon a time.

lyn

28/08/2011Hi Gravel Thankyou for your compliment. Wouldn't everything be better if the Journalists did do their job properly. Least we are lucky to have TPS to share any knowledge or any news we hear, we are fortunate indeed. Thankyou to Ad Astra Don't worry, it's a very long shot if Wilkie thinks, Abbott can do a vote of No Confidence on the Pocker machines. If Abbott does, he then has to go to The Governer General and say" this Government can't govern, so you will have to make me Tony Abbott the Prime Minister, they won't ban Poker Machines. Pleeeeeease No Gravel don't worry won't happen. [i]Wilkie's got no regrets about Labor [/i]The Age [quote]He said while the media seemed preoccupied with questions of leadership, he thought Prime Minister Julia Gillard was "doing a pretty good job".[/quote] If it came to it, he would side with the opposition on a motion of no confidence in the government over a failure to legislate mandatory pre-commitments for poker machines. [quote]"If I was in Tony (Abbott)'s shoes, I'd move quickly to a no confidence motion in the government over poker machine reform knowing that Wilkie would have to support it, and I would," he said[/quote]. http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/wilkies-got-no-regrets-about-labor-20110828-1jg5v.html? Cheers :):):)

Ad astra reply

28/08/2011Folks Thank you for your comments about [i]Insiders[/i]. Everything is comparative. Compared with most editions, in my view this one was better, but not of course perfect in our eyes. Compare it with editions that featured luminaries like Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman and Niki Savva! You comment Patricia WA about George Mega, for whom I have a high regard. I was astonished to hear him say that apart from education he couldn’t fathom what Julia Gillard stood for. Where was he when she talked endlessly about work and the dignity it afforded, and the opportunity that everyone who can work should have for the right training to equip them for the right job? Where was he when she talked about the recent job losses and the steps she proposed to counter their effects? Where was he when she announced the health reforms (achieved against Liberal Premiers’ resistance), the mental health initiative, and the disability support arrangements? Where was he when she talked about the new asylum seeker arrangements? (Whether he agrees with them or not, they were there as something she ‘stood for’.) Where was he when she pushed through the Fair Work Australia legislation, or renegotiated the MRRT? Where has he been that he still can’t nut out what PM Gillard stands for? It’s disappointing that George still mouths what I imagine is coffee room chat at News Limited where its journos mutually reinforce their biases, groupthink fashion. George is better than that. Nasking refers to the News Limited newsroom obsession with the Thomson affair, which is why we see it dished up in multiple guises. This behaviour is entirely consistent with contemporary media behaviour, about which I’m writing a piece for this coming week. More of that later. After reading your account of SKY this morning, I’m glad I can’t get it. Because [i]Insiders[/i] is now tabloid in its approach, I was not surprised Lyn, although disappointed, that Barrie Cassidy kept returning to the Thomson affair, but I was pleased to hear that both sides might be moving towards rapprochement on this issue, and it was of some comfort that the feelings of the individual concerned might be about to be considered. Gravel, I too find Andrew Wilkie confusing on the pokie issue when he says that even although the Government supports his legislation, if it can’t get it through, he will withdraw his support. Will he then give it to Abbott and give him prime ministership? Maybe this is brinkmanship in play. But it was reassuring to hear his support for the Government and his view the PM Gillard is ‘doing a pretty good job’. It seems that those who negotiated with her from the cross benches see her as honest and reliable. The Paul Daley article is interesting Casablanca as Paul is not inclined towards Labor. But he can see that the Coalition’s front man is not prime ministerial material, and can see through the machinations in which he is engaged. The David Rowe cartoon was so apt. Thanks Casablanca for the feedback on the ‘Oops’ error and for your suggestion. It’s not so much a matter of money as finding the pesky code that throws the error, if that indeed is the problem. It may be due to cyber attacks on the server, which is housed with many others in a Melbourne suburb.

D Mick Weir

28/08/2011Ad, one time the error seems to consistently occur is when you (web monkey) are putting up a new post. More often than not when you post your comment that you have posted a new piece I will get the oops error for about say 15 minutes prior to that Hope that gives a clue

D Mick Weir

28/08/2011And on a bit of further thinking on the oops occurences Often there is an outage around the time you note that Lyn's Links have been posted to her page. Not restricted to but coincident I often find that when I reconnect after an opps yours will be the first 'new' comment.

TalkTurkey

28/08/2011Sunday morning going down. On Lopsiders . . . Misha Shubert [i]Sunday Aged[/i] George Megalogenis [i]UnAustralian[/i] Barrie Crassidy [i]'Our' ABC [/i] Gerard Henderson [i]Something Extreme Right I forget[/i] Crassidy's Lopsiders nearly as lopsided as ever, just a bit less interruptive than when Pigs Ackerman or Bumbolt are there. No grunt to the discussion. No big picture. Not much but mush. Not much humour. Not much of anything really on Our ABC's "flagship political program" . . . Oh-so-sincere-and-moral-and-intellectual (o yeah) Henderson is enough to curl your lip with his absolutely reliable one-sided support for the Coalons. [i]"A culture of violence in the Union movement."[/i] Henderson. After the Government shut down QT because Abbortt suspended Standing Orders after one question " . . . and it looked as though Julia Gillard didn't want to be held to account, I think it was a miscalculation on her part." Shubert "We're not having good Government now." Megalogenis. I don't know what the rest of you think of Megalogenis. If he's Left I'm from a distant galaxy. A lot of people seem to think he's a Friend. Dog save us all from feeble friends and pale people. I'd rather a committed enemy than a gutless ally. I go back yet again to The Lass from Yarralumla, published on the Sword on 12/10/10 :- [i]So Our Ranga Lass was targeted by jibes and sexist jokes: Her Titian locks were tweaked, her finely-chiselled nose took pokes From those of the moral wee-ness of a teensy flaccid penis – And unkindest cut of all came from that wimp-out by Megalogenis![/i] I don't want and do not hope for anyone on the Left who would be a match for the sort of one-eyed over-the-top support the Right gets from Anal Jones, but it would be nice to have a few who could be relied on to take the Government's part vehemently, to call Abbortt for what he is (although words have failed us to say just what that is anyway, along with his scum mates and spitlickers.) *J*U*L*I*A* herself is the gutsiest so far: [i]"Stinking hypocrisy!"[/i] :) [i]WHY WON'T ANYONE IN THE MSM GET STUCK IN?[/i] [b][u]NOT[/u][/b] ONE! In the whole of Australia, not one MSM journo who really gets stuck in! I can't believe it! [Best though is still Laura Tingle. (K)] Not for example anywhere in the same street as our Ad astra - and yet Ad himself is never even immoderate in what he says, just purely rational and measured even when summing up Abbortt - though of course some things are beyond measure [or wtte as *J*u*l*i*a* said. Why not? Couldn't even one get a job? Would Laura get the doora if she said a whole lot more-a? "We're not having good Government now." ([i]verbatim[/i], I think!) George? What would you like them to do for you now? You seem pretty sleek to me. You remind me of the saddest cyniclest songline parody I ever heard : - [i]The working-class Can kiss my arse I've got a Boss's job at last![/i] So far I think Laurie Oakes whom I mostly abhor has been the only one to give Abbortt any real stick at all. [i]How can this be?[/i] Come on someone. Say it like it is. The Opposition is a mob of yobs. The Government is wise and effective. Simple as that.

Patricia WA

28/08/2011http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-failed-to-sway-with-a-bum-rap-20110827-1jfs5.html I wish I had known this when I wrote about all the bargaining over forming the new government a year ago. [b]Canberra Quadrille![/b] “Can’t you work a whole lot faster?” said Mr. Rabbit to poor Robb. “I’ve got Wilkie waiting outside. Find a billion for his mob! Independents too are watching, please make sure they get the same. No dance this. Nor the pokies. There are high stakes in this card game. Wilkie, will you? Wilkie won’t you? Come on play the game! You’re reneging, Wilkie? That’s not how to play the game!” Now he’s talking to Rob Oakeshott, making sure he clearly sees The rule of play to tow back boats is not cruel to refugees. Then he hears the cry, “Too harsh. Too harsh! This is a national shame! No thank you, Mr. Rabbit, but I cannot join your game. Could not, should not…..almost surely I won’t play that game. Should not, might not…. pretty certain I can’t play that game.” Now mad Bob Katter’s wish list puts Queensland on the map! Mr. Rabbit nods, “Great! Thinks, like me, that climate change is crap! “ But mate, Kev, advises Bob he’ll win more playing with that dame. So he hasn’t made a contract and he’s yet to join the game. Says he should not, might not, may not join the other game. Though he might not, but he still could, join the other game. Cards are on the table now. One man yet to show his hand. Windsor, honest and much respected throughout Downunderland. High repute, Mr. Rabbit thinks, enhanced by that royal name. Oakshott, could not? Katter may not? Windsor’s surely game! No deal yet done. No play yet won. Still, he makes his claim. Could nots, should nots, would nots, to him they are all the same. Mr. Rabbit can not, will not, does not, accept – that no one really wants to play his game. I was fascinated, as we all were, by the negotiations going on behind the scenes between the Independents and Tony Abbott on the one hand and Julia Gillard on the other. The title just fell on the page since the Quadrille is an old courtly dance, still enjoyed in Canberra at the annual Colonial Ball. As well, of course Quadrille is a card game of extreme complexity, also known as [i]Médiateur[/i] at which women, particularly excel! In the light of another more general article by Misha Schubert, http://www.theage.com.au/national/one-year-on-no-regrets-for-the-independent-six-20110827-1jfrt.html, about any regrets those Independents might have about their part in the Canberra Quadrille I think a re-write, or maybe an extra verse or two is required.

Patricia WA

28/08/2011PS Please forgive my failure to ascribe the original inspiration of that to Lewis Carroll and his Lobster Quadrille, whose format I used. Downunderland is my favorite metaphor for the the craziness of the political scene here in Australia which far surpasses anything which Alice experienced in Wonderland with Mr. Rabbit and the Red Queen.

Patricia WA

28/08/2011[b]Here! Here![/b] Talk Turkey, and [b]Bloody Here! Here![/b] too!

Patricia WA

28/08/2011[b]Hear! Hear![/b] I say again! [b]Hear! Hear![/b]

Casablanca

28/08/2011Patricia WA, you're on fire. Go girl! Thanks for all the pomes, I'm in awe of your abilities.

lyn

28/08/2011 Hi Ad These links are for anyone who may have missed out this morning: [i]ABC: This week on Insiders[/i] http://australianpoliticstv.org/2011/08/28/abc-this-week-on-insiders/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_ [i]Meet the Press:[/i] http://australianpoliticstv.org/2011/08/28/meet-the-press-8/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_ Cheers:):):)

Feral Skeleton

28/08/2011PatriciaWA, I second that emotion! Your work is every bit as good as Banjo Patterson's or Henry Lawson's. :) You rock n roll girl!

NormanK

28/08/2011What a bunch of low-life creeps. I was prepared to take at face-value Coalition members expressing concern about Craig Thomson's emotional well-being and offering (somewhat hypocritically) to organise counselling should he request it. Now it seems the Font of all Compassion Barnaby Joyce has said today - "We don't want Craig to hurt himself". Subtext - Thomson is suicidal. Why is he suicidal - because he feels so guilty. What a bunch of low-lifes. That is just despicable.

Feral Skeleton

28/08/2011NormanK, There is also the allusion to that other Labor MP who did try to 'hurt himself', Nick Sherry. So, just another despicable slur from the Coalition 'Hardheads'. There is no low too low for them to stoop to, and the pity is they are taking a majority of the country down with them. I mean, I've been hearing horrible stories lately about wheelchair-bound paraplegics being bashed and the like. Now, I know 'shit happens' all the time and it is a bit of a long bow to draw to link that action directly to the coarsening of Australia which has been facilitated by the likes of John Howard, Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, et al, but let me just say that I don't think you could ascribe the blame for this sort of behaviour to the mealy-mouthed girly-men that make up the majority of Labor's hard-hitters. I mean, frankly, a dirty shovel is nothing compared to inciting insurrection, or the low blows delivered over time to the likes of Pauline Hanson, Nick Sherry, Kevin Rudd, and now, Craig Thomson, by the Coalition. Lower than a snake's belly sums them up just nicely for me.

Feral Skeleton

28/08/2011I just can't understand why Craig Thomson isn't being allowed to release the evidence to support his case that he wasn't even in the same State when the alleged offences with his Credit Card occurred?

NormanK

28/08/2011Feral Skeleton I guess it's just a question of what pushes my buttons. I can happily attest that this level of fake compassion masking a deliberately slimy intent does it for me. I guess it's encouraging that I can be outraged by new depths of immoral behaviour - I'm not dead yet or even 'comfortably numb'.

lyn

28/08/2011Hi Norman k Exactly my thoughts. I watched Barnaby Joyce on ABC24 today doing something resembling an address to someone, I heard him call Steve Fielding a lunatic. That's nice didn't Fielding back the Coalition, anyway pathetic talk on national TV. I heard on 10 news Barnaby saying, "we don't want Craig Thomson to hurt himself" . I thought what!! I heard you run Craig Thomson into the ground at a door stop last week. What's he saying Craig Thomson is going to commit suicide, or is he wishing . They truly are disgraceful, disgusting. [i]Joyce slams independent MPs, Sky News Updated: 16:24, Sunday August 28, 2011[/i] [quote]The National Party's Senate leader Barnaby Joyce has taken a swipe at rural independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, arguing they no longer speak on behalf of regional Australia. [quote]Senator Joyce addressed the party's federal council in Canberra on Sunday, telling those gathered that the independents - both of whom had been aligned with the Nationals - had put their own interests [/quote]ahead of their constituents.[/quote] http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=655235&vId=

Jason

28/08/2011Normank, When things go wrong! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Wilton

Ad astra reply

28/08/2011Folks What a brilliant set of contributors we have on [i]TPS[/i]! Hi Lyn Thank you for your links. You might be on a weekend break, but you are still there. Thank you TT and Patricia WA for your comments and your splendid contributions. D Mick Weir Thank you for your feedback on the error message. I shall pass this onto Web Monkey.

NormanK

28/08/2011This might be a low blow but I didn't put those words in Barnaby Joyce's mouth. The following is Mr Abbott speaking to a motion of condolence over the death of Greg Wilton (linked to above by Jason). It seems that some lessons don't last a lifetime. [quote]Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Minister for Employment Services) (2.55 p.m.)—The ter- rible tragedy which has befallen our late friend and colleague—the horror and mystery which we can hardly begin to comprehend— should force us to take stock of ourselves and our institution, as the Chief Opposition Whip and the Chief Government Whip have just suggested. It seems to me that, like so many, Greg Wilton came with high hopes to what he regarded as the greatest institution in the nation for helping people and the greatest forum in the nation for debating big issues, and yet, as his mother and sister said in his death notice, he died of a broken heart. The sad truth seems to be that this parliament, and politics generally, did not live up to his ex- pectations as a place to build a better world. In this sense we have probably all badly let him down. As many have said, he was a regular at the gym. It was pretty clear from the staccato conversations that you have between the chin-ups and the push-ups that [b]he deeply la- mented the mindless point scoring which so often passes for debate in here, and he deeply lamented the fact that so often what we were dealing with seemed essentially trivial.[/b] He hated the character assassination which sadly is so much a part of the public discourse and the private conversation here and for which all of us bear a heavy responsibility. Of course, there are explanations for these things. A country which does not need to worry about comparatively big things will tend to worry, sometimes obsessively, about comparatively small things. People will al- ways fight over who should exercise power, even such circumscribed power as we exer- cise in this place. But, Mr Speaker, at the heart of his lament I think there is a very valid point. [b]Even when our opponents are doing their worst by our lights, by their own lights they are still doing their best.[/b] We often complain about the low public standing of politicians, but other people take us at our own estimation, and we are always running each other down. Of course, there is a place for judgment, and sometimes there is a place for furious denunciation, but [b]I think Australia would be better off without the feral quality which so often contaminates our public lives.[/b] Greg Wilton, like all of us, wanted to make a difference. Following on from the words of the Chief Opposition Whip and the Chief Government Whip, if in this place, from this time, those of us who knew him could try harder to give credit where it is due, I suspect that he might end up making the kind of mark he sought. We did not reach out to him enough in his life. None of us reaches out enough to any of our colleagues, and we should not wait until they have gone to ap- preciate them. Obviously Greg Wilton was not gentle on himself, and I think [b]the best thing we could do would be to rededicate ourselves to being kinder and gentler to each other.[/b][/quote] Page 17573 http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/dailys/dr190600.pdf

psyclaw

28/08/2011FS Yes, the ABC interview I referred to said that the contact from JG's office to FWA was on the day the SMH report was published to check if the SMH article was true. I have no knowledge of FWA ever having phoned JG's office. I'm not sure if anyone here posted a link to the Coorey piece yesterday. It shows what a complicated circus the HSU has been for a decade and remains so. I had privately researched this fact and can say that Coorey understated it....possibly due to word limits. Of great concern I think is the fact that K Jackson's squeeze Michael Lawler is a FWA staff member. His role vis a vis the Thompson matter needs to be clarified to avoid a perceived conflict of interest. Unremarkably I have not seen one MSM reference to this fact. Perhaps he is a janitor or some such position which is not involved with decision making!?!

Jason

28/08/2011Fresh from http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/say-no-to-tony-abbott-week/ Okay! Its officially unofficial! ‘Say “NO” to Tony Abbott week is unofficially official! It will need you good readers to get it to viral status in the social media so here is the FACEBOOK page link. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Say-No-to-Tony-Abbott-week-Sept-11-Sept-17-2011/148722258548065

Michael

28/08/2011Shouldabeen, hand on heart, claims "I don't speak like that" in regards to Tony Windsor saying he spoke of selling his arse. I distinctly recall a TV interview with him a few years ago when he said that when he and his best friend were studying at his seminary they were "the only two not f**cked by the priests". The asterisks were most definitely not silent, or beeped out, either.

Ad astra reply

28/08/2011NormanK If only Tony Abbott and his confreres would read his condolence motion again. It is moving and so relevant to the current drama. Jason Thanks for the link to Ash’s ‘Say NO to Tony Abbott’ campaign. I hope it goes famously. Folks I’m calling it a day after finishing [i]The lost art of political communication[/i] which I will post tomorrow morning.

Michael

28/08/2011This is the interview I recall: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/the-leaders/the-charm-and-disarm-offensive-20100806-11oif.html and this is the quote from it, with dashes instead of asterisks: When many years later Abbott and Quarmby met Noel Pearson on business, Abbott jokingly said, according to Quarmby: "Peter and I were the only seminarians who didn't get f---ed." The quote is attributed to Tiny, but has not been denied. Anyway, we know what a mouth Shouldabeen has on him. Tiny's on record as saying "Shit happens". How far is "sell my arse" from that? Not even the width of a perineum.

lyn

28/08/2011 Hi Michael I have been enjoying your Bad Abbott posts very much thankyou. Here is a couple of tweets, Bad Abbott doesn't seem very popular, so the polls must be sus. [quote]Abbott: "That’s bullshit. You’re being deliberately unpleasant. I suppose you can’t help yourself, can you."[/quote] abbott-roxon-swearing GrogsGamutGreg Jericho Anyone think the guy who said "shit happens" on TV wouldn't say "my arse" in private? http://bit.ly/pz9fRo benpobjieBen Pobjie Why is Thomson not allowed to hire prostitutes but Abbott can sell his arse? #Insiders #doublestandards Cheers:):):):):)

Patricia WA

28/08/2011Come on, Michael! [quote]That's bullshit![/quote] Ask Nicola Roxon. She'll tell you what a gentleman, Tony Abbott is. Always on time and never uses bad language to a lady!

jane

28/08/2011AC 2 @5.30am 27 August, I couldn't agree more about the state of the media in this country. And that's why we <strong>must</strong> have an enquiry into media ownership in this country, considering 70% is owned by arguably the most toxic, dishonest, unprincipled and downright evil family in publishing history. The behaviour of Murdoch employees in Britain confirms that opinion and it is disingenuous of Murdoch employees in this country to claim that the same egregious behaviour is not common practice here. I felt compelled to add a comment to Norman Abjoensen's article criticising the absence of any discussion of the role of the media in portraying the government as incompetent, wasteful and deceitful despite all the evidence to the contrary. And the unquestioning acceptance of Abbott's lies, distortions and talking points. Ad Astra I agree. We are getting sucked into the negativity projected by the Party of Liars. However, I prefer to think that they are the ones who are suffering from Abbott's toxic and repellent behaviour. They have had zero affect on the government's legislative program and I have noticed recently that there has been a slight alteration in the media's attitude to the government and Abbott. He has been called a few times on his lies and his reaction is telling-the blank stare, head nodding and silence. And there have been some more positive reports on the government. I hope that the trend continues and that we'll see honesty in political reporting in this country. It's not a hard thing to do. Feral Skeleton, I agree that the Labor party has to get more Keating and do the Smuggles Set slowly and thoroughly. They have to crank up the dirt research and start flinging thick, sticky mud as fast and as far as possible. Their motto must become-No Mercy! When you go to the National Conference will you put in another long, loud cheer for our PM from me, FS? She is doing a great job under very difficult circumstances. Patricia WA, Greg Combet strikes me as a very able politician and I have seen him shred the opposition a few times. I happened to catch some of the interview with Peter Beattie and Arthur Sinodinos the other night. Beattie was fulsome in his praise for the PM. He said she was very upbeat and not at all worried about the nutbags (my interpretation). <blockquote>Truth be known, only the Coalition and lazy/compliant media call it a "carbon tax", and in both cases it is because of bone ignorance and disinclination to inspect, let alone reduce, said ignorance.</blockquote> I disagree, Michael. It is a very deliberate strategy by both the media and the Smuggles Set to reinforce the meme of "The Lie". CJM, I think dial up speed is too generous an estimation of Truss' IQ. Jason, spot on. Is this clown too stupid to know that regional sons and daughters would be quite happy to enjoy well paid employment in regional centres. <blockquote>Lately they come across like union-bashing, left hating, big business supporting, free trade, semi-libertarian, extreme zionists...w/ a Chritian bent.</blockquote> Because that's what they are.

D Mick Weir

29/08/2011[b]An Apology[/b] Yesterday @ 5:11 PM I wrote [i]... that News Ltd. controls 70% or thereabouts of the print media ...[/i] This is innaccurate. I apologise for making this misleading statement. I would have been closer to accuracy if I had written: [i]News Ltd. owns (or controls) about 70% of metropolitan newspapers in Australia.[/i] I haven't taken the time to do a totally accurate count of all newspapers and accurately determine ownership of all suburban 'throwaways' but I gather that between News and Fairfax they own most of these mastheads. Wikipedia reference sources; [b]Media Ownership in Australia[/b] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_ownership_in_Australia [b]Media of Australia[/b] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_of_Australia [b]List of newspapers in Australia[/b] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_Australia [b]News Corporation[/b] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_Corporation

Patricia WA

29/08/2011Many thanks to Lyn for help with hyperlinks, and to FS and Casablanca for the encouraging comments. I stayed up to do that last verse and to elaborate on why I think Julia Gillard is the greatest Quadrille player in Oz! I'm sure she'd be a great dancing partner too. Does anyone know if she likes to dance? http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/canberra-quadrille-retrospective/

lyn

29/08/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]Canberra Quadrille Retrospective, Patriciawa, Polliepomes[/i] Julia Gillard proved herself a very skillful mediator/negotiator and was able to win over and retain the loyaltyof four of those Independents http://polliepomes.wordpress.com [i]Note: Andrew Elder’s name for Tony Abbott, The Situation The next Federal Coalition Government,[/i] You can only reap dissatisfaction with the incumbents if you can persuade punters people that you'd do a better job: the Coalition can't make that case, and they won't be able to blame the media for turning against them either http://andrewelder.blogspot.com [i]Forget the fantasy politics. Advertising is no substitute for debate., Robin Canniford, The Conversation[/i] With this new forum in mind, Hooke is rallying support behind a media and advertising strategy designed to sway public opinion. But does he understand the implications of what he’s doing? http://theconversation.edu.au [i]WHAT A WEEK, Catching Up, Café Whispers[/i] Mr. Abbott sees our parliament as a star chamber that is above the law of the land. He has jettison all rights that one has under our democracy. He ignores the separation of parliament and the legal system. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com [i]Spy vs Spy, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] It will be interesting to see if what we saw from the Prime Minister in the last question time continues. She was strong and feisty. Witty and devastating. Julia Gillard’s success is from her parliamentary performance http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com [i]Truckwits’ attack on democracy, Crispin Hull [/i] Demanding with the menace of large trucks an unconstitutional election seems to me to be a far more “disgraceful thing to happen to our democracy” than a few sensible ACT police officers ensuring an orderly movement of truck http://www.crispinhull.com.au [i]Senator Brandis: better get a lawyer, son,Alex Steel, The Drum[/i] As any good law student can tell you in NSW stealing (larceny s117) only applies to the taking of physical property from the victim. It doesn't apply to electronic transfers of money or the creating of credit card debts. Neither to the acquisition of services, such as by prostitutes http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2857018.html [i]Abbott the Unethical , Curiosity and Challenge[/i] The arrogant political animal that is Tony Abbott.I do believe Mr Abbott see’s himself as the great saviour and sage of the ages regarding legal compliance in politics, this to the point he has stated that due to the appropriate legal departments, namely the NSW Police and Fair Work Australia http://wrb330.aussieblogs.com. [i]Leave Aunty alone, The Body Politic Australia[/i] I’d like to combat the idea that the ABC has a left-wing bias, which is quite frankly a ridiculous argument. Those who make these claims are too used to the Murdoch run press empire, and the populism all commercial television stations must lower themselves http://bodypoliticaus.wordpress.com [i]Why Political Coverage is Broken,Jay Rosen, Press Think[/i] then mentioned the ABC’s Sunday morning program, The Insiders. And I asked Leigh Sales if it was true that the insiders were, on that program, the journalists. She said: “That is right.” I said: “That’s remarkable.” She… well, she changed the subject. http://pressthink.org [i]Jay Rosen – ‘ Don’t you think that’s a little strange-‘ Jeff Sparrow, Overland[/i] Rosen’s analysis doesn’t go far enough. For while the ‘how’ matters, the more important question is ‘why’. Yes, the political media is dysfunctional and, yes, it seems to be getting worse. But what’s behind that degeneration? http://web.overland.org.au [i]Opinionator- Labor’s woes, Blender[/i] Will replacing Gillard, even if done smoothly, save Labor? Probably not. Opinionator: August 27. http://blenderblog.com.au [i]Dumbing Down Democracy? Tanner certainly isn’t, The Liberal Voice[/i] The ABC is also praised by Tanner in the concluding parts of Sideshow. Its committment to a broader range of programming (particularly in The liberal Voice’s opinion Media Watch) http://theliberalreporter.wordpress.com [i]Rainy day woman on marriage, Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep[/i] this piece on [b]the Political Sword[/b], in which Ad astra alleges that Tony Abbott is the worst opposition leader in our political history, and gives resoundingly convincing arguments to support the allegation http://noplaceforsheep.com [i]Betting on thin ice, Richard Farmer, The Stump[/i] Canada’s Northwest Passage and Russia’s Northern Sea Route are both open this year as the summer melt of Arctic ice approaches record levels http://blogs.crikey.com.au [i]Carbon pricing, worldwide, Australia Now[/i] 1990: Finland: general carbon tax. It initially exempted a few industries & fuels. In 2010, the price on carbon was €20 per tonne of CO2. Natural gas has a reduced tax rate, http://itsouraustralia.wordpress.com [i]Gillard no match for Rinehart in Forbes most powerful, Angela Priestly, The Power Index[/i] Forbes decided Rinehart's $9 billion net wealth gave her the edge over the minority government PM -- especially given her willingness to use such wealth in an attempt to dismantle certain Gillard government polices. http://www.thepowerindex.com. [i]For some reason, marriage is on my mind, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] And of course, the state doesn’t stop people from getting divorced just because their kids “deserve” a father and a mother http://blogs.crikey.com.au/- [i]Inside tunnels of Qaddafi's "underground city" (Video,Alex Sundby, CBS News[/i] In the dimly lit tunnels, the scouts rummaged through a bedroom and came across bank of black phones, which could have once connected Qaddafi to the world above ground or to other parts of the tunnel network http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20097384-503543.html [i] Chalk it up to the hacks: New York scraps $27 million education contract with Murdoch firm, NY Daily News[/i] ALBANY - The Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal has prompted the state to kill a controversial $27 million contract with one of the media mogul's subsidiary companies.State Controller Thomas DiNapoli this week quietly rejected the Education http://www.nydailynews.com [i]Sophie kicked out, yet again, AISHA DOW, The Border Mail[/i] Ms Mirabella has been booted out of the chamber five times in 36 parliamentary sitting days — twice in March, once in July and twice this month. http://www.bordermail.com.au [i]Goldman Sachs VP Changed Name, Now a Top Congressional Staffer, Lee Fang, Truthout[/i] ThinkProgress has found that a Goldman Sachs vice president changed his name, then quietly went to work for Issa to coordinate his effort to thwart regulations that affect Goldman Sachs’ bottom line. http://www.truth-out.org/goldman-sachs- [i]Private school profits 'totally unacceptable': union, ABC[/i] The Australian Education Union says private schools are continuing to receive government fundingwhile posting multi-million dollar profits http://www.abc.net.au [i]The Power Index: peddling influence or impoverished ideas?, Dragonista’s Blog[/i] And so, two weeks into the life of the website that claims to know who really runs Australia, how is it stacking up?Are Paul Barry and his crack-team of investigative journalists delivering analysis that is worth almost twice the price of a Crikey subscription? http://dragonistasblog.com [i]Household assistance: Veterans , Australian Government[/i] Veterans who receive a pension will also receive a separate one-off Clean Energy Advance, which will be paid as an up-front and tax exempt lump sum payment.For service pensioners, this will be up to $250 for a single and up to $190 for each http://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au [i]Gillard should look to her legacy, Canberra Times[/i] commentators this week, discussing the paralysis inside the Gillard Government, were comparing it to the fall of Whitlam rather than the fall of Keating. The Whitlam government was chaotic - http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ [i]Julia Gillard's carbon price promise Paul Kelly and Dennis Shanahan The Australian August 20, 2010 [/i] JULIA Gillard says she is prepared to legislate a carbon price in the next term.I don't rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism," she said of the next parliament. "I rule out a carbon tax."This is the strongest message Ms Gillard has sent about action on carbon pricing http://www.theaustralian.com. [i]The day Abbott bared his soul,MISHA SCHUBERT, Wellington Times[/i] THE way Tony Windsor recalls it, Tony Abbott begged crossbench MPs to make him prime minister, joking ''the only thing I wouldn't do is sell my arse - but I'd have to give serious thought to it'' http://www.wellingtontimes.com.

Ad astra reply

29/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

TalkTurkey

29/08/2011Hi Patricia and Hear Here 2U2. I did actually write last night but yet again I lost my post to the fwttt! demon resident somewhere between my fingertips and infinity. So here goes again. You are headed for fame as [i]Potess of the Struggle[/i], and that is a Working Class Heroine award if ever there was one. I adore Lobster Quadrille, have known it all my life since before I was born! But never fear Folks: Wilkie will not, shall not kill not, [i]will[/i] not kill our will! Should not, would not, should not [i]could not[/i], could not kill our will! Patricia you yourself mention rewriting, and so I dare to quote a friend of mine -(a Bohemian in both senses!)- who said very meaningly once "There is no good writing, only good re-writing." WRT pomes they tend to be so hurriedly written that there are often places where later I wish I'd written other words . . . I just want to say, it's altogether alright to change things later if you want to archive them in a tweakier form, you own your own copyright! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~` Casablanca part of The Lost Post was to you too. I acknowledge the annoyance that Feral feels with the site going down for indeterminate periods, and as for your suggestion re the possible donation by Swordsfolks for the upgrading of the program, well I'm glad you had the courage to mention the issue, I've thought about it long too, but it gets a bit tricky here. My hesitant feeling is that perhaps Ad astra would be uncomfortable with any such donation, it would put him under a moral pressure which he has not now. I can handle the glitches, frustrating though they be, indeed we could get to own them and feel quite proprietory towards them, glitches and all we got a great blog. But what I mean to say, Casablanca, I applaud and concur with your generous [i]thought[/i] anyway. I'd in for a penny if something along those lines happened, but there's only one person, no, two counting Web Monkey, who really have the say. Ad astra [i]might[/i] be moved to comment, and again he might not. But we all wish TPS well.

Ad astra reply

29/08/2011Hi Lyn What a fantastic collection of links you’ve given us this morning – I counted 28! Thank you for the link to the Rosen keynote address, which I will include in the piece I’ll post this morning. It is highly relevant to [i]The lost art of political communication[/i].

TalkTurkey

29/08/2011jane, I love your "Labor party has to get more Keating"! But as for "Beattie was fulsome in his praise for the PM", I must caution you that that word fulsome is not what you think! (You mean like [i]effusive[/i].) Fulsome: cloying, excessive, disgusting by excess of flattery. Fulsomeness: servility, exaggerated affection. As for your post, so say all of us, except for a couple of Droogs.

Jason

29/08/2011Aa, Paul Barry this morning on ABC 24! http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-29/report-puts-megaphone-index-in-the-spotlight/2859764

Ad astra reply

29/08/2011TT Thank you for your comments about the issue of donations to [i]TPS[/i], and your kind remarks. I’m happy to cover the modest cost of running the site as it is. The idea behind the donation was to enable a change to a more reliable blog engine. This is the only one I’ve used since [i]TPS[/i] began almost three years ago, so I have no knowledge of what problems other blog sites have. They likely have interruptions also. Web Monkey, who runs several sites, tells of interruptions too, some occasioned by cyber attacks, which are much more common than is generally realized. My preference is to fix the problem if we can. The previous error: ‘Can’t decode raw data’, seems to have been eliminated, although in the IT game it is a brave person who believes a problem has been solved permanently. Web Monkey has been appraised of the ‘Oops’ error message, and I will feed back information to him about when the error seems to occur with the hope that the error in the code can be discovered and eliminated. Although it is annoying for visitors, and for me too, the interruptions are not usually long ones, as evidenced by the continuity of comments most of the time. I’m an impatient fellow, but age has tempered my impatience somewhat – when the interruption occurs I do something else, and never have any difficulty finding something useful to do.

Feral Skeleton

29/08/2011My new name for Tony Abbott? Sir Liealot. :)

TalkTurkey

29/08/2011Ad, and everybody, Yeah there are other blog engines, I think the one that Bilbo uses is better in some ways, it's got a counter, doesn't seem to glitch too often, but oh gee I'm not too fussed. Ca va.

Ad astra reply

29/08/2011Jason Many thanks for the link to the Paul Barry interview on ABC 24. Very interesting! I'll include that in the piece I'll be posting later this morning.

Michael

29/08/2011OK, not wanting to shell out for a print copy of The Australian, has anyone here secured a digital copy of the article written by Glenn Milne that this morning The Australian has taken down online and placed a correction in its place?

NormanK

29/08/2011TalkTurkey In defence of one of my pet expressions - 'fulsome praise', Oxford English Dictionary has: [quote][b]adjective[/b] 1 - complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree. 2 - of large size or quantity; generous or abundant. USAGE: Although the earliest use of [i]fulsome[/i] was 'abundant', this meaning was replaced by the negative sense 'excessively complimentary', and is now generally held to be incorrect. It is often heard in phrases such as 'fulsome praise', however, where the speaker merely means that the praise is abundant rather than excessively flattering.[/quote] Bearing in mind that dictionaries are descriptive and not prescriptive, I will tenaciously cling to my understanding of the usage of 'fulsome praise' in much the same way as I hang on to 'programme' instead of 'program'. In the fullness of time I may lose both battles but I reserve the right to engage in the struggle since it is only as a result of usage that dictionaries form their definitions.

nasking

29/08/2011Tony's melting down incrementally...Mr. Frenzy is also Mr. Paranoid Control Freak... One Nation Under Abbott: [quote]Coalition 'angst' at Abbott's attitude BY CHRIS JOHNSON CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT 29 Aug, 2011 12:00 AM Tony Abbott has little trust for his front bench and is paranoid about being double-crossed, according to a number of senior members of his team who have expressed a growing unease over the Opposition Leader's style. Some shadow ministers as well as numerous backbenchers have told The Canberra Times that Mr Abbott is nervous about many of those around him and that he is making too many unilateral decisions... But senior Coalition sources told The Canberra Times yesterday that Mr Abbott remained desperate to become prime minister and was prepared to do and say anything to achieve the goal. ''We all want government, but the problem is Tony is jumping too much on the populist stuff, even if it is contrary to the party's policy,'' one said.[/quote] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/coalition-angst-at-abbotts-attitude/2273068.aspx MY QUESTIONS FOR THE DAY Is Tony Abbott an Australian for Honest Politics? Can a weathervane detest a party like One Nation one moment then heart its style the next? What does "opportunism" mean? What do Rupert Murdoch & Tony Abbott have in common? N'

nasking

29/08/2011I've noticed that SKY NEWS Australia is transforming into a version of Fox News by the week. Not surprising considering which empire has a great deal of control over staffing. I see the Brits are attempting to be more sensible about democracy & the media: [quote]Labour seeks law change to stop News Corp renewing BSkyB bid Fears that Rupert Murdoch could reopen bid prompts 'public interest test' motion by shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis Polly Curtis guardian.co.uk, Sunday 28 August 2011[/quote] http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/28/labour-law-stop-bskyb-bid N'

D Mick Weir

29/08/2011Perception vs Reality Peter Martin has a piece on wealth distribution that gives some insights and information for further cogitation. [b]We think the rich are too rich. But they're even richer..[/b] http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/08/we-think-rich-are-too-rich-but-theyre.html He discusses research done for the trade union movement as part of its planning for the October tax summit. On Income Tax levels this interesting observation: [i]The group wanted all tax rates cut, but curiously wanted them cut from the high rates they imagined to near the actual rates.[/i]

Jason

29/08/2011Michael, PM A LOST CAUSE FOR WARRING UNIONS Australian, The (Australia) - Monday, August 29, 2011 Author: GLENN MILNE Julia Gillard has lost all authority within the broader Labor movement THE real import of the alleged brothel creeping scandal surrounding Craig Thomson has been missed. And it is this: key factions and unions within the Labor movement are now openly indifferent to the fate of either Julia Gillard or the federal government. They simply don't care any more. Gillard has now lost all authority within the broader Labor movement. By their actions in the Thomson saga they have signalled a judgment that she cannot win the next election. Settling internal scores and power struggles is therefore now more important than whatever happens to a lame-duck PM who can't haul her primary voting numbers out of the pathetically fatal mid 20s. The Mafia-style dirt-covered shovel -- code for digging your own grave -- dumped on Friday at 3.30am on the doorstop of Kathy Jackson, the union official who had the courage to refer Thomson's activities to the police, may as well have been delivered to the Lodge. For Gillard it is now that bad. She is simply regarded as collateral damage and large sections in the Labor movement are uninterested about whether she's terminally wounded or not as they go about their internal bloodletting. It is about to get worse as elements of the Australian Workers' Union seek to settle up with Thomson's accusers by demonstrating that Gillard herself was implicated, albeit unknowingly, in a major union fraud of her own before she entered parliament. On Friday, Michael Smith of 2UE contacted me to check the veracity of material in a statutory declaration drawn up by Bob Kernohan, the former president of the AWU, and dealing with the relationship between Gillard and Bruce Wilson, which I outline below. On Saturday, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph columnist Andrew Bolt wrote on his blog: ``On Monday, I'm tipping, a witness with a statutory declaration will come forward and implicate Julia Gillard directly in another scandal involving the misuse of union funds. Gillard herself is not accused of any misbehaviour at all. I do not make that claim, and do not hold that belief. But her judgment -- and that of at least one of her ministers -- will come under severe question. She will seem compromised. It could be the last straw for Gillard's leadership.'' Big call. But I do have a good deal of knowledge regarding Bolt's claims. On Sunday November 11, 2007, just days before the November 24 election I interviewed Gillard, then deputy leader of the opposition, in my capacity as political editor for News Limited's Sunday newspapers. The interview concerned the embezzlement of union funds -- not disputed -- and later the subject of a court conviction by a former boyfriend of Gillard, Bruce Wilson. I had researched the piece for months. It was the most heavily lawyered article I have ever been involved in writing. The story said that as a solicitor acting on instructions, she set up an association later used by her lover to defraud the AWU. But she has strenuously denied ever knowing what the association's bank accounts were used for. Gillard, then in her early 30s, was a lawyer with Melbourne-based Labor firm Slater & Gordon. At the time of the fraud she acted for the AWU. She met Wilson, then the West Australian AWU secretary, while representing the union in the Industrial Relations Commission. Wilson later moved to Melbourne to become Victorian secretary of the union. ``These matters happened between 12 and 15 years ago,'' Gillard told me. ``I was young and naive. I was in a relationship, which I ended, and obviously it was all very distressing. I am by no means the first person to find out that someone close turns out to be different to what you had believed them to be. It's an ordinary human error. ``I was obviously hurt, when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrongdoing. I didn't do anything wrong and to have false allegations in the media was distressing.'' What the lawyers would not allow to be reported was the fact that Gillard shared a home in Fitzroy bought by Wilson using the embezzled funds. There is or was no suggestion Gillard knew about the origin of the money. We now await the issue to which Bolt refers. If it comes, and if it is powerful as Bolt suggests, it will be further evidence that the Victorian Right represented by the AWU is involved in a life and death struggle with the Right as represented by the Hospital Services Union. Thomson was a senior official of the HSU for 20 years before entering parliament via the seat of Dobell. The HSU split several years ago into two factions. Thomson was supported by Jeff Jackson, Kathy Jackson's former husband. This so-called old guard was the support base for Victorian right-wing power boss, David Feeney. Feeney is now looking for a parliamentary seat because Gillard's abysmal numbers have made his third Senate spot vulnerable. A defeat for the old guard by way of a successful prosecution of Thomson by police, would leave Feeney powerless and without a base or a seat. Jackson himself has been accused of using union money on escorts with enemies of the Victorian HSU boss releasing bank statements showing payments to the same Sydney brothel where federal MP Thomson's credit card was allegedly used. Jackson has denied the claims. Ultimately at issue here could be the succession to Gillard, and I'll explain why. When Kathy Jackson called in the wallopers, the stakes were high. Because a federal defeat for Thomson and his allies would enhance the power base of Victoria's two other factional king makers, Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy who are both aligned with the new guard in the HSU. And we all know what Shorten's ultimate ambition is. What a tangled web we weave especially when you consider Thomson is married to Zoe Arnold, a former Transport Workers Union official and adviser to former NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher. Alex Williamson, daughter of HSU national president Mike Williamson, is an adviser to Gillard. And, of course, as mentioned, Kathy Jackson, who blew the whistle on Thomson, was married to former Victorian state HSU secretary Jeff Jackson. Truly the NSW Disease has arrived in Canberra. Meanwhile amid all this interbred internecine manoeuvring Gillard attempts to adopt the high ground, attacking shadow attorney-general George Brandis for intervening in the course of justice. On Thursday morning Gillard attacked Brandis for speaking to NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher at a time when the allegations against Thomson were being assessed by NSW Police. Unfortunately she got her facts wrong because the NSW police only announced they were conducting an assessment four days after Brandis spoke to Gallacher and in fact only got Brandis's dossier three days after he spoke to Gallacher. A small point but one that indicates the pressure is beginning to show on Gillard as she desperately searches for points of deflection. During the same press conference she also vainly tried to defend Thomson's decision not to make a statement to the parliament on the facts. We all know why; if he lies he's finished as an MP and Gillard is washed up as Prime Minister. Gillard and Thomson are shackled together just as surely as two First Fleet convicts. Oh, and here's a small postscript on which to end. On September 7 at the Wyong Christian School at 2pm there will be the opening of a new hall built with funds from Gillard's time overseeing the Building the Education Revolution. Thomson is scheduled to attend as the local member. My gut instinct is that both he and the Prime Minister will be otherwise engaged. http://iw.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_theme=aggdocs&p_topdoc=1&p_docnum=1&p_sort=YMD_date:D&p_product=AWNB&p_docid=139695D1AF6C9C18&p_text_direct-0=document_id=%28%20139695D1AF6C9C18%20%29&p_multi=AUSB&s_lang=en-US&p_nbid=D5DF49TAMTMxNDU3ODgxMi4zNDA1MzU6MToxMjoxNTIuOTEuOS4xOTY

Michael

29/08/2011Thank you, Jason.

nasking

29/08/2011I noticed Paul Barry mentioned on here. I was reading an article of his yesterday: Fire Walk with Me Paul Barry The Monthly, July 2010 [quote]But the mystery remains: Exactly what were the three men so desperate to hide? Rivkin had seven Swiss banks accounts, Kennedy five and Richardson three (one of which only came to light this year) through which millions of dollars moved for years. Most likely it wasn’t merely their dealings in Offset Alpine that they wanted to keep secret. As the AFR reported in October 2003, Rivkin told the Zurich district attorney about “a network of secret bank accounts used by himself, Richardson, Kennedy and a string of other Australian business figures – whom he named – to move tens of millions of dollars anonymously in and out of the Australian stock market”.[/quote] Is this SKY NEWS Richo he's referrin' too? N'

nasking

29/08/2011Crikey! What a small world: [quote]Cash for comment Richardson was implicated in the Cash for comment scandal in Australian radio broadcasting, where prominent radio personalities – such as John Laws and Alan Jones – were found to have been promoting certain companies while on the companies' payroll, while keeping the deal secret from listeners to make it look like the comments were genuine opinion/editorial pieces, or that they had demanded payments from companies in exchange for refraining from making negative comments. Richardson was being paid by Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL), and spruiked for PBL-owned companies Channel 9 and Crown Casino during his radio show. (wikipedia)[/quote] And here I was watchin' RICHO thinkin' he was just an ALP power broker. Answerin' my own question above: [quote]Tax evasion In 2006, Richardson became embroiled in allegations of tax evasion involving the late Rene Rivkin. On 27 September 2006, Justice James Allsop, of the Federal Court, released a document showing that Richardson had an undeclared Swiss bank account containing $1.4 million. He was one of the shareholders of the Offset Alpine Printing company. In October 2008, Richardson agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to end his ongoing A$2.3 million dispute with the Australian Taxation Office. The Tax Office took action against Mr Richardson in 2005 after the late stockbroker Rene Rivkin told Swiss investigators that Rivkin, businessman Trevor Kennedy and Richardson were the secret owners of a $27 million stake in Offset Alpine. The Tax Office had sought $700,000 it claimed was owed in unpaid taxes, along with a $1.6 million interest and penalty payment. (wikipedia)[/quote] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Richardson You'd think Richo would avoid commenting on the Thomson thing...but instead he seems to be gettin' heaps of kudos by the right-wing & usual media suspects for trashin' the government & the PM. I'm amazed that some of these less than "cleanskin" megaphones like Alan Jones, David Oldfield, Graham Richardson & a former Liberal from QLD are takin' seriously at all by the public. BTW, the link to the Barry article: http://www.themonthly.com.au/monthly-essays-paul-barry-fire-walk-me--2564 N'

Ad astra reply

29/08/2011Folks I have just posted [i]The forgotten art of political communication[/i]. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/08/29/The-forgotten-art-of-political-communication.aspx

Patricia WA

29/08/2011What a fascinating story, N! Odd, isn't it, how one sees bits and pieces of the narrative pop up in the media from time, even as headline stories, but doesn't join the dots! Or maybe some journalists don't join the dots for us! How does Graeme Richardson have the hide to appear on our TV screens to pass judgement on today's politicians? Why are there no comments on that July article in the Atlantic Monthly, I wonder. Have they all been moderated out?

jane

29/08/2011TT, yes effusive was the word that had fallen under the table. Thank you. FS, Sir Liealot, brilliant name for Smuggles. May I purloin it occasionally?
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?