Yes and No

Tony Abbott’s ‘STOP THE WASTE’ campaign against the Public Service is unrelenting. From the bureaucrats in Queensland to the fat cats in Canberra, its open season as far as Tones is concerned. However, one of the top public servants in Australia, Nic ‘Macca’ Machiavelli, is not taking the sniping lying down. Macca has invited Tones to spend a day in his office, to see how hard working the Public Service really is.

On the day in question, Tones, as usual, dons the Lycra and peddles in. By the time he reaches Macca’s establishment, he is very hot and sweaty. With a cordial welcome, Macca invites Tones into the office that he will be occupying during the day. All it has is a desk, two chairs and a computer. Also, a door leads to an adjoining office in which Macca resides. Macca says he will leave the door ajar, in case Tones requires anything.

Tones: Yeah, mate...thanks for inviting me along today...Oh, and by the way, are you Canberra’s version of Chief Sitting Bull?

Macca: Erm...whaddya mean, Tones...I’m not with you on this one...

Tones: Why, its easy, mate...in the States they’ve got Chief Sitting Bull...here in Canberra I’m presuming you’ve got you own version – Chief Shiny Bum...haw...haw...

[Macca laughs along at Tones’ lame joke and smiles to himself, as it is he who plans to have the last laugh at the end of the day. Macca asks Tones does he want a nice cup of tea.]

Tones: Huh, thought as much…you blokes are certainly living up to your reputation…But, I’ll tell you what – just as I’m parched after my big ride in, I’ll take you up on your offer…white with no sugar thanks…

[Macca excuses himself and sticks the kettle on in his room next door. He puts a tea-bag in a mug, and while he waits for the kettle to boil, he adds a few drops of liquid Mogadon. He pours the boiling water and a dash of milk, gives it a good stir, and brings it into Tones, who slurps it down thirstily. Macca returns to his office.]

Macca (to himself): The Mogadon will take effect pretty quickly…this looks like the beginning of a very interesting day…heh…heh…

[After a few minutes, Macca looks in, expecting to see Tones in a near-comatose state, a piece of ripe fruit ready for picking. However, he is shocked by what he sees – Tones is still his hyperactive self, lying underneath the desk, doing push-ups whilst lifting the desk with his back as he does so. “Whew”, says Macca to himself, “It looks like he needs a lot more Mogadon”. Macca boils the kettle again, and this time pours the rest of the bottle into the mug. He brings it into Tones, who again consumes its contents immediately. This time, the Mogadon overdose has its desired effect and Tones slumps down into the chair, staring blankly at the computer screen. “Great”, says Macca to himself. “Now for part two of the plan”. This entails Macca re-jigging Tones computer so that he can type on his computer in the adjoining room and make the text appear on Tones’ computer. The scene has now been set for turning this tiny part of the Canberra Public Service into LITTLE BRITAIN with Carol Beer]



[In order to show he could multi-task, Tones/Carol had, the day before, arranged for three people to come along to Macca’s joint, so that he could individually discuss some issues with them. The trio are: a marketing guy from a swimwear company; one of the managers from the bank where Tones got his mortgage; and Tony Windsor.]

[So, Macca shows in the first appointment, a Mr W.E.L. Hung from the Big Balls Budgie Smugglers Co. Macca retires to his office next door, but keeps the adjoining door ajar.]

W.E.L.: Good morning, Mr Abbott...it is my great pleasure to put a proposition to you – one that you cannot refuse...

[W.E.L. waits for a reply from Tones, but he continues to stare vacantly at the computer screen. W.E.L. is a tad disconcerted but, nevertheless, proceeds with his marketing pitch.]

W.E.L.: So, Mr Abbott...we would be delighted if you would be the public face of our new line in male swimwear...It would definitely give you a lot of positive publicity, raising your profile, and maybe even increasing your atrociously-low Preferred Prime Minister ratings on Newspoll...So what’s your decision, Mr Abbott? [At this, Macca types on his keyboard and the text appears on Tones’ screen. As usual, Tones stares at it blankly.]

Tones: The computer says No...

W.E.L.: Whaddya mean, “No”!!! You won’t ever get an offer like this to increase your support with females and gays, Mr Abbott!! So, there’s nothing else for it but for me to make the offer instead to Ban Morrison...he would look well posing in his budgies with a Nauru guano pit as background...[cough]

[W.E.L. gets up and exits. On his way out the door, W.E.L. nearly knocks over Macca, who is bringing in a person from Tones’ bank to discuss his mortgage. Fortunately for Tones, it is not the formidable District manager, Mr Stop-the-Debt, but a junior manager, Cuthbert Postletwaite, who is sent along to get a bit of on-the-job experience. Just by chance, Cuthbert is also a member of the Young Liberals. Macca introduces them to each other and retreats to his adjoining room, again leaving the door open.]

Cuthbert (gushingly): Oh, Mr Abbott...I am such a big admirer of yours...I think you are a great Leader of the Opposition...

[At such faint praise, but still mightily under the influence of the Mogadon, Tones can do no more than glare at this half-wit.]

Cuthbert: Well anyway, Mr Abbott...I believe you want us to waive your payments until such times as you become Prime Minister and get a whacking great new big pay rise...Well, I can do a lot better than that, Mr Abbott...Because you are a great friend of Big Business, our bank is prepared to write off completely your entire debt...Just sign here, Mr Abbott...

[Again, Macca doesn’t miss his cue, and types on his keyboard. As before, the text then appears on Tones’ screen.]

Tones: The computer says No...

Cuthbert: Whaddya mean, “No”? We’re prepared to waive your $700,000 mortgage and you say, “No”!! How ungrateful you are, Mr Abbott...And now you can jolly-well pay up like all the other losers on our books...Good-day sir!! [cough]

[Alone again, Tones can’t believe what is happening to him. “What sort of living nightmare is this anyway?” he laments to himself. “There I was, ready to get free publicity as swimwear model, and the total redeeming of my enormous mortgage and I said, “No” to both. What’s wrong with me?” At this, Macca reappears, this time with Tony Windsor, who wants to see Tones urgently. Again, Macca absents himself into his adjoining office.]

Tony W: Now look here, Tones...this malarkey of yours is just going to have to stop...With your present carry-on, there’s absolutely no way the Indos are going to back you and give you a free pass into the Lodge...We need to get down to brass tacks here...Are you going to continue repeating all those idiotic three-word slogans...and keep up this denialist global warming mumbo-jumbo...and continue to hint you might un-cremate WorkChoices...and keep saying, “bullshit” all the time...and talk endlessly on that silly boatphone...and condone the labelling of Julia Gillard as a “back alley bitch”, “a Gaddafi look-alike”, and a “Ju-Liar”...and walk out of press conferences...and say that New Zealanders aren’t foreigners, for flip’s sake!!!

[Tones can’t believe his luck. “If this dopey computer is going to be consistent, it will say, “No” to all of these and Tony Windsor will be placated enough to get his mates to join my team. Bingo!!!” Macca, however, has heard everything, and types on his computer. Tones looks at his screen and a loud despairing scream emits from the very bowels of his being.]

Tones: The f**king computer says Yes!!!!!!!

Tony W: Well, that’s it, then...it looks like the Lodge is a lost cause for you mate – it’s been nice knowing ya...[cough]

[Tones holds his head in his hands, wondering what the hell he is going to do now. After a while, he lifts his gaze to his computer screen.]

Screen: And you thought Julia Gillard was full of Machiavellian bastardry? Mate, she’s not in the same league as me...Shit happens, eh? [ cough]...

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Jason

25/03/2011AC, Very Funny! but if Tony wants to stop "the waste" he could look in on Mirabella's office!one of the leaches that works in her office said "A LIBERAL staffer who splurged $906 on a cab ride from Woodonga to Melbourne boasted on Facebook: "I don't do buses." http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/lib-says-hell-repay-900-cab-fare/story-e6frf7kx-1226027714351

Lyn

25/03/2011Hi Acerbic Conehead Thankyou for your brilliant funny article, you really are very clever, and cherry on the top, you belong to us. Just what we needed, a laugh, in amongst all the depressing news about NSW State Election,I will be glad when it's all over. Stop the Waste says Mr Abbott, now they are looking at MP'S benefits, hope they cut Mr Abbott back. I especially hate him having a Government Car, but more so I hate him having a salary. That Macca sure is cleverer than, tech head Mr Abbott.

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25/03/2011AC Thank you for such a delightful piece of acerbic satire. Your choice of the Little Britain video clip set the scene beautifully. I'm waiting for "The electorate says No'.

Feral Skeleton

25/03/2011AcerbicC., What a joy your work is to behold! Thank you so much. I need a laugh to help sustain me through the day tomorrow when I watch the carnageof the NSW State Election unfold before my very eyes. You know Barry O'Farrell has already committed his first act of bastardry by stating that he will not follow tradition and provide a car and a driver for Kristina Kenneally when she becomes an ex-Premier, as is the tradition, because she wasn't elected by the people? Too late for the people of NSW, of course, to relaise what an Apparatchik's Apparatchik and complete and utter creep they will sleepwalk into electing. Not that I think Labor should get another shot until they reform the Sussex Street culture. I just wish that States could be put into Administration like Councils can. An apolitical & competent Administrator is really what this State needs. Sigh. The computer really should say, "no' to both parties tomorrow.

Feral Skeleton

25/03/2011I rather liked this letter to the editor in the SMH today: [quote] And what about this great big garbage tax? Why do I have to pay to have my garbage collected when I can dump it in the bush for nothing? My little bit doesn’t make any difference to world garbage levels, and when it rolls to the bottom of the gully I can’t even see it. Call me a garbage sceptic, but show me the science. If garbage is bad why do we produce so much? When I went overseas there was garbage lying everywhere. Other countries don’t have great big garbage taxes. They make cheap stuff and we can’t compete. Until every country in the world adopts a garbage price, our great big garbage tax is economic suicide. Garbage is crap. David Hale Gordon [/quote]

Feral Skeleton

25/03/2011Two apt comments:[quote] The Big Ship Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm Darren Laver @ 72 He has poor written skills, a limited ability to research, undeveloped analytical skills, and no demonstrated ability to think critically. As a result, his work is rarely factual or supported by evidence, and usually laced with opinion, conjecture and, it must be said, gossip. He was also a failed extremist political candidate, which suggests he is more interested in being a political player rather than someone who has an interest in journaling Australian political developments. The fact that their ABC saw to promote this consistent under-performer to its flagship current affairs program speaks volumes about its current direction and management structure. Spot on – your analysis of the shortcomings of the inept Uhlmann can be rolled out to nearly the entire ABC News and Current Affairs team, who are almost to a man and woman a pack of ill trained drones, virtual work experience duds or recycled Murdoch hacks. Having been out of the country for a few months now, I have had the pleasant experience of watching some truly professional news and current affairs networks doing their jobs with objectivity diligence and genuine ability. BBC News, CNN, Russia Today and Al Jazeera are all light years ahead of our ABC, let alone the degenerate Murdoch pig sty. From once being the wellspring of professionalism and objective integrity in Auatralian journalism and current affairs (think Andrew Ollie, Bill Peach, George Negus, Caroline Jones, Gerald Stone, et al) the debased and degraded ABC is now a faint echo of the Murdoch Circus, a parody of a news service, alone and palely loitering. Sheet the debauched and lowly standards of the current crop of time serving charlatans in ABC current affairs and the whole debacle of ABC24 down to the failed and discredited Mark Scott, and his slide down the slippery slope of the tabloid ratings chase. He has brought to whole ABC house crashing down on his own head. Sack him at once, and clean out the nest of Liberal stooges and right wing culture warriors from the ABC Board and the upper and middle management of the ABC before it is too late.[/quote]

Patricia WA

25/03/2011AC - brilliant! If only!

D Mick Weir

26/03/2011Good Evening Swordsfolk, Thanks AC for the laughs, you have a 'certain' way with words that deserve a wider audience. Time for me to turn to being a party-pooper though. Those amongst us that are game to read The Drum are no doubt aware of thier headline banner: [b]The Drum: Analysis and views on the issues of the day.[/b] Today there were three posts that I found worthy additions to the analysis of 'issues of the day' First from probably the most 'reviled' of Drum contibutors by many here, Glen Milne: [b]Make no mistake: this is a battle to the death[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45620.html [i]So now we're down to it. The carbon tax debate has become a mere cipher in the titanic struggle between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott as they fight to tear each other's innards out. The personal has become the political.[/i] As I read this post, and a few of the comments, it became clearer to me the cause for my recently stated misgivings and frustrations with the game of politics as it is being played at the moment. Next, possibly the second most reviled Drum contributor and ABC presenter, Chris Uhlmann: [b]Plotting a balanced course in a climate of angry grievance[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/25/3173608.htm Part of his comments about Wednesdays' Rally: [i]I had some bracing character assessments in more than a dozen conversations about my failings and the shortcomings of the ABC. According to them I, and the rest of my colleagues, are captured by the Left and don't even attempt to understand the grievances of that kind of crowd. They believe that we dismiss them as aging nutters, unworthy of our attention, except when we want to sketch a caricature. They believed that we would not report the event, or that we would ridicule it. Those kinds of sentiments are almost impossible to turn. To my eyes and ears the reports we filed were fair and I have always believed that I work with some of the finest journalists in Australia. But it would not surprise me if attendees watched our work that night and had all their fears confirmed. No one sees and hears exactly the same thing. We all watch the world through ideological lenses fashioned over a lifetime to be so comfortable that we are usually unaware they are on.[/i] Intersting isn't it? Well to me it is and it confirms for me much of what I have recently said about bias being in the eye of the beholder. And from another highly reviled Drum contributor and ABC presenter, Barry Cassidy: [b]Are you with me, Abbott asked Turnbull: I am not, he said[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/25/3173248.htm [i]Conviction politicians are hard to find in Australia these days. Ten years ago, the then Liberal Party federal director, Lynton Crosby, said his research turned up two genuine conviction politicians - John Howard and Bob Brown. But today, the leaders of the two major parties - Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott - are constantly wrestling with the concept, confusing the public about their positions on key policies. Their approach to climate change is the most graphic demonstration of that.[/i] I found it to be a fair and balanced 'analysis and view' on the last week and the current state of 'the game'. Some of the comments it evoked were excellent. In the interests of balance I will note that a far less reviled Drum contibutor, Tim Dunlop had another great piece: [b]Rude, anonymous comments are the least of our worries[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45476.html I haven't read Annabel yet but will soon! Swordsfolk, I am sure some will find the 'analysis and views' of parts, if not all, of those posts biased and/or full of supposition without basis in facts etc. Rest assured if you look for bias you will find it, if you choose to believe the views expressed have no real foundation you will be right. However, if you choose to take a step back from your own biases and prejudices and read them as a 'disinterested observer' you may become a little more 'enlightened'. Speaking of 'disinterested observers': Paul Barratt @ Australian Observer Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:35 PM [b]Hartcher on Gillard and Abbott[/b] aussieobserver.blogspot.com/.../...and-abbott.html [i]In a piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 19 March political editor Peter Hartcher made a strong call on the future of the Australian Labor Party and en passant had a swipe at Tony Abbott.[/i] Interesting piece that I suggest is a 'cool-headed' analysis. I reccomend reading the links in his piece as well. And finally a bit of humour pointed out to me by Paul: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVbQMIl4JnE By two blokes who are probably the most astute obsevers of Aus Politics.

D Mick Weir

26/03/2011As presaged above, I have now read the post by the Drums most reviled female contributor, Annabel Crabb: [b]Labor's love affair with JWH[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/25/3173957.htm [i]A couple of years ago, the Rudd Government oncer James Bidgood was laughed out of town for identifying the global financial crisis as a sure sign that the "End Times" of Revelations were upon us. But is it possible that Mr Bidgood's apocalyptic antennae did not lie? After all, strange and terrible things are undeniably afoot.[/i] Interesting? to some, maybe. Informative? possibly to some. Analysis? to a point. My take: a bit light, but then again 'That's Annabel'

D Mick Weir

26/03/2011And just to prove I am not perfect: oops I stuffed the link to the Australian Observer post: [b]Hartcher on Gillard and Abbott[/b] http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2011/03/hartcher-on-gillard-and-abbott.html

Lyn

26/03/2011TODAY'S LINKS [i]Nowhere Man , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] as in whatever you do, don't upset the Tories because they might be back in government one day and cut our funding. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/03/nowhere-man.html [i]Hanson's revenge, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] this conga-line of Liberal MPs who can't tell the difference between ordinary Australians and wackos. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Missing Link Friday - Paywall Edition, Don Arthur, Club Troppo[/i] BreakthePaywall! is a free add-on for Internet Explorer 7 and 8 designed to make it easier to get around the kind of paywalls http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/03/25/missing-link-friday-paywall-edition/#more-15174 [i]A clown at a funeral..., Gus Leonisky, Your Democracy[/i] they have to appear "balanced" because he works for the ABC... So it's one portion for Julia and one portion for Tony... http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/12057 [i]Criticism, balance and funding at the ABC, Patrick Ashforth,The Sporadic Rager[/i] there are near constant calls from News Ltd, The Institute for Public Affairs and some portion of the Liberal Party for the ABC to be privatised. http://sporadicrager.blogspot.com/ [i]Can Do Campbell and his tilt at glory, Massivespray, Spray of the day[/i] leader of the Qld state Opposition WHILE NOT EVEN BEING A SITTING MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT. http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/can-do-campbell-and-his-tilt-at-glory/ [i]Why the Campbell Newman LNP putsch is dangerous, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] a plot cooked up by Newman and the party machine, with no democratic process whatever. It’s still far from clear, for http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/03/25/why-the-campbell-newman-lnp-putsch-is-dangerous/ [i]Thought the price signalling law was directed at banks, until I read it, Peter Martin [/i] would mean the "big end of town" could no longer "dud Australian families" on interest rates http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Earth Hour 2011, Super Opiniom, The Notion Factory[/i] So at 8:30pm on the 26th I will be switching off all the lights in my house http://notionfactory.net:80/2011/03/25/earth-hour-2011/ [i]What’s So Funny?, Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i] They are loud, obnoxious, rabid but above all, bitter. Bitterly disappointed their side lost in August last year, and in truth, that’s where all this angst comes from. http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/03/whats_so_funny.php#more [i]Gillard: “A multi-faceted Liar” says Tony Abbott, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] cracks of desperation are beginning to show. His leadership is terminal. It’s only a matter of time. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2011/03/25/gillard-a-multi-faceted-liar-says-tony-abbott/ One lonely Newspaper, Jones and Abbott have the Liberals worried, funny ummm: [i]Abbott's Jones ties have Libs worried , Christian Kerr, The Australian[/i] Abbott has spoken with Jones 33 times since becoming Liberal leader in December 2009. He has talked to Neil Mitchell, the radio giant of Victoria, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/abbotts-jones-ties-have-libs-worried/story-e6frg996-122602837642

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26/03/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Lyn

26/03/2011Good Morning Ad I love this piece by Bob Ellis, I am trusting his considered opinion, it suits my agenda: The earthquake-tsunami-meltdown-Gaddafi factor in the NSW election, Bob Ellis, Unleashed. [b]Murdoch loves to cheat[/b], as we saw in the Town Hall "debate" (no vote on who did best, an "undecided" audience of over-fifties, a "winner" with 37 per cent of the final vote), [b]and I guess he’s hiding Newspolls too, which show a slight surge to Keneally that might snowball into a bigger surge if they were made known.[/b]http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45610.html?WT.mc_id=newsmail

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26/03/2011D Mick Weir Thank you for your further comments on the Hartcher article to which I'll respond here as well as on the previous post. Thank you too for the links to other articles, all of which I have read except that by Annabelle Crabbe, which I will read later as I have soon to get on the road. I agree that we all see people, statements, actions and events through our own individual optics, coloured by our biasses and preferences. The same applies to Paul Barratt whose political views are well know and captured by his words in the last two paragraphs and particularly by "[i]My own view of Julia Gillard and the Labor Party are not too far removed from Peter Hartcher’s."[/i]. He also agrees with Hartcher that Tony Abbott is [i]"becoming 'the cartoon villain of Australian politics'."[/i] So it is unsurprising he finds Hartcher's article to his liking. I found Barratt's analysis scetchy. He devoted well over a half of his piece quoting Hartcher, leaving not much space for analysis. At the risk of being repetitive, my beef with Hartcher was twofold: first, the evidence he advanced to support his dire prognostications was, in my view, paltry, and second, his gymnast-like cavorting throughout his piece that left us in mid air at the end as to what he saw as the future of politics in this country. Anyone who wipes off the two main contenders for prime ministership, yet suggests no alternative begs the question: 'What next?', one he did not address. I'm not sure we can advance our thinking much more on this subject. I accept that we two see Hartcher's article differently, which is OK. That's what this blog is about. We now have another of AC's clever satire, a piece by Hillbilly Skeleton coming next week and a piece I've written on climate change later in the week to exercise our minds.

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26/03/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for the Bob Ellis link. An interesting article about Murdoch manipulation; I hope his prediction is more accurate than [i]Newspoll[/i], but we know his political orientation towards Labor is likely to cause him to overestimate. We don't have long to wait now to see who is right. Thank you FS for filling us in with the 'great big new garbage tax' and Darren Laver's acerbic analysis of Chris Uhlmann and others at the ABC. I hope they read it. Folks I'm getting on the road now for Melbourne and likely won't be back here until this evening.

Acerbic Conehead 2

26/03/2011Jason, I had a long-standing event to attend last night, so apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Yes, I also noted the aversion Sophie’s staffer had for buses. But, in mitigation, the poor chap probably felt ripped off that time he tried to go on one of the Revolting Peoples’ bus trips, and Flakey Blakey was the inspector. Or, maybe he caught the bus that time Barnaby was doing some moonlighting, when Barnaby drove it into another swollen creek. Lyn, Thanks again for your kind words. Yes, Macca really is a tech head. Did you know he was the consultant behind Joe and Andrew’s Great New Big 11 Billion Dollar Black Hole Debacle during the federal election campaign? A real Trojan horse is our Macca. Hi AA, I’m glad you liked the Little Britain clip. It is such a clever series. I might do another piece sometime on Marjorie Dawes, the weight-loss consultant. Guess which Coalition front bencher might be on the receiving end of Marjorie’s sterling advice? Patricia WA, “If only”! Yes, there are enough good people around to make this happen. Do I sense a poem being penned with that title? D Mick Weir, And thank you also for your very kind words. Like Lyn, you provide such an invaluable service here by “going where no [person] has gone before” and ferret out articles which, quite often, are contained in places that need a government health warning. Keep up the fantastic analysis also, it is always very interesting. And FS, great to hear from you again. Yes, for NSW, it looks like it will be a case of out of the frying pan into the fire. Hopefully, the worthy candidates will be returned and the deadwood get the elbow. BTW, talking of elbows, last night I bumped into Macca at a karaoke bar and he was really bending his. He was in terrific voice and sang his version of Bryan Ferry’s, “These Foolish Things”. Sing along, as they might brighten things up for you on the hustings today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbSp_xEa3PI&feature=fvwrel :- ( Oh will you never find the key Stop being so silly, Tony Your gaffes astound us Simply dumbfound us There’s no escape that we can see And still those stupid things remain That the MSM refuses to name :- ( Like walking out of press conferences An airline ticket to jet-lagged places Make you look so unhinged These foolish things Remind us of you :- ( When the roof’s been blown off the next apartment You behave like a doofus in Parliament Your gorilla arms swing These foolish things Remind us of you :- ( You came You saw Didn’t conquer Jooles Calling her Gadaffi only made you look a total tool :- ( STOP THE BOATS is nowhere near a good answer Dialling your boatphone makes you look a chancer Oh how to chimeras you cling These foolish things Remind us of you :- ( Contradicting yourself over global warming A different stance every blooming morning When your weathervane swings These foolish things Remind us of you :- ( We know That this Was bound to be Since you became an identikit of little Johnny :- ( The sight of you in your red budgie smugglers Entice all the gays to be your huggers But you find it threatening These foolish things Remind us of you :- ( Your nod at Riley and your eternal stare Saying, “bullshit” and the other profane swears Proclaiming, “shit happens” These foolish things Remind us of you :- ( How strange No change To find you still Thinking that as Prime Minister you could smoothly fit the bill :- ( So in spite of your Machiavellian scheming As PM, the Indos still think you’re dreaming The smell of farce to you clings These foolish things Remind us of you Just you...

D Mick Weir

26/03/2011Cheers AC thanks for the feedback :) Apropos [i]... ferret out articles which, quite often, are contained in places that need a government health warning.[/i] [b]Menzies House[/b] now has a regular [b]Saturday Political Roundup.[/b] I won't provide a link as, well, I don't need to promote them too often :) Here is a 'Cherry Pick' of some of thier choice of 'the News That Counts': [i]Paul Kelly surveys the current state of the carbon tax debate, "Beneath the hysteria and hypocrisy of this week, Abbott's essential accusation remains: that Gillard's carbon policy is illegitimate because it was based on an election deception. His pitch is powerful and easily grasped: that if Gillard had announced a carbon tax before the election she would not be Prime Minister today" (The Australian).[/i] [i]Senate slams government report which excused Gillard incompetence on the Building Education Revolution (The Australian). The BER scandal is an echo of Whitlam's wasteful regional development grants.[/i] [i]Kim at Lavartus Prodeo raises concerns regarding Campbell Newman's "appointment" as LNP leader, "Over and above these factors, Lawrence Springborg is right to raise serious concerns about the whole thing. ... [/i] [i]The Best Premier in Australia, Colin Barnett tells Wayne Swan to 'Bring It On', saying, 'Western Australia won't be intimidated by the likes of Wayne Swan' (The Australian). Abbott calls for a "new intervention", focussing on indigenous communities in urban Australia (ABC Online) Australian people don't get a mining tax, which went to the people at the last election but do get an unexpected carbon tax. (The Australian)[/i] Umm, is there a 'slight tilt' toward a certain national newspaper in thier choices? Lyns' Links provide wider variety methinks

Patricia WA

26/03/2011AC I tried to use your cue 'If only......' No luck, I just couldn't come up with anything to match your 'foolish things' which I've been humming to myself in bits and pieces all afternoon. I finally came up with a limerick for you. There once was a pollie named Tony Who was famous in Oz as a phony. He was destined for hell Except that Cardinal Pell Intervened, because of his Right religione. Not my best effort but it inspired me later to do a post at http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/liberal-limericks-3 which might interest you and Talk Turkey and any other rhymesters like Janice. Your contributions would be most appreciated there, and enjoyed here too, of course.

Lyn

26/03/2011Hi Ad Sunday Morning TV again, I hope you have a lovely Sunday: March 24, 2011 UPDATED Sunday morning TV - 27 March #auspol #nswvotes Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviewsYour guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews Full program listing available at: http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/ 8.00am Ch10 - Meet the Press Paul Bongiorno is joined on the Panel by Michelle Grattan of The Age and Simon Benson of The Daily Telegraph. Together they interview Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, and former Federal Liberal Leader, John Hewson. Both guests will face questions about the NSW election result, and Minister Bowen about the asylum seeker issue and the Christmas Island riots. 8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda On Sky News Australian Agenda this week interviews with NSW Liberal Leader Barry O'Farrell and Leader of the Federal Opposition Tony Abbott. Host Peter Van Onselen is joined by the The Australian's Paul Kelly, Imre Salusinszky, and Dennis Shanahan. 8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary Political editor Mark Riley takes a look well intentioned poster boy Tony Abbott who got in trouble with the posters. 8:40am Ch9 - Today on Sunday - Laurie Oakes interview This week Laurie Oakes interviews the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Tony Burke. 9:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 - Insiders On Insiders this Sunday, Barrie Cassidy interviews the Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey. On the panel: ABC Online’s Annabel Crabb, the Sydney Institute’s Gerard Henderson and the Financial Review’s Brian Toohey. And Mike Bowers talks pictures with Sun-Herald cartoonist, Reg Lynch. 10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 @ 5.30pm - Inside Business This week on Inside Business a look at the big global investment themes with Magellan Financial Group CEO, Hamish Douglass. Also, a talk with chief Optus’s negotiator on the NBN, Maha Krishnapillai about the final dash to get the NBN laws across the line. They’ll look at the Carbon Tax and whether big emitters really should be so worried And the First Person feature looks at a novel way to tackle the skills shortage. As well there’s our regular update of the latest news from the markets and Alan Kohler’s incisive commentary.

TalkTurkey

26/03/2011Liberals thought Toe-Rag Abbortt was spunky He was quick on his feet as a monkey But he dropped a bad clanger Insulting our Ranga And it seems now his brain has gone clunky No not my best effort neither Patricia But you can't make a pearl from a pig

D Mick Weir

26/03/2011Ad @ March 26. 2011 10:23 AM At the risk of being 'the dog that can't let go of the bone' I will continue the discussion. [i]I found Barratt's analysis scetchy (sic). He devoted well over a half of his piece quoting Hartcher, leaving not much space for analysis.[/i] I have been been cogitating on this and other aspects of your comment as I meandered around the traps today. I suggest you dismiss Barratt to lightly and, possibly, unfairly. Yes over half of the post was devoted to quoting Hartcher, and the analysis: [i]My own view of Julia Gillard and the Labor Party are not too far removed from Peter Hartcher’s. I have not as yet predicted its demise, but in [b][u]Looking ahead at 2011[/u][/b][/i] (Link to post dated 9th January 2011, http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2011/01/looking-ahead-at-2011.html) [i]I did put my money on the table and predict that Julia Gillard would not last the year as Prime Minister, and I addressed her standing in more detail in the earlier post [b][u]Can Gillard last?[/u][/b].[/i] (Link to post dated 27 December 2010 http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/12/can-gillard-last.html) [i]My views of Tony Abbott are adequately summed up in [b][u]The real Tony Abbott.[/u][/b][/i] (Link to post dated 27 August 2010 http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/08/real-tony-abbott.html) [i]They haven’t changed, and this week Tony Abbott has certainly continued on his trajectory towards becoming “the cartoon villain of Australian politics”.[/i] Yes, taken as a stand alone blog, 'Barratt's analysis (is) s(k)etchy', however, reading the linked posts makes for, in my mind, a 'solid analysis'. [i]... my beef with Hartcher was twofold: first, the evidence he advanced to support his dire prognostications was, in my view, paltry, and second, his gymnast-like cavorting throughout his piece that left us in mid air at the end as to what he saw as the future of politics in this country.[/i] Fair enough and, I tend to agree, the evidence he gave, in that post/article was thin. Taken with writings (views?) by him and others the evidence is mounting that 'his dire prognostications' may come to pass. That you found that he left us in 'mid air' is where, I suggest, a fair number of people, including me, find themselves when they look at the 'game of politics' as it is being played at the moment. On one hand we have Her Majestys' Loyal Opposition led by, in Paul Barrats words, “the cartoon villain of Australian politics” and a government that has its' so for up its' managerialist, focus group led posterior that it is blinded by the 'shite' that is up there, it is no wonder that many feel the future is dire. [i]I'm not sure we can advance our thinking much more on this subject. I accept that we two see Hartcher's article differently, ... [/i] Agreed, we see Hartchers', and no doubt, many others 'ramblings' differently. My concern is that it is too easy to get bogged down finding bias that may or may not be there; taking offence when none is intended; calling out others for the very same 'sins' we are 'guilty' of and, as a result, involving the very valuable minds that engage with this blog in 'the small stuff'

Acerbic Conehead 2

26/03/2011Patricia WA, Thank you for the limerick - very nice! Yes, it's a pity some associate particular high profile religious people with the religion itself. I suppose any big organisation is going to attract some people who will use it for their own ends. And thanks for the suggestion for contributing to Cafewhispers. I'll drop in every now and again, but I'm afraid I'm so busy these days, I need to budget my time on the net. The missus can get pretty snarky when she reckons I'm prognosticating on here and not out weeding the garden.

Ad astra reply

26/03/2011D Mick Weir We could go on indefinitely arguing our different perspectives. While you judged Paul Barratt's views based on several pieces he has written, I judged him on the article to which you provided a link. So as we are using different data sets it is perhaps unsurprising we differ. I stand by my original analysis of Hartcher's piece. Your last paragraph hints that I might be 'finding bias that may or may not be there'. In the light of this remark I re-read my piece, but I could find nothing in my criticism of Hartcher that amounted to me accusing him of bias. Frankly, I don't know what his political orientation is as he does not wear that on his sleeve like many others do. I outlined my points of criticism of Hartcher in my last comment. One of them was not bias on his part.

Ad astra reply

26/03/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your preview of tomorrow's political TV. My guess is that it will be somewhat overshadowed by the poor showing of Labor in NSW, but I hope that federal politics gets a reaasonable run, especially the 'revolting' rally and Tony Abbott's part in it. At least there is a reasonable panel on [i]Insiders[/i].

D Mick Weir

26/03/2011Ad, Thanks for your reply. I can see I have a lot to learn about making a point. My last word on this thing is this: In the past many amongst us here chided a 'non believing' commenter, jj, for not providing links to back up his/her comments. To dismiss Barrats' post without at least perusing the links contained in the post is sort of doing a 'reverse jj'. I have typed too much already and shall now retire to my corner

Ad astra reply

26/03/2011D Mick Weir I'll happily let you have the last word.

Patricia WA

26/03/2011AC - I was thinking simply of just one visit to CW to vet the Liberal Limericks post that I did today, set off by you! Love to see at least one of your efforts there! Talk Turkey - you of all people know how good that is coming off the top of your head. I've taken the liberty, as you did with me, of posting it at CW! Now come up with another one!

TalkTurkey

27/03/2011Patricia I was going to suggest that you might like to post it on CW. It's not a liberty, it's cool. Thank you, you're welcome. In fact in general I don't mind anything I write being onsent. Actually I wish there was more of it than just links which are great but you have to go hopping around and on wireless mobile that's hassly. I don't find limericks hard at all. It's the really good ones that are hard. I once sat up much of the night and wrote quite nice and personal limericks about each of the 40-odd kids in my PS class, the only one that English didn't give me enough rhymes for was Debra. (I'm sure you'll think about that now.) I had to make up a disease called Pallebra, not very satisfactory but you know what Abbortt says happens. She was a very very naughty girl at age 10, and she was killed years later in the same car crash that killed her good friend Christopher Worrell, the Truro murderer. True. I grieved much for her just the same, she was like Bizet's Carmen. Anyway here's anothery if you like. Silly. There was a young fellow named Abbott Who had an affair with a duck: His penchant for critters Gave Lefties the gerbils But the MSM don't give a rat's.

TalkTurkey

27/03/2011RIP ALP NSW Time to do a Phoenix trick! The ALP will be back. We are always the People who try to make things better whether we like ourselves much atm or not, or do everything perfectly or not. And yes we have fails. The ALP still suits me because it's better than anything else on offer. We will always be back.

Feral Skeleton

27/03/2011I.Am.In.A.World.Of.Pain. :( My ReCaptcha word just about sums it up in its semi-illiteratese way: defut

Lyn

27/03/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Liberal Limericks, Patriciawa[/i] Abbott’s People’s Revolt was such a farce – the only rhyming word which came to mind was a bit obscene for a ‘pome’ http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/liberal-limericks-3/ [i]NBN bills passed: Sky remains in place, Mercurius, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Oh, and how come “Demolition Man” failed to stop this essential piece of 21st century infrastructure HORRIFIC IRRESPONSIBLE LABOR WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY!!!!!11!!! http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/03/26/nbn-bills-passed-sky-remains-in-place/ [i]NBN has taken yet another major hurdle, Paul Budde, BuddeBlog[/i] The Senate approved the NBN Access Bill and the NBN Companies Bill. This happened after a number of amendments were made by the government. http://www.buddeblog.com.au/ [i]Australia - Developers are to be required to make new homes network ready or face fines , #wan.net[/i] Albanese said penalties will apply to developers who lease or sell land or a building in a new development that do not have fibre-ready facilities. http://sutherla.blogspot.com/2011/03/australia-developers-are-to-be-required.html [i]NSW Votes 2011, The Notion Factory[/i] After 16 years in Government in New South Wales – this election has long been predicted to be the one to bring an end to Labor’s reign http://notionfactory.net/2011/03/26/nsw-votes-2011/ [i]Useful delusions, Dave, Dave's Archives[/i] Barry O'Farrell has signed a "contract" with voters, promising to resign if he breaks his promises(one of which is, of course, a promise to resign if he breaks his promises). http://davec.org/2011/03/useful-delusions/ [i]Hope our presence here won’t jinx it, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous lefty[/i] Yep off they will go today and vote for a mob of shysters, with their whole raisin d’etra to screw over the working class and poor, http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/hope-our-presence-here-wont-jinx-it/ [i]How I voted 2011, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] would have been justified in doing a donkey vote with compulsory preferential, http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Picture modified by Gus under fairness of news and current affair agreement satirical policy @2 #67.,[/i] Gus Leonisky,Your Democracy Should Abbott win, it would be the saddest day for this country and ultimately for the world.Abbott is a deliberate ignoramus and this is very sad. http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/12070 [i]HIT THE ROAD JACQUES: Power-mad psycho causing rift in anti-carbon-tax movement, Christian Lyons, Vex News[/i] many no-carbon-tax insiders believe his foolish leadership have played right into Labor’s hands. http://www.vexnews.com/news/12720/hit-the-road-jacques-power-mad-psycho-causing-rift-in-anti-carbon-tax-movement/ [i]Weight loss and climate change, John Quiggin[/i] Fun fact to check for yourself. For the first time in the history of the world, more people are overweight than are underfed. http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2011/03/25/weight-loss-and-climate-change/ [i]Majority not blaming god, Richard Farmer, The Stump[/i] 44% of Americans who say that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence of what the Bible calls the ‘end times http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]In the new digital world, 'sunset' media can't cling to old ways, Joshua Gans, The Conversation[/i] So if News Corp succeed, then what they have done is translate the old physical newspaper straight into the new digital medium http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/in-the-new-digital-world-sunset-media-cant-cling-to-old-ways-390 [i]SA government: spruiking nuclear power, Gary Sauer-Thompson [/i], Public opinionReports are emerging that parts of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were so damaged and contaminated http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/03/sa-government-s-1.php#more [i]Keep Counting them, Opinion Dominion [/i] on the seriousness of Fukushima,” you can add the Telegraph’s James Delingpole. http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/

TalkTurkey

27/03/2011Poor Skelly. There'll be Federal gain from your NSW pain But O'Farrell will fail and you'll be back again. The trouble is that he will fail to do any good and he'll succeed in making things worse for most but better for his cronies in the meantime. Take a Bex anyway. Smell some roses or daphne or brown boronia. Nothin much else you can do for now. Certainly it'll be no fun watching Onesiders. KK speaking as I write. I think she's decent but I stand to be corrected. She has sure had a terrible press. But then the press is bloody terrible. Oh no not Annabelle the slyly-sidling Crabbe! OH NO NOT THAT MAN GERARD HENDERSON! Now I'm'a need a Bex. Two.

TalkTurkey

27/03/2011"Toe-Rag Abbortt, the Leader of the NO-position . . ." Is that good? Should I patent it? Yesterday in my alter ego as Gobbelix I went to a Victoria-Square-rally-&-march-down-King-William-St-to-Parlt-House in support of Climate Change legislation. (Obelix was filling an urgent order for menhirs at the time.) A genuine 180 people, not big but three times what THEY had on Wednesday, and a lot nicer and happier. What a contrast. Best maxim there: There is NO B PLANet (She said she got it off the Net.)

Crowey

27/03/2011March 27, 2011 9:26 am Crowey The NSW Labor Party deserved the massive lost, with their lies, deceit,disunity, and the selling off of State assets being their major downfall, next in line will be Bligh’s Labor Government in QLD all for the same bloody reasons, and this is coming from a very dissatisfied Labor supporter who has voted for them for forty odd years.

Ad astra reply

27/03/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

27/03/2011Crowey, You are exactly the sort of person who rightly deserted the NSW ALP at yesterday's State Election. All I can say in mitigation of the that fact is that I happen to agree with you, though not about Anna Bligh because there is no greater test for a leader than to lead well in time of crisis and this Ms Bligh did supremely well. Also, might I add that if you are discmfited by the fact that the State governments of Qld and NSW should not have sold off State assets, then I don't know why you would transfer your vote to the Liberal Party whose DNA is coded for these very things. Just watch that space in NSW if you want to get an idea of the reality of Liberal government action when it comes to these things. Of course, it will be spun by them that they have to do it to make up for the disastrous state of the economy that Labor left them, they always do. When in fact the state of the NSW economy is actually quite healthy to the objective observer compared to those other States not blessed with vast quantities of natural resources. It still has its AAA rating. Which is no fabrication of reality. Anyway, suffice to say I will be reflecting on all of the implications of this election and will have more to say about it at a later date. Not all of it will be pretty for the ALP. Which is how it should be.

Feral Skeleton

27/03/2011Talk Turkey, I like the sentiments of the placard. I'll keep it in mind for next Saturday's Pro Carbon Price Rally. :) How about: I want more than a figleaf covering my planet. Abort Abbott's sham of a plan.

Patricia WA

27/03/2011Following up on Ad Astra and your comments, TT, I'm cross posting again. But I hope we'll still get some limericks from TPS satirists over at the CW thread which finally got me going on Tony Abbott's antics at that rally after all. [b]Even More Revolting People?[/b] Yes! Mr. Abbott did indeed appear, When, transported from across Australia, A crowd turned up to roar support and cheer. ‘We’re behind ya, Tony! We won’t fail yer!’ That accent may be wrong. These weren’t bogans, But, as Tony said, good, decent people. You can read their placards with their slogans. They each proclaim their guiding ‘principle.’ The Shooters Party wants to ‘bring back guns!’ And The League of Rights just don’t like blacks, But nostalgia for WWII and Huns? What’s all that to do with the carbon tax? Well, it helped to bring to a fever pitch Opposition to the PM, ‘Juliar!’ Who was depicted as that ‘Bob Browns Bitch!’ Backdropped with flames and medieval fire. So, Mr. Abbott had an easy job, Working that crowd, urging them to ‘Come on!’ - Join with him and his Coalition mob Fighting Julia Gillard’s tax on carbon. Did I mention Pauline Hanson was there? Perhaps she should have asked him, “Please explain Why female politicians with red hair Upset you so much that you are insane!”

Ad astra reply

27/03/2011Folks I'll be out for a few hours. AC I'm trying to reply to your email but the message won't go. I'll try again when I get back.

Feral Skeleton

27/03/2011What a depressing picture: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/state-election-2011/interactive-map Barry O'Farrell, Lord of all he surveys.

nasking

27/03/2011[quote]Oh no not Annabelle the slyly-sidling Crabbe! [/quote] I thought Annabel made alot of sense this morning. As for Anna Bligh, I reckon she was pretty gutsy to go thru w/ the privatisation considering the opposition from unionists and so on. I give her credit for not flip-flopping like Tony Abbott has done on the carbon price. You can't call on the ALP governments to hold the line and go thru w/ their policies one moment...and then condemn them for not backflipping the next. That sounds as bipolar & indecisive as the shock jocks & Murdoch empire...and the copycats...who we must remember have few principles and consistent line on things because creating or feeding into conflict, debate, confusion, community division & chaos are gold for them as profiteers. If yer searching for useful reform ignore much of the corporate media and its copycats...in the long run the cutting of corporate tax, easing of industrial relations laws (Rupert doesn't want to pay the so called secondary/support staff more than he has to...and he doesn't want it too hard to sack the "used up" & "dissenting" types), and changes to regulations on media ownership, freedom of information & anything else that benefits the media moguls & their shareholders/main advertisers are their top priorities. Premier Anna Bligh needs to do the job she promised to do...and that consistency will see her rewarded. As for NSW...democracy in action...and if Barry (sun now shines outa his boring conservative butt to the point he arrogantly thinks he can treat Kerry O'Brien like sh*t on public television) O'Fraudal doesn't keep to the moderate line and keep his government squeaky clean and also out of the influence of shooter's party & gay hating Fred Miles of Hate... then the SMH, Crikey, a few radio personalities & many a blog will ensure that "buyers remorse" becomes the new sun on the horizon...as is starting to happen in Wisconsin & Ohio. I did not fail to notice the old fashioned police state steely eyed look of Premier-elect Barry last nite as he gave his Napoleonic speech...the "governing for all Australians" bit just an add-on w/ unconvincing eyes & gestures. Barry sounded like he was gloating last nite at times...triumphalism...not unlike the pushy Howard who got so big on himself he introduced WorkChoices mach Poison after years of bashing unions... and pushed privatisation (including Telstra that left the copper lines in the hands of the corporation to exploit others and undermine true competition)... and of course Howard couldn't help but act like One Nation when it came to asylum seekers & took a paternalistic/condescending approach when it came to immigrants, critics and Aborigines. So I recommend Barry Bonaparte in his campaign against a carbon price...think very carefully about the message he is sending... considering the days of new enlightenment & scientific understanding that are now finally starting to spark the dormant brains of many an Aussie placed in cobwebs by shock jocks... who are now beginning to slowly wake up to the fact that if this land becomes uninhabitable due to rapid changes in the climate, would they want to be treated as villians like some of the asylum seekers have if they had to make a run for it themselves?... and is it wise to undermine the "winning hearts & minds' policy by fearmongering over asylum seekers who have family & friends in areas we are fighting/defending the public in?...particularly as the "Arab awakening" could go more extremist if we don't get "the message" consistent & right. Barry's anti-carbon price 'Cock a doodle doo' might be one of the first nails in his coffin...as could be the disgraceful way he treated Kerry O'Brien last nite, one of our most balanced, respected & rational interviewers/reporters. Not a good start in my books. Stuff up the health reform deal Barry...I dare ya. :) RINP New City Labor. Rest in no peace. N'

Doug Evans

27/03/2011DMW at March 26 "My concern is that it is too easy to get bogged down finding bias that may or may not be there; taking offence when none is intended; calling out others for the very same 'sins' we are 'guilty' of and, as a result, involving the very valuable minds that engage with this blog in 'the small stuff'" With the one caveat that I have no idea how valuable the minds are that engage with this blog (apart from my own sputtering, failing, definitely not valuable one) I couldn't have said it any better. These are momentous times with big changes afoot. It is important to see clearly and not be distracted by sideshows.

nasking

27/03/2011Good old volatile mouthpiece Abbott...revealing to all & sundry that SKY NEWS host Peter Van Onselen once worked for him... ever get the feeling that Rupert Murdoch is Doctor Frankenstein...and Tony Abbott his monster? A creature made from different parts. Confused about his existance...his purpose...dangerous when rejected...driven by instinct and raw emotion...bitter that he's not loved enuff...potentially explosive...terrorises parliament one moment as he lets out that self hate and negative energy and need to blame someone...anyone...the next moment deflated, slumped in his chair...self pity and confusion not hidden by irrational & desperate scoff chuckles. The Monster is unpredictable. Poor Rupert. Poor Coalition. Tony Abbott reckons that he and NSW Premier-elect Barry O'Farrell are the same kind of Liberal. Is Barry a Monster that pretends to be a character in The Crucible in order to to be loved? N'

TalkTurkey

27/03/2011N' TT said earlier: "Oh no not Annabelle the slyly-sidling Crabbe!" Nasking commented: "I thought Annabel made alot of sense this morning." Cobber, Yeah well I didn't watch it all, didn't want to neither, but I did hear Ms Crabbe say something about getting a packet of popcorn and watching goings on. Her comments are just popcorn afa I'm concerned, she "shrieks with laughter" (her words) and if you remember anything of greater depth or insight from her mouth you either watch her more than I do or you have a different notion of depth and insightfulness from mine. I think she will make an excellent consort for Uhlmann when his Labor MHR wife gets the message about him . . . As a general observation, it often seems to me that the Left is like a dog used to being kicked and starved and abused, being pathetically grateful for the slightest pat or bone from the Media. No offence to you Nas, but I think Crabbe and the other Drum/ABC 24 poisonaleckies (and also btw one in particular of the Catalyst team)

Feral Skeleton

27/03/2011Talk Turkey, I agree with you about the mangy Labor dog and the bone. They should man up to the gormless goons in Medialand, call out their elitist sneering condescension towards the party of the poor, damaged and dispossessed, the party of the Fair Go For All, not the inside run for the priveleged few, for what it is, ie part of the vast echo chamber that supports the kleptocrats and the oligarchs, and keep saying it until people who are being exploited by them ruthlessly get the message and come to their senses. What have they got to lose?

nasking

27/03/2011Tony Abbott on Australian Agenda was supportive of Campbell Newman...he said: [quote]Campbell Newman...has been a very very effective Mayor of Brisbane...I think the government of Brisbane has been the kind of government that Australians would like to see at state & federal level...[/quote] Isn't this "cost of living, cost of living" Abbott? From 2008 Brisbane ratepayers: bmalarOctober 31, 2008 09:39 AM The rate rise is a phased increase, so the perception is that the increase isn't that great... But if you compare 4th Qtr this year with 3rd Qtr next year, the rate increase is over 800%!! I live at Parkland Bvd, we saved for our apartment, we both work in the city and walk to work. It cost us $475k and our rates will now be over $3500 year!!! How is this fair?!?! I challenge anyone to find the equivilent in housing terms. It's a rip off!!! RichOctober 31, 2008 09:46 AM Responding to Mike - I accept units might use the same amount of utilities like power, water, sewer. BUT, much less cost in getting it to and from the door. How many kms of roads and pipes to service housing sprawl as opposed to one single unit block, hmmmm? And the knock on costs of buses and garbage trucks having to service greater distances. All just part of Kucklehead's (aka Campbell) plan to encourage people to live out in the car-dependant sprawl, thereby needing to use his precious roads and tunnels? PeterOctober 31, 2008 09:46 AM It should be remembered Con Man Campbell Newman promised voters at the last election rates would rise in line with inflation. In office he imposes an extortionate increase of over 500% on city apartment owners. If he was so concerned about inequity, as he claims, why didn't he reduce home owner rates? Newman is simply on a revenue raising exercise to feed his profligate spending on roads and tunnels. He is like a little boy in a lolly shop and can't spend enough of our money. He is sending rate payers broke and should be voted out at the next election before he sends the city broke. Surely voters have had enough of Politicians who promise one thing before an election and then do the exact opposite as outrageously and arrogantly as Con Man Campbell has done. He deserves nothing less than the sack. StuOctober 31, 2008 10:02 AM I live in the city, we own in River Place. I can tell you that our rubbish goes to large blue bins that we as a body corporate pay to remove. Our footpaths were built by our developer and used by all, then when they need upkeep you expect us to spend the money and the council does nothing. Our plants are watered by waste water. Three hundred apartments share the water pipes coming in, sewerage coming in and out, houses need all seperate infrastructure. People have forgotten what rates are for,bins,water,sewerage,street lighting,footpaths. I say do away with over government and save money! Either get rid of councils or state governemt..one needs to go!! I vote councils as they never manage there budgets on projects or infrastucture. Maybe then Newman would get a real job? Its about time the Federal government starts holding poorly run councils accountable. 336% increase due to poorly run Council and who has to pay? I bet Newman got a payrise for his incompetence. We now want to hold the fat cats of corporate accountable, lets hold poorly run councils accountable. Its unfortunate most Aussies donot care when Council votes come around. No wonder its compulsory! http://blogs.brisbanetimes.com.au/yoursay/archives/2008/10/cbd_rates_rises.html I guess the overseas & investment rich can afford the units' rates...and we can always drive out those who can't...and create more demand for housing...driving up those house prices so it becomes less affordable for the average working family to buy a house...but keeps the value of those assets up for the lucky ones...and the mega-rich investors of course. Hopefully those mega-rich also have shares in the toll companies & corporations that benefitted from Campbell's big infrastructure spends. Then they can really roll in it... money that is. N'

Doug Evans

27/03/2011FS "the party of the poor, damaged and dispossessed, the party of the Fair Go For All, not the inside run for the priveleged few," Do you really feel that the ALP still warrants that descriptor? That is the party I voted for for over forty years. That is how the Party still describes itself in the preamble to its national platform but do you really think that it still lives up to that mission statement. I certainly don't and I'm sure I don't need to begin to recite the litany of ALP policies (as opposed to their rhetoric) that give the lie to that descriptor. Understand that everyone is feeling a bit bruised in the wake of the NSW train wreck. Understand that there is some talk about re-energizing the left and attempting to regain lost ground from the Greens. For reasons I have previously articulated (that line up with most of the political commentators Sword folk love to comment on) I don't believe that will happen any time soon. Hope I'm wrong but I don't think so.

Feral Skeleton

27/03/2011Nas, Amazing, isn't it, how the chameleonic Mr Abbott has morphed, in the space of less than 24 hours, into 'Mr Middle of the Road Liberal'? Btw, you're right about Barry O'Farrell. He's pure evil at his core. The 'Steady, Trustworthy, Reasonable Guy' persona, is just that, a facade that he switches on and off at will. Just like we saw on show last night on the ABC when he reduced Kerry O'Brien to a lackey, so that he could get a direct feed to the equally slithery, Gladys Berejiklian. Sure, she too seems OK superficially, but, if you actually closed your eyes and listened to what she was saying intently, she was slyly connoting an awful lot of nasty stuff about the ALP. KO'B only picked her up on one of the memes, that of, 'This has been a disastrous Labor government for 16 years'. Erm, no, actually. Which is the art and artifice of her mode of attack. She just casually slips in the knife in a conversational style of the unquestioned fait accompli. No stridency about the assertions, just matter of fact. Fact is, though, they are wrong. Also, if you saw Barry O'Farrell's Press Conference from Paramatta(new Liberal heartland, so it seems, not the toffy North Shore were all the powerbrokers actually live), you will have noticed that the support crew with fixed gaze into the camera waas back. Just there to visually support the 'Strength in Numbers' meme of his arguments. All Media Management to within an inch of its life. And they are going to get rid of the Spin? Yeah right. And replace it with Media Management. That's the only difference. Oh, and his staccato and strident messaging, where repetition of the key words at the beginning of every phrae, is already driving me nuts. Talk about hammering home the point. Still, it's the flavour of the messaging month, and it seems to work. Finally, I think I mentioned this previously, pertaining to the Bastardry of Barry, but even before he had become Premier he categorically ruled out following the tradition of allowing a car and a driver for Kristina Kenneally, as an ex-Premier, after the election defeat. He snidely said it was because she had not been elected by the people, so didn't deserve it. Mean-spirited and petty, just like the 'Real Barry'.

nasking

27/03/2011Useful points Feral...the treatment of Kerry O'Brien was a big giveaway. Arrogance...& fear of being shown up as a fraud by a great interviewer...all in one. Abbott's scared of O'Brien too. Not Uhlmann tho obviously. I wonder why? Kerry isn't an obnoxious rude ideological animal like shock jock Jones. He asks questions for all Australians...not just the super anxious, easily conned. BTW, check this out...crimes against humanity...and women in Libya: Libyan Woman Accuses Gadhafi Troops of Rape http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAXbmHPBcyM Time for Gadafhi, his criminals to go...in order to protect the citizens of Libya...and those they hope to terrorise in revenge mode. N'

nasking

27/03/2011BTW, they treat women like that in Iran too. This is an insightful brilliant film: Trailer for "The Circle" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6FahWs_ctg The director is Jafar Panahi... [quote]on 20 December 2010, Jafar Panahi was handed a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on making or directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media as well as leaving the country.[/quote] (wikipedia) Worth watching: State versus Filmmakers - Iran http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktoFKTmct0k&feature=fvwrel N'

John

27/03/2011Dear Swordsfolk ROFL! I've also been enjoying re-runs on pay-tv of the classic 'reality' show from the 1980's - Yes, Prime Minister! Not much has changed: good policy is still abandoned for teh sake of votes and approval ratings. One thing has changed: we now have, especially in NSW, a number of Departmental Heads whose eappointments at least look like political appointments based on party or personal connections. :)

2353

27/03/2011I think I've said here before that Newman is not as popular as the LNP think. The Courier Mail is trying to find wholeharted support for him this weekend - but failing apparently. He has upset a lot of Brisbane ratepayers o er a variety of issues. A lot of them live in the "leaflet" - read wealthier and more conservative parts of the city. The seat of Ashgrove is held by a seemingly popular Labor Minister with a 7% margin. The ALP would be better off doing nothing except asking questions such as what happens if Newman doesn't win Ashgrove or detail a few of the less flattering things Newman has done in Brisbane for a few months rather than panic.

TalkTurkey

27/03/2011OOps, re my last post, I didn't finish that thought . . . but you probly would've guessed my opinion anyway, so I won't bother. I'd like to hear from anyone about what they think of a certain team member of Catalyst though. See if you can guess who I mean.

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27/03/2011john Welcome to [i]TPS[/i] in 2011. Do come again. AC My email reply has finally gone to you.

Lyn

27/03/2011Hi Patriciawa Congratulations on your blog, I have left a comment for you, it's under moderation at the moment. I love the layout, easy navigation, very beautiful picture, is it your property? Makes me feel like I would like to walk down there, so peaceful. Even More Revolting People!, Polliepomes,Patriciawa These weren’t bogans, But, as Tony said, good, decent people. You can read their placards with their slogans http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/even-more-revolting-people/

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27/03/2011Folks I note a number of you have made comments about this morning's [i]Insiders[/i]. Whatever we feel about the individual panellists and what they said, I believe you would agree that compared with the last two episodes when Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman were panellists, this morning was markedly more sensible and balanced. No Bolt or Akerman bullying rants, just calm and courteous discussion. Why can't we have this every week? Barrie Cassidy, if you want us to tune in, leave Bolt and Akerman out, otherwise we will simply turn off. We can cope with differences of opinion or even views that seem not in accord with the facts, but we cannot abide ranting, rude, arrogant, bullying behaviour, US Fox News style. Please don't let [i]Insiders[/i] degenerate to that level.

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27/03/2011Patricia WA Congratulations on your [i]polliepomes[/i] website and the poem posted there. What a good idea to aggregate your delightful verse in one place where we can easily find it. Thank you.

nasking

27/03/2011A trip down memory lane: The Sun is a daily national tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland (where it is known as The Irish Sun) with an average circulation of 2,904,180 copies a day in October 2010, making it the biggest-selling newspaper in the UK. It is published by News Group Newspapers of News International, itself a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Murdoch bought the paper for £800,000, to be paid in instalments. He would later remark: "I am constantly amazed at the ease with which I entered British newspapers." There were many vitriolic personal attacks on Labour leaders by The Sun during election campaigns, such as in 1983 when The Sun ran a front page featuring an unflattering photograph of Michael Foot, then aged almost 70, claiming he was unfit to be Prime Minister on grounds of his age, appearance and policies, alongside the headline "Do You Really Want This Old Fool To Run Britain?" A year later, in 1984, The Sun made clear its enthusiastic support for the re-election of Ronald Reagan as president in the USA. Reagan was two weeks off his 74th birthday when he started his second term, in January 1985. On 1 March 1984 the newspaper extensively quoted a respected American psychiatrist claiming that British left-wing politician Tony Benn was "insane", with the psychiatrist discussing various aspects of Benn's supposed pathology. The story, which appeared on the day of the Chesterfield byelection in which Benn was standing, was discredited when the psychiatrist quoted by The Sun publicly denounced the article and described the false quotes attributed to him as "absurd", The Sun having apparently fabricated the entire piece. The newspaper made frequent scathing attacks on what the paper called the "loony left" element within the Labour Party and on institutions supposedly controlled by it, such as the left-wing Greater London Council and Liverpool City Council. The Sun, during the Miners' strike, of 1984–85 supported the police and the Thatcher government against the striking NUM miners. On 23 May 1984, The Sun prepared a front page with the headline "Mine Führer" and a photograph of Scargill with his arm in the air, a pose which made him look as though he was giving a Nazi salute. The print workers at The Sun, regarding it as an attempt at a cheap smear, refused to print it. The Sun strongly supported the April 1986 bombing of Libya by the US, which was launched from British bases. Several civilians were killed during the bombing. Their leader was "Right Ron, Right Maggie". In January 1986 Murdoch shut down the Bouverie Street premises of The Sun and News of the World, and moved operations to the new Wapping complex in East London, substituting the electrician's union for the print unions as his production staff's representatives and greatly reducing the number of staff employed to print the papers; a year-long picket by sacked workers was eventually defeated (see Wapping dispute). That year, Clare Short attempted in vain to persuade Parliament to outlaw the pictures on Page Three and gained approbrium from the newspaper for her stand. During the 1987 general election, the Sun ran an extraordinary mock-editorial entitled "Why I'm Backing Kinnock", by Joseph Stalin. The paper copied its rival The Daily Mirror in several ways. It was the same size and its masthead had the title in white on a red rectangle of the same colour as the Daily Mirror. The Mirror's "Lively Letters" was matched by "Liveliest Letters", and the comic strip "Garth" by a comic strip "Scarth" featuring a frequently naked woman. Later strips included Striker, set in the world of football; Axa, about a barbarian woman in a post-apocalyptic world; ...Hagar the Horrible, the comic adventures of a home-loving Viking warrior; and George and Lynne, a domestic gag-a-day strip about a couple and their friends and neighbours. George and Lynne were normally pictured naked but discreetly covered. The 1990sThe Sun remained loyal to Thatcher right up to her resignation in November 1990, despite the party's fall in popularity over the previous year following the introduction of the Community Charge (popularly known as the Poll tax). This change to the way local government is funded was vociferously supported by the newspaper, despite widespread opposition, (some from Conservative MPs), which is seen as having contributed to Thatcher's own downfall. The tax was quickly repealed by her successor John Major, who The Sun initially supported enthusiastically, believing he was a radical Thatcherite - despite the economy having entered recession at this time. The Sun labelled those attending public protests opposing the tax as "thugs". The Sun attacked Labour leader John Smith in February 1994, for saying that more UK troops should be sent to Bosnia. (wikipedia) THE SUN...that shines outa one consistently principled mogul's...outlet. I wouldn't want to be a newspaper staff member on a "living wage" as Rupert moves towards Cyber Wapping. Pirate of the cyber seas. Allegiances oft lost on the winds of profiteering change. Cap'n Rupert always on the lookout for booty. Where be Treasure Island? N'

NormanK

27/03/2011Goodness me. Where is all this pessimism coming from? I hope it is a spill-over of events in NSW (which should have surprised no-one) and will wear off over the coming months. D Mick Weir and Doug Evans, I would love for you to spell out just what it is that has you so disillusioned with the ALP. I'm the young pup here but I can't see much reason for being so disgruntled unless of course you are hankering for bygone days when the Labor Party represented a romantic image you had of what your federal representatives should stand for on your behalf. If the modern ALP no longer represents the 'workers', it could be because there are less workers to represent. How many manufacturing jobs have been lost over the last forty years? What percentage of the workforce can now be truly regarded as blue-collar? And yet unemployment is steady at 5%. This means the workforce has moved into other areas with other needs. When did an initiative as big as the rolling back of WorkChoices get relegated to ancient history? What government over recent decades has been brave enough to tackle Industry Award reform? If there is some short-term pain over making the whole system more consistent and fairer right across the nation then surely that pain is worth it and will soon be forgotten. Which party has instigated the largest boost to pensions in decades? The Coalition had 11 years presiding over a boom economy and they did bugger all. This government has brought pensions back to something vaguely resembling equity, provided bonuses for Carers which make it easier to keep loved ones at home rather than putting further strain on over-stretched institutions and did it at a time when arguably the budget could least afford it. May I remind you of the GFC which took $110 billion out of the budget over the forward estimates. That's a lot of money which might otherwise have been spent on policies more to your liking but cuts had to be made and I think this is something which is worth keeping in mind every single day. Labor is building the NBN which will provide affordable broadband to all Australians, help reduce the tyranny of distance for regional and rural customers and boost the economy into the 21st Century. Wireless will expand exponentially on the back of this beautiful backbone, thereby making maximum use of new technology as it emerges. Labor is responsible for health reform which will (hopefully) add to decentralisation of services and provide a much-needed injection of capital. Schools across the nation are enjoying a $16 billion boost to capital works. Sounds like a Labor initiative to me. The MRRT will provide an extra $6 billion to infrastructure building right across the nation, something which is decades overdue. An increase in superannuation and a decrease in Company Tax are both laudable results at no direct cost to the budget. If you're concerned about refugee policy, as I am on humanitarian grounds, I would simply ask - what is the solution? No government in their right minds would allow applicants into the community before their claims have been fully processed. With the domestic and global politics on the issue being what they are today, it is impossible to return to the '70's. The age of terrorism and xenophobia are here to stay in the medium term and are likely to get worse before they get better. All it would take is for one, just one, refugee applicant to be associated with a violent crime or financial scam and the government would likely fall at the next election. The solution needs regional co-operation and close consultation with the UNHCR. Yes, processing times need to be shortened but not at the expense of due care to keep out the unwanted. As things stand at the moment, can you envisage the Coalition compensating low and middle income earners for the impacts of their Climate Change policy? This is Labor doing what Labor does - looking after the under-privileged and vulnerable while getting on with vital economic and environmental reform. To take a stand on proposed welfare reforms is a bit premature before seeing what is handed down in the next Budget. If Peter Hartcher had limited his article to the assertion that Labor may never again govern in its own right, I would have gone along with his hypothesis but to declare Labor is in its death throes is just hysterical or sensationalist blather. Yes, Labor is not the same as it was forty years ago but let's be honest - would we want it to be? Acerbic Conehead Thanks for a jolly good laugh. Even if I don't comment, you should know that your efforts are greatly appreciated.

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27/03/2011NormanK Very well said. It's time we all started talking Labor up - there are plenty out there who continually talk it down.

Lyn

27/03/2011Hi Norman K Thankyou for your delightful ("uplifting the spirits") comment. I have been missing you NormanK it's good to see you. What wonderful factual points you make about labor, NSW voters will get what they voted for, fantastic promises, signed contracts, BOF promised to resign if he can't deliver real change. Well, we will see about that promise. It was better that labor lost NSW anyway, the State was a burden to the Government, the roads are so conjested, with housing and transport problems everywhere. I suppose BOF will build a tunnel from Sydney all the way out to Cambelltown, that should ease the traffic, probably take 50 years to build. Maybe BOF will save building a giant tunnel, and take the easy way out by asking Mr Abbott to "Stop the traffic".

NormanK

27/03/2011Ad astra Sorry to have not addressed you directly. I agree with all that you have written over the last week or so and it strikes me as redundant sometimes to post a comment simply to convey such a message. I would not have posted at all if it had not been for the air of pessimism which seems to have crept in. NSW aside, I am optimistic about Federal and Queensland Labor who must now stick to their guns and pay no attention to polls. Bligh is far from a lame duck and Newman should enjoy his honeymoon while it lasts.

Feral Skeleton

27/03/2011Yay! NormanK is back! I was worried, NK. I thought one of us had said something wrong and you had rolled us up and chucked us in the bin. So happy to read your wise words again. :)

Feral Skeleton

27/03/2011Guys, Sorry I haven't been entering the conversation today. I wish I could have. However, I have overcome my grief(no use crying over spilt milk), and have been working on a new political primer for the ALP. :)

John

27/03/2011BOF the saviour of NSW!? wait for the 100 day, 6 month, 12 month reports. I doubt he'll be calling the Liberals' big kahuna, arm-waving, serial opponent, Tony Abbott. You might recall Abbott tried to steal all the media attention at BOF's campaign launch in western Sydney (I forget where) Besides, BOF does not seem to be the arm-waving, make-a-scene type. John :)

TalkTurkey

27/03/2011Well said NormanK. "Whaddawe want? Shangri-la! When do we wannit? Now!" All my adult life I have argued the simple proposition that if Labor doesn't govern, the others will, and they will make everything worse. Then Labor has to win power again and try to make up for damage done and for lost time. And always there are people, I won't say rats, ready to talk down the Party and instead of lending a hand are only too ready to jump ship. Fair weather friends. They are less noble even than the Enemy, nearly as low as scabs. Come on lukewarm supporters. Hot or not? What? Now is the time (it's always the time) to come to the aid of the Party. Not a truism, not just a typing exercise, but whoever said it first really meant it. DMW I don't think you are like that, nor I hope are you DE, but if you are with Us, don't talk Us down. Please.

Catching up

27/03/2011Did many of you hear what the loser raid last night. She said that they respect the voters decision. I think that all on this site also do the same, as this is democracy. You make your run and accept the decision until you get another chance after this government has run it course in four years time. It is not democracy to push a government to the polls because you do not agree with the decisions made. That does not mean we do not have the right to give opinions on the new government or that we have to agree with what it stands for. It does not mean what they are doing is for the benefit of us all. It also does not give us the right to hate. In a democracy you are required to respect the government’s right to exist. This is my concept of democracy and I believe it is time that many on the Oppositions side took a page out of the losing side last night and follow her example. Most Labor voters would acknowledge that it is not good for any government to be in power as long as sixteen years.

Acerbic Conehead 2

27/03/2011TT, “Time to do a Phoenix trick!” Great advice on the way forward in NSW. Think positive, learn from the mistakes from the past, and put the best foot forward. And, loved your description of Tones as the “Leader of the NO-position”, lol. “There is NO B PLANet” is a cracker also. BTW, is the Catalyst Team you are referring to the same as the Science one on the ABC? Apologies if I have got the wrong end of the stick there. Lyn, Thanks again for all the time and effort you put in, collating all those summaries of links for us. Your blood’s worth bottling. Patricia WA, Thank you for your poem, “Even More Revolting People”. You conjure up images of the scene very well – the Revolting Peoples’ Rally is akin to something out of a Monty Python sketch. They seem to existing in a parallel universe. And I had a great chuckle at the “Liberal Limericks” menu on Cafe Whispers. FS, That map of the wash-up of the NSW election you provided is very sobering. However, maybe folks there should see it as just like pruning roses. That might sound heartless and blasé, but it’s the best analogy I can think of at the moment. Nasking, Thanks also to you for your assessment of the NSW outcome. Yes, BOF might be making brave noises at the moment about health and the carbon tax, but let’s see what he does when rhetoric has to give way to reality. And, that précis of Rupert Murdoch’s shenanigans in Britain is jolting. Shades of 1984, I reckon. Doug Evans, Yes, I agree its “important to see clearly and not be distracted by sideshows”. Good government, by definition, has to be driven and inspired by good policy and genuinely participative processes. A different Senate in mid-year should provide a different context. John, We’re glad you got a kick out of The Political Sword today. Re-runs of Yes Minister should, indeed, be required viewing for everyone. Looking forward to more of your contributions. AA, Thank you for the email. Your sage advice is always worth its weight in gold. And I agree with your sentiments on Piers and Bolt hogging Insiders when it’s on. The last time Bolt darkened the screen, the missus suddenly discovered she had some urgent business to attend to elsewhere, and I even found some gardening chores more palatable. Speaks volumes. NormanK, Great to hear from you again. I hope things are going well for you in the Sunshine State. As you say, the many positive developments initiated by a minority government should not be denigrated by a toxic MSN. Just like in a Test Match, the steady score provides a foundation upon which to build (Confucius may have said that!).

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011[b]Doug Evans[/b] @ March 27. 2011 01:18 PM I will play 'snap' with your [i]'... my own sputtering, failing, definitely not valuable one'[/i] except to say I tend to treat everybody elses brains as valuable and the comments that come from them are words to learn from. My abused brain can get 'a bit off beam' sometimes. [i]'These are momentous times with big changes afoot. It is important to see clearly and not be distracted by sideshows.'[/i] Well said and you have made a point that I have not been able to make clearly. Although I don't claim to see it all clearly I do detect some very troubled times ahead. I will expand below. [b]NormanK[/b] @ March 27. 2011 08:12 PM Welcome back, I too had been concerned by your absence and am relieved and joyful that my worst fears had not come to pass. Another life prevents me from answering your questions in full at this time and I will come back to a number of them later. I will deal with one of your comments now. [i]To take a stand on proposed welfare reforms is a bit premature before seeing what is handed down in the next Budget. [/i] My exact comment @ March 21. 2011 09:21 PM on the [b]Is the Liberal Party guilty of ‘race baiting’?[/b] in response to FS: FS @ March 21. 2011 08:55 PM [i]'... the upcoming Budget [b]was[/b] going to be about Welfare Reform ...' [/i] My emphasis, but was may be the operative word. We can hope, but I don't hold out much of it. I will admit to pessimism, but don't accept that I have in any way taken a stand that says 'it won't happen' or anything like that. Please accept my apologies in advance if I have misunderstood that is what you were implying. Why am I pessimistic about 'the welfare budget'? Why do I suspect that there indeed some very troubled times ahead? Go no further than this: Weekend AFR 26-27 March 2011 pp 28-29 print edition. [b]Swan's May budget could well see history repeat itself[/b] - Geoff Kitney [i]There are echoes of the Fraser government's refusal to pass Whitlam's supply bills in the oppostion's current strategy. ... With the summer parliamentary session ... ending in acrimony, the 2011-12 federal budget is being framed in an intense political climate not seen since the last Whitlam budget ... ... At a testy caucus meeting on Tuesday, where Labor's left faction objected to a government proposal to increase pressure on the unemployed to actively seek jobs, Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned Labor MPs should gird themselves for tighter limits on social spending as part of the government's fiscal consolidation plans.' Treasurer Wayne Swan took the unusual step on Wednesday of making a pre-budget statement in Parliament where he warned of "tough calls" to come ...[/i] It would be easy to say that Kitney is 'blowing in the wind' and and his opinions are 'baseless'. It would be easy to pick holes in his 'theories'. IMHO that would be a waste of time as we would be missing the import of 'the softeningup process' and not be girding ourselves for the 'mother of all battles' that the opposition is about to unleash. Call me cynical if you will, call me paranoid if you wish but 'my tea-leaves' tell me that things are very crook in Tullarook.

TalkTurkey

28/03/2011AC said "TT . . . . . . is the Catalyst Team you are referring to the same as the Science one on the ABC?" Yup. "Successor" to the quality ABC science program Quantum, which it replaced during the reign of the Rodent. When I get a few responses to my question about it at 3.56 yesterday, I'll say a little more. Especially interested in replies from those of a scientific bent. FS? Aa? NK? Others?

Doug Evans

28/03/2011NormanK Thanks for your comment. I'm an elderly new kid in this blog and there is much that I like about it. I enjoy the quality of the writing, the supportive nature of the comments and (up to a point) their positivity. I suspect also that I share much with the regular contributors. I certainly read the same papers, listen to and watch the same radio and TV channels. However I confess to being a bit baffled at times about the level of cheeriness. I'm interested in political discussion and as you seem to be inviting a little of that I'll have a shot. You asked about the source of my pessimism in respect of the ALP. I have previously commented on the necessity of seeing clearly. I would like to think that what you see as pessimism actually reflects my attempt to see clearly what is going on around us but as you asked about its source here it is – Until the last election I was a lifelong Labor voter. Voted for Lindsay Tanner in every Federal election he contested and for Gerry Hand before him. Hope that gets me off the fair-weather friend charge TT. As a social democrat I became progressively more and more troubled by the creeping conservatism of the party under Hawke and Keating. It may well have been a necessary part of the successful re-orientation of the Party enabling it to take and retain power during the 80s and 90s but gradually the party moved from social democracy to neo-liberalism. To me this was definitely not OK. Neither was it OK with me that core values were jettisoned as Labor's strategists made it clear that as the bleeding hearts on the left had nowhere else to go they could be ignored in the pursuit of the tricky middle ground. It was something of a seminal moment for me to see one night on the news the then leader of the Labor opposition Simon Crean sneeringly dismiss the notion of the ALP as a social democratic party. If not that what on earth was it? At the time I think there was still a degree of enchantment with Tony Blair's Third Way. During the 1970s I lived in Denmark and experienced first hand the benefits of social democratic government. The prosperity and high quality of health, education, social services and public housing still enjoyed today – despite years of centre right government – are primarily due to the activities of successive Social democratic governments in the post war decades. Consequently through the 80s and 90s I was less than enchanted by the ALPs drift to the right at both State and federal level and only partly mollified by the fact that it enabled Labor to keep the coalition out of government. The hollowing out of the education sector under Dawkins, the ongoing neglect of public housing and public transport at State level. I consoled myself with the thought that at least my local member hailed from the left and was in there fighting the good fight for truth and justice. Naive or what? Along with all of you I endured the Howard decade with gritted teeth and my heart leapt when Kevin 07 burst on the scene and his demise need not be recounted but it is symptomatic of what currently ails Labor. What you call my pessimism NormanK I would describe as realism and it is grounded in Labor history. The achievements you list are substantial. However health reform is not concluded and looking more and more shaky as time passes and the new coalition State governments come to the table. The MMR is a pale shadow of a good and just idea, the ETS is the right thing to do but Gillard was dragged to that only by circumstance and the irony has escaped no-one. Until the minority government came along there was only the vague promises to revisit this sometime in the future. Otherwise the government’s election thought bubbles around climate change policy were laughable. Nevertheless in terms of policy initiatives quite a lot has been achieved. I confess my focus on climate change and the government's miserable response to that had taken my mind off several of these. As you note the coalition's record over the previous decade was as usual, dismal. My criticism of the ALP does not (I hope) reflect a romantic hankering after an imagined golden era in the past nor is it driven by angst about the changing times. At its core is the mixture of unprincipled pragmatism and operational incompetence that have so characterized the operation of the party in recent years. Good initiatives been put in place as you say NormanK but they are leavened with a longish list of spectacular failures which have so damaged this government's standing with the electorate. I hope Gillard gets another term, the alternative is unbearable to contemplate. But I am not confident. Given the achievements you list, the continuing minerals boom and the tidal wave of goodwill that Labor rode onto power only three (or is it four now) years ago the government should be riding high but isn’t. The ALP has a problem with the erosion of their vote on the left with the left leaning young increasingly uninterested in Labor and older lefties like me drifting to the Greens. The numbers may not be great but the vote is steadily rising. Don’t be distracted by the Greens’ failure to win State lower house seats in either Victoria or NSW the vote is still trending up. On Labor’s right, given the current disenchantment of the centre with this government I think it will be difficult for them to get back next time but who knows? Greens preferences will mostly track back to Labor in the event of Greens candidates missing out and with Labor and the coalition swapping preferences to shut out the Greens this might be enough to get Gillard back. Also two years down the track with the ETS bedded down and when people have realized that it didn’t cause the sky to fall they might feel more forgiving. But falling back into government by virtue of the vagaries of the electoral system does not warrant a ringing endorsement and should prompt active reconsideration of future policy directions and party processes. Perhaps the NSW debacle will prompt this. Thanks for other comments also to DMW and TT but time for bed now Perhaps come back to them.

TalkTurkey

28/03/2011PatriciaWA Here's anothery if you like: Abbortt is a climate change denier Who calls Julia Gillard Ju-Liar: He shames our democracy With shameless hypocrisy - With our Ranga he's playing with fire. How long do yous reckon the creep will last? Who will give the spiv the shiv? Tweedledee Turdball or Tweedledum Snotty Joe? Reminds me of that Tasmanian escapee convict cannibal Alexander Pearce and his last couple of fellow escapees . . . How they circled and stalked each other for days and days trying not to go to sleep . . . No wonder Abbortt is losing his hair and Turdball is looking cadaverous and Snotty is compulsively obese and ever-more-defensive/evasive all the time. All three are fatally wounded by actions and positions of their own doing. A three-way duel must sooner or later occur, where each will have so much baggage with different parts of the Coalition that no one can command as much as a two-thirds support from their own party. Riding a greasy razorback. Yum.

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28/03/2011Folks I see you have been very active overnight with interesting comments. Thank you. We are flying to Perth early this morning to visit my sister and our daughter and her family for three weeks so you won't hear from me again until I'm in Perth later in the day. In the meantime I know you'll keep the dialogue going.

Lyn

28/03/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS [/b] [i]Rupert's Top Ten, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] But don't underestimate the power of the News Ltd machine to turn this into something else). http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]Talking to Gladys, Andrew Elder, Politically homeless[/i] O'Brien looked rattled by the end of the program, a quill-and-ink man in the age of Twitter. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Thoughts on the intervention in Libya, Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i] we can be sure of is that there will be many surprises along the road and things will not turn out as most of us expect. http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/ [i]What has the NSW Coalition promised for health?, Melissa Sweet, Croakey[/i] headlines of what has been promised, according to the incoming Health Minister Jillian Skinner’s website. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2011/03/27/what-has-the-nsw-coalition-promised-for-health/ [i]Thank God that's over, Ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] With 16 years in opposition I doubt any of the now ex- NSW opposition has experience in government. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/thank-god-thats-over/ [i]Like wow — wipeout, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] The upper house looks like 11 seats for the Coalition, five for Labor, three for the Greens and one each for Shooters and Fishers and the Christian Democratic Party, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/03/27/like-wow-wipeout/ [i]Liberals to Rule NSW, John, True Politik[/i] the Coalition that its campaign advertising about a carbon tax influencing the result will be, at best, ‘spin’. Spin really refers to political false advertising. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/ [i]Rock-bottom redux: Last drinks rites for the Labor Party? Part One, Left Flank[/i] The voters of NSW have repudiated 16 years of economic rationalism. The problem is that there is no political party speaking for them. http://left-flank.blogspot.com/2011/03/rock-bottom-redux-last-drinks-rites-for.html [i]Can Kristina Keneally go all the way to the top?, Tess Lawrence, Independent Australia[/i] Barry O’Farrell acknowledged that Keneally was “a skilled communicator” and “energetic campaigner” http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/can-kristina-keneally-go-all-the-way-to-the-top/ [i]Pure Poison Unplugged, Dave Gaukroger.[/i] this is Dave and Jeremy watching Insiders over breakfast http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/03/27/pure-poison-unplugged/

2353

28/03/2011Newman or O'Farrell must have done something to the natives. The local LNP State Member was doing the handout thing at my station this morning (don't know what was on the handout as they only covered half the entries!). Anyone what to guess when O'Farrell claims he's looked at the NSW books and the financial situation is much worse than expected (or "we" were told about) - so all promises are off? I'm tipping late this week. Nasking pulled together some of the existing criticism of Newman earlier in this thread. There is plenty more around. I can't see Seeney and Newman holding the "tag team" thing together for too long, apparently Fiona Simpson (a Sunny Coast ex-Nat now LNP MP) ran for the leadership against Seeney even after the LNP faceless men had the deal stitched together. The ALP won Beattie's last election when Flegg answered the "who will be the Premier" question on day 1 of the relevant election and blew the "Borg for Queensland" advertising wide open. In this case Newman has to get a 7% swing to win - not an easy task when Queensland is not showing signs of a NSW style whitewash. So who will be the Premier if the LNP gets up but Newman doesn't? Ask it soon, often and on every forum you get the chance to do so - sooner or later the cracks will appear.

Lyn

28/03/2011Hi Doug Evans I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post March 28. 2011 01:18 AM I am glad you consider yourself a new kid on this blog, because soon you will be a old kid on this blog, that means we get to keep you here. [quote][i]I'm an elderly new kid in this blog and there is much that I like about it. I enjoy the quality of the writing, the supportive nature of the comments and [/i][/quote] I agree with you, we do have excellent, quality writers here, and now, you are just as important, on our growing list of interesting, brilliant posts. Mind you, as I said before, I have a great time reading all our fantastic posts, because I am a woeful writer. Cheers

Patricia WA

28/03/2011Lyn's right, Doug, you'll soon be feeling at home here. It's a very welcoming site and Lyn's Links are a great way for we 'elderly' contributors to find our way through the myriad possibilities offered on the net for those interested in how our world is travelling. Lyn, thank you for visiting polliepomes and your encouraging comment. My very first at the site! Re the mast-head picture, I like it too, but it was automatically provided when I applied to Wordpress for the site with the option to find my own and replace it. I haven't got around to that so far. I still have a lot of work to do there - background info etc. Oddly yes, tha image does reflect my mood these days, if not my environment which is all bright sunshine, blue skies and certainly no misty, muddy tree-lined lanes to wander! Anyway, I am not seeking to use 'polliepmes' for 'blogging commentary' as such. It simply seemed the best way to collate in one spot the 'pomes' and comments from the various locations which first excited me to write my views in verse in the first place. I spent a few days last week tying them all together and was astounded at how much had happened in 2010 and the fast pace of events throughout that year. One thing it underlined for me is that all this talk of ten to fifteen years of Barry O'Farrell and the death of Labor in NSW doesn't have to be true. Politics are so volatile, which in one sense is threatening but in another offers opportunities for reformists. Mind you something has to be done about the media and the all-controlling hand of Rupert Murdoch who seems to think we are all pawns in whatever power game he wants to play at any time anywhere in the world.

nasking

28/03/2011[quote]Which party has instigated the largest boost to pensions in decades? The Coalition had 11 years presiding over a boom economy and they did bugger all. This government has brought pensions back to something vaguely resembling equity, provided bonuses for Carers which make it easier to keep loved ones at home rather than putting further strain on over-stretched institutions and did it at a time when arguably the budget could least afford it.[/quote] Indeed Norman. Very important...assisting carers...and pensioners. Plenty of pensioners have been ill a good long time and some will say that they could've worked more...but many have mood disorders/psychiatric problems and aging bodies that make it difficult for them to participate at the levels many of the "lucky DNA" types do. It's easy for those who come from privileged dynasties or even regular business families that have seen more desk, sales and thinking jobs to criticise...but plenty of pensioners have done the hard yards physically...jobs ranging from construction, to digging holes, landscaping, mowing, shifting crates of milk & veges, to lifting boxes, cleaning, fruit picking, helping the disabled, moving furniture or boxes of tinned goods and so on...these jobs can really wear people down...and some can even push their brains too hard in stressful jobs...whether it be in the frontline crew of a bank, transport department, pharmacy, lawyer's office, classrooms, airline, supermarket and so on. It's all relative...and unless you've walked in that person's shoes, experienced their lives, pressures & trauma...and have their specific DNA & ailments you can't judge fully their capability to fulfil the duties that some expect of them. Certainly there should be opportunities provided for younger pensioners to join the workforce, both paid & voluntary...and training, skills updating opportunities are essential...but I would not like to see a Japanese style "driving" of people...and humiliation of those finding it difficult to participate full-time...for as we now starkly observe, the "Japanese miracle" is not all it was marketed as. It's easy for rich kids w/ big media outlets to stomp on those receiving sickness benefit...and demand older workers contribute longer before they receive their oft hard-earned pension...but I rarely see them out there consistently doing the physically exhausting jobs...and when they apply themselves mentally...they know they always have Daddy & Mummy's money to fall back on...dig them out of their failure wells...unlike the average folk. Some have done well w/out dynastic connections/support...but too often they have sold many a principle down the road or exploited/taken advantage of others in order to get to where they are...even been bloody lucky...or have contacts that many others don't. A certain amount of arrogance and lack of empathy can derive from such success...a distancing of oneself from others in the socio economic demographic you started in... and resorting to clichés about other workers...and pensioners...can be a handy way to avoid true reflection...and the guilt that comes w/ exploitation, backstabbing, immoral behaviour as one climbs the ladder...and betraying one's roots... or even compulsive asset accumulation...rejection, and sense of isolation & loneliness. Aggressivity & blowharding & triumphalism, in & out of the workplace, can also be behavioural characteristics of those not seeking to reflect hard on their lives. So it's time stopped labelling pensioners w/ the same brush...and using them as political footballs...these are all unique individuals who deserve to be treated and assessed fairly using broad criterion...and many respected for the efforts they've put in, no matter how long...some blaze for a short time and then burn out, are less intense somewhat...but many play important roles in keeping our lives rolling along. It's time we moved away from diminishing the efforts of THE MANY and being cynical & suspicious of their efforts...just because of a FEW apathetic or corrupt types who are used to tar all w/ the same brush by THE FEW who hope to reduce their own taxes in order to enhance or retain their privileges. I'm tired of creeping cynicism & mistrust in the people. We see some for vested interest & myopic ideological/political/trauma reasons acting this way towards the "Arab Spring" movements. Ironic, considering so many of the doubters & cynics were keen to promote "optimistic", "be positive" motivational speakers when the times & profits suited them. BTW, I think rental assistance increases are essential. And ensuring people can earn more before they are taxed. And lower the thresholds for healthcare cards. We have mega billions coming into this country due to the exploitation of this land & some of its people...the least governments can do is spread the wealth around to those who have put in too oft unrecognised service to their country & fellow humans...even animals. Let those w/ the hoarded money & assets take up the slack if they can't be bothered creating jobs or being truly philanthropic (and that doesn't mean giving money to cults and charities that sees them benefit in the long run...that's not altruistic). We didn't get where we are because a few cavemen hoarded the goodies whilst leaving the others to starve or fall prey to predators (think financial oganisations). Let's provide training & work incentives...but also make people's lives more comfortable...provide them w/ opportunities for more self-worth...and respect. It economically makes sense too...as they will spread the moneys around. Not hoard as much as some...nor use offshore tax havens. N'

NormanK

28/03/2011D Mick Weir & Doug Evans Thanks for your responses, I look forward to more of them. I only posted my comment because I had waited for a few days for greater elaboration regarding your concerns and since they weren't forthcoming, I figured a bit of prompting was in order. Firstly, can I say I am pleased to see you didn't adopt the 'block quote war' technique of quoting back at me large chunks of what I had written - it drives me loopy. Quotes - yes; bloody great chunks - not so pleasing. I'm not about to launch into a robust rebuttal of your points, in fact there is much good sense in what you have written and I don't have the historical knowledge to speak about long-term trends and shortcomings. Quite a few of us here enjoy a good cricketing analogy and I like to believe that I am the naive new player who isn't afraid to swing the bat for fear of the consequences. Also, whilst I respect and acknowledge the long history of the game, I prefer to attack the problems presented by a particular pitch on a given day. DE, I can see that I will need to avoid using the word 'pessimism' in conversations with you so can we perhaps substitute 'reservations' if it carries less negative connotations? I guess my optimism stems from recent events which seem to point to the ALP recognising that focus group driven policy-making is a complete failure - the last election proved that beyond a doubt. Also Gillard & Co seem to be more willing to stand up to hostile elements in the media and have abandoned the 'go along to get along' tactic adopted late in Rudd's period at the helm. The rise of the Greens, something about which I was ambivalent a year ago, appears to be a good thing for the progressive side of politics. It does two things. Firstly, it shows the Labor power-brokers that there is still a significant amount of support in the electorate for socially democratic principles and they need not continue this headlong rush to the conservative approach to policy-making. Cynically, there are votes to be had there; philosophically, there is still a good body of support for 'old Labor' principles. I hope they are awake to this fact. Secondly, if the Greens hold the balance of power in the Upper House and Labor is forced into a loose coalition with them in the Lower House, the Greens will act as a moderating force to prevent legislation from becoming too conservative. I will break my own rules (opining without having sufficient factual knowledge on a subject) and offer the opinion that the amendments to the NBN legislation which were negotiated on Friday appear worthwhile because they increase transparency and take some absolute power away from NBN Co. I don't fully understand Conroy's desire for the restrictions he would have liked to maintain over the ACCC and FOI access. However, the moderating effects of the Greens and Independents certainly need not be seen as a bad thing. My point being that Labor could perhaps take heart from the rise of the Greens and learn to live with the idea of having to work with them for the foreseeable future. Doug Evans, I'm not sure what would be on the [quote]longish list of spectacular failures which have so damaged this government's standing with the electorate.[/quote] Perceived failures I can acknowledge but even then my list would not be longish. To finish on a positive note, I agree that the NSW debacle [quote]should prompt active reconsideration of future policy directions and party processes.[/quote] One would like to think such activities are already in train. The ALP can not afford another 2010 but Gillard seems to have come back from the Christmas break with fire in her belly and an inclination to ignore the polls in the short-term. Fingers crossed.

NormanK

28/03/2011What a bunch of sweethearts we have here at TPS. My absence was brought about by a house guest and a disgruntlement with the politicking and political reporting of the last week or so. TPS is but a very small pond but it is nice to know that I was missed. :) As an example of the dearth of good reporting last week, the amount of time and space given to 'Bob Browns Bitch' (and the lack of an apostrophe) compared with discussing the detailed content of the significant NBN legislation being debated in the Senate is a case in point. I don't dispute Abbott's presence at the so-called 'people's revolt' was newsworthy and the signs were sexist and disrespectful but this NBN legislation is not only crucial to its future, it will also have a huge impact on NBN Co and the rules under which it will operate. Barely a peep out of the MSM though because it is just a sideshow to the reality programme that is "SURVIVOR - Canberra".

Ad astra reply

28/03/2011Folks I'm now in Perth and about to read your comments. LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

debbiep

28/03/2011Hi all Lots of insightful comments ~ I enjoy reading them :) To Doug I understand your raised points, issues & concerns with the Labor party. I also moved over more to the Greens tho not in the recent NSW state election - I voted for an Independent (first time) - for John Hatton. Right down to (but only) visiting Denmark in the 70's I understand and advocate how Denmark has a good history in looking after social issue making the people their voting it the Happiest country back a year or so. I also look at Norway’s resource taxes and think/ wished we could learn from them also. To Nasking ~ really understand your 12:50 PM comments

Doug Evans

28/03/2011NormanK Off the top of my head - On my list of miserable failures (whether it is 'longish' or not depends on you) would be for a start just about any policy initiative associated with climate change. Rudd's CPRS was a dud and deserved to fail. Bernard Keane is interesting on the similarities and differences between what he assumes will emerge from the Multi Party climate committee and Rudd's original. The Home insulation scheme was a monumental cock up by any measure. The Global Carbon Institute a total dud. Money wasted on Carbon capture and sequestration ditto. The only exception was the Mandatory renewable energy target although too low at 20% by 2020 I gather it has driven some investment into wind energy. Common sense only began to emerge in Labor policy in this area when the Greens began to make demands and we must wait and see what they deliver with the current Carbon tax - ETS proposal. On a slightly different note did you see that the IPA's Renaissance man Chris Berg has begun prognosicating in the Age that yes the climate may be warming so we had better get cracking with climate adaptation. IPA director John Roskam openly boasted that the IPA had funded just about every climate change sceptic in Australia so what is the Age doing inviting Berg to opine on this topic? More later.

Jason

28/03/2011Doug, In part the insulation scheme was a Stuff up! 1 it wasn't compulsory and 2 if your going to let someone do work on your house you make sure they have the qualifications to do the job! Just as much blame belong to the home owner as well! As far as Rudd's CPRS went it failed because the Greens didn't like it! they seem to have had the attitude that 100% of nothing is better than 50, 60 70 80 or even 90% of something. It was at least a start and could have always been added to as opposed to what we have in place now!

Doug Evans

28/03/2011Jason Don't agree with either point. The CPRS was a failure because it was climatically completely useless and the small print precluded the possibility of ratcheting the scheme up without paying massive compensation. A great deal was written about this at the time. Richard Denniss from the Australia Institute had a lot to say about this and you could still download his papers from their website I'm sure. The CPRS was also unbelievably profligate with the compensation to Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed industries. A study by the Grattan Institute at the time found that unwarranted compensation to the tune of $20 billion was proposed. $20 billion!! So much money was promised to industry that it completely swallowed the money needed for compensation and support of other clean energy technologies. One of the most idiotic failings of the CPRS Mk1 at least was that it actually neutralized a whole suite of other initiatives like green energy programs and various forms of green offset. Richard Denniss and Alan Pears both pointed this out very clearly at the time. It was for these reasons that Rudd's CPRS was a failure. The Greens were absolutely right to oppose it and they have been unjustly vilified for doing so. In the media Chris Uhlmann, the commentator Sword folk love to hate, and Barrie Cassidy were among the most consistent in blaming the Greens for the failure of the CPRS. On market based mechanisms for reducing green house gas emissions more generally - the government don't want to know but no-one should be in any doubt that by itself such measures will not be effective. Many commentators have drawn attention to the fact that they are a necessary component of a wider suite of complementary policies On the Home insulation scheme. When the government actively promotes under its own aegis a program it takes on the responsibility of ensuring that it can be delivered without endangering life or property. Consumers who sign up wanting to 'do the right thing by the environment' have the right to expect that due dilligence has been carried out. Weren't there successful law suits against government and/or installers at the time? Perhaps I am misremembering this.

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011[b]NormanK[/b] I have done a runner on 'my other life' and will take some time to respond further to your comprehensive comment of yesterday @ 08:12 PM Also [b]TalkTurkey[/b] @ March 27. 2011 09:56 PM I hope some of what follows may assuage your worries :) A (hopefully) brief background. My high school years were immersed in radical politics and a deep interest in electoral and voting systems. I was 'groomed' with the moratorium marches of the late sixties early seventies and 'supped' at the feet of radical legends such as Peter Cundall so I was certainly of a socialist bent in my early politics. There may be archival footage of me being very loud mouthed and outspoken toward Malcolm Fraser during Nov 75 as I was front and centre (left?) when he campaigned in my neck of the woods. Life changed and I mellowed a little (like a good red!!!). During the Hawke/Keating years I did speak out against some policies that to me were more like Liberal Party policies than Labor ones but basically accepted it was 'capitalism with a bit of a heart' and so may be not so bad after all. The Howard years, well what can I say, it was distressing. I suspected that the economic (non) policies would do more harm than good but didn't have the knowledge to understand why and therefore speak about it. I felt that in opposition Labor were also letting the country down at times. I did think it was a shame that Crean didn't get to contest an election as leader although I didn't think he could beat Howard. We will never know. In early 2006 SHMBOALTI, a devotee of Sunrise, opined that K Rudd would make a good leader of the party and would be the next Prime Minister. I shuddered and suggested if he did become leader it would come to grief and that J Gillard would be my choice if asked as I thought she was a better all round pollie. Little did I know. I swallowed my pride when they got up as a team and suggested that the members of the parliamentary party had a better insight than me. At this point in time I have two worries re GR & JG. Mr Rudd may yet be considered by history a better PM than Ms Gillard and also that his term as PM may be longer than Ms Gillards. Apologies if that was all dull colourless and boring but oh well sometimes it feels good to talk about ones self :) (but only rarely) I echo and agree with much of what [b]Doug Evans[/b] wrote @ March 28. 2011 01:18 AM I am certainly not hankering after or pining for Labor of forty tears ago. Maybe for the direction Labor of fifteen years ago was heading (with improvements and modifications to suit the times and events). Industrial Relations is one area I would not regard as a success in the last three years. Jason would have a better idea than me on this but many consider the changes made to be Work Choices Light and the continuation of the Australian Building and Construction Commission without serious modification was shameful. Your point about there not being so many 'workers' is because Howard/Costello turned many of us into contractors and small business owners and Labor has done itself a disservice by not embracing that sector of economy. As a person who is owned by a small business I can't list one thing that has been of benefit to my business despite a few promises. Still the 'sky hasn't fallen in' so maybe it was about right. The GFC a cynical take: At least Mr Rudd showed that he was capable of taking advice from the public service even if only for a short time. Applause is due to them all the same. The NBN. Only time will tell on this one but overall I back it with some technical and economic 'niggles'. It does seem that some of the recent ammendments may steer the project onto a better course. I am not up with it all yet. School Halls, hmm, interesting that many an opposition member appear not to be backward in coming forward to attend the openings in thier electorates!!! Nine out of ten. The MRRT. This has been a balls up from begining to end and I can't see the end of problems with the passge of this one at the moment. It was, IMHO, a big mistake to 'cherry pick' it from the Henry Report and not tie its' introduction in with other changes. Most of what you wrote om refugees etc. makes sense and I mostly agree. It is still 'insane' to my way of thinking that Labor has tried to be as, or maybe more, hardline than the opposition. The only 'part' solution I have to offer on Refugee policy is a far greater use of 'community detention'. The current policy of 'jailing' refugees for long periods is more than inhumane; to my mind it is criminal. The evidence on 'integrating' refugees into the community is that a far greater number 'go back home' and those that stay are not 'bitter and twisted' about being unfaily incarcerated and make excellent citizens . The [b]BIG MISTAKE[/b] of the last election campaign was to lock in having the budget in surplus for the 2012-13 year. That and a few other things tell me that Labor is still steering an economic course that is more neocon/neoliberal than Liberal Socilal Democric (if there is such an animal). If I had input to that part of I would have said something like [i]'Our aim is to get the budget back into surplus in the shortest tim possible, which at the moment is 2012-13, however, as always we will have to take into account what happens in the wider world'[/i] Yes there is a small bit of hindsight in that now, but I did say at the time that it was unwise to lock it in as they did. There is some evidence that the government is loosing the grip that the 'western suburbs focus group' and 24 hour news cycle led managerialism of the recent past but not enough for me. Oh and a late disclosure TT I once gave a first preference vote to a Liberal Party candidate who I thought would make a much better local representaive. My only other justification is that I knew she had a snowballs chance in Hades of being elected on my vote alone. (I may pontificate on the effectiveness of our individual vote at another time)

NormanK

28/03/2011Doug Evans I promise I won't do this with everything that you say but you might be interested in this if you haven't already read it: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/10/19/insulation-fire-risk-–-the-data-is-in/ I love numbers and this analysis certainly swung my opinion around from calling the scheme a debacle to recognising that it became a monumental PR failure. It should also be noted that of the four deaths associated with the scheme (industrial manslaughter cries the opposition), three have ended up in the courts with the employers being held to blame for shoddy work practices. Could it have been done better? Absolutely. Was it the unmitigated disaster the likes of The Australian would have us believe? I now think not. Another factor in all of this is doubtful earlier electrical work on top of which the insulation was laid - each company should have been obliged to employ an electrician to inspect premises before and after the job but one can imagine what that might have done to costs. It was however a very poor choice of stimulus programme (in hindsight). On the CPRS, I have never seen a decent objective analysis of what was proposed. It had bi-partisan support (until Abbott opposed it for political reasons) so one would like to think that it wasn't complete rubbish. The Greens hated it because it didn't go far enough for them - they could afford the luxury of holding strong uncompromising views because they were in no position to actually implement their policy. It will indeed be interesting to see what comes out of the new Committee. It will do me no credit in your eyes but the other schemes were ditched before they could make any real progress and are particularly small fry in the the greater scheme of things. The IPA stuff is interesting and well worth a follow-up. Thanks.

TalkTurkey

28/03/2011Doug Evans Yes, Welcome to TPS. We are basically pretty friendly and by-and-large in agreement - not always, and not necessarily, but it's surprising how generally most of us do seem to share opinions, quite independently. Those few who have disagreed in really disagreedy terms seem to have been burnt off like warts by some caustic comments, and in the end, and perhaps best, by ignoring them. But that doesn't mean we're necessarily intolerant of others' opinions, well that's the theory anyway, if there seems to be some weight to what they have to say. But that said, I do have to chide you a bit. You said, "Until the last election I was a lifelong Labor voter. Voted for Lindsay Tanner in every Federal election he contested and for Gerry Hand before him. Hope that gets me off the fair-weather friend charge TT." Now, I never actually made that charge of you, indeed I specifically left you and myself an 'out', I said, "DMW I don't think you are like that, nor I hope are you DE" . . . Yet oddly, now that you've said the foregoing about being a lifelong labor voter, well now I think you've jumped back into the frying pan of your own providing! Because you can not now say you are a lifelong Labor voter, having it seems deserted it just when we needed you most! That's if the sentence below means you DID drift to the Greens, which it doesn't but seems to imply: "The ALP has a problem with the erosion of their vote on the left with the left leaning young increasingly uninterested in Labor and older lefties like me drifting to the Greens." It does seem to me that you seem a bit confused, as in your use of the term "leavened" in this sentence: "Good initiatives been put in place as you say NormanK but they are leavened with a longish list of spectacular failures which have so damaged this government's standing with the electorate." Leaven and leaden are actually close to being opposites, (though one's a verb or noun and t'other's an adjective) and to leaven with failure is about the opposite to using a helium balloon as a sinker. Not that that's important, (I don't mean to nitpick on linguistics) but it is important to think through the implications of withdrawing support from the ALP or even damning it with faint praise; what the Party needs and has always needed and always will is grunty commitment and vocal support. It's not a matter of Labor right or wrong, but they would corporately have to do something very wrong imo for me to jump ship. Because otherwise THEM, the Rotten Right Rotters will form a government, and as you say that's unbearable to contemplate. There are always more good-hearted people by far in the ALP than there are the self-seekers and snouts in the trough that the Media promotes and that many people seem happy to believe is true of us, and to repeat and insist to be the case. I have several Greens amongst my friends, nice concerned non-extremist people sure, but it is they who are responsible for there being no EMS at all, (as the Democrats so-called in the person of Meg Lees are responsible for the GST) and in my opinion, the Greens are by extension really responsible for Labor's near-loss in the last Fed election. They do know this, and they are pretty shame-faced and mumbly when I put that accusation to them. (BTW I've been "green" since before a lot of them were pink!) Anyway, there is a lot of forgiveness in decent Lefty types, and I am not about to hold too much against a well-meaning lamb (or old ram for that matter) having strayed to what may seem greener pastures. At least you have not sided with the horrible Right, and your vote hopefully came back to Labor on preferences, but in the meantime I assume that you have been lukewarm on the fringes where you might have been hot in the midst and doing something about the state of the Party as you see it. There are only two sides, and if you don't get Labor you get THEM. 'Twere better far, in my opinion, to be Green Labor than Labor Green, the impressive and undoubtedly worthwhile personality of Bob Brown notwithstanding. And there will be great rejoicing when you return to the Labor fold. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My first captcha text failed. This new one is estemyC Political What does it all mean?!

Jason

28/03/2011Doug, So even after the second one when the Libs agreed under Turnbull and two of their senators crossed the floor on the vote you still say 100% of nothing is better than what's in place now? So am I to understand Abbott's version would be vastly better than what Rudd put up? and that would sway the greens? Back to the home insulation scheme maybe we're lucky here in SA but without a builders licence you can't put insulation in a roof! So that stopped a lot of the fly by nighters trying make a quick buck!Yes the government has to take some of the blame,but in states where say a "hairdresser" could've set up shop to put insulation in a house without any sort of checks! I would say it's hardly the federal government's fault

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011Doug Evans @ March 28. 2011 04:51 PM I will bow to your superior knowledge on the subject of climate change but it is line with what I have read in other places. Re the Home Insulation Scheme, certainly could have been managed better but that is/was one of the hazards of quick ramp to ameliorate a 'crisis'. Not sure I agree on the expectation of others (the guvmnt) re due diligence. Here I become a bit of a 'anti-socialist' and tend to think too many people blame the guvmnt for there own stupidities. The program apparently cut the number of fires (and therefore possibly deaths). Possum had the story: [b]Insulation Fire Risk – The data is in[/b] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/10/19/insulation-fire-risk-%E2%80%93-the-data-is-in/ [i]What we found was that under every possible scenario, the government insulation program – far from increasing the rates of fire occurring from installing insulation – actually reduced the rate of fires and likely reduced the rate in a quite substantial manner.[/i]

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28/03/2011Folks I've just finished reading your comments - informative and insightful. While it is understandable that there is some gloom around after the weekend, the results were foregone and the polls were pretty right, so although we are disappointed, we ought not to have been surprised. The results though have brought forth a lot of soul searching among Labor supporters on [i]TPS[/i], and that is the area where there has been a difference of opinion, some seeing very difficult times ahead, others expressing more optimism. Perhaps both are on the money. My own views are as follows: While the Labor ‘brand’ has been damaged by the NSW result in the eyes of the NSW electorate and beyond, how much of the damage will flow over into the federal sphere is unknowable. There is plenty of conjecture around; those who express certainty are foolish or are attempting to take a political advantage by appearing to know when they cannot. The ones who really count are not the commentators but voters who have changed their voting preference at this election. Will they change similarly at a federal poll? I suspect these voters may feel quite differently about federal Labor from NSW Labor with its past history of incompetence, malpractice and factional infighting. So let’s just wait and see what the polls say and eventually what the people say at an election. There is no significant change today in TPP in the [i]Essential poll[/i], taken before the election but at a time we all knew what the result would be. Tuesday’s [i]Newspoll[/i] should be informative. A positive outcome might be that Labor’s sharp decline in parliamentary members in NSW will be akin to ‘the lancing of a boil’, and we all know that when the pus is out the boil begins to heal. Having had the satisfaction of throwing out the NSW Labor Government, is the electorate now hell-bent on similarly throwing out Federal Labor? The Opposition will want that, but in my opinion that seems like wishful thinking. It is a time for analysis and Hillbilly Skeleton is preparing a piece that does that and sets out a ‘primer’ for Labor in the time ahead. In judging Labor’s term in office we need to ask ourselves what we expected of Labor and to what extent it has delivered. This is not the time or place to do that in detail as much research is needed and much discounting of the assessments of the MSM, particularly the Murdoch press. We need to ask ‘Where do we get our data to make a judgement?’ If we rely too heavily on the media we certainly will get a distorted picture, sometimes grossly so. We will, for example, be lead to the conclusion that the BER was a disaster of mismanagement and waste of monumental proportions, whereas the two Orgill reports show 97% satisfaction with program. We know there was some mismanagement and waste, but how much was there, and was it justifiable in order to roll out a program quickly that had such a profound effect in countering the GFC? Such a question can be answered only with the facts in hand, and only by discounting inbuilt biases towards such stimulatory measures that result from one’s ideological position. Having read on the flight to Perth just one chapter so far of John Quiggin’s [i]Zombie Economics[/i], I can see how deeply embedded ideological positions or relentless adherence to a particular model of economics can influence thinking and judgements. They are, I believe, the reason behind the Coalition’s dismissal of stimulatory measures as unnecessary and wasteful. If that is your starting position, no stimulus will ever be seen as valuable. Therefore in reaching judgement about Government programs we need to ask ourselves where we are positioned ideologically and what we have expected the Government to do. Doug Evans and D Mick Weir have expressed concerns about Labor’s performance but NormanK has given us a more buoyant picture. Each of us needs to examine where we are coming from and what our expectations are. Are we longing for Labor long past? Are we able to conceptualize an adaption of Labor’s philosophy of fairness, equity and opportunity for all to the contemporary reality of overbearing big business, a resources boom, a two-speed economy, a destructive Opposition aided and abetted by its fellow travellers in a hostile media, a minority government that relies on the Greens and Independents to pass legislation, and a substantial reform program that requires collaboration to achieve? If we can’t embrace that complexity, how can we offer sound judgements? I hope HS’s next piece will extend the debate about the future direction of Labor that has already started here. Thank you all for giving us such a strong launching pad.

Doug Evans

28/03/2011NormanK Oops I posted that last comment without finishing what I wanted to say about complementary climate change policies. Briefly - One of the ironies of the current situation is that both an ETS as promoted by the government and direct action as promoted by the opposition are desirable components of a suite of co-ordinated climate change policies. Now for what I actually wanted to say this time. Although a bit outside my comfort zone I would venture to include this government's asylum seeker policies as an embarrassing failure. For a flow of refugees that varies between a few drops and a small trickle on the global scale of refugee flows it is unconscionable that this government treats them with such cruel disregard for their circumstances. These policies which currently are little different from those of the preceding coalition government have been subject to fairly severe criticism from the relevant international bodies and I believe it may even have been suggested that we were in breach of our treaty obligations. Or was that only the Howard mob? That this is done for no other credible reason than to try to shore up votes in marginal electorates is shameful. A regional offshore processing centre has a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding. Our friends and neighbors opine not unreasonably that as this is our problem (to the extent that it is a problem at all) we can look after it. Timor won't buy it willingly newither I suggest will anyone else. Does such a scheme exist anywhere else in the world? We are not the only place where refugees arrive by boat. Southern European countries get huge numbers (in comparison) sailing across the Mediterranean from south to north. I gather they are quickly processed and moved on. Why does this country distinguish between the small numbers of desperate souls who risk their lives on these boats and the apparently somewhat larger numbers who fly in every day and simply overstay? They should be brought onshore treated expeditiously and humanely and either moved into the community or sent back if they do not fit the criteria. This happens elsewhere why not here? I think I have spelled out the answer. Others may disagree. On the comment of yours that showed up while I was typing this. TT and Jason this might be relevant to your comments also. First NormanK - Haven't seen that blog I'll have a look and perhaps comment although I am under the hammer a bit to get a couple of lectures prepared. On the CPRS there was a lot of responsible careful analysis at the time I would have to do some research that I don't have time for at the moment but as I suggested to Jason, Richard Denniss at the Australia Institute is a good place to start. If he seems a bit radical you could try that mild mannered Ross Garnaut for his opinion of what the government did to his idea. A quick trawl through my old blog posts looking for references to the shortcomings of the CPRS hasn't yet revealed anything but you might like to read Lenore Taylor on the auditing of Rudd's Clean Energy initiative http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change-programs-lack-credibility-audit-20100420-sru2.html On the CPRS you could try Andrew McIntosh from ANU http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/33850.html Now I'm running out of time and energy. Finally DMW I can only repeat When the government actively promotes under its own aegis a program it takes on the responsibility of ensuring that it can be delivered without endangering life or property. No ifs or buts. I suspect the law agrees.

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011TT @ March 28. 2011 05:10 PM I can accept your chiding of Doug for 'going green'. But dougs' vote on its' own made not one jot of difference to the result. In no way would I discourage people from voting but some understanding of the system might change the way people think about various aspects of our democratic system. The reality is my, your or Dougs' vote on its' own will not change the course of history. One of my votes at one election might. To my addled memory the closest vote in a Federal Election was 1961 (need to check that) when Jim Killen won his seat on a handful of Communist Party preferences (seven I think). Most winning candidates have a margin of greater than 50 or a hundred which makes our individual vote appear more insignificant than it is. I have been a firm defender of our system of compulsory voting and public funding but over the last couple of years have been questioning why I believe it and wondering if we may be better off changing the system. Public funding, IMHO, has caused at least two problems; the shrinkage of party membership (of all parties) and the rise and rise of the 'professional politician'; those types who have only ever worked for pollies and then go on to be pollies themselves. The 'pros' have narrowed the gene pool (again on both sides) I think to the detriment of our governance.

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011NormanK @ March 28. 2011 05:05 PM I will go for 'great minds think alike' rather than any other version with us both linking to Possums Insulation Post. :)

Feral Skeleton

28/03/2011Just popping in between engagements elsewhere today. Will read comments and maybe have something sensible to contribute later. However, for the moment I have only one question: NormanK, are you gruntled now? :) C ya l8r!

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011oops, bu@@er and piffle; I failed to fully proofread my comment @ 05:52 PM It should read: [i]The reality is my, your or Dougs' vote on its' own will not change the course of history. One[/i] [b]Hundred[/b] [i]of my votes at one election might.[/i]

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011FS @ March 28. 2011 05:55 PM Hee, hee, hee :) Maybe that's what I want to be when I grow up; [i]In a state of gruntlement[/i] BTW does anybody know what the stae between overwhelmed and underwhelmed is? I've never heard of anyone being whelmed before.

NormanK

28/03/2011FS I have been whelmed with gruntled emotions! :)

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011Ad @ March 28. 2011 05:40 PM, I note with relish(?) that: [i]Having read on the flight ... John Quiggin’s Zombie Economics, I can see how deeply embedded ideological positions or relentless adherence to a particular model of economics can influence thinking and judgements.[/i] You have embarked on an eye opening journey and I wish you well with it, travel safely through the byways that Quiggin will take you. I will send pleas to my dieties that you come out the other end not being overly depressed that, as it seems (to me), our government is still suffering from some zombieism. (is that a word?)

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011Swordsfolk, The MRRT doesn't seem to be getting a lot of attention so this article over at New Matilda caught my eye: [b]Let's Not Blow The Boom[/b] [i]By Anna Samson and Akshay Shanker[/i] http://newmatilda.com/2011/03/28/lets-not-blow-boom I can't help myself with this paragraph: [i]Mere pessimism is not the only thing driving concern that the commodities boom in iron ore, steel and coal markets (to name but a few) is unsustainable. [b]Some economists[/b] are now arguing that artificially high prices are being generated by speculative behaviour driven by access to excess liquidity thanks to loose monetary policy in the US. [b]Other analysts[/b] contend that there is no speculative bubble and price increases are instead an indication of general inflationary pressures. [b]Yet other economists argue[/b] that commodity prices are rising because they are, by their very nature as finite goods, in short supply.[/i] My emphasis. Just goes to show put three economists in a room and they will come back with four opinions. :) Sorry about that. The article is worth a read. The main thrust is toward a 'sovereign wealth fund', the policy remedy de jour and I am a bit 'over' having more and more of these beasts.

Michael

28/03/2011A picture is renownedly worth a thousand words. What is The Australian online, and perhaps the Murdoch press in general, trying to make us 'see' when they publish pictures like the one here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-seizes-on-parliaments-recall-to-mount-new-attack-on-labor/story-fn59niix-1226029346958 of Tony Abbott? Does he not look vicious? A familiar look to all who observe him with any regularity, but one not routinely trotted out by The Australian, which is, after all, "The Heart of the Nation". Has the 'wind changed' in Murdochinania? Or did TA simply forget his grandmother's caution that "the wind will change and your face will stay like that"?

Feral Skeleton

28/03/2011Aren't we just the luckiest little blog in Texas to have such polite and reasonable discussions without all the anonymous abuse? :)

Feral Skeleton

28/03/2011[quote]One thing it underlined for me is that all this talk of ten to fifteen years of Barry O'Farrell and the death of Labor in NSW doesn't have to be true.[/quote] PatriciaWA, I was pleasantly surprised this evening, before I disappeared out the door again, to catch Channel 9 News in Sydney, and hear their State political reporter cast a sceptical eye over Mr O'Farrell from Day 1. Methinks he knows him well. :)

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011And now to add a small bit of 'positivism' to my commentary. Kim over @ [b]Larvatus Prodeo[/b] has this: [b]NSW election: The bell tolls for Tony?[/b] http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/03/28/nsw-election-the-bell-tolls-for-tony/ [i]Lots and lots of column inches and bits and bytes are being devoured in (analysis of) commentary on the federal implications of the NSW election result for Julia Gillard, Labor MPs in New South Wales, The Greens, Bob Brown, the carbon price, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott. ... ... I haven’t seen too much about the implications for Tony Abbott. Surely, the message for the federal Liberals from NSW, and from Victoria last year, ... an appearance of prudence and moderation and reaching out to voters who are otherwise inclined to have partisan Labor dispositions.[/i] Not many comments yet (21:28) but Robert Merkel @ comment 2 rings some bells that remind me of KR.

D Mick Weir

28/03/2011Michael @ March 28. 2011 08:52 PM Like your take on that one Still reckon you are blessed that your parents bestowed that great momiker upon you :)

Doug Evans

28/03/2011NormanK Fair enough – I've read the Crikey blog post it was news to me. Others in this conversation - rushing to get out the door I ended that last post poorly. I had in mind civil actions that I remember in the wake of the Home Insulation mess but the more I thought about it after posting the more I think they were directed at installers so I guess I don't know what the law thinks about Government responsibility. With regards the Home Insulation scheme I apologetically withdraw in contrite confusion. With regards to the CPRS – anyone interested go to the Australia Institute website and search for CPRS you will turn up a whole row of discussion papers addressing its shortcomings.

Jason

28/03/2011Doug, I'll have a look at the web site you site!But the premise of my question still stands is 100% of nothing for the greens still better than 50% plus of something? Even though the greens will never at least in our life time form government?

Casablanca

29/03/2011Michael@8.52pm Thanks for the link to photo of Tony in the OO http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-seizes-on-parliaments-recall-to-mount-new-attack-on-labor/story-fn59niix-1226029346958. I am reminded of a comment made by an American journalist last year that Abbott's hair looks like a closely mown fairway. In the referenced photo it's starting to look more like "fairway-under-repair due to divots and scarab beetle infestation". Agree that it is an unflattering picture and the accompanying article is not the uncritical type that we have come to expect.

Patricia WA

29/03/2011Thanks for the 'angry Abbott' link, Michael, I've been casting around for it. <a href=http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/> Cafe Whispers</a> featured it with another the picture in a quirky new thread which prompted this, too late to get a response about where the shot had come from. [quote]A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words[/quote] Over four thousand years ago Wise Chinese rulers seemed to know An image outweighs any word. So often has that truth been heard An experienced politician Always looks for that position Which shows his most attractive side; Smiling, friendly, nothing to hide. Let’s rejoice that Tony Abbott Hasn’t learned this useful habit, Nor pondered on the reason why, Unlike himself, the camera does not lie.

Lyn

29/03/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]The Strawman Cometh, Greg jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] pass some NBN legislation – and pass it it did (so much for Malcolm Turnbull’s ongoing campaign to destroy the NBN). http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2011/03/strawman-cometh.html [i]A man is known by the company he keeps,, Mungo Maccallum[/i]Tony Abbott is raving ratbag, a ranting bigot whose ignorance of science is matched only by his lack of manners http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45688.html [i]Protesting too much, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] one topic on which NSW Labor might be heard: how they did over the Greens http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/03/protesting-too-much-labor-strategists.html [i]Dead horse flogged, The Piping Shrike[/i] By Keating’s reckoning, Robertson seems just the man to do it. http://www.pipingshrike.com/ [i]NBN changes should not be rushed through, Trading Room[/i] Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was on his feet seeking to censure the "untrustworthy and incompetent" behaviour http://www.tradingroom.com.au/apps/view_breaking_news_article.ac?page=/data/news_research/published/2011/3/87/catf_110328_125900_2938.html [i]Turnbull's spotless NBN performance, Rob Burgess, Business Spectator[/i] although deposed Liberal leader Turnbull has ostensibly 'failed' in the task Abbott gave him, \ he has fought a good fight and, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/NBN-Abbott-Turnbull-TLS-Telstra-pd20110329-FDRSE?opendocument&src=rss [i]Turnbull slams Conroy’s “incompetence”as NBN bills pass, renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] Two key pieces of legislation relating to the National Broadband Network have been approved by both houses of parliament in Canberra http://delimiter.com.au/2011/03/28/turnbull-slams-conroy%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cincompetence%E2%80%9Das-nbn-bills-pass [i]Government gets NBN bills through Parliament, ABC[/i] Mr Turnbull was unable to win support for three amendments dealing with wholesale arrangements http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/28/3175969.htm?section=justin [i]Carbon tax compensation or rent seeking? Stephen King, Core Economics[/i] the real risk is that the carbon tax will continue to be a political football. With uncertainty over the future of a carbon tax or an ETS http://economics.com.au/?p=6875&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+com%2FJUlM+%28CoreEcon%29 [i]Taking pride in stupidity, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] check out the easy way these people throw around “billions” and “trillions” based on nothing more than their most extreme fantasies.) http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/03/28/taking-pride-in-ignorance/#more-9504 [i]Comeback: What NSW Labor needs to do now, Trevor Cook.[/i] Unions provide significant resources, especially in campaigning personnel http://trevorcook.typepad.com/weblog/ [i]State of NSW: Absolute power can be dangerous, Peter Chen, The Conversation[/i] Having promised to make NSW “number one”, but with only a vague set of policy announcements that tend towards spending over reform, the http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/state-of-nsw-absolute-power-can-be-dangerous-438 [i]How will the NSW election result affect Australia and the parties?, David Donovan, Independent Australia[/i] NSW has been such a bastion for Labor over the last half century or so, the loss of NSW and the reduction of Labor in the NSW http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/how-will-the-nsw-election-result-affect-australia-and-the-parties/ [i]What to make of it - and what now , David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] as Imre Saluszinsky succinctly reported in the Oz, the result was still more a vote for the Centre than extremes. http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-to-make-of-it-and-what-now.html [i]NSW Election: The bell tolls for Tony?, Kim ,Larvatus Prodeo[/i]Ted Baillieu nor Barry O’Farrell inspired “people’s revolts”, spent much of their time preaching to the rusted on and the lunatic fringe, http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/03/28/nsw-election-the-bell-tolls-for-tony/ [i]Demolition Unspinable, In The Public Disinterest[/i],. Tony Abbott thinks his ‘Big New Tax’ line and some bullshit about ‘real action on shit we don’t believe in’ had enough traction to deliver http://inthepublicdisinterest.blogspot.com/ ][i]NSW State of Mind , Dickhhead Frenzy[/i] ]The only way that this becomes about federal politics is if Gillard lets Abbott make it about federal politics. http://dickheadfrenzy.blogspot.com/2011/03/nsw-state-of-mind.html [i]Dance with the Devil, Watching the Deniers[/i] wonder how much longer Tony Abbot can try and appease the lunatic fringe of Australian politics and seem like reasoned individual, http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/dance-with-the-devil-tony-abbot-may-be-backing-away-from-last-weeks-protests-but-is-he-aware-of-the-antisemitic-flavour-of-climate-sceptics-rhetoric/ [i]The Bishop’s Gambit: cutting and pasting denialist errors, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] In a post last week on her Fairfax blog Bishop criticised the Prime Minister over her suggestion that credible scientists http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/28/the-bishops-gambit-cutting-and-pasting-denialist-errors/ [i]Newspoll quarterly breakdown: February - March, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger.[/i] The national figures are therefore no surprise to us, as they are merely an average of this year’s polling: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

Doug Evans

29/03/2011Jason I promised myself to butt out of this one. Reckon I've hogged more than my share of people's time on this. Your question/position is based on the idea that the CPRS delivered something of environmental benefit, no matter how small. Go to the Australia Institute site read the critiques here http://www.tai.org.au/index.php?search=cprs&act=search&q=node%2F19 Read what the Grattan Institute had to say about the CPRS here. http://www.grattan.edu.au/pub_page/report_energy1.html Read carefully what Garnaut had to say about what was done with his scheme. In 2010 Climate Spectator had this to say about the final version of the CPRS. [quote]Melbourne’s Grattan Institute has made a fine contribution to Australia’s greenhouse gas debate with a report, released this morning, that looks into how much emissions trading would actually cost companies and industries. Or at least it would be a fine contribution if there were still a debate going on. There are many national debates in Australia in 2010 – health, population, asylum seekers, tax, super, who’ll win Masterchef – but for the time being carbon trading is not among them. No doubt the push for a price on carbon through emissions trading will return one day, but for the moment it has run out of greenhouse gas. Poor New Zealand, still due to start its ETS on July 1, is feeling a bit silly – a shag on a rock. In Australia Kevin Rudd’s CPRS, with its modest targets and elaborate compensation, is twitching feebly on the roadside having been run over by the GFC, Tony Abbott, health reform, tax reform, super reform and international recalcitrance. John Daley and Tristan Edis at the Grattan Institute have now put it out of its misery, strangling it with cold reality. The report, uses Australian industry’s own data to analyse the impact of carbon pricing, and is a devastating indictment of what appears to have been loose and over-cautious policy-making by the government. They conclude that many of the free permits in the CPRS are unnecessary and that the scheme is a $20 billion waste of money. In particularly they have done a lot of work on alumina refining, LNG production, cement, electricity and coal mining – industries that account for 8 per cent Australian industry and emit about 30 per cent of our greenhouse gases. These industries, it’s true, would become less profitable, with costs rising by 1.4 per cent of revenue. However, they find that Alumina, LNG and coal mining would still be internationally competitive and that shielding them would be very costly and discourage them from restructuring to produce less carbon. The value of the proposed free permits for the aluminium industry, for example, work out to be $161,101 per employee per annum. The government would be better off just hiring them. For LNG it’s $103,344 per employee per annum. Total employment in industries at risk is 70,000, and most of these people work in facilities that would continue to be viable under a carbon pricing regime. By comparison, tariff cuts reduced employment in the motor industry by 55,000 and the textiles clothing and footwear industry by 64,000. There are currently 9000 people employed in the electricity generation industry, “the only sector of the electricity industry whose employment will be substantially affected by carbon pricing”, yet improvements in electricity sector productivity between 1985 and 2000 led to a reduction in total employment from 330,000 to 154,000. Says the Grattan report: “While protecting the profitability of Australian industry might seem like a good thing, it creates many problems. It mutes the incentives for these industries to reduce emissions. It creates perverse incentives which encourage investment in activities that benefit at the expense of others. It damages the environment because industries are not encouraged to move to lower emission locations. It inhibits efficient restructuring of the economy. And it imposes very substantial costs on the rest of the community.” The report finds that the CPRS went “substantially further” than necessary to prevent perverse outcomes due to carbon leakage (industries moving offshore to higher emitting countries) in all of the industries studied. And although the number of free permits would decline by around 1 per cent a year to meet the government’s modest emission targets, the Grattan Institute finds that many industries would be capable of reducing carbon emissions much faster than this. When Australia’s climate change bureaucrats eventually come out of hibernation and open the creaking door into the dusty room containing the reports and draft bills on this subject, they should be carrying the Grattan report with them. [/quote] When you're across a bit of this come back and tell us we would have been better off if it had been passed into law.

Patricia WA

29/03/2011Michael, it was late and I was befuddled when I thanked you for the link to the 'Angry Abbott' image - I should have added that it was your observation that [quote]A picture is renownedly worth a thousand words. [/quote]which prompted me to google that quotation in the first place and then use it for my pome. Scrolling down to Lyn's Links just now with my first cup of tea and a clear head I saw your name again and was reminded of that. Casablanca noted that it was unusual for the OO to print such an unflattering depiction of our aspiring PM. Cameramen don't get to choose which of the hundreds of shots they capture are used, I imagine, but I wonder what's in the minds of photographers as they track public figures down day after day. They must be hoping and angling all the time for that really telling image. For all her very distinctive facial features PM Julia Gillard is either remarkably photogenic or a very wholesome person, if judged by the camera does not lie rule. Image after image of her emerges of her looking calm and collected often above very hostile copy. When laughing, she's very engaging, even with a mouthful of hamburger bun. Nor does anger contort her face to the extent we saw in that particular picture of Angry Abbott. She was tired and drawn yesterday and I wondered how long before we start to get really unflattering shots of her. I'm pretty sure if there were any around they'd have been used already.

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29/03/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

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29/03/2011D Mick Weir I’m back this morning after a welcoming family dinner last night and a great sleep to read your comment about John Quiggin’s [i]Zombie Economics’[/i]. It certainly is challenging for a non-economist, but being well-written, I’m still with it. Having read his debunking of the idea of the Great Moderation, I am now reading his appraisal of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis. The frightening feature so far is his assertion that a series of discredited economic theories that led us to the disaster that was the GFC, have not been discarded, and are being resurrected. As he puts it, the ideas are neither alive nor dead – they are un-dead or zombie. It will be good reading over the next week or two.

TalkTurkey

29/03/2011Bloody ABC 24 I'm listening to Wilkie on speaking with passion and sober good sense about Pokies and the sound keeps going off. Fading and fading out. It seems deliberate because of the caning he's giving the Clubs' fulminating operatives. Then it goes off completely so now they're giving us a fill-in BS interview between Joe O'Brien and some other doyen of flannelled fools talking about Ponting. As if I give a rat's! Bloody ABC ! I'm pissed off, Wilkie ought to be bloody LIVID!

nasking

29/03/2011[quote]Right down to (but only) visiting Denmark in the 70's I understand and advocate how Denmark has a good history in looking after social issue making the people their voting it the Happiest country back a year or so.[/quote] debbiep, my stepmom, born in Canada & now lives in the USA, did a significant part of her nursing education in Denmark. Over the past 4 decades she has successfully worked in both public & private hospitals in both Canada & the USA...and reached the point where she was teaching other nurses. She reckons her Danish experience was positive and provided her w/ more & wider opportunities. N'

nasking

29/03/2011[quote] And, that précis of Rupert Murdoch’s shenanigans in Britain is jolting.[/quote] AC, I was disappointed to see the greedy for attention & oft driven by irrational revenge motives Dick Morris on Hannity via Fox News again. Morris & Hannity as political & profiteering animals were more concerned w/ planning Obama's downfall than supporting their President after a moving & essential speech to the nation during a time where political divisions need to be healed generally...and the President supported for his intelligent, rational & tactically careful/brilliant approach to the Libyan intervention...and his understanding of the Arab Spring. Furthermore, we see such conspiracy nonsense & confusion being spread by the likes of Glenn Beck. There seems to be little consistency from Fox News...one does not expect "cheerleading"...examining the details of these conflicts and how governments/military approach them is important...as is valid criticism...but setting the scene for the undermining of a Democratic President is disgraceful on their part considering how much they supported GW Bush. It seems to me this is more about politics and profits...than integrity when it comes to some of Murdoch's empire... and justifying the Bush administration's stuffups. As someone who was not opposed to taking down Saddam...and was disgusted w/ the earlier Bush's call to the Iraqi people to rise up, only to be abandoned & slaughtered by Saddam's forces...I was extremely frustrated by Rumsfeld & Chenet's input & lack of appropriate planning when it came to the Iraq conflict. Noone can excuse them for the poor management...whether it be sacking the Iraq military leaving them in poverty, angry & feeling the need to become insurgents...or using the grotesque Abu Graib prison that had such a bad reputation...or allowing their supply lines to be cutoff due to a lack of necessary troops...the list goes on. I believe that if the likes of John McCain had been Secretary of Defense...and more knowledgeable Democrats had been on staff, the FIASCO we witnessed would not have happened. Some Fox News hosts & guests are playing dangerous games here, a vital point in the Arab Spring/Awakening...if they truly want America to gain the same respect it did during WW2...and win the "hearts & minds" of Arabs & Persians at this key moment in time...they need to get their sh*t together. And remember the "urgency of now". Bridges need to be built in such times. We also need rational & intelligent & smart thinking and action. I was moved by Obama's speech...brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of America's great days as our allies...got me thinking of a combination of Kennedy, Reagan dealing w/ the nuclear problem, and the movie 'Patton' that I saw w/ my Dad at the drive-in as an 11 year old. It's time the monstrous bullies learnt that they can't keep silencing, disappearing, crushing, torturing & killing their citizens. And that goes for Syria & Iran too. We need some fresh air, sanity & brighter days in this world. N'

nasking

29/03/2011Furthermore, I was highly impressed by Tanya Plibersek, yet again, on Q&A. A rational centrist. Or would be if the centre had not moved so ridiculously to the right due to extremist shock jocks & the likes of the One Nation/Hanson supporting Abbott front bench...and some dopey & opportunistic newspaper celebrities. Was impressed by John Della Bosca too...I knew little about him bar the exagerrated & reputation assassinating stuff I'd heard from our oft morally bankrupt media. However, he came across as pretty rational & intelligent to me. N'

Jason

29/03/2011Doug, I don't have a problem with the science!,And yes I think we would have been better off with what Turnbull had agreed on simply because it was a start and could be built upon. The Greens need to realise politics is about compromise and it doesn't matter how many papers the Grattan institute and others write,it easy to sit on the sidelines when you don't have to implement find the funding or negotiate with the community!and to now counter Abbott's scare campaign. So the only reason we don't have a carbon tax in place is the greens. Now the Greens are saying no the company tax cut! why the miners aren't paying enough, so once again not content with something the useless greens would rather have nothing! They are a joke!

D Mick Weir

29/03/2011TT @ March 29. 2011 01:25 PM, careful cobber, some may accuse you of being 'un-Australian' to suggest that Mr Wilkie and his words are more important than what is happening to the Australian Cricket Captain. Some reckon that the Aus Cricket Captain has a greater influence on our national wellbeing than all the pollies put together. Learned papers have been written that 'prove' our economy and national psyche track the performances of our national sporting teams. When the our cricket team wins, the country wins. Some go as far as to suggest one of the main reasons that Paul Keating was no good as a PM was his lack of interest in PM's XI cricket team - that he was 'un-Australian'. Mate be careful, I would hate to see you be had up for sedition for suggesting that a pollie, any pollie, was more important than a cricketing hero. :)

D Mick Weir

29/03/2011That econo/pollie is at again!! [b]Labor Pains[/b] Andrew Leigh http://www.andrewleigh.com/blog/?p=725 [i]In the 2002 Winter Olympics, Australian speed-skater Steven Bradbury won gold after the four leading skaters crashed into one another and fell to the ice. The way Barry O’Farrell won the NSW election bears some similarities to the way Australia got our first Winter Olympics gold medal. ... The party of McKell, Wran and Carr suffered the worst defeat of our 120-year history. In my view, this does not reflect any crisis of ideology. Ask any Labor representative what our party stands for, and you’ll hear the same themes: opportunity for every child, open engagement with the world, dignity in work, a voice for invisible Australians.[/i] There is also alink to [b]Luke Foleys'[/b] email to party members http://www.scribd.com/doc/51759383/Luke-Foley-s-Email-to-Party-Members I need to reread Mr Foleys' email again but I saw parallels with the 'problems' that beset the federal government. He offers a way forward that could be the way to go.

TalkTurkey

29/03/2011DMW I'm proud to be "un-Australian" in relation to our NOT- sportsmanship. Or rather, I'd be ashamed to be PRO. Here's a tiny bit of what Ponting and Mob are like: posted by: Raymond21 subject: Winning ethically date posted: 09 January 2008 at 2:15am This post isn't only about cricket. The Australian Cricket Team has been criticised for their poor sportsmanship in the second test against India. Below is an extract from an article written by Sydney Morning Herald's Peter Roebuck which elaborates on Australia's lack of sportsmanship. 'The Indians were convinced Ponting grounded a catch he claimed on the final afternoon at the SCG. Throughout those heated hours, the Australian remained hostile, kicking the ground, demanding decisions, pressuring the umpires'. Probably the worst aspect of the Australians' performance was their conduct at the end. When the last catch was taken they formed into a huddle and started jumping up and down like teenagers at a rave. It was not euphoria. It was ecstasy. They had swallowed a dangerous pill called vengeance. Not one player so much as thought about shaking hands with the defeated and departing'. 'Nor could Ponting and Gilchrist stop themselves publicly chiding Tony Greig for daring to criticise the timing of the declaration. It was unfitting conduct from an Australian captain or vice-captain. By all accounts Ponting was later rude towards Indian reporters at his news conference'. Julia Gillard as I write is saying what a great bloke Ponting has been. Well she would say that publicly wouldn't she, wonder what her private opinion might be.

D Mick Weir

29/03/2011TT @ March 29. 2011 03:47 PM well done you hit that bac into the stands :) Your point is taken (or is it given?)

Feral Skeleton

29/03/2011Well, well, well, going by the content of Dr Andrew Leigh's post and Luke Foley's letter to ALP Members, my next blog will be perfectly timed. :)

Feral Skeleton

29/03/2011Jason, I think after their equally disastrous showing at the NSW State Election last weekend, today we have The Greens deciding to differentiate themselves from Labor again, if they were being seen as too close to the ALP and coming up with their cockamamie idea to knock back the 1% Company Tax Cut wrt the MRRT. Just as much as certain sections of the ALP don't seem to get why they lost the election, and like History they don't understand, they are doomed to repeat it if they don't wake up, so it is that with today's move The Greens are showing that they haven't got why they failed to win any seats in the Lower House in NSW State Parliament last weekend. Simply put, the electorate wants a moderate Progressive Party that will advocate the things Labor is overlooking, so as to get Labor to do them and not drop them off the agenda, a sort of Keeping the Progressive Bastards Honest Party. Not a bunch of tossers who want to ban Gefilte Fish sales to Marrickville, or stand in the way of a 1% Tax Cut for businesses in exchnage for increased receipts from the Mining Industry. Sheesh!

Feral Skeleton

29/03/2011DMW, Some reckon that the Aus Cricket Captain has a greater influence on our national wellbeing than all the pollies put together[quote][/quote] Well, if that's the case, then I hope the mean-spirited, elitist Ponting is replaced by someone with a warm heart and a generous spirit, and that then becomes reflected in the polity of the country. Ponting did 'rule' for the entirety of Howard's term, after all. :)

Feral Skeleton

29/03/2011In that photo of Abbott that everyone is talking about it looks like he is wearing a suit with VERY padded shoulders in order to give him a greater, and dare I say more physically intimidating presence.

Feral Skeleton

29/03/2011Talk Turkey, I haven't replied to your Catalyst question because we have turned it off at our place and found gardening and other chores to do(Cheers, AC!), when it is on these days. We used to watch Quantum religiously, but Catalyst, nah. Anyway, I'll have a punt and say that the Liberal in disguise is Dr Jonica Newby. With a poncey posh name like that, what else could she be? :)

NormanK

29/03/2011Hoy, stop picking on my Ricky. I can feel my gruntled humour slipping away.

Jason

29/03/2011FS, The greens have no idea!and I'm glad they failed in the NSW election. Labor at a national level need to become the progressive party we once were, and send the greens back to the stone age where they belong! They are nothing but parasites and Labor needs to keep them to a few token seats or none in all parliaments in the country. As I said earlier if the greens want to be taken as serious political players they can't be all things to all people.

Jason

29/03/2011Abbott open to supporting Labor's tax cut http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/29/3176982.htm

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29/03/2011FS I've sent you an email about your latest piece.

TalkTurkey

29/03/2011NK "Your" Ricky? You can have him for free, but please dispose of him hygienically. Gruntled humour? "You can tell a man who boozes By the company he chooses" - And the Pig got up and slowly walked away! FS Well you got that right. "Dr" Jonica Newby, yeah. Well she is a "doctor" of vet science, I guess that counts, but it is some other things about her as a "scientist" and her entry to and use and abuse of the ABC (and other stuff) that means I can't stand to watch Catalyst for fear of trashing me teev. More anon. From memory, 3 keywords to research her: "Raw meaty bones".

nasking

29/03/2011[quote]send the greens back to the stone age where they belong! [/quote] Jason, I thought you were talking about Abbott's One Nation supporting party when you said that. Frankly, if wanting: High speed rail Denticare A better deal for pensioners Renewable energy w/out resorting to the dangers of nuclear energy protection of old growth forests is "stone age" stuff...then I might be better suited to that period. 'cause that's what Bob Brown usually pushes these days. The Greens & the ALP will have disagreements...that's natural. Just because we have too oft a lame corporate media that enjoys demonising The Greens and copycatting Abbott's ugly Australian approach doesn't mean ALP voters should overreact. They do so at their own peril...I know plenty of Greens who would exhaust their vote if the ALP & its supporters used The Greens for a bash-fest. The ETS was a "turd burger" full stop. We can & will do better w/ the carbon price provided the government listens to some of industry, the Independents & The Greens. Kneejerk reactions over the NSW result & transplanting that to the present federal alliance is just plain dumb. Will you turn on Tony Windsor or Oakshott if they don't agree w/ all the ALP puts forward? Let's turn off the heat here & get level-headed. To bash The Greens at a time when the planet is on the verge of crumbling climate-wise is irrational...they have a number of people in their ranks who have been warning about the climate & deforestation problems for a good long time. Negotiate...don't bash. How I see it...Abbott is the fool who corners his party...and gives the woman he supposedly hated (Hanson) a hand up in NSW by attending a rally where she created once again her long dark shadow. Reminder...Bob Brown stuck up for Julia Gillard. I reckon we can have money for the disadvantaged & pensioners to improve their lives...and company tax reductions...particularly for small & medium-sized businesses. And eventually DentiCare. I see no reason for hate & bashing irrationally. We are not puppets of corporate media...nor coal miners in QLD & WA...unlike Abbott & his sorry lot. N'

Feral Skeleton

29/03/2011Talk Turkey, The sort of 'Doctor' Jonica Newby is is the honorific sort that also encompasses Dentists. They are just Batchelors of Veterinary Science or Dentistry, and even Medical 'Doctors' are just Batchelors of Medicine and Surgery, but it only used to be the Medical sort that were allowed to call themselves 'Dr', however, back in the late 70s Dentists started assuming the title and then Vets got in on the act. Maybe I should call myself 'Doctor' Feral Skelton? Being as I am a Pharmacist, or 'Doctor' of Drugs. :)

Jason

29/03/2011N, The point being at the moment the miners aren't paying this extra tax!Bob browns list of wants can be pursued when he forms government, come July one when the senate changes the opposition can either deal themselves back into the game so they at least look relevant and keep their base happy by voting for the tax cuts or they can stay wedged. Abbott has said as much today that he will probably vote for it so that has the greens looking like a shag on a rock, and should the opposition get a more moderate leader the greens could find themselves out in the cold on many issues. The greens are no friend of labor and they shouldn't be treated as such.

nasking

29/03/2011Jason, why would the largest companies in Australia who are making obscene profits need a tax cut? Tony Abbott talks about "cost of living" pressures. Plenty who voted here in QLD during the federal election...and now many in NSW are complaining about "cost of living" pressures. I warned here & on another blog this would be a "perception" problem. Now, if Abbott really believes in "cost of living" pressures...why is he not willing to take that pressure off lower paid workers & the disadvantaged, including care workers by voting for a mining tax...that also redistributes the money to those I mentioned. Ya know why? Because he's a political animal w/ a lust for power that means he'd rather see the trade destructive, protectionist, Asian bashing Pauline Hanson get power...than vote in a rational compassionate...way...and once again the ALP get dragged to the RIGHT... And Hanson & the Abott fearmongers & shock jocks win. As they did in the 90s. And this country gets dragged into hellclone by those who put superstition, their own vested interests & xenophobia/racism before the common good...and the environment...that is choking. I lived in country NSW for two years...it doesn't surprise me many voted as kneejerk & meanspiritedly & ignorantly & short-sighted as they did... I'm sure some of their more compassionate & rational churchgoing kin & neighbours who did not join the extreme right-wing vote tsunami are thinking: "May God have mercy on their souls." And I hope the NSW government protects the gay & Aboriginal people who live in those rural areas. They have a great deal to answer for. My wife & I certainly will not be travelling thru there...and I have a Sydney-based gay friend who has now decided to have his 50th birthday up here. I hope those voters think about what they've done to tourism by voting Hanson etc. And trade in the long run I imagine. N'

Jason

29/03/2011N, The tax cut is for small business not the big miners or big anything, but Bob Brown doesn't think they are paying enough, which is an argument for another day. The Greens seem to have this attitude that it's all or nothing, rather than at least get the current proposal bedded down and then come back at a later date,to amend it, this is where they shoot themselves in the foot! the same with the carbon tax under Turnbull rather than something they said we'll take nothing! The name of the game is to Negotiate they wont get everything they want neither will the government but that's politics 50 plus % of something is better than 100% of nothing I would have thought. As I said if the Greens want to be a serious players the days of student politics needs to end!

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29/03/2011Folks I've just posted [i]The ALP has come to its own fork in the road[/i] by Hillbilly Skeleton. The images are meant to be at the top, but I can't work out how to get them there. I'll get Web Monkey to do this for me. Enjoy her insightful analysis. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/03/29/The-ALP-has-come-to-its-own-fork-in-the-road.aspx

TalkTurkey

29/03/2011Get this: "The ABC News Online Investigative Unit encourages whistleblowers, and others with access to information they believe should be revealed for the public good, to contact us." I ask you: Would you?

D Mick Weir

29/03/2011FS @ March 29. 2011 04:58 PM at the risk of doing damage to NormanKs' gruntlement, I confess (in the venacular) 'I was taking the p**s' with my comment about the influence of sport and cricket in paticular. I wish that we had tic emoticon sometimes. tic = tongue in cheek.

nasking

29/03/2011[quote]As I said if the Greens want to be a serious players the days of student politics needs to end! [/quote] Jason, I'd rewrite that as: ...if Abbott & his Coalition supporters want to be serious players the days of student politics needs to end! :) Okay, over to Hillbilly's post. N'

D Mick Weir

29/03/2011Phillip Adams had a public forum last night discussing the future of the ALP with Rodney Cavalier, John Falkner, Deirdre Grusovin and Andrew Leigh. I only caught a few snippets today but it sounded interesting. From the website: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightlive/ [b]How to rebuild a political party[/b] [i]In the wake of the New South Wales election, Phillip Adams hosts a public forum, to examine the challenges now facing the Australian Labor Party. How does Australia's oldest political party begin to rebuild itself? Is it a matter of minor adjustment, or radical reinvention? And what are the ramifications of its further demise for our democratic and political processes?[/i] There is a link to the podcast there.

Feral Skeleton

29/03/2011NormanK, I'm sorry to have dissed your gruntlement. I do think that Michael Clarke will be an entirely more gruntled Aussie Cricket Captian though. Ponting always seemed to be disgruntled.

Doug Evans

29/03/2011Jason So the Greens should have supported the CPRS: Irrespective of whether or not it had any climatic benefits. (Serious analysts said it had none). Irrespective of the cost. (Serious analysts said it was unjustifiably expensive) Irrespective or not of whether or not it hindered in other ways the necessary restructuring of the economy. (Serious analysts said it did) Irrespective or not of whether it undermined all initiatives to reduce green-house gas emissions outside of the CPRS envelope. (Serious analysts said it did) Irrespective of the fact that it was so hemmed in with caveats and qualifiers that efforts to transform it into a useful instrument in the struggle to reduce green-house gas emissions would have invoked massive compensation payments (It was and it would have) Remind me again of why they should support such policy? Remind me again of why, when Treasury and numerous private consultants all agreed that Australia could support, virtually without noticing it, a far more ambitious target than the pathetic 5% the Government enshrined, and the scientists were calling for 25 - 40% cuts below 1990 levels the Greens should support such policy. On February 18, 2009 Crikey blog Rooted published the following statement from ten respected and well known Australian economists. [i][b]Economists speak out against flawed Carbon Trading Scheme[/b] A group of ten Australian economists today slammed the Rudd government’s proposed carbon emissions trading scheme, and called for a science-based policy to achieve 25%-40% cuts in emissions by 2020. This is their statement: The Australian government is to be congratulated for its decision to take part in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme cannot be regarded as consistent with the government’s expressed goal of a global agreement to stabilize the climate. Among a number of serious flaws, the proposed target of a 5 per cent reduction in emissions (with a 15 per cent reduction conditional on a global agreement) is simply inadequate to deal with the problem. In our view the CPRS fails on the following criteria: First; while there can be no doubt that a high carbon price will result in a significant transformation of the Australian economy, it must be remembered that such transformation is the actual goal of an emissions trading scheme. It is ironic that while the usual purpose of compensation packages is to ease the pain of such transformation, in the case of the Rudd Government’s package compensation is being used to prevent such a transformation. The CPRS actually rewards the major corporate emitters for failing to act despite having been on notice since at least 1997 that the emission reduction targets would be adopted. Second, the most significant consequence of the global financial crisis is to increase uncertainty and, in turn, reduce new investment. The creation of more ambitious emission targets would provide certainty that would stimulate major investment in renewable energy infrastructure. The consensus scientific and economic opinion is that the consequences of failing to address climate change will dwarf the costs of the current financial unrest. Third, the Rudd scheme structures the compensation opportunities for energy-intensive, trade-exposed corporations in such a way as to provide an incentive for these corporations to expand production and emissions. This will effect further restructuring of Australian industry that consolidates its energy-intensive character to the disadvantage of low-energy, energy-efficient industries. Fourth, the proposed compensation of trade-exposed energy-intensive industries is underpinned by the implicit notion that government should ensure a level, and thus competitive, playing field. Yet the proposed compensation package will benefit industry sectors dominated by international corporations which hold considerable market power. The proposed compensation package will further enhance that market power not create competitive markets. Fifth, the Rudd government has designed a scheme in which every tonne of emissions saved by households frees up an extra permit for the aluminium or steel industry to expand their pollution. In addition to destroying the moral incentive for households to ‘do their bit’ to reduce emissions, this design feature renders all other policies aimed at reducing emissions pointless. For example, households who spend $7,000 installing photovoltaic solar panels might believe that they are helping to reduce emissions but in fact the only impact of such investment will be to slightly lower the demand, and in turn the price, of the fixed number of pollution permits issued by the government. Sixth, the Rudd scheme fails to cost the complex administrative arrangements that will be required in order to effect the auctioning, the free allocations and the redistribution of permit revenues across the economy. The CPRS is based on neither sound economics nor sound science. We call on the Government, or the Senate, to make major improvements to the proposed ’solution’ to Australia’s rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions. These improvements should include: * Lifting the targets to 25-40% by 2020 based on the latest scientific evidence * Abolishing the free permits granted to the biggest polluters * Ensuring that individual action results in lower emissions, not lower carbon prices Unless these major flaws in the CPRS can be fixed the government should introduce a carbon tax as a matter of urgency. In the meantime, we would strongly urge all Australian governments to immediately introduce incentives to maximise investment in the development and use of renewable and low-emissions technologies. Dr James Arvanitakis University of Western Sydney Dr Lynne Chester Curtin University of Technology Dr Richard Denniss Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Adj Associate Professor ANU Assoc Prof Steve Keen University of Western Sydney Dr Andrew Mack Macquarie University Prof Barbara Pocock University of South Australia Prof John Quiggin University of Queensland Dr Stuart Rosewarne University of Sydney Dr Ben Spies-Butcher Macquarie University Prof Frank Stilwell University of Sydney [/i] Remind me again why it was that the Greens should support such legislation. It was well known and published at the time that the Greens sought to meet with the Rudd Government with the aim of discussing amendments and that the government shut them out preferring instead to wedge the opposition. Penny Wong's constant scapegoating of the Greens for opposing diabolically poor public policy was a pathetic attempt to conceal just how thoroughly the Canberra green-house mafia had wiped the floor with her. It seems that, with the regular support of media luminaries like Uhlmann and Cassidy, either not able or not willing to put themselves into the issue, Wong's smokescreen has been more effective than I would have expected. So tell me again: The Greens should have supported this legislation ………… why?

Jason

30/03/2011Doug, So how does the one on offer now differ from what Turnbull agreed to? As far as the target goes I thought it was the same 5% by 2020 not the far reaching " * Lifting the targets to 25-40% by 2020 based on the latest scientific evidence" That ten unelected economists might want! As murky as all this is I'm sure Bolt,Jones etal could find me 10 anything to say what you put up is bullshit! And that is the trouble from where I sit to many non climate scientists have to much to say!
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?