Which Tony has the twin?

Or, 'Change You Can't Believe In'.

G'day.  This is the first in an occasional series of commentary pieces that I will be submitting in the run-up to our federal election. Merely one other perspective, but one which I hope you will find interesting and informative and good for discussion.

So, as first cab off the rank I thought I'd take the UK Conservative Party in National Election mode for a drive and see how its policies compare with those we are likely to see from the Coalition in the run-up to our federal election, as they attempt to engage in message management and providing the electorate with certain expectations of the direction they would take in government.

I will attempt to divine the common threads that make up the cloth that the world-wide conservative movement's clothes are cut from, as I do believe they have a concerted and co-ordinated campaign to each move in the same direction. Not that I am saying that there is anything wrong with that, as I am sure that there is a similar attempt being made by all the social democrats in parliaments around the world to coordinate their policy objectives and actions. All I am seeking to do here is make observations about the consanguineous actions of the conservative political forces.

First, let's start with the heading of the UK Conservative Election Manifesto:

'Invitation to Join the Government'.

Fine. I can see how this tantalising offer would make the thought bubbles pop up above the heads of all the legends in their own lunchtimes out in the electorate who are constantly invigorated by the thought that they could do it better than the government, no matter what the area of policy. In much the same way as the Liberal Party here likes to appeal to the 'Aspirational' in all of us. This is a superficially but powerfully appealing idea. You know, you too are good enough to rule the UK/Australia with us, and we'll let you (or we'll let you believe we are letting you join in running the country with us, but, really, you won't be – we, and our mates out there in your community will).

I class Tony Abbott's policy of Local Hospital Boards, run by doctors, nurses and 'worthy' members of the local community in this group, as I am sure that in practice you would find that the Board members would be sourced from those members of the community with sympathies to Coalition policy. That is, the sentiment sounds fine as a generality, but in specific practice I think you would find that it would result in the entrenchment of atomised units sympathetic to Conservative/Liberal ideals and remote from centralised coordinated control, able to virtually go their own way as far as the day-to-day running of these systems is concerned. I've cause to reflect also upon the Conservative diaspora's predilection for allowing 'Faith-Based Initiatives' to be involved closely in running services.

I admit, it's the above-mentioned sort of sentiment that appeals to the vanity of 'individuals', which, when used properly, motivates all of us to achieve and aim as high as possible in our lives, but, directed inappropriately, can lead to bullying and authoritarian behaviour, as some of us believe we know what is best for the rest of us. Thus we may well see those sorts of people manoeuvring into the positions in the community that are created by these policies. Considering the primacy of the individual in conservative philosophy the genesis of such policies is obvious. As it says in the Outline of Principles of The International Democratic Union, the umbrella body of all the centre right political parties in the world, (whose Chairman of the Board just happens to be one, John Winston Howard), they are: 'dedicated to a society of individuals working together in partnership for the common good.'  Also, don't forget that corporations are also considered 'individuals', especially in the context of conservative policy, most obviously in America, where they enjoy some extraordinary rights.

Thus I imagine that the 'individual', 'individual choice', and 'empowerment of individuals' will be mantras that will issue forth from the lips of Coalition MPs in our own election campaign as well.  

Also, when you read the following core principle of the IDU:   '...that political democracy and private property are inseparable components of individual liberty and that the socially-oriented market economy provides the best means of creating the wealth and material prosperity to meet the legitimate aspirations of individuals (my emphasis), and of tackling social evils such as  unemployment and inflation', you can see where Tony Abbott was coming from last week when he attacked the 'social evil of unemployment' by advocating the market-based solution of transporting the 'dole-bludging' ne'er-do-wells to the mines of WA. As the IDU is supportive of 'believing that this is the most effective and beneficial way of providing (for) individual initiative and enterprise, responsible economic development, (and) employment opportunities', what else would he think was the solution for 'the social evil of unemployment'?

Thus, when we look at the attitudes of the Conservatives in the UK with respect to devolving control of Schools, the Police Force, and the Health system to local individuals, communities or boards – hey, why have a government at all?...except for Defence and National Security policy-making and a National Spy/Federal Police force to monitor the citizenry.  Why not just let all the fine, upstanding 'individuals' in our communities run everything instead?  Surely they'd do a better job than 'big, bad, bureaucratized, centralised government' (except in the above-mentioned instances)?

You can be sure when you hear lines like that you are hearing conservative parties the world over singing from the same song sheet. A song sheet provided by the IDU, who believe in 'A society of individuals working together for the common good'.

Now, what you have to ask yourself is, 'How valid a concept in practice can that be?'  I think it would lead, if allowed to go to its ultimate conclusion, to a laissez faire-like, barely-controlled, semi-anarchic chaos, similar to that which we have just experienced as a prelude to the Global Financial Crisis/Chaos.

I'd really like to hear your opinions about this, and especially from those conservative-leaning commentators here, as to how they think that social atomisation policies CAN work for the Common Weal? That is, other than by mouthing motherhood statements back to me like, 'Individual success is good for the Nation'. Obviously. However, what I'm more interested in teasing out is the reason why you think that atomising society like the Conservative parties of the world want to do is a superior ethos to having a paternalistic-style government which runs and decides policy in all the areas of our lives that are important to us, for the good of us all.

It seems to me that the IDU way lacks that essential ingredient of 'empathy' that Jeremy Rifkin was referring to this week – as in striving for individual supremacy does not enable us to develop much in the way of empathy for 'the other'. Isn't that what should be the basis for our successful interactions, and the jumping-off point for successful governments in the 21st century?

Somehow, I can only see such devolutionary policies as the Conservatives in the UK are advocating leading to a 'Survival of the Fittest' society, where the biggest boats, metaphorically-speaking, take up most of the space at the marina, as opposed to the social democratic principle, which seeks to see all boats rise equally, and no boat to get too big. In order to achieve this, the guiding hand of government needs to be in the picture.

What do you think?

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Acerbic Conehead

26/04/2010HS, as you know, and as it was clearly outlined in the “Yes Minister” series, the administrative executive, rather than the political, rules the roost. In the ground-floor lounge of the IDU’s Gentleman’s Club in London, Sir Humphrey Appleby, Secretary of the Cabinet, and Sir Frank Gordon, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, are savouring the delights of their Courvoisiers and Havanas. Simultaneously, they are scanning the new plaque containing a picture of John Howard, which also includes the Club’s motto: “dedicated to a society of individuals working together in partnership for the common good”. Sir Frank: Hmmm...couldn’t we get a better figurehead than this chappie...wasn’t he turfed out on his ear a while ago? Sir Humphrey: Yes...maybe we could get his successor instead – I hear he’s even more conservative...haw...haw... Sir Frank: And our motto is a bit incongruous as well – shouldn’t it read, “dedicated to a society of individuals bludging together in partnership against the commoners’ good”...ho...ho... Sir Humphrey: Yes, very droll Frank – but don’t say it too loud or our secret’s out... [suddenly, their attention is diverted by someone tapping on the window. They don’t recognise him, but it’s Tones, sitting astride his bike, staring in at them. Sir Humphrey and Sir Frank think he’s a courier, so point in the direction of the tradesmen’s entrance. Tones rides off and the two mandarins continue with their plans to get the Conservatives elected, even though any of the three parties would suffice, as they would only be a puppet-government anyway. Then, shortly, Tones reappears, tapping again at the window. The two movers and shakers are not impressed] Sir Frank: Why, it’s that damn messenger-boy oik again – why the hell doesn’t he sling his hook and stop annoying us... [they make all sorts of signs to Tones which, even he can interpret as meaning only one thing – piss off! Tones realises he will have to use written language to get his point across, so he pulls out a writing-pad and a pencil and starts scribbling. He holds up a friendly greeting message] Message: G’day cobbers! Sir Humphrey: Ah-ha! The chap’s one of those colonial types...do we still own that place, Frank, and send our riff-raff off to work in chains in their Western mines? Sir Frank: Hmmm...I don’t think so, Humphrey – they more or less told us to get stuffed, so now we give our riff-raff free tickets to attend soccer matches or put a uniform on them and send them over to terrorise the Bog Irish... [Tones writes another message on his note-pad and holds it up] Message: I’m from Sydney, and I’m here to help... Sir Humphrey: Oh spiffing...we could do with help from a sweaty okker who arrives on our doorstop on a push-bike, wearing his bathers with a life-sized model of Ayers Rock shoved down the front... Message: I can help with your campaign...it will be well worth your while to employ me and my mates as People Skills consultants...we can get your net debt gross down (or, depending on my weathervane, up if you wish) by investing in human capital in a sotto voce...and we can show you how to break the Ten Commandments without asking for forgiveness, never mind permission...and the trick is to do all this while riding your bike and saying ‘crap’ and ‘bullshit’ every second word... Sir Frank: OMG Humphrey – what a strange fellow – do you think he’s been riding that bike out in the blazing Australian sun for too long? [Sir Frank’s rhetorical question is interrupted by the noise of a back-firing, clapped-out old ute stopping right outside. It has a sign attached, advertising its proprietor and line of business: “Kolonial Kev, the ex-bureaucrat – offering the Keynesian way to kick-ass the global financial crisis, global warming, and stroppy stewardesses”... Sir Humphrey: Hmmm...we don’t seem to be spoilt for choice here Frank...but I think it might be best to go with the ex-bureaucrat – kindred spirit after all... Sir Frank: Yes, I agree, Humphrey – as they say, the devil you know...And, after all, who would have more direct and personal experience of the “commoner’s good” than an Australian ex-bureaucrat...

Ad astra reply

26/04/2010HillbilllySkeleton Thank you for your insightful piece. You raise an important issue – the coordination of efforts worldwide towards a common philosophy among conservative parties and a common strategy for election campaigning. The media seem to be complicit in this. We have already seen a sustained campaign in the US to unseat Barack Obama at the 2012 presidential election and the advent of the Tea Party movement devoted to this end, efforts that have been supported by the Murdoch media, print and TV. In the UK there is anger among Murdoch forces at the popularity of Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, as his approval with the public is threatening the Conservatives, the preferred party of the Murdoch media. In Australia we have witnessed a sustained negative media campaign against the Rudd Government that seems designed to discredit it in the eyes of the electorate and to defeat or diminish it at the upcoming election. The media now play a crucial role in the political process, and is used by both parties to advance their aims. What is so pernicious is that the media is not impartial in its handling of election-relevant material – here it is partisan and noticeably anti-Rudd and pro-Coalition. What right does the Murdoch media have to thrust its partisan views on the public? What right does it have to tell the public how to think, what to think and therefore by implication what party to support?

HS

26/04/2010AC, Priceless! Thank you. :) Now, all I can add is that only Tony Abbott would get to Old Blighty(or believe he could), by cycling on water!

HS

26/04/2010AA, As I have said recently, the Murdoch media no longer report the news in as unbiased a fashion as is possible, harnessing the concept of 'journalistic integrity' to their masthead's wagon, they now merely report conservative opinion and act as a de facto Opposition, especially when the elected Opposition isn't doing the job of getting across the conservative lines well enough. Anyone who reads the Murdoch press, or watches the Murdoch TV stations cannot believe they are getting an unbiased point of view. It is also obvious to me that they like to keep a 'token Lefty' on the payroll to act as a fig-leaf to their broader autocratic/kleptocratic agenda. They certainly have learnt quickly how to use the Internet for their own ends, such that now we are seeing the sort of co-ordinated campaigns, between various conservative political parties around the globe, and the relevant arm of the Murdoch media empire. This is what troubles me most. That the conservative political parties dress that agenda up in platitudinous milquetoast, such as found in the Principles of the IDU which I have quoted from, only makes that Orwellian prospect even more disturbing to me as I survey its effectiveness in the various constituencies around the world, most especially in the US, where the Tea Party was conceived, it seems to me, to whitewash the odeur from the Republican Party after the Bush/Cheney years, and to distance Fox News and the Murdoch media empire from the Republican Party directly.

lyn

26/04/2010Hi Hillbilly and Ad Hillbilly thankyou for writing for The Polotitical Sword, I am delighted I have collected some links to pieces written in the Australian mostly, some others, You will be amazed when you skim down the headings, it just proves the campaign is in full swing. THE AUSTRALIAN GOADED THEN SCAPEGOATED http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/goaded-then-scapegoated/story-e6frg71x-1225858131266 THE AUSTRALIAN, CAMERA SHY RUDD IS EXPOSED BY LIBS GLENN MILNE http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/camera-shy-rudd-is-exposed-by-libs/story-e6frg75x-1225858120666 THE AUSTRALIAN Electorate needs to hear nation will thrive , George Megalogenishttp://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/electorate-needs-to-hear-nation-will-thrive/story-e6frg6n6-1225858119293 THE AUSTRALIAN Rudd's bid to bury interview `delusional' , BY Christian Kerr http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/rudds-bid-to-bury-interview-delusional/story-e6frg996-1225858122225 THE AUSTRALIAN Mining tax `will kill industry' , Matthew Franklin, THE CHIEF http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/mining-tax-will-kill-industry/story-e6frg9df-1225858115997 THE AUSTRALIAN Club Sensible is casting its eyes over Julia and Tony BY CHRISTOPHER PEARSON http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/club-sensible-is-casting-its-eyes-over-julia-and-tony/story-e6frg6zo-1225857613198 THE AUSTRALIAN Federalism is a dead idea. So what now? Mike Steketee http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/opinion/federalism-is-a-dead-idea-so-what-now/story-e6frgd0x-1225857322222 THE AUSTRALIAN A little ray of Sunshine State style and strategy could give Abbott the popular edge Ross Fitzgerald http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/a-little-ray-of-sunshine-state-style-and-strategy-could-give-abbott-the-popular-edge/story-e6frgczf-1225857315134 THE AUSTRALIAN Why our populist PM misses the mark on policy http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/why-our-populist-pm-misses-the-mark-on-policy/story-e6frg71x-1225857628413 THE AUSTRALIAN Scheme a disaster from go to whoa, no batts about it Nicola Berkovic http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/scheme-a-disaster-from-go-to-whoa-no-batts-about-it/story-e6frgczf-1225857635414 THE AUSTRALIAN Primary school still waiting and hoping Imre Salusinszky http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/schools-watch/primary-school-still-waiting-and-hoping/story-fn56ulhe-1225858124177 THE AUSTRALIAN Building yet to start in half state's schools Natash Bita http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/schools-watch/building-yet-to-start-in-half-states-schools/story-fn56ulhe-1225857634230 THE DAILY TELEGRAPH PM's foot in mouth blustering http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/pms-foot-in-mouth-blustering/story-e6frezz0-1225857794469 COURIER MAIL Review of disastrous home insulation program uncovers hasty decisions DENNIS ATKINS http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/review-of-disastrous-home-insulation-program-uncovers-hasty-decisions/story-e6frerdf-1225857135262 HERALD SUN EDITORIAL A disgraceful cash grab http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/a-disgraceful-cash-grab/story-e6frfifo-1225858073256 THE MERCURY BROADBAND ROLLOUT BACKLASH MICHAEL STEDMAN http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2010/04/26/142175_tasmania-news.html HERALD SUN Heal thyself first, Mr Rudd Staff Writer http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/editorials/heal-thyself-first-mr-rudd/story-e6frfhqo-1225856122931

lyn

26/04/2010Hi Ad and everybody Woop's looks like I have a new way of spelling Political Sorry everyone, didn't do a preview.

HS

26/04/2010Lyn, Thank you so much for making that effort on my behalf. :) Now I will start reading! As the Managing Editor of 'The New York Times', Bill Keller, said of Rupert Murdoch in a long review about a recent biography on famed publisher Henry R. Luce: ' By the time of his death, in 1967, that consensus had been torn asunder, and today there is no vehicle, no voice with the coherent power of Luce’s magazines in their heyday. The last of his breed of media tycoon is a 79-year-old Australian billionaire whose impact has been more corrosive than cohesive. It would be a mistake to sentimentalize the previous century’s version of journalistic authority. But it is probably fair to say that the cacophony of today’s media — in which rumor and invective often outpace truth-testing, in which shouting heads drown out sober reflection, in which it is possible for people to feel fully informed without ever encountering an opinion that contradicts their prejudices — plays some role in the polarizing of our politics, the dysfunction of our political system and the increased cynicism of the American electorate.'

lyn

26/04/2010Hi Ad and Hillbilly Hillbilly you are on Wot News http://wotnews.com.au/news/Tony_Abbott/

lyn

26/04/2010Hi Ad and Hillbilly CHAIR SNIFFING POLLIE FACING "the sack" over latest sex scandal, by Reb Gutter Trash http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/04/26/chair-sniffing-pollie-sacked-over-latest-sex-scandal

2 tanners

26/04/2010HS, All very well but your piece while raising valid concerns kind of misses the point. Tony has proposed a great big new hospital system, a great big new tax (levy) on big business to fund a great big new maternal leave program, a great big new unemployment regime the savings of which would fund a great big new training scheme, just in time for the dole to cut out and a great big new role for us in Afghanistan. Frankly, what any of his policies have to do with atomisation of control has completely escaped me. I'm not big as a centralist, but I suspect the last lines of Acerbic Conehead's post are going to reflect the Australian electorate's feeling this time around: better the devil you know.

HS

26/04/20102 tanners, Thank you for your comment. I think that the point I was trying to make, if maybe somewhat clumsily, was that whilst we hear about the primacy of the 'individual' in conservative political parties' pronouncements and policy manifestos, such as that which has just been released by the Conservative Party in the UK, in practice, as you say, the actuality does not match the rhetoric. As in the Howard years, when the word 'aspirational' was used endlessly to appeal to the desire for people to advance themselves, often at the expense of those left behind in Australian society, we now hear about 'individual empowerment', BUT what we actually end up seeing is an expansion of the government greater than Social Democrat governments are traditionally renowned for, plus the rise to positions of power in the new power structures that are advocated, like Local Hospital Boards, School Boards, etc. of mates of the conservatives, or 'Faith-Based Enterprises'. I'm not saying that they are necessarily less valid ententies for our society to have, but neither are they inherantly better than what we have now, and maybe, worse. Which was the point I was attempting to make. That is, when we hear the Coalition come out with seemingly seductive lines about 'Local Boards with Community Involvement', and 'Individual Empowerment', we should be sceptical. That's all.

Sir Ian Crisp

26/04/2010HillbillySkeleton, not only would Tony Abbott’s health policy cast about for simpatico characters, i.e., Lib-NP party members to serve on hospital boards but there is every likelihood that hospital patients would be denied health services unless they are card carrying members of the Liberal Party or the National Party. We know that the ALP is too simon-pure to offer jobs to the boys (hello communications expert Mike Kaiser). HillbillySkeleton, ‘can I just say this’…some of us ‘working families’…will take ‘decisive action’…and ‘will not stand idly by’…and will do ‘everything in our power’…and take ‘whatever action is necessary’ against anyone who hurls platitudinous rubbish at you. You advocate surrender of individualism for the greater good but Rousseauism can be quite unattractive; perhaps more than muscular capitalism. You say that we should entrust a paternalistic-style government with our well-being but that presumes we have intelligent leadership. The ranks of both major parties are very thin when it comes to genuine talent. Ahh yes, the guiding hand of paternalistic-style government with its daedal skill set. How very reassuring. And tell me this HillbillySkeleton, have you been looking over Ad Astra’s shoulder, copying his work?

lyn

26/04/2010Hi Sir Ian Crisp "COPS" You have been silent lately, so nice to see you back tonight. I was hoping you would have responded to David M Russell on the last post. Cops you are funny, Hillbilly Skeleton's pieces, style of writing, points of view, is just so vastly different to Ad Astra.

Canbra Dave

26/04/2010HillbillySkeleton, I'm sure you've heard Labor's marketing phrase of 'Funded Federally, Run Locally', which has often been compared to being similar to the Coalition's policy in the media. Is Labor's approach to hospital reform less valid because of it? "However, what I'm more interested in teasing out is the reason why you think that atomising society like the Conservative parties of the world want to do is a superior ethos to having a paternalistic-style government which runs and decides policy in all the areas of our lives that are important to us, for the good of us all." What the government says is good for us all isn't necessarily always good for us all. Some things, like private enterprise are better handled by individuals. That way people can succeed based on their own merits. Other things, like providing services, managing the macroeconomy, borders, insulation program (opps, bad example) are things better left to the government. They both have their place and I think everyone (except tea partiers) recognise that. Conservatives just want more control over themselves than non-conservatives. At least thats the theory. I think the question is kind of moot in Australia anyway. If you can find me an Australian conservative who spouts lines like "let us go back to capitalism and we'll be alright" and "I think we should just go back to the constitution" then I'll buy you dinner. There isn't a knee-jerk reaction among Australian conservatives about the 'evilness of big government', largely since we don't have the cultural background that American conservatives do.

The other Brian

27/04/2010G'Day Hillbilly I concur with the basic thrust of your commentary & would probably go further in stating that conservative ideals about the individual are more concerned with the venal rather than liberty, freedom etc but I think the Liberal Party are somewhat dismayed to find that their current leader is not what they thought, that is the idealogical son of J W Howard but rather that of B A Santamaria & doesn't quite fit with international or local trends of right wing thinking

HS

27/04/2010The other Brian, You may well be right about B.A.Santamaria's influence over Tony Abbott. I have read analyses that say that the socially conservative, big government line that Tony sometimes espouses is pure B.A. However, might I add that possibly what we have to say is that Tony may have been the love child of Bronny Bishop and B.A.Santamaria, but when John Howard came along Bronny, the now Widow, after B.A.'s passing, took up with the new man in her life and Tony got a Stepfather! I say that because Tony and the Coalition he now leads have certainly adopted policies very much out of John Howard's playbook. In fact, he sometimes goes further than either B.A. or JWH. I was reminded of this recently when I read an old 2005 News Bulletin from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, when Tony Abbott was Health Minister. In it he stated, to the horror of the Guild, that he was for letting Woolworths and Coles into the Pharmacy market, lock, stock and prescription! That was further than John Howard was ever prepared to go, and we saw that from the fact that Tony Abbott was overruled by Howard when it came to negotiating the agreements with the Pharmacy Industry. Now that's a sign, from Tony Abbott, that he believes in the 'Survival of the Fittest' type of market approach, the supremacy of the individual corporation over preserving the collective of the Guild of Small Pharmacy Businesses. Would we thus see Tony Abbott's individual Hospital Boards atomised and corporatised therefore, with only a light touch of regulation from Canberra, even though, as he has hinted, the federal government would be paying 100% of funding to them, but also taking into consideration past experience that funding would be whittled away from at least the Public Hospitals over time, so we would see Hospitals engaging in raising more funds of their own? I think so.

HS

27/04/2010Canbra Dave, As the Coalition have gleefully pointed out, 'Funded Federally, Run Locally', comes with more than a soupcon of 'Big Bad Bureaurocracy' from the States as well. So you can't say that the Rudd government's Health policy is just the same as the Coalition's because Abbott has said that he'd bypass the States and their 'Big Bad Bureaurocracies' entirely, giving the money he promises to run the Public Hospitals directly to individual hospital boards. Thus Labor's approach to Health reform is not exactly in the mould of the primacy of the individual, as we can see. Also, of course Private Enterprise is better handled by individuals, but what we need to decide is how far do we want the freedom that individuals are given to go? Especially as far as Private Enterprise goes. If you believe that that group of 'individuals' should be given free reign to 'succeed based on their own merits' then aren't you just supporting a Laissez Faire approach by another description? Such ultimate 'individualism', I would posit, is what led to the recent GFC. So what I believe is that there is indeed a role for government to insert themselves into the regulation of the market, and to have oversight of all 'individuals' in the market. I, for one, like my local corner Pharmacy.

Rx

27/04/2010A vast right wing conspiracy to drive the pay and working conditions of employees down to Third World sweatshop status? With business owners and shareholders being the beneficiary of redistribution of income? I can believe that!

HS

27/04/2010Sir Ian Crisp, It's all my own work! A lot denser than AA's as well, not as clear and easy to understand as AA's I feel. I will admit though that I tried to make it fit in with 'The Political Sword's' general feel, in order to be collegiate. You said(somewhat tongue-in-cheek as is your wont): '...but there is every likelihood that hospital patients would be denied health services unless they are card carrying members of the Liberal Party or the National Party.' Not quite, but would we eventually see, say if Tony Abbott won 4 elections in a row like his mentor, JWH, a situation like they have had in America where, if you don't have Private Health Insurance, you CAN be denied Hospital treatment? Or, as was the direction we were heading in in the last days of Howard, you were treated by Doctors in Public Hospitals who had been sourced from various 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries fresh out of Med School, while the more sophisticated and experienced Drs went off to the Private system where the money was? If I can look into Tony Abbott's crystal ball I can see him throwing open Private Hospital doors to allow them to have Emergency Departments in direct competition with Public Hospitals. Thus, you would end up with the best medical treatment if you had Private Health Insurance and could pay for better treatment. I don't think that's right. You also said: 'The ranks of both major parties are very thin when it comes to genuine talent.' I don't agree. I have worked in Federal Parliament, have you? When I was there I saw many highly intelligent, highly talented individuals working extremely hard on the Nation's behalf.It is often a thankless task but one which they keep on doing regardless of the brickbats that come their way from all quarters. I especially put the PM and Deputy PM in this basket, and acknowledge that there are also some smart cookies in the Opposition. Which is not to say that there aren't some real duds there also. As far as I can see things are actually changing for the better at the moment, with fewer apparatchiks having been pre-selected for the upcoming federal election, due to member plebiscites on both sides of politics. 'Change' you can believe in! :)

HS

27/04/2010Rx, Lol!

HS

27/04/2010Damn spam! :)

lyn

27/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Let's put Tony Abbott's achievements into perspective TIM DUNLOP,The Drum http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2883140.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail THE BUCK STOPS WITH NEWS LTD, By James Thomson, Smart Company, Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/23/the-buck-stops-with-news-ltd-in-the-melbourne-storm-scandal/ Uninformed jottings on British election, by Peter Brent, Mumble http://mumble.com.au/ Hockey Slams Tough New Rules for Financial Advisers by Rebb, GUTTER TRASH http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/hockey-slams-tough-new-rules-for-financial-advisers/ JAMES MURDOCH'S furious bust-up last week with the Independent's editor-in-chief, Simon Kelner, was not the first time News Corp's Europe and Asia boss has been involved in a public slanging match. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mediamonkeyblog/2010/apr/26/media-monkey-diary The dumbest smart guy in politics?ROBERT TAYLOR, The West Australian http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/7108420/the-dumbest-smart-guy-in-politics/ Should Buswell Resign, media wrap, Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/27/should-buswell-resign/ TROY BUSWELL: WA Treasurer admits stealing public resources to pay for his private sex-romps with Greens MP Adele Carles, by Vex News http://www.vexnews.com/news/9076/troy-buswell-wa-treasurer-admits-stealing-public-resources-to-pay-for-his-private-sex-romps-with-greens-mp-adele-carles/ The Economics of Rort, bySteven Kates,Quadrant Online http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2010/04/the-economics-of-rorting An epoch end. Financial planners won't get kickbacks, by Peter Martin http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ Commissioning clarity by Alan Kohler, Business Spectator http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/government-Commissions-government-financial-planne-pd20100426-4UUSN?OpenDocument Let's put Tony Abbott's achievements into perspective,by Sarah Burnside, On Line Opinion http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10329 Stories I've been Reading. by Darryl Mason, The Orstrahyun http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/ Gerard Henderson, Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and sage advice, by dorothy parker , Loon Pond http://loonpond.blogspot.com/

Sir Ian Crisp

27/04/2010Lyn, thank you for that wonderful greeting. I have barred myself from contributing to BB's articles until he explains why it's a good idea to bring into Australia people smugglers and people who pose a threat to our society. He described them as 'industrious'. I don't think they would make ideal citizens. HillbillySkeleton, no I have never worked in Federal Parliament but Federal Parliament has worked on me and many other citizens. As I have indicated previously, Federal Parliament is like comedy central at times. You mention the PM and deputy PM. Doesn't it strike you as odd that the Bird of Paradox has amended her past and the other bloke visited a night club where he did nothing wrong but phoned his wife to apologise? Sitting on the PM's front bench and picking up a handsome stipend is another goose who changed the capital of Tasmania from Hobart to O'Possum Bay. We have official departments that are supposed to do that. Idiots can be found on the other side. We had one bloke who forgot he owned a 50% share of a concreting business. I wonder if he forgot to bank the AUD$85,000 that was his share for work completed by his company for the RAAF in Nth Qld? And wasn't it Dr Death's policy that saw the other Dr Death achieve great success in Bundaberg? His sausage-factory style of operating meant he was so busy that at times he didn't have time to wash his hands. Never mind, it was full speed ahead under the activity-based funding model designed by Dr Death. Ahhh yes, an all-caring, omnipotent, magisterial and paternalistic government looking after my every need. What next will leave the ALP dream factory?

Ad astra reply

27/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

27/04/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Ah, selective bias, it's a wonderful thing, isn't it? Your 'Dr Death1'='Dr Death2', is my Qld. Premier's Office COS long gone before Dr Patel appeared on the scene to wreak his havoc. Wasn't he employed under the Howard government's policy of immporting trained Doctors from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd World countries to fill the gaps created by his government's decision to severely restrict the number of Australian Med students? Also, when you talk about amended pasts, I could see your Julia Gillard and raise you a well-hidden JWH past. Anyway, if you're talking about the fact that the Deputy PM now stands up to Unions when once she used to represent them, I thought you would have approved of that?

Riccardo

27/04/2010Disappointed by most of the responses - I would have thought the major issue is that conservatism is different from liberalism, especially when it comes to control over the human body. While the conservatives are supposed to prefer small government, in fact they don't. Big government, police and large jails are always required by conservatives. While a small L liberal aims to free the individual in as many ways as possible, the conservative likes to remind the lower orders that those in power have a divine right to be there - whether they be the political class, the economic elite or the institutions of religion. We have lost the Australian Liberal Party and it is now run almost entirely for the benefit of conservatives. However, the battlefield is not favourable to a US-style culture war so they fake a lot of it. They know they could not win the abortion debate on numbers, no working class dad is going to let stop his pregnant daughter getting an abortion no matter how Catholic/Evangelical/"Aspirational" he is. And the Libs know it. A lot of the shadow boxing at big business at the moment is to try to rally the base to show they are not beholden to bign business, when of course they are.

Ad astra reply

27/04/2010Essential Research Report this afternoon TPP 54/46 the same as last week and four weeks ago, but down from six months ago when it was 59/41. Lots of interesting questions. - good support for the health reform plan, stimulating the economy, handling the economy to avoid job losses and IR reforms, but poor marks for the BER, handling the ETS and asylum seekers. http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/Media_essentialreports/Essential_Report_270410.pdf

HS

27/04/2010Riccardo, Welcome to TPS, and thank you for your comment. You are right when you say that the faux appeal to the 'individual' by the Conservatives masks their hidden agenda to entrench the true elites, economic and religious. When they speak of reducing taxes it's always those who make the most that benefit the most. The figures for the hollowing out of the Middle Class in the US under George W.Bush are astonishing. They became the Working Poor. It is for this reason that I believe that the homogenising effect of a federal government who can rule for all and look out for their interests is something we shouuld not throw away lightly.

lyn

27/04/2010Hi Riccardo Thankyou for your comment, welcome to Ad Astra's blogg, we hope you keep coming back. I think the Liberal Party is run entirely for the heavyweights, just a bunch of cranky, snarling, nasty people, with nothing to offer, other than throwing wild punches at the Government. Shadow boxing (to use your term) at anything and everything.

lyn

27/04/2010[b]HI AD, HILLBILLY AND EVERYBODY[/b] DON'T MISS OUR UP TO THE MINUTE REPORT FROM GROG, BRILLIANT AS ALWAYS, THANKYOU GROG The ETS get's put in the pre-election Sin Bin, By Grog, Grog's Gamut http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/04/ets-gets-put-in-pre-election-sin-bin.html

Grog

27/04/2010Geez Lyn! You don;t even give me a chance to change typos before posting the link! Nice work Hillbilly. ALways remember Thatcher's statement: "There's no such thing as society".

BH

27/04/2010HS - I remember when small Community Hospitals in SA were run by Boards. You have made some very interesting and accurate assumptions. In the heydays of Liberals they were mostly run by Lib sympathisers and business donors and staff were paid a pittance. The conservatives worldwide are a bit frightening at the moment and the sooner Murdoch, their Kingmaker, departs the scene the better. Unfortunately it seems that his heir, James, is no better. The headlines in Lyn's links yesterday were startling to say the least. Poor Kevin Rudd - he gets it in the neck no matter what he does and Trioli on ABC Breakfast this morning continually paraphrasing Hunt's description of the PM as a creep was appalling. She would not have allowed anything like that to be reiterated over and over again about Howard when he was PM.

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27/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx with Grog's piece: [i]The ETS gets put in the pre-election Sin Bin[/i]. Great article Grog. You are so on the ball.

lyn

28/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Rudd runs from independent election debates, by Bernard Keane, The Stump http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/04/27/hypocrite-rudd-runs-from-independent-election-debates/ Hey, that’s our job, by Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/04/28/hey-thats-our-job/#more-5882 Ridiculous claim from the Independant, by Tom, Tom Nelson http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2010/04/ridiculous-claim-from-independent.html AN UNBALANCED REPORT by Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo http://larvatusprodeo.net/ Newspoll says 52 to 48 to Labor in Victoria, Peter Brent, Mumble http://mumble.com.au/ Gallipoli, Eureka and Australia's foundational myths, by Andrew Carr, Chasing the Norm http://andrewcarr.org/ CPRS INTO THE DEEP FREEZE,By Big Gav, Peak Energy http://peakenergy.blogspot.com/2010/04/cprs-into-deep-freeze.html Dr Henderson and the Liberals, by Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/04/dr-henderson-and-liberals-gerard.html Rudd throws ETS in the "Too hard" Basket,Media Wrap, Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/28/rudd-throws-ets-in-the-too-hard-basket/ Kevin Rudd’s character and credibility gap, By Joshua Frydenberg, The Punch http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/kevin-rudds-character-and-credibility-gap/?from=scroller&pos=2&referrer=home&link=text Janet Albrechtsen, bees in bonnets, insidious leftist progressives and the joy of having a Senate, by dorothy parker , Loon Pond http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2010/04/janet-albrechtsen-bees-in-bonnets.html Small is beautiful for Abbott, by Robert Gottliebsen, Business Spectator http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Tony-Abbott-Liberal-coalition-politics-pd20100427-4VRXS?OpenDocument&src=kgb

Ad astra reply

28/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

28/04/2010HS I guess you saw [i]Lateline[/i] last night when Leigh Sales interviewed Sam Coates, chief political correspondent with the [i]Times[/i] in London. Asked about how the fortunes of the Conservatives have dipped in recent times he replied: [i]”I think a lot of the credit for the way that Labour and the Liberal Democrats have prevented the Tories kind of flying off to a soar-away victory must go to Tony Blair. What Tony Blair did between about 1995 and 2005 is he contaminated the Tory party brand. He made the Tories the nasty party, the unpopular party, he made it unfashionable to vote Tory. “And I think quite a lot of that legacy just hasn't quite left the Conservative Party. What David Cameron did when he came in in late 2006, early 2006 is he tried to decontaminate the Tory brand, try and show that it had changed, that it was interested in environmental concerns, that it was interested in social justice concerns and helping people who are less well off, mainly by engaging voluntary groups and third sector groups and private companies and show that this wasn't a right wing party of the tradition that relied on immigration and tax cuts and that we're able to reflect modern Britain and speak for country. “But, there are many who think that he hasn't quite done that enough. Some of the candidates show some of the tendencies of the sorta old Tories, which are unpopular, which he was trying to leave behind. “And, you know, David Cameron might appear modern, but the British public know very little about the people who sort of stand behind him, the Shadow Cabinet who represent - who would be in those important Cabinet jobs. “And just - they haven't managed to overcome the public fear of the Tories, which is why when presented by - a lot of the British public, 80 per cent of the British public want change, but only 40 per cent of the British public wanted the change that the Tories offered. “And so when there was an alternative to David Cameron as their second choice, having won the change argument, then a lot of these results were then - have been delivered to Nick Clegg as somebody who can deliver the sort of safer change that the public want, rather than the more risky, "old Tory", kind of reactionary change which the public fears would come about under David Cameron.”[/i] The second paragraph reflects the argument you make about the worldwide Conservative move towards devolution of authority to ‘the people’, yet the following paragraphs suggest the people do not ‘buy’ that move as genuine, and fearing the ‘old Tory’ will persist under David Cameron and his inner clique, many, seeking a change, have switched their allegiance from Labor to Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats rather than the Conservatives. The full transcript is at http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s2884207.htm

Ad astra reply

28/04/2010Folks I'll be on the road for the next few hours. Back at my computer this evening.

HS

28/04/2010Grog, Thank you! I note Tony Abbott keeps referring to the brilliance of Thatcher with that lovesick puppy fizzog on. He really does not seem to have grown up from his schoolboy infatuations with Thatcher and Howard. "The world was so much better then"...trails off into wistfullness...

HS

28/04/2010BH, Thank you for your comment! So, it is as I expected, all local boards will be populated with Coalition sympathisers, just like Howard put his mates onto the ABC Board, the Reserve Bank Board, the ...

You must be kidding

28/04/2010Ad Astra I am looking forward to your next piece ... especially the one where you look back and reflect upon the ETS, "the greatest moral challenge of our lifetime", now resting until 2013; the insulation program now canned; the child care buildings, now cancelled due to budget overruns; and of course the commentary which is even growing in the Fairfax media. I am just looking forward to you reprising all the defensive arguments you made at the time and then bringing us up to date with the justification of the back flips ... now that would be some remarkable narrative. Lyn ... looking forward to you assigning the link of Terry McCann's piece today. Didn't see it amongst your postings.

Sir Ian Crisp

28/04/2010YMBK, I was mulling over that today. I said to myself..."boy, I'll bet AA is going to tear strips of Mr Rudd for 3 back flips in 3 days...poor Mr Rudd will be mercilessly attacked by AA and the boys and girls at Crikey are likely to join in". Then I heard that it was the nasty coalition that was to blame. If Mr Rudd believes in his ETS why not take it to the people rather than put it back on the shelf. Things that make you go mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

HS

28/04/2010YMBK, I look forward to your saying that something is actually the Coalition's fault someday. :)

HS

28/04/2010Sir Ian Crisp, It's a funny old argument that only tells half the story. I'd be interested in hearing you explain how the conservative party technique of Senate obstructionism, occurring the world over at this time of the Republicans, and the Coalition being out of power, has not had anything to do with the shelving of the ETS by the Rudd government, and how the loss of the Liberal Leadership by Malcolm Turnbull as a result of the conservative coup fronted by Tony Abbott had absolutely no effect on the inability of the Rudd government to pass its CPRS.

You must be kidding

28/04/2010I'm sorry Hillbilly?? Senate obstructionism ... are you serious? There has only been one senate period of 3 years that the ruling Party has had the senate majority since the late 1970's ... and of course that would be Howard from 2004 until 2007. Howard of course made a mistake and he was butchered electorally for it. Are you seriously suggesting the obstructionism of the opposition parties during the Howard years is any different to the current senate. Surely not? Do you really suggest that the Labor Party supported the Howard Government reforms as the Opposition did during the Hawke and Keating years? Rudd does not need the Coalition for a majority ... this is a fact. Trouble is you consider that it should be the Opposition Party that should help Rudd get a majority when clearly he can use the other parties and independents as the Howard Government was forced to do. Coalition's fault ... hmmm ... applying the IR legislation without a no disadvantage. That would be a good start. Electing Malcolm Turnbull that would be a close second ... what else ... failing to recognise Kyoto when we were achieving Kyoto achievements ... that was a blue; the apology to the Stolen Generations .... that was a mistake because Howard took it seriously as opposed to the tokenism of the Rudd Government as we have now seen. Leadership can be tough some days and Howard was tough ... on the other hand Rudd is clearly a populist. Hillbilly I said some months ago ... put your money on an election on the 9th or 16th October for an election and also put heaps of dough on Rudd winning but not seeing another election as leader.

lyn

28/04/2010Hi You Must be Kidding The Political Sword has been missing you, good to see your comments back. Sorry about missing the Terry McCann piece, but honestly, there was a frenzy out there this morning, nearly impossible to get to them all. Also remember the ammendments that Malcolm Turnbull negotiated and got, remember the speech Malcolm Turnbull delivered on why he crossed the floor over the ETS. Remember the Coalition front bench all resigning one after the other, then voting Malcolm out, and installing Tony Abbott. As for commentary growing in the Fairfax media, well that has been growing for 2 years.

Sir Ian Crisp

28/04/2010C'mon HillbillySkeleton, time to bundy off at the dream factory and join us here in reality. Didn’t Howard woo Senator Brian Harradine and the quisling Quasimodo because he said his legislation program was being obstructed by a hostile senate? And this: Is Howard serious about asking Australians to reduce Senate checks? Given the Senate’s habit of "obstructing" the draconian measures the PM tells us are vital for national security, we can rest assured its record on terrorism will be a feature of the campaign. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=435&page=2 HillbillySkeleton, you should refrain from velleities and tether your contributions to reality.

HS

28/04/2010YMBK, 'Are you seriously suggesting the obstructionism of the opposition parties during the Howard years is any different to the current senate. Surely not?' That's exactly what I'm suggesting! As Howard said, "It's all about the arithmetic." With the Opposition(37), Greens(5), Fielding and Sen.X. deciding against a vote for the ETS, all for various reasons, it was sunk. Even if the Rudd government had done a deal with the Greens and Xenophon, they wouldn't have had the numbers to get the ETS through. Fielding the faux Liberal would never have voted for it because he is an avowed Global Warming Denialist. Don't forget that the ALP had a handshake deal to pass the ETS, which was reneged upon. If that's not bloody-minded obstructionism from the Opposition, I don't know what is. That is, the Rudd government were able to negotiate a deal with the Opposition, then they weren't because the leadership had changed. Nothing to do with Rudd's ability to get legislation through.

HS

28/04/2010YMBK, As far as an election goes, my money would be on late August, early September, especially considering Wayne Swan's statement today that the Rudd government are just waiting for the ('Obstructionist'?) Opposition to knock back the Private Health Insurance Rebate Means Test legislation, and considering how quickly the decks have been cleared of political detritus this week and last.

Bushfire Bill

28/04/2010[i]Don't forget that the ALP had a handshake deal to pass the ETS, which was reneged upon. If that's not bloody-minded obstructionism from the Opposition, I don't know what is. That is, the Rudd government were able to negotiate a deal with the Opposition, then they weren't because the leadership had changed. Nothing to do with Rudd's ability to get legislation through.[/i] Forget the "handshake" HS. It was a deal, pure and simple, and the Coalition reneged. I don't see what more a PM can do - inquiries, white papers, consultations, got industry on-board, Senate committees, endless hours of stultifying debate, good-faith negotiations - only to have the Coalition dump on it at literally the last minute. It's rather hypocritical of the party that votes down a [i]negotiated[/i] settlement to mock the government for not delivering on that policy. There is nothing that Labor can do to get the ETS through, barring a green epiphany from the Coalition (and there's no sign of that happening anytime soon). Best to shelve the whole thing until sunnier (and presumably, inexorably warmer) times are here again, rather than die in a ditch defending it (which is exactly what the media and the Coalition want Rudd to do under the guise of "spending some political capital"... they [i]wish[/i]). Rudd's problem (which I have posted on here before) is that he gave in too soon on Insulation, letting the media think they were running things again generally. He should have continued to fight for the ETS even when it looked like a sure thing. It's very bureaucratic, ticking off bullet points and assuming they're immutable, but Rudd, in letting the Deniers get away with hijacking the media, did exactly that. He assumes the voters are mature and consistent, which they are not. How else could Essential this week show that the punters overwhelmingly support the GFC response in general, but when it was broken down into its major constituent projects - Schools and Insulation - they voted each one down? It doesn't make sense, but it's the reality. Apart from the coalition's bloody-mindedness, Labor is not entirely free of blame here. They've been coasting along, not attending to details. Contrast this with the Liberals in NSW. They have the election won. It's a laydown misere. But does that stop them from flogging NSW Labor at any and every opportunity? No. Relentlessly and remorselessly they carp and whinge and bitch. They know that it ain't over till it's over. Rudd should learn this lesson too: don't trust the voters to [i]remain[/i] sober and sensible. The first time it rains in the Outback they'll listen to the whisperers who tell them there's no such thing as Global Warming, especially if there's no rebuttal from the government and [i]especially[/i] if the PM gets on national TV and delivers a public mea culpa over things that didn't happen the way they were depicted in the media. He essentially validated the bullshit stories about Insulation (and they're still continuing) and, worse, gave the media free air when they about to give in. He made them seem important. Big mistake. If you read Shanahan and Milne et al [i]everything[/i] is a debacle, or a catastrophe or a fiasco. They've run out of pejorative words to apply to anything the government does. They now have to recycle them. All Rudd does is refuse to fight, gives in, letting them get away with absolute murder. It's gotten to the stage where Hunt calling Rudd a "creep" goes straight through to the keeper, when at any other time in our political history comments like that would have brought disgrace on the utterer.

macca

28/04/2010Isn't this terrific.....finally on TPS we have our first homegrown teabaggers. SIC and YMBK make sure you wear your hats. Wouldn't want them necks to get any redder

gusface

28/04/2010Bushfire the MSM is suffering a bonfire of their vanity. I fully expect PD or Shammmaaaaaaaaaaaahammmmm to call rudd a wanker and start the abuse cycle again and again Like fevered sharks its feedding frenzy time ps dont tell em there is an election soon :)

gusface

28/04/2010ps Hillbilly V. nice piece I look forward to your next instalment

lyn

28/04/2010Hi Gusface Delightful comment (like Fevered sharks it's feeding time). The Murdoch press just went feral today, too much for me to collect.

lyn

28/04/2010Hi Ad and Hillbilly Skeleton [b]NOT TO BE MISSED OUR EVER FAITHFULL GROG, THANKYOU GROG.[/b] The Greens and the ETS: it all all seems so simple if you just close your eyes and dream. by GROG Grog's Gamut http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

gusface

28/04/2010Lyn sadly i have seen the Ltd News and its associated acolytes do backflips trying to pin rudd Too bad they dont realise he is a wrassler,bit like hulk hogan without the steroids remember Kev is here to help, but not the detritus of the MSM :)

Ad astra reply

28/04/2010Sir Ian, YMBK When John Howard was faced with Mark Latham’s move on parliamentarians’ superannuation he capitulated with the words ‘this is not a matter about which I’m prepared to die in a ditch’. That was the classical pragmatism of an experienced politician. So you ought not to be surprised if Kevin Rudd, despite his lesser experience, also refuses to die in a ditch over legislation he has been unable to have passed. One thing he has learned quickly is pragmatism. Faced with the impossible task of having the Senate pass the ETS legislation after the Coalition welched on the deal made by Malcolm Turnbull, starkly awake of continuing intransigence by Tony Abbott, having had the legislation already rejected twice, why would he keep hitting his head against the Coalition brick wall? So he has deferred consideration until the end of 2012. Now we know people like you and Paul Kelly and Dennis Shanahan and Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt are apoplectic with scorn and indignant rage at Rudd’s ‘cowardice’, ‘back-flip’, and ‘character defect’ in deferring attention to ‘the greatest economic and moral challenge of our time’ until a more propitious time, because all of you would have preferred him to die in a ditch pursuing an impossible target. Well he’s not that stupid. But you say, if he is still genuinely committed to an ETS as the way to tackle climate change, why doesn’t he take his case to a double dissolution election and fight Tony Abbott on this issue, as Abbott, the street fighter he is, is daring him to do? You should know the answer. For months Abbott, Hunt and Barnaby Joyce have been singing the ‘Great Big New Tax on Everything’ song. You know the ETS is not that at all. You know the penalties were to be imposed on the polluters and the consumers affected by any price increases were to be compensated fully or more. You know that the Coalition line is disingenuous, but that’s OK isn’t it so long as it hurts the Government, which indeed it has as evidenced by falling support for an ETS in opinion polls. So in the face of a destructive campaign of disinformation that is beginning to bite, why would Rudd be so unwise as to fight a double dissolution election on an issue for which there is waning public support? Politics is the art of the possible, and Rudd has learned the value of pragmatism. So much as you would like Rudd to die in a ditch or commit political hari kari, he’s not going to oblige. Get used to it. Call him what you will, political survival and electoral success is his aim, as it is for all politicians.. Sir Ian, you are having fun counting Rudd’s ‘back-flips’, a term that I would not have expected someone as erudite as you to use. What about ‘change of mind’ or ‘change of direction’ or ‘reconsideration’ or ‘review’. No, they would never do – they do not carry the pejorative connotation of ‘back-flip’. That is your real message, not the change of mind. Tell me Sir Ian, and YMBK, have all the decisions you have made in your life and career been so impeccably correct that you have never had to change your mind, to take a different direction, even to reverse a decision? Well, if that is so, you should be running the country, because clearly you would do it better than any government we have ever had in Australia. Politicians change their mind for many reasons, not the least of which is the reality that the original policy/plan/action was not ideal or even correct. Kevin Rudd found that the insulation scheme, while successfully insulating a million homes and employing countless tradesmen, had unexpected and unintended consequences, some deadly. No one is denying the administrative misadventures of this scheme, but I’m sure you are not suggesting that in view of what happened, deferring and finally cancelling the scheme should not have occurred? That might have avoided the tag of ‘back-flip’, but would have been imprudent, even stupid. And should the Government have continued to build child care centres when the need was no longer there and when the industry expressed concern about oversupply? Rudd and his ministers make mistakes, which need correction, but they are not stupid. They take the pragmatic approach all prudent politicians do. I’m sure you would have applauded Howard’s pragmatism over many issues – the GST comes quickly to mind – so why not applaud Rudd’s pragmatism? But if doing so would be so repugnant to you as to damage your inner self, that would be too much to ask of you. This is a gentle blog-site.

HS

28/04/2010Bushfire Bill, Thank you for your contribution. I wonder if you saw the Lowy Institute Report on research they did into the public's changing attitudes to Climate Change? In contrast to the recent Essential Research findings, which appeared to suggest that support for action to address Climate Change was waning, they found that 72% of Australians still want the government to take action. However, interestingly, when the Lowy guys broke the support down around the question of how much were you willing to pay towards that action, $0, $10, $20, or more per week, they came up with a very, very interesting sort of reverse bell curve effect, where, obviously, the highest number of people wanted to take action but not have to pay anything out of their own pockets to see it happen; a goodly number approved of about $10/week; hardly anyone wanted to pay $20/wk; but, there was a sizeable number who were prepared to pay whatever it would take, >$20/wk, to see action taken on Climate Change! Actually, I have friends like that, they already pay for 'Green' Electricity, and we haven't even got the CPRS through parliament. They are the 'True Believers' wrt addressing the problem. Most of these type of people would vote Greens I imagine. They are still out there, and will never be convinced by Abbott, Hunt & Joyce's blatherings about 'A Great Big New Tax'. As for that little worm Hunt calling the PM a 'creep', well, it takes one to know one I suppose. Same goes for Abbott calling the PM 'gutless'. Funny, isn't it, how Abbott just loves trying to pull on a fight with the government? He appears to know no other way to behave. 'Punch Drunk' is I think the correct terminology. :)

HS

28/04/2010Gusface, Thank you! You are too kind. :) You may be right about 'The Bonfire of the Vanities' of the MSM. I still don't think they have gotten over the fact that Kevin Rudd often just bypasses them and talks directly to the people. It appears to make them mighty cantankerous.

HS

28/04/2010Ad Astra, What I found interesting today, amongst the detritus of Dennis Shanahan's daily droppings onto the 'Australian' website, was his report of the Wayne Swan Presser, wherein he expressed a guilty admiration for the fact that Swan went the full court press on a Double Dissolution over the Private Health Insurance Rebate legislation. He seemed genuinely shocked!

Colen

29/04/2010HBS Of course the majority don't want to pay for an ETS. It's always about the hip pocket especially in AUS. I have never been in a country where price counts for everything. The quality can be absolute rubbish but if the price is right it will sell. If they know they are going to get nothing out of an ETS they are not prepared to pay. They are not convinced about the savings and effects. Merely divided on Party political lines. Labor good, Coalition bad. Born to rule liberals are bastards, Unions are good. Tags are all B.S. there are good and bad on both sides and if you think as you should know working in government that the don't co opperate. God they even co habit. So who are the dumb suckers. US the so called supporters of each tribe. That's what needs to be reported. Unfortunately it doesn't sell papers, controversy does so expect the hype to carry on. Those prepared to pay $50+ are the wealthy greenies in Melbourne and Sydney prepared to pay out large sums to appease their green conscience as long as they can burn all the gas and electricity they want. Jet Setters to the end. God help those who interfere with their pleasure.

janice

29/04/2010Thank you Hillbilly - your piece contains much food for thought and has prompted some interesting comments. Bushfire, I agree with your assessment that Rudd failed to defend the Insulation Programme in the first instance and I still think he and his team is allowing the hype and accusations to go largely unchallenged. The 4Corners programme presented the down-side of the scheme only and the media generally have neglected to point out the culpability of insulation employers who rorted the scheme and failed to ensure safety for their employees. I also agree with your take on the ETS legislation. Kerry O'Brien did his best to entrench the word 'cowardice' on the Government when he interviewed Penny Wong on the 7.30 Report last evening. It seems to me everybody and his dog is trying to push Rudd into a DD election - is it because they recognise the senate has been outrageously obstructionist or is it because they just want their own speculation justified? I suspect that Rudd may not call a DD and will opt for an election as late as November or even next year.

HS

29/04/2010Colen, Thank you for your comment. :) Only speaking from personal experience, but my friends who buy 'Green' Electricity also go the Full Monty with Organic food and a Veggie Co-Op and all types of energy conservation practices. They have got a shiny new Mac and a Subaru though. :) As to your other point about the pollies, we have seen the fatal attraction between a Liberal and a Green just this week in the West. Also, did you know that Paul Kelly from The Australian was married to Labor Party pollie, Ros Kelly? And the recently pre-selected member for the seat of Canberra in the upcoming poll, Gai Brodtmann, is married to Chris Uhlmann from the ABC. Yes, it's a very close-knit community in Canberra and in most parliaments around the world probably.

Sir Ian Crisp

29/04/2010Macca, I have sought the help of a doctor on the odd occasion but I have never been afflicted by poikiloderma of Civatte. Whilst in the doctor’s waiting room I have found myself seated beside people like you who are afflicted with Trotskyism. As they leave the doctor’s surgery their look of dejection is palpable because they have been told there is no cure for Trotskyism.

Sir Ian Crisp

29/04/2010Ad Astra, I have changed my mind on many occasions. However, I was never stupid or pharisaic like our PM. He created the impression that unless the ETS was passed the good folk at Parramatta would soon enough have their own beach. Imagine how disappointed those people are who bought houses in the Parramatta area on the strength of Mr Rudd’s prediction. As for praising Howard for the introduction of the GST…forget it. The GST betrayed a tired and lazy government out of ideas. All Howard did was copy what was happening in about 26 other countries which had a GST/VAT tax system. You also say that Rudd and his ministers are not stupid but you offer no proof. Ad Astra, at times like this I am reminded of what that good fellow Mark Bahnisch said when he set in stone his rules for good blogging. Some of them are: Address issues of importance, and avoid the trivial Be intellectually honest Be unafraid though to call it the way it seems to be Be unintimidated by power, position or influential people Be as objective as possible, acknowledge any subjectivity Acknowledge biases and conflicts of interest You did sign that contract and you are bound by its rules.

lyn

29/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] The Coal industry released a sigh of relief as the prime minister announced he would delay the rollout of the carbon polllution reduction scheme. Carbon backflip a win for Mackay , by Kate Bastable , Daily Mercury. http://www.dailymercury.com.au/story/2010/04/28/rudds-carbon-backflip-a-win-for-mackay Killing the ETS was a team effort by Bernard Keane, Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/28/its-all-your-fault-killing-the-ets-was-a-team-effort/ Rudd, spin and the CPRS,By Lyndal Curtis, The Drum http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/28/2884962.htm?site=thedrum The Great Moral Backflip Of Our Time By Ben Eltham New Matilda http://newmatilda.com/2010/04/28/great-moral-backflip-our-time Australians get old and die – good for Labor? By Peter Brent, Mumble http://mumble.com.au/ THE COURAGE TO CHANGE: Rudd was right to ditch the ETS and should be thanked for coming to his senses,Vex News http://www.vexnews.com/news/9108/the-courage-to-change-rudd-was-right-to-ditch-the-ets-and-should-be-thanked-for-coming-to-his-senses/ The Government Cannot Afford Any More Embarrassments, Leon Delaney http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/2010/04/government-cannot-afford-any-more.html Rudd's ETS Back Down, By Reb, Gutter Trash http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/rudds-ets-back-down/ After the Dead horses, what?, by Robert Merkel, Lavatus Prodeo http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/04/28/after-the-dead-horses-what/ Conroy attacks Coalition plan to ditch NBN,ABC News http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/28/2884413.htm?section=justin Let's talk about Telsra nd the NBN again, By David Havyatt, Anything goes http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/2010/04/lets-talk-about-telstra-and-nbn-again.html Bob Brown - Too smart by half, BY PETERMCC, Chicken Scratchings http://petermcc.vox.com/library/post/bob-brown---too-smart-by-half.html?_c=feed-atom Essential Reseach by William Bowe, The Poll Bludger http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ So Tony Abbott's razor plan to pay off our debts http://www.facebook.com/dailytelegraph/posts/121938094486406

Ad astra reply

29/04/2010LYN's DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

bilgedigger

29/04/2010I see Ian Crisp is back commenting (and David M. Russell is not) with a few sallies regarding nomenclature among other things (I could have said "inter alia" instead,using Latin words to project a facade of intellectualism (that would of course have broken Mark's Rule 1). Actually Ian, I had thought that you had possibly been in W.A. (where Tony Abbott was recently) and having a hand in the creation of a new political party which an old political hack named Crouch who is apparently well known in conservative circles, (although not apparently a member of the Liberal Party as Pauline Hanson was) is attempting to get going (with funding from ?????? - don't think even Tony is going to go down the track again of providing funding like the One Nation deal). Since your recent comments related to "population" policy, and were not to be interpreted as racist as you seemed to infer, I assumed that's where you were but it's possible I am mistaken here. I'm always happy to stand corrected when I get things wrong. I should have known that you would be ensconced with your well-thumbed Oxford Dictionary checking out words to use in comments directed to the peasantry on blog sites By the way, to clarify the use of language a little, I belong to the school which believes that using plain language is best, which brings me to the use of "back-flip". As you really should well know, like everybody else who rebadges the language around the refusal of the Liberal Party to honour a deal, the correct terminology in such circumstances is "welched on the deal" (i.e. a ratfink thing to do in common parlance). (Mark's Rule 2 - Be unafraid to call it the way it seems to be). I also note that you cling to your use of an honorific, presumably to impress those who may believe that such use confers a degree of intellectualism as well as standing which I would assume, being the erudite soul that you are, that you are well aware is a falsity. (Mark's Rule 3 - Be not intimidated by power, position or influential people). I must admit that Mark's Rule 4 - Be objective as possible acknowledging any subjectivity - gives me many problems. I can only try my best but have to admit that sometimes this is an area in which I do need to try a little harder. Still one can only try, don't you agree? As for Mark's Rule 5 this is much easier for me - possibly the easiest of all. I have little time for people who try to pretend to be something they are not (even allowing a degree of fudging of identities as is common on blogsites) It poses no conflict of interest for me to indicate what I think. It's easy because I don't have to consult a dictionary in case other people assume I don't have the skill to phrase things sufficiently to be understood (apart from my constant use of brackets to save time editing properly) and most of all, I'm comfortable enough in my own skin not to have to try to pull the wool over other's eyes, and so back to Mark's Rule 1.

Ad astra reply

29/04/2010Sir Ian I notice that when refutation of an argument seems too difficult or tedious you revert to messenger-shooting with an excerpt from Mark Bahnisch's list of attributes of good blogging, implying that I am not adhering to that set of principles which I 'contracted' to follow. That’s your perspective, to which you’re entitled. Other visitors here will have their own views. For reasons best known to yourself, you expect me to ‘prove’ that Rudd’s ministers ‘are not stupid’. I don’t know how much evidence you need. What about shielding Australia from a global recession and high unemployment that has engulfed most developed countries? What about a schools infrastructure programme the likes of which this country has never seen? What about the health reform plan recently negotiated? What about rescuing the pre-school education system following the collapse of ABC Learning? What about the insulation programme that has insulated a million homes? Do these initiatives sound like the actions of stupid politicians? Now we all know the media relentlessly enumerate the downside of most of these initiatives, while studiously ignoring the upside. It thrives on highlighting conflict, accentuating problems, ferreting out ‘scandals’, ‘debacles’, ‘failures’ and ‘bungles’, and is disinterested in good news stories – they don’t sell papers, nor do they serve to diminish the Rudd Government, to make it look incompetent or ‘stupid’ which, after all, is their aim. Look at any piece you like and you will find acknowledgement of the upside is overwhelmed by an elaborate description of the downside. I know that someone as erudite as you would not be seduced by such media manipulation, and be persuaded by it that the Rudd Government ministers are indeed stupid.

janice

29/04/2010[quote]Ad Astra, I have changed my mind on many occasions. However, I was never stupid or pharisaic like our PM.[/quote] Can you prove that statement SIC? No, I expect not but while you are quick to rail against what you see as Ad astra's shortcomings, has it not occurred to you that you come across to me, and I suspect others here, as a bitter, hard-to-please man lacking in kindness. I pity you for being unable to find anything pleasant to say about anybody or anything - life must be so tedious for you.

Sir Ian Crisp

29/04/2010biledigger said: “I should have known that you would be ensconced with your well-thumbed Oxford Dictionary checking out words to use in comments directed to the peasantry on blog sites. By the way, to clarify the use of language a little, I belong to the school which believes that using plain language is best, which brings me to the use of "back-flip". In the interests of consistency I expect Ad Astra to cop it from you. In his contributions to the topic posted by HillbillySkeleton Ad Astra has used: capitulated, pragmatism, intransigence, apoplectic, propitious, pejorative, connotation, repugnant, clique, pernicious, refutation, enumerate, and, accentuating. Ad Astra’s use of those words does not disturb me but I’ll bet you are ready to blast him for not using plain language. Why didn’t Ad Astra use gang instead of clique? And why didn’t Ad Astra use kindly instead of propitious? I sure as hell would not want to be Ad Astra right about now. Once you finish with Ad Astra I’ll bet he amends his contributions to this topic. Janice, wasn't it you who failed to find anything nice or kind to say about truffles? Worry about your own shortcomings.

bilgedigger

29/04/2010Ian, don't hold your breath waiting for me to take Ad Astra to task. I admire honesty and forthrightness and I don't see anything in the words you have set forth to dissuade me from my opinion in relation to Ad Astra's comments. There is a difference between use of language and language intended to be abstruse or destructive, which you apparently don't cotton on to very well.

Ad astra reply

29/04/2010janice, bilgedigger Your supportive comments are appreciated. Please tell me if my language becomes too convoluted. I enjoy using the right word, even if it might be uncommon, but I don’t need to show off.

Ad astra reply

29/04/2010Sir Ian I suspect that my response at 9.58 pm yesterday to your comments at 2.53 and YMBK’s at 4.17 may have struck you as being too partisan, taking as it did the part of Kevin Rudd and his Government against your criticisms, criticisms echoed loudly in most of the MSM. It seems to me that there is no end of criticism of almost everything Rudd and his Government does, with few journalists daring to depart from the groupthink that binds them together. So I was surprised to read a piece on [i]The Drum[/i] by Lyndal Curtis, not known for leaning to Labor, [i]Rudd, spin and the CPRS[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/28/2884962.htm?site=thedrum that advances many of the reasons why Rudd has chosen to do what he did about the ETS, why he decided not to die in a ditch fighting a battle he had little chance of winning. It’s not a particularly pro-Rudd piece; it just analyses the reasons behind his decision. It’s worth a read.

HS

29/04/2010For my own part, I like unusual words, as opposed to 'plain speaking'. 'Plain speaking' is boring a lot of the time and not capable of conveying the nuances I personally like to imbue my words with.

Sir Ian Crisp

29/04/2010Biledigger, I wouldn’t want you to lecture Ad Astra because you would destroy the notion that you are a whited sepulcher. You too partisan Ad Astra….now what would make a person think that. As for there being no end of criticism of Rudd did you ever stop to think that it might be justified?

bilgedigger

29/04/2010Ian - little old me "a whited sepulcher"? I'm devastated by your comment (there also goes Rule 2 out the window for me). At this time of the evening, I haven't had any dinner and it looks like being some time before that happens. In these circumstances I often turn into a "nit-picker" and in that guise I wonder if you actually meant to say that you thought I was "a whited sepulchre". HBS - This is not directed as a criticism of you in any sense. I have too much regard for your comments on this site, but I noted your use of the phrase "Plain speaking". To my mind there is often a vast difference between plain speaking and plain language. Sometimes the term plain-speaking is used to hide the use of hurtful words, whereas plain language says what it means.

Sir Ian Crisp

29/04/2010biledigger, keep picking away at your nits. Main Entry: whited sepulcher Function: noun Etymology: from the simile in Matthew 23:27 Date: 1530 : a person inwardly corrupt or wicked but outwardly or professedly virtuous or holy : hypocrite http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sepulcher

gusface

29/04/2010Sir ian Wool from eyes time :) What is your gripe with rudd.succintly no hyperbole ta. ps I enjoy your bonhomie

Sir Ian Crisp

29/04/2010It's simple gusface. I hate the thought of my tax paying for incompetence. That feeling was extended to Howard as well. What did we do to be saddled with some of the most inept and corrupt (morally) idiots masquerading as politicians? Is it so hard for an individual to figure out how to vote rather than spend 10 years trying to understand how to number a ballot paper (1,2,3,4 etc)? Would a drip like that deserve to enter politics? Does a well educated person who makes 47 mistakes on his travel allowance claim form (all in his favour mind you) strike you as honest? Does a person who, by the time his court case came up, was in such a poor state that his only functioning organ was his penis, a penis he wanted to share with Roxanne but not his wife appeal as a great family man? Does a senator have the power to usurp the Geographical Names Board? When Mr Poor Slob from Mudville gets caught with his fingers in the till can he just put on a sheepish grin and repay the money with a "I made an honest mistake" confession? I wonder why I have a gripe with ALL Australian politicians.

HS

29/04/2010I thought I might finish off my first blog with this link to a GOPAC memo from Newt Gingrich going all the way back to 1996(I think Tony the Phony knows it off by heart): http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4443.htm

HS

29/04/2010'I hate the thought of my tax paying for incompetence.' Sir Ian Crisp, That is an entirely subjective opinion and no basis for not paying your taxes. I do not think it would ever hold up as a defence in any court of law. Anyway, is your opinion not, at the end of the day, just a matter of perspective? Yours. However, if you asked any Pensioner, whose Pension was just increased in the first term of a Rudd government beyond their wildest dreams when Howard was in power, I would imagine that 'incompetence' would be the last word they would use to describe the Rudd government. See? 'Perspective' and 'Relativity' are much more relevant words when it comes to making the sort of judgements you are attempting to make.

Daisey May

29/04/2010Hats off to Bushfire Bill, Hillbilly Skeleton, Grogs, Ad and the tireless Lyn. There are others but fighting the good fight belongs to people like this who have steel traps for minds, lovely eloquence and biting barbs to hand to demolish their lowly detractors. The crisp with the enormous chip on his shoulder in particular pleases me no end. The endless stream of shop worn phrases and purloined half truths masquerading as fact that pepper his missives is at turns comical but ultimately pathetic. Anyone who looks at political websites will be familliar with the type. Specious and spurious logic handcuffed to reams of semi-literate doggerel are spewed upon fellow posters with beguiling speed which is designed to look like intelligence. Only people with a similar style of intelligence are taken in. That is as it should be. The rest of us can laugh mockingly, smugly, arrogantly and with a modicum of scorn and derision that is reserved for the most pig ignorant amoung us. Sir Ian Crisp, take a bow.

Daisey May

29/04/2010Just for good measure and to speak plainly so even you can understand Mr Chip, a mediocre man is always at his best but being sub-par you will never even know the pleasure of this delusion.

lyn

29/04/2010Hi Daisey May You are more than delightful. Love the words you use, and the expression you give in your comments. I have been watching Sir Ian Crisp, he sure puts up an arguement, interesting commenter on The Political Sword, bringing out our personalities and thoughts. Ad Astra, Hillbilly, Bushfire Bill, biledigger, Rx, Gusface,Bilko, Bh, Janice,Monica,you too Daisey May, Michael, Macca, Ebenezer, Colen There are 65 commenters now , they are all a match to SIC "cops". Thankyou for your compliments.

gusface

29/04/2010sir ian I feel your pain but hope that we can all help to raise the timbre of our pollys. perhaps sites like this inspire others to demand better who knows?

lyn

29/04/2010Hi Gusface Love your word timbre.

Sir Ian Crisp

29/04/2010The pensioners should have and could have received more if the Rudd caravan didn’t make that ill fated trip to Copenhagen. That trip also coincided with the Royal Danish Opera’s new production of Offenbach’s Contes d’ Hoffmann. I wonder if any of those intrepid caravanners had a chance to catch the opera? Anyway, rather than the waste money in Copenhagen we could have achieved more by paying for 200 hip operations back here in Australia. We can always do better HS.

gusface

29/04/2010Sir ian Agree but perhaps if we had just shipped the pensioners to copenhagen then you would be sated. Yes?

gusface

29/04/2010Lyn I please to aim warm regards

Sir Ian Crisp

29/04/2010We demand better gusface. Some MPs discover the trough and spend most of their spare time planning raids on the public purse. We don’t hear from them much except when voting on a rise for MPs. Those who are left are usually bullied by the party whip, all in the name of party unity mind you. That group includes those dewy-eyed, freshly minted MPs who ‘just want to represent my community and make a difference’? At the first sign of T/A abuse or some other imbroglio they are struck mute. What of their statement ‘I want to make a difference’? A chance comes along for them to stand up and say something like ‘I hope my party would not offer protection for ANYONE who would steal from the public purse’. They never make that statement. Instead they are cowed by the party whip all for the glorious cause of party unity. Gusface, would you have confidence in an MP that couldn’t tell the difference between a black and white television and a colour television? Would you have confidence in an MP who recorded the movement of AUD$30 million on a whiteboard? Here we are, the poor old taxpayers, lavishing all sorts of office equipment on our MPs; computers, office staff, mobile phones, office filing systems, phones etc. And what does one MP do? She records the allocation of the sum I mentioned on a whiteboard. Next time you fill out a tax return tell the ATO that you did the sums on a whiteboard and it turned out that you don’t owe them a cent. Let me know how you get on. Gusface, if you were facing possible fraud charges would you expect MPs to amend legislation retrospectively to prevent those fraud charges from going ahead? And when that did happen in our federal parliament how many MPs stood up and said ‘this is not what my party should be doing’? One? Fifteen? The answer is none.

gusface

29/04/2010Sir ian the fact lil Johnny thought the internet was hyacinths secret macrame stitch was enough for me. having an impeccable pedigree i have seen all snouts and tailwaggers rudd is a tad more canine than porcine but what of my suggestion about deporting those pesky pensioners I thought a lottery would be fair what say you?

Bushfire Bill

29/04/2010Geez, Sir Ian, are you referring to the Roz Kelly Whiteboard Affair? Some people have boringly long memories. You're showing your age, matey. I'm expecting you to cite Curtin or Chifley next. What about Evatt? He was round the twist wasn't he? And as for Whitlam... sheesh!

gusface

29/04/2010Bushfire i await the dissection of joe lyons morality for dessert

Acerbic Conehead

29/04/2010HS, as a world-renowned scripture scholar, you will be very aware that, in the Holy Land, roadside tombs were painted white to warn the unwary male traveller not to avail therein of free board and lodgings. On the journey up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, a pilgrim was not supposed to be defiled by coming into contact with corpses. Even more so, contact with lepers, tax collectors, Collingwood fans or, probably worst of all, menstruating women was definitely frowned upon. But these are for another story. So, the tombs were called sepulchres and were painted white to warn the travellers not to go near them. Anyway, Tones has decided to include the Holy land leg in his cycling/listening tour. Dressed only in his speedos as usual, he is heading up to Jerusalem to try to oust the current High Priest, Kosher Kev. So, this day, Tones has decided he’s travelled enough and stops to have a look at an under-30’s soccer game that is being played on a rough paddock just off the beaten track. The game is between the Dole Bludger Bantams and the Lazy Bastard Bristols. A few of the players glance at him and pass a few remarks between themselves. Tones assumes they are admiring the cut of his budgie smugglers. However, the standard of play is so bad, Tones, after a few minutes, can’t bear to watch any longer, so looks around to try and spot somewhere to lay his head. As the Liberal Party funds are so depleted, he has to go for the cheapest, or, even better, gratis, option. It’s then he notices it – gleaming in the rays of the late evening sunshine is a whited sepulchre! Tones (to himself): Well, beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose... [Tones, being so fit and muscular, is easily able to roll away the stone and walk inside] Tones: Phew! It’s a bit whiffy in here...but what do you expect, I suppose...Now...I’ll just push some of these old bones onto the floor and make a bit of room for myself to get some well-deserved shut-eye... [while clearing a spot for himself, Tones engages in a bit of tomb humour in an attempt to lighten the circumstances] Tones: Yeah, I was dead right not to pass this place by...hee...hee...And, unlike at the Shadow Cabinet meetings, there’s no-one here to pick a bone with me...heh...heh... [suddenly, from one of the dark corners, a weak voice intrudes, like a plaintive cry in the wilderness] Voice: THEY might be dead, but we’re not! Tones: Holy crap! Who the f**k’s that! Come out and show yourselves or I’ll be forced to break the only Commandment I haven’t broken so far... [out of the dank background three spectral figures slowly emerge. As they move more and more into the light provided by the still-open doorway, Tones breathes a deep sigh of relief] Tones: Whew! It’s only you three! For a minute there I thought you might be Brendan Nelson, Peter Costello and Malcolm Turnbull returning to do an ‘et tu Brute’ on me... [the three ‘spectres’ are in fact WorkChoices II, Invade Bradford, and Death to NIMBY’s] Tones: Shucks, guys...I was wondering where Iron Bar hid you three...isn’t it a coincidence he stuffed you in here...But, don’t worry – we only hid you in here until Passover – after I’ve deposed Kosher Kev, we’ll let you loose and you can then run amok as much as you like... WorkChoices II: You mean I can cut the lepers’ wages cos they can’t do any hands-on work anymore?...Yippee... Invade Bradford: And after kicking even more crap out of the Afghani’s, I can do the same to all those towel-heads in Pauline’s street in England?...Rather! Death to NIMBY’s: And I can set up shop in every suburb from Perth to Brisbane?...Fall out! [suddenly, the light from the doorway is extinguished – someone has rolled back the stone, trapping Tones inside with the ‘spectres’. He bangs feverishly on the door, but to no avail. From the other side, he can hear the mocking tones of what is obviously a gang of those under-30’s soccer-playing galoots. They are whooping and hollering in obvious triumph at Tones’ incarceration. He can hear them saying things like, “that’ll teach him to try and take the dole off us and to send us to those Western Dead Sea salt mines...heh...heh...” And Tones cannot see it, but he definitely can hear the sounds of the bludgers hammering a notice on the outside of the whited sepulchre door. If he could witness it, it would read thus: “Please do not open this tomb until after Passover – there’s no point in seeking the living among the dead...”

janice

30/04/2010"The story of the whited sepulchre" by Ascerbic Conehead. Brilliant as usual Ascerbic - thank you.

HS

30/04/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Want to know what my first 'Austerity Measure' would be if I were the Treasurer(as we know that you being a Conservative and supporter of the Coalition support getting the 'Debt and Deficit' down)? I would remove completely the subsidy we pay to Opera Australia. :)

HS

30/04/2010Acerbic Conehead, You shine like a star in the political satire firmament. :)

Sir Ian Crisp

30/04/2010I would welcome that measure HS. My view is that the Opera House should have been made out of polystyrene because its only use seems to be as a background structure in photos of honeymooning Japanese couples. When was the last time they reported overcrowding at the Opera House? It happens once a year as a throng of New Year revelers wait for the fireworks display. BB, I’ll answer you this once. The Ros Kelly affair was reported in the papers and in Hansard, all of which can be found at the State Library. My father encouraged me to read and form my own opinions. Based on what I have read so far the only difference between Australian political parties and the Alfonce Capone crime empire is that silly Al didn’t register his empire as a political party.

HS

30/04/2010To further magnify the point I have been making, today the Conservatives have been speaking about placing a Cap on Immigration, and yesterday the Coalition came out with their own plans to cap Immigration to Australia. It's xenophobic populism at its worst, and they're both doing it. Not only that but in the US the Republican Party in Arizona has just introduced a new law which gives the Police the right to 'Stop and Search' anyone they think they have a 'reasonable suspicion' of being an 'Illegal Immigrant'. It's not to much of a stretch to believe that they won't be pulling over any Swiss Illegal Immigrants but will be concentrating their efforts on anyone with a swarthy complexion who looks Mexican. In other words, they will be engaging in 'Racial Profiling'. This appears to be the way the conservative political parties have, in concert, decided to go. Again they are attempting to cock a snook at International Law, and in the UK's case, EU law, which permits the free flow of refugees and migrants(to countries of the EU).

free online games

30/04/2010I really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors for this blog.I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often.This blog is valuvable for me.

HS

30/04/2010' a person inwardly corrupt or wicked but outwardly or professedly virtuous or holy : a hypocrite' That description suits Tony Abbott to a 'T'.

lyn

30/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINK'S[/b] Scorched Earth Policy, The Piping Shrike Abbott has done no more than to continue one of the most extraordinarily poor run of polls for the Coalition since the Liberal party was the formed http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/04/scorched-earth-policy.html We Don't Need Another HeroBy Jason Wilson What would those who are baying for Rudd's blood after his CPRS turnaround have had him do instead http://newmatilda.com/2010/04/29/we-dont-need-another-hero Scoop: ETS goes down with Goldman Sucks, by Tom, Tom Nelson Malcolm Turnbull, the man who almost delivered the ETS, by cutting a deal with Rudd without his party’s support, is Goldman Sachs’ main man in Australia. http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2010/04/scoop-ets-goes-down-with-goldman-sucks.html Federalism is a dead idea. So what now? by Mike Skteketee, On Line Opinion http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10364 Tony Abbott attacked by ISP’s over lack of NBN policy By David Olsen, Dynamic Business Tony Abbott has come under fire from multiple fronts http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/articles/articles-news/abbott-attacked-over-nbn-policy-1416.html Good Policy, Mr Rudd but your politics blow, by Tom, Politics Tom http://tommcilroy.blogspot.com/2010/04/his-tactic-blow-but-rudd-is-right-on.html Bigot 'gaffe' is nothing but a Murdoch plot, by John Prescott, Guardian. UK http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/28/bigot-gaffe-murdoch-john-prescott Media Wrap, the Tax Spin begins, Politicalowl http://politicalowl.blogspot.com/2010/04/media-wrap-tax-spin-begins.html

Bushfire Bill

30/04/2010[i]Based on what I have read so far the only difference between Australian political parties and the Alfonce Capone crime empire is that silly Al didn’t register his empire as a political party.[/i] Really, Sir Ian, too silly for words. You belong over at Bolt's blog with the other Black Helicopter nutters.

Ad astra reply

30/04/2010LYN's DAILY LINKS updated:http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Thank you Lyn for your added lines, which give a nice lead into the content of the piece. A very useful addition.

gusface

30/04/2010bushfire In Sir ian's defence he may have been trying to draw a paralle with the Fibs I'm sure thats what the intent was :)

janice

30/04/2010Hillbilly, it has just occurred to me that no-one commented on the title of your piece. I meant to say (but my ageing mind forgot) I thought it quite clever to reverse "Which twin has the toni" into "Which Tony has the twin".

Ad astra reply

30/04/2010Folks Thank you all for your fascinating dialogue, and AC for your satire. I had another piece ready for this morning but after the all-out vitriolic assault by the media on Kevin Rudd over the last few days, I was moved last night, and inspired by your comments, to put together a piece in response. It is titled [i]The antediluvian media[/i]. I have just posted it, but will leave this post open for further comment.

lyn

30/04/2010Hi Ad Pleased you like the extra line on the links.

bilgedigger

30/04/2010Ian Crisp - After reflection on my last comment yesterday and after feeling some discomfort with my response to your various comments, I think I should apologise for being discourteous to another contributor on this site HOWEVER MUCH I DISAGREE WITH THEIR POINT OF VIEW (note the great restraint I have shown there!). In all seriousness, I can only plead extreme hunger as an extenuating circumstance which led me to overlooking that you are perfectly entitled to your viewpoints here and wherever else you distribute them. bilgedigger. P.S. I'm not familiar with the bible or references to it dated from 1530, nor do I accept your interpretation. I much prefer that of Acerbic Conehead to whom I give thanks.

Sir Ian Crisp

30/04/2010Bilgedigger, you might take up the matter of interpretation with Merriam-Webster. Here’s the address: Mailing Address: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 47 Federal Street P.O. Box 281 Springfield, MA 01102

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I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?