Why I am annoyed with Kevin Rudd...and why I’m not

This afternoon I heard Christopher Pyne on ABC afternoon radio in Sydney, going on about how spending $16 billion on the Building The Education Revolution schools program was a waste. As usual, I became hot under the collar listening to him, because the guy has figured out how to breathe through his ears whilst keeping up the patter. At the moment (and forgive me for the delay in this first post for AA) I am suffering from chronic dizziness due (I hope) to blocked ears, and I envy Mr. Pyne greatly for being able to inhale (and presumably exhale) through his own set of orifices. Chris can talk incessantly. The other two guests got in nary a word once he started up. In short, Pyne hijacked the program (as usual).

Chris’s thesis was that the Rudd government would have better spent the billions if they had put the money into training more teachers, upgrading curriculae, and in general looking to the long term. Putting aside my confident prediction that if Rudd had spent the money on teachers Chris would have been screaming he had caved in to the ugly face of entrenched unionism by aiding them in a grubby self-perpetuation scam, or that if he had formed an advisory group (employing, maybe, 20 people) to look into improving school curriculae around the country, it would have been yet another chapter of the Culture Wars whereby the lefty, latte-sippers were seeking to inculcate our kids with all the wrong kinds of ideas (and anyway, wasn’t the GFC response all about “Jobs! Job! Jobs!”?),

I thought to myself that for someone who had steered his country through the worst financial crisis in living memory, leaving Australia as just about the best of the best as far as the OECD is concerned, Kevin Rudd hasn’t done too badly. A plethora of chippies, sparkies, brickies, security engineers, fencers, concreters, plumbers, draughts-people, drivers and all the rest of the tradies who found themselves staring into the abyss when the GFC pall came down had a lot to thank Kevin Rudd and his government’s prompt school’s-based anti-rescession action for. Schools provided ready planning access, mostly ready-to-go projects (needing only finance), and few complications to get in the way of a quick start to proceedings. Almost any other field of infrastructure stimulus could have (and would have) become entangled with red tape, naysayers and do-gooders wanting something, anything else to be done as a matter of their own priority. 

Sure, we started off from a solid economic base, left to us most recently by the Howard government, and before them the Keating and Hawke governments, but the fiscal ball could still have been dropped. We could have reined in spending, tightened the belt (as they say, and as Turnbull, Hockey and Nelson suggested vehemently) and trying to ride out the storm, with the inevitable middle class workers taking the hit on behalf of Big Business. But instead, Rudd “Spent! Spent! Spent!”, borrowing a small amount (and getting smaller as things improve) to do so. We are now better placed than almost any other country to profit from the global upswing around the corner.

Then I thought of how the Liberals had told us gravely, in early 2009, about “The Rudd Recession” and all its negative charms. After that I remembered that the latest Lib theory from the geniuses who run it was that there had been no recession, and that it was all a concocted sham for Rudd to make himself look like a hero. And then – something was nagging me - I thought how irritating Julia Gillard sounds when she utters the mantra “The -  Building – The -  Education - Revolution”, which everyone else calls the “BER” (as she should, if she had any sense).

That’s why Rudd, and his government sometimes annoy me. Chris Pyne’s little rant on ABC Sydney 702 this afternoon highlighted why I do like the Rudd government and also why I sometimes despair of them: they don’t need to spin as much as they do... but they just can’t help themselves.

In spouting mantras like “The -  Building – The -  Education - Revolution”, they treat us like fools. They are repetitive in their spin, sounding almost (and I shiver when I find myself agreeing with Glenn Milne, even glancingly) “Stalinist”-like in their incessant sloganeering. It’s as if they believe everyone reads only the Daily Telegraph (or the Courier Mail, the ‘Tiser or the Herald-Sun) and that we’re all so thick we need to have the times-tables drummed into us, like so many ADD schoolkids, until we get the message. Somewhere, in the heart of government, there is a media office that tells Rudd and Gillard, “Don’t think. Just repeat... ad infinitum”. This media office sucks.

The rest of them, the other ministers, most surely receive this message too, but some of them have enough imagination to use their own words. Anthony Albanese always entertains. Craig Emerson is another. Lindsay Tanner has something cogent and informative to say on every occasion.

But Rudd and Gillard are, to me, plodders in the public relations stakes. One would not go as far as to say they are “toxic bores”, but sometimes one finds one’s self shouting at the television, “Just bloody say something out of your own damn mouth for a change, will you !?” when listening to the two most senior members of the government.

This is not to say that I am as annoyed by Rudd and Gillard’s verbal ineptitude as I am by the prattling Pyne, or the noxious Abbott, or the lamentably ham-fisted Joe Hockey (and let’s not leave out the scolding Bronny Bishop and the irritatingly cocksure Sophie Mirabella in the round up of Liberal bloviators), but I do feel a certain disappointment whenever our Prime Minister and his Deputy come on to the telly to speak, or rather, chant platitudes and litanies, no matter what the question, no matter what the subject.

The Rudd government has done a fine job of steering this wonderful country through a potentially disastrous financial period, reacting with aplomb and decisiveness, and not taking the many baits offered to them to go along the more conventional course the Liberals put forward as the only way out. For this they are rightfully rewarded by solid, high polling figures and a virtually unbackable prospect of re-election. But I wish, in my heart of hearts, that just occasionally its most senior members would throw away the prepared script and speak plainly for themselves, instead of recanting mindless spin put in front of them by paid hacks, with even less imagination.

I’m sure readers may have other annoyances, but the incessant (and here’s the catch: the unnecessary) spin of the Rudd government is my own pet irritant.

I hope you can convince me I’m wrong, or that it doesn’t matter, but spin is what gets stuck in my craw, and I’m just about fed up with it. Not enough to change my vote, but enough to switch off completely and just let things take their (seemingly) inevitable course.

What do youse think? 

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19/01/2010Thank you for some food for thought Bushfire Bill. I will have a think about it and make comment a bit later. I trust you have taken yourself off to a doctor re your dizziness. It sounds to me like an ailment a few of my friends have suffered. It has a name that escapes me at present but it is to do with the middle ear where crystals settle and upset one's sense of balance that causes the dizziness etc. There are certain things one can try to ease the symptoms - some work, some don't but generally the ailment sort of resolves itself in a few weeks/months. Cheers


19/01/2010BB Great to see you out and about again - at least electronically! As usual your writings are full of pith and certainly point to the issues at hand. Your bit about the annoyance - but not terminal - with Rudd and Gillartd is quite true.


19/01/2010<blockquote>A plethora of chippies, sparkies, brickies, security engineers, fencers, concreters, plumbers, draughts-people, drivers and all the rest of the tradies</blockquote> You forgot the sign writers and manufacturers ;-) Other than that - good post BB. I do agree but, like you, I get far more frustrated with the Libs. Meaningless spin is far better than deliberately misleading spin.


19/01/2010If the majority of the voting populace paid more attention to politics then politicians wouldn't need to repeat, repeat, repeat. It's not intended for the likes of us (who tune into every political program like a substance addict), but for them. And trust me, 'they' far outnumber 'us'.

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19/01/2010The world is divided into two groups – those like us BB who follow politics closely, listen to every news bulletin and current affairs programme, and those who scarcely give a toss. We do get irritated by the repetition of mantras such as you describe; in fact we’re already tired of Tony Abbott’s ‘Great big new tax’ to characterize the CPRS/ETS. I’m not in the inner circles of the spin machines of any party, so I don’t know what’s behind the strategy of endless repetition of political slogans, but I suspect that they are not aimed at us, but at the great bulk of the populace who catch political messages mixed with countless others – ads, promos and the like, and are more interested in sensational news items than politics: the mother scrambling to get an evening meal while trying to get the kids to do their homework or at least keep quiet; the worker returning home after a hard day with his hand stretched out for a cold VB, a comfy lounge chair, and the cricket scores. They catch political tidbits almost accidently – hearing comments more by chance than design. I suspect the slogans/mantras are aimed randomly at them, anticipating they will occasionally impinge on their consciousness and hopefully stick. If that is so, they would be less likely to become irritated by overexposure. In his book [i]To the Bitter End[/i], Peter Hartcher describes in detail how the unions worked with [i]Essential Media Communications[/i] to craft slogans that could be used in the anti-WorkChoices campaign. Using focus groups of ‘ordinary people’, they tested four possibilities: ‘Workers’, ‘Working People’, Working Families, and ‘Middle Class’ to re-badge the ‘Howard battlers’. ‘Working People’ was the recommended descriptor, but ‘Working Families’ was selected, presumably because of the appeal of the word ‘Families’. Thus we heard ‘Working Families’ over and again. Probably no one in Australia missed hearing it, but how many were significantly irritated by it? No one knows, but I suspect few were to the extent some of the political nerds were. [i]Crikey’s[/i]Bernard Keane was so irritated or maybe intrigued, that he actually counted the number of times it was uttered in the House. Likewise, much attention was paid to selecting the most potent words to describe workers’ feelings about [i]WorkChoices[/i] and thus ‘Your Rights at Work’ was selected for their campaign name and the many potent ads that starkly portrayed the adverse effects of that legislation. Now either the spinmeisters are wrong and all they are achieving is irritating the public and turning them off, or their social research is correct and appropriately pointing them to the words and phrases that will have the most impact. I suspect that these professionals, who have such influence over our lives through ads and promotions, however much we may resent it, are dead right. I agree with Dario – the mantras that irritate us so much are not really directed to political addicts, but to the folk out there for whom politics is but a minor interest and who therefore pay little attention to it. I also suspect that it is a deliberate policy to have the two leaders repeating the mantra endlessly, leaving the likes of Lindsay Tanner, Anthony Albanese, Craig Emerson to make free-flowing comments [i]sans[/i]-slogans, comments we enjoy partly because of this. Only time, and the next election, will tell whether the spinmeisters are right. So far the polling suggests they are, notwithstanding today’s [i]Newspoll[/i] which defies easy interpretation but continues to show an election-winning lead for Labor that would increase its majority.


19/01/2010Good to read your pieces again BB. Yes I do get a bit sick of the continued use of the same phrases but that's because I'm listening for everything Rudd & Gillard say. The majority may not be. However you've made me realise 'why I am annoyed with' Abbott & Co. It's the continual spin against the Govt. The same phrases, the same mantra against Rudd and the continual denial of anything decent the Govt. has done. So as much as I'd like Rudd & Gillard to change the tune from time to time I'm glad they are in Govt. and hope they stay there.

Amos Keeto

19/01/2010Yeah it is annoying however I do think it works. Rudd's been sticking to this formula since day one and look at the results, continuous high polling for years now(even before winning the election) It might bug me but if that's what it takes to keep the Opp from getting in then that's fine with me.


19/01/2010Hi Bushfire Bill Great column, excellent read. Sorry you have had that chronic dizziness and hope you are getting better. Janice gave you some sound advice. I agree with every thing you have said, the Rudd Government has not set a foot wrong since being elected. " For this they are rightfully rewarded by solid, high polling figures and a virtually unbackable prospect of re-election". Couldn't be better said BB. BB Christopher Pyne is only one embarrassment for the Coalition. Tony Abbott is still throwing wild, stupid and silly punches. Tell me one Liberal/Coalition that is worth listening to. Hi Ad are you back? Your sentence Ad:- "I’m not in the inner circles of the spin machines of any party, so I don’t know what’s behind the strategy of endless repetition of political slogans, but I suspect that they are not aimed at us. The endless repetition is definately not aimed at us, but it works on some people for sure. I had friends staying here for Xmas, (rusted on Liberals), and some of the Liberals mindless spin was repeated quite a few times in their conversations over the week, word for word. Piping Shrike has an interesting column this morning, also Mangled Thoughts is worth reading http://www.pipingshrike.com/ http://rumcorps.net/mangledthoughts/2010/01/19/tony-abbott-more-implications-of-his-green-army/ Ad and BB on todays poll Possum has a good breakdown as usual and a lot of interesting commenters, here is the link. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/01/19/newspoll-abbotts-debut-edition/


19/01/2010I was told by one of the Labor 'roosters' during the 2007 election campaign that Beazley's biggest failing was that he couldn't sell a message, as he grew bored with repeating the same lines ad lib ad nauseum, whereas Rudd, being ruthlessly determined to win, could repeat the same thing almost endlessly when required. Those of us with attention spans longer than goldfish find this annoying. I'd bet most posters here, for example, grow intensely irritated watching TV ads, repeating the same message every ad break. In some cases, the same advertising slogans have been used for years. You'd think everyone would be sick and tired of them...surely by now everyone knows that 'Coke is the real thing' 'the burgers are better at Hungry Jacks' 'KFC is finger licking good'.... But they obviously work.


19/01/2010Now, his political advisers probably advise against it, but I'd love to see Mr Rudd to go out and verbally attack the Liberals and Abbott hard every day.

Budhfire bill

19/01/2010Thanks for your patience in not complaining about my lack of posts. This dizziness thing is quite debilitating. BTW, Janice is thinking of BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), which can indeed be caused by crystals in the ear becoming displaced, consequently bumping around the inner labryinth, causing wrong signals to be sent to the balance centre. Dizziness can be caused by really nasty things (let's not go into those at this point), or such things as nystagmus (a failure of the eyes to properly track moving objects, or stationary objects when the head is moving), confusing feedback from the limbs (you think your body's somewhere else because your legs aren't sending correct signals - e.g. when a leg "goes to sleep" if you sit on it for too long - so you lose balance), eustacean tube inflammation or blockage, neck degeneration (cervical dizziness), or a combination of the above (and many other things) that, if they peak at the same time can take you, literally, over the edge (or at least that's where you think you're going). My own imbalance problem usually goes away by mid-afternoon, so I have at least half a day every day of feeling normal. The more you go into it, the more you realise what a miracle it is that our distant ancestors stood upright and stayed that way without feeling continually ill, or (as I do) "spaced out" for all or part of the day. It freed our hands to do practical work, or to create art, or to describe scientific observations in handwriting. Balance is one of the major apparatuses within our bodies that makes us human. And it is very easy to disturb. Rudd Lovers who want a fix of how wonderful he can be when he lets himself go are urged to read this article: http://www.australianpolitics.com/words/2004/archives/00000168.shtml which was in The Australian a few years ago, at a time when John Howard was attempting to belittle bringing back the troops from Africa to fight at Kokoda (a Curtin Labor initiative, defying Churchill, while Menzies and several other conservative ex-PMs parked their collective fat arses on plush padded chairs in the British War Cabinet), in favour of Gallipoli (where we first cut our teeth fighting Muslims in the Middle East, as we did in Iraq - except there was precious little fighting in Iraq - Howard didn't want body bags). Speaking of spin, I was always distressed by the way that the one Australian soldier we saw killed in Iraq, Private Jake Kovco, was turned into a symbol of the fight against Islamo-Fascism, even though he died by his own hand in (as yet) unresolved circumstances. His wife was convinced the whole stupid charade turned into a complete cock-up was because Nelson wanted to get Kovco's body back to Australia for ANZAC Day (his death was just a week or so before our "one day of the year"). In the rush, youse will remember, they dumped Kovco's body in a commercial morgue in Kuwait where it was lost, replaced by another poor wretch's remains for the trip to Australia. The flag draped coffin and honour guard we saw on TV lasted precisely long enough for the RAAF Hercules to disappear out of Baghdad airspace, whereafter poor Pvt. Kovco became a tool of the spin doctors, looking for a cheap ANZAC Day fix out of his untimely death. Now THAT was spin. AA is right, in that political junkies are less immune to repetition from our politicians than others who might turn first to the cricket or footy results (or worse, the Big Brother or Dancing With The Stars write-ups from the previous weekend), rather than political news. When we had ny octogenarian mother-in-law around a few weeks ago for Christmas pudding, all she could talk about was Rudd's new kiddy's book. She was (and remains) convinced that he has done this for personal profit, that he will find a way to reneg on his promise to donate any proceeds from book sales to charity, and that it is simply his overinflated ego that is driving anything and everything he does. Needless to say she votes personally for Bronwyn Bishop (her local member) and listens to nothing on the radio but Shock Jock Central Media Centre, alias Sydney's 2GB. Despite all this I have a grudging admiration for the old girl, as she produced a beautiful daughter whom I have the honour to call my life's partner (and SHE votes Labor, right down the line). Yet, despite the cautionary words of AA and others above, I am still irritated by Rudd's mantras. I guess I would like to see him with a little more fire in the belly, on more occasions than the very few he exhibits it. The last time, from memory, was when he had a go at the climate deniers. His speech was called "unhinged", "extraordinary", "a rant" (this from the arch ranter, Abbott). That Copenhagen failed was due to a world full of Abbotts and, worse, Hunts, who are prepared to say or do anything to score a few quick points before they go to their inevitable political demise.


19/01/2010I love reading your posts Bushfire Bill which always give me something to smile about. MILs such as yours are fairly common and it's nice that you can still admire the old girl, even if grudgingly. Everyone so far has said what I have been thinking regarding Rudd & Gillard's repetitiveness, yet I do see why you find it so irritating. For me though, I tend to excuse it on the grounds that it is a necessary evil in order to get through to those 'in one ear and out the other' types the media (and opposition spinners) prey upon in order to distort and twist the message. A bit more fire in the belly would make Rudd more interesting perhaps but then I imagine the media frenzy this would cause. Rudd's blandness and nerdish image is, I think, a strength for him and certainly makes him an enigma to the media and his opponents. Take care BB and hope the dizzy malady resolves promptly.


19/01/2010As no one else has mentioned him yet, I will. Chris Bowen is one of the rising stars of the Rudd government. He knows how to get his verbal punches in with the right amount of upper cut, and he doesn't throw too many haymakers.

Bushfire bill

20/01/2010This morning I listened to ABC's AM program and heard Joe Hockey disagree with [i]every single Rudd iniative[/i] put to him by the interviewer, even "fiscal restraint", which he had been banging on about just sixty seconds before as a good thing. It seems we have the die and it is cast: total negativity from the Opposition. He repeated Chris Pyne's idea of long term infrastructure spending as a result of the "Rudd Recession", as if he wouldn't have been blasting Rudd as a "do nothing" operator of the economy if he had taken the time to assess the situation before he began the Stimulus (and as if the Labor government hasn't already flagged a long term infrastructure program, and didn't take one to the last election). This, of course, was through a gritted-teeth admission that perhaps, just maybe, on balance there had even [i]been[/i] a chance of recession. Remember, Joe Hockey had coined, or at least promulgated the term "The Rudd Recession", not 12 months ago. Now there was little chance of it ever happening... all down to the Howard government, naturally. Many say that Labor's Big Mistake after the 1996 election loss was to run for cover on the economy, not to talk up the efforts of Hawke and Keating as being, in the long term, actually [i]good[/i] for the economy, setting up Howard to score in the corner with a few early, brilliant manouvres up-field. The Liberals seem to have heard that message. They do nothing else but talk about how wonderful their government was. It is "the voters got it wrong" concept, repeated [i]ad infinitum[/i]. To continue the Rugby analogy, it's as if the only try scored in the game which meant anything was the "Howard" try. Previous and subsequent line crossings by Labor signified very little. So now we have an opportunity to see how well the alternative works: does a defeated government admit mistakes and retreat into circumspection, or does it carry on regardless as if nothing changed (except the voters' flight into temporary insanity, which will be rectified in short order at the next election)? Putting aside my personal annoyance that the ABC allows its valuable air time to be used as a faithful sounding board for anything at all the Joe Hockeys of this world wish to spout (with not one government minister or member invited onto the program provide an alternative interpretation of events), one has to observe that the Liberals possess nothing, if not [i]chutzpah[/i]. While Rudd was Joe's sometime pet on [i]Sunrise[/i] he was in his correct place. Before he took over Tony Abbott's "Religion Franchise" he was OK as a small-time participant in the "Morals v. Politics" debate. But now that he is Prime Minister, he is a toxically boring hypocrite who can do nothing - [i]nothing[/i] right. The question in my mind is: "What should a leader be?". Should he or she be a fighting general, out in front of the troops at all times, taking on the same (if not greater) risks than the troops on the ground in order to prove fitness for office? Or should a leader be the quiet campaigner, the planner, who wins not only battles, but wars, without fanfare, by employing due process and calm deliberation? There is perhaps room for both types: the Tony Abbotts, Chris Pynes and Joe Hockeys who relish a stoush, and the Kevin Rudds, unassuming and deliberative, who direct the energies of those disparate strengths beneath them to a focal point of victory. But if sustaining victory is the goal, the scrapper always loses out to the planner. The Liberals' strategy - unceasing confrontation on every front - is, I think, a losing one. It wastes energy taking on the enemy at all points, and therefore fails to concentrate force. All we know is what the Liberals will [i]not[/i] do, not what they [i]will[/i] do, except revert to the head-banging option of refusing to admit they ever made a mistake. In expecting (or claiming to expect) Rudd to deliver all his campaign promises, [i]as well as[/i] fight the immediate threat of the GFC, taking our economy a notch higher in international comparisons in the process, they are essentially tempting him to do what they do: fight any battle, on any front, as long as it is a battle. It is a strategy of anger, and we all know what happens when you fight angry. In this context, spin is a tool like any other. Above, in the main piece, I said I wanted Rudd to be more active, more passionate. A few days back into the political fray for the year, and I am no longer so sure. If there is a middle ground between spin and action, between planning and lashing out blindly, I'm not sure where it is but, wherever it may be, Rudd seems to be closer to it than the Opposition.

mick smetafor

20/01/2010bb,i think the mass in the middle is reassured by rudds mild manner but he also should look after his more interested supporters.i well remember bob hawke's "take no shit from anyone"demeanor when he was pm and it did him no harm at all,in fact i think mass in the middle admired him for it.


20/01/2010Who was it who said, "The economy {did} more for the Coalition than the Coalition {did} for the economy"?

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20/01/2010Folks Welcome back to [i]TPS[/i] in 2010; your enthusiastic response to BBs post is a portent for the year ahead. Ever since yesterday’s post [i]TPS[/i] has been hit with a swarm of pingbacks and spam. I delete them as soon as I see them, but as I don’t sit all day looking at [i]TPS[/i] some of them may have a ‘life’, albeit short. So I seek your tolerance in the knowledge they won’t last long on [i]TPS[/i]. Over the break I did investigate if there was any programme I could introduce to overcome this problem, but found that none of those available are compatible with the blog engine this website uses.


20/01/2010I, too, heard Joe Hockey's interview on AM this morning, full as it was, of the day's talking points for the Coalition. They work them out ahead, it seems, then go looking for an accomodative ABC program and 'political journalist' to facilitate their getting the message out for the day. I find it highly dispiriting to hear political journalists of the calibre of Sabra Lane, Lyndall Curtis, Leigh Sales, Tony Jones, Heather Ewitt and Chris Uhlmann, become toothless lap dogs when it comes to interviewing anyone from the Coalition. Sometimes they try and have a little bite, but it usually ends up getting slapped down by the Coalition MP in question, a process from which the interviewer doesn't seem to want to recover from and try on again. Which, of course, causes me to start yelling at the radio or TV about how I could do a better job than they could, even knowing what little I do, compared to them, about politics. I also really wanted to throw up over the holidays as I watched in horror at the softball interviews, x2, that Tony Abbott was allowed on the 7.30 Report. Chris Uhlmann(whom I suspect is a closet conservative), was the first, and Heather Ewitt conducted the second, and both times Tony Abbott put on his gimlet-eyed, hard man stare back in their direction when listening to their questions, and it just seemed to cause C.U. and H.E. to go weak at the knees and lose the plot(if, indeed, they ever even wanted to ask him any probing questions). Then, all Abbott had to do by the end of the interview was to let the hard Tony facade slip, and especially wrt to H.E., emote a bit and smoulder in her general direction, and for C.U., to make a risque comment, and they became putty in his hands, with the interview ending with Tony triumphant, unbroken and unbowed. When are the ABC's political journalists going to grow a backbone wrt interviewing Coalition MPs? They were well-intimidated during the Howard years, and they don't appear to have recovered. On the other hand, they can certainly find the spite and bile when it comes to interviewing, and making comment upon, Labor politicians. Leigh Sales is an especially egregious offender in this department. Who are they trying to impress, I wonder, by such obviously unbalanced behaviour? Maybe they ARE afraid of a Coalition win in the election this year, and the fact that the Coalition would have been taking names? Maybe they're all too wealthy as journalists these days and they have no stomach for confronting, nor can see the inequity in, the policies of the Conservatives? Even 'Insiders' is now no more than an unbalanced ABC platform for News Ltd. and Fairfax journalists, with an ABC facilitator, in this case Barry Cassidy. 'Balance' should never = accomodation.


20/01/2010BB - just a quick suggestion. Have you mentioned the word 'endolymphatic hydrops' to your Dr. Had similar problem to yours and that was the verdict. Sounds exciting but is really a nuisance.


20/01/2010Dont worry, BB. A few more weeks of TAbbott, Minchin et al sprouting 'big, new tax' and you will find Kev and Julia positively refreshing and orginal.

Bushfire bill

21/01/2010Thanks to all those who love my lucidiy, adore the tone of my site, have started citizens initiatives based on the topic of my post, or who just want to sell me viagra. Your comments were so embarrassingly full of praise for my modest efforts, I just [i]had[/i] to delete them. And to Tony Abbott, who also sends me love letters under the guise of "The Liberal Party Newsletter"... an hour-long spruik at Gerard's gig, the Sydney Institute, does not automatically equal "a major policy speech", just because you say it does. That one's been deleted too.


21/01/2010BB, How long before the next contribution from your good self?


21/01/2010You poor bastards in Sydney. We here in Canberra just started getting "Radio Liberal HQ" streamed in live from 9am with best of Jones at 11. After just 30 seconds of Hadley I had to turn it back to the slightly less Liberal biased ABC. Bugger me, I hope he does not purport to be fair and balanced otherwise I would have to lodge a complaint about false advertising with the relevant authority. Seriously I am amazed that Rudd's popularity is as high as it is with the constant bombardment of anti Rudd sentiment flying around the MSM. Cheers Eb. :)

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21/01/2010This afternoon I read this in Peter Hartcher’s book [i]To the Bitter End[/i] on pages 173-174: [quote]When Rudd replaced Beasley,...’working family’ became Labor’s new – and incessant – refrain. Rudd repeated the phrase so often that he began to test what Tim Gartrell called the ‘vomit principle’: the maximum number of times a politician can say a particular phrase before throwing up. Yet in Gartrell’s view, it isn’t until then that the concept begins to register with the ordinary voter. Rudd’s performance as a human slogan machine was so relentless that he was lampooned for it.[/quote] By the commentariat of course. Later Hartcher says [quote]Rudd embraced ‘working families’ like a kid with a new toy. At Labor’s campaign launch in November 2007, he would use it twelve times. In the leaders’ debate he used it twenty times.[/quote] Hartcher recalls: [quote]...in just one fortnight of sittings in March 2008, 450 uses of ‘working family’ or ‘working families’ in the House of Representatives. In nine sitting days Senators uttered the phrases 124 times.[/quote] So the policy of repetition was deliberate and seemingly successful with the groups towards which it was primarily directed. The irritation it may have caused political nerds was clearly secondary.
How many umbrellas are there if I have two in my hand but the wind then blows them away?