Julia Gillard’s Fireside Chats – Your Health

This is the second of a series in which contributors to The Political Sword are attempting to fashion examples of messages that our Prime Minister might give in her 'Fireside Chats'.

The idea of Fireside Chats came from David Horton in a piece titled: The ragged trousered philanthropist on The Watermelon Blog. He spoke of when US President Franklin Roosevelt successfully used ‘fireside chats’ in 1929 during his term as Governor of New York. In this country, RG Menzies’ weekly broadcasts by radio during 1942 were similarly successful. They are well documented in the Menzies Virtual Museum.  

The Rudd Government, and now the Gillard Government, has embarked on many reforms that will benefit both our economy and the lives of our people. The Government has a need to explain to the people what it has achieved, what it is planning, and particularly why it is proposing the substantial reforms it is. The idea behind ‘Fireside Chats’ is to clearly and unemotionally explain these important matters in terms that all can understand and accept.

This Fireside Chat is about health, and as that is not as gripping a subject as NormanK’s ‘A Price on Carbon’, I have kept it short – about ten minutes in duration. The words of the ‘chat’ have been kept simple and the message personalized by frequent use of the words ‘you’ and ‘your’.

In his book Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy, Lindsay Tanner quotes Robert MacNeil a former executive editor of a major American TV news show: “The idea is to keep everything brief, not to strain the attention of anyone but instead to provide constant stimulation through variety, novelty, action and movement…(assuming) that bite-sized is best, that complexity must be avoided, that nuances are dispensable, that qualifications impede the simple message, that visual stimulation is a substitute for thought, and that verbal precision is an anachronism.” As this is congruent with our own observations, particularly of commercial TV news, it is incumbent on anyone creating a fireside chat to observe these restrictions lest the message be lost.

Therefore to make the chat more eye-catching than the PM simply talking to the camera, graphics would be superimposed at appropriate places during the chat in a ‘picture in picture’ format in, say, the left top corner, as this is something to which a short attention span audience is accustomed. The placement of the graphics and the subjects of the images are in square brackets in italics in the text below. The PM would be visible at all times against a dignified background, possibly in parliament house.

 



Your Health



Good Evening

Tonight I want to talk to you about your health and the health of your community.

We know how important good health is to us all. It makes it possible for us achieve our ambitions. It gives us feelings of wellbeing. We know too that a healthy community is a good place in which to live, and a healthy workforce makes for high productivity.

Yet many are not well; not all have the best of health. This is why we need a good health care system.

Your Government is dedicated to giving all of you the best opportunity to lead healthy happy lives by providing easily accessible and affordable health services near to where you live.

Yet many of you have had difficulty getting a doctor when you need one, and have endured long waits, often in overcrowded hospital emergency departments. So we have built GP Super Clinics [images of interior of Super Clinics with just a few patients] where communities have requested them, so that you can get quick access to good care when you or your family need it, especially after hours.

Because much of the illness in the community is preventable, we have placed great emphasis on primary care that is given by your family doctor, your GP, or a community nurse. We have funded the training of many more doctors and nurses to overcome the shortage.

GPs [images of a female GP consulting with a mother and child] are trained to prevent illness through immunization and advocating a healthy lifestyle. They are also trained to detect illness in its early stages when it is most treatable, as well as treating established disease.

Lifestyle conditions afflict too many in this country. Obesity is widespread, even among children, [images of obese persons] and combined with physical inactivity and a poor diet too often leads to heart problems, diabetes, joint problems and some cancers. Alcohol and substance abuse, [images of social effects of alcohol] along with smoking, have caused havoc, especially among the young.

That is why your Government has taken action to curb binge drinking in teenagers through its alcopops legislation, [images of alcopops being consumed by adolescent girls] which has reduced the sale of those products, so attractive to adolescents yet so dangerous.

In a further attempt to reduce smoking, the Government will soon introduce plain packaging for cigarettes with dire health warnings [images of Nicola Roxon with plain packages and warnings]. The tobacco industry is fighting this tooth and nail because it believes it will reduce its profits, but we are determined to press ahead because we believe plain packaging will discourage young people from taking up this dangerous habit that kills over 15,000 Australians each year and costs well over half a billion dollars in healthcare.

The prevalence of mental illness is on the rise and is affecting both old and young. Suicide is high and leaves tragedy in its wake. Last year 2000 people took their own lives; 300 were young people between 15 and 24. Substance abuse is rising and with it violence.

The 2010 Australian of the Year, Professor Pat McGorry, [image of Pat McGorry with Julia Giillard] has strongly advocated for increased funding for mental health for the ‘headspace’ and other programs, so in this year’s budget several billion dollars was allocated for this purpose over the next four years. Mental health is a top priority for the Government.

As the population ages, the number of older people needing support is rising steadily [images of older people in their homes]. As more and more baby boomers reach retiring age the demand for services for the elderly and places in retirement homes will rise steeply and place great pressure on this sector [images of nursing homes with residents].

The incidence of serious chronic illness in older people, such as cancer, will rise, and dementia will become more and more prevalent [more images of older persons with Julia Gillard].  And the prevalence of disability in both old and young demands our attention [images of disabled persons with carers].

Governments must respond by providing more qualified staff, more carers, and more facilities to care for our our elderly and disabled citizens. Your Government is acutely aware of what needs to be done and has allocated funding in this year’s budget. Carers are in special need of support [images of carers caring for patients].

In the 2009-10 budget a multi-million dollar allocation was made to build a network of cancer clinics, particularly in regional areas [several images of cancer clinics, perhaps with one being opened by the PM]. Many have been built and one for the Albury region was announced recently. These bring cancer care closer to those who suffer from this distressing condition.

Remoteness from large specialized centres has been a longstanding drawback for those living in rural and regional areas. The National Broadband Network [images of NBN installations, perhaps the opening of the Armidale one] will reduce that remoteness by enabling consultations between rural patients and city specialists via super fast broadband [moving image of a remote consultation]. It will enable monitoring of the chronically ill and disabled in their homes and will thereby reduce the pressure on hospitals and nursing homes [image of elderly person monitored at home], and e-health will enable your health records to be available to any health care provider that you consult, no matter where [image of health record on a computer].

With the aging of the population the cost of health care will continue its steady rise to the point where at mid century all of a state’s budget will be consumed by health care costs alone, leaving none for other essential services, unless different funding arrangements are made.

This is why the Federal Government has entered into an arrangement with the states to share healthcare costs, with 50% being funded by the Commonwealth [image of COAG meeting over the health care agreement].

Federal and state governments will contribute to a single national pool for hospital funding to be administered by an independent national funding body. Hospitals will be funded based on the activity they undertake. Independent local hospital networks [images of local hospitals, staff and patients] will be responsible for managing public hospital services and the funding to provide those services.

This will take some of the pressure off state health departments and will give greater responsibility to those actually delivering the care.

The new arrangements are designed to contain rising costs and reduce the far-too-long waiting times for elective surgery and the long periods in hospital emergency rooms that ill patients endure while waiting for treatment or admission.

We are determined to remedy the problems with the hospital system we all know about by providing enough beds, sufficient well-trained staff and easy and rapid access.

The Government strongly supports Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Private Health Insurance, which we believe should be means tested, and medical research.

Your Government places healthcare, along with education, at the top of its priorities. It has already devoted countless billions to health, and in the recent budget has allocated still more.

Compared with other countries we know that Australia has a fine health care system, but we also know that it can be improved in many areas.

Your Government is determined to bring about these improvements and to complete the health reforms begun in the Government’s last term so that all Australians can have the high quality health care and support that all deserve, where they live and when they need it.

I ask that you join with me in achieving that aim.

Thank you for your attention.

Postscript
Is this what the public needs and wants to know about the health system?

Would they listen to it?

What do you think?

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Current rating: 1.3 / 5 | Rated 4 times

David Horton

29/05/2011Here I am first again. Well done Ad. If I appear picky it is just because I take for granted the essential rightness of the piece, and am just suggesting how it might be closer to my image (not to say that the image is correct). Anyway. I think as it stands it still seems a bit too much like a regular political address. Much softer than we are used to from JUlia, and that is great, but still not quite firesidy enough I think. I suspect what it needs is more personal involvement by the speaker. Remember it was said of Roosevelt that "he wanted to include many concrete examples and explanations into his text … he used the word “We” when he made claims … he made his language go from soft to hard". I suspect that "We" isn't right, unless it is used in the sense of "you and me", rather than in the sense of "we the government", she should say "I". This is a chat between Julia and the people, not a lecture from the government to the people. To add to this I think it needs to include as much personal involvement as possible and "concrete examples". It needs to be soundly based in experiences she has had in relation to health - her own, those of her family, those of her friends, those of people she has met and been touched by. How have these experiences affected her wish for good health or, failing that, good treatment, for all? "When my mother was ill ... When my father had an operation ... My friend who had cancer ... The man I met who was developing Alzheimer's ..." and so on. Things that she has related to, and that in turn her audience can relate to. We don't think about the health system as an objective construct. We all have health experiences, and those colour our perception of the health system as it exists and as it could be improved. That therefore needs to form the central core. I wonder what others will think. And has Julia's office started taking notes yet?!

lyn

29/05/2011Hi Ad Oh! Ad Astra that is a perfect fireside chat, I would love to take part if only to listen. What a gorgeous Picture of Julia you have chosen. Brilliant work again Ad thankyou for another enjoyable read. David's opinion is an excellent read as well, David has added a bonus for us, thankyou David. PS I love it because your comment is first very appropriate place for a bonus.

nasking

29/05/2011Excellent fireside chats Ad & Norman. Plenty of useful info govt could utilise. From previous thread: "I see today that Barnyard thinks Cate Blanchett because she is "rich" and wealthy her opinion should not be heard because she is not like "us" battlers!" Once again we see Liberals throwing their so called "beliefs" under the bus in a mad & desperate attempt to please their media & mining mogul masters. Liberals are meant to applaud upward mobility...and individual success...and not criticise an individual's earnings made in the competitive sphere...yet when it comes to Cate Blanchett they now sound like "convenient socialists"...not unlike the Wall Street investmenk bankers who cried out for "bailouts" during the GFC. These people have no consistent principles. They are bottom dwellers & opportunists of the worst kind. The tobacco packaging contortions a case in point. 'Insiders' today was generally "poison" for the nation. Shame on Cassidy. Spruiker of the Murdoch meansters. He provides a balanced show when the government is rock bottom...but when they have a couple of better weeks & Abbott's lot begin to wobble, Cassidy calls on the burrowers beneath to stink up the place and try to cover the government in slime. As for Barnaby Joyce, he has nothing to offer but crocodile tears for the nation, and future humiliation for his party. Years from now he will not be able to look the youth & farmers in the eye...a man who fumbled and denied...allowing integrity and dignity to fall to the wayside in pursuit of power and future security imagined...catering to delusional greedsters and charlatans. Murdoch mob, ch.9, talkback all having spasms...spinning like merry-go-round of the damned...time running out... TICK TOCK...TICK TOCK... N'

Feral Skeleton

29/05/2011Nasking, You might be interested in this Tobias Ziegler comment from Twitter: [quote]'So the threshold that discriminates hardworking Australians from the rich is somewhere between $150,000 and Cate Blanchett.'[/quote]

Feral Skeleton

29/05/2011Sorry, I will make a more erudite(lol) comment tomorrow. My brain is full of The Economist's longform piece on Australian politics tonight. :)

Ad astra reply

29/05/2011David Horton I take your points. Regarding the suggestions you make in your final paragraph, could you select a paragraph or two from the Fireside Chat and modify them in the way you suggest, and post them as a comment to give us an example of what you propose. Certainly it would give a greater ring of authenticity if Julia Gillard were to speak from her personal experience of illness or distress or that of family, friends or acquaintances, or even those she has met in the course of her political life. She alone would know of these, but I suppose one could be granted poetic license to imagine what they might be. Thank you for your helpful comments.

Ad astra reply

29/05/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your kind remarks, always encouraging. I’m glad you enjoyed the chat. I looked via Google for photos of Julia and found lots, but that lovely one was the one for which I was looking.

Ad astra reply

29/05/2011Nasking Thank you for your comment. Barnaby Joyce showed today how opportunistic a politician he is, quickly converting from a conservative admiring of enterprise and getting on in life through talent, endeavour and hard work, to a ‘socialist’ fostering envy of those who are well off and live in nice houses. FS I look forward to what you have to say tomorrow when your brain is rested.

Ad astra reply

29/05/2011Folks I enjoyed another great episode of [i]The Kennedys[/i] on ABC TV this evening. What a great insight it gives into American politics of that era. It reminds me of [i]The West Wing[/i] series. I'm packing it in for the night. I'll respond to your comments tomorrow.

janice

30/05/2011Ad astra, I think David Horton has hit the nail on the head. A "fireside chat" needs to come across as though the PM is having a one-on-one chat with every Australian rather than Australians collectively. The use of "I" rather than "we" and in that vein the use of "Your government" could be omitted entirely except for the closing paragraph. And, as David suggests, the chat should be peppered with the PMs personal experiences and those people she has met in the electorates and in the hospitals she has visited. I have noticed that the PM already includes this sort of thing in her speeches which, I think, goes a long way to put a softer, inclusive slant on them, so to expand this into a fireside chat would impress on the listeners that they are not being preached to but rather being put on a personal footing with their PM.

lyn

30/05/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]#Categate, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] How the hell are we supposed to be outraged about something that we haven’t even seen yet? Oh, that’s right, the Tele is being prescriptive on behalf of its “constituency” rather than actually reporting http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/05/30/categate/#more-10349 [i]Do Watt John?, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] First, I needed to find out how much electricity a power plant produces for every tonne of coal it uses.I did a search and found this. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/do-watt-john/ [i]Toxic Tony, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Scott Morrison was Abbott’s giddyup boy. And if another boat arrives he will be on the back of the refugees beating the shit out of them for as much votes as he can get. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/toxic-tony/ [i]Andrew Bolt and the 1 m sea level rise, Opinion Dominion[/i] Anyway, what's $50 billion dollars in lost buildings between friends, Andrew?It's about time he was more serious about the consequences of being wrong. http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/ [i]Mr Denmore on journalism as a public good ( and Rupert Murdoch as a Satan),Don Arthur, Club Troppo[/i] Dennis Shanahan, Piers Akerman, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Janet Albrechtsen "are just paid glove puppets for the News agenda. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/05/28/mr-denmore-on-journalism-as-a-public-good-and-rupert-murdoch-as-satan/#respond [i]Don't let Bob Brown hear about this, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] Don’t believe a word of it. We need our coal power stations! They can never be replaced! There’s no renewable sustainable technology that can provide power as cheaply http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Memo from a local pensioner: Onya, Cate & Mick!, North Coast Voices[/i] At least Gillard is offering to compensate me. Howard gave me not so much as a brass farthing when he introduced the “never ever” GST. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/ [i]Government urged to rule out carbon ad blitz, ABC[/i] Dr Hewson is one of 140 people who have signed a joint statement calling for a carbon price which will be presented to federal politicians in Canberra this morning. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/29/3230064.htm?section=justin [i]Crash through or crash: Turnbull's kamikaze mission, Christppher Joye, ABC[/i] Malcolm is only popular with Labor and Green voters. I don't get this: aren't these precisely the target markets you need to secure in order to win an election http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2736420.html [i]Hockey appeals for unity from colleagues, ABC[/i] Mr Turnbull, who was clearly angered by the memo, told reporters on Thursday it was designed to be leaked and amounted to a press release. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/29/3229946.htm?section=justin [i]Queen Cate, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] A celebrity joins a public campaign in favour of something Rupert Murdoch is opposed to and the Murdoch hacks stream as one to their keyboards and churn out vicious attacks http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/05/29/queen-cate/

David Horton

30/05/2011Ad - bit hard not knowing what relevant relationships/expereinces she had, and she would have to avoid any suggestion of exploiting them, but I thought something along these lines to replace your paragraph as quoted: [quote]"The incidence of serious chronic illness in older people, such as cancer, will rise, and dementia will become more and more prevalent [more images of older persons with Julia Gillard]. And the prevalence of disability in both old and young demands our attention [images of disabled persons with carers]. Governments must respond by providing more qualified staff, more carers, and more facilities to care for our our elderly and disabled citizens. Your Government is acutely aware of what needs to be done and has allocated funding in this year’s budget. Carers are in special need of support [images of carers caring for patients]. In the 2009-10 budget a multi-million dollar allocation was made to build a network of cancer clinics, particularly in regional areas [several images of cancer clinics, perhaps with one being opened by the PM]. Many have been built and one for the Albury region was announced recently. These bring cancer care closer to those who suffer from this distressing condition."[/quote] Replacement: When I was a young girl my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia. This was particularly difficult for my parents because we were in Australia, a long way from where she lived, and it was very hard to arrange for care and to know whether it was adequate. In Australia today, with its very mobile population, many families are faced with this same tyranny of distance when trying to look after loved ones. The number of families with a relative with dementia is increasing every year as the population ages. Seeing the anguish that my grandmother's illness caused my parents I made a vow, when I was young, that if I could ever help to relieve such family stress; help to provide good care for those suffering this terrible illness; help medical research seek cures for dementia, then I would do so. Many of you will have shared my experience, will have also wanted to make a difference. On your behalf, on behalf of my own parents, I have made sure that this area has been a priority, and I have, through Nicola Roxon, already started a number of initiatives .... ... A few years ago my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly many of us can say that these days. I saw at first hand the excellent quality of the medical care she received, but also came to understand that the personal support from family and friends, and the physical environment in which she received her care, were also vitally important to a good outcome. Because she was a country girl the stress on her young family was increased by the need to travel a long way to Adelaide for treatment, and to often be alone while doing so. She told me that it would have helped a great deal if a clinic had been available more locally, and I remember saying to her that if I could ever do anything to help provide that I would. The cancer clinic being announced for Albury, and others to follow, is the result of those conversations, both of us in tears, and so is the initiative I have recently announced to greatly enhance the money available for cancer research in Australai. We have long had leading researchers in this field, now I want to support them properly for the next round of breakthroughs in cancer treatment. One day I hope no one will have a young friend dying from breast cancer like I did."

Ad astra reply

30/05/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011The Coalition truly are clueless dills. This is their latest salvo in the Climate Change Action Denial Wars: [quote]@AndrewLamingMP Wanted: ore-exporting nation with a carbon tax in place. None you say? Call 1300 OREFUL.TAX if there is.[/quote] I came up with the answer New Zealand without even thinking too hard about it.

Ad astra reply

30/05/2011David Horton Thank you for going to the trouble of suggesting alternative wording to Julia Gillard’s Fireside Chat on ‘Your Health’ by using ‘poetic licence’ in creating some plausible scenarios. I agree that personalizing the chat would make it much more appealing. As janice too agrees with your approach, and I expect others may also, I may try in the next day or so to reframe the above chat to make it more personal, using poetic licence as you have done, and post it as new post for comment.

TalkTurkey

30/05/2011Nasking So pleased you didn't stick with being so disgruntled with the Government. I really respect your posts and I can't think that you would find another blogsite that so suits your povs, nor in this country any political party that suits you better. We all acknowledge that Labor isn't perfect but they/we are only humans but ones who by-and-large are trying to make things better for all, not just the likes of fat miners. Perhaps you and Miglo might yet reconcile? I'd be glad for all concerned. Goodwill is the key. If ever you need regruntling, just go back over a few of Ad astra's threads and you'll remember why we're here.

Michael

30/05/2011Today's Bad Abbott. Michelle Grattan writes: http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-let-shame-email-go-20110529-1fawt.html#ixzz1NmVNBdiX that the Leader of the Opposition decided he "shouldn't interfere" with Warren Entsch's splatter-spread email to rebuke some of his parliamentary colleagues for occasional absenteeism (and not others, as TA himself has missed a vote or two). One wonders whether this alternative Prime Minister, in office, might also consider there are aspects of government he needn't 'interfere with'? In fact, won't the job be that much easier should he become PM not to interfere with anything? Just leave it all to the market? No need to front up to Parliament at all, then. Except to go through (no pun intended) the motions.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Oh dear, there goes Tom of Melbourne's anti-ALP gripe: http://www.smh.com.au/national/left-puts-gay-marriage-on-agenda-20110529-1fazg.html Wonder what he and reb of Hobart will come up with next? ALP Haters just can't seem to forgive and forget when they are proven wrong.

Gravel

30/05/2011Ad AStra Thanks for your great effort. It is wonderful that commentators can make suggestions and add to a great post without any acrimony. Thank you to whomever it was (so much brain but not enough of it working at the moment) that cleared up the 'carer' part that David was referring to. I am a personal carer at home and tend to forget that people do the caring role in another way.

sue

30/05/2011I like the idea of fireside chats and think that one on health should be one of the first. It is imperative that the government focus on health, which is for all Australians, before the states create too much damage. Bailleau at his weekend address is already suggesting that the new health deal is not what he signed up to and that a bigger bureaucracy will eventuate. But will the government get on the front foot, I doubt it.

janice

30/05/2011[quote]It is wonderful that commentators can make suggestions and add to a great post without any acrimony.[/quote] Hear hear, Gravel. That is exactly why we all love The Political Sword and have so much admiration and respect for Ad astra.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Fireside Chats are so 20th Century. Julia Gillard has to find time in her busy schedule for this: [quote]Last Friday, on Mr Abbott's weekly live blog, ''Henry of Hornsby'' wrote:...[/quote] The Liberal Party are using every Social Media tool at their disposal-Twitter, Blogs, Live Blogs, E-Mail campaigns to as many Inboxes as possible, Media Stunts, and probably a lot more. I'm sorry, but who's got time in their busy lives to listen to the PM drone on for 10 minutes a week, when? When are these 'Fireside Chats' supposed to be on? Are they only going to be on You Tube? Are they only going to be on Free to Air TV? Are they going to be forced onto all media outlets whether they like it or not and displace their programming schedules? Will they be on when they usually have ads on and so will they reduce revenue-earning capacity for the networks? Will Cable TV, now almost completely owned by Murdoch, even allow them onto their network? Will they be characterised as free publicity for the government and will commercial broadcasters be resentful of them because they are not making any ad revenue from them? Like I said, Julia Gillard and the government would be better advised to work out how to take advantage of the Social Media and programme direct interraction, with feeling and a real voice, into the schedule, as opposed to the artificiality of a 'Fireside Chat'. Labor are being outplayed, ooutmanouvered and outlasted by the Coalition, and it's time they got with the program. Sink or swim. Do or die.

janice

30/05/2011[quote] Wonder what he and reb of Hobart will come up with next?[/quote] They stir with a big paddle, FS so you can be sure they'll be back here looking for another argument in due course.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Michael, When you have the fact that the LNP have realised that 'The Leader' doesn't even have to bother themselves anymore with such trivialities like performing well in parliament but, as in Queensland with 'Can Do' Campbell, and like in Italy with Berlusconi, who realised that 'Il Duce' just has to bamboozle the electorate with Bread and Circuses, and scantily-clad Dancing Girls, while you get on with the business of siphoning off as much of the country's wealth to you and your mates bank accounts, is it any surprise that Tony Abbott is only using federal parliament as his media plaything, and concentrating instead on the 'Sideshow'? It appears to be working a treat for the LNP/Coalition. We may tut tut our disapproval, but what does the LNP appear to care? They are winning approval where it counts.

sue

30/05/2011In the fireside chats could she include her colleagues experiences. For example she is a city girl, but A grew up in the country and we compared our experiences, for A it was so much more difficult. We want to make health available equally.... By including her colleagues does it show that she listens to others rather than just personal agendas?

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Not that I'm saying that what Ad Astra and David Horton have attempted to do on the PM's behalf isn't worthy work, I just don't think it's what's going to fire up people to believe. Let's face it, Julia Gillard has the delivery animation of a Wood Duck, so unless she takes some acting and speech delivery lessons, the 'Fireside Chats' will drop into the Public Sphere like Lead Balloons. I think the portfolio chats would best be delivered by the portfolio Ministers, especially the ones with presence and moxy, like Chris Bowen in Immigration, Nicola Roxon in Health, Tanya Plibersek in Housing & Human Services, and Penny Wong for an Economy overview. The Labor government has good performers, they should be using them more. Julia Gillard would be better employed taking those acting lessons to unlock her inner warmth that everyone says is there...somewhere.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Barnaby just switched on the abuse without even having seen the Carbon Price 'Say Yes' ad: http://m.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/carbontax-ad-man-baulks-at-news-attack-20110529-1fawq.html

Jason

30/05/2011FS, As I said yesterday! I see today that Barnyard thinks Cate Blanchett because she is "rich" and wealthy her opinion should not be heard because she is not like "us" battlers! Yet when the Government wanted to tax the likes of Gina Rinehart and cut company tax and increase super from 9 to 12% this too was wrong! Yes Mr Joyce we know our place in the food chain and so may you soon

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011The Religious Right getting their talons further into the Liberal Party on Sydney's North Shore: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/religious-bloc-targets-ruddocks-electorate/story-fn59niix-1226065199677

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Tony Abbott at another Building Supplies company in Canberra today, disingenuously spruiking the 'disastrous' effects a Price on Carbon will have on the cost of building a house. No mention ever made of the cost the GST puts on the price of building a house. Also, no mention will be made by Abbott that house purchasers will be able to use their free will to choose cheaper alternative building materials to go into the construction of their houses. Materials that will respond to the Price Signal that a Price on Carbon will provide, such that if one material is made using a lower Carbon alternative methodology, or Concrete is used which takes it electricity supply from a supplier who has a Gas-Fired Power Station, as opposed to a Coal-Fired Power Station, then those materials will be cheaper to purchase, as a result of the Price on Carbon working its way through the economy eventually. But no, what we get instead is all 'Doom and Gloom' from the Coalition Climate Change Carpetbagger.

nasking

30/05/2011John Hewson selling the carbon price today...sheer brilliance! Hewson is an inspiring & insightful & articulate Liberal w/ a speaking style that flows w/ confidence. I've enjoyed him on SKY Agenda for some time. Whatever happened to the sensible Liberals who can see future investment & business opportunities when it's on their doorstep? My Dad is business from top to bottom, and three things he taught me was "grab an opportunity early...sell it like yer financial life depends on it...and the customers/clients...and create a family of supporters, investors, salespeople, producers, distributors, marketers & so on". Hewson is a great salesman these days. He has passion & humour balanced well. Comes across as a genuine & nice fella. "Liberal member second, Australian first". One only needs to look at the extreme climate incidents, including these whopper tornadoes in America, to see the population are gonna be in a mad scramble soon for alternative energy...and the growth of China & India into vast developing economic powerhouses means that "a suite of energy measures" is a MUST. Now the carbon price campaign is being prosecuted w/ vigour my wife is starting to come on board & worrying less. As am I. Good on GetUp & others for this latest campaign. Bringing Hewson on board was just the boost it needed. As for Cate Blanchett...I was pretty negative about Rudd using her a few years back, being wary of the whole over-the-top celebrity idolisation bit...but over the years she has earnt my respect...a wide thinking, compassionate, passionate, articulate & hard working individual who knows how to put her country and the public good first. Unlike the selfish Rolex Revolution types. Typing their names actually makes me feel nauseous & puts the blodd pressure up. Thnx for the kind & supportive words Talk Turkey & Ad...if ya know my approach over the past 7 years you'll realise that the ALP butt kick is something I do on occasion...like reminding a patient to do the right thing...sometimes the medicine needs to be taken. :) Feral, I noted elsewhere yer info on the NSW state premier...I've been following his moves closely...also the arrogant Barnett from WA (big error on his part taking the piss out of Swan under the banner of Murdoch's 'The Australian' alongside Woodside speaker...one more nail in his coffin...the man who demonstrated that Liberals are full of crap when it comes to taxes on mining companies...and spat in the face of health reform). BTW, that poor copper gettin' shot in face is just more proof we need another gun buyback scheme followed by a huge "dob-in unregistered gun owners, we are not America" campaign. The gun lobby are morally bankrupt...I spent a decade in Nth America (most of 70s, and very early 80s) and nightly watched the madness & slaughter involving guns coming outa America. Deal w/ this issue now Australia...whilst you still can. Cheers N'

Michael

30/05/2011I have my doubts about the Fireside Chat, too, if only because the Opposition would undoubtedly claim equal time. Now THAT might expose Abbott for the dill we all know that he is, but I suspect that in this instant-info age, people would turn off Gillard (or indeed anyone not in vaudeville-mode) 'at the fireside' within 30 seconds. I feel that the content of a fireside chat, such as the fine examples laid out here recently, could do nothing but help the PM get her government's messages over, but the delivery concept is too 'last century' for an audience that wants bells and whistles, not logic and commonsense delivered without exaggeration or out and out BS. Abbott has to be undone by short, pithy replies to his three word nonsense. It needn't be slogans, but it surely needs to prick the hot air thought-balloons he 'specialises' in. We often see the PM and other ministers leave Abbott and other Opposition spokespeople floundering in Parliament. Some of the zingers from there should get a second life in doorstops and TV interviews. It's a pity politics in this country (and elsewhere) has been reduced to such punching and counter-punching inanity, but you can't have a mature debate with an opponent dedicated to monosyllabic grunts and small-screen posturing. The PM and her government really need only run silent images of Abbott in full-flight confected rage and/or "I am so-o smart" mockery to sell the story that he's hollow to the shrunken core. Something I've noticed even the Murdoch Press has been doing lately - Abbott as clown. Has the wind changed?

Ad astra reply

30/05/2011FS It might be wise for us to think about content and process as different. Although we know they interact, with one influencing the other, the same content can be wrapped in a variety of processes. In medical education we used many different processes to transmit the same content. For example, the knowledge and skill required for effective communication with patients was transmitted via written material explaining different models of communication, with videos of these models being demonstrated in practice, then using role plays between trainee doctors and simulated patients, and finally with doctors interacting with real patients under observation by an educator in the consulting room, and sometimes by several behind one way glass. Although the content and aim was the same, the process varied according to the level of understanding of the trainee. Although David Horton’s idea of a ‘fireside chat’ points to a certain process used successfully in the past, which you suggest is no longer appropriate in 2011, the real thrust of his idea was to transmit important messages to the electorate. We have often criticized the Government for its inadequacies in this regard; this exercise was to craft those messages, messages that might appeal to contemporary audiences. The processes by which they could be transmitted are now much greater than they were in the ‘radio days’. There is a place for televised offerings, whether or not you label them ‘fireside chats’. They occur during election campaigns, and press conference announcements are similar in that they offer politicians the opportunity to transmit a message, usually quite specific. They are picked up in news bulletins, albeit abbreviated. Now there are a number of social media opportunities. They appeal to a younger demographic. The PM is already using emailed messages. Live blogs by politicians may appeal, but I remember Lindsay Tanner’s effort to do this was not successful despite him being one of the best Labor communicators. I’m not sure how far YouTube presentations would penetrate the electorate. Facebook may be suitable for some. Twitter seems too restricted to be of great value in transmitting important messages; Kevin Rudd used Twitter extensively, but how effective it was is unknown. So let’s first work together to get the message right; the process of transmission can then be selected to maximize effect. I am still of the view that a well produced ‘fireside chat’ or whatever we like to call it, can be effective and if brief enough might appeal even to commercial outlets. How brief is the question. You feel ten minutes is too long, and you may be right. Ten minutes of a talking head might be, but augmented by still and moving images, in the same way as TV outlets do every day, might cut the mustard. If not, reduce it to two five-minute presentations. Many TV stories extend to five minutes and beyond. While people’s attention span is short and seemingly diminishing, it is not entirely absent if the story is interesting enough. And the ‘chats’ would not need to be weekly; monthly would be often enough if started well in advance of an election. Media experts would be able to advise on style, duration and interval. Regarding Julia Gillard’s voice, it is what it is. So is Tony Abbott’s. While elocution classes might enhance Julia’s delivery, I feel we cannot expect major changes. She often speaks faster now, but she is never going to be mistaken for a race-caller. For her, the quality of the content, and as David Horton and others have pointed out, the extent to which she speaks from the heart of her personal experience, will be the most important determinants of the reception of her message. I’ll take a look at how the above message can be personalized with liberal use of poetic licence, to see if we can get the content of the message right. Then we can discuss what process of transmission might be effective. With the great variety of media opportunities, conventional and social, that are now available, in all likelihood several might be appropriate for transmitting the same content, the same message.

Ad astra reply

30/05/2011Nasking I heard John Hewson this morning on ABC radio and, like you, I was impressed with his articulate delivery and sensible content. I think that what he says has more impact than if a Labor person said it, because he is an ex-Liberal Leader of the Opposition. sue, Michael I take your points, which I believe I have covered in my response to FS.

TalkTurkey

30/05/2011Well said Jason. Well said Michael Caton, thanks link FS. What we got now? (Counts on fingers . . . Girls #1 in * Politics *J*U*L*I*A*, * Governor Quentin Bryce * Journalism Laura Tingle * Heroine CATE BLANCHETT! oh and that big fat opposed THUMB Australia's richest person Gina Rino#art Girls are doin' good in the Wide Brown Land. Pity big Gina with all that power is so infinitely greedy. Gee if it was me . . . Surely I would want to use it for planetary good? Anyway Yesterday early (just after Early Bird Lyn, checking out her pre-pulled worms), I first saw Cate and Michael Caton in that wonderful ad. I immediately wrote a post about how good I thought it, and how obscene is that drunken thug Glenn Milne in his grotesque attack on Cate for being out-of-touch because she's rich. HA! I won't bother to mention THEIR hypocrisy, Swordies would know about that lowest of traits in humanity, and you won't need me to elaborate on the MSM's reaction to the campaigns against decent sharing of the lode led by Piggy Forrest and Gina Rino#art and that fat hog from Queensland, who of course have the common touch and interests of us all at heart. Anyway I wrote that post yesterday but I touched the fatal unknown lurking button that deleted it all . . . But I might have found a way to stop it happening, by blanking out a section of my keyboard with a stuck-on bit of cardboard. It's a pretty low-tech solution, yep, but it might just work. The only Cate'n'Caton ad I've seen so far is great. Too short, but brilliant. It put me in mind of the fine ads of ?2004? by the immortal Bill Hunter, RIP. But this time they will help deliver victory at the next election. C'n'C gave their time for free BTW, THAT's the spirit that cuts through all that money could ever do, the infinitely precious holy unersatzable quality of Sincerity reinforced by the undeniable force of Conviction. Cate Blanchett has far to go. "Hollywood Actor" THEY are trying to call her. She's proper Aussie, more than those bastards will ever understand. It makes me proud to hold them in such contempt. Put it in reverse if you like: I would sure be ashamed to be their kind of creep! Did you see the endless rant ABC24 gave Barnaby Joyce about fifty times, 5 full minutes straight, not even a question, he just went onan onan onan on . . what a stupid man and such a motormouth. Ah well. The Coalers are doing it to themselves for us to watch with some sense of satisfaction and achievement. I think the Sword is right at the cutting edge of politics in a way, and Astrafix at the pointy end is reaching into every sensible politician's consciousness. 'Sensible' in the widest sense, so that includes the Right, who must be considered so for wanting to read TPS to know their enemy, Us. Sure, TPS don't get directly into so very many homes, not directly maybe, but I think we are stiffening Labor's resolve -as btw so are Brown, and Oakeshott, and Windsor, who are smarter than the media and very case-hardened by now. The Government has had some beaut circuit-breakers, hell hasn't it had a horror stretch since 2007, boats, global financial crisis, boats, Abbortt, boats, boats, floods, boats, international worries and more boats, and every thing the Govt has done the MSM has curdled, but they can't curdle Cate, by her magic without so much as a wink she has turned their venom back on them. Dog isn't Abbortt looking tattered suddenly. He must be spinning out . . . Like a man with hands tied behind his back, trying to get a bite on an apple on a string . . . He can smell it, reach it with his tongue, almost taste it - and just can't get a bite! I know that feeling too, from playing chess against a better opponent . . . If you could just have ONE free move! - but you never do get the chance! He's always that one move in front of you . . . OOOOH! It hurts. Poor Abbortt. So sorry for him! Not.:)

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Ad Astra, I take your point. However, I feel that you are mistaking the mode d'emlpoi of the 'Fireside Chat', which, if it were 10 minutes, or 2x5 minutes, would still suffer from the fact that, elocution lessons or no, Julia Gillard is not very animated when she speaks, or animated in the wrong way, and I believe that, to be effective she has to convey more warmth through the screen and appropriate animation in order to be an effective communicator. Not in the metaphorical sense that Barnaby Joyce virtually stands up on a horse and rides bareback around the ring when he speaks to the media, because a Prime Minister has to have more gravitas, they have to seem 'Prime Ministerial', but, again, and you appear to have overlooked or misconstrued what I was trying to get at when I said that the PM can be a bit of a Wood Duck, what I mean is she does have a problem with seeming 'wooden' and passionless about what she is inspired by. Which should be everything her government is doing. You can have all the bells and whistles of the Fireside arena for your chat, but, as the saying goes, 'It Ain't Worth a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Zing'. Anyway, the Prime Minister is not a solicitous GP, she is a politician, and she is in the business of trying to sell her product, her policies, as Nasking has alluded to in his comment about his Dad's philosophy. So all the modalities of message transmission of information don't amount to a hill o' beans, IMHO, if the messenger is a dud. Which is a criticism I keep hearing about the PM, over and over and over again. "Nice person in real life, shame about the lack of warmth and genuineness which comes out over the TV." She needs to learn how to translate the personal into the interpersonal and communicable. I mean, Tony Abbott has learnt how to project an image of himself as a reasonable human being to the nation, when in fact he is a bigoted, chauvinistic, ideological zealot & pig of a man in reality. It just doesn't seem to me as if Julia is trying to learn those same lessons about projecting the acceptable 'Face to Meet the faces that you meet', as T.S.Elliott so famously said in the 'Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock', one of the most meaningful poems ever written. People have to warm to Julia Gillard. It shouldn't be the Fireside providing the warmth.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Very interesting pov about the BCA/AIG option of a $10/tonne CO2 Price on Carbon: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/BCA-carbon-price-energy-prices-carbon-emissions-co-pd20110530-HBV8J?OpenDocument&src=kgb

nasking

30/05/2011[quote]I think that what he says has more impact than if a Labor person said it, because he is an ex-Liberal Leader of the Opposition.[/quote] True...and he isn't part of the so called "Punch & Judy act". Sometimes Gillard & Abbott remind me of a couple goin' thru divorce proceedings. Battle comes across as highly personal sometimes. Best Gillard keeps it more at figurehead level...removed from the scrum....I think she looks brill when she does the NBN openings...visits youth at schools motivating them...announces wind & solar power projects/openings...or like her visit to China. As someone who went thru plenty of divorces due to my parents unfortunate circumstances the last thing I wanna see is a great PM diminishing herself by tangling w/ the angry, negative opposition leader as tho they were fighting over custody. And, what on earth do people like Mitch Fifield & the Liberal tennis player see in the likes of Abbott/Joyce. You'd think they'd have more sense. Abbott & Joyce are like the Tea Party...noisy, negative, head kickers...but USE BY DATE coming soon. BTW, Swan's done a great job but he looks like he could really use a break. The budget delivery was flat, to say the least. I give him heaps of credit but I'd like to see an alternative blooming. I guess that could be Shorten...smart, articulate fella, great on Q&A but a bit wobbly elsewhere...but by placing him at the scene of the Rudd crime it weakened him... the way the Republicans in America have weakened Paul Ryan's chances - I kinda thought it would be Romney VS Palin or Bachmann near the end of the Republican race w/ someone comin' thru the middle like Daniels w/ Ryan or Daniels w/ Rubio...but Daniels is out & allowin' Ryan to push such an extreme position on Medicare was dopey to the extreme unless they are considering him for a 2016 run w/ more moderate positions as he wises up. Gettin' back to Labor...Combet's Australia's Clark Kent...doin' a fine job...puttin' on his superman suit when he flies into negotiations, this sell has taken superhuman strength...BIG TICK for Combet. Like to see Mark Dreyfus out there more. A steadyhand. My wife & I reckon he's an articulate, calm, knowledgeable & wise fella...reassuring. And we both luv Tanya Plibersek. Tanya kicks butt. Stephen Smith has been brilliant...just the right tone. Conroy, workin' his butt off...keep that NBN rollin', rollin' rollin' out... Great job by health minister Roxon on the tobacco campaign. Tho, I'd like to hear more about how nursing & doctor trainees & graduates are goin'...how many comin' out & how they can be incentivised to take up jobs in public hospitals, lower income & rural/regional areas. And it would be nice to see a map of where the super clinics are goin' & the dates they'll be open. Good hearin' about cancer clinics openin' or gettin' fundin'...great for regional centres... but i'd like to see more too on preventative healthcare...cuttin' out fast food ads for kids TV...adults gettin' affordable access to walking machines & such. Can be dangerous walking in some areas...and some have sociophobia/agrophobia. Was nice seeing Natasha Stott Despoja, former Democrat, out there again. She reminds me of an intellectual Buffy these days. Dug the glasses. Another calm, measured, thoughtful, centrist type character. As for clean energy debate...we just hooked into another year of 25% windpower via Origin here in QLD...get 5% off the monthly bill for the year. Useful. I reckon people are just gonna have to bite the bullet and search for the best plans...exactly why we need a competitive market-based system. Cheers N'

jj

30/05/2011I love your hypocrysy Swordians, I think i can recall, many months back, a time when the NBN debate was raging(Turnbull had just become Communications shadow) and you all made the comment, "How would Turnbull know what it is like to have bad broadband because he is rich. He lives in the Eastern harbourside suburbs of Sydney.". Now you are defending Cate Blanchett, another 'rich' person, when she takes a stand on an issue she strongly believes in, but which will not affect her in any discernable way. You really are a bad bunch! No wonder you all scramble here to cough up your crap!

jj

30/05/2011Woops, a few typos.

nasking

30/05/2011Oh yea, good job on Agenda this morn by ALP paliamentary secretary Richard Marles. I like him. Warm, humorous, pleasant, articulate character. N'

NormanK

30/05/2011Ad astra What a difficult subject health is when it comes to this type of speech. You are to be commended for tackling it. This may be the most difficult comment I've had to compose for TPS. So I'll start with the good stuff. The factual content of your speech pretty much covers all of the topics that I would like to see addressed. The choice of language is in keeping with maintaining an easy dialogue with voters. I have reservations though. Firstly, can I say that I agree with most of what David Horton has said and therefore David, if I cover similar ground it is with a nod to you. When I first read David's comment, I thought it was a bit unfair to suggest that more personal experiences should have been included - there is no reasonable way for you to have access to these anecdotes. Since you have graciously suggested that you might redraft your fireside chat, I think you should be given full poetic licence to 'make stuff up'. It will lend warmth to what can be a pretty dry subject for those who are uninterested. I agree with sue's comment about using other MP's experiences to broaden the scope of anecdotal evidence especially if reference is made to a 'colleague' rather than a specific Minister or ALP MP. To push my own barrow, as soon as I read [quote]Your government ....[/quote] a little switch clicked in my head even though I was endeavouring to be as objective as humanly possible. One reaction to this type of statement is: 'I didn't vote for you, I voted for the other guy' and bunker mentality sets in. Similarly the use of 'we' to describe the government rather than the Australian people is another red flag. Also the use of 'you' as in this extract: [quote]Yet many of you have had difficulty getting a doctor when you need one, and have endured long waits ....[/quote] creates an 'us and them' rather than an inclusive ambience. It might be a white lie but you could perhaps consider turning the 'you' into 'our' or 'us'. [i]"Yet how many of us have had difficulty getting a doctor when we need one ....'[/i] for example. It took a while to work out last night what might stop this from being a political advertisement and turn it into a conversation. The idea of personalising it with anecdotes might meld well with objectifying the other content. Having Ms Gillard describe the health system as though she were, say, the Prime Minister of Canada looking in. This is good: [quote]Lifestyle conditions afflict too many in this country. Obesity is widespread, even among children, and combined with physical inactivity and a poor diet too often leads to heart problems, diabetes, joint problems and some cancers. Alcohol and substance abuse, along with smoking, have caused havoc, especially among the young.[/quote] To my way of thinking, it is spoiled by: [quote]That is why your Government has taken action to curb binge drinking in teenagers through its alcopops legislation[/quote] It could be reworded passively as: [i]"Curbing binge drinking through legislation will reduce the sale of those products, so attractive to adolescents yet so dangerous."[/i] Where am I going with this? Spell out the current situation and the challenges that the country faces (note: an aging population is a national problem not just a federal government headache) and give voice to some of the measures which she (Gillard) feels needs to be undertaken. If it just so happens that what she is proposing is also what the government has already undertaken, leave it to the listener/reader/viewer to connect the dots. Hopefully, at least a few of the points she makes will be picked up and queried during a press conference which is then the more suitable forum for boasting about what has already been done and what is planned. More to be thought about on this subject but I'll get this up first to get your reaction. I like your comment @ 11.59 AM, regarding content and process.

janice

30/05/2011[quote]Let's face it, Julia Gillard has the delivery animation of a Wood Duck, so unless she takes some acting and speech delivery lessons, the 'Fireside Chats' will drop into the Public Sphere like Lead Balloons.[/quote] Gee FS, it seems that I see and hear something very different about Julia Gillard. And, I might add, I am not alone judging by what others around me say. It would absolutely turn Julia into a false person if she took acting lessons etc, and I'm damned sure everybody and his dog would see it and judge her as being a cardboard cutout of her true self. IMHO, Julia Guillard is our Prime Minister and what you see is what you get. Too bad, I say, if someone doesn't like her voice, her hair or her fashion sense and why the hell should she submit to being pummelled and pushed into shape as if she was made of plasticine? I think the "fireside chat" idea is a good one whatever it is called, because it will give people the opportunity to get to know their Prime Minister outside of the frenzy of media pressers and public appearances where she is prey to how and whether the media choose to portray her.

nasking

30/05/2011Australia needs to get on top of this rampant gambling phenomena...last thing we need is the kind of crime & bad political influence we've seen come out of Las Vegas, Machau & other less known but just as glitzy, morally bankrupt, money laundering, crime syndicate feeding sites: FBI, federal police target overseas poker websites that flout law Asher Moses, SMH http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/fbi-federal-police-target-overseas-poker-websites-that-flout-law-20110529-1fb0g.html Governments should rely more on revenue coming from growing & dynamic industries that provide innovative, futureproofing & problem solving services/products once they are appropriately established...including internet/internet TV/mobile computer/music download/digital anything companies...cleaner energy...fast train & cargo delivery companies...exercise equipment rental companies...and so on...highly regulated gambling is fine...but it's a monster w/ too many slippery slopes. From what I remember in Star Trek gambling is primarily kept to one major planet. It can be enjoyable...but also an insidious cancer that kills many lives & governments & alternative businesses/industries. N'

NormanK

30/05/2011janice There is a middle-ground on Ms Gillard getting some coaching from a good theatre director. Rather than moulding her like plasticine, which I agree would be awful, a good director would bring out her softer side and help her to relax. By all accounts she can be charming and engaging so she needs to be taught how to tap into this at will. The plasticine model is what would happen if some half-arsed media advisor or PR consultant got mixed up in it but someone from theatre should be able to do this seamlessly.

Jason

30/05/2011jj, What about this rich man? this is what you and your blow hards do to political debate. Entrepreneur Dick Smith says he was too "gutless" to feature in an advertising campaign supporting a carbon tax because he was afraid he would be criticised by Rupert Murdoch's newspapers. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/i-was-gutless-over-climate-ads-dick-smith-20110530-1fbwk.html#ixzz1No3cK8X8

Ad astra reply

30/05/2011FS When you say that the message doesn’t amount to a hill ‘o beans if the messenger is ‘a dud’, are you writing off Julia Gillard as an effective communicator? She is the PM and although many would agree that some of her ministers may communicate better, such as Stephen Smith, Nicola Roxon, Simon Crean, Tanya Plibersek, Greg Combet and Anthony Albanese, and should be out there transmitting messages from the Government, we cannot escape the political reality that it is Julia Gillard, the PM, who must be the front runner. How would you approach the task of getting more ‘warmth’ more ‘zing’ into her delivery? Personally I find her style of communication sincere, understandable and pleasant. I enjoy her laugh, which often occurs during her visits to institutions. I can’t understand the aversion that so many people have to her style. She talks slowly, so what? She talks seriously about serious matters – just what I expect her to do. She can give as good as she gets in QT and was brilliant today as she fielded all of the initial questions, but we can’t expect her, (or any politician) to behave in a press conference or when making an announcement as if she is in QT, when she is often involved in a slanging match with Tony Abbott or any of his party members. That sort of animation would be out of place there. I'm with janice in her assessment of Julia Gillard. So I’m not going to take the nihilistic approach that working on the message is not much use unless her delivery can be improved. Let’s get the message right for starters. Whether 'coaching' would help her delivery is another matter that can be addressed later.

Ad astra reply

30/05/2011NormanK Thank you for your helpful advice, which I will take into account, along with the advice of David Horton and others when I reframe the above ‘fireside chat.

janice

30/05/2011NormanK, Do you remember when Maggie Thatcher took some coaching from a speech therapist (I think) and a session or two was leaked to the media? It was hilarious and really, I don't think it improved her all that much except that every time she opened her mouth it made one think of the leaked coaching session. For mine, I say leave the PM alone and accept her as she is. I prefer the Julia Guillard I see now and have watched throughout her parliamentary career.

nasking

30/05/2011Good old Albanese, always reliable when it comes to giving good reply. He summed up the Coalition rabble's divisions, hypocrisy, contortions & unprincipled positions & problems so well. Hit them like a twister...tore thru their ranks as tho they were made of cardboard...and fairy floss. Yet another rant from Abbott...boring as...shrill as a mad preacher screeching "the end is nigh" in a sinking boat...watching him in parliament you could imagine the water lapping at his feet. Desperate pleas & fearmongering from a sinking leader. Kinda embarrassing to observe...tho hypnotic. Thought the PM responded well to the Bishop question re: Japan, Canada, Russia. And it was great to see her more relaxed & cheerful during the Albanese broadside. As for Japan & energy/emmission treaties...I doubt the Japanese can think straight during the devestation...and probably are havin' a natural reduction in output post-earthquake anyway. We know Canadian CONservative Harper, so full of himself as ever, is tapped into big energy and tarsands like an addict to heroin...and I find it interesting that Julie Bishop should be holding Russia up as an example we should follow. A more corrupt, energy oligarchy-driven capitalist authoritarian country it would be hard to find. Poor Julie Bishop...so often waking up on the wrong side of the political bed. Searching at brekky for questions & justification in alphabet soup made by GREEDSTER INC. N'

nasking

30/05/2011"I enjoy her laugh, which often occurs during her visits to institutions." To be honest Ad, there are a few people I know who find it kinda irritating. Bit of a cackle. I prefer the smile. And humour. The larf gets a bit much sometimes. Gives a sense of pretence...covering up stress/bad day. But heck, everyone has their irritating habits...like Howard and his wobbling lips and habit of sounding like a petulant school child when he was contradicted. His breathlessness oft gave away when he was BSing. Abbott's constant negativity & shrill speeches are irritating. As is his flipflopping...and arrogant swagger. Reminds me of Charlie Chaplin attempting to be a cowboy. Or Turnbull & his pomposity...sometimes comes across like the Queen's butler. I like him better when he's cheerier, jovial & more down-to-earth...or the passionate p/t idealist w/ business nous. He didn't start w/ a golden spoon so he should chuck the one he has over to Abbott...who can make use of it when he's exiled to the UK for losing the companies and opportunity to negotiate on carbon. BTW, I think some of the women on blogs are gettin' too protective of PM Gillard based on her gender. Can't treat her as PRECIOUS. Every leader evolves off the back of useful criticisms & critique. Sometimes the femmy thing needs to be put to the side...and more objectivity applied. I support feminism...equal rights, wages etc. for women...but let's not forget that men vote too. :) See that as a comment/observation. Won't debate it. N'

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011janice, I am not saying that Julia Gillard should be pushed and prodded like plasticine into something that she is not, but that should be tutored into bringing out that which is within her that others who have met her personally say exists.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Nasking, From what I remember 'The Jetsons' kept gambling confined to one particular galaxy, far, far away from their everyday lives too! Btw, Richard Farmer makes a good point about gambling in Crikey today, as he says that if we were actually, as a nation, encouraged to spend our time, energy and R&D money on creating new technologies, how much better off we would be. Hear! Hear!

janice

30/05/2011Ok FS. But really, if what you want to see does exist within her, then it will emerge in the informality of "fireside chats" where she is able to relax and have no political pressure as in pressers. I know that people who have met her at some of her public visits to schools etc are apt to feel surprised at how "nice" she is. I just think that most of us aren't privvy to that side of her because the media are not so keen to let us see it. I am dead against "tutoring" because I, for one, like the PM I see and think it is a bit over the top to expect her to perform to other people's expectations. She is Julia Guillard, PM of Australia and is a damned good PM working in a difficult political climate.

John

30/05/2011Good work, Ad Perhaps the 4th par. starting with "Your Government is dedicated ..." might be "A government I lead will always be..." or "A Labor Government will alwys be ..." Keep up the good work. :)

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Ad Astra, NormanK has adequately answered the 'warmth and zing' question. I don't agree with janice that it would be ultimately leaked to hilarious effect as with Margaret Thatcher. I think Thatcher would have had the lessons leaked because the artistic community were against her philosophically and would have taken any opportunity to demean her. Not so with Julia I would imagine. Anyway, the MPs do Media Training courses all the time, on both sides of the political divide now, so it's not as unusual now to do a bit more. As NormanK says, a theatre director of the stature of John Bell from Bell Shakespeare, say, would be able to draw out what the PM has inside her. I say all this because no one wants the PM to succeed against the duplicitous phoniness of Tony Abbott as much as I do.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Nasking, Albo was on fire! Didn't you just love his comparison of Tony Abbott to a Vuvuzela? :) Joe Hockey sounded like a complete dill. Not even good enough for a spot on a Punch and Judy show. More like a role in a Butlins Panto. Abbott was just plain nasty the way he personally insulted Cate Blanchett. It was disgusting. And if anything good has come out of Abbott's tedious, predictable and perpetual 'Suspension of Standing Orders' stunts, it's that in them his speeches are increasingly laying bare to Australians what a nasty, disrespectful & sleazy character he is. To have him as the Leader of this great country would be an insult to us all and eventually bring shame, as sure as night follows day, to this country internatioonally.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011jj, Take your contemptuous, condescending, one-eyed claptrap elsewhere. It contributes less than zero to our debates, like your hero, Tony Abbott. It is as nasty and petty as he is.

nasking

30/05/2011"he says that if we were actually, as a nation, encouraged to spend our time, energy and R&D money on creating new technologies, how much better off we would be." Feral, couldn't agree more. I reckon that people who spend too much time on gambling are depressed...we'd be better off helping liven up their lives...push their focus elsewhere. Some oldies also use pokies as a pseudo-gathering place to get away from loneliness...surely our communities can come up w/ something better than the companionship of an uncaring machine that swallows yer bucks like a starving whale. BTW, what a load of crap Abbott & co. are pushin' on the "ordinary Australians don't get a say on the carbon price bill" bit. I don't remember Aussies get any REAL kinda say on the GST implementation...nor the Iraq War commitment...nor the floating dollar...nor plenty of other reforms. I reckon more than half the voters who gave Howard his first term had no idea he was gonna bring in the GST...nor did they know he was gonna breakup Telstra but let them keep the copper wires. However, it wouldn't take more than half a brain to know that the ALP were committed TO BRINGING IN SOME KINDA CARBON PRICE RELATED REFORM. And the fact that The Greens did so well in the Senate was also an indication that change was on the cards. These whiners who purport to represent the food, retail & farmer's groups are often full-bore righties, as in Libs & Nat supporters/ex-employees. The fact that the Farmer's Institute fella on Lunchtime Agenda didn't have any kinda figures based on a carbon price other than 35 buckeroos goes to show he's a fearmonger who should spend his time in the field as a scarecrow rather than pretending to be an objective participant in the carbon price debate. N'

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011janice, Of course she is 'Our Julia'. However, we all can improve ourselves, none of us are perfect. Our lives are a work in progress, and I believe the PM would be keen to seek any small advantage that she could.

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Good news: Poll: Do you support Cate Blanchett's right to speak out in support of a carbon price? Yes 80% No 18% Not sure 2% Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/blanchett-exposed-for-the-crime-of-speaking-up-20110530-1fbdm.html#ixzz1NoeBbW00

Feral Skeleton

30/05/2011Nasking, When I get old and lonely I'm going down the local Community Hall to play Mah Jong and Bridge and do Tai Chi. :) I will be hanging on to what meagre resources as I have for as long as I can. I may get a Scratchie on the odd occasion for a bit of excitement though.

Jason

30/05/2011Frank Calabrese Posted Monday, May 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink ago » esseeeayeennSéan Hawkes by Salvor_Hardin_ Opposition censure Cate Blanchett for being rich but not selfish enough to protect her own interests by supporting them #auspol 1 hour agoFavoriteRetweetReply

2353

30/05/2011Well I've missed a bit haven't I? I can see the theory behind a "fireside chat" format but wonder if it would work in 2011. The reason for my doubt is the 10 minute advertorials favoured by political campaigners prior to elections. It seems to me that the only ones that run them in their intended timeslot (i.e. when people are watching TV) is the ABC probably to claim they have "balanced" the ledger of political views for this election cycle. I wonder if the ABC's "peoplemeter" rating drop like a stone when the advertorials run as well. I do wonder if there would be a benefit in running the short sharp ad (or a series of them) on TV with a link to the "details" for those nerds that needem on a website/newspaper ad etc. Of course this may have all been covered sometime in the last three weeks which I haven't had time to read since getting of the plane from Los Angeles this morning and I apoligise if necessary for raking over "old ground".

David Horton

30/05/2011janice - I agree. It seems obvious that people who meet JUlia, and have worked with her, think she is ok, otherwise she wouldn't be where she is today. It is equally obvious that that interpersonal warmth doesn't come across in her public performances, so I was trying to reconcile those two observations. 2353 - yes, difficult to get people to listen. But she is giving speeches, press conferences anyway. I thought the fireside chat idea would substitute for some of those, not add to them. And ten minutes isn't a fixed figure. I don't personally know what a good figure would be. If Julia was to go to the media, say that the whole carbon tax thing is a matter of national importance, and spend even 5 minutes in the relaxed format I have suggested, I think it would be far more effective than anything she has done on it to date. I also have a feeling that the media might like the concept as something new, something they could relate to. The public might well be pleased she is asking for their help, taking them into her confidence - it would be a marked contrast to the Abbott persona. Mind you if Turnbull rolls Abbott then he might well be able to steal the approach as well - I can see him confidentially, and confidentially, chatting to the Australian people in a way Abbott could never do. better get a move on Julia!

lyn

30/05/2011Hi 2353 Welcome back, bet you are pleased to be home. You will have some catching up to do. You're aloud to rack over old ground not a problem. Cheers

lyn

30/05/2011Hi Ad I agree with you I like people to be themselves. I like Julia just the way she is, perhaps if anything I would say a wardrobe advisor, but I have noticed she has brightened up her clothing lately. Ad you would know more than most, there are not 2 voices the same, tell you what I am glad there are not 2 Abbott voices. [quote]Personally I find her style of communication sincere, understandable and pleasant. I enjoy her laugh, which often occurs during her visits to institutions. I can’t understand the aversion that so many people have to her style. She talks slowly, so what? She talks seriously about serious matters – just what I expect her to do.[/quote] Ad I don't know if you watched question time, but Mr Abbott called a censure motion again at 10 to 3pm. This time over the carbon tax and Julia should call another election. Mr Abbott also made reference again to Julia should make an honest woman of herself there is a hidden meaning there. The whole question time was awful, one question from member for Bradfield included "Why won't the Prime Minister call an election. Desperation has set in as end of June approaches so Abbott is going to flog another election line harder. I went searching for bloggs about fireside chats and I ended reading too many stories so now I am running late for dinner, oh well! I had good fun. Link to Malcolm Farr on Essential: Essential poll shows split on early election, Rudd preferred to Gillard and Turnbull to Abbott , Malcolm Farr, News Com But the electorate is evenly split on the need for an early election over carbon pricing to deal with climate change - 42 per cent yes and no, with 17 per cent "don't know". http://www.news.com.au/national/tony-abbott-greg-hunt-say-julia-gillard-should-go-to-election-avoid-carbon-tax-ad-campaign/story-e6frfkvr-1226065802468 Cheers

Jason

30/05/2011Fireside Chats? Hmmm, yes they work when you have something to say! At the moment with the carbon tax debate we have nothing to say! and this is a mess of our making, and whatever is going on behind closed doors does not mean a gaggle of independents will pass it! Labor is/will be comming from a long way back and quite frankly it's time the Leadership learnt from their past mistakes, and if NSW wasn't a wake up in not what to do we had better learn fast.

David Horton

30/05/2011"confidentially and confidentally" fixed the wrong one! Sorry.

Ad astra reply

30/05/2011Folks I've just posted [i]Julia Gillard's Fireside Chats Mark 2[/i]. Please transfer your comments there. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com

David Horton

30/05/2011Spam comment has arrived Ad - got past Captcha?!

macca

30/05/2011FWIW, I like the idea of fireside chats. About five minutes should be long enough. However, they should be broadcast on regional television only. IMO the bush vote will be crucial in the next election. The National party is doing nothing for the regions, and, quite simply, never has. They are relying on an aging, very " set in their ways" constituancy. There are farmers and small business in the bush who are increasingly tech savvy; eg...gps cropping, solar powered water pumps etc. The list is endless. Technology is defining the way people farm their land. They only seem to get their information on Govt. programs from Sen Joyce and Warren Truss. Neither intellectual giants. The carbon pollution levee, the NBN, the health system are probably more vital the bush than they are to city folk. This debate is a once in a decade chance for the Govt. to win the bush and they need to. What would I like too see happen; Ms Gillard, Mr. Albanese, Mr Combet, Ms. Roxon, Ms. Ellis and others descend on a country pub,unannounced with no media, on a Friday night and ask two questions: 1/ What don't you understand about our policies? and 2/ How do we go about getting a result that benefits all Australian grandchildren and Australia as a whole. The bush isn't full of rich cockies. Most earn wages and pay the paye tax, they have mortgages, operate on overdrafts in their small to medium businesses and have kids and family to look after. If the Govt. started treating them with the respect they deserve, instead of regarding them as a lost vote they may be surprised at the outcome. They are there for the taking or, at the very least, end up with independents the calibre of Oakeshott and Windsor. It's worth a shot. ps; Should the PM and others blow into a pub unannounced it's a fair bet that by the time they've paid for their first drink the "telegraph" would have the whole district heading for the pub.

Ad astra reply

30/05/2011Folks I'm going to close comments on this post as the next one is an extension of it. Please post your comments on Mark 2.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?