Hartcherism – a new descriptor for political gymnastics

It was unusual to see a generally sensible journalist write such an astonishing article. But there it was, Peter Hartcher writing in the March 19 issue of the Sydney Morning Herald: Labor's end - that's all, folks. You may care to read it before reading this commentary.

A recent article by Annabelle Crabbe, Kevin, um, it seems, ah, we (shuffle) sort of, ah, owe you an apology in the 18 March issue of The Drum set hares running. It energized Andrew Elder, on Politically Homeless, to forensically dissect and destroy her article. You might be interested to read Elder's March 19 analytic piece: Sorry for what?  

Hartcher’s article deserves similar analysis.

At first I thought that the title, Labor's end - that's all, folks, was that of some sub-editor seeking to attract attention, but the first paragraph left no doubt that this was exactly what Hartcher was saying: “The party's looming death as a stand-alone political entity is the biggest story in contemporary Australian politics.” Later he says: “The Prime Minister is like someone under a death sentence, carrying on breezily as if everything is normal. Let's be realistic. As things stand, Labor cannot hope to govern in its own right any more.” He ends by saying: “…even if she can win passage of a carbon tax through the Parliament, it will not be enough to save her, and Labor, from oblivion.” No ifs or buts, Labor and Gillard are finished – ‘that’s all folks’. In fact it’s worse than ‘finished’, it’s ‘oblivion’ – ‘the state of being forgotten; destruction or extinction’. Kaput!

This is Hartcher’s opinion, derived from the facts, but opinion nevertheless. Journalists are adept at slipping in opinion so that it appears almost as a fact.

Why would a usually balanced journalist writing for the moderate Fairfax press declare Labor and Gillard headed for oblivion years out from the next election? What on earth got his dander up? It looks as if it might have been Julia Gillard’s brief farewell comment, which Hartcher labeled ‘glowing’, about Karl Bitar: “The Prime Minister thanked Karl Bitar for his efforts that ‘helped us be re-elected in 2010 allowing us to deliver our plans to make Australia a stronger and fairer society’.” Hartcher goes on: “In just 20 words, Gillard said so much, and so much wrong.” What was wrong? Why is Hartcher pinning his story so strongly on a Gillard statement that most would deem innocuous?

Well Hartcher disputes the word ‘re-elected’: “The first glaring problem with this statement is Gillard's assertion that Labor had been ‘re-elected’. It was not.” He insists: “Labor did not win the election. It failed to win a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives. It was unable to form government in its own right.” So Julia better get her words right or Hartcher will jump on her with both feet. It could be argued that Hartcher is technically correct, but why such angst over a word? All members of the House were elected, but no party could form government without support from the independents, which Gillard managed eventually to achieve, so one could argue that since her supporters too were elected, her Government was ‘re-elected’. But why anyone would want to get into such an angry semantic argument begs the question: ‘What is it meant to achieve?’ Maybe Hartcher felt better getting this off his indignant chest.

But that was not all he had to criticize in Gillard’s twenty words: “The second problem with Gillard's statement is her claim that Labor is delivering ‘our plans’. The biggest item on the government's agenda is a carbon tax. This was not ‘our plan’. It was the plan of the Greens and the independents.” So what are you saying Peter? That Labor has become a puppet of them? Yes that is it: “…the Gillard government is a vessel for delivering the ambitions of others.” One can reasonably assume that he disapproves of such an arrangement, despite it being the only one available, other than doing nothing. Again opinion has been subtly slipped in among the facts.

Hartcher then goes on to describe Labor’s ‘state of denial’, and insists that “As things stand, Labor cannot hope to govern in its own right any more.” He ‘backs’ this up with an account of the election stats, and goes on to assert that: “Under her slogan of ‘moving forward’, Gillard is taking Labor backwards at a dizzying clip.” Again we have a Hartcher opinion, but no evidence is advanced. I suppose we are expected simply to swallow this, despite many of us believing just the opposite.

Then repeating his ‘Labor is finished’ opinion he adds a curious caveat: “Unless, of course, it can engineer an extraordinary resurgence”, only to talk in the very next sentence of Labor’s 'looming death’. So what is it Peter? Is Labor’s death, oblivion, as dead a cert as you have said all through your article, or are you hedging your bets, so that you can write later about Labor’s ‘extraordinary resurgence’. This political gymnastics is dizzying for we consumers.

Hartcher then rehashes the ‘greatest moral and economic challenge of our time’ story, talks about a ‘quick and dirty deal with the multinationals on the mining tax’ (more Hartcher opinion), berates the ‘Timor solution’ and castigates PM Gillard on “…a total abandonment of serious action on climate change with her ’citizens' assembly’.” – a curious statement in the light of the feverish action now extant on climate change, a carbon tax and an ETS. Where have you been Peter?

He talks of the two pillars on which Labor’s vote depends: the working class vote and the progressive vote, and goes on to insist: “Labor self-destructed as the party of the progressive vote”, backing this assertion with the increase in the vote for the Greens. He sees this flight to the Greens as being established and that Labor’s task is to regain the progressive vote, but dismisses that possibility because the ‘Right’ in Labor is not interested and the recent polls show this is not working. Maybe so, but isn’t it a little early to be casting the destiny of Labor on the result of polls in the first six months of its second term. Has he forgotten Coalition polls in the early years of the Howard Government? I wonder what he thinks of the latest Newspoll? Why is he so quick to judgement? Is he seeking the status of a prophet? That’s pretty dangerous for one’s reputation so early in the piece. Still that’s his right.

He summarizes his position with: “Gillard Labor seems to have got no political credit whatsoever for embracing the tough task of championing a carbon tax. Rather, the party seems stuck in the worst of all possible worlds. It's under ferocious attack from Abbott and the ‘people's revolt’ on the right. Yet it's winning no new support from the green left.” Note the words: “no political credit whatsoever”; no ifs or buts, and still more Hartcher opinion. Elsewhere in his piece he talks about Labor’s "total abandonment of serious action on climate change". How does this line up with his words: "...embracing the tough task of championing a carbon tax." And what of Abbott’s 'people’s revolt' – has he not seen the numbers ‘revolting’, or should it be ‘revolting numbers’?

He goes on to PM Gillard’s Don Dunstan speech and says that Gillard took: “…the extraordinary step of denouncing the Greens”. Curious, because I didn’t hear her ‘denouncing’ the Greens; it was the Coalition she denounced. Hartcher actually quotes what she said: “The Greens are not a party of government and have no tradition of striking the balance required to deliver major reform." Hardly a denouncement, even if one throws in Gillard’s word: ‘extreme’.

Then he re-asserts: “…Labor has yet to squarely confront the fact that it is on track to bring the two-party system to an end as Australia witnesses the rise of a three-party system.” Well that’s consistent with his earlier statements, even if contestable.

Then towards the end we see more gymnastics: “…if Gillard is carrying on in a blithe state of denial, as if she were not under a political death sentence, then Abbott is becoming the cartoon villain of Australian politics.” That’s the first mention of an alternative to the ‘doomed’ Labor party, the one headed for ‘oblivion’. As one read the piece it would not have been surprising if Hartcher had pointed to the Coalition as the alternative. But instead he gets into Tony Abbott: “Abbott is a bit like Yosemite Sam. Noisy, angry, quick to reach for his six-shooter, full of bluster and threats, he is terrific with the threatening theatrics. But he never actually manages to get his hands on his prey. Remember the flood levy, the end of modern Australia as we know it? Remember Abbott's angry fulminations? The levy was ‘the opposite of mateship’. It would impose an unconscionable burden on the hard-scrabble families of Australia. The moment the flood levy passed through the House of Representatives, Abbott fell silent on it. Now he's busy ranting and fuming about the next great danger. The theatrical bluster conceals the hard fact that 72 bills have been voted through the House of Representatives since the election. How many has Abbott successfully opposed? Zero. If Yosemite Tony can't stop the carbon tax, his one-trick oppositionism will be terminally exposed as a failure.”

Goodness me, so Abbott is no good either! Where does that leave us? Labor doomed and Abbott an ineffective ‘Yosemite Sam’. It seems Australia is doomed.

But in case you somehow missed his central point, he concludes: “But for Gillard, the task is harder. Because even if she can win passage of a carbon tax through the Parliament, it will not be enough to save her, and Labor, from oblivion.” So gloom compounds gloom – no matter what Labor does, no matter what PM Gillard does, she and Labor are doomed, headed for ultimate oblivion.

So what do you make of Hartcher’s gymnastics? He insists over and again Labor is finished, but gives himself an out: unless of course she ‘can engineer an extraordinary resurgence’. He then looks at Tony Abbott and gives him the flick, and he doesn’t seem overly enamored with the Greens. So how are we to be governed? By a doomed party, lead by a PM under a ‘death sentence’, or by Yosemite Sam? It’s an exercise in nihilism the like of which I have not seen.

So I ask: ‘Why does Hartcher seem to be so angry? Why did he write the piece at all? What was it expected to achieve except perhaps giving him the Nostradamus touch? Why did his editors think it worth publishing? Was it the ‘shock value’ of the piece? Why does Hartcher cavort like a gymnast, from the Roman rings to the pommel horse to a floor display to horse vaulting?

After reading ‘Labor's end - that's all, folks’ several times, I still came away dizzy with Hartcher’s gymnastic moves, but none the wiser about what the future holds for Australian politics – perhaps he’ll tell us in his next piece.

But I did feel that a new term for political gymnastics might be coined – Hartcherism.

What do you think?

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nasking

23/03/2011[quote]So what do you make of Hartcher’s gymnastics? [/quote] Unfortunately, I reckon Hartcher is playing games just to hook-in readers. Fairfax is graually heading back to "say anything to grab an audience" territory...to be expected by a corporate entity that is more about filling ad space and bringing in the dollars than reporting facts. This is also evidenced by their grotesque shift into loud-mouthed, fear-mongering shock jock territory. Hartcher knew he would get attention by using such a headline...and sadly he has. How I see it, the ALP look right on track to win the next election, and I don't say that lightly. They will keep The Greens at arm's length...but will compromise on policy now & then. The same goes w/ The Independents. The more Liberal/National state governments come about, the more their chances increase...as the Australian people would not be dumb enuff to give the "old guard" Liberals the opportunity to control the states & Federal arenas...even tho The Greens will have the balance of power in the senate. It's obvious to me that occasionally the ALP will use the Coalition to get some bills passed that they can't via The Greens. Being Centrists. The people want something done about climate change...and the more disasters happen the more this will increase...world-wide. And no amount of spinning by fossil fools will undermine the nagging doubts that many have about the climate change deniers...it will only increase the sense that something is really wrong and action needs to be taken...for both economic and environmental reasons. And Greg Combet is the right minister to have communicating the government's views/policies...calm, collected, rational, articulate, down-to-earth. Abbott is on a loser here...and the pressure is building in the Coalition...the proof in the pudding, Pyne's loopy outburst yesterday...Campbell Newman's knee-jerk & desperate attempt to take the QLD Environment minister's seat of Ashgrove... and this morning's display of weird mood shifts by Barnaby Joyce on Sky News Agenda...he basically started blowing off at the composed & bemused Anthony Albanese, ignoring the host, demanding that Albanese answer his questions regarding the carbon price whilst pointing his finger, going beetroot-faced and employing the same kind of pushy, irrational tactics he did when blowing off at Penny Wong in the senate. He then followed up w/ the laugh of the loon in the next segment...it was hard to keep up w/ his shifts in temperament. When you take into account calls for a "people's revolt"...the melodramatic antics of Abbott inside & out of parliament...the oddball Pyne comment in parliament...the strange behaviour of some towards Julie Bishop including taking her seat at a lecture...the stuffup by Hockey when he said the Coalition would strip people of compensation...the xenophobe stirring & insensitive comments by Scott Morrison & Corey Bernardi...the QLD LNP bizarre circus...cattle being trucked into a beaut Alpine Park w/ the thumbs up by a Victorian state premier... these are all signs of desperation & badly thought out policy. Whilst the government gets on w/ business... passing the 'Flood Levy' in the senate to assist QLDers... reducing the childcare rebate from quarterly to fortnightly as promised... building railways, icluding those that will help take the dangerous amount of trucks off the road (a Howard govt gift)... building health clinics...pouring money into essential media, hospital areas... improving schools... developing teams & plans & funding for overseas & homeland disasters... rolling out broadband... preparing to put in place legislation that will ensure big miners pay their way better for using the people's land... creating fairer superannuation the list goes on... No wonder the Coalition are desperate across Australia. If I were the state Liberals I'd get onboard re: health reform & mining tax reform real soon. N'

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Nasking Thank you for your comprehensive comments. If you are right about Hartcher 'playing games' to hook in readers in support of a Fairfax strategy, and you may well be, then he too has succumbed to pressure from his superiors to write in a way that is unusual for him. If so, that is hardly to his credit. Where has fearless journalism gone? Has Fairfax mirrored News Limited in the way it treats its journalistic staff? Of course it is understandable that journalists, particularly at Fairfax which has sacked so many, might be fearful of their position, and thereby be more inclined to bend to corporate pressure about content and style. Your comments about the Coalition around the country make interesting reading. Your confidence about the Gillard Government's re-election prospects contrasts starkly with that of Peter Hartcher. I'd back your judgement; I certainly find it difficult to accept's Hartcher's nihilism.

nasking

23/03/2011[quote]Of course it is understandable that journalists, particularly at Fairfax which has sacked so many, might be fearful of their position, and thereby be more inclined to bend to corporate pressure about content and style.[/quote] Good point Aa...it's another reason we need a balanced public broadcaster where journos are free to report the facts and do in-depth investigation, rather than worrying about the dictates of advertisers & moguls who can pressure gatekeepers/editors & journos by way of job security, wages, reputation & legal measures. That includes ex-employees. Shame on the ABC Breakfast team this morn, and a fella from Lateline, who spruiked the corporate web sites, including The Daily...they focused mainly on Murdoch empire sites...criticised The New Yorker... and Triolli even praised Murdoch. Grotesque, obsequious stuff...and outright advertising by a public broadcasting team that should know better. Murdoch has billions...he doesn't need the ABC to advertise for him...as they so often do. Grovelling, sneaky stuff. Disgraceful! I'd sack them on the spot. As for the "people's revolt" today...pathetic attempt to copy the Tea Party antics. The sign behind Abbott as he spoke said it all about the backward, backward, persecuting, say anything mentality of these loops: DITCH THE WITCH W/ a silhouette of a woman w/ large nose on a broom...we take it they are referring to our PM. Abbott & his lot, including Eric Abetz & the Nats there have stooped to sewer lows to get their crazy climate change denier message out. Are we to become the crazy part of America? Led by an irrational & desperate & volatile Coalition leader? Abbott is no Robespierre...but I reckon it won't be long before he feels the metaphorical blade. Shock jock burrower. N'

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011Pictures from the No Carbon Tax Rally, otherwise known as Australia's first Tea Party gathering in Canberra: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeangenie/5551367161/ http://twitpic.com/4caabm http://yfrog.com/h8q28xwj

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011FS Thanks for the pics - is that all there was? The ABC talked of a couple of thousand. Interesting isn't it that there are banners supporting Pauline Hanson's views, anti-multiculturalism, a tilt at 'commie Bob and the three stooges', and informing Julia that her chardonnay contains CO2 (so what), and one that says: 'stop aircraft perks for pollies'. What a motley collection of slogans. I hope Tones is satisfied, especially the linking of his protest with Pauline, the one he set out to destroy. There must have been more than that at the 'people's revolt'. It will be fascinating to see tonight's TV of the event.

Lyn

23/03/2011Hi Ad Thankyou so much for your welcome, enjoyable, post on Peter Hartcher's latest column. Ad, thankyou for taking the time to provide us with such a wonderful blog site "The Political Sword" which I have grown, to rely on you and my friends here, so much, as part of my daily life. Peter Hartcher is incredibly disappointing, I at one time, thought Hartcher seemed the most intelligent, Political Reporter out of a bad bunch, but he is just one of the bootstrappers that Bushfire Bill brilliantly, posted about last year. [quote]But I did feel that a new term for political gymnastics might be coined – Hartcherism[/quote] I agree with you Ad, an apt name for a puppet reporter, told what to write

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011Another http://twitpic.com/4caeq5 (Tellingly, the guy in front of the offensive sign has a National Farmers Federation cap on). http://twitpic.com/4ca59z One of reactionary conservative, Angry Anderson, well the back of his head: http://twitpic.com/4caffd Guess who? http://yfrog.com/gyfrcodj I wonder why there wasn't an equivalent amount of concern about JWH's 'Core & Non-Core promises' and the fact he never took WorkChoices to an election? http://twitpic.com/4capmq What an obnoxious, hateful way to conduct a debate, really. http://twitpic.com/4cal21 No one sure what this one means: http://twitpic.com/4cam8e Also, apparently, Tony Abbott told the bunch of retirees who turned up for the rally that the Carbon Tax would cost them their jobs!?! This was the Brisbane Anti Carbon Tax Rally (lol): http://yfrog.com/gzuthozj A disturbing sign behind Tony Abbott equating action wrt Global Warming to Genocide(and don't forget Pyne's hissy fit yesterday about 'Deniers'). Hypocrisy has always been a specialty of the Liberal Party: http://twitpic.com/4ca74b I also feel sorry for Dr Ken Wyatt to have been dragged along to put on a show for Abbott.

Patricia WA

23/03/2011Thanks for that forensic analysis of Hartcher's article, AA. I wonder how he felt when he saw the Newspoll yesterday. Timing may be everything in politics, but it's hugely important in political commenting too! As promised here is the up to date comment on Abbott and Newspoll [b]Tony Abbott Is A Newspoll Denier![/b] Last year, in the late March Newspoll, Rudd was top, Abbott in a hole. His PR team did not despair, Nor weep and wail and tear their hair. They had a task they would not shirk. Four months later had it begun to work? His former rival, Rudd, was gone. Now Gillard challenged him, “It’s on!” And so this guy who loved to surf Expressed his love for mother earth. Now, in an election running, Fitness counted less than cunning. Still, lycra clad and on his bike, He’d face any camera or mike, And battle every ‘Big New Tax’ As if wielding his fireman’s axe. No wonder that his pride was stung, When after Parliament was hung, The casting votes were not for him. His view of that was very dim. Early thoughts of ‘kind and gentle’ Were forgot as he went mental! Not Cross Benchers' preferred PM?!? So what if Newspoll agreed with them! In the House, suited, dutiful, No more bare, bronzed and beautiful, At division he still lost votes, In spite of slogans, ‘Stop the Boats!’ That campaign too, long and heavy, ‘Gainst helping Queensland with a levy. Forget lost ground on the NBN, Now here’s a ‘Big New Tax’ again! Gillard planning to price carbon Roused him more than any hard-on. Now he'd have his Peoples Revolt! Then this Newspoll! This awful jolt! Just when he's proved the PM lied He's told his dreams of power have died! "No!!!" protests Abbbott, all defiance. "Psephology? Crap! Like climate science!"

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad [i]TPS[/i] provides so much interest and enjoyment. I think we can write off Peter Hartcher as a balanced journalist. Pity really as I too thought he seemed reasonable. Did you see QT today? Julia wiped the floor with Tones, again and again. She is a very powerful parliamentary performer with all the facts she needs at her fingertips. I wonder why Tones keeps sticking his chin out, as every time he does, he gets smacked squarely on the jaw. Unfortunately the ABC coverage stopped in the middle of the division to remove Christopher Pyne for 24 hours. Do you know how that turned out? FS Thank you for the further pics. The thing that stands out for me is that many placards are pushing agendas that are nothing to do with the carbon tax. There's a lot of Pauline Hanson there, and some pretty disgusting banners about 'Ju Liar being Brown's bitch'. What sort of people are they? I hear that most are from Sydney urged there by a shock jock, presumably Alan Jones.

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23/03/2011Patricia WA Thank you for yet another clever poem. You have the knack of hitting the nail on the head.

nasking

23/03/2011Thnx for the pics Feral. Welcome to Canberra...transformed today into Salem: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/23/3171486.htm N'

Michael

23/03/2011Both the ABC website and The Age reporting on the anti-carbon tax rally outside Federal Parliament feature a very offensive placard held up behind Tony Abbott as he addressed the crowd. It read, "Juliar, Bob Browns Bitch" (they forgot the apostrophe, bad grammar thrown in with disgusting language and a crass anti-female attack again, by the way). Whether he saw the sign or not, whether anyone from his office suggested he stop and look around as his speech went live to air on the mid-day ABC news, Abbott was framed by those words. And chose to stand before them. Political discourse has sunk to this. With an alternative Prime Minister apparently numb to the impact of such visual association. He will deny he had anything to do with it, of course, he'll just say "no" to being aware of the setting within which he took hold of a microphone. Is there any contemporary politician or their senior staff who is not painfully aware of the surroundings when their boss is being filmed in the 21st Century, who does not assert control over every potential frame of video that will feature them? Abbott knew what he was standing before... or, if he did not, he should apologise to the Prime Minister, and look very carefully about how his person and image is used by others in the future. Unless of course, he chose to stand precisely where he did with every intention in mind of thus endorsing the placard behind him.

Doug Evans

23/03/2011Hmm Hartcher may be guilty of over-egging his position somewhat but I don't find anything remarkable in his basic thesis. Dragonista had a go at Hartcher's piece arguing that the loss of votes to the Greens simply reflects Labor votes temporarily parked waiting to return to their natural home. As I have previously commented to both Political Sword and Dragonista logic suggests that this would happen only if Labor instituted some progressive policy. Current examples of conservative policy positions by the Gillard government and the desire not to offend voters in the key marginal seats both suggest that this is unlikely in the short to medium term. The primary vote in Australia historically divides always to within a point or three of 50/50 Coalition/Labor. With 10% growing perhaps to 15% of the left vote deserting, I believe permanently, to the Greens, Labor might just struggle back into power with Greens preferences and by swapping preferences with the Coalition in th inner urban seats at least (I've revised my position)but their problem, grounded in their policy dilemma, is dire. Also, as I've previously commented, the problems with the ALP stretch further than their policies. In the case of Labor the corrupt, stinking mess that is Labor’s internal structures and administration will continue to discourage voters from returning in the same way it discourages new members. The recent wishy-washy review and insipid set of recommendations from the trio of Labor luminaries gives no confidence that this is about to be addressed. Any self respecting AFL football club has more members than the ALP. Indeed the Australian Youth Climate Coalition has more members than the ALP and they are a whole lot more motivated. Labor's problems are dire indeed and I think Hartcher is closer to being right than your analysis allows. Now please remember that until this election I have been a lifelong Labor voter and would love to see the party regain some self respect and rediscover a litle of what it used to stand for (social equity and progressive policy) but I can't see any way that the right leaning trajectory of the last two decades can or will be altered. This forgettable Rudd/Gillard government will be remembered equally for its administrative incompetence and its conservative policy mix and apart from the obvious unattractiveness of the Coalition alternative I can't understand the apparent passion you are able to muster in its defence. They will struggle Ad Astra they will struggle and this bodes ill for Australia. The only light in the gathering gloom is faint and flickering but definitely has a greenish hue.

BSA Bob

23/03/2011Peter Hartcher is entitled to an opinion, but I for one think Tony's People's Revolt is more in need of immediate succour. Estimates of the numbers involved range between one & three thousand, & the pictures seem to bear that out- a bunch of folks milling about, not exactly a packed throng. During the ACTU's 2007 campaign against Workchoices a favourite conservative line was to say the protests "couldn't even fill the MCG". This lot wouldn't have filled the entrance court. As others have said, it will be interesting to see how the media presents this. I fear they may try to create a major event out of three fifths of bugger all. The ragtag collection of placards, presumably indicative of the attitudes of their bearers, is in a sense a bit of a giggle but illustrates one of the liberals' great talents- the ability to convince a wide variety of disparate opinions that they are receiving personal attention. This could have been an awful lot worse for the Left, just hope it isn't presented that way from tonight onwards. P.S. Loved Tony having to ask for a pair so he could address this mob. When he came up with his idea to consider blocking pairs he probably didn't have this in mind.

Per Ardua

23/03/2011AA, Division 68-67 to Govt. Poodle gone for 24hrs, quite a few sidelined today.

2353

23/03/2011The Fairfax report said it all - ". . . Mr Abbott today addressed an anti-carbon tax rally outside Parliament House, which organisers say has attracted 3000 protesters.". . . "Ms Gillard was likened to a lying puppet as protesters held up anti-government signs among a crowd estimated at 1000.". http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/pinocchio-gillard-strong-antigillard-emissions-at-canberra-carbon-tax-protest-20110323-1c5w7.html They can't even count correctly

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23/03/2011Folks Apologies for my absence for the last couple of hours - I've been on the mower. No matter what happens in politics, grass still grows. Michael What has our country been dragged into when our alternative PM speaks in front of placards that say: 'Ju liar, Bob Browns bitch' with or without apostrophe, and refers to Julia Gillard as a witch complete with an image of a witch? While people are entitled to express their views in whatever way they please (short of libel), for the alternative PM to virtually endorse such nasty expressions of opinion by standing in front on the offending placards, shows to what a desperately low level this man has sunk. He may argue that he didn't see them, but he had plenty of his shadow cabinet - Warren Truss, Sophie Mirabella and others to tell him; there is simply no excuse for his conduct. OUR PM deserves a public apology.

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23/03/2011BSA Bob Yes it was a ragtag collection of placards and a motley crew to wave them. Greg Combet exposed the nature of the groups involved in QT. Apart from the Hansonites there were people pushing many other lines, nothing to do with climate change or a carbon tax. Abbott acted a rabble-rouser, a role into which he slips so easily.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Per Ardua Thank you. Pretty close but enough. Christopher Pyne's label 'Poodle' is apt. He cannot resist yapping even when the big dog growls, and went to far today and got bitten. But don't expect him to learn - he'll be back tomorrow yapping as usual.

Casablanca

23/03/2011I wonder who took the decision to photoshop the image of Abbott at http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/pinocchio-gillard-strong-antigillard-emissions-at-canberra-carbon-tax-protest-20110323-1c5w7.html The photo shows Abbott addressing the Rally but the offensive Bob Browns (sic) Bitch banner which was the real backdrop has been replaced by a "No Carbon Tax" banner. I hope that Abbott's wife and daughters take him aside and explain the sexist insult that he was happy to endorse at today's rally.

Ad astra reply

23/03/20112353 There is bound to be argument about the numbers and clearly even the [i]Brisbane Times[/i] can't get it right. But it's not the quantity that counts, it's the quality. By all accounts and looking at the placards as evidence, the quality of the 'revolters' is questionable.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Doug Evans I don't share your gloomy view of Labor's chances. Anyone seeing the PM dismantle and discredit Opposition questions in QT today, could not hold the Hartcher view that Julia Gillard is finished.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Casablanca That image of Tony Abbott in front of those vicious placards is now etched in the archives, no matter how the media tries to deflect attention. He will live to regret that gross indiscretion.

Casablanca

23/03/2011Ad The poodle was turfed out at about 3.10pm Wednesday. Hopefully 24 hours means 24 hours. If so, if you only have access to ABC 2 and not the House of Reps channel then you will not see the poodle until 10 May. What Bliss!

nasking

23/03/2011SKY UK did a good, balanced job covering the Israel/Lebanon conflict a few years ago...and I've been watching their coverage of the Libyan conflict...and the run up to the UK budget... but if Murdoch's News Corp gets to fund 85% of the channel it will be losing viewers like me...the balance will surely be lost on many issues: [quote]Spun-off Sky News would not be independent, say rivals Rupert Murdoch faces backlash from rival newspaper owners amid fears £8bn BSkyB buyout will lead to NewsCorp domination Dan Sabbagh The Guardian, Tuesday 22 March 2011 The joint submission – also supported by BT – said that NewsCorp's offer would "make Sky News almost entirely dependent on News Corporation" and that "it would be fanciful to expect that Sky News will enjoy any meaningful independence" that would allow it to contribute to diversity in news provision in the future. As a result, Slaughter and May said, it would be "clearly unrealistic" to expect that Sky News would "rigorously investigate" if, for example, another News of the World phone hacking scandal emerged. The lawyers also questioned whether, if all Murdoch's newspapers supported one political party in a future election campaign, it would be "realistic to expect that Sky News would rigorously investigate and report on a major scandal affecting that party"... The newspaper owners and BT had long been unhappy about the bid which, they argue, would lead to the creation of a powerful integrated media group combining more than one in three of every newspapers sold in the UK with the largest broadcaster as measured by turnover. Sky News would be financially dependent on NewsCorp because it would rely on the media group for an estimated 85% of its revenues under the spin-off plan, the submission said, meaning that Sky News "cannot be considered financially or commercially independent of News Corporation where the latter is by far its largest customer". Sky News would therefore be unable to disgregard News Corp's views as a result, the document added. The news channel would also be dependent on News Corporation for its distribution – although the draft undertaking proposed by NewsCorp gives no details as to how this would work in practice. In addition, Sky News would be dependent on winning a renewal of its contract with News Corp, an "absolute imperative" that "will profoundly influence decision-making at all levels within Sky News".[/quote] More here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/22/sky-news-rupert-murdoch-independent A sad situation. N'

Patricia WA

23/03/2011If we really are judged by the company we keep I know which side of this debate I'm joining, quite apart from the science and the cause! I went to the Climate Action Now (CAN)rally at the Perth Convention Centre today. A reporter there estimated around 450 people at least had come on public transport, walked, biked, or driven themselves in to support the federal government move on carbon pricing. No groups were bussed in from out of the city! They were all ages, plenty of oldies like me, and generally smiling and pleased we were turning out for such a good cause which would help the environment and our children. The young speakers who addressed us talked about the difficulties and challenges facing climate scientists and conservationists, but they didn't insult their opposition and didn't waste time complaining about the bad faith of politicians. No one whinged about paying too much tax, though I wouldn't describe them as an affluent crowd. Well mannered, educated and positive thinking. You'd think that any reporter with an ounce of common sense or awareness would know there is something seriously wrong with the Opposition's campaign on this issue. How can the ABC and other media report demonstrations for this so called 'Revolt' talking of their inflated numbers and anti-government slogans without paying serious attention to the dangerously extremist mood and tone of the meetings? Tony Abbott is playing with fire and he doing harm to his party and the country generally with the way this campaign is being run. And that's before one counts the cost of inaction on climate change. Bless Bob Brown for his decency in writing to apologise to the PM for those insulting placards outside Parliament House.

Jason

23/03/2011AA, The Turkey and I braved the rainy weather here in Adelaide today, to go for the second week in a row to the "Anti Carbon Tax Rally" and it was a flop! 8o odd people. But looking at the Adelaide crowd which looked a bit like the Canberra crowd I think the carbon tax could be the least of their problems!GST on funeral expenses will come first!

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Patricia WA Thank you for your comments and your report on the Climate Action Now rally. I agree with your assessment of Tony Abbott's actions today. He plays with fire like a pyromanic, and eventually will get badly burnt. But of course the sycophantic media will try to make it look as if he's just enjoying a bonfire with the kids. I didn't know Bob Brown had apologised. Good on him! You can be sure Tony Abbott never will. He sees today's behaviour as acceptable political jousting.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011jason Thanks for the report. I'm glad you didn't get crushed in the stampede of the elderly 80 to support the Anti Carbon Tax Rally.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Casablanca What a relief; QT without the Poodle will give us respite from his persistent pointless yapping. Then a long, long break!

Casablanca

23/03/2011Here is the text of Senator Brown's letter to the PM. Dear Prime Minister, I am appalled by the photos of the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues speaking in front of Parliament House today in front of some most offensive banners. I know that you have broad shoulders. However, from my own experience, I also know that such calumny, apparently endorsed by hundreds of other people present, can be deeply hurtful. I hope Mr Abbott apologises. However, if not, I extend to you a heartfelt apology on behalf of the many people in Australia who think differently. Yours sincerely, Senator Bob Brown Australian Greens Leader You can endorse his sentiments at: http://greensmps.org.au/blog/senator-bob-browns-letter-prime-minister-gillard-23-march-2011

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Casablanca Thank you for drawing our attention to Bob Brown's letter. I have used the form for endorsing his apology to Julia Gillard. I hope others will.

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011Re Rally: Laurie Oakes on Channel 9 was not amused. It's worth playing his report back to see the large amount of controlled anger he was channelling directed towards the protesters and Abbott, for being the 'brains' behind the rally. Good on Oakes for not just going with a bash Gillard feel. Actually, the more I see Tony Abbott, the more I think he reminds me, not of Dr No, but of Dr Evil from the Austin Powers movies. So many grand plans to take over the world that amount to the twerp's revenge.

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011Ad Astra, You say you couldn't watch the finish of the Division taken today in parliament to send Christopher Pyne to the Sin Bin for 24 hours. Well, whenever you want to watch all of Question Time all you have to do is watch ABC24. They always play the whole 90 minutes and then have an instant analysis by Lyndall Curtis. She's not as bad as some, actually. I wish they didn't play the whole 90 minutes because it is stopping me from going ooutside on nice sunny Sydney Autumn days! Oh well, I stay in & do dusting and stuff instead, and watch in awe as Julia Gillard and Greg Combet tear the Coalition apart with their precision attacks. :)

nasking

23/03/2011Chris Uhlmann's exaggeration of the numbers, "battalions of cars", and beatup of the whole sordid affair was disgraceful. An avid watcher of the 7:30 Report I rarely watch this new version. The few minutes I saw today sickened me. Shame on you ABC for distorting events...and trying to create conflict out of stuff all. Yer as bad as Fox News these days. N'

Jason

23/03/2011FS, "jenauthor" a contributor on poll bludger email Abbott this! to which I say well said! Mr Abbott an email entitled: Congratulations on Today’s Rally Congratulations Mr Abbott, today you justified the actions of many Australians who voted against you last August. And you also justified why the Independents chose to side with the Prime Minister to form government. You also, in choosing to stand before those offensive banners, with offensive people attached to them, have established your lack of credentials in terms of humanity. You and your party lack any form of Christian virtue. This action will see the demise of your party at the next election. No self-respecting Australian will look at your association with radicals like One Nation, Tea Partyists and anti-semitic white supremacists and not be turned off you, your party, or its tactics. To say I was appalled is an understatement. A change of occupation might soon be in order. You would be better suited chatting on some radically right-wing radio station than sitting in parliament purporting to represent Australian. Because your views and actions DO NOT represent any Australian I have ever met. You called it a 'People's Revolt' -- I'd call it 'Revolting People'.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011jason Thank you for publishing here 'jenauthor's' email to Tony Abbott published on PB. What a great letter it is, capturing as it does so well the strongly held feelings of so many of us.

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011Simon Sheikh of Get Up! finally came out with the details of the Pro Carbon Price Rally in Sydney today on The Drum. It's going to be at Belmore Park, Central, on April 3. I think there is supposed to be an Anti Carbon Tax Rally in Sydney on the same day. SS said that he will keep on organising Pro Carbon Tax rallies for so long as the Anti Carbon Tax mob keep having theirs. I promise to keep going to the Pro Carbon Tax GetUp! rallies for as long as they have them in Sydney. I can't wait to get started on my placard. All suggestions gratefully accepted for my sign. How about, 'One Trick Tony wants you all to live in waterfront accomodation'? Does anyone else live in Sydney? I'd love to meet you there. :)

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Nasking You are right. Chris Uhlmann made the rally sound more successful than it was. I don't recall however any remark that he made about the alternative PM delivering his 'message' in front of grossly offensive banners. Chris is a great disappointment. He falls over backwards so far to avoid being seen as favouring Labor that, perhaps unwittingly, he aligns himself with the Opposition and thereby Tony Abbott's shenanigans.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011FS Good on Simon Sheikh! May his rally be a huge success.

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011PatriciaWA, Good on you for going to the Pro Carbon Price Rally today. It just goes to show that, even in Coalition heartland territory, there are still good people prepared to weigh the issues on their merits and not be browbeaten by the radio shock jockes and the Conservative/Mining-oriented Press.

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011Jason and Talk Turkey, Was Leon Byner at the Anti Carbon Tax Rally in Adelaide? I can't understand how people like that, whose reputation rests upon their credibility, can get themselves sucked into such ignorant shenanigans.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011FS I saw Laurie Oakes' comment. He was not amused about Abbott's performance today. Thank you for the information about ABC24 broadcasting QT. I didn't know that. I shall watch it on the one TV we have that can get ABC24.

Ad astra reply

23/03/2011Folks It's been a long day, so I'm packing it in. I've been writing a piece on climate change for sometime next week, squeezed in among all the other things I've had to do today. There will be a lovely piece of satire from AC for the weekend and FS is preparing one of her penetrating pieces for next week. There's lot to look forward to.

nasking

23/03/2011[quote]Good on Simon Sheikh! May his rally be a huge success.[/quote] Indeed Aa. This ugly Australian rally motivated my wife & I to finally get out the credit card & donate 10 bucks a week to the pro-carbon price fight by way of GetUp. We also signed Bob Brown's letter...thnx to Casablanca above for posting the link. This may galvanise the Green & Labor base more in NSW...could backfire on the Coalition. Really pissed my wife off when she saw it...and my mum who is a dyed in the wool Tory said she thought "it was insulting to treat the PM that way"...and she reckons "Tony Abbott will be gone soon". Aa, agree re: Uhlmann. Jason, superb letter you posted up. Feral, it's good to see that some like Laurie Oakes still have their independence & integrity intact. Cheers N'

Jason

23/03/2011FS, Leon was busy on his morning show telling the state government how it should do things! But if go online at 830am tomorrow your time and go to 5AA you can hear him talk to Lord Monkton! As for Leon's credibility that went a long time ago!leon I fear he thinks he's some sort of political king maker, when in reality he's nothing more than an entertainer.

Lyn

23/03/2011Hi Nasking Good on you, donating to Getup. Cheers

Jason

23/03/2011Lyn, Just for you! Steve Gibbons tweeted Looks like the extremists were having a day out. Was the KU Klux Klan represented? There is a very shrill tone to Labor’s vilification of the citizens objecting to its broken promise and its carbon dioxide tax. And Labor MP Steve Gibbons‘ low blow also suggests sneering that’s so telling of the New Class that Labor unfortunately now represents. Labor MP Nick Champion also prefers to abuse voters rather than persuade them: A rally that has all the credibility of a Dungeons and Dragons convention - full of fantasists… Labor MP Michelle Rowland also has that aristocratic contempt: Some of these people, you objectively analyse their positions and they are extreme. They are extreme. They should tone down the hate-speech. Someone could get hurt ... and the conservatives get framed. This is from no other than Andrew Bolt! http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/labor_goes_the_giant_sneer/

Lyn

23/03/2011Hi Ad A fairly honest report, on the Anti Carbon tax rally by Naomi Woodley ABc: I heard Greg Combet in Parliament, and thought his words to Mr Abbott were brilliant. [i]Anti-carbon tax rally attacks get personal, Mark Colvin, ABC News[/i] [quote]The organisers claimed a turnout of 4,000 to 5,000. [b]Observers thought it was more like 2,000-3,000[/b]. Standing in front of a banner reading "Ju-liar - Bob Brown's bitch", the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told the rally he did believe that humans were contributing to climate change but he said the current debate was a matter of political honesty. MALE PROTESTER: Ditch the bitch! Ditch the bitch! Ditch the bitch! Personal attacks on the Prime Minister were a feature. She was also the focus for the National's Senate leader, Barnaby Joyce. In Parliament today: In all seven MPs were thrown out for an hour and the Manager of Opposition Business, Christopher Pyne, was suspended for 24 hours. GREG COMBET: The decision by the Leader of the Opposition to associate himself with the placards we saw today, the messages that have been provided and the groups that have participated, is unbefitting a leader of a major political party in this country. You should dissociate yourself. http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2011/s3171851.htm[/quote]

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011I have had a great sign idea: 'I believe in Climate Change and I Vote'.

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011Jason, I notice ABolt conveniently forgot to mention Barnaby Bjelke-Petersen's 'shrill tone'. Talk about the Ugly Australian. :)

Lyn

23/03/2011Hi Jason Thankyou so much for the Bolta link, amazing, astounding. Mr Bolt should knows about inciting anger. Mr Abbott would be responsible, for anyone getting hurt, he made the crowd angry, also B. Joyce, awful, disgrace to Australia. What a disgusting, badly behaved, mob at Abbott's rally, 'jenauthor's' email is excellent. Thankyou Jason.

Feral Skeleton

23/03/2011I have had another sign brainwave: 'Sophie Mirabella is Tony Abbott's...' :)

Casablanca

23/03/2011Chris Uhlmann so disgusted me when he interviewed Sen. Bob Brown on Tuesday night that I found myself yelling "Shut-up Chris" at the screen. I very rarely lose my cool like that but his arrogance, lack of courtesy, "gotcha" approach and constant talking over the top of Sen Brown was unacceptable. I thought that Chris behaved as if he was putting together an audition tape for News Ltd or maybe even to return to radio, this time as a shock jock. Like you, Ad Astra, I have often wondered if Chris is going too far the other way in order not to be accused of being a Labor Party apparatchik. OTOH he must be a total embarrassment to the good Member for Canberra, Ms Gai Brodtmann. It could be interesting pillow talk in the Brodtmann/Ulhmann household to say the very least. "How was your day today dear"? 'Oh! Usual sort of day, a Caucus meeting, couple of Joint Statutory Ctte meetings, Electorate duties. What about you Chris?' "Ah! I really stuck it to Bob Brown last night on 7.30 and showed him who was boss. I asked him some real doozies and he just kept coming out with stupid statements like 'take it off the polluters and make sure you look after the people'.. and.. and when I said that the German ‘green’ jobs cost 205,000 Euros he had no real answer. He just made this crazy statement that our fossil fuel industry gets $11b in subsidies. I mean who cares?” “And tonight I talked up the numbers at that amusing rally against the Labor Party's silly idea that we have too much CO2 in the atmosphere. I said there were 'battalions of cars' – that was a brilliant phrase I reckon. I hope that Leigh Sales breaks a leg cos I’m just the best for 7.30. You know I watch Chris Pyne in QT and how he makes interjections and I sort of model myself on him a bit and the Liberal Party guys are so nice..they share their talking points with me sometimes. You awake Gai”? ‘ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ’ "Geez, Laurie Oakes is becoming a real wus the way he sort of tut tutted over what Tony said today".

D Mick Weir

23/03/2011Nasking @ March 23. 2011 08:11 PM [i]Chris Uhlmann's exaggeration of the numbers, "battalions of cars", and beatup of the whole sordid affair was disgraceful. [/i] Frrom Wikipedia: [i]A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,300 soldiers ... [/i] OK Mr Uhlmann may be guilty of a bit of hyperbloe and could be advised to have said 'battallions of protesters' but I am not sure that it is 'fair' for you to comment that it was a beatup. I didn't see the report so I can't fairly comment. During my meanderings across this wide brown land today I was travelling through Canberra around 2:00 pm (I wasn't anywhere near the rally when it was in full swing). This much I can tell you, as I drove towards Parliament House there were what appeared to me many more cars than would be normal for that time of day travelling north (away from PH). There were also quite a few people, with banners furled, walking across Lake Burley Griffin toward the city. Again more pedestrians than I would have thought normal for that time of day. I also counted eleven coaches/buses travelling north as I went in the opposite direction. It would be 'correct' to say there were battalions of protesters.

Casablanca

23/03/2011ALP site crashes 30 seconds after Greg Hunt on Lateline challenges the ALP to remove the reference to Abbott as behaving like "Goebbels"

TalkTurkey

23/03/2011Adelaide Revolt Report #2 Today the Dynamic Duo of Generalissimo Obelix and I, his intrepid lieutenant Gobbelix (doubling as your faithful reporter) donned battle gear and headed for the Climate Change Deniers rally on the steps of Parliament House. Obelix resplendent in his Drizabone armour, and Gobbelix disguised as a Public Servant SANFL tie and all, but with an erectible sword-shield disguised as an umbrella, confronted the crowd of 75 motley legionaires of the Climate Change Deniers Brigade, mainly in their late middle age or dottier - Age 50+ average counting a few young recruits, a very strange looking mix indeed. Rain was falling almost wetly, but the two sides THEM and US stood our ground staunchly as battle was about to be joined . . . At one stage I Gobbelix unfurled my foam box-top banner bearing my battle device, writ large: ABBORTT! ABBORTT! ABBORTT! and mounted the steps displaying it in a bold pass between the rolling Media cameras and the ranting speakers. Many of the enemy watched on in some astonishment, but they couldn't quite decide whether the R was a mistake or not . . . But a certain ranga spy sheila who was at the last demo (where they had 15, and two little kids) got her eye on me and was on her phone about me in a flash . . . heh heh . . . ( This actually happened btw I kid you not but Obelix didn't see it, he'd left the field of battle for a slash down the Railway Station! The nasty mob tried a chant or two, yelling out Witch and Liar and Bitch and like endearments of Good Queen Boadicea. They seemed gormless but they were obviously drawn together loosely by their hatefulness, so from the footpath where they had marshalled, they stormed the Parliament House steps for a photo-op, and held their position for nearly four minutes before the meeting broke up and they went home for a nap. They looked quite sad and pathetic, but mean and ill-natured to a fault. Not a giggle or joke the whole time either from the psweak speakers nor the *crowd*. One old bloke standing a bit aside and back, nicely sports-coat-dressed including having a ?coster-monger's? golf-ish hat same exactly as what I like to wear and which I had on, waited on a minute watching on as the crowd melted away. He looked too eddicated to be one of THEM, I thought, so since he was too old to want to hit me I asked him, with deliberate incredulity in my inflection, if he was like-minded to these people. He said well yes he was, but he wasn't impressed with the organisation he said, and disappointed with the attendance. I told him I was delighted - I wasn't exactly rude - and I told him, well at least your hat is smart. He wasn't so bad, but it seemed to me he was too friendly to want to be with these angry nasty people. Someone should take him aside and tell him what sort of people they are. They're bloody crazed. That's the scary fact of it. Go to whoa, well it started at 10-30AM and by 12 Noon Obelix and I were raising our traditional draught in the local ale-house. "To think that We, and We alone, Could put so many foes to rout!" It's not funny though. As I write some turkey, oops, is saying what the world needs is more carbon dioxide, they are VERY dangerous to world survival. Oh yeah and they're calling *J*U*L*I*A* LiarBird, NO, that's MY real ID as I revealed before! As well as Gobbelix I guess now. Gee that word *J*U*L*I*A* looks pretty don't it!

TalkTurkey

23/03/2011DMW said OK Mr Uhlmann may be guilty of a bit of hyperbloe (sic) 'Hyperbloe' is RIGHT! I heard him myself! Battalions eh. You stick to your dictionary definitions if you like D Mick. In 2003 100,000 people took to the streets of Adelaide in protest against the impending threatened and soon-to-be actual invasion of Iraq. Now that's a battalion. BTW If I'd'a been in the ACT I'd'a gone to the Revolt too, to scoff. These are mostly educated people in the ACT, not rednecks, and I bet about a third of them were there to scoff. Even if it seemed to swell the battalion.

Casablanca

23/03/2011'Shades of Goebbels in 'truth campaign' Mark Dreyfus. SMH Friday, 11 March 2011 http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/blogs/the-dreyfus-files/shades-of-goebbels-in-truth-campaign/20110311-1bq45.html. Cross posted at the ALP website: http://www.alp.org.au/blogs/alp-blog/march-2011/shades-of-goebbels-in--truth-campaign--%281%29/ As they say, he who mentions Hitler first loses. With the benefit of hindsight an intelligent former Barrister and Queen’s Counsel like Mark Dreyfus, Member for Isaacs, might rue giving away this free kick. His otherwise good article was published by SMH on 11 March 2011 and cross posted on the ALP site. I guess that the LNP have been a bit too busy painting banners for today’s Anti-tax Rally to notice Dreyfus' article when it first appeared 12 days ago. Obviously, the reference to George Orwell’s 1984 in para 1 (see below) did not offend as much as “Goebellian cynicism” in the final para (see below). Emphasises added. Para 1: After witnessing two weeks of what Tony Abbott has now described as a ''truth campaign'' against the government's plans to introduce a carbon price, AUSTRALIANS COULD BE FORGIVEN FOR THINKING IT'S NOT 2011, BUT 1984. Final Para: Abbott's wildest claim is that he is running a ''truth campaign''. LEAVING ASIDE THE GOEBBELLIAN CYNICISM OF LABELLING A SCARE CAMPAIGN A ''TRUTH CAMPAIGN'', I THINK IT SHOWS ABBOTT'S CONTEMPT FOR THE AUSTRALIAN ELECTORATE. His gaze is so firmly fixed on the prize of power that he is blind to the damage he is causing to the strength of our political system and the quality of debate. It is contemptuous to simply not answer real questions, to dismiss valid criticism without reasoning, to deflect real argument with personal attack. Here are some Free Kicks invited by the reference to Goebbles: Dragonfly from Wollongong at ALP site says: “Not happy with this crap -- we are not on Facebook. Hitler returns in form of ALP”. CityWorker | Melbourne - March 11, 2011, 11:39AM at SMH: “Slurs that liken Tony Abbott to Goebbels hardly help to improve the tennor (sic) of the debate. Ms Ju-liar Gillardhaffi would probably agree with me.” Shades of rush of blood to the head by Dreyfus perhaps!

D Mick Weir

23/03/2011Ad, an interesting piece and well written as usual. I suggest though, that you may well be 'over egging the pudding' in your criticism of Hartcher. [i]This is Hartcher’s opinion, derived from the facts, but opinion nevertheless.[/i] I didn't see the paper version of the article but reckon it is more than likely that it was on the opinion/commentary pages of the paper. On the National Times Hartcher is listed as a 'Columnist'. It would seem appropriate to me to read the piece as commentary not as reporting. I will agree that often [i]' ... slipping in opinion so that it appears almost as a fact. [/i] is something that happens all too often but I didn't read the article as fact but as commentary. [i]“The party's looming death as a stand-alone political entity is the biggest story in contemporary Australian politics.” [/i] Debatable that it is the 'biggest' story but certainly one of great import. If it does come to pass that Labor is not able to govern in its' own right at the next election or after it is possible that the party could go through another 'great split' and tear itself apart and cast itself into the 'wilderness' for 'Menzian' like periods. Therefore it is important for 'true believers' to consider and discuss it and not be blind to the possibilities. It is intersting to me that many commenters here and elsewhere get stuck into Mr Abbott and others on the 'opposite side' when they say something not 'totally true' or contradictory yet get appalled as soon as the Prime Minister or her colleagues are called out for doing the same. [i]... Gillard's assertion that Labor had been ‘re-elected’. It was not. [/i] This absolutely correct. Labor was not relected in its' own right and it is stretching the truth to say it was. To have coniptions over Hartchers comment says more about those getting upset than it does about Hartcher or his comment. My mother used to say [i]You have two ears and one mouth, it is best to use them in that proportion.[/i] Unfortunately a lot of us have ten fingers and often let them 'run off at the keyboard' in that sort of proportion when we see 'one of our own' supposedly wronged. The Harcher piece was IMHO was a bit over the top but some of the responses to it have been more so. To use a 'slogan' out of context [b]It's Time[/b] For true believers to take off the blinkers, open both eyes and ears and accept all is not well on the good ship Labor. Doug Evans @ March 23. 2011 04:21 PM I hadn't noted until just now that you had used the term [i]over-egging[/i] prior to me. Oh well take the plagarism as a compliment; please :) You have made some good points. Thank you. I am not sure it is as dire as you see it YET. It could easily go that though. On a more positive note. Today I picked up the latest Quarterly Essay and the fine cast of characters that have responded to George Megalognis' Trivial Pursuit Eassy suggests some very interesting reading and I am looking forward to finding some diamonds in the rough among the writings.

D Mick Weir

23/03/2011TT @ March 23. 2011 11:19 PM Absolutely loved your on the ground report. Would love to see some video of Jason and his ABBORTT! sign and reactions to it!!! Your writings are often 'diamonds in the rough'. Well done. 11:34 PM [i]hyperbloe (sic) [/i] Sometimes a typo can be most appropriate. :)

D Mick Weir

24/03/2011One of my most favourite bloggers, Paul Barratt @ Australian Observer has been MIA of late. He doesn't blog often but when he does it is well worth the read. His latest: [b]Radiation Dose Chart[/b] http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2011/03/radiation-dose-chart.html is well worth the read. I learnt some new and surprising facts.

TalkTurkey

24/03/2011DMW said: "Would love to see some video of Jason and his ABBORTT! sign and reactions to it!!!" Jason's Obelix. I'm Gobbelix. Reread my post. He was the one that went for a slash. Ay and whaddya mean *rough*?!

TalkTurkey

24/03/2011Didja see that very strange sign one of the Revolting crowd had, MY MOTHER IS COLD Didja? Cmon Swordies, what's the best answer you can come up with? As many suggestions as you like . . . eg 1. Diddums! Come to Daddy! or 2. And is she all stiff too? et cetera Love to get some funny replies. Bit o' brainwork? Gee there are some awful people there in those incited crowds though. Really bent out of shape. Quite serious cases some of them, dangerous, capable of anything. Fanatics, potentially violent. This is not to be underestimated. They are modelling themselves deliberately on Tea Party tactics, and damn, Sarah Palin is just the sort of thing Yanks might do . . . Like they done RayGuns . . . And Gee Dubya . . ! . . DOG FORBID HER!

Feral Skeleton

24/03/2011How anyone could be proud to hold up a sign like this, I don't know: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_sw0DuWsZj0M/TYk32iP8tZI/AAAAAAAAAVA/RtHb4-1zP8o/2011-03-23%2010.41.11.jpg I also note that the ever sleazy Tony Abbott is conveniently distancing himself from such scumbags today. Just like he does everytime he sanctions one of his Coalition goons to go out and 'slag and bag' the Prime Minister, like, for example, Tony's *itch, Sophie Mirabella. Oh how I despise that man. Ever since Uni when there was no low too low to which he would stoop in order to advance himself at the SRC I have watched him push himself forward by whatever means necessary, in the tradition of all the worst monomaniacal megalomaniacs. The reasonable face he assumes to suit his purposes is but a facade. So far the electorate has not been fooled. I hope and pray that continues to be the case.

Feral Skeleton

24/03/2011Per Ardua, Re the 68-67 vote to name Christopher Pyne yesterday. It appears the reason it was so close was that Rob Oakeshott and Tony Crook voted with the Coalition(and if I were Rob Oakeshott and knew how he was being undermined in his own seat by the Coalition I certainly wouldn't have, but there you go), and Tony Windsor, Adam Bandt voted with the government. I'm not sure how Bob Katter and Andrew Wilkie swung. Still, an extremely close vote and one in which Harry Jenkins would have had to stand down as Speaker if it had been lost, which I didn't know. :/

Lyn

24/03/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the QT: The signs are not good, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] a guy who in the latest Newspoll has a dissatisfaction rating of 54%, the way to win back the moderate supporters is not done by standing on a stage being framed by a sign saying “JuLiar is Bob Browns BITCH” http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]No 16. SUPPING WITH THE DEVIL , Grugsheet[/i] If he goes on this way for too much longer, Abbott will be finished. Mixing with gun freaks and neo-Nazis? Maybe he's the Mad Monk after all. http://grubsheet.blogspot.com/2011/03/no-16-supping-with-devil.html [i]No denying it — there’s denial everywhere, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] In the confines of parliament house, Abbott insists to his colleagues climate change is real and humans contribute to it. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/23/theres-no-denying-it-theres-denial-everywhere/ [i]Aunty apologises to Pyne — again — over offensive Q&A tweet, Tom Crowie, Crikey[/i] An Aunty spokeswoman confirmed to Crikey the program had contacted Pyne’s officeto apologise after it was agreed the tweet could have caused offence http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/22/aunty-apologises-to-pyne-again-over-offensive-qa-tweet/ [i]Seven million references are offensive, Richard Farmer, The Stump[/i] So Christopher Pyne objected to Prime Minister Julia Gillard describing Tony Abbott as a climate change denier http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2011/03/22/seven-million-references-are-offensive/ [i]living in a liberal world ,Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] So their attempts to strong-arm the Australian political system in order to install Christian values is going to been as not the way to go. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/03/living-in-a-lib.php#more [i]Let them out before they escape, Ken Parish, Club Troppo[/i] More accurately it’s cynical playing to the populist gallery on a par with Tony Abbott’s deplorably low standards on most things http://clubtroppo.com.au/ [i]On the day of the Canberra carbon Tax protest...some sense, Peter Martin[/i] Rod Sims, expert advisor to the Multi Party Climate Change Committee. http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Julia Gillard doesn’t believe in God, the monarchy or marriage. So why is she attending the royal wedding, Mamamia[/i] Next, he’ll be asking why Christians attend Jewish weddings, why gay people attend straight weddings http://www.mamamia.com.au/weblog/2011/03/julia-gillard-doesnt-believe-in-god-the-monarchy-or-marriage-so-why-is-she-attending-the-royal-wedding.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=julia-gillard-doesnt-believe-in-god-the-monarchy-or-marriage-so-why-is-she-attending-the-royal-wedding [i]Can Campbell Newman be Opposition Leader while not an MP?, Antony Green ABC[/i] Unless he is in Parliament, Newman clearly cannot be Leader of the Opposition in a formal sense that attracts a parliamentary salary. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2011/03/can-campbell-newman-be-opposition-leader-while-not-an-mp.html [i]Newman's state aspirations create new dynamics, Andrew Bartlett, Unleashed[/i] alternative premier at the next Queensland election is an interesting - some would say courageous - move. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45470.html?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Can do’ Campbell can win Queensland for the LNP, Tim Badrick[/i]Campbell Newman is almost certain to win the seat of Ashgrove and the next Queensland state election for the LNP, http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/can-do-campbell-can-win-queensland-for-the-lnp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-do-campbell-can-win-queensland-for-the-lnp [i]Newspoll and rallies of crazies: trouble for Tony, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Bob Brown condemns the vile signs Abbott was standing in front of at the rally and expresses a hope Tony Abbott will apologise. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]Malcolm Turnbull's regrets, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] from a comment on the last post, though, could anyone who’s not off the planet lead the crazed and manic rabble that is now the federal Liberal party? http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/03/23/malcolm-turnbulls-regrets/ [i]Hitting the footpaths for the No Carbon Tax rally, Tom Cowie and Andrew Crook, Crikey[/i] The mostly white, mostly elderly crowd trudged toward state parliament, occasionally muttering curse words like “Julia”, “Joo-liar” http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/23/hitting-the-footpaths-for-the-no-carbon-tax-rally/ [i]Deniers Drop in on Canberra, HarrangueMan[/i] The Ju Liar tag courtesy of Alan Jones, Jones who sprayed invective at the PM during a recent phone interview, where the prissy Jones was all ruffled http://harrangueman.blogspot.com/ [i]Abbott's speech in front of vile poster[/i] http://twitpic.com/4cc2dy [i]Not a debate , Roger Wegener[/i] If Monsignori Abbott and Co really wanted to impose a right wing ideology then they should go spend a year or two in Italy or France http://roger-wegener.blogspot.com/2011/03/not-debate.html

Lyn

24/03/2011Hi Ad One more article just came in, for "Today's Links" [i]Abbott’s leadership has finished., Ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] If this is where Abbott looks to for his support, then his leadership has finished. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2011/03/24/abbotts-leadership-has-finished/

Doug Evans

24/03/2011AA Minding grandchildren so didn't see Question Time but quite believe Julia Gillard would perform strongly. I'm pleased if she makes something of this term and will be delighted (and surprised) if she gets another term. I certainly don't want the other mob in power. As far as I'm concerned (as a community climate change activist) all will be forgiven if her government manages to pass a half way useful ETS package. In this respect I reckon Abbott and his goons have badly over-reached and will go backwards from here on this issue. It may be that this alone will get Gillard Labor another term. Unfortunately on this I very much doubt the government's capacity to hold the line against the horde of industry advocates trying to (again) grab every last cent. This being the case I doubt we will get a useful (read climatically effective) proposal this time either. Milne, Brown and Bandt will fight the good fight but when push comes to shove the government will cave into the big polluters. Labor has no desire for another brawl with the big boys and key Labor figures Combet, Gillard and Swan are of the right - free marketeers one and all. I know Gillard started on the left but where is she now? Have you read her piece in this morning's Age? I'm still digesting that. I think the government will give the polluters absolutely as much as they possibly can and a bit more. The real reason as with Rudd's CPRS will be to stop the extractive industries and generators campaigning against Labor in tricky seats, primarily in Queensland, WA and rural NSW. The stated reason will be the importance of protecting the jobs of ordinary Australians. All talk of the new jobs that can be created in the green industries of our future highlighted by the report from the Climate Institute will be swept aside. I have no knowledge of the contents of the petition that Ged Kearney from the ACTU and John Hepburn (?) from WWF presented to government but it would be interesting to know what would constitute an acceptable package for the Union movement. Surely 'protect our members' jobs if you value our support' would be high on their list. AS her Age article again indicates this morning Gillard is already trying to position herself for this outcome by portraying her government as the reasonable middle ground between the denier ratbags and imagined deep green extremists both of which would wreck the Australian economy. What will wreck the Australian economy of course is failing to act in a manner that actually promotes emissions reductions and there is every reason in the little announcements from Greg Combet and Julia Gillard about carbon prices and job protection to suspect that this is where they are heading. Please note the environment movement (together with The Greens)does not advocate wholesale destruction of the jobs of miners and power station workers. Justice and appropriate compensation for affected communities is central to this discussion. I wouldn't mind a little bet that this is how the government is intending to discredit the environment movement and NGOs however as they scramble to cosy up to their cashed up minders. I could go on and on and similarly could start on asylum seeker policy, same sex marriage etc etc but there are only so many hours in a life time and I do like to get away from the keyboard occasionally. It gives me no pleasure to criticize this government in this way but in rapidly darkening times it is important that we see what we are confronted with as clearly as possible. Choosing between the major parties at the moment is clearly a matter of choosing the least worst option for Australia's future. That the opposition is disgusting (and they certainly are) does not justify ignoring this government's manifold weaknesses. It is after all not just our ABC but our country and our future that is at stake. DMW thanks for comment

Doug Evans

24/03/2011Hi all This email from Green peace doing the rounds. Anyone with a bit of spare time could strike a useful blow for democracy by following up on this.It looks like the sort of action 'Political Sworders' would approve of and enjoy. --------------------------------------------------------------- Hi all, It is time we started to hit back at the climate deniers in the way that they hammer climate scientists. There are a handful of talkback radio stations that spread lies and outright bull#*$% about climate change and whip up community opposition to action. As it turns out, there are laws against blatant lying in the media - so we should use them. We've prepared a quick action guide to help people lodge complaints against media outlets. Next time you hear Alan Jones saying that climate change isn't happening, lodge a formal complaint. This isn't really new - but it turns out nobody has been doing it. So lets get to it! http://bit.ly/hQFQ0t

Feral Skeleton

24/03/2011Re the 'My Mom(sic) is Cold' placard. Using torturous logic I get to a meaning by thinking that the person in question, in some sort of unintended Oedipal fashion, is twisting a colloquialism, 'My Mom(sic) is Hot'(which, when you consider the spelling of the word 'Mom' alludes to the possibility that this sign was lifted from an American Climate Sceptic website). Now, because the Global Warming Sceptics don't believe the Earth is heating up I guess that sign, by turning the colloquialism on its head, is making that point, curiously.

Ad astra reply

24/03/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

TalkTurkey

24/03/2011FS You're right! It WAS "Mom". Isn't that pathetic! Copied from Tea Partyers! I had misremembered. 5AA is as I write entertaining the criminal lying creep "Lord" Christopher Monckton. Obelix was going to drop a menhir on him but he was allowed to lie and slag off the Government and Gillard and the carbon tax, aided and abetted and encouraged by the braying sycophantic spitlicking "interviewer" whom I won't name, not worth it, and scuttle off without taking questions or comments. I won't ever listen to 5AA again. Obelix shouldn't either. It's bad for one's blood pressure, I kid you not. Oh in this second half hour the sleaze merchant is taking comments. Such horrible stuff! I wonder if Obelix (Jason)will get a chance to make a comment. I want to switch it off but I'll wait to see if he does. Then never again. Monckton should be in gaol.

TalkTurkey

24/03/2011Obelix rang to tell me that on ABC radio 891 the organiser of yestersday's pathetic rally at Parlt House adelaide claimed that they had 200 people there. I rang up the program, (didn't get on the air but told the program producer there were 75 by my count and if anyone can produce a photo of that rally with more than 100 people I'll give their organisation $100. She said they do broadcast comments but I bet they don't b/cast mine. Whose ABC?

TalkTurkey

24/03/2011APOLOGY TO LORD MONCKTON On my own reconsideration I retract my use of the term "criminal" of Lord Monckton. I don't know if he has been convicted of actual criminality and if he hasn't I tender my genuine and sincere apology for my wording. It wasn't what I meant. I mean that I consider his climate change denialism to be planet-crime, and from that I do not resile.

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24/03/2011Folks You have certainly been active overnight and this morning and I'll respond where appropriate. But I have several commitments later in the day so it may take a while. D Mick Weir I'm starting by responding to your thoughtful comment about the 'Hartcherism' piece. First, the version of his article I used was from the online [i]SMH[/i]. It was written under the tab 'Politics'. Whether that makes it an opinion piece I have no idea. Rupert Murdoch would argue that 'opinion' is as newsworthy as the facts. I have argued over and again that while journalists are of course entitled to an opinion and to express it, they ought to distinguish between what is their opinion, and what is verifiable fact. Too often they fail to do this. I felt Hartcher's piece failed in this respect in several places. Both you and Doug Evans believe my 'Hartcherism' piece is over-egged. While I disagree, I respect your opinions. Perhaps it would helpful if I told you of my mindset as I digested and responded to the Hartcher article. As I read it I was outraged that a usually balanced journalist could write a piece which wrote off the Labor Government and our PM from beginning to end, except of course for his caveat: "Unless, of course, it can engineer an extraordinary resurgence", possibly a way out for him later. Look at his heading and his first paragraph where he talks of 'the party's looming death…' Not one shred of doubt there - 'that's all folks'. I asked myself how he could announce this as a matter of fact before he got round to advancing one jot of evidence. I suppose he would be excused on the grounds of 'journalistic license', but why not say: 'I have reached the conclusion that the death of the Labor Party's is looming, and here's why.' I would have been all ears, or eyes, to see what his argument was, what facts he would assembly to support his opinion. But what did we get? What we got was Hartcher's dissection of a brief acknowledgement Julia Gillard made on Karl Bitar's departure. Were Gillard's 'twenty words' a carefully considered political statement such that she would make over a policy issue? Hartcher took it as if they were and pedantically dissected and condemned them, and sounded annoyed, if not affronted, in the process. It seemed to me to be a trivial analysis about what I imagine was an off-the-cuff statement by Gillard. Like a dog worrying a bone her chewed as much from it as he could to support his case that death was looming for Labor. I thought: 'Is this the best an experienced journalist could muster as evidence?' He then said: "Gillard is taking Labor backwards at a dizzying pace". No evidence was advanced to support this opinion. Look at his words: 'taking Labor backwards', and 'at a dizzying pace'. Reflect on the imagery - Gillard propelling Labor down hill at breakneck speed. Some journalists opine that 'Gillard is struggling'; others that she has a monumental task ahead of her, but Hartcher tells us there WILL be a disastrous crash that will send Labor to 'oblivion'. Yet the evidence he advances to support his view is fragmentary and fragile. He even resurrects the old chestnuts: 'greatest moral challenge…' 'the mining tax' which is still on the table, the 'Timor solution' that will be discussed by the Bali group next week, and 'the abandonment of serious action on climate change with her "citizens' assembly", just at the time when serious action on climate change is at fever pitch. It's pretty feeble justification for any of his unequivocal prognostications of doom and oblivion for Labor. He goes on in this vein, and just when I was anticipating a conclusion, a resolution of this disaster for Labor, he gets into Tony Abbott so vigorously that he left no doubt that he, and presumably the Coalition, is no alternative. So he left his readers hanging in mid air - he had written off both Gillard and Abbott, but offered no alternative. Altogether, I found his piece unworthy of an experienced journalist that has shown that he can write lucid well argued articles. I wondered what had got into him - he seemed so cross. Of course there is a more cynical explanation - that this article was simply a piece of bait fostered by the paper's proprietor to stir the pot and attract readers, and I guess I took the bait. But I thought Hartcher was above such provocative behaviour. The other aspect that really irritated me and suggested the title of my piece, was Hartcher's gymnastics, flipping here, jumping there, swinging over here. I found his sequencing as dizzying as he finds Julia Gillard's 'taking Labor backwards'. I felt disappointed that a journalist of Hartcher's ability and experience could put together such a ragtag article, light on facts, poorly argued and redolent with his nihilistic opinion, which dominated the piece. Hartcher ought to be able to do much better than that. I have acerbically dissected post-[i]Newspoll[/i] articles by Dennis Shanahan, but never have I done this to Peter Hartcher, who previously has shown well honed journalistic skills. The fact that I did reflects my outrage with this particular piece. Finally, it would be a mistake if this comment is interpreted as evidence of blind faith in everything Julia Gillard and her Government does. She and her Government have made mistakes and will in the future, but overall I believe she is doing a fine job in the face of the most destructive opposition, the most pugilistic Opposition Leader in recent history.

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24/03/2011TT, jason Many thanks for your account of the Adelaide 'revolt'. More revolting though is the promotion of Lord Monckton via 5AA. It seems as if the deniers, skeptics and those who will gain advantage if the carbon tax fails or an ETS does not eventuate, such as coal miners and some industries and of course the Coalition, are banding together is a massive concerted push to defeat this legislation's passage. They realize that they have only to 1 July before the Senate changes, and look like they are going for broke.

Feral Skeleton

24/03/2011I'm just putting the following quote which is doing the rounds of the conservative Tweeters today, down here for posterity and to see if anyone out there can track back to Martin Parkinson's exact words today in order to get to the bottom of this latest Anti Carbon Tax line that the Opposition and their fanboys have cooked up. Here it is: [quote]Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson has confirmed China's emissions will increase by about 500% by 2020. Carbon Tax is pointless.[/quote]

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24/03/2011Doug Evans Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I haven't had time to read PM Gillard's piece in The Age but will. It would be disappointing if Labor rolled over to the wishes of the wealthy miners and businesses, but I prefer to believe that while compromises are bound to be necessary, capitulation to powerful commercial forces is unlikely and of course would be unacceptable, that is if we are seriously intending to reduce our carbon emissions substantially and set Australia up for the low emission economy that we need

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24/03/2011Folks I'll be out for a few hours. Back later this afternoon.

Lyn

24/03/2011Hi Ad A few more links of interest. It is looking like Abbott has upset a lot of people this time. Michelle Grattan's article ,is in every local paper Australia wide, hundreds and hundreds of local newspapers. [i]Abbott cycles away from questions , Bigpond News [/i]Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has hopped on his bike to avoid reporters keen to quiz him about the abusive behaviour of protesters at http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2011/03/24/Abbott_cycles_away_from_questions_592725.html [i]Abbott in The Age and The Australian – an Amusing Contrast,[/i] Margaret Simmons, The Content Makers The Australian? The headline is “Key Adviser sees risk in carbon tax” . No photos of rallies on the front page. Turn to page four, and you find a photo of Abbott in front of the rally, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/contentmakers/2011/03/24/abbott-in-the-age-and-the-australian-an-amusing-contrast/ [i]Abbott fell into obvious trap, Michelle Grattan[/i] Having urged and predicted a ''people's revolt'', Tony Abbott was left with little choice but to front the people when they came to Canberra. That was unfortunate - it made for ugly politics, which could rebound on him. http://www.bellingencourier.com.au/blogs/national-comment/abbott-fell-into-obvious-trap/2113000.aspx

nasking

24/03/2011[quote]He may argue that he didn't see them, but he had plenty of his shadow cabinet - Warren Truss, Sophie Mirabella and others to tell him; there is simply no excuse for his conduct.[/quote] Couldn't agree more Aa. As a leader of a party he chose to ignore the placards...as did the other Coalition members w/ him. We know that politicians are very aware of their surroundings when they give a speech...as are their minders...and are usually careful to the point of compulsive about the way their messages are portrayed. If Tony Abbott was careless...then it a another negative sign...and points to a pattern of behaviour. If Tony Abbott had every intention of speaking w/ those signs in the background...and Pauline Hanson in the crowd...then he has demonstrated once again that he is an extremist...and community divider...and in league w/ some he denounced previously. Either way, it goes to show that Tony Abbott is not capable of making rational decisions that have the overall public interest in mind. This is a volatile & too oft irrational man in the public sphere...who is dragging public debate into territory that is unbecoming of a leader. Like the shock jocks, he is catering to the extreme links to his party...and proving once again that he is not a leader for all Australians. It was very disappointing to hear the likes of Greg Hunt & other usually moderate Liberals sticking up for him this morning. I am beginning to take some of them less seriously because of their constant mimicking of Abbott's divisive style...and the fact they play apologist instead of being real and recognising the inappropriate approach Abbott is taking...that will create a rod for the party's back down the road. Winning is not everything. Some comment that Abbott is "brilliant" at using negatives and attention seeking tactics to get his tricky denialist & wrecker message out there...in grabbing headlines. There are plenty of adolescents who do similar in classrooms...and in homes. It doesn't mean they are right. Or should be excused. ---------- Cheers Lyn. And thnx for all the useful links. Great effort on yer part. N'

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24/03/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your links posted this afternoon about the 'revolt'. In my opinion Tony Abbott has further damaged his standing, but it would be premature to suggest that he is finished. With a forgiving News Limited media, they will be only to willing to pass off his performance as 'just Tony - you know he's quite a character, but very genuine'. [i]Crikey[/i] revealed that while [i]The Age[/i] displayed pictures of Tony Abbott and the offending posters on its front page and had two articles, by MIchelle Grattan and Tony Wright, [i]The Australian[/i]relegated them to page four preferring instead to feature an anti-Government piece on its front page. So here we have a quite deliberate attempt by the News Limited's flagship to play down the event, obviously believing it to be damaging to pin up boy Tony. Eventually the voters who really count, the swinging voters, will add together all Abbott's misdemeanours and ask if this man is suitable for Prime Ministership. Who knows when they will decide that enough is enough and reject him and his party, but my view is that there are likely lots of swingers that have already decided against him, and he can't afford to lose all those voters. Today he decided the best form of defence was attack, which is all he does, and what he did again with another of his 'suspending standing orders in QT' attack on PM Gillard. This is his last fling in QT for a while. We won't see him anymore there for nine peaceful weeks. It is amazing to me that his minders did not workshop with him how to handle the revolt. Blind Freddy would know that there would be nasty posters with which he would not find it suitable to associate, yet he went ahead, seemingly unprepared for what happened, or perhaps not caring much about what might eventuate. Then he had Warren Truss, Sophie Mirabella and Bronwyn Bishop beside him and Barnaby Joyce hanging around, so did none of them realize that their idol was being filmed against the poster background? I can't believe none of them saw the problem for Abbott, and if they did, failed to warn him. The result today is that the heavy focus on this matter has taken the edge of the 'liar' issue, although it is still extant, and the carbon tax has faded somewhat into the background. Surely this was not the result for which he was hoping. The image of Abbott in front of those posters will be burned into peoples memories. Although he and his ministers are trying to make light of it, even to the extent of calling Julia Gillard 'precious', the voters will have made up their mind, except for the rusted-on Coalition supporters and fellow travellers such as One Nation, the Shooters' Party [i]et al[/i], and will likely have marked him down sharply. His unpopularity is already high; unless something happens to reverse the adverse effect of this unsavoury episode, his popularity will sink still further. This is becoming a real liability to the Coalition; when will they decide that they have enough of this erratic, unpredictable foot-in-mouth leader and replace him?

Casablanca

24/03/2011Tony Abbott again spewing out weezel words on 7.30 tonight. Chris Ulhmann put in a slightly better performance than his efforts earlier in the week.

Graeme

24/03/2011Nasking. Wrt the previous thread, I certainly don't think of myself as a tinfoil hatter, but I do think I cut quite a dashing figure in a Trilby. It just happened that one of the words in Recaptcha in an earlier post was'considered', and that's how I like to think of myself. I look at the evidence and come to a considered conclusion. I consider my comments before I post them, and do the same for whatever replies I get. I have caught occasional snatches of PBS News Hour on SBS and agree that it seems a quality service. I have the 24 hour Al Jazeera service on pay TV. Completely off topic, can anyone define 'low to middle income earners' for me? Someone once told my OH that we were well off, but we disagreed and said we were 'comfortable'. I have a sneaking suspicion that we aren't as comfortable as I thought.

sawdustmick

24/03/2011Ad, I watcher QT and Abbott's reference during his usual playtime fiasco to suspend standing orders to attack the PM using the the term precious. He and his fat mate Shrek for the next 15 minutes rain down the most hostile abuse on the PM who had to sit there in silence waiting for her chance to reply. By the way most if not all of the Government sat through Abbott's abused in silence. The PM then began her rebuttal and argument against Abbott's claims and when Abbott did not like what he was hearing from the PM, Mr Precious jumps up to the dispatch box in an attempt to have the PM silenced only to be sat back on his arse by the Speaker. Then out from under his rock crawls the manager of opposition business Christopher Pain and approaches the dispatch box on a point of order. Get this folks Pine was not even in the chamber when Abbott and Shrek were screaming abuse at the PM and requests the the Speaker bring the PM back to the debate on Carbon Tax. Harry Jenkins with smoke coming out of his ears in not uncertain terms told this little dick to resume his seat and informed him more of less how the hell would he know what the debate was about you were not in the room at the time. Poor Tones he enjoys dishing it out to the PM in arguably in the most abusive manner that any PM had to endure and when the PM gives as good if not better that she got, Precious yells "Foul" to the umpire.

Casablanca

24/03/2011Feral Skeleton@ March 23. 2011 02:02 PM You have raised Kenneth George Wyatt, Member for Hasluck to the deaconate. According to his Biography page on the Member’s website his highest academic achievement is BEd (Churchlands CAE). I don’t see any mention of an Honorary Doctorate there unless it is part of his being a Fellow, Edith Cowan University 2005. Do you know something that we don’t know? http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22handbook%2Fallmps%2Fm3a%22 Speaking of Wyatt, in the offending picture from the Rally young Wyatt Beau Roy, Member for Longman has positioned himself roughly under the “H” in BITCH – just behind Warren Truss’ right shoulder. Silly boy. www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/carbon-tax-protesters-labelled-extremists-as-they-rally-in-canberra/story-e6frg6xf-1226026906087

Lyn

24/03/2011Hi Sawdustmick I thought that was wonderful when Harry Jenkins, said to Pyne, "you were not even in the chamber when your leader spoke against the Prime Minister", then did you see they put the camera on Pyne pulling faces (child). Abbott said, "she" so many times it was unbelievable, then Jenkins tells the Government MP's, to refer to the Coalition MP's by their title. Notice too, Abbott's behaviour is typical school yard bully type, can dish it out, but can't take it back, just like a coward. [quote]Precious yells "Foul" to the umpire. [/quote]Abbott was again on about being precious on the 7.30 report, he is so false. Joe Hockey was pretty mean and nasty as well. At least Harry Jenkins didn't allow any of the Coaliton's points of order, on their so called offended feelings. Timing was again 2.45pm by Abbott, in time for a photo shoot on the night time news, just as his last 5 censure motions, to much of a coincidence to be a coincidence.

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24/03/2011Folks, I've been busy finishing a piece on climate change for later next week Thank you sawdustmick and Lyn for your accounts of what reads like a thoroughly disgusting performance by Abbott, Hockey and Pyne today. So the big dog bit the poodle. Any normal person would learn from this but not the poodle, who will go on yapping for the foreseeable future. Casablanca That was unwise of Wyatt whose reputation has been unsullied to date. It was equally unwise for Bronwyn Bishop and Sophie Mirabella, who don't have much of a reputation, and in my opinion a disaster for Tony Abbott. The story is still running and will feature on Lateline tonight. I'm off to bed now.

Feral Skeleton

24/03/2011Casablanca, I defer to your superior research skills. :) I was under the impression Ken Wyatt was a Medical Practitioner in his former pre-parliamentary life. Therefore might I say, as he has a BEd, that it was probably not in the area of Science Teaching. I also thought he was a man of greater personal integrity who would not succumb to being led by the nose by the likes of Tony Abbott.

Feral Skeleton

24/03/2011I saw the interview of Tony Abbott by Chris Uhlmann too. I was disgusted by it. Not once did Uhlmann butt in to Abbott's feeble attempt at an apologia tonight. He just lobbed a softball question at him and then let Abbott off the leash to run around wherever he wanted to go, running off at the mouth with his carefully-constructed prevarication. I thought the new 7.30 with Leigh Sales & Chris Uhlmann would be a more punchy affair where they would combine to both comment on the politics of the day, sensibly and sagaciously, and do interviews that would be hard-hitting in the Kerry O'Brien mould. Instead we have Uhlmann nipping at the heels of government Ministers ineffectively and obsequiously strewing the ground with proverbial rose petals if they are from the Coalition. While Leigh Sales appears to waft in and out of the picture, doing esoteric interviews of no great moment. Goodness me, it almost makes me want Kerry O'Brien back again.

Acerbic Conehead

24/03/2011AA, thanks for this critique of an article which seems to be symptomatic of the MSM’s attitude in general towards the Federal government and Julia Gillard in particular. I don’t know what’s driving it, whether it’s economic self-interest, misogyny, class hatred, jealousy, or simply a need to reflect group-think and follow the crowd. Anyway, in tune with your insightful gymnastic metaphor, here’s Mr Hartcher going through his warm-ups, ready to acrobatically “Jump” to the melodies provided by Eddie Van Halen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlq0lYB3iSM :- ) We write up, and then we write down Depends on which one we wanna go to town And we don’t mind, Tones, just how you feel Even if your need for the Lodge is borderin’ on zeal :- ) Oh it’s hot dancin’ to your tune We’re here to back the thickset Tony machine Even though you're the worst we’ve ever seen Don’t care if to Jooles, you're ever so mean :- ) Might as well jump. Jump! Might as well jump Go ahead, jump. Jump! Go ahead, jump :- ) Brown’s back alley bitch! Who said that? Jooles, how you been? Fat lot I care, diddly squat Too bad it’s obscene :- ) Well can't you see us bouncing here Revellin’ in Jooles bein’ our trampoline Swingin’ on her earlobes so lean It’s the lowest we’ve ever been :- ) Might as well jump. Jump! Go ahead, jump Might as well jump. Jump! Go ahead, jump

BSA Bob

25/03/2011Abbott continues his attacks for two reasons. Firstly, apart from transparent attempts at duplicity, it's all he knows. Secondly, scrabbling, gouging fights like this are what he's good at & it suits him to bring everything down to this level & fight dirtier than anyone else. I think he's quite happy for things to keep going the way they are. Anyway, when he gets caught going too far it's always someone else's fault, isn't it?

Lyn

25/03/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Married to the lynch mob, The Conscience Vote[/i] Mr Abbott and his colleagues need to realise that sooner or later, violence may well erupt as a result of their lies and fear-mongering. And if it does, and all their protests of ‘free speech’ and ‘it’s not our fault’ will http://consciencevote.wordpress.com:80/2011/03/24/married-to-the-lynch-mob/ [i]Rude, anonymous comments are the least of our worries, Tim Dunlop, Unleashed[/i] An Alan Jones or a Neil Mitchell abusing the prime minister, or an Andrew Bolt or Miranda Devine running nonsense about climate change http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45476.html [i]Question time , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] That reworking of the standard interpretation On Nation movement does not describe the radical right--- Citizens’ Electoral Council, The Australian League of Rights, National Civic Council -- http://www.sauer-thompson.com/ [i]My dog ate my rally, Jeremy Sear, Anonymous Lefty[/i] Ooh! Ooh. Caption-time – what’s Bronywn Bishop thinking in that photograph? http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/my-dog-ate-my-rally/ [i]Unhelpful friends, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] but the “We will never accept the legitimacy of a non-Liberal government” crowd’s effort in Canberra yesterday was hardly a great success – , http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/03/24/unhelpful-friends/#more-9482 [i]Abbott denial doesn’t ring true, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia[/i] Yesterday we saw the ugly face of Australia — an Australia whose reputation as freedom loving,uncomplicated country has been trashed by the rabble who demeaned us all http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/abbott-denial-doesnt-ring-true/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abbott-denial-doesnt-ring-true [i]An open letter to Tony Abbott, Coffee with Ruby[/i] a frenzy of hatred against the Prime Minister. And you, sir, through your deliberately misleading statements via the right-wing http://coffeewithruby.wordpress.com/ [i]Placards not the only thing on display as the denialists gather, Bernard Keane,[/i] CrikeyBut the placards weren’t the only thing on display yesterday. So was an ongoing problem for the Liberals. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/24/placards-not-the-only-thing-on-display-as-the-denialists-gather/ [i]EXTREMISTS: No Carbon Tax campaign must urgently delouse, Andrew landeryou, Vex News[/i] Their champion Tony Abbott has staked everything, his entire political career on these arguments and their successful prosecution http://www.vexnews.com/news/12693/extremists-no-carbon-tax-campaign-must-urgently-delouse/ [i]No Apology for Abbott’s Abusive Lackeys, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i]Tony Abbott’s speech was punctuated by chants of “ditch the bitch” and “liar, liar”. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/no-apology-for-abbotts-abusive-lackeys/ [i]There's a word for this, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] Just trying to understand the Liberals’ case here before they go back out shouting about “liars” today. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]There goes the neighborhood, John Quiggin[/i] the benign and comfortable world that has allowed Australia to be safe and prosperous is vanishing quickly http://johnquiggin.com/ [i]A Picture Says a Thousand Policy Statements,Ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Have fun NSW. I dont want to hear any complaining! You get what you vote for. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/a-picture-says-a-thousand-policy-statements/ [i]Why Libya Is Not Iraq, John Martinkus, New Matilda[/i] That’s what Gerard Henderson did this week. John Martinkus on why he’s wrong http://newmatilda.com/2011/03/24/why-libya-not-iraq [i]Western military intervention in Libya: There. is. No. Alternative. Or is there?, Dr Tad, Left Flank[/i] the administration and human rights organizations admit that reports of potential war crimes remain unconfirmed.” http://left-flank.blogspot.com/2011/03/western-military-intervention-in-libya.html#more [i]PM a bitch banner 'an attack on women', says Gail Gago , Mark Kenny, Adelaide Now[/i] Federal Opposition Leader should apologise for standing in front of signs at a Canberra carbon tax protest that read "Juliar, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/ipad/tax-revolt-sees-some-ugly-scenes/story-fn6bqphm-1226027060737

Feral Skeleton

25/03/2011Interesting Dennis Atkins article: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/rally-abuse-was-a-great-big-political-blunder/story-e6frerdf-1226027645505 And one from Barrie Cassidy: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/25/3173248.htm

Ad astra reply

25/03/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for another great set of links. As I'm having trouble getting into the site this morning, I'll have to leave posting the links to your special page until later.

Lyn

25/03/2011Hi Ad Reading the reports, this morning, I thought maybe we have advanced from Hartcherism to "Hartcherisation": [i]How do you solve a problem like Julia?, Malcolm Farnsworth, ABC[/i] the invective from her opponents did not diminish my belief that she is indeed a disastrous Labor leader. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45490.html?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Are you with me, Abbott asked Turnbull: I am not, he said, Barrie Cassidy, ABC[/i] Gillard, from the Labor Party's left, an atheist with a live-in boyfriend, nevertheless resists gay marriage and euthanasia. The public wonders whether that is her political, as opposed to her personal position. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/25/3173248.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

nasking

25/03/2011Useful interview by Tony Jones last nite on Lateline: British conservative MP and former United Nations commander in Bosnia, Colonel Bob Stewart, joins Lateline to discuss the NATO operation in Libya. BOB STEWART: No, you can't solve it from the air. You could stop it a bit from the air, but you can't solve it. You need what they call boots on the ground. And I'm afraid that has to be provided by the Libyan opposition. We cannot do that. That's one step too far for us. TONY JONES: Well you have personally advocated that the West step in and arm this Libyan opposition, the people you call freedom fighters. Can you imagine that happening? BOB STEWART: Yes, I can, actually. There's moves now to try and change the orders with regard to the arms embargo. And I can see that happening. I can particularly see that happening if other Arab nations were to assist their brothers in Benghazi, Misurata, by providing them with weapons and probably instructors. You can't just give weapons out; they've got to be instructed on how to use them. I can see that happening. And indeed, I can see some of the Western nations arming the rebels once we are clear on the legality of it. And I can tell you, a heck of a lot of work is going on now as to exactly what we can do legally. BOB STEWART: ...I also spoke to a man who was actually in Tripoli who was an opponent of Gaddafi. Now these are the people that I'm really worried about, because Gaddafi's threatened, less than a week ago, once he gets into Benghazi, to go through from house to house, room to room, slaughtering anyone he can find. That's what he said. I have no reason to believe that he won't be doing that sort of thing in Tripoli at this moment. So time is not on our side to try and stop people dying. And that's what we're trying to do: to try and stop people dying. It's not our business to decide exactly how Libya is run. That's up to the Libyan people and we mustn't get involved in that. BOB STEWART: What is happening is actually that Gaddafi has moved his armour and his troops into Misrata and actually they're having success, because the rebels there haven't got many of them and they haven't got weapons. Now how the heck we resolve that - why we - but how the heck they resolve it, I don't know. Personally, I think we should get on with deciding whether we can arm the rebels and actually do it. Again, I go back to the lesson of history. The lesson of history is if you're going to do it, do it and do it with decision. And I would very much like to see the legalistic side of this crisis sorted out so that we can actually allow the passage of arms to those people who are opposing Gaddafi, because Gaddafi will be utterly ruthless and we cannot actually control what he does from the ground. When he fires an artillery piece, if he fires that artillery piece, we can probably target it. What we can't target are people moving through the streets at night with weapons and taking out anyone that's an opponent. TONY JONES: Could you imagine in that case any - a serious case, a moral case or a military case, for putting British or NATO troops on the ground as a last resort to protect civilians? BOB STEWART: Yes, there's certainly a moral case for that. We're actually not allowed to do that, we're not allowed to put ground holding troops on the ground according to the Security Council resolution 1973. But there is a moral case for doing that. It might be something that the Arab world could do. We have this problem - because every time we act in the Middle East, and that includes fantastic contributions, may I say, from Australian forces who, you know, as soon as I discover that we're alongside the Australians, my heart leaps, because frankly, it means we've got really good soldiers, sailors and airmen alongside us. But, frankly, someone's got to do something. I cannot see the British going in. We just don't have anyone left, actually. TONY JONES: What about the other prospect that British or NATO trainers and people who can hand out and teach people how to use weapons would go into a secure area like Benghazi or Tobruk? They wouldn't be holding ground as such, but they would be on the ground doing immediate training? BOB STEWART: I'm up for that. I don't have a problem with that. That's not in my view in contravention of Security Council resolution 1973. As long as we don't put troops that are going there to fight or hold ground, but actually, assuming the legal side of it is sorted out and we are - we've got to make sure that whatever we do is in accordance with international law. If international law allows us to do it, I'm up for it. I mean, I cannot see - we must not allow this stalemate to go on and on and on. Gaddafi's got to go. The Libyan people have got to have their say as to what happens. You know, one problem for me is that we may have just got hold of the tiger's tail and that actually we're going to get something pretty ghastly. But the fact of the matter is we are not in command of what happens in Libya when the Libyan people decide what they want, but the crucial point is, it's up to the Libyan people. They're those - they're the people that decide their own destiny, not us. More here: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3173196.htm I agree w/ Bob Stewart. He has a heckuva lot of experience in these matters. It's time for the UN to add measures to the resolutuion...and for Arab neighbouring states and others to provide ammunition, weapons & training to the Libyan rebels. They need to act fast. N'

nasking

25/03/2011[quote]Joe Hockey was pretty mean and nasty as well. [/quote] Lyn, agree. Hockey was blowharding like an out of control rhino. I was a bit worried he'd have a stroke or heart attack he got so intense at the end of the speech. Why doesn't Joe use his common-sense and act more rational at moments like that?...he could've made a calm, less abusive speech (the use of word "schizophrenic" stood our for me, coming after Abbott & his use of "delusional"...low stuff) and looked like a sane, composed alternative leader compared to Abbott. Yet, once again Joe allows himself to be pulled into the mud to prove he's loyal...and manages to hit himself w/ the wrecking ball again. I question his judgement & Abbott's. It's a messy front bench on the opposition side. I'm sure Hockey's bellowing is due to anxiety related to the realisation that Abbott's approach is damaging the party and makes the lot of them look extreme and over-the-top...irrational. And he must be coming under pressure from some bullies regarding his loyalties & intentions. He needs to get on top of his anxiety problem. And rethink his strategy. It's obvious he's in a confused state. Turnbull has been much calmer. Tho, I'd hate to be part of that rabble right now...getting ever closer to the black hole...and no effort by the Murdoch media & other supporters is going to stop their destruction. Some need to dustance themselves as much as possible...get into the escape pods before it's too late. As for PM Gillard, she was right to question Abbott's "judgement"...but needs to bite less and keep to selling the carbon price. Don't give SKY NEWS & other copycats & usual suspects the opportunity to use footage & words in a selective way that gives equivalency to her approach & Abbott's sewer approach. What Abbott did was disgraceful...he should not be let off the hook. I do think the government is making inroads on the carbon price issue...and should ignore the kneejerkers who want all details up front. Aspects should be rolled out gradually after discussion, negotiation...letting the people get a hold of each aspect...being a complex change. Having Combet, Garnaut & the former Tory minister out there this week & last was helpful. Graeme...I'll think of you in the trilby now. :) Good stuff. Cheers N'

nasking

25/03/2011[quote]Goodness me, it almost makes me want Kerry O'Brien back again.[/quote] Feral, I kept thinking "where's Kerry?" O'Brien woulda eaten Abbott alive over his recent irrational, devious & mean-spirited performances. Even Leigh Sales I reckon. At least the one I knew & enjoyed much of the time on Lateline. She's a shadow of her former self on this show. I'm not surprised the gutless Abbott spoke to Chris Uhlmann. He knew he'd get an easy ride. No detailed queries about Pauline Hanson/One Nation...as in: "Didn't you worry that attending a rally with Pauline Hanson would look bad considering the lengths that former PM John Howard & you went to denounce her & One Nation's policies?...don't you think it just feeds into accusations that the Liberal party under your leadership is catering to One Nation & copycatting their approach? N'

TalkTurkey

25/03/2011Hi Swordsfolks, Dam, there's always so much more I want to say. No sooner write anything than others clamour for attention, it's like always having to do the duck'n'fishes and fives'n'norks'n'spoons.(Fortunately there's always more Spoonerisms, thank you Mother English.) That man they call Toolman, he interests me. Not because of his personality, which is pure Essence de Smarme, but because (a) he was one of the earliest to know about Gillard's imminent overthrow of Rudd as Leader, and (b) because he's married to Labor MHR for Canberra Gai Brodtmann, and (c) because he is so very soft on Toe-Rag Abbortt. Who broke the news to Toolman? - That's a question that has interested me since then. I don't mean to imply that I think it was Miss/Ms/Mrs Brodtmann, though it might well have been I suppose . . . but someone would have had to tell her anyway, and then who was that? But someone indeed told Toolman, he was very sure of his ground when, Swordsfolks, if ye were like me that night: I was as Darryl Melham, completely incredulous of that inside info., but that's what it was. Toolman KNEW, earlier than almost anyone else. Give me an hour with a restrained Mr Toolman and a water board and perhaps a cattle prod . . . Well no, we don't do that here. (We used before Rudd to get "persons of interest" "rendered" to other countries for persuasion of that nature, but us bleeding Labor hearts have made that not an option.) I know it was that bloated cane-toad feller who actually done the supergotcha on Gillard, but I'm very interested in Toolman's sources. Especially as I see more of him and his licking up of Liberal spittle like last night. How does the Hon Miss/Ms/Mrs Brodtmann sleep nights I wonder? Watch Toolman, Folks. There's something . . . very . . . ? In fact there's something very . . . ? . . . about the whole ABC. What is it with them and their oh-so-obvious partisanship on behalf of the Rotten Right? It flabbergasts me every day.

Michael

25/03/2011Over at: http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/24/placards-not-the-only-thing-on-display-as-the-denialists-gather/ Bernard Keane wrote: "Faced with the revolt of these people in the form of One Nation, John Howard exploited the asylum seeker issue brilliantly as a form of a bait-and-switch — he took a tough line on asylum seekers, while massively cranking up permanent and temporary immigration, as the economy demanded. He convinced One Nation voters he was one of them, while doing the very thing that they were most aggrieved about, in the interests of good economic policy. It was one of Howard’s political masterstrokes." Can't leave THAT alone! The problem with lauding John Howard’s capacity for bait and switch “political masterstrokes” is that it is precisely that smoke and mirrors/gull the ‘mums and dads’ cynicism which he brought to governing this country that has framed, and very likely, ratified (to them), the behavior of Tony Abbott and the other Howard-era acolytes. Howard was only ever for Howard, and he played an entire nation for a very long time to ensure that his primary political aim was achieved - occupation of the Lodge and Kirribilli House. He succeeded with tactics that have, inevitably, led to a body politic such as we observe today, where one quote from a second-rank British politician with a famous name “the duty of an Opposition is to oppose” (Randolph Churchill) is trotted out by Abbott as complete ratification for such crass behavior that eventually (and unavoidably) sinks to the level of suggesting that the Prime Minister is looking for her broomstick during Parliament. The man is never less than sexist, crude and boorish. Wrong, occasionally he is ridiculously adolescent, as when he makes anti-government jokes in the company of the British Foreign Secretary or an Australian FM radio disc-jockey, and immediately looks to his staff for a “get it, get it?” guffaw from them. I have no doubt they stroke constantly his clearly equally constant need for affirmation that he is truly the wit and genius of contemporary Australian politics. “Yes, Tony, yes Tony, very droll.” He’s very good at frightening the horses, but not at all prepared to deal with what a spooked horse may leave behind it on the street. Except to step daintily over the results, and blame somebody else in mid-step.

Lyn

25/03/2011Hi Ad Big Editor's are reading the blogs, big time, funny how they feel the need to justify themselves. Margaret Simons gets picked on: [i]Chris Mitchell of The Australian responds, Margaret Simons, The Content Makers, Crikey[/i] [quote]Margaret Simons’ comparison of The Age’s coverage of an anti-carbon rally in Canberra to that in The Australian really only betrays her bias and lack of editorial skill.[/quote]http://blogs.crikey.com.au/contentmakers/2011/03/25/chris-mitchell-of-the-australian-responds/

TalkTurkey

25/03/2011Michael Graeme wears a Trilby . . . Mine's a sorta old bloke's cap, patterned, sportscoat-friendly, like a costermonger's or sort of golf-ish like I said before. Dunno what you might wear up top mate but I doffs mine. Nice writing cobber. Good points well made, and superb imagery! More and more please.

Ad astra reply

25/03/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx Hi Lyn With the help of Web Monkey I've got the links working again. LYN'S DAILY LINKS starts with today's links. There are now such a lot of excellent links that I find that I need to make an archive of them about every week.

Feral Skeleton

25/03/2011Michael, You have read my mind! I was just reflecting on the infantilism of Tony Abbott after the rally the other day when I saw a snippet of footage from just before he spoke where he was bouncing around from foot to foot onstage like an overeager teenager and needing to be restrained by Bronwyn Bishop(no wonder she never gets deselected, she is needed as his Nanny). The words, 'Eager Beaver' came to mind. I mean, the man has a 'Brilliant Mind'(alluded to deliberately by me for its direct reference to the movie of the same name), and his facility with an argument is the best in the parliament. Also, the way he comes up with a new negative characterisation of the government every day just leaves me floored. Most of which I believe he dreams up himself. Of course, he is aided and abetted by the message wizards from the Howard years, the true dregs of political discourse if ever there were any. And the way Tony Abbott needles and incites to anger his opponents is to be seen to be believed. Still. What does all this colour and movement signify? As the famous song goes, "He's just Talkin' Loud, Sayin' Nothing'. The thin veneer of his 'policy substance' is breathtaking. As Andrew Bolt belled the cat 2 weeks ago on Insiders, it's all Claytons Policy. The sort of policy you have when you don't have a policy. I just hope and pray that the electorate is wise to that fact and what lies beneath that thin veneer of political substance and reasonableness. For if there is one certain conclusion that can be drawn from the rally in Canberra on Wednesday, it is that Tony Abbott, if in power and Prime Minister of this country, would have absolutely no qualms about encouraging those groups that showed us their faces on Wednesday. Truly, Ugly Australians. He would thus turn us into all that they represent, and he'd love it. That's worth fighting to one's dying breath.

Ad astra reply

25/03/2011AC Thank you for your clever verse, which fits well with Van Halen's 'Jump', which I must say I have never seen before. I'll be posting your latest piece later today.

Ad astra reply

25/03/2011Casablanca, D MIck Weir, TT, Nasking Like all of you, I am having doubts about Chris Uhlmann's capacity or willingness to be the 'tough' interviewer that detects obfuscation and challenges it, drilling down like Kerry O'Brien did. Last night's interview with Tony Abbott left me with the impression that he was not willing to challenge Abbott about his role in the 'revolt'. and so let Abbott rabbit on with his pre-determined spiel. Is he trying to curry favour with Abbott and the Coalition lest they come to power, in which case he would need them to appear on his program? I am disappointed with [i]7.30[/i]. I thought Uhlmann would do better than he has, but his mamby pamby approach renders him largely ineffective as an investigative reporter determined to ferret out the truth. Leigh Sales is better than Uhlmann but so far has not been given interviews that require an incisive approach. Although I sometimes disapproved of Kerry O'Brien's approach as overly assertive, I would prefer him to the current pair to be anchoring the program.

Ad astra reply

25/03/2011Hi Lyn Isn't it rewarding for us that Chris Mitchell reads the blogs, [i]Crikey[/i] at least, and that he is stung enough to respond. I agree with Margaret Simons' views. Chris Mitchell's response was weak and defensive. There was no bigger political story than the Abbott 'revolt', redolent as it was with striking and memorable images, which I suspect is why Mitchell relegated the story to page four of [i]The Australian[/i]. The story continues even to today. It is unusual for a political story to run that long, unless of course [i]The Oz[/i] wants it to. To claim that Anna Bligh's poll performance was more important is not credible, and I doubt if he really believes that. When Julia Gillard had her big poll boost it was reported in a smallish piece placed at the foot of the cover page, with an article detrimental to the Government's legislative program at the top. Why didn't he similarly place the article about the Bligh poll and feature the biggest story of all - Abbott at the revolt - at the top? Notwithstanding what Mitchell says, it is not hard to imagine why he did what he did. It was consistent with what his paper has been doing now for years - dredging up all the bad stuff about Julia Gillard and Labor and playing down anything that might damage Tony Abbott. This is as plain as a pikestaff, and Mitchell knows this, which is why he was defensive and unconvincing in his letter to [i]Crikey[/i]

Jason

25/03/2011AA, If you thought his interviewing is poor!His column on the Drum is even worse! "So, complaints about the offensive banners at Wednesday's rally against the carbon tax seem a little precious. It's also worth noting that, unlike the 1996 union rally, this week's protesters did not launch an assault on the front doors of Parliament. " http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/25/3173608.htm

Ad astra reply

25/03/2011Michael Randolph Churchill's dictum began with: 'It is the duty of an opposition to oppose everything' but went on: 'suggest nothing and turf the government out.' Tony Abbott is fond of quoting him as justification for his actions and follows his dictum to the letter.

Ad astra reply

25/03/2011Jason The article by Chris Uhlmann is diagnostic.  He is excusing Abbott using Abbott's line: 'Labor did it, but even worse.'  Not only is he taking Abbott's part, it looks as if he might be a climate skeptic too. if this really reflects his political orientation, we can expect the same in 7,30. Disappointing. The piece also illustrates the ABC's folly in getting its so-called fearless, objective and balanced reporters to write on The Drum, where they expose what they really think and believe.

Feral Skeleton

25/03/2011Chris Uhlmann, as an also ex-Catholic seminarian, like Tony Abbott, most likely does not believe in Anthropogenic Climate Change because it has been encoded into his DNA that he believes in God's Great Hand controlling Heaven & Earth. This is a dangerous position to hold for someone in his line of work. Of course he is not overt about it, but I believe it colours his approach to the issue.

nasking

25/03/2011Anyone who doubts the world shoulda intervened in the Libyan situation needs to watch this Panorama doco...it needs to be shown on Australian & American television (part 2 is also on youtube)... the courage of the opposition is just amazing...particularly in those early days, basically weaponless...and overthrowing the army barracks in Benghazi: Fighting Gaddafi - BBC Panorama 2011-03-21 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwt5K4KGnkk

Ad astra reply

25/03/2011Folks I've just posted a delightful piece of satire by Acerbic Conehead: [i]Yes and No[/i]. Enjoy. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/03/25/Yes-and-No.aspx

D Mick Weir

25/03/2011Ad, I have just come across this: [b]Hartcher on Gillard and Abbott[/b] Paul Barratt Australian Observer Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:35 PM http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2011/03/hartcher-on-gillard-and-abbott.html [i]In a piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 19 March political editor Peter Hartcher made a strong call on the future of the Australian Labor Party and en passant had a swipe at Tony Abbott.[/i] Interesting piece that I suggest is a 'cool-headed' analysis.

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26/03/2011D Mick Weir Thank you for your further comments on the Hartcher article to which I'm responding here as well as on the more recent post by AC. Thank you too for the links to other articles, all of which I have read except that by Annabelle Crabbe, which I will read later as I have soon to get on the road. I agree that we all see people, statements, actions and events through our own individual optics, coloured by our biasses and preferences. The same applies to Paul Barratt whose political views are well know and captured by his words in the last two paragraphs and particularly by [i]"My own view of Julia Gillard and the Labor Party are not too far removed from Peter Hartcher’s."[/i] He also agrees with Hartcher that Tony Abbott is [i]"becoming 'the cartoon villain of Australian politics'."[/i] So it is unsurprising he finds Hartcher's article to his liking. I found Barratt's analysis scetchy. He devoted well over a half of his piece quoting Hartcher, leaving not much space for analysis. At the risk of being repetitive, my beef with Hartcher was twofold: first, the evidence he advanced to support his dire prognostications was, in my view, paltry, and second, his gymnast-like cavorting throughout his piece that left us in mid air at the end as to what he saw as the future of politics in this country. Anyone who wipes off the two main contenders for prime ministership, yet suggests no alternative begs the question: 'What next?', one he did not address. I'm not sure we can advance our thinking much more on this subject. I accept that we two see Hartcher's article differently, which is OK. That's what this blog is about. We now have another of AC's clever satire, a piece by Hillbilly Skeleton coming next week and a piece I've written on climate change later in the week to exercise our minds.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?