The Tour de Nile

The Coalition’s adverse reaction to spelling out its policies, and accurately costing them, has caused them to enter, as another stunt and diversion, the Tour de Nile cycle race.



However, Tony “Holy Moses” Abbott, Andrew “Aaron” Robb and the rest of the Coalition Chosen People peloton have taken a wrong turn and are a bit lost in the wilderness, somewhere near Mt Sinai.

Unfortunately, their supplies of caviar-on-manna and quails’ eggs have run out and everyone is so pissed off, they stop at the foot of the sacred mountain and refuse to go any further until Moses and Aaron sort out, once and for all, the lack of policies, and grub, situations. So, the dynamic duo decide that, for self-preservation purposes, they need to get away for a while. They swap their racers for a pair of mountain-bikes and head up the holy hill, shouting back to the disgruntled throng that they will be back as soon as possible with some solutions to their problems. As usual, Moses is wearing his trade-mark budgie smugglers.

As Moses and Aaron wind their way up Mt Sinai, Moses’ superior fitness levels come to the fore and he approaches the summit on his own, with Aaron struggling a bit on a treacherous goat-track further below.

However, unknown to the Coalition, the CSIRO (“Crappy Scientists Involved with Rooting us Over”) had secretly set up, on the summit of Mt Sinai, a clandestine testing station, to see if their newly-invented fire retardant spray would work. In effect, the CSIRO project was prompted by a recent surge of fire-bugging in the Australian bush and their ingenious solution involved spraying the specially-designed liquid over a bush, which, even when set alight, wouldn’t stop the vegetation form burning, but would at least prevent it from being consumed, so that even in spite of the fire, it would live to fight another day and thereby soak up some more of that nasty CO2.

But, due to budget cuts, the so-called “testing facility”, comprising a hammer and chisel (for the researcher to create a hole to do his/her business in) plus a hand-pump for them to re-inflate the tyres on their bike for the return trip down the mountain, is somewhat limited. Also, the remote overseas location of Sinai was chosen to avoid scrutiny and claims from the Opposition of another “debacle” by the Gillard government.

Anyway, Pharaoh Julia was so intrigued by the whole idea of protecting the bush from evil, match-wielding vandals, she ordered the Climate Change Minister himself, Gregory of Combet, to personally conduct the experiment.

Fortunately for the smooth operation of Pharaoh Julia’s plan, just before the Coalition Chosen People had arrived at the foot of Mt Sinai, Greg had made his way up there on his bike and was busily spraying an unsuspecting bush he found at the summit. He is just about to set fire to it, to see the result, when he spots Moses just below the summit, head-down, lathered in grime and sweat, trying to stand on the pedals, in a super-human attempt to cycle all the way to the top. “Heh...heh...” Greg chuckles to himself. “I think I’m going to have some fun here”. He sets fire to the bush and secrets himself behind it, out of Moses’ view.

Moses: Whew! Jeeze, that was tough! Well, I suppose this training is worth it – think of how fast I’ll be able to cycle away from press conferences when they ask me how long into my first term of office it will be before I wind the Tax Free Allowance back again to $6000...hee...hee...

[Then, out of the side of his weary eye, Moses notices a strange and wondrous sight – a bush is burning and it doesn’t seem to be getting burnt out! He props his bike up against a rock and gingerly approaches, trying to make out what scam, akin to global warming itself, is going on here. “Hmmm...” Moses says to himself. “Maybe this is where the lefties store all their surplus pink batts, and the bloody buggers have self-ignited...heh...heh...”

Suddenly, however, Moses is stopped in his tracks by the sound of a booming voice that appears to emanate from within this strange burning bush.]

Voice: STOP THE APPROACHING!!! YOU ARE ON SACRED GROUND HERE!!! IT IS I, THE LORD, WHO SPEAKS...AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, REMOVE YOUR BICYCLE CLIPS!!!

[Moses, awe-struck and fear-smitten by this seemingly other-worldly vision, reaches down very slowly to remove his non-pc bicycle clips.]

The LORD: AND WHY ARE YOU WEARING BICYCLE CLIPS ANYWAY, YOU MAGGOT – HAVEN’T YOU NOTICED YOU ARE CLOTHED ONLY IN SKIMPY SWIMMING ATTIRE?

Moses: Erm...it’s really only through force of habit, O Great One...you see, as Leader of the Opposition, I’m never sure when goddam shit is going to happen next...

[Greg seizes another opportunity to play with Moses’ mind, or body to be more exact. He takes up the bicycle pump supplied by the CSIRO and delivers a blast of air through the burning bush, sending a flaming jet at Moses, singeing the hairs on his feet. As Moses is so hairy, making his ancestor, Esau, look like a billiard ball in comparison, it takes a while for him the douse the flames on his unfortunate plates of meat. Eventually, he manages to extinguish the conflagration on his poor trotters and angrily confronts this sadist of a sage-bush.]

Moses: Hey, what was that for?

The LORD: WHY, YOU USED THE S-WORD IN MY PRESENCE, YOU DISRESPECTFUL WRETCH – THAT CONTRAVENES ONE OF MY TEN COMMANDMENTS – THE ONE THAT SAYS “THOU SHALT NOT PUT THE NUMBER ONE LORD THY GOD ON A PAR WITH NUMBER TWO’S”...

[For his sins, Moses receives another blast of flames, this time singeing the copious amounts of hair on his legs. He quickly rolls in the dirt to extinguish them. However, in a pathetic and obsequious attempt to escape any further servings of the LORD’s wrath, Moses prattles on sycophantically.]

Moses: Erm...O Great One...now that you mention the Ten Commandments, are you going to give me a set – that mutinous lot down at the bottom of the hill could do with something to make them pull up their socks...

The LORD: NAH, TOO LATE MATE...I COPYRIGHTED THE TEN COMMANDMENTS A WHILE AGO TO ANOTHER BLOKE...

Moses: Huh...that wouldn’t stop Julie Bishop...hee...hee...Or that old pointy-proboscis Pharaoh Gillard – she broke copyright on Bono’s UN speech, y’know!

The LORD: BLASPHEMER!!! YOU HAVE JUST BROKEN ANOTHER OF MY TEN COMMANDMENTS – “THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THE PHARAOH!!”

Moses: But...but...but...it’s not false witness – it’s as obvious as the nose on her face...hee...hee...

[Again, Moses’ inability to keep his trap shut incurs The LORD’s almighty wrath – he receives another blast, courtesy of the bicycle pump, this time singing his hairs on his chest. To put out the flames, he rolls over the rocks so many times, he looks like he is doing an Elvis impersonation.

Then, to change the subject, Moses, who hasn’t seen his family for a while due to his incessant bike-riding, asks The LORD about the welfare of his father-in-law, Jethro Howard, the goat-herder.]

The LORD: WHY, THAT LOSER!! THE LAST I SAW OF HIM, HE WAS PADDLING ACROSS THE NILE IN A LEAKY VESSEL, WITH HIS FLOCK OF ADULT AND BABY GOATS ON BOARD...

Moses: So, what happened, LORD...did he not get a good price for them on the other side?

The LORD: NAH, IT WAS WORSE THAN THAT – HE DECIDED THE HEAP OF JUNK WASN’T GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE, SO HE DITCHED SOME OF HIS CARGO...

Moses: You...you...you...don’t mean...he threw the kids overboard!!??

The LORD: GOT IT IN ONE!! OH, AND BY THE WAY, MOSES, I WANT YOU TO USE YOUR INFLUENCE WITH THE AUSTRALIAN TO GET REBEKAH A POSITION...

Moses: Wow!! Rebekah Brooks!! It would be my pleasure, LORD!! She’s a real good loyal girl and would fit in well at the OZ...and, wink, wink, she’s a bit of a looker, as well, LORD...heh...heh...

The LORD: SINNER!!! HOW DARE YOU BREAK ANOTHER OF MY TEN COMMANDMENTS – “THOU SHALT NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBOUR, RUBERT’S, TROUBLE AND STRIFE!!”

[For his troubles, Moses cops another blast, this time removing all that’s left of the hair on his head. He sticks his nearly dead, buried and cremated cranium in a nearby rabbit-hole to extinguish the flames. By this stage, moreover, Moses has had a gut-full of this crazy flame-throwing cactus. He verbally lets fly.]

Moses (angrily): Right, you...I’ve just about had it up to here with this treatment...I’m just gonna get on my bike and cycle outta here...you know just what you can do with your bloody Ten Commandments...

The LORD: NOW, NOW MOSES...DON’T BE SO HASTY...AS I SAID, I GAVE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS TO SOME OTHER JOKER...SO, JUST HANG AROUND FOR ANOTHER WHILE AND I’LL HAVE SOMETHING EVEN BETTER FOR YOU...

[Immediately, Moses hears, from the burning bush, the sound of a hammer and chisel working away. Then, after a while, a tablet of stone, with some writing on it, is blithely chucked over. Luckily, Moses catches it before it hits the deck and smashes. He has a read: “Hmmm...THE 40 POLICIES”. Moses, however, just counts the policies, without reading them.]

Moses: Hey, LORD...there’s only 20 here...where’s the others?

[Without further delay, another stone tablet is chucked over, completing the set. “Yippee”, says Moses to himself, “I can now go down to the Coalition Forgotten Family at the bottom of the mountain and pretend I came up with these all by myself! But, I can also tell them The LORD inspired me, which will lend them more gravitas than Paul Kelly pours over his meat and three veg...heh...heh...”

Then, just at that moment, Andrew “Aaron” Robb breathlessly appears at the top of the mountain. He had pushed his bike up the last few hundred metres.]

Aaron: Whew!! I thought I’d never make it!! And, by jove, I’m starving into the bargain...I could do with a feed after that energy-sapping ascent...

[Aaron has a look around and spots, in front of a ready-made barbeque, what he thinks is something to cook. He grabs it, only for “it” to emit an unholy host of four-letter-word expletives.]

Moses: WTF!!! Aaron, you dork!!! Can’t you see it’s me?

Aaron (disappointedly): Oh, it’s only you, Moses...And there was I thinking I had a well-plucked turkey for dinner...But, never mind, brother...I’ll just pull this old, yellowed, dog-eared envelope from my pocket and I’ll write you out 40 policies on the back of it, for you to bring down to those ungrateful drongos... 

Moses (elatedly): There’s no need for that, Aaron...I’ve already got them on these two tablets of stone here...

[The two now-pumped-up Patriarchs re-inflate their tyres and, each with a stone tablet under an arm, head off at a rate of knots down Mt Sinai. However, they took off in such haste, they didn’t hear the mocking laughter emanating from the still-burning bush.

Upon reaching the bottom, Moses and Aaron witness the sight of an even worse rabble than what they remembered before they went up the sacred mountain. Neither of the patriarchs can believe their eyes. The Coalition Chosen People are bowing down and worshipping a statue of Malcolm “Mammon” Turnbull!

Moses grabs the other tablet off Aaron, ready to read The 40 Policies to the back-sliders and get them back on the straight and narrow, when he suddenly hesitates. He has just read the first Policy: “We will bring back a version of WorkChoices, so draconian, it would make the conditions of the Prodigal Son in the pig-sty look like the Garden of friggin’ Eden”. Moses lets out a wail of anguish, even more heart-rending than that of the Egyptians after the Angel of Death passed over. He throws the tablets to the ground, smashing them to bits, and shakes his fist angrily at the summit of Mt Sinai. He then turns to the assembled Mammon-worshippers.]

Moses: Why, you ungrateful wretches!! Here I am ready to lead you to the Promised Land of Canaanberra, with our 40 Policies, and you betray me by worshipping Mammon Malcolm...sheesh!!

[A voice from the Mammon worshippers pipes up.]

Voice: If we’re ever gonna get to Canaanberra, Moses, we think we stand a better chance under Mammon Malcolm...so just rack off!!

[Moses sadly ambles over to his racing bike and mounts it.]

Moses: Righto, then guys...You coming, Aaron?

Aaron: Erm...I don’t think so, brother...I think I’ll just take my chances with Mammon’s mob...

Moses (sarcastically): Fine, thanks “brother”! Looks like I’m back in contention for winning first place in the Tour de Nile, then...

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Lyn

16/07/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]The real cost of direct action: An analysis of the Coalition's Direct Action Plan, Matt Grudnoff, Australian Policy Online[/i] This analysis finds that the Coalition's Direct Action Plan will cost far more than is budgeted for and is unlikely to find sufficient greenhousegas reduction projects in order to reach the http://apo.org.au/research/real-cost-direct-action-analysis-coalitions-direct-action-plan [i]The Rules-Don’t be a Dickhead, Bill, Billablog[/i] No Dickheads.” If you can’t show more class than people who like to dress up and pretend to be zombies, then it’s time to get the hell out of the debate, whatever your cause may be. http://the-billablog.blogspot.com/ [i]confession time at News Ltd , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] So it is a bit of surprise that Dennis Shanahan, their top political reporter who fronts News Ltd's war on The Greens confesses to having installed solar panels on his roof. Its confession time at News Ltd. How http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/07/confession-time-1.php#more , [i]Too much Talk about News of the World, Tim Dunlop, BSides[/i] The News of the World scandal is a rare opportunity to actually have a proper public debate about how journalists do their jobs. And no, I don't mean a government led inquiry. I mean a serious, ong http://tjd.posterous.com/too-much-talk-about-news-of-the-world [i]Push for Oz media probe, Amber Jamieson, Crikey[/i] in the US, the FBI opened an inquiry into allegations that News journalists in the US, working for NotW, attempted to gain access to the phone records of 9/11 victims. So far it’s just a preliminary . http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/07/15/push-for-oz-media-probe/ [i]Abbott rejects calls for media inquiry, Jeremy Thompson.ABC[/i] But Mr Abbott said a politician complaining about the media was in the same position as "a footballer complainingabout the umpire"."I think the media do a pretty good job of holding us to account," he told Channel Nine http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-15/opposition-rejects-media-inquiry/2795906 [i]FBI investigation may make Murdoch political beneficiaries skittish, IWatch[/i] critics are already calling on lawmakers who have received money from the company’s corporate PAC and its chairman and CEO to return it. And others are demanding that Congress and the Obama administration investigate whether News Corp. employees http://www.iwatchnews.org/2011/07/13/5217/hacker-scandal-erupts-look-rupert-murdochs-political-contributions [i]A free society doesn’t license newspapers: Turnbull, Sunanda Creagh, The Conversation[/i] If you are going to license newspapers, why not websites? We would be just walking away from so many tenets of a free society. There really should be no licensing restrictions on people owning http://theconversation.edu.au/a-free-society-doesnt-license-newspapers-turnbull-2355 [i]Murdoch finds bad news travels fast, Laura Tingle, Financial Review[/i] http://afr.com/p/opinion/murdoch_finds_bad_news_travels_fast_XN2z9jht3RbcIbjmVpdQVK [i]Direct versus representational democracy, David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] Tony Abbott has been calling for a plebiscite or an election on the carbon tax. But that isn't how it works. We don't allow one parliament to bind another for exactly these circumstances - http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]The consequences of repealing a carbon price, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] In the event the Liberals win and have retained Abbott and his promise to repeal the scheme, legislation could be drawn up quickly to effect the repeal; in the event Labor and the Greens retain control of the Senate and are unwilling to support http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/07/15/the-consequences-of-repealing-a-carbon-price/ [i]Abbott’s long and short games, Mumble, The Australian[/i] Tony Abbott can’t be serious. If the carbon package is brought in in twelve months time, and the next election is held in 2013, it is very difficult to imagine the Coalition taking a promise to totally undo it to that election. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/abbotts_long_game/ [i]NOTW bubbles on Twitter, Alexander Liddington-Cox, Technology Spectator[/i] this interactive infographic that illustrates the development of the scandal through the prism of Twitter. http://technologyspectator.com.au/analysis/daily-infographic/notw-bubbles-twitter? [i]Australian greenhouse graphs, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] The ABC has a graph of Australia’s greenhouse gases. I’ve extracted the pie chart here: http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/07/15/climate-clippings-35/ [i]Australia and the Dirty Digger The Phony Populism of Rupert Murdoch JEFF SPARROW, Counter Punch[/i] John Hartigan has launching a review of editorial expenditure to ensure that nothing similar has happened here.Yet there's also been more than a few suggestions that the outrage about the News of the World also represents an elitist attack upon democracy. http://www.counterpunch.org/sparrow07152011.html

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011Good Morning All! :) And Thank You, lyn. You are a tireless angel(and I mean that in a non-religious way). You're just up there with the best of the best and are the glue that holds TPS together. :)

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011Acerbic Conehead, Keep 'em coming! The po-faced Conservatives just hate it when you take the piss and wind out of them. Good. :D

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011The Coalition are talking horsecrap about their Direct Action Plan and people are starting to do the sums to prove it: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/climate/farmers-reject-abbott-sums-20110715-1hi3l.html Also,, it seems as though Greg Hunt has changed the stance of the Opposition when it comes to definitely buying the Brown Coal Power Station at Hazelwood: [quote]The Coalition's spokesman on the environment, Greg Hunt, said the Coalition would ''choose the lowest-cost industrial transformation. That may or may not include power station conversion'[/quote] Probably because the Gillard government have decided to do it. This, I presume, and as the article points out, is because the Coalition have given themselves a set pot of money with which to do all their CO2 abatement, er, make maximum political impact on the Gillard government, and so now that the government have claimed one of their pawns I imagine they'll try and find another one for the government to focus on. I'll wait and see but I put my money on Hunt talking up something else now. Finally, this from one of the Coalition's fanboy agribusiness mates, defies belief(last sentence): [quote] The chief executive of Sustainable Business Australia, Andrew Petersen, agreed it would be difficult for farmers to deliver abatement at $8 to $10 a tonne. But the executive director of Ignite Energy Resources, John White, who is on Mr Hunt's business advisory committee, said the price range was entirely feasible: ''When you teach farmers how to use these new technologies they start doing it with no carbon price at all.'[/quote] I think that last (delusional) sentence comes under the heading, 'He would say that, wouldn't he?'

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011Did you see the Oscar-winning performance put on by Rupert Murdoch last night as he begged forgiveness from the Dowler family in the UK? He even cried a shedload of Crocodile tears for them. Boy, he must really want that BSkyB deal bad. The man is a money/power junkie and to get what they want these people can turn it on and off like a tap.

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011Sorry for the big Cut 'n Paste, but this is a very sympathetic and true comment about the 'crap' Shaun Carney has written in his column today about the3 PM(it's almost as if some journalists have seen the PM's description of what they do as a red rag to a bull & doubled-down on the crap today as a result): smithe 631: [quote]The media isn’t favourably disposed to the Coalition, its that her (unspoken) lack of GRAVITAS is doing the work for them. Farnsworth was rambling on about the same crap earlier in the day. Lack of Gravitas? WTF? Do they expect her to dress-up like a bloke or something? Maybe pack a rolled-up pair of socks in her undies and a glue-on theatrical beard on her chops? These people wouldn’t know gravitas if it fell out of the sky and landed on top of them. The dictionary definition of Gravitas is: “dignity, seriousness or solemnity of manner.” Let’s just think about that for a moment. Does Gillard have dignity? Well what do you reckon? For my money she’s been one of the most calm and dignified-under-pressure pollies I’ve ever seen. She’s taken insult after insult from a bunch of political pygmies both inside and without the Parliament and soldiered-on in circumstances where some unbalanced twat like Abbott would have decked someone months ago. “Seriousness?” Well, she’s had to run a minority Government, get her Legislative programme and budget through Parliament and then get-out and try and sell one of the most significant policy innovations in Australian political history. And she’s done all this in the most toxic and hate-filled political environment in living memory. If she’d been some flippant flibbedy-gibbet, could she have managed all this? Not a chance. She’s got seriousness in spades. Contrast this with her opponents, Mr Slogan and Mr Cardboard cut-out Stuntman, who think “seriousness” is something they see on Harry’s face just before he chucks them out of the Chamber for disorderly conduct. (Something I note is an almost daily occurrence on the Opposition side when Parliament is in session.) Has Julia been sin-binned in this parlaiment? Even once? No, I didn’t think so. Then there’s “solemnity of manner”. Well, she appears in public in sensible clothing (leaves the roller-blades, surfboard and speedos in the closet) and gets out and sells her policies. She speaks in a calm measured and respectful voice and never raises her voice, even when some Liberal stooge or disrespectful hack of a journo is doing everything he can to annoy her, short of actually tweaking her nose. Certainly in comparison to her slogan and stunt-ridden opposition she’s a veritable paragon of solemnity. So WTF are these whining twats on about? Lack of Gravitas. My arse.[/quote]

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011Sorry, that was from Poll Bludger. Gotta do my attributiions. ;-)

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16/07/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Lyn

16/07/2011Good Morning feral You are bright and cheery this morning good on you. Thankyou for your lovely comment I appreciate your words very much. I usually try to wait and post the links after a few comments but time wouldn't let me this morning. Mr Abbott is doing what Paul Keating said, "if you don't give me that toy I will smash everything" toy meaning keys to the Lodge. Acerbic Conehead ever fails to delight, we are so lucky, and don't you just love TPS more and more everyday. Consumer confidence is down, wonder why. Voters are scared Information in MSM distorted Carbon tax effect blown up An informative report by Lenore: Price fantasies of barrow pushers and veg growers, Lenore Taylor Less scientific, but more catchy, is Tony Abbott's message that the one thing we know about the cost of the new tax is that it will go "up and up and up". But we need to be careful about claims of higher price rises coming from people trying to avoid the tax. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/price-fantasies-of-barrow-pushers-and-veg-growers-20110715-1hhxq.html Cheers:):):):)

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16/07/2011Hi Lyn, FS You’ve been very active this morning already; thank you for your links and comments. We are in Melbourne and have a busy weekend ahead of us with a friend from Hong Kong coming to visit, friends from Fukushima for dinner and all day tomorrow, and this evening we are looking after our grandson while ‘Web Monkey’ and our daughter go to a birthday party. So I’ll not have much time for [i]TPS[/i], but I know you’ll keep the pot boiling. We’re now off the Victoria Market to get supplies. I’ll try to pop in and say hello when I can.

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011AcerbicC., You'll appreciate this: :) (from PB) [quote]Boerwar Posted Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 9:18 am It is clear to me that our fetid swamp lacks balance. This swamp rat is doing something about it. Here are several dozen proofs of why Mr Abbott is positive and not negative. Every sentence is a yes. Mr Abbott is a nice man. Mr Abbbot has GSOH. Mr Abbott is fit. Mr Abbott can swim. Mr Abbott can ride a bicycle. Mr Abbott wears lycra. Mr Abbott wears fetching bathers. Mr Abbott has nice body hair. Mr Abbott has an engaging smile. Mr Abbott is good at blokey banter. Mr Abbott likes gays. Mr Abbott is manly. Mr Abbott is good. Mr Abbott kisses babies. Mr Abbott kisses fish even when they are dead. Mr Abbott lets a nice young boy chew off part of his biscuit. Mr Abbott is sensitive. Mr Abbott is clever. Mr Abbott can drive a truck. Mr Abbott can sit on a horse. Mr Abbott can shoot an infantry assault weapon. Mr Abbott can pilot a catamaran. Mr Abbott can handle baggage. Mr Abbott can dig a mine. Mr Abbott can do all these technical things because he knows about technical stuff like wireless and bandwidth. Mr Abbott says nice things to other people. Mr Abbott does not yell at people. Mr Abbott does not call them liars. Mr Abbott does not say bad words about other people. Mr Abbott is polite. Mr does not lie himself. He does not do choreographed photo ops. He does not think that others should either. He appreciates scientists, particularly climate scientists. His favourite climate scientists are Mr Plimer and Mr Monckton. Mr Abbott likes economists. Mr Abbott’s favourite economist is Mr Lomberg. Mr Abbott likes Mr Hockey because Mr Hockey can add up. Mr Abbott likes Mr Robb because Mr Robb can add up to. Mr Abbott does not like black holes in budgets. Mr Abbott likes magic puddings. Mr Abbott knows lots about foreign affairs. Mr Abbott loves Australia. Mr Abbott can start wars. Mr Abbott likes Christmas Island but likes Nauru better. Mr Abbott likes Mr Sheridan, who likes Mr Rudd, who knows about China. Mr Abbott has excellent working relationships with those around him. Mr Abbott especially likes Mr Reith. Mr Abbott especially likes Mr Turnbull. Mr Abbott loves coal. Mr Abbott loves the coal industry. Mr Abbott loves iron ore. Mr Abbott loves the iron mining industry. Mr Abbott loves being nice to cattle. Mr Abbott loves being nice to cattlemen. Mr Abbott loves halal killing. Mr Abbott loves kosher killing. Mr Abbott likes national parks. Mr Abbott likes marine parks. Mr Abbott loves shooters. Mr Abbott loves fishers. Mr Abbott used to like bushwalking. Mr Abbott cares for the the environment. Mr Abbott loves Margie. Mr Abbott loves his girls Mr Abbott is married. Mr Abbott believes in God. Mr Abbott is friends with a cardinal. Mr Abbott is a good man. Mr Abbott likes to care for refugees and for those who suffer. Mr Abbott especially likes to care for suffering children of refugees. Mr Abbott likes to save refugees from themselves. Mr Abbott likes refugees to fly to Australia. Mr Abbott loves analogies to explain things simply. Mr Abbott likes straw men. Mr Abbott likes red herrings. Mr Abbott likes to tell it like it is. Mr Abbott likes to say what is right. Mr Abbott has integrity. Mr Abbott is passionate about the truth. Mr Abbott loves not talking about Work Choices. Mr Abbott loves not talking about IR. Mr Abbott really likes it when women question him. Mr Abbott likes the Productivity Commission. Mr Abbott likes Treasury. Mr Abbott likes Mr Murdoch and Mr Murdoch likes him. Mr Abbott likes ‘The Telegraph’ and ‘The Telegraph’ likes him. Mr Abbott likes ‘The Herald Sun’ and ‘The Herald Sun’ likes him. Mr Abbott cares for the freedom of the press. Mr Abbott cares for the law and for the rule of law. Mr Abbott cares for wearing seatbelts. Mr Abbott instils confidence. Mr Abbott cares for employees. Mr Abbott cares for big business. Mr Abbott cares for small business. Mr Abbott cares for financial advisers. Mr Abbott likes subsidies and tax breaks for the wealthy. Mr Abbott cares for public hospitals. Mr Abbott cares for private hospitals. Mr Abbott cares for public schools. Mr Abbott cares for private schools. Mr Abbott cares for public schools children in poor areas. Mr Abbott cares for Indigenous people. Mr Abbott cares for their land rights. Mr Abbott cares for pensioners. Mr Abbott cares for mothers. Mr Abbott cares for the budget integrity. Mr Abbott cares for fathers. Mr Abbott likes plebiscites. Mr Abbott likes elections. Mr Abbott loves the people. All this is about the people. All this is not about Mr Abbott.[/quote]

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011Spot on Mr Carney [b]Gillard's increasing lack of authority no laughing matter[/b] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/gillards-increasing-lack-of-authority-no-laughing-matter-20110715-1hi0n.html [i](Ms Gillard) must know that her prime ministership - the realisation of her personal ambition - is not playing out well. Indeed, if its current trajectory is not altered, it is likely to be judged by history to be a political disaster. Whether it will be viewed as a policy disaster is another matter.[/i] Can it be turned around? Carney offers some suggestions that align with some that have suggested here and elsewhere in the past. They are worthy of consideration if, and I am starting to suspect this is a very big if, we are prepared to take off our 'we love Julia glasses' and look at it with with one eye being objective and the other being sceptical. A challenge for many. Carney mentioned something that I have been musing on since last Sunday and have thought better of mentioning and/or forgetting to bring it up. [i]'Gillard conducts Canberra press conferences like your favourite grade 3 teacher, even using the occasional nickname for journalists. Surely the penny has dropped: they are not her friends, nor do they care for her government - far from it.[/i] Yep, it struck me that each time the PM referred to George Megalogenis as 'Mega' she seemed to me to be trying (too hard?) to be one of them instead of being THE Prime Minister. It is an easy road to travel to forever blame the media for the Governments woes and claim [i]they are all agin' us[/i] and those that wish to travel that road will most likely find it leads to a less than desirable place when, and if, they get to the destination. I absolutely agree with Jack Waterford and this statement from his [i]No good News for Gillard[/i] piece that Ad pointed us toward on the previous post: [i]Much as the News Ltd family deserve all it gets, whether from public opinion, the market or even the cops, the judiciary and the politicians, [b]it would be a fatal mistake for Labor to think that News Ltd is at the core of its crisis.[/b] Or that News is much aggravating it, or that the removal of senior managers or editors will make much difference to its fate.[/i] All the bleatings about 'bias', 'negativity' or whatever overlook a simple and obvious (even to some on the Labor side) fact, that the outward appearance is that this is a [i]dysfunctional government and its' leader lacks authority[/i] and Kevin Rudd is not helping matters at all in my opinion. Like it or lump it rail against it if you will but no mistake that until such time the government gets its' act together and is seen as a team and in control of the agenda it is [b]stuffed.[/b] Blaming others for its' woes is an absolute waste of time and energy.

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011There are some things that this government is good at. [b]Time to cut, slash and make runs[/b] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/time-to-cut-slash-and-make-runs/2228557.aspx?storypage=0 [i]'The pseudo election campaign between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott may be a good rehearsal for 2013, but Gillard is carrying unnecessary lead in her saddlebags by confining the issue to a carbon tax. That's fighting on Abbott's ground and giving him the wind in the first half.[/i] Yep, playing on the oppostions home turf and giving the advantage of a favourable breeze to the opposition is something this government is good at. I would even be tempted to say that this is something the government is [b]excellent[/b] at. IMHO, It is time for the PM to leave the campaign trail and get back into the office and show that she is leading the country. Leave the campaiging to the opposition, they may well run out of puff well before the due date. Some very worthwhile reading in this article.

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011Rosslyn Beeby is Science and Environment Reporter @ The Canberra Times, she seems to have a nose for politics as well. [b]Selling the package[/b] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/selling-the-package/2228553.aspx?storypage=0 [i]Beep, beep. What's the connection between Australia's new carbon pricing package and the Road Runner, the speedy cartoon character created by legendary Warner Bros animator Chuck Jones? The answer is a nugget of shrewd political advice from former Australian Labor prime minister Paul Keating. Asked just three months ago by the ABC's 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales if the Gillard Government was struggling in the polls, Keating replied, ''All governments struggle in the polls, particularly when you take on big issues.'' ... Governments that wander along uncertain about where they are, looking over their shoulder, invariably get run over themselves.'' Gillard was taking on a big issue with carbon pricing, which had the potential to give her Government ''authority and energy'', Keating said. So, is the rubber burning up the political highway after last weekend's carbon pricing policy announcement? Or is the Government still in the parking lot, defending nano-scale price hikes to Tim Tams (possibly up 0.01c) and blue swimmer crabs (up 0.02c)?[/i] Ms Beeby has a good look at the ins and outs of the last week in a reasonably balanced and clear sighted way.

Per Ardua

16/07/2011DMW, sometimes I wonder are your comments serious, serious satire or are you just playing the devil's advocate. Did you not see FS's (and a commenter's) summation of this hacks "crap" at 8.37. If not, I suggest a quick read and if the cap fits.....

Acerbic Conehead 2

16/07/2011[quote]Like it or lump it rail against it if you will but no mistake that until such time the government gets its' act together and is seen as a team and in control of the agenda it is stuffed.[/quote] D Mick Weir, This government has succeeded in getting 160 or so bills passed through parliament. It has forged a working majority with some non-Labor parliamentarians to enable it to do so. It has just announced a reform of the tax system coupled with a scheme that will tackle greenhouse gas emissions. None of these show a government that "hasn't got its act together" or lack of teamwork. Did you read Boerwar's list of Abbott's stunts and distractions HS cross-posted earlier? Any government that is faced with such dishonesty, promoted by a supine media that won't challenge Abbott on anything, would find it virtually impossibe to make political headway. You need to get your head out of where it's bunged and do some more serious analysis. STOP THE POSTURING!

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011Hi Per Ardura, yep read FS @ 08:37 and? Devils Advocate? at time yes, at others my considered opinion and at other times a bit of cynicism and a small dose of satire tho' I am not too good at that. I am happy for you to believe that: a) Carney is nothing but a hack b) everything he wrote in that article is crap c) that there is not even a grain of truth in it. By all means believe that if you want - no skin off my nose. In my opinion, and that amounts to the weight of about three-fifths of five-eighths of frig all, and even less in some peoples eyes, Carney has some very valid points, as does Waterford and many others. To dismiss them as hacks or [i]whining twats[/i] or whatever may make us feel better but it is also akin to denying that we have noses on our faces.

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011Hi AC, not sure where or when I denied that: [i]'This government has succeeded in getting 160 or so bills passed through parliament. It has forged a working majority with some non-Labor parliamentarians to enable it to do so. It has just announced a reform of the tax system coupled with a scheme that will tackle greenhouse gas emissions.[/i] or that I had even implied that. Yep, the government has done all those things and more. Sometimes they have done it well, sometimes in a ham-fisted way and that happens to us all and to all governments at times. What I did state is: [i]... that the [b]outward appearance is[/b] that this is a dysfunctional government and its' leader lacks authority ...[/i] I don't believe I have denied that the media isn't playing a big part in amplifying that perception and yes I would have me head up my posterior if I did think or say that the media has not played a role. I will still maintain that the problem starts well and truly at home. Inside the government and nowhere else and it is up to the Prime Minister and the government to change the perception and no one else. I have not and do not contend that it will be easy or that there will be no cr@p written in some places. I contend that one sound option would for the PM to take herself off the campaign trail, get into the office and give the appearance of governing.

TalkTurkey

16/07/2011Barrie Crassidy to ask John Howard on Lopsiders tomorrow: "Tell us Honest John, now that we know that you and Reith and Ruddock lied about the Children Overboard affair, and that you were personally responsible for the orders that led directly to the loss of all refugees aboard the SIEV X, why you think you should not be charged with treason, mass murder, conspiracy, and perverting the course of justice in order to secure an election victory."

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011D Mick Weir, The problem is not that Shaun Carney makes some valid points and we don't acknowledge it, but that the negative pronouncements from Mount Age that he makes, po-faced, because he has been writing about politics since Fraser was in short pants, or wtte, does not therefore mean that he's not writing punctilious bovine excreta for the most part, based upon his perceptions, which have just as much validity as mine, IMHO. Same goes with Waterford, which, if you had read my response to your quote of him in the last blog would have shown you that he is able to weave words together well that can be mesmerisingly reasonable-sounding. However, when you tease them apart and analyse them, well, to say that he is as expert at loading his work with the sort of negative characterisations that Abbott is, is certainly not, from my humble perspective, the sign of a convincing author and commentator, or a compliment. You know, I think that what is getting lost in translation here is that we are supposed to judge our politicians on the policies they fight for and successfully implement, and then vote according to what we think about it at the next election. Not tear them down because they don't convince a bunch of self-appointed political oracles who think the shit they write doesn't smell and that their opinion is worth more, way more, than the pile of dust it actually is, soon come to another recycling bin near you. Though they do enjoy delivering their sermons from the mount and believing they influence us all, don't they? When it's actually the bloated Queen Bee of 2GeeBee in her hive feeding the hive mind of the electorate with her poisonous pollen, pollinating their minds into accepting the pollution that the government is trying to do something about, that is really the influencer here. And the trickle-down effect(who said it doesn't work?), appears to be getting to you too. But then that's just my opinion, which is worth 3/5 of bugger all, as you say, DMW. And I intend to hang onto my 3/5 of bugger all and fight my corner until they take the internet away from me by silencing my voice. And don't you worry about whether you think I'm right or wrong about that because that's one thing I know to be 100% true. They will, in the future, the totalitarian future of Tony Abbott's Guided Democracy, just be able to make sure that the voices they don't want us to hear don't get an account with a supine Internet Service Provider network, as thoroughly intimidated then and in the pocket of conservative multinational media corporations, as News Internatiional media, and it's fellow travellers, are today. Why do you think Murdoch is so willing to sacrifice his 'friends' of over 50 years standing, let alone possibly his son next, after the newspaper and Rebekah Brooks? Because there's one thing he knows, and that is that BSkyB, and internet properties like it are the Monopoly Mayfairs of the future, and he'll do anything to get them in order to retain the sort of control he has become used to in his long and foetid life. Good for you if you want to be sucked into the vortex. I'll give it a miss thanks, and live out my days wondering how supposedly sentient beings could be so dumb.

NormanK

16/07/2011D Mick Weir If your intention was to stir the hornet's nest, then I suspect you will be marvellously successful. There is almost nothing in what you have written that I can agree with. I won't pick it apart line by line but let's look at a couple of items. Referring to members of the press gallery by their nicknames is just part of who she is - there have been unrelenting calls for Gillard to just be herself and yet on those occasions when she is it is misconstrued as meaning something else. From what I can gather Ms Gillard has always been a bit 'jokey' with the gallery - tickling Mark Riley, teasing a Sky News cameraman on the campaign bus spring to mind. Okay, the advice might be sound that she should behave a bit more prime ministerial but then this will be depicted as being aloof or dictatorial. Look at the way her brief moment of emotion during her Press Club speech has been portrayed. Variously as feeling sorry for herself, cracking under the pressure of a difficult policy sell, faking it for sympathy or passion for the task at hand and remembering where she comes from. I would not for one moment suggest that this government's problems stem exclusively from media bias. Every human being is flawed, therefore every government is flawed, the public servants who serve that government make mistakes, MPs make mistakes, advisors make mistakes and on it goes. These are all givens and are to be expected from any government to some degree or other. That's the level playing field or the zero on the 'x' axis if you will. Absolutely it is the media's job to call attention to such shortcomings and in a properly functioning parliament it is also the job of the opposition (regardless of who is in power). In a normal environment the opposition might be expected to overstate the case, resort to hyperbole and talk up the errors whilst overlooking the good work done. I expect that and can accommodate it by being a bit cynical in taking their claims at face value. As things stand at the moment this opposition claims there is not one single thing that this government is doing that is commendable - even if that recognition is only signified by silence on the matter or even if that action is in keeping with a formerly-held Coalition policy. The fact that the Murdoch press is following this exact same line of negativity reinforces the opposition's position. It would seem that you feel that the media has very little influence over public opinion. Let's leave politics for a minute and recall the basting that cricketer Michael Clarke got at the hands of the print media earlier this year. Despite objective evidence that he is one of the best batsmen in the world, has a good captaincy record, enjoys the support and respect of his team-mates and peers around the world and has on many occasions rescued the team from ignominious defeat, they still managed to portray him as 'over-rated'. So successful was their campaign that when he walked on to the Gabba to captain Australia against England, a large portion of the crowd booed him. My brother-in-law is one of Clarke's critics and when I push him to justify his criticism he reluctantly acknowledges that his record is good and that there are no grounds for disliking him as a cricketer. In the final analysis he is pilloried for being 'a show pony'. He did underwear ads, had a high profile 'model' girlfriend, lives in a million dollar home, drives a flash car and hobnobs with celebrities and royalty. These, it would seem, are grounds enough to dislike him as a cricketer. Where did my brother-in-law get his opinion from? Fox Sports, Sky News and the Murdoch Press. The Channel Nine commentary team were dumbfounded by the crowd's response at the Gabba. Bear in mind that the commentary team has four former Australian captains, one former vice-captain and a former captain of England - pretty knowledgable guys I would have thought. They could see no objective cricketing reason for the public turning away from Clarke. I think it is only reasonable to conclude that the mood swing was brought about by media conditioning. Which leads me to this quote from you - [quote]All the bleatings about 'bias', 'negativity' or whatever overlook  a simple and obvious (even to some on the Labor side) fact, that the [b]outward appearance[/b] is that this is a dysfunctional government and its' leader lacks authority [/quote] My emphasis. Where do you reckon this 'outward appearance' is coming from? The appearance of anything that we can't experience first-hand comes to us through some form of media - a novel, a film, a magazine, newspapers and television. If a significant proportion (highly significant proportion) of that media faithfully reports falsehoods and offers no correction when it is proven wrong (coal industry under immediate threat), creates conflict where there is none ($150,000 class war against the 'rich' who [i]aren't really[/i] rich), engages in hypocrisy (reaction to Carbon Kate versus Mrs Murdoch), deliberately mounts a campaign against government projects (BER - 97% successful by objective measures, 100% successful in terms of achieving its goals), constantly uses terms such as 'weak', 'dysfunctional', 'struggling', 'aimless', 'lacking vision' and the list goes on and on without in any instance pointing to a quantifiable example of such behaviour and constantly talks things down down down, the end result is that the 'x' axis has been shifted. It is no longer a level playing field. If you need just one concrete example, did you read Lenore Taylor's piece linked to above? http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/price-fantasies-of-barrow-pushers-and-veg-growers-20110715-1hhxq.html A story in the [i]Herald Sun[/i]which not only misconstrued the facts but outright misquoted the Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Kate Carnell. It would be okay if that remained limited to one newspaper but it was then syndicated and faithfully reproduced on commercial TV news bulletins despite the fact that its content was largely untrue. Do you seriously believe that Taylor's article showing up the falsehoods in the [i]Sun[/i] story will get the same coverage or have the same subliminal impact? The opposition and the hostile parts of the media are drip-feeding falsehoods and exaggerations into the subconscious of the Australian public and even if the party positions were reversed and I was still able to recognise this interference I would be equally appalled as I am now. Yes, my response is reinforced and appears partisan because I back Team Red but I would be equally horrified if our media was as blatantly left-wing as it is currently right-wing. Democracy is the loser and good policy formulation and outcomes will never occur if our politicians are run by the media and its backers. I'm not calling for a favourable media, I'm calling for an objective media (within the constraints of human subjectivity). I want the 'x' axis brought back much closer to zero so that I can properly evaluate how this government is performing. The Murdoch media and its followers have cried 'Wolf!' so many times that even if they now found a genuine case of misconduct or poor policy I would take it with more than a single grain of salt. Therefore, I am even more at a disadvantage because the sources upon which I should be able to rely for information have proven themselves to be unreliable. How then can I judge the usefulness of this government? And to be even more blunt - policy outcomes are what I care about, not political manoeuvrings. If Labor lose the next election but the CEF stays in place that is infintely better than Labor winning the next election having taken no action on climate change. Throw in the NBN, BER and MRRT for good measure. If some of my commentary is off-target with regard to what you have written, you need to be made aware that, to this reader at least, that is the impression I got from your remarks.

janice

16/07/2011http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/carbon-sunday-tax-reform-a-worthy-start/story-e6frgd0x-1226095153467 Must read article from George Megalogenis.

2353

16/07/2011Like it or not, in the yacht race that is Australian politics, Gillard is going down for the third time at the moment - whether she deserves to is a different matter entirely. While she seems to have it all over the LNP in the parliament, the average Australian would rather have teeth pulled that think about politics or watch Parliament - all they see is Abbott offering his version of "business as usual" for Australia by appearances at places where the issue of the day will have detrimental consequences versus Gillard making "unnecessary" changes. Humans are usually resistant to change, so the easy option is Abbott's "just say no" campaign. DMW is right - the Government needs to have control of the conversation. Responding to Abbott's bleatings is not the way to do this, they need to commence a new story, strategise Abbott's response and nuetralise it before it gains traction. IN the last little while, there has been some evidence of fair reporting out of the press gallery with Abbott being taken to task as well as Gillard but the Government needs to own the show - if it means doing stunts at places that will benefit greatly from the manufacture and installation of solar panels (or even better someone who was put out of the solar panel business by Abbott & Howard) so be it. At times before taking the high moral ground, you have to demonstrate there is a moral ground first. The ALP hasn't done it and needs to do it pronto in order to win an election in 2013. Recaptcha bingo includes the word "Critical"!

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011In further reading today [b]Coal will be king for decades[/b] Chanticleer Weekend AFR Print Edition. [i]In a week when the focus of politics, the media and boardrooms was on the carbon tax, the stand-outs for financial markets on both sides of the Pacific were takeover deals giving emphatic endorsement of the long-term profitability of fossil fuels. ... A day after the Opposition Leader ... talked down the industry's prospects ... analysts were reviewing their valuations ... and predicting a new wave of takeover activity. ... Peabody chief executive Greg Boyce is effusive in his assessment for the outlook for coal ...'[/i] I would hazard a guess the leader of the opposition doesn't read the AFR and if he did would dismiss the paper and its' reporters as governmemt lackies or something similar. Does the PM need to 'sell' this? Nope, just get on with governing and let business get on with business. It is the best part of two years before the next election campaign needs to be run.

Per Ardua

16/07/2011DMW, “Like it or lump it rail against it if you will but no mistake that until such time the government gets its' act together and is seen as a team and in control of the agenda it is stuffed.” AC’s list of this government’s achievements sure does indicate a Government without its act together! How can you say the agenda is out of control, other that by parroting MSM crap? Who has it under their wing? Surely not TA with his abundance of uncosted penny ante policies (don’t ask where the funds are coming from – we’ll tell you later) including DAP which has once again been pilloried by Lenore Taylor this morning. As PJK said, the carbon package is a major reform up there with enterprise bargaining, the reduction of tariffs, floating of the dollar, the big privatisations, prices and incomes accord, etc., etc. Please don’t tell me that a government that introduces reforms such as this has lost control of the agenda. If this broadcast on Gina Riley’s channel is the standard of opposition to this major reform (From Lenore Taylors column referred to previously) then well may we say God save the Queen because nothing will save the stuffed Zucchini! “Brent told Channel Ten the weekly rise in grocery bills (as a result of carbon pricing) could be a staggering $30, $29.20 more than the Treasury forecast. He told the Herald that estimate was based on "a very subjective analysis. Just figuring it out as best we can. We haven't had any modelling work done and we can't quantify it really, but we are really very angry from a vegetable perspective … we can't really be specific but we know vegetables and we think people might end up paying $12 a week more for their vegetables alone." . Brent advised people to believe his ''perspective'' rather than "Treasury fantasies" because "vegetables have been around a lot longer than the Gillard government". Reminds me of someone else actually....

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011Tony Abbott must be thinking he can walk on water. Today we have him saying that he doesn't think the Tax Free Threshold needs to be raised to $18,200 from a measley $6000. (He needs the poor's taxes to pay for his Rich Bitch Paid Parental Leave Scheme, I suppose). The saddest fact of all is that he'll probably convince the people whose financial interest this latest shonky economic move is against to support it wholeheartedly.

Acerbic Conehead 2

16/07/2011[quote]I contend that one sound option would for the PM to take herself off the campaign trail, get into the office and give the appearance of governing.[/quote] D Mick Weir, The PM wouldn't have to go out and sell what is good policy if she hadn't got a toxic media to contend with. An objective media would point out the benefits of such policy and not, instead, deify some idiot who kisses dead fish, ffs. Your head is still stuck, mate.

Per Ardua

16/07/2011Oops, Gina Reinhart not Riley

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011Hi 2353, thank-you for a moment there I was beginning to despair [i]At times before taking the high moral ground, you have to demonstrate there is a moral ground first. The ALP hasn't done it and needs to do it pronto in order to win an election in 2013.[/i] I hadn't quite seen it that way and will percolate that through the grey matter an excellent point. I dips me lid. FS, yes I read your response on the previous post (twice) and you posited some interesting and valid points and I chose to let the questioning of my mental capacity unchallenged. I have no doubts about your opinions nor do I question your right to hold them. Sometimes I agree wholeheartedly with them, sometimes I don't and would we have it any other way? NormanK, thank-you for your comment. Your usual well thought out and balanced writings never cease to inspire. I will dip into the middle somewhere and pick up on this first. Yes, I read Lenore Taylor's piece and totally agree with everything you said in relation to that. What I find intriguing is that at other times Lenore Taylor is variously categorised by some, and I do not include you in this, as a nothing but a hack, everything she writes is crap and there is never a grain of truth in what she writes. Usually only though when it is at odds with the worldview of the of the commenter that is telling us that Lenore, or any other jouno you care to name has a hide to ctiticise the government or the PM in particular. [i]If your intention was to stir the hornet's nest, ... There is almost nothing in what you have written that I can agree with.[/i] I am intrigued to know what tiny morsel you did agree with. But any way no my intention was not to stir the hornets nest but pull back the blinkers even if only a tiny bit. I think I have already said that yes there is some awful reporting and sure there is heaps of cr@p and yes the media is magnifying the perception of incompetence. I also know that it has to start somewhere and have some basis for the perception to take hold. Sure journos can 'make stuff up' but when the likes of Laura Tingle write about ministers not talking to each other and there being a lack of discipline inside the government a smart person would take notice and maybe begrudgingly admit there may be a kernel of truth in what she has written (I still haven't read that article btw but have heard enough to know the general thrust). My contention is that the government is not playing it well and is doing itself no favours by playing on the oppositions (and the medias) home ground. I have had a couple of 'stoushes' around this theme before and no matter that it was totally inadvertant one prominent commenter stated the same thing in a different way. I well remember my embarrassment in the follow up response after I pointed it out. It is unfortunate, but true, that no matter what policies this government implements and how good those policies are for the well-being of the nation, in the end people will vote on their perception of the competence or otherwise of the government and whether they think that the government will do something to improve their lives.

Jason

16/07/2011AC, Fran Kelly said the other week that it wasn't the job of the media to sell Labor policy and she is right, the problem with Kelly et al is that when Labor goes on shows such as her one she wants to talk about everything but what they want to sell. Per Ardua I knew who you meant

Gravel

16/07/2011Acerbic Conehead I felt like I was watching a tv skit while reading your wonderful piece. Luckily I was alone in the house so could laugh out very loudly which I did with much gusto. Thank you. Psyclaw In the last post, I really enjoyed reading your input, it enables me to get a much wider knowledge. Thank you. Lyn Every day you are here, rain hail or shine. I feel guilty on the days I can't click on your links and if I go back to the one's I missed I would have to spend all day on the computer. Thank you so much for all your hard work every day. Jason My my Sunday viewing. At least I know what I don't have to watch. I appreciate you putting up the 'guide', it sometimes saves me from sitting through rubbish. I can say I will definitely watch Julia. I am disappointed I won't be able to see how Riley covers the week after his very good question at the press club. Do they have it so you can watch it later on the computer? And thank you for your efforts too. Per Adua I agree with what you wrote too. Thank you. NormanK Nail meet hammer. Do you have ESP? You seem more often than not to be able to read my mind, and I enjoy the polite way you put your objections. Thank you too. Michael Thanks go to you for all your Bad Abbotts almost daily. I enjoy the way you write them up. Patricia I hope your computer gets fixed very soon, I await eagerly for your wonderful pome's. Again, thank you. Everyone else who contributes here in one way or another, I appreciate all the time and effort you all go to to contribute here. Ad Astra has certainly drawn a great group to this blog. My thanks to Ad Astra, you have to accept responsibility for all this wonderful talent that gathers here, without you many of us would be in a wilderness wondering if there were any agreeable people left in Australia.

2353

16/07/2011Jason said [quote] Fran Kelly said the other week that it wasn't the job of the media to sell Labor policy and she is right, the problem with Kelly et al is that when Labor goes on shows such as her one she wants to talk about everything but what they want to sell. [/quote] Exactly Jason, if the ALP want to survive they have to do it on their own terms using their own resources. The media's job is to criticise and hold people to account (that they do it to one tribe better than the other is a moot point). The Government need to learn how to manage the media - it can't be too difficult; Abbott's been doing it for ages.

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011More disgusting behaviour from the Lunar Right that Abbott draws succour and warriors from: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/07/another_day_another_death_thre_1.php

Jason

16/07/2011Gravel, Here is a link to the "Riley Diary" http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/search-lite/?p=riley+diary

Feral Skeleton

16/07/20112353, I put it to you that every day the media get a sheaf of Press Releases from the government and the Opposition, plus the minor players. Now, why is it that they choose to run with the Opposition's Press Releases, and their self-interested comments about the issues of the day, over the government ones? How can the government do anything about that?

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011Nasking, If you are out there, I hope your Doctor's appointment went well. :)

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011AC, my head may well be in an inappropriate place but it certainly nowhere near my nether regions. [i]The PM wouldn't have to go out and sell what is good policy if she hadn't got a toxic media to contend with.[/i] There is no need for the PM to sell this policy. If it 'needs' to be sold she has a very capable minister in Combet to do that job if it needs to be done. She has some other very capable ministers in Penny Wong, Bill Shorten and more if Combet should need some backup. The only place that the PM needs to 'sell' this policy is on the floor of the house. It will only succeed (or fail) there and nowhere else. The PM should not be wasting her time (and creating even more greenhouse gasses) by stumping the campaign trail. That is playing on the oppositions field and will possibly lose her more points than she needs to lose. Good policy is not implemented in the court of public opinion or in the mad-house of the media it is done in parliament and NOWHERE else. The PM has the numbers so she should get on with leading the government and clearing the road for more fine policies to come.

TalkTurkey

16/07/2011Gravel You said hello to everybody but the Turkey. Feathers falling all over my display mound. :'(

D Mick Weir

16/07/20112353, I am on the same train as you with that. Your engingine is pulling in the right (oops correct) direction :)

Jason

16/07/20112353, I posted this yesterday, and I would like someone in the media to put this to Abbott and see if "Green" is correct what would Abbott's answer be? Here is Antony Greens take on Abbott's claims on a DD election,he goes through all the scenarios, but also says that should the government see out it's term and I'm yet to hear the "press" put this to Abbott! "One other point to make is that if the Labor government makes it through to the end of its term in the second half of 2013 and the Coalition won that election, then the Coalition would probably find it impossible to hold a double dissolution until the first half of 2015." I think Abbott wants to be "PM" by any means and once there he would say it is all to hard and maybe water it down a bit if he could, but I don't think he would be rushing to a DD election, and just rely on the fact most of those who would vote for him are politically ignorant at best and he would just baffle them with more bullshit! blogs.abc.net.au/.../...-the-next-three-years.html

Jason

16/07/2011sorry here's the link http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2011/06/what-chance-a-double-dissolution-in-the-next-three-years.html

psyclaw

16/07/2011"The media's job is to criticise and hold people to account " 2353 I don't think this is the role of the media at all. As I see it their role is to report the news. This will often involve a need (indeed an obligation)to analyse the news and perhaps comment on salient points that the analysis throws up. Of course accountability is implicit in such a process in that any decent analysis will identify both substance and crap. But I cannot accept that it is the role of Rupert Murdoch or his minions to hold anyone to account, other than themselves. And obviously they are unable to do even that. Also 2353 you say that Abbott manages the media. I would say he uses and abuses the media , aided and abetted by compliant journos, editors, and newswriters. Those that are not compliant he bullies. I am reminded of the documentary that filmed the Independents in those two weeks last August as they went about their negotiations. At one point they filmed Abbott visiting Mr Windsor's office to put a bit of pressure on. When he realised that he was being filmed, on camera he began to bully the cameraperson and threatened him/her not to put the segment to air. The ABC put it to air, showing Abbott to be a bully. I also note here that subsequent to the showing of that doco, no print media or radio/TV commented on his behaviour ....so much for accountability. There was similar silence from the MSM after Leaky Boats last week......here abysmal conduct by a PM and a Minister involving manipulation of the ADF, blatant lying to the community, and breaching maritime law by insisting that women and childrens from a sunken boat remain floundering in the ocean, for political reasons On other occasions Abbott "manages" the media by walking out. In his replt speech to the PM's carbon price announcement last Sunday, he rudely ignored and refused to answer a question from Lenore Taylor. And shortly after, the questions got too hot and he abruptly left the room, as he often does. The media as an agent of accountability....not for me.

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011The PM wearing out some more of her shoe leather at Hazelwood Power Station today: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-16/gillard-visits-latrobe-valley/2797262

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011I don't recall anyone pointing to Ross Gittin's piece from last Wednesday is I am being repetitous I apologise. [b]Give and take: this new tax is a piece of cake[/b] http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/give-and-take-this-new-tax-is-a-piece-of-cake-20110712-1hc2k.html#ixzz1SFSJpVQM [i]The carbon tax is neither as good as Gillard claims nor as bad as Abbott claims. Funny, that.[/i] The illustration by John Shakespeare is brilliant and has 'coloured' my thinking.

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011TT, This one's for you :) http://yfrog.com/kjz5grj

NormanK

16/07/2011D Mick Weir & 2353 I'm trying to come to terms with what you are suggesting. It seems you believe that the media is a passive entity just sitting back waiting to be 'managed' when in fact they are part of a very proactive and avaricious monster. They don't only magnify shortcomings that already exist, they create them. The BER is by far the best example. As a lighting designer/board operator if I had to execute 100 lighting cues during a 20 minute dance piece and on Opening Night I managed to get 97 cues spot on and 'could have done better' on 3 cues, I would have been pretty happy considering that I only had the benefit of one Tech Rehearsal and one Dress Rehearsal. Any choreographer who decided to bend my ear about the 3 cues would have met with a hostile response especially if one of the cues appeared wrong because a dancer hit their mark late (States not responding quickly enough), one cue was 'off' because of a misunderstanding (poor practices within the state frameworks) and the last one came about because of a last minute change to how it was to be executed (time constraints). A charitable choreographer would acknowledge that 99% of the lighting was successful since no-one was left in the dark and the audience was unlikely to have noticed small mistakes. What News Limited did was to take those 3 cues and magnify them to the point where the audience is now convinced that the whole performance was a debacle. They are not passive. They are very active and in some cases they are setting the agenda. I recall [i]The Australian[/i] declaring that Rudd 'had until Monday' to sort out the then RSPT. How much more blatant does it need to be?

Lyn

16/07/2011Hi Acerbic Conehead I have just got to reading everyone's comments and aren't they all second to none, a clever bunch of people we have on TPS. [quote]An objective media would point out the benefits of such policy and not, instead, deify some idiot who kisses dead fish, ffs[/quote] So glad you said that no-one else has mentioned "the dead fish kiss", have you ever seen anything like it before in your life. Some MSM idiot probably got paid a huge amount of Murdoch money for that dead fish photo shoot. I thought all this talk of media enquiries, in Australia, might make a difference to their reporting, but no, out they all trot, one after the other this morning, the same bootstrapping stories . 1. GREENS leader Bob Brown is almost co-Prime Minister of Australia, says Opposition leader Tony Abbott 2. Tony Abbott reckons coal will be a "goner 3. Tony Abbott to scrap the new Julia Gillard carbon tax, ... 4. Tony Abbott leads Ms Gillard as the preferred Prime Minister 5. Tony Abbott says Julia Gillard's carbon tax is "a get-rich 6. TONY Abbott has demanded the Gillard government ensure 7. Tony Abbott, it was a lesson well worth his learning. 8. Tony Abbott, could achieve a 5 per cent cut in emissions by 9. Tony Abbott warned that threats of an "inquiry into the media 10. Tony Abbott's threat to have a double dissolution election 11. Tony Abbott seems to handle panic attacks 12. Tony Abbott says his party is passionate about 13. Tony Abbott has slammed Gillard's proposal. 14. Tony Abbott, a former journalist, said privacy protection 15. Tony Abbott said today Julia Gillard's carbon tax 16. Tony Abbott is making his mark. ... 17. TONY Abbott has demanded the Gillard government 18. Tony Abbott's prediction of a caucus uprising Just a few examples of Tony Abbott:- says, said, is, has, seems, will, demands, reckons. I can't do anymore it's making me sick. Thankyou so much for your delightful article you really are something else Conehead, you do us all proud. Cheers :):):):):):):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011NormanK, Am I allowed to say I fell in love with YOU this afternoon? ( K )

Feral Skeleton

16/07/2011Bugger, no spaces...(K)

Lyn

16/07/2011Hi Talk Turkey Don't be sad, our lovely as ever Gravel didn't forget you, she is just keeping you until last but not least. Hey! that's a great photo Hillbilly just sent you, those Bush Turkeys's trying to be table birds [quote]Scrub turkeys are incredible. Here's a couple of the dumb bastards at Shelley Beach pretending to be table birds. yfrog.com/kjz5grj[/quote] Cheers :):):):):):):)

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011NormanK, far from it ... the media is NOT a passive entity just sitting back waiting to be 'managed'. Just one example of the stupidity and lack of team, even the appearance of. Joe Ludwig announcing the 'resolution' of the live cattle export 'drama'. Did not even talk to the back bench sub-committee and, [i]conjecture on my part[/i] the only reason for making the announcement when he did was to cut off at the pass Rudd who was off to Indonesia the next day. (Mind you anything to cut-off Rudd could be a good thing but that is a different debate). Dumb, dumb and dumber provides more ammunition to the voracious media and an opposition that doesn't have to work very hard to ingrain the 'incopetent lable' as true into the minds of even the disintereted.

NormanK

16/07/2011Lyn I hate to burst the bubble but the caption with the turkeys reads : Scrub turkeys are [b]inedible[/b]. I'm here to attest that no they are not. Much of my childhood diet comprised scrub turkey - they're delicious (and protected, of course). It wasn't until I was an adult that I found out they were protected. Guess I'm not going to Heaven now. :) FS You're allowed to say that. And 'a kiss is still a kiss'. :D

Lyn

16/07/2011Hi Norman K You didn't burst my bubble, I'm with it. I changed the caption to "incredible", because I think they are incredible, I think they are amazing, very clever smart birds, not just scrub turkeys are smart, but ordinary turkeys too. Tell you what I am sure I would never eat a scrub turkey, or pheasant or quail or duck.

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011NormanK, I will go back to part of the excerpt I quoted from Carney, that vile writer of crap who apparently wouldn't know his fundamental orifice from any other opening in his body that some might name, [i]... if its current trajectory is not altered, it is likely to be judged by history to be a political disaster. Whether it will be viewed as a policy disaster is another matter.[/i] In no way way am I demeaning the governments policy achievments or particularly disagreeing with any of them even if I have personal quibbles with some of the details that I am still coming to grips with the carbon tax iniatives. I am questioning the political nous, and as I see it Carney is closer to the mark than a lot of people are even willing to look at. I will take a lot of convincing to believe that Carney, Waterford and many others are completely and absolutely wrong and that they are making all this stuff up to suit some conspiracy theory that has more credence for some than reality.

psyclaw

16/07/2011Hi DMW I very much agree with your commentat at 1424hrs above that JG needs to end the tour immediately, get back to the office and as far as the government is concerned, say no more about the Carbon price/ETS. She should leave Abbott out there arguing with himself. There has been so much spoken about the carbon price etc over the last 3 years that anyone who doesn't understand the basics by now is lacking either the brains or the inclination to ever understand. She is on a hiding to nothing and even if she has the most receptive and warm welcome at some shopping centre or other, the MSM will still inevitably capture 20 seconds or so of negativity to run on the evening news....a person simply alking in the opposite direction would suffice. There is no atmosphere at all in our toxic community for reasonable and rational discussion, thanks to Abbott the fool and a supportive MSM. She simply cannot gain any traction personally or for her policies by following her current line. Malcolm Farnsworth has a realistic appraisal of these dynamics on The Drum. JG has the ETS, the NBN, and the MRRT on the brew and the opportunity and ability to have all 3 fully legislated. These three reforms would be brilliant on the CV of any ex-PM. Her goal now should be "stuff any more consultation, stuff any more explanation, just push them all through the parliament". All future media appearances should take the same tone. I intend passing this advice on to her minders, for what its worth.

NormanK

16/07/2011D Mick Weir Ah, now, see this is why we have dialogues and not a series of monologues. I know very little about the 'politics' of politics (oh how I wish we had two different words to describe the separate aspects) and I'm happy in my ignorance. The idea that a government should preoccupy itself with re-election at this point of the electoral cycle is fundamentally wrong. Whether they are 'politically' incompetent is something that I will leave to others to debate but unfortunately it gets all muddled up with policy debate where, at this point in time, I believe the Gillard government is forging ahead on some good fronts. I don't care if history judges Gillard's time in the top job as a [i]political disaster[/i]. 'Politics' disgusts me. I only jumped in because you seemed to be saying and quoting people who believe that the media is not playing a significant role in the ALP's current woes. It's all about perceptions and a hostile media is deliberately creating unfavourable perceptions. Feral Skeleton The video you posted earlier with regard to death threats can't be allowed to go by without comment. I feel as though I have lived a very sheltered life because until now I had no idea that people in this country could be so demented in their political ideology. I find it all very scary.

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011cheers psyclaw, [i]She should leave Abbott out there arguing with himself.[/i] Yep and it probably wouldn't take too long before some arguing with him from within in his own ranks started to occur. Wayne Swan has been fond of saying something about [i]'losing some paint along the way ...[/i] (on the reform road). Part of the problem as I see it is, with the present tactics, is that they have lost all the topcoats and the undercoat is getting a heavy scrape as well. Keep going this way and the screech of metal against metal could be to painful to hear.

John

16/07/2011AC You'll hit the Sydney/Melbourne theatres real soon. after that, Broadway? NormanK: I believe the people [quote]"demented in their political ideology"[/quote] have had their fundamentalism reinforced by John Howard, and by the conservative media & shock-jocks. Lyn: yes, the media are very quick, even keen, to put Tony abbot's name first. I wonder if his press advisers are actually writing the pieces, and headlines. :) PS New post at: http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2011/07/lord-abbotmorts-horcruxes.html

Lyn

16/07/2011H John Congratulations on your article well done, brilliant. Thankyou , just let me know right on time, a lot of the bloggers like to have Saturday night off, so really great to get your article. John I was worried about AC going over to the Stump, but what will we do if he goes to Broadway? Well John if the MSM miss Abbott up first, they are awful quick to put him straight after, in fact they can't mention Julia's name alone from what I see. Keep up your fabulous work, love the photo on your article. Cheers :):):):):)

Michael

16/07/2011Saturday's Bad Abbott Wayne Swan hit the nail on the head. Shouldabeen comparing the carbon tax to the Queensland floods was "despicable". The man has no shame, will plum any depths. Silvio Berlusconi in charge of Italy will look like a paragon of sensible governance compared to Tiny if he ever does become PM.

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011NormanK, I guess if you missed it I haven't done a good job. Yes there is a lot of cr@p being written and spoken, a lot of misinformation to be put to the sword and it is a seemingly insurmountable challege. However, accepting that doesn't mean that just because someone writes a piece that is critical of the government it is totally untrue or inaccurate or that it is cr@p. It puzzles me how, today, Lenore Taylor is close to the greatest thing since sliced bread for the piece she wrote yet not so long she was in the thrall of devil incarnate and nothing better than a witch that should be burned at the stake. Similarly Carney, if he were to write a piece next week in a similar vien to Taylors' he would be hailed and his poo wouldn't pong. The positive bits in the media appear to be few and far between but that is not entirely the fault of the media (and I posit that in some cases some would take a marginally positive piece as anti-government) and it has as much to do with how the government is playing the game as anything else. To suscribe to some great conspiracy theory that the media is to blame for all the governments woes is far from persuasive for me.

macca

16/07/2011Sorry to do this to you all again. This is a piece I posted over at PB. I think it's relevant to your conversation here. Again apologies. The most disturbing aspect of the media war against the Govt, and in particular, Julia Gillard is not the hatred, but the blind hatred. Hatred, in and of itself, is a corrosive emotion. Blind hatred destroys the soul in order to feed the corrosiveness. The waters ahead are deep, dark and dangerous. We've "damned the torpedoes" and are going full speed ahead into them. If the "stop all engines" isn't engaged soon this country is in real strife. The step between blind hatred and blind obedience is negligable. "Kristalnacht" taught us that. The recent incident in Frankston has been written off as bullying. Perhaps it was. I am of the veiw that was a sobering, realistic veiw of blind,naked hate. The Queensland shopping centre incident, my local one btw, was no different. There will be more. The Murdoch lickspittles, along with the venomous spivs of talkback radio have cracked the lid on "Pandoras Box". The light has shone within and it isn't pretty. The spivs wont have the courage to close the lid, We'll have to. Turning the blind hatred of a society self absorbed with its own importance is not going to be easy. A society that has found hate preferable to thought will be hard to change, if not impossible. The irony of the intellectually lazy vigorously defending their laziness will not be lost on many, yet understood by too few. Back in the sixties it was relatively straightforward. Love, hash cookies and a bottle of Matues Rose pretty much took the sting out of many debates. However we're no longer in the sixties. The Government and the Labor party are accussed of having no narrative. To an extent I agree. IMHO they should listen to their focus groups. Focus groups are a tool of modern times. I would suggest they also study the Henry Lawson poem " That Great Waiting Silence". The path they are searching for may just start there.

D Mick Weir

16/07/2011And for any that are up to it Ross Peake has marginally positive piece: [b]Gillard must hold her nerve and fight[/b] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/gillard-must-hold-her-nerve-and-fight/2228550.aspx?storypage=0 [i]We're in the middle of a frenetic de facto election campaign over the carbon tax so why doesn't Julia Gillard just formalise it with a drive to Government House? A resounding election win on carbon tax would give her a mandate that would end Tony Abbott's career. And possibly give her the clear air of a majority in the lower house. The answer is blindingly obvious she would become a former prime minister if sullen voters were given the opportunity to pass judgment this year.[/i] Read more and some might even agree with parts of his analysis (I didn't agree with all of it so there may be some hope)

Lyn

16/07/2011Hi Macca Don't apologise, we love it. Your effort to bring your words here, as well as anywhere else is very much appreciated. [quote]but the blind hatred. Hatred, in and of itself, is a corrosive emotion. Blind hatred destroys the soul in order to feed the corrosiveness.[/quote] How well you say it and how true it is. Thankyou Macca :):):):)

Acerbic Conehead 2

16/07/2011Lyn, Thank you again for the very interesting links you provided. I was particularly taken by Tim Dunlop’s admonition against being ho-hum about the News Corp situation. BTW, when you said, “Acerbic Conehead ever fails to delight”, I presume you meant, “never”, lol. FS, [quote]Keep 'em coming! The po-faced Conservatives just hate it when you take the piss and wind out of them.[/quote] Thanks for your feedback. Make sure you’re upwind when it happens. Also, like Lyn, you have provided lots of links and food for thought for today. Well done. I especially liked your cut n paste from Poll Bludger (Boerwar and Smithe – they are both very good writers). AA, I hope your grandson isn’t a handful and a little “monkey” like his dad, lol. Enjoy your weekend, and we look forward to reading your wise words when you can grasp a momentary respite. TT, If Barry “Crassidy” asked that question to John Howard, I think “Lopsiders” ratings would go through the roof. I don’t think we should hold our breath though. NormanK, [quote]I’m not calling for a favourable media, I’m calling for an objective media (within the constraints of human subjectivity).[/quote] Well said, couldn’t agree more. Janice, Thanks for that link to George Megalogenis’ article. I think this is a good example of the “objective media” NormanK was referring to above. 2353, [quote]At times, before taking the moral high ground, you have to demonstrate there is a moral ground first. The ALP hasn’t done it...”[/quote] I would love to know how the ALP can do this in the face of a mongrel media. Also, you seem to be saying the ALP should also resort to “stunts”. However, surely the latter would be highlighted as examples of a ‘desperate government trying to make itself relevant, blah, blah...’ I believe we need root and branch reform of the media before all sides can effectively demonstrate the “high moral ground”. See my comment to D Mick Weir below for some suggestions. Per Ardua, LOL. You would get a lot more sense out of one of those vegetables than from some of the so-called ‘experts’ around. It seems that any fool’s opinion now is on a par with the expertise of someone who has spent a lifetime working and researching in an area. Jason, Yes, Fran Kelly and ‘Their ABC’ is one of the biggest culprits in ensuring the Coalition position isn’t put under the microscope and, at the same time, very keen to make self-fulfilling prophecies that the current Federal Government isn’t ‘cutting through’. Gravel, I’m delighted you got some enjoyment from my modest attempt at a Cecil B de Mille epic. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Psyclaw, [quote][the PM’s] goal now should be...stuff any more explanation...[/quote] So you reckon the field should be left open to idiots like Alan Jones, Tony Abbott, the ABC, News Ltd, etc to make hay with all sorts of distortions, stunts, and outright lies? The minds of many swinging voters will be so addled, the Coalition will win in a canter in 2013. I don’t think the present Federal Government should just restrict itself to quietly bringing in reforms, on a par with the Hawke/Keating Governments, only for someone like Abbott to waltz in and coast along on the crest of another reforming wave, like Howard did. John, Thanks for the kind review. At the premiere, I’ll make sure you get ring-side seats, lol. Will read your blog in a while. Keep up the great work. Michael, Another well-spotted Bad Abbott. You should give us a regular update of your list of Bad Abbotts. Something like what Boerwar does on Poll Bludger with his fantastic “Bluey’s Stunts”. D Mick Weir, [quote]To subscribe to some great conspiracy theory that the media is to blame for all the government’s woes is far from persuasive to me.[/quote] To be honest, that is a straw man, so you shouldn’t come the raw prawn. Who has ever said, “the media is to blame for all the government’s woes”? And if the media is such an inert substance in politics (which is what I believe you are saying), why did John Howard go to such lengths to stack the ABC Board? Why did News Corp find it important for 160 of its world-wide publications to editorialise in favour of the Gulf War? If the media’s influence is so inert, why do Conservatives put so much time, money and energy into ensuring they call the shots? As I said to psyclaw, if we leave the field open to those people, Abbott is going to romp in at the next election. Reform of the media is essential. For starters, the ABC must be forced to comply with its own Charter. Cross-ownership rules on the media needs to be revisited in view of Howard’s monkey business in rolling back Keating’s harder line. Also, radio stations should face licence penalties if they blatantly promote political partisanship (Alan Jones’ persistent performances, anyone?) or whip up hate-mongering. Have you any thoughts on any of these, or are you prepared to stick your head in that rabbit-hole, just like Moses in my story? And also, I didn’t refer to your nether regions. Read again what I said. I don’t appreciate being verballed.

Ad astra

16/07/2011Folks It has been a busy day for me, and I see also for you all on the blog. Thank you for your comments which I'll try to get to read properly tomorrow. But as that will be a full day with our friends from Fukushima, i won't have much time until the evening. I hope I'll get time to have a glance at Julia Gillard's interview with Laurie Oakes, and the 10th birthday of birthday of [i]Insiders[/i]. I will look forward to reading your comments about these events. For now, goodnight.

NormanK

16/07/2011D Mick Weir No, you haven't missed the mark. A bit of clarification though. I think you are harking back to a series of comments about Leigh Sales and not Lenore Taylor. I can't recall any instance of Ms Taylor being given a hard time but I may be misremembering. Never-the-less, I take your point. This will be difficult to say on an open blog but (in my opinion) there are some times when it is better to let a few balls just go through to the keeper. When I was a much younger man I thought I wanted to be a teacher because my relationship with them had been so profitable. Once I started prac teaching in a real classroom I soon discovered that I only wanted to teach those who had a desire to learn. That's of no use to a classroom full of diverse personalities some of whom had little or no interest in learning. A good teacher would guide them to the fountain to drink but I didn't have the patience for that so I was never going to be a good teacher. Now, in dealing with adults, that lesson is reflected in the fact that I see little merit (beyond pride) in seeking to change the thinking of someone who has no desire to change. For example, I have no time for organised religion but if a devout Creationist were to comment here and make reference to their God during their remarks I would see no merit in taking them to task for their beliefs. They are not going to change simply because I challenged them and the only satisfaction to be gained is a salve to my pride. 'I didn't let them get away with saying that!' No other purpose would be served. That is not to say that I would not try, as part of a more general discourse, to speak against their Creationism but I find that adults learn more readily and more successfully if the information is placed in front of them like a meal and they can then choose for themselves whether or not to indulge. Saying - "Here. Eat." is only going to be successful if the individual is hungry. It is another matter altogether if someone asks for food. We are each of us entitled to our opinion and sometimes, to my way of thinking, respecting the opinions of others means letting them go unchallenged. Not in every instance of course and certainly not if I believe the comment is going to cause harm or mislead. I find one of the great shames about things like blogs is that there seems to be very little tolerance of diversity of opinion, diversity of the means of expressing oneself and a sense of live and let live. Lots of caveats apply to that including causing mischief, lying, personal abuse and so on which should not go uncontested but allowing someone's comment to just 'sit' costs nothing. Ad astra doesn't necessarily have that luxury as the owner of the blog but I believe I have seen enough evidence over the past year of instances of stuff (my own included) which has just been allowed to 'sit' and drift off into the digital fog. No harm done, I got what I wanted to say off my chest and others respected my right to do so by just letting it float away. It is one of the great strengths of TPS that, to a reasonable degree, differences of opinion can go unchallenged or if challenged, it is done so in a respectful manner. I don't know if there is an unwritten code associated with behaviour on blogs but I certainly don't subscribe to the thought that if I don't respond to a comment it automatically means that I agree with it. Our friendly antagonist jj has tried to pull that one and it doesn't hold water for me. Nor does a lack of response on my part mean that I disagree with what has been said. Nothing should be read into my silence except that I didn't find the remark sufficiently affronting or inspiring to take the effort to write about it or, to be honest, a multitude of other reasons. I would have let your comment go past today except that I felt that you were downplaying the role of the media and, far more importantly, I knew that if I placed food in front of you that you would at least taste it. My point is - not everyone is like that. macca Don't apologise. Keep 'em coming. I share your concern and frustration. Let's hope it all comes to naught.

Casablanca

17/07/2011Macca, Focus Groups can be a valuable tool but they must not become the over-arching touchstone that they have become over the last couple of election cycles. I have never read the Lawson poem that you recommended but found it at http://www.ironbarkresources.com/henrylawson/ThatGreatWaitingSilence.html Food for thought!

TalkTurkey

17/07/2011Happy Lopsiders Folks! I have posted this here before, but in recognition of his reappearance by popular demand and his sterling service to his class may I present again for your enjoyment [b][i]JOHNNIE MEETS THE QUEEN[/i][/b] John Howard climbs up on a chair, to kiss Queen Liz’s cheek: [i]“Your Royal Highness”[/i] Johnnie says, “[i]there’s a favour that I seek:- There’s no-one dotes on Royalty as much as Aussies do – I want my land Australia to be a Kingdom too!”[/i] The Queen says, [i]“What a nice idea – but there’s just one tiny thing – For your land to be a Kingdom, John, you’d have to be a King!”[/i] John Howard climbs down from his chair, he grovels on his knees, Kisses Liz’s hand, and wheedles, [i]“D’ohhh, Your Highness, Please? If we can’t be a Kingdom, please, oh please, Your Majesty, Please, please decree Australia a Principality!”[/i] The Queen’s expression shows that he is getting on her quince: [i]“John, for a Principality, you’d have to be a Prince!”[/i] Her answer is quite clearly a down-turned Royal Thumb, But Johnnie scuttles up, and kisses Liz’s Royal Bum! He begs her, [i]“Let me MAKE a Kingdom on Australian soil – Swipe me with thy Magic Sword, Marm, make ME something Royal!”[/i] Liz draws from wells of wisdom – (for Liz is Wisdom’s fount) – (Her speech is sweet as Jesus doing [i]Sermon On The Mount[/i]):- [i]“John, Blessed Be True Royalty – but – sorry to be blunt – Australia’s just a country, John, you're no more than a Count!”[/i] Footnote: I can tell that the Sword has tempered me tougher. When I first posted this I was quite diffident about that killer last rhyme - - (you did notice that killer last rhyme I trust?!) knowing that there were gentlemen present ;-)

Lyn

17/07/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]Lord Abbotmort’s Horcruxes, John, True Politik[/i] But we voters must be very mindful of Mr Abbott's assertions, and the personal greed, and politicalagendas of those who oppose the government's plan, including those of business and the media itself. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2011/07/lord-abbotmorts-horcruxes.html [i]Did the Herald Sun publish a call to assassinate Julia Gillard, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Inciting fear and hatred, and then gleefully publishing the results. And I suppose they’ll act all shocked and innocent if one of their crazy readers goes and does something terrible. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/07/16/did-the-herald-sun-publish-a-call-to-assassinate-julia-gillard/#more-11062 [i]The Australian rages against the changing tide, Derek Barry, Woolly Days[/i] The biggest threat to the media industry worldwide is not declining circulations but spineless leaders in the industrywho are responsible for a deepening lack of trust and a cancerous cynicism in the audience. It is time for that cancerto be cut out. It is also time to move on from Murdoch’s reign of terror. Bring on Gillard’s inquiry. http://woollydays.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/the-australian-rages-against-the-changing-tide/ [i] News of the World and possible outcomes in Australia,Patrick Ashworth, Sporadic Rager[/i] News Limited has put itself in quite a bad position by essentially going to war with the Labor Government. The Australian in particular has had a very clear editorial position of attacking the policies and performances of the Government for some time. Frankly the lack of legitimacy or truth in it's campaigns against http://sporadicrager.blogspot.com/ [i]Can Australia Afford The Murdochs - A brief look at some players in the Australia Network tender, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] Given the recent disclosures of alleged widespread wrongdoing within the News Corporation Group, can the nationafford either the risk tointernational reputation or domestic democratic processes by allowing the Murdoch family anymore media influence than it already has? http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/ [i]Murdoch, mediacracy and the opportunity for a new transparency, John Keane, The Conversation[/i] Using elections and extra-parliamentary monitory devices, it seeks in the name of equality to bring the powerfuldown to earth. Hence the many challenging questions raised by the Murdoch-gate affair http://theconversation.edu.au/murdoch-mediacracy-and-the-opportunity-for-a-new-transparency-2369 [i]Les Hinton, Murdoch’s right hand man, quits over News Internationa Scandal,Cyril Washbrook, The Spy Report[/i] Hinton began as a reporter for the now-defunct tabloid The News in Adelaide, a few years after Murdoch took control of the paper. He became a foreign correspondent before moving into executive ranks in Britain and the United States. http://www.mediaspy.org/report/2011/07/16/les-hinton-murdochs-right-hand-man-quits-over-news-international-scandal/ [i]The Phony Populism of Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Sparrow, Counter Punch[/i] The Murdoch stable displayed both its cojones and its daring in 2003, when every single paper in the empire simultaneously decided that invading Iraq was a wonderful idea – shortly after, of course, Rupert declared that oil at $20 a barrel was well worth other people fighting for. http://www.counterpunch.org/sparrow07152011.html [i]A Horrible Old ................ Creatures of the Deep[/i] FBI have already commenced an investigation into allegations that Murdoch's US newspapers hacked the phone records of victims of the 9-11 terrorist attack. I'll leave it to you to imagine what will happen to Rupert in America if that is proved to be true, but in my mind it involves burning torches and pitchforks: http://electionfiveo.blogspot.com/ [i]Carbon tax ad blitz set to begin, ABC[/i] The Government says the campaign will provide the community with clear information about the plan to price carbon. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-16/carbon-tax-ad-campaign-launch/2797310 [i]PM takes carbon sell to anxious coal workers, ABC[/i] Ms Gillard today toured the Hazelwood power station, one of the nation's dirtiest coal fired power stations,at Morwell in the state's east. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-16/gillard-visits-latrobe-valley/2797262 [i]Coalition Climate Change Policy, Ozpolitic[/i] In compiling this article I read through a number of interviews and statements from Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt. It became difficult to tell thedifference between a gaffe and a lie they got away with. http://www.ozpolitic.com/articles/coalition-climate-change-policy.html

Ad astra

17/07/2011LYN's DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Lyn

17/07/2011Good Morning Acerbic Conehead Don't ask me what I did with that missing "N". I am so glad you know I would "never have put ever". Some news for everybody:- Farmers reject Abbott sums , Lenore Taylor, SMH warnings the Coalition could need to pay up to $500 million a year to subsidise power prices, the new estimates raise questions about whether the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, could achieve a 5 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 within his capped $10.5 billion budget for the direct action plan. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/farmers-reject-abbott-sums-20110715-1hi3l.html#ixzz1SJJLPFLY Murdoch's strange hunt for a handout , Hamish McDonald,SMH ''Harto'', as he's known, has sought to quarantine News in Australia, ordering an audit of all expenses paid in the past three years, insisting the methods of British colleagues were not used here. He didn't mention the salary cap breaches at the Melbourne Storm football team, owned by News and also chaired by Hartigan. But Murdoch has never been one to knock back a subsidy when a government offers one. His cinema arms got some $42 million in tax rebates from Canberra for the film Australia, and $NZ45 million ($35 million) from Wellington for Avatar. The Australian Literary Review, an insert in The Australian which gives conservative cultural warriors a platform, has been put out with subsidies from the luvvies down at the Australia Council, and from the big public universities. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/murdochs-strange-hunt-for-a-handout-20110715-1hhxi.html#ixzz1SJL5CLn2 Cheers :):):):):):)

janice

17/07/2011[quote]And if the media is such an inert substance in politics (which is what I believe you are saying), why did John Howard go to such lengths to stack the ABC Board? Why did News Corp find it important for 160 of its world-wide publications to editorialise in favour of the Gulf War? If the media’s influence is so inert, why do Conservatives put so much time, money and energy into ensuring they call the shots? As I said to psyclaw, if we leave the field open to those people, Abbott is going to romp in at the next election. Reform of the media is essential. For starters, the ABC must be forced to comply with its own Charter. Cross-ownership rules on the media needs to be revisited in view of Howard’s monkey business in rolling back Keating’s harder line. Also, radio stations should face licence penalties if they blatantly promote political partisanship (Alan Jones’ persistent performances, anyone?) [/quote] Good morning Ascerbic and all. Ascerbic, I agree entirely with your quote above. I've been railing against the Murdoch monopoly of media in this country for years, and Howard's successful moves to silence the National Broadcaster was, in my opinion, worse for this country than workchoices. This so-called "freedom of the press" comes with an open slather notion that has been carefully instilled in the nation's psyche by stealth, so that there is little thought that there are such things as truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, integrity and respect. There is absolutely no accountability placed on any form of media outlet. It is imperative for the health and well being of this country that there are strict guidelines placed on the media and heavy penalities imposed when they are breached. I am more than concerned about the way the media are promoting the unhealthy move to incite violence and dissent out in the community. It can only end in grief. Alan Jones et al, are at the forefront of this behaviour yet I see no moves by our Federal Police or, in fact, any authority to curb this dangerous behaviour. I weep for this, my country.

Michael

17/07/2011Father of Bad Abbottism Nothing better sums up the derisive attitude that Coalition politicians and highest level supporters have towards the current Prime Minister than John Howard's comment today on Insiders. Talking about the possibility of an enquiry into Australian media, he observed that Bob Brown was pushing for one, and that "Julia Gillard is yapping along behind him". Little dogs "yap". Little dogs of both genders. That is, bitches yap. The placard that Tony Abbott denied seeing all those months ago, displaying Julia Gillard as "Bob Brown's Bitch", seems to have stuck positively in the mind of John Howard, so positively that he's paraphrasing it in national television interviews. For a former prime minister to talk in such terms about another prime minister, whether out of office, but even more derisively, in office, indicates just how contemptuously Liberals hold the current PM in mind. The phrase "yapping along behind him" put more immediately into my mind the relationship John Howard enjoyed as Deputy Sheriff to George W. Bush. A relationship splendidly put into solid terms with the double puppets featured at one of the first anti-Iraq war demonstrations, of the papiermache puppy Howard constantly shifting forward to kiss the arse of an equally hollow Dubya. John Howard institutionalised "yapping along behind" as the automatic stance of his prime ministership. No wonder the phrase came so equally automatically to mind when seeking to mock Julia Gillard. Another example of fathering Bad Abbottism, where Howard maintained the "world" had not moved anywhere to legislate against the effects of climate change, when it was well-reported recently that the Productivity Commission has listed a thousand (that's 1,000 John) pieces of legislation from governments world-wide to address the issue. No wonder lying comes easy to Shouldabeen when such falsities and elisions of fact slip from the lips of the man he has claimed as his 'father' if he'd been born a lovechild to Johnnie and Bronwyn Bishop. Coalition thinking is smugly elitist, small-minded and snide. That's how Howard ran the country, that's how Abbott runs Opposition, and that's what would sink Australia should Tiny ever become PM.

Ad astra

17/07/2011Folks I'll be out all day and won't be back until evening. Have a great day blogging

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011macca, Never shrink from spreading your word to as wide an audience as possible. :)

Lyn

17/07/2011Hi Michael Thankyou for your Abbott report. Your reports are getting better and better, what do they say more better. inappropriate expression: said eloquently by Mr Howard I think not. "Yapping dog" what a disgusting thing to say. [quote]indicates just how contemptuously Liberals hold the current PM in mind. [/quote] [quote]Talking about the possibility of an enquiry into Australian media, he observed that Bob Brown was pushing for one, and that "Julia Gillard is yapping along behind him[/quote] Seems pretty obvious none of the Liberals want an enquiry into The media in Australia, just as obvious why. Does anyone know, or has anyone read in the MSM where this Abbott black hole has been arrived at, or how come, seems it's just another non factual statement by Abbott. Carbon ads won't feature '$7b black hole' The Opposition has taken a swipe at the Government's carbon tax advertising campaign which is set to launch tonight. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-17/carbon-price-ads-industry-reacts/2797594

Crowey

17/07/2011Lyn, Abbott's accompliced accountants in Hockey,Robb and Joyce have done the sums, and as you know their is no argument that they are spot on with their analysis.

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011Good Morning NormanK, thanks for your sage and wonderful advice which I shall forthwith use with the greatest of care. I hope you will not think less of me but, and this is very hard to say on an open blog so it is with trepidation I announce: I HAVE FOUND RELIGION Yes I have become a Pastafarian. read more here http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/truth-is-gillard-didnt-lie-20110716-1hiti.html While you are there, there are some other bits that you may find interesting.

Michael

17/07/2011Lyn, hi. Thanks for your comments. The Howard interview was rife (ripe?) with little insights. He says at one point, "since I went out of politics". "went"??? Clearly 'turfed out' is too hard a pill to swallow.

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011DMW, THIS is what journalism should be: http://www.australian-news.com.au/codethics.htm

NormanK

17/07/2011D Mick Weir One of the items in that piece seems to suggest that if someone compliments me on my big brain, I am entitled to bragging rights in the locker room. :) Michael Is this the daughter of Bad Abbott? [b]Gina Rinehart slams Julia Gillard's carbon tax[/b] by Alex White and Russell Quinn [quote]"We should also demand from our politicians that they introduce legislation that requires a majority by referendum before they can introduce any new taxes or tax increases," she said.[/quote] http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/gillard-meets-hazelwood-workers/story-e6frf7jo-1226095850585 At $80 million dollars a pop I can see this idea getting up. I am reminded of some of the opening lines of the film [i]Tin Men[/i]. Danny DeVito : How much would you like to pay for a new car? Richard Dreyfuss : Nothing.

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011This is the line that the PM should be taking wrt a Media concentration inquiry in this country: [quote]The Labour leader argues that current media ownership rules are outdated, describing them as "analogue rules for a digital age" that do not take into account the advent of mass digital and satellite broadcasting.[/quote] http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/jul/16/rupert-murdoch-ed-miliband-phone-hacking

Gravel

17/07/2011Talk Turkey All I can say is :$ All your contributions here are just great and I look forward to reading them. I heard someone the other day, either tv or radio, saying wtte 'media are here to keep governments accountable', and my first thought was WTF. In the old days (a couple of years ago), the media reported the facts and let the population decide on those facts. The 'media' had a win when Kevin was demoted by the Labor party, so now they are trying to have a bigger win by destroying this Labor Government. Oh what a feather in their caps they will have then. Doesn't matter that the opposition they are promoting every second of every day will destroy Australian democracy. Doesn't matter that serious threats are being made to many in the Government, the Economists, the Scientists, the....... oh the list could go on. We here on this blog are now not only trying to fight against these incompetents, but it seems now we are having to fight amongst ourselves for sticking up for our current Labor government. I don't understand why it seems to be wrong for Labor/Green voters to defend good policies. I don't understand why people are of the belief that we should accept that the opposition and the media are allowed to do what they are doing and we should just shut up and allow it to happen. Ad Astra I watched Julia on Ch 9, she was again very good. Oakes started the interview with an excellent question, but as the interview went on harked back to what Julia was supposed to have said in caucus about dumping ETS, about the decision to remove Rudd from leadership. He just couldn't help himself and we know what tomorrows media theme is going to be about. Ugh I didn't watch insiders, the thought of watching that little man just made my stomach turn.

Gravel

17/07/2011Talk Turkey That first line is supposed to read "All I can say is I'm :$ .

Lyn

17/07/2011Hi Crowey beblowed I forgot to look at Barnaby's web site how remiss of me. Cheers :):):):):)

Gravel

17/07/2011Jason Thank you for the link to Riley diary. I have to install some 'flash' thing so everyone wish me luck, if you don't see me for a couple of days you will know I have stuffed up somewhere.

NormanK

17/07/2011Acerbic Conehead Thanks for another great laugh. It's a pity we don't see more of your [i]alter ego[/i] in the comment's section. I enjoyed your remarks yesterday. Incidentally, I read somewhere recently that Mr Abbott has rethought his stance on the NBN (No Big Notions). By all accounts he is applying his usual degree of gusto to his new policy position.

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011Ash Ghebranious is a gem, and prolific to boot: :) http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/does-this-make-me-a-liar/

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011NormanK @ 12:29 PM shhh, (secret mens' business) we wouldn't others to know too much I wouldn't like to be held responsible for the reations that may arise if others were to know what goes on the locker room. Something about what goes on there stays there.

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011You have got to love Dr Andrew Leigh: http://www.alp.org.au/blogs/alp-blog/july-2011/why-household-assistance-doesn%E2%80%99t-undo-carbon-prici/ (Wow, there's a lot of love in the air this week. Maybe we are starting to counteract the forces of hate in so spreading this wondrous drug around?) :)

nasking

17/07/2011Thnx AC...good fun. :) I WATCHED: Meet the Press (Ch.10)...corporate suckholes...or should I say Rinehart suckholes. Host Paul Bongiorno has about as many principles left since the Rinehart & Murdoch raid as China has real democratic leaders...sweet FA. Insiders: Thanks to John Howard, the cocky old fool has provided us w/ useful info to be used down the road. I hope he & Peter Reith keep on yapping in that typical arrogant mouth runneth over w/ ego fashion. Howard once more demonstrated he has the integrity of a CEO who has one nipple bein' squeezed by the Chinese, the other the Americans. We can partially thank dear wobbly lips for our decade long thankless position on the S&M global circuit...that sees our country shackled to the wall of China as the dragon whips our environmentals furiously...we scream for more...and are paid like the smelly old whore we are...holding their noses the Chinese takes what they need...ever preparing to move onto the next masochist, Africa, South America...depending on how willing we are to spread further, take more pain...and lower our fees. Thnx Johnny. Seems to me we'd be saner to prepare for a more energy independent time, particularly as the Chinese solar stocks whither under the assault of a devious Wall Street...a downturn in Italian solar incentives...and Chinese solar company's accountancy crimes/problems. Let's face it, the Chinese screwed Rudd & Obama in Copenhagen...and then went about using Suntech (yea, thnx Johnny Howard for letting the founder of that solar company to get away) and many other Green energy companies to make a big time profit for their own industries whilst we undermined our own cleaner energy industries... whilst being taken economic hostage by China due to our reliance on exporting resources/commodities such as iron ore & coal to them...as so many became economic hostages to the Saudis years ago related to oil. You only have to look at the many expensive conflicts & oil bumps America has experienced over the decades to know how that worked out for them. And let's not forget their superb corporate leadership has got themselves so snuggly in bed w/ the Chinese they now owe them the house, the furniture...including the loo. It's a no brainer that Australia should be preparing for a more diverse energy sources future... but perhaps the government compromising w/ some Libs like Turnbull...and some of those scared small-mid size business sectors who lack compensation (eg: retail) in order to lower the starting carbon price to between 15 - 19 dollars might look more responsible considering the wobbly global environment at present. The idea tho, the carbon price should be abandoned due to economin instability is just plain bogus and irresponsible...if major reforms were held back due to wobbly moments we'd never bloody get anything thru...in the past decade+ alone we've had the dot.com crash, the bird flu, and the GFC. Seems to me the hypothetical GFC 2 is pumped up by right-wing carbon price resistors, investment banks and other investors waiting on a new nuclear power resurgence, those in business and dynasties who benefit from "austerity measures" & the delay of pensions etc...and sceptical religious fundy wankers who believe either the climate is not changing...or the changes are God's will and we're heading towards a necessary apocalypse. Frankly, I can't see a GFC 2 eventuating due to major financial organisations who are unlikely to get another big bailout...some big corporate players who rely on economic stability for sales & profits...and the Chinese government w/ its firm hand on interest rate and job creation levers...and the fact many consumers.investors are more savvy now, as are regulators...include scrutiny of. It's time for a further compromise on the "carbon price"...so Tony Abbott & his few "no more taxes or we'll wreck yer economy" business allies are left standing on the sidelines w/ pants down. Frankly, I'd luv to see a visionary, all-star government...w/ Turnbull and a few Libs & others w/ at least an ounce of integrity, understanding of progressive history, and imagination in one big 21st century party. In the early-mid 20th century new parties were created...dreams became reality...oft for the common good. N'

TalkTurkey

17/07/2011Gravel, Of course I knew you hadn't forgotten me. Just gobblin'. And hope you are on the upnup. You too Nasking. Anybody else? Here's a (K)to make it better. Lyn, you were Never the one to compliment people, weren't you? Oops, I think I found your missing N! Reminds me of some silly verse I wrote longtime gone. It followed some other stuff about "Happy N-dings" which made it make a bit more sense but it went: [i]LOOK,[/i] [i]Friend[/i]: If you take the Happy [i]N[/i] in [i]FRIEND[/i] out, then I'm only lonely FRED. If you EDIT the [i]F-R[/i] out, I'll be only known as [i][ED.][/i] If you [i]N[/i] me in the middle, then our friendship's at an END - But grant me my F-R out bit in - FAR OUT!- again I'm FRIEND! (That is a very small part of a very big silliness I once done messing with worms and terds, er, terms and words. Mucho pazzo verso! ) Lyn, you ALWAYS say nice things about everyone's honest effort, yet to read what you have to say, anybody would think you thought you didn't have an awesome ability to wield the Sword yourself. In fact you are one of the great warrioresses of the entire Left blogosphere. And as *J*o*h*n* *L*e*n*n*o*n* said, that is somethin' to be, except you're a working-class hero[i]ine[/i] instead. Just for anyone who reckons the words heroine, aviatix, actress and the like are politically incorrect, this is my MOTHER tongue, I love her, and I despise the destruction of beautiful and nuanced words. [i]Oh Kay?![/i] And I'm all for warrioresses! We have the world’s best as our Prime Minister. Go for it *J*U*L*I*A*. It’s crash through or crash, and we’re as behind you as we know how. Sure feels like time for us all to man up. (!)* Kick [i]Merde[/i]och as much as possible while he’s down folks. DEMAND an enquiry into media wrong-doing, Murdoch’s particularly, but open-ended as far as concerns terms of reference, not just one little aspect or incident, any misuse of their technology, any improper approaches, any mischievous deals with governments, Hoo boy, there must be so much and IT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED, that’s what we’re here for, a just and open society, exactly like [i]Merde[/i]ochracy isn’t. Lying Rodent Howard and Greasy Pig Abbortt are mere creations and pawns of [i]Merde[/i]och. He plays on a global board, he chooses his own back line, and his games are WARS! And he's never lost a game in 80 years. I can't help feeling this is where the real hard educational work of Australia's dumbed-down masses begins, and it needs to happen fast. Don't hold back Folks, say it as best you all can. *( “‘[i]Staff’[/i] the barricades!” ? er . . . NO! ;-) But it’s all part of Mother English. Since Father Time began in fact, well not quite.

BSA Bob

17/07/2011Gravel @ 12.33 Oakes hates Gillard, that's obvious & reliably comes back to her & Rudd. It is, after all, his baby. The 2010 election was dominated by this, he got an award because of it & it all fits with the direction commentary is taking us.

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011FS @ 12:23 PM, thanks for that link, did you forget to include something in your in your comment?

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011DMW @3.08pm, OK, I give up. What did I forget to include?

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011:P

psyclaw

17/07/2011Good Evening All Just a few bits before I settle down to watch the Knights bust manly (Rugby League). Here's a copy of an email to Hunt earlier today. I'm sure he'll reply....he usually does, and he'll present some wimpish counter claim....he usually does....and I'll do my best to dump on that too. Here's the copy: "Good Morning Mr Hunt, I have just heard you condemning the government’s spend of $12 million on advertising the carbon package. You said that it was improper to use government funds in this way because the subject matter was “partisan”. I remind you of the Howard government’s spend of $100 million plus on advertising Work Choices. That policy was partisan enough to bring down the Howard government, and lose the PM’s seat. Your words this morning can therefore be easily dismissed as being partisan, not to mention disingenuous, dishonest and hypocritical. I would normally stop my message here, but since you appeared (in the pre-Abbott period) to be not such a bad chap for a conservative, I am presumptuous enough to give you some advice. You are not in nature a head kicker like Abbott, J Bishop, Morrison, Mirabella, Stone, Ferranti-Wells, Joyce and the like. As you try to emulate them you look silly. In your own interests, please review the tape of Abbott’s reply last Sunday arvo with you at his side. Do so with a trusted, candid friend and seek feedback from him/her. If that friend does not say that your appearance and demeanour bordered on pathos, then you ought not be so trusting of that friend. Please take a good look at the way your comments and presentation since Abbott became leader (and I would be most surprised to hear that you actually voted for him) have so significantly deteriorated in quality. The best thing you could do for yourself and the country and your party is to join with Mr Turnbull and others who would be known to you, and search for ideas as to how the Coalition can seamlessly divest itself of Abbott. The blind self interest he so blatantly pursues will in the end not benefit you, your party, or the nation. Regards"

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011FS, while I it is dangerous to assume (= ass u me) I can only assume that you had your tongue in your cheek when you provided that link. Or is there another implication that my less than astute mind has missed or am I misreading the purpose of the site: [i]Independent commentary to counter the left-leaning, politically correct bigotry of a majority of mainstream journalists.[/i]

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011BSA Bob, You're correct to say that Kevin Rudd still has a lot of supporters in the Press Gallery that are willing to wield that support, forever it seems, in order to destabilise the Prime Ministership of Julia Gillard. Whilst at the same time only telling half the story behind their accusations. 1. Oakes continues to assert that, in Cabinet, Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard, advised Kevin Rudd to drop the CPRS. Other half of the story. They may well have advised him to drop the CPRS(we don't know exactly because of Cabinet-In-Confidence). As the PM has stated, may this have had anything to do with the fact that, up until the 2010 election, the Labor Party had tried and failed 3 times to get something passed by the Senate. Therefore, it was wise to counsel dropping it off the radar until after the 2010 election where the likelihood of a Greens Balance of Power Senate would more likely than not see it finally passed. Makes sense to me. Doesn't fit a Laurie Oakes question scenario though. 2. There is no evidence to support the assertion that Julia Gillard was part of any pre-emptive plot to get rid of Kevin Rudd. She was a reluctant conscriptee who moved into the breach created by Kevin Rudd's disastrous poll slide in order to attempt to save the party from electoral defeat. Which she only just managed to do. Kevin Rudd would not have succeeded. 3. So, yes, she advised KR to drop the CPRS. For good reason at the time. Yes, the polls went South for KR and Labor after that. I don't think she forsaw that eventuality. Sadly. I think she believed the electorate would see reason. The same reasons she used to justify KR dropping it until after the 2010 election. 3. Julia Gillard was therefore wary about introducing a new Climate Change plan so soon after the electoral drubbing the government had received, so she cautiously suggested a large Climate Change focus group, so to speak. Whilst still being disastrously advised by Anne Lampe, her former COS, I would add. Also, she said that under a government she led she wouldn't have a Carbon Tax. Now, as I have said before, she should have been smart enough to add 'majority', so that the sentence would then have been, "There will be no Carbon Tax under any majority government I lead." Perception problem solved. Sadly, you can't unpick history. However, do you think the relevant facts make a hill o' beans difference to Jabba the Press Gallery veteran, and former employer of houseboy, Kevin Rudd(otherwise known as Laurie Oakes)? Not on your nellie. He's gonna keep riding that horse all the way to town, and hopefully over the top of the Prime Minister. Boy, do we need an Inquiry into the Media in this country, and some bloody standards of truth and transparency set. Before it's too late and Big Gina gets her greasy mitts into it. Her and Murdoch controlling it? Aaaarrrggghhh!!!

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011DMW, No, no. I just wanted to show that I can agree with the content of a site, that is, that journalists should obey the tenets of their Code of Ethics, even though that site professes to be anti-journalist/Union of journalists, anti-'Lefty'. As you can probably figure out therefore my attention was more likely than not focussed upon those journalists, of whatever stripe, who do not observe that Code. That was what I was trying to allude to, if somewhat unsuccessfully. Oh, and they are both Left and Right journos, I'm sure. But mostly Right. :)

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011psyclaw, (K) You could also have added, if I may be so bold as to suggest additions to the letter penned by your learned self, that Mr Hunt should think deeply about Crossing the Floor of Parliament to vote for the Gillard government's Climate Change policy, as it so closely resembles that for which he used to be such a strong advocate. ;-)

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011Would you like to vote in this poll? It's approved by me :) http://gelp.com.au/2011/06/30/is-a-carbon-tax-carbon-price-in-australias-best-interests/

janice

17/07/2011[quote]You're correct to say that Kevin Rudd still has a lot of supporters in the Press Gallery that are willing to wield that support, forever it seems, in order to destabilise the Prime Ministership of Julia Gillard. Whilst at the same time only telling half the story behind their accusations.[/quote] FS, The Kevin Rudd supporters in the Press Gallery are definitely those who use this pseudo support to destabilise the Prime Minister. And, sadly, Kevin Rudd laps it up because it massages his ego. I agree with all your other points as well. I do think though that the Carbon Tax statement was more a faux par because she was talking about a CT forever and not a short term prelude to an ETS. She has tried to explain this over and over but of course the media simply ignore it and still run with the LIAR thing.

Lyn

17/07/2011Hi Psyclaw You are such a valuable asset to TPS, your comments are a constant delight, great read.Thankyou so much. Thankyou for posting a copy of your email,be very interesting to read Greg Hunt's reply. [quote]You are not in nature a head kicker like Abbott, J Bishop, Morrison, Mirabella, Stone, Ferranti-Wells, Joyce and the like. As you try to emulate them you look silly[/quote] I agree with you, Greg Hunt shifts from one foot to other, stammering all over the place, his words come out bumpy and fragile. Cheers :):):):)

nasking

17/07/2011I would not expect the present mainstream media to do anything to help promote the carbon price. They are far too interested in "character assassination" & conflict & bringing down governments (sensationalism that feeds into the cynicism & mean-spiritedness & irrational fears of many a reader/listener & gets them the attention & advertisers they seek). Nor can we expect the current media bigwigs to go for an investigation into media ethics & ownership laws. A rabid dog does not recognise that it is ill. Best the government just gets on w/ the job of creating a fairer playing field and dealing w/ the Murdoch's domination of papers. As former newspaper editor Bruce Guthrie puts it in the SMH: [quote]Senator Brown's inquiry would look at media ownership laws, how newspapers are regulated, journalist ethics, even the separation of opinion and news. Given the treatment the Greens have received in the Murdoch press recently and the conduct of News in Britain, I don't blame Brown for wanting to ask some hard questions. But I can save him and his colleagues a lot of trouble, particularly on the question of media concentration: not only is Murdoch's dominance of the print media here inappropriate, it's downright undemocratic. The Brits have been having conniptions last week over his control of 40 per cent of their newspapers. If it was 70 per cent, they'd be tearing down Big Ben. And, of course, they're outraged by News's trashing of journalistic ethics. This week News Limited CEO John Hartigan was assuring us that there is no unethical behaviour at the company in Australia. That may or may not be the case; certainly in my most recent stint with News between 2004 and 2008 at, first, The Australian, and then the Herald Sun, I saw no evidence of anything significant. But forgive me if I take Hartigan's comments with a grain of salt. A little over a year ago he gave evidence in an unfair dismissal case I fought and won against his company; in fact, he was in the witness box for more than a day of a six-day hearing. At the end of it, the judge in the case had this to say about the News Limited CEO: ''There were aspects about his evidence which lead me to be cautious about accepting a number of critical features of it.'' Of course, no readers of News Limited papers ever got to read the judge's comments or similar ones he made about other News witnesses. They simply chose not to report his misgivings. Fairfax did, though. And the ABC. But almost 70 per cent of Australia's major newspapers didn't. That's the thing about having such enormous media power - you can pretty much create your own reality. It requires a great sense of responsibility, but clearly News Corporation, in Britain at least, has failed that test.[/quote] I doubt there are many of us in the blogosphere who would disagree w/ Guthrie. You don't have to be a genius to see the problems that arise from a media mogul family owning too many papers in one country, particularly owning the one major national paper and owning a tabloid in most major metropolitan areas. In QLD's case, w/ virtually no competition. But the problems go way beyond the newspapers...how I see it, talkback radio in this country & America are every bit as problematic when it comes to listeners getting the hard facts. It seems that BS & distortions of facts & character assassination are staples of the talkback frenzy...and where is the accountability? The fact checkers? Certainly not the rest of the media...bar MediaWatch on ABC. Radio shock jocks get away on a daily basis w/ slipping the listeners poisonous stuff for consumption...often containing a floater or twelve. But where is the scrutiny? They just babble on & earn their big bucks...and any listener who dares take them to task is bullied, treated disrespectfully, talked over and/or hung up on...and more often than not, left waiting on the phone to speak only to be told there's no more time left. There some on here who fart on about the government creating its own problems. I say, Howard & co created their own problems...many times...but I never saw the same hostility & consistency of negativity towards them on a daily basis across every media outlet as I've seen thrown at this government & the previous one. "Honest John" was proven to be a lyin' bast*rd & Bush toady long before his government left office. Yet, I never saw the media toll the "doom" bell for him, until the VERY END, as they constantly did for Rudd, now Gillard. Nor have I ever seen an opposition leader get so much airing & support. In fact, I often feel that some reporters & talking heads are merely megaphones for him. Frankly, Tony Abbott has made many many mistakes...and has shown time & again that he is a say anything, do anything egomaniac willing to wreck the economy in order to gain power. But our woeful corporate media cannot ween itself off bashing the government & creating mountain outa molehill stories. Consistently scrutinising Tony Abbott just doesn't fit their agenda...not at least, until he takes government. But if he gives the corporates their tax cuts...and the key moguls favouritism...stabs the NBN...it's unlikely he'll ever see the kind of assaults we've seen thrown at the more gutsy reformers in the ALP-led governments. Don't fool yerselves...the media have had a great deal to do w/ setting the present hostile environment towards the present government & Rudd before them...and manufacturing/manipulating public perception. But of course the devious, desperate opportunistic characters that are Howard & Abbott will tell ya otherwise...as the common good & truth are thrown to the side...at least as long as the poll favours Tony & the former PM, who sees his Rodent self in the eyes of this present flexibly principled Liberal leader. N'

Lyn

17/07/2011Hi Talk Turkey I love the missing "N" poem thankyou. Your comments are brilliant you know ,so enjoyable, I look forward to your posts each day. [quote]LOOK, Friend: [/quote] [quote]If you take the Happy N in FRIEND out, then I'm only lonely FRED. If you EDIT the F-R out, I'll be only known as [ED.] If you N me in the middle, then our friendship's at an END - But grant me my F-R out bit in - FAR OUT!- again I'm FRIEND![/quote] Cheers :):):):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011Nasking, If you saw the PM's Press Conference today, you will have seen that, when asked about the Media Inquiry she pointedly said that she had said all she wanted to say about it the other day at the Press Club. So, not to put too fine a point on it she was putting a full stop to the idea. I think she's smart enough to know that if she agreed to Bob Brown's suggestion it would play into all the 'Bob Brown PM' palaver, as well as upsetting the easily upset yapping dogs at Murdoch Inc. In fact, the barely-contained dogs on the docks would be nothing in their ferocity compared to the human variety let off their leashes to attack her should she agree to the Inquiry. Much as I wish said Inquiry could occur. I'm saying that in hindsight considering that over the past week various media outlets of the Murdoch kind have shown her that they can be more reasonable towards her should they so choose, which I think they did. And, vice versa. :)

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011Btw, Big N, I hope all your recent news has been good news. :)

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011cheers FS, I was being a little 'thick as two short planks' but I did a very big double take when I read the sites stated purpose it sorta freaked me a bit. With great hesitation I looked at the main page and well I guess I have found another Menzies House. Any way regarding the journos code of ethics, where the medical profession have the Hippocratic Oath the more cynical side of me has thought that in the case of journos many took it as a Hypocritic Oath. The complaints mechanism has always had me perplexed. Five jounos assess your complaint, not happy, three journos hear the appeal, still not happy well, guess what, five more journos will review the appeal - umm, excuse me, is that a closed shop? oh no that's right, it's self regulation or something like that. These days I tend toward freer and more open markets with as little regulation as possible. Then I prove to be a bit (only a bit?) hypocritical in that I am very sceptical of industry self-regulation and would actually prefer more government oversight and regulation in some situations. When it comes to media regulation, well what a Pandora's box of worms. We have nineteenth century informed laws not even attempting to be informed by 21st century realities. Whoever recently said we need an informed community debate on what we as a country want from and expect of our media is right. Being just a tad cynical, I doubt we, as a nation, are mature enough to have an informed and reasoned discussion on this and as it has proved many other choices that face us.

psyclaw

17/07/2011Yes Michael, I too noticed Howard the Slime's use of "since I left politics" and I immediately commented to my family that he didn't "leave"....he was shafted. (A joyful memory) One interesting issue he pursued was that of industrial relations. He said that the country needs to return to a system of individual work contracts, combined with having no unfair dismissal regulations. He stated that he didn't mean a return to Work Choices. I pose the question to myself...."isn't the essence of Work Choices individual contracts and permitting unfair dismissal?" Apparently not according to Howard. I hope that some in the media or at least ALP media watchers take this point up and batter that fool,Abbott,with it. A second interesting thing Howard pointed out was the difference between one's belief and pragmatism....he believes that good pollies put away their beliefs to pursue pragmatic strategies. I'd have thought that whilst pragmatism will always be required to get anything actually done, pragmatism at the cost of one's core beliefs is a shallow approach to life. I think that this sums him up. Unsurprisingly, Mr Cassidy did not put these two aspects of Howard's story to the test by asking follow up question(s). An aside...I read on some site (maybe even here, I forget)about googling "howard's lies" or "howard's 35 lies" or "howards 10 big lies". ...interesting read's.....how quickly we forget.

TalkTurkey

17/07/2011Do you get the ABC's intro to news that the Govt is to introduce a series of what are informational short films, "Julia Gillard's Government to spend TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS on a series of advertisements in an attempt to sell her Carbon Tax!" Emphasis HIS, though I lost the exact wording as I watched the rest of the deliberately skewed presentation. And it was. It's a bloody disgrace. I've seen movies where the defence brief is bought off by the prosecution and 'defends' his brief with pale words and apparently innocent ways of putting things that ensure that the betrayed and dismayed accused is certain to be convicted. The ABC has turned it to an art form, such that We think we're being stroked if the reportage is neutral and we think it must be Bunnyweek when Annabel Crabbe says something in defence of the Government ( as she did this morning, O thank you thank you Annabel, but yes I do mean at least one thank you. Sincerely. Keep it up.

Jason

17/07/2011psyclaw, Here is a list of his lies! http://www.awu.net.au/109589607626152_5.html?H%7C19%7C109589607626152%7C1650569191203

nasking

17/07/2011[quote]I think she's smart enough to know that if she agreed to Bob Brown's suggestion it would play into all the 'Bob Brown PM' palaver, as well as upsetting the easily upset yapping dogs at Murdoch Inc[/quote] Feral, Gillard & team should be less concerned about the politics of it & just do what is necessary. That's what good governments do. Playing political games & worrying about media reaction or being associated w/ Greens is part of the reason some people don't trust this government. They want them to do what is blatantly necessary...not what seems politically advantageous. Besides the Murdoch media & talkback radio need a shakeup...it's about bloody time. It's not as tho they're suddenly goin' to ease off on the government bevause Julia Gillard once again takes the dominant ideological position on something. As for this idea that Bob Brown is driving the agenda...I don't see much criticism out there of the freakin' National party & its relationship w/ the Liberals... Interesting how a bunch of socialist flag waving agrarians who oft act like aristocrats of the land and throw around puritanical, socially backward views are allowed to snuggle up to the free market, "hands off our money" Liberals w/out bugger all criticism... The Barnaby & Tony show is a damn site more worrying, archaic, progressive economy undermining and at times loopier than that which we've seen from this alliance government. Yet the corporate media seem to find their spooning and groping and contradictory relationship amusing...and less worthy of scrutiny & criticism. Frankly, I find much of the media & populace EYES WIDE SHUT when it comes to this oddball LibNat relationship... and hypocritical and inconsistent as hell when it comes to the Greens influence over this government. BTW Feral, thnx for asking...the doc reckons my heart is good (relief) and I don't appear to have my Mum's illness polymiositis (more relief) but he's now having me tested for lung disease...and has changed one of my pills in case it's causing allergic reactions. This has helped the rheumatoid-like symptoms somewhat...but the breathing is still laboured...therefore my concerns continue, as the breathing problems are havin' a profound effect on the quality of my life...hopefully the diagnosis of the problem will come soon. It feels like it's taking forever. Cheers N'

BSA Bob

17/07/2011F.S. @4.14 Thanks for your reply, I'll go along with all you said. It seemed to me at the time that the MSM had decided to take Rudd down, this is now conveniently forgotten & Gillard is portrayed as the scheming viper from within. Plus as you say Labor simply wasn't going to get the package through after Abbott & the liebrals reneged on their 2007 election commitment & opposed their own policy. Young Gravel wondered sarcastically what tomorrow's theme would be as a result of the Oakes interview, tomorrow's here already with a stunnuing beatup from 9- MORE ALP LEADERSHIP SPECULATION- a beatup based solely around round 327 or whatever of Oakes' obsessive revisiting of the issue. Plus laying the groundwork for "another Gillard lie", pointed reference to the TAXPAYER FUNDED information campaign. By tomorrow night it'll be an established fact that Rudd & Gillard promised on their dear mum's souls that they would never ever spend a single red cent of TAXPAYER'S MONEY on advertising. I'm getting bloody sick of all this. Discussing it with a friend the other night, we agreed that each day we think "that's it, the bastards can't go any lower or worse", & each new day we're proved wrong.

2353

17/07/2011Been away from the computer for the last day and a half and it seems that my comments struck a nerve. The point at it's most simplest is this - regardless of how the media is *supposed* to act, in Australia in 2011 it will not treat both political tribes equally so all the ranting and raving (no matter how ethically correct) won't make a scrap of difference. There are three possible alternatives for the ALP to get around this. 1. Do nothing - and probably get voted out of office at the next election. If being one of the few countries not going into recession during the GFC, being one of the countries that has made an apparently effective response to climate change, one of the few countries to maintain a low unemployment rate, stable democracy and so on over the last 5 years won't give them favorable publicity from the media in general - I doubt anything will in the next 18 months until the next election. 2. Take the running from Abbott. Don't answer him, don't respond move the discussion along every day onto a different topic. Unfortunately this is high risk and could suggest the Government "can't concentrate". 3. Get down in the gutter with Abbott and try and raise the tone of the discussion once the Government is getting some attention for the right reasons. Three word slogans seem to work!!!! Unfortunately one company owns (either directly or partly) the majority of media in Australia. At present they have most of the resources and other proprietors seem to feel the need to follow the leaders. Short of a gift courtesy of either the UK enquiry or the potential US Court Case, the ownership or tenor of the Australian media won't change. It is clear to a lot of the population that the media coverage is lacking in a number of areas (not only politics). However, the current standard of media coverage together with the "re-education" of the population over the 11 years of Howard's rule has made Australia a more conservative country. Regardless of the ethics and morals of the current system, the system is what we have. The media will tell you they are balanced, some of the conservatives will tell you they are biases to the progressive side of politics and the progressives will tell you they are biased to the conservatives. The media will also tell you "The media's job is to criticise and hold people to account". In the past, the media has actively criticised with ethics and morals and accordingly held people to account such as the Howard Minister for Customs who didn't declare articles when coming back from overseas. It may be well and good to want to change media legislation so that a single entity cannot accumulate such a power again but it probably wouldn't be retrospective without a massive court case and any future government could change the rules to suit themselves. Short of nationalisation of the media and subsequent "sale" to different entities - it won't happen. And small groups eventually buy other small groups and so on . . . The ALP is a player in the system and needs to understand how the system works. While there appears to be an inherent bias, there has to be a way to get the message across anyway. At the moment, the ALP doesn't know how to do and really needs to find out quickly.

nasking

17/07/2011[quote]Here's a (smiley face) to make it better.[/quote] Cheers Talk Turkey. : ) I missed that earlier comment. [quote]And he's never lost a game in 80 years.[/quote] Oh, I'm quite sure he wasn't real happy about Rudd winning in 07...nor w/ the government win by alliance last year...nor the QLD election wins by the ALP...nor the Dems winning the congress in 06 & Obama in 08...nor overly happy about the Lib Dems sharing govt w/ the Tory party. Murdoch's not unbeatable...regardless of how he uses his media & political pawns to make it look like all is rosey. He's mortal just like the rest of us...and as demonstrated in the UK of late...can be as blatantly corrupt, stupid, vulnerable & sycophantic as any regular arrogant aristocrat who thinks they're untouchable whilst pretending to be "far from the Lording over others crowd". BTW Lyn, great link to CounterPunch...thnx: Australia and the Dirty Digger The Phony Populism of Rupert Murdoch JEFF SPARROW, Counter Punch [quote]John Hartigan has launching a review of editorial expenditure to ensure that nothing similar has happened here.Yet there's also been more than a few suggestions that the outrage about the News of the World also represents an elitist attack upon democracy.[/quote] http://www.counterpunch.org/sparrow07152011.html It's a splendid read...and hits the Murdoch nail on the head. N'

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011AcerbicC., You'll love this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFufrqhp0eE&feature=youtu.be

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011The Dirty Digger trying to look all swaggery in the back of a car next to a young blonde, but just looking Ewww! http://www.prmoment.com/716/a-farmer-goes-all-harry-potter-to-win-good-pr-while-murdoch-threatens-a-monopoly-on-bad-pr.aspx

Ad astra

17/07/2011Folks After a very long day and lots of driving, I'm going to leave it until tomorrow to respond to your comments.

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011Red rag to a bull alert As I wandered through the various sites I tap into to stretch my thinking, as is my want, I came across a delightful read that confirmed my thinking in some ways and stretched it in others. Before I write more please be advised there may at least two red rags and a bit of a sweetner. Over at Club Troppo Nicholas Gruen has posted: [b]Krugman – another classic column[/b] http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/07/17/krugman-another-classic-column/ [i]. . . [T]here has been, I have to admit, an element of comic relief — of the black-humor variety — in the spectacle of so many people who have been in denial suddenly waking up and smelling the crazy. A number of commentators seem shocked at how unreasonable Republicans are being. “Has the G.O.P. gone insane?” they ask.[/i] The comments are where my mind was stretched and gave some confirmation of my thinking. As I read through Krugman's analysis of the what could be best described as the antics of the Republicans in their negotiations with POTUS I couldn't help thinking that the same sort of stupidity isn't going on here. I wouldn't have to change to much and it would be a perfect description of what is occuring in Australia. Lo and behold Mr Denmore chimes in: [i]Has anyone seen the parallel between the Republicans’ obstinacy and wilful obstructionism and the Abbott strategy here?[/i] Warning, the rest of Mr Denmore's comment may not appeal to some. And then, observa makes a comment that reminds me that I have been very remiss in not following up PatriciaWA around the challenges of being a woman and a leader. I must get back to that

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011This is listed here so as to keep a record of the scumbaggery: http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/JSTamara/~novJy

JJ Fiasson

17/07/2011What follows is a short article I've written to introduce the Carbon Tax Facts site that I've just put the finishing touches on: It all seems so long ago. Kevin Rudd was riding high in the polls and had all the political capital he needed to push through essential pieces of legislation to secure Australia’s future. The Australian led the charge at the start of 2010, relentlessly attacking Labor for alleged shortcomings of the BER program. Never mind that it served its function brilliantly, supporting the construction sector when it needed help the most. The mining tax legislation was then announced, culminating in what can only be described as a capricious industry revolt by the billionaire mining barons. The Murdoch press was all too eager to help move things along, and the rest is history. Fast forward to today. We still have a Labor government, one which seems to have found a backbone under Gillard’s leadership and resurrected its plans to put a price on carbon. Rabid sections of the media are still alive and well, both in the Murdoch press and on the shock jock airwaves. It seems clear to me, as it does to many, that the facts behind climate change and the government’s plans to combat it have become lost in a sea of deliberate misinformation and obfuscation by these very sections of the media. While Fairfax appears to be making valiant attempts to set the record straight, their efforts are nowhere near enough to combat Murdoch’s control of almost 70% of Australian print media. “What can we do?”, you might ask. The internet presents a remarkable opportunity to bypass the media filters of old. Last year I created a site called Mining Tax Facts (http://www.mining-tax.com.au), a site which sat at the top of the Google rankings for many mining tax related keywords for a very long time. This year, I’ve decided to create something similar for the so-called carbon tax at http://www.carbontax.net.au. Along with help from John Cooke (from Skeptical Science) as well as the Environment Defenders Office of Victoria, I have compiled a list of common questions surround both climate change and the government’s plans to put a price on carbon. All answers are fully referenced and should provide a useful resource to anyone trying to combat misinformation. It should also help those who have yet to make up their minds. The site is fully interactive; people can post comments and questions and debate any of the finer points of the legislation. If you’re wondering how you can help promote the site, please do one (or many) of the following: - If you run a blog, consider placing the site in your blogroll (call it “Carbon Tax Facts”. Also consider posting a link in your next post. These sorts of links are extremely useful for gaining a high Google ranking. - If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, share it on one or both. - If you have a Google account, click the +1 button on the site (it’s up the top) - Email the link to your friends.

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011jj Fiasson, Thank you for coming to our blog and letting us know about 'Carbon Tax Facts'. I'm confident that lyn and/or Ad Astra will do as you suggest and link to it. Thank you also for taking the time to put it together, we do need to do as much as possible to support good government policy and to counteract the Disinformation campaign in the MSM and out of Tony Abbott's mouth.

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011JJ Fiasson, welcome and thankyou for your interesting comment. You may not be aware that we have a (favourite?) troll who hasn't dropped in for a while that uses the name that is the same as your initials. Fortunately all here will not be put off by that and will enjoy visiting your site/s. When you have a moment drop by again for a bit of a chinwag and good luck with this venture.

Lyn

17/07/2011Hi Ad Twitter has gone into a frenzy Rebekah Brooks arrested: tweetminsterTweetminster Rebekah Brooks is being held on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications & corruption allegations - Sky News #notw #phonehacking 5 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply jonaholmesMWJonathan Holmes Rebekah Brooks arrested on suspicion of 'conspiring to intercept communications' acc to UK reports 3 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply Cheers :):):):)

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011D Mick Weir, Wheels within wheels, huh? Of course there is co-ordination between the Repugs in the US and the just plain repugnant Abbott-led Coalition here, and the worm-gear holding them together, which I outlined last year in a blog I wrote about the subject of the IDU, or International Democratic Union-the umbrella group of Conservative parties and governments around the globe, is one John Winston Howard, Chairman, and, no doubt, his son Richard, named after 'Tricky Dicky' Nixon. Who, if you cast your mind back far enough, works for the Republican Party, or various among the Right Wing Think Tanks in America, where he is doing his political 'Internship', and which caused a minor furore at the time when it was found out that Howard was trying to get his internship paid for on the taxpayer dime, just like he did when he finagled a way to get the taxpayer to bail out his brother's failed business. Thus I sit here waiting for the day when the Liberal Party sees the return of the prodigal Howard son and he is foisted upon us via a safe seat in NSW somewhere. Hmm, let me see, Phillip Ruddock would finally retire for a Howard if told to, I imagine. Yes, it was a fine Krugman article. Bring the Crazy,huh? It beggars belief that America can be led up the garden path so easily by these charismatic crazies Like Michelle Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, and so many more. They just churn them out of Fundamentalist Christian Universities all over the country and then unleash them on politics. Remember, 'God Under Howard'? Well, Abbott is just more of the same, but worse because he is a religious zealot, Howard just found it's tenets a convenient marriage with his ideological barrow. Actually, his Methodism IS his ideological barrow made real. So, yes, definitely Coalition hand in Republican glove. If you liked the Krugman article, you may also like this one: http://www.alternet.org/story/151631/5_disastrous_consequences_of_a_debt_ceiling_meltdown?akid=7269.172728.sn-VwF&rd=1&t=3

Lyn

17/07/2011Hi Ad Another report:- The Spy Report http://www.mediaspy.org/report/2011/07/17/rebekah-brooks-arrested-over-phone-hacking-and-corruption-allegations/ The Metropolitan Police issued an alert shortly after 1:00pm BST (10:00pm AEST) to disclose that it had arrested a 43-year-old woman by appointment at around noon, on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and corruption allegations. She is being questioned at a London police station. Police sources confirmed that the arrested woman was Brooks, who resigned from her position as the head of News Corporation's British publishing arm on Friday. More cheers :):):):):)

D Mick Weir

17/07/2011Hi FS, acknowledge that yes you have written many and various on the subject and I have read a reasonable number (probably not all) of the various links you have profferd. I was impressed with Krugman's take and particularly the last line in the bit at Troppo. Have you read the comments there?

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011Wow! Rebekah Brooks arrested! Rupert Murdoch is just barely keeping ahead of the PacMen now. The avalanche that is consuming his empire is getting faster and faster and reminds me of those old cartoons where the ball starts rolling down the hill as a little golf-ball-sized thing and ends up consuming everyone and everything in it's path. :D Must say when I see powerplays like this playing themselves out, not only do I think of 'Citizen Kane', but also 'Blue Angel', especially the way Murdoch has allowed himself to be pussy-whipped by young, headstrong, ambitious young women. What I wonder now is whether Wendy Deng will bother hanging around with an old man that has money, but not power any more. :D

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011DMW, I'll go there now. Just been following 'Days of Our Lives' on PB with BB; and the latest Murdoch imbroglio news. I'm wondering now whether Nick-Clegg might withdraw his support for Cameron and defect to Labour. Strange Days indeed. :)

Feral Skeleton

17/07/2011DMW, Been to Club Troppo(hmm, wonder why I have reservations clicking on their site? ;-) ), and, yes, wasn't it wonderful to see Nicholas Gruen making a whole post with a direct lift from the Krugman article? But he attributed, so that's OK then... Anyway, and, yes, it was also nice to see Mr Denmore reinforcing a couple of my recent thought bubbles, 'framing' and 'Post Truth Politics'(ouch! it still hurts to mention it :) ). Look, basically, if Abbott ever had an original thought in his head, I'd be dumbfounded-other than women are there to be kept barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, ironing his shirts. Except for Margie, of course, who was allowed back out into the real world after he had sired his progeny with her. Which is basically the concession to the modern world our man Abbott has made...barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, bring up kids, then back to work in something 'womanly' like Child Care. So as to help pay the stonking big mortgage which befits a potential Prime Minister. :D Other than that, as I was saying, Mr Abbott is just the bestest mouthpiece we have seen for a while. Learns his lines every day like a good boy, and really believes it. Until he is taught new ones.

Acerbic Conehead 2

18/07/2011Lyn, Great set of links again this morning. Thanks a million. NormanK, I'm glad you got a laugh from my story, and you also enjoyed my alter ego persona. Time constraints usully make it either one or the other unfortunately. Nasking, Good to hear you have had some good news on the medical front. Hopefully you soon get to the bottom of what's causing your problem and begin to make a full recovery. Great posts as well today, so thank you. FS, Great movie trailer! I didn't realise Mick Hucknell had a sex change. However, after today's news, s/he might want to reverse it.

Casablanca

18/07/2011Now that Dennis Shanaghan has outed himself as a Solar Panel householder I wonder how many other deniers have invested in this low carbon technology? Tony and Margie perhaps? http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/rooftop-panels-penalise-poor/story-e6frgd0x-1226094875807

Casablanca

18/07/2011Wow. Murdochgate has claimed another scalp. The Head of Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned. (about 4.40 AEST)

Feral Skeleton

18/07/2011Casablanca, Maybe if Cameron is forced to resign as well and Murdoch Snr and Jr are arrested, then we might have a hope in Australia of the shock waves reaching here and the Murdoch empire might reassess it's vendetta against the government? Sorry, just pretty shocked about the latest poll results. The pollster, John Stirton, even admitted that the Murdoch media's one-sided attempt to destroy the government over the Climate Change policy was materially affecting the polls. Of course, ably abetted by Abbott, Gerry Harvey, whose store the Abbott twins, Tony and Margie, were in yesterday in order to keep pushing out the bulldust, David Jones CEO, and a host of others. I don't seem to remember the electorate baying for blood and an election over the introduction of the GST. Howard would've been allowed to ignore them anyway. The media would have backed him to the hilt too. Sigh. The fossil fuel and mining industries, aided by their media mates, sure have got the proles by the short and curlies.

Casablanca

18/07/2011Feral Skeleton I was also shocked by the latest poll taken between Thursday and Saturday. I'm more shocked by two headlines in the SMH. Phillip Coorey has given us "Gillard down for the count" and Peter Hartcher has given us "It's the deal Julia Gillard can't seal". Coorey refers to the 'comprehensive national poll' of 1400 people. As I have not seen the poll questions I cannot make a judgement. But Hartcher's headline is even more manipulative in that the deal is as good as sealed because failing some major backflip the legislation will pass the next Sitting. Let's hope that backbenchers and certain NSW apparatcheks ignore the poll results and go out there and promote the Clean Energy Policy.

2353

18/07/2011Murdoch is in trouble on both sides of the Atlantic. Will he have to have a fire sale of Australian assets to fund the firefighters as his "brand" overseas is being trashed? Wonder if someone in the Federal Government has some legislation up their sleeve to reduce the concentration of media ownership and more importantly introduce a "fit and proper person" test should the existing arrangements cease to exist. If they don't, they should - until then there will never be a fair and balanced media in Australia.

Lyn

18/07/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]A ring, a ring o’ roses,A pocket full o’posies-Atishoo atishoo we all fall down. Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Rupert-Murdoch.-Rich-man.-Thanks-mainly-to-gutter-type-journalism.. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/ring-a-ring-a-rosie/ [i]Keating enters the carbon debate , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] Keating also raises the issue of the media's poor performance in the analyzing this big reform with its "he said she said" style of reporting and adds that News Ltd is campaigning for regime change in Australia. Tony Jones avoids the issue of the media's poor http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/07/keating-enters.php#more [i]One Man’s Opinion-News Corporation is sorry , Petering Time, North Coast Voices[/i] But News Corp isn't behaving badly in Australia is it?Oh yes it is. In the absence of world war, widespread civil conflict, country-wide famine or desperate national financial crisis driving a need, the Murdoch press has broadly stated an aim of destroying one minor democratic political party and repeatedly calls for an early election http://northcoastvoices.blogspot. [i]Australia-Regime Change Rupert Murdoch Style, Kevin Rennie, Global Voices[/i] The last word goes to media specialist Margaret Simons in a short video for the InDaily predicting “the end of the big media empires”: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/07/16/australia-regime-change-rupert-murdoch-style/ [i]James Murdoch’s involvement in BSkyB set to be considered, Bacco, The Spy Report[/i] BSkyB directors - led by the senior director Nicholas Ferguson - will meet prior to the release of full-year results on 28 July to discuss whether itwould be appropriate for Murdoch to remain at the helm, The Sunday Telegraph reports. The meeting will take place in Murdoch's absence. http://www.mediaspy.org/report/2011/07/17/james-murdochs-involvement-in-bskyb-set-to-be-considered/ [i]Does this make me a liar?, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] A lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/does-this-make-me-a-liar/ [i]Breaking Through the Bull, Lunalava, Café Whispers[/i] The outcome, according to the polls, will be a Prime Minister who is a better liar, an economic simpleton, crazy papist and downright nasty piece of work. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/breaking-through-the-bull/ [i]Climate Change Facts[/i]JJF Fiasson There has been much in the media recently about climate change skeptics, such as Lord Monckton. They challenge the concept that climate change is occurring and that it is caused by humans. Let us look at the facts http://www.carbontax.net.au/category/climate-change/ [i]Julia Gillard is PM of Australia; It is Time for Her to Show Leadership, Peter, Aussie Views[/i] The woman is of the view that Julia Gillard did lie when she told Australia that she was not going down the path of a carbon tax. For that statement to have been a lie, it would be necessary for Julia to know at the time that the statement was made, http://www.aussieviewsnews.com/2011/07/17/julia-gillard-pm-leadership/ [i]Breaking News: Politician Changes their mind, Notforblokes[/i] Or is there something else at play here? Call me a feminist or a cynic. Call me paranoid even. But I can’t help but wonder – is the response this time because the person who “lied” to us is a woman? http://notforblokes.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/breaking-news-politician-changes-their-mind/ [i]In my bad books, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] these have been acclaimed as great literature. Most of the recent ones have received literary awards. You wouldthink then, surely, that all must have some appreciative audience beyond the lit crit establishment. http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/07/17/in-my-bad-books/ [i]Journalists code of ethics - an oxymoron? Australian News Commentary[/i] Most media journalists belong to the Australian Journalists Association, a division of a trade union called the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). http://www.australian-news.com.au/codethics.htm [i]Insiders: The Sunday Papers, Meet the Press, Australian Politics TV[/i] http://australianpoliticstv.org/2011/07/17/insiders-the-sunday-papers/? [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Murdoch's many enemies revel in Twists and Turns, though some are more quiet than others, MICHAEL LIEDTKE , Daily Reporter[/i] "All the powerful allies that used to help him, either publicly or behind the scenes, have faded to the sidelines," says Eric Boehlert, a senior fellow at Media Matters, a liberal group that frequently criticizes Fox News for what it says is biased and inaccurate reporting. "He is on his own, and he is in over his head. http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/00c81c3fb46f4bf08f2b9c03ad20e347/US--Murdoch-Enemies/twists and turns, though some are more than others [i]Media inquiry 'is ridiculous' says former prime minister John Howard , Matt Johnston, The Telegraph[/i] THE Australian media should be left alone to do its job and a call for a parliamentary inquiry is ridiculous, former prime minister John Howard said yesterday http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/media-inquiry-is-ridiculous-says-former-prime-minister-john-howard/story-e6freuy9-1226096390729 [i]All the news that’s unfit to print, Sun Herald[/i] But the hacking scandal, of which new facts become known daily, suggests that the style of journalism practiced by Murdoch’s tabloid newspaper may have earned it a place of shame in the history of English-language journalism that is unrivaled. http://www.sunherald.com/2011/07/16/3276468/all-the-news-thats-unfit-to-print.html#ixzz1SLbC4OrL

Ad astra

18/07/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

18/07/2011Thought Tony Abbott and the shrill clique claque around him could go no lower? Well read this Phillip Coorey article and see the facts of the matter: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/dirty-tricks-in-the-carbon-wars-20110717-1hjz4.html

TalkTurkey

18/07/2011Did I dream it or did Australia not seal a deal with Malaysia over asylum seekers the other day? Sparrows chirping . . . If Labor goes full term, and should it not win the next election, the Coalons won't need to have made any policy, they'll take over the best economy and the least problem-ridden nation in the world whose society they've wrecked. But DYWAT, Don't You Worry About That, remember) VENCEREMOS! But only if we proclaim our record loud and clear and at every opportunity. So not really DYWAT!

Gravel

18/07/2011BSA Bob Thanks, and as Feral Skeleton replied to you, I agree with all she and you have written. Oohh "Young Gravel" did tickle my fancy, ah well they say we are only as young as we feel, or something like that anyway, I'm sure you'll get my meaning. Jason If you are around, thanks for the link to Riley's Diary. I got the flash thing to work without any trouble thank heavens. I was as disappointed as I thought I would be, I just wanted to affirm my suspicions about Riley. He set it in concrete when at the end he 'justified' why he wasn't a 'lefty'. That is what I was trying to say the other day. Why is it wrong to be a 'lefty', well for me centre left. Has this become the way of conservative thinking. Are they trying to equate being a lefty like Menzies said about communists, and that many in the media are scared to praise the Government in case they are called a 'lefty'? Riley was letting everyone know he wasn't a 'lefty' as if it was a bad thing to be. As for Murdoch.........he'll end up getting away with it. Just look at Howard, how he got away with all is rubbish.

Lyn

18/07/2011Hi Ad Dominic Knight appears to be supporting Julia, The Age is backing an enquiry. People on Twitter are saying Sky News has turned of Julia Gillard's speech this morning to show Abbott. People on Twitter are blaming the Murdoch media for the low polls. I believe you Juliar Dominic Knight, The Drum Furthermore, the claim that Gillard lied to win the election is wrong for two reasons. First, she did not lie, and second, she did not win the election. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2798318.html Leader calls for 'too-powerful' Murdoch UK empire to be broken up Karen Kissane, The Age "I think we've got to look at the situation whereby one person can own more than 20 per cent of the newspaper market, the Sky [cable TV] platform and Sky News," he told The Observer newspaper. "That amount of power in one person's hands has clearly led to abuses of power within his organisation. http://www.theage.com.au/world/leader-calls-for-toopowerful-murdoch-uk-empire-to-be-broken--up-20110718-1hki3.html#ixzz1SPAWGX00 40 top Links by Jay Rosen:- These are the 40 most recent links I've shared over the Net, ranked by the number of times they've been clicked. Themes: rebooting the news, press criticism, political journalism, new media, digital culture http://static.reallysimple.org/users/jay/topLinks.html Cheers :):):):):)

Ad astra

18/07/2011Folks I’ve been absent most of the weekend with friends from Japan. With his wife and son, a dear colleague from Japan flew from the Gold Coast to spend the weekend with us. He is a professor of family medicine working in the Fukushima Prefecture. After the tsunami I rang him to get an immediate picture of the situation there; over the weekend he filled in some of the details. He was in his hospital on elevated ground some distance from the coast when the disaster occurred. He described how the earthquake shook the hospital for twenty minutes, so badly they feared it would fall down. So by hand they evacuated the hospital patients to a safer adjoining building. Fortunately the hospital remained intact, and no one was injured. He told us that subsequently he was part of a team responsible for health matters in an arc (a half-donut as he described it) 20 to 30 kilometres around the devastated east coastal area around the Fukushima nuclear reactor. Although the area was ordered to be evacuated, they found elderly couples still in their flimsy dwellings unable to escape because they were blind or disabled. Of those able to evacuate there are ten thousand still in temporary shelters. Some have been accommodated in small houses built by the government, but they have difficulty fending for themselves. Fourteen thousand died. Radiation in the arc is within safe limits, but the ocean is so contaminated that fishing is not allowed. The fishing community has no income. The reactor will take months to decommission and will be a source of radiation for many years. The rebuilding of the area will take years and while that occurs people will remain displaced and homeless particularly the elderly and the disabled, the economy devastated, and the misery of so many people unremitting. Health care is complicated by the circumstances, but healthcare personnel are stoically carrying on. After hearing this sad story, I reflected on our own situation. We have our own social and healthcare problems but they pale into insignificance alongside theirs. I have just listed to Jon Faine’s account, on 774 Melbourne ABC radio, of his visit to Pakistan last week to survey the effects of the devastating floods last year and the international aid effort, some of which was opposed by talkback callers who questioned why we were sending aid there, because after all they’re only Pakis! He described the massive numbers still in temporary accommodation, the gross unemployment, the disease and the malnutrition, especially among the very young. The aid has had a good outcome but much more is needed. It has changed attitudes and encouraged modernity among people who for centuries have lived in a tribal setting. After hearing all this extreme distress, I wonder how people in this Lucky Country can feel so hardly done by, as is the case contemporaneously over the carbon tax, where it is considered that an additional cost of around $20 a week for a family on $200,000 annual income is unduly burdensome. We whinge and complain about inconveniences that in the scheme of things are miniscule by international comparisons, and have our concerns whipped up by malicious and deceptive fear campaigns that make people feel ripped off, while the very reason for putting a price on carbon is to save the planet for our children and theirs, something that gets lost in the debate over and again. It’s time we woke up and acknowledged how very, very lucky we are to live in this great country.

Ad astra

18/07/2011Folks Another bad poll for Labor today, but we ought not to worry about the polling figures, which although awful are largely irrelevant. Even the pollsters acknowledge that others, such as John Howard, have had just as bad a set of figures but have recovered. With two years to go there is time for recovery as the tax is legislated and implemented and the sky does not fall in, life as we know and enjoy it continues, ghost towns are not created, industry thrives, and people’s lifestyle continues to improve. I would be surprised if the polls improved inside six months, and may not move much until the carbon pricing mechanism is implemented. And even if they were to do so we should not get too excited – there is a long way to go.

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011For some different perspectives on the discussions around the Murdoch Empire and what we could do in Aus try these: [b]Regulating the most powerful media[/b] By ABC's Alan Kohler http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-18/kohler-regulating-the-most-powerful-media/2798416 [i]An inquiry into the Australian media will quickly discover a couple of awkward facts. One is that, in general, diversity of ownership and competition doesn't lead to greater responsibility, but less. Another is that the most influential media - print - is the least regulated.[/i] Kohler opens a Pandoras box of worms on media diversity and regulation [b]Let the journalist who is without sin ...[/b] Michael Gawenda former Editor in Chief of The Age and Director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism at Melbourne University. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2796200.html Gawenda discusses the Pandoras box of worms that is journalism and ethics [i]Honestly, is there a journalist in Australia with any sort of time served in this trade who was genuinely shocked by the revelations of the way journalism was done on the News of The World?[/i] I could be tempted to respond [i]... any journalist who was shocked was obviously part of the problem[/i] (with thanks to Paul Krugman for the inspiration)

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011Media Watch's Jonathan Holmes puts in his two bobs worth in his usual style: [b]No regulation please, we're not British[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-14/holmes-no-regulation-please/2794336 [i]As the News of the World scandal rolls on in Britain, there have naturally been musings and head-scratchings about whether, and to what extent, similar things might be happening here, and if so, what we should do about it.[/i] And he he even gives his programme a plug or two.

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011Hi Ad great to see your back and your front as well :) [i]It’s time we woke up and acknowledged how very, very lucky we are to live in this great country.[/i] My fear is that Howard and Costello so 'successfully' conditioned us to middle class welfare and turned us into a nation more interested in [i]what's in it for ME[/i] than of the [i]fair go[/i] it may be an impossible task. I don't always enjoy being cynical but there are times when it is the only possible response.

TalkTurkey

18/07/2011Ad astra said "I would be surprised if the polls improved inside six months" Well by then we should be on the up. I had thought that we would be already, but I own that I had underestimated the extremity ntm the unilateralism of the bigotry of the media. (Well who could have anyway, except the Great Potentate Himself perhaps, to whom *J*U*L*I*A* (try typing that! ;-) ) is merely the Red Queen in an aside game he's been playing. Chess masters can play many games simultaneously, and [i]Merde[/i] och is a master of many parts. It is a sobering and chilling thought that it has taken such an incident as his gutter press would delight in reporting, a teenage girl's murder, to finally drive a stake into him and his empire. So come on with the garlic folks, because even when he's dead he'll live on in his dragonseeds and his minions. Stopping his abuses is as good as votes in the ballot box. DON'T buy his papers, DON'T listen to Shock Jocks! (Try telling Jason that :) ) Encourage your local Member to flay the guiltiest offenders, as Conroy flayed ?2GB? today.(I never listen to Them.) Right On Stephen Conroy! More please, what have you/we got to lose? Let us make Aussies reclaim their decency, otherwise what are we? A society [i]lower[/i] than the US?

BSA Bob

18/07/2011Brooding over the wreck that's this country's media, it struck me that whereas it used to be a normal occurrence for terms like "as a result of global warming" etc to feature in stories, that sort of thing isn't mentioned as much nowadays. I've no proof of this whatever & hope I'm wrong, or perhaps I'm imagining it. Does anyone have an opinion?

NormanK

18/07/2011Ad astra I hope you had a great weekend. The picture your visitors painted is one that the majority of Australians seem unable or unwilling to envisage - we've got it good here. There was a Tweet during the PM's appearance on [i]Q&A[/i] last week to the effect of - 'you people should go over-seas - just once'. It would only take a single visit to another society/economy to bring home how lucky we are to live in a free society devoid of rampant crime, unemployment, financial hardship and sickness. I despair over our selfish introspection. For those who don't waste hours of their lives trawling through thousands of words every day as I seem to at the moment, here are a few pieces of recommended reading. There are a few barbs in this but otherwise it is informative. [b]Ten ways you could beat the carbon tax[/b] by Anthony Keane [quote]The Government's modelling says the majority of people will be better off because of income tax cuts and extra financial assistance to households, but the Opposition and some industry groups say the pain will be widespread. So can you beat the carbon tax?[/quote] http://www.news.com.au/money/money-matters/dont-let-savings-go-up-in-smoke/story-e6frfmd9-1226096491958 A Canadian perspective of the Clean Energy Future scheme. [b]Australia’s PM shows political courage on climate change[/b] by Jeffery Simpson [quote]The Australian scheme does show political courage. It also grasps the essence of any serious attack on carbon emissions – that a price has to be put on these emissions. Any other approach is bound to fail. Regulations and subsidies, the chosen means of the Harper government, will be an expensive failure, as they have been when used elsewhere. But then this government remains indifferent to climate change, unlike our Australian cousins.[/quote] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/australias-pm-shows-political-courage-on-climate-change/article2099056/ A South African perspective of the Clean Energy Future scheme. [b]Oz emissions charge prompts SA reaction[/b] by Lisa Steyn [quote]Australia announced its introduction of a carbon tax last week and South Africa's plans for an emissions tax are reasonably advanced, with a possible implementation date as early as next year's budget speech. But there are key differences between the proposed schemes for the two countries. [/quote] http://mg.co.za/article/2011-07-15-oz-emissions-charge-prompts-sa-reaction/ Mr Abbott embarks on one of his many trips down the side roads of the carbon debate. Will we see this get significant coverage? Breath don't anticipate being held. It is in [i]The Australian[/i] though. [b]Tony Abbott undermines Coalition's carbon emissions policy[/b] by Joe Kelly [quote]Mr Abbott told Gold Coast residents this morning that Australia's emissions would continue to rise under Labor's carbon tax. He added: “The other crazy thing about this is that, at the same time that our country is proposing to reduce its emissions by 5 per cent - just five per cent - the Chinese are proposing to increase their emissions by 500 per cent. “So any emissions reduction that we put in place will be wiped out in just a few days by the emissions increase that the Chinese do.”[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-plan/global-fears-wont-stall-carbon-tax-plan/story-fn99tjf2-1226096840377 Saving the best for last, this is a very good article that goes some way towards explaining at least one aspect of the shortcomings in our current news reporting. It might take a couple of readings to get your head around but it ranks among my list of 'things I learned today'. [b]The real truth is that there is no hidden agenda behind the story[/b] by Frank Furedi [quote]IN contemporary times people are far more likely to have an agenda, personal issues or ulterior motives than strongly held views. Typically major statements made by public figures are scrutinised not for what they say but for what they are attempting to hide. Recently, when I was asked by a journalist to explain why Julia Gillard was so committed to promoting her carbon tax, my questioner expected me to reflect on her real intention regarding this issue. When I replied that "probably Gillard actually believes that her carbon tax proposal is the sensible way forward", I was met with a look of incredulity.[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/the-real-truth-is-that-there-is-no-hidden-agenda-behind-the-story/story-e6frg6zo-1226096370394 What this particular article did for me was to better explain why it is that I no longer watch [i]ABC 24[/i] unless there is a particular interview or press conference that I want to see. The habit of the anchor throwing to another journalist so that they can interpret what I have just heard with my own ears annoys me a lot. I assume [i]Sky[/i] does the same thing. There is a need for interpretation to put statements into an historical context (something which is sorely lacking in this age of he said, she said and horse-race journalism), to point out contradictions and perhaps even to draw attention to the differences between the most recent speaker's remarks and those of a contrary viewpoint. What I had previously put down to the 'expert' journalist's placement of their own opinions as an overlay on top of the speaker's actual comments (sometimes seen as bias) can quite readily be viewed as the ongoing search for the 'meaning behind the meaning'. Read the article and then listen to one of these journalists pontificating on what the speaker [u]actually[/u] meant and see if it is not the case that, sometimes, they are not projecting their own opinions onto the speaker's words but rather looking for the 'hidden agenda'. No less reprehensible but it does remove the need to declare their opinion as being biased. It might better be described as flawed interpretation chasing shadows that don't necessarily exist.

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011Ad @ 12:55 PM [i]I would be surprised if the polls improved inside six months, ... there is a long way to go.[/i] You may be right about it being six months or more before things turnaround though many will be hoping (and even praying?) for it to be sooner. In my readings around the events of ten years ago I have come across some great stuff and I will share excerpts from an article that I found inspiriational and that contained some lessons for those who have doubts about sticking to their principles. Peter Browne at Inside Story wrote this article back in October 2008 [b]Opposing John Howard on asylum seekers, and winning[/b] http://inside.org.au/opposing-john-howard-on-asylum-seekers-and-winning/ [i]The independent MP Peter Andren took a strong stand against John Howard’s hostility towards asylum seekers, ...[/i] In quoting from this article I am not intending to reignite any discussion about asylum seeker policy and will not be discussing that aspect at all. It is intended to highlight how a principled stand can overcome public opinion even on a devisive issue. There is some background information in the quotes for those that might not know of the late Peter Andren. The full article is worth reading if you have some time. [i]A few months after John Howard was elected Liberal leader ... in January 1995, (the late) Peter Andren, ... sat down with his son Josh and analysed the local voting figures from the previous federal election. The sitting Labor member, David Simmonds, had just announced his retirement from parliament ... in the sprawling regional electorate of Calare, Andren decided the seat was winnable.[/i] Andren won the seat of Calare at the March 1996 election. [i]Despite supporting the government’s gun laws – hardly a popular cause in an electorate like Calare – he increased his ... vote to 72 per cent at the 1998 election and appeared set for a long parliamentary career. But the 2001 election, dominated by international security fears and the government’s hostility to asylum seekers, confronted Andren with a daunting challenge. LATE on the afternoon of 29 August 2001 Peter Andren received a call ... from ... John Howard. In the feverish atmosphere following the arrival of the Norwegian ship, the Tampa, in Australian waters, the government had decided to introduce what “border protection” legislation. John Howard was seeking support for a suspension of standing orders to allow the debate on the legislation to begin that night. ... Andren agreed to Howard’s request but would not commit himself to supporting the bill itself.[/i] I don't know what the opinion poll numbers were like in Calare at the time but it is a pretty fair bet that opinion would have been heavily in favour of Howard and his proposed legislation. History shows that Andren opposed the legislation. Some may have cosidered it a [i]crazy[/i] brave move. He certainly faced some pretty hostile reactions in the media and in his electorate. Andren did not attempt to hide his views from his electorate and defended his principled stance at many public meetings, in his newsletters and in response to many letters and emails. It appeared Andren was taking a big, some may even have said, suicidal risk. [i]The risk paid off. On 10 November he was returned to parliament with a significantly increased first-preference vote and a two-candidate preferred vote of 75 per cent. ...(the National Party candidate) by contrast, managed to attract only 21 per cent of the primary vote. In an election in which the Liberal–National government achieved a national swing of over 3 per cent, it was a remarkable result for Peter Andren, who became only the second independent MP to be returned at three federal elections since the 1940s.[/i] Andren's integrity and commitment paid dividends and is an inspiration. I can only hope that if there are members or senators having doubts about the future of the government they would read this article and discover that with patience and spending time to take the concerns of their electors seriously they can play in important role in turning around the fortunes of the government.

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011NormanK, are you really a researcher for someone prominent only posing as a humble commenter? That last link is definitely mind expanding and I thankyou and bless your cotton socks into the bargain (At this moment further comment has sliiped through to W. Grout.)

Patricia WA

18/07/2011Back on line after several stops and starts. Let's hope this one lasts! Lots of piled up comments to read before I try to comment. What a bummer, that poll. Looking on the bright side, where would we be without the News Corp. distraction? What can one do by way of sending messages of support for the Prime Minister? A brief glance over earlier comments had suggested I should stop thinking of DMW as 'Dear' Mick Weir. He seemed to be more of a Doubting Thomas! But certainly not cynical, DMW, as I see from your latest comment on the late lamented Peter Andren. We've had some wonderful Independent members of our parliament. Wouldn't it be great if just one or two Libs decided to cross the floor and sit on the cross benches? Particularly a certain MT who is looking very troubled and conflicted at the moment - that surely would enhance his chances of ultimately becoming PM? He hasn't a hope in hell while Abbott is so far in front.

Lyn

18/07/2011Hi Patricia Great to you see your computer is repaired and working ok for you. We missed you Cheers:):):):):):):)

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011I have always thought the world is crazy (save me and thee, NK - though sometimes I can be a bit suspect of thee, oh and me) I read these words in the Oz: [i]The Government plans to put a starting price on carbon of $23 a tonne from July 1, 2012, ahead of the introduction of a market-based emissions trading scheme in 2015. The fee will be paid by about 500 of the nation's biggest polluters.[/i] What? A Carbon [i]Price, Fee?[/i] It's even in the headline: [b]Carbon price wins key union support[/b] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/carbon-price-wins-key-union-support/story-fn3dxity-1226096984624 Can anyone else confirm I am not just seeing things or using my vivid imagination?

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011Welcome back PatriciaWA - I missed you too :)

Jason

18/07/2011DMW, Paul "look at me look at me" Howes from the Australian Workers Union (AWU) has come out in support of the "carbon package"! So your "sanity" is still there!

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011Thanks Jason I need to check I am alive somedays as well :)

2353

18/07/2011DMW - we seem to be agreeing a lot recently! Yup - you're eyes aren't deceiving you, the article in the Australian definitely says "Carbon price". It's also repeated in the story! Could be because the story came from AAP - hope the sub editor that did the headline is still an employee! Jason - and Howes agrees with Gillard - whats going on there?

Jason

18/07/20112353, Howes just likes to think he's a bit more important than he actually is! When he was wandering about the country saying the things he was about if one of his members lost "their" job due to the carbon tax, his union would withdraw support from the government! As it turned out it was also "election" time for his union. Self interest was/is his policy!

D Mick Weir

18/07/2011G'day 2353, how's the engine chugging? I am attempting to be more agreeable a challenge but when you have NormanK casting his eye over you a whispering wise words it becomes easier :) The world is going crazy for sure, I just heard George Negus saying Carbon Pricing - wonders will never cease (though the news was still saying tax)

NormanK

18/07/2011D Mick Weir [quote]are you really a researcher for someone prominent only posing as a humble commenter?[/quote] You're half right. I have been press-ganged into slaving for some very demanding gerbils and although I wouldn't describe them as prominent (*ow* headache :() they certainly have a very high opinion of themselves. Are we starting to see some journalists and perhaps even entire media houses, coming to the realisation that they can have Tony Abbott as Prime Minister OR they can have a credible climate policy but they can't have both? Mr Abbott's denial of the efficacy of a 5% reduction is not getting very much coverage. Nothing on [i]Ten News[/i].

nasking

18/07/2011The government needs to keep educating, informing the public...and also focus occasionally on areas like Higher Education. The polls are presently reflecting distortions & negative campaigns by much of the media & Abbott's negaloons. They don't reflect the government's efforts in other sectors or on other issues, bar perhaps the asylum seeker & live exports issues. Frankly, I'm pretty pissed w/ both the Chinese & American governments, including the Republicans, for stuffing around so much when it comes to the important issue of global warming. The Chinese are playing games & not putting out clear messages. It should be demanded of them. They and America, perhaps India, are putting the planet's organisms at risk by not getting on top of this issue. Seems to be so much short-term thinking. The unclear messages from these countries are adding to Australians' doubts/scepticism/cynicism...which is why I think we would be better to go w/ a lower carbon price. Changing the leader of the ALP now tho would be just plain dumb...and would look extremely misogynistic. Gillard is improving by the day...and let's face it, John Howard was a complete dipstick & ugly mug & worm...unlike Julia...and yet he survived how many elections? N'

nasking

18/07/2011[quote]Mr Abbott's denial of the efficacy of a 5% reduction is not getting very much coverage. Nothing on Ten News.[/quote] Norman, once again Tony Abbott has proven himself to be a lying turdbucket & opportunist. He should be fried for this...but our useless media too oft look after their mate Abbott, former journo. N'

NormanK

18/07/2011nasking A spot of good news - Channel Nine just broadcast Abbott's nonsense complete with vision. There's hope for them yet.

nasking

18/07/2011Norman, that is good news. Also, I just noticed this article on SMH.com: [quote]China plans carbon trading pilot scheme July 18, 2011 - 4:04PM China will introduce a pilot scheme for carbon emissions trading and gradually develop a national market as the world's largest polluter seeks to reduce emissions and save energy, state media said. China will promote the market's development through "punitive" electricity tariffs on power-intensive industries and other new policies, Xie Zhenhua, a top climate official, was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/china-plans-carbon-trading-pilot-scheme-20110718-1hl9z.html N'

Ad astra

18/07/2011Folks Acerbic Conehead has been on the case of the Murdoch scandal and has written another clever satirical piece [i]Crowded out by IT[/i] Enjoy the experience. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/07/18/Crowded-out-by-IT.aspx

nasking

18/07/2011[quote]We whinge and complain about inconveniences that in the scheme of things are miniscule by international comparisons, and have our concerns whipped up by malicious and deceptive fear campaigns that make people feel ripped off, while the very reason for putting a price on carbon is to save the planet for our children and theirs, something that gets lost in the debate over and again. It’s time we woke up and acknowledged how very, very lucky we are to live in this great country.[/quote] Spot on Aa. That is indeed a sad story you have informed us of regarding those struggling due to the nuclear disaster & tsunami in Japan. Thnx for the info...it certainly does show how "lucky" we have been...how much worse things coulda been if we'd had shonky nuke plants undermined by our floods & storms. I believe much worse is coming over the next few years...and oneday many Aussies will wonder why they ever listened to self-serving idiots like Monkton, Bolt, Akerman, Joyce, Minchin & Abbott. They remind me of the selfish parochial types who refused to deal w/ Hitler...until he'd gained enuff power and strength to create mayhem on other countries. It truly disturbs me that so many people are in denial...and willing to be conned...or continue to explain away massive floods, earthquakes, heatwaves, cyclones, twisters as part of regular cycles. How many towns will have to be ripped up, flooded, torn apart...how many die...lose family members?...before these people wake up? N'

Feral Skeleton

18/07/2011I'm exhausted. Just exhausted. I have been down in Sydney all day trying out for Millionaire Hot Seat. :D

Ad astra

18/07/2011Folks I’m valiantly trying to catch up with your numerous comments amid posting a new piece from AC and trying to sort out my Internet problems with Telstra/BigPond, which is likely to take me off air sometime in the next few days. Anyway I’ll try to answer some of you now. Hi Lyn Thank you for your additional interesting links to [i]The Drum[/i] and [i]The Age[/i] and the Jay Rosen collection – all very interesting. D Mick Weir Thank you for your many thoughtful comments and your links, which make informative reading. I especially enjoyed the article about Peter Andren. Michael Gawenda’s piece was an interesting perspective from someone in the business. BSA Bob The media in this country has much to answer for. But will it? Maybe there are a few encouraging signs. NormanK Your comments and links are most interesting. Frank Furedi’s conclusion was apt: “[i] Speculating about the story behind the story requires minimal intellectual resources. But for all that it can be an effective way of fuelling suspicion and mistrust. The lesson the media and its critics must learn is that first, there is no story behind the story and second, we have to learn to deal with the story in a more serious and grown-up way.”[/i] The articles from Canada and South Africa were revealing. TT Your advice in your last paragraph is good. I hope Stephen Conroy continues gets stuck into the media. Nasking Thank you for your several comments and your link to the China scheme. I wonder how Tony Abbott will respond to that. No, I think I know. Patricia WA Welcome back. I can appreciate your frustration with getting going again. I was told today by Telstra that my problem in the city centre was that I was sitting in the middle of a black spot in 3G service. Can you believe Telstra would do this – yes! 2353, Jason I was as surprised as you to hear Paul Howes. What’s in it for him?
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