The polluting power of poisonous politics

We are witnessing the most disgraceful campaign of poisonous politics this country has ever experienced. It is perniciously eroding the confidence of the people in its elected Federal Government. The campaign is aided and abetted by much of the mainstream media, which faithfully echoes the disingenuousness and downright lies of the Opposition.

This world has seen how lies perpetrated by malevolent people can cause damage to people and ultimately unspeakable destructiveness. The treatment of Jews by Nazis in Germany in the first half of the last Century is a grotesque example. They used Joseph Goebbels' ‘Big Lie Theory’ that states: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Goebbles went onto say: “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie…”.

Before Coalition supporters bristle at the drawing of the parallel between what the Federal Coalition is doing and what the Nazis did during the last Century, read on for a while, and then use the comments option to point out whatever error you believe I have made. I am not in any way suggesting that the Coalition and the Nazi Party have anything in common ideologically or politically. What I am proposing is that the Coalition is using Goebbels' ‘Big Lie Theory’ to advance its political objectives. Let me elaborate.

We know that the Nazis used a purposeful strategy to demean and dehumanize the Jewish race. As recorded in Jews in Nazi Germany, in a speech in Munich in 1922, referring to the Jews, Hitler said: "His is no master people; he is an exploiter: the Jews are a people of robbers. He has never founded any civilisation, though he has destroyed civilisations by the hundred...everything he has stolen…” It goes on:“Once in power, Hitler used his position to launch a campaign against the Jews that culminated in the Holocaust. Hitler blamed the Jews for all the misfortunes that had befallen Germany: the loss of the First World War was the result of a Jewish conspiracy; the Treaty of Versailles was also a Jewish conspiracy designed to bring Germany to her knees; the hyperinflation of 1923 was the result of an international Jewish attempt to destroy Germany.”

Having promoted hatred, the Nazis forced Jews to identify their businesses with the Star of David, which they also had to wear around their necks with the label ‘Juden’. Hatred for the Jews based on their race was deliberately escalated. They were labelled as exploiters and robbers, to be despised and rejected. In 1938, in Germany and Austria, 10,000 Jewish stores, homes and synagogues were burned, looted and destroyed in what became known as ‘The Night of the Broken Glass’. The police did not intervene; the fire brigade did not arrive; and afterwards the Jews were forced to clean up the glass from the streets and pay for the damage.

I relate all this simply to demonstrate the terrible outcomes that result from fostering hatred, from demeaning people, from debasing people or groups by telling downright lies about them.

This is what we have seen in this country politically for a long while. But it has never been as gross as it has been since the ascent of Tony Abbott to leadership of the Federal Coalition. And it is having its predictably awful effects on our political life, and particularly on the people’s image of the nation’s Prime Minister. Let me illustrate with some now familiar examples of how Abbott and his strategists and minders have used these devices to damage the Prime Minister and her Government.

Demeaning the Prime Minister – Ju-liar
It was shock jock Alan Jones who created the now-infamous tag: ‘Ju-liar’ at the beginning of that appalling interview on Sydney 2GB in February 2011, which he began by publically castigating her in the way of a schoolmaster chastising a schoolgirl for being ten minutes late for the interview. His attitude from the beginning was belligerent and rude. Writer Mick Molloy had this to say after hearing the audio: "There is not another nation in the world that would tolerate that kind of cross examination, that petulant cross examination from a radio announcer." Indeed!

The Ju-liar label stuck and has been repeated endlessly by the PM’s adversaries, the media and by members of the public. Every time it is used it puts her down, diminishes her in the eyes of the electorate. Tony Abbott has promoted the ‘liar’ meme over and again, adding variations such dishonest, devious, evasive, tricky, untrustworthy, not to be trusted with anything. Is it any wonder that opinion polls about attributes rate her poorly on ‘trustworthiness’? Coalition members will argue that she broke a promise on the carbon tax. I won’t go over the fallacy underlying this accusation, but to label the PM as an inveterate liar as if all other politicians are as pure as the driven snow when we know they are all prone to lying, is disingenuous. Abbott’s lies abound as pointed out on The Political Sword in Tony Abbott, we are sick of your lies, yet has he been burdened by the ‘liar’ tag? No, it’s only Julia Gillard, and that is not because she has told more lies than Tony Abbott – he leaves her well behind – but simply because the Coalition strategy is to make the ‘Ju-liar’ tag stick indelibly, as it virtually has. She will have great difficulty shaking it off.

Even during Abbott’s Budget Reply speech last night, during which the electorate was hoping to hear about his vision and plans for our nation, what we inappropriately got was another vitriolic attack on PM Gillard, calling her ‘fatally compromised’ and urging her removal, and yet another load of lies, misrepresentation and deception.

Demeaning her has been very successful. It has given ‘permission’ for others to follow the lead. So we saw ‘Ju-liar’ again at the Alan Jones sponsored anti-carbon tax rallies in Canberra where Tony Abbott stood with Sophie Mirabella and Bronwyn Bishop in front of ‘’Ditch the Witch’ and Bob Brown’s Bitch’ placards. Once the demeaning process begins, it escalates.

It has given the OK to interviewers, even on our ABC, to be rude and aggressive to our PM. Only this week we had Chris Uhlmann interviewing her on 7.30 in a demeaning way, disrespectful of her as a person, and as our Prime Minister. If you missed it, view it here. His opening question was: “Do you think that people believe you when you say that you're going to reach a small surplus by this time next year?” Later Uhlmann asked: “If you have to break a series of old promises on aid, on Defence, on company tax, in order to make new ones, why should people believe any promise? And later: “And all of them were promises that you broke.” And: “But to some of those three things, on company tax, on aid and on Defence, you're happy that people will look at all those things and take you at your word, that you are not breaking any of those promises?” Note the repetition, and the emphasis on ‘broken promises’, which is another way of calling her a habitual liar.

Just as in Nazi Germany ‘permission’ was given to the German people to demean the Jews, so in Australia ‘permission’ has been given to anyone to demean our PM by calling her a liar, to question her ability to keep a promise, to be disrespectful and rude. It seems there are all too many willing to join the throng ready to demean her whenever they can. It is dangerous for our democracy that our elected leader is so treated.

Labelling the Government incompetent
This is another tactic that the Coalition has used to good effect. Again it was Alan Jones who said: “…in the best country in the world we have the worst possible government.” How many times have you heard Tony Abbott say “This is a bad government getting worse”; “This government can’t manage money”; “This government is addicted to spending and debt”; “This is an illegitimate government that has lost its way”; “This government cannot be trusted”; and just this week in reference to the return of the budget to surplus: “This is a desperate government in diabolical trouble that has cooked the books and the people are not buying it’. How does he know what the people are ‘buying’ the day after the Budget? He doesn’t – it’s just another Abbott lie, which we can be sure no one in the media will challenge.

More recently, it has become fair game to accuse PM Gillard of lack of judgement. Abbott does it all the time, and just this week on 7.30 Chris Uhlmann asked the PM in reference to the fact that her support for Craig Thomson went on for a long time: “Was your judgment wrong on that?” And later: “Was it an error of judgment to put Peter Slipper in the Speaker's chair?” Uhlmann was deliberately provocative and rude.

In Nazi Germany the Jews were labelled as exploiters, robbers and conspirators, despoiling and destroying the countries in which they lived, and responsible for all their economic ills. These labels invited retaliation from non-Jewish citizens. In a similar way, PM Gillard and her Government have been labelled as illegitimate, incompetent, one that can’t manage the economy, lead by a PM who has poor judgement, and which needs to be removed immediately. Judging by the mood of the people derived from the additional questions asked by pollsters, the people have bought this rhetoric. They blithely discount the buoyant state of our economy, the fact that the Labor Government steered the country through the GFC with flying colours, sustaining it as the most admired economy in the developed world, and instead believe the rhetoric of the Coalition, echoed in the media, that this is an appalling government that should be chucked out now. In polls that ask which party is the best economic manager, the Coalition wins comfortably, the respondents apparently ignoring the Government’s outstanding recent record as economic managers and the Coalition’s almost complete absence of economic credibility or knowledge. Coalition propaganda, redolent with big lies, Goebbels-style, has so far won the day.

Dishonesty about Government achievements
A vast array of lies has been perpetrated about the achievements of the Gillard Government. Although it has now passed over 300 pieces of legislation, and only yesterday the ‘Schoolkids Bonus’ legislation, the Coalition represents it is a do-nothing, incompetent government. Among the bills passed have been vitally important and far-reaching reforms in education, health, infrastructure, climate change and taxation. None of these achievements are acknowledged by the Coalition or by much of the media. Moreover, the reality of the GFC and the ongoing uncertainty in global markets, against which Labor’s economic achievements have been wrought, seems also to be denied by the Coalition and the media.

Successful programs have been pilloried. The HIP, demeaned by the derogatory term ‘pink batts’, insulated a million roofs; the BER, characterized by the slogan ‘waste and mismanagement’, was highly successful, attracting over 97% approval. JohnL has debunked the criticism of these initiatives in a series of four articles on The Political Sword: Absurdities abound as Abbott wages a crass war, Abbott’s amazing amnesia on insulation inquiry, Nonsense of $8bn BER ‘waste’ claims exposed, More falsehoods of the $8bn BER ‘waste’ claims.

Yet the pollsters tell us that much of the public still regards these programs as failures, debacles and disasters. The only exceptions are the parents who have children at the schools that benefitted from the BER; they give it a tick.

Spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt
The ‘toxic’ carbon tax is an example of how slogans and cleverly designed Coalition propaganda have influenced the electorate through fear mongering. From a majority wanting action on climate change a couple of years ago, a minority now accept that an ETS, preceded by a price on carbon, is necessary. Abbott’s ‘toxic tax’ has taken hold in people’s minds. His propaganda has effectively negated the generous compensation that will accompany its introduction. Climate deniers too have been given much publicity and have added to the rising opposition to the ‘toxic tax’. Lies and disingenuousness have triumphed over the truth. Only when the people experience the tax will the fear and the doubts be removed, and that will take time.

Another area where Abbott has transmitted doubt and uncertainty is the state of the economy. For his own selfish political purposes he has constantly talked down the economy, even in the face of low unemployment, low inflation, low interest rates, growth at trend, return to surplus, and a vast pipeline of investment. The result is diminished consumer and business confidence, which is harming our economy. Abbott does not care about the damage he is doing so long as he gains some political advantage. He is an economically irresponsible liar.

Media complicity
How is it that this mountain of lies, misrepresentation, and disingenuousness has been promulgated so successfully. There is a simple answer – the media.

In Nazi Germany the police and the state-controlled media were complicit in transmitting hatred and lies that so poisoned the minds of the people against the Jews that indescribable obscenities were committed against those people, beginning in the towns and cities, but inexorably leading to the extermination camps of the Holocaust.

In the same way, much of our media, particularly the Murdoch media, is complicit in promulgating the hatred of our PM and the lies about her Government, so much so that her position in the eyes of much of the electorate is significantly diminished. Indeed, her chance of reelection is deemed impossible by the very same media that has spread the hatred and the lies, relying as they do on their own unreliable polls of voting intention, polls that result from the lies and misrepresentations that are fed daily to the public by their media outlets. Is it any wonder her status in the polls is low?

I trust that this comparison of the outcome of Goebbels' ‘Big Lie Theory’ in Nazi Germany last Century, and the contemporary outcome of its use by Tony Abbott, the Coalition and the media here in our own country, will convince you of the pernicious effect of this malevolent strategy, and that you will join me in condemning it vehemently.

Poisonous politics pollutes powerfully. It was lethally dangerous in Nazi Germany – it is dangerous here.

What do you think?

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TalkTurkey

11/05/2012Ad I've taken the liberty of reposting this since the new thread was posted. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My comments in italics ABC Editor's Note Paul Keating's attack on Chris Uhlmann's interview of a fellow Labor Prime Minister demonstrates an understandable tribal loyalty. So . . . Nothing to do with reasoned intellectual condemnation then. Keating sent it unsolicited to The Drum and we published it because this site has a culture of open and robust debate. "unsolicited?" When did the ABC ever solicit comment from PJK? Who needs him, you have Reith Reith Reith instead! "A culture of open and robust debate"? This is the first time anybody can remember any such reply as the one you have provided, and all comments are already closed. But it cannot pass without comment. It is a personal and unreasonable assault on one of this country's best political journalists and interviewers. So all the overwhelming majority of bloggers who agree with Keating's comments are also unreasonable. I take this as a personal attack and insult. No wonder people have turned off 7.30 in huge numbers. Uhlmann's interview with the Prime Minister canvassed the decisions made by her government to achieve a forecast budget surplus. "Blanketed her answers" is the more accurate description, he interrupted the great majority of the PM's comments. There is no excuse whatsoever for his failure to allow our Prime Minister to finish sentences. He asked questions in the public mind - questions about savings made by breaking or shifting previous promises on business tax cuts, defence and foreign aid. "The public mind" . . . So you know that? He asked reasonably whether broken promises reflect on the credibility of the government and on its forecast. Oh so he was reasonable, Keating and the rest of us are not ? When the theme of credibility is infused into the very being of the current parliament, it's a fair enough line of inquiry. The ABC has been no more diligent than the commercial shock-jock media in explaining the truth about the propensity of the Government and our PM in paricular to tell the truth, which is that she has never lied to Parliament nor to the people. A promise one is unable to keep because of changed circumstances is not at all a lie, and the ABC for the well-being and information of the nation should long ago have given a lie to the liars who call our PM a liar. Instead your publicly-funded organisation has aided and abetted their meme. Later parts of the interview were about cash bonuses, the carbon price and Julia Gillard's judgement about Craig Thompson and Peter Slipper. These are matters that go to the heart of Julia Gillard's prime ministership. I’ve just re-watched the interview. Chris's tone throughout was respectful but probing, the appropriate tone for a political interviewer doing what political interviewers have always done – acting devil's advocate for a public seeking to better understand its leaders. This is pure cant. Respectful and probing, what crap! Impudent, combative, interruptive, ever trying for gotchas, that is Uhlmann's style with the PM and others in the Government. The record, of which you are in headlong denial, tells the story, an interruption every 40 seconds on average throughout the 15 minute interview! In glaring contrast to Uhlmann's interview with Reith last night, or any interview I have ever seen him do with Abbortt. I've been around long enough to remember Prime Ministers and their acolytes levelling similar charges of impertinence against ABC political anchors, from Richard Carleton to Kerry O'Brien. That is a pathetic comment. They couldn't have been right by any chance? And how dare you invoke the name of the late great Richard Carleton in defending Uhlmann! Chris Uhlmann, widely respected in Canberra and amongst his colleagues as a decent, intelligent and no-nonsense journalist, continues a fine tradition. Take no notice of all the public trying to tell you why they have turned off the ABC in disgust. You clearly know better. Bruce Belsham PS Your transcript of the interview is utterly sanitised. It has erased nearly every trace of Uhlmann's interruptions. Now THAT is a LIE! You are a disgrace to the name Bruce Bruce. I happen to know!. Head ABC Current Affairs as up before I posted it on the last.

TalkTurkey

11/05/2012Bum! All the formatting in the above comment (there was a lot) has disappeared, it no longer makes sense, please refer to last thread!

Ad astra reply

11/05/2012TT Thank you for your perspicacious comment on the Belsham defence of Uhlmann, with which I agree. Even sans italics, your critique is clear.

puffTMD

11/05/2012I am glad someone has said it, and said it as well as you have. I am sickened by what is happening in this country. It is like a reality TV program, when the producers decide which unsuspecting sap, err, participant is going to be portrayed as the Villain, and all the tapes are cut to show him or her that way. Here you are Australia, we have manufactured your next victim to bully.

Tom of Melbourne

11/05/2012[i[‘broken promises’, which is another way of calling her a habitual liar.”[/i] My only comment about this is that perhaps Gillard isn’t quite habitual. Otherwise, it’s a reasonable description. You seem to think it is unreasonable to have a journalist test the integrity of a politician.

TalkTurkey

11/05/2012From Poll Bludger Cuppa Posted Friday, May 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink (quoted someone) "Funny that i have just been reading afv" [i][I don't know what afv is atm. TT][/i] Have you checked out The Political Sword? Lots of good people there too. The set-pieces are worth reading every time, and there’s some superb writing in the comments threads. The host Ad Astra values his commenters, makes them welcome. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/ Cuppa good on you, that's what we like to see, we do it mutually too, especially Lyn our Tweetie Bird with her Daily Links of course as you know, more than anybody. We are very proud of her and our host Ad astra who writes most of our set pieces and much comment too. And we regard PB as Us really, bit different style, similar position, no friction ever. Comrades. I love my say even though she's Catholic and I'm very much antireligious altogether. Just goes to show eh. Victoria, BK, so many good-hearted sincere Lefties. Not to overlook all the other good blogs too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Am I right or am I right, the Great Dismemberment is ON! Did I or did I say it would happen [i]this week?[/i] [b]Eye of Time[/b] never foresees individual events like the Slipper defection or the Carr accession to FM or this falling out of all these Libs or the involvement of Brough and Uncle Tom Cobbley in the Ashby affair . . . but it has never been in any doubt as to the dynamics and the fractal nature of the Abbortians, and now they are fracturing in all directions. On PM with Emma Alberici Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury has just destroyed Matthias Cormann on the economy before my very eyes! THIS is at the core of what I've been predicting! I ended up clapping even though I'm sitting here all alone! Abbortt remember The Ides of September Abbortt's "Budget" reply (!) has not gone well for Them. It will be used over and over again by Labor to show their hollowness. Abbortt is bilingual you know. He talks crap fluently.

PatriciaWA

12/05/2012You are absolutely right, Ad Astra. This needs to be said, and said often. Tony Abbott is a very dangerous man, and the media machine which supports him is mad, malign and Murdoch controlled.

Dan Gulberry

12/05/2012TT AFV stands for A Frank View Http://afrankview.net Hosted by Labor stalwart Frank Calabrese.

Dan Gulberry

12/05/2012Oh yeah, and of course, another excellent piece AA. It is starting to make my blood boil when every day Abbott continues to get glowing press. His budget "reply" is a case in question. Just another stump speech full of "government bad", "New election now", etc.. The worst thing about his alleged reply is he did exactly the same thing in reply to last year's budget as well. Naturally after Abbott's no-reply, Their ABC had independent analysis of it by Peter Reith. Poor fellow, my country.

PatriciaWA

12/05/2012Dan, I was appalled to hear on ABC news this evening that the story about the stoush between Kroger and Costello [i]'had taken the gloss off Tony Abbott's budget reply'[/i]!!!! At the end of the previous thread I expressed my hunch that the Kroger/Costello fight is a put up job, staged to draw attention from a very serious internal problem the Libs have. I see that Danny Lewis at the Poll Bludger thinks the same. Time will tell.

nasking

12/05/2012Good points Ad. Not impressed by Levenson’s approach at the end of UK ethics enquiry tonite…felt like he was helping Brooks to justify her actions: [b]Leading question[/b] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leading_question If you ask me Brooks seemed almost grateful dealing with Leveson and him providing excuses for her…having been put the wringer by Jay. I noticed this article from the past: [b]Miliband mulls MPs’ demands to remove hacking-inquiry judge Labour leader shares concerns over impartiality of Lord Justice Leveson after revelations that he attended parties at the home of Elisabeth Murdoch[/b] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/miliband-mulls-mps-demands-to-remove-hackinginquiry-judge-2319555.html You have to feel confident a judge is impartial. I’m not convinced…particularly watching close-up on IPad Furthermore, Rebekah Brooks complained of trivial info put to her about relationship with Murdochs. Got a taste of her own medicine. Irony. Tabloid-like speculation annoyed the precious editor of a tabloid. She looked very stressed when discussing BSKY-b bid…Fred Michel…the campaign to out local pedas that led to riots…conservatives Osborne and Hunt. The ethics inquiry tonite demonstrated why ownership of media should be limited…and not extend to cross-ownership…sports, cable/paytv etc. Btw, amazes me these condescending toffs run papers trusted by the working class. One good recording of how they really feel about their readers would end the pretence…the working class are a meal ticket. Also thought it pathetic that Brooks felt they needed to cater to readers so much…mentioned case of Mirror and NOT IN MY NAME campaign…how they lost readers. So much for doing the right thing. Obviously attracting readership at any cost was priority for Brooks and News International. Gawd forbid they had guts and revealed the stink behind the war. Keeping the readership uninformed…until no other option. How could the readership change their view if not offered up alternative info by a propaganda-like machine? N’

nasking

12/05/2012More here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18032676 Handy summary and tweets. N'

Tyler

12/05/2012I think you're completely right about the climate of misrepresentation and the endless smears made about the current government. There are absolutely genuine criticisms that can be levelled at the Prime Minister, her appalling positions on Newstart, Refugee Policy and Gay marriange leaping immediately to mind. However as you rightly point out what the media obsesses over are issues based wholly on the wiful misreporting of facts that is now endemic in Australian politics. The suggestions that this is an incompetent government, well debunked on this blog, that this is a high taxing/spening government, well debunked by Stephen Koukalas amongst others. The allegations of sleaze and corruption by a single MP from several years ago is then used to try and tar the entire government, a government which has done a lot of good. It's a complete disgrace and has allowed Tony Abbott and his cronies to level their partisan smears without being challenged. Personally i feel that the real driving force behind this state of affairs is the fact that the lies and distortions of Right-Wing talkback radio are now given an enormous boost throughout the News Ltd press in particular. All the column inches which are given to Bolt et al have poisoned the well and their ferocity has dragged the rest of the media further and further to the right. (Most disgustingly the ABC which almost never bothers to critically analyse any of the assertions of the News Ltd shock jocks) The lowest common denominator of the Australian media now dominates the broad political narrative and things are only likely to get worse from here, particularly if the polls tighten and their smear campaign is ratcheted up in desperation.

TalkTurkey

12/05/2012Dan Gulberry said TT AFV stands for A Frank View Http://afrankview.net Hosted by Labor stalwart Frank Calabrese. Thanks Dan. I do know AFV now you tell me what it is, I know that FC is a Leftish Stormy Petrel, cheers for him. Good to see you here Dan, come back often.

Ad astra

12/05/2012Tyler Welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family, and thank you for your comprehensive comment. Do come again. You are right. The shock jocks and New Limited dominate the news, with very little counter from the rest of the MSM. So it is up to the Fifth Estate to be active, although our voice is small. For example, how many know Stephen Koukoulas and what he has to say? So his debunking of the myths tends to be lost to most of the electorate. But as we know, small voices have a record of being heard, eventually.

Cuppa

12/05/2012Hi TT and all, It's important we keep the Brogressive blogosphere vigorous and various. That's why it's my pleasure (and sort of a personal duty) to promote fine blogs such as The Political Sword. As Progressives are lucky if we get a a bare word edgewise into the Orwellian right-wing media echo chamber, and have NO mainstream media outlets that advocate for Progressive policies or politics, blogs and social media are it at the moment. We must build and strengthen our Progressive voice, work together and get the word out loudly and widely! The media situation in this country is wholly toxic. It's a one-party media in what is essentially a two-party 'system' of government. That's cancerous; no wonder a dangerous extremist like Abbott can swagger about with his media-generated polling dominance. In fact it's only BECAUSE of the media being all behind him / anti Labor that Abbott is in the race at all. Take away the unanimous media boosting and he'd be as relevant as any other wild-eyed crank.

TalkTurkey

12/05/2012Tyler, Good morning and welcome, I agree with most of what you say 100%, and some about 70% or so. eg I don't know what Labor can do about asylum seekers while held in a vice of Greens on one side and the Abborttians on the other . . . Our Party will sort it out when we can, with the best humanist principles too, but as cows can't jump over the moon no matter how hard they try, neither has Labor a means to achieve a happy strategy atm. What would you do if you were *J*U*L*I*A*? Bearing in mind that peremptory simplistic action would be worse than nothing. Cuppa said [i]It's important we keep the Brogressive blogosphere vigorous and various. That's why it's my pleasure (and sort of a personal duty) to promote fine blogs such as The Political Sword. [/i] My idea too, though atm I only post here but I talk up the most poignant posts on PB and a few other blogs. Others here are much more peregrinaceous, Tweetie Lyn showing the way. I believe that there is a great deal of osmosis-like interchange of ideas between blogs, good ideas find their own level but we are all part of the pressures that spread the ideas around. It is vital to do it, for the reasons you cite.

D McMinn

12/05/2012The ones telling the BIG LIE is the Labor Party - not the Liberals - not business - not farmers - not people who have turned up to protests at Canberra - it is Julie Gillard, Craig Thompson, Peter Slipper, Anthony Albanese, and the rst of them. Tony Windsor is so distorted by hatred for the Coalition that he can't/won't see the damage the Labor party is doing and his own legacy to Australian politics is thus destroyed. When a party has to resort to bringing in head kickers from the UK who know only dirt dirt and more dirt then you know who has lost the plot. The Opposition are not faultless but they aren't even in the same race when it comes to lying as the Labor Party. This article of yours proves you are just a HACK

Lyn

12/05/2012 This article of yours proves you are just a HACK Obviously "So are you"

Cuppa

12/05/2012From New South Wales... [b]Minister's aide quits over allegations of electoral funding breaches[/b] [i]Sydney Morning Herald[/i], 12 May 2012 http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ministers-aide-quits-over-allegations-of-electoral-funding-breaches-20120511-1yi4w.html

Lyn

12/05/2012Good Morning Ad and Everybody Twitterverse for you this morning, Craig Thomson again, Mr Oakes trying to score a bombshell: Marisa Bell‏ Just watched Craig Emerson on ABC 24. Brilliant interview! Go boy! Thomson to claim of set up, Channel Nine , Laurie Oakes Interview this morning http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-12/thomson-claims-credit-card-set-up/4007356 A-PAC‏_ch648 Thomson claims he was set up by rival: Craig Thomson claims a union rival threatened to 'set him up' with prosti... http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=749450&vId=3247521 walabytrack‏ Thomson claims he was set up - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-12/thomson-iv/4007282 Thomson's defence: I was set up http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3501300.htm Kate McClymont‏ Is Craig Thomson delusional? Here is a guide to his Parallel Universe http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/thomsons-alternative-reality-didnt-fit-the-facts-20120511-1yi4f.html James Paterson‏ Interesting. Neilsen shows ALP leads coalition 54-46 in Victoria: http://ghostwhovotes.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/nielsen-120512.png TAWNBPM‏ There appears to be more analytical comment in the SMH letters section than in any of the commentary provided by.. http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/abbott-does-not-speak-our-language-20120511-1yidf.html TheFinnigans Thomson is not stupid, there is a method in his madness. He is laying down the groundwork for his explosive Parlt Statement Latika Bourke ‏ Craig Thomson says in 2004 he was threatened by a union official that they would destroy his political career by setting him up with hookers Thomson claims threat of hooker set-up http://theaustralian.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx Australia‏@__australia__ Angry voter backlash to Gillard Government's Budget bribes: Others Image Video Julia Gillard: Hanging on by a th... http://bit.ly/K8VJTq Wayne Swan‏ Pretty average @TonyAbbottMHR is now withdrawing support for family payments and cost of living relief http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-11/abbott-considers-axing-tax-rebate-increase/4005614 #FairGo Katharine Murphy Peter Costello's statement in response to Mr Kroger http://www.petercostello.com.au/press/statement-11-may-2012 :):):):)

NormanK

12/05/2012D McMinn You are of course welcome to your own opinion but I would be interested to see some flesh on the bones of your complaint. [quote]Tony Windsor is so distorted by hatred for the Coalition that he can't/won't see the damage the Labor party is doing ...[/quote] Be so kind as to point out the damage that is being done by the Labor Party. The MRRT has not scared off investment in mining projects, in fact the pipeline of new money is absolutely huge. The Carbon Pricing scheme is predicted to have a very modest effect on inflation and has similarly not frightened off investment in coal mining. The damage must be reflected in the inflation level spiralling out of control just as it was under the Howard government in its final years. But it's not, is it? The damage can be seen in the current ever-escalating interest rates that typified the last term of the Howard government. Not really, eh? Surely the unemployment statistics are indication enough of the damage that Labor is doing to this country. No? The rate of growth of GDP at around trend levels when much of the rest of the Western world is struggling to keep its head above water is evidence enough of Labor destructiveness. No? Wage levels at historically normal levels should show us how tough Australians are doing it at the moment. No? Cost of living trends absolutely flat (despite the hysteria in commercial media outlets to the contrary) show us that the damage is reaching into each and every household. No? I would also be interested to hear what any political party has to gain by trying to damage the economy and society they have been elected to represent. Destroy the Australian economy in order to cling to power? Doesn't make much sense does it? And isn't it working a treat? Unfortunately, in the face of objective data to the contrary you have chosen to follow your emotions rather than your intellect. Australia is doing extremely well at present and the current Labor government deserves some of the credit for that.

bennyg

12/05/2012Abbott at the budget reply lunch in Sydney on Friday: "I know in the marrow if my bones that my job - should I be elected - will not be to cling to office. It will not be to hold office for it's own sake. It will be to build a better country." This from the man who has spent the last 18 months trying to gain office for it's own sake. No vision. No policy. No concern about what his constant lies and deceit are doing to the economy and the culture of this country. "Build a better country"???. Maybe stop destroying it first! Power for power's sake. Because in the marrow of his bones, he genuinely believes that he deserves to be PM. On th contrary, he and his band of incompetent misfits have proven over 18 months that they are persons not fit to be given control of this country and its economy.

LadyInRed

12/05/2012Tom of Melbourne the point is all politicians 'break promises' or lie as you prefer to call it. Tony Abbott does it all the time - but he doesn't get labelled constantly a liar by the press. Personally I think you should allow politicians to change course if conditions change in an unforseen way. The result of the election WAS unforseen (never mind I dispute that the carbon tax was a lie). I am just assuming that you do. D. McMinn - clearly you have just swallowed the whole lot whole. Try chewing stuff before you swallow. If you want to sprout that stuff come up with the goods and expect that for every piece of dirt you can espouse to the PM an equal one will be shown to you for the opposition Abbott in particular. Then chew. Great article by the way ad astra. Pertinent points. I am going to put large headings at the top of all my posts on The Drum etc. THIS IS THE WORST OPPOSITION LEADER EVER. THIS IS THE MOST INCOMPETANT OPPOSITION LEADER EVER. And, unlike Abbott I will give account for my saying so. Back it up - not just rhetoric. Perhaps the media will get the idea? I live in hope.

TalkTurkey

12/05/2012Hi Lyn I gotta grin At apoplectic D McMinn! Freaking out Spinning spin He's realized Labor's Gonna win! Screech, screech As loud as you can You're wasting your breath Past-use-by Man! As scorpions sting anything When in their last death throes McMinny-thing's a whingey thing Cos we've got up his nose! What s/he/it will hate most is, this is the only time I'll even reply. Trolls HATE that. Bye Minnie.

LadyInRed

12/05/2012Well said NormanK

Cuppa

12/05/2012LadyInRed wrote: [i]...the point is all politicians 'break promises' or lie as you prefer to call it. Tony Abbott does it all the time - but he doesn't get labelled constantly a liar by the press[/] Kerry O'Brien famously called Abbott out on one or two of them on the [i]7.30 Report[/i] in 2010. Interestingly, that was to be O'Brien's last interview with Abbbott: shortly thereafter has retirement from the show was announced. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc5ljcri6Nk

Bilko

12/05/2012Whilst reading the Canberra times today, yes I know its damaging to ones health to read any newspaper in this country at this point in time, I came across this letter to the editor which left me thinking that I am living in a parallel universe, “On Thursday night I listened to a statesman giving an address to the nation. There were no sneaky deals or promises or handouts just a down t o earth assessment of where our country should be heading. There was a note of positiveness, something we don’t here from our current government. Listen to the knockers, then ask them to come up with someone who can say it with honesty and commitment like Abbott did” I still have not watched my recording of Abbott’s reply but from comments everywhere else the writer of the above must be. Almost all the opinion expressed in the CT today has Abbott ensconced in the Lodge. Is it possible to get 3 yrs supply of valium. God help us

Cuppa

12/05/2012Bilko, Here's how Geoff Kitney of the [i]Australian Financial Review[/i] described Abbott's effort: [i]...one of the most vacuous budget reply speeches ever delivered by an opposition leader It offered no alternative economic strategy and contained hardly any numbers. ... it was an insult[/i] Reasonable observation, yes. But then Mr Kitney turns around and, as the thesis for his piece, basically blames Julia Gillard for Abbott's contemptuous attitude and approach to the electorate. http://www.afr.com/p/national/budget/labor_makes_abbott_job_easy_yW3B4WLUiAC6V4NL7pPErL

Bilko

12/05/2012Cuppa thanks that confirms most of the reports, I have been saying to AA that labor needs to change its slippers, no pun intended, for hob nailed boots and starting kicking ar** as all the american heroes say as they take on the bad guys, and make no mistake about it Abbott and his cronies are just that and deserve it big time. Off to my grandson's 18 now. May the force be with us

Ad astra

12/05/2012bennyg Welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family. Do come again. Thank you for your comments. I note that you are among a growing number who see right though Abbott’s hollowness, and perceive that his pursuit of power is his prime aim. To bad about our country!

Lyn

12/05/2012Hi Ad and Everybody Andrew's article is a brilliant response to Abbott's budget reply. Andrew Elder and Ad Astra would leave any Newspaper for dead wood: Tony Abbott made a lazy speech in reply to the budget last night. He thinks he's going to cruise into office. Against a dispirited and disorganised government The first thing that occurred to me on hearing this soaring opening was: who are you and what have you done with Tony Abbott? Where is the hot blast of negativity? It didn't take long for the dog to return to his vomit: http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/adding-value.html?m=1

Ad astra

12/05/2012PatriciaWA, Dan Gulberry, Nasking, TT, LadyinRed, Cuppa, Bilko, Lyn Thank you all for your complimentary comments, and your additions to this important debate, and your tweets Lyn. The prospect of an Abbott Government is so frightening that we must muster whatever small voice we have to show the people of this country how dangerous a government led by Abbott would be for our nation. The complicity of the media in promoting Abbott and demeaning PM Gillard and her Government is distressingly extensive. Julia Gillard has not only to fight her traditional opponent, but the media as well. Reflect on how different the situation would be if the media were evenhanded, instead of being a publicity organ for Abbott and his Coalition. Imagine what the polls would say if the media sided with Julia Gillard and her Government and against Abbott and his Coalition. Whoever controls the media, controls the flow of information to the electorate, information on which they make decisions about whom to vote for. If control of the media were to be magically wrested from conservative hands and fall into progressive hands, the political scenery would be soon reversed. We could all write enticing headlines extolling the actual virtues and accomplishments of the Gillard Government, while writings strident headlines demeaning the lack of policy and the economic incompetence of the Abbott Coalition, and what it proposes to do that will penalize the less fortunate, while advantaging the well-off. We have learned from the Levinson Inquiry just how newspapers can defeat or advance political parties at their will. They believe they should decide who shall govern a country, and make sure all their consumers know how they should vote.

Ad astra

12/05/2012NormanK Thank you for taking the time to respond so fully to D McMinn. He is welcome to participate on [i]TPS[/i], but I do hope if he returns he will make a better fist of making his point. I wonder who are the ‘head-kickers’ from the UK. Perhaps he will tell us, and also tell us how what I have written ‘proves’ that I am a ‘HACK’.

archiearchive

12/05/2012"Attitudes have hardened into vicious hatreds and the consequences will be terrifying. Australians look to Norway and sanctimoniously say, “It couldn’t happen here!” The bad news is that we are closer to such an event than anyone other than ASIO will admit." Even the heartless men of the Liberal Backrooms are beginning become concerned that they may have unleashed a demon they can no longer control. http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/the-cracking-of-the-abbott-monolith/ The good news is that

Ad astra

12/05/2012Cuppa It is a sad reflection that Kitney can say that blithely say that Labor’s wounds are self inflicted, and feels no need to elaborate. He condemns Abbott’s Budget Reply, but implies that he is entitled to be contemptuous of the electorate because ‘Labor is its own worst enemy’.

Ad astra

12/05/2012Hi Lyn Thank you for the link to Andrew Elder’s very detailed analysis of the Abbott Budget Reply, which I shall relish reading after the pre-Mother’s Day celebrations were are having today.

Cuppa

12/05/2012Folks, The blog linked below is documenting the descent in standards at the ABC. Plus, they’re soliciting for tip-offs. So if you’ve seen or heard something on the ABC that should be highlighted, you can email them the information. [b]The ABC Has Gone To Hell[/b] http://the-abc-has-gone-to-hell.tumblr.com/

Ad astra

12/05/2012archiearchive Sadly, you are so right. I l