A Prior Engagement

Channel Nine aren’t too sure if their once-popular entertainment show, “This is Your Life”, has a viable future.

Eddie Maguire himself is ambivalent, but is willing to experiment to see if its fortunes can be resuscitated.



So, Eddie has decided that he will be the compere. He has also realised that a big name guest is needed to bring up the ratings. And, who bigger than ANDREW BOLT!

However, Eddie doesn’t realise the connection (or, more accurately, ex-connection) between Andrew and the “This is Your Life” producer, Suzanne Walshe.

But, you may ask, who is this Suzanne Walshe chick?

Yes, this Suzanne Walshe:

Eddie: Righto, Walshie...Andrew Bolt is our feature guest this week, so I want you to rustle up a few significant people in Andy’s life, to make him look good, as he is a good mate of mine, you understand...

[Walshie, at the mention of Andrew’s name, feels an inner twinge of discomfort but, being a good actor, shows no outward signs of her inner emotions.]

Walshie: Erm...no worries, Eddie...I’ll get cracking straight away...

[As Eddie exits her office, Walshie can feel heaps of succulent schadenfreude coming on. “Andy Bolt!” she repeats to herself, “well, well, well...this is going to be an interesting show, if I have anything to do with it...heh...heh...”

And so, Walshie begins to put her Machiavellian bastard of a plan into action. Utilising all of her acting and impersonating skills, she puts together a series of tapes that she will play on the show.

Then, on the night in question, Eddie strolls off, Red Book in hand, to track Andy down. As a rouse, one of Walshie’s underlings told Andy there was a Tea Party meeting in the Channel Nine staff canteen and he had dutifully turned up to rally the troops. However, when Andy got there, he was the only one present and was forced to listen to the tea-lady complaining about her lumbago. So when Eddie fronted up with his camera crew, it was a welcome relief to escape from the inane prattling of the old duck.

Soon, Andy is ensconced on the big sofa in the studio. However, unfortunately, he is blissfully unaware that his ex-fiancé is sitting in the producer’s garret above the studio floor.

And Eddie, for his part, hasn’t been informed on what is about to unfold. He has always been quite happy to rock up and simply read the script off the auto-cue.

As she is counting down the seconds to broadcast time, Walshie is having a few delicious thoughts. “Heh...heh...so he doesn’t remember us being engaged, doesn’t he...And I was nothing more than a belly dancer, was I...well, I’ll show him...It’ll be me who’ll have the belly-laugh this time...hee...hee...”.]

Eddie: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...You saw on the monitor the famous celebrity who I surprised in the staff canteen...and it is my great pleasure to now welcome to the studio...Mr...Andrew...Bolt!!!

[However, a cacophony of boos and hisses rings out from the studio audience. Eddie is totally taken aback, and hasn’t realised that Walshie has done a reverse Rooty Hill with pike and mustered up all the Occupy Wall (and every other fascist) Street protesters she could cram into the studio. Eager to detract from the rudeness of the leftie malingerers in the studio audience, Eddie starts to read from the auto-cue.]

Eddie: Righto...let’s get this show on the road, shall we...And our first video guest tonight will tell us what a great guy Andy is...and he is none other than...erm... Alan...Joyce?

“Joycey”: Top o’ the mornin’ to ye, cousin! And isn’t it great to see ye gettin’ on so well in Oostraylia, to be sure...to be sure...Yes, I remember well the good old days when, as cousins in the great Joyce-Bolt Irish tinker clan in Ballygobackwards, we used to travel around on our horse and cart...mending pots and pans...and laying down some mighty driveways that would make the M1 in England look like the Rocky Road to Dublin...to be sure...to be sure...And, wasn’t it during those great days, cousin, we learned all the tricks of the entrepreneurial trade...Oh, and by the way, Andy, and you too Eddie, as I hear you are a bit of an entrepreneur yourself...heh...heh...would you like to join me in buying up an old airline or two – I’ve got myself involved and turned them so much to shite, they’re goin’ for an absolute song...to be sure...to be sure...Whaddya think, lads...are ye in?

[Eddie and Andy haven’t realised that they have been watching Walshie playing silly buggers. They look at each other as if they’ve both been sucked onto the set of a Twilight Zone episode. Mercifully, however, Walshie moves the auto-cue on.]

Eddie (extemporising): Huh...they say blood’s thicker than water...I reckon that bloke’s even thicker again...Now, viewers...it’s my great pleasure to offer to you someone who will definitely make sense...and...it...is...Hugo...Chavez?

[Walshie runs the tape, and she is such a great impersonator, again no-one even suspects that it is her playing the part.]

“Hugo”: Andy!!! Comrade!!! Companero!!! It’s great to be part of this magnifico opportunity to pay tribute to you, comrade...

[Andy is looking aghast at the monitor. “WTF is this clown on”, he mutters sotto voce to himself. “If he thinks I’m his comrade, he must have just got back from Columbia and ingested his year’s supply in just one friggin’ hit!”.]

“Hugo”: Oh, yes, they were the days, comrade, when you and I roamed our beautiful Venezuelan jungles, AK 47’s in hand, waging guerrilla warfare on the capitalist swine and their gringo collaborators...And then, around the campfire, you would read to us from your favourite book, “The Collected Works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Bob Brown”...Yes, those were the days comrade...

[Andy, looking exceptionally alarmed, turns to Eddie, placing his hand against the side of his mouth, masking his words from the camera.]

Andy: Shit!! I don’t remember any of this!!

[Eddie prays for the auto-cue to move on, and thankfully it does.]

Eddie: Right...now, that was intriguing, wasn’t it...Isn’t Andy such a very broad-minded chap to have such “interesting” friends...And now, our next guest is...Al...Gore?

[Walshie runs the tape of her impersonating the famous environmental educator and ex Vice-President of the USA.]

“Al”: Well, howdy, pardner!!! It’s my great honour to say a few words of praise to you from my eco-ranch here in the good ol’ US of A...And I just want all the good folk there in Australia to know that, if it wasn’t for you, Andy, those poor polar bear critters in my famous documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, would have certainly drowned when their ice floes melted due to global warming...But, just in the nick of time, you and your Greenpeace greenie buddies came along and gave them mouth-to-mouth, Tony Abbott-style...

[At the very mention of Tones’ name, a near-riot breaks out amongst the leftie feral studio audience. Again Andy turns in shock to Eddie.]

Andy: Shit!! I don’t remember anything about this...

[Once more, Eddie is glad to see the auto-cue tick over.]

Eddie: Yes...thank you Mr Gore...now...everyone...we have...this time...a local Australian celebrity...

[“Thank Christ”, Andy mutters to himself.]

Eddie: And, it is none other than...Geoff...Clark?

[Walshie had herself taped doing an impersonation of the ex-Chairman of ATSIC cooking a bush tucker barbeque, somewhere way out west of Woop Woop.]

“Geoff”: Andy!! Bro!!! Jeeze, mate, we really miss ya out these parts...Ever since you were taken away all those years ago by the Chief Protector and his slimy mob, we’ve missed ya, bro...But, even after all these years, we reckon you can still make it back, mate...Just follow the Rabbit Proof Fence – after all, it weren’t a problem for Molly and Daisy...heh...heh...

[Andy can’t believe the extent of the sleights against his impeccable character and, again, looks incredulously at Eddie, mouthing soundlessly that he has no memory whatsoever of being a member of the Stolen Generation.

Meanwhile, upstairs in the producer’s garret, Walshie is wetting herself laughing. She runs the auto-cue to inform Eddie that there will be a musical interlude, with Jim Kerr in the studio singing his famous “Simple Minds” hit, “Don’t you forget about me”.



Eddie: And thank you, Jim Kerr!!!

[The audience would rather carry on with singing, “La...la...la...la...” and do so vociferously, so Eddie just talks over the top of the bolshie wastrels.]

Eddie: And...our next guest will – hopefully – tell us what a really great guy Andy is...So, it’s my great pleasure to introduce to you...erm...Abu...Bakar...friggin’...Bashir?

[Walshie gleefully rolls the tape of her doing her best Abu impersonation, filmed in what looks like the penthouse suite of some correctional institute in Indonesia.]

“Abu”: Salam, Brother Andy!! It is so great to smuggle this tape out to be shown on your TV program!! I am delighted to be able to tell everyone how instrumental you were in helping us set up our network of fundamentalist madrassa schools here...I remember well how you, as a young trainee teacher came over here and, by the sweat of your brow, personally erected madrassa after madrassa, whilst, at the same time, quoting to your eager students chunks from the Koran, which you obviously knew off by heart...What reverence and dedication to our cause!!

[Eddie has heard enough, and so has Andy, who is squirming on the sofa, gesticulating to Eddie that he has no memories whatsoever of any such dodgy extra-curricular activity on his part.

Then, Eddie reads the auto-cue from Walshie, directing him to involve some audience participation. So, Eddie begs members of the audience for some sort of a positive testimony on Andy’s contribution to the welfare of humankind. In the front row of the studio audience mosh-pit, a very eager chap has his hand in the air, shouting, “pick me...pick me...” repeatedly. Walshie instructs the boom-mic operator and the cameras to hone in on this particular individual who, “coincidentally”, is a close friend of hers.]

“Random” guy: Oh, hi Andy – it’s been such a long time, so you probably won’t remember me...but we went to school together and I recall your party trick in Maths class when you wanted to get out of doing your work by pretending to the teacher that you had left your calculator at home...But what the teacher didn’t know was that you had your calculator with you all the time...Everybody else knew you had gone to the dunny and secreted it in a place no-one would dare look...What a hero and legend you were...all your class-mates were in awe of you...So, Andy, I’ve got my calculator with me – will you show us all your party trick here on national TV?
[Andy is packing it big time by this stage. He hasn’t got a clue who this dork is and, whilst he is futilely claiming no memories whatsoever of such a preposterous claim, the studio audience is chanting, “What does he want? Vaseline! When does he want it? Now!”

Eddie is even more mortified at the surreal direction his show has taken. He turns around to commiserate with Andy, but, by this stage, the sofa is as empty as Tony Abbott’s wallet, and Whyalla’s main street, after the Carbon Tax has been brought in. And, looking at the monitor, Eddie notes that the credits are running and the next program is just starting.

Whilst the studio audience files out to see if Betty Windsor is still around to chuck some more rotten tomatoes at, Walshie comes down from the producer’s garret onto the studio floor, where Eddie is still all lathered in sweat.]

Eddie: Jeeze! Never again...never again...Hey, Walshie, I think I’ll hand this job back to Mike Munro – it’s too much like hard work for my liking...However, I really felt sorry for poor old Andy tonight...he was so highly thought of by all those famous people – but it was really strange that he couldn’t remember a single thing about what they were recalling...do you think he’s getting a bit of the old-timers? And why did he shoot through without saying cheerio?

Walshie (sniggering): Nah, more like selective amnesia if you ask me...And, as for his hasty departure, let’s just say he suddenly remembered he had a prior engagement...heh...heh...

Rate This Post

Current rating: NaN / 5 | Rated 0 times

lyn

4/11/2011Hi Acerbic Conehead Another delightful happy piece of statire from you this weekend, thankyou so much for all the work you do for our enjoyment. Ummm you have written what I was thinking when I went away : [quote]Don't you forget about me Don't, don't, don't, don't Don't you forget about me[/quote] A couple of links for everyone: Up, Up and Awry!, Ash, Ash;s Machiavellian Bloggery [quote]5 planes Qantas had originally ‘grounded’ in the week leading up to the lock out, 4 were scheduled for disposal. One was listed as for sale since March of 2011. Of the 5 planes, all were in need of MAJOR service. And in business speak, MAJOR service cost MAJOR bucks. So by grounding 5 planes that could not fly anyway, Qantas attempted to deceive the public that it was the problem of unions when it was a concerted and deliberate falsehood[/quote]. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/up-up-and-awry/ Laura Tingle's article today:- Labor own worst enemy in leader flap , Laura Tingle, Financial Review http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/labor_own_worst_enemy_in_leader_InChHh9QBJ8S2TBbLTpEgJ Cheers :):):):):)

lyn

4/11/2011Hi Talk Turkey I am very happy to see you have posted a comment over on the other thread. Your comments are always interesting and you have an excellent opinion, I love reading what you say. My opinion of the Assange affair is zilz so I am afraid you are streets ahead of me. But I do enjoy reading what you say about him, and I feel much better informed, than I would be otherwise. Cheers:):):):):):)

NormanK

4/11/2011The latest Morgan Poll contains a lot of good news even for those of us who don't place much stock in polls. [quote]The latest telephone Morgan Poll shows a large drop in support for the L-NP 51.5% (down 4% from the telephone Morgan Poll conducted last week on the nights of October 25/26, 2011) compared to the ALP 48.5% (up 4%) on a Two-Party preferred basis. The L-NP primary vote is 45% (down 2%) still well ahead of the ALP 34% (up 3%). If a Federal election were held today the L-NP would win with a [b]small majority[/b] according to today’s Morgan Poll. The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has risen to 105.5 (up 3.5pts) with 48.5% (up 3.5%) — saying Australia is ‘heading in the right direction,’ while 43% (unchanged) say Australia is ‘heading in the wrong direction.’ The latest weekly Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating conducted last weekend, October 29/30, 2011, was at 116.8 (up 2.1pts from October 22/23, 2011). Gary Morgan says: “For the real poll watchers the Two-Party preferred table shows both the Two-Party preferred calculated based on how people say they will give their preferences; and also based on the same preference allocation given in the last election. Although most electors ‘vote the card’ it is still interesting to measure how people say they will give their preferences as an indicator of soft support for the major parties. The minor parties and Independents today are preferencing the ALP more strongly than previously. This could be a further good sign for the ALP.” ..... it is worth noting that telephone polls are good at capturing the response to current events and have [b]typically been biased towards the L-NP, obtain a higher figure for Minor parties and Independents and  more ‘responsive’ to current events[/b].[/quote] http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2011/4713/

Feral Skeleton

4/11/2011Nice cartoon to go with AcerbicC.'s tasteful skewering of Andrew Bolt. :) http://twitter.com/#!/BrentonEccles/status/132316525725089792/photo/1

Feral Skeleton

4/11/2011If you can't find it there, it's number 9 of 93 here: http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/opinion/bruce-petty-20090907-fdvy.html

Feral Skeleton

4/11/2011NormanK, Thank you for the comprehensive breakdown of the Morgan poll. I'd like to know whether they do a 'Preferred PM'? Nevertheless, it is important for the PM to just keep on keeping on, and to keep the incremental positive change happening in the polls. Too much positive change too soon will only serve to scare the horses.

jane

4/11/2011Great post again, AC. Visualising Dolt being skewered by his ex-fiance was hilarious.

2353

4/11/2011AC - what are you on (and where do I get some?). Brilliant piece of satire.

Catey

4/11/2011Thanks for the laugh AC. Also loved the Andrew Elder article re the Telegraph "Leadership Challenge" story. I am totally perplexed that the msn falls for the News Ltd red rag headline every single time. The PM is at the G20, immediately after CHOGM and after sorting out Qantas in her spare time so, in order to prevent her from getting any good press, the Telegraph confects a leadership challenge (again) and the whole of the msn falls for it! Would one of you msn journalists please give us an article on why you are so willing to allow yourselves to be manipulated and used by Murdoch!

TalkTurkey

5/11/2011I DID! I heard A Tweety Bird! Lyn is back Folks! Spread the Word! As for all us Swordsfolks We have all been spoiled: NormanK has buoyed us eh, While Lyn left us ungoiled! :)

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011Well, not everyone in the MSM is falling for the News Ltd/Abbott line/lies. Laurie Oakes has let Abbott have it with both barrells this week: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/mining-tax-has-exposed-abbott/story-e6frfhqf-1226186251139

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011AcerbicC., Small point, but I think you've got your Andy's confused with your Eddie's in this paragraph(well, as it reads in my head): [quote]Soon, 'Eddie' is ensconced on the big sofa in the studio. However, unfortunately, he is blissfully unaware that his ex-fiancé is sitting in the producer’s garret above the studio floor. [/quote]

NormanK

5/11/2011I was tempted to do this last weekend because I just couldn't believe the sheer volume of anti-Labor, anti-Gillard pieces in the Australian last Saturday but other events took over and I was left wondering if I'd missed an opportunity to make a point. I shouldn't have feared. A Google search of articles containing Gillard published as 'news' in the last hour (around 12.15 EDST) yielded the following. PM Julia Gillard told by G20 you're on your own on carbon BY:
DENNIS SHANAHAN, POLITICAL EDITOR, IN CANNES 
 JULIA Gillard's introduction of a carbon tax has been praised at the latest economic summit for showing the way on climate change but Australia is being isolated within the G20 on carbon pricing as members retreat due to changing priorities and economic pressure. [b]Reinforces the meme that Australia is going it alone on pricing carbon.[/b] Too many half-baked ideas a recipe for failure BY:
PETER VAN ONSELEN THIS is the year of decision and delivery for the federal government. That was the rhetoric Julia Gillard employed to start 2011, setting expectations beyond the capacity of her minority government. As a consequence we are bearing witness to a mad scramble to pass legislation before the month is out. ... [b] Incompetent, rushed Labor legislation to shore up a beleaguered PM.[/b] Labour laws a barrier in new Asian century BY:
PAUL KELLY, EDITOR-AT-LARGE THE issue in the Qantas crisis cannot be averted - it is whether Labor's "fair work" industrial relations model is workable for Australia with a high dollar and more competitive pressures on industry in what Labor calls the coming Asian century. This contradiction is embedded in Labor as a political institution. Because it goes to Labor's identity it transcends any Julia Gillard-Kevin Rudd leadership struggle. [b]The FairWork Act under fire - surprise, surprise.[/b] 'Anyone but Rudd plea' could put Smith in the frame BY:
CHRISTOPHER PEARSON NSW Labor Right backbenchers on narrow margins are pivotal to Kevin Rudd's attempt to regain the prime ministership. Julia Gillard's deal with Andrew Wilkie on introducing mandatory pre-commitment gaming puts their seats in jeopardy. [b]Rudd for PM! Now there's a novel breaking story.[/b] Anti-Qantas rhetoric flies in the face of reason BY:
JANET ALBRECHTSEN AS outsiders, most of us are blissfully unaware of internal Labor Party skirmishes. However, those battles become a matter of public importance when those pursuing private ambitions act in a way that might appear inconsistent with performing their public responsibilities. [b]Aah, the faceless men.[/b] Rio chairman warns PM against squandering mining boom windfall BY:
SARAH-JANE TASKER RIO Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis has warned that Australia risks wasting the benefits of the mining boom if strong leadership and long-term policies are not put in place to ensure the country is in a stable position to withstand future financial downturns. In his first major speech in Australia since taking the top role in 2009, the experienced chairman said while the resource-rich nation had become a central player in the global commodities boom, complacency by policymakers could cause Australia to miss the opportunity to remain one of the most fortunate countries on earth. [b]Complacency ..... well at least it's not incompetence.[/b] PM must lead on pokies reform BY:
MIKE STEKETEE PAUL Keating is always ready to offer advice in his inimitable manner, all the more so on issues on which he can speak with authority, such as leadership. [b]Leadership - that inestimable commodity that we'd all like to see more of from our leaders :).[/b] About-face on water buyback after hint of 'shifting goalposts' BY:
BRENDAN NICHOLSON THE Gillard government has overturned a Murray-Darling Basin Authority decision to write down the value of water bought back from irrigators under the $3.1 billion purchasing program. The formula by which the volumes and value of water allocations bought from farmers is calculated was quietly changed last month, triggering claims it would force the farmers to increase the amount of water they returned to the river system. [b]Ooh. Secrets, hints, backflips and farmers short-changed. Who ya gonna blame?[/b] Push for $1 pokies limit slammed by gaming industry BY:
MILANDA ROUT THE gaming industry has hit out at growing support for placing a $1 limit on poker machines, saying it is no cheaper than Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie's mandatory pre-commitment reforms. The Gillard government is facing backlash from the gaming industry and the public over its promise to Mr Wilkie to implement mandatory pre-commitment technology as part of its deal to stay in power. [b]It just wouldn't be a normal weekend without someone slamming someone else - preferably the PM.[/b] Playing the nanny-state card is a win in clubland BY:
IN THE HEARTLAND: TOM DUSEVIC, NATIONAL CHIEF REPORTER ACCORDING to Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard has picked a lot of fights. The Prime Minister, a high-kicking street brawler, is up against the gaming industry, Qantas, manufacturers, miners, the Murdoch press, even parts of the Labor Party. Perhaps she's thumped someone in Cannes. [b]Starting to see a trend in the headlines even if the stories themselves don't bear out the implications and innuendo? A secretive government too concerned with its own internal power struggles to take note of what the public wants; bringing in a tax that no-one else in the world would touch with a barge-pole; rushing legislation through the parliament in order to satisfy the PM's desire to be seen to be doing something; risking our future prosperity in Asia; leaderless and complacent. There was not one positive headline or 'teaser'. Not one. We really must be The Lucky Country. Despite all of these manifest shortcomings in our federal government we still manage to rate as one of the top five countries in the world on just about any measure you care to name. Just imagine how great we could be if we had strong, stable, visionary leadership.[/b]

janice

5/11/2011Good morning all. Lovely to see you back at the helm Tweety Bird Lyn. I've been AWOL for a few weeks - too tired to get out of my own way :) but I have been keeping tabs on you all nevertheless. Don't know whether the Morgan Poll numbers are an aberration or not but there has been a definite change in perceptions out here in voterland. Our PM shone during the Queen's visit and CHOGM and the feel-good vibes washed over the electorate so the blanket of negativity was lifted and left the LOTO looking naked,(not a pretty sight).

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011I hope everyone has had their Weeties or toast because I wouldn't want you to choke on it as you listen to this old interview that the ABC did back in the late 1970s with Tony Abbott: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbRpxd3_EH0&feature=youtube_gdata_player I include it because it shows Abbott Unplugged, expressing opinions that he prefers to keep behind a Fort Knox-strength facade these days, and it also presents context to a lot of the Howard government ideological positions. It appears they came straight from Mr Abbott's foetid, fevered brow.

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011It really would suit the government's attempts to do something about the gambling epidemic in this country if they replaced the namby-pamby terminology, 'Problem Gamblers', with the punchier, 'Pathological Gamblers'. As this heavy-hitting article about the same problem in Austria does: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/billionaire-austrian-seeks-slot-machine-gains-abroad-as-home-rules-toughen.html

Jaeger

5/11/2011Possum Comitatus reckons the Morgan figures are "overshot", but at least they're trending in the right direction. Julia looked good at G20 too, and Obama's visit (third time lucky?) won't hurt either. The stark contrast between the leader and the loony is growing by the day.

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011jaeger, I don't expect the Morgan figures to be copied in any of the larger polls, however, as you say, it is more about the trend now and it seems to be going in the correct direction. As I said when the numbers first came out, the Gillard government just needs to keep on keeping on doing what it has been doing, which seems to be paying dividends now. As NormanK has shown, the forces aligned against the Gillard government are training their big guns against them, even down to their pathetic attempts to keep the 'Leadership Challenge' issue alive. It's farcical. However, I think that the electorate are starting to realise this too.

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011janice, It's always good to see your smiling dog's face. :)

Michael

5/11/2011Bad Abbott bad to the bone. Re Feral Skeleton's link to the Laurie Oakes Herald Sun article above, just in case you thought the 'trip' might not be worth it, here's the text. The "wind" hasn't changed in Oakes' case, it's blowing a gale! IT WAS an extraordinary complaint from Tony Abbott. "It's very difficult to have a sensible debate," he said, "when you are confronted with a feral Government". Politicians don't come any more ferocious and brutal than Abbott. He reverted to the wild the moment he got his paws on the Liberal leadership. His style is pure attack dog, as feral as you'd get. Everything, irrespective of merit, has to be opposed and torn to pieces. The mining tax is a case in point. It is now glaringly obvious that the benefits of the mining boom should be shared around so that the overall economy benefits, rather than just a small and privileged section. Opposition to the tax is shrinking. As long as the Government can deal with some last-minute peripheral worries of independents, particularly Tony Windsor, it will get through the Parliament. Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. Related Coverage Swan rises to steamy question time Courier Mail, 17 hours ago Swan blasts Abbott for IMF boycott call Foundation, 18 hours ago Labor hits back over eurozone funding Foundation, 1 day ago Coalition blasts eurozone aid to IMF Foundation, 1 day ago The other side of Tony Abbott The Australian, 1 Oct 2011 End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar. But Abbott is sticking to his decision that he will abolish the tax - and all the benefits it will pay for - as soon as he becomes prime minister. That means he will repeal tax cuts for business, big and small. He will slash proposed infrastructure spending. And he will take back superannuation increases for workers. And why? Because he claims the mining companies exploiting Australia's mineral wealth cannot afford to pay more tax. The risk for the Opposition Leader is that those he would deprive of benefits eventually may see that for the nonsense it is. Someone showed me some fascinating statistics the other day. They compare increases in mining company profits in recent years with what has happened with wages and salaries. Between 2004 and 2010, gross operating profits for Australian mining companies increased by 246 per cent, from $25.4 billion a year to $87.7 billion. If salaries had risen by the same rate as mining profits, doctors would now be getting on average $352,419 a year instead of $151,418, school teachers $186,825 instead of $72,979, plumbers $146,995 instead of $60,215, construction and mining labourers $178,390 instead of $79,643, hospitality workers $110,246 instead of $44,170,receptionists $117,815 instead of $42,184, and so on. The three mining companies that would pay the bulk of the tax - BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata - accept it. Abbott should accept it, too, in the national interest, as a means of dealing with our patchwork economy. Feral might be fine in Opposition, but the advantages are short-term. Abbott is making a rod for his own back in government. Abbott's feral irresponsibility was also on view in Parliament over the Government's decision to support improved resourcing of the International Monetary Fund as it deals with the fallout from Europe's financial crisis. Pointing to Australia's Budget deficit, the Opposition Leader thundered: "Why is the Government planning to provide money it does not have to prop up the eurozone, which is the world's biggest economy?" ABBOTT knew - or should have known - that Australia's contribution to the IMF would be in the form of a loan, with no impact on the Budget bottom line. In fact, it will earn interest. He also knew - or should have known - that money provided to help the IMF handle new contingencies will not go towards any European rescue package. Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, who sometimes shows a disturbing tendency to match his leader's cheap populism, asserted that "the suggestion that we should be putting money into the IMF to bail out the eurozone when not even the British are prepared to do so is extraordinary". But Hockey knew - or should have known - that British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne also had said: "There may well be a case for further increasing the resources to the IMF to keep pace with the global economy." Within hours of Abbott and Hockey advocating their feral version of economic isolationism, British PM David Cameron left them egg-faced by calling for a boost in IMF funding at the G20 summit in France. Australia has a vital interest in global financial security. That is why support for Australia's IMF contributions has always been bipartisan - until now. THE Business Council, normally sympathetic to the Coalition, did not hide its disapproval. Australia, it said, should act as a good global citizen and be prepared to support the IMF as it did in the 1990s during the Asian financial crisis. John Howard and Peter Costello would have recoiled in horror at the sight of Abbott and Hockey going feral over the IMF. The issue that prompted Abbott to squeal about the Government being feral was industrial relations. In the debate over Qantas grounding its fleet and stranding tens of thousands of passengers, Julia Gillard gave the Opposition Leader a dose of his own medicine. The incident demonstrated yet again Abbott's inconsistency and lack of policy on industrial relations, something that is opening up divisions inside the Coalition. The Prime Minister laid into him for supporting the actions of Qantas management against its passengers and workers, and used that to argue that the Liberals were still the party of WorkChoices. Abbott, who displayed his timidity over industrial relations by going into last year's federal election without a policy, did not enjoy getting belted. The result, almost certainly, will be to make him even more feral.

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011If you ever wanted to know whether the Liberals wwere serious about their $70 Billion in 'Savings', as per usual, you just have to look across the seas to their spiritual home in America's Republican Party to see what that effort would likely manifest itself as in reality. Here's one of the leading contenders for the Republican Presidential nomination, and his economic plan along very similar lines: http://thinkprogress.org/progress-report/romney-economic-plan-of-the-1-by-the-1-for-the-1/

Michael

5/11/2011This one's from behind the paywall over at the Australian. The headline is "The Scariest Woman in Canberra. Who's the Boss?". It's about Peta Credlin, Shouldabeen's head of staff. If you read the whole thing, I'd be surprised if you don't have the same reaction I had - the Coalition mindset is neurotic. If you DON'T read the whole thing, DO read the last sentence, because it, about Julia Gillard's calm over the machinations of a woman who makes Coalition men (sic) run scared, essentially distils the nature of Coalition 'neurosis', and also pulls the rug out from the idea that Peta Credlin will ever see Shouldabeen in power. She's a powerhouse in-house, but relying on riding his coat-tails in the wider world, she's powerless. (For some 'odd' reason, the photograph that The Australian Magazine has chosen for the top of this story makes Ms Credlin look like Dracula in drag.) FIRST let's shine a light on the rumours swirling around Peta Credlin, the statuesque, politically astute chief of staff you might have seen standing in the shadow of Liberal leader Tony Abbott. It's not true that she washed his lycra cycling suit at the end of each day's "polly pedal" ride. She has, however, taken his laundry home, twice. It is not true that she's learning to surf every Saturday morning at Manly, Abbott's local surf lifesaving club. She's only had one lesson at Sydney's famous north shore beach to christen the surfboard she received from Abbott's office for her 40th birthday. What is true is that Abbott's bounce in the polls has kindled interest in their professional partnership and Credlin's disciplined sway over the leader's office has fed rumblings within Liberal ranks. They're close all right; she's got Abbott's measure, his ear, and his confidence. Her template for a leader and a chief of staff rests on the belief there should be less than a cigarette paper between them. "He absolutely trusts her judgment," says opposition frontbencher Greg Hunt. "When he wants to sound things out he will cast broadly within the parliamentary circle and within his office but he gives more weight to her judgment than anybody else's." He pauses, and then chuckles: "I think he's slightly afraid of her." Free trial He isn't the only one. Liberal backbenchers and staff regard this chief of staff with a mix of fear and awe for her influence in the backroom. Although unknown to the public, Credlin, 40, is a household name among the politerati who love her or loathe her, and whatever happens to Abbott she has hinted at parliamentary ambitions of her own. Former prime minister John Howard's avuncular sidekick Arthur Sinodinos attracted a cult following for his kid-gloved diplomacy but Opposition requires a thornier beast. Credlin describes herself to colleagues as "the Queen of No" and her sole mission, for now, is to get Abbott into the Lodge. With her husband Brian Loughnane, the federal director of the Liberal Party, the power couple are focused on victory; Loughnane has lost two out of three federal campaigns and wants another win to even the score. Credlin cut her political teeth serving Liberal ministers in the Senate before becoming the only senior adviser in Opposition to survive the last three leadership changes - Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott - shifting loyalty from one to the next. Detractors among her peer group call her "the cockroach" for this enviable instinct for self-preservation but a hard shell and an unbreakable spirit are necessary armour in combat. As Abbott fixes on the top job, Credlin is in line for the prize position of prime minister's chief of staff. Only two women have held this job in government: Nicole Feely led John Howard's office briefly (1996-97) and Amanda Lampe ran Julia Gillard's realm for a similarly short stint (2010-11). Feely's departure was linked to her media profile; poke your head over the parapet and it'll be lopped off. Apparatchiks should not be seen or heard. But at six feet (1.8m) tall, Credlin is difficult to camouflage; the giraffe in the room. Protesting the publicity, she refuses to be interviewed for this story but agrees to meet for coffee. She reminds me of '60s model Jean Shrimpton with her long face, dark eye shadow and dead-straight brown hair halfway down her back. Dressed in a stylish black knee-length coat over a stripe of orange dress, she constantly checks her BlackBerry phone as if monitoring its pulse. Abbott is nearby, giving a speech. He calls her "the force majeure". Credlin follows him everywhere. Chiefs of staff stand a heartbeat away from the boss. They serve as sounding board, sentry, touchstone, battery charger, keeper of the flame, navigating the future as well as the next five minutes. Most commonly they anchor the leader's office, travelling sporadically. Credlin used the flight to Melbourne that morning to extract decisions from Abbott and tighten lines on industrial relations. He has a habit of derailment. She's a control freak. She even tries to hijack my story. I start receiving calls from former leaders, shadow ministers, ex-staffers who've "heard" I'm writing a profile. Her former boss Brendan Nelson, now ambassador to the European Union, rings out of the blue from Brussels on a Sunday morning to vouch for her. Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison finds time mid-asylum-seeker debate to add his plaudits. Greg Hunt's on the blower with a glowing character reference. Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb is next to phone, spruiking her strengths. Shadow attorney-general George Brandis apologises for "the gratuitous call" he's making at her behest. I start to feel slightly afraid of her too. NOBODY is surprised that Peta Credlin rose to the upper echelons in Canberra. She grew up in the tiny Victorian town of Wycheproof, her father Len a devout Catholic, possibly of DLP bent, who carried rosary beads in his pocket and worked as a contractor, farming on the side. Her mother, Brenda, had been employed at Melbourne's Southern Cross Hotel. Dinner-table discussions were lively and loud. When the family moved closer to Geelong and the educational grunt of Sacred Heart College, Credlin, the eldest of four children (three daughters and a son) was a standout student, elected deputy captain in her final year. A 1989 photograph of the school's top debating team positions her centre front, arms crossed; the moniker "Peta 'full back' Credlin" proof she was formidable even then. School contemporary and former college captain Anthea Amore, now a marriage celebrant in Byron Bay, is not surprised by Credlin's career choice. "When I heard she was in politics I thought, 'Perfect'. In class she used to take the teacher to task. She seemed to know more than everyone else." Former Victorian Liberal senator Kay Patterson spotted Credlin's promise when the young law graduate applied for a job in 1999. Credlin wasn't a Liberal Party member - she'd joined a branch at Melbourne University briefly - but Patterson liked her mettle. The senator is a stickler for detail, process and instruction in parliamentary procedures and her office was known as the "Patterson School of Training" by Howard government ministers fond of poaching staff. Credlin took Patterson's advice and picked the brains of parliamentary clerks, swotting up on tactics and strategy. Odgers' guide to Senate rules and procedures became her bible. Not content with mentoring, Patterson played matchmaker. In October 2000 she read a newspaper story about "the 42-year-old bachelor" Brian Loughnane, newly appointed head of the Victorian Liberal Party, a man "consumed by politics" whose only known hobbies, apart from horse racing, were US politics and political paraphernalia. He had grown up in Colac, near where Credlin hails from. Patterson cut out the article and stuck it on Credlin's computer. "You need to marry this man," she pronounced to hoots of laughter. After fruitless efforts to arrange an introductory cup of tea, Patterson engineered a role for Credlin at Victorian headquarters during the November 2001 federal campaign where she and Loughnane worked long and late, often the last to leave. The night before they wed, at St Patrick's cathedral in December 2002, John Howard offered Loughnane the federal directorship based in Canberra. This job is as good as it gets for a veteran trouble-shooter. Meanwhile, the younger and greener Credlin was advancing the lower rungs. She left Patterson's staff to work for communications minister Richard Alston. The mix of broadcasting, telecommunications, information technology, privacy and regulatory interests gave her a specialty that she returned to after a three-year stint with Racing Victoria's inaugural executive team. Headhunted to manage public relations, she was a natural promoting glamour at the track. Women who worked beside Credlin apologise for singling out the hats for special mention. But her millinery at spring carnival events was magnificent. Melbourne designer Paris Kyne dressed her in elegant finery with curled pheasant feathers and black lattice brims. He's kept the handwritten "thank you" notes she sent him. Racing Victoria's then chairman, Graham Duff, says Credlin was "absolutely outstanding" but it's her early-warning radar system that sticks in his mind. "The slightest little hiccup of public interest, she'd nip it in the bud. I relied on her heavily for advice." When Jeff Kennett's Liberals lost government, Credlin massaged the new Labor team. "I assumed one day she'd play a senior role in the political landscape," says Racing Victoria's Bernard Saundry. Former Racing Victoria CEO Neville Fielke regards Credlin as "a terrific operator" who used her network and knowledge of communications when the industry launched its ThoroughVision channel. "This was a tricky area. People were still coming to grips with new media, but she was very good at assimilating information and turning it to our strategic advantage." Tired of commuting, Credlin moved back to Canberra in 2005 to help defence minister Robert Hill steer WorkChoices and the Telstra sale through the Senate. She honed her parliamentary skills and soon came to the notice of lobbyist Ian Smith, who was advising the government on Telstra. He persuaded her to join the consulting firm Gavin Anderson. On the Friday before Credlin was due to start she was wheeling files out of Parliament House when she bumped into communications minister Senator Helen Coonan, on the hunt for a chief of staff. "She ticked all the boxes," the recently retired Coonan recalls. "She's well rounded, she's got an astute political brain, she understands the issues, how to deal with amendments and legislation as well as the dynamic of the Senate." KENNY Rogers' classic song The Gambler is one of Credlin's favourite tracks. You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run, You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table, There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done. More a fixer than a gambler, she'd belt out the chorus with her deep contralto at the annual karaoke party in Coonan's office. "Nick Minchin would wrap a scarf around his ears," Coonan laughs. "Peta has a forceful voice, a sense of occasion and style. My best description of her is that she's the real deal." Credlin's got oodles of what London economist Catherine Hakim dubs "erotic capital" but it's her punishing work ethic, her broad policy experience, her intricate understanding of Senate procedure and her political acumen that wows her masters. Less impressed are the colleagues and minions who've been sidelined in her wake. They call her the "princess of process". Invited to address a lunch at her old school in June, Credlin defined her job as providing strategic political and policy advice, managing shadow cabinet and co-ordinating the opposition's legislative program. "Yet she still runs through all the invitations with her red pen," shrieks a Liberal staffer. "This is the private secretary's job. She does the advance work, the diary, correspondence. How does she have time to manage the message every second of the day?" "She controls absolutely everything," laments another. Talented individuals often alienate peers. Diligence, exacting standards, dedication and ambition can easily be recast as egotism and whip-cracking tyranny. Credlin acknowledges she's an "alpha female". She doesn't care for popularity contests. "I personally get on well with her," is an opening disclaimer I hear everywhere, hinting at her polarising character. "Coalition staff live in fear," one says. "She's let it be known she controls jobs and resources." Pleas for confidentiality, even from those with flattering things to say, is proof of Credlin's aura and the potentially career-limiting price of disappointing her. I'm told by one foe "not everyone in Abbott's office put in" for her birthday present. "Peta has a lot of enemies. She can be very combative, confrontational, unreasonable, a micro manager, very frustrating at times," concludes a former colleague. Politics is a pressure chamber where torturous hours in close proximity encourage meltdowns and blow-ups. Credlin has let fly on occasions. There are stories of tears and shouting, behaviour that Coonan says comes with the territory. "She lays into people from time to time, she's sent some pretty savage emails… There are people who couldn't work with her. Politics is such a personal fit and the long hours and tension tests people." One Coonan adviser counts eight out of 10 staff members who left the former minister's office during Credlin's tenure. A trickle of Abbott advisers have departed this year, each for different reasons. The Credlin domino effect is a myth. Nevertheless one of these advisers warns: "You can't get ahead in the office if you disagree with her… Peta's very powerful at the moment." Suzanne Kasprzak had notched up 26 years of Liberal service as a staffer when she "had a couple of little run-ins" with Credlin and chose to retire. "No one person should have that much influence," despairs an Abbott supporter who believes the leader needs exposure to alternative sources of advice. "She's on the road with him all the time, making herself indispensable. She does everything for him; whether he needs a cup of tea or an important policy paper, she's there. He shrieks, 'Peta, Peta, Peta'. It's too close." Poll numbers appear to support Credlin's modus operandi. Abbott is often seen as a "lone wolf" in need of a short, tight leash. In the Howard years the then health minister relied on a small coterie of helpers. But the exclusion of others impatient for influence seeds disaffection. "Everybody wants access to the leader, to be in the good books, to get a promotion; all of this will lead to some people being very unhappy," says Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg. Backbenchers who've received terse texts from Credlin bridle at her authority, furious she's answering questions on the leader's behalf at fundraising dinners. "She shouldn't tell people what to do and what not to do," complains one Liberal backbencher who has tested Abbott's patience. "It's perfectly understandable that Tony Abbott wants to stay on message. But MPs are MPs. As long as you're not a member of the executive you're entitled to talk about issues." One Queensland party official suspects subconscious sexism is nipping at Credlin. "She's a strong woman and that's where the negativity comes from, especially when you have junior shadows and MPs thinking, 'Who are you to tell me what to do? You're only a staffer'." Cracking the whip, collecting scalps, copping flak and shepherding rogue backbenchers is her job. Bad cop to Abbott's good guy. "Apart from marshalling a large staff and dealing with MPs, your unspoken role is to soak up pain on behalf of your boss. If there's bad news to deliver to a colleague or a staff member who needs disciplining, you do the deed," says Chris Kenny, a columnist for The Australian who was hired by Malcolm Turnbull to replace Credlin during a low point in her otherwise glittering career. Brendan Nelson counselled Credlin to join Turnbull's staff "for the party's sake" when the leadership baton was passed in 2008. "There was not a day of the nine months I led the party that I didn't have to deal with something Malcolm Turnbull was causing. She had seen all that," Nelson says. The lingering animus sabotaged any hope of a clean slate. Turnbull initially appointed Credlin his chief of staff. Her Senate prowess crumbled late one night during a crucial vote on Labor's fiscal stimulus package when Coalition senators were left floundering. Soon afterwards Turnbull demoted her to deputy. Some staff wanted her gone. It was a poisonous time. Relations between Turnbull and Loughnane were spiky. But Credlin prevailed. During her tenure as deputy she booted four media assistants from a large office which she bagged for herself. She began a Masters of Law, gaining mostly high distinctions, and completed her certificate for admission to practice. "She was never in the office," declares one of the team. The day Turnbull lost the leadership in December 2009 he and his wife Lucy took staff to lunch at the Rubicon in Canberra. Credlin disappeared early. She told everyone she'd stay for the transition then planned to leave. "We found out she was Tony's chief of staff in January, when he did a question and answer session at a fundraising breakfast. Someone asked him about his relationship with women and he said, 'Don't be ridiculous. I've got a wife, three daughters and a female chief of staff.' The transcript went around the Coalition. People were screaming, 'Oh my God! The cockroach lives on!'?" Australia's leading government scholar, Professor Patrick Weller of Griffith University, says ideally a chief of staff should have a great policy brain, the respect of senior bureaucrats, political acumen, and the ability to control chaos so that one message dominates. His favourite description of the job is "javelin catcher". Other euphemisms include mood manager, bouncer and alter ego. "When a chief of staff can announce what the PM thinks and check later, they've become indispensable." How does Credlin measure up? Reviews of her policy skills are mixed; few question her superior knowledge of parliamentary tactics or her political antenna; no one disputes her obsession with details; and Abbott has come to rely on her completely. "Tony routinely refers to her as 'the boss'," says George Brandis. "He'll say, 'What does the boss think?' She is the person most insistent on maintaining the discipline of the message. She is the least likely to be spooked by an adverse event. She shapes positions and takes authorship. She is so unflappable. It doesn't matter what is going on; she exudes serene control." EVERY morning when Federal Parliament sits the Coalition leadership meets to plot the day ahead. Around the table are Liberal leaders Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop; the National Party duo Warren Truss and Barnaby Joyce; the Opposition whips Eric Abetz, Christopher Pyne; and George Brandis and shadow treasurer Joe Hockey. Also present are Brian Loughnane and Peta Credlin. He's there as party strategist. She's the leader's shield. "Who is going to shirtfront Loughnane with complaints about his wife and vice versa?" worries one Liberal upset by losing the safety valve for letting off steam. "The problem is that, even if there's no problem, people will start with an apprehension that the Chinese wall does not exist," says a former chief of staff to a Labor PM. "The suspicion will be that one of them is doing the other's bidding. 'Will Loughnane give Abbott's staff hard messages?' It's a regrettably normal human response." Former Howard government defence minister John Moore enjoys a close relationship with Loughnane, once his chief of staff. Moore spoke at the couple's wedding reception in the plush surrounds of the Melbourne Club. He recalls his discomfort when the Chief of the Defence Force's wife worked as personal assistant to the department's head. "It was one of the things that Brian and I used to talk about. I objected to it because it was too close. I had no objection to her having a job in the department, but not that job. It's just a perception problem." Younger conservatives defend the status quo: "In a perfect world you wouldn't want a couple in these two positions. However, they are both talented individuals. It would be to the party's detriment if one was forced out." Some argue it's a plus, with twice the networking, leak-proof communication between the leader's office and the party wing and double the investment in success. Earlier this year former Howard cabinet minister Peter Reith failed in his bid to topple party president Alan Stockdale, who was treasurer in the Kennett government. Reith's backers traced the fingerprints of Loughnane and Credlin locking in the "old guard". Abbott had encouraged Reith to run and then made a surprise last-minute switch. "Peta got to him," one insider insists of a result that suited Loughnane's preference for the status quo. The couple has everything riding on Abbott's success. "Peta and Brian have got stars in their eyes," snipes one insider. "They've got 'soon to be PM' fever. They think they are going to be in the Lodge in the next 10 minutes." Discontent is kept in check while Abbott prospers. "You can't fault their performance," shrugs another. Both political junkies, they were drawn together in the party's engine room and its demands dictate the tempo of their marriage. He's older by 13 years and the quieter of the two. Curious to hear what Loughnane gave Credlin for her birthday, since the surfboard from Abbott's office has made such a splash, I can't help but ask. She smiles and brushes aside her hair to reveal two beautiful drop pearl earrings. She seems comfortable in her skin. Her conversation crackles with West Wing sound-bites. Friends argue that the "iron-fisted maiden" image is someone they don't recognise. There's a softer side. For every hater there's an advocate who loves her to bits. "Peta is a loyal friend and a lot of fun," says one colleague. "She juggles schedules, staff, parliamentary sittings, policy… and still finds the time to write you a beautiful handwritten note to celebrate a milestone or occasion, or bakes for the office, or organises a girls' night out." She has minded the daughter of a single mother who works in Abbott's office. Of the hundreds who helped Brendan Nelson throughout his career he chose five people in his valedictory speech because they had made him "better than he deserved to be". Credlin was one. She had gone to work for the Australian Jockey Club in Sydney after the Howard government's defeat in 2007. "It was hard to get good people, many were exhausted, people went AWOL, they buried themselves in grief," Nelson recalls of his scramble to staff the leader's office. "I rang her to see if there was any chance she'd come back to politics. I couldn't believe my luck when she said, 'Yes, I'd love to.'" If Abbott stumbles, Credlin will suffer some collateral damage. While his numbers are sweet, she's rock solid. If he goes on to win, her name is on the chief of staff's door. If not, she may pursue political dreams of her own. She once sought the counsel of senior Liberals on a Senate spot. They think she'd be stunning. At the AFL Grand Final's pre-game lunch in early October, politicians from the top down are in attendance. NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has brought his son, Tom. Tony Abbott has flown from Sydney accompanied by his wife, Margie. Credlin is nowhere to be seen. Abbott jokes that my story is causing heartburn in his office. Margie raises her eyebrows when I tell her why. "I'm scared of her," she declares. "Me too," confirms O'Farrell. The trepidation is infectious. At a nearby table Prime Minister Julia Gillard looks surprisingly calm given she's got the most to fear from the giraffe in the room.

psyclaw

5/11/2011FS. Thanks for the Abbott youtube link. Shows clearly he's been an extremist fool all his life. What a narrow minded biggot. I'm presently reading Susan Mitchell's "A Man's Man" bio of him and her digging into his childhood and upbringing shows that he didn't accidentally emerge ..... he was positively created by some key mentors. [quote]Of all the men who have held or sought to hold the office of PM, I believe he is the most dangerous. This is not just because of his retrogressive attitudes and beliefs regarding women and their role in the world, but more generally because his ideological framework is so narrow. The man, his values and beliefs have been created and nurtured by men from another era- men whose ideas are rooted in the past. Tony Abbott is a man educated and mentored by older men; a man who has rarely worked outside institutions created and run by men. [/quote] She names five of them.....his father, Cardinal Pell, Father Emmett Costello, and JWH and his film hero John Wayne (source of the swagger). Interesting that his three referees for his original preselection were JWH, Dame L Kramer, and that paragon of ethics, a shock jock named Alan Jones. These words of Susan Mitchell pretty well sum up my views on him and his abuse of the Catholic concept of Confession and Forgiveness. This enables him to move on, carefree, regardless of the outrage he has confessed. [quote]When he is caught out he responds with a cheeky grin or a stubborn, stoney stare. Abbott's behaviour is typical of a man who expects to get away with whatever he does. He expects that any errors of judgement will either be forgiven or forgotten if he apologises for them.[/quote] His facade is so obvious that the probability that it will be completely shattered sometime in the next 2 years is very high. In fact as we have been all saying in recent weeks it's started already. Praise the Lord!!!!!!!

BSA Bob

5/11/2011psyclaw Thanks for the S.M. quotes, which ring true to me. Plus your own point about his abuse of Confession & Forgiveness. I just don't understand why everyone doesn't see this. Must get hold of the book.

Casablanca

5/11/2011Swordians may recall that one of Abbott's daughters called him a "lame, gay, churchy loser". I'm not sure why she included 'gay' in that insult, or 'lame' for that matter but 'churchy loser' does seem to resonate with some of the comments above from FS and psyclaw and from Susan Mitchell. I have always thought that Abbott fits the stereotype of the only son in a family of older sisters where he is doted upon and gets away with murder. This also fits with the 'abuse of Confession & Forgiveness': do something naughty but cutesy and you are forgiven by doting sisters. Only a man who is insecure would refer to his female Chief of Staff as 'the boss'. It's pathetic and juvenile behaviour masquerading as humility.

Gravel

5/11/2011Ah Acerbic, you've done it again, I had a huge laugh, it could almost work putting Abbott there as well. janice Sorry to hear you've been unwell. Hope your tracks are all lined up again. Michael Wow, I couldn't stop reading what you posted. What a horrible person she seems to be. Maybe the people in the opposition are projecting her faults onto Julia, as abbott projects his problems onto the government. That is good news in the Morgan poll.......I hope that at least the numbers are moving in the right direction for us. Feral Skeleton Thank you for the link to Oakes' article. That cartoon was brilliant and there were some good comments amongst the trash. Had Sky news on......don't know why......anyway, they were reporting on the G20, and the announcers words caught my attention when she said "our Prime Minister". I tell you I was in so much shock I couldn't believe it. Someone on Sky News admitting Julia was our Prime Minister. Nas From the last thread, thank you for the Stephen Fry interview, I got the impression that he was playing with Tony Jones, but I could very well be wrong.

nasking

5/11/2011Gravel, yer welcome. Ya may be right...but I'm pleased Tony Jones gave Fry plenty of opportunity to express his views. A top interview. As is this one by Anna Coren from CNN (she did a great job coverin' the Japanese tsunami/earthquake/nuclear energy disaster)... it's w/ PM Julia Gillard at the top of her game. The PM is brill: http://edition.cnn.com/ASIA/talkasia/ I have to rush off to my Mum's for b'day lunch...but when I return will comment on AC's great post & the comments & links above. Cheers N'

Ad astra

5/11/2011Folks Thank you all for your many interesting comments and links. It is these that make [i]TPS[/i] such an interesting place to visit. I’ve been slowly catching up while preparing for a family party, but will fall behind again as the party starts soon. I’ll be back tomorrow. janice, it's lovely to see you back. We miss you when you take a break. Thank you NormanK for your informative run down on the morning’s offerings. What a motley collection! They give such insight into how much of the media is operating these days. Probably dismayed by Julia Gillard’s sound performance on the world scene and the exposure she is getting from it, much of it favourable, and the small but probably significant improvement in Labor’s polling figures, coupled with Tony Abbott’s increasingly strident and largely inane comments, News Limited, perhaps seeing its chances of replacing PM Gillard and her Government with Tiny Abbott and his threadbare shadow ministry slipping away, is feeling it must redouble its efforts via its journalists who can always be relied upon to write an adverse piece about the PM or her Government on cue, faithful servants of Chris Mitchell and Rupert Murdoch as they are. We should be grateful that in News Limited circles there are still the Laurie Oakes’ who tell it the way they see it. My guess is that there is some anxiety in News Limited that its best laid plans for an Abbott Government might not come to fruition. Like Abbott, they will fight this possibility by going feral.

Ad astra

5/11/2011AC You continue to amaze and surprise us with your versatility and wit. Thank you. Already you have sent me another piece for next weekend. Again, thank you for your always-timely pieces. I’ll be posting something from FS early next week and then perhaps one I’m working on: [i]Julia Gillard’s Light on the Hill[/i] . I’m about half way through. Writing such a piece, while incorporating Paul Keating’s concepts for his 'overarching story/narrative', of transition, creativity and art, is proving to be quite demanding. Still it is a satisfying task to attempt

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011Speaking about Murdoch and the Vicious Circle: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/10/murdoch-201110

lyn

5/11/2011Hi Ad Thankyou for your very much appreciated welcome back post. Thankyou to:- Norman K, Nasking, Gravel, Feral, 2353, Jane, Janice and Talk Turkey. Feral thankyou for your special accolade post, stroke on the shoulder with a flat sword, magnificent ego booster, stoking up my energy. This is congratulations to Julia Gillard: Gillard wins G20 deal on trade talks, Darin Sullivan, Left Hack Ms Gillard also secured commitments from G20 nations to avoid increased protectionism until the end of 2013, similar to her demands at CHOGM last week that Commonwealth countries avoid retreating behind tariff barriers. http://lefthack.net/gillard-wins-g20-deal-on-trade-talks Some twitter comments for you:- zacksterZac Spitzer Amazed that ABC online has nothing about, "Gillard wins G20 deal on stalled trade talks", Abbott puts on a fluro vest and they report it 2 hours agoFavoriteRetweetReply mrumensMarian Rumens Gillard wins G20 deal on stalled trade talks - The West Australian http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/11373744/gillarrd-wins-g20-deal-on-stalled-trade-talks/ via @thewest_com_au @Rogue Staffer 2 hours agoFavoriteRetweetReply davidlen2davidlen @zackster @abcnews @markscott to report "Gillard wins G20 deal on stalled trade talks" ABC would hav to bipass their Liberal bias, wankers 1 hour agoFavoriteRetweetReply markjs1Mark Shove Who said Julia can't do foreign policy????.....Stunning win at G20 for the best PM this country has ever had!! http://yhoo.it/vlirid #auspol 3 hours agoFavoriteRetweetReply chrismurphyschris murphy [b]Proud of Julia Gillard.Our Prime Minister [/b]on top of the World.Brings us G20 .Not an abacus a Stateswoman #auspol http://www.news.com.au/business/julia-gillard-barack-obama-g20-summit-special-relationship/story-e6frfm1i-1226185248551 7 hours agoFavoriteRetweetReply Cheers:):):):)

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011lyn, Thank you. :$ The truth is easy to write, it's when it comes to making stuff up that it becomes hard work. Which is why it must be like being down the Salt Mines at Ltd News. :D Sad to see the ABC reporting the G20 coming to Australia in 2014 as a sort of 'ho hum' achievment, somewhat like, 'Well, it was probably our turn'. The ABC truly has sunk to new depths since the Coalition went into Opposition, so smarmy now, as if looking for Opposition approval for all that they do and say. Sad. Just as well there are citizens of honour, out here in Bloginville, prepared to hand out the accolades to a great government, when the MSM can't bring itself to it.

Feral Skeleton

5/11/2011Who said that the rest of the world wasn't moving on Renewable Energy and Climate Change? (Oh, that's right, it was just Tony Abbott): http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/11/indonesia-works-to-secure-lead-in-ring-of-fire-geothermal-market

Jason

5/11/2011Sorry Folks! The TV list for tomorrow seems to be a lucky dip, the "usual" poster hasn't put up anything thus far! And it seems to be beyond the wit of the "tv" stations to plaster something on their web sites.

Acerbic Conehead 2

5/11/2011lyn, Welcome back! It’s great to see your happy Tweety Pie face again. I hope you had a nice break and have come back refreshed. NormanK, Thanks for that link and précis of the [i]Morgan [/i]poll. I understand some commentators are saying it confirms a steady change in the trend. And thank you again for standing in as the “link-person” while lyn was having a break. The work that goes into researching and compiling such comprehensive sets of links is phenomenal, so, along with lots of others, I would like to express my gratitude for a job well done. Also, I must say I don’t touch [i]The Australian[/i] any more. Thanks for taking one for the team. FS, Thank you also for the great links and commentary you provide. I value the insights you bring to many issues. And thanks also for the heads-up on mixing my Andy’s and Eddie’s. It looks like AA has fixed it already for me (thanks, AA!). Jane, 2353, Catey Thank you also for your kind words of appreciation. Keep up your posting, you are always very welcome here at [i]The Political Sword.[/i] TT, Yes, we are indeed no longer, “ungoiled”. Yippee! Janice, Great to see you back also. I hope you are feeling stronger. However, I will not dwell on the image of the LOTO naked, lol. Jaeger, [quote]The stark contrast between the leader and the loony is growing by the day.[/quote] Love it! Gravel, Great to hear from you again. I hope you are keeping well. Yes, I thought I’d give Tones a break this week but, never fear, he’s centre stage next week on another one of his fruitless pursuits of the big job. nasking, I hope you had a great time at your mum’s for birthday lunch. Looking forward to reading some more of your fantastic commentary. AA, Thank you for tidying up a few glitches in the text of the article. I had been toying around with the idea of doing an alternative lyrics version of the [i]Simple Minds[/i] song, but ran out of time and forgot the lyrics were still included at the end. Best wishes on the task of writing your article on [i]Julia Gillard’s Light on the Hill[/i]. Looking forward to reading FS’s and yours.

lyn http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

5/11/2011Hi Ad Just testing. Did you know the option for URL is missing. So now my name or yours is not clickable anymore. I am trying to enter the URL after my name to see what happens Cheers:):):):)

Patricia WA

5/11/2011Poor Andrew Bolt, AC! How could you do that to him! Lovely to see Janice again. And lyn too with those great links about our Prime Minister doing us proud! I'll have do a pome to celebrate that and your return! Had you seen this, lyn? http://www.businessinsider.com/berlusconi-julia-gillard-helle-thorning-schmidt-2011-11 Made me think of Tony dreaming it was 2014 and the G20 was being held in Oz. He would have chosen Sydney for the meeting so he could have his morning run in the surf at Manly beach with maximum exposure to the world media. Vladimir Putin surely can't surf? It will be heaven for our Tony. No Sylvio Berlusconi Checking out [i]La Bella Gillard[/i] I wonder what comes next? What do you think, TT?

Jason

5/11/2011It seems "our" man reads the political sword lol! Sunday morning TV - November 6 #auspol Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda On Sky News Australian Agenda host Peter Van Onselen and The Australian's Paul Kelly interview Opposition Industrial Relations spokesman and Senate Leader of the Opposition Senator Eric Abetz, Transport Worker's Union boss, plus Australian Labor Party Presidential candidate Tony Sheldon and Chief Executive of the Minerals Council of Australia Mitch Hooke. 8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary This week on the Riley Diary; firing rockets over boats and planes ... and can a man who sings like a cow really become PM again? 8:40am Ch9 - Today on Sunday - The Laurie Oakes Interview The weekly Laurie Oakes interview is in hibernation until further notice. 9:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 - Insiders On Insiders this Sunday, Barrie Cassidy interviews the Finance Minister Penny Wong. On the panel: the Sunday Age’s Misha Schubert, the Financial Review’s Michael Stutchbury and the Courier Mail’s Dennis Atkins. And Mike Bowers talks pictures with Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight. 10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 repeated @ 5.30pm - Inside Business This week on Inside Business a feature interview with Westpac CEO Gail Kelly. They also look at the European crisis through the eyes of Financial Time editor, Lionel Barber and Oliver Marc Hartwich from the Centre for Independent Studies And they check out the latest in the Qantas dispute. As well there’s the regular update of the latest news from the markets and Alan Kohler’s incisive analysis. 10.00am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.30pm - The Bolt Report - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day This week on The Bolt Report Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison talks to Andrew. On the panel, NSW Labor MP Kristina Keneally and Liberal Powerbroker Michael Kroger Also, author and historian Geoffrey Blainey on his new book 'A Short History of Christianity'. 10.30am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.00pm - Meet the Press - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day. Paul Bongiorno is joined by panelists; Jessica Wright from The Sydney Morning Herald and Steve Lewis from News Limited. Together they interview the Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, and Ian Hanke, H.R. Nicholls Society Director of Communications & Strategy.

Feral Skeleton

6/11/2011Well there's corruption of the democratic institutions of this nation in one sentence: [quote]Ian Hanke, H.R. Nicholls Society Director of Communications & Strategy. [/quote] Yes, they've got as much right as anyone else to put their case forward, but when you've got the former head of John Howard's Dirt Unit devising strategy for a Right Wing Union-busting outfit full of kleptocratic Libertarian hardnuts, well, it just makes you wonder what the world is coming to.

TalkTurkey

6/11/2011Patricia WA said "Made me think of Tony dreaming it was 2014 and the G20 was being held in Oz. He would have chosen Sydney for the meeting so he could have his morning run in the surf at Manly beach with maximum exposure to the world media. Vladimir Putin surely can't surf? It will be heaven for our Tony. No Sylvio Berlusconi Checking out La Bella Gillard I wonder what comes next? What do you think, TT?" You know what Deep Thought the super computer in HitchHikers Guide would say: "H'mmm. Tricky!" . . . But he'll find giving [i]*Her*[/i] a thrill hard!

Acerbic Conehead 2

6/11/2011Latest update, from Pollbludger, to The Finnigans' [i]Beautiful Set of Numbers[/i]. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/11/04/morgan-51-5-48-5-to-coalition-phone-poll-56-44-face-to-face/comment-page-23/#comment-1079077

psyclaw

6/11/2011Below is my e-mail this morning to Cassidy. probably water off a duck's back for him ....I suspect he gets much feedback of this nature. Appropos my post about Susan Mitchell's bio of the fool Abbott yesterday. Swordsters will recall her description of his cheeky 'forgive me" grin when caught out red handed. Classic example of this on Insiders when he smiled and asked if anyone had had a flat tyre that could be blamed on him. I think his days of relying on such immaturity are numbered. [quote]Mr Cassidy Once again your performance on Insiders was poor. Since I think that your journo skills are fair average quality, I can only conclude that it is your motives that drive your “incompetence” and lack of fair balance. [u]First example:[/u] “While the PM is promoting her image OS, KR is working even harder at home on his (leadership challenge) image” What a hyper critical and value laden statement. An objective commentator / MC would have said something like “The PM is still receiving much press coverage OS and stories about KR’s leadership still persist in the media at home”. Such a statement would have been a fair starting point for your guests to discuss this matter. [u]Second example:[/u] In a question to Ms Wong you parroted and gave more oxygen to Abbott’s silly claim that the government was providing money for Greece through the IMF. This is despite the widespread and worldwide rejection of such a view in recent days. [u] Third example:[/u] After your bias described in the first example above, you go on to ask Ms Wong why the government can’t control speculation about a KR leadership challenge. What rank hypocrisy! It is because media persons like you continue to promote the issue, just as you have done on national TV today. You continue to be a disappointment. I think there are many like me who only watch Insiders when you have invited fair minded guests, such as Misha S and Dennis A today.[/quote]

lyn http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

6/11/2011Hi Ad So this is what the Abbott opposition does again and again, make ridiculous statements, then when complaints come in rescind statements. Everything is being rescinded. Somebody said is Abbott going to unistall all the pink batts as part of his massive rescinding policy. He is not getting mine. Did I hear Barrie Cassidy say on Insiders "Kevin Rudd is fuelling leadership speculation with the help of 2 journalists". Of course the whole MSM has nothing to do with the speculation. Unrescinding: [i]Coalition damaged by plan to roll back super increase, says industry , James Massola, The Australian[/i] [quote]The Coalition's promise to scrap the superannuation increase is the latest in a series of “roll back” pledges, including its plan to scrap the carbon tax, the mining tax and the proposed mandatory pre-commitment scheme for poker machines.[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wealth/coalition-damaged-by-plan-to-roll-back-super-increase-says-industry/story-e6frgac6-1226185642350 Did the change of mind take 24 hours or 48:- [i]Coalition keeps super rise , Misha Schubert, Brisbane Tines[/i][quote]THE Coalition will not roll back superannuation increases for workers which Labor has tied to the mining tax. The Sunday Age can reveal the Coalition has dumped its plan to rescind the superannuation boost [/quote] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/coalition-keeps-super-rise-20111105-1n1f3.html#ixzz1csUujAik Cheers :):):):):)

Ad astra

6/11/2011Folks We’re off to an annual pre-Christmas luncheon with longstanding colleagues and their spouses; so won’t be back until later today. psyclaw I too thought that it was a silly comment when Barrie Cassidy said that Labor can’t seem to shake off speculation about a Kevin Rudd challenge, when in fact it is the media that blasts this message via its headlines, prompted by any insignificant throwaway comment of anyone, or sometimes no one at all. I think the comment that [i]The Daily Telegraph[/i] was running this story because [i]Newspoll[/i] was ‘in the field’ is probably accurate. While the pollsters might claim to be pure as the driven snow regarding their methodology, the background to their polling is conditioned by News Limited which seems to run stories adverse to PM Gillard and her Government when [i]Newspoll[/i] is in the field so as to obtain the poorest figures it can for the Government. I noticed that while again Dennis Atkins and Misha Schubert were balanced, Michael Stutchbury retains the anti-Gillard and anti-Government bias he showed when he was at [i]The Oz[/i]. Changing to the [i]AFR[/i] has not altered his anti-Fair Work Australia stance, still insisting it is taking us back to earlier forms of industrial disputation. He sided with Qantas and criticized the unions. Nothing has changed inside Stutchbury!

Ad astra

6/11/2011Hi Lyn It looks as if Tiny Abbott is into ‘rescind the rescindings’ mode. The man is opportunistically shameless. I expect more will come. Did you see on [i]Insiders[/i] the wonderful cartoon of Tiny Abbott riding his skeletal and exhausted NO horse in the Melbourne Cup and having lost by a nose was demanding the race be run again? These cartoonists capture irony wonderfully. I also enjoyed the emu – a flightless bird – on the Qantas tail.

Feral Skeleton

6/11/2011psyclaw, Let also the non-response of Barrie Cassidy to your character assessments of him and his show be like water off your back. Keep at him. I actually believe that you and all those others who have seen fit to comment, are having an effect on the direction in which Insiders is heading, even if only marginally. For example, Michael Stutchbery was at least cut-off mid-tirade today and called out for spouting a load of old cobblers. In the past he would have received reinforcement. :)

Feral Skeleton

6/11/2011Casablanca, In reply to your comment yesterday: [quote]I have always thought that Abbott fits the stereotype of the only son in a family of older sisters where he is doted upon and gets away with murder.[/quote] You know that that is exactly the case with the Abbotts?

TalkTurkey

6/11/2011Folks the Optus cover here at Somerton near Glenelg is awful, its repeated failures yesterday cost me another half-a-post. (Yes I know!) So to try to catch up: Janice (I said) I know you're not exactly in the Pink, but you are no orphan here in amongst the rest of us Greys. But you hang in Girl y'hear, we all need each other to beat back Abbotila the Hun's hordes and you are pure gold here from the very first. NormanK your forensic examination of one day's political pronouncements in the UnAustralian is amazing, how come I'm not in the least surprised though, except for the [i]absolutism[/i] of their attack on the Government. Not a single redeeming action, it's all Fail Fail Fail afa they're concerned. You know what, I reckon the more light the Government projects the darker the MSM gets on them, it's a compliment really, if the Government weren't doing so well the Coalons wouldn't be freaking and squealing the way they are. It's all schardenfood afa I'm concerned. Along with Ad mashes, your telling expose is a classic, [i]I hope the Media Enquirers are looking![/i] NormanK, Lyn was long ago awarded the Order of the Tweety-Bird. I propose that for your stepping into the breach while she was away that you be awarded a similar honour, the Order of the Rose, thank you for your efforts. I can't post a rose but I don't need to because you do it with every post yourself. Poll Bludger Finnigan's "beautiful set of numbers" (a Keating term) are indeed amazing, bloody wonderful indeed, and not just his figures, but all the [i]facts[/i]. *J*U*L*I*A* voted Brave and Thoughtful Leader Mr Swan voted World's Best Treasurer Australia voted World's #2 country to live in after Norway (Anybody wanna swap?!) Betty Windsor digs *J*U*L*I*A*! *J*U*L*I*A* charms and revitalises CHOGM Government creams Qantas on attempted sabotage *J*U*L*I*A* charms and revitalises G20 ! [u][b][i]*J*U*L*I*A* secures G20 for Oz in 2014!!!!![/i][/b][/u] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AC How could you so twist the knife in what is plainly such an aching wound in Andrew Bolt's heart, so painful indeed that his sensitive soul, unable to bear the agony any longer, has entirely repressed and erased the memory of his betrothal . . . All he can recall is she was a stripper or something wasn't it? What a pig that BumBolt really he is. [Sorry pigs, I understand your objection.] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have a pretty good feeling about the last little while, I'm sure Abbortt must be spinning out. Onesiders has apparently got the hot word, this morning's was almost reasonable, if they get much better I'll have to upgrade their name to [i]Lop[/i]siders. That Laurie Oakes, nobody said he was ineffective eh! He has never actually sucked up to Abbortt to my memory, though he has devastated Labor on occasion, and in the last few days he has, I think, started a general pantswetting amongst the worst of the journos. Their cosy Circlejerk Icefloe is melting all around them, "[i]Ooo-Errr[/i], maybe we better take to the lifeboats and pull back", or else they have to go absolutely berserk as in NK's expose. But the only land in sight is Quandary Island, where the Moderates and the Rockbrains are going to have to fight it out when Abbortt is finally rolled. Gee I do hope the Media Enquirers live up to their name. Fun, isn't it, whacking Coalons around the head!

lyn http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

6/11/2011Hi Talk Turkey Another magnificent post this morning thankyou. [quote]NormanK, Lyn was long ago awarded the Order of the Tweety-Bird. I propose that for your stepping into the breach while she was away that you be awarded a similar honour, the Order of the Rose, thank you for your efforts. I can't post a rose but I don't need to because you do it with every post yourself[/quote] That is so nice of you Talk Turkey, The Order of the Rose for NormanK, we need a bigger rose than the gravatar. [quote]Circlejerk Icefloe is melting [/quote] I wish they would melt into oblivion. Cheers:):):):):)

psyclaw

6/11/2011AA I emailed MS, DA, and Stutchbury after Insiders. Gave a congratulatory gee hp to the first two and said to Stutchbury along the exact lines of your last paragraph. I wrote: [quote]I'm quite sure that in hiring you it was not the AFR's intention that you drag it into the gutter with your previous rag. Lift your game mate! [/quote]

psyclaw

6/11/2011Last words of Line 1: "gee up". My keys keep changing places without warning!

Casablanca

6/11/2011FS You confirmed that I was spot on with my observation that [i]Abbott fits the stereotype of the only son in a family of older sisters where he is doted upon and gets away with murder.[/i] No, I did not know the configuration of his family of origin. Perhaps I should upgrade him from mere stereotype to archetype. psyclaw has made a similar point today about Abbott's [i] cheeky 'forgive me" grin when caught out red handed. Classic example of this on Insiders when he smiled and asked if anyone had had a flat tyre that could be blamed on him. I think his days of relying on such immaturity are numbered.[/i] I take it that you most likely agree with my other comment that [i]Only a man who is insecure would refer to his female Chief of Staff as 'the boss'. It's pathetic and juvenile behaviour masquerading as humility.[/i]

Gravel

6/11/2011Ad Astra The cartoons on Insiders were great this morning. Having to distract myself on a possible future transaction I relented and watched them this morning. It wasn't too bad, but very disappointed they didn't acknowledge the brilliant job done by Julia overseas. I am also disappointed that none of the MSM covered it much, have had to follow what was happening online. Nas Thanks for that great link to the interview with Julia, I wish there was more of it. Hope nobody guesses that I am a great fan of Julia. Patriciawa Your link had me in stitches, I read the first paragraph or two and thought it was for real then I realised it was satire so well done, almost to Acerbics standard. Talk Turkey Your crystal ball is working very well at the moment, please take very good care of it, we need your geeing up on a constant basis at the moment to keep our frustration at bay.

Russell in Glendale

6/11/2011Just a small add on to NormanK, That grand polling company Newspoll, where the Govt seems to always being belted. Have somehow left the results of the latest 2 party preferred graph outside of the paywall. Oh dear... it seems Mr Abbot could be in for a little bit of a blowtorch to the belly. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/polling Plus word has it that the one tomorrow will be even worse for the opposition. Kind regards to all Russell

Lyn

6/11/2011Hi Russell in Glendale Thankyou so much for commenting on the Political Sword. I think this is your first comment on TPS unless you came while I was away. Anyway welcome. Please come again often. Ummm very interesting excellent of you to tell us about Newspoll. I heard a few rumblings ,on Twitter you have just confirmed. They said everytime Abbott drops a few points in the polls, Turnbull comes out in praise for Abbott. Turnbull even said Abbott looks good in his Budgies. Cheers:):):):):):)

Lyn

6/11/2011Hi Patricia Thankyou for your nice words last night. I watched the video, what a leering old casanova, a philanderer do you think. [quote]Just last week, Silvio Berlusconi was filmed checking out the butt on Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Would the scandal keep his wandering eye in check for a while? Obviously not. Check the video below from today's G20 summit, where Berlusconi's gets an eyeful of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (via Il Messaggero). http://www.businessinsider.com/berlusconi-julia-gillard-helle-thorning-schmidt-2011-11#ixzz1ctW39Rln[/quote] Cheers:):):):)

2353

6/11/2011TT - Gruen Nation already runs a "What would Putin do?" segment every week. They could get enough footage to go for decades on Abbott :)

Catey

6/11/2011I like to watch Andy Bolt on Sunday mornings whilst I do my ironing. I get so mad I get through it twice as fast! Today Kristina Kenneally was on the panel with Michael Kroger. She was great - gave Kroger and Bolt a real shakedown I thought. I hope you does go into Federal politics. She's wasted on the NSW Labor backbench.

Catey

6/11/2011Whoop sorry! I hope SHE goes into Federal politics

Feral Skeleton

6/11/2011Another Cabinet leak!! Oh noes! What does this say about the government? As Tony Abbott says, wtte, "If you can't keep your Cabinet in line, what does that say about the way you run things?" What's that, I hear you saying? It's probably just Kevin Rudd again? Well no, actually. The leak of a 'Cabinet-In-Confidence' discussion paper is straight out of Right field. Straight out of the Baillieu Government in Victoria:P http://www.theage.com.au/ed_docs/Cabinet_in_confidence.pdf Hmm, I wonder what Mr Abbott will have to say about that? Answer: *crickets chirping* :)

Feral Skeleton

6/11/2011Catey, I think it is understood that Kristina Kenneally will eventually go into federal politics. She is very talented. However, it is probably the case that she didn't want to be seen as a rat deserting a sinking ship. So, it was thought that it would be best for the NSW State Labor Party to get it's house in order and become more settled after their election loss. But, by 2013, who knows? :)

Michael

6/11/2011Bad Abbott In one of the interview clips that featured Shouldabeen on 'Insiders' this morning, Tiny said: "I'm not in the business of going over the top in my attacks on ministers' policies." With trademark smirk in place. No-one laughed in his smirking face, nobody commented on the hypocrisy oozing out of every word in that statement. The assembled press on the day, the people in the studio for the show, just let it pass as 'gospel'. No wonder the guy believes he can simply slide into office. He's dealing with morons who line up to be made fools of, day in and out.

Feral Skeleton

6/11/2011It seems that the WorkJoyces method of dealing with Unions and their pay negotiations has spread like an IR virus throughout Conservative governments as well(as the above-linked document attests to). The Age has helped us to simplify it's contents: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/revealed-secret-plan-to-cut-nurse-numbers-20111105-1n1f9.html

janice

6/11/2011Thank you, TT, Gravel, FS, Ad astra. Ascerbic for your kind words and good wishes. Really and truely, I feel well enough except for bouts of debilitating fatigue due to my BP falling a bit on the low side. At the moment there doesn't appear to be any rhyme nor reason for it but I do have an excellent doctor and trust he will get to the bottom of it in good time. So don't be alarmed if I keep going AWOL for short periods now and then. Catey, You are so much braver than I am. :) I agree Kristina is wasted on the back bench of state politics.

Ad astra

6/11/2011Russell in Glendale If as Lyn suspects this is your first visit, welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. News Limited will be hoping for another poor poll for PM Gillard and her Government. Tuesday’s poll will be most interesting. If it is more favourable to the Government, as recent polls have been, I’m sure they will want to play that down, and they will have Dennis Shanahan on the job finding some joy, however small, for the Coalition.

Ad astra

6/11/2011NormanK First, a big, big thank you to you for so magnificently holding the fort for Lyn, and for all of us, during her absence. I hope we can call upon you in the future when she takes a break. Your analysis of the weekend press was most informative, as TT and others have observed. If you feel inclined to repeat that type of analysis from time to time, that would be highly appreciated by us all. The more we can expose the intent and operational strategy of News Limited, even if only to our limited audience, the more likelihood there will be of countering their efforts. Sooner or later they must wake up to whom they are supporting, and accept that Abbott as Prime Minister would be a disaster for this nation. So let’s keep up the pressure.

Ad astra

6/11/2011psyclaw I’m glad you have emailed Barrie Cassidy. Every bit of feedback that portrays dissatisfaction has its effect.

Michael

6/11/2011Check out Q&A on Monday night, ABC1 and ABCNews. With both Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Reith at the table, there might be some interesting exchanges. Certainly because they are both men relatively recently burned by Shouldabeen in Liberal Party ballots.

Ad astra

6/11/2011FS Thanks for the link to the story in [i]The Age[/i] that details the strategy the Baillieu Government has for reducing nursing numbers and costs. It is a archetypical Coalition strategy that reflects is basic approach to IR.

Lyn

6/11/2011Hi Ad I hope you had a nice day. I join in with your marvellous suggestion that NormanK may like to post his analysis of media reporting on a regular basis. Brilliant work by NormanK coupled with Michael's as always marvellous Bad Abbott report is adding amazing quality to TPS. On the other page I mentioned the facility for entering URL's had dissappered from the add comment box. Our names are not clickable anymore. I did a test last night and entered in the name box but didn't work of course. Catey is a new person arriving while I was away, thankyou for your good work Catey. Janice keep posting on TPS it is good for your health, I am worried to hear you are not well, isn't red wine good for your blood pressure. Also don't forget your vitamin B. Don't go AWOL for too long we will be calling 000. Cheers:):):):):):)

Ad astra

6/11/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for drawing attention to the absence of a field for a URL above the Comments box. I’ll ask Web Monkey. What do you mean when you say that our names are not clickable any more?

Lyn

6/11/2011Hi Ad Well see your name above "Ad Astra", before you could click as it was in blue then takes you to TPS home page. That is because the URL box is missing now. Cheers :):):):):):)

Jason

6/11/2011FS, You have to look at this site! It says "You are invited to take part in a nation wide WE WANT AN ELECTION Picnic to show your opposition to the carbon tax. It seems the "nation wide" event is to be held at "Bicentennial Park, Homebush Bay NSW " on Date: Sunday, 20 November 2011 Time: 11:00am to 2:00pm It would seem the "nation" has shrunk or can Bicentennial Park, Homebush Bay NSW hold another 15 million people? http://www.nocarbontax.com.au/anti-carbon-tax-rallies/

Ad astra

6/11/2011Hi Lyn I can see that the URL box is missing, but I can't recollect how it was before. I'll check with Web Monkey.

nasking

6/11/2011Ad, thnx for the motivatin' comment on the previous thread. I'm time poor at present...and exhausted...and distracted. However, time enuff to give AC a big thumbs up...a most enlightenin' post. Tryin' to understand what motivates the likes of Bolt... can't just be money, envy, bitterness, cravin' the limelight, a need to be adored (Stone Roses anyone?)...hmmm... an argumentative personality that detests conformity and hooks into individualism in the pursuit of uniqueness & coping w/ the ravages of time... hoping to create a permanent impression in order to outdo a parent...say "I told you so"...garner respect no matter the grotesque origins as little can be found, was found elsewhere...no... for someone to abandon their past views, erode their principles, act like a cheap knock-off, join the ranks of the neo-con somewhat fascist fan club & look to the all-seeing eye & iron fist of the Murdoch empire, be financed by... to defend the losses of Crown Casino durin' S-11 protests... and spend an inordinate amount of time kicking the blooming flowers of multiculturalism...stomping on patches and disturbing multi-coloured fields... virtually screaming ME ME ME like some narcissistic ogre in a fantasy novel where all things existing outside of his narrow & wobbly belief parameters are evil & tainted & contagious... where the Opportunism wave transforms once "acceptable" or "beloved" into somethin' "wicked", "potentially sick", "The Thing", "infectious", "untrustworthy"... necessitating from Bolt the Phantom, the Bond, the Christian warrior of the new crusades using barbed criticism, verbal abuse, ridicule as weapons... plunging spears and raising swords to the sick limelight... sycophantically apologetic upon realisation that the fever dream has led him to distance himself from empathy & respect & temporal/love attachment, having speared friends, past lovers, family... in the mad dash to win the game... in a game that cannot be, was never meant to be won. ---- [b]Occupy Everywhere is no Convoy of No Confidence[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3576682.html ---- How many degrees of separation are there between the WorkChoices' & union crushing goons of the past...and the Abbott crew? I doubt there are any, particularly after watchin' Meet the Press today w/ Ian Hanke as guest...and reflectin' on Abbott's addiction to Sophie: September 15, 2011 [b]Opposition squibs workplace relations in manufacturing inquiry[/b] http://www.menzieshouse.com.au/ian-hanke/ [i]There's room for everyone[/i]... just like in The Waltons... [quote]"good night Tony"..."night Ian"..."good night Sophie"..."night Peter R."..."night John"..."good night Peter C."..."good night Alan"..."night Rupert"..."night Gina"..."good night Twiggy"..."night James M."..."night Andrew B."..."good night Kevin A."..."night Packer boy"..."good night Jamie B & Josh...get a good rest...you have lots to do in the morning"...[/quote] [b]"g'night Australia...darkness is coming...again".[/b] N'

Feral Skeleton

6/11/2011Jason, I think Tony Abbott is having delusions of being the second coming of Billy Graham. :) Amazing what deep pockets the Fossil Fool industry has that they can afford to hire Homebush Bay for propaganda purposes.

Casablanca

6/11/2011"WorkJoyces" Love it!

D Mick Weir

7/11/2011Good evening/morning Swordsters As I wend my way around the traps I sometimes detour to the golden arches for a 'barrista coffee' (extra strong) and a peruse of the dead wood news media. Sunday nights coffee was pretty good BUT the front page 'screamer' of the tabloid I saw left a really bad taste in my mouth that the coffee only just washed away. THe parents of the 14 yr old alleged to have bought drugs are said to have accepted $300k for their 'exclusive' story http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/anger-over-300000-bali-boy-media-deal-as-his-case-could-be-damaged/story-e6freuy9-1226187063598 Meanwhile there are Indonesian children in adult Australian prisons whose only 'crime' was to accept maybe 5 years worth of wages to be deckhands on leaky boats bringing asylum seekers to this country. Spread across all those kids and their families $300k would make a helluva difference to a lot of lives. We are a bunch of bloody hypocrites. Condemning kids to be criminals for allegedly being people smugglers when they are not and shedding tears for one kid who gets caught buying drugs. [b]Shame Australia Shame[/b]. Our priorities are up the spout and it SUCKS. Meanwhile I will be back checking the traps early again today so won't be able to debate the topic more is the pity.

Lyn

7/11/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]Australian’s paywall may hurt right-wing views, Crispin Hull[/i] If the centrist Fairfax stable preferred the Guardian model, the anti-Labor influence of the right-wing Australian might wane as the links to it and from it dwindle. Like The Times in Britain, it might fold in on itself in an insular, self-congratulatory way behind the paywall http://www.crispinhull.com.au/2011/11/05/australians-paywall-may-hurt-right-wing-views/ [i]Gillard’s grab bag of hope for survival – BY ROSS PEAKE, Don ‘t cop Bad Politics[/i] Prime Minister Julia Gillard arrives back in Australia From her office she will be keenly watching as votes are taken in the Senate. The procession of legislation goes like this: carbon tax on Tuesday, renewable energy package and steel industry assistance on Wednesday, and plain packaging of tobacco Thursday. And that’s before US President Barack Obama arrives the following week. http://www.dontcopit.com/dontcopit-gillards-grab-bag-of-hope-for-survival-by-ross-peake/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_ [i]Qantas 747 engine failures raised at Senate inquiry, Ben Sandilands, Plane Talking[/i] According to the data I’ve seen only 23 out of the 92 such engines in the Qantas inventory have been modified to prevent a compressor failure mode identified by the engine maker and safety bodies after a series of incidents, including some uncontained failures, were reported by airlines, including freight operators. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2011/11/05/qantas-747-engine-failures-raised-at-senate-inquiry/ [i]#AVARICE AND BLIND STUPIDITY, Graham Davis, Grubsheet[/i] Packer Junior gradually divesting himself of the family media empire in favour of his first love – gambling. The television and print assets of PBL Media passed into the hands of a private equity firm, CVC Asia Pacific, and the group was eventually re-branded as the Nine Entertainment Company. http://www.grubsheet.com.au/?p=1104&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=avarice-and-blind-stupidity [i]The Sunday Sandwich, (that’s a wrap), Take your new Paradigm and.........[/i] This week in politics was a loud and often ons and counter-accusations stemming from the wash-up of the QANTAS industrial dispute. This dominated the week, however the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), Coalition gambling reform proposals, asylum seekers and the obligatory pollsalso received valuable air-time. http://takeyournewparadigmand.blogspot.com/2011/11/sunday-sandwich-thats-wrap.html [i]Joyce earns his $5m salary, Paul Barry, The Power Index[/i] Qantas was experiencing a collapse in bookings, said Joyce, because of industrial action. Company surveys showed that 30 per cent of people flying on Qantas international flights were saying they would not choose Qantasfor their next trip, compared to 5 per cent normally http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-move/joyce-earns-his-$5-million/20111104667 [i]Seeking a Leader Like Keating. George Megalogenis in Conversation George Megalogenis Video , The Monthly[/i] Lessons in Leadership, George Megalogenis writes about the malaise in contemporary Australian politics, and how a leader like former Prime Minister Paul Keating might approach the task of reform today. http://www.themonthly.com.au/seeking-leader-keating-george-megalogenis-conversation-4198 [i]30 Major Corporations Paid No Income Taxes In The Last Three Years, While Making $160 Billion,Pat Garofalo , Think Progress[/i] Gates is taking it a step further and traveling to the G-20 meeting in Cannes, France today to champion the “Robin Hood tax” — a small financialtransaction tax on each stock and bond trade — in order to help financially strapped developed nations meet their global aid pledges to the poor.Aware that countries like the U.S. are not currently receptive to this or any taxes, http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/11/03/360185/30-corporations-no-taxes/ [i]Europe- As Australia sees it, Alan Thornhill, Private Briefing[/i] The Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, questioned Mr Swan in Parliament last week, on this point, asking if the government was planning to commit money it doesn’t have, to help bail Greece out of its debts. The Treasurer replied angrily, that this was a distortion of its policies. http://privatebriefing.com.au/2011/11/06/europe-as-australia-sees-it/ [i]Commonwealth Business Council Picks In-house Denier To Chair Climate Forum, Graham Readfearn, Desmogblog com[/i]. Morgan is also on the advisory board of the Tony Abbott-led Australian Opposition’s climate policy advisory board. Putting a man like Hugh Morgan in a position of influence on climate change is a bit like.. well.. asking an astrologer how we should teach science to kids http://www.desmogblog.com/commonwealth-business-council-picks-house-denier-chair-climate-forum [i]Blogging and Online Harassment, Min, Café Whispers[/i] Some people, including myself, have come under attack by bloggers who freely say hateful and false things and encourage other people to follow suit, even though we are complete strangers in every sense of the word.The blogging word for these types of bloggers is trolls. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/blogging-and-online-harassment-2/ [i] Opening Bids For G20, lunalava, Café Whispers[/i] I would like to give all state government leaders the opportunity to submit their first draft of a preliminary feasibility proposal to host this prestigious event. To assist all those struggling State governments I offer a first draft summary of their respective strength andweaknesses – feel free to add your contribution http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/opening-bids-for-g20/ [i]0 Days without an ALP leadership speculation story, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] I think the Daily Telegraph might have an ALP leadership speculation addiction problem. Perhaps, in the interests of helping them become functioning, credible members of the media again, we should keep track of how long they can go http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/11/04/0-days-without-an-alp-leadership- [i]A pictorial guide to why the 99% in America is so angry, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] In fact, income inequality has gotten so extreme here that the US now ranks 93rd in the world in "income equality." China's ahead of us. So is India. So is Iran. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/ [i]Media inquiry to hold Melbourne hearings, Yahoo 7 News[/i] The first major inquiry into Australia's media in 20 years will hold public hearings in Melbourne this week.the inquiry's head - former federal court judge, now academic, Ray Finkelstein QC - has been appointed to chair the inquiry which will hold sittings in Sydney the following week. http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/11406910/media-inquiry-to-hold-melbourne-hearings/ [i]kicking the democratic can down the road, Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] Obama is basically telling Europe, “Don’t go the democratic route. Support Wall Street.” So Europe, like the US is a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make both a democracy in name only. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/11/kicking-the-can.php#more [i]The Queen is Australia’s Head of State, Part 111, Lewis Holden, Independent Australia[/i] It should come as no surprise that Australian courts, like their foreign counterparts in Britain and Canada, have identified the Queen as Head of State. They have done so because all powers of the state flow from the Crown to thegovernment officials, not vice versa. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/republic/the-queen-is-australia%e2%80%99s-head-of-state-part-iii/ [i]NBN may get mining sector's 457 skills program, James Riley, IT Wire[/i] The Federal Government is considering a plan to extend a special 457 visa program designed for the resources sector to the telecommunications industry, to allow it to expedite the import of large numbers of skilled workers. http://www.itwire.com/it-policy-news/government-tech-policy/50899-nbn-may-get-mining-sectors-457-skills-program [i]Letter from Greece , Antonia Swinson, Renegade Economist[/i] Whatever happens, all the borrowed money which transformed their wardrobes, houses, hotels and roads can’t be taken back. In Athens, it’s not the ‘70s any more. Even as they step gingerly around the uncollected garbage and yearn nostalgically for the 200 drachma cup of coffee, Athenians wear the finest leather shoes. There are few beggars in the streets, cafes are packed http://www.renegadeeconomist.com/news/letter-from-greece.html [i]Everything you need to know about Medicare Locals (but didn’t know who to ask), Gawaine Powell Davies, The Conversation[/i] They are intended to support front line primary health-care services and providers – especially general practitioners and private allied health providers – to improve their services, fill gaps, coordinate care and make it easier for patients to negotiate the maze of services http://theconversation.edu.au/everything-you-need-to-know-about-medicare-locals-but-didnt-know-who-to-ask-851?utm_source=The+Conversation+Daily+updates&utm_campaign=e26d6af057-DailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email [i]There ain't going to be a budget surplus, nor should there be – Access, Peter Martin[/i] “Abandoning the surplus will be a bitter pill for the government to swallow and an easy target for the opposition to attack. The government should do it and the opposition should hold fire." http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/11/there-aint-going-to-be-budget-surplus.html Cheers enjoy :):):):):):):):):):):):)

psyclaw

7/11/2011D Mick Weir There was an excellent article on the Drum about 4 weeks back when the boy was first detained, giving advice to people in (legal) trouble OS. In the [b]DO[/b] list was advice about engaging a private solicitor in the foreign country (selected on the recommendation of an Australia Law Society) and strong advice about not criticising the legal system of the country. In the [b]DO NOT[/b] list was advice about avoiding publicly appointed solicitors in the foreign country and a most stringent warning "have nothing to do with Australian press!". The article went on to explain how the press would pursue its own interests which were never in the person-in-trouble's interests. This invariably includes criticism of the country's legal system if not its society in general. The Drum article pointed out that publicity about big payouts is usually interpreted by foreign nations as an implicit insult to their legal system. It's to be hoped that this family hasn't shot itself in the foot. I once had direct experience of A Current Affair's sleaziness. They approached a friend demanding an interview about the release from gaol of the bloke who murdered a sibling. The explicit threat was that if the interview was not granted they would harass the 90+ year old mother. I was present for the interview. The reporter treated my friend and me like dog excreta, except when the camera rolled.

Ad astra

7/11/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx A BIG WELCOME BACK LYN TO POSTING YOUR LINKS AGAIN.

Lyn

7/11/2011Good morning Ad Astra Thankyou for your lovely Welcome. There certainly is some superb reading out there, more proof everyday that we on TPS do not need to to pay any Online Newspaper subscription fees. New bloggs opening up everywhere. Just watch Abbott and Hockey come out swinging about the latest surplus news. Funny though, the Port Macquarie news is reporting Abbott completed his latest marathon yesterday very tired and worn out. He told the camera's he has been sick for 3 weeks:- [quote]Abbott does it for the team, Port Macquarie News TONY Abbott came off the bike looking worn out and weary after cycling 90km in yesterday’s Port Macquarie 70.3 Ironman “I’ve been crook for the last three weeks so I didn’t do a lot of preparation but maybe that’s just an excuse,” Mr Abbott said of his just over three-hour effort.[/quote] http://www.portnews.com.au/news/local/news/general/abbott-does-it-for-the-team/2348265.aspx Mr Robb is not happy, we only need the Heading anyway, because as far as I'm concerned they can keep the rest of the story under their paywall with bells on:- Andrew Robb furious at Liberals' reversal on compulsory super Christian Kerr , The Australian [quote]OPPOSITION finance spokesman Andrew Robb was excluded from the meeting where the Coalition's leadership group decided it would not oppose the government's planned increase to compulsory superannuation. The revelation comes as a major blow to the opposition's economic credibility, already strained by populist positioning on issues ranging from paid parental leave to industry.[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/andrew-robb-furious-at-liberals-reversal-on-compulsory-super/story-fn6j9bny-1226187088936 I love The Finnigins this is some of what they are saying this morning:- ThefinnigansTheFinnigans Coalition must fill $12.6b budget hole on mining rethink - More [b]dismantling of Tony Abbott [/b]- http://www.smh.com.au/national/coalition-must-fill-126b-budget-hole-on-mining-rethink-20111106-1n1yu.html #auspol 42 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply ThefinnigansTheFinnigans No Newspoll tonight. [b]Well poll manipulation? [/b]Waiting for the Queen visit and #QANTAS plus plus for the Govt to blow away anyone #auspol 49 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply ThefinnigansTheFinnigans First it was Oakes, now it's Phil Coorey: Opp disarray over policy. [b]Abbott is slowly being dismantled [/b]by #MSM http://bit.ly/t0xVVE #auspol 1 hour agoFavoriteRetweetReply Have a nice day Ad Cheers :):):):):):):)

Lyn

7/11/2011Hi Again Everyone I just found this for you all, Posted by Mark on Twitter. Bushfire Bill on fire, no in flames:- [b]Bushfire Bill[/b] Posted Monday, November 7, 2011 at 8:21 am |comment: 1805 [i]Gee it’s going to be fantastic when Abbott gets to be PM. He’s going to repeal the Gillard tax cuts for lower paid workers, scrap the Carbon Tax, punish anyone who signed up for it (they were warned, after all, that should be good enough for the High Court), rescind the pension increases and demolish the new superannuation provisions that’ll send the country broke but wisely keep the new super provisions to help support the hardworking Grey Nomads in the twilights of their lives… and pay for it by sacking 12,000 20,000 bludging public servants and by other measures yet to be announced (but sure to be brilliant, because the Libs are so good at managing the economy).[/i] markjs1Mark Shove Bushfire Bill on the R/Wingnuts fading fantasy of Ruddstoration/Election NOW/Ppls Revolt, etc,etc: http://bit.ly/tGqwgw #auspol #ABBOTTFAIL 5 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply Cheers:):):):):)

Michael

7/11/2011Bad Abbott Re the link to Phil Coorey's column http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/policy-on-the-run-has-opposition-in-disarray-over-mining-tax-20111106-1n1vl.html and what we are told is Andrew Robb's fury at being left out of the phone-up loop last Friday: An Abbott-led Coalition was always going to unravel when it came to putting in place policies that a GOVERNMENT could make work. As an Opposition "No" works a treat. In government, "no" is the sound of sudden realisation that all the bluster that worked from the Speaker's left is just what it always was, hot air, when every decision a government makes not only counts, it has to be counted with and against every other decision it makes.

NormanK

7/11/2011Good Morning Lyn Welcome back. It hasn't been the same without our Tweety Bird in the top of the tree keeping a lookout for us. :D Thanks for this morning's links.

Lyn

7/11/2011And a Good Morning to You Norman K Thankyou for your encouraging words, you have made my day. Did you see Ad Astra and I were talking about you yesterday, discussing a proposition to you, with enhancement of TPS firmly planted in our minds.?????? Did you notice a few new blogs for our list? also did you see, that gremlin is still following me, demolishing my line setup, that I think I have entered up so perfect in the comments box. Cheers:):):):):):)

Patricia WA

7/11/2011Good morning lyn and AA and all. Well at least its a gremlin and not a troll that's bothering you there! Can the Web Monkey Re you link tohttp://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/blogging-and-online-harassment-2/#comment-43873. Great article which should be dispersed and read throughout the web. I've just commented there and elsewhere on this issue and will continue to do so because I've personally experienced pain at the hands some of these vandals who I realize are serial offenders who deliberately troll the web, angling for unwary innocents to hook and hurt. Those of us who know their gravatars and web names must identify them with a [b]TROLL ALERT[/b] wherever we come across them to assist Moderators and Blogmasters whenever possible. If they cannot be deleted they should always be ignored.

Ad astra reply

7/11/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your comments and links - always interesting reading. Folks I am having diabolical trouble getting onto the Internet this morning from my computer now that everyone is using their mobiles again in central Melbourne. This message is being sent from the iPad, which curiously works OK. So as I'm returning to the south coast today, where Internet access is fine, although signal strength is only three bars, I will have to leave further comments until then. FS I have your email and was about to prepare and post your latest piece, but can't get online, so will have to leave it until I return to the Internet tranquility of the country. I'll return later this afternoon.

Gravel

7/11/2011Lyn Welcome back and you sure have come back with a vengence, thank you. Busy day today but will try to read you links and the links every one else posts. Patricia Miglo was on here the other day say he wasn't going to do any more blogging because of the trolls. It will be disappointing for everyone at cafe whispers. I'll try and get there soon to add my support for the good guys, and more especially you.

Lyn

7/11/2011 Hi Ad and Everybody The Australian publishes twitter comments now. Oh boy finding factual reports must be getting tough for them. Watch out blog owners. ABC Twitterspat, The Australian November 07, 2011 [i]For those who missed it… ABC 24 Breakfast Presenter Virginia Trioli and the editor of the ABC’s opinion website The Drum had a Twitterspat this morning The argument quickly drew comment online with some even suggesting ABC Managing Director Mark Scott be brought in to mediate… [/i] http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mediadiary/index.php/theaustralian/comments/twitterspat_abcs_latrioli_takes_on_abcs_greenj/ Cheers:):):)

Feral Skeleton

7/11/2011Michael, But there was Joek Hockey this morning, out and about on the airwaves, following the 'Doom and Gloom' script to a Tony 'T', with his bluster about a Labor government 'never ever' going to be able to bring a Surplus in for the economy. The rubes will lap it up, it'll be shouted from the rooftops of 2GB and affiliates around the country, there'll be a front page in the Murdoch tabloids off the back of it tomorrow, and, of course, it will be played on high rotation all damn day on the ABC. What is the reality? Australia's federal Labor government is running the tightest economic ship in the world, and the Opposition is a Ship of Fools when it comes to the National Economy. They have to now find $70 Billion+ since they decided last Friday that they couldn't afford to lose the Convoy of Grey Nomads vote and so flagged that, whilst they would rescind the MRRT, they will retain the 3% Super increase. The only way I can see that they will be able to make those savings is Indentured Servitude of Public Servants, via Tony Abbott's professed belief that Volunteer Organisations will take up the slack for no cost to his government, as well as the farmers, who will bury Charcoal for the miserable $8/tonne TA will offer them, and Health and Education employees being screwed down via the sorts of Tricky Dick Nixon-style practices that Ted Baillieu and Barry O'Farrell are warming up for the feds in Victoria and NSW, and Alan Joyce is trying on in Private Industry. *CRUNCH!* That's the sound of the Australian Economy coming to a grinding halt under any future Tony Abbott-led Coalition because who's going to have the spare change to keep the wheels of the economy turning? Certainly not the workers, and the fat bastards like Clive Palmer, Big Gina and James Packer, hang onto their money tighter than a Scotsman, except when it comes to buying expensive status symbols.

Lyn

7/11/2011Hi Patricia and Gravel Thanyou both for your welcome this morning, you are both sweeties. [quote]Re you link tocafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../#comment-43873. Great article which should be dispersed and read throughout the web. I'v [/quote] Patricia, I remember Ad Astra saying your home is here on TPS, he said that a few months ago, actually that suits us all fine. [quote]offenders who deliberately troll the web, angling for unwary innocents to hook and hurt[/quote] The owner should just ban them immediately before the problem esculates, remove their registration in other words:- Kaput No longer effective, capable, or valuable Hi Gravel You are a wonderful loyal supporter. We all love your comments. Everyone, I thought that budget surplus story this morning by Access Economics was a bit fishy, I never did trust them. Compulsive reading this article by Stephen Koukoulas Stephen Koukoulas is an economist and financial market strategist who between October 2010 and July 2011, was economic policy advisor to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stephen-koukoulas-2836682.html [i]A surplus of bluster - a deficit of understanding , Stephen Kaukoulas[/i] [quote]While tough to achieve, it seems more likely than not there still will be a budget surplus in 2012-13 [b]regardless of what Access or any other forecaster suggests.[/b]I will post something later why a return to surplus in 2012-13 is so important economically and politically - stay tuned.[/quote] http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/2011/11/surplus-of-bluster-deficit-of.html Forecaster predicts $2b deficit for promised surplus year,ABC News the Federal Government's [b]dream of returning the budget to surplus in 2012-13 is over[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-07/forecaster-predicts-2b-deficit-for-promised/3638880?section=business Cheers:):):):):):)

Patricia WA

7/11/2011I loved this [quote] Either there are no brains, or the leadership is so pathetically shallow that they are prepared to damage the country to get the keys to the Lodge.[/quote] Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/abbotts-gross-failure-of-economic-credibility-20111107-1n31k.html#ixzz1czDjQAFl Now why hasn't anyone said that before?

nasking

7/11/2011Feral, that link to Abbott bein' interviewed in 1979 gives a pretty good indication as to why he acts like a paranoid crusader of rampant capitalism...a really biased fella back then who seems to have seen commie shadows in every corner. Most of the people I studied at uni respected Marx & Engels for their in-depth critique of capitalism...but they also respected liberal & progressive political economists...and like me felt that ideas & methodologies & policy formation should be drawn from various theorists, thinkers, politicians, industrial leaders, unionists, organisations & political systems. Considerin' how far to the Right the Coalition have drifted under Abbott's leadership...if not policy offerings, then rhetoric, ya gotta ask yerself if there has been much in the way of moral & political development by this fella over the past three decades. It's one thing to write a manifesto/book outlining yer transformation & belief & goals...but you have to walk the walk...not just talk the talk. The fact that Abbott has severe problems w/ compromise & negotiating tells me he has learnt little over the years when it comes to finding a "center ground" to work from & garner respect...he still seems to be the angry young paranoid man fighting shadows. The way Rupert Murdoch comes across as a child giving out orders from his homemade fort or hiding place...failing to take responsibility for his stuffups...using others to do his dirty work, to distract...to protect him...fingerpointing at others, blaming them to avoid bein' punished...threatenin' to dob...teachin' them a lesson as a warning...or buyin' them off w/ sweets & goodies...hopin' they won't turn...always scared sh*tless in the corner, havin' eagle eyes out there surveyin', spyin'...livin' in the sterile room...the functional room above...lookin' down...on everyone else...friends & family but utilities... N'

Patricia WA

7/11/2011BSA Bob has just reminded me at CW how Joe Hockey's almost as bad dear old Barnaby in Shadow Finance. I thought you lefties over here at TPS might like to join us in the newly updated "Song of Joyce!" from http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/more-verses-for-the-song-of-joyce/ [b]ALP Song of Joe![/b] So lefties all let us rejoice! For they have Sloppy Joe! He’s out there now with charts to show One into two won’t go. North Sydney’s given such a gift, A talent rich and rare. No need to rage, at every stage Sloppy Joe is there! As Tony strains to make some gains Sloppy Joe is there!

nasking

7/11/2011AC, I noticed in yer post you refer to Eddie McGuire. I've seen him on TV a few times but he didn't grab me, thought he was some kind of Trumpish suit or flat toned pushy 80s style ex-car salesman w/ the usual boring pitch...sincerity 0%. Ya get plenty of them in nth. America. Occasionally a loudmouth. Charmin' as a door to door salesman who acts like they'd luv to join ya in the pub but really spends most of their time countin' the pennies & lookin' in the mirror. We're not big on those glitzy American-style game shows that are as mentally stimulatin' as playin' the recent dumbed down versions of Trivial Pursuit... nor years back those Footy Shows & sports where the commentary is riddled w/ men who oft deepen their voices in order to sound real real tough, manly men...do a slang overdose to give the impression they're more Aussie than a Victa mower, Hills Hoist & Dad & Dave flick combined... the humour is in trogladyte territory...reminds ya of teens provin' how mighty & smart they are by out ockerin' each other...after awhile ya walk off w/ the smell of rancid sweat in yer nostrils & a sense that the testosterone levels might attract a horny bull. The overpowerin' smell I get from McGuire is the reek of money, money, money, me, me, me, power, power, power. I do remember McGuire bein' a real attention-seeker durin' the mining tragedy...another desperate limelight-seeker. Was wonderin' why he's been pushed in the media so much of late, so I checked some YoutTube...and Wikipedia to get a feel for the man: [quote] He is a former CEO of the Nine Network, resigning on 30 June 2007. McGuire grew up in the working-class suburb of Broadmeadows [2] He and older brother Frank McGuire both won scholarships to Christian Brothers College. Frank McGuire, who worked as a newspaper sports reporter, helped McGuire to get his first job in the media as an Australian Rules Football statistician and cricket reporter for The Herald (1978–1982). Later he became a cadet sports reporter for Network Ten and then transferred, in 1993, to the Nine Network where he became the host of a sports variety program, Maguire's role at Nine expanded when he became the host of The Footy Show (AFL) in 1994. He remained on the show until 2005. In May 2006, McGuire travelled to Beaconsfield, Tasmania to rally Nine News reporters covering the mine collapse. McGuire came out of on-air retirement to host the event, which was broadcast as part of The AFL Footy Show (both versions). Before leaving for the Munich edition of The Footy Show he announced the elimination of 100 jobs, most in news and current affairs. Despite a vigorous publicity campaign by the CEO these cost-cutting measures severely damaged morale at the network. On one program McGuire's required job-cuts exceeded the actual number of employees. This raised questions in both the media and within Channel 9 itself about the competence of Nine's executives. The troubles worsened when an affidavit written by a Channel 9 executive affected by the purges was leaked to the press and Nine failed in its attempts to suppress it. It contained allegations regarding McGuire's treatment of employees. The document's author, Mark Llewellyn (previous head of news and current affairs who has since found work at Channel 7), claimed that McGuire and his staff had told him that he would be forced to "eat a shit sandwich" (accept a dramatic pay-cut). He also recalled conversations with McGuire where the CEO had spoken of wanting to "bone" (fire) Jessica Rowe, co-host of the network's Today show. Following these allegations McGuire guaranteed Rowe her position on the program. McGuire has strongly denied the allegations. On 6 May 2007, Llewellyn's position was vindicated when it was announced that Jessica Rowe would not be returning to Channel 9. In early 2011, McGuire hosted another quiz prime time quiz show, The Million Dollar Drop, lasting only for six episodes. He then became the host of the sports-themed quiz show, Between The Lines. His return was short lived when the show quickly failed in the ratings, being axed by Channel 9 after only three episodes had been to air. The fourth and final episode is due to be broadcast on 2 June 2011. [b]McGuire will join Fox Sports in 2012 in an AFL commentary and program pannelist role, while still remaining at Channel 9 to host Millionire hot seat and Olympic coverage.[/b] On 29 October 1998, McGuire was elected by the vote of the members as president of Collingwood Football Club, an Australian Rules Football club which was then in financial and on-field difficulties. (wikipedia)[/quote] Amazin' how these ocker, p/t yuppy, Trump-like suits get around in this country. Anyone else sick of seein' the [b]Fox Sports[/b] logo on just about every ABC news check on results? Rupert & Eddie seem to get alot of opportunities here...failure is meaningless when ya have that type of influence...that many top-end-of-town contacts. Great lesson for Australian youth. Interesting that Ch.Nine & Murdoch media constantly fart on about failing schools, falling standards & problem youth. Hypocrites. They need to get their own houses in order. No more "do as I say, not as I do". N'

Feral Skeleton

7/11/2011Tony Abbott released a policy today! I think it was one of Bananaby's(he's such a big wheel in the Coalition machine according to Michael's exerpted piece about Peta Credlin from The Weekend Austrollian). It was his 'Anti Dumping Legislation', which has been around the block once before, to derisory laughter, as I remember. I think the criticism goes along the lines of: 1. It's redolent of Protectionism. 2. Who wouldn't want cheaper goods from China(the main bogeyman here), if they can get their hands on them? 3. The Coalition premise, that they could tell whether a manufactured good was cheaper than our own local product due to government subsidy allowing it to be 'dumped' here, is a bit arcane when you have to consider that the Communist State of China IS the de facto manufacturer, even if the company doing the manufacturing has a cute little name like Golden Dragon Widgets. 4. How much would this indirect subsidy of our Manufacturing Industries and Agricultural Industries cost the Budget bottom line? Just add it to the $70 Billion+ ever-increasing Coalition black hole, I suppose.

nasking

7/11/2011Lyn, thnx for all the useful links...I just checked out: November 2011, 6.40am AEST [quote]Everything you need to know about Medicare Locals (but didn’t know who to ask)[/quote] by Gawaine Powell Davies, The Conversation http://theconversation.edu.au/everything-you-need-to-know-about-medicare-locals-but-didnt-know-who-to-ask-851?utm_source=The+Conversation+Daily+updates&utm_campaign=e26d6af057-DailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email [quote]What can they do for the community? Mrs Jones has diabetes and high blood pressure which she manages as well as she can, but it’s sometimes difficult to maintain the healthier lifestyle that she needs. She can get Medicare funding to see a dietician and exercise physiologist, but there’s a shortage of services in her area and the co-payment is too high. Her general practitioner doesn’t refer people with diabetes to the local health service diabetes clinic as he is afraid of losing patients. The Medicare Local might help her GP link better with allied health providers, and try to attract more dieticians to work in the area. It might help the GP employ a part-time diabetes educator in the practice, and negotiate better referral arrangements with the diabetes clinic. This nuts and bolts service improvement can help people like Mrs Jones get the services they need to maintain stay healthy.[/quote] I didn't know that my general practitioner could refer people with diabetes to the local health service diabetes clinic...has said nothin' to me. I know he fears the clinic openin' down the road near the Logan Hospital...seems it's all about competition as far as he's concerned. I thought Righties dug competition...choice? He's a real nice fella...but I do feel he's overworked, takin' in too many patients. Might be good to have another clinic nearby. Exhausted docs w/ too many patients tend to forget yer personal info/probs...and often move you on w/out focusin' enuff on all yer specific problems...all feels rushed. N'

Feral Skeleton

7/11/2011PatriciaWA, Brilliant! You could do a whole set of Christmas Carols in the lead-up to the Yuletide Season to be Merry. How about, to start you off, "Good King Tony Alas', to the tune of Good King Wensceslas? ;-)

nasking

7/11/2011[b]0 Days without an ALP leadership speculation story, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison [/b] [quote]I think the Daily Telegraph might have an ALP leadership speculation addiction problem. Perhaps, in the interests of helping them become functioning, credible members of the media again, we should keep track of how long they can go [/quote] Indeed. I don't think it will be too long before the DailyTelerag has a snort of a Stephen Smith, injects a Shorten...or attempts to pass the Rudd doobie to the public again...leavin' their fox slobber all over it...easily rejected these days. Addicts can be such bores. N'

Feral Skeleton

7/11/2011Nasking, Did you know that the ALP once considered drafting Eddie McGuire to run for a Victorian federal seat? Also his brother, Frank, has just taken over John Brumby's old seat of Broadmeadows in the Victorian State Parliament for the ALP. Eddie's a bit od a wide boy, to be sure, but he has only been trying to outplay the Tories at their own game for years. Trying and failing, and sometimes succeeding spectacularly, as he has done with the Collingwood Football Club. Though his anti-action on Problem Gambling comments recently were way out of line. I would think that was the ruthless businessman in him trying to protect the club's profits, as opposed to getting on board the kick the Gillard government bandwagon.

Feral Skeleton

7/11/2011Nasking, Michelle Gratton appears to have been sharing the same bucket bong that has been passed around The Daily Terrorgraph. Today she had a piece, which I didn't read because it was just too absurd for words, about how Bill Shorten should just wait until the Labor Party are in Opposition again before he takes over the leadership of the party. I kid you not!

nasking

7/11/2011[quote]Thanks for that great link to the interview with Julia, I wish there was more of it. [/quote] Yer welcome Gravel. It was a buzz seein' the PM on CNN. I reckon she was real professional...came across w/ confidence...like she'd been in the job for yonks. I was proud to be an Aussie citizen. I saw on the ABC this morn that some Japanese mums wanna buy our veges & such due to their nuke radiation probs over there... another reason why we need to pursue "clean & green" big time...as stated wisely by Virginia Trioli. Once you've poisoned a place it's hard to get the reputation back. Exactly why I support Independent Tony Windsor & The Greens regarding funding to look into the coal seam gas effects...and water systems... and keepin' the food bowls clear of mining. Victoria should be shot for banning more windpower. That's Libs for ya. Lettin' coal write their policies. Long-term thinkin' nil. N'

nasking

7/11/2011[quote]Though his anti-action on Problem Gambling comments recently were way out of line. I would think that was the ruthless businessman in him trying to protect the club's profits, as opposed to getting on board the kick the Gillard government bandwagon.[/quote] Ahhh, that's where I heard about him recently. I ain't got no time for rampant gamblin' apologists...frankly, the relationship between gambling money & the funding of sports & other activities in this country is grotesque. It will only lead to major corruption as it has done overseas. Sports & activities for families & the elderly should stay clear of the gambling mafia. I blame governments who become addicted to the revenue & allow gambling moguls to own them/influence them. It's a plague...contagious...will rot society if not dealt w/ firmly & honestly & swiftly. ---------------------------------------------------------- [quote]Michelle Gratton appears to have been sharing the same bucket bong that has been passed around The Daily Terrorgraph. Today she had a piece, which I didn't read because it was just too absurd for words, about how Bill Shorten [/quote] Feral, Michelle Grattan obviously needs to pretend she's part of the addict crowd to keep her job... she's wearin' thin on the likes of me & many others of late who once respected her output... she's like a band that doesn't know when to call it quits... and make room for the newbies...considerin' the lack of money around to pay journos/commentators these days you'd think she'd do the decent thing and move aside... do a self-funded blog (she's been a fortunate lady compared to some). BTW, I saw her piece advertised when I linked to Phil Coorey today...but didn't bother w/ it when I read the subject. [b]Frankly Michelle my dear, I don't give a damn...nor do many many others.[/b] N'

Feral Skeleton

7/11/2011Nas, The two 'doyennes' of the Canberra Press Gallery are becoming polar opposites of each other. Laurie Oakes and Michelle Gratton started out on par, but lately Laurie's been crapping on Michelle from great heights. His work is crisp and to the point, allowing for independant thought on the issues, and still capable of breaking the odd scoop story(much to the chagrin of Julia Gillard, but there you go, you have to take the rough with the smooth in politics). Laurie won't have a bar of the Tony Abbott beat-up, but Michelle is all over it like a rash, plus further displays her lack of original thought by attempting to fan the flames of Labor Leadership 'challenges' and 'tensions'. Very sloppy stuff. She spends too much time in the company of Fran Kelly & Alison Carabine on Radio National too, in an all female circle jerk that meets daily to pontificate as if they are in the know and have it all sussed. Whereas they are more often than not these days just dancing to the News Ltd tune and acting as their amplifiers.

Lyn

7/11/2011Hi Everybody Nasking, I am really pleased the link to the clinics was helpful, I didn't know much about them either or about that the GP could refer. [quote]Everything you need to know about Medicare Locals (but didn’t know who to ask)[/quote] On TV tonight Tonight on Q & A: [i]Malcolm (Turncoat) Turnbull; Jessica Rudd; Ray Martin; Kate Ellis; and Former Howard Government Minister, Peter (Bury those Unions) Reith. leighsalesLeigh Sales My guest tonight is the former Prime Minister Paul Keating #abc730[/i] Here is Abbott with his Dumping Policy on video, of course this business is closing down because of Julia Gillard. Abbott Launches Anti-dumping Policy [i]Businesses suspected of dumping products in Australia at drastically discounted prices will have to prove the importation is above board under the federal coalition's anti-dumping policy. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said there were serious problems with dumping in paper, glass, food and even steel, which were forcing local producers out of business. (AAP/Megan Hayne)[/i] http://www.aapone.com.au/SearchPreviewVideo.aspx?media_item_id=20111107000358005635 Cheers :):):):):):)

Ad astra reply

7/11/2011Folks I'm still having trouble with the Internet - I understand that Telstra have had problems today. I'll try to post FS's latest piece this evening if I can; otherwise it may have to be tomorrow.

Ad astra reply

7/11/2011Folks I finally got onto the Internet and have posted the latest interesting piece from Hillbilly Skeleton: [i]The Devil is in the Detail in the Dictionary[/i]. Enjoy. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/11/07/The-Devil-is-in-the-Detail-in-the-Dictionary.aspx

Jaeger

7/11/2011Hmm, Australia Network leaks... mobile phone hacking, anyone? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-07/australia-network-tender-process-axed/3650798

Feral Skeleton

7/11/2011Richard Farmer came up with a very interesting piece today which referred to a study done by Demos in the UK about the perennial problem of why there's been a rise in Right Wing Extremism and Populism, and a corresponding fall in popularity wrt political parties of the Left. I particularly found interesting the last part about social media: [quote]A troubling report on Europe. There's a clear tendency for economists and financiers struggling to find a solution to Europe's sovereign debt problems to forget about what the people actually think. Yet a report to be released today by the Demos think tank draws attention to the growth on the continent of extremist right wing political groups. While so far the attraction of such groups to young people appears to be motivated more by anti-immigration and and especially anti-Muslim sentiments than economic conditions it is the young disproportionately affected by the unemployment caused by the prevailing policies of fiscal austerity. Worse, I fear, is yet to come than what Demos reports is already scary enough. It describes how over the last decade, populist parties have been growing in strength across Western Europe. These parties are defined by their opposition to immigration and concern for protecting national and European culture, sometimes using the language of human rights and freedom. On economic policy, they are often critical of globalisation and the effects of international capitalism on workers’ rights. This is combined with ‘anti-establishment’ rhetoric and language. Often called ‘populist extremist parties’ or ‘the new right’, these parties do not fit easily into the traditional political divides. Their growth over the past decade has been remarkable. Formerly on the political fringes, these parties now command significant political weight in the parliaments of Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden, Latvia and Slovakia, as well as the European Parliament. In some countries, they are the second or third largest party and are seen as necessary members of many conservative coalition governments. The growth of these movements is mirrored online. Populist parties are adept at using social media to amplify their message, recruit and organise. Indeed, the online social media following on Facebook and elsewhere for many of these groups often dwarfs their formal membership, consisting of tens of thousands of sympathisers and supporters. This melange of virtual and real-world political activity is the way millions of people—especially young people—relate to politics in the twenty-first century. This nascent, messy and more ephemeral form of politics is becoming the norm for a younger, digital generation.[/quote]
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?