They huffed and they puffed, and they haven’t blown the NBN down…yet

 


The above image says it all, really, about the NBN story thus far. There's Big Bad Tony Abbott outside the solid brick house that is the NBN edifice. He, and the 'Three Little Wolves', Malcolm Turnbull, Barnaby Joyce, and Andrew Robb (I've noticed that Joe Hockey has been strangely muted in his criticism of the NBN), have been outside the NBN house, working up a veritable cyclone of hot air, as they bellow, bloviate, and blow very hard to try to 'demolish' and blow the NBN house down.

Yet, inside the house the realisation that the 'Big Bad Wolves' haven't been able to blow their house down...yet, has, at the end of the parliamentary year and after the Structural Separation of Telstra Bill has finally been passed by the Senate and the House, led to much celebration, dancing of jigs and playing of musical instruments. There's Julia in her red top with a nice bow, playing the fife, and Stephen Conroy leading the merriment on a piano, safe inside the NBN house he built himself, brick by brick, while the Crossbenchers who have helped make Julia and Stephen's dream a reality, are joining in the fun too. They really did invent 'A Wolf Spanking Machine', which has seen the Big Bad Wolves of the Coalition go home for Christmas with their tails between their legs, licking their wounds.

Of course, the Coalition has promised to come back again next year, with every grainy, black-and-white photograph of tangled cables on a telegraph pole, and complaints from constituents about every nature strip whose blades of grass have been upset from their gentle resting place beside noisy roads, (hmm, I thought the Nature Strips were the property of the Local Councils not the householders whose houses abut them?), as that naughty NBN gets rolled out across the country.

Also, it appears, that the Coalition, and its confreres who are now in power in various States, have enunciated a new line of attack. They will be going to war with Julia Gillard and Stephen Conroy to fight for the 'Opt Out' principle for NBN customers. That is, they will want to force a decision on every household and business as to whether they want the NBN to come to their place or not. Of course, this will be followed up with a 'ferocious' (that attack dog word seems to be the favourite of the snarling and barking Opposition at the moment) assault on the desirability and 'Cost Benefit' of the NBN to those same people and businesses, from the ever-loquacious, but without a technical leg to stand on, Opposition. What will follow from that, I can safely predict, if they have any success at all, is that if the NBN take-up rate falls substantially, as a result the Coalition will gleefully label it a ‘costly White Elephant’, and a ‘massive waste of taxpayers' money’, yada yada, in the run-up to the next election.

I mean, when you examine from a distance the Coalition scenario, as it would become manifest if you took all the complaints about, and demands for reversal to the pre-NBN environment seriously, then it seems as if the Coalition really do want to return the country to some sort of bucolic ideal, where, as I have mentioned previously in my blog about the Coalition's policy of 'Undergrounding' all the power lines in the country, Australia becomes a place of no Leaf Blowers or Lawn Mowers in the early morning idyll that we experience as we wake up to the bucolic bliss of birds twittering in the trees outside our windows, while we take tea inside and Tweet on our Wireless Mobiles or iPads. No Leaf Blowers! No Telegraph Poles! No Wires!

Which is exactly where I want to take the Coalition Broadband Fairy Story today. We have all seen the NBN raked over (No Leaf Blowers!), until it has almost disintegrated into an infinite number of points of light (which the Coalition still seems to not realise it actually is, as the NBN travels at the Speed of Light effortlessly along the fibre optic cables). No, instead, I believe it's about time we started focussing our attention on what the Coalition's alternative offering for our High Tech future will be. Time we started removing the Vaseline from the lens that has so far only allowed us to see a picture of the Coalition's Broadband future for Australia in a very gauzy light, complete with Sunshine and Lollipops, and Malcolm Turnbull and Christopher Pyne gambolling in Elysian Fields of infinite Wireless and Satellite possibilities.



So, let's take a closer look at the Coalition's Fairy Story about Broadband, otherwise known as its 'Broadband and Telecommunications Policy'. 

Yes, I know, there will be those among you that support the Coalition who will say that I am being unfair to the Coalition and its policy from the outset by calling it a 'Fairy Tale'. Not so. I merely want to let their the policy speak for itself. Let's go to this statement:

“The Coalition's plan will deliver a uniform national broadband network.”

A fine motherhood statement with which no one could disagree. Except, if you think about it, and then think about the mish-mash of modalities that the Coalition states it wants to employ to achieve this 'uniform national broadband network', being HFC, DSL and Fixed Wireless, well, good luck with achieving that uniformity, I say.

The policy then quickly moves on to this aspirational goal:
“...under which 97% of premises are able to be served by high speed networks capable of delivering from 100mbps down (my bold) to a minimum of 12 Mbps peak speed, using a combination of technologies...”

Now, hold on a minute there. This is where the Coalition's policy and Labor's becomes widely and wildly divergent, and it's only the second paragraph of its policy doc!

Firstly, the aspiration is for a maximum peak speed of only 100Mbps, compared to the ALP's 1Gigabit per second! Secondly, it's all downhill from there for the Coalition's aspirations for your broadband experience. All the way down to 12Mbps. Not only that but the advocacy of Copper line-powered HFC and Pair Gain technology by Malcolm Turnbull is a crock, and means that your downloads might come in at that speed, but your uploads will never travel that fast. As this ZDNet article eloquently explains

So, no e-Health for you, Mrs Kafoops, in Outer Anywhere, Australia. Which, by the way, is just one of the potential uses for fast uploads of data.

“Let's turn it upside down. Let's add it up.” Malcolm Turnbull, November, 2010.

So, let's do that for the Coalition's Broadband policy.

Firstly, based upon the assumption, as demonstrated by the Opposition in Question Time, that the Coalition does not like unsightly cables being strung from ‘telegraph pole to telegraph pole’; also, considering this in concert with its Energy policy, which advocates for all Power Lines in Australia to be 'Undergrounded', we can draw the simple conclusion that the budget for the Coalition's Broadband and Telecommunications policy, which would by necessity be incorporated with and added to the budget for its Energy policy, would without a shadow of a doubt smash the estimates for the cost of the NBN.

The estimate mentioned 14 years ago for power undergrounding, in a paper prepared for the Parliamentary Library of Australia for John Howard, was a 'conservative' figure of $50 billion! 

Thus, I think you could safely say that that figure would now be closer to $75 billion. Also, the party of Private Enterprise and the individual-level Contractor and Sub-Contractor, would no doubt have to subsidise the concomitant roll-out of underground power and cable (that is, if they wish to remain true to written down, therefore 'gospel' official Liberal Party policies). Which would be going to areas that don't already have good enough broadband coverage, or, indeed, underground power (which, as you can see from the ZDNet article is quite a large swathe of Australia), so as to achieve the stated aim of broadband service to 97% of Australia. This subsidy would have to occur because Private Contractors are not charities, and would not want to put in the infrastructure to areas they consider incapable of providing a sufficient return on their investment: areas which begin in the Regions beyond the Capital Cities and go from there into the Rural and Outback areas of Australia.

I can see this method of having to pay for the bulk of the broadband roll out from the national Budget, as the eventual outcome. The only other alternative is for the Internet infrastructure suppliers/retailers to incorporate their costs into the charges they ultimately impose on their customers, and also use their limited shareholder funds to supply the service, on behalf of the Coalition – which is what the Coalition proposes. However, I can't see how these costs would not end up being considerable, and beyond the private sector's means, for those areas/customers outside of the most profitable markets.

The Coalition's policy document speaks about imposing a 'price cap' for internet services. Which leads me to ask myself: 'Where is the money going to come from then to cover the ISP's costs to supply services to unprofitable areas, which are above the putative Coalition government-imposed 'price cap'?' I suppose at least this part of the policy acknowledges the fact that the 'real' cost of the service would end up being politically 'toxic' for the Coalition if they allowed it to flow through to the consumer. So a hit to the national purse, with cutbacks imposed in other areas, in order to cover up uncomfortable realities, would instead be favoured and is usually favoured by weak-kneed neo-liberal political parties unwilling to make their stated ideology a manifest reality, especially when it concerns a direct hit to the hip-pocket nerve of the electorate.

Costs which don't even factor in extra charges to the consumer to provide the Internet into premises at the speeds promised, as the Coalition policy does not advocate for Fibre To The Home (FTTH), but Fibre To The Node (FTTN). I think it gets around this contradiction between the publically enunciated policy of FTTN by stating on page 15 of the policy document an aspiration to eventually have FTTH, as and when private suppliers and their shareholders decide that the time is right to allow it for their customers! Just don't hold your breath waiting for that day! On page 16 it says it wants this done by 30 June, 2014. I think that sounds ambitious, especially if you are relying on private sector companies and their shareholders to OK funds for the massive undertakings that would be necessary to satisfy the Coalition's 97% aspirational broadband coverage goal.

However I think I have found the nigger in the woodpile that would be the Coalition's 'get out clause': “We believe the right way forward to high speed broadband is through the operation of the market, stimulated by the initiatives set out in this policy document. Government's role should be that of addressing instances where private investment fails to deliver, not to replace the private sector with public monopolies. To ensure it does address those failures, government should use taxpayers' money wisely and in a carefully-targeted way – not put it recklessly at risk.”

In other words, the Coalition plans to make a show of private sector construction of its broadband network, but the bulk of the funding will also come from government, if it's to be brought in within the stated time frame, not subject to the whims of shareholder and board approval and the time lines. So, you could say that what the Coalition policy boils down to is public funding of the private sector, in the main. Hmm. So, fine sounding words in the public domain, but in their quieter moments, in the policy documents, the Coalition spells out the truth. That is, a Coalition government would provide a substantial amount of the necessary funds, just like the ALP government is now. The only difference is the Coalition would carve out a slice for the private sector to fund its works, using already existing private infrastructure, in order to save some money while the broadband network is being constructed, but ending up with a second-rate network, as opposed to the ALP completely funding it, then selling it to the private sector after a state-of-the-art network has been constructed. The motto of the story being: 'You get what you pay for.'

I'd also like to take this opportunity to look at a technical aspect of co-locating power lines and fibre-optic or copper broadband cables underground, if that truly is the intention of the Coalition. Otherwise there would just have to be more 'unsightly' cables strung between telegraph poles, would there not? And that would make the Coalition hypocrites, would it not, for complaining about the ALP's NBN cable roll out on those same power poles?

Thus, “A major issue is safety. Traditionally telephone cables are sunk at relatively shallow depths, and high voltage power lines are sunk much deeper. Currently different cables are also buried on different alignments in a street, and the organisations which dig up streets and footpaths from time to time (Oh no! What about the 'Nature Strips'!?!) are familiar with these conventions. If high and low voltage cables were encased in a common conduit or tunnel, the risks of fatal accident would be much greater.

“A second and less alarming objection is of a technical nature: that arcing and other problems could occur between the two types of cable. Particularly strong sheathing might offset some of these difficulties, but only at considerably increased cost.”


That excerpt, except for my mid-paragraph intervention, was from the Australian Parliamentary Library document linked to above, and just goes to show, yet again, the hypocrisy that lies at the heart of the Coalition's argument about the ALP's Broadband policy cost and its modality of construction. That is, the Coalition policy would cost more, be just as disruptive to people's nature strips, and probably end up being strung from telegraph pole to telegraph pole too, as to put it under the ground with the underground power would be prohibitively expensive and technically tricky and also expensive to find a satisfactory way out of. Now, as the Coalition seem to be allergic to the concept of Public Debt to fund national infrastructure, unless it can be paid for out of a Surplus Budget, then I can't see its utopian policy ideal ever becoming reality, either within its stated time frame, or ever, really, because of how much it would cost. The Private sector would also have trouble raising money in the current global economic climate. In other words, the Coalition's Telecommunications and Broadband policy just doesn't survive scrutiny when, “You turn it upside down. When you add it up”, it's a Fairy Story to be retailed to the gullible 'mob'.

What do you think?

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Sir Ian Crisp

2/12/2010“Who wrote this fetid slop?” That thought exercised my mind as I waded through the latest offering here at TPS. Has TPS hired a sillographer? Is someone channelling Walter Mitty? I then checked out the author and it was a self-aggrandising member of the TPS cognoscenti. Once again we have to shoot the messenger and not the message. For an argument to cohere it must be free of standard boilerplate. The argument should also avoid the use of syllogisms to lead the reader. The argument should be free of hubris and not convey the theme of an overweening lecture. In the absence of a cost v benefit analysis we are all free to offer unsupported opinions on the NBN and each one is valid. Also, the absence of a cost v benefit analysis has allowed the bird of paradox to vouchsafe a healthy return on the taxpayers’ investment. Based on what? We don’t even know what the outlay will be because the money merry-go-round hasn’t stopped yet. It started at AUD$4.7 billion, jumped to AUD$43 billion and has been pruned to AUD$35 billion (I think that’s the latest figure). Has Barnaby been providing the ALP with the figures? An objective report on high speed broadband was prepared by British telecommunications consultant Robert Kenny who is NOT a professional Central Coast housewife and ALP shill. He even used Australia as a template. In bullet form the report found: •Yes, faster is better but it must be balanced by objective appraisal. The thought of having breakfast in London and lunch in New York was one of the selling points of the Concorde. The Concorde has been mothballed because the customers couldn’t see the need to pay for extra speed •Sth Korea experienced a drop in annual productivity from 7.6 per cent per capita down to 3.8 per cent after that country introduced HSB. It was thought that one of the reasons for the downturn was the Sth Koreans’ proclivity for online gambling made easier by HSB •At best there is a weak worldwide relationship between fixed broadband and economic growth •The claims made by Kevin07 of 78 per cent productivity gains in service business and 85 per cent in manufacturing flowed from information and communications technology were a distortion of figures from Australia’s Communications Department. The figures were made to fit the case for an NBN •Issues like remote medical care require extensive outlays of money above the outlay for fibre •Applications like remote medical imaging require connections to major buildings and not every home http://www.theage.com.au/national/nbns-benefits-grossly-overstated-study-reveals-20101128-18cf1.html The absence of a cost v benefit analysis means that the above Robert Kenny report is just as valid as all the other NBN opinions.

Catching up

2/12/2010I believe you painted the picture clearly. I would like to see a CBA for the Coalition mishmashed scheme. I agree that it is the upload speed that makes a new, not renovated system necessary.

Jason

2/12/2010Sir Ian Crisp, " An objective report on high speed broadband was prepared by British telecommunications consultant Robert Kenny who is NOT a professional Central Coast housewife and ALP shill" As opposed to you who no one knows SFA about? if you want to go FS put your own credentials up and let us decide!Or better still write a piece that can take FS opinion apart! Fact is you can't and wont! but I expect nothing less!

Sir Ian Crisp

2/12/2010Gee Jason, let's get back to more important things like should Rodney and Bruce be able to get married.

Jason

2/12/2010SIC, Well why not? Wont change my life if they do! is that the best you got? Spare me!

Ad astra reply

2/12/2010Catching up Welcome to TPS. Do come again. Wouldn't we all like to see a CBA for the Coalition policy. You are right - it is the upload speeds that count for sophisticated operations such as e-Health and image transfer.

Ad astra reply

2/12/2010Hillbilly/Feral Skeleton You have taken an approach we should try to emulate – apply the blow torch to Coalition policies as it habitually does to Labor policies. Having done that, you have exposed the flimsiness of its ‘Broadband and Telecommunications Policy’, and the flaws in it. There is no CBA in sight, nor any facts, figures and reasoning to back its case. In labelling your piece ‘fetid slop’, Sir Ian conveniently avoids an analysis of the Coalition policy, preferring to hack away at the Labor policy by quoting old opinion pieces that suit his case, but avoiding any that support the NBN. He declares that in the absence of a CBA all opinions are of equivalent validity. Really, Sir Ian, that is a bold assertion, but not convincing. As Jason suggests, you should favour us with an analysis of H/FS’s piece and a rebuttal of her argument that the Coalition policy is flawed. Congratulations and thanks for another searing piece of analysis. Let’s tackle other Coalition policies likewise.

TalkTurkey

2/12/2010Reiterating Jason's mention on the last thread - so Swordsfolk don't miss it - Ta Jason December 2. 2010 01:53 PM Paul Keating on Lateline tonight! Tonight on Lateline: former Prime Minister Paul Keating. ABC1 1030pm. http://twitter.com/leighsales Jason Keating is ALWAYS worth listening to.

CALLIGULA

2/12/2010What a complete load of abject twaddle composed by someone who cannot even spell. I hope the NBN electrocutes the turkey. If I hear the spitting I expect I’ll copy off some of TT’s previous extra choice pieces and transpose names. Jason is proving himself as big a dolt as the rest of you faux laborites. Why not come clean and admit the game – and your conservatism. Other than that – Hi Guys – back from a brief holiday and well refreshed. I’m sure you don’t want details about LA and the Big Apple – unless you ask ? Catch you soon.

TalkTurkey

2/12/2010“Who wrote this toxic sludge?” I thought instantly: LIMPY! - Who else? Now listen here you: The NBN will be built. It will be fibre, and it will be state-of-the-art because it has no excuse to be otherwise, and Australians will not, repeat not, settle for less. It will cost just about the same as one fully equipped submarine, but will be delivered many years earlier (e.t.a. of first new subs = 2024/5!!!) and will last many years beyond the use-by of such ridiculous pieces of garbage, about which see if you can find anyone to provide you with a Cost Benefit Analysis. Bwahahahahahaha sob. It will be used by nearly all Australians, nearly every day of their lives, for every imaginable purpose and many not yet even imagined. And Limpy, you won't stop them. Now: How'd you come by your "knighthood" Limpy? The last knighthoods bestowed on Aussies came from Prince Leonard of Hutt River Province. (I knew one, he got his for his new boomerang designs.) At least Prince Leonard awarded his honours for some sort of honourable conduct, so who gave you your title Limpy, and for what? C'mon Limpy old trout, regale us with tales of your amazing exploits, I know I talk for other Swordsfolk who are beside themselves with curiosity, ntm aglow with pride at having one so eminent amongst our number. H'mph.

Jason

2/12/2010Calligula, "Jason is proving himself as big a dolt as the rest of you faux laborites" Really? Secretary of my sub branch of Playford here in SA! As I'm quite happy to put my money where my mouth is! you do what???????? join then complain! if not shut up!

2353

2/12/2010Actually SIC - the Concorde was mothballed because of the cost of making its engines comply with noise abatement measures where it flew, the cost of rectification of the wing design flaw where debris on the runway could be ingested into the engine and pierce the fuel tank. Specifically [quote]"Sir John King realised that he had a premier product that was underpriced, and after carrying out a market survey, British Airways discovered that their target customers thought that Concorde was more expensive than it actually was. They progressively raised prices and service quality to match these perceptions.[28] It is reported that British Airways then ran Concorde at a profit, unlike their French counterpart.[111][112][113] British Airways's profits have been reported to be up to £50 million in the most profitable years, with a total revenue of £1.75 billion, before costs of £1 billion.[111]"[/quote] [i]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concorde[/i]. Please supply the references for your other statements. I too would like to see the CBA for the Coalition's policy with the rider it be prepared by Treasury - not the same accountants that were used to try and hide the $11BILLION black hole in their election promises. I would much rather Australia spend $35billion of public and private in creating world class infrastructure (remember it's not $43billion anymore) than spend another cent on the immoral and potentially illegal detention of the despised refugees that arrive in Australia by leaky boat rather than a 747.

TalkTurkey

2/12/2010What is this target-Bruce campaign about? From Limpy: "Gee Jason, let's get back to more important things like should Rodney and Bruce be able to get married. Sir Ian Crisp" >Who the hell is Rodney? I never marry anybody I've never met. From CALLIGULA: "I hope the NBN electrocutes the turkey." > I take it you mean Bruce? CALLIGULA how could you? He's a scrubber too! " . . . I expect I’ll copy off some of TT’s previous extra choice pieces and transpose names." > I think this must be one of the most gratifying compliments the Turkey's ever had! "Jason is proving himself as big a dolt as the rest of you faux laborites*." > Uncalled-for, Cobber, and who the hell are you to judge us-all? How would you know, Melon-Head? Jason wears his allegiances openly and proudly. What you got to offer? There's the rub. *btw that's Laborites to a spelling-pedant like you. The ALP is the oldest Labor Party in the world, the first ever to have held national office anywhere, and I'm proud of its traditions, its history, its personalities and its overall direction. It's not perfect but by the living Dog it's way better'n anything else on offer. And whether you like it or not, it's worthy of respect. I don't call the Liberals liberals, (they're exactly the reverse anyway!), but Labor people aren't faux, they're great. So there. "Why not come clean and admit the game – and your conservatism." > D-Uh? Other than that – "Hi Guys – back from a brief holiday and well refreshed." > And so-o-o-o-o MELLOW! "I’m sure you don’t want details about LA and the Big Apple – unless you ask ?" > I'm sure we're all agog. Please, oh, PULLLEEEEEZZZZZ !!!!! "Catch you soon. CALLIGULA"

Feral Skeleton

2/12/2010Sir Ian Crisp, True to conservative form you start your vituperative response to my blog with a vicious attack on my character and personal situation. Sorry, but I've been attacked in blogs by the best/worst that Conservative Australia, gutlessly hiding behind anonymous names, can throw at me. I take it as a badge of honour that such people feel the need to attempt to destroy me, a messenger bringing to light the truth about the bunch of shonks that call themselves the Coalition. Now, to the substance of your puerile attack. You use one 'consultant's' report to attempt to demolish my argument. You subjectively claim it is objective, but upon perusing your dot points I'd characterise it as risible. Oh, and whaddya know? Australian Conservative Think Tank, Menzies House is touting it. Quel surprise! Now, let me get this straight. You believe that the NBN should not be built because the South Koreans already have a superfast broadband network and having it has led to a loss in productivity due to a massive increase in online gambling? Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but Australia already has online gambling, and, so far, Australians are still going about their daily business and our society is not yet on the verge of collapse. Nor has there been a correlative and provable decrease in productivity as a result. Also, as far as my limited 'Central Coast housewive's' brain can cope with the complicated cogitation required to come to a conclusion, it's my best guess that faster broadband doesn't really make a hill o' beans difference to the accessibility, quantity and quality of online gambling. What does make a difference in this particular instance, I would 'objectively' hypothecate, is the natural tendency for Asians to gamble excessively, whatever the portal that they can use. Don't forget who make up the majority of high rollers at Australian Casinos. * Your feeble attempt to equate use of Concorde with pointlessness of high speed broadband merely suggests to me that conservative boosters, such as yourself, and the conservative telecommunications shill, Mr Kenny, are having to scrape the bottom of the barrel to try and come up with arguments against it. Concorde was a static aeronautical modality that was never refined or updated. It soon became superseded by other aeroplanes that provided passengers and people under the flightpath with a quieter service and more comfort and amenity. After the Concorde crash, it was scrapped. Speed wasn't as important as passenger safety in the end. True. However that bears absolutely no relation to broadband speed. To try and link the two is simply a fallacious argument. There is no comparison. High Speed Broadband is world's best practice without peer or competition, and it will be the upgradeable standard bearer for decades to come. Everyone can use it, for a reasonable fee. It is not merely the plaything of the rich and famous. It's potential is virtually unlimited. Concorde's potential was severely limited. Ergo, another pathetic straw man argument from conservatives who simply don't want the Gillard government to have a policy win. Pathetic. * '•Issues like remote medical care require extensive outlays of money above the outlay for fibre.' I'm sure wealthy medical entrepeneurs and the banks that fund them, will be able to cope financially. I'm sure they're touched by your concern for their financial well-being though. * '•Applications like remote medical imaging require connections to major buildings and not every home.' Oh, come on. There are more possibilities than that that will come out of high speed broadband. SIC, has technical troglodyte Tony Abbott been in your ear, like the human flea that he is, attempting to convince you that the plebs only want to download movies(slowly) and watch pron? One of the mooted uses for high speed broadband is remote e-Health to the home in order to keep people in their homes longer, but in contact with medical personnel. Anyway, I have accessed a copy of the paper you quote from, and I promise to do an analysis of it as soon as possible. A casual reading of it tonight suggests some heroic assumptions are made, and the author even admits that many of his close friends he gave a copy to to critique were highly critical. That is, I will do it if you think I'm capable.

Feral Skeleton

2/12/2010Ah, Pauly. Such uncommon good sense. How I miss his incisive analysis and sensible behaviour. Compare and contrast with Tony Abbott. Actually, there is no comparison.

CALLIGULA

2/12/2010In exactly the same way no-one ever bothers reading mine – or lacks reading comprehension anyway – all I can say is that the prime reason for the NBN and optic fibre is to provide security for communications in Oz. Hear that idiots – fibre cannot be easily intercepted – DUUH! All else is bullshine. TT – go do some teaching and leave the real stuff to achievers – you dear chap. BTW – there’s a smiley behind that, okay. Oh, Jason – I was never an unionist unless it was compulsory – they were even more corrupt than those now in government – in fact I reckon that’s where they caught the bad habit from. Good result in Vic, eh?

CALLIGULA

2/12/2010By the way people, I heard today about a staunch laborite – branch secretary – who now fills the same possy for the LNP. Do you want that turncoat’s name?

CALLIGULA

2/12/2010Amazin what happens when you have a bit of a break. It’s the same back at the office. Robert Grave’s Claudius said it – “Let all the creatures – etc”. Bruce, if you want to persist being personal why not at least try to be humourous – let those who can – do – while those who cannot, may teach; but I had understood that you’d retired? Poor old Skeleton has slaved away for days without touching upon the imperative. At least you should desist enough to inhibit the flow through the cloaca that passes for your intellect. Please don’t mire the passing wheels of our kerridge – there’s a good chap! Give JJ and Crispie a go – They’ve been hugely amusing since I’ve come home.

CALLIGULA

2/12/2010Now while I’m hot – read carefully and still get everything wrong. I would have expected some stop press about what’s happening to WikiLeaks? Then again, you’re not particularly interested in truth. Here’s a Townsville? Boy about to meet a ‘wet end’ in result of having a high regard for the truth. Do you lot care? Or have I smoked you all out for what you really are?

TalkTurkey

2/12/2010Jason Well said Comrade. I didn't read your 9.07 post until after my last one, but we all know you are staunch. What would one call Calligula's position I wonder? What about jj, and Limpy, and Colon? We on this blogsite are mainly of the Left, we openly acknowledge and subscribe to Labor's overall decency, but what is it makes people like THEM so contrary? I mean, it's no small matter, not like Mary Mary Quite Contrary contrary, this is very serious that people are so poisoned by something that they become toxic themselves. And here, Swordsfolk All, I am not being insulting nor abusive, I'm talking about the real nub of the problem in our society, contrariness. What can we do about it eh?

TalkTurkey

2/12/2010Yeah CALLIGULA, I did raise the subject of Wikileaks a few days ago . . . Don't think I'm not interested in that. Julian Assange is now at great risk, like Mordechai Vanunu. He is a Working-Class Hero, and as John Lennon said, that's something to be. BTW I only called you a Melon-Head. No need to get snarky. It was my old Dad's favourite thing to yell at Aussie Rules umpires. Well he didn't yell it himself, he was vastly amused by some bloke who did yell it out. See that is your proper Aussie fun taunt. What I like really. I don't really like insulting people deeply, appearances possibly to the contrary, but some people say deeply offensive things, and then they gotta cop it sweet . . .

CALLIGULA

3/12/2010TT – you turkey – you wrote this last week – "Bring 'em on. Ever known the Turkey not to give better'n he got? Hubris yeah but they got no answers because they're empty of decency and logic. But no, don't you worry about me. It looks like a pig, walks and smells and talks like a pig, and tastes like a pig, and its name is Colon, you know what I reckon its "posts" consist of? Lyn, don't you think I enjoy this insulting biz? I really don't like these Things who masquerade as Humans, and it makes me feel GOOOOOD to call them out. They aren't as good at insults as we are and it's lovely to think of them fuming and trying to overmatch our wit. But it isn't w-it that comes out of Colons." It is UNcouth and you exhibit such bad manners beyond the call of duty that I’ve decided you are a no-account stinker. Stay there though – keep pretending you are a laborite and bring your alleged political persuasion into complete disrepute.

CALLIGULA

3/12/2010By the way people, I heard today about a staunch laborite – branch secretary – who now fills the same possy for the LNP. Do you want that turncoat’s name?

patriciawa

3/12/2010[quote]PJK was the 'sweetest' PM of all![/quote] Just been watching Lateline. Wasn’t Keating fine! Made me pine For ‘auld lang syne.’ Old PJK! I have to say That in my day He was Okay. He loved Anita. No one sweeter About his love. That I do recall About young Paul. He gave us all In 1993 So gloriously Another spell of sanity. Then ten Howard years Of war and tears And workers' fears. Time with Kevin was peculiar Now, thank God, there’s Julia. And none of them at all Can match young Paul. He had his day Yet still has much to say. As he’s just had On Labor’s golden lads, Well, red haired lassie, He seems to think is classy. This is their sweet hour. Now they have the power To use for all of us. Use it well we trust, Before they turn to dust. Like PJK? One day, I guess, he must.

Feral Skeleton

3/12/2010Calligula, Only bitter and twisted individuals would gloat at the defeat of the Labor Party in the Victorian State election, and fail to mention that the Liberals limped over the line. People like you. Oh well, if you're going to start a flame war, let's be at it. :) Now, I'll raise your ALP to LNP Branch Secretary(whoopie do!), with a Liberal to Labor candidate in the next NSW State election. Tick, tick, tick...waiting for the insult to be hurled at someone you don't know for doing the same thing but in reverse that you seem to think was so smart.

Feral Skeleton

3/12/2010SIC, I forgot to add that you have exposed yourself as unable to go to the source to get your facts staright when you wish to deconstruct my argument(not that you addressed the substance of my argument...because you can't). If you go to the original paper that you cut n pasted from, you will find that Charles Kenny states, by using some twisted logic(more of that later), that South Koreans became addicted to Internet GAMING(not gambling), as a result of having Super Fast Broadband. Now, I know for a fact that won't happen in Australia because we have something the Koreans don't to distract us away from the dreaded XBox. It's called a beautiful environment, with an ideal climate. See, that's what happens when an American looks at Australia and draws conclusions for Australia based upon a country with a completely different set of contributing factors. In other words, the conclusions are lame.

Feral Skeleton

3/12/2010Talk Turkey, 'Smarmy' and 'Sneering condescension' are the most apt phrases to use to describe conservatives these days. Those 'Masters of the Universe' types, who take their ideology to the extremes(GFC, WorkChoices), then come running to the State they say they despise the existence of ("Big Government'=Bad), when it all goes pear-shaped. Hypocrites and dissemblers.

Jason

3/12/2010FS, Now Robb seems to be white anting Abbott! Watch out for "Son of work choices" http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/liberals-divided-over-ir-reform/story-fn59niix-1225964807682

TalkTurkey

3/12/2010CALLIGULA! Ma-a-a-a-a-ate! "It is UNcouth and you exhibit such bad manners beyond the call of duty that I’ve decided you are a no-account stinker." Oh no! You have decided? Does that mean, like, I am forever a no-account stinker? Is it all because I called you a melon-head? I would have thought that we have not even been playing paintball (in a metaphorical sense), just throwing lillipilli berries at e/o . . . I would have thought that someone as gung-ho as you would have been a bit more bullet-resistant . . . because your own insults, which are pretty copious and constitute a very high proportion of your overall posts, are often not only gratuitous but also quite ill-willed. Sad. But to call us on this blog "faux labor" (decapitalisation yours) is patently silly. Whatever Labor is, we are, Jason and some of the rest of us anyway, faux doesn't enter the logical possibilities. Some of the posters aren't Labor at all of course, but there can be no such thing as a faux Laborite short of being a rat. And don't doubt it, Calli old chum, these people making Labor-supporting noises are genuine Labor supporters, the kind who fight for workers' rights and an end to wars and better conditions for non-rich people's kids and health, who support their unions "while cowards run and traitors jeer", so lighten up old mate, these people are the salt of the Earth. Yep, I said I enjoy insulting certain people, those who have led the charge with, as I say, gratuitous and ill-willed insults, or lies, or outrageous behaviour, because that amuses me (and some others I'm glad to say), and makes me feel better about the very existence of suchlike horrible illwilled creeps. Doesn't mean I wouldn't rather we were much more cordial with e/o though. As for you Calli, well suit yourself how you view me, I still always proffer the ol' olive branch (but it's got a thick end too.) I can't imagine, should we ever knowingly meet, that we would really come to blows: that would be a first for me anyway; rather I would anticipate grins and shake hands, but I could be wrong. Anyway I'm of a mind to be very polite for the nonce, to one and all, this is Ad astra's blog and I know he'd like to see the standard of intercourse raised, and so I reckon would most of us. Doesn't mean I'll take BS from you or any of THEM without retaliation, but I'm of a mood for conciliation. Nothing to do with Crispmess, just to do with civilization.

Gravel

3/12/2010HS Thank you for your very informative piece. They say you learn something new everyday and I had always wondered why power lines weren't put under ground, your explanation makes it very clear of the dangers. As for the oppositions narrowband, what more is there to add. TalkTurkey I read your poem that you wrote at ozzigami on Oct 14th. I really enjoyed it. Does everyone else miss Lyn's links? Luckily I bookmarked some to the sites she regularly linked to. Ad Astra That coastal road is hard going at the best of times but in rain it can be a real doozy. Glad you made it okay and hope you are having a wonderful time.

patriciawa

3/12/2010Hi Talk Turkey - like Gravel I went to your site and enjoyed my visit there almost a week ago. Have received no acknowledgement of my email not even via one of your usual friendly comments here. I know I'm not one of your will- willed creeps, but have I somehow inadvertently offended you?

nasking

3/12/2010[quote]The above image says it all, really, about the NBN story thus far. There's Big Bad Tony Abbott outside the solid brick house that is the NBN edifice. He, and the 'Three Little Wolves', Malcolm Turnbull, Barnaby Joyce, and Andrew Robb (I've noticed that Joe Hockey has been strangely muted in his criticism of the NBN), have been outside the NBN house, working up a veritable cyclone of hot air, as they bellow, bloviate, and blow very hard to try to 'demolish' and blow the NBN house down. [/quote] Perfect imagery. I second Gravel in thnx for the informative, enlightenin' post Feral S. I see the NBN as a necessary infrastructure scheme that will benefit many, many Australians...and not just the corporate aristocrats. If there's a prob w/ online gambling we've always got Nick Xenephon & Andrew Wilkie there to help sort things out. :) Seems like a silly reason not to have super speed broadband. I look forward to internet tele where I don't have to get off the couch. The world will be my oyster. :) Give me super broadband speeds...and less of those very expensive Neo-Con wars. Cheers N'

nasking

3/12/2010BTW, I have a new post up...ya might have a chuckle or two: Friday Siesta at the Cafe (Roo gets fed to Qatar edition) http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/friday-siesta-at-the-cafe-roo-gets-fed-to-qatar-edition/ Cheers N'

nasking

3/12/2010[quote]Just been watching Lateline. Wasn’t Keating fine! Made me pine For ‘auld lang syne.’ Old PJK![/quote] Know where yer comin' from Patricia. I really miss him as a top politician. I'll drink a beer tonite for him...and for you & yer poems. I luvs 'em. I used to write alot of poems on Road to Surfdom back in 06-08 to get my point across...so it's nice to see yer talent used so imaginatively & expressin' how many of us feel. May Keating raise the hairs again of Liberal wolves in Smuggles' den blow icy wind on Lazarus wings come crashin' to ground w/ mighty DING :) N'

TalkTurkey

3/12/2010Dear oh dear Dear patriciawa I'm so sorry to have overlooked you . . . I did say a few days ago, is there anyone I have overlooked? - Cos I knew there had been several notes to me, and I knew I'd got a bit lost. What date in particular should I now look at again, save me looking? - Me very busy painting inside of house au moment. Did you say, or did I dream it, how to send you a little Brucie Bilby bookie, which I would do with joy in my heart? (I do sometimes lose what's real and what's dream, true!) I always intended you Patois to get a copy of Brucie, but I don't know how to send them to blog people, dat de problemo. Postage is negligible, (Brucies go in ordinary card envelopes, and I'm paying anyway), but although you-ALL are welcome to my A/d, I haven't your'n, nor want them. I think I think that Ad astra has access to all Swordsfolk's A/d's but I'm not even sure of that. But if I had a central person's postal address - like eg Ad's? - who knows other people's postal addresses, I'd send a dozen or so copies, postage and envelopes included,to be forwarded to you and you and you and you and even to jj and Limpy and Colon, hell yes CALLIGULA too, can't make 'em any wuss! Is there, Ad, some way I could do something like that within proper protocols? S'il vous plait? If not, I fully understand, I think. Anyway Patois why not ring me? My mobile number is on my site, and this isn't a totalitarian state yet. Swordsfolk, I don't care if any of you rings me, as long as you don't play phone games with who you are. (I don't.)

Feral Skeleton

3/12/2010Talk Turkey, Please don't feel offended, however I have failed to look up your website. This is something I have put on my 'To Do List' after school has finished for the year, and I have finished with my blogs. I know it wouldn't take long but I have just been so busy. Then you could send me a book too maybe. :)

patriciawa

3/12/2010No, TT, it's an email you have somehow missed. I will re-send it.

patriciawa

3/12/2010Thanks, TT, response received.

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010The latest piece of huffin' and puffin' emanating from the Opposition comes from SA and the personage of Dr Andrew Southcott.. He was snarking about the fact that a new GP Super Clinic(who Bulk Bill btw, which is one of the main reasons why the Oppn don't like them, i.e. Drs can't game the system for more money), which had opened in his electorate had not opened the Dr's surgery part of it, only the Dietician & Phsiotherapist sections. Snark, snark went Dr Southcott, "What's the point of opening a GP Super Clinic without GPs?" What he didn't feel the need to mention, however, was that the government had decided not to open the clinic immediately because they had contracted two Malaysian Drs to work in it but had then changed their mind and decided that it would be better to have two Aussie Drs run it instead. Which would be a much more favourable outcome for all concerned, if at all possible. Always only half the story from the Opposition. The half that suits them.

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010It certainly does feel like, 'Is there anybody out there?' might be the appropriate phrase for the holidays/Xmas period, here at TPS. Nevertheless, I remain committed to keeping the home fires burning. So, for anyone who's out there, I strongly recommend you give this a read: :) http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/left-out-in-the-cold-social-democrats-at-the-crossroads-20101203-18jpq.html

Ad astra reply

4/12/2010Folks As you can see I've been absent for a while while enjoying the break up here, where the weather is a modicum warmer each day. Today we're exploring the region so will be away all day. I'm reading George Megalogenis' Quarterly Essay: [i]Trivial Pursuit - Leadership and the end of the reform era[/i]. As one would expect of George, it is an enjoyable read - full of facts and figures, and analysis and opinion based on them. If the edited extract in [i]The Australian[/i] has stirred your interest, you will find the whole Essay well worth reading. The link to the extract is: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/greening-of-the-nation/story-fn59niix-1225956362301

Bring Back Maxine

4/12/2010I recently purchased a new computer.I couldn't get it to connect to the Internet, despite a long session over the phone with my ISP and even the computer shop guy coming out to test & service the computer (which worked fine in the shop). I call in my computer guru "Ken". He quickly found the problem. My new machine was factory set to be NBN compatible at 1000Mb/s and my modem was only capable of 10Mb/s. He replaced my modem with a new one with 100Mb/s capacity (my ISP provides an internet speed of 54Mb/s) and reset the computer to operate upto 100Mb/s. We had a discussion about the coming NBN and the opposition to it by the troglodyte Abbott. Ken used the Harbour Bridge analogy. When the Bridge opened in 1932 there were barely enough cars in Sydney to justify a dual carriage way let alone 8 car lanes. There was certainly no detailed CBA carried out (as demanded by Turnbull)and no Productivity Commission Review. It was built with a vision to the future in mind. The same with the NBN. The Bridge served well as transport infrastructure for many decades. The NBN will even more so as communictions infrastructure. If computers are currently capable of operating at 1000Mb/s, at what speed will they operate when the NBN is fully rolled out? Will computer uses be happy with the 10+Mb/s guaranteed by the Opposition under their network. Would a 100Mb/s suffice? Hardly. Labor need to ensure a rapid & efficient roll out of the NBN as possible. A successful widespread roll out by the next election would ensure a clear cut victory. As Victor Hugo once said, [i]"All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come."[i/] The NBN is infrastructure whose time has come.

TalkTurkey

4/12/2010Feral Skeleton, big 10-4 on the near-death experience the Sword's been having! I know that the political metabolic rate is about 3 heartbeats per minute, like a pre-op sedated candidate for heart surgery, that's within Australia, but during the wait for the next bout of scalpels at the Canberra slab, it might be a good time to think about our own political first principles. There are issues in the world beyond trolling. What about Wikileaks? It seems to me this is a huge issue on two definitive fronts, civil liberties of Julian Assange on the one hand, the gristle of the despicability of the Western Axis Powers (WAP) on the other. Who's WAP ? Why that'd be the US and the UK and, er, er, Us I guess. Lest We Forget: Our nation under Howard's leadership became an active participant in and party to the illegal and unjustifiable invasion of a sovereign nation on falsified evidence, the violent overthrow of its government, the judicial murder of its leader Sadam Hussein (They pulled his head off, for the love of Crisp!), the ransacking of its national treasures, and ongoing havoc throughout the whole society. I bet many Swordsfolk marched against that war, to absolutely no avail, but it still leaves Ewen Mee the invaders by association, just as WAP nations viewed all Germans as invaders of Poland, and just as I who was not directly involved am willy-nilly party to the invasion of the WBL.(the Wide Brown Land, it wasn't Australia then!) We knew when 100,000 people marched in Adelaide in 2003, (I was there), (and like scenes were happpening around the world,) and the WAP held their bloody war anyway, we knew once for all what a farce was democracy when such as Howard gets voted in - that the real power was Murdochracy. And now an Aussie hero whistleblower has put his LIFE on the line to publish DEFINITIVE TRUTH about the Bush-Blair-Howard conspiracies, and the dragons they have unleashed, and the atrocities committed in OUR NAMES - and THEY have the gall to call Assange TRAITOR and SPY and CRIMINAL and TERRORIST for Dog's sake, and they are going to arrest him and try him in what will assuredly be a kangaroo court on unrelated and can-you-believe-it RAPE charges, Oh Yeah, I s'pose he was going to blow up Parliament too. Julian Assange is the greatest whistleblower of all time, destined I fear to be the new Mordechai Venunu, (and we all know what has happened to him. He was re-arrested earlier this year, Dog help him.) I hate to say this, but Julia Gillard is earning no goodwill from me and I'm sure many of her natural constituency in her no-holds-barred attack on Assange. I would have thought she'd be a bit more circumspect at least, even if politically bound not to support him outright. What's she really think I wonder? As Ad astra might say: What do you think?

TalkTurkey

4/12/2010Hillbilly Feral Skeleton, what is it with Yous Girls? Here I am adoring your works and writing, and now Lyn, PatriciaWA and You have ALL asked me, separately, if You've offended me in some way? NO! I think You're all GREAT! Could it be because you're afraid I might call you a Melon-Head? (which is known to panic grown men.) I would love to send you a Brucie Bilby bookie FOC HFS, along with one for all other contributors. Only, HOW?

Gravel

4/12/2010TalkTurkey I am following the Julian Assange Wikileaks on the Poll Bludger site. I think Australia, and it is Australia whom Julia Gillard represents, is in a tight corner with this problem. It may be a case of what has to be said publically, but not what is really on her mind privately. I support what Wikileaks is doing, but I don't think we should jump on Julia at this point in time. I may be totally wrong on this but it is the way I feel.

TalkTurkey

4/12/2010Gravel, (You're another one who would be hard-pressed to offend me btw) Yes I do agree on JG's dilemma, but remember the line from the old scroll Desiderata, (and read so eloquently by Don Dunstan), "Remember what wisdom may be in silence" (Says TalkTurkey, Ha!) But there is also the matter of having the courage of one's convictions. That's a big one too. Julian Assange has, there's a poignant point here somewhere. (Can points be other than poignant?) Poor Mordechai Vanunu has. I've even been known to do a few "courageous" things (Yes, Minister!) myself. Protesting the odd war, protesting Springboks tours, protesting destruction of things, stuff like that, and been sent down in short bursts for some of it too! It doesn't feel too good, you get made to feel a traitor but you know you're being true to what you believe in. Julia has the job of leading the Party to victory into the future, and sure I don't want that compromised, but principles ignored are principles betrayed and they can come back to bite the betrayer with interest. She could have been very quiet on the issue, or at least a bit equivocal, she ain't stoopid. Assange anyway needs the UN-equivocal support of bloggers. Remember our rage at Grog's outing? This is scales of magnitude bigger again. "The first casualty of War is Truth." Dunno who said it but we all know it. Assange looks like being just one more. But his tragedy is being saddled with his conscience, and a dangerous burden of Truth. In his place, what would you do? What would I? And in Julia's?

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010I had a long talk with my 16y.o. this morning about the whole Wikileaks shebang. He, having coined a whole New Left Paradigm of his own with his father a couple of years ago, as his father lay dying and they talked, which they named, 'Social Libertarianism', which basically boiled down to, low tax=support for society's indigent only, a basic Defence, and environment protection, and everyone else can pay their own way, so bye bye subsidies to Private Schools, Hospitals, Businesses & Agrarian Socialists. Anyway, he was full of praise this morning for Julian Assange and what he has done to weaken the pillars of secrecy which surround government. I said I was only partially supportive of what Wikileaks had done. Which, of course, he couldn't understand because I had brought him up to be sceptical about power structures in society and cynical about politicians motivations. RealPolitik, I suppose. However, what I said to him I truly believe, and, in the end he agreed with me. That is, I thought it would have been truly apocalyptic and brave and monumental, if Julian Assange had manged to get leaks from within one of the countries in the world who are in fierce competition with the West to destabilise it, like China or Iran. That would have been doing the world a favour to expose the inner workings of their dark hearts, as it beats within their politburo equivalents. I said, much as we may have our disagreements with America, and goodness knows, if that Alaskan Hillbilly Grifter, Sarah Palin, ever cons the American electorate into voting for her then I will have my faith in the country sorely tested, then, it is in the West's best interests to see a strong America. Not one hog-tied by Wikileaks.

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010Talk Turkey, I'd also be a lot more pleasurably disposed towards Mr Assange, who was radicalised against the WAP at ANU during Howard's reign in Australia, if he was releasing documents from that time. He hasn't. So far all he has done is serve to shoot the messenger, so to speak, by releasing material against the good guys that rode into town committed to clean up after the mess that the bad guys had created.

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010Bring Back Maxine, I absolutely agree with your friend's Harbour Bridge analogy to the NBN. I just wish the ALP would start making similar analogies to the public-at-large. Honestly, you should have read the load of bilgewater that was in the paper by Charles Kenny that Sir Ian Crisp and The Age quoted from. Sounded to me like he got a grant from a large American Telecommunications company to write the thing, that's how biased against mass rollout of high speed broadband it was. So many Straw Men I felt transported back to Kansas with Dorothy & Toto. I'd say they are worried because Pres. Obama wants to do a similar thing over there, and that would break the back of the private telecommunication comapanies stranglehold over the industry in America. I mean recently they were just caught out raking in extra billions by charging every account customer an extra $5 per account, over and above what they should have, over many years. It's how crooks like Sol Trujillo made their fortunes. Which is why they are making a massive effort to stop the federal Labor government succeeding here. Because if we succeed then Obama might too.

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010Just a thought. I wonder how much Plastic Surgery/'Refreshing' Julie Bishop is having done over the Summer break away from Parliament? :)

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010Sounds like Tony Abbott. Sarah Palin, A Clown Short of a Circus: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/30-11-2010/115998-spankin_sarah-0/

NormanK

4/12/2010Hillbilly Skeleton Thanks for donning your gumboots and wading through the mire of the Coalition Broadband Policy, something I had no patience to do. This policy, as it stood at the election, had very little chance of actually being carried through to fruition. The LNP would have found a way to justify modifying it until it became a watered down version of the NBN which had so much public support and the Independents would not have allowed such a mongrel system to be implemented. I said in jest some months back that Abbott's "visionary" PPL would have come down with a mysterious disease which would not have allowed him to fully put it into practice and I still believe that. A great many of Abbott's so-called policies are worded in such a manner as to be open to re-interpretation should they ever win government. It would have been dead money thrown to the Telcos and we would have been back at the drawing board in six or eight years trying to figure out how we could fix our inadequate broadband system. I'm heartily sick of all of the debate and can't wait for the day when the NBN reaches the point of no return. Sadly, with their pre-occupation with trying to demolish the government plan, the Opposition is almost certainly letting us down by not keeping a close eye on legislation as it is put forward. There is a significant difference between looking for cheap political scoring points and actually making sure that all aspects of future legislation are sound, designed for the greater good of all and able to withstand challenges a decade down the track. No government is perfect, no department without flaws and certainly no Minister without shortcomings. If only we could feel assured that the Coalition is playing their proper role of gatekeeper and devil's advocate, we could have more faith in the subsequent legislation. As it stands it is all too easy to dismiss their complaints as partisan wrecking and like the boy who cried wolf, should they ever find a legitimate flaw in Conroy's highly complex work it may just slide by. I don't actually believe that since the Independents have shown such good sense but the possibility is very real. On the subject of Wikileaks, this particular juror is still out on the benefits of publishing diplomatic documents which were never meant to be for public scrutiny. We have already seen this year several violations of Chatham House Rules where in-confidence remarks and speeches have been put out into the public domain. There are times when politicians, diplomats, business people and, well everyone really, need to be able to speak their mind without the fear of having it quoted back to them "on the books" with attribution. Is "commercial in confidence" more valid than "diplomatic in confidence"? If we are going to call for complete transparency right across our society, does this mean every document handed to the government (see NBN Co business plan) should immediately be put up on a website for all to see? Would we be comfortable knowing that any bitching about our boss that we might do with our partner as pillow-talk could be relayed back to our boss? As with a great many debates these days, it seems people are more than happy to have an opinion despite not being in receipt of all of the relevant facts. What we have seen in the mainstream to date from Wikileaks seems innocuous enough but we have seen only a tiny percentage of what's out there. Before you reach for your keyboards, I should say that the posting of the video from the attack helicopter served a purpose and could be conceived of as having been for the greater good in exposing a cover-up. It is debatable whether subsequent leaks have served any greater good except some noble idea of transparency which, if we had it in practice, we would soon learn to deplore. Big Brother in reverse where we know everything about international negotiations but progress would come to a standstill since no-one was willing to speak their mind because there would no longer be confidentiality, even among allies. I must say that I really hate blanket statements such as any outing of government secrets is a good outing. There are many things which need to stay within a closed loop. Some of these things should be dragged out into the light if they conclusively provide evidence of unethical or illegal behaviour but who really cares if America thinks of Putin as "the alpha male"? As to the rape charges, if there is enough evidence to file charges, then he must refute those charges in a court of law. To put it down as a conspiracy, simply because we admire what he does, is no better than Abbott and Jones excusing those three soldiers because of the "fog of war" and "doing a great job for Australia". It might well be a put-up job but there is no way that we can know that so any speculation as to his innocence (beyond innocent until proven guilty) is just as flawed as Abbott's logic. It is a strange mindset to assume that just because Assange is (perhaps) doing good work in shining a light into dark corners, that this same individual could not possibly harbour a darker side where he feels deserving of privileges or in fact is a psychopath. Human beings are strange and complex creatures. He must answer the case in the proper forum.

Jason

4/12/2010Dear Santa, For christmas I think the nation would be best served if the leader of her majesty's loyal opposition could give speeches as good as his political idol Marcel Marceau! Is there anything you can do?? Thank You

Jason

4/12/2010NormanK, I don't have a problem with Wikileaks as such! and your points are all valid,but how do we stop it? can it be stopped? do we want to stop it? Whistle blowers in all their forms I think have a place,if it wasn't for a leak in our own country Dr Hannef could well have been convicted and what of Andrew Wilkie? But never the less a very vexed question to which there will be many answers!

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010Jason, A bad case of laryngitis will do for mine. :) Actually, what I'm hoping for is the time when 'Toxic's' manic exercise fetish rebounds on him bigtime and he is laid low with a hip replacement op. :) Did you notice 'Toxic' admitting this week that he sometimes gets up at 4AM!!! so that he can cram in his exercise session for the day? When he went to bed at what time the night before, I wonder to myself. Man, the media peed on Kevin Rudd from great heights as Kevin 24/7, but what do we hear about Abbott's equally manic behaviour? Crickets chirping. Why? Because it's exercise instead of work on behalf of the country? Surely not? Nope. Probably something as simple as the media is determined to blow smoke up Abbott's crack where they think the sun shines out of, until such time as they manouver him into Kiribilli House(not The Lodge because The Lodge is beneath Liberals, it seems).

Feral Skeleton

4/12/2010NormanK, Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply to my post. It's usually the ones that you have to wait a while for that are worth that wait. :) Unlike Crispy's bucket of bilgewater, first up. Apropos that, however, you may be interested in reading this: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/12/ruckus-wifi-3g/ Verrry interesting, as Sgt Shultz would say.

Jason

4/12/2010FS, Opus Dei aren't praying hard enough for toxic? George pell couldn't deliver and that god of the right Murdoch couldn't do it!Toxic old son your stuffed!

NormanK

4/12/2010Jason Love the new photo! A smile for Christmas. I'm not suggesting Wikileaks be stopped, only that each new release has to be judged on its merits. A cost//benefit analysis - in this case was it worth damaging the US's international relations in order to bring to our attention the fact that politicians and diplomats say contrasting things in public and private? Well, duh! What individual or institution or populace benefitted from this latest release? Not all whistle-blowers are heroes, some are just rats pushing their own barrow. As I said, I don't have a firm view on this because I don't have anything even resembling all of the facts but I object to calling someone a hero just because they got their hands on confidential documents and published them. We'll have to wait to see how this one washes up. FS Interesting article. All of this new wireless technology will benefit no end from a comprehensive fibre system spread all over the country. Exciting times ahead once we get past the politics.

2353

4/12/2010HFS, I'm still here but had a few other things to do today (the Christmas Tree looks good for one). However, if the best that the media can come up with is the social gossip from diplomatic functions long past (and probably best forgotten), diplomacy really is a funny business.

2353

4/12/2010Arrgh - it should read "if the best the nedia can come up with [b]from Wikileaks[/b] . . ."

Feral Skeleton

4/12/20102353, Don't make me feel guilty about the Christmas Tree! Anyway, we can only put one up about a week before Xmas because what we do is go outside and cut one down! We have a surfeit of She Oaks, and they look approximately like the real sort of tree to do us. Also we think that it makes it a very Aussie type of homage to Xmas. :)

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010It's reassuring to know that there are still some academics in America who haven't been bought and paid for by the Corporations. One such man is Professir of History, Lawrence Davidson, and here is his take on Julian Assange and Wikileaks: http://www.alternet.org/story/149039/wikileaks_exposes_america%27s_dirty_laundry%2C_while_media_clowns_like_glenn_beck_are_off_in_fantasy_land_?page=3

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010Also the words of conservative NYT columnist, David Brooks, about the political tactics of the Republican Party resonate just as strongly here wrt the cranky Coalition: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/03/david-brooks-republicans_n_791281.html

Ethistan

5/12/2010Well, I think I know who will be getting a Christmas card from Tony Abbott this year... http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-rates-his-first-year-as-opposition-leader-20101204-18kr1.html

TalkTurkey

5/12/2010Oh-Oh. Seems like I got few friends on the Wikileaks issue! But I think that some of yous have missed the salient point. Like this: The Iraq War was a deliberate engineered lie, a brazen and determined false premise* from which all the rest of the mayhem followed. Public protest didn't faze Bush and his criminal gang, the whole world is suffering the consequences, and in a sense will forever - what sort of a different world might it have been had Al Gore not been gazzumped? No war - world action on global warming - intelligent action on all the world's problems. What might have been, in a diverged alternative universe! - but the Crazy Right prevailed. Like as if Abbott had won the post-election tussle instead of Gillard, in a process as crooked as a god’s hind leg. But instead we have an ongoing situation in which military madness is more extreme than it has ever been, where cowboys in the USA can rain down sudden death on indeterminate numbers of people anywhere in the world on the basis that they think someone with a camera is maybe carrying a weapon, and compared to that pretty well everything else seems pretty tame to me. Murdoch wouldn't tell you the truth anyway, even if it would sell a few more papers. Denialism rules supreme. We’re not even getting anything deeply important, how’s that? But it wasn’t Assange’s job to sort through the stuff, he’s taken on the job of making public the lot, on the basis basically of making criminal information available. What can be the argument against this, when the internet is here, and when as in all the above the People have been conned in a massive and murderous assault on nations and on truth? Lie upon lie upon lie, with stupendous suffering as a result? Why shouldn’t the public know, when access to the savage truth of the WAP’s wars has always been officially denied – as it was not during the latter stages of the Vietnam war. How many Abu Grahibs? How many rapes, murders, paybacks, how much corruption in every manner, have been perpetrated in the War on Terror? So here's Julian Assange, by birth my countryman, by whatever turn of fate landed with hundreds of thousands of documents, SOME of which, you may be sure, contain details of orders and actions as atrocious as the My Lai massacre or the Abu Grahib disgrace. What to do? Sort through them himself and decide which should be made public? How? No. Publish the lot. Without fear or favour. 2353 put it perfectly in his 7.58 correction to his 7.56 post, do we really think that the most important thing revealed so far in 250,000 documents in the leaks is that Prince Ranga is a jumped-up snob, or like that? Obviously, those documents are STILL being filtered by the Final Filter, Murdoch Himself, with connivance from the entire WAP press, which is now very far from free. Who is supplying this stuff to Assange anyway? Are they stooges of the CIA ? (Is this being read by the CIA ?! )Are WE being stooged by really dextrous sinister forces? It’s anyway very bizarre, but I believe that Assange himself is sincere in his wish to put corruption and corrupt persons to the sword, (!), and committed to leaking the information supplied to him. So I guess that’s why I call Assange a hero. (I should probably have outgrown heroes, but Oh well). But he has put his life and liberty at risk, for an issue he believes in, or rather a huge raft of issues. I imagine he expects no major financial gain - at least, not compared to the gravity of those issues. Nor can it be for fame, for his notoriety is infamy rather. I see him as no less sincere than Mordechai Vanunu, who is most definitely on my short list of global icons I honour most deeply (along with Nelson Mandela, Xanana Gusmao and Aung San Suu Kyi, then I have to start thinking.) All these, Assange included, have knowingly put themselves in harm's way for a greater good. Whatever, I think that Julian assange's actions are likely to do far more good than harm far into the future. And given his convictions, what else could he have done? “Here I stand . . . I cannot do otherwise . . .” Now he’s a hunted man, in fear for his life, and that you’d have to agree ain’t right. How’ll you feel if he’s murdered? I see by HFS’s link this morning that I am not alone in this sort of opinion, I think it’s a good article. Thanks HFS, it sort of supports my take rather than yours though, to state the obvious, I appreciate that. http://www.alternet.org/story/149039/wikileaks_exposes_america As to the rape allegations – no charges yet btw as far as I know – well I really don’t give them more than a very outside chance of any credibility, it’s a standard tactic used by CIA and KGB and Mossad and everybody, doesn’t have to have any truth whatsoever, just the word rape is plenty. (or hint of embezzlement, tax evasion, whatever – but rape is hard to beat) ‘Course it could be true, can’t say it isn’t, but I don’t believe it anyway until there is hard evidence. Why would I? * I remember in Philosophy 101, Professor Smart asked us adoring freshers whether we thought 1 could under any circs equal 2. While we wondered, he rapidly wrote a proof on the blackboard which started, “Let 1 equal 2”. Within a few lines of flawless logic he came up with the unavoidable conclusion: “Therefore Prof. Smart is a Wombat.” The point is, if you build a logical construction on a falsehood, you can prove anything – but it’s all false. The whole war was a lie. All documents concerning it are based on a huge lie.

Ad astra reply

5/12/2010Jason, I do like your new Gavatar, and FS, the more I see of yours, the more I like it. It is so apt - the skeletal swordsman in full battle mode against the forces of negativity and injustice. It portrays an image of invincibility. I'm still around folk and enjoying your comments, but spending most of my time with the family. Yesterday it was the Milton market and lunch at Cupitt's Winery on the outskirts of Ulladulla, finsihing with a visit to the magnificent beach at Mollymook. Today a visit to Berry is on the itinerary.

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010Whoa! Cool your jets, TT! I waasn't saying that what Wikileaks has done is in any way reprehensible, I was merely attempting to point up an anomoly as I saw it with the releases. As in, I would have prefferred it if he had maybe been able to prove, with documents, that Russia is a Mafia State, instead of just releasing an American cable that stated it; or put out into public domain documentary evidence about the fate of the protestors in Iran, after the attempted overthrow of Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Mad Mullahs subsequent to the recent Iranian election. That's what I'm talkin' about. Sure, it's sad that Julia Gillard has had to come out and rail against Julian Assange. However, what else do you realistically expect the Prime Minister to do? If she had done nothing, or, worse still, come out in support of Julian, then the MSM, the Shock Jocks and the Opposition would have been lining up to have her guts for garters. She is truly between a rock and a hard place. Also, I imagine she has to stand up for the integrity of the national security system, whether she likes it or not, in her heart of hearts. Anyway, as I said, I just wish Julian Assange had come out with some dirt on Howard, Bush and Blair, because, like you, I also marched against the Iraq War, in Sydney. Which is where the phrase that I often put into the mouth of conservatives, 'the mob', originated. That was Howard's contemptuous reference to the electorate, and I never want to let people forget how sneering condescension is the conservatives' stock in trade. Now, can we agree that we basically agree about Wikileaks, but disagree on the content a little bit? :)

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010Another thought about the Wikileaks furore. The sad upshot of it will probably be that we end up with less freedom and transparency being allowed on the internet after the legislative authorities get through with imposing their control back over us and the internet. Which was the exact opposite of what Julian Assange wanted to achieve. :(

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010Have fun, AA! You deserve all the good things and fun that comes your way. :)

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010AA, And my Gravatar has good ol' Aussie Ugh Boots on. You can't fight the forces of darkness without your Uggies on. :)

Jason

5/12/2010Well I've heard it all now! On radio 5aa a commercial radio station in the same vein as 2ue etc, during the sports show today, a man rang in and said wtte that had a coalition government been in power we would have won the world cup bid as Labor is shocking with money and knows nothing about business!

NormanK

5/12/2010Jason I blame Julia Gillard for the current slump in form of the Australian Cricket Team. If she followed cricket instead of that other game - what's it called? You know the one. The one where men in tight shorts squabble over a pig's bladder and then when they've got it they're not allowed to run with it. Damn. Something to do with ping-pong. Anyway. If Julia could bowl a half-decent leggie she'd be a shoe-in at the moment. She'd make a pretty good Silly-mid-on as well. Low centre of gravity and all that. Look at Boonie. That was the only reason he drank so much beer - for the good of the team.

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010Jason, I was waiting for some lowbrow rube to come out with that one. Talk about looking at the Coalition through rose-coloured glasses. It's gotten to the point that their supporters just make stuff up now when it comes to putting the Gillard government down and puffing the Coalition up. Which goes double for the old lags in the Press Gallery. The 'One Year Anniversary' interviews with 'Toxic' have just been vomit-inducing. Michelle Grattan couldn't have sucked up to him any more if she had tried. One of his lines that has been allowed to go through to the keeper, in his interview with Jessica Wright, was the one about he thinks that if an election were to be held now that he would probably win. Mythologising that is just allowed to go unquestioned. Oh well, if the lamestream media are unable to do their job properly, I guess it will be up to us to doggedly pursue the Coalition and Tony Abbott. Policies? What policies? Feelgood bromides and slogans is all I ever find, with all the depth of a puddle.

Jason

5/12/2010NormanK, Rain and heavy rain has arrived just as they go for tea!

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010It's people like this guy(and even though he is an American, he is still an inspiration to me here in Australia), that keep me fighting against the forces that run parallel in our own society here in Australia that he fights against in the US. http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/sen-al-franken-argues-against-tax-cuts-mil And with Tony Abbott's call to lower the top Tax rate for individuals down to the Corporate Rate, he is virtually advocating for the same thing as the Republicans in America.

Jason

5/12/2010FS, Yesterday I was thinking about the scribblers in the press pack! and thought for all the bluster toxic goes on about, how he would reinstate policy's that "worked under Howard"! Toxic is no Howard,yet the press lap up his every lying word. Then I thought if we had to put together a war time government who from the coalition front bench could even be considered? Maybe Turnbull as for the rest cannon fodder! Even here in Adelaide the media is getting as bad at a state level as well eg! Last weekend our Deputy Premier who copped a hard time at state convention then went to his staff christmas party and was still out at 3am when he was assulted by a king hit from behind were the media worried about the assult? no what was he doing out at 3am how dare he how can he still do his job blah blah blah! who was leading this charge ABC local radio's morning show! It was said during the federal election if the media bus was to have an accident and killed all on board the only person who would be missed would be the driver!

TalkTurkey

5/12/2010Jason I heard Matthew Abraham blah blah blah too, isn't he just the smarmiest little ABC radio jock.

Jason

5/12/2010TalkTurkey, I think the two of them David as well are getting worse! if that's possible! but the two of them learnt their craft at Limited News! So should we be shocked? At least next year they move to breakfast where no one will hear them anyway!

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010Jason, If I ever met up with those two worms in Adelaide that you describe, their egos would shrink to about the size of the peanut between their legs after I got through with them! They sound like the sort of smarmy and condescending ex-Private School types who learnt their schtick from memorising the movie 'Mean Girls'. Truly, the News Ltd. parasite is like a tick that just lands on cities who once had a free and easy character and just sucks the life out of them at the same time as poisoning their host. As I have said before, and I will say it again, what Australia needs is good, solid progressive media competition for the assorted plutocrats and the media they wield for their own benefit these days. I would do a Rachel Maddow in a heartbeat if someone would fund me, fair dinkum. No smarmy, elitist cupcake would escape my sharp tongue! :)

Jason

5/12/2010FS, The problem for Kevin Foley our deputy premier and treasurer, is he has form he's been separated from his wife for a number of years (not sure if divorced) not that it matters, but he has been seen here and there with younger women hanging off his arm at different events! So whenever something happens to him the the media can't wait to nail him I think because whenever he's being interviewed he doesn't let them walk all over him. But as to last week he was just another citizen who got assaulted in our CBD! He done nothing illegal, not that the SA chapter of the temperance movement in the media have really put that point across!

Jason

5/12/2010FS, An obsevation made over at poll bludger! Just luuuve Rabbott’s new slogans……has dropped the complicated three worders for some that even his most intellectually challenged supporters can understand: …”lower taxes, fairer welfare, better services and stronger borders.” (Insiders this morning: http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2010/s3084963.htm )

Patricia WA

5/12/2010Hi Jason! If that is a picture of the real you, then, of course so was the other! But that said, this new one more reflects the Jason I've seen in my mind's eye as I read your common sense and sane opinions. Not that there was anything wrong with your original gravatar. Just nice to see you smiling! FS, I do like your dressed-up version of the original skeleton, boots and all! I've been wondering if I should change mine about which all it could be said, at a stretch, is there's something enigmatic in Tacker's canine gaze. But really it just reflects my desire to stay anonymous here in this very thinly populated state. I avoid satire on local political issues for the same reason, tempting as it sometimes is.

Patricia WA

5/12/2010Forgot to add, Jason, that your last comment inspired this:- [quote]Abbott, Man Of Many Parts, And Slogans Too!.[/quote] Newspoll has Abbott in a hole Compared with Gillard in her role. His PR team sometimes despair, They weep and wail and tear their hair. Are the public confused they ask, Facing a Herculean task, Reshaping the information About this man who’ll ‘Save The Nation!’ Could just a guy who loves to surf Be shown as ‘new friend of the earth?’ Well known as a mighty runner, They’re thinking up what next he’s gunna - Do! Foil some lefty labor strike? Come charging in upon his bike? Or could he wield his fireman’s axe, As metaphor for cutting tax? Probably a bit too old hat, And it’s too wet this year for that. And just as well that all this rain Means he can’t take off his gear again. What about the honest man of prayer? Nah, he’s blown that one. Just hot air! And the idea of the Iron Man Is one which the ALP will can. Any idea of that is shady, Helps them mention their ‘Iron Lady!’ Whatever they decide he’ll be, He’ll go along with it, you’ll see. He still will be the great ‘go-getter.’ But far more than that. Much better! He’ll run for the next election Surely from a new direction. Matching that will be the slogans. Devised by men who are no bogans! Watch! Abbott, with PROs like these, Will spout his ‘kinder, gentler policies!"

2353

5/12/2010Didn't see any of the Sunday AM shows today or the news so thanks for the updates. So Abbott has gone from three word slogans to two word slogans. Next thing you know the slogans will be so small they go around in ever decreasing circles until they choke in his throat before he can utter them. I'm not really surprised Australia didn't win the World Cup rights - we're considered to be in the wrong time zone. According the TV rights are nowhere near as lucrative for FIFA. The positive is that we only blew $46 million on a bid - not whatever it would have cost to put the event on. I too blame Gillard for the cricket results. She's determined that if she can't have a walkover - no one can! The Swedish "rape" case warrant against the founder of Wikileaks is interesting in its timing. On the surface, it seems funny for a person who intentionally keeps a very low profile to have done something so questionable. And finally, the radio station in Adelaide (which I can honestly say I've never listened to) is a further demonstration if one was needed that no one ever went broke underestimating the lowest common denominator.

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010Jason, Abbott may have changed his slogans to reflect the fact that the PM's attacks were biting, however, he's still the same 'Toxic' Tony underneath the new facade. A 'Kinder, Gentler' Abbott? Yeah, right! Anyone else think it passing strange that Abbott the Chameleon has changed approximately two ups after a 'Kinder,Gentler' Liberal, in the form of Ted Baillieu, won over the Labor voters in Victoria?

Feral Skeleton

5/12/2010ParticiaWA, I am an Australian Skeleton, through and through! Crusading against no-goodniks, on behalf of TPS' crew!

Patricia WA

6/12/2010FS, Not only are you feral, You do indeed mean peril To any from the rotten right Who come here looking for a fight. PS to you and to Jason. Even as I pressed to 'Save Comment' I regretted doing so without adequate review. Over at Cafe Whispers immediately after that I realized too that I hadn't acknowledged, FS, that you had coined the great new Abbott slogan - [quote]'Kinder, Gentler Policies!'[/quote] I've done a re-write over there if you have time to read it on the Friday Siesta thread where you were commenting on the Qatar catastrophe.

Sir Ian Crisp

6/12/2010I see our ex-PM, Kevin07, advocated some gunboat diplomacy to put China back in its box if soothing words weren't working. What did Ad Astra say about questioning Joel Fitzbibbon's relationship with his persoanl tailor, Chinese businesswoman Helen Liu? And what did Ad Astra say about carping on regarding Helen Liu? Did he suggest that carping on about Ms Liu could damage our relations with China? I wonder what Kevin07's suggestion of applying a bit of gunboat diplomacy might do to our relations with China. What do you think, Ad Astra?

Rx

6/12/2010I'd just like to say a big "thanks" to the commenters who provide such great reading material on the blog for those who, like myself, are not particularly articulate but appreciate the lucid expression of others' opinions.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Sir Ian Crisp, So you'd rather China rolled right over the top of us and we didn't put up a fight, like they did with their tanks to their own citizens in Tiananmen Square? Dill. Sometimes diplomatic niceties just aren't enough. Oh well, at least we know what the Coalition position would be under the circumstances of Chinese Military aggression. Roll over to have their tummies scratched while learning to speak Cantonese and Mandarin.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Rx, It's long-term support like yours that keeps us rabbiting on. :)

Ad astra reply

6/12/2010Folks I’m enjoying your comments, and your verse Patriciawa, which, with FS's responses, are keeping [i]TPS[/i] motoring along while I enjoy the NSW south coast. Yesterday we had lunch at charming Berry and then visited the magnificent beaches at Gerroa and Gerringong under warm sunny skies. Thank you Rx for your encouraging words – like FS, I appreciate your long term support. As for you Sir Ian, as I’m taking a break, trying to disentangle your cryptic comments about Joel Fitzgibbon, Helen Liu, China and Kevin Rudd is off limits. You seem to be saying ‘checkmate’ as if are you looking for a ‘let’s play international diplomacy’ game. If so, you can play it by yourself.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010This article is a sober reminder of what the future holds for the Internet if we don't have the NBN and private firms control it, as in America: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-karr/comcast-busted-new-tolls-_b_789786.html

Gravel

6/12/2010HS I'm not sure whether to call you HS,FS,HFS,FHS, but I guess you'll answer to all of them. Thank you for your links, I still am unsure about these wikileaks, but it is keeping the bloggers entertained and a few conspiracy nuts are enjoying themselves. Even though there is not much happening at the moment this site is still getting a lot of chatter, and I continue to look forward to much more. Jason, I like your smile too, has that photo been taken in exactly the same place that the other was?

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Here's a link to Ash Ghebranious' blog, for all those that like him from lyn's links: http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/the-king-of-spin/#comment-403

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Gravel, I guess you'll have to call me Feral Skeleton from now on because my link to Hillbilly Skeleton is well and truly busted on Gravatar. Or, 'Feral' for short. :)

A name is a name is a name.

6/12/2010FS Your Gravatar is attached to your new e-mail address and not to any name used here or at Gravatar.com. See mine below. The Huffington Post article reminds us that we need to keep an eagle eye on the NBN if//when it is sold. Legislation will need to be in place to ensure that the new owner can only ever be a wholesaler with no connection to a retail service provider and cannot wield power over who purchases capacity on the system. The scare campaign being run by Conservatives that the government monopoly would inhibit diversity and competition is diametrically opposed to the reality of the US example. I knew that I had seen the Robert Kenny study published somewhere else before Sir Ian decided to adopt it. Peter Martin has it up on his site as part of his ongoing campaign against the NBN. The good news which comes from it is the Concorde example which helps to debunk the urban myth that rabbit makes better eating than tortoise. Faster is not always better, as millions of women world-wide can freely attest. Sometimes you want things for their thinking power and stamina.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010NormanK, I really must spend the time debunking that Kenny piece of trash. It's so poorly thought out that it reminded me of an assignment by a High School student. A bright one, but a high school student nevertheless. The sort of long bows Kenny pulls are amazing, and why? I kept asking myself as I read it. As his principal focus, according to the Think Tank he has chosen to work for, is aid for 3rd World countries, I think he is just philosophically opposed to governments spending a lot of money on technology when they could be increasing their Aid Budgets, or spending the money on schools, hospitals and Public Housing in their own countries. So he reverse engineers his arguments to suit his philosophical objectives. Then the voracious opponents, like Peter Martin, casting about for any evidence whatsoever to support their vain pursuit of a losing argument, then puff it up out of all proportion for their own ends. Sigh.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010NK, I know the Gravatar is attached to my e-mail address. Which is why I have had to open a whole new e-mail account in order to get it back on track. I guess I could go back to Hillbilly Skeleton, but I'm kinda liking 'Feral Skeleton'. :)

Jason

6/12/2010Gravel, Yes the photo was taken from my lap top in my kitchen! I spend a lot of time in the kitchen,in another life I done a 7 year apprenticeship as a Chef/Patissier but hated the hours the money and the hospitality industry in general! quite happy as a rigger/crane driver.

A name is a name is a name.

6/12/2010FS Feral Skeleton it is then. Have I missed something in the argument in favour of building schools, hospitals etc. instead of the NBN? This came up again in the Kenny report. One of the great attractions of the NBN is the fact that it will pay for itself. In fact, it really will be user pays and that suits me just fine. This is altogether different from going into debt (for example) to build a hospital and then have to repay the debt using taxpayer dollars exclusively. The imperious dismissive hand seems to get waved at this aspect of the NBN and I don't understand why. The pools of money from which each item draws is different and they really can't be compared unless there's more to this than meets my eye. Back on the Huffington piece, although I haven't seen the detail of the Green's objection to selling NBN Co down the track, I have to say that in principle I would agree with the government keeping control so that they bring in some steady income and can stop a private telco from dictating as per the U.S. case. It does mean giving up a substantial windfall in the tens of billions of dollars and also in forty or fifty years time the government would have to once again decide if it is going to replace the old system. Something else to watch, I guess.

adelaidegirl

6/12/2010I agree Talk Turkey. I support Wikileaks and I support Julian Assange. It's about time we had a decent shitstirrer! As to the rape charges: "The Worldwide pursuit of Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief Julian Assange because of both a rape charge in Sweden and his release of now hundreds of thousands of classified documents, is due to a detail that must be reviewed. "According to The Raw Story and Crikey, Swedish prosecutors charge that while Mr. Assange did have consentual sex with his two accusers, he allegedly did not use a condom, which, according to The Herald Sun, is against Swedish law. Thus, Swedish authorities are in the process of re-issuing the once-closed arrest warrant for Assange. "A person by the name of James D. Catlin, a lawyer in Melbourne, Australia marked as having represented Julian Assange for a month in October, said to Raw Story's Daniel Tencer that the Swedish authorities are "making it up as they go along." " From the San Francisco Chronicle - http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/abraham/detail?entry_id=78430 Also see Crikey's report (the link supplied by SFC to Crikey seems, in the last hour, to have turned into an article about a One Nation candidate!) More interesting details from the SFC article, quoting Catlin. "The women here are near to and over 30 and have international experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for.... " "But then neither Arden nor Wilén complained to the police but rather “sought advice”, a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together, having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each other’s evidence beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage to Assange. They belong to the same political group and attended a public lecture given by Assange and organised by them. You can see Wilén on the YouTube video of the event even now." Hmmm. And I'm afraid I have to disagree with you Patricia about secrets. Secrets and lies is how the system has been run for thousands of years and it ain't working. It's so last paradigm. I know I'll cop the "naive and idealistic" tag but perhaps this leaking, even of trivial comments, presents an opportunity. Perhaps if everyone stopped lying and keeping secrets, things might be different. The planet's ability to sustain us might become a focus, instead of our ability to meet our own wants. I don't know. I need red wine to think it through any deeper.

Patricia WA

6/12/2010Adelaide Girl, if you are referring to me and my comment about anonymity, the problem for me is not so much my own identity but that of others around me, particularly sensitive when it comes to political satire. I'm not secretive by nature and would love to be able to boast of all the unexpected praise my brain sharpening exercies have somehow attracted. Nice that Jason can be himself and now we have Talk Turkey revealing himself as Bruce Bilney with a very substantial public persona, anyway. The rest of us are still hidden behind gravatars and noms de plume, for whatever reasons.

adelaidegirl

6/12/2010No Patricia, not you. Many of us are anonymous here, except the brave like Jason and TT. Indeed, I am not a big red macaw. Another commenter made a case for the need for governments to be able to talk freely without it being reported. I disagree (I think). But then I disagree with just about everything going on in the world today - fracking, cutting down old growth forests, going to war, etc. Many of these things are undertaken for fun and profit and secrets are kept! By the way, what percentage of commenters come from SA? I think there's something in that for all of us! Heh heh.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Do you know what the really pathetic thing about the Rape allegations against Julian Assange is? The 2 women who made the allegations were once, or maybe even mistakenly still consider themselves as, proud feminists. Which is why Julian slept with them, he thought they were on his side ideologically. No condom? Thank goodness we haven't let that sort of political correctness gone crazy take hold here in Australia, or else the jails would be very full indeed! In fact, they should just change the locks on every house in Oz with an Adult male in it! The best comment of the day came from Assange's British Lawyer wrt the Swedish Rape charges: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/world-europe-11921080

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Btw, of course I am on Julian Assange's side in all of this. He is a heroic figure who has been very brave in speaking truth to power so that the whole world can hear. As I said previously, however, I wish he had gotten a hold of some explosive dirt on China or Iran, etc., as they really are the ones that need a rocket up them. As for the Opposition and the media in Australia trying to scandalise Kevin Rudd's comments about China and blow them up out of all proportion, well, it just shows how pathetic they are. Again. As if we needed more proof.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Jason, Do they always find you in the kitchen at parties? :)

2353

6/12/2010SIC, regarding Rudd & China. Shock horror, Downer might have been better at sipping tea with the little finger at the appropriate angle, Rudd has an opinion. I'd prefer someone with an opinion to a social butterfly helping to run the country.

Jason

6/12/2010Adelaidegirl, Not a matter of being brave in showing true identity!whilst some can and others can't we all in our own way help each other get what ever the message is across,I'm a card carrying member of the CFMEU! I know whether it's this government or the last they know all about me! so for me why hide? FS, " Do they always find you in the kitchen at parties?" No lol! But I love watching the so called experts on master chef and other shows bastardise a once great trade as though everyone can do as you see on tv!

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Jason, I was wondering about your Croquembouche and Macaroons! You know, I reckon the kids got help with their pastrywork. It seems impossible to me that they finished really complicated items in only one hour, to perfection.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/20102353, I think it's pathetic the way the media and the Opposition are trying to beat up this story about Kevin Rudd wrt his comments about China. I'm with you. I'm glad that we have a Foreign Minister who calls it as it is. Correctly.

Jason

6/12/2010FS, Your right if you don't do these things all the time! of which I don't any more but I still make mistakes but konow how to hide them, say for the "Croquembouche" many things can and will go wrong, eg are the eggs fresh? how strong is the flour? This is all on the assumption they didn't use the pre made pastry mixes of which you can buy and would get perfect results each time. If you have to make things from scratch thats when you find out how good you are!

NormanK

6/12/2010adelaidegirl That'd be me. I was really only trying to play devil's advocate because I don't like absolutes, e.g. all politicians are liars or all redheads are clever. In this instance, the idea that all confidential documents contain evidence of wrong-doing which needs to be brought to the public's attention. By all means if what the documents contain describes unethical or corrupt behaviour then nothing is sacrosanct but diplomats and politicians do need to be able to work with a certain amount of confidentiality. Imagine if Cabinet documents had to be published the day after each meeting. No-one would be game to speak their mind. I'm no philosopher but I'm sure there are many instances where confidentiality is in our best interest. Think of negotiations into the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. I must say I'm pleased TalkTurkey didn't see things as being only black and white. You're either for us or agin us. There is plenty of middle ground. On the rape charges, your post and other sources are starting to show that it more than likely is a fit-up. Again my objection was that the assumption seems to be made that because he's a good bloke he can't possibly be guilty. Conversely far too often if someone is perceived of as a bad bastard then he must be guilty.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Might I be the first to say, "Good riddance to bad rubbish!" to Kerry O'Brien. That interview that he just did on the 7.30 Report with Julia Gillard was bumptious baiting at its worst. Trying to couch his questions with a soupcon of sensorious overtones, in order to try and paint a picture of a government who has found out that it is wearing no clothes when it comes to China. As if! Then he was off and running onto the latest furphy about Julia Gillard having no vision for the country, as if she was going to sit there and manufacture a Sermon on the Mount quality response just to please him. Yet, when she did recite all the directions she wants to go in and programs she wants to implement, well, that wasn't good enough for Herr Kerry, that was merely 'tidying up Kevin Rudd's agenda'. I mean, the fact that she has resurrected from the dead the Climate Change policy that said Kevin Rudd left a smouldering ruin, was but a mere bagatelle in O'Brien's eyes. For mine, it's no mean feat at all to have moved the debate so far down the road, without uproar from the populace, and away from 'Toxic's' monotonous mantra of 'Great Big New Tax'. Not to mention bringing life back to the Mining Tax, and the implementation of all the policies that were on her agenda when she was Deputy PM, like dismantling Work(No)Choices and implementing the School Building program and 'My School', the National Curriculum and Teacher Performance measurement and differential pay scales based upon proficiency not seniority. However, that's never enough for some mealy-mouthed journalists.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Wow! I'm doing better than most of Australia's batsmen. 114 not out. :)

CALLIGULA

6/12/2010The last few weeks you lot were wailing about the outing of MrGrog – a conservative mercenary in Joole’s office who happens to do a blog. More recently a bloke from Townsville who deserves some support will probably end up in Guantanamo Bay. I don’t know what happens when you lot try to access “WIKILEAKS” but when I do the show is blocked. If the same is happening to you – then why not phone ACMA and complain bitterly and abuse them with the same language you offer me – you mob of faux-laborite pretenders.

NormanK

6/12/2010Feral Skeleton Yes, you can be first to condemn that interview just so long as others can join in. Just watched said interview (remember we're backward in Qld) and if ever we need a prime example of the problem with contemporary journalistic practices then that interview should be top of the list. Even whilst listening to an answer he was busy thinking of how to denigrate the reply as "only" being an extension of Rudd's agenda or a reiteration of policies covered as "long ago" as June. You're right, it was appalling. Will we see an interview with Abbott where he's not allowed to talk about taxes, debt or boats? After all, they're just so "yesterday". More than anything, that interview means that O'Brien hasn't learned a single thing from all of the recent discussion on the role and shortcomings of contemporary media. he should be forced to watch that interview while gazing into a mirror. What's the problem with the media? Oh, it's me.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Calligula, Get off your high horse and actually read and comprehend what we have said about Wikileaks and Julian Assange. I knew about, and supported Wikileaks while you were still riding a Rocking Horse. 'Faux Laborite' my bupkiss. I've been doing the hard yards for the ALP while you've been in your room polishing your ego. I'm more Labor than you and your Anarcho-Syndicalist moonshine will ever be. So, did they fete you in LA? Or were you just another gawking Aussie tourist?

Jason

6/12/2010CALLIULA, Just like you supported Hicks and Habbib,Just had a look at your blog! now I know why you come over here! you get nothing in the way of traffic at yours!You can argue with us all you like the fact is nobody cares what you have to say there or here!

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010NormanK, I hope and pray that Leigh Sales will not try and emulate Kerry O'Brien. I also agree that he has probably lined up Abbott for, or Abbott has demanded, the last interview. It will be a suck-up of monumental proportions, no doubt, as Kerry thinks he's smart in throwing down the rose petals for the once and future king of Australia. I think we better get used to it, as the mealy-mouthed journalists of Australia's federal Press Gallery sniff the wind and seek to bring to an end the interregnum that is the ALP federal government. However, not if this little black duck has anything to do with it.

NormanK

6/12/2010FS I'm not so sure that an Abbott interview will go down that path. I've never seen him be sycophantic with Conservative politicians. Even tonight I don't believe O'Brien was trying to undermine Julia Gillard for some overarching political end. He can't see that by belittling her responses tonight on 6th December he has helped create another landmark which future interviewers can point to and say "oh, but that was your answer back in December '10 and even then it was nothing new". By trying to draw out her reaction to the never-ending media cycle while at the same time behaving as one of its worst proponents seems not to strike an ironic chord with him these days. Interrupting her when she failed to come up with something "new" is what got my blood boiling. "I'm seriously considering bombing Iran, Kerry." "WTF?" I should once again confess that up until very recently I was a big Kerry fan but not after tonight. Someone will be able to help me I'm sure. I want to write a speech spelling out my vision of the future for Australia but I'm not allowed to mention health, education, welfare, employment, the economy, border security, major infrastructure, water management, a mining tax or climate change. I guess I'd better brush up on my foreign policy and bank regulation.

CALLIGULA

6/12/2010I have come to see how like – Murdoch and ilk – you lot have styled yourselves. Vulpine – a pack mentality. A few words in support of a project Australians (in their right minds) would care about and look at the way you behave. The running dogs of the status quo. On the one hand a hospitalities graduate who has progressed to cranedriving – Should prove useful that come the revolution – you can sling ‘em up instead of the guillotine. And some stupid screeching thing pretending to be sensitive about who knows what. I can well understand why even the innocent are scared of juries these days. As mad as hatters without the mercury.

Jason

6/12/2010Normank, As you know here at the political sword we have on our staff! jj,Sir Ian Crisp,CALLIULA and colen!

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Calligula, You are one nasty piece of work. But, honey, I'm nowt so screeching as you. I don't know why you bother if we all disgust you so much. Oh, that's right, you want to feel superior to us. Good luck with that little endeavour. So far you've failed miserably. All you have succeeded in tho is branding yourself a Spoiler. Wouldn't you be more at home scratching someone's back at Bolt's blog, and practicing your sneering condescension about us 'Faux Laborites' there? However, if you want to keep wasting your time here trying to put us to rights, then go right ahead.

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010NormanK, You may be right about the Abbott interview, however, if K O'B is going to go off half-cocked like he did tonight, then I think Abbott will be able to walk around it without too much trouble, and whilst it may not be O'Brien's intent to pitch a softball interview, nonetheless if Abbott can see him coming, like I could see where he was coming from and trying to go to tonight with the PM, then I believe Abbott will be able to avoid any nasty and uncomfortable moments. We'll see, of course. I wonder who else he has lined up for the rest of the week? Kevin11 again? :) PJK?

Feral Skeleton

6/12/2010Calligula, There's no need to be nasty towards Jason. He may only have a limited education, but he makes more sense than you ever will. Anyway, a craft such as Pastrycook is just as hard to master as any degree course. Work with the hands, or work with the brain, they are both necessary to keep society functioning.

Jason

6/12/2010FS, CALLIULA can say what ever he/she likes I couldn't care less! I have a winter profession such as cooking! and I have a summer profession rigger/crane driver,more so the latter! I can get a job anywhere in the world in either construction or hospitality I still do a bit of teaching here at Regency Tafe! What does CALLIULA have to offer the world? SFA!

Acerbic Conehead

7/12/2010FS, Julian Assange is starting to feel the heat and he can sense the noose getting tighter. However, he is trying to build up some courage to weather the storm. So, sing along with him as he tries to turn the heat on the real bad guys and get their mugs on the WANTED posters instead. It’s Johnny Cash’s version of the Bob Dylan number, “Wanted Man”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRfn5l5PvcY :- ( Wanted man in California, wanted man in Stockholm Wanted man in Canb’ra City, wanted man in Silvio’s Rome Wanted man in Bulawayo, wanted man in old Pyongyang Wherever you might look tonight, you might see this wanted man :- ( Had some fun in Linkopping, or was it Malmo by the sea? But to hear the Prosecutor, I was as evil as could be You’d think I’d strangled some cute puppies, or clubbed some Bambi fawns Instead of just forgettin’ to bring along my rubber johns :- ( Wanted man by Vladie Putin, wanted man by Sarkosy, Wanted man by Mugabe, and by Gaddafi’s nurse-floozy And then there was me thinking, those Swedish chicks liked me in bed But instead of a Nobel Prize, they wanna nobble me instead :- ( Those Swedes are so vindictive, that time I stayed in Stockholm When I didn’t buy a Volvo car, all they did was bloody moan All I wanted was a Holden ute, with big speakers in the doors Hammering out AC/DC, instead of those ABBA bores :- ( Wanted man in Gotenburgy, wanted man in Ostersund, Wanted man in Arlandastad, wanted man soon to be rooned There's plenty out to grab me, ‘long with my mates at WikiLeaks ‘n Co Wanna put me in solitary, just like Greta Garbo :- ( But the real Wanted man’s in Washington, not in Stockholm One’s in London City, plus the ex-member for Bennelong George W Bush, the Man of Steel, Rumsfeld and Tony Blair Wherever you might look tonight, you might see them in their lair

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010AcerbicC., Brilliant! As per usual. I think you're right. Julian probably pined for a 'Shaggin' Wagon' all his life. :)

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010Be afraid, be very afraid: http://www.alternet.org/story/149059/here_come_homeland_security_internet_police%2C_and_they%27re_already_shutting_down_web_sites_they_don%27t_like/

Patricia WA

7/12/2010Just watched the 7.30 Report interview which I missed yesterday. O'Brien obviously wanted to go out with a flourish this week, making some grand assumptions with which he invited Julia to agree. I thought she handled him very well. Isn't there a basic weakness in his argument that a Labor Government under Gillard has to have a different agenda from a Labor Government under Rudd? What's wrong with both leaders accepting their party's agenda and trying to push ahead with it? Loved the way Julia took control at the close, with her few valedictory comments to O'Brien. She was clearly reminding us all that he is on his way out and promising us that she will still be here being interviewed as PM by whoever has his job this time next year. I don't think he liked that at all. She comes across brilliantly on the small screen. Always calm, never fazed. None of Abbotts squirming and groping for answers as he wriggles his way through interviews.

Gravel

7/12/2010Feral Skeleton Thanks for that :-) I can be clear on how you want to be known, glad you still have the skeleton on twitter though. We in this house we both screaming at Kerry last night, glad it wasn't just us, and neither of us are well educated but it was so obvious that he didn't want Julia to say anything positive. Hey Jason, a chef and pastry cook, a rigger/crane driver, wow now that is how you ensure employment in this world. Well done, I like people that have versatility in their lives, makes them more aware of what is happening around the place. I'm still unsure on the Wikileaks thing. Is it a good idea to name places and structures that 'terrorists' might target? I just don't know, will see how it all plays out. Oh and don't feed the troll, it just encourages them.

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010Gravel, Never feel that you are less of a person, or that your opinions are less valid, because you are less well-educated than someone else. They don't teach 'Common Sense' at University, and, by your comments, both you and Jason have it in spades! You, ust be very sensible, you have found your way here to TPS! :)

NormanK

7/12/2010Patricia WA On the question of Gillard and Rudd sharing a similar agenda, I can only whole-heartedly agree. Older hands will correct me if I'm wrong but don't descriptions of a particular government's agenda traditionally come after the fact. The Hawke government did this, that and the other and are judged accordingly. Also O'Brien couldn't see the irony in criticising Rudd for making promises which, in Kerry's opinion, he couldn't deliver and yet when Gillard tried to enunciate important but achievable goals, Kerry cut her off for not being visionary enough. Ad astra has posed this question here several times recently, but last night's interview would have been a perfect opportunity for Gillard, having been interrupted for the fourth or fifth time, to ask Kerry "What words would you like to hear come from my mouth, Kerry? You seem to have a list of policies that you consider too boring to allow me to complete my answer, so presumably you also have a list of expressions which would cause you to sit back and shut-up while I finish. What are they?" Feral reminded me last night how civilised the Lateline interview with Paul Keating was and in fact as I waited for the Gillard item to start, I wondered whether O'Brien would display the same level of dignified conduct as Jones did to Keating. The Lateline interview was a refreshing flashback to how significant interviews should be conducted. Intelligent thoughtful questions on serious subjects and then patience while the interviewee worked through their answer. No interruptions, no gotchas, no loaded leading questions and certainly no "people are saying" nonsense (another tired beat-up ploy O'Brien used last night).

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010PatriciaWA, I was forced to listen to and watch Kerry O'Brien's farcical 'interview' of the PM last night all over again when I turned on ABCNews 24 this morning at 5.30AM(because it's marginally less bad than Ch9 or Ch7). I was thus reminded of the line from O'Brien which really got my gall up, when he just dismissed the government response to the GFC as a seeming 5 minute wonder, and then went on to list all of the Rudd government programs that were ongoing, link it snidely with the fact that the government was still in Deficit, then say that 'would you not agree that all the government's programs were in a deficit position?' I fair wanted to snot the guy when he put it that way, and if he had been in the room with me at the time I would have been sorely tempted! Now, I wonder if Mr Smarty Pants/Fanta Pants can remind us of which policies the Howard government achieved in two ups? Btw, I don't expect him to have actually done any real research into Opposition policies, when he comes to interview 'Toxic'. Despite NormanK's protestations to the contrary, I still think Tony Abbott will get the 'once over lightly'. It might superficially seem forensic, but I imagine it will be more along the lines of prodding at him for a 'Gotcha!' moment, such as the 'Gospel Truth' episode from earlier in the year. I mean, why doesn't he, why doesn't any journalist question the Opposition about policy? It's not Rocket Science.

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010NormanK, 'Tired and beat up' describes Kerry O'Brien to a T. :) Hmmm, now let me see who it is I think K O'B will be scrambling to have on his show for interview tonight. Wouldn't be the just resigned Chair of the MDB so he can dump a bucket of water on the Gillard government perchance?

Rx

7/12/2010Kerry certainly hasn't saved his best work for his final week. He peaked a year or more ago, in my opinion, at around the same time ABC's standard of political coverage across the board slipped deeply into disrepute. The test (don'cha just love that word) will be how he treats Toxic Abbott. If the latter summons up the courage to appear, that is. Something tells me it will be a smiley travesty ... but we'll see.

TalkTurkey

7/12/2010Oh dear I've done it again. Deleted a long letter accidentally! %@&#!!! It doesn't automatically save here does it? Somebody please tell me if so. I'm going to try to stick to writing it in my email so it's not lost if I touch something dumb. I don’t even know how to save it progressively. Thick as 2 Besser bricks, way I am. Gee I wished I hadn’t lost that one. It was going so well! Now I’m short on time and I can never remember what I said. Done this several times, a couple I really regret losing. Anyway I started by telling You, Jason, not for the first time, I reckon you’re a rock, Cobber, if ever we have to man (and woman, he quipped) the barricades, I’ll be happy to have you at my back and the Sword Women at our sides. I can hardly wait! And I started to say to Calligula, but then, Oh what’s the use? said I. What I didn’t say was, gee Cally, I thought of all people you might be expected to be a straight shooter, and I know from your neddying that you’d like us all to read your Horsey thing. Well I went there, and frankly old bean, what I found there is to me incomprehensible. That might be me, I thought, I’m not all that clever at following convoluted argument, nor the lyrics of some of the Rolling Stones songs, which fact always puzzled me until t’other day when I saw footage of the way they wrote them, put random phrases into a hat and drew them out randomly, so then I figured it wasn’t me after all. Which leaves me at you. So then someone or in fact several others say like things about your writing, I figure further, why, it’s YOU old fellow, sumpin’ a bit odd there. It was definitive Gobbledegook, and you know us Turkeys do know all about gobbling. Oh well, we could handle that, up to the level even of sympathetic contempt, but then you turn so nasty! I don’t mean to peck on you with the others just for to be on the winning side, but you get so nasty! Nasty, nasty, nasty! Why should we bother? Well we do because it would be nicer if we could help you rise from your nastiness. Look mate put any construction on this you wish, guess you will anyway, but oh, gee . . . I hadn’t said all that to Cally before, I’d said Good on us Croweaters, Adelaidegirl and Jason and me, nice to feel you close. Hope Swordsfolk elsewhere have friends close too, it just feels comradely. But you all do. (Mostly.) I did note that Cally was at least a supporter (sort of) of Julian Assange, and I am reassured to see that most of Yous actually do share an opinion close to my own, i.e. that Assange is basically a decent bloke, not anyway fair game for Palin target practice. I made the point that if Sweden - lickspittle state to the US, acting as its catspaw in rendering captives to undisclosed destinations and unspeakable treatment - reckons consensual sex without condoms as rape, then we are all the progeny of acts of rape, what bloody nonsense. Do they think perhaps that marriage changes that? If so then all those born outside of wedlock are not only bastards, they’re rapefruit to boot. My best mate is Swede by birth, but now he’s a naturalised Aussie, with not much good at all to say about his native land. And as for the two women concerned, I think he was indeed unwise not to have worn a condom, I sure don’t want to catch whatever they’ve got. NormanK, acknowledging your more recent posts re Assange, I can’t let the notion of his being tried by due process past without pointing out how similar that is to the notion of the queue that boat people are jumping so dreadfully. Due process, hell if I was Assange the only process I’d think was due was to stay on the run, can you imagine if ever they get hold of him in Sweden or anywhere else (including, it seems, his own homeland!), the US would trump up charges of its own, in fact I’m sure they’re already trumped up waiting for him . . . and he would be “rendered” himself! If you accept as I do that the war itself was illegal, all renditions are illegal too, i.e. they are nothing but kidnappings by the WAP. (Western Axis Powers, remember.) Hundreds of thousands of real kidnappings by the WAP, vs 2 bogus rapes by Assange? (for it is clear now, rape it was not.) *************************************************************************************** Skelly (tell me if you object to the appellation, I like it) about that Gillard interview with the execrable O’Brien, Yes, it was probably his worst-ever effort, bigoted, domineering, sniping, sneering, judgmental, offensive, rude, interruptive, I could go on, what a creep he really is. He has learnt nothing worthwhile in his trade, he tried and tried to derail Julia, he couldn’t derail her thoughts but he did manage to interrupt her a lot of times, only because the rotten ABC camera crew helped him! I’m glad he did it now though, at least the evil that he’s done will live after him, so many people have thought until now that he was fair and just, yeah, fair B and just a C, to be as close to risqué as I’ll go. Well I didn’t think that he was fair and just. I thought he was as rotten as any of them, most importantly because he was the anchor for ABC 7.30. Wanna see what I thought of ‘em all, I wrote it at the time, here’s an excerpt from my Lass at Yarralumla, I’m republishing it with some pride because nothing I ever wrote was more righteously vituperative, (nor in O’Brien’s case more prescient), than my condemnation of the Australian media, whose universal rightist bigotry (etc) I really think to be THE story of this year. It is something the Government must use all its wit to remediate. Here’s a bit of what I said last (October?) Seems ages ago: Bloated with his self-importance was conniving Laurie Oakes, And Piers Ackermann, most bigoted of all, And the first one to throw stones, that loathsome, hateful Alan Jones: They’re three key bricks in the Murdochratic Wall. There was Andrew “Anal” Bolt , and that Glenn Milne, the drunken thug, Grabbing sleazily at any sleazy grab, And that ABC lickspittle, Chris Uhlmann, smooth and smug, And Annabel, the slyly-sidling Crabb. There was sour Red Kez O’Brien, seemingly forever trying To skewer Julia with some cunning stab; And Tony “Look-Me” Jones, interrupting her in tones That show he thinks he holds sole Royal Right of Gab. There was Fran ‘’Ms Jelly” Kelly, Michelle Grattan lacking teeth, And Miss Trivia, Virginia Trioli; And that smartarse Barrie Cassidy, with his snide asides and acidy, In ABC alliances unholy. So Our Ranga Lass was targeted by jibes and sexist jokes: Her Titian locks were tweaked, her finely-chiselled nose took pokes From those of the moral wee-ness of a teensy flaccid penis – And unkindest cut of all came from that wimp-out by Megalogenis! Thus was Julia besieged: just Laura Tingle stood her friend, And challenged Abbott on her comments page; In chivalry and courage she was loyal to the end: The one fair Australian journo of The Age. I’m pretty proud of that. Reading it again, I agree with everything I said! Especially about Laura Tingle. Bravo Girl. [BTW I’ve tried trawling back over TPS archives, stuffed if I can find the whole poem. (?) It was a little after Julia won out, a few threads later, but me no know where it are. I got a whole copy on file though.] Ad astra, I did read that Megalogenis article you mentioned a couple of days ago and yes it’s the work of a proficient journo, but since his weaselly performance that time I referred to, with Laura Tingle, I DON’T want him as my comrade at the barricades. His was her most unkindest cut of all, he was a treacherous collapsar. I hope he reads this. All his subsequent words won’t easily flush the distaste from my mouth. He had the chance to say something decent and courageous, to add something worthwhile, and he squibbed it, pathetic. And he left Tingle to tango on her own when she could have used the support too. Oh yeah, Keating had O'Briens number'way back then, what was it, (paraphrasing) "Why don't you just interview yourself? You don't want to hear anything I have to say . . ." Sorry Folks, this was meant to be a longish post. These few words will have to do.

Ad astra reply

7/12/2010Folks I’m still enjoying the break with a visit yesterday to the delightful villages and splendid beaches of Currarong, Callala Bay and Callala Beach on Jervis Bay, and watched the world champion oyster shucker, Jim Wild, shuck some Sydney Rock oysters for us at Greenwell Point. I’m enjoying your comments and verse but can’t understand why Calligula finds it necessary to be so caustic towards Jason. If you must pour out your bile Calligula, save it for someone else on another site. It’s not welcome here. In response to my piece [i]What does Julia Gillard stand for?[/i], Bilko suggested that there should be a piece on what Tony Abbott stands for. This has been churning around in my mind ever since and had now materialized. I will post [i]What does Tony Abbott stand for?[/i] tonight.

NormanK

7/12/2010TalkTurkey Our views on Assange are not so very far apart and they are converging with each new report. Not so much due to movement on your part but rather on mine. What had been widely reported as "rape [b]charges[/b]" has now been shown to be "wanted for [b]interview[/b] on sexual misconduct allegations" which, for me at least, is an all together different kettle of fish. If an interview is all that is required, he would indeed be foolish to surrender himself to Swedish authorities. I would hope that you recognise that I don't condone rendition or any of the appalling methods of operation undertaken by the Bush Administration, methods which hopefully went out the door when Obama walked in. I do understand where you're coming from although I couldn't follow the queue jumper reference. In a nutshell, I guess I'm just slow to judge - Assange's possible guilt or not when Interpol gets involved and how socially responsible it is to release [b]some[/b] of the documents in his possession. I will feel a moral responsibility to print and eat (raw) my comments if something untoward happens to Assange. You should know that I wish him no ill, in fact more power to him if he uncovers, and goes some way towards proving, corruption. This is an unfolding story where I have an open mind on all points of contention.

Patricia WA

7/12/2010This discussion on Kerry O'Brien reminds me of my response to his almost viciously unfair interview with PM Kevin Rudd, mid-June this year, the week before 'the coup.' David Marr was much in the news at the time for his psychological take on Rudd's character,(remember the 'anger' with an absent father diagnosis?) so it was wryly relevant to wonder what his take might be on O'Brien's behaviour. This week, his last, as King of the Media Jungle, seems to bear out my imagined 'profile.' Interesting that Rudd has made a solid come-back in Foreign Affairs. He could still be a major international player for years to come. Armchair psychology aside, surely Gough's one time press secretary hasn'it really sold out to the Right? [quote]A Broadcasting Legend[/quote] I’m informally told by Mr. David Marr There is nothing at all bizarre In last night’s conduct of Kerry O’Brien Which was typical of an aging lion. It should be seen as a last and mighty roar Before death arrives and he is heard no more. Wrongly interpreted by some as hubris He is suffering the ‘fading star’ neurosis. Of late he feels the loss of former power And seeks out easy game to torture and devour Before his audience, and doesn’t give a damn Whether or not his victim really is a lamb. So as he ambles off, with mind and faculties grown dim, Will he see, as friendly childhood ‘forests’ call to him, The vengeful wolf who lopes behind with loathing, In his mouth a bloodied skin, yesterday’s protective clothing?

Jason

7/12/2010NormanK, If our cricket team could have held out until lunch! we have been hit with very heavy rain and it would have been a draw! there would have been no chance of further play today! I blame Abbott, stop the poms, save the ashes, end the debacle! there you go three 3 word slogans! whats happening no!

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010What a veritable political commentary oasis 'The Political Sword' is! We are truly blessed with imaginative contributors of the highest order. Now, as the cherry on top of our creative ice cream, Ad Astra has surprised us with the announcement of a new blog from his good self, even as he has been on holidays! Huzzah!

TalkTurkey

7/12/2010NormanK Just read your last post. I shall not be calling for your having to eat your comments, au contraire my opinion of you and others on the Sword and people generally just goes higher when people have the humility to change attitudes based on new info. (I did it once for you, of course, funny how things work out.)I am very pleased to see just how far in synch we mostly are on this issue - Even, perhaps, Calligula! But I'd bet not Limpy Crisp. I'd like to be wrong, but . . . When I wrote my original post on this matter I didn't know much about Assange either, certainly nothing about the 2 women involved - but I must be more cynical than you, I'd pretty well suspected pretty much the truth, I think, from the beginning. Subsequent revelations just tend to confirm the products of my nasty mind. But my mind's nowhere near as nasty as some, just the same. Fie on O'Brien "the aging lion" He can go to hell and stay there fryin'! Stop Press: Assange prepares to front police in UK after his Swiss bank account frozen . . .

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010Jason, You know, as a Pom by birth, Abbott would be secretly pleased to see our brave Diggers lose the 2nd Test! Though, of course, as a Welsh Lassie, the PM would be hoping they lose. :)

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010Erm, by 'they' I meant the Poms, of course. :)

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010AcerbicC., Sorry to cut your lunch, but I have a suggestion for you for the next blog. How about a rendition of 'Abbott. What Is He Good For? Absolutely Nothin'!' to the tune of 'War' by Edwin Starr?

Feral Skeleton

7/12/2010'No Spin' from the Ted Express in Victoria, huh? Bullpucky!(as Rachel Maddow calls it) : 'For Liberal lobbyists, it's a case of form a queue in Spring Street Crikey senior journalist Andrew Crook writes: 2010 VICTORIAN ELECTION Spring Street is bracing for new generation of spin doctors following the demise of John Brumby, as a cabal of Liberal bluebloods hit mobiles to curry favour with the Baillieu government and Labor lobbyists cast the net for anyone with conservative credentials. Former Liberal member for Mordialloc Geoff Leigh, who lost his plum seat to Janice Munt during the 2002 Brackslide, has recently joined the Labor loyalists at InsideOut Strategic, piloted by former ALP Progressive Business chief Phil Staindl. A shining light of the Liberals' youth wing in the 1970s, Leigh told Crikey his cabinet interactions had been limited to congratulations so far, but that he would be making contact with his former colleagues when the Baillieu ministry is bedded down. The appointment is widely considered as catch-up for the red-tinged past of the firm's other principals including Staindl and former candidate for Caulfield and Sherryl Garbutt chief-of-staff Steve Cusworth. "I know most of the ministry and I think most of them are pretty fair people but that's not why I did it. Phil's business is bigger than mine, he had the client base, and I didn't," Leigh said, adding that he had worked with Staindl in the past to massage sentiment over the Royal Melbourne Golf Club's controversial dam proposal. InsideOut's clients, according to the official federal lobbyists register, include Philip Morris, SAP Australia and Pacific Hydro. Over at the Civic Group, ex Crosby-Textor strategist, Victorian Liberal vice-president and perennial parliamentary hopeful Jason Aldworth is bracing for an influx of texts, despite the recent controversy over his firm's multimillion dollar dealings with Big Tobacco. Aldworth's Labor Right-aligned colleagues, ex-ALP state secretary Andres Puig and former John Pandazopoulos staffer-turned CPR director Brett Miller, are said to be studiously copying down his Blackberry contacts. Back at the Photon-owned CPR, the firm exited by Miller, Puig and Robert Ray following a blow up over strategy 12-months ago (CEO Adam Kilgour is also going), veteran former Liberal upper house leader Bill Forwood has been sharpening his political compass, despite the firm's Melbourne office still reeking of state Labor relics. Crikey understands that Forwood was one of former CPR special counsel Erik Locke's hirings before the wily one-time ALP state secretary left to work for Alan Griffin (Locke is now his hoeing his row over at Principled Public Relations and Public Affairs, spruiking the interests of a raft of progressive clients). Another firm that is worth watching under the new paradigm, according to Liberal insiders, is former Liberal Party state president and ex-Liberal Councillor John Ridley's Clifton Group, which also boasts former Canberra press gallery veteran Ken Davis on its staff. And observers say Barton Deakin's Peter Collins and Graeme Morris have been digging around, despite that duo's expertise mostly being north of the Murray. The race for ministerial positions and influence is also heating up. Players keen to get a slice of the action are thought to include former Jeff Kennett adviser and Malcolm Fraser press secretary Alistair Drysdale, with ex-colleague Steve Murphy's antennae also believed to be twitching. Murphy's former partner in spin Ian Smith, who helms Bespoke Approach with Alexander Downer, is somewhere in the picture too. Smith's former colleague at Gavin Anderson, Connect East spinner James Tonkin, is believed to be sniffing the breeze as lucrative adviser gigs begin to be dished over the coming weeks. Other Gavin Anderson alumni mentioned in dispatches include former Courier Mail journalist and Kennett-staffer Nick Maher. Speculation is also swirling around the future for Henry Bolte's great-nephew, former Member for Ripon and Catholic Education director Stephen Elder and Phil Gude chief-of-staff turned-Orica spinner John Fetter. Gude himself is also expected to enter into considerations. Meanwhile, the fallout for Labor-aligned firms without InsideOut-style contingency measures promises to be savage. One hanger-on in the firing line is thought to be Auspoll, which predicted a comfortable Liberal victory in an exit poll commissioned for Sky News on election night to the dismay of party strategists. While hundreds of ALP ministerial staff have already been tipped on to the dole queue, November 27's ripples will begin to be felt in earnest in the lead-up to Christmas. Despite Ted Baillieu seemingly ruling out a purge of top-level public service staff, the new terrain, when it finally emerges, will prove brutal for influence peddlers still wedded to the ALP's King Street HQ. "There's a whole industry of Labor sympathisers and networks that have flourished over the last decade," one insider said, listing a raft of unfortunate individuals "who would be f-cked by the new arrivals at 1 Treasury Place".'

TalkTurkey

7/12/2010NormanK "I do understand where you're coming from although I couldn't follow the queue jumper reference." Yeah what I mean is, There is no credible queue, as there is no credible due process for Assange. Smoke screens and weasel words. Not by you, though, by THEM.

Patricia WA

7/12/2010Wow! Talk Turkey! Lovely gravatar!

Jason

7/12/2010AA, Thanks for your defence with Calligula, but I've seen the painters and dockers (grand father was one) the MUA (My Dad) and I've been with the BLF now the CFMEU! Calligula needs to get up pretty early to get me!

Jason

7/12/2010FS, NormanK could be right! no Abbott tonight with red Kerry! just the opposition leader in waiting! please explain!
What does two plus 1 equal?