The post mortem we have to have

Whilst it has been reported that the ALP has had the metaphorical Duct Tape placed over its mouth when it comes to comment and analysis of the election campaign and the fallout from it that may lead to a Minority ALP Government this term or maybe even a One-Term Labor Government, no such strictures apply to those of us in the Fifth Estate, who may also be members of the ALP. Such as moi!

Thus I intend to get the forensic ball rolling because the last thing I want to see is the fallout and ramifications from approximately the last eight months of the Rudd/Gillard government being smoothed over by those people in the party who want to just sweep it all under the carpet and get back to business as usual ASAP, which basically involves them advancing their political 'career'.

So let me just start this analysis with an anecdote. And before I go any further let me just say that what follows is an ethnographic depiction, not a racially based slur.

Recently I had cause to journey to my local mega mall in order to purchase a couple of new mobile phones. I duly checked out the wares of every appropriate outlet in the place. Some were paeans to corporate swagger, with lots of chrome and glass and expensive staff uniforms. Others were of the 'cheap and cheerful' variety, with more plastic about the place than chrome, and polyester polo shirts for the staff. In each of these places you could easily figure out where they were coming from and what they were about, and set up your BS filter accordingly. It was all out there for the world to see and comprehend.

And then there was one other store. Where one end of the mobile phone store spectrum had expensive down lighting, and the other, cheap fluoros, this one had dark mood lighting. Where one end of the spectrum had on message 'consultants' selling plans and the other had diffident young people behind a desk casting desultory glances in your general direction, this other one had what looked like a nightclub entrepreneur behind a tiny desk in his mobile phone grotto blasting out chillax music from his giant Mac Air. Talk about feeling like a 'Stranger in a Strange Land', I felt like I should have dressed up for the occasion of going in there! But go in there I did because I was determined to do the full 'compare and contrast' before I bought my phones.

Well, before I knew it, Mr. Smooth from behind the counter had me signing up for a Mobile plan, when all I originally intended was to purchase a cheap Pre-Paid! Just as well I didn't have a Driver’s License or any other Photo ID (I don't drive, yet, and hate having my photo taken), or else I may have been experiencing ‘buyers remorse’ today. However what I did take away from there was the undeniable fact that I was sweet-talked into a move I shouldn't have been making by one of the best salesmen I have ever come across, and that's coming from someone who has been told that they could sell ice to Eskimos!

What has this got to do with the federal ALP, the election campaign and the machinations within the ALP over the last little while I hear you asking? Well, Mr. Smooth the Super Salesman was Middle Eastern. As are Karl Bitar, Mark Arbib and Sam Dastyari, who is the new NSW ALP State Secretary. Now I don't want anyone for even a nanosecond to think that I am trying to cast racial aspersions towards these men; as I said previously. I'm not. As they say in the classics, some of my best friends are Australians of Middle Eastern origin, and my son's best friend is one of them. They are kind, warm, generous and funny people who would give you the shirt off their back. However, they are also amongst the best salesmen I have ever come across in my life. It is that almost smoke-like way that they can get past your best defences that continues to amaze me, but which I believe has not served the ALP's interests well in the court of current Australian opinion. Too subtle, as it appears the electorate prefers to be hit over the head with slogans, if the latest election campaign is anything to go by.

It's true that they are shrewd operators, the best of them, and they can move very quickly on their feet when they need to as capable strategic thinkers. But always with one eye on their own best interests!

And this is where the problems have started for the ALP. It has been captured by not so much 'The Hollowmen', but by the sylph-like 'Smoke and Mirrors Men’, and it feels like the party's soul has disappeared into the maze-like labyrinth that exemplifies the way they operate the party. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the Liberal Party has its own Byzantine modus operandi of an equally clandestine nature, in fact I know it to be true as we keep hearing about the Opus Dei-backed Religious Right faction which is presently battling the less arcane forces of the Liberal Religious Right led by Alex Hawke; not to mention the increasingly small rump of small 'l' Liberal moderates, who, interestingly, I have heard are defecting to the Labor Party!

No, what distresses me, and what I think is also upsetting the electorate about the party, is that those people who are determining the direction of the ALP at this point in time, make them feel uncomfortable as they give them the feeling, as I felt in the Mobile Phone shop, that they are being sold a pup. Which is not necessarily true, it's just a feeling you get, and impressions are so important in politics. So while these men may well have the ALP's best interests at heart, and be Labor men to their bootstraps, one gets the impression that they may not have the electorate's interests front and centre in their calculations over and above how their political 'career' is progressing as a result of an ALP success which they have crafted. This is analogous to the feeling I got that, while the smooth-talking salesman in the Mobile Phone grotto was keen to sell me a phone that he knew I would like, his main motivation was increasing his profit to the extent that he could continue to expand his Mobile Phone Store empire.

Which is the first bit of advice I'd like to offer the Labor Party so that they might 'Move Forward with Confidence Into the Future'.

That is, as the Australian electorate, especially in the exurban marginal seats which are crucial to any victory, is still predominantly made up of straight-talking types who like to call a spade a bloody shovel, it might be time to pivot away from the 'Mr. Smooth' types who are determining the direction that the party is taking at the moment, and who seem to think that a Masters in Political Science is the only way to victory. Thus they need to be replaced by people with the ability to craft a plain-speaking message that exemplifies ALP values succinctly to the electorate, in the same way that the Coalition's messages in the recent election campaign left no one in doubt about where they were coming from, or where they wanted to go to. Finding someone with the ability to cut through like Paul Keating used to would be nice.

As far as the election campaigns that these men have run go, being those in NSW over the last decade and the last two federal polls, it seems to me that whilst they have been successful in getting the ALP into government (well almost, as far as the second federal poll goes), the victories have been hollow and have instigated the slow-motion train wreck that we see before us today in NSW, and which, as the Coalition delights in saying, may finally fatally infect the federal ALP with 'the NSW disease'.

Therefore the ALP needs to look around for new people to run it administratively and to be in charge of the election campaigns. Might I suggest an Ocker? Definitely not a Bob Carr-like urban sophisticate but an intelligent, articulate, earthy individual in the mould of our most successful ALP Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. It worked a treat for Tony Abbott – Rhodes Scholar, Boxing Blue, Lifesaver, Rural Fire fighter and M.A.M.I.L.(Middle Aged Man In Lycra); just as it did for Bob Hawke. It speaks to the Little and Large nature of our national psyche and how we like to project ourselves to the world. That is, for our leaders to be just like us, but just those few rungs above the average Aussie Battler.

The Smoke and Mirror Men can never understand that, nor exemplify it well, not until the collective nature of the country becomes truly cosmopolitan, and even then I think people will still be yearning for Chesty Bond and looking to hark back to our old 'Wild Colonial Boy' roots (or should that be 'The Loaded Dog' if we are to talk about Mr. Abbott?).

Which leads me to my next suggestion.

Ditch the Inner City Trendy Advertising Agency. They just don't seem to get what appeals to the majority of exurban and swinging voters. Piss-taking appeals to them, knocking the stuffing out of the opposing party and taking the wind out of their sails appeals to them, plus a few easily understood slogans. It worked for Tony Abbott and the Coalition and it would've worked for the ALP too if they had have tried it.

I can come up with half a dozen putative ads that would have been just as good as the 'Lemon' ads and the 'Train Wreck' ads of the Coalition, but it seems as though the 'Mr. Smooth’s' wanted to go with the Inner City sophisticates' 'Kinder, Gentler', more subtle campaign, which went in one ear and out the other of most people and had no discernible effect. Or with anti-Abbott ads that told us all the things everyone already knew about the man, without adding any new discernments that could have sharpened the 'Known known’s' about him or the Coalition. The only ads which were cut-through enough were the 'Razor through the Programs' ad, which wasn't shown nearly enough, and the 'Get Up' ads, which weren't even ALP ads, which is probably why they were so good.

No, what the ALP needs for the next campaign is to employ Todd Sampson or Russell Howcroft from Gruen Transfer fame, or an Ad Agency with smarts like theirs, or John Singleton who the ALP used to use but who now seems to exclusively work for the Coalition, and let them develop the most crass, cheesy ads possible, because anything else just seems to disappear like smoke into the ether.

The ALP also needs to massively improve its candidate selection.

As you know, I have just finished working on a campaign for the ALP in Robertson, which was one of the most successful in the last election for the party. Also, strangely, it was in a seat in which we were expected to do badly and to be one of the first dominoes to fall over for the Coalition, and if it had have gone to plan Tony Abbott would now have that one extra seat which probably would have seen him packing his bags for Kirribilli House (because we all know he wouldn't really consider living in the Lodge and would most likely use the Howard excuse of still having a daughter at school in Sydney to justify his presence there).

So, how did we do it against the odds?

Because our candidate was superior. Also because she was a good-looking Aussie 'shiela' and an exact ALP reflection of Tony Abbott himself. That is, highly intelligent, telegenic, physically active with her family in the community, and with an equally telegenic family (don't scoff, in this age of the uber visualisation of society it makes a quantifiable difference, just look at the trend with respect to high profile Liberal candidates in marginal seats). Now, I might also add here that the ALP chose to put up Australia's first Muslim candidate, and he too fits the above criteria, so I'm saying that a candidate's religion should not be relevant. So a truly 'authentic' and honest bedrock upon which the community could place their hopes and aspirations and in whom they could place their trust was chosen for Robertson. Also she had no previous connection to the Union movement, but she openly supported the right of the Union movement to exist in our society. Plus we had a well-organised campaign that tapped successfully into a number of important local concerns (and, no, not just CCTV cameras). In other words the electorate picked up our authenticity on their radar.

We also shut out the 'Smoke and Mirror Men' from Sussex Street, just as we had done in the lead-up to the pre-selection campaign, when we fought for the right to select our own locally-based candidate and not have one thrust upon us from Sussex Street, like Belinda Neal was.

So, let me just summarise what I think the ALP needs to do to extract itself from the electoral quicksand in which it seems to have become stuck:

1. Replace the current slippery Head Office administrators on a career path trajectory with people who are savvy enough to make a reality an ALP which is more 'True Blue' in its electoral appeal, able to lead and not be led by Focus Groups, and no longer prone to anodyne messaging, such as the sort which those in charge recently have come to prefer. And which proved so disastrous to the early part of the ALP campaign. We are a straight-talking nation and we need in our leaders people who can look us in the eye and tell us the truth, and not be controlled by the 'Mr. Smooth Salesman' set. Our BS detectors are the best in the world.

2. Find a new Ad Agency, which does not exist solely in the Inner City of one of the South Eastern States and task them to come up with populist, punchy and clear and concise messages and ads.

3. Make candidate selection a function of each electorate's Rank and File choice of a person whom they believe best reflects their local community, and who is not obviously on a career path with the party, or sourced directly from the Union movement, as a first resort. In other words, real people who have real jobs in the local community. To sew it all up they would hopefully be attractive - a sad but true reflection of society in the 21st century.

Finally, I'd just like to add a suggestion which goes to the subject of election campaigning in general, non party specific, which I came across in Crikey the other day, and which I thought was so good I have reproduced it for you here, as everything should be on the table after this momentous election which we have just been through and as the time seems ripe for big changes to the way we do elections in general:

“Roger Davenport writes: Re. Yesterday's Editorial. Both the major parties are actively seeking the support of the three country independents. The three have presented a list of issues to both party leaders including items for parliamentary reform. I would like to see them add one more issue to their list, and so avoid the farce of this past election.

“Policies were being released after the electoral commission had started sending out postal votes and accepting pre poll votes. The practice of the incumbent government choosing the timing of the election needs to stop. We need fixed term electoral cycles, preferably for four years.

“Fully costed manifestos outlining all core promises by the major parties and all independent candidates to be released six weeks before the election date, any announcements after this date would not be binding and should be subject to a conscience vote during the term of The Parliament.

“Were this reform adopted, it would allow the electorate time to review the policies and make an informed vote. Currently people participating in early voting are unaware of what the participants are standing for.”


What do you think?  Please feel free to put your own suggestions into the mix.

Rate This Post

Current rating: NaN / 5 | Rated 0 times

Sir Ian Crisp

3/09/2010The sun has set on the ALP, Rudd, and Gillard. Where indeed did it all go wrong? Those halcyon days when Kev, driven by a manic empleomania that saw his cynosural power reach dizzy heights have been replaced by a sad and lonely Kev, just another political cadaver. He was hopeful that his 7000-word dissertation would be his ticket into the ALP’s pantheon but that dream has evaporated. Oh how Kev’s vanity was piqued when he was replaced by a redhead. Kev’s fury must have been palpable when the voters were informed early during the election campaign that the person masquerading as Julia Gillard would be replaced by the real Joolya Gillard. Fancy that, Kev was replaced by a B-grade actor who was just keeping the seat warm for the real Joolya. The people have spoken and Joolya is as unpopular as the unelectable failed mathematician Tony Um-Err-Ahh. The larmoyant ALP faithful have seen the victory achieved by their party in November 2007 replaced by a large slice of buyer’s remorse. Joolya set the campaign bar high and committed herself to a clean campaign but she failed to clear the bar. Did Work Choices get a mention 300 times or was it 400 times? Wasn’t the other mob supposed to rely on scare tactics? It was typical boilerplate from the ALP. Joolya’s election campaign was a bit erratic to say the least. She stopped telling us how profligate the Lib-NP coalition was and started throwing money about. She contracted the dratted Bob Carr Railway Disease (BCRD). The BCRD afflicted are likely to be irrational and announce grandiose transport plans. BCRD sufferers develop an addiction to spending money and also exhibit delusions of grandeur. On the subject of favourable press I don’t remember anyone here at TPS complaining about the 13-page spread Joolya got in the Australian WW. The bluestocking from Barry was softened up with extensive use of the airbrush. What did readers get for their $6:90? We got a self-confident, quixotic soignée politician surrounded by a nimbus of piety. What spoiled that picture of a virtuous paragon of Welsh decency? Could it have been her blood-stainded hands? I was very concerned when the Walt Disney Company©™® laid off some of its most talented writers and storytellers. I wondered where they would end up. I wonder no more. Having read the comments of some here at TPS during the recent election campaign I see they have found a home. Some of the comments by them at TPS must be on an honorary basis because I’m sure a rusted-on ALP myrmidon like AA wouldn’t pay money for some of the autochthonous delusions that are dressed up as serious comment. Now we wait patiently to see which party will form government. One of the major parties will have to enlist the support of the three stooges, a member of the green church, and a frustrated poker machine player from Tasmania. Two have already indicated they will support the ALP but the three stooges are yet to decide. Australia is indeed the lucky country. The question now is whether Bill Shorten will sit idly by waiting for the ALP ceremonial laying on of hands.

George Pike

3/09/2010The city centric attitude of the majority of parliamentarians and "backroom powerbrokers" is leading us down an unsustainable path. The public have made it obvious that they are sick to death of the old school political system...it simply does not fit with the social environment of today. Let's hope that the future minority government will make the most of this opportunity and strive to change how we are governed very much for the better. It is refreshing to see the likes of Katter, Windsor, Oakeshott and Wilkie pushing for open and transparent governance...and it could well be that those people, who hail from very different ideological perspectives, will ultimately prove that truth, honesty and progressive thinking can prevail over all else. Once that happens the backroom powerbrokers will become just planners instead of organisers and the real power will be with the elected members. One way to decide pre-selections or cabinet positions would be to have secret ballots from a dozen or so randomly selected members from right across the country. That would take the factions right out of the picture and we would see people filling positions based on their merit and not on their supposed political leanings.

HS

3/09/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Nice to hear from you! Back in all your Myrmidonic glory yourself to push the Conservative case I see. It's a pity you can't see the woods for the trees hiding there behind your knight's helmet as you are. Just a couple of points. 1. I believe irrational Coalition mentions of 'Debt & deficit' way outnumbered the WorkChoices references by a factor of about 5 to 1 during the election campaign. Was that OK by you? Especially as it was a slogan that had no basis in fact nor acknowledgement of the global economic circumstances. Ditto the Coalition's constant bleatings about Asylum Seekers and the boats they come on. Do you think that was fair enough? 2. The 'Three Stooges' you derisively speak of were up until today, when the Coalition saw clearly that power was slipping through their fingers, the so-called natural allies of the Coalition. So does that mean that the Coalition is full of stooges as well? 3. I don't seem to remember you complaining about the Abbott Family multi-page spread in Grazia magazine which came out during the election campaign, or the multi-page Abbott Family spread which appeared in the Women's Weekly after he became Opposition Leader. Why is that? 4. What will you say when Barry O'Farrell promises Railways galore in his election campaign next year in NSW? And don't come out with the "But Liberals always deliver' malarky. Because they don't deliver at all when in power it is always left to the ALP to resolve this issue. I bet that if Julia Gillard does stay as prime Minister you will see that railway built. Unless Barry O'Farrell refuses to allocate the NSW share of the funding for it. 5. Bill Shorten is not on anyone's radar in the ALP to become leader of the party federally. Though as well as being able to do the arithmetic, as your ghero Howard was wont to say, he is actually a decent human being, and the Disability sector would resoundingly echo that opinion.

HS

3/09/2010George Pike, Yes it's true, it's about time for the shadowy figures who pull the strings of the politicians to be put back in their boxes. I am not so silly as to believe that it will be an easy battle to win. The people who have gotten into these positions of backroom power have got there for a reason, because they are good at slipping stealthily under the radar and playing to win. Anyway, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and after such an election catastrophe as we have just witnessed, now is the time when they will be at their most vulnerable, and I'm sure I'm not on my Pat Malone in wanting to see them take their medicine.

Michael

3/09/2010Bob Katter (of all people!) summed up the Rudd government when he's quoted as saying today that they never tried to buy their way into favour, and in Kevin Rudd, they had a leader who wasn't about to back down and run to double-dissolution or anything else when he'd given his word not to do so. I suspect - I know - that in years ahead we will sincerely miss Australia as it was and could have been with Kevin Rudd in the Lodge.

jj

3/09/2010HS, If you are considering voting for the Labor Party (if you live in NSW) you obviously have rocks in your head. Unlike the Labor Party (both state and federal), the Liberal party does not over promise, if anything, its biggest problem is that it doesnt promise enough. Oh and can i just ask a question about your beloved Kev: did you approve of the way he used religion as a media backdrop? Was it because he needed some symbolic reference to make him appear to be a man of values?

jj

3/09/2010Michael, Um Mike, if climate change was the GREATEST MORAL CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME, than i think the little promise not to go to a DD would have been forgotten. I think a promise on policy outcome overrides a promise on process. But if you want to cling to the words of the mad man from Kev's home state, you do so at your own peril.

jj

3/09/2010HS, As far as i am aware, you are not a parliamentary member of the Labor Party, nor are you a union member of the highest order, so how would you know whether Bill Shorten hasnt beeen handed the bloodied knife?

Ad astra reply

3/09/2010Folks For those of you who, like me, are mystified by some of Sir Ian’s words: empleomania: a mania for holding public office. cynosure (cynosural): an object that serves as a focal point of attention and admiration, or something that serves to guide. larmoyant: tearful; weeping. soignée: polished and well-groomed; showing sophisticated elegance. bluestocking refers to a woman with strong scholarly or literary interests. myrmidon has come to mean "hired ruffian" or “a loyal follower, especially one who executes orders without question, protest, or pity; unquestioning followers." autochthonous: native to the place where found; indigenous. It’s quite an education reading Sir Ian’s contribution even if you don’t agree with him or if you don’t understand what he’s getting at.

MassiveSpray

3/09/2010HBS, There's one thing you may have forgotten that will further impact on any intended machinations by the NSW Right boys....the Independents. If, as I suspect, Labor leads the minority government there is no way the Independents would stand for any of their fart-arsing around and it gives Gillard the perfect opportunity to sideline them for the next 3 years. If she plays it smart she can also make them irrelevant for the future. Fingers crossed...

macca

3/09/2010I'm not so much mystified by SIC's words as I am astounded by the lack of intelligence with which they are used....once again Piers Ackerman, in the guise of SIC, endeavoring to be both relevant and wise. With the apprentice, jj, no less.

jj

3/09/2010Oh yes, and Macca you are the apprentice of David Marr.

George Pike

3/09/2010If it's Piers it must take him a hell of a long time to write his nonsense...into the thesaurus, back to the message, into the thesaurus, back to the message...etc etc....

HS

3/09/2010Massive Spray, As one who was not installed by the Brothers from the NSW Right, but who had to throw her numbers behind their scheme to install Kevin Rudd into the leadership position for him to succeed, and who has seen them take away everything that she worked hard for over the last 3 years, I think you could safely say that Julia Gillard will not feel beholden to them at all.

jj

3/09/2010HS, Only that they hold the numbers to kick her back out (just a small error in your blog).

jj

3/09/2010What i dont get is why the party trusts her at all. -Back stabbed Crean -Back stabbed Beazly -Back stabbed Latham -Back stabbed Beazly (poor old Beazly, he would have made a far greater pm than Krudd) -Back stabbed Kevin Who is next for the chop? Cant be Arbib and co, as they hold the numbers to back stab Gillard! Must be time for Kevin to get another chop (some back-water cabinet position).

Lyn

3/09/2010Hi George Re: your comment on the previous post. George you give me great pleasure, reading your well thought out enjoyable, valuable comments. Thankyou for taking your hat off for me, I am so glad the links are useful, good on you, posting on facebook. I have been out all day, what have I missed? excepting JJ or Sir Ian Crisp. Since arriving home, I have seen Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb spitting the dummy. Tim Dunlop predicted, in his column last week, they will get dirty, he is not wrong, what a mob of sooks. I see Massivespray called in up above, he/she writes very valuable pieces, Massivespray agrees with you too [quote]Overall I think it’s the shake-up our country needs.[/quote] [quote]Let's hope that the future minority government will make the most of this opportunity and strive to change how we are governed [/quote] I agree with you George, and things are shaping up pretty good so far. [i]And now the end is near…, Massivespray, Spray of the Day[/i] he is an idiot he thinks the independents/Australian public are idiots he doesn’t really want to be in a minority government, but wants to make life so hard for the ALP that they’ll need to call an early election. http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/and-now-the-end-is-near/

Jason

3/09/2010HS, As I've said before the whole problem with the ALP is we have now entered the era of the professional politician! Most of whom their only knowledge of the ALP comes from text books at uni. They have never stood on a picket line, never had to strike to get many of the things that are taken for granted today. the whole system of the party needs to be looked at from top to bottom, yes we are the political arm of the union movement, but the time has come for the rank and file to have just as much a say if not more than any of the union bosses,who once could say we have x amount of labor voters, which union says or could do that now? Whilst the front office some might say is moving towards the modern future the rest of the party is still? but no doubt we'll be told after this disastrous election campaign we know what went wrong and that will be that.

Lyn

3/09/2010Hi Hillbilly You are just magic, thankyou for a fantastic, enjoyable piece, also thankyou very, very much for taking the time out of your very busy day, to write for our enjoyment. [quote]That is, for our leaders to be just like us, but just those few rungs above the average Aussie Battler. [/quote] I thought Kevin Rudd was just perfect, as Ad said, nerds work hard, no I hate the ([quote]Middle Aged Man In Lycra); [/quote] makes me sick.

jj

3/09/2010Just look at NSW Labor Jason, that is where your beloved party is headed.

Lyn

3/09/2010Hi Ad Thankyou for providing those definitions, Didn't help me here though ("or if you don’t understand what he’s getting at"), I have no idea what he is getting at, makes me feel larmoyant cheers

2353

3/09/2010In the era of the professional politician (in both the red and blue tribes), I really feel sorry for the thousands of people that work hard on the ground for their respective coloured tribe - only to see it completely stuffed up by the "professionals" from Head Office. It must be really heartbreaking for the local campaign managers, scrutineers and other local workers that the work they believe in is being whiteanted. The "long wait" as Possum quaintly calls could be the best learning experience for the large political parties (both here and abroad) where despite the focus groups, polls, marketing strategies and the (probably) thousands of degrees these "professionals" hold - they are held to ransom and can't do a thing until a trifecta of long term political players that have probably forgotten more about how to read the views of the electorate than these "professionals" will ever know decide what they want to do. And barring major stuff-ups by the independents (and Green MHR), watch them all walk back in if they choose to do so - next time around despite the mother of FUD campaigns that will be unleashed by whoever doesn't get the keys to The PM's residences.

Sir Ian Crisp

3/09/2010AA, one correction if I may: Autochthonous delusion Jaspers defined this as a delusion arising without apparent cause. For example, suddenly, without apparent cause, having the delusional belief that you are an alien. http://www.translationdirectory.com/glossaries/glossary228.php#Autochthonous_delusion A person responding to an autochthonous delusion might think he or she is a storyteller employed by the Walt Disney Company®™© and, wild-eyed and foaming at the mouth, they are likely to write the most unintelligible rubbish. The cure? At this stage there is none and medical opinion seems to agree that sufferers are best corralled together so as not to infect sane and thinking members of society with their blatherings.

Acerbic Conehead

3/09/2010HS, some trouble-shooters need post-mortems, but clearly the Three Amigos don’t. The fearsome three are swaggering into town, ready to kick aside the carnage and take their rightful places at the top saloon bar. Have a few shots of tequila and sing along with them as they try to woo Julia and get the best deal for Lyne, New England and Kennedy. It’s to the gunsmoke-filled airs of Randy Newman’s, “My Little Buttercup”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlbLCNdaV2s&feature=related :- ) Our little Julia has the sweetest smile Dear little Julia, won't you give us a pile Come with us or it could well be a tie So you and we should linger in the sweet by and by, oh... :- ) Dear little Julia, our eyes used to be blue Oh little Julia, you're a dream come true You and we could settle down nicely with one pork or two Oh, dear little Julia, we love you... :- ) Everybody ! :- ) Our little Julia, has the sweetest NBN Unlike Guapo Tony’s, which is nothin’ but a lem You and we will settle down in a ‘greement built for four, oh :- ) Then, dear little Julia Sweet little Julia, Our little Julia We’ll love you all the more

Jason

3/09/2010jj, "Just look at NSW Labor Jason, that is where your beloved party is headed." It will only head that way if enough members don't get off their arse and stop it! jj even your party is the same plenty will criticise very few do the hard work required. Would love to chat off to watch Geelong flog the Saints

Ad astra reply

3/09/2010Lyn Let’s hope we won’t be larmoyant next week. 2353 If Julia does get up, I hope the Sussex Street crowd will be replaced by more astute operators. It would be just too bad if they just walked back in again. Sir Ian Thank you. I learn something every time you write. Were you a professor of English? AC As I’m over my 6GB usage limit, I’m on dial up speed and can’t play your You Tube ‘My Little Buttercup’ until tomorrow. So I have to with until then. Folks Off to watch the football now.

Lyn

3/09/2010Hi Hillbilly Chatting at the Cafe, over boutique wine, Hockey on our mind: [i]Friday on my mind, Miglo, Cafe Whispers[/i] Abbott hasn’t yet fully worked out how much of a liability Hockey is, which doesn’t say much about Abbott http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/friday-on-my-mind-3/

HS

3/09/2010Jason, There has to be a way for the party to source candidates from as wide a variety of avenues as possible in order to give us the opportunity to represent our local communities as well as stand as the political wing of the union movement. These are two of the main areas where the ALP has to make major changes. 1. As there is only ~20% of the adult population in a union these days the ALP needs to broaden its base to encompass all those people who identify with the aims of a social democrat and progressive party, in order to push back against the Greens and to more fully reflect our society as it is constituted now. The electorate in general don't want to see too many 'Union Hacks' running anymore, only quality candidates from the Union movement like Greg Combet. 2. It seems to me that the electorate is also heartily sick of candidates who have made politics their career from Uni days on. Not that there aren't many fine politicians that have earnt their stripes there, like the PM, and gone on to bigger and better things, I guess it's the B grade careerists that the electorate is sick of seeing pop up like weeds. They are suspicious of them, and rightly so I believe. What they want, and what we need to give them are more candidates reflective of the community and not so much of student politics, Pol Sci grads or Union Reps.

HS

3/09/2010jj, Do you know the meaning of 'petifogging'? I'm sorry, but attempting to highlight Julia Gillard's purported 'backstabbing', while conveniently overlooking Tony Abbott's knifing of Malcolm Turnbull to get the top Liberal job, just makes you seem too obviously to be a Liberal partisan, as opposed to a considered commentator. I'd really like to know who you're trying to convince here with your constant carping and intemperate outbursts? To my eyes, you're not saying much that is rational or well thought through.

HS

3/09/2010jj, Have you bothered to look where the NSW Liberal Party is heading? If you are able to get NSW Stateline, and if you have read the news this week, you would have come across the rantings of Lunar Right factional head, David Clarke, who is presently at war with elements of his own party in another faction, led by Alex Hawke. They make the NSW ALP look reasonably sane.

HS

3/09/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Like I care what your diagnosis of our condition is.

HS

3/09/20102353, I agree that there are those who see politics as their vocation and defeat as merely 'a learning experience' on the road to eventual 'success'.

HS

3/09/2010Ad Astra, I get 45GB for $99/month. It's a very good deal and allows me to do just about anything I want to for a whole month, and only once have I been throttled back to Dial Up, and that was when one of my sons downloaded a whole movie!

HS

3/09/2010AcerbicC, You are our little gem. :)

HS

3/09/2010lyn, Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I often wonder about whether what I write will interest anyone at all!

Lyn

3/09/2010Hi Everybody Grog is back, with a brilliant column, most informative, most enjoyable: [i]Election 2010: Extra Time (or, are we there yet?), Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] It’s not over by any stretch, but there’s a reason why the Libs are playing the “far-left-communist-evil-red-greens-under-the-bed-we’ll-all-be-ruined card”. And it ain’t because they’re feeling confident of their position. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/09/election-2010-extra-time-or-are-we.html

HS

3/09/2010This article from Business Spectator(it's free to register in order to read the whole article) absolutely drives home the degree of shonkiness behind the Coalition's Costings and the Budgetry Black Hole that they created: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Tony-Abbott-election-budget-Coalition-Julia-GIllar-pd20100902-8W5KL?opendocument&src=rss#Scene_1

Canbra Dave

4/09/2010The Australian is getting desperate. Apparently the rural independents have to back the coalition because in 20 years time historians will be backing the coalition. I'm sure the former Howard speechwriter who penned this article was aware of the irony of how history will recorded based upon what the media report, and that the rag that he is writing this in is the chief culprit for why the historians will back the coalition on things such as the BER. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/historians-will-back-coalition/story-e6frg6zo-1225914017578

Canbra Dave

4/09/2010On Hillybillyskeleton's article, I agree with you completely. We actually saw an increase to the ALP in Eden-Monaro and Mike Kelly increased his margin, despite the apparent swing away from Labor to both the Greens and the Libs. I've no doubt that it was because ACT Labor were the ones managing the campaign in Eden-Monaro. Everywhere Sussex street was involved (Sydney) there was a swing away from the ALP, everywhere the non-sussex street areas were involved there was a swing to Labor. One the topic of rank and file pre-selection the ACT has always allowed the rank and file to decide on the pre-selection and look what it delivered us. Instead of party apparatchik and ministerial advisor timeserver we got a local businesswoman (who is married to ABC News 24's Politics Editor) and a professor of Economics from the ANU. It's also been very good for our territory government. After 9 years in government the ACT ALP is still going along very well (apart from our roads...), nothing like the corruption, incompetence, and ministerial resignation after resignation that have afflicted NSW Labor over the past few years. It's also very funny every time a media person talks about hung parliaments and quotes Tasmania as an example. The ACT has only had a single majority government in all of its seven terms!

Jason

4/09/2010HS, In your case (and no doubt many others) who knows your electorate better? those that live there or those from head office? In the seat I live(Makin) we wanted one of our own to run a popular mayor well known etc head office said no,then they tried to force a "time server" upon us we said no and not only did we win the seat back in 2007 we made the seat a safe "labor" seat in 2010. This is where the factional war lords fail!don't send us candidates we at branch level know who is best to serve us, and sometimes they might not be your "typical" member but why should we be fussy? I as the secretary of my sub branch can tell you I'm not over whelmed with new members. If the Labor party is to remain relevant and progressive we have to modernise, and adapt to the changing world around us, yes our history is important and should be used as a guideline but that's all! after this last election do we still stand for anything? or is a focus group from western Sydney going to decide what our platform should be? Bitar,Arbib and the rest of the factional warlords start listening to the membership I for one hate the way you have led us to our current situation and you can expel me from the party, but your way of doing things is and should be a lesson in failure. Listen to the rank and file listen to the community the Greens have one seat do we want to give them more?

Lyn

4/09/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]NEWSPOLL; ALP favoured for Government 47 - 39, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i]which can only mean primary vote support for the Coalition has taken a solid hit since the election, at which they polled 43.7 per cent. Hopefully more to follow. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Election 2010: Extra Time (or, are we there yet?), Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] It’s not over by any stretch, but there’s a reason why the Libs are playing the “far-left-communist-evil-red-greens-under-the-bed-we’ll-all-be-ruined card”. And it ain’t because they’re feeling confident of their position. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/09/election-2010-extra-time-or-are-we.html [i]Liars, clunkheads or both, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] But whatever the combination, they are not fit to govern. (Emphasis added) The cliam that the bureaucrats’ document proves the budget would be $7 billion better off under them she describes as “complete bullshit”. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/09/04/liars-clunkheads-or-both/ [i]The real struggle for power, Critical Times[/i] One of the most powerful of these [b]faceless men behind Abbott’s[/b] rise to the leadership was Mitchell Hooke, not exactly a household name like Howes or Shorten. Hooke is the chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). http://www.criticaltimes.com.au/uncategorized/the-real-struggle-for-power/ [i]The myth of governmental competence, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] we found 29 examples of serious criticism of Howard Government programs from the auditors, where they laid into the way programs were run or policies were implemented, http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/09/03/keane-essay-the-myth-of-governmental-competence/ "[i]Carefully modelled by Natsem", Peter Martin[/i] Tony Abbott and Coalition finance spokesman Andrew Robb had claimed their work had been "carefully modelled by NATSEM". http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2010/09/carefully-modelled-by-natsem.html [i]Close Senate Races in Victoria and South Australia, Antony Green,ABC[/i] The close contest for government in the House of Representatives means that little attention has been paid to the remaining close contests in the Senate. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/09/close-senate-races-in-victoria-and-south-australia.html [i]Journos and pollies: lessons learned from Election 2010, Sarah Green, Upstart[/i] and the [b]popularity of blogs such as Grog’s Gamut [/b]as clear evidence that ‘the people formerly known as the audience [know] how to ask pretty good questions’ http://www.upstart.net.au/2010/09/03/journos-and-pollies-lessons-learned-from-election-2010/ [i]yet another fear campaign , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] [b]The Australian's attacks on the Labor-Green [/b]alliance continues to gather pace. Mostly it's a fear campaign http://www.sauer-thompson.com/ [i]Broadband network the one big issue in a desultory campaign, Mungo MacCallum, The Examiner[/i] Buried in the heap of dross there has been one really big idea, a defining issue, a gulf between the major parties, a potential game-breaker. http://www.examiner.com.au/blogs/national-comment/broadband-network-the-one-big-issue-in-a-desultory-campaign/1919004.aspx [i]Australian election 2010: A fortnight is a long time in Politics,Woolly Days[/i] Treasury estimates has left them looking immature and unfit for Government, a fact not lost on the Independents .http://woollydays.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/australian-election-2010-a-fortnight-is-a-long-time-in-politics/ [i]We bought you fair and square, Dave's Archives[/i] The $1 billion was their offer, irrespective of who first suggested it. Wilkie himself pointed out the obvious recklessness, . http://davec.org/2010/09/we-bought-you-fair-and-square/ [i]Budget Smugglers, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] I know you were busy beating up without checking inaccurate stories – and outright lies – in order to harm Labor – http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/budget-smugglers/ [i]Time to ditch the ABC, Peter Martin[/i] And we could see – the impact made by some bloggers was every bit as great as that made by other mainstream professional journalists. .http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2010/09/time-to-ditch-abc.html [i]If you're scared of Murdoch, you don't deserve to call yourself a journalist, Stop Murdoch[/i] Murdoch's other crooks got off scot free even though subsequent civil litigation cost him a nice chunk of cash. http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/

Ad astra reply

4/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

4/09/2010Folks If you can't access the [i]Australian Financial Review[/i], do read a brief summary of Laura Tingle's piece on the Coalition's costings in yesterday's edition: [i]Liars and clunkheads fail budget test[/i] in Larvatus Prodeo at http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/09/04/liars-clunkheads-or-both/

jj

4/09/2010If you read The Australian AA you may find that the government has a few problems of its own when it comes to costings. The government is budgeting on the three big miners to pay around $4-$6 billion of the $10.5 billion in tax over the next two years, but the three companies are only budgeting on a few hundred million in extra tax being paid. There could be about $6 billion of the $10 billion expected to be raised, that is nothing more than fiction. (Jennifer Hewitt wrote the piece) The mining council has renewed its advertising campaign in all the major newspapers, as they know now with the greens having done a deal with Labor, that what Gillard promised them was nothing more than a gag, to help her in a few marginals. By the way, we havent seen the Governments costings on its NBN scheme, nor its mining tax. I wonder how much the mining tax will raise now? $5, $10, $15, or $50 billion? Oh well it is treasury that is doiing the costings so it must be right! Either the mining companies are going to be paying a hell of a lot more than what they were promised, or there are going to be some massive structural problems with the budget. Either way, it just shows how dishonest and sneaky this mob in Government are.

George Pike

4/09/2010Everywhere Sussex street was involved (Sydney) there was a swing away from the ALP, everywhere the non-sussex street areas were involved there was a swing to Labor. Maybe Canbra Dave has something there...could the Sussex St mob have been "got at" by the mining energy elites? They certainly tried very hard to lose.. As far the current situation goes though...I think most people want the Laborites to have at least a half decent chance of seeing their policies come to fruition. That is something that they have been unable to achieve in the less than three years that they have so far had to work within, especially with the GFC putting a spike in the wheel. The Gods have been very kind to them with the drought breaking rains occurring all year, virtually all over the country. It would just be a complete travesty of justice to see the Libs trash everything that Labor have put in train before they have had a chance to prove their value or otherwise, and then make hay from the better agricultural output to boot. The regional populations in particular will be severely hit by Lib policies, such as the wrecking of the NBN rollout and allowing Telstra to maintain its monopoly over rural services. We have had 12 years of excessive pricing for woeful services as it is...another three would just about take the cake I reckon...

jj

4/09/2010George, Just to let you know, the Coalitions Broadband policy is actually focused on rural and regional Australia; delivering fast broadband to the areas of Australia that dont have it. It will cost less, because it will deliver predominantly for regional Australia, letting the free market do its thing in the cities, where it is easier for them to make a profit. By the way, it is the Coalition, and the Coalition only that has specific policies targeted for rural and regional Australia: -fixing up all of the bridges in rural and regional Australia. -offering more generous re-location allowances for tertiary students from RR Australia. -Returning to the old youth allowance laws, which take into account the issues of distance to work. -Regional infrastructure fund. -Rural education fund (over $1 billion dollars ready to invest in rural universities) -Murray Darling Basin Plan, to ensure that more water is returned to the Murray in the bad years, but in the good years, allowing the farmers to produce their crops and generate an income. etc The Labor Party has nothing, hence they are now a party almost totally made up of city members...they have lost their connection with the land.

Jason

4/09/2010George, Just to let you know, the coalition policy was written by Enid Blyton and costed by Dr Suess, as anyone knows the only time the bush had some infrastructure fixed was during the election period where Howard would buy his way back into office.Abbott is nothing but a B grade magican, and the only thing up his sleve is his arms.

HS

4/09/2010Canbra Dave, Exactly my point. We, the local community know who is worthy of being put up as OUR candidate. Congrats to your mob too. Mike Kelly is an exemplary local member for Eden Monaro and if he doesn't get a Ministerial portfolio(Defence?) this go around, then there is something badly wrong. Also Gai Brodtmann should help to get the PR and messaging right for the parliamentary party, and Dr Andrew Fraser might make a good Parl Sec in an economics portfolio. I think Chris Bowen will get Finance though, as he has done a fantastic job over the last 3 years.

HS

4/09/2010Jason, Congrats on getting a swing to you in Makin! Tony Zappia is your man isn't he? Anyway, your point about time servers and apparatchiks is apt. If Head Office analyse who actually won despite the general swing away from the ALP they would find that a lot of those candidates were chosen by their local rank and file members. This is reflected back by the electorate liking them a lot more than candidates parachuted in by Head Office, and then we win the seats! It's a simple equation and you'd think the so-called experts would get it. However, a certain hubris seems to overwhelm their judgement as they equate success in getting to the top of the tree in the Admin Wing of the party with an ability to craft success for the party in elections. I think the last election has put that idea to the sword.

HS

4/09/2010jj, The Coalition's Broadband policy is a joke. If it's a cloudy day, or there is more than a small number of people wishing to use it then the speeds go down, down, down, or the service becomes non-existent. Not to mention the fact that to make their plan a reality in the cities and exurbs/regions, relay towers will have to be built all over the place=massive visual pollution. If that's what you want, fine. Your standards musn't be very high is all I can say. I'd rather have world's best to 96% of Australia, underground or via the power poles that are already up around the country. I'd also rather have 1Gbps than a maximum of 12Mbps.

HS

4/09/2010jj, You are a one-eyed apologist for a bunch of shonks. The Coalition are the only ones with policies for the Regions and Rural areas? Pull the other one. Who is it that has an Infrastructure policy to build things in those areas with money from the MRRT? The ALP. Who is it that wants to bring World's Best telecommunications to the Regions & Rural Australia? The ALP. Who is it that does not discriminate in favour of wealthy Inner City Elites with their PPL policy? The ALP. Who is it that has a policy to bring more Medical Services, EHealth, Hospitals, Doctors and Nurses to the Regions and Rural Australia? The ALP. Who wants to save the Murray-Darling Basin from exploitation by multinational Agribusiness companies? The ALP.

HS

4/09/2010Jason, Tony Abbott is the ultimate empty vessel who makes a lot of noise.

HS

4/09/2010George Pike, And they said John Howard broke the drought. No way. The rains we have received recently are what have broken the drought. Why there's even talk about there being enough water to satisfy the Irrigators AND the Environment!

NormanK

4/09/2010Hillbilly Skeleton Thanks for your great piece. Your efforts are not just floating off into the ether. I suspect that I am not alone here in feeling that I have no expertise or knowledge in this area but still find it fascinating reading. If I've understood you correctly, some of what you describe as politically inept handling of self-promotion of this government's achievements and an unwillingness to tear down the other side at every opportunity, are aspects of the federal scene which I have admired during Rudd's leadership. This is best exemplified by Rudd's response to Abbott's "inconsistency" interview with O'Brien. "This is something which Mr Abbott will have to explain to the Australian people." I found that refreshing. Of course, as the last ten months have shown, this is seen as being politically weak and just plain doesn't work in the face of the wrecking ball which is Tony Abbott and his team. In so very many ways we are back to the same-old same-old of adversarial politics and long will it be so.

HS

4/09/2010I thought you might all be interested in reading Mark Scott's thoughts about how the ABC covered the election campaign and his plans for future campaigns: http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/3001084.pdf

HS

4/09/2010NormanK, You can be sure that if the Coalition do not end up as the government when the Independants finally make up their minds who to support, that the 'kinder, gentler polity' that Tony Abbott disingenuously promised will be a thing of the past. It will be back to Attack! Attack! Attack!

Jason

4/09/2010HS, Yes Tony Zappia is our man, but he wasn't first choice because head office knew better and he had no ties to the now senator Don Farrell and the shoppies union and Don still runs SA. Head office if they were smart should after the autopsy be that in government or opposition should pre select candidates in the seats we lost and get them known in their electorates, who knows when we could be back at the polls? we as a party need to work smarter, we have plenty of talent going to waste because the factional war lords are only interested in their postions, how does it go faction first party second? Well I've had enough and at our next state council meeting I'm going to start to ask these and many other questions I don't expect to be succesfull at first as they will move to shut me down,so I'll have to do what the war lords do and get the numbers then they'll have to listen.

George Pike

4/09/2010Abbott has been struggling under the low popularity polling he has been consistently drawing HS...I think, if Labor are returned to govern by the independents, he will be dumped at the first instance and Turnbull will replace him, ETS or no ETS. I think Hockey and Robb will also be sent off into the wilderness for stuffing up the Liberal's financial-economic cred' and I would not be in the least bit surprised to see a complete backflip on both the NBN and the MRRT regardless of who takes over the reigns.

HS

4/09/2010The desperadoes of the Coalition are at it again: http://www.news.com.au/features/federal-election/independents-accuse-coalition-of-dirty-tricks/story-e6frfllr-1225914066222

jj

4/09/2010HS, Where do you live? Because you obviously dont understand at all what you are talking about! Saving rural Australia from multi-national agri-companies? What the hell are you talking about! There are tens of thousands of family farms, hobby farms, and yes multi national operations that draw on the water from the Murray Darling to supply what we eat, wear and drink! Your obvious lack of knowledge in this area is sickening...to simplify the issue of water in this country into a class war issue is just PLAIN RIDICULOUS! The issue of water is in part due to over allocation, but the main issue has been that there hasnt been any water in the river to start off with (oh but that would be the conservatives fault for not passing the ETS)! I am not even a farmer, and i hate the way the government treats the industry! How would you feel if the government came to where you earned a living, and said to you, "we are going to compulsorily acquire your business!", how would you feel towards those who were in charge? You say that the Labor Party has a plan to return the Murray Darling to normal, but there are a few major problems in your obvious spluttering: 1. There has been a drought, and the government cant make it rain. 2. This government has done nothing but waste money on buying nothing but air, and overpriced land (im talking about low security flood level entitlements AKA air, and Toorale Station which was bought for about 5 times market value). 3.It is sitting on the report which outlines the views of a panel on how the river can be improved (shows how much guts Julia and Co have) etc So next time you start typing, type about something you have some knowledge of. On the issue of broadband. Out here in rural Australia we dont have proper hospitals and roads let alone proper broadband, and so the way we look at things is by prioritisation. Do we want broadband? Yes, and the Coalition is going to give it to us; but first things first, what we want are decent hospitals and roads, and by spending $43 billion dollars on a network that goes through city areas that already receive 100 megabytes plus, means that there is less money in the pot for the essentials. On the issue of the MMRT. Where are all of Australias resources? In rural and regional Australia. Where does most of the tax collected from the mining industry go? The major cities. Out here in regional Austrlia, we dont want the industry that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs to have to pay more tax, we just wan to see more of the tax collected now to be funneled into the areas which it is mined. Did Western Australia have to impose a massive tax increase on the mining industry to give more money to regional WA? No it did not, it just had to funnel some of the existing revenue into regional areas. Mining companies not only supply hundreds of thousands of jobs, dividend payments, and infrastructure improvements in regional Australia, but they also support many of the sporting clubs, pubs, associations and schools in those areas, who due to lack of State and Federal attention, have to rely on such sources of income to provide the sort of services you guys in the city take for granted. On the issue of PPL. Ah i am a working adult with a family in regional Australia and i can tell you now that i couldnt take much time off work when i had my first child because i had financial commitments that i had to meet. I earn a decent salary, but i also have huge costs, and with the minimumwage as my only source of income over 18 weeks, i wouldnt be able to survive financially, and i would end up back in the workforce anyway. It is not an issue of the inner city elites v rural workers (once again you are showing your absolute disconnect with the way people think out here) it is an issue of allowing mothers to be able to take time off work to spend with their newborn, without having to worry about your financial commitments the whole time. Last time i checked there was no talk from the ALP that went to the upgrade of the Tamworth Base Hospital; nor the upgrade of Chaffey Dam; nor the pipeline from Split Rock dam to Barabra; nor the repair of the Sommerton Bridge. Why? Ask the NSW and Federal Labor Party. The coalition has promised to upgrade the hospital, build the bridge, build the pipeline, and build the dam (and this was all before the election). So dont start spurting out that you beloved party has improved rural and regional Australia (well at least in my neck of the woods).

HS

4/09/2010Jason, You have my support. You have to do it. For the party to have a viable future it has to broaden its base in the community and out of the factional hubs in the Head Offices. It is happening in our area here on the Central Coast of NSW, John Della Bosca and Belinda Neal's old stamping ground. We pushed, persuaded, cajoled and planned our attack until we got the numbers to undermine them at our FEC AGM, and we pushed on from there. And don't give up at the first setback. If you have right on your side, and go about convincing enough of the fence sitters to support you then you should come out on top in the end. Good Luck! As for the Shoppies, they ended up supporting us in the end! Anyway, I'd say after the last SA State election and the almost disastrous federal election David Feeney would be at his most vulnerable right about now.

HS

4/09/2010George Pike, I'm not so sure. I think the Coalition will hang onto Abbott because they think that his Churchillian oppositionist tactics have got them to within a hare's breath of power, and if they keep it up then they'll get over the line next time. I'm hoping the ALP picks up its game and leaves them eating their dust. For the sake of the country.

HS

4/09/2010This is a fun little election graphic: http://www.news.com.au/features/federal-election/election-count-as-youve-never-seen-it-before/story-fn5tas5k-1225907900516

Jason

4/09/2010jj, I read small article somewhere about a great big black hole! so how does the COAlition propose to fund anything or do anything?

Lyn

4/09/2010JJ Would you be able to list for us, anything, something, anyone,any town, any electorate,any policy, any Minister, any State, that you [b]DON'T know about[/b].

jj

4/09/2010Jason, Even if the big black hole is true (which i dont think its is), than the Coalition will still deliver bigger budget surpluses than the Labor Party. Like the Labor Party the Coalition has promised it will off set any spending measures with saving measures, as to make sure that the budget bottom line isnt hit.

jj

4/09/2010Lyn, Sure, i dont understand much of the workings on of the Labor Party and its apparatchiks, and for good reason. I am a resident in Rural NSW who takes a keen interest in politics, so i do take notice when government policy crops up that affects me or those in the electorate. I dont know everything, and i dont profess to, but i do hate it when people like yourself spray absolute garbage and misinformation around, especially on issues you have no idea about.

HS

4/09/2010jj, We don't understand rural issues, huh? A problem with the drought that the ALP knows nothing about? I suggest you do a little research on rural issues before you open your mouth yourself: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/industry-sectors/abare-upgrades-winter-crops-forecast/story-e6frg95o-1225880345316

Jason

4/09/2010jj, I know I forgot that under the coalition the sun would shine brighter the days longer peace and good will to all mankind. Man the barricades comrades liberal utopia is coming

Sir Ian Crisp

4/09/2010No AA, I am not nor have I ever been a professor of English. You could say that I'm not lazy. If I don't know I find out.

Gravel

4/09/2010HS Another great article, I started reading it with some trepidation, but as it went to a completely different aspect to what I thought it would be like, I found myself looking behind the scene of a party that I have always trusted and liked. Is there some what you can get your local member to give to it Julia and others that may appreciate this kind of view point? Ad Astra I admire the work you did on giving meaning to the words that sir ian crisp uses. Unfortunately for him I do not read any of his writings. I'm sure that through other responses that if he or jj actually end up thinking by themselves and contributing sensible input, I will know when to stop scrolling past their avatars.

Patricia Lorimer

4/09/2010jj It's interesting that in many ways my life mirrors yours. I live in rural Australia and have a keen interest in politics. I think the similarities end there. I have farmed, I was a Registered Nurse and am now a partner in business. I have no difficulty supporting the Labor Party. I am not going to pick off all your comments, suffice to say, you destroy your own arguments by noting all that the Coaliton have promised these regional areas. What did they do in the 12 years of Government?? A period of unprecidented growth and prosperity??We have experienced first hand the effects of mining on our family farm and in business; not all positive as your spin would have it. I am concerned about your obvious state of anger; not good for your health. HB Just love your work, your responses, knowledge and sense of humour. (I caught your comment about the smell of fish on another site) Lyn Just live for your links; really appreciate your sense of humour, commitment and knowledge. Ad Wonderful knowledge, wisdom and obviously a very gentle and patient person. Let's hope this is a good week for Labor.

Ad astra reply

4/09/2010AC I’m up to speed again – I did enjoy [i]My Little Buttercup[/i]. I hope the three amigos who hold the next government of Australia in their hands will be as little intimidated as were Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short in the presence of some pretty threatening characters. There are some threatening characters here who are using every device: newspapers, ads and telephone calls to the amigos’ offices in an attempt to bludgeon them into supporting the Coalition. HS As I live three weeks out of four in a rural dairying area on the south coast, Telstra Next G is all I can use. ADSL Broadband is unavailable here despite my spouse and I gathering over 50 local signatures to a petition requesting it. So I’m stuck with Telstra’s Bigpond and the only Next G plans they offer is a maximum of 10GB for $120 per month. I’m on 6GB for $80 per month. I wish I could get the deal you have, but I guess I’m too remote. According to the NBN map it seems likely Fast Broadband will become available to us, provided Tony Abbott doesn’t trash it. Sir Ian I can see you're a stickler for accuracy in English expression.

HS

4/09/2010Gravel, Thank you for persevering with my piece, I finally crystallised what I wanted to get across by being able to refer back to human nature in all its many and varied hues and how such subterranean undercurrents can determine the surface flow of things. I meant no disrespect to the group of people I referred to collectively, only to make an observation about the way they do things and how it contrasts with what the Australian electorate responds positively to. I think, just quietly, that Julia gets it too. :)

HS

4/09/2010Patricia Lorimer, Thank you so much for your generous praise. I like to think I provide some light relief to Ad Astra's gravitas and wisdom. :)

jj

4/09/2010Patricia Lorimer, Thank you for your concern. What regional area do you live in? I am not a big supporter of the expansion of the mining industry into prime agricultural land, but i do not believe that they should be punished for their success/luck. It is true that the Coalition did not do enough for our region in its 12 years, partially due to the fact that Howard was a believer in the Federal/State relationship (very foolish). But i know in Tamworth anyway, that we got a massive state of the art Equine and Livestock center thanks to John Anderson and the National party...but i agree, not enough was done. That does not however excuse the fact that we have had nothing but wasteful spending in the electorate of New England, and none of the major facility upgrades we need have been taken notice of. If you wish to support the Labor Party, that is your prerogative, but to understand how much the Labor Party values regional Australia, just look at how many parliamentary members the 'country Labor Party' has...dont waste your time searching.

Ad astra reply

4/09/2010Patricia Lorimer Thank you for your kind words. Yes, let’s hope this is a good week for Labor so it can get on with the job of governing. There's lots to be done.

HS

4/09/2010jj, The number of Labor Party MPs in country areas of the Nation is a function of their electorates not voting for them as opposed to some sort of lack of interest in the areas which can be ascribed to the ALP. Which isn't true anyway. Just take a look around at all the local schools in your area for a start. Much more useful than an Equine Centre that was approved by John Anderson in order to try and win the seat back from Tony Windsor for the Nationals.

jj

4/09/2010HS, Once again you show how little you understand regional Australia. The equine center is the best of its kind in the southern hemisphere. It brings millions of dollars into the Tamworth economy through rodeos, camp drafting events, horse sales, concerts and other major equine events. It is a massive piece of economic/social infrastructure that aids Tamworth's tourism viability, as well as providing another social outing for the locals. I might add that both Tony Windsor and Peter Draper (state member) lobbied for the equine center as well. Not one of Tamworth's schools has been delivered a trades training center. There are many school in the region that were very unimpressed with the forceful nature of the NSW DET; with schools such as Kentucky central school getting a shade cloth that cost in-excess of $150000. Fine then, just look at the Labor Party primary vote then in Rural Australia. If they have been doing as much as what you say for rural and regional areas, then why isnt there any response? It is because the Labor party has become city centric, just look at the front bench.

HS

4/09/2010jj, You may want to check page 10 of this document before you get back to me again with an apology for your mistake: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/TradeTrainingCentres/Documents/Rd2NSWSuccessfuls.pdf

HS

4/09/2010They move like smoke through the corridors of power in NSW: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/friends-in-high-places-20100903-14uf2.html * They do no favours to the NSW Labor Party.

George Pike

4/09/2010I think all three independents are beginning to loathe and despise the Liberals as much as we do actually...how could you not be sickened by the shocking level of fraud and deceit they tried to pull off against the Australian public with their shonky dodgy costings behaviour and the underhanded attempt to bribe Wilkie???

jj

4/09/2010HS, No trades training facility has been built at Farrer Memorial Agricultural High school (one of my sons goes there), nor has there been one built at Tamworth High school. I shall give you no such apology.

jj

4/09/2010HS, Oh and if you call slapping some paint on walls and re-carpeting an education revolution than that is quite sad. It is the state government that has let our schools run into disrepair, and therefor most of the money Farrer got went into re-painting, re-carpeting and re0guttering what was once treated as a prime peice of rel-estate. The Farrer school community has to raise funds for transport costs, upkeep of infrastructure, and for the basic furniture for common rooms...maybe if the State Government focused on the basics rather than fire works, and formula 1 racing, the money our school got wouldnt have to go into repairs.

Jason

4/09/2010jj, Term 1: Week 3: 2010-Principal's Report The Trade Training Centre program for Farrer is now well into the planning and negotiation stage, with site inspections and logistics discussions as to how to best use the $1.8 million allocated to the Farrer upgrade of agricultural/primary industries facilities. Jim Levy has taken over this stage of the process from me and will continue to work with Graeme Harris and the personnel from DET/Assets So the principle must be a Labor plant? All from the school web site

jj

4/09/2010Firstly Jim Levy is not the Principal, he is the deputy. You know what they are going to build, a big shed to house their equipment.

Jason

4/09/2010jj, Re read what I posted again I hate to point out the obvious but it did say Principal's report and he was handing over to Jim I can't see where it says Jim is the principal!! "No trades training facility has been built at Farrer Memorial Agricultural High school" thats right because they decided to build a great big new shed! for $1.8 million it must be the F1 of sheds.

HS

5/09/2010jj, You have obviously not taken into account the necessity for process.Because something has not appeared magically in your neck of the woods does not mean it isn't happening. Anyway, no matter what is done you will find some puerile remark to make about it in order to denigrate the efforts of the Labor federal government to do something for ungrateful ingrates like you.

HS

5/09/2010If anyone is interested in reading how far Rupert Murdoch will go in order to know everything about everyone and to destroy the normal social order in order to control us, then read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazine/05hacking-t.html?_r=2

Glorfindel

5/09/2010Hey JJ, Early in 2007, the very last of the 11 years of the Howard Government, Macquarie Bank put out a report showing that Federal funding to the states was at it's lowest level in 30 years. Now Macquarie Bank. the good ol 'millionaires factory' is not a left leaning organisation by any stretch of the imagination and they found that basically, under Howard, the states were getting ripped off. So it's no wonder some school funding got a little left behind. And I think that you'd find that the State Government would make the same kind of arguments about F1 and fireworks that you've made about the equine centre. Boost to the economy etc, etc. I'm from reqional Qld, and you want to know why our area gets left behind? Because we'll vote National no matter what. Howard government doesn't build new roads, no worries we better vote National, Howard govt closes fishing areas, no worries we better vote National, can't find a doctor because the (Howard) federally funded University still graduates the same amount of doctors as they did in the 1970's (despite massive population growth) well that's fairly serious we'd better vote National. The only time the region gets remember is election time, when a heap of promises get made, unfortunately those promises tend to be non-core, damn Liberal government breaking it's promises - we'd better vote National. (or LNP as they are nowadays).

Acerbic Conehead

5/09/2010HS, the show-down is looming between Julia ‘Elle Rangarillo’ Gillardo and her rivals, the Coalition Companyeros, led by Tortilla Tony (aka El Guapo) and his side-kick, Jefe Joe. Tony and Joe are standing at the Canberra Cantina bar and are planning their next move. Recently, they had sent out peace overtures to three of their ex-members, Tumbleweed Tony Windsor, Rob ‘Shott-of-Tequila, and Bob ‘Ten Gallon Hat’ Katter – the Three Amigos. However, the Three Amigos are rumoured not to be of like mind on everything, so Tony and Joe don’t know which way for sure things are going to pan out. For instance, they heard that the Amigos nearly had a falling-out over sharing their last small container of lip balm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVpJGXZ21o Tony: Those Three Bloody Amigos better come out and support us, Joe, or we’re goners... Joe: Yeah, Tones...you could do with some of their hefty surpluses to help pay the 700,000 dollar mortgage you took out on your new hacienda...hee...hee... Tony: Erm...Joe...don’t make fun of my problems...after all, it’s not me who needs to take out private insurance to pay for the operation to fix their Black Hole problem...heh...heh... [the petty squabbling generated by their post-election-traumatic shock is interrupted by the sudden arrival of the Three Amigos into the Cantina. Tony’s supporters, the Rooty Beerhall Mob, look at the trio with undisguised disgust, and keep on skulling their tequilas with root beer chasers. The Amigos sidle up to the bar, and stand face-to-face with Tony and Joe] Tony: Well, well, well... [Tones can’t get out of the annoying habit of saying things in threes] Tony: I hope you three have gotten over your girlie spat with the lip balm and are ready to bankroll...erm...support us against Elle Rangarillo... Joe: Yeah...and just out of curiosity, Tumbleweed...what’s with the half-empty saddle-bag you’re carryin’ – I thought it would be chockers with the 2 billion we need to double the offer to Wilkerillo... [the Three Amigos glare disdainfully at Joe and, unfortunately for him, he doesn’t read the level of menace in those six steely, cold, gunslinger eyes] Joe: Right, mate...so, what have you got in that saddlebag – is it gold? Tumbleweed (laconically): Nah... Joe: is it silver? Tumbleweed: Nah... Joe: Then what is it? Tumbleweed: Jus’ lead... [Tumbleweed draws his six-gun and shoots Joe dead. By the way, HS, apologies to John Wayne for pinching his immortal lines] Tumbleweed: Huh...no matter...he was goin’ to die from the effects of the Black Hole Plague anyway...hee...hee... [Tones’ jaw at this stage is bouncing up and down off the Cantina floor like a yoyo. He thought it was going to be so easy-peasy to get the Three Amigos back into the clutches of the Coalition Companyeros. He obviously underestimated these three. Rob ‘Shott-of-Tequila breaks the awe-struck silence] Rob: Okay, Tortilla Tony...if you get into power, what sort of regime are you going to bring in? Ten Gallon Hat Katter: Huh...with a name like that, it would have to be based on the Law of Torts...haw...haw... Tumbleweed: Yeah...I heard he failed the Law of the Sea exams at uni – he could only write three words for his essay...ho...ho... [even the Rooty Beerhall Mob are rolling around the floor at this one. Then, suddenly, the Mob clears the bar so quickly, it looks like everyone’s tequila glass has been spiked with a fistful of Senokot tablets. The Three Amigos and Tones look up and the determined and steely gaze of Julia ‘Rangarillo’ Gillardo is firmly fixed upon them. She confidently sidles up to the bar and stands before the Three Amigos, hands on hips] Ranga: Righto, you lot...This clown here can, true to form, only offer you a smear of lip balm – I’ve got a trailer load of the gunk out the front – enough to last all three of you for a life-time – so whaddya say? Tumbleweed: Sounds great, ma’am...I’ll just mosey right on outside and fill the old saddlebags up right away... Tones: But, but, but...what about my 700,000 dollar mortgage – HTF am I supposed to pay it off now? Ranga: Well, don’t you worry your little head about it, Tones...I’ve got all the bases covered...I’ll just get Angus Houston to give you a second job as a deckhand on one of our patrol boats up north...You can then STOP THE BOATS and STOP YOUR DEBT to your heart’s content...ho...ho... Tones: Erm...any chance of a posting to the Vatican instead...maybe I can convert my 700,000 dollar debt to lira...

Lyn

5/09/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Oakeshott lists parliamentary reform demands, ABC[/i] He wants the document signed before he announces which side he will back for minority Government. http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/09/05/3002831.htm [i]Betrayal Backlash!, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] The Libs have never been able to handle rejection particularly well, and once again their born to rule mentality is on display for all to see.. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/betrayal-backlash/ [i]Political geographies of Australian globalism, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] The Nationals only know how to shovel money in the general direction of their constituents, and how to stir them up with the clownish carry-on of Barnaby Joyce http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]Bailed Up! Now into our 14th day of Political Uncertainty, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] The fact that the Australian Electoral Commission will not be declaring the national poll within the next few days is no excuse for these prima donnas milking the situation for all it is worth.. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/09/bailed-up-now-into-our-14th-day-of.html [i]"Wilkie has said his offer wasn't a trap, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a test", Peter Martin[/i] The Coalition has no-one] to blame for Wilkie turning them down despite their offering $1b for a new hospital. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Tony Windsor's maiden speech , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] He says that the message a neo-liberal mode of governance sends to country communities is to proceed to your nearest major regional centre, go to the coast, go to Sydney or go to buggery. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/ [i]What is the price of the truth, Peter Boyle, Green Left[/i] the whole debt scare campaign and Tony Abbott's promise to pay back the debt. Selling that lie was great business for the media empires and advertising companies. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/45294 [i]Fear and Loathing Down Under, Keith Warren, Webdiary[/i] Tony Abbott cranked up the rhetoric. “WE WILL STOP THE BOATS” was his mantra. He bombarded the media with this disgusting and shameful declaration, http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/3108 [i]Lib MP Clarke facing preselection battle, UGG Classic Mini[/i] Federal Liberal leader Tony Abbott has called for peace in the party, warning the coalition could sacrifice the seemingly unlosable state election http://jared.ilikehandbag.com/2010/09/04/lib-mp-clarke-facing-preselection-battle/ [u]NEWSPAPERS[/u] [i]Chance to put House in order , Laurie Oakes, Herald Sun[/i] It was one of Howard's non-core promises. There were no reforms after the Coalition won office in 1996. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/chance-to-put-house-in-order/story-e6frfhqf-1225913967572 [i]Windsor backs Labor on broadband , Josh Gordon, SMH[/i] convinced that ''you do it once, you do it right, you do it with fibre''. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/windsor-backs-labor-on-broadband-20100904-14vd4.html

George Pike

5/09/2010I just ran the gist of your piece on FaceBook Glorfindel...that'll stir up some deep anti-Coalition sentiment for sure..

Ad astra reply

5/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Acerbic Conehead

5/09/2010HS, I noticed this morning that Tones is a great fan of country music: “[the Three Amigos] can opt for the Coalition and form the most country-oriented national government since World War Two.” He wants ol’ C&W to be at the core of our nation-building, so much so, that he has started a competition to choose a new national anthem. I pinched the following suggestions off the internet (you might have seen them posted by me before on Jack’s blog). Do you think any of them might get a guernsey? :- ) Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth ‘Cause I’m Kissing You Goodbye Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away? I Been Roped And Thrown By Jesus In The Holy Ghost Corral I Changed Her Oil, She Changed My Life I Fell In A Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me I Keep Forgettin’ I Forgot About You I Wanna Whip Your Cow I Would Have Writ You A Letter, But I Couldn’t Spell Yuck! I Wouldn’t Take Her To A Dawg Fight, Cause I’m Afraid She’d Win I’d Rather Have A Bottle In Front Of Me Than A Frontal Lobotomy If You Don’t Leave Me Alone, I’ll Go And Find Someone Else Who Will If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too? Mama Get The Hammer (There’s A Fly On Papa’s Head) My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don’t Love Jesus My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Sure Do Miss Him She Got The Gold Mine And I Got The Shaft She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger They May Put Me In Prison, But They Can’t Stop My Face From Breakin’ Out When You Leave Walk Out Backwards, So I’ll Think You’re Walking In You Were Only A Splinter As I Slid Down The Bannister Of Life You’re The Reason Our Baby’s So Ugly I Can’t Love Your Body If Your Heart’s Not In It I Wish I Were In Dixie Tonight, But She’s Out Of Town I’ll Get Over You As Soon As You Get Out From Under Him I’m So Miserable Without You It’s Like Having You Here It Takes Me All Night Long To Do What I Used To Do All Night Long She’s Out Doing What I’m Here Doing Without This Time I’m Gonna Beat You to the Truck She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye We Used to Just Kiss on the Lips But Now It’s All Over If You Keep Checking Up on Me (I’m Checking Out on You) She Feels Like A New Man Tonight You Stuck My Heart In a Old Tin Can and Shot It Off a Log I Bought the Boots That Just Walked Out On Me Ever Since I Said “I Do,” There’s a Lot of Things You Don’t The Next Time You Throw That Fryin’ Pan, My Face Ain’t Gonna Be There I Hate Every Bone In Your Body Except Mine I Knew I’d Hit Rock Bottom When I Woke Up On Top Of You If Whiskey Were A Woman I’d Be Married For Sure

Lyn

5/09/2010Hi Ad and Hillbilly, Everybody Look what Reb is reporting: [i]Coalition Concedes Defeat!, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] our exclusive GT Canberra Correspondent reports that Coalition staffers are already being informed today that Labor will form a minority government. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/09/05/coalition-concedes-defeat/

HS

5/09/2010Acerbic Conehead, You are a rolled gold comic genius! :) I'm lucky if I can remember a joke to the end.

HS

5/09/2010AC, 'I Been Roped and Thrown by Jesus In the Holy Ghost Corral' just has to be Tone's song. I imagine he must be feeling like he's been 15 rounds with the Holy Trinity right about now.

Min

5/09/2010Hi Lyn, Thank you so much for your input to the Cafe. I put this one up this morning. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/abbott-and-the-kingmakers/ Although new to authoring I've been a contributor since the most loved Matty Price who was a good mate. And I wrote over at the Cafe (Cafe Whispers..a blog set up by the most wonderful Miglo and now loads of helpers) Maybe a last chance to have a say before the indies call it. I think that Abbott has made it very difficult for the indies to not endorse Labor. There has been from the Liberal camp intimidations: spooky phone calls to Oakeshott’s wife, threatening phone calls from suspected Liberal/National supporters, Tony Abbott’s the end of life as we know it sobs and over the top billion dollar bribes. And so Abbott has set the scene, and a scene of his own making, that if the indies go for the Lib/Nas there is always going to be the undercurrent that they have intimidated/bribed the indies to vote their way. Wilkie called it by knocking back the billion dollar bribe from Abbott..there is always going to be the suspicion that the 3 indies may have been offered even more to buy their votes.

Lyn

5/09/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] Don't miss Grog, brailliant column, thankyou Grog: [i]Election 2010: Extra Time (or, Who is he talking to? Who is listening?, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] Tony Abbott has taken the rather bizarre step of writing an open letter to the three independents in The Sunday Telegraph. It is a letter that smacks of utter desperation, http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/09/election-2010-extra-time-or-who-is-he.html [i]Tony Abbott's case for government, Kim ,Larvatus Prodeo[/i] last throw of the dice in this game is a bizarre opinion piece by Tony Abbott himself in the comfortable environs of the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Presumably if this absurd combination of hyperbole and untruths http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/09/05/tony-abbotts-case-for-government/

jj

5/09/2010 Here it is from someone that knows a fair bit about the telecommunications system, Households and businesses in Wentworth need fast, reliable and affordable broadband services. Today’s Coalition broadband plan will deliver affordable high-speed broadband across Australia using the best mix of optical fibre, HFC, wireless, DSL and satellite. The plan will ensure nationwide availability of high speed broadband. By 2016 Australia will achieve a national broadband baseline, under which 97 percent of premises are able to be served by high-speed networks delivering peak speeds between 12 and 100 Mbps. The network will use a combination of technologies including HFC, DSL, and fixed wireless. The emphasis is on affordable broadband – wherever Internet users are in Australia, they should be able to receive services at prices comparable to those for similar services in metropolitan Australia. There will also be improved satellite delivered broadband services for the last 3 per cent of premises in remote parts of the nation. The Coalition will cancel Labor’s reckless and expensive National Broadband Network (NBN). The NBN is a taxpayer-funded white elephant costing at least $43 billion and possibly much more, according to independent experts. It will do nothing to lower prices, creates a new government-controlled monopoly, and gives no priority to those who do not get an adequate service today. In contrast the Coalition’s broadband policy will encourage a vibrant, private sector-based market, with Government involved to ensure competition and guarantee services are available to all Australians. Central to the Coalition’s plan is a $2.75 billion investment (with the expectation of leveraging at least $750 million in additional private sector funding) to create a nation-wide competitive fibre optic ‘backbone’ by 2017. This will ensure two lanes of ‘backhaul’ fibre which will be accessible to any telecommunications company to provide services. The backhaul plan will ensure lasting competition, and stimulate new private investment in broadband networks built to connect with the new competitive backhaul network. In addition the Coalition will legislate to allow the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to set access pricing to support broadband competition. In total the Coalition’s plan will provide up to $6.315 billion over seven years in funding to stimulate the build of new access and backhaul networks. Our plan will serve the priority areas quickly. We will identify areas where Australians are currently underserved – particularly outer metropolitan areas and rural and remote areas – and ‘fill the gaps’ as quickly as possible by committing: * $750 million for Fixed Broadband Optimisation to significantly increase the number of households which can receive a DSL service or high speed equivalent. * Up to $1 billion in grant funding for new fixed wireless networks in rural and remote Australia. * Up to $1 billion in investment funding for new fixed wireless networks in urban Australia, with an emphasis on outer metropolitan areas. * Grant funding of $700 million to supportimproved satellite delivered broadband services to the last 3 per cent of the population. All networks funded under our plan will be open access networks. Access prices will be set under the telecommunications access regime administered by the ACCC. Unlike Labor’s approach, the Coalition’s plan is not prescriptive about technology. Based on industry trends and consultation, we expect that wireless networks will play a central role. Around a quarter of Australians already access the Internet wirelessly. But our competitive selection process will be open to other technologies if the coverage, price and open access requirements are met. Our plan will establish a commercial and technical platform for much greater fibre penetration over coming years, particularly by stimulating demand for broadband services and in turn stimulating investment by the private sector (building on government contributions such as new and more competitively priced backhaul.) Funding for the Coalition’s broadband plan will commence in our first year in government, and we will invest almost $2 billion in the forward estimates period. Unlike Labor’s approach, the Coalition’s broadband plan is fully costed and funded, and over 80 per cent is on-budget. This is a financially responsible broadband plan which will deliver a baseline of high speed broadband around Australia using a mix of technologies, but without exposing taxpayers to many billions of dollars of debt to fund a highly risky commercial venture.

jj

5/09/2010Why the NBN will fail Malcolm Turnbull, Election 2010 Published 6:22 AM, 17 Aug 2010 Last update 10:14 AM, 17 Aug 2010 All Australians understand that high-quality, reliable and affordable broadband is a critical part of the infrastructure our nation needs to prosper in coming years. As one of the founders of OzEmail, Australia’s first big internet company, I believe passionately in broadband and the power of the internet. But as a businessman and Member of Parliament I also believe passionately in not wasting billions of taxpayers' dollars on white elephants. Remember, every dollar of revenue diverted to Labor's national broadband network (NBN) is a dollar that can’t be spent on hospitals, schools, roads or public transport - let alone returned to you in lower taxes! So what’s the 2010 broadband debate about? On the one hand we have Labor, which claims spending at least $43 billion (and maybe much more) of public money on the most expensive network in the world represents ‘nation-building’ and will deliver value for money for taxpayers and users. On the other is the far more affordable $6 billion Coalition plan. It will fix those parts of Australia’s broadband infrastructure where government intervention is justified – by increasing competition in ‘backhaul’ (the main network routes that link towns and cities) and subsidising fast connections in poorly-served suburban, regional and rural areas. Just because the Coalition’s total spend is less doesn’t mean the vast majority of users will be worse off. On the contrary, most will have access to privately-provided broadband services virtually indistinguishable from Labor’s - but at a much lower cost. When politicians offer you something for nothing, or something that sounds too good to be true, it’s always worth taking a careful second look. This is emphatically the case for Labor’s outsize broadband claims. While lofty rhetoric about vision, imagination and the digital future is all very well, close scrutiny of the Rudd/Gillard NBN reveals no fewer than eight separate reasons why it is going to fail Australians. The NBN will cost far too much to build The NBN will be the largest single investment of taxpayers’ funds in Australia’s history. While Labor claims it will find private partners to share the cost, the NBN is so risky and its likely returns so low that it will probably be entirely funded by your taxes. While the KPMG-McKinsey implementation study confirmed it was possible the NBN might be built for ‘only’ $43 billion, even the CEO of NBN Co admits the final cost is highly uncertain. A handful of countries have gone down the path of publicly subsidising high-speed broadband. But most have much higher population density than Australia (making it vastly cheaper to roll out an expensive approach such as Labor’s fibre-to-the-home). And none has ever contemplated a taxpayer-funded spree on the scale Labor is proposing. According to industry expert Grahame Lynch, the taxpayer contribution to fast broadband in Singapore was around $200 per person. In New Zealand it will be about $330 per person. In contrast, Labor’s extravagant plans will cost Australian taxpayers at least $4000 per household. The sheer magnitude of this expense (and implausibility that it will ever be recoverable from users) is why the Rudd/Gillard government has been so secretive about the details of the NBN, and has consistently refused to allow its plan to be exposed to cost-benefit analysis by Treasury or the private sector. Instead, from the moment ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy designed the NBN on the back of a drink coaster on an RAAF VIP jet, Labor has been determined to press ahead regardless of cost. As economist Joshua Gans recently wrote: “You only want a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis if it is going to change your decision.” The NBN will increase internet costs for users Once the government has built a vast white elephant of a network, utterly incapable of earning a reasonable return on capital invested but legislatively assured of a monopoly over carriage of internet and telephony services, what do you think is going to happen to user charges? One possibility is that the monopoly provider, protected against all competitors, jacks up prices as far as it can. The implementation study estimates that for the NBN to earn merely the bond rate, real prices will need to increase by 1 per cent a year rather than decrease rapidly as they have in recent years and will continue to do in other countries. Industry experts anticipate monthly bills that could be in the hundreds of dollars. And if it doesn't, then its value won't equal the cost of investment If the government instead decides to charge reasonable wholesale carriage fees, comparable to those currently paid for internet access, the cashflows earned by NBN will not justify a value remotely near $43 billion. Even if a majority of households sign up, the NBN may be worth less than a quarter of that investment. The NBN has been decreed by politicians, not driven by market demands There is no doubt that the fastest networks of today run over optical fibre – and there are already many thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cable in our telecoms networks. The question is whether the huge extra cost of mandating that every home in Australia be connected to fibre optic cable is justified. Millions of Australians can already achieve fast broadband speeds over networks currently in place, and we know today’s speeds will increase rapidly over coming years. But the ‘best’ pure technologies don’t always win, and consumer preferences often turn out to be very different from what politicians, engineers and bureaucrats anticipate. Will Gigabit fixed line speeds, for which households can’t yet envisage a use, be valued above the convenience of mobility, for instance? Already around a quarter of Australians access the internet wirelessly. And over the past couple of years, a host of devices have emerged that deliver value to consumers by enabling mobility – the iPhone, Android phones, the Kindle and the iPad are all examples. Since it won’t face competition, the NBN is highly unlikely to respond as effectively to the inevitable twists and turns in business and consumer preferences over time as a less regulated marketplace. And even if it could, the reality is that broadband involves horses for courses: some consumers and many businesses will want fibre optics now; others will be fine with cheaper fixed line alternatives such as HFC (which can already deliver 100 Mbps) or very high speed ADSL; and yet others will prefer the flexibility of wireless. Only bureaucrats think in terms of one size fits all. Canberra is terrible at building and operating commercial services Perhaps the most unbelievable aspect of the NBN is the notion that a government-controlled entity can roll out a vast and complex undertaking such as a nationwide fibre-to-the-home network on budget and on schedule. This from the people who couldn’t build school tuck shops and assembly halls without billions lost in rorts? Who so tragically mismanaged the home insulation program? Who put less than half the computers they promised in schools at double the cost? For the past 30 years, around most of the world, there has been a realisation that governments are better off leaving it to the private sector to create, own and operate businesses. That is why Telstra (and its peers abroad such as British Telecom) were privatised. It’s why businesses such as Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank were sold, and have performed so much better in private hands than before. The NBN is a reversal at odds with the thinking in every other major economy on the planet. In a way it re-creates the old Telecom: a monopolistic, publicly-funded communications provider. Why is there any reason to think it won’t have exactly the same flaws as the old Telecom – lousy and lazy management, unresponsive service and feather-bedded work practices? While that might make Labor’s union pals happy, it’s not in the interests of anyone else. Does anyone remember the appalling customer service Telecom used to offer? Canberra will have a huge conflict of interest One of the most remarkable parts of Labor’s broadband fantasy is the notion that the government can be even-handed and pursue the national interest when it is both the owner of the monopoly broadband network and the regulator of Australia’s communications market. Just think about the potential conflicts. Let’s say the NBN turns out to be the commercial dud that most economists and business observers expect. And let’s also imagine that five or 10 years down the track an alternative technology emerges providing equally adequate service as fibre-to-the-home at a fraction of the cost – say a variant of wireless. Will the government of the day surrender its monopoly, rendering tens of billions of dollars it has ‘invested’ worthless? Or will it enforce laws barring Australian households and businesses from using a cheaper and perfectly adequate substitute technology? Conflicts of interest such as this are exactly why governments have tried to get out of the business of owning telecommunications companies over recent decades. Money spent on the NBN can’t be spent on other services In economics, one of the most important concepts is ‘opportunity cost’ – the idea that once you spend your money on something, you can’t spend it again on something else. If tens of billions of taxpayer dollars are invested in a gigantic and low-yielding yet risky venture such as the NBN, they can’t be spent anywhere else. That means less public capital will be available for other better understood and equally or more pressing areas: new and improved hospitals and schools, upgrades and extensions to roads and railways, or better public transport. The NBN is simply too risky There are two related kinds of risk with large communications investments such as the NBN. The first is financial – the taxes invested might end up wasted due to over-investment, poor management or shifts in market demand. The second is technological – an alternative technology or another way of leveraging existing technologies might come along and render this huge and supposedly ‘futureproof’ investment obsolete. There is no benefit to taxpayers or the Australian economy from spending $43 billion or more on something that turns out to have a commercial value of a fraction of that when it is finished and sold. Risks like this are better born by the private sector – so shareholders, not Australian taxpayers, lose out if the plan goes off the rails. In the end the NBN reflects Labor’s cargo cult mentality. Rudd/Gillard Labor thinks you can fix schools by putting computers in classrooms, you can fix climate change by putting pink batts in roofs, and you can fix telecommunications by building huge pipes. Clever governments understand that you fix problems by empowering initiative and enterprise: by policy and regulatory settings that steer, not row. Labor thinks it can row, but it invariably sinks the boat. The Coalition’s broadband alternative is less risky and less costly. Lofty talk about vision and imagination is all very well. But Australians deserve policies that are practical, deliverable and affordable too – and nowhere is this more the case than for broadband.

HS

5/09/2010jj, Malcolm Turnbull is a glib liar. End of. This is where the action is, mate: http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/352822/coming_wall_near_meet_nbn_ont/

Lyn

5/09/2010Hi Hillbilly Thankyou for the Wonderful factual link to computerworld, excellent genuine facts, instead of Coalition (not tech heads), lies and more lies. Like Phony's desperate letter in the Telegraph today, just lies. Just what we need 145 "one hundred and forty five lines" of what Malcolm Turnbull (bull) said about the NBN, 145 lines copied and pasted, graffiti.

jj

5/09/2010So you have nothing but insults to throw at what Malcolm Turnbull wrote on this issue. He helped found Ozemail, one of Australia's first home grown internet providers. But oh haveing qualifications doesnt matter with you folk, because he is on the side of politics you oppose, you just reject what he has to say with your immature little taunts. Come on, explain to me why what he has said is "bull"...to me what he says makes sense. But from what you have posted above, i doubt you will give your side of the argument, you will just repeat the same old lines.

jj

5/09/2010having, not haveing.

Jason

5/09/2010jj, Next time put up a link, and what about the principal"s report?

Ad astra reply

5/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

5/09/2010jj, Malcolm Turnbull is not the Delphic Oracle of the Internet. He is a self-interested participant in the political process who has sold his soul back to Tony Abbott and is duty bound to tow the party line and say whatever they tell him to. In other words, they've got him by the short and curlies and thus I no longer take what he has to say about the Coalition's dog of a Broadband plan seriously. Whether he started Ozemail, or not. I prefer the opinion of objective industry commentators. That you wish only to take the word of a now partisan commentator is entirely predictable.

Ad astra reply

5/09/2010Folks I've been busy all day Fathers' Day, and have been preparing something for next week. I'll be back on deck tomorrow.

D Mick Wier

5/09/2010This needs to be added to your daily links: <a href="http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/09/which-way-will-country-independents.html">Australian Observer</a> This blog should required reading for all would be journalists, bloggers and commentors.

Lyn

6/09/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010: Extra Time (or, Who is he talking to? Who is listening?, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] Tony Abbott has taken the rather bizarre step of writing an open letter to the three independents in The Sunday Telegraph. It is a letter that smacks of utter desperation, http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/09/election-2010-extra-time-or-who-is-he.html [i]Abbott promising to put city voters last, Jeremy Sear, An Anyomous Left[/i] Don’t worry, country voters, I’m on your side. I *hate* the cities and all their stinking, repulsive hippy voters. In government I will crush them http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/abbot-promising-to-put-city-voters-last/ [i]Costingsgate: "If Andrew Robb & Tony Abbott say that,then it must be true. ." Peter Martin[/i] If Andrew Robb and Tony Abbott say that, then it must be true… http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2010/09/costingsgate-if-andrew-robb-and-tony.html [i]Coalition frenzy peaks on Twitter, with QLD Young LNP, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i]the venom spewed forth in an almost inexhaustible stream until last night this particular tweeter was apparently advised to cool it by his political colleagues; http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/09/coalition-frenzy-peaks-on-twitter-with.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FUtodS+%28North+Coast+Voices%29 [i]Working out Minority Government, wmmbb, Duckpond[/i] The major reason is that it would be stability for the next three years, http://wmmbb.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/working-out-minority-government/ [i]Ker-Plunk! Or How To Blow An Election, Ash's to Ashes[/i] If you are a hard-core Coalition voter you must be shaking your head right now wondering what the hell is happening. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/ker-plunk-or-how-to-blow-an-election/ [i]Which way will the country independents jump? Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i]Oakeshott and Windsor at least will be bemused by the fact that Tony Abbott says that he will achieve dramatic cuts in the carbon intensity http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/09/which-way-will-country-independents.html [i]Undoing the Coalition's good work, Rob Burgess, Business Spectator[/i] Labor has understood this from the start and has tightly controlled its messages to keep them focused on their new audience – http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Undoing-the-Coalitions-good-work-pd20100906-8ZRJK?opendocument&src=rss [i]Windsor puts off D-day call, Sara Lane ABC[/i] Independent MP Tony Windsor says a decision on which party will form government is unlikely to be made today. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/06/3003231.htm

Ad astra reply

6/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

6/09/2010D Mick Wier Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. The link you left is not working but it is in LYN’S DAILY LINKS, and here also: http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/09/which-way-will-country-independents.html The article is well worth reading.

HS

6/09/2010Good morning everyone! Here's an interesting little vignette and blog from Twitter: http://blackbobs.blogspot.com/

HS

6/09/2010lyn, Here's another An Onymous Lefty link(gee he's prolific!): http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/are-those-voters-calling-for-a-new-poll-planning-to-change-their-vote/

Lyn

6/09/2010Hi Hillbilly Good Morning Hillbilly. Yes Anonymous Lefty, Jeremy Sear, he is amazingly productive also runs Pure Poison. I thoroughly enjoy Jeremy's opinion. Excellent on twitter too, I note.

George Pike

6/09/2010Here's Wayne Swan's piece on the economy...food for thought for the those who would have backed the Liberals into smashing the economy for a six with their conservative 1930's era thinking.. http://alp.org.au/federal-government/news/treasurer-s-economic-note-(1)/

Rx

6/09/2010Our friend, the illustriously-named David M Russell, has an opinion piece published on their ABC blog, [i]The Drum[/i]. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s3003906.htm An article first published by Menzies House, just so we're clear there is full balance of political opinion at their ABC. David M Russell, as I'm sure everybody will recall, paid [i]The Political Sword[/i] a few visits in April this year. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/04/20/The-Liberals-universal-solution-to-everything-Just-say-No.aspx#comment

George Pike

6/09/2010Can you believe these guys...the MRRT doesn't kick in till they've made $50 million profit and it takes the total tax take to 38%...the minumum tax rate for miners in the USA is 40%..on ALL profits..these people are pure bloody evil. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/06/3003857.htm?section=justin

Lyn

6/09/2010Hi Rx Umm , David M Russell, yes I remember quite clearly when he visited "The Political Sword" Rx, like a hug cloud of thunder. There are 47 comments on his piece, the commenters don't appreciate his opinion very much at all, in fact one says it should be removed, another shame on the Abc. Mr M Russell doesn't think much of the Independents does he, ouch, awful: Government of Australia: sold to the highest bidder, David M Russell, Unleashed, ABC But you're a rat, Mr Crook the rodent-like Andrew Wilkie from Tasmania These three are tarts. They have whored themselves for personal gain and placed the nation's well-being a very distant second. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s3003906.htm

Rx

6/09/2010Lyn, I urge all TPSers to go over there and reply to the "article". http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s3003906.htm

HS

6/09/2010Rx, Yes, I saw the David M.Russell article earlier today. I felt like adding a comment but I thought I had wasted enough of my precious time on the Campbell Newman staffer here on TPS earlier this year. It seems as though he hasn't changed one iota. However you find that with conservatives, very resistant to change.

HS

6/09/2010Here's a nice little blog about Tony Abbott's supposed 'bush credentials': http://politicaltarot.com/2010/09/abbotts-supposed-bush-cred/

HS

6/09/2010Here's the link to the document outlining the new reforms to Parliament: http://resources.news.com.au/files/2010/09/06/1225914/970957-parliamentary-reform-agreement.doc

HS

6/09/2010Here's what the Rural Medical health Association advised the Independants last week: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2010/09/06/what-the-independents-were-advised-on-rural-health/

Lyn

7/09/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010: Extra Time (or, do You want sugar with your tea leaves?)[/i] I really don’t know what will happen. I would love to say the ALP are looking good, but I truly don’t know, http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Aftershocks, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] The estimable Grog has skewered this already. This is so stupid that Julie Bishop and Greg Sheridan would be prevented from saying it out of Mutually Assured Stupid, http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/09/aftershocks-whenever-you-see.html [i]Accountable to Whom?, The Piping Shrike[/i] making Parliament more accountable, that it raises questions about what ‘accountable’ actually means here. Accountable to whom? http://www.pipingshrike.com/ [i]Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] The latest weekly Essential Research poll has Labor opening a 51-49 lead after 50-50 results over the previous two weeks http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Family First puts democracy last, Mungo MacCallum, Echo[/i] that would leave Labor in power, an outcome utterly unacceptable to the Murdoch press. http://www.echonews.com.au/story/2010/09/06/family-first-puts-democracy-last/ [i]Polls, polls, polls & the campaign for another Election, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] More reliable is Essential Research today, which you can read about at Crikey. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/09/06/polls-polls-polls-and-the-campaign-for-another-election/ [i]Independents or Geese? Emmjay, The Daily Bludge[/i] I had big hopes for the independents – until I tired of their sickly smiles on TV and their assurances that they would make a decision soon, soon, soon. http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/09/independents-or-geese/ [i]Parliamentary reform-how it's going to be, Peter Martin[/i] Agreement for Better Parliament http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Snippet of Burke turns his wisdom on its head, Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison[/i] The Australian’s latest call for the independents to respect the wishes of Newspoll their electorates comes from Professor Kenneth Wiltshire, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]The Three Amigos, Damob, Throwing Stones from the Glasshouse[/i] The Coalition, led by Tony Abbott, still have this ‘born to rule’ mentality which has damaged the Liberal Party in the past and will continue to damage them in the future. http://damob.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/the-three-amigos/ [i]Don't Panic, The Conscience Vote[/i] That didn’t stop Abbott publishing an open letter in the Sunday Telegraph that can best be described as three-parts ‘the country is doomed http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/ [i]You sound a bit defensive, Glenn, Dave's Archives[/i] However, Milne's take on Andrew Wilkie just seems a little unhinged. http://davec.org/ [i]Election Analysis, Critical Times[/i] Murdoch’s media monopoly, the powerful mouthpiece for the most reactionary section of the ruling class, strongly campaigned for the victory of their most loyal servant, the Liberal/National Coalition under Abbott’s leadership. http://www.criticaltimes.com.au/news/national/election-analysis/ [i]Tasmania’s governing partnership: the possibilities and the perils, Kate Crowley[/i], Inside StoryIt’s so far, so good, for Tasmania’s Greens-backed minority government, http://inside.org.au/tasmanias-governing-partnership-the-possibilities-and-the-perils/ [i]Treasury Comparison, John, True Politik[/i] Coalition-costings Labor Party Costings http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/

Ad astra reply

7/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

George Pike

7/09/2010Good to see Media Watch clobbering 4Corners for their propaganda skit on the global economy..it should go much further of course...running a blatant anti-government skit like that just before an election should, at the very least, warrant the instant dismissal of the executives involved. Then they can start on Lateline Business!

Lyn

7/09/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]The end is nigh, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] a combination of pleading for it all to be over and trying to figure out how a minority government will work: http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/09/07/the-end-is-nigh/ [i]They'll trash the economy. Yea, sure. Agency gives Australia top billing anyway, Peter Martin[/i] Whatever the shape of the next government Australia remains a magnificant investment proposition. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]STONE the crows! We’re reduced to red bike and pony politics!, Stone the Crows[/i] independents and minority interest MPs have been sending wish lists that have more to do .with their own hobby horses than matters of major policy.. http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/sm/?p=150 [i]Decision Day, Reb, Gutter trash[/i] Anyway, we may well know the outcome by as early as this morning…Stay tuned…. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/09/07/decision-day/

Jason

7/09/2010Anyone have any feelings on how the indies might go?

Ad astra reply

7/09/2010Jason The journos' consensus favours Labor, Shanas is trying to drum up optimism for the Coalition, but nobody knows - we have to just wait patiently until the announcement, which the ABC is scheduling for 3 pm.

Jaeger

7/09/2010Katter's sided with Abbott; I guess that isn't too surprising. I'm not sure whether to read that as meaning the other two will side with Labor; I would have expected a joint announcement if that wasn't the case. White knuckles time!

jj

7/09/2010AA, Looks like Katter made the common sense decision; hopefully the other two will as well.

jimbo

7/09/2010Fear not fellow swordians LABOR have won government Oakshott and WIndsor backed labor HURRAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYTYYYYYYYYYYY.Up yours MURDOCH.

jimbo

7/09/2010JJ and SIR IAN CRISP.suck eggs and in the words of Paul Keating this is the sweetest victory,jj sip you now can sit with your head up your rectum for another 3 years seeya then.

NormanK

7/09/2010Breathing out.

Ad astra reply

7/09/2010Folks At last!!!! I've just posted: [i]How has it come to this - a Gillard Government[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/09/07/How-has-it-come-to-this-e28093-a-Gillard-Government.aspx

Lyn

7/09/2010Hi Everybody CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MY FRIENDS. Norman K isn't it good to breath easy, now we can all eat our lunch and enjoy. Watch the sooks come out now. Jimbo, watch the whinging and whining. Wow, so Murdoch doesn't rule Australia after all. Jaeger you thought the same as my husband, he is doing a dance outside my computer room window.
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?