More on: How has it come to this?

Although the Rudd factor is arguably the most compelling in attempting to explain how it has come to this, given that the political and social situation is a classic example of a complex adaptive system, there are many other interacting factors that need examination. Some of them receive attention here.

The Gillard factor

Her opponents like to portray her as backstabbing, disloyal, and hungry for the top job. Yet the evidence belies that view. She repeatedly insisted that she was happy in her job as Deputy PM and in her ministry, and had no desire to take Kevin Rudd’s place. She used florid examples to make her point: “There is more chance of me being full forward for the Bulldogs than me becoming PM”. Was she lying? Was this a devious camouflage for a well-planned assassination? Some would believe it was. I believe that is a ridiculous proposition. I believed her when she said she was not coveting Kevin’s job, and I suspect most Australians did too. If that is so, what was the Gillard factor?

As I see it, her capacity to do the job, widely recognized, even by Kevin Rudd himself, was the one essential element in the planning of Rudd’s removal. If the powerbrokers had not had a plausible and acceptable alternative to Rudd, the coup could not have succeeded. Her ability to do the job of PM was the Gillard factor.

From all that has been written, it was not until that fateful day in June that Julia Gillard was confronted with the reality of the internal revolt against Kevin Rudd and the extent of it. It seems she was told that midday that there was deep discontent with Rudd, that he had lost the support of many colleagues, and that if he was not replaced, internal and public polling pointed to a looming electoral defeat with the certain loss of 23 seats, with 32 seats in danger. They told her that she had the numbers to defeat Rudd, but she insisted the numbers be checked. They were, and later that day the powerbrokers assured her that a vote for her was secure, as indeed proved to be the case, with, as rumour has it, only about a quarter of the caucus willing to continue to support Rudd. From all that I have read, it seems then, and only then, that Gillard agreed to challenge Rudd. Without that willingness, there could have been no coup, and the party would have likely gone onto a heavy electoral defeat. Some have argued that with polls showing a TPP of 52/48, Rudd still could have won. We will never know.

So the Gillard factor was the ability to do the job and at the end her preparedness to challenge. She had a long session with Kevin Rudd and John Faulkner during which the facts were laid on the table and her request for a leadership ballot announced. No doubt Rudd resisted, apparently unprepared to accept the reality of the rising tide of opposition to him that reached tsunami proportions that night and swept him away the next day.

It must have been an agonizing choice for Julia, always the loyal deputy. But in the face of the overwhelming evidence that was placed before her, her only choices were to act as she did, or refuse and let the party sink. She did what she felt was right for the party.

The Oakes ‘leak’ that she had promised Rudd a reprieve and a second chance and that she reneged later that day, was damaging even if implausible in the light of subsequent events. She, Rudd and Faulkner refused to comment, leading to frenetic media speculation about the veracity of the leak. Until someone splits, we will never know the full story, and as we have seen with prior ‘deals’: between Hawke and Keating, and Howard and Costello, ‘absolute truth’ is unlikely ever to emerge. Nor are we likely to ever know who leaked. It seems highly unlikely it was Rudd himself; some of his acolytes, possibly one of his displaced staff, are the prime suspects.

What else comprises the Gillard factor? It was apparent early on that her gender was an advantage. The electorate warmed to the thought of a female PM and many women spoke out in her favour. The men were less impressed and later seemed even less so, and even the support of women waned. This might have been a natural process, or it may have been the result of the leaks.

Another element in the Gillard factor was the behind-the-scenes instructions she was being given by the party apparatchiks, the campaign managers. Informed by party polling and focus groups they persuaded her she had to fix the RSPT, do something about defusing the boat people problem, and make reassuring noises about what might be done about climate change – thus the frantic negotiations to change the RSPT to the MRRT, the idea of the East Timor processing centre, and the Citizens Assembly to rebuild community consensus about the need to act on climate change. The latter two were widely poo-poohed, prematurely in my view, and the first was roundly criticized by the smaller miners. She acted quickly and to some extent cleared the deck of these matters for the election. She may have won over some voters who would have otherwise been opposed and to that extent saved some of the furniture.

But even more important was the influence the campaign managers had on Julia’s day by day actions. Running a risk-averse campaign, they restricted her utterances to those that were safe and bland. Journalists became bored and angry at what they termed ‘lack of vision’, ‘lack of policy’ and ‘lack of leadership’, although, as I have written before, they never articulated what vision, policy and leadership might look like. No doubt they have vague notions, but if asked to exemplify these concepts, would likely do poorly. It’s so easy to be critical when you don’t have to do it yourself.

Eventually Julia realized that she was not ‘cutting through’, to use a favourite expression of journalists, and decided to do it her way, to abandon the tight scripting her advisers demanded, and to tone down the ‘moving forward’ slogan that so irritated the journalists. This was when she announced the ‘real Julia’. I would have preferred her to have made the transition without fanfare, but others believe that making the change overt was a circuit breaker. Again we will never know whether a covert or an overt approach would have been preferable – we have only one to observe. Complexity abounds.

Generally she seems to have handled her new role well, albeit not perfectly. The Oakes' leaks were damaging and the one suggesting that she had not supported the PPL and pension rises in Cabinet left her defending her position with one hand – that of Cabinet confidentiality - tied behind her back. She did as well as one might have hoped, but it was bound to be difficult, and because the media’s voracious appetite for ‘scandal’ needed to be satisfied, media coverage took ‘oxygen’ away from her policy announcements in the second and third weeks of the campaign. Amusingly, the media castigated her for not getting her messages out, while it was the main reason this was not possible.

I rate the Gillard factor as positive – it could have been better, but the fact that she stemmed the loss of seats to the extent that the Coalition could not achieve a majority either, should be marked up to her great credit. If given the chance to be the PM, I believe she will do it creditably, especially when not constrained by the exigencies of campaigning.

Let’s now look at what I regard as the next most important factor, what I have called ‘the Queensland factor’.

The Queensland factor

We have become accustomed to hearing about our two-speed economy, the mining boom states versus the rest, but after the election we have another division according to the ever-perceptive George Megalogenis who wrote the following in The Australian on 23 August in “Poll divides the nation into three zones”: “Australia is now divided into three zones by political and economic culture – one conservative one progressive and one split down the middle. The mining states of Queensland and Western Australia are a Labor wasteland. The progressive southern states of Victoria, South Australian and Tasmania don’t want to know the Coalition. Between these two zones is the dead state of NSW, where neither side claimed a decisive vote on Saturday. The parliament was hung because Tony Abbott’s home state did not break the same way for the Coalition as Queensland and Western Australia did.” This perspective highlights the divided state of our nation. We seem not to have one uniform nation, but two or three sub-nations which think and feel quite differently. It is apparent that in this election Queenslanders had a view of federal politics that differed from most of the rest of the nation.

So let’s look at what happened in the Sunshine State.

In 2007, Kevin Rudd, the state’s own boy, took a large swag of seats from the Coalition in a big swing to Labor, picking up seats it hardly expected to win. No doubt there was a local boy factor. It was inevitable that some of these would swing back to the Coalition next time. But why so many?

It seems that Queenslanders became disillusioned with Rudd, especially over his embrace of the mining tax which they perceived threatened jobs in the mining and coal industry along the north coast. There was talk about them having the ‘baseball bats’ out for him, seemingly a peculiarly Queensland approach to out-of-favour politicians. They seemed to want to have the opportunity of beating him with them. Then when he was replaced they became annoyed, I suppose because their Queensland ‘boy’ was so unceremoniously removed, but also maybe because they wanted to do that themselves. It was classic ambivalence, but the outcome was a big fall in TPP support for Labor and a great loss of seats; in fact Labor has lost around half its seats in the mining states. If Queensland had not reacted so violently against its own boy, against Labor, Labor would be in government. Queensland has deeply wounded Labor.

The other critical element of the Queensland factor is the Bligh factor.

The Bligh factor

Since re-election, an outcome made possible by a poor opposition, Anna Blight has become very unpopular, as we understand it over her sale of public assets, a $15 billion state privatisation plan - a plan many voters believe she hid from them before last year's state election. It has been a remarkable turnaround for someone who became Premier in her own right just a short time ago. There seems little doubt that the Bligh factor played out adversely for the federal government, and that Queenslanders are punishing federal Labor for the perceived misdemeanours of the Bligh Government. How much is a matter of conjecture; in NSW such a reaction would have made more sense, yet that was not so much the case there. People will have varying views not so much about whether the Labor brand was diminished by out-of-favour state Labor governments because it clearly was, but how much it actually affected the result in Queensland, and NSW.

The other factors in this complex mix

The way in which the Rudd factor, the Gillard factor, the Queensland factor and the Bligh factor have interacted to produce the result we now see, is conjectural. There will be many views on this, some strongly held, some with flimsy evidence to support them. This piece attempts to describe some of them and the way they might have played out. But there are more: the NSW factor, the Sussex Street factor, the Abbott factor, the Coalition factor, the media factor, and more. Those are for the next piece.

What do you think?

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jj

27/08/2010Brisbane declared! Coalition victory! Oh and Tony Abbott has agreed to release costings to treasury, as Gillard has signed a deal to promise that once treasury has costed the coalitions policies they will go directly to the independents by-passing PM and cabinet. Looks like all your junk about Abbott hiding something was complete garbage. 73-72 to the coalition, (and yes i am counting Tony Crook as he has said that he could not contemplate helping a party that supported such a tax form government). Gillard should hand over now. She has failed. She will be the shortest serving PM in history and the female PM that never got elected to office. She will be remembered as the woman that got rid of a sitting PM to no avail. A person who treated us, the public, lie mugs with her 'real Julia' routine; her lies relating to the mining tax, Eat-Timor Solution and climate change. Julia Gillard is a person without back bone; a desperate politician desperate for power, but only for powers sake. jj

Jason

27/08/2010jj, She will be the shortest serving PM in history. Really How did Francis Forde get on?

Ad astra reply

27/08/2010jj You seem to live in a Coalition-friendly space where everything that happens looks rosy for Tony Abbott and the Coalition. So all the talk [i]“…about Abbott hiding something was complete garbage”[/i] was it? Strange how so many MSM journalists and ‘neutral’ politicians thought he was hiding something, strange how he wants only the Independents to see the costings and not the Australian people. In fact he sees it as a ‘win’ having confined the exposure of his costings to just the Independents. That doesn’t sound to me like an open, honest approach. Why would he want to withhold his costed plans for an Abbott Government from the public? If he’s elected PM, surely we are entitled to know about them. You seem to have counted your chickens. With Brisbane going to the Coalition and WA Nationals Tony Crook saying he does not want to be counted among the Coalition numbers and wants to sit on the cross bench, that amounts to 72 each for the Coalition and Labor with one Green and five on the cross benches. That looks like a draw to me jj. With the Greens member supporting Labor, and as you predict Hook supporting the Coalition, the four Independents will decide who governs. It seems we haven’t advanced at all in sorting out who gets the nod. So go on reveling in what you see as a great Coalition ‘win’ if it makes you feel good. The rest of us will wait until the hung parliament is un-hung. Then we’ll see who is left hanging. I find the venom you direct at Julia Gillard unbecoming, but I suppose it reflects the intensity of your animosity.

jj

27/08/2010Even though you may not like Tony Abbott at least he stands for things, Julia Gillard has no idea what it is that she stands for; neither do the Labor party. Part of the problem is the labor team, it is truly atrocious: Chris Bowen-one of the most incompetent hopeless ministers this country has seen in a long while; his legacy will be fuel watch and grocery watch. Penny Wong-she will be remembered as the water minister that didnt understand water policy. the environment minister that did nothing substantial for the environment; and a politician that never ever, ever answered a question. Wayne Swan-a treasurer who spun, spun, spun but could never sell anything. A man who spent a decade in opposition and yet when it came to governing had nothing that he desperately wanted to change, (even though he was handed with the biggest taxation review in half a century to work with). Mark Arbib-the man who helped bring down the government. Nicola Roxan-a minister who couldnt tell the truth, and a minister that never deliverd on the big ticket items she so ferociously barracked for in 07. Albanese-a sleeze, who couldnt thin for himself, with the only words to come out of his mouth being focus group tested lines. Julia Gillard-BER, inflexible workplace laws; a spin queen; a woman that was bent on bringing up the old class warfare issue; and the person who stabbed a first term PM. Kim whatever his name is-a man who wasted money on a green car scheme which hasnt and never will result in any green cars being built in Australia, (around a billion wasted on his programs alone). Lindsay Tanner-a bitter man who was also very happy to spin, and bring up all issues of class, (i.e. private health insurance and the mining tax). AND I COULD GO ON! Ministers i would pay tribute to are: Stephen Smith-a good person and a very capable minister. Greg Combet-although i definitely do not agree with his stance on many issues, he did quite a good job at cleaning up various messes. John Falkner-once again a good man, and a very under-utilised minister. And that is about it. I hope that the past three years can be forgotten by the Australian people. And to borrow a phrase from the queen of spin, 'lets move forward Australia'.

Jason

27/08/2010jj, Your either sloppy, lazy or both Where is the Hybird Camry built? Melbourne You will find. Hybrid Camry brings together brilliant engineering with world leading hybrid technology. Built right here in Australia, it’s a car that will go far beyond your expectations. From the outstanding performance, handling and technology to the world-class safety and unique ownership experience..

jj

27/08/2010Jason, Sorry i forgot to add the bit about her being a female.

jj

27/08/2010AA, I also find it quite amazing, the ferocity with which you treat Abbott, and anyone who does not totally 100% agree with you. You have got all you yes ministers blogging away about how brilliant this blog is, so i just though i would add a bit of balance. Keep hoping AA for a Labor minority government, because i am afraid hope is all you have got.

jj

27/08/2010Jason, Was the Hybrid Camry being built in Australia before this money was announced?

Lyn

27/08/2010FOR jj Spin me right round, baby. The Conscience Vote On Wednesday, Abbott said he couldn’t give his numbers to Treasury because they could not understand how the Opposition’s numbers were put together. Twenty-four hours ago, the story changed. The Independents could see the private audit completed by WHK Horwath, but that was it. (And it’s worth noting that the firm in question is now the subject of a complaint to the Institute of Chartered Accountants). Robb drew a sharp line in the sand Now, another day further on, the story has changed again. Suddenly, Treasury is capable of understanding the Opposition’s costings. With a wave of some political magic wand, Abbott has fixed the problem You only have to read the letters exchanged between Abbott and Gillard to see that the story is very different to what Abbott announced not twenty minutes ago The condition that the government not be given any access whatsoever to Coalition costings is, frankly, ridiculous – and Gillard’s agreement can be read as nothing more than acquiescence to a pointless demand that has no effect on the government.consciencevote.wordpress.com/.../ the letters Tony Abbott opens books to independents bloc UPDATE 2.35pm: Matthew Schulz, Herald Sun Read the blow-by-blow negotiations between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, and the internal briefing to Ms Gillard from Prime Minister and Cabinet below. PM&C briefing to the PM on the independents' request for information (*.pdf) PM's letter to Tony Abbott 25 August 2010 (.pdf) PM's letter to Tony Abbott 26 August 2010 (.pdf) PM's letter to Tony Abbott 27 August 2010 (.pdf) Tony Abbott's response to the PM 27 August 2010 (*.pdf) www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-fn5ko0pw-1225910669329 Lyn

Lyn

27/08/2010JJ you will need these 2 links: (And it’s worth noting that the firm in question is now the subject of a complaint to the Institute of Chartered Accountants). Robb drew a sharp line in the sand Spin me right round, baby. The Conscience Vote http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/spin-me-right-round-baby/

Hillbilly Skeleton

27/08/2010Ad Astra, Another worthy piece of commentary on the situation the country finds itself in and why. All that I may add to such a comprehensive dissertation is that there is a new theory going around about who the leaker may have been. As it was said by the person who was specualting about the identity of the leaker, 'Revenge is a dish best served cold', and so it was for this reason that they speculated that the trail should lead back to Joel Fitzgibbon's door. It was said that he was sacked by Kevin Rudd, as a result of letting his brother carry out lobbying business in his office, only after Julia Gillard made a powerful representation to the then PM that it would be in the interests of public probity and the desires of the electorate at that time, which was that he had gone a bridge too far when added to the Defence pay dispute, to make him step down. As is also known, Joel Fitzgibbon was one of Kevin Rudd's number crunchers in the initial push to get him the Opposition Leader's job over Kim Beazley. Thus he was close enough to Rudd that he would have been taken into Rudd's confidence about the goings on of the Kitchen Cabinet. Which it now seems he kept under his hat until such time as he could use it most effectively against Julia Gillard. What also adds credence to this theory is that Fitzgibbon occupies one of the safest Labor seats in the country, centred around Newcastle, so he could be assured of keeping his own seat whatever the outcome of the election, even if Julia Gillard lost the election badly. So, maybe you have to add, 'The Fitzgibbon Factor', AA? :)

Lyn

27/08/2010JJ [i]and yes i am counting Tony Crook as he has said that he could not contemplate helping a party that supported such a tax form government).[/i] Tony Crook has asked not to be counted: 72 each they say: Coalition can't count on WA National Tony Crook, says Julia Gillard ,2:28PM James Massola, The Australian I do note, and these are his words and not mine, that he said today `in every news report and press report we see my number is being allocated in with the Coalition and it shoulnd't be',” Ms Gillard said. But Mr Crook's declaration of independence would mean the parties tied on 72-all if, as seems likely, the Coalition wins Hasluck and Brisbane and Labor hangs on in Corangamite. www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-fn59niix-1225910945184

Hillbilly Skeleton

27/08/2010If anyone's interested, this is Antony Green's exhaustive explanation of all things 'Hung Parliament': http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/08/hung-parliament-where-to-from-here.html

tredlgt

27/08/2010 Ad Astra Thank you for another well thought out piece ,more good reading. The main problem seems to me to be that one party would prefer to do nothing constructive, they wish to rip down rather than build up they have no problem lying and can not be embarrassed when found out , they dont care if they are caught out. Then just move on to some thing else,no one can see the numbers because they are to stupid to grasp the genius behind them ,oh bugger it we will show the numbers . WE WIN. What have they won the idiots. Joe has spent the last few days gathering a new set of figures, so what will this prove other than they are slippery,we the public are still not trusted to know what the truth is. It should be better than this.

Lyn

27/08/2010Hi Ad Thankyou Ad, for another wonderful marvellous piece, sequel to "How has it come to this" I love the way you put the words and happenings all together, in your kind and gentle manner makes such a wonderful read. [quote]I rate the Gillard factor as positive [/quote]– I couldn't agree with you more. Look what Julia had to cope with, The most obstructionist opposition in 30 years, The entire MSM, every newspaper, TV station, Radio station, Political Journalist, commentator, all against her and the Government. The most unreasonable, incredible, Opposition Leader. The distorted reporting of the BER program, the insulation program, even her voice, nose, and ear lobes, religion, domestic life, all insulted beyond belief. Anna Bligh is so unpopular because, she is very stubborn, her attitude has certaintly hurt Labor in Queensland. Julia Gillard should be admired, and congratulated for what she has achieved over the last 8 weeks or so, and to have gained the amount of votes and seats, she and the government has, under such severe, extreme, circumstances, is a fantastic performance. Also if the Government is such a bad, bad, incompentent, inept, untrustworthy, Government, how come the Coalition is not the Government right now.

Lyn

27/08/2010Hi Ad [i]Morgan phone poll: 51.5-48.5 to Labor, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] Julia Gillard is favoured over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister 44-36 http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/08/27/morgan-phone-poll-51-5-48-5-to-labor/ Sky News Video Clip 72 all as picture becomes clearer, Sky News Clip Federal Opposition Leader [b]Tony Abbott maintains the coalition has 73 seats[/b], making it the largest bloc in parliament, but West Australian Nationals MP Tony Crook has confirmed to AAP he considers himself an independent. http://www.skynews.com.au/election2010/article.aspx?id=505557&articleID=1716429

Acerbic Conehead

27/08/2010AA, factors always confused me when I was doing maths at school, but your expert serialisation in this and the previous thread of the major factors involved up to now, has been truly illuminating. However, in case you don’t mention in your next thread the one in particular I have in mind, THE MAX FACTOR, I’ll just share it with you now. You see, with all his spending promises, Tones, unfortunately, seems to have maxed out the old credit card. Howarths have tried to help him out, but now he has to throw himself on the not very tender mercies of the three independents. But, being the conviction politician that he is, he wants everyone to know that what you see is what you get. If honesty is not one of the priorities in his political life, then that’s just too bad. Here he is telling it like it is, in his very own pragmatic style, to the dulcet tones of Billy Joel’s, “Honesty”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWu0N0qPeME :- ) To check our policy costings Is very hard to do You can ask til you’re blue in the face But if you ask about boats n things We’ll gladly give you our view It always seems to be in such bad taste :- ) Honesty is such a wimpy word As girlie as any can be Honestly, I’d love to give it the bird Expunge it from the dictionary :- ) I can always find someone To spin some porky pies If I need to fiddle in any way But I don't want just any old amateurs Tryin’ to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes Give me Joe and Robbo anyday :- ) Honesty is such a corny word I think it is very bland Honesty from me is hardly ever heard Cos I’m a Machiavellian :- ) They say I’m a phoney Gone right round the bend I can swear black is white until the bitter end Anyone can catch me out With uncosted promises I know, I know. :- ) When I'm being unscripted Don’t show me any concern Tell me to go lie down with a Bex And when I’m crappin’ on per usual Don’t pay me any heed Cos I’m only Rabbotting on about some great big new tax :- ) Honesty is such an alien word From the dark side of the moon Honestly, how can I ever Slip one over on the Three Amigos?

2353

27/08/2010If Abbott had nothing to hide with his policy costings - why the charade? Is leaking only a criminal offence if it against you. Surely Abbott if his fervour for the rule of law when leaks were discovered should have fingered Godwin Grech as soon as he was made aware of the actions. Smacks a little of double standards, opportunism or playing a strategy from the Howard playbook to me. The other thing that I wonder about is why when you need the support of three people to achieve a result - why do you go out of your way to annoy them as Abbott has done? Either he has resigned himself to opposition (with a plan to demonstrate incompetence for the minority Government) or he really believed that three people who left the National Party over policy differences would fall into line when requested. Either way a high risk plan. Again a well argued post Ad. Thank you

Lyn

27/08/2010 Hi Ad Lateline at 10:10 tonight, where Anthony Albanese and Andrew Robb will be squaring off. Insiders on Sunday, where in addition to Barrie interviewing Tony Abbott they’ll have New England’s Tony Windsor as a guest. The panel is Laura Tingle, Lenore Taylor and Kerry-Anne Walsh, and Talking Pictures has Sean Leahey. Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/08/27/weekend-talk-thread-august-27-29/

Ad astra reply

27/08/2010jj Sure jj, Tony ‘stands for things’. He stands this way, he stands that way, he stands over there, he stands somewhere else, he stands on his head, He stands for things, it’s just that it’s hard to know what they are, and the trouble is that he won’t stand in the one place for long enough for us to see where he is. But he does stand for things. He’s ‘authentic’. ‘What you see is what you get.’ Turn around and you see another Tony, but WYSIWYG. Turn this way and there’s another Tony, that way and hi presto, another. Close your eyes then open them again and hey, another Tony. Block your ears and unplug them and wow another Tony is talking. If you think this is some fantasy of mine, just read Tony’s stand on exposing his costings to scrutiny. First he said no way - the Treasury would not understand them. Then he said Treasury could not be trusted, so they couldn’t see the costings. Then he said not until the ‘leaker’ is found. Then he said the Independents could take a look, but the Government couldn’t, nor could the costings be made public. Why should the electorate know what the Coalition has planned and what it will cost? Tony really does stand for things, lots of things, different things, ever-changing things, things here today gone tomorrow, all sorts of things, things that suit him today, things that better suit him tomorrow or the day after, or next week, Things that are ‘scripted in writing’, but not things that come out of his mouth – these can changed without notice. Tony stands for things – give me a break. jj, I wonder if dialogue with you will ever change your attitudes and allegiances or mine. How will you convince me that all the derogatory things you said about Labor ministers are true, when my perspective is diametrically opposed? How can I convince you that my adverse views of Tony Abbott, or Joe Hockey or Andrew Robb, or Julie Bishop or Barnaby Joyce are well-founded? We live in different universes; regrettably they will never meet. So let’s not waste each other’s time.

Ad astra reply

27/08/2010HS Thank you for your comment and your hypothesis about Joel Fitzgibbon being the ‘leaker’, which has an air of plausibility. I must say that possibility never crossed my mind. tredlgt Thank you for your kind words. It is the destructiveness of the Coalition in opposition that distresses me. Tony Abbott writes in [i]Battlelines[/i] that he follows Randolph Churchill’s adage: “An opposition should oppose everything, suggest nothing, and turf the government out”. He has done this ever since he became Opposition Leader. Destruction of the Government is his aim and he will not let anything stand in his way. With the News Limited media strongly behind him, he can get away with obstructive, destructive behaviour because the media will not call it for what it is. It’s hard to counter a politician in destructive mode with negative slogans, and near impossible when the media applauds most of what he does and says; in fact some journalists urge him on and suggest strategies he might follow, Lyn As I said to tredlgt, with the media opposing Julia Gillard and Labor and supporting Tony Abbott and the Coalition, it’s a wonder that Labor is not further behind and the Coalition further ahead. It speaks volumes for Julia that she avoided defeat and likewise that Tony Abbott, even with all the support the media gave, could not topple Labor and take majority government. Today’s Morgan shows Labor still ahead and Julia still well ahead of Tony on PPM. And thanks for the TV schedules. AC I did enjoy singing ‘Honesty’ along with Billy Joel using your words. You really have a talent for lyrics and you always seem too find the right music clip to match. Many thanks, once again. 2353 Thank you for your encouraging comments. For the life of me I can’t work out why Tony Abbott was so obstructionist over the costings, thereby upsetting the very people he needs to support his bid for power. It’s hard to see a rational plan behind it especially now that he has ‘changed his mind’. If there is a plan, rather than it being just Tony being obstreperous, I’d love to know what it is.

Ad astra reply

27/08/2010Folks I'm off to watch [i]Lateline[/i].

Acerbic Conehead

27/08/2010AA, I just love you when you’re angry, lol. When you pointed out to JJ the...errr...relative inconsistencies in Tones’ positions on particular matters, it reminded me of the catchy ditty dedicated to his proclivity to do flip-flops, so mind-boggling, they would make an Olympic gymnast look like Phil Ruddock in a coma. It is sung to the catchy melodies of The Kinks, “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t46vaqMkQLw&feature=related :- ) They seek him here, they seek him there Flip flops around, he doesn’t care Policies are made and broken, he changes them like his vest ’cause he’s a dedicated follower of flippage :- ) And when he does his little rounds ’round the black stump and outward bound Eagerly pursuing all the latest triple pikes ’cause he’s a dedicated follower of flippage :- ) Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is) He thinks he is a gay icon to be looked at And when he pulls his frilly nylon speedos right up tight He feels a dedicated follower of flippage :- ) Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is) There’s one thing he loves and that’s the Republic Last week he was a monarchist, this week he moons the Queen ’cause he’s a dedicated follower of flippage :- ) They seek him here, they seek him there Welcoming the boats, paying their fares Everywhere the Rabbottetian army marches on Each one an dedicated follower of flippage. :- ) Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is) His world is built ’round cremating WorkChoices and tackling global warming This freedom-seeking individual always looks his best ’cause he’s a dedicated follower of flippage :- ) Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is). He flits from party to party just like a butterfly. As it happens, he’s now convenor of Labor’s hard left ’cause he’s a dedicated follower of flippage. He’s a dedicated follower of flippage. He’s a dedicated follower of flippage.

Rx

28/08/2010Tony ‘stands for things’? Lol! Can't these Liberals ever stop SPINNING? They stand for one thing and nothing else - SPIN.

Lyn

28/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [b]RECOMMENDED READ[/b], Costings? BY MASSIVESPRAY [i]Costings? We don’t need no stinking costings!, Massivespray[/i] Turns that this firm was hired 2 MONTHS PREVIOUSLY. Lucky that leak happened otherwise it would have just been a waste spending all that money on the accounting firm hey? http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/costings-we-dont-need-no-stinking-costings/ [i]Tony Abbott can’t let go of “just say no.”, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] As Glen Milne at The Drum notes Abbott’s obstructionist conduct demonstrates that he’s still stuck in campaign mode. That is; adversarial and aggressive – http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/27/tony-abbott-can’t-let-go-of-“just-say-no-”/ [i]A real governance problem.by Andrew Bartlett, blogg[/i] It is hard to think of a more serious attack on the integrity of a group of public servants who are largely the same ones who served the Government of John Howard for more than a decade. The http://andrewbartlett.com/?p=7634 [i]Should Australia go back to the polls? Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] ABC election analyst Antony “put his head in a jar when he dies because when he’s gone by god we’ll miss him” Green knew what was going on. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/27/should-australia-go-back-to-the-polls/ [i]Abbott's Great Big Treasury Backflip , John, True Politik[/i] As late as last night, Coalition Shadow Finance spokesman, Andrew Robb, said "We don't want to have a fight with these guys (the Independents), but we're not going to be dictated to and not tug our forelock.. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2010/08/abbotts-great-big-treasury-backflip.html [i]The Real Tony Abbott, Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i] If Abbott does not win government this time around, expect behaviour like that of the Coalition during the Whitlam Government – intent from day one on causing such disruption that the Government is forced back to an early election. http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/08/real-tony-abbott.html [i]Unwritten conventions of government, Antony green, The Drum[/i] If the Opposition can produce an agreement with the Independents, does the Gillard government have to resign?in the current circumstances, Ms Gillard is within her rights to advise the Governor General that any agreement by the Opposition be tested on the floor of the House of Representatives to determine who should form government. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/27/2995560.htm?site=thedrum [i]Could our mining executives have been having a lend of us? Peter Martin[/i] Australian mining executives appear to have been saying one thing and doing another as they negotiated with the government over the resource super profits tax during May and June. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Abbott’s freeze could devastate The Oz, Andrew Cook, Crikey[/i] Tony Abbott’s plan to save $3.8 billion by hacking 12,000 jobs out of the federal public service could “devastate” The Australian newspaper, according to a well placed Canberra insider. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/27/abbotts-public-service-freeze-could-devastate-the-oz/ [i]It's the economy stupid, or is it? Brian, larvatus Prodeo[/i] But the stark fact is that that Labor held the line in other states but their defences were comprehensively breached in Qld and WA. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/27/its-the-economy-stupid/#more-16066 [i]Party that lost its only seat wants to determine Government, Jeremy Sear, An Ononymous Lefty[/i] UPDATE: Tony Abbott has shot down Steve’s last ditch cry for relevance. How ungrateful. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/party-that-lost-its-only-seat-wants-to-determine-government/ [i]What do you do when you're not a player no more?, Richard Green, Club Troppo[/i] no wonder that the News Ltd papers are strikingly unanimous in calling for a new election. A new election gives them a chance to look like players http://clubtroppo.com.au/ Yes We Canberra! | The Coalition's Broadband Policy , Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGzleHwzmTQ&feature=player_embedded

Lyn

28/08/2010Hi Rx [quote]Can't these Liberals ever stop SPINNING?[/quote] No, Rx they can't stop, it's a highly skilled talent, carefully designed to demolish. See Abbott spin, the submission of his costings to Treasury, "as a win" gold medal prize winning, dirty tricks spin.

Bilko

28/08/2010RX with all that spinning no wonder he cannot stand still. The Libs have had a week to "adjust their costings" but I think Julia made a mistake agreeing that Treasury not show them to the Government or publish them I say publish and be dammed because as long as Abbott hides them from view he irates the indies and the general public and what has he to hide gains momentum

George Pike

28/08/2010The Labor Party had better be very careful about the political donations controversy. The media gave the Coalition at least $500 million in FREE advertising during the last election campaign. That very heavy media bias towards the conservative parties, plus the anti-Labor ad campaigns from the mining elites and small business council makes the constrictions being proposed for political donations a very dangerous path for the Labor Party to follow.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010Well, it seems as though Ltd News didn't even pause for breath before they commissioned News(Push)Poll to engage the electors of the 3 Independants electorates in another round of coercion of those same Independants by beating them around the head with the results of their latest poll about who the electors would prefer their just recently-elected MPs to support into government. And, surprise! surprise! it's the Coalition, 'by an overwhelming majority'. If the 3 Independants allow Ltd News and their barely-disguised attempt to determine who will run our great nation to influence them and their decision, then they are not worthy of the position to which they have just been elected. It's obvious to me that at this very moment, the National Party and the Liberal Parrty in their electorates will be ramping up an Astroturfing program in order to give the 3 Independants the impression that their constituents are demanding they support Tony Abbott, when, in probable fact, it will just be the noisy members of the Coalition parties in their electorates. It's funny, but I have just read an article recently about the Bush/Gore dead-heat election and the many ways the Republican Party manipulated the post-election environment in Florida to their advantage. It was an eye-opening education in campaigning dirty tricks, for as soon as they knew the result the Republican Party just switched its focus to Florida and kept on campaigning, in the media and on the ground. I see no reason to think that there is any difference in our situation at present. The Liberal Party, and their media arm News Ltd, play dirty, and they play to win. Just refer back to what they did to me on Election Day if you need a fresh example.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010The Coalition should just change their name to Tony Abbott and the P.I.P.s(Public Intimidation Party), and be done with it.

Ad astra reply

28/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

George Pike

28/08/2010It's not just us who fear the domination of society by Rupert Murdoch and his hacks! http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/aug/27/bbc-mark-thompson-murdoch-mactaggart

janice

28/08/2010Hillbilly, There is absolutely no way Joel Fitzgibbon is the leaker. I know him well and he is very well respected by those on all side of politics in his electorate. I can assure you that Joel would never do or say anything to hurt Labor and any anger and bitterness he may harbour is placed fairly and squarely on the media and his coalition enemies.

George Pike

28/08/2010What about Rudd's right hand man, the guy who stood in for him at the cabinet meetings etc...he would have had the most to lose wouldn't he?

janice

28/08/2010George Pike, It was, most probably, a disgruntled staffer or someone employed in any one of the Ministers' offices. Gossip is always pretty rife in any workplace and those who are prone to 'leaking' know full well that those looking for someone to blame are unlikely to hit the right spot. Of course I read the speculation about Joel Fitzgibbon and the many reasons why it sounded plausible that he had cause and therefore was probably guilty. Knowing the man so well and his dedication to his electorate and the Labor Party, it angered me that he would be accused so wrongly. IMHO, the leaker is someone who has little care for the welfare of his/her country and is without a single grain of decency or integrity.

Lyn

28/08/2010Hi Ad Sky News this morning, over and over saying, "Back Abbott not Labor" then quietly saying last, new poll says.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010janice, You may just be right. Government is a very big beast. Some parts of it gather dust and gossip in dark corners. :)

jj

28/08/2010For all of you that claim that News limited, Galaxy and neilson are all biased polling companies than god help you. they ask a question, (e.g. who would you prefer to form a minority government: the Coalition, or the Labor party); the person gives an answer. How much more objective can it be! To AA and all his other yes ministers, can you please outline what it is that the Labor Party stands for. Do they really stand for off-shore processing? Do they really stand for private education funding? Do they really stand for action on climate change? Do they really stand for a revised mining tax? Does Gillard still want a death duties tax to be re-introduced? Does Gillard still want a wealth tax to be introduced? Did Gillard really support a pension increase? Did Gillard really support a paid parental leave scheme? Did Gillard give Krudd any warnings before axing him? Is it true that Gillard pushed for the dumping of the CPRS, which inevitably led to Krudd's downfall? Is it true that Gillard based on past history, is really just an assassin cloaked with her smiley, fake persona, (she has her finger prints all over the dumping of: Crean, Beazly, Latham, Beazly, Rudd)? Isnt it horrible, the way she treats her supposed 'friends': Heads of unions, mark Latham e.t.c.? When she bags out Latham for being a rogue, isnt that just re-enforcing how lacking her political judgment is, (she helped get him to run for PM, was his deputy, and described him as being ready for the top job)? What a sham this Labor party is! What a joke! We have a PM who treats her friends like dirt, the Australian people like dirt, and the Australian purse like dirt. We have a Labor team which is desperate, desperate, desperate. They are outflanked from the right, the left, and the center, (in 3 states the Labor party could barely get a third of the primary vote). i mean really, after eleven and a half years in opposition you would think they would have fresh ideas, and would be ready to govern; but as we have seen over the past three years, the party is an absolute joke! You say the Nationals are dying, how about you look at your mob!

debbiep

28/08/2010 jj- So sound sooo ungrateful you are supporting a man who is now playing games with treasury. The SAME treasury that worked for you in the Howard era creating a surplus and 'good economy'.... remember. yes this sore loser would have really liked to have seen Rudd’s mining tax implemented. Why as we continue to be squeezed with , and from, extra taxes. On this one justified occasion and policy. I would have liked to see the super profits of our mines helping to contribute. To spread the wealth, and burden. But no- lets tax the people out of spending. So we can only end up with a one speed economy Hey, but next time your going to Wollongong. Check out the huge new buildings being built for the UNI re the stimulus package....(And every other educational service) Keeping The employment of the most employed sectors of the nation...Stable and high . The insulation of millions of homes to help people , for starters , with reducing the costs from heating and cooling on their electricity bills and again stimulated employment. Then travel down to the Shoalhaven where huge building projects both in the schools AND social commonwealth Housing is occurring. As well as super clinic and a lcancer centre... Then..oh why bother...afer all you guys are voters of the low expectation party.... The Stop I stand for nothing party. Call me a Sore loser... well let me call you an ungrateful winner

debbiep

28/08/2010 ps I add & explain, I am classing myself as a 'sore loser'. If, and that's an IF, Abbott wins. Which would then make you sound like an Ungrateful winner....

Lyn

28/08/2010JJ "Poppycock"

Jason

28/08/2010jj, You are a fool you have been lecturing us about the use of focus groups etc for five weeks, now a few polls come along and you take them as gospel. jj you seem to think should Abbott get in that somehow he has a mandate, as you are so close to the seat of power what is it Abbott wouldn't change his mind on to get into power? The game has changed for both sides jj but your still in campaign mode still full of rage and I have no doubt if Abbott does form government you will come on here and blame us. jj you don't know I don't know and no one else on this blog knows who is going to form government, so well may you ask what does Labor stand for we can also ask what will the Coalition stand for in order to get into power, if Abbott was the conviction politician you say he is he would have told the indies to get stuffed this is what I stand for and that's that.Abbott hasn't got it in him he's a political weather vane.

jj

28/08/2010Jason, Where abouts did i say that i thought the polling was gospel truth? I havent! The people that vote on voting day are the ultimate poll, and they have spoken; delivering a 2% swing to the Coalition, and a 5% swing against Labor. This is only the second time in Australian political history that a first term Government has lost its majority at its first election. They have failed! People know what Abbott stands for, but he knows that many of the things he believes in are not politically tolerable, and which he does not believe should be imposed on all Australians (ie his stance on abortion). Now what is wrong with that! But on issues of Industrial relations, Asylum seekers, Health policy, A referendum, Education Policy, The role of Government in society e.t.c. his views are very clear. I have no idea what so ever what it is that Gillard even has at her core, whereas you and i both know what it is that drives Abbott, and i find that far more re-assuring than not knowing at all.

Acerbic Conehead

28/08/2010jj, this is an interesting article about Tony Abbott. http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/08/tony-abbott-the-man-behind-the-mask/

janice

28/08/2010 jj, [quote]We have a PM who treats her friends like dirt, the Australian people like dirt, and the Australian purse like dirt.[/quote] You are absolutely entitled to follow and believe all the bullshit that comes out of the mouths of the ultra-right faction of the coalition and the self-confessed liar who is leading them. You come across as a brainwashed spoiled brat who hasn't the intelligence to seek out all the information available and then differentiate between downright lies and truth. And, that statement (above) could only come out of the mouth of an immature child playing mud pies and repeating the words of bigoted grown-ups who know no better.

Michael

28/08/2010"AND I COULD GO ON" (jj) And you do, you do. What's with the lower case, by the way? Still in short pants? Love having that little dot on top? Incidentally, is it "jay jay" or "juh juh"? Or does "jj" stand for something? An acronym for "just jaundiced"? "justifiably jacked"? "juvenile jabbering"? Any initial response welcomed.

Lyn

28/08/2010Hi Acerbic Conehead Thankyou for your link to The Man Behind the Mask, excellent piece, I trust JJ will enjoy the read. Supports what we say into the bargain. A big thankyou for your ever, enjoyable pieces, you ad enjoyment & delight, to our blog.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010JJ is a conservative troll who mouths all the spin that he thinks isn't spin from his side of politics. I have a firm policy of not feeding the trolls.

jj

28/08/2010Janice, And i suppose the stuff that you spurt out of your mouth is just the same... Verbal Diarrhea i think they call it.

jj

28/08/2010Hillybilly, Yes well you keep on supporting your queen...even if you have no reasons for doing so.

jj

28/08/2010Michael, How about you ask your friend janice the same question. Just like all of the others, as you cannot refute, you just get personal.

jj

28/08/2010janice, if you are calling a party that is planning to introduce a paid parental leave scheme, that is paid at the mothers full wage for six months, right wing; than you obviously have rocks in you head. Oh and by the way is the Labor party on the right, or left side of the political spectrum, Julia and co have made me very confused.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010AC, As Tony Abbott even looks a bit Jim Careyish, I think that particular version of a man and a mask is more apt. :) http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/12/17/article-1236527-07A0F8DF000005DC-582_306x337.jpg

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010jj, It is definitely Right Wing to support a Paid Parental Leave Scheme that is inequitable and supports the wealthiest mothers with the taxes of the PAYE taxpayers. Then to try and dress it up as some sort of 'Productivity measure' is simply sleazy.

Shaun

28/08/2010Hi AA, thanks for the great blog. jj. you call the labor party a sham/joke, have you had a real close look at the coalition, I some how doubt it. Weather vane Tony and his merry band of deceivers do not even have the decency to allow their election costings to be displayed in public, what have they got to hide? me thinks policy written on the back of toilet paper. At least labor policies are fully on display on their web page, http://www.alp.org.au/agenda/ , Even with the full might of the Murduck press and their ABC behind them the coalition still could not get a clear majority, that says a lot about the coalition. Labor has been battling with the media from day one, I have never before seen the sort of personnel attacks against a Prime Minister (Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard), it was and is an absolute disgrace and reflects very badly upon all Australians. So, jj, have a good look at the coalition, look at their policies, look at the disrespect heaped upon the treasury, and look at how the coalition treat the electorate. Labor look to be going into these discussions with the independents openly and honestly, what are your coalition doing?

jj

28/08/2010Shaun, What you just wrote was absolute garbage! Not one thing you said was true. 1. the coalition have not said that the independents cannot make the costings public, but has said that they would rather all negotiation points were kept behind closed doors. 2. You have no evidence to back your claim that the Murdoch press and the ABC are supporters of the Coalition! Would you call Jonathan Green or Kerry Obrien a right winger? There would be something terribly wrong with you if you did. 3. The coalition have never discredited the treasury during their period in opposition. All they wanted was for the federal police to find the person/persons who leaked the confidential document relating to opposition policy costings, before they submitted their other policies; as such, up until that point the treasury should be considered to be compromised, 9but we all know it was Swanny that leaked it). So cut the vile spluttering and possibly use some fact when commenting.

jj

28/08/2010HillBilly, I put this question to you: do you believe that it is fair that two people that have different jobs get different sick leave, and holiday leave entitlements? A mother who earns 100k obviously would have financial commitments relevant to her financial condition, and so why shouldn't she be paid whilst on leave accordingly?

Michael

28/08/2010jj, hi. You have had all our attention all over this topic's post. Mine no more, jejune. (Fifth Edition, Shorter Oxford, definition 2)

Ad astra reply

28/08/2010Folks I’m working on the final part of the trilogy, ‘How has it come to this?’ I can see that you have more than adequately dealt with jj’s invective, so I won’t even try. AC You have a genius for selecting just the right music and creating just the right lyrics to capture our feelings. Phony Tony is indeed ”a dedicated follower of flippage” despite jj’s insistence that Tony ‘stands for things’. Shaun I think this may be your first post here – in that case welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come again. Thank you for your kind remarks. I agree, as do most bloggers here that the media has played a major role in the near-defeat of the Labor Government, but despite its best efforts to support the Coalition and Tony Abbott, it couldn’t quite pull off a clean victory. But the media is still out there, particularly News Limited, trying to intimidate the three Country Independents into supporting the Coalition. It will never give up. If it doesn’t succeed this time, the campaign to displace Labor will begin on day one of the next term. That’s just the way the media is.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010jj, You are conflating two entirely distinct situations in order to justify Tony Abbott's inequitable PPL plan, which even his Coalition partners in the Nationals agree favours one type of new mother over another. A person who draws a particular salary or wage is paid their leave entitlements, by their employer, appropriate and relative to that wage or salary according to a formula which is part of their employment contract. This differs from Abbott's disproportionately favourable scheme because Abbott's PPL will be paid for by the taxpayers of Australia as a wealth transfer from the poorest PAYE taxpayer to the wealthiest salary earner in order to give her a higher standard of living compared to other new mums. Whether she has a bigger mortgage to pay and a more expensive car to keep on the road should be neither here nor there, as in the 'Over my dead body' past in this country and during the Howard years, such families appeared to cope well-enough in such circumstances but without an overtly generous PPL scheme. It was called budgeting and most High Net Wealth individuals were capable of it then, so I can't see what has suddenly made them incapable of it now. Abbott's crackpot scheme is simply a new Middle Class Welfare Gravy Train, and is all the Coalition is good at. The Economy they certainly ain't. Watch it blow out the Budget. Interestingly to me I would have thought that as a professed Small Businessman you would have been able to see the folly of paying one employee more than another for Maternity Leave. However, as a one-eyed Coalition fanboy I also realise that you leave your common sense and rational thought at the door when you come in here to defend them and their cockamamie policies.

Shaun

28/08/2010Thanks jj. 1. yep you are correct, however what have they got to hide. 2. where do I start, how about continual references to PM Rudd as KRudd (derogatory). failure to pressure the coalition on policy costings (alp would not have got away with that one), actually complete and total failure on behalf of all the media to put Mr Abbott under any sort of pressure re policy, I will remove KOB from this as I believe he is perhaps the only journo to have a go at Mr Abbott. 3. They discredit by indicating that the treasury is not up to the task. If you cannot formulate an argument without resorting to derision maybe you should wander over to Bolters blog and I ask again what are your coalition doing.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010jj, Sorry, but your outright lies will not pass muster with me. You may think you can get away with intimidating behaviour towards shaun, who is new here, but I will not let it pass. Now, you stated baldly that the Coalition have not 'discredited the Treasury while in Opposition'. Bollocks. I will not waste the time tracking down their numerous utterances at the National Press Club(Joe Hockey), Senate Estimates(Barnaby Joyce, Eric Abetz, Mary Jo Fisher, and probably others), and in both Houses of Parliament itself, as well as on many occasions in the media over the course of the last 3 years while they were in Opposition. Suffice to say there are many, many examples to put the sword to your lie. You know, this isn't the Murdoch press where people such as you can get away with stating absolute garbage. You will be challenged. Every time. With the truth.

Shaun

28/08/2010Thanks AA, I have been reading your blog since the election started, looking around for some news, thoughts that were not biased towards the right, and I stumbled upon you -via possum. I must say I have certainly enjoyed your posts and reading the blogs (jj is a bit much though - I am just thankful that I live in a country where differing opinions can be aired). Even though I may not agree with somethings posted I still respect the right of the individual to discuss them. Regards

Lyn

28/08/2010Hi Shaun A big welcome to Ad Astra's "The Political Sword", thankyou for your comment, we hope you keep coming back. Your are right the civil war by the Murdoch press waged on the Government for the past three years is dreadful, they haven't finished though, because they haven't got what they wanted, so we have braced ourselves for more. A link you might like to read, Tim Dunlop, where, he talks about the Murdoch press behaviour: Behind the curtain in the land of the OZ, Tim Dunlop, BSides they have endorsed a second-rate and inept conservative opposition to win tomorrow: frankly, after three years of campaigning specifically for that, http://tjd.posterous.com/behind-the-curtain-in-the-land-of-the-oz

NormanK

28/08/2010Ad astra Thanks again for another excellent piece. My admiration of your analytical expertise grows with each new topic. Unfortunately, concurrent with that growth is the realisation that my interpretation of current political events is very naive. Oh well, we live and hopefully learn. More fool me for thinking that Rudd and Turnbull may have ushered in a gentler way of doing business, without the grandstanding over good outcomes and a bit of honesty when addressing the electorate. Anecdotally, up here in North Queensland the mining tax is thought of as ill-conceived, harmful and just plain dumb. Oakes' bombshell left an after-image of there having been a deal with Rudd which was then broken. No-one that I've spoken with much cares about the other leaks and view them as normal political game-playing. "Real" Julia was seen as cynical and implied fake Julia. Rudd is looked on by a high percentage of people as having all of the attributes ascribed to him by The Australian et al. Anna Bligh's privatization plans have been poorly explained and are therefor treated with scorn. The wages fiasco for medical staff looks bad and ties in nicely with claims of Federal mismanagement of schemes. I should stress that these are not my opinions. Michael Thanks for jejune.

jj

28/08/2010Skeleton, It is only going to be paid by the government because small business cannot affoard it. Abbott wished it wasnt a government funded system of leave, but it has to be because the federal purse is the only one larger enough to be able to cope with such stresses. So it shouldnt be treated as welfare, get past that point and you mat understand. This whole scheme of parental leave is setup to allow parents, (particularly mothers, to spend quality time with their newborn. Now can you tell me how a parent is supposed to be able to spend 'quality time' when they have to continuously worry about their financial situation, (mortgage, electricity bills, water bills e.t.c. which will actually go up because they will be in the house all day),? The answer is they cant. Oh and i cannot let the little class war thing slip by either. Wealthy people pay tax, actually proportionally more than those less well off, so why shouldnt they get government assistance in relation to bringing up their baby that is proportional to their income? The old left wing dumb thinking, reduce the gap! Reduce the gap! Cant you see that under the coalitions scheme, even if someone earning 50k will be getting less than someone earning 150k, they will be getting MORE than they would under the governments proposed scheme. They will be getting the pay that they would usually have gotton to meet all of their financial commitments. But OH NO WE CANT HAVE SOMEONE THAT EARNS MORE GET MORE! Dont you understand, it is about quality time with the child. The Coalitions scheme gives that, the Labor party's does not.

jj

28/08/2010Asking questions of the treasury does not amount to discrediting, you Labor hacks do get that do you. The treasury is not god, they can get things wrong, and so therefor they should be questioned accordingly.

Shaun

28/08/2010Thanks Lyn I know of no one who actually reads the Oz, but the problem is that when the Oz says something the others then run with it and treat it as the gospel truth , even media that appears to have no direct relationship with Murdoch, it's almost as if the media have become some sort of single entity, some sort of giant cancer. Or maybe it has always been this way, however a lot more subtle then it is today. Anyway, it's forums like this and Grogs, plus many others that reinforce my view that MSM is slowly dying - going the way of records, tapes. But they are not going to give up without a fight, no matter how much damage is done. Regards

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010jj, 'Abbott wished it wasnt a government funded system of leave, but it has to be because the federal purse is the only one larger enough to be able to cope with such stresses.' But it IS going to be funded by the poor,old taxpayer because the scheme is way too generous and favours the already wealthy over those less so. In other words, it's not a Fair Dinkum scheme. It IS welfare if the scheme is funded from the Public Purse. No ifs or buts or allusions to the ethical nobility of the scheme, or similar lines of balderdash. * 'Now can you tell me how a parent is supposed to be able to spend 'quality time' when they have to continuously worry about their financial situation, (mortgage, electricity bills, water bills e.t.c. which will actually go up because they will be in the house all day),? The answer is they cant.' Um, I and millions of Australian mothers before me did it, before the Baby Bonus, and definitely before this cockamamie scheme of Abbott's will be put out there, should the Australian nation be unlucky enough to have to put up with an Abbott government, of the elite, for the elite. It's called, living within your means. Jeez, jj, you sure know how to mouth Coalition lines well, but you don't know how to think them through or play devil's advocate with them and test their veracity and logicality. I mean, really, are you trying to say that a wealthy mother should be paid from the Public Purse so that she can afford Gap Baby for her newborn? And as for the mortgage argument, do you honestly believe the Public Purse should pay for the mortgage on her Investment Property while she is off work for 6 months? That's just highway robbery of the Public Purse by the economic elite. How can you in all good conscience justify such economic exploitation of the nation's finances, especially as it will be accompanied by the suspension of more worthy initiatives such as infrastructure spending and programs such as Public Housing and Public School intiatives such as Computers in Schools and Trades Training Centres? jj, you're simply being a Coalition fanboy along the lines of, Coalition=good; ALP=bad. Such simplistic rationalisation might play well on the News Ltd blogs, but here we actually like to base our opinions on a rational analysis of the facts. Oh, and I am not a 'Labor hack', I am a Carer who believes in social equity, egalitarianism and a fair go for all which is not dependant on how much money they earn or have in the bank. A Meritocracy, not an Autocracy or Kleptocracy, which, according to your postings appears to be what you favour.

macca

28/08/2010"But OH NO WE CANT HAVE SOMEONE THAT EARNS MORE GET MORE! Dont you understand, it is about quality time with the child. The Coalitions scheme gives that, the Labor party's does not." According to this logic a new mum on $150k pa has a deeper quality of love for her child than a new mum on the Govt. ppl of $570pw. How did it come to this? Australians like jj.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010Shaun, You may be interested to know that one of the reasons that the Murdoch media is fighting so hard to get rid of the ALP is because they don't want the NBN to go ahead as it will likely destroy their power base in the media, splintering as it will the knowledge and opinion-making base that they now dominate.

Shaun

28/08/2010Hi Hillbilly A national rollout of NBN will allow the majority of people to have for the first time almost instantaneous multimedia communication. If this gets fully rolled out people like, say, Bob Katter will be able to completely bypass MSM and get their message out in real time: ie log onto Bob.com at 18:00 and ask Bob questions, the closest we have to this is twitter, 140 characters unfortunately is just not enough. Link this up with 3G/4G mobile and we have the means to render the old MSM redundant. Yep I can see why they are playing dirty. I hope Bob and the other independants can see the advantage of the NBN regards

jj

28/08/2010Macca, I dont know where you got that from! What i was saying had nothing to do with what you have said! All i said was that no matter whether you earn 150k or 50k, you should be entitled to be paid at you full wage for 6 months, as the financial pressure put on families if they had to replace their salary with the dole would be enormous, and this financial pressure would affect the quality of time the parents had with the baby. And to all you others that claim the Murdoch press to be against the NBN is just factually incorrect. As far as i have read, the editor and most commentators of the Murdoch team support the idea of a national NBN; but unlike the other media outlets they have decided to delve deeper than just the glossy title; isnt that what journalists are supposed to do? what, do you want us to end up like a communist dictatorship where any criticism of the ruling party is considered a crime against the state?

jj

28/08/2010Hillbilly, 'Um, I and millions of Australian mothers before me did it...' So i am guessing you dont support any parental leave scheme then.

jj

28/08/2010OS what Hillbilly you just expect those that have done well in life, the so called 'elite' to give, give, give, and never get anything back! Where is the incentive to achieve if you are constantly being punished by the state for doing so? So what if the mother has an investment property, isnt that a good thing! Dont you support women being able to spend quality time with their new born? Cant you accept that even those better off than others have financial issues/commitments which they have to keep? What, do you expect the mother taking leave to have to sell her investment property which we worked god damn hard for, because she wants to spend quality time with her child! It sounds to me as though you have an extreme case of tall poppy syndrome, and it is sickening to listen to you and your class fear mongering!

macca

28/08/2010"I dont know where you got that from! What i was saying had nothing to do with what you have said!" But jj, if what I said was written by Shanahan, published by Murdoch and sprayed by Abbott, you would treat it as gospel.....wouldn't you?

Ethistan

28/08/2010Simple fact jj, if it is welfare, it should be equal to all it effects (We do live in an egalitarian society). If it is a productivity measure, it should be paid for by the employer. If you believe that it is a "productivity measure" and should still be paid for by the state, then why aren't you out there advocating for annual leave to be available to all people (people in casual jobs do not get annual leave). It seems that you only support this measure because it is Abbott's; if Gillard had announced something like this you would be dead set against it for its "waste" and unfair "taxes".

George Pike

28/08/2010The point about the Liberal PPL people is the fact that it is not even going to be brought in..it is a myth created for the consumption of the gullible to influence their voting intentions...the "never over the dead body of the liberal party" intent is alive and well! It will be the first promise to bite the dust under the weight of "unforseen economic circumstances" which will be blamed on the "worthless Labor incompetents," just you wait and see!

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010jj, Don't try and put words in my mouth. It is a tried and true conservative tactic but I will not let it through to the keeper, especially as the basis for a feeble attack on my argument. Now, I never said that I don't believe in a PPL. I believe in one which is fair for all. No new mother should be privileged over another in my book. However, what I did say was that before the Baby Bonus or a PPL, when I had my babies, I managed to make ends meet and pay the bills. It's not rocket science. It just takes a bit of careful financial planning. So, if I can do it, on a Disability Pensioner's income, then so should a couple of wealthy people, who pay proportionately less on their mortgage than I do in rent. Especially if one of them is still working and the other getting the minimum wage.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010'It sounds to me as though you have an extreme case of tall poppy syndrome, and it is sickening to listen to you and your class fear mongering!' Erm, no, jj, I just believe that the economic elite of this country don't deserve welfare from the Public Purse, and I do believe in a fair go for all, and paying some mothers more than others to spend time with their newborns is just not fair. As for saying that because some who have been favoured in life enough to be able to afford an investment property or two should be thanked by the country by way of Public money, especially when the unemployed still only receive < $300/week, is simply reprehensible and tawdry of you.

Lyn

28/08/2010Hi Hillbilly, I believe all Government Subsidies, Medicare, Parental Leave, welfare, Pensions, all should be means tested. It's just ridiculous for young and old women, from all walks of life, should be paid by the Government to have children. The money is better spent on Hospitals, Doctors and the health system. Hello, who's choice is it to have a child, after all circumstances are different, that is why we should have means testing.

Jason

28/08/2010jj, As your a mother I hope you let all of the tory mothers know that of the 209 anti d donors in this country I'm one. I only hope some of mine went to a child you know! Incentive none I do it because it's the right thing to do! I'm not as shallow as you, but imagine what could I charge being an anti d donor?

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010lyn, You have made a very fine point. I hadn't actually thought of it that way, but what Tony Abbott has done with his PPL policy is overturn the concept of Means-Tested Benefits. No more, to the most deserving go the benefits, now it's to be, to the wealthiest goes the most taxpayers' money. As if, because they pay more tax they should get more back. I mean, why doesn't he go the whole hog and just take a tithe out of the lowest-paid's wages and give it to the wealthiest? Oh, that's right, that's pretty much what he will be doing. They need to pay the mortgage on their Investment properties so that we can live in them and rent them after all.

Ad astra reply

28/08/2010NormanK Thank you for your kind comments, and for your on-the-ground assessment of the feelings in North Queensland about mining, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Anna Bligh. It explains a lot of what went wrong for Labor there. Folks I’ve followed your dialogue about PPL and your debate with jj with interest and enjoyment. I need say no more. I’ve just seen ‘Avatar’. I see a parallel - we in the Fifth Estate are the ones with the bows and arrows flying on strange birds to battle the mechanical monsters in the Fourth Estate.

Hillbilly Skeleton

28/08/2010AA, At all times we try to remain civil. :)

Hillbilly Skeleton

29/08/2010Verrry interesting: http://www.news.com.au/features/federal-election/alby-schultz-tirade-against-independents-hits-tony-abbotts-prospects-of-prime-ministership/story-e6frfllr-1225911352458?from=public_rss

Lyn

29/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Communication Breakdown,Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] Just a quick note that I write from an computer terminal in a shopping centre. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/communication-breakdown.html [i]Who will the Independents Choose? John, True Politik[/i] If Tony Abbott suspects he will lose, he will more strenuously strive for a fresh election &/or try to destabilize Parliament. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2010/08/who-will-independents-choose.html [i]Murdoch continues takeover of your ABC, Stop Murdoch[/i] This time he is introducing 'Australian Story' on Monday night [30/8/10]. Creepy old fascist. http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/ [i]Murdoch media issues threats to independents, Mike Head, World Socialist Web Site[/i] [b]Murdoch media is demanding the formation of a minority government led by Liberal leader Tony Abbott.[/b] It has also issued thinly-veiled threats of precipitating a new election if its message is not heeded. http://wsws.org/articles/2010/aug2010/elec-a28.shtml [i]Murdoch dictatorship in Australia? Dear Kitty[/i][b] This offensive follows a two-day campaign by the Murdoch [/b] press for a new election in order to produce a government with a supposed mandate to implement deeply unpopular economic policies http://dearkitty.blogsome.com/2010/08/28/murdoch-dictatorship-in-australia/ [i]As we finish the week, David Havyatt, Anything Goes [/i][b]the sheer hypocrisy of the Coalition is breathtaking[/b]. The Treasury is OK for doing election costings when it is "our" treasury, but not when it is "theirs". http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]Anyone seriously considering switching sides in a re-vote?, Jeremy Sear, Anonymous Lefty[/i] I wrote sarcastically on this the other day, but the conservatives do seem convinced that if the election was held again, people would change their votes in their favour http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/anyone-seriously-considering-switching-sides-in-a-re-vote/ [i]Independent like it's 1999, Charles Richardson, The Stump[/i] Peter Brent has repeatedly pointed out how Labor erred by throwing away the advantage of incumbency prior to this election, but in the post-election limbo that might just end up working to its advantage. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/

Michael

29/08/2010I know this is sort of childish, but I haven't had my Sunday morning coffee yet... How right did Julia Gillard get it with people 'hearing' her call Tony Abbott "Mister Rabbit"? There he was on Treasury seeing Coalition costings - 'hippitty hop' to this position, 'hippitty hop' to another, then 'hippitty hop' to a third, or was it fourth, or..? What a wascally wabbitt.

Lyn

29/08/2010Good Morning Michael Your coffee is waiting. [quote]What a wascally wabbitt[/quote]. I agree, maybe Acerbic Conehead will make a song. I thought Julie was very funny when she said Mr Rabbit. Just watched Andrew Wilkie on Laurie Oakes, makes me wonder about these Independents, seems they are getting a bit ahead of themselves. Isn't this about choosing which party should Govern out of two, and I would have thought, values of either party of most importance, rather than problem gambling, which is a State issue anyway. What do you think?

Lyn

29/08/2010Hi Ad Poor little Possum got left out of Today's links: [i]Swings, Margins, & Indie Heterogeneity, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] OK, so it’s an odd title, but it’s an odd week! . http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/

jj

29/08/2010Hillbilly, So if you dont think the 'elite', (i wouldnt call someone earning 120k a year elite)should be able to get any government help, whilst watching those earning 50k a year get all the help, tell me where is the incentive to try and keep performing. I would suppose you are one of those extreme lefties who would love to see those that take the pressure off the public purse in all other aspects, (education, health, retirement e.t.c.) to get taxed at an even higher rate. Do you not understand that to bring people up and out of the poorer socio-economic groups you have to have people with the financial means to be able to do so! Now to the ppl. I am arguing, as are all major business, industry and union groups, that this measure should be considered a workplace entitlement and a productivity measure, not a welfare one. Now you say that because it comes out of the public purse it is welfare, and therefor should be second best, well i just dont buy that. As i explained earlier, small businesses and many large businesses cannot affoard to give mothers this workplace entitlement because it would be just too costly for their business; so therefor it must be paid out of the public purse. Remember that these mothers want to be able to take the time off necessary to spend quality time with their newborn, and by being paid at you full wage (it is capped at 150K)will allow this. Just think about it, why didnt the government offer six months leave at the minimum wage, rather than 18 weeks? Well because they know that a family could not affoard to live off the dole for this long. Your life with all of its costs does not just stop the moment you have your baby, if anything it increases, and so to live off the minimum wage would be impossible, (whether you were earning 40k or 150k).

jj

29/08/2010Jason, i have no idea what your rant was all about! I am not saying a PPL scheme should be used as an incentive to have children, i just think it should be considered a workplace entitlement, to be able to spend six months with your child, having access to the same finances that were available to you when you were working, (capped at 150K). Cut the crap!

jj

29/08/2010Hillbilly, i think if you looked across the board at the way our taxes are redistributed, most of them go to those less well off, (around 10%+ just go to transfer payments). So cut the crap!

Jason

29/08/2010jj, Here http://www.donateblood.com.au/all-about-blood/different-donation-types/anti-d

jj

29/08/2010Yes, but what does that have to do with what we are talking about? I am not saying there has to be a financial incentive for everything, i mean, most families that are wealth contribute greatly to various charities e.t.c. plus they provide employment for many millions of workers. Instead of directing those comments at me how about you direct them to those that are on the dole, that could work but choose no to because they feel as though they don't have any incentive to.

Ad astra reply

29/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

macca

29/08/2010Bottom line; High income earners...ppl of $570pw invested on behalf of child. Low to median income earners...ppl of $570pw spent on household expenditure. and Abbott wants to give them MORE.

Hillbilly Skeleton

29/08/2010This is a must read for all who are keeping track of Murdoch's moves, both here and overseas: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html?_r=3&hp

shaun

29/08/2010Hi Jason Thankyou for being a donor. My son requires blood products (plasma) so I know first hand the value of donating. It is people like yourself that allows others to live "normal" lives.

Ethistan

29/08/2010Can I just say to you jj (and call me a spelling nazi, but this has bothered me for a while), but it is etc, not "e.t.c". etc is short for "et cetera", latin for "and the rest", not an acronym.

janice

29/08/2010Lyn, [quote]I believe all Government Subsidies, Medicare, Parental Leave, welfare, Pensions, all should be means tested. It's just ridiculous for young and old women, from all walks of life, should be paid by the Government to have children. The money is better spent on Hospitals, Doctors and the health system. Hello, who's choice is it to have a child, after all circumstances are different, that is why we should have means testing. [/quote] Absolutely, Lyn. Reasonably well-off Australians learned to expect handouts from the public purse during the Howard years. I am in favour of the Governments modest PPL scheme but it should, in my opinion, be in lieu of the baby bonus. ALL welfare should be means tested. jj reminds me of a young lady I came across back in the 'hippy commune' era. She came from a well-to-do family with a mother who strove to give her all that mum herself had missed out on as she grew up during the rationing years in the forties. This young woman told me she was owed a living by the taxpayers and therefore she didn't feel inclined to work to support herself. She got an ear full from me before she moved into a commune up near Lismore, NSW. Did her the world of good as it turned out because she soon learned that her fellow hippies expected her to contribute to their commune and do her fair share of work towards bringing in the income they all shared. Last I heard of her she did a nurses' aide course followed by a nursing course and set about earning a living for herself and her three kids. Now, I'm not saying jj doesn't work but she does have the warped view that taxpayers collectively should be paying big dollars to keep the well-off/high income earners in the manner to which they've become accustomed when they decide to have a family. It is a selfish, irrational attitude that Howard promoted which caused a structural budget problem which means there is less money to spend on the nation's infrastructure. It will take decades to wean Australians off the public teat.

Hambo

29/08/2010I read through this thread with interest, noting how well jj has learnt from his idol. The wrecking right (I don't refer to all conservatives - some are actually decent people) have shown how the otherwise unelectable can be spun into contention with a totally compliant and often partisan media. Unfortunately many are sucked in by his sophistry. May I suggest that to allow a more constructive discussion, his comments are ignoredin future forums.

Lyn

29/08/2010Hi Hambo welcome to you, thankyou for commenting on "The Political Sword," Ad Astra will come along soon to thank you. [quote]May I suggest that to allow a more constructive discussion, his comments are ignored in future forums. [/quote] I agree with you Hambo, it's like someone has tried hijack the whole blog and conversation. Understanding & tolerance, has been tried tested Enough is enough. cheers

jj

29/08/2010janice, It should not be treated as a welfare payment, rather a workplace entitlement, and if it is treated so than all of which you have just argued is invalid. Now as i have explained, it cannot be an across the board workplace entitlement because businesses both large and small cannot afford it, so it is to be paid out of the public purse. The definition of welfare is- "Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in need". As this is not a program of aid it should not be considered welfare, whether it comes from the government or not.

jj

29/08/2010Hambo, Good to see that you are like all of the others above, a person who puts people into a box with a big fat label. I wonder, do you walk down the isle at the shops and look at people with their political affiliations at the for-front of your mind, or do you just treat them like any other human being? By the sounds of it, you dont. If you are going to ignore me because i might have different views to me, than good for you! Thank goodness you are not in charge of our democratic process.

jj

29/08/2010Ethistan, No worries i will make sure that i dont.

bilgedigger

29/08/2010I'm out of hospital and slowly getting stronger. Thankfully while my body may be protesting, my mind is working extremely well. Thank you, Ad Astra, for your posts and their clarity. We all need to be constantly reminded of "how it all came to this" and the steps along the way that have delivered the outcome we now see. I note the sequence of contributions by "jj" and the responses. Look carefully at each post. After analysing the patterns of speech (part of my job in a previous life) I'm led to believe that there are a number of "jj" posters. How excited they must get when they draw a response. The creation of background noise is one of the important tasks of conservatism at the present time. The link provided by Hillbillyskeleton and the link to the BBC lecture should be required reading for those who look for truth and decency in political life.

jj

29/08/2010bilgedigger, I hope you werent in that job long, because hell are you wrong! There is only one of me.

jj

29/08/2010By the way, hope you are getting better.

Lyn

29/08/2010Hi bilgedigger, How are you going, I didn't realise you went to hospital, hope you are feeling heaps better. Anyway home now, and on the improve by the sounds of it. Good on our brain it gets us out of a lot of trouble, actually quite a good friend too, if we treat it right. Take care bilgedigger, best wishes

NormanK

29/08/2010bilgedigger From all here at TPS. Get well soon. http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/b26e1794e8.jpg

Patricia Lorimer

29/08/2010Let's move on and just smile and nod at jj's contributions. It will be interesting as to how the week unfolds. I think the best hope is that Julia Gillard will eventually be sworn in as PM being the incumbent and when Tony Abbott moves a no confidence in the Government, the ALP will have the support of several of the Independents and will have a majority in the House of Reps. I will be very disappointed and thoroughly disillusioned if the Independents swing in behind the Coalition considering Abbott's/Robb's play this week and the very public, long standing divisions within their own ranks (the Libs hate the Nats and vice versa). It is not a homogenous grouping at the best of times and to add to this group the demands of the Independents, it is unworkable. I cannot think of one Minister in the previous Labor Government who was not hard working. They took on a very ambitious programme and whilst the Coalition is famous for saying they have only delivered so and so, there is much that is just about to be completed along with the wonderful school buildings and my sister in law's and others' great insulation already completed. This, I trust was all in Julia's folders. The regional areas have done well during this last term and will continue to do well under a Labor Government. There was of course the GFC which bubbles away in the background, but the economy continues to be supported by the stimulous programmes and remains the envy of the developed world. Well done Labor Government! I have great confidence in Julia Gillard to continue with a strong government and reform the workings of the ALP.

bilgedigger

29/08/2010Thanks for the kind thoughts. Another piece worth reading, following on the links to the BBC and Hillbillyskeleton's link above, is a piece on the ABC Unleashed by Simon Nasht which documents the background to a Four Corners program "Overdose", and linkages with the Cato Institute, the Koch brothers and a mention of Rupert Murdoch. The responses to Simon's post are very informative as well.

Ad astra reply

29/08/2010Hambo Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. Your’re right, jj has received a lot of attention. I have decided to ignore him/her. bilgedigger We all hope you will be feeling well again soon. Our best wishes traverse the miles between us. You pose an interesting scenario, that jj maybe a multiple personality. But he/she denies this. Certainly plenty of attention has followed each post. Perhaps we’re being sucked in. I’ve given up on jj. Patricia Lorimer Many here hope that your wishes come true. Folks Tomorrow morning I’ll post the third in the trilogy: [i]Still more on: How has it come to this.[/i]

Acerbic Conehead

29/08/2010Bilgedigger, sorry to hear about you being laid low. Look after yourself and have a speedy recovery. Looking forward to AA's next installment, Lyn's Links and everybody's contributions. Regards, ACe.

Ad astra reply

30/08/2010Folks I've just posted [i]Still more on: How has it come to this?[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/08/30/Still-more-on-How-has-it-come-to-this.aspx I'm closing comments here as the page is now very long.

elitestv.com

31/08/2010Pingback from elitestv.com Australia Still Waiting for a New Government :: Elites TV

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