A salute to a very successful BER

Isn’t it time we saluted the outstanding success of the Building the Education Revolution program? This piece is focussed on what has been achieved rather than the media’s focus on the problems that were encountered, a focus that has detracted sickeningly from the success of the program, one we should all be celebrating.

The BER has been called the ‘$16 billion schools building program’. According to the Auditor General’s Performance Report on the BER tabled on 5 May of this year, the program comprised three elements:

Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21), which initially provided $12.4 billion (later, $14.1 billion) for Australian primary schools to build new facilities, such as libraries and multipurpose halls, or to upgrade existing facilities, by 31 March 2011;

National School Pride, which provided $1.3 billion for minor capital works and refurbishment projects in all eligible Australian schools, to be completed by February 2010; and

Science and Language Centres, which initially provided $1 billion (later, $821.8 million) for construction of new, or refurbishment of existing science laboratories or language learning centres in secondary schools by 30 June 2010.

These add up to little over $16 billion.

The Auditor General’s Report concluded: “Overall, there are some positive early indicators that the program is making progress toward achieving its intended outcomes, despite the slower than expected implementation of the program. Lead economic indicators, including construction approvals, indicate that the introduction of BER P21 has contributed to a reversal in the decline in non‐residential construction activity that resulted from the global financial crisis. Education industry stakeholders, including peak bodies, Education Authorities and a substantial majority of school principals have also been positive about the improvement in primary school facilities that will result from the program.”

This did not prevent the media, particularly The Australian, from reporting on it negatively. The ABC was also negative. On 10 May Anne Connolly from the ABC News Online Investigative Unit writes: School buildings audit 'ignored survey data', that begins: “The troubled $16 billion school building program is again under siege with questions being asked about last week's auditor-general's report.”   There were several related stories: Principals doubt value of school building scheme; BER task force chief inspects first school; and School building task force 'will have teeth' that you can access from that story.

The Orgill Building the Education Revolution Implementation Taskforce Interim Report, presented this last week, focussed on the $14.1 billion P21 program to build new facilities, such as libraries and multipurpose halls, or to upgrade existing facilities in primary schools. $3.9 billion was allocated to 3052 classroom projects; $4.8 billion to 2822 multi-purpose hall projects; $3.6 billion to 3009 library projects; $0.5 billion to 750 covered outdoor learning areas, COLAs; and $1.1 billion to 952 other projects. The graph on page one of the Report gives the breakdown of allocations to States and Territories and school types. 

At the conclusion of the Executive Summary it is stated: “Our analysis suggests BER P21 is delivering quality infrastructure within the timeframe constraints set. For some of the 22 education authorities project costs are materially higher than would have been obtained pre-BER in a business as usual environment. For some education authorities however the costs do not appear to be higher. The Taskforce does not have sufficient pre-BER cost data at this interim stage to conclude, but from what limited data and insights we do have, we think the overall BER versus pre-BER cost differential, for each education authority, is in the range from 0% to plus 12%. The higher costs have resulted from the scale, time and complexity of the undertaking. Overall, delivering BER P21 within the short timeframe to achieve the economic stimulus objectives may have added a premium to pre-BER business as usual costs of between 5-6%. The Taskforce will continue to gather and analyse BER and pre-BER project data to enable us to have a more definitive view on value for money for the BER program as a whole by our November 2010 report.”

Later it recommends: “The Taskforce recommends that, where possible, any projects not yet committed and unlikely to be completed by 30 March 2011 should be delivered in accordance with the relevant education authority’s pre-BER ‘business as usual’ approach to capital works”, ‘business as usual’ meaning under non-urgent conditions.

The effect on the construction industry is documented in Appendix 8 where it says: “The BER provided the construction industry with a significant economic stimulus which prevented many construction organisations from reducing staff and/or the size of their operations to match an otherwise decreasing workload resulting from the GFC. Some indicated that without the work generated by the program they may have had to cease operation.” and “Lower tier contractors expressed the view that the level of reporting quality and safety management systems required of them under the BER project were of a higher level than would ordinarily be required on comparable projects. Almost all designers and builders reported positive experiences with school communities as their projects were completed. Most felt extremely proud to have been part of the program.”

The Report also says: “There has clearly also been an added benefit of construction industry up-skilling, beyond just sustaining employment...”

So both reports say that the BER has achieved its aims and benefitted not only the children, staff and parents of the schools involved, but also the construction industry by providing employment at a time when without it, some operations may have had to cease, and by providing up-skilling of construction workers.

It has been the largest schools infrastructure project in the nation’s history, replacing and improving run-down buildings and amenities neglected in previous years.

We ought to be applauding it with enthusiasm and gratitude, but because of an unremitting negative campaign against it from the Opposition, and unrelenting and at times vicious attacks from the media, especially News Limited and its flagship The Australian, many electors think only ‘waste and mismanagement’ when the BER is mentioned. This is wicked manipulation of public opinion with information that flies in the face of the facts.

In the same way as when the Auditor General’s Performance Report emerged and was largely positive, the media still attacked, dissecting out fragments that suited its adversarial case, it has done the same this time with the Orgill Report.

The Australian online initially had a headline by Justine Ferrari and James Massola that indicated that the Report had recommended that the BER program be scrapped, with the lead sentence ending with words that it ‘should cease’ and later that the Report called for the ‘effective dismantling’ of the program. There is still an article on its website by Justine Ferrari: Report calls for end to BER program, that begins: “The federal government's troubled $16 billion school building program will be dismantled.” Sounds pretty final.

When I looked at the official Report and its Executive Summary and Recommendations to ascertain the details, I could not find reference to the program ceasing; indeed a search for the word ‘cease’ found only one reference and it wasn’t to the BER ceasing. When I went back to The Oz a short time later I found the headline had magically changed to a very different one “BER taskforce finds 'very valid concerns' with Labor's schools building stimulus program” and the following paragraphs: “The taskforce reviewing Labor's troubled $16 billion Building the Education Revolution scheme has recommended the program cease in its current form.” Note the words ‘current form’. “An interim report released today by BER taskforce head Brad Orgill calls for the effective dismantling of the schools building stimulus program as it now stands.” Note the words ‘effective dismantling’ and ‘as it now stands’. “It says any projects not yet under contract, or that are unlikely to finish before the end of March, be delivered by the states under their pre-BER building programs.”

This is very different from the initial headline and initial paragraphs, and even this headline seems to have disappeared. Someone at The Oz must have decided that, even for that newspaper, the initial story was too gross a misrepresentation of the Report to be able to stand, a representation designed to place the Report on the BER in the worst possible light, and in tune with the longstanding campaign by that paper, to demean the BER. This small example shows how much this paper is prepared to stoop in its pursuit of the Labor Government, but Justine Ferrari and James Massola’s initial write up was too much even for The Oz.

The report DID NOT recommend that the BER ‘be dismantled’ or ‘cease’ at all – that was simply the scandalous beat-up perpetrated by The Australian.

Still not satisfied Justine Ferrari writes at the weekend: Publish the costs and be damned that begins: “The level of unhappiness with the BER is greater than the level of official complaints received by the taskforce (2.7 per cent of schools) would suggest. Many schools are mystified by what they have received for their money, but not outraged enough to complain.” She cannot let it go – now she asserts that there are more complainants ‘but not outraged enough to complain’.

The Orgill Report is here

On Grog's Gamut, Grog has a brilliant analysis of it that shows how minimal the complaints were. I will not attempt to repeat his line of reasoning here; please read his piece Election 2010: Day 21 (or who needs perspective).  Be sure to look at the 'Construction Work Done' graph to see the dramatic effect of the BER on public construction work.

In The Weekend Australian Matthew Franklin has combined with Justine Ferrari in BER waste exposed by taskforce that begins: "Julia Gillard has declared she has no regrets about her $16 billion Building the Education Revolution scheme despite a report saying it was wasteful."  Of course Franklin has been an adversary for some time, especially about the BER.

Ray Hadley, 2GB Morning Show presenter writes in The Australian Debacle exposed, and yet she still believes, beginning “I was on air yesterday when the Prime Minister responded to Brad Orgill's interim report. What scared me the most was her confirmation that she'd do it all again. Julia Gillard relied upon the much-discussed ‘saving jobs and saving the economy’ line. She has said it so often now I think she actually believes it. The facts are inescapable: the BER, particularly in NSW, has been an obscene waste of taxpayers' money. The graph on page 29 of Mr Orgill's report showing a state-by-state comparison of project management fees makes it clear that in NSW these fees were, as The Australian has reported, highly inflated.” 

Michael Stutchbury, who also has been a long-time BER detractor takes a different tack with: Saved? We were already safely through the crisis that begins: "Brad Orgill's report card gives Julia Gillard's $16 billion Building the Education Revolution stimulus a tick. This is for delivering both ‘much-needed’ school infrastructure and ‘economic activity across the nation’. Wrong on both counts. In particular, the BER could not have ‘saved’ Australia from recession, as Gillard claimed yesterday, because we'd already dodged the bullet by the time it ramped up. The damning evidence is relegated to a single chart, presented with no explanation on page 75 of Orgill's report. This shows that BER construction for the nation's 7900 primary schools only seriously got going by October last year - eight months after it was announced - when cumulative actual spending first topped $1bn. But, by then, it was clear Australia had escaped the global recession, thanks to Labor's initial cash splash, the Reserve Bank's big interest rate cuts and the momentum behind our China-fuelled mining and population boom.” So the whole BER adventure was unnecessary according to Stutchbury, at least to counter the recession. 

By comparison The Age did not even headline it on its first page, but in School building costs blew out by 12 per cent, taskforce finds pointed out: “Where projects are unlikely to be finished by March next year, it wants them delivered in ‘business as usual’ pre-BER arrangements.” This refers to one of the key recommendations of the Orgill Report.

The Courier Mail had a piece: Queensland schools left wanting in Building the Education Revolution projects that begins: “The rush to roll out recession-busting school works wasted almost $1 billion of taxpayers' money, a damning report shows. The investigation into the centrepiece of the Gillard Government's stimulus measures found the haste may have added as much as 6 per cent to costs." The piece lists complaints from Queensland schools, which when you read them you are likely to conclude that they are largely trivial.

The Daily Telegraph in What a waste of our money writes “The almost comical level of excess spending during the BER program was greatest of all in NSW, where more than $3 billion in taxpayer funds was spread over 2366 school projects. Many of those projects failed to deliver value for money. Unless, of course, you were the contractor involved, in which case the value was very handy indeed.” 

Emma Rodgers writes more positively on the ABC website: Gillard welcomes BER program report that begins "Prime Minister Julia Gillard says a future Labor government will implement all 14 changes recommended in a new report into the troubled $16.2 billion schools building stimulus program."

Most of the rest of the media coverage was negligible, presumably it thought it not worth the space in its pages.

So there it is. We have seen mostly negative media coverage despite two largely positive reports on the BER. How is it possible to counter such a deliberate campaign to demean this program despite its outstanding success in maintaining employment in the construction industry with all its flow-on effects to the economy, and in providing a massive infrastructure boost to schools, the children and teachers that use them, and the parents who send their children there.

It is a sad commentary on how manipulative the media has been in pursuit of its aim - to diminish the Labor Government by demeaning at every opportunity its laudable attempt to alleviate the effects of the GFC on employment and support the construction industry, while enhancing the nation’s schools - schools that were so much in need of essential infrastructure.

What do you think?

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Ad astra reply

8/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Folks I'll be away for most of the day - I look forward to reading your comments on my return this evening.

Rx

8/08/2010Ad Astra, We have a media which is more interested in gossip, stunts and 'gotchas!" than truth, facot or policy. Most capital cities are one-newspaper towns, and where once we had a relatively independent public broadcaster we could rely on for balance and impartiality, now it, too, increasingly sings from the same agenda-sheet of the dominant commercial media organisation. We have an Opposition Leader complaining about a "disruptive media" when the fact is, most of the media about which he talks is spruiking for him anyway. This election is perhaps the most critical in history, and the voters' attention is swamped with trivia and partisanship. Our democracy is in a parlous state! [b][i]Abbott leans to 'guided democracy'[/i][/b] http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/the-leaders/abbott-leans-to-guided-democracy-20100807-11p6y.html

nasking

8/08/2010Another top, well researched article Ad astra. The state of our media is pathetic indeed. As I said elsewhere: A “dumbed down” public unfortunately...partly due to pathetic reporting by some in the media. I’m beginning to feel very depressed about this country again. As I did when Hanson rose her ugly ideas and was applauded...and Howard & radio jocks knicked them for political opportunistic reasons...and the Tampa scared bedwetters…and poor refugees fleeing persecution were treated abysmally in gulags...and we were lied to about WMDs...and children overboard & AWB...and so on. Quite frankly, i really don’t know how my brain is going to cope w/ more years of that mob in...the thought brings vomit to my mouth. Keep speaking to truth Aa. At least some in the independent media sphere have integrity...and don't act like circus clowns and sycophantic puppies. And thnx for your supportive comments on the previous post Lyn. Keep up the great work. N'

Lyn

8/08/2010Hi Ad A Big Thankyou Ad, for your wonderful column on "A Salute To a Very Successful BER" excellent, and a most enjoyable read, brilliant links to sad negative reporting, worthwhile links to some very positive reports. The disgusting reporting from the MSM is making everyone sick. [quote]while enhancing the nation’s schools - schools that were so much in need of essential infrastructure.[/quote] Wonder how all the schools will feel when Abbott halts the BER, wonder if the whinging 2% or whatever it was, will be sorry for the trouble they have caused, for all the other happy schools. Why can't people be grateful anymore.

simon

8/08/2010Thanks Ad Astra, This is the topic I have been waiting for you to touch on.As the owner of a building business here in country NSW, I can give you an insiders opinion of the effect of the BER on the local and statewide economy.Forget the hysterical comments from the media about corruption,rorts ect... this program has been a godsend to our struggling industry. As you may know,the housing market has been in a slump for some time and due to the extremely competitive nature of this industry prices for our contracting work were being driven further and further down to the point where many contractors were taking on jobs hoping to just break even so they could keep their empoyees working.profit margins were becoming ridiculously low. With the BER there has been more work available and it has helped to leaven out to a large extent the downward pressure on our rates.There is enough work to go around and the large building companies are not able to nail the smaller contractors like myself to the floor when we are bidding for the work.People can earn a living,we can pay our mortgage,our kids can go on the school excursion and we can plan our year with a little bit of confidence. I have been working on these projects for most of this year and I am very happy with the ALP for having the foresight to spend money on much needed infrastucture and also help prevent large scale unemployment in our industry.I am also proud of the new facilities we are building for the school kids.Dont beleive the nonsense that the schools are getting nothing for their money.Massive new halls,libraries,undercover play areas ect. are being built in just about every school in my area.It has been a great initiative. If the lazy journo's actually got out and talked to some tradesmen about the scheme they will get a very different view than the one being reported.But then again,our primped and preened toff reporters would'nt be caught dead on a building site.Their designer duds and overpriced hair do's would be ruined in the mud. Simon

Patricia WA

8/08/2010School Standards? 08/08/2010 Tony Abbott says, ‘At my school You weren’t allowed to play the fool. Pass mark was one hundred per cent. Less than that and away you went Back home to do more revision, Waiting there for that decision Allowing you back in again.’ We get it Tony, don’t explain. So that is now the reason why His standards are so very high. In my own school, for girls, it’s true, You passed exams so long as you Made sure of fifty one percent. But you can see what Tony meant. Pass mark ninety seven per cent For the BER report card Means "Fail!" for Julia Gillard!

Michael

8/08/2010If the Coalition is elected it will be on the back of three years of lies from Conservative politicians and a viciously compliant media. "Elected", of course, means voted in by an electorate too supine to look beyond the lies and the 'so exaggerated how could it not be hyperbole?' claims such as those by Christopher Pyne that $8 billion dollars was "wasted" on the BER. We know that excessive claims of overspending, damage, waste, incompetence, have flooded the Australian media since day one of the Labor government. The national rescue mission that was economic stimulus has given Conservatives (whose natural instinct is to do nothing) much 'ammunition'. When you do nothing, nothing can go off course. So much for Conservative thinking. If Australians vote Tony Abbott and his coterie of serial liars and fact-distorters into Government, quite simply, they will get the Government they deserve. Abbott's been faking it through this election process, enacting 'charming and disarming Tony' for whatever it takes to win power. Should he win, as PM all those quotable blasts from his past on what a government should do that he now claims to have altered with maturity, will become if not direct Coalition government policy, the philosophical underpinnings of it. What should scare the voters of Australia is this: the Coalition has lied throughout the period of the current government on every issue they address. They know they have traded in hyperbole and calumny these last three years, and that does take a toll on anyone's inner ethics. 'Whatever it takes' ends up taking you. But a guilty Coalition government will be psychologically demanding of itself to deliver what they in Opposition believed ratified the lying and exaggerations of 'whatever it takes'. The exact opposite of whatever Labor has instituted. The 'mandate' will be called upon for the strangest actions. Strange to a charmed and disarmed public, that is. This Opposition, should it gain government, will be crippled inside from the first vote they carry in Parliament to the last. And, of course, being this Opposition, they will blame everyone but themselves.

jj

8/08/2010Just listen to you all rant and rave about how the media is so biased toward the coalition. The Australian is evil! Sky is evil! Dennis Shanahan is hopeless! Laurie Oakes is out to get Gillard! For goodness sakes why dont you open your eyes and see that some of the issues being brought up by the media are valid and are the cause of the government you so blindly support! -the BER- sure it stimulated the construction sector, i mean who is arguing it wouldnt have; if you throw $16 billion at construction projects than you would hope that it stimulated something! But that does not justify the waste that occurred under this program delivered by yours truly. We dont know what the true extent of the waste is because most of the states wont release any of their data, so the $800 million worht of waste we know about could turn into billions. We still have almost half of the money still left to be spent, and yet the government says that they are doing everything to control interest rate increases. The average cost per square meter of private school libraries is more than half that of public school libraries. Was the quality any different? Well no many public principals and architects believe the quality of the private school buildings is of higher quality. The money spent on the private schools still supported jobs, and it was done with budgetary discipline, something our state government in NSW doesnt seem to have. So when you make the argument, Oh well it saved jobs, you are missing the point, the private sector showed that jobs could be created whilst the schools got value for money; projects could be rolled out quickly whilst the schools got value for money. So dont bother replying with your petty excuse that it saved jobs and so waste is justified, the private sector shows that this argument is just Labor Party spin. This government just looks like an absolute farce. kev was here to help, and then Kev was gone. Julia came to the rescue, and then decided that the spin wasnt working too well so she decided to give herself a new name, Real Julia. Kevs back again and ready to help! But Julia and him wont go near each other. Who is going to be our finance minister? Who is going to be our defense minister? Who is going to be our foreign minister? Who is the leader of the Labor Party (in the footage i saw of the meeting between Kevin and Julia it seemed that Kevin07 is still in charge)? How much more infighting are we going to see if they are elected? How the hell will cabinet work when you have a guy that everyone bagged out coming back to work? Who is Julia Gillard? Is she the Socialist Forum pro death duties, pro wealth tax person we thought she was, or is she just a fake like dear old Kevin? I mean come on people, open your eyes, this government wasnt sent from god! The Labor party is not the great party of social justice anymore! They do nothing on climate change; learch to the right on asylum seekers; lurch to the right on migration; lurch to the right on fiscal politicking e.t.c. I dont want Australia to end up looking like NSW, with a failed, incompetent, basket case of a government, and i would hope neither would you; but the way you guys sound, it would be no surprise if you supported the Labor party in NSW! It doesn't matter what this mob does you will support them! Your crazy!

jj

8/08/2010'Abbott's been faking it through this election process, enacting 'charming and disarming Tony' for whatever it takes to win power. Should he win, as PM all those quotable blasts from his past on what a government should do that he now claims to have altered with maturity, will become if not direct Coalition government policy, the philosophical underpinnings of it.' Just as the socialist leanings of Gillard will turn into policies of her government: -death duty -including the home in all means testing -cuts in funding to independent schools -cuts in rebates for private health insurance holders -a wealth tax -an increase to the minig tax -an increase to the taxation rate to the highest achievers of our society Whats good for the goose is good for the gander and by my measure your party is the only party with the name of a bird that comes closest and thats our treasurer! Swanny!

Hillbilly Skeleton

8/08/2010jj, You might want to read the opinion of the Liberal commentator, and author of John Howard's biography, Peter Van Onselen from today's paper, before you rave on about Labor again: http://www.perthnow.com.au/opinion/van-onselen-working-the-dark-arts-of-politics/story-e6frg41u-1225902520571

Lyn

8/08/2010Hi Simon Thankyou for telling us about, your on the ground, experience with the BER program. I hope builders all over Australia are going to vote for a Labor Government, if Phoney gets elected the BER is to be axed, it would be devasting for the country.

Lyn

8/08/2010Hi Hllbilly Thanks for the link to van Onselen's piece, remarkable from a faithful. [i]van Onselen: The dark arts of politics , Peter vanOnselen, Perth Now[/i] Nick Minchin, Corey Bernardi, Brian Loughnane, Tony O'Leary and Mark Textor are the faceless men of the Liberal Party responsible for Team Abbott, and if he wins this election they will become some of the most influential people in the new government. http://www.perthnow.com.au/opinion/van-onselen-working-the-dark-arts-of-politics/story-e6frg41u-1225902520571

George Pike

8/08/2010The BER has been a resounding success down here in Tassie...most schools were allowed to hire their own consultants and architects and it worked a treat. Abbott amazed me with his childish petulance when he refused to mee the kids in a Brisbane school in BER built school hall...chose to have the kids running wild on the oval instead...brainless moronic oaf he is! I think the REAL people behind the Liberal Party are the media, mining and energy industry elites...they did all they could to stop the ETS going ahead and now they're doing the same thing against the MRRT...truly evil disgusting people to say the least!

Jason

8/08/2010jj, So all these slogans We'll stop the boats why do I as a tax payer have to prop up the economy of Nauru? couldn't I just visit to do that? No great big new tax except for the PPL, stop the waste. Except in Nauru Socialists = Nationals. But jj you come on here day after day with your mindless uni dribble apart from a few that come here in leaky boats, who in our community are going to face Abbott's razor gang the usual suspects that you Libs normally target? You sound a bit shrill at the moment have you thought at what could happen should Labor lose? Abbott could end up with a senate like Labor has now then what? jj just think the new senate could block every promise Abbott has made and then say you promised to deliver xxx, sound familiar. So should Abbott win and while Fielding is still in the senate he should carpet bomb the senate with legislation before the new senate takes shape on July first 2011 then he'll have to deal with the greens and you think labor is bad.

jj

8/08/2010The difference is Jason, Tony Abbott would go to a double dissolution election whereas the cowardly government you elected would not!

jj

8/08/2010And i have read the article, it is a good one and just proves that your 'shrills' about how biased journalists working for The Australian are redundant. I have never made a comment about the faceless men, i totally agree that party organisations have far to much power of the elected officials. How about instead of changing the topic you rebut, (if you can find anything to rebut) my earlier comments on the BER e.t.c.

Lyn

8/08/2010Hi Jason I think JJ is Sir Ian Crisp, or You Must Be Kidding.

jj

8/08/2010Oh and Jason, just on the 'mindless dribble' part of your post, it may help for you to use a little punctuation as to help us read what you write, (actually dont bother).

Jason

8/08/2010jj, Would he? next you'll tell me god exists

Rx

8/08/2010Hi Ad Astra, I have a question about contributions to the [b]ABC WATCH[/b] collection. I have saved quite a number of comments from [i]The Poll Bludger[/i] blog, made by a range of commenters - all dealing with bias and imbalance. Is it OK to paste these comments into [i]TPS[/i], considering they're from another website? Would appreciate your advice on how to proceed. I believe it is vital [b]ABC WATCH[/i] function as a one-stop, easily-accessible repository of as much matter pertaining to bias and imbalance as possible. Regards and thanks, Rx

jj

8/08/2010“Mr Abbott's strategy is to lie low and subject himself to no scrutiny,” Mr Rudd said at the end of his two-hour visit to the shopping centre. “My challenge to Mr Abbott is to come out and defend his position on the economy, defend his position on ripping up our historic agreement on hospitals, defend his position also on their plan to bring back Work Choices. “I think it's quite worrying with two weeks to go before a national election for Mr Abbott to believe he can simply slide through without any scrutiny. “The spotlight is on him and what he would do to Australia if he was prime minister ... I do not believe he is up to the job of being prime minister.” This is what your party has got left. kevin07 out and about, campaigning for the government that dumped him. It does strike me a bit odd that they would resurrect a man who the government had claimed was the reason for them getting off track. Oh well, desperate days for Labor i suppose. jj

Ad astra reply

8/08/2010Rx If the ‘guided democracy’ remark reflects Tony Abbott’s true view of the best way of governing – he knows best and others should follow – how does that reconcile with his ‘small government’ rhetoric? John Howard also talked about small government but ran a ‘large’ government. If we are unfortunate enough to be given an Abbott Government we’ll soon see what’s lurking under Tony’s ‘authentic’ exterior. Nasking Thank you for your kind comments and for your supportive remarks. What you say about the media is so true. I notice that even some in the media are becoming critical of the media’s performance through this election campaign, and when I heard Mark Riley say this morning on Channel Seven that Julia Gillard would have difficulty getting her message out because ‘people like me will be asking questions about the meeting she had with Kevin Rudd’, I thought – this is the problem – journalists say that the Labor campaign is continually ‘overshadowed’ by questions about Labor’s internal machinations, but that is only because those selfsame journalists ASK those questions. Yet they seem unable to grasp the irony of what they say.

Ad astra reply

8/08/2010Simon Thank you so much for your contribution that so clearly reveals what the BER has meant for your construction company. If only your story could be shouted from the rooftops to counter the continuously negative rhetoric that comes from the Opposition and its publicists, the media, particularly News Limited. There are so few good news stories that actually get out to the ears of the electorate, because the media don’t allow that to happen. jj chastises us all for ‘blaming the media’. He says “[i] Just listen to you all rant and rave about how the media is so biased toward the coalition.[/i]” He really thinks the media is justified in its adversarial approach to the BER and that we are the blind ones. jj I’m not going to waste my time trying to rebut your long and tiresome tirade. May I suggest you respond to what Simon has said. Is he too deluded, like the rest of us, about the great benefits of the BER, benefits despite some cost overruns, despite some les-than-perfect outcomes in a large and complex program instituted to counter an emergency?

simon

8/08/2010Hi Lyn, Yes, hopefully the construction industry and their families all vote for the ALP in a couple of weeks time.It's a no brainer for anyone in the industry who values their job.

Ad astra reply

8/08/2010HS, Lyn The PvO article show that all parties have people behind the scene, but of course the Coalition likes to label Labor’s advisors ‘faceless men’, a reprise of the old ’36 faceless men’ of bygone days. Peter does write balanced pieces, I just wish he would do that consistently. George I’m glad that you’ve had a good experience in Tasmania with BER. You’re right, the media and the miners are backing Tony Abbott, the reason for the latter is clear – I’m still not sure what the media hopes to gain from supporting the Coalition.

Ad astra reply

8/08/2010Jason Your points are well taken, which shows that what Tony says is not what he necessarily believes and not what he actually does, even by his own admission. The only way he gets away with this is that the media lets him. George Megalogenis said on [i]Insiders[/i] this morning that the Coalition’s ‘savings’ were shonky, but only he has pointed to the Coalition’s deception – the rest of the media is silent.

Marilyn

8/08/2010The best part of course is that Anthony Klan at the OZ is well aware that his so-called whistle blower is a shonk and he has not been to one school. Now he tells me he is out to catch bad builders. And Stutchbury all last year was claiming that $7 billion had been wasted before it was allocated.

Jason

8/08/2010AA, I'm glad that Simon who is at the "Coal face" of the "BER" has posted what he has. I don't wish to stereotype but if small business such as Simon's is Abbott's heart land why would you keep up the dog whistle saying he's a crook etc? As we have seen why let the facts get in the way of a good scare! Normank also added a greatly to the debate with his rough figures on not doing the "BER". The "Trolls" who say otherwise probably have only seen a building site on the nightly news,Some of the jobs I go on my boss would charge less if the government didn't take 3 months to pay if your lucky, and if jj was to be believed as far as government run programs go a failure rate of just under 3% or $840 million must look like small change compared to defence spending or what the Nationals used to throw around.

Ad astra reply

8/08/2010Marilyn Christopher Pyne has been accusing the Government of $8 billion dollar waste in the BER. It is complete fiction. How is it that the media has never challenged this grotesque figure? Michael Stutchbury is no better.

Graeme Murray

8/08/2010I agree that it's a pity that good news stories like Simon's aren't getting any oxygen, and it doesn't surprise me that Mark Riley doesn't see the irony in these comments. As I heard someone comment earlier today, these journalists (propagandists?)believe that they are the story.

Lyn

8/08/2010Hi Graeme Murray A big Welcome to "The Political Sword" thankyou for your comment, I hope you keep coming back. Love your gravatar. Mark Riley doesn't hold any credence on anything he reports. See what the reporters are doing now, on Sky News, interviewing each other, a bigger set up I have never seen, questions designed to promote the Coalition. Cheers

Ad astra reply

8/08/2010Graeme Murray Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. I agree with your comment. They do believe they are the story. Ask Laurie Oakes!

Lyn

8/08/2010Hi Ad Grog has written an excellent column on the Campaign Launch, thankyou Grog. Election 2010:Day 23(or, yes this is what it has come to)Grog, Grog's Gamut He also announced a “Three Month Plan” so absent of anything of substance that it alone should render him unfit for office. Let’s go through it:. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

NormanK

8/08/2010Ad astra Thanks for your piece. Erudite writing as ever. Wouldn't it have been nice to see a large media house publish at least one good colour photo of a new school building full of kids, not accompanied by some berating headline? There has been some positive feedback leaking through during the life of the BER from school principal associations and teachers but now is the time for them to speak up - even if not so much in favour of Labor as in favour of the idea of occasional large capital expenditures on schools when the economic climate is right. If the 'idea" crashes and burns they may never see this form of "manna" again. On the $8 billion figure much-used by Mr Whyne, a penny dropped yesterday when it was apparent that this is roughly the figure of current BER expenditure to date. Is he saying that every last building is a complete waste of money? I've read reports of some schools having their first coat of paint in thirty years - what a waste. There is a condemnation to be made here but it will require older wiser heads than mine to know where to point the finger for allowing schools to run down in this way. Unrelated - why hasn't "guided democracy" hit the airwaves? Simon Thanks for your inside story. More such stories need to be told and to a much wider audience. Jason My figures were indeed rough and it worries me that the government isn't running this data through a Treasury model to gauge the full extent of the "costs" that were avoided. This was why I asked if there was an economist in the house. If diminished productivity, under-utilised capital equipment, a slump in the market for materials and so on were added in, the figure could surely be three or four times my guesstimate. And in the end, a good chunk of the money that was spent comes back into government coffers. I had forgotten about the failed chopper programme. Now that was a waste.

janice

8/08/2010Simon, Thank you for your post. My No.2 son is a builder and he says much the same as you have outlined in your comment. I really do wish there were more like you who were prepared to hit the blogs and tell it like it really is. Ad astra, jj is a person who I've come across in a number of blogs and the opinions he expresses don't change. He's a rusted-on Tory who views the world through a one inch pipe.

nasking

8/08/2010The music used at the Coalition’s bitch-session sounded like a cross between a bad food ad and something from Hillsong church. Rather than making me want to vote Liberal I felt this urge to go out and buy blessed bread. I noticed that Julie Bishop strung together the words of many other people in order to try and humiliate the government...w/ a peculiar imitation of Charlie Chan at one point...a standup routine that came across more like a pep rally at a school for sneering plebs. Tony Abbott spoke from the pulpit to the flock of faithful – one rodent in the crowd literally pissing himself w/ joy – making it clear that “real action” meant licking the sphincter of the mining company bosses (Clive Palmer seemed ecstatic at that prospect...creating a debt reduction mob led by the voracious pacman himself Joe Hockey...and putting in a call to Nauru to make sure they’ve surrounded the island w/ mines to prevent a media flotilla from getting ashore as the latest Aussie-funded gulag waters its three palms and feeds the scorpions. Inspiring stuff. If yer memory has been wiped out by the solar flare...and you thought Silvio Berlusconi should be made emperor of the world. Abbott’s daughters thought their Dad was amazing. They obviously don’t get out much…or perhaps the pocket money has been upped of late. N’

Acerbic Conehead

9/08/2010AA, congratulations on another fine article out of the top drawer. Where would we be without your erudition and clear laying out of the issues. Yes, the BER has a lot going for it, especially in a large secondary school I heard about earlier today. The school has just had a new hall built under the scheme and the administration has taken steps to get the roof insulated. Normally, the very efficient Maintenance man, Kevin Rudd, would do these sorts of jobs with his eyes closed but, unfortunately, he has had to go into hospital for an operation. Therefore, a local firm, 60 Metres (“Where the first sixty metres are for free – we just rip you off on all the others”) has been contacted and are sending out their Marketing Manager, to give the school a quote and to make a promotional dvd for the company at the same time. The Marketing Manager is Mark ‘Norman Gunston’ Latham. Mark’s nickname is usually shortened to ‘Gunna’, not because he’s a crack operator and is always ‘gunna’ get things done, but because he’s been known to threaten customers, who object to getting ripped off, with “I’m gunna break your effin arm!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW2kSkurQFs&NR=1 Anyway, this morning, the Principal, Ms Julia Gillard, is waiting patiently for Gunna to show up at the school. With her is the President of the P&C Committee, who never goes anywhere without his mum in tow. They are known derisively as ‘Mother and Son’ – Tony Beare and his dear old mum, Bronny. Suddenly, a taxi pulls up and there appears to be an altercation inside between the driver and his passenger. A loud crack is heard, followed immediately by a loud howl of pain. The passenger quickly alights and the driver speeds off, seemingly trying to control the vehicle with one hand. Gunna: Ah, g’day folks...on behalf of 60 Metres, I’m delighted to meet with you today – and don’t forget – the first 60 metres are for free... Tones: That’s what I like to hear, mate – no chance of this school going into debt or deficit under my presidency... Gunna: Erm...don’t I know you from somewhere, mate – your boat-race looks familiar... [Gunna sticks his trademark microphone in Tones’ face] Tones: Heh...heh...don’t worry about boats, mate. There won’t be any around here in future if I have anything to do with it – the principal here doesn’t know it yet, but we’re going to drop Marine Studies from the curriculum...hee...hee... [Gunna notices that Jooles is gagging to say something. He pushes his mic in her gob] Jooles: Erm...mate...did I just see correctly then, or did you just break the arm of that taxi-driver? Gunna: Nah...I only gave him a nice firm handshake – I’m famous for them, y’know – just ask Johnny Howard – he’s had to trim his eyebrows with his left-hand ever since...haw...haw... [a bit of a deathly silence ensues. Gunna realises he needs to press on with his sales pitch and filming] Gunna: Righto, let’s have a look at this fine building you’ve got here – I’ve got my measuring tape ready to give you a quote... [if Jooles has her doubts about the wisdom of allowing this character on school property, Tones doesn’t regard him as his cup of tea either, but for a different reason – Gunna is dressed all in pink, even down to having little pieces of pink batts stuck to the shaving cuts on his face] Tones: Here, mate...aren’t you taking this pink batts malarkey a bit far – dressing all in pink, like? Gunna: Huh...you haven’t seen anything yet, mate – just have a butchers at these... [Gunna rips open his shirt, exposing a pink batts’ vest. Then he pulls down his strides, showing off his pink batt’s-material boxer shorts. Tones is aghast. He turns, whispering, to Bronny, his mum] Tones: Mum – the only men who dress in pink are poofters...I’m finding this guy threatening...Let’s retreat slowly to the car and leave Jooles to deal with him...Anyway, it is your bath-day... Bronny: Yes, son, so it is...let’s go home...I just love the smell of napalm in the morning... [Jooles is now left alone with Gunna, who puts lots of pressure on her to buy even more products, at inflated prices, from the 60 Metres catalogue. He claims there aren’t enough down-pipes and can arrange for a super-duper drainage system – a “conga-line of soak-wells”, he called it – to be installed for a cool $5 million. Jooles is totally flabbergasted by this, and other, quotes and does her best to kill the conversation and give Gunna the flick. Then, suddenly, another vehicle pulls up outside the school. Jooles assumes it’s the police, to arrest Gunna for assaulting the taxi-driver. However, upon looking around, she is relieved beyond belief to see the welcome sight of Kev’s ute] Kev: G’day everyone...I’m back on deck – minus a few body parts of three – but I’m ready to do the usual fair day’s work for a fair shake of the sauce bottle...what’s on the agenda? Jooles: Oh, thank god you’re back, Kev! Actually, the first thing you can do is escort this ‘gentleman’ off the school property. Then, you can get some insulation for the hall loft and start laying it... Kev: No worries, Jooles...consider both done...I’m pretty good at fixing problems regarding batts in the belfry...

Lyn

9/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Newspoll: 52 - 48, Galaxy: 51 -49 - to Labor, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] UPDATE Delightfully, Galaxy has now come good with an identical set of primary vote figures to Newspoll. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Newspoll: 52 - 48 TO LABOR, Mark Bahnisch, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] This poll was taken after the Kevin10 announcement on Thursday, and the Coalition increasingly embarking on a front-runner’s strategy, reinforced in today’s campaign launch. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]12 days to go: former leader Edition, Ben Raue, The Tally Room[/i] The Newspoll in the Australian has the ALP back to an election-winning lead with 52% to 48%. The Galaxy Poll in News Limited tabloids has the ALP ahead on 51%. Both polls have the same primary votes of 42% for the Coalition, 38% for Labor and 13% for the Greens.. http://www.tallyroom.com.au/ [i]Election 2010:Day 23(or, yes this is what it has come to)Grog,Grog's Gamut[/i] He also announced a “Three Month Plan” so absent of anything of substance that it alone should render him unfit for office. Let’s go through it:. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Court Ruling a Boost for Labor, Anthony Fensom, The Diplomat. [/i] The decision is seen favouring Labor and the Greens, given the left-wingtendencies of young voters, according to ABC election analyst Antony Green. http://the-diplomat.com/australian-election-2010/diplomat-dispatches/court-ruling-a-boost-for-labor.html [i]Breaking News: Press on Campaign Trail Obsessed with ‘Who Killed, Adrian Phoon,.[/i] Channel Nine saw fit to amplify the proceeding’s absurdity quotient by placing Mark Latham, of all people, in among the press, working for 60 Minutes. Inappropriate, to say the least. http://adrianphoon.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/breaking-news-press-on-campaign-trail-obsessed-with-who-killed-kr/ The Coalition campaign launch, Mark Bahnisch, The Drum That strategy was evident in Julie Bishop's rather bizarre warm up speech, where she appeared to some observers on Twitter to be auditioning for a gig hosting Play School. http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/08/the-coalition-campaign-launch.html [i]2010 Election Campaign Day 23 - I declare National Mark Latham Day! Petering Time , North Coast Voices[/i] Latham (whose real beef was that Gillard had refused his interview request) deserves to find himself in the nation's stewpot garnished with onions and a fistful of parsley. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/08/2010-election-campaign-day-23-i-declare.html [i]Disability, another election policy suggestion,Shakira Hussein, The Stump[/i] Disability emerged as an election buzzword, with boths sides pledging funding and making positive noises http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]Mark Latham, the Nine Network, and a dose of Sondheim's Send in the Clowns, Dorothy Parker, Loon Pond[/i] But boofhead is as boofhead does, and as boofhead has been for many a long year, and the real question is why the media has empowered, encouraged and incited so many boofheads? http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2010/08/mark-latham-nine-network-and-hearty.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LoonPond+%28loon+pond%29

Lyn

9/08/2010Hi Ad I have got no idea where that smiley face, has come from. It has put itself smack in the middle of grog's link. I don't have Smiley's on my computer , so has me puzzled. cheers

Grog

9/08/2010Excellent post AA - and Ross Gittins comes to the rescue with some sense: http://www.theage.com.au/business/impression-of-widespread-waste-on-school-building-projects-is-exaggerated-20100808-11q8g.html

loi

9/08/2010'If the ‘guided democracy’ remark reflects Tony Abbott’s true view of the best way of governing – he knows best and others should follow – how does that reconcile with his ‘small government’ rhetoric?' Maybe if you listened to what he said in the press conference, you would realise that it was a joke, as he was talking to the President of nauru. Its high of you to take people out of context.

Ad astra reply

9/08/2010Grog Thank you for your kind remarks. Everyone should read Ross Gittins' article: [i]Impression of widespread waste on school building projects is exaggerated[/i], http://www.theage.com.au/business/impression-of-widespread-waste-on-school-building-projects-is-exaggerated-20100808-11q8g.html It is in line with your piece Grog, http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-21-or-who-needs.html and the thrust of this piece.

Ad astra reply

9/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

George Pike

9/08/2010Loi, so all the rhetoric about Green army (read welfare to work in uniform), welfare "overhaul", new "Pacific solution", a "debt reduction taskforce", no ETS ever (even if it's adopted bt the rest of the world thus making us a pariah state), etc etc etc..is all just jestful revelry that is being taken out of context is it? It sounds much more like a true "guided democracy" platform to me...Howard is reborn!

Ad astra reply

9/08/2010Folks My elder son has sent me this piece by Eoin Blackwell [i]Stiglitz sticks it to Abbott on stimulus[/i] which is in [i]Trading Room[/i]. It shows what a Nobel prize-winning economist thinks about the stimulus package the Government put in place during the GFC. It puts paid to Tony Abbott’s denial of the beneficial effects of that stimulus. Do read it. http://www.tradingroom.com.au/apps/view_breaking_news_article.ac?page=/data/news_research/published/2010/8/220/catf_100808_103200_3270.html

George Pike

9/08/2010Here's a great little letter from the SMH. The silence of the media in letting Abbott claim some sort of high ground on waste is deafening. In 1997, Howard bought 11 Seasprite helicopters second hand, and then spent $1 billion on trying to make them work. They failed and, in 2008, the whole project was scrapped. That's $1 billion, $1000,000,000! Then there is the $4 billion spent on the subs to make them quiet. They are as quiet as an AC/DC concert. That's another $4 billion. Then there was the $4 billion spent on the illegal invasion of Iraq although the greatest waste there was the hundreds of thousands on innocent women and children killed or injured in the bombing attacks of the invaders. The media has never called anyone to account for this atrocity. My local state primary school is getting 6 new classrooms to replace 40 year old portables, new reading areas, a performing arts space and a community meeting area - no "school hall" at all. The Howard govt hated state schools so gave them nothing. The waste they complain about now is what they perceive as waste - money spent on state schools. These projects saved Australia from recession, not any actions taken five years ago. It is money spent now - borrowed money - that is keeping unemployment 5% rather than at 8% like in Canada (another resource country) or 10% in the USA. That is the real difference between the parties and what says to everyone just what Labor stands for - JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!

Jason

9/08/2010George, "Then there was the $4 billion spent on the illegal invasion of Iraq" What about AWB weapons for wheat as well?

Lyn

9/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]Bugger the ex-leaders, bring on the title fight, Amber Jamieson, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] Apparently Gillard didn’t need Rudd’s support. Based on the latest Newspoll, “ ” says Dennis Shanahan in The Oz. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/09/bugger-the-ex-leaders-bring-on-the-title-fight/ [i]Labor in Election Winning Lead!, Reb, Gutter Trash [/i] Labor has taken a four point lead – 52-48 per cent Journalists at The Australian must be spewing that the polls didn’t fall into line with their expectations that Labor would take a hit following it’s vehement criticism of the Rudd-Gillard relationship and their unwavering support of Tony Abbott. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/09/labor-in-election-winning-lead/ [i]Now we have a contest, Mumble, The Australian[/i] This Newspoll was taken from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. It would include part of any immediate effect of Labor’s Saturday shenanigans but not (a few politically obsessed respondents aside) images of yesterday afternoon’s Liberal Party launch. . http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/now_we_have_a_contest/ [i]Coalition quiet on NBN plans, Alan Kohler, ABC[/i] [b]The national broadband network appears to have gone missing from Tony Abbott's post-election "to do" list.[/b]http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/09/2977060.htm [i]Who would have thought? Abbott looks to Henry, Peter Martin[/i] Mr Abbott opened up the possibility of extending the contract of its lead author Ken Henry whose second term as Treasury Secretary expires in April. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2010/08/who-would-have-thought-abbott-looks-to.html

Ad astra reply

9/08/2010loi So Abbott's 'guided democracy' was a 'joke' was it? Being one of his oral utterances, I suppose, by his own admission, it may or may not be a true reflection of his real attitude. I guess we should ask him for something on this subject 'carefully scripted in writing'.

George Pike

9/08/2010That's right Jason...money which was no doubt used to buy weapons that would be used against our own forces....and the involvement of the Liberal government was neatly and deceitfully concealed during the commission by Howard's "limitations," which effectively excluded any ministers from coming under any scrutiny what so ever! I think it would be a great idea for Kevin Rudd to slip down to Bennelong for a chat with the Chinese community. Abbott and co have duped them into believing the coalition offer the best options for them...when the only reason they ever talk to ANY non-white Europeans is because they want their money (or votes)! There was an article in the China Daily today that made the Coalition out to be the best friends that China ever had, yet we all know full well that nothing could be further from the truth. The way the Coalition have been carrying on about Chinese land and industry acquistions in this country is nothing short of xenophobic clap trap...we reckon we can't take one more soul in this country, yet theirs is not much bigger and they have to find room for 1.3 billion people. The coalition never bother to state that most of the farmland in this country is actually owned by foreigners already...British, Singaporeans, Americans etc. Back to the BER, spending on the schools (and the NBN rollout) is going to be cut immediately...what are the legal implications for a future Coalition government over such a destructive action? The financial costs of any ensuing legal action by builders and even the schools themselves will be enormous I should imagine. This truly does have to be the most idiotic stance that any Opposition Party could possibly come up with!

Ad astra reply

9/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

janice

9/08/2010Lyn, for smiley faces try these Colon bracket :) Colon D :D Colon P :P

Lyn

9/08/2010Hi Janice Janice, thankyou for the smiley's, they are cute aren't they. cheers

ozpolitik.wordpress.com

9/08/2010Pingback from ozpolitik.wordpress.com End the waste: the Orgill report « OzPolitik

Beerme

9/08/2010The Drum: Mad Hatters of the campaign tea party http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/09/2977348.htm

Lyn

9/08/2010Hi Beerme Thankyou so much for the link to Marieke Hardy's piece, excellent I love it: [i]Mad Hatters of the campaign tea party, Marieke Hardy, ABC[/i] the message to the public is clear: never elect [b]a dangerous man[/b]. The overwhelming argument that we should ignore the Mad Monk's propensity for mentalism [b]Tony Abbott is mad. Madder than Mark Latham[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/09/2977348.htm

Lyn

9/08/2010Hi Ad Pingback from ozpolitik.wordpress.com, comment above: The column by Ileum has recommended reading "The Political Sword", Thankyou OzPolitik: [i]End the waste: the Orgill report, Ileum, OzPolitik[/i] where has all this money been wasted? On the contrary the report found: even though the BER is one of the largest national public work programs ever funded by the Commonwealth, the Taskforce has only received complaints from 2.7% of schools involved in the BER program. [b]So it should now be clear that the “waste” is just more of [b]Tony Abbott’s bullshit[/b]. Read more at the political sword.[/b] http://ozpolitik.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/end-the-waste/

kerry

9/08/2010This is what puzzles me about the bullshit about the BER According to the report, Catholic schools can build their buildings for less $ per square metre than public schools Now, I have had a bit to do with Catholic schools - and they operate like this: If they have raised the money for the construction of whatever, they then call for volunteers from the congregation - skilled tradesmen and the not-so-skilled folk - and most, if not all, of the labour is donated. Then there are the materials that are donated as well. Obviously bigger buildings can be built for the same money spent on a public school. I find it strange though that the discrepacy between costings is not mentioned in the Orgill report - I would have thought the way the Catholics operate (as do most sporting clubs etc i.e. $1 for $1 grants, etc) is common knowledge.

loi

9/08/2010'So Abbott's 'guided democracy' was a 'joke' was it? Being one of his oral utterances, I suppose, by his own admission, it may or may not be a true reflection of his real attitude. I guess we should ask him for something on this subject 'carefully scripted in writing'.' This is just like the no, means no issue that some journalists pick up on. They overhered Abbott tslking to the president of Nauru, they were having a jovial conversation about politics in Nauru and how the president would be able to get the detention center open no matter what the parliament said; and so Abbott responded with a light hearted comment about how it would be much easier in Australia if that was the way here. If this is what you Labor folk are hanging on to as evidence of Abbotts incompetence than you are obviously really desperate.

loi

9/08/2010'Now, I have had a bit to do with Catholic schools - and they operate like this: If they have raised the money for the construction of whatever, they then call for volunteers from the congregation - skilled tradesmen and the not-so-skilled folk - and most, if not all, of the labour is donated. Then there are the materials that are donated as well. Obviously bigger buildings can be built for the same money spent on a public school. I find it strange though that the discrepacy between costings is not mentioned in the Orgill report - I would have thought the way the Catholics operate (as do most sporting clubs etc i.e. $1 for $1 grants, etc) is common knowledge.' What a load of crap, maybe this occurred in the 60's, but today we have stricked building codes, with regular checks. Maybe it is just that the private sector does things more efficiently than the public beurocracy!

George Pike

9/08/2010I'd say the only desperate one here is the one who truly thinks that Tony Abbott, or ANY of the current batch of Liberals, is capable of governing a chook raffle net alone a country! They are a joke...a sad miserable joke...

Jason

9/08/2010looks like jj is back to flog his dead horse. best to ignore him

Ad astra

9/08/2010Jason I think you're right - loi is our old friend jj in another form - same Gravatar and same style.

kerry

9/08/2010Excuse me loi, Perhaps I should have said qualified tradespeople - I suspect you would have known I meant that though. I certainly wasn't suggesting that the Catholics have an ad hoc approach to building regulations - it doesn't alter the fact though that Catholics do have a lot of volunteer labour to call on. And that would give the ability to construct a bigger building than when the whole lot is contracted out.

Ad astra

9/08/2010loi You will have to write some guidelines for us so that we know when to take Tony Abbott seriously, if at all. George The big fear many of us hold is that Tony Abbott could slip into power before electors have had a chance to seriously consider his policies, when and if he has them. So far he has been very policy light, and the media has been derelict in not demanding he produce fully costed detailed policies. He has taken the electorate for a ride with his glib anti-Government slogans and his lightweight 'promises', such as , for example, his establishment of a 'debt reduction' group. Anyone can form a group, but what will it do, and how will it reduce debt? He expects us to take him on trust - a difficult ask from someone so untrustworthy.

Lyn

9/08/2010Hi Ad Essential report: [i]Essential Research: 52 - 48 LABOR, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] Crikey reports today’s Essential Research poll has Labor’s two-party lead down to 52-48 from 54-46 last week. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

George Pike

9/08/2010Hi Lyn, the poll margin in favour of Labor will widen conserably after Howard's love in with Abbott...that will bring back some pretty stark memories for the forgetful ones! Hockey's shocking display of economic inadequacy against Wayne Swan at the Press Club should also firm Labor's lead.

Ad astra reply

9/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Lyn

9/08/2010Hi George In the debate this afternoon, did you notice how cranky Hockey still is, I knew he would make a blunder, I couldn't hardly wait, but didn't think it would be that big. Sky News are upset, it was bad enough they were upset about the polls I guess you have seen the Labor Ad with Costello saying he wouldn't trust Abbott with the Economy. Well now Costello is demanding the Ad be cancelled, because he has been taken out of context. Peacock made a a nasty remark, about people being handicapted if they vote Labor, the candidate in that electorate is blind. George I am having a great day today, it all started with the polls this morning and it has just kept coming, gaffe after gaffe. Laurie Oakes just said on his nine report, by Costello complaining he has drawn attention to the video, and Labor are thinking about doing more ads with Costello quotes, taken from his book, Costello's memoirs. Julie Bishop holding a cane toad, and of course it started to swell up, she got a scare. But fancy even touching a cane toad, silly woman. The speech Bishop did yesterday at the Liberal Launch was just plain spiteful, sacastic, bitchy and nasty. Hockey's $7b contradiction of Abbott , Sydney Morning Herald Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has contradicted his leader to the tune of $7 billion during today's federal election economic debate with Treasurer Wayne Swan. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/economy/hockeys-7b-contradiction-of-abbott-20100809-11syu.html Swan jumps on $7bn spending 'gap', Sarah Collerton, ABC Mr Hockey, the Opposition's treasury spokesman, said the Coalition had announced more than $25 billion in savings during the campaign., http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/09/2977927.htm?section=business Costello changes tune on Abbott ,Kellee Nolan , SMH Former treasurer Peter Costello is demanding the Labor Party take down a television advertisement showing him scoffing at Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's economic credentials. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/costello-changes-tune-on-abbott-20100809-11ry3.html Costello fires up over 'deceptive' election ad, ABC Peter Costello has called on the Labor Party to cancel a television advertisement that suggests he does not trust Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to manage the economy. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/09/2977392.htm?section=justin Peacock slammed on handicapped comment , Jeff Turnbull,SMH "mean spirited" jibe that disabled people would not be able to understand the election campaign. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/peacock-slammed-on-handicapped-comment-20100809-11s09.html

Jason

9/08/2010lyn, It got better when David Spears on Agenda this afternoon had Barnaby and Morris looking fairly stupid.Pity there isn't a link, but barnyard looked lost for words Morris looked like he had a long lunch.

Lyn

9/08/2010Hi Jason I saw some of Agenda, missed Joyce. Morris was carrying ridiculous, loosing the plot, waving his arms around, goofy, in a desperate attempt trying to cover for the gaffe's, Bruce Hawker was copying my smile hee, hee, hee. Jason, it's pretty obvious with Sky, see how, all last week, hubris, hubris, the Coalition are going to win the election, then this morning, everything towards Labor, pessimistic, derogatory, anything to down-play the poll results. After the performance by the Liberals at their launch yesterday, and then today, it goes to, "pride comes before a fall", wonder what will happen tomorrow. Oh! by the way, have you noticed how many picture shots there have been of Phoney eating something, it started with the witchetty grub, then a raw fish, hamburger, icecream, tomato sauce all over a bread roll or something, anyway lots going down his neck on his campaign trail. results, and lots coming out of his mouth.

jimbo

9/08/2010Hi Lynn NOT only did barnyard get made to look stupid on agenda but he got made to look a fool on abc24as well i found it on one of your costello links. I think it was your second last one today costello fires up over deceptive election ad ABC.If you are looking for it to do a link it is on the right side of the page.

Lyn

9/08/2010Hi Jimbo Jimbo, thanks heaps for the link , Barnaby really is hopeless, isn't he. I am posting your link for everyone to look at: [i]Joyce questioned on Coalition's economic plan, ABC VIDEO[/i] Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce struggles to come up with the Coalition's promised surplus figure while discussing the economy on ABC News 24. http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/08/09/2977947.htm

jimbo

9/08/2010Lynn Thanks heaps Lynn your bloods worth bottling i hope everyone on the sword get great pleasure from this link to barnyard the braindead and his gobbledigook lol.

Lyn

10/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010: Day 24 (or, the last-question face), Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] Abbott was answering bugger all questions at his press conferences. This feeling has been around for most of the campaign – http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Cheering for the underdog, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] He hasn't got Labor by the throat because there's something you can't trust about Abbott. That "action contract" stuff looks like a prospectus from a dodgy real estate trust. The boy-who-never-grew-up charm didn't work for Andrew Peacock, why would it work for Tony Abbott http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Abbott a threat both to fairness and prosperity, Tristan Ewins, On Line Opinion[/i] Abbott’s claim to greater “competency” in managing the economy doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Politics concerns values: matters such as distributive justice and compassion for the poor and oppressed run deeper than “technocratic management http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10797 [i]AMWU election issues, Chris White[/i] Never forget, we lost 60 000 manufacturing jobs during the boom period under Howard. How much worse will things be while times are still tough if Tony Abbott is in charge? http://chriswhiteonline.org/2010/08/amwu-election-issues/ [i]The ex-leader factor,Lawrie Zion, Upstart[/i] his might turn out to be a key asset during the final two weeks of campaigning. http://www.upstart.net.au/2010/08/09/the-ex-leader-factor/ [i]Election Tracker: Day 20, 21 and 22, Tom Cowie, Crikey[/i] Julia Gillard was forced to deny that she was intentionally calling her opponent ‘Mr Rabbit’ http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/09/election-tracker-day-202122-gillard-in-darwin-abbott-in-brisbane-latham-the-journo/ [i]Abbott's NBN disengagement, Alan Kohler, Business Spectator[/i] It’s unclear whether cancelling the NBN has been dropped from the Coalition’s policy, but it certainly didn’t rate a mention in yesterday’s campaign launch by the Opposition Leader. Nor did infrastructure, or communications in general for that matter. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/What-about-the-NBN-Tony-pd20100809-85SRL?OpenDocument&src=kgb#Scene [i]Rupert Murdoch summons Gillard and Abbott to Rooty Hill, Stop Murdoch[/i] Ask your local candidates when they will prohibit old Americans from owning 70% of Australia's news media and controlling close to 100% of the news agenda. http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/ [i]Hoodwinked into voting for the status quo, Jeremy Sear, Onymous Lefty[/i] Now we’re getting closer to an election day on which the Greens could finally win a lower house seat, http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Has Twitter made a difference to press focus on the trail?[/i] [b]a post by GrogsGamut [/b]on the performance of the media stimulated an interchange between journos and bloggers on Twitter, something Mark wrote about here, and which journo James Massola reflected on in a piece published on Saturday. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]Take Nothing for Granted, Leon Delaney[/i] The only certainty is that with less than two weeks now remaining until polling day, nobody can take anything for granted. http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/2010/08/take-nothing-for-granted.html [i]Jesus weeps for Gillard the hypocrite, Ben Sandilands, The Stump[/i] And why is Labor, and the Coalition, pandering to sects that don’t believe in voting or paying taxes, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]Fashionably educated barbarians, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Herald Sun internet historian, Andrew Bolt, today digs deep into his own personal wayback machine to explain, once again, how much he dislikes Marieke Hardy. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/08/09/fashionably-educated-barbarians/#more-6843 [i]Abbott - Howard. What's the FDifference?, Alex Schlotzer. Video[/i]http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/abbott-howard-whats-the-difference/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlexSchlotzer+%28Alex+Schlotzer%29 [u]A COUPLE OF NEWSPAPERS:[/u] [i]Mark Latham comes out swinging at veteran journalist Laurie Oakes, Daily Telegraph[/i] Latham's bizarre display will put Nine boss David Gyngell under increased pressure to to sack him from 60 Minutes for attacking not just one of the station's biggest names, but one of the country's most respected journalists. http://www.news.com.au/features/federal-election/mark-latham-comes-out-swinging-at-veteran-journalist-laurie-oakes/story-e6frfllr-1225903210311#ixzz0w96Bls40 [i]Opposition Leader Tony Abbott sells action plan, Phillip Hudson,Herald Sun[/i] Funny he calls it an action contract, because much of the manifesto is about stopping things or taking no action., UNLIKE Howard's cuts to the ABC, [b]Abbott says he will not chop the national broadcaster[/b]. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/opposition-leader-tony-abbott-sells-action-plan/story-e6frfhqf-1225903150027 [i][b]Cocky Coalition [/b]has costed just 1% of policy promises , Tim Colebatch, The Age[/i]just six measures totalling $288 million - less than 1 per cent of that - have been sent for costing. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/cocky-coalition-has-costed-just-1-of-policy-promises-20100808-11qfj.html

George Pike

10/08/2010I sit here listening to ABC radio this morning and wonder how low these people will go to get their government of choice into power. Despite a truly prime ministerial performance from Julia Gillard on Q&A last night, the entire coverage of the event this morning has been about Latham, rangas and atheism. The discussion Julia had with the Australian people on Q&A on electricity prices, education, health and broadband have all been totally discarded by the ABC's pro-Liberal propaganda mongers in favour the trivial nonsense. This is despite their totally opposite rendition of the nonsensical Liberal campaign launch during their coverage of that event yesterday morning. They glorified the Liberal's invective laden rant as a wondrous prime ministerial achievement when it was nothing of the sort! Now they are trivialising a truly prime ministerial performance from Julia Gillard by concentrating entirely on irrelevant sections of the show...that is propaganda by omission and I'm getting sick to death of the ABC's treachery.

Ad astra reply

10/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

George Pike

10/08/2010The blatant anti-Labor campaign being run by the ABC will not be forgotten when this election is over. 4 Corners disgusting propaganda skits for the last two weeks expose the corporation as a totally corrupt entity that has to be challenged in the courts. First they covered the boat people without bothering to find out where the money for the boats and fares is coming from, who has got the most to gain from the boats heading south I wonder...then last night they ran a mental health skit focussed upon a marginal Labor seat when they could have done it in any seat in the country..and they didn't bother mentioning the fact that the Liberals actually had large surplusses to attend to such matters when they were in power and chose not to do so...they instead chose to give big tax breaks to the electorate in order to try and buy the popular vote...yet the treacherous naivettes in the ABC choose to push their worthless case ad nauseum...

Ad astra reply

10/08/2010George In its treatment of Q&A last night the ABC has joined the tabloid ‘election as entertainment’ brigade. By dissecting out the ‘entertaining’ bits it had no time to focus on the more salient parts. She answered many questions about the economy, education, health, disability, indigenous affairs, the BER, the insulation program, the ETS, electricity prices, the NBN, the change of leader, the ‘Costello’ ad, and so on. Instead the ABC chose to highlight the ‘Latham encounter, ‘rangas’ and her atheism. Pathetic. Those who missed it can see it at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2971154.htm The transcript will be available after 2 pm today. I though her performance was brilliant. She was relaxed, confident, personable, open, honest, lucid, articulate, succinct, good humoured even with awkward questions, humorous, quick witted, and her answers were informative, straight forward and helpful. I wonder what the critics will have to say, what flaws they will find or invent. The audience response was more muted than is usual with Q&A – I wonder whether the audience was briefed beforehand about when to respond. The questions were courteous and respectfully asked. She got several enthusiastic rounds of applause, and the grabs of the faces of audience members show mainly intense interest in what she was saying, and little of the head-shaking we see when a respondent is not giving the answer the questioner wants. The best the ABC could manage in complimentary comment was that she was relaxed and confident. I suppose, as my Mum would say, we should be ‘thankful for small mercies’.

Jason

10/08/2010AA, Just watching the presser on the broad band policy, at this stage it will have string, tin cans, boys on malvern star bikes and morse code.

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10/08/2010George I looked through the MSM for comment about Q&A and found a piece in the [i]Courier mail[/i] by Bruce McDougall [i]Gillard shuns talk of Rudd apology and fires back at Latham over confrontation[/i] that was mainly tabloid. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/gillard-shuns-talk-of-rudd-apology-and-fires-back-at-latham-over-confrontation/story-fn5z3z83-1225903188640 Phillip Coorey and Michael Idato wrote a more sympathetic piece [i]Gillard fields touchy questions in assured Q&A appearance[/i] in the [i]SMH[/i] http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/gillard-fields-touchy-questions-in-assured-qa-appearance-20100809-11uci.html The ABC mentioned the transcript would be available at 2 pm at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2971154.htm?show=transcript And that was it.

Ad astra reply

10/08/2010Jason It sounds as if you might be right. The ABC website has posted [i]Coalition unveils $6b broadband plan[/i] by online political correspondent Emma Rodgers that reads [i]The Coalition has promised over $6 billion to improve broadband services for Australians if it is elected to government. Finance spokesman Andrew Robb and communications spokesman Tony Smith have unveiled the plan which would replace the Government's National Broadband Network if the Coalition took government. Under the plan, 97 per cent of homes would have access to networks which would deliver broadband at speeds of between 12 Mega bits per second (Mbps) and 100Mbps by 2016 through a combination of technologies. The remaining three per cent of homes would be serviced by satellite services. The Coalition says its broadband plan would be private-sector based, in contrast to the Government's NBN. A Coalition government would provide $6.315 billion over seven years in grants and investment to funding the construction of the network. It would also identify "underserved" areas, such as those in rural and remote areas, to improve services as soon as possible. It would do this by providing $2 billion in funds for fixed wireless networks and $750 million to increase the number of homes that can receive a DSL service. Labor has pledged to spend $43 billion on a National Broadband Network, of which the Government would be a majority stakeholder. The network has already begun to be rolled out in Tasmania and is due to be completed by 2018.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/10/2978634.htm I wonder what 'other technologies' means? As you suggest, tin cans, string and morse code.

George Pike

10/08/2010I don't know if you noticed or not, but I saw Tony Jones, chin on fist, totally and absolutely mesmerised by Julia's casual dissection of each and every question with all the prime ministerial authority possible. I've never ever seen him so utterly disarmed before. To think that the media could rob those who didn't witness her sterling performance, of the chance to do so, is just so disgusting in its intent that it defies belief that it is actually happening right before our eyes...either the media are just rampantly corrupt or they utterly ignorant brainless thugs. Another thing has become blindingly obvious since the 4 Corners program relating to boat people aired last week. In that program they stated that fees have risen sharply to around $6,000 per head for the passage and several hundred thousand for the vessel and crew to man it....yet the boat people have no trouble raising those funds. Now where do you reckon people from the poorest parts of the Earth, who have transitted several thousand miles of rogue filled terrain, would possibly come up with that sort of money? There wouldn't be a "benefactor" with a heavy vested interest in seeing the Gillard government overthrown working away behind the scenes would there perchance? How strange it is that a boat turns up at a time perfectly suited to the Liberal agenda, right when Scott morrison is having a friendly discussion with the president of Nauru! The lengths some industrialists will go to ensure they get their little puppet Liberal government into power to ensure that the ETS and MRRT remain off the agenda ad infinitum will no doubt be extreme....

George Pike

10/08/2010Looks like the punters are on the money now! We are not alone in our belief that last night's performance was a stunner... http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/huge-betting-plunge-for-labor-20100810-11vu4.html?rand=1281405660142

Lyn

10/08/2010Hi Ad I just watched Tony Smith and Andrew Robb, release their Broadband Policy. They were both out of their depth completely, Smith left, and Robb lost it. Robb forgot the name of their own setup, was prompted by someone else in the audience. At one stage Robb was taking very deep breaths and looked like he was going to have a panic attack, or pass out, actually it was awful to watch, Robb is not up to Press Conferences', health wise.

Jason

10/08/2010AA, Tony abbott doing the time warp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCVL9vTM_yU

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10/08/2010George The punters certainly gave Julia a big tick, the tweeters were out is the largest numbers for Q&A, and the viewers in the largest number since the 2008 debut of Q&A – 841,000. It was a real winner for her and Labor. Lyn Let’s see what the experts say about the Coalition’s broadband plan, especially the mysterious ‘other technologies’ and the speeds 12 Mbps ‘up to’ 100 Mbps. How can an ‘el cheapo’ broadband be as good as the NBN – especially with the patent lack of genius in the Coalition ranks – Tony Smith, Joe Hockey and the sad Andrew Robb. I just hope the technical press don’t let them get away with blindsiding the electorate with gobbledegook. Jason Great video – Labor should use it as an ad.

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10/08/2010Folks Read what [i]Australian IT[/i] had to say about the Opposition's broadband proposal [i]Industry slams Opposition's wireless broadband plan[/i] before it's offical release. What will it say now? http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/industry-slams-oppositions-wireless-broadband-plan/story-e6frgakx-1225903146920

Jason

10/08/2010AA, Here's a good one for ABC watch http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mediadiary/

George Pike

10/08/2010Australians will rejoice far and wide at the thought of Miranda Abbott...sorry, Devine...spreading her vitriolic manure nationally now, hey Jason!

jimbo

10/08/2010Lynn & Ad Astra As much as i dislike seeing people suffer due to medical conditions and i am sorry that Andrew Robb felt so uncomfortable but i am more sympathetic for the 22 million people or so people,of which a sizable number are women and children,being subjected to the lies,deceit,not only by the MEDIA but by an opposition hellbent on destroying any and all infrastructure the likes of gp clinics,the nbn,the ber schools program in fact just about everything positive for the australian people on the misguided and now discredited assuptions that our economy is in trouble.More and more we are having information coming in that not only is our economy in great shape against the rest of the world our stimulus was just the cure needed to stop any decline into recession from the gfc.Our Liberal party seem to be the only ones saying our economy is in trouble and this coming from a rabble whos policies are like a balloon,when its pumped up its huge but when you stick a pin in it there is nothing but hot air a bit like their savings,which are groundless and non existent,as well their costings which humpty dumpty and wingnutt cant agree on to the tune of seven billion dollars whining pynes assertions that the blowout on the ber is eight billion dollars,instead of the real waste of one billion dollars so is the whining pyne the next treasurer put forward by the Libs,pity us all.

George Pike

10/08/2010I wonder if the bean counters have run the abacus over the cost of NOT having the Telstra infrastucure on the government's books....it must be a pretty significant income source that is being dumped along with the NBN project? The rental from the country's entire copper infrastucture would be going straight back into the coffers for a start...

Gravel

10/08/2010Ad Astra I don't understand why there are people like you, and other contributors to this blog, are so good at what you do, then you get the 'journalists' in the MSM, and reporters on TV that don't understand anything. I could ask questions of all the politicians that are way above what they ask, and I am not very well educated. I just get so disgusted. I used to think 'journalists' were very clever, lateral thinkers. I think that no more!!!!

Jason

10/08/2010Gravel, It's not that your poorly educated, todays journo's seem to think that with the 24 hour news cycle every bit of fluff needs telling.Or as happend the last 3 weeks with Julia she would release something and the media would ask about Rudd, perhaps Julia should have done what Abbott does answer a few when he gets flustered he runs away.

Ad astra reply

10/08/2010Folks Thank you for your comments. I'll be on the road for the next few hours, so I'll get back to you this evening.

nasking

10/08/2010I agree that Julia did a brilliant job on Q&A last night and is on a roll. Highly articulate, diplomatic, friendly & community healing...not dividing like Abbott and the mocking, negabore crew. This morn I posted the following at the Cafe: [quote]Tony Abbott, Who Are You...Who Who...Who Who?[/quote] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/tony-abbott-who-are-you-who-who-who-who/ [quote]Not long now and the clock will strike midnight on this election campaign. It’s quite possible going by how tight this race is that Liberal leader Tony Abbott will emerge from this campaign as the Prime Minister of Australia. Will our media allow him to “slide into office” without real in-depth scrutiny? Could this volatile character get a “free ride”?[/quote] Cheers N'

George Pike

10/08/2010Here is more proof that the Liberals under Tony Abbott are nothing more than a bigger version of One Nation.. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/the-leaders/abbott-dismisses-candidates-antigay-antisemitic-and-antifemale-views-as-colourful-20100810-11wpb.html?rand=1281412780898

George Pike

10/08/2010Currently 71% of The Australians readers who have participated in their daily poll have indicated that they reckon Robb's broadband deal is BETTER than the NBN! Can you believe the lengths these morons will go to get a pack of wastrels into power? Consigning Australia to third world communications for at least another decade plus, surely cannot be in ANYONE'S interest? These people would still vote Liberal, even if Julia offered them social and economic Nirvanah...which she is, compared to the Liberal's shonky dodgy policy farce...

Jason

10/08/2010George, I say let the 71% be happy. If the libs say let the market decide who should have the better access, that should pretty much wipe out the nats when they'll have to use this ... --- ...

Michael

10/08/2010Andrew Robb, should the Coalition be elected, will have single-handedly changed Australian history. How so? By haranguing the Liberal party-room meeting to reject their current leader, and in doing so completely betraying every expectation he had nurtured in Malcolm Turnbull that he was behind him, he swung enough people behind Tony Abbott to see him elected leader of the Liberals, even if by only one vote That one vote for Abbott was very likely to have been amongst many more on Turnbull's side if Robb hadn't betrayed him. Because the election of Abbott saw the cancellation of the deal on an ETS, Rudd couldn't go to Copenhagen with a pace-setting piece of legislation to present to, and quite possibly, embolden other national governments worldwide to introduce their own. With no ETS on the legislated books, when Rudd eventually was convinced to shelve it until the governments of the world will be forced to take action by the running out of the aegis of the Kyoto Protocol, his popularity fell away to the levels that saw him removed from the Prime Ministership by his own party. Now, we see a backwards-looking backwards-tracking Coalition within striking distance of claiming the government of this country. A claiming that will have been made through a three-years-in-Opposition campaign of lies, willful distortion of the facts pertaining to government policy, and a mocking dissertation of the failings of minister after minister that can only be 'understood' when seen to be fed by a vocabulary more pertinent to the 'abilities' of the relative shadow minister in each case. Can anyone really nominate one Coalition Shadow that objectively might be superior, in exactly the same role, as any government minister? And yet the Coalition are considered very likely to take government on the basis of having a 'straight-talking' leader who avoids answering any question popping out of the "too hard basket", and when unable to avoid answering, offers comment that is at variance with any other given shadow minister addressing the same issue. An alternative PM and his Shadow Treasurer, two weeks from election day, who can't even agree on what their total budget savings are??? Here we are because Andrew Robb, back early from treatment for depression, decided to stab his leader in the back. The man is incompetent, as today's press conference on alternative national broadband provision showed. He is untrustworthy as a member of the senior levels of his own party, just ask Malcolm Turnbull. It may well be that we find ourselves with Prime Minister Tony Abbott a fortnight from now because one man decided he didn't really need his medication that day, as he steeled himself to look Malcolm Turnbull in the eye across the party room (or more likely avoid meeting his eyes) and say, in effect, "more fool you if you believed me for a minute".

George Pike

10/08/2010....Because the election of Abbott saw the cancellation of the deal on an ETS, Rudd couldn't go to Copenhagen with a pace-setting piece of legislation to present to, and quite possibly, embolden other national governments worldwide to introduce their own. Have to agree wholeheartedly with that one Michael...and I'm very surprised that it has not gained more traction in the msm...maybe that is just a sign of the deterioration of the media under the auspices of globalisation...why would the media threaten their income stream by upsetting the global corporate sector hey!

George Pike

10/08/2010I agree Jason...I think Barnaby Joyce was even more pathetic than usual on Lateline last night. I wish the journos would ask the REAL questions of these frauds...like, "whose side are you going to be on when the gas industry or coal industry start fighting the farmers for land and water"...as is the case in NSW already I think. Barnaby Joyce is just a bean counter with a grudge, he and the three stooges (Hockey, Robb and Abbott)wouldn't be able to run a chook raffle net alone an economy!

2353

10/08/2010I deal daily with the construction industry. IN the last week we have had three consulting firms ring and, while asking if we have any work going, advised that the only thing that has kept them going for the past two years is the BER. What's wrong with 97.3% approval, new buildings and keeping an army of consultants, contractors and subbies in work - with the only proviso being that some Govt's didn't manage the money as well as others?

Lyn

10/08/2010Hi Ad I heard on ABC 24 this morning, somebody say that Fairfax newspapers are favouring Labor. I have been searching for some evidence. Have found a few that might be interesting for my friends. here they are: Abbott mocks Labor success, ignores real danger , Sydney Morning Herald I don't understand how we can have the worst government in Australia's history when our economy has been the envy of the Western world ('''It's time to end the soap opera''', August 9). How gullible does Tony Abbott think the electorate is? http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/abbott-mocks-labor-success-ignores-real-danger-20100809-11tzs.html Robb keeps going and going , James Massola, The Australian Then Mr Robb stepped up to microphone and things got a little surreal. It was a risky strategy from Mr Robb, and he got tangled on more than one occasion. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/capital-circle/robb-keeps-going-and-going/story-fn59nqgy-1225903422827 Abbott 'churchie loser' of the family , michael Madigan, Courier Mail I've always been very wary of debates involving women,'' he said. "It's nice to be reminded of a time when I won.'' http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/abbott-churchie-loser-of-the-family/story-fn5z3z83-1225903576273 Libs skate over the details , Tim Colebatch, National Times But Abbott has had a dream campaign, Gillard a nightmare. The media focus has been all on Labor, very little on the Coalition. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/libs-skate-over-the-details-20100809-11tyb.html It’s a numbers game, Amber Jamieson, Media Wrap, Crikey his spells trouble for the Liberals, writes [b]Michelle Grattan in The Age[/b]: “Any confusion over financial numbers is damaging for Abbott, http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/10/ its-a-numbers-game/Coalition broadband plan causing concern , SMH "It guarantees no connections, instead relying on the private sector, a plan which failed for 12 years under the former coalition government." http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/coalition-broadband-plan-causing-concern-20100810-11vto.html Costings will go to Treasury: Hockey , SMH Among the errors, a decimal point was in the wrong place, valuing one item as $15 million instead of $1.5 million. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/costings-will-go-to-treasury-hockey-20100810-11x1g.html

Acerbic Conehead

10/08/2010AA, Tones wasn’t sure if he’ll make it to the 7:30 Report this evening to front up with Red Kezza, so they taped two interviews in case one got lost. When the first went to air, the second one got chucked in the skip outside. However, a vagrant friend of mine fished it out and the script is included below. It must be true, AA, as it is written down. Kezza: Good evening, Mr Abbott... Tones: Yes, good evening, Kerry, and I hope I get the opportunity this evening to give a comprehensive set of answers to your very varied policy questions tonight... Kezza: Sounds good, Mr Abbott, that’s definitely a good start...I’m looking forward to you being very frank and willing to inform the viewers on your policy stances, as they decide whether or not to vote for you at the upcoming election...And my first question, Mr Abbott, is about the wireless versus the fibre-optic pathways...Why do you support wireless and not the seemingly more effective fibre-optics? Tones: Well, Kerry, there shouldn’t be any fibre-optic cables whatsoever on the boats...We need to turn the boats back, Kerry, and if they start to hang themselves with fibre-optic cables, then the others will only be more determined to get here to bury their dead...And we can’t have that, Kerry – we’ve just got to turn back the boats, Kerry – it’s as simple as that...And why are we in favour of wireless, Kerry – well, it’s simple – they need to have a wireless on board the boats, Kerry, so that they can tune into my scary messages and turn around in abject fear, Kerry... Kezza: Right...and what about education, Mr Abbott – how can your policies make our schools more effective places of learning? Tones: Kerry, we just gotta get the boats outa schools – there’s no two ways about it, Kerry...the boats don’t belong in our schools, Kerry, no matter what Captain Gillard and her Second Mate, Swannie say...Kerry, we gotta take a sharp and heavy cutlass to the boats in schools...absolutely...and this is a core-promise, Kerry – Marine Studies has got to go...the curriculum has to play its part, Kerry, in turning back the boats... Kezza: Okay, and what about the environment, Mr Abbott – how is the preservation of a nice, clean aesthetically-pleasing environment part of the policy portfolio you are offering to the electorate? Tones: Kerry, I’m glad you brought up the issue of the environment, because, and this is the gospel truth, Kerry, we’ve gotta turn the boats back and stop them littering our suburbs...Have you seen, Kerry, how many of the buggers are blocking our driveways? We gotta turn back the boats, Kerry – boat owners can burn ‘em for all I care – global warming is crap so that won’t heat up the atmosphere any more than we are doing at the moment...And didn’t Jesus get rid of his boat, Kerry, and go around on a donkey instead...if it is good enough for Jesus, Kerry...Or we can enter ‘em in the Sydney to Hobart – at least then they will be in the arse-hole of nowhere and not littering our driveways...Boat-owners could donate ‘em to the Poms, Kerry, so the sad buggers can re-enact Dunkirk...Anyway, Kerry, anything, just as long as we’re turning back the boats from our nicely-manicured suburbs... Kezza: Erm...Mr Abbott, I don’t think you are being too honest in your answers this evening, so I’ll give you one more chance to actually tell the viewers what you stand for at this election...And, it’s on the issue of Health...What are your plans for Health reform, if you are successful in winning government in less than two week’s time? Tones: I’m glad you asked me about Health, Kerry, cos I think there are too many boating accidents these days – we’ve just gotta turn back the boats, Kerry – they are proving to be a drain on our Health resources, Kerry...Boat owners are in charge of vessels on the high seas, Kerry, and they are under the influence of too many schooners...Far too much port is being imbibed...The consumption of yard-arms of ale is at crisis levels, Kerry...So, there’s only one answer, Kerry – turn back the boats- the health of Australians depends on it... Kezza: We’ve run out of time, Mr Abbott, so we’ll have to leave it there...but, but, but, you seem obsessed with bloody boats – don’t you realise its votes and not boats that are important? Tones: But votes equals boats, Kerry...or weren’t you listening to me...Oh, and by the way, Kerry, who are you going to vote for on Saturday week? Kezza: With all due respects, Mr Abbott, that’s none of your business... Tones: Well, if you’re not voting for me, Kerry, there’s a good chance you will have really burnt your boats...Oh, and by the way again, Kerry, have I told you we need to turn back the boats...

Lyn

10/08/2010hi Acerbic Conehead Acerbic Conehead, you are marvellous. Your 7.30PM report is more interesting than KO's. But, did you hear Phoney tonight, he told Kerrie he had a premonition, Kerrie said is that how you will govern the country with premonitions. Also Phoney says he is not a tech head , so he doesn't understand peak speed, Phoney thinks that's technical, wonder if he understands an off peak hot water system. I am pretty sure Phoney doesn't understand optic fibre, that would be high tech.

Jason

10/08/2010Hi Lynn, Just to up date a previous link it, I know how happy you'll be http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mediadiary/index.php/australianmedia/comments/glenn_milne_leaves_the_oz/

Lyn

10/08/2010Hi Jason Thankyou for the link Jason, (Glenn Milne leaves the Oz) Does make me happy, I have read one or two pieces of Milne's on the Drum recently, and thought his attitude was slightly different. I really would be happy for him if Murdoch gave him a job in America.

Lyn

10/08/2010Hi Ad and Everybody Here is Grog's Brilliant piece on today's happenings, excellent, thankyou Grog. [i]Election 2010:Day 25(or, pity they don't have Broadband on Nauru).Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] Tony Abbott’s performance on the 7:30 Report didn’t help things either when he repeatedly admitted to Kerry O’Brien he wasn’t really across all the technical stuff – and yet he had no problem [b]signing off on spending $6b anyway[/b]… http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-25-or-pity-they-dont.html

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10/08/2010Jason Let’s hope Mark Latham will distract Laurie Oakes from his anti-Government ‘leaks’. Channel Nine now regrets giving Latham his head. It should have known better. We can all rejoice that Glenn Milne no longer writes for [i]The Oz[/i], but why on earth does the ABC have him writing for [i]The Drum[/i]? George The Coalition seems not to have thought about the economic benefits of an NBN, which for a party that respects entrepreneurship, is astonishing. I think it has got itself so entwined with the debt and deficit mantra, that it has lost any sense of proportion, and is rushing into savage cuts to justify its mantra. AC Thank you for yet another delightful piece of satire. But tonight Tony Abbott’s performance was even worse than the one you portray. His ignorance about the NBN, his inability to follow economic arguments put forward by Red Kerry, his unwillingness to recognize the bleeding obvious, his shiftiness on every issue, his feeble attempts to turn serious questions into a tirade against the Government, all pointed to a man way out of his depth across a variety of critically important areas, the economy, the handling of the GFC, the NBN and international relations. That this man could seriously be considered for prime ministership is a blot on our political system and the media that reports it. Phoney Tony has put in some awful performances, especially with Kezza. That was quite the worst, all the more damaging because there are only 11 days to go to election day. Tones’ wheels are falling off.

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10/08/20102353 Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. It is great that have spoken out from the construction industry, which has benefitted so much from the BER. If only voices like yours could be heard across the nation, it might silence those who want to scream 'waste and mismanagement' continuously, and demean what has been a very successful programme, all to gain a political advantage.

Acerbic Conehead

10/08/2010Thanks, Lyn. Yeah, Tones probably thinks a megabyte is Joe getting stuck into one of his steak and kidney pies. No worries, AA, its always my pleasure. We haven't seen it yet in the West, but having seen your synopsis, I think I'll give the Red Kez Show a swerve tonight. Keep up the great work.

Lyn

10/08/2010Hi Ad Here is one newspaper report, wonder how many there will be, Tony Abbott's performance on the 7.30pm report should be reported everywhere. After all he is prepared to approve 6 billion for his broadband policy, when he is completely ignorant of the details or even basic understanding. Labor party should use some clips of the video, make a good advert. [i]Tony Abbott struggles with broadband basics , Herald Sun [/i]OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has struggled tonight to explain the basics of his broadband policy, saying [b]he was not a "tech head[/b]". [b]Mr Abbott was conspicuously absent [/b]when his colleagues, communications spokesman Tony Smith and finance spokesman Andrew Robb, unveiled the coalition's $6 billion broadband plan in Canberra today. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/tony-abbott-struggles-with-broadband-basics/story-e6frf7jx-1225903654528

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10/08/2010Lyn Thanks for another great set of links, which I've added to LYN'S DAILY LINKS: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx It looks as if some in the MSM are finally waking up to the Coalition and particularly Tony, who was at his most Phoney tonight. It's about time - he's been given an easy ride so far - that looks like coming to an abrupt end.

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10/08/2010AC You may be sorry if you miss Kezza's interview tonight with Tony. It's packed with great material for satire.

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10/08/2010MIchael What a poignant account you write about how such small things can change the course of history. Just one vote, one might say Andrew Robb's vote, a backstabbing vote, gave Tony Abbott the leadership, killed not just Malcolm Turnbull but the ETS as well, leaving Kevin Rudd empty handed in Copenhagen, and we know the awful sequel of that meeting. And here we are facing the disaster of an Abbott Government. He is fond of saying what an appalling Government we have - well here and now, even before he has the chance to get his hands on the levers of control, we can confidently predict that any Government he leads would take this nation backwards to the extreme conservative policies that he espouses and after today into a digital stagnant backwater where there is no progress. God spare us.

Michael

11/08/2010As the broadband non-interview on 7.30 Report displayed, Tony Abbott doesn't care where Australia can be. He just wants it back where it was. "Turn back the boats"? Turn back the clock.

Hillbilly Skeleton

11/08/2010You know where TAbbott was when the sacricial lambs were unveiling the Coalition Back to the Future Broadband policy? At a fundraiser luncheon in Sydney at his daughter's posh Private School. If Julia Gillard had missed an announcement yesterday and stayed in the lunchroom at Unley High the hue and cry from the Press would have been enormous. The Australian would have had a 20 point screamer headline with the words, 'Missing In Action' emblazoned on it. The Press pack would have been baying for her blood. What do we get when TAbbott does it? The sound of crickets chirping.

Lyn

11/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010:Day 25(or, pity they don't have Broadband on Nauru).Grog,Grog's Gamut[/i] Tony Abbott’s performance on the 7:30 Report didn’t help things either when he repeatedly admitted to Kerry O’Brien he wasn’t really across all the technical stuff – and yet he had no problem signing off on spending $6b anyway… http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-25-or-pity-they-dont.html [i]Why the Coalition telecommunications policy has failed, Andrew Elder[/i], Politically Homeless This policy area is like a prism through which you can view the general stupidity, laziness and lack of readiness for the Liberal-National-LiberalNational-CountryLiberal Coalition http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Becalmed, and adrift, The Piping Shrike[/i] Abbott still remains the problem. Much has been made of Abbott parading his family as an underhand way of making a point about Gillard’s marital status. http://www.pipingshrike.com/ [i]At last, the Coalition broadband policy, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] At a difficult press conference this morning, Opposition Communications shadow Tony Smith, flanked by Finance spokesman Andrew Robb, was repeatedly pressed to explain what proportion of households would have access to what speed levels and repeatedly refused to do so, http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/10/opel-goes-to-the-outer-suburbs-at-last-the-coalition-broadband-policy/ [i]Coalition unveils broadband policy, Business Spectator[/i] They think they can take an incremental approach and gradually get better at fixing these problems by targeting certain things, whereas the ALP has moved for root and branch reform," he told AAP. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Coalition-broadband-policy-internet-Abbott-NBN-net-pd20100810-872LY?OpenDocument&src=hp3 [i]Broadband Policy, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] From a statement by Andrew Robb the Coalition seem to be basing their attack on two lies http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/10/broadband-policy/ [i]Liberal Party Unveils its Internet Thing, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] The Canberra press gallery has already turned on Robb and Smith — laughing at the 12Mbps speeds compared with Labor’s 100Mbps. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/10/liberal-party-unveils-its-internet-thing/ [i]Abbott is a Luddite, says Conroy, Renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] Journalists at the Coalition’s press conference this morning also questioned Abbott’s absence. “Why isn’t Tony Abbott announcing this today?” asked one. And another questioned http://delimiter.com.au/2010/08/10/abbott-is-a-luddite-says-conroy/ [i]NBN: It’s the vision thing, is it?, John, En Passant[/i] He could however tell me he wasn’t a tech head. Neither am I Tony, but I can spot a dickhead a mile off. And you are one with your attempt to drag us back to the future on broadband. Is the Liberals’ theme song ‘If I could turn back http://enpassant.com.au/?p=7935 [i]Coalition going backwards on NBN ,Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] It's a return to the past, since the Coalition opposes the structural separation of Telstra and so would allow, by default, Telstra to regain market dominance once more http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/08/coalition-going.php [i]Newspoll Breaks it down, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] The Australian has published another set of geographic and demographic breakdowns, combining two weeks of polling (the 52-48 from yesterday and last week’s 50-50) http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

George Pike

11/08/2010That would be another great theme song for a union ad against the Coalition..."If I Could Turn Back Time"...good one Lyn! Here is a letter I've shot off into the ether...the slow old ether that will remain so into perpetuity under an Abbott regime! This is copied from one sent to the unions, hence the headline. Make the NBN as visible as the workchoices issue and the voters will flock to Labor enmasse! I'll tell you a few things that the coalition WON"T tell you about their version of the broadband future...there will be UHF towers on every corner emitting carcenogenic radiation to everyone nearby, where-as the NBN's light based system is totally inate. Copper wires are NOT going to be replaced or upgraded come what may, so all the people living in the regions will ultimately become totally dependent on very expensive mobile phone contracts for their entire phone communication access. The "competition" based system that Abbott tells us is going to deliver much cheaper services, has in fact been operating for a decade, and it has, in the main, lead to much higher prices...$30 a month to simply access the landline phone network, when it was free when Telstra was under government control, for a start. Mobile calls were $1 a minute when Telstra was privatised ten years ago...they are $1 a minute now, despite all the competition! Those are just a few of the examples of what will occur under the woefully backward Coalition plan...let's vote the idiots into oblivion for God's sake!

Michael

11/08/2010Since so much of Abbott's plans for a future Australia seem to hinge on what will be of advantage to his daughters - paid parental leave becoming legitimate, indeed essential, "visionary" (I wonder what premonitions he's had here?), as his daughters enter the age of fecundity - perhaps he should talk with one of them about modern technology. Maybe the one who reckons it's "gonna be awesome living in Kirribilli House". She seems to have the vocabulary and social priorities of a modern girl.

Lyn

11/08/2010Hi Ad This is a must read for everybody, very clever and very funny: Fowl business on the campaign trail, K. Roo, North Coast Voices So their clucklusion is that Tony Abbott is somehow getting civil servants to leak information to damage the government during the election campaign. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/08/fowl-business-on-campaign-trail.html

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11/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Lyn

11/08/2010Hi George Jason Posted "The Time Warp" yesterday, very clever video Jason, love Hockey's bathers. Posting again for those you missed out: Politics on Youtube, Mindy, Hoyden about Town He seems to have little understanding of what the electorate actually wants if it doesn’t accord with his view of the world. http://hoydenabouttown.com/20100810.7950/7950/

George Pike

11/08/2010Some more good points coming through on the radio in support of the NBN. The quality of data transfer weakens as you get further from the exchange, therefore speeds are slowed as yet get further away to allow for the correct deciphering of data transfers...not so with NBN as the signal remains the same as it is light based. Satellite broadband is very susceptible to signal loss as more users come on stream and crowd out the buswidth, which is the total possible data transfer rate of the system at any one point in time. Both of those faults with current technolgies could result in major digital infrastructure failures and even deaths in the case of remote hospitals (ECG equipment), signal systems (railway crossings) and energy switching (railway track changes)etc. The moron who runs the local ABC morning radio program was dismissive of all those revelations...well he's already proven beyond all doubt that he's a little Liberal apparatchik right down to his little pinkies, so that shouldn't surprise me!

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11/08/2010HS One ABC TV news bulletin reported Abbott's presence at that luncheon instead of being at the broadband policy launch with a one-second grab of Tony opening his mouth to a large fork-full of food. Rather unkind I thought, and unusual for the ABC, but nonetheless potent in sending the message.

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11/08/2010Lyn Hens always know best.

Lyn

11/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]The heat is on for Rooty Hill, Amber Jamieson, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] News Limited has monopolised the conference, meaning it will only be viewable in its entireity on Sky News. Other networks will receive a highlights package. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/11/the-heat-is-on-ahead-of-the-battle-for-rooty-hill/ [i]10 days to go: Senate poll strong for greens, Ben Raue, The Tally Room[/i] Roy Morgan has released their first polling of the Senate race, showing a very strong vote for the Greens. http://www.tallyroom.com.au/ [i]Devil is in the Detail at Liberal Campaign Launch, Alex Schlotzer, The Angle[/i] Worst of all was having to hear that nauseating campaign jingle. Every time it was played it was like running nails down a blackboard http://theangle.org/2010/08/10/election-2010-devil-is-in-the-detail-at-liberal-campaign-launch/ [i]Huge betting plunge for Labor, Stock Journal[/i] Centrebet received a bet of $20,000 at 10am, immediately shortening Labor's odds of winning. But this was trumped only 40 minutes later by a $40,000 wager and then another bet of $15,000 - seeing the odds of Julia Gillard becoming prime minister shorten from $1.62 to $1.53. http://sj.farmonline.com.au/news/metro/national/general/huge-betting-plunge-for-labor/1909099.aspx# [i]I’m no Bill Gates,” says Tony Abbott, Renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] “I’m no Bill Gates here, and I don’t claim to be any kind of tech-head in all of this … I do not have the same level of technical competence in this area … if you want to drag me into a technical discussion here http://delimiter.com.au/2010/08/11/im-no-bill-gates-says-tony-abbott/ [i]Abbott a threat both to fairness and prosperity, Tristan Ewins , Left Focus[/i]Crucially, Abbott is ‘running scared’ from a debate with Julia Gillard on the economy. Wanting to rely on pre-existing prejudices in the electorate, http://leftfocus.blogspot.com/ [i]ABC slams leaders' forum lockout, Spyreport[/i] http://www.mediaspy.org/report/2010/08/10/abc-slams-leaders-forum-lockout/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abc-slams-leaders-forum-lockout [i]Word of warning Auntie - your slip is showing, Graham Young, On Line Opinion[/i] Liberal spinner Graeme Morris is credited with observing that the ABC is "our [the Liberals'] enemies talking to our friends". How right is he? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10808 [i]Remember the sophomore surge, Mumble, The Australian[/i] Today’s Newspoll numbers repeated on August 21 would very likely see a comfortable Labor win. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/todays_cumulative_newspoll/ [i]Wielding the power of the press, Michae Gillies Smith, Unleashed[/i] If Abbott wins the election and becomes prime minister, The Australian will unleash and take him on. It will be the first test of an Abbott prime ministership. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2978078.htm

Lyn

11/08/2010Hi Ad Woops! I forgot one important link, a must read: [i]Gambut's Gamit: Blogging the failures of journalism, Derek Barry, Woolly Days[/i] [b]Grog’s post has been re-tweeted[/b] 266 times with many influential people including ABC boss Mark Scott, Lateline host Leigh Sales, The Chaser’s Chas Liacciardello and The Australian’s media writer Amanda Meade chiming in. As a result Grog caused journalists the most severe bout of introspection seen in this country since blogging took off in the early 2000s. http://nebuchadnezzarwoollyd.blogspot.com/2010/08/gamuts-gambit-blogging-failures-of.html

Paul of Berwick

11/08/2010As for voting, I think there was only 3,000 votes in it at the 2004 election. That is, if 3,000 people had voted differently we would have had Beazley and not Howard.

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11/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

George Pike

11/08/2010Here is a post from Facebook regarding a BER project... Local news on the Building the Education Revolution (BER) The slab for the new classrooms at our local primary school is going to happen any day now. I can't wait to see the end of the demountables and grungy amenities block. I don't see how investing in school's having decent buildings is wasteful - I'm sick of Abbott banging on about this. I doubt that we would have found the money anywhere else! The poster is dead right with that last insight...they would have been waiting for a long long time if it had not been for Julia's vision...and that little thing called the GFC of course!

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11/08/2010Folks A piece by HillbillySkeleton titled Medical Records has just been posted. It is the best compilation of information about past achievements and election promises on health that I have seen. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/08/11/Medical-Records.aspx

Jason

11/08/2010Hi AA, didn't know where to put it but get up are angry. https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/EndMandatoryDetention&id=1301
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?