There is no ‘I’ in Team

Welcome to ‘Team Australia’.

The usual connotation of the word ‘team’ is a group of people that pull together for the common good. Business these days seems to encourage people to form teams, whether the purpose is the development or implementation of a new product, or to attempt to build comradeship between employees.

The concept of ‘team’ is so ingrained into Australian culture that the different bus depots in the Brisbane Transport bus network compete for the best decorated bus at Christmas, the competition being judged by Brisbane’s Lord Mayor. It apparently builds teamwork and co-operation between the drivers at the different depots.

The theory seems to be that the process of building the ‘team’ will encourage the participants to complete their jobs at a higher level than they would otherwise because they have a sense of belonging to a like-minded group.

Socially most people have been involved with a sporting teams — from the local Under 7’s, who usually have only a vague idea that the ball has to be hit, kicked or thrown in a general direction (and no one should really care if it isn’t), to the high achieving athletes who are paid millions per year to demonstrate exceptional skills and ability in a particular area of sport. At the higher levels of sport, large quantities of electrons and printers ink are either used or wasted (depending on your opinion of the sport in question) in analysis of the events of the past week and how those events translated into a win or a loss last weekend.

Over the time the team is together, good coaches will attempt to engender a sense of equality across all the members of the team — and demonstrate that all members have skills to contribute, regardless of their time with the group. The ‘old hands’ will have the ‘culture’ of the organisation (regardless of the team’s purpose) while the newcomers will inject some different experiences to the group. The longer serving members will, if they have any intelligence, listen to the different ways of doing things and, if found sound, may incorporate them into existing programs which will improve the entire group’s performance in the future. The newer members will assimilate the ‘culture’ of the team from the longer serving members.

In an environment that promotes equality, it stands to reason that if one or two of your team mates are having an ‘off’ day, you will step in to give them a hand. If someone is ‘having a blinder’ (to flog the sporting metaphor to death), other members of the team are usually inspired sufficiently to improve their own performance. Regardless of the performance on the field, there is usually a form of celebration after the event to either congratulate or commiserate with each other.

So, if the Abbott Government comprises the coach and support staff for ‘Team Australia’, it stands to reason that they will be demonstrating to us, the team members, that we are all equal, all capable of greatness and, regardless of how long ago or how we got into the team, we are all welcome and valuable players. Let’s look at the evidence.

1. A team is a group of equals.

In the budget, the Abbott government introduced a $7 co-payment when accessing primary health services — effective from July 2015. (The measure is yet to be passed by the Senate.) The University of Sydney suggests that the elderly and chronically ill will be disadvantaged as a result of this measure:

"The introduction of co-payments won't be shared equally," report co-author Dr Clare Bayram said.

"It will particularly affect people who need to use more medical and related services, such as older people and those with chronic health conditions.

"The proposed co-payments regime is likely to deter the most vulnerable in the community from seeking care due to higher costs that they would face."

Also in the budget, unemployed Australians will have to meet obligations to apply for 40 jobs per month, as well as performing a number of hours of community service (dependent on age) in order to be eligible for the ‘Newstart’ (unemployment) benefit:

Australians under 30 will be required to do the heaviest lifting in order to keep their dole payments.

Those in the youngest working age bracket will be asked to work a minimum of 25 hours community service a week and apply for at least 40 jobs a month.

If you are over 60, you do not have to work — but volunteering to do so would be appreciated! Probably the best evidence of the process is this:

Work for the dole is already an optional program for all job seekers. As part of the recent budget, the government introduced mandatory work for the dole in 18 high unemployment trial locations. That program applies to long-term unemployed people who are 30 or younger.

The government will not wait for the outcome of those trials to extend the program to job seekers across the country.

Job seekers aged under 30 will be ineligible for payments for six months after applying for benefits despite taking part in work for the dole and being required to apply for jobs.

Thousands of Australians who are under 30 are in relationships, have mortgages and/or children. Is it equitable that this group of people could literally lose everything if their employer ‘restructures’? We see regularly in the media that hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of workers are ‘no longer required’ by a number of companies (as well as the current federal government when elected), and we are also seeing an increasing rate of unemployment. One could also ask how they are going to afford the expense of making the 40 job applications a month or get to the places where they will ‘work’ if, because of their age, they are not eligible for any government support for six months. It looks like some are more equal than others.

2. Members of a team are capable of greatness.

Australians are used to hearing about how great it is to live here. In comparison to a number of countries around the world, we aren’t doing too badly. However in a global environment where the emission of carbon is a concern due to the effects on the atmosphere, Australia is removing an effective carbon price.

There is no real difference between a carbon pricing scheme and parking regulation. In the case of carbon pricing, the emitters of a product that has been demonstrated to cause detriment to the quality of the climate globally are charged for emitting the product. The emitters have two choices — either pay the price or change their production process to reduce or eliminate the emission of carbon into the atmosphere. Councils across Australia regulate parking for a number of safety and accessibility reasons — if you are prepared to reduce other road users’ safety or accessibility due to your own perceived needs, you will be fined for the ‘privilege’ of doing so. The current government’s ‘Direct Action’ policy is similar to paying a reward to everyone who does not park properly.

Regardless of the semantics of the repeal of the carbon pricing scheme, a number of internationally renowned commentators were appalled:

It has been led by EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and environmental activist Al Gore, who said Australia was "falling behind other major industrialised nations in the growing global effort to reduce carbon emissions".

Conservation groups have also been scathing, and many experts have been left scratching their heads.

Roger Jones, a Research Fellow at the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies, called the repeal "the perfect storm of stupidity".

"It's hard to imagine a more effective combination of poor reasoning and bad policy making," he said.

"A complete disregard of the science of climate change and its impacts. Bad economics and mistrust of market forces."

The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, a group of close to 600 scientists, released a statement that said:

Securing Australia's environmental heritage for its future citizens and the global community will be undermined without strong environmental legislation and leadership that empowers government agencies, communities and local environmental organisations to protect rainforests.

Hardly evidence of engendering the potential for greatness in the team, is it?

3. All members are welcome and valuable members.

There is still a long way to go before all members of the ‘team’ can feel welcome and valued. There is considerable discussion on the inequity shown to refugees that arrive here in leaky boats versus 747’s — and the treatment each group receives.

Reported widely in the past few months has been a number of racially-based attacks on public transport in Sydney. Two of them are here (where the woman responsible was found guilty) and here (where four teenagers were arrested early in August).

The first racist incident ‘went viral’ on the Internet prior to any action being taken to identify and deal with the offender. The authorities seemed much more willing to act quickly in the second incident. While The Conversation’s article reporting the first incident suggests that the reaction to the offensive behaviour may be a turning point in treatment of racial abuse in this country, there is still a long way to go.

In 1995, the Federal Government passed the Racial Discrimination Act which, in part, made an act discrimination if it was intended to ‘offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate’ on the basis of ethnic origins or race. In 2011, radio and television presenter Andrew Bolt fell foul of this law when he claimed that nine ‘pale-skinned’ indigenous people ‘had chosen to identify as indigenous for professional or financial gain’. Then Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis, writing in The Australian on September 30, 2011 claimed:

By making the reasonable likelihood of causing offence or insult the test of unacceptable behaviour, in any political context, section 18C is a grotesque limitation on ordinary political discourse. While some have pointed out the analogy with the limitations on free speech in the defamation laws, the threshold at which speech may be unlawful because it is defamatory is much higher: the traditional formula is that it must be likely to bring the victim into "hatred, ridicule or contempt"


Section 18C, as presently worded, has no place in a society that values freedom of expression and democratic governance. If the Bolt decision is not overturned on appeal, the provision in its present form should be repealed.

Apparently Bolt and his wife dined with Abbott soon after the judgment and Brandis made it a high priority to remove the ‘offending’ Section 18C from the legislation upon being appointed Attorney-General in the Abbott Government. As the ABC reported in April:

In a heated exchange in parliament, Senator Nova Peris — the first Indigenous female senator — asked Senator Brandis: "Won't removing 18C facilitate vilification by bigots?"

He responded: "People do have a right to be bigots, you know. In a free country, people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted."

The repeal of Section 18C did not pass parliament. Abbott rang Bolt early in August and advised that the proposed repeal was not going to happen. Bolt then told the world on his blog and claimed:

To associate it with me meant so many people of the left thought that any law that could be used against me must be pretty good, and I think that’s poisoned the debate.

The ironic thing to note (apart from Bolt’s ‘its all about me’ comment) is that the IPA (a conservative ‘think tank’) is so offended that they still can’t offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate on the basis of ethnic origins or race, that they are planning an anti-Abbott advertising campaign!

Abbott’s ‘Team Australia’ can be compared to Queensland Premier Newman’s ‘Strong Choices’ campaign, where every comment by the LNP Government has somehow linked back to the chosen phrase for some time. See this article in the Brisbane Times for some pithy examples. At the end of the day, is it all hollow rhetoric and marketing to ensure survival beyond the next election?

While there is no “I” in team, there are three in ‘vindictive’ as well as one each in ‘horrible’ and ‘racist’. Is it possible to have a team where the Government is vindictive to those who can’t find work, horrible to our senior citizens who potentially can’t afford primary health care, or racist to those who are perceived to be different?

What do you think?

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TPS Team

7/09/2014Today we welcome back one of our regular and much loved authors, 2353, with another fine conversation starter. His topic [i]du jour[/i] looks at 'Team Australia' - is it really a team at all? Let us know your thoughts.

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7/09/20142353 You have admirably dissected what a team is. Clearly the characteristics of team membership that you describe do not fit within the political milieu that Abbott has created since that fateful day a year ago when he became PM, a milieu that creates inequality; that demeans many groupings in our society: the unemployed, pensioners, those unable to afford private education, the sick and the disabled; and isolates groups that are not ‘one of us’: asylum-seekers, Muslims, the socially isolated. On all counts, Abbott has created almost the antithesis of his so-called ‘Team Australia’. What does he mean by ‘Team Australia’? Who does he currently include within his Team? Who does he exclude? What are his criteria for Team membership? What are his criteria for exclusion from ‘Team Australia’? I expect he would not be able to answer these questions, even if he had given them any thought, which I suspect he hasn’t, so prone is he to adopting mindless slogans as a substitute for thoughtful policy. The concept of team, as we understand it from its use in sport, is that there are groupings of the like-minded, which compete with each other. Those on one team are not on an opposing team. The ‘team’ concept implies competition, or more forcefully, conflict. When teams compete there are winners and losers, and when there is a draw there is disappointment all round, as no one is a winner. I suppose Abbott is attempting to make us believe that it is possible for everyone to be in Team Australia – just follow Tony’s rules and you’re in. But if you don’t agree with his rules, whatever they might be, and I bet he can’t describe them himself, you’re presumably on the outer, not on Team Australia. He gave a hint of his thinking when he said that if a person chooses to come to Australia, they should fit in with us. But what does that mean? That we all believe in a fair go? He doesn’t, so that can’t be a criterion. That we all believe in equity and equal opportunity? Judging by his budget he doesn’t, so that can’t be a criterion either. That we all feel the same about how asylum seekers are treated? We know many disagree with current policy, so that can’t be a criterion. That team members have the same religion? That team members have the same attitude to Australia’s involvement in distant wars? Those criteria couldn’t be the case. One could go on and on citing the differences in attitude and approach of different individuals to a multitude of political issues. We are a religiously, socially and politically diverse nation, often with little in common, other than we live in Australia. So the criteria for Team Australia would have to be general and loose if they were to be inclusive as Abbott suggests they ought to be, but he never spells out what they are, probably because he can’t. Let’s face it, ‘Team Australia’ is another of Abbott’s banal slogans, a catchphrase cleverly designed to sound appealing, even believable, but as usual without substance, impossible to fathom or describe, and impossible to set criteria for membership. It is vintage Abbott, insulting to anyone with enough intellect to insist he define what it really is. And he knows that he will probably get away with it because no one in the MSM will have the guts or the intellectual fortitude to make fun of it and insist he explains what it is. He likes to say that his ‘adult’ government [i]“Says what it means, and means what it says”[/i]. [b]Well Tony, tell what ‘Team Australia’ means![/b]


8/09/2014I certainly wouldn't pick Abbott on my team. He's not a team player. As captain of the team he makes 'captain's picks' and ignores the advice of his team. He listens too much to people outside the team. It doesn't make the team feel very good about themselves, or confident in their play, if the captain takes no notice of them. You certainly wouldn't trust him as team captain.


8/09/2014Greetings Comrades Sorry not to have been keeping up. Haven't felt up to much, truth to tell, - both J**** & I have had The FLU (!) and the way it happened it cancelled a trip we were about to go on and that hasn't improved my mood neither, but always the pretty pass to which this sabotaginous Government is bringing this stupid country is the main worst thing that brings me down. So it's been over a week I think since I wrote here. Oh yeah The FLU does knock one's head around - beyond the sneezing coughing and runny nose & watering eyes, there's headache, which you expect, but thingsyou don't expect, WEAKNESS in the LEGS! and WOBBLINESS! and [i]the Earth moves for you[/i], (yes like that! but unpleasant), and, [i]you turn your head and your brain seems to follow a moment later![/i] And it all leaves you feeling pretty rinsed out. And you wantheaps and heaps of SLEEEEEEEP! It was just as I left the March In August that I got The FLU. It was as quick as that. I suddenly felt overwhelmingly weak, glad I only had fifty yards to get to the train. Partly, I think it was the disappointment with size of the crowd that finally got me. It was less than a third of the previous 3 marches ... and I know why too. Because the *Organizers* (we'll call them that) haven't got a [i]clucking few[/i] as to [i]actions[/i] - picketing, spot demos, postering with nasty little sticky guerrilla sticker things, heckling propagandists - so the demonstrators come to these big unfocused demos and wave and shout but go away unfulfilled and dispirited. The train I was waiting for came into Adelaide's dead-end station and from it proceeded a huge Crows' Wedding (that's the correct term btw) of HUNDREDS of Crows supporters, all Blue-&-Yellow-&-Red, gee Aussies got so much energy for Sport ... More important than human rights it seems. The crowd was just arriving for the Crows last game for the season, they were already Out of the finals, but the crowd was still going to be huge compared to the March ... Well anyway in the seat of Sturt we're about to give the Mincing Poodle a dose of curry, on Wednesday at Noon indeed. Labor stalwart, and local in Pyne's electorate, Professor of Law Rick Sarre, will amongst others be speaking to a STREET MEETING organised outside Pyne's office, and I'll be there you bet. Here's the Media Release ! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 10 SEPTEMBER 2014 Media Release: Pyne on the nose with university staff, students and the wider electorate A rally will be held outside of Christopher Pyne’s electorate office on Wednesday 10 September between 12pm and 1pm. Community concerns have escalated in relation to the proposed changes to higher education. The proposed changes to university funding, deregulation of universities fees and scholarships are the most dramatic changes to higher education in over a generation. Independent polling commissioned by the National Tertiary Education Union has shown strong swings against the Coalition in multiple seats including Minister Pyne’s own. The polling recorded a swing against Christopher Pyne of -15 and predicted him losing the next election. NTEU South Australian Division Secretary, Kevin Rouse said “It is time the Minister began representing his own constituents rather than the ideological agenda of the Government.” “Being dismissive of student concerns will not serve him well. There are over 8,900 students and 29,700 graduates in his electorate and they are voters. Add to this all the year 12 students who are looking for a university education and their parents, who will have to support their families for longer. It is clear the Minister has an electoral problem,” Rouse said. “South Australian families do not want to see their kids locked out of a university education, or saddled with enormous debts well into adulthood,” Rouse said. While the Minister claims these changes will improve the higher education sector, his community disagrees with 66% opposed cutting public funding to universities. “The community knows that quality does not improve when you cut funding,” Rouse said. Media enquiries: Kevin Rouse 0416 650 414 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Students have good reason to despise Pyne, and they are in a position to make things very nasty for him. People will adore us if we get the Grub out.


8/09/2014Two years ago today I was writing about [b]Women In Labor[/b] [i]Beneath smiling photos of Kate Ellis, Jenny Macklin, Nicola Roxon and Tanya Plibersek. [/i] These women in Labor are feeling no pain, Find running the country’s no stress and no strain, All were up-beat and their spirits were high When at a Party event they explained to me why. Working conditions have improved much of late With their new boss who is efficient and straight. Labor’s productive. It’s not at all hard Conceiving new laws with PM Gillard. Not just these women, but ALP men Work well with her and if ever again Rudd were to challenge and push came to shove They’d vote for Julia. Working with her is a Labor of love! How could it happen that those nasties, Pyne, Abbott and Co are now running and ruining our lovely country?


8/09/2014TT You criticism of the recent marches is valid. They need a focus, which is difficult when this government has provided so many oints of dissent and protest. But like the street meeting outside Pyne's office focusing on the university changes, Labor should be fuelling dissent electorate by electorate, focusing on only one or two issues that are particularly relevant to each electorate. It is difficult to organise national marches on so many issues. Some of our biggest demonstrations were during the Vietnam war, against the Springbok tours and the reconciliation walks across various bridges, when there was a single focus. Perhaps it is all a cunning plan by Abbott to spread dissent so widely that it becomes ineffective. In terms of beating Abbott's Team Australia, the opposition has so many targets it is not sure where to focus its attack.


9/09/2014I think the numbers are also down because they are not being reported in the MSM, because the organisers are not informing the MSM that something is happening. From the reaction I got last weekend when I contacted local media outlets here in Perth to find out if they were going to be reporting the march that was happening that afternoon, I suspect that because these 'outlets' were not contacted first, they were of the opinion that it didn't matter therefore they wouldn't report it ... thus the awareness that ordinary citizens could object visually, communally and politely on a subsequent occasion is diminished.


9/09/2014In a different part of my life, a person who worked at one of those 'free' home delivered papers told me that to get the item in the news you had to effectively write the story. They do not have time to 'sniff' out the news so they rely on people telling them whats going on. The March in [whatever] organisers need to market themselves as a vibrant group where the main TV bulletins can get some great footage and the papers can get some great photos. It is a sad fact that movement and colour sell the media's product - not the 'worthiness' of the story.


9/09/2014" How could it happen that those nasties, Pyne, Abbott and Co are now running and ruining our lovely country? " Patriciawa.....unfortunately...: "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time..." couple that maxim together with the other ..; "The further you get from poverty, the more afraid of it you become"..and you got a reactive society, unfortunately, and with the MSM. and the LNP. playing one ethnic group against the other, they have polarised the is really a case of betrayal of nationalist really is treason against the people and the state. For myself..I seriously believe it will be an imperative for the next Labor govt' to create a commission to bring this lot to justice and put them and their Australian backers on trial for their crimes against the state and against the community. And to declare Murdoch ; "Persona non Grata " for the remainder of his wretched life.


9/09/2014 Although I have high hopes tomorrow for a clear run for Ms. Gillard, I do fear that those low-bred pieces of dog-shit will try ANYTHING to bring her down…they have shown they will use any body and anything to accuse her…and all to raise the image of their mongrel leader..a man of criminal intellect and intention….a man charged and accused of heinous crimes of violence and sexual impropriety….The leader of the lowest, most vile govt’ to EVER lead ANY western democracy….and I mean that…: the lowest , most vile govt’ to EVER lead ANY western democracy! The fact they let themselves be slaves and creatures to another low-life media mogul accused in another country of debased criminal activity, shows how low they would stoop to gain power…and then to use that power to oppress with spite and bile those very people they relied on and lied to so as to gain govt’. I do have high hopes that Ms. Gillard will hold herself high above the putrid level of politics these vermin would drag her to…but whatever they throw at her, their mud and dirt will stick more to their person than to her record…I despise their filthy persons, I spit on their face and I condemn to the bottom of a swine-farm cess-pit their black souls! Good luck to Julia Gillard…we know your worth..we respect your time in office…they shall not conquer!


10/09/2014 [b]Labor’s persuasion problem[/b] Frank Bongiorno. 09 September 2014 Was the Gillard government more competent than its critics repeatedly claimed? ...The angry white men haven’t softened in their attitudes to Julia Gillard...For the men like this, Gillard’s political demise is insufficient. She must be humiliated and criminalised. Only then, perhaps, will they be able to put behind them the dreadful, castrating experience of being governed by a female Labor prime minister.


10/09/2014Thanks, Casa' a very good for thought.


11/09/2014 [b]Julia Gillard & Royal Commission[/b] SUMMARIES & AUDIOS 1. [b]Peter van Onselen[/b] @vanOnselenP Hats off to the government for doing the right thing and calling a royal commission to exonerate Julia Gillard re AWU. Avoids ongoing smear. 6:06 PM - 10 Sep 2014 2. [b]Julia Gillard testifies at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.[/b] (Audio for whole day of hearings) Ms Gillard was questioned by Jeremy Stoljar SC, Counsel assisting the Royal Commission. She then took questions from Bob Galbally, the barrister acting for Ralph Blewitt. The transcript of Gillard’s testimony will be posted here when available. • Listen to Gillard’s testimony – Part 1 (10.52am-1.00pm) • Listen to Gillard’s testimony – Part 2 (2.00pm-3.30pm) 3. [b]Julia Gillard gives evidence at trade union commission – as it happened[/b] Michael Safi. 10 September 2014 Former prime minister Julia Gillard faces questions over an alleged union slush fund at the royal commission into trade union corruption. 4. [b]Julia Gillard appears at Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption [/b] Charis Chang. September 10, 2014 FORMER Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she doesn’t recall who paid the deposit for a property allegedly bought using money from a union re-election fund. 5. [b]Trade Union Royal Commission[/b] The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption Website for live streaming when the Royal Commission is sitting: OPINIONS 6. [b]Party Games: Former PM Julia Gillard holds her own at trade union royal commission[/b] Dennis Atkins September 11, 2014 DURING the four hours former prime minister Julia Gillard sat in the trade union royal commission witness box, she was confronted with just one direct allegation from the inquiry’s counsel Jeremy Stoljar. It was in relation to an alleged payment by former Australian Workers Union official Bruce Wilson – an ex-boyfriend – for renovations to a house in Melbourne’s inner north. 7. [b]Julia Gillard testifies at TURC: Next up Elvis Presley and Big Foot[/b] Peter Wicks. 11 September 2014. Julia Gillard was in the Trade Union Royal Commission today and Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks was there to watch the former prime minister bash the counsel assisting all over the park without her even raising a sweat...Tony Abbott’s Royal Commission into Trade Unions was supposed to be about two things, the vindication of Kathy Jackson and the persecution of Julia Gillard. However just like Tony Abbott's first Budget, these two objectives have both turned into monumental public failures.,6884 8. [b]This Royal Commission witch hunt was unwise[/b] Darrin Barnett Royal Commissions are not for political retribution and using them as such is inherently dangerous. In light of the Ashby affair, the Abbott Government should be treading more carefully...Let's be clear about this: former prime minister Julia Gillard's appearance at the Trade Union Royal Commission today is a witch hunt. Just like the most recent investigation into the failed pink batts scheme, it reeks of payback. 9. [b]Julia Gillard: surely the union corruption saga must now move on without her?[/b] Lenore Taylor, 10 September 2014 The former prime minister spent a day under oath over her involvement in the ‘slush fund scandal’. And nothing new emerged... The journalists and bloggers and shock jocks and authors and amateur ex-union sleuths who have pursued Gillard for so long over these allegations will be bitterly disappointed... But even without the authority of office, even under oath, even under a whole day’s questioning by some of the best lawyers in the land, these allegations have progressed no further. 10. [b]Interrogation of Gillard produces nothing new [/b] Michelle Grattan. 10 September 2014. During Julia Gillard’s evidence to the Royal Commission on union corruption, even Commissioner Dyson Heydon became impatient with the traversing of old ground. Trying to curb questions that had already been asked during the morning he pointed out that Gillard had been in the witness box a very long time and it was a “very tiring place to be”. Gillard has, figuratively speaking, been in this place for an extremely long time. The ground has been dug again and again. Nothing fresh was excavated on Wednesday. Did anyone think it would be?.. She has always categorically denied any wrong doing, and on oath on Wednesday she remained adamant... Her pursuers will no doubt continue to hound her. But they didn’t get any of the help they’d probably hoped for from her commission appearance. 11. [b]'A stressful period of my life': no killer blow as Julia Gillard revisits her past[/b] Jacqueline Maley Julia Gillard let the royal commission know early on who it was dealing with. Asked to state her occupation, she said there was "a list". "I am of course a former prime minister. I am an author. I am the chair of the Global Partnership for Education. I am a non-resident distinguished senior fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington. I am honorary professor at the University of Adelaide." It was a refresher course in Gillard at her best. Her famous grasp of detail was there. Her legal brain was there. Her dry wit was there, as was her hauteur and her predilection for sarcastic understatement. 12. [b]Labor’s persuasion problem[/b] Frank Bongiorno. 09 September 2014 Was the Gillard government more competent than its critics repeatedly claimed? ...The angry white men haven’t softened in their attitudes to Julia Gillard...For the men like this, Gillard’s political demise is insufficient. She must be humiliated and criminalised. Only then, perhaps, will they be able to put behind them the dreadful, castrating experience of being governed by a female Labor prime minister. 13. [b]Smears from nowhere[/b] Andrew Elder. 8 September, 2014 Despite the absence of evidence linking Gillard to wrongdoing, Anna Patty and Paul Sheehan insinuate that she has something to hide from the Royal Commission set up to investigate this and other matters.


11/09/20142353 There is an i in Liberal but there you go, they're lying again! I do so hate what Abborrrtt is doing, and in large part [i]has done,[/i] to this country for which we had such hopes. I'm not going into them. We all know how he has turned around not only Australians' outlook, both social and economic, but also our international standing, so carefully and skilfully built up over Rudd-&-*J*U*L*I*A*s administrations. He is a disaster for this country, him and his stupid 'Team'. We must rid ourselves of the scourge he represents. The Religious Right. It's the bloody religion that does it. His particular brand of "Christianity". I've always warned people on this blog of the danger RW Christians, Opus Dei-type Catholicism and Happy-Clapperism represented, and now it's a reality. This damage to the fabric of Australian society is going to be harder to repair than Gaza, and that's saying something. As we all know, the RWNJs (Right Wing Nut Jobs) :) are such spiteful HATERS, and their saccharine solutions to social situations such as Asylum Seekers so seductive to the simple-minded (each of whom, remember, has as much of a vote as Ad astra or Rob Oakeshott!) that the very possibility of social healing is now questionable. The destruction of a universal NBN, price on carbon, mining tax, all are deliberate moves to pre-empt any recovery of a fair society. The cuts to social programs and the imposts to be placed on those who for any number of reasons are not coping well; the increased costs to students, medical co-payment, closure of social programs - all these are [i]designed[/i] to make Team Australia the weasel term it really is, and to drive irreparable cracks and rents through the sort of goodwillian society civilized people want. Yes they are not civilized these people. They are like the kids in Lord of the Flies*, dancing around and yahooing with the unbridled silly power of savages. And "religious" rituals always accompany and justify their behaviour. I remember the sad case of some hills very close to Adelaide. They were pristine. They were on a big lease owned by a quarry company, but they were far beyond the company's foreseeable needs (they were/are already operating on plenty!) and were of inferior sandstone. But the company caught wind of the State Labor Government's intention to list the untouched hills as national park. Forthwith, before the legislation could go through, the quarry mob went and blew the tops off all the local hills. That's what this whole mob is about. They are very effectively fracking our society. We MUST fight them with our superior wisdom, and our goodwill Comrades. Hard to keep that attitude in mind when The Others are so awful. But even Jesus hated the "Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" So if, along with me, you would acknowledge hating people like Morriscum, that is not being untrue to Goodwillianism, I'm not saying you need to love your neighbour, when your neighbour is such as he. Our hatred is reactive, against hypocrisy and inhumanity - there's 'Scum, claiming to be a Christian, and there's us, non-religious almost all I think - whose attitudes and behaviour are just as were those of The Good Samaritan, in Jesus' most (and to my way of thinking, only?) important parable. So I would not be too unhappy to be characterised as being christian in attitude and behaviour, exactly[i] not [/i]"a Christian." I bet the Good Samaritan felt nothing but contempt and loathing from the fat religious bastards who ignored the injured man. And Jesus his creator meant us to think that was fair enough too. So feel free to loathe Abborrrtt and Pell and all their rotten ilk. I'm christian and definitely liberal. 'Scum et al are Christians and Liberals. War is Peace Freedom is Slavery Religion is Hypocrisy Oh yes, speaking of which, yesterday I went to the little demo put on by academics and students, in front of Poodle Pyne's oriffice, all covered with security cameras like currants on a bun. Not much happened but at least it was a little bit of local action, by a group (academia) whom Labor really needs to have onside to help win the next election. Now less than 2 years away! :) *(based btw [i]very[/i] loosely on the Batavia disaster. The real story is REALLY something!)


11/09/2014Casablanca Great bunch of links re *J*U*L*I*A*. I never doubted her, but almost equally, I didn't trust The Bastards. Butfrom the word Go (and I watched a lot of the broadcast) itwasclear the she had the wood on every weak delivery from her pathetic and nasty inquisitors. Fascinating that her own brief hardly intervened at all. he didn't need to. She was so assured, Oh there goes another one over the pavilion! Hilarious when Inquisitor Stoljer tried to nail her on paying cash: "I pay all my invoices by cheque!" He just gobbled. I met her dog Reuben, tied up in front of the local health food shop. I didn't know who he was, but he was keening for whoever was in the shop, so I photographed him anyway, with my famous Fujifilm W3 STEREO Camera, when out comes Tim Mathieson to pat him! So I got 'em both, Tim & Roo that is, nice shots, I'll send them to them via the local Party, they live quite close. I've yet to get *J*U*L*I*A* in the infinite space in my little 3D Camera but it's on my List for sure. Can't help lovin' dat gal.

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11/09/2014TT Good to see you back commenting with your usual vigour. It seems you are recovering from your recent illness. I hope so. Like you, I was pleased that once again the witch-hunters failed to find the witch. But don't expect them to give up. Facts and reasoning have no place in their miserable minds.

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11/09/2014Casablanca I look forward to working through your list of Julia Gillard related links. As I mentioned to TT, we should not expect her adversaries to retreat in disarray, thoroughly discredited. They have a fixed and immovable intention to 'get her' sometime, somewhere, somehow. 'Hell hath no fury like men made to look stupid by a woman.'

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11/09/2014Folks We will shortly be on our way back to the South Coast.


11/09/2014 Hi!…me name’s Barry (youse can call me “Banger”), and Ad Astra has asked me to jot a few words down on this Union Corruption Royal Commission thingo, as’n I’ve been in the buildin’ game on multi-stories for donkeys years an’ I‘ll be able to give you the good oil on some things.. Now, I don’t want you to think I got something against the law and royal commissions and that, but I’ve been thinking…been mullin’ over this thing a bit…me and the mates in the smoko room…particully…. ‘Bout the Julia Gillard thingo. Now as far as I can make it out, that building project that her then boyfriend oversaw musta gone something like this..: Now keep in mind they’re both young, she’s got NO experience in building structure an’ how it’s organized, but that Wilson chappie has…as a matter of fact, seems to me he knows quite a few “journeymen tradies” (if you get my drift) and he says ; “No worries luv!…I’ll get Stavros,the big Greek onto it…and I’ll grab “Lucky” the labourer to do a bit of demolishin’ work….I’ll supply the labour, you just keep writin’ the cheques.” And that’s how it goes….she gives him a peck on the cheek in the mornin’, goes to work an’ Brucie gets on the blower to the blokes to come around..that’s how it works…that’s how any building site worked in those days…: “frien’s o’ frien’s”….: “Do you know a brickie?”…”Sure I know a brickie…you want a chippie too? ”…an’ as for money changin’ hands…hell!…I go down the local pizza place and get Gino to knock up two or three Hawaiians, and you’re talkin’ BIG money…and all cash ….an THAT must go on a few times a night the way they guts the “flat buffet” in this neighbourhood !( bloody good pizzas by the way…; at Gino’s)…sure I can see the greasy empties hangin’ outa the wheelie bin on a mond’y . But hey…getting away from the personal tribulations of Julia and Brucie…this whole union “arsea” is nothing but a bloody expensive con job..You check it out….Union’s got a thousand blokes on it’s books for this job… Building Co’ wants a good , clean, smooth operation to get the contract done and collect their progress payments on the way…the Rep’ speaks to the boys in the lunch rooms, gets the nod…goes to the boss, lays the deal on the table…the boss gets his “free-lunch” to give it the legal once over and then parleys a bit and they clasp their first lover’s on the deal an’ everybody’s happy…And Hey!…let’s be real..isn’t THAT what everybody wants?…hey..hey?…I mean..take my case…I got a mortgage hangin’over me and the family…, the bank likes that. They got me and the partner tied up for a few dozen years earnin’ them a tidy…We got the fridge, the plasma, the “Yaris” for the lady…ipods in every fist..all on the tick..We’re not goin’ nowhere, an the council likes that, rates an’ all, the state gov likes that..GST. an’ all, me old mum ‘n’ Dad likes that as’n we go see them at their retirement house over on the peninsular..”not too often”, dad says….we book a site there at the Stansbury Caravan park …same one every year..have done for yonks…the park likes, y’ know?…the kids like meeting the cuz’s there an’ they go fishin on the breakwater…or we all go up the road to ‘ Vincent for the best fish ‘n’ chips ever!…a coupla beers at the Ventnor (that stands for wind’y’know!) while the kids throw a crab-net off the warf…hey!,,wadderya want…it doesn’t get any better…save when the Power beats the Crows… An’ that’s another thing…these “sweetheart deals” aren’t confined to unions , y’ know!….speaking of not getting any better…there’s Gerry Harvey promisin’ me a “sweetheart deal” over the tele’ if’n I buy one of his “specials” over the long-weekend…sure, I know it’s another thing on the never never…but the building’s gonner last a couple more years..and Gerry likes THAT…after all, I hear he’s got a few nags that he takes to “Moonie” Valley every so often and I bet my ticker’s valve those hayburners barrellin’ down the last furlong at fifty miles per, with a monkey on their back floggin' the hell outa them an' doing the Bill Cosby thing of ; “…faster, faster you fool you fool !” would cost a pretty packet to keep in shoe-leather…and then there’s that bit of nice silverware in the Board-room cupboard you’ve had the green-eye on for a couple of years , so that when the jocks get together and decide that this year’s YOUR year…what you gonna do?….back outa the deal?…not pass ‘round the champers in the jockey-room AND the Board–room afterwards?…hey!..that’s what you’re there for!..and if’n any one’s gonna tell me the racing game is above a bit of “…on the roof ”..(if you get my drift)….hey, hey? So all this bullshit of ‘Union Corruption” …”Pink Batts fiasco”…”Building the revolution” “arseas”… hey?…as if there’s never been a bit of slap ‘n’ tickle at all those business “conferences” and don’t tell me it was only Meatloaf saw Paradise by the dashboard light!…hey, hey…don’t give me this .; “Oh, sorry Barry…Gee! it’s the last bottle of Grange I got!…tell you what ..I’m going to a “conference” with the bloke from “xxxxx Mining Co.” tomorro’…I’ll see what I can do..”……..Royal Commissions be buggered!


11/09/2014TT and jaycee You are both in fine form. Keep it up.


11/09/2014 ” She has always categorically denied any wrong doing, and on oath on Wednesday she remained adamant.” The above quote is from the Grattan article of yesterday…Whenever I read that line..and I read it and hear it from MSM. sources like Grattan, Taylor…Kelly(on ABC) , I curse them for their intractability to admit they were wrong, completely wrong about her…That line, if they were half decent reporters should read..: ” She has never been shown to have done ANYTHING wrong and under oath so it proved again…she is innocent of any charge”…. THAT…is how it should be written…IF they had any decency…and not leave the accusation hanging like they do….gutless bastards!


11/09/2014In politics, as in any other occupation, whether it be paid or volunteer work, there are "rules of engagement"....When Julia Gillard stepped in ..and THAT is the correct description for the replacement of Kevin take control of the dysfunction in the Labor govt', she acted in a respectful manner and WITHIN the rules of; she offered a high ranking post to Rudd, which he immediately sulked in and then HE and his gang of however many commenced, with the collusion of the MSM. and the always present seething hatred of the opposition , brought in this new state of play that we have in politics today...this new play is contrary to the accepted and decent rules of "engagement" of yester-years. The cruelty of political assassination by whatever malevolent means has been embraced by an unethical MSM. and the banal impropriety of Richo's : "Whatever it takes" is the new norm. There has to be a thorough purging of the Parliament and the MSM. to halt this destructive malaise, for it promises to destroy our national unity. I would call on a unified voice of the public to allow some sort of High Court judicial commission to assess each and every one of the current crop of politicians to judge them suitably for office on the grounds of morality and cannot be too difficult to assess a person's rationality. Sure, it could be open to debate on the grounds of who watches the watcher...but we have to grant authority for judgement on someone...and if we are prepared to allow the High Court to rule on many matters concerning our social and legal well-being, then surely they would be the choice. Murdoch MUST be declared "persona non grata" and his influence in the media dissolved and his empire dissipated. Either THAT or we slip into our own "Colosseum" style of; thumbs up or down on the moment and on the whim of demagogues.


12/09/2014jaycee I do so like your voltage. I wish all Australia would power up. The little protest demo outside Pyne's oriffice would barely have fired up a single LED I'm sad to say. Just not angry enough. So there I was, only one of 40-odd people to yell out the odd helpful comment (one about Abborrrtt's anticipated perfidy on Submarines, but the folk there, good-hearted and luke-angry though they were, were focused solely on matters educational.) I'd have hoped they saw a bit beyond just Pyne and the way he impinges on their personal financial future. They're there at halls of learning to think after all. But at least they were there. About giving power to judges as to who might be fit to govern: Don't forget that judges are fine-filtered from lawyers, surely the most conservative status-quo-supporting section of the public. Careful what you wish for eh!


12/09/2014 I spend too much time on Twitter writing stuff like this: 11 Libs in the Dead Men's Chest! YoHoHo&aBottle of Grange! Federal #ICAC'll knock off the rest! YoHoHo What a wonderful change! [As we all know there is a limit of 140 characters all-up in tweets, and it's not enough to write limericks without severe damage to the language.SpacngSpelngXpresnPunctn&All. It's unpretty & regrettable, wish we had 200 characters but oh well. The spirit of the true-hearted Bard is not to be contained by mere physical limits! So I suffer, along with the words I torture, but I usulymanage2fitlimericksanyway. Anyway a bloke got back to me (friendly) saying wtte why don't I write everything in rhyme! So I replied Imagine b4U cd speak anytime It had 2b perfect in meter&rime! I think I cd do it but it makes me bitter Tryin 2fit it onTWITTER!


12/09/2014TT - I love the reply. Pyne's end might be closer than you think. It seems he's been involved in the 'get Slipper' contest with Brough.


12/09/2014Taken, TT. ..but I am not totally anti upper-middle-class...I do have confidence that there are many high positioned "old school tie" fellows who do have a keen sense of justice and know what is decent and civilised....after all, I believe it is not only the working class aspirant who reads the enlightened tomes of humanity and is moved and encouraged by them..I have trust....I have some trust !!


12/09/2014I take a degree of offence at Bowen's reassurance to the submarine contract arrangements...I would have more confidence in some members of the Labor Party if they spent a little more time in consideration of their working constituents "shop-floor" interests , rather than the "stock-market" interests!...It doesn't take a PhD. to work out that these "free trade" agreements are little more than "labour market wage control" agreements. The decision to buy Japanese sub's is being considered on a "cost to the taxpayer" basis..I would encourage ANY govt' to consider the "cost to the tax-receiver" of an idle and disgruntled AND impoverished workforce....perhaps they could be redeployed to construct penitentiaries of their own future habitation ?.....and although I do not know who is writing Shorten's speeches, but he should sack him on the spot! that wincing jingoism (We're for Australia!!) that he displayed from the back of the tray-top the other day was pure nationalistic schtick-stock from an "old-school -tie" fellow!....contrary to the general perception of the over-educated class, your average working stiff has a keen understanding of how many hours it takes to fill the bread-basket in any given number of countries (a casual exchange with his fellow ethnic worker will verify it) and an even better understanding of how many political advisers it takes to empty it! And as for Bowen's panegyric to the "sovereign risk" exchange markets...I would think he could be better served if he pondered a little less on what side he butters up to his betters and takes a cold hard look on which side his bread is buttered!


12/09/2014jaycee @ 8:47 You strike a chord with me. When I worked in a warehouse many years ago I noticed the difference between the old school managers and the new style managers (who were just emerging in those days but later to take over the world). The old boss would look after us. If we worked fast and finished all the orders early, he would let us go early and he would bundy us all off at normal time. The new bosses thought if we could work that fast some of the time, why didn't we do it all of the time (they start assessing how many staff they need) and didn't bother allowing us to have 'early marks'. Of course, we just worked slower for the new style boss. The new managers and nouveau riche are focused on profit and have forgotten people management. They forget that all the grand plans they have can be easily undermined on the shop floor unless they take the workers with them. They have forgotten the old concept of [i]noblesse oblige[/i]. I won't get into an argument of how well that was actually applied, but at least there was a concept that the rich had some social responsibilities, including to the less well off. That has been forgotten in the name of neo-liberal economics: now they believe in trickle-down economics because it justifies their position that only their own personal profit matters and is actually a benefit to all, without the need to exercise any social responsibilities.


12/09/2014 The hope of the idiot for a “inflammatory action” to hit Australia. (with apologies to James Joyce’s “Gas From A Burner”). ” I’ll sing a psalm as I watch it burn And the ashes I’ll keep in a one-handled urn. I’ll penance do with farts and groans Kneeling upon my marrowbones. This very next lent I will unbare My penitent buttocks to the air And sobbing beside the gallery press My awful sin I will confess. My National man from Abercorn Shall dip his right hand in the urn And sign crisscross with reverent thumb _Memento homo_ upon my bum.”


13/09/2014A bit of food for thought this Satterdee.... This Abbott govt' has / is behaving in a very erratic would be fair to say that it throws one on the back foot again and again because of it's obscure policy constructs and it's sudden shifts in attitude and direction....could this be because we (as a savvy political group) have been looking at it from the wrong angle...perhaps our view of "Rational / Secular / Westminster" is skewered by the real intent and direction of this govt' of religious zealots....perhaps, we should shift our viewing platform to look at Abbott and co. as the Trojan Horse for the reintroduction of a new/old form of government...a kind of "Theocratic Democracy"....except it is not really democracy at is Theocratic Feudalism in disguise…and if one was to look at Abbott’s up-bringing…it was devout Catholicism all the way through, pre-schooling to tertiary, religion all the way up…now it’s “turtles all the way down”! Consider this…: No science minister…(in effect) no minister for women…no respect for climate science nor environmental science (god will provide). A direction toward lowering or holding wages at minimum levels…the shifting of social care programs toward registered religious charities…social counseling in schools to be administered by religious and ONLY religious sects…anti homosexual, anti abortion, anti female control of any kind…there are others you could add, but I think we can see he pattern…: A Patriarchal authoritarian top-down structure, with absolute control of economics, social , health and education…in short, the perfect example of Theocratic Feudalism as taught to and absorbed and believed and now applied by Tony Abbott, via his Mentor : Archbishop George Pell…high priest of the Vatican State. Consider also this latest war we are being dragged into in the middle east…it is not a war against a state, a coordinated administration…it is a war between religious sects…a religious war and we are coming in on the back of a Christian Trojan horse…WE are another religion joining together the three main Abrahamic sects in fighting for the souls and the territory of the middle east….and I for one have always maintained the theory that the Vatican has forever harboured a burning grudge to reclaim “Constantinople” and the church of Santa Sofia back from the Moslem religion. Consider and read carefully these quotes from Gibbon…: “"The grateful applause of the clergy has consecrated the memory of a prince, who indulged their passions and promoted their interest. Constantine gave them security, wealth, honours, and revenge; and the support of the orthodox faith was considered as the most sacred and important duty of the civil magistrate. The edict of Milan, the great charter of toleration, had confirmed to each individual of the Roman world the privilege of choosing and professing his own religion. But this inestimable privilege was soon violated: with the knowledge of truth the emperor imbibed the maxims of persecution; and the sects which dissented from the catholic church were afflicted and oppressed by the triumph of Christianity. Constantine easily believed that the heretics, who presumed to dispute his opinions or to oppose his commands, were guilty of the most absurd and criminal obstinacy; and that a seasonable application of moderate severities might save those unhappy men from the danger of an everlasting condemnation." Chapter 21” And this..: “"The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful." Chapter 2” These two passages need to be read carefully and fully comprehended for the flow and pattern of power they expose, and although but a minute representation of the complexities of theological impositions, give notice of Abbott’s complete indoctrination in the conferred male dominance of a religious hierarchy that exercised complete control of Europe for around a thousand years plus…a hierarchy that was greatly diminished and that deeply abhorred not least the sexual revolution of the seventies…an amazing revolution that “allowed” along with a more “convenient” contraception (also abhorred) for the first time in recorded western history…mark that!..; the first time in recorded western history..the choice of women to become more freely involved without the oppression of male tyranny , in the cultural, social and political decisions of the times….such freedoms have forever been the enemy of total theocratic government and never has the church been more vulnerable and if one was to observe human nature, one would notice that power is most valued and most sought when one is most vulnerable. So I for one believe the reason for the chaos and bizarre politics we are seeing at the moment is because although Abbott is in the top job, it is not HE who is making the decisions…rather, and although removed from the domestic scene, the Archbishops of the Vatican and other extremist denominations of Christianity do all have a firm grasp on the reins of governance. Heaven’s knows what the “soft” protestant members of the Party make of all this, but whatever their reservations, it would appear that their hunger for political power over-rides it all!


13/09/2014It seems there are many who cannot access [i]TPS[/i] at the moment. We have asked questions of ISPs and Australian National Security (is it related to the upgraded terrorism public alert level). If those who still have access lose it, I am trying to keep up to date on the [i]TPS[/i] twitter account (@1TPSTeam), and you can post any queries on the [i]Whispers' Cellar[/i] site ( as well.


13/09/2014I was beginning to wonder what had happened to everybody!...I thought it might be the footy finals!...I have no probs'..I am using Firefox if that is any consideration.

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13/09/2014Folks Web Monkey has fixed the site. It should be OK now.


13/09/2014Web Monkey has come to the rescue once again, fixing the problem. We now resume normal service :)


13/09/2014Glad to be back after 24 hours. Jaycee, I like your religious approach to Abbott but I think it is one of many ways to approach him and, perhaps more importantly, one of many ways of understanding his views. I have no doubt that it plays a part. But the paternal authoritarian top-down structure also fits with the approach of big business and many of the Right's economists, and, of course, with Ad's view (from Larkoff) about the strict parent model of the Right - which, no doubt, has historically a religious underpinning.


13/09/2014The "strict parent" view applies to all these people, otherwise they would not be where they are. But the "parent" is not them or the govt. The "parent" is the people who pull the strings, the puppet-masters, who remain behind the scenes but emerge occasionally as heads of committees asked to provide a report into ( name your issue). These are the Dick Warburtons, the Tony Shepherds, and the John Roskams. But even they are only the visible ones. The real ones only show up when they, like Gina Rhinehart, start shooting their mouths. Most of them sit quietly in the boardrooms and "decide on policy" which consists of deciding where to put their funding for maximum effect: Coalition election funds, IPA, internet trolls, TV Ad campaigns etc. And the Murdoch machine helps by distributing its propaganda material at great cost but "free" to the readers. The TV channels are of course "privately owned" so guess which point of view they would push. Even the ABC has now been fully infiltrated. Look at the board. And look at the programs: you always have people from the IPA and other right wing commentators, but has anyone ever seen someone from The Australia Institute (TAI) asked to comment on anything? If "balance" is to be maintained, the IPA should be balanced by TAI but that is never done. How Andrew Bolt and others can claim the ABC is "biased to the left" is beyond comprehension.


13/09/2014Well, Ken...I agree it is a long bow on the institutional religious side, but you'd have to agree that if the Abbott govt' was being steered by "Big Business", surely it would be more "business astute"...but it appears to be blundering between social policy dismantling to budget why would a politician who was so intent on "returning a surplice" be so incompetent on matters economic to make an idiot of his treasurer...continue to stand for a PPL. that is unaffordable cutting taxes that destroy his chances of returning the budget to surplice ? But I am not in the right frame of mind to debate this further, so will give it some thought and get back to you tomorrow!


14/09/2014 The delusional Abbott now thinks he is CHIEF COMMANDER of the Multinational Task Force against Terrorism.


14/09/2014Surplice!..did he write ; "surplice"??...too much heaven on his mind!...that's what you get for watching Rick Stein's French Odyssey at the same time as believing the spell-check!...surplus, ok? The one thing BIG business and BIG religion has in common, is that both are marketers of a product. With business it is usually a commodity, with "religions" it is "spirituality" does not really give a "flying" what the commodity is and , believe it or not, the hierarchy behind the "godhead" in big religion thinks the same...especially in western christianity. In the west, the thinking people behind the major christian sects got over God long ago.. they have known for many centuries that their "belief" is a confection, a construction of rhetorical faith slogans and theatre. A theatre for the masses to busy their spare time with and a deliberate absurdity to confuse their simple minds and make insecure their future prospects...unless!..... How do I know this?...because I was brought up with the indoctrination...but with me, as with most inquisitive souls, it failed the rational test...but there are others who gave and still give regular monetary payments every month to the local church for many, many years...millions , billions of dollars into the coffers of those very folk who preach that it would be "easier for a camel to pass through..."etc, etc... Anyone who has gone to Rome and visited those magnificent basilicas will notice more the gross, ostentatious display of wealth than the humble supplication for grace from god. With wealth comes or is desired ; power...Abbott's backers, from Santamaria to Pell, from St whatever high school to the Rhodes scholarship had the one goal in sight...and they have achieved that...their "man" is in the driver's seat...he will be there for another two think it has been a dog's breakfast up till now!!...well, baby(as they say)for my opinion..; "you ain't seen nothing yet!"


14/09/2014And if you wonder why the Labor left has lost the plot, well it seems the party is also chockers with catholic "chokers".


14/09/2014jaycee No need to correct 'surplice'. I thought it was a very clever, very appropriate play on words. As someone has said, wtte, that religious wars are about killing people over their imaginary friends. Or someone else that it is about whose imaginary friend is 'best'. Agree that the church (especially the Roman Catholic church and the Mormons) is big business. The other sign of that business model are the television evangelists in the US who rake in millions of dollars. It's just that Rome has been doing it since about 700-800AD and is much more experienced with a model that endures. Labor was traditionally the Catholic party in Australia, because the majority of Catholics were working class (under the Protestant ascendancy, or squatocracy in Oz). I recall that Lynch in Fraser's cabinet was the first Catholic minister in a Liberal government. But it seems to have been the conservatism of the church that has reversed the politico-religious battle lines and made the Liberals a stronger Catholic-conservative party. I thnk you will find that that is the difference between the Catholics in the Liberal and Labor parties - the former conservative Catholics, and the latter from the working class and social justice side of the Catholic tradition.


14/09/2014Yes, Ken..I had a bit of a chuckle at fate's intervention there with "surplice"...but it was repeated too many what can ruin a good joke! No, It's got way beyond any debate about religion and the micks in the party...I do believe talk would be going around Pell's circle of Abbott being their new 'Charlemagne'in Aust'...their man to bring nationalistic christian domination back to where it "belongs" : the church.


14/09/2014Oh! what they wouldn't love more..: than to be able to once again rail at the politics from the pulpit!...I can just hear them..; "In the name of the blessed Virgin and Jesus Christ and all the bleedin' saints of bleedin' christendom themselves my bretheren....I..imploooooore you..."
I have two politicians and add 17 clowns and 14 chimpanzees; how many clowns are there?