Why do Only Fools and Horses Gamble?

As part of his anti-problem-gambling crusade, Andrew ‘Del Boy’ Wilkie manages a Centre for the treatment of gambling addicts, which is trialling his new, ‘BetaGorn Program’. This involves the addict being given a smart card with a $200 daily limit which, when exceeded, fails to activate the gaming machine.

The BetaGorn Cenre is located beside a petrol station and, on this night in particular, Del Boy, as evangelical as ever, walks across to the petrol-station shop, intending as usual to display his placard, spreading his anti-problem-gambling gospel. However, this evening, he notices Tony ‘Boycie’ Abbott standing outside the shop, dressed in his Lycra suit, rattling a collection tin, and shouting, “STOP THE MORTGAGE”, at the top of his voice.

They greet one another and exchange a few polite words.

Boycie: Here, Del Boy...do us a favour and hold on to my collection tin, while I go into the shop...I’m dying with thirst after my Pollie Peddle and want to get a can of coke without paying for it.

[Del Boy is a bit apprehensive about possibly being an accessory, but trusts Boycie enough to realise he wouldn’t do anything illegal. He accepts Boycie’s tin and watches interestingly as he enters the shop. However, if Boycie had taken the time to read and reflect on the words on Del Boy’s placard, they might have provided a source for some soul-searching: “Why do Only Fools and Horses Gamble?”]



Boycie has been inside for a while and, as Del Boy pounds the pavement outside, displaying his placard, he hears an almighty racket from within. He looks in the window and notices that Boycie is having a real barney with the shop assistant. Del Boy enters, intending to do a bit of peace-making.

Boycie (shouting): Now you look here, young lady...I’ve been on the Pollie Peddle for the last two months and I’m dying of thirst...I know I don’t have any money to pay for the can of coke, so why won’t you accept my double or quits offer?

Assistant: I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t do “double or quits” around here...if you don’t pay for the drink with money like everyone else, please put it back in the fridge...

[By this time, a queue of impatient customers, stretched out behind Boycie, is about to lynch him, so Del Boy comes to his rescue, pays for the drink and leads Boycie outside to cool off.]

Del Boy: Okay, Boycie...calm now?

Boycie: Yeah...bloody shiny-bummed bureaucrat in there...no sense of adventure, these young ‘uns...

Del Boy: Erm, Boycie...I couldn’t help noticing you offered a double or quits in there...you haven’t got a gambling problem, have you?

Boycie: Huh, so would you, Del Boy, if you had a big mortgage like I have and only a measly LOTO wage to service it...And not to mention the cost of buying new bikes and Lycra suits...and the Party is debiting me up-front to pay for my stupid maternity-leave scheme when you blokes see the light and put us into government...

Del Boy: Hmmmm...it looks like I might just have the ideal program, Boycie, to help you overcome your “double or quits” and other gambling addictions...

[Del Boy gives Boycie back his collection tin and leads him by the arm over to BetaGorn House, explaining to him how the program works. Inside, Del Boy pauses at the doors of two rooms. One is in silence and darkness and the other is full of vitality, with the whiz-bang sounds of well-patronised one-arm bandits emanating from within.]

Boycie: Righto, Del Boy...what’s the story with the two rooms?

Del Boy: Okay, Boycie, this is the deal...As you can see and hear, only one is in operation...we call it the PC – “Pre-Commitment” – Room...

Boycie: So it’s a bit like signing yourself in?

Del Boy: Yeah, a bit like that, Boycie...You see, when you enter here, we give you a Smart Card with a $200 limit, and if you use it up before the end of the day, you can’t go on the one-arm bandits for the rest of the day...

Boycie: And the dark, uninhabited room?

Del Boy: Yeah, we don’t use that room any more, Boycie...We call it the “Suckers’ Room” – it’s a throw-back to the bad old days when punters could go on the machines and spend everything they had – or didn’t have...Some people would even sell their best friends in there...

Boycie: Maybe you could open it again and I could pretend Malcolm Turnbull is my best friend...heh...heh...

[Del Boy ignores Boycie’s lame joke, and leads him into the PC Room. Inside, there is quite a collection of folk, including some celebrities. Amongst the latter are Adam Brandt, Bob Katter and Julia Gillard. Boycie and Del Boy pause beside Bob’s machine and, after he pulls the handle, he gets three crocodiles sitting on roofs, registering a 10-dolllar win. Bob gives a “yee-hah”, smacks his enormous hat against his thigh, and proceeds to give the handle another tug.

They move on to Julia’s machine, but she doesn’t seem to be having much luck with this particular pull – three large ear-lobes! She tries again, this time getting three gold stars for overseeing the best economy in the whole history of the universe. This nearly makes Boycie puke with envy, so he moves along, just in time to witness Adam Brandt getting up to go, having exhausted his $200 limit.]

Boycie (to himself): Jeeze, this is as boring as batshit...give me the Suckers’ Room any day...

[Boycie tells Del Boy he needs to spend a penny, and ducks out. However, on his way back, Boycie takes a detour into the Suckers’ Room, switches on the lights and plugs in one of the machines. As soon as it’s cranked up, Boycie takes a dollar coin out of his collection tin and inserts it. At the first pull, he gets three Dennis Shanahans, and the machine pays out $10.]

Boycie (to himself): You beaudy! At this rate, by the end of the night, I’ll have made a fair dent in the old mortgage...hee...hee...

[Boycie sticks in another dollar and when the drums stop rolling, he is delighted to see the smirking boat-races of three Peter Costellos, which also pays out $10.]

Boycie: Well, I suppose beggars can’t be choosers...heh...heh...

[Boycie continues to ply the machine with dollar coins, but his initial good fortune appears to have deserted him. He gets a motley assortment of Chris Uhlmanns, Janet Albrechtsens, Andrew Bolts, Piers Akermans, Melissa Clarkes, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseam...but never the three in a row to guarantee a payout. By this stage, he has not only exhausted his earlier winnings but is down to the last dollar coin in his collection tin. He gives it a kiss, blesses it, puts it in the slot and pulls the handle. As the first drum comes to a halt, the stern face of Mark Riley looks back at him. The same with the second one. “One more of that bastard Riley – you can do it – come on you good thing!” However, when the third drum comes to a shuddering halt, the transubstantiating tri-fecta is far from complete.]

Boycie: Bloody Nicola Roxon!! THAT’S BULLSHIT!!!!

[Boycie’s shattered hopes result in him entering a type of catatonic state, staring blankly at the screen, and nodding like a metronomic toy.

Meanwhile, Del Boy has noticed Boycie’s prolonged absence. He exits the PC Room and sees the light on in the Suckers’ Room. He flings open the door, witnessing Boycie in his trance-like state, nodding idiotically at the machine.]

Del Boy (yelling): Boycie!! Come out of there at once!! You must have a serious problem if you are in the Suckers’ Room all on your own!!

[Del Boy’s yelling brings Boycie back to earth and he groggily shuffles to the door, just in time to see Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Tony Crook walking along the corridor towards them.]

Boycie: Wow! The Three Amigos! By my reckoning, Del Boy, for your BetaGorn Program to get up and running, you need the support of at least one of them...How do you think it will go, Del Boy?

Del Boy: Not sure at this moment in time, Boycie...We’ll just have to see how things pan out in the discussions...

Boycie: And if one of them goes your way?

Del Boy: Well, for you, Boycie, that’ll mean shit really happens...heh...heh...

Boycie: Erm, by the way, Del Boy...in the Suckers’ Room I lost all the money I collected in my STOP THE MORTGAGE tin...you wouldn’t like to do a double or quits, would you...

Del Boy: [Sigh]...you’re incorrigible, Boycie old son...

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22/04/2011AC Thank you for writing yet another clever piece of political satire for our enjoyment over the weekend. Folks To get the most from AC's latest piece, I suggest you run the YouTube clip first.

Feral Skeleton

22/04/2011AcerbicC., Absolutely rivetting! Like the best 'One Arm Bandits'. :)

lyn

22/04/2011Acerbic Conehead Thankyou for a wonderful funny article, to brighten everyones day. You must have a wonderful time with your sense of humour, it's your hillarious best friend AC. Wish Boycie would go back in the suckers room and stay there, gets him of my TV.

lyn

22/04/2011Hi Acerbic Conehead Look! your article has been listed on "Blogotariat." Congratulations to AC and congratulations to "The Political Sword" Why do Only Fools and Horses Gamble? [b]The Political Sword - April 22, 2011 - 4:41pm[/b] [quote]As part of his anti-problem-gambling crusade, Andrew ‘Del Boy’ Wilkie manages a Centre for the treatment of gambling addicts, which is trialling his new, ‘BetaGorn Program’. This involves the addict being given a smart card [/quote] http://www.blogotariat.com/node/214813

Acerbic Conehead 2

22/04/2011AA, Thanks for posting this for me and a special thanks for running your expert editor's eye over prior drafts. Much appreciated. FS, Glad you liked it. Go easy on those one-arm bandits over the break! Lyn, As they say, there's a sucker born every minute. Pity we have to have the prize one, lol. And thanks for the heads-up on the cross-post to Blogotariat. I've sent them an email to say thanks, but which also includes a chiding for omitting authorship! And a very Happy Easter to all readers of, and contributors to,[i]The Political Sword[/i]. Hopefully, it brings peace and joy.

lyn

23/04/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS [/b] [i]Bowen likely loser from budget, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] To be fair to Chris Bowen, he has been given a very nasty portfolio and the issues http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/bowen-likely-loser-from-budget/ [i]Environmental performance, Nicholas Gruen, Club Troppo[/i]Antarctica and Greenland are also in pretty good shape, though I hear they can get quite cold. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/04/22/environmental-performance/ [i]Australia - The ITU has endorsed the National Broadband Network for its economic benefits ,3Wan. Net[/i] Meeting exclusively with The Age during a two-day fact finding trip to Australia, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) secretary general Hamadoun Toure said a minimum speed broadband network would increase economic capacity http://sutherla.blogspot.com/2011/04/australia-itu-has-endorsed-national.html [i]US launches Predator drones in Libya conflict, Jane Cowan , ABC[/i] The first two Predators, which carry Hellfire missiles and can stay in the air for 24 hours, headed to Libya on http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/22/3198588.htm [i]What Happened With The NBN This Week?, Nick Broughall, Gizmodo[/i] During the testing phase at the five initial mainland NBN sites, certain customers will get access to the network for free. They’ll have to keep paying for their old internet connections though. [SMH] http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/04/what-happened-with-the-nbn-this-week-14/ [i]Will the NBN be obsolete before it’s finished?, NBN Concerns[/i] There is no technology currently available, in development, or even on the drawing boards that can make fibre-optic cables obsolete. http://nbnconcerns.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/obsolete/ [i]What do the Experts say? NBN Myths[/i] Information and Communication Technology experts and major corporate players in the ICT sectors have issued strong statements supporting the National Broadband Network. Let’s take a look at what they are saying about it http://nbnmyths.wordpress.com/what-do-the-experts-say/ [i]Deception Defined , NBN Smear Campaign [/i] This one is just an outright lie. Turnbull says that 100Mbps is the highest speed promised by the NBN. Bullshit. The NBN will offer speeds of up to 1Gbps, that is 1000Mbps. And Turnbull already knows this, because he’s mentioned it on his own blog. http://www.nbnsmear.blogspot.com/ [i]Via Broadband Fail, Michael Wyres[/i]. Crying out for some faster, less latent, more stable bandwidth? This is what the Coalition suggests we stick with! http://michaelwyres.com/2011/04/via-broadband-fail/ [b]READING[/b] [i]At what point does too big to fail become too big to save?, Maurice Newman, Unleashed[/i] We still have the time and the opportunity to de-risk portfolios. We can ensure our balance sheets are in good order with minimal leverage, so that they can withstand a sudden, significant and unexpected external shock. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/76420.html [i]Antartic's Summer, ABC[/i] As Australia celebrates 100 years ub Antartica, ABC reporter Karen Barlow joins a research expedition to the Mertz Glacier. Explore the sights and sounds of the white continent and learn about life onboard Aurora Australis icebreaker http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/antarctic-summer/ [i]Rupert Murdoch’s Nazi-Corp, Raoulduke[/i] the pushing of a specific agenda with opposing views usually suppressed, lots of ridiculous trivial stories E.g. celebrity infidelities, Facebook related stories etc. and uniformity of content([b]same stories in every paper.) [/b]One of the few advantages of this oligopoly is that it is cost effective and keeps prices low. http://raoulduke1989.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/rupert-murdochs-nazi-corp/ [i]Understanding Who Gets What , Bear Market News[/i] Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch avoids paying taxes on his U.S. holdings, though they account for the greater part of his immense fortune. In any one year, he siphons off many millions in state-side profits to his subsidiary in the Netherlands Antilles, a place that has virtually no income taxes. In addition, the $1.8 billion he paid to acquire U.S. television stations is written off against profits, further reducing his taxable income.20 In effect, Uncle Sam helps to pay for Murdoch's growing media empire. http://bearmarketnews.blogspot.com/2011/04/politics-understanding-who-gets-what.html

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23/04/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

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23/04/2011Good Morning Lyn I finally finished reading yesterday’s links sitting up in bed late last night with the iPad. This morning I’ve made a head-start, again by using the iPad sitting up in bed, and have read all today’s links except READING, which I’ll leave until later. What a fantastic collection of NBN-related links you have assembled for us today. I do hope Malcolm Turnbull and the NBN skeptics read them all. NBN myths are busted, doubts resolved, and misinformation and lies exposed. The piece [i]What do the experts say?[/i] http://nbnmyths.wordpress.com/what-do-the-experts-say/ is particularly powerful. Skeptics and doubters, and we have at least one who comments here, should read every word. Thank you for putting together such an informative set of articles. You do provide us with a most valuable service. Today is sunny down here, but cool. The wind has steadied, the sea is calm and the fishermen are venturing out again. We may get some more mowing done later, when the grass dries. Enjoy your Easter weekend.

lyn

23/04/2011Good Morning Ad Thankyou for your lovely comment this morning, it's such a beautiful, sunny, happy Easter Saturday here. The weather in Hervey Bay is just superb, really wonderful time of the year. I hope you get a chance to do that awful job of mowing, I suppose I am lucky, I never learnt how to use a lawn mower. Those NBN stories had me absorbed, they are valuable information, it really was a treasure find for me. I am so glad you enjoyed them. As you mentioned the blog site "What do the experts say" is I agree, fantastic. Our normal brilliant writers were on holidays yesterday, so they gave me the time to go seaching. You know Ad, we all know, the NBN means so much more than, as Abbott says downloading music, games and video's. There is a whole University of general interesting information on the web, and the NBN technology is just staggering. I wish we all lived longer, what did Christoper Columbus say: "we were born 500 years too soon". Happy Easter

D Mick Weir

23/04/2011Good Morning Swordsfolk, having digested the hot cross buns I now wait in anticipation of [i]Chocolate[/i] :) I point out this article in the first instance because of the John Shakespeare cartoon that heads it. An good example of a picture (cartoon) is worth a tousand words imho. [b]Carbon-dated resurrection[/b] - Peter Hartcher - National Times http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/carbondated-resurrection-20110422-1drbn.html [i]The theme of Easter is resurrection. It's also one of the biggest themes in politics this year. ... It seems Australia wants the election it never had - Rudd versus Turnbull[/i] [b][i]Disclosure:[/i][/b] I still have a few dollars riding on MT being the next Liberal PM; a wager I made before he was elected as Opposition Leader.

D Mick Weir

23/04/2011And now to some thought provocation: [b]Media moves too fast to do justice to stories that matter[/b] - Charles Wohlforth - National Times (reprinted from Los Angeles Times) Wohlforth takes a look at the media reporting on the BP Oil Spill and where it is at. The last paragraph is very apposite and could apply across the board: [i]We cannot count on the federal government to stop disasters, because we cannot count on the media or ourselves to pay attention to all the risks that face us as a nation. But community by community, we can watch over our own land and water. And we can demand that the nation respect our decisions.[/i]

D Mick Weir

23/04/2011There must have been something in the water cooler water at the National Times. Even more food for thought: [b]I'm right, you're wrong, let's have another latte[/b] - Kate Holden - National Times http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/im-right-youre-wrong-lets-have-another-latte-20110422-1dqxt.html#ixzz1KIwYQVoP [i]"People just aren't listening to each other any more," a friend said. I nodded furiously. "Everyone's shouting but no one hears." "I couldn't agree more," I said. ... There is a lot of shouting going on at the moment. We are coalescing — or coagulating — into partisan groups, down sadly intransigent and predictable lines. ... A study from the University of Michigan has confirmed that facts are no obstacle to misconception. We select our evidence from the great murky cloud and prescribe our learning. And being contradicted, far from refining our thoughts, embeds them deeper. Our belief systems are stronger than our critical faculties. We know what we know because we know it. And because the people around us agree it is so.[/i] I have filed this one under: [i]If the cap fits, wear it[/i] I am off for a little stroll and taking my cap with my, I might even wear it :)

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23/04/2011D Mick Weir In contrast to the article I criticized so strongly a few weeks back, this Hartcher article is sound, factually based and well reasoned. Although he expresses opinions they are based on facts and reason. Unlike the conclusion to his March 19 article: "Labor's end...", which left us up in the air, his conclusion this time is a logical extension of the argument he developed in his piece.  His reliance on contemporary polling so far out from the next scheduled election is questionable, but I guess it's all the quantitative evidence we have. Hatcher can write well - we all know that.  It was his 'Labor's end..' article that was out of character, or in polling parlance, a 'rogue' piece. Kate Holden's article is one all should read.  For me, her assertions reinforce the need to begin with verifiable facts and figures if they are available, and reason logically from them to a sound and replicable conclusion.  Opinions ought to be identified as such and based on sound reasoning.  It's a difficult path to follow, but when it's not, dissonance is inevitable.  This is a counsel of perfection, but what alternative is worthwhile? I do like the Bertrand Russell quote: "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision". I have found in medicine that long experience makes one more, not less cautious.

Acerbic Conehead 2

23/04/2011D Mick Weir, Thank you for the link to the Peter Hartcher article and John Shakespeare cartoon on the possibilities of resurrection for some Australian political figures. They are quite apt, given the weekend we have at the moment. But, before the Resurrection, there had to be a Passion and Death. Matthew, in his gospel, said this: “when they had finished crucifying him, they shared out his clothing by casting lots”. And the lot-casting and gambling with the future has gone on ever since. In fact, the latest gambler who wants us to put our faith in him is Tony Abbott. In fact, he was headlining a concert last night at the Rooty Hill Palladium. So Tones wants us to take a gamble. Should we take up the odds he’s offering? Sing along to his [i]sitz im leben[/i] version of the Rolling Stones classic, “Tumbling Dice”. And, come to think of it, is there any more appropriate band to listen to at Easter than the Rolling Stones? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIrTpi0iaTA :- ) Gamblin’ with our future, comes second nature to me, a moocher Jus’ worryin’ ‘bout number one is fine No buts or maybes, jus’ gotta pay my mortgage on time :- ) To all you wowsers, I’m jus’ a low-down gambler Cheatin' like I don't know how No maybes, you’d be crazy, to expect me to keep my vows This back alley bitch’s got my palms all a itchin’ I’ve jus’ gotta have a piece of her pie :- ) Maybe, you’ll have a wager, so roll me Cos I’ve got this gamblin’ vice :- ) Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry Walk outta pressers big time C’mon, bet your money I'm the best thing that Rupie can find Say now, maybe, I'm a rank outsider Can you help me outta this bind? :- ) No maybes, get this straight You got to roll me and call me the gamblin’ Roll me and punt on my gamblin’ vice :- ) Oh, my, my, my, got Gillard to neuter The ABC’s playin’ its part Maybe, get this straight You got to roll me and fall for my gamblin’ vice (Got to roll me) When I go unscripted on global warmin’ – sing along now! (Got to roll me) Ride like the clappers outta pressers – let me hear you! (Got to roll me) Trash the stimpacs – clap your hands now! (Got to roll me) Kick the dole bludgers up the ass (Got to roll me) Kiss Alan Jones’ ass! (Got to roll me) Dig up a few more black holes (Got to roll me) Provide silver service maternity leave payments (Got to roll me) Bring in guided democracy – can’t hear you now! (Got to roll me) Stop sayin’, STOP THE BOATS (Got to roll me) Send round my ironing to Julia (Got to roll me) Hang around with Revolting People (Got to roll me) When I cock up, jus’ say, “shit happens!” (Got to roll me) Say, “but...but...but...” to cover my butt (Got to roll me) Demolish the NBN (Got to roll me) Nod like a nong (Got to roll me) :- ) Good-night everyone... You’ve been a great audience... Don’t rain on my parade... And don’t be afraid to take a punt... All’s you need is a stake... Goodnight...

Feral Skeleton

23/04/2011Actually, it's very wet and cold in Sydney today, and I went out in it and got very wet and very cold. :(

D Mick Weir

23/04/2011Hi Ad, I may have been a bit too subtle with my comment on the Hartcher article. In one way I was saying no need to read the article, just read the cartoon :) That said, yes, it is a coherent and mostly reasonable piece. Hi AC, it is a pleasure to be an inspiration, thanks for the laughs. :) btw do you know, was it Leaon Russell that said something like [i]" ... It's Easter ... don't get hung about it ..."[/i] on an album that I have long forgotten?

NormanK

23/04/2011Acerbic Conehead You're a clever bugger. The TV series is not one with which I am familiar but there were certainly some recognisable faces there. The misspent youth of Inspector Frost? The Rolling Stones and Easter - very clever indeed. :) Ad astra I'm inclined to agree about the Hartcher article, much better reasoned and based on the facts as he sees it. What amazes me is that anyone but the most optimistic (pessimistic?) could believe that the price on carbon legislation is not going to get up in some form or other. Labor simply cannot afford to fail this time around and although it may only be a question of perceptions, the Greens can't afford to appear to be blocking it for a second time. Both parties' futures depend on a successful outcome. Windsor may yet prove to be a spanner in the works but he is also a pragmatist who would well understand that if it doesn't happen now then it may be a very long time before another opportunity presents itself. There is also Tony Crook to consider, he hasn't ruled out backing it. Might Turnbull and others cross the floor? It would be refreshing to see some Liberals stick to their principles on a subject as important as this one and it may do Turnbull some political good. The biggest concern is whether the finished product serves any useful purpose other than providing a framework which might later be tweaked by a future government in order to give it more teeth.

lyn

23/04/2011Hi Ad A Politics rest day for you tomorrow: Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews Full program listing available at: http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/ 8.00am Ch10 - Meet the Press Paul Bongiorno is joined on the Panel by The Sunday Telegraph's Claire Harvey and the Mark Kenny from The Adelaide Advertiser. Together they interview Greens member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP and the Institute of Public Affairs Exectutive Director John Roskam. 8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda On Sky News Australian Agenda this week Federal Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for Sport, Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness, and Senator for New South Wales Mark Arbib and Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage Greg Hunt. Host Peter Van Onselen is joined by the The Australian's Paul Kelly and Geoff Elliott. 8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary Political editor Mark Riley will be on an Easter egg hunt with his family this Sunday morning. The Riley Diary will be back next weekend. 8:40am Ch9 - Today on Sunday The weekly Laurie Oakes interview is no more. Laurie is next expected to return to your Sunday morning screen on Sunday 8 May for a pre-budget interview with Treasurer Wayne Swan. 9:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 - Insiders No Insiders this weekend. Barrie Cassidy and the Insiders crew are enjoying the Easter break with family and friends and will return next Sunday morning. 10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 @ 5.30pm - Inside Business No Inside Business this weekend due to Easter celebrations. Alan Kohler and Inside Business will be back next Sunday.

D Mick Weir

23/04/2011Another cartoon that saves a thousnd words from Ron Tandberg. [b]The Ten Second Grab[/b] http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/opinion/cartoons/ron-tandberg-20090910-fixc.html The link is to Tandbergs Gallery of cartoons and should be the first one when you click on the link. If not have a flip through anyway. I wonder if Tandberg had a certain Opposition Leader in mind when he drew this one.

Gravel

23/04/2011Acerbic Conehead You have given us another wonderful piece to make us grin and laugh. I hope everyone is having a great Easter. Saw some great footage on the news last night of Julia and her partner (mind gone blank on his name) meeting the emperor? of Japan. They look very happy to speak with our wonderful leader. Hillbilly Skeleton, I enjoyed your last piece and look forward to more. Ad Astra, may I just say thank you for all your effort with this site, I like the new layout, and as usual all the wonderful contributors. Lyn, you are as prolific as ever with your wonderful links, hoping things will improve here so I can start to read them again soon.

lyn

23/04/2011Hi Gravel How are you going? I hope you get better soon. Wonderful to see your comment here. Best wishes to you Gravel

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23/04/2011Gravel It’s good to have you back again. Thank you for your kind comments. We are fortunate here to have such good contributors and thoughtful comments, and Lyn’s superb links’ service. We all wish you a complete and rapid recovery so that you can enjoy reading what appears on [i]TPS[/i].

Feral Skeleton

23/04/2011It's time for us to take a reality check: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/federal-labor-looks-dead-and-buried/story-fn56baaq-1226043466557 The fat lady is not even on the stage, let alone limbering up her vocal chords to sing yet, however I wouldn't discount what Laurie Oakes has to say.

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23/04/2011AC Your output is prolific. I would enjoy seeing The Rolling Stones singing your words. NormanK A lot does depend on the passage or otherwise of the carbon tax. If Julia Gillard can’t get it through, the jackals from the Opposition and the MSM will savage her and make it even more difficult for her to succeed as PM. With the current Senate, the carbon tax initiative requires the Greens to support it and two Rural Independents as well. Can the Greens be seen to be spoilers again? Can the key independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott, afford to bring the legislation undone? These, and the other possibilities you mention, are the imponderables that would allow only a crazy-brave or super egotistical commentator to hazard a confident opinion. Tandberg is always clever DMW, and this cartoon is spot on. Thank you Lyn for the Sunday programs – it is a relief that we won’t have to endure Insiders this week, although we will have to put up with Mark Riley’s nonsense – I hope at least it's amusing.

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23/04/2011FS Laurie Oakes is an experienced political commentator who likes to be out in front with his predictions. Like all journalists he likes ‘an exclusive’. But even on this prediction he is still hedging his bets. Look at the headline: “Federal Labor [b]looks[/b] dead and buried”. Not ‘[b]is[/b] dead and buried’. His latest book ‘[i]On the record[/i] shows that some of his past predictions have been wrong. John Stirton’s words after the last Nielsen poll are germane: ‘John Howard and his Government were in a similar position but went on the win the next election’. In the light of this, I can’t understand why journalists seem so ready to write off Labor now, over two years before the next scheduled election. Is this a genuine view or is it, as is so often the case, just journalistic headline grabbing? I suspect it’s the latter. If Julia Gillard can get some solid successes on the board, the whole picture will change, notwithstanding what focus groups and polling shows now. Let’s stay optimistic.

D Mick Weir

23/04/2011FS, Oakes indeed has a 'sobering' message. A miracle may not be enough either. Meanwhile, Louise Dodson - The Weekend AFR (print edition) has this story: [b]One-Line Tony's Opposition[/b] [i]Last year's fedaral election gave Tony Abbot solid reserves of political capital, but murmurs of discontent are starting to be heard from some in the ranks dissatisfied with the way policy is being made - and expressed. ... beyond his fast lip lie a few slippery slopes for the Leader of the Opposition ...[/i] The tenor of the story is about lack of consultation and shifting policy positions. Certainly no 'miracle' but all is not good for the opposition either.

NormanK

23/04/2011Ad astra I guess I was being that [quote]crazy-brave or super egotistical[/quote] commenter (as opposed to commentator, since what I say is of no consequence). Failure is not an option which means Gillard and Brown will have to stay at the table until a compromise is struck. It might end up being a mongrel hybrid because they have to accommodate too many different interests but holding a press conference to announce that the deal is off is simply not possible, as I see it. Gillard will negotiate a compromise, if only to stay alive politically, but whether the whole package has many redeeming features remains to be seen.

BSA Bob

23/04/2011I admit to being very worried by the Oakes piece but see it as yet another of his swipes at Gillard. While the Villawood riots are bad news indeed for the Government (& the asylum seekers' cause) he uses it to segue into a well worn theme- "the perception of a Government that can't do anything right", a perception created & fostered by his workmates. My reading of paragraph 8 is that he usurps a quote to insert his oft repeated line "by knifing Kevin Rudd", not best journalistic practice I would have thought. I had to head for the fridge on reading the part about voters seeking "independent supporting evidence" of Labor's claims as they certainly won't find it in the papers he now writes for. I don't like Australia's media.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2011BSABob Neither do I like Australia’s MSM. Laurie Oakes seems to have had good relations with Kevin Rudd and has shown this in his insertion into the quote of John Scales. He believes Julia Gillard knifed Rudd, something he resents. So for Oakes, as Gillard’s political demise would be to his liking, it is not surprising that he would write in the way he has. We ought not to get too exercised about the predictions of a man so clearly angry with Gillard. The Lousie Dodson article mentioned by DMW will give Tony Abbott little cause for complacency. Neither leader is in a great position.

macca

23/04/2011Unlike most political tragics I have never rated Laurie Oakes as a particularly good or talented journalist. What he is good at doing is putting a cover of icing on the putridity and vileness of the organisation that employs him. In essence he is News Ltd's "face of reason". A Murdoch version of "Chemical Ali" if you will. That he won a Walkley award for dropping a question about a leak he had been given and then used it in a press conference says more about opportunism than it does about talent. Imagine, 40 or so years as a journalist and you win an award for dropping a leak at an election campaign press conference. Any good incisive work you have in the past has just been negated. You will always be remembered for the " Laurie Oakes" question. A fitting end for one of Ruperts favourite lapdogs I would say. It is interesting that he noted the decline in the ALP membership. Did he correlate that with the Liberal/National memberships? Are they declining? I don't know. Mainstream Churches seem to be losing followers at a rapid rate. More people are shopping online, just ask Harvey Norman. Is there a trend? Less people are buying newspapers. Less people seem to be watching commercial tv. It's all relative. Laurie, as directed by Rupert, sees a Govt. in disarray, panicked beyond all comprehension and like chooks with their heads cut off, running around in ever diminishing circles, kicking up dust and achieving nothing. I don't. I see a Govt. working on legislation that will benefit and strengthen the nation, and it's people, in years to come. I see a Govt. that most definately gets some things wrong, but, is getting a lot of things right. Laurie, with Ruperts permission, believes he is entitled to live in the penthouse. To take advantage of the veiws, the cleaner air and be above the general hubbub of life down on the street. He has deserved it? He has done his masters bidding? It is his right. What Rupert forbids Laurie to think about, let alone understand, is that the penthouse will collapse without a solid foundation. That building foundations, by the very dint of their importance is a necessarily dirty, thankless job. It's noisy, muddy and large amounts dross have to carted away and replaced with a clean and more stable base. The new foundations started with the end of the Howard Govt. The Rudd Govt. cleared the sight and the Gillard Govt. is starting the rebuild. It is no surprise that the neighbours are complaining. The noise, the dirt, the disruptions and perhaps they complain loudest because they may have to have an honest assessment of their own foundations.If they do that? Laurie would have failed. and Rupert will not be pleased.

BSA Bob

23/04/2011macca Just read your eloquent piece, I think the MSM was justifying itself & its own actions during the election when it awarded Oakes the Walkley. This one act of his gave them the basis of THEIR election campaign. I remember reading a blog comment during the campaign saying it had turned into an election contest between Gillard & the media.Oakes gave them that chance.

BSA Bob

23/04/2011Ad astra Apologies for not acknowledging your response. I agree with you & have said before that Oakes obviously has a personal dislike of Gillard. Lately he hasn't seemed inclined to equally investigate the person who's "one byelection away from becoming P.M." Hope he proves me wrong on this at least.

NormanK

23/04/2011macca I agree with you wholeheartedly. All of this speculation is based on current polls and we know how unreliable they can be - even exit polls. Two and a half years is a very long time and people are fickle, anything is possible.

Feral Skeleton

23/04/2011Whilst I acknowledge the validity of the comments of all who have had a go since I posted Oakes' piece, I still must avaer to my previous pessimism. For what it's worth, from my humble position as a commenter/commentator(?) lucky enough to have a platform from which to observe and pass feeble judgement upon, well, the way I see it is that the Gillard government are being beset from within and without, from the Left flank and the Right. From within, it is having to cope with the protracted death throes of the Right of the party from 'NSW Disease'. In fact, as I have commented to Jason in a private e-mail, I wouldn't be surprised if we may see another split within the ALP before too much time has passed. Especially with the rise of the DLP again in politics generally, albeit a small rise but enough to see them with a seat in a parliament, and with the fall from grace of the Catholic Right, as evidenced by the SA child-porn imbroglio, linked as it is to an Uber Catholic, former Asst. Secretary of the Shoppies Union, and reputed member of Opus Dei, I can see the Left of the ALP becoming increasingly intolerant of them, and maybe attempting to show them the door. Or, they may independantly decide to find that door for themselves if they lose their power base within the ALP. Who knows? I don't, that's guaranteed. However it's not beyond the realms of possibility. Where would that leave us? With a resurgent DLP, and a weakened Centre Left ALP. The Greens. The Coalition. I won't talk about the Coalition and their own potential problems, suffice to say that they are being put at bay by good polling numbers at the moment. Next is the attack on the Gillard government from the Left. As I have mentioned previously, I had to mount a spirited defence of the PM on Twitter after her speech to The Sydney Institute because those who I would have characterised as being Twitterers from the political Left, savaged her continually and mischaracterised the intent of her Welfare to Work gestures as outlined generally in the speech. To the extent that they convinced themselves, and tried to convince others, that the plans were simply the PM getting down into the gutter with Tony Abbott. So sustained has been this attack that a spoof Julia Gillard Twitter account came out with this today, weeks after the speech: [quote]Kin Oi jist soy, Mt Druitt is looking so much better after we cracked down on the poor. JG http://is.gd/oDAhwB[/quote] and [quote]weezmgk $200million wasted on school chaplains could go to research funding[/quote] So, the Left are going harder to the Left, and are becoming intolerant of an ALP PM trying to find a centre path, the Right are tacking Hard Right, and stranding their more moderate members, and thus not wanting to be seen to have anything to do with a bipartisan approach to the issues, as they have been opposing for so long that to do so would be seen as capitulation by the electorate, whom they have expertly gee'd up. Finally, there is the media, full as it is of sanctimonious windbags who pontificate freely as if their opinions are worth more than anyone elses. Or, if they are not full of the sense of their own self-importance, they are colluding with the Opposition to put lipstick on the pig Tony Abbott. Also, may I just enigmatically say that, if only I could tell what I know about certain journalists, because it would make their pompous sanctimony evaporate in a nanosecond.

Feral Skeleton

23/04/2011And now for something completely different! A little light relief from Pam Ayres: http://americymru.net/video/pam-ayres?xg_source=shorten_twitter

Ad astra reply

23/04/2011macca Thank you for your assessment of Laurie Oakes. I agree with your sentiments. However, we need to take note of FS’s comments as she has a sound understanding of the internal workings of the Labor party. What a shame it would be if Labor tore itself asunder from inside. There are plenty trying to do that from the outside.

macca

23/04/2011AA and FS, Should Labor tear itself apart what is the best we can hope for? An Abbott Govt? Workchoices? Gina Rineharts guest workers in the outback mines? Soveriegn decisions being decided in New York, London and Bern boardrooms? Second rate expensive telecommunication systems and poisonous air. I guess the foundations I refered to will be fenced up and forgotten about. A fitting tribute to inflexible ideology driven by poisonous egos. The supreme irony......a corrupt media would have done little to bring it about.

D Mick Weir

23/04/2011FS, If I were a jorno, I would quiver in my boots if you started spilling beans. Though I could guess that one or two might smile if you pulled out the whip :)

Jason

24/04/2011AC, Funny stuff,however on a sad note SKY NEWS is reporting the creator of only fools and horses has died!

lyn

24/04/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Abbott's stale mate, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] you can find Abbott sitting around the fire in "Camp Stupid" singing songs and dropping his marshmallows intothe embers: another reason why people don't want him as PM http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/04/abbotts-stale-mate-in-2004-michael.html [i]Rann Government: dying days? .Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] 'Is the Labor Government of South Australia controlled by the Catholic Right?' The standard answer is generally no, http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/04/rann-government.php#more [i]Only the rich pay tax: Zombie talking points on the rampage, Nicholas Gruen, Club Troppo[/i] I can attest to the truth of Krugman’s claim that a zombie talking point is alive and well in the US, which hasn’t really taken root here. It is that only the rich pay tax. http://clubtroppo.com.au/ [i]Food denied to rooftop protesters: witnesses, ABC[/i] As a protest enters its fourth day at Sydney's Villawood detention centre, police are reportedly no longer allowing food to be thrown to the four asylum seekers still on a roof at the facility. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/23/3198952.htm [i]Federal Labor looks dead and buried , Laurie Oakes, Herald Sun[/i] Earlier that day I had spoken at length with a pollster and a Labor politician about the Government's situation and found them in furious agreement. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/federal-labor-looks-dead-and-buried/story-fn56baaq-1226043466557 [b]READING[/b] [i]Only Fools And Horses writer John Sullivan dies aged 64, Marcus Barnes, Mail Online[/i] He died at a private hospital in Surrey after a battle with viral pneumonia, having been in intensive care for six weeks. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1379856/Only-Fools-And-Horses-writer-John-Sullivan-dies-aged-64.html [i]Billy Hughes and the end of an Empire, Jill Kitson, Inside Story[/i] Carl Bridge’s 130-page octavo-size hardback biography of Billy Hughes is a lively portrait of, arguably, the most formidable, most amusing, most Australian of our prime ministers. http://inside.org.au/billy-hughes-and-the-end-of-an-empire/

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011DMW, Exactly. :)

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011Andrew Elder's blog is spot on. I made the comment to him that all the ALP need to do at the next election, if Abbott is still leading the Coalition, is make one negative ad, among all the positive ones outlining their achievments. It should be run in silence. It would take, oh, about a minute and would show a little conversation in the Parliament House courtyard Mark Riley had with Tony Abbott, in total silence for the most part on Mr Abbott's part. :)

Patricia WA

24/04/2011So, who is the 'Labor politician who cannot be named' and what is 'his career' that must be protected after his comments to Laurie Oakes have done their job of pulling down his leader and his party?

Ad astra reply

24/04/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011PatriciaWA, Kevin Rudd?

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011Here's a couple of unpublished Nicholson cartoons to brighten up your day: http://nicholsoncartoons.com.au/barnaby-joyce-rogue-element-jolts-nationals-unpublished.html http://nicholsoncartoons.com.au/barnaby-joyce-ambitions-elephant-unpublished.html

thenewjj

24/04/2011I suppose it is no surprise that i think Laurie's piece was spot on. You may want to intertwine him with your Murdoch conspiracy, but i think that Laurie is fairly independent in his thinking. There is some interesting stuff about to do with the upcoming release of Lindsay Tanners book. Shows that the perception of spin over substance was true: http://www.news.com.au/national/insider-lets-rip-on-julia-gillard-kevin-rudd-governments-labelled-dumb-democracy/story-e6frfkvr-1226043941002 Once again Gillard's overseas trip is starved of oxygen due to an internal squabble.

lyn

24/04/2011Hi Ad How lovely for Julia Gillard, to be invited to the Royal Wedding, did you see the beautiful tv shots or Julia in a gorgeous red jacket in Japan, there have been some amazing photo's in the papers of Julia, they are all talking nice about her on Twitter. Tony Abbott, the Liberal Party, and their miserable supporters must be green with envy. Look at the guest list, Julia will be admired by all. Who's going to the Royal Wedding: Governors general and prime ministers from across the Commonwealth are strongly represented, including Australia’s [b]Prime Minister, Julia Gillard [/b]and New Zealand premiere John Key http://www.ligury.com/?p=7471

macca

24/04/2011Just read the first twenty pages of Tanners book on Google books. I think it"ll be about as explosive as a powderpuff. But may be a decent read just the same. As it seems to be a lucid and intelligent comment on the political media the R/W nutters will hate it......because they find it impossible to do lucid and intelligent......especially if it's done in runnin writtin.

NormanK

24/04/2011FS @April 23. 2011 08:32 PM Now that's what I call a sobering assessment. Far more disturbing than Chief Plumber Oakes' write-up or Hartcher's tea-leaf reading of the polls. If the ALP is so immature that they can't resolve their differences amicably and behind closed doors then they will likely get the decade on the opposition benches that they deserve. Still, I'm an optimist and none of this may come to pass. Thanks for the insider's viewpoint - it's something we need more of even if it is depressing. :)

Ad astra reply

24/04/2011Hi Lyn Yes, it is good to see Julia getting such good press on her overseas visit. I have not seen even one critical comment; if there is one, I’m sure thenewjj will let us know – so far all he can muster is his view that: ‘internal squabbles’ [whatever they are] are ‘starving her of oxygen’. I hadn’t noticed that. Usually the media assail overseas ministers with awkward questions about local politics, but so far I haven’t heard any, and the media coverage has been empathetic. That may change of course. I noted that one headline was ‘Speechless’, which apparently she was at the devastation in Japan. I was waiting for a reporter to criticize her for crying, or not crying, at what she saw, but that didn’t happen. Maybe the reporters were just as overwhelmed as she was. Her Japanese hosts seemed very impressed with her, and with what she said, did and offered. Her concession at the outset of her Prime Ministership that she was not [i]au fait[/i] with foreign affairs, which you will recall evoked ridicule from the media, has not impeded her smoothly adapting to the international responsibilities of an Australian PM. I believe she has done very well. She is now in Korea and still doing well. Even Matthew Franklin has written an even-handed piece about her:[i] Gillard gives credit to Kapyong veterans as 'fathers' of modern army[/i]. That IS something to note! http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/anzac-day/gillard-gives-credit-to-kapyong-veterans-as-fathers-of-modern-army/story-e6frgdaf-1226044021428 Attendance at the wedding will cap a great overseas tour.

thenewjj

24/04/2011Ad Astra, You sound as though you are surprised that our PM is able to hold her own overseas... i thought that it was just expected of them. Your expectations of her are obviously shrinkin

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011NormanK, It is my wish also that the grown ups in the room will sort out the malignant malingerers who just won't get the message and fade away and radiate into the sunset of their political 'careers'. I continue to be exasperated that this will occur when I see twerps like Mark Arbib pop up on Sky Agenda and praise Tony Abbott, which spreads around the media like wildfire on a slow news day. :(

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011jj, We are not surprised that the PM is able to hold her own overseas. What does surprise us is that the press pack appear not to be portraying an obviously able woman as an incompetent, as it is obvious to the objective, which does not include you clearly, that she is growing into the job well. Now, you can the Laurie Oakes/Kevin Rudd Mutual Appreciation Society if you want, I'm starting to think it's disappearing up its own fundamental aperture myself.

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011Insert 'join' after can... :)

thenewjj

24/04/2011FS, You have to be joking, 'Gillard is growing into the job well'. She has failed on all counts: 1. 'No carbon tax'- 'yes carbon tax' 2. 'fix detention centres'- detention centres rioting 3. 'East Timor Solution'- in tatters 4. 'build community consensus around pricing carbon'- 'support for carbon price continues to erode.' 5. 'fix and implement mining tax'- no mining tax yet. 6. 'get government back on track'- most commentators both Fairfax and News Limited have now come to a view that Gillard and Federal Labor are finished. Yes, she is really growing into the job well! HE, he.

NormanK

24/04/2011FS All of this manoeuvring only reinforces the fact that my interests are to do with policy, its formulation and implementation, and not politics. From the outside it all seems terribly juvenile, more to do with ego, ambition and pride than ideology or the public good. If this was a sporting team pulling in six different directions at once, heads would roll.

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011jj, Yep, 'failed on all counts'. Well, I have to admit the Prime Minister is unable to ride a push bike. Such a necessary attribute when you are Prime Minister. Not. On the other hand, if you look at the following statistic: 83 pieces of legislation passed since the hung parliament came into being. Not one, none, zero, nada, nein pieces of Opposition legislation put up in the federal parliament passed by it. The government has achieved the structural separation of Telstra. The enabling legislation for the NBN. Set up 6 different enquiries into the dysfunctional Defence establishment, something which Howard failed to do. The Howard government were too sycophantically reliant on the Defence department for their reflected glory, and the need to ensure cover-ups of things such as Children Overboard. So they just let the dysfunctional behaviour get worse and worse. Not only that but Defence couldn't even send home the correct body of Jake Kovco from the theatre of war, things became so bad under Howard. The Gillard government have succeeded in stopping the inexoarble rise in use of Alcopops by under-age drinkers. The Labor government have introduced world's first legislation to force plain packaging of cigarettes. The Labor government have rolled out computer laptops to Public and Private school students alike. The Labor government have negotiated a Health agreement which will see Case Mix Funding for the first time. The Labor government have put into place the largest school building program in the country's history. Successfully. Despite what the harpies in the Murdoch media outlets and the Shock Jocks say. The Labor government successfully insulated over 1 million homes, despite lax practices from cowboys in the industry and introduced new national standards for installing roof insulatiion. Despite the ridiculous assertions of the media to the contrary, who sought to blame the federal government for inadequate electrical wiring in houses and employers who made their employees take risks when installing the insulation. Risks which resulted in their death. The federal Labor government, alone out of the major 1st world countries in the OECD, successfully negotiated the Global Recession for the country. Despite the naysaying of the Opposition and their feeble advice to do otherwise. They are now engaged in fighting to put a Price on Carbon pollution, in the teeth of fierce opposition from vested interests and rentseekers. They will succeed at this as well. I do think that they might have some trouble in getting agreement on what mechanism to use, Carbon Tax/Emission Trading System, as Tony Windsor has said he prefers to go straight to an ETS and not have an interim Carbon Tax. Still, the point is, there will be a Price on carbon of one form or another. I imagine, when it comes to the MRRT, that the Gillard government are just waiting until the new Senate comes in before introducing the legislation, as they are not so stupid as to open themselves to the possibility of Xenophon or Fielding blocking it. As for the Pokies Pre-Commitment action, all I've heard is that the government are determined to get it done. Now, when you come to the Asylum Seeker problem, yes, there has been some negative blowback in that area. There is a friction in the community between the Refugee advocates, and The Greens, who want a more lenient system, and the Conservatives in the Coalition and their supporters in the media who see the political positives in being more draconian, with the government having to try and find a way to go down the middle between the two extremes. Also, there are Asylum Seekers, encouraged by the Refugee advocates, who think that they can emotionally blackmail the government by conducting protests and resorting to violence. As for the putative solution to the Boat arrivals, jj. You may not have noticed, but the Indonesian parliament have recently criminalised People Smuggling. Something Howard singularly failed to convince Indonesia to do when he was PM. I think that putting them in jail will eventually 'Stop the Boats' from Indonesia. Thus leading to a more humane solution than sooling the Navy gunboats onto them as they get inside our borders and then turning them back out to sea to an unknown fate. With respect to the East Timor Processing Centre, the main problem the government has there is that East Timor believes that the Asylum Seekers would be seen to have a higher standard of living than their own native population. I can understand that is a big enough problem to be delaying the resolution of that issue. Now, jj, please enlighten me with another list of Gillard government 'failures', as I find the shallowness of your arguments amusing.

thenewjj

24/04/2011FS, Half of what you have just mentioned either happened under Rudd's term of PM or have not even been passed by the parliament yet: Insulation- Rudd School Building program (public schools spent on average 25% more than private schools on same infrastructure...not such a success)- Rudd Recession fighting- Rudd Alcopos- Rudd (show me the evidence that it has had an impact) Computers in schools- Rudd Health agreement- not even near completion yet You see, all that you have put forward as Gillard achievements occurred under Rudd as PM. So come on FS what has Gillard achieved as PM?

thenewjj

24/04/2011FS, it is good to see that you have not denied that Gillard also lied to the Australian public about a carbon tax. but i am afraid it has branded her, and sh has since never managed to fully recover. As the punters have been saying, "it is one thing to lie, it is another to deny it once you have been found out."

lyn

24/04/2011Hi Hillbilly Bravo, loud applauding from this spectator. What a brilliant illuminating comment, you certainly do your homework, producing facts, with a genuine, reliable, trusted opinion . thankyou Hillbilly.

macca

24/04/2011The best thing that Julia Gillard has done is keep Abbott out of the lodge and all the brain dead morons who voted for him can spit as many chips as they like. That's the reality....live with it!

Miglo

24/04/2011Patricia has put up a post at the Café: a delightful poem about the Royal Wedding that Tones didn't get an invite to. Please feel free to take a peep. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/mr-rabbit%E2%80%99s-doubts-deliberations-and-decisions-about-the-royal-wedding/

Ad astra reply

24/04/2011FS While you’ve been tussling with thenewjj, I’ve been mowing a hectare of grass, which gives me the feeling I’ve achieved something; I’ve never had that feeling when I’ve been induced to respond to thenewjj. He is in the Abbott mould, consistently carping and negative, never willing to concede that Julia Gillard has done anything good at all – to him she is utterly hopeless and has achieved nothing, and never will. So I’m filled with admiration that you have taken the time and trouble to enumerate Labor’s and PM Gillard’s achievements. Although there is no reason to believe that what you have documented will make the slightest difference to thenewjj’s attitude or approach, it has been a useful exercise for the rest of us. Thank you. We need reminding of the Government’s solid achievements, wrought in the face of persistent and trenchant Coalition negativity and obstruction. For me, responding to thenewjj is such a fruitless exercise that I have abandoned doing so. As I have said before, productive conversation requires give and take. For thenewjj there is no give, none at all. BTW, can you recall thenewjj ever saying anything positive about Tony Abbott, or the Coalition for that matter? Maybe he’s waiting for something positive to eventuate, like the rest of us.

janice

24/04/2011http://books.google.com.au/books?id=qD0qsimo2qQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=lindsay+tanner&hl=en&ei=TX-zTdXKHIKIvgOGkMmDBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-preview-link&resnum=2&ved=0CDUQuwUwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false The above link takes you to read the first 20 pages of Lindsay Tanner's book "Sideshow". I'm sure it will make you all rush out to buy a copy of the book which will be well worth the money me thinks.

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011jj, Last time I looked Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd were in the same political party and in the same government together. You might seek to split hairs about who did what when, but I know that decisions in government are made by the Cabinet. Also, you have made a spurious assertion about the cost of the BER in Public Schools. In fact, that cost increase compared with Private Schools only applied to NSW. It can partly be understood by the fact that the NSW Public School system is the largest in the world covering a wide variety of locations. One major contractor took on the work. Sub Contractors were found to have gamed the system. Also, the Public School buildings were built to a higher standard according to the mandated building code for Public Schools, than that which applies to the Private Schools. As Jukia Gillard was the Minister for Education in the Rudd government, I think I will give the BER to her instead of Rudd. Not that it matters, as I said before. Oh, and I forgot to add to my previous post that Julia Gillard, yes, in the Rudd government, oversaw the dismantling of the vile WorkChoices and replaced it with the much more benign and reasonable Fair Work Australia. I know that you'll just find some minor matter to carp about jj, instead of acknowledging the good things which have been done by the Rudd and Gillard governments. That just shows both your agenda here for what it is, and the smallness of your mind.

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011janice, Thank you. :)

janice

24/04/2011Patricia, you just get better and better. Thank you.

BSA Bob

24/04/2011Just had a really quick skim through the Tanner taster, looks interesting. I think we might see the MSM & Libs form an alliance as they did with the Latham Diaries- Latham's criticisms of them were dismissed as partisan ravings whereas his swipes at the ALP were treated as gospel, reheated & rehashed ad nauseum. Sam Maiden looks like she's got the first runs on the board in this regard.

COLEN

24/04/2011The NewJJ, Don't waste your time . This lot are screwed on Labourites. They can't even open the Champers by popping a cork. When TA is elected as the next Prime Minister they will still be on a Crusade to moan at everything he does. They will start writing their usual drivel about " Oh, where did Labour go wrong." and let's make our recommendations to help them get back into power. Unfortunately they cannot see what is staring them in the face. The majority of the electorate are sick of the spin which is put out by Labour and it's media supporters. They are all talk and no action. The electorate see a waste of money and nothing beneficial. They will hear about the budget deficit which may or may not be harsh because Gillard needs votes to share up her popularity. Swan is still his usual ineffectual self. He even talks like Rudd now. Must be using the same speaking coach. "Good to be with you Chris/Leigh." One thing at least TA comes across as genuine, honest and human for all his gaffes. He does not waffle and ramble on. They only people of substance the electorate can respect in the Labour party are Craig Emerson and Bill Shorten because they generally tell it like it is. The most credible potential leader was Lindsay Tanner, who has deserted the sinking ship. When Laurie Oakes a employee of Labour "Nine" says your days are numbered then believe me Labour are "Gorn like Fools and Gamblers are easily parted from their money." Oh, prepare for a double dissolution of Parliament when TA is elected. The electorate are sick of the Greens and Independents.

macca

24/04/2011Your right about Abbott not waffling on......just ask Mark Riley. Abbott stole eighty seconds of the entire nations life.

Jason

24/04/2011Acerbic Conehead, As most of us know you write some pretty funny stuff!But just reading some of the posts from this afternoon I fear thenewjj and colen might be taking your place! I know satire is a skill but those two it seems just have this knack of doing it without even trying! Watch your back!

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011It's amusing to read the blatherings of supporters of a politician who lies through his teeth on a daily basis, has no respect for his fellow man if they are cripples on a Disability Pension, and will turn the unemployed into indentured labour for his mates in the fruit-growing regions, and who seeks to positively discriminate towards women based upon the size of their mortgage and salary when making Parental Leave payments. If that doesn't scream greed and self-interest, by both that politician and his supporters who come here to sneer at us as if supporting anyone else but that politician is akin to a sexually-transmitted disease, then I don't know what is. Colen, if anything prevents me from voting for either of the Coalition parties, it's the sneering condescension that characterises those parties and their supporters these days. It's the entirely vacuous attitude to a number of important issues around today that people such as yourself, who support the Liberal Party especially, take. Unwilling to discuss them in anything other than a punitive way, for example, refugees, health, education, industrial relations, IT policy. It's always a case of, if you have the money to pay for it, then you should have it. Otherwise, tough luck. Which, of course, then necessitates the bleating about paying too much tax, because it is that tax that pays for services for those who you believe do not deserve them. You scoff at us and our beliefs as if subscribing to the vapid lifestyle and philosophies that the Conservatives have been hammering in government and in the Culture Wars for the last 30 years since Reagan and Thatcher dreamed them up, is some superior way of being. Sorry, but that all just bores me to tears. Always has. There's more to life than aquiring money, power and status, and riding roughshod over 'lesser mortals'. Actually I feel sorry for those people who have bought the Cons Bill of Goods and who wholeheartedly support their latter-day ideology of 'Dog Eat Dog' and the Devil take the hindmost. It condemns you to a life of abuse. Of the world's resources, of people in other countries who are used as exploited labour to make the gew gaws and status symbols that you crave, in order to keep up with the Joneses. And, as your posts show, Colen, condemned to the perpetual posture of snarling abuse of anyone who doesn't subscribe to your very limited worldview. I wouldn't want to join you, Colen, in supporting the political party and it's philosophy that you support, if my life depended on it. I'm better than that.

lyn

24/04/2011 Colen, thankyou for telling JJ to stop wasting her time and that we are all "[quote]screwed on Labourites",[/quote] maybe she will take notice of you.

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24/04/2011janice Thank you for the link to the first part of the Lindsay Tanner book. He reinforces what we have intuitively known for ages, that politics has been forced into a Procrustean bed created by the media where entertainment and triviality reign supreme, and where policy detail is seen as boring, unentertaining and of no commercial value to media barons. Unless he has an alternative up his sleeve that he reveals later in his book, it distressingly looks as if we are stuck with this lamentable state of affairs. If there is any hope of change for the better it would seem to rest with the Fifth Estate - the Fourth Estate has let democracy down, as well as those of us who value it deeply. Tanner's book looks like essential reading.

Feral Skeleton

24/04/2011What I find most amusing is how the sneerers come to this blog and think that by belittling us we will fall into line, support who they support and renounce our own strongly-held beliefs. That, they can intimidate us into supporting who they support. Or that if they parrot lines from the Right Wing blogosphere, from Right Wing Shock Jcks or media outlets, we will capitulate. However, as I have always said, I am open to persuasion. Not by bullying though, but by good, solid, non-discriminatory policy. Something which, at this point in time, the Coalition lacks in spades. Which is the real division between the Coalition at this point in time, and the Labor Party. It's the difference between Politics and Policy. The Coalition are great at politics, but lousy at policy. Labor are lousy at politics but much better at policy than the Coalition. So, if it's a choice between integrity or invective, I'll choose integrity every time. I will say, the Coalition do a nice line in invective though.

Miglo

24/04/2011Colen, it is refreshing to visit a blog site that is full of screwed on Laborites, such as TPS. The intelligent exchange of ideas is something that is missing from the majority of the mainstream media blog sites, most of which are owned by the Murdoch media. You too might be able to bring something to the table if you were willing to debate issues, rather than mock those that are. I am confident that you have to ability to do so.

D Mick Weir

24/04/2011Did I miss something? Was Colon here again? did it spray stuff that looks like it came from that orifice? Like Colon and jj's idol Mr Abbott said 'Shh it happens' all I see when they type is exactly that.

Jason

24/04/2011DMW, Sadly the ADHD children were let loose again, and I just hope they have taken their medication and get better soon!

sawdustmick

25/04/2011COLEN “One thing at least TA comes across as genuine, honest and human for all his gaffes. He does not waffle and ramble on.” TA is genuine, well yes he is genuine but a genuine what, Liar? TA is honest; well we all know that he is a self-confessed Liar he said so unless he was lying. TA is human, well we all hope so unless when there is full moon he turns into a hairy beasts in Lycra pedaling around the streets howling and frightening small children from their sleep. TA does not Waffle on, well thanks to Macca we shall all never forget his "Shit Happens" interview with Mark Riley, frozen like a deer in the high beam and I for one was mesmerized by the nodding head of his. As for rambling on well he does a little but to be fair it’s more like Umm, Err, Like a say it’s, it’s, about the Great Big New Tax, The Waste, Stopping the Boats, have a forgotten anything. If Tugger becomes the next PM I can assure you that no one on this blog will be moaning about everything that Tugs does, he has never done anything for his whole political career why would he start.

Feral Skeleton

25/04/2011This can't be allowed to happen: http://www.theage.com.au/national/china-may-buy-up-cubbie-station-20110423-1dsbx.html?from=smh_ft

D Mick Weir

25/04/2011Jason, yep, maybe too much sugar (chocolate) today got 'em all het up :) captcha says: beenatio refers (wtf)

D Mick Weir

25/04/2011FS, re Cubbie Station. I think something was missed in that story. Unless I am completely mistaken, the Foriegn Investment Review Board would 'pontificate' and make reccomendation to Swan. I suspect some 'mischief making' by the alleged government source.

macca

25/04/2011I wonder how the Senator for Cubbie station will try and spin this one. We'll all be watching, Barnaby.

lyn

25/04/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]The CSIRO gets HIP to debunking media hysteria, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] Much of News Ltd – particularly that shit sheet The Australian – not to mention the entertainers pretending to be informed commentators that live under the bridges of talkback radio, had their heads firmly embedded up their own sphincters . http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2011/04/24/the-csiro-gets-hip-to-debunking-media-hysteria/#more-9105 [i]Ode to a Rubik’s Cube, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Sometimes it looks like whatever we are in is one big mess. Like there is no solution. That it is all a waste. Times like that, you need to trust yourself and push ahead. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/ode-to-a-rubiks-cube/ [i]So, the ABC has lost the rights to Paper Giants 2, Peter Martin[/i] Here's a super-quick, super-good fix.The ABC has already made a riveting drama series about the Packer dynasty. Broadcast in 1970 and 1971 in black and white (naturally) Dynasty http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/04/so-abc-has-lot-rights-to-paper-giants-2.html [i]ALP must heed Clinton , Lachlan Harris, The Telegraph[/i] By sniffing the opinion poll wind on climate change, Abbott has snookered himself into a position where he is popular, but unelectable. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/alp-must-heed-clinton/story-fn6b3v4f-1226043946307 [i]The GFC – What should have Happened 3 years ago … Part 2 …, The Eyeball Opinion[/i] so you see what liquidity can mean – it is a ‘bitch’ and you ride it with one eye open and one eye on the hand-brake … sadly in 2007-9 – the Regulators had neither eye’s open http://bleyzie.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/the-gfc-–-what-should-have-happened-3-years-ago-…-part-2-…/ [i]The GFC – What should have Happened 3 years ago … Part 3 …The Eyeball Opinion[/i] I am not so stupid to think that to implement the Part 1 recommendations would have cause massive and irreversible trade issues – http://bleyzie.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/the-gfc-–-what-should-have-happened-3-years-ago-…-part-3-…/ [i]Abbott facing internal uprising, Chris Johnson, Canberra Times[/i]. some inside the Opposition say their leader needs to get the message about being inclusive. Annoying them most is that all http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/abbott-facing-internal-uprising/2143241.aspx?storypage=1 [b]READING[/b] [i]Fighting the rise of rabbits with disease and chocolate, Nicholas Newland, The Conversation[/i] Will chocolate bilbies be enough?The Easter bilby is playing its part in offering an alternative to the Easter bunny. It helps the community think about our landscapes: how we keep them safe for native species, http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/fighting-the-rise-of-rabbits-with-disease-and-chocolate-1088

thenewjj

25/04/2011FS, no matter what goes wrong in a government program, you still manage to find someone else to blame. How about you just use that thing between your ears and think for a moment: maybe the government should have allowed the schools to find contractors themselves to reduce costs. I have talked to many teachers that support the program but hate the way it has been done. Public schools have got less for more money, and in many cases not necessarily what they wanted because they had to choose from a list of things. It is a government program therefore the government must be responsible for its waste and inefficiency. The issue with your response about the achievements of Gillard is that you just back up what i have been saying. This government is just an extension of the Rudd government. It faces the same problems, and more, with a leader that still has no real authority. You said it yourself, "Last time I looked Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd were in the same political party", Rudd is still the man of the Australian household. After 8 months Gillard already looks well and truly gone. As for the other topics for discussion, Cubbie Station should be looking for buyers at the moment; it is the perfect time to sell. They are just about to pull off one of their biggest cotton harvests, and they have enough water for another two years. It seems as though the Labor Right faction isn't even considering someone from within side Labor Caucus to replace Gillard in the next few months. According to Arbib Abbott may even be an option. He seems quite the fan.

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25/04/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

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25/04/2011Folks Those who continually refer to [i][b]‘the failed home insulation program’[/i][/b], with the emphasis on FAILED, should digest Possum’s piece on [i]Crikey: The CSIRO gets HIP to debunking media hysteria[/i] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2011/04/24/the-csiro-gets-hip-to-debunking-media-hysteria/ It’s a long but highly professional statistical analysis – Possum is the very best there is at that. But three paragraphs capture the conclusion, one near the beginning; the other two near the end: [i]”As we here have long known and talked about, the reality of the Home Insulation Program was always vastly different to its hysterical media portrayal – driven as it was by naive and innumerate journalists looking for easy sensational headlines, and partisan hacks prostituting their cheap wares before a gullible public. Having a cowardly government lacking the plums to tell them all where to stick it was another unfortunate sub-plot in this tale of public deception about the reality of a substantial piece of public policy.”… “So the long term rates for the post-12 month period is already starting to average around the 0.66 fires per 100,000 houses installed mark, compared to the 2.06 fires per 100,000 houses installed that we see currently from the pre-HIP industry installations. Again, the Home Insulation Program appears much safer than what it replaced in terms of the number of long term fires.”… “Ultimately, the HIP – as we’ve stated from the beginning, regularly, using publically available data at the time – was much safer in terms of fire rates than what preceded it. Now, however, we know that it was safer over both the short term (the fire rates over the 12 month period from installation) as well as the longer term (the residual long term fire rates that occur from 12 months after the insulation was installed).”[/i] Apart from the disingenuousness and deceptiveness of the MSM commentary, echoed endlessly by Tony Abbott and particularly Greg Hunt, and the sheer incompetence of the journalists who reported and commented on the HIP, the inability of the Government to counter it effectively meant that the distortions of the truth and the gross misinformation perpetrated by the MSM and the Coalition have been indelibly burned into the electorate’s memory, and the great ecological and financial benefit of insulating around a million homes has been almost completely lost on the voters. [b]This defect, this inability to clearly explain its achievements and counter misinformation, is something Labor must correct.[/b]

Feral Skeleton

25/04/2011jj, No matter what goes right in a government program, you will find something about it to blame them for it. How about you just use that thing between your ears for a moment and think about the fact that, as a result of the GFC bearing down on the economy, that thing the Coalition is trying to erase from the memory banks of the nation, the federal government needed to act fast in the teeth of the GFC and get building happening ASAP so as to stop a slump in the Building Industry. Therefore a system-wide solution had to be put into place. If you know anything at all, and as an impudent young pup I doubt it, then you would know that sequentially tendering out all the jobs that were to be done and putting them through the system would have meant that some of them would still be being approved and not yet being started even today. The whole process certainly wouldn't have flowed as smoothly as it did. There was a basic template for the whole of NSW, complete with Solar panels for water heating, which I don't think the Private Schools included, though maybe you could better inform me about that, jj, which thus meant that the site inspections and certification of the work after it was completed, happened at a much quicker pace. I know for a fact that if every unique building program would have been entered into there would not have been enough inspectors to get the jobs approved as quickly as they needed to be. A fact which probably would have led to cost blowouts all of its own. So, really, jj, you can make all the spurious assertions you want about the BER, which basically just amount to warmed over Coalition Talking points, but that doesn't make them right when you drill down into them. OK, so who are the many teachers you have talked to about the program? Name some names and provide some tangible evidence. What didn't they get and what could they have got instead that they wanted, for less money? Also, if you have this evidence maybe you should go to both the newspapers with it, and also to Brad Orgill, who has left the BER investigation open. Or maybe you were just talking to your like-minded Nats voters up there in New England, who just because they are teachers does not automatically make them Labor voters per se. A Teacher was elected to the NSW State parliament for the Liberal Party at the last election you know. Also, I wonder if these whingers that you have spoken to are now unable to use the buildings they were provided with by the Gillard government? Are they lying idle and unused? Building works, I might add, that John Howard never saw fit to provide for those very same Public Schools that are having a moan to you now. Would they have preferred that? Nothing at all compared with something they can whinge about as they bring their prejudices to bear about a Labor government with the BER as their focus. Btw, jj, did not local building contractors get the work to build the BER buildings? So, what are people complaining about? They thought they could build the Taj Mahal for sixpence and are miffed because they weren't allowed to by the big bad government? Let me tell you, a lot of those complaints were actually investigated by Brad Orgill, and you should get a copy of the report before you shoot you mouth off again, and the complaints were found to be unsubstantiated by the FACTS. Something that whiners like you, who would never vote Labor in a pink fit, always overlook. As I said, jj, Public Schools could have got less. If it had been a Coalition government, they would have got nothing because the Coalition were against the BER. As for your patriarchal nonsense about Rudd 'still being the man of the Australian household', well, all I can say is that you obviously don't understand Cabinet government and the Westminster tradition of government. Also, for a man supposedly still in charge, or some similar malarky that you are confusedly trying to peddle, I can give one concrete example that calls BS on that. Rudd found tackling Climate Change all too hard and shelved it. Julia Gillard advised him to wait for the next election and then bring it back with a more favourable Senate. That election occurred, the Senate is more favourable, and even though Julia Gillard was against a Carbon Tax and in favour of an ETS, she has pushed ahead and tried to work with the hand she was dealt after the election. Her statement that there would be no Carbon Tax under a government which she led has been misconstrued to suit the media and the Opposition, and was only ever half the story. The complete picture was, as I said, that she didn't want a flat Carbon Tax as a permanent policy solution, but she would prefer an ETS. Though conveniently that bit never gets reported. So, she is pushing on despite the disinformation campaign of the Opposition and the media. Kevin Rudd, on the other hand, folded like a house of cards. Some great leader. Oh, and as for being 'well and truly gone', come back to me at the end of the parliamentary year after the new Senate has come into play. You appear to be suffering from Premature Expectation, jj. Don't get me started on Mark Arbib. I have already written a blog on the 3 Labor Amigos, Arbib, Bitar and Dastyari. They are all ham-fisted political clutzes gradually being replaced by the party, thank goodness. Finally, next time Barnaby comes a knockin' at your door and you go all weak at the knees, just make sure you don't admit that you agree that the Chinese should be allowed to buy Cubbie Station. You might get one of his famous brain explosions for your trouble. :)

macca

25/04/2011A bit of a misnomer there FS. To ensure an explosion one has to start with a brain.

Feral Skeleton

25/04/2011macca, OK. Maybe Barnaby has enough of a brain for a brain fart then? :)

Feral Skeleton

25/04/2011That's an 'interesting' article coming from Lachlan Harris, whose former boss was just the very Prime Minister that pulled his policies and long-standing, morally-held beliefs based upon Focus Groups and Opinion Polls.

thenewjj

25/04/2011FS, What a load of crap. julia Gillard was one of the kitchen cabinet members who went to Rudd and told him to dump the thing FOREVER! There was nothing said to the electorate before the last election about the senate (what a poor excuse anyway...ever heard of a Double Dissolution), it was an excuse put forward after the Gillard backflip. Gillard and co took a citizens assembly and cash for clunkers scheme (which you have all gone very quiet on now that it has been dumped and ridiculed) to the last election that was it. Gillard said on many occasions that Copenhagen had changed everything and that an ETS was off the cards until the rest of the world moved (there would be a review in 2012). In your warped mind the Labor spin you keep coughing up may make sense but by no means does it make it true. Gillard is a political animal who dumped an ETS then consequently stabbed the man who she told should take her 'sound advice'. She is a liar and a denier. As are you her followers.

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25/04/2011FS That was a good response to thenewjj. We should do that more often and the Labor organization should too. He insists that Labor always manages to find someone else to blame when programs don’t turn out as planned. The truth is that the Coalition, the likes of thenewjj, and the MSM, reflexly blame Labor, whether or not they are blameworthy. As we all know, if things go off the track there are usually several who contribute to that; in politics that certainly holds true. There is seldom one factor, one person or one group that is wholly to blame. But as you have shown with the BER, with its 97% approval rate, blame can be shared around. Circumstance, the GFC (which actually happened despite retrospective denials) was to ‘blame’ for the speed with which the BER was implemented, necessary speed to avoid crippling unemployment and business failures; shonky operators who saw the opportunity to rip-off the government with inflated prices were to blame; some rigidity regarding what was on offer was to blame for some of the dissatisfaction; and bureaucratic torpor and unpreparedness for such a fast rollout was also to blame. But to read the MSM commentary and to listen to the Coalition, one could be excused for believing that the BER was a disaster of monumental proportions despite all the evidence to the contrary, and despite the thousands of new buildings and amenities that now adorn our schools – we see them everywhere we drive. Yet this tangible evidence is ignored, overlooked, discounted in pursuit of an agenda of condemnation of the Government for a less-than-perfect rollout of a massive program of school infrastructure development, long overdue because of Coalition indolence, and the avoidance for countless thousands of unemployment and business failure. The process is one of trumpeting the complaints of the 2.7% who said they were dissatisfied with the BER and burying the gratification of the 97.3%. It is an example of what Lindsay Tanner talks of in the introduction to his new book [i]Sideshow[/i] where he asserts that the MSM has relegated much of its ‘news’ to the too-hard basket in favour of entertainment, believing sensationalism and disaster and dissent and discord and canning the government is much more entertaining for the public. The sad impression that Tanner gives is that this flight to entertainment may be irreversible. The same comments as you have made apply to the HIP. Using his own and CSIRO data, Possum has shown that there were over THREE TIMES as many fires BEFORE the HIP than AFTER. Who was to ‘blame’ for that much better outcome? Was it the more stringent government regulations introduced with the HIP? We know that there were blameworthy aspects. As with the BER, as well as the majority of professionals who did the job properly, there were some shonky Johnny-come-lately operators who ripped off the Government. We know that the Government department that oversaw the program was ill equipped to handle the large administrative task of oversight, especially that of fraudulent operators. What other body might have done it better has never been canvassed. Again speed was of the essence. The opportunity of doing something ecologically sound no doubt made this program an attractive project to counter rising unemployment and the threat of business failure. If the Government had had all the time in the world to roll it out, it would have been handled differently. As with the BER we hear only negatives about this ‘failed’, this ‘botched’ HIP initiative. We had column after column devoted to the four deaths that occurred during the HIP, at least three of which are now the subject of OH&S prosecutions. Yet the Government was blamed for them, and Tony Abbott preposterously suggested that Peter Garratt should be on a charge of ‘industrial manslaughter’. Has any of that inflated rhetoric been withdrawn in the light of the prosecutions? When have we seen an account of the benefits, both environmental and economic of insulting around a million homes? It’s a striking example of what Lindsay Tanner describes as ‘the sideshow syndrome’ - give the public entertainment; the actual facts don’t matter, especially when they are favourable to a Government you are trying to bring down.

Rx

25/04/2011We don't need the abusive tone here: "warped mind", "load of crap", "liar". If people cannot/will not engage with courtesy and respect perhaps they should crawl back down to Akerman's blog where hatred and rancour are the preferred currency.

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25/04/2011Rx Hear, hear.

janice

25/04/2011FS, I congratulate you on your patience in dealing with jj's posts. I have no doubt whatsoever it's all water off a duck's back so far as jj is concerned but there is a big chance others of his/her political persuasion whose minds are less vacuous will read and learn some facts rather than slogans. I read George Megalogenis' piece this morning (the link was posted in Pollbludger) which was a breath of fresh air. However, reading the comments is depressing as all are based on the misinformation, lies and slogans they've been fed since Labor came to power in 2007. The majority of journalists in this country will have a lot to answer for if/when they get the government they've been touting for and this country ends up like Greece and other countries with collapsing economies. Now that will be the "sideshow" they can wallow in.

macca

25/04/2011For those who don't/won't or even care about a sustainable society the right wing commentators on this blog sure know how to maintain a sustainable level of apoplexy.....bless their polyester socks.

Feral Skeleton

25/04/2011jj, [quote]What a load of crap. julia Gillard was one of the kitchen cabinet members who went to Rudd and told him to dump the thing FOREVER! [/quote] Proof? Put up or shut up, jj. [quote] There was nothing said to the electorate before the last election about the senate[/quote] No, it was said to Kevin Rudd, in the 'Kitchen Cabinet' you so derisorily refer to, jj. And I suppose the Conservatives never had an 'Expenditure Review Committee'? Hnag on, since they never seem to have reveiwed their expenditure, and Costello just sat swinging in his hammock while Howard spent the proceeds of the Mining Boom, probably not. [quote](what a poor excuse anyway...ever heard of a Double Dissolution),[/quote] jj, a Double Dissolution is not justa trip to the Candy Shop for a fresh bag of lollies. It involves upsetting the balance of Parliament, and the grown-ups in the electorate, unlike you who has their political head so far up the Coalition's fundamental aperture you are unable to see the wood for the trees, usually don't appreciate Double Dissolutions being forced on them, unless for a very sound reason. Though that wouldn't stop Tony Abbott, as you yourself admit. Wanting to grab as much 'Guided Democracy'(look it up), power unto himself as quickly as possible. [quote]In your warped mind the Labor spin you keep coughing up may make sense but by no means does it make it true. [/quote] j(unior)j(erk), my mind is not in any way 'warped'. It is informed by the facts. Something the Conservatives and their fanboys, such as yourself, dispensed with in their entirely political approach to government, long ago. As I said, go read the Orgill Report on the BER, and the CSIRO Report on the HIP, and the blog on the CSIRO Report by Possum that lyn has linked to today, and then try and come back here spouting that BS you spew out, with a straight face. I dare you. Use facts, not Coalition bilgewater, too. [quote]Gillard said on many occasions that Copenhagen had changed everything and that an ETS was off the cards until the rest of the world moved (there would be a review in 2012).[/quote] Proof, jj? Post 2010 election, that is. [quote]Gillard is a political animal who dumped an ETS [/quote] And Tony Abbott isn't a 'political animal who caused a leader who supported an ETS to be dumped and then dumped the ETS'? Anyway, Julia Gillard hasn't 'dumped' the ETS. It's still part of ALP policy. [quote]She is a liar and a denier.[/quote] No she isn't. That's just another Coalition Talking Point. Tony Abbott is the self-admitted liar. And he's a Climate Change Denier. He has said it's 'absolute crap', and that 'Climate Changes'. Which is not the same thing as believing in Global Warming. Did you know he is in the US at the moment, attending the Heartland Institute of Climate Change Denialism? jj, it is you who is the slavish Coalition Camp Follower, unable to think for yourself based upon facts and evidence. Not us.

TalkTurkey

25/04/2011Swordsfolks, WRT trolls, I think we need to do a bit of a fresh take. For them to be so contrary, so hypercritical yet so utterly bereft of any positive good ideas, so unfailingly sneering, we must recognise that one, they are not accessible to reason, two, it's grist for their mill when we reply to them at all, and three, if we do, we should remember that it's all in fun. They're just silly, not to be taken seriously, just there to be teased. The serendipitous positive that they provide though, is actually all to our good: a lot of good writing has come from the likes of FS and Jason in refuting their silliness, but they themselves remain unteachable. Sad really. But please folks if you're going to honour them with a response at all, it's really more akin to your picking up after someone else's dog. Sorry dogs, piggies then. Not serious, just a bit grimly humorous and smelly and not very nice. But they do get their jollies from stirring you, you know. Pity, humour, good-natured contempt, if that's what they get off on OK, but don't get your hands dirty Folks.

lyn

25/04/2011Hi Ad I thought this was a funny cartoon, also published in a funny place: Stop the protests. The Australian Luckily, the dynamic duo Tony and Scott are on the case. Expect things to get much better very soon. http://www.kudelka.com.au/2011/04/stop-the-protests/

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25/04/2011Folks I have just posted [i]How do you think about climate change?[/i]. The piece is an attempt to outline a useful way of contemplating climate change. It is not written to convince you of the validity of anthropogenic climate change, although I express my personal belief in that phenomenon. Nor is it written to suggest how climate change might best be tackled. That is for another piece. I hope you will find the piece informative, interesting and helpful to your understanding of this complex subject. It is at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/04/25/How-do-you-think-about-climate-change.aspx

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25/04/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for the link to the great Kudelka cartoon - he usually hits the spot.

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25/04/2011TT What an incisive analysis you've made of our 'trolls'!

thenewjj

25/04/2011FS, 'Proof? Put up or shut up, jj.'- Go watch the Qanda with Rudd again...that is my proof. 'a Double Dissolution is not just a trip to the Candy Shop for a fresh bag of lollies.'- well according to Gillard, Rudd and co it was, "the greatest moral and economic challenge of our time.", so dont you think that that would be worth a DD? No of course not, the times have changed and so that was all just hyperbole. What do you mean by Coalition talking points? What, because some of what i say concurs with what some on the conservative side of politics argue? Well if that is the case than isnt this whole blog an ALP megaphone, made up of ALP members who buy and regurgitate Labor spin. 'And I suppose the Conservatives never had an 'Expenditure Review Committee'?'- well of course they bloody did, but the Howard government's cabinet discussions took precedent. Under Rudd (exposed by the AFR) Kitchen Cabinet made all of the decisions, with cabinet just acting as a rubber stamp. You cannot deny this, as this was one of the promises Gillard made to her party after taking the leadership, to bring back cabinet. 'Proof, jj? Post 2010 election, that is.'- what do you mean post 2010? So what, it's alright if she lied to the electorate before the election? Did she have an Epiphany or something after the election that justifies her new found drive for an ETS? This woman doesnt know what she stands for...that is the problem. 'He has said it's 'absolute crap', and that 'Climate Changes'.'- Talking of liars and ALP talking points. How about you quote the whole sentence of Tony Abbott's on climate change. oh no, but wait, then it wouldnt be useful to deceitful people like you. Abbott never said that but the Labor party use it anyway. Gillard however on camera and on radio said repeatedly, "There will be no carbon tax under a government i lead" and then after the election announced that exact policy. If you dont think that, that is a lie than you must have some big rocks clunking around in your head. You are a liar and an ALP megaphone, nothing more FS. it is due to the attitudes of people like you that your party is slowly going down the gurgle. TT, Who is to say that you are not a Troll? I come to this blog and comment to make sure that much of the stuff your comrades type is not left uncontested. It is a shame that people take this blog seriously. if they didnt, i wouldn't bother.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?