Why is a good Government down in the polls?

This is the first of a series that will examine what the Rudd Government has done during its two and a half years in office.  It will be argued that it has been a good government that has achieved much more that might be expected in a first term and has a host of ongoing initiatives in train or planned for a second term.  It will counter the erroneous impression, perpetuated by the Opposition and much of the MSM, that it has been a ‘do-nothing’ government that has made a mess of everything it has touched.  The facts simply do not match the anti-government rhetoric.

 

The series begins though by asking why a good government is now so down in the polls after a record-breaking run for the first two years.  Many pundits are writing about what has happened to Kevin Rudd and his Government these past months during which the polls have descended from stratospheric heights of popularity to ordinary levels and below.  Before a remedy for the Government’s electoral condition can be formulated, an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis is necessary. 

 

Bernard Keane has written a thoughtful piece Crikey Essay: Why is Rudd failing that suggests a diagnosis.  Like most diagnoses it is not simple.  There are several elements.

 

Taking his ideas as a guide, here is my diagnostic formulation:

 

Media malevolence

The Political Sword has repeatedly asserted that there has been and still is a concerted media onslaught on Rudd and his Government by many in the media, especially News Limited.  There have been countless pieces on this blog site going back many months but News Limited’s undeclared war on the Rudd Government in March summarized the situation as we saw it.

 

This month Wake in fright and Their ABC amplified this view.  In a piece on Crikey: How Rudd blew it: finding ways to upset everyone at the same time, Keane agrees: “There’s no doubt the tone of media coverage of the government has changed dramatically, and not in its favour, since the start of the year, with a determined air of get-square for the high-handedness with which Rudd’s office treated and manipulated the media for two years.

 

“There are also the permanent anti-Labor elements of the media. News Limited, primarily via The Australian, has been conducting a war on the government. Considerable resources have been deployed by that newspaper in an entirely confected campaign against the BER stimulus component, even after an ANAO report discredited the entire effort. News also employs several commentators whose entire job is to smear and attack Labor, unrestrained by any adherence to facts or reason, so that even when Labor adopts pro-business policies it is criticised. The Coalition faces no such permanent media opposition.

 

“While declining newspaper readerships and the dominance of free-to-air news bulletins mean News’ attacks are not directly harmful, they influence other media coverage. In particular, the ABC now frequently marches in lockstep, repeating its polling spin verbatim, deploying resources to follow up attacks and giving a regular platform to anti-Labor commentators.”

 

Media manipulation

The pace and style of media reporting has changed dramatically, not suddenly, but it is very different from what it was in the earlier Howard years.  It was John Howard who accelerated the process of using talkback radio and frequent TV appearances to promulgate his messages.  He became expert at this and used favourites such as Alan Jones to reach a demographic that Howard identified as his ‘battlers’.  That use, or manipulation, of the media has reached new heights since Kevin Rudd became PM.  Just about every journalist has commented, usually adversely, on Rudd’s ‘obsession with the 24 hour media cycle’.  While this may be so, the media itself has created a set of expectations of politicians that politicians seem to feel obliged to follow, at times slavishly.   

 

While there are some occasions where in-depth exposition of policies and positions is possible such as on the 7.30 Report, Lateline and the Sunday morning TV political programmes, which inform a unique demographic of politically-oriented thinkers, they reach but a tiny fraction of the electorate.  The busy homemaker, the tired-at-the-end-of-the day tradesman, a demographic with which all politicians need to connect, have neither the time or the inclination to sit through a long and complicated dissertation on political issues. Today’s commercial media demands short ‘bites’ of just a few seconds to convey politicians’ messages.  This requires sophisticated communication techniques, which in my view the Government media advisors have not yet mastered. 

 

In the same way as we all know that ‘No’ is easier to say louder than ‘Yes’, it is much easier to convey a negative message in a seven second sound-bite than a positive one. Tony Abbott’s favourite - ‘Great Big New Tax’ – which he applied to the ETS and now to the RSPT, is a classic example.  As Bushfire Bill has pointed out, the years of hard work and planning that went into the creation of Rudd’s ETS were destroyed with four words ‘Great Big New Tax’.  How can you counter that scare-laden negative with a similarly succinct positive – you can’t, not easily anyway.

 

So Kevin Rudd and his Government are hoisted, willingly or otherwise, by the media’s own petard of seven-second visuals and sound bites.  Sadly for the Government, ministers do not universally cope well with this.  Julia Gillard is the best.  Lindsay Tanner, and more recently Wayne Swan have become adept at longer expositions, but Julia is well ahead on what the media like to label ‘cut through’.  Tony Abbott does well in this regard, but has a head start because his messages are largely negative.

 

There are other demographics to which Rudd tries to connect – the Rove Live and Good News Week and Twitter and Facebook audiences.  And of course that attracts criticism from some in the media which is miffed about being bypassed.  Rudd has done this well, not that the media cares to acknowledge that.

 

The other assertion that journalists make is that Kevin Rudd has made enemies in the media by his refusal to kow-tow, by what seems to the media to be manipulation of it for his own purposes, and of course by advertising less than Howard.  Used to calling the shots and making governments and institutions jump, the media is now in pay-back mode, and it is going at it hard.

 

In summary, the ever-demanding need to comply with the media cycle, or media manipulation as we have called it here, exercises a profound influence on Government and, depending on how it manages it, its electoral fortunes.  The Government needs to remedy its shortcomings in this regard.

 

Promises

Much is made of ‘broken promises’ and some less-than-clear-thinking journalists link this to lying.  So let’s first clear the air by defining these terms.  A ‘promise’ is ‘an assurance given that one will do or not do something or will give or procure something’, or ‘a ground of expectation of future achievements or good results’.  Notice the verb ‘will’.  No ifs or buts, just ‘will’.  To lie is ‘to speak falsely’, ‘to be deceptive’.  The purpose of a lie is to deceive from the outset.  ‘Promises’ are different from ‘intentions’, which are aims.  When a politician expresses an intention to do or achieve something, it is just that, not a promise that come hell or high water, it will be done.  Here is where politicians get into hot water.  By giving the impression that they will or will not do something, an intention is interpreted as a promise, and if it is not achieved it becomes a broken promise.  The intent to ‘stop the blame game’ in the health system has morphed into a ‘promise’, and if not achieved to the media’s or the Opposition’s satisfaction will become a ‘broken promise’.  It is much more damaging to level accusations of broken promises at politicians than to simply say that they have not realized their intention of doing something.  Accusations of ‘broken promises’ are potent weapons of attack.

 

So where does the blame lie?  First, politicians have themselves to blame for creating the impression that certain things will be done, which stick in the public and the media’s mind as ‘promises’.  If they were to qualify their intentions with caveats, such as ‘We will try to do this or that but realize there will be obstacles, people who will oppose, or adverse circumstances that will frustrate or perhaps defeat our efforts, but it is our intention to try our hardest’, they would be seen as vacillating, uncertain, and backing the horse both ways.  The media would simply not let them get way with such a statement.  So the politicians come out with what seem like promises and suffer the ‘broken promise’ barb if they don’t succeed.

 

Kevin Rudd has been perceived by the media and many in the electorate as ‘promising’ to do something about global warming and despite all he has done, by deferring further action until the Kyoto agreement expires at the end of 2012, is seen as breaking a solemn promise.  Likewise, he gave the impression his Government would take a more humane approach to asylum seekers, which it has, but his deferral of processing of Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum applications has evoked another ‘broken promise’ accusation.  Because the particular groups concerned with these two issues are passionate about them, the effect on polling has been profound.  The Government has not managed the change of direction on these matters well.  Its promotion of the policy adjustments have not been well articulated, and the voice of the media and opponents of these changes have been so dominant they have drowned out the voice of the Government. 

 

In summary, media message management has been found wanting by allowing intentions to be morphed into promises, and changes of direction into broken promises.

 

Managing expectations

As expressed in another piece on The Political Sword, The folly of putting a politician on a pedestal we, the ordinary people, have our own expectations of politicians: “A natural human trait is to seek to elevate some of our number to positions of authority and trust.  We seek leaders who will guide us to the promised-land.  So we place them on a pedestal and hope they will fulfil our dreams and their promise of vision, leadership, courage and strength.  But unless they are mythical god-like creatures from a parallel universe, they can never live up to our dreams and their promises – life is too complicated, variables so numerous, fate so unpredictable, circumstances so changeable.” 

 

It is so easy and so ego-building for a politician to raise expectations beyond what is reasonable, to encourage the electorate to believe that they are able to do more than they really can.  Kevin Rudd and his Government have been accused of that by the media and there is some truth to it.  They have not managed expectations as well as they might have.

 

Another way in which the Government managed expectations pre-election was in portraying Rudd as not a risk to sound economic management for which the Howard Government earned a reputation.  Rudd was seen as ‘Howard-lite’.  With his memorable phrase ‘this reckless spending must stop’ (now turned on Rudd by Abbott), Rudd gave the impression of one that would be careful with taxpayers’ money.  That expectation stood Rudd in good stead, but when the GFC tsunami appeared on the horizon, although spending to keep the nation out of recession became necessary and in the event highly successful, the image of a fiscally cautious Government was assaulted by the Opposition who saw mileage in the ‘debt and deficit’ mantra.  Again, the management of the impression that Government ministers were careful fiscal managers despite the actions they took to counter the GFC, has not been as well done as it might have been.

 

Pre-politics background

Kevin Rudd came to leadership without factional baggage.  His bureaucratic background endowed him with a process-oriented approach to political issues rather than an ideological one born of factional allegiances.  This is why we have seen the careful, cautious, enquiry-driven approach to policy formation, which inevitably takes time, and with it the ‘hitting the ground reviewing’ and ‘do nothing’ barbs.  While the impatient might applaud ‘back-of-the-envelope’ planning such as we saw with Howard’s water plan, would not most prefer a thorough get-it-right-first-time approach?   Rudd fostered an image of himself as a careful reformer, and the public has been ready to project that image upon him.

 

Bernard Keane has another interpretation of Rudd’s pre-election image building, namely that “... Rudd captured a national mood for change. In this interpretation, Rudd was anything but Howard-lite — he was more a pre-Obama change agent who answered a growing mood for a swing back to the Left amongst Australians, particularly young people. That Rudd was a personally conservative, centrist technocrat with no real labour movement roots was carefully glossed over.”

 

That interpretation rings true.  Keane puts it this way: “Essentially, conservative voters wanted Rudd to be similar to his predecessor but without the manifest problems that Howard accumulated – his age, most particularly, and his cynicism, manifested both in his increasingly transparent attempts to buy elections, and his casuistry.  More progressive voters wanted Rudd to substantially abandon key elements of the Howard approach on climate change, indigenous affairs and asylum seekers.”  Because the expectation that many people projected on Rudd was that he was a change-agent, when the changes Rudd was able to accomplish fell short in their eyes, they were disappointed and even disillusioned.  Keane also feels that Rudd has not yet crafted “...his own political persona, offering his own story to Australians rather than relying on them to see what they wanted to.” 

 

Managing those expectations, aligning them with the stark reality of politics, and creating a compelling Rudd-image, a Rudd persona, have not been done well enough.

 

Communication

A failing that many in the media have levelled at Rudd particularly, is in communicating ideas, policies and actions to the public.  It is a demanding task to condense into a few short meaningful sentences the complexities of such policy issues as the ETS, the RSPT, the Henry Tax Review, or for that matter the Health Reforms.  The task is made so much harder by a media that insists on short grabs that fit into the perceived short attention span of its audiences.  Solving this problem is at the same time essential but difficult.

 

Rudd seems to have been persuaded by his advisers that he must repeat phrases such as ‘working families’, ‘in the national interest’ and ‘decisive action’ endlessly, and to be sure that is not inappropriate advice in as far as some of those targeted with these phrases will not hear them unless repeated often.  But the rest yearn for a lucid explanation of policies and plans that describe the Government’s intentions and the logical reasons behind them.

 

This is a good Government that has made great progress in its first term and has much in the pipeline for its second term, but it has not communicated its successes as well as it could have.  It must do this, by any means, even if substantial money needs to be spent hitting the papers and airwaves with a barrage of positive messages.

 

In my opinion the Government needs a specialist media unit staffed with experienced communicators to craft messages for the public on its successes, its policies and its plans that will strike a respondent chord among those who really want to know what is going on and why.  The messages then need to be rehearsed by the PM and relevant ministers to the point of being word perfect and promulgated by every available means  - print, online, radio, TV, and social networks.  The message must be consistent, but variation in its presentation would be necessary to avoid mindless repetition and boredom.

 

In summary, inadequate communication is a fault that is impeding the Government’s ability to ‘cut through’ with its essential messages.

 

Standing firm on sacred principles

Kevin Rudd is perceived by some, and much of the media, as unwilling to stand by his sacred principles.  Of course they have created an impression of what is sacred as much as has Rudd, and they don’t always correspond.  One thing the public dislike is not standing by one’s principles.  Moreover, whether one is standing by principles is a value judgement made by the public, aided and abetted by the media, and may be incorrect.   

For example, Rudd seems to me to be as committed as he ever was to the need for an ETS, but frustrated by an obstructive opposition and an uncooperative international community, and unconvinced that a DD will resolve the impasse, has deferred action rather than die in a ditch pushing an agenda that has no hope of success.  Yet the media, particularly Paul Kelly who long ago declared that the ETS would define Rudd’s prime ministership, condemned him in strident terms.

 

Nonetheless it is essential that Rudd carefully define the matters of high principle on which he will not be moved, and stick to his guns.  The RSPT is a contemporary issue many hope Rudd will stand by ‘in the national interest’ so we can all share equitably in the sale of our resources rather than being bullied by the big miners, urged on by an opportunistic Opposition.

 

In summary, we yearn for sacred principles to be protected and fought for tooth and nail by our leaders.  And if circumstance make that impossible we need to know why this is so in clear, unambiguous terms.

 

The comprehensive diagnosis

The Rudd Government is currently confronted by a complex set of problems:
Media malevolence

Media manipulation
'Promises’, sometimes construed as being broken

Management of expectations

Communication of policies, plans, actions and achievements

Defining the principles on which it will stand firm.

 

These problems are postulated to collectively be the cause of the Government’s and Kevin Rudd’s polling slump. Individuals will give more emphasis to some than others, but all are significant.

 

They are all reversible.  The Rudd Government is a good Government that deserves a second term.  Apart from shielding the nation from the ravages of the GFC that have afflicted other nations, it is a reforming Government that is carefully planning to make good the deficiencies it inherited – an unfair IR system, a run-down education system, skill shortages, infrastructure bottlenecks and an ailing health care system. 

 

This is just one person’s opinion.

 

What do you think?

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HillbillySkeleton

24/05/2010Ad Astra, A very cool-headed analysis of the causes of the government's, and the PM's, present woes. I worry though about whether the situation is recoverable or terminal, as the media seem to be on the lookout perpetually for any snippet of behaviour, word or action from the PM to use to openly mock him. Evidence of this tactic was to be found on the ABC(yes, them again), over the weekend on Barrie Cassidy's other show, 'Outsiders', where he had obtained and used footage that no other network bothered with, to attempt to humiliate the PM, a result of a pep talk he was giving to the Socceroos before they went to the World Cup in South Africa. To tell you the truth, I got the impression, from the footage, that sadly, the PM HAS been rattled, as they love to say in the media, by all the attention that his words and actions have attracted recently, and thus his talk to the Soccer boys was full of 'Little League' glib and shallow sentiments, not because he is unable to come up with anything better, but, I think, because he didn't want to be caught on camera saying anything other than anodyne, feel-good words, so as to give a positive perspective to his sentiments, and not be too prolix. Yet, the media were still not satisfied. Barrie Cassidy used his Sports Bully pulpit to have another go at the PM, and amplify his problems, if having just had another hour before that on 'Insiders', and via his articles for 'The Drum', aren't enough. He now wants to completely ignore the achievments of this government, of which there are many, as you say, AA, and which the media should be reminding everyone of just for the sake of balance, and instead to take it upon himself to be a leading light in the effort to tear this good government down. He'd better be careful what he wishes for, is all I'd say to Barrie Cassidy, because an Abbott government will not allow the Public Broadcaster to sully their name, should they come to power, and BC might just end up out of work and looking for a job and being replaced by a more compliant host on 'Insiders', if he thinks he can get away with doing the same to TA. Which is where I see the problem of their own making for the Rudd government. They were to ready to let all flowers bloom after they took office, as evidenced by no 'Night of the Long Knives' in the Public Service, and the appointment of former Coalition MPs to top positions in government agencies and diplomatic posts. As Obama is discovering in the US, this post-partisanship concept is unworkable, when the other side in opposition to you, both in the media and in politics, just take advantage of your kind hearted actions to attempt to fatally weaken you. So, basically, what the PM has to do, and it will be a hard ask, because the media will jump all over him if he comes over too strong, but the PM needs to discover his 'Inner Hard Man', stop being so nice to one and all, toughen up his approach to the media and the Opposition, without coming over as peevish or aggro, and get his short, sharp sound-bite messaging right, as Tony Abbott is crawling all over him in this department at the moment. Surely he could draft some old Labor warhorses, such as Don Watson, into the fold, just up until the election, to help him with this task? Tony Abbott has succeeded by drafting Tony O'Leary, Howard's old Press Secretary. And it shows. C'mon PM, time's running out! People generally don't like Tony Abbott, so get out there and remind them, day-in, day-out, why that is, and how much of a loose cannon and ideological zealot, just itching to take this country back to a darker, more conservative age, this man is.

Ad astra reply

24/05/2010HS Thank you for your comprehensive comment. So the ABC continues its anti-Rudd campaign even on [i]Outsiders[/i], which I missed. Disgraceful. How can any politician cope with that? I agree that Rudd will have to get tough and stop trying to be the nice guy – he needs to counter every assault with vigour. Also I strongly agree that Rudd needs more expert media advisors to craft easy-to-understand messages and ministers need training in how to get them across.

sawdustmick

24/05/2010Ad Abbott's war cry on Rudd's ETS is "Great Big New Tax'. My question to Abbott and his media buddies is, when his mentor Howard promised an ETS, did tony call to he heavens "No John that will be just a "Great Big New Tax"?

Thorney

24/05/2010Good piece and good comments above. I agree that the Rudd government has overall been a good one, and also that their communication strategy has been largely pissweak in comparison to the viscerally hostile opposition, forever on the attack and showing no mercy. The same thing happened in the US at the beginning of Bill Clinton's first term. Clinton's presidency coincided with the aftermath of the Iran-Contra hearings and Clinton could have easily followed up on the suggestions and evidence provided by prosecutor Lawrence Walsh to rip the Republicans a new one. Instead, he decided to be Mr Nice Guy and held back from causing Bush Sr and his cohorts any serious trouble for their roles in the event. Bush Sr, together with the deep arm of Bush's old intelligence apparatus and supporting hangers-on (many of whom reappeared with a vengeance during the presidency of Bush the younger) viewed this as a fatal weakness and went on the attack for the rest of Clinton's term. The results were not particularly pretty. I think Rudd and co will lose a bit of their tentativeness at attacking the Liberal opposition here and calling upon every trick in the book as soon as they become desperate. They're fools for not doing so sooner though. The ascendance of the Republican right in the US was due in no small part to their willingness to play dirty - sometimes very, very dirty - in order to get the results they wanted. The US Democrats remained in denial over much of this and saw the left-arm of their party ripped apart. Things are not as extreme here in Oz but Labor really should wake up and smell the coffee.

Sally

24/05/2010AA and HS, Great article and response. Why aren't you two in Parliament instead of posting out here in cyberspace? Are either of you sending copies of your articles/comments to your favourite politicians? If not why not? Especially this latest piece and its rejoinder. There is something so safe and satisfying about having your say on such sites but I really wonder who looks at it and what difference it makes. cheers

vote1maxine

24/05/2010Hi AA A comprehensive analysis. I'm looking forward to your proposed solutions to ensure that this "good" government gets re-elected. If re-elected the Rudd Government needs a "Night of the Long Knives" to clear out the Fifth Columnists planted by the Howard regime in the Public Service and (as Dexter Pinion from the satirical Backberner would say)the frigging ABC. HBS Well said. I worry too. I hope Kevin Rudd doesn't do a John Hewson by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. :( Our PM needss to swap the hard hat for a pair of steel capped boots and use them.

Lyn

24/05/2010Hi Ad Thankyou Ad, for another brilliant piece for us all. It is so hard to believe Kevin Rudd, the most popular Prime Minister, in history, can be slapped down so quick, by such an unrelenting. ferocious, slanderous.vicious personal attack by the Newspapers, journalists, Political Journalists. Not to mention the disgusting words the Leader of the opposition uses against our Prime Minister. (gutless, coward, inept, blah, blah, toxic bore, and the list goes on. Kevin Rudd has been far too nice, far too polite, far too understanding, far too diplomatic, in fact to much of a gentleman, for this avalanche of dirty attacks, from the media and the Leader of the Opposition. I agree with you Ad, Kevin Rudd does need a [quote]specialist media unit staffed with experienced communicators to craft messages for the public on its successes, its policies and its plans that will strike a respondent chord among those who really want to know what is going on and why.[/quote] I see that Nasking has linked The Political Sword ( Why is a good Government down in the polls) in his comment over at Reb's, Gutter Trash, I say thankyou to Nasking.

HillbillySkeleton

24/05/2010Sally, In answer to your question, it's for 2 reasons that I am not in parliament: 1. I am now too old. I only woke up to this politics caper at ~40y.o., and by then it was too late to get the show on the road. Also, I have no Union connections, or Office Holder credentials in the party, and, as I would only be interested in the Senate, I thus find myself up a dry political gully, even though I did do a Senate Internship at one stage, I think the party came to the same conclusions I have. 2. I am a widow with 2 teenage boys to bring up, and I don't want to uproot them from school, and I do want to spend the majority of my time with them and not working at politics...So, here I am! Thank goodness AA let's me have some space to reside in the TPS house. :)

mick smetafor

24/05/2010we all got a bit exited when kev showed a bit of passion recently and despite the media's attempt to spin it into a negative i reckon it was a plus for him.after all most, of us here defend him daily with more passion and more colourful language and it was good to see him fire up as well. lyn is right he is far too polite and needs to release his inner mongrel.i would like to see the gov. acknowledge the elephant in the room that is murdoch and attack his tactics so that the disinterested punters are informed about what is happening.if they mention in parliament the fact that it is the murdoch empire by name peddling the lies and distortions it would bring this out into the open at last.

Lyn

24/05/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]ESSENTIAL RESEARCH: 52 -48 TO LABOR[/i] Labor its best polling news for a while, showing it recovering a 52-48 lead http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Essential Report – Trust and RSPT, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics, Crikey[/i] Would you say that your view of Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party has become more or less favourable in recent weeks? more favourable 26%, less favourable 34% http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/24/essential-report-trust-and-rspt/ [i]Media Wrap, Here’s how the pundits have responded , Crikey[/i] the Opposition is claiming the Government’s maths are irresponsible and based erroneously on a paper by an American college student. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/24/mining-into-a-taxing-issue/ [i]Mining tax report not just grad paper: professor, Michael Janda, ABC[/i] So, charges that it is just a graduate student's paper are erroneous," he told ABC News Online in an email. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/24/2907634.htm [i]What is bullshit?,Paul Kelly, Fully Sic, Crikey[/i] But bullshit is sticky and gets into corners where it can’t be reached. If bullshitters are indifferent to the truth they can never be called out on their dishonesty. Which ultimately means that they can’t be forgiven for it either. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2010/05/23/what-is-bullshit/ [i]The art of lying, and selling tax increases,Mungo MacCallum, Crikey[/i] It might be time to bring Malcolm Turnbull back into the fold; at least he knows something about money.,http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/24/mungo-the-art-of-lying-and-selling-tax-increases/ [i]Reserve Bank firm accused of bribery,Nick McKenzie for Four Corners with The Age, ABC[/i] "A range of senior government ministry officials and central bank officials would have been getting a slice of that 20-, 25-per-cent commission," the police witness said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/24/2907104.htm [i]Sex, bribes in banknote deals ,RICHARD BAKER AND NICK MCKENZIE, The Age [/i] A range of senior government ministry officials and central bank officials would've been getting a slice of that 20, 25 per cent commission,'' the witness said., http://www.theage.com.au/business/sex-bribes-in-banknote-deals-20100523-w3yx.html

Macca

24/05/2010Kevin Rudd has made four big mistakes, which, unfortunately may cost him and the Govt. office. 1. He has the intelligence to see the bigger picture, and failed to put it in paint by numbers format;...so the opposition and their followers can understand. 2. He has put to much effort into changing the lot of working families for generations to come. Why plan 40/50 yrs ahead when we all know that Murdoch, Rio Tinto, BHP Billeton and others plan only for the next dividend and exec. bonus. Pure folly. 3. He has always struck me as a pretty honourable man. Nerdish..perhaps..but who really cares. Honour and fair play generally go hand in hand. To expect that from the Murdoch press and the pack of scavenging jackals that write for it was a blue of monumental proportions. 4. This is the crucial one. HE VASTLY OVERESTIMATED THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE AUSTRALIAN ELECTORATE. He is going to be crucified for having vision, empathy and a sense of the fair go. Great country, great people......do you really think so?

Canbra Dave

24/05/2010Just noticed something interesting at the ABC Online site. On the ABC portal, meaning the www.abc.net.au site the 2nd top story in the news headlines is a "Mining figures based on student paper" story - http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/24/2907115.htm However when you go through to the ABC News portal, aka www.abc.net.au/news/ the 2nd top story in the news headlines is "Mining tax report not just grad paper: professor". At the time of writing the first story was last updated 6 hours 34 minutes ago. The 2nd story was updated 2 hours 33 minutes ago. Now perhaps someone just hasn't updated the portal on the main website to update the story to represent the truth, rather than the line that the opposition's media advisors want to run, or perhaps the ABC is becoming even further partisan than News Ltd which has updated it's news.com.au to run the headlines as "Miners 'dishonest, hysterical' about tax". Is it any wonder that the government is struggling.

Ad astra reply

24/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HillbillySkeleton

24/05/2010ABC Watch from Poll Bludger today, who are encouraging others there to be on the lookout for us at TPS, and then post it to ABC Watch. Tho' I'll keep my eyes on PB, just in case they don't. * ' hairy nose Posted Monday, May 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink Anyone notice that tonight’s Four Corners investigative report is by someone ‘on secondment’ from the Age? Is this a new type of commercial relationship engaged in by the ABC? Don’t they finance their own investigative team or is that now run by the ‘work experience’ people.' * Not exactly an ABC/Murdoch link-up, but ABC/Fairfax is just as bad.

Ad astra reply

24/05/2010sawdustmick, Thorney, sally, vote1maxine, Lyn, HS, mick, macca Thank you all for your comments and for your supportive and encouraging words. I feel apprehensive when I post such a heavy piece as I wonder how many will have the interest and persistence to read it through. Clearly you have and found it worthwhile. Coming from a medical background, I’m persuaded that formulating a diagnosis is a necessary prerequisite to developing a remedy. So this piece constitutes the former – my next piece will address the latter. Already I see from your comments some elements of the remedy, which will be as multi-facetted as the diagnosis. It is a nice compliment Sally to suggest that HillbillySkeleton and I should be in Parliament. As with HS, that option is not available to me either, but both of us can make our small contribution to the furthering of a fair and just society in this prosperous country in which we are privileged to live via our contributions to [i]TPS[/i], which our stats show is being visited by a steadily increasing number. We like to feel that there are many out there that share our views, who believe that the media should be impartial and balanced, and when it clearly is not that there are many who feel strongly enough about this abuse of power to protest with words. The old adage that words are more powerful than the sword (thus this blog-site’s name) applies as much to our words of protest as it does to the malevolent words that spew daily from much of the MSM. So with Bushfire Bill we will continue to write what we think and feel with the knowledge that some folks out there are listening and responding in their own way. In the face of the unremitting attacks that the MSM is making on the Rudd Government we will continue our counter-attack, David and Goliath as it is, comforted by the fact that David did triumph. Canbra Dave It’s hard to know if the ABC’s website is afflicted by incompetence in not replacing an outdated story, or whether it again showing its lack of balance and its increasing anti-Rudd sentiment.

HillbillySkeleton

24/05/2010And: 'hairy nose Posted Monday, May 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink Love it how Sen HY from the Greens is now an expert on Labor’s Leadership issues amongst many other things. ABC, fair and balanced! Yeah right! Scorpio, listened to this (Alison Carrabine so par for the course) awash with incredulity (in the shower at the time). Loved how Hanson Young was so dismayed that Labor broke their promise on the ETS. When are the ferking media going to remind listeners that it was the Greens that voted it down. About time a list of bills voted down by the Senate was published and publicised. Every time a Liberal is on radio or tv they parrot the so called broken promises and every time they list bills they voted down. Never ever do the so-called political commentators answer with “but your party voted it down” This piece by Carrabine this morning should be a wake up call to those that believe the media are neutral – it was purely and simply designed as a pejorative attack on Kevin Rudd, the latest in a long line, and I am getting so sick of these nasty and shallow reports. Abbott’s ferk up’s last week by contrast were treated as naughty schoolboy pranks at the worst but the attitude to Rudd is now always vindictive. Yes there is an agenda by the media, they want his scalp.' * I think 'hairy nose' may be referring to the daily political hook-up Deb Cameron on ABC 702 Sydney has with Alison Carrabine to discuss politics. I listen to it, and I must say, Ms Carrabine slaps down Deb Cameron every time she tries to make a point which counters her pro-Coalition line.

HillbillySkeleton

24/05/2010Alison Carrabine was formerly 2UE's Political Editor. What more needs to be said?

Lyn

24/05/2010Hi Ad Interesting piece about the Senate Estimates, The Wetmale Institute, one of our regular commenters, on his own blogg. . [i]Senate Estimates - A Primer, Matthew Lee, The Wetmale Institute[/i]. [b]The opposition have taken to publically attacking and questioning the treasury and Ken Henry personally [/b] http://thewetmale.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/senate-estimates-a-primer/#comment-93

Lyn

24/05/2010Hi Ad Now the opposition has complained to the ABC about Abbott being called Budgie, sook, sook, [i]Abbott's #Budgies tag sees senator swoop on ABC Twitter stream , Sydney Morning Herald[/i] The opposition has complained about the ABC's use of the tag, "#Budgies", when referencing Tony Abbott in a Twitter stream during his budget reply speech. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/abbotts-budgies-tag-sees-senator-swoop-on-abc-twitter-stream-20100524-w7di.html

Bilko

24/05/2010kevin needs to keep the KISS message and repeated often. Last week I read the Fin review at the public library and the coverage of the coalition response was woefull and these guys are suppose to be on the ball in the economics field. Today the fin rev has a massive Abbott spread about him being ready to be PM. I was gobsmacked the old Keating hawke animals mob are needed asap

Lyn

24/05/2010Hi Bilko Bilko, John Stanley 2UE, thinks Abbott could be PM, as well as The Financial review. Here is John Stanley, good to be so confident isn't it. [i]Tony Abbott: I'm ready to be PM Posted by: 2UE | 24 May, 2010 - 11:06 AM [/i] Tony Abbott says he's ready to step up to the position of PM, and John Stanley says he's in with a chance. http://www.2ue.com.au/blogs/2ue-blog/tony-abbott-im-ready-to-be-pm/20100524-w4xd.html

thewetmale

24/05/2010G'day all, been a while since i've popped in here. I think this is a good post, and i also quite liked the Bernard Keane post that you've quoted Ad Astra. One of my main annoyances with this government, and one that i've seen and heard many others repeating, is that it seems scared to tell a complex story or to fully explain a policy. They seem to always run to the comfort of bashing the opposition on political grounds rather than letting their policies do the talking for them. Now granted, their caution is probably motivated by a fear of the dangers that this approach could bring - the overall political climate for the government has turned more hostile than it had been before, i think largely since their slip in the polls. While i don't subscribe to the theories about the ABC being biased like the Murdoch outlets are, i do think there is a laziness (partially caused by the demands of a modern news room) that has a similar effect overall. However, when the government is at risk of finding itself having a perception around it for misleading the people about what it thinks and believes in and/or that it's just motivated by spin and the "hollow men" - whether that rep is justified or not - the thing they shouldn't be doing is talking in the same spun phrases they've been using. I really can't stand it when Rudd is asked somewhere about how a policy proposal [e.g. the mining tax] works and he sticks to generalities [it's so mining companies pay a fairer share of tax - better for working families - the Liberals are in bed with the mining companies who are running a scare campaign, BOOOO] While i'd broadly agree with all those points, not once have they gone close to saying why this is a more efficient method of taxation than state royalties. They wouldn't need to take the country all the way to economics 101, but perhaps have a few talking point phrases that are geared towards education and not politics. The same can be said for other policies/programs - i've said before that the HIS and the BER are programs the government shouldn't be afraid of talking about but they let the opposition frame the debate and so to push back against the conventional wisdom will see the government being branded as fools. The ultimate irony in all of this is that the government is suffering from a perception that they're too focused on spin over substance and yet i think it's their spinning that's letting them down.

Ad astra reply

24/05/2010thewetmale Thank you for offering your opinion on [i]TPS[/i]. I agree that the Government needs advice on how to reduce complex issues to a few meaningful and memorable phrases. It will not be easy, as reducing complexity to simple bite-sized units of information requires great insight and sound communication skills. But there are experts who do this professionally. Public relations firms do this for a living, and while we are not looking for their commercial brand of spin, they could assist by reducing the essential messages to a few key items and suggesting how they could be worded. I wonder why the Government persists with its brand of spin when there are so many other ways of approaching the task of informing the public of what they have done and why, what they propose to do and why, and what each new policy initiative means for the stakeholders and the public generally. It would be an exciting job to craft such messages. Why not morph ‘Great Big New Tax’ into ‘A Fairer Tax for Miners – A Fairer Share for all Australians’ or ‘All Australians own this country’s minerals – lets share them fairly’ or ‘Miners deserve their portion of the nation’s minerals - so do all Australians – let’s share them fairly.’ And on the details, why not ‘Miners will pay tax on excess profits, and in return: - will be refunded the royalties they pay to the states, - will pay less company tax, - will be given rail and ports to move their minerals, and - mine worker’s will get better superannuation.’ I agree that the Government should do the same for the HIS and BER programmes, in fact for all its ventures. Perhaps we could have some fun here suggesting some catchy yet informative ‘slogans’, which the Government’s media unit seem incapable of devising. You’re right, the Government needs more sophisticated spin than it’s using now.

Ad astra reply

24/05/2010Bilko You're right about KISS. Is the AFR article you mention available online? If so, do you have the link? Lyn Thanks for your additional links - very informative. thewetmale Insitiute piece was interesting, as were the comments. I think Ken Henry will be more than a match for Abbott Party senators.

Ad astra reply

24/05/2010Folks Off to view [i]Media Watch, Q&A and Lateline[/i]. Back tomorrow.

gusface

24/05/2010http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/BHP-moves-to-clarify-tax-payments-pd20100524-5R6LA?OpenDocument&src=tnb [On new projects, BHP said it was looking at development options for the massive Scarborough and Thebe gas fields off western Australia, adding that the building of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility could cost between $US15-$US20 billion. Mr Yeager said BHP and partner ExxonMobil Corp plan to start front-end engineering and development for the Scarborough field, estimated to hold about 8 trillion cubic feet of gas, in fiscal 2011, and that the venture was also considering processing the gas at somebody else's LNG facility] So BHP IS doing new projects :)

Lyn

24/05/2010Hi Ad [b]Here is Grog with a fantastic piece, thankyou Grog, we have missed you[/b]. [i]On The QT : People talking without speaking, Grog, GROG'S GAMUT[/i] Abetz pointed out that in interviews with Joe Hockey, Jones spoke for 42% of the time, but in interviews with Wayne Swan he speaks only 26% of the time. Yes, this means that some fool in Abetz’s office has actually counted the words in the interviews and worked out the percentages http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

gusface

24/05/2010http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/05/24/essential-research-52-48-to-labor/comment-page-8/#comment-476349 :)

Acerbic Conehead

24/05/2010Hi AA (May 24. 08:43 pm). As you suggested, here are a few printable slogans. The ones I really want to offer would probably be deleted by you on the grounds of public decency, lol. So here goes: Waiting for GodoTony’s policies – the great big new tax on our patience. Pass the legislation – not pass the parcel! The BER is fair – don’t listen to the DER! Fair share – OK! Pig-outs – no way! The ETS – even John Howard thought it was a good idea. The Coalition’s policies – there’s more substance in a pair of budgie smugglers.

Daisey May

24/05/2010Brilliant BB. You have crystalized the pertinent themes very succinctly. Veiwing the Canberra Press Gallery and it's hangers on as I do, perhaps it is no surprise that I will heap a bucket of shit on them as per usual. To pick on individual journos and flaying them alive is no longer any fun. At present I sense that the Rudd bashing has peaked and is on its way down. The reason? For them this sort of stuff is akin to shooting fish in a barrel and Lachlan Harris has been well and truly put in his place. However, the repeat offender hack and hacketts who can be likened to school children who have overdosed on red cordial, get bored very quickly. I for one would dearly love to get my hands on circulation figures from the OZ during its campaign against the ALP. When News ltd decides to go negative I wonder if it has the same affect as when the Coalition goes negative? I love the gamblers logic at News. "We are losing sales hand over fist. What do we do? Double up and bet the house!" Like an aging prostitute who used to turn hordes of tricks but no longer can, she gets cheaper and offers all sorts of grotesqueries just to pay the rent. I feel like I am in the eye of a great storm where the periphery is all asunder with rage but the middle ground is quite calm and composed. Murdoch will come unstuck because like all control freaks he will fail to see that imaginary omnipotence is not the same as real omnipotence. He thinks he is God but history will remember him as the dog who barked as the digital caravan rolled over his little empire. On a happier note, the MSM is so skewiff that it is pointless commenting on it anymore till the election is called. Then all the so called "non partisan (lol)journos" can firmly nail their colours to the mast. I think it sadly comical that journalists in this country think that readers have no idea which side of politics floats their boat when they post their little bits of doggerel. For what it is worth I think that the tide will turn for Rudd in his favour simply because the opposition is hysterically funny in their ineptitude. Closer to the election proper, like a pack of frightened weasels the journos will suddenly discover that the ALP will be re-elected and they will have to back peddle and start to suck up big time just to get stories. After the way they have been treated it will be very interesting to see who gets a geurnsey and who is sent to reporter hell (ie, Milnesville, 3 comments only on his latest fantabulism). The election campaign (fingers crossed) should be a breeze for the ALP. They spent a very long time in the wilderness and I assume that they will not be that stupid anytime soon. I do wonder though about their stratergists as I know they must read these types of blogs. Many have been crying out for Rudd to grow a pair for a while now and frankly if they are planning to lose the election for lack of passion they are going the right way about it. Despite all the flummery though, I still feel that Rudd will win easily.

Bilko

24/05/2010AA re the Fin rev I do not have a link, there must at least one Fin rev paying visitor to this blog who could provide Lyn with the info for her links then we can all enjoy or despair as the case maybe. An insider tells me, let the mad monk get his 15 mins flash in the pan now before the election is called. Lyn will John Stanley I wonder put his money where his mouth is. For me on my next payday I am having a few bob on an ALP win I do like betting on certainties the odds will be lowbut what the heck.

sawdustmick

24/05/2010AA, I know this slogan is a bit long, it was part of a question I sent into to Q&A for Joe Hockey that never made it. Remember Mr Abbott the so-called Golden Goose laying all those golden eggs actually scratches around in our dirt in our back yard. When the miners have gone we don’t want to be left with only the waste product that comes out of the Golden Goose’s rear end.

Acerbic Conehead

24/05/2010AA, at long last, Kev’s showing he’s totally pissed off, and determined never to get pissed on again. Don’t you love him at his raunchiest best? I know you do, so just sing along with him as he bellows out his version of that catchy Pat Benatar number, “All fired up”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsnYrH3BUP8 :- ) Livin' with my eyes closed, gumption unexplored I never knew the difference, always the mouse that roared Lookin' for a way out, happy to back down Now reachin' out with both hands, I gotta feel the kick inside :- ) All fired up -- now I believe there comes a time All fired up -- when everything just falls in line All fired up -- we live an' learn from our mistakes All fired up, fired up, fired up -- *Hey* :- ) Ain't nobody livin', in a perfect place Everybody's out there, kickin’ sand in my face Now I got a new fire, burnin' in my eyes Lightin' up the darkness, movin' like a meteorite :- ) Now I believe there comes a time When everything just falls in line We live and learn from our mistakes Butts to kick – no time to waste :- ) Now I believe... Butts to kick – no time to waste

Rx

24/05/2010The Resources Super Profits Tax - Sharing our mineral wealth with all Australians.

Lyn

25/05/2010TODAY'S LINKS [i]On The QT : People talking without speaking, Grog, GROG'S GAMUT[/i] Abetz pointed out that in interviews with Joe Hockey, Jones spoke for 42% of the time, but in interviews with Wayne Swan he speaks only 26% of the time. Yes, this means that some fool in Abetz’s office has actually counted the words in the interviews and worked out the percentages http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Whoever stuffs up least will win election,Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] Not since 1990 has there a pending clash of two less competent leaders. , http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/24/ah-for-a-keating-to-disrupt-the-clash-of-the-incompetents/ [i]Greens at the 2010 election, Peter Brent , Mumble[/i] Labor’s primary vote will probably increase [ie from current polling numbers], at the expense of the Greens., http://mumble.com.au/ O[i]pen thread , Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison[/i] Glenn Milne has devoted this week’s colum to calling Kevin Rudd names and spreading rumours about Labor infighting as they jockey for the leadership. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/05/24/open-thread-may-24-28/#more-6123 [i]Hey everybody, look over there, Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Julie Bishop has helpfully chimed in, claiming it’s about winning favour in the Arab world as Australia attempts to get a seat on the Security Council., http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]IMMIGRATION: A tale of two Labo(u)r parties grappling with a vote-switcher, Vex news[/i]If Abbott can’t gain in marginal seat rich Queensland (seats not mentioned: Bonner, Dawson, Herbert, Dickson, Flynn, Forde, Leichhardt), he can’t become Prime Minister- no matter what immigration policy he has to offer. http://www.vexnews.com/news/9413/immigration-a-tale-of-two-labour-parties-grappling-with-a-vote-switcher/ [i]Why James Murdoch was wrong to attack the British Library. Greenslade Blog[/i] His objection to the library also echoes his, and his company's, antagonism towards the BBC http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/may/21/jamesmurdoch-british-library [i]Brave bloggers gamble safety, Kelly Theobald,Upstart.[/i] Around the world, bloggers are being demonised and persecuted for expressing their beliefs. Unfortunately, freedom of speech is taken for granted by most Australians. http://www.upstart.net.au/brave-bloggers-gamble-safety/ [i]Electoral reform to reform fractured politics, Michael R. James, Unleashed. ABC[/i] under Abbott the Liberals have adopted an approach of total obstructionism which is neither a sensible way to evolve appropriate policy and is a turnoff for a significant fraction of voters. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2907567.htm

Sir Ian Crisp

25/05/2010Ad Astra, you are joking. You say Mr Rudd needs MORE staff. Just how big is his office? He might have to lease old Parliament House just to provide digs for still more staff. And when is enough enough? Mr Rudd’s retinue comprises a food taster, someone to warm the toilet seat for him, an image consultant, a red-headed Rottweiler (keep your eye on her), and various other claquers. He has no case for more staff. Rudd has given Tony um, er, ahhh, Abbott plenty of ammunition with Rudd’s feet of clay now quite evident. The media has gotten over its Nelson and Turnbull obsession and the Rudd ‘baby found in the reeds’ parable. The media has placed Rudd and his government on the Petri dish and is now subjecting it to very close scrutiny. The time served as Goss’ bovver boy hasn’t prepared Rudd for the high office he now holds. Being PM requires skills that far exceed those of an aid-de-camp. There is probably a bit of media ‘get square’ going on as well which may well be a carry-over from the Goss era. Oh Ad Astra, how you must yearn for a return to that halcyon time when all you had to do was write a Nelson or Turnbull piece and pour yourself another strawberry daiquiri. Mind you, you didn’t raise many concerns about the press having a ball at the expense of Liberal disharmony and disunity. Even ALP ‘luminaries’ like Richardson are getting stuck into Rudd and his poor performance. Just this morning Mal Fraser escaped from the SunnyBank Home for Retired Politicians and made his way to the nearest journalist to vent about how bad the government is. To top it all off, Ms Burrow took time off from chasing cars and expressed her displeasure and disappointment when she supported ABS stats that showed Fair Work Australia failed to deliver a worker friendly environment. What about those nasty Work Choices Ms Burrow? You’re supposed to blame them. The ALP: the workers’ friend. Surely the ALP will go into emergency mode and expel Ms Burrow. What must Rudd do? How ‘bout placing those nodding ALP identities behind him at every press conference. Rudd in the foreground and lined up behind him are those vacuous ALP heavies; Penny, Julia, Nicola, and Tanya, all nodding approval as Rudd speaks. This would impact the luminal recesses of the minds of working families without those poor sods realizing that a positive message is being implanted. Ad Astra, I will concede that at times the media is like a shark tank. However, in 2010 politicians should well and truly be aware of that and should learn how to take full advantage of that. Just to show you that I can hand out bouquets as well I’d like to congratulate you on being able to understand the Bird of Paradox. I think she is the only minister that needs an interpreter but you have mastered that special language she uses. Well done.

vote1maxine

25/05/2010Hi Ad I think your idea of suggesting some catchy yet informative ‘slogans’ has great merit. As for the Resources Super Profits Tax: A fairer sharing of the common wealth for All Australians.

Acerbic Conehead

25/05/2010The RSPT – the way to go – even Barnaby can count on it! The RSPT – what a Super idea! The RSPT – Jenny Craig for fat-cats. The RSPT – so clever, even Robin Hood didn’t think of it. SpongeBob Baldwin – sponging on GP Super Clinic photo-ops.

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Acerbic Conehead Good morning AConehead, what a pleasure you are early in the morning.

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Sir Ian Crisp I think Kelly O'Dwyer does enough nodding for everybody, the whole of Parliament house. If Kevin Rudd hadn't cut back, Howard's extra staff, he would have enough now. Mal Fraser did a fair bit of damage, to Tony Abbott last night on Q & A. [quote]Being PM requires skills that far exceed those of an aid-de-camp.[/quote] Sir Ian, I suppose you are going to tell us, Tony Budgie has got the required skills.

janice

25/05/2010Why is a good government down in the polls? Why indeed, Ad astra. I don't suppose it has anything to do with the fact that the coalition and their media supporters did not expect Labor COULD be a good government and that the nerdish Rudd could ever make a good PM. The people will awaken from their sleep-walk and return to the fold in no time at all and we, who are the rightful holders of power will be begged by the voters to once again rule supreme. And so the campaign began to plant the seeds of unrest within the populace. It should have been easy, but then they discovered they had under-estimated the character of our Prime Minister and grossly under-estimated the skills and intelligence of his team. In this, the election year, we have seen the campaign of nasty attacks ramped up with relentless focus that has effectively drowned out the voices of reason and the media have allowed no avenue for the government to be heard. The government's policy announcements are reported momentarily and then followed with 'the opposition says' in every media outlet for weeks on end. The beat-ups over the Insulation and BER programmes, the mis-information and prominence given to the deniers of global warming during the ETS debate are still on-going. The latest is the budget story and the Resources Tax on Mining plus the expulsion of the Israelie diplomat. [quote]This is a good Government that has made great progress in its first term and has much in the pipeline for its second term, but it has not communicated its successes as well as it could have. It must do this, by any means, even if substantial money needs to be spent hitting the papers and airwaves with a barrage of positive messages. [/quote] I do not believe the government will be allowed to have its voice heard even if it employed a specialist media crew because the rightwing media has that gate closed. Therefore I think, Ad astra, that it has to resort to the means outlined in your quote above. Abbott and his mob will scream blue murder about the government spending advertising dollars when it said it would not, but within those ads the government should explain that it is only avenue left open to them to defend good governance and inform voters of its achievements so far and its plans for the future prosperity of the nation.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Rx

25/05/2010Congratulations to [b]ABC NewsRadio[/b] for a bias-free Breakfast session. Keep up the commendable work, folks! I will keep monitoring your performance.

HillbillySkeleton

25/05/2010'John Stanley 2UE, thinks Abbott could be PM' Wishful thinking by conservative fanboys on radio.

HillbillySkeleton

25/05/2010Gusface, Did you see the photo of Yeager on the News? He looked like a cross between cybercynic's avatar and a serial killer! :)

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010Rx [i] The Resources Super Profits Tax - Sharing our mineral wealth with all Australians.[/i] That’s what the RSPT is all about according to the Government, but this morning on Jon Faine’s 774 Melbourne radio show Hugh Morgan, a past mining giant, insisted that it is the states that own the minerals and ‘rent’ them to mining companies, and that the Federal Government should keep out of it altogether. This statement is a metaphor for the calibre of the debate about this matter – it is a veritable Tower of Babel with multiple voices, multiple opinions, multiple angles, and multiple stakeholders. Nobody seems to be giving us the full story uncontaminated by self interest and noisy rhetoric. The Government is the only body that can do this, and it must. To give just another example of the confusing language being used, some of the miners are complaining about ‘retrospectivity’. Now what does that mean in this context? Does it mean that the Government will impose the RSPT on past earnings on which tax has already been paid? Not likely. Does it mean that the RSPT will apply to existing as well as future projects? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t call that retrospectivity. As with the ETS debate, we are being bombarded with conflicting information, disingenuous assertions and loud claims and counter claims. The government could spare us that by spelling out the RSPT details in simple language. The media is unlikely to do this because it prefers to highlight the conflict rather than resolve it and anyway, how many journalists are up to the task of explaining this complex scheme. If only George Megalogenis would have a go at it. Sir Ian What I’m suggesting is a specialist media unit to craft intelligible messages. It might well replace existing media advisors who seem unable to fulfil the specialist role I’m suggesting. If an increase in staff became necessary, so be it, so long as the messages are crystal clear, and so long as they are promulgated widely by every means no matter what it costs. Apart from doing its job well, there is currently no more important task for the Government than to communicate effectively with all the people about what has it done and what it is proposing to do. I heard Malcolm Fraser’s comment and wondered what source of information he used to reach his opinion – perhaps it was our marvellous, objective, stick to the facts media or better still [i]The Oz[/i], which he seemed to be echoing. I suspect his views will have as little impact as his oft-repeated criticism of John Howard. Finally, if you ever feel the need, please contact me for a free interpretation of Julia’s words.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010sawdustmick You use the golden eggs metaphor beautifully. I have often wondered why all the talk of ‘killing the goose that’s laying the golden eggs’ has not been turned around by the Government pointing out that it has no intention of killing the goose, it just wants a fair share of its golden eggs for the Australian people. AC We’re all looking forward to Kevin Rudd doing a ‘Pat Benatar’, socking it with ‘new fire burning in his eyes’ to the people and the Opposition. I would like to see the same verve he exhibits in QT exhibited in TV and radio interviews. It’s time to stand up to the media strong-arm men and make it clear that he’s finished with their intimidation, rudeness and disrespect. vote1maxine I like your slogan [i] A fairer sharing of the common wealth for All Australians.[/i] janice I agree, the media shows no signs of willingness to represent the Rudd Government fairly, although that could change if it sees a real prospect of Tony Abbott with his paper-thin front bench taking government. So the Government has to go it alone and bombard the airwaves and the print media with a carefully crafted lucid account of its achievements and intentions, over and over again.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010gusface Thank you for drawing our attention to William Bowe’s comment on [i]The Poll Bludger[/i] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/05/24/essential-research-52-48-to-labor/comment-page-8/#comment-476349 which was in response to Cuppa’s comment http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/05/24/essential-research-52-48-to-labor/comment-page-8/#comment-476345 It is gratifying to see such cross linkages.

gusface

25/05/2010HS LOL A face only a mother could love

gusface

25/05/2010Ad glad to be of service :)

HillbillySkeleton

25/05/2010ABC Watch: Again from our friends over at Poll Bludger: Johnny Button Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink Love this from the ABC. Keep up the bias boys and girls. Funny how the Libs are complaining about the politcisation of the Treasury, when the Libs having being bagging the crap out of them at every opportunity since last year’s budget. Double standards from the liars on the right. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/25/2908465.htm

HillbillySkeleton

25/05/2010ABC Watch: Our good mate Fran Kelly going down the rabbit hole into Wonderland by supporting the Coalition/'News Ltd. line re the expulsion of the Israeli diplomat: (Thanks to scorpio at PB for providing the link): * scorpio Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink 'Fran Kelly doing her best to support Sheridan’s outrageous piece this morning on the Oz with constant quotes from it.' Ross Burns, a Former ambassador to Israel doesn’t seem to buy it especially the more rabid statements by Sheridan. Australian media figures seem intent on discrediting their commentary so much lately that they risk being put into the same basket as Abbott’s commentary. I loved Malcolm Fraser’s defence of Abbott last night on QANDA, but I bet Abbott didn’t though! ;-) http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2010/2908313.htm

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Ad You Said at 11.06am [quote][i]If only George Megalogenis would have a go at it. [/i][/quote] [i]Mining the figures uncovers deception.George Megalogenis Meganomics Blog[/i]Both sides in the super-profits tax debate - Labor and the mining companies - have engaged in selective quoting of official statistics. And both sides have confused the public by [b]comparing apples with oranges[/b]. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/mining_the_figures_uncovers_deception/

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010ABC Watch updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010Lyn Many thanks for the link to the George Megalogenis article. It was very informative. If only all those who seek to offer an opinion on the economics of the RSPT would read it before opening their mouths, we might have better informed debate. But of course the advocates for each point of view selectively and dishonestly quote only the figures that suit their case. So maybe balanced debate will remain impossible until the tussle for supremacy has quietened down. Folks, to save you looking for it, Here's the link to George's article [i]Mining the figures uncovers deception[/i] http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/mining_the_figures_uncovers_deception/

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010Folks QT was fascinating today. Like yesterday, most of the Opposition questions focussed on trying to trip up Kevin Rudd by presenting him with quotations of what a number of players in the RSPT debate had been saying in opposition to it, but he was able to deflect them with ease, quote many others in support of the tax, and generally show how disorganized the Opposition has become. He quoted Julie Bishop as saying the mining industry was paying enough tax and Barnaby Joyce as saying they should pay more. Rudd was in fine form, dominating the chamber. If only he could be seen by the public in this form they would be very impressed. Instead they see him being confronted by aggressive interviewers who are hell bent on tripping him up, to which he responds cautiously and at time tentatively. Tony Abbott is in the same boat – tentative under the overbearing assault of TV and radio interviewers. As far as I can recall, Abbott asked only one question today. Otherwise he sat mute throughout the two hours of QT. I wonder why?

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010ABC Watch Here's a May 20 article by Lyndal Curtis [/i]Credibility thrown out with the trash[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/20/2904542.htm?site=thedrum Lyndal is a senior ABC political reporter, prone to acerbic comment when on air. In this piece she strays far from reporting the facts to offering not just her opinion but her judgement of the leaders of the Government and the Opposition. She opines that they have thrown out their credibility with the trash. Of course she is entitled to her opinions, and clearly the ABC’s [i]The Drum[/i] provides an outlet for them. Likewise, we hear opinions from several other ABC reporters via [i]The Drum[/i]. I wonder whether the ABC has created a problem in inviting its reporters to become opinion writers, thereby exposing their biases which cannot but influence their reporting. I would prefer reporters to be balanced and even handed, giving us the facts without contamination by their opinions. Mixing the two in the way the ABC has allowed seems contrary to the high standards we have come to expect from, and still hope for from the ABC.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010ABC Watch The ABC bias debate has sunk to new depths. Look at [i]Butting in reveals ABC bias, say Libs[/i] http://www.theage.com.au/national/butting-in-reveals-abc-bias-say-libs-20100524-w81t.html

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Hillbilly Is this information good for the ABC watch : [i]EDITORIAL POLICIES, 172 pages PDF, ABC[/i]http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/EdPols07_updateFeb09_FIN%20tools.pdf

bilgedigger

25/05/2010ABC Watch: Media Partners - Barrie Cassidy and Heather Ewart? Can anyone confirm? (Heather Ewart was announced on 7.30 Report last night as the Political Editor)

Rx

25/05/2010ABC Watch An Abbott Afternoon on their ABC. Another hour, another "[i]Abbott says ...[/i]" story. Updated [b]2 hours 17 minutes ago[/b] [b]Abbott labels mining tax 'almost criminal'[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/25/2908893.htm -- Posted [b]3 hours 16 minutes ago[/b] [b]Too few students speak second language: Abbott[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/25/2909035.htm?section=justin

BH

25/05/2010HS - you talk about the PM drafting some of the old war horses into the fold. The problem is that most of those people, since retirement, have been denigrating Labor in the same way Cassidy does. Even Kerry O'Brien tonight was eager to push the 'Labor is doing down' line which then exacerbates the problem. Many of them now make their living writing pieces for papers, journals, etc. and need to say something controversial to keep the money flowing in. AA has made some terrific points in this piece and I hope Labor is reading it.

Daisey May

25/05/2010QT was a hoot today as Ad pointed out. Stephen Smith in particular made genuinely heartfelt remarks about Bishops' idiocy and looked very emotional. Nicola Roxon nailed the Coalition for the second day in a row and made mincemeat of a speech Abbott gave about health when he was first appointed Health minister. If Lyn could come to my rescue and find a link somewhere I'd be much obliged. Rudd was very convincing on the floor of the house as was Tanner and Swan really let loose today and showed how across the details he is. The Coalition on the other hand put in another Brewers Droop performance that was beyond embarrassing. When Andrew Robb was being mocked for his press secrataries performance post budget debacle, the cameras panned onto his pained face and for a second you could see the muffled screams trying to escape from his heavy lidded eyes. Iron Bar got up to make a point of order at one stage and sounded like he was speaking in tongues. He was unintelligible and the Coalition "attack" so ineffectual that it is little wonder that QT was not featured prominently on any network. Abbott hid as per usual these days. He and Joyce have been told to keep their heads down and their mouths shut. It pleases me greatly that neither can do either. As a sidebar did anyone else notice that "Twiggy" Forrest came in third on the BRW 200 rich list? Or that John Ralph has been a loyal foot soldier for the Liberals and polished Howards' halo for many years? Funny how these details seem to be the last thing anyone mentions when they are presenting their polished turds for the public arena. Lastly, does anyone know what the "Friends of the ABC" group have to say about their slide into the fith ring of hell?

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010ABC Watch updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx Lyn Could you please re-send the link to the pdf file on the ABC's editorial policies - I can't get it to work. Daisey May I agree that QT was a hoot today. It should be even more interesting tomorrow if they pursue Julie Bishop over her 'Australia forged passports' statement. There's not much yet on the TV news - Tim Lester and Karen Middleton gave the best account, little on ABC News and nothing on the [i]7.30 Report[/i]; maybe there will be something on [i]Lateline[/i]. My guess the media and the Coalition will gloss it over - after all it wasn't scripted in writing.

Ad astra reply

25/05/2010BH Thank you for your kind remarks. I too hope some from Labor's media unit read it; they need to lift their game.

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Ad Ad, Here is another link, if it still doesn't work, copy the link and past into your web browser, that will do it http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/EdPols07_updateFeb09_FIN%20tools.pdf int http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/EdPols07_updateFeb09_FIN%20tools.pdf

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Ad Ad, sorry still no good but have tried this one in my web browser and it works ok. http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/EdPols07_updateFeb09_FIN

Nature 5

25/05/2010I have some sympathy for Bishop. She like all members of the Opposition apparently must bend to Abbott's directive that 'one must oppose' regardless of circumstance including long held conventions. Her position was always weak and now it's untenable.

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Daisey May Sorry, would love to help but nothing available, the only thing I can suggest is you go to Government Question Time web site, and you can watch on your windows media player. Only thing it's not in segments so you would have to watch from the beginning.

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Ad Here is Grog, a magnificent piece on Question Time today, highlights, the stupidity of Julie Bishop. [i]On The QT: Listen, do you want to hear a secret? do you promise not to tell, GROG< GROG"S GAMUT[/i] [Oh geez, you believe it??? Bloody hell. If you don’t know, you shut the hell up. I you do know, you shut the hell up!!!!] http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Jenauthor

25/05/2010Sound commentary -- I for one would gladly sit on a media unit -- voluntarily! What you say about negatives is very true -- one can repeat negative phrases ad infinitum and it simply sounds like you're driving home a point whereas the positive phrase, if oft used, can sound grating (both are grating but to our sensibilities highlighting the negative is somehow necessary). My big fear is that the press, in their stupidity, will lump us with a coalition govt that if current talent (serious lack thereof) in the opposition ranks, would send us down the road of Europe and annihilate our economic advantage right now. And of course, climate change would be dead in the water for a long time to come.

Lyn

25/05/2010Hi Nature 5 Thankyou for coming to The Political Sword, your comments are very much appreciated. Ad Astra will be pleased. Don't worry to much about Julie Bishop, her performance history is not too good. You are right in saying her position is now untenable. Read Grog's Gamut, link above, for more details of the two interviews.

Daisey May

25/05/2010Dear God, the wet dream of political tragics is about to come true. Barnaby Joyce, the Sarah Palin of Australian politics is about to interviewed on Lateline. I have ordered my DVD to record this event as I know my kids will be able to get a laugh from whatever he says for many years to come. The meme that "it's just Barnaby" will soon morph into "dear God, what were they thinking" and not before time. Loved Craig Emerson talking about the "lovers tiff" between him and Andrew Robb being the cause of Barnaby coming out publicly saying that the Mining bosses should pay more tax. You can't make this stuff up and even the boosters of the Coalition will get to the stage where supporting this sort of gross stupidity becomes untenable. With Murdoch to announce paywall plans in June and the election to follow soon after you'd have to be a bit of a dill to bet the house on a Coalition win at the next election. If I were an Australian journo and in particular a News Ltd journo I'd think very carefully about pleasing the bosses and pleasing the bank manager who oversees my mortgage.

Grog

25/05/2010Thanks for quoting that line Lyn - I fixed the typo!

Daisey May

25/05/2010Oh dear God, the Barnaby interview on Lateline sets a new benchmark low. He normally spouts incomprehensible rubbish but this one is a doozy. The ALP will have a field day with this tomorrow in QT. Incidentally, I think that Grog writes beautifully about Australian politics with a lacerating eye and a penetrating wit. I read PB regularly as well and If I could afford to subsrcibe I would. Increasingly, I am weaning myself off MSM but it is bloody hard (lol). If you are a political junkie it is nothing to watch all morning TV news, scan all the major newspapers online, ingest an ocean of coffee whilst going through all the blogs, catch the mid morning news, have ABC News radio burbling away in the background until the Midday report on the ABC and then replying to blogspots who spur you on even more and then the orgy of political coitus really begins to kick in around 4.30 PM with the TV news. This mania goes all the way through the night till Lateline finishes lol. Am I the only one? As a caveat, I do find the human race to be inordinately funny.

Lyn

26/05/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On The QT: Listen, do you want to hear a secret? do you promise not to tell, GROG, GROG'S GAMUT[/i] [Oh geez, you believe it??? Bloody hell. If you don’t know, you shut the hell up. If you do know, you shut the hell up!!!!] http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Economics 101 on the rise and fall of the Aussie dollar, Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] In fact, companies such as BHP and Rio Tinto (which report in US dollars, but pay dividends, tax, etc, here and wages in Australian dollars) have made nice gains., http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/25/economics-101-on-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-aussie-dollar/ [i]Leaders attributes and the vote,Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] Ultimately, this suggests that what the public believes about Rudd is much more important in terms of delivering votes to the ALP over the spectrum of 50-56 % of TPP than what the public believe about the Opposition leader. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/25/leaders-attributes-and-the-vote/ [i]Rudd yelled at editors: Liberal senator,Max Blenkin,9 News[/i] Senator Brandis tried with a succession of other questions, variously referring to the prime minister allegedly "yelling uncontrollably" and "voluble screaming". http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=1057657 [i]Peter Martin [/i] Mistrust anyone who produces a graph like this: it's from the Minerals Council Fortescue's letter to shareholders http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]From the Doors: Ken Henry "deliberately deceptive", Tiernan Kelly, The Stump[/i]Tuckey declined to call Henry a “liar” outright, saying “that’s defamation” but declared “he deliberately misrepresents figures and I wouldn’t trust a word he says.” http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/05/25/from-the-doors-ken-henry-deliberately-deceptive/ [i]Why we need a Resource Super Profits Tax,David Richardson, Online Opinion[/i] The last mining boom gave very little by way of benefit to most ordinary Australians. Indeed, prior to the global financial crisis most people would have been affected only by the higher interest rates on their mortgages http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10469 [i]Tony Abbott. I'd like this ride to stop now please. Mac, Ramblings of a Political Tragic[/i] Abbott has employed nearly all of Howard's cynical underhanded ways. http://moderatelyleft.blogspot.com/2010/05/tony-abbott-id-like-this-ride-to-stop.html [i]Bishop forced into embarrassing backdown,channel nine news[/i] Asked if Australia used forged passports, Ms Bishop said: "Yes." http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/1057099/smith-blasts-opposition-over-security [i]Fraser resigns from Liberal Party, Business Spectator[/i] no personal issues with Tony Abbott, but sees the current leadership of the Liberal party as inadequate and inconsistent http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Fraser-resigns-from-Liberal-Party-pd20100526-5SPZR?OpenDocument [b][i]Murdoch and the Mining Companies Target Rudd Government ,The Battle for Australia's Wealth , Brfian McKinlay,Counter Punch[/i][/b] [b]Murdoch seems determined to bring Rudd down and no statement seems too extreme or outlandish, including a campaign to say that Rudd might be challenged from inside the Labor Party by his Deputy Julia Gillard, a claim without a shred of evidence[/b], http://www.counterpunch.org/mckinlay05242010.html

Grog

26/05/2010Hi Lyn Yeah the line originally was "I you do know..." after seeing your quote I quickly changed it to "If you do know..." Bloody typos!!! cheers Greg

Rx

26/05/2010ABC Watch Wednesday 26 May 2010 9.10am AEST What happened to the Julie Bishop story? "Bishop backs down over fake passports" It is not included in the headlines at ABC News Online. Though if you look closely it is right near the bottom of the page, under the section "Most popular - Today". Interesting that one of the day's "most popular stories" has conveniently dropped out of the dominant ABC headlines. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/25/2909186.htm

nasking

26/05/2010I noticed that ABC2 Breakfast News had Tim Wilson of that oh so “independent thinking” Institute of Public Affairs as a guest to peruse (select articles, headlines) the morning papers. Interesting choice of guest considering the background info provided on the IPA site reads: [quote]Tim Wilson is the Director of the Intellectual Property and Free Trade Unit at the IPA. In 2009 he was recognised by The Australian newspaper as one of the ten emerging leaders of Australian society. [/quote] And Wilson has contributed an article to The Australian called: [quote]ABC 24-hour news plan will cripple diversity [/quote] Nothing like inviting the FOXES into the henhouse Virginia. Check out more of Tim Wilson’s valuable contributions to our “balanced” media. http://www.ipa.org.au/people/tim-wilson N’

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Nasking Good morning, Nasking, thankyou so much for your valuable link, you are a valuable source of information, this a special link for my files. [quote][b][i][u]And Wilson has contributed an article to The Australian called: ABC 24-hour news plan will cripple diversity [/quote][/b][/i][/u] They don't like this 24 hour news, do they, and very easy to work out why. Cheers

nasking

26/05/2010No probs Lyn. Many thnx for your valuable links too. Excellent work. N'

janice

26/05/2010I was listening to our local ABC radio this morning and heard that a group of 'bipartisan' economists have come out in support of Labor's resources tax. There were comments from a couple of these economists, Fels and someone else. Don't know what anyone else thinks but I thought it was about time the silent supporters got out there and halted the free run of the mining companies and the Wabbott. It brought home to me that Labor has a silent majority of supporters in business who sit by and keep their mouths shut as they watch the lies and distortions being used to attack the government they elected and still support.

Sir Ian Crisp

26/05/2010Ad Astra, I think it might be best to scrap any plans to fine tune the PM’s media unit. It might be more prudent to beef up the PM’s legal advice unit. We now learn that a retrospective RSPT might breach 22 international treaties. I suppose that is all part of the glee associated with Free Trade Agreements. Parenthetically, an attempt to tax the natural wealth of a state could breach S114 of the Australian Constitution. This RSPT policy may have died aborning – time will tell. I am no doctor (I leave that to TPS’ resident psychologist/psychiatrist) but I think a simple remedy for the many masochists here at TPS would be to turn the TV set off or stop watching the ABC; don’t buy that newspaper from the Rupert stable and stop listening to radio programs that are mean and nasty. Yes it’s a simple remedy but unlike some medication there are no side-effects.

gusface

26/05/2010Sir Ian Care to link to a reputable source or is it just a bit of sauce :)

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Ad Janice has drawn my attention to the 20 economists that are supporting Kevin Rudd. Hi Janice you are right, why isn't there more from the MSM, the good news is being ignored as usual. Here is an interesting link about those economists: [i][b]Rudd's planned super profits tax gain economists' support[/b], International Business Times.[/i] They argued that the RSPT is a more efficient way to tax the mining sector without causing a slowdown in the industry. http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/24966/20100525/rspt-super-profits-tax-resources-super-profits-tax-allan-fels.htm

Ad astra reply

26/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

BH

26/05/2010Daisey May - "I read PB regularly as well and If I could afford to subsrcibe I would." Altho I am a subscriber to crikey I don't think you have to be to login to PB. I think you just need to register on the site itself. Some of the guys there have said they can't open the full crikey articles at times because they are not subscribers. I think PBers appreciate what AA provides on this site with its indepth and interesting articles by its contributors. PB is really just a conversation in comparison. Good that both are contributing to the ABC Watch if they see something that Lyn has not already found.

nasking

26/05/2010Apparently it's not only Labor that's copping the rage from corporations & big wigs for having the indecency to consider raising taxes in order to redistribute some of those obscene corporate profits to the regular folk and small business. Obama's copping it too. Just posted a piece on it: Not just "fair-go" Labor bashed by greedy corporations http://www.blogocrats.com/index.php/top-menu-sections/world-politics/781-not-just-qfair-goq-labor-bashed-by-greedy-corporations Cheers N'

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Ad This is a link to our friend Nasking's column on Blogocrats, well done Nasking [u][b]Not just "fair-go" Labor bashed by greedy Corporations, Nasking , Blogocrats[/b][/u] So there we have it. The rage against the fair-goers. http://www.blogocrats.com/index.php/top-menu-sections/world-politics/781-not-just-qfair-goq-labor-bashed-by-greedy-corporations

Sir Ian Crisp

26/05/2010Australian tax could breach treaty with China Mining shares plunged last week after Kevin Rudd, Australia's prime minister, proposed a 40pc tax on mining profits, arguing that Australia's mining boom was benefiting shareholders based abroad – but there could be some light at the end of the tunnel for aggrieved mining investors. By Garry White Published: 6:37PM BST 09 May 2010 Alex Baykitch, a partner in the Sydney office of Holman Fenwick Willan, a law firm advising on international commerce, says legal action to try to get compensation for the tax hit could be taken under various bilateral investment treaties signed with numerous countries, including China. There are no such treaties with the UK, Mr Baykitch says, but companies such as Chinalco, which own 9pc of Rio Tinto, may be able to launch legal action under one of these treaties. This raises the prospect that the Chinese government, which controls mining group Chinalco, could take legal action against the Australian government. UK pension funds are locked out of this process, unless they have funds incorporated in countries that have a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with Australia. The tax proposal "is a classic example of a potential breach of a host state's obligations under a BIT", according to Mr Baykitch. "Broadly speaking, BITs establish clear rules on the scope of investment protection and the treatment that states must provide to foreign investment in their territories. In addition, they establish a framework for the resolution of investment disputes through arbitration between the foreign investor and the host state." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/7701544/Australian-tax-could-breach-treaty-with-China.html COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT - SECT 114 States may not raise forces. Taxation of property of Commonwealth or State A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force, or impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s114.html Come on Lyn, you’re supposed to keep us up to date with what’s happening. Gusface, I am shocked that the boys and girls over at Crikey™© didn’t even give it a brief mention. Even pansophist Gusface didn’t find it newsworthy. I can imagine that Kristina will sit on Mr Rudd’s knee and give her consent to Rudd’s plan to tax NSW’s wealth. Not only do I consider it unlikely that Barnett will climb up onto Rudd’s knee the notion that he would is deeply disturbing.

nasking

26/05/2010Thnx Lyn. I've just linked to this insightful thread from Blogocrats. Did so on Guttertrash the other day too. Isn't cyber-sharing of info fun? :) N'

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Nasking Very much appreciated, your linking [b]The Political Sword [/b]on Blogocrats and (another one of my favourites), [i]Gutter Trash[/i], thankyou Nasking. Nasking you said [i][quote]isn't cyber - sharing of info fun[/quote]?[/i] [b]I Love it, [/b]and everytime someone says anything, I go off on another wild "rantan" opening pages like crazy, fragmenting my computer, all over the place, having a great time.

Ad astra reply

26/05/2010Nature 5, Jenauthor Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. Nature 5, Julie Bishop may be complying with the Abbott 'believe only scripted statements, not what I say in the heat of the moment', but she's a big girl now and should know national security protocol. Jenauthor I'm sure there are several bloggers here who would be keen to join a media unit to advise the Government. How we might help remains to be seen.

Ad astra reply

26/05/2010Lyn I've found a link to [i]ABC Documents - Editorial Policies[/i] which I have posted on [i]ABC Watch[/i]: http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/edpols.htm

Augustus

26/05/2010Hi Folks, found this article on why Fraser quit the Liberal party, it is an interesting insiders view of his co-author http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/26/the-inside-story-on-frasers-resignation-abbott-appealed-to-him-to-stay/?source=cmailer

Augustus

26/05/2010I have wondered why Kevin Rudd allows these attacks upon himself it's not that he can't defend himself, it seems more he won't, but why?. One thing I have noticed in time is that every time the Australian or the Coalition get away with an attack the next one appears worse as their confidence grows, but I have also noted that there mistakes get worse as they get cockier in attacking Rudd, is Rudd playing a gamble that if he allows them to continue they will in fact destroy their own credibility, now with Malcom Fraser resigning which actually was decised when Abbott was elected leader of the Liberal Party by over thowing Malcolm Turnbull, will this have an effect on they way people finally realise the Liberal Party are not ready for goverment, that spat between Andrew Robb and Barnaby Joyce and of Julie Bishop commiting the cardinal sin in their attemps to undermine Kevin Rudd

HillbillySkeleton

26/05/2010'A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force, or impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.' Which tends to suggest to me that the Commonwealth has every right to tax the Mineral Resources that belong to ALL Australians, and not to the States.

Lyn

26/05/2010TODAY'S LINKS PART 2 [i]Julie Bishop “Unfit to Serve, by Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] Australian National University global politics senior lecturer Michael McKinley has told Radio National Ms Bishop has adopted a position that is “untenable http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/26/julie-bishop-unfit-to-serve/ [i]Greg Sheridan was right! About Julie Bishop that is, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] not merely has Bishop managed to reveal confidential information about national security matters, she’s made herself look a prize goose. Her defence is that she didn’t understand the question http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/26/greg-sheridan-was-right-about-julie-bishop-that-is/ [i]Libs' spin on expulsion an abuse of privilege ,Dennis Shanahan, The Australian[/i] JULIE Bishop has handed the Rudd government a political lifeline just when it needed it most. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/columnists/dennis-shanahan [i]Malcolm Fraser dumps “unrecognisable” Libs, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] The respected elder has taken a direct swipe at Tony Abbott criticising his leadership as being “all over the place”. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/26/malcolm-fraser-dumps-unrecognisable-libs/ [i]What's his definition of "Left", then?, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Malcolm Fraser “of the Left” indeed. Only if you define the “centre” as Margaret Thatcher http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]The inside story on Fraser’s resignation, Margaret Simons, Crikey[/i] Fraser resigned from the Liberal Party shortly after Tony Abbott came to the leadership. , http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/26/the-inside-story-on-frasers-resignation-abbott-appealed-to-him-to-stay/ [i]MAL’S BESTIE: Fraser finds Liberals too right-wing except for Red Ted Baillieu, SG,VEX News[/i] Fraser, possibly the worst Prime Minister conservative politics has produced in Australia, quit the party last year http://www.vexnews.com/news/9443/mals-bestie-fraser-finds-liberals-too-right-wing-except-for-red-ted-baillieu [i]Malcolm and Me, Margaret Simons, Crikey[/i] The story I have not been able to write for the last four months or so – Malcolm Fraser’s resignation from the Liberal Party. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/contentmakers/2010/05/26/malcolm-and-me-3/ [i]Three of the best things written about the Resource Super Profits Tax, Peter Martin[/i] It is no more a tax than the rent Westfield charges Woolworths. And like any such charge, it is tax deductible. It is pre-tax. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2010/05/three-of-best-things-written-about.html [i]Resource rent tax Statement, John Quiggin[/i] The most important thing is that the government cannot and should not back down on the basic principle of a resource rent tax

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Ad Sorry Ad. Rel=no follow, again panicing me, go to second link and it works ok. Link for John Qiggin missing, here it is: http://johnquiggin.com/

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Ad Another link to Gutter Trash, Julie Bishop unfit to serve: CHECK OUT THE PHOTO, IF LOOKS COULD KILL. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/

HillbillySkeleton

26/05/2010I nearly fell off my chair when I read this editorial, a kind of 'Sermon from the mount' at 'The Australian', to 'Their ABC': http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/mark-scott-must-put-news-on-top-ofthe-abc-agenda/story-e6frg71x-1225871295623 I love how they can say it all, apparently with a straight face, blissfully unaware of the irony of a lot of what they say the ABC must/must not do, that they do/don't do every day in their newspaper. Also their arrogant advocacy of a kind of 'Balkanisation' of the ABC, when their whole aim is to seemlessly merge all News Ltd. media platforms into your complete media lifestyle choice, is breathtaking in its hypocrisy. One for ABC Watch, definitely. However, not for the reasons we would have expected.

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Augustus Thankyou so much for your link, I have included in Todays links part 2.

Ad astra reply

26/05/2010Annabel Crabb has once again broken into print with [i]The art of political language[/i] on the [i]The Drum[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/25/2908492.htm?site=thedrum She has many criticisms of politicians’ language and speeches and reserves particular criticism for Kevin Rudd. But it was comforting to see that among her derogoratory comments she concedes that the media are not blameless for this state of affairs: [i]” But we in the media do have to bear responsibility, as well. Our shortening news cycles and our determination to deliver 24-hour news confer an unbearable responsibility upon our politicians to make news. To have something to say. Something for the 8am bulletin, and then something for the noon bulletin, and then something for the 7pm news. Politics is full of silences to be filled. Is it any surprise that politicians have crafted themselves a sort of carapace of impenetrable language, under which to find some temporary shelter?”[/i] The media’s culpability for this state of affairs has been asserted in this piece. But when will we see those responsible for fashioning the media to accommodate political discourse alter its approach so that politicians do not have to resort to obfuscation?

Sir Ian Crisp

26/05/2010HS, you might be right. However, you might be wrong. Our High Court may have the last say on the matter. It looks like being a nice little earner for some in the legal profession.

Daisey May

26/05/2010Just watched the ABC news. Tony Abbott was being filmed in an ABC studio for an interview and what is the first thing you see when the camera pans in? Todays edition of The Australian. No other papers. Guess which way the paper was facing? Towards the ABC journalist asking the question. Just pathetic

gusface

26/05/2010Sir Ian So it was sauce I think next time you should find something FACTUAL rather than your fancy HTH

Jason

26/05/2010AA, Although a member of the Labor party myself the biggest problem with some members of both state and the feds is we have career time servers. How many in the labor party once wore blue singlets or were tradesmen? it's hard to stand up for something that is nothing but theory in a book at uni ( I watch people in my own sub branch who are younger than me I'm 42 that join the right faction just so they can become a staffer then hope to gain preselection, the gene pool is getting very shallow. The same goes for the libs the protectors of small business most of the time servers had a small business 20 years ago or hired lawyers because they had a law firm.But the biggest problem as I see it with the Current government is the ministers given the job to sell the big changes such as the ETS don't speak a language the common folk understand the same with the mining tax, and most people thanks to Howard their take on it is what's in it for me. The media is no different sadly just watch media watch on a Monday night that explains it all LAZY.

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Ad Two ABC links, and one from the Australian, giving a lesson on reporting to the ABC, they must not rely on the newspapers, and [i]Not commentary from ABC journalists who think their opinions on issues and events are news. [/i] [i]Mark Scott must put news on top of the ABC agenda , The Australian[/i] although the ABC has reporters in every city and large regional centre in the country, they obviously did not know of, or - worse - were not interested in, [b]the rorting of the Rudd government's school building program until they read the story in The Australian [/b]. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/mark-scott-must-put-news-on-top-ofthe-abc-agenda/story-e6frg71x-1225871295623 [i]Bishop's spy gaffe exposes intelligence 'convention', Barrie Cassidy, The Drum[/i] Politicians fudge and prevaricate all the time. But it's not often they [b]deny - in writing - having said something that is on videotape for everybody to see [/b]http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/26/2910073.htm?site=thedrum?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Abbott moves to censure Rudd over mining tax,Emma Rodgers, ABC[/i] The censure motion was defeated on Government numbers. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/26/2910169.htm?section=justin

Bushfire Bill

26/05/2010Well, for what it's worth, I think I can see a glimmer of sunlight for the government. They seem to have weathered the storm on the RSPT. The Coalition and their miner patrons seem to have run out of arguments and are just ranting in sloganese. My guess is it's anger that they have lost the debate. Far too hysterical for people who think they are winning. Abbott's "The government should be ashamed of themselves for daring to criticise miners" pitch this afternoon sounded awfully hollow and desperate.

Ad astra reply

26/05/2010Lyn Thanks - links posted to ABC Watch: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

Lyn

26/05/2010Hi Ad Grog's fabulous piece on Question time today, thankyou Grog, you have done fantastic, seeing you have a bad cold, no colds in Queensland, "[b]recommended reading for everyone"[/b] [i]On the QT: Looks like there's been a super profits tax placed on blue steel, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] Nope instead she looked down, looked to the side, pretended to find something that Chris Pyne had said was hilariously funny, and all in all looked like the poor little rich girl being told off in the Principal’s office. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Ad astra reply

26/05/2010jason You're right. Technical and professional training does not guarantee communication skills. In training family doctors we pioneered intensive courses in human relations and communication skills over and above teaching medical knowledge and skills. This gradually flowed back into undergraduate medicine so that now all graduates are well trained, although not necessarily expert in these important skills. Those who enter politics have probably had little if any training in communication, and this is showing up starkly at present as complex reforms are being implemented. This is why I believe the Government needs a specialist media unit to assit it to get its messages right.

Ad astra reply

26/05/2010BB A hollow argument always runs out of steam. The miners are having a final fling at their AGMs, where interestingly not all shareholders hold such adverse views of the RSPT. When Abbott rants as he did today in QT you know he's running short of evidence and is relying on bluster and shouting to make an impression. The spectacle was pathetic - nothing new emerged - same old hyperbole. I've just finished a piece on the RSPT which I'll post when I get back to my computer about midday tomorrow.

HillbillySkeleton

26/05/2010That performance by Tony Abbott during the Censure Motion today was just shocking. He yelled, and almost growled at those present on the other side of the chamber of the House. For a moment there I thought he waas going to mount the table and scramble over to the other side to go the biff on the PM. Talk about 'The Wild Colonial Boy', or, is that, 'The Loaded Dog'? I can't make up my mind. :) Bushfire Bill, I agree with you that the puff appears to be going out of the Major Miners wrt the RSPT. I imagine that they can see the tide turning against them just as well as we can, and thus even Rio Tinto's Chairman, Jan Du Plessis, made some conciliatory noises at the AGM today. Very muted, but picked up by seasoned observers. Let's hope so. They haven't really got a leg to stand on. Especially as the BRW Rich List coincidentally came out today, and if ever proof were needed that they are making money for jam, that was it.

mick smetafor

26/05/2010http://andrewbartlett.com/ this is worth a read

Rx

26/05/2010Listening to Abbott ranting today I can understand why he's known as the Mad Monk and the Coalition's "resident nutter". Either he has got a screw loose, or he does a good impression of someone who has.

Lyn

27/05/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the QT: Looks like there's been a super profits tax placed on blue steel, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] Nope instead she looked down, looked to the side, pretended to find something that Chris Pyne had said was hilariously funny, and all in all looked like the poor little rich girl being told off in the Principal’s office. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]The Political Sword on Crikey front page again[/i], Reasons why Rudd's been alright. http://www.crikey.com.au/politics/ [i]Fairy tales and the RSPT, Eva Cox, The Stump[/i] Norway used its share of North Sea oil revenue to make it a much more civil society. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/05/26/fairy-tales-and-the-rspt/#more-1857 [i]Snakes and crocodiles, crocodiles and snakes, Jennifer Wilson, On Line Opinion[/i] The reality is that if we can’t believe what Mr Abbott says, there is no point at all in him talking to us anymore http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10474 [i]ABC's Mark Scott denies lay-offs, Marc Espino, International Business Times[/i] Mr Scott told Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce that "no decision has been taken" to remove staff in Lismore or Mackay http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/25012/20100526/abc-mark-scott-cut-off-staff.htm [i]Entitled to your opinion,Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i]. The idea that there is any sort of equivalence between liberals and conservatives within the Liberal Party, as there was during and before Fraser's time, is bullshit. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Fraser could take Bishop with him on the way out, Leo Shanahan, The Punch[/i] Still if Fraser is that concerned about the scatty nature of the current Liberal Party leadership perhaps he should invite Julie Bishop to join him in resigning. http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/fraser-could-take-bishop-with-him-on-the-way-out/ [i]"24" - Now Starring Julie bishop and Peter Dutton, Chris, Owens, Sportolotics[/i] Before Tony has a chance to finish the sentence, Julie focuses the death stare on him and he is reduced to a pile of smoking ash). http://sportowens.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/24-now-starring-julie-bishop-and-peter-dutton/ [i]Are the Liberals becoming another Tea Party?, Andrew Bartlett, Blogotariat[/i]. Liberal’s incoherent, self-contradicting approach on a whole range of policy issues – most worryingly even on economic and tax policy http://www.blogotariat.com/node/194033 [i]Clive Palmer vs Paul Howes; National Press Club, Wednesday 2nd June 2010[/i] Resource Super Profits: Tax Reform or Tax Grab?" http://www.npc.org.au/upcomingSpeakers.html [i]The Guide to the AustralianGovernment's New Super Tax[/i]. http://www.minerals.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/MCA_News/Guide%20to%20the%20Super%20Tax_Two%20Page_MCA.pdf

Lyn

27/05/2010Hi Ad Having trouble with the pdf file link to Minerals Org. Sorry Ad, just Copy this link into your web browser, and pdf comes up the first entry. [b]http://www.minerals.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/MCA_News/[/b]

Lyn

27/05/2010Hi Ad and Everbody You may be interested in this: [b]Best Show in town - Ken Henry live before the Senate 7.50 am[/b]That's right, 7.50 am, for two hours. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

Sir Ian Crisp

27/05/2010A retrospective tax on miners unconstitutional WOULD a super-profits tax on mining be unconstitutional to the extent that is has retrospective application? The taxation power under the constitution at Section 51(II) is conditioned by Section 51(XXXI) which imposes a qualification upon the power to make laws with the respect to the acquisition of property, except on just terms. In 1997 the High Court ruled in the Newcrest Mining case that the commonwealth could not include existing mining leases in Kakadu National Park (where mining is prohibited) as that would have amounted to an acquisition of property on unjust terms. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/a-retrospective-tax-on-miners-unconstitutional/story-fn558imw-1225863376495 Mining tax legality questioned By Rosemary Grant Friday, 14/05/2010 Chairman and joint managing director of Proto Resources, Andrew Mortimer, says the industry has little to fear directly from the Government's proposed tax, because even if the legislation is passed, it will be challenged in the High Court of Australia. http://www.abc.net.au/rural/resource/stories/s2899929.htm?site=rural Setback for miners in anti-tax campaign The constitution bars central government from taxing the property of the six states, and mineral resources are treated in Australia as though they were the property of the states. But the two experts told Reuters today that Western Australia, home to the nation's $35 billion-a-year iron ore industry, would be very unlikely to overturn the tax in court, citing the proposed structure of the tax and legal precedents. "Challenges rarely succeed and there haven't been any for some years, partly because the law itself is pretty clear that there is great scope for how the Commonwealth (the central government) levies a tax," said Professor George Williams, a constitutional lawyer at Sydney's University of New South Wales. Another expert agreed, noting that the tax would not, strictly speaking, apply to mineral resources themselves. Instead, it would apply to the profits derived from them. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/setback-for-miners-in-antitax-campaign-20100525-wafh.html Gusface, who knows how this will develop because it looks like being strained through the enlightened argot of our High Court. You seem to be wasting your talents here at TPS. I’m sure you can advise the High Court regarding the legality of the legislation and it’s conformity with the Constitution. Perhaps the mining conglomerates will hire you. It seems that talk of compromise has surfaced so perhaps both sides are now backing off in the hope that they can thrash out an agreement. Sorry Mick, I'm not in the habit of reading blogs by people who can't even afford to buy their own grog.

Ad astra reply

27/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Lyn, I'll work on the Minerals Council link when I get back to my computer around midday.

mick smetafor

27/05/2010surely you don't look down on the impecunious sir ian.

gusface

27/05/2010Sir Ian I prefer my coin not to be debased by the grubby hand of the mining lobby The CJ has asked on more than one occassion for the benefit of my wisdom I simply said harden up man thats your job

Lyn

27/05/2010Good Morning Gusface Nice to see you out and about so early What have you got to tell me today, I am sure you have much, from your travels. Have you seen Nasking and Miglo on your way.

gusface

27/05/2010Lyn In my real life i help businesses to use renewables and help the environment I think some very pleasing figures re the take up of renewables is in the offing All just part of the big jigsaw I suppose

Sir Ian Crisp

27/05/2010Not at all Mick. I find it a waste of time reading tosh.

Sir Ian Crisp

27/05/2010gusface, I'm sure the High Court is well aware of what colour curtains to hang and what time to serve morning tea. I don't think your services are needed.

gusface

27/05/2010Sir Ian I wouldnt dream of displacing you from the pinnacle of your career BTW I have one sugar and a dash of cream oh and make sure you use leaves not those tea bags There's a good chap toodlepip

Lyn

27/05/2010Hi Ad This is Sky News, NEWS ALERT, BREAKING NEWS. Geat Big News, because Tony Abbott has announced a Coalition Government, would return to the Howard Policies on Asylum Seekers Link to ABC report: [i]Abbot flags return to Pacific solution,Emma Rodgers, ABC,[/i] The processing policy would be similar to the Howard government's so-called Pacific solution, which saw asylum seekers processed in countries such as Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/27/2910798.htm?section=justin

Rx

27/05/2010[b]A CALL TO ARMS: MINING TAX[/b] http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/05/a-call-to-arms-mining-tax/ ... spread the word, Swordsmiths!

Chris

27/05/2010It seems Tony's up to his old tricks regarding his Border Protection Policy regarding that story you link to Lyn. Apparently back benchers such as Broadbent, Moylan and Georgiou are furious because he failed to consult the party room. Rather he only ran it past the shadow cabinet. Its similar to his Paid Parental Leave scheme announcement. Also being reported today is evidence that Garret wrote to Rudd in October last year regarding safety concerns within the insulation industry. Notwithstanding that Garrett also wrote to Rudd at the same time that he was working with the industry to improve safety, you can bet that this will be spun by the opposition and the Australian as Rudd knew about safety concerns but did nothing about it.

Lyn

27/05/2010Hi Chris Sky News had News Alert, Breaking News, The Coalition to announce their border protection policy, Honestly you would think Tony Abbott was the Government if you take any notice of the News announcers, specially on Sky.. After the press conference the normal journalists questions, Tony Abbott was asked twice if this policy has been put before the Coalition cabinet, and Phoney Tony, said yes both times. But Chris, nobody can believe, Phoney Toney because he told everyone not too.

nasking

27/05/2010Hi Lyn, As for Scott Morrison, the Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship - who basically bragged this morning on radio about this grotesque, desperate move on the part of Abbott & the Libs...well, wasn't he the fella who took over from Bruce Baird in Cook? [quote]Baird along with fellow Liberal MPs Petro Georgiou, Russell Broadbent and Judith Moylan opposed mandatory detention of asylum seekers. (wikipedia)[/quote] Demonstrates how far to the right this opposition is moving. Morrison has turned out to be a mean-spirited, negative bore. Abbott is like a virus. Catching. Must come from Rodent pellets. This is a desperate move by a desperate man & his bankrupt party. The desperation was obvious in his loopy, erratic, bellowing performance in parliament yesterday. Abbott’s let his HYDE come out to play. Gives people a glimpse into what he’d be like as a future PM. We’d be the laughing stock...when not being condemned. The people are waking up to this mean-spirited, “say anything, do anything” loon. And I've noticed that so many people are outraged & so sniff the stench of Howard that the blogs are now seeing more people expressing their opinion. Good to see. N'

nasking

27/05/2010I’ve noticed these announcements by Abbott & the barrages by certain media seem to intensify the weekend before the Newspoll. N'

Rx

27/05/2010No wonder Abbott worked so tirelessly to get Pauline Hanson locked up. He wanted to steal her voters. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/opinion/hypocrisy-in-the-pursuit-of-tony-abbott/712897.aspx?storypage=0 Getting one's political rivals imprisoned is not the mark of a respecter of democracy.

Lyn

27/05/2010Hi Nasking Toney Budgie's performance yesterday was only to get on the night time news, but he failed, you are right about Newspoll weekend, hence the Border Protection press conference this morning. The intertubes are already busting, over bringing back Howard's policy, the bloggers are up to the minute. [i]Coalition Gets Tough on Border Security, Reb Gutter Trash[/i] Christ – Mr Rabid has even surpassed his hero and mentor the filthy rodent! http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/ [i]Coalition announces border protection policy: a bigger, nastier Pacific Solution[/i], Looks like the policy was released to the (News Limited) media before backbenchers found out about it: http://larvatusprodeo.net/ RX that was exactly what I worked out, Tony Abbott and Pauline Hanson, votes that would have otherwise gone to the Coalition. There is stuff written about what happened out there, Phoney Toney was questioned, maybe I need to go looking.

gusface

27/05/2010Abbotts turnaround re CC is a bit strange i reckon he got whiff of some of the climate change office figures :)

Ad astra reply

27/05/2010Folks I have just posted [i]Getting some balance into the RSPT debate[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/05/27/Getting-some-balance-into-the-RSPT-debate.aspx Rx Thank you for drawing attention to the A CALL TO ARMS: MINING TAX posted on 26 May on [i]The Daily Bludge[/i] by JJ Fiasson http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/05/a-call-to-arms-mining-tax/ that begins: [i]” I’m sure many of you are getting as sick of the rhetoric surrounding this mining tax as I am. It is for this reason I intend to put together a comprehensive analysis of the mining tax, based on rational economic analysis. The idea will be to launch a website which can serve to debunk the myths and half-truths being spun on all sides.”[/i] This piece on [i]TPS[/i] goes part way to meeting this objective.

Lyn

27/05/2010Hi Gusface Toney Budgie, has probably been advised to start changing his story on CC. Internal Liberal polling maybe [i]Phony Tony’s backflip on Climate Change, The Peanut Gallery.[/i] Was this a scripted comment, or one in the “heat of debate”, I wonder? http://rcchick.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/phony-tonys-backflip-on-climate-change/ [i]Climate change no longer 'crap': Abbott says man makes a difference . Lenore Taylor, SMH[/i] Tony Abbott, who famously declared the "so-called settled science" of climate change to be "crap" has told environmental business leaders he is now "confident ...mankind does make a difference to climate". http://www.smh.com.au/national/climate-change-no-longer-crap-abbott-says-man-makes-a-difference-20100527-wg6d.html

gusface

27/05/2010Just had my first automated call from the local (alp) member gentlemen and ladies Start your engines ?

Ad astra reply

27/05/2010chris, nasking We need new monikers for Tony Abbott after his new asylum seeker policy today, ones that point to his flight to the worst aspects of John Howard’s policies. 'Phoney Tony' and 'Gospel Tony' are accurate representations of his variations in truthfulness, but we need something to characterize his attraction to the most extreme aspects of John Howard’s political philosophies. What about 'Extreme Tony’ or ‘Radical Tony’ or ‘Fanatical Tony’ or 'Tony, the worst of Howard' or ‘Tony - Howard gone extreme' or 'Abbott - a radical form of Howard' and 'The Abbott Party - an Extreme Howard Party. Any suggestions?

nasking

28/05/2010"We need new monikers for Tony Abbott after his new asylum seeker policy today, ones that point to his flight to the worst aspects of John Howard’s policies." ad Astra, I've just put up a post called: In old guard Abbott we trust? http://blogocrats.com/index.php/top-menu-sections/topics-australian-politics/789-in-old-guard-abbott-we-trust Cheers N'

Chris

28/05/2010Ad Astra, I can think of lot's of names for Tony. I won't repeat them here though. How about, "Tony 'what would Jesus do if he was a dog whistling, homophobic, racist, scientific illiterate' Abbott". Too strong? Too many words?

National fuel saver

28/05/2010Please, can you PM me and tell me few more things about this, I am really fan of your blog! I just subscribed to your feed.

Ad astra reply

28/05/2010Nasking What interesting quotes you've unearthed from 2001. Nothing about Abbott has changed except he's more extreme now. chris That's a good description. I wonder how we could condense that into short memorable bites. The more I see of Abbott, the more I believe in the slogan: Abbott – more extreme than Howard.

Ad astra reply

28/05/2010Folks To fend off the sam, I'm closing off comments.

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