Is Australia becoming a guided democracy?


On 8 February 2014, there was a by-election for the federal seat of Griffith due to the resignation from politics of the former member Kevin Rudd. Terri Butler, representing the ALP, won the seat. This comment was posted on the Fairfax Media’s on-line coverage of the event:

I think I'd prefer a highly programmed robot rather than anything that's really been on offer from either right side of politics. They'll have to start making a new suit for the ALPLNP Party, a suit with two right arms with one just a little further right than the other.

It demonstrates the opinion of a considerable number of the population of Australia and can be summed up as ‘there is no or little difference between the ALP and LNP’, that whichever party one votes for the outcome will be the same.

Where countries seem to have free and fair elections but the result really doesn’t matter there is, as you would expect, a name for the concept — Guided Democracy. Wikipedia suggests that there have been a number of countries that have operated in this fashion either in the past or the present. They include Indonesia, Putin’s Russia and possibly even the USA.

Indonesia’s history since the end of World War 2 and independence from the Dutch is interesting. Between 1950 and 1998, there were only two Indonesian presidents — Sukarno and Suharto. The first, Sukarno, actually promoted his leadership as guided democracy or ‘Demokrasi Terpimpin’ from 1957. Rather than the traditional leadership model where the political elite devises and implements the policy of the government, Sukarno’s belief was that the government should be led in a similar way to traditional villages where the ‘elders’ consider and discuss the problem and then agree on a solution.

A central council of 42 people from a cross section of Indonesia was formed and tasked with considering issues and providing advice to Sukarno’s cabinet. While there was no requirement to comply with the advice, it was rarely ignored. The process was introduced in the late 1950’s apparently in an attempt to placate the military, religious groups and communists.

The military, religious groupings and communists then naturally attempted to increase their ‘power bases’. The military nationalised a number of Dutch companies; the religious commenced the ‘Islamic State’ debate; and the PKI (Communist Party) entrenched itself into all state institutions except for the cabinet. By the early 60’s, there was significant corruption and jockeying for position. However the PKI had ensured that it was the only political party with any strength.

Suharto was a ‘trusted’ major-general during Sukarno’s rule and was effectively ‘the last man standing’ after a coup attempt and became president in 1968. Although elections continued, the government also appointed 100 members to parliament. A People’s Consultative Assembly was also created to which the government appointed one-third of members.

The next ‘western’ style democratic election in Indonesia, after the declaration of Demokrasi Terpimpin, was not until 1999 after the fall of Suharto.

Vladimir Putin is the current president of Russia. On 9 August 1999, then President Yeltsin appointed Putin as one of the three deputy prime ministers and later that day he was appointed the acting prime minister of the Russian Federation. Later again on the same day, Yeltsin was reported as suggesting that Putin should be his successor — and Putin agreed to run for president. A week later, the State Duma (parliament) confirmed Putin as prime minister.

Yeltsin resigned as president on 31 December 1999 and Putin was appointed acting president. Putin’s first decree was to ensure that corruption charges against Yeltsin and his family were not pursued. Putin then comfortably won the subsequent presidential election held in March 2000 (three months ahead of the scheduled date and before the opposition parties could organise).

Putin was re-elected president in 2004 and was legally not able to run in the 2008 presidential election. First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was elected in his place. The day after the election, Putin was appointed to the position of prime minister of the Russian Federation. Putin was subsequently re-elected as president in 2012, appointed Medvedev as prime minister and commenced action to stifle protest groups by imprisoning the leaders, removing the influence of non-governmental organisations that received foreign assistance, and pursuing a campaign of anti-American rhetoric, including the granting of asylum to Edward Snowdon — who is accused of leaking US diplomatic cables to various news organisations around the world.

A theory promoted by Sheldon Wolin suggests that the USA is heading on a similar path to the examples of guided democracy we have looked at above. Wolin’s theory is that instead of a ‘strong leader’ who is able to influence the country’s direction for an extended period (and the seemingly inevitable corruption that goes with that), corporations through lobbying and donations control government actions; the rise of political apathy is promoted (the only expectation is to vote and low turnouts are thought of as successful); and the election of ‘personalities’ rather than ‘people’ is supported. Wolin also claims there are similarities between the propaganda of Nazi Germany (as we recently briefly discussed here on The Political Sword) and the USA’s regular claim that they are the only world superpower and the home of democracy, which gives the US the ‘right’ to declare war and participate in actions that are clearly not democratic.

It could be suggested that a couple of state governments in Australia have been close to running a guided democracy — the prime examples being Queensland under the Country/National Party and South Australia under Playford.

The Country/Nationals & Liberal Party Coalition (subsequently the Nationals solely) were in power in Queensland for a 30 year period from 1957 to 1987 because those that lived west of the Great Dividing Range generally had a considerably greater number of MP’s for the level of population. Bjelke-Petersen was premier from 1968 to 1987. While Bjelke-Petersen didn’t implement the gerrymander, he certainly used it to his advantage. The embedded corruption in Queensland during the Bjelke-Petersen era is well documented: there were proven corruption charges against a number of National Party ‘identities’ and Bjelke-Petersen himself was never cleared of corruption charges that were made against him. The then acting premier of Queensland (when Bjelke-Petersen was overseas) initiated the Fitzgerald enquiry, which eventually led to a fairer election system, as well as the reduction in influence that was held by National Party ‘connections’ and the police force.

Playford served as premier of South Australia from 1938 to 1965 despite losing each election from 1947 on the popular vote. It took a protest by the public to start the process of fair and equitable boundaries, introduced by Playford’s successor.

So, is Australia in danger of becoming a guided democracy? A guided democracy seems to be reliant on a group of people being in power for decades and power being shared around the same group of people. That certainly isn’t the case in Australia with frequent leadership contests for parliamentary leadership. While corporations attempt to influence politicians, they cannot openly ‘buy a vote in Congress’ as they seem to be able to do in the USA. The military is not an economic force to be reckoned with or sharing power in Australia as seems to be the case in Indonesia. The Australian government allows open dissent to their position on any issue – unlike Putin’s Russia.

Let’s look at Australia’s record.

Are the same small groups of people continually power sharing? Occasionally someone who can demonstrate that they don’t follow the standard political norms in Australia can get up and win, such as Cathy McGowan in Indi at the 2013 federal election, or Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott effectively deciding who would be prime minister in the last parliament — they are certainly results that the ‘political establishment’ didn’t see coming. Has the same leader been ‘in power’ for a long period of time? The Coalition holds the federal record for a 23 year term, due in part to the ALP/DLP split of the 1950’s: although Menzies was prime minister for 17 of those years, there were another four leaders in the last six years. On the ALP side, the Hawke/Keating government lasted 13 years with two prime ministers.

Is there institutionalized corruption in Australia? Potentially yes — but not to the same level as Indonesia and Russia (and one could say parts of the USA where the politicians draw up the electoral boundaries and corporations can fund political campaigns).

Are political opponents jailed or killed? No — otherwise Abbott, Gillard, Rudd and Howard would have never become prime ministers!

Are Australians encouraged not to vote? No — voting is compulsory.

While economic policies, and unfortunately refugee policies, are similar, there are also significant differences in policy between the two major political parties in Australia, including in the areas of industrial relations, social policy, education and treatment of those that are less well off. Most importantly, there are genuine free and fair elections in Australia. There is also little doubt that the election results are fair and do not benefit any particular group. This was recently demonstrated by the Australian Electoral Commission requesting the court system to decide what action to take when it was found that almost 1400 votes were missing in the Western Australia senate election.

While there are certainly similarities between the policies and operation of the ALP and LNP, the actions of the current government in abolishing programs of the previous government demonstrates that the parties are not the same. Rather the comment that started this piece demonstrates that, rather than heading towards a guided democracy, both political parties are playing safe options to try and attract the majority of votes. While the tactic seems to be successful to a point, it has allowed smaller parties such as the Greens and Katter/Palmer to win over voters who are disaffected with what could be considered a move to the centre by both major parties in Australia. The rise and success of those smaller parties, and the influence they can wield in the senate, really is the nail in the coffin of any idea that Australia is heading towards a guided democracy.

What do you think?


Rate This Post

Current rating: 2.5 / 5 | Rated 2 times

TPS Team

16/03/2014Many voters think there is so little difference between the LNP and the ALP, that voting is a waste of time because whichever party is elected the outcome will be the same, so far to the right has the ALP moved. This week 2353 tells us that having elections which don’t really make a difference has a name — guided democracy. He explores examples of guided democracies and then weighs up Australia’s situation. Are Australia’s two major parties now so similar that we are in danger of becoming a guided democracy? Read 2353’s post and see what you think.

Frank

16/03/2014Too true that Australia is not heading for a guided democracy. There's a huge difference between Labor and Liberal. Abbott has a woeful climate change policy, while Labor supports an ETS. Labor introduced the real Gonski and NBN, Abbott is diluting both. Labor supports the principle of a mining tax, Abbott does not. Labor wants a conscience vote on gay marriage, Abbott won't allow it.Labor wants people earning $100 000 or more per annum from superannuation to pay their fair share of tax, Abbott does not.The same Abbott that labelled superannuation as a con job. And so it goes on.

Casablanca

17/03/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 17 March 2014: 50 items[/b] MARCH IN MARCH 1. Did you hear about the March in March? Michael Taylor In the past three years there have two significant public protests against the government of the day. There was the failed ‘convoy of no confidence’ in 2011 to protest against Julia Gillard’s ‘carbon tax’ and now we are in the middle of the highly successful Australia wide March in March protests against the Abbott Government. The media attention to these events has been worlds apart. The mainstream media ran with the convoy of no confidence stories for almost a week, focusing on both the promotion to the event and the event itself. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/16/did-you-hear-about-the-march-in-march/ 2. March in March: Enough of the Deception and Manipulation Matthew Mitchell. Abbott took government by playing on the fears of Australians, supported by the Murdoch press. Fears that have been built up and sustained through systems of secrecy, lies and deception. This is the emerging pattern of westernised governments and corporations across the globe. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/14/march-in-march-enough-deception-and-manipulation/ 3. March in March Gosford - Fr Rod Bower Gosford Waterfront, Father Rod Bower of Gosford Anglican Church (www.facebook.com/anggos) speaks on a wide-range of issues. He almost 'had a dream' that we could all live together in peace and harmony. Sound familiar? Almost as well received as the late Dr Martin Luther King, Jr! It's worth the 8 minutes, really... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=585940994825592 4. 'March in March' doesn't offer credible alternatives Simon Copland Instead of licking its wounds and working on new ideas, the Australian left has focused on tearing the government down. This won’t work... Instead of licking our wounds and creating an alternative approach, we have focused on tearing the government down, and using whatever arguments and tactics we can find to do so. After years of hammering Abbott for this brand of politicking, one could ask why the left is following suit – it seems like a rather hypocritical move. Investigate further though, and you can see that the use of these tactics is a worrying symptom of a fundamental crisis in politics. Over the past decades the left has lost its social base, leaving it weak as it faces the Abbott government. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/13/march-in-march-doesnt-offer-credible-alternatives?CMP=ema_632 5. Marching for my community Victoria Rollison Today I marched with my community at March in March Adelaide, and was honoured to have a chance to speak. I would like to share with you my ideas about the lessons our community need to learn to protect ourselves from this type of government in the future. This is partly a manifesto to inspire a One Term Tony scenario. But it’s also more long term than that. It’s about making sure that we don’t just react and defend against right wing ideologues and their vested interests. It’s about laying the foundations for a progressive ideas platform that will erase the very reasoning behind people’s terrible decision to vote for right wing ideologues like Tony Abbott. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/16/marching-for-my-community/ 6. March in March: families, anarchists and all in between gather for protest Oliver Laughland All across Australia, tens of thousands of people turned out to issue what organisers called a “statement of no confidence” in the new Abbott government. There appeared to be no media spokesperson co-ordinating responses to questions, but photos of rallies around the country, posted nearly every second on Twitter, suggested high turnouts. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/16/anarchists-and-babies-and-all-in-between-gather-to-march-in-march 7. Thousands drawn to Australia-wide protests against government policies ABC Thousands of Australians have taken to the streets this weekend to protest against a range of Federal Government policies. The March in March protests started in regional centres yesterday and stepped up in major capital cities today. Protesters say they are non-partisan, but united in frustration with the Abbott Government's approach on numerous policy issues. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-16/protesters-march-in-march-across-australia-against-govt-policies/5324048 8. Moving Blue Mountains for #MarchInMarch: @bluntshovels reports El Gibbs “I’ve never been so angry before. I’ve not been politically active, or gone to protests, but I think we all have to be more active in the government of our country,” she said. Allie Booth is particularly concerned about recent laws in Victoria and Queensland that she sees as a contradiction to democracy. “The Coalition have no morals when it comes to winning an election, and the ALP has lost their way and their strength. We don’t all have to agree, but the public is being ignored.” http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/13/bluntshovels/#sthash.RWIbXb3E.dpuf NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS + INQUIRIES + AUDITS + REVIEWS + WITCH HUNTS + TIME WASTING 9. Business involved in corrupt activities will be caught in unions royal commission, says George Brandis Anna Patty, James Massola Attorney-General George Brandis says businesses involved in corrupt activities will not escape scrutiny from the royal commission into trade unions, dismissing suggestions the inquiry is a witch hunt designed to weaken the union movement. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/business-involved-in-corrupt-activities-will-be-caught-in-unions-royal-commission-says-george-brandis-20140314-34r0g.html 10. Royal commission into union corruption: Brandis to announce terms of reference as Abbott denies war Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied declaring war against unions as the Government prepares to announce the exact terms of reference of a royal commission into corruption in the movement. Labor and the unions want a police investigation to deal with allegations of corruption. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-14/abbott-denies-war-against-unions-in-royal-commission/5320414 CULTURE WARS 11. Three things our nation's schools need (none is a national curriculum) Adam Shoemaker On January 10 most electors were still brushing sand from their toes and basking in the afterglow of the Ashes victory. It was on that day that the federal Minister for Education Christopher Pyne announced… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pkiyujl-trhltityg-z/ 12. Why our kids should learn Aboriginal history Michael Westaway The national history curriculum implemented across Australia from 2011 provides the opportunity for educators to comprehensively tackle for the first time 50,000 years of Australia’s history. The future… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pkiyujl-trhltityg-v/ 13. Woe betide those who fail the Abbott government's tribal test Michelle Grattan At the end of the election campaign Tony Abbott observed that the big difference between an opposition leader and a prime minister was that the former was inevitably the leader of a tribe while the latter… When there are appointments to be made to committees, statutory authorities and boards, the “us” and “them” filters are applied... Tribalism will always be an important part of politics but an excessive dose can be a health hazard for a government. Talent can be lost on spurious grounds. Sections of the electorate can be alienated unnecessarily. Excessive time and energy can be spent hunting supposed enemies who don’t matter or aren’t even foes... A government that knows when to pick its fights and for the rest is seen as reasonably tolerant and generous of spirit is a more attractive political package than one that always feels the need to reinforce the bunker. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pktujdd-trhltityg-o/ 14. Barnaby Joyce on bogans: Agriculture Minister goes incognito on Radio National phone-in Latika Bourke A talkback caller to the ABC's Radio National station who discussed class systems in Australia, and described himself as "Barnaby in New South Wales", has turned out to be Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. The presenter was debating with listeners about whether Australia has a structured class system and what constituted a "bogan" when 'Barnaby' rang in to make a contribution. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-14/barnaby-on-bogans/5321458 15. Bill Bryson a reformed Canberra basher Bianca-Hall Bryson, who is preparing to visit Canberra next week as part of his national tour of Australia, now laughingly describes himself as a reformed Canberra basher. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/entertainment/books/bill-bryson-a-reformed-canberra-basher-20140314-34r3c.html#ixzz2vuFAq1Jc 16. A society yearning for security divides along lines of liquid fear Camilla Nelson You only need to switch on the television at primetime to see who the “villains” are: asylum seekers who “throw children overboard”, Aboriginal people who live in remote communities, petrol sniffers, Lebanese crime gangs and bikies, intergenerational welfare recipients and the long-term unemployed. The class divide has changed. Nobody is “working class” in the old sense any more – you are excluded. And it is personal... Goodbye Jolly Swagman. Welcome to the underclass, the new spin on traditional notions of the undeserving poor. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pkiyujl-trhltityg-b/ POVERTY WARS 17. Obama’s Plan to Pay People Enough to Eat Stirs Controversy Andy Borowitz President Obama has sparked outrage in Congress and renewed calls for his impeachment by signing a daring Presidential memorandum that would pay workers enough to eat....“A Presidential memorandum is a powerful tool and should be used sparingly,” said House Speaker John Boehner. “It is not a vehicle for this President to enact his pet theories about people earning enough to survive.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor concurred, telling reporters, “With one stroke of the pen, President Obama is removing the single greatest incentive for work: hunger.” http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2014/03/obamas-plan-to-pay-people-enough-to-eat-stirs-controversy.html?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=borowitz&mbid=nl_Borowitz%20%2849%29 ELECTIONS: TAS + SA + WA 18. Ellis: Labor to hold on in South Australia Bob Ellis Bob Ellis wrote the following piece while voting was happening in the South Australian election and many of his predictions are now looking remarkably prescient. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/labor-to-hold-on-in-south-australia,6281 19. Adding to the pile of disposable state premiers Barrie Cassidy "When Steven Marshall and Will Hodgman turn up at the next COAG meeting as appears likely, they will have no reason to feel intimidated by the collective years of experience in the room... Since 2011, the six states have had collectively 11 premiers. After Western Australia's Colin Barnett, Tasmania's Lara Giddings is the country's longest-serving current premier, and she's been there for just over three years." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-14/cassidy-adding-to-the-pile-of-disposable-state-premiers/5319194 20. Beware hubris of the clean sweep Mark Kenny Wall-to-wall state Liberal governments might not be all good news for Tony Abbott. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/beware-hubris--the-glory-of-the-clean-sweep-is-inevitably-shortlived-20140314-34rub.html POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 21. Please Mr Abbott, stick to the facts Michael Pascoe There's a 1960s quote attributed to former US Senator and Ambassador Daniel Moynihan that's increasingly apt half a century later: "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts." It's a truth that seems to be lost on the political class, from the Prime Minister down. The danger of forgetting that truth was on display as Tony Abbott struggled to justify his decision to flick Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson – contrary to the advice of John Howard, Peter Costello and just about anyone who has bothered to listen to what Parkinson says. In an echo of his view that the ABC should be a cheer squad for government policy rather than an independent, dependable news organisation, Abbott urged everyone in the official family to be on board with the idea that the Australian government switched in September from being "high taxing, high regulating" to being "low taxing, low regulating". http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/please-mr-abbott-stick-to-the-facts-20140314-34q9r.html 22. Abbott juggles promises, fairness and affordability Mark Kenny The treatment of assets, be they cash, property, or superannuation, determines the fairness and the cost effectiveness of social welfare payments. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbott-juggles-promises-fairness-and-affordability-20140313-34pci.html 23. Breeding a generation of tax slaves won't work Rob Burgess ... there is also a yawning chasm here between the structure of our taxation system and the future liabilities it has to fund -- remembering that at present less than 50 per cent of retirees are fully funded by their superannuation nest eggs. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/14/tax/breeding-generation-tax-slaves-wont-work SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL SCIENCE + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 24. What we need is an holistic approach to governing. Kaye Lee Holistic: characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole. Our current government has one very short term goal with a single-minded focus on how to achieve it. “Growth" is the goal and “lifting the tide” is how we will make it happen. If I could give you more detail I would but, from everything I have read and listened to from the Coalition, that’s as much as I know, and I have an uneasy feeling that it’s as far as they have planned. Tony doesn’t want his agenda “cluttered up” with anything else. He doesn’t want the G20 leaders talking about those pesky distractions like climate change or income inequity. He has boarded the SS Big Business and it’s full steam ahead. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/14/what-we-need-is-an-holistic-approach-to-governing/ 25. Tony Abbot questioned by Newtown High Students Aria McCarthy-Lochner Tony Abbot avoids and waffles himself through questions regarding gay marriage, asylum seekers and feminine leadership asked by year 9 students from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBZwu5bAEdo 26. Abbott and Newman's neo-liberalism wreaking havoc John Quiggin In a statement to the March in March in Brisbane today, Professor John Quiggin says the Abbott and Newman Governments are wreaking havoc on Australia and Queensland through a continuation of the failed policies of market liberalism that have gutted the western world. The policy of austerity, now wreaking havoc in Europe and North America, represents a continuation of three decades of failed market liberalism, beginning with the financial deregulation of the 1970s, and the policies of Thatcher and Reagan. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbott-and-newmans-neo-liberalism-wreaking-havoc,6282 27. Australia tops the IAREM: World’s best economy Alan Austin Econometrics expert Alan Austin introduces the IAREM — an original IA global index for the comparison of national economic performance. Economists worldwide have celebrated Australia’s extraordinary performance during the global financial crisis (GFC). Many believe that by about 2011, after the GFC devastated much of the developed world, Australia had the world’s best performed economy. Commentators within Australia’s media and the Opposition political parties, however, continued to denigrate it with terms such as 'the cupboard is bare' and 'debt spiralling out of control' and 'a budget emergency'. Which is true? How can we tell? Does it matter? http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/australia-tops-the-iarem-worlds-best-economy,6279 28. To the Australian Government and the Governor General: We Reject Tony Abbott and the LNP Joshua Smyth Petition https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/to-the-australian-government-and-the-governor-general-we-reject-tony-abbott-and-the-lnp/sponsors/new 29. Tony Benn obituary: No one else so superbly led the [UK] left with such fire Chris Moncrieff Tony Benn was for decades the most independent-minded, powerful and passionate voice of the hard-left at Westminster, and the man whose crusading zeal led to the new law which allowed him to renounce his own peerage and return to the House of Commons. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/tony-benn-dead-obituary--no-one-else-so-superbly-led-the-left-with-such-fire-9191729.html 30. Tony Benn dead: Twitter tributes serve as moving eulogy to his enduring political legacy Felicity Morse Benn was a different kind of leader, making his mark amongst politicians and ordinary people alike, influential across the political spectrum. This powerful legacy is evident in the hundreds of posts made on Twitter this morning which pay tribute to his strength and conviction. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-benn-dead-twitter-tributes-serve-as-moving-eulogy-to-his-enduring-political-legacy-9191901.html?klsjdf 31. RIP: Tony Benn – “We’ll never have Democracy as long as Big Business can buy Both Parties Juan Cole A Labour cabinet minister in the 1960s and 1970s, Benn was a widely respected orator who clashed with his party's leadership over its drift away from the radical socialism he espoused... Labour leader Ed Miliband, who at 16 did work experience with Benn, paid tribute to an "iconic figure of our age". "He will be remembered as a champion of the powerless, a great parliamentarian and a conviction politician," he said. http://www.juancole.com/2014/03/democracy-business-parties.html GENDER INEQUALITY 32. Male privilege extends beyond the airwaves Clementine Ford Male-dominated talkback radio schedules and Q&A panels aren't outliers in an otherwise gender-equal world - they're representative of how women are routinely sidelined in Australian society http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-14/ford-male-privilege-extends-beyond-the-airwaves/5321558 33. Is ‘Equalist’ the new ‘Feminist’? Yolanda Vega If women were classified as a standalone industry such as manufacturing, we would be the largest contributors to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Australia. Yes, we are the biggest spenders and the biggest contributors to the economy. In fact, women as a standalone industry are bigger than mining, which comes in at a close second. The Minister for Finance, the Hon. Mathias Cormann, probably forgot about this fact on International Women's Day, when he ranted that women's representation in Parliament and, more importantly, quotas, was a 'side issue'. Really? A side issue? http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/is-equalist-the-new-feminist/201403133727?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=7e07765d2a-Women_s_Agenda_daily_14_03_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-7e07765d2a-30634093 MEDIA + BIAS + GROUPTHINK 34. Editors Face Their Final Edition Kim Fletcher A recent sacking reveals an historic change in the traditional structure of the newspaper industry... There’s a certain irony in the Telegraph being the first to ditch the role of editor, for the title was for many years associated with strong and opinionated editorship. Charles Moore, in the chair from 1995 to 2003, believed in banging on about Europe (against), unionism (for), hunting (for) and political correctness (against) with a zeal that was enjoyed by core readers but not necessarily attractive to new ones. http://bjr.org.uk/data/2014/no1_fletcher 35. Don’t go, Andrew Bolt! You're the apex predator of our media landscape Ed Butler The star commentator says he has had enough – and many of his opponents cheered. Perhaps surprisingly, I don’t think we would be any better off without him. First things first: Bolt is a behemoth on the Australian media landscape. In the fetid ecosystem that is our incubator of conservative columnists, he is the apex predator. Purely on the basis of his ability to stir up outrage, he makes the likes of Janet Albrechtson, Piers Akerman and Miranda Devine look like kindergarteners fingerpainting. In short, he’s nailed it. And that’s why we need him... But let’s not overstate his influence, either. He speaks to the converted. He exists in an infinite loop of rage and victimisation among a shrinking audience. Conservative politicians love him because he keeps their most loyal voters in a constant state of agitation, but those people are not influential. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/13/dont-go-andrew-bolt-youre-the-apex-predator-of-our-media-landscape?CMP=ema_632 YARTZ + SOCIETY + LANGUAGE 36. Biennale and Brandis: when art and politics collide Peter Tregear If we don't allow occasional acts of subversiveness, the alternative might end up being submissiveness. That's why Senator George Brandis is wrong to try to shut down debate over art sponsorship http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-14/tregear-brandis-is-wrong-about-biennale/5319230 37. Australian arts community responds to George Brandis’s Biennale threat Guardian "The idea that no arts organisation would be able to say no to any sponsor is clearly nonsense. An arts event starts with the artist, and if they’re refusing to come because of some connection to something the artists deeply disapprove of, the organisation has to have the freedom to make the choice [to sever its connections] without the risk of being penalised." http://www.theguardian.com/culture/australia-culture-blog/2014/mar/14/australian-artists-respond-brandis-intervention-biennale-transfield 38. George Brandis threatens Sydney Biennale over Transfield ‘blackballing’ Bridie Jabour Arts minister warns government could pull festival funding after organisers cut ties with sponsor over links to detention centres.... George Brandis has threatened the withdrawal of commonwealth funding for the Sydney Biennale festival for “blackballing” Transfield Holdings after it severed ties with the company because of an artist protest over its contract work on an offshore detention centre. The arts minister has written to the Australia Council, which distributes arts funding on behalf of the federal government, and asked them to develop a policy to penalise arts organisations that refuse funding from corporate sponsors on “unreasonable grounds”... If he is not satisfied with a new policy developed by the council Brandis said he would direct the council himself to force them to adopt a policy to his liking. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/13/george-brandis-threatens-sydney-biennale-transfield-blackballing 39. Artists' boycott 'preposterous' Lisa Cox George Brandis moves to block funding for groups that 'unreasonably' refuse sponsorship. Senator Brandis said on Friday that while it was reasonable for arts companies or festivals to reject corporate funding if they had concerns about a sponsor's financial credentials, it was not reasonable for them to refuse sponsorship on political grounds. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/george-brandis-defends-funding-moves-to-curb-political-boycotts-in-the-arts-20140314-34q4t.html 40. We should value the Biennale protest, not threaten arts funding Roger Benjamin Today it was reported that the Federal Minister for the Arts George Brandis has requested that the Australia Council draft a new policy to deal with grant applicants who refuse funding offered by corporate… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pkiyujl-trhltityg-u/ 41. If it’s good enough for the Arts, is it good enough for Education? rossleighbrisbane “Arts Minister George Brandis has defended moves to block government funding for organisations that unreasonably refuse corporate sponsorship following the “preposterously unreasonable” termination of Transfield’s sponsorship of the Sydney Biennale. “Senator Brandis also indicated that any ”commercially sound” company, including tobacco companies, should not be ruled out for arts sponsorship http://theaimn.com/2014/03/15/if-its-good-enough-for-the-arts-is-it-good-enough-for-education/ 42. 'Bossy' not the only word that needs banning Judith Ireland Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, wants to ban the word 'bossy' to describe women who assert themselves. After writing a wildly successful book telling women to ''lean in'' with their careers, Sheryl Sandberg now has a different instruction for the world: ''ban bossy''. The Facebook executive has talked before about the time she ran for class vice-president in junior high school: a teacher pulled her best friend aside and warned her not to do the same, because ''nobody likes a bossy girl''. While men are seen as ''strong'' for asserting themselves, women who do the same are ''bossy''. In a video, starring actress Jennifer Garner, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Beyonce, the women also nominate ''pushy'' and ''stubborn'' as terms that have to go. ''Being labelled something matters … Words matter,'' blares the message set to an inspirational upbeat track. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/bossy-not-the-only-word-that-needs-banning-20140314-34s3l.html#ixzz2w0oG2eKd 43. Don’t Ban “Bossy” Margaret Talbot Fresh off the success of having coined a new term—“lean in”—Sheryl Sandberg is trying to flush an old one down the drain. Together with Condoleezza Rice, Beyoncé, Jennifer Garner, and the Girl Scouts, Sandberg has launched a campaign to ban the word “bossy.” It’s a label used to squash the leadership ambition of young girls, Sandberg and her cohorts argue, calling on all of us to visit the campaign’s Web site and “Pledge to Ban Bossy.” I know I won’t be the first to say this, but the campaign itself is kind of bossy. And I invoke my right to be balky. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/03/dont-ban-bossy.html?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyemail&mbid=nl_Daily%20%28135%29 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 44. Tassie timber has never faced such a threat Andrew Denman Reviewing the entire forestry reservation extension should be the goal for the Government, to protect the specialty timber sector that is vital to Tasmania's cultural identity, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-14/denman-timber-and-tassie-have-never-faced-such-a-threat/5320250 45. Surf's down: climate change likely to bring fewer big waves Andrew Dowdy A warmer climate is likely to result in fewer large waves along Australia’s central east coast, according to Bureau of Meteorology research that predicts a decline in the frequency of storms known as East Coast Lows. However, the storms and large waves that do occur could potentially become stronger, and rising sea levels are likely to increase the impacts of these waves on coastal regions. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pkiyujl-trhltityg-h/ 46. Facts won't beat the climate deniers – using their tactics will Rod Lamberts A colleague of mine recently received an invitation to a Climate Council event. The invitation featured this Tim Flannery quote: “An opinion is useless, what we need are more facts." My first thought was… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pkiyujl-trhltityg-d/ ASYLUM SEEKERS + THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HATE 47. Queuing Up kayrollison Bill Shorten recently called for new policy ideas for the Labor Party. Well here’s one. Let’s have a new policy on asylum seekers. Professor Robert Manne has now entered the fray in the Guardian to declare that both the Right and the Left (however defined) are wrong about refugees, and that a compromise is needed...So in order to deter refugees from taking to the boats, offshore processing and tow-back must be retained. Is this the new policy that Labor is looking for? I hope not. I am grateful to Professor Manne for provoking this debate. His ideas provide a starting point for discussion, and there are already a number of interesting comments on his article. I agree with him that there should be compromise. But not the one he is suggesting. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/15/queuing-up/ 48. Scott Morrison says Cronulla backing him as he aims for greater things Katharine Murphy The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, has told his local newspaper he is up for any challenge, including the challenge of one day being Australia’s prime minister. In an interview with the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, Morrison gave a glowing account of Cronulla’s reaction to the Coalition’s hardline deterrence regime for asylum seekers... In the interview the minister shrugged off criticism the border protection regime was amoral. He noted he was “not an insecure person” and believed in what he was doing. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/14/scott-morrison-believes-immigration-work-will-prime-him-for-greater-things 49. Asylum seekers: the key to compassion lies in human stories Sunili Govinnage It was the power of human connection, not rhetoric or information, that helped my parents understand the reality of the situation for asylum seekers... It is very difficult for Australians who support refugees to see polls suggesting that 60% of people believe Australia should “increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.” I have had my share of conversations on the issue over recent years, none more frustrating than the heated discussion I had in 2011 with an Australian woman in her late 50s. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/14/asylum-seekers-the-key-to-compassion-lies-in-human-stories?CMP=ema_632 50. Befuddled Julie Bishop confuses the facts over Sovereign Borders Michael Gordon Julie Bishop must have left her briefing notes behind when she confronted a BBC journalist who accused her government of operating a kind of ''Guantanamo Bay'' for asylum seekers on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island. Either that or the normally unflappable foreign affairs minister was so taken aback by the depiction of the government's ''uncivilised'' conduct, she forgot a few facts when defending Operation Sovereign Borders to a British audience. First came the assertion that the claims of asylum seekers ''are processed in third countries, and then we look for resettlement in other countries, including in Australia - and we've done this before and it worked''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/befuddled-julie-bishop-confuses-the-facts-over-sovereign-borders-20140312-34mq2.html OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

17/03/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 17 March 2014: [b]Progressive policies aren’t scary: they represent the common good*.[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-03-17.aspx * See Victoria Rollison, Item 5

TalkTurkey

17/03/2014Will ANYONE in CANBERRA have the brains to PASS AROUND BUCKETS to collect MONEY to fund the Cause? Nobody in Adelaide did (despite my suggestions, nay PLEAS, to organisers here in weeks before the "March" here.) We had not 1 to 2 thousand as reported but 5-7 thousand (photos prove it!) If on average everyone had coughed up ONE GOLD COIN, a bucket would have collected OVER $10,000! ... But NOBODY took me up on my pleas. (Hope I'm wrong but I would bet that NOBODY ANYWHERE had the presence of mind to pass around collection buckets yesterday. In Melbourne that would have been worth around $70,000!) (Ah well, who wants campaign-fighting money anyway?) In Adelaide no-one took me up on my pleas that organisers collect CONTACTS either. Nor did organisers have an agreed date for the NEXT protest event which they could have spruiked. THREE HUGE OPPORTUNITIES MISSED. PLEASE Canberra PLEASE COLLECT FUNDS! TODAY! It sure ain't rocket science!

Ad astra

17/03/20142353 Thank you for your thoughtful and well-documented piece on ‘Guided Democracy’. It is fortuitous that it was posted the day after the South Australia State election, where although the LNP won the largest number of votes, it seems unlikely to be able to form government in its own right or even with the support of the two independents. Tony Abbott is calling foul, although the Coalition was able to form federal government during the Howard era after Beasley won the popular vote but failed to get a majority of seats. In Abbott’s mind, what’s good for the Coalition cannot be good for Labor! Some in South Australia are claiming that a gerrymander exists with the current arrangement of electoral boundaries, one that has given a similar result two elections running. While not to the extent of the Queensland gerrymander under Bjelke-Petersen it is bound to stimulate political debate and a call for a change to the method of determining electoral boundaries in that State. Some may see this situation as a form of ‘guided democracy’. I agree with you and Frank that there are marked differences between the two major parties, and that the notion that it doesn’t matter which one wins is silly. There are marked differences in ideology, philosophy and political morality, and as a result, huge differences in the approach to policy formulation and implementation. We do not resemble a ‘guided democracy’ here in Australia. We can minimize such accusations by taking great care in the determination of electoral boundaries to diminish situations such as we see in South Australia Your piece invites carefully considered comment. Thank you.

Casablanca

17/03/2014 Voter apathy and vested interests the new norm Ian Verrender Mining magnate Clive Palmer is now a federal MP as a vote on the mining tax looms. Photo: Mining magnate Clive Palmer is now a federal MP as a vote on the mining tax looms. (ABC News: Nic MacBean) Where once squatters and industrialists wielded influence through the halls of power, now the Australian economy has been dominated by two industries: resources and finance [i]Winston Churchill once quipped that the strongest argument against democracy was a five-minute conversation with the average voter. An equally cynical Mark Twain earlier proffered that "we have the best government that money can buy".[/i] They hark from different eras and a vast gulf separates the political ideologies of these two towering figures of modern history. But their concerns about the shortcomings of western democracy - voter apathy and the influence of vested interests - are just as evident and relevant today. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-17/verrender-voter-apathy-and-vested-interests-the-new-norm/5324694

Michael

17/03/2014Just saw Abbott on TV telling all concerned that a government website monitored by a "dozen" or so bureaucrats replacing "thousands" of public servants would assist in the growing prosperity of this nation. The man is an I D I O T. Ummm, the man is an I D I O T. (Sorry, Abbott wafflespeak is catching.) An interesting grasp of economic thinking from him, as a nation's leader, where thousands of lost jobs equates to increasing national prosperity.

TalkTurkey

17/03/2014Fog-Ducker Chris Kenny being reamed on his own show by #MarchInMarch organiser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjaM3Iegw7M&app=desktop

Casablanca

18/03/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 18 March 2014: 20 items[/b] MARCH IN MARCH 1. Birth of a progressive coalition: 30,000 attend March in March in Melbourne Michael Marriott The March in March was a stunning success for the grass roots organisers..the sentiments shared by the marchers were remarkably [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/birth-of-a-progressive-coalition-30000-attend-march-in-march-in-melbourne,6287 2. March in March Byron Bay: Locals unite Lachlan Barker Lachlan Barker gained tremendous uplift from the March-in-March in Byron Bay on Sunday March 16. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/march-in-march-byron-bay-locals-unite,6285 3. March in March: Campbell Newman and the random legal danger Stephen Keim In a speech to the Brisbane March in March yesterday, senior counsel Stephen Keim says Queensland’s unfair ‘anti-bikies’ legislation is the random legal [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/march-in-march-campbell-newman-and-the-random-legal-danger,6284 4. Melbourne March in March Graham Jackson At the 30,000 strong Melbourne March in March yesterday was Graham Jackson, who says the value of democracy is our right to march behind any flag we wish to [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/melbourne-march-in-march,6283 5. March in March – A Bloke’s Question and The News rossleighbrisbane Ok, I confess. I wasn’t there. I had a commitment, and I figured that the numbers would be big enough without me. But it seems that I’m being asked to vote. Not in terms of whether I supported it or… http://theaimn.com/2014/03/17/march-in-march-a-blokes-question-and-the-news/ 6. The “Fair Go” Psyche – My take on MarchInMarch trishcorry On Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March, 2014 over 100,000 people marched against the Abbott Government. I have read a lot of comments on the Facebook pages of major news services and noted the comments of… http://theaimn.com/2014/03/17/the-fair-go-psyche-my-take-on-marchinmarch/ 7. Left Right Out Mr Denmore The March-in-March protests around Australia provide an object lesson in how journalists can be captured by those tired frames and by the tired institutions they report on. While there was some straight accounts of the marches, the general media response was a mixture of sniffy condescension, lazy cynicism or a blank refusal to even recognise this as a story. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com.au/ 8. March in March Mungo MacCallum The organisers of March in March are understandably chuffed. The weekend saw demonstrations numbering many thousands in the cities and bigger than expected crowds in many of the regions. For an event arranged at short notice and built from the grass roots, it was an impressive result. http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/mungo-maccallum/2014/03/17/1395011439/march-march 9. Pay attention, PM, else it may be at your peril Jenna Price The Prime Minister does just a few unscripted events in his busy schedule. You'd have to, just to break the tedium of the mouse wheel of endless meetings; and speeches; and appointments. We all want that - a few surprises in our lives. Consumers love that too - that's one of the reasons we find ourselves unable to resist the siren link to a story saying: ''You'll never believe what happened next.'' University of Sydney political science academic Ariadne Vromen says: ''Mainstream media are more scared of emotion than ordinary people are.'' Just lately, there has been a whole lot of unreported emotion and maybe that's because it's so hard to report, unless it's linked to what we usually understand as crime. Take March in March, which gathered more than 50,000 people around Australia at various events around the country over the past three days with barely a word about it in the mainstream. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/pay-attention-pm-else-it-may-be-at-your-peril-20140317-34ya7.html#ixzz2wEJzoQxZ 10. Open Letter to Jon Faine regarding #MarchinMarch Mary Lucas You took three calls this morning regarding MarchinMarch two of which concentrated on the ratbag fringe and distasteful signs, I get the feeling neither of these callers actually went to the March, if they had they would have seen that the signs were overwhelmingly constructive not abusive and about all the many thing Australians should be concerned about, but sadly these things are often not reported. Me thinks all they saw is whatever was printed in the Murdoch press, as I don’t go there I am assuming this. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/17/mary-lucas-open-letter-jon-faine-regarding-marchinmarch/#sthash.41uz7GUH.dpuf ELECTIONS: TAS + SA + WA 11. Not yet ‘coast to coast’ coalitions - so what now for federalism? Andrew Lynch Over the weekend, Tasmanian voters resoundingly rejected Labor, while South Australians drove a cliff-hanger result that will probably be decided in the coming days. It’s not quite yet the “coast to coast… http://theconversation.com/not-yet-coast-to-coast-coalitions-so-what-now-for-federalism-24399 12. It's blue skies for Abbott, but will he take advantage? Mungo MacCallum If Tony Abbott isn't going to exploit the conservative alignment of Coalition states and pursue the "new federalism" now, he never will. The map isn't going to get any more blue http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-17/maccallum-its-blue-skies-for-abbott-but-will-he-take-advantage/5325030 13. For Tassie and SA, it was all about the jobs Paula Matthewson The Greens can search for meaning in the Tasmania and South Australia election results, but the truth is it all boiled down to a battle over jobs http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-17/matthewson-for-tassie-and-sa-it-was-all-about-the-jobs/5324768 14. Cliffhanger in South Australia but Labor rout in Tasmania Michelle Grattan The result of the South Australian election remains in the balance, while Tasmanians have voted overwhelmingly to throw out Lara Giddings' Labor government and also delivered a hefty slap to the Greens… http://theconversation.com/cliffhanger-in-south-australia-but-labor-rout-in-tasmania-24448 NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS + INQUIRIES + AUDITS + REVIEWS + WITCH HUNTS + TIME WASTING 15. Insulation scheme 'made in two days' Rory Callinan Two public servants were given one weekend to design a program to insulate every home in Australia. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/insulation-scheme-dreamed-up-over-a-weekend-royal-commission-hears-20140317-34xrx.html 16. Assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos dragged into ICAC inquiry Michelle Grattan On any objective measure of experience and policy brainpower Arthur Sinodinos, widely respected chief of staff to former prime minister John Howard, should be in cabinet. Indeed, at one stage Tony Abbott reportedly flagged he’d want him as finance minister... As a long serving prime ministerial adviser Sinodinos was often involved in the management of issues of propriety. Now he finds his own propriety under the spotlight. http://theconversation.com/assistant-treasurer-arthur-sinodinos-dragged-into-icac-inquiry-24503 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 17. The Australian government has kicked in $US100 million to expand a BHP/Rio joint venture in Chile Cameron England A joint venture between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto has been awarded a $US100 million Australian Government loan to expand a Chilean copper mine. The Government’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) has granted the mine’s owner, Minera Escondida Limitada (MEL), the loan to help construct a key piece of infrastructure. EFIC executive director Peter Field said the loan would support Australian workers. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/the-australian-government-has-kicked-in-us100-million-to-expand-a-bhprio-joint-venture-in-chile/story-fni6uma6-1226857284729 ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 18. Arthur Sinodinos leaves the back door open Michael Pascoe Leave a gap under the door too small for a cockroach to crawl under and a financial engineer will still install an empire. That's why we have tax law measured by the cubic metre, representing the efforts of governments and bureaucrats to block the cracks and mouse holes with their weighty tomes. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/arthur-sinodinos-leaves-the-back-door-open-20140317-34x75.html SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 19. How we treat the vulnerable is a moral test beyond politics Julian Burnside I was recently invited to give a talk at a private club in a Melbourne suburb. A colleague has been a member for some years and arranged an invitation for me to speak at one of its regular dinners. Asked… http://theconversation.com/how-we-treat-the-vulnerable-is-a-moral-test-beyond-politics-24412 INTERNET + TROLLS + FREE SPEECH + PRIVACY 20. What do Australian internet users think about racial vilification? Andrew Jakubowicz, Kevin Dunn, Rosalie Atie, and Yin Paradies. Some time in the near future, federal attorney-general George Brandis will take a proposal to cabinet to amend or repeal the racial vilifications provisions (Sections 18C and 18D) of the Racial Discrimination… http://theconversation.com/what-do-australian-internet-users-think-about-racial-vilification-24280 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

18/03/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 18 March 2014. [b]Tony Abbott & the LNP marching out of step [/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-03-17.aspx

TPS Team

18/03/2014Your link goes nowhere bc2 - post deleted as spam.

Michael

18/03/2014Virginia Trioli made a fool of herself this morning when, seconds after misnaming Malaysia "Indonesia", she went on to observe that the Malaysian authorities were clearly not across the detail in their search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. Perseverance is good, Virginia, but perhaps not sanctimony in the same breath as stupidity. Of course, in The Abbott Error, that's the Orstrayliyan Way.

Michael

18/03/2014How a bogus poll confirms... it's a bogus poll. Here: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/pm-backed-despite-job-losses-20140316-34vuc.html the latest Fairfax Neilsen poll tells us Abbott's Coalition is leading Labor 51% to 49%. Buried deep in the story is this: "He [Bill Shorten] will also welcome the fact that when voters were asked where they would direct their second preference, the two-party-preferred split reversed, putting Labor 2 points up on the government at 51/49." Yep, when 'standard practice' is applied, that is, poll respondents have their putative second preferences applied as per the result at the last election, statistics show they two party prefer the Coalition. When those same poll respondents are asked what their actual second preference is at the time of responding to the poll, what they SAY puts Labor ahead nationally. The Fairfax Neilsen methodology gives the poll to the Coalition. What voters actually responded gave Labor the lead. 'Buried deep in the story...' Well, where else in The Abbott Error?

Michael

18/03/2014In full toady mode here: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/public-is-ready-for-tony-abbotts-government-to-make-the-hard-choices-20140316-34vn1.html Peter Hartcher concludes his article with: "Today's poll suggests Australians are open to even difficult change. The bad news for the Abbott government in today's poll is that neither the government nor its leader are well loved: ''It's performing worse than any government in 40 years,'' [pollist] Stirton says. At the same time, the people seem to be showing the government the pathway to approval - by keeping its pledge to trim government, make welfare programs sustainable, and setting the country up for a new era of growth." There is no logical connection between 'trimmed government'/'sustainable welfare programs' and "a new era of growth". All that links them is unquoted Abbottian wishful propaganda. The invisible hand of Toady Hartcher.

Ad astra

18/03/2014Folks We are back to the south coast today.

Casablanca

19/03/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 19 March 2014: 32 items[/b] [i]NOT THE[/i] MARCH IN MARCH 1. Will you miss us when we’re gone? John Birmingham ...social and political re-engineering of their country to serve the interests of powerful corporations and the true elites – not latte drinkers and ABC watchers, but millionaires, billionaires and their Praetorian Guard in the political system. When protesters do emerge in significant numbers, however, it is the job of the news media to report them. It is indeed one of our most basic functions and one which we abjectly failed to perform on the weekend, first ignoring the twenty-thousand citizens who rallied across rural and regional Australia, before ignoring or underreporting the much larger numbers who rallied in the state capitals on Sunday. http://m.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/blogs/blunt-instrument/will-you-miss-us-when-were-gone-20140317-34xtk.html 2. #MarchinMarch – Australia’s Biggest Tweetup prestontowers When I was studying history at high school, one thing I remember the most was the signs. Angry baby boomers marching down streets in our capital cities holding signs designed to stick in the mind of people who were ambivalent towards Australia’s involvement in Vietnam. Signs were a great way of encapsulating political beliefs and packaging them for the evening news or the next day’s newspapers. http://ausopinion.com/2014/03/18/marchinmarch/ 3. Canberra March in March: Social media made flesh David Horton David Horton was at the Canberra March in March protest yesterday, which he says was social media made flesh and blood — and passion. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/canberra-march-in-march-social-media-made-flesh,6288 4. Marching for the Lucky Country: @Trixie_Boo reports on #MarchInMarch Perth Reezy Miller Depending on which way you lean politically, the idea of living in one of Australia’s safest political seats – state and federal – may alarm or delight you. I’m fortunate enough to live in the beautiful coastal Perth suburb of Cottesloe, with its famous beach, restaurants and bars.. http://nofibs.com.au/?wpmllink=b4cc871b007677e52b71a6f8aeff0694&history_id=3&subscriber_id=877 https://twitter.com/Trixie_Boo/status/445039775112634368 5. How the West was run: #MarchInMarch Perth Guinevere Hall Lest any of our readers forget, @NoFibs is bi-coastal, and at yesterday's Perth March in March, two citizen journalists were on the ground reporting - Guinevere Hall (@GuinevereHall, also reporting on #WAvotes) and Reezy Miller (@Trixie_Boo) - here's what they found in the crowd ... http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/17/storify-marchinmarch-perth-reported-guineverehall-trixie_boo/ 6. Storify: From the red heart @Amanda467 on #MarchInMarch Alice Springs Amanda Markham I’ve never been to a protest before. I’m just a normal middle aged, middle class mum. Two kids. A partner. A job. Fighting the losing fight against gravity on various parts of my body and dyeing the greys out of my hair. Ok… maybe I’m a little unusual: I live in Alice Springs and I’m an anthropologist.And on Sunday, I, my partner, my adult daughter joined over 400 other Alice Springians at the local March In March rally. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/18/storify-red-heart-first-time-protester-amanda467-marchinmarch-alice-springs/ 7. Training it to Melbourne’s #MarchinMarch, by @jenoutwest Jenny Bates Our journey to March in March began Sunday morning on a standing room only train to Melbourne - amazing, considering not an AFL colour could be seen. It was obvious this march was going to be big, and it was. As more people squeezed in at each stop, a young teen was overheard asking, “Where are all these people going? I catch this train through the week to go to school, and it’s never this busy.” I was tempted to ask her if she worked in a coffee shop and relied on penalty rates; if so I’d tell her we were all going to a march to save her penalty rates from Tony Abbott, who bemoaned the fact it was difficult to get a coffee on a public holiday due to these rates. There were so many other reasons I could give this young lady – kids her age and younger locked in concentration-like camps, ridiculous amounts of money spent on drones, while school kids bonuses are cut – however the train journey was not nearly long enough. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/18/training-melbournes-marchinmarch-jenoutwest/#sthash.6dyht6U1.dpuf 8. THE MARCH IN MARCH SMACKDOWN Meshel Laurie & Elle Hardy Meshel Laurie and Elle Hardy both attended March in March protests yesterday, but they left with very different feelings. http://thehoopla.com.au/march-march-showdown/ 9. March in March marks the birth of a new kind of activism Van Badham The movement’s emergence, away from the usual political channels, is a hopeful story for progressive Australia and a phenomenon that the right ridicules at its peril... the March in March, the movement has rallied specifically against the Abbott government and more broadly against the coalition’s policies – like the forced incarceration of asylum seekers – that Labor also supports. Demanding “decency, accountability and transparency”, the marches have already mobilized upwards of 100,000 people, with the march in Melbourne yesterday – at which I spoke – attracting an estimated 30,000 participants. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/17/march-in-march-protest-australia?CMP=ema_632 10. Dear Sydney Morning Herald, re March In March Timothy Pembroke As he ran through the pages of yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, Timothy Pembroke couldn’t help but notice that Sydney’s March in March – clearly one of the major events of the weekend – failed to attract much interest from the state’s second largest newspaper. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/18/dear-sydney-morning-herald-re-march-in-march/ 11. Pixels made flesh David Horton “What do we want?” “A slogan.” “When do we want it?” “Now.” Went to the Canberra “March in March” protest today, so need to write about it. Everyone else has written about their own experiences among the 100,000 plus people who marched in cities and towns all over Australia in last three days, so I should too. 100,000 people, by the way, virtually ignored by the media (except to complain about one or two signs, out of thousands, with a rude word or two, in order to discredit the event), but whose actions, just 6 months into the term of a new government, are unprecedented. http://davidhortonsblog.com/2014/03/17/pixels-made-flesh/ THE INSULT INDUSTRY 12. The right to insult - Murdoch suggests Muslims to blame for #MH370 Errol Brandt From Left Field Rupert Murdoch was in fine form over the weekend, making wild allegations about those responsible for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. Rupert made it clear that he believed “Muslims” were to blame for the missing flight. Without evidence – unless he is privy to information denied... http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/18/murdoch-blames-muslims/ 13. Racial discrimination: groups unite against ‘morally repugnant’ law changes Daniel Hurst, Community organisations say Coalition’s proposed amendments will allow the public humiliation of people because of their race. Community groups have warned the Abbott government against pursuing “morally repugnant” changes to racial discrimination laws, arguing Australia’s national interests are being sacrificed to score points in the “culture wars”. In a blistering joint statement issued on Tuesday, representatives of the Indigenous, Greek, Jewish, Chinese, Arab, Armenian and Korean communities vowed to step up their campaign against amendments that would “license the public humiliation of people because of their race” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/18/racial-discrimination-groups-unite-against-morally-repugnant-law-changes?CMP=ema_632 ENTITLEMENTS + FIDDLES + RORTS + SUBSIDIES + TENDERS + RESPONSIBILITY + LARGESSE 14. Arthur Sinodinos and ICAC: Answers required from this charming man Norman Abjorensen Arthur Sinodinos is a rarity among politicians: he has very few, if any, enemies. People speak of his openness, his honesty, his courtesy, his integrity. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/arthur-sinodinos-and-icac-answers-required-from-this-charming-man-20140318-350nm.html#ixzz2wJmSJz4R 15. Was Arthur Sinodinos saved by his minders? Jack Waterford For the first time in a NSW corruption case, cheats did not prosper even in the short term. Is it a turning point? The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry that has enmeshed Liberal minister Arthur Sinodinos may be a turning point in fighting the entrenched bipartisan business of corrupt crony capitalism in NSW. It's a case, after all, where the system won. Cheats did not prosper, in the short or long term. There's no reason to thank Sinodinos for that, but, on what's been said, he appears more a fool than a crook. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/was-arthur-sinodinos-saved-by-his-minders-20140318-350no.html#ixzz2wJncv7qj 16. There would be advantages for both Abbott and Sinodinos if the minister stood aside Michelle Grattan Tony Abbott is publicly backing Arthur Sinodinos remaining in situ but it would be better for the Assistant Treasurer to stand aside while the ICAC inquiry is on. That would meet the requirements of both propriety and politics. It would serve the interests of the government and probably of Sinodinos himself. As a minister Sinodinos is in a sensitive area which covers a range of financial legislation, making him a bigger political target until his name is cleared. http://theconversation.com/arthur-sinodinos-should-stand-aside-during-icac-inquiry-24543 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 17. Abbott Government will bypass Parliament to change financial advice act Peter Martin The government plans to introduce legislation aimed at neutering parts of Labor's finance advice reforms on Wednesday under the cover of the Prime Minister's statement on red-tape reduction. The legislation, which will be separate to the red-tape bills, will remove the catch-all requirement for financial advisers to act in clients' "best interests". It will also re-allow sales commissions and other forms of conflicted remuneration where advice is general in nature. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-government-will-bypass-parliament-to-change-financial-advice-act-20140317-34y4m.html 18. Tony Abbott, as one feminist to another, here are a few words of advice Anne Summers I want to congratulate the PM on his feminist conversion and also to give him some advice. I was travelling to London the day Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke at the International Women's Day Parliamentary breakfast, so I missed his announcement that he has converted to feminism. Having caught up with this news, I want to congratulate him for adopting the principles of equality of the sexes. I would also like to give him some advice on how to ensure his government and policies are, in fact, feminist. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-as-one-feminist-to-another-here-are-a-few-words-of-advice-20140316-34va9.html ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 19. Should we envy the Kiwis? Matt Cowgill I’ve seen a few suggestions lately (eg. in the Fin) that Australians should envy the New Zealand economy’s performance. Here are a few charts to keep in mind when comparing the two countries. http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/ SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL SCIENCE + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 20. Le Parti, C'est Moi: Liberal Leaders Since Menzies Mungo MacCallum (October, 2007) They shouldn't; they are supposed to subscribe to a libertarian philosophy which centres on the primacy of the individual and aims to keep the role of government of any kind to a minimum. The mere idea that society needs a strong leader to keep it on track ought to be anathema to any true believers among the heirs of John Locke and Adam Smith. Yet the modern Liberal Party, since its formation in 1944, has depended, not just for its success but for its very survival, on the quality of its leaders, the guiding principle being the more powerful the better. When the leader has been in total control, the party has flourished; when the leader has faltered, the party has slumped. http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2007/october/1240902182/mungo-maccallum/le-parti-cest-moi 21. There should be no mystery about how our children are learning Julia Gillard Mass measurement of tests is essential – both in Australia and around the world “Every one else sees the big picture. I see the pixels.” The psychologist Helen Abadzi said this to me at last year’s World Innovation Summit for Education in Qatar. She worked for almost three decades at the World Bank, applying her expertise in cognitive psychology and neuroscience to the task of improving education. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/17/education-julia-gillard-examinations?CMP=ema_632 22. Australians love tough policies – as long as they're not aimed at us Jane Caro Both the carbon tax and offshore detention are deterrent-based measures – but one is far harsher than the other. Guess which one voters like best? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/17/carbon-tax-offshore-detention-manus-nauru?CMP=ema_632 23. Opinion Polls: A Measure Or Driver? Paula Matthewson One of the most insidious things about opinion polls is that they drive public opinion as well as measure it. As much as we take pride in our individuality, we humans are little better than highly suggestive pack animals wanting to be accepted by others. When faced with evidence of popular support for a contentious proposal or issue, those with a neutral or wavering position will re-assess their view and some will alter it to more closely align themselves with the majority. http://thehoopla.com.au/opinion-polls-blight-politics/ HUMAN RIGHTS 24. Fair Work Commission hands down landmark ruling on anti-bullying regime Jaan Murphy As detailed in a previous flag post, the reforms related to bullying were introduced by the Fair Work Amendment Act 2013, which provided the FWC with jurisdiction to hear complaints from workers covered by the Fair Work Act 2009 (FWA) who allege they are victims of workplace bullying. Fair Work Commission hands down landmark ruling on anti-bullying regime On 6 March 2014, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) ruled that its jurisdiction to hear complaints from workers who allege they are victims of workplace bullying extends to complaints that relate to bullying that occurred prior to the anti-bullying regime coming into force. http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/FlagPost/2014/March/Fair_Work_Commission_hands_down_landmark_ruling_on_anti-bullying_regime MEDIA + BIAS + GROUPTHINK 25. Malcolm Turnbull rolled by Tony Abbott on reappointment of SBS head Joseph Skrzynski Matthew Knott Shadow communications minister Jason Clare said: “The previous government established a comprehensive merit based process for appointments to the boards of our public broadcasters. The government should follow this process to the letter of the law. “The Liberal party is divided on this. Malcolm Turnbull wants to appoint the best person for the job by reappointing Joseph Skrzynski but he has been rolled again by Tony Abbott and his office who don't want to give Malcolm Turnbull what he wants.” http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-rolled-by-tony-abbott-on-reappointment-of-sbs-head-joseph-skrzynski-20140317-34xxg.html 26. The deregulation agenda for Australian media: what of the public interest? David Holmes On the ABC’s Insiders on Sunday, discussion turned to media reform, and the panellists were in remarkable consensus. The consensus seemed to be that reform was long overdue: a sense that it is time for change. Australian columnist Niki Savva declared: 1986 was the last time we all went through this [media reform], with our old friend Paul. The Keating reforms to restrict cross-media ownership (which were actually 1992) were effective at halting the long march of media concentration in Australia. But in 2006 the Coalition introduced substantial regressive changes in the Broadcasting Services Amendment Act. This included the spectacular handing over of digital television spectrum to the existing free-to-air operators, who have since been able to maintain the same audience share to deliver to advertisers. http://theconversation.com/the-deregulation-agenda-for-australian-media-what-of-the-public-interest-24501 YARTZ + LITERATURE 27. Hannah Gadsby's Oz: 'Like drinking strong coffee filtered through warm tweed' Jazz Twemlow ..... the week in Australian TV: From Gadsby on Australian art, to Richard Hammond building a new planet, and the Bachlorette finding her guy http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/australia-culture-blog/2014/mar/17/portrait-oz-wit-wisdom?CMP=ema_632 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 28. Bill Shorten vows to fight climate change deniers and conspiracy theorists James Massola Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has lashed out at the conspiracy theorists, keyboard warriors and social media trolls who have hijacked the debate about man-made climate change. There's an important difference between tackling the misinformation peddled by climate change deniers, and stooping to their level. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bill-shorten-vows-to-fight-climate-change-deniers-and-conspiracy-theorists-20140317-34x01.html 29. Clive Palmer speaks out in support of renewable energy Heath Aston Clive Palmer could pose a threat to any attempt by the Coalition to dismantle the renewable energy framework http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/clive-palmer-speaks-out-in-support-of-renewable-energy-20140318-3509b.html 30. Coal seam gas expansion would push up prices, says thinktank Bridie Jabour Economic benefits have been overstated, while health concerns about wastewater have been ignored, says the Australia Institute. Coal seam gas mining will not bring down the gas price in Australia according to a report which also found there has not been enough research into the impact of fracking on people’s health. The progressive thinktank the Australia Institute (TAI) has released a report, Fracking the Future, on what it calls the “myths” surrounding the coal seam gas (CSG) industry. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/18/coal-seam-gas-expansion-would-push-up-prices-says-thinktank?CMP=twt_gu ASYLUM SEEKERS + THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HATE 31. Australia's asylum seeker holocaust LYN BENDER The BBC's John Humphrys admonished Julie Bishop over the Coalition Government's off-shore processing centres, which he said 'have been described as 'breeding grounds for rape, riots, malaria and mental illness, that bear the look of concentration camps'. Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest survivor of the Holocaust, died recently in London. Her story contains salient lessons for Australia's border protection regime. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39106#.UygyLvmSx8E 32. Refugee torture and the darker Australia Bob Ellis Last night’s ABC 7.30 diminished Abbott like nothing before it and has come close to destroying Morrison.. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/refugee-torture-and-the-darker-australia,6289 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

19/03/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 19 March 2014. [b]Don't mention the March![/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-03-17.aspx

TalkTurkey

19/03/2014https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvHch0FjFUE

2353`

19/03/2014An interesting comment on the media's coverage of 'March in March' from one member of the media. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/blogs/blunt-instrument/will-you-miss-us-when-were-gone-20140317-34xtk.html [quote]When protesters do emerge in significant numbers, however, it is the job of the news media to report them. It is indeed one of our most basic functions and one which we abjectly failed to perform on the weekend, first ignoring the twenty-thousand citizens who rallied across rural and regional Australia, before ignoring or underreporting the much larger numbers who rallied in the state capitals on Sunday. Again, these were not mass protests of the size and style of the Vietnam era. They weren’t as large and certainly not as violent and disorderly as civil rights protests in Queensland in the 1970s and 80s. But they were large enough to be worthy of more basic news coverage than they received. They were arguably more important to community record keeping than a bit of colour and movement on Paddy’s Day. And inarguably more important than the other 'top' stories which enjoyed more prominence; the 'attack' of a body boarder by a dolphin, the "Real Housewife's Toy-boy All-Nighter", and Lara Bingle's insta-boob shot. This is not a reflection on the politics of the events. If they had been organised by, for instance, a conservative talkback radio demagogue to protest a progressive government’s re-engineering of traditional social values, they would have been just as important to record. The total disconnect between what might be termed citizen-initiated reportage on social media and mainstream coverage of the weekend’s protests was in no way mitigated by the scramble of the MSM on Monday to play catch up.[/quote]

jaycee

19/03/2014PLEASE Canberra PLEASE COLLECT FUNDS! TODAY! It sure ain't rocket science! TalkTurkey TT. I "donated" to the cause via the person wandering through the crowd selling the commie rag...I also kissed three babies and shook hands with two disgraced former ministers...What more do you want!!?

TalkTurkey

19/03/2014Greetings Comrades I haven't been quite keeping up with TPS just lately, sorry about that, but in the last nine months there has been a concatenation of circumstances in my life, group efforts which have first aroused me and in which I became deeply involved, and which have then spat me out as in a state of sort of disgrace! The effect of the several event/s is to have left me feeling like last week's helium balloon. Depending on the eventual outcome of the SA election, I live in slender hope that something might yet be salvaged from a hard half a year from a Leftie's point of view, and I might yet reflated a little. (Can last week's helium balloon rise twice?) Events... yeah. First, the rolling of *J*U*L*I*A* by Rudd and his Maggots. My heart sank instantly. I won't go deeper than that, but those who know what I mean know what I mean. Notwithstanding, during the campaign I went outside my own electorate of Hindmarsh, then held by the popular, effective and lovely-bloke Steve Georganas, to support the [i]second[/i] attempt by Annabel Digance to take Boothby from the perennial thumb-sucker Andrew Southcott (Jason calls him Softcock). [Wish I'd stayed to help Steve. I figured we'd get Hindmarsh anyway. Wrong. I dropped in to his office as it was being dismantled to make way for the bloody Liberal usurper. Very sad.] Before the campaign got going I asked Annabel if she'd let me take a few shots of her with my brilliant Fujifilm W3 3D camera. [Grab one if you can. About $200, ONLY on ebay. A story goes with these wonderful cameras, first sold 2010, now discontinued. Just take my word, get one and you will love it. And when you see the results on 3D TV, rather than just the little built-in screen which is already wonderful, it will knock you sideways!] Well, Annabel [i]loved[/i] being photo'd, posed for several shots on several occasions - [i]including, note, at the of the Pre-polling booth[/i], which for the first two weeks of the 3-week campaign proper I staffed - often all on my lonely - from 8am to 6pm non-stop, through what was literally the most blizzardly fortnight on record in Adelaide. I could not have handled it at all but for the fact that I was able to park my trusty comfy Hiace RV - "the Igloomobile" - so conveniently to the incoming voters that I could shelter from the sleety blasts and still give them HTV material. During that time, in a spirit of pure friendliness, I openly took photos with my W3 3D camera of people who were LEAVING the polling booth, (n.b. not going in), [b]and from whom I first sought permission[/b], at the same time offering to delete the photos immediately they had seen themselves on the camera's built-in screen. NO-ONE objected, (no-one had ever seen a 3D digital camera before and they ALL loved it, that's why I say YOU should get one!) No-one at all complained - until a nasty Liberal worker in his late forties and a suit came for the first time, on the Thursday of the second week. (10th day of polling including the first Saturday. I was really weary by then!) He saw me taking photos - as I said I only took photos of people leaving, and with their permission. He became near-apoplectic, [i]"Why are you taking photos?" [/i](so I said [i]Cos I like it[/i], he said [i]It's grossly improper! [/i]I pointed out how ridiculous that was, given that these days everyone can take photos clandestinely on their mobile phones. That seemed to give him an idea, he got on his own phone and I wondered (without worrying) what he might be saying and to whom. I really didn't anticipate the direction from which the situation developed from there. I got a phone call from ALP headquarters, telling me I was now more needed on phones than at the Prepoll. That was plainly ridiculous! and I told the woman point blank NO. I said I was more needed where I had been for the last 2 weeks. [i]Then Annabel turned up[/i], very suddenly, half an hour at most. (It had taken her 3 days to come and see me/us at the prepoll - the only one you understand, not like on Polling Day itself. You'd've thought ... I mean she was a midwife ... You'd think ... Oh well ... ) She was all pally saying what a good job I was doing at the booth etc, but she said she & her 20 y-o daughter were here for several hours to take over from me. OK, that was fine by me, I retreated into the Igloomobile intending to have the first real rest I'd had on the job since prepolling started. Annabel was really busy on her phone, walking right away from us, leaving her inattentive daughter to miss several voters, to my dismay as I watched on. Next thing, minutes later, Little Ben from her office turns up! (There is/was a Big Ben on her staff too, he was/is really big too, but Little Ben is [i]really really [/i]little, not a dwarf, but I think the smallest "normal" man I've ever seen. About 4'3" I'd say, I'm not dexaggerating, he's more than a foot shorter than I and I'm only 5'5". That makes it look very funny when there he is practically dancing with rage at my Recreational Vehicle's side door - reminded me of Rumplestiltskin when the Princess guesses his name.) "Have you been taking photos here?" (Yes, including on several occasions, his keeper er employer!) Well he came up with other gripes - One was that I'd been drinking brandy on the job (not true, I brandied a coffee AFTER I'd been relieved, in the freezing morning, and Annabel, coming uninvited into my RV for shelter, SMELT it! - It was about 2 tsp of brandy btw, but in the hot coffee it is very odoriferous)... and she said, I quote her verbatim [i]"Well that sounds like a good way to get warm!")[/i]But what she'd told Little Ben on the phone was an entirely different thing! He also had a go at me for giving to a few simpatico people [i]leaving[/i] the booth, a copy of my little eco-educational book of verse, [i]Brucie the Bilby [/i]- as I have done for THOUSANDS of other chosen individuals whom I hope will teach their children and themselves well to care for biodiversity. (All Swordies are always offered a free copy in the post, as Ad will attest.) The book also identifies and links to me, you can't get much better bona fides than that. Annabel has her copy too. Oh and the other thing, in a 1-to-1 conversation to Annabel, I referred to a particularly nasty LNP booth-staffer as Vinegar-Tits - which name btw came tome from one of MY co-workers there, a woman at that! Nobody else could possibly have heard me, let alone Vinegar-Tits, yet Annabel behaved as if I'd said it so loud the woman 20 yards away in the wind could have heard me! BULLSHIT! So FOUR things they accused me of, Annabel too gutless to front me herself, using subterfuge and blandishment and finally delegation to Little Ben, when courage failed her to state her genuine agenda with me herself. And the only objection to me that wasn't invented on the spot was my overtly taking photos. Of consenting persons. On their way out. Just for fun, for free, and remember, Annabel herself had joyfully joined in, right there under the lovely old Red~Gum. Suddenly it was a hanging offence. Because she'd got one threatening call from a bloody Fascistic Liberal MAN? (I can only surmise, but I also *KNOW*!) There's this tiny little tragi-comical man,[i] SO [/i]FURIOUS with me, and I know why [i]'SO'[/i] too, because he had been so bloody hopeless at arranging people to cover the Pre-poll booth (which was why your own Private Turkey took it on himself to do it for ALL the time, otherwise it WOULD have had gaps and that is UNTHINKABLE in a marginal seat.) The too-few he had arranged to relieve me were mixed-up from Day 1, and thereafter they constantly kept failing to turn up, having been called away to cover nursing homes etc ... and what he was doing is called what by psychologists er not substitution not sublimation er transference or I dunno but anyway where you put all the frustration-aggression and blame for everything that you've buggered up on everyone and everything else ... Little Ben was one of the main "organisers", h'mph, in Annabel's "Team Digance", and it was painfully clear that the campaign in Boothby had stalled. And he was, (in the best psychologese), [i]freaking out [/i]at me as the best available target. It was hard not to laugh, he looked so ridiculous. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a [i]sizeist[/i]:) - many of my best friends, including my ownself, are vertically challenged - but this man would have been Little Ben even in Hobbiton, and he was just [i]so[/i] apoplectic ... Well I know when I'm not wanted (this ain't the first time in my life)... ... So I packed up my little table and chairs from the nice little spot from which I had cleared the weeds, and which I had prettified, to the Croquet Club members' pleasure ... And took no further part in the campaign. We didn't win Boothby, and we lost Steve from Hindmarsh. Tragic. And I lost a lot more heart. Within days, though, I wrote this all down to keep as a record. But I held my peace with Annabel after the loss, and I would have for good had it not been that within weeks, - just [i]days[/i] it seemed almost - suddenly there's Annabel endorsed candidate for the very State seat of Elder, where I live! Cripes, she's failed twice to win the vulnerable Federal seat of Boothby, now she's endorsed to try to hold the precious marginal State seat of Elder! Well that was about the last straw for me. I rang her up and told her what was on my mind, and sent her my record, in writing, of events, and how I felt about her behaviour in all the above. She has never replied, though she could have at one local ALP meeting subsequently. Anyway it may be that she has won this seat - I do think and hope so, I'm not cutting off my nose to spite my face, but I'm not sure of the count by now, she was 52-48 when last I heard but there's been more absent votes since then - ...but now for 2 *kickers*. One: I was so chastised for what were spun by Little Ben as such heinous breaches of propriety, yes? - Well, Annabel's STATE campaign became notorious at a critical moment of the penultimate week. Her opponent's name being Carolyn HABIB, Annabel's team put out a flyer with photo of a busted wall (like in a Middle Eastern country) with the trumpeted banner, [b]CAN YOU TRUST HABIB?[/b] I'll send a link at the end. Well! The media exploded.[i] Racist! How low can you go?! [/i]The storm stirred the whole State teacup to the end of the campaign. Annabel was universally condemned by all commentators, including helpfully our own dear Ruddrat Ed Husic. A perfect Unicorn to distract from the Libs' detail-bare program, just what we needed, NOT! And no doubt it affected the vote in [i]every [/i]seat, but especially Elder, wherein is Adelaide's brand-new mosque and wherein live lots of Moslems now. [i]Pure genius on the part of *Team Digance*. Do I detect a faint odour of Eau de Ben?[/i] But now if that last wasn't ironic enough, well this is even ironicker: ... OK, remember how my photo-taking at a Polling Place was the real issue back in September? - Well, Annabel Digance's[i] husband[/i], by name [i]Mr[/i] Digance, has had official complaints laid against him by Team Habib for following Ms Habib around, AT a Polling Place, TAKING PHOTOS of her on Polling Day, despite being asked to desist! Well that about covers THAT part of my deflatory last era. I'll write about my experiences with #MarchInMarch Adelaide another time! http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia-state-election-2014/liberal-candidate-for-elder-carolyn-habib-labels-state-election-campaign-material-filthy-and-racist/story-fnl3k6uz-1226852398947

Ken

19/03/2014TT Sounds like time to give up on politics and take to the barricades - if only we were younger and healthier! Your experiences just emphasise that politics is now about 'politics' not about governing or the people. For politicians it is about appearances. Policies to help the country seem to have disappeared. Abbott of course is the master of this - all photo opportunities and no substance. And when will he stop wearing that bloody blue tie!!

Michael

19/03/2014Sinodinos shuffles sideways... Leave with or without pay, I wonder? Funny thing about going to such lengths to get tar all over a brush, it can flick back all over you... Tony.

TalkTurkey

19/03/201423-Skidoo! http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/393450.html http://birdeemag.com/23-reasons-ticked-tony/

Patriciawa

19/03/2014TT - And the ALP treats its [b]friends[/b] like this? And wonders why it loses seats? Mind you, most organisations run by elected and volunteer folk have a few poor people managers in their management teams. It's why I'm happy to pay membership fees but resist working booths or in any team situations. I do what I can on my own ownsome! Cheers! By the way, Do you use your [i]recreational vehicle[/i] for distrance travelling? It would be lovely to see you here in W.A.

Casablanca

20/03/2014 [b]A very good paragraph[/b] Matt Cowgill From Thomas Piketty’s new blockbuster: [I]t seems to me that all social scientists, all journalists and commentators, all activists in the unions and in politics of whatever stripe, and especially all citizens should take a serious interest in money, its measurement, the facts surrounding it, and its history. Those who have a lot of it never fail to defend their interests. Refusing to deal with numbers rarely serves the interests of the least well-off. http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/

Casablanca

20/03/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 20 March 2014: 32 items [/b] ENTITLEMENTS + FIDDLES + RORTS + SUBSIDIES + TENDERS + RESPONSIBILITY + LARGESSE 1. The ICAC's destruction hits both sides Quentin Dempster The destruction of trust has now hit both sides. In one devastating opening address on Monday, an animated Geoffrey Watson SC wiped away a five-year political advantage enjoyed by the Liberal Party in New South Wales on corruption, influence peddling and slush funding. The Independent Commission Against Corruption, a creation of the 1988 Greiner Coalition government, and now with added resources (forensic accountants, IT specialists, telephone interception and covert surveillance) has exposed the evidentiary leads. They go from the Labor Party directly across to the Liberal Party with allegations of bastardry, venality, vicious reprisal against public servants and the audacious scamming of a public utility, Sydney Water. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-19/dempster-the-icacs-destruction-hits-both-sides/5330040 2. Sinodinos stands aside during corruption inquiry Michelle Grattan Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has bowed to political pressure and stood aside from the ministry during the Independent… http://theconversation.com/sinodinos-stands-aside-during-corruption-inquiry-24571 3. The Arthur Sinodinos affair Houses and Holes Here’s a nice little video from Geoff Winestock at the AFR explaining the hot water rising around Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos. This is a bad enough look for the Government but add in Mr Sinodinos’ very public proposal to gut FOFA reforms, which have been described elsewhere as favouring the same big banks for which [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-zpsy-dtyueir-ti/ MARCH IN MARCH 4. 23 REASONS WE’RE TICKED OFF AT TONY Samantha Bradley Over the past few days, more than 80,000 Australians have made placards and taken to the streets in collective fury as part of the March in March demonstrations. The objective of the protests was to make a pointed and irrefutable statement of “no confidence” in the Abbott government. However, apart from a shared dislike for the Abbott administration, most protestors couldn’t really agree on what exactly they were angry about. http://birdeemag.com/23-reasons-ticked-tony/ 5. March in March – never seen anything like it. Uknowispeaksense Grandmothers, grandfathers, mum, dads, uni students, workers, high school students, kids in strollers. Italians, Greeks, English, Kiwis, Malaysian, Japanese, Indigenous, Dutch…all Australians of course. Straight, gay, bisexual, transgender. Taxi drivers, labourers, doctors, scientists, child care workers, teachers, a dentist. These were some of the people whom I chatted to on Sunday March 16, 2014 at the inaugural March in March in Brisbane. All were pissed off. http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/march-in-march-never-seen-anything-like-it/ 6. March in March movement puts Abbott on notice Matthew N. Donovan From 15-17 March 2014, a new protest movement took to the streets of cities and towns all over Australia; Brisbane March in March lead organiser Matthew N. [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/march-in-march-movement-puts-abbott-on-notice,6293 7. Why we march! William Rattley Anybody who saw the ...interview with March in March co-organiser Tim Jones would have felt dismayed that the media had so much difficulty in grasping the concept behind the March. How can they have so much trouble in understanding a simple message?...If the media wants to know why people marched, then they really need to start listening to and engaging with everyday Australians. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/19/why-we-march/ 8. March in March gave dissent a bad name Chris Earl If there was an admirable cause being advocated at the March in March protests, it was lost in a sea of bitterness, hatred and hypocrisy http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-19/earl-sledging-gives-dissent-a-bad-name/5331458 9. Both sides of politics are guilty of double-standards when it comes to personal degradation Robert Simms. Australian politics is certainly not for the faint-hearted and vitriol is levelled at politicians of all stripes. John Howard was famously described as a "lying rodent", Julia Gillard a "bitch" and a "witch", while Tony Abbott has been derided as an "economic illiterate" and an imbecile. But how much is too much and where do we draw the line? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-19/simms-personal-political-attacks-dont-advance-the-cause/5331090 10. #MarchinMarch report from Newcastle by @Sikamikanico Nicola Bell After all of the build up to the March in March, I nearly ended up not marching at all. First I was supposed to be marching in Newcastle, then it looked like we’d be in Sydney, then Sydney was cut short but I was having niggling health issues http://nofibs.com.au/?wpmllink=0ed14e61e8f5384a6f963275ab0b898c&history_id=3&subscriber_id=877 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 11. Want a case for regulation? Look at CSG Matt Grudnoff While Federal Government's aim of reducing unwanted regulation is a laudable goal, the facts (and the public) are against it giving free rein to the CSG industry..The Prime Minister has announced that his Government will cut $1 billion of 'red' and 'green' tape. This is going to be achieved, in part, with two repeal days in Federal Parliament per year. The first will be during the current sitting of Parliament, with 8,000 regulations and laws in the firing line. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-18/grudnoff-the-case-for-fracking-regulation/5328678 12. The rise and fall of Arthur Sinodinos Andrew Elder Arthur Sinodinos was a well-regarded Treasury official who went to work for John Howard when nobody in Canberra wanted to know him. When Howard's luck changed, so did Sinodinos'. He spent the early part of Howard's Prime Ministership with his eyes on policy while fixers and spivs frittered away the third-biggest electoral margin in history. When people like Grahame Morris fell away, Sinodinos stepped up. Being a backroom fixer is a step up from being a policy wonk and, if you've seen the blowhards and tryhards who call themselves fixers up close, you can be forgiven for thinking it isn't that hard. For a decade Sinodinos met with people who itched where only a Prime Minister could scratch. Almost all of them were people who earned more than he did. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/the-rise-and-fall-of-arthur-sinodinos.html 13. United front fights government gender reporting changes Women's Agenda They unofficially call themselves the 'Coalition of the Willing'. And they're willing to use their combined power to do whatever it takes to see Australian businesses report on the gender composition of their workforces. A united front of business and women's groups met in Canberra Tuesday to lobby against the Abbott government's proposal to scale back gender reporting requirements under the Workplace Gender Equality Act. The current regulations require companies with more than 100 employees to report on gender metrics like pay, promotion, retention and recruitment. They believe the collection and reporting of gender-related data in companies is critical for improving workplace equity and participation, and especially for increasing the number of women in management and leadership roles. http://womensagenda.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=30f81b85614c4a46de129a5d6&id=1f15d687c8&e=87e80a7b7d ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 14. Australia needs its young workers back Greg Jericho Australia has an unemployment rate that is higher now than it has been at any time in the past six years. There are now more workers aged over 55 than under 24 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-19/jericho-australia-needs-its-young-workers-back/5329212 15. Abbott claims $700m in red tape savings for business Kylar Loussikian Prime minister Tony Abbott said his government would create “the biggest bonfire of regulations in our country’s history” as… 16. Infrastructure needs science, so who put the politicians in charge? Chris Hale The recent productivity commission report into public infrastructure left the most important policy question unasked, namely: if there were better ways for planning and building transport infrastructure… http://theconversation.com/infrastructure-needs-science-so-who-put-the-politicians-in-charge-24420 17. Government should front cash for long-term infrastructure Dallas Rogers Elected with a pledge to be the infrastructure prime minister, Tony Abbott has repeatedly promised to bring more private investment into high-priority infrastructure projects. Last week’s Productivity… http://theconversation.com/government-should-front-cash-for-long-term-infrastructure-24330 18. Think smart on infrastructure Ross Gittins "We get bombarded with economic and political news. Some of it is worth knowing, some isn't. Some gets much attention, some gets little. Sometimes we give too much attention to things that aren't worth knowing and too little attention to things that are. The Productivity Commission's draft report on public infrastructure is one of the latter." http://www.theage.com.au/comment/think-smart-on-infrastructure-20140318-3503f.html 19. Too many loads on our roads when rail is the answer Philip Laird “Without trucks, Australia stops” is now a fact of modern life. But when all costs are considered, road freight is an expensive way of moving large amounts of freight. And, as shown by ongoing fatal crashes… http://theconversation.com/too-many-loads-on-our-roads-when-rail-is-the-answer-24118 20. Getting tax expenditures right is a game of hypotheticals Sinclair Davidson In recent days it’s been suggested the Commission of Audit should look at so-called tax expenditures as well as government spending as traditionally defined. Writing in the Australian Financial Review… http://theconversation.com/getting-tax-expenditures-right-is-a-game-of-hypotheticals-24327 INTERNET + FREE SPEECH + PRIVACY 21. Hypocrisy adds insult to injuries Richard Ackland If he can't stand the heat, Andrew Bolt shouldn't fan the flames of public opinion.. Even on a good night, watching the ABC's Q&A can do your head in: the scripted questions, the inane set-piece responses from politicians, the suffocating level of political debate and ideas. So it required extra doses of fortifying Prozac to sit through the whole show to get to an apology to Melbourne's professional provocateur, Andrew Bolt. It was by no means crystal clear that Professor Marcia Langton called Andrew Bolt a racist on the program the week before. She did call him a fool, but he doesn't seem upset by that. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/hypocrisy-adds-insult-to-injuries-20140318-35052.html#ixzz2wMDUovFM 22. Privacy law is toothless without greater transparency Graham Greenleaf What does privacy mean in an age of ongoing privacy breaches? With new privacy law coming online in Australia on March 12, our Privacy in Practice series explores the practical challenges facing Australian… http://theconversation.com/privacy-law-is-toothless-without-greater-transparency-22932 23. But Andrew Bolt IS a racist: In black and white Alan Austin Alan Austin has gone back through the racial vilification judgment against Andrew Bolt to set the record straight. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/but-andrew-bolt-is-a-racist-in-black-and-white,6292 MEDIA + BIAS + GROUPTHINK 24. Archaic cross-media ownership laws won’t save local content Michael de Percy Communication minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal for changes to cross-media ownership laws has reignited calls for the government to protect local content. On the surface, it appears reasonable to expect… http://theconversation.com/archaic-cross-media-ownership-laws-wont-save-local-content-24194 25. The ABC showcases entertainment and integrity Mark Scott As politicians line up for photos with B1 and B2 at ABC Showcase today, the ABC Board will seize the opportunity to demonstrate the public broadcaster's integrity and worth http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-19/scott-abc-showcase/5330446 SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + ACTIVISM 26. Who gets to write the script for our multicultural future? Andrew Jakubowicz Anthropological images of alien peoples have long been a staple in the collections of Australia’s institutions of cultural memory. From the invention of photography – and indeed before, through the hands… http://theconversation.com/who-gets-to-write-the-script-for-our-multicultural-future-24566 27. Scientists encouraged to better explain ideas to engage MPs Ara Sarafian Often scientists spend most of their time concentrating on research, rather than getting out to promote it – but over the… http://theconversation.com/scientists-encouraged-to-better-explain-ideas-to-engage-mps-24525 CREATIVITY AND ACTIVISM. 28. Crafting for good: why we all want to knit for penguins Alyce McGovern Last week, a call for knitters to create tiny pullovers for oil-spill affected penguins went viral. Patterns for penguin knitwear from The Penguin Foundation bounced around social media. Penguin Foundation/Facebook. It was a bit of an anti-climax, however, when news emerged that there wasn’t actually a huge demand for the sweaters – and thus many craft projects were set aside around the world. http://theconversation.com/crafting-for-good-why-we-all-want-to-knit-for-penguins-24291 29. Knit one, purl one: the mysteries of yarn bombing unravelled Alyce McGovern Who exactly is behind the knitted bike rack cover that you walk past at the local park? And what is it that drives someone to cover a tree with intricately knitted creations? Yarn bombing – the practice of using knitted or crochet yarn to cover (typically public) objects – is just one example of a range of new and creative forms of activism, as explored by Winnifred Louis and Emma Thomson in their recent Conversation article on protest in the 21st century http://theconversation.com/knit-one-purl-one-the-mysteries-of-yarn-bombing-unravelled-23461 HUMAN RIGHTS 30. Rethinking career support for workers with disability Jenny Green Australia’s record for employing people with a disability is disappointing and has been going backwards in recent years. In this country a little over half – 53% – of working-age disabled people are employed… 31. What is a ‘classical liberal’ approach to human rights? Catherine Renshaw Tim Wilson, Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, has announced that he will take a “classical liberal” approach to human rights. There is a fair degree of confusion about what this means. Classical liberalism… http://theconversation.com/what-is-a-classical-liberal-approach-to-human-rights-24452 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 32. Scientists resign 'living dead' species to extinction, call for triage debate Margot O'Neill The dramatic ongoing loss of Australian animal and plant species has prompted influential scientists to call on governments to start making tough decisions about which ones to save - and which species should be left to face extinction. The proposal to triage Australia's unique species comes from some of the nation's most senior conservation biologists http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-19/australian-species-facing-extinction/5331908 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

20/03/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 20 March 2014: [b]PM guts gender reporting rules - stats hit glass ceiling[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-03-17.aspx

DMW

20/03/2014TT, I shakes me head in wonderment and with incredulity at your experiences as a foot soldier in what is becoming more and more 'the political war'. It would discourage the most hardened veteran remaining in the party and would discourage those extra 50,000 or so new members that Mr Shorten has said he will get to join. On a slightly different note and with small hope it will give a bit of solace; tonight I saw Billy Bragg in concert and among his songs was "An Accident Waiting to Happen" to the tune of that Kink's classic 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion' which Billy dedicated to Mr Abbott. I am sure it inspired many in the audience to man the barricades especially the line of '... a dedicated drinker of fascism ...' Hang in there because there will be new blood that will help to evict the likes of little Ben and even Ms Digance from the party.

Ad astra

20/03/2014Casablanca At long last I have my Android tablet back, and can now read your Cache other than at my computer - in bed or in a comfortable chair. So on this chilly morning I've read it in bed. What a great collection. The items on the MinM are one the one hand gratifying in that so many turned out in so many places, but on the other hand frightening in that the MSM has deliberately decided to grossly underreport these important protests, and where it has reported, to highlight the few ugly aspects at the expense of its real import. The MSM-touted right of Freedom of Speech apparently includes the freedom for it to hide or distort or deliberately misrepresent the facts. 'Telling the whole truth' seems not to be an integral element of 'Freedom of Speech'. This is classical Geobbels.

TalkTurkey

20/03/2014Patricia It's not the norm for ALP members to behave so, most are very decent. Some of the careerists and the apparatchiks (first time I've ever used that word!) are a bit different. I haven't used the RV for any BIG trips ... I should. But I think the Nullarbor is probably accessed better by air. DMW I couldn't work for Annabel after that, but on Saturday I did give out HTV's on behalf of Tim Looker, the ALP candidate for the neighboring State seat of Morphett, nearly all day. I'm still a True Believer - at least, I truly believe that the Right is unthinkable, that makes it easy!

TalkTurkey

20/03/2014Ad astra Yours are still the sharpest blade in the Fighting 5th!

Casablanca

20/03/2014TT You are a real trooper. The ALP's cause is far greater than the (occasional) ratbags that you meet en route.

Michael

20/03/2014Abbott has such contempt for the ICAC process as it applies to Arthur Sinodinos you wonder how he can accept the relevance of any government commission, Royal or otherwise. Apparently ICAC will simply do what a PM requires of it, before it even begins dealing directly with Sinodinos. The ABC reports 'Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended his colleague, describing him as a "brave man" who will return to the frontbench "soon".' If ICAC does as it's told, that is, the demand for exoneration laid out from on high. "High" all right. The high stink of corruption. Corruption at a level of society that spells it as 'entitlement'. You may be familiar with the word. To Conservatives entitlement is what you breathe. Your entire existence is it - the handing on of family privilege, the 24/7 expectation of special treatment, '5 Stars' the only door you walk through, elite membership the way things are, $1,000 shoes to pomaded hair and manicures in the limo, that's you. Entitled. And yet you, all the "brave" ones, are so... small.

Jason

20/03/2014mephisto jones ‏@mephistojones · 22m BREAKING: PM Abbott assures voters any survivors of #MH370 will be towed back to Malaysia #auspol #fuckofftony

Patriciawa

20/03/2014Well, TT, is you ever do come to the West make contact! You're wise re crossing the Nullarbor by car. That's definitely a challenge, even if one is in the prime of life. I should have remembered my own experience of doing that some thirty years ago, and sharing the driving too. I second Casablanca's comment. You are a trooper for the left!

Curi-Oz

21/03/2014I've been handing out HTVs for the WA election at my local pre-polling booth this week. I'll be doing it several times again until April 5th. (It's all TalkTurkey's fault/example *G*) One thing that is really bothering me is the number of older voters who are obviously not overly wealthy who refuse, sometimes quite rudely, any HTV other than the LNP's. How does one reply to spitting vehemence?!

Casablanca

21/03/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 21 March 2014: 30 items[/b] MARCH IN MARCH 1. March in March: the old ways of doing politics are under challenge Ariadne Vromen Political participation in Australia will soon be about hope – and the transformation of citizenship engagement in this country. Here is why. Traditionally, Australian political participation was centred on, and supported by, the electoral system, political parties and major political organisations. Most media commentators tend to focus on the electoral system as the main way of consolidating political support and bringing about change. They assume citizens make political choices to participate and/or express themselves based on rational, self-interested, often economic, calculations. When citizens have been mobilised it has usually been done by unions, political parties and environmental organisations. These have the resources, skills and experience to undertake mass protests. http://theconversation.com/march-in-march-the-old-ways-of-doing-politics-are-under-challenge-24573 2. March in March – never seen anything like it. uknowispeaksense For those Australians living under a rock, or only relying on main stream media for news (same thing), the March in March was a protest rally organised as part of a grass-roots campaign to send a message to the new Australian government that the policies they have introduced and plan to introduce are…. well……crap. They were protesting because they feel disenfranchised, taken for granted and from many I spoke to, they are sick of being treated like they are idiots. I subscribe to all of the above. A number of the socially conservative media types have denounced the march as disorganised with no clear message...This march was a motion of no confidence in the government on EVERYTHING. http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/march-in-march-never-seen-anything-like-it/ 3. Tony Abbott, Andrew Bolt and ‘RESIGN, DICKHEAD’ Lyndon Morley ‘RESIGN, DICKHEAD’ was one of the most popular signs at the Melbourne March in March last weekend — attracting the ire of Andrew Bolt. Banner creator [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tony-abbott-andrew-bolt-and-resign-dickhead,6296 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 4. Banks get green light instead of red tape Alan Kohler "Banning sales commissions and other conflicted remuneration to financial planners was never a red tape burden – it was the outlawing of a corrupt practice that has cost consumers billions of dollars and lowered trust in the entire financial advice industry." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-20/kohler-fofa/5332090 5. Cost of Abbott government's orange lifeboats to tow back asylum seeker trebles to $7.5 million Sarah Whyte The Abbott government has tripled the amount of money spent on the large orange lifeboats used to tow back asylum seekers breaching Australian waters to Indonesia to $7.5 million as part of its tough border control policy. The figure, to be revealed at an estimates hearing on Friday, is $5 million more than the initial $2.5 million allocated to purchase lifeboats in January. It is believed each lifeboat costs about $200,000, which means the lifeboat fleet has increased from 12 boats to about 37 boats, each of which are only used once. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/cost-of-abbott-governments-orange-lifeboats-to-tow-back-asylum-seeker-trebles-to-75-million-20140320-355ci.html 6. Government goals and policy get in the way of our happiness Brian Martin Australian government policy and happiness research are pointing in very different directions. A prime goal of government policy is economic growth. Many Australians go along with this, assuming that more… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-puluhjd-trhltityg-n/ 7. Sinodinos has a lot more pain to go through when he gets to ICAC Michelle Grattan Politically experienced Sinodinos was given some latitude to manage his own crisis. Listening to Liberal senators, you’d think Labor was accusing Arthur Sinodinos of being an axe murderer and killing the family dog to boot. In fact the opposition wasn’t demanding anything particularly unreasonable during the fractious, shouty debate that consumed the Senate’s morning. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-puluhjd-trhltityg-jl/ 8. Clive Palmer – renewable energy’s unlikely saviour Tristan Edis As Tony Abbott acknowledged after the fiasco of trying to reinterpret his Gonski school funding commitment, the public takes a very dim view of tricky wordsmithing of election commitments. Countless polls of the Australian public indicate strong support for renewable energy. Labor and Palmer, as well as a renewable energy industry with nothing to lose, could take a lot of skin off Abbott in any Senate showdown over the RET. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/19/renewable-energy/clive-palmer-%E2%80%93-renewable-energys-unlikely-saviour?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=617249&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt= 9. Taking an axe to acts will change little for man on the street Peter Martin It's easy to slash red tape when it changes nothing. Tony Abbott says by axing 10,000 acts and regulations he will help ''the local newsagent, dry cleaner, baker and butcher''. Maybe. But it's more likely they won't notice. That's because, for the most part, nothing will change. One of Australia's very first acts, the 1901 Acts Interpretation Act says when an act that amends another is repealed, the amendment stays. Here's how it will work with the Flags Act 1954. Tony Abbott plans to abolish it. It amended the Flags Act 1953 by shrinking the size of the seven-point star that sits in the bottom-left quarter of the Australian flag. Previously it took up three-eighths of the width of the flag. The amendment cut it to three-tenths. But axing the amendment won't increase the size of the star. The Flags Act 1953 has already been amended. Axing the by-now-redundant amendment changes nothing. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/taking-an-axe-to-acts-will-change-little-for-man-on-the-street-20140319-352yj.html 10. Tony Abbott's proposed financial advice red tape cuts 'could raise risk' Peter Martin Financial planners will be able to break the financial advice law with impunity unless a client takes private action, the government has revealed. An explanatory memorandum tabled with the changes to Labor's Future of Financial Advice legislation says the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ''will not take enforcement action in relation to the specific FOFA provisions that the government is planning to repeal''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbotts-proposed-financial-advice-red-tape-cuts-could-raise-risk-20140319-352vv.html 11. Call me Madam Kaye Lee “But in this chair, I will act impartially. That is the responsibility that goes back to 1377.” – Bronwyn Bishop Bronwyn Bishop (nee Setright) was born in 1942, the daughter of opera singer Kathleen Congreve. She decided at a very… http://theaimn.com/2014/03/20/call-me-madam/ ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 12. Explainer: why do emerging markets have so many crises? Eliza Wu In past decades, emerging markets were traditionally thought of as “basket case” economies, with the associated stigma. Perceptions have improved in recent years, but there are still concerns these economies… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-puluhjd-trhltityg-e/ 13. Treasury recruits business leaders to help drive its organisational change Michelle Grattan Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson has announced an Australian Treasury Advisory Council, including leading business figures… http://theconversation.com/treasury-recruits-business-leaders-to-help-drive-its-organisational-change-24647 SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 14. The abortion debate isn't over yet Jonathan Green, The Drum "Think that abortion law is a settled issue in this country? Imagine that a woman's right to choose is a principle guaranteed by law and long practice? Well, you'd be wrong in substantial part across the Commonwealth, and the drift of contemporary politics seems certain to make abortion a continuing and critical issue of deep political contest." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-20/green-the-debate-over-abortion-isnt-over-yet/5332126 15. Sex, lies and political theory Tim Kroenert A new film follows the experiences in 1961 of German-American Jew and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who coined the phrase 'the banality of evil' in relation to Nazi 'desk-murderer' Adolf Eichmann. The cerebral nature of Hannah Arendt provides a counterpoint to another current film about a strong, flawed woman: Gloria is remarkable for the way it unabashedly honours the emotional and sexual lives of its older characters. http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001SWMV3Q5LxP2hMZ0NTIIgj47ZrZcRVWsWu8I24EBbbaM4qFq3EDcW52eKGefXyygBFF15BY_rOlfm8cT9-KJ_HNFjMKdEt_q7ue_-3OxbaB4t1i5LQg9YHEqsGHACe2Zz3it1qCB8ug7XH3MgWPJZrXhrGYX2alrNhdhHOvLkaGs3YQmibg3C2KpaS5IfJUeorcDtMlgoCvG7wcdRo7ovMnVi1MV6KQFf&c=uIVAb0Ps5GhGIk9iQXaBYHkOE94Qiijfmp7sEwIVF1qBZmc7qWIscg==&ch=jF4UkRcKpLW3x0IHZkg2Z_R2Dk1sgM4qz67QjqGxO2Xd83H2l3TrWA== FREE SPEECH + PRIVACY 16. Sneers of political correctness hamper race debate Bruce Grant The argument for free speech in the Abbott government's campaign against the law that makes it an offence to ''offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate'' people on the grounds of race or ethnicity, ignores a fundamental reality of racial prejudice. Its victims have no choice. You can change your religion and your politics, your language, job and even your country. You can marry socially up or down or ethnically sideways. You can go to jail rather than go to war. In each case, you can accept responsibility and use free speech to defend and explain your choice. But you cannot do anything about your parents. Your entry into the world was none of your doing. That is why racial prejudice is the most cruel and inhuman of all prejudices. It is also self-justifying and unproductive, making adversaries - even enemies - of people who may wish to be friendly... But, to be effective, the leadership needs to be bipartisan. We need a thoughtful conversation, not another war with words that wound. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/sneers-of-political-correctness-hamper-race-debate-20140319-352nt.html#ixzz2wSCyLCAF MEDIA + BIAS + GROUPTHINK 17. Malcolm Turnbull hits back at Coalition colleagues over attacks on ABC Matthew Knott Communications Minister Turnbull has warned his Coalition colleagues against seeking to punish the ABC for broadcasting news stories they disagree with. Mr Turnbull passionately defended the ABC - whose editorial output has been criticised by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and other senior ministers over recent months - by saying on Wednesday the broadcaster is “more important than ever”. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-hits-back-at-coalition-colleagues-over-attacks-on-abc-20140320-3542h.html 18. The public interest in public broadcasting Geoff Heriot The accountability of the ABC and SBS should be a two-way street. A pattern of erratic government scrutiny fails the public-interest test http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=JZflnXAl84hdzG&b=pccKDBP3SgpZCl4B1fHW3Q YARTZ + LITERATURE + SOCIETY 19. The new national arts curriculum could make for better schools Michael Anderson If we want our children to do better academically and socially studying the arts could be the key to success. By ignoring arts education we could be jeopardising our kids’ opportunities to achieve and… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-puluhjd-trhltityg-q/ 20. Fashioning blue-collars: chambray shirts and indigo-dyed workwear Elizabeth Dori Tunstall At the turn of the 20th century, the demarcation of the interests and cultures of blue-collared versus white-collared workers became important as labour movements and trade unionisation accelerated in Australia, the United States, and Europe, especially Britain. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-puluhjd-trhltityg-yk/ ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 21. Direct Action subsidies: wrong way, go back Frank Jotzo and Paul Burke Nothing has happened since the election to challenge the view that the Coalition's Direct Action plan for carbon reduction is vastly inferior to carbon pricing... http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=JZflnXAl84hdzG&b=kWRN1wT9ZItAmo0mi1oClA 22. 'Degraded' Tasmanian forests can still be World Heritage Tom Fairman The federal and incoming Tasmanian governments are pushing ahead with moves to delist parts of Tasmania’s forest World Heritage, on grounds that the area includes “degraded” forest. But these “degraded… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-puluhjd-trhltityg-h/ 23. Just two choices are left for the environment Elizabeth Farrelly In theory, all religious traditions hold earth dear. Yet they have not always acted that way. Christianity in particular has marched happily hand-in-glove with corporate greed, disguising its core message of radical openness behind patriarchic top-down conservatism. Many blame its creation myth, the dominion over fish and fowl that Genesis supposedly gave us. I don't buy it. Even dominion brings a duty of care. Seems to me we have two choices. Either we form an axis of planet-lovers that includes farmers, greens, poets, priests and tourism operators, to protect nature from ourselves. Or we accept that future cockroaches, as the inheritor species, will tell their children parables about the too-clever ape-race, and how the oppressor always becomes the oppressed. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/just-two-choices-are-left-for-the-environment-20140319-352o8.html#ixzz2wSBHchwP 24. Climate risks as certain as smoking-lung cancer link DailyClimate US scientists say evidence the world is warming is as conclusive as the link between smoking and lung cancer - marking an unusual policy intervention from academia http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/20/science-environment/climate-risks-certain-smoking-lung-cancer-link 25. Energy efficiency - it's the economy stupid Chris Dunstan With electricity prices doubling since 2007 and wholesale gas prices following suit, Australia cannot afford its poor performance on energy efficiency. We use more energy but produce less economic output than many of our overseas competitors. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/20/smart-energy/energy-efficiency-its-economy-stupid 26. Market decides bigger solar is better Tristan Edis Shrinking cost differentials have made bigger systems more tempting for customers, meaning the fall away of feed-in tariffs is not translating to a system size retreat. In fact the average system is up almost a kilowatt on last year. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/20/solar-energy/market-decides-bigger-solar-better ASYLUM SEEKERS + THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HATE 27. Asylum seeker ethics is simple Andrew Hamilton Asked whether they think the government's treatment of asylum seekers is right, some people will withhold judgment, arguing that the question is ethically complex; asylum seeker policy must take into account many issues, and an ethical judgment must await consideration of all these factors. This position is mistaken. The ethical questions are quite simple. The complexities and confusions arise only after we have answered them. http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001SWMV3Q5LxP2hMZ0NTIIgj47ZrZcRVWsWu8I24EBbbaM4qFq3EDcW52eKGefXyygBQmSTbkcQlw0_FbZVyzn6VhtosTXEWPN9T9i_FszaElmxH4HXcX2VclaFv-RxgofQpTTFGg1rmDGzUwJTIV2AzhKD6vVIfjQrMsIvFRq23JUmTSe-cLKp7awzN6Krs2U48a07O3gNfHi2KoicnJhB49skhPqVlrRh&c=uIVAb0Ps5GhGIk9iQXaBYHkOE94Qiijfmp7sEwIVF1qBZmc7qWIscg==&ch=jF4UkRcKpLW3x0IHZkg2Z_R2Dk1sgM4qz67QjqGxO2Xd83H2l3TrWA== 28. That sinking feeling Paul Toohey "More people were being pulled from the sea and arriving, dead and alive, in ambulances at the clinic. They were putting body bags in a separate building across the way. Every time a new one arrived, people would rush over, unzip the bag and new screams would come." http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/paul-toohey/2014/03/19/1395200618/sinking-feeling 29. Memory, Forgetting and Power… rossleighbrisbane Milan Kundera — ‘The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting’ I’ve heard a number of times recently that Labor is responsible for over 1200 deaths at sea, and that one man’s death in a detention camp… http://theaimn.com/2014/03/20/memory-forgetting-and-power/ 30. United Nations to throw spotlight on Nauru detention centres Daniel Flitton The United Nations intends to investigate any cases of arbitrary detention on Nauru, the tiny Pacific nation where Australia funds an immigration detention centre. A group of experts will travel to Nauru next month as part of the UN working group on arbitrary detention. The group has a mandate from the UN Human Rights Council to investigate "administrative custody of asylum-seekers and immigrants" as well as prisons and mental health institutions. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/united-nations-to-throw-spotlight-on-nauru-detention-centres-20140320-355o2.html OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

21/03/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 21 March 2014. [b]Racial prejudice: the most cruel & inhuman of all prejudices. [/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-03-21.aspx

TalkTurkey

21/03/2014Comrades Thanks Ken, Patricia, Casablanca, Curi-Oz, DMW, (who've I missed?)- That's something I love about the Fighting 5th, TPS especially. Disinterested camaraderie & encouragement when folks are feeling, well you know. (I know that most people here understand *disinterested*, but anyway lest anyone don't, first, it exactly [i]doesn't[/i] mean [i]un[/i]interested, second, it [i]does[/i] mean [i]not[/i] [i]in one's own [/i]interests ... so, altruistic. Not [i]quite[/i] disinterested here I guess ... It's in all our interests to help everyone else fight off the Liars, but that is the best form of interest, it's interest on behalf of all, it's as altruistic as can be that way too. Dog Alfighty I never can empty my mind here, there's always more more more to say. Curi-Oz you know I said I felt like a week-old helium balloon(all flaccid and looking like cellulite!)well you put a little bit of puff back into me by blaming me for this case of HTV you've contracted. Proud of you. And Yes, they're rude bastards so many Liberals, and the "better dressed" they come - arrogant suited men in their corpulent 40's typically - the nastier they are on average. Jason that about the survivors is hilarious. Not for the families involved no, but long live Humanity's saving grace, Humour. The very last verse of one of my 2 Big Books of verse - [i]NEW WORLDS![/i] - goes: 2B? or not 2B? One day I [i]won't[/i] be, anyway! When outworn as utensil, pencil just gets thrown away! All I want from you is just the joker~fools bouquet, But like a tumour, Sspread this rumour: HUMOUR RULES! [i][u]OK?![/u][/i]

Ad astra

21/03/2014Folks One of the most important statements on global warming is among Casablanca’s offerings this morning. In [i]Climate Spectator[/i] there is an article titled [i]Climate risks as certain as smoking-lung cancer link[/i], taken from [i]The Daily Climate[/i], that begins: [i]“One of the world's largest and most knowledgeable scientific bodies wants to make one point very clear: Just as smoking causes cancer, so too are humanity's greenhouse gas emissions causing the planet to change, with potentially unknown and unalterable impacts. “The American Association for the Advancement of Science made a rare foray into the climate debate Tuesday, releasing a report reiterating what many scientific bodies have already said: “[b]The evidence is overwhelming. Temperatures are going up. Springs are arriving earlier. Ice sheets are melting. Seas are rising. Rainfall and drought patterns are changing. Heat waves are getting worse, as is extreme precipitation. The oceans are acidifying.[/b] "The science linking human activities to climate change is analogous to the science linking smoking to lung and cardiovascular diseases. Physicians, cardiovascular scientists, public health experts and others all agree smoking causes cancer," the AAAS wrote in its report, What We Know. "And this consensus among the health community has convinced most Americans that the health risks from smoking are real. A similar consensus now exists among climate scientists, a consensus that maintains climate change is happening, and human activity is the cause.".[/i] The rest of the article is worth your attention: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/20/science-environment/climate-risks-certain-smoking-lung-cancer-link [b]Why is it that we still have so much skepticism and denialism about the reality of anthropogenic global warming and its predicted devastating effects on the planet and all that lives on it?[/b] I suspect that it is the same reason that smoking for so many years was denied as a cause of lung cancer and many other human ills. Vested interests promoted skepticism and denialism. And it is so today for AGW. Threats to the vested interests of coal miners, coal users and electricity providers and consumers are behind this. Their profits and expenses are deemed more important than the integrity of life on this planet for us, and all who follow. The obsessive preoccupation of the Coalition, conservatives, industry and commerce with ‘the carbon tax’ is evidence of this. All they want is removal of the tax to ease their tax burden; never mind if pollution increases as a result, as it would as there would then be no incentive for polluters to reduce it. Why doesn’t Labor and the Greens match the ‘Axe the tax’ slogans with [b][i]‘Save the planet - Stop pollution’[/i][/b] and [i][b]‘Tax the polluters – They are killing us’[/i][/b]. It surely must not be beyond PR experts to come up with such counter slogans. [b]Why is Labor seemingly so impotent in alerting the electorate of the existential danger that we, and our successors face? Why does the Coalition get away with its self-interested ‘Axe the tax’, that is diametrically opposed to the common good?[/b]

Jason

21/03/2014From Jack the Insider! A very funny read I thought A short history of the National Party The National Party was founded on a ruthless agenda of protectionism, self-interest and scone recipes. The Nats despise welfare of any kind as it tends to cut into the enormous taxpayer benefits they’d previously arranged for their constituents. They used to be known as the Country Party but ever responsive to the mood of their electorates, they decided on the change as the abbreviated form was costing them the women’s vote. In a sense the Nats’ job is easier than that of other political parties. They are the only party with a constituency determined solely by geography. Labor and Liberal pollies have to stumble around shopping centres searching plaintively for supporters while the Nats just look out the window of their electoral offices and there they are. The Nats don’t have to endure the kind of unseemly clamour other parties experience when selecting their candidates either. The Labor and Liberal parties routinely slash and stab away at one another during preselection contests but the Nats have way too much dignity for that palaver. When preselecting candidates, the party’s elder statesman, Ian Sinclair, pops down to see them, checks their teeth and then sticks a thermometer up their dates. Anything above room temperature and you’re good to go. When in government with their Coalition partners, the Nats are overrepresented in cabinet. The deranged Roman emperor Caligula appointed a horse to his senate. Liberal prime ministers from Menzies on have been obliged to appoint numerous horse’s arses to their cabinets. The Nats get a whopping six per cent of the vote in Australia on a good day and yet have still managed to furnish the nation with three prime ministers but tragically none hung around for long as the bright lights and fast pace of Canberra plainly freaked them out. Arthur Fadden was known as Lent because he was prime minister for forty horrible days and nights. He was arguably Australia’s most unappealing politician. So much so he was to said to have suffered anti-charisma, a rare condition that when he entered a room, everyone else would immediately want to leave it and many did. This is pretty much what happened to the government he led in 1941. His political campaigning skills were further diminished by the fact that he was regarded as having a good head for semaphore. Earle Page was prime minister for 20 days, not really enough time to unpack his Y-fronts and socks. He was the last man to call Menzies a coward and not be imprisoned at the Governor’s pleasure. He entered the parliament in 1919 and seemed to have little else to do to while away the hours so he hung around in the parliament to contest the 1961 election, despite the obvious public relations disadvantage of being in a coma throughout the entire campaign. Roused to consciousness the day after the election, he looked hopefully at his wife, who responded by shaking her head. Devastated at the loss of his seat, Page returned to his comatose state and died shortly afterwards. As minister for trade and industry, John ‘Black Jack’ McEwen got the bricks and mortar out and got to work on Australia’s already gargantuan tariff wall, making the edifice so large it was expected to keep Mongol hordes from entering Australia for at least eight centuries. McEwen’s plan was to make locally manufactured goods as expensive as locally produced goods while ensuring exports were even more expensive. It kept us safe from the horror of low-priced, well-made goods for decades. He was a genius. Perhaps his greatest gift to the Australian people was keeping Liberal hopeful William McMahon out of the Lodge for as long as humanly possible. Black Jack remained in the parliament for long enough to ensure McMahon’s prime ministership was short-lived thus avoiding the chance of McMahon’s grossly misshapen dial appearing on a $20 note at any time in the future; an act for which we should all be truly grateful. Other heavyweights whose names are vaguely memorable include Tim Fischer, who was a disarmingly likable politician before he proceeded to disarm Australia. Warren Truss shares a name with a type of bridge structure that was popular in the 19th century but isn’t now. Privately colleagues refer to him as ‘The Laundromat’ because if you spend an hour with him you quickly discover it would be more entertaining sitting in one watching your undies going around and around and around. Other National Party figures such as what’s-his-name, who’s it and you know, that guy - always wears a shirt, have represented the party in the parliament over the years with honour and distinction, pushing back their hats and scratching their bonces, pretending they’re as thick as pig shit, while ingeniously setting a ceiling price for Blood & Bone at four cents a tonne. But before you start complaining, just imagine what it would be like if the Nats lost their seats in parliament and were sent back to their farms. Rural Australia wouldn’t be safe for man or beast. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/jacktheinsider/index.php/theaustralian/comments/a_short_history_of_the_national_party/

Bacchus

21/03/2014"[quote]Why doesn’t Labor and the Greens match the ‘Axe the tax’ slogans with ‘Save the planet - Stop pollution’ and ‘Tax the polluters – They are killing us’. It surely must not be beyond PR experts to come up with such counter slogans. Why is Labor seemingly so impotent in alerting the electorate of the existential danger that we, and our successors face? Why does the Coalition get away with its self-interested ‘Axe the tax’, that is diametrically opposed to the common good?[/quote]" That's a VERY good question Ad - I emailed it to my local member. 'Twill be interesting to see what reply comes back.

Ad Astra

21/03/2014Jason What a great piece by Jack the Insider - a delectable mix of bald truth and whimsical humour.

Ad Astra

21/03/2014Bacchus I wonder if you will receive a reply, and if you do, what answers you get? Do let us know.

Ad Astra

21/03/2014TT You are a stalwart - the type of supporter Labor should value and respect. We do here. You are one who keeps our spirits high. Thank you.

Curi-Oz

21/03/2014A reflection on #MarchInMarch http://wp.me/p3xJZ6-7a

TalkTurkey

21/03/2014TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey · 39s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEllHMWkXEU Sinodinos Has fat hands Dear But they're not quite Pearly White! $20 million Was so near Dear Now it's all turned Into SHITE! When Sinodinos Dips his hands Dear How the ripples Start to spread! Sinodinos Has fancy friends Dear And they're caught with Hands all red! PiG~Thing Abborrrtt Poodle Pyne and Fat Joe Hockey Best leave town! Now the line forms On the Right Dear: With Sinodinos You're Going DOWN!

TalkTurkey

22/03/2014Several Comrades including Ad astra have said some very nice things to me the last few days. Thank you folks, I'm deeply touched. (But you knew that anyway, yes.) Curi-Oz I am full of myself that you are on Pre-Poll duty if that was down to me. But it's really down to you of course. Patricia I'd love to come to Perth again one day, might only be dreaming but I've a family of friends I'd like to see there too, so might happen. Thanks for the welcome anyway. I met jaycee at MarchInMarch Adelaide, I gave him a Brucie Bilby book and he likes it so much he asked if I could donate some to his local LAP (Local Action Plan) organization. (Some more puffing-up for flaccid old me!) [Turns out he lives in the next little town to where my long-time friend Malcolm Beare inventor of the Beare Six-Stroke Engine lives, I'll be able to drop in tohim when I visit jaycee as planned. jaycee is Sir Duzzalot for his LAP mob, he's into ecology which is my true love too, and also shares an interest in engines with Malcolm, I love it when I can help solder connections between clever people.] Well as Ad has always said, TPS is a family, even if our members are mostly down the Pub at the moment, or Tweeting or something, but hang in Me Hearties, The Sword is a vital weapon in the coming battle however long it takes. But I'll tell you who is the real trooper here, it is [i]Casablanca,[/i] beavering away at all hours collecting publishing and most importantly [i]archiving[/i] all that is best breaking political news. She took over from Lynnie a mere matter of days before the election, and staunchly keeps it happening, even though the motivation now is so much diminished, without the goad of an imminent battle. Both Lynnie and Casablanca rate a Distinguished Service Medal in the Political Sword Division of the Fighting Fifth Estate. Casablanca you are our Anchor.

TalkTurkey

22/03/2014I meant to include jaycee's LAP link. Mid-Murray LAP Forum. Google it, too easy. A big and informative site with a lot of thought gone into it. Can't wait to interact with some of the folks up there. It's a brilliant area, desperately needing loving rehabilitation. And Malcolm Beare's genius engine is called the Beare Six-Stroke, he has built motorcycles prototypes which are both more fuel-efficient, cleaner, simpler, with superior torque characteristics, and one of which is RACE-TRACK PROVEN against a tweaked bigger-engine bike at Mallala, I was there to witness its shake-down run, FANTASTIC!

Ad astra

22/03/2014Folks We are off to Melbourne today for a couple of weeks.

Ad astra

23/03/2014Curi-Oz That was a fine analysis of the MSM reportage of MinM. Have you considered writing for TPS?

TalkTurkey

23/03/2014Fitzsimons on *JU*L*I*A*s soon-to-be-released book! http://www.smh.com.au/comment/word-is-out-julia-gillards-memoir-will-be-a-stunner-20140322-359yw.html or at the following unmetered site: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/word-is-out-julia-gillards-memoir-will-be-a-stunner-20140322-359yw.html

jaycee

23/03/2014The perception of excellence. An interesting thing came to my attention over the weekend..I was assisting my partner at an equestrian event where she competed in several classes with her two horses. She is a good rider, and I have been her strapper and video recorder for around a dozen years...so both herself and even more so, myself, have been able to assess the standard of rider opposition and judging levels over those years. Of course, as everybody who rides horses knows, it can all come down to "the horse on the day"...but there are consistencies and they are the judging criteria that make or break the ride. These criteria would be the ones handed down from eons ago using a set of standards of excellence for each level of competition. These standards were evolved from centuries of cavalry maneuvers required to keep a squadron of horses manageable in a battle situation..I hardly need tell you what sort of discipline THAT would require! Of course, such "hard core" training has been eased somewhat to accommodate the use of sporting horses in a social day out. But.....a strange realisation came to me this past weekend...My partner had competed in two events of the same level competency, with the same horse, same people competitors and with myself observing...as I have said , I have been watching these competitions for around a dozen years and I am not deluded enough to "guild the lily" on my partners behalf, so I was surprised when those two events she came in second-last in one and second place in the other!....with little discernible difference in performance in both rides....but two different judges. If you Google "Methods of training for horse riding", you will come up with a plethora of individual styles..from "Rough-riding" to 'Touch-therapy' for horses. I won't go into it...for my real purpose for this missive is to discuss 'Perceptions vs. Standards of excellence"..sufficient to say that along with the creeping in of many and various breeds of horses, some quite unsuitable for the competitions they are entered into, along with the many and varied styles of training and riding of competition horses, has come softly, slowly , with a generational change, the "sympathetic" assessment of horsemanship down from a set "standard of excellence" to more of a "perception of excellence" so that while both the horse and rider may be exhibiting those moments of "in -the-frame" composition, both have not been brought there by setting the solid / correct foundations to create that "frame", but have been "confected" to behave "as if" it has been trained thoroughly in horsemanship skills.....THIS confected "perception of excellence" has permeated through many branches and skills of our society, from excellence in manufacture, to science and medicine to management to politics.It has damaged our society and left it vulnerable to persuasive propaganda that shifts opinions and sways decisions on little more than "false-reality" instant gratification. Self-esteem is everything in our society...no-one is a loser.."there are many ways of skinning a cat"...but in some things, near enough is NOT good enough...and you can't get away with "fake it till you make it"...in my trade in building, structure is everything and it is too late and too dangerous to get wisdom in hindsight..there are standards of excellence...in lens-polishing, for instance, a milli-point or two from perfect would be disastrous...as in any demanding profession...there ARE set standards of excellence that MUST be adhered to for success to be achieved..we cannot let these slip, yet that is exactly what has happened in our politics..in our parliament...and the judges of those standards have foolishly let themselves be persuaded that it was THEY who had "got it right" when they allowed the outrageous destruction of House Procedures to slide into the mire of LNP. corruption that is the present govt'. Like those sympathies that have corrupted the set standards of excellence in many skills, the MSM. press Gallery journalists were spoon-fed, in small increments over a long period of time, the perception that Labor were incompetent, even though they had moved swiftly to alleviate the hardships of the GFC. the collapse of Financial Advisers Securities, moved on Climate Change legislation...tried to apply regional refugee solutions..the NDIS. the NBN. broadband...and all the rest...but somehow, all the press-gallery could see was "leadership, leadership, leadership"...why, because the moguls who owned them told them so, the LNP. press releases told them nothing more, their own egos sought to be the "first with the latest"..in short, they reported Labor as a lost cause because of a mistake with their "perception of excellence" and reported the Abbott opposition as the best thing since sliced bread, in spite of his many quite glaring and ghastly failings, because of their failure to report with the "standard of excellence" which was once the cornerstone of their job-skill.....their stupidity and gullibility is now written in Australian history. This dangerous twisting awry of what is required to make an action "Standard best practice" to accepting an action as "Perceived best practice" has leeched into the electorate and allowed the lie of the "motherhood statement" to be accepted as a near-enough "perception of done-deed" so that with the LNP. "200 policies costed and ready to go" and the "We will bring the 'out-of-control' budget back in the black by 2016"...were embraced as actual policy. promised and delivered....or should I say : "Perceived as delivered"? The electorate, by allowing its' "self-esteem" to be stroked and massaged in this way, has given away democracy for the price of a couple of "magic beans"...someone is going to have to tell them that fairy-tales do not come true...magic does not happen...God does not save little children from drowning and economic rationalism is not going to deliver than a better standard of living....but with this whole-hearted and deluded embracing of a perception of excellence, it is going to be a bloody difficult job!

Casablanca

23/03/2014Congratulations to Premier elect Jay Weatherill

2353

23/03/2014Congratulations TT, you helped. [quote]Labor to form government in South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill announces the independent MP Geoff Brock has given his support and will receive a ministry[/quote] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/23/labor-to-form-government-in-south-australia?CMP=ema_632

Curi-Oz

23/03/2014Thank you for the compliment Ad Adstra. I hadn't thought about writing for others in that way. I shall now consider it. *runs in small panicked circles* *g*

Curi-Oz

23/03/2014I do like a man with a good turn of phrase! [b]@TonyHWindsor[/b] 10:20am via Twitter for iPhone [quote]My advice to Geoff Brock is to avoid where possibly the use of News Ltd paper He should use Sorbent It records what actually occurs [/quote]
What does two plus 1 equal?