Would Tony Abbott really be stupid enough to trash the NBN?

It was Nick Minchin who said that his broadband was fast enough for him. He could not see why the country should embark on an expensive very fast fibre-to-the-home/business/institution National Broadband Network. So if today’s broadband is good enough for Nick, what on earth are the NBN advocates carrying on about?

As has been the case with other worthy initiatives it has introduced, the Government has not clearly explained to the people just what an NBN would do for this country. This piece is an attempt to fill that gap.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in December 2007 there were 7.1 million Internet subscribers: 964, 000 business and government subscribers and 6.14 million household subscribers. An ABS survey found that in 2006–07, 64 per cent of Australian households had home Internet access and 73 per cent had access to a home computer. Children aged five to 14 are major users of computers and the Internet. Of the 2.7 million children in this age group, 65 per cent use the Internet and 92 per cent use a computer. That was three years ago. I heard just this week that 80% of Australians now use the Internet. It can scarcely go much higher unless we give iPads to babies and the very elderly.

To start from the very ordinary, let’s look at simple tasks such as up and downloading files to and from the Internet.

This week, while loading LYN’S DAILY LINKS for July on my remote server, because it was a very large file after the month’s links were aggregated, it took over half an hour, during which I could not use the Internet at all. I’m using Next G Wireless Broadband, which even in rural areas is a lot faster than the old dial-up connection I used previously. How many would now be content with that? As each improvement comes along, it is avidly taken up. When Labor came to power in 2007, our speeds were 35 times slower than the fastest nation. To stay in the race, we needed to improve our performance. No one wants to go back to the old days, or even stay where we are, except perhaps Nick Minchin, who like Tony Abbott spends too much time looking in the rear-view mirror.

What will the NBN do that current broadband won’t?

Well, it will connect 93 percent of all Australian homes, schools and workplaces with broadband services with speeds up to 100 megabits per second – a 100 times faster than those currently used by many households and businesses, and connect all other premises with next generation wireless (4%) and satellite technologies (3%) that will deliver broadband speeds of 12 megabits per second with average data rates more than 20 times higher than most users of these technologies experience today.

For more details of the NBN, click here.  To see the map of where the NBN and the other technologies will be connected, click here.  

What will the NBN do for us?

For those who download music and video, films and the like, download times will be vastly decreased, minutes instead of hours. Now if that was all the NBN achieved, it could be argued that the value of spending $43 billion on it would be questionable. But, good though these faster speeds are for music lovers and film buffs, it is all the other things that will be achieved that make the expense not just worthwhile, but essential.

The most significant hindrance to the NBN is the paucity of imagination of those who offer an opinion. There are applications of this super-fast technology that have not even been thought of. Time and again inventions have been discounted by the unimaginative, such as the US army general who, early last century, said he couldn’t see a place for the new-fangled airplane in warfare. While watching the first episode of Return to Cranford on ABC TV, it was fascinating to see the resistance of the folk in that small village to the advent of the steam train and a rail line coming to their village. They were not only fearful about its effect, but skeptical about its value too. It reminded me of the comments of Nick Minchin and Tony Abbott, who says he will offer a ‘no frills’ version of broadband, not this flash expensive thing called an NBN.

So let’s leave the unimaginative to their narrow thinking and expand our minds to imagine what the NBN can do, might do.

Health care

First let’s contemplate its application in healthcare, in which everyone has an interest. It is now considered equitable to offer the best of specialized services to even the most remotely placed, but as everyone knows it is not possible to staff every small town with the specialized amenities that exist in the heart of big cities. Indeed even outer suburban and regional centres do not have all the sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic services that those in city centres do. With the NBN this deficiency can be at least partly ameliorated. Let me give some examples.

Imaging is now central to diagnosis and therapy. With 100 Mbps speeds there would be none of the buffering we now experience – images would be transmitted with such speed and resolution from a remote location that it would seem as if one was in the same room as the radiologist looking at his own computerized images, and able to talk with him by VoIP.

Imagine how consultations could be carried out between a patient in a doctor’s consulting room in a remote area and a city-based specialist. By video link a virtual consultation could be carried out by the specialist with both the patient and the doctor, the physical findings provided by the remote doctor, and lab tests, cardiographs and imaging available instantly. In dermatological conditions the remote dermatologist could even see the rash or lesion in high resolution, which with the history is usually all that is needed for diagnosis. Think of the time saved in travel by patients and doctors. This is already beginning to happen. The NBN could revolutionize health care in remote, rural, regional and even suburban areas, largely removing the burden of remoteness and long travel, of which country people are only too aware.

Many doctors and patients now communicate remotely by email. Imagine how much a video link could add to that form of communication. In situations where physical contact is unnecessary, think how well a consultation could be effected via video – it would save the patient travel and waiting time and the doctor too would save time.

e-health is another recent initiative, vital to proper maintenance of patient health records and universally available to any authorized healthcare professional at any time in any place. While able to be implemented without the NBN, it would work so much better with it. It is estimated to make a major improvement in the use of medications by avoiding duplication, mistakes and incompatibilities, and will significantly reduce medical errors and patient morbidity and deaths. Ten percent of patient admissions are related to medication problems. Imagine the cost saving if that number could be reduced through electronic records.

There are now systems which enable monitoring of vital signs such as blood pressure and heart and lung function remotely in nursing homes or patients’ homes, thereby saving on nursing visits; imagine how much better this would be with fast broadband – visual images of the patient could easily be added.

But it gets even better. Nowadays much surgery is done laparoscopically. Kevin Rudd had his gallbladder removed in this way. So-called robot prostate surgery is commonplace. All that is required is that the laparoscope and accompanying instruments be placed in situ by the surgeon, who then operates by manipulating remote ‘play station’ controls while looking at a TV monitor. As the surgeon no longer needs to have his hands on or in the patient, he can operate ‘remotely’. Usually he will be in the operating theatre, but could be next door, or with the NBN in another building, or in another city. So long as the remote doctor is trained to insert the laparoscope and the instruments, which would come within the scope of rural practitioners, the specialist surgeon could be anywhere with 100 Mbps broadband. Think of the saving in time and travel, and the inconvenience avoided. If it sounds too high-flying, wait and see.

What about education?

With NBN speeds teachers need not be where the students are. Although personal contact between students and their teachers is an essential part of the educational process, it is where high tech teaching from specialized teachers is not available that video links from such teachers to any number of classrooms would be possible with the NBN. These highly talented teachers could be spread so much more widely than at present. The NBN could provide virtual excursions for students to hard-to-access locations, and while actual visits are valuable, how many more visits could be made through the virtual world?

The rapid speeds of the NBN and the larger bandwidth would allow much faster access to Internet sites for more students simultaneously – the whole world of information and experience via the Internet would unfold magically in a way we never could have foreseen even a few years ago.

Would it help business?

We live in a globalized world in which already hundreds of thousands of transactions are carried out across the world every day. The NBN will bring even more rapid speeds to transactions, quicker access to databases, and the capacity for virtual communication across the globe. Already VoIP is providing this but is limited by data transmission speeds. With the NBN it will be possible to speak with someone on the other side of the world as if they were sitting across the desk, and share with them files, spreadsheets and databases even better than if they were looking over one’s shoulder. Files would be shunted around the world in an instant.

The need for international travel for meetings and conferences would be diminished, as teleconferencing would provide virtual meeting and conference capabilities. Think of the saving in time and travel, and with it the diminution of carbon emissions occasioned by air travel.

What about local business?

Here the NBN may be even more valuable. Leaving aside the advantages of 100 Mbps speeds mentioned above that apply to local as well as international business, think of what it could do for workplace management. Without minimizing the value of personal contact with workmates, there are situations where such contact may not be necessary every day. Take an office environment where most employees are sitting at their computers working on files or through the Internet. They may see each other at the water cooler or at lunch, but otherwise they sit alone gazing at computer screens. If they need to talk to a colleague they walk to his or her workstation. But even that perambulation is no longer necessary; they send each other emails or Twitters, or phone, and some now use VoIP. They use cloud computing to share and update files that live somewhere in the ether, each update automatically updating all versions of the file on multiple computers. Why could they not do that from home? Why could not employees be rostered to spend one day a week working from home, then two, then maybe three? Some human interaction would be desirable, but it does not need to be every day; after all we still take off weekends, just to get away from it all. With the super fast NBN, rather than walking down the corridor to a colleague, they would communicate by VoIP and if more than one person is involved, by teleconferencing. This would be convenient, instantaneous, and highly effective. The non-verbal signals colleagues might exhibit would be obvious on high definition video.

The need for interstate and overseas travel would diminish, as high-resolution instantaneous teleconferencing would create a virtual conference environment where everyone could see and talk with anyone, where audio or visual presentations could be heard and seen clearly on large high-definition monitors, and where decisions could be taken as efficiently as in an actual meeting. Think of the time saved for example in making a trip for a meeting in another capital city: the time saved in travel to the airport and waiting for embarkation, the hour or two of air travel, the taxi travel at the destination, and all that over again on the way home. An hour-long meeting might take a whole day.

Obviously not all businesses could work in this way. Retail outlets would need staff on location, as would construction projects, but if half the office workforce was enabled to work from home half the time, just imagine how this would contribute to lessening the time spent in travel to and from work, and in easing the road congestion that we hear on the radio every morning and evening, or suffer in our motorcars. Think about how it would take pressure off public transport systems. The burden and expense of building more roads and rail services to overcome our infrastructure deficiencies would be lessened. The NBN might turn out to be one of the most effective means of reducing traffic congestion and lessening travel time.

Now not everyone is suitable for working alone from home, but many already do and many more might be interested and willing, especially as the hours taken for travel mount. Who would not want to avoid being stuck in traffic for a couple of hours a day? Many might be willing to give some of the time saved back to the employer. A plan to enable work-from-home could be introduced slowly, home offices established by the employer, and any expenses incurred would be tax-deductable or reimbursed by the employer.

The reduction in carbon pollution would become increasingly significant as the number taking up this option rose. Firms would need less office space and would pay less rent. The NBN could revolutionize many businesses and work patterns, save money, improve productivity, increase profits and enhance participation and worker satisfaction. The potential economic benefits are enormous.

The personal benefits

Many extended families live in widely separated places that make personal contact expensive and time consuming. Think of the benefits of having regular powwows with siblings, grown children and their families living remotely, with friends, with elderly relatives in nursing homes. Think of the joy of conversing in real time via brilliant images that bring family and friends into the living room in vivid colour.

The social benefits of the NBN have scarcely been considered. They could be very substantial.

The unknown benefits

The benefits mentioned above are just some. The ability to enjoy a vast array of virtual online entertainment opens up countless opportunities for those so inclined.

But benefits will emerge that we have not yet imagined. Some of you may have ideas already.

Where is the NBN at?

According to the Government website, under Stage 1 of the priority rollout in Tasmania, the first services have been switched on in the communities of Midway Point, Smithton and Scottsdale. Stage 2 of the rollout will cover the communities of Sorell, Deloraine, George Town, St Helens, Triabunna, Kingston Beach, and South Hobart. Stage 3 will cover another 90, 000 premises: 40, 000 in Hobart, 30, 000 in Launceston and 10, 000 in each of Devonport and Burnie. The first building blocks of the NBN on the mainland are also underway. Under the NBN Regional Backbone Blackspots Program around 6,000 km of new, competitive fibre optic backbone links are being rolled out in regional Australia. Already, over 1,200 kilometres of fibre has been laid. These backbone links will benefit approximately 400,000 people in over 100 regional locations. This part of the rollout will also create around 1000 full time jobs.

So would Tony Abbott be stupid enough to trash the NBN? Could he?

I believe the answer to the first question is ‘yes’. He is obsessed with his ‘debt and deficit’ mantra, despite Glenn Stevens saying quite recently that: “There is virtually no net public debt in the country at all in contrast to much of the developed world. The most recent figures out of Canberra was a peak of five or six per cent of GDP. So far from that being the highest in history, it is closer to the lowest". The graph on Grog’s Gamut shows this in a startling way.  

Because he is using ‘debt and deficit’ to support his ‘repay the debt’ slogan, and because a large chunk of his ‘savings’ supposedly comes from abandoning the NBN, he has locked himself into this course of action if he becomes PM. So he may well halt the NBN rollout. To my mind this would be the most backward move, the move most limiting to health, education, business and social progress that he could make.

Could he? Writing in iTWire in Could Tony Abbott unscramble the NBN egg? James Riley says: “…could Tony Abbott realistically pull apart a national fibre roll-out that has a considerable momentum of its own through the ambitious efforts of the NBN Company and its energetic NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley.

“Well, yes he can.

“Tens of millions of dollars has been spent across Australia and across the economy – by small business, local councils, state governments, educations institutions, utility companies and multinational giants alike – to prepare for opportunities that would derive from high speed fibre. Huge additional sums have been spent by the communications sector, both potential suppliers to the project in preparing to tender, and by those service providers who will use the network. Construction companies have been tooling up and spooling up for the biggest (geographically and monetarily) job many some will ever see. And, of course, there is the NBN Company itself, well advanced after just one year, both in building the commercial infrastructure of a large, complex business operation and in building the network itself. From the state of the art network-operating centre in Melbourne to the early roll out in Tasmania to the fibre in the ground around Australia, the project has moved quickly.

“But the NBN policy is by no means embedded. The egg is not yet scrambled, the roll-out can be halted with relative ease, the ubiquitous fibre policy dismantled.”


Later Riley says: “This is a genuine problem that has everyone in the telco sector – perhaps excluding Telstra – terrified. It would be just plain bad news. For consumers, for businesses, for the economy.” He concludes: “It is galling that the Coalition would put itself before the Australian people seeking government without even paying lip service to [an NBN]. It is one thing to punch a hole in the NBN Company and sink it without a trace. But developing and explaining a credible alternative policy that doesn't also sink the chances of historic industry reform is quite another. Not even addressing the issue three weeks out from a federal election is unbelievable.”

Stephen Conroy warned an Australian Information Industry Association luncheon last week that given the threat to halt the NBN, a change of government could ‘wreak havoc’ on the biggest micro-economic reform of the past decade. "If we win this one, the NBN will be unstoppable. It is almost unstoppable now, but if we lose the election Tony Abbott could wreak havoc," Conroy said. "In three more years time, as we have pulled the copper out of homes to connect to fibre, there would be no turning back."

So there you have it, Tony Abbott could ‘wreak havoc’ if he wins and probably will. This would not only be stupid but reckless and destructive of our health and education systems, and our economy, just to save a few dollars, just to save the best and largest investment in infrastructure this country has ever had. That is what you will get if he becomes PM.

But have you read any in-depth appraisal of the NBN in the MSM, any critique of its worth or the consequences of halting it? I haven’t; if you have, please post the link. The preference of most of the media for the trivial, the scandalous and the drama of the campaign has resulted is a paucity of sound analysis of policies and plans.

There are many things Abbott is threatening to stop if he gets into power, but of all of these threats, in my view the gravest and most dangerous and destructive one is his threat to trash the NBN.

What do you think?

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George Pike

4/08/2010Great piece Ad...right to the heart of the matter and missed nothing! It also links in with the climate change debate due to the fact that so much pollution will be stopped via the use of the NBN for online conferences, education, medical consultation and commerce reasons. It will be the super highway of the future for sure...and Abbott wants to dig it up before it gets a chance to prove itself....what a visionary!

jimbo

4/08/2010Gday again lynn Has everyone on this blog been to the cfmeu site if not it is a worthwhile visit.You click on cfmeu then you click on the mining and energy link then on the right hand side of the page you will see a fair go for billionaires click on that and you will see a page with a number of dropdowns one of which is videos which gives you three goodies to watch also there is a billionaire calculator which is a lot of fun i have attemted to get the videos on facebook i dont know how i went but there are other sites these can be sent to but its for p3eople who belong to them i only have facebook maybe good for people on some of the others to try and get them on the other sites.Oh and George Pike on Abbott being a visionary thats very hard for him to do when hes looking out of one eye,HIS BROWNEYE.

Michael

4/08/2010Yes.

George Pike

4/08/2010Check this out and tell me the ABC are not just a scurrilous pack of pro-corporate frauds of the lowest order! What they fail to make obvious in this sham report is the fact that people would cash in their savings if they had the chance..in super it is held until they retire...so 3.5% of a lot is a whole lot better than 10% of nothing! These people are getting out of control with their treachery...this whole article is obviously a ploy to whack the government over the mining tax and the superannuation increase that will flow from it. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/04/2973596.htm?section=justin

jj

4/08/2010Sure, all of these things are great, but we have no idea what alternative part-government, part-private partnership might look like. We don't have a realistic picture of what the take-up rate will be. There has been no cost benefit analysis done on the project. There has been no business plan developed for the scheme. I believe that the NBN is a great idea, high speed internet is the best way to go; but by being sloppy on the detail, sloppy on the costings of the scheme, and sloppy on how much the scheme will cost to those who want to access it, they have left themselves open to attack from the coalition. A government that is really committed to the idea of a scheme like this would have dotted the i's and crossed the t's, but they haven't.

jimbo

4/08/2010George I agree to a certain extent but if they are going after a government it is primarily, going by the the years it covers,something that has come about during howard and costellos watch.

Oliver Townshend

4/08/2010Great stuff. We've posted a link to this in our Facebook Group - Australians for the National Broadband Network - if anyone wants to join.

Lyn

4/08/2010Hi Ad Here is our good friends at the Cafe Whispers: This Man Could Be The Next Treasurer…Gawd Help Us, Nasking, Cafe Whispers I say to you, it doesn’t matter what the credit rating is you have to pay the debt. You have to repay the debt. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/this-man-could-be-the-next-treasurer-gawd-help-us/

Bilko

4/08/2010AA fine article, what with the possible fire sale of Medicare and canceling the NBN Abbott will have taken us back to the inquisition, the real dark ages, with all us oldies forced back into the workforce via $250 a fortnight bribe to the big end of town makes middle class welfare pale into insignificance. I have Transact here at home but I would still welcome FTTH and some of the known knowns and some of the unknown knowns or even the unknown unknowns, shades of Bush,s def sec name defeats me at present. Let us hope the ALP gets its act together before I am too depressed even to read the blogs

George Pike

4/08/2010Abbott looked decidedly rattled all day today...while Julia looked as cool as a cucumber, she's right in her element here, Abbott is a fish out of water. Hi Jimbo, what they are doing is undermining the superannnuation system full stop...pretty amazing seeing as how it's whacked $1.5 TRILLION into our national savings account hey! I'll bet the industry fund managers are fuming at the ABC for acting with such contempt for the truth with that story, and with the follow up on the news tonight. It is just so obvious, considering the behaviour of Ticky Fullerton and Alan Koehler against the MRRT, that this is just another ploy to hinder the government's plans to introduce that tax. Whether they have a vested interest in doing so is anyones guess, but it seems to be more than just simple ideological constraint forcing them to hold their unreasonable and unconscionable line against it.

Michael Cusack

4/08/2010To believe in the NBN (or any new technology)requires imagination. Being a Conservative is evidence of having no imagination. QED.

Miglo

4/08/2010Is he stupid enough? Yes. Will he do it? No. Hi Oliver - I joined last week. Damien and team are doing a great job.

Lyn

4/08/2010Hi Ad Two links to 2 good reports well, at least fairer anyway, for a change: [i]Surplus blunder reveals Coalition's economic woes , Peter hartcher, national Times[/i] none of the Coalition economics team has even one day's experience managing a national economy. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/surplus-blunder-reveals-coalitions-economic-woes-20100803-115g5.html Up in the air: campaign hits the halfway Mark MARK DAVIS AND JACQUELINE MALEY, SMH August 4, 2010 - 7:50PM Then Abbott's Freudian (?) slip-up in [b]referring to Labor as the "former government"[/b] was also frowned upon by Nine's political editor Laurie Oakes. [b]Oakes found more signs of hubris [/b]in the Liberal camp in a tweet by NSW Liberal MP Alex Hawke on the opinion polls which declared: "[b]I love the small of Newspoll [/b]in the morning." Then more on the manouevring by Tony Abbott to avoid Julia Gillard's challenge to a second debate, leading Oakes to conclude that Abbott now sees himself as the [b]frontrunner[/b] and is trying to avoid the risk a debate would present. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/up-in-the-air-campaign-hits-the-halfway-mark-20100804-115qs.html

Lyn

4/08/2010Hi Ad Grog has another wonderful piece, thankyou Gro: [i]Election 2010: Day 19 (or his ghost may be heard) Grog,Grog's Gamut[/i] keep hammering away at Abbott on the economy because he and Hockey are complete dills on the subject (read The SMH’s Peter Hartcher to see just how bad). http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-19-or-his-ghost-may.html

Ethistan

4/08/2010You just can't satisfy some people like jj. You take the time to work it out, get all the details right and you are having a "talk-fest" and "governing by committee" and you never get anything done (apparently). If you mature the plan for something as you develop it and are in consultation while you do it then you are shoddy and sloppy and a hundred other pejorative terms. Whatever you do, you can be sure that some people will say that what you did is the exact wrong thing to do, even if what you did turned out brilliantly (GFC response anyone?). Most of the points you raise jj are things which are worked out based on other things which take time to progress. The cost of access to the NBN depends on the build cost, which depends on whether it is run through existing infrastructure like underground cables or whether new trenches have to be built, which in turn depends on cooperation from Telstra, which requires agreement from the board and shareholders, and so on, which can take an inordinate amount of time. But Labor believes that the NBN will be so good for the country and it will return far more both economically and socially that it is always going to go ahead with it, and there will always be a business plan that can be made to fit with what the eventual plan is. But you say that these "flaws" left the government open to attack from the coalition. Mate, the Liberals will be contrary to absolutely everything the government does and will pick the smallest flaw, or even make up lies and just hammer them home to try and kill the government's initiative. Their concern isn't in getting the best for Australia, it is to bring down a government. Based on the coalition's activities under Abbott, and it seems you share his sentiment jj, it wouldn't matter if the NBN plan was the single most brilliant piece of policy which was going to make a gazillion dollars, Abbott (and you) would say it was crap and that it should be scrapped. They aren't interested in good policy or the good of the country, they are interested in winning an election. I would love to be proved wrong, but sadly, I don't think I will be. It is not a positive plan for the future, rather it is destruction and ruination all the way with Abbot and Co.

vote1maxine

5/08/2010AA Another high standard article! Your statement"the Government has not clearly explained to the people just what an NBN would do for this country" imho is only partly true. Firstly, the Government has introduced/attempted so many good constructive policies (health, education,tax, the economy,addressing CC etc)it has probably spread itself a little thin in the explanation department. Secondly, after the Rip Van Winkle years of the Howard regime where major constructive initatives can be counted on a couple of fingers, Australians have been conditioned to minimalist change. Thirdly, who would be most adversely affected by an NBN? The triumvirate of MSM radio, television and print. The MSM has been the constantly undermining the Government with fabricated negativity to the point where the previously unelectable Abbott (who basically advocates going back to the Howard era) is now a possible alternate PM!!Conspiracy? Follow the money and seek the truth.

vote1maxine

5/08/2010Postscript In answer to your question "would Tony Abbott be stupid enough to trash the NBN?" is yes most certainly. Since w The election of an Abbott Govt. would be the most blatant undermining of democracy by the MSM in our political history. So the Tone would be owing big time to the MSM (as well as the mining lobby, and even big tobacco!) Abbott has made Faustian pacts with these "elements". Never stand in between the National Interest and "say anything, do anything to get elected" Abbott unless you want to be "roadkill".

nasking

5/08/2010Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Love the detail. So convincing. Well done ad Astra. Why on Earth are you not in the mainstream media? You leave many of them for dead. My new post at The Cafe: [quote]A Reminder: The GFC…not "just another day”[/quote] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/a-reminder-the-gfc-not-just-another-day/ Cheers N'

Lyn

5/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010: Day 19 (or his ghost may be heard) Grog,Grog's Gamut[/i] keep hammering away at Abbott on the economy because he and Hockey are complete dills on the subject (read The SMH’s Peter Hartcher to see just how bad). http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-19-or-his-ghost-may.html [i]Morgan phone poll: 50-50[/i] [i]by William Bowe , The Poll Bludger[/i] However, Gillard retains a 48-37 lead as preferred prime minister http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/08/04/morgan-phone-poll-50-50/ [i]Stuff in the papers, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] Possum runs Newspoll and Nielsen state breakdowns through his fantabulous contraption and finds Labor 79.4 per cent likely to win at least 74 seats, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/08/05/stuff-in-the-papers/ [i]Morgan 50-50a poll wrap half way through the campaign,Mark Bahnisch, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Morgan comes in with very similar figures to Newspoll tonight, 50-50 on the 2PP and a 38-45 split on the primaries. William Bowe has more detail. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]First campaign election simulation, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] along the lines of state results (which are the best predictor of the result of any given seat), show that Labor is still in front – but not by a particularly large margin. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/08/04/first-campaign-election-simulation/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrikeyBlogs%2Fpollytics+%28Pollytics%29 [i]The Economic Wisdom of Joe Hockey, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] “If inflation remains out of control, as Hockey insists that it does, then why didn’t the RBA lift rates yesterday? http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/04/the-economic-wisdom-of-joe-hockey/ [i]A Reminder: The GFC…not “just another day, Nasking, Cafe Whispers[/i] I recall clearly the panic that shook Australia & many other countries in those first couple of years of the GFC (Global Financial Crisis). http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/a-reminder-the-gfc-not-just-another-day/ [i]Time to stand up, Tony, Michael Gawenda, Business Spectator[/i] If he continues to reject debating Gillard on the economy, we can conclude that he now stands for nothing much at all. http://www.businessspectator.com.au:80/bs.nsf/Article/Time-to-stand-up-Tony-pd20100804-7YSLF?OpenDocument&src=kgb [i]Kevin could still be Labor’s – Julia’s – saviour, Jeremy Sear, Onymous Lefty[/i] The party that saved the country from a recession that every other Western industrial economy suffered. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/kevin-could-still-be-labors-saviour/ [i]Parental leave: Tony still doesn’t get it, Eva Cox, Crikey[/i] This means it is not a real workplace payment and will do nothing to shift the current gender imbalance of parenting by encouraging more sharing of roles. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/04/parental-leave-tony-still-doesnt-get-it/ [i]What WAS the tobacco industry thinking? Let’s help the Government, maybe…, Croakey[/i] If Abbott doesn’t take a strong stand, he risks looking like a friend of Big Tobacco. . http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2010/08/04/what-was-the-tobacco-industry-thinking-lets-help-the-government-maybe/ [i]Kevin Rudd's Radio National interview with Phillip Adams, Kim, larvatus Prodeo[/i]However, the interview was reported on Lateline as being likely to prove a “distraction” from the ALP campaign. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ Rudd breaks silence on Labor leaks, Sarah Collerton, ABC Mr Rudd told Radio National's Late Night Live program that he was not responsible for the leaks which rocked Labor's election campaign last week. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/04/2973718.htm [i]Real Andrew Bolt is wrong, says Fake Andrew Bolt, Fake Andrew Bolt, Crikey[/i] a blog post entitled “So which media organisation is implicated in this dishonesty?”. News.com.au then followed up with a story entitled Twitter Fake is Identity Theft, says Andrew Bolt. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/04/real-andrew-bolt-is-wrong-says-fake-andrew-bolt/ [i]Is Andrew Bolt implicated in this dishonesty?, Ileum, OzPolitik[/i] Bolt is no stranger to slime or the dog-whistle. He has made untrue and insulting smears and statements about both individuals and cultures, http://ozpolitik.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/is-andrew-bolt-implicated-in-this-dishonesty/ NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK: [i][b]SCENARIOS-[/b]Future of Australia's broadband plan after election, Adrian Bathgate, Reuters[/i] The Coalition has yet to formally announce its policy on telecommunications, but it is expected to reject the NBN in its current form, putting forward a cheaper alternative. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSSGE66P00F20100730 [i]Election 2010: Where's the tech sector, James Riley, ITWire[/i] My guess is that the Coalition is furiously writing and re-writing its broadband plans. Because there is only downside for them in simply ripping up a program that people support http://www.itwire.com/opinion-and-analysis/the-big-house/40925-election-2010-wheres-the-tech-sector

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi Ad Rel no follow on Larvatus. Larvatus Prodeo again: 1. Kevin Rudd's Radio National interview with Phillip Adams, Kim, larvatus Prodeo 2. Morgan 50-50a poll wrap half way through the campaign,Mark Bahnisch, Larvatus Prodeo http://larvatusprodeo.net:80/

Grog

5/08/2010Spot on AA. The NBN is just a basic need. It is a must. Small business is crying out for it - the ALP needs to play it up more - it IS a crucial economic issue - AND the biggest point of difference. No Labor, no NBN.

Ad astra reply

5/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

GrannyAnny

5/08/2010We can't overlook who Tony Abbott works for - big business, including the media moguls. The process may have started but once there is wide spread access to much higher bandwidth our need to use the mogul's existing crappy products will diminish enormously. Abbott will do as he is told.

Valerie

5/08/2010 Lyn Thnx very much for the huge laughs over brekkie, reading the Andrew Blot.. sorry Bolt articles on Crikey and Ozpolitik. The tweets of Hungry Jacks and BB is my nan are clever. Keep them coming

George Pike

5/08/2010Here is what the IT sector thinks of the NBN and the Coalitions stance against it. http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/355781/why_do_nbn_better_cheaper_faster_/

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi Valerie Glad you enjoyed those links, her is another one you may like: Andrew Bolt’s selective hatred of spin, Michael Hudson How lame can you be? How out-of-date in a pop-cultural sense can you be? I’m talking about the [b]Herald Sun here[/b], http://bloghudson.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/bolts-selective-hatred-of-spin/

Gravel

5/08/2010Ad Astra Another brilliant article, thank you. This election can't come and go quick enough for me. We will know on the 22nd. I despair for all Australians if Labor do not win. How much more backward will we become? Has anyone else heard the great interview Kevin did on Radio National Latenight Live? It gave me a lift, now everyone is on deck. How do we now fight the media? I must say ABC news was reporting it straight so it might help somewhat.

Lyn

5/08/2010[b]LATER LINKS[/b] [i]Kevin and the battle for QLD,Amber Jamieson, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] what happened to John Howard? “There’s no mistaking it, John Howard has been placed in deep freeze,”. Abbott needs to buck up and debate Gillard on the economy, argues Paul Kelly in The Oz http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/05/kevin-and-the-battle-for-qld/ [i]Election Tracker: Day 18 — Abbott goes for a roll in Brisbane, Tom Cowie, Crikey[/i] Ton Abbott ,wearing a pair of RM Williams (with a mean cuban heel) on a grass bowling green. “Technically he shouldn’t have had those shoes on,” said Linda from the club. Shame, shame, shame. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/05/election-tracker-day-18-abbott-goes-for-a-roll-in-brisbane/ [i]More on Abbott and carbon taxes, John Quiggin.[/i] Tony Abbott on his repeated claim that a $40/tonne tax on carbon would ‘double the price of electricity, Such a disastrous miscalculation on a central policy issue ought to [b]disqualify him from the Prime Ministership[/b]. http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2010/08/05/more-on-abbott-and-carbon-taxes/ [i]Morgan Polliegraph leaders debate cross tabs[/i]by Possum Comitatus , Pollytics http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/08/05/morgan-polliegraph-leaders-debate-cross-tabs/

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi Granny Anny Phoney didn't have breakfast with Rupert for fun and games.

Ad astra reply

5/08/2010Oliver Townshend Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come again. Thank you for linking us to your Facebook group. Could you please point us to the [i]Australians for the National Broadband Network Facebook Group[/i].

Ad astra reply

5/08/2010George, Bilko, Michael Cusack, miglo, Ethistan, vote1maxine, nasking, GrannyAnnie, Grog, Gravel Thank you for your comments on this piece and your kind remarks, and thank you Lyn for the additional links on this topic and your link George to the Computerworld piece, which is well worth reading. Apart from jj, who talks about there being no cost-benefit analysis, there seems to be a strong consensus among those who commented that the NBN is ESSENTIAL for progress in health, education and business, and that scrapping it would be a monumental tragedy for our nation, and in Julia Gillard’s words, really would take us backwards, compared with the rest of the world. All to save some money! Where is the entrepreneurial spirit that is supposed to characterize Liberal thinkers? jj, whatever you might say about the business plan, there is one that NBN Co has developed that shows that the $43 billion project is financially viable, with its conclusions closely mirroring those of the McKinsey and KPMG implementation study. If that is not be good enough for you, tell us what more you need to be satisfied. I did ask if there was any detailed MSM appraisal of the NBN, and still haven’t found any, but I came across [i]Abbott’s NBN plan will leave us in the broadband ‘Dark Ages’[/i] by David Olsen in [i]Dynamic Business[/i] on 27 July. http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/articles/articles-news/national-broadband-network-tony-abbott-1842.html It’s worth a read.

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi Ad Thankyou Ad very much for your brilliant column on the NBN. [quote]There are many things Abbott is threatening to stop if he gets into power, but of all of these threats, in my view the gravest and most dangerous and destructive one is his threat to [b]trash the NBN[/b].[/quote] The information you have provided in your column is invaluable Ad, it is almost unbelievable that Abbott is contemplating, or should I say would stop the NBN. Abbott is probably like my next door neighbor, who says "what do we need fast broad band for, I can get my emails, I can surf the web". "Narrow minded people on a narrow minded street". You see Ad they think the fast Broadband is all about little them, not the Hospitals, Doctors, Big Business, progress of our country. You see we have another problem the MSM don't even ask about the NBN, Kerrie O'Brien did a segment the other night, but that is a first. [b]Some interesting information for everybody[/b]: So, what is Australia's National Broadband Network? Why is it so important. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd5nfhZo57w We need the NBN because business does, David Duplex, ZNet Perhaps the biggest irony of all this is that [b]Tony Abbott's [/b]abstruse resistance to progress, in the form of his blind determination to axe the NBN, will hold back business development in a time when we really can't afford it. For a party that's supposed to be all about private-sector promotion, light-touch and hands-off policies, [b]Abbott's Liberals [/b]seem happy to tie one hand behind the backs of Australian businesses by taking from them one of the primary things they need to succeed. http://www.zdnet.com.au/we-need-the-nbn-because-business-does-339304950.htm Queensland Decentralisation Dead Without NBN, My Sunshinecoast Mr Schwarten said if Federal Opposition Leader [b]Tony Abbott [/b]carried out his promise to scrap the NBN, Queensland's decentralisation plans were dead. Will they doom [b]Hervey Bay, Toowoomba, Roma, Warwick and a hundred other regional centres to [/b]being IT backwaters? "These people want to be connected to the nation and the world, not taken back to the era of the pedal wireless by [b]Tony Abbott."[/b]http://www.mysunshinecoast.com.au/articles/article-display/queensland-decentralisation-dead-without-nbn,18098 Broadband a Key Election Issue, GET THE WORD OUT The National Broadband Network (NBN) will be scrapped if the [b]Coalition[/b] is elected. Implications are profound and should be understood by voters. http://www.getthewordout.com.au/20100804166/news-room/broadband-a-key-election-issue.htm

janice

5/08/2010If Abbott wins the election he will axe all of Labor's initiatives including NBN. He will sell off Medibank Private and the ABC to those who've already hi-jacked it. Within 12 months we'll be back to the same old health system we had under Howard, education will be sent back a couple of decades and all infrastructure will be left unfunded as it was during the Howard Years. The multi-national companies, big business and the upper classes will flourish at the expense of the rest of us, and we go back to bribing voters with middle class welfare. The taxpayer will be paying for Abbott's lifestyle in Kirribilli House and his to-ing and fro-ing from Sydney to Canberra. Because the mining companies and big business cannot be expected to pay GBNT Abbott will swiftly move to increase the GST to 15% or 20% with the excuse that it is to pay for Labor's Great Big Debt. He might even do a Costello and sell off more of Australia's gold reserves. If Abbott does win there will soon be a few million people who will rue the day they chose to believe the feral Murdoch press and its puppet, the straight talking Tony Abbott, instead of remembering the long list of achievements of this "do nothing government' and being thankful for escaping the pain of a deep recession. Really, unless Australians have gone completely and utterly insane, I still think Labor will be re-elected as it deserves.

jj

5/08/2010"jj, whatever you might say about the business plan, there is one that NBN Co has developed that shows that the $43 billion project is financially viable, with its conclusions closely mirroring those of the McKinsey and KPMG implementation study. If that is not be good enough for you, tell us what more you need to be satisfied." Well if it is so closely mirroring these studies than why didnt they get them to do it rather than an internal biased business plan and cost benefit annalysis. I mean isnt this government supposed to be about "holding things up to the light and examining it from every angle"? Well why dont they actually do it!

George Pike

5/08/2010It's like the highway system JJ...you roll it out bit by bit, mile by mile (showing my age there!) town by town and sort out the bumps along the way...your suggestion that it should be costed fully before a single inch is laid out is preposterous nonsense. If people like Abbott had been running the country back in the eighteen hundreds, we'd still be sailing from Sydney to Melbourne! Cut the backward garbage old son...move forward with the rest of us...

Ad astra reply

5/08/2010Lyn Thank you for your kind remarks and your additional links. Isn’t it amazing that so many are writing about the NBN at about the same time? The Alcatel Lucent You Tube presentation, which I see was made last year, is essential viewing for everyone, particularly Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb. Why has this not been put out widely into the public domain? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd5nfhZo57w I was taken with want David Braue wrote this week in [i]ZDNet: We need the NBN because business does[/i]. Among other things he says: [i]”The most important thing about the NBN isn't its speed — even though its fibre-optic services will easily provide 1Gbps or eventually 10Gbps connections for those who need them. No, the value of the NBN is that it will raise the lowest common denominator and allow every business in the country to link with every other branch office, business partner or telecommuting employee at the same speed as they would use over their internal network. When even your remotest offices have 1Gbps access to the rest of the company, your data can live in Sydney and be backed up there, and remain instantly accessible by your remote staff as if they were sitting in the same office. “As a WAN, in other words, the NBN will resolve decades of compromise to enable businesses to implement the applications they want, where they want them, as their growth and strategy demands. Consider something like cloud computing, which is offering businesses significant promise as a way of providing access to high-end applications without spending millions on infrastructure. Cloud computing is quickly becoming the way businesses will compute, but Australian businesses will miss out on its possibilities if they can't get reliable WAN links that are fast enough to let them participate in the cloud.”[/i] Later he says: “[i]I shouldn't have to write this column, but the persistence of uninformed comments makes it necessary. The only people I really hear arguing against the NBN any more are those who dismiss it offhand as too expensive or useless for anything outside their own narrow home use; but they are out there, and they do vote. And if they vote for Tony Abbott and his minions, they will be voting against nothing less than the future of Australian business. “Perhaps the biggest irony of all this is that Tony Abbott's abstruse resistance to progress, in the form of his blind determination to axe the NBN, will hold back business development in a time when we really can't afford it. For a party that's supposed to be all about private-sector promotion, light-touch and hands-off policies, Abbott's Liberals seem happy to tie one hand behind the backs of Australian businesses by taking from them one of the primary things they need to succeed. “What anybody weighing in on this debate needs to understand is, firstly, that the private sector will never deliver the kind of NBN that Australia really needs; and, secondly, that the real benefits the NBN will provide lie not in its speed, but in its ubiquity. Raising the bar for all Australian business communications, regardless of source or destination, business or home use, will pay off in ways we cannot even imagine.”[/i] What more needs to be said about the need for an NBN for business? janice Sadly, what you say about the election of an Abbott Government is so true, so tragically true. If only Labor would say more about the NBN and the consequences of scrapping it, the electorate might realize how far backwards we will go with Backward-Looking Tony at the helm.

Ad astra reply

5/08/2010Folks I'll be on the road for the next few hours. Back this evening.

Canbra Dave

5/08/2010I was listening to the radio today and I heard part of an interview with Bronwyn Bishop. She was talking about the coalition's proposal to pay businesses to hire older workers and she started talking about discrimination. She explained how she encountered sexism when she first ran for the Senate in NSW. About how people had asked "why should we have a woman in the Senate when we have never had one before". She also said that her experiences have helped shape her so that she hopes that Australia stops discrimination upon the basis of sex, race, or age. However the interviewer didn't ask her and her party continue to support discrimination on the basis of sexuality. I'll be sure to bring this up with her if I ever meet her face to face.

debbiep

5/08/2010 Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Love the detail. So convincing. Well done ad Astra. Why on Earth are you not in the mainstream media? ========================== Note; Political ( media) Advisor may be more appropriate ...LOL :)

jimbo

5/08/2010So what we need is to get that you tube video out to the wider community so that they can find out the benefits of the nbn.How to do that is the question,is there any budding I.T. people out there in the political sword with the knowhow to do this if so go for it,this could be the difference between a backword thinking and looking party and the labor party with good policies for australias future becoming our government.

George Pike

5/08/2010How's this for a god old fairytale from the ABC's storytellers! Notice how it's "Mr" Murdoch this and "Mr" Murdoch that...much more civil towards the old crock than any of his gutter rags are to any of the politicians of the world! http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/05/2974577.htm?section=justin If he is not 100% behind the anti-Labor campaign I'll eat my back fence!

jj

5/08/2010"It's like the highway system JJ...you roll it out bit by bit, mile by mile (showing my age there!) town by town and sort out the bumps along the way...your suggestion that it should be costed fully before a single inch is laid out is preposterous nonsense. If people like Abbott had been running the country back in the eighteen hundreds, we'd still be sailing from Sydney to Melbourne! Cut the backward garbage old son...move forward with the rest of us..." That's the Labor party way: spend, spend, spend without doing costings. The NBN is supposed to be a business which will be later broken up so the government can get a capital return; but who is going to want to but a stake in a business that hasnt been costed, and doesn't have a plan? You obviously havent run a business before. Just imagine if you ran a business and took your approach; here is the scenario: You go to the bank to get funds, the bank manager asks you for your business plan; you reply that you dont have one. The bank manager then asks for your budget and costings; you say, "we will work it out along the way". The bank manager would then look at the budget you had done up and see that when you first came up with the idea you said it costed $4 billion, and then two and a half years later you say it is going to cost $43 billion. The bank manager would tell you to get out and get real. Now the government expects the public, that is "mums and dads", to invest in this scheme. Now why the hell would you invest in something that has so far had a $40 billion change to its start up costs; has no business plan; no costings; no independent projections of take up rates; and has had many experts in the IST sector saying that it is just one massive new monopoly which may actually cost 100% more than planned? As i have said, can someone on this blog please tell me why the government wouldnt have done the business plan and the costings before they begun paying the salaries for bureaucrats and paying for materials? They do it for roads, rail, ports, hospitals and housing, so why not on the biggest capital expenditure this country has ever seen?

George Pike

5/08/2010There's none so blind as those who refuse to see..

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi JJ I will try to answer your question, because it is worrying you very much. [quote]can someone on this blog please tell me why the government wouldnt have done the business plan [/quote] The Government is not a Business, they are the law makers of our Country. The Government make the rules, elected by the people to make the rules and the law. They are not a registered Business, the way you talk you would think the Government is News Corporation, BHP, National Australia Bank, The Commonwealth Bank, the Government makes all the rules, guidelines, and regulations for Banks & businesses. The Government is elected to Govern the country, that is why we have Parliament, sitting members, Senate, all those laws and regulations are passed in Parliament. Everybody knows it is necessary to spend money to make money, how did Australia recover from The Great Depression. Even if I want to win lotto, I need to pay for a ticket. How did our Government just save us from a depression, it certainly wouldn't have helped out country if the Coalition were in Government. They just love robbing money of the ordinary people to put in future funds, cutting funding to the States, cutting funding to the Hospitals, robbing the workers, taking away the workers entitlements like holiday pay, overtime, penalty rates. It is also evident that you do not understand the NBN, you should watch the video I have posted in my links this morning, have you read Ad Astra's brilliant piece on the NBN Don't talk to me about a Coalition Government, the nastiest meanest Government to ever blight this country. I have tried to help you JJ, please don't worry so much, look at the good things this Government has done and be appreciative.

jj

5/08/2010"They just love robbing money of the ordinary people to put in future funds, cutting funding to the States, cutting funding to the Hospitals, robbing the workers, taking away the workers entitlements like holiday pay, overtime, penalty rates." "Everybody knows it is necessary to spend money to make money" What amazingly economically illiterate comments you have just made. No you didnt answer my question; your simple reply "Everybody knows it is necessary to spend money to make money" just shows how you Labor supporters think: spend, spend, spend, spend and then worry about the consequences later. Oh and just to rebut you ludicrous comment, we dont know whether this scheme is going to be able to make money, that is the point i am making; if they had have done a business plan than maybe the comment you made might have actually made sense. You are right the government is not a business, but the proposed NBN scheme is; as i explained, the government is going to build the network and then sell it off after it is done. Now who is going to want to take a stake in the project if they dont know whether it is going to make money. Just remember, not everyone invests with the same stupid thought process as you, ("Everybody knows it is necessary to spend money to make money", Geez i love that!) some investors actually look for good returns on their investments. "They just love robbing money of the ordinary people to put in future funds" Once again you show your economic illiteracy. The future fund was setup to pay for the superannuation of all federal public sector employees, (by Costello). If the previous government didnt display their great economic vision in this area and put money aside for the tide of baby boomer public sector retirees, than the payment of superannuation to these people would have to come out of the budget. So really the money hasnt been stolen, it is actually being given back, and is making sure that governments can focus on public amenities rather than superannuation costs. How about you make a little sense next time!

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi JJ Oh! well.

Jason

5/08/2010jj, The business plan for the NBN that you are looking for is called tax payers, the same business plan your state government and local council use. They will budget for it and then tax you to pay for it. jj the only business plan you and your ilk have is the same as always privatise the profits and socialise the losses.

George Pike

5/08/2010Something tells me jj is really pc...the poor old extreasurer wannabe emporer...similar style of whinge at any rate..

Jason

5/08/2010jj, Was it your great grandfather who argued that moving from the horse and buggy would ruin the economy?

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi George and Jason You will find this Blog topic entertaining, reasons not to vote for Phoney: Reasons to not vote for Tony, Caitlinate, The Dawn Chorus In no particular order… http://thedawnchorus.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/reasons-to-not-vote-for-tony/

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi Jason I forgot about the horse and buggy, gee I'm glad we moved forward.

Ad astra reply

5/08/2010Lyn What a commonsense response you’ve made to jj. May I add jj that from the outset the NBN has been considered as a public-private partnership and Telstra’s involvement has always been conjectural, so the expectation that the Government would have a fully developed business plan at the very beginning was never realistic. Of course Nick Minchin, Andrew Robb and Joe Hockey made a lot of noise about how important a business plan was, and you seem to have swallowed their spin. There is a business case now, and independent verification of its validity, so what is the problem? What more should NBN Co and the Government and Telstra have to do to justify in your eyes proceeding with the NBN, which is already happening? You may remember John Howard’s $10 billion Murray Darling Water Plan that was worked out ‘on the back of an envelope’ with just a few pages of justification and figures from his department and almost no involvement of Treasury. Was that OK by you? It seemed to be OK by the Liberal Party.

jimbo

5/08/2010Hi everyone I really dont understand why people bother with jj the clown, surely it would be easier to just ignore him.If he has so much of a problem with labor then i can only assume he cant find his way back to a liberal site because he has had his head jammed so far up his rectum for so long it cant be removed and probably needs surgery because obviously he cant hear,cant read,cant see and isnt able to recognise the lies and deceit from the libs so no ammount of explanations is going to convince him.He is rusted on.

Ad astra reply

5/08/2010jimbo I have a belief that tolerance, combined with facts, figures and a well reasoned argument can change attitudes and beliefs of even the most rusted-on advocates of any position. jj has not yet been persuaded that the Government has proceeded properly on the NBN project, but I hope that the carefully considered comments posted here will eventually have that effect.

Valerie

5/08/2010 Article from Kate Doak TUNE FM "Election 2010 - An Abbott Interview… from 1979" http://blog.une.edu.au/tunefm/2010/08/05/election-2010-an-abbott-interview-from-1979/ A leopard never never changes it's spots OR your can't teach an old dog new tricks

Valerie

5/08/2010 I'll try again http://blog.une.edu.au/tunefm/2010/08/05/election-2010-an-abbott-interview-from-1979/

Lyn

5/08/2010Hi Ad and Everybody [b]DON'T MISS GROG:[/b] [b]Grog has an absolute Gem tonight, about Kevin Rudd's address today,[/b] Fantastic Grog, thankyou so much, thoroughly enjoyable, very lovely photo of Kevin Rudd. [i]Election 2010: Day 20 (or Kev says it's ok), Grog, Grogs Gamut [/i]important about his speech was that he was telling Queenslanders that it was all ok; that he was ok. [b]His speech gave Queenslanders permission to vote for the ALP [/b]and not feel guilty about it because of what had happened to him. . http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

HS

6/08/2010jj, If you could see past the end of your nose and your 'Infrastructure should only be built by the Private Sector and then run by them' argument, you would realise that truly nationwide, Nation-building projects have always been undertaken by the National government. The reason being that Private sector companies have to put the shareholders' interest first, whereas governments put the National Interest first. It is for this reason that the Federal government is able to promise to put 100mbps Ultra Fast Broadband into all but the remotest homes in the land, at a cost to the Australian taxpayer, which, in the name of equity for all, the Australian taxpayer is willing to subsidise with their taxes. Well, except for hard-assed bastards like you, jj. I would also get you to cast your mind back about a century to the time when the Copper telephone lines were installed around the country. Do you remember who did it? The Federal government. Why did they do it? Because there was no large Private entity willing or able to undertake the project. Yet, in order to keep up with the rest of the world, it was necessary to do it. So it was done and the populace was happier to have a telephone than they were unhappy to have to pay the extra taxes to pay for the infrastructure. The 'Business Case', as you like to refer to in order to besmirch the NBN, overwhelmingly satisfied the Triple Bottom Line provisions. As it will in this instance. That is, the Common Weal benefit, as well as the eventual return to the nation in productivity increases as new business opportunnities presented themselves, and eventually profits made from those businesses, was more than enough justification for the federal government stepping in to get the project done in place of the narrow sectional interests of the Private sector who may do it in their stead. Especially, in the case of the NBN, when it has clearly been documented that the major Telcos, such as Optus and Telstra, have stated on the record that they will only provide the fastest service to the capital cities, and leave the rest of the country to get by with less than optimal broadband speeds. THAT, jj, is the 'Business Plan' for the NBN that ticks all the boxes in my mind to again, as a taxpayer, agree that my taxes should go towards paying for the rollout. Anyway, it has already been proposed that NBNCo will eventually be sold to the Private sector, once it has paid the taxpayer back their investment. Seems like a pretty sound 'Business Plan' to me. Only a selfish capitalist from a capital city, or mouthpiece for the Liberal Party could disagree. Also, you have said: 'Now who is going to want to take a stake in the project if they dont know whether it is going to make money.' Now, I'd like you to show me some proof, as opposed to your specious assertions and made-up examples which you have used to try and prove your point, that proves that 'they don't know whether it is going to make money'? Did the spread of the telephone to all the cities and towns of this nation end up making money for the nation as a result of all the businesses which could then be established? Of course it did? Exactly the same scenario will eventuate from the NBN. Now please, jj, or LL(Liberal Luvvie), or whoever you are(YMBK, SIC, a Liberal operative?), come back when you have a real argument to make and not just the specious assertions you have made thus far, which are straight out of the Coalition playbook chapter entitled 'How to Waste Your Opponent's Supporters' Time With a Gish Gallop & Spurious Attempts to Delegitamise Their Sound Arguments Based Around a Red Herring'.

Gravel

6/08/2010Well done, putting the details of what needs to happen, and citing excellent examples of why the NBN network is so necessary. I for one can see the benefits for my children and grandchildren to how they will be able to operate in a fully functioning Global World.

Lyn

6/08/2010Hi Hillbilly, Thankyou for your piece, excellent, well thoughtout information for all of us on "The Political Sword". Jason had a very worthwhile comment too, about the horse and cart, also Ad, Valerie,Jimbo and George. cheers

Lyn

6/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010: Day 20 (or Kev says it's ok), Grog, Grogs Gamut[/i] important about his speech was that he was telling Queenslanders that it was all ok; that he was ok. His speech gave Queenslanders permission to vote for the ALP and not feel guilty about it because of what had happened to him. . http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]The Australian turns unsourced claims into a national security threat, Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison[/i] Unless we stop to remember that all of this tea-leaf reading is built on the foundation of a single, anonymously sourced article about meeting attendance. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/08/05/the-australian-turns-unsourced-claims-into-a-national-security-threat/ [i]The unreflective mirror, Tim Dunlop, The Drum [/i] She's being swamped by one type of question? So ask her some other questions! http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/08/the-unreflective-mirror.html#more [i]Doggett on Abbott’s local hospitals boards, Jennifer Doggett,Larvatus Prodeo [/i]- Abbott’s plan for hospitals will entrench the worst features of the Australian health system and do nothing to drive the improvements needed to ensure we can meet the health care challenges of the future. http://www.blogotariat.com/node/199268 [i]Does Tony Abbott know the price of cheese ? Or bread? or..... Peter Martin[/i] actually down between the March and June quarters. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2010/08/does-tony-abbott-know-price-of-cheese_05.html [i]Two Dog, Leon Delaney[/i] Reuters Poll Trend Analysis shows that boiling down all the major poll figures gives the Government a two party preferred figure of 51.5% and the Opposition 48.5%. http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/2010/08/two-dogs.html [i]Could this be the Coalition Election Decider?, Reb, Gutter trash[/i] Thanks to our special operatives team, we can reveal that moderate Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull is about to come out strongly AGAINST Labor’s mandatory internet filter. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/could-this-be-the-coalition-decider/#comment-35366 [i]Maybe a Citizen's Assembly on Climate change is actually a good idea, Changing Climate Change[/i] The other great benefit that a Citizens’ Assembly can offer is to bring a citizen voice into the climate policy debate to counteract the strong voice of conservative business and industry lobbyists http://chrisriedy.com/2010/08/maybe-a-citizens-assembly-on-climate-change-is-actually-a-good-idea/ [i]Goddamnit, just make Malcolm Turnbull Comms Minister already, Delimiter[/i] Let Turnbull salve the gaping wounds that the Liberal cancellation of the NBN project will bring, and deliver us from the evil that is the filter policy. http://delimiter.com.au/2010/08/05/goddamnit-just-make-malcolm-turnbull-comms-minister-already/ [i]Rudd to return to campaign trail, VIDEO ABC[/i] Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says he has agreed to Julia Gillard's request to join the ALP campaign. http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/08/05/2974656.htm

Bilko

6/08/2010well said HS and where was the business plan for the snowy mountain scheme other than the national interest even the yanks built such items after the great depression by rosevelt to get things moving (hoover dam etc). We also need high speed trains but the plans for this plus studies have been around a long time no need to reinvent the wheel just update the old data and then proceed. Oil will run out but people and goods will still need to move about.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

George Pike

6/08/2010We lucky little ole Taswegians have the dubious honour of having Tony Abbott as our celebrated guest today...only in the marginal seats of the north of course...something that is not mentioned too boldly by the media, despite the fact that such favouritism was pointed out starkly by them when Julia also only visited this end of the island recently. It is also the 75th birthday of the ABC's northern Tasmanian radio station...which was opened by Tassie's only ever PM, Joseph Lyons, way back in 1935...a man who was a unionist and Labor figure before helping start another party. To hear the non-stop Liberal propaganda pouring forth from that same radio station today, you would think that is was a totally Liberal history and that Tasmania was a totally Liberal state...when in fact it is very much a pro-Labor working class society, which makes the ABC a callous pack of frauds to say the least. Listening to John Howard on air this morning was also sickening to say the least. For someone who was so blatantly treacherous himself,("buying" the Latrobe hospital in the dying days of the last election was a prime example of the deceitful intent that drove the man), to stand before a crowd and tell them that Tony Abbott is an honourable trustworthy human being, and expect anyone but a rusted on Liberal to believe him, was staggering for its brazen audacity! Listening to Tony Jones continue his blatant propaganda attacks against the Labor Party was also hard to take last night. "Just like Australia has Julia Gillard, so has America got Sarah Palin"..now how was that for a deliberately scurrilous remark. Worse was his chat about the faceless people in the Labor factions...no mention what so ever was made of the far more dangerous faceless people behind the Liberal factions, those who unseated Turnbull at the bequest of the energy and mining industries to kill off the ETS! Then there was Ticky Fullerton on Lateline Business...shamelessly running her endless campaign for the mining industry against the MRRT (along with Alan Koehler). Even the person from Rio Tinto who Fullerton was interviewing was embarrassed by the constant carping on the MRRT...she accused the "big three" miners of deliberately colluding with the government to undermine the junior miners! Unbelievablly unconscionable journalism for anyone, net alone an employee of a taxpayer funded corporation. Better go and listen to the little love-in going on between the local radio commentator and Abbott...

Valerie

6/08/2010 PPL "Er, now doesn't that look suspiciously like Abbott's paid parental leave scheme will always be fully funded by the taxpayer after that first year? How do you feel about paying some women over a thousand dollars a week (plus super contributions) to stay home with their babies, while your own children or grandchildren do without essential services/infrastructure in rural and regional Australia?" http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/08/abbott-and-his-amazing-technicolour-plp.html "Other Nationals MPs told the paper that their party was “dead against it” and a Liberal frontbencher is reported as saying it could still be changed through “cabinet processes”. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/06/coalition-mps-set-to-move-against-parental-leave-plan/ Interesting comment on LP casts doubts the Nats will be able to justify that argument when payments are capped at 50% of 150K and asks how many mothers earn that much in rural Australia

George Pike

6/08/2010What happens with those women who are earning $150,000 while working from home? Many people such as writers accountants advisors etc actually work from home...something that the NBN will allow to occur much more frequently in the future too I should imagine. The ability of people to be able to rort the scheme seems to be preponderous to say the least...strange for the great "stop the waste" party hey!

Lyn

6/08/2010[b]JUST IN LINKS[/b] [i]Who said this campaign was boring?, Media Wrap, Crikey [/i]Kevin Rudd blew Tony Abbott’s health announcement out of the water yesterday with a press conference announcing his intention to hit the hustings. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/06/who-said-this-campaign-was-boring/ [i]John Howard: Still threatened. Still wild., Reb, Gutter Trash [/i]Personally I think it’s brilliant. His little Caesar performance will serve as a stark reminder as to why he was unceremoniously booted out of office in 2007, and what life could be like under a Tony Abbott Government. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/06/john-howard-still-threatened-still-wild/ [i]Avertiser poll: 55-45 to Liberal in Sturt, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] bad news for Labor in Sturt, held for the Liberals by Christopher Pyne on a margin of 0.9 per cent. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010George John Howard's strident criticism of Julia Gillard was jarring and reminiscent of the old John Howard we know so well. His identification with Tony Abbott may be risky for the Coalition. Didn't the nation rid itself of Howard? Now it looks like we're being offered a Howard clone, but more extreme. I'll be back this afternoon.

Valerie

6/08/2010 "Sky high on Rudd as ABC protects its saucers" DAMIEN MURPHY http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/sky-high-on-rudd-as-abc-protects-its-saucers-20100806-11l4h.html ABC 24 - 2nd big blunder. This shows the complete disdain those scurrilous ABC types have for viewers. They cannot continue to claim 'technical problems' every time they are last off the starting post. Rupes with help from his cohorts 7 and 9 does not like competition and he is showing it.It can only get worse. Further, those ABC types might not be looking quite so smug if Abbott wins and ABC 24 is no more, or severely diluted and virtually irrelevant.

jj

6/08/2010"You may remember John Howard’s $10 billion Murray Darling Water Plan that was worked out ‘on the back of an envelope’ with just a few pages of justification and figures from his department and almost no involvement of Treasury. Was that OK by you? It seemed to be OK by the Liberal Party." No i agree with you, this was an ill thought out plan but that does not excuse this government from doing the exact same thing. AA could you please tell me of any private investment in the NBN project so far.

Canbra Dave

6/08/2010Just wanted to share an ad with everyone that illustrates how the party of "A Fair Go for all" is working to help the most 'disadvantaged' in our community. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkNNa9p3amM

sam from sunshine

6/08/2010It would make you think that anyone who works for a telephony company, any one who hopes to deliver data at fast speeds - maybe even Newspapers w- ould support a fast broadband network to almost all of the population. Education - schools, universities, remote areas the list is rather large who will not benefit from the absence of a NBN. What happens to the good people of Tasmania who now have a functioning NBN? Is it turned off? So maybe this is a factor in their thinking of where their votes go on 21/08. Speaking of telephony companies, if the NBN does not go ahead owners of Telstra shares can expect the $11 billion is not going to be paid. This will not be a good outcome to the share price.

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010sam from sunshine, Nice to hear from you! Your comment is spot on. I wonder why no one is pressing Tony Abbott on this issue?

NormanK

6/08/2010Ad astra Thanks very much once again. A brilliant detailed summation. This one policy difference should be a decider as far as I'm concerned but a lot of people - in particular journalists - either can't see or don't wish to acknowledge the far-reaching effects of the NBN. This infrastructure will still be serving us well in fifty years time and is slated to turn a modest profit for the government. And no, jj I'm not going to do your homework for you. Look up Wayne Swann and Ken Henry's announcements from Treasury and you will find an expected return over time and after loan//interest repayments of 6%. This is insufficient profit for any private sector body to take the idea to its Board or shareholders but matches the current government bond rate. AA, your articles deserve a much wider audience. On today's topical subject, the BER, I have a question for our accounts//economists here at TPS. How far off the mark would these sums be? 200,000 workers unemployed for say ten weeks = 2 million weeks. Average tax paid to govt of say $150//week x 2 million = $300 million. Average dole paid to unemployed workers of $250//week x 2 million = $500 million. Very conservative figures which still point to $800 million not in the govt coffers. Factor in company tax not paid in from the businesses where 200,000 people used to work, the hundreds of millions not spent in shops etc by these workers, the materials not used in BER construction and on and on and on and surely the resultant figure would be far in excess of the $960 million said to have been wasted in the scheme. This is to say nothing of the social cost which would have been enormous. Given that the government is happy to use the 200,000 figure, why are they reluctant to have someone run that number through a model to determine the "cost" compared to the "waste"? On the same subject, the reporting of this interim report has been as diabolical and predictable as we could imagine. Emma Chalmers in The Daily Telegraph [quote] "..... which has been [b] sharply criticised [/b] in an independent report released today." [/quote] Of course no where in the article is this "sharpness" pointed out. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/i-was-right-on-ber-blowout-pm/story-e6freuy9-1225902141598 Many of these articles were already typed up, just waiting for incidental details. It was wonderful to see Kevin Rudd on the screen again - a reminder of how much he has been missed and how charming and effective he can be when he is on song. Tony looks tired and decidedly wary. He is now hostile to his press pack and can't get away quick enough. No more relaxed laughing for Tony. By contrast, the PM seems fairly relaxed but firm - at least she can still find some humour in her interaction with the rabble.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010Folks Having returned to my computer after a few a hours away I looked for the Orgill Report on the BER, initially by accessing [i]The Australian[/i] online, to find a headline by Justine Ferrari and James Massola that indicated that the Report had recommended that the BER program be scrapped, with the lead sentence ending with words that it ‘should cease’ and later that the Report called for the ‘effective dismantling’ of the program. So I then looked at the official Report and its Executive Summary and Recommendations to ascertain the details. I could not find reference to the program ceasing; indeed a search for the word ‘cease’ found only one reference, in the appendix 8 where some from the construction industry were reported to have said: “…that without the work generated by the program they may have had to cease operation.”, the prime reason for the BER! But when I went back to [i]The Oz[/i] and found the headline had magically changed to a very different one “BER taskforce finds 'very valid concerns' with Labor's schools building stimulus program” and the following paragraphs reading: “THE taskforce reviewing Labor's troubled $16 billion Building the Education Revolution scheme has recommended the program cease in its current form. (Note the words ‘current form’) “An interim report released today by BER taskforce head Brad Orgill calls for the effective dismantling of the schools building stimulus program as it now stands. (Note the words ‘as it now stands’) “It says any projects not yet under contract, or that are unlikely to finish before the end of March, be delivered by the states under their pre-BER building programs.” The Orgill Report is here: http://www.bertaskforce.gov.au/documents/publications/BERIT_Interim_Report_06082010.pdf This is VERY DIFFERENT from the initial headline and initial paragraphs. Someone at [i]The Oz[/i] must have decided that, even for that newspaper, the initial story was too GROSS MISEPRESENTATION a of the Report to be able to stand, a representation designed to place the Report on the BER in the worst possible light, and in tune with the longstanding campaign by that paper to demean the BER. This small example shows how low this paper is prepared to stoop in its pursuit of the Labor Government, but Justine Ferrari and James Massola’s initial write up was too low even for [i]The Oz[/i]. By comparison [i]The Age[/i] did not even headline it on its first page, but in “School building costs blew out by 12 per cent, taskforce finds” pointed out: “Where projects are unlikely to be finished by March next year, it wants them delivered in ‘business as usual’ pre-BER arrangements.” This refers to one of the key recommendations of the Orgill Report: “The Taskforce recommends that, where possible, any projects not yet committed and unlikely to be completed by 30 March 2011 should be delivered in accordance with the relevant education authority’s pre-BER ‘business as usual’ approach to capital works.”, “business as usual’ meaning according to the usual non-urgent procedures that existed before the urgent procedures adopted under the BER stimulus program were put into place. The report DID NOT recommend that the BER ‘be dismantled’ or ‘cease’ at all – that was simply the scandalous beat-up perpetrated by [i]The Australian[/i].

Jason

6/08/2010AA, No joy for the Australian today. First Howard slithered out of his hole, the the BER wasn't the failure the Oz had been saying for months and to top it off the high court ruled Howards electoral laws invalid. Fraser was right this morning they're not ready to govern.

jj

6/08/2010Gillard loses second week of the campaign. better luck next week folks!

jimbo

6/08/2010Canberra Dave If you found that video on the cfmeu website there is another two more good videos there you might like to bring across obviously you have the nouse to do it now if we could only get them out into the mainstream.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010sam from sunshine Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come again. I don’t know what will happen to the deal to pay Telstra for its cable trenches and backloading if the NBN is scrapped. I think Tony Abbott might find the NBN very difficult to undo.

nasking

6/08/2010[quote]John Howard's strident criticism of Julia Gillard was jarring and reminiscent of the old John Howard we know so well.[/quote] Indeed Aa. Motivated me to write a not so diplomatic post...add memory & tribute music. :) [u]TGIF Music: Echoes From An Old Guard Rodent Nest[/u] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/tgif-music-echoes-from-an-old-guard-rodent-nest/ Awesome memories. What a legacy! :) N'

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010The following faux campaign speech from Tim Dunlop, in the guise of Julia Gillard, is from 'The Drum Unleashed' and well worth taking the time to read: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2975590.htm

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010jj, As if we believe your assessment of Week 3. You must think we're as stupid as 'the mob' that follows Johny Abbard, or is that Tohny Howott?

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010NormanK Thank you for your kind comments. Your BER sums do make sense – if the media was in any way competent, fair and decent, it would point this out. According to the Orgill Report on the BER P21, it was a $14 billion program not the $16 billion program that it has been touted to be. P21 will deliver over 10,550 school construction projects to in excess of 7,900 schools by late 2011. Complaints were received in respect of 254 schools; approximately 2.7% of all schools involved in the BER program. The report said: “Overall, delivering BER P21 within the short timeframe to achieve the economic stimulus objectives may have added a premium to pre-BER business as usual costs of between 5 and 6 per cent.” If we take say 6% of $14 billion it amounts to $840,000, not the $8 billion that Christopher dishonestly trumpets continually. Why does not the media pull Pyne up with his lying assertions? The BER P21 was a great success, and the over-run in costs of $840,000 to speed up its implementation was well worth it to keep unemployment down and the economy out of recession. I am incensed that such a good program that did so much for our nation economically, as well as providing school infrastructure of great benefit to children teachers and parents, is so belittled by the media. We expect this from the Opposition whose adherence to truth is at best fragmentary, but we deserve much better from our media much of which has shown a chronic inability to report accurately and reason logically.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010Jason You’re right, it was not a good day for the Opposition or [i]The Oz[/i]. The latter desperately wanted a very bad BER Report, so much so that they wrote it up as a bad report before realizing that their account was so far over the top that even [i]The Oz[/i] couldn’t stomach it, and so re-wrote it.

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010Ad Astra, Nevertheless, the Orgill Report content hasn't stopped the Channel 9 News tonight reporting as fact Tony Abbott's comments on it, disingenuous and lacking in veracity as they are, nor them headlining with a 'Massive Waste in the BER' theme. Of course they dredged up that serial complainer and Liberal Party mate, John Vellar, from Abbottsford Public School P&C in NSW for an inflammatory quote tailored to suit the meme. If only the viewing public could see through this obvious bias. However, sadly, they still have a misguided perception that these shows report the news, as opposed to framing it to suit an agenda.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010jj Julia did not win week two, but this is week three, and at the very least Julia has held her own against Tony, and had a solid win with the Orgill BER Report. Regarding your question about what private money has been put into the NBN, you might like to go to http://www.commsalliance.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/19055/NBN-Co--Initial-steps-14092009.pdf where you will see the relationship between NBN Co and the other players. NBN Co is a company but how it is funded is not clear from this document. Telstra will be a partner which will receive payment for its trenches and backloading. I’m not sure why it’s so important to you to ascertain the level of private investment in this project.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010nasking Humorous post and a great video. Thanks for the link: http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/tgif-music-echoes-from-an-old-guard-rodent-nest/

bilgedigger

6/08/2010Hello everyone. The appearance of Kevin Rudd has brought me off my sickbed and eased the pain. Ad Astra, you rightly ask why Christopher Pyne is not confronted with his lies and I guess we know the answer - the media are gutless and are wanting to play out a game dictated by their owners. In the main, political figures are reluctant to hit back at the interviewer in case they cause themselves more damage by the retaliation tactics practiced by the media. But there are some politicians who won't let them get away with their attempts to mislead the publlic and this afternoon there was an interview not to be missed as an example of how it should be done. On Skynews Agenda program at 4.15 Helen Walley(?) interviewed Simon Crean regarding the BER Report given by Brad Orgill. She appeared to try to put words into his mouth, misinterpret what he said, and I think said he had said something that he did not. Simon Crean persistantly corrected her and when she tried to change to another aspect he continued with putting his arguments. I don't know what's come over Simon in the last year or so but his arguments are cogent and stated in clear firm tones. I think that SkyNews 4.15 Agenda is repeated later in the evening and shouldn't be missed today. I heard another interview today with a Liberal (Andrew Robb I think) in which he stated that the NBN project would be sold if they won the election. This is a huge shift from their former terminology of "scrapping the NBN". Now they are saying that they will sell the project at the stage it is in after the election (which they still think they will win). No doubt they will be assisted in the sale by now Opposition Backbencher, Paul Fletcher (former representative of Optus, the rejected bidder for the NBN network and proponent of an alternative wireless scheme). So a scheme which was worthless if the current Government runs it is to be flogged to the private sector, and once again the Liberal Party would presumably put out a Prospectus as they did for Telstra which cloaked to a large extent their wish to offload Telstra to their mates.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010HS This is what we get with an antagonistic, malevolent and incompetent media. As the original article in [i]The Oz[/i] showed, they wrote up the BER story in a such a condemnatory way, that even [i]The Oz[/i] couldn’t stomach it.

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010biledigger, Sorry to hear that you have not been well. I'm in the same boat too! I ripped the ligaments out of my elbow. I'm slowly recovering. Hope you are too. It's interesting to note the Helen Dalley interview with Simon Crean(to tell you the truth, he was always my favourite ALP leader and would have made a great PM, IMHO). I imagine it will not be one that The Australian cross-promotes on its website. Thank you for pointing out the change in attitude towards the NBN from Robb. Obviously the Liberal Focus Groups are telling them that the peeps like the NBN. Hence change of tack to a situation similar to the Telstra sell-off. Also, I imagine the Paul Fletcher toadies at Optus have done a cost-benefit analysis and found that it would indeed be financially beneficial for the network to be built, and then flogged off to the Libs mates. * So there, jj, I think you'll find the Libs have done the 'Business Plan' for the NBN, and found that it is indeed a profitable model. You'll have to go back to Lib HQ and get new marching orders now. :)

NormanK

6/08/2010AA If the "waste" was only $840 million that works out to be about $4200 per job saved or for the reluctant public, they could say that if there are around 10 million taxpayers in the country, then they chipped in $84 each to keep a fellow Australian in work. When you consider our generosity after natural disasters, I doubt that many people would begrudge this sum if asked as one individual to help out another individual. It's just crazy - people blow this much money in a single night entertaining themselves so to have indignation whipped up over "our taxes being wasted" is cruel. Incidentally where are the tradies and suppliers who have directly benefitted from the BER? Where are the teachers and Principals? If they don't speak up, nothing like this will ever happen again. What an ungrateful bunch we are. SBS, which is normally pretty fair, has gone with "slammed" on the BER. Sad really.

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010This was so funny I had to share this pic of an archetypal Liberal voter:http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201008/r614743_4087234.jpg

Lyn

6/08/2010Hi bilgedigger So sorry to hear that you have been sick, and even worse in pain, we all hope you will get better soon. Did you see see the video of Kevin Rudd's address yesterday, he sounded good and looked lovely. Grog has a very nice photo on his last night's column. I think everyone that was feeling sad for Kevin, got a bit of a lift from his speech. The interview you watched with Simon Crean and Helen Dally, was shocking, Helen Dally was downright rude, Simon put her in her place, but he shouldn't have too. She is a dreadful interviewer at the best of times, anyway. Have you noticed, the last, at least three news conferences with Abbott, he has just walked off in the middle of a question, no manners, no, this will be the last question, just walk off. Yesterday he told them to only ask questions applicable to the policy he was announcing. None of the papers or journalists say a word about his behaviour. If Julia Gillard did that, she would be ridiculed from here to kingdom come.

Jason

6/08/2010Normank, The Seasprite helicopter was cancelled in 2008, because it was already running seven years late, and we'd already spent $1 billion on it.jj no business plan there old son

George Pike

6/08/2010I think the fact that every school in the country will have new infrastucture that will last for twenty to thirty years makes the "collateral attrition" of $850 million pale into insignifigance really. The cost to the country of shutting down the NBN and the health and education reforms will be measured in the $10s of billions...so just who are the best economic managers then I wonder? I haven't heard any detractors telling us how much the Coalition's shocking mismanagement of infrastructure and trades training has cost the country either...the true cost of those blunders would also be in the tens of billions for sure.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010bilgedigger I’m glad the vision of Kevin has improved you. Let’s hope he will bring verve into the Labor campaign and wear down the already-flagging Tony Abbott who may be getting low on endorphins as his frenetic exercise program is curtailed by the campaign. He is getting testy with the media scrum as he feels what it’s like to be a party leader when the heat is on. The BER Report has left the Opposition somewhat deflated who, presented with what is really minimal waste, are having to resort to the ‘any waste is bad’ mantra. I didn’t hear the Robb interview about the NBN, but your report of it is interesting. It seems like some of his mates might be telling him that trashing the NBN would be stupid. I heard his interview with Jon Faine on 774 ABC radio Melbourne this morning – he was pathetic. It is truly frightening that he Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott could soon be the three key people to guide our trillion dollar economy. HS Simon Crean has always appealed to me and since being given the education/IR portfolio has done well. He will not be deviated from his message by rude to journalists wanting to pursue their own agenda. He is first class.

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6/08/2010NormanK, George Both of you have your maths right. The $840,000 is peanuts compared with the benefit to workers, the construction industry and the schools. We need someone to get out figures of the ‘waste’ that would result from scrapping the NBN. Lyn I wonder how long it will be before the media pack tire of Testy Tone?

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6/08/2010Folks I’ve found an article in the MSM about the NBN [i]Coalition needs a connection[/i] by Malcolm Maiden in the [i]SMH[/i] http://www.smh.com.au/business/coalition-needs-a-connection-20100803-115km.html It gives insight into the consequences of scrapping the NBN and the options that might arise.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010Folks You might be interested, even pleasantly surprised by this video of Dennis Shanahan and Patricia Karvelas titled [/i]Labor claws back[/i] in [i]The Australian[/i] http://player.video.news.com.au/theaustralian/#1560330337

Ad astra reply

6/08/2010Folks I notice that the headline on the front page of [i]The Australian[/i] has morphed again to [i]Rethink schools building program: report[/i] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010AA, Maybe The Oz is having second thoughts about the actuality of an Abbott victory. It's one thing to promulgate the possibility of a Coalition win, but another to contemplate the scary reality of an Abbott government. Don't forget Nick Minchin, the eminence grise of the Coalition will not be there after June next year to keep them all in line, most of all Tony Abbott. Btw, did you see that picture of Tony Abbott looking bleary-eyed that I posted yesterday from the Mark Davis/Jacqueline Maley Election blog? It was a shocker. I agree with you, I don't think Tony Abbott will be able to cope with the full brunt of high elected office. I guess he won't be worried because he will have a full retinue of fluffers, facilitators and polemicists to groom him, paid for by the taxpayer. Sigh. So it will be back to the drawing board to fight them all over again for the ALP. All I hope is that they get rid of Karl Bitar and the NSW Right influence and let the better performers take over in leadership positions. They also need to get rid of their dead wood if they lose, like Jenny Macklin. Nice person, crap politician.

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010Anti-Coalition ammunition: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/tony-abbotts-hospital-bed-sums-are-lazy-says-nicola-roxon/story-e6frfku0-1225902119245#ixzz0vpIfmYcu

Hillbilly Skeleton

6/08/2010A decent article from Laurie Oakes: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/rudd-hands-pm-a-crucial-lifeline/story-e6frfhqf-1225902277655 * (much as it pains me to say it after the way he has behaved recently)

Lyn

7/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Newspoll: 51- 49 Liberal in Lindsay; 50-50 in Dawson, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] The opinion poll bonanza rolls on, with a Newspoll survey in The Australian http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Election 2010: Day 21 (or who needs perspective), Grog, Grogs Gamut[/i Even the usually sensible Annabel Crabb on The Drum tonight was posing the question that defending this program was essentially defending waste. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]These be your gods, oh Labor... Mungo MacCallum, Hinterland Times. Fri, Aug 6, 2010[/i] they plan to install a mob of shop-soiled has-beens and wild-eyed never-will-bes whose policies consist of slashing government services, refusing to collect the taxes with which to pay off what it absurdly insists is unsustainable debt, and sending asylum seekers to Nauru. http://www.hinterlandtimes.com.au/2010/08/06/these-be-your-gods-oh-labor-mungo-maccallum/ [i]Election checklist: dos and don’ts, Peter Brent, The Australian[/i] It’s understandable that election watchers think in “weeks”, but I don’t need to tell you life isn’t like that. [b]Who “won” the most weeks, or even the last week, won’t determine the result[/b]. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/election_checklist_dos_and_donts/ Election Live, ABC Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd to speak tomorrow; Ms Gillard on Insiders on Sunday morning; the Coalition launching its campaign on Sunday; and Mr Rudd also hitting the campaign trail on Sunday. http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2010/ [i]Has Abbott cut net health spending?, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo[/i]. New figures reveal that Tony Abbott is either missing 1,000 beds or sporting a $500 million budget hole in 2013-14.) http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/06/has-abbott-cut-net-health-spending/ [i]Managing the GFC, Paul Barrattl, Australian Observer.[/i] Three Stooges of Australian economic policy (Tony, Andy and Joe) – definitely part of “the common herd” – would have had to admit that there had been a problem and that the Government had tackled it.http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/08/managing-gfc.html [i]Reserve Bank gives economy a tick,Colin Brinsden & Miles Godfrey, Trading Room[/i] Opposition Leader Tony Abbott doesn't believe that unemployment would be higher without economic stimulus, http://www.tradingroom.com.au/apps/view_breaking_news_article.ac?page=/data/news_research/published/2010/8/218/catf_100806_182000_3873.html [i]His Name is Kevin, He's from Queensland,and he's (Still) here to help . Leon Delaney[/i]He didn’t just look Prime Ministerial, he looked Presidential http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/2010/08/his-name-is-kevin-hes-from-queensland.html [i]Roll playing games, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] In a stunning repudiation of the Howard government’s electoral law “reforms” of 2005, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/08/06/roll-playing-games/ [i]High Court judgement bitchslaps Abbott, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices[/i] In 2006 an arrogant John Winston Howard and an increasingly despotic Coalition Government passed legislation limiting an Australian citizen's right to vote http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/08/high-court-judgment-bitchslaps-abbott.html [i]John “cynically unconstitutionally disenfranchising voters” Howard’s work finally undone, four years late, Jeremy Sear, Onymous Lefty[/i] So, in summary: Howard’s changes were unconstitutional. There was no legitimate ground for disenfranchising those voters. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/john-unconstitutionally-disenfranchising-voters-howard-slammed-four-years-late/ [i]Laws requiring early electoral roll closure ruled unconstitutional, Mary, Hoyden about Town[/i] The High Court have ruled that Howard-era laws which close the electoral rolls on e day that writs for an election are issue are invalid. http://hoydenabouttown.com/20100806.7927/laws-requiring-early-electoral-roll-closure-ruled-unconstitutional/ [i]It's a Party that never stops, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] Tony Abbott today declaring “There was no global financial crisis!” http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/06/weekend-gab-fest-43/ [i]Polls, elections & Australian political history: a primer, Rodney Tiffen. PDF[/i] http://inside.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/polls20101.pdf [i]Self-absorbed and deluded - an update, The Piping Shrike[/i] No lost way there. The economy will be something that Rudd will have no trouble going on about … and hospitals, and climate change, http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/08/self-absorbed-and-deluded-%E2%80%93-an-update.html Airdate: Liberal Party Campaign Launch, David Knox, TV Tonight SKY News will air the Liberal Party Campaign Launch live at 11:30am on Sunday, August 8, from Brisbane. http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2010/08/airdate-liberal-party-campaign-launch.html [i]Rudd hands PM a crucial lifeline , Laurie Oakes, Herald Sun[/i] And he tells the interviewer: "While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it's inevitable and I don't think it's a bad thing at all that we always have, say, more women doing things like physiotherapy and an enormous number of women simply doing housework." http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/rudd-hands-pm-a-crucial-lifeline/story-e6frfhqf-1225902277655 Tony Abbott's figure of fun ,Ben Packman, Herald Sun" If you can't manage a school hall program properly, you can't be trusted to manage a $1.1 trillion economy," Mr Abbott said. The economy [b]is in fact worth more than $1.27 trillion a year[/b], according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/tony-abbotts-figure-of-fun/story-e6frf7jo-1225902290979

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010Ad Astra, This should give us heart: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/hobby-writers-keep-pros-on-their-toes/story-fn59niix-1225902002074 :)

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010And this: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/new-marginal-poll-shows-labor-was-on-rebound-even-before-rudds-return/story-fn59niix-1225902314368

Lyn

7/08/2010Hi Ad Is this why Phoney had breakfst with Mr Murdoch, what do you think?: [b]'News empire eyes government-funded network [/b], Hamish McDonald, SMH MARK SCOTT, the managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,is puzzled why Rupert Murdoch is chasing a [b] $20 million-a-year subsidy from Canberra[/b]. 'you'd have to ask him'' when asked [b]why the tycoon wanted a $20 million government subsidy. [/b]''I did notice the $2 billion profit,'' Mr Scott said. ''The cash is there - $2 billion would go a long way http://www.smh.com.au/business/news-empire-eyes-governmentfunded-network-20100805-11kq0.html

Ad astra reply

7/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Lyn This is just what Murdoch is doing in the UK where he resents, as he does here, the 'competition' from the 'publically-funded' national broadcaster. He knows how much political power control of media outlets give him, and he wants more, and more. And he would be likely to get it from politically opportunistic Tony. I hope Mark Scott fights this tooth and nail.

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010This is a cautionary tale that should keep us all on our toes and keenly observant for the ways that the world-wide Conservative movement uses Web 2.0 against us, in order to try and shut us and shout us down: http://blogs.alternet.org/oleoleolson/2010/08/05/massive-censorship-of-digg-uncovered/ * However, as knowledge is power, we will continue to fight them on the etherial beaches!

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010Here's another fantastic way our NBN could be used in the future to keep our politicians honest(but not if the antediluvian Abbott has his way): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/05/sunlight-foundation-launc_n_672477.html

George Pike

7/08/2010Just one of Abbott's long forgotten refrains! ''I'm all in favour of paid maternity leave as a voluntary thing. I'm dead against paid maternity leave as a compulsory thing. I think that making businesses pay what seems to them two wages to get one worker are, almost nothing could be more calculated to make businesses feel that the odds are stacked against them. So, voluntary paid maternity leave, yes; compulsory paid maternity leave, over this Government's dead body, frankly, it just won't happen under this Government.'' That was July 2002.

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010A funny cartoon from Fiona Katauskas: http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/08/fiona-katauskas-game-on.html

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010Brilliant Tweet about competing Broadband plans: If broadband was water, the Libs would improve supply of bottled water, rather than provide taps in 98% of homes. :P

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010Lindsay Tanner's perspicacity will be sorely missed: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/vacuous-media-leaks-credibility/story-e6frgd0x-1225902269541

Ad astra reply

7/08/2010HS What an interesting set of links you’ve left us this morning. The Shanahan article is heartening, unusually so for one from our Dennis. And it’s good to see the MSM acknowledging the Fifth Estate – thank you Grog for waking them from their Fourth Estate slumber. The AlterNet piece about the way conservatives are using Digg to suppress opposing views is frightening. Such subversion of democracy is alien. The Huffington Post article about the Sunlight Foundation that exposes the influences on congressmen and their funding is something we need here. A fast NBN would subserve that so well. Today my Next G wireless broadband is so slow, and I’m sitting right in the centre of Melbourne. I recommend any who visit here to check HillbillySkeleton’s four links posted this morning – they are all good reading.

Ad astra reply

7/08/2010HS The Fiona Katauskas cartoon was so apt, and Lindsay Tanner's comment on the media so accurate. I wonder do any of the offending journalists read such pieces and take note?

Lyn

7/08/2010Hi Ad My wireless 3G $89.00 a month unlimited,is low signal strength all this morning, web pages with video's will not open, any web page with a few graphics, won't open. ABC election page won't scroll, the Drum won't scroll. Bigpond make me so cranky, they have the monoply and their service is a disgrace, try phoning their technical service. They will put you through so much troubleshooting, pretending it is your computer not them. In the end I feel like throwing the computer out the window, and setting fire to bigpond. I really don't know how the average person with no technical savy about their own computer gets by.

Acerbic Conehead

7/08/2010AA, the NBN has got so much potential, it can even connect you up to the afterlife. As you know, the ex-Vizier of the Upper Egyptian Kingdom of Queensland, Kevin Rudd, has gone to that better place. He is standing in front of the Great Judgement Seat, with its occupant, the all-powerful god of the afterlife, Dennis ‘Osiris’ Shanahan, enthroned thereon. Osiris: Rudd! Your time of reckoning has finally arrived – what do you have to say in your defence? [Kev is a bit confused by his hasty transfer to the next life, so, mistakenly, believes he is addressing Fu Man Chu and, hence, answers him in Mandarin] Osiris: Enough of this bureaucratesque gobbledygook, minion! Before I hand you over to the Devourer, Ammit, I am going to give you a chance to save your worthless soul by weighing your gall bladder against one of the feathers from Fred Daly’s feather-duster... [Kev takes one look at the monster, Ammit, and wishes he was back in his warm, comfy sarcophagus. Ammit is indeed a totally fearsome sight to behold – a combination of Bronny’s bee-hive, Johnny Howard’s eyebrows, Tones’ wingnut ears, Julie Bishop’s death-stare eyeballs, and dressed in Tones’ budgie smugglers and Dolly’s fish-nets. To crown it all, he is brandishing Wilson’s iron bar menacingly above his head] Kev: Erm...as it happens, your high-n-mightyness, I don’t seem to have my gall bladder on me at the moment...Y’see, it got a bit crook, so they cut it out and put it in a canopic jar back in my tomb... Osiris: Then go back and get it, you sorry excuse for a human being! And don’t take all day... [Kev dawdles back to his previous life, taking his time, as he is in no hurry to meet up with those two fiends again. Meanwhile, Julia Carter-Gillard, the wannabe Egyptologist, has just come across a tomb in the Queensland desert which she hopes will put her on the archaeological map. Upon gaining entry to the tomb, she shines her torch around its interior. Vivid frescoes of scantily-clad poll-dancing maidens adorn the walls. A tomb-robbing wag, however, seems to have already gained entry. Below one of the portraits there is a scribble: “Hope you Score in the afterlife, Kev!” Further evidence of grave-robbing is obvious upon a bench containing rows of sauce bottles. Tell-tale signs of pastry crumbs litter the table and the robber has even left his calling-card, carved on the bench surface: “Joe was ’ere!” However, other artefacts, hopefully of use to the deceased in the next life, are still intact, viz a ute-chariot and lots of stabti dolls shaped like RAAF stewardesses. Then, Julia notices, standing upright in the corner, the true object of her search – the sarcophagus containing the preserved remains of ex-Vizier Kev. She rushes over, opening its highly decorated cover, revealing the pink-batt covered mummy within. She slowly removes the face-mask, hoping that Kev’s remains aren’t so far gone, he will be no use to her in the campaign] Kev: Hi – I’m Kevin – I’m from Queensland, and I’m here to help! Julia: Oh thank god – I thought you would still be upstairs in the afterlife and no good to me... Kev: Here, hang on a minute...God? Afterlife? I thought you atheists didn’t believe in such imaginary friends...hee...hee... Julia: Mate, I’m so desperate, I’m even prepared to resort to help beyond the grave to help me get over the line...Why, I’ve got Phar Lap, Elvis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Mary MacKillop and Phil Ruddock outside ready to hand out how-to-vote cards for me...So hurry up and join ‘em... [Meanwhile, Osiris and Ammit are looking down from the afterlife] Ammit: Drat, master! It looks like they have twarted our devilish plan... Osiris: Do not fear, my dearest Ammit...they are not out of the woods yet...not by a long chalk...After I write a few more beat-ups about them in the Oz, they’ll both be up here in no time, ready to whet your appetite, my friend...I can just see the headline now: “Carter’s curse strikes again!” Heh...heh..

George Pike

7/08/2010Here's good little web site Chris Bowen has had knocked up regarding the truth about our debt... http://www.factsondebt.com/default.aspx

NormanK

7/08/2010AC What a fertile imagination you've got! Thanks a lot. Thanks to everyone for all the great links recently.

Canbra Dave

7/08/2010George, The key part of the quote was "over this Government's dead body". That was under the old government. With Tony you know where you stand with him. He's a straight shooter. Tony is a conviction politician. It's just that his convictions get wiped clean at each election.

jj

7/08/2010"The BER Report has left the Opposition somewhat deflated who, presented with what is really minimal waste, are having to resort to the ‘any waste is bad’ mantra." I dont know about you, but i dont think i would consider $800 million "minimal waste". Think of where $800 million could go: mental health, education, upgrading some of regional Australia's roads e.t.c. Oh and by the way it could actually be a hell of a lot more than $800 million, as these figures are just based on cost blow outs that have been published by the NSW government; all of the other states and territories are refusing to release their BER expenditure data, now why would that be? To add to the coalitions waste case, is proof through the average per saquare meter costs of the libraries e.t.c. in NSW. State schools buildings per square meter cost on average over $1000 more, now i dont think that, that it fair. Why should once in a generation investment in schools have been used as stimulus? We may never get another $16 billion to spend on school infrastructure again! I know you are all going to say that it saved jobs e.t.c. e.t.c. but why didn't they listen to Ken Henry and avoid such projects that would, due to the fast pace of the roll out, lead to routs. Billions could have been spent on upgrading all national road networks, on all our national ports, on all of the old bridges; as to ease pressures on capacity constraints. Instead we got a rushed job on our schools, building buildings many schools didnt want, nor need, and which in the end will not help to improve the education system as a whole; which a properly planned project involving investment in infrastructure, teaching and learning materials would do.

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010NormanK, I'm Hillbilly Skeleton and I'm here to help! :)

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010Another pertinent blog from Pavlov's Cat at Larvatus Prodeo: http://stilllifewithcat.blogspot.com/2010/08/sorry-annabel-not-good-enough.html

jj

7/08/2010This could be the day that finally sank Julia Gillard’s campaign. It’s been so farcical, so surreal, that grown journalists laughed on camera in describing it. The highlights - or low: - Julia Gillard meets Kevin Rudd at a secret location to discuss how the lousy wrecker can now save her sinking campaign. The brief pool footage shows them unable to look each other in the eye as Rudd talks on like he was still Prime Minister.;l - Journalists meanwhile gather for a Gillard press conference, only to discover they are joined by Mark Latham, now a 60 Minutes reporter, who points out how they are being kept on a short leash by the Labor campaign managers. He holds a mini press conference of his own.; - Gillard’s then rocks up for here press conference, called to discuss help for seniors, but journalists ask her almost exclusively about about Rudd and about Latham, too, who is standing directly in her eye line. She confesses she hasn’t talked to her former friend and leader in years. Latham stalks off, dragging some of the camera crews there for Gillard.; - Gillard loses her temper at some of the questioning about her shambolic campaign. - Gillard is then driven to the Ekka, Brisbane’s annual show. To her horror, Latham and his TV crew confront her just as she gets out of the car, with Latham reportedly demanding to know why she’d queried with Channel 9 its decision to hire him.; He tells her the person she should really worry about is not him but Rudd.; - Meanwhile, Tony Abbott meets the president of Nauru to discuss reopening our detention centre there, and later holds a press conference to say it could be done quickly. But why, he asks, is Gillard meeting Rudd and not Nauru’s president? Why is she more conferned with Labor’s problems than the nation’s? The contrast is devastating.; And he offers the line of day: Gillard, by asking the man she assassinated to now save her campaign, has turned “the pariah into the messiah”. It was a day to make Gillard just give up and go home for a doona day. Utterly devastating.;

Jason

7/08/2010jj, Think of where $800 million could go: mental health, education, upgrading some of regional Australia's roads e.t.c You must have missed my post last night so just for you here it is The Sea sprite helicopter was cancelled in 2008, because it was already running seven years late, and we'd already spent $1 billion on it.jj no business plan there old son Yes indeed jj where could 1 billion have been spent. The fact is I think you should get a manager instead of handling yourself, but no doubt even you would have complained about a union on your wedding night.jj read the facts of the report not you take on it.

Lyn

7/08/2010Hi Ad Look what the Press have done now, bunch of idiots. I am going to ask Hillbilly and George if they think these 2 links need tweeting, what do you think Ad: [i]Sorry Annabel, not good enough, Guest Poster, larvatus Prodeo[/i] Can anyone tell me what this appalling crap is all about? [b]Has journalism become a matter of goading someone until they lose their temper or burst into tears?[/b] Exactly when did loss of control or bodily containment become the stuff that “news” is made of? Did any of them even realise that there were policy announcements being made? Is this the kind of scrum that produces the kind of rubbish we’re getting in the papers and on the news? Do journalists really think that public life is a soap opera in which the only thing that matters is emotion, personalities and gossip? [b]How much of this is being driven by the Rupert Murdochs of the world? [/b]http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/07/guest-post-by-pavlovs-cat-sorry-annabel-not-good-enough/ [i]Breaking News: Press on Campaign Trail Obsessed with ‘Who Killed KR?’Adrian Phoon,[/i] Rather than hear much about these policies, though, I heard the press keep asking Gillard inane questions about Kevin Rudd. ([b]And yes, Channel Nine saw fit to amplify the proceeding’s absurdity quotient by placing Mark Latham, of all people, in among the press, working for 60 Minutes. Inappropriate, to say the least.)[/b] today I saw the press hijack these stories in favour of a daytime soap — a really bad one, at that. [b]This afternoon, the press on the campaign trail became active in gossip [/b]about behind-the-scenes tensions rather than engaged in relaying the story of how this or that side’s raft of policies could shape the nation over the next few years. http://adrianphoon.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/breaking-news-press-on-campaign-trail-obsessed-with-who-killed-kr/

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010Can you believe this? Malcolm Turnbull has said that Australians don't want 100mbps broadband: http://delimiter.com.au/2010/08/07/australia-doesn%E2%80%99t-want-100mbps-internet-says-turnbull/ Now I know he has been captured by the conservatives and that power means more to him than principle.

janice

7/08/20101025 Bushfire Bill Posted Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Permalink After the meeting Mr Abbott told reporters Nauru was “ready, willing and able” to reopen the centre that was shut down shortly after Labor took power in 2007. … Mr Abbott questioned why (Julia gillard) chose not to take advantage of President Stephen’s visit to Brisbane to discuss her policy idea. Because it’s a caretaker government, and (as pointed out this morning by Allan Shore) it is also specifically against Liberal Party policy to discuss offshore detention seekers with foreign governments while they are in Opposition. Any discussion of third country processing locations can only be held between Governments, as occurred when the Coalition last introduced these types of measures… The Coalition will therefore not identify potential locations for such facilities in Opposition, so as not to prejudice such discussions in government. Such discussions from Opposition would also compromise the integrity of other national governments who must rightly deal with the Government of the day. http://www.liberal.org.au/~/media/Files/Policies%20and%20Media/National%20Security/100527%20Coalition%20Border%20Protection%20Policy%20Directions%20Document.ashx Don’t bother clicking on the link. It seems to have been taken down some time today. All you get ius a message: It appears the page you are looking for has gone .......... The above was posted by Bushfire Bill on Poll Bludger. Thought it might be of interest to fellow Swordians. Obviously the media don't do "investigative Journalism" or perhaps don't think the people have the right to know anything about Abbott and his mob.

Hillbilly Skeleton

7/08/2010lyn, Larvatus Prodeo Tweet their own stories. The other one I haven't seen there yet. Can you do a Tiny URL for it to save characters? If so, can you tell me how!?!

NormanK

7/08/2010janice What a good find. [quote]"Any discussion of third country processing locations can only be held between Governments, as occurred when the Coalition last introduced these types of measures. The [b]Rudd[/b] Government has refused to consider these options. The Coalition will therefore not identify potential locations for such facilities in Opposition, so as not to prejudice such discussions in government. Such discussions from Opposition would also compromise the integrity of other national governments who must rightly deal with the Government of the day."[/quote] This link might work. http://www.liberal.org.au/~/media/Files/Policies%20and%20Media/National%20Security/100527%20Coalition%20Border%20Protection%20Policy%20Directions%20Document.ashx If not, the document can be found at the Liberal website, [i]Policies, Restoring Sovereignty and Control to our Borders[/i] Has Tony been naughty?

Lyn

7/08/2010Hi Hillbilly, I went to tiny url, has been created, says it's pasted to my clip board, but I can't find a clip board on my tool bar. http://tinyurl.com/create.php http://adrianphoon.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/breaking-news-press-on-campaign-trail-obsessed-with-who-killed-kr/ cheers

Ad astra reply

7/08/2010Folks Thank you for all your comments and links - most interesting. Today I've been working on [i]A salute to a very successful BER[/i] which I'll post tomorrow. After that there will be a piece by HillbillySkeleton on the Coalition's health policies. I'm packing it in now.

Acerbic Conehead

7/08/2010NormanK, thanks for the kind words. Yeah, give me the power of the imagination over "the narrative" anyday.

Rx

8/08/2010As a commenter wrote on the ABC blog, 'The Drum': [i]Abbott's coalition has become a party of Obstruction, foes of Change, apostles of Privilege, and the enemies of Reform and Progress; it is no wonder that Malcolm Fraser has disowned them. Howard must be feeling so proud.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2910276.htm

janice

8/08/2010I read a short article on Bigpond's home page this morning saying the media pack had overheard Abbott telling the Nauru President that he thinks "guided democracy" would be good for Australia. I went back to find the article but it seems to have disappeared into the ether but there is much talk about it over at Pollbludger. Lyn, our clever links lady might be able to find it as well as a link to Wikipedia's definition of "guided democracy". I can tell you it will strike fear into your hearts.

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8/08/2010AC Thank you for another delightful piece. You have a vivid imagination which delights us all.

Rx

8/08/2010Janice, the story is on the SMH site. This is very disturbing stuff. We'd better hope enough people wake up in time, or I fear that in a generation's time this country will be unrecognisable to what many take for granted now. [b]Abbott leans to 'guided democracy'[/b] Sydney Morning Herald, 07 August 2010 [i]Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has told Nauru's President Marcus Stephen that Australia could use a more "guided democracy". Mr Abbott was overheard making the comment when a pack of media photographers disrupted their meeting in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon. "Sometimes I think we need a guided democracy," Mr Abbott joked as they wrapped up discussions, noting that the media in some other countries were "much less disruptive than they are here".[/i] http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-leans-to-guided-democracy-20100807-11oyh.html

nasking

8/08/2010Hi all...I have a new post at the Cafe: [quote]This Could Have Been Us...America’s Hole, Coalition’s Dream[/quote] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/this-could-have-been-us-americas-hole-coalitions-dream/ [quote]And that’s what our country Australia will transform into if Liberal leader Tony Abbott (right-hand man of WorkChoices in his DNA John Howard…& friend of a corporate media that humiliate the unemployed, label & bash them as “dole bludgers”…and big wig corporate & political supporters who in the so called “Prospertity era” let the markets rip & executice/CEO pay rise, rise, rise) becomes Prime Minister. Thank gawd we had a quick thinking Labor party & Treasury’s Ken Henry at the helm that generally got the stimulus right in Australia…and States that took fast action…even if it meant a bit of waste here or there. One only needs to look at the wasted face of that poor long-term unemployed man in the video above…to hear of the suicides…to know what could’ve been.[/quote] Cheers...grat links Lyn & others. N'

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8/08/2010jj I won't attempt to answer all you assertions: Jason has done that already. I've just one question - do you think it would be wasteful to have a large part of the workforce unemployed; would it be wasteful to have construction businesses laying off workers or going to the wall? It is this sort of waste that has been avoided by 'wasting' an estimated $840,000 on over-runs in costs in the BER. I would sooner waste money than 'waste' people, families and businesses.

Lyn

8/08/2010Hi Janice I found a couple of links for you, you are right Abbott is scarey with his crazy brave idea's, I wouldn't put anything past him, and as his ego grows bigger, like Rx says, disturbing stuff. Indonesia-Guided Democracy 238 seats were given to representatives of "functional groups," including the military, which became known as Golkar (see Glossary). All were appointed rather than elected http://www.mongabay.com/history/indonesia/indonesia-guided_democracy.html Guided Democracy Indonesia Table of Contents On July 5, 1959, Sukarno issued a decree to this effect, dissolving the old House of Representatives. This marked the formal establishment of the period of Guided Democracy which lasted six years. http://countrystudies.us/indonesia/18.htm Guided Democracy in Indonesia, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guided_Democracy_in_Indonesia

Rx

8/08/2010Folks, I urge you to contact their ABC and demand they run the Abbott "guided democracy" story as a matter of urgency. http://www.abc.net.au/news/investigations/contact.htm Thank you.

Lyn

8/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010: Day 22 (or seriously, what's the point?).[/i] Ok, let’s say this in small words so you can all understand it: MARK LATHAM WAS PAID BY CHANNE NINE TO BE THERE. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/08/election-2010-day-21-or-seriously-whats.html [i]Journalists shine a light on their own obsessions, Bernard Keane, The Stump [/i]the questions relating to Mark Latham, as if Gillard had done something to somehow prompt this bitter, angry, failed leader to stalk her campaign, were remarkable. The journalists concerned might have thought they were scrutinising the Prime Minister, but what they were really doing was directing a bright spotlight onto how facile they can be. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/08/07/journalists-shine-a-light-on-their-own-obsessions/ [i]corporate media spam , Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] [b]Few would disagree with this in the context of the media's coverage of the current federal election. Most of it is junk that is best avoided if you hold that a healthy conversation over issues [/b]in a vibrant public sphere is a good thing for democracy. There is both a public disgust with the white noise of the press, and an intellectual crisis in journalism. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/08/corporate-media.php#more [i]The panic plaguing Labor, Bernard Keane, Business Spectator[/i] The 1998 election wasn't won by the Coalition until the morning of polling day, when the Daily Telegraph ran its "Labor to seize power" headline. This one looks similarly close. http://www.businessspectator.com.au:80/bs.nsf/Article/Labors-panic-problem-pd20100806-836DB?OpenDocument&src=kgb [i]Dickson: Dutton fighting for survival, Emma Rodgers, ABC[/i] Peter Dutton knows his hold on the outer-suburban Brisbane seat of Dickson is shaky. http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2010/electorateprofiles/dick.htm [i]The fundamentalist adventures Of Tony Abbott, Crikey[/i] From the priesthood to the gym to the parliament, our boy Tony Abbott has one helluva story to tell — and this spectacular Mad Monk musical history does the job for him. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/06/fundamentalist-abbott/ [i]A Few Coping strategies in the event Tony Abbott becomes Prime Minister, clarencegirl [/i], [i]North Coast Voices[/i] 10. Pretend to be invisible and watch silently from a barricaded house as the country marches backwards into the Middle Ages.......... http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/08/few-coping-strategies-in-event-tony.html Labor Policy Watch, Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/policy-watch-labor-2010-election-promises/ [i]Putting the tragic back in political tragic, Mark Bahnisch, The Drum[/i Anyone seeking to understand all that's wrong with the circus this campaign has been transformed into needs to read this post by Pavlov's Cat, which says it all, really. http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/08/putting-the-tragic-back-in-political-tragic.html#more

nasking

8/08/2010Lindsay Tanner wrote an article today about the media’s vacuous reporting… Tanner: Vacuous media lacks credibility http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/07/tanner-vacuous-media-lacks-credibility/ The link is by way of Lavartus Prodeo…check out the comments. The following is a comment I left at the Cafe & Gutter Trash... Well, here’s the Murdoch empire’s SKY NEWS playing the BIAS card by way of their digital news channel (multiview option)…these headlines have been there all morning: Labor Latham confronts PM Latham confronts PM Rudd misses media Gillard, Rudd meet Labor admits rebate flubber Latham appears Gillard, Rudd meet Gillard, Rudd PM on BER Mackillop canonisation Reconciliation ————————- Where’s the policy? Why so much repeated sensationalism? ——————– Coalition Nauru centre Guided democracy Pyne on BER Abbott health fund Howard joins Abbott Internet filter Abbott Health Plan Burqa ban Underdogs open ———————— Note the repetition on the Labor site. Furthermore, SKY’s Australian Agenda had a panel consisting of 3 journos all from News Ltd. And one has the tricky dick gall to say that he thought it was “an exciting election”…that needed “more policy focus”. Yea, no kidding. Look’s like I will be getting rid of my Foxtel at the end of this election. N’

jj

8/08/2010'do you think it would be wasteful to have a large part of the workforce unemployed; would it be wasteful to have construction businesses laying off workers or going to the wall?' Yes i do, so why didnt the government put more money into stimulus cheques rather than into school halls, as to prop up the retail sector? There is still $7 billion of this BER money yet to be spent, so is it still stimulus? Or is the focus more on improving our kids education? All i am saying is Ken Henry warned the government not to go down this path, and yet they did and therefor they deserve the media scrutiny. Good to see your old mate Mark Latham out and about helping the campaign! The Labor party is making Tony Abbott more and more Prime Ministerial by the day. Keep it up!

Gravel

8/08/2010Janice I was going to point this out about Abbott saying "guided democracy". Then passed it off as a joke!!!! God help Australia and everyone living here. By the way I am like Julia, no religion but respect the right of everyone to believe or not believe, so I have to say it takes a lot for me to invoke a deity of any sort.

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8/08/2010Folks I've just posted [i]A salute to a very successful BER[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/08/08/A-salute-to-a-very-successful-BER.aspx

Lyn

8/08/2010Hi Nasking I will be giving Austar notice after the Election. I just cannot stand any of their reporters, actually, they all may as well put on Coalition T shirts and tell the viewers to vote for the Coalition. Don't they just love Mark Latham, twisting, turning upside, down reporting, even distorting the Latham video clip. Julia Gillard didn't have eye contact with Kevin Rudd, honestly, how pathetic and another horror they won't be campaigning together, so shocking. Sky News has only had News Ltd reporters as interviewee's for the last 2 weeks, pathetic. Nasking, Love this "tricky dick gall" name you have invented. [i]This Could Have Been Us…America’s Hole, Coalition’s Dream, Nasking, Cafe Whispers[/i] And that’s what our country Australia will transform into if Liberal leader Tony Abbott (right-hand man of WorkChoices in his DNA John Howard…& friend of a corporate media http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/this-could-have-been-us-americas-hole-coalitions-dream/

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

Jason

8/08/2010jj, It's Sunday even we are entitled to a day of rest from your rantings.

jj

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